May 8 2009 4:15pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Shadow Rising, Part 16

Fear not, for it is another Wheel of Time Re-read post! Today we are covering Chapters 45-46 of The Shadow Rising.

Previous entries are here, and you are as ever warned that this and they are positively dripping with spoilers. Eurgh.

Also, I want to give y’all a heads up that a fun Side Project post is coming your way, hopefully next week. More As It Develops. Keep a weather eye.

And, yeah. So, the post, in which we discuss textual errors, involuntary suppression of free will, and the ramifications of conflicting political philosophies.

Chapter 45: The Tinker’s Sword

What Happens
At the south end of the village, the men gathered there, mostly Coplins (and Cenn Buie), tell Perrin proudly that they’ve been holding off Trollocs too, but Perrin sees a figure in a yellow coat beyond the perimeter and tells them disgustedly that they’ve been shooting at Tinkers. He shouts for the Tinkers to come in and makes the men move the wagons blocking the road. The Tinkers approach fearfully, and Perrin sees that there are only about twenty of them, and most are wounded. Faile runs to Ila and hugs her, but the Tinkers will not come any closer at first. Hari Coplin complains about letting thieving Tinkers in town, and Daise Congar agrees.

Cenn scratched his thinning hair, eyeing the Wisdom sideways. “Aaah . . . well . . . Perrin,” he said slowly in that scratchy voice, “the Tinkers do have a reputation, you know, and—” He cut off, jumping back as Perrin whirled Stepper to face the Two Rivers folk.

A good many scattered before the dun, but Perrin did not care. “We’ll not turn anyone away,” he said in a tight voice. “No one! Or do you mean to send children off for the Trollocs?” One of the Tuatha’an children began to cry, a sharp wailing, and he wished he had not said that, but Cenn’s face went red as a beet, and even Daise looked abashed.

Cenn and Daise quickly change their tune, and Daise and others begin escorting the Tinkers into town, promising them baths and beds. Raen and Ila look numb with shock, and Ila mumbles through her bruised, swollen face that they came in the night, and there was nothing they could do; behind her, Aram shivers, staring at all the armed men. Perrin frowns, trying to calculate from that how many Trollocs are still left in the area, and then feels guilty for coldly considering numbers. He thinks he is useless here, and maybe now is the time to head after Loial and Gaul while Faile is distracted with the Tinkers. Before he can do anything, though, he is stopped by Haral Luhhan, who tells him he’s being harassed by men wanting him to forge them replacement bits for their scavenged armor.

“I would like to give you a hand,” Perrin said, “but I have something else that needs doing. I’d likely be rusty, anyway. I haven’t had much work at a forge the last year.”

“Light, I didn’t mean that. Not for you to work a hammer.” The blacksmith sounded shocked. “Every time I send one of those goose-brains off with a bee in his ear, he’s back ten minutes later with a new argument. I cannot get any work done. They’ll listen to you.”

Perrin doubts this, but to his surprise it works, and the day goes on like that, everyone asking him for answers to questions and to settle disputes. He’s annoyed that Dannil and Ban and the others insist on following him everywhere with that banner in imitation of the Illianer Companions that Tam had told them about, and gets rid of them by sending them off to guard the forest-clearing party. Later, Luc arrives, bringing the head of a Fade as a trophy, and puts it on a pole in the Green; a bunch of villagers tell him all about the battle, with what Perrin thinks is a gross exaggeration of his own role in it. Luc gives patronizing congratulations to Perrin on his beginner’s luck, and goes to the inn; Perrin has the Myrddraal head taken down and burned. The questions continue, and Perrin doesn’t understand why they’re all behaving like this, all wanting to know what he wants, when usually Emond’s Fielders are happy to argue about every last aspect of a plan of action. He finally goes back to the inn, where Marin plunks him in a chair and tells him Emond’s Field can survive without him for an hour while he eats something. Bode and Eldrin Cauthon are there too, feeding Aram and grinning at him; Aram smiles back at them weakly, but he’s mostly occupied with staring at all the weaponry along the walls. Faile comes out of the kitchen in a flour-covered apron, and says defensively that she’s never baked before, but it’s kind of fun, and she might do it again someday. Perrin wants to know how they will have bread if she doesn’t bake, and she tells him the cook or her helpers will bake, of course; Perrin doesn’t quite know what to say to that. He tells her instead that this Perrin Goldeneyes business is getting out of hand. She studies him thoughtfully, and asks how long it’s been since the Queen of Andor ruled there in truth. Perrin replies, a couple of centuries, maybe, why? Faile answers that the villagers don’t remember how to deal with a queen – or king – and they are trying to puzzle it out. Perrin is appalled at what she’s implying, and she laughs and amends it to “leader”, at least, since she doubts Morgase would approve the other, but surely she would approve of the man that brought these lands back into Andor’s fold.

“Perrin of House Aybara, Lord of the Two Rivers. It has a good sound.”

“We do not need any lords in the Two Rivers,” he growled at the oak tabletop. “Or kings, or queens. We are free men!”

“Free men can have a need to follow someone, too,” she said gently. “Most men want to believe in something larger than themselves, something wider than their own fields. That is why there are nations, Perrin, and peoples. Even Raen and Ila see themselves as part of something more than their own caravan. They have lost their wagons and most of their family and friends, but other Tuatha’an still seek the song, and they will again, too, because they belong to more than a few wagons.”

Suddenly Aram asks who owns the spears lining the walls; Perrin tells him they belong to anyone who wants one, and that no one will hurt him with them. Aram doesn’t answer, and Perrin is soon distracted by the fact that Faile insists on feeding him his meal. But then Aram pulls out one of the swords along the wall and asks if he can use it. Perrin chokes; Ila walks into the room with Alanna, sees Aram, and screams, begging him to put it down. Aram fends her off, shouting that they killed his mother, and if he’d had a sword he could have defended her. At this, Perrin cuts in and tells Ila to leave Aram alone. Aram asks if Perrin will teach him, and Perrin says someone will.

Tears rolled down Ila’s contorted face. “The Trollocs took my daughter,” she sobbed, her entire body shaking, “and all my grandchildren but one, and now you take him. He is Lost, because of you, Perrin Aybara. You have become a wolf in your heart, and now you will make him one, too.” Turning, she stumbled back up the steps, still racked with sobs.

Everyone else in the room is crying or staring at him in horror or both, except for Alanna, who is studying him calmly, and Faile, whose face is blank. Perrin gets up and almost tells Aram to put the sword down, but then looks at his face, and tells him to go find Tam al’Thor and tell him Perrin said to teach him the sword. Aram stammers that he will never forget this, and kisses the pommel of the sword, which has a wolfshead design, asking if that’s how it’s done. Perrin answers sadly that he supposes it is, and Aram runs out. Perrin sits back down and asks Faile if she disapproves; Faile answers that she does not like to see him in pain. Bran sticks his head in the door and tells Perrin there are riders coming, probably Whitecloaks. Perrin and Faile head out to the edge of the village, where a crowd is gathered to watch the double column of Whitecloaks approaching, led by a young man who looks vaguely familiar to Perrin. Luc is there too, and the young man addresses Luc, naming himself Dain Bornhald, and saying this is surely a village of the Shadow if it is closed to the Children of the Light. Then he sees Perrin, and his face contorts in a snarl; Perrin thinks he can smell brandy fumes, and recognizes Byar next to him. Luc does not answer Bornhald, and Bran looks to Perrin for his nod (to Perrin’s disgust) before answering that Emond’s Field is not closed to them, exactly, but they have decided to defend themselves, and points to the pyre of Trollocs as proof. Bornhald is contemptuous, and the villagers shout variously that they had a great battle, and don’t need Whitecloaks, and cheer for Perrin Goldeneyes. Byar snarls back that they know nothing of battle; last night one of their villages was all but wiped out by Trollocs, which shuts everyone up. Bran asks which one, and Bornhald answers that Taren Ferry hardly exists any longer. At this, Luc moves forward and asks if the man Ordeith was at Taren Ferry last night; Bornhald looks pale and angry both at the name, and Luc hopes casually that he either died there last night or is close under Bornhald’s supervision. Bornhald snaps back that he neither knows nor cares where Ordeith is, and points at Perrin and orders his arrest as a Darkfriend. Byar stares at Bornhald in disbelief, and the Two Rivers men begin readying to defend Perrin. Bran tells Bornhald that there will no more arrests without proof that he believes, and since nothing will convince Bran that Perrin is a Darkfriend, he might as well relax.

“He betrayed my father to his death at Falme,” Bornhald shouted. Rage shook him. “Betrayed him to Darkfriends and Tar Valon witches who murdered a thousand of the Children with the One Power!” Byar nodded vigorously.

Perrin answers that he betrayed no one, and if Bornhald’s father died at Falme, it was at the hands of those called the Seanchan. Bornhald spits back that the Seanchan are a lie concocted by the White Tower, and Perrin realizes the situation is about to get out of hand. He asks if Bornhald is willing to hold off on his arrest until the Trollocs are taken care of; when Bornhald asks why, he points out that the Whitecloaks may not make it back to Watch Hill with the attacks stepping up, but if they stay in Emond’s Field and aid in the defense of the town, Bornhald will be able to keep track of him, Perrin. Bran and Faile are vehemently against this, but Perrin tells them he will not have men fighting men, doing the Trollocs’ work for them. Faile looks furious and pulls out a knife to sharpen it, and Bran turns to Bornhald and adds his own conditions: they arrest no one, stay out of people’s houses unless invited, and help where they are needed. Bornhald agrees, never taking his eyes off Perrin. As the Whitecloaks enter the village, Perrin notices Luc looking at him, and comments that he’d have thought Luc would object, given how he talks about Whitecloaks.

Luc spread his hands smoothly. “If these people want Whitecloaks among them, let them have Whitecloaks. But you should be careful, young Goldeneyes. I know something of taking an enemy into your bosom. His blade goes in quicker when he is close.” With a laugh, he pushed his stallion off through the crowd, back into the village.

Faile remarks that Luc has a point, and Perrin agrees privately, but tells her it was the only way to prevent bloodshed. He watches Byar and Bornhald glare hatred at him as they ride in, and thinks maybe having Dannil and the others around him is a good idea after all.

Based on the responses to the homework I left y’all with last time (at least as of around 100 comments or so), people are actually fairly evenly divided on the question of whether Perrin is a natural leader or being set up as a figurehead. Which is about what I expected, really. For what it’s worth, my own opinion is that it’s a little bit of both. Making a reluctant potential leader into an actual leader, especially in genre fiction, is a little like rolling a boulder downhill; it might take some work to get him started, but after a while the whole thing gains a rather inevitable momentum. The ta’veren factor is just the lever that first got it all started, and the grease that keeps it rolling.

Concurrently, I don’t know if Jordan ever read Douglas Adams, but this entire arc concerning Perrin being wrangled into a Lordship (really, the wrangling of all three of the Boys into leadership) always makes me think of the quote from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:

The major problem — one of the major problems, for there are several — 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.

Heh. I love that quote. Like I said, I don’t know if Jordan ever read Adams but he certainly seemed to have shared the sentiment that the best leaders are people who don’t particularly want to be leaders. Unless you’re Egwene, evidently. Actually, in a twisted way the Adams quote could be viewed as an argument in favor of a hereditary ruling class, in the sense that technically your heirs didn’t want the position; they were born into it. It’s not like they went after it out of ambition.

This is leaving aside, of course, all of the other problems with a feudal aristocracy set-up, which we are ignoring anyway because this is epic fantasy and therefore it is taken as a given that monarchies/oligarchies/pick your –archy are the best way to run things. Because even if the current lords suck, there’s always going to be some gifted farmboy around to do it right. See if you can spot the logical disconnect, there.

Ergo, we have Faile’s speech in response to Perrin insisting that the Duopotamians are free men, which does not even consider the notion that it is possible for people to rule themselves and feel they are part of a larger entity, and actually kind of entirely misses the point about the Tinkers’ system of government (or rather, their complete lack of one). This is, by the way, a perfectly cromulent erroneous philosophy for her to hold, since it would be a little much to expect a pro-democracy stance from a queen’s cousin in a medieval-ish world that evidently skipped the Greco-Roman period this go-round.

(I’ll just toss out here, however, the fact that historically, monarchies have always been the most stable form of government. What does that do to my argument? I’m not even sure I’m making one, at this point. Whee!)

I feel I should move on.

I always thought Perrin was being a little bit of a dick when he was so harsh to Ila about letting Aram have the sword, but it’s only on this re-read that I caught what made Perrin decide to stick up for Aram, which is what Aram said about having to watch his mother get murdered. Which is, for obvious reasons, something of a hot-button issue for Perrin just at the moment. I don’t know why I never noticed that till now, but it definitely makes his response a lot more understandable.

Tiny minor note on Mat’s sisters in this scene: it may be entirely accidental, but I got a kick out of the fact that Bode and Eldrin were described as “grinning” at Aram. I’ve hardly done a study of it or anything, but I don’t think Jordan typically describes his female characters’ smiles that way. Cauthon family trait, perhaps? Heh.

The scene with the Whitecloaks features a rare instance of Perrin being Aes Sedai-ishly slippery: you’ll note that he never actually said here that he would give himself up to Bornhald after the Trollocs were done. He just strongly implied it. Sneaky Perrin! Whoda thunk it.

Luc: Still a jackhole. A jackhole who really should learn to keep his mouth shut; if Perrin hadn’t been suspicious of him before that little crack about keeping enemies close, he certainly would have been after. Well, at least Perrin gets to shoot him soon.

Chapter 46: Veils

What Happens
Egeanin threads her way through the crowds of homeless refugees in the Calpene Circle, following Floran Gelb and carrying a cudgel to warn off would-be thieves. Gelb is accompanied by a bunch of thugs, and Egeanin angrily knows that this means Gelb is going to try kidnapping again even though she had specifically told him not to. She is momentarily distracted by a commotion behind her, in which someone she doesn’t see clearly breaks the arm of a beggar, and then curses to realize she’s lost Gelb. She finds him again after a few moments, lounging in an alley with the toughs, and quickly picks out the women he must be waiting for, who are dressed as Taraboners but are clearly out of place in this crowd, wearing silk but unescorted; neither of them look like any of the descriptions she gave Gelb. She starts pushing through the crowd, trying to get to Gelb in time to call him off.

Elayne argues with Nynaeve about the wisdom of what they’re doing, but Nynaeve insists that their dresses make them blend in, and there is no need for them to have bodyguards, despite Elayne having already lost three purses to pickpockets. Elayne just thinks Nynaeve has come to enjoy wearing silk, and tries not to think about how scandalously thin their dresses are. Nynaeve asks again if Amys told Elayne anything useful in Tel’aran’rhiod the night before, and Elayne says no, thinking that all she’d gotten was a long lecture on the dangers of the Dreamworld, while Egwene stood there and said almost nothing. Though she had been surprised to find out that Perrin was not with Mat and Rand; Nynaeve thinks he probably ran off to be a blacksmith with Faile, but Elayne has her suspicions about Faile, and highly doubts she’d settle for being a blacksmith’s wife. They are interrupted by a big man who tries to grab Nynaeve in a bear hug and gets a cudgel to the face for his trouble; Elayne then cracks the skull of a second attacker. Then they realize they are surrounded, while the milling crowd pretends not to notice anything; Elayne sees a scrawny fellow shouting to the others that “She’s gold, I tell you!”, and thinks they must know she is the Daughter-Heir of Andor. She and Nynaeve both embrace saidar, but neither channels yet, knowing the risk of exposure.

If one of the Black Ajah was close enough to see, they had already betrayed themselves with the glow of saidar. Channeling enough for those few flows of Air could betray them to a Black sister on another street a hundred paces or more away, depending on her strength and sensitivity. That was most of what they themselves had been doing the last five days, walking through the city trying to sense a woman channeling, hoping the feeling would draw them to Liandrin and the others.

Not only that, but the crowd itself might turn on them, as Aes Sedai were not in good odor in Tanchico at the moment. Suddenly a woman in a blue dress knocks out one of their would-be attackers from behind and backhands another; Nynaeve and Elayne are startled, but quickly take advantage, jumping to attack the others. After two more go down, the other thugs break and run, except for one who goes for the blue-dressed woman’s back with a knife. Elayne channels without thinking, flipping the man to slam into the ground with Air. He gets up and runs off, and the woman stares at her and Nynaeve uncertainly; Elayne is not sure if she saw what Elayne did to the last thug. Nynaeve thanks the woman breathlessly, and invites her back to their inn for tea.

The woman hesitated visibly. She had noticed. “I . . . I would . . . like that. Yes. I would.” She had a slurred way of speaking, difficult to understand, but somehow vaguely familiar.

She introduces herself as Egeanin, and as they head off, Elayne says to her that she saw, didn’t she. Egeanin misses a step, and Elayne hurries to reassure her that they will not harm her. Nynaeve points out that perhaps the street is not the best place for this conversation, and adds to Egeanin that the rumors she’s undoubtedly heard are mostly not true, and not to be afraid. Egeanin answers that she is not afraid, and will wait till they are ready to talk. They return to the inn to find Juilin inside, who has traded his straw hat for the conical felt cap commonly worn in Tanchico, and blurts that he has “found them” before seeing Egeanin and stopping. Nynaeve demands he explain, not seeming to care that Egeanin is there, and Juilin explains carefully that he followed the woman with the white stripe in her hair to a house with a number of “rich escapees”, but they all left sometime within the last day. Nynaeve is furious that he went inside; she points out to him that there are certain kinds of traps that he would never have detected beforehand (Juilin goes a little pale), and sends him off. He bows sarcastically and elaborately and leaves. Nynaeve snarls something about fool men, and Egeanin asks if Juilin is their servant.

“Yes,” Nynaeve snapped, just as Elayne said, “No.”

They looked at each other, Nynaeve still frowning.

“Perhaps he is, in a way,” Elayne sighed, right on top of Nynaeve’s muttered, “I suppose he is not, at that.”

“I . . . see,” Egeanin said.

Rendra serves them tea in a private room, and twitters and fusses about clothes and things for a good while before leaving them alone. Egeanin remarks that they are not what she expected of Aes Sedai, letting the innkeeper babble at them and their servant mock them. She asks Elayne, isn’t she nobly born? Elayne answers that that doesn’t mean much in the White Tower; a queen who goes there to learn will scrub floors like any other novice. Egeanin asks if many queens go there, and Elayne laughs that there are none that she knows of, though Andor traditionally sends the Daughter-Heir, and many noblewomen go in secret. Egeanin asks if Nynaeve is nobility, and Nynaeve snorts that her mother was a farmwife and her father a sheepherder. Egeanin then brings up the fact that they are clearly looking for someone, and offers her services as an information collector in exchange for more knowledge about Aes Sedai. Elayne jumps in hurriedly before Nynaeve can spill the beans like she did to Domon, and graciously refuses, but says they are happy to tell her about Aes Sedai in any case.

“You seem very interested in Aes Sedai,” Elayne said. “I cannot sense the ability in you, but perhaps you can learn to channel.”

Egeanin almost dropped her porcelain cup. “It . . . can be learned? I did not . . . No. No, I do not want to . . . to learn.”

They are interrupted by Thom, who tells them that the Whitecloaks have surrounded the Panarch’s Palace, and Amathera is apparently to be invested as Panarch tomorrow even though the Assembly did not ratify her. Nynaeve doesn’t care about this and won’t let Thom sit down, but Thom replies that something this odd should be noted, and in any case it will probably cause riots; she and Elayne should not go out alone. Elayne agrees to this, cutting off any protest from Nynaeve with a semi-veiled reminder that they had almost been kidnapped just now, and Thom goes on blithely that actually he’s already gotten fifty men from Domon to serve, and bows and escapes while the girls are still gaping at his presumption. Egeanin is staring at them, and Elayne supposes they hadn’t put on a very Aes Sedai-like show, letting Thom bully them like that. Egeanin says she must go, and that she will come another time and learn about them, and swiftly leaves. Elayne and Nynaeve argue about which of them was the would-be abductors’ target, and then Elayne patiently waits while Nynaeve tells her things she already knows about how important it is to find this thing that is threatening Rand. Then Nynaeve asks if Elayne noticed how Egeanin changed once Thom mentioned Domon, and they speculate on whether the two know each other until they are interrupted by Rendra, who tells them there is a woman asking to see them who says she knows them, but Rendra cannot remember her name. Nynaeve and Elayne exchange significant looks, and Elayne embraces saidar, wishing that Nynaeve was angry enough to do the same; Nynaeve tells Rendra to send the woman in. A “sturdily handsome” woman in black silk, who is definitely not any of the thirteen Black Ajah, enters.

Smiling, she closed the door behind her. “Forgive me, but I thought you were—” The glow of saidar surrounded her, and she . . .

Elayne released the True Source. There was something very commanding in those dark eyes, in the halo around her, the pale radiance of the One Power. She was the most regal woman Elayne had ever seen. Elayne found herself hurriedly curtsying, flushing that she had considered . . . What had she considered? So hard to think.

The woman tells them to come over to the table, and as they obey Elayne wants to giggle at Nynaeve’s rapt look, even though Nynaeve is gripping her braids tightly. The woman studies them and remarks that they are half-trained, but very strong, especially Nynaeve, if it weren’t for her block. Nynaeve whimpers an apology, saying she’s afraid of all that power, but the woman interrupts and tells her she will not cry, she is ecstatic at seeing her and wants to please her. Elayne and Nynaeve nod vigorously, smiling. The woman interrogates them, Elayne and Nynaeve fighting to be the first to answer her questions. She discovers that there are no other Aes Sedai with them, and they are in the city to hunt Black Ajah.

The handsome woman laughed. “So that is why I have not felt you channel before today. Wise of you to keep low when it is eleven to two. I have always followed that policy myself. Let other fools leap about in full view. They can be brought low by a spider hiding in the cracks, a spider they never see until it is too late.”

She asks them to turn out their purses on the table, and then asks if they have any angreal, sa’angreal, or ter’angreal in their rooms. Elayne thinks about the stone ring hanging on a cord around her neck, but that had not been the question, and she answers no. The woman says, so “his” name is Rand al’Thor now, and wonders if he is still “an arrogant man who stank of piety and goodness”. She muses to herself that the man he killed besides Bel’al must have been Ishamael.

“All his pride at being only half-caught, whatever the price—there was less human left in him than any of us when I saw him again; I think he half-believed he was the Great Lord of the Dark—all his three thousand years of machinations, and it comes to an untaught boy hunting him down. My way is best. Softly, softly, in the shadows. Something to control a man who can channel. Yes, it would have to be that.”

She stands, and tells the girls that it is a pity Compulsion is so limited, but as it is she supposes she will have to come collect them later and see to their... retraining. She tells them to pick up their things, and that they will remember nothing except that she mistook them for someone else, had a cup of tea, and left. Elayne blinks, and wonders why she’s tying her purse back on her belt. She asks Nynaeve if she remembers that nice woman’s name.

“Nice?” Nynaeve’s hand came up and gave a sharp tug to her braids; she stared as if it had moved of its own accord. “I . . . do not think she did.”

As she leaves the courtyard, Egeanin studies the guards Thom had hired from Domon, but does not recognize any of them from Domon’s ship. She thinks about how she had just sat and had tea with women who could channel, women who should be leashed as dangerous animals, and their revelation that channeling could be learned. Egeanin decides that the risk of running into Domon is worth the chance to learn more.

She heads off, not noticing the pale-haired man in filthy Tanchican clothes in front of the wineshop across the way. He thinks that he had almost given himself away when he broke that beggar’s arm earlier, but the man had disgusted him: a member of the Blood begging instead of decently killing himself. He decides to try bribing this inn’s employees to try and find out what Egeanin was up to.


Thanks to the commenters who pointed out that Gelb is an example of the Law of Conservation of Characters, because I had forgotten all about his role in TEOTW by this time. And I agree, it seems like a really random character recurrence; it wouldn’t have been if Gelb had ended up running into Domon in Tanchico, but I don’t think that ever happens.


The conversation Egeanin has with Nynaeve and Elayne about whether they are nobility forms an interesting counterpoint to what’s going on in the Perrin arc. However much Jordan toes the genre fantasy party line about the virtues of aristocracy, he also makes a point of noting that the White Tower emphatically disregards all considerations of nation, class, or social status in its members.

Of course, this is slightly undermined in LOC when we learn that they have instead substituted a different completely arbitrary criterion for assigning leadership roles. But at least that’s consistent with humanity’s propensity for doing so. It wouldn’t be a believable power hierarchy if it wasn’t at least slightly stupid.

The introduction of the concept of Compulsion didn’t enrage me in the same way as Egwene’s damane stint did back in TGH, but it was a whole order of magnitude higher on my screaming-meemie meter. Gyaahhh. The damane thing is horrible and awful and stabby, but at least damane-leashing doesn’t take away your mind. Free will, y’all; it is mine and you can’t have it. This is my dance space, and this is your dance space! Keep Out!

(My screaming-meemie meter has four settings: “Eurgh”, “Gyaahhh”, “YIPE YIPE YIPE”, and “Crispin Glover”.)

This chapter is where, in my initial reading, I first started to realize what an awesome character Nynaeve is. Which is ironic, because she spends the majority of it being boorish, obnoxious, and generally smackings-worthy, but the business with her gripping her braids while under Moghedien’s spell, and me realizing that under the Compulsion-induced goofiness she is bloody furious, well. Right there with you, girl. And also, even without knowing what was coming I just knew she was being set up for a major confrontation with Moggy later – even without knowing for sure who Moggy was at that point. This I Foretold, you heard it here first.

I don’t think we’re supposed to know who Compulsion Woman is for sure here, anyway. If I recall correctly we’ve only had a passing mention of Moghedien in the text thus far, and not in a manner that would connect her with this woman in any obvious way. It was awful nice of her to give us a little character synopsis of herself, though. And to bang us on the head with the “Ba’alzamon=Ishamael” anvil, just in case we hadn’t figured that out yet. Who said villain monologuing is counterproductive?

This chapter also contains what I think is still a major unexplained gaffe, concerning the bit where Moghedien asks the Girls if they have any *greal. I quote the almighty WOTFAQ:


When leaving Tear to go to Tanchico, Elayne and Nynaeve keep all of the T’A’R ter’angreal they had gotten from Joiya and Amico, since Egwene doesn’t need them. They bring them along on all their travels through TSR and TFOH, and subsequently to Salidar, where Elayne ends up copying them for the Salidar Posse in LOC.

However, when in Tanchico, Moghedien pays the girls a visit [TSR: 46, Veils, 525-526]. She starts off by Compelling them, then asks them to empty their pouches. She then asks if they have ter’, sa’ or angreals in their rooms. Elayne clearly thinks of the ring that’s fastened on a leather cord around her neck, and dismisses it, since it is not what Moggy asked. BUT, they still have the other two, which should have been in their room. It’s even said in that scene that Elayne and Nynaeve told Moggy about the ter’angreal they had stolen. So if they weren’t in the Supergirls’ rooms, where were they?

I don’t know. Do you?

I’m actually going to stop here, because the next chapter is Major, and also hella long, so I want to give it the attention it deserves. Here, have a weekend. See you Monday!

1. Csandoval
Leigh you rock and so does this RE-read
thanks again for the WOT FIX
j p
3. sps49
I didn't know who Compulsion Lady was, either.

Good pickup on the grinning bit. Is "Cauthon" Old Tongue for "grin"?
John Fitzingo
4. Xandar01
I remember thinking when I first reading about Aram taking up the sword, "That's what I would do, forget that way of the leaf thing."
However, in hindsight he did not fare well into his acceptance of violence. He became too blood thirsty, flipping from one extreme to the other. Sad sad sad.
Andrew Lovsness
5. drewlovs
Just one point on the initial re-through... I still dislike the Aram character. There has always been a distrust, since I never shook the feeling that he was that dark friend at in book 2. That he probably wasn't doesn't shake my dislike.

the fight scenes here are some of my favorites... I really like these re-reads!!
6. David-2
Principal (anecdotal) argument against a hereditary ruling class: Prince Charles.
Richard Fife
7. R.Fife
Hrm, yeah, I don't think we were supposed to know that was Moggy yet. Not until the Panarch's Palace fight.

Compulsion is actually something I agree with you on: full up "gah" as a weapon. On the same token, I've always been a little unhappy with it as a "magical power" across the genre. Wiggling a finger and turning any enemy into a drooling drone just seems too powerful, and while RJ typically does compulsion with a grain of salt (even some of the Forsaken hate it), it just bugs me. Seems like it would be too easy to just compulse your way through the enemy and all that.

Oh, and I actually cheered for Aram on my first read. I was oddly happy that "righteous vengence" was going to trump "silly hippie pacifism". So I'm a little bloody thirsty... sue me.
8. David-2
Aram was creepy from the beginning, and only gets creepier.

(But I still found his treachery and death in KoD rather sudden. Along with Rolan's death. I kind of felt that RJ had suddenly decided to "clean up" a few of the minor characters, in preparation for the grand finale.)
j p
9. sps49
This section illustrates better what I meant in Part 16; here are the Two Rivers' sergeants, armorers, logistics, and hospital staffers communicating with Perrin. Partly because the more senior folk (Tam, Bran, etc.) defer to him, and because he is the one who actually has taken action.

Aram, I thought, had way too much buildup and screentime to go out the random way he did. I try to pretend that section (Among the Shaido) doesn't exist.

I just finished this book, and every time it shifts to Tanchico I would go "grr, want more TR"; then something cool or Awesome would happen and I'd be okay.

So, do Mesaana's Compelled toys have any will to resist? How stupid is Liandrin regarding her own abilities with it? Did anyone else wonder what Moggy's "retraining" would entail? Any 13+13s around?
Deborah Jones
10. NanaD
I well remember the first few days after my mothers death. Taking care of endless details was not easy
Perrin has the welfare of a lot of people riding on his shoulders. You're right, he didn't ask for the responsibility, but did what had to be done.

His defense of Aram taking the sword was, as you said, probably prompted by his memory of the his loss of his mother.

Also I think he felt that each man, woman, or child had the right to defend their home and the lives of their loved ones.

Great job Leigh. And to all the Mothers out there,
Happy Mother's Day.
John Fitzingo
11. Xandar01
OK, where does Duopotamians come from?

The best I got was potamian means river turtle, so I see two river turtles???
12. RebelLives
I like the idea of a Tinker turning away from the Way of the Leaf, due to an event like this. Especially, after Rhuiden. It shows how sometimes things never change. I do agree with you drewlovs that Aram has never come across that well to me. Like he should never be trusted.

After reading Luc's quote about knowing something about bringing your enemies close I wonder if he is speaking from experience in someway about him and Isam or however they are connected?
Chris Hall
13. bookwormchris
I don't know that I caught on to the Gelb reuse on my first read. On the other hand, I think the arm-breaking incident with the Seeker tipped me off the first time.

As for the monologuing, almost seems like ta'veren work, but perhaps she isn't so worried about it since she has faith in her Compulsion Fu.

Not sure about the gaffe. Could be a mistake on the part of the Creator or it could be that the girls stashed them elsewhere. Love the part where the stone ring gets by because the Spider doesn't ask the appropriate question. Not so great, now are we?

*waits for the big battle*
14. David-2
Xandar01 - duo = two, therefore, "two rivers-ian", someone from the Two Rivers. Now if only I could figure out "easing the badger" ...
Leigh Butler
15. leighdb
Xandar01 @11:

It's an old WOT joke, a play on Mesopotamia.
16. Tamyrlink
this chapter reminds me of the one question I've always wanted an answer to. What happened to all the *angreal and OP objects and artifacts Moiraine sent to the tower from Tear and Rhuidean? It's never mentioned that they arrived in tar valon safely.
Brian Kaul
17. bkaul
Xandar01@11: "potamia" = Greek for "rivers" so Duopotamia = "Two Rivers" and a Duopotamian is someone from the TR.
Luke M
18. lmelior
Great points on Chapter 45. I was thinking Perrin as a little harsh as well, but that makes perfect sense now. And I never caught the grinning bit, that's a great little detail whether it was intentional or not.

You quoted Moggy's spider quotes but didn't comment on them. Did we get from one of the Forsaken that her nickname is the spider before now? I can't remember.

And bragging time! Leigh noticed my post about Gelb. *beaming*
19. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
If Perrin thinks the leadership thing is getting out of hand, he should think again. His thinking he's any use trying to close the Waygate by himself is out of hand.
I never caught on to Gelb being reused. Strange that he ended up in Tanchico. I did catch on to Egeanin using Leilwin's name, and that Paitr fellow in Andor resurfacing in Amador, though.

Xandar01 @11
Duopotamians is modified from Mesopotamian. Since Meso means middle or between, it was switched with Duo for two.

Tamyrlink @16
It's never mentioned they actually left Cairhien either. Since Lanfear pretty much cleaned out the wagon driver and the one primarily responsible for taking them, namely Moiraine herself.
20. Jamie Bowden
I highly suspect the ter'angreal were in the Inn's safe, along with the rest of their valuables. Not leaving stuff you care about which also happens to be worth something has been around probably since there have been inns.
Chris Maurer
21. grayfox
picking nits here:

Technically if you look at the Etymology of the word "Mesopotamia" you get "between two rivers". So we could really be calling the Two Rivers folk Mesopotamians and be accurate.

Which given the "cradle of civilization" moniker that Mesopotamia has, is another stroke of genius from the Creator!
Adam Loops
22. Cecero
If I remember correctly, Moggy didn't ask for any Ter'Angreal (sp?) so they are in the clear because she just asked any angreal. Plus, it goes to the willpower of both Nyn and Elayne that they didn't give up the information (the braid thing too). I don't see it as a gaffe. there were reasons for them not to tell Moggy.
23. Greyhawk
On the compulsion scene. I cannot remember where, but I am sure that later in the series Jordan sets a limit on the utility of Compulsion by saying that it cannot be used on someone already holding the power. So, how did Moggy compel Elayne without first shielding her? I mean at this point Moggy should have been able to overwhelm Elayn without much of a fight, but from the narrative it appears she didn't have to take that step.
Chris Hall
24. bookwormchris
Tamyrlink @16
Good point. I think she had to hire new people or something to carry that stuff to the Tower. (There is that whole Lanfear incident by the docks.) But we never hear anything about them arriving, as far as I can recall. (Been a bit over a year since my reread of the entire series last summer.)
25. CBeats
Leigh! You mentioned Crispin Glover!

You are officially the best person ever.
Dru O'Higgins
26. bellman
Crispin Glover using compulsion on you. And perhaps there's spanking.

I was sure on the first reading that Aram was being set up to be a hero, perhaps a military genius.
27. Greyhawk
On Aram and the Tinkers. 1st, I was surprised any survived at all but whatever. As for the Aram storyline--kind of disappointing. I think RJ had too many balls in the air and had to bring things down to a manageable size. Aram betraying Perrin was a letdown as to how to get rid of the character.
Marc Gioglio
28. u_turnagain
I don't remember what I thought about Aram on my first read-through, but on my second...

Aram stands out as confrontational from the moment Perrin, Elyas and Egwene enter the camp. Aram has no reservations about displaying hostility towards Elyas, but the other tinkers hold their tongues. Aram sees Egwene as something to be conquered from Perrin, and acts that way from the first. He has never been forced to choose the way of the leaf until this point, and he has chosen poorly.

I suspect what I feel about Aram is what most feel about Fain (though I happen to enjoy "other" evil characters). I hated him from the moment he picked up the sword, and when he does his thing later, I am glad to finally be rid of his taint.

As for compulsion-It is theoretically possible that when one knows how to defend against compulsion, holding the power is sufficient, but it is safe to say that none had any real knowledge of compulsion, and the supergirls didn't really know what was going on. I would liken it to playing a game that you don't know the rules of. If you don't know the rules, you don't know how to stop these simple things, even if there is a simple way. Straw grasping, but that, I think, is my forte.
Richard Fife
29. R.Fife
On Aram's death: Not everyone can go out in a spectacular blaze of glory, and there may yet be stronger ramifications of Aram's eventual betrayal. Remember, Aram was important enough in regard to Perrin that Min saw him in Perrin's aura. hmm.
30. Tamyrlink
duopotamians makes me laff every time but the crispin glover reference was golden.
31. Toryx
I didn't say so in the previous post, but I've always thought that Perrin's ascent to leadership is more natural than the result of being pushed. As one who once rejected responsibility for others at every opportunity but somehow kept ending up in charge despite himself, I've learned over the years that it's all due to one thing: impatience with the quibbling of others.

In Chapter 45 Perrin even points it out. To quote from Leigh's summary,

"...when usually Emond’s Fielders are happy to argue about every last aspect of a plan of action."

That does tend to be the democratic fashion but the unfortunate result of all that argument is that things rarely get done. Now here comes Perrin, angry about what happened to his family and concerned about the Emond's Fielders who have been taken captive by Whitecloaks. He's been around, and more importantly he's been stuck with a type A personality for some time (i.e. Morraine), not to mention having that interlude with Egwene and Elyas. He's sure to have noticed that when you want to get something done, sometimes you just have to do it.

The odd consequence of this is that even when that sort of attitude pisses people off, people also tend to respect it. It's hard to argue when someone just goes and takes care of things and the effectiveness of that is virtually impossible to argue with. The fact of the matter is, as much as people love to argue, people also love to know what to do.

Perrin has things to do. He's not going to wait around to see what people decide. He just does what needs to be done and everyone sees that and can't help but admire it and think, "Hey, he really knows what he's doing."

That right there is the basis for leadership and whether Perrin will admit it or not, he's got it in spades.
AJ MacPherson
32. Mackey62
I think I could use some complusion now to get the thought on Crispin Glover spanking anyone out of my head.

I guess I never had that big of a problem with Aram getting killed off because it always seemed that there was no way the Perrin could ever live up to what Aram built him up to be, so the only end was for Aram to betray Perrin and suffer the consequences for it.

Crispin back to your corner. Ahhhh!
33. JamesEdJones
Love the whole Duopotamian Companians resulting from Tam telling the lads about the Illianer Companions. That's full blown Verin-level sneakiness there.
Michael Catapano
34. hoping
Had to look up cromulent. For those who are similarly challenged, and interested, it is a neologism of Simpsonian derivation meaning 'Fine, acceptable or normal; excellent, realistic or authentic'
Sean Jones
35. PersonOfTheDragons
Toryx, I really like your idea and it's summation there, makes a lot of sense.

Also, I never thought Aram dying in KoD was really all that's a battle, people die. This one happened to die at a fortunate time to not kill Perrin, but it's not that amazing of a coincidence when there are people dying everywhere. I dunno, it seemed to fit just fine to me.
36. Freelancer
During my first reading, I tossed the arm-breaking of the beggar (noble down on his luck) in the bin as just a device to distract Egeanin so that Gelb could have enough clear space to attack the girls before she could stop him. That there is a POV from the Seeker about following Egeanin and being so disgusted with a noble that he broke the guy's arm, didn't sink in.
37. LindaL
Leigh didn't specifically mention it in the summary, but chapter 46 has one of my favorite touches in it.

When Elayne is in Tanchico she is constantly having to spit the veil out of her mouth. I remember on my first re-read that this cracked me up. She's the only person in Tanchico with her nose in the air. These are the details that make Jordan such an amazing author to me.
Ellie Virgo
38. Egglie
I never liked Aram. I was always waiting for him to do something really influential to justify Mins vision of him being a turning point in Perrins life. I was super disappointed in the death scene in KoD.

I suppose it is possible that Perrin will internalize his death and that his betrayal will somehow become very significant to him.

I am now leaning toward a different way of looking at it though; I think that this point where Aram picks up the sword and Perrin supports it and is rejected by Ilsa is the turning point. As if perhaps Perrin might have taken a different path and turned to the way of the leaf but here he consciously rejects it and chooses a life of conflict. (at least for now).

This way of looking at things enables me to enjoy future Perrin storylines much more:-)

I quite like the Tanchico plot, I think Egeanin is an interesting character. Although Elayne and Nyneave are a bit silly the story moves on at a good pace (unlike some of their later storylines) and the upcoming Nyneave vs Moggie battle is pretty cool.
39. jlyman
Just thought this was interesting:


I don't know that the whole description goes with Aram here, seeing as this is a place and not a person, but it caught my attention.
40. Freelancer

Forgive my quibbling, but I must. In looking back at your comments comparing Compulsion with A'dam leashing, I feel compelled to point out that one of the expected, and almost always achieved, results of leashing a channeler is their conversion to obedient puppy status, which is a de-facto loss of free will. The fact that Egwene was rescued before crossing that threshhold keeps you from making that connection, but consider that Teslyn warns Mat that attempting to rescue the other two Aes Sedai damane wouldn't work, because they were changed, no longer who they once were. Also consider that as furious as Nynaeve is once she realizes that Moghedien used Compulsion on them, it isn't a patch to the rabid hatred she and Egwene have for Sul'dam. (I leave Elayne out of that because her curiosity about the a'dam shades her anger at their users)

Captivity in prison, even slavery, doesn't completely rob a person of their free will. But a channeler properly trained to the a'dam, completely. Worse than Compulsion on my meter.


Ahh, great point. I too am surprised Leigh didn't go there. At first you'd think Nynaeve would have more trouble with such a thing, since Elayne's had all kinds of cultural training. It doesn't take long to catch the real reason why something that should fall from her nose AWAY from her mouth ends up in it.
Captain Hammer
41. Randalator
She starts off by Compelling them, then asks them to empty their pouches. She then asks if they have ter’, sa’ or angreals in their rooms. Elayne clearly thinks of the ring that’s fastened on a leather cord around her neck, and dismisses it, since it is not what Moggy asked. BUT, they still have the other two, which should have been in their room. It’s even said in that scene that Elayne and Nynaeve told Moggy about the ter’angreal they had stolen. So if they weren’t in the Supergirls’ rooms, where were they?

That was specified in later editions: They have the ter'angreal hidden in their skirts. So they are neither in their rooms nor in their pouches.

The scene now reads

"Elayne was conscious of the twisted stone ring hanging between her breasts and the amber plaque dream ter'angreal secure in a pocket inside her skirt for safe keeping—Nynaeve had the iron disc ter'angreal in a pocket between her skirts; those things could not be left lying about—but that was not the question."

Suck on that, Moggy.

re: Aram and the sword

That's a scene where I could smack Perrin over the head. And then smack him some more for good measure. He's running around being Mr. Awesome all the time and he has always been shown very sympathetic towards the Way of the Leaf, hoping that it will find a place in the world. And then this... *headdesk *headdesk* *headwreckage* *headsplinters*

"No, Aram. Don't do this. I chose that path, I chose the axe and still my whole family was killed. Don't abandon the Way..."

That was the answer that shot into my head when I first read it and that I still hear in my mind on every re-read. And what does Perrin say? "Oh yeah, take the sword, nice butchering it does, that one. You want fries with that...?"

Gaaaaaaaaaah, that just feels so wrong. Where's that fabled brain of yours that you like to think things through with, you hairy lummox? Huh? Use it! Blood and bloody ashes!
Deborah Jones
42. NanaD
@41 Maybe his mind is in the apple orchard.
43. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
It's not like Perrin had much of a choice. Aram by this time was roughly his own age. Perrin probably didn't think it his place to secondguess Aram's (presumably adult) decision.
Thomas Garst
44. Garstzilla
Aram always seemed to be to me the present tense fullfilment of many of the problems that the Aeil faced during their whole trip to the present day. the irony in his mother crying that he was lost when all Aiel considered the tinkers to be the lost ones was very cutting to me. Also later I think Aram showed Perrin the price of single minded revenge and blood lust which could be how he would go if he did not keep the wolf part of himself under control.

LOve the reread, and everyones thoughts on everything. Oh, and until this reread I never caught that Gelb was reused, he was so minor in the first book I did not ever remember him by the time I got to this point.

Happy Mothers day people.
kori lockwood
45. kori
I never liked Aram either, he always came across as sneaky and jealous in a weird gollum (sp?) sort of way. Perrin as "precious" he just always gave me the creeps.
Captain Hammer
46. Randalator
NanaD @42

Maybe his mind is in the apple orchard.

No, the last time his brain was seen alive it was fleeing into the Inn from the voices calling out to sons who had been killed in the fight with the Trollocs. That should have been a clue-by-four the size of Alaska for Lord Goldeneyes...
kori lockwood
47. kori
Freelance 40
I could be wrong but i don't think obedient puppy syndrome is a product of the a'dam itself i think its more a product of having ones will broken.
Captain Hammer
48. Randalator
kori @47

They have their will broken by compelling their minds via A'dam to feel agonizing pain for every little misstep.

That's just taking the scenic route over B and C instead of going from A to D directly on the Compulsion highway...
49. jlyman
Hmmm... I think I started myself on something. I Googled Aram (that's where my previous link came from) and was a little surprised that it didn't come up with WOT results among those of the first page or two. Besides being the name of a place, the location of which is still debated but is somewhere in the Two Rivers/Mesopotamia, it is the name of one of the ancestors of the Arameans, a mostly nomadic group who spread from the Two Rivers/Mesopotamia to Damascus, modern day Syria.

Now this Aram, who fathered this people, was related to the biblical Abraham (whose original name Abram is eerily similar to Aram). Now it gets interesting. The name Aiel is similar to Israel, whose people were the descendants of Abraham thus are cousins to the Arameans. This is interesting because of the relationship of the Tinkers to the Aiel.

Maybe you all had this figured out before, but I thought it kind of interesting. I don't know if this was intentional or just worked out really nicely, but... there it is.

Oh! And by the way, did you know that Aybarra spelled backwards is Arabia?
Aidan Young
50. aidanyoung1102
Aram = lamest and most unnecessary character in the Wheel of Time?

Other possibilities?
51. CalaLily
52. ValanVinyl
Aram IS Creepy. He turns his life upside-down and the only thing he can latch onto is Perrin and Faile. The result is him turning into more or less a faithful dog and eventually into a rabid dog that turned on his master.
I was rather relieved when he died, and satisfied with the writing. There's just tons of symbolism there, the main being that eventually Perrin will have to choose the Hammer, or he'll turn into a psycho too I imagine.
53. boquaz

I generally hate Aram and more or less agreed with aidanyoung@50, now I have to rethink that. You can be sure RJ knew these things. Why put so much into that character if he's really just an annoyance?

Aram, and the Tinkers certainly represent many aspects of early Judaism pretty well. Sacrifice, fate and corruption are a big part of those stories. Aram fits in better from this point of view, I think. He's a parable for Perrin.
54. ValanVinyl
I'm pretty sure that I figured out that the "compulsion woman" was Moghedian on the first read. The spider comments and the glossary gave it away if nothing else I think. I'm not 100 percent though as that was a good 8-9 years ago when I first read it.
55. Freelancer

What Randalator said. I never suggested it was the a'dam itself. That's why I pointed out Egwene hadn't reached that stage. It was the continual punishment that cannot be escaped, finally breaking even the will of very experienced Aes Sedai, until they cannot but obey (they would be willing to even obey a command that violates the Oaths, but are physically unable). Most certainly worse than compulsion, due to the damage required to get there.

RE: Moghedien's first appearance

The "spider from the shadows" bit made clear that it wasn't Lanfear, but I don't think we've gotten a close look at many of the other female forsaken by this point of the story. Mesaana, Graendal, Semirhage and Moghedien are all unknown quantities so far, and I can't recall there being enough information to form a conclusion, just that it had to be a forsaken, due to the skill in use of Compulsion and the obvious strength.

Oh, and this raises a point I had first thought of during the chapters from Tear, but never presented. Lan and Rand spar with swords regularly, to improve/maintain their skill with the blade. Rand and Lanfear had a showdown in the halls where each plastered the other to the wall, until Lanfear shielded Rand. Rand, Egwene and Elayne had their little session of comparing channeling methods (and bottom-pinching). Why doesn't anybody think to practice sparring with the Power? They have to know that any skills/techniques they develop will help when they face forsaken, which they already know is more than likely. But no. This one gets me.
sandi vogel
56. sinfulcashew
It amazes me how much history is brought into these books.
I never looked at some of the comparisons. Never noticed them.
Perhaps the saying that history repeats itself is really true, even in fiction.
The idea that RJ actually fit all this together boggles my fuzzy mind.
To be able to think of how to put it all together cohesively(?) is fantantastic!
And to think that all this time I had just been enjoying a nice story.
Just goes to show you what a doofus I am.
Ofer Nave
57. odigity
Leigh - you're a natural anarchist. :)

Go Light.
58. Carl M P
12 RebelLives commented on something I've been waiting to happen for a loooong time since TSR: The repeat of the "peaceful aiel/tinkers turning violent" (as seen at Rhuidean). Could it be connected to "a remnant of a remnant shall be saved" or am I just dead wrong here?

I would also suggest that Arams lust for vengance and violence drove him mad (not just Masema) - a lesson for us all

I'm tempted to throw a "crispin Glover" due to all the hype about the upcomming showdowns in comments to post 15 - I was really looking forward to reading that during the weekend (perhaps Leigh decides this is a good point to start charing us for access to the re-read...)

a noble spirit "embiggens" the smallest - just for a second there I though that "cromulent" was an acctual word (I'm swedish) which would sort of ruin the joke (also good joke is "chester a arthur-itis" - you had arthritis?
Ofer Nave
59. odigity
LindaL@37: When Elayne is in Tanchico she is constantly having to spit the veil out of her mouth. I remember on my first re-read that this cracked me up. She's the only person in Tanchico with her nose in the air. These are the details that make Jordan such an amazing author to me.

Mad genius. (Both RJ and you.)

Randalator@41: That's a scene where I could smack Perrin over the head. And then smack him some more for good measure. He's running around being Mr. Awesome all the time and he has always been shown very sympathetic towards the Way of the Leaf, hoping that it will find a place in the world. And then this...

Say what? You'd rather Aram stand around quietly while having his more succulent parts removed by Trolloc cleaver for the great Feast of a Thousand Tinkers, rather then try to defend himself? Have you no respect for human life?

Everyone has the right to defend themselves, and we should account their desire to do so a good thing - it stems from a love of life, not a desire for violence (something gun rights activists would love others to understand).

The fact that Aram also happens to be nuts is a separate issue. :) I would blame that on:
1) Being raised in a cult.
2) The trauma of the slaughter that occurred - a direct result of the cult's belief system.

If Aram had been taught the sword from the beginning (say 10-12 in the context of their world), he'd probably be quite well adjusted. And the rest of his family might still be alive.
Ofer Nave
60. odigity
Re: Israel/Judaism

Another major parallel is the twelve clans of Aiel, and the thirteenth "clan that is not". Matches perfectly to the twelve tribes of Israel, and something about a thirteenth clan that was distributed across the rest - Levi? Cohen? It's all so fuzzy now...

Re: compulsion vs a'dam

If I had to choose, I'd rather be compulsed and then left alone in ignorant bliss, rather than remain conscious while having my will broken. Weave the threads, use my body for your nefarious purposes (one a time, ladies), then go away.

Re: character reuse

It seems all the small time characters from book 1 got to keep on keeping on:

(in order of appearance)
- Min
- Dain Bornhald
- Bayle Domon
- Floran Gelb
- Elyas Machera
- Child Byar
- Paitr
- Lady Shiaine/Mili Skane
- Basel Gill
- Lamgwin
- Elayne
- Gawyn
- Galad
- Tallanvor
- Morgase
- Elaida
- Gareth Bryne
- Ingtar

Did I miss any? (I left out the cook at the Queen's Blessing - one brief cameo when Matt returns doesn't cut it.)
61. ValanVinyl
You raise a good point Odigity (@59) about Aram, though I'm not sure the Way of the Leaf can be described as a cult, perhaps a gentler term would be in order. Something like a Dreamworld, instead. The shock of realizing the absolute uselessness of that world would be traumatizing indeed.
craig thrift
62. gagecreedlives
Did anyone else think it kind of amusing that the first weapons Aram the tinker asks about are the spears lining the wall.
63. macpimp
re: compulsion on someone already holding the power

we learn in book 8 that verin's (lesser) form of compulsion doesn't work on someone holding the power, but soon after, we get the scene where cyndane and moggy visit graendal to bring her under moridin's service.

in that scene, graendal uses compulsion while the other two are channeling.
Lannis .
64. Lannis
NanaD @ 10, and all other mothers... Thank you! And I hope you all have a lovely Mother's Day, too. :)

Re: Aram.... Meh. Never liked him. Wish he was a throwaway character who'd never left the Tinkers' wagons.

LindaL @ 37: re: Elayne's veil in her mouth because her nose is in the air... YES! Hilarious!

Randalator @ 41: re: ter'angreal in the skirts... Ahhh! See? I've got an old edition... first printing hard cover... dating my fandom, but s'cool. It's well loved. :)

sinfulcashew @ 56: re: RJ's complex writing... Nah, no doofus! Just RJ's target audience: someone who can read the series, love the series, and keep returning to the series for the favourite moments remembered, and maybe pick up something you hadn't noticed previously, too, so that your enjoyment just keeps growing. :)

Oh, and sinful, we'll sit in our little (ahem) Doofus Corner together, with our books and a laptop with Google as our homepage. We'll get it eventually. ;)
Michael Johnson
65. twosheddz
Another recycled character - Breanna (sp)
66. longtimefan
Just going out on a limb here but I always put Aram down as the Darkfriend Tinker from the Darkfriend social that introduced all the different masked people from different cultures and regions.

His behavior to be near Perrin has a double agenda if he is following him because the darkfriends had been commanded to follow any one of the Three they came across. I believe everyone present was told what the Three look like and were told to get close to if not right out kill them.

His support of Perrin's aggressive "save Faile at any cost" agenda sows a little chaos and his time with Masema hints to a connection with other darkfriends.

Then again he could just be replacing one fanatical belief system with another. The way of the leave is peaceful to the furthest extreme and Masema was fanatically violent to a level that holds a toe right on the line between good and evil.
67. ZamIt
I think Aram worked better as a concept than as a character. This is the book where we already had the big history of the Aiel, with scenes of Aiel abandoning the Way of the Leaf. Now we have a instance where Aram does the same thing. I think Jordan was somehow tieing the plots together.
Also, it's interesting how this plot is tied to Perrin and not Rand. I suspect that as we find out how the story ends that this will not be a coincidence. Perrin's hammer/axe thing, the appeal of the Way of the Leaf to Perrin, and the song... It's all leading somewhere I think. And as others mentioned, I don't know if we're completely done with Aram. His death could lead to more complications.
68. CalaLily
I don't think Aram was a Darkfriend, I just think he got swept up into radical ideas. First, he does a huge 180 from the way of life he was raised in in ONE NIGHT, one of peace, acceptance, happiness and patience, to a life of constant violence, hidden agendas, haste and fear. Next, he meets a man who is very charismatic, more than a little frightening, and capable of generating vast crowds of followers to do his bidding. Said charismatic man convinces Aram that the husband of his Lady is a darkfriend bent on helping the Dark One destroy the world. The man is already a little unbalanced. 1 crazy manw/ sword + 1 REALLY crazy man w/ fantatical ideas =/= happy endings 4 any1.

:) 'Tis my $0.02.
69. Freelancer

Masema is an insane idiot, he is NOT a darkfriend. Just as most Whitecloaks are not darkfriends, no matter how close to evil their actions. Aram was not a darkfriend. He would have made an excuse to get close to Perrin while Perrin was wounded in their camp, and returned to Emond's Field with him under some pretext. He did not. It was only after the survivors of the trollocs came to the village, after his parents had been killed, he hooked into the first person who showed him any contact at all.

EDIT: Also add that when Aram tries to kill Perrin, it's because he believes Masema's declaration that Perrin is a darkfriend. He wouldn't kill one if he was one.


I wondered before if RJ had planned for Aram to take up the spear, given the obvious connection to the Rhuidean history. But it would be very unlikely that a spear would have a wolfshead adornment of anykind, where the pommel of the sword makes more sense. My supposition here is that the symbolism of attaching himself to the wolfbrother outweighed the Aiel/Tinker connection. Besides, who in the village would teach him the spear, Gaul? I trow not. So getting a retired Blademaster to teach him to swordfight makes more sense. But the initial interest in the spears definitely deserves note.


Laras, Mistress of the Kitchens of the White Tower. Actually, she shows up in six different volumes, so she's not too far from the front bench.

Nieda, proprieter of Easing the Badger, in Illian. (Go ahead, Leigh, you want to, even if it is "too easy")
craig thrift
70. gagecreedlives

And I suppose Bain or Chiad would be even less likely :)

Does anyone know or remember when exactly Aram develops his fanatical loyalty to Faile? Here he seems to latch on to Perrin and in the later books follows Perrin like a bad smell (well he could be following both but it does seem to me that its more Perrin than Faile early on) but by KoD he tries to kill Perrin to protect Faile.
71. Freelancer
If you chose to believe that the guy you've been playing heelhound to is evil, you'd want to protect his wife, whom you still believe to be a Good Guy. Doesn't seem a big deal to me.
Ofer Nave
72. odigity
I was actually trying to list only non-main characters in book 1 (EotW) that end up coming back again, to show how many there are from the very beginning. If you want to list *all* recurring characters (like Laras), well... save that for the next time Leigh goes on vacation. :)
73. birgit
Aram is first interested in the spears, but then picks the sword, which even modern Aiel will not touch because it can only be used for violence, so his abandoning of the Way of the Leaf is even more radical than that of the first fighting Aiel.
Ofer Nave
74. odigity
I definitely agree that the choice of sword is more powerful to the reader, who knows what it means in the context of the Tinkers' origin. But is there any mention in the text that the Tinkers remember any distinction between weapon-with-non-violent-use (axe, bow) and weapon-with-only-violent-use (sword) like the Aiel do?
75. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Tinkers don't make any such distinctions. Weapons are weapons. The first Aiel only made the distinction in order to reconcile their picking up a weapon with their Way of the Leaf philosophy. Later generations kept subscribing to it because the older ones couldn't bear to tell the truth. A weapon is a weapon. Even the thought of keeping one handy for defense, meaning acknowledging that a time will come that you will have to use it, is anathema to the Way of the Leaf.
mark Proctor
76. mark-p
69. Freelancer Yes I was thinking the same but maybe RJ just wanted to emphasise the similarity to the Aiel by mentioning spears.

60. odigity
What about that farmers daughter Elsie something who tryed to join the Aes Sadai but wasn't much good.
Lannis .
77. Lannis
Re: Aram... I know I said earlier I just don't like him, but I've thought about it a little more--still don't like him, but I've come to a conclusion...

His purpose was shock value and juxtaposition, along with adding to Perrin's Hammer or the Axe Debate.

With having set up the Tinkers as peaceful, anti-violent people, it was quite a shock to hear Min say that she had a viewing of Perrin with a Tinker with a sword (actually, IIRC, she says the viewing before we meet the Tinkers--but regardless, the preposterousness of said viewing still stands, and only becomes more so as we, as readers, become familiar with the Tuatha'an).

This viewing added a sense of the exotic to Min's abilities, and beefed up the whole List of Important Things Viewed for our Heroes, RPM. Did anyone not go "Wtf? A Tinker with a sword?!" when reading? Little weird, little crazy, little RAFO, right?

Then, it's the juxtaposition with the Aiel story... not only do we have the Peace vs. War/Tuatha'an vs. Aiel Heritage Lesson earlier, but shortly we'll have the defectors throwing down their spears because Rand's given out The Big Secret. And in direct opposition to this? Oh, a Tinker, who technically has been keeping the historically proper "Aiel" way of life (The Way of the Leaf) deciding to pick up a weapon--and a sword at that.

And, as mentioned by others, IIRC (my review of everyone's comments was just before bed, so forgive me), Aram plays a part in Perrin's Hammer vs. Axe, Builder/Destroyer struggle.

In reference to Aram's importance to Tarmon Gai'don, I agree with Egglie @ 38... I think Aram's actions during his life (choosing the sword over the Way of the Leaf) are how Aram will be important to Perrin in TG (not Aram's actual presence)... it's Aram's actions that will influence Perrin's choice to take up the hammer.

I think, though, that Aram stemmed from a need to bulk up Min's viewings with random, exotic ideas, and then RJ had the task of coughing up a Tinker with a sword. Overall I find Aram is annoying at best, dangerous as a rabid puppy (looks tame--but watch out!) at worst... and fraking irritating the whole way through.

Just my 2 cents.

odigity @ 60: Else Grinwell (ack! mark-p beat me to it!)

ZamIt @ 67: yes, I agree... Aram worked better, overall, as a concept than a character. Mind you, there's an argument for Aram's ambiguity and the reader's distaste for him (not hearing many of us liking him--if any). He gives that creep factor to Perrin's story... a constant tension that he could be a Darkfriend.

Aram + Masema = a whole lotta batshit crazy for Perrin to deal with...
Richard Fife
78. R.Fife

Small ammendum to my earlier comment on compulsion @ 7. While yes, the thought of having my free will stolen from me is terrifying, I also kind of agree with the Odigity @ 60 (and actually made a similiar point in the "Dagger of the Mind" rewatch and got called down for it). That is to say, I can see how, in certain circumstances, Compulsion would be more humane than the A'dam (which some might recall I played Devil's advocate for the way Seanchan treat channlers, as well).

Ok, so one is a prison for the body, the other is a prison of the mind, but which is really worse? I mean, if you were a prisoner, and given the option, and you only had two, which would you pick? To be tortured and broken and changed forever, or to just have your free will stolen for the duration of your captivity with the possible promise that you will one day be freed (rescued) and have your free will back. I know it is noble to say you'd rather be tortured so you could be defiant to the very end and not be some mafia wife, but really, what does that accomplish? You destroy yourself, and the enemy still gets what they probably wanted.

And, in one the flip side, if you were running a penal colony, where you can either strap down and restrain and lock down your prisoners in cages for the bodies and they will know how they are being treated and abused, or you drain their free will and let them live in a minimum security gold-resort setting. And, for the sake of example argument, let us also say that we are dealing with the criminally violent/insane. People beyond a hope of "normal" restraint and rehabilitation.

All I'm trying to say here is: the argument of the sanctity of free will is not black and white. And, for the big question of "What gives us the right?" I answer "What's stopping us?"

And, in the context of the WoT, OK, compulsion is big nasty even to Aes Sedai in 2nd and 3rd age... yet they use the Oath Rod, a device that limits free will. Hmmm...
79. freak2760
Thanks for the D.Adams quote. I love it everytime I see it.

If you go back to the scene where we see Laindrin and Co. the servant who was obviously spying on them kind of gave me, at least this time around, "whoa, Moggy! Sneaky little spider!" This little hint by RJ is definitely his MO. Unless the evil character is jumping in head first, RJ always finds a way to sneak them in without the reader knowing. I mean its obvious the 8th time around and I actually have time to think about it. Or am I wrong here?
Ofer Nave
80. odigity
Kudos to ya'll. Totally forgot about Else Grinwell.

R.Fife@78: Ok, so one is a prison for the body, the other is a prison of the mind, but which is really worse? I mean, if you were a prisoner, and given the option, and you only had two, which would you pick? To be tortured and broken and changed forever, or to just have your free will stolen for the duration of your captivity with the possible promise that you will one day be freed (rescued) and have your free will back.

We've just invented Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. :) But yes. Basically, with compulsion, the real result is 1) wasting minutes of my limited lifespan 2) borrowing my property (body) without permission. While under the compulsion, I technically don't exist. It ain't me. It's like my software program was saved and closed, and a new one loaded for a while on the same computer. Granted, if it happened to me, I'd have a more emotional reaction than the above rational description would imply - differently than if Moggy had borrowed my car, say. But rationally, it's not too much different.

The two critical differences between borrowing my car and borrowing my body:

1) I have a limited lifespan, and I'd like every minute for my own use, not used by others while I lay dormant. This would be less of an issue in a few decades when we finally crack practical immortality.
2) During that time, I don't exist to take advantage of opportunities during that portion of the world's timeline. Ten years ago I'd use TV shows as a superficial example, but with TiVo and the internet, that's irrelevent. :) But let's say the girl of my dreams came to my door as part of some political canvassing, and I didn't meet her because I was out being Moggy's plaything. I desire to exist, not only for as many minutes as I can, but during all the minutes of linear history.

So, the only way Moggy could reduce compulsion to a fairly harmless crime (on the order of practical joke) would be if:
1) I was practically immortal (through science, not Highlander-style).
2) She used a time machine to drop me off where she nabbed me so I don't miss out on anything.

Does that make sense?
Richard Fife
81. R.Fife
well, yeah, but I never said what Moggy was doing was "not that bad". I was making an argument of mental incarceration vs corporeal incarceration. In your instances, I agree, no matter what I'd be irked if someone just comes up and randomly steals time from my life, be it with handcuffs or brain-washing.

But, Odigity, I ask you this. If you were forced beyond any shadow of a doubt to serve, oh say, 90 days in jail. Which would you rather take: 90 days you won't remember, but you're body is the guard's plaything, or 90 days you do remember, and you will be coerced by whatever means to do what the guard wants. Quite a pickle, eh? (BTW, I hate pickles, yuck).
sandi vogel
82. sinfulcashew
Ogity or Odigity, (I had to check that spelling)
I'm of the firm belief that if it is to be, it WILL be.
No mistakes!
However crazy the circumstances are, it will be!
Look at life this way and it makes sense!

Lannis: us Doofusses have to stick together.
Thanks for the affirmation!
Kevin Morgan
83. DrMorganstien
ok, I've been out of the loop for a while, but I went back and caught up.



I am proud of myself for noticing Gelb and Moggy on round one, but embarrassed totally missing Aram and the spears and Elayne and her posture.

@8 David-2
(But I still found his treachery and death in KoD rather sudden. Along with Rolan's death. I kind of felt that RJ had suddenly decided to "clean up" a few of the minor characters, in preparation for the grand finale.)
I thought Aram's turn to the "gray side" wasn't too quick at all. I seem to remember we first meet Prophet Masema that Aram never seems to catch on to how crazy he is, only that he's cool and possibly correct. NOTE: Aram's thoughts, not mine.

I think Rolan is also there for two reasons:
A)nice guys can, and often sometimes do, finish last
B)you don't hit on another guy's wife, bad karma
Jon Severinsson
84. jonno
I'm late to the party and haven't read all comments yet (I'll be back when I have), but wanted to comment on the governing system points Leigh had.

Firstly, I wouldn't say Randland skiped the Roman/Hellenic period exactly. It's just that the Fall of Rome was slightly more disruptive, resulting in it taking about twice as long to reach the Age of Enlightenment, which has just begun in Randland.

Interestingly enough, the most favoured style of govenment during the Age of Enlightenment was the Enlightened Desopot. An Enlightened Despot is a despot (usully a monarch) who listen to good advice and makes decisions based on the wellfare of all his people rather than just himself. I'd say both Faile and Elayne fits that description.

And just like Leigh notes, monarchies with an enlightened monarch has been very stable and generally successfull nations. The problems only starts when the monarch stops being enlightened. Then you need damage controll, and so the concept of separation of powers was born. Which eventually lead to modern democracy and the removal of the despot entirely.

Ultimately, modern democracy isn't about getting good rulers, which it generally sucks at, but about making sure that terribly bad rulers can be disposed of without an armed rebellion. An aquantance of mine once called it for "splatter controll".

But armed rebellions makes much better books, so here we are...
85. Freelancer

Shenanigans. You spent 6 paragraphs explaining your conclusion regarding Aram's purpose in the story, and then you conclude with this:
I think, though, that Aram stemmed from a need to bulk up Min's viewings with random, exotic ideas, and then RJ had the task of coughing up a Tinker with a sword. Overall I find Aram is annoying at best, dangerous as a rabid puppy (looks tame--but watch out!) at worst... and fraking irritating the whole way through.

Can you really, seriously suggest that the author who intertwined more mythologies, more cultures, more amazingly connected plot constructs than you've ever seen in one story would randomly "cough up" Aram just to fit a vision that you then suggest was randomly tossed in amongst other visions? If the author was prone to a behavior like that, I promise you that this forum would not exist. If there was not a more careful marshalling of detail, foreshadowing, and relation between the characters, their purpose and meaning, than your suggestion implies, this story would not be impressive at all. Readers such as participate on this blog, Leigh first among them, would shred a story that was as slapdash as that.

Flaws? Yes, these 11 massive volumes are not flawless. But the almost careless method you suggest simply cannot be ascribed to Robert Jordan.


Count me in your camp on this. Please see my comments @40, where I challenged Leigh's opinion of which is worse. Once broken by the a'dam, a damane will never be the same, part of them has been destroyed. Once released from Compulsion (if released, that's important), the victim is the same person they were beforehand. I think I fell short of making that point fully in my original response to Leigh. Regarding your posit of choices in prison, those two are morally equivalent in some respects, unless you argue that keeping the memories of those events would do irreparable damage to your psyche. It would be better for one's personality to have been used and not know it, than to be traumatized by the memories of it. Lost time? That's nothing compared to the damage done.


RE: Rolan, how is he a nice guy? Oh yes, he doesn't approve of the treatment of wetlanders as gai'shain, and will help them escape when he leaves. Real nice guy there. In the meantime, he's one of the mera'din, the Brotherless, who refused to follow He Who Comes With The Dawn, because he told them the truth of their past. He took up with The Worst Aiel Clan, and in spite of his disgust for misusing gai'shain, he wants to get improper with one.

Nah, blacksmith hammer to the noggin for Rolan. Next!
Ofer Nave
86. odigity
R.Fife@81: But, Odigity, I ask you this. If you were forced beyond any shadow of a doubt to serve, oh say, 90 days in jail. Which would you rather take: 90 days you won't remember, but you're body is the guard's plaything, or 90 days you do remember, and you will be coerced by whatever means to do what the guard wants.

Depends on what kind of treatment I expect to receive in jail. If it's a full-on Oz hell-hole, put me in suspended animation, baby. If it's a small town jail where the Sheriff isn't an asshole, leave me be. I could use more free time for reading. :)
87. CalaLily
I don't even remember Rolan promising to help her escape. He said he'd take her with the Brotherless if they left. And they would be going back to the Waste. There was no "Oh yeah, I hate what the Shaido are doing, so I'm going to set you free to find your husband." It was more a "We're leaving to go home, and I'm taking you with me because you're hot and Sevanna isn't treating your properly."

At least, that's what I got out of it. The Mera'din weren't going to release the gai'shain, just take them away from a cruel captivity into one not-so-cruel.
88. CalaLily
On a side note, I'd much rather retain my free will and lose the memory of the time I was under Compulsion than have my will and spirit completely broken so I could be someone's pet.
sandi vogel
89. sinfulcashew
No being a Fido, for me thanks.
And as for being the other and regaining myself with no memories, I would rather remember than have amnesia?
Although, maybe if the 'I' I had been had done something REALLY bad, hmmmmm.
90. CireNaes
R.Fife and Freelancer,

I believe Compulsion is infinitely worse. You still have the choice of death as a form of resistance with the a'dam. With compulsion, there is no choice left and you get to live with the guilt of wondering whether or not you could have resisted, or how you should make up for what you did. Just out of curiosity, how do you two regard Juilin's life change after being effectively raped under compulsion?
sandi vogel
91. sinfulcashew
Also, I always kind of liked Rolan. He didn't force himself on Faile. That was a plus for me.
And I was hoping for further story for him.
So much for my not having opinions about things.
92. CalaLily
I'd rather lose my memory. If they had to use Compulsion, then it was obviously to do something I wouldn't have done of my own free will. Yes, much rather blink and remember nothing than have to carry around memories I might not be able to scrub my brain free of.

@Cire: I have a rather low threshold for pain, I'm afraid. It'd probably be far too easy to break me. Nono, much better to die before I'm collared or wake up with no memory of being under Compulsion. :)

Although, I'm terribly hardheaded. Never underestimate the strength-imbuing ability of spite!
Jay Dauro
94. J.Dauro
CireNaes @90

I don't have my books with me, but as I remember, death is not an option when wearing the a'dam. Just as you cannot remove the a'dam yourself, you cannot kill yourself either.
95. Naraoia
CireNaes @90

I don't think death really is an option. I recall that they are very careful not to let damane harm themselves. I guess you could choose to starve to death or get yourself killed in battle, but I'm not sure they'd actually let you not eat, and by the time a damane is taken to battle, she's probably broken... What's left? Ask a nice cleaning lady to kill you with a broomstick?
Captain Hammer
96. Randalator
Freelancer @85

Once released from Compulsion (if released, that's important), the victim is the same person they were beforehand.

Actually they are not, if the Compulsion used on them is very strong (as in "Graendal's-faithful-pretties-strong"). There's a high probability that such a treatment will either leave you a drooling vegetable or at least reduce your mental capacity by a good measure.

CireNaes @90

I believe Compulsion is infinitely worse. You still have the choice of death as a form of resistance with the a'dam.

No, you don't. Damane can't touch any weapon. They can't even go near any other object they consider a weapon. As long as they have the tiniest thought about doing harm to themselves or a sul'dam even touching something as simple as a pebble is absolutely impossible...
97. CalaLily
In short: Don't get a'damized; Hope you have the good luck to stay away from someone who can weave Compulsion.
98. RobMRobM
@90. Perhaps I've forgotten but when you say "how do you two regard Juilin's life change after being effectively raped under compulsion?" can you explain what you're talking about? I really have no idea so I can't evaluate the argument. Thanks. Rob
99. Freelancer
RE: Rolan helping Faile's people escape

Yes, Rolan said that once they got clear of the Shaido, he would leave them at the first town they found. That the gold belts/collars would help them get back to her husband.

Ok, I'll admit mixed feelings about Rolan. He kept her from getting raped several times, and offered her escape. But he's still not a nice guy, because of those things I've already mentioned, plus all the "nice" things toward Faile had a selfish agenda.


Others have already said what needs saying. Can't hurt or kill yourself while victim of an a'dam. Only the sul'dam can do that, and will punish you greatly for even thinking it, until you CAN'T think it anymore. Infinitely worse. No chance of release, no chance of free will, no chance of anything but perfect obedience to avoid torture. Oh, and the full knowledge that you're broken, that you can't look at the water pitcher as a weapon or else you'll be unable to wash for days, the complete memories of what you no longer are.
100. Freelancer

You are correct. There is a level of Compulsion that destroys, good point. I'm thinking that the victim wouldn't retain clear understanding of the difference, and I suppose that could be called a small mercy. Still preferable to knowing fully the damage that's been done.

And I'm with RobMRobM, no clue what "life change" Juilin has undergone. The biggest change in him has been a willingness to finally want to spend time near an Illianer.
101. CalaLily
@Freelancer: :) Thank you for the correction. I still think Rolan was a horrible person.

Re Seanchan: I think another horrible thing is that Seanchan girls are taught that if they can channel they deserve being broken and used as weapons. That in essence they're nothing more than trained grolm or corm to the Empire. I shudder at that. :\ Something they're born with, unable to predict or control, and BAM, they're completely erased from they're family tree, taken from their homes forever and beaten until they conform to a mentality where they can't even think of themselves as their own person.
Ofer Nave
102. odigity
CalaLily@101: I think another horrible thing is that Seanchan girls are taught that if they can channel they deserve being broken and used as weapons. That in essence they're nothing more than trained grolm or corm to the Empire.

That's how I perceive people who believe in the legitimacy of government, and who want to be citizens.
Kevin Morgan
103. DrMorganstien
Ok, so I guess my hindsight isn't so 20/20

regarding Rolan joining the Shaido: He just heard that everything he is a walking contradiction and he joined up with the "other people who can't handle it crowd" to avoid further decision making, most of us have done that in some way. Plus, doing something nice for someone because you think they're hot is still being nice, otherwise I'm a pretty terrible person...especially since a lot of people end up doing terrible things to impress someone they think is good looking (re:Lanfear)
104. CireNaes
Okay, I'm a little hazy on the series as it has been quite some time since I've done a reread, so feel free to correct me, but I do recall Juilin being fairly distraught since he did have a recollection of having done somthing wrong after being under compulsion. This caused him to seek out the women he betrayed and make amends for somthing that was technically not his fault. That guilt then became a powerful influence on his future decesions. Perhaps I'm projecting a bit since it is finals week and Hebrew is killing me, but that's how I saw things. As far as not being able to physically resist, didn't Egwene sucessfully punch her sul'dam at one point? I just figured that if you're clever enough with your thought process you could find a way to kill your sul'dam, which would then result in your death, but several people think I'm outright wrong with that one and I dont have the energy to look up supporting evidence so I'll go with the consensus.
Galen Brinn
105. GatheringStorm
CireNaes @ 104,

Egwene did punch her sul'dam...and nearly knocked her own self out: Whatever happens to the sul'dam happens to the damane at least 3 times over. The damane also can't channel without permission and since they can't touch any object that is thought of as a weapon - Egwene tried to use a water pitcher to hit her sul'dam and then couldn't touch it to bathe for 3 days - they are totally defenseless against the sul'dam.
Captain Hammer
106. Randalator
CiraNaes @104

You're right, Egwene punched Renna when she was collared. But that was not an attempt to kill. From the way Renna explains the effects of the A'dam to Egwene it seems that physical resistance of damane is not unheard of.

But the episode with the water pitcher strongly suggests that any premeditated attempt to kill a sul'dam or attacks that could directly lead to the sul'dams death (even if not intended) are impossible.

In short: bitchslapping yes, head-cracking no.

Freelancer @100

You are correct. There is a level of Compulsion that destroys, good point.

I think Morgase is a textbook example of what long-term bulldozer-Compulsion does to your brain. Pre-Rahvin she was described as intelligent, righteous and a very capable ruler. She had a flaring temper in private affairs but was always calm and deliberate in anything else.

Post-Rahvin, while still demonstrating occasional political skill and intelligence, she is for the most part erratic, lacks fundamental judgement (Whitecloaks anyone?) and is in general unfit for any sort of leading position.

If that had been her true self all the way, I don't think she would have ever been held in such high regard by her entire people. So I believe what we see now is not just another case of morbus nobility but the result of her stint as Rahvin's love slave...

I'm thinking that the victim wouldn't retain clear understanding of the difference, and I suppose that could be called a small mercy. Still preferable to knowing fully the damage that's been done.

True that. And I think Morgase's state of mind is evidence that the victim is not aware of the mental changes.
sandi vogel
107. sinfulcashew
Does Morgase even know who her ex-boyfriend was?
108. Aye Aye Sedai
@90 99 etc
Damnae have been known to drown them selves thus they are watched closely near streams and water. They probably could kill themselves in other ways if they can withstand the pain - the point is to use the pain to break them with the pain - the cruelty factor is worse because the victim knows and has to knowingly change their actions/personality. I'm sure with therapy some damnae could become pitbulls rather than the lap dogs.

IF you think compusion and the a'dam are bad wait til we see the mind traps.

these issues remind me a lot of Jack Chalkers books where physical and mental restrictions are places on the characters and they succeed/adapt/fail in different ways.
Chris Hall
109. bookwormchris
One incident involving quick and dirty Compulsion comes at one of my favorite scenes in the books. This is of course when Moggy decides to get revenge with balefire and needs a handy roof. Love the irony because she actually helps Nynaeve break her block. Tons of stuff in those scene(s). Can't wait until we get to that.

Also reminds me of what I was thinking about yesterday. Mat's friends and soldiers do not fare well in Ebou Dar. Very few survive to leave with him between the various troubles in that city.
Ofer Nave
110. odigity
"Attention all Red Shirts. Attention all Red Shirts. Stay clear of Ebou Dar. I repeat, stay clear of Ebou Dar. That means *you* ensign."
Ian Horn
111. IanGH
Re: Compulsion vs. a'dam. I think these cannot really be compared. They are both tools to use for a specific end, which is control. It is like discussing the use of a car vs. a truck. Each can be used for different things but both get you around. You should be more concerned with who is driving.

Compulsion does not imply loss of memory. Elayne and Nynaeve were told to forget and they did. What is disgusting about the a'dam is the way the Seanchan use it to turn humans into dogs. Nynaeve and Elayne use it on Moggy later and it is nowhere nearly as stomach-churning.

Re: "Enlightened Monarchs". The problem with most of them is that they usually end up storing up problems for the next guy down the line who isn't quite up to the task. I'm sure you can find exceptions but usually Joe-Blow the Great I is not followed up by Joe-Blow the Great II. After the "Golden Age" of Queen Elizabeth I was a series of civil wars 50 years later. After King Louis XXIV of France came King Louis XXVI, and a similar fate.

Re: Aram. Like most others, I am of two minds. I was disappointed by his demise since it seemed to lack the importance that had been built up for him by the foreshadowings. (Not just Min's viewing, I think. Didn't Egwene dream something, too?) On the other hand, he was getting really annoying and it's always good to have one less of those types around.
Joseph Blaidd
112. SteelBlaidd
Randalator(@108) presents one of the big flaws in the formulation of this debate. Specifically the assumption that the only effect that the compulsion would be used for would be to make you forget, and that you can be returned to the pre-Compelled state.

If I am physically incarcerated my mind is still my own. Torture is only used toelicit my cooperation with the torturers will. Compulsion is used to make the Compelled susceptible to commands in much the same way hypnoses does. In either case the purpose of either physical coercion or mental coercion is to get you to DO something.

Compulsion does this by directly manipulating emotional responses. In other words it's not a case of stopping my software, loading a new one and resting to the old state when your done but actually changing my personality.

The example of Moggy Elayne and Nynaeve is perfect because we see it from the inside. All the compulsion did was change the emotions of N and E relative to M, so that they wanted more than any thing to do what she told them to. They then did what she asked OF THEIR OWN CHOICE. Surrendering to someone else and following orders being anathema to Nynaeve she naturally broke the post hypnotic suggestion to forget at the first opportunity.

This explains why heavy compulsion is so damaging. After a while you can't turn it off any more. Morgaese still "Wants" Ravhin even after throwing off his direct control. Gareth Byne is stile a traitor in her mind because that's what Rahvin made her feel to get her to send him away.

Compulsion, even as mild and ineffective as Lindran used on Julian, always changes the Compelled. Hasn't every one been complaining how whipped our Mr. Sandar is post TDR. Lindran's baby-Compulsion works by exploiting uncertainty to make the victim doubt themselves and open to her suggestion's. Breaking her control doesn't return that confidence.

Even if you could just switch of my personality and switch on another (highly unlikely) after spending time as another person doing different things my body would be different with a changed brain chemistry and that would affect my subsequent decisions. (And if you don't believe the body affects personality you are hereby banned from making PMS joke forever.)
Ofer Nave
113. odigity
SteelBlaidd@112: (not quoting you because it's so long)

That's an excellent analysis. I should clarify by saying everything I wrote above was based on the unvoiced assumption that you would be the same person post-compulsion. If that's not true (and you provide excellent arguments against it), then what I say above doesn't apply.

And of course, regardless of the mechanical details or the lessor-of-two-evils scenarios we discussed, I think we all agree that it's all very, very wrong.

Incidentally, your description made me think of nicotine and how it modifies the brain.
Antoni Ivanov
114. tonka
The fact the compulsion makes you forget is rather one of the perks than a negative effect.

Seriously, we always think we are tough and can handle everything but imagine you were compelled to do some terrible things. After you are released how you are going to live with all you have done.It's true that you've been forced to, but still the memory is there. This can drive you crazy . Sometimes is better if you just forget.
115. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
I was under the impression that those under compulsion who forget only do so if those are the specific terms of their compulsion(You will forget/You will not think of it/etc). In the case of Juilin he was allowed to remember because Liandrin etal wanted him to remember because they were so arrogant they did not bother to think of hiding what they did.
Lannis .
116. Lannis
Freelancer @ 85: re: RJ "coughing up" Aram... was wondering if anybody'd respond. Shenanigans! Love it! ;)

To expand on my comment... I meant that during the planning process, the Brainstorm, as it were--an Age Long Past--RJ was looking for some "random" ideas to place in the auras Min would see. A Tinker with a sword has a nice ring of incredulity about it... but then he had to follow through, and sink Aram into the story with a fair amount of verisimilitude to back him up.

That was what I meant @77 by,

I think, though, that Aram stemmed from a need to bulk up Min's viewings with random, exotic ideas, and then RJ had the task of coughing up a Tinker with a sword. Overall I find Aram is annoying at best, dangerous as a rabid puppy (looks tame--but watch out!) at worst... and fraking irritating the whole way through.

This is not to say that RJ didn't support Aram's entrance into the story... of course we are introduced to him well before he becomes Perrin's Personal Guard. And he's been laced into the plot (see previous argument @77), but even though I've thought about it (and maybe this is just my dislike for Aram as a character!), Aram stands out (to me) as clunky.

So yeah, I still feel he's been built backwards--instead of having a character defined in the storyline from the very beginning of the planning process, and looking for a way to introduce said character (aura/Tinker camp), I feel like Aram was constructed by the idea of this Fancy Incredulous Viewing, and his details (though well thought out) were filled into a plot outline (juxtaposition and all) already ripe with characters and conflict... and it just feels clunky to me.

Whew! Everyone still with me? :|

I agree with you, if this series were tossed together with bits of glue and dental floss, we'd all not be here. It's not--it's the most formidable and engaging piece of work I've ever had the honour of reading... which is why I keep coming back to it.

That said, it doesn't mean every concept attempted is successful (like you said, Freelancer, a series can have its flaws)... and I'm on the fence on this one... my gut says it feels too contrived and forced, but I can't discern how much of this feeling is just my distaste for Aram (he really irritates me!)... just sayin'. :)

Oh and your comment also @85...Nah, blacksmith hammer to the noggin for Rolan. Next!... BAHAHAhahahaha!
Jim Adams
117. dubjazz
Aram in reverse is of course Mara.
Quote from Wikipedia: Mara personifies unskillfulness, the "death" of the spiritual life. He is a tempter, distracting humans from practicing the spiritual life by making the mundane alluring or the negative seem positive.
Lannis .
118. Lannis
dubjazz @ 117: re: Aram... see? Now you've dug up another layer... I'm not saying Aram's just held in the story by sticky tape, I'm saying that the writing of him annoys me (or maybe it's the character and the writing's okay? GAH! Can someone help me out of my hole? I can't see straight anymore...)

Oh, and dubjazz, I skimmed your post and read the end of you Wiki quote backwards ("makes the positive seem negative") and got quite excited: YES! Then I read it again and realized I'd transposed...

I fraking hate Aram...
Lannis .
119. Lannis
Not talking about Aram any more... I'm going to start pissing people off. (Dammit Aram! You piss me off!)
john massey
120. subwoofer
Had to make it back to civilization for Mom's day(Hi Mom!) or would not of been around 'til Wed post.

Many new post-people-all welcome- seems to be some threads on Compulsion vs adaming. What about Verin's Delving? That seems to mess people up and it looks like a form of water torture to boot. People sweating when put to the question etc.

And while I am at it... what about Verin? For a pudgy brown ajah Aes Sedai, she seems to cover much ground in the saddle and pops up at the most inconvenient/ convenient times.

...And, Suian... yes, she seems like a poopy pants who bosses every one around but stepping back and looking at her she is not too bad. Her and Moiraine devote 20 years of their lives and face stilling and everything just so that they can make sure the prophecy comes to pass.

Putzing around with two hands and a flashlight for 20 years takes a certain kind of servitude and devotion to the Light. Especially knowing Tower perception could make things hard for you.-Supporting the Dragon etc. Yes, they had plans to "guide" the Dragon, but look at how well that worked for Moiraine. And the letter she left behind when she went through the frame that morning showed she was happy with Rand...

just sayin'

Go Giants!
Antoni Ivanov
121. tonka
@ 16. Tamyrlink
this chapter reminds me of the one question I've always wanted an answer to. What happened to all the *angreal and OP objects and artifacts Moiraine sent to the tower from Tear and Rhuidean? It's never mentioned that they arrived in tar valon safely.

link here (click)

Week 3 Question: After Moiraine fought Lanfear in Cairhien, what happened to the wagons full of ter'angreal and such that came out of the Aiel Waste? Are they just in some storeroom there? And what happened to Moiraine's horse Aldieb?

Robert Jordan Answers: The ter'angreal and so forth that came from Rhuidean are still in Cairhien for the moment, warded by Rand so they aren't accessible to anyone but him. Aldieb is in the stables at the Sun Palace.
122. Freelancer

I'm hesitant to ascribe too much of Morgase's current state to remnants of the impact of Compulsion. As to her foray with the Whitecloaks, she didn't go to them, she went to the King, who was a weak, foolish man and let Niall's agents know that Morgase was in Amador. Since then she's been beaten, her people threatened with torture, raped, forced to sign a treaty that will damage Andor's future for decades, seen hopes of escape dashed, etc.

(Brief insert here. Paitr and his uncle were hanged as darkfriends before Morgase's eyes, with the express intent of breaking her will to resist. Is it accidental justice, or did the WCs actually discover them performing dark ceremonies? We know Paitr as a darkfriend from TEotW, shortly after the Howel Gode incident.)

That would crack anyone just a little bit.


Yep, Juilin felt horrible about betraying the SuperGirls in Tear. At least, he is pretty sure it is right to have felt horrible, somehow. That didn't change who he is, from what I see of what follows.

What kind of beaten-down wimp stands on the rooftops outnumbered by Aiel and just casually talks of why they are all out in the night staring at the Stone? That takes backbone. His trips into villages and towns with Thom later on where they end up scuffed and bruised all the time doesn't suggest to me someone who has lost their nerve.

So, he's smitten with 'Thera. That can happen to anyone, anytime. He isn't whipped, he's in love. His lady, broken down (without Compulsion, by the way) by the Seanchan does still have emotional damage, and Juilin is exremely protective of her. Can we all remember that he's Tairen, and she's a former ruler? He is appalled at what's happened to her, and refuses to let her come to any further harm. His mind is sound.


Thank you for not taking my comments personally. I've been told I come across a bit harsh sometimes, and later worried that I'd done so again. It was just hard to reconcile your in-depth analysis of Aram's character and place in the story with the final suggestion that he was tossed in as flavoring as an afterthought. He's a lesson learned for Perrin, when he chooses to see it.


Have to laugh here. I was just wondering why so few posts so far on this thread, then up pops Subwoofer saying he'd been away. Mystery solved!

Yep, have to join you on this one, Moiraine and Siuan always get short shrift, when they were alone in hunting for the Dragon Reborn for the right reasons. That they made plans founded on a faulty ideal, that he would go along calmly and get guided by the Aes Sedai in preparation for TG, that's doesn't earn them too much tsking on my part. As Subwoofer said, they knew how much they were risking, Siuan even told Moiraine she couldn't feel completely confident that they weren't worthy of being stilled for what they were trying, and yet they believed it to be right, and in the world's best interest, not just that of Aes Sedai. Good guys through and through, like them or not.

Go who? The gnats that got shut out yesterday? Tim leaves after 4-1/3 today.
Richard Fife
123. R.Fife
Freelancer: as I recall, Valda (or whoever it was that was walking her to Niall) had no clue Paitr et al were helping Morgase. They were discovered doing dark-friendy things, and Valda walked her past so that she could know that no-one escapes the Light's Justice, especailly since he thought Morgase was a darkfriend (tower-trained, and all that)
Sean Banawnie
124. Seanie
Freelancer: No, I didn't think Aram was a throwaway either . He is a great counterpoint to Perrin. I agree , he is a great lesson for Perrin , if he sees it.
I find him contempible, was always hoping he would grow up. Remember the wine incident with Lini
when she says he has had enough to drink, and he throws a mini-tantrum , "old woman " and all that.
He's not even a lost one , he's a lost lost one. His violence and attitude aren't even defensible.
{say if you were talking to a Tinker }
Kevin Morgan
125. DrMorganstien
@112 SteelBlaidd
That was a perfect summation of that situation. Plus, you did it and invoked the awesome that is TNG, I like where your head's at.

and since other people are doing it, Go Celtics!
Sean Banawnie
126. Seanie
steelblaidd@112 and Dr@125:

very interesting juxatpostion between the torture thread and Perrin. I will have to think beyond my initial reaction about Perrin and the Shaido prisoner's hand later on ...(can't think which book at the moment ..on my way to work anyhow...)
part of the dire consequences /darkness of Perrin's rescue of Faile?---although there are many lives at stake----but he is really only worried about her...well he does care about them all and he is worrying like a devoted husband..
mixed feeling here ...interesting points of conflict....allying with Seanchan.....although Tylee does seem pretty cool for Seanchan...Shaido Wise Women made damane..despite everyone's revulsion for Seanchan slavery and a'dam , I think RJ is setting them up for major evolution-- to wit Mat/ Tuon, Deathwatch generals...some Seanchan are sympathetic chacacters .....Masema {major ick}
RJ said there would be dire consequences as a result......All of these people being rescued was a good thing ..but the ways and means used....perhaps
more trouble about "dragonsworn "?
babbling now ...just some thoughts --scattered---LOL
but thoughts.......better pack my brain and go to work...interested to see rxn..but no spanking ,ok?
*ducks, covers, runs crouched for the car*
*oops forgot keys runs back gets nailed by WOT hookmark*
Captain Hammer
128. Randalator
Freelancer @122

I'm hesitant to ascribe too much of Morgase's current state to remnants of the impact of Compulsion. As to her foray with the Whitecloaks, she didn't go to them, she went to the King, who was a weak, foolish man and let Niall's agents know that Morgase was in Amador. Since then she's been beaten, her people threatened with torture, raped, forced to sign a treaty that will damage Andor's future for decades, seen hopes of escape dashed, etc.

Everyone in Randland knows that Ailron is hardly more than a puppet and that the Whitecloaks rule Amadicia in all but name. Having been taught by the Gray Fox Morgase must have known that going to Ailron is as good as going to the Whitecloaks. Or should have known before her brain was toasted.

(Brief insert here. Paitr and his uncle were hanged as darkfriends before Morgase's eyes, with the express intent of breaking her will to resist. Is it accidental justice, or did the WCs actually discover them performing dark ceremonies? We know Paitr as a darkfriend from TEotW, shortly after the Howel Gode incident.)

As R.Fife already said the Whitecloaks had no clue of any connection between Paitr and Morgase. There wasn't even an ulterior motive. Saren who was ordered to take her to Niall just took the shortest possible way because he didn't want to spend any more time near a witch than absolutely necessary. And Asunawa who saw her reaction to the execution dismissed the notion that she might have anything to do with these darkfriends.

Frowning, Asunawa drummed his fingers on the gilded arm of his chair. Above his head, the shepherd's crook was worked in brilliant lacquer on a pure white disc. "The witch was taken aback," he murmured.

Saren answered as though it was an accusation. "Some people are affected that way by hanging. The Darkfriends were rounded up yesterday; I'm told they were chanting some catechism to the Shadow when Trom broke down the door. I checked, but no one thought to ask if they had any connection to her." At least he did not shift his feet; he stood as straight as any Hand of the Light should.

Asunawa dismissed explanations with a slight wave of his hand. Of course there was no connection, aside from the fact that she was a witch and they Darkfriends.
(LoC, ch. 31)
Antoni Ivanov
129. tonka
127. Seanie
RJ said there would be dire consequences as a result

Dire consequences ? From what? Can you give us quote please.I am trying to remember but I cannot.
Antoni Ivanov
130. tonka
If the Tower secured the throne for Elayne . . . it seemed mad, yet she trusted the Tower even less than she did Niall. No, she had to save Andor herself. But the cost. The cost must be paid.

(LoC, ch. 31)

Another effect of Rahvin's compulsion.I really doubt someone who had spent years in the White Tower and was the only ruler to have openly an Aes Sedai as adviser would have lost so much of her confidence in the White Tower .
Antoni Ivanov
131. tonka
I was not finished. I clicked post by mistake it seems.

And another quote from the same chapter.

If any woman ever sat on it again, it would be Elenia or Naean or one of that ilk, and as al’Thor’s puppet. That, or Elayne as the Tower’s puppet; she could not make herself trust the Tower.

Any of these indicates that she is compelled to think that the Tower is not to be trusted.
Richard Fife
132. R.Fife
Tonka, you can go back in and edit your posts since you have an account (and close that italics while you're at it.) Just saying.
Michael Catapano
133. hoping
Morgase's mistrust of the tower has more to do with them losing track of elayne than compulsion residue. One of the principles of compulsion is that strong personalities are able to resist, or recover, better than weak people and Morgase is certainly that. Witness Nynaeve still pulling her braid while being compulsed, another strong (or stubborn) personality.
Michael Catapano
134. hoping
Looks like everyone is in italics. This has happened before and someone fixed it but I don't know how.
Captain Hammer
135. Randalator
hoping @134

Tonka forgot to close the Italics-Tag. He should be able to fix it by editing his comment @130...

also re: weak Morgase

Morgase is under Rahvin's equally strong influence considerably longer than Nynaeve under Moggy's. But still she manages to break free of it several times (with varying success):

1. When Mat delivers Elayne's message and Rahvin snaps it out of her hands she gets angry but is immediately subdued by Rahvin.

2. After the audience with Alteima we see her mind fighting (ultimately unsuccessfully) the Compulsion in a POV.

3. She breaks free of the Compulsion after all when Tallanvor tells her of the Two Rivers rebellion.

No, Morgase is not weak at all. She just doesn't have a dead giveaway like Nynaeve's braid-tugging...
Alice Arneson
136. Wetlandernw
Hey, guys, not to sound like your English teacher or anything, but the word is "compelled," not "compulsed." "Compulsion" is the act of compelling or the state of being compelled. Sorry, but I can only read it about so many times before I can't stand it any more.
Antoni Ivanov
137. tonka
“It seems she has left the Tower again,” he(Rahvin) said. “On the service of the Amyrlin Seat. The woman oversteps herself again, Morgase.”

(TDR: Chapter 46)

You can see how Rahvin is influencing her to believe that the Amyrlin and the Tower are upto no good.

If you do, and if you see my daughter, tell her that what is said in anger is often repented. I will not remove her from the White Tower before time. Tell her that I often think of my own time there, and miss the quiet talks with Sheriam in her study. Tell her that I said that, Thom Grinwell.”

(TDR: Chapter 46)

But still she shows trust in the Tower enough that she intend to leave Elayne there. If she shows that much trust I simply cannot believe that later she will prefer the Whiteclokes.
Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
FWIW, I'm with tonka & co. on this one. Morgase's actions after escaping Rahvin never made sense to me, and it used to irritate me no end. I think that's why I always hated that particular story line. However, if you put it in light of "side effects of too much complusion for too long" the whole thing makes a lot more sense. Even her reaction to Tallanvor fits better; she's been compelled to see "Gaebril and only Gaebril" for so long that she can't quite think of any other man as a lover, even if she normally might.

Okay, I won't go on, because it's all been said, but THANKS to whoever started this line of thinking for me. I'm much less aggravated with Morgase now. ;)
Lannis .
139. Lannis
Freelancer @ 122: No sweat! I didn't read anything in your post that was "harsh." But then, I've always been excellent at taking criticism (might not do anything differently, or change my opinion, but by all means don't worry about how I'll respond). And I try not to take (ahem) anything said on forums seriously--just leads to Ugly. :)

Besides that, as a contributor to the discussion, one has entered into an agreement to discuss, and as such should be ready to have one's comment discussed. Perhaps there are participants who forget this, and feel defensive if others have a different opinion (not pointing fingers, guys, so everyone relax!), but yeah, that's not me. :)
sandi vogel
140. sinfulcashew
As a Mom and GMom I was looking forward to your link-
'Hi MoM!'
It isn't working!

And reading some of RJs answers to questions of things not covered in the actual books.....
No wonder it took him a couple of years at least to write these tomes. He really went into deeper places than required for us.
He will always amaze me!
john massey
141. subwoofer
@Sinful... wasn't a link...I just changed the color of the type. Sorry... maybe try this. Reminds me of my brothers.

@Freelancer, no sweat, I often put my foot in my mouth, but I enjoy freedom of expression, so wtf. Let 'er rip. I'm sure others on this post could do without me but that's not my problem. Glad you missed me.

And I was talking about the NY Giants. As per previous posts- Part #10- love em. Not a big 'ball fan. Find it mind numbing to watch. Okay to play. Most people I know like to crunch the stats but that is not my thing.

Seanie raised some interesting points about several topics:
- Perrin's 'darkness'
- Alliances with the Seanchan
- Shaido douchebags and A'dams
- dire consequences?

Wanted to touch on Perrin's darkness. I feel that he displays a very focused mindset when it comes to Faile. Almost like a wolf when it hunts, keeping on the scent. Even when they were in Tear and there was badger easing and hedge-hogging. Perrin totally disregarded his own well being and safety and threw himself headlong into saving Faile.

I don't know if that qualifies as darkenss or single-mindedness. Maybe it lends itself to the beast within Perrin and him becoming savage.

He does the same stalking her half way across the continent after the Shaido captures. I think Faile reciprocates when she travels the ways even though Perrin was trying to leave her behind. She totally disregarded what a sane person would do- stay out of the Ways- and went headlong into a country wide assault between Whitecloaks and Trollocs/Fain.

The alliance thing I wouldn't mind discussing, vis- a-vis the Seanchan, although it may be good fodder for later. Just that I did not see that coming and it is interesting the credibility Perrin has, being "just a black smith".

@R.Fife & Co. I have tried to edit my posts myself, after posting and all that happens is that it winds up as a double post. meh.
-Edit- never mind, I edited my edit.
Joseph Blaidd
142. SteelBlaidd
Wetlandernw @136
Sorry I started that. It was a neologism I was using to mean "Having been subjected to the One Power weave Compulsion" as separate from compelled "forced to perform an action against ones will."

Re Morgaese.It always was obvious to me that lingering effects of having been Compelled were driving a lot of her decisions. She vaguely remembers doing drastic things to old friends but can't reconstruct why, She remembers being madly in Lust with a man who was actively trying to supplant her and cheating on her in public. Both make her severely defensive about any decisions she makes and prone to reject advice because she cant trust her political judgment. Gabril appears to her to be the last of a long line of horrible decisions about the men she chooses to share her life with. Of course she runs from Tallinvor. She feels attracted to him ergo he must be a mistake.

This being mothers day I Thought it might b interesting to explore how they figure into the symbolism of the book.

The most obvious reference is the Amyerlin who is addressed as Mother. However, she rules over priestesses that only embody the Maiden or the Crone. It's a sign of the changes that Egwene will bring that Elayne is likely the first Aes Sedai to get pregnant in centuries, and Nynaeve and Egwene herself are likely to bear children as well.

Rand's relation to mothers is interesting. He has had two both who died early and he has been raised in a primarily male environment. This make it especially meaningful that he lets the Maidens "mother" him, his relation with Min also has aspects of her being a Mother figure as a source of comfort and council.

Perrin and Mat still have their mothers at the beginning Perrin's is killed, though Mistress Luhan acts as a surrogate.

Any other major ties?
143. Freelancer
Okay, I'll buy that Morgase's confusion and lack of sound judgement are a result of lies she was told while under compulsion, but not an inherent damage done of the Compulsion itself. There is a remnant that is only from the Compulsion, but it is limited to her continuing to desire Rahvin's touch.

"I'm sorry, girl, but truth is truth. 'Better to face the bear than run from it.'"
Morgase's knees sagged, and if Lini had not hurriedly pulled a chair from the table to shove under her, she would have sat down on the floor. Alteima. Him watching the two of them as they gossiped took on a new image, now. A man fondly watching two of his pet cats at play. And six others! Rage boiled up in her, a rage that had been lacking when she only thought he was after her throne. That, she had considered coldly, clearly; as clearly as she could consider anything recently. That was a danger that had to be looked at with cold reason. But this! The man had ensconced his jades in her palace. He had made her just another of his trulls. She wanted his head. She wanted him flayed alive. The Light help her, she wanted his touch. I must be going mad!

Rahvin didn't put a completely devastating form of Compulsion on her, as Graendel uses for her pets, because Rahvin wanted the satisfaction of knowing she retained her mind, yet was still in his power.

Rahvin lied to her that many of what she had always known to be allies had turned against her:
- The White Tower
- Gareth Bryne
- Long-allied Andoran houses

Now add the turmoil that doesn't have to be lied about:
- The Stone fallen to the Dragon Reborn and an army of Aiel
- Trouble in Cairhien, Galldrian assassinated
- Trouble in Illian, Almoth Plain, etc.

If all of it were false, she might, being as had been pointed out, a deft player of the Game, sort out truth from lies. But with all of the other chaos mixed in, it becomes very hard to separate fiction from reality. So her distrust of Lord Bryne, the Aes Sedai, and former friends is retained, though for fictional reasons. This to me is more than enough to knock a person to the dirt as far as their self-confidence, without ascribing it to a "left-over" of compulsion.

With Lini, and later Tallanvor telling her she'd been used, by a MAN, it's more than her queenly self-assurance can bear. Now add her treatment by first Niall, then worse by Valda (Oh, it was an unnamed Questioner that walked her past the executions, not Valda), and of course she doesn't trust her own judgement as she once did.

Maybe I trust Occam too much, but if there is a viable explanation for things that doesn't require manufacturing unknown and unknowable arguments, I'll take it.
Alice Arneson
144. Wetlandernw
It was a neologism I was using to mean "Having been subjected to the One Power weave Compulsion" as separate from compelled "forced to perform an action against ones will."

May I then suggest that you follow RJ's example and simply capitalize the existing English word instead of coming up with a new one? When you mean "forced via Compulsion" say "he was Compelled" as opposed to "I felt compelled by my own convictions" or whatever.

RJ came up with a lot of new words for "the Old Tongue" but he never created new English words when perfectly good ones existed already. You might note that in every case where he wants to denote something as Power-specific, he capitalizes it. For example: Power, Talent, Traveling, Compulsion, Dreaming, and so on. It's really much easier that way. (Not to say he didn't make up words, but they were to denote objects or concepts we don't have: sho-wings, jo-cars, shocklances, etc.)
Joseph Blaidd
145. SteelBlaidd
Point I will go correct. In my defense it was at the end of a very long day including a 3 hr drive home on an itty-bitty spare after blowing a tire.

@Freelancer I agree my point was that even without lingering emotional effects(which she does have), the actions taken while Compelled have fallout both for the Compelled and those around them.
146. Shadow_Jak
Freelancer @ 143
well said.
Also note: Morgase does not know that compulsion was used. She thinks he did it all with charm and she failed to see through it. Bound to shake her confidence that she let a man charm her right out of her Crown (as well as the rest of her clothes!)
Alice Arneson
147. Wetlandernw
SteelBlaidd: 3 hr drive home on an itty-bitty spare after blowing a tire

ACK! Hey, I'll excuse almost ANYTHING after that!! I loathe those stupid little things. Grrrr...

ShadowJak: Good point. Morgase still has no idea what's going on virtually anywhere. No idea she was Compelled, no idea Gaebril was really Rahvin, to say nothing of other world events: no idea Rand is the DR, no idea Elaida is the WT Amyrlin, no idea the Tower has split, no idea where her nutso kids are... Okay, I've just been way too hard on her. I'm good at that.
sandi vogel
148. sinfulcashew
Aha-Perrin and the hand. (I just read it a couple of months ago in Crossroads(10) or Knife(11).
One of my favorite scenes.
Has to be at the top of my list.
So unexpected from this gentle heart.
I was shocked!
But on thinking it over.....yeh!
It was the best?, quickest way to get the answers he needed.
Very effective.

Thanks sooooo much for the right link?
Not quite what I was expecting.
Something a little more sentimental perhaps?

So Morgase doesn't know who her ex boyfriend was,
thanks for the answer to my questing mind.
Asger Grunnet
149. asgerix
This is a bit off-topic, but perhaps useful to know if the italics problem should occur again:

Usually, if you add an italics-tag but forget to close it, it will be closed automatically at the end of your post. HOWEVER, if you add the italics-tag within square brackets: ], it's not automatically closed and will affect the posts below.

If it's not possible to edit the post, you can close the tag in a later post by placing the end-tag in square brackets, like this:

This is a bug in the commenting system of, and I have notified Tor about it.

I was a bit hesitant to post about this since it can be abused, but as we're all nice people here on, I guess it's safe...
Michael Catapano
150. hoping
Re compulsed
You may not have been notified that compulsed has recently been included in the Cromulent Book of Re-read Neologisms. :)
151. Freelancer

Indeed. But such is true without a magical component involved. Any traumatizing aspect to a personal relationship has fallout, and impacts the victim's rational judgement in areas related to that trauma.


You say you've been too hard on Morgase. As I read that and considered, suddenly an aspect of this and many other discussions I've entered gain clarity.

I've always been into puzzles, of every sort, enjoying the challenge of hunting for the key. To do this well requires a level of dispassionate detachment, which allows the mind to consider perspectives, angles, and connections until the solution appears.

At the same time, I've always loved reading good fiction, but for the opposite reason. I allow myself to be empathetically immersed into the story, sharing the emotions of the POV character(s), and understanding their reactions to events, their decisions, their heartaches.

So, to get to my point, because my nature as a reader is to be sympathetic with the story itself, it's very common for me to defend, rather than attack; to explain, rather than judge. I find it easier to criticize the comments of another reader, than to throw the characters under the bus as being unlikeable, because I have chosen to take their part, as my method for getting greatest enjoyment of the story itself.

Now that I see this better for what it is, I will try to be more thoughtful about how I respond to criticisms of certain characters or their purpose and value to the story. Though my perceptions of them are fairly well imprinted, so maybe it won't change much. ::shrug::

What makes WoT so wonderful for me, is that by the end of TGH, or perhaps early into TDR, I realized that there were puzzles to be solved, forehsadowings and clues embedded within the story far beyond anything I'd encountered in fiction. So I found myself simultaneously reading as I always had, sharing the intent and mindset of the narrative, while watching for puzzle pieces to show themselves. And yet, after repeated re-reads, I still find (or am shown by others) tidbits that were passed over before.

For me, it doesn't get much better than that.
152. alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansed
Yeah. Only happened once since people didn't know how the bug worked. Now that people do....
Alice Arneson
153. Wetlandernw

I enjoyed your self-analysis - and of course it made me consider my own reading. Unfortunately I can't find anything so straightforward, except that when I'm reading fiction I'm pretty happy to just go with my natural reaction to any character or situation. I get very involved mentally & emotionally, at least if its a well-written book, and I find it very easy to completely immerse in WoT. In discussions, though, I tend toward the DA position; if most people seem to be jumping one way on a character/issue, I'm likely to go the other out of sheer contrariness. (Unless I so strongly agree with the majority that I've got nothing to argue, of course. I love Lan, Loial & Rhuarc - can't come up with any negatives!) That's one of the reasons this discussion has been so great for me; I'm seeing aspects of characters and situations that I didn't pick up on in my own reading. I can become quite passionate in defense of a character I liked but who seems to be getting the shaft in discussion. On the other hand, when one or two folks start pointing out mitigations for someone I didn't like, it really starts me thinking. And since I've never liked pointless emotional rants, I end up thinking really hard about what I'm writing when I go on a rant. (Unfortunately, sometimes I forget about the audience and how harsh I may sound because I tend to focus on use of language and validity of argument... *sigh* Oh well. I only "go dragon-lady" once in a while.) But the "thinking really hard" has led me to some very different understandings of what's going on here. How cool is that?

Anyway, to EVERYONE on this wild ride, I want you to know I appreciate your input and the ways in which it has increased my appreciation for this series. (And I didn't think that was possible!) I promise to try hard not to correct your grammar too often, and you'll excuse me if I stay out of most of the "real world politics" arguments, but this is a great forum, folks. Thanks a bunch!
Antoni Ivanov
154. tonka
I wouldn't mind at all if you correct my grammar. On the contrary I will appreciate it !

And yeah, it's really hard to find something negative about Lan,Loial or Rhuarc.

But here for Lan; In Tear he is ready to break his bond and oath to Moiraine to be with Nynaeve but she send him back to Moiraine. I was really disappointed in Lan then.
155. Freelancer

Well, I would say that you and I read pretty much in the same internal environment. And I completely appreciate the "defend the underdog" mindset, as well as the passionate desire to hold forth in favor of a character that others are dumping on. I don't necessarily think I lean one way because it's a minority viewpoint, as much fun as that can be in general forum activity, but because of what I believe the strongest evidence to be. Of course, I'm happy to be straightened out when my analysis of the evidence is erroneous (or when I substitute a faulty memory of the text for evidence), but apart from that I'm a mastiff with a bone until I'm proven wrong. I try to leave my emotions out of that, and sometimes come across as cold or insensitive as a result. Mea culpa.

So, to return to the previous concept, the damage to Morgase is, in my opinion, emotional, not mechanical. Once she learns the difference between what she was led to believe, and the truth, she'll be mostly back to her original self. Just knowing that Elayne has the Rose Crown should restore much.

To everyone else, I echo Wetlandernw's statement that the discussions herein are quite entertaining and informative, and I hope my long-winded comments aren't too aggravating. Unlike Leigh, brevity and I have hardly met.
Michael Johnson
156. twosheddz
R.Fife @123

I've always interpreted that scene as Valda cutting off her escape plans by executing Paitr et al. and wanting her to know that there was no escape now. I didn't even think that they cared if they were darkfriends. It's a little hazy since my last reread, though.
157. Roxinos
I request, kindly, that you use the phrase "flizzerbloop" in reference to the category under which angreal, sa'angreal, and ter'angreal fall.

Kevin Morgan
158. DrMorganstien
do you all agree with me that clearly Morgase's mind has been dulled based on Valda's use of a flizzerbloop while she was trying to escape Kandor to the Isle of Madmen?

sorry, had to do it
159. ammbd
"Everyone has the right to defend themselves, and we should account their desire to do so a good thing - it stems from a love of life, not a desire for violence (something gun rights activists would love others to understand). "

let us expand upon gun rights such that it become defense rights. no loop holes left for the no one has any right to self defense tyrants out there.
160. Arthurphillipdenu
And it was a nice comment that Moggy made about her preffering being the spider in the shadows, seeing as she took her name from a deadly spider in the AOL. I'm not sure whether we knew that at this point though, if we did it was a pretty big clue.
161. Arthurphillipdenu
Sorry, already commented on. This is what I get for not reading the other posts as carefully as I should have. I shall now back slowly out of the room.. *beeping sound*
162. Guillaume Bergeron
I just want to say Yay! My WOTFAQ contribution got a shout-out!
163. Aramina
Chiming in way late, but...

odigity @ 74

There is a mention, obliquely, of Tinkers making a distinction. Ila does, in Ch. 41 when Perrin, Ihvon, and co. are in her wagon.

Ila frowned at the Warder--or at his sword, rather, she seemed to find that even worse than Perrin's axe...
164. rosetintdworld
I just caught up to this part in my own re-read, and felt compelled to quote this bit of Moggy's confrontation with Nynaeve:

"I would love to see Rahvin's eyes the day he meets you unblocked."

I may be misremembering the end of tFoH, but isn't Nynaeve responsible for forcing Moghedien to melt Rahvin's eyes, allowing Rand to bf him? If this is the case, I don't think I've ever been so stunned at the subtlety of a foreshadowing.
165. Faculty Guy
The observation that no one who WANTS to govern should be allowed to do so, and that those best qualified must (since they by definition would not want it) must be coerced into leading, goes back to Plato in THE REPUBLIC, Book II (I believe). Actually, almost EVERY profound observation goes back to Plato!

I wonder if anyone else ever re-reads these re-reads? Surely not the Commentary!
Alice Arneson
166. Wetlandernw
FacultyGuy - Hard to say, but there are always people a) noticing comments on old threads; b) going back to look for a previous discussion; or c) catching up with the reread. I feel sorry for anyone in that last category - there's SO MUCH to read if you go through all the comments, but so much really good discussion and theorizing has come up that way that you miss a lot if you don't read them. Have fun!
167. macster
A thought on Aram's importance to Perrin's story, from Towers of Midnight:

"Perrin reached down to the warm hammer at his side. He had thought that responsibility would be another weight upon him. And yet, now that he had accepted it, he actually felt lighter.
Perrin Aybara was just a man, but Perrin Goldeneyes was a symbol created by the people who followed him. Perrin didn't have a choice about that; all he could do was lead the best he could. If he didn't, the symbol wouldn't vanish. The people would just lose faith in it. As poor Aram had.
I'm sorry, my friend, he thought. You I failed most of all." (Chapter 40 "A Making", p. 620)

Considering this came right after Perrin forged his new hammer and accepted his leadership role, I think a case can be made that Aram did indeed serve an important point in the story by showing Perrin what not to do--not just how he threw aside the Way of the Leaf and lost himself in bloodshed, violence, and fanaticism as a parallel to Perrin's wolf nature, but that he had latched onto Perrin as one to guide him when his way of life no longer had the answers...but in becoming so focused on Faile above everything else, Perrin inadvertently set a very bad example. Ironically, by acting too fanatical, he drove Aram into the camp of an even worse fanatic, who then corrupted Aram even further until he was convinced to betray Perrin, not because he was too fanatical, but because he wasn't fanatical enough--focusing on Faile instead of Rand, thus proving himself a Darkfriend to Masema and Aram.

Which suggests, then, that seeing what his actions had done, how his inability to balance his builder/killer nature and therefore not show Aram there was no need to either be a fanatical pacifist or a fanatical warrior had led to his betrayal and death, is a big part of why Perrin finally accepted his role as a leader--to keep from ever causing another situation like Aram's. He led him out of the Way of the Leaf, but did not stay true to a path between peace and violence that applied each when it was necessary, and so he let Aram down, in his mind. He ends up not trusting another to do the job of lord, and swearing to do the best job he can as a leader, partly because of what happened to Aram.

In which case, the fact this pushed Perrin into finally accepting his leadership role may make Aram actually have one of the most important roles in the story, however much he may be disliked personally by the readers.
168. Dorianin
"duopotamians".....oh, Leigh, I love you....I came across the term in another part of the re-read, but just clued in....

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