May 18 2009 4:03pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Shadow Rising, Part 20

Hello, people of various gender! Welcome to what I am pleasantly surprised to discover is actually the penultimate installment of The Shadow Rising segment of our Wheel of Time Re-read journey!

I know, right? Chapters 54-56, baby, yeah!

Previous entries are heah, and as always there are spoilers for this and potentially all books currently published in the Wheel of Time series. If you are encountering this re-read for the first time, it is highly recommended that you read all of the Wheel of Time novels before jumping on this blog series.

So, without further ado, please jump the cut, or cut the jump, or whatever the appropriate verbing weirdness is for the action, to get to some seriously serious awesome.

Chapter 54: Into the Palace

What Happens
Elayne, Nynaeve, and Egeanin are riding in a jouncy cart, much to Elayne’s irritation; she would have preferred to walk, even though their disguises left them barefoot, but Domon said it would look strange. He is walking alongside, with twenty of his hired toughs. A particularly bad pothole almost knocks them all over, but Nynaeve still edges away from Egeanin, muttering that she is going to have a talk with Master Domon. Elayne is amazed that Nynaeve agreed to Egeanin being there at all, but Domon had insisted they needed someone with them in the Palace who could defend them physically, since they could only channel as a last resort; the men had begun arguing over which one of them was the best suited to come along, but Nynaeve told them they all had their parts to play, so there was nothing for it. Then Egeanin had volunteered to come; Domon had said thoughtfully that she would do very well, and Elayne supported the idea over Nynaeve’s strenuous protests, and at last Nynaeve had acquiesced. They reach the Palace, and as Domon is being questioned by the Whitecloak guards, Elayne sees Jaichim Carridin passing on horseback, and hastily puts her head down so he won’t see her. Out in the street someone shouts that the Panarch had been murdered, and Elayne thinks that Juilin and Thom had done a good job of seeding rumors last night, and now just hopes they get in before the riot actually gets started. She tells herself sternly that she is not afraid. Finally the cart is allowed inside and to the kitchen entrance. The women scramble down and take up the three baskets, which look to be filled with ice peppers; Domon comes over, and under the guise of inspecting the peppers tells them quietly that the Whitecloaks and the Panarch’s Legionnaires are close to open hostility. Domon leads them inside, and as he talks with the head cook Elayne tries desperately to ignore the skinny woman petting a cat in the room; if Marillin Gemalphin happens to notice her and Nynaeve, she will know them for women who can channel even though they are not holding the Power, but they make it into the storeroom without incident. Elayne asks if Nynaeve saw her as they dump out the peppers and change into the servants’ livery hidden underneath. Egeanin seems to have a serious moral objection to dressing as a servant, which Elayne doesn’t get. They reenter the kitchen, and are relieved to find Marillin gone; the cook snaps at them to take the Lady Ispan her breakfast. Not daring to talk, Elayne bobs a curtsy and picks up the tray, and the cook yells that Elayne is mocking her and starts toward her threateningly. The three of them run from the kitchen, Elayne wondering what on earth she had done wrong; she had seen servants curtsy to her just like that all the time. They pass more storerooms, and Egeanin takes the opportunity to filch a stone pestle as a makeshift cudgel. They move through the Palace to the Panarch’s quarters, and as they reach it, they hear shouts and men running. Elayne surmises that the riot has started, and tells Nynaeve that Egeanin should go with her, as her part is the most important. Nynaeve retorts that she doesn’t need a Seanchan with her, and marches off. Elayne and Egeanin head into the hallway outside the Panarch’s quarters, and Elayne stops as she senses channeling coming from inside. She tells Egeanin that at least one of the Black sisters is in there, and listens at the door a moment; she is startled to hear someone singing a very bawdy song inside. Egeanin says they will have to leave Amathera, then.

Frowning, she bit her lower lip. How many were there? She could do at least three or four things at once with the Power, something only Egwene and Nynaeve could match. She ran down a list of Andoran queens who had shown courage in the face of great danger, until she realized it was a list of all the queens of Andor. I will be queen one day; I can be as brave as they.

Elayne tells Egeanin to throw open the doors and get down, and is surprised by her calm, commanding tone. Egeanin obeys, and Elayne catches a glimpse of the singing woman wrapped in flows of Air cut off in surprise as Temaile leaps up in outrage. Elayne instantly binds Temaile in Air and simultaneously slams a shield made of Spirit between the women and saidar; Temaile is flung three paces back, and lands unconscious. Elayne hurries in, searching for more Black Ajah, and demands of Amathera if there was anyone else there; Amathera asks hesitantly if she is Aes Sedai, and Elayne snaps at her to answer the question. Amathera flinches and confirms that Temaile was alone. She details all the tortures Temaile had visited upon her, winding herself up, and suddenly jumps on the unconscious woman with a shriek, punching and slapping her. Elayne lifts her off Temaile with Air, a little surprised at how easy it is, and Amathera sulkily declares that she will dispense justice on Temaile. Elayne is disgusted with her childishness, and tells her that she is here at considerable risk to sneak her out of the Palace, and she can come back to evict these women from it later. Amathera doesn’t like this, and wants to go find her Legionnaires, and Elayne surprises herself again by using Air to frog-march Amathera over to her, telling her coldly that she will do as she’s told or be left for Temaile and the others to find. Egeanin nods approvingly. Amathera agrees, still looking sulky, and Elayne hopes Nynaeve is having an easier time of it.

Nynaeve enters the hall, pretending to dust, and hurries to where the black metal bracelets and necklace are displayed. The bracelets emanate suffering and woe, and Nynaeve wonders what kind of thing could absorb such pain.

Pulling her hand back, she glared at the black metal. Meant to control a man who could channel. Liandrin and her Black sisters meant to use it to control Rand, turn him to the Shadow, force him to serve the Dark One. Someone from her village, controlled and used by Aes Sedai! Black Ajah, but Aes Sedai as surely as Moiraine with her scheming! Egeanin, making me like a filthy Seanchan!

Nynaeve realizes she is making herself angry enough to channel, and embraces the Source just as a woman wearing servant livery enters the hall. She waits for the woman to leave, and as the woman walks toward her, smiling, suddenly recognizes her face. She instantly attacks with a hammer of Air, intending to smash Moghedien’s face. Nynaeve staggers as the Forsaken slices Nynaeve’s flow and counters with another, a complex flow of Spirit, Water, and Air. For a moment she feels devotion and worship for the other woman before she slices it off the same way Moghedien had just done to hers; she realizes what the weave had been for, and is more enraged than ever. She tries again to sever Moghedien from the Source just as Moghedien tries to do the same to her, and they end up locked in a standoff, each straining to cut off the other. Nynaeve thinks that though to anyone not able to channel saidar it would look like they were just two women staring at each other, she is in a duel for her life, against a Forsaken. She realizes that under her anger she is utterly terrified. She keeps waiting for Moghedien to release her full strength and overwhelm her, but then Moghedien begins talking, telling Nynaeve that she will make her pay for ruining her plans. She says maybe she will make Nynaeve wear a saddle, and ride her like a horse, or maybe she will give Nynaeve to Rahvin for his amusement, even though he already has “a pretty little queen to amuse him now”. She makes note of the “little gem” behind Nynaeve, and tells her she cannot destroy it, for it is a form of cuendillar, and there are disadvantages to using it as well.

“Put the collar on a man who channels, and a woman wearing the bracelets can make him do whatever she wishes, true, but it will not stop him going mad, and there is a flow the other way, too. Eventually he will begin to be able to control you, too, so you end with a struggle at every hour.”

She keeps talking, asking Nynaeve if she thinks the price is worth controlling Lews Therin, or Rand al’Thor as he is called now, and Nynaeve wonders what she’s waiting for. Then she notices that Moghedien is sweating, and her voice is strained, and suddenly understands.

Moghedien was not suddenly going to hurl all of her strength at her; she already was. The woman was putting out as much effort as she. She was facing one of the Forsaken, and far from being plucked like a goose for supper, she had not lost a feather. She was meeting one of the Forsaken, strength for strength! Moghedien was trying to distract her, to gain an opening before her own strength gave out!

Moghedien continues, talking about the Age of Legends, but Nynaeve stops listening, trying to think of a way to distract the Forsaken. She pretends to sag, as if she is weakening, and Moghedien smiles, stepping closer, saying something about traveling to other worlds. Nynaeve picks up the collar and hurls it at Moghedien’s face. It only strikes lightly, but it distracts Moghedien for one second, and Nynaeve’s shield slams home. She expects the Forsaken to attack physically, but instead Moghedien tries to run; Nynaeve binds her in Air, freezing her in mid-step.

She had done it. I faced one of the Forsaken and beat her, she thought incredulously.

She walks over to the woman, and sees that her flow had softened enough when she applied it that Moghedien was only shielded from the Source, and not stilled as Nynaeve had intended. Stuttering in fear, Moghedien tries to bargain with Nynaeve, and Nynaeve gags her with Air; smiling, she asks Moghedien that she mentioned used her as a mounting block, did she? She lets Moghedien squirm for a moment, though she knows she will not follow through on the threat, and thinks about how Moghedien will have to be put on trial and stilled, of course; then she thinks it through and realizes that she has no way to get the woman out of the Palace. She grimaces and walks over to grab the bracelets and collar, felling guilty for letting anyone, even a Forsaken, think that she would torture them, and then goes to the glass case with the seal in it. But the seal is not in the case, replaced by a figurine of a pig. Then she looks closer, and sees it is an illusion crafted with the Power; she channels and breaks the flows, revealing the seal hidden behind it, and stuffs it into her pouch as well. She tries again to think of some way to bring Moghedien with her, can’t, and turns regretfully to go. Then she sees Jeaine Caide standing in an adjoining courtyard raising a pace-long black rod, and flings herself to the floor just as a bar of white passes through where she had been a second earlier, vaporising everything in its path.

Little more than waist-high, the bar sawed sideways, carving a swathe through both walls; between, cases and cabinets and wired skeletons collapsed and crashed. Severed columns quivered; some fell, but what dropped onto that terrible sword did not survive to smash displays and pedestals to the floor. The glass-walled table fell before the molten shaft vanished, leaving a purplish bar that seemed burned into Nynaeve’s vision; the cuendillar figures were all that dropped out of that molten white shaft, bouncing on the floor.

Moghedien is trying to scream, struggling against her bonds, but Nynaeve has no time for her as Jeaine regains control and fires balefire again, further wrecking the exhibition hall. Nynaeve crawls on her belly to a corridor as the balefire stops, and checks the courtyard, but there is no sign of Jeaine. Nynaeve curses herself for a fool, channeling enormous amounts of the Power and never even thinking it would have every woman who could channel in the Palace jumping out of her skin. Then she notices in disbelief that Moghedien was gone, which should have been impossible.

“How do I know what’s impossible?” Nynaeve muttered. “It was impossible for me to beat one of the Forsaken, but I did it.”

Weakly, she staggers to her feet and heads off to where she is supposed to meet Elayne.

Aw, yeah.

How do I heart this chapter, let me count the ways. A Crowning Moment of Awesome for a character if I ever saw one. I read the last half of TSR at approximately the speed of light the first time around, but I distinctly recall taking a pause after this chapter and just having a geeky little moment of squee. This is what I signed up for, you guys.

Talk about a moment of self-realization, eh? Nynaeve’s super-strength is kind of a given for WOTers at this point, but it’s important to remember that at this point in the series, though we had been told that she’s got stupid potential, it is not until this moment that we – and Nynaeve herself! – are given the context to appreciate just how mad powerful she actually is. And it is AWESOME.

I don’t know why the rest of you are into this kind of thing, but I can tell you that for me personally, one of the greatest appeals of the fantasy genre is the vicarious thrill of discovery of power. That sounds weird to say, like I have megalomaniacal fantasies of world domination or something, but I don’t. Mainly because that sounds like way too much work, but also because in general fantasies of power are not necessarily about controlling other people, but about erasing the pervasive feeling of powerlessness that most (if not all) of us feel about the events that occur in our own lives.

Of course, really good fantasy shows how acquisition of power doesn’t eliminate that essential powerlessness, only changes the individual’s tax bracket on the playing field, so to speak. But that does not change the by-proxy pleasure of discovering that you are at least no longer below the poverty line, if I may be allowed to beat this particular metaphor to death.

So, basically, yay Nynaeve awesome.

I love Moghedien as a villain, not because she’s the most badass, but precisely because she isn’t. She’s one of the most believable of all the Forsaken in her cravenness and underhanded sneakery. I think the Big Book of Bad Art says she was a “shady investment advisor” before she joined the Dark Side, which I’ve always found hilarious; apparently even the Age of Legends wasn’t free from Ponzi schemes. How reassuring!

Notes on Elayne: I suppose Elayne has a small moment of Awesome here too, but it’s rather overshadowed by Nynaeve’s feats. It’s okay, though, Elayne gets her awesome on later, or at least I think so.

On a frivolous note, though, I had to laugh at the curtsying thing, and Elayne’s total cluelessness as to why it pissed the cook off so much. I have to confess I didn’t get it immediately myself, but then I realized that she curtsied to the cook the way a servant would curtsy to the Daughter-Heir, which presumably is not at all the way you would do it to only an upper-level servant. I guess that would look like mockery, wouldn’t it?

On an even frivolouser note, the word “curtsy” looks wrong no matter how I try to spell it. It’s annoying.

Thus, in summary, yay Nynaeve awesome. Let’s finish up her plotline in TSR, shall we?

Chapter 55: Into the Deep

What Happens
Nynaeve threads her way through panicking servants, her hold on saidar fading as she becomes increasingly worried about Elayne. She sees Liandrin and Rianna at one point, flinging people out of their way with the Power, but is glad to avoid them, knowing she is too weakened from her fight with Moghedien to take them on. She reaches the rendezvous point and finds Elayne and Egeanin with Amathera. She hugs Elayne and asks if she had any trouble; Elayne says there was a little issue with Amathera, but it’s all straightened out now. Nynaeve frowns and asks why Amathera would give them trouble, and Egeanin answers that she tried to sneak off and get to her guards after being told not to. Nynaeve scowls, but Elayne tells her she took care of it, and Amathera will do as she’s told from now on, won’t she? Amathera agrees hastily. Elayne then asks what about Nynaeve? Did she have anything to do with the women Elayne had felt channeling enough Power to shake the palace down? Elayne adds that she had to prevent Egeanin from going to find Nynaeve; Nynaeve makes herself touch Egeanin’s shoulder, and thanks her. Then she explains that Moghedien found her, but because she stopped to worry about bringing her to trial, Jeaine Caide nearly took her head off with balefire.

“You captured Moghedien? You captured one of the Forsaken?”

“Yes, but she got away.” There. She had admitted everything. Conscious of all their eyes on her, she shifted uncomfortably. She did not like being in the wrong. She especially did not like being in the wrong when it was she who had pointed out that it was wrong in the first place. “Elayne, I know what I said about being careful, but once I had her in my hands, it seemed all I could think of was bringing her to trial.” Taking a deep breath, Nynaeve made her voice apologetic. She hated doing that. Where were those fool men? “I endangered everything because I didn’t keep my mind on what we were about, but please don’t scold me.”

Elayne answers she won’t, as long as she is careful in the future. Egeanin clears her throat, and Elayne reddens and asks quickly if Nynaeve got the collar and bracelets, and the seal; Nynaeve confirms it, and as they wait for the men, looks at Egeanin and wonders if they are so different, and why she can’t hate her. Suddenly Juilin opens the door from the outside; his face is bloody, and he tells them they must hurry before “it gets out of hand”. Nynaeve stares at the scene beyond him and wonders what he would consider out of hand, as a full-scale riot is underway. Thom yells at them to move, and they all hurry out, surrounded by Domon’s sailors and shoving through the din. Nynaeve and Egeanin steady each other and trade grins. Once they get clear of the mob around the Palace, Thom bows to Amathera and hopes he can be of service to the Panarch, but to Nynaeve’s surprise Amathera glances at Elayne and answers Thom is mistaken, she is only a poor refugee. At the inn, Elayne introduces Amathera to Rendra as “Thera”, and asks if Rendra can provide her a place to sleep and maybe work to earn a few meals. Rendra sighs, but agrees, and takes Amathera off. Nynaeve asks what that was about, and Elayne explains that she convinced Amathera it would be a good idea to stay in hiding for a few days; if she wants to regain her throne without help from Andric, she will need to lay low until she can contact the Captain of her Legion. Besides, Elayne adds, it will do her good to see how the common people live for a while. Nynaeve thinks this is a little rich coming from the Daughter-Heir, but lets it go, and muses about Moghedien’s failure to come after them, even though she had to have known that Nynaeve was exhausted and vulnerable; she thinks that it’s likely Moghedien will not come after them, but Liandrin definitely will if she finds out what they have taken.

“The justice of the Daughter-Heir,” Thom murmured, “may yet supersede the justice of the Panarch. There were men streaming in through that door as we left, and I think some had already got in the front. I saw smoke coming out of several windows. By tonight, little more than a fire-gutted ruin will remain. No need for soldiers to chase the Black Ajah, and thus ‘Thera’ can have her few days to learn the lesson you want to teach. You will make a fine queen one day, Elayne of Andor.”

Elayne gives him a pleased smile, which fades as she sees the blood on his face, and she jumps up and starts tending to his cuts over his protests. Nynaeve shows them what they had gone through all this for, and Domon touches the seal and says he did own something like this once.

Nynaeve doubted it. Only seven had been made. Three were broken now, cuendillar or no. Another was in Moiraine’s hands. Four surviving. How well could four keep that prison at Shayol Ghul locked? A shivery thought.

Egeanin examines the collar and bracelets, and says it is not much like an a’dam; Nynaeve wishes she hadn’t brought that up, but thinks that Egeanin had shown more mercy in letting that sul’dam Bethamin go than she would have, and answers that it is as much like an a’dam as she and Egeanin were alike.

The woman looked startled, but after a moment she nodded. Not so different. Two women, each doing the best she could.

Juilin asks if they mean to continue chasing Liandrin et al, and opines that it’s more important to take these items to the Tower. Nynaeve refutes this sharply, and when the others look at her in surprise, indicates the seal and says that should go to the Tower. To herself, she thinks that she would not take the chance that the Aes Sedai would be tempted to use the collar and bracelets just as the Black Ajah would have, and asks Elayne if she can destroy them. Elayne tries, though Nynaeve cannot see what she is doing, but after a bit shakes her head and says she cannot. Nynaeve thinks that Moghedien had not lied, then, and asks Domon if he knows a very deep part of the sea. Domon answers that he does, and Nynaeve tells him to take the collar and bracelets and drop them into the deepest depths he can find. Domon hesitates, and nods, taking them gingerly. Nynaeve notices Egeanin frowning, and remembers her remarks about Domon being a properly set-up man. Nynaeve thinks to herself that it is done, and now she can get back to the problem of al’Lan Mandragoran.

Facing Moghedien, realizing how close she had been to being killed or worse, only made her urgency to deal with him greater. A man she had to share with a woman she hated, but if Egeanin could look fondly on a man she once took prisoner—and Domon was certainly eyeing her with interest—and if Elayne could love a man who would go mad, then she could puzzle out some way to enjoy what she could have of Lan.

But first, she thinks, Tar Valon.

Tar Valon? Ha ha ha!

Yeah, no. Not for at least seven more books, honey. Maybe longer. Maybe never!

And here ends the Supergirls’ thread in TSR, where we say goodbye to Domon and Egeanin as they head off to totally fail in their MacGuffin-dumping mission and not turn up again until A Crown of Swords. Bye-ee!

I have to admit being a little underwhelmed at Elayne’s response to finding out Nynaeve had faced down a Forsaken and come out ahead, but then again Nynaeve is typically vague about the details, so maybe it just didn’t really sink in yet or something. I’m just saying, Elayne’s jaw should have been on the floor, if you ask me.

I normally think Nynaeve is overly harsh on the White Tower (and this is as someone who thinks that the Tower has serious issues), but thank GOD she had the sense to see that handing them the Sad Bracelets would have been Muy No Bueno. And this applies just as much to the about-to-be-Rebel Tower as it does to Elaida’s dumb ass. Not that Elayne or Nynaeve have a clue about any of that as yet.

The only other things worth noting here are Nynaeve’s reconcilation with Egeanin, which shows that she is Growing As A Person, and Elayne’s Prince and the Pauper switcheroo on Amathera, which... I can’t seem to generate an opinion on, because I really just don’t care very much, other than something vague about this is one of those things which are always effectively full of after-school-special moral learnings in fiction, but in reality would probably just lead to broken nails and more of an entitlement complex than ever on Amathera’s part. Or maybe I’m just cynical and bitter.

Enh. Let’s let it go and slip into something a little more awesome, shall we?

Chapter 56: Goldeneyes

What Happens
Aram watches Perrin silently as he writes a letter to Faile in the inn, and Perrin wonders again what the man wants. Ban al’Seen comes in to tell Lord Perrin that the Aiel are back, and the Trollocs are coming, from the north and south, thousands of them. Perrin absently tells him not to call him that, still absorbed in his letter.

I will not ask your forgiveness for what I did. I do not know if you could give it, but I will not ask. You are more precious to me than life. Never think I have abandoned you. When the sun shines on you, it is my smile. When you hear the breeze stir through the apple blossoms, it is my whisper that I love you. My love is yours forever.


For a moment he studied what he had written. It did not say enough, but it would have to do. He did not have the right words any more than he had time.

He seals the letter and writes “Faile Aybara” on the outside, though he doesn’t know if taking the husband’s name is traditional in Saldaea, and leaves it on the mantel. Adjusting his marriage ribbon, he goes outside to where the Companions are waiting for him, mounts up, and rides to where the women are standing in a deep circle around the children and the Tinkers on the Green, armed with makeshift weapons. Daise tells him they plan to get the children out if the Trollocs break through; the Tinkers will not fight, but they will help, carrying the babies and toddlers too small to walk. Hoarsely, Perrin tries to apologize to them for what he did with Faile, and for fooling them about it, but Alsbet tells him not to be silly, and Marin tells him they knew exactly what he was up to, and not to be surprised if Faile didn’t as well.

“Women do find themselves doing what they don’t want just to please you men. Now you go on and do what you have to. This is Women’s Circle business,” she added firmly.

Somehow he managed to smile back at her. “Yes, mistress,” he said, knuckling his forehead. “Beg pardon. I know enough to keep my nose out of that.” The women around her laughed in soft amusement as he turned Stepper away.

Perrin orders the Companions to go back and aid the women if it comes to that, over their protests. Ban asks quietly what Perrin is going to do, which Perrin ignores. Aram refuses flatly to do the same, saying he will stay with Perrin, and Perrin wonders if real lords ever had problems like this. Perrin goes over to where the Whitecloaks are standing in perfect, gleaming ranks, though Bornhald smells of brandy, and says that he thought they would be at their places by now. Bornhald won’t look at him, and Byar spits that they are leaving, to rejoin their men at Watch Hill. Perrin knows that they have no chance if the Whitecloaks leave, and asks Bornhald if he really still believes that Perrin is a Darkfriend, after all the fighting against the Trollocs he’s done. Bornhald gives him a hateful, glazed stare and says he will not stay to watch Perrin feed his own villagers to Shadowspawn; he means to live long enough to bring Perrin to justice. Perrin answers if he wants Perrin, fine; when the Trollocs are done, Perrin will not resist if Bornhald arrests him. The men with Perrin shout protests, and Bornhald sneers that it is an empty promise if no one lives but Perrin. Perrin retorts he’ll never know if he runs away, will he?

“Run, if you want! Run, and try to forget what happens here! All your talk of protecting people from Trollocs. How many died at Trolloc hands after you came? My family wasn’t the first, and certainly not the last. Run! Or stay, if you can remember you’re men. If you need to find the courage, look at the women, Bornhald. Any one of them is braver than the whole lot of you Whitecloaks!”

Bornhald sways in his saddle, and says hoarsely that they will stay. Byar protests, and Bornhald roars back that they will die clean, if they must, but for his family, he will see Perrin dead, and canters off, Byar following. Aram asks anxiously if Perrin really means to keep that promise, and Perrin doesn’t answer, though he thinks there is precious little chance he would live to make that decision anyway. He takes off to check the defenses; to his embarrassment, cheers follow him wherever he goes. Abell Cauthon is in charge of the Westwood side, and tells Perrin, with a grin very like his son’s, that they’ll not find Two Rivers folk easy meat. Tam al’Thor, on the south side, tells him much the same, striding almost like a Warder. Alanna stops fussing with the catapults long enough to gaze at him measuringly. Perrin goes to the north, which is where he will stand, which is not coincidentally the direction in which Faile had gone; he supposes it is as good a place to die as any. Loial is there with two woodaxes, as well as Gaul and Chiad, who Perrin notes are standing side by side. Loial had been slightly hurt when Perrin had suggested he should leave, and told him he will stay as long as Perrin does. Then he had laughed and said perhaps someone would even tell a story of him, one day, even though Ogier do not go in for being heroes. Perrin murmurs to himself that Loial is a hero whether he wants to be or not. He gazes at the faces of the men gathered there, and forces himself to stop counting and naming them. He goes over to Verin, and tells her he is a little surprised to see her and Alanna still here; surely keeping a string tied to a ta’veren is not worth getting killed. Verin says thoughtfully that she couldn’t go when Perrin is such an interesting study, and says if only she could split herself in three she would follow him and Rand and Mat every moment, even if she had to marry them. Perrin tells her with pleasure that he already has a wife.

“Yes, you do. But you do not know what marrying Zarine Bashere means, do you?” She reached up to turn his axe in its loop on his belt, studying it. “When are you going to give this up for the hammer?”

Staring at the Aes Sedai, he reined Stepper back a pace, pulling the axe out of her hands, before he knew it. What marrying Faile meant? Give up the axe? What did she mean? What did she know?

They are interrupted as the Trollocs finally appear, thousands of them, all bunched together and herded by Fades. They are all shouting a word: “ISAM!” Perrin has never heard Trollocs shout an intelligible battle cry before. Verin murmurs, “Interesting,” and Perrin thinks that’s hardly the word he would have chosen. He shouts to the men to be ready, and thinks that Faile is safe and that’s all that matters. The Trollocs charge, and at four hundred paces the Two Rivers men let fly with flight after flight of arrows; the archers and the Aes Sedai’s catapults cause massive casualties, but it hardly seems to reduce the Trollocs’ numbers, and then they reach the stakes and it is down to hand-to-hand. Slowly the defensive line bows inward, and Perrin shouts for the men to fall back between the houses.

He was not sure whether others heard and passed the order, or the mountainous weight of Trollocs simply pressed in, but slowly, one grudging step at a time, the humans moved back. Loial swung his bloodied axes like mallets, wide mouth snarling. Beside the Ogier, Bran thrust his spear grimly; he had lost his steel cap, and blood ran in his fringe of gray hair. From his stallion Tomas carved a space around Verin; hair in wild disarray, she had lost her horse; balls of fire streaked from her hands, and every Trolloc struck exploded in flames as if soaked in oil. Not enough to hold. The Two Rivers men edged back, jostling around Stepper. Gaul and Chiad fought back-to-back; she had only one spear left, and he slashed and stabbed with his heavy knife. Back. To west and east men had curved out from the defenses there to keep the Trollocs from flanking them, pouring arrows in. Not enough. Back.

A Trolloc attacks Perrin, knocking Stepper down, and Perrin is almost crushed beneath his own horse until Aram kills the Trolloc on top of them both. Perrin struggles up to see that the women have joined the line, all of them, fighting desperately, and he sees that their numbers are the only reason the line hasn’t broken already. The Whitecloaks are nowhere to be seen. Then a small boy runs up, shouting for Lord Perrin; Perrin snatches him up to get him out of the battle zone, but the boy shouts at him to please listen: Master al’Thor says someone is attacking the Trollocs. Perrin asks who, and the boy says they don’t know, but Tam thought he heard someone shouting “Deven Ride”. Then Aram points out the hail of arrows coming from the north and striking the Trolloc ranks from behind. Perrin tells the boy he did well, and sends him back to the other children, and limps back to Stepper and mounts, to look to the north.

Beneath a red-eagle banner at the edge of where the fields had been stood long rows of men in farmer’s clothes, shooting their bows methodically. And beside the banner, Faile sat Swallow’s saddle, Bain at her stirrup. It had to be Bain behind that black veil, and he could see Faile’s face clearly. She looked excited, fearful, terrified and exuberant. She looked beautiful.

The Fades are trying to turn the Trollocs to meet the archers behind, but too late. They fall back, panicking, and the Emond’s Fielders resume bow work as soon as they have room. The Trollocs are being slaughtered from both sides, but Perrin hardly notices, staring at Faile. The same boy reappears to tell Perrin that Tam says the Trollocs to the south are breaking, and it was “Deven Ride” that the men were shouting. Perrin asks the boy’s name, and the boy tells him it’s Jaim Aybara; he thinks they are sort of cousins. Perrin tries not to cry, and tells “Cousin Jaim” to tell his children and his grandchildren about this day. Jaim declares he’s not going to have any, because girls are icky. Perrin tells him he thinks that he’ll find that will change one day, still looking at Faile.

Jaim looked doubtful, but then he brightened, a wide grin spreading across his face. “Wait till I tell Had Lord Perrin called me cousin!” And he darted away to tell Had, who would have children, too, and all the other boys who would, one day. The sun stood straight overhead. An hour, maybe. It had all taken no more than an hour. It felt like a lifetime.

Perrin rides through cheering people and past mounds of dead Trollocs to Faile, and she comes to meet him, smelling of uncertainty. She tells him she said she would go, but she did not say how far. He just looks at her, thinking of how beautiful she is, and she frowns and continues that the Watch Hill men had hardly needed any convincing to come, and then smiles in delight, saying she got to lead men in battle! Even Tenobia hasn’t gotten to do that, and she will be blue with envy when Faile tells her. Perrin still doesn’t say anything, and she gets defensive.

“Are you just going to sit there like a hairy lump? I did not say I would leave the Two Rivers. You said that, not I. You’ve no right to be angry because I did not do what I never promised! And you trying to send me away because you thought you were going to die! I came back to—”

“I love you.” It was all he could say, but strangely it seemed to be enough.

She hurries her horse beside his and throws her arms around him, saying she was so afraid she would be too late. She asks if the Deven Ride men came, and Perrin asks, startled, if she arranged that too. She smiles and says no, but she had hoped it was likely from the message the man yesterday had brought. She apologizes to Perrin for fooling him, and asks him not to be angry. Laughing, he pulls her in front of his saddle and starts to say he will never be angry with her again, but Faile stops him and tells him the worst thing her father did with her mother was make that promise, and it took her mother almost a year to make him take it back; she asks him to promise instead to tell her when he is angry, so she will know and can deal with it. Perrin notices that she does not promise to tell him when she is angry, but promises anyway. He notices that all the survivors of the battle are streaming out of the village, to surround him and Faile in a great circle, and wonders why they are all staring silently. Then the Whitecloaks approach, in perfect order, without a single bloodied weapon; the Two Rivers folk sullenly give way for them to enter the circle. Bornhald tells Perrin that the Trollocs are done, and as agreed, he is here to arrest Perrin. A roar of protest goes up, and Faile demands of Perrin what does he mean, Perrin agreed?

Keeping his gaze on Bornhald, Perrin lifted a hand, and silence descended slowly. When all was quiet, he said, “I said I would not resist, if you aided.” Surprising, how calm his voice was; inside he seethed with a slow, cold anger. “If you aided, Whitecloak. Where were you?” The man did not answer.

Daise speaks up and says the Whitecloaks were on the Green, lined up “pretty as girls ready for a dance at Sunday”, and never moved, and it was that that made the women decide to join the battle; the other women agree fiercely. Bornhald snarls that Perrin had no part in these others joining and turning the tide of battle, and he will see him hang if the world burns, rising to a yell on the last words. Several of the Whitecloaks draw steel, and freeze as the Two Rivers folk raise their bows, surrounding them with nocked arrows. Perrin tells them coldly that they obviously never cared about helping people, as long as they could find someone to call Darkfriend; all the help they’ve given has been almost accidental.

Bornhald shivered, though his eyes still burned. “It is time for you to go. Not just from Emond’s Field. It is time for you to gather up your Whitecloaks and leave the Two Rivers. Now, Bornhald. You are going now.”

Bornhald tells Perrin softly that he will see him hang one day, and leads the Whitecloaks out. A knot of men Perrin does not recognize comes up to him, and their leader, Jerinvar Barstere, grins anxiously and tells Perrin with much verbosity and apologies that he’s not meaning to waste Lord Perrin’s time, but they’ll see the Whitecloaks out and make sure the others in Watch Hill leave too, if that’s all right. He bows to “Lady Faile” and apologizes again for bothering them, and hustles his men off. Perrin watches him go with amazement and asks Faile who that was. She tells him that Barstere is the mayor of Watch Hill, and that the Women’s Circle there will be sending a delegation down to him to see if “this Lord Perrin” was right for the Two Rivers. She adds that they wanted Faile to show them how to curtsy to him, though, and are bringing him apple tarts.

“Oh, burn me!” he breathed. It was spreading. He knew he should have stamped it down hard in the beginning. “Don’t call me that!” he shouted after the departing men. “I’m a blacksmith! Do you hear me? A blacksmith!” Jer Barstere turned to wave at him and nod before hurrying the others on.

Grinning, Faile tells “my Lord Blacksmith” that he is a sweet fool, and it’s too late to turn back now. Then she asks wickedly if there is any possibility that she might be alone with her husband any time soon, and cuts off with a shriek as he takes off at a gallop for the inn, for once not bothered by the cheers that follow him.

From a tree branch, Ordeith stares at Emond’s Field a mile off, incredulous that everything had gone so wrong, even with Isam playing right into his hands. He notes the red eagle banner.

That’s meant to be Manetheren’s banner. Someone had told them of Manetheren, had they? What did these fools know of the glories of Manetheren? Manetheren. Yes. There was more than one way to scourge them.

He sprays spittle and fumbles for a dagger that is not there, and snarls about the White Tower holding what was his by right, and drops out of the tree to rejoin his men. They used to be Whitecloaks, but Bornhald would never have recognized them as such now. They watch him, ignoring the Fade in their midst, who also keeps its attention on Ordeith. He thinks that the Halfman was worried Isam would find it, as Isam had not been pleased when the raid on Taren Ferry had let so many escape to carry word away from the Two Rivers. Ordeith thinks Isam is a problem for another time, and snaps at his followers that they ride for Tar Valon, but they are going to Caemlyn first.

As a fantasy reader and action movie fan, I have consumed more than my fair share of battle scenes in my day, and they have run the gamut from unbelievably amazing to laughably bad to strangely boring. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to a battle scene’s goodness or badness – do the special effects suck, did the filmmakers/author do the research on the technology (or lack thereof) being used, do the editors/author have the capability to narratively convey a coherent sense of what’s happening while still adequately reproducing the utter chaos that is any battle scene, etc., etc. – but in my opinion the one truly nonnegotiable factor which must be in place for a battle scene to be awesome is not technical at all: the audience identification factor.

Which is, simply put, this: if I don’t care about the people fighting, I don’t care about the fight.

Conflict is the essence of story. You don’t have a conflict, you don’t have a story; battles are just the most extreme version of this truth in fiction. But simply having a conflict isn’t enough to make it a good story; it’s everything that surrounds and fuels and emerges from the conflict that does that. In other words, conflict is a necessary but not sufficient condition of story.

The actual battle part of the Battle of Two Rivers hardly takes any time at all, either in real-time length or in the amount of narrative space it is allotted. And yet this sticks out in my mind as one of my favorite battle scenes in any medium, and the reason is because of how very much we are able to care about the people involved. Perrin’s pilgrimage around the village before the Trollocs arrive features some of the best writing in the series, in how powerfully it makes us (well, me, but I don’t think I’m alone here) ache for the Two Rivers folk, for the terrible seeming hopelessness of the situation they are placed in, and feel pride for the simple courage with which they meet it. And feel joy, along with them, when they are unexpectedly rescued.

The Wheel of Time series as a whole has its flaws, and has yet to be finished and judged as a whole. But I will say that as a microcosm story within the larger WOT story, the Two Rivers narrative in TSR strikes me as nigh perfectly executed; a deeply satisfying slice of catharsis while we’re waiting for the ultimate payoff.

So there.

More minor, less highflown notes on this chapter: The Trollocs shouting “ISAM!” was very effective in the clue-giving sense, but I’m still unclear on why exactly they were shouting it in the first place. I mean, don’t tell me they were actually mad that Slayer had gotten shot, and were all “win one for the Gipper” or whatever? ‘Cause, that seems a little out of species character, there.

In other news, I had to grin at Faile’s glee at getting to lead an army, and also liked that her remarks casually showed that not only is she a queen’s cousin, she is apparently also BFFs with said queen. No, I’d say Perrin has no idea what marrying her means.

And speaking of Verin, reading this from the perspective we now have – that the axe/hammer thing is specifically mentioned in the Prophecies of the Dragon – puts a completely different light on that comment. Originally, the fact that Verin repeats something that at this point had only been brought up by Ishamael and Lanfear made her seem very suspicious, but now it’s just like, duh, of course Verin knows about it; she’s probably read the Prophecies forwards and backwards and maybe side to side multiple times. Why she doesn’t feel the need to inform Perrin that he has a byline in the Prophecies is more problematic – or maybe not. She’s Verin; she’s sneaky.

Oh, and Fain is in this chapter.

So, wave bye-bye to Perrin and Co., guys, as Perrin will be the first of the Superboys to take on the role of Sir Not Appearing In This Novel, in The Fires of Heaven. See you in Lord of Chaos, Perrin! Have fun building a castle!

And see YOU on Wednesday, when we polish off this puppy. It’s gonna be legen... wait for it... DARY.

Elroy Skimms
1. elroyskimms
@ Leigh
Have fun building a castle!

Think it will work?

It would take a miracle!

Andrew Lovsness
2. drewlovs
Here is the high and low point for me in regards to Perrin. Most others seem to hate the whole “Faile is my everything” bit, but to me, that seems to make him the most real. After my wife and I married, I would have done just about anything for her, and she for me (so she says… hehe… its been 17 ½ years now). The first year of marriage is one of pure bliss, and if you don’t believe me, go listen to “When a man loves a woman” by Percy Sledge (skip the Michael Bolton cover for your own sanity).

But Perrin’s demeanor in regards to his ascension to the Lord of Two Rivers Dancing Association is just a bit much for me. I realize he isn’t interested in being a lord, but he DOES want to insure that the Two Rivers remains safe, and he also knows he is the best person for the job. Between Matt and Perrin, I would have thought Perrin would be the most likely to accept the fact that the Creator has big plans for him, regardless of what his opinion on the subject happens to be. Not a big deal overall, but I got very, very tired of the whole martyrdom aspect of Perrin’s.

Perhaps I’m a bit early with that, but I remember feeling this way the first time I read this book, and though it gets better at time, it is excruciating during others.

I actually found a piece of the first copy I have of FotH, and it started with the Perrin/Isam trolloc fight... unfortunately, it ended right before the grand finale. Blah.
F Shelley
3. FSS
...nice summary, but can we talk about breasts again?
4. zdrakec
If this were movie: Sigourney Weaver = Moghedien. :)
5. CalaLily
*spits out keyboard* NEW POST! :D

...You'd so get that if you read my last comment on part 19. >3>
Brian Kaul
6. bkaul
On an even frivolouser note, the word “curtsy” looks wrong no matter how I try to spell it. It’s annoying.

It's not surprising that "curtsy" would look awkward - it's essentially a contraction of something like "courtesy" (really, the French word for courteous) - a slurred spelling of any real word is bound to look wrong, even once it is established as a word itself, to say nothing of a slurred spelling of a foreign word.
7. toryx
Nynaeve taking on Moghedian is pure awesomeness. I love that she's sitting there trying to figure out how to get the Forsaken back to the White Tower. Nevermind that she's weeks away from the tower, and in the middle of a revolt.

Perrin's final chapter of TSR is definitely one of my favorite moments of the series. The culmination of the whole Two Rivers storyline in the book is just incredibly satisfying and I remember how bitterly disappointed I was when FoH finally came out and there wasn't a single chapter devoted to him.

On the other hand, there's far more of Nynaeve and Elayne in FoH than I'd generally like.
Kurt Lorey
8. Shimrod
This is why I like the character of Nynaeve so much.

Yes, she has some annoying habits and poorly developed interpersonal behavioral skills to start with, but she can (and does) stand up against a strong Forsaken. This puts her on the heroine chart for my part. Sure, Moiraine did so too, but only after seeing the potential outcomes in Rhuidean. Not quite the same.

I also still believe that RJ meant for the return of men and women working together with equal standing in Randland, and Nynaeve is going to be right there at the forefront (right, Rand?).

Besides, as she gains experience and knowledge, she becomes much easier to live with and makes an effort to control herself.

Finally, any woman that is worthy of a long-term relationship in Lan's eyes is more than OK in my book.

Got it, Nynaeve haters?

Re: the Trollocs yelling. Well, we really hadn't seen them in large numbers at a battle yet. Perhaps they were psyching themselves up like large numbers of warriors traditionally seemed to do, or Isam really made them start yelling to feed his own frustrated lack of a kingdom of his own. Or, maybe Isam just wanted to let the Two Rivers know who was coming for them?
9. Spook
The Nynaeve vs Moghedien standoff is the best girl fight in WOT. Cannot think of better one by heart.
Nynaeve is awesome!
James Jones
10. jamesedjones
Thanks, Leigh! Love the How I Met Your Mother reference at the end (season finale tonight).

I'm thinking that Elayne's justice serves a pretty apparent purpose. I mean, it's Amathera who ends up with Juilin. The Seanchan enslavement would likely have led to the whole broken nails and more entitlement condition without Elayne's after school special.
Dru O'Higgins
11. bellman
I don't understand why Nynaeve, after realizing that she couldn't get Moghedian out of the building, turned and walked away. Why isn't killing her an option?
Rikka Cordin
12. Rikka
Nynaeve does get her own little bit of badassery here. Of course she's all upset "I caught the Forsaken but then she escaped!" and focusing on the latter part, rather than the former. She gets her in the end anyway XD

Also, I totally didn't notice that Perrin wasn't in TFoH, which I just reread last week. Whoopsies >.>
13. alreadymadwhenNynpwndMoggy
Elayne getting scolded even while curtsying. Ha! She probably couldn't manage the proper meekness expected of a medieval servant.

On the whole, I like it that another one of our main characters aside from Rand is strong enough to match the Forsaken, but considering how swollen her head got afterward, Nynaeve's victory seems to have been a double edged sword. Nice one though. Score one for the good guys.

On the Two Rivers siege, Verin's being her usual sneaky self. I wonder if she connected Isam's name to the dark prophecy at Shienar. Or if she even knew that Isam was the last of Lan's bloodkin? She probably didn't tell Perrin about his place in the prophecies because he most likely had enough problems to be worrying about at the moment. The battle of Emond's Field, itself of course utterly rocked. Slayer's not gonna get a repeat of Mannetheren there.

Re: cheering ISAM! AFAIK when medieval armies chant a name, it's usually their battle leader's. So I'm guessing they're serving notice that Isam is alive and kicking.
Maggie M
14. Eswana
Oh man, this group of chapters is glorious.

First of all, you have both Nynaeve and Elayne being so amazing. They get a bad rap from some people, especially later in the series, but do I ever loves me some supergirls right about here.

One of the most important aspect of Nynaeve's fight with Moghedian was how it broke down the facade of the Forsaken's omnipotence, for both us as reader and the characters. At this point, the Forsaken really have been Big & Scary, and only Rand (an Moiraine, with balefire) had been able to beat them. Now Nynaeve pwns Moghedian, and it's like our whole worldview has shifted. Forsaken are human. They have weaknesses and they don't know everything.

Also, both Nynaeve, Elayne, Egeanin, Thom, Julian, and Doman all get to be Big Damn Heroes in this sequence. I love that they all have their own little parts to play in the ending.

The end of the Perrin /Two Rivers battle sequence is so beautiful. Oh Perrin, how I love you. At least until your wife gets herself captured, that is. But for now... mwah.

And Faile's awesomeness here--- just remember that when the times get tough, guys.

and as a minor point, I appreciate that Perrin doesn't automatically assume Faile will take his name. Very forward thinking and feminist, especially since FantasyLand is pretty medieval.

and @ Leigh:

OMG I'm so fangirl-pumped for tonight's HIMYM. I've wanted Barney and Robin to be together since Season One, so I'm pretty much trembling with excitement about tonight's season finale.
Luke M
15. lmelior
I think somebody mentioned before why the Trollocs used Isam as their battle cry, but I can't remember why and I can't find it. Anybody remember why?

The "before it gets out of hand" bit made me chuckle.

Stuttering in fear, Moghedien tries to bargain with Nynaeve, and Nynaeve gags her with Air; smiling, she asks Moghedien that she mentioned used her as a mounting block, did she?
I tripped over this sentence a couple times trying to figure out what was wrong. I believe "used" should be "using" there.
16. Rebecca Starr
Ch 54
Nynaeve, you rule! Thanks for the recap of it all, Leigh.

Ch 55
that said, doh Nynaeve what were you thinking??? Throwing the sad bracelets in the sea??? ::smackings:: I also love the touch about Elayne complaining about her feet, in the previous chapter and this one, and Nynaeve being so starkly confused thinking they've hardly walked at all. A beautiful touch to show their different backgrounds.

Ch 56
so Fain capers off madly, thinking he has a new plan to scourge "Manetheren" after this, but my memory is failing me. Have we seen any more Fain/Two Rivers related plots? I'm too hazy on KoD and CoT. or is this just a throwaway line?

as to the battle scene, yes, awesome. And the women of Emond's Field! the courage! Anyone who doubts that RJ writes strong women, this scene alone erases that. Just read it: "All up and down the line, as far as Perrin could see, the women were there."


I cry every time reading this scene. Talk about brilliant writing.
17. Rebecca Starr
"Also, I totally didn't notice that Perrin wasn't in TFoH, which I just reread last week. Whoopsies >.>"

haha Rikka, I just had the *exact* same thought. I think that might be the definition of "forgettable"...
18. CalaLily
@bellman: Because killing someone bound and gagged, even if they are UberEbil, is hard. I can see killing someone in personal defense in the heat of battle/struggle for your life, but after you've already captured them?

Premeditation like that...Well, if Nynaeve had killed Moghedien while she was essentially helpless, I'd be seriously questioning her role as one of Our Heroes.

Doesn't mean Moggy doesn't -deserve- death but either try her legally or kill her in a face-off.

I don't know, it just makes us feel better that way. Justified, I guess.

Another thing: I distinctly remember somewhere that blocks in channelers actually diminish their strength, or at least keep them from reaching their full One Power potential, so doesn't that mean that AFTER her block is broken Nynaeve would be -more- than capable of handling Moghedien in a face-to-face fight? Would she have as much trouble taking the Forsaken down as she did here?
Dru O'Higgins
19. bellman
I think Elayne's curtsy looks mocking because the Andor servants have been secretly mocking her for years.

Also, I assume Elayne's complaining about her feet because Amathera stomped on them before her escape attempt.
20. toryx
Shimrod @8

Much as I admire Nynaeve for taking on Moghedian and winning (and again later!) I'm not going to agree with you on Moiraine. Moiraine is every bit as impressive when it comes to taking out Forsaken.

Don't forget that Moiraine also killed Be'lal. She's got 2/2 so far. And Moiraine is also much more aware of her strength compared to a Forsaken...there's no way she can stand toe to toe with a Forsaken and win, yet she jumps right in anyway. Twice. Nynaeve only fought Moghedian in this chapter because she had no choice and immediately after (and through much of FoH) is scared to death of a rematch.

They're both made of awesome, but Moiraine definitely deserves some considerable admiration.
Michael Catapano
21. hoping
Rebecca Starr @16
I also tear up reading this chapter (umpteenth re-read) but it is just so powerful. It ranks right up there with the aiel history chapters as an example of why I love RJ.
Richard Fife
22. R.Fife
I really loved the way Nynaeave defeated moggy. Almost underhanded and so fitting. Almost makes you think Moggy shoulda screamed "you hit me! That's not fair!!!!"

Yes, for as much Nynaeve annoyance (not hate) as I feel, this is a MoA moment.

Also agree with the Perrin fight above mentioned being wonderful, and again, for the very reason. It was not technically amazing, nor overly complex, and even the "Look for on the dawning of the third day" moment was kinda expected, but just that we have developed such a strong bond for the characters that even seeing "routine" yet desperate fighting makes us swell up with anticipation and a little bit of that fear Samwise talks about in LotR ("It's so dark that you don't want to keep reading, because how could it possibly get better?"). So yeah, masterfully done.
23. wsean
Yeah, gotta love Nynaeve's moment there. "When's she gonna overpower me, when's she gonna overpower me... oh. She CAN'T."

As for Perrin/Duopotamia... totally agreed. Awesome story arc, and almost perfectly executed. By the end of TSR, Perrin and Faile are awesome, and great to read about. And then they disappear.

In fact, this seems to be a recurring theme with the disappearing mains. You get to where you're excited every time their POV comes up, and then they disappear. Rand in GH is awesome, then disappears for TDR. Perrin is awesome in TSR, then disappears for TFoH. Egwene is awesome in TPoD, then disappears for WH. Nynaeve is awesome in WH, then disappears for CoT (I think so anyway; haven't reread CoT in a long time). Mat is awesome all the time, so maybe this doesn't hold up for him. And Elayne we just wish would disappear.
John Fitzingo
24. Xandar01
RE: Moghedien getting away, I have always wondered if the balefire went through the space Mogi and Nyn were channel dueling and erased the shield Nyn had put on her. Yeah I know, Mogi says she unties or whatever, but she is a foresaken and could be lying or stretching the truth a bit.

Any thoughts?

Also what did happen to Jeaine?
AJ MacPherson
25. Mackey62
I never thought of the whole curtsy (curtsying?) thing that way. I always thought it was the servants mocking Elyane, goes with the whole nose in the air line of thinking, but I think that Leigh's explanation makes more sense. That is why I am loving this re-read (besides the breast discussions, kidding) everyone's different views just keeps opening up the series even more. I am really looking forward to starting my re-read in the next couple of months to be done by november after all these great discussions.

As always, thanks Leigh.
26. toryx
wsean @ 23.

As I recall, Mat also disappears in PoD. Which made no sense to me at all. Given that Path of Daggers refers to a Seanchan saying and Mat at that point is totally involved in Seanchan issues, I never did understand how he could disappear completely in a book of that title.
Antoni Ivanov
27. tonka
One thing to note is In KOD after the battle at Malden Perrin and co. are heading north where the Whitecloaks lead by Galad are (and Byar and Mr. Bornhald ). Now that will be interesting encounter on many levels- Morgase and Galad; Perrin and Byar/Bornhald and Masema is somewhere and maybe one of the Forsaken (theory).Yeah, We are going to wait till November for that.

Anyway, Great Recap ! And I love that chapter. There are probably like 20-25 chapters from all books that shine for me, a lot, blinding me, and this is one of them.

And a few quotes that I liked but weren't mentioned by Leigh.

Loial first.

Do you think I would run away? he had said when Perrin suggested he could slip off into the night after Faile. His ears had dropped with weariness and hurt. I came with you, Perrin, and I will stay until you go. And then he had laughed suddenly, a deep booming sound that almost rattled the dishes. Perhaps someone will even tell a story of me, one day. We do not go in for such things, but there could be an Ogier hero, I suppose. A joke, Perrin. I made a joke. Laugh. Come, we will tell each other jokes, and laugh, and think of Faile flying free.

“It is no joke, Loial,” Perrin murmured as he rode along the lines of men, trying not to listen to their cheers. “You are a hero whether you want to be or not.”

And sneaky Verin.

“I am a little surprised to see you and Alanna still here,” he told her. “Hunting girls who can learn to channel can’t be worth getting killed. Or keeping a string tied to a ta’veren, either.”

“Is that what we are doing?” Folding her hands at her waist, she tilted her head to one side thoughtfully. “No,” she said at last, “I do not think we could go quite yet. You are a very interesting study, as much as Rand, in your own way. And young Mat. Could I only split myself into three, I would latch one onto each of you and follow you every moment of the day and night even if I had to marry you.”
Helen Peters
28. Helen
OK, now I'm not condoning Nyn killing Moggy in cold blood, but she noticed that when she slapped the shield in place it had gone blunt so only shielded rather than stilled her. Why didn't she have another go with a 'sharp' shield and get the job done? OK I know it would have b******d up the later books, but still...
29. CalaLily
Helen: good point. Maybe she couldn't have stilled her without removing the shield, and she was too tired to fight Moghedien again. Big risk. :\
Don Johnson
30. Paracelsus
What does Fain mean when he says this quote?

"That’s meant to be Manetheren’s banner. Someone had told them of Manetheren, had they? What did these fools know of the glories of Manetheren? Manetheren. Yes. There was more than one way to scourge them."

I am sure there are many ways to interpret this, but I always read it that Fain was going to find some way to get back at Manetheren. Kind of like Mordeth talking through and seeing what way he can strike at the ta'veren. I thought maybe Fain was hatching a plan in this quote that he hasn't executed yet.

Otherwise, maybe Fain is just insane and he is madly rambling.

Any other ideas?
Blake Engholm
31. UncrownedKing
On Nyn:
Nyn: "Shield and Air Gag FTW"
Moggy: "Grovel grovel"

Someone already asked this, but really why doesn't kill her? or at least beat her to a pulp? or a braid pull at her?

My favorite scene in WOT bar none. OK so there might be others, but its def. in my top 2.
Whitecloaks: They suck-again! Were they born @$$holes? grr again
Faile: Peak-o-awesome here.
Alanna built the catapults? Never realized this. Kinda always thought it was ole' Tam knowledge.
Perrin! Have fun building a castle!

Inigo Montoya: Are you the Miracle Max who worked for the king all those years?
Miracle Max: The King's stinking son fired me, and thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it? We're closed.
32. The M'Hael
In my copy of the book at the end of Chapter 54 it says that Nynaeve is going to where she is supposed to meet the others and she hopes that EGWENE didn't have as much trouble as her. Gotta love 1st edition typos.

Looking ahead at my dust jacket of Fires of Heaven it calls Elaida, Flaida.
33. wsean
toryx @26

Argh, yeah, that's probably the most annoying thing about PoD. One of the best characters is completely absent.

I really just meant that there was no particular corresponding moment of awesomeness in the previous book, as there were with the other characters. Since Mat's awesomeness is a constant from TDR onward. :)
Brad Moore
34. servantcbm
Regarding the BTR:

This scene has always reminded me of the Ia Drang Valley battle depicted in 'We Were Soldiers Once... and Young.'

So I find it eminently believable and the whole thing with the women joining in the line is moving. I think that one of RJ's great strengths is in conveying deep emotion into his scenes in a subtle way.

IMO, Faile has her best moment here, I remember tearing up the first time she appeared on the hillside with the Watch Hiller's.

Ny & Mog:

I remember thinking 'Wow, N is really incredible' at this point. Made of Awesome as it would be said here!

This series of chapters has to be one of the high points of the whole series for me.
Dru O'Higgins
35. bellman
Helen @28

I think Nynaeve killing Moggy is something that works for the character (remember that since N. was a child she's been taught how evil the Forsaken are) but might very well make N. look bloodthirsty to the reader.

If you can't reapply a shield over a existing one, club M. unconscious, remove the shield and re-apply.
Richard Fife
36. R.Fife
I don't think the "Still them with a shield" works unless they are holding the power. To still/gentle while the person is shielded is a different technique that seems to require a circle of 13.
37. Mark-S
Yeah, I think Nyn killing a defenseless female would be out of character for any of the Two River Folk. And I always thought that Elayne's servants were mocking her with their curtsies also. Interesting take on that. Thank you.
Blake Engholm
38. UncrownedKing
Blake Engholm
39. UncrownedKing
@36 R.Fife
Does it really make a difference if the person is shielded? Has there been anything so far (or later) to prove this? I remember Rand having no difficulties going on a "if it moves, severe it from the source" mood once he gets outta da box in LoC, but then again the girls he stilled were not being shielded at the time....

So I am ignorant and in the dark again.

EDIT= Will someone tell me why it double posts sometimes??? I look mildly tool-like when this happens. Apologies guys
Antoni Ivanov
40. tonka

Yes actually I think that Fain's comment refers to that he is going to Caemlyn to influence Morgase and use the flag of Manetheren as a pretext that this is a rebellion and send soldiers in TR.Fain is a dangerous guy and with enough time around Morgase who knows what he could have done. Aridhol again maybe. Fortunately it didn't turn out that way. Of course that's because Rahvin is already there and Fain probably find out that. The next time we see him is in Tar Valon.

And Mordeth and Manetheren don't have anything in common .Except that both come from the same time/years. But Manetheren was a thorn in the shadow. While Mordeth was against the Shadow but ... well you know the story.
Richard Fife
41. R.Fife
again, the AS he stilled were holding the power in addition to not being sheilded. No clue if it would really matter for the "not currently channeling" shielding, but I would imagine that when the AS take a man to the Traitor's Court to be gentled, they don't unshield him before they sever him, and it is mentioned that a circle of 13 is the "traditional" number of AS used to gentle a man or still a woman.
42. hummingbird
"I realize he isn’t interested in being a lord, but he DOES want to insure that the Two Rivers remains safe, and he also knows he is the best person for the job."

IS it martyrdom? I have to say that I do not read it as such. Born leaders. True leaders. Are not in it for the glory. They care little for the fanfare - in fact, often they think that all the pomp and circumstance gets in the way of their job. THEIR JOB. How many firefighters who run into a fire when everyone else is running out, how many officers of the law who face down gunman when everyone else is ducking for cover, how many military soldiers wounded in battle say "I was just doing my job".

It was discussed previously in ??? chapter(s) that while the boys (and supergirls) are Taavern they are also all innately talented. Perrin would be a leader no matter what. He knows that it is his responsibility to do what needs to be done in the Two Rivers, keeping them safe as such. And really doesnt want all the fanfare involved. He wants to do his job. He doesnt see it as hero-like. Just doing what needs to be done.
43. jafco
Great recap, Leigh.

This is altogether a great book and it's no wonder that so many of us love this multitudinous roster of men and women who rise on occasion to greatness. It's what keeps us coming back for more (I've forgot how many times I've read these bloody things). I just hope Sanderson can do the characters justice in the final however many books to come.
44. Toryx
Paracelsus @ 30

I believe that Fain's plan to use Manetheren against them was in going to Caemlyn and telling whoever would listen that the Two Rivers had raised Manetheren's flags.

Given that talk of the flag being risen was what brought Morgase out of her stupor, I suspect that's exactly what he did. Only it backfired because Morgase didn't have the power to stomp it down and Rahvin didn't care.
Blake Engholm
45. UncrownedKing
@41 ahh yes But is the circle needed because its required or is it just because they are weak in the power? Nyn is significantly stronger in the OP, so would she require 13 people? I know that a 13circle is stronger than her but....

I am not being contradictory, just curious is all.
Tracy Long
46. BookFairy
I love these chapters so much …….I can’t even begin to articulate…….

Nynaeve = squealing happy dance

Perrin Goldeneyes becomes favorite character

Perrin Goldeneyes = goose bumps

Two Rivers People = awesome

Oh I give up.

Leigh I totally agree. What you said.
48. Freelancer
RE: Verin

Yes, yes, sneaky on a stick. But I think she has previously alluded to her reason for not revealing all, when it comes to what she knows. She wants to observe ta'veren at work (or so she says), and she doesn't want to magnify the observer effect by adding a variable to the behavior being observed. In essence, if she tells them something of what may be coming their way, it will change how they act in anticipation, and she won't be seeing the pure, concentrated ta'veren effect. ("Now be careful with that!")

And Leigh, another P.B. reference?


Just in case it seemed otherwise, I'm not a Nynaeve-hater. I am trying to follow Leigh's lead, and respond to a character based on the story-state the re-read is in. Up to ... NOW, she has been nothing but a pain. Now the worm turns. We see her contrite (though she admits hating it), we see her considerate (decides to stop trying to hate Egeanin), we see her insanely courageous. Yeay, Nynaeve! As for Lan, he sees a woman hard enough to deal with him, as hard as he's become.


It was Verin who defined Isam for us at Fal Dara, so she definitely knows. The real question, that I'd been waiting for someone to bring up, is this:
1. The dark prophecy puts Luc and Isam together
2. "Lord Luc" has spouted off about his claim to a Borderland throne, or his Andoran throne
3. There's no way Verin misses all those connections

Why isn't she saying or doing anything? She can't be so much into just observing events that she'd pretend to ignore something so large.

RE: Elayne's "mocking" curtsy

Leigh is on the mark with this one. A serving girl shows courtesy to the head maid or head cook in a totally different manner than to a lord or lady. So a scullion giving to the head cook the level of diffidence reserved for a noble would be seen as mocking, and earn a thump on the noggin, or at least a spanking.

RE: Moghedien getting away

As we learn form Lews-In-The-Box, what all the forsaken know, when a shield is tied off and left, it can be untied. When it is held, there is no knot, or hard spot, to take action upon. So once Nynaeve leaves her behind, Moggy is working that knot on the instant.


Don't forget Galad/Berelain, the "ultimate hook-up", in so many minds.


Definitely Mordeth talking. He has unpleasant memories of Manetheren. I'm guessing that he has lots of new plans, but he feels more strongly about going to get his dagger first, so he's off to Tar Valon.

RE: Nynaeve letting Moggy go

The hero doesn't kill the defenseless evil-doer. It blurs the distinction between the two, in that it's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. The good guys must win while doing good, or winning is almost as bad as losing.
Tony Zbaraschuk
49. tonyz
Nynaeve is probably also not thinking straight from fatigue and the sheer adrenalin rush of BEATING one of THE FORSAKEN (insert drum roll). Also, keep in mind that Nynaeve is not particularly adept at learning _about_ the One Power (as opposed to doing stuff with it); if she's had the lesson on shielding yet she probably hasn't fully absorbed the fact that people can break through shields. (After all, Joiya stayed shielded for weeks, why shouldn't Moghedien be just as harmless?)

Elayne has some nice moments here, and though nothing quite matches Nynaeve I have a weak moment for her braid-walking Amathera across the floor when she finally loses her temper with the woman. And Egeanin's volunteering to go with the two into the Panarch's palace is a great moment for her as well.

Nothing quite beats Perrin's moment of awesome, though. (Well, until the _next_ climactic scene in this book, when Rand and Asmodean's hands both close around the same statuette at the same instant). It's incredibly well done.
John Fitzingo
50. Xandar01
Jaim looked doubtful, but then he brightened, a wide grin spreading across his face. “Wait till I tell Had Lord Perrin called me cousin!” And he darted away to tell Had, who would have children, too, and all the other boys who would, one day. The sun stood straight overhead. An hour, maybe. It had all taken no more than an hour. It felt like a lifetime.

These few sentences are awesome. Perrin regaining some family after he has lost so much is especially heart wrenching. Followed by his observation of how stress can skew ones sense of time, it makes the battle seem even more intense even though it's already done. I also got a real kick out of Had's "girl's are icky" line just before this; all this emotional buildup and RJ cracks in a little bit of humor.
Deborah Jones
52. NanaD
Wasn't it explained somewhere that when Rand untied the shield the AS had on him that the power recoiled much like a broken rubber band and caused their stilling?

Or maybe I dreamed it.
53. Aegnor
"I think Elayne's curtsy looks mocking because the Andor servants have been secretly mocking her for years."

No. It has nothing to do with Andor servants mocking Elayne, as that would be completely out of character. That would only happen if she were obviously incompetent and stupid. That's not the case of course.

The curtsy thing is due to the fact that servants don't curtsy to other servents. Think of it like a bratty teenager responding to her mother's orders to clean up her room by curtsying and saying "Yes your magesty". The mother would interpret it correctly as being mocking. This is how the cook interpreted Elayne's curtsy.
54. jlyman
I do love the battle for the Two Rivers! The whole build up, the battle itself and the whole reaction of everyone afterward. Artful writing takinig the reader around the whole perimeter and naming off all the people that we have come to know and Perrin's relationships with all of them. It helps to create that emotional connection that we need to really worry about the fate of each and every one of them, not just our hero.

Oh! And the women coming to hold the line with the men, pure coolness to me.

RE: Nyneave and Moghedien. I just love this scene for a movie! I picture the two facing off against each other with all the special effect wizardry spinning around them as they try to cut each other off from the Source. Then cut to some old servant with a push broom sweeping up the museum, whistling Toss the Feathers or something no less. He looks up and sees two women glaring at each other, shrugs and goes back to his work, shambling out of the room before we cut back to the FX fest.

Just hilarious in my opinion.

Anyway... back to your regularly scheduled comments...
55. alreadymadwhenmoggygotpwnd
Nynaeve didn't still/kill her on sight because she wants to see Moggy tried for her crimes. Stilling and shielding is just like killing someone by hitting him upside the head with a club. It's all a matter of scale in amount of the Power used. The reason a circle is usually used is simply to increase the Power used, but one who is powerful enough can do it alone.
Moggy got away because she knew how to unravel a shield. A lost Talent in modern times, nobody in the Tower knows how it is done, but apparently known to the AoL's biggest players(LTT and most of the forsaken). The only requirement for this is that the shield must be tied off. If it is being maintained, it cannot be unraveled and the only option is to overpower the ones holding it. Rand does a combination of these two in Dumai's wells. First he unraveled the ones that were knotted, then he overpowered the remaining three who were maintaining it.
Don't know about any rebound. I figure he just tracked the threads of Power back to the source and crushed them in fists of Power, which I take to be the male analogy for shielding/stilling.
Ellie Virgo
56. Egglie
I love love love this fight between Nyneave and Moggie. The mental image of them just standing there but they are actually giving it all they have got is fantastic.

I also love the climax of the TR story, if the wedding had me sniffling this had me in floods - every time, and I can't even remember how many times I have re-read these books. TSR is my favorite book of the series.

re: Elayne's curtsy, I always thought that she just wasn't such a good mimic as she thought she was and did a crap job. Leigh's explanation is better though.

Yay sneaky Verin! where do we find out that the Hammer/Axe issue is in the prophesies of the dragon? I know its in Seanchan prophesy but I don't remember anyone else on this side of the Aryth ocean knowing about it. Please jog my memory someone?

Xandar01@24 Jeaine Caide turns up again in tFoH when Moggie sends liandrin's gang off on little jobs about randland so she obviously survives the balefire rod. Maybe she knocked herself out with a block of falling masonry? :-)

Freelancer@48 Verin does not know who Isam is in tGH, we find out because its a Moiraine POV and she does know. "Who Isam is, or what he has to do with Luc, I do not know, however" blood calls blood, tGH. I suppose it would be foolish to assume that she has not made an effort to find out by now though.
Antoni Ivanov
57. tonka
48. Freelancer

What Mordeth has to do with Manetheren . Please give me one link between Mordeth.One single. Just one, besides that both come from the Trolloc Wars. What grudge could Mordeth have against Manetheren. None in my opinion.

Mordeth becomes counselor to King Balwen Mayel of Aridhol. He corrupts the king and the city so they finally consume themselves leaving only Mordeth alive. (TEotW,Ch19)

And Manetheren was destroyed during the Trolloc Wars. About two hundred years into the Wars, a massive force of Trollocs and Dreadlords attacked wiping out most of the Manetheren forces and finally killing King Aemon. Queen Eldrene, feeling his death. Countered with a blast of the One Power that wiped out the Trolloc army but also destroyed her and the entire city of Manetheren as well. (TEotW,Ch9)

And the only link between Manetheren and Aridhol is this :
Prince Caar of Manetheren went to Aridhol to bring them back to the Light. After he was imprisoned, another force from Manetheren went to Aridhol but found it deserted. (TEotW,Ch19)

Nothing talks of personal grudge from Mordeth to Aridhol. He hates the TDO, Rand, Perrin and Mat. And that is.
Jay Dauro
58. J.Dauro

I always loved the "mocking" curtsy, partially because Elayne will never get it.

When Nyneave apologizess for not keeping her eye on the ball, I figure she doesn't understand that the others are staring because SHE JUST BEAT MOGHEDIEN, Nyneave sees it as censure, but it is really awe. And Elayne twigs to this. With just a bit of a smile.

And thanks for the direct quote of Perrin's letter. I can't even think of that without tearing up. Perrin can't write the way that women want...

So, did Faile ever find it? (No, it doesn't say yes or no, but it's one of the things I like to ask.)

Eswana @14

"Broke down the facade..." I had never thought about this section like that, but what a great way to put it. Exactly how I felt, but never saw consciously.

Almost every main character in WOT has moments when I feel they need a dope slap (TM Car Talk), but I find that I can forgive most of them. Heck, I've even needed one myself at times.
Ofer Nave
59. odigity
Awesome recap, but that first super-paragraph made me dizzy. :)

The first Padan Fain/Slayer tournament (battle via surrogate armies in the Two Rivers) ends in a draw. When we next see Slayer, it's in Far Madding in WH, where Padan Fain just happens to be as well. As Verin would say, "interesting".

I've mentioned it before, but here's another example - I love wasted actions, like Perrin's letter here. He writes it, but ends up not needing it. It adds a lot of realism when something like this happens, rather than ever action being crucial and causal within the plot. (Yes, I know the letter served the reader by developing Perrin's character, but plot-wise, it remains unused.) I think the example I used last time was Juilin stealing three sul'dam dresses for the Ebou Dar escape and then being annoyed when they're not needed.

A note on battle durations - this is something that is very consistent across fantasy literature, but it still bugs me. Aren't battles in real life extremely short? You're either killing or being killed multiple times a minute. If the period is 30 seconds on average, then if you start with 1,000 vs 1,000 of equal skill, after 30 seconds you should be left with 500 vs 500, after 60 seconds 250 vs 250, etc, down to everyone dead within 5 minutes. Off the top of my head, the only popular fiction that got this right was the movie Braveheart. Battles that last longer than 5 minutes are not crowd-on-crowd battles, they're more two-sides-with-cover-and-ranged-weapons battles.

toryx@20: Moiraine is every bit as impressive when it comes to taking out Forsaken.

Don't forget that Moiraine also killed Be'lal. She's got 2/2 so far. And Moiraine is also much more aware of her strength compared to a Forsaken...there's no way she can stand toe to toe with a Forsaken and win, yet she jumps right in anyway. Twice. Nynaeve only fought Moghedian in this chapter because she had no choice and immediately after (and through much of FoH) is scared to death of a rematch.

You beat me to it. :) I can still add that Moiraine also willingly faced Aginor at the end of EotW, the first every character in the story to do so. So that's three times, with little hope of surviving each time.

I admit that Nynaeve has very admirable qualities and achievements, but on her best day she's no Moiraine.

And now I'll suggest a topic: parallels of the Two Rivers to Revolutionary War-era colonial America. Discuss. (how about them longbows, eh?)
60. tamyrlink

my thoughts exactly on elayne's curtsy

Nynaeve: so at this point she matches moghedien right? cuz im assuming since she just started channeling - what like a year at this point? - she's not yet reached her full potential. imo ive always ranked moghedien and mesaana as the weakest of the female forsaken in the OP. (then Semirhage(coolest name btw), Graendal, Lanfear). anyway, i think in New Spring it was Moiraine said she would leave the tower and not come back for 5 years when she was at her full potential. so that 5 years, plus her 3 as novice, and 3 as accepted, makes 11.

so going by Moiraine's example it takes a woman roughly 10 years to reach her full potential.

umm i lost my train of thought......i guess what im sayin is Nyn isnt as strong as she can be yet, while moggy is....

Verin: i heart Verin. specially in WH, where im at in my reread.

Alanna: didnt know she built the catapaults. but im not surprised. she's green ajah. im pretty sure once they pick the ajah they have to start learning about battles and stuff. i think the Green Ajah will surprise a lot of ppl at the last battle.

The Womens Circle: i love that part! also makes me think matts sisters will be some bad ass AS. cuz how many novices face trollocs (sans OP)before goin to the White Tower?

Perrin: he's cool but not my favorite. he's too moody or gloomy or whatever for me. especially when his bird gets stolen later on.

why doesnt the myddraal just turn sideways into a shadow and leave?

how did fain know his dagger was in the white tower?

and leighs "oh, and fain is in this chapter." line was hilarious.
61. tamyrlink
okay the whole: taking moghedien to trial thing.

how exactly would that trial go?

would they make her swear on the oath rod to tell no lies, then make her confess to stuff? not knocking any of the evil she's done, but considering the 3000 odd years that have passed, wouldnt she be technically out of their jurisdiction?
62. RobSS
tamyrlink @ 61

Good point but no Statute of limitations on Murder.
Richard Fife
63. R.Fife
I doubt a little thing like Ex Post Facto is going to stop the White Tower. Anyway, to Moggy, she only committed those atrocities like a year or two ago.
Alice Arneson
64. Wetlandernw
Argh. Now I'm going to have to go back and do some research. I was pretty sure Mordeth had something particular against Manetheren, but I can't lay my hands on it now. I do remember that the Amyrlin at the time was envious of Queen Ellisande, and betrayed Manetheren because of it. Maybe I'm mixing stories... Anyone remember for sure?

I also have to point out in Ny's defense (?) that in the heat of battle, she had every intention of stilling Mog, trial or not. Once Mog was shielded and captured, Nyn went back to a more lawful "take her back for trial" mentality, but she certainly never intended to let her go. (I don't think Ny would have known that a shield could be broken if it was tied instead of held.) The only reason Mog got away was the interruption of the BA with the balefire. I'm pretty sure that given the choice, Ny would have killed her without trial rather than risk her getting away. For some unfathomable reason, Jeaine didn't give her that choice.
Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
Just because I found it and we so often get onto the subject, here's a quote from RJ:

By the by, I’ve seen a lot of comment, apparently from men, that my female characters are unrealistic. That’s because women are, for the most part, consummate actresses who allow men to see exactly what they intend men to see. Get behind the veil sometimes, boys, and your hair will turn white. I’ve been there, and mine went white and didn’t stop there; a great deal of it actually turned dark again, the shock to my system was so great. Believe me, I mild it down so as not to scare any males into mental breakdowns.
It was just way too good to not share. ;)
66. Perrin5454
@59 Odigity

Battles are not geometric progressions. Historically, most ancient battles were little more than shoving matches until one side or the other broke. The vast majority of the killing was done by the cavalry pursuing a broken enemy. THe reason for this is the inherent unwillingness of most humans to kill another human. This can be overcome through technology and training. For instance, modern armies use man shaped targets during training so that when an enemy appears, the soldier responds exactly as they have been trained. In the ancient world, the romans were very successful at using training combined with technology. The romans used a short bladed stabbing sword, because it is easier to teach someone to stab then it is to use a longer bladed slashing sword. Additionally, the stabbing motion is more effective and causes less anxiety to the person doing the killing.
THere is a famous quote from those times about armies that I will paraphrase something like this "out of 100 fighting men, 90 are nothing but walking casualties and shouldn't even be there, 9 are fighters and they make the army, but one, ah one is a WARRIOR and he will bring the rest home.
In practical terms, only about 2% of the human population do not have this innate prohibition against killing other humans which is what that ancient quote talks about. If you are interested in my source material, this is all covered in greater depth in LTC Grossman's book, On Killing.

Now, as for fantasy, a battle where only 10% of the armies fight and almost no one is actually killed until they run away, well that just wouldn't be good fiction, so we end up with stories where everyone fights like demons. Not that I'm complaining, it makes for good reading
67. alreadymadwhenmoggyslinkedoff
On Moggy's trial: Most sisters would think it's a mere formality at this point, so it'll be a very short affair. With at least one attempted plea bargain. In any case most of the problem will be proving that she is indeed Moggy. Particularly given that all victims and witnesses have been dead for 3 thousand years. The crimes stand though, and are well documented by oral tradition(as the prosecution would call it) or hearsay(what the defense would call it). Jurisdiction is the least of the technicalities to worry about since the present White Tower considers itself the direct descendant of the Hall of Servants of the AoL.
Luke M
68. lmelior
Hello, people of various gender!
At first I thought that this meant you are only greeting people who belong to more than one gender.

Speaking of gender, did you know that on Sulawesi in Indonesia there are 5 genders? Sex (male, female, hermaphrodite) and gender (man, woman, calabai, calalai, bissu) are considered separate. They have very strict gender roles, so a man that adheres primarily to a woman's role is considered calabai, literally "false woman," and a woman that performs a man's role is calalai. Only hermaphrodites can become bissu, who are priests that perform various spiritual ceremonies.
Kurt Lorey
69. Shimrod
toryx, I'll give you Aginor (which she lost, btw), but Belal was distracted and so hardly counts.

Yeah, with everyone who said that a servant bowing at a noble would be WAY different that acknowledging a common supervisor.

And I agree that Nynaeve (especially, as a Wisdom) would not be prone to being a killer. Easy for us to say it sitting in a chair knowing what we know. Far more difficult to actually consumate the act face to face.

Most movies do not depict sword battles very well. The Soviet Alexander Nevsky was pretty good.

I imagine once the two sides came to grips, it became a seesaw exchange of hacks, slashes, stabbing, blocking back and forth. It is my impression that a battle where 1000s of enemy were slain in the line would take a minimum of several hours to accomplish. Seems to me I've read of ancient battles going on for five hours or longer before the outcome was decided. Tiring. So, upon occasion both sides might have paused to catch their breath.
70. Planeswalker
Manetheren Battle: Awesome...goosebumps...tears... women brave...TR folk cool...f*ck Whitecloaks...Fain=Golum forever...

Nynaeve: Didn't like her character first. But taking Moggy as damane later is a character boost. Her awesomeness started here.

Thom/Juilin/Domon: Supergirls should thank them. Talk about being grateful (that's why i still don't like these girls.)

Perrin/Faile: Hayyyy... things you do for love...

Great recap Leigh. There are still great scenes/paragraphs you missed, but we just can't rewrite the whole chapters here now, do we? :)
71. SusanB
After reading this MoA battle, I got really sad when I realized that we would not get to read the pure Jordan version of the Final Battle. That would have been incredible.
Richard Boye
72. sarcastro
Ah, my favorite One-Two punch in the whole damned saga.

The whole point about Nynaeve wondering why Moghedien wasn't about to let fly with all her OP whupass - she wasn't because she already was!!!!! was written so smoothly and coherently and realistically from Nynaeve's POV, and I loved how Nynaeve's penchant for the occasional corporal violence saves the day here - Moghedien could probably have done something in Advanced OP Technique to prevail, so Nynaeve basically hit her with a hard metal object. Moghedien loses her concentration and flees. I also loved the offhand comment about how Rahvin would basically soil himself the day he meets Nynaeve unblocked (or was that elsewhere?)

Hooray Nyn!!

The Battle of Emmond's Field is hands down my favorite episode in this series - it makes you feel all desperate and panicky and admiring of the Dupotamian hausfraus as they join in, in what probably would have been a futile effort but for Faile and the Calvary literally saving the day.

Love, love. I also have a small special place in my heart for Egwene's mother calmly severing the spinal cord of a trolloc with a kitchen knife.

Do Not Mess With Mrs. al'Vere!

(Mat's sisters doing for another with spears and shears also makes me squee, no matter how silly that actually is)

I once was really admiring of Elayne's cold and commanding presence in this chapter as she walks in to confront a room of unknown danger and unknown number of BA and wins! - but this habit of imperious, oblivious intrepidity basically backfires hardcore on her in later books and gets a whole lot of sympathetic sensible Aes Sedai and Kinswomen killed. So bad Elayne. bad, bad.
Ofer Nave
73. odigity
Perrin5454@66: Battles are not geometric progressions... THe reason for this is the inherent unwillingness of most humans to kill another human...

Now, as for fantasy, a battle where only 10% of the armies fight and almost no one is actually killed until they run away, well that just wouldn't be good fiction, so we end up with stories where everyone fights like demons. Not that I'm complaining, it makes for good reading

That's interesting, and some of it matches something I heard recently at an Appleseed Project event (weekend rifle training/Revolutionary War history combo) about how 4 out of 5 soldiers in WWII never fired a shot (I might be misremembering this slightly), and that even most soldiers are reluctant to kill when the time comes. Which matches my understanding of human nature (it's not in our nature to kill except in fight or die scenarios), and certainly gives me hope for the future.

But, as you said, that's not how battles in fantasy are. In this case, trollocs love killing, and the villagers are aggressively killing back in an immediate struggle to live, so wouldn't one in fact expect exactly a geometric progression here? So doesn't my point still stand?
74. Wolfmage
It's interesting observing the strong anti-authoritarian streak running through some of these commentaries against Nyneave. IRL I have that streak in spades, harbouring great dislike for people who bully or strike out at others arbitrarily, so it makes me wonder why I like Nyneave so much.

I guess it must be about context. Much of the animosity seems to be focused on her character flaws like rudeness, but going from the comments, it also seems to rely heavily on her reign of terror as Wisdom, which we mostly get through third-hand accounts. Now having spent obviously ample on-screen time with Nyneave and experiencing her tongue through other shoes, I'm certainly in no position to dispute this, but something about it being off-screen and obviously tied to RJ's efforts to build a larger-than-life, infamous character prevents me from personalising it. Those alleged arbitrary bottom switching and stick beatings probably took place, but it just isn't that salient for me in evaluating the character.

I also think a true reading of Two Rivers life and culture suggests that the local women and the Women's Circle did their fair share of bullying and cajoling the men, so singling out Nyneave seems a bit excessive. I think you find support for this from both Perrin and Mat memories of Rand being run around by Egwene, Mistress Luhhan outside the forge, and all kind of other incidents which reflect poorly on the women by the same standards. Maybe Nyneaves stands out more, but I don't think she is a monster of injustice in the same way that our impressions of particularly strict teachers may relax with the maturity of time.

Indeed, the more I read the series I find that whilst I do tire of certain characters, Nyneave is not one of them. She is an anchor in the story for me who stays broadly sympathetic. Of course, she has annoying moments - but it's shrug-off-able with that sense of familiarity you might have about a curmudgeonly Aunty or Uncle who is good to have on your side during a dispute.

I think that sympathetic frame was originally established for me with her first true appearance in the story as an independent actor, when she arrived at the Stag and Lion in Baerlon. Her courage in leaving by herself, her determination in getting there, her implicit success in getting past Hightower, and her loyalty and sensitivity in dealing with Rand were all strongly impressed upon me - and those qualities stand uppermost in my mind.

Anyway, I love this scene because it is basically an early triumph for Nyneave, against a Foresaken no less, before RJ's slowly begins the process of emasculating her character through Egwene, Cadsuane, and senior Kin.
Maggie M
75. Eswana
Wolfmage @ 74
Anyway, I love this scene because it is basically an early triumph for Nyneave, against a Foresaken no less, before RJ's slowly begins the process of emasculating her character through Egwene, Cadsuane, and senior Kin.

I agree. however... wouldn't that be more like affeminizing? Since Nynaeve is a woman? (or whatever the actual antonym is)

But yes, I was so irritated in later books when those you mentioned (as well as the freaking Sea Folk--- grr) start smacking her around. She's so awesome, it makes me very frustrated.
76. Lisamarie
Man, I forgot just how much awesomeness was packed into this book.

As much as killing Moghedien would make things SO much easier, I don't agree with the notion that one is obligated to kill somebody or else be responsible for their crimes afterwards. I just don't think the end justifies the means that much. The person who commits the crimes is responsible; performing an evil action, even if it is to prevent evil, isn't kosher in my book (and I am not saying that killing Moghedien WOULD have been definitely an evil action...I'm really not sure...but I'm just speaking in generalities).

lmelior @ 68
That's very interesting. And you know, I've often wished we could be similar in the sense that roles weren't as tied to biological sex. Really, you don't even need the multiple roles so could just say, I'm a female who is masculine, or a female who is feminine.

But at the same time, why have strict gender roles at all? Who says that I as a female can't be both, depending on the situation? I do think there are some differences, both biologically/hormonally (which do influence how we think, feel, react, etc) and also something on a spiritual level, but I don't think it's the type of differences that we tend to demarcate in gender roles. And even if, say, women are generally better at this thing or that thing just because of genetic predilections, it doesn't mean that men can't also learn how to be good at it. Give the human race some credit, and down with biological determinism! ;)

I will say that I do find the idea of gender roles more palatable if both are seen as equally powerful and valuable, even if it's in different spheres, and each role is subordinate to the other in some way. It's not perfect because it can be rigid and it sucks if you don't fit in the role that your biological gender sticks you in (which is why I think the above system is nifty because it at least has the option of 'crossing over', but I can see how it can also be a good way to organize a society.
Lannis .
77. Lannis
Ah, such wonderful chapters! Love 'em! Thanks for the recap, Leigh! :)

Anyone know why Nynaeve's shield didn't still Moghedien as she planned? I'm assuming that it's because of Moggy's strength, but what are the chances it has something to do with her connection to the Dark One? Ideas? Anyone?

R.Fife @ 22: re: Nynaeve's underhanded win... YES! I feel like Moghedien should be screaming "foul! Bad form!"

Re: Sir Not Appearing In This Novel... k... I know I'm not the only one who flipped through the chapter icons to find out if someone was in the book or not--especially after we were snaked on Perrin's Aftermath Story... let me see those hands people... who was sneaking a peak to see if Mat was in Path of Daggers? C'mon! Hands up! ::raises hand::
Richard Fife
78. R.Fife
Lannis: I think it was because her sheild lost its "razor" edge just before it "slid into place."

I will say that I do find the idea of gender roles more palatable if both are seen as equally powerful and valuable, even if it's in different spheres

Snerk, you said spheres.

Honest, I'm not 12 years old!

But, in response to your comment on responibility, I am half-half on your thought. It isn't like Nynaeve just going to let Moggy go cause she "couldn't bring her to justice." If that had been the case, some "Oh, I can't make myself kill you, so just go, and you better not come back!" Then yeah, I would say "wimp, kill!" Hold the trial yourself if you must.

Nyn: I hereby convene the court of Me.
Moggy (still airgagged): umph!
Nyn: Are you Moghedian?
Moggy shakes her head no.
Nyn: Yes you are, I have it on good authority.
Moggy widens eyes, still shakes head no.
Nyn: Do you have anything to say in your defense?
Moggy: urph murfle uhhph
Nyn: Duely noted. I hereby find you guilty.
Moggy: URPH!
Nyn: Your sentence is death. Any last words?
Nyn: Right. *Balefires Moggy* Guess those last words don't count anymore.
79. Freelancer

About Ingtar, I'd strongly disagree with you. There is no consensus that you can't "come back". The CW of the day is, "No one can walk so long in the shadow that they cannot return to the Light". In fact, without being able to quote it accurately right now, Rand's words to Ingtar were such as, "I think all that is needed is that you want to walk in the Light again". Then he offers Ingtar the Sheinaran burial benediction, which he wouldn't do if he held to Ingtar still being a DF. No question in my mind that Ingtar found redemption. It is handled quite well, in fact, because forgiveness from sin doesn't absolve you of responsibility for the results of your actions, and Ingtar pays large, while considering it a more than fair trade.

Peace favor your sword, Lord of House Shinowa.

That said, there IS consensus that the forsaken are precisely that, beyond redemption. But the reason Nynaeve doesn't waste her unceremoniously in Tanchico has two parts, one internal and one external to the story. Internal, it's as far from her nature to do such harm to a person who is currently a prisoner and defenseless, when there is any alternative. External, well, same deal, but it applies to all good guys in such stories.


There are many places where people fighting with the Power cut each others flows and the rebound is described, but Dumai's Wells isn't one of them. After Rand, with LTT's guidance, unties the knots which have been left alone, he is now strong enough to CRUSH the remaining three, which crushing includes the channeler.


RE: Elayne's curtsy, it couldn't have been about mimicry. Surely Elayne was taught to curtsy properly as soon as she could walk, growing up as Daughter Heir. What she fails at is recognizing the correct level of diffidence to apply in that situation. I think Faile has her beat in that regard, she is very sharply aware of the various levels, and the intricate two-way dance nobles and servants are engaged in.

RE: Verin and Isam. Yes, it was Moiraine who knew. But Verin is the consummate researcher, she would have asked, or found out herself, if it was involved with any sort of prophecy.


I too enjoy Nynaeve struggling to apologize, thinking they want more. Shows just how much guilt she's got going on inside. She can't even see it when people are goggling at the amazing thing she just did, because she thinks she pretty much failed at that, while almost messing up her original task. It's a start, but she should hold that self-image much more often than she does.

Oh, that brings up another thing about Nynaeve, since others are comparing their relative awesomeness. One would think, by this time, that Nynaeve would have done some simple math.
- She hated Moiraine for taking four young people out of the Two Rivers. She could admit by now that it was the right thing to do.
- She hated Moiraine for turning Egwene into a channeler. She could admit by now that Egwene was a natural, and without a guide, may have died by now.
- She hated Moiraine for being better than her at her own game of "lord it over everyone around me, treating them like mushrooms and ignoring complaints". She could admit by now that Moiraine simply WAS better at it than she.

When Nynaeve admits that Moiraine, while flawed, saved their respective lives over and over (as well as bringing her husband into her life, HELLO?), she'll get first-tier love.


Nice quote! See, I'm just not stupid enough to say what I believe many women are. It's safe and easy enough (as well as true enough) to say that men are pigs. Consummate actresses. I'm sure that's a euphemism for some other phrase he had in mind. One of my first jobs was in a bank, and I was the only male. I know exactly how women can be.


Are you certain? I have a feeling that Jordan may have given that piece special attention, and that it is complete or very close to it. Besides which, Brandon does pretty good with action scenes. I'm not thinking you'll be disappointed.


I agree with you completely. Umm, nah, you didn't really believe that, did you? You reference other Two Rivers women taking corporal action against young folks and such, in an attempt to compare with Nynaeve, and therefore mitigate her tyrannical behavior. But every time that Rand, or Mat, or Egwene mentions such an occasion, there is also an incident of mischief that has earned that switching referred to. Filching a jar of apple brandy, or sweet-cakes, or playing a prank. As I recounted in an earlier thread, Nynaeve's threats and assaults were most commonly without any provocation whatsoever.

I don't mean to try and deny you the sympathy you hold for her, that's for you to choose. But you say that there are "all kind of other incidents which reflect poorly on the women by the same standards", yet their actions are valid and just, whereas Nynaeve's usually are not.
9999. Wolfmage
Eswana @ 75

"I agree. however... wouldn't that be more like affeminizing? Since Nynaeve is a woman? (or whatever the actual antonym is)"

Good point! I'm usually pretty good at avoiding that sort of thing, but you caught me using a gendered expression there. So that was a poor choice of words by me in light of the nature of the discussion here.

No idea if there is a female equivilent. I couldn't find anything on google, but defeminising might work.

"But yes, I was so irritated in later books when those you mentioned (as well as the freaking Sea Folk--- grr) start smacking her around. She's so awesome, it makes me very frustrated."

Yeah, I find the Sea Folk uniformly annoying except as the objects of ta'veren pull.
9999. Wolfmage
"You reference other Two Rivers women taking corporal action against young folks and such, in an attempt to compare with Nynaeve, and therefore mitigate her tyrannical behaviour."

Not exactly. I referenced the fact that much of laundry list of her exploits as Wisdom were based on larger-than-life memories and impressions, which weren't pinpointed on-screen where we would be in a good position to judge them. I also contrasted Nyneave's tendency for verbal scolding and bully with the other forms of bullying and maltreatment, we see or are implied to various degrees about other womenfolk in the Two Rivers. And no I'm not just talking about punishment for stealing and such, I'm talking about running folk ragged and manipulation. I didn't say anything about corporal action.

I also note that the background of Nyneave's off-screen exploits has a clear literary purpose, which for me lends it a kind of lessor 'meta' character, which isn't as alive in my thoughts as the concrete impressions I develop of her character through the series. Take it or leave it - but that is just how I react.

"yet their actions are valid and just"

It may seem that way, and there is some evidence for that opinion. But we have an imperfect framework for judging that reliably, as it all takes place off screen. RJ continually shows us he is a master of perspective, and his characters always view the world through their own distorted prism. Nyneave's infamy is purposely built up, but it is consistent that some of it is unvarnished truth, which reflects poorly on Nyneave at the time, and some of it may be exaggerated by the kind of hyperbole one feels about the strict teacher in High School. RJ uses plenty of hyperbole throughout the series about many different characters - I see Nyneave as no different.

I also note that it is entirely consistent to think that Nyneave may be at the outset defined by past behaviour of engaging in too much physical bullying in the Two Rivers, but still a character emerge who isn't the same person - even if they share a tendency for verbal scolding and temper. You seem very set in a parsimonious judgement about her - based on background actions - I prefer a sliding scale which weighs present and future actions more heavily in the characterisation.
83. hummingbird
@ 73 and that even most soldiers are reluctant to kill when the time comes.

I remember studying something about this in sociology. There are differences between a soldier on foreign soil vs a soldier defending homeland..... fighting to defend yourself is a very different thing.
Alex Johns
10000. almuric
This isn't some random darkfriend. This is Moghedien. You know that if you let her go she will kill/hurt many, many people. Nynaeve was going to just leave her. She couldn't take her along, so she was just gonna leave her. No way that that doesn't result in lots of people getting hurt or dead. No way. So Nynaeve's partly responsible for that in my mind.

Even if you think that this is somehow going to taint your 'soul', you take one for the team. And you know what, there isn't even anything like that in the books. You don't become evil by killing people. You become evil by selling out to the Dark One. Apparently even your average cutpurse and brigand walks in the light. There doesn't really seem to be a concept of the afterlife; apparently no heaven or hell. So what would happen to Nynaeve if she killed Moghedien? She might feel bad. Big whoop. Hundreds of people would be spared. But she wouldn't automagically become a darkfriend. And few people would think badly of her. And Aviendha would kick all those people's asses.

I'm not saying this isn't a kick-ass scene. No, I love it as much as the rest of you. But if you get Goebbels in your sights you pull the damn trigger and learn to live with the nightmares.

And isn't it weird that it's only the Two Rivers people who seem to have these mores. Think about Ebou Dar with all those knives. All the sea folks ready to pull their knives out at a moment's notice. The Aiel woulda skinned her alive. It's only the boys and girls and perhaps the average farm hand (salt of the earth, so to speak) who perhaps wouldn't have killed her. Thom would have. This is freakin' Moghedien. You wouldn't have to pay for a meal or drink for the rest of your life. "You're the one that killed Moghedien? Put your money away. It's no good here."
10001. alreadymadwhenRandstilledthree
Freelancer @79
True, while Rand most likely did not realize what crushing them with fists of Spirit would do, the general sense of the narrative is that he did it deliberately.

Re: Nynaeve's reign of terror
It was not limited to administering disciplinary action on a rambunctious generation of future world savers. Nynaeve would also on occasion, heap verbal abuse on others simply so she could get her way. Which was not always in keeping with Two Rivers tradition. An example in EoTW is that she called the village council a pack of idiots. Why would she do that? Because as Wisdom she had no place in a meeting called by the village council. So they most likely drove her out. At which point she retaliated with insults.
10002. alreadymadwhenthesitewentnuts
errr... What's up with the post numbering system?
10003. RobMRobM
54. Lots of talk re Nyn not killing Moggy but what about Elayne with Temaile. What was done with her? Also, reading this for the first time I thought the text suggested that the balefire rod exploded in the hands of Jeanie Caide, but she showed up later in the series so I guess not. Can someone with the text handy look at what it says and whether I had a basis or just misremembered? Thanks. I also thought it ironic that Bayle chose to bring the ice peppers as a gift for the Panarch when, as it turned out, they were being used to torture her. By the way, Elayne gets more than her share of cr%p on this board sometimes but she is very cool here on all levels.

55. Agree that Elayne's response to Nynaeve's confession re Moggy is underwhelming but recall that Elayne had her own coolness and, presumably, lack of a death sentence and possible guilt with Temaile to worry about --she's distracted. Not much else to say except I do like Nyneave's efforts to compare the complexity of her relationship with Egeanin to other relationships, including hers with Lan.

56. Agree with all that this is a cool chapter. I always assumed Isam was chanted becuase he was their dark leader - born in the Borderlands, no doubt raised among Trollocs to lead them. I thought it made perfect sense as a battle cry. I thought it was prescient that Alanna stood next to Tam in battle - perhaps getting the measure of the son indirectly through the father. I wouldn't be surprised if her positive reaction to Tam in battle played a part in her decision to bond Rand.

10004. Lady Amalisa
Collectively, I think we're missing a couple of key elements in regard to Nynaeve and her prickly personality.

First, her father treated her like the son he never had. Something that can, perversely, instill in a daughter the secret fear that what she is somehow isn't good enough, and that whatever she does might not live up to dear ol' dad's expectations.

Second, she was the youngest Wisdom, like, ever! A village Wisdom is expected to be a force for order in her community. Instead, Nynaeve was always having people question her authority and her abilities.

Combine the two, and it's no wonder that she walked around with a big stick, looking for someone to use it on...
Chris Hall
10005. bookwormchris
The post numbers are a bit odd...

Today I lugged my 23 pounds of books to the library (I'll feel that tomorrow). It is for a book collection competition, and I entered my Wheel of Time books and some related books. Here's to hoping I win something, already selected as a finalist. So I had my books since Thursday evening and it was extremely tempting to start reading. Now they are gone for a few weeks and I'm somewhat nervous that the library has them and all I got was a receipt. Of course, I'll get them back just in time for finals, so I'm thinking my reread will probably not start until summer. If I decide to reread again. Sigh.

People have already mentioned lots of awesome stuff, but I was recently thinking about how one would render the Sad Bracelets useless. My thought is that if you can't destroy them, encase them in something that can't be destroyed! So, just dump them in the equivalent of cement, nice and fully encased. Then have Egwene or somebody use their special abilities to turn it into heartstone. Problem solved. Also, Elaida needs to step in some wet cement, then Egwene can harden it up nicely and we can dump her in the river. (Does that little trick work on something like wet cement, or will we need to make sure it dries first?)

Another thing I thought of but forgot to look up when I had my books handy is the scene where Rand uses the Sword That Is Not to split the balefire stream harmlessly to either side of him. I was going to mention it in that particular reread, but I was way behind already. I don't think we see anything like this with balefire in the rest of the series. Not really the same as the magical balefire crossing. I didn't even think it was possible to split the balefire like that. Very handy for Rand in that instance though. As for that nice balefire rod... yeah, use the stupid rod on what must be some epic Saidar battle; that rod that you couldn't control before and almost sunk the ship with. Great idea. (Although isn't it used in KOD? The balefire rod needs to be balefired, or something.)
10006. alreadymadwhentheswitchgotlost
While that is liable to create a temper, that still does not excuse physical and verbal abuse.

Am I the only one who sees something wrong with the numbering system?
Sean Banawnie
10007. Seanie
Subwoofer would be sooooooo proud !!!
10008. Valan
@ already mad 10006
Nope, the post numbers are jacked...

Great stuff Leigh and commentators, always a pleasure to read.
Sean Banawnie
10009. Seanie
I agree with Leigh's interpretation about Elayne and her curtsy . Elayne treats people better than most nobility does. She is certainly immature and even a little spoiled at times but she generally means well.
Also thought Nyn shoulda done Moggy in when she had the chance but can't really blame her for not doing it either....she thought she had her prisoner at that moment but Moggy is verrry twicky....her mercy/softness/conscience etc will play a role later on , IMHO-- I think she will be crucial to saving Rand after/during TG . I think she will help
bring him back from the edge.(along with the triwife, Minelava)

Can we set our sights for 20,000 now ?
10010. Freelancer
Wolfmage did it! My post at 79 was fine, then he goes and posts a 9999. What chutzbah.

Hey Pablo, you can't blame this one on alreadymadwhenTordotcomthrewafit.

And now to topical thoughts...

I seem very set in a parsimonious judgement of Nynaeve? By parsimonious (frugal, stingy), I suppose you mean narrow. Yes, it's a narrow judgement, based on knowns. You dismiss them as "off-screen", but that's an extremely specious argument. You wish to extend a certain probability that the recounting of those events is unreliable, but that is an invalid conclusion, since in every case two of the participants of the event are remembering, and with one exception agree regarding the things that happen. That exception is when Rand claims he could hardly feel Nynaeve's beating because he and Mat were drunk. Egwene's memory includes the boy's hollers. The larger point is, they both remember that Rand got a whupping from Nynaeve.

Anyway, even if the "remembrance" of a Nynaeve tirade was solo and completely internal, that wouldn't damage it's reliability much, given the preponderence of reliable evidence.
But just so there's no question of my piling on, it seems both incongruous and disingenuous, after having spent several dozen paragraphs in earlier threads making pseudo-legal arguments based only on inference, to "toss out" valid evidence upon which to make a judgement, based on a way of looking at said evidence that allows you to call it inference. (How's that for a run-on sentence?) Have it one way or the other, but not both.

The fact remains, Nynaeve's reputation is earned and deserved. She grows out of it, mostly, but not quite yet by this point in the story.


Agreed, I didn't intend for my comments to suggest opposition to that opinion. Rand, with LTTs input, learned that once he had burst the knotted webs, the remaining three weren't enough to hold him, and since there was no knot, he had to simply stretch with his Strength, and the weave tore "like rotted cloth". I propose a theory, that the "point" one feels when shielded, represents the channeler's focus of access to the Source, the thing Nynaeve senses in Logain, Siuan and Leane as having a gap or tear. So crushing that broke their access, and whether he knew the result, he did it intentionally, and maliciously. He's free, and he plans to stay that way.


Umm, can't do that to cement, wet or dry. Cuendillar requires that you start with iron. But, your idea has excellent merit. Melt down a big batch of iron, dip the male a'dam into the middle, then quench the thing to harden it. Now, Egwene or another with the skill can turn it to cuendillar. Good plan.

RE: The black fluted rod

Yes, the BA uses it against the Andoran forces charging to rescue Elayne.
10011. Freelancer

Minelava! Very cute.

Hmm, Elamindha? Avielamin? Minaviyne?
Sean Banawnie
10012. Seanie
Minaviyne!! Minaviyne!!

we'll need a group discussion on pronunciation tho :D
10013. AYe Aye Sedai
Re Elayne - - love her - hate all you haters :P
didn't we learn in GH about the proper level of bowing to the Amrylin - elsewhere I recall learning different depth of bows based on rank. Thus for Elayne to bow (curtsey) in a very formal way is thus being sassy :) But I loved her confusion over it. In this book I liked the development of elaye and Nyn as persons growing outside their isolate shells -- however I feel that they loose /forget this in the next few books - as if they are teflon and no lessons stick.

Wonder where the other BA were during N/M fight - we only see three - until Mog gets them alone in FOH.

I don't see anyone discussing if Elayne should have stilled /killed the BA as compared to NYN and Mog ??

What bugs me about the Batleaxe (Nyn) is that she always thinks she is in the right - even when wrong. All the heroes suffer from lack of forethought and rush in head long ( what was lini's quote?) But time and again I was tored from Nyn's bullheaded can not be wrong attitude and until confronted by Eg with the cup does she begin to see the error of her ways until the next page then she is back to being bull headed - these duopotamians must need a good clubbing for the ideas to sink in and take hold.

Sydo Zandstra
10014. Fiddler
I'll comment now, and will read reactions above afterwards.

First, the Battle of Emond's Field is my most favourite piece of WoT. Of course it was obvious that they'd survive, but this part is great. Equalled by the Rohirrim lining up at Gondor in the LotR movies. Great Stuff.

Nynaeve vs. Moghedien, part 1. <-- AWESOME. You could call it a draw, but actually it's a score for our team.

Ch 56, Leigh:

Abell Cauthon is in charge of the Westwood side, and tells Perrin, with a grin very like his son’s, that they’ll not find Two Rivers folk easy meat.

Mat is really his father's son. With added ta'veren'ness.

Verin. The phrase 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma' fits her perfectly. After Moiraine, this is the coolest sister being around from the start. We're getting more cool AS in the latest books, but Moiraine and Verin were there at the start...

Dain Bornhald. I'm not surprised that he's on booze all the time. This is a typical example of somebody trying to match his father (forced or not), and failing to do so. Which is of course Perrin's fault.

It's good to see that RJ is giving him and Byar a chance for Redemption, though. Bornhald seems to regret some things in KoD. I'm assuming it's the way he chose not to fight at the TR.
Sydo Zandstra
10015. Fiddler
Hm. Freelancer, what did you do to the post count? It went wild after your #79 post... ;)
10016. Freelancer
Friendly neighborhood nitpicker here...

Aye Aye Sedai

There actually were several comments regarding the equivalence between Nynaeve letting Moggy go, and Elayne not finishing off Temaile. Elayne never once thinks of how to deal with Temaile other than bringing her to justice. A ruler wouldn't dispense summary execution, an Aes Sedai wouldn't shortcut Tower law.

What's that, Fiddler? No, uhh, it was the next guy, I'm innocent. Well, I'm, uhh, not guilty.
sandi vogel
10017. sinfulcashew
When I came into this site, one of the first #'s I saw was 10000??? and thought OMG!
I do think there is an #83 in the middle of the 'thousands' of posts.

Loved the battle scene and when Faile shows up in the middle and.....well it just goes on!
They do get on my nerves once in awhile, with her secretiveness(?) and his failure to 'get it' with her.

By the way, how many new words are being penned in these posts?
Chris Hall
10018. bookwormchris

Oops, that is what happens when I get carried away with an idea without actually looking up the particulars of Cuendillar creation. Coming up on a year since my last reread (last summer) so many of the little things are fading. Plus I have read an insane amount of books in the intervening time. Still works with molten iron, we'll just need a blacksmith or something to melt it down for us.

Mmm... Cuendillar cannon. That pesky oath might get in the way, unless they can convince themselves that they aren't actually making the weapon. Although, many of the good heartstone makers do not appear to be oathed yet.
10019. Wolfmage

”I seem very set in a parsimonious judgement of Nynaeve? By parsimonious (frugal, stingy), I suppose you mean narrow.”

Not really. I meant you seem to allow the background characterisation of Nyneave to set itself up as a persistent foil to her virtues. So by parsimonious, I mean you accept minimal inputs - not weighting the present and future heavily. That’s fine – I’m certainly not trying to knock it, I'm just identifying it as a different way of looking at things from my own. My approach is more to seize on the most salient on-screen impression, and then modify that according with revisions of new information. That's just how I read.

Yes, it's a narrow judgement, based on knowns. You dismiss them as "off-screen", but that's an extremely specious argument.”

I didn’t dismiss them by any reasonable interpretation of my words. I said expressly that there was evidence for it and that we definitely have reason for believing part of it reflects a true aspersion against her good character. What part of that seems dismissive to you? I must say you don't seem to parse nuance that well, or maybe I just irritate you, and you tend to turtle your responses.

“You wish to extend a certain probability that the recounting of those events is unreliable, but that is an invalid conclusion, since in every case two of the participants of the event are remembering, and with one exception agree regarding the things that happen.”

I’m not discounting them as valid evidence, I’m suggesting some would inevitably be coloured by the lens of the character, and that we don’t have a reliable point of view to adjudicate her status as a unique mini-despot wielding a cudgel willy-nilly. We have some evidence, but not a complete picture. Pretty simple.

“But just so there's no question of my piling on, it seems both incongruous and disingenuous, after having spent several dozen paragraphs in earlier threads making pseudo-legal arguments based only on inference, to "toss out" valid evidence upon which to make a judgement, based on a way of looking at said evidence that allows you to call it inference. (How's that for a run-on sentence?) Have it one way or the other, but not both.”

I can’t decipher for the life of me what you mean here. You’ll have to try that again. Or better yet, how about you leave the semi-snide references to past conversations out of this thread so we don't waste other posters' time and crap up the thread? I haven’t mentioned your gratuitous attacks on me since, though that made me pause about whether I would even post here again, how about you do the same against whatever offence I have been deemed to committed. If you really must restart that conversation, go do it on the back of my last remark on the subject at the end of post 17.

”The fact remains, Nynaeve's reputation is earned and deserved. She grows out of it, mostly, but not quite yet by this point in the story.”

I never disputed Nyneave had a well-earned or deserved reputation. I have referred to and reified that reputation in each of my posts.
Sydo Zandstra
10020. Fiddler
Most AS in WoT are so headstrong that they might as well not have taken the Oaths at all.

As for Cuendillar Cannons, there's no need for that. Long range weapon and all...

A Cuendillar Storm Ram would be interesting, but there's no need for that as well...
Roger Powell
10021. forkroot
Should have mentioned this earlier, but Jeaine Cade is surely an accident waiting to happen, isn't she? First she nearly sinks the ship the BA is taking passage on (a pity that happened off-screen.)

Next, she collapses a good part of the Panarch's palace shooting wildly with the balefire rod.

I guess she probably does something stupid enough to get herself killed off screen. She more or less disappears after tFoH and Asne Zeramene shows up with the rod later on in KoD.

I don't know how many of you do this, but sometimes I use the image of real-life people in my mental picture of WoT characters. In the case of Jeaine, I have a real-life relative named Jeane who I visualize in that role. Real-life Jeane isn't the sharpest tool in the box - I certainly wouldn't want her to have a balefire rod!

(Preview says this will be numbered 104 .. let's see once I post it!)

EDIT - Nope, the preview lied, it's 10021.
kori lockwood
10022. kori
Whoa k so to whomever said it 800000 posts ago I was looking for Mat in POD I went on a WoT boycott for several years after. I refused to accept he was left under a building for a whole freaking year. Obviously I got over it.

Nyn Vs. Mog = AWESOME I love how shes all apologetic and everyone standing around her is just like holey s**t.

Does anyone else find it odd that no body ever questions that she did it though? I mean I know Nyn is oober strong in the OP and all, but we also know she tends to um... shall we say "spin" things sometimes? I think she even admits this to herself in the coming up scene Where Eg becomes the more dominate of the 2.

B 4 U start yes, I know every woman who could channel for miles could feel something big was going down. I just found it odd That later when no one seems to think Nyn capable at all they all seem to except that she bested one of the Forsaken. Even if they only hear about it second or third hand. Am I the only one who wondered about that? yes? well then I'll just go back to my seat and sip my tea.

and by the way this is supposed to be post #105 lovin' the comment counter malfunction.
craig thrift
10023. gagecreedlives
“She ran down a list of Andoran queens who had shown courage in the face of great danger, until she realized it was a list of all the queens of Andor”

Does anyone else think that this is perhaps a little unrealistic. In the history of Andor there hasn’t been one crappy queen.

“Put the collar on a man who channels, and a woman wearing the bracelets can make him do whatever she wishes, true, but it will not stop him going mad, and there is a flow the other way, too. Eventually he will begin to be able to control you, too, so you end with a struggle at every hour.”

Has anyone got confirmation whether this is true or not? It seems as if Moggy thinks that Nynaeve might be looking for a way to control Rand and could be talking absolute rubbish to throw her off.

Now that Rand has only one hand could the sad bracelets be used by a couple of women to help him with any channelling problems he might now have?

In all fairness to Nynaeve the crimes Moggy committed where 3000 years ago so its not like the atrocities are in the forefront of her mind. In 3000 years someone might very well tell you Hitler was evil but they will have no first hand account on just how bad.

Plus she had her in what she thought was an unbreakable shield. So she though she could get the sad bracelets, the seal and then have to think about what to do with her.

Hahahahha I shat a brick when I clicked on the comments and saw it was up to 10021. First thought beyond WTF was what the hell has Subwoofer gone and done now.
kori lockwood
10024. kori
Gage... I gotta think Mog is telling the truth on this one. otherwise she would already have the bracelets.

Oh and I have been meaning to tell U the name kills me. I read Pet Cemetery When my son was little and didn't sleep well for a long time. Gage Creed....The name still sends shivers down my spine.

As far as Rand with one hand, (ha.... I made A Funny!) and the bracelets I was thinking more like another man could be involved & level out the male and female bracelet ratio. I could be wrong though, it has happened once or twice. ;)

Wizards First Rule.... wow I forgot that book even existed. Another Good one is Villains By Necessity. It helped the twitching between RJ books many moons ago.
Captain Hammer
10025. Randalator
Despite the obvious awesomness in this chapter I always love the little tidbits thrown in that flesh out the characters.

Like Nynaeve thinking about not having many frinds earlier or in this case Elayne inadvertently mocking the cook with her curtsy and not understanding what she did wrong. That's what elevates a character from being just a cardboard cutout to, well, a Character and gives the story as a whole a level of richness and realness that a lot never reach.

And this little thing here just characterizes Elayne so well. She is not a generic malicious, nose-in-the-air, screw-the-peasants-I'm-the-shit noble. She was just raised to be queen and that has got to show at times. Actually considering that she was more or less the center of her universe for 16+ years she is remarkably non-universe-centerish. But as a currently-ex-but-soon-to-be-again center you just don't know the fringes all that well. No matter how much you read about them, your (self)-perception will be biased...
10026. birgit
When Moggy disappears, why doesn't Ny think that maybe the balefire hit her after all?

Does the backflow exist with female a'dam too? Maybe they would have discovered that long ago if the damane weren't so brainwashed.

Longbows are English, not American.

The warders told the Two Rivers people how to build catapults.
Jim Adams
10027. dubjazz
There is quite an active WOT facebook page here:
Wesley Parish
10028. Aladdin_Sane
You do know, I expect, that Isam is an acronym for "Indexed Sequential Access Method" - a form of data indexing much used in seventies-era IBM mainframes - much as Lan is also an acronym for "Local Area Network".

I figure that Robert Jordan had some bad experiences with IBM staffers, back when IBM were king of the hill and didn't mind letting lesser mortals know it.

Anyway, I'm sure that it would terrify anybody to have badtempered - no, not claviers: wrong story, bad doggy, no supper for you! - cannibalistic manbeasts charging, screaming "Indexed Sequential Access Method!"
Michael Catapano
10029. hoping
very funny

On another matter, does balefire go on forever, creating holes in all matter in it's path? Or does it get consumed and dissipate?

post #112 for those keeping track
Lannis .
10030. Lannis
gagecreed @ 10023???: re: Andoran queens showing courage in great danger... I didn't so much think it was odd that all the queens were listed--seeing how history is written by the victorious--my thoughts were more that Andoran history was so full of situations where the queens were in "great danger." Making big decisions on civil strife, yes, but having a queen in great danger? Seems a little volatile...

almuric you were 10000--nice round number, eh?

We should start a tally of how many times we can break thingys on by the end of the reread...

1. tSR #10
2. alreadymad's handles bleeding out of the latest comments sidebar
3. crazy comment tally goes wonky...

Captain Hammer
10031. Randalator
hoping @112 (10029)

On another matter, does balefire go on forever, creating holes in all matter in it's path? Or does it get consumed and dissipate?

I'd say the latter. For one thing we know that in the War of the Power entire cities were destroyed with balefire. Burning holes the size of cities right through the earth would be...unhealthy...

So the weave must dissipate/be consumed fairly quickly or extreme horribleness will ensue. Maybe it's also influenced by the strength of the weave maybe not.

But be finite it must, young Padawan.
10032. Browncoat Jayson
@Kori #10024

> As far as Rand with one hand, (ha.... I made
> A Funny!) and the bracelets I was thinking
> more like another man could be involved &
> level out the male and female bracelet ratio.
> I could be wrong though, it has happened once
> or twice. ;)

I don't believe this would work. I assumed the reason the normal a'dam could be used by the Blood to "collar a man and have a woman wear the bracelet, and sometimes die screaming" was because it DID cause an involuntary link. According to the laws of linking, one woman and one man can link, and two and two, but otherwise women must outnumber men. So one woman and two men would cause them to all go boom.

See, even in WoT the Devil's Threeway is BAD!
craig thrift
10033. gagecreedlives

"Oh and I have been meaning to tell U the name kills me"

Pun intended or not?

But either way hooray for making an impact and where you perhaps channelling Splinter at all?


The only thing I can think of is that maybe the area where she left Moggy was undamaged


Yeah I had the impression that Andor was one of the more stable nations in Randland. Hard to see how every single queen was in great danger.
Blake Engholm
10034. UncrownedKing
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. Where a legend, known only as TSR10, exists and tells of a time where it almost ruined everything. A realm where the alreadymad fight to destroy everything. And a land where conventional counting rules do not apply. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone Tor.Com.
Elroy Skimms
10035. elroyskimms
RE: Nynaeve's inability to get the job done.

Here in the USA, a criminal is considered innocent until proven guilty. I appreciate that, I think that is the best way to do it. If Adolf Hitler were to walk into my office and I bludgeoned him to death with my iPhone, I would likely be arrested, put on trial, and quite possibly found guilty of some sort of a crime; regardless of how badly he deserved to get whacked.

But Nynaeve is under no such legal code. Even worse is that Mogh. attacked Nynaeve, so clearly, even if there was legal precedent to assume innocence in this part of Randland, self-defense comes into play. Moiraine had no problem offing Belal in the Heart of the Stone, and he had not even attacked her yet (though the hedgehog was meant for her). Nynaeve has every legal and moral right to sending Mogh. back to the Dark One in a body bag. Of course, she'd just get ressurected in a new body, but Nynaeve does not know that yet. I don't think Nynaeve knows how weave balefire, so any execution of Mogh. would by futile in the grand scheme of things, but she doesn't know it. Even Mogh. is afraid for her life.

In strength of Power, Nynaeve earns top marks. But in her ability to suck it up and get the job done, even if it means getting her hands a little bloody, she fails miserably. Perrin hacks a couple of Whitecloaks to death when they kill a wild animal and we don't disagree with his actions. Clearly Nynaeve is in the wrong for not offing one of the Forsaken.

10036. douglasm
It gets consumed and dissipates. How much it goes through before that happens depends on how much power you put into it.

After Rand kills Rahvin, he comes back to the real world and rescues Mat, Aviendha, and company, and he uses balefire to do it. The text specifically mentions he's carefully using very weak balefire so it won't go through the trollocs and kill the people he's trying to save.
Michael Catapano
10037. hoping
Thanks to Randalator and douglasm
I found the quote in tFoH. After killing Rahvin, Rand had to kill thousands of trollocs.

Not daring to hope or think, he channeled. Shafts of balefire leaped from his hands as fast as he could weave them, narrower than his little finger, precise and cut off as soon as they struck. They were much less powerful than the one he had used against Rahvin at the end, than any he had used against Rahvin, but he could not risk one slicing through to those trapped in the center of all those trollocs.

So the strength of the weave is related to how penetrating balefire is and the weaver is also able to cut off the flow at any point.
10038. kori123
See I told you I could be wrong. I had Forgotten about the sometimes horrible screaming death that is the creators way of telling us NO! YOU STOP THAT RIGHT NOW.;)

yes pun intended thank you for noticing. also from time to time I do find myself channeling genetically altered rats yes.
Captain Hammer
10039. Randalator
elroyskimms @118 (10035)

self-defense comes into play

No it does not. By the time killing her becomes a viable option Moghedien is captured and defenseless. That's like a cop struggling with a bad guy, overpowering him, putting him into cuffs and THEN shooting him in the face.

I'm not opening the can of discussing the morals here ("Is it moral to kill a cruel dictator in cold blood?", etc.). But the morality of killing/not killing Moghedien in this situation aside, it's as far from self-defense as it possibly can be.
Ofer Nave
10040. odigity
gagecreedlives@10023: Does anyone else think that this is perhaps a little unrealistic. In the history of Andor there hasn’t been one crappy queen.

Depends on who wrote the history books. :)

birgit@10026: Longbows are English, not American.

I was volunteering the topic "parallels between Two Rivers and Revolutionary War-era America", and then gave the hint "long bows" for one of the parallels. As long bows were not used in the war, that clearly wasn't meant to be taken literally.

RJ has repeatedly harped on the TR folks' skill with bows - the deadly accuracy, superior range, etc. As I understand it, this was the chief (and possibly deciding) difference between the British and colonial forces during the war - focus on traditional bayonet-based tactics vs rifle marksmanship.

I was hoping someone else would mention this, since I'm not an expert on this period of history (and surely one of you are). Hence leaving it as simply a hint.

There are many other parallels as well.

Lastly, regarding Nynaeve killing Moghedien - reminds me of a scene at the end of season 5 of Buffy:

GILES: Can you move?

BEN: Need... a minute. She could have killed me.

GILES: No she couldn't. Never. And sooner or later, Glory will re-emerge and make Buffy pay for that mercy, and the world with her. Buffy even knows that, and still she couldn't take a human life. She's a hero, you see. She's not like us.

BEN: Us?

(Giles suffocates Ben)
Amar Ramraj
10041. aiel1219
These Chapters= awesome

And gr8 as usual Yer Leighesty.

Just chiming in to say: if u haven't...PPL READ BRANDON SANDERSON'S STUFF!!! If u like WoT I think u will definitely like his work.I'm currently reading his Mistborn Series. While there r alot of similarities/references to other fantasy works his world construct n magical system are gr8 n the story is quite compelling. I started The 1st Novel of the Mistborn Series on Sunday n just finished the 2nd. Can't wait to start the 3rd.

(MB an absolute misuse of chiming in ehh?)
Elroy Skimms
10042. elroyskimms
Randalator @ 10039
No it does not. By the time killing her becomes a viable option Moghedien is captured and defenseless. That's like a cop struggling with a bad guy, overpowering him, putting him into cuffs and THEN shooting him in the face.

First, your analogy of the cop and bad guy assumes a legal system where once "subdued", the bad guy becomes untouchable. This legal system does not exist in Randland, at least not that I know of. The White Tower has something similar which requires (though we have exceptions) that men who can channel be brought to Tar Valon to be gentled.

Second, even if we say that the legal precedent for not offing the bad guy once he is cuffed does exist, your analogy fails to address the part of the story where the bad guy is perfectly capable of escaping those handcuffs and killing the cop where he stands. Nynaeve is still in grave danger, even while Mogh. is bound and blocked. Had Nynaeve stilled Mogh., I would say that Nynaeve would not have needed to whack her because only then is Mogh. truly defenseless. Otherwise, Nynaeve is still acting in self-defense, and if unable to still Mogh., should have killed her.

Innocent until proven guilty is good, I'm not arguing against it. But it doesn't exist in Randland, and in fact, doesn't exist in most of this world as well (it even gets overlooked in the USA on occasion, to our detriment).

Jason Deshaies
10043. darxbane
Oh how we judge others so easily. Isn't hindsight grand? These characters are so believable that people spend hours arguing about their behavior, and I would not be surprised if many of the Nyneave haters act just like she does. We so often hate being reminded of our own flaws. As for Nynaeve killing Moghedian, I will paraphrase Grandpa Tolkien: Many deserve death, but as many deserve life. Can you give that to them? Do not be so quick to deal out death in judgement. Killing a helpless opponent is wrong. Nynaeve had her beat, and did not know she could break the shield. Besides, you forget that her mercy will actually greatly benefit the good guys when Moggy is captured. In fact, Rand would have died if not for Nynaeve and Moggy in tFoH, or did you all just conveniently forget who distracted Rahvin long enough for Rand to balefire him?

As for Nynaeve's personality; she uses her anger as a shield. She is actually very insecure and fearful of her power, even as Wisdom. We all have our little negative quirks, don't we? I personnally see the inability to look past someone's faults to the person underneath to be a very negative quality, so there.

Finally, I never really noticed Elayne being that "haughty". She tries to act the way she was taught to act, and honestly doesn't understand what it's like to be an everyday person (although she is learning), but she at least tries, and is very generous besides. I can't help but feel the later books have colored your opinion of her, and you forget that most of her insane behavior is due to her pregnancy. But I know I know, we would rather make a snap judgement, then hold to our opinion till the bitter end rather than see any other viewpoints. Objectivity is overreated, after all.
Adam Loops
10044. Cecero
I don't know if you all have seen this yet, but here is a link to The Gathering Storm cover art:
Captain Hammer
10045. Randalator

I didn't mention "innocent until proven guilty". And I didn't base my argument on it. My argument is that self-defense requires immediate danger to yourself or another person.

your analogy fails to address the part of the story where the bad guy is perfectly capable of escaping those handcuffs and killing the cop where he stands. Nynaeve is still in grave danger, even while Mogh. is bound and blocked.

First of all Nynaeve doesn't know that. So she could not bring herself to kill Moggy by arguing it to be self-defense. Second, it takes time to break a tied off shield and retaking hold off the shield would make it impossible for Moghedien to break free.

That means killing Moghedien right there is still no case of self-defense.

In the cop-analogy this would be killing the bad guy because given time and unobserved-ness (e.g. putting him in the car) he could break free and be bad again.

Killing in self-defense is only justified if there is either no other option or not enough time to come up with another option. Both is not the case here...
10046. alreadymadwhentordotcombroke
Freelancer @10010
The points were the analogs to where the sisters had Rand shielded. It was on Rand's end and was blocking him off from the Source. It was not where the sisters connected to the Source and where the tear would have been once they were stilled. So your theory does not quite hold.

What I do find strange is that there should have been no way for Rand to find the three sisters' connections to the Power. It's been reiterated several times that there is no way for a man to know what a woman is doing with the power. Nor is there a way for a man to pinpoint where a woman is channeling, beyond a general range and possible direction.

Is it a side effect of the three being connected to him via the collective shield that he was able to feel his way to them accurately enough to still them?

UncrownedKing @10034
No. I did not try to destroy everything. Just because LTT is chanting break it break it break it in the back of my head is no reason to blame it on me. I am sure the male Aes Sedai did not deliberately set out to break the world either.

darxbane @10043
Rand, die at TFoH? Nah... devolved is more like it.
Elroy Skimms
10047. elroyskimms
darxbane @ 10043

Isn't hindsight grand?
Killing a helpless opponent is wrong.
In fact, Rand would have died if not for Nynaeve and Moggy in tFoH, or did you all just conveniently forget who distracted Rahvin long enough for Rand to balefire him?

For one who thinks our judgement of Nynaeve is based on hindsight, you certainly throw a lot of it around. Yes, Nynaeve's mercy turned beneficial. Yes, as I mentioned, Mogh.'s death would likely have been undone by the Dark One as Nynaeve did not know how to wield balefire (IIRC). So even Mogh.'s death would have been futile if we are playing the omniscient reader. But based on Nynaeve's knowledge at that moment, Mogh. deserved to die.

In the legal and political system that is Randland, Mogh. deserved to die. No one would ever consider Mogh., in any state of conciousness (unless stilled) as a "helpless" opponent. But I digress. Our laws (in the USA) do not allow the killing or abuse of a subdued opponent, and I agree with that law. But whether or not Mogh. was truly subdued isn't really part of the question. The only question is whether or not Randland, or at least Tanchico, has that same law.

I may have the states wrong, but consider this. In Texas and many states, you can kill an intruder in your home (called a Castle Clause or something like that). New York and a few other states have a retreat requirement, which means that you are required to retreat if it can be done so in absolute safety to yourself and others. Although it does not require you to run out of your house in a home invasion, the fact is that finding some pervert hovering over your daughters bed with his pants around his ankles might not be justifiable homicide in New York unless he was armed.

The point is that self-defense, although it has a basic universal element to it, is also defined by local law. Nynaeve was bound by no such law, as far as I can tell. We don't judge Moiraine for killing Belal when she could simply have shielded or gentled him on the spot. Instead, she balefires him. We don't judge Perrin for killing two Whitecloaks after they killed a wolf. If self-defense in Randland allows for Perrin to defend wolves, and Moiraine to execute Forsaken on site without attempting less severe options, then clearly Nynaeve would not be in the wrong for killing Mogh.

And the Ben vs. Giles a la Buffy scene, although an excellent episode, neglects the fact that Ben is an innocent person. His existence is somehow tied to "Glory", the evil deity of the season, and that by his death, prevents Glory from bringing death and destruction. But Ben did not choose that destiny and when Xander (earlier in the season) suggested killing Ben prior to the aforementioned death and destruction, Buffy rightly opposes it. To kill someone based on a crime they have not yet committed, if such foresight is even possible, would not be justified. Mogh. is not innocent. Mogh. is not being judged for crimes yet committed. Mogh. is one of the last remnants of those personally responsible for the death, destruction, war, and Breaking of Randland. There is not a court or ruler in Randland that would judge Nynaeve for killing Mogh. then and there.

As "Grandpa Tolkien" said, "Many deserve death, but as many deserve life." The Forsaken deserve death, based on the laws and customs or the world in which the characters were written. Do Liandrin and the other BA deserve death on site, I don't think so. Would I complain if Elayne had whacked Temaile? Not really. But I would be hard pressed to defend it as justifiable homicide or self-defense.

Galen Brinn
10048. GatheringStorm
Incoming! *ducks into nearest foxhole to avoid the "murder vs self defense argument"*

I've been too busy the last few days to do more than skim the comments, much less contribute to the quality of the debate. I'm kind of glad I've missed it after getting a chance to slow down and see what I missed.

I think that the stilling of the three sisters holding Rand's shield is more a side-effect of him crushing the shield rather than him mysteriously locating them.
10049. David-2
re Nyn not kill Moggie - "heroes don't kill defenseless evil guys" - yes, I know that's the accepted "morality" for good guys, but really, isn't it as stupid as Just Between You And Me is for bad guys??
Captain Hammer
10050. Randalator
alreadymad @10046 (which should, like, totally be 127, dude)

Is it a side effect of the three being connected to him via the collective shield that he was able to feel his way to them accurately enough to still them?

I always thought that he didn't still them consciously or even attack them with a "sharpened" shield like the supergirls used.

I thought it was more like a backlash from his escape. He didn't just "wriggle and pop" the remaining shields as he did with the first, he crushed them with all he had. Apparently that can harm those holding a shield like someone trying to hold a door closed and you throwing yourself against it smashing it into the other one's face.

If you're a 170 lb Joe Average in the Power that will cause a bruise and a headache. If you're a 450 lb silverback you will cause serious damage.

Rand is said silverback and *headdoor*ed the three Aes Sedai lightweights very soundly...


We don't judge Moiraine for killing Belal when she could simply have shielded or gentled him on the spot. Instead, she balefires him. We don't judge Perrin for killing two Whitecloaks after they killed a wolf.

We don't judge Moiraine because a) Be'lal was about to kill Rand which makes it a case of self-defense and b) because Be'lal is considerably stronger than Moiraine thus anything else than balefire is not an option for her (LTT considers 3 Aes Sedai to be no threat to him). Nynaeve knows exactely how strong Moghedien is and that she is not about to kill anyone in the next instant.

We don't judge Perrin because he a) was in a different state of mind when killing his first two Whitecloaks and b) because he was defending the lives of "brothers and sisters" in a manner of speaking.

Besides, from what we see in the books killing a subdued prisoner is considered evil. It happens but it happens in secret and is only very vaguely hinted at in conversation. So Randlanders do have a moral stance on this issue even if it is not written law...
James Jones
10051. jamesedjones
Hookay, I'll just keep it nice and simple to avoid the unbelievable verbosity of the majority of these threads. Good guys/girls who don't kill the bad guys might cause some headdesking, but they keep us supporting them. If you don't love an author's hero(s), then you might not keep reading the books. The hero (gender neutral) must never kill the villan in cold blood. It's just not very heroic. This goes back to Fantasy 101. Please forgive me if this has already been covered. Today is a busy day, and I haven't had time to peruse the entire page.

Also, I really enjoy reading everything that everyone has to say (as soon as I find time). But if you post more than 5-6 paragraphs, please just start your own blog and post a link that ID's what the main subject is going to be. It's great stuff, but let's not forget about Tor's general susceptibility to glitches.

Or you could divide it up into multiple posts. This could avoid a lot of the quotes that are required from responses when you cover 2-3 dozen subjects in one thread.

Just a couple ideas. Not trying to tell anyone how to do something that most have been doing a lot longer than I have. Please take it for what it's worth.

10052. alreadymadwhenRandwent4broke
GatheringStorm @10048
Err.. Breaking through the barrier and crushing the three points were two separate actions. That is, one did not occur just because the other had. He ripped through the barrier first. Once freed, Rand actively seized the three points and crushed them. That does not sound like a side effect. Rand being able to seize them sounds like a side effect of breaking through the barrier. Them being stilled does not.
Luke M
10053. lmelior
Cecero @10044
Re: Cover Art for The Gathering Storm

I don't like it. Rand is too short and his legs are too skinny. I disagree with Brandon, it doesn't look natural just having something draped over the arm stump. It would fall off as soon as he moves. I guess Aviendha is okay even though she doesn't look how I'd pictured her. I don't know what's going on with the giant hole in the house. Surely it's not a gateway since they are rectangular.
Captain Hammer
10054. Randalator
alreadymad @10052

When he reached for saidin, the invisible barrier was still there, but it no longer seemed stone or brick. It gave as he pressed, bending under his pressure, bending, bending. Suddenly it tore apart before him like rotted cloth. The Power filled him, and as it did, he seized at those three soft points, crushing them ruthlessly in fists of Spirit. Aside from that, he still could only channel where he could see, and all he could see, dimly, was the inside of the chest, what he could glimpse of it with his head forced between his knees. Before he even finished with the fists of Spirit, he channeled Air. The chest exploded away from him with a loud boom.

He was in a large clump of scattered trees, with broad shafts of sunlight filtering through nearly leafless branches; he was shocked to realize it was still daylight, maybe even midday. He had to move; more Aes Sedai would be coming. Two lay on the ground near him, apparently unconscious, one with a nasty gash bleeding across her forehead. The third, an angular woman, was on her knees staring at nothing, clutching her head in both hands and screaming.
(LoC, ch. 55)

What I marked is the point where Rand touches Saidar again and breaks the remaining last shields (the soft points are the edges of the individual shields). If him touching saidin had been the breaking of the shield, there would not have been any more soft points to crush. But the shield is still there when he touches saidar again, it's just not strong/big enough to keep him from touching the Source. It's a leaking dam so to speak.

He then breaks it by "crushing the three points ruthlessly". So the stilling is a side effect of him breaking the shield...
Galen Brinn
10055. GatheringStorm
What I was getting at is that it's stated all throughout that you can't channel at what you can't see. He couldn't "see" the sisters themselves from within the box. He could "see/feel" the three points and did "crush them", stilling being somewhat accidental from in: He didn't necessarily intend or know that stilling would be the result.

Edit: And (Randalator beat me to the punch) in my opinion, 10054 summed up nicely.

Removed first sentence because I somehow completely contradicted myself. I know I'm not drunk, so I can't figure out why I typed what I did.
Antoni Ivanov
10056. tonka
Besides from what we see in the books killing a subdued prisoner is considered evil. It happens but it happens in secret and is only very vaguely hinted at in conversation. So Randlanders do have a moral stance on this issue even if it is not written law...

Of course they have.I'd not even touch these books if they didn't.

killing a subdued prisoner is considered evil .And that's right! There is nothing worse than murder ! Nothing! And that's what it is . Killing a person who cannot defend himself. I am appalled and astonished that people are thinking of it and more they are proposing it.Killing is not an easy thing to do and I am sure, I hope, that most of you wouldn't be able to do it at end for all of your talks. I hope you never have to face that though.

Disgusting. You should be ashamed.Proposing that so casually.
10057. wsean
almuric @1000000000

There is most definitely a consequence in the WoT world for going all ends-justify-the-means ruthless. See: Aridhol.
Roger Powell
10058. forkroot
elroyskimms@10035 and 10047

Actually Nynaeve does know the balefire weave. She balefires a couple of Fades (in TDR I think) when she and Elayne burst out of the back room where brigands had locked them.
10059. Castle Anthrax
She reaches the rendezvous point and finds Elayne and Egeanin with Amathera. She hugs Elayne and asks if she had any trouble; Elayne says there was a little issue with Amathera, but it’s all straightened out now. Nynaeve frowns and asks why Amathera would give them trouble, and Egeanin answers that she tried to sneak off and get to her guards after being told not to. Nynaeve scowls, but Elayne tells her she took care of it, and Amathera will do as she’s told from now on, won’t she? Amathera agrees hastily.

Did Elayne give Amathera a little of the old Perrin treatment? How come the girl-on-girl action doesn't raise comment?
Alex Johns
10060. almuric
I could swear it said '84' when I posted last night. Hurm.

I think part of the disconnect is that some poeple are using our world's 'everyone is equal' paradigm. I don't think that applies to Randland. The Forsaken are superpeople. They can kill hundreds with a single thought. Ordinary standards of morality don't apply. If you don't kill one of these bad guys when you have the chance, hundreds or even thousands of people will suffer.

Would Aviendha have let her live? Would Lan? Thom killed a king for revenge. Is he 'evil'? Perrin killed several whitecloaks while freeing Gaul. There are several people who have commited morally questionable acts and people are still fans of them. Saying that Nynaeve needs to not kill Mo so that we still think of her as a hero doesn't really compute for me.

Aridhol? I don't think every murderer in Randland becomes an evil power to rival the Forsaken. In fact, I think even murderers and rapists are still considered as walking in the light as long as they don't start worshiping Shai'tan. It's largely unclear as to what the status of ordinary people who do bad things is. There doesn't seem to be an afterlife. Without the threat of hell and not becoming a darkfriend unless you embrace the Dark One, I'm not really sure what keeps people in Randland from killing each other willy-nilly. Certainly, lives in Ebou Dar seem to be very cheap with everyone ready to kill everyone else. I wish RJ had spent a little more time laying out the moral tapestry.
10061. Freelancer

Let's just consider a single female shielding a male, you. You can sense the shape of the shield (seems improbable while you cannot channel, but that's what we're told and shown) because it describes the barrier betewen you and the Power that you can tell is there, while being unable to touch it. And there is a place that is different. Imagine the inside of a balloon. Smooth everywhere but one place, and there is the tiniest gap through that knot, allowing you a stronger sense of the Power. While you aren't really feeling saidar, you can sense where it is by the space separating you from saidin. None of this is conjecture, it paraphrases what Rand goes through in the box at Dumai's Wells.

When a person "ties off" a weave so that they can leave it, there's that knot. But what about when they are holding it. Where, or what, does that softer, less defined location represent? Back to the balloon, if she doesn't tie it, she has to hold the opening closed with a physical part of herself. You know that a balloon leaks less if you squeeze the end closed with your fingers, than if you knot it? This too matches Jordan's description of the shield. So that point is where the person meets the shield.

I posited that this is the point where the person and the Source meet. AFAIK, this can neither be proven or disproven from the text, I admit that. But it is consistent with the knowns. In fact, in your comment @10052, first the shield tears, then Rand attacks the soft points. If the balloon breaks, the only part left identifiable is the area of the knot, or the place where the person was holding it closed. He can't attack them with Spirit until he can channel, which isn't until the shield collapses. And once more to the ballon, what would you be attacking? The hand holding the balloon's end.

This could be wrong, but with what we're given, I believe the analogy holds up.
Alex Johns
10062. almuric
Oh, and I know this is Tor's website and we should be nice here, but that is an awful cover for the next book. Somebody said that's Aviendha? Really? Looks more like Elayne to me. But still, it's just crap. Can you get this guy to do the covers from now on?

I'm guessing the house was balefired?

(Yeah, yeah, I know. They're sticking with Sweet 'til the end. You'd think he'd get better.)
Captain Hammer
10063. Randalator
almuric @10062

I'm guessing the house was balefired?

Balefire leaves round holes with smooth polished edges not a jagged something or other like this.
Elroy Skimms
10064. elroyskimms

We don't judge Moiraine because a) blah blah blah b) blah blah blah

We don't judge Perrin because he a) blah blah blah b) blah blah blah

(I use blah blah blah to shorten the quote, not to belittle the argument. An attempt to appease JamesEdJones, not to mock your post)

Nynaeve v. Mogh. and Moiraine v. Be'lal are surprisingly similar fights. Consider that Nynaeve, at the beginning of the fight, fully believes that Mogh. is far superior in strength, much like Moiraine believes Be'lal is far superior compared to her strength. Nynaeve may be incorrect in her assumption, but the situation from her perspective is similar. Moiraine goes for the kill, Nynaeve does not.

The Whitecloaks killed Hopper only after he attacked them first. Perrin's emotional attachment to wolves doesn't change the objective facts. The Whitecloaks acted in self-defense when attacked by a wolf. Perrin defended the aggressor, and yet we do not judge him for it.

... from what we see in the books killing a subdued prisoner is considered evil.

Any execution is, by definition, the killing of a subdued prisoner. The books reference a few specific examples and provides plenty of anecdotal evidence that capital punishment is acceptable for some crimes.

A trial, though high on Nynaeve's to-do list is not possible, as she admits. Nynaeve did not release the bonds, but she knows that her weaves will fade overtime and that eventually Mogh. will walk free. It boils down to that moment. Nynaeve's choices were death or freedom for Mogh. By walking away, she chooses to release one of the Forsaken.

Jay Dauro
10065. J.Dauro
Whether Nyneave should have killed Mog can be argued.

But if we look at other cases.

Mat kills a woman in self-defense. But later says "Never Again."

Rand cannot even kill a woman in self-defense.

Granted both of these get into the kill a woman thing, but still, if one of the Forsaken is attacking me, I would probably try to snuff them.

Nyneave (and Elayne) do not kill the Seeker when they get him knocked out. They know he is a Seanchen and a Seeker, and can cause them great harm.

I feel that regardless of what most of Randland may feel, Two Rivers folks do not kill one they see to be a defenseless person. (No surprise, since they are modeled after the English.)

So this is how Nyneave was raised. She may even feel it would be a good idea. But it's wrong.

We see that a lot in WOT. Many people appear to dismiss cultural upbringing, but it is there is almost all of the characters. ( My usual thought on this is Faile and the dreaded S word. She does not consider it wrong, that is how she was raised. And Elayne with what she feels she is required to do.)

RJ has created a number of different cultures (many tied back to the real world) and people who are products of those cultures (and their position in that culture.) And they behave that way. Some break out of the restrictions, but it is part of them even then.


Maybe Mat and his cannons are blowing up houses?
Elroy Skimms
10066. elroyskimms
forkroot @ 10058
Actually Nynaeve does know the balefire weave. She balefires a couple of Fades (in TDR I think) when she and Elayne burst out of the back room where brigands had locked them.

You are correct, my memory seems to age in dog years. Egwene confirms that Nynaeve's weave is balefire. So, Nynaeve DOES know balefire, and still does not use it against the Forsaken as Moiraine did. One more point on the list of reasons why Nynaeve should have killed Mogh.

Roger Powell
10067. forkroot

Oh, and I know this is Tor's website and we should be nice here, but that is an awful cover for the next book. Somebody said that's Aviendha? Really?

Not to reopen a previous discussion, but ... oh well, hell yes ... to reopen a previous discussion:

If that's Avienda, I'd enjoy seeing how Mr. Sweet would render Someryn. snickers
Antoni Ivanov
10068. tonka
That's the quote from LOC that says what happened

When he reached for saidin, the invisible barrier was still there, but it no longer seemed stone or brick. It gave as he pressed, bending under his pressure, bending, bending. Suddenly it tore apart before him like rotted cloth. The Power filled him, and as it did, he seized at those three soft points, crushing them ruthlessly in fists of Spirit. Aside from that, he still could only channel where he could see,

An instant of regret that it was not Galina or Erian he had stilled-he was not sure he had intended to do that; Lews Therin had gone on at length about how he intended to sever every one of them who had imprisoned him; Rand hoped it had been his own idea, however hasty—an instant, and he saw another shape stretched out on the ground
10069. alreadymadwhentheworldbroke
Randalator @10054
The shield was already torn when he seized at the soft points. The Power was already filling him. Them being vulnerable to his counterattack was the direct side effect of their holding the shield when he broke through. Not the actual stilling, that would have been the effect of his counterattack.

Freelancer @10061
From your analogy, what Rand did was crush the hands where they were close to him. The tear caused by Stilling is closer in analogy to having the arm torn off at the socket.
The thread analogy so prevalent in the books fails when it comes to describing how Rand stilled the three. Rand attacked the soft points that were close to him, but based on what we do know, it could either be the individuals' actual connection to the Source, as you theorize, or the point where the threads of their shielding weave connect to Rand, as I visualize it. Either way, Rand attacking those points was enough to Still them.
The weave was gone by then, and from what we know, weaves collapsing have a nasty habit of backlashing on the channeler. So the three were no longer channeling when Rand attacked the soft points. How was he able to feel his way to their connection to Saidar?
Lannis .
10070. Lannis
Hey, alreadymadwhenyournamewassnipped... out of curiosity, did folks give you a maximum character number for string length for your name?

(I'm a nosey girl, what can I say?)
Alex Johns
10071. almuric
If it's not balefire, where's the debris? Even if it was from the outside in there should be some debris laying around.
Jason Deshaies
10072. darxbane
elroyskimms at 10047,
I only used hindsight for one example, and only used hindsight to nullify your hindsight (heh). Anyway, Nynaeve not knowing a shield could be broken made her feel Moggy was no longer an immediate threat. She wanted to see justice done, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Additionaly, there doesn't need to be a law in place in order to do the right thing. Emond's field makes decisions based on councils, so she has been brought up against summary judgement by one person. Also, she has had some exposure to Tower law, which requires a Darkfriend Channeler to be tried and Stilled. It does not make an exception for a Forsaken. There is questionable morality in this series, but just because someone chooses to take the high road, it doesn't make them wrong. There are consequences to either course of action, and the reason I bring up Rand is because we have evidence of a greater consequence for killing Moggy than for letting her live.
10073. wsean

Heh, I didn't mean to imply that, say, Nynaeve would turn into Mordeth if she killed Moggy.

I'm simply pointing out that RJ is very clear that in these books, there are two types of evil: that which comes from the Dark One, inhuman evil, and that which comes from man, human evil. Aridhol is the latter writ large.

There is definitely morality outside of the simple Darkfriend/non-Darkfriend dichotomy. Theft, murder, etc are wrong, despite having nothing to do with the Dark One. And while some characters are more pragmatic than others, it seems to be standard in WoT that killing in battle is acceptable/moral, while killing in cold blood is not.

Finally, the threat of hellfire and damnation is not required for people to avoid doing wrong. Atheists don't go around killing people willy-nilly.
Andrew Lovsness
10074. drewlovs
The person who knows Nynaeve the best is a man named Jordan; if HE thinks Nyn has no stomach for killing a woman already shielded, I'm able to accept this and move on.

Suffice to say, Nynaeve never considered killing a forsaken that was defenseless. If anything, it should be insight into how she views the world and her value system.

But... that's about it...
Blake Engholm
10075. UncrownedKing
@10071 Almuric

It very well could have been a fire ball and there should be debris and fire.....but again this Sweet guy isn't known for his knowing how to be an informed artist. I'd be suprised if he ever sat down and read WOT.

But I'm artist bashing again....Ill go get the switch.
AJ MacPherson
10076. Mackey62
Re: Art cover. (not that I want to start this discussion up again) It could have been Balefire that created the whole b/c obviously Sweet doesn't pay much attention to the story, details or descriptions (nice dragons) when he does the covers. So the whole it wouldn't look like that argument goes out the window.

And Uncrowned beat me to the punch.
James Jones
10077. jamesedjones
Here is a link to Darrell K Sweet's homepage, in case anyone wanted to offer some constructive criticism.
Richard Fife
10079. R.Fife
I named you Darth EdJones. Welcome to the dark side.
James Jones
10080. jamesedjones
10079 R.Fife

Someone said there would be refreshments...

Go Light!
Blake Engholm
10081. UncrownedKing
Wow you should have never told me about this website James....

And sorry Mackey, I'm fast
Jason Deshaies
10082. darxbane
We know Nynaeve used balefire once, but she didn't know what she was doing at the time, and she may not have put two and two together yet. Also remember that Nynaeve is a healer by nature, and has never killed another human being before. It is not her nature to cause harm in that way.

The Whitecloaks were not acting in self-defense. They were targeting the wolves in the area with their bows, and the wolves fought back. In the case of this series, the wolves are much more than wild animals. As a side note, it is nice to see wolves actually being on the good side for once, isn't it?
10083. toryx
darxbane @10082

As a side note, it is nice to see wolves actually being on the good side for once, isn't it?

That's one change to standard fantasy that RJ made that really pleased me. He's the first fantasy author I'd encountered in my long ago youth who didn't demonize the wolves.
Alan Perry
10084. stepper
10059@castle anthrax

Actually I interpreted Elayne's rxn concerning Amanthera differently....obviously something happened between them....then RJ goes out of the way to mention at least twice that Elayne's feet hurt even though they didn't walk that far....

and well Amanthera was acting like she "needed a swift KICK in the ass!"

so isn;t likely (at least possible) that the Daughter-Heir gave her a few well deserved, and likley well placed kicks

...thus the sore feet,and her rxn earlier?
10085. alreadymadwhenmynamemetaxe
Lannis @10070
Nope. No character limit or anything of the sort. Doesn't work that way, anyway, unless the site uses Romans 10cpi font same as old style typewriters. It might, though I'm not really sure. By printing rules, i, t, l, j, . , would use up one unit, most would use up two units and a select few, like m, or w would use three.

How do I count? I don't. Since I don't use a registered account, I enter a name everytime I post. By some stroke of the Creator's hand, the box for the name accommodates just enough characters. As long as I don't go over it, it stays within the "prescribed" length.
10086. toryx
I wasn't going to do it but what the hell. I'm weighing in on the whole Nynaeve not killing Moghedien discussion.

My own personal feelings on it are:

Nynaeve acted absolutely true to character in not killing Moghedien.

She absolutely could have used Balefire to finish the Forsaken off but it would have violated her own personal code of ethics.

And finally, the fact that she didn't kill Moghedien on the spot was for the best anyhow, since it allowed them to learn a great deal from her later. Not that Nynaeve could ever have anticipated that.

I think we all have a personal code of ethics quite apart from the law, society, and religion. Nynaeve, as a healer first is absolutely not the type to kill unless she absolutely has to. This is actually part of the reason I don't approve of her choosing Green Ajah; it doesn't suit her as well as it might Egwene and Elayne, even though Nyn wants to be free to marry Lan (a silly reason to choose an Ajah, if you ask me).
Captain Hammer
10087. Randalator
elroyskimms @10064

Nynaeve v. Mogh. and Moiraine v. Be'lal are surprisingly similar fights. Consider that Nynaeve, at the beginning of the fight, fully believes that Mogh. is far superior in strength, much like Moiraine believes Be'lal is far superior compared to her strength. Nynaeve may be incorrect in her assumption, but the situation from her perspective is similar. Moiraine goes for the kill, Nynaeve does not.

Their fights aren't all that similar. ;)

- What Nynaeve thinks strength-wise is irrelevant because she attacks instinctively not consciously ("Before thought she struck out,...").

- Nynaeve doesn't even contemplate killing Moghedien when she has already defeated her and exactely knows her strength.

- Moiraine kills Be'lal in the middle of a battle. That is completely legitimate. A battle tends to be a kill-or-be-killed situation. She even called out to him instead of just frying him from behind his back. Which is actually pretty dumb come to think of it...

A trial, though high on Nynaeve's to-do list is not possible, as she admits. Nynaeve did not release the bonds, but she knows that her weaves will fade overtime and that eventually Mogh. will walk free. It boils down to that moment. Nynaeve's choices were death or freedom for Mogh. By walking away, she chooses to release one of the Forsaken.

Okay, I just re-read the entire scene.

Once Moghedien had been put on trial in the Tower and stilled — there could be no doubt of the sentence for one of the Forsaken — she would surely be put to some useful work in kitchens or gardens or stables, except when she was brought out to show that even the Forsaken could not escape justice, and treated no differently from any other servant, beyond being watched. But let her think Nynaeve was as cruel as she. Let her think it until she was actually put on . . .

Nynaeve's mouth twisted. Moghedien was not going to be put on trial. Not now, anyway. Not unless she could figure out some way to get her out of the Panarch's. Palace. The woman seemed to believe the grimace portended something ill for her; tears leaked from her eyes, and her mouth worked, trying to force words past the gag.

*enter balefire and stuff*

Suddenly she stared in disbelief. Moghedien was gone! The balefire had not come nearer than ten feet from where she had stood, but she was not there any longer. It was impossible. She had been shielded.

Neither does she contemplate killing Moghedien (she might have eventually but didn't) nor does she know that the Forsaken can free herself and she most definitely does not just walk away.

She even says in the next chapter "Moghedien found me, and because I was worrying about how to bring her out for trial, Jeaine Caide nearly took my head off with balefire."

alreadymad @10069

The shield was already torn when he seized at the soft points. The Power was already filling him. Them being vulnerable to his counterattack was the direct side effect of their holding the shield when he broke through. Not the actual stilling, that would have been the effect of his counterattack.

That's the whole point (pun intended). The shield was torn but not destroyed or there wouldn't have been anything left for him to seize. The other individual shields he destroys just vanish like a pricked bubble. Shield gone, point gone. The last three don't because they are still in place and merely "punctured" until Rand attacks them with Spirit.

Apart from that, I agree. As soon as he touches the Source he could have just "flexed" like before to break the shields all at once but panicky as he was he chose to crush them which resulted in stilling.
Kurt Lorey
10088. Shimrod
While we await the next installment, I thought I might provide you with an imaginary television schedule, ala Randland. If anyone wants to fill in the ones I might have missed, feel free to chime in. Each show will have its title, network and a brief description of its content.

Andoran Idol (White Lion Network). Watch our cast of hopefuls as they compete this season for the title of Caemlyn Court Bard (a poistion that has sadly been vacant for far too long).

The Officer (White Lion Network). The continuing story of a lovelorn trooper and his unrequited love for the Queen of his heart.

How I Met Your Mother(s) (White Lion Network). The misadventures of a young lad from way down Baerlon way, which all started when he fell out of a tree.

Tu & the Halfman (Blight TV). The humorous adventures of a Darkfriend and his peculiar boss running a stable near Shayol Ghul.

The Moridin (Blight TV). The adventures of the master manipulator and arch rival of the Dragon, now in a new and shocking guise this turn of the Wheel.

Chosen Minds (Blight TV). An insider's look at the minds of the remaining Chosen of the Dark One (not suitable for younger audiences).

Cold Case (Blight TV). The race is on to find any remaining stasis boxes from the Age of Legends. Will any of the Chosen cooperate, or will they expend their resources alone in the hopes of keeping all of whatever they find?

Law & Order: Seandar (Paendrag Broadcasting Network). A group of dedicated Seekers and their never ending search for Darkfriends and plots against the Queen (may she live forever).

Ugly Keille (The Peddler Network). Follow the peddler known as Keille Shaogi and her partner Hadnan Kadere as their caravan braves the Aiel Waste in search of the profits that might come with the dawn. This season, they will be joined by the gleeman Jasin Natael, who is looking for an inspiration of epic proportions.

So You Think You Can Dance, Wetlander? (Aiel TV). Various members of different socieities pair off with wetlander warriors in order to test the contestants' dancing skills.

Survivor (Aiel TV). Efforts of the Wise Ones to corral He Who Comes With The Dawn in order to preserve a remnant of a remnant of the Aiel.

Roofmistress Swap (Aiel TV). Take two dissimilar home girls and exchange them between feuding septs. Fireworks to follow, and large numbers of new gai'shain.

Tales of the Tuatha'an (syndicated). Watch the weekly adventures of a group of Tinkers as they travel the countryside in search of the Song.

The Wisdom (syndicated). Our hosts visit with village Wisdoms, Herbalists and Wise Women to find out what makes them so special in the lives under their care.

The 100 Companions (syndicated). Fantastic tales from the Breaking of the World about Kinslayer and his closest friends.

The Big WoT Theory (syndicated). Listen to and vote interactively on the best (and worst) of the WoT theories. If you don't know who really killed Asmodean, this is your kind of show.

Rules of Engagement (syndicated). Battle tested strategems and rules of combat drawn from the greatest military minds in history.

The Insider (syndicated). See an insider's view of the Dragon Reborn from a Darkfriend perspective. Riveting, since the identity of the main character is a closely guarded secret.

The Bachelorettes (syndicated). Who will win the heart of the Dragon Reborn? A grueling set of competitions designed to winnow the wheat from the chaff. Nine contestants begin, but how many will be there for the end?

20-20 (syndicated). A roundtable format discussion using a reader's knowledge of "all things plotted" (through Book Twelve) to second guess fictional character motivations in Randland. Let the hilarity ensue.

30 Tar Valon (syndicated). An ensemble comedy loosely based upon the antics of the various denizens of the White Tower since the Breaking (blacklisted by the Amyrlin since 998 NE).

Dancing with an Aes Sedai (Tar Valon Network). Contestants try their hand at dancing with our full Aes Sedai without fumbling, stepping on toes, or worse.

CSI: Brown Ajah (Tar Valon Network). Follow in the footsteps of some of the trickiest cases ever, derived from the archives of the Brown Ajah.

Without a Trace (Tar Valon Network). Watch each week as our Warders-in-Training learn to hide their trails, wear fancloth to its best effect, and bluff their way through places that don't like Aes Sedai, like Tear.

Gray's Diplomacy (Tar Valon Network). Historical docu-drama showing aspiring Gray sisters how to manipulate political events and tensions to the Tower's benefit, all the while making the participants think that they have come out on top.

Rescue Me (Tar Valon Network). The story of the last Amyrlin to be raised from the former Blue Ajah, and her misguided plan to use half-trained girls in some wild goose chase, instead of full sisters.

Extreme Makeover (Tar Valon Network). The transformation of a brash tomboy from Baerlon into a demure beauty worthy of the Dragon Reborn (or just to hide her in plain sight from one track minded sisters). Our fashionista Leane, pulls out all of the stops to utilize the knowledge she acquired during her youth in Arad Doman to complete the dramatic tranformation.

My Name is Rand! (Two Rivers Broadcasting). A combination of cast this season with last season's surprise Ghost Whisperer results in an identity crisis.

The Apprentice (Two Rivers Broadcasting). Blacksmith or Wolf King? Either way our contestant has a lot to learn. Which will he choose?

Super Nynaeve (Two Rivers Broadcasting). The adventures of the youngest Wisdom in the history of Emond's Field. Braid your hair and hold on for the ride of her life!
10089. Don, Iowa
The cover art for the gathering storm... this reminds me of the manor house where Rand, Verin, Cadsuane, Nynaeve, Loial, Logain were attacked by all the trollocs at the mid-end of the last book. The blown out window was created by rand as he seized saidin and lews therin took control leaving this gaping hole.

Only speculation, but after the explosion/hand fried/capture forsaken event happened, they could have returned to the same manor.

as for who it is... Nyn - no, not braided, Verin don't believe so, Cadsuane - no too young, it could just be one of the servants.

P.S. sorry if someone already stated this (just hit this point in my re-read personally)
Blake Engholm
10091. UncrownedKing
Who's smarterMore Observant Than an Aes Sedai (FOXhead Network) Hosted by Matrim Cauthon. Contestants test their observation skills on a multitude of puzzles and pictures while Aes Sedai raise chins,glare, sniff, and fold arms. Tuesdays at 7:30 pm

Wipeout: The Childeren Of the Light (ABC) Because who wouldn't want to see this.
Monday-Sunday 6:00am - 8:00 pm (Go Light!)
Galen Brinn
10092. GatheringStorm
lol! Too funny, Shimrod...and you have waaaay too much free time on your hands.
10093. Don, Iowa
To Catch a Predator (Bashere Broadcasting) Boy meets girl, Girl follows boy. What's the worst that could happen?

*cutscene* Perrin: "I swear under the light I didn't know she was 15!!"

*booming announcer voice* Stay tuned for next week when we 'Meet the Parents'... you'll never guess how high up the food chain this predator went!
AJ MacPherson
10094. Mackey62
Bela (Two Rivers Broadcasting) Wild Adventures of everyones favorite horse!! Criss Cross the known world with this mysterious horse and her ever changing companions. Will Bela create the path of light or the dark one? Tune in and find out.
Blake Engholm
10095. UncrownedKing
*cutscene* Perrin: "I swear under the light I didn't know she was 15!!"

My sides!! Stop the pain! Lol phew that was good.
Alex Johns
10096. almuric
Variations on a theme

Aiel Friends (syndicated) This week Chiad threatens to take Gaul gai'shain; Bain sneaks a peak at someone changing clothes; A clan chief falls into a shallow creek and has to be rescued by a wetlander child; A gai'shain speaks out inappropriately.

Aes Sedai Pillow Friends (Playboy Channel) Elaida catches Alviarin canoodling with Yukiri; The Mistress of Novices admits her love of Egwene while strapping her; Mesaana comes out of the closet; Pevara finds a new use for the Chair of Remorse leading Seaine to use the Oath Rod in a new way.

Darkfriends (Blight Network) A family of Darkfriends in Altara goes about its daily business while trying to avoid notice. This week, the Seanchan have taken over and Dad is forced to bow to one of the Blood. Will he be able to keep his secret? One of the Children comes for dinner when a Seeker shows up - hilarity ensues.

(I can't be the only one who thought of non-standard uses for the Chair of Remorse, right?)
Brian Kaul
10097. bkaul
I posited that this is the point where the person and the Source meet. AFAIK, this can neither be proven or disproven from the text, I admit that. But it is consistent with the knowns. In fact, in your comment @10052, first the shield tears, then Rand attacks the soft points. If the balloon breaks, the only part left identifiable is the area of the knot, or the place where the person was holding it closed. He can't attack them with Spirit until he can channel, which isn't until the shield collapses. And once more to the ballon, what would you be attacking? The hand holding the balloon's end.

I would suggest that the problem with this analogy is that not only are their 'hands' blocking the hole in the 'balloon' but they're also the source of the material of the balloon itself. That is, if he pushed through and did not attack those soft spots, the balloon would be actively trying to reform itself. Just because he was strong enough to stretch the shield to where it began to disintegrate doesn't mean that the Aes Sedai stopped trying to shield him. The points he crushed were where the weaves of saidar were focused to form the shield, not where the Aes Sedai doing the weaving were located, or some part of their brains. But when he so violently broke free, the 'recoil' or 'feedback' surge was so powerful that it burned them out / stilled them.

If you want to stick with the balloon analogy, he pushed through enough to grab a hold of the source, but part of the balloon was still there, so he blew what was left of it to smithereens. In the process, he happened to blow off their hands, as well.

(Actual post 180 for those keeping count)
Dru O'Higgins
10098. bellman
I'll re-enter the whole Nynaeve/Moghedian killing issue. Someone mentioned that it would be murder. I accept that it might not work for the reader, making Nynaeve appear vicious. But from the pov of the character, remember that she has been taught from childhood that the forsaken are the definition of evil. The question isn't would you kill Hitler, but would you kill Satan's right-hand demon should you be given the opportunity?

Previewing tells me that this is comment 181.
Richard Fife
10099. R.Fife
Ghost Hunters (Blight TV) Watch as the Dark One finds the not-so-dearly departed and returns them from the here-after.

Saldaea Sweep(Blight TV) raiding a borderland town isn't just like a trip the market. Watch this competitive game show of shopping spree turned demolition derby!
Don Schmadeke
10100. Beelzaman
yay finally registered /pats self on back and kicks the old name Don, Iowa to the curb.

Anywho. Was the description of the building on the cover art covered elsewhere? I scrolled through and didn't see it mentioned in this listing here, was it covered in a previous posting (usually read all comments unless work gets crazy.. or we break 700+ comments) It really seems to me it is the manor house I mentioned @ 10089. Everything fits to me.
Antoni Ivanov
10101. tonka

Yes, I completely agree with you on everything. First the two fights are very different. Moiraine isn't there to fight Be'lal. She is there to kill him ,prevent him from killing Rand. Most likely that's why she shouted so that she can divert Be'lal attentions from Rand. She must have been panicked there. And speaking is faster than weaving balefire.
Or they were too close and she didn't want to risk hitting Rand.

While Nynaeve had Mog shielded and safe (in her opinion) and is contemplating how to get her out of the palace ... attacked ... Whoa.Moghedien's gone
10102. Spook
In my opinion the battle of Emond's field is very similar to the battle of the Hornburg. It has the same hopelessness of the non-soldier towns people (Two rivers folk -> people of Rohan) Both defending there children against a ruthless enemy that wants to wipe out every single soul.
In the end when everyone is retreating, hope comes from an outside source (Watch hill people -> Rohirim)

Don't get me wrong, I do not think it's a copy from LOTR. I think these two battles are the best I have ever read, which might be the reason I think they are so similar. Both scenes have that "the audience identification factor" that Leigh described so well.
sandi vogel
10103. sinfulcashew
1000000000062 Almuric:
'That guy' (T.L.) ROCKS!
Where was he 15 or 20 years ago?
(Probably in diapers?????)
He does great work!

If I had TV, I would like to see 'So you think you can dance, Wetlander?' and 'Roofmistress Swap!'
Pretty funny stuff!
sandi vogel
10104. sinfulcashew
Have to change to 'Aes Sedai Pillow Friends'!
Actually roflol and my cats think I'm goofy.
Alex Johns
10105. almuric
@100000000103 sinfulcashew
I think he was working in advertising in 1990. Yeah, I think he rocks, too. Of course, I'm an old-time D&D geek, so I'm probably biased. Was playing D&D before Jordan wrote his first Conan story. I'm gonna get that barfight scene one of these days when I have extra money.
Captain Hammer
10106. Randalator
Blood and bloody ashes! (FOX Network) Crazy antics with your favourite battle genius. This time hilarity ensues as Mat gets forced into marriage with a tiny bald person he doesn't know. In an unrelated sideplot he doesn't want to be a hero but totally is. Don't miss this. Tomorrow it might be cancelled because cult followings freak us out.
Antoni Ivanov
10107. tonka

At the end of the next book (TFOH) we'll see again Nynaeve contemplating what to do withe captured Moghedien (oh gosh girl, She must be the Forsaken that has been defeated and captured most times) . She cannot make herself kill her. Fortunately she finds out who she is disguising and all's good till the end of LoC when she escapes again.
Richard Fife
10108. R.Fife
@Randalator That's it! Rupert Murdoch is the Dark One! Holmes is Asmodean!
10109. alreadymadwhenRandlosthand
Randalator @10087
A shield is a shield. It's not like he had partial access to the one Power when he counterattacked. With the three knotted ones unraveled, the remaining three could either hold him in or miserably fail in the attempt. And if the sisters were holding the shields when Rand forcibly unraveled them, it would have backlashed. At that instant they wouldn't have been channeling at all.

Don, Iowa @10089
Rand/LTT didn't blow a hole through the walls or windows. All he did was stick his hands through the opening of the windows.
Better chance that it was at the hand-blowing place itself. As the scenery there included some rundown houses. Though how Aviendha ended up there is beyond me. Could be one of the servants. Or even one of the bonded Aes Sedai.
Roger Powell
10110. forkroot
Off topic to WoT, but if you know D&D and LoTR,
have you checked out Dungeon Master of the Rings?

I almost split a gut laughing. Highly recommended.
10111. Freelancer
The weave was gone by then, and from what we know, weaves collapsing have a nasty habit of backlashing on the channeler. So the three were no longer channeling when Rand attacked the soft points. How was he able to feel his way to their connection to Saidar?
I'm not simply trying to be stubborn (although I am that), but there's a few things we can't be sure of. Your final question is the most important. I always thought there was a problem there, but we have what we have. But your first statement, that the weave was gone, I want to examine. Is the weaving gone, or the end object of the weaving? Maybe there is no distinction, maybe there is. If there is, then the channeler at the other end is still putting out threads, but the form they originally took has been destroyed.

I still return to the description of the event, where two very disparate things happen. The shield get shredded, after which Rand is able to channel. Then, by channeling, he takes the violent action that follows. That doesn't leave much room to be seen as rebound, or backlash. And given

As for the analogy failing, if, after bursting the balloon, I destroyed the hand that had been holding it closed, that hand won't be doing anything with a balloon again. Rand destroyed the link to saidar, they won't channel again. (Unless Healed, of course)

Thanks to tonka@10068, we have the follow-up Rand POV where he knows that he stilled the three victims of his breakout, that though the knowledge came from LTT, it was Rand channeling, and he dispensed summary judgement on those three Aes Sedai, knowing the results. That's surely more than backlash, that's a chosen action.

We totally agree that there's a point in this bit where suspension of disbelief is strained, regarding how he could feel their contact with the Source.
Dru O'Higgins
10112. bellman
Dungeon Master of the Rings killed me. There's something similar about star wars
Alex Johns
10113. almuric
R2-D2: No problem. I have Mechanic at max. I roll 01101.
GM: What?
R2-D2: Custom dice.
GM: Are they really labelled in binary? Let me see.
R2-D2: Of course. I got this set especially for playing robot characters.
GM: Are they chrome??
R2-D2: Titanium.

Both "DM of the Rings" and "Darth & Droids" are bookmarked. Both are excellent.
Galen Brinn
10114. GatheringStorm
From above, the book quote on the stillings:

When he reached for saidin, the invisible barrier was still there, but it no longer seemed stone or brick. It gave as he pressed, bending under his pressure, bending, bending. Suddenly it tore apart before him like rotted cloth. The Power filled him, and as it did, he seized at those three soft points, crushing them ruthlessly in fists of Spirit. Aside from that, he still could only channel where he could see,

An instant of regret that it was not Galina or Erian he had stilled-he was not sure he had intended to do that; Lews Therin had gone on at length about how he intended to sever every one of them who had imprisoned him; Rand hoped it had been his own idea, however hasty—an instant, and he saw another shape stretched out on the ground

Rand shows that he himself basically didn't intend that to happen. My original thought was that it was an unintended byproduct of breaking the shield and "crushing the points" that were attempting to maintain the shield. Further analysis would indicate that the channeling of Spirit at (and its result of stilling the TAS) "points" came more from LTT rather than Rand himself. Rand merely hopes that it was his idea because that would mean that he was in control rather than LTT. But as we see later, LTT is quite capable of seizing the Source and taking over...

So depending on how you look at it, the stillings were an unintended consequence.
10115. tamyrlink
i always felt that when rand broke the shield he (in like a metaphysical or metaphorical sense) followed the flows of saidar back to their source. cuz im assuming when he broke the shield they were holding its like he sliced their flows. and the text has shown that the flows snap back to a person like a rubber band. so im as thought (cuz you channel as fast as you can think, i think) he followed the sliced flows back to their source and "crushed those sources" with spirit. thats how i think he stilled them when he couldnt see them.


maybe their force of their snapped flow combined with rands force caused them to be stilled instead of just shielded. (i know i know, sliced flows dont really affect a channeler except to cause a lil pain)

and finally

my third theory (idk if this has already been posted up above but...)

maybe rands intention wasnt stilling the three sisters. maybe it was all lews therin. i know rand was in control of saidin but maybe LTT subconciously influenced him? my support for that theory is that when he was in the box LTT went on at length about how he would still them all.

and umm...thats all i got.
Captain Hammer
10116. Randalator
The Joy of Fencing (Randland Public Network) Make a big decision in your little world and become a Blademaster in just 13 lessons. Al'Lan Mandragoran will teach you useful sword forms like Swinging a Happy Little Sword, Beating the Devil out of It, The Fanbrush Touches the Canvas and Three Hairs and Some Air. Take the advanced course and become a al'Lan-certified instructor. But always keep in mind: You have to make those little noises, or it just doesn’t work.
Sam Mickel
10117. Samadai
Gladiator Bard (Randland public network), Watch as the top contestants compete to be the best at assassinating kings and princes, to interfere with Aes Sedai plots. There will also be the noble challenge where they will attempt to keep all the nobles fumbling over themselves and there plots for power.
10118. Balance
Damn. I always come too late to comment. Ahh screw it :) I like the baloon theory for Rand in the Box. I also believe that LTT knew full well he was going to still those three AS by squishing the "soft points" This is one of those "Rand held the power but LTT influenced his useage of it" (et al stone of Tear, ect) Really we should get into it at that point in the recap.

Nyn not killing MOG. Well moraine might have, but she's hard core. Nyn is still "innocsent" in the sence that she's only been out of her village fer about a year. Small town vales= 2 rivers. Besides, it good that she didn't. The same for Rand and capturing Asmo. Yes these forsaken are horribly evil, and deserve to die. However to throw away a bastion of AOL knowledge right when the end of the world is comming...meh I'd try Rands plan too. Now Nyn didn't have this plan till later, granted. However it does work out that we learned not to kill in cold blood. It can never be taken back. (unless of coures your target is hooked to the DO, ie Ishy, Lanfear, Bath, AG,......pah!
Kevin Morgan
10119. DrMorganstien
Interpreting Prophecy: The Elaida Show (Tar Valon Netowrk) This exciting new show is the one and only source for perfectly logical proof as to why the world will work itself out exactly the way Ms. do'Avriny a'Roihan has planned.

Be All You Can Be: An Army Of One (Blight TV) This week we will follow a new recruit into the forces of The Great Lord of The Dark. As a young Trolloc, Narg always dreamed of befriending a human one day. We have been eagerly watching his rise up the ranks all season, culminating the the exciting mission to ravage Emond's Field. In the exciting season finale we will see him get that chance, as a scared young farmboy meets the craftiest Shadowspawn this side of Shayol Ghul.

great idea, shimrod!
10120. Latecomer
"Aes Sedai Pillow Friends (Playboy Channel) Elaida catches Alviarin canoodling with Yukiri; The Mistress of Novices admits her love of Egwene while strapping her; Mesaana comes out of the closet; Pevara finds a new use for the Chair of Remorse leading Seaine to use the Oath Rod in a new way."

Almuric, you're a dirty dirty boy! I love it!

Balance - Don't worry - I'm later than you. I simply had to get into this crazy-number thread.

As for TV Shows:

Tinker Idol - Competing to find 'the song' - can someone please write it up nice, I got no idea about your Amrikan TV.
10121. AUgradGSUgradstudent
So as is my usual habit, I'm just going to post a thought and then probably not check to see if anyone responds.

First off, excellent re-reads Leigh, in my two or three posts I don't think I've said that.

On the "everyone hates stupid Elaida" issue, during my own re-read this time something finally clicked into place that I've been missing. I don't think it comes up until tFoH, so maybe I should hold off, but I don't want too, lol. Elaida, while being annoying and stupid, isn't ENTIRELY to blame for her actions. Remember, Fain spends some time in the Tower and speaks with Elaida. He even hints later something along the lines of he set some things in motion in the Tower by brushing them with whatever Shadar Logoth foulness he has. So a large part of the crazy suspicion of Elaida and other sisters has it's roots in Fain.

Of course, this is probably something other people have picked up on before, but it does make me just majorly hate Elaida as opposed to full-on "want to kill" loathing.
craig thrift
10122. gagecreedlives

Your most certainly welcome. I am a big fan of good and bad puns much to my friends disgust. And if TV has taught me anything is that genetically modified rats are both wise and cool.

Speaking of TV this Randland TV thing certainly looks like more fun than the Nynaeve moral debate.

Cooking for Trollocs with Martha Stewart

Wes Craven presents Ishy Krueger

In the dreams of his victims, the dark one’s champion stalks the ancestors of the Dragon, the one that partially bound him.

Buy Lanfears Ab King Pro to help maintain those sleek sexy abs and help reduce the effects of 3000 years of ageing. But now and receive a free set of Shayol Ghul steel steak knives.

Today on The View it’s the Red Ajah on why all men are stupid and evil.

Its Late Night with the Caracarn tonights musical guest Asmodean

On this episode of The Days of our Past and Present Lives, Cadsuane orders Alanna to pour her some tea from the carefully crafted silver teapot with the golden butterflies on the side that have blue wings that is sitting on the not quite so carefully crafted table that has a wonderful silk table cloth, into her expensive sea folk made porcelain tea cup, while one of her ter angreals vibrates in pleasure in anticipation of the tea. Meanwhile LTT rages in Rands head about some dead woman.
John Massey
10123. subwoofer
Wow! I go away for a Canadian long weekend- God save the Queen and we broke the 10000 mark? weeeee! meh, kidding- I can count- fingers, toes and all... figured the site went sideways...

Um wading in on the Ny vs Mo fight- reminds me of the discussion of Roy Jones vs Hagler... I guess that Ny acted on her code of ethics and kept in character. She did self impose a block on herself b/c she was scared of so much power.

It would of been nice if she would of taken it to the next level. You have the Forsaken, sworn baddies, nothing redeeming about them, general piss-flaps all around. If ever there was an "he needed killing" law waiting for a reason to happen- this would of been it. Kill her. Deal with the guilt later... when you have to deal with one less Forsaken floating around... of course, my sense of morality may be a bit looser than Ny's.

Two River's folk shouldda started the wave at the end...

'K- No rotting fruit-
Broke Back Dragonmount(FlamingTV{TarValon}).Story of a man torn between three loves, then realizing that they were all an escape for him to admit his true feelings, deep down to the one he loves... Bela...

-Edit- I thought Free was bad, but that first block of text for chapter 54- wooo!
-Edit, edit-@3FSS aww yeah...
10124. Latecomer
GradSTudentetc.. your "everyone hates stupid Elaida" issue

Elaida has already been showing her true colours, first in Camelyn and then in the deposing and stilling of Suian and Leane. And Fain ain't been nowhere near her yet.

So Fain's influence just magnified her already hatable tendencies some more.
10125. Aye Aye Sedai
I like the shield as a balloon/membrane analogy - Increase the pressure/volume inside and stretch the membrane til it weakens/breaks. Could also form an inclusion around the the source and use the holders own shield to surround and cut them off - it was possibly the snapping or the loss of the focus/shield that forced a rush and burnout stilling - can we tell the difference between a burnedout vs a stilled AS?

Would Elayne have taken the time to spank the Panarch or just used the power - flows of air to other wise bind/ paddle / Poke her???

10126. wsean
Something to consider, on Moiraine shouting at Be'lal...

The third Oath says that you can't use the OP as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the defense of your life, your warder's, or another Sister's. Do the Forsaken count as Shadowspawn? I'm not sure that they do, since that's always been used to refer to creatures of the Dark One--trollocs, myrddraal, draghkar, etc.

If that's the case, Moiraine had to put her life in danger in order to be able to attack Be'lal. Thus the shout. Makes a lot more sense if this is the case.
Kevin Morgan
10127. DrMorganstien

I think that is the reason for the Mo shout as well. I seem to remember then AS at Dumai's Wells doing something similar. But I'm kind of an idiot, so it could've been somewhere else, or maybe someone suggested something like that once.
Roger Powell
10128. forkroot
wsean@10126 (still wondering about these numbers)

Excellent insight! I think you are right (and these kind of insights are exactly why I like this forum.)

Seems like the entire discussion about whether Nynaeve should kill a defenseless Moghedien has assumed the Forsaken to be a different case from Shadowspawn.

I don't have an explicit case from the text, but I don't think anyone would advocate sparing the life of a defenseless Myrddraal. So even though the Forsaken are just as evil (and a whole lot more dangerous) somehow we accord them certain rights or consideration (quarter?) because they are human.

This is an especially curious case of speciesism given that the world of WoT has rational, self-aware beings besides humans. Certainly we would not kill a defenseless Ogier.

So why are we OK with slaughtering a defenseless Myrdraal? If we make the argument that a Fade is intrinsically evil, then how would the Forsaken be any different?

Interestingly enough, a Fade can be at least turned away from doing the Dark One's bidding. We know that because Fain has one working for him now. Whether the Myrddraal works willingly or out of fear, we reach the disturbing conclusion that it is a sentient, self-aware being capable of thought, abstract reasoning, etc.

And I still want to kill the scummy thing....
10129. Freelancer
Aye Aye Sedai

The text of that passage has been posted at least twice in this thread, and the action that caused stilling was clearly NOT the rebound/backlash of the weave being torn. First Rand breaks the sheild. Then he feels the Source flood into him. Then he reaches out with "fists of Spirit" and crushes the points of origin of the shield. Immediately afterward he realizes that they were stilled by this action, he reflects that he isn't sure that he intended that, while simultaneously flickering on regret that neither Galina nor Erian were among the victims of his counterattack.

There was a concious, violent, designed attack once saidin was available to Rand, that resulted in destroying those three Aes Sedai's access to saidar.


Yes, an odd tangle the Tower makes for its initiates. If Moiraine believes that she needs to defend her own life, or Lan's, she's free to channel as a weapon. But different women, under different circumstances, would surely define much different points of conflict as the threshhold required to meet that oath. One Aes Sedai might feel herself in mortal danger being in the same building with Be'lal, while another would feel constrained until she saw him actually trying to channel at her, or attack her in another way. Tons of wriggle room with those oaths.

Say that one Aes Sedai believes that the term Shadowspawn, as it is used in the oath, is meant to include the forsaken or even darkfriends, while another does not. The two sisters could be standing side by side, and one could attack a bad guy on sight, while ther other must wait until "fired upon" to respond.
j p
10130. sps49
10087 (or whatever) Randalator & 10101 (15?) tonka-
and 10126-27, now-

Moiraine shouted because she could only use the One Power vs. Shadowspawn, e,g, the Trollocs and Fades. Unless her life is in danger. I don't recall an exception for humans who are also Darkfriends (cite if you do, anyone), so this is scary brave.
The AS at Emond's Field, Dumai's Wells and with Mat in KoD do the same, but I still feel Moiraine vs Be'lal is tops.

Nynaeve vs Moggy- ain't she lucky she had just gotten herself all good 'n' mad?
Captain Hammer
10131. Randalator
alreadymad 10109

A shield is a shield. It's not like he had partial access to the one Power when he counterattacked. With the three knotted ones unraveled, the remaining three could either hold him in or miserably fail in the attempt. And if the sisters were holding the shields when Rand forcibly unraveled them, it would have backlashed. At that instant they wouldn't have been channeling at all.

Okay, I'm really not sure what you are trying to tell me and I have the nagging feeling that we're going in circles. So I'll give it one last try and we'll either agree in the end or we'll have to agree to disagree...or possibly keep misunderstanding each other.

The only point I am trying to make here is: The three shields are still there and the sisters are still holding them which makes Rand able to attack and consequently still them. The reasons for this assumption are as follows:

- The three soft points are a manifestation of actively held shields.
- Not actively held shields would have hard points.
- When Rand touches the source he has created a tear in the shields, but the shields as such are still in place (like a hole in a canvas doesn't make the whole tent disappear).
- The shields are not destroyed at that point because a destroyed weave immediately snaps back into the channeler. They don't leave a ruin that the channeler can still hold onto like the hilt of a broken sword for example.
- Weaves can, however, be altered. A ward against eavesdropping can be bored through, one ward can push another aside, balefire can be split, etc. The weave still exists it's just incapable of doing what the channeler originally intended.
- So the presence of the three soft points is evidence that the shields still exist and are actively held by the three sisters.

Rand stretches a hand through the torn canvas and touches the source. Then instead of just ripping it apart and forcing himself through completely he attacks the shields (a.k.a. the tent) with "fists of spirit" crushing them which causes the stilling of the unfortunate three.

That is how he was able to still them. They were still holding on to their still existent but now ineffective shield...
j p
10132. sps49
And can we stop with the "fists of spirit" bit? One, this is a bird explaining swimming to another bird. Second, arguments are being repeated. Wait until LoC and we can go through it all again.
Captain Hammer
10133. Randalator
sps49 @10132

this is a bird explaining swimming to another bird.

I'm a penguin. Go figure. ;-)
10134. alreadymadwhentheshieldstore
The shields were gone by the time he could reach the Power. Your examples are wards and do not hold up. While wards are tied off you can bore holes in them. But in Salidar they simply maintain the wards and that is enough for them to detect when somebody tries to bore through and listen in. You can't alter somebody else's weave while they're holding it, let alone one made of the opposite half of the Power. You can slice them, interrupting the weave always causes the weave to rebound back on the channeler doing the weaving.
Shields are specific in that they block the Power off, if a person can hold the Power then there is no shield. There's no such thing as a partial shield or an ineffectual shield with holes. It's an all or nothing, pass or fail, shielded or free kind of deal.
-When Rand is shielded, he cannot feel the Source at all.
-If enough are holding the shield, he feels it like a brick wall between him and the source. As those holding the shield become fewer, he can also feel the shield becoming softer, more malleable.
-LTT describes where he can probe the Shield as points. They are soft when held and hard when knotted.
-When Rand reaches for the Source, since the shields are no longer enough to hold him, they are torn apart.
This where theory comes in.
>Mine is that they should have rebounded back on the sisters like any other instance of interrupted weaving. There are still points for Rand to attack, but we later see that attacking these cause damage to the sisters directly. So they aren't the actual shields. They are actually the connections between the sisters and Saidar. How is Rand able to find them? We know he can't follow threads of Saidar. He can't even see anything in that box.
>I further theorize that Shielding creates a metaphysical connection between the one holding it and the one being shielded. The one holding it is essentially using her own connection to the Power to patch and block the other one's access. This would make her vulnerable if the other were to break free.

And I'm a flying fish.
Antoni Ivanov
10135. tonka
-When Rand is shielded, he cannot feel the Source at all.

That is not true. He can feel the source while shielded. That's pointed in dozens of instances throughout the books.

For whether they were partial shields or not I cannot be sure but I rather agree with alreadymad...
10136. Nanaimobar
Wow. One of the best climaxes of any of Jordan's books.

Battle of the Two Rivers = Agincourt.
Really, the buildup, the battle and the aftermath was as good as Henry V. Yup, Putting Jordan up there with Will S. The only thing that I wish is that Jordan could have written the Tarmon Geddon scenes himself...or maybe he did.

Just one big bundle of AWSOMENESS. And one of the reasons that I found books 9 and 10 somewhat lacking. After the climaxes of TEoTW, TDR and TSR, it took until KoD to reach this level of sustained greatness. (Course KoD puts one part right in the prologue, creating bookends of awsomeness)
10137. alreadymadwhentheshieldbroke
Tonka @10135
Well yeah.. he can feel it just beyond his reach. He couldn't seize it.

Nanaimobar @10136
Well the climax of LoC was awesome itself. And you can tell we can't wait for it.
Captain Hammer
10138. Randalator
alreadymad @10134

-When Rand is shielded, he cannot feel the Source at all.

Wrong on several accounts: For one, as pointed out by tonka, you can feel the source when actively shielded but you're unable to touch it.

When the shield gets tied of, however,...

Slowly, ever so slowly, he fumbled into one of those gaps, squeezing through infinitesimal spaces between what seemed not to be there at all. Slowly. How long before the others returned? If they took it up again before he found a way through this tortuous labyrinth . . . Slowly. And suddenly he could feel the Source, like brushing it with a fingernail; the bare edge of a fingernail. Saidin was still beyond him — the shield was still there — but he could feel hope welling in Lews Therin.
(LoC, ch. 55)

It's by far not enough to seize the Power but he can actually touch it by the smallest fraction...

-If enough are holding the shield, he feels it like a brick wall between him and the source. As those holding the shield become fewer, he can also feel the shield becoming softer, more malleable.

Quite the opposite. The shields are a brick wall with a soft spot where the shield is held. If the shield is tied off the brick wall remains the same but the soft spot becomes hard as well.

Six points, but one was hard now. Not soft; hard. And then a second. A third. Rasping laughter filled his ears; that was his, he realized after a moment. A fourth knot became hard.
(LoC, ch. 55)

The shield only becomes flexible when the number of individual shields is reduced to three, which isn't enough to hold him. Earlier during his escape he is down to 4 individual shields, two of them actively maintained. The shield is solid. A third Aes Sedai takes up one shield (making it 3-1) and it feels solid. Rand breaks the last tied off shield (3-0) and THEN the whole construct becomes malleable.

That is just a result of Rands comparative strength and can also be seen when Nynaeve shields Logain and Nynaeve herself is shielded by one of the windfinders. The stronger the shielded is compared to the shielder, the more flexible the shield appears to the shielded.

You can't alter somebody else's weave while they're holding it,

Wrong again. Rand does exactely that when he splits Ishamaels balefire in TDR. Balefire is a weave that has to be maintained for the duration of its existence.

When Rand reaches for the Source, since the shields are no longer enough to hold him, they are torn apart

That's my point. They are torn apart like cloth. The other shields just disappeared like a pricked bubble. *Pop*, gone. These three tear which implies that there is still a general structure present. A tear requires a medium that can be torn. If the shield as such had been completely destroyed I'd expect a description like "bursting" or some such...
Kurt Lorey
10139. Shimrod
I forgot soap operas!

All My Children. The stories of Novices and Accepted as told by various Mistresses of Novices.

Another Life. Another turn of the Wheel for the Heroes of the Horn.

As the Wheel Turns.

The Bold-nosed & the Beautiful Minx. Cat fighting to get that man.

Dark Shadows. A Myrddraal favorite!

Dynasty. The travails of the Trakand family of Andor.

The Edge of the Blight.

Guiding to the Light. A travelogue through the mysterious Ways.

Cuendillar is a Many splendored Thing. See how cuendillar is made for both everyday usage and for blocking fortified harbors.

One Life to Live. Hopeful story of a young man called Lews Therin Telamon.

Moiraine's Hope.

Search for the Dragon Reborn. Spin-off of Moraine's Hope.

The Gathering Storm. Plotline yet to be determined.

The Younglings & Tar Valon.

Some of the other entries cracked me up as well.
Jim Adams
10140. dubjazz
I just copied this from the WOT Facebook page. Posted by Melkias Jemm Jembere;

One of the highlights of the JordanCon convention was the “reading” from the prologue of THE GATHERING STORM. It turned out not to be a reading, but an audio recording of Robert Jordan dictating the opening of the book. It was recorded just 20 days before he passed away. The recording will not be released anytime soon, but here is a overview of what it was about :

*Spoilers (Sort-of)*

We're in the viewpoint of a well-to-do farmer. Not rich, but doing well enough to have several farmhands working for him. He looks to the north, and sees clouds on the horizon -- black and silver clouds. Not dark grey and light grey, like people mean when they see black clouds, or silver ones, but pure black and silver. And they move oddly -- he's a farmer, and familiar with weather and those clouds are rolling forward at a good clip, they should be here in an hour or two... but they aren't coming any closer.

And there's thunder, but it doesn't seem to come from the clouds. Sometimes it sounds from the horizon, and sometimes almost right overhead, and it too moves back and forth through the sky. He looks away, and when he looks back up, the clouds are almost on him, and the thunder is still rolling through the sky.

Then he sees a friend from town coming up the road, the local blacksmith, riding on a wagon packed with belongings. There's a milk-cow following behind it, and chickens in cages, and furniture and everything. The smith stops to talk to the farmer, and tells him that there's a storm coming, they're going north. The smith starts telling the farmer where he's buried his anvil behind the forge, and where his best tools are buried, and that the smith's wife polished up the copper pots the farmer's wife liked and that they're waiting in the kitchen for her.
The farmer asks what's going on, and all the smith says is that there's a storm coming. The smith's wife is on the wagon, too, and she hands down a basket of eggs, saying that they're for the farmer's wife. They're getting ready to leave, and the smith starts giving advice -- You have a light forge for repairing stuff around the farm, right? Take your best scythe and turn it into a polearm. Not your second best, or your third best; this is the weapon you'll be using the most often. You fight a man on a horse, and you stab him with the polearm and pull him down off it. Take your second best, and third best scythe, and turn them into swords.

The farmer asks how you do that, and the smith tells him that a sword is basically a scythe-blade. Take a block of wood and put it at the end to keep your hand from slipping onto the blade. Take another block of wood, and stick it on for a handle. Then the smith tells him to kill his cows, and his goats, and turn them into meat -- there'll need the food, and there'll be men willing to pay for the meat. There's a storm coming.

As the smith is leaving, the farmer's wife comes out, and asks who that was. The farmer says that it was the smith, and that the smith's wife had a basket of eggs for her. The farmer's wife says that was nice, and starts putting the eggs from the basket into her apron, thinking that the smith's wife will be back later for the basket, or send someone around. The farmer tells her that they said a storm was coming, and that they were going north for some reason, and that the smith had buried his anvil and tools and told the farmer where they were, and that the copper pots she liked are all shined up and waiting for his wife to pick up. And he hears this crack, crack, crack, and turns to see the eggs dropping from his wife's apron as she stares in shock.

The farmer goes to his light forge, and looks at his second-best scythe. Then he stops, and takes the best scythe down, and starts taking the handle off it. He calls his hands in, and tells them to start getting things together, they're going north. The men ask what's going on, and all he can tell them is a storm coming, we're going north. He takes a hammer and starts pounding on the scythe, to take the handle off, and the strikes echo oddly around the force, ringing louder than they should, and it almost sounds like the thunder as the hammer comes down on the scythe, and in the back of his head, it's almost like he hears a voice saying with each strike, 'the storm is coming,' 'the storm is coming,' 'the storm is coming.'
10141. warcaller

Moiraine contemplates whacking Verin with the One Power when Verin twigs about one of the three boys with her being the Dragon Reborn. Verin doesn't explicitly threaten Moiraine or Suian, yet Moiraine still feels that its enough to get around the oath which is liberal reading of the third oath. I'd think that Moiraine shouting is more about distracting Bel'al then drawing his attention so she can get around the third oath.
Blake Engholm
10142. UncrownedKing
@ 10140

If the storm is coming from the north why would you head towards it? Wouldn't you instead head away from it?

Why did the wife drop the eggs? Did she see something or was it because the smith's wife cleaned the pots?
Richard Fife
10143. R.Fife
One, they are heading toward the storm to fight. The people of Randland are going to fight. An intrinsic "must fight the last battle" response is manifesting in everyone.

Second, yes, the pots. The farmer's wife knows how much the "the best" pots are worth, and how serious things must be that the smith's wife left the pots behind. It shocks her so much that she forgets herself and even lets the eggs drop, a big no-no in a world where food is semi-sparse and eggs are valuable.

First answer is from myself, second answer is actually from discussion I had with Wilson over it.
Don Schmadeke
10144. Beelzaman
@10109 alreadymadwhenRandlosthand. I for some reason remember that during the struggle over who got Saidin there was an explosion of splinters.. could be me though, Don't have the book with me at work or I'd look it up.
John Massey
10146. subwoofer
Not to bring up controversies from past posts but... how come nobody gave me props for my Looney Tunes link? The classics are dyin' over here.

Not the biggest fan of Facebook but I'm a thinkin'- why did the smith bury his anvil? I feel whop ass comin' on. Who was the smith too? How was he plugged in? In the know? Getting the straight poop? Gonna have to figure out this Facebook thingy...

oh yeah.... Hi Leigh... good post... natives are getting restless.
Alex Johns
10147. almuric
Catcher, Sniffer, Sailor, Spry (Tarmon Gaidon Network) After the final battle, four friends decide to go into the private investigation business. Juilin finds out he prefers the company of thieves over the nobles; Hurin sniffs out more trouble than he can handle alone; Bayle Domon is forced to lie to his Seanchan wife in order to do what needs doing; Thom Merillin attempts to not get drawn back into Daes Dae'mar.

Super Friends (Cairhien networks) Six friends live in two apartments above an inn in Cairhien. Perrin (the steadfast one) finds he's tired of turning out Chamfer Knives; Mat (the lovable idiot) finds that acting doesn't make much money but the access to girls makes up for it; Rand (the smart doofus) teaches channeling at Cairhien U. while talking to his imaginary friend; Egwene (the neat freak) tries to clean the whole town with the One Power; Nynaeve (the hair-obsessed one) decides to try retail sales instead of healing; Aviendha (the ditzy one) tries busking for a living. Catch their zany adventures every week.

And I'm not saying that Nynaeve was acting out of character. I'm saying she was behaving like 'lawful stupid'. If I was in that situation I'd take one for the team and deal with the consequences later. You do not let someone with that level of awfulness continue to walk the earth. RJ could have shown Nynaeve's internal struggle on whether or not to kill her with Ny finally deciding to do that even though she knows she'll feel bad about it forever but then is unable to follow through because of the balefiring. Same end result and you get a slightly different internal conflict for her. I could picture a great scene a book or two later where she admits to almost killing a helpless Mo and Aviendha telling her that she was right to do that as rabid dogs need to be put down which makes Nynaeve feel better. Or something.

I'm not saying it's badly written. But I'm sitting there reading, yelling at her to kill Mo while she's complaining about not being able to bring her to trial. You know if you saw it at the movies some guy in the audience would be shouting, "Kill her!"

(Comment 230 for those who're keeping track.)
Alex Johns
10148. almuric
@10146 subwoofer
Why did the smith bury his anvil? To keep it from being stolen while he's away fighting TG. I imagine all three ta'veren are up there, fighting, and this is the call to arms. Sort of like 'need' in TAR. Rand, Mat, and Perrin need everyone to fight. If you sit this one out you better hope you're not a pretty boy or else Graendal will make you her stupid-boy.

I think this scene is just intended to show how the average Joe gets his call-to-arms. Instead of every king sending out riders to every farm, the pattern takes care of getting the word out. I can't believe that this is the beginning of 'The Gathering Storm'. Maybe the second or even the third one, but I think we're still far enough away from TG at the end of KoD that this scene would be premature to start the next book with.
Josh Davis
10149. YoSoyElJosh
@10148 almuric

Well, depending on how far south the farmer and blacksmith are, it may take them weeks or months to get up there. Some might not even get there in time for the battle to start.

But considering the timelines of the most recent books, a lot of them take place over a relatively short period of time, as the numerous viewpoints need more screen time. Between KOD and Tarmon Gaidon, we might only be looking at three or four weeks of real time passage.

At this point in the story, things are happening quickly for our characters (even if it takes a whole book for them to get something done).

That is my take, at least.

Also, I am completely in love with the idea of something pulling the Randlanders towards the Blight. The Pattern requires an army, and it will have one.
Richard Fife
10150. R.Fife
Almuric, we were promised, that scene is the first scene of the prologue of tGH. I have it on good authority of our own metatron.
Richard Fife
10152. R.Fife
tGH! we are retconning everything! WoT will be a trilogy after all! MWHAHAHAHA

ahem, sorry, The Gathering Storm is what I meant to say.
Don Schmadeke
10153. Beelzaman
heh, it took me a minute to guess it was tGS (still consider it AMoL after all this time).
Brian Kaul
10154. bkaul
You can't alter somebody else's weave while they're holding it, let alone one made of the opposite half of the Power. You can slice them, interrupting the weave always causes the weave to rebound back on the channeler doing the weaving.

I think there's another option here, though: you can block the effect of a weave without slicing the weave itself. If one person is channeling fire and another channels air and water to douse it, rather than slicing the weave, the fire (effect of weave 1) might be extinguished even though the weave itself is still being held. I think when Rand "tears" through the shield here, the Aes Sedai are still holding their weaves; they've just become ineffective, but haven't been sliced. So, as I see it, the "soft points" where the weave forms up into the shield are still there because they're still attempting to shield him, even though he's no longer effectively shielded.

Now, we have been given a POV by tonka that clarifies that LTT knew that what Rand did would still the Aes Sedai, and it may not have been entirely unintentional. But it seems that what he did wasn't to metaphysically locate the AS in question and cut off their connection to the source directly, but to locate the endpoints of their shield weaves and somehow do something there to still them. Exactly how that works is speculation, of course ...

Galen Brinn
10155. GatheringStorm
YoSoyElJosh said:

At this point in the story, things are happening quickly for our characters (even if it takes a whole book for them to get something done).

That's been a huge part of the problem for books 8, 9 and most of 10. 11 started to pick up the pace (at least for me). I just hope that we won't get so much that seems to be filler; taking-10-pages-to-describe-Egwene-walking-around-the-camp-type-stuff. *I know that this is a bit of an exageration, but you all know what I'm talking about.*

I haven't yet read any of Sanderson's works but based on what I'm reading here from others, I have little doubt that I won't be disappointed. I rather think that RJ himself would have fixed things, as I recall reading where he recognized that the "timing" of the last few books didn't work out quite like he'd planned/thought.
10156. Rand Al'Todd
The whole Nynaeve killing Mo morality thing.

I don't think anyone has commented on the most important (IMHO) aspect of the decision -


Our heros are (and know they are) already fighting for position in the final battle.

Nynaeve had an enemy general in her sniperscope and did not pull the trigger. She had some reasons, and it certainly appears that she thought she had more time to act than she actually did.

Like the guy in Private Ryan, the individual she lets escape is going to come back and cause additional woe.

But, as far as morality, this is WAR. You kill the enemy when and where you can. You do not wait for them to wake up, or pick up their weapons, or turn around. You sneak into their tents while they are asleep and slit their throats - as many as you can before one of them wakes up. You catch them at their camp fire and shoot them before they can reach their rifles. You out flank them and shoot them in the back. (i.e. you make some other son of a bitch die for his country.)

And you know that your actions and orders may result in some of your friends and allies being killed, but you hope (like Hank's charater in Ryan) that the actions you take and orders you give end up saving more lives than they cost.

And when you shoot a guy wearing an enemy uniform, you don't worry that he might have been the one destined to cure cancer or invent the trans-warp drive. Because he definately is the guy who will try to shoot you and your friends five minutes from now if you don't shoot him while you have the chance.

That's both the horror and the reality of war. And remember, Rand and Nynaeve (and Mat, Perrin, etc.) did not start all this for the glory of the Two Rivers or because Rand wanted to be the Dragon Reborn. They got where they are mostly because they are trying to avoid being Trolloc Stew.
10157. david-2
By the way, how many are defending Emond's Field from the Trollocs? Emond's Fielders, people from outlying farms, and so on, add up to?? The reason I ask - I thought Emond's Field was a small town - one inn, sees a single peddler a year and a gleeman once a decade, makes Baerlon look like a big city - I imagined a couple of hundred people, maximum.

Yet they somehow defeat thousands of Trollocs led by a score or more of Halfmen?
Michael Catapano
10158. hoping
I would have guessed about five hundred with all the outlying people. Just Perrin's family was at least fifteen (all dead) but other families must have been similarly large.
But they also had
an ogier
three aiel
two AS and warders
catapults and explosives
and the Two Rivers Longbow
Still, this marks the transtion of trollocs from fearsome shadowspawn to cannon fodder.
10159. david-2
With all the carping about the slowing of action in the last few books of WoT, I'm surprised no one has mentioned:

24 - 24 minutes of a single day of the life of Mat Cauthon, 1 minute of "real time" in each 1 hour episode. (Next season: The same 24 minutes, from Aludra's POV.)
10160. Wolfmage
I've always assumed that Rand's stilling of those sisters was a result of him being able to locate the nexus between the Aes Sedai and the moribund shield and strike accordingly. But I agree there's no solid evidence. The alternative weave backlash theory is interesting and could be plausible I suppose, but I don't think it is necessary.

I don't have much to add to what has already been said. But I will say I rely somewhat on info-hints from RJ in the remarks or thoughts of various channellers in the books, but particularly one instance with a red sister who was attacking the Black Tower. She thought she might get away by running into cover, because men usually think they need to see their target to channel. But we know that channellers only need to know exact locations not visually confirmed ones. I think that's a relevant clue here.

Rand only needs to locate the sisters to strike at them, and we have no need to assume he is limited to visual identification.

Think about it. Channelling is often employed at the unseen. We seen Rand locate and strike at invisible wires through mental focus. We see Lanfear and Rand both cut flows they can't see, but merely predict or imagine in their mind's eye. So it is not that much of a stretch to imagine that a 'live' weave of Saidar, which is touching Rand's channelling facility and just moments before was actually constricting it, would expose the location of the channellor.

I think we know too little about the relationship between channelling and physics to rely too heavily on a purely physical sense location as well. I mean this is a world with TAR and a True Source everywhere at the heart of creation - and the full explanation isn't entirely going to mesh with our materialist conceptions. Remember the conduit too. There were no grand sweeping weaves in the sky. Interaction can happen in the physical world without having a 1:1 transition through the physical world if that makes sense.
10162. david-2
(hoping@10158: your remark leads to another question: no cannon, so, what is the Randland term for "cannon fodder"? P.S., I agree, the Trollocs were sadly degraded here.)
Michael Catapano
10164. hoping
how about 'light fodder'
Antoni Ivanov
10165. tonka
I imagine Emonds Field with the farms around has about 1000 people and whole Two Rivers about about 4000 thousand people max. It seems quite reasonable.
Even if I am wrong and they are less I think that only the two Aes Sedai, two Warders and the Aiel can equal 100 hundred Soldiers at least.
And shadowspawn were not famous by winning with skills but by brute force and shear numbers.
And history has proven that with the right tactic and a bit of luck one thousand can hold and defeat fifteen thousands.
10167. alreadymadwhenbirdsswam
Randalator @10138
Rand does exactely that when he splits Ishamaels balefire in TDR. Balefire is a weave that has to be maintained for the duration of its existence.

Consider where he was and what he had in his hands at the time. Is there any indication this is a similar occurrence? While we're on that, has that occurrence happened again? In any case, the balefire wasn't performing a different function from what it was designed to. It still obliterated things it came across. Just redirected away from Rand.

Even if there were still scraps of the weave remaining, (which I'm still not convinced there would be) the sisters would know the instant it collapsed and would have done one of two things: Reform the weave and attempt to shield him again, or turn and run. In either case, my question still stands. How was he able to find his way to them to attack them? And if you're right, how is it that attacking the weaves themselves would cause such damage to the sisters? Stilling/shielding is always done by attacking the other person's connection to the Power, cutting him/her off. Not by attacking his/her weave.
Blake Engholm
10168. UncrownedKing
Ladies and gentalmen, I do not know this 'cannon' of which you speak. I do know of Dragon's however. Mighty metal tubular beasts who spit fire and rain death.

Yeah sorry
Sam Mickel
10169. Samadai
Sorry to bring this up now but since we are talking about the population of the TR's. In KoD's when Tam brings the archers Perrin notes that there must be 3-4000 of them. Tam says heonly brought the best of them. So if 3-4000 are only the best of the archers then the population of the 2 Rivers has to be lets say 80% higher, which would mean a total population of 15-20k people. assuming of course that 20% of the public is great with the bow
Michael Catapano
10170. hoping
After tSR, alot of people, some refugees, moved into the TR. How many is anyone's guess. Still a rural community such as the TR probably needs 10,000, from taren ferry to the south, for economic viability. Just a guess
Sam Mickel
10171. Samadai
Of course I realize that this is after the influx of Domani and Taraboni refugees, but does anyone think that there are 10-15k refugees.
Sam Mickel
10172. Samadai
By the way can anyone tell me who to call to get Randland tv. The worst show there has to be better than all the c**p here.
10173. david-2
... and the refugees wouldn't be good with the TR bow. Samadai's higher numbers might very well be right - for KoD. But ... not to cast doubt on the internal consistency of WoT ... I think the Two Rivers had some kind of "population inflation" between TSR and the later books, by which I mean not the influx of refugees, but a sort of change-of-conception on the part of RJ when it turned out that Perrin would be leading an awfully dinky army around if the TR was as depopulated as he originally made it seem....

(I guess that is casting doubt on the internal consistency of WoT after all...)
Blake Engholm
10174. UncrownedKing
Did crap become a foul word and no one told me?
John Massey
10175. subwoofer
crap's a bad word? Crap basket! I use it all the time. Oh, crap, I just did it again.... hmmmmm... excrement! Nope, doesn't sound the same...
Sam Mickel
10176. Samadai
Sorry did not want to offend anyone. I could dirty it up if you like
Don Schmadeke
10177. Beelzaman
About the cover art. In KoD pg. 409 (read it this morning) at the top of the page he talks about leaning on the window casement to sieze saidin. near the bottom of the page it states that the window casing he was bracing himself on explodes with shattered glass and stripped wood. It does not state how large the hole is, but it does fit.
Brian Kaul
10178. bkaul
An interesting note on the Oaths, as regards shadowspan and darkfriends: In New Spring, when we see Moiraine taking the Oaths, the relevant oath is worded:
Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life or that of my Warder or another sister.

But in The Great Hunt, when Sheriam is explaining the ter'angreal to Nynaeve (Ch. 23 "The Testing", p. 282), she says:
Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadow spawn, or in the last extreme of defending your own life, that of your Warder, or that of another sister.

So, did RJ change his mind on Darkfriends between writing these two books? Does a later reprinting of TGH modify that quote?

As for whether Darkfriends (and thereby Forsaken) are Shadowspawn, I think not. Shadowspawn always seems to refer to creatures "spawned" by the Shadow: Trollocs, Fades, Dragkhars, etc., not to humans or Ogiers or any other being that the Creator intended, whether they've turned evil or not. And the distinction between Darkfriends and Shadowspawn in the TGH quote seems to go along with that, to me.

So, either Moiraine took a more restrictive third Oath than is now used (doubtful), or maybe RJ changed his mind and decided not to include Darkfriends. There would certainly be difficulties with determining with certainty whether a person was a Darkfriend, and Moiraine's actions (shouting at Be'lal rather than immediately killing him, etc.) seem to back up the more restrictive reading.

Crystal McMillan
10179. CDragon27
I am a little behind on the reread. just got to what is easily my favorite part of the book. The Battle at Edmond's Field, still makes me cry. The images of women standing next to husbands, sons and brothers chokes me up. But I think the thing that got me when I read this the first time and still has the power to move me is the image of the Tinkers tying the children to their backs. Much harder to escape with a child slowing you down, but they don't hesitate. It is perfectly in keeping with their respect for life.
and I also missed seeing Perrin and the Two Rivers in the next book. I was pretty annoyed.
10180. the_wiggle
i see from the link that the cover art is it's usual hideous self. the characters are so poorly rendered as to be either unrecognizable or caricatures of themselves.

i'd rather see a plain brown wrapper lettered in crayon.
10181. Miythrandir
I love the note that Perrin leaves for Faile - beautiful.

Regarding the fight scene, I thought it was done well, but I would have liked to have seen some ultrahuge trolloc or some especially nasty fade take out several Two Rivers folk (maybe even Faile lol) for setting him up as big'n bad. Then to see Perrin take him down with his super-cool skillz. That would have been neat.
Mikael Pajunen
10182. BByte
I think the battle between Nynaeve and Moghedien in Tanchico is perhaps the best One Power battle scene in the series. Partly because it actually pits two characters with reasonably even strength in OP against each other on roughly even ground, but also because of the included, well done exposition about how channeling and OP works.

I've never been a fan of Perrin, but I was positively surprised on this re-read about his storyline. The battle at the end and especially several chapters before it were all excellent. Too bad it won’t last.
10183. Smatt
The White Tower engineered the destruction of Manetheren. This is what Fain was alluding too and why he high tails it off to tar Valon.

Love the TR battle and the it is the high point of Fail to date....

Nyn is awesome in the whole beating Moggy bit and I can agree that as a hero she could not kill in cold blood but maybe a touch of brain frying would have been ideal thing to do.

On the tv shows:
'How I Met Your Mother' a mockumentary on the love life of the Dragon Reborn.

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