Wed
Jun 17 2009 1:15pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 10

What up, yo: Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read! I hope you are all doing fabulously well this fabulous Wednesday.

Today we are covering four, count ‘em FOUR chapters of The Fires of Heaven, namely Chapters 22-25. Because I am just that awesome.

And modest. Obviously. Awesomely.

Previous awesome entries are here, awesomely. Spoilers are awes- okay, I can’t keep it up, the word doesn’t even make sense now. There are spoilers for the whole series up in here, mmkay?

So, yeah. Anyway. Read on, readers, read on!

Chapter 22: Birdcalls by Night

What Happens
Mat is getting a massage from Melindhra in his tent, who informs him he is well-muscled for such a short man. He grumbles about overly tall Aiel, and thinks that he can remember being taller than Rand when he rode against Hawkwing, and shorter than he is now when he fought beside Maecine. Lan had told him Maecine was a king of Eharon, one of the Ten Nations, from four or five hundred years before the Trolloc Wars.

Those were the earliest and latest of the memories that had been planted in his skull. Nothing after Artur Paendrag Tanreall, and nothing before Maecine of Eharon.

Melindhra is incredulous that he just shivered, and builds up the fire, slapping his rump on the way; he comments that if she keeps that up he’ll think she means to spit him for supper. He reflects that he supposes he’ll have to settle down someday, apparently with whoever the Daughter of the Nine Moons is, but he wants to have as much fun as possible until then, since he imagines he won’t have much after. The problem is that Melindhra seems to have chased every other possibility away. Melindhra says that she thinks he is not made for spits, but great honor, and that it is strange he effaces himself so. He asks what she means.

“You put yourself in the shadow of Rand al’Thor.”

“I’m not in anybody’s shadow,” he said absently. It could not be the necklace. He had given jewelry to other women, Maidens and others; he liked giving things to pretty women, even if all he got in return was a smile. He never expected more. If a woman did not enjoy a kiss and a cuddle as much as he did, what was the point?

She goes on about honor for a moment, with Mat not really listening, until she traces his hanging scar and asks if he earned it serving the Car’a’carn; he pushes her hand away and asks again if she’s sure she’s never heard of the Daughter of the Nine Moons. She replies that she has not, and is interrupted by birdcalls, from birds found in the Two Rivers, not the Waste. Melindhra jumps up and dons her shoufa and runs out, not wearing a stitch else; Mat tugs on his breeches and boots first. He looks at the foxhead medallion, which he has finally figured out had kept Moiraine from channeling at him in Rhuidean, and puts it on just in case, and runs out. He almost loses his head to a Trolloc sword the moment he emerges; he kills that one, and sees Aiel fighting with Trollocs and men as well; the men are shouting “Sammael! Sammael and the Golden Bees!” Mat fights on, yelling to the world in general that he is no bloody hero, and after fighting and killing a Fade realizes that the battle seems mostly over. He thinks that the night assault made no sense, and seemed to have accomplished nothing. Melindhra comes up and asks what it was he had been shouting, Carai something.

“Something I heard once,” he told her. “I liked the sound of it.” Carai an Caldazar! For the honor of the Red Eagle. The battle cry of Manetheren. Most of his memories were from Manetheren. Some of those he had had before the twisted doorway. Moiraine said it was the Old Blood coming out. Just as long as it did not come out of his veins.

She puts an arm around him and comments that she saw him fight the Nightrunner, and that he is as tall as he needs to be. He grins and heads back to the tent with her, though he can’t shake the feeling there was something wrong with the raid.

Rand jumps up and seizes saidin when he hears the birdcalls, and goes out and listens to the sound of battle coming up from below. Adelin and the rest of his Maiden guard are gone, to join the fighting, and Rand thinks that an attack down there makes no sense. He turns around and sees Aviendha behind him, wrapped in a blanket and moving dreamily toward a crooning figure before her. Rand balefires the Draghkar, and Aviendha comes to her senses and turns to him, and then raises her hand and sends a pillar of flame at him. He throws himself to the ground, and when it stops, jumps up and stomps toward her, furiously asking what she meant by that when he had just saved her life. She snaps that next time she will let the great Car’a’carn handle matters himself, and storms back into the tent. Rand turns and sees the second Draghkar’s corpse burning not a pace away from where he’d been standing. He goes to the tent flap and tries to apologize, and she yells back that he is a fool. He stands there, trying to decide if he should go in and risk that she was not covered or not, when Egwene and the Wise Ones approach and examine the Draghkar’s corpse. He tells them what happened, and Egwene instantly divines that he had hurt Aviendha’s feelings; she brushes disgustedly past him into the tent, and Melaine says she will check on what’s happening below and dashes off. Amys and Bair laugh and make a bet on whether she will check on Bael and Dorindha first. They leave, to be replaced by Lan and Moiraine. Rand comments coldly that he’s surprised she wasn’t here sooner.

“I have never explained all that I do or do not do.” Her voice was as coolly mysterious as it had ever been, yet even in the moonlight Rand was certain that she was blushing. Lan looked troubled, though with him it was difficult to tell. “I cannot hold your hand forever. Eventually, you must walk alone.”

Puzzled, Rand debates making her tell him why she hadn’t come, and decides against it, merely commenting that this was the same tactic the Forsaken had tried on him at Cold Rocks Hold; he’d have thought they’d try something different. Moiraine cautions him against underestimating the Forsaken, and excuses herself. Adelin and the Maidens return, and stare at the Draghkar’s corpse, then at each other. Adelin says slowly that there was nothing here, then takes a deep breath and holds one of her spears out to him, the others following suit, and says they failed. Rand asks what he’s supposed to do with those, and Adelin answers, whatever he likes; Rand shakes his head and tells them to go back to guarding the tent. He goes to find Asmodean, and finds him in his tent. Asmodean begins talking the moment Rand appears, making excuses for why he had not come to help, and Rand tells him it was a good thing he hadn’t; if Rand had felt a man wielding saidin out there, he might have killed him before checking to see who it was. Asmodean says shakily he’d thought of that too. Rand tells him Sammael sent the attack, and Asmodean says it is not like Sammael to throw away his forces needlessly; perhaps it was another Forsaken, trying to make Rand think it was Sammael.

“It was him. He tried to bait me into attacking him once in the same way, at Serendahar.” Oh, Light! The thought drifted across the surface of the Void. I said “me.” He did not know where Serendahar had been, or anything but what he had said. The words had just come out.

After a long silence, Asmodean said quietly, “I never knew that.”

Rand attempts to ignore a sudden memory that tells him what Sammael looked like, and the knowledge that Sammael had always wanted to be taller, and resented that the Power couldn’t achieve that for him, neither of which were things Asmodean had told him. They discuss for a long while Sammael’s possible motives without coming to a conclusion, and finally Rand leaves, knowing that had been too big a slip to cover. Adelin and the Maiden guard spring up when he returns to his tent, giving him garbled advice on how to make up to Aviendha, and then Adelin tries to bring up their failure to guard him again, but Rand cuts her off and tells her he has no idea what she expects him to do, and to take it up with Amys or Bair. He’s a little surprised that that shuts her up, and he goes inside and to his bed, trying not to notice Aviendha’s leg sticking out from her blankets.

Commentary
Melindhra and Mat: bow chicka bow bow!

Okay, I was going to delete that and then smack myself for cliché violation, but considering I just spent five minutes snickering that I actually wrote it, I figure why deprive y’all of the chance to make fun of me too? Have at!

Nice little foreshadowing of the assassination attempt, with the “spitting” comment. Also, jeez. Darkfriends are like broken records, aren’t they, with the yelling about the power, and the glory, and I think I just started quoting The Lord’s Prayer, there. Weird.

Anyway, points to Mat for being too much of a wannabe playa to notice? I guess? I’m kind of torn. I would point out that not EVERY woman would have a problem with their husbands having “a drink and a gamble” (especially if your husband is eerily lucky and would never end up losing the farm in a game of dice, or something), but considering we’re in Randland, I’m not sure that’s actually true. Oh, wait, there’s Birgitte. Ha! See? You can have a wife and have fun! As long as she’s an undead legendary hero who’s not actually interested in you! Problem solved!

(*headdesk*)

I think this whole “harping on glory and palaces” tendency of Darkfriends is why I like Asmodean. His reason for turning to the Dark Side is just as shitty and selfish as any of the others’, but at least it’s original.

Speaking of which, it’s interesting how, to date, Asmodean has been about the only male character Rand has been able to even slightly confide in since, um, ever. Lan is the next closest, but Asmodean beats him out at least as far as knowing Rand’s Deep Dark Secrets. Which really highlights how kind of sad and lonely Rand’s position actually is. You know you have no social life when the only person you can tell your problems to is your sworn enemy.

Do we ever find out why Moiraine is embarrassed here? I’ve been wracking my brains but I can’t remember if anything ever comes of this, or if it’s just something stupid and not significant. Hey, maybe she slept through the alarm. Happens to the best of us!


Chapter 23: “The Fifth, I Give You”

What Happens
Egwene watches the huge army of Aiel emerge from Jangai Pass into Cairhien, many of them pausing in amazement at the tiny stream they have to jump across. She watches Moiraine and Lan riding next to the second wagon in Kadere’s train, and wonders why Moiraine always seems so concerned with that wagon in particular, though she’s not about to try asking again. A company of Maidens goes by, and Egwene notes that Adelin and the other Maidens who were guarding Rand’s tent the night of the raid are clutching dolls as well as spears. One of the Maidens had told her that it was to remind them that they are not children any more, but refused to explain further, and Egwene thinks that every time she thinks she understands the Aiel, something proves to her that she doesn’t. She looks back at the mouth of the pass, where Couladin had left them another “message”: people impaled on stakes in the road surrounding Selean, the town at this end of the pass. Selean is gutted and empty as well, and the surrounding farmland burned. Egwene goes back over to the Wise Ones, who are listening to Rand talk to the clan chiefs. He is telling them that he wants it clear that there is to be no despoiling or looting of Cairhien while they are here. Bael says it is a hard thing if they are not to be allowed to take the fifth, and Rhuarc and the others agree.

“The fifth, I give you.” Rand did not raise his voice, yet suddenly his words were driven nails. “But no part of that is to be food. We will live on what can be found wild or hunted or bought — if there is anyone with food to sell — until I can have the Tairens increase what they’re bringing up from Tear. If any man takes a penny more than the fifth, or a loaf of bread without payment, if he burns so much as a hut because it belongs to a treekiller, or kills a man who is not trying to kill him, that man will I hang, whoever he is.”

Dhearic and several others are not happy about this, but Rand tells them they are here to save Cairhien, not finish ruining it. The chiefs stay silent, and Egwene thinks to herself that Rand is changing faster than she can keep up with. She goes over to Aviendha, and comments that Rand truly is in command; Aviendha replies that she cannot look at him, with the thing he carries. Egwene knows she means the sword, and while she is not sure why he would carry a sword when he could make one from fire, she understands even less why it upsets Aviendha so much when she was the one who gave it to him. Aviendha mutters about him mocking her with it, using it in front of her, and Egwene tells her she is not angry about the sword, but what Rand said to her the night of the raid, and she should let him apologize. Aviendha answers she does not want his apologies.

“I do not want... I can bear this no more. I cannot sleep in his tent any longer.” Suddenly she took Egwene’s arm, and if Egwene had not known better, she would have thought her on the brink of tears. “You must speak to them for me. To Amys and Bair and Melaine. They will listen to you. You are Aes Sedai. They must let me return to their tents. They must!”

They are suddenly joined by Sorilea, a Wise One of Shende Hold, who wants to know who must do what. Melaine and another Wise One make as if to join them, and Sorilea sends both of them scurrying; Egwene thinks that when Sorilea is angry, other Wise Ones sit quietly and clan chiefs make excuses to leave. Sorilea tells Aviendha that it’s time they had a chat about thinking she can get out of doing something she was told to do.

“In my day, girls jumped when a Wise One said jump, and continued jumping until they were told to stop. As I am still alive, it is still my day. Need I make myself clearer?”

Aviendha took a deep breath. “No, Sorilea,” she said meekly.

The old woman’s eyes came to rest on Egwene. “And you? Do you think you are going to beg her off?”

“No, Sorilea.” Egwene felt as though she should curtsy.

Satisfied, Sorilea moves on, saying she’s heard that the Car’a’carn has given Aviendha an interest gift like no other, with rubies and moonstones; Aviendha jumps and hurriedly explains about Laman’s sword. Sorilea thinks it is a pity she has not attracted his interest, and tells her she will have her relative Feran “look at her”, as “those hips were meant for babes”. Aviendha almost falls down, and points out breathlessly that Feran is Seia Doon, which is Couladin’s society, and they have vowed not to sleep beneath roof or tent until Couladin is dead. Accepting this, Sorilea turns to Egwene and asks if she thinks Rand will do as he threatened, hang even a clan chief, and Egwene answers she thinks maybe so, but adds quickly that she’s sure he can be reasoned with over it.

Sorilea glanced at her in surprise, then turned a gaze on the chiefs around Rand’s horse that should have knocked the lot of them flat. “You mistake me. He must show that mangy pack of wolves that he is the chief wolf. A chief must be harder than other men, young Aes Sedai, and the Car’a’carn harder than other chiefs. Every day a few more men, and even Maidens, are taken by the bleakness, but they are the soft outer bark of the ironwood: What remains is the hard inner core, and he must be hard to lead them.”

She marches off, and Egwene asks Aviendha who Feran is, and Aviendha tells her he is a good-looking man, but she wants no part of him, as he “brays like a mule and picks at his ears”. Confused, Egwene asks why she didn’t tell Sorilea she wasn’t interested in him, then, and Aviendha tells her that if Sorilea had thought she was balking she would have dragged her and Feran both to the bridal wreath by the ear; no one says “no” to Sorilea. Egwene starts to protest this, then thinks about it, and changes the subject, saying she will speak to Amys and the others about Aviendha’s situation, but Aviendha retracts her request, saying she must obey the Wise Ones and do her duty.

Just as if she had not all but begged the Wise Ones not to make her sleep in Rand’s tent. “But why is my duty to the people never what I wish? Why must it be what I would rather die before doing?”

Egwene tries to assure her that no one is going to make her marry, but Aviendha only says she does not understand, and Aviendha cannot explain it to her.

Commentary
Chapter title: I think this has been one of the single most riffed-upon quotes among the WOT fandom ever. On the Jordan newsgroup, I don’t think anyone ever actually used the fifth item in any numbered list for anything else.

Maybe I’ve just been reading this series too long, but the Maiden’s punishment with the dolls makes perfect sense to me. Public shaming as a form of societal control occurs in every culture, if in very different ways; didn’t Egwene ever read The Scarlet Letter?

(Haaaaaate that book, by the way. Do not even get me started. It’s not even a feminist thing; it’s a “bad writing” thing. Ugh. But hey, anyone who likes their symbolism delivered via NUCLEAR SLEDGEHAMMER, go for it.)

Poor Aviendha. I really feel for her in this chapter. Prophecy to the left of her, Sorilea to the right, here she is, stuck in the middle – agh. Now that’ll be stuck in my head all day.

Speaking of “agh”: enter Sorilea. Dun! Although, her intro is actually fairly hilarious; the mental image of her sending the clan chiefs flying with the force of her Laser Eyes of Glaring cracks me up. She only gets annoying later, in my opinion. Plus I happen to agree with her re: Rand having to be Alpha Dog to get things done, although her comments here about him having to be “hard” are interesting in light of the pact she makes (much, much) later with Cadsuane.


Chapter 24: A Message Sent

What Happens
They make camp for the night and Egwene goes to her tent and settles down with a book she borrowed from Aviendha, to wait for it to be late enough in Ghealdan to meet with Nynaeve in Tel’aran’rhiod.

Aviendha claimed that she liked [the book] for the adventures and battles, and maybe she did, but every last story told of the love of a man and a woman, too. Egwene was willing to admit that that was what she liked, the sometimes stormy, sometimes tender threads of undying love. To herself she would admit it, anyway. It was hardly the sort of enjoyment a woman with any pretensions to sense at all could confess publicly.

She realizes a little guiltily that she is looking forward to seeing Nynaeve, to see if the effects of their last meeting had held. She tries to stay awake, but falls asleep early, and finds herself in the Stone. She considers stepping out of the Dreamworld, but does not yet think she has the control to come back from her own dream, and there is no way she is going to leave Amys and Nynaeve alone together, so she stays, intending to tell Amys that she had only arrived early by a moment or two. Suddenly she hears voices in the chamber, and peeks around a pillar to see Elayne deep in conversation with a strangely-dressed blonde woman carrying a silver bow and arrows.

Egwene squeezed her eyes shut. First the difficulty with her dress, and now this. Just because she had been reading about Birgitte — a silver bow told the name for certain — was no reason to imagine that she saw her. Birgitte waited — somewhere — for the Horn of Valere to call her and the other heroes to the Last Battle.

Egwene opens her eyes, but the two are still there, and she is about to announce herself to them when Amys and Bair come up behind her and ask dangerously what she is doing here alone. Egwene knows it is too early for her planned ruse to work, so she hastily explains the truth about falling asleep, feeling relieved that she didn’t have to lie, but apprehensive that they would still consider her accidental entry into the Dreamworld a violation of their agreement. To her relief, Amys says it happens, but next time to just go and dream her own dreams, and let them handle the meeting. Bair is not so sanguine, and Egwene heads her off by saying Elayne is already here, and – but she looks again, and sees that Elayne is now alone. Bair is no more pleased that Elayne arrived early either, and immediately begins dressing her down, accusing that she and Nynaeve have been coming into the World of Dreams alone and that they are both fools.

Elayne gave a start when they first appeared, but as Bair’s tirade washed over her, she drew herself up, that chilly tilt to her chin. Her gown became red and took on a finer sheen, and grew embroidery down the sleeves and across the high bodice, including rearing lions in white and golden lilies, her own sigil. A thin golden diadem rested in her red-gold curls, a single rearing lion set in moonstones above her brows. She did not yet have the best control over such things. Then again, maybe she wore exactly what she intended this time.

Regally, she thanks Bair for her concern, but points out that she is not Bair’s pupil. Egwene attempts to divert them both by asking why Nynaeve isn’t here, as it was her turn, and Elayne tells her Nynaeve is nursing a sore head and bruises. She sighs and giggles at the same time, and explains that the Chavana brothers had come over to their fire for dinner and were all flirting with Nynaeve, and Latelle came up and started screaming at Nynaeve and hitting her with a stick. Then the Chavanas tried to stop Latelle and are all limping around now, and Petra had to carry her off, and Luca blamed everyone, and Nynaeve almost boxed his ears, and the only good thing is that Nynaeve didn’t channel. Amys and Bair exchange glances, and Egwene is mostly confused with all the names, but she tells Elayne to tell Nynaeve she’d better keep her temper, or Egwene will have a few words to say to her. Elayne looks startled, and Egwene adds that if she had the two of them in their old rooms in the Tower, she’d have words for both of them. Elayne answers coldly that Egwene can say whatever she likes any time, and Egwene hopes Elayne got the message, and moves on, asking how long before they are in Ghealdan. Elayne says three more days, and Egwene suggests that perhaps they should leave the menagerie before then.

“Perhaps,” Elayne said slowly. “I really would like to highwalk just once in front of... ” With a shake of her head, she glanced at Callandor; the neckline of her gown dipped precipitously, then, rose again. “I do not know, Egwene. We could not travel much faster alone than we are traveling, and we don’t know where to go exactly, yet.” That meant Nynaeve had not remembered where the Blues were gathering.

Elayne adds that in addition they are learning a great deal about the Seanchan from Cerandin, and reveals that the woman had an a’dam in her possession. Egwene steps forward and asks darkly if they are sure Cerandin isn’t a sul’dam, and Elayne reassures her she’s not; they put the a’dam on her and it had no effect. Amys interjects that she does not understand their interest in the Seanchan; Rand al’Thor chased them off and they are gone. Egwene turns her back and says that gone doesn’t mean mean they’re never coming back; Elayne puts a comforting hand on her arm and says if they do they will be ready this time. The Wise Ones want to get on with it, and Egwene brings Elayne up to date on their movements, that they had moved into Cairhien and had had a couple of light skirmishes already with roving bands of horsemen. Then they all leave, and Egwene can’t tell if Elayne understood her message or not.

Commentary
So, apparently even in Randland romance novels are stigmatized. Good to know!

(I don’t care for the genre myself, other than the great classics like Austen and Bronte and du Maurier and so forth, but I do find it significant that romance novels constitute roughly half of all book sales in North America (no, really), and yet romance is the single most derided and vilified genre of fiction out there. It’s hard to avoid making the connection that it is also the only genre of fiction marketed solely and specifically to women.)

Egwene: still not getting it. More fodder for the haters, I have no doubt, and she definitely is having a little too much fun with her newfound power over Nynaeve. Well, she’ll learn, I comfort myself.

Speaking of Nynaeve, am I the only one who started laughing at the total soap opera she’s having at the circus? Well, if a soap opera was invaded by the Keystone Cops, anyway.


Chapter 25: Dreams of Galad

What Happens
Egwene does not return to her own body, but floats instead in the nowhere-place where the dreams of people can be seen, looking like fireflies in the darkness. She can now tell whose dreams some of them are now; Rand’s and Moiraine’s are distinctive by the wards they’ve woven around them, though she can’t pick out Elayne or Nynaeve’s dreams yet. She transports herself back into Tel’aran’rhiod, to the reflection of her old novice chamber, sticks her head slowly out of the door, and sighs in relief to see Elayne doing the same next door. Elayne darts inside Egwene’s room, and says she thought this was what Egwene meant, but it is hard to remember what she can say in front of whom anymore.

There was no way to do this easily. She shifted her shawl. “Tell me about meeting Birgitte. It was Birgitte, wasn’t it?”

Elayne staggered as if hit in the stomach. Her blue eyes closed for a moment, and she took a breath that must have filled her to the toes. “I cannot talk to you about that.”

Egwene asks why not, and Elayne tells her that anything she says would violate confidences she promised to uphold, and begs her not to pursue the matter. Egwene frowns, but agrees. She adds that she hopes Elayne will trust her enough to tell her someday, and Elayne tells her it’s not to do with trust; sometimes, though, it is necessary to keep secrets. Egwene accepts this, and Elayne asks after Rand. Egwene tells Elayne about his order to hang anyone who violates his order, which still upsets her, but Elayne disagrees with her assessment.

“He is a king, whatever you or he or anyone else says, and a king or queen must dispense justice without fear of enemies or favor for friends. Anyone who does that has to be hard. Mother can make the city walls seem soft, sometimes.”

Egwene replies that he doesn’t have to be so arrogant about it, then. They discuss the Latelle incident, and Egwene is bemused to hear that Nynaeve actually apologized to Latelle; Elayne comments that she did it after muttering about Egwene for a while, actually, and asks curiously if something happened between them the last time they met. Egwene doesn’t answer directly, but tells Elayne to tell Nynaeve that if she hears about her fighting again, she’ll hear worse from Egwene than before. Elayne comments slyly that Egwene seems to have had a little of Rand’s attitude about her just then.

It took Egwene a moment to realize what she meant, helped by that amused little smile. “Don’t be silly.”

Elayne laughed aloud and gave her another hug. “Oh, Egwene, you will be Amyrlin Seat one day, when I am Queen of Andor.”

“If there is a Tower then,” Egwene said soberly, and Elayne’s laughter faded.

Elayne is hopeful that they will find a Tower in exile once Nynaeve remembers the name of the place the Blues are gathering, but Egwene is still sad, because it means the Tower broken for real. Elayne then tells her that she and Nynaeve think Moghedien is looking for them. Egwene thinks this must have been something Birgitte told them, but only warns Elayne to be careful. Elayne tells her to be careful, too, and fades away. Egwene goes to Elaida’s study and sorts through reports, finding one about Elayne and Nynaeve’s escape in Mardecin, but it turns into what looks like plans for an enormous palace before Egwene can read more. She gives up on Elaida’s box and heads to the Keeper’s desk, and the room seems to flicker. Before she can react, the door opens and Galad steps in. He brushes her cheek and asks her to walk with him in the garden, and at the Keeper’s desk, Leane tells them no canoodling allowed in here. Egwene spins, and sees Siuan at the Amyrlin’s desk, reading a parchment. She flees instinctively, winding up on the Green at Emond’s Field, and berates herself for almost letting herself get caught in her own dream, though she thinks it was odd that it was Galad.

Her face heated; she certainly did not love him, or even like him very much, but he was beautiful, and in those dreams he had been much more what she could have wished him. It was his brother Gawyn that she dreamed of more often, but that was just as silly. Whatever Elayne said, he had never made any feelings known to her.

She notes that there are two banners flying on the Green, one a red eagle, the other a red wolf’s head, and is wondering if Perrin has anything to do with them when everything flickers again, and Marin steps out of the inn and laughs that Egwene should know better than to let her husband think she mopes about waiting for him to come home. She turns to see Gawyn on horseback, galloping up to her, and her heart beats faster. He jumps down and asks if she missed him and pulls her in for a kiss. Marin comes up with a baby in her arms and says here is her son, and Egwene backs away, remembering, and screams No, and tears herself out of the Dreamworld, winding up in her own dream, where Gawyn gallops up to her...

Moghedien steps out from behind a house on the Green and wonders idly where this village is, and thinks that the girl had been stronger than she would have thought to escape Moghedien’s weaving of the dream. The girl was of interest because she had been talking to Elayne, who might lead her to Nynaeve; she had only tried to trap her to get rid of someone who knows how to navigate the Dreamworld, as it was bad enough to have to share with Lanfear. But her main concern is Nynaeve al’Meara, and making her pay.

She and Elayne were scheming with Birgitte, were they? That was another she had reason to punish. Birgitte had not even known who Moghedien was, so long ago, in the Age of Legends, when she foiled Moghedien’s finely wrought plan to lay Lews Therin by his heels. But Moghedien had known her. Only, Birgitte — Teadra, she had been then — had died before she could deal with her.

Mohedien promises herself that all three of them – Elayne, Nynaeve and Birgitte - would be found and dealt with, and disappears.

Commentary
Well, here we have confirmation that it’s Gawyn and not Galad that Egwene is googly for. I... don’t really have the problem with this that so many other people seem to. I had forgotten about Egwene’s thoughts here that Galad is way hot, but she doesn’t actually like him very much, and that Gawyn may not be quite so dreamy looks-wise, but is a much cooler person.

Which is pretty darn mature of her, ain’t it? Because picking personality over looks, as we all know, is The Right Thing To Do. Even Galad would agree!

And here, also, is the closest we will get to a Perrin appearance in the whole book, other than Egwene’s Dream about him. Hi, Perrin! Bye, Perrin!

Moghedien’s scheme might have worked if it hadn’t been for those darn kids she hadn’t been such a bad director. I mean, giving Egwene a son? Little bit overkill, don’tcha think? No suspension of disbelief, no movie, Mogs! You’ll never work in this town again!

Speaking of nuclear sledgehammers, I wonder if Elayne’s little comment about Egwene being the Amyrlin Seat (again!) CLANGED quite as loudly the first time I read it as it does now? The world may never know!


Whew, you guys. Your Auntie Leigh is tie-tie, she go lay down now. Have fun, play nice, and see you Friday!

239 comments
Todd Willis
1. tswillis
let's play shall we...well-muscled for a short man?? Ha Ha don't know why thats funny...maybe it goes back to the question a few re-reads / chapters back....
"I am firmly avoiding coming up with a lewd interpretation of “Nine Horse Hitch”, because it very swiftly goes into Brain Bleach territory. If you guys must run with it, I just ask that you try to at least nominally not turn this page into something that would come up on an equestrian porn search. (Eurgh.)"
Kaboom
2. Kaboom
Is there a problem with the site?
Already more that 20 minutes since the post and only one comment!

Or is it because the post is early today?
Kaboom
3. alreadymadwhensorileaappeared
Whew... so many chapters!

Is that Aviendha crying in the tent? After a few harsh words. She must be more affected than she admits. The maidens suddenly realizing their mistake in rushing off to the edge of the camp and the subsequent punishment was entertaining, but also made sense. They're obviously not used to the mentality of guarding a tent.

Also, more and more of LTT's memories are surfacing. I still believe it's Rand's attempts to dissociate himself from them that lead to the creation of "the Voice".

Gad, I love Sorilea.
“In my day, girls jumped when a Wise One said jump, and continued jumping until they were told to stop. As I am still alive, it is still my day. Need I make myself clearer?”

And an all-time favorite.
those hips were meant for babes

Here's another one.
Every day a few more men, and even Maidens, are taken by the bleakness, but they are the soft outer bark of the ironwood: What remains is the hard inner core, and he must be hard to lead them.
The word Hardcore comes to mind. Definitely Sorilea.
Hugh Arai
4. HArai
Kaboom@2: Not sure who's noticed it's here. I'm waiting to digest Leigh's commentary before I post anything. Don't think there's a site issue.
Michael Catapano
5. hoping
I'm guessing that Mog made up the dreams for Eg in TAR. How did she know about gawyn and galad, and all the others to recreate them? Can she reach into Eg's brain? There's alot about TAR I don't know so it's back to the wise ones for me.
Kaboom
6. Kaboom
I guess it just felt bizarre to be among the firsts there. Usually there's over 50 posts by the time I get to it.
I kept doing refresh and nothing happened. Just timing...
Kaboom
8. Kaboom
Hoping @5

Mog keeps thinking that she is as good in TAR than Lanfear. I just assumed that she also knows how to spy on dreams and saw Eg dream of both boys.

But now that I think about it, she also mentionned that she is only interested in Eg because she was talking with El which is a close friend of Nyn. So when she actually checked Eg dream's is still not clear.
F Shelley
9. FSS
Well, the reason I think Moiraine blushed has to do with the times we've (through Perrin or whomever) intruded on her naked, or in a robe only with her hairbrush in hand (hey, her hair was wet) or what have you.

I'm just saying, Suian was far away...maybe dead...

bow chicka bow bow!
j p
10. sps49
@9-

That will work until a better explanation comes along!

Stupid Elaida.

I am surprised any Aiel would be drawn away from the tent, especially Maidens from Rand's. Wasn't the last attack part of a distraction?

And the part I don't like- if I am a Bad Guy, I would not have my sneak attackers holler out my name, let alone the totems of the city-state I secretly control. Either Brend and bees, or nothing, makes sense.

Nobody is unhappy with the birthing hips comment?

And is the Awesomeness a Long Island- Daily Show reference?
Kaboom
11. Thorljottsen
I'm here early for once! Egwene...talk about ... I still am annoyed more than amazed by her. I always feel like she's a self-righteous know-it-all little snot. The only times I like her is when she meets her toh and when she is captured by the tower. Her bravery is her only redeeming quality.

Still on her, I know it is unlikely, but I always compared her to Latra from the AOL. Mostly because of her stubbornness and her opinion that men are just fumble-footed oafs without a woman to guide them. Maybe she's Latra reborn. I could do with a weird twist like that.

The circus scenes: I think Elayne's recounting of Nynaeve's fistfight with Latrelle was the only part of it I liked, and confirmed my liking of Nynaeve. She started becoming one of my favorite characters after that, but I kept wishing for a long time that she would get to do something cool eventually. Healing Rand at the end of the book solved that.

Rand's disclosure here that he said "me" to Asmodean. This is where some of the conjecture about whether Lews Therin is a separate consciousness or something akin to a schitzophrenic (forgive the spelling if I misspelled) second personality comes in.
Marcus W
12. toryx
Moiraine's Blush:

I have no idea. I've been listening to the audio books this time instead of doing an outright re-read and I might have missed a clue there. I find that I miss a great deal by listening to it instead of reading it.

The only thing I can think of is that she was spying on him somehow. But why would she be embarrassed by that?

Leigh: Prophecy to the left of her, Sorilea to the right, here she is, stuck in the middle – agh. Now that’ll be stuck in my head all day.

Oh crap. Now it's stuck in my head too. Thanks a lot!

I can't help but be doubtful about Egwene's sadness over the Tower being broken when she and Elayne and Nynaeve all pretty much broke every rule the Tower ever had. They could hardly be less connected to the Tower than if they'd never gone there, for the scant amount of time they were actually students in the Tower.

I just don't buy it. I think that's pushing my suspension of disbelief a little too far.
Michael Catapano
13. hoping
Kaboom
I get the impression that this is the first time that she has seen Eg and refers to her only as 'the girl' with elayne. She probably has not been in her dreams. Mog hasn't even been in Nyn's or elaynes dreams, maybe because she can't locate them.
Marcus W
14. toryx
Re Mog's dream crafting:

I don't think Moghedian knew anything about Egwene or her dreams. I suspect that the method of crafting those dreams involves spinning Tel'aran'rhiod in some way so that it takes personal things from the target. It must not require any knowledge of the person being attacked/ manipulated.

That's got to be how Egwene assaulted Nynaeve with the horny beasts too. The crafting takes from the target, it's not formed by the attacker.
R B
15. MasterAlThor
No real issues with anything.

Love Sorilea's intro. I often say this to my older kids with a bit of modification.

Ya know, something like. "In my day if your dad said (insert verb here), you did it without question. As I am still alive it is still my day."

They hate it, I love it. Thanks RJ
Shaylyn Austin
16. Ispan
sps49 @10

What's so bad about the baby making hips comment? It may seem uncalled for in our modern day society with the population as huge as it is, but it makes perfect sense spoken between Aiel. They live in a desert, water and shade are sparse and people die all the time, making them much more focused on pure and basic survival than we are today. Someone's gotta have kids to replace those who die!

Or is it the "Aviendha has a whole litter of Rand's babies" later thing? :)
Sara H
17. LadyBelaine
Elayne, Amyrlins and Anvils:

I think the comments about Egwene being Amyrlin Seat starting dropping like obvious anvils way back in tGH when Moiraine said she'd be in the Amyrlin Seat one day if she keeps showing initiative!

Since them, it was more a matter of making it happen. I have come to think that the entire Aes Sedai split is designed as a narative device to ....er... credibly place Egwene, the nineteen year old neophyte Aes Sedai in the Amyrlin Seat.

More later. I am at work, dontcha know.
Kaboom
18. Kaboom
Hoping:

The more I think about it, the more I agree with you.
Maybe there is a way to make TAR pick up the details of the "dream" from the person (like her mom) while you provide the limits of the dream. Just speculation.

Another observation, the "dream" made my Mog seems very familiar to what happened in the Accepted test terangral. Not just content (Eg being married and having a baby) but also in context, half remembering things from another reality that makes no sense in the context of that particular reality (the flags for example and from the tests, being turned by 13 BA and Myrdrall).

I don't know how to explain that either.

And for the surveys:
I would probably choose Brown Ajah as Science is my passion, but with a streak of Green (since I've done martial arts for years!)

I also never answered survey #2. I'm 12 years old WOT years.
Marcus W
19. toryx
I'll make a confession: Ever since reading Fires of Heaven, I've noticed whether or not women have baby making hips. I don't know why, I don't even care if they do or not: I live a child free life so it makes no difference to me. Still, RJ forever changed the way I looked at women.

*sigh*
F Shelley
20. FSS
@19 ..."RJ forever changed the way I looked at women. "

Yeah - they all want to be spanked.

*ducks for cover*
Kaboom
21. cor-darei4life
I agree with toryx at 14 about the crafting dreams by pulling them out of the persons head, since moggy didnt know really anything about her at that point.

and as for shouting out the battle cry...wasnt he trying to bait rand into attacking?


and captain tight-pants "had to tug on his britches" is and always will be my favorite, and he is "well muscled" to boot....hah!
Kaboom
22. Tonybere
Hello again everyone! I fell behind by a week or so a while back and have only been reading Leigh's portion for a couple weeks. I got to this one early enough that I don't have to read through 300+ comments, so...

All I have to say here is that somewhere along the line my mental image of Sorilea became one of Agnes Skinner from the Simpson's. Complete with the cackling voice.

TTFN
R B
23. MasterAlThor
Survey says:

Male, 37, brown (I love to read), Michigan Wolverine. Go Blue
Hugh Arai
24. HArai
We know that Moiraine knew who Asmodean was and that she didn't want Rand to know she knew. Maybe she went to check it wasn't a break-out for Asmodean? That could explain why Lan looked troubled too.

On Sorilea's comments about him needing to be hard here, and then her agreement with Cadsuane later:
It seems to be a pretty common thing for everyone that if Rand does what they want, he's "got the right mindset; needs to be that way", and if he doesn't "we need to teach him x", "his thinking is confused". Sorilea's agreement with Cadsuane comes at a point where Rand isn't listening much to what anyone wants him to do.

Elayne,Egwene,Nynaeve. Sigh. Well at least they mostly grow up eventually. Nice to see Elayne keeping her word to Birgitte here, I must admit.

And yes Galad would agree :)
Kaboom
25. Dank
re: popularity and disparagement of romance novels

Porn is by far the most common use of the internet, but is held in less esteem than romance novels. I don't see anything sexist about either.
Michael Catapano
26. hoping
Re Dream weaving toryx kaboom et al
Mog has mad TAR skills so she must have manipulated TAR in such a way that Eg was forced to provide a context. I can't think how the detail would have been there otherwise.

It did feel very much like the acceptatron lives.

The Eg/Nyn episode seemed different in that they were generic 'monsters' and Eg said that she made them. Must be many ways to alter TAR.
Hugh Arai
27. HArai
Unless romance novels are remarkably different in their good/crap ratio than well.. everything else, if half the books people buy are romance novels, then half the crappy books people buy are romance novels. That can lead to crappy book = romance novel thinking quite quickly.
Kaboom
28. smcyc
Always wondered what Asmodean meant by “I never knew that.” Did he mean he never knew of Sammael's plot back in the WOS or that he never knew Rand was recalling Lew Therin's memories? Perhaps both.
Brian Vrolyk
29. vyskol
In general, I found the whole circus arc to be tedious and boring. Except for Nynaeve and her little soap opera. I found the dinner scene with Luca (still to come) and the "goodbye" to be especially hilarious.
Kaboom
30. Kaboom
HArai @24

Re Moiraine, best idea I've seen by far. I'll buy it.
Marcus W
31. toryx
HArai @ 24:

We know that Moiraine knew who Asmodean was and that she didn't want Rand to know she knew. Maybe she went to check it wasn't a break-out for Asmodean? That could explain why Lan looked troubled too.

That's possible but is that alone blush-worthy? I don't think so. I think it'd be more likely if she were blushing because she actually saved Asmodean, knowing who he was, rather than simply checking on him.

Or maybe she was already checking on him when the attack began and saved him then. Just doing something as innocent as checking on Asmodean just doesn't seem like something that would provoke an emotional response, unless she actually saved the Forsaken's life - an act that would have been absolutely contrary to everything she's done and fought for her whole life.
Alice Arneson
32. Wetlandernw
Carai an Caldazar! For the honor of the Red Eagle. The battle cry of Manetheren. Most of his memories were from Manetheren. Some of those he had had before the twisted doorway. Moiraine said it was the Old Blood coming out. Just as long as it did not come out of his veins.
I've always thought it was an odd twist that Mat is the one with all the Manetheren memories, but Perrin is the one with the banner and the "title". Maybe it would have been to cliche to keep the two together, and I don't have a problem with it, but I always found it a bit... twisty. I wonder why RJ did it that way.

But I love the last line. Pure Mat.
Hugh Arai
33. HArai
toryx@31: Personally I think the blushing bit is because "I never explain myself" is a lame response even for an Aes Sedai :)
Kaboom
34. Jack Palance
The reason Moiraine didn't go to check on Rand immediately was that she new she had to face Lanfear at the terangreal soon, but not exactly when. So when the attack began she went straight for the wagons expecting to die or whatnot. The blushing must of had something to do with that.
Kaboom
35. metria31183
Regarding Moiraine's embarassment, she said “I have never explained all that I do or do not do.” There is a POV from here later on where it's mentioned that she would not take him to her bed, because that would lead to disaster. It could be that she is embarasses by the very crptic reference to sex she is making.
Corey Ouellette
36. FU26
@34
That was my thinking as well you just beat me to the punch. I did think of something that would disqualify that. If she did not know when it was going to happen exactly or more closely, then how did she know when to write and hand out those letters?
Hugh Arai
37. HArai
wetlandernw@32: I think he picked Perrin for the banner and title because on the face of it, Perrin is the least suited for them. They cause more conflict and provide more growth for Perrin than they would for Mat or Rand. Rand claims the Two Rivers - well he's the Dragon Reborm. Not that many people will argue. Mat - well first you'd have to pim him down into accepting the title, and second he'd use the Manetheren memories to beat pretty much anyone he faced. Perrin though, Perrin starts of with.."I'm Wolfboy!". He's the one that has to use the Two Rivers people and get them to lift themselves behind the banner and ends up pushed into the title.
Hugh Arai
38. HArai
FU26@36: If I remember correctly Moiraine's letter to Rand said she knew the trigger would be news about Morgase while they were in Cairhien. So I'm pretty sure she knew the Lanfear fight would be later.
Marcus W
39. toryx
I think it'd be pretty tough to get Mat to hang around in a place where they were going to make him a lord. Not to mention that it'd have to be a lot harder to get the people of the Two Rivers to respect him than Perrin, who people tended to like anyway.

It's one thing to have Mat giving people orders and leading an army. Sitting him on a chair to make decisions and guiding regular people? The Women's Circle alone would riot, if Mat didn't kill himself first.

HArai: I don't know, seems to me that Moiraine is saying things like that all the time. :)
Kaboom
40. Belmont
Like many others above, I enjoyed Sorilea's
entrance and views. I wonder what it's like to
be 400+ years old. You probably don't put up
with other people's nonsense too much by then.
Andrew Lovsness
41. drewlovs
The transformation of Egwene...I really don't like her too much here, but its a short period of time, really. She reminds me of a teenager who has driven their car for 6 months... and now knows EVERYTHING. Expert driver, ya'know? Meanwhile, everyone around them is in awe of their ability to go that fast, cut that many people off, and still be oblivious.

Egwene is in a very similar spot, with all the training she is getting. She is being taught very dangerous things, but because she is hiding behind the "Aei Sedai" shield, she secretly feels she doesn't really have to listen and follow all the precautions the Wise Women have created. Using the teenager driving example, its like teaching a 16 year old boy with a Ferrari, and having them firmly believe that when you aren't around, they can drive on the autobahn.

Well, they can... as long as nothing goes wrong...
Philbert de Zwart
42. philbert
So, do we actually understand now why Sammael tries the same trick again? Didn't work the first time.
I'm not a tactical genious, but using the Illian army to attack 200.000 Aiel doesn't sound like a battle plan to me.

Maybe he was like 'Drat! Creating a diversion with trollocs to nab the boy with a draghkar didn't work. Wait! I've got it! I'll send 2 draghkars this time!!' *maniacal laughter ensues*
Sydo Zandstra
43. Fiddler
Leigh:

“those hips were meant for babes”.

That makes my laugh everytime I read it again. Probably because I'm imagining the horror besetting Egwene and Aviendha there...


" On the Jordan newsgroup, I don’t think anyone ever actually used the fifth item in any numbered list for anything else."

I remember Drew Gilmore repeating that at every fifth point for the Las Vegas Gathering in '99; 5th, 10th, 15th, and so on. (it was a long list).



Since book three, I haven't been an Elayne fan and probably never will be again, unless she makes a huge comeback in the last books (using less italic font in her thinking). But let's not beat up that dead relative of Bela again, please. ;)

However, I do recognize her strong points. Her telling Egwene about the necessity of Rand being as hard as he is in his decree is one of those.
Hugh Arai
44. HArai
toryx@39: Yes but this time if Rand says "that's a lame answer, what were you doing?" she has to tell him. She's embarrassed because she couldn't come up with anything better to put him off with. Ah well, I don't insist on it, just my impression.
Marcus W
45. toryx
HArai @44.

Okay, I'll buy that one. I think your argument has some merit there.
Andrew Lovsness
46. drewlovs
Sammy's attacks are in line with the Lanfear/Rahvin et al plan, to get Rand to attack him. Remember, everyone was on board with the plan, according to Mog (who has been spying on them) except for Lanfear. Hence, not only are men used, but they scream out Sammuel's name AND where to find him...coincidence?

I've been reading Warbreaker, downloaded for free off Sanderson's website. If you haven't done so, go check it out. I was a little disappointed with the first 2 pages... then I felt bad for the disappointment. I'm now on page 143... lol. Its a good story, and he is a great author.
Sydo Zandstra
47. Fiddler
Wetlandernw@32:

I've always thought it was an odd twist that Mat is the one with all the Manetheren memories, but Perrin is the one with the banner and the "title". Maybe it would have been to cliche to keep the two together, and I don't have a problem with it, but I always found it a bit... twisty. I wonder why RJ did it that way.


Maybe it's an RJ Pattern/Theme. For example, Mat is the only one from the TR people that hasn't read 'The travels of Jain Farstrider' (and even thinks he should read the book), and he ends up with the author of the book in his company...
Kaboom
48. johncmann
Well, I finally caught up. I've been following the re-read as I started my own and am happy to begin participating in the discussion. As a former participant at rasfwr-j I've enjoyed the reintroduction of several topics that were beaten to death a decade ago. And I'm happy to say, there has been some excellent insights here. I'd like to add an idea of my own which comes from the comments I've read. Many people, Leigh included, have said that they can't understand why the Eye of the World was created and that it was just a dumb plot device. I'd like to offer an alternative idea here before commenting on the current chapters of the re-read. I think that the Eye was one of the ways to identify and help the Dragon. The Eye could only be found by finding Someshta. She could only be found by people who had the need. So, that was how the Eye was protected. The Eye itself was a pool of pure Saidin. Why? To protect what was in it, namely the Horn, the banner, and the seal. Why Saidin? Because only a male channeler could empty the pool and retrieve what was hidden there. Who could do that? The only person who would have the need to find the Eye and the ability to empty the Eye would be the Dragon. Notice, the two Forsaken didn't find it on their own, they waited until Rand "unhid" it and then tried to take the pool, which they didn't need. So, in my opinion, the Eye served it's purpose by letting the Dragon find the Horn and the banner which he will need at the last battle.
Kaboom
49. alreadymadwithcounting
"The fifty-sixth, I give you."

I see what you did there, Leigh. Although, I did have to go back and count. ;)
Heather Porter
50. Bym1971
@ 48

Now that's brilliant! And it makes sense, really. I keep going in circles in my head about the taint, and the pool being "pure", and round and round and round .... but I like that theory.

And about the surveys ... where have I missed them?

Stuck in the middle again...is in my head. Not at work! Noooooooooo!!!!!
Jay Dauro
51. J.Dauro
@46 drewlovs

I have also started Warbreaker, and have loved all of Brandon's work. This gives me great hope for AMoL.

So try it for free folks, by donloading from the website. But if you like it, remember that even authors need to eat.
Roger Powell
52. forkroot
johncmann@48 - Glad to have you aboard. I think "he" would be the proper pronoun for Someshta, the "Green Man". Of course the Nym are created beings, so who knows if they have a gender? (I'm sure not sticking my hand there - might be some poison ivy for the unwary.)

Interesting theory about the Eye. Whether or not Aginor needed the pool of saidan, he was sure eager to use it (too eager as it turned out.)
Jason Lyman
53. jlyman
I just recently finished my reread of the Dragon Reborn and I noticed something interesting. You'll have to forgive me though because I don't have the book here at work. When Rand leaps to grab Callandor Be'lal uses some sort of attack and Rand feels a part of him being ripped out or separated.

When I read that this time I wondered if that had anything to do with the "voice" in his head later on. Maybe the reborn Lews Therin was separated from the firstly-born Rand al'Thor.

I wish I had the quote for you. I don't know... what do you guys think?

EDIT: Kept running into an query error when I was trying to post this earlier. Anyone else get that too?
Roger Powell
54. forkroot
Yep - tor.com was having problems for a little while. Can't blame them on us this time!
Kaboom
55. Miythrandir
The 55th, I give you. :)

Moiraine's comment, “I have never explained all that I do or do not do” reminds me of Gandalf's comment in Fellowship of the Ring when he says, "A Wizard arrived neither late nor early. He arrives precisely when he means to." Why she was late, I have no clue. Maybe she just felt embarrassed that she was late, especially knowing that she's going to have to fight Lanfear coming up soon.

My guess on Eg's dream is that Mog was manipulating a dream that was already in play.

Aviendha's freaking out always strikes me as weird. She's hot & cold, high & low. Well, maybe she's usually cold, but she goes from cold to freaky I should say. Maybe she's on PMS?

@20 FSS - that cracked me up. *headdesk*
Hugh Arai
57. HArai
And the fifty-seventh is mine all mine!
Kaboom
58. Thorljottsen
A point about Mat that no one has commented on today but has been discussed in the past.

What are the nature of his memories? Are they truly just pieces from other people shoved into his head by the Finn or are they bits of his own past lives that they gave him access to? I ask this because he sees them, not just as events that he is an observer to, but as having actually happened to him:

"He grumbles about overly tall Aiel, and thinks that he can remember being taller than Rand when he rode against Hawkwing, and shorter than he is now when he fought beside Maecine."

I always had the impression that he lived those lives, and these were his own memories, something like what bleeds through from Lews Therin to Rand but put there permanently, not randomly. Did RJ ever comment on it, or is this something that he left up to interpretation?
Luke M
59. lmelior
@J. Dauro # 51
Re: Warbreaker
But if you like it, remember that even authors need to eat.

I don't know about that. I'm still not convinced Mr. Sanderson is not a human-shaped, novel-writing robot. Have you seen how much he writes, and will be writing for the next several years?
Maiane Bakroeva
60. Isilel
I always thought that Moraine didn't come on purpose, that she was testing Rand and whether the girls (Avi in this case) could provide adequate help to Rand once she was gone. She knew that her time was almost over.

BTW, I never understood why Rand would confide in a Forsaken so much, but still be so terribly afraid of Moraine's "manipulations" as to not confide in her, even with the obedience oath. I mean, duh, perhaps a captive FS, no matter how supposedly harmless and dependent on Rand would want to manipulate him too? Maybe?
And anyway, it is not clear what, if anything anybody's manipulations could have changed. Certainly, tons of dumb things Rand does turn out to be for the best, so I presume that ta'veren effect largely overrides his decisions in any case.

The WOs push Avi in Rand together in order to bind Rand to the Aiel through sexual love and marriage, no? A bit dubious, them forcing Avi in something like this...

Yes, the SG's concern for the Tower never seemed convincing - if only they'd spent a couple of years or so there, it would have worked better.
Michael Catapano
61. hoping
Jlyman@53
That was Ishy. He was very frustrated with Rand and decided he was going to rip his soul out. Very cool
I don't have my book since my dog chewed it to pieces right after we finished the re-read on it. Maybe someone else has the quote.

edit
only one soul, two personalities according to RJ. Hard to get my brain around that one
Kaboom
62. longtimefan
Just remembering something I thought I read somewhere a while back. (how is that for "facts")

I thought Jordan mentioned that he once thought that Romance novels were not that difficult to write and that he could put a few out for easy money then decided that fantasy was better suited to his style. Honestly I do not remember where or when I read this but it is something I remember about the origins of his writing career.

Hopefully someone with better internetting skills can prove or disprove my memory.
Dan Maus
63. UncleDan
I beleive Moraine was embarassed because when the battle started, she took off for the wagons, then realized too late that it was not the right time for Lanfear to show up. Even an Aes Sedai can panic when surprised, as we see repeatedly in the rest of the series.

By the way, I've been reading this re-read on my mobile phone and have been unable to post comments from it thus far. Hopefully I will be able to do so in the future now that I have gotten a user profile, because reading the comments has given me many a *headdesk* moment. Okay, so not that many, but still, it's nice to be able to put in my two coppers now and then.

Thanks for the re-read Leigh, been a loyal WoT reader and re-reader since '95. On my second copy of EotW and LoC, and I think I'll lose the cover again on tFoH before we're done.
Kaboom
64. Aegnor
@51, @59

Also, Warbreaker was just released in hardback a week or two ago. Its a really good book, and just like all his books, it is really unique. I love the Mistborn series and Elantris.

One of the things that I am looking forward to seeing in the new WoT novel, is how he handles the romance portions. I think that has always been rather weak in the WoT, and it will be interesting to see how Sanderson can handle it.
T C
65. Freelancer
Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feelin' that somethin' ain't right...


Here we see Mat set the timeline parameters on his infused memories. 500 years before the Trolloc Wars to the end of Hawkwing's days. And Mat, newsflash: You're right, it wasn't the necklace. She's just using you to make trouble for the DR. But you're such a "wannabe playa" that you'd never guess. Points, Leigh? Yeah, like minus all that he's earned to date. This is what happens when you're only out for some skin. And why Mat is way down my list of favorite characters. Duped by a Shaido darkfriend amazon, because she took her clothes off.

Here also is my largest loss of points for Egwene. Seeing everything that Rand does or says as arrogance it itself rather arrogant. But then, that's the nature of the ooh-ooh girl everywhere. Still, in spite of her bias, her reaction shows that she cares about Rand, or it wouldn't trouble her.

Regarding Moiraine's blush, I always figured she went to see that Asmodean stayed put and wasn't either involved in, or the reason for the attack, and is then embarassed that she wasn't where the "real" attack was centered. She thinks herself more shrewd than that, and feels guilty that she left Rand to take care of himself. And covers it by saying she has to let him take care of himself.


When Asmodean says, "I never knew that", he's saying he hadn't known that it was Sammael who had baited LTT at Serendahar. He sees clearly by now that Rand has LTT bleeding through, so this comment isn't fresh surprise over that.


Regarding romance novels, I find it hilarious that every time one is mentioned (usually the same one, more's the hilarity), the woman reading either hides the book (the Romanda scene kills me), tries to "cool" her way out of being thought a regular reader of such (Fal Dara), or claims she's reading it "just for the battles". Yeah, guys recognize that con all too well. So, romance novels (referred to hereinafter as "chick porn") draw universal interest, but create universal embarassment. That's about right.


johncmann@48

I cannot firmly say that there is a gender associated with the Nym, but Someshta is called the Green Man, and Tree Brother by Loial, so not thinking it's a she. Other than that, the same exact discussion occured in the Theory pages of WOTMania, and I agree with your assessment. Only the Dragon could draw the Saidin from the Eye safely. It destroyed Aginor.
Kaboom
66. Confutus
if he ... kills a man who is not trying to kill him, that man will I hang, whoever he is.


It's tragic that, later, these words force Rand to hang a man he knows and likes.
T C
67. Freelancer
Mangin murdered a Cairhienin for having a tattoo. That is the tragic part. That he was hanged for it was justice.

If a man I knew and liked came to me and admitted that he killed for no greater provocation, I'd be horrified. Then I'd be on the phone.
Richard Fife
68. R.Fife
Questionable Content on romance novels.

Jees, I have nothing to add recently.
Michael Catapano
69. hoping
freelancer@65

This is what happens when you're only out for some skin. And why Mat is way down my list of favorite characters. Duped by a Shaido darkfriend amazon, because she took her clothes off

A little harsh on our boy, Mat, don't you think? I would have been there in a flash, at that age.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone
Jacy Clark
70. Amalisa
RE: All those with the theory that Moiraine ran down to the wagons and that was why she was embarassed...

Didn't her letter to Rand say that news about Morgase would be what presaged her "end"?

I'm still at work and don't have my library handy...
Richard Fife
71. R.Fife
Perhaps Moiraine was the one duped by the Forsaken in that she didn't think they'd use the same trick twice and went to fight at the front lines and left Rand alone. Would also explain why Lan showed some reaction to it as well, and would really fit in to the snippy bit about not underestimating the Forsaken.
Genevieve Williams
72. welltemperedwriter
Amalisa: yes, it does. It also specifies the Cairhien docks as the location.
Hugh Arai
73. HArai
Freelancer@65: What is it that you expect Mat to be so alert for? A woman trying for exclusive access to a man and suggesting he could strive for glory is hardly "confirmed Darkfriend alert" material. Hell, it sounds like Faile talking to Perrin, Berelain to Rand, any ambitious woman X talking to prospect Y.
Lannis .
74. Lannis
Rand attempts to ignore a sudden memory that tells him what Sammael looked like, and the knowledge that Sammael had always wanted to be taller, and resented that the Power couldn’t achieve that for him...


Whoa whoa whoa... Sammael turned to the Dark One because of Short Man's Syndrome? WTF?! Talk about taking things to the extreme! (Okay, I know he didn't, but that's what those lines had me thinking until I checked around.)

Having kids, I can't read the chapter title "The Fifth, I Give You" without thinking about Fifth Disease... like some creepy, germy cesspool hand reaching out to infect all...

(Oy, I need some adults around here...)

Re: the birthing hips comment from Sorilea... um, my grandmother used to say basically the same thing to me (I'm one of the first grandkids to have kids), so I don't really blink when I read it, except to say a quick "may she rest in peace" in honour of my Nana. Sometimes things are just true biologically.

Re: Moiraine's blush... I always assumed (like HArai @ 24) that Moiraine had been checking on Asmodean, but she couldn't say so outright because she only knew who Asmodean was through spying on Rand. A little tricky to manoeuvre, especially considering she doesn't want to bruise her newly remodeled relationship with Rand. Blushing because she doesn't want to suddenly disprove her To Be Trusted value in Rand's eyes.

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! See you Friday! :)
Kaboom
75. cor-darei4life
Freelancer at 65 and others re mat

i fully support mat in his decision making, even if he is thinking with his...."muscles" I know very few people who could resist such. And as demonstrated he actually IS a bit of a player.

when Rand conquers a place Mat takes his "fifth" in ass.


I wonder if they have prophylactics in Randland, or if there is a trail of little mats running around?
R B
76. MasterAlThor
Wetlandernw

In regards to your musings on Mat and Perrin. I do believe that I read somewhere that RJ once said that Perrin was supposed to be combined with another character. That is the reason why there are not enough people on the cover of EoTW.

Maybe it was Mat he was supposed to be part of. Someone else may have read this also, back me up please.
Kaboom
77. HurinSmells
Yet another great re-read, thanks Leigh! I'm re-reading along with you, but have found myself surging ahead a little. On the train this morning the last words I read before I absolutely had to get off at my stop was "...Kadere's wagon exploded in a shower of splinters..."

Agh! Talk about a cliff hanger!!
T C
78. Freelancer
hoping

I didn't condemn him to eternal flames. No, not harsh at all. You play, you pay, one way or another. And when you care more about the flesh than the person within it, I personally don't salute you. My comments about Mat are not a tenth as harsh as many about Egwene and Elayne, and nobody is going biblical about casting stones at those, thankyouverymuch. But then, I knew there'd be a one-way reaction to anything the slightest bit anti-Mat, and I can accept that. For the record, I am as far from being without sin as anyone here, but my wife is my only, ever.

@75
I know a great many people who could and would resist such. Depends who you associate with. If all the folks you know are horn-dogs, well...
Kaboom
79. RobMRobM
@58 re nature of Mat's memories - we just covered that issue a few re-read chapters ago. Based on RJ's comments, the memories are largely those of adventurers who went into Tower of Ghenjei and had their memories somehow collected. Mat may have some of his own, old blood-style, but most were not from past lives of his. I don't like this answer but, as Goethe said, "Mann denkt, Gott lenkt." In this context, Gott = RJ.

Free @ several posts. You dissin my man Mat? How dare you????? LOL. I actually don't have any problem with Mat's behavior here. The Maidens like to enjoy themselves in nonpermanent relationships and it is fine to go along with one he finds attractive (although he has to let up with the DoNM talk -- tres tacky).

I love the theory that Moiraine was watching Asmo. It would explain her embarassment (as she can't explain to Rand why she is watching him) and Lan's odd expression (because he can't figure out why she is watching a gleeman while the fighting is there, and knows something fishy is going on that she is not telling him).

Rob
Tess Laird
80. thewindrose
Leigh you are nominated with the handle Awesomesauce:
"two of my favorite things are fantasy, pop culture, and the hilarious (and, sometimes, awesome) ways in which they combine."(From Leighs' own introduction)
Great recap as always! I love how you insert links to actual tropes.
Going out tonight so I will check out what the raging debate is tomorrow(at work:).
Oh, by the by, I agree with R.Fife - (so you did contribute to this post)!
'Perhaps Moiraine was the one duped by the Forsaken in that she didn't think they'd use the same trick twice and went to fight at the front lines and left Rand alone. Would also explain why Lan showed some reaction to it as well, and would really fit in to the snippy bit about not underestimating the Forsaken.'
sandi vogel
81. sinfulcashew
Lannis-
"Having kids, I can't read the chapter title "The Fifth, I Give You" without thinking about Fifth Disease... like some creepy, germy cesspool hand reaching out to infect all... "

Wow! At my old age I would think I had heard of this disease. But no, never!
I remember having Scarlet Fever with my brother at 7 or 8 and our house had a quarantine sign on the door. Then my 2 yrold son contracted it and the doctor told us that the first time a child gets ???(whatever it was), they get the rash etc., then the next time there is no rash, just the rest of the symptoms. Not a big deal. Not even Scarlet Fever any more. That was 40 yrs ago. Who knows what has come up since then?

Sorry for going on about the past, but that seems to be what I remember most?

Shimrod:
In re: to last post.
I think Mat had the battle set up really good.
Plus the greed for a lifetime of ease and of course, his Taveren status. Voila!
10,000 (or was it a 100,000) kissing the dirt!
Makes sense to me?

edit?
"Goethe said, "Mann denkt, Gott lenkt."
Huh?
I don't read German or Goethe, so please 'splain
Lucy!
edit again:
Or RobMRobM
Kaboom
82. RobMRobM
@75. At several points in the series, it is explained that women know of herbs that prevent pregnancy. (Such as when Elayne has her night with Rand, it is noted she didn't use the herb in question.) Assume the Aiel have their own. (Also, since Mat started getting action only a month or so ago in the Stone, not enough time for little Mats in any event. (wink, wink). Rob
Jay Dauro
83. J.Dauro
@59 lmelior

Maybe you are correct, in him being a robot. He certainly seems to crank through word production. But in that case, I guess he needs oil for the finger joints.

I don't really think we can fault Mat for Melindhra being a dark friend. She does not appear to be behaving much differently than any of the other Maidens. From what we have seen of the Aiel, this type of sexual contact is accepted behavior in their society. Look at Chiad and Gaul.

@75 cor-darei4life

I don't know for sure, but in WH both Elayne and Avi refer to heartleaf tea as a contraceptive. So I would assume that Melindhra is also aware of this.
craig thrift
84. gagecreedlives
Maybe Moraine blushed because she was using her ol' blue stone scrying technique on Mat. Just catching up on what the other ta'veren in the party was up to and got caught up in some voyeuristic pleasures.
Kaboom
85. Thorljottsen
Matt, Matt, Matt...Always the center of controversy in one way or another. Everyone's ragging on how he just chases tail from dawn to dusk, but the thing that is being forgotten is that he never goes where he's not wanted, and in the case of Melindhra he stays loyal to her until he goes fatal attraction on him. By the way, not knowing who is a darkfriend and who is not is the whole point of how their system works. They don't walk around with "I'm a darkfriend" in neon on their foreheads. It usually takes everyone by surprise when it comes out. Except us the readers, when Jordan give us enough clues. Then we wonder why the characters don't get it. It's usually because they're not supposed to get it.
Kaboom
86. alreadymadwhenmoiraineblushed
Fiddler @43
You're right about Elayne. She's the only one of the Girls who understands that Rand has to take charge and the pressures involved with it. Nynaeve and Egwene would simply have a knee-jerk reaction to the effect that Rand's head was getting swollen. But then again, she's in love with the guy and hopes to marry/bond him. Nynaeve and Egwene would probably switch him.

Miythrandir @55
Well, Aviendha's not on PMS. More like in denial.

Freelancer @65
You sound like Aginor getting burned was a safeguard of some kind built into the Eye. I always figured Aginor's body had decayed to the point it could no longer hold as much of the Power as he thought it could. Hence when he took in as much as he could during the War of Power, he actually took in more than his body could handle. So he burned out.

Lannis @74
Yes, Sammael does have a complex about his height. Whenever he met with the Shaido in ACoS, he would always disguise himself as being taller. Although it wasn't just being short as opposed to the tall LTT. He just got sick of always coming up short(pun totally intended) against LTT's achievements.
Kevin Morgan
87. DrMorganstien
First off, Thanks Leigh! the consistent quality, insight, and humor of these posts is nothing short of extraordinary.

@84 gagecreedlives
HUZZAH! someone agrees with me on that. I brought it up a couple years ago on another site and was derided away to cry myself to sleep in the corner . . . ok it wasn't that bad, but I clearly had no supporters.

So, assuming you aren't joking, I think its a completely plausible line of thinking for Moiraine's actions and Lan's reactions.

@68 R.Fife
You've contributed plenty, enjoy some r+r.

@AMW and Lannis
I think another part of Sammael's jealousy is a bit of the jock realizing that the goody two-shoes is better at planning/commanding battles than him.

@the romance novel topic
Time for a big sweeping generalization, not intended for a flame war.
It seems to me the biggest difference between that and the internet porn phenom is that every guy that I'm friends with freely admits to perusing from time to time if they do indeed look at it at all, while I know women who won't admit to reading the novels to their closest friends.
Kaboom
88. Hopper's mum
From Google: Mann denkt, Gott lenkt means something like "Man thinks, God steers", or the English proberb, "Man proposes, God disposes".

Great post as usual!

I have just finished reading Warbreaker (free download) and found it to be really good. (I had to get up again in the middle of the night to finish it, as it was too good to leave until the next day!)
Kaboom
89. Kung-Fu Chicken
i stopped reading at post 24 and skipped down here
Does anyone not think that good old "You have nice wide shoulders" spouting Moriane could have been doing the hoopty doopty with the "uncomfortable looking Lan". I mean she knows she is about to perish and could end up dead soon so she gives Lan the old tension reliever. Im just saying her in robes... lan uncomfortable.

Bow .........
craig thrift
90. gagecreedlives
DrMorganstien@87

I was kidding but kidding on the square. I do think its a very probable reason for the blush. The other strong possibility that I can think of is that Moraine is still some what embarrassed about her subservience to Rand in front of Lan.
Captain Hammer
91. Randalator
“In my day, girls jumped when a Wise One said jump, and continued jumping until they were told to stop. As I am still alive, it is still my day. Need I make myself clearer?”


Awesomely awesome in a very awesome way. That's something I'll quote excessively once I've reached the appropriate age. Woohoo!

Apart from that Sorilea will very soon start to piss me off quite thoroughly with her Aes-Sedai-ish I'm-the-shit-and-you-are-not attitude. Gagh!
Kurt Lorey
92. Shimrod
@81 sinfulcashew.

Even though we are getting ahead of ourselves here, I believe it important to clarify about Mat's battle with the "Tuon hunters".

I cannot think of a single instance where an entire force of 10,000 (or more) soldiers are killed in battle. Even in the worst defeats, there are wounded littering the battlefield and fleeing survivors. Sometimes, all of the enemy wounded were slain as the fighting had subsided, but there were wounded.

When the Hartha and his Gardeners searched the battlefield, there were none. Zip. Zero. Even Talmanes expressed his surprise that all fought to their deaths.

I cannot agree that greed alone would drive a 10,000 soldiers to what effectively amounted to suicide. One, maybe. Dozens, perhaps. But 10,000, all together? Not very plausible.
Kaboom
93. RobMRobM
@88. Prize goes to Hopper's Mom. Yes, I was thinking of the translated phrase "Man proposes and God disposes." We can come up with all of these great theories but RJ post can dispose of them in a heartbeat.

@92. Very interesting concept about possible compulsion used on the 10K in KOD - but I'm having trouble figuring out a motivation for the compeller. I would have expected an orderly Seanchan retreat, to allow them to fight more against forces of Randland would have been more in the interest of the Foresaken. Absent more, I'm still in the camp they weren't compelled. The invading force saw that they had better than a 2-1 advantage in forces and assumed that despite heavy losses the survivors would win the day and get rich. Based on Captain Musenge's reaction after the battle, it seems clear that a less disciplined force would have been shattered such a direct assault.

Rob
Kurt Lorey
94. Shimrod
@93 RobMRobM.

I suppose I'm not being compelling (wetlandernw, you scallywag) enough here.

Everybody died. Died. Dead. Fought to the death. All 10,000 of them. Is that not suspicious to anybody else?

Most people who have had a serious wound in battle have to sit down (or lie down) due to the shock to their system, and/or loss of blood. These men were mainly Taraboners and Amadicians. Hardly Berserkers, IMO.

The "motivation" was the completion of the annihilation of the Seanchan royal family. Semirhage succeeded in Seandar. Whomever, did not against Mat.
Kaboom
95. Kaboom
From Google: Mann denkt, Gott lenkt means something like "Man thinks, God steers", or the English proberb, "Man proposes, God disposes".

Reading this (from Hopper's Mum)got me thinking about choice of terminology by Jordan.
As I mentioned before, english is not my first language. Does the verb channeling actually mean to guide in non WOT english? Is it a real word?
The german verb lenken which mean to steers or guide (as said above) is the term used in the german translation for channeling
Ironically I have never checked which word is used in the french translation. I should look at it.


OK since the spellchecker does not highlight channeling, it must be a real word, but how commonly is it used?
Kurt Lorey
96. Shimrod
Wiki on Channeling

I see that there are four usages for channeling in English, but the only one I am familiar with is the one pertaining to the spirit world and mediums. The other three usages I would deem as being more along the lines of technical jargon.
Kaboom
97. RobMRobM
Shim - hmmmnn. I like the way you think. Semi could have a motive to do it to elminated Tuon and give throne to DF Suroth. But would group compulsion work - and how? Do we other examples that would imply that compulsion could work on a large group? Interesting tactic for use in battle -- fire up a large group of beserkers and let them have at it. But I'm not aware of text support. Thoughts?

Kaboom - channelling is not a common verb. Without looking for dictionary or wiki meanings, channel in English literally refers to a narrow body of water between two landmasses (such as the English channel). Channelling uses is used to imply doing something in a more concentrated or directed form. (She took all of her anger and channelled it into achieving her goal.)

Rob
F Shelley
98. FSS
Well, I think the real motivation is the Taraboners are scared spitless of the Seanchan, so if the Seanchan officer in charge say every man shall fall, you're fighting for the Empress, may she live until Semirhage decides to kill her, then that's what they do. The money is just extra motivation.
Michael Catapano
99. hoping
RobMRobM and Shimrod

I also like the thought that they were compulsed (I know, wet.)
I always assumed it was greed and arrogance that did them in. I don't have my KoD here at work but I think the wounded were killed by the good guys. Am I correct in that?
Anyway, Semirrhage once tortured an entire city just because she could so large scale compulsion should be feasible, as well. The emperor could do it with the stormtroopers and the force can't be more effective than the power.
Tess Laird
100. thewindrose
From the prior thread, my thoughts on the 'Tuon chasing' army. The reason this came up was another topic though, that may also be interesting to debate - is it easier to Compel women than men?

My thoughts on the 'Tuon chasing' army:
Shimrod-
For some reason I was thinking about Rand's battle with the shawdowspawn in KoD instead of the battle you were referring to. I always chalked up the "Tuon chasing" army, that is in a frenzy to kill her, to Mat being ta'vern. He has to kill them all, or they might get by him and kill his wife. So they are not Compelled, but under the influence of a strong ta'vern pull.
Marcus W
101. toryx
Hoping @ 61:

What is it about dogs and RJ's books? I've heard of other dogs chewing them up, and in my own case way back when EotW was first released in paperback, one of my dogs actually peed on it.

I guess the dogs aren't happy about the Shadowhounds.
Kurt Lorey
102. Shimrod
@99 hoping. While Mat might not aid the wounded (see his brief campaign against the Seanchan in Altara in KoD), he wouldn't slay them. Besides, do you think that the three Aes Sedai with him would have allowed it?

Pretty sure Talmanes expressed surprise that the attackers died to the man.
Michael Catapano
103. hoping
toryx
dogs don't like AS, cats do. Isn't that the way it works.
The binding was on its last legs anyway. It's a puppy and he shook it like it was a rabbit, with the same results.

shimrod
I know he doesn't aid the wounded (and Tuon approves) but I'll have to go to KoD tonight after work and see if I can find why I remember it that way.
Jason Deshaies
104. darxbane
I agree with Harai @44, adding that she still couldn't help giving cryptic remarks, despite her vow of obediance.

@48, great explanation! I like that idea.

Wetlander @32,
Besides the beginning of the obvious setup for a Perrin V Slayer showdown, I think that Perrin needs to actually learn as he goes. Rand has Lews Therin's memories to help, Mat has the implanted memories (plus his "blood" memories), Perrin has wolves. The wolves are cool, but they don't really help with leadership skills. I always felt Perrin was the youngest of the main characters, soul-wise. Nynaeve, Egwene, Rand, Elayne, Mat, they all do things unconsciously, most likely from past-life memories floating in (some more obvious than others), while Perrin has none of that. He runs on instinct more than the others, which makes sense seeing his associations.
T C
105. Freelancer
"Goethe said, "Mann denkt, Gott lenkt."


Another transliteration of the above says, "Man chooses, God decides".

On channeling, the root is the same for all purposes. Channel:
1. the bed of a stream, river, or other waterway.
2. Nautical. a navigable route between two bodies of water.
3. the deeper part of a waterway.
4. a wide strait, as between a continent and an island.
5. a course into which something may be directed: He hoped to direct the conversation to a new channel.
6. a route through which anything passes or progresses: channels of trade.

7. channels, the specific, prescribed, or official course or means of communication: In an emergency he was able to reach the governor without going through channels.
8. a groove or furrow.
9. a means of access: He considers the Senate a channel to the White House.
10. Architecture. a. a flute in a column, esp. one having no fillet between it and other flutes.
b. any of the prominent vertical grooves in a triglyph.
11. (in jazz or popular music) a bridge.
12. a frequency band of sufficient width for one- or two-way communication from or to a transmitter used for television, radio, CB radio, telephone, or telegraph communication.
13. Computers. a path for the transfer of signals or data within a computer or between a computer and its peripheral equipment.
14. either of the two signals in stereophonic or any single signal in multichannel sound recording and reproduction.
15. Cell Biology. a transient opening made by a protein embedded in a cell membrane, permitting passage of specific ions or molecules into or out of the cell: calcium channel.
16. a tubular passage for liquids or fluids.


So, from the selected versions above, the active verb channeling would be to guide or direct a specific activity in such a way or via such a channel. The user of the Power draws upon the elamental energies and guides them through pathways which they define and manipulate.
T C
106. Freelancer
@101/103

Yes, but the main hero in WoT is a male channeler, so shouldn't the books be more disliked by cats?
Kaboom
107. Kaboom
But then there is more women channelers than male.
That might explain why my cat just sniffed the book and lie down to sleep beside it! :)
T C
108. Freelancer
Concerning the "Seanchan" attack on Mat and the Band to get Tuon, I always had trouble with the suspension of disbelief for that scene, as others have noted. The forces were almost exclusively Taraboner conscripts, which reduces the likelihood of them fighting to the death, even for greed. The only large group force that could reasonably be seen dying to a man in a single battle would be religious zealots who preferred death to failure.

To me it was just a vehicle to make sure nobody remained who could get back to Suroth before Tuon.

We sure love to throw the Compulsion card at anything we can't figure out, eh? But, I don't see it in this case. If Semirhage knew where to get at this force of 10,000 prior to this battle, she most likely could have found Tuon on her own, and I cannot picture her hammering every single soldier/conscript who was sent out on this hunt in every direction.
Kaboom
109. dwndrgn
Just an FYI, my dogs have licked my WOT books but none have been destroyed. The cats ignore anything that isn't food or insect (or could become food or moves like an insect...) so they have had no effect on my books. I'm the one that reads them to pieces.
Deborah Jones
110. NanaD
re: Romance novels

At one point in time I had probably read every thing Harlequin and Silhouette had published. Romance novels were then all about romance. Boy and girl meet. They fall in love, overcome obstacles, marry then live happily ever after. The books being written today are more like how-to manuals.

re: Morine being embarrassed

Did Lan know about her asking Rand to let her teach him?

Off to church youth camp Saturday. Don't have too much fun without me next week.
Hugh Arai
111. HArai
My recollection was that RJ set up the battle as a perfect grinder. He gave Mat a funneling valley with what amounted to only one way in and out. There was the new crossbows with the extremely high rate of fire, there was Aludra providing slingers with her very nasty version of fragmentation grenades, there were channelers. And to top it all off there was the cavalry formation in behind, perfect for crushing any infantry that broke formation and mopping up anyone that tries to flee.
Plus I'm pretty sure the Deathwatch guards killed the wounded to protect Tuon.

I think RJ looked at all that, took into account he wanted Tuon to make it to Suroth without warning, thought "oh hell Mat's a lucky bastard" and decided "everyone died". It does seem like a big stretch to me, but I think it was "narrative demands" rather than Compulsion that forced events so to speak.
sandi vogel
112. sinfulcashew
89. Kung-Fu Chicken

"i stopped reading at post 24 and skipped down here
Does anyone not think that good old "You have nice wide shoulders" spouting Moriane could have been doing the hoopty doopty with the "uncomfortable looking Lan". I mean she knows she is about to perish and could end up dead soon so she gives Lan the old tension reliever. Im just saying her in robes... lan uncomfortable.
Bow ........"

Wow.....I think REJ would have made it clearer if they were 'pillow friends'?
My recollection was that they never went there.
Were more friends of a sort.


100. thewindrose

"My thoughts on the 'Tuon chasing' army:
100.Shimrod-(from windrose)
For some reason I was thinking about Rand's battle with the shawdowspawn in KoD instead of the battle you were referring to. I always chalked up the "Tuon chasing" army, that is in a frenzy to kill her, to Mat being ta'vern. He has to kill them all, or they might get by him and kill his wife. So they are not Compelled, but under the influence of a strong ta'vern pull."

I agree! Yes, the way Mat set the stage, the greed, and Taverenese all worked together and defeated the whole bunch. Not a problem.
After all, this is Randland! Or REJland!


98. FSS
"Well, I think the real motivation is the Taraboners are scared spitless of the Seanchan, so if the Seanchan officer in charge say every man shall fall, you're fighting for the Empress, may she live until Semirhage decides to kill her, then that's what they do. The money is just extra motivation."

Here is an added (before) motivation!


103. hoping
"shimrod
I know he doesn't aid the wounded (and Tuon approves) but I'll have to go to KoD tonight after work and see if I can find why I remember it that way."

I believe you are right, as I finished KOD just last week. If Mat hadn't done it that way, she would have lost some respect for him. He has to be hard.
Jason Deshaies
113. darxbane
I thought Suroth knew of the failure to kill Tuon, but was hoping it couldn't be tied to her? If we are talking about the last attack, just after Tuon completes the marriage, the only way they could have survived was to surrender. They had the bad guys completely surrounded, so apparently nobody surrendered (which may be a little hard to believe). The Deathwatch Guard involvement may have contibuted to the lack of prisoners as well. However, let's say someone did get away. If they were Taraboner, do you really think they would return to the Seanchan so quickly? If they aren't loyal enough to not runaway from a battle, then they probably aren't loyal enough to report a defeat.
Sam Mickel
114. Samadai
completely off topic but yesterday I could not get any of my posts to post and was very irritated so I stopped reading the new postand went and looked at tSR post 10. I had forgotten what a bunch of whackos we had become then. I think the taint must have seeped through somehow. The fiction-fiction and the looney headdesking turning into WoT zombies. needless to say I was laughing at work again with my coworkers staring at me. those posts about 12-bit Rand and the others just kill me.
Sam Mickel
115. Samadai
I dont believe that Tuon was showing support of Mats decision to leave the wounded.
Teslyn said"We have to stay and help the wounded the rules of war demand it.", Mat responds "this is a new kind of war." Mat then thinks he hears Tuon say "a lion can have no mercy."
Jason Deshaies
116. darxbane
@114, that happened to me as well, although I didn't go back to anything. I just went home, hoping it wasn't just my laptop.
sandi vogel
117. sinfulcashew
115. Samadai

"I dont believe that Tuon was showing support of Mats decision to leave the wounded.
Teslyn said"We have to stay and help the wounded the rules of war demand it.", Mat responds "this is a new kind of war." Mat then thinks he hears Tuon say "a lion can have no mercy." "

Hmmm, I took it as approval on her part. I think she wants him to be a 'lion'. Kind of like her. She has to be hard too, what with her family all trying to do each other in all the time.
Sam Mickel
118. Samadai
117 sinfulcashew,

you could be right I just always read it the other way.
Captain Hammer
119. Randalator
My recollection was that RJ set up the battle as a perfect grinder. He gave Mat a funneling valley with what amounted to only one way in and out. There was the new crossbows with the extremely high rate of fire, there was Aludra providing slingers with her very nasty version of fragmentation grenades, there were channelers.
Plus I'm pretty sure the Deathwatch guards killed the wounded to protect Tuon.


Exactely. Although the "valley" was a long meadow. But the terrain gave Mat the opportunity to crush the enemy between his square and Talmanes' cavalry. Mix in a little ta'veren-pull that guides the crossbow bolts and tucks on the attackers' greed and you get complete deadness on the Seanchan side.
Kurt Lorey
120. Shimrod
There were no attacking infantry. It wasn't a "funneling valley". No one tried to flee.

Please re-read the section before disagreeing. Please.

Still, we could test this hypothesis (unlike a lot of other theoretical problems in Randland). I'll just need a few volunteers to act as the "Tuon hunters". I have several in mind...;)
Sam Mickel
121. Samadai
@48 johncmann,

I agree with you about the Eye of the World being important for much the same reason. I also have my own theory about it which could be as real or crazy as the next.

I believe that the pure Saidin the Eye acts like a filter to some how protect Rand from some of the effects of the taint. I have always believed that Rand is not insane just stressed to the breaking point. My theory is based off the prophecy. the prophecy states that the Eye is created to fill the worlds last great need. So, the worlds need is it just for a hero or is it for a hero that will not destroy the world he is suppose to save? Anyways that is my private theory.
By the way Iam not saying that Rand is immune to the taint just that it does not effect him like it does other men.
anyways be nice and try not to call me too many names
Kaboom
122. alreadymadwithdefiningchanneling
Freelancer @105
You can just use the definition provided for channel as a verb.
1 a: to form, cut, or wear a channel in b: to make a groove in
2: to convey or direct into or through a channel
3: to serve as a channeler or intermediary for

Add the Power to #3 and we're all set.
Pablo Defendini
123. pablodefendini
@alreadymadwithyaddayaddayadda #122
Watch the character count on your username, please. You're cutting it close.
Jason Deshaies
124. darxbane
@120,
Whether or not some details were incorrect, the overall point that Mat was able to surround the attackers is true. He lured them into the open, then squashed them from all sides.
Kaboom
125. RobMRobM
Re the KoD battle ...Not on "all sides." Talmanes left an area open for attacking forces to retreat, and none did. It is at least somewhat curious. Whether Elbar told them that Seanchan would kill any who retreated; or the lust for greed overwhelmed them; or they figured with a 2-1 advantage they would surely prevail; or were "t'averen'ed" into rushing forward; or Semirhage put something in their canteens that turned them into berzerkers...the fact remains that none even tried to escape through the open route. Hmmnnn. Rob
T C
126. Freelancer
amw@122

Understood, but since the question came from an ESL participant, sourcing the root noun seemed appropriate. Verb definition #3 there begs the question from that perspective.

And look out, Pablo's in your kitchen.


Kung-Fu Chicken@89
I stopped reading your post when you started it by saying you'd stopped reading posts at 24. ;-) Then when sinfulcashew@89 responded, I went back and looked. Ok, are you kidding? Why are so many of us so quick to have these people hop in any available sack? Moiraine and Lan have been together 20 years by this time without going there. Lan just happens to be in love with Nynaeve, something he is still at this point of the story fighting with himself about. Moiraine has already established the bond transfer for Nynaeve's future. But none of that matters if there is tension to be relieved? Amazing.


Harai@111

Pretty much as I considered. Yes, the field was a perfect killing ground for a charging force, magnified by their gold-lust and by the attractive farce Mat set up to make his group appear small and vulnerable. There is still Talmane's reaction of intense surprise that every single member of that force fought to the death. It wasn't necessary for Hartha's gardeners to finish off any remnants. None even attempted to depart the field, beg quarter or surrender.

I don't see Mat's ta'verenness pulling them to their deaths, his doesn't work quite that way. And we'd have been informed if they were driven under Compulsion, that's not a tidbit that would reasonably be left for us to divine if it were so, not without some hint. That leaves fearing the Seanchan more than death on the field, and a completely irrational desire for the prize of success even in the face of certain defeat.
Pablo Defendini
127. pablodefendini
@ Freelancer #126
Actually, he's in my kitchen ;)

It's either heeding a friendly warning, or we institute character limits, and I really don't like instituting limits of any kind. But we may just have to.
Jason Deshaies
128. darxbane
The Tuon Hunter battle continued: Is it possible that the soldiers were taken by such surprise that they lost all sense? I know we can't really divine a timeline based on the book, but it always seemed to me that the whole thing was over in 10 or 15 minutes. It seemed to me that by the time they realized just how screwed they were, they were all dead.
sandi vogel
129. sinfulcashew
127. P.D.

Kitchen? Kitchen??
Is someone in there fixing snacks?
Kurt Lorey
130. Shimrod
@126 freelancer.

I don't agree that we have to be spoon-fed every little tidbit. What would we have to do if we have have a lot of stuff to quibble about, eh?

Your other two options?

Fearing the Seanchan more than death on the field? Two comments.
One, there was only one Seanchan there, Elbar. While I have a pet theory about Elbar, at this point, he's only one man. Oooo, I'm scared.
Two, other Seanchan levies from Randland have "deserted" as soon as the Seanchan have turned their backs on them. Ask Rodel Ituralde. He found a few. And those knew the Seanchan penalty for "desertion".

A completely irrational desire for the prize of success, even in the face of certain death (not defeat)? That is plausible to a certain limit. The bottom falls out when one tries to apply that to a large sample, like 10,000. Statistically speaking, I would say that the chance that 10,000 men would all struggle until they died would be as close to being mathematically impossible as one could ever get.

Let me approach this from another slant. Ever been hit really hard by something? Second degree (or worse) burn? Punctured forcefully by something? Wind really knocked out of you? I can say that I have had three out of four there, and it is distracting, to say the least. And, I haven't even gotten to being struck by shrapnel or cut by edged weapons.

Normally, some are going to lose their lust for gold and just sit (or lie) down right there on the battlefield. More than a few, I'd imagine. No more fight in them. Not dead, but done for the day.

Then, what about fear? Self-preservation?

Surely, somebody would have seen and taken the proferred exit route? They didn't even try. Not one. That is freaky scary.

The thing is, Compelling them would have been easy (for a Forsaken). They were greedy already, the feeling didn't have to be put in place, just enhanced. Nothing like what Graendel does.

Ok. Back over to somebody else's court.

@128 darxbane. See above.
James Jones
131. jamesedjones
124 & 125

You two are talking about two different battles.
sandi vogel
132. sinfulcashew
130. Shimrod
I think some of us are trying to put the action in 'our' context.
"I don't think we're in Kansas any more!"
Randland has too many differences to be able to compare the two.
Going at this from a personal perspective can't work in this story!
Just the Taveren aspect changes things.
The battle plan in itself is kind of genius.
sandi vogel
133. sinfulcashew
131. jamesedjones
"124 & 125
You two are talking about two different battles."

Which two are you referring to?
Hugh Arai
134. HArai
Shimrod@120: I started my post with "my recollection is". However, since you asked, I did re-read the chapter on my break.

You are correct, it wasn't a "funneling valley".
It was a grassy meadow with a blackwater swamp on the north and a river a horse would have to swim on the south. Mat's assessment: "There was only one way for any attacker to get at the wall. Come straight for it." Would you be happier with "funneling meadow"? The important point for me was the Tuon hunters were fed straight into the crossbow bolts and grenades.

As for "there were no attacking infantry". There were a tremendous amount of dismounted men. Men dismounting to attack the square are specifically mentioned, which is likely what I recalled. Again "infantry" or "dismounted cavalry", my point is Talmanes was ready and able to ride them down if they tried to flee. Not saying they did.

@130: The only indication I find of combatants ignoring their own wounds is a mention of some of Mat's crossbowmen trying to crank their bows with an arrow in the arm. There is mention that "men with ruined arms reined in frantically to try stemming the flow of blood". All we have to indicate fighting to the death is Talmanes snap assessment of "those who are not dead are dying", which can hardly be considered comprehensive.

EDIT: that should read "to indicate universal fighting to the death". Sorry.

There is mention that some of the hunters turn and engage Talmes, so they aren't all blindly charging "for Tuon" either.

It is clear no one did try to flee, even though they had an out, as RobMRobM mentioned. Where I disagree with you is your conclusion that only the mass Compulsion of the entire force explains that. I'm of the opinion the combination of a battle setup so that the hunters were dead,wounded or already engaged right away/huge reward/fear of the Seanchan/Mat's battle-luck can also explain it. You're more than welcome to continue to disagree, I don't have any text evidence that proves it wasn't mass Compulsion. If it _was_ mass Compulsion, I expect we will RAFO.
Kaboom
135. Aegnor
@133,

The battle in 124 appears to sound like the first battle that was shown using the new crossbow bolts. The ambush of soldiers on the road.

The battle in 125 sounds like the battle after Tuan leaves. The one with the mercenaries all trying to get to Tuan to get the reward money.
Kaboom
136. johncmann
Thanks for the compliments on my Eye of the World Theory @48.

Yes, I mistyped when I referred to Someshta as "she". Typing too fast for my own good. I'm not surprised that the theory would have been debated already on another forum. Seems like the only way to make what we know significant. And just to expand one point I made badly, since need was required to find the Greenman, Aginor and Balthamel didn't 'need' the Eye because they had the Dark One Black Cord Taint Filter, so they didn't need pure Saidin at all. However, I'm not really sure how the need thing works. Is it just sensing good intentions? Because not everyone who hunts the Greenman, finds him, and only Moiraine finds him twice.

So, I suggest that Aginor, Balthamel, and the rest of the Chosen, er, Forsaken, would never have been able to cause the Greenman/Eye to appear. They only found it because Rand was there already.
Kaboom
137. Kaboom
amw@122, Freelancer@126

Understood, but since the question came from an ESL participant, sourcing the root noun seemed appropriate. Verb definition #3 there begs the question from that perspective.

The original question came from me. Thanks Freelancer for the answer. I had wondered if the meaning Jordan made it was close to an original meaning to the word or if it was made up. It looks pretty close.
Hugh Arai
138. HArai
johncman@136: Wasn't there a comment somewhere that Borderlanders hunted for the Green Man like the southerners hunted for the Horn of Valere? If the Hnnters for the Horn we see are any indication, hardly any of the Borderlanders that searched would really "need" to find him. They'd just be in it for kicks. I like your theory too.
Kurt Lorey
139. Shimrod
Now, I'm going to invoke Occam's Razor. The simplest explanation is Compulsion. Everything else is too complicated and chancy or sociologically unlikely.

Plus, too many video games seem to have skewed people's views of combat.

Give me one single example of an historical battle where every enemy combatant was killed without first either being captured (then executed), or given a coup d'grace.
Kaboom
140. alreadymadwithlimits
pablodefendini @127
That was uncalled for. I haven't broken your formatting since one of my posts got balefired. It's those impostors who go over.

Kaboom @137
Channeler
: a person who conveys thoughts or energy from a source believed to be outside the person's body or conscious mind ; specifically : one who speaks for nonphysical beings or spirits
Sydo Zandstra
141. Fiddler
@Shimrod:

Why is Compulsion the simplest explanation?

Those saying the results of this battle are caused by Mat's Taveren'ness and, more important, his luck (those two are not necessarily the same), can use the same Occam argument.

And I think survivors were being killed by Mat's troops, for the same reason the Band didn't leave any dead behind, because they didn't want to leave any intel available for other Seanchan units.

Mat saying 'This is a new kind of War' is why I think this. Mat brought Guerilla tactics to Randland...
Jason Lyman
142. jlyman
I looked and found this regarding the most lethal battles in history. Now, granted, it is Wikipedia, but it does show that there have been battles where the losses have been in the tens of thousands. None that I saw had the entire opposing army being killed, but it does give a good idea that losses in those kind of numbers were very possible.

Still doesn't tell you anything about their motivation though. I propose that they all saw a "golden ticket" and really wanted to get some chocolate...?
Pablo Defendini
143. pablodefendini
@alreadymad #140
Sorry, that's what happens when you're anonymous: others can take your idea (and your identity!) and run with it—I have no way of knowing it's not you, short of digging into IP logs and stuff like that.

You'd been commendably restrained so far, so I hadn't instituted a character limit, but I suppose one bad apple ruined it for the whole bunch in this case.
Kurt Lorey
144. Shimrod
@141 Fiddler.

Those are interesting questions/comments.

Let's take being a strong ta'veren. As I understand the concept, being ta'veren doesn't make one invulnerable, lucky, and can either have positive or negative effects (kind of chaotic, instead of lawful). Mat being ta'veren might "draw" the Tuon Hunters" towards him, but in this case Mat made quite sure by concious efforts. So, I don't see that Mat being ta'veren significant in causing an entire army of 10,000 men to act extremely irrationally (in this case).

Mat's Luck. Mat was "lucky" in having a really good place nearby to stand and fight. Mat was "lucky" that Talmanes flanking force was able to engage without being seen. Mat was "lucky" that an arrow didn't kill him. But, Mat's "luck" would have absolutely no impact upon the rational behavior of 10,000 men as an aggregate whole. Some? Maybe. A couple of thousand? That would have been "lucky". But 10,000 all at once. That's impossible.

Mat's troops did not kill the wounded during the battles while attempting to make for the Malvide Narrows. Go back and re-read KoD concerning this battle. There was no one left to finish off, even had they wanted to.

This is another kind of war. Mat is not a guerilla. His style of warfare is of "another kind" because it isn't fought in traditional Randland or Seanchan style. It is "modern" warfare in that he quickly adopts "new" technologies, is fast and flexible in strategy & tactics, isn't tied to traditional paths of command or promotion, and he treats warfare as "business", not a game or social event.

Ten thousand men fighting until they are all dead is unbelievable and extremely irrational, IMO. Even if the battle only lasted five minutes (which it didn't, it was around a half an hour - which is still pretty quick).

Therefore, Compulsion is the only rational alternative.

@142 jlyman. I don't disagree that there are famous battles where many, many thousands were killed. But, that it was never 100% of the entire army. Never.
sandi vogel
145. sinfulcashew
134. HArai
Thanks for the agreement!

139. Shimrod
"Now, I'm going to invoke Occam's Razor. The simplest explanation is Compulsion. Everything else is too complicated and chancy or sociologically unlikely.
Plus, too many video games seem to have skewed people's views of combat.
Give me one single example of an historical battle where every enemy combatant was killed without first either being captured (then executed), or given a coup d'grace."


OMG!!!!! (invoking wizard of oz)
WE AREN'T IN KANSAS ANY MORE!!!!!
Using examples of Earth battles just won't work!!!!!
Jason Lyman
146. jlyman
@144

Well, there is one battle that I hesitate to mention because it comes from a "religious history." And we don't really want to open that can of worms. The entire civilization was annihilated down to one sole survivor. The people were called the Jaredites and I and many others take the book for fact, but there are many who don't. So, in the end, I don't know that that counts in your book... or anyone else's for that matter. Oh, look! I found a worm! Oh! And there's another! Crap!

By the way, I haven't read Knife of Dreams since it first came out so maybe my commenting on this is slightly uncalled for. But,... oh well.

EDIT: I think that it is entirely plausible that the bending of Mat's luck in several different ways, as was mentioned before, just made things work out alot better than anyone anticipated. After all this is fantasy. Isn't it?
Kurt Lorey
147. Shimrod
@146 jlyman. Go ahead describe your battle. Remember, killing the wounded doesn't count.

@145 sinfulcashew. Where's my crossbow?!?

Got to go. My ride is leaving.
Jason Lyman
148. jlyman
I'll have to describe it another time perhaps. It is about time to go for me too... and in the immortal words of Jar-Jar, "It's a long-o tell-o."

*ducks all the crossbow bolts, lightning bolts and bolts of cloth thrown by Jar-Jar haters around the world*
sandi vogel
149. sinfulcashew
147. Shimrod
"@145 sinfulcashew. Where's my crossbow?!?"

Uh oh, do I have to duck?
I think if REJ had said they were doing the hokey-pokey while singing 'Jak o the Shadows', it would be more acceptable?

Sorry for 'yelling caps', but it seems like no one was using their G given common sense.
It is fiction, as has been mentioned before and I just feel very strong about it, for some reason.
Hugh Arai
150. HArai
Shimrod@142: Can you point me to the line(s) of text where it is explicitly stated that every enemy combatant is dead?

In the Molvaine Gap fight there is the line: "The only men moving were frantically trying to use whatever they had to hand for tourniquets to keep from bleeding to death." So the only men moving are dying. But surviors are still being discussed. No one helps them, but Mat explicitly rides down the opposite side of a hill to hide his numbers from the _survivors_

A similar line is given in Prince of Ravens
"Those who are not dead are dying. Not one of the fools tried to escape." However there is nothing saying "and sure enough the enemy were all dead" or "and then Mat's men killed the wounded and dying" or "and then the Deathwatch Guard killed the wounded and dying". The scene ends right after the fight, with plenty of time for dealing with the wounded any number of ways, including patching some up and taking them prisoner. The only person killed for sure is Elbar because Hartha is carrying his head around. Unless you can point me to something I've missed twice now. It's happened, but I don't think it did here. *shrug* People are assuming the wounded are killed, but that's only because Suroth is surprised by Tuon.

Occam's Razor time: What if the simplest reason that all Tuon's hunters fought till every last man died is that they didn't?
Hugh Arai
151. HArai
sinfulcashew@149: Sorry if I'm one of the people provoking you. I know it's just a work of fiction. My defense is that "it happened because RJ wrote it like that" takes all the fun out of discussing things. For me anyway.
sandi vogel
152. sinfulcashew
151. HArai
I just have to stick to the story, as it is written.
To discuss the parts that leave things to the imagination is wonderful.
But, this part is leaving nothing to the imagination.
Sooooo, what's to discuss?

And ....
"Occam's Razor time: What if the simplest reason that all Tuon's hunters fought till every last man died is that they didn't? "

Huh? I know I read a S-Fi story called Occams Razor a loooong time ago, but I don't remember the particulars at this time.
So, Huh? Life after death?

I think I am getting to far afield for now. Or in other words, losing it?
Alice Arneson
153. Wetlandernw
sinfulcashew@152

Occam's Razor: "The notion that the simplest explanation of a problem is the preferred explanation, unless it is known to be wrong."

Used here to urge people to avoid making things more complicated than necessary, which of course is a matter of opinion...

I like this definition:
Occam's Razor - William of Occam was a fourteenth century philosopher who enunciated the principle "pluritas non est ponenda sine necessitate", or "nature likes things as simple as possible." In other words, in developing a theory, the simpler the explanation of a given phenomena that takes into account all the experimental evidence, the more likely it is to be correct. This could also be called the KISS principle: "keep it simple, stupid."
Kaboom
154. Aye Aye Sedai
Occams Razor- Fight to the death or be killed - what would you do?

OR perhaps kill you and your family - ala Jachim Carridin's plight
Alice Arneson
155. Wetlandernw
Aye Aye Sedai @154

No, it's not a balancing act. See 153.
William Fettes
156. Wolfmage
OR is often invoked around here for theories which are a kind of brute force alternative explanation to a mainline solution perceived to have flaws, even when this alternative isn't particularly simple, compelling or elegant. In that vein, it's certainly theoretically possible that 10,000 people might have been compelling to fight to the death, but it isn't the best fit explanation here or one which is minimally-ladden with assumptions.

By accepting compulsion, you've essentially swapped one realism problem about soldier morale, and the coherence of the attack in the face of utter annihilation, for a different assumption about mass compulsion, which is arguably more unsatisfactory and outlandish. This is especially problematic when you get down to brass tacks of mass compulsion logistics, and the lack of textual support for it in WOT.

Given that the set up for the battle involves Mat inducing the participants to massively over-commit their force against the Band, which is using the elements speed and surprise to smoother the Seanchan force in volleys of crossbow bolts and rock-shrapnel grenades, followed by a flanking cavalry attack, a simpler explanation is available.

Because whilst it is certainly true that in real warfare, annihilation is exceedingly rare, here we may charitably assume the author's intent was that the attacking force was caught by its own inertia, and that any lack of retreat or quarter (piecemeal or otherwise) was brought on by the reigning confusion and the suddenness with which they are dying. They are cut down by underestimating their opponent and being unable to recover, not because they have a magically augmented commitment.

Admittedly Mat's observation that they were mad with greed is unsatisfactory, because clearly that isn't adequate to explain much beyond the the original commitment. But we know the Seanchan commander at least tried to order them to get cover in the trees once he realised the band could fire so rapidly. The battle was effective over by that stage, however.
Kaboom
157. HurinSmells
Does it really matter if the "Tuon Hunters" died to a man? It's not too unbelievable that there were no survivors given the lack of a retreat path, but in reality it makes no difference. I think RJ got the point across that it was a resounding victory and Mat's new tactics/weapons are very effective, in addition to Mat being a hardass general now.
Hugh Arai
158. HArai
sinfulcashew@153: Well, I think Shimrod's theory was quite interesting. I just don't agree with it, which gives me something to discuss. I can imagine a lot of ramifications for Tarmon Gaidon if someone is capable of Compelling a group that size. I don't insist that you have to care either way though!

HurinSmells@157: It only matters if you feel their complete annihilation is such an anomaly that something special like Compulsion must be involved. If you don't then as you say, the encounter simply establishes Mat's tactics/weapons as devastating.

Anyway, I'll drop the subject since the group seems bored with it.
Hugh Arai
159. HArai
Alreadymad if you're there:

"Forget Gawyn Trakand", Elaida ordered sourly. That young man remained alive to trouble her plans it seemed. If Galina did turn out to be alive still, she would pay for failing in that, on top of letting al'Thor escape.


Elaida told Galina to get Gawyn killed. By the Elaida Effect, Gawyn dying is therefore the last thing the Light needs to happen. Considering her track record, he's probably the one to fulfil her own Foretelling about the Royal line of Andor.
William Fettes
160. Wolfmage
"Considering her track record, he's probably the one to fulfil her own Foretelling about the Royal line of Andor."

Um, I always thought that was just RJ being clever, and Elaida being misdirected - because Rand is obviously from the Andorian royal line himself through Tigraine. Do you think the Foretelling actually concerns House Trakand? Is there any evidence of that?
Kaboom
161. RobSS
159
Elaida told Galina to get Gawyn killed. By the Elaida Effect, Gawyn dying is therefore the last thing the Light needs to happen. Considering her track record, he's probably the one to fulfil her own Foretelling about the Royal line of Andor.

LOL
Kaboom
162. Valan
@ HArai, Shimrod, sinful, free et al

Everyone is really, really missing a fact here that is very improtant to the outcome of the battle. Mat - due to his battle memories - is the best general that ever lived. 10 times better than any general you can name; and a huge motivation for his men. Now remembering this, is it really that hard to swallow that with Mat directing his men (the best army in Randland save for an army of Warders equiped with new badass weaponry) just tore those poor Seanchan following Taraboner weakinglings that can't hold on to their own bloody country in the first place to pieces to a man? Not for me. Just sayin'. ;)
William Fettes
163. Wolfmage
Just to reinforce my belief that the Foretelling pertains to House Mantear not House Trakand, I note that Elaida's Foretelling occurs when she is an Accepted (Source: TSR, Ch1). Therefore, at this time of the Foretelling - House Mantear was still the presumptive Royal Line of Andor.

My understanding is that Elaida only assumes the Foretelling applies to Trakand because that is the House which happened to be successful during the Succession period. She latches herself to Morgase accordingly, not knowing that Mantear's line continues through Tigraine / Shaiel.
T C
164. Freelancer
sinfulcashew

My Dad had the book you refer to, I believe. I know that my first exposure to the phrase Occam's Razor was on the cover of an already worn sci-fi paperback, round about 1967. According to Amazon.com, it's a 1957 novel by David Duncan. Never did get around to reading it, as I got hooked on Asimov, Verne and Bradbury early on, and by the time I'd gotten through everything in our house which they had to offer, I've no clue what happened to that book.


HurinSmells@157

In reality, it is quite unbelievable that such a large force would be slain to a man during the engagement, regardless the circumstances. But Harai has posted the text that not all were dead when the fighting stopped, though Talmanes suggested that any who were not already dead were mortally wounded.

This causes me to go back to the earlier discussion of why Mat didn't stay to aid the opposition wounded at the initial battle near the Malvide Narrows. One, he wanted nobody to have a chance at figuring out the true size of his forces, and two, he had to outrun and outmaneuver the opposition, so couldn't afford the time. It was "a new kind of war", guerrilla style hit-and-run. He didn't order the survivors slain, as some had suggested.
Alice Arneson
165. Wetlandernw
Re: the Elaida Effect

The whole point is that since Elaida thinks it should happen, the exact opposite is what really should happen. You know, the Elaida Effect. HArai's been trying to say this all week, and of those responding to his comments, RobSS is the first to get it. I suspect others did but didn't comment. A couple of people argued about whether or not she ordered his death, apparently missing the EE point. Oh well.

HArai: FWIW, you got a good chuckle out of me, and I meant to LOL at you but forgot in all the other posts I was catching up on. Thanks for the grin!
T C
166. Freelancer
Valan@162

To answer your question, yes. Overlooking for a moment the textual fact that that isn't what happened, it's very unbelievable no matter who the general is, no matter the motivation or skill of the defending forces. It takes virtually every single man of the attacking force being mindlessly committed to produce that result. That is the source of Shimrod's belief in Compulsion being the reason. His logic in that regard has merit, though I believe that if such an event were driven by Power-enhanced emotions, we'd have known something of it.

Given that the actual battle end did not include every opponent fighting to the death, only that none took an available escape route from the scene, everything else about the subject is moot.
William Fettes
167. Wolfmage
Excuse my doubling up, but I also forget to mention a key point - that Mantear is critical to the Last Battle in other ways from Rand's role as the Dragon. Remember that Luc is also a part of Mantear, and Slaver is a bit of a Fain-like wild card or black box in terms of how important he may be to the outcome. My feeling is he is important.

I also think that Mantear has been already been a huge catalyst in the pattern for shaping Randland as it is today, with huge ripples effects from its disintegration. Remember, Janduin is most likely killed by Luc in the waste after he leaves and embraces the shadow. Modern Andor, with Morgase and Elayne, is impossible without Tigraine's brave decision to go to the waste following Gitara Foretelling. The death of Taringail, who married into Mantear, is part of the causal chain of the Laman's Pride and Aiel War, and Rand's birth.
T C
168. Freelancer
Yes, I'm sure plenty of people recognized the intent and humor in what now must hold the name "The Elaida Effect". It has come up in numerous previous posts as well, that everything Elaida decides, everything she interprets from her Foretellings, is as far from accurate as it is possible to be. So clearly, since Elaida believes that her foretelling led her to Trakand, that cannot be the house which is key to winning Tar'mon Gai'don.

Wolfmage and others are correct, it is the house which ruled on the day of the Foretelling, Mantear. How Elaida could believe the Foretelling malleable enough to apply to the family she first has access to, rather than the one on the throne when she uttered it, speaks volumes regarding her delusions of self-importance.
sandi vogel
169. sinfulcashew
131. jamesedjones
ha ha?
But you are right. Why are we talking about the last book?

164. Freelancer
It is probably the same book. My mother was hooked on sci-fi and that's how I caught it.
If I looked through all the old books of hers that I have now, I might even find it.
But,,,,, not happening now.

162. Valan
@ HArai, Shimrod, sinful, free et al

"Everyone is really, really missing a fact here that is very important to the outcome of the battle. Mat - due to his battle memories - is the best general that ever lived. 10 times better than any general you can name; and a huge motivation for his men. Now remembering this, is it really that hard to swallow that with Mat directing his men (the best army in Randland save for an army of Warders equiped with new badass weaponry) just tore those poor Seanchan following Taraboner weakinglings that can't hold on to their own bloody country in the first place to pieces to a man? Not for me. Just sayin'. ;)"

I think I was trying to say that of course!teehee)
Thanks for putting the right words in my mouth!
&(* *)&

Now on to this particular book and tomorrows new subjects to debate.

Although I have another question from KOD. I think I'd better save it though.
Hugh Arai
170. HArai
wetlandernw@165: You're welcome. Making you grin is better than boring Sinfulcashew :)

Wolfmage@167,Freelancer@168: Guys, what's your opinion: Would Galad fit the bill too? They call him Galad Damodred, but he's Tigraine's son...
T C
171. Freelancer
Harai

For Galad to be the intent of the phrase "the key to defeating the Dark One in the last battle", no. Beyond the limits of probability. He has a part to play, of course. Without him, it would be incredibly unlikely that the Whitecloaks in their present form would be of any value to the Light. Valda took the reins through assassination, and had Elaida-esque delusions of grandeur regarding his own place in future history. But that's about the limit of his significance.

How could anything else Galad might contribute compare to his half-brother? Sometimes obvious is obvious, and Mantear's most significant son is the channeler; the Car'a'carn, the Coramoor, the Dragon Reborn, the man who allies the Seanchan to his cause.
Alice Arneson
172. Wetlandernw
I've always thought that Elaida's focus on Trakand was one of the most delicious little tidbits of the series. So thoroughly convinced, and so thoroughly wrong. The cornerstone of the Elaida Effect, really. "Delusions of self-importance." Exactly, Freelancer.

Galad would certainly fit, though I think that rounds it out. Mordrellen the first generation, Tigraine & Luc the second, Galad & Rand the third. Elayne's babies are the fourth, but they're a bit young to be all that involved yet. Anyone I missed?

A fair few ripples caused by those folks so far...
Hugh Arai
173. HArai
Freelancer@171: Fair enough. I can't disagree with any of that. Guess I was just looking for someone besides Rand since he gets "his own" Elaida foretelling when they meet in Caemlyn. I wonder how much it stings when she looks back at Foretelling the Dragon Reborn with him right there, before he could defend himself, and having him slip away. Oh wait, she must just blame that on Moiraine...
sandi vogel
174. sinfulcashew
170. HArai
"wetlandernw@165: You're welcome. Making you grin is better than boring Sinfulcashew :)"

Hay!
Are you saying I'm boring?
or are you boring me?

wetlandernw@165
Did you see what he said about me?????
Kaboom
175. HurinSmells
Freelancer@164
I don't consider it beyond the realms of possibility that 10k troops are all but wiped out after they've entered unscouted terrain with only one way in and out, been distracted by fireworks, charged into waves of crossbow bolts, had heavy cavalry at the rear to prevent retreat and were sustaining heavy losses from grenade attacks. 10k troops is not a lot when they're all running in the same direction and are tightly grouped together.

Also, Elaida's Fortelling was specifically "that the Royal House of Andor held the key to winning the Last Battle." (aCoS, Prologue). It doesn't mention a specific individual. I agree Rand is the strongest component of the Lights victory, but I've always believed the Fortelling to infer a composite of Morgase, Elayne, Gawyn, Galad and Rand.

There's also a possibility it includes Lord Luc in some kinda Return of the Jedi moment (Slayer throwing Moridin into the Pit of Doom?), although I agree it's unlikely.
Alice Arneson
176. Wetlandernw
sinfulcashew@174
You know how I hate to interpret other people's words ;) but I think he's just saying that a grin from one angle balances out a yawn from another... Or something like that? It's okay, I know you aren't boring. ;>

In other news...

The very first thing Elaida had ever Foretold, while still an Accepted - and had known enough even then to keep to herself - was that the Royal line of Andor would be the key to defeating the Dark One in the Last Battle. She had attached herself to Morgase as soon as it was clear Morgase would succeed to the throne...

I've been scrounging to see if I could figure out exactly when this Foretelling happened relative to Tigraine's disappearance and Mordrellen's death (the beginning of the Succession). The only things I can find are the following:

1) Tigraine disappeared in 972 NE. If Mordrellen died VERY soon afterwards, the Succession could have begun as early as 972 but no later than 975.
2) Elaida was raised to Accepted "more than 30 years ago" (from 1000 NE, per description in CoT as "PF w/ Meidani as novices, broken off when she was raised Accepted") and was raised Aes Sedai three years later. So her time as Accepted would have been, at the earliest, from 965 to 968 or at the latest from 969 to 972.

So the STRONG odds are that she had that Foretelling while House Mantear was firmly on the throne of Andor. Did she simply abandon Mantear as "the Royal line" when the Mordrellen died, and assume that whoever won the succession would be the Royal line to whom her Foretelling referred? Did it never occur to her that since Tigraine had disappeared, not died, she might still be relevant? Or her infant son? Or did she think she had both bases covered, since Morgase adopted Galad as a son? She's a real piece of work, that woman...
Alice Arneson
177. Wetlandernw
This one is a comment on us rather than on the topic... I've really been enjoying the discussion of Mat's victory in KoD. I'm not going to give an opinion on that until I read it, and since I'm in the middle of the book in my own reread, I'm not going to jump ahead.

I really get a kick out of this, though. For some, the lack of retreat doesn't require any explanation at all. Others feel a need for explanation, but Occam's Razor makes some turn to Compulsion, while others think ta'veren effect and luck make a simpler explanation. Keep it up, folks! I'm enjoying this debate...

I don't really have much to offer, but I'll throw in a little fuel. That level of Compulsion would require a Forsaken, since no one in the NE knows enough about it. When I think of Seanchan and Forsaken in the same breath, I think Semirhage. I can't think of any reason she'd do it, but "reason" isn't the first thing that comes to mind when dealing with the Wicked Witch of the West.

On the other hand, look at the Cairhien battle (coming up soon in the re-read!) for some of Mat's ta'veren effect on battles and the movements of large numbers of men... A whole lot of very strange things happened there to put Mat exactly where, how and when the Pattern needed him. Could happen again. And again. As often as needed.

Very good arguments on both sides. One might say compelling arguments, but... what happens if you're Compelled by two different people to do two mutually exclusive things?

Okay, it must be getting late. Hope to read more fun and games in the morning! 'Night, all.
William Fettes
178. Wolfmage
Wetlandernw@176

"Did she simply abandon Mantear as "the Royal line" when the Mordrellen died, and assume that whoever won the succession would be the Royal line to whom her Foretelling referred?"

That seems the most likely explanation, and is buttressed by the fact that Elaida stays in Tar Valon, and AFAIK only leaves to begin her advisor duties after Morgase has established Trakand as the ascendant House. That indicates to me that she had foreclosed on Mantear already, and didn't want to interfere with the outcome of the Succession so she could transfer the meaning of the prophesy onto a 'natural' victor.

"Did it never occur to her that since Tigraine had disappeared, not died, she might still be relevant? Or her infant son? Or did she think she had both bases covered, since Morgase adopted Galad as a son? She's a real piece of work, that woman..."

On the first point, I would say evidently not. There's no evidence in her thoughts or otherwise that Elaida went looking for Tigraine or Luc. Elaida isn't the sharpest tool in the shred at the best of times, but I suppose that's a pretty minor trespass compared to her tenure as Amyrlin Seat.

It's still a happy instance of the Elaida Effect, though, and deliciously ironic. Elaida's self assurance and pride, which often borders on self-delusion and megalomania in the books, is at least in part built around her capacity for Foretelling. According to all accounts, she was deeply invested in the White Tower's internal politics after being raised, so much so that she was actually taped for the stole even back then. However, she lost a big part of this political capital when she left the Tower and decided to spend a fair chuck of her life as an Aes Sedai advisor to House Trakand. But as we know, all of this was based on a false interpretation of her gift. So the great sacrifice she makes, at the cost of achieving the Amyrlin Seat, was not really fulfilling a special mission as she thinks, and when she does manage to claw her way to the stole, she is so ham-fisted that she ends up being a major antagonist against the main subject of the Foretelling: Rand.

It's interesting and true what you say about Galad offering her a way to have a bob each way, but I truly think she is all the way with Trakand here. Extending her logic, however, it's quite possible that if Trakand were to have lost power, say to House Marne, Elaida might have hitched her cart to their horse by now.
T C
179. Freelancer
HurinSmells@175
I agree Rand is the strongest component of the Lights victory, but I've always believed the Fortelling to infer a composite of Morgase, Elayne, Gawyn, Galad and Rand.

At the time Elaida had the Foretelling, Mantear was on the throne, Trakand wasn't in the picture in a significant way. To me, that leaves out Morgase, Elayne, and Gawyn. As for Galad, cf my answer to Harai.
Kaboom
180. Digital_Eon
I think we're being a little hard on Elaida here. Sure, she's likely to be wrong (although the Trakands are playing their own role in aiding the Light for the Last Battle), but I don't think she necessarily did a dumb thing by interpreting her Foretelling as she did.

For all she knew, Tigraine and Luc were dead. They weren't, but if they went off into the Aiel Waste and were never seen again... well, why would she focus on the small chance that they weren't?

Additionally, Elaida could also have assumed that the "Royal line" referred not to the current ruling family, but to the one in power at the time of the Last Battle. The Foretelling doesn't say otherwise. Attaching herself to the Trakands would have been the sensible thing at the time. What if the Foretelling had meant them, but interpreting it as meaning the Mantears mean she... well, wasn't there to... help or something. Point is, it could have pointed to the Trakands. And they are the ruling family at the time of the Last Battle.

Elaida's problem doesn't seem to be misinterpreting her Foretelling, it's that once she thinks she knows what it means, she closes her mind to any possible alternatives and believes she must be right (and that things will go well for her!). She might not have been wrong in believing the Trakand line was vital for winning the Last Battle. In fact, considering that Elaida would think Tigraine and Luc dead and probably doesn't know Rand is Tigraine's son, she's perfectly justified in continuing to believe this, if she still does.

Okay, there's always Galad. (Though, as Wetlander mentioned above, he's still part of the current ruling family. So unless we see her exclude Galad entirely from the possibility of playing a vital role...)

Though for all we know, that Mantear kid's contribution of soldiers could have been vital to Elayne winning the throne, which is necessary to win the Last Battle. Thus Mantear saved the day.
T C
181. Freelancer
The enemy flanks were beginning to curl in, now, preparing to envelop the crossbowmen behind the wall. Talmanes' men still peppered their rear with arrows, but several hundred men had been forced to drop their bows to defend themselves with swords, and it was unlikely that all of the horses with empty saddles out there had belonged to Taraboners or Amadicians. He had left a gap in the center of his line, a path for anyone who decided to flee, yet no one was taking the offering. They could smell that hundred thousand crowns gold.


Those men should have been able to see there was no woman matching Tuon's description inside the square by this time, but their blood was no doubt on fire, the scent of riches in their nostrils. A man could live the rest of his life like a noble with a hundred thousand crowns gold.


"It is done, Mat!" came Talmanes' shout. "Those who are not dead are dying. Not one of the fools tried to escape." Mat shook his head. He had expected them to be half-mad with the lust for gold. They had been completely mad with it.


I think RJ leaves little room for additional interpretation on the matter when he repeats the same thought three times in two pages. It seems quite clear that the only compulsion involved in this scene is self-induced. I still agree that among so many combatants, it borders on unreasonable to believe that every single one would continue to fight when another option was available, but there it is.
T C
182. Freelancer
Digital_Eon@180
Additionally, Elaida could also have assumed that the "Royal line" referred not to the current ruling family, but to the one in power at the time of the Last Battle.

And who knew, more than twenty years ago (probably closer to thirty) what family would rule Andor at the time of the Last Battle? Even once Morgase secured the throne, what tells Elaida that this will be the family in power at that time? Is she just going to jump from family to family every time there's a succession? Most rulers don't work that way, they toss out everyone connected with their predecessor. No, Elaida made a decision, an interpretation of what her Foretelling must mean based solely on convenience to her (as we see that she does with every Foretelling, with equally inaccurate results), and as you said, closed her mind to any alternative. Therefore, we are not too harsh on her in the least.

Sure, she's likely to be wrong

Likely? You think it isn't already well settled? ::shrug::
Noton Yourlife
183. Roxinos
Breaking my self-imposed "no post" rule to say this:

When you repeat a word too many times, it ceases to feel like a word (or it stops making sense).

The name for that is 'semantic satiation.'
Philbert de Zwart
184. philbert
Why does everybody fix it to one person? It is obvious that Rand, the Dragon Reborn, is crucial to beating the DO. But it doesn't have to end in that. Elayne is in a strong position to make a difference in the Last Battle, and so is Galad. It is very likely that there are a whole number of key turning points that may be decided by the interference by either of these.

The foretelling says 'royal line' and not 'person of the royal line' or even 'royal House'.

But maybe I'm making this too difficult.
Michael Catapano
185. hoping
freelancer et al
RE the discussion that would not die

I think there is a little room for interpretation of Mat's statement. He counted on their greed but it was beyond what he thought. Not only for some of them but for all. What are the odds of that happening in an army full of conscripts, especially when they see their ranks destroyed and a ready path for retreat? It seems possible that the OP was involved. Semirrhage could torture an entire city, why couldn't demandred compulse (I'm still liking this neologism) an entire command? What else is he doing to keep busy? Likely? possible? I don't know.

It still strains credulity to see that everyone was dead or dying. Maybe Talmanes assumed. I'm sure he didn't examine everyone's injuries. Some must have just been unhorsed, or broke a leg, sustained a flesh wound or some other non-mortal injury that put them out of action temporarily. Even in the blood bath that was the civil war battlefield there were those that survived the thousands of bullets flying about just by sheer luck or were dragged off the field at night with survivable injuries even in those primitive medical times. I think you have to use Mat's luck, as well as brilliant plan, to consider that every quarrel and arrow and pebble grenade that hit a combatant produced a mortal wound.

There was no intentional killing of the wounded as I thought I remembered.

Just keeping busy till the new post.
Kurt Lorey
186. Shimrod
@149 sinfulcashew. No, no. You don't have to duck. In fact, that would be avoiding the lesson. ;)

@150 HArai. See @181 Freelancer. "dead or dying". Not talking about Molvaine Gap anyway. Prince of Ravens. Your logic using Occam's Razor is lacking evidence of its own. You say that it doesn't explicitily say that all are dead, so you assume the opposite to be true, without explicit evidence saying so. Difficult to not to derisive when your criticism uses the exact same process that you are criticizing.

@153 Wetlandernw. OK, let's do KISS. Ten thousand soldiers ride to their doom because - - - they're so greedy, they're blind to imminent danger of death. Wow. An almost absolute irrationality becomes the "simplest" solution. The artistry of your logic amazes me. ;)

@156 Wolfmage. First, thanks for keeping your comments briefer than usual. Now, I don't believe that the 10,00 were Compelled to fight to the death. I believe they were Compelled to pursue Tuon to the exclusion of all else. It is perhaps a fine distinction, but one that a mind might accept at face value easier, rather than being told to take her or die. In fact, misdirective or presumptive Compulsion would really work very easily with most people, as people believe what they want to believe, and often dismiss items that they don't. Isn't some lyrics to that effect, Paul?

Swapping Compulsion for morale as a problem was not my intent. You misread me. Morale isn't the problem here. The problem is physical. And, it's obvious that I cannot convince you here without a physical demonstration. But, that would hurt - a lot. Pretty sure you won't be volunteering as a test subject. Maybe someone else? What do we "know" about Compulsion? Not a lot. So, criticizing my assumptions based upon the same lack of information would seem lacking in the same amount of credibility. I admit that I am making an intuitive leap here. It is clear that intuitive thinking is in the minority amidst the sea of linear thinkers, IMNCO.

I don't disagree that Mat had the best of several variables here. I agree that his tactical abilities are right up there with the best generals. But, annihilation in battle isn't exceedingly rare. It never happens. Never. Zero. I cannot repeat that enough for the linear block you have created for yourself. Your whole paragraph (that uses the word whilst) is a completely incorrect conclusion. Completely wrong.

You know absolutely nothing about Elbar during the battle until Hartha comes back with his head. Wherever did you get that from? Why is it OK for you to make up stuff, and not me, anyway?

@157 HurinSmells. Yes, I think it critically important. But, I obviously cannot be convincing enough about why. WHat did RJ intend here? Few would know for sure, but that doesn't include you or me. Maybe there will be more, maybe not. If I'm wrong here, I will be happy to shout it from the ramparts.

@162 Valan. Interesting (and true), but immaterial. Alexander's army never killed all enemy combatants during a battle. Do you have an example that contradicts me?

@166 Freelancer. Moot means debatable, you know?

@171 Freelancer. Your thought processes are simply amazing. The obvious must be true, because literary convention demands it. Is that your proposition?

@177 Wetlandernw. I was thinking that a Compulsion like this would only have to be similar to a light hypnotic suggestion. The greed existed already, it just had slightly tweaked. For a competent Forsaken, it would be a breeze. And, the troops were chasing Tuon for weeks. Plenty of time to work on them all.

Excellent observation about being Compelled by two different people to do mutually exclusive actions.

@181 Freelancer. I think we each think about our own interpretations with little room for other potentialities. That's what I think.


As I mentioned earlier in this post, I will proclaim my error from the ramparts if it turns out that I am completely off-base here. But, none of you have convinced me of your positions in the least, mostly because you take an incredibly irrational act, and dismiss it because it doesn't fit your Weltanschauung.

Best of all? Today's chapters have the most appropriate quote for my feeling right now.
Maiane Bakroeva
187. Isilel
I have to defend Elaida (Hah!) - IMHO this just illustrates how difficult, if not impossible, it is to interpret prophecies and not her usual stupidity. Her interpretation was entirely logical, after all - Mantear did cease being a royal House once the Queen Mondrellein died and Tigraine effectively abdicated by running away. No House without female heir can be royal in Andor.
Even if you are willing to stretch it, Mantear ceased to be royal the moment Tigraine died.

So yes, the notion that the current royal House would be the subject of the prophecy was entirely plausible.
But so is the notion that it was just an oblique allusion to the House that was royal at the moment of the prophecy.
Unusual actions of Tigraine and Luc should have attracted Elaida's attention and merited her investigation, at least. But it is Elaida we are speaking of, so...

Anyway, we have no clue whether this is yet another prophecy about Dragon Reborn or whether it is the case of a broken clock showing right time twice a day - i.e. that Elayne and her brothers _will_ have a "key" role and Elaida was right for a change.
Wayne Wilson
188. stylusmobilus
Even if Elaida knew Mantear was the House foretold, who was she going to cling to? As it turns out, you could say that her foretelling was about both Houses, and Trakand remains so, in a way.
Kaboom
189. birgit
what happens if you're Compelled by two different people to do two mutually exclusive things?

Maybe it's similar to conflicting oaths with the Oath Rod. Or yo do nothing.
Kaboom
190. whatusername
Shimrod @186
"But, annihilation in battle isn't exceedingly rare. It never happens. Never. Zero."

Doesn't WoT have examples where this might be the case. (I'm think Rand/Logain vs. the 100,000 trollocs. Rand vs the Trollocs in the Stone. Tarwins Gap maybe as well.)


Can you name a battle in history where one side:
(a) Was led by the luckiest man alive
(b) Had vastly superior ranged weapons (that the enemy didn't expect)
(c) Had gunpowder/grenades and the enemy didn't
(d) Led by a strategic genius
(e) Had Aes Sedai join in as well
(f) Had an enemy that was goaded into charging in blindly

I don't think that (c) and (e) have existed in a battle before. (Certainly I can't find an example). And that, combined with (a) and a bit of Deus ex Machina means that I think compulsion (while a cool theory - kudos for coming up with it) - is not called for or supported.


For the survey:
24 / Male / Australia / Work in IT
Warder (or Logains faction)
Maiane Bakroeva
191. Isilel
Stylusmobilus:

Well, Elaida could have clung to Galad and tried to track Tigraine and Luc. She may have even been successful with Luc - and died? Killed the Slayer? Was the whole Luc/Isam thing _supposed_ to happen? If so, then the sacrifices of the Mantear siblings are terrible indeed.

In fact, I feel that the previous generation was much more heroic than the main boys and girls of WoT. Without ta'veren influence to help/force them and let them weasel out of the price, without free handouts to make their job easier, they went out and did what was necessary to save the world, whatever the cost to themselves.

Tigraine, Luc, Moraine, Lan, Siuan - true heroes of WoT, largely overlooked and thankless :(.
T C
192. Freelancer
Shimrod@186

I think we each think about our own interpretations with little room for other potentialities. That's what I think.

I consider other potentialities all the time, else I wouldn't bother being here in a discussion.

I completely understand your foundational point that 100% destruction of an opposing force during a battle is unheard of outside of low-rent stories. But 100% destruction is not what happens in this scene.

I agree with you that it's difficult to imagine every last combatant sustaining a hopeless charge when an alternative is available. However, there is no basis for considering Compulsion. No evidence of Forsaken involvement with this force. Semirhage is hands-off to this event. She informs Suroth of the deaths in Seandar, then sets her the task of seeing Tuon killed. There's nothing to imply that she took a further hand in the hunt or the behavior of the people involved. Demandred? Speculation, and it can be nothing more, that he knows of Semirhage's killing spree in Seandar, knows of Tuon's new status, and takes a direct hand are incredibly unlikely. Why would he care if Suroth took over, and failing that, why would he care who leads the Seanchan anyway, since they are in Semirhage's charge? There's nothing there.

I consider each proposal that pops up. Given available evidence (or lack of same), and the known behaviors of the characters, as well as of the author, I determine a conclusion. Short of new compelling information to the contrary, I find no reason to continue considering a theory I have discarded.

Such as: The Royal Line of Andor, which is the key to defeating the Dark One in the Last Battle, is through Tigraine, and refers to Rand al'Thor. Until proof is shown otherwise, I have no reason not to continue to believe that, because it makes by far the most sense given what we know. That some folks grasp for anything that might make it mean somebody else doesn't damage that stance. Likewise, any behavior that seems abnormal or inconsistent automatically raises the spectre of Compulsion, even when there's no Compulsion-employing channeler in the neighborhood, and no textual reason to suppose such is likely. Once my own determination finds such a thought invalid, what value is there in continuing to entertain it, barring solid proof?
Marcus W
193. toryx
philbert @ 184:

I think you're right: Elaida's problem is that she's focusing on one person. A lot of other people in the discussion are focusing on one person as well. Is it Rand? Is it Elayne? Is it Galad or Gawyn?

Since the fortelling states royal line, and prophecies tend to be odd in their interpretations, my own suspicion is that it's all of them. Throughout the series it's been shown that Rand alone can't win TG, but that he needs Mat and Perrin too. Knock out one of the legs of the tripod and the whole thing falls down.

Well that's likely true with Elaida's Foretelling too. Take away Galad and he won't be there to do whatever is necessary (killing Eamon Valda? Helping Rand at some later point?). Kill Elayne and Rand might lose Andor, or whatever else he gains from her presence. Get rid of Gawyn and...well, who knows what might happen.

One of the themes of the WoT seems to be that while you can have one Dragon Reborn, a battle is not won by one man alone. It's who he surrounds himself with that carries the day. Elaida doesn't understand this, and that's why she fails so badly in her interpretation.

Edit to add: That's also how a weaving works. It can't be done with one thread, it takes many. Balefire is dangerous because it removes a thread: remove too many and the pattern may fail. Some threads are more important than others, but the wheel needs many threads to weave a pattern.
James Jones
194. jamesedjones
193 Toryx

"Get rid of Gawyn and...well, who knows what might happen."

But wouldn't it be great to find out? :)
Sean Banawnie
195. Seanie
toryx@193
Interesting points . I also think they each have a role to play. Rand's part to me is far more critical. I'll give him 80%, Elayne 15% and G&G 3&2%.
Kurt Lorey
196. Shimrod
@190 whatusername.

Ah, Trollocs. Not withstanding the premise that Trollocs are either driven by Myrddraal or linked to them by effectively a form of Compulsion, you mean?

There is no evidence concerning Tarwin's Gap or the Battle in the Stone, so mentioning them is illusory.

Your point fails the basic burden of proof test.

@192 Freelancer.

I will defer to your position concerning consideration of potentialities. Where we disagree then, is how at arrive at conclusions, I think. It is a difference in the way we process information internally. Suffice it to say that I allow you your opinion, if you will discontinue to dismiss mine because you cannot see the information in the same way. I might be wrong, it's true. But, I'm not wrong just because you fail to agree with my conclusion.

You say that there is no basis for considering Compulsion. That is speculation on your part, at this point, no less than mine. Just because a proposition is not explicitly defined does not make the opposite of that proposition automatically true. In fact, you speculate that Demandred knows nothing of Semirhage's massacre in Seandar. What is your basis for proof of that statement?

I admit that the usage of Compulsion here is speculation, but every other explanation put forth is as well. Now perhaps, other explanations are more believable, or more compelling, but that does not change the fact that they are speculative as well. And, you speculate that Semirhage exclusively dwells among the Seanchan. That too, is pure speculation on your part. If I weren't so frustrated about what I consider "Elaida thinking" right now, I would be amused that speculation shrouded as "fact" is used to counter speculation.

Let's switch gears and converse about "the royal Line of Andor". I agree that it is Tigraine's line that was given to Elaida during the prophecy. At that moment, it was the Royal line in Andor. And, while I agree that Rand is the main focus of that line, I cannot automatically dismiss any potential contribution by Galad at TG. Important role? Maybe, maybe not. But, surely a role is not impossible. It is speculative.

As to your final point, I understand completely. But, it is my conclusion that our process for is different. One isn't necessarily right, and the other wrong - just different. Uniqueness doesn't pass some test in your thought process. For me, it sets off an alarm, as in "Why is that unique?". Hopefully, soon enough, we will know the answer for certain.

And when the new segment comes out, I'll put that quote in that I find some appropriate. It amused me, and I hope it amuses you.
T C
197. Freelancer
Shimrod

What you miss is that I am not stamping my foot and shouting "I'm right! You're wrong!". I am saying, exactly as you are, that I don't agree. The difference is that your continued attempts to get me to change my opinion are fruitless without something more than the conjecture you are employing. I'm not trying to change your opinion, just trying (vainly) to show you why yours hasn't enough of a foundation to force me to change mine. Until then, I most certainly will not "discontinue to dismiss" your position, as I have already found it inadequate for my selection. Yes, I am judgemental, but that isn't automatically a bad thing, and one of us happens to trust my judgement. It isn't critical for either of us that you don't.

To Elaida's foretelling, what part of "defeating the Dark One in the Last Battle" doesn't belong to the Dragon Reborn, the Champion of the Light whose purpose it is to defeat the Dark One in the Last Battle?
Philbert de Zwart
198. philbert
So I think I see a consensus emerge: Elaida wasn't blindingly stupid going after Morgase. What is blindingly stupid, is her total refusal to consider alternatives and her discarding of any evidence that might contradict her early interpretation.
Such behavior destines you to be a loser.

BTW, contrary to my previous remark, I now think the term 'Royal line' actually excludes Rand, Gawyn and Galad. I think it refers to the line of _women_ who hold the actual throne of Andor, and not their relatives or houses. So that would make current contenders only Morgase, Elayne or the babes coming from between Elayne's hips.

Re: 10k all dead
I think that the essence of Ta'veren is that it makes the improbable happen, like two flocks of doves flying into each other with each individual dove knocking against another one, kind of like Zaphod's Improbability Drive (tm). Or like the Atha'an Miere accidentally agreeing with an unfavourable Bargain.
I very much think that that is what happened here.
Kurt Lorey
199. Shimrod
@197 Freelancer. Sorry. Linear thinkers drive me to distraction sometimes, especially when they travel in herds. Let's just agree to disagree then, because your counter arguments fail to dissuade me, just like my argument fails to convince you.

As to the Elaida thing, I was thinking of something else then. Must be a Min viewing or something that somebody brought up earlier in this thread.
sandi vogel
200. sinfulcashew
183. Roxinos
"Breaking my self-imposed "no post" rule to say this:
When you repeat a word too many times, it ceases to feel like a word (or it stops making sense).
The name for that is 'semantic satiation.'"

Welcome back! (at least for a moment)
Now, What word in particular are you referring to?


186. Shimrod:
"I don't disagree that Mat had the best of several variables here. I agree that his tactical abilities are right up there with the best generals. But, annihilation in battle isn't exceedingly rare. It never happens. Never. Zero. I cannot repeat that enough for the linear block you have created for yourself. Your whole paragraph (that uses the word whilst) is a completely incorrect conclusion. Completely wrong."

Shimmy-baby:
Ahhhhh! The whole point is that this is FICTION!
ANYthing can happen and be true for the FICTIONAL story.
Why keep using reality from our world to compare with Randland?
Am I missing something?
(don't answer that)


190. whatusername
"Can you name a battle in history where one side:
(a) Was led by the luckiest man alive
(b) Had vastly superior ranged weapons (that the enemy didn't expect)
(c) Had gunpowder/grenades and the enemy didn't
(d) Led by a strategic genius
(e) Had Aes Sedai join in as well
(f) Had an enemy that was goaded into charging in blindly
I don't think that (c) and (e) have existed in a battle before. (Certainly I can't find an example). And that, combined with (a) and a bit of Deus ex Machina means that I think compulsion (while a cool theory - kudos for coming up with it) - is not called for or supported."

Good on you!
Kaboom
201. Kaboom
On the battle issue.
I though the compulsion idea was interesting, but for pratical reasons I don't think that's what happened.

From what we have seen so far on Compulsion (starting with Liandrin, and then in more details from Verin) weaving a compulsion net is some very complicated stuff that has to be woven directly in the brain. We also know that what the forsaken do is even much more complicated as what Verin did required that the person was "receptive" for it to work.
I think that for a Forsaken to weave this in everybody in an army of 10000 is just plain unlikely if not impossible.

But that's just my view on it.
James Jones
202. jamesedjones
200 Sinful

Unless I missed something (good chance of it), Roxinos was responding to Leigh's awesomly awesome use of Awesome.
Marcus W
203. toryx
Freelancer @ 197:

To Elaida's foretelling, what part of "defeating the Dark One in the Last Battle" doesn't belong to the Dragon Reborn, the Champion of the Light whose purpose it is to defeat the Dark One in the Last Battle?

All the steps that ensure that the Dragon Reborn survives long enough to reach the Last Battle?

Also, we don't really know what the Last Battle is going to be like. Everyone assumes that there will be massive armies facing each other with Rand at the head of one and the Dark One at the head of the other. Rand and the DO will pair up and the battle will revolve around the two of them.

But is that the way it'll be? Does the Dark One even have a corporeal presence to do battle with? What does defeating the Dark One really mean? Destroying him somehow? Resealing him?

There's no way to know exactly how that battle will play out or what defeating him really means. Given that's the case, there's no guarantee that it's only Rand and Rand alone who will do it, and it certainly doesn't determine how exactly the Royal line of Andor will be the key to defeating him. It could just as well be that someone who is part of that line will do whatever Rand needs to strike the final blow...if a final blow will actually be struck.
Kaboom
204. Aye Aye Sedai
Check out this discussion on Span*%$#@# in the News

http://gmy.news.yahoo.com/v/14048294
Hugh Arai
205. HArai
Since the battle discussion returned anyway:

Shimrod@186: "Dead or dying" does not mean all dead. Talmanes can hardly have done a careful status assessment of 10,000 men. I, personally have been "dying" before. Without aid, I would have died within an hour. Then some people came to my aid and I got better. The reason I mentioned Molvaine Gap is because it is another mention of the end of a battle where everyone on one side is "dying". And yet survivors were still expected.

You are correct that neither of us has explict proof of whether everyone died in the battle in Prince of Ravens or not. However, my unsupported statement is that the battle was like every other battle in the series and people on both sides lived. Your unsupported statement is that unlike every other battle in the series, one side all fought to the death.
Since your argument for Compulsion appears to rest on this unsupported uniqueness, I am unconvinced.
Fortunately, I don't have to be convinced. I'll leave it at that. Feel free to remain derisive.
Marcus W
206. toryx
Shimrod @ 186:

But, annihilation in battle isn't exceedingly rare. It never happens. Never. Zero. I cannot repeat that enough for the linear block you have created for yourself. Your whole paragraph (that uses the word whilst) is a completely incorrect conclusion. Completely wrong.

I'm not trying to persuade you one way or another on the compulsion argument, particularly since I only barely remember the part of the book that you're talking about at this point. I don't even care about the argument since I agree with sinfulcashew's point about it being fiction and fantastical fiction to boot. I, for one, am not reading the Wheel of Time for realism.

But I do take issue with your quoted statement. You're right when you say that no one has presented any evidence yet that a battle was ever completed with total annihilation. But by the same virtue, it can't be proved that it is impossible and has absolutely never happened. Early historical records aren't accurate enough to say one way or another. There may well have been some battles within all of human history that ended in total annihilation for an enemy. What we know about the battles of Alexander the Great, or the Persians, the Greeks or Romans, etc. are too incomplete to make any such blanket statement.

The truth is, we don't know. It may be improbable or unlikely that so many can be killed in such a battle. Impossible, however? That's going a bit far. And you have no greater proof to support your claim than anyone else.

I'm just sayin'.
T C
207. Freelancer
sinfulcashew@200

I'm pretty sure Roxinos is harking back to Leigh's intro, and her humorous abuse of the word awesome


toryx@203

Yes, I can see I left out a few words. the key to defeating the Dark One...

It has nothing to do with the details of how the victory is achieved. The prophecies are clear that the Dragon Reborn is mankind's only hope of turning away the Dark One at the Last Battle. Methods, tactics, strategies, are not on the table for this point of concern.

The royal line of Andor at the time of Elaida's Foretelling (Mantear/Damodred), produced the Dragon Reborn, the key to winning.


shimrod, forgive me for being less kind now, but you don't begin to know me. I have not chosen to label, characterize, or otherwise pigeonhole your analytical style, please do me the same courtesy. If anyone who does know me heard me referred to as a "linear thinker" or "traveling in a herd", they would be sure you were speaking of somebody else. You'll just have to believe that, with no supporting evidence. But you're good at that. ;-)
Kaboom
208. a_m_m_b
@ Confutus: no, it's tragic that the man was duly told the consequences of crossing the parameters Rand set, yet still chose to step outside them.

hips meant for babes? where's the offense to be taken? like it or no, women are meant for bearing. now, if that was all women were allowed to do - there's a place to take offense.

@freelancer: overly harsh dude. there's nothing inherently wrong with being out for sex so long as both parties are freely consenting adults on the "same page" as it were. it's not like he was merely using her - point of fact it was her using him - he viewed her as a friend. maybe not a BFF but a definite F.

@Thorljottsen: perfectly put :)

@Miythrandir: she's in a heck of a crack. she WILL fall in love with Rand knowing he's loved by her BFF - she has no say in the matter. with the wretched Prophecy driving the WO to make the long term survival of the Aiel second only to wining the Last Battle (if it IS secondary), she's not even allowed to 'disappear' or otherwise 'bow out'.

new kind of war? hard. cold. necessary if the world is to survive; very much so.
Hugh Arai
209. HArai
toryx@203: Pending further info I'm going with this:

Morgase fills the role Elayne keeps bringing up and a (former) Queen of Andor leads men into battle. With Tam at her side (right Rob?). On Bela of course. Seeing her in danger, Galad and Gawyn leads their forces on a daring rescue, distracting the DO's forces enough for Rand to nip around back and finish him off. Except that the attempt fails, Rand falls to the ground bleeding and then Bela the Creator casually seals off the DO again at his moment of triumph. And sniffs.
Kaboom
210. Thorljottsen
Wheels within wheels within wheels. Oh, Wheelwork!

My compliments to whoever came up with the name "Elaida Effect". It's been described but never named before, as far as I know. That was great.

Maybe Elaida's foretelling is more open-ended than we realize. Perhaps the "Royal House of Andor" actually refers to both the former and present royal house. Rand's part is obvious, but maybe Elayne, Galad and Gawyn are critical as well to victory. Even Luc. Perhaps Gawyn kills Rand. I forget, did anyone ever tell him his mother is still alive and was not killed by Rand? You know he'll be trying to kill Rand if he's within a mile of him.
Kaboom
211. Digital_Eon
Freelancer @182

That isn't always the case in Andor. Morgase would have had to screw up and become tremendously unpopular, and even get kicked off the throne, before she would be seen in the kind of light where a successor would want to avoid associating themself with her. Successions in Andor tend to be rare, if I remember correctly, and the last time one occurred, Morgase even married the former Daughter-Heir's husband to keep that association. The "royal line" can also change by peaceful means.

Of course, that did happen to Morgase, sort of. Hardly her fault, however, and an indication of the upcoming Last Battle!

Though Elaida, as an Aes Sedai, might also be exempted from that concept, even if the change in ruling power wasn't so peaceful. The new Queen would probably have to break all ties with the Tower to avoid her as an advisor. Would the Tower really comply with a request to get a new Aes Sedai advisor because the old one served a previous Queen?

At any rate, that would be Elaida's mistake - a possible failure to consider the distant future (if it was unlikely she could continue to be an advisor in the case of Morgase losing the throne). Not that she failed to realise the Foretelling probably referred to Mantear and Rand because she had no information pointing to that possibility.

For that reason, I'm not even sure if we can count this as a case of Elaida's closed-mindedness. Unless she continued to believe the Foretelling referred to the Trakands when presented with the fact that Rand is Tigraine's son (and perhaps not even then, as these comments show!), we can't say that she wouldn't be able to change her mind on this subject. Though she probably wouldn't. But until it happens...

Oh, and Gawyn is pretty important for the future, perhaps even more than Galad. Remember who's supposed to save Egwene from execution? :P
Alice Arneson
212. Wetlandernw
Shimrod @186

Hey, don't be attacking MY logic here. I'm not arguing one side or the other; my post at 153 was just to define Occam's Razor for those not familiar with the concept. You're being unnecessarily defensive.

Thorljottsen @210

IIRC, HArai came up with the term Elaida Effect. Not sure if he capitalized both words to make it a Term. :) I like it too.

Here's my looney theory on Key to Defeating the Dark One:
As Rand (house Mantear descendant) faces the DO at Shayol Ghul, things are not looking good. Then Elayne (house Trakand), in her typical headstrong manner, shows up to help him even though she can't channel reliably while pregnant. She throws herself into the fray, and Rand looks up to see what's happening, realizes she's WAY pregnant, realizes that's his lover and his child and pulls himself together. To save Elayne, he dredges up one last mighty blast of Saidin and slams a new Seal on the Bore. Thus both Trakand and Mantear have to be there to defeat the DO.

(Okay, don't get too picky. I only proofread it for grammar, not for logic. I'm just twitching, all right?)
Jason Deshaies
213. darxbane
Shimrod,
Not to try to inflame this any further, but what is your definition of a "linear" thinker. If it's someone who won't see any other option as valid but his or her own, well, there are a lot of broken glass in that house your standing in. You were certain your explanation was most valid, then you defended it by saying it was no more or less plausible than what Freelancer was saying. I would like to hear you explain the points @190 that make this battle so unique, since adding these unknown elements make it almost impossible to form a firm conclusion using past battles as a reference.

Also, as for battles where everyone was annhilated: Remember the Alamo? How about the Battle of Thermopylae? I'm sure I can find several battles during Feudal Japan where armies fought to the death, and the Romans exterminated entire populations to prevent uprisings (do you really think the opposing armies bothered to try surrendering when they knew they were dead anyway?)

The kicker is, I do not feel your theory is invalid. It is certainly possible that they were "encouraged". There is even evidence that compelling someone to do something they already wanted to do is nearly unbreakable (Moggy Compelling Liandrin to LIVE, after shielding her). It also didn't have to be one big mass Compulsion wave, it could have been done a few people at a time. That being said, simple greed of a people with a history of selfishness and arrogance (Tarabon is pretty messed up) could also explain their foolishness.
Brian Kaul
214. bkaul
A historical battle where everyone on the losing side died, just off the top of my head: Thermopylae. The Alamo also came close, though it was due to Santa Anna executing those who surrendered. Neither of the losers there was the aggressor, but still ... examples do exist.

That aside, "dead or dying" doesn't necessarily mean that none of them survive, just that there's no one left fighting or fleeing. Whoever's not dead is wounded and out of commission. A wounded man sitting on the battlefield is surely dying, unless he receives medical care. But if the battle doesn't continue, there's no reason to think he can't have been patched up.

As for Compulsion, it doesn't strike me as a necessary explanation, but it is plausible. So is the ta'veren plot device effect. We'll RAFO I suppose.
Kaboom
215. alreadymadwithcrazyelayne
Wetlandernw @212
Elayne is probably stupid enough to try it.
Roger Powell
216. forkroot
Re: The Alamo
I was actually going to bring it up, but a quick check at Wikipedia turned up the fact that a couple of combatants did indeed survive.

Although I've enjoyed the arguments (not necessarily the tone) about the battle near the end of KoD I'm afraid I'm in the camp of those who believe that RJ just wrote it that way for plot convenience, without the level of deep reflection shown by many posters here.

He needed to have Tuon surprise Suroth for the most dramatic effect at the end of the book. I would point out that whether or not all the attackers died may be moot as long as they all were wounded to the point where no one could carry news of the result.

It's a testimony to how good the WoT is that we can even have these sorts of in-depth discussions, marshaling various 'facts' from the text, and so forth. Most fantasy falls apart with much less examination.

We need to be mindful though, that as careful as he was, RJ could not possibly "deep think" the plausibility of every plot twist, event, and so forth. He'd have averaged a book every 10 years if he did, and heaven knows we waited long enough for the later books as it was.

P.S. You are all free to wish me a Happy Birthday as you tear down my arguments (or wait until today's post...)
sandi vogel
217. sinfulcashew
Anyone else having difficulties with loading site?
And the page jumping to the top for no apparent reason?
Couldn't get here for at least half an hour.
Got all excited thinking 'yay, Leigh is posting'!!!!!
Nope.

~scratchtwitchscratch~
Tess Laird
218. thewindrose
Digital_Eon @211
Oh, and Gawyn is pretty important for the future, perhaps even more than Galad. Remember who's supposed to save Egwene from execution? :P
One of Mins viewings:GAWYN: either breaking Egwene's neck or kneeling to her
The either/or vision about Egwene is similar to several of Eg's dreams which imply that Gawyn will either get over his psychosis and go along with Egwene, or that he'll end up destroying her, maybe killing her.
So from that I would agree that he will have some importance, but it might not be good for the light side.
Brian Kaul
220. bkaul
@218: This is Robert Jordan, not George R.R. Martin. Gawyn is rather unlikely to harm Elayne.

Happy birthday, forkroot!
Kaboom
221. alreadymadwithinsanegawyn
bkaul @220
Intentionally, no. The guy is nuts though, who knows what he'll end up doing unintentionally.

happy birthday, forkroot
Tess Laird
222. thewindrose
Happy Birthday Forkroot! For your B-day, we shall give you a new post;)
p.s. Don't drink any minty tasting tea today, it may put you into a deep sleep, and then you would miss out on all of the fun.
Kaboom
223. Tenesmus
Chapter 22 in tGH has a ton of info in it. It is a Moraine POV

-On Fain's Powers: "Mordeth, the councilor who began it all, using the tactics of Darkfriends against the Darkfriends and he now lies trapped there waiting for a soul to steal" Also: "The hate that killed Shadar Logoth was the same hate they thought to use against the Dark One; it would destroy Shadowspawn as surely as it would those who walk in the light"

-Moraine self chats that she has never had sex with Lan

-On Rand, she thinks, "Everytime I push at it, it pushes me."
T C
224. Freelancer
Forkroot

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~ Dylan Thomas
James Jones
225. jamesedjones
If anyone is wondering why Post 224 sounds familiar, it was also presented by Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School. LOL

Very powerful stuff to sound tough coming from him.
Kaboom
226. RobSS
Happy Birthday Forkroot

Happy Post Day all
Kaboom
227. Samadaiismadhecantlogin
forkroot happy birthday.

Sorry about the stupid name but tor wont let me log in. I hope they haven't banned me for some reason
Kaboom
228. SamadaiInred
Alreadymadwhen,

not trying to steal your thunder
Michael Catapano
229. hoping
forkroot
*twitch*
Happy Birthday
*twitch*
Maiane Bakroeva
230. Isilel
Personally, I don't see how Rand is any more "of a royal line of Andor" than Dyelin and Co.

IMHO, the prophecy applies either to Mantears or to Trakands or to both.

If it was Mantears, then Tigraine already fulfilled her part - became a Maiden and produced the Dragon Reborn on the requisite mountain. So, she was certainly the key to defeating the DO, no?

Luc's part, whatever it is, has yet to come. Or maybe he failed at whatever he was supposed to do and things are going to be all the more precarious? No prophecies failed in WoT so far, though.

If it is Trakands, well we shall see. Rand _does_ need support to do his part and maybe they will accomplish something essential. BTW, another thing that convinced Elaida that it was Trakands is the eerie coincidence of their coat-of-arms being a _keystone_, IIRC.

Re: the battle to the death. Well, let's not forget that in Randland fighting unarmored is generally superior to fighting armored ;). I wouldn't look too hard at historical precedents in this light. I also don't recall any precedents of mass Compulsion of humans.
I mean, Trollocs were created with control mechanisms in mind, so it isn't a valid comparison.

Generally, IMHO, if a Forsaken really wanted Tuon dead that badly they would have come after her personally. Easier than compulsing 10K soldiers and then expecting them to have enough brains left to do the job, IMHO.
Elroy Skimms
231. elroyskimms
Shimrod @ 139

Give me one single example of an historical battle where every enemy combatant was killed without first either being captured (then executed), or given a coup d'grace.


IIRC, Custer and all of his men did not survive the Battle of Little Bighorn. Of course the scale is not the same. I seem to recall him having less than 1,000 men with him. It is said that some of his men committed suicide rather than be captured. Assuming that they did not notice the possible escape "channel" left open to them, I could see them choosing to off themselves rather than be captured by a group called, "The Deathwatch Guard." Doesn't sound too far fetched to me.

Also, keep in mind that the battle used a lot of AoE (area of effect) type weapons. Frag grenades, the OP, and a metric buttload of crossbow bolts flying in volleys. I could see the reason for questioning the scenario if there were 9,999 dead guys and a man in the middle drawing his sword and charging into the Great Wall of Ogier to try and win the day. But it is more than conceivable (I think) that the last men to fall may not have known they were the last to fall until the frag grenade landed in their midst.

-E
Kaboom
233. CireNaes
-Shimrod and Freelancer

Enjoyed the debate even though it got a little prickly at the end. The closest historical example outside of the Bible that I can think of is the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. Wikipedia has a decent account of the event. Although it did occur over the course of a few days, the last day should be of particular interest to the argument of a complete slaughter outside the context of a last stand in a fortified structure (The Huns being the most prominent example of that example). And 10,000 men is butt ton of people. Having done drill and ceremonies on a large field with a few thousand troops it is chilling to think of so many dying.
Wayne Wilson
234. stylusmobilus
Perhaps Elaida also interpreted Trakand's House sigil as a pointer in the Foretelling.
Kurt Lorey
235. Shimrod
@213 darxbane. Not at all.

People all have the capacity to collate information in two methodologies of thinking, linear and intuitive.

One method is usually dominant, the other recessive, and it is simply how information is processed.

For linear-dominant thinking, a simple analogy would be a progression like this: Starting at proposition A, to arrive at conclusion D, one must find the intermediary steps B and C (in that order). If one cannot find B, then C is discarded as unimportant or non-existent, and the arrival at conclusion D becomes an impossibility.

For intuitive-dominant thinking: Starting at the same proposition A does not require discovery of B to either find C or D. Or finding C could make finding B possible. A linear order of discovery is not required.

Sometimes linear thinking is the best solution for problem solving, as in computer programming, to use a single example. Intuitive thinking can be applied successfully to more subjective problems. And usually, a combination of the two approaches can also provide superior results.

In the end, I'm not criticizing linear thinking, as described. It is just different. Sometimes, it's just difficult not to sound insulting when writing back and forth anonymously.

As to the Alamo, Custer, or Thermopolyae. Well, since I lack the ability to convince, I suggest that those who mentioned those battles actually read up on those battles. The Alamo has been mentioned as not appropriate by someone else. Custer didn't lose the entire 7th regiment, and those that did die, some were slaughtered as they lay wounded. Thermopylae, for the Theban and Spartan Greeks that remained as a rearguard for the retreating main army, only the Spartans died to the man. Many Thebans surrendered, and were taken captive.
T C
236. Freelancer
Sometimes, it's just difficult not to sound insulting when writing back and forth anonymously.

And even more difficult when you are being insulting.

Still, we could test this hypothesis (unlike a lot of other theoretical problems in Randland). I'll just need a few volunteers to act as the "Tuon hunters". I have several in mind...;)

Plus, too many video games seem to have skewed people's views of combat.

@145 sinfulcashew. Where's my crossbow?!?

@149 sinfulcashew. No, no. You don't have to duck. In fact, that would be avoiding the lesson. ;)

Your thought processes are simply amazing. The obvious must be true, because literary convention demands it. Is that your proposition?

I think we each think about our own interpretations with little room for other potentialities. That's what I think.

But, none of you have convinced me of your positions in the least, mostly because you take an incredibly irrational act, and dismiss it because it doesn't fit your Weltanschauung.

If I weren't so frustrated about what I consider "Elaida thinking" right now...

Linear thinkers drive me to distraction sometimes, especially when they travel in herds.


Nobody else involved at any point in that entire sub-thread felt the need to label or belittle you, your "intuitive" solution process, your attempt to apply Occam to a pet theory, or suggest even good-naturedly that you should be shot at to make a point. Consider how all those little items you tagged into your comments sounded and felt to others, and then intuitively conclude how best to proceed in the future.

I spent the greater portion of three different comments in this thread explaining to others why your thinking, that an external agent was involved, had merit. Based on your original assumption that every opponent fought to the death, it was valid to consider paranormal factors.

However, once it had been cleared up that your original premise was indeed mistaken, that they did not all fight to the death, but that some, as you suggested, were lying about wounded, in shock, unable to continue, etc., completely removed the need for that paranormal factor. The battle wasn't unique after all. The remaining unusual event was nobody taking a path of escape, which is summed up by Mat's observation that they were completely mad with lust for the gold.

So there is an irrational event, but there are irrational people involved. But that's not good enough, there must be something else, something we can't see, can't possible know about, can't possibly ever discover as having been involved. Out pops Compulsion, the shibboleth for any in-story behavior that doesn't agree with someone's preconceived expectations. I don't choose to disbelieve that simply because of a lack of evidence that such is the case. I disbelieve it because it doesn't intuitively fit any plan that accomplishes a desirable objective for the Compeller. If I could Compel an entire army to do my bidding, I wouldn't offer them gold to do my bidding. And if an army had been offered an immense sum of gold to ensure they accomplished a task, why force upon them an artificial motivation to do exactly the same thing?

A question. If not another word is written about this event or this force of men that were obliterated, nothing ever brought up to suggest that an external agent applied a paranormal motivation beyond the prize of gold, will you still believe Compulsion is what drove them?
Kurt Lorey
237. Shimrod
I had written a reply on Sunday, but must have forgotten to actually post it after the preview. So, here goes again.

@236 Freelancer.

Hmm. Insulting, eh? First, you insulted me with your denigrating "yell and stomp your foot" comment. I suppose that isn't an insult, as much as bullying. Still, it made me assume that you were big enough to stand in the kitchen. THAT was obviously an incorrect assumption on my part.

In fact, I see that in part 11, @128 you pick right back up with your bullying tactics, "Someone else had speculated on a more obtuse and complicated reason...". Obtuse meaning "stupid"?
Sir, you are a bully. You are the one who is belittling, denigrating, derogatory, disparaging and minimizing to anyone who doesn't believe in the same point of view you do. In fact, it's no wonder you think I am so insulting, as you appear to be quite the expert yourself.

The only "insult" out of all of your quotes was the "Elaida thinking" one. Still, I don't apologize for it. I consider it true, and I trust my judgement on that better than yours.

The items to sinfulcashew were within a context, which she "got" considering her returning banter. You, obviously didn't.

Proposing to submit this subject to the scientific method isn't insulting. Why you think so, you'll have to better define your problem with it.

"Your thought processes are simply amazing. The obvious must be true, because literary convention demands it. Is that your proposition?"

Um, that was a question, not an insult.

"Linear thinkers drive me to distraction sometimes, especially when they travel in herds."

That last bit was an IT joke. Once again, I seem to have incorrectly surmised that you might "get" a particular context.

My premise about all being dead was only incorrect in that the quote was "dead or dying", not "all dead". You are putting your own semantic interpretation to anything further like wounded, in shock, unable to continue.

As to your explanation about gold and Compulsion, once again you are pre-supposing, based entirely upon your own preconceptions. While I may not be right, your explanation isn't any better. For instance, promising the money doesn't necessarily entail paying the money, does it? A Forsaken lying? What a novel concept. In the end, your line of reasoning is no better than mine.

Thanks so much for noticing, amid all of your quote searching, but I have already mentioned TWICE that I will proclaim my error from the ramparts as we RAFO, if I turn out to be completely off-base here. Would you?
Kaboom
238. Daniel2424
thanks for all of this Leigh! I've loved every entry.

Someone needs to help me get a ridiculous thought out of my head that popped up while reading this summary. I'm sure its come up before, but does the timing of Gaidal Cain disappearing from the dream world coincide with Matt going through the doorway in Ruihden?

I know people have speculated why Jordan would waste his coming back as an infant, maybe his memories were what was injected into Matt?

Sorry if this has been discussed to death before, but I had to post once that thought hit me.
diane heath
239. jadelollipop
I am re-reading WOT again. (In chap 28 where Bryne just arrived in Salidar). My previous re-read made me hate Faile more but this time I am not so upset with her but find myself really against Egwene. She is a firm believer in she is right everyone else is wrong. (esp Rand)

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