Jun 19 2009 5:51pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 11

This is a test of the Emergency Wheel of Time Recap System. This is only a test.

The Interwebs of your area, in voluntary cooperation with the Internets, Interwebz, and Intarweb(s), have developed this system to keep you distracted in the event of real work. Or an emergency. Whichever.

If this had been an actual recap, as in the past, the annoying Attention Signal you just onomatopoeically heard would have been followed by official flamewars, website breakage, and/or lolcats.

It would also have included discussion of Chapters 26-28 of The Fires of Heaven, if it had been a real recap. Which it is not.

Please stand by.

Chapter 26: Sallie Daera

What Happens
Min does not understand why the halo promising greatness has appeared around Logain more and more often since they left Lugard, as he has become increasingly morose, lethargic, and withdrawn in that time. She also wonders if Siuan really knows where she’s going or if she’s just lying to herself. Leane drops back to Logain’s side and tries to rouse him from his torpor, and Min suggests she kiss him, earning a glare from Leane she ignores.

How could you be intimidated by a woman who had told you in dead seriousness that there were one hundred and seven different kisses, and ninety-three ways to touch a man’s face with your hand? Leane actually seemed to believe these things.

She wonders if Leane might actually have feelings for Logain, though she has certainly not given up flirting with other men, which has sometimes worked to their advantage and sometimes really hasn’t. Siuan pulls up next to Min and asks if she’s viewed him today, and Min patiently tells her that it is still the same, and thinks that Siuan still doesn’t get that it wouldn’t matter if she had only seen it once, it would still happen.

She knew the same way that she had known the first time she saw Rand al’Thor that she would fall desperately, helplessly in love with him, the same way she had known she would have to share him with two other women. Logain was destined for glory such as few men had dreamed of.

Siuan tells her sharply that she needn’t get all sullen, and Min apologizes, disgusted with herself that it sounds sincere. Leane wants to know if they have much further to go, as she does not think they will be able to get Logain back in the saddle if they stop tonight. Siuan doesn’t think so, and sounds annoyed that she had to stop for directions. They ride on, and suddenly come upon a village. Min thinks there is something odd about it, and abruptly realizes that most of the men and women watching them come in have flickering auras and images around them, and thinks that Siuan has found her gathering. Everyone stares at them unreadably, and Min uneasily comments that someone could at least say hello. Siuan stops in front of the town inn, dismounts, and tells Min to bring Logain in. Inside the inn, four Aes Sedai come to meet them – Sheriam (Blue), Carlinya (White), Myrelle (Green), and Anaiya (Blue).

Sheriam’s tilted green eyes fixed immediately on Min’s face. Rays of silver and blue flashed about her fiery hair, and a soft golden light; Min could not say what it meant.

Sheriam wants to know how Min found them and why she brought Logain with her, and Carlinya puts in that it would have been far better if he had died as rumor suggested. Min sees an image of a raven next to her, but more like a drawing of one; Min thinks it might be a tattoo. Myrelle and Aniaya chime in, chivvying Min to speak, and finally she remembers that they have no idea who her companions are.

“I am not the one you want to talk to,” Min told Sheriam. Let “these other two girls” have those stares on them for a change. “Ask Siuan, or Leane.” They stared at her as if she were mad, until she nodded to her two companions.

The Aes Sedai study Siuan and Leane, and discuss whether stilling produces this kind of effect exactly, and whether they can believe they are not imposters. Leane tells them to ask things only she and Siuan would know, and Siuan adds that her face may have changed, but at least she knows what she is doing, which doesn’t look like the case for them. Min groans, but Myrelle nods and says that’s Siuan’s voice. Carlinya is not convinced, and they begin grilling Siuan and Leane about things they did and said as novices and Accepted. Min is amazed at the sheer amount of rule-breaking and pranks they apparently pulled back in the day.

Washing a disliked Accepted’s shifts with itchweed when she was a novice? Sneaking out of the Tower to go fishing? […] From what Min knew of novice training, and Accepted for that matter, these women were lucky that they had been allowed to remain long enough to become Aes Sedai, much less that they still had whole hides.

At last Anaiya pronounces herself satisfied, but Carlinya points out there is still the question of what to do with them. Siuan answers by telling them how she found them – by contacting one of her agents – and Min realizes she is letting them know she still has access to the Blues’ intelligence network. The Aes Sedai nod at each other and hustle Siuan and Leane out of the room, instructing Min to stay in the common room with Logain. Min sighs and makes Logain sit at one of the tables, and thinks that at least she doesn’t believe anyone else besides Siuan and Leane know about her viewings. She can’t afford to get trapped here by Aes Sedai wanting to study her.

Helping Siuan find this gathering, helping bring Aes Sedai to Rand’s Aiel, was all very well and important, but she still had a personal goal. Making a man who had never looked at her twice fall in love with her before he went mad. Maybe she was as mad as he was fated to be. “Then we’ll make a matched pair,” she muttered to herself.

A novice comes by to offer her food, and Min asks where they are. The novice tells her Salidar is in Altara, a mile west of the Eldar River and the Amadician border. An Accepted Min recognizes as Faolain joins them and snaps that Aes Sedai shouldn’t have to hide, and demands to know why “she” came here (meaning Siuan), when it is her fault they have to hide. A Yellow sister named Edesina walks up and chases Faolain off, and examines Logain, who doesn’t appear to notice.

To Min’s eyes, a silvery collar suddenly appeared, snug around the woman’s neck, and as suddenly seemed to shatter. Min shivered. She did not like viewings connected to the Seanchan. At least Edesina would escape somehow.

Edesina studies Logain, and says that it is the gentling; he’s stopped wanting to live, and there’s nothing she can do, not that she’s sure she would. She walks off, and Min tries smiling at a Green named Kiruna who had been friendly to her in the Tower, but Kiruna ignores her and sweeps out. Min hopes Siuan and Leane are getting a better reception.

There seems to be a direct relationship between how much trouble an Aes Sedai got into as a novice/Accepted, and how powerful/influential she ends up being, which smacks strongly to me of something Jordan pulled from his time in the armed forces. The Tower, like the military, enforces extremely strict and harsh discipline on its trainees, the purpose of which is only partially to instill conditioned obedience in its members. It’s also just as much to determine who has the will and stamina to endure such treatment, and come out of it with their sense of self intact. Acts of mischief and minor rebellion are traditionally considered very good indicators of this.

A good Aes Sedai will obey orders, yes, but she must also be able to take the initiative and think proactively in situations where there is no time or capability to receive orders, and additionally must be able to endure hardships and stresses, both mental and physical, that might break other people. She must also be able to determine when it is appropriate to ignore orders.

Sound familiar? I thought so.

Interesting that of all the viewings Min has in this chapter, only the one about Edesina has happened as of KOD. Including Logain; he’s certainly doing a lot better as of KOD than he is here, but I personally don’t think Logain’s current rank as second banana in the Black Tower counts as “glory such as few men have dreamed of.” That seems like it needs a little more oomph, if you nome sane.

Feel free to speculate on Sheriam’s halo, cause I’ve never been able to figure it out. Although for some reason it’s always had a slight martyr-like flavor to me. I like Sheriam, but she always seemed rather doomed to me; it would be cool, if I’m right, that she would get to go down in a blaze of glory. Maybe taking Halima with her? That would be sweet.

Chapter 27: The Practice of Diffidence

What Happens
Siuan envies the way the Aes Sedai do not sweat as she tells them bluntly that they are “rudderless”, and she can tell that all the bustle and activity in Salidar is nothing more than show. She wishes Morvrin and Beonin had not been added to the group, both of whom were extreme skeptics.

“Elaida has the Tower in her fist, and you know she will mishandle Rand al’Thor,” Siuan said scornfully. “It will be pure luck if she doesn’t panic and have him gentled before Tarmon Gai’don. You know that whatever you feel about a man channeling, Reds feel ten times more. The White Tower is at its weakest when it should be at its strongest, in the hands of a fool when it must have skilled command.” She wrinkled her nose, staring them in the eye one by one. “And you sit here, drifting with your sails down. Or can you convince me that you are doing more than twiddling your thumbs and blowing bubbles?”

Anaiya asks calmly if Leane agrees, and Leane is placating, congratulating them on their progress while agreeing that Elaida will botch dealing with al’Thor. Siuan sniffs loudly, and Carlinya coolly tells her that she does not seem to understand that she is not only not the Amyrlin Seat anymore, but she is not even Aes Sedai anymore, and cannot expect to take her old place among them, even if they agree that she is innocent of most of the charges laid against her, and that her deposing and stilling violated the spirit if not the letter of Tower law. Sheriam adds gently that they are not to worry about being cared for, and Leane thanks her in a tremulous voice; Siuan grimaces and informs them that right now all the Blues’ information is still going to the Tower, but she can divert it so that it comes here instead, and send false information to Elaida via the same route. Leane puts in that as Keeper, she had eyes-and-ears in Tar Valon itself. Morvrin asks bluntly why they should let two stilled women handle such an important task, and Siuan snaps back that her face is different, but what is inside her head is not, and they should use it. She then brings up Logain, and says they haven’t asked her why she brought him here.

“Very well, Siuan,” Sheriam said. “Why?”

“Because the first step to pulling Elaida down is for Logain to reveal to the Tower, to the world if need be, that the Red Ajah set him up as a false Dragon so that he could be pulled down.” She certainly had their attention now. “He was found by Reds in Ghealdan at least a year before he proclaimed himself, but instead of bringing him to Tar Valon to be gentled, they planted the idea in his head of claiming to be the Dragon Reborn.”

She continues that Logain does not know who she and Leane are, and spoke of it on the journey here; he didn’t say anything before because he thought the whole Tower was in on it. Morvrin demands to know why the Reds would do such a thing, which goes against their very raison d’etre, and Siuan suggests that maybe they thought catching and gentling a false Dragon would gain them more than just gentling a random male channeler.

Siuan watched them mull it over in silence. They never considered the possibility that she was lying. An advantage to having been stilled. It did not seem to occur to them that being stilled might have broken all ties to the Three Oaths.

She’s not worried about Logain going along with it; he wanted revenge against the whole Tower, but he would have to settle for revenge against the Red Ajah, and she thinks to herself in satisfaction that there might not be a Red Ajah when she was done. Finally Sheriam says this changes things; they cannot follow an Amyrlin who was party to such a thing. Siuan is truly startled, and blurts that surely they couldn’t have been seriously considering it, but Carlinya retorts that the Last Battle is nigh, and the Tower must be whole. Anaiya adds that she does not like Elaida, but then, she didn’t really like Siuan either; one does not have to like an Amyrlin. They agree, however, that now they cannot approach the Tower until they are in a position to see Elaida deposed, and Sheriam says it seems they will have a use for Siuan’s agents after all. Siuan cannot contain a sigh of relief, and tries to appear meekly grateful. Then it is Leane’s turn; she points out that it is not enough to wait until they have enough support in the Hall to depose her, for in the meantime Elaida will have every opportunity to paint them as rebels and dissenters.

“You can give the world a true Amyrlin.” Leane spoke not to the White sister, but to all of them, eyeing each in turn, sure of what she was saying yet at the same time offering a suggestion that she merely hoped they would take. It had been Siuan who pointed out that the techniques she employed on men could be adapted for women. “I saw Aes Sedai from every Ajah save the Red in the common room, and in the streets. Have them elect a Hall of the Tower here, and let that Hall select a new Amyrlin. Then you can present yourselves to the world as the true White Tower, in exile, and Elaida as a usurper. With Logain’s revelations added in, can you doubt who the nations will accept as the real Amyrlin Seat?”

The sisters turn this over, and Sheriam remarks sadly that it would mean the Tower is truly broken. Siuan retorts that it already is broken, and instantly wishes she had not, as she needs them to continue thinking they had put her in her place. As damage control, she says that she hadn’t thought of Leane’s idea, but it is a good one; a way to rebuild the Tower without completely destroying it first. They begin discussing who the new Amyrlin should be, and Morvrin and Myrelle immediately endorse Sheriam. Siuan knows she has to head that off at the pass, and meekly suggests that the best thing would be if the new Amyrlin was a woman who had not been in the Tower on the day she was deposed, and thus could not be accused of having chosen a side. Leane adds that it should be someone strong in the Power, and Siuan wants to kick her for introducing that part of it too quickly, but the sisters accept it, and reflect on the possibilities.

Siuan kept her face smooth, her smile on the inside. The breaking of the Tower had changed many things, many ways of thinking besides her own. These women had led the sisters gathered here, and now they were discussing who should be presented to their new Hall of the Tower as if that should not be the Hall’s choice. It would not be difficult to bring them around, ever so gently, to the belief that the new Amyrlin should be one who could be guided by them. And unknowing, they and the Amyrlin she chose for her replacement would be guided by herself. She and Moiraine had worked too long to find Rand al’Thor and prepare him, given too much of their lives, for her to risk the rest of it being bungled by someone else.

Siuan changes the subject, to tell them that word is that Rand al’Thor has left Tear, and she thinks she has reasoned out where he went: the Aiel Waste. The sisters are highly doubtful of this, but Siuan points out that there were Aiel in the Stone when it fell, and in the old texts the Aiel are called the People of the Dragon; she pushes the idea that they should at least send an Aes Sedai or two to check it out. They discuss it, and decide to send two Greens, Kiruna Nachiman and Bera Harkin, and Siuan sighs in relief, sure she can get them to carry a letter to Moiraine. They are interrupted by Arinvar, Sheriam’s Warder, who tells them that there are about twenty riders to the east, not Whitecloaks. In his opinion they would be difficult to capture, but they are about to order him to try anyway when another Warder, Nuhel, enters.

He winked at Myrelle, his Aes Sedai, even as he said in a thick Illianer accent, “Most of the riders do be stopped, but one does come on by himself. If my aged mother did say different, I would still name him Gareth Bryne from the glimpse I did get.”

Siuan goes cold, thinking it’s madness that he actually followed her all this way, and remembers how bending him to her will back when they met as Amyrlin and Captain was like bending an iron bar. In a panic, she says that they must send him away or kill him, and knows it for a mistake the moment it comes out. Sheriam states that she knows why Bryne is here, and she will tell them.

“There do be few great captains living.” Nuhel marked them off on gauntleted fingers. “Agelmar Jagad and Davram Bashere will no leave the Blight, I think, and Pedron Niall will surely no be of use to you. If Rodel Ituralde do be alive, he do be mired somewhere in what do remain of Arad Doman.” He raised his thick thumb. “And that do leave Gareth Bryne.”

Anaiya remarks that it seems they have not fooled the Gaidin about their purpose here after all, and they immediately begin discussing how to bind Bryne to them; Sheriam tells Arinvar to bring Bryne to them, but tell him nothing. Then she turns to Siuan, who takes a deep breath and begins to tell the truth.

Talk talk talk talk agh. Good chapter for reading, bad chapter for recapping. I still can’t decide if talking heads are worse than action scenes, or vice versa.

I honestly cannot remember if I guessed that Siuan and Leane’s plan was to put Egwene in the hot seat (ba dum dum) before Egwene was summoned to Salidar in LOC. I know I knew it the moment she was summoned, but I don’t know that I twigged to it this early on, even though the remark about needing someone strong in the Power was certainly a big fat clue.

Re: sweating (and there’s a “re:” I hadn’t thought I’d ever type), I’m thinking this might be a bit of a misstep on Jordan’s part, as I seem to recall there is an episode in LOC where Elayne and Nynaeve get pissed when they find out they could have been not sweating this whole time, because all it is is a trick of concentration, and that it was Siuan who tells them this, and is serenely not sweating at the time. Which begs the obvious question – assuming I’m remembering that right, which I may not be.

Oh, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Siuan really really likes fishing metaphors. No, really. I know, you’re AMAZED you haven’t noticed. It’s ichthyotastic!

Technically I suppose it’s unethical of Siuan and Leane to have blatantly lied about the Reds/False Dragons thing in order to manipulate the Rebel Aes Sedai into actually really being Rebels, but I can’t make myself get too excited about it, honestly. Yes, it’s a textbook example of making the ends justify the means, but on a sliding scale the “ends” are so disproportionately beneficial compared to the low-level badness of the “means” Siuan’s employing – at least in my opinion – that, well, moral relativism blah blah so shoot me.

I left it out of the summary, but Siuan reflects here that rumor has it Myrelle has married all three of her Warders. Whether that’s true or not, I think it’s fairly obvious from this and other episodes that at the very least she’s slept with all of them, and all I’m wondering is, did Moiraine know this about her when she arranged to pass Lan to her, or not? (And if so, did she decide to do it despite this, or because of it? Perspiring minds wish to know!)

I’m being slightly disingenuous here, since it’s stated somewhere in LOC (I think) that Moiraine chose Myrelle because she is one of the only Aes Sedai who has successfully rehabilitated Warders whose Aes Sedai were killed, and it’s heavily implied in that scene, as I recall, that sex is an essential element of her therapy method.

You can snicker about this if you like, but I dunno, it kind of makes sense to me. Sex as a therapeutic device is not a new concept, after all (though it is rather... progressive for a quasi-medieval milieu, admittedly). I’m just slightly surprised that Moiraine would be that sanguine about it (assuming she knew, of course).

Chapter 28: Trapped

What Happens
Bryne watches the Warder approach him and wonders what on earth so many Aes Sedai are doing this close to Amadicia, especially considering Ailron (and therefore Pedron Niall) had laid claim to this bank of the Eldar. The Warder greets Bryne by name, introduces himself as Nuhel, and asks Bryne to follow him. Inside the inn Nuhel leads him to, he spots Serenla sitting with a man whom Bryne surmises is Dalyn; when she sees him her jaw drops, and she squints at him as if in disbelief. None of the Aes Sedai and Warders in the place appear to notice, but Bryne isn’t betting on that, and thinks to himself he should have turned and ridden away when he had the chance. Nuhel leads him to a room where six Aes Sedai are seated, and Mara and Amaena are standing against the wall.

The willowy Domani minx was offering him a smile more tremulous than seductive for a change. Mara was frightened, too — terrified out of her skin, he would say — but those blue eyes still met his full of defiance. The girl had courage to suit a lion.

Sheriam greets him graciously and asks what brings him here. He tells them, though he’s sure they already know, and Sheriam tells him she regrets that they cannot let him take the girls back. Bryne asks if they mean to keep them from honoring such a strong oath, and Myrelle (whom Bryne pegs as a Green) tells him they will honor it, but not yet; they did not say when they would serve, after all, and the Aes Sedai have a use for them. Bryne thinks he is a fool for getting himself and his men into this, and knows he is unlikely to leave Salidar alive in any case, but decides he might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb, and says he has no objection to staying here until they are done with the women. He suggests that Mara could act as his “dog robber”, and he would count the hours against her sentence. Mara opens her mouth furiously, but all six Aes Sedai swivel to stare at her, and she chokes it down and glares at him instead. Myrelle laughs and advises Bryne to choose the other as more congenial, and Bryne expects Amaena to redden, but instead she eyes him appraisingly and even shares a small smile with Myrelle.

“You should be aware,” Carlinya said coolly, “that the woman you know as Mara is in reality Siuan Sanche, formerly the Amyrlin Seat. Amaena is really Leane Sharif, who was Keeper of the Chronicles.”

Bryne fights not to let his jaw drop, and asks how, but Sheriam gives him a non-answer, and Bryne speculates it must have something to do with the stilling, and wisely decides not to pursue it. He thinks that they are very good, hitting him off balance like that, and has a sinking feeling he knows what they are manipulating him toward. He points out that who Siuan and Leane used to be does not change the seriousness of their oath. Sheriam replies that since he has no objection to staying here, Siuan, Leane and Serenla aka Min can be his body servants. And since he’s going to be here anyway, there is a service he can do for them. The others support her, making vaguely threatening cajolements, and Bryne thinks he’s in the Game all right, and now it’s time to show them he was not so easily manipulated.

“The White Tower is broken,” he said flatly. Those Aes Sedai eyes widened, but he gave them no chance to speak. “The Ajahs have split. That is the only reason you can all be here. You certainly don’t need an extra sword or two” — he eyed Dromand and got a nod in return — “so the only service you can want out of me is to lead an army. To build one, first, unless you have other camps with a good many more men than I saw here. And that means you intend to oppose Elaida.”

He says he can’t think Elaida would make a good Amyrlin, and so he will agree – as long as they agree to his conditions: that they respect the chain of command, that they at least consider his advice on warfare, and lastly that once they begin this, they see it through to the end.

“I will be putting my head in a noose, and every man who follows along with me, and should you decide half a year from now that Elaida as Amyrlin is preferable to war, you will pull that noose tight for every one of us who can be hunted down. The nations may stay out of a civil war in the Tower, but they’ll not let us live if you abandon us. Elaida will see to that.”

He finishes that if they cannot agree to that, he will refuse, and they can kill him or whatever. The Aes Sedai stare at him for a long moment, then go for a huddle, blocking outside eavesdropping with the Power. Leane gives him a “you’ll never know what you missed” smile, and Siuan marches up to him and demands furiously to know why he’s doing this.

“For an oath.” For a pair of blue eyes.

An oath which she broke, he reminds her; he should double her time for that. She snarls that that’s already been taken care of; none of her hours as dog robber to him will count till they are back at the manor. Bryne realizes from this that the Aes Sedai had been willing to give him Siuan and Leane as a bribe before he ever walked in, which means they are desperate. Siuan continues insulting him, and Bryne knows she’s trying to make him angry and ignores it. They discuss her treatment of him when she was still Amyrlin, and he laughs to find out that he had been browbeaten to protect a candidate for the Murandian throne who ended up getting shot by a farmer less than a month later. He feels sorry for her, but hasn’t forgotten the insults, so tells her she can start by cleaning his boots and making his bed; then he is amazed that she apparently interprets this in a completely different light than he had intended it. Then the Aes Sedai conference breaks up, and Sheriam tells him that they accept his conditions as most reasonable, though Carlinya doesn’t look like she agrees. He kneels on the spot.

Trapped by a pair of eyes, like a bull-goose fool country boy. He was carp-brained. “I do pledge and vow that I will serve you faithfully until the White Tower is yours . . . ”

Min looks up to see Bryne come out into the common room with Nuhel, followed by Siuan, who snarls at whatever Bryne says to her and follows the Warder outside; Min heart sinks, guessing what that means. Sheriam and the others come out as well, and Sheriam starts telling the Aes Sedai in the room some news which seems to either shock or please them. Min tells Logain to stay put and gets up.

“She sold me to Aes Sedai.” It was a shock to hear him speak after being so long silent. He shivered, then nodded. “I will wait.”

Siuan comes back in carrying a saddlebag and blanket roll, and hisses at Min to watch Logain and let no one talk to him before following Bryne up the stairs. Min goes back to Logain and tells him he should talk to no one before Mara can tell them her plans, and Logain surprises her by replying she means Siuan Sanche, doesn’t she. He observes bitterly that it’s not like anyone here wants to talk to him, and falls silent again. Min watches the Aes Sedai and Warders dash around for a while with renewed energy, and idly wonders who’s going to end up winning the inevitable battle of wills between Siuan and Bryne; she gives Siuan the edge in that one. Siuan comes back down with a bundle of laundry and stalks to the kitchens; Min catches up with her in the hallway and tells her she has to talk to her. Siuan is more concerned with getting to Logain before he talks, but Min catches her arm.

“You can spare one minute to listen. When Bryne came in, I had a viewing. An aura, and a bull ripping roses from around its neck, and... None of it matters except the aura. I didn’t even really understand that, but more than anything else.”

“How much did you understand?”

“If you want to stay alive, you had better stay close to him.” Despite the heat, Min shivered. She had only ever had one other viewing with an “if” in it, and both had been potentially deadly. It was bad enough sometimes knowing what would happen; if she started knowing what might... “All I know is this. If he stays close to you, you live. If he gets too far away, for too long, you are going to die. Both of you. I don’t know why I should have seen anything about you in his aura, but you seemed like part of it.”

Siuan is less than thrilled at this revelation, and tells Min that Bryne is here to lead their army to victory, and make her life miserable while he’s at it. Then she hands the laundry bundle to Min and tells her when she’s finished with that Siuan will get Bryne’s boots to her to clean. She storms off, and Min realizes furiously that she knows exactly who’s going to be doing all of Bryne’s chores, and it isn’t going to be Siuan.

So, okay, I know what “body servant” means in this context, as well as “dog robber”, but wow do those terms sound wrong to modern ears. Especially “body servant”, which sounds like a line from an Olivia Newton John song. If You Know What I Mean, And I Think You Do.

I was always a little “enh” about Min’s “if” visions, as they seemed like a little too obvious a way to introduce narrative tension into the story, but it also occurs to me that considering the overall purpose of all the prophetical-type happenings in WOT, this might be a tad pedantic of me. (Min’s other “if” viewing, of course, is the one about Gawyn either kneeling to Egwene or breaking her neck, which I speculate should come to pass in TGS, or at least I freakin’ hope it does, like, shit or get off the pot, viewing!)

I really like Bryne in this chapter, his slightly unfathomable attraction to Siuan notwithstanding. Very few male characters in WOT (other than the Superboys) get to stand toe-to-toe with Aes Sedai and play their game as well as they do, and not come off worst in the experience. Though of course we don’t know Bryne’s ultimate fate, but I have a feeling he’s going to be juuust fine. Very cool character, both literally and figuratively.

Bryne’s also one of my favorite possible real-world references, because it was one of the ones that I never noticed until another WOT fan pointed it out. From the WOTFAQ:

Gareth Bryne: Goetz Von Berlichingen writes, “[TPOD notes that] Gareth Bryne’s horse is named Traveler. Robert E. Lee’s favourite horse during the War between the States was Traveler. Bryne is considered the greatest general of the age, Robert E. Lee received similiar accolades. Bryne’s habit of examining the ground over which he is riding is also similiar to one attributed by some contemporary writers to Lee.”

The name of Bryne’s horse is actually mentioned in this chapter as well, which is what reminded me of this entry. In addition to what Goetz mentions, there is an even more obvious parallel between Bryne and Lee, which is of course that they both are in command of a Rebel army. The difference being, of course, that these are Rebels we want to win.

Don’t worry, I’ve got a fire extinguisher right here. When you press the thing it goes *BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP*

This concludes this test of the Emergency Wheel of Time Recap System. Thank you for your attention. We now return you to your regularly scheduled, boring, actual work. Because we are evil. Mwhahaha.

1. crsandoval
I always liked Salidar. IDK why though
anywhoo thanks for the post Leigh,
keep me from working a little longer.
Richard Fife
3. R.Fife
I agree, Bryne is pretty MoA here. I really enjoy him since he is one of the few "normals" in the story that is a badass, and unlike Thom and Juilin, he doesn't get marginalized by nearby supergirls/boys. Imagine how crazy he'd be with Mat's memories/luck or a warder bond!

Oh, and Happy Birthday Aes-Sedai-Roofie, er, Forkroot.
F Shelley
4. FSS
Finally! Cut it a little close today, eh?
John Fitzingo
5. Xandar01
Yeah for Salidar, which held so much hope. If the super girls didn't go there, they would have fallen apart. Blech all that AS politicking practically ruins the place for me.

Have agree with R.Fife though, whatever drew Bryne to Salidar he does make a pretty good normal bad-ass. Wouldn't it be great to see him and Tam in a tavern somewhere?
Leigh Butler
6. leighdb
FSS @4:

Not I. I have no control over when the posts get posted.
Dale Metzger
7. Metzg31
I think it had to have been a mistake by RJ. In addition to Siuan not sweating later, I think we also see the Ashaman's wives ignoring the heat. Can anyone back me up on this? Also, don't the Ashamans' wives need an easier and perhaps slightly funny title? Ashawomen? As far as that goes, should a group of Ashaman be called Ashamen? Sorry. Bad joke. My Friday-brain is always fried this close to 5.
Thomas Keith
8. insectoid
Not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but why is this post not showing up in the "Latest Posts" section of the sidebar? Seems a little odd.
Dale Metzger
9. Metzg31
I noticed and it is indeed odd. I wouldn't have seen that the post was even up except I saw that sandoval had commented on it.
10. Digital_Eon
No way, I can't believe I actually found the post within five hours of it going up!

And unfortunately enough, I have only one, undesirable thing to say: Min really, really bothers me in these chapters. In my own reread, I've just finished TFoH, and these were the worst chapters for me. Bad enough that the woman can't have a scene without thinking of Rand, but her attitude in Trapped was just... she'd happily break an oath just to get to Rand? Bah. I've practically been waiting for this part just so I can vent about how frustrated I was.

Yes, Gareth Bryne is completely awesome, as sudden and out-of-the-blue his relationship with Siuan was (although as much as I wish they were on equal footing, I can see why they'd be a good couple). It's also so great that he manages to stay this awesome later on. For that reason among others, I actually enjoy the Rebel Aes Sedai chapters.

And Siuan is totally just as awesome with all the manipulating she does. It goes beyond morally squicky, despite being lies and... well, manipulation. I think it's just impressive that she can do so much and only get caught by the good guys!

I've heard speculation that Siuan might not be sweating because of the stress, and that she can't keep her concentration? It's possible. Or RJ just changed the concept later.

Xandar01 @5

Yes, Bryne and Tam together in a tavern would certainly be interesting!
Jennifer Liang
11. JenniferL
My fanwanking is that Siuan didn't use the trick when she wasn't Aes Sedai, because she thought of it as something only Aes Sedai are allowed to do. The Tower is pretty firm in its rules.

Oh, and Bryne was wearing a gray coat when he left Kore Springs. WHY DID I NEVER SEE THIS BEFORE????
Genevieve Williams
12. welltemperedwriter
I both love and hate how the Salidar AS underestimate Siuan, right down the line. Though it's perfectly in line with the general AS attitude about pretty much anyone who isn't, non-AS channelers included. It's fun, though, because Siuan wouldn't get away with nearly as much if the AS didn't constantly assume that her badassery was due to saidar.

Digital_Eon: I'm with you on Min, though I kind of understand it: she really doesn't have a dog in this fight and all she wants is to leave. Rand just happens to be the reason.
Sam Mickel
13. Samadai
I always thought that Suian was telling the truth about the Red Ajah and Logain. The way Suian words her sentence always led me to believe that she was stating a truth and was happy that they believed her. Of course now that I have been around these discussion groups I am not sure anymore. Maybe she is just playing off the fact that the Reds spent some time catching and gentling men on the spot rather than bringing them to Tar Valon. I still am a firm believer that with a few exceptions the Reds leadership is corrupt to the core.
14. Qtip the Sixth
Who said that we didn't wish the Confederacy to win the War Against Yankee Aggression?
Anyway, love the reception that Siuan gets, especially as it presages the reception of Elayne and Nynaeve, but seriously! They got off kind of easy from an Oath of such seriousness. Didn't the fact of their escape alert at least one Aes Sedai that the Oath Rod no longer claimed them as adherents?
Also, am really not liking Min here. She seems far too self-pitying in Salidar for my taste. Where is that independent woman unafraid of public opinion or scorn we know and love?
Elroy Skimms
15. elroyskimms
RE: Moiraine knowing about Myrelle's warder/sexploits.

Yes, she knew in advance. I don't have the book with me but when she first tells Lan about passing the bond, she mentions something about Myrelle's treatment of her warders. She doesn't draw a diagram, but she strongly hints at it.

Sam Mickel
16. Samadai
Of course I had read all the way up through Path of Daggers before I discovered any of the discussion boards, so only had my own pov to go from
Tess Laird
17. thewindrose
About the sweating: In The Practice Of Diffidence Siuans POV: Siuan thought she might sweat down to nothing if she could not find another way. She still had enough control of herself to ignore the heat, usually, but not while trying to drag these women along without letting them notice her fist in their hair.
18. Maimie
Just came to think of this... In case both Siuan and Bryne survive The Last Battle (can't remember how you spell the fancy name for it), will Bryne become Siuan's Warder? That'd be something to see...
19. David-2
Bashere is a pretty good "normal" too. Two things in particular I remember: His reviewing his troops while standing in his horse's saddle while it galloped around the field, and his unflappable calm around Rand when Rand was acting a little more nuts than usual (on the occasion when Bashere recounted his story of the crazy Saldean general he knew). Oh and a third thing: His further unflappable calm around his dangerous, statuesque, and highly-sensitive-to-perceived-sleights wife.

One of the things I like best about Siuan in Salidar is her instantaneous sizing up of the AS there: "I know what I'm doing here, which is more than you do." Not only does she beat them with a solid cluebat right off, she reminds them that she was the Amyrlin Seat and knew them all down to their smallclothes (a favorite Randland expression) and was a master politican/planner/schemer as well.

However, I think Min gets treated like a servant throughout her entire stay in Salidar, by Siuan, which Siuan shouldn't have done, and I was happy for her later when she got to rejoin Rand.
20. MasterAlThor
Qtip @14

Please tell me you are not serious about a confederate victory.

You are just joking right???
Michael Catapano
21. hoping
Chapter 28
There is really no action in this chapter but you could feel the trip-wire tension from the start. Warders to the left of me, AS to the right, stuck in the middle...
You know the rest. Sorry to get that tune started again but RJ was a master at creating a sense of imminent peril.
Sean Banawnie
22. Seanie
I won't be surprised if Siuan's lie about Logain
turns out to be true. Esp if it is Black Ajah/Reds.
Read :Galina .
John Fitzingo
23. Xandar01
14. Qtip the Sixth
Didn't the fact of their escape alert at least one Aes Sedai that the Oath Rod no longer claimed them as adherents?

I heard Suian mention enough times that she never said when she would serve the oath that when the SAS give Bryne the same reason, I assumed they bought it as typical 1st Oath trickery.
Luke M
24. lmelior
I don't think anybody could get worked up about Siuan lying (someone said she might not be lying, but she at least thinks she is, which is technically unethical) to the SAS to get them to oppose Elaida. Though I don't think they know it yet, the only reason Elaida was able to "legally" depose Siuan is with the help of the Black Ajah (Alviarin) and probably Mesaana herself (Danelle, I firmly believe).

Also, I just wanted to add that "willowy minx" is an awesome description.
25. Freelancer
Who are the two smartest people in Randland? Here are our winners...

Siuan, before reaching Salidar, decides on her strategy. She can't show up acting meek and mild, to others that would (sorry Leigh!) smell fishy. She and Leane can't try to bully them with a united front, or they would both get slapped down and their ideas would be ignored as coming from has-beens trying to retain their former stature. So, a heavily modified carrot-and-stick routine, with them appearing more than cold to each other while taking opposing approaches to the sisters. For Suian to have so accurately judged the mindset of the Salidar camp plants her in the front row of WoT master manipulators. That they pull it off until well after "their girl" is on the Amyrlin Seat crowns Siuan the champ.

Bryne, on ther other hand, brings a completely different type of mental awesome to the game. And I do mean, the Game. He rides into town still thinking he's just chasing a pair of blue eyes, and within the hour he has the entire situation sized up from nearly thin air, including that his neck is on the line before they have even asked him a question. That's a cold bore bullseye from 1500 meters.

On the relationship tangent, I greatly appreciate that Bryne's attraction to Siuan is not physical, but metaphysical. It's the fire in her eyes, the strength she cannot help but display that draws his interest. If he was one to be guided by appetites of the flesh, Leane would have had him wrapped around her finger back at his place (and his housekeeper would have approved). Even to himself he muses about being less interested in the flirting Domani. Excellent stuff.
26. perrin5454
I commented once a few books ago about what you mentioned in your summary of Chapter 26 about the correlation between misdeeds at the WHite Tower and later actual performance. Don't forget too that RJ also attended the Citadel, a military college in Charleston. Having also attended one myself I can't help by realize the similarities between a military academy and RJ's White Tower. Both have similar structures. Your first year at most military academies is designed to break you down, to place ridiculous demands on your time and stress you to the point where you realize that you can handle the heat. Much like being a Novice. Having the strength in the power to become an Aes Sedai does not equate to having the strength of character to become an Aes Sedai.

After your first year at a military academy you have more free time and can choose some of your own studies, but at the same time you have also increased expectations from your teachers (Aes Sedai at the White Tower. Come to think of it, something like 60% of the faculty at West Point are serving military officers, which is another similarity I hadn't thought of before). This is analogous to being an Accepted.

Another similarity to this is the series of misdeeds attributed to Moiraine, Suian and Leane. Not only is there a strong correlation in history of academy grads with poor academy disciplinary records performing admireably (sp), (Custer finished something like one demerit from expulsion, and despite the Battle of Little Bighorn, he was an extremely successful commander during the Civil War and the early Indian Wars) but I have classmates who barely graduated who are excellent combat leaders. On a side note, these kind of pranks, or "spirit missions" as they are known in academy speak also allow a (usually) healthy way to blow off steam in a very stressful environment as well as lifting morale.

Anyway, what I was trying to say before I wall of texted everyone to death is that I agree with your assessment Leigh :)
27. alreadymadwithbadassbryne
Yep. The SAS are desperate alright. Why else would they completely accept such conditions from Gareth Bryne unless they really needed his help. Not even a but. They knew Bryne knew what they were doing there and that lost their bargaining position for them. Tells us why they love their secrets so much.

You gotta love Gareth Bryne. One of the very rare men who doesn't get unmanned by being surrounded by so many women.

Metzg31 @7
IIRC, the Asha'man's wives did not want to learn. The Asha'man try to teach them, but they say so that the wives don't want any of it.

Xandar01 @23
Yep. Pretty standard AS way to dodge an oath.
Luke M
28. lmelior
He rides into town still thinking he's just chasing a pair of blue eyes, and within the hour he has the entire situation sized up from nearly thin air, including that his neck is on the line before they have even asked him a question.

I don't know, that last bit always seemed out of line to me. The mystery behind Aes Sedai is pretty well lifted by now, and I never remember believing they would murder someone just for stumbling upon their camp. I guess he could have thought maybe he stumbled upon a camp of Black Ajah.

Kinda funny, the main page doesn't have any links to this anymore. I feel like I'm in an exclusive club.
Edit: Oops, it's back, seems to be cutting in and out.
29. That Guy
MsterAlThor @20:

If he's from the south (where I live) it is possible that he isn't.

But I think it was meant as a joke.

Leigh, I am constantly impressed that you continue to come up with something new when starting the post. By now I think all I would have is "folks, you know the drill."
Maiane Bakroeva
30. Isilel
I remember liking these chapters a lot, and even generally enjoying the AS politics until they brought the plot progression basically to the stand-still and devolved to a junior school level.
To think that I expected the Tower split to be resolved in a book or two!

Siuan is my hero, repetitive fishing metaphors and annoying romance with Gareth Bryne notwithstanding. Ditto Leane.
It is really refreshing to see people accomplish things due solely to cleverness and iron determination.
I do think that she lied about Logain.

Bryne is very cool too, although I am dubious about his insistence on the 3 women serving him. I mean, it really wasn't their fault and they could have payed him back at this juncture. As a means of romantically pursuing Siuan it was quite lame too, IMHO.
Oh, and why, oh why aren't the Greens trained in military matters, including strategy? Why don't they serve at least one stint in the Borderlands as a matter of course?

The oath of service was a typical AS oath, meant to be wiggled out of in short term BTW, so it gave the SAS no clue that Siuan wasn't held by the rod anymore.
Also, it was strong enough that even a normal person would be afraid to break it.

Min - I have to say that I never liked her viewings , because they restrict free will in WoT even more. Also, it really disappointed me that she was moping all the way through her wandering with the 3 have-beens and Salidar chapters. I mean, she had a chance to do something on her own that would have helped Rand - and all she did was whine.

Re: AS training, I often wondered whether AS who are weak in the OP don't end up much more generally educated than their stronger colleagues, as they have much longer study times.
Intelligence and talents in other areas aren't connected to the strength in OP, after all. And once they are elevated to AS, they get pushed around and disregarded.
Maybe it is one of the many problems of AS leadership - that it is dominated by ignoramuses, who are strong in the Power. If so, then Rand's ta' veren influence only excacerbated the problem ;).
Of course, the weaker AS-candidates are more likely to be ground down by endless discipline, chores and infantilization, too.
31. Freelancer

I understand the sentiment, indeed. However, even as early as the Taren Ferry scene in TEotW, Lan is ready to carry out Moiraine's order to dispose of a man who might know too much, until Moiraine shakes her head. There are a significant number of warders about Salidar, and if they thought the great Gareth Bryne might actually side with Elaida, he would have been dogmeat. They are in a desperate situation, they believe that their whereabouts are secure (wrong, but they believe it), and they cannot afford to risk such a random element as a renowned battle commander finding them and walking away free. Sisters may not be able to use the Power as a weapon on a whim, but warders have no such proscriptions, nor do sisters about what commands to issue them.

They might be remorseful about it, but to protect their position, I believe they would do it. Bryne sure believes it, and as I contended, he's among the sharpest tools in the drawer.


By now I'd be doing, "Hey there! Hi there! Ho there! You're as welcome as can be..."
32. Rand Al'Todd
" within the hour he has the entire situation sized up from nearly thin air, including that his neck is on the line before they have even asked him a question.

then lmelior@28:
"I don't know, that last bit always seemed out of line to me. The mystery behind Aes Sedai is pretty well lifted by now, and I never remember believing they would murder someone just for stumbling upon their camp."

Leigh included the pertinent quotes - Bryne recognizes immediately that this is a rebel base, and that they will want/need him as a general. He also knows immediately that there is a high probability that they WOULD "make-up" with Elaida and leave him and any recruits "hanging" in the breeze (literally).

Plus, three oaths or not, he has had a life time of experience with "the GAME" and knows that they would not hesitate for a minute to have their warders kill him - either to protect their secret location (which is NOT 'well lifted by now') - or to prevent him from joining Elaida against them.

Remember, they just decided a few minutes ago, AFTER Siuan showed up, that they really will contest the White Tower.

They may not have heard Franklin's quote about "hanging together" or "hanging separately" but they sure understand the concept.

And as another who has been raised in the lands victimized by the "WAR OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION",
33. SeanM
@25 Re: Suian's Awesome Manipulativeness

My favorite part of that scene is when she admits that the council would know she was a manipulator, and then uses that as the basis to manipulate them (by being the one to lose her temper, setting up Leane as the reasonable one, etc etc)

Now that's the work of a master!
34. Freelancer

The idea that those with the greatest leadership potential are also those most likely to operate outside the borders of the prescribed norm, is not a new one to most veterans of military service. Some of the scenes with Egwene and Elayne, or Moiraine and Siuan in NS, ring very true and prompt minor flashbacks.
Alice Arneson
35. Wetlandernw
How could you be intimidated by a woman who had told you in dead seriousness that there were one hundred and seven different kisses, and ninety-three ways to touch a man’s face with your hand?
That line cracks me up every time I read it, which is about eight or nine times now. Leane totally kills me in this section.

I really have always enjoyed Min's viewings, especially after discovering WoTFAQ where I can go find them listed and quoted. :) I sort of assumed Sheriam's had to do with the Keeper role, but Leigh's martyr idea has merit. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, if indeed we're ever told. Agree that Logain has yet to achieve that impressive glory.

Someone up there complained that Min's viewings "limit free will". This gets into metaphysics real fast if you let it, but I don't see it as limiting. I'm guessing you say that because of Min's thought about knowing "the first time she saw Rand al’Thor that she would fall desperately, helplessly in love with him..." You might be able to argue that she has no choice because she's seen it, but what about Elayne & Aviendha? She didn't tell them anything about her viewings, but they each fell in love with him anyway. Her viewings are always true, whether the other person knows what she sees or not.

It's a paradox, and they are by definition almost impossible to explain, but with the Creator outside the Pattern and the Wheel, there's nothing to prevent him from seeing the fully-woven Pattern and passing bits of info to Min. The Pattern is made of the lives (and therefore the decisions) of all people living; they can't see and know the choices ahead, but the Creator can.

Okay, I'm not going any farther with that because my brain isn't up to it on a Friday night. That, and pretty quick you end up arguing theology (which isn't the same, in this case, but would inevitably come into it) and this just ain't the place. :)
Richard Fife
36. R.Fife
Completely off the wall theory that I don't even believe myself:

We know that the Dark One cannot step outside of time (his own admission in opening of LoC), but as the bore is truely omnipresent (again from opening of LoC), we can guess that, after a fashion, the DO is omnipresent too.

So, theory as to the nature of the Creator. He is not omnipresent, but instead stuck at a single location, but he transcends time, thus how he can know to have started to the Wheel.

Oh, and the place the Creator lives? Tarwin's Gap, of course! The only place in the book that has the Creator in it, and is currently batting a 1000 on his presence there. Who knows, perhaps Masema did see the Creator Made Flesh there ;)
37. Digital_Eon
Interesting how Tarwin's Gap is so close to Shayol Ghul!

(Well, there were Trollocs there. Narg would have blended in quite well!)

As for Min's viewings, I have to say that some of the reactions to them are just... frustrating, although I'm sure that doesn't properly represent the emotion to the degree readers feel it. Elayne is a perfect example. (As is Min, who seems to think she can have no life because of it- Okay, I'll stop with the rants. But... argh...)

Granted, I've never really gotten upset at Elayne for that, but I know many, many others have.
38. Qtip the Sixth
Can someone explain to me how a certain stalwart mare manages to survive in all of the books? I am referring of course, to Bela. Are we sure she is not the Creator and is monitoring events from up close?
Or, perish the thought, she could be the Dark One herself. This thought gives me giggles.

Oh, and yes, Master Al'Thor @20 I was half-serious about the Confederacy winning the war. Slavery was already dying off and would probably have been surrendered to ensure recognition by some of the European powers. But don't forget that the States were considered sovereign in most areas prior to the War. As an example, antebellum literature uses the phrase the "United States are . . ." Whereas in our time it would be "The United States is . . ." The loss of local control over issues relating to citizens' rights is an unfortunate legacy of the loss of that war. Now, if the Founders had been brave enough 81 years before, the exercise could have been put off for another 20 years or so . . . but it probably would have happened eventually. Imagine how much less carange there would have been if War bropke out instead of the Missouri Compromise prior to the development of more modern, and deadly weapons.
39. jafco
@36. R.Fife

"...Completely off the wall theory that I don't even believe myself..."

Now that's fun and ...twisted. One (DO) free in Space but fixed in Time, the other (C) fixed in Space but free in Time. Does that make the DO and the C contemporaries and mostly equals, as opposed to our theology that God created an archangel, then cast him down as Satan (a subordinate yet powerful figure)?

Tarwin's Gap does have its moments: we see a big battle there in Book 1 and encounter an unidentified(?) speaker, Mat recalls songs about it in his old memories, and Lan is now heading that direction with the remnant Malkieri. Looking forward to Tarwin's Gap redux.
Andrew Lovsness
40. drewlovs
Sorry if this has been pointed out, but as I've said before, I like to do my first response uninfluenced by other posters... well, besides Leigh, of course.

I think the sweat thing has everything and yet nothing to do with the one power. All it takes is a a little concentration and pixie dust... the pixie dust being the one power. None of said pixie dust is used, but it MUST be present. That make sense? This is why warders can ignore the heat, since the are bound to their Aei Sedai, as well as the wives of Ashamen (I KNOW I am misspelling that).

In other words, you don't use the power to ignore the heat, but in order to ignore it, you must have access in some way. I think of it like a lamp with a glow in the dark switch; you don't need to turn the power on to have the switch glow, but it does need to be plugged in...
Ian Horn
41. IanGH
Woohoo! I think this is the first time I have commented below 100. I love the late postings.

I believe that Siuan really was lying about Logain and the red Ajah. However, from Elaida and red ajah POVs later in the series I get the impression that some of what they did do was almost as bad. Moiraine seems to imply as much to Thom in the Stone.
Tess Laird
42. thewindrose
Garth bloody Bryne - very interesting point of view from him, very astute: Carlinya, cold enough to make the others seem warm, leaned forward. He was wary of her, and the big-eyed one named Beonin. He was not sure why. Except that if he were in the Game of Houses here, he would say both women reeked of ambition. Maybe he was involved in exactly that.
We know what Beonin's story is(spy for Elaida). And Min has a viewing of Carlinya with a raven, which we have not seen fulfilled yet. Ravens can either mean the Seanchan or dark side of the force;)
And this POV from him I love: Bryne grimaced. He was in the Game, all right. He sometimes thought that Aes Sedai must have invented Daes Dae'mar; they seemed to play it in their sleep. Battle was surely more bloody, but more honest, too. If they meant to pull his strings, then his strings would be pulled - they would manage it one way or another - but it was time to show them he was not a brainless puppet.

I think he is such a great written character.
John Massey
43. subwoofer
What?! I'm posting at the crack of doom at we're at 43?

Hi Leigh- took me awhile to get here- I heard the sirens and ran for the cuendillar bunker. Hard to get wifi there...

Gonna have to split this but first- I really felt for Logain. He really gets the short end of the stick here. The guy was put up by the Reds as a False Dragon, captured, gentled and now is a prisoner with little in the way of respect and under constant watch by Gaiden. Poopy.

Go Bela!
44. Rand Al'Todd

Go back and read some of the other posts (I believe for TEotW).

There have been a long running list of Bela conspiracy theories:

She is the Creator.
She is the DO.
She killed Asmo.
She is the horse of another color.
She is the well flayed dead horse.
She spanked Faille when Perrin wouldn't.

Lets add - She shot Lincoln at Ford's Theater and John Kennedy from the grassy knoll. She paid Narg to kill Bobby and Martin Luther.
She's been blamed for everything else.
John Massey
45. subwoofer
Forkroot- Happy Name Day:)

Gareth Bryne- awesome. In a heart beat he knows he's up the creek. Reminds me of a saying from Lovejoy- If you're going to stick your hand up a horse's a$$ you might as well shove it right up to the elbow... And Bryne does.

I like the way that RJ does Bryne's POV with him constantly assessing all that he takes in, from the Gaidin to the scene in the room with Suian and the AS. Brilliant tactician. Weighed and measured, and found not wanting. I really like what he thought about treading carefully around the sensitive subject of AS and stilling.

I can understand his attraction to Suian too- fishing references aside. Like attracts like and they are two very strong characters. Gareth muses at how she bent him, slowly, to her will wrt Murandry. As Free said, it is more than physical. He is attracted to her spirit- er, spirited personality.
46. forgotmypassword
I like how RJ's storytelling leads to the inevitable coupling of Gareth and Siuan. Of Thom and Moiraine.

On the other hand, I still can't believe Mat and Tuon's relationship. I think Mat and Leane are more suited for each other.
j p
47. sps49
Everyone must be out for Friday night! I just put an 8 y/o to bed; now I have time to comment.

Does it grate on everyone else that the stupid Aes Sedai are stupid in not wanting to make use of people's talents if they are not channelers? which also excludes all non-Warder males. I almost want the Tower to be dissolved, not broken.

Egwene's impending Amyrlin-ness had been telegraphed enough to catch on my first read.

I do hope Logain gets glorified with Rand, not posthumously. For either of them.

And I'm really wondering about this old-school Bela stuff. Is it archived anywhere online?
John Massey
48. subwoofer
Also noted is the way the AS assume that they know it all and no one else can unravel the mysterious Tower ways. From Bryne to the Gaidin, they find out, as Anaiya notes, that the men can think for themselves.

edit- sps49- r u asking about Bela shooting Lincoln? Or Bela being a master cryptographer to crack the Nazi Enigma code during WWII?

edit-@forgotmypassword- how about the coupling of Elaida and a bag of rabid weasels?;)
49. alreadymadwithWhiteTower
sps49 @47
True. The Aes Sedai organization of the present is an abomination. A twisted reflection. A pale shadow of its AoL self. Rand should simply have taken his two hundred Asha'man and torn their beloved symbol of the White Tower down. They wouldn't even break a sweat.
John Massey
50. subwoofer
This talk about Bryne being linked to General Lee, reminds me of the Dukes of Hazzard(cheesy movie), and all the crazy people who comment on the rebel flag on the roof of the car. Yee Haw! The South shall rise again!- What is wrong with these people?-*L*- am listening to "If You Want Blood"- may be fitting for Rand's theme song...tying into AMW's tearing the Tower down...
51. Rand Al'Todd
"And I'm really wondering about this old-school Bela stuff. Is it archived anywhere online?"

Go look @48, @51 in Part 1, TEotW.

Bela discussions reappear here frequently.
Hugh Arai
52. HArai
Re: the AS blind spots: They seem to all be related to a conviction that the OP makes them superior. More OP = better is the only reasoning I can think of that can explain why deference would be given to the strongest channeler instead of the best leader, and that a channeling moron is still better than a highly skilled, highly talented non-channeler, let alone a man.
John Massey
53. subwoofer
It is not just a man thing. Suian is trying desperately to get the SAS to use her knowledge, with her eyes and ears connections and the fact that she was really plugged in. The SAS see her as a stilled person- therefor on the brink of death- therefor of no use to them. Pathetic. Suian doesn't even have to try hard to manipulate them to have Sheriam et al "use" her.
Antoni Ivanov
54. tonka
Just one reminder . What the characters think or tell doesn't make it necessary true. You know they are human and they may as well be wrong.
John Massey
55. subwoofer
@tonka- I hear you- but try telling an AS they are wrong- sure to be at least a *sniff* and a lecture about knowing your place and not meddling in AS business following...

Suian was the flippin' Amrylin. She knew all sorts of Tower secrets and AS intrigue, including the Reds and Logain thingy. At least they had the sense of not letting that go once she told them about it. Mind you, some were wavering on making the Tower whole still.
56. TexanSedai
This may be answered somewhere but I have to ask - Isn't the fact that Siuan and Leane lied about there names in Kore Springs proof that they can lie?

QTip @38:
I, being from the South, totally agree. The rebel states were within every right to leave the Union,and Lincoln and the Yankees COMPLETELY disregarded the US Constitution to declare war on the South. The Civil War was not as much as slavery issue as STATES RIGHTS. Similar to today's polotical environment.....

This may be naieve (sp?) but I also believe alot of the racism following the Civil War was a direct result of the North's interference. Slavery was already on the way out but when the North used that to try to bend the South to its will, thereby destroying the South and everything that it stood for, Southerners of course blamed the slaves. It is an extremely unfortunate consequence that that mentality lasted for so many generations after.... The only other example I have of this blame the blameless mentality is how Germans blamed Jews for WW1.
John Massey
57. subwoofer
@TexanSedai- Suian and Leane do a whole lot of lying post stilling. No OP, no Oaths, no need to tell the truth. They lie like champions from there on- even if it is just lying by omission.
58. whatusername
Okay people - Can we settle this: Did the Reds setup Logain or not? People seem to be saying both sides here - but I'm yet to see it attacked head-on.
59. alreadymadwithtwistedAS
HArai @52
Modern Aes Sedai put too much value on the ability to channel. Another aberration. I think I read somewhere once that not all Aes Sedai of the AoL could even channel. You certainly don't need to be a channeler to be a Servant of All.

The funny part of about putting too much value in the ability to use the power is that the average male would be stronger in the Power, and therefore entitled to a higher status, than an average female.

TexanSedai @56
I don't think the Aes Sedai really missed the fact that Siuan and Leane can now lie. IMHO they simply did not comment on Siuan and Leane dodging their oath to Bryne because they did it in a manner that was standard practice for Aes Sedai.
60. Freelancer

I think we can safely identify the speaker at Tarwin's Gap:[quote]IT IS NOT HERE.
It was not Rand's thought, making his skull vibrate.
"Where?" He did not want to say it, but he could not stop himself. "Where?"
The haze surrounding him parted, leaving a dome of clear, clean air ten spans high, walled by billowing smoke and dust. Steps rose before him, each standing alone and unsupported, stretching up into the murk that obscured the sun.
The Creator takes no part. Not really subject to much conjecture.


Yes, a number of prominent reds were involved in gentling male channelers without "due process", including Owyn. But there never was any evidence that the reds set up false dragons in order to reap the glory of taking them down.


Min's viewing of the raven image in connection with Carlinya includes her wondering why it seemed to be a tattoo. Something to do with Seanchan imperial property, to have the raven tattoo. A Seeker, perhaps.


Logain was not set up by the reds, Siuan fabricated that completely of whole cloth. After telling the Salidar camp leaders her tale about Logain, Siuan's POV is:
Siuan watched them mull it over in silence. They never considered the possibility that she was lying. An advantage to having been stilled. It did not seem to occur to them that being stilled might have broken all ties to the Three Oaths.

Logain goes along with the lie because he has nothing to lose. He was promised a chance for retribution, and now he finds that it will be limited to the Red Ajah. Better than nothing.


Nope, Aes Sedai use false names all the time. "You may call me Alys", is not a lie. "My name is Alys" would be a lie. Semantic gymnastics, the constant use of which almost completely undermines the point of the First Oath.
61. Drew Holton
I too have always liked Gareth Bryne as a character, for all the reasons listed so far and then some. But let's play a game. How do we rate the Great Captains that we've seen in action so far. Who's the best, and the best at what in particular? Here are my rankings in no particular order:

Rodel Ituralde: Best strategist and perhaps grand strategist of the bunch. His unfolding campaign against the Seanchan looks to be a thing of brilliance.

Pedron Niall: Grand Strategist down to battlefield commander. He thinks on the scale of the continent, and is a master politician.

Agelmar Jagad: Battlefield commander, but how good really? He was getting his head handed to him in Tarwin's Gap....

Davram Bashere: Battlefield commander and tactician, proven himself adaptable and innovative. Very slippery. Also, decent strategist given the way he helped Mat come up with the plan against Sammael. On the other hand, Taim was supposedly beating him when Rand In the Sky deposed Taim...

Gareth Bryne: Well, we haven't really seen him fight yet, but if we go with the Robert E. Lee parallel, then he's a supreme battle commander, tactician, and master of the Operational art. Like Eisenhower, he's good at the politics of allied command. (Each ajah, the Hall, the Amyrlin, the Salidar Six are each a separate ally...who do you want to name as his De Gaulle?)Like McClellan (stop screaming!)he's a superlative organizer and trainer of troops. On the other hand, I'm not sure how good a strategist he is. He had a good strategic grasp of how to take Tar Valon, ie block the harbors, yet didn't take the necessary steps to carry through on his plan. He didn't get any ships, and they stayed out of his reach. One could lay that at the feet of Aes Sedai interference of course. They didn't let him know about gateways up until the moment I think, and that changed a lot of how he had to do things.

And then we come to Mat:

Supreme battlefield commander, tactician, organizer of troops, innovater, strategic planner. Not sure how he would handle politics and grand strategy. I would really, really love/hate to see him and Ituralde go at it.

There you have it! Any other opinions?
Aidan Young
62. aidanyoung1102
Re: Moiraine considering Myrelle's "sex therapy" approach with Lan. I just finished reading New Spring and it's very clear in that book that Lan had a ton of lovers, even by that time. Moiraine has to know a thing or two about Lan's history and probably knows he won't think much of Myrelle's methods, even taking Nynaeve into account.
63. Freelancer
Oh yes, another tidbit about Lord Bryne. I knew it was in here somewhere. When he agrees to build them an army to take the White Tower:
"Very well. I've never liked Elaida, and I cannot believe she makes a good Amyrlin. More importantly, I can make an army to take Tar Valon. So long as you know the taking will be bloody and long."

So it's settled that even though the two served in parallel capacity as Morgase's advisors, they most certainly did not get along. That is a factor in his decision here, and in his choosing to become Egwene's liege man.

Drew Holton@61

I'm only going to bother with Lord Agelmar from your "analysis". In Fal Dara, Agelmar is telling Lan that no other Borderland nation will send aid for the campaign at Tarwin's Gap this time, because each fears to leave their own land more vulnerable. He says;
"People whisper that the world is ending, that the Dark One is loose again. Shienar will ride to Tarwin's Gap alone, and we will be outnumbered at least ten to one. At least. It may be the last Ingathering of the Lances."

Just because a fight is hopeless doesn't mean it can be avoided. To ensure that their people get to Fal Moran safely, they must go, in spite of the overwhelming odds. Don't shortchange Agelmar's skill for that.

In fact, aside from Ituralde's hit-and-run skirmishes on Almoth Plain, and Bashere's planning insights with Rand's entourage, we don't see any of these Great Captains directly engaged as tacticians, so we have only the anecdotal judgements of other characters. Certainly not enough to rank them best to "worst".
craig thrift
64. gagecreedlives
Happy Birthday Forkroot


The first time I read it I though she was telling the truth. On subsequent rereads I’ve decided that she is indeed lying. The quote Freelancer@60 used is pretty much the reason why and the urgency in the commands she gives Min to make sure Logain doesn’t talk to anyone before she can talk to him.

Gareth Bryne = Awesome

I think Moraine has strong suspicions on Myrelle's methods to keep warders alive but I this is definitely the case of the result justifies the means.
Sydo Zandstra
65. Fiddler

Oh, and why, oh why aren't the Greens trained in military matters, including strategy? Why don't they serve at least one stint in the Borderlands as a matter of course?

Good point. Although, I guess most Greens aren't General material. They are too easily sparked. Take Kiruna for example. She's Borderlands Royalty and one of the strongest Greens. Her leading in a Battle would be a disaster though. An AS General, if possible, would probably be a Blue. Blues can take the distance needed to lead a battle.

Or Cadsuane.


Completely off the wall theory that I don't even believe myself:

We know that the Dark One cannot step outside of time (his own admission in opening of LoC), but as the bore is truely omnipresent (again from opening of LoC), we can guess that, after a fashion, the DO is omnipresent too.

Here's a counter theory that I don't really believe, but may turn out to be true:

Since the Bore is omnipresent, the DO's main attack will be in Ghealdan, and he will rise at So Habor, supported by Forsaken, Dreadlords and Trollocs brought in from the nearest entrance to the Ways. Reading the part albout So Habor always gave me the thought that Something Was Not Right there, and it seemed to be worse than the usual dark happenings in the later books.

It would also happen to be at a place where most armies (Mat's, Perrin's, Seanchan) are already located near, and the Borderland Armies are heading that way...

I know Rand sent the Aiel towards Arad Doman, and Gateways are a real good option, and Lan is heading towards Tarwin's Gap. They'll stop the mass of Trollocs from getting into Randland from the Blight.

About Sheriam:

I have a suspicion that Sheriam is a Darkfriend. Not by choice, but by the 13-Black-Sisters+13-Myrdraal option (this possibility was mentioned by her first, IIRC; in any case, regardless of who mentioned it, this option is too cool for RJ to bring it up and not use it). I also think that she's fighting it as much as she can. DF's have a lot of freedom unless they get direct commands.


You mention The Dukes of Hazard movie, and not the TV-series? Shame on you ;)


Okay people - Can we settle this: Did the Reds setup Logain or not? People seem to be saying both sides here - but I'm yet to see it attacked head-on.

The Reds didn't set up Logain. Siuan lied. Logain wanted to get back at all Aes Sedai, and Siuan gave him an opportunity, based on her lies about the Reds. That same lie also helped getting the SAS to do something.
Antoni Ivanov
66. tonka
Hm, for Agelmar Jagad, sometimes the odds are so bad that you have only 2 options run or fight and die hoping for miracle. And then run was not a option.
But the miracle arrived (Rand obliterating half the forces of Shadowspawns)
67. Tenesmus
Is there a waygate in Tar Valon? Will Alviarin and Mesaana bring several thousand Trollocs thru it to break the Rebel siege?

What does balefire do to heartsone?
68. Drew Holton

I agree we haven't had much chance to see them all much in action. But this is all in fun! Cheer up! I was asking for impressions and opinions on what we'd seen so far. Nobody said it had to be definitive. As for Agelmar Jagad, I confess I was going by old memory, as I haven't read TEotW nearly as many times as I have the others. I knew he was outnumbered though. Ituralde: the "hit and run tactics" was just the opening move in a much more involved strategy, with contigencies planned at every step. And Bashere showed his adaptability in his fighting the Seanchan with Rand, "patterning his movements on what he had read of the Trolloc wars" or some such.
69. birgit
Is there a waygate in Tar Valon?

Alviarin led the girls through the Tar Valon Waygate to Falme.

Siuan is lying about Logain, but maybe Red/Black did set up some False Dragons (Taim?) and Siuan doesn't know about that.
70. birgit
Of course it was Liandrin, not Alviarin.
Maiane Bakroeva
71. Isilel

Rand should simply have taken his two hundred Asha'man and torn their beloved symbol of the White Tower down.

Because Asha'man are so much better? I mean, the Black Tower was on the verge of turning on Rand in the last books and starting selfish and bloody power-grabs.

Anyway, _all_ RJ's female organizations turn into highly unrealistic abominations at the closer look. I realize that they had to be flawed, because re-integration seems to be the ultimate order of the day. But still, it feels to me that RJ just couldn't imagine how a wholly female organization might plausibly work.
Wholly male organizations like armies, male Aiel warrior societies, the Black Tower and yes, even Whitecloaks(!) are far more functional in the books.

Re: AS not seeing use for non-channelers. They actually treat male non-channelers much better than female ones and see them as much more useful. Compare their treatment of Bryne and Logain to that of Siuan, Leane and Min.
But then so does every body else in the books, basically.

Not sure why Logain evokes so much sympathy either. The guy set himself up as a False Dragon (yes, I absolutely believe that Siuan lied about the Reds) and got a bunch of people killed. Yes, he was gentled, but it was necessary lest he go nutso and kill some more.
I'd feel sorry for him, but as a False Dragon he got better than he deserved. No humiliating servitude for _him_ that's for sure. And craving revenge on the White Tower? How self-centered and petty. No wonder such a "great" man gets prospect of glory in his future.

Re: Greens. Well, honestly, they are so volatile, because unlike every other Ajah, who actually does pursue their stated goal, they are just pretenders, rare exceptions like Cadsuane excluded. Basic understanding of strategy and tactics as well as certain amount of weapons training should have been requirements for joining. And a 5-10 year stint defending the Borderlands their first posting after elevation to AS.

Re: Min. It doesn't matter whether people know about her viewings, their free will and chance affecting their lives for that matter are still highly restricted. After all, what she foresees always happens. Which means that people can't turn aside from the path she sees, or die or whatever. So, what merit or responsibility is there to anything they do? This always troubled me in WoT and made me prefer secondary characters, with as few fortellings associated with them as possible.
72. Tenesmus
Hmmm... what if Semhirage lets slip that Mesaana is in the White Tower? Rand lets it slip to Tuon, and she launches an all out attack on the White tower to leash one of the FS and the BA.

Perhaps that's the bargain Rand strikes with the Seanchan. He will give them every BA and female FS they can catch and allow them to be collared to fight the Last Battle...

Maybe Egwene's dreams of the Seanchan attacking the tower are really dreams of her rescue...
Kurt Lorey
73. Shimrod
From tFoH, Chapter 27, p.322.

Morvrin was skeptical of everything despite her placid, sometimes vaguely absent look, a stout Brown with gray-streaked hair who demanded six pieces of evidence before she would believe a fish had scales. And Beonin, a pretty Gray with dark honey hair and blue-gray eyes so big they constantly made her appear slightly startled -- Beonin made Morvrin seem gullible.

For some strange reason, that quote strongly resonates with me right now. ;)
Jay Dauro
74. J.Dauro
Tenesmus @67

Balefire makes heartstone drop 8^)

When Nyneave is recovering the Sad Braclets and the disguised Seal,(oh and defeating Moggie for the first time, just as a side issue) we see the heartstone animals in a display case. The display case is balefired, and the animals drop to the floor.
Antoni Ivanov
75. tonka
The One Power only strengthens heartstone ,including if you use balefire.

Now, something obviously is able to destroy heartstone though (The DO Seals)
Antoni Ivanov
77. tonka
Why do you think that the greens don't know tactics? ???

According to Mat , the only one that knows something about War is Joline (The Green in the Group!!!!)

Well, they are not Master Tacticians but there are only 5 of them (Mat,Jahad,Bryne,Bashere,Ituralde).And they don't have to be. The Greens are there to lead all channellers in the last battle. At least that's how I imagine it. We've never had any insight in what Greens know.
John Massey
78. subwoofer
What?! Suian lied to me?! I'll have her guts for fish bait! Why I'll.... meh. Did a bit of rereading between the lines and maybe she did. Was under the impression that the Red ajah was all poopy because of TSR-
"I am the woman that can take you out of Tar Valon,"..."And perhaps give you a chance to strike back at the Red ajah. You would like a chance to get back at those who captured you, wouldn't you?"

Suian! The nerve!- Anyways, was thinking about the Reds, or the Tower in general. The Reds must be the new kids on the block if they hunt men who channel, or were the colors reformed after the War of Power? I was wondering what the AS must of been like before the men went crazy(or sane) and left on a rampage.

@Fiddler- What_was_I_thinking?*smacks forehead* Shout out for the TV show:)

-edit- What was Boss Hogg driving? A mule?
Jay Dauro
79. J.Dauro
subwoofer @78

The Reds must be the new kids on the block if they hunt men who channel, or were the colors reformed after the War of Power?

From the WOT Wiki

In the Age of Legends, ajah meant a temporary group of people banded together for a specific purpose. During the founding of the present White Tower, there were more ajah than exist now. The first Amyrlin, Elisane Tishar, was the head of one of twelve groups of women who represented a particular viewpoint or purpose at that time. Sometime between AB 48 and AB 98, the number of Ajahs decreased from this twelve to the current seven, though it is not known if these seven had any purpose that was close to the purposes of the current seven Ajahs, nor what the purposes of the lost Ajahs were.

So during the War of Power I don't believe there were any of the curret Ajahs.
Richard Fife
80. R.Fife
Eh, I'd say Brown, White, and Yellow probably existed fairly securely in the AoL, even if they did not have the colors. Researchers (Brown) and philosophers (White) were respected, as were Restorers (Yellow). I'd imagine the rest of AS Ajah from the AoL were blue, in that they were all about this or that cause. If I had to theorize, I'd guess the "lost ajahs" were all absorbed into the blue, thus why their "purpose" is so vague. Perhaps that is why so many Amyrilins were blue too, as it might have originally been the largest ajah from the merger, but as the centuries have rolled on, it has become the least just due to its vague meaning.
Sydo Zandstra
81. Fiddler

Good for the Dukes that Starsky & Hutch were not in Hazard County. :D

I never watched the movie, because I didn't want the images of Boss Hogg and Roscoe P Coltraine being replaced in my mind.

Here's one for you:

Them Duke Boys
82. alreadymadwithgreens&reds
Isilel @71
It's not about whether the Asha'man are better. It's about tearing down symbols used to rally pretenders. That is what the current Aes Sedai are. They are most certainly not the inheritors of the AoL Aes Sedai's ideals. If it comes down to it, I'd recommend tearing down Taim's palace as well.

tonka @7
That is correct. Of the Aes Sedai Mat has with him, only Joline, the Green, knew anything of warfare. In the battle for the two rivers it was Alanna who supervised the catapults and gave them extra punch. One of Egwene's role models as Amyrlin was Rashima Kerenmosa who was known as the Soldier Amyrlin and led armies on the frontlines during the Trolloc Wars. She was also raised from the Green. They are probably more skilled in warfare than most sisters. But still no match for a Great Captain.

R.Fife @80
Actually, I think the Red is the dumping ground for those who cannot fit in the other colors. If you can't imagine yourself doing anything else as an Aes Sedai then you default to hunting male channelers. Probably what swelled the numbers of the Red so much.
craig thrift
83. gagecreedlives

Now that is an intriguing notion. Throw in the fact that man is now the Prince of the Ravens and could with Tuon’s blessing take over the ever victorious army and just maybe….


“One of Egwene's role models as Amyrlin was Rashima Kerenmosa who was known as the Soldier Amyrlin and led armies on the frontlines during the Trolloc Wars. She was also raised from the Green.”

I didn’t know that. I wonder if Rashima is the reason that the law about the Amyrlin cannot put herself in personal danger without the lesser consensus from the Hall. That would be nice little irony

And what was Subwoofer talking about the other day. D&Ping. Yeah it is a lot of fun
Richard Fife
84. R.Fife
AMW: In present day, yes, I agree that the red is the dumping ground, but I was talking to back in just post breaking time. I don't think anywhere says that the blue was "ALWAYS" the smallest, just currently adn recently. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
85. alreadymadwithReddisco
gagecreedlives @83
I think she was. Apparently they had to dig her body out from under a huge pile Trolloc and dreadlord corpses.

R.Fife @84
Good point. However during the Breaking, I don't see any job more urgent than hunting male channelers so it's likely quite a good number were absorbed into the Red as well.
Maiane Bakroeva
86. Isilel
In order to lead the channelers in the Last Battle, the Green should have some skill/experience in war, no? I mean, battling other channelers also involves tactics and it was understood even by the AS that they'd be fighting side by side with normals and against Trollocs, Myrddraal and normals too, so the best tactics and strategies to employ in concert with troops should have been very much their area of expertise.
No, Greens wouldn't necessarily have to be Great Tacticians, but they should be on the level of competent officers - which they demonstrably aren't.
Neither Alanna nor Jolene nor any other Green ever had any sensible military advice to offer, IIRC, and in their interactions with Bryne, Mat and others they amply demonstrated their cluelessness.

And it isn't like it would have been difficult to hone skills and acquire experience - there were always the Borderlands and war against the Blight, the wars against False Dragons, wars that threatened the Tower itself... Given AS longevity, the Greens should have had more practical experience of war than most professional soldiers who weren't from the Borderlands.
That's if they were actually doing their jobs, rather than flouncing around in tight silk dresses and inexplicably leaving their calling and their opportunity for glory in hands of people whom they themselves consider inferior.

Ditto Reds and their complete ignorance in matters of male channeling as well as their lack of even basic weapons training. It just makes zero sense IMHO that they wouldn't study their enemy, or that given that they lack warders and yet often find themselves in situations where they can't channel openly, they wouldn't have any alternative defense skills.

When I read that the soldier Amyrlin was Egwene's role model, I expected her to reform the training of novices/Accepted so they'd be militarily more useful and could support the troops better. Alas.

I also disagree with the notion that the AS aren't heirs of AoL AS. Very much diminished heirs, true, but they most definitely are. Let's not forget that AoL AS were the ones who had a whole people dedicated to serving them and that they had an over-proportional influence on the politics of their society and on the War.
Sara H
87. LadyBelaine
With respect to the Green Ajah being somewhat uselless, I don't know if we can categorically say that...

We just haven't seen much of "normal" Green activity prior to the Tower Schism.

I'd wager that there's a fit bit of military training in there, somewhere. I mean, I seem to recall Alanna being the one who "treated" the catapult stones used in Emond's Field to explode upon impact, and I also think that Kerene Nagashi had some serious military experience - her rooms were filled with mementos and trophies, right?

Also, I've thought that since the Green Ajah leader is the Captain-General, they must have some military-typed structure internally that has something to do with the number of swords affixed to their doors of their apartments in their wing of the White Tower.
88. cor-darei4life
For all you southern gentlemen

And I think Min is just totally screwed, albeit not literally yet. But if you really are in love with someone, and you cant be near them, then it is rather hard to not think about them 100% of the time.
89. alreadymadwithcorruptAS
Isilel @86
Aes Sedai influence may seem disproportionally large during the AoL, but we must remember that the Aes Sedai of that era were integrated into the general population. They did not serve specialized roles by virtue of being channelers. Many served as teachers, researchers, doctors, psychiatrists, musicians, historians, athletes and a whole host of other professions. Where did this mindset go? Modern Aes Sedai certainly show little inclination to mingle with common folk.

Given their enhanced longevity it is only natural that they would serve the community for extended periods, thus gaining the respect, if not outright leadership of their respective communities. The Aes Sedai of the AoL earned the respect that the general populace gave them. They truly earned the title Servants of All. Where is this social responsibility now?

Also, so much knowledge was lost in the time during and immediately after the Breaking. I ask now, where did these learned Aes Sedai go? The Breaking lasted just over three hundred years. Well within the lifespan of a properly trained and indoctrinated Aes Sedai. Yet it seems the Aes Sedai of the Post-Breaking era were not even told what a common tool such as an oath rod is for. Furthermore, we see several powerful artifacts and ter'angreal, such as those used by Cadsuane and Nynaeve, and the Bowl of Winds, not to mention the Seals to the Dark One's prison, entrusted not to the supposed descendant of the AoL organization but to toothless wilders and penniless farmers.

The White Tower spent much of its early years cracking down on other groups of channelers who did not wish to have anything to do with it. Was it truly a case of the legitimate authority bringing the rebels to heel? Or was it actually a case of the pretenders supplanting the true heirs?
90. Freelancer

You know, when I read that parargaph I smiled, knowing it was the point you said you were going to wait to use. Let it go, lad, let it go. You've painted a small box around your position, chosen to defend it to the teeth, and are calling everyone else rigid. You decide how to be seen for that.

RE: The Green Ajah

I see merit to both sides on this one. The greens we watch in action tend to be in front during conflicts, as already shown. They are more likely to volunteer or be sent on dangerous assignments (part ajah heritage, part multiple warders). But when they are available during military engagements, we never see them even attempt to guide or advise on battle tactics, maybe the only circumstances in which an Aes Sedai isn't sticking her nose in to run things. What we do see is them attempting to advise or modify a plan prior to an engagement, and their advice is always based on faling to understand the structure of the plan they are trying to modify.

Aside from that, it seems that women choose Green as much for the chance to have more than one warder as anything else. What reason do Elayne and Egwene have for wanting to be Green, when it would seem that Blue more suits their adventuring and authoritarian style?
Andrew Lovsness
91. drewlovs
That the green Ajah is the battle Ajah doesn't neccesarily mean that the women who entered the Ajah joined due to their love of battle. Remember, we are seeing in the White Tower exactly what happens to any powerful organization: evolution to the lowest common denominator.

Sooo... we have women joining the green not for battle, but for the desire to have multiple warders. Women join the Red Ajah not because they want to protect the world from crazy insane male channelers (and thus, research their "prey" for clarity) but instead because they HATE men. In fact, many accepted are thought to be headed for Red simple because of their dislike of warders and/or men.

71. Isilel
I'm not sure why you think that the women organizations are so much more disfunctional than the male organizations; the Black Tower is already falling apart in a short 2 years, and the Aiel you pointed out are filled with women, and some of those women are the biggest power players in the society (the wise women).

In fact, I cannot think of a all male society that IS functional... the white cloaks? Perhaps you haven't finished all the books, but by the time Galad does his magic, that group was completely ruled by the men who tortured for them, due to the fear they represented. Thats more functional than the White Tower?

I'm just having a hard time with the White Tower being flawed unrealistically because there is corruption within their ranks; if there was a women's organization that, after thousands of years was completely functional, I would call THAT unrealistic.

Just to be clear here; I'm not saying you are wrong, only that I disagree wih you. =)
John Massey
92. subwoofer
Felt sorry for Logain and Morgase both. They each seemed to of been used in circumstances beyond them and manipulated and ultimately beaten like rented mules.

As for Agelmar Jagad and Davram Bashere, they are Borderland Generals. IMHO- that is enough. They protect the wetlanders from the Shadow. They are the ones on the front lines battling Trollocs and other Shadowspawn continually. While their numbers seem less and less, they still do their job, well. It takes courage to live their lives under constant threat and have so much duty placed on them.

As I have said, personally I have an affinity for those who do not channel. Rhuarc, Bashere, Loial, Bela, and Mat are my top 5 favorite characters- Uno is a close sixth.

In my bottom five are Couladin, Suroth, Fain, Gawyn, and a toss up between Liandrin and Sevanna. Elaida is a knob, but she just needs Gas-x and a notion to do the opposite of what she thinks is right.

-edit- maybe green is the new black and AS are choosing it because it accessorizes better. ;)
Wayne Wilson
93. stylusmobilus
Siuan was wrong when she said the Tower was in the hands of a fool. At that point in time Mesaana was doing a great job running it for the Dark Side.

I have seven master tacticians. I add Lan and Rhuarc to the list as well. I don't think the Seanchan have any but Tylee Khirgan has proven her worth.

Judging by Alanna's answer to the SG's when they ask what it means to be Green, they don't seem to have any idea themselves. You have to love men? And this is a vital purpose of an Ajah for what reason? Maybe you're right subwoofer perhaps green is the new black, and accesorising yourself as a Green is the top priority, for all those men you have to love.
Eugenie Delaney
94. EmpressMaude
didn't Alanna give Egwene the more serious answer in that same conversation?

"To be Green means to stand ready. During the Trolloc Wars we were called the Battle Ajah. We were always with the armies in almost every battle. We countered the Dreadlords. Now we stand ready for when the Trollocs come south again, for Tarmon Gai'don. "

It's a little unfair to mock her answer if you are not going to give the full quote.

It's another thing altogether to ask how exactly they are standing ready if they don't seem to campaign, or patrol the Blightborder, of course.

Maybe they do, and it's very off screen, or they did up until recently, or the current dimunition of their numbers has led them to drastically scale back their expeditions?
95. alreadymadwithalanna
stylusmobilus @93
You're taking Alanna's remarks way out of context. Her explanation was that the Green Ajah held itself ready for the Last Battle. That in times past, they joined armies on the frontlines to oppose the dreadlords. Liking or at least tolerating men was not a purpose so much as a requirement. Since battles always involve lots of them.

EmpressMaude @94
Despite their supposed diminution of numbers, they are still the second largest ajah around.
Eugenie Delaney
96. EmpressMaude
Yeah but the whole Aes Sedai sisterhood was much more robust and proactive at some point.

The Green Ajah is a large fraction of an insitution much smaller than it used to be or needed to be to project authority and power everywhere they used to...
Wayne Wilson
97. stylusmobilus
Yeah, all true, however I don't think it's that far out of context. My apologies to all the Alanna lovers out there but she seems to be fairly ditzy for an Aes Sedai. I still have the impression the Green Ajah gathers together those who can't make up their minds on what they really want to be. Those who want a bit more freedom than the others, perhaps those who don't want to be cornered into responsibility, or given positions of authority. I can imagine Greens fighting over not taking that vacant Sitters role.
98. Freelancer

I do believe this discussion was had earlier, and a common belief is that Ishamael in his forays out of captivity made sure that the women of the White Tower never approached the behavior of AoL Aes Sedai. He instituted the Black Ajah, he manipulated behind the scenes, he caused Hawkwing to hate them, etc.

Yes, they are dysfunctional, yes they have turned insular and isolated, and view political power as more significant to their "stature" than real social servitude. But it seems that they don't quite deserve all the blame.

This is why I always wondered about the two Aes Sedai that were traveling with the Jenn, that set up the history ter'angreal at Rhuidean. Certainly they also placed the ward(s) around the city. In the time since the Breaking, there had to be plenty of evidence that things weren't right, even after the shadow was turned back and all the tainted male channeler were destroyed. Did these two have an idea about Ishamael? Was one of them Solinda Sedai, who had issued the directive to keep the Aiel moving, to keep them safe? They are describe as having skin like paper and hair so white it was transparent. If there are ladies among the Kin who are above 500, and still don't look old, then these sisters must have been near twice that, or more. The White Tower existed by then, but these two Aes Sedai might well have avoided the place in order to not be pulled into the mire of it's politics and internal struggles.

Back in TSR, when Rand is in the glass columns, when the Aiel are offering to stay and support the last Aes Sedai, they are told no, that the Da'shain have a part to play yet, though the sisters couldn't see enough of the future to know what. Perhaps one of these two Aes Sedai at Rhuidean was among those with either Foretelling or Dreaming as a Talent, and had gained enough more information to create Rhuidean, just so that the Dragon Reborn's legacy would be in place.

Anyway, enough of that, I was just saying that Ishamael is at least parly to blame for much that isn't proper in the world at this time, and he happily takes the credit.
99. Freelancer

Alanna has done some things she should not have. But for her behavior in general, I give her a little slack in that during much of that she was still recovering from the murder of one of her warders in T2R. Her emotions had the rule over her, often described as ragged. Rand senses her instability through the bond more than once.

We see Siuan go through the same after she's Healed from stilling, and the remnants of the broken bond slap her upside the head. Hard to get down on a lady in the blues
Sara H
100. LadyBelaine
I am on the fence about the Green Ajah.

On the one hand, they do seem to have a fair degree of sisters that I would consider active, dashing and mildly badass (Kiruna, Merise, Cadsuane, even Alanna), but they also don't seem to be very effective at the moment.

They certainly have an reputation for bravery and adventuresomeness from the perspective of the other Ajahs. Doesine (I think) says to herself that if she wanted to be brave, she would have chosen Green. Ellid, the hapless Accepted from NS, also espoused some very pro-Green attitudes.

Don't forget the whole multiple warders thing is clearly an outgrowth of a need due to a specific method of participating in combat, not so she can have a wide array of sex partners.

Kiruna specifically wandered into combat at Dumai's Wells in order to be liberated from her Oath Rod strictures and she had her warders carving the path ahead of her.
101. alreadymadwithASnumbers
EmpressMaude @96
I wouldn't quite agree with being more proactive but yes, they were definitely more numerous at one time. In fact the White Tower was built on the premise that they would increase their numbers even more. We know what happened next. Hobnobbing with the elites, who constitute only a small fraction of the population, also left them with a very small fraction of recruits out of what could have been a larger number.

stylusmobilus @97
LOL. You think the Green is the dumping ground. I think it's the Red while R.Fife thinks it used to be the Blue.

Freelancer @98
Noted. But the Aes Sedai staying with the Jenn only supports my point of some of the real Aes Sedai staying away from the White Tower, leaving those in the Tower ignorant and untutored. Besides, one of the Forsaken, let loose only intermittently, can only do so much. I suspect the problem was already there and all he did was make sure the problem got worse. Case in point, Hawkwing actually had a good working relationship with the Green Ajah in his early campaigns. Then came Bonwhin who was already encouraging neighboring countries to attack Hawkwing before Jalwin Moerad/Ishy convinced Hawkwing to return the hostilities with interest.
102. alreadymadwithKiruna
LadyBelaine @100
Oh no. Perrin was right about Kiruna. She was just trying to get to Rand ahead of everybody else. She did not have to come close to the battlezone to be freed of the Oaths. After all, it was her sisters being surrounded by 40,000 veiled Aielmen. And everybody knows Aiel only veil when they intend to kill. Her sisters were already in danger. She did not need to come so close herself.
Sara H
103. LadyBelaine
Well, Kiruna specifically told Perrin that she needed to be in danger to participate in the fight, and she can't tell a lie.... There may be an objective view that merely having her sisters be in harms way should lift the Oath Rod strictures, but Kiruna personally feels that she needs to be in danger, evidently

Plus, at some other point, there is a group of Aes Sedai waiting calmly until an armed force of some sort encroaches on them and then they say "oh yes, I feel sufficiently in danger now."
104. fuddy
Egwene becoming Amyrlin reminds me of Jon Snow becoming the first commander or whatever of the nightwatch in a song of ice and fire. Both had to go to rival candidates the night of the voting and helped convince the candidates to not run, and both were young and inexperienced, and were a suprise win
105. twicemarked
Re: The Green Ajah

I actually had no problems with Green's lack of training in regular battle formation.

If all Greens are leading the battles, you will have too many chiefs and no enough indians. Besides, for the AS to learn the regular battle formation, it goes against the spirit of the second Oath.

Other than against trolloc raids in the blight, battles are just ways for some men to kill other men. There are very few female soldiers in Randland I believe.

If the Green Ajah members are bad in killing shadowspawns using the Power, or they lack good linking formation, I would complain. But directing regular soldiers using regular weapons are not the primary purpose of the Green.
John Massey
106. subwoofer
@101AMW- agreed. You need Gaidin to guard your back. In the midst of battle, when either tired, wrapped up concentrating on weaves, calling somebody on your cell, or whatever the case, it is easy to get distracted and die. Note that the AS have to go directly into the middle of things so they are in danger and not violating the Oaths- as stated by 103LadyB. Having more than one Lan around is handy.

In regards to the reduced number of AS, they did that to themselves. It is like pure breeds, they are to the strictest of standards, but inbreeding has left enormous defects and actually made them weaker. Mutts rule- ie, Nynaeve.

I also agree with the idea that those removed from Tower politics are much more effective as AS. They are not tainted with the propriety of being so special. Look at Cadsuane, she was thought dead and is a legend for all of her accomplishments outside the Tower. Phaw! Not to mention raising roses.

I also wonder at the effectiveness of the White, Brown and Grey ajahs. Yellow's can heal, Reds develop their powers to capture and gentle men, Greens whoop ass, Blues venture the world on crusades. What weaves and power do you develop studying and reasoning things out? Super powered librarians? I suppose there is the compulsion and the delving to coerce people, and maybe the Browns make cuendillar, but it seems a waste of Power.

Just sayin'.

-edit- am having Father's day celebrations today- drinking Polish ?ywiec and posting. So @gagecreed, you are not alone.
John Massey
107. subwoofer
'K, this theory is a little out there but bare with me. So Rand has these "schools" that discover many modern conveniences. The one guy is on the verge of a steam engine, another the use of methane and natural gas, another telescopes. One lady- I think- has even come up with the idea for flight via hot air balloon and the aerodynamics of birds.

I think it is just a matter of time before somebody stumbles on one of the ultimate inventions that Rand could use to re-seal the Bore- crazy glue or duct tape.

Go Bela!
Brett Michie
108. bchurch
Regarding Siuan's lie about the reds and Logain . . . I recall in one of the later books (after Egwene's been raised to Amyrlin) that she refers, either in conversation or internal monologue, to "Siuan's lie about the reds and Logain."

I've been looking for it, but can't seem to find it. I think I only had it jump out at me after several rereads, having believed for truth that they did indeed set him up as a False Dragon for a long time.
109. Digital_Eon
I was another who believed Siuan told the truth about the Reds at first. Can't believe I ever did, looking back on it.

Actually, the Brown Ajah always made sense to me. Historians have to exist in a society, and even if one does not need the Power to be one, it does help - they can spend hundreds of years travelling around to collect and compile information, becoming more effective in cataloging and recording such things. Having the Power to help work with old artefacts without damaging them helps. And of course, who else could study ter'angreal?

Whites and Greys also perform necessary roles, if not ones that require the Power. But at least they do something, instead of just being the Ajah That Sits Around All Day And Drinks Tea.
110. alreadymadwiththeOaths
LadyBelaine @103
Yes she told Perrin she needed to be in danger. She did NOT say that was the only way she could use the Power. Classic lie of omission. Standard Aes Sedai way of bending the truth and you fell for it.

We know the Oath. Never to use the Power as a weapon except in the last defense of oneself, a Warder or a sister. So she did not have to be in danger specifically to be able use the One Power. A sister would have done fine. Or a warder. And guess who were being besieged by forty thousand Shaido? Of course considering how her plan backfired, she did not bother revealing this to Perrin.

She risked herself and the Mayeners unnecessarily because she wanted to get to Rand ahead of everybody else.
111. Freelancer

I wasn't disagreeing with your point, it's true. Just that it wasn't purely due to their own failings or incompetence. I do think you understate the affect Ishamael had. That he wasn't continuously available means little in the face of the fact that Aes Sedai live so very long. Once he had Black sisters in place, even if he could only pop up for forty out of every two hundred years (not saying that's the case, just for example), he would have people waiting his direction, and in the interval would have been carrying out the Shadow's work.

As to an ajah being a "dumping ground", there's no reason to think that happens at all. When a woman passes the final test she has the most freedom she's known in years: To choose her future by choosing her ajah. If more choose the Red, it might be a matter of Rest sisters being proactive in presenting their case during novice/accepted training, but I don't believe for a moment that a woman gets to that place and thinks, "I haven't decided yet what I want to do, so I'll just go Red." There are at least two occasions when accepted are told that by the time they get to the test for the shawl, they've been guided to the Ajah that fits them.

If all Greens are leading the battles, you will have too many chiefs and no enough indians.

Not so much. If you had a dozen Greens at a battle, they wouldn't all be trying to lead. They would robotically defer to the strongest, per their training.
Tess Laird
112. thewindrose
It is in PoD, Stronger Then Written Law-
Egwene to Siuan: "You've taken every advantage since you were freed from the Oaths. If you hadn't lied in your teeth, we'd be back in Salidar, without an army, sitting on our hands and waiting for a miracle. Well, you would be. They'd never have summoned me to be Amyrlin without your lie about Logain and the Reds.
Tess Laird
113. thewindrose
Not so much. If you had a dozen Greens at a battle, they wouldn't all be trying to lead. They would robotically defer to the strongest, per their training.
True to a point. But if the Amyrlin has set say the weakest AS to be in charge of the task, or in this case battle, the other Sisters must defer to her orders. But it has to be made clear by the Amyrlin or the 'leader' will get upsurped in political manuvering and the usual staus quo.
sandi vogel
114. sinfulcashew
72. Tenesmus
"Hmmm... what if Semhirage lets slip that Mesaana is in the White Tower? Rand lets it slip to Tuon, and she launches an all out attack on the White tower to leash one of the FS and the BA."

When does Rand meet Tuon?
I don't remember that happening, except for the fake Tuon set up!
Please clear this up, please?
No one has mentioned it, so I am assuming it must have happened?
115. Freelancer

No, it hasn't happened. Tenesmus is speculating on what drives the future Seanchan attack against the Tower. Although surely Tuon would be disposed to attack a forsaken if possible, I can't think that the Seanchan would be more interested in destroying the White Tower for that than they already are for it being filled with marath'damane. Also, don't the Seanchan say that they kill darkfriends when they are discovered? If so, they wouldn't leash a forsaken or a BA sister, they would execute them.


Yes, if the Amyrlin specifically identified a weak-channeling leader the rest would fall in line. My point wasn't about which sister led, but that they virtually always have a chain of deferral, and wouldn't fall to squabbling over who is running things, ala "too many chiefs and not enough indians". Where a group of sisters are, there might be moments of shuffling and jockeying for position, but it never lasts long before the pecking order is determined. If the group is all of the same ajah, they usually already know each other well enough that everyone knows their relative place.
116. CalaLily
Re: Logain's unattained glory & Sheriam's weird halo:

If you take Min's viewings in a slightly Christian light, then I would equate Logain as Rand's Peter. The rock upon which his, Militarized All-Men's One Power Training Facility is built upon. :) Perhaps that is his glory? Sure, the Dragon Reborn saves all mankind from the Big Bad, but Logain drags the remnants together and creates a cohesive organization that lasts for the next Age? Is partially responsible for allying the White and Black Towers? Kills Taim?

As for Sheriam, I have to agree with Leigh. Her halo reminds me of the saints' halos I see in old Catholic/ Greek Orthodox icons, and most of the saints did not die pleasant deaths, if I recall. .-. Although, to be honest, for the longest time all I could think of was the traditional Catholic image of Mary, surrounded by the gold halo and put on a field of blue. linky
Wayne Wilson
117. stylusmobilus
I've always believed Ishamael was never bound at all. Over time, the constant use of the True Power and regular visits to Shayol Ghul, among other things would have made Ishamael an avatar of the Dark One, reflecting the Dark One's personality. Hence, the change of tack and loss of temper at Rand in the Stone. When killed by Rand, the Dark One restored his most knowledgeable and probably powerful Forsaken as the person Moridin and recreated his avatar in the form of Shaidar Haran. Obviously these two work together pretty well.


Yes. Not always for the wrong or lazy reasons, but I've always thought the Green would offer more opportunities for freedom in life and lifestyle. Myrelle struck me as one of these. Sheriam's comment to her about gallivanting off to the Aiel Waste summed it up perfectly.
John Massey
118. subwoofer
-Was thinking that Logain would lead Rand's version of 100 Companions.
John Fitzingo
119. Xandar01
RE: Green Ajah.
I think of them as small special ops units designed to counter the enemy dreadlords one on one. Yeah some of their members may have some strategy and tactics, but that is likely the upper crust.

RE: Ajahs and their colors.
Reading through the comments, I see that in AOL the Ajahs were greater in number and temporary. So did they assign them by color or purpose back then. Were there more colors that were used? (A moment of silence for the lost Orange Ajah, whose loss is so great that people don't even use that color in WOT anymore.) Even more confusing, what is the significance of the current Ajahs picking the same colors as on the steps around the portal stones? (Ch. 13 TGH)

If there was always a blue/red/yellow... etc. ajah, I presume that specific colors always had a "purpose" but it's members changed as needed? (i.e. one year AOL AS x is part of brown ajah researching some thing and next year she is grey mediating some other thing.) Lastly, if the colors had a purpose, what could have Reds purpose been back in AOL?

Maybe the Reds were great cooks or gardeners back in AOL? Maybeee they were accountants and were fed up with their role and jumped at a new cause when all the men went mad.

(umm, maybe I should get some sleep now.)
120. Freelancer
TSR, Veils, Moghedien speaking to Elayne and Nynaeve (who are under Compulsion):

So Be'lal is dead. The other sounds like Ishamael, to me. All his pride at being only half-caught, whatever the price - there was less human left in him than any of us when I saw him again; I think he half-believed he was the Great Lord of the Dark

For Moghedien to speak of Ishamael's pride at being only half-caught, means that he spoke to them of it after they were freed. Why would he claim to have been half-caught if he had truly been free all that time?
And, if he had been completely free, he would not have survived 3,000+ years.
sandi vogel
121. sinfulcashew
Thanks for the right stuff!
I got all wrapped up in the statement, rather than seeing it as a guess. RAFO. Although, I guess I didn't read enough as the idea was too out there, as of yet.
Getting to be my bedtime! Can you tell?
Michael Catapano
122. hoping
Happy Sunday all
You wouldn't know it was summer in NY tho, rainy and cool all June

And IRL Happy Father's Day
Antoni Ivanov
123. tonka
And, if he had been completely free, he would not have survived 3,000+ years.

This comment totally doesn't stand. Of course he would have survived 3,000+ years. He is immortal!!
All of the Forsaken are immortals.

But I completely agree that Ishamael was only half-caught and was not free all the time.
Maiane Bakroeva
124. Isilel
Well, if women now become Green just to get multiple men, what's the motivation for consummate warriors to become their Warders? Imagine the unpleasant surprise when it turns out that he bound himself to a cowardly, lazy ditz! And it has been mentioned several times that warders have ways to make their displeasure known to their AS.

Re: motivations to go fight if we discount idealism and sense of duty.
Why not go for something basic and widespread like ambition? AS are highly respected in the Borderlands and one that covered herself with military glory could become positively worshiped. I imagine that young women would stand in line to be tested by her too, increasing her clout back in the WT. She'd have her pick of Warders and a voice in councils of the realms, be written into history books.
IRL that has been a more than sufficient motivation for a lot of people.

Re: AS in command. Barring Forsaken strength channelers, resources of an OP user are quite limited and acting in concert with normal troops would allow them to get the most out of them with least risk of being killed.
Seanchan actually do it halfway to great effect, but of course orders given to damane have to be simple.
OTOH, a free channeler would know best what she can do with the OP _and_ can also learn normal tactics, while a normal officer would be only able to do the latter.
It would be equally helpful against the Dreadlords, BTW - the AS engaging them in OP battle, while the soldiers try to take them in the back with weapons.

I don't say that the Greens should be generals, but logically speaking they should be able to competently command a battalion or similar.

Re: wars against humans, there were wars where AS participation could be justified - like against False Dragons. Now, all a Green would need to do to be able to attack would be to send one of Warders into the front row, but I understand their reluctance to do that, given that WT fosters perception that they'd only kill humans with OP in extremis.
However, AS would still have great defensive capabilities. I mean, missile fire would be effectively useless against a group of soldiers that a competent AS is a part of, for instance. Small things like causing a gust of wind at the right moment, creating mud (hallo, Agincourt!), OP bridges, etc. used at the right time could easily produce victory.

And BTW, to become AS one has to prove one's courage and strength of character, so it isn't like a Green could be a total coward or truly directionless.

No, IMHO RJ's description of the Greens just doesn't make sense.

Re: Browns, the OP makes a great investigation and research tool. It sharpens senses, could be replace a lot of apparatus, etc. They seem entirely logical to me - except for how little results their work provided.

The most pointless Ajah are the Whites, IMHO. They truly have no use for OP.

Re: AoL AS - they may have been better integrated into society, but they were also largely hereditary and still had a whole people devoted to the service of them. At least, modern AS all come from the normal population. And they still provide some important services to community.

I also think that it is largely due to WT that endless civil wars with channeler participation were avoided in Randland. Channelers are just people, though with great destructive potential, and need to be policed, like all the rest of us. Seanchan was a pretty grim place without a WT equivalent.

RJ just made the AS implausibly inept and childish, that's all. I mean, they would have had to be lacking or there would be little for protagonists to do, but he went overboard with it. To the detriment of the plot, IMHO.
Sara H
125. LadyBelaine

RJ just made the AS implausibly inept and childish, that's all. I mean, they would have had to be lacking or there would be little for protagonists to do, but he went overboard with it. To the detriment of the plot, IMHO.

True that.
Jay Dauro
126. J.Dauro
Freelancer @115

With Egwene's dream we know the Seanchen attack will happen.

But haven't we already seen that the Seanchen are planning the attack on the WT. I believe we see Karede working on the plans. (CoT 4)

This is due to Elayne's explosion in the Unweaving, which they take to be a new weapon. So they are planning a pre-emptive strike.
127. whatusername
Great Captains:
@93 - You missed the true one from the seanchan - Banner General Karede.

Furyk Karede
Rodel Ituralde
Pedron Niall
Agelmar Jagad
Davram Bashere
Gareth Bryne
Lews Therin?

And as for who they are leading / where will they be come TG?
Niall is dead.
Karede has the personal trust of the empress (may she live forever) and so is the key general for the seanchan for now. (Matt may end up with them - but he also has the band + is off to the Tower of Ghenji first)
Ituralde is intent on smashing the seanchan (not sure where that will place him for TG)
Jagad is still at Fal Dara - with not much of an army
Bashere has the troops recruited through the BT. May also ead the Saldeans + borderlanders?
Bryne is at the WT with the rebels - plus you would assume the Egwene will give him all the WT troops once the tower is united (which may be a reduced number post a seanchan attack)
Mat - has the Band, and could rule the seanchan - and would likely have Rand's trust for overgeneral
Lan - has raised the Golden Crane - will be leading the remnants of Malkier + others in the borderlands
Rhuarc - leads the spears (well - he seems to be the go-to person for the Aiel - obviously each clan chief answers to the car'a'carn)
Lews Therin - was considered better than sammael at leading troops. Probably too crazy to help much though (see Rand prior to the battle in Carhein)

Armies without Great Captains:
Borderlanders 200K. Who knows who will be leading this? Bashere maybe? Perrin?
Andor - will likely be lead by Elayne doing stupid stuff and Birgitte with the brains and military experience to back her up (and rescue her). Technically it's Gawyn's job - but I'm not sure he'll make it
Whitecloaks - are obviously with Galad. (But if there's only 5000 or so of them, it's not really a major force.
Tear/Illian/Carhein - Who knows? Bashere? Matt? Whoever Rand tells them to.

Are any other countries stable enough to have their own armies at this point of time?
128. Freelancer

No argument from me. Someone else had speculated on a more obtuse and complicated reason for them to want to attack the Tower. I was only responding to that.


If they are immortal, how have eight of them been killed? Yes, four have been restored, but that's after-action. Anybody else could be restored in the same way.
129. Tenesmus
"it is allowable to ally with the serpent to fight the raven." KoD prologue

Does this mean we could be seeing some Whitecloaks become Warders?
130. Balance
@ 127: That’s a good list. Rand has recently sent about a million troops to Arad Doman. Who is currently leading it? Darlin? My guess is Ituralde will end up with this one. On the east flank will be Lan and the borderlanders, Jagad will join him under the Golden Crane. Remember their rulers are away from home at the moment, nobody else to lead ‘em. I agree on Mat for Supreme Commander of the wetlanders. I also believe he will win the respect of the Seanchan generals (ie Karede) and direct them as well. But most likely just fer planning and starting the game. He’ll prolly have some side mission, the Band and some special Seanchan will be his commandos. Perrin will bring his troops (perhaps the Sladeans, see below) , the wolves, and prolly some Seanchan loyalists as well. Galad will bring the Whitecloaks. Bashere will either be dead, or lead his Saldeans and the Legion. Logan will bring the Asha’ man. Rhuarc, the Aiel. Egwene, the AS. Bryne will go where Egwene sends him. Of course we still have 3 books to go, but this is what I think.
Tess Laird
131. thewindrose
Happy Farthers Day to all fathers out there:)
From TGH (Lan to Rand): Again Lan seemed to read his mind. "In the Borderlands, sheepherder, if a man has the raising of a child, that child is his, and none can say different."
Antoni Ivanov
132. tonka
Jagad is still at Fal Dara - with not much of an army

I think you need to read the Prologue of the Path of Daggers again (along with a few others who share your opinion) Agelmar is with King Easar somewhere close to Caemlyn by the end of KOD
133. Balance
Ahh yes I forgot Alg went south. Looks like its just Lan at Tarwin's Gap
134. J.Dauro
In Randland (as in many other stories) I believe they are using immortal to mean that lacking external cause, they will not die. That is to say, the Forsaken will not die of old age, illness, etc., but thay can be killed.

But we do see that the DO can even grant immortality complete (at least as far as we can see) by allowing them to re-up in a new body.

Of course, with a little balefire, or maybe the touch of mashidar ...

You're history then.
135. whatusername
@132 - Thanks Tonka - I obviously missed that Agelmar was with the Borderland rulers - I'll check it out.

@130 - I like the idea of the Band being commando's - but it also brings up the point that they are potentially the artillery as well.
And 1,000,000? Really? Now you're showing how badly I need to do a re-read of the later books. Where does Rand pull 1mill troops from? (Or are you talking Aiel as well?)
136. alreadymadwithborderlords
Isilel @124
Modern-day Aes Sedai may provide some services to the common people. But the proportion is nowhere near the amount of service AoL Aes Sedai provided. And where do you get the information that it was largely hereditary? Besides, modern day Aes Sedai also recruit people to be devoted to their service. Only instead of Dashain they're now called Gaidin.

whatusername @127
Jagad is with the Borderlanders. He was there when the Borderland rulers made their compact. He is most likely still there with the 200K.
Antoni Ivanov
137. tonka
So, let's see Rand's forces :

Band of the Red Hand-
With regard to the Band of the Red Hand, they now have six banners of horse and five banners of foot. One banner of horse contains roughly 1500 riders and one banner of foot about 3000 men. Based on these rough figures alone, the Band has around 24000 men (9000 horse and 15000 foot). There also exists a banner of masons dedicated to building bridges and similar tasks, though this is historically often a much smaller and indeterminate number. Furthermore, Talmanes mentions bringing 4000 mounted crossbowmen with him into Altara, though it is unclear whether this number is taken exclusively from other banners or whether this is in some or full part in addition to the 24000 men

So I take it roughly 30 000 .Probably more since they might be recruting.
We know that half of his army is crossing Malvide Narrows into Murandy by the end of KOD.And the another half is heading toward Andor.I can guess they will reunite in Andor.

In (TFOH: 42, Before the Arrow) according to Mat, the seven clans with Rand had almost double Couladin's one hundred and sixty thousand spears (or, a little over three hundred thousand). After the battle, the four undecided clans, whose numbers equaled the Shaido's, joined Rand, bringing the tally up to almost half a million, minus losses. So I take it 500 000 Aiel(probably a bit less)

Right now 200 000 are in Illian , about 100 000 Bael and and Rhuarc's are in Arad Doman. The 150 000 in Cairhien are probably still in Cairhien or wherever Rand sent them, I have no idea.

And about 4000 Wise Ones.

Bashere's men are about 8000 Saldeans and 35 000 Legion of Dragon. They are in Arad Doman (except for Bashere himself and a handful of Saldeans who are with Rand)


Illianers under Gregorin are about 80 000.They are ,naturally, in Illian.


Darlin's Tairens are about 70K (70 000) That's a bit of a guess.I couldn't find much information for their numbers. We know that the Rebels joined Darlin and Tolmeran, diobeying Rand, came back in Tear with some Tairen Forces.I have no idea if Tolmeran forces were sent to Arad Doman or just back to Illian. We know that Darlin is in Arad Doman.


Cairhiens ,hm not sure, there are 10K under Samaradrid in Illian but if there are more.There are some in Cairhien but how many?


Perrin's forces 4K Bowmans, 1K Mayeners,1K Ghealdan,6 Wise One, 3 Aes Sedai, 2 Asha'man.
Oh, I forgot about 100 000 ex-gai'shin.And they are all heading toward 7000 Whitecloaks lead by Galad (Bronhald's there too)


Asha'mans .The Asha'mans are close to 1000 and probably 200 were send in Illian and 200 in Arad Doman along with a bit less than 50 bonded Aes Sedai

With Rand are Semirhage,Min,Cadsuane,Nynaeve,Alivia,Narishma,Logain,Bashere and 81 of his Saldeans, around 50 Maidens, 7 Ashaman,14 Aes Sedai(some of them bonded to Asha'man or by Asha'man) and around 10 Warders

Sea Folk. They are technically part of Rand's forces .They are hundreds of Windfinders and who knows how many ships.They were all ordered to travel to Arad Doman with supplies.


All of this make over 700 000 (700K) Soldiers and over 5000(not sure here) people able to channel either Saidin or Saidar.

*1K is 1000.

*A very handy map I have on my computer.Unfortunately I couldn't find in internet.
*And of course the books themself
Antoni Ivanov
138. tonka
And it doesn't matter where the armies are now. With Travelling even the largest armies can be wherever they want in a matter of hours.
Brett Michie
139. bchurch
Balance @130

I don't think the "million" is all troops. Per Logain's comment in KoD, To Make an Anchor Weep:
"Supplies for more than a million people, Shipmistress, . . . How many more, I cannot say, but Bandar Eban itself is starving. The ships must arrive as soon as possible."

And Logain makes reference to Rhuarc leading the forces in Arad Domon currently earlier in Kod, News for the Dragon when reporting on the conditions there.
Brett Michie
140. bchurch
Oh, and thewindrose @ 112

Thanks for finding that quote, I knew it was somewhere in there!
141. alreadymadwiththeBand
whatusername @130
The Band of the Red Hand aren't exactly commandos. But they are quite likely the most modern army in the field. With a good balance of cavalry and foot, including artillery, grenadiers, and dragoons.

tonka @138
They also need a good map, of course. But yes they can get to where they're going in practically no time.

bchurch @139
I was wondering what he meant when he said a million. You're right though, the forces Rand sent to Arad Doman won't even make half a million. The food is for the population itself. Much the same thing Rand did with Cairhien. And Illian.
Antoni Ivanov
142. tonka
Didn't anyone read the Rand forces summary above.I put an hour work over it. :(

Rand's forces in Arad Doman are roughly 200 000 and in Illian roughly 300 000.
Alice Arneson
143. Wetlandernw
tonka @137 and 142

I'm in awe. I'm going to print that one out and keep it handy for KoD (reading now) and all of AMOL. Good work! Do you have a headache now? I would.
Michael Catapano
144. hoping
awesome job
I was berating myself for not being committed enough to WOT to put the time in and get that info.
As per wet..., will be useful
Brett Michie
145. bchurch

I'd like to echo the thanks for your effort.
I hadn't read your post when I posted @ 139. It's posts like yours that make me love this forum . . you all help me know I'm not alone in my WoT obsession.
146. whatusername
Tonka @ 142 - I was asleep. Read it now - good work. Thankyou.

Just realised that neither of us have mentioned the dragonsworn w/ Masema. There's a giant rabble who *might* be considered an army.

bchurch @ 139 - thanks for clearing up the 'million' issue. (And thanks Tonka for giving the numbers to back that up). Team light has > 1 mill, but Rand doesn't control them all yet (seanchan, borderlander 200K, borderlander still enough to stop anything short of the trolloc wars, whitecloaks, etc)
147. Bufface
Howdy folks..... Ok, I have missed something. And while this isnt unusual, it is very irritating. Where do we find out that Semhirage is with Rand and Co?
Sara H
148. LadyBelaine

She is captured by Rand and Co. in the last book. She laid an ambush for him that was disrupted by the gals in his entourage (Alivia, Cadsuane, etc.).
Brett Michie
149. bchurch
Bufface @ 147

In KoD, A Plain Wooden Box. That's where Rand and co capture her/foil her attempt to capture him.

edit- sorry LadyBelaine . . you beat me to the punch. Kudos.
150. alreadymadwithrabble
whatusername @146
Masema's rabble lost a lot in Malden. Besides, my gut tells me Perrin and Galad(and Berelain) together are gonna go after Masema first. Since he isn't likely to go quietly, even more of the rabble will die.
151. Bufface
Word... The hand thing. Thanks..
Antoni Ivanov
152. tonka
@ 146.whatusername

I thought about Masema's men but I don't consider them part of Rand's forces.
Alice Arneson
155. Wetlandernw


Once again, my husband questions my sanity...

Happy Father's Day!
156. Balance
@135 /139: lol yes the million comment was tongue in cheek, and did come from Logan. I wasn’t really being too exact on fighting force, ect. Very much agree of the supplies being for that area. And no the Band won’t really be “commandos”. In my own way I was referring a feeling that Mat will get swept up into his own plot line. I don’t see his story line as the “chief watching the battle from the hill” during the final battle. I do sling a little slang into my posts. :)

@137 That’s what I love about this forum. You throw some ideas out there and somebody will know the facts, and present them in good form. Very nice list! That should be posted somewhere. I’ll bet other WOT-heads would like to see it. However, does anyone know the Seanchan totals? I think we all agree that Mat will get to work with them. Plus how many Asha’ man will Taim take to become dreadlords?
Tess Laird
157. thewindrose
O.k. I have almost become banned from this website - R.Fife. My 2 kids thought it was hilarious though, so I am saved. They had a good time laughing at me during TSR10 too. They all think I am a bit insane, and spend just a bit too much time here;)
Leigh Butler
158. leighdb
Hi all,

Due to circumstances beyond my control, there will be no WOT post tomorrow. We'll resume regular service on Wednesday.

Sorry. In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves, and please do not break the pretty website.
159. CalaLily
@ 158

O.O; Oh dear. I can feel the twitches starting already.
Alice Arneson
160. Wetlandernw
Oh, no! Bela! Help!!!

The twitching begins
The chant *break it* will soon start
Do I hear hoofbeats?
Alice Arneson
161. Wetlandernw
Hey, on the bright side, maybe I'll take the time to update the survey results tomorrow night. Got a lot of new input last week. Anyone else want to contribute? Age, gender, WoT Age, and anything else you want to share like education, occupation, location, marital status, kids/grandkids...

Rox, glad you're still here because I included you in the survey results. :)

Which reminds me... If you guys keep calling me "wet" I might have to change my name.... ;) (although with the turn our weather has taken, I AM wet if I go outside.)
William Fettes
162. Wolfmage
I was in camp that believed that the Red Ajah's involvement in Logain's False-Dragonhood was real, at least until POD. I was familiar with Siuan's thoughts adverting to a lie, and so knew it could have been a falsehood, but I still felt it fit with the Red's general rottenness, and there were also other potential deceits in what she presented to the SAS which could have been the objects of her thought. But POD put it beyond doubt for me - as Egwene would have ferreted it out by then.

I actually think its a good ambiguity in the story. Both just and unjust wars / civil wars have been fought based on deceitful casus belli, etc., so why should the White Tower's split be any different. It actually lends it a nice sense of authenticity that there isn't some absolute, clean dividing line between the two sides.
Clinton Henry
163. Jaidee
WHaaaaOOOOOOOO!!!! finally caught up. Now I start posting and annoying everyone with my crazy ideas.
164. HurinSmells
Ok, so while we wait till Wednesday, here's some more looniness...

How about the Eye of the World was not just a store of clean saidin, but also a way to get in touch with the Creator, which is why Rand hears the voice while he's drawing on it at Tarwins Gap?

Also, it's clear from Herid Fel's note that the seals need to be broken in order to properly seal up the bore. In order to properly repair the bore our heroes need to use both saidin and saidar together.

We know from tSoSG that Lews Therin's Hundred Companions only used saidin in the AoL, becase the female Aes Sedai didn't agree with his idea on how to seal it (justifiably, as right now they hardly seem like a permanent solution). So, just as it is an overriding theme in the entire WoT series, the key to defeating the DO is working out the best way for men and women to get along and work together. Somewhere along the line Rand shed's blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul, the sun rises twice on the same day, and Rand ends up in a boat with Elayne, Min and Avi... all very straight forward.

Once the Bore is removed (not sealed), the DO's prison will be complete, until the next Age when Lanfear 2.0 (or is that 3.0?) comes along and drills another Bore.
Dale schenstrom
165. Dryheat77
In reply to survey 3 WOT years (Missed all of the waiting until now) 47 years here. Male, Blue Ajah, Retail management happily married for 17 years 3 kids and an avid reader that is upset that all of my other authors are falling short of what I've come to expect from these books. Great re-read, 2nd for me. Love reading all of the comments and finding the great info you all come up with. I had no idea that so many were are as obsessed as I am.
Wayne Wilson
166. stylusmobilus

Yeah I recall that line. It has never changed my view that being 'half caught' didn't affect Ishamael's exposure to the world in any way, just his own body and soul. Having perhaps all of his body and say 40% of his soul free of the binding, could well be enough for the Dark One to use as an avatar, and could well be enough for another Forsaken to say he was half caught.


39, male, since 1993? (FoH was the first book I waited on, I read the first four in order), council worker, rural Queensland Aus, 5 kids. It is wet here too, it has been raining since the middle of the night.
Clinton Henry
167. Jaidee
on the topic of Min's viewing and prophesy. I always find it funny that whenever folks find out that they will do something in the future, that the very act of trying to prevent it is what causes it to be fulfilled. Like Aviendha attempts to deny the ring-viewing, is what attracts Rand to her, everything she does to push him away is what draws them closer.

I think this is the point of Min's viewing. It WILL happen. If you attempt to stop it, THAT will make it happen, and if you do nothing then THAT will make it happen, so just accept the results and live your life as you see fit.
Clinton Henry
168. Jaidee
Loony theory#1

Not sure if anyone has suggested this but the thought occurred to me a few days ago. What if "The Prophesy of The Dragon" was created by the DO/Forsakens/darkfriends to stir Rand in the direction they want so they can win?
Has anyone read "The Dragonbone Chair" and how the misinterpretation of the prophesy caused the good guys to be running around gathering these swords thinking that that is what will help them win, when it turns out the swords were to come together to help the bad guys.

Is this a crazy idea or what?
169. Freelancer

Ishamael is no "avatar". He's just zis guy, see? Now Shaidar Haran, there's your avatar.

No post tomorrow?
Tess Laird
170. thewindrose
I hope eveything is well, Leigh.

I remember on my first read - thinking Siuan's tale of the Red was lie, just to get the SAS back into the game. (Mostly because we kept getting the clue by four that she could lie from RJ.) However, when I got further into the series, including New Snow and a reread, I began to rethink that. We have(had) Galina as 'Highest' of the Reds and also on the Supreme High Council of the Black Ajah. That along with some POV's from Cadsuanne have made me rethink some of what the Reds have done, undoubtly by way of the Black Ajah influence.
John Lofgren
171. JohnTheLurker
Hello, first comment on WoT. 52, male, Escondido, California. Reading since about 1995 when I started seeing references to RJ on the internet SF&F news groups. These re-reads and comments are a wonderful waste of time. Thank you Leigh and everyone else.
Brett Michie
172. bchurch
Wetlander @ 161

Great idea! Must have missed when you first queried.

33 year old man here. Picked up tEotW in 1990 when I was 14 as I had read several of Jordan's Conan books, beginning with Conan the Magnificent in 1987 at the age of 11. Grew up in southern Utah, but am now living in Bend, Oregon. Divorced with two sons, the eldest of which I named Rand.

I remember seeing tEotW in hard back in 1989 and thinking it looked awesome, both from the cover and for the fact that it was written by Jordan, but wasn't able to buy it until september of 1990. Incidentally, I bought Dragon Wing, the first of Weis and Hickman's Death Gate cycle the same day--which remains my favorite series of theirs. Still doesn't stack up to tWoT though, IMHO.

Thanks for doing this and please let us know where to view the results!

edit--(thanks thewindrose!) After consulting my feminine side, I'd have to go with Blue. I am and ever will be a Moiraine fan.
Tess Laird
173. thewindrose
Wetlandernw posted the first results right on a thread. So I am assuming the same will happen this time, on this thread as we won't have a new one until Wednesday. One of the other surveys was 'what Ajah' would you join. (Assume that Egwene has mended the tower(Rand really has already cleansed Saiden) and I guess the Reds would become like enforcement or MP's. (This one was a bit up in the air - as the Age of Legends had no permanent Ajahs, and we have the seven now,(or 8 - black Ajah) and there was some thought on what will happen in the future - so use your own judgement on that one;)
Brett Michie
174. bchurch
BTW, for any of you who haven't yet read any of Mr. Sanderson's works . . I highly recommend them. I've read the first Mistborn and Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians.
Mistborn is very cool and dark, with an intriguing society/magical structure.
Alcatraz is absolutely freaking hilarious! I seriously have not laughed out loud from a book so many times before. It's great to share with your children too.
Michael Catapano
175. hoping
No Post today?
**in Apocalypse Now Marlon Brando voice**

Circumstances, you say. I sense dark forces at work. I think an investigation is in order. :)

I predict that there will be much sniffing, folding of arms under breasts and braid tugging- not to mention twitching.

We promise to be good.
craig thrift
176. gagecreedlives
No new post. What the hell am I supposed to do tomorrow? Work?!

Seriously hope everything is ok Leigh
177. Freelancer
We promise to be good.

::sniff:: Maybe


After listening to Brandon's overview of the Alcatraz books, I'm not quite intrigued enough to buy them (yet), though even his sidebar descriptions about the characters are hilarious. Elantris is a wonderful single-volume epic, and the Mistborn trilogy is better than that. I got Warbreaker today for a Father's Day gift, and can't wait to dig into it. I had a tough time with the online version, proofreader's eyes make me zero in on every typo and out-of-place word, otherwise I think I would have enjoyed it much more. November cannot come quick enough.
178. RobMRobM
Leigh - I noted your endorsement of the Chronicles of Prydain in the 13 year old girl recommendations thread at the site, one I strongly supported.

When I thought about the books, I was struck by the strong similarities in the characters of Coll from Prydain and Tam. Both show up in chapter 1 guiding the protagonists; both chose a quiet life after lives of adventure; both do what they had to do with quiet effiency when called up later in the stories. Interesting connection between my first fantasy obsession (I read Prydain when I was nine) and my latest.

179. Tenesmus
To the Survey Taker:

I am 41. I read tEotW and tGH back to back becasue I found them in a USO Free Book box during the First Gulf War. So that puts me at 19 WOT years. The first thing my wife (girlfriend at the time) ever bought me was tDR the day it was released. I have bought everyone within days of its release since. I have yet to do a complete re-read. It is hard to keep up with the side characters.

I am currently in Afghanistan, involved in another War and will read tGS much like I read tEotW, far away from those I Love, laying in cot with a red-lens flashlight with a loaded rifle laying beside me. The Wheel of Time turns...
John Massey
180. subwoofer
I still stand by my duct tape theory. Best way to fix the Bore. Get some of that 200mph stuff they use in NASCAR and go to town.

No new post? Don't break the site? muhahhahahah.
John Massey
181. subwoofer
For the survey- ha! You'll never break me! Name, rank, serial #. Back to my OG idea of updating peoples profiles so you can click and look and not have to go back to random threads...

-edit- not saying survey is bad idea- just maybe some people *coughAMWcough* et al may want to have something permanent and easier to reference. @Jaidee- welcome to the discussion.
Jane Smyth
182. Kaboom
Well I partially broke. I finally registered.
Was becoming really annoyed at the antispam password.

But just a warning, don't bother checking my profile, it's not real. :(
I had not registered until now because it requires a name. I'm not even on Facebook (or other related sites) because I want to keep my internet profile clean (I have a very uncommon name).
So if this is considered impolite I apologize in advance.
John Massey
183. subwoofer
I checked- its not real.s'ok... wah:(...

Not on Facebook either. Never saw the point. Those people I want to stay in touch with, I am in touch with. Everyone else is on their own.
184. NearToothlessWilder
First time poster on this site but have read (and thoroughly enjoyed) it since the beginning. I thought I would add my bit to the survey, if not to the debates.

Irish female, 57, BSc in Computer science. Married but no kids; a great-aunt if not a grandmother. Work for the government. Have been reading science fiction and fantasy since pre-teen years, WOT since mid 90s. Would definitely choose Brown Ajah.

Thanks to Leigh and all the contributors who brighten up the week and provide more insights, even when they disprove my own theories.
James Jones
185. jamesedjones
Since we don't get a post today, I'll finally participate in the Ajah poll.

I'd have to be Brown Ajah because they're the best at researching stuff like hidden societies, and secret messages, and ways to avoid or escape certain restrictive oaths, and um...

Go Light!
April Vrugtman
186. dwndrgn
20 WoT years, man am I old! 40 in real years (yegods, still old!)F, married, Brown Ajah. Been a member of this site for quite a while but never logged in to enter into the discussion because being at work, that login always disappears if I leave and come back so it means extra work. Old and lazy am I!
Tracy Long
187. BookFairy
For the survey-
Age 38
Gender Female
Location Pensacola Fl
Married 14 years
2 kids
WOT age 17
I started reading the books when the Dragon Reborn came out. I thought it was going to be a trilogy. Laughs!
I have done a re-read every time a new book has come out since LOC.
Ajah gotta go Green

Tonka@137 You Rock.

In the AOL there were no permanent Ajahs. The BWB says there were guilds in every city and town and Ajahs were use to perform specific task. After that task was accomplished they would break apart. So that they were always changing and nobody was locked into one Ajah. It seems to me that with Egwene’s Plan, to unite all channelers so that they are associated to the tower in some way, that maybe it will be more like that in the future.

Also if the taint is gone, does anybody think what Cadsuane will teach Rand and the other Ashiman are that men and women will have to work together to defeat the DO. I Know she and Sorela talks about teaching laughter and tears. But Min said it was something they would all have to learn.

By the way we are wishing for rain here.
It’s so Hot. Hot and Dry.
Maybe it’s not too early to break out the blender. Hmm.
188. PeteP
Just finished my annual re-read and found this site and have been lurker for a bit.

Gareth Bryne is just great.

For the survey, 39, male, married, 4 young boys, formerly Gray, now Brown, waited for every book since the Great Hunt, very active on usenet even before rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan.
My apologies to any and all if my formerly aggressive style led me to engage in flamewars there in the early days of the net.

And I stil believe Gawyn was undering Complusion during the coup........
189. Cristine
For the survey-since no new post & im ahead of the re-read at the moment.
Age 35, 36 in July
Gender Female
Location Washington, DC area
Married 2 years
no kids
Probly Brown Ajah since I love to read and research stuff especially about history.
I've been reading the books since before the prologue of Crossroads of Twilight came out.So sometime in 2002 I think.
190. El Fitcho
Hello everyone! This is only my second ever post, but I'm a regular lurker here. Always great to read the insightful views and opinions on offer.

29, brown ajah (research is great), male, live in England (UK). Been reading since 2003; slow reader so limiting myself to one WoT re-read else I'd never do anything else!

Since there's no post today, I wondered if you'd all indulge me in a couple of interesting points I discovered yesterday in my re-read of LoC.

Ch 32 - Summoned in Haste. The final PoV from Rand states that 'Lews Therin rumbled somewhere in the back of his head - he always did when Rand came close to Callandor.' I've never seen this quote picked up anywhere else, but it seems to be strong evidence that LTT is representing Rand's taint-induced madness, hence LTT's voice 'resonates' when Rand is near flawed Callandor, which is more open to the taint.

Ch 33 - Courage to Strengthen. The PoV from Matt says that when playing Snakes and Foxes with Olver he (Matt) 'never touched the dicecup himself...if they were going to play the game, it might as well be without his luck taking a hand.' This makes be really curious as to what would happen if Matt DID roll the dice: given that there is no way to win Snakes and Foxes, how would Matt's crazy luck react?! Perhaps he would find some previously undiscovered 'one-in-a-million chance' way to win... At the very least perhaps it would give a clue as to how Matt will help to rescue Moiraine.

Jaidee@168 - Yes, this is a really interesting idea, and I've seen it implemented to great effect in a trilogy I read recently. I don't feel I can say which trilogy without giving huge spoilers though, but perhaps others on here will also know which one I'm referring to and will somehow be able to let you know..?
Marcus W
191. toryx
Well, since there's no post today, and I never got around to reading Friday's post until today, I'll comment to Friday's post now.

sps49 @ 47:

Does it grate on everyone else that the stupid Aes Sedai are stupid in not wanting to make use of people's talents if they are not channelers? which also excludes all non-Warder males. I almost want the Tower to be dissolved, not broken.

That's the way I feel too. These chapters in Salidar irritate the hell out of me because I find myself disliking the Aes Sedai so much. Before now I hadn't really cared for them: at this point, I think they're all too arrogant, controlling and selfish to want to root for. Even the Warders get treated like crap: recall how Anaiya commented on how they hadn't successfully fooled the Warders about their purpose there.

Snotty little brats.

Re: The Greens

I'm in the middle with them. I think they're more capable than some are saying, and not as capable as they should be. My reasons for why they aren't as capable in battle as they should be is that they don't give enough consideration to things no involving the power. It's like the Yellows with their refusal to use herbs as part of healing. If it's not part of the Power, it evidently isn't worthy of their attention.

The one thing I really don't understand is why there isn't a revolving number of Greens on the borderlands with the Blight. It seems like that's not only be the best place for them to get their training, but the most important place for a Green to be.

And for the survey: I've been reading the WoT for 19 years. I'm pretty sure I've already responded to everything else.
Herb Schaltegger
192. LameLefty
I personally side with some of the others who believe Logain's future glory will be something like finding the lost Ring of Tamyrlin or summoning the Nine Rods of Dominion or whatever, and basically becoming the first male leader of the reunited male/female Aes Sedai in thousands of years, primarily as a result of something that occurs during the Last Battle.
F Shelley
193. FSS
@192 - I dunno. I personally think Logain will be rather like Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters 2. While he's blasting away at something everyone can see, Rand and Co will be on the "inside" of whatever is happening and doing the real work of the last battle. When TG is complete, everyone will be congratulating him while Rand slinks off (or is carried off) for a life of post-last-battle anonymity.

All supposition: I kinda Rand's part of the last battle will happen in Tel Aran Rhiod. Leaves lots of room for Logain to be seen as the "Leader" of the Light, especially if Taim is seen as the leader of the new Dreadlords...
194. alreadymadwithnopost
subwoofer @181
I don't quite get what you're rambling about.

re: Logain's glory
Destroying Taim and his darkfriend faction is already a lot of glory right there. Then there's acting as Rand's lieutenant.

Sigh... no post.
break it break it break it break it
Pablo Defendini
195. pablodefendini
break it break it break it break it
And I'll swiftly shut down the comments thread if you do. Then you'll have to go twitch elsewhere. Leigh deserves a break every once in a while; these posts are hard work. Play nice, people.
John Fitzingo
196. Xandar01
Wetlander, it'll be interesting to see what graphs you come up with from all that survey info.

I haven't declared my WOT age yet, 17 years. Started reading while stuck in 29 Palms for training there. One of my buddies, KT (from Oregon, and lurks this site) introduced me.

What Ajah? Hmmm, at first I would think Green is cool, but I think I would have to go for brown. knowledge is power!!
Antoni Ivanov
197. tonka
I don't think that the White Tower and the Black will unite.I think they will be separate entity lead by two different people (Amyrlin and M'Hael).And they will work together and in the same time compete with each other (akin to Saidin and Saidar, Black and White). It seems logical.

And the glory for Logain is that he will be the leader of the Black Tower, the new M'Hael if they don't change the name. And therefore he will be one of the two most powerful people in the World (Egwene being the other)
Tess Laird
198. thewindrose
Hi Pablo-
We appreciate you as well! As you can tell we really look forward to the posts. I think you have read these books?
break it break it break it break it
This is like our insider joke - LTT in Rand's head chanting insanely.
Although I have heard from one of my yellow Sisters(who is actually a sneaky rickroller with a yellow shaw) that you may indeed be a cylon? That would make you number 13? LOL
**whisles and looks around nervously**
Thank you for posting Leigh's blog, I think we all know that Leigh puts alot of effort in here, and of course she needs a break. She's probably going back and enjoying TSR10, with all the pretty character theme songs we inserted in.
199. Freelancer
To all previous lurkers who've come from out the shadows, welcome to the asylum.


I too first found WoT via military free book exchange, aboard ship in 1999. And spent many hours reading via mini-maglight, so I feel. Stay cool and dry, maintain your scan, and thank you.


Your call alone. Definitely not impolite. Your privacy is your own, and only as long as you keep it so.


Before you can claim that anyone is under Compulsion, you must provide me six pieces of evidence. Well, I'm waiting...
Just kidding, not really aimed at you. He who should, will know.

El Fitcho@190

Trust no word that is not written in steel. Yeah, hard to avoid spoilers. However, I think that in WoT terms, we can be moderately confident that a good portion of what the current generations call prophecies were the Foretellings and Dreamings of post-Breaking channelers. The core of the Aiel Prophecies come from the Aes Sedai who set up the Ancestitron in Rhuidean. They told the clan chiefs of He Who Comes with the Dawn. So at least in that one example, it did not come from the DO or his minions.


We're teasing, of course. We have no desire to actually harm your place. And before you hit AMW too hard, I started it @169, so blame me. Just so you understand, it's merely a humorous Lews Therin reference, not a call to action. As if anyone here would follow my lead...
Pablo Defendini
200. pablodefendini
@ Freelancer @thewindrose
Serves me right for not being up on my WoT lore. Apologies to @alreadymadwhen... for picking on him/her...
John Fitzingo
201. Xandar01
@193. FSS
Interesting theory about Logain and Rands Future. Can Rand really retire to anonymity though? He's got four warder bonds, three of them belonging to wive's that he likely doesn't want to abandon. If he does die and return (likely breaking the warder bonds), will he also return without LTT?

@195. pablodefendini

Woo hoo the great editor speaks!!! Don't think of it as breaking, think of it as stress testing. There might be a surge in visitors that come once the next book is published. I bet we are only a small fraction of the WOT readership.
202. Freelancer

Think nothing of it. After all, why wouldn't you defend your site?

As a thumbnail, whenever the Lews Therin persona in Rand's head is near one of the seals holding the Dark One's prison together, he starts rambling to break it, to break them all. One of the more interesting mysteries in the series for me, and a source of many theories, loony and otherwise.
203. AlleyGirl
For the survey:

Age 38
Started WOT in 1996 and have completed more than a dozen re-reads (usually every time a new book came out, as well as random re-reads whenever the mood strikes). It never gets old!

Ajah: I would have to say combo of blue/brown with a little green thrown in :p
Richard Fife
204. R.Fife
@200 Pablo

It's ok, we know you are just protective of tordot, it's your baby after all. We promise that we'll take good care of her and have her back before ten.

Say, it's after the First of May, right? ;)
Torie Atkinson
205. Torie
@ 201 Xandar01

Hey now, credit where it's due. (I'm the blog editor.) And re-framing it as "stress testing" only works with brainwashing experiments and interns. :)

@ 204 R. Fife

Um, ew? Besides, you have to fill out the "So You Want to Date My Website" application first. (Don't worry, it's electronic. We're 2.0!)
Hugh Arai
206. HArai
PeteP@188: What gives you the impression he's under Compulsion? I've seen people mention the possibility before, but I haven't caught what made them think of it in the first place. Obviously as readers we know he picked the wrong side, but so did half the Aes Sedai and Warders in the Tower.
Also, lol Freelancer.

El Fitcho@190,Freelancer@199: Wow. You're correct, that trilogy and prophecy are basically impossible to discuss without spoiling something. I thought it was well-handled though.

In the WoT specifically though, there are apparently Seanchan versions of the Prophecies of the Dragon that appear to conflict the ones Moiraine quotes from. So one side may be corrupted or both may be true in an unexpected manner.
207. Smatt
No post? Been away for a while and now catching up. For the survey...

South East coast England (formerly London)
1 daughter

Started reading WOT in 1991. Now feel very old realising that I have spent half my life reading about the adventures in Randland.

If there was an Ajah for me it would be Turquoise for that just right Blue/Green feel.

With no post I Fortell major Twitching.
208. Herr_Flick
Hi, I'm another silent psyko / lurker.

For the survey thingie:
36, male, single, no kids.
Living in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Started reading wot in 94, got the first book from a canadian soldier while serving as a UN soldier in the former Yugoslavia.

Would probably be yellow, since they're the only ones who actually use their magical powers for something.
209. Freelancer

About the Seanchan version of the prophecies, there's a number of possibilities, of which you identify the most important three.

The "linear" part of me would presume that the Seanchan version is most subject to corruption, because of two things. One is their separation from the rest of the world, with an insular view that is likely to cause people to "adjust" old writings. Two, an imperial society tends to have corrupted history because whoever is in power adjusts it for their own glorification. So having the DR bow to the Crystal Throne is a major tweak in that direction, and is persuasive to me that this is the correct view.

The concept that both may be true in an unexpected manner is definitely in keeping with the sort of long-range 'gotcha' of which RJ was a master, so is not out of contention for plausibility.

That the Seanchan version is more pure is not implausible, but strikes me as strongly improbable. Again in reference to the Crystal Throne, just exactly how long has that Seanchan artifact been around? Certainly not as long as the prophecy. Of course a true future vision has no problem with that, but I still take from it a sense of fabrication. But that's just my intuition speaking.
James Jones
210. jamesedjones
209 Freelancer

I'm not so sure. While I want to believe your linear arguments, I'm just worried that RJ has even more punishment lined up for Rand before TG. This seems like one of those major sacrifices he has to make, and it can be partnered with Min's viewing of women using the power to hurt him and maybe more if Perrin is not nearby. We've only had one of those, so far.
211. Spook
Like herr Flick (from a'llo a'llo I presume 'klop'), I don't leave many comments in the re-read blogs. Anyway, this is my part for the survey:

Age 32,
No kids

Picked up my first copy at an airport for a business trip 3 years ago. Finished the rest of the series in the two following years.

Ajah: Guess it would be brown or white. It can be a fine line between logic and knowledge sometimes.
Luke M
212. lmelior
@R Fife #204
You are hereby indicted for violation #623 of the Verbal Morality Statute: referring to inanimate objects with a feminine pronoun.

Do we not remember the TSR Part 4 incident, hmmm?
213. Wes S.
Regarding Tenesmus' suggestion at #72 that the Seanchan attack on Tar Valon might be caused by a revelation from Semirhage that Mesaana is hiding out there: As of Crossroads of Twilight, the Seanchan were already planning it.

(Another reason to wade through CoT, even though it is the most difficult of the books to read.)

In Chapter 4 of CoT, "The Tale of a Doll," the Seeker who has been chasing Egeanin and Domon visits Banner-General Furyk Karede at Karede's apartments, to compare notes with Karede over the disappearance of Tuon (among other matters). From CoT, page 156:

"'...A precious thing, loyalty,' (Mor) said, eyeing the tabletop, after Ajimbura pulled the door shut behind himself. "You are involved in Lord Yulan's plans, Banner-General Karede? I would not have expected the Deathwatch Guard to be part of that.'

Karede moved two bronze map-weights shaped like lions and let the map of Tar Valon roll up on itself. The other (map) had not been unrolled, yet..."

Yulan, of course, is the Seanchan Lord-Captain of the Air, and commands those Seanchan units that make use of "raken" and their other flying beasts for combat and transport. I think he also commands the Seanchan "Fists of Heaven" - their lightly-armed airborne troops, who tried to follow Elayne and Nynaeve through the gateway between Ebou Dar and Andor - as well.

And from their present positions (as of CoT and KoD) well to the south and west of Tar Valon (with at least Andor and Murandy and the Caralain Grass to cross, judging from the map of Randland included with each installment of the Wheel of Time) a long-distance airborne strike, presumably with heavy use of sul'dam and damane, would be the only way the Seanchan could reach Tar Valon without a protracted ground campaign. Which the Seanchan might not have the manpower to carry out, after what Rand and Bashere did to them in Path of Daggers, with what Ituralde is doing to them in Tarabon and Arad Doman in the last couple of books, and with the forces they've already committed elsewhere.

If I recall RJ's bio correctly, wasn't he involved in heliborne operations in Vietnam? Because if you swapped Hueys for dragons and gave the 101st Airborne swords and channelers, they'd look a lot like the Fists of Heaven...

And I do have to wonder where Furyk Karede might fit on that little list of the great captains.
lanyo lanyo
214. lanyo
Well. I finally catch up after 2 weeks, and now you're on to breaking? I missed your craziness, and all the wild theories and debates. Also, though some of them got a bit hairy, thanks for never making "discussions" so unpleasant as other sites I used to belong to. I know they can get bad enough where even non-involved people quit. Like me.

So. Since I've raced to catch up, all I'll add is answers to the surveys:
F, 30, california, no college-lernin, no kids/spouse, been woting for 10 years, brown ajah in retreat/hiding mode.

Lastly, thank the creator for all y'all. I have no one IRL to talk wot with, tho my family is full of readers, and my sister actually lent me EotW. She just never got too far in it. So in revenge, I'm trying to get her husband sucked in.
215. J.Dauro
El Fitcho@190,Freelancer@199

Well done. I applaud your sensiblity.

Pablo and Torrie.
We appreciate you almost as much as the divine Leigh. But we do tend to [i][b]*twitch* [/b]without regular feeding. Just like any other animals in cages.
216. douglasm

The telling point for me in the Seanchan vs mainlands versions of the Prophecies is that no one in the mainland has the slightest clue what "bind the nine moons to serve him" means, but the meaning of the Dragon Reborn kneeling before the Crystal Throne is perfectly clear and quite self serving to anyone in Seanchan. No one in the mainland would have even known enough to be able to write the mainland version of it without it being a genuine foretelling, but any half-wit in Seanchan could come up with "we're so great the Dragon Reborn will be our slave".
Captain Hammer
217. Randalator
FSS @193

I personally think Logain will be rather like Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters 2. While he's blasting away at something everyone can see, Rand and Co will be on the "inside" of whatever is happening and doing the real work of the last battle. When TG is complete, everyone will be congratulating him while Rand slinks off (or is carried off) for a life of post-last-battle anonymity.

That is what I thought for a long time, too, due to the numerous hints of time changing history (e.g. Tom's musings on the Seafolk raker to Tanchico) and Logain's glory aura. But then came TPoD where Rand sends Narishma to get Callandor from the Stone. And with the line from the Karaethon Cycle ("Into the heart he thrusts his sword, into the heart, to hold their hearts. Who draws it out shall follow after") that seems to hint at Narishma as the DO slaying Dragon Reborn for the Fourth Agers to worship.

So I'm now in the camp with those who believe that Logain will be the First Leader of the unified "Gray Tower" or actually the male part of a Gray Tower Diarchy (with Egwene being the female part) which seems a tad more fitting to me...
Jeroen Boerlage
218. Alea_iacta_est
Well, I've been following the reread for quite some time now, and never commented, but I can't let those surveys slip past me, can I?

I'm Male, 19, live in The Netherlands, no children (now there's a surprise).
Didn't start reading WoT until december last year. Wnet through at the speed of light (There were eleven books! Eleven! That's like, huge), and then, sadly, reached the end. Alas, life (live?) is hard.
Were I an Aes Seadi I'd be... (that's more difficult than I thought) ... Blue, I guess. I could travel 'round he world and meddle in things.
Yeah, I'd like that.
219. RobMRobM
@218. Darn you, you're the first poster younger than me in WOT time. I'm no longer special....LOL.

John Massey
220. subwoofer
Guess it would be brown or white- wonder if they have a TP Ajah-:) kidding... ahhhh... I got nuthin'.

Good to see we have an international crowd chiming in. Lucky there is no one from Sweden. They'd have much explaining to do for Ikea furniture.

I think the Male and Female AS will be reunited. Maybe that was why Rand was seeking balance when Logain & Co. bonded female AS, then the females got to bond full on Asha'man. It would be a start anyway. Then of course there is a matter of who would be best to lead a re-united tower and going old school and loosing the Ajahs. Note that so far the Asha'man are colorless.
James Jones
221. jamesedjones
216 Douglasm

I hope you're right. I really do. It's just one of those nagging fears that keeps growing every time I think about it. He's almost blind, lost a hand, dying from two unhealable (is that a word) wounds, and Min says he'll be in beggar's robes soon. It just seems like RJ wants to tear Rand apart before the last battle. In that perspective, Rand kneeling before the crystal throne (a possible terangreal that theoretically forces devotion) just seems like another twig on the bonfire.
battle ajah
222. battleajah
I finally remembered my password! (I've been posting as ForgotMyPassword)

For the survey:

Female (only WOT fans would know this from my username), 39, married, no kids.

First saw piles of the hardcover edition of Fires of Heaven at my local Barnes & Nobles in the mid-90s and couldn't figure out what's so special about this book on "religion" (the "Heaven" in the title). Curious, I bought TEoTW and couldn't read past the first few chapters, despite multiple attempts. Once I got to the point where Moiraine berates the Two Rivers folks for their inhospitality, I was hooked. Have since bought WOT in hardcover and paperback, as well as the French version. One day I'll buy the German version. I've done a re-read once a year since the mid-90s.

Longtime lurker (and almost never a poster) of rasfw-rj back when there was a cabal (TINC).

Despite my username, I am very partial to Blue.
battle ajah
223. battleajah
I finally remembered my password! (I've been posting as ForgotMyPassword)

For the survey:

Female (only WOT fans would know this from my username), 39, married, no kids. I hail from the San Francisco region.

First saw piles of the hardcover edition of Fires of Heaven at my local Barnes & Nobles in the mid-90s and couldn't figure out what's so special about this book on "religion" (the "Heaven" in the title). Curious, I bought TEoTW and couldn't read past the first few chapters, despite multiple attempts. Once I got to the point where Moiraine berates the Two Rivers folks for their inhospitality, I was hooked. Have since bought WOT in hardcover and paperback, as well as the French version. One day I'll buy the German version. I've done a re-read once a year since the mid-90s.

Longtime lurker (and almost never a poster) of rasfw-rj back when there was a cabal (TINC).

Despite my username, I am very partial to Blue.
AJ MacPherson
224. Mackey62
I will throw a crazy theory out (be nice).

There will be no AS or Asha'men. As a result of the bore being sealed, all channelers will be burnt out or unable to feel the OP and the new age will be an age with no magic. Would make the whole outrigger series with Mat and Tuon more interesting.
j p
225. sps49
Re: Gawyn-

Elaida may have no common sense, but she has to have realized that Gawyn let Siuan escape. If only by process of elimination, and/ or someone else figuring it out. That may make more sense as to why she wants him dead.
226. toddywatts
I bought TEOTW in trade paper, took it home, and thought I had made a huge mistake. But, having spent so much on a paperback, I was determined to get through it. After about 100 pages I stopped paying attention to anything else. The following day I bought TGH (also in trade paper) and the day after that TDR in hardcover. I'm too lazy to figure out when that was, but I feel like I've spent most of my adult life waiting for the next RJ novel.

I'm male, almost 39, 1.5 kids, English major, work in customer service (which accounts for my overall bitterness, right?), read mysteries, scifi, fantasy, biography, light fiction, and anything else that catches my eye. I live in Virginia. I'd really like to belong to an ajah that would let me blow up stupid people, but I don't think I'd get along with the management in the black ajah. I guess I'll just have to choose blue and then campaign for a new ajah that would let me have my way. That's how that works, right?

I always thought that Siuan was lying about the red ajah's involvement with Logain, but I believe Ishamael that the red ajah has done it in the past, so I don't really find fault with it. Almost all of the reds are mean and stupid and should therefore be blown up
Hugh Arai
227. HArai
Mackey62@224: It doesn't seem that crazy. With the hints that our own Age is on the Wheel, channeling has to be lost sometime.

sps49@225: Certainly a possibility. Elaida has some really huge blind spots though. Someone capable of believing the proper way of handling the Dragon Reborn amounts to "bring out the Gimp" doesn't seem like someone who would admit her nemesis got away because of a "mere boy".
228. dryheat77
'Wednesday'??? *Headdesk* *Headdesk* *Headdesk*
William Fettes
229. Wolfmage
Interesting hearing people say they struggled with tEotW. I've always found the early books to easy page turners with the exception of a couple of over-long prologues. It was only after LoC that I thought RJ began to get indulgent with his tangential characters and plots to the point that it was a struggle for me read them.

If tEotW is a breeze compared to glacial fantasy writers like Tad Williams.
230. alreadymadwithElaidatalk
toddywatts @226
Please not all. Spare Tarna. And Mat's retainer Teslyn. And Pevara the Black-hunter.

HArai @227
Agreed that Channeling has to go eventually, though I wouldn't agree that it would be in the Age immediately following this one. Not when there's been such a resurgence in the number of channelers, anyway. I always figured it would fade over a few generations, possibly even an Age or two.

And you're right about Elaida. I don't think she'd connect Gawyn to Siuan's escape. Her own suspicion tends toward Alviarin, and she thinks even less of men than most, so Gawyn should be in the clear. I always thought she was just eliminating everybody who could gain in status from Siuan's downfall, aside from her. She's already gotten rid of some who were there when she "arrested" Siuan, Gawyn's a logical next step.
231. Aye Aye Sedai
@Pablo - We are all playing by your rules (even the unwritten name rule) - if we break it playing by the rules then it needs to be built stronger next time :) Only yell when we deliberately break the rules -- no need get Alreadymad any madder - he needs the space that those characters would use up :)

PS sounds like you have some reading to do before AMOL-GS gets here :)

@220 - To rephrase a question I asked many threads earlier - So what happens if an AS or Asha'men bonds another AS or Asha'men and they return the favor - is a perpetual circle formed or a new True power formed??

Could Rand or an As bond a forsaken (Lanfear anyone :) ) and use that to control them - what if Elayne has Rands bond - then Rand bonds Avihinda?

232. alreadymadwithcharcounts
Wolfmage @229
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn was hard. I actually read it backwards, starting with To Green Angel Tower. Starting Dragonbone Chair was just... tedious.

Aye aye Sedai @231
Frankly, 25 characters is too short. The actual limit should be around 35 or 40.

And Rand bonding Lanfear? Lanfear would go "What are you waiting for? Kiss me already!"
Kevin Morgan
233. DrMorganstien
I never actually added to the survey I'm a male, who is 24 years old, and I've only spent five of those with the WOT. I have lived all my life in Massachusetts and I have recently earned a bachelor's degree, though I spend all of my time at home aiding my father who is recovering from a stroke which has fluctuated in the amount of time in my day it controls, and has been the reason I'm not here posting all the time (I usually get to read all the comments though, but not on this thread), as this is by far the coolest set of people to discuss stuff with i have ever encountered.

Let me know if that's too much information, as I will then promptly invite you to deal with it.

234. mityorkie
Re: HArai @227 I've been seeing this possibility with dread and annoyance. Frankly, all of the Rand Science Foundation advances are things I think WoT would be better without.
Hugh Arai
235. HArai
Wolfmage@229,alreadymad@232: I'm in the minority, I liked Memory,Sorrow and Thorn _except_ for the end, which felt rushed.
236. GrantNZ
Adds to the survey:

Age: 31
Gender: male
WoT age: read Eye of the World in hardcover in '91, so 18, I guess - lurked and very occasionally posted on rasfwrj from about '97 onwards when I discovered Usenet at university
Education: PhD (well, nearly - passed my oral defence, submitted final thesis, but not _actually_ PhD until graduation in October)
Occupation: currently unemployed (taking a short break post-PhD)
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Marital status: married (my wife gave up on WoT around Path of Daggers)
Kids: none as yet

Oh, and I enjoyed To Green Angel Tower!
Clinton Henry
237. Jaidee

Age: 44

Started the WoT about 18yrs ago when while browsing my local library Sci/Fan section for some thing to fill my craving I spotted tEotW on the shelf. The cover looked interested and it was thick (I hate short books although I did like "Flowers for Algernon")so I took it home figuring it would fill a couple of weeks,NOT two and a half days later and almost wifeless I was done.

my first read was a collection of greek mythology when I was 4yrs old.

the perfect mix, a green with a squeeze of white and a dash of brown=Blue

Kids:4 brats

Education:2yrs of university
Roger Powell
238. forkroot
To: jamesdjones,bkaul,alreadymad,thewindrose (minty tea indeed!),Freelancer,RobSS,Samadai,hoping,MasterAlThor,R.Fife
subwoofer, and gagecreedlives:

Many thanks for the Birthday wishes! It's been really fun getting them from all over.

Sorry, George Rose is no John Reed.

Impressive list. Since it was a list of "forces" I didn't quite understand including Semirhage on the list. Do you suppose Cadsuane will put an a'dam on her and compel her to be a weapon for the light?


If tEotW is a breeze compared to glacial fantasy writers like Tad Williams.

Agreed, Tad Williams is badly in need of a "take no prisoners" editor. He's good, but not RJ good, and his story worlds don't quite have the "bones" to hold up the number of story lines.

Count me in. Granted Elaida is pretty clueless, but Gawyn had to escort Siuan, Leane, and Min to the bridge and personally tell the guardsmen to let them pass. Too many people saw it, surely the word would have gotten back.

I suppose one possibility though is that the word made it as far as Alviarin and stopped.

I did the survey some time ago, but never gave my WOT age which is 13, since I discovered the series in 1996. A few years later, I turned an acquaintance on to the series and he has never forgiven me -- seems he's the type that hates waiting for new installments, and he's thoroughly hooked.
239. HurinSmells
From Melbourne, AUS. Real age is 30, WOT age is 17. Married with 2 kids. I consider myself a WOT pusher as 9 people other than me started their WOT journey by reading my copy of tEotW (all have now gone out to buy their own copies).

I initially thought it would be a triliogy, then a sextet. I have a vivid memory of reading Dumai's Wells, checking the number of pages left and thinking "this CAN'T be the end!". 12 years later I'm still waiting, not that I mind too much.

I followed RJ's blog from start to end, read in hope/horror of his illness and actually cried the day his passing was announced. I didn't even cry at my wedding or the birth of my children!
Michael Catapano
240. hoping
OK *twitches* In the spirit of TSR 10

Our crack team of investigators have completed their inquiry about why there was no post today. Here are the results:

Top Ten reasons there was no post on Monday

10 Leigh took off in observance of National Spanking Day
9 Obviously, we must invoke an element of Compulsion from the hidden Black at tordotcom
8 The WoT turns, ages come and pass leaving memories that become legends that fade to myths and then morph into posts, blah blah... I'm just saying it takes time to write a post, people.
7 Too busy reading the newly released installment of A Song of Ice and Fire.check here for press release
6 Too creeped out by Avi and Rand in the igloo to continue
5 Tired out after spending the weekend sniffing, folding arms under breasts and tugging at braids
4 Mesmerized by the new Tor bookstore could_not_write
3 Already mad when AMW used up the allotment of characters for the week
2 Linear thinking threw her a curve
1 Bela ate the post

Jane Smyth, eh?
Smyth is not an american spelling so you are british or british trained. Kaboom, a bathroom cleaner heavily promoted in the US by Billy Mays.
So a british or british trained billy mays fan. That should narrow it down for our investigators. ;)
(I agree with sub @183)
Thomas Keith
241. insectoid
Haven't been posting much (nine posts behind, actually); I've been too busy to post, but have been lurking. (I had a better excuse last week; I was celebrating my 23rd naming day (and, happy belated naming day to forkroot!). And so, here I am, late as usual.

Oh the HORROR! I mean, hope everything's all right.


Love the blog as always, Leigh, and your intros are getting more and more clever. Right on!

re: Salidar
I always liked the Salidar sequences, even if they're a little exposition-y. (Sounds better than 'expositional'.) After all, it's the center of the resistance against Elaida (aka, the moon with the rebel base; couldn't resist). I like the bit about how much trouble Siuan + Leane got into as novices... :)

re: Min
I'm sure we're going to see a lot of her viewings being fulfilled that'll make us think, "Didn't she view that in, like, TEotW??"

re: Siuan's lie
I've always thought it very hard to believe that the Aes Sedai, at any time in the past, would never have noticed that stilling/burning out severed the Three Oaths. (True, they'd only be able to test two of the Oaths, and only one reliably.)

Oh, and: Go fish metaphors! ;D

re: new Amyrlin
I think I remember catching on to this the first time I read. I mean, there aren't many possibilities when you consider: a) she's out of the Tower; and b) she's strong in the Power.

re: Bryne
Heh...carp-brained. I like his almost immediate perception that the AS want him to build their army. Awesome.

Robert E. Lee? Whoa...never thought of that.

Seems to have appeared a few hours later. Spooky.

LOL. "M-I-C..."

Heh. "Tarwin's Gap...Home of the ALL-CAPS VOICE!"

Rand Al'Todd@44 and subwoofer@48:
Don't forget, "She can Channel!" And surely Bela can do what a giant electronic brain could :)

Bela can save us...

Only thing I can find to break is a piece of fruit (which is more slicing than breaking, but... Breakitbreakitbreakit...

My feminine side says Green would be more fun... You know... "Battles interest me." Heh.
And yes... Read Mistborn! :)

Can NASCAR duct tape fix if it breaks?

We appreciate your watching us. We wouldn't really break the site, because then we wouldn't be able to read all the looney theories.

R.Fife@204 and Torie@205:


WoT age: 4 (nothing to brag about, I guess)

Related WoT note: I recently read the first 6 New Spring comics. Grrrr... I really want to smack Elaida now! Go Moiraine! :)
Ronald Hobbs
242. dustrider
sonoffa.... I got rickrolled, I thought I knew better.

Kudos, Hoping@240
Clinton Henry
243. Jaidee
'The Empress of the Blog', may her glass ever be full, is off because its 'Martini Day'
244. happi
Wetlandernw @161 - more survey info:
Age - 54
gender - M
WoT Age - 5
education - PhD
occupation - software geek
location - Metro NYC
marital status - M
kids - 4
grandkids - none that we're aware of.
John Massey
245. subwoofer

@224Machey62- interesting. On the one hand, the Gaidin in me does not care if the Power goes up in smoke and maybe it leads back to the science Age, with sho-wings and such as Rand is trying to do with his schools. On the other hand, after Rand breaks stuff, they are gonna have to use a whole bunch of duct tape to fix it and it may be easier to do some of it with Power.- ie. change a light bulb.

@231 AAS- interesting. With Alanna bonding Rand, she gets manhandled convincingly as she tries to use the bond to tell him what to do so to an extent, it depends on the Strength of who is the bonder/bondie. I am not an expert at weaves so I guess as a follow up, I don't know if it could be done- once you are bonded if you could return the favor?

@241insectoid- it is possible. For those not in the know, the 200mph stuff is what they use when a quarter panel goes up in smoke from rubbing and they use duct tape to mimic the shape of a fender etc. and it actually holds as they bomb down the track at 200 mph. I'm tellin' ya- it'll fix the Bore.

As for being powerless and choosing Gaidin instead of Ajah... The one "power" I wish I did have would be the ability to move my "spirit" into the back seat of the car in front of me, smack the driver upside the head and tell them to "pay attention to the road and driving" while also driving my car. I spend way too much time commuting.
246. El Fitcho
Mackey62@224 - Yeah I like this idea too. My take on it is that the One Power and the True Power somehow end up cancelling each other out.

I think it's entirely possible that Lews Therin and Moridin - as respective champions of the Light / Dark - will somehow battle each other inside of Rand's consciousness, drawing so much of each power that it kills them both off, destroys both powers, but leaves Rand's body and personality intact.

I also reckon the Cuendillar seals have been weakened by the DO chucking True Power at them, which would support the theory that the two powers negate each other.

Feel free to ridicule / agree with / laugh at that theory at your leisure!
F Shelley
247. FSS
Can't we simplify the whole survey thing?

I'm thinking a WoT Code is in order. We used to have one on the old Atari forums (updated I'm sure from the old Usenet board).

Does anyone still have this?
248. PeteP
For Freelance and HArai --- re: the Coup and Gawyn

Back in 1993, we had massive debates over the Coup, especially the role of the Black Ajah, if any. We now know the very large role of the Black Ajah in causing the division in the White Tower and Mesaana's presence in the White Tower. The BA worked to break the White Tower and then divide the Ajah. So, at least those of us who looked poorly on the Coup have been largely vindincated -- some people actually defended bringing mercenaries disguised as masons, the murder of Aes Sedai, killer of Warders, etc... as if it were merely ok.

Now, we know that Galina headed the Red Ajah and was also Black Ajah. Alvairhin of course heads up the Black Ajah. Mesaana is most likely is Danelle. We also know that the Red Ajah killed an Amyrlin in their attempt to coverup the "vileness" after the Aiel War, as the Black Ajah killed the previous Amyrlin.

So, the Coup and problems in the White Tower result mostly from Black Ajah (and taking advantage of the Red Ajah aggressiveness). Elaida is merely a pawn used by the BA to weaken the Aes Sedai prior to the Last Battle.

Now let's look at Gawyn. I really liked Gawyn up to the Coup -- I thought he was going to be a much more important character in the series (but that was before everything got taken up in poltical power plays....) So I was really upset the Gawyn would support Elaida and start killing his instructors. If Galad had done it, it would have seemed logical, but not Gawyn. Galad loves doing what he thinks is right, even if he hurts others.

Gawyn had become increasing upset about Elayne's absence from the White Tower, and the stories about her serving a penance on a farm somewhere. Some have argued that Gawyn led the Younglings in support of Elaida because of the idea of rule of law, etc. But Gawyn was not the Galad -- he was not a stickler for rules -- our very first meeting with Gawyn in tEotW has him breaking his mother's orders not to look at Logain, just because Elayne wanted to go sneak a look. Also, Gawyn has no love of Elaida.

When Min runs into Gawyn as he his leading the Younglings and when he then lets Siuan leave, he seems to not be in full control of his own mental state. Sure, he could have just been anxiety striken full killing his teachers, but ----

1. Gawyn has no duty to fight in the Coup -- he is just a student after all. If anything, he should have followed his instructors.

2. If he had been thinking clearly, he might have wondered why his teachers viewed the Coup as wrong, joining them in their efforts to free Siuan.

3. Instead, Gawyn inserts himself into the Coup and organizes the Younglings to stop Warders from freeing Siuan.

4.He himself will do the very thing for which he kills Hammar and Coulin -- freeing Siuan.

5. Aes Sedai did not need him to kill warders -- they could have just tied them up with the One Power. Just like the murder of Siuan's Warder and the murder of Blue sisters, the Coup took the violence well beyond reasonable levels without even any attempt at reconciliation and debate.

6. We have seen that people under Compulsion may also attempt to resist the Compulsion -- Morgase and Nynaeve, though not always successively.

7. Gawyn here actively resists by allowing Min, Siuan and Leane escape -- he is conflicted by his actions.

Again, nothing conclusive on Gawyn being under compulsion, but it seems highly likely. Being emotionally disturbed re: Elayne's disappearance only made him vulnerable for Compulsion. Mesaana or some of the Black Ajah could have Compelled him to support the Coup. It is the very act of killing his instructors, who Gawyn calls his friends, that calls into question Gawyn's mental state. "The fighting had been among the deadliest, student against teacher and no mercy, no quarter." Does that really sound like Gawyn??

Lannis .
249. Lannis
@ dustrider 242... me too... grr... :/

Since we're all treading water and blowing bubbles, I might as well participate in the Ajah survey... Blue, I suppose, with a smattering of Yellow. S'a help where you can thing, I guess...
Alex Johns
250. almuric
45, male, married, 1 son, BSc, between Baltimore and Washington, DC; I guess I'm about 17 or 18 in WoT years. I started reading when 'The Great Hunt' came out in paperback and remember waiting for the third book to come out.

As far as the ajah I would choose? Can I ask first what the purpose of the red ajah is/will be now that the Taint has been removed from the male half of the source? Up to now, the reds have been looking for male channelers and stilling/killing them. What will they do now that that particular profession is no longer needed?

See, I could say 'Green', as that would be the easy answer. I think I could take a life, but having been reminded of what death looks like by the heartbreaking video of the young Iranian woman dying, I'm not sure I really want to seek that out as a profession. Of course, good and evil are fairly easy to sort out in Randland, so perhaps it would be an easier choice if I lived there, but I'm also reminded that my friends/comrades would be dying next to me, so it wouldn't be just bad people dying. (But killing Trollocs would be a no-brainer, so if I could be guaranteed to only kill them, I'm all on board.)

Blue? I hate being in charge, but I have no problem with being sneaky and spying and gathering information. So that's a possible choice. Brown? Sure, I could do some studying. I'm too old now to learn easily, though. I might not be the best choice for this. Yellow? Nope, not a healer. Gray? Nope, could never be a lawyer.

White is a possibility. As a computer geek I like logic and am fairly good at it. But I really don't understand what I'd be doing on a day-to-day basis. Debating logic all day doesn't seem appealing.

Color me red. I'm reinventing the ajah (under someone else's leadership). We're now the trouble-shooting ajah. Blues can scheme all they want. We reds go where necessary and fix things. We're also on the lookout for new channelers. Nobody will die without training while I'm around. If I can just find some fellow red (female) pillow-friends, I'd be all set.

Gawyn? I had a long post about 20 or 30 entries ago where I tried to start a discussion about free will in Randland. I don't believe Gawyn was compulsed. I do, however, believe the pattern/wheel needed him to do what he did. Perhaps that's a form of compulsion by the ultimate channeler.
Marcus W
251. toryx
forkroot @ 238:

I did the survey some time ago, but never gave my WOT age which is 13, since I discovered the series in 1996. A few years later, I turned an acquaintance on to the series and he has never forgiven me -- seems he's the type that hates waiting for new installments, and he's thoroughly hooked.

Ha. I did the same thing to more than one of my friends, all of whom hate me for that. The best part is when I went and did it again by getting them hooked to A Song of Ice and Fire. :)

But I say they have no right to complain after I had to wait for The Great Hunt to even be sure there was going to be a follow-up to the first book.


On Elaida and her cluelessness: Given her tunnel vision attitude, I don't think she knows Gawyn let Siuan out of the city. I don't think she'd consider him capable of it. After all, he's a man...all he does in get in the way.
Tess Laird
252. thewindrose
Alright hoping!!!
Love the list - very sneaky!

PeteP - I like your theory. -and I am not one to throw Compulsion at everything. At work now, so can't check out books, but will tonight. I thought Gawye was alright until the coup, but his personality just changed way too much. Also he kills Hammar, a man who he respected, his teacher and most likely a confidant and father figure (he never really had a father while growing up). He did have Bryne(don't know how close the two were), and I think he would naturally feel 'at home' with Hammar.
Then he lets Siuan go, after killing Hammar.
And he starts listening to rumors over a woman he supposedly loves and respects(Egwene).
I think the perpetrator would have to be Black Ajah.
I don't know if one of the forsaken would have taken interest in him?
253. JennB
Survey answers:
I am 31, female and have been reading the series since either 1991 or 1992 (so 17 or 18 years). I am married with a 1 year old which is why I love this re-read because I don't have time to read the series straight through right now. I definately need the review.

As far as comments for this section:
It is nice to see that not everybody is enamoured with Min. I have always found her rather boring.
254. TexanSedai
Wetlandernw @161 - more survey info:

Age: 31
WOT Age: 5 - I think. Feels like I have been reading these forever, but I think I started in 2004
Gender: Female
Education: BBA - Finance
Locatin: The GREAT state of Texas!
Occupation: Petroleum Landman (Landiva)
Marital Status: Divorced
Kids: 2
Grandkids: Nowhere NEAR old enough....
Ajah: Probably Green - seems like they have the most fun! If not green then definitely Blue!

JennB @253

I agree about Min - ehh. Take or leave her - she just gets on my nerves....
Lannis .
255. Lannis
@ almuric 250

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Red Ajah's old function will be tweaked into it's new function: to find men and women who can channel, period. Really, no one from the White Tower has done this actively, at least, not until they start in Salidar. A way to increase their numbers and hopefully reverse the culling of the flock that has already occurred (and hopefully reestablish the Red Ajah as something other than Man Haters). A worthy task, and if this is so, I'd change my Ajah for it. :)

That said, I also have a suspicion (mentioned by someone above--forgive me for not scrolling up to discover whom) that the ability to channel will somehow be burnt out of the population as a whole, most likely with the sealing of the Bore.

Again, back to that old RAFO.
Eric Robinson
256. perrin77
Age 32
Wot age 14 started in 1995
rereads 5 or 6, lost count, with each new book and I think once just for fun.
Gender: Male
Education: BS - Industrial Engineering
Locatin: Ohio
Occupation: Industrial Engineer
Marital Status: Happily Married
Kids: 2
Grandkids: Not for a LONGGGGGG TIME
Ajah: Well, I am a guy, so I don't think they pick fields (yet), but of the sects of the Aes Sadia I would say Brown or White. I am a man of logic and learning, but not nearly as stuffy as those portrayed in the book. Probably more a Vernin Brown.
Jane Smyth
257. Kaboom
Hoping @240

Jane Smyth, eh?
Smyth is not an american spelling so you are british or british trained. Kaboom, a bathroom cleaner heavily promoted in the US by Billy Mays.
So a british or british trained billy mays fan. That should narrow it down for our investigators. ;)

Sorry to disappoint, but wrong on both counts.

As I've mentioned in the survey, I'm French Canadian (although the "eh" might mean you remember)
but I have no idea who/what Billy Mays is. :(
BTW Kaboom is a left over from Kazaa time.

I really like that the surveys have brought out a lot of people that usually just read the posts. It is really interesting to see how varied the nationalities of people on this site.

It's a great gang. And it's really good to have these discussion. (nobody that I know reads the series no matter how hard I have tried)
258. Jelle
hmmmm, in these parts of the world it's way into tuesday and still no new Re-read??????

Leigh, are you ill, perhaps?

in that case, get well.

(if you're just being lazy..........)
259. alreadymadwithcompulsion
Re: Gawyn killing Hammar etal
It might seem out of character, but by the time Gawyn lets Siuan and co. go, he is still convinced he did what had to be done. They were my friends is what he said. Compulsion that goes against what one wants to do usually leaves some confusion as to what was done and why, based on Juilin and Morgase's examples.

On Compulsion
Forsaken and Blacks use a weave specifically for Compelling others. This was the type used on Juilin, Morgase and later, Liandrin. Standard Aes Sedai ban the use of the weave for Compulsion but as usual work around this stricture by forcing obedience thru the bond on their Warders. This is what Alanna tried, and spectacularly failed to do with Rand. Other Aes Sedai usually refer to it in other terms, Kiruna, for example, referred to it as "bringing him to heel", IIRC though, at least one has referred to it as Compulsion/Compelling.

Based on Forsaken POV's it is possible to resist being Compelled. The easiest way is to hold the Power. Holding the Power does provide some measure of protection against garden variety weaves of Compulsion. This is the easiest explanation for why Alanna was unable to "force"(okay, Compel) Rand through the bond. Rand was holding the Power, more of it than even Alanna and Verin linked together could hold. This is not always the case, though, particularly skilled or powerful channelers can actually work through this defense. Graendal, for example, was able to successfully Compel both Cyndane and Moggy. Note that at this point, Graendal had already established that Cyndane was stronger than her.
Roger Powell
260. forkroot
Jelle@258 - Check out leighdb158 for your answer. We're on our own until Wednesday.
261. Jelle

just when i quit smoking!?! What is she doing?
Brian Kaul
262. bkaul
Re: Gawyn being Compelled

I'm with amw on this one. And even apart from the lack of confusion afterwards, it doesn't seem a necessary explanation. He distrusted Suiane, thought she was endangering Elayne, and was convinced that he would not find out where his sister was while she was Amyrlin. Elaida, on the other hand, was a known quantity, and whether he liked her personally or not, he knew she was interested in recovering Elayne as well. The enemy of his enemy ...

Now, the coup and ensuing chaos certainly did further the BA's ends, and perhaps one of them manipulated him a bit by feeding him information that would convince him to take that course of action (they are Aes Sedai, after all). But I don't think there's any textual evidence of Compulsion. It's not implausible, but it doesn't seem necessary either.
263. jfarish102

"Re: Min. It doesn't matter whether people know about her viewings, their free will and chance affecting their lives for that matter are still highly restricted. After all, what she foresees always happens. Which means that people can't turn aside from the path she sees, or die or whatever. So, what merit or responsibility is there to anything they do? This always troubled me in WoT and made me prefer secondary characters, with as few fortellings associated with them as possible."

Perhaps this has already been beat to death-I haven't read all the postings yet-but Min's foreknowledge of what will happen to a person in no way impedes that person's ability to make choices. It's like being a parent: parent's know for the most part how a child will react in a given situation, but just because the parent knows in advance what the child will do, does not mean that the child's ability to choose has been limited, it just means that the parent has advanced knowledge. Min has advanced knowledge too, but hers comes from "magic". It is the same principle
Hugh Arai
264. HArai
PeteP@248: Thanks for that. I like the theory, it does seem to tie stuff up fairly elegantly. But as you and others point out - nothing conclusive. It should be interesting to see how things pan out: it seems likely Gawyn will be in Gathering Storm since he's now right by the rebel army led by Gareth Bryne and controlled by Egwene. Plus the messengers Elayne sent at the start of Winter's Heart must be able to find him eventually. I do find it interesting someone from Elaida's half of the Tower seems to be with him all the time...
Jane Smyth
265. Kaboom
jfarish102 @263

I agree.
In addition, Min has usually taken the approach of not telling the person in question what she sees, so from that person's perspective she has all the free will to chose her action.
Of coarse we known that during this time (end of an age) the pattern restricts the choice of a lot of people so that what needs to happen for the proper conclusion of this age will happen. But that has nothing to do with Min's viewings.
266. jfarish102
Love to be part of the survey:

Age: 38
Gender: Male
WOT age: 17
Married, with 6 children, certainly no grandchildren yet!
James Jones
267. jamesedjones
258 Jelle

Please refer to Hoping @ 240 for potential reasons for Leigh's absence.
268. jfarish102
oh yes, and can't forget with Ajah! I would definitely be to study and gain knowledge.
James Jones
269. jamesedjones
259 AMW

Your post just brought up a long forgotten memory re compulsion.

Looney Theory: What if one of the black sisters gave Gawyn an item laced with the power like Moiraine did with the coins to Perrin, Mat, and Rand in EOTW?

It could have been an item already in his possesion, too. According to Moiraine, the coins would have made them agree with her even in questionable situations. The fact that Rand resisted was an indication to her that he was "the one". But since Gawyn isn't able to channel, he might have killed his friends based on suggestions from the right Aes Sedai. And he was only able to resist for a friend of the Ooh Ooh girl that he was in love with. Plus, according to Moiraine, this falls outside of the restrictions on Compulson, so it could have been any Aes Sedai that wanted control of him.
270. PeteP
Gawyn goes about doing the very thing that he killed Hammar and Coulin for, the very next day, and yet he thinks he did the right thing?!?!?!? It this very behavior that does not make sense. I see someone very confused. He had no obligation to stop the Blue and Green Warders.

We may never know if Gawyn was compelled unless we get a Mesaana or BA POV admitting to it, but his behavior will remain unexplained. Killing friends, offering no mercy or quarter, over something as confused as the Coup, does not make sense. Gawyn saw masons seizing the tower, Aes Sedai being killed, questionable trials in the Hall of the Tower, Warders being murdered, and he joins the side against the people he knows and trusts the most -- his own instructors?!?!?!?

I really want a redemption of Gawyn in the Gathering Storm. I really liked him from the first time I read tEotW in 1991 and thought he would be a major player in the series. I have really been annoyed and disappointed by his relative disappearance since Dumai Wells.

Way back when we only could guess that the Black Ajah and the Forsaken were involved in the Coup. Now, we know that the Forsaken and Black Ajah planned and executed the Coup with the intent of dividing the Aes Sedai, part of creating Chaos and Disorder.

On Graendal and Cyndane -- Graendal had an angreal that she had picked up from Sammy's place after he died, allowing her to Compel Moggy and Cyndane. Graendal is also the very best @ Compulsion, as well as psychological wiz. I think if she had a the Choedan Kal access key she could compel the Dark One.
Adam Miller
271. AdamM
Survey response:

Live in Ottawa, Canada
Age: 28
WoT Age: 14 or 15
Education: BIB (Bach. International Business)
Occupation: Manager, Foreign Strategy
Married, no kids
Got a few people hooked, and had to rebuy tEotW a few times due to friends using it to start their own WoT collection.
Rereads - um, maybe 7-9ish? I can't remember when I started to do the rereads, I know I did my last one right before the last book. Also thought that moving forward I might just start them at LoC, and save myself 5 books. I figured that was far enough back that I could get into the story again and get most of the plot lines picked up, but allowed for a condensed reading time.
272. isriam
Long time lurker - first time poster but I wanted to add to the survey.

55 y/o female
divorced 30 years
2 children/2grandchildren
WOT age 14
BA History/Sociology so Brown or Blue?
Inventory management
Naples, Maine

I have never done a re-read of the series so I am loving this one and all your comments.
Casey Sanders
273. CSanders
Wetlandernw @ 161 - more survey info:

Age - 32 (33 in November)

Gender - Male

WoT Age - 19 (Wow!! Has it really been that long?? I discovered WoT when I was in 8th grade!!)

Education - Bachelors

Occupation - Internal Auditor (yes, one of "those" people)

Location - Austin, Texas soon to be Japan :)

Marital status - Married (8 years in August!!)

Kids - Do my dog and cat count???

Grandkids - Well, if we had any it would be a miracle since the "kids" above are fixed. :)
And being from Texas, we'd have to hold a shotgun wedding with the lucky couple. . .

Now, on to Leigh and her wonderfully snarky reca. . .
Oh, that's right. No recap till tomorrow. :(
Casey Sanders
274. CSanders
btw, I find it hilarious that when I tried to actually finally create an account here so I could post (yes, I've been lurking but I have to say that I was the first one to mention the recap on the message boards ;P ), the "Secret Word" was, and I quote, "You are a spambot", end quote.

Go figure.
Roger Powell
275. forkroot
Graendal is also the very best @ Compulsion, as well as psychological wiz. I think if she had a the Choedan Kal access key she could compel the Dark One.
276. JennB
Has anybody looked an the cover art for The Gathering Storm?

It features a one handed Rand with Avihenda in front of a building with a big hole in it. I personally don't care for it, but oh well.
Roger Powell
277. forkroot
Oh yes, there's been quite a bit of discussion - check back through the logs.

My favorite suggestion (sorry, too lazy to attribute) was that Rand is cursing Bela for using the OP to blast a hole in his and Avi's nice little cottage.

This is why horses are stabled, and not kept in the family room.
James Jones
278. jamesedjones
274 CSanders

I'm not sure that was a Secret Word. At about the time that you posted, I actually received a Shout from johnson20 (I think) asking for my info in order to split an African fortune that is tied up in foreign financial institutions. True Story. LMAO. You might want to run an antivirus on your PC.
279. elenilote
Heelllooo... my first post - I'm too lazy normally to bother!
But thought to complete the survey, at least I can say I have participated.

Female, 34
married, no kids
London, UK

I started reading WOT sometime...'93 or so - have completed half a dozen re-reads in my time.

I would like to be a Brown, should I have to choose. Or maybe a Green... :D
Brett Michie
280. bchurch
Just checked out the cover art mentioned above by JennB @ 276 . . It's ok, but I'm no so sure that's supposed to be Aviendha, given the lack of Aiel garb. But, then again, DKS' interpretation has always been a little "loose" . . .
Jane Smyth
281. Kaboom
I also looked at it, and she does have the bulky brown skirt. Although the blouse is supposed to be white. On the cover there is more blue than white
Sara H
283. LadyBelaine
On Compulsion
Forsaken and Blacks use a weave specifically for Compelling others. This was the type used on Juilin, Morgase and later, Liandrin. Standard Aes Sedai ban the use of the weave for Compulsion but as usual work around this stricture by forcing obedience thru the bond on their Warders. This is what Alanna tried, and spectacularly failed to do with Rand. Other Aes Sedai usually refer to it in other terms, Kiruna, for example, referred to it as "bringing him to heel", IIRC though, at least one has referred to it as Compulsion/Compelling.

That's not quite right.

The warder bond has built in the ability for the Aes Sedai to compel her warder, but it is considered a gross ethical violation to actually make use of that aspect.

When Kiruna chides Alanna, she basically says that she should have just compelled Rand, since she's already thrown ethicality out the window by bonding him against his will anyway. Then Alanna gets all wierd and tells her that she tried, but it didn't work on him because he was channeling.

Also, Myrelle and Nisao have to take pains to hide the way that Myrelle is treating Lan, because she's 'compelling' him to come to her.
Antoni Ivanov
284. tonka

For Semirhage : No , I am proposing nothing of that sort.I just felt like mentioning who are with Rand.I may have mentioned Sandomere(sp?) and his Aes Sedai ,Ayako , Toveine and Gabriele (Logain's Aes Sedai) but I mentioned these that I thought as important.I don't make any speculation what role Semirhage will play in the final books.I have many guesses and any less likely than the other.

As for Gawyn.I disagree.The Guards didn't have idea that whoever they are letting out was Siuan.I hope that you don't even for a second imagine that if they knew that this was the just deposed Amyrlin they would have let her go , Gawyn or not.I don't think that any of the Aes Sedai knew how she looks like after the ... err transformation (no one recognised Leane later when she "went back" in the Tower). Even investigation would not have yield results.I bet that Siuan were not the only one who left per orders of someone of the Heights :)
Hugh Arai
285. HArai
tonka@284: Investigation could have yielded that a group was let out under Gawyn's authority. Who knows if the makeup of groups leaving was being recorded, however. Gawyn's pass didn't specify who the group was, IIRC, because that's how Siuan snuck Logain out.
286. Latecomer
Funny thing - I am actually, and have been for a while, a member of the community. However I foolishly used my firstname lastname as my username. After Tamrylin pointed out the privacy loopholes to the young man who has since left, I was so pleased I had never posted with my 'actual' username as I am the only person in the world with my name.

So unless I can figure out how to change my username for Tor, outsider 'Latecomer' I will be.

Hoping! - a thousand curses upon you for raising crazy happy hopes in me just to smash 'em :P

Finally - Its wednesday wednesday where I am! Can't hardly wait...
Roger Powell
287. forkroot
tonka@284 (and HArai@285)
Hmmm, good points. I had forgotten about the changed appearances. OK, you've changed my mind. Although the clues might be pieced together, it's easy to believe that Elaida didn't do enough investigation to figure out that Gawyn had some responsibility for Siuan's getaway.

If she had been aware of it, RJ might well have mentioned it in one of her later POVs.
Hugh Arai
288. HArai
forkroot@287: Elaida's POVs are what make me believe she doesn't know, whether anyone else in the Tower does or not. Elaida is apparently the sort that quietly arranges for you to be eliminated _when you did what she wanted_. If you do something like letting Siuan go, enraged demands for bloody veangeance seem more her thing. Since it has been the former and not the later for Gawyn...
289. Freelancer
HArai@288 has it on the nose. Elaida's general disposition toward Gawyn since sometime prior to Dumai's Wells has been somewhat indifferent, though she gives instructions to set him and his Younglings up for an accident. Knowing that Gawyn aided "that woman" would have gotten him his own personal Aes Sedai posse, and that Butch hasn't got a Sundance.

Regarding Gawyn being Compelled to his actions in the Tower coup, a few brief thoughts. First and foremost, if he were Compelled there ought to have been some hint to that effect by now. Instead all we are offered is remarkably odd behavior. It's totally valid to question why Gawyn would attack his instructors, but without added information there is no way to form a conclusion more solid than subjective presumption. To argue that Gawyn's actions were not normal for him doesn't really help much, as there had never been an open and bloody sister-on-sister battle inside the Tower before, a completely abnormal event, to which it's not so hard to imagine people acting outside of their norm.

It's likely we'll never know, and if we never know, that to me is as good as written that there's nothing else to report about the event.
290. alreadymadwithcompelling
LadyBelaine @283
So Kiruna said Alanna should have brought Rand to heel. What she meant was that Alanna should have Compelled him with the bond. Semantics.

Aes Sedai don't really think much of "forcing obedience" on Warders. It is part and parcel of the Warder bond. Moiraine threatened Lan several times with it, sometimes for no better reason than to shut him up. I don't recall any references to Aes Sedai considering it unethical. IIRC they believe it is perfectly ok to force an itinerant Warder like that.

As for Myrelle and Nisao hiding Lan, they hid him because the manner in which Myrelle acquired him was almost as bad as bonding him against his will. None of this stuff about compelling him to come to her. Aes Sedai summon their Warders over long distances all the time. Lan himself did not mention anything wrong about Myrelle summoning him over such a distance. Only that the bond was passed without his approval.
Richard Fife
291. R.Fife
One thought on why Gawyn might support Elaida and her not-quite-kosher coup. He is given the following options:

1) Sit and do nothing
2) Support the current Amyrilin and his instructors
3) Support Elaida.

Gawyn has a fairly pro-active attitude, at least how I read him, so I don't think he'd do Option One. He grew up around Aes Sedai and Nobles and Royalty, so a meddlers attitude is probably in him.

The current Amyrilin, as he sees it, doesn't care two licks for Elayne's safety, and seems to even be encouraging Elyane's self-destructive attitude that Gawyn feels is his duty to curb. As to the instructors, yes, they are his teachers, but they are still warders and steeped in Aes Sedai politics, so they aren't exactly proper moral compasses.

So, Elaida. She has the letter (if not spirit) of law on her side, and while Gawyn is not Galad-like, we do know that he looks up to Galad in many ways (from the convo between SuperGals over why Gawyn was not courting Egwene while Galad was). So while yes he may be willing to break the rules for what he views as "minor things", I think he'd be pretty stringent to the law over major things, like lawful removal of a ruler.

Also, there is his relationship with Elaida. OK, yes, we know he doesn't like her, but he still knows her better than any other Aes Sedai in the tower, and if it is one thing he is probably sure of, it is that Elaida wants Elayne to be kept as safe as a caged bird, something Gawyn is probably wanting himself due to his oaths and recent absence of his sister in the jaws of danger. So, yeah, I can see him wanting to support Elaida.

Now, why did he let Siuan go? Because she really wasn't a threat anymore. Elaida had the power, and Siuan had no hope of getting it back since she was stilled. Therefore, he thought (and I'd like to say quite wrongly) that she no longer posed a threat to his sister, so she was now a "minor thing" not a "major thing".

So yeah, that's my Andoran mark's worth.
292. alreadymadwithmadgawyn
R.Fife @291
There's also the fact that Min asked for his help. Never discount a girl's request for help.

Aside from that, Siuan also happened to be his only lead to where his sister is. And if Siuan stayed there, she was likely to get executed. So long as she stayed alive, he still had a hope of questioning her for Elayne's whereabouts.
William Fettes
293. Wolfmage
I don't think Gawyn's actions during the coup raise compulsion, so much as they just highlight the first solid glimpse of his paucity of judgement. We're not seeing a separation between some kind of established unimpeachability about his character; at this stage, we simply aren't sufficiently exposed to him to render such a conclusion, especially in the context of stress and facing uncertainties and intrigues involving his charge. So, it's not immediately obvious why we must think of the coup as an isolated aberration which is so out of character to invite consideration of compulsion. What I think happens is that you either rationalise his abhorrent behaviour or you realise that the impression formed by the reader in the Caemlyn Royal Palace is grossly incomplete.

R.Fife@291 does a good job of parsing the flimsy reasons he may likely subjectively see in doing it, but I imagine it remains unsatisfactory to many/most - myself included. It turns out no less sophisticated a moral calculus than latching on to what is the familiar devil-you-know and carrying over the spite and insecurity you feel about Siuan unknown scheme involving Elayne and Egwene. The rule of law indeed!

I mean, Bryne can't even charitably *imagine* that Elaida would be a good Amyrlin - yet Gawyn is so convinced and committed to backing the wrong horse here that he rises up and kills his instructors in a fit of vigilante pique.
James Jones
294. jamesedjones
289 Freelancer

I need some help here. IIRC Suian shared info with Egwene about Tower revolts from the secret histories. I could have sworn there were like 2 or 3 of 'em. Am I just thinking of battles that reached the island? Anyone?

286 Latecomer

I hear ya'! LOL
295. alreadymadwithinsanegawyn
Let's face it, for most of his life, Gawyn's decision making ability has been overshadowed by several competing factors.
A)A mother strong enough to rule a nation.
B)A stubborn sister eager to get into trouble.
C)An upstanding older brother who never does wrong.
D)A Captain-General who is one of the best military commanders of his time.
Gawyn has always followed the lead of one or the other of these. In their absence he was bound to screw up royally.

jamesedjones @294
Armies somehow forcing their way into Tar Valon is a separate category from discontented sisters in the tower erupting into open revolt. I don't have the actual figures for either one, though.
craig thrift
296. gagecreedlives
According to Siuan there has been 6 mutinies all involving the resignation of the Amrylin and the entire hall at the end. But I dont think there is info to suggest any of those led into sisters actually battling sisters on the grounds of the White Tower or even something as close to the schism we are seeing now.

But then again the Tower was plundered during the Trolloc wars and one of the false dragons supporters got to the tower too for a rescue mission. I forget which one. So anything is possible.
Sara H
297. LadyBelaine

So Kiruna said Alanna should have brought Rand to heel. What she meant was that Alanna should have Compelled him with the bond. Semantics.

Aes Sedai don't really think much of "forcing obedience" on Warders. It is part and parcel of the Warder bond. Moiraine threatened Lan several times with it, sometimes for no better reason than to shut him up. I don't recall any references to Aes Sedai considering it unethical. IIRC they believe it is perfectly ok to force an itinerant Warder like that.

It's not semantics, it actually changes the point. Moreover, just because you can't recall something doesn't mean it doesn't exist and because you think something, that makes it true. The books are stuffed with references to the fact that they a) are opposed to taking a warder involuntarily and b) are loathe to actually Compulse(sic) their warders, i.e. use the obedience plug-in and c) consider both to be 'dirty pool.'

"If you had to bond a man without asking him, why, by the Light most Holy, have you not used the bond to bend him to your will? Compared to the other, that is only slapping his wrist."

That's the simplest quote I could find; LoC, Chapter 49, The Mirror of the Mists)

The whole passing of the bond is "compelling obedience" - he was forced to seek out Myrelle, involuntarily and without his consent.

"When you feel my death, you will find yourself Compelled to seek her out immediately."

"Compelled. Never once have you used my bond to compel me. I thought you more than disapproved of that."

tGH, Chaper 22, Watchers

The Aes Sedai would consider that a big no-no. Hence, the subterfuge.

FWIW, you could try being a little a more polite.
Sara H
298. LadyBelaine
Here we see Nisao telling Myrelle that what she has done (taking a passed bond and compelling him to come to her) will cause her condemnation enough to drive them both into exile, if it is discovered. (LoC, Chapter 52, Weaves of the Power)

While I am on the topic, here is Egwene discussing with Myrelle and Nisao, about how custooms have changed, and passing a bond from one sister another against the wishes of the warder is considered tantamount "to rape." (CoS, Chapter 12, A Morning of Victory)
Jay Dauro
299. J.Dauro
AMW @259
Based on Forsaken POV's it is possible to resist being Compelled. The easiest way is to hold the Power. Holding the Power does provide some measure of protection against garden variety weaves of Compulsion. This is the easiest explanation for why Alanna was unable to "force"(okay, Compel) Rand through the bond. Rand was holding the Power, more of it than even Alanna and Verin linked together could hold.

However, if Rand's immunity was solely based on actively holding the power, I do not believe Alanna would have restrained herself when he was not.

But in the FAQ discussion, they do seem to agree with you.

And in support of it being frowned upon, if it were not, I would expect Rina to have compelled/forced Elyas to return to her.
300. Valan
AMW @ 295
Totally agree.

For the survey. (I think I've answered some of them but not sure which)

Age: 23
WoT Age: 10
Education: 2 yrs of college/ AoA degree
Occupation: MHA for Lockheed Martin / Musician (lead guitar for Get Well if your in the area)
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Single/ No kids (thank God)
Ajah: If I had to pick - Blue.
I'd rather be out doing my own thing than dragging Kings by the heels, hating the opposite sex, or claiming to be the Battle Ajah and not participating in battles.
And I F-ing hate historical research. Fiction is my game. The Yellow only knows one bloody weave (or did) and Whites... well I can't bash them philosophy rocks.
(previously said whatever Asmodean was before the WoP)

I picked up the Eye of the World in 6th grade, and I can proudly say I have successfully introduced 6 people to it, and strongly encourage others to do so who have failed in the past. Live WoT discussions rock. Just rip off the cover of tEotW and tell them its better than the DaVinci Code ;)

And I just re-read the chapter in KoD where Rand loses his hand. Then he kinda gets back up and casually comments he'll have to re-learn the sword. What a badass.

But I do speculate that if Min hadn't had that rock hard confindence, Randland would have been screwed.

Go Min! (all you Min-haters) :)
301. Tenesmus
Looney Theory #66 to reconcile Min's veiwings:

Fact 1. Lot's of foreshadowing about "healing death"
Fact 2. Osangar, Arangar, Cyndane have all gotten "new" bodies
Fact 3. Alivia will help Rand die
Fact 4. Logain will attain a great glory
Fact 5. Rand's body has been repeatedly beat and broken
Fact 6. Rand has LTT in his head, and sometimes LTT takes control
Looney Theory: Don't know how it will be set up, but my theory is that Rand will takeover Logain's Body. Logain will willingly give himself up, Alivia will kill Rand, and Nynaeve will capture Rand's soul and put it in Logain's body.

Pretty Looney, huh?

Comments please...
302. Valan

Pretty loony. :)

My main problem with it is that there's really no reason for Logain to give up his body for Rand, if Rand can die and still save the world. Plus they don't exactly like each other. Also, if this is to be the cause of Logain's glory, I think his doom would have been foretold as well.

But there is certainly grounds for the soul moving, loony or not, due to the end of tDR. As i recall Ishamael nearly tears Rand's soul away from his body.
303. Freelancer

gagecreedlives has it @296. There have been revolts, but nothing about open melee combat between sisters within the Tower walls. Intrigue, political (and possibly an occasional warder-aided physical) back-stabbing, and the like, but not warfare in the hallways.

Hmmm, anything else interesting to discuss? ::scratch::

How 'bout them Dodgers?
craig thrift
304. gagecreedlives
Thank you Freelancer

But of course I was right. Its like Ive always said "When in doubt listen to undead toddler with a scalpel."

Its just common sense :)

Dunno about the Dodgers but I fully expect the Maroons to get up tonight.
Antoni Ivanov
305. tonka

Moiraine never used the bond that way. That I am 100% sure. There were quote about that. Moiraine never forced Lan to do anything before she died. Only in the end she gave his bond to Myrelle.
Hugh Arai
306. HArai
Freelancer@289: I think you're correct, without more information we won't know why Gawyn made the choices he did. It may be pure spite as Wolfmage believes, it may be any number of other reasons.
I think we may learn more though when he next encounters Egwene or Elayne.
Andrew Lovsness
307. drewlovs
213. Wes S. re: Seanchan using airbourne elements to attack the White Tower;

I find your theory extremely interesting; whats more, the way you have pulled your info from the book(s) adds to the credibility. It's always nice to see great ideas I have never seen, read or thought of about the books I love.

It also answers the biggest Tar Valon question I had, in that how the Seanchan were going to hit the white tower as Egwene fortold. It makes sense.

248. PeteP re: Gawyn and Compulsion

Wow. Your detail on Gawyn is all full of awesomeness. I read the newsgroups, as well as WOTFAQ in all its glory, but this is the first time I have even seen the theory of compulsion on Gawyn. Now, that doesn't mean it is there; it just means I haven't seen it... hee-hee. And you have completely sold me, as it makes perfect sense, and explains why a character I liked so much went soooo wrong. Yet another great "new-to-me" theory.

As for thosee that find it unsatisfactory: what if the BA was almost completely behind the tower coup? Before you point out Elaida's paranoia and being the main power player behind the coup, think about this: do you really think she is the first power player to think the A.Seat is "up to somthing"? I would think that it would be comonplace all through out the Tower's history of dirty politics that these feelings are prevelent.

One step further, how could the BA not use a crowned prince (with a sister in the heart of the political storm, so to speak) to its advantage? Just a little compulsion to tickle his brain, adding to the confusion of the day's events... why WOULDN'T they do it?

Fife had some interesting takes on the situation, but I think, in my opinion, the ONLY thing Gawyn and Elaida have in common is the desire to kee Elayne safe. Further, I also think that if you were to ask Gawyn if he and Elaida think the same way as to what to do with his sister, he would answer a definitive "no".

The problem is, we really don't know how much he trusts Elaida during the time in question. If we did, we would be able to have a better idea of why he fought his own trainers. I just can't believe, from what I've read, that Gawyn would be willing to kill based on anything Elaida said; ater all, this was the fist time he has taken another human being's life. To do this based on loyalty to Elaida is a big stretch for me; even Morgase, when the compulsion she was under wore off, felt it was not as big a deal as she let on (the "tower's decision" to keep Morgase in the dark in regards to Elayne).

Re: the Warder's bond

As for the compelling between AS and male channeler warders, I think we are looking at a new breed. If the warder bond is similar to linking (and I know it isn't the same thing, but it might be similar), then it makes sense that the non channeling warder is at a huge disadvantage in the union, where a channeler is on equal footing. That's how I always imagined it to be, in regards to why Rand could not be "brought to heel". He is the first apple in the barrel of oranges the AS have dealt with.
Andrew Lovsness
308. drewlovs
Oh, and for the poll on Ajahs:

I would definitely be a Blue. I do no like being in charge, but I have always been a number 2 guy. No, not that number 2!!

I work well with Type As, and they generally get along with me; further, many As have leaned on me for advice, knowing that I would never try to steal their thunder when it works out well.

There is a dirty side of the Blue Ajah, and I make no comment in regards to that. I'm dealing strictly with the positive side of the relationship; I have no desire to "pull strings".
Antoni Ivanov
309. tonka
That the Black Ajah is behind the coup is clear even for a dim-witted goat from Selesin.

I like Gawyn and it seems very hard to accept that he is being so stupid. But imagine being in his situation his sister he was sworn to protect is gone and he has no idea where she is. The woman he is falling in love is gone too. He is worried and he wants to do something, he wants to bite, to cry just do something. Almost everyone has had a situation in his life where he is so worried and nervous that he wants to do something even if it is stupid.

And for his insistence that Morgase was killed by Rand. Well he believes the rumours as most people do.
Jon Severinsson
310. jonno
subwoofer @ 220
Good to see we have an international crowd chiming in. Lucky there is no one from Sweden. They'd have much explaining to do for Ikea furniture.

Time for me to chime in on the census:
Male, 24 years old, living in Linköping, Sweden.
Have read WoT since 2001, first time in Swedish translation, but vowed in 2003 never to read a fantasy book translated to Swedish again , and has since re-read it at least 10 times in English, and I'm currently on my second listen-through, which I try to do in time for the posts, though I'm currently a few chapters behind.
If I were an Aes Sedai I would definitively be blue ajah.

As for Ikea furnituring, I love it. It's cheap and functional. Reasonable quality too, though not perfect. Yes, it looks like crap half of the time, but at a cost of one tenth of the competition you can't get everything...

*** Rant mode on ***

: This was after finding out that the same translator translated "the dark brethren of the elves" in another book to "de onda alfernas bröder", literally "the brothers of the evil elves", instead of "de mörka fränderna till alverna" (which would be the proper translation). The mix-up of which people was evil really confused the hell out of me for a while...

Note that in addition to that mix-up there are two additional glaring mistranslations in that same small extract. Those I did pick up quickly, but they still made the whole thing more cumbersome to read. Firstly she had mixed up the words "brothers" and brethren", which are similar in English, but the translations of which are not at all close in Swedish. The only reason I cached this was because I happened to know the proper meaning of some obscure English words like "brethren", and that I'm good enough in English to reverse-engineer the mistranslation on-the-fly, something most people can't do.

And then there is the mistranslation of "elves". You see, in Swedish an "alf" (plural "alfer") and an "alv" (plural "alver") are two distinct creatures, both translated to "elf" (plural "elves") in English. An "alf" is the mythological creatures that was one source of inspiration to J.R.R. Tolkien, while an "alv" is a Tolkienesk elf. Anyone who had read Tolkien and knew a bit about mythology could pick up on that mistake quite easily (which leaves me with the conclusion that neither the translator nor her editors had). However, nowadays there are unfortunately more people that know of "alfer" from Harry Potter than know about "alver" from Lord of the Rings, so mixing them up can easily make for the wrong associations in the mind of the reader...

*** Rant mode off ***

Well, enough ranting about translations. Sufficient to say is that while three glaring errors in less than a sentence is worse than average, translations of fantasy literature to Swedish isn't quite up to my standards...
Kurt Lorey
311. Shimrod
Ooooo. Can I rant back, jonno?

Grand Rapids, Michigan. There are some (otherwise fine) fellows in Sweden who consistently hold to the idea that it is Great Rapids, Michigan, not Grand.

What do Swedish atlases say about that exactly, anyway?
John Massey
312. subwoofer
Aha! @Jonno- soooooooo is Ikea Swedish for particle board? Don't mind it except for the instructions that they manage to fit on the back of a pack of matches and the wee little tool that makes user a tool. Maybe it is so you can't kill yourself with it after hours of trying to put stuff together. And they seem to skip important steps. And some of the parts are poorly ....


Sorry- was ranting myself. Wife loves the stuff, and we have the mother of all stores where you have to get food and water half way through so you can fortify yourself for the rest of the epic trek out of Sweden. Um... if you read any of my past posts, some of the time I am trying to lighten the mood of the threads.. ;)

As for Gawyn.... Young Princeling... Gimli had something to say about them. Have to go with AMW as far as some of the motivating factors in his life. Every young person who leads a sheltered life and then has to learn to walk on their own has to make some mistakes... Galad joins the WC. Now he redeems himself after seeming to be a doof and turns the thing around.

Elayne gets taken down a peg or two and is not the "it" girl that she thinks she is. Egwene is set up as cannon fodder for the SAS and now look at her and her coolness. Mat bumbles around for a time and now he is one of the coolest characters in the book( Bela's got post one for me). Gawyn can't carry his brain in his scabbard forever. When he sees that Eg is the new Amrylin, he has to come around so he can play patty cake with her in a field of flowers again.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

-Anybody else seen UP? Good times!
John Massey
313. subwoofer
And at some point Rand is going to have to meet the new Empress to be, Tuon. Will be interesting to see if she accepts him as the Dragon, or tries to kill him because he is a man who channels.

-Go Bela!
Kurt Lorey
314. Shimrod
@312 subwoofer.

Considering your screen name and your interest in a certain character in Up!, forthwith I will now visually associate that character's image with you every time you post. lol

You - don't - love - IKEA - ?!?

I've been following a blog where a couple is self-building their dream home. Guess where their internal cabinetry is coming from? Yep, IKEA. And, the closest IKEA to their hometown is just under two hours away. Road trip!

Takes about as long to get to the store as it does to get around inside the store.
Michael Catapano
315. hoping
Re Gawyn
Great discussion all
I'm in the non-compulsion camp.
I think Gawyn is just a young lad who feels angry and betrayed and has made some bad deductions and decisions. I think it would be a lame literary device to tell us ten books later that all of Gawyns' mistakes were not his fault. Don't think that RJ would do that without giving us more clues.

Latecomer@286 and dustrider@242

Hoping! - a thousand curses upon you for raising crazy happy hopes in me just to smash 'em :P

Definitely was a thing of the shadow but no man can walk so long in the dark that he can't come back into the light.
Or something like that. Always hope.

I've often wondered how much of RJ's nuances and shades of meaning are lost in translation. Thanks.
Sam Mickel
316. Samadai
Just reserved a room for next years Jordancon.

Sorry but had to gloat just a little.please dont hurt me
Tess Laird
317. thewindrose
Samadai - Please refer to hoping post 240 reason #7;)

Actually - good for you! I hope you have a wonderful time - there will be a new book to talk about! Yay!
James Jones
318. jamesedjones
315 Hoping

Definitely was a thing of the shadow but no man can walk so long in the dark that he can't come back into the light.
Or something like that. Always hope.

Take some sunscreen with you. I'm just gonna enjoy the shade.

Go Light!
Sam Mickel
319. Samadai
Sorry no rickrolls for me. It is probably just me but I did not like that series. I could not get past the first book and I will and do read anything.
320. Aye Aye Sedai
Re Black Ajah and Compulsion - Doesn't Mogehedian show that the Black Ajah don't really know Compulsion - they just had the faintest version of it that worked well on Julian but not so well on a Channeler.

My 2 cents
321. johncmann
Has anyone else noticed the differences on the website? Leigh's name is no longer on the Re-Read Index page as the author. It is now Management Services. Also, her name is no longer on the list of people who blog on the main page.

In addition, she said in her last post on Sunday that "due to circumstances beyond my control" there would be no post this past Monday.

I don't like how this looks. Not one bit.
322. johncmann
I stand corrected on the "people who blog" list. She is listed there. Hmmm. Hopefully it's nothing. That Management Services thing still makes me nervous.
Hugh Arai
323. HArai
I suspect the Management Services thing is just an indication someone other than Leigh is doing the actual index updates. The LotR re-read and Trek re-watch indexes are also Management Services as of this post. It would be a shame if Leigh couldn't continue but I don't think you need to be worried just yet.
Marcus W
324. toryx
On Gawyn and Compulsion:

I don't buy it. I've already posted at length my thoughts that not only were Gawyn's actions appropriate for his character but reasonable ones for him to make given what we know about him. I do think he made the wrong choice and I remember being very angry with him the first few times I read about his siding with Elaida but then, as a reader I know a lot more than Gawyn does.

He didn't need to be Compelled to do what to him, I'm sure, was the only logical choice in the heat of the moment. In this case, Compulsion is just a red herring.
Pablo Defendini
325. pablodefendini
Your tin-foil hat is on too tight, dude. Leigh took a day off because she needed it—people are entitled to time off to deal with real life sometimes. She asked, and I had no problem with it, as Leigh's always set her own schedule for these posts.

The WoT index page (as well as all of our other index pages) has always been authored by Management Services, which is our catch-all account for when we don't necessarily want to ascribe one of our voices to something.
326. alreadymadwithgreenwarder
LadyBelaine @297
Aes Sedai generally mince words when they are uncomfortable with facing an issue head on. Moiraine calls it Compulsion straight out, which clues us in on her stand about it, but the fact that she disapproves of it does not automatically mean others do. Greens have more Warders and I would not be surprised if they have resorted to this a few times. They also call it by a variety of terms, implying they might consider it permissible in some circumstances.

Moiraine's statement about Myrelle Compelling Lan once the bond passes does not give any clue as to how the Aes Sedai as a whole thinks on Compelling through the Warder Bond. Only that Moiraine would not use it, but Myrelle would, immediately. Alanna, as another example, tried it almost as soon as she had bonded Rand. Kiruna suggested it without a second thought. What does this tell us about Greens' attitude about it?

Also, when was I ever rude?

J.Dauro @299
We have no information, unfortunately on why Rina has not summoned Elyas through the bond. I expect she eventually will, as TG approaches. Elyas for his part, has never expressed the opinion that she would never do that, and even seems to expect her to do it, eventually.

tonka @305
I never suggested that Moiraine used it on Lan. Only that she threatened Lan with using it. Particularly when she could not stand Lan's teasing.

drewlovs @307
Much of what we are shown also points to your theory about channeling Warders being correct. That they cannot be forced easily because their channeling ability alone provides protection even without holding the Power. Personally, I think it's just that they're stronger in the Power than their Aes Sedai, that's why the sisters can't use the Power to compel them through the Bond.
327. Miythrandir
Fiddler @ 65

Re: Sheriam, I've been very very intrigued with Sheriam & the mystery surrounding her. Your comment reminded me of that. Check out for some more info on the topic.

I agree that the 13 + 13 trick will be used sometime in the series. My suspicion is that Davram Bashere will get it due to Min's viewing of him.

I personally find it challenging to believe that Sheriam is a darkfriend due to her reaction in the torturing later on...I can't explain the gray men incidents in the Tower though...Maybe she just wanted to keep newbs away from dangerous stuff/info.

Another reason why I don't think Sheriam got the 13 + 13 treatment is because a quote RJ gave on explaining the process. I don't have the direct reference or quote, but I remember reading it that the turning to the dark side is pretty absolute - no gray area to wiggle around in.
Marcus W
328. toryx
Miythrandir @ 327:

I agree that the 13 + 13 trick will be used sometime in the series. My suspicion is that Davram Bashere will get it due to Min's viewing of him.

I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that only people who can channel can be switched over to the Shadow using the 13 x 13. Isn't that what Sheriam said in the beginning? Something about there being a vulnerability from being able to channel?

That being the case, Bashere couldn't be forced to switch sides like that.
John Massey
329. subwoofer
@AMW326- must of been your stunt double.
James Jones
330. jamesedjones
328 & 327

Absolutely. It comes from Sheriam during Egwene's test for accepted in TDR. Anyone who cannot channel is immune to the 13 + 13 technique.
Sydo Zandstra
331. Fiddler
Miythrandir @ 327: (Sheriam being Black)

Thanks for the pointer, but I have the FAQ bookmarked.

It was one of the many interesting discussions back on rasfw-rj. :)

As for the argument about conversion to the DO's side is total, there are a few examples where (lesser) DF's get reminded by BA sisters (Liandrin's team) that they cannot shun their oaths to the DO forever.

Halima may have preferred not to approach Sheriam because she wanted to keep a low(er) profile on a regular basis. Delana had more possibility for private talk, while Sheriam had others around all the time, due to her station as Keeper that kept her openly busy more.

BTW, I'm in the camp that says Halima was beating up Sheriam in her tent.
Kurt Lorey
332. Shimrod
Who says Bashere has to be "turned"?
334. Miythrandir
Touche :) I stand corrected on the Bashere 13 + 13 theory. Makes me wonder why Min's viewing is so dismal for Bashere. Guess he might be killed in the Last Battle or something.

No question on generic dark friends/black ajah gray area. Like you pointed out - there's definitely wiggle room for them. The RJ quote was specifically referencing the 13+13 trick.
Pete Pratt
335. PeteP
It is really nice to know now, as opposed to after tSR, that the BA and the Forsaken really did have a predominate role in the Coup. I really only threw out the Gawyn/Compulsion issue because it still bothers me, one of many nagging issues that have remained until know. I am so glad that KoD advanced the plot and resolved so many issues, so I have hope the some of the remaining questions will resolve.

Ishy/Moridin has obviously manipulated both sides of the board just like his game with the Fisher. But the real question is why? Is it just "let the Lord of Chaos rule"? Or is there some deeper plan? I have a nagging suspicion that Ishy needs Rand to fulfill certain things and make certain actions in order to set up the freeing of the DO. Mat and Perrin do not fit into that, which is why Moridin ordered their execution in KoD. Mat and Perrin may be more important than any other characters in the WoT, even Rand, as odd as that sounds. They serve as a disruptive force to Ishy's plans -- not like the Fisher that Moridin thinks he controls.

Just a little thought...
Julian Augustus
336. Alisonwonderland
I've been following this re-read for a few weeks now whenever I could, and only now caught up with the latest edition, so howdy, folks.

Wetlander's survey:
55 years, male, started reading WoT in 1995 when the whole family was moving and I needed something to read at the airport and was attracted by the cover of tEotW. Since then read the books so many times there was a period from 1998-2000 when I read almost nothing else. I even created a web page that I called, with only a slight exaggeration, the best WoT theory page on the net. My ardor cooled somewhat with the later books (tPoD was the nadir for me). But I remember shedding a tear when my son called me with the news that the Creator had passed on. When I read Brandon Sanderson's blog and became pretty certain the series would be finished at last, I started my re-read again from the beginning and also found Leigh's re-read project, this site. So there.

PhD in economics with master and bachelor degrees in engineering, married 29 years to the same wonderful woman, three kids, two of whom are as WoT obsessed as I am, no grandkids yet. Anything else? Oh yes, member of the Logain faction in the BT.
ori rosen
337. NightWolf
Bah, no one will probably read this, but here goes for the statistics -

Age: 27
Edu: CS undergrad student
Location: Haifa, Israel
WoT history: picked up the first book in my local bookstore around '97. The picture on the cover looked nice, and i had just finished reading yet another dragonlance book, and decided that i've had it with that. I got hooked on by page 100 or so, and has been ever since trying to convince people to read it (with no success).
I was amazed to discover on the internet the WOT FAQ with all the details i missed.
To be honest, I really loved the first five books, but i almost gave up on reading the newer books. I kept praying all SG spontanously combusted on every page i turned...

BUT, i'm still here, so i guess i'll stick with it to the end.

Fondest WOT memory - reading TFoH during guard duty in the army.
Worst WOT memory - getting caught reading TFoH during guard duty in the army
Kurt Lorey
338. Shimrod
OK Nightwolf, I read it.

I hope that you peeled potatoes for weeks on end for reading on guard duty. (Bet you thought we'd be a bit more sympathetic, eh?) ;)
Eugenie Delaney
340. EmpressMaude

"Moiraine's statement about Myrelle Compelling Lan once the bond passes does not give any clue as to how the Aes Sedai as a whole thinks on Compelling through the Warder Bond. Only that Moiraine would not use it, but Myrelle would, immediately".

Yeah, but this misses the point.

Myrelle would because of the extraordinary nature of what happened - she is compelling him because she also has broken several canons of ethics in accepting his bond and agreeing to pass it on again, all against his knowledge, and in trying to do it in secret.

"Alanna, as another example, tried it almost as soon as she had bonded Rand. Kiruna suggested it without a second thought. What does this tell us about Greens' attitude about it? "

I think it tells us a lot about your reading biases.

Another example of you missing the context to make a cheap, easy and incorrect assessment.

We know that the Aes Sedai consider involuntary bonding a morally gross act, but Alanna, who was noted as being unstable as hell since her warder was killed, dos it anyway, because it was the Dragon Reborn. Her actions were partly unguided by her instability and partially due to the unprecedented situation.

What Kiruna was saying is, "Jeeze, Alanna, if you are going to violate him that way, why would you even bother not violating him further?! One is so much worse!"

How you can possibly construe those examples to indicate a level of Green Ajah permissiveness and tolerance of compulsion one's warder is beyond me.
341. faculty guy
Coming in really late, but just found this re-read a few weeks ago and am enjoying a quick re-cap in between re-reads. Here is a point I haven't seen made: linking Siuan's suggestion that the new rebel Amyrlin be someone one in the tower during the breaking, strong in the power, and her thought of sending a message (by way of Kiruna & Bera) to Moiraine: I think that it is MOIRAINE that Suian has in mind here as a candidate.

Obviously this becomes moot at the end of this book, and Egwene becomes a viable alternative in the next.
342. faculty guy
Edit: ". . .the new rebel Amyrlin be someone NOT in the tower during the breaking . . ."

Damn: need to proof read these things
Alice Arneson
343. Wetlandernw
faculty guy @342 - or register as a user, then you can go in and edit your comments instead. :)
344. demented4fun
Yes, I believe that Suian wanted Moiraine as Amyrlin,.. knowing she is with him already, for the sake of the world, and not specific to the tower.
345. Leopard in High Grass
I really enjoyed these chapters with Siuan and Bryne kicking arse. It's so much better to actually see them demonstrating their abilities instead of just having them talked up by other characters. Until Siuan gets to Saildar, we hear repeatedly that she is an excellent manipulator but all she does is get deposed by Elaida, hardly the sign of a clever leader. Once in Salidar though, we can see her in action pulling strings and see that she deserves her reputation. A lot of characters have big introductions but we never seem them accomplishing anything. *cough Julian*

Bryne is awesome all the time. He knows what to do and gets the job done. So refreshing in WoT!

Whilst thinking about characters reputations and their actions, Galad, on the other hand, is constantly slagged off by his sister (and we're supposed to dislike him because of this) but his actions show him as a likeable character. He defends his sister when Morgase wants to withdraw her from the Tower; he helps out his sister in Samara; he kills Eamon Valda; joins forces with Perrin and takes Berelain off Perrin's hands.
William McDaniel
346. willmcd
Re: the idea that getting into some mischief while "in school" bodes well for the future career advancement of an Aes Sedai (or officer, in real life), I recall that this was treated very well in one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Tapestry". Captain Picard, near death due to a failure of his artificial heart, has what may be a hallucination wherein he is able to see the consequences of changing his earlier actions.

Turns out Picard has an artificial heart because of a bar fight in his academy days, and he wishes he'd been less rash in his youth and walked away from the fight. Q gives him the chance to do so, and he returns to the present, alive and well, but working as an unremarkable sciences crewman on the Enterprise. The episode makes the point that getting into mischief is sometimes what makes students stand out from their peers, and is evidence of independent thought, and will get students earmarked as future leaders.

One other note: in Ch27, when Siuan is standing before the "Salidar Six" council, it says this in the midst of one of Sheriam's statements: "The chairback behind her head was incongruously carved with what seemed to be a mass of snakes of fighting".

I read this as a deliberate hint that all isn't right with Sheriam (who of course we will find out in TGS is Black Ajah). Snakes haven't been especially associated with the Shadow up to this point (don't think the Forsaken chapter icon with the twisting snake has been introduced yet), but it's a rather disturbing, Medusa-like image that I would think RJ placed deliberately to make us vaguely unsettled about Sheriam.

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