Fri
Jun 26 2009 1:42pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 13

Good news, everyone! I’ve just invented a brand new Wheel of Time Re-read post!

Aaand now you’ll be hearing the rest of this entry in Professor Farnsworth’s voice, won’t you. WON’T YOU. Mwhahaha.

Ahem! Anyway. Today’s installment covers Chapters 32-33 of The Fires of Heaven, in which we encounter post-coital ambushes, acrimonious fashion disputes, and unexpected arts and crafts skills. Hooray!

Previous entries can be found here. Please note that this and all other posts contain spoilers for all currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, don’t read.

Which I think covers the basics, so happy Friday, and click the link for more!

Chapter 32: A Short Spear

What Happens
As they prepare to leave, Rand and Aviendha have a short argument over how to divide the blankets, which Rand loses, but he notes that she had not sounded angry or insulted him this time.

Maybe something good besides a memory had come out of this. She can’t really mean never again. He suspected that she meant exactly that, though.

He opens up the igloo, and they are both surprised to see it is daylight outside. Rand falls over pushing the block of ice out, and sees a huge lizard-like shape flying overhead, with two people on its back. They are clearly looking for something, and Rand ducks back inside and tells Aviendha to leave the blankets behind. They head out, and Rand sees an ocean off to the east, which along with the snow confirms that they are nowhere near the lands they know. Aviendha is having trouble plowing through the snow with her skirts, and Rand picks her up and carries her, which she allows rather grumpily. He heads back to the clearing with the gateway, and sees four women on horseback and twenty footsoldiers between him and the gateway. Two of the women are wearing silver bracelets connected to collars on two gray-clad women standing beside them; Rand sees that and the lacquered, insectlike armor of the officer beside them, and realizes where they must be.

“The two women on leashes can channel,” he whispered. “Can you block them?” Hurriedly he added, “Don’t embrace the Source yet. They’re prisoners, but they still might warn the others, and even if they don’t, the women with the bracelets might be able to feel them sense you.”

She looked at him oddly, but wasted no time on foolish questions such as how he knew; they would come later, he knew. “The women with the bracelets can channel also,” she replied just as softly. “It feels very strange, though. Weak. As if they had never practiced it. I cannot see how that can be.”

He asks if she can shield all four, and she answers smugly that Egwene has been teaching her to handle several flows at once. Then she frowns, saying that will leave the rest for him to handle, and glares at him and tells him that she knows little of Healing. Rand can’t figure out why she’s angry all of a sudden, but assures her he will take care of the rest. He seizes saidin and touches her arm, and they both channel at once. The Seanchan cry out in shock and struggle against their bonds as Rand grabs Aviendha and drags her through the snow toward the gateway. As he gets closer, he sees with dismay that it is showing a blank grayness instead of the inside of his room, and he sees that the grayness is woven of saidin. He knows it might be a trap, perhaps set by Asmodean, but they cannot stay here. He looks at the immobilized Seanchan, and sees that one of the other two women has a raven and tower embroidered on her cloak, while the other is clearly of the Blood. Rand doesn’t care about them, but wants to save the damane if he can.

He put a hand to the collar of the nearest, and felt a jolt that nearly numbed his arm; for an instant the Void shifted, and saidin raged through him like the snowstorm a thousand-fold. The damane’s short yellow hair flailed as she convulsed at his touch, screaming, and the sul’dam connected to her gasped, face going white. Both would have fallen if not held by bonds of Air.

Rand tells Aviendha to try it, and she does so, without success; the damane wails in terror, crying to her sul’dam to “save Seri” from the marath’damane, and the other sul’dam suddenly tells the noblewoman, Lady Morsa, that “it is he”, and Morsa looks at Rand with an expression of horrified recognition. Rand looks at her and guesses she was at Falme.

“I was.” The noblewoman looked faint, but her slow, slurring voice was coolly imperious. “I saw you, and what you did.”

“Take a care I don’t do the same here. Give me no trouble, and I will leave you in peace.”

The woman with the raven on her cloak, Jalindin, cuts in, remarking that there have been rumors that the Ever Victorious Army “tasted defeat” at Falme. Morsa answers scathingly that Seekers should know when to keep silent; the Empress herself has forbidden talk of the Corenne until she calls it again, and Morsa asks if Jalindin would like to be “tongueless in the Tower of Ravens” for speaking of it. Rand listens, wishing he understood what they were talking about, but at least it seemed that their invasion had been called off for the moment. He sees that the gateway is getting narrower, and tells Aviendha to hurry; she answers that she is trying.

“You nearly killed the other two, and maybe yourself. I could feel the Power rushing into both of them wildly when you touched the other collar. So leave me to it, and if I can do it, I will.”

Morsa listens to this carefully and then gazes speculatively at the sul’dam, but Jalindin is still on Falme, and tells Morsa that the Seekers must know all that has occurred. Morsa snaps back that she forgets herself, but Jalindin retorts that she has put two of the Empress’s own children to the question; does Morsa really think she is immune? Morsa goes gray and tries to backtrack, but Jalindin arrests Morsa and the sul’dam and damane too. All the women, including Morsa, look sick with fear, but none protest. Jalindin turns to Rand and promises him he will be treated well if he surrenders to her; he cannot think that he will escape. He laughs at her, and sees that the gateway is narrower still; he tells Aviendha to leave the damane, they have to go. They jump through together, Rand releasing the weave on the Seanchan to hold himself ready in case the gray was a trap. Nothing happens when they go through, but Rand sees Asmodean in the room and slams a shield on him. He turns back to the gateway and realizes the grayness is hiding it from ordinary sight.

Without pause he slashed his weave, and suddenly the gateway appeared, a rapidly narrowing view of Seanchan, the Lady Morsa slumped in her saddle, Jalindin shouting orders. A green-and-white tasseled spear lanced through the opening, just before it snapped shut. Instinctively, Rand channeled Air to snatch the suddenly wobbling two-foot length of spear.

He examines the polished end of the spear where the gateway had sliced it, and is very glad he hadn’t tried to slash the weave before they jumped through. He remarks that it is a good thing the sul’dam didn’t recover in time, and Aviendha sniffs, as if she would leave them free; she tied their shields tight.

“They are your enemies, Rand al’Thor. Even the ones you called damane are faithful dogs who would have killed you rather than be free. You must be hard with your enemies, not soft.”

She was right, he thought, hefting the spear. He had left enemies behind that he might well have to face one day. He had to become harder. Or else he would be ground to flour before he ever reached Shayol Ghul.

She then promptly accuses him of ogling Morsa, and Rand is boggled, but only replies that he should have taken Morsa with them for questioning. He stops her from asking anything else, indicating Asmodean, and she remarks instead that it was clever of him to hide the gateway the way he did, otherwise a gai’shain might have found it, and next thing would have been a thousand Maidens marching through it to look for him. Asmodean pipes up and says that a gai’shain did come, but he told her that Rand and “the young lady” did not wish to be disturbed, and that she took it oddly.

“She laughed out loud and went running off. A few minutes later, there must have been twenty Far Dareis Mai beneath the window, shouting and beating their spears on their bucklers for a good hour or more. I must say, my Lord Dragon, some of the suggestions they called up startled even me.”

Rand felt his cheeks burning — it had happened on the other side of the bloody world, and still the Maidens knew! — but Aviendha only narrowed her eyes.

Aviendha is convinced it was her first-sister Niella, and is determined to welt her from top to bottom, but Rand stops her and says he wants to talk with Natael, and would she mind sleeping elsewhere for the rest of the night. She yanks her arm from his and leaves, slamming the door, and he wonders why she’s angry about that when she had said nothing more would happen between them. He turns to Asmodean and asks coldly why he never mentioned this trick of making things invisible to Rand. Asmodean replies uneasily that it’s just a matter of bending light; Rand had never asked about it, but he must believe that Asmodean has thrown in with him completely.

Licking his lips, he got up. As far as his knees. And began to babble. “I felt your weave — anybody within a mile could have felt it — I never saw anything like it — I didn’t know that anyone but Demandred could block a gateway that was closing, and maybe Semirhage — and Lews Therin — I felt it, and came, and a hard time I had getting past those Maidens — I used the same trick — you must know I am your man now. My Lord Dragon, I am your man.”

Disgusted, Rand tells him to get up, but lays the point of the Seanchan spear along his neck and tells him from now on, Asmodean is to tell him about two things he doesn’t ask about for every one he does. Asmodean stammers acquiescence, and Rand begins another lesson right then.

Commentary
Yet another example of a chapter where the reveal (such as it is) is given away immediately by the icon, which I suspect is just to keep us all on our toes.

I could be wrong, but I think this just might be the first instance (in the 3rd Age) of a female channeler and male channeler working in concert together – I mean really working together, not just happening to be channeling at the same time. Considering that this is one of the central themes of the series, if I’m right about it being the first instance then it arrived with surprisingly little fanfare. I am divided in my own mind about whether this is a bad thing or not.

So Egwene never bothered to tell Aviendha about the Seanchan? I mean, if she didn’t want to talk about her time as a damane in Falme I understand, but the Seanchan in general never once came up? Huh.

Which leads me to further somewhat tangentially assume that no one has bothered to tell any of the Aiel about anything that happened at Falme, including Rand fighting Ba’alzamon in the sky. You’d think that would be the kind of thing someone would have brought up, but then again this is WOT, where no one tells anyone anything, so okay, I guess.

Some people seem to find the Seanchan fascinating, which I can understand, but personally I can’t bring myself to care about them too much; to me they’re basically a distraction from the real story in Randland proper. (So you can imagine my irritation when they reappeared in TPOD; yet another in a long list of reasons why that book is probably my least favorite of the series – yes, even beating out COT.)

The Jalindin/Morsa drama here left me rather cold, therefore. Yawn, don’t care. I’m also wondering what was the point of having Morsa get all suspicious about the sul’dams’ big secret, when evidently nothing came of it (probably because she ended up sans tongue in the Tower of Ravens. Fun!). I mean, I assume nothing came of it, since Tuon and everyone else in Corenne II: Electric Boogaloo seemed to have no clue about it as far as I can recall.

Aviendha had a sister there the whole time? Who knew? I also think this is pretty much the only time Niella is mentioned, ever. Guess they’re not close!

The Maidens: now, that’s just rude. I share their glee, to a certain extent, but I’m pretty sure Mad Passionate Sex is one sport that definitely does not require a cheering section.

I’m just... going to leave that line lying there. JUST FOR YOU. Here fishy fishy fishy...

Funny how everyone is telling Rand now that he has to be hard, when down the line they’ll be all, well Jeez, we didn’t mean like Wolverine’s knucklebones over here, dial it down, man! Decide what you want, WOT people! Sheesh.

Asmodean: I kind of love episodes like this, where Jordan reminds us that, while we have the advantage of being inside Rand’s head and therefore know that he’s secretly all squishy, to most of the other characters he is one goddamn scary dude, and getting more so as time goes on. This pleases my vicarious badass schadenfreude thingummy.


Chapter 33: A Question of Crimson

What Happens
Nynaeve curses herself for a fool as she stands in front of a board blindfolded while Thom throws knives at her. She tries to keep from yelping as each one thunks in, and decides she’s going to kill Thom and Valan Luca, and maybe every other man she can find on sheer principle. When it’s over, she whips off the blindfold and stalks toward Luca, intending to give him a piece of her mind, but he immediately starts in complimenting her “magnificent bravery” and rose-like beauty and etc., and Nynaeve is reduced to replying that she is no braver than she has to be. Thom looks amused, and Luca starts trying to convince her to wear “that dress” and she refuses flatly, thinking that she is not about to wear something that red – and that revealing – in public. He inquires tenderly about her black eye.

It was his bad luck to choose that. He would have done better to continue trying to stuff her into that red dress. “I did not like the way it looked at me in the mirror this morning, so I bit it.”

Her flat tone and bared teeth made Luca snatch his hand back. From the wary gleam in his dark eyes, he suspected she might bite again.

Thom is trying desperately not to laugh, and Nynaeve is sure that he’s going to tell Luca what really happened as soon as she leaves, men being incurable gossips. She stalks off after chastising Thom about the bad light, and only afterwards realizes that she had implicitly agreed to actually go through with the act in front of an audience. She grumbles imprecations at Luca and everyone, and thinks about Elayne’s report from Egwene. Elayne was disturbed that there were Andormen in Cairhien fighting, but Nynaeve is more concerned with the news that Rand was summarily hanging anyone he caught stealing, killing, or pillaging. She thinks he used to be such a gentle boy, and the Waste had definitely changed him for the worse. She moves on to their own problems, and her frustration that she has been unable to remember the name of the town where the Blues were supposed to be gathering. The only good thing lately is that Elayne had finally stopped flirting with Thom, though she coolly implied that Nynaeve had designs on him when Nynaeve congratulated her on coming to her senses. Luca means to cross the Eldar into Ghealdan in the morning, to a town called Samara, and is incensed at the number of menageries that have already set up there, but Nynaeve is more worried about the fact that the Prophet is in Samara, though this side of the Eldar isn’t much better, with Whitecloaks everywhere. She curses Luca, and Galad, and Lan for not being there. Nynaeve stops by Aludra’s wagon, who notices her staring at Cerandin and comments that Cerandin is quite skilled with her hands and feet, isn’t she? Then she tells “Nana” to stop glaring, and to try out her new firesticks. Nynaeve is unenthused, as they will catch fire on anything, and she is just waiting for one of them to blow up and kill them all. She then runs into Juilin, who tells her he’s been into Samara, and Galad is there, along with a hundred other Whitecloaks.

She smiled at him, and he took another hasty step back, eyeing her wanly. Galad in Samara. That was all they needed. “You always bring such wonderful news, Juilin. We should have left you in Tanchico, or better, on the dock in Tear.” That was hardly fair. Better he told her of Galad than that she walked around a corner into the man. “Thank you, Juilin. At least we know to keep an eye out for him, now.” His nod was hardly a proper response to graciously offered thanks, and he hurried away, clapping his hat on, as if he expected her to hit him. Men had no manners.

She goes to the wagon; inside, Elayne hastily hides something under the pillow and exclaims over Nynaeve’s eye, asking what had happened. Nynaeve mutters that Cerandin hit her when she wasn’t looking, and tastes catsfern and mavinsleaf. She tells herself she was not avoiding going to the meetings with Egwene, and then takes a deep breath and tells Elayne the whole story, more or less: that she had tried to press Cerandin for more information on sul’dam and damane, and ended up in a tussle with the woman where she had come out decidedly the worst. She downplays the more embarrassing parts, and then changes the subject by pulling the blanket back to find that the thing Elayne had been examining was the a’dam they’d gotten from Cerandin. She wants to know why Elayne is fooling around with the filthy thing, and Elayne tells her excitedly that she thinks she can make one. Nynaeve is appalled; offended, Elayne tells her she doesn’t mean to make an a’dam, exactly, but it is a ter’angreal, and she has puzzled out how it works. It is like a forced link, which is why the sul’dam must also be a woman who can channel; she also thinks that the leash part isn’t necessary for it to work, only the collar and bracelet. Nynaeve still thinks it’s disgusting.

“Don’t you understand?” Elayne broke in, haughtiness all gone in excitement and fervor. She leaned forward to put a hand on Nynaeve’s knee, and her eyes shone, she was so delighted with herself. “It is a ter’angreal, Nynaeve. And I think I can make one.” She said each word slowly and deliberately, then laughed and rushed on. “If I can make this one, I can make others. Maybe I can even make angreal and sa’angreal. No one in the Tower has been able to do that in thousands of years!”

She reflects that she had never before thought of actually making something herself, but it would be a wonderful feeling to do so, and laments that they don’t even know a fraction of what the Forsaken do. Nynaeve thinks her interest in making things is very odd; she herself was only interested in Healing. She changes the subject again, telling Elayne the news about Galad being in Samara, and Elayne curses; she then forestalls a lecture about language from Nynaeve by asking what they are going to do. Nynaeve doesn’t think there is much more merit in staying in Amadicia than there is taking their chances in Samara, but Elayne thinks Samara is preferable, as she opines that Galad will never find them as long as they stay with the menagerie, since he thinks that putting animals in cages is cruel. Nynaeve thinks that the real reason is that Elayne is secretly dying to perform her highwalking act in front of an audience, and says that they should take the first boat they find large enough to carry them. Elayne points out it would be better if they knew where to go, first, and Nynaeve thinks she’s going to remember the name of that town if it kills her.

Commentary
I really should be annoyed at Nynaeve. I know I should. I know that if I were actually with the menagerie, I would probably want to kill her, or at least cheer when Cerandin smacks her around. I should.

But dammit, I just can’t. She still completely cracks me up. There’s probably something wrong with me.  Something about how if you’re following her mental thought processes the things she does make perfect sense, but from all the other characters’ perspectives she must come off as a part-time lunatic.  I do feel kind of sorry for Juilin here, though.

I especially enjoyed the line about men being terrible gossips. The party line over here, of course, is that it is women who are the terrible gossips. So the reversal is nice for the cognitive dissonance, but the funniest part of it is that both stereotypes are true.

And here’s Aludra, who is one of those WOT characters who keeps popping up for no other reason than to remind you that they exist until it becomes time for them to become relevant. Which for Aludra ought to be Real Soon Now, I presume. She’s cannon!

(Okay, that was awful. I apologize.)

Elayne: Her sudden ability with ter’angreal is one of the few Magical Powers of the main cast that really struck me as contrived. It comes out of nowhere, for one thing; there is no indication of it earlier that I can recall. (If someone can prove me wrong on that I’d love to hear about it.) Which is most unlike Jordan, really, famous as he was for setting things up anywhere from one to six entire novels ahead of time. Secondly, it arrives out of nowhere at an extremely plot-convenient juncture, which is also jarring compared with how organic most of the plotting has felt up to this point.

Not to mention, it kind of feels like he was completing a china set, or something. All of the others in the two Super Trios have some special thing that sets them apart, even above and beyond channeling (for the girls and Rand): Mat has luck and memories, Perrin has the wolfbrother thing, Egwene is a Dreamer, Nynaeve is Uber-Healer Girl, and Rand is, well, duh.

Elayne was the only one of the bunch who didn’t have some special Thing. And now she does. Voila! (Enh.)

Galad: for some reason it absolutely tickles me that Galad, who would totally have been a Young Republican in our time in my opinion, is also a poster boy for PETA. I guess as long as the viewpoint is extreme it doesn’t matter which direction it goes, eh? Okay, I’m being unfair. But still, that’s really funny – mostly because I now have a mental image of him throwing paint at Kim Cattrall and screaming “FUR IS MURRRRRDERRRRR!”

My brain, ladies and gentlemen.


And on that note, we out! Have a spicy and trans fat-free weekend, everyone!

224 comments
Sam Mickel
1. Samadai
since I never said it before first post is mine.
Lost in my own Mind
2. Lost in my own Mind
My opinion of both Nynaeve and the menagerie sequence has completely reversed itself on this re-read. I agree with you about Nynaeve now Leigh, I find her hilarious. I have also enjoyed the time with the menagerie when in the past I hated it. I think in the past I was so anxious to see what was happening with Mat and Rand that I saw the Elayne/Nynaeve storyline as a distraction. It will be interesting to see if that is also true in the up coming books. Nynaeve was never one of my favorite characters, but she has now moved way up the list.
Dru O'Higgins
3. bellman
Aviendha'a magic ability to read function of ter'angreals also bothered me, although it was kind of set up in advance. Does she have two special powers, unweaving weaves and the ter'angreal thing? How is that fair?
Josh Davis
4. YoSoyElJosh
@3 Bellman

Don't forget, Aviendha's also a pretty bad ass warrior when it comes to hands and feet. Compare that to Min's sometimes seeing auras around people and being flashy with her knives. Aviendha's got a long life ahead of her of leading Aiel, raising four babies, and being wife (or widow) to the Chief of Chiefs thanks to the One Power. If Rand does somehow survive the Last Battle in tact, Min'll die a good 200-300 years before the others.

Thinking of that always makes me sad =(
j p
5. sps49
Is first sister the same as sister?

Aviendha accusing Rand of ogling Morsa rings true, also. Argh, women! *ducks*

I thought for sure the Seanchan drama would have some effect later. Maybe toward the very end, when Rand visits the Crystal Throne (tGS- SW- AMoL).
Hugh Arai
6. HArai
Leigh, Aviendha and her sister may or may not be close but I assume she isn't mentioned because she's gai'shain.

The bit with Juilin is an example of why Nyneave irritates me so much of the time. She knows she just snapped at him, she knows she's been getting into fist fights, and men have no manners because oh gee, he thinks she might hit him. Total refusal to operate brain. Sigh. I wish I could find people being stupid funny. KoD can't come fast enough with respect to her.
Alice Arneson
7. Wetlandernw
Humor!! Thanks - I needed that. I'm with you, Leigh. I know I should be irritated at Nynaeve, but it's just so funny!

I always forget about the actual conversation with the Seanchan. I wonder if we'll find these characters, or more info on the info here, in the remaining books. Or were they just there to remind us that they're coming back?

Uh, yeah, cheering section definitely de trop. Fortunately R&A were half a world away and didn't have to hear it! Asmodean's comments made me chuckle too. I know I should hate the guy, but he sure has his moments.
Marcus W
8. toryx
Leigh:

The Maidens: now, that’s just rude. I share their glee, to a certain extent, but I’m pretty sure Mad Passionate Sex is one sport that definitely does not require a cheering section.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that this is shockingly common in a lot of cultures. It seems like that's the sort of thing that would melt the enthusiasm somewhat, but hey, whatever floats there boat.

It's just a good thing for Rand that he hadn't been there when it happened or he would have never managed to finish the deal.

I love how desperately Asmodean is trying to convince Rand that he's on his side. Clinging to the stalks of grass indeed.

Chapter 33:

It cracks me up no end that whenever Nynaeve smiles, someone steps back. For some reason, I can picture Nynaeve's smile more clearly than any of her frowns.

Elayne: Her sudden ability with ter’angreal is one of the few Magical Powers of the main cast that really struck me as contrived.

I completely agree. I'm glad that someone learned how to make ter'angreal and all, but I wish it had been done a little more gradually. Also totally agree about how it seems to have been plunked in there so Elayne would have a super power too. Like she needed a super power aside from her pointy chin of highborn fury.
Lost in my own Mind
9. zdrakec
Oh how I love the line - "I didn't like the way it looked at me in the mirror this morning, so I bit it!"

Leaves me rolling every time!
Lost in my own Mind
10. Smatt
The unweaving is not a special ability. The way Avi explains it the all the Aiel channelers can do it. The AS and Forsaken don't do it because yet again it is one of those things which according to them is impossible like healing being stilling.

Got to agree with Leigh about Elayne and the ter'angreals. Comes from nowhere to help them capture Mog.
Alice Arneson
11. Wetlandernw
On Ter'angreal-making: I see your point, but I thought it was fun to have it just come out of the blue like that. Totally blind-sided me, but with something cool for a change. Sometimes I like surprises. ;)
Lost in my own Mind
12. Evinfuilt
I believe Aviendha's sister is mentioned again later, she will not give up being gai'shan.
Brian Kaul
13. bkaul
Re: Elayne and the ter'angreal: While the timing certainly is convenient, the suddenness is exactly what I'd expect in reality. It's not like she's been sitting around with piles of t'a before, trying to puzzle them out. But she had this one in her room, and while contemplating it, realized that she could see how it was made. I can't see where RJ would've hinted at it ahead of revealing it without it just seeming contrived. The timing may have been a little more believable if it had happened with the dream t'a a bit earlier, though.
Marcus W
14. toryx
Evinfruilt @ 12:

Actually Egwene asked Aviendha's sister if she intended to give up the white when her year and a day was up, and she looks at Egwene as if she's crazy and essentially says, "Of course." Then she jokes that if she didn't her husband would come and take her away.
Alice Arneson
15. Wetlandernw
toryx @8 Like she needed a super power aside from her pointy chin of highborn fury. You reminded me... I just finished KoD, and there's a scene with Catalyn that just about killed me, after all the discussion on here about raising chins. Elayne is looking at Catalyn (after observing the way various folks are dressed) and thinks
Perhaps she wore that large enameled pin bearing Haevin's Blue Bear where she did so she would be forced to keep her chin high and look down her nose at everyone.
Oh, lordy. Got any pots & kettles?
someone else
16. Naraoia
bellman @3:

Doesn't Nynaeve also have some ter'angreal-reading ability?
Lost in my own Mind
17. Lost in my own Mind
I don't see Elayne's ability to make ter'angreal as coming out of nowhere. This is the first time she sits down and really tries. I also don't think RJ needed her to do this in order to capture Mogheidan (sp?), remember they already have one. I think Elaynes ability will serve another purpose.

In terms of Rands interaction with the Seanchan, why doesn't he point out that Sul'dam can channel? He could have even told them to put the a'dam on one if they don't believe him.
John Mann
18. jcmnyu
I have some issues with these chapters. Maybe you all can help me.

1. Rand, and the girls seem to have a remarkable grasp of time zones and the planet's place in relation to the sun. For a time when clocks are rare, watches don't exist, and most people rarely travel, I find it hard to believe that their sense of time would be so advanced.

2. How is it possible that while Aviendha was shielding the damane and sul'dam, she felt the power surge in them when Rand touched the collar? If it is saidin, she wouldn't be able to feel it. If it is saidar, aren't they shielded which blocks the power before it reaches the collar?

3. Rand compliments Asmodean about hiding the gateway in the tent while Aviendha is in the room. There are so many things wrong with that I don't know where to start.

As a comment on the scenes with Elayne, Nynaeve, and the others, Nynaeve is a pathological liar. She lies to herself, she lies to others, and she holds everyone else to account for their inability to measure up to her loft standards. I can't stand people like that.

When I was in college, I gave the books to one of my high school teachers. He loved The Eye of the World, and liked the others until The Fires of Heaven. He gave me the book back and said he was done, didn't want to read anymore. I told him Lord of Chaos was much better, but he said that he didn't want to. I'll never forget his reasoning.

"Too much of the book is simply the women talking, and I have come to hate them. Nynaeve, Elayne, Aviendha, and Egwene are beyond redemption at this point. And as they are all major characters, I choose not to continue."

Right now, while reading these scenes again, I can't help but agree even though I know 1 or 2 of them do get better in a few books.
Lost in my own Mind
19. BigJohn42
I, for one, didn't see the Ter'angrel making as coming out of implausible left-field. Isn't it already established that she's stronger in fire/earth than most women? It also seems to follow that strength in those areas would be a requirement for ter'angrel building.

... not to mention that this is really the first chance she's had to examine one - how would she know that she might have the ability without getting to play with one?
Marcus W
20. toryx
wetlandernw @ 15:

I'm still in Lord of Chaos so I've got a ways to go, but that quote cracked me up. That's just fantastic!
F Shelley
21. FSS
As to Elayne Special Ability just cropping up here: that's nothing compared to Avi's I-Don't-Need-The-Instruction-Manual ability in KoD. That was just weird.

For a good example of RJ's foreshadowing (I think) that hasn't come true (but I think it will), consider: Nyneave remembers every weave she sees once. Nyneave was there when Birgitte was thrown out of Tel Aran Rhoid. Rand may be a Hero of the Horn (and the majority thinks he is). Rand has to die at the Last Battle.

I think he dies, finds Nynaeve in T'A'R, and she throws him out, not insane, and with no missing limbs or never healing wounds or bad eyesight.

Just a thought. It could be a Red Herring for which RJ was equally famous for inserting...
Lost in my own Mind
22. Blinkers
>>I also think this is pretty much the only time Niella is mentioned, ever.

Not true, she shows up again in LoC, ch.18.
Hugh Arai
23. HArai
Lost in my own Mind@17: In Rand's case, I suspect it's because he wants to focus on getting them as allies for Tarmon Gai'don rather than freak them the hell out.
Lost in my own Mind
24. BigJohn42
@17 "In terms of Rands interaction with the Seanchan, why doesn't he point out that Sul'dam can channel? He could have even told them to put the a'dam on one if they don't believe him."

Rand can't sense a woman's ability to channel - but he's heard about damane. Avi can sense the ability, which is how she knows the Sul'dam are capable.

The question is, why hasn't any other woman mentioned this?
John Mann
25. jcmnyu
@21 FFS

I really like that idea. Never thought of it and never seen is postulated. It fits all the prophesies, although isn't Alivia the one who is supposed to help with that, or is that just the dying part? But an interesting Loony Theory.
Hugh Arai
26. HArai
jcmnyu@18: Don't have the book with me, but for #3 - I thought it was Aviendha complimenting Rand for hiding the gate and Rand makes like he did until she's gone, then turns on Asmodean
Jason Deshaies
27. darxbane
There wasn't any foreshadowing of Elayne's ability, but during TGH Egwene's Sul'dam does mention that some Damane have a talent for making A'dams, and those Damane have the cushiest life. Apparently, an A'dam is very easy to make as far as Ter'angreal go. Ironically, had Elayne been trained like a "normal" Aes Sedai, she would have never had an opportunity to learn she had the talent. She would have been raised to the shawl before ever being allowed to touch a ter'angreal, and by then would most likely have been indoctrinated into the "studying Ter'anreal is too dangerous" mentality. Another point against dogmatism in any form.

How can a young republican and an extremist group like PETA be similar? Talk about Eurgh stereotyping, Leigh.
John Mann
28. jcmnyu
@26 HArai

Looks like you are right. Avi is the one who mentions it. Pronouns make such a difference.
F Shelley
29. FSS
@25 - Alivia helps him die.

As to her: I have another Loony Theory. In KoD, Suroth is wondering how Semirhage killed the Empress, when not even the Chosen Ones could do that. What? Who the heck are the Chosen Ones? I wonder if they are women who can channel, but know how to mask the ability and avoid the damane and suldam and are trusted or used by the Empress. I wonder if Alivia is a Chosen One. After all, she's waaaaay different than the other damane. We've seen an Aes Sedai broken completely after a couple of years (and Egwene and Teslyn begin breaking after a few weeks or months). It seems unlikely a 400 year damane would be ready to be rid of her collar so quickly...
Kurt Lorey
30. Shimrod
The Seanchan. Are they worse than Sharans?

It's good to see some Seanchan not being unflappable for a change. Pokes a little hole in a pet theory, though. Ever notice that most Seanchan are almost unshakable? Besides, the Seanchan act as the greatest Lemon Shake Up in the books for Randland. Drop your expectations Pedron Niall, here comes the Forerunners.

Cheering sections. Um, lots of cultures do something similar the first time around. For some, actual witnessing must go on to make sure that the marriage has been consummated. And, how about the movies The Quiet Man and Oklahoma! just to name a couple of persistent Celtic traditions carried over?
Lost in my own Mind
31. smcyc
On the subject of unweaving, it not that is unknown to AS or Forsaken, it is just that it is seen as pointless given the danger of doing it. When Avi starts to unweave here gateway in their escape from the Seanchan w/ the bowl, Nye knows what she is doing and is shocked to see her even try it. Has a point too, she gets it nearly unweaved before being blocked and well, to say the backlash was quite powerful and destructive is an understatement.
Jason Deshaies
32. darxbane
@29,
The difference between Alivia and Aes Sedai is that she never needed to be broken. Her culture made her believe her whole life that she needed to be collared. Now, after all this time of service, she has discovered that A) she is not the horrible danger to the world she was told she was and B)more importantly, the women who held the leash turned out to be just.like.her. If you found out everything you've accepted as true to be a lie, and that you lived your entire life as a slave because of it, wouldn't you be a little ticked off?
F Shelley
33. FSS
@19 - Egwene is stronger in Earth than most women. The only 2 references with Elayne and Fire are when Rand draws fire in (she had burned her arm) and when she channels Fire at the Red Rod (and apparently strips for all present).
F Shelley
34. FSS
@32 - I suppose, but none of the other Seanchan-born lifers (damane that is) have done so yet, and one of the three Suldam with Mat decided to go back, and probably be leashed...
Lost in my own Mind
35. Smatt
@31 smcyc

Avi unweaved perfectly. It was Elaynes that went Kaboom. They only know of it because Nye, Elayne and Moridin witnessed Avi doing it for the first time. Before then it was something that was impossible to them.
Andrew Lovsness
36. drewlovs
1. Samadai

Just remember not to be too down hearted when it gets deleted; Leigh is an equal opportunity employer, and she did say she would get rid of any of those types of posts.

The part on Nynaeve's inner monologue that gets me laughing is the insistance that the "hanging of anyone caught pillaging, stealing, blah blah" is something he learned from the waste, when we know for sure it is his Two Rivers upbringing that inspires that bit of law. Not funny for the people caught, of course, but there ya go.

Asmo's help of Rand and Avi's "get away for the weekend" escapade always struck me as very cool. For some reason, I never questioned his loyalty to Rand again, though I also never forgot he was a piece of human debris. Let's face it, loyalty to the good side does not make someone change in as far as who they are deep inside, and he was always the ego-centrist. Look to the White Cloaks if you need more examples...

As far as extremism and left or right leanings; I'm not sure that the passion of the extremist really matters. We have seen environmentalist wackos spike trees, killing men and women who are cutting down said trees to feed their families, and we have also seen pro life wackos gunning down doctors who might have performed only a couple of abortions in their life, and only due to the desire to save the mother. It not the passion that makes the wacko; its the actions that seem justified in combatting said passion.
John Mann
37. jcmnyu
@33 FSS

My interpretation of the Red Rod was that she experienced the Big O in front of all present. Going entirely from memory.
F Shelley
38. FSS
@37 - In WH when Elayne and Rand finally get to their Fireplace scene, Birgitte shares her...let's call them "special feelings". When Avi and Min talk her out of going in there and beating her ass, Avi says she has Oosquoi (sp?) and Birgitte says she'll get so drunk she'll take off all her clothes and dance on the table. Which most people take to be the effects of the Red Rod. Of course, most people are wrong surprisingly often...
Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
darxbane@27
How can a young republican and an extremist group like PETA be similar?
I don't think Leigh was saying anything of the sort. It's sort of a bizarre juxtaposition - we've been seeing Galad all this time as someone who looks to fit the Young Republican stereotype, if you're prone to seeing those things. Then out of the blue we get this "Galad thinks its cruel to cage animals" PETA-type blip, and the two together are... well, bizarre.

Not that Leigh couldn't speak for herself, and answer better than I just did, but quite possibly she needs to look at something other than a computer screen for a few minutes. Now I'll post this and find out that Leigh just did all that and I'll be embarrassed. ;)
Lost in my own Mind
40. RobMRobM
FSS@21 - absolutely yes with your first point that Avi's magical talent is the one that comes waaaaay out of left field.

Re cheering section - big role in plot for those who read GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire.

I don't buy the guy who gives up on the series at TFOH because of the supergirls. I could accept someone who quits out of frustration with the incredible aggravating Atha'an Miere and Kin in the later books. Like nails on a chalkboard, and caused corresponding aggravating tendencies in Nyn and Elayne. On re-read, I liked books 8-10 more than the first round, as the little details are important as the series developed, but I had to bite my lips until they bled while the Sea Folk and Kin were on screen and whining.

I'm still bothered by the impossibility of Avi discovery travelling and going to south of the equator Seanchan without looking at a map and planning it (as is done in later books). Guess her desire to travel as far away from possible from Rand suceeeded in practice....

Rob
Lost in my own Mind
41. Jormengrund
Let's not forget that not only does Egwene have the Dreamer ability, but also the ability to make Heartstone in a near instant..

Yeah.. Elayne "learning" how to make Ter'Angreal really didn't sit well with me, but I'm making do with it now, since she's also now saddled with all of those students trying to learn from her.. LOL!

Now, if there were only some way to teach these ladies how to deal with the "real world" we'd be able to save the day 4 books early!
Lost in my own Mind
42. alreadymadwithnynthebully
Nynaeve absolutely had no chance with the Seanchan jujitsu. She's gotten so used to bullying men who won't hit back, it served her right when she tried to bully a woman who'd fight back.

Re: Alivia
It's entirely too convenient that she'd be of Forsaken class strength with the Power and strong-willed enough to quickly adjust to the reality that she does not have to be collared. She also happens to prove the Aes Sedai right equating strength in the Power with strong will. That's the part I hate most about her.
Lost in my own Mind
43. drothgery
I kind of think that one of the annoyances I have with the later books of the Wheel of Time is that Nynaeve progressively looses her uniqueness. Others show up that surpass her as Most Powerful Good Saidar-Weilder, and others show up that are at least as skilled in Healing. Though Flinn's just a side effect of one of my biggest rants, which is that the Asha'man developed into a significant force much, much too quickly.
John Mann
44. jcmnyu
@40 RobMRobM

I'm sorry you "don't buy" my story about the guy who gives up on the series after Book 5. It did happen. Book 5 is also one of my least favorite in the series, and the circus plot is a major reason why. Egwene lies to the Wise Ones, Nynaeve, and Elayne because she doesn't want to get caught doing things she promised not to do. Her reasoning? She wants to learn faster. Elayne puts her whole group at risk by not leaving the circus because she wants to perform on the tight rope. Nynaeve lies left and right and acts like a two year old for the entire book. Even Aviendha makes Rand's life a living hell because of a promise she made to Elayne, a vision she had in the rings, her own damn feelings. None of the four women come off well in this book and they are all major characters. Sure, the Kin are annoying, and the Sea Folk are too. But they aren't headline characters or plot lines. They exist within Rand's or Nynaeve's or Egwene's plot lines.

Just because you didn't quit the series after The Fires of Heaven, doesn't mean other people didn't.
Antoni Ivanov
45. tonka
18.jcmnyu

1.I don't find it so advanced. People were having remarkable grasp of time even in ancient Egypt or Babylon and so on 2000 years before Christ using the sun almost as accurately as if with clocks. And the society Rand lives is much more modern.

2. That's an interesting question that I don't think we've got an answer yet. It has to do something with the saidin and the way a'dam works.

3.Rand compliments Ashmodean ??????????????
I think you totally need to reread the passage again. Aviendha compliments Rand !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
F Shelley
46. FSS
@44 - I buy it. I never went past book 1 and a half of the Sword of Susanna (or whatever its called). It didn't do anything for me. Likewise, when the Author-Must-Not-Be-Named went all Ayn Rand in his WoT knock-off series, I quit reading that series as well.
Lost in my own Mind
47. RobMRobM
jc@44. Apologies. Didn't mean to imply that it didn't happen or that the SG aren't irritating in TFOH at times, just joking that the aggravation involving Kin and Sea Folk was much higher later. Rob
John Mann
48. jcmnyu
@45 tonka

My problem is the instantaneous way Rand knew they were far away when leaving the igloo. Or the way the Wise One/Supergirls meetings in the World of Dreams seems to be planned to the minute. Egwene gets in trouble for being a few minutes early. Is time the same in Illian and Falme? If not, how is it different? I would think each area is self regulated with bells used to signify hours, half hours, etc. But it isn't brought up. Time zones are a pretty advanced concept for someone to pick up on their own. And I don't think there is a universal time system in place across the continent, including the Aiel Waste.
Alice Arneson
49. Wetlandernw
FSS @29
The Forsaken call themselves the Chosen, and so do most of the darkfriends. Since Suroth is a DF, I always assumed that's what she meant. Like the Great Lord instead of the Dark One. Sorry I can't respond specifically to the context, since I don't have KoD at hand.
John Fitzingo
50. Xandar01
Haven't read the comments yet, but I have to disagree with Leigh. Given how much is pre-planned, Elayne suddenly discovering she can make ter’angreal is as surprising for us as it is for her (and Nynaeve.) Was there some subtle hints earlier? I don't recall any. Reading for the first time I definitely shared in the character's surprise and excitement.
Lost in my own Mind
51. tearl
@8 toryx

Re: making loud noises while others having sex

I seem to recall reading somewhere that this is shockingly common in a lot of cultures. It seems like that's the sort of thing that would melt the enthusiasm somewhat, but hey, whatever floats there boat.

It's called a chivaree. I remember one being in a major movie/musical (I thought Oklahoma), but I can't find which.
Sam Mickel
52. Samadai
can someone explain to me what going Ayn Rand means. since I only made it through the first of the books of the author-who-cant-be-named I guess I missed that
Hugh Arai
53. HArai
Leigh, I rapidly lost interest in the Faile-Perrin in the Ways thread so possibly this was covered in the bruhaha but I have to ask. Why do you feel that you should be annoyed at Nynaeve and cheer Cerandin, but you were upset with Perrin. Is the difference for you that Faile and Perrin are in a relationship?

Samadai@52: Ayn Rand wrote novels that very heavily express her philosopy. The author of the series in question does much the same as his series goes on.
Heather Porter
54. Bym1971
OK, now I have to say something. (And now that I want to contribute here, work keeps interfering. Go figure.)

Aaaaanyway, since it's mentioned here and I think someone said it in the last post, I have to ask for the group's help with what I'll call "reader's block."

I bought KOD the week it came out, and I just can't finish it. I've started it twice, I get just so far into it, and I'm like, "meh." How far into the book does it really start to get interesting? I'm stuck again toward the beginning of the book, when the storyline is all Perrin and Faile. I. Just. Can't. Get. Through. It.

I've read books that started slow, and if I just gut out the first little bit I'm hooked, but this one hasn't hooked me yet, and it's most distressing -- since I've re-read the rest of the series no less than three times.

So, I implore y'all, can you tell me how far I have to gut it out before I get to the good stuff? And from comments here and from Leigh, I know ther is mucho good stuff to be had.

Somebody help me, please!!!! In advance, I thank you all from the bottom of my little heart!
Lost in my own Mind
55. swmdilla
I think it would make more sense if Egwene was the one who could make ter'angreal. She is the one who has an affinity for metal. At least it wouldnt come from nowhere. But i guess being a dreamer and making ter'angreal is one too many gifts.
Luke M
56. lmelior
I finally got my wife reading the series for the first time, and she agrees that the Seanchan parts are really annoying. She's not too into the fantasy genre, so we'll see if she makes it all the way through. By the way, it's really hard not to let some spoilers slip!
Antoni Ivanov
57. tonka
@ 48.jcmnyu

We have proof from this chapter that there are time zones , it is already day in Seanchan when he returns it is 2 hours till sunrise.
As for the meeting in TAR I always assume that they were always in the same time. After you've gone time and time in the same time you have some sort of orientation. They have clocks . They are uncommon but not that uncommon.

FSS @29 *giggles* The Chosen = Forsaken. The Forsaken call themself Chosen.They are dozens of quote in the books about that.

btw that reminds me - Rand forced Asmo to wear his banner because no of the Aiel would of course.And when Asmo tries to protest and ask why ,Rand answer him "You carry it because you were chosen, Master Jasin Natael" and Asmodean jumps scared as if someone would recognise what's said.It was hilarious.
Jason Deshaies
58. darxbane
@48,
Umm, when the ocean is suddenly to your East instead of West, and you were just in the middle of a continent (it's not called the Spine of the world for nothing), it wouldn't be all that difficult for anyone to deduce, even me, and my sense of direction sucks.

Egwene was did not get in trouble for being there early. She told the truth, and they understood. There seems to be waiting that occurs all the time during these meetings, anyway. Besides, since TAR time is different, I would guess that even a few seconds could convert to an hour wait.
John Fitzingo
59. Xandar01
@ 13. bkaul
Supposition on why she didn't figure it out with the dream ter’angreal:

I suggest that the devices differ in levels of complexity. I imagine the dream ter' were like her trying to reverse engineer an engine or something (without even the ability to take it apart.) Something so complex her fledgling ability gave her no insight at all.

However it is soon to be revealed the she "knows" the weave for bonding. This may be close enough to linking that it allows her to see more of the functioning weave "embedded" within the a'dam. Now her fledgling ability allows her see inside with a frame of reference to guide. Additionally the device may be less complex. (Can't think of a good analogy at the moment...)

Once her ter' making ability grows in strength, she'll be able to tackle the more complex devices. (However having a frame of reference in how to do it with the OP is always going to be the most help in figuring out how a ter' is made.)
Antoni Ivanov
60. tonka
And beside that if you are coming from a place that it's extremely hot into a cold severe winter , it is not really hard to grasp you must be really really far away.


And how Aviendha managed to travel to Seanchan,Well that's easy , it's not like she planned to go there. She might as well have opened a gateway in the ocean or over some volcano, which fortunately she didn't. It was chance she got into Seanchan ( a necessary one for the plot so that we don't forget the Seanchan are around since we are not going to see them for some time )
Hugh Arai
61. HArai
Bym1971@54: Chapters 18-28 or so are pretty much free of that plotline. Of course, the Caemlyn succession is in there and some people hate that too. Chapter 30 ends the plotline so you're definitely clear on that score after that. At least that's what I get by skimming one of the chapter summary sites. Hope that's some help.
Heather Porter
62. Bym1971
@61 That does help, thanks. I just need to gut it out a little longer. I can do it! :-)
Lost in my own Mind
63. forgotmypassword
I seem to recall Aviendha having the sudden talent of figuring out what a given *angreal can do in POD.
Lost in my own Mind
64. RobMRobM
@54. KoD is my third favorite book in the series so please hang in there. Plot threads really pay off in the second half of the book, in a sequential "can you top this" rush: Egwene's "Honey in the Tea" chapter is among the two or three best written chapters in the entire series; finally get to conclusion of Perrin/Faile; really nice Nyneave/Lan stuff; couple of nice chapters are the Rebel AS and what's happening to them w/out Eg; big developments with Rand in his meeting with the Seanchan; and lots of Mat and Tuon goodness, with the Tuon point of view in As if the World Were Fog and the entirety of Under an Oak being among my personal favorites.

Rob
Sam Mickel
65. Samadai
@54

Even the Perrin scens are advancing the plot at a much faster pace than previous books. It is more like LoC where you see Perrin in three major chapters all at break neck speed. Hes back, he is in Caemlyn, He is saving Rand. pure awesome compared to CoS thru CoT
Alice Arneson
66. Wetlandernw
Bym1971 @54 - just in case you need a little more encouragement.

Indeed, hang in there! Skim over things, scan whole paragraphs, whatever it takes. It'll grab you at some point. I just finished my first re-read of KoD (I've gone back to the beginning and read the whole thing preparatory to picking up each new book) and I agree that it started slowly. It felt rather like a continuation of CoT, with wheels spinning and nothing going anywhere, but when it breaks loose, as Rob says, it's quite a rush. I spent two weeks reading a little here and a little there, not terribly motivated to pick it up if there was something else to do (like this) to get through the first 1/3 or so. Then I finished it in four days, reading every time I had a chance to touch the book. (I even read at the stop lights sometimes!)

The payoff really is worth it, because several things wind up with a bang, after waiting (wading?) through multiple books for them to take more than babysteps forward.
Pete Pratt
67. PeteP
Bym1971 @ 54 Did you do a re-read before trying to tackle KoD. If the details of 8-10 are not fresh (even if they annoy you), it makes it bit harder to get through it. For me, KoD basically cruises along at high speed, with one great scene after another. As you know, it starts with the awesome Galad scene. The Golden Crane is absolutely marvelous and I have a much greater appreciation of Nyneave in subsequent re-reads. Honey in the Tea almost redeems Egwene. Rand & friends fighting hundreds of thousands of Trollocs. The whole Mat/Tuon story line rules. Tuon really did not know who she was getting involved with.... KoD is really good, and easily the best since LoC.

As to Elayne's Talent, it is only in tSR and tFoH that Elayne really starts coming into her own, for good or bad. Elayne is mostly sidekick in tGH and tDR. I figured her talent was just one of many that would be re-discovered.
Andrew Lovsness
68. drewlovs
AMW

Alivia has keeping her super-ego doesn't bother me; the seanchan would have recognized her power, and she would have been treated like a multi-billion dollar war machine. She would have known she has value in her society. Then, when she found out that she wasn't just "property", I have no problem with that fledgling will getting stronger and stronger.

44. jcmnyu

I'm not sure anyone was saying you were being dishonest. But how the heck could you really fault the super-girls based on the first 2 books? And if your friend could pass on such well written books based on a couple of characters that he didnt like, I'm not sure I would take any recommendations from him, thats for sure; strong willed women equates to bad books?

53. HArai

As far as comparing Nynaeve's fist fighting to Perrin's spanking... I'm not sure how you can equate the two. If one man spanked another in front of their friends, and it wasn't a comedy routine/joke, there would be a blood feud right then and there. If those same two men fist fought, they could very well be laughing about it an hour later (yeah, I know men are weird at times). Spanking=treating another as a child=humiliating. Fist fighting, while very funny when a extremely powerful one power channeler gets her lunch handed to her, is just not the same thing. I sometimes watch MMA, and those guys beat the hell out of each other, and congratulate each other after the fight; if one spanked the other after he did the beating... well, you get my point.

54. Bym1971

The Perrin parts DO eventually pick up, and when the story arc finishes, I don't think you will have anything to complain about. However, you might run into elayne problems, of which I have no answers for you; sorry.
Brian Kaul
69. bkaul
jcmnyu@48: Rand noticing that it's odd that it's daylight when it should be the middle of the night if he were back "home" is not really surprising, especially being from a society that doesn't rely on clocks and watches very heavily. I know plenty of people today who can tell you to within a few minutes what time it is without looking at a clock, and when you're cut off from crutches such as mechanical time keeping, you'd likely develop that ability even further. It makes sense that he'd surmise he must be far away if the time was that far off ... it's not like he calculates a distance based on the differential, or refers to a railroad time table or anything. Seems perfectly believable to me.

Xandar01@59: That's plausible. Perhaps an analogy would be if the a'dam was about as complicated as a simple mechanism, but the dream t'a was along the lines of complex electronics, say a radio or something? It's easy to see how even someone with an aptitude for reverse engineering and making things would find the workings of the one obvious but the other completely opaque. Good point about the similarity between linking and bonding, too.
Lost in my own Mind
70. RobMRobM
@54 - one final point re KoD: unlike others, I actually liked the Elayne parts in the book. As with the other characters, plots lines are wrapped up, leaving us in good shape for AMOL Uno. Rob
Andrew Lovsness
71. drewlovs
Elayne, like Egwene and Nynaeve, did not stay in the White Tower beyond learning how to control their power; as such, they do not have the preconceived notions all other Aei Sedai have. So, doing to "impossible" isn't as big a deal, since they do not know why other Aei Sedai think it is impossible.

Further, though religion is not a foundation in WoT, their IS a creator using proxies to fight the good fight; as such, why is it so hard to believe that Elayne would not have the ability to look at a power wrought device and "see" how it was constructed?

Hell, for all we know, in a previous incarnation she might have MADE those same items.
Jane Smyth
72. Kaboom
About the ability of Randland people to keep time.
I have no problem understanding Rand's awareness of distance in Seanchan as mentioned by a few people, however what I have a bit more problem understanding is how they can wake up one hour before sunrise knowing there is about one hour before sunrise. Especially when they are tired from previous hard days.
Lost in my own Mind
73. Cannae216
Folks have been wondering about the ter'angreal making coming out of no where. I seem to remember back in TGH that the sul'dam that was training Egwene mentioned that it was too bad Egwene was not one of the dammane that was able to make a'dam.

That at least implied that there are other that are, and that it wasn't an AoL that was completely lost. I'm not aware of anything in particular linking Elayne to this ability prior to this.
Richard Fife
74. R.Fife
@73 Kaboom
Typically because an hour before sunrise is the start of pre-dawn, so the sky is actually starting to lightning quite visibly. I have seen far too many hours just before sunrise ; ;
Hugh Arai
75. HArai
drewlovs@68: The parallel I see is this: One person inappropriately escalates an argument in a physical manner (Nyneave, Faile). The physically superior person (Cerandin,Perrin) eventually ends it in an embarassing physical manner without serious injury to the one that initiated. It seems clear to me that Nyneave found it embarassing and that most of the group is laughing at her, didn't someone give Cerandin a stick? I guess I can see being spanked as more embarrassing than being decked. Given Perrin and Faile's relative physiques I'm not sure that decking her was really an option for Perrin. In any event, I'm not sure that the difference in embarassment level is so high that one goes from shocked at Perrin to cheering Cerandin. It seems like pretty poor actions from both parties in both cases.
Anyway, I don't want to start a contentious thread (not about this anyway) so I'll leave it here.
Richard Fife
76. R.Fife
HArai: well, we aren't expecting Nyn and Ceradin to get married and live happily ever after (except in yuri fanfic), nor is Nyn at all "happy" with having been roughed up. I think therein is the reason for the "shock" difference.
Maiane Bakroeva
77. Isilel
Well, I have already mentioned in this discussions how much I like those power-up hand-outs ;). Since Mat got his military genius download, I guess that the girls had to get some extra speshul talents too...

Honestly, IMHO Rand should have been the only character with many "instinctive" discoveries - which would mostly have been subconscious memories of LTT.

It doesn't make sense to me that knowing nothing about the theory of channeling or the structure of materials, etc. should be helpful for ter'angreal creation. I mean, that's how RJ played it, but it is unconvincing, IMHO.

It would have made more sense to me if there were rare AS who learned to replicate and even create ter'angreal over the years, but they chose to keep it secret to avoid having to surrender their work to WT and to give themselves an edge. They could have come out of woodwork due to all the tav'erennness being thrown around.

Elayne could have had an intuitive feeling that the chain could be removed from the a'dam, they could have tested it and it would have worked just as well for the purpose of capturing Moggy.

And BTW, Avienda could easily shield 2 damane? For how long has she been learning to channel? A month? And Travelling too. Sigh. No doubt we'll yet find out that it was a completely superior sort of Travelling, vastly better than anything those dolts in AoL came up with, what with all their useless learning and study...

Anyway, great interplay between Rand and Asmo. Couldn't agree more on WoTlander confusion re: Rand's eh, hardness. Decide people!

And I have also always found Nyn funny and generally didn't hate the SGs. Of course, I don't like the boys nearly as much as most here seem to. I like Rand, I used to like Perrin before Faile happened to him, after which their plotline became painful, and I am lukewarm on Mat.
The SGs storyline started to grate on me only with the quest for the Bowl of Winds and complete grinding to stop of any progress of the SAS.
Alice Arneson
78. Wetlandernw
Just finished reading the comments on TFOH12, and have to say a couple of things.

PeteP - I really enjoyed your "violence" essay. Thanks.

lmelior (and everyone, for that matter) - No offense taken. I'm rarely offended, but I do tend to rant about misconceptions. :) They just bug me. And I love a lively discussion when I've got the time and energy.
Hugh Arai
79. HArai
drothgery@43: what is it about the Asha'man rise to significance you find so implausible?
Shaylyn Austin
80. Ispan
drothgery @43

I believe that the Asha'man develop into such a significant force so quickly because they have no restrictions on them. Before I say any of this, it has been quite a while since I've read these parts of the series so it might not be 100% accurate. Rand knows there isn't much time before the Last Battle so he instructs Taim to pull out all the stops and whip the men into shape. IIRC they channel at all times and learn to do EVERYTHING down to the smallest menial tasks with saidin. They are pushed incredibly hard and those who succumbed to madness from this over-exposure to the taint prior to the cleansing were simply eliminated. They're not afraid of killing or hurting any of the men. They also have completely open minds because there are no past experiences to go off of. Asha'man don't have the 3 Oaths that Aes Sedai do.

Aes Sedai, on the otherhand, have restrictions for everything. Don't use the Power too much. Don't use the Power unattended. This and that are impossible. Don't study ter'angreal. Don't do this weave because it's bad. They have built in limits to their own potential waaaaaay beyond the 3 Oaths.

I think, with all of this in mind, the progress of the Black Tower is rather believable.
Sam Mickel
81. Samadai
Re: sg's new abilities.

Lets don't forget that it is explained that these are the 3 strongest girls the tower has seen in a really long time.more powerful than moraine Suian and Elaida who were in the top tier of power rankings. Mo Su and Elai all zipped through basic training and OTS because of there strengths so we can assume the SG's would have gone much faster.

moving to another computer at work so will post the rest in a minute
F Shelley
82. FSS
Oops - missed the part about "CHosen Ones" being teh Chosen. I was reading that passage in KoD the other day and it flat eluded me. I thought in context Suroth was thinking "How can Semirhage kill the whole Imperial Family? Not even the CHosen Ones could do that". Guess I better go re-take some ENglish classes!

My thoery about Nynaeve and Rand stands...
Sam Mickel
83. Samadai
So if more strength in the power is equivalent to faster learning and the girls aren't indoctrinated into the don't try anything out for yourself thinking then it is totally conceivable that the SG's can learn new weaves. Just going off a science theory that nothing is possible until it is proved otherwise.
Alice Arneson
84. Wetlandernw
FSS, I like your theory about Nynaeve and Rand. It'd be cool.

FWIW, I've never had a problem with the new channelers popping out with these cool new weaves and talents. Maybe my suspension of disbelief muscles are way overdeveloped, but it's never bugged me. If nothing else, in the WoT world the Pattern weaves in what it needs to maintain balance. If the making of *angreal is important for the first time in a few millenia, it makes sense that the Pattern would weave that ability into the most useful person available. If you want, you can call it a copout to say "the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills", but since it's RJ's world he can declare it so and you (the reader) can just tough it out. Or not, as the case may be. ;)
Lost in my own Mind
85. Buster
Hello fellow WoT enthusiasts ;-)

I`ve been lurking on this re-read for a while and have greatly enjoyed the discussion and the many things you all have pointed out that have totally passed me by.

However, I felt I had to post here to give my views on Nynaeve as she can drive me totally insane. So, here goes:

I´ve never liked her. I have a real problem with hypocrisy and she is drowning in it. She is always disparaging flaws and vices in others, men and women alike, and yet seems completely unable to see these same things in herself. Now, I know that this lack of honest introspection is rampant throughout all of Randland, but for me, Nynaeve just takes the cake. This is of course only my opinion and I´m not trying to change anyone else`s, but the occasional humorous line from her in no way makes up for all the rest.

Also, @Wetlander, if your still collecting data for the survey, here`s my info:

24 years old
male
WoT age, 5-6 years
single, no kids
start working on my philosophy degree this august
and on the Ajah question, I think I`d have to go for the Brown as I love to read and research ancient cultures and the like

Thanks for adding so much to my enjoyment of this great series.
Lost in my own Mind
86. Robert B.
Ok I'll say it.

Am I the only one who reads the title of Chapter 32 and sees innuendo relating to the events of the previous chapter?
Shaylyn Austin
87. Ispan
Robert B. @86

I saw that too! I was a little embarrassed about pointing it out though, so thank you :)
Maiane Bakroeva
88. Isilel
Well, but extraordinary strength in OP and special, rare talents don't have to go together. In fact, it seems unlikely that they would have, as each is rare in it's own way. What would be the odds of them combining in one person?

As to amazing discoveries due to not "knowing" that something is impossible... well, it happened very rarely iRL. Mostly, discoveries were made by people who knew what they were doing (even if they were self-educated in some cases), not "intuitively" by complete ignoramuses.
It is pure wish-fulfillment and it cheapened the protagonists successes, IMHO.

Re: Ashaman, I have a crackpot theory that Taim is a DF channeler who was taught by Ishy. Ishy was somewhat free before the rest of the FS and he has trained Dreadlords before. And that the most advanced Asha'man loyal to Taim are those whom he had trained in turn (or who where trained together with him, but are less powerful).
When he was a False Dragon, there were rumors of him assembling male channelers as followers and I think that they were true.

As to Rand's Asha'man - meh. Another example of men being naturally superior to women in absolutely everything, including channeling.
They are much stronger, and learn in fraction of the time and are super-inventive and can feel saidar being embraced, are not hampered by silly bickering and various restrictions and also manage to become master swordsmen in the same couple of weeks that they need to become master channelers...

Um, ya. Right.
Lost in my own Mind
89. Cowboy Funk
Lots of good comments today.

I did initially think Elayns ability came out of nowhere but I have to agree that a lot of our hang ups are because of the "White Tower scriptures". But we have seen multiple times in different societies that have channelers that the WT did things ass backwards. One prime example that comes to mind is the necessity to use your hands to throw fireballs. I remember the Wise Ones mocking them for the need when they just think, channel, boom. The WT definitely placed it owns restrictions on its people without really realizing it and they just kept doing it since they basically believe "We're the WT, been around a 1000 years, we must be right". Their so stuck up in the One Power opinions its not even funny and they basically screwed themselves over.

Supergirls are strong, young, and not constrained by any provisions so its only obvious they would come up with new weaves and ways of doing things. I have more but lost my train of thought...more to follow if I remember.

And thank you to everyone who contributes and even the lurkers, this is a very fun group and after these last few months I cant wait for the new book to be out. Very exciting.
Hugh Arai
90. HArai
Isilel@88: Re Rand's Ashaman: Umm. You apparently forget they're all forced harder than the SGs and the forcing is the explanation given why the SGs are so strong so fast. And many of them have been going mad and/or dying. Not sure which you figure are master swordsmen. They don't appear to be that much stronger: they can gate, but so can lots of the women. As for bickering... you did notice some of them tried to kill Rand right?
Lost in my own Mind
91. GregoryD
OK,

On Elayne suddenly learning how to make ter'angreals out of the blue, i've got four comments:

1) It's no less believable than Rand doing stuff all the time that he doesn't know what he is doing, like holding the gateway open so he can get the knookie. When is he going to do the wrong thing and blow himself up?

2) I look at it like fooling around with a puzzle. The more you work with it, all of a sudden things just fit.

3) RJ had to put this in somewhere. Who is going to mend all those broken seals at the Last Battle. They are ter'angreal, after all.

4) JUST BE THANKFUL JORDAN DID JUST INTRODUCE ELAYNE'S ABILITY OR WE WOULD BE HAVING BOOK 15 TO TELL US ABOUT IT!

As for the listening in party during sex. The American Indians, if I remember correctly, listen at the outside of the teepee and celebrate and have a party when the newlyweds do the deed. It is a very joyous occasion for them.

As for quitting the series. My wife stopped at the end of the Dragon Reborn. She couldn't get into all the names and the petty quarrels, etc. that was going down.
j p
92. sps49
The Asha'man focus on combat skills; their education is not as well-rounded as the Aes Sedai or Wise Ones schooling.

The new Talents and weave (re)discoveries read to me like a new Age (or TG) is coming, and the Pattern is throwing out people who are capable of making these happen.

I was also more bothered by the skills being lost than their rediscovery. After all, there had to be a First Channeler (for each half) who discovers how to channel originally. Parallel and rediscoveries should happen, it would be surprising if they didn't.

My unfounded opinion is that there have not been sufficient strength in the Power to keep a lot of the cool weaves extant, so they were lost over time. Now, the Light has begun showing off the shiny new powerful channelers needed to win.
Hugh Arai
93. HArai
Isilel, sorry about the tone of that last post. Shouldn't take arguments at work out on people here.

Well, but extraordinary strength in OP and special, rare talents don't have to go together. In fact, it seems unlikely that they would have, as each is rare in it's own way. What would be the odds of them combining in one person?


If expressing the special,rare talent requires a high base OP strength then the odds would be high.
Rand apparently has a talent for gates. That talent would not show very well in someone that can't manage a gate. Maybe lots of the channelers have "talent potential" they can't express.
Alice Arneson
94. Wetlandernw
GregoryD@91
I like your list - especially the last one. :)

And speaking of quitting... My husband got partway through the first book, declared that the author was too fond of the sound of his own voice, and quit reading. Every time yet another book came out, he would repeat his observation. Well... I have some faint hope of getting him to read them when they are all out, but it's only faint. And I have to say I feel rather sorry for those who are holding out until it's all finished. You pick up SO much more on the re-reads! I'm afraid going start-to-finish on all 14 books would be so confusing you wouldn't make it through. Unless you read with your computer beside you, building up your database as you go, or have a totally phenomenal memory, how could you keep all the characters straight? I love all the resources online, including this group, but they are too full of spoilers to be useful to a first-time reader. I wonder if anyone has done a database of "this is what you know about each character or plot line as of the end of book ##" - sort of a running WoT Encyclopedia. Then you could at least refer back to only the info of what you already (could) know...

NO, I am NOT going to do it!!! (Well, not unless someone offers to pay me a small fortune for it. But not very small.)
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
Isilel - Just curious: what do you like about the series?
Lost in my own Mind
96. alreadymadwithtimezones
jcmnyu @18
Re the power surge:
At a guess, what Aviendha felt were the shielded damane trying to break through the shields.

tonka @57
We've had evidence of timezones for a while. Elayne would go to sleep and meet Egwene while the Aiel were on the march. The fact that they sometimes wait only a few minutes can easily be attributed to the time in TAR not flowing in as constant a manner as "real" time.

I figure Aviendha just wanted to get to the other side of the world. And that's how she ended up in Seanchan. It's the only explanation I can think of for how she was able to Travel to another place she did not even know existed.

drewlovs @68
It is still too convenient. There's a difference between the ego of a most favored pet and the ego of somebody who does not need a leash. Besides, she wore the leash for 400 years. Her self-worth isn't gonna come back quickly.

Isilel @88
You're actually right about the WT. They are all so steeped in tradition that they never bothered to check which tradition works and which does not.

Not sure about Taim learning from Ishy. I thought most of the fandom figured Taim to be Demandred's proxy. He did admit to finding a few that could be taught during his tenure as False Dragon, though. And I'm pretty sure his cadre of Dragon-pinned favorites are all Darkfriends.
Hugh Arai
97. HArai
The OP does seem to have an strong intuitive component. One example that comes to mind is the tricks the girls coming to the White Tower seem to have. Like Moiraine's eavesdropping or Theodrin's "making men do what she wanted". They can't know the details because they aren't even novices, but they get them to work. Or even Nynaeve's healings back in the TR. Even if you don't know why, it appears sometimes if you really want something to happen, it will. That could explain Aviendha's gate: She really really wanted to be "away". Cue the pattern for "away" to be somewhere useful, but still.
John Massey
98. subwoofer
Hi Leigh, you were sorely missed on Monday. Wednesday was an interesting post towards the end- speaking of pushing buttons. Today begins anew.

Ny- The funniest part of her internal monologue is her noticing patterns about a basic chore like cooking but not drawing any conclusions. The men cook meat and potatoes, Elayne is all careful and makes everything fancy- everyone has something else to do when it is my turn- what gives?- Ramsey would kick you out of the kitchen in modern times.

I actually like the bits about the Seanchan. To me I always like the idea of Hawkwing- reminds me of Alexander the Great- and the fact that there is another land full of his descendants coming back. Makes me wonder if back in the day, everyone talked with a Texas drawl or was that something picked up when they crossed over.

Also liked the idea of the Deathwatch Guard and the Ogier Gardners. Cool to see hints of them and what they can do. Think this could lead to interesting events when they march on the Tower.

Was thinking about the parallels with the Seekers of the Truth and the Hand of Light. Similarities to the KGB and the FBI or MI6 and MSS. Every culture seems to have an intelligence branch. Spying WoT era.
Susan Brownhill
99. SusanB
@21 cool theory. I hope you are right.

In earlier threads many people discussed why traveling requires you to know your start location. After rereading these chapters I believe I know why (forgive me if someone has already said this). When Avi is surprised by Rand her natural instinct is to run as fast & as far away as possible. If she needed to know her destination in order to travel there: 1) she would have needed to think of a place to go; 2) she probably would have had to go home or to Rhuidean (sp?) neither place is as interesting or as far as Seanchan. I think RJ made traveling this way so Avi could escape Rand & they could get it on. If she went someplace he recognized he might not have followed or if he did there wouldn't be an excuse for them to get naked & everything else.

As for Elayne figuring out the adam I think it's probable. She is very curious about everything. (Learning to channel, learning curse words, learning to high walk, etc). Its no surprise that every time Nyn is out of sight she would be studying whatever was available. It also makes sense that eventually she would figure something out. I have no problem with most of that occuring off screen (it would be boring to see her go through many failed attempts). As for people suddenly developing skills...it happens in the real world. I think of it like child prodigies. There are kids (who become adults) who can hear a song once, sit down at a piano & play it; without having any lessons. If they can do that, why are all the "new" abilities so "unrealistic"?
Susan Brownhill
100. SusanB
Re: Alivia - I personally think that when she first becomes a damane she just accepts that fate. She doesn't fight it, doesn't need to be broken or beat down. She accepts & does what she is told. Not because she believes that she should be leashed, but b/c she can see no way to escape, so their is no reason to fight. I think she has been fooling the Suldam for the last 400 years. So her attitude post leash is fitting.
Lost in my own Mind
101. alreadymadwithrandomjaunt
SusanB @99
A basic requirement for Travelling is to know the destination in relation to where you are. So, I find it hard to believe Aviendha would find a way to circumvent this by just wanting to be away. My theory: she wanted to be on the opposite side of the world.

I hate being repetitive but I still think Alivia adjusting to life without a leash very quickly is too convenient.
John Mann
102. jcmnyu
@68 Drewlovs

Are you really defending the Supergirls with the reason that they are strong female characters and ignoring all of their faults? Personally I don't equate strong characters with strong opinions. Sulin is a strong character, Melaine, Siuan, Moiraine, and Cadusane are strong characters. Egwene becomes a strong character. But Elayne and Nynaeve really don't in my opinion. And my teacher wasn't giving anyone a recomendation. He was informing me he didn't want me to lend me book 6.

@69 bkaul

I think I didn't state my position clearly. There are lots of potential reasons for the sun to be in a different place than he expected. And how did he know which way was east so fast. The ocean could have been in any direction for all he knew. It makes me wonder what knowledge survived since the breaking? How many scientific discoveries were remembered. They seem to know the planet is round, that there are other planets, and other things that are out of order from our history. Maybe an understanding of time zones survived as well.

As far as the meetings in TAR, Egwene was so nervous about being a few minutes early that she came up with an excuse that she had only just arrived. After she was caught being early by the Wise Ones, her excuse wouldn't work. Since she was alone in her tent and it was dark, how did she, and Elayne, and the Wise Ones all know when to arrive within minutes? Seems too perfect for a world with very few clocks. I'm sure I am being too anal about this. I'll stop now.

@96 alreadymadwithtimezones

Since it was timed with Rand touching the collars, I don't think it was them trying to break the shields. And Aviendha says the power surged through them. I just think it was a minor mistep.
Jay Dauro
103. J.Dauro
Time Zones.

I think what jcmnyu @18 was saying is the thought of easily being able to figure the time in another location. Tonka, yes, there is a difference in time between the locations, that is not time zones, that is the difference in apparent sun position. What we are concerned is how Elayne in Ebou Dar knows what time it is in the waste at Emri Stand, so they can meet in TAR.

Time Zones here are actually a fairly recent invention. They basically came about because of the railroads, and the need to be able to devise schedules. For the first time there was a need to be able to relate the times in towns all across the country. Before that most towns just worked on local apparent noon. And since travel was relatively slow, it didn't matter that apparent time changed from town to town. Which would make it very hard to relate the time between multiple locations, especially when the clocks are not easily portable and accurate.

(Look at the prize that was offered for the first accurate timepiece that could be carried on a ship.)

Now that folks can Travel it is easier to find the difference, but I doubt that we have anything formal yet.

From the comments about time rate in TAR being so different and unpredictable, I don't see the dreamers being able to build the relation.
Jay Dauro
104. J.Dauro
jcmnyu @102

I always figured the problem was that saiden was forced into the a'dam link by Rand's contact with it, and that was what caused the problem. Rand's pain would be like feedback. So the fact that the women were shielded would have no effect.
John Mann
105. jcmnyu
@103

Yes! That is exactly what I am getting at. Thank you for stating my point much clearer than I was able to.
Lost in my own Mind
106. alreadymadwithtimediff
jcmnyu @102
All I really have are theories at this point. Maybe it's the collar getting ready to cause Rand pain. IIRC they cause male channelers pain.

J.Dauro @103
They would not be able to build the relation when they are waiting for each other. But when they are talking together and one is fast asleep on her bed while the other is half-asleep on a saddle, then the time difference should be intuitively obvious.
Lost in my own Mind
107. TWICEMARKED
Susan B @99

I think a number of times, after RJ wrote something very cool, like this chapter, he codified the way channeling works to fit the cool chapters. The rules of channeling is initially vague so that there is maximum freedom for future writing. But after writing Far Snow, Traveling just can't involve knowing the destination, so by default, it has to involve knowing the starting point.

Elayne figuring out making of a'dam the same. It is necessary now since they need to capture Moghedien very soon, as in right this book. Without the modification to the a'dam, it would be just a dead giveway to who Moghedien is, and what they were doing to her. While I would have wanted more foreshadowing, sometimes you just can't if you only thought of the details of this story arc as you were writing it.

The entire Moghedien vs SG battle has not been forshadowed at all. So I assume it only comes into being during the writing of FOH. At least Elayne did not discover its making just before capturing Moghedien.

I also have to say this about her new found ability to make ter'angreal. Look at the risk/reward of making ter'angreal. Elayne copied ter'angreals with well know uses. And these uses are only significant now. Without a dream walker to teach them proper use of T'A'R, making T'A'R ter'angreals are dangerous to both the user and the maker. Why risk yourself or the user, if the ability provided seems questionable at best.

Look at Cadsuane's ter'angreal. Those were made by some "toothless wilder" centries ago. So Elayne's ability is not so brand new, and overpowering.
Jay Dauro
108. J.Dauro
AMW @106

While I might accept that people could be able to tell time to a few minutes accuracy while awake, I seriously question that they can do it while asleep. Heck, without a clock I can be hours off.

And without time zones, the time is always changing while you travel. So a couple of minutes accuracy seems a lttle much.

However, this never seriously bothered me in the story. WSD (very willing, sometimes.)
Lost in my own Mind
109. alreadymadwithtalkoftime
J.Dauro @108
I wouldn't know. Some people always wake up at the exact same time. In any case that wasn't what I was talking about.

What I meant was that they could not accurately predict the time difference when they are not together due to the variance in TAR's time. However, when they are, they would've noticed that it was already nighttime in one place while it was still daytime in the other.
Jacy Clark
110. Amalisa
Whew! A lot of reading to catch up on at the end of the work day! And I'm just hitting on one issue because I am still at work.

Wetlandernw@84

If nothing else, in the WoT world the Pattern weaves in what it needs to maintain balance.


I agree.

Folks, there’s this little come-to-Creator-meeting on the horizon – you know, Tarmon Gaidon? – and people have gotta be ready. So the Pattern is doing its dead-level best to be sure they are.. So these “shortcuts”, if you will, are going to happen.

Just a coincidence that, in the space of less than a year, the White Tower is blessed with the three strongest channellers in a thousand years? No. It was the Pattern. Three ta’veren in one village, and one of them the Dragon Reborn? The Pattern. Even, ultimately, the Seanchan making their way back to the homeland right about now is, I believe, the Pattern; certainly, their military might will come in handy at the big dance.

So do I have a problem with Elayne knowing how to make cool, shiny, sparkly things that do really neat stuff? Not in the least!

Survey:
Way more than old enough :)
WOT age - 18
Female
Divorced (one son - aged 25)
Insurance adjuster
Alice Arneson
111. Wetlandernw
Hah! I just ran across the most appropriate quote from RJ...
If the answer is easy, consider the possibility that you asked the wrong question.
I love it.
Alice Arneson
112. Wetlandernw
And since I'm having fun quoting, here's one that makes me giggle every time I read it. Out of context, but here it is:
I think a writer should either make an effort to be pleasant with the fans or else avoid them. Of course…. A fellow once wrote me a long screed, back around The Great Hunt or perhaps The Dragon Reborn, complaining bitterly, and I do mean bitterly, about the complexity of the plots making the books unreadable. I shouldn’t have done it, but I wrote back suggesting that he try The Velveteen Rabbit as more his speed. In my defense, I can only say that it was late in the day, and I was tired.
Hope it gives someone else a good chuckle. :)
Michael Thompson
113. TrollocBait
J. Dauro@106
In order to tell the time at night people would use the stars and moon, just like the sun during the day. Find an easily recognizable star or constellation, whip out a protractor, measure the angle between the star and the horizon (making adjustments for mountains on the horizon), make a few quick calculations, and viola! you know the time at night. Unless there's cloud cover, in which case, you're screwed.

As far as figuring out time differences for meetings in T'A'R, I picture it as a trial and error excercise. Take a wild guess as to when it is two hours before midnight on the other side of the world, and wait for them to get there. Once they show up, compare notes on when they fell asleep and go from there. Another possiblity is scouting around in TAR to see when the local wild animals start showing up (i.e., sleeping) and using that to determine sunset and dawn.

I would agree that showing up at the same time on the first try would be a major stroke of luck.
Andrew Lovsness
114. drewlovs
88. Isilel

Look up a documentary from the '70s called "Connections." It discusses how so many people know so little about so much, but it also shows how discoveries in one area of life were used by someone in a completely different area, such as weaving to printing, oil processing to plastic, electricity and health/medecine, etc. But more importantly, you see that many of the people with the biggest inventions were outside the industry, and had few if any paradigms from the field they were dabbling in.

In essence, preconceived notions amongst learned individuals ultimately hinder as much as help progress. I realize you were only stating opinions, but there are a lot of examples of huge discoveries made by people who "didn't know what they were doing." As such, real life does give us examples of Elayne's dicoveries.

102. jcmnyu

Are you really defending the Supergirls with the reason that they are strong female characters and ignoring all of their faults?

Actually, I'm defending them because of those faults. These characters, "super" as they might be, are REAL to me. They are flawed, they are irritating at times, but real. What I am having a hard time figuring out is your apparent desire to see characters free from mistakes or mental weaknesses.

I know people like the supergirls; they can be a pain in my ass, but they can also be the best friends or family I'e ever had. When Nynaeve overcomes her prejudices and cares for people she used to think she shouldn't, I cheer; when Elayne realizes she is being stupid and apologizes, it makes me happy; and when Egwene becomes the leader the White Tower has been looking for since Rand started channeling, it gives me a giggle that makes my wife look at me weird.

These characters DO irritate me, but they also make me very happy, as Rand, Perrin and Mat do. It's funny; we are shown Egwene's, Nynaeve's an Elayne's evolution from youngster to adult. But Rand was hidden from us during tDR (and quick too), Perrin must have been an adult from day one, and Mat... well, I hope Mat never grows up, I like him the way he is.

The point is, we are holding their own thoughts and motivations against simply because they are being shared with us. The reason the Supergirls are so annoying is we are forced to "Grow up" with them. THAT pain is something I too wish we could have skipped, but it wasn't our decision to make.

You cite Sulin as a strong woman without these petty flaws, but I submit that we really don't know Sulin at all; we do not know her true motivations, her thoughts internally, nor her wants needs or desires. She could be even more irritating than Nynaeve, who knows?

Anyway; hopefully, I have not ruffled feathers. Text is cold, and I was in no way ridiculing either of your opinions; hell, you both could be right, and I could be dead wrong. It's why I enjoy this forum so much, in that there are so many different takes on the same books. If you are insulted in any way from my words, please alow me to either apologize or explain, which ever is more appropriate.
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
Just thought of something, and I haven't researched it at all for internal consistency, but here it is. We know that TAR works by different rules than the waking world, and that time passes differently there. We know that a knowledgeable person in TAR can alter a great deal about themselves and their environment. We know that TAR can be manipulated by need. So maybe, when two people/parties plan to meet in TAR, their very attempt to be there at the same time makes it so. There would be some limitations, of course; you can't decide to be there last week, for example. But if you're only off by a few minutes, you can just be there. The WO might find Eg there and assume she went early deliberately so she'd have time to run around on her own, or maybe she only thinks they would assume that because she doesn't realize that they can be there whenever they want but she hasn't learned to do it purposely yet.

Might be a looney theory, I can't tell since it's getting late and my brain is fogging, but I thought I'd run it up the flagpole and see what happens. :>
Bill Reamy
116. BillinHI
Boy, miss a day and there is sooo much stuff to get through.

A comment from TFOH12:

Toryx @82: Glad to see someone else didn't care all that much for Mistborn. I also wanted to try it to get some idea of Sanderson's writing. I felt the writing was okay but the story just didn't do anything for me. I got through the first volume but quit early on in the second volume. Hopefully with everything that RJ left behind, he will be able to at least approach RJ's level in the last three volumes.

General comments: I am doing a listen as opposed to actually doing a re-read (although I did re-read the first three books, started the listen on book 4) and I find that listening seems to allow me even more reaction (positive and negative) to the various characters and their POVs. As many others, I find the SGs to be incredibly annoying (infuriating, even) at times, but almost all the characters can evoke the same reaction. I do find myself becoming amused at some of their internal dialogues, especially Nyneave's, and that lightens my sometimes adverse reactions at other times.

In looking something up for another book series I'm reading, I ran across this:

In Irish mythology, the aos sí (older form aes sídhe, pronounced "ess shee") are a powerful, supernatural race comparable to the fairies or elves. They are variously believed to live underground in the fairy mounds, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans. This world is described in the Book of Invasions (Book of Leinster) as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk amongst the living.

I find the parallels with Aes Sedai instructive in that both groups live separated from the real world. RJs AS certainly live apart, if only mentally, and they really need to start living in (and interacting with) the real world.

I'm sure that this has been commented on in other WOT forums/archives, but it really struck a chord with me, just running across it.
Roger Powell
117. forkroot
Wetlandernw@115
I like it! Your explanation makes perfect sense with some of the other features of TAR we have seen. The synchronicity of meeting points may be driven by need which we know can be harnessed powerfully in TAR.

Another argument in support of your idea is that the Forsaken seem to meet in TAR a lot. Presumably they use the same properties of TAR to synch up.

So what you have just run up the flagpole has now been properly saluted :-)
Lost in my own Mind
118. birgit
Is first sister the same as sister?

First-sisters have the same mother (or have adopted each other before the Wise Ones).

Maybe there are so many Brown Ajah among us because people with Mat's reading habits would never make it through all those thick books.
In the German translation there are 31 WoT books including New Spring (I only read the first 2 English = 4 German books in German). Do other translations also split the books or is that just a bad habit of German publishers?
Another problem about the German translations is that the Chapter icons are missing (at least in the old editions, I don't know if they are included in the new editions).
Susan Brownhill
119. SusanB
wetlander@115 I like it too. Very good idea.

question for all...I tried looking it up, but couldn't find anything; so I'm hoping that all of you who know the books better than I do can lend me a hand...

One of the damane calls herself Seri. IIRC the AS the Tuon breaks into a damane & who later fortells Tuon's future is called Seri. Am I right on the name? Is this the same damane?

Thanks everyone.
Jay Dauro
120. J.Dauro
Susan @119

The foretelling was done by Lidya.

Questions like this usually send me to the Encyclopedia WOT. There I looked up Tuon, found the chapter on the boat, linked to it and found Lidya's name. The folks there have done a great job in hyper-linking all of this together, it's a great way to find things.

Wetlandernw @115

Oooh - I like it too. Another salute.

BillinHI @116

I am sorry you quit halfway through Mistborn 2. I found the payoff to be very interesting. A tratment of a fantasy trope that I have never really seen before.

And I find that listening really seems to increase my enjoyment of stories. Although I never "read" WOT (Found NS at the library hunting for audiobooks. Ended up buying everything after tEotW, since they didn't have them on CD), I have found that listening to works I read in the past has always opened up new ideas in the books for me.

And I believe this is also part of the reason that I have less of a problem with disliking the SGs (and others.) It seems to make the internal thoughts work better for me. There are times I want to slap them (and others), but I almost always like them.
Maiane Bakroeva
121. Isilel
Wetlandernw:

I am a somewhat embittered WoT fan ;). While I didn't like all this ad hoc stuff the first time around, I only found it really jarring retroactively when the series started to go sharply downhill for me after LoC.
I really enjoyed the scope, imagination and intricacy of the series, the puzzles cleverly woven it though, and still do.


Drewlovs:

The examples you state is when somebody with expertise in one area decides to apply it to another. They certainly have a fresh perspective, but neither were they just random folks who suddenly got an inspiration and created something far out of their ken. I mean, Leonardo da Vinci couldn't have created a micro-chip, no matter his genius and to me at least the *angreal should have been something similar - pinnacle of technology of their time.
It *angreal had to be re-invented, which doesn't really seem necessary to me, given that they have caches of them and need only to learn what they do, it would have made more sense to me if somebody with background in smithing or engineering or similar would have come up with it, rather than Elayne.

Re: weaves getting forgotten because nobody was strong enough to use them - given linking that always seemed a rather unsatisfying explanation to me.

Also, the Aiel, the Sea Folk and the Kin all have much older channelers with strength comparable or superior to SGs, who didn't invent anything new. Seanchan too, for that matter, but it is easy to see why their creativity would be dampened.

Cowboy Funk:

"We're the WT, been around a 1000 years, we must be right". Their so stuck up in the One Power opinions its not even funny and they basically screwed themselves over.

Well, let's not forget that out of all channeling organizations, the WT has born the brunt of Ishy's attention for all those millenia. They were the ones who were decimated during the Trolloc Wars, they were the ones he particularly sought to sabotage via DFs and via Hawkwing. So, it wouldn't be fair to say that they screwed _themselves_ over - Ishy did that in great part. I do find it incongruous that the broad liberal education AS also supposedly receive is never useful for anything in the series, though.


Amalisa:

So the Pattern is doing its dead-level best to be sure they are.. So these “shortcuts”, if you will, are going to happen.

But that would mean that there are neither heroes nor villains, just the Pattern playing against itself. The ever-strengthening tendency in that direction as well the plot and time-line progression slowing to a crawl was what soured me on the later volumes.
Pete Pratt
122. PeteP
The White Tower has several reasons for its weaknesses:

1. During the War of the Power, a division arose between male and female Aes Sedai, as discuseed in the BBoBA, resulting in Lews Therin sealing the bore without women -- maybe which allowed the DO to use his counterstrike.

2. During the Breaking, much was lost and small groups of Aes Sedai tried to stay together. With so much destruction, great knowledge was lost. The AS also sent off the objects of power with the Aiel, created the Eye, and placed Callandor in the Stone.

3. The founding of the WT after the breaking occurred during a period of hostility between the various Aes Sedai groups. The more powerful groups went about stilling and punishing any "ajahs" that did not submit to the White Tower. The BBoBA mentions that there may have been many more "ajahs" at the time. With the effort to require submission, it is likely the knowledge was lost.

4. The WT cut itself off from the world -- without any male equivalents. Very few married or even had sex with men (of course, RJ loved to highlight the problems of not having balance between the men and women).

5. There was no Oath Rod ("discovered" only during the Trolloc Wars)so the very old Aes Sedai had been around a long time and AS lived for a long time.

6. With the Second Covenant, the world before the Trolloc Wars was one of relative enlightenment and prosperity. Aes Sedai openly served in society, including as royalty.

7. When Ishy unleashed the Trolloc Wars, he had two principal goals -- destroy the Second Covenant and weaken the White Tower. To weaken the White Tower, he created the Black Ajah, a group whose very purpose is cause division in the world and disrupt the White Tower. The BA may have intentionally "lost" more of the knowledge of the tower.

8. Since the Trolloc Wars, the WT does not actively look for channelers. Only those who have the spark or those who seek out the WT even go there. The numbers of AS has declined rapidly, at least until Egwene opens the Book to anyone.

9. While the Oath Rod obstensibly was found during the Trolloc Wars, I have always wondered whether or not the BA had a hand in its finding. If so, the BA could give its own members oaths and hide them among the rest of the AS, all the while weakening all Aes Sedai

10. Of course, the Oath not to lie has been shown to be counterproductive -- no one trusts an AS, everyone believes that they are the greatest liars every known, masters of saying one thing and meaning another.

11. The Aes Sedai base everything on strength in the power and the ability to learn quickly. This does not mean that the best and most capable run the WT, only the most powerful. Other channelers view this as crazy. They also kick out those without a strong enough will.

12. The Windfinders and the Wise Ones do not have the same problems. While the Windfinders are annoying, they are fully integrated into their society without Oath Rods. Channelers obey non-channelers, strength in the power is meaningless, etc. Likewise, the Wise Ones are fully integrated into their society and strength, with strength in the power being irrelevant.

Sorry if this ran a little long -- I am actually cutting short my entire thoughts on the subject. I think RJ really wanted to pound us over the head with the problems of imbalance and isolation. The Aes Sedai in the AoL were servants of all and everyone worked hard at improving their society, in a virtual utopia. Lanfaer opened the Bore in an attempt to remove the one remaining division between men and women, in an effort to increase harmony. During the 150 or so years of the Collapse, the 10 years of the War of the Power, and the 250-300 of the Breaking, all this disappeared and the remaining Aes Sedai forced to salvage what they could, creating the WT with all its flaws.
sandi vogel
123. sinfulcashew
Re: Time in TAR
Just a rand-dom thought.
For awhile I have considered the idea that perhaps they are time traveling. To arrive at the approximate same time, they could be going forward in time or back in time, just a little, to be able to all meet together. ?????



Must be a busy Saturday. There is a loooong time since the last post?
Richard Fife
124. R.Fife
@123 Extrapolating from RJ's "Ovler-Cain" theory-killing comment about how time in TAR cannot move backwards, I don't think the backwards in time travel bit would work. Nor do I think that you could even move "forward" in time, per se. I don't think we have seen any evidence that time in TAR flows different at different places, just different from the waking world, so I'd like to think that a minute in TAR-Aiel Waste is the same as a minute in TAR-Tanchico.

That being said, I don't see a rudimentary understanding of time zones to be out of the question. Remember, Randland isn't exactly like our own medieval era (and not just because they have real wizards), but that it also had a highly advanced global nation that predates it and most likely understood timezones very well. It could be that an understanding of "an hour differnce for every 1000 miles" might not be beyond them. (and the average circ. of the Earth is around 25000 real miles, and a Randland mile is a little longer than a real one, so that almost works)
Helen Peters
125. Helen
I like Wetlander's theory of time in T'A'R. Mainly coz I put about 3000 miles between the aiel waste with Eg and the wise ones and Tanchico with Elayne and Nyn. In our world that equates to about 5 hours, think London to New York. So why would Eg and the wise ones be riding and putting themselves into a trance to meet Elayne and Nyn in T'A'R when Elayne and Nyn had only just gone to bed? Even if that's the night when Elayne got drunk and had her head basically flushed down the loo by Nyn (and I don't think it was, but cannot remember) then Eg and co must have been up, packed everything away and set off before first light.

Oh and I love Nyn spitting nails about 'the dress' everytime she sees it or hears about it, then as soon as she's in T'A'R and thinking about Lan, oh look, she's wearing that dress. Or something similar.


p.s. that was a metaphorical loo and metaphorical flushing.
Jane Smyth
126. Kaboom
Birgit @118

Do other translations also split the books or is that just a bad habit of German publishers?

They also split the books in the French translation.
I just assumed that it was because writing something in french takes more space that writing something in English. And since some books are already big in English, they would be really huge in French. I think writting in German takes even more space than French... For the chapter icons, I just don't remember, I haven't actually read the books in French (just looked at them).

Concerning the power surge from the Adam in Seanchan, we have seen other Terangreal itself using the power. ie the bowl of wind (?) where they have channeled the only Saidar, but the bowl used both Saidar and Saidin. Perhaps the adam can do similar things. When Rand (who is at the moment)channeling Saidin touches it, the Adam may react by surging both Saidin and Saidar.
Just an idea.
Lost in my own Mind
127. Tenesmus
To whoever didin't finish mistborn, you missed out on a damn good trilogy. The third book was exceedingly well done. It completely wrapped things up in suprising, unrushed, and natural ways at both the individual and cosmological levels. I can only hope that the WOT will end just as well.

Even though KOD was a pretty thick book, the scenes, action and plot all seemed a bit rushed

I can't resist...Moiraine killed Asmodean hahahahaha!
Maiane Bakroeva
128. Isilel
PeteP:

Lews Therin sealing the bore without women -- maybe which allowed the DO to use his counterstrike.

Or maybe which prevented saidar from being tainted, too. It would be disappointing if everything in WoT turns out to be women's fault, no? I mean, Mierin already drilled the Bore, right?

Re: loss of knowledge, it made sense in the early books.
But with channelers in the series discovering cool stuff right, left and center without any need for knowledge, stuff that either replicates highest AoL accomplishments or supersedes them, it doesn't anymore.

That's my beef with the gradual change in the direction of the series - in the beginning we were told that AoL was so great because of the way they combined highly evolved science, technology and channeling.
But now it suddenly turns out that science and technology were superfluous, while achieving greatest results in OP use is as simple as just teaching strong channelers to touch the OP and then letting them loose to experiment on their own.

So, why on earth was anything lost at all, and across different channeling communities, with different traditions, no less?

Finally, it is not obvious to me why testing the applicants determination and letting them make their own decisions about wanting to join an organization is inferior to forcible drafting of anybody with the talent.
Nor do the ranking systems of the WOs and the Sea Folk or the Kin impress me. None of them seems to be even remotely merit-based.

It is a pity that the AS don't openly maintain missions in every major city, where anybody could come to get tested, but that's the fallout of Hawkwing's legacy and Ishy's influence on it. As well as the result of the generally rather implausible depiction of WT in the series...

Very few married or even had sex with men (of course, RJ loved to highlight the problems of not having balance between the men and women).

Except in the areas where men were already dominant. That seemed perfectly fine by him, heh.

I have to say that I sympathize with AS distancing from relationships and marriage - it must be rough to see everybody you love, including your children and other descendants, grow old and die before your eyes.
Not to mention that they would be scared silly of having their sons be born with the spark.

WOs and Wind-Finders are presumably so hadcore that they don't care, but it seems human to me to care. Also, I had a distinct feeling that most AS, except for some Reds, do have sex.
And given that some of them vanish from WT for decades and more at a time and live in obscurity, who knows how many of them brave secret families despite everything.

I remember that some years ago folks claimed that WoT society was a matriarchate, when IMHO it was a society where women were barely equal - and only due to stigma against male channelers and by extension all men, somewhat.
sandi vogel
129. sinfulcashew
124. R.Fife
Well, it was just another idea!
Something to think about.
Richard Fife
130. R.Fife
@129 I know *panic* I didn't mean to come down with the force of an anvil or anything, I was just stating why I had other ideas ;) Also, as I said, nothing says one way or the other how time in TAR flows relative to position in TAR, so I might be wrong in thinking that its uniform.
Lost in my own Mind
131. Wes S.
Oh boy. Galad as a Young Republican PETA activist? There's a "OH JOHN RINGO NO!" moment right there, Leigh...

And - harkening again back to the previous WoT Re-Read installment - I always thought that if anyone desperately needed to be laid worse than Rand, it was Elayne. I'm suprised she waited long enough to pull off the three-way bonding (no pun intended) with Min and Aviendha before demanding her turn at bat.

For that matter, Nynaeve seemed somewhat calmer once she and Lan got together, too. But maybe it's just as well RJ favored the whole "pan to the fire" thing when it came to writing intimacy in the WoT...

...As for Isilel's suggestion back up the current thread that Mazrim Taim was actually first trained by Ishamael: I'm thinking that Taim is actually Demandred in disguise. Remember the snarky "Let the Lord of Chaos rule!" comment Taim made to Pevara at the end of KoD? Wasn't that line linked to Demandred?

We already know that Osan'gar was masquerading as the Asha'man Corlan Dashiva (before Elza fried him and an entire hilltop at the end of PoD). And remember that Taim disappeared from Aes Sedai custody - in which the sisters and Warders guarding him were all killed, IIRC - and then reappeared at the start of LoC seeking Rand's amnesty. Plenty of time for Demandred to assume Taim's identity...and use the "rescue" as cover for murdering Taim in order to take his place.
Helen Peters
132. Helen
Forgot to say, Rand knew the ocean was in the east, coz the sun had just risen over it, either that or they'd been in that igloo an awfully long time ;)

Also, what is FWIW, please?
Thanks
Hugh Arai
133. HArai
WesS@131: RJ has shot down Taim = Demandred repeatedly. I think part of why he was willing to directly deny it was that it was such a solid theory though, so I don't blame anyone for proposing it. Not only does he deny it though we also have this:

Q: "Have we yet seen the alter ego Demandred presents to the Third Agers on-screen?"
A: "No." (I asked twice to make sure.)



So he's not any of the most commonly proposed people either.

Helen@132: For What It's Worth.
sandi vogel
134. sinfulcashew
130. R.Fife
"@129 I know *panic* I didn't mean to come down with the force of an anvil or anything, I was just stating why I had other ideas ;) Also, as I said, nothing says one way or the other how time in TAR flows relative to position in TAR, so I might be wrong in thinking that its uniform."


Don't *panic* on my account. I know my shoelaces aren't laced all the way up.
My way of reasoning sometimes only goes so far and then stops.....
But at the time, I thought it was a pretty good idea. With all the "funtacee" here, why couldn't there be some time travel, too?

And just for the record, I Love the Snowy deflowerment?
Lost in my own Mind
135. Beren Al'Torin
I apologize if this has been done before, but . . .

What MPS would be like as a Sport:
1) Definitely needs a cheering section. I'm talking professionals here, not just a few hairy, shirtless 300+ lb guys with M P and S painted on their chests that are always in the wrong order when they get on the jumbotron.
2) Would make certain 'shops' into 'sporting goods stores,' complete with training videos, performance-enhancing equipment, and professional salespeople with years of experiencing matching up the consumer with their specific, individual, weird, sick, twisted, you-can't-find-this-stuff-on-the-internet needs.
3) Professionals. Wait, I think this one already exists.

And as far as Elayne's "I can make ter'angreal woot!" moment . . . meh. Didn't strike me as any more contrived than Rand or Nynaeve spontaneously discovering Balefire, or any of the half-dozen other examples of "OMG that talent has lain undiscovered for millenia only to crop up just when the plot (err, I mean pattern) needs it.
Alice Arneson
136. Wetlandernw
Isilel: I am a somewhat embittered WoT fan ;).
I sort of gathered that, and it really made me curious. Lots of readers dislike certain characters or plot lines, and many dislike certain plot devices. It's just that I've never before encountered anyone who was sufficiently "into" the books to participate in something like this reread, who was so persistently irritated by so very much of the world-functioning on which it's built. Most people who dislike that much about a series just quit reading it. Not that I'm telling you to quit, mind you. I just find it... interesting. Have you read RJs blogs, the WoTFAQ and all that stuff?

FWIW, I gave up on the series twice, mostly because of the pacing of the later books. (That, and I got tired of reading the same place descriptions so many times.) CoT almost destroyed my interest for good, because of the book's structure. I (obviously) came back, though, because I found that I was hooked on the characters and really wanted to know what happened to them. I don't recall ever having that much of a problem with the technical details, but as I said before, my suspension-of-disbelief muscles are pretty hefty. ;)
Lost in my own Mind
137. alreadymadwithtowertwist
Isilel @121
Since the division of the sexes is extremely pronounced in WOT, the chances of finding an Aes Sedai with a background in engineering or smithing or even craftsmanship is rather slim. With that in mind Elayne would be as good a choice as any other Aes Sedai except perhaps a White. Even then, Elayne's training in statesmanship and economics probably matches that joke of an Ajah. My only gripe about it is RJ continually beating us with the implication that the Aes Sedai insistence on favoring channeling strength being the source of a good deal of their problems and then making it work anyway where the Grrls are concerned.

I do agree about the weaves being forgotten, though.

PeteP @122
If we consider that the Collapse lasted over a hundred years, plus The War of the Power's ten years, and the Breaking lasting three hundred, we're talking roughly five hundred years of chaos until the White Tower was established. That's well within the lifespan of an AoL Aes Sedai. Two or three generations at most, if even that, is not enough to account for all the knowledge lost.

I'll accept the argument that some sisters did not share the weaves that they had. This is still very much true with the various Ajah and even individual sisters having simple weaves unique to them. But such important skills as Travelling? Creating Angreal? Testing for Talents?

I'm sticking by my theory that the White Tower's founders were half-trained acolytes who turned on their elders in favor of a more aggressive policy of dominating the nations.

Note that Seanchan suldam and damane were able to preserve 2 of the three examples I cited. Most likely a legacy of their own Aes Sedai predecessors. That leads me to suspect the Prophecies of the Dragon weren't the only things the Seanchan hierarchy colored with propaganda. Perhaps the Aes Sedai organization of Pre-Luthair Seanchan was closer to the AoL model, with groups of Aes Sedai integrated into the communities. Note that the Blight in their corner of the world was relatively quiet as well, indicating that either Ishy focused solely on the Westlands, or a more effective campaign in the Post-Breaking era than that in the Westlands.

Re:Taimandred
I think Taim is Demandred's proxy. I could even suggest that Taim didn't start out evil. He could have been subjected to the 13+13 procedure. No proof for or against, but he has a lot of time offscreen that isn't accounted for.
Tess Laird
138. thewindrose
For anyone who wants to look up abbreviations.
As for other societies that have channelers:
Aiel - wise ones - do not use the power that much, IIRC they didn't know much about healing with the OP before they met MO and Egwene. Also, you can become a wise one without being a channeler.
Atha'an Miere - use the OP mostly for weather, and the wind finder doesn't have to be a channeler, but usually is. IIRC, Elayne traded knowledge with Jorin (Elayne for weather and Jorin for other weaves) - And of course there is the Bargin that Nyn and Elayne make later on...
Seanchan - use the OP mostly for fighting. The only ter'angreal we know for sure that they make is the a'dam. (Which was made by an Aes Sedai.) We know they also make 'night lights' and some have shown the fortune telling ability(Foretelling).
Randland Aes Sedai - I think are the most branched out. I believe novices are watched and see what their inclinations are towards, and then are steered towards that Ajah as they continue their education. Most students are not like the SG's who basically skip all the lessons(I know Elayne and Egwene had some - but not much).
Shara - We really don't know much about.
Lost in my own Mind
139. Beren Al'Torin
alreadymadwithtowertwist @137

I read this series because I'm constantly learning new things on each re-read (12 now, I think) and hearing new theories that all of a sudden explain everything . . . and you just blew my mind. A proxy! Of Course! Especially with the quote where (random forsaken whose name I can't remember) said that Demandred liked using proxies. I guess I just never thought of what a 'proxy' is. If you think of it as 'one who has been given direction from and authorized to act on behalf of another' it makes perfect sense. Now the times that we see Taim and Demandred giving the same orders, it's just Dem checking up on his minion to make sure that the orders are being carried out, and in the situations where they give different orders... well, Taim may go off script once in a while.
Maiane Bakroeva
140. Isilel
Wetlandernw:


I used to be active on the RJ newsgroup and I think that I am even cited as a contributer to the FAQ, under a different moniker ;). I guess that as the later volumes disappointed me more and more, I became retroactively ever more critical. I also got into grittier, darker and more "realistic" fantasy since. But I still want to know how it all turns out and enjoy the discussions.

I can't wait to find once and for all who killed Asmo, how they rescue Moi from the Finn, how the Prophecies concerning Rand play out (will Luc or Galad provide the requisite "blood" in his stead?), what will happen to Lan and Nyn given that Trolloc hordes are about to descend on them... etc. etc.

alreadymadwithtowertwist:

It is not only the SGs who hugely profit from their channeling power and invent all kinds of stuff as a result, Asha'man do as well.
Nor did we see cleverness and skill ever making up for lack of power (except for that shielding talent from the Kinswoman, but that's not quite the same). Being stronger in the OP also apparently makes one stronger willed (viz Alivia). Etc, etc. So yes, a bit of a contradiction alright.

Also, there are female craftspeople in WoT, in particular the Kin. Weren't some of them smiths and goldsmiths?
And since Alanna and Verin could build a catapult, I imagine that some Browns do have engineering knowledge.
Actually, the Windfinders could have such knowledge as well - iRL sail navy officers often had impressive mathematical and technical skills.

But I really don't see why anybody had to make ter'angrial - there are enough of them left over from AoE. If they could somehow deduce their function that would be quite enough.

Re: Taim, he was so scornful of Rand's gaps in channeling knowledge that it seemed likely to me that he wasn't self-taught. In particular, I don't see how a male wilder could have learned to test for channeling ability.
And Ishy knew what was coming a few years in advance, it would have made sense for him to do what he has successfully done before - i.e. train some Dreadlords.
I really don't see why Taim would have had to be turned. A male channeler had more reasons to become a DF than most do, surely?

Also, somebody who proclaimed himself the Dragon knowing full well that he didn't fulfill any prophecies, could only have questionable morality at best.

Taimandred would have worked for me too, but RJ nixed the idea.
Dem's proxy? Hm... well no reason why Dem couldn't have scooped up Taim once Ishy seemed to be out the picture.
Pete Pratt
141. PeteP
Iselel @ 128 The BBoBA talks of the "Fateful Concord" where every single women channler of strength was forced to not work with Lews Therin to seal the Bore. Seems stupid and petty.

Wise Ones marry have husbands, become widows, marry again, over and over. Of all the female channelers, I think they may have done the best to maintain their humanity. The Wise Ones also do not lose a single potential channeler . Moreover, there two tests, the Rings and the Crystal Columns, seen very useful in their role as Wise Ones -- the Rings show thousands of possible futures, the Crystal Columns their people's past.

The Windfinders may really annoy us, but they too fit into their own society, serviving in important roles, but not dominating their society. What most people do not like about the Windfinders has nothing to do with the Windfinders, but with Seafolk culture. Seafolk society is really messed up, but the Windfinders did not cause the problems.

On Aes Sedai sex, very few get married outside of Greens marrying their Warders. All Aes Sedai are intentionally isolated from men during the time as Novices and Accepted, which is between 6 and 30 years. During this time, many, if not all, engaged in pillow friend relationships. By the time they are Aes Sedai, they may look to establishing relations with men, but they then do so from a position of power. Gabrelle talks to Toveine about sex with Logain in Winter's Heart prologue, saying something about how different it was and how "it must be how normal women feel" or something like that. Another Aes Sedai talks about finding pretty boys to have sex with. Aes Sedai are typically not trying to find relationship partners. Which is why those who bonded ahsa'man developing relationships with them, including sexual.

Alreadymad @131 I would suggest that very few fully trained Aes Sedai made it through to the end of the Breaking. By the founding of the White Tower @ 50AB, even fewer were left. One big problem was that during the Breaking, it would have been very hard to find and train new Aes Sedai. By the time the various "ajah" met in 50 AB and decided to come together, important knowledge may have been lost. In the power struggle the occurred that resulted in only 7 Ajah, that many of the customs regarding leadership were also established -- such as power as the #1 factor. I would not doubt that some young (born after Breaking) Aes Sedai may have forced older ones into obedience, as you mentioned above. This process could very well have resulted in the loss of additional knowledge.

As to pre Luthair Seanchan, we are led to understand by the BBoBA and everything else that there was no formal organization among the Aes Sedai. Rather, they acted without any moral or ethical limitations to impose their will on others. Most Aes Sedai became leaders of nations, with some other Aes Sedai working under them. The #1 cause of death for pre-Luthair Aes Sedai was assassination, usually by their own assistants. The result was a virtual chaos, allowing for the conquest (greatly aided, of course, by the a'dam.
Helen Peters
142. Helen
Thanks for the link on abbreviations.

On an aside, there was a film on tv last night called 'the gathering storm', only problem was, it was about Churchill during the war not WOT.
Lost in my own Mind
143. alreadymadwithmadaessedai
PeteP @141
Indeed that is what BBOBA says, though I've never actually read it. I understood from others that the work was largely idiosyncratic and was also meant to demonstrate the degradation of historical info, though.

The fact remains that however their society functioned, they were still able to retain more knowledge than their Westland counterparts. Again I'd attribute this to something horribly going wrong when the White Tower was formed.
Alice Arneson
144. Wetlandernw
Isilel... So now I'm really confused. Why are you here, anyway? Just spreading the love? With that much time invested, you obviously aren't looking for someone to give you new insight so you can like the books again, and you won't get all the story line closure until November 2011 (although hopefully SOME in a little over 4 months). Are you hitting yourself on the head with the hammer because it feels so good when you stop? I don't get it. If I were in your (WoT) situation, I'd just plug my ears and hum real loud until the rest of the books were out, then I'd read them to find out how it ends and be done with it. I sure wouldn't be doing any more re-reads, with no more enjoyment than you seem to find in them. We must be totally different personality types or something. I'm baffled.
T C
145. Freelancer
About Alivia and "adjusting" to life without the leash in a short period of time, everybody is different. There are no formulas that all humans fit when it comes to personality or behavior, our tiny sample is proof enough of that. So why must it be "out of character" that one person behaves in an extraordinary way? Some people handle life changes amazingly well, others terribly. It's not that much of a thing.

About knowledge in the WoT world being "out of order" from our own history, specifically about the world being round, that knowledge was NOT new with Columbus' voyage. Those who paid attention knew that the world was a globe in far more ancient times. Other people refused to believe anything they couldn't see, to the point of executing those who didn't accept that the world was flat.

As to the time differences issue and getting the meeting timing right in T'a'R, would you have one of our characters twiddling their thumbs for four pages waiting for the others to arrive? Are not the volumes large enough? This is rather a tiny plot liberty in the face of the larger issues of the story.


TWICEMARKED@107

Cadsuane "received" her ter'angreal collection from the toothless wilder to whom you refer, but they were not made by that woman. From CoT, Ornaments:
More interesting, more disturbing, was the jewelry Nynaeve wore, a long gold necklace and slim gold belt, with matching bracelets and finger rings, the gaudy red and green and blue gens that studded them clashing with her yellow-shalshed dress. And she wore that peculiar piece as well, on her left hand, golden rings attached to a golden bracelet by flat chains. That was an angreal, much stronger than Cadsuane's shrike hair ornament. The others were much like her own decorations, too, ter'angreal and plainly made at the same time, during the Breaking of the World, when an Aes Sedai might find many hands turned against her, most especially those of men who could channel.



BillinHI@116

I understand why someone would have difficulty with The Well of Ascension at first. Following the ending of The Final Empire, it seems to take a strange direction, giving lead POVs to characters that only began to develop in the first book, changing focus once the "goal" had been met. However, that was really the point, a story that doesn't develop along the formulaic lines of standard adventure fantasy. Obviously I cannot say that you would enjoy finishing it if you gave it another chance, only that once I'd read the trilogy, I was more certain than ever that Harriet hired the right person to finish tWoT.


Wetlandernw@144

Thank you for your questions vis-a-vis Isilel. They provide an excellent example of the point I bring at the top regarding Alivia. Some people are just going to behave in ways other people don't expect.
Pete Pratt
146. PeteP
already mad @ 143 We do not know that pre-Luthair Seanchan retained that much more knowledge than the Randland, only that 1 channeler was able to make an a'dam . That is much more knowledge than the WT, but those same channelers did not know anything about healing.

Luthair was only able to conquer Seanchan, which is much bigger than Randland, because of the massive division among the channelers. He arrived with a large army but played off on kingdom against another. Gaining the a'dam allowed Luthair and his descendants to dominate and conquer all the land.

The BBoBA is designed to have minor errors. It generally is a good book, though in need of an update, with a new artist.

Isilel @140 I can understand why someone might be turned off from tWoT, especially after FoH. Given that for the 1st 3 books we are dealing with people having adventures, we gradually (with FoH) really start having books dealing with a lot of politics. Most people do not like politics. Politics are not as fun as adventures. RJ could have continued on the same way, limiting the story archs to the 3 boys and the SGs, and we would miss out on some of the politics. But that was not the story RJ wanted to tell, he wanted to weave a much larger and more involved tapestry.

Also, you said that "I also got into grittier, darker and more "realistic" fantasy since"." That puzzled me a bit. GRRM is grittier, but he is worse at turning books in then RJ (though I am glad I get something to read in his series in October). Darker and more realistic -- sounds like you got into the contemporary horror fantasy. It sells, but I do not find it realistic and appealing. Fantasy by nature is unrealistic. As long as it has an internal logic and is an enjoyable read, I am ok.

I find myself giving up on much of current fantasy as I find it so derivative, repetitive, and poorly written. I have a few authors I trust, who deliver good books occasionally. I have given up of so many authors that I get upset going to the bookstore and seeing shelves full of books from authors I know I do not like....

As to why someone make declare themselves to be the Dragon Reborn? I have wondered about this. If you are male channeler, why shouldn't believe that you could be the Dragon Reborn. You do not have to believe the prophecies, besides, you can always re-write then to suit your needs. Moreover, it serves as useful tool to actual use your power to gain authority and control. No ruler was going to let a male channelers into their kingdom or give them power, so male channelers had to take it and try to control some territory. They might as well declare themselves the Dragon Reborn to get followers, which seemed to happen. There are always individuals angry about the establishment and ready for a little revolution.

Taim is a bit of a problem, which is why Taimindred was only stopped with RJ saying "NO!", He is much older than Rand and using language and terms like the Forsaken. We do not when Taim declared himself to be the Dragon Reborn, but it seems that was just after the end of tEotW. Taim coud have been found and educated, but given the search for the Seals by the Forsaken, I almost think Taim was introduced to the darkside after he went to work for Rand.... Then again, maybe RJ just lied about Taimindred....
Lost in my own Mind
147. twicemarked
There are a number of comments about Aiel's inconsistance of accusing Rand being not hard enough here, and too hard later on.

I think there may be something else going on here. I believe in later books, Rand has gotten much more powerful, and got corrupted by that power.

I don't know if RJ wrote the WOT series as a political philosophy. But if you look at it in that fashion, many plot arcs make much more sense, even though many readers hate them as non-interesting page fillers.

I am talking about the idea that "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

If you look at the main characters' development from this point of view, many story arcs are geared toward that.

Mat does not want to be a lord, and he makes a great general. He trusted his underlings to do the right thing. "Those that desperated want to lead, are the most ill equipped to be a leader."

When Perin was cool, he was calm and collect, and reasoning with the two river folks. When he was unbearable, he is single-minedly trying to save Faile and takes no council. He was the Lord of the Two Rivers, and he answers only to himself. He would bargin even with the DO to save his Faile. He really is not far from the Children of the Light. The Rescue Faile Arc is meant to show how not to be a leader, how power can corrupt even good man.

After Rand conquered so many places, and built up the Black Tower, he is becoming too hard, and is in the process of being corrupted into a tyrant. In a way, what Cadsuane is doing to him, is to get him to realize he should not have absolute power. He is fighting the DO to save people from destruction, not bring destruction to them. Him being too hard, or those Ashaman becoming too hard and powerful, only makes them into tyrants that will break the world.

This time, the DO does not need to taint the saidin to turn male channelers mad to break the world. The DO only needs to enhance greed 10 times to all those powerful male channelers so that they will fight against each other for power. That can be another breaking of the world. Those Ashaman are trained to obey commands, with no ethics attached. Unless they are bounded to a humane cause, they will be the new evil like Aridhol.

I recall when the BT was founded, some men took their wife and children there. That was a moderating factor, in reminding them what they were there for. They were not training to kill, but to protect their family from the TG, which may require killing as a means. But the ends is not to kill, only the means.

A lot of readers hate Egwene. I would say she is a living example of the saying. The more powerful she becomes, the more she turns nasty, and the more readers are turned off by her. When she no longer commands others, but lead others, i.e. in KOD, she becomes redeemable and many readers liked her better. In these early to mid books, she is getting more powerful, and getting nasty to Nynaeve and others as a consequence. This just shows the corrupting effect of power. And you are supposed to hate Egwene for it.

Same with Elayne and Nynaeve. They were nasty to all the men helping them (like Thom and Juilin) in their trips, because they were the leaders, and no one can give them orders. They were corrupted by power, the longer they are answerable only to themselves. In the Circus, they were no longer the big boss, and they treat Thom and Juilin much better.

All the Andor succession arcs are showing that you should not conquer a country by force, not even the force of Dragon Reborn. Elayne is ruling Andor, not by having absolute power invested in her, but by alliance with people who can help her. Be a leader, not a tyrant.

What I am trying to say is, the WOT series is demonstrating that no one can be trusted with absolute power. No man, no woman, no SG, not even DR. The most standard fantasy trope of "Let us trust our savior, the hero", does not work.
Alice Arneson
148. Wetlandernw
twicemarked @ 147

You make some very interesting points. I'm not sure I agree with all of them, but you sure laid the table with plenty of food for thought! It will take some digesting to be able to respond. Thanks.
Bill Reamy
149. BillinHI
Re: Mistborn again. I would like to say I'll get back to it when I run out of things to read, but that scenario is extremely unlikely. I will try again, if only to find out what happens in the end. I guess the story just seemed to be a bit slow in the first volume, then all the action was crammed into the last chapter or so. I know that much time passes in the WoT books, so maybe there just aren't enough different POV's to keep me interested. Can anyone say short attention span syndrome?

I'm also following Kate Nepveu's (sp?) Lord of the Rings re-read, although I'm not actually re-reading at this time. I love being able to follow the action on maps, which seem to be more available for LotR. Does anyone know of a source, on-line or not, for more detailed maps of Randland?
John Mann
150. jcmnyu
@114 drewlovs

I think our difference of opinion stems from the words Real and Strong. I agree that the girls read as Real characters. I don't agree that they qualify as Strong characters. It could be that I am not using the term strong character correctly. I don't admire them, nor do I think they are worthy of respect. In my mind, a strong character is one that exemplifies the things readers look up to. This is why there is general upsettedness (I know, not a word) about all the bad things being done by women and the men get to save the world. I don't see it that way, Biedmon was with Lanfear when the bore was opened. The Forsaken are both men and women. Couladin was a man. I think the good and bad are split evenly. However, I think the main female characters are not strong characters. In fact, I think most of them are weak ones.

Remember, my friend gave up in this book. All of the character growth you reference happened later. At this point, none of them have grown much at all. In fact, I think they have regressed.

Plus, I did try to convince him to read LoC. While I have my problems with this specific book, I still loved/love the series.

And no need for apologies from my end. I enjoy a good discussion.
Pete Pratt
151. PeteP
Twicemarked @147 I think you are right. We know that RJ wanted to highlight male/female relationships and the need for balance. I think you are dead on right about RJ wanted to make a point of political philosophy as well. I really like you thoughts on the Asha'man. Now that the taint is gone and that Rand has legitimatized male channeling, I think many Asha'man will be attracted to gaining power and prestige. They do not want to be servants to anyone, that want power. It must have been very easy for Taim to sell his "special learning" with promises of unlimited power. As with all channelers, the only thing limiting them from exploiting all around them is their own moral code and their own strength. It becomes the ultimate equalizer, like a 6-shooter in the old West. A farmer can become a great power, limited only by having a sheriff whose better than you.

Rand really needs to understand that he is not the all-wise, all-powerful leader. He has not had the time to develop the necessary wisdom (and I secretly hope that Cadsuane will use the Oath Rod to remove her Oaths so that she can stick around to help manage things). I see where Rand thinks that he must be the omnipotent and omniscient leader, since he knows that he must die and soon, as well as win the Last Battle. It is like Neo being told he is the One in the Matrix -- its a whole lot to swallow, and a huge burden to deal with.
Jacy Clark
152. Amalisa
Isilel@121

So the Pattern is doing its dead-level best to be sure they are.. So these “shortcuts”, if you will, are going to happen.

But that would mean that there are neither heroes nor villains, just the Pattern playing against itself. The ever-strengthening tendency in that direction as well the plot and time-line progression slowing to a crawl was what soured me on the later volumes.


The "Pattern" is a plot device, sure. Sort of like the "Necessity" in the Eddings books - although the Necessity took a much more direct role. Or prophecy in any number of fantasy epics, for that matter.

The Pattern puts the stones on the board, if you will. However, the stones themselves must make the moves. That's where your "heroes" and "villains" come into play.

*could dance off into a "characters as devices" tangent, but won't* Well, except for a quote from James Thurber's, The Thirteen Clocks: "I am the Golux," said the Golux, proudly, "the only Golux in the world, and not a mere Device." :D

As for your dissaffection with the later volumes... eh, I've argued this on another site with others who share your feeling - if not for your reasons, exactly. There are two complaints, in general, that I hear about these books. The first is RJ's strong (okay, very strong) tendency toward detail. The second is his pacing.

When I was a little girl living in the suburbs of Atlanta, going to the Cyclorama at Grant Park was an annual school excursion. A massive painting, forty-plus feet tall and over 350 feet long, displayed in conjunction with a diorama, it depicted the Battle of Atlanta in 1864. It is positively staggering in scope and detail, and the painting of it took a team of artists, each with their own particular strength and skill, to complete the work. (Whatever one's personal feelings regarding that time in America's history, I invite anyone who is in Atlanta to avail themselves of this exhibition. Truly worth the time.)

I see the Wheel of Time series as something like the concept of a cyclorama. To maintain integrity as a work in toto, anything that massive demands detail and scale. It requires background and history and as little blurring of the lines as possible. Robert Jordan supplied that in abundance. He painted word pictures as well as anyone I've ever read, and he painted them on an immense scale - a canvas broad enough to encompass his world. That detail driven style that drives some people nuts is, for me, exquisite brush strokes on a cherished masterpiece.

The book that most people seem to have the most trouble with, pacing-wise, is Crossroads of Twilight. Too little accomplished... just a few days in the overall scheme of things... nothing gets done... yadda yadda yadda. It's in the eye of the reader, I suppose. And I'll admit that I've appreciated it far more in the re-read because I was reading it in context - viewing it as part of the cyclorama. It's part of RJ's big picture. It is the "crossroads". The big deep breath before things really start cooking. The part of the chess game that, looking back, seemed to be a whole lot of staring at the board to make one seemingly insignificant move - but not until after the "checkmate" do you realize how important that move really was.

At least, that's what I'm expecting. Time will tell if I'm right or wrong...
TW L
153. Shadow_Jak
@54 enre KoD
Sorry, I just can't relate. I was glued to each and every page of KoD. Started reading the morning of the day it hit the shelves (as w/every other WOT novel back to FoH). Would've finished that same morning, only I've learned to ration myself to make it last as long as possible before I, uh...finish.
When I did finish, I turned right back to the start and read the whole thing again.
Best, or at least, the most satisfying book of the series, by far. (So many threads come together!). I've read it at least 5 times, plus many more times for the best parts.
I'm also amazed by comments from Leigh and others that they don't remember much from KoD... Huh! *scratching my head in total incomprehension* How could anyone forget so much Awesome stuff?

enre Elayne and the A'dam.
IIRC, there was some foreshadowing. She had been facinated by the one they got from Ceridin from the start.

Enre the power surge.
The linked pair were shielded, but the surge was a function of the a'dam. It still functions to link two women channellers even when they are shielded. It also reacts and surges when touched by a male channeller.

Avienda's gateway...
She said it herself..."I ran from you as hard as I could...I can run no more."
She ran as far as she could without leaving the planet.
TW L
154. Shadow_Jak
@152
That detail driven style that drives some people nuts is, for me, exquisite brush strokes on a cherished masterpiece.

Well said Amalisa! I too cherish the complexities.
(BTW, CoT is actually one of my favorites.)
Lost in my own Mind
155. alreadymadwithchannelers
PeteP @146
Those channelers also knew how to test for certain Talents. Which is peculiar since most of their inclinations lie towards using the Power for war, as opposed to the White Tower's supposed liberal education and pacifist leanings.

twicemarked @147
Good point about Cadsuane's goals. Although I don't quite see how humiliating Rand in front of his followers could be of any use except encourage ambition in these same followers and the chaos that follows. Case in point, after she hit him, Alanna tried hitting him next. I don't see how it can do anything other than antagonize Rand further and make him less receptive to her "lessons". Besides, Rand's patchwork alliance will only work together if he provides a firm direction. They are too fractious and distrusting of each other, not to mention ambitious, to work effectively in anything other than an authoritarian style of leadership. Rand may be tyrannical with them, but they won't follow him otherwise.

With typical Aes Sedai arrogance, Cadsuane just naturally assumes she's better suited to giving this lesson than anybody else.

Shadow_Jak @153
Right. You can't get further than the other side of the planet.
Hugh Arai
156. HArai
I don't think Rand believes he's the all-wise all-powerful leader. He just believes he's the one the final responsibility got dumped on, so he should make the final decision. He listens to people when they actually talk to him, although he doesn't always take their advice and in some cases he should. Very few people actually talk to him though, they mostly stick to poking at him, ordering him to do things, or avoiding him. He's not an idiot, and he's tried very hard to learn what he needs to do his duty. Certainly he lashes out at times and he's got trust issues, but you know, he's having a very stressful life this particular time around. Look how things go with people that actually explain, give counsel and not just orders, and don't do something totally different every time he looks away. Lan, Bashere, Rhuarc and the other clan chiefs, Min, Mat, Moiraine sometimes, Verin sometimes. He works _with_ them.

So far it seems the only influential person/group willing to admit they shouldn't be the all-wise, all-powerful _controller_ of the Dragon Reborn has been Moiraine and it took foreseeing her battle with Lanfear to convince her. Some of them, like Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve truly want to help him, but they still think they possess some greater authority to tell him what to do. As they're vastly experienced at saving the world, not like silly Rand.

Take Cadsuane (please!). Maybe she has some real qualifications to think she knows better than Rand but she hasn't shown any yet. She's over 300, but so was Ishamael and Rand beat him. She's really strong in the power, but so is Rand. She's had some success with male channelers before, but Rand is one and he's apparently cleansed saidin. She certainly thinks she knows what to do but that proves nothing, so does Elaida. The prophecies are not about the Ego Reborn, they're about the Dragon Reborn.
Eugenie Delaney
157. EmpressMaude
It seems to me that Rand was exhibiting gross signs of megalomania and hubris just before Cadsuane inserted herself (more precisely was inserted out of the blue by the Creator) into the story.

Remember the whole "Hey Min! Let's go on a date and settle a rebellion!" expedition? That nearly ended in disaster until Cadsuane literally saved Rand's bacon.

Cadsuane serves on a check on his more reckless impulses, I would argue.

(too bad Elayne doesn't have a comparable figure in her sphere...)
Lost in my own Mind
158. alreadymadwithcadsuane
EmpressMaude @157
How did Cadsuane save Rand's bacon? And FYI the whole go on a date and settle a rebellion DID work out the way it was intended. By touching bases with Darlin and Caraline Rand was able to win them over to his side. It had nothing to do with megalomania or hubris. Rand realized that his ta'veren effect was in full swing and decided to maximize it by dealing with the rebels as well. And sure enough, Darlin also happened to be there, giving him the opportunity to hit two birds with one stone. The only thing that really went wrong there was Cadsuane.

That's right. Cadsuane is the whole reason that picnic messed up. Since she decided she knew better she called Rand down for using balefire. With Rand now suitably distracted, Fain saw his chance and took it. Or do you seriously believe Fain picked that time at random to attack? Fain easily homed in on Rand's wound and could have attacked any time. As if that wasn't enough, Cadsuane decided she knew better(again) and had Darlin and Caraline kidnapped. Cadsuane may have saved him, but it was her fault anyway that he wasn't alert when Fain attacked. If anybody's guilty of hubris it's her.
Eugenie Delaney
159. EmpressMaude
AlreadyMad@158.

Cadsuane may have saved him, but it was her fault anyway that he wasn't alert when Fain attacked. If anybody's guilty of hubris it's her.

I suppose that's one way of looking at it.

I prefer the version in the story, though.
Lost in my own Mind
160. alreadymadwithcadshubris
EmpressMaude @159
You mean Cadsuane's version where she saved his life but leaves out how Fain found an opportunity to attack?
Eugenie Delaney
161. EmpressMaude
AlreadyMad@160,

No, I mean the version that is presented in the novel, not your (inaccurate, IMHO) spin on it.
Bridget Sullivan
162. Ellid
...just to chime here, but it seems that Cadsuane has repeatedly been there when rand needed her.

- she made Rand bring extra people with him when he wanted to cleanse Saidin; Rand didn't think about the need for a guard
- she also saved his ass when they captured Semmiraghe, her hair gizmos disrupted the trap.
-she personally saved him in Far Madding, when he would have languished away in prison, unable to access the One Power.

Ellid, "the hapless Accepted"
(first post!)
Lost in my own Mind
163. alreadymadwithfainstaint
EmpressMaude @161
What's inaccurate about it?
I'll even quote from the same site, the next chapter from the one you linked.

Cadsuane is with Samitsu of the Yellow Ajah and Niande of the Gray Ajah. Samitsu wishes they had brought their Warders; hers is Roshan. There are lots of dead. When the fog nears a woman, Rand balefires it. Realizing who Rand really is, Toram Riatin runs off, but Darlin does not. Cadsuane slaps Rand and tells him never to do that again. He tells her Lews Therin was real. Fain leaps out of the fog.2 Min throws her knife at him but misses and he slices Rand with the ruby dagger. Darlin lunges at Fain, but he runs off. Cadsuane tries to Heal Rand, but she is not very good at it.

The sequence of events is very clear.
1 Rand balefires it.
2 Cadsuane slaps Rand and tells him not to do that again.
3 He tells her Lews Therin was real.
4 Fain leaps out of the fog

The wound is very precise, right on top of the one Rand got at Falme. Delivered without Fain even having to recover his balance from dodging Rand and Darlin's swords. It can only mean that Fain was able to home in on that particular wound. His Mashadar taint was able to sense the Dark One's taint in that wound. If we backtrack that, then it means Fain was following them through the fog. He could have attacked at any time, but waited for the right moment, which Cadsuane conveniently delivered by starting a discussion on the merits of using balefire.
Eugenie Delaney
164. EmpressMaude
Oh now, you're just being silly.

You just quoted an extracted version of the story. It's brief. It's short on details or adjectives. It's condensed. I cited to it so we all know what chapters we are referring to.

Why don't you give us the full quotes from you, know, the story. Or would that disrupt your premise?

I am curious now. Did the books you read actually say that Cadsuane slaps Rand in the face and Fain seizes on that moment to slash him? Mine sure as hell don't.
Richard Fife
165. R.Fife
Maude: The books rarely say anything straight forward, but I see AMW's extroplation quite plausible. Even if Fain is not able to super home in on the tainted wound, he is still homing in on Rand, so he mostly likely was sitting just out of sight, following, and waiting for a moment of Rand being distracted.
Eugenie Delaney
166. EmpressMaude
R.Fife, so do you actually think that Cadsuane is pretty much responsible for Rand letting his guard down so Fain can strike? Even there was time enough for Rand and Cadsuane to have a brief conversation, and or Min (hardly a trained warrior with razor-honed reflexes) had time to see Fain and recognize him, all before Fain slashes Rand on the way out?

And yet none of the characters ever seem to think "that darn Cadsuane! If she hadn't been there, this never would have happened?" Or when she tried to Heal him, helps him de-camp back to the palace, no one ever says "Get back! This is all your fault!"

Like I said, I guess AMW's way of looking at it is one way, but it doesn't seem to jibe with the rest of the storyline as presented. To me.
Lost in my own Mind
167. alreadymadwithfainsdagger
I unfortunately do not have an electronic version handy, or even my copy handy, but anyone is free to quote the relevant passages. I stand by my conclusion. It's no coincidence that Fain would pick that particular moment to strike AND hit Rand right on top of his Falme wound.

Nobody ever points it out because:
A) Rand was unconscious and had better things to worry about, the upcoming Illian campaign, for one thing.
B) Min was panicking out of her wits.
C) The other Aes Sedai are too beholden to Cadsuane.
D) Caraline and Darlin were imprisoned by Cadsuane.
Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
Here you go. Forgive any typos; I couldn't copy and past so am retyping it.

His hand rose before Casuane could move, and a bar of...something...liquid white fire brighter than the sun...shot out over the running woman's head. The creature simply vanished. For a moment there was clear air where it had been, and along the line that the bar had burned, until the fog began closing in. A moment while the woman froze where she stood. Then, shrieking at the top of her lungs, she turned and ran from them, still downslope, fleeing what she feared more than nightmares in these mists.

"You!" Toram roared, so loudly that Min spun to face him with her knives raised. He stood pointing his sword at Rand. "You are him! I was right! This is your work! You will not trap me, al'Thor!" Suddenly he broke away at an angle, scrambling wildly up the slope. "You will not trap me!"

"Come back!" Darlin shouted after him. "We must stick together! We must..." He trailed off, staring at Rand. "You are him. The Light burn me, you are!" He half-moved as if to place himself between Rand and Caraline, but at least he did not run.

Calmly, Cadsuane picked her way across the slope to Rand. And slapped his face so hard his head jerked. Min's breath caught in shock. "You will not do that again," Cadsuane said. There was no heat in her voice, just iron. "Do you hear me? Not balefire. Not ever."

Surprisingly, Rand only rubbed his cheek. "You were wrong, Cadsuane. He's real. I'm certain of it. I know he is." Even more surprisingly, he sounded as if he very much wanted her to believe.

Min's heart went out to him. He had mentioned hearing voices; he must mean that. She raised her right hand toward him, forgetting for hte moment that it held a knife, and opened her mouth to say something comforting. Though she was not entirely sure she would ever be able to use that particular word innocuously again. She opened her mouth - and Padan Fain seemed to leap out of the mists behind Rand, steel gleaming in his fist.

"Behind you!" Min screamed, pointing with the knife in her outstretched right hand as she threw the one in her left. Everything seemed to happen at once, half-seen in wintery fog.

Rand began to turn, twisting aside, and Fain also twisted, to lunge for him. For that twist, her knife missed, but Fain's dagger scored along Rand's left side. It hardly seemed to more than slice his coat, yet he screamed. He screamed, a sound to make Min's heart clench, and clutching his side, he fell against Cadsuane, catching at her to hold himself up, pulling both of them down.


So decide for yourself. Me, I can see where each viewpoint comes from, but I really think that blaming the whole thing on Cadsuane is a bit much. It would have happened anyway, if not at that moment, certainly within the next few minutes, before they got out of the fog.
Lost in my own Mind
169. alreadymadwhenfainstruck
Thank you very much, Wetlandernw.

Rand began to turn, twisting aside, and Fain also twisted, to lunge for him.

It's too convenient to be a coincidence.
A) Fain struck at that particular moment.
B) Fain was able to anticipate and compensate for Rand's dodge.
C) Fain scored a hit right on top of the Falme wound.

Fain twisted like a homing missile would when its target moves. By Occam's Razor, he was always close by and struck when Rand was talking to somebody else instead of being on his guard.
Lost in my own Mind
170. CalaLily
I'm pretty sure that as soon as Fain realized Rand was there he was itching to attack him; he was just waiting for the right moment. If Cadsuane wasn't the catalyst for the opportunity, someone else would have been, and I believe the end result would've been the same. :)
Lost in my own Mind
171. alreadymadwithcadsslap
CalaLily @170
I actually agree. Fain would have found a way to strike sooner or later. But this particular opportunity came when Cadsuane upbraided Rand for using Balefire in the middle of the fog. Typical Aes Sedai arrogance, she probably thought Rand did not know the dangers of using balefire. Not that she actually had any right to impose a White Tower restriction on Rand, anyway.
Alice Arneson
172. Wetlandernw
AMW: I agree that Fain was homing in on Rand and was determined to attack him. FWIW, I don't believe it was the Falme wound he was homing on; he'd been able to point to Rand before that. I think that's just where he managed to hit, and he didn't really care because usually someone would be dead within minutes of ANY scratch from that dagger.

Anyway, Fain was determined to get to Rand. Because of that, I don't think you can blame it on being distracted by Cadsuane; there would have been plenty of distractions as they made their way through the fog. Heck, he was already distracted by Toram's and Darlin's reactions, and if Fain had been just a little closer at the time, he'd probably have struck before Cadsuane had a chance to "calmly walk over" and slap Rand. Just my take on it.
Jacy Clark
173. Amalisa
Thank you, Wetlandernw, for saving me from having to re-type all of that - 'cause I was just about to do so!

I don't think a slap and an admonition to never use balefire really qualifies as a "discussion". Was Rand distracted? Maybe - although, I believe that his growing preoccupation with his own mental state could be factored in here. After all, his response to the slap/admonition wasn't what you'd expect, was it?

But if we are operating on the assumption that Fain was the most dire threat in all of this (and I do believe he was), was the greater distraction the deadly "fog" or was it Cadsuane? Fain was hiding in the fog, not behind Cadsuane's skirts.

Finally, remember that this is told from Min's pov, and I believe that the sentences "Everything seemed to happen at once, half-seen in wintery fog." and, again, "Everything at once." puts the sequence of events in their proper context.
Roger Powell
174. forkroot
Thanks Wetlandernw for the text. I agree with R Fife's point that the text is rarely straightforward and this is certainly one of those instances where it may be read multiple ways.

The way I've always read it, Fain was attacking Rand from behind with the intent of plunging the dagger fully into Rand. Min's warning allowed Rand a chance to dodge and although Fain compensated somewhat, he was still only able to deliver a light wound that ended up being in the same area as the one that Ishy had delivered at the end of TGH.

I do NOT believe that the specific placement was Fain's intent. We've seen nothing to indicate that Fain wants to do anything more complicated than kill Rand, in which case a dagger thrust is substantially more deadly than a scoring, regardless of the Shadar Logoth taint. His natural impulse would have been to bury that dagger in Rand's back.

I DO believe that the pattern had a hand in where the wound landed. The alternating pulsation of the two evils contributes to Rand's understanding of how to cleanse saidan.
Roger Powell
175. forkroot
EmpressMaude@157
It seems to me that Rand was exhibiting gross signs of megalomania and hubris just before Cadsuane inserted herself (more precisely was inserted out of the blue by the Creator) into the story.

I was going to wait until we got there to say pretty much the same thing. As much as I personally like Cadsuane (ducks for cover), the appearance of that major a character that late in the story feels like a "story patch".

I'm not saying that I disagree with the timing of when she comes "on screen", but if she'd been in the plans from the start, RJ would have foreshadowed her. It's certainly something he's done well for other characters.

For an example of the latter, consider one Mr. Noal Charin (aka Jain Farstrider).
Hugh Arai
176. HArai
Personally I think the end of the picnic was not down to Cadsuane either way. She was not responsible for Fain, and she was not responsible for Flinn, who were the two key people involved. It's obvious balefire is very dangerous to the pattern but pretty much everyone else has managed to warn Rand about it without slapping him, so that's a wash too.

But frankly helping Rand is not a reason for Cadsuane to be in charge. Saving his life? Let's put Lan in charge. Or Thom. Or Aviendha, or Min, or Flinn or Nynaeve. The list goes on. Sure, she helps Rand in some significant ways. People are supposed to help Rand, he's one man trying to save the whole world. My beef with Cadsuane is she's the only one so far that thinks helping him entitles her to give him orders and slap him around. What makes her so special outside of her own ego?
Lost in my own Mind
177. alreadymadwithdoublewound
Agreed. The wound's placement did work out for the best since Rand would not have been able to cleanse Saidin without the clue from the double wounds. I stand by my conclusion that Fain was homing in on the Falme wound though. It has to do with how the sequence of events played out.

Padan Fain seemed to leap out of the mists behind Rand, steel gleaming in his fist.
At this point, Fain is behind Rand. Rand's wound is on his left side. Fain would have buried the dagger in Rand's back at this point, and Rand's wound is on Fain's left side. Whether Fain was leaping figuratively or literally, this implies a lot of momentum.

Rand began to turn, twisting aside, and Fain also twisted, to lunge for him.
Rand turned so that he was facing Fain. He twisted aside, but Fain followed his movement while in midleap. Fain's change of direction was drastic enough to get him out of the way of Min's knife, extremely difficult given the momentum from his "leap". He seems to have twisted at the same time Rand did.

Fain's dagger scored along Rand's left side.
Rand's wound is now on Fain's right side. I'm not sure whether Fain is righthanded or lefthanded, or whether Rand turns to the right or the left. But at this point Rand is now fast enough to overwhelm two Warders with his bare hands in the blink of an eye. Yet Fain was still able to anticipate his dodge enough to score a glancing hit and on top of the Falme wound to boot. It's just too convenient to be coincidence, unless the dagger was drawn to the Falme wound specifically. We have several clues that Mashadar's evil really has it big for the Dark One's type of evil. They even fight each other once embedded in Rand's side. Furthermore, up until TGH Rand had always disappeared off of Fain's radar whenever he assumed the void. Rand uses the void for two things, to hold a sword and to channel. Two activities that he has increased the frequency of since then. Yet Fain has stopped complaining about losing Rand. He was able to find Rand in a fog even though Rand was holding a sword and presumably in the void. Although Cadsuane's slap and the words that followed probably helped.
Lost in my own Mind
178. SamanthaBee
AlreadMad, give it a rest.

Inserting your ideas and hypotheses in the text doesn't make you any more correct.

You have your (imho, incorrect) interpretation, but adding additional details of your own invention won't help you convince others their readings of the text are wrong.
Roger Powell
179. forkroot
Well actually I think AMW did raise an interesting conjecture: the idea that the tainted dagger would be attracted to the (differently) tainted wound.

I'm not ready to say I'm convinced, but I wouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand either.
Lost in my own Mind
180. warcaller
Or it could all be due to the fact that Rand is rocking his ta'veren effect at the time. As AMW admits the wound even turns out for the best in the long run.
William Fettes
181. Wolfmage
I take a bit of a middle line on Cadsuane. I do not dispute she has been helpful to the light agenda, including saving Rand’s life a number of times. I also appreciate that she is quick on her feet in a crisis and seems to think more incisively than many of the current living AS, being less paralysed by pointless taboos and the like.

However, I do find her nonetheless grating at times in terms of her overbearing carriage of certainty, self-importance, and her general antagonism. She states that everything she does is to help Rand, and that is true up to a point. But clearly she interprets that very liberally at times such that she is justified in doing anything that will put her on special terms with Rand, making him off balance and uncertain. That logic gives her an awful lot of leeway to do what she likes, however, creating a convenient accountability-free domain for her to be rude and obnoxious to Rand under the cover of helping him. Certainly I won’t deny she has a crucial role in helping Rand and the Asha’man, according to Min’s viewing, but I can’t accept that makes everything she does correct as of right.

Two examples I would cite for her going too far are the slap and her trying to unbalance Rand by referring to mad voices. The slap has been covered above in terms of how it distracted Rand right before Fain’s attack, but even in isolation of that she is taking it too far. Rand may need a sharp reminder not to use balefire routinely, since he hasn't received one since Moiraine left the scene. But Cadsuane is being ignorant about the necessity of balefire to forbid it completely, and she is in no position to determine that Rand is using it willy-nilly anyway. Rand is using it here because of the Mashadar-like qualify of Fain's fog, not because it is his weapon of first-resort. A slap was unnecessary.

Her comment about the voices was also unhelpful. Even though it does unbalance Rand effectively, as a tactic for getting close to him, I am not someone who thinks Cadsuane has any qualification to talk about Rand’s case so casually. She may have a fair bit of experience with male channellers, but she is not anywhere near a qualified psychologist who might be able to bandy words about what might be taint-induced madness or what might be a real voice - something which exists as a corollary of his unique situation – a specific soul reborn according to prophesy. She knows nothing of his situation to fling that in his face, and is just trying to make Rand uncertain.

Of course, obviously I completely reject the fake LTT theory, so even though I understand Cadsuane’s dialogue is deliberately used there to feed that ambiguity as a red herring, I don’t excuse her being so pithy about when she is actually out of her depth. Graendal is perhaps the only person living who is qualified to properly understand Rand’s situation.
Alice Arneson
182. Wetlandernw
Wolf - I'm not sure Graendal would be qualified either. Has she any experience with a specific person reborn knowing who he is? I think all we have to go on regarding her expertise is Semirhage's comment, and I trust her comments even less than the other Forsaken.

I've concluded that I shall reserve judgement on Cadsuane. You all make valid points on her treatment of Rand, both positive and negative. However, she is one of the oldest people around, with the widest experience of anyone except the Forsaken. (Yes, I know, there are Aiel, damane and Kin older than her, but I think Cadsuane has the widest applicable experience.) I'm not excusing the slap, etc., although I could easily find reasons why it would seem perfectly reasonable to her. My big reason for waiting is just this hunch that for some reason her attitude turns out to be critical for Rand's success. I could be wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if somewhere along the line the relationship that has developed between Rand and Cadsuane makes a major difference (for the Light) in some situation to come in the next three books. I'll RAFO on this one...!
Lost in my own Mind
183. AYe Aye Sedai
Bloody Onions and Sheep Swallow - Your are all out of your Minds!!!

No need to argue this bloody point!

It was all Rand's fault for being Ta - ta- ta'veren - he caused all the players to assume the position and then played the hand. That is why Cadsuane slapped him, Min yelled and Fain happend to hit the evil wound - else Rand would have died and the story would have ended.

He could have called out Fain earlier and had a few more deaths on his head, or perhaps he drew the bubble of evil to him at the rebel camp. Etc.

Now do as Leigh has asked and play nice or I'll ask RFife to rickroll you all again or perhaps we can make sure your copy of A Gathering Storm is actually a Harlequin Romance ghost written by John Ringo.
William Fettes
184. Wolfmage
Wetlandernw@182

"Wolf - I'm not sure Graendal would be qualified either. Has she any experience with a specific person reborn knowing who he is? I think all we have to go on regarding her expertise is Semirhage's comment, and I trust her comments even less than the other Forsaken.

Fair point. I don't personally think that Semirhage is lying about Graendal having expertise with madness and reintegration. But reintegration is only introduced for the first time in those remarks, without prior precedent, so I cannot say for certain.

As I see it, if reintegration isn't just a made-up concept, which I doubt, it would have to be a power-based clinical therapy which can help ameliorate cases where the mind has started to fragment its unity of consciousness. That fragmentation could be from general physiological problems, it could be past lives or something else. But by having such a label, I would suppose it to be a technique of specialist application - relevant for extreme clinical cases - but still in a much broader category than Rand's singular unique case.

It is, of course, reasonable to suppose Graendal has no direct experience of a specific, prophesied reborn soul, as per her remarks to Lanfear in tFoH Prologue. But I'd say it's still fairly likely, as an AoL psychologist, just based on probabilities that she would have experience with voices-in-the head. Furthermore, I'd say it’s not unreasonable to extend that experience to suppose that some of those cases may have involved mental fragmentation from past lives. For me, the idea of past lives is so ubiquitous and entrenched in WOT, through the very cyclical nature of the universe, the heroes of the horn, and blood-borne memories, that I don't see eroded barriers between lives having that potential as being implausible. For that reason, I just don't think it is incredible to suppose Graendal probably has that kind of experience.

So Granedal may not be qualified precisely where Rand is concerned, but I'd still suggest she is the only person living with a background in clinical psychology, who would have the kind of casework background to be able to speak somewhat authoritatively on these issues.

Sorry that's a big side-track. My point above was more to contrast real clinical experience, compared to Cadsuane who only has experience catching male channellers and bringing them back to be gentled. She may have talked to them a fair bit, but it's NOT the equivalent of this kind of experience of clinical psychology.

"I've concluded that I shall reserve judgement on Cadsuane.'

No worries. I'm in that camp too, despite what I wrote. I don't see her belligerence as being worse than Nynaeve's, for example, and I love Nynaeve.

“My big reason for waiting is just this hunch that for some reason her attitude turns out to be critical for Rand's success.”

Given her ex nihilo rapid rise to prominence in the story, Min’s viewing and the compact with Soreilla, I’d say that’s highly likely. So I guess we are stuck quibbling over were actions taken that truly served the necessary function of inserting herself into Rand’s life and decision marking, and those that were probably unnecessary eccentricities, bound up with her being a Far Madding-raised wilder, who probably never learnt to defer to anyone under the silly system of AS power-obsessed deference.
Lost in my own Mind
185. alreadymadwithcqb
SamanthaBee @178
My interpretation of how everybody moved during the stabbing may be incorrect, but how would you know? Have you been in any knife-fights lately?

I'll accept my theory about the dagger homing in on the Falme wound may be incorrect, but the simple truth is that scoring even a near-miss on somebody of Rand's supposed skill level is not easy without stacking the odds in Fain's favor.

forkroot @179
If the dagger is indeed attracted to the wound, Fain never actually mentions it. That leaves me with only the mutual annihilation properties of the DO taint and the Mashadar taint. :(

Wetlandernw @182
Graendal was an exceptional psychiatrist in her time and most likely still is. In fact, she may well be the only psychiatrist in the whole Westlands. That said, I don't believe either that even she would know much about Rand's condition. She as good as admitted she does not know anything about it. Taint induced madness did not exist in her era anyway, and neither did people being reborn according to prophecy.

Wolfmage @184
I'd agree. Graendal may not know anything about Rand's condition, but she's also the only one with the necessary background to speak authoritatively about it. And not only because she is a psychiatrist, but also because she was a top-tier Aes Sedai in the AoL and most likely knew LTT personally.

who probably never learnt to defer to anyone under the silly system of AS power-obsessed deference.
I think the correct word would be tri-centarian. Or almost quatro-centarian. In any case she probably never did learn to defer to anyone. She was after all the most powerful Aes Sedai until the Girls came along.
Lost in my own Mind
186. HurinSmells
RE: Cadsuane...
If the book was written entirely from her POV we'd be having discussions on how stubborn and insolent Rand is. RJ wrote he so that she greats on your nerves, because we are sympathetic to Rand. I personally enjoy the conflict she creates, and at least she get's it done! Anyone that's every been responsible for a two year old knows that no matter how much they kick and scream, sometimes you just have to drag them along, because it's a better option than letting them run free on their own and unknowingly run out onto a busy street.

RE: Fain's dagger...
Whether Fain was targeting Rand's wound or not, RJ needed it to happen this way so Rand would get the idea of how to cleanse saidin.

RE: CoT...
I think the reason most people were unhappy with this was because we waited soooo long for it, and the pay off wasn't what we'd hoped for. I think on a re-read when there's no waiting between volumes I had a much better view of it, because it was just like a really long epilogue to WH.
Alice Arneson
187. Wetlandernw
Ain't it great, how much fun we can have quibbling? I love a good quibble. :)

The stinker of it is, I really want to know the answers. Is Cadsuane's behavior necessary? Is it possible to re-integrate Rand & LTT? Would Graendal actually be able to help Rand (if she weren't a Forsaken)? Are the new/rediscovered Talents just a Pattern-quick-fix, or does it have to do with strength in the OP? Why were all those weaves lost in the first place? And on and on... And I'm betting that half the answers I really really want will never be addressed in the books. Well, Rand/LTT's fate will be, somehow, but if any of the rest I just listed (and it's such a small part of the real list) get answered I'll be surprised. I'm just hoping that when (please, WHEN, not IF!!) they release the big Encyclopedia after all the books are finished, a lot of those kind of details are addressed.

Ah, well. RAFO.

Oh, BTW, Wolfmage, I agree that if anyone has the expertise to help Rand, probably Graendal is the only one. Cadsuane has been doing too many different things to really have studied psychology other than as a sideline to whatever else she was doing, and we don't have any evidence to support that. Somebody would have to get an a'dam on Graendal to find out, though. Wouldn't that be fun?

Have to say, though, I have this niggling appreciation for Cadsuane. I'd kind of like to see her vindicated in AMOL. And I know I'm in the minority, but I really like all the girls. Some more than others, and they are all irritating at times, but I like 'em, darn it! They make me laugh. Comes with age, or something - I can remember being like them (each in different ways) when I was their age. I know youth doesn't excuse folly, but it goes a long way to explain it. I was foolish once, too, I guess. Long ago and far away, of course. :)
Aidan Young
188. aidanyoung1102
I think Cadsuane has a very important role to play in the future, but I also think that she has already played an important role in being one of the first people to treat Rand as an equal party -other than his girls- in terms of calling him out on his mistakes. She is the tough aunt/grandmother figure that doesn't give a rip who he is, she's still going to make him wipe his feet on the mat, say please, and keep his elbows off the table.
Roger Powell
189. forkroot
Wolfmage@181
..the Mashadar-like qualify of Fain's fog,
A quick caution here, as this is a fairly common misconception. The fog was not Fain's doing, although he certainly took advantage. In fact, the fog was another "bubble of evil" and if anyone is at fault it would be Rand, since these "bubbles" are attracted to ta'veren.
William Fettes
190. Wolfmage
forkroot @ 189

"A quick caution here, as this is a fairly common misconception. The fog was not Fain's doing, although he certainly took advantage. In fact, the fog was another "bubble of evil" and if anyone is at fault it would be Rand, since these "bubbles" are attracted to ta'veren."

Do you have textual support for that? I've always considered the fog in Blades to be a latent manifestation of Fain's powers, just as Mashadar was created by Mordeth's influence over the population of Shadar Logoth.

The reason for that are the proximity of Fain to the appearance of the fog, Fain's acquisition of other Mordeth-abilities, and the properties and behaviour of the fog which mirror Mashadar pretty well. Why would a bubble of evil mimic something anti-shadow that already exists so closely, when all the previous ones have been unique ad hoc evils? I mean, sure, it's possible. But it seems unlikely given Fain's presence.

Are you referring to the Ebou Dar fog?

aidanyoung1102@188

"treat Rand as an equal party -other than his girls- in terms of calling him out on his mistakes. She is the tough aunt/grandmother figure that doesn't give a rip who he is, she's still going to make him wipe his feet on the mat, say please, and keep his elbows off the table."

I think you really mean treating him like a "person", because being reproached and dressed down as a child, by a tough-as-nails paternalistic grandmother isn't my idea of being treated like an equal.
Hugh Arai
191. HArai
HurinSmells@186: The problem is that Rand isn't a two year old and Cadsuane isn't his experienced parent. He's the Dragon Reborn, and she's winging it at least as much as he is.

I was happy when Nynaeve grew out of beating people with a stick. Too bad at 300+ Cadsuane isn't likely to. Nynaeve covering for insecurity I could sympathize with, but that sort of behavior in someone of Cadsuane's experience is more than a bit grating.

I agree he needs people to call him on his mistakes, but he already has 4 bonded, Nynaeve, Egwene, Bashere, the Maidens and others. Now he has Cadsuane as well obviously. It would be nice to see the poor guy get some credit when he does well though. Moiraine did leave him that "you will do well letter" but really it seems like other than that the only encouragement he gets is when people briefly stop treating him like an idiot.
I'll be impressed if Cadsuane can manage that.
Wayne Wilson
192. stylusmobilus
Fain and his butter knife. IIRC, doesn't Rand turn around at the moment Fain lunges for him and take the hit in the side rather than cop it elsewhere? It's entirely possible Fain could detect the wound, but I've always put it down to timing and ta'verenness. Perhaps the Pattern in there as well.

The 'toothless old wilder'. Also IIRC this wilder just taught Cadsuane a lesson, didn't she? I have the books lying around everywhere, volumes here and there, but I couldn't be stuffed looking for them to find out. Someone here always (or usually) knows.
Roger Powell
193. forkroot
Wolfmage@190
In truth, I was just going on discussions in this and other WoT forums where the issue seems to be considered settled. Since you asked though, it behooved me to look it up for myself.

From the Encyclopedia-WOT:
The fog is a "bubble of evil." It was not something caused by Fain. (TPoD,Glossary,Daved Hanlon)

Hmmm - this made me curious so I read the referenced glossary entry. It talks about Hanlon being reassigned after the other White Lions were destroyed by a bubble of evil. This is indeed referencing the incident in ACoS, so we are 100% sure that it was a bubble of evil.

What is still up for debate is whether Fain could somehow have caused the bubble of evil. I have a dim memory that that might have been answered (in the negative) by RJ himself, but I don't have the reference. Anyone else care to chime in?
Hugh Arai
194. HArai
forkroot@193: I don't have a reference, but I seems odd to me that Fain would take the time to create something so widespread and apparently random and then try to stab Rand. Fain takes advantage of the distraction but I would have thought he could have arranged something more focused if the distraction was all he was looking for.
Lost in my own Mind
195. SamanthaBee
AlreadyMad,

I have been reading this thread with great interest, and I am guessing you have something of a problem with reading comprehension.

I would argue that your theory that Cadsuane is exclusively responsible for Rand's wound due to her hubris(which is an incorrect use of that word as it applies to *her*). It is your theory of what happened that I find incorrect, not your fabricated narrative as to how the knife fight occured. As to that, it is interesting but dubious, and ultimately irrelevant.

I do take issues with you inserting your conjecture of how the 'knife fight' might have happened (hell, your invented ideas of much of the scene), all of which are *your own ideas* not in the story, to support a theory of narrative construction (don't lose track, your central thesis is that it's Cadsuane's hubrise that is the cause of Rand being gravely wounded) that I feel is an incorrect one.

That's all.
Lost in my own Mind
196. alreadymadwithcadspride
SamanthaBee @195
Alright, I'll stop discussing the stabbing, but I'm not the one who came up with the word hubris. I only suggested that if anybody in that scene is guilty of "an internal flaw of pride", it would be Cadsuane. After all, completely ignoring the danger of staying within the fog, she decided to stop and berate Rand for using balefire, since she obviously knows better. Fain would eventually find another opening to attack Rand, I'm sure, but this particular opportunity occurred because she decided to stop and distract Rand instead of pressing on and getting out of the fog as quickly as possible, where Fain's chances of a successful sneak attack were substantially reduced.
Lost in my own Mind
197. lokiian
Just to play devils advocate but what makes you think Galad is a young Republican? Just because he does everything he thinks is right? Does that mean that Democrats don't do things they think are right? He would probably be one of those people without any political party that both sides are trying to draw votes from by lying and implying their rightousness. Because if you think about it you present it in the right light he might also be a member of Greenpeace.
Also yeah Elayne's power seems to be contrived at just the right time, but when would you have liked it introduced, before she really had any time to examine a true artifact?
Lost in my own Mind
198. Rigel Kent
SamanthaBee@195 I haven't read Alreadymad's thesis on the stabbing so I have no opinion on that, but I do want to say that if you're going to get persnickety about the proper usage of a word, you should probably spell it correctly.

More importantly you're wrong about it's meaning. In modern usage any overweening pride is considered hubris whether or not it leads to the individual's destruction displaying the trait.

Much as saying someone's running fast might imply they're in a race, they don't have to be in a race to be running, so describing someone as displaying hubris implies that the person displaying it will be destroyed or damaged by it, it is still hubris even if they are not harmed.

(Interestingly in ancient Greece hubris was a crime that referred to someone committing an act of violence against another person in order to demean them. Considering the nature of the scene under debate and Cadsuane's intentions towards Rand, it's an funny parallel. To me anyways.)
Marcus W
199. toryx
Man. I go away for a weekend and come back to find I've missed out on some of the most interesting conversations in a while. Darn.

Wetlandernw & Isilel:

Thanks, Wetlandernw for asking the question. I've been meaning to do the same for a while now. The resulting conversation was certainly interesting. I feel the same way as Welandernw does. I don't think I'd be interested in a re-read of a series that bothered me as much as WoT seems to bother Isilel. And at this point in my life, I just don't have the time to dwell too much on books that aggravate me. There are too many other books, potentially as enjoyable, that I haven't read yet.

J.Dauro @ 108:

An individual's time sense is pretty much unique to the person. I'm one of those people who can innately sense the approximate time no matter what time of day or night it is or where I am. I can also wake up at any time I want without looking at a clock. I never bother to set an alarm when going to sleep. I just mentally set the time I want to wake up, and I do.

Strangely enough, my time sense is not disturbed by travel. I have no problem keeping track of the local time after traveling overseas and dealing with a five or six hour time difference.

So really, though it may seem impossible to some, getting a reliable feel for the time isn't necessarily impossible for others. I'd say that for folks in Randland it's even easier to establish the approximate time (within a half hour, say) since they rely on celestial objects more than arbitrary methods of tracking time as set up by time zones (which can be horribly inexact) and such useless events as Daylight Savings Time.

On Rand's second wound from Fain:

While Cadsuane pisses me off to no end, I don't think she's remotely responsible for Rand's second wound. If anything, whatever small distraction that resulted from the slap may have saved Rand's life. From my reading of the text, Fain would have been happy to scratch Rand anywhere. It was only from Min shouting at him to watch out, Rand twisting away and Fain's counter-twist that caused the dagger to scratch him on the pre-existing wound: the only place on Rand's body where he would not have died. That was definitely not Fain's goal.
Roger Powell
200. forkroot
toryx@29730 ... (29730?? Looks like tor.com is having its issues today)

Are you sure that it was the fact that the scratch occurred on top of Rand's pre-existing wound that saved his life? I always thought it was a combination of Samitsu doing her best as the EMAS (That's "Emergency Medical Aes Sedai") and then Flinn dealing with the wound by sealing it off with saidin.
Marcus W
201. toryx
forkroot @ 29731:

Man, the comment count suddenly went all kablooey.

That was how I understood it from the text. It's been a while since I read the scene, but as someone else mentioned, the two darknesses within the wounds are constantly doing battle on each other, sort of holding each other back. Supposedly, if he'd been scratched anywhere else Rand would have died before someone with enough healing could reach him, assuming even then they'd be able to stop the corruption. That's how Rand came up with the solution to cleansing Saidin.

I could be wrong, though.
Lost in my own Mind
202. Rand Al'Todd
ARMaboutlotsofthings@many re: Cadsuane

My take is that Cad's biggest "distraction" is her first appearance, while Min is trying to keep Rand from taking on Mordeth (Fain) in front of a hostile crowd. That distraction allows Fain to disappear, only to return with the fog.

The only certainty is that RJ did not want a true confrontation between Rand and Fain at that point in the plot, so we get the wound with its bad news now/good news later aspects.

Reading what I could via a Google Book search, which skipped pages, it sure seemed like the fog was produced by Fain to cover his attack. If RJ said no, it was a random bubble of evil (boe) or if it is named as boe in those skipped pages then OK, otherwise, IMHO it is too closely associated with Fain's attack to be random (even with ta'veren effects). Again, just IMHO.

From the description in the book, I find it hard to argue either way as to if Fain was intentionally targeting the prior wound. Obviously RJ was.
Clinton Henry
203. Jaidee
My take on the Avi gateway making and Elayne's a'dam making skills (and Rand's first gateway come to think of it) is that the manipulation of the power and what you can do with it is linked strongly to instinct/need. Yes you can be taught to do things with the power but even in the age of legend they were still things being discovered, they didn't know everything. Like a running back in football who just know where to find the holes, a soccer(the real football) player who comes up with plays on the fly, basketball players who make moves they have never done before while in a game. It's NEED that motivates and draws out the new. Avi has a strong need to get away from Rand her mind drives the power to get her away, the power responds by creating gateway. Elayne likely have been puzzling over the a'dam since she got her hands on it trying to figure out how it works, her reaction to Nye entering implies this, she just got caught in the act this time.

I think that teachings like the WT, the wise ones, the windfinders while helpful in learning known skills with the power actually inhibits the learning of new ones through fear and self imposed limits. Think of the first guy to ever throw a football in a game, everyone jumped up and said "hey!! you cant do that", to which the likley reply would be "why not? I just did"
Pete Pratt
204. PeteP
I know many people hate Cadsuane, but I think she is just what Rand needed. Rand, as of tSR become obsessed controlling everything around him. Remember, at that time, he is only a farmboy transformed to one of the most important figures in history, without the chance for education and training. Compared to Moiraine or Elayne(who received training in palaces) or any White Tower-trained Aes Sedai, Rand is a little boy trying to learn how to rule the world.

Rand has reasonably good instincts, off the charts strength in the One Power, and Lews Therin helping him to use that power. Unlike Mat (and maybe Perrin), Rand is a reader and a thinker . He spends his spare time trying to get better-- whether studying books, training with the sword (and without), working with Asmodean, etc. With regards to warfare, he usually leaves a lot of planning to those with more experience, but not always. But Rand had totally stopped taking advice from any Aes Sedai. He only listened to Moiraine after she agreed to obey him--and only her knowledge from the Rings allowed her to accept such an inferior position. But she did it try and educate him quickly, and it seems to have work somewhat.

So, by the time Cadsuane shows up, Rand is only listening to his generals, but not entirely. He would listen to the girls of his harem, and Min is very helpful. He sort of listens to Dobraine. He and the clan chiefs mostly ignore the Wise Ones. This whole attitude is only compounded by Dumai Wells. Rand is intensely suspicious of Aes Sedai. Again, we have power unbalanced.

Cadsuane has a whole bunch of baggage, but she is the most accomplished Aes Sedai for 300 years, and the most powerful. Moiraine is the only Aes Sedai who looks to be in her league (and is mentioned as already a legend herself in KoD). Cadsuane is from Far Madding, with all of its cultural baggage. She is intensely sure of herself. She has captured more male channelers than almost the entire Red Ajah. She deserves her legendary status.

I am not sure, as mentioned above, whether RJ planned to introduce Cadsuane from the very conception of the series. The original series was going to be much smaller. But Cadsuane provides a very useful role in helping Rand deal with his position. Cadsuane sees Rand as her last great triumph. Her goal is to get Rand to the Last Battle and have the good side win. Not to be nice to Rand, but to help him win. Rand needed someone not in love with him or submissive to him to help him reach his goals. Just like Siuan had to meet Rand as a fierce wolf in tGH, Rand had to meet Cadsuane as someone who was not afraid of him or intimidated by him, someone he could not bully or threaten. I find it very interesting how Cadsuane varied her approach once she found out about what happened at Dumai Wells.

I think that the more Rand confides in Cadsuane, the less she will berate him and the more they can have a successful partnership. A good example of this is the cleansing of saidin at the end of WH. Rand was planning on going with just Nynaeve, and maybe some Asha'man. Instead, Cadsuane brings a whole channeler crew, men and women, who defeat most of the remaining Forsaken, allowing Rand to complete the job. Without Cadsuane, Rand would have been captured by Semirhage in KoD. I really hope that Cadsuane removes her Oaths to give her the extra 300 years, because tWoT really need her to help reshape the Aes Sedai.
Lost in my own Mind
205. J.Dauro
toryx @199

I will believe that people can tell time by celestial observation, and that some people can basically call the time with reasonable accuracy.

But I still maintain, without widespread and reliable timepieces, time ZONES do not work. And we have seen that clocks are considered very valuable in WOT, and are probably not very common.

Most people read celestial time during the day based on sun position, usually using local apparent noon. But for a time zone local apparent noon is usually not noon (unless you are on the centerline of the zone.) So everybody has to learn an adjustment factor. And this factor doesn't work three villages over.

Travellers would go nuts trying to adapt to every town.
Roger Powell
206. forkroot
Rand Al'Todd@202
We have indisputable proof from later text that it was a bubble of evil. The only issue in question is if Fain could have somehow caused or attracted the BoE.

As I see it, the only evidence for that position is that it provided him an opportunity to attack Rand.

The evidence against the position is twofold:
1) There is no other instance of Fain doing that (attracting or generating a BoE), unlike some of his known powers (the illusion traps, etc.)
2) Ta'veren attract BoE - which yields a very plausible alternate reason.

Barring someone coming up with an RJ quote to settle it, I think we'll just have to weigh the evidence and draw our own conclusions.
Lost in my own Mind
207. alreadymadwithfarmadding
PeteP @204
You've said it yourself. Cadsuane has a lot of baggage from growing up in Far Madding. IMHO she is NEVER going to let go of the superior position she has over Rand. Not while she draws breath. She will use anything and everything around her to maintain that position of superiority. That's how Far Madding is. It's the most matriarchal society outside of Tar Valon. They actually condone corporeal punishment of disobedient males. Cadsuane will fight tooth and nail to maintain her authority over Rand if she has to whip him everyday to do it.
Tess Laird
208. thewindrose
And remember what Cadsuane has now at the end of Winter's Heart: Callandor and the male Choedan Kal...
Marcus W
209. toryx
J Dauro @ 205:

But I still maintain, without widespread and reliable timepieces, time ZONES do not work. And we have seen that clocks are considered very valuable in WOT, and are probably not very common.

We're not in disagreement there. And we've seen nothing (or I do not recall anything) to suggest that man-made time zones even exist in Randland.

People in Randland determine the time by the position of the sun (or moon and stars). Since the standard modes of travel before Skimming and Traveling were rediscovered was only as fast as a ship or horse can take you, few travelers in Randland would ever have to deal with broad differences in time through a day's journey. They'd likely make minor adjustments on a day to day basis the further east or west they went without even thinking about it.

Travelling and Skimming would make the time differentials a lot more obvious. Anyone Traveling from east to west would be able to determine pretty easily that it's a lot earlier in the day than it was when they left, and vice versa. You don't need to have an artificially determined time zone to tell that it's approximately three hours after dawn when moments ago it was actually nearing noon. People accustomed to measuring the passage of time with the movement of the sun would be able to determine the approximate time pretty easily just by looking up at the sky, no matter where they are.

I also think that an innate awareness of one's body clock would be a lot more common in a world without clocks and watches.
F Shelley
210. FSS
I've been trying not to say this for a while, but what the hell....


Time Zones? Really? Your panties are in a bunch because of time zones? THIS is what make WoT not real for you?

Huh.

For my $0.02, I guess it all depends on how big the main continent (plot-wise) really is. In my head, I've always considered it about the size of Western and Central Europe, with the spine of the world and the Aiel Waste starting about where Poland ends going East. I guess because the lower left hand corner looks so much like Spain and Portugal (not much use, really, when you consider the Breaking) I dunno, it could be the size of Asia. Does anyone have a reference for this?

If it's smallish like I think, then isn't most of Western and Centraal Europe in one or maybe two time zones? Not much of an issue.

If it's the size of Asia, then yeah, someone's either staying up late or going to sleep early or waiting around in Tel Anan RHoid for hours, and yes, I agree, that the World Of Dreams' ability to be moldable in a temporal sense is key to people being able to meet up there...
Lost in my own Mind
211. CowboyDenver
Nynaeve cracks me up too. Somewhere along the way I cast Lisa Kudro in the part. Try it. I think you will agree that she would be the perfect actress.
Lost in my own Mind
212. endertek
Leigh - I, too, am wondering why you think of Galad as being a Young Republican in training and find him having a sensitivity to the plight of animals as being at odds with being a Republican. I can't help but wonder why you associate Republican with one of the most disliked characters in the series. I was thinking perhaps you see him as a YR because we are all so gorgeous and he fits that criterium. I'm hoping it has nothing to do with the white cloak/KKK association as we all know that Lincoln was a Republican and the only KKK member in Congress was a Democrat. Would appreciate your thoughts. Republicans adopt animals from the humane society just like anyone else.
Lost in my own Mind
213. Sofie Sedai
First time commenting here and my third re-read.

If I remember correctly, it is mentioned when Elayne is collared in Falme, that she has the ability to sense where an old (iron?)mine is situated outside the city. I see this as a foreshadowing of her working with the metals in the ter'angreals both in the a'dam and in the dream-angreals.
Lost in my own Mind
214. Ellie Angel
re: readers who stopped

I have a good friend who stopped at Book IV and my Dad stopped at Book V. The first thought the Aiel jumped the shark; my Dad thought Rand was getting boring/mean and the plot silly in its convolutions.

If I had not started the series in high school, I would not be reading now.
John Massey
215. subwoofer
@Ellie- Good on ya! It does take a certain bit of determination to muscle through several books at 700+ pages each. Never quit:)

And feel free to join us on our merry romp through A Crown of Swords pt 7. Freelancer is contemplating arson...

Woof™.
Rob Munnelly
216. RobMRobM
Sofie @213 - Egwene is the collared one with skills in earth rather than Elayne. Sorry but keep the ideas coming - we love them here. Rob
Lost in my own Mind
217. Brian H.
Bad joke alert!

Does anyone else find the juxtaposition of chapter 32's title with the events in the preceeding chapter, well, humorous?

I mean, Rand FINALLY gets some action. And then the next chapter is called "A Short Spear".

Way to kick a guy when he's down. And naked.
Lost in my own Mind
218. s'rEDIT
@217 Oops! Brian you just proved to us all that you do *not* read the comments . . . see @86 and 87.

I enjoyed the discussion about TIME in Randland and Seanchan. toryx, I'm fascinated that you have this Talent in RL . . . wish I did!
Lost in my own Mind
219. VandalThor
-yay present time comments. wait for it.....k nevermind
-@86,87&217- seanchan was very cold for some reason. It wasn't rands fault.
Lost in my own Mind
228. paisleyc
I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this mainly because well...I'm not going to read over 200 post to check something this small but did anyone notice that Avi is NAKED when Rand see her. She runs. He follows. They wake up and walk back and all of a sudden there is talk of here skirts. Am I reading this wrong or has she also figured out a weave that creates clothing?
Alice Arneson
229. Wetlandernw
paisleyc @228 - When Aviendha fled through her gateway and Rand had blocked it open, "...he ripped all the blankets from the bed and tossed them onto her clothes and pallet. Siezing blankets, clothes and rugs all together, he plunged through only moments behind her." He took her clothes along, so she had them for the return.
Lost in my own Mind
230. paisleyc
Wetlandernw @229 - Thank you for clearing that up for me I must have missed that part and it was bothering me!
Edward Phippen
231. Grimwanderer
Ok. I'm a little late.... Sue me. Only by a couple of years. :-).

I have to assume that no one will probably ever read this, but thought I would add my belated 2 cents anyway. Funny that I picked a post where I don't have much to say to finally say something.

First, my WoT history: Long time WoT reader (I think 2 books were out when I started). My ex-inlaws introduced my (now ex-) wife and i to the series. Absolutely loved the early books but became disillusioned when I felt the series started to drag. Kept plowing through but took longer and longer to get around to each new book. Until late last year I still hadn't got around to Knife of Dreams. Finally read it and was delighted to see the story actually advancing. Picked up (and devoured.... no silly comments, I'm being figurative) Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight. Decided to do a reread before the last book as I found my memory lacking on a number of points. I was on book 2 when I stumbled across this reread (feb or march I think). I actually stopped my reread until I caught up to the same point on this reread. At first, I tried to read all the comments as well but realized it might take years (especially after the thread-which-shall-not-be-named-but-which-broke-the-Tor-website). So, now I'm going through the chapters, reading Leigh's recap, then reading the first 20 comments or so of each posts. And that brings us to (my) present day.

Anywho....I've always had challenges with the characterization of women in Wheel of Time. Many seem to be written as overly manipulative harridans. (Nynaeve being one of the worst.... In my first read I pictured her as a somewhat youngish crone: stocky, plain looking at best, and meaner than a junkyard dog ....never even picked up on the statements about her being pretty.... Just formed my mental image based on that early characterization and ignored anything to the contrary). I have to confess, however, that I find myself liking and relating to Nynaeve more this time. Perhaps it is an age thing.... Perhaps my older (if not wiser) self can understand and relate to her motivations more than my younger self did.

As far as the soap opera (rand and his women, egwene and galad, Nynaeve and Lan, etc.). Still not crazy about it. But do enjoy parts more this time ... I was pretty religious when I first read the books so was shocked (no..... Shocked!) at the pre-marital encounters. Now I am not so religious and that doesn't bother me so much (although some of the relationships do read like a romance novel. (I'm looking at you Rand and Aviendha).

Matt is probably my favorite character of the series .... But then I've always been attracted to bad boys (and now you know why I'm no longer married and not a religious conservative anymore. :-)

Leigh: Aludra is cannon, you say? I say she is on a cannonball run! (one bad line deserves another after all).
Lost in my own Mind
232. jimbobcbb
Corenne II: Electric Boogaloo, LMAO ... was having a sip of my drink when I read that ... still mopping up my computer desk :)

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