Jun 29 2009 11:56am

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 14

Happy Monday, bah. Here’s your freakin’ Wheel of Time Re-read post. Now bring me coffee.

Just kidding. I love Mondays. Really. Mondays are my FAVORITE.

You seem unconvinced. Well, fine, don’t believe me then! I was going to tell you all about Chapters 34-35 of The Fires of Heaven, but now I ain’t gonna! Nyah!

Don’t give me those puppy dog eyes! Here, here’s a whole Index of previous entries, go on, read them! They have spoilers for the series and everything! Get lost!

Okay, seriously, stop looking at me like that. I mean it! Hey – okay, quit it – Ahh! Stop being so pathetic and adorable! AAHH! Must – resist... Crap.

Chapter 34: A Silver Arrow

What Happens
Elayne cooks what Nynaeve considers a ridiculously elaborate dinner, and she reflects that she doesn’t understand why Juilin and Thom and Luca always seem to eat at another wagon when it is Nynaeve’s turn to cook. Luca is sitting too close to her, as usual, even though she had moved her stool three times, and spends the meal comparing her to flowers.

“That gown will frame your unfolding bravery to perfection,” he murmured in her ear, “yet not a quarter so well as you display yourself, for night-blooming dara lilies would weep with envy to see you stroll beside the moonlit water, as I would do, and make myself a bard to sing your praises by this very moon.”

She blinked at him, working that out. Luca seemed to believe she was fluttering her lashes; she accidentally hit him in the ribs with her elbow before he could nibble her ear.

She moves her stool again, while Juilin and Thom pretend to notice nothing and Elayne shakes her head. Nynaeve stands up, and Luca looks hopeful, but she thanks him for joining them and says she’s sure Thom and Juilin will appreciate him helping with the dishes. Then she hands him her plate and goes inside the wagon, Elayne following. Inside, Elayne tells Nynaeve that she shouldn’t encourage Luca; astounded, Nynaeve exclaims that the only way she could encourage him less would be to stab him. Elayne disagrees, pointing out that her little coy flight with the stools is the kind of thing that only encourages a man like Luca.

“If you would snap his nose off the way you did the first day, he might give up. You don’t tell him to stop, you do not even ask! You kept smiling at him, Nynaeve. What is the man supposed to think? You haven’t smiled at anyone in days!”

Nynaeve thinks this is unfair, considering everyone had been admonishing her to hold her temper, and changes the subject, asking for the ring. Elayne is concerned at the way Nynaeve keeps going into Tel’aran’rhiod every night except for the meetings with Egwene, but Nynaeve tells her she has more questions for Birgitte, and again tells herself she is not avoiding Egwene. Elayne sighs and hands the ring over, asking Nynaeve to ask Birgitte again to allow her to tell Egwene about her. She wonders why the Wise Ones never come with Egwene when they meet in the Tower, and why Egwene doesn’t seem to want her to even mention it to them, and Nynaeve supposes it is because they have no love for the Tower, even if it weren’t a total mess. She lies down and ruminates on the Luca situation for a moment before falling asleep. In the Dreamworld, she stands among the wagons (where the lions and bears show up, but the s’redit do not), and realizes she is wearing the red dress. She changes it hastily to Two River wool, and Birgitte steps out and asks why she changed. She reflects fondly on a time when she wore a dress like that to distract some guards so Gaidal could sneak by them, and laughs that she won “fifty gold solids” from him gambling that night because he couldn’t stop staring. Nynaeve is primly about to change the subject when Birgitte does it for her, telling her that she has found Moghedien. Heart fluttering, Nynaeve asks if Birgitte can get her close, and Birgitte says she can, but warns Nynaeve that Moghedien is not alone, and she doubts Nynaeve wants to take on five Forsaken at once. Nynaeve is terrified, but determined not to show it to Birgitte, and promises to be silent. Birgitte lays a hand on Nynaeve’s arm, and suddenly they are standing in midair in a black void. Birgitte points below them, and Nynaeve sees Moghedien bent over, listening intently to a group of four people below her in high-backed, elaborate chairs; Nynaeve can hear every word clearly. A “plumply pretty” blonde woman, in a chair carved with acrobats doing things that are not just acrobatics, is in the middle of asking why the stocky blond man with the scar across his face is deciding to be a coward all of a sudden; the scarred man (his chair has carvings of battle scenes and lighting bolts) replies angrily that he is no coward, but if they continue as they have, “he” will come straight for him.

“That has been the plan from the beginning,” said a woman’s melodious voice. Nynaeve could not see the speaker, hidden behind the towering back of a chair that seemed all snow-white stone and silver.

The second man was large and darkly handsome, with white wings streaking his temples. He toyed with an ornate golden goblet, leaning back in a throne. [...] “He will concentrate on you,” the big man said in a deep voice. “If need be, one close to him will die, plainly at your order. He will come for you. And while he is fixed on you alone, the three of us, linked, will take him. What has changed to alter any of that?”

The scarred man growls that he doesn’t trust him, and insists on being part of the link, but the blonde woman laughs and points out that “he” will know if the scarred man is linked, since he has a teacher now.

“Next you will ask to include enough of those Black Ajah children to take the circle beyond thirteen, so you or Rahvin must have control.”

The unseen woman chimes in that if Rahvin trusts them enough to let them lead, so can he, Sammael. Why does he begin to quibble now, when he already agreed? Birgitte touches Nynaeve’s arm again, and they appear back among the wagons. Nynaeve asks why she took them away, did Moghedien notice them? Birgitte says no, but she did not like being so exposed; all any of them would have had to do is look up. Nynaeve shivers, and says obviously the two men were Rahvin and Sammael; Birgitte tells her that Lanfear was the one hidden by her chair, and the other woman was Graendal. She tells Nynaeve not to let Graendal’s licentious affectations fool her into underestimating her.

“Graendal is devious,” Moghedien’s voice said, “but not devious enough.”

Birgitte whirled, silver bow coming up, silver arrow almost flying to nock — and abruptly hurtled thirty paces through the moonlight to crash against Nynaeve’s wagon so hard that she bounced back five and lay in a crumpled heap.

Nynaeve reaches for saidar desperately, but Moghedien has already shielded her, and swiftly contorts Nynaeve’s body into a configuration that stops just short of breaking her bones; Moghedien tells her she got the idea for the contortion from Graendal’s chair. Nynaeve tries to step out the dream, but nothing happens. Moghedien can hardly believe Nynaeve actually came hunting for her, as if the first time wasn’t pure luck. Nynaeve snarls at her to do her worst.

“Lucky, you say? If you hadn’t managed to sneak up on me, I’d have striped you till you wailed. I’d have wrung your neck like a chicken.” She had only one chance, if Birgitte was dead, and a bleak one. To make Moghedien so angry that she killed her quickly in a rage. If only there was some way to warn Elayne. Her dying would have to do it.

She continues taunting Moghedien until the Forsaken gags her with Air, and decides that she will turn Nynaeve into a horse, and make it so she is one whenever she comes here. She’ll give her a saddle and bridle, and braid her mane; she doesn’t think Nynaeve will enjoy “their rides”. She asks if the “yellow-haired chit” is with her at the menagerie, and Nynaeve says she is alone; Moghedien crucios her for a few moments and asks again. Weeping, Nynaeve says Elayne ran off with a man in Tanchico, after they heard what happened in the Tower. Moghedien laughs that this is a delightful tale, and she can see what fascinates Semirhage about breaking the spirit. She explains to Nynaeve that there are some things that are stronger in the Dreamworld than in the waking one, and Compulsion, like wounds, is one of the things that last past waking. Which is why Nynaeve is shortly going to wake up and take her friend prisoner. She is gloating about this when suddenly she screams, and Nynaeve sees a silver arrow lodged in her torso right before she is dropped painfully to the ground. Birgitte, stumbling and trying to fit another arrow to her bow, mumbles at Nynaeve to get out of there.

The glow around Moghedien increased until it seemed as if the blinding sun surrounded her.

The night folded in over Birgitte like an ocean wave, enveloping her in blackness. When it passed, the bow dropped atop empty clothes as they collapsed. The clothes faded like fog burning off, and only the bow and arrows remained, shining in the moonlight.

Moghedien sinks to her knees and vanishes as well, leaving the arrow behind. Sobbing, Nynaeve crawls to where the bow lies on the ground and clutches it, crying for Birgitte to forgive her.

Liandrin leaps to her feet as the bedroom door crashes open and Moghedien staggers out, soaked in blood; Chesmal and Temaile immediately jump to aid her, but Liandrin doesn’t move. Moghedien tells Chesmal thickly to Heal her, and Liandrin sneers to herself as Chesmal obeys without hesitation. Moghedien gasps and writhes with the Healing, and afterwards Temaile has to help her turn and head for her room.

Weak, and her back turned.

Liandrin struck as hard as she ever had, with everything she had puzzled out of what the woman had done to her.

Even as she did, saidar seemed to fill Moghedien like a flood. Liandrin’s probe died as the Source was shielded from her. Flows of Air picked her up and slammed her against the paneled wall hard enough to make her teeth rattle. Spread-eagled, helpless, she hung there.

Moghedien calmly moves to stand in front of Liandrin, who stammers that she was only trying to make sure she had “the good sleep”, and cuts off as flows of Air seize her tongue and come within a hair of yanking it out. Moghedien debates aloud whether to rip it out or not, and remarks it is Liandrin’s misfortune that the al’Meara woman makes her think of Semirhage. She ties off the shield on Liandrin with a knot so elaborate Liandrin can’t follow it, and tells her she will search a long time before she finds anyone who can unravel that.

“You thought you had learned something of Compulsion,” Moghedien went on. “I will teach you a bit more.” For an instant Liandrin shivered, Moghedien’s eyes filling her vision as the woman’s voice filled her ears, her entire head. “Live.” The instant passed, and sweat beaded on Liandrin’s face as the Chosen smiled at her. “Compulsion has many limits, but a command to do what someone wants to do in their inmost depths will hold for a lifetime. You will live, however much you think you want to take your life. And you will think of it. You will lie weeping many nights, wishing for it.”

Moghedien slaps her around when Liandrin tries to plead for mercy, and tells her that she will be given as the new scullery maid to the lady of the house, who has certainly not forgotten the things Liandrin had done to her earlier. Liandrin is sobbing by now, and Moghedien tells Temaile to “prepare her” for the servants, but make sure they don’t kill or maim her; she wants Liandrin to live a long time. She heads out with Chesmal, discussing menageries and Ghealdan, ignoring Liandrin’s broken pleas. Liandrin turns to Temaile and tries to convince her to turn against Moghedien with her. For one moment, Temaile seems tempted, but then shakes her head and says Liandrin never knew when to quit, and she will not make the same mistake; she will do what she is told. She smiles, and Liandrin begins to scream.

Oof. This chapter hits hard on the action front, after so much vamping in the chapters preceding it. It’s funny how, even with the benefit of eleven books’ worth of hindsight on how reluctant Jordan is to kill off major characters, that what happens to Birgitte and Nynaeve here can still produce a squirmy anxiety in me on their behalf. Not to mention a wince of pain, reading about Nynaeve’s pretzeling. Ow.

Crucio: yeah, I know, you’re like “get your Harry Potter out of my WOT, Leigh Butler!” But seriously, you come up with a one-word term that describes “magically inducing excruciating pain” better than that. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU.

I heart Nynaeve, I really do. She’s frequently an idiot, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when the chips are down, girl is hardcore. Being able to spit in the face of someone who just twisted you up like a Rubik’s cube and is about to turn you into livestock more than makes up for her lack of social skills, if you ask me.

Speaking of which, it’s telling to me that Elayne really doesn’t seem to get that Nynaeve isn’t leading Luca on. Well, she is, but not on purpose. Flirting is like any other game: it takes training and practice to be good at it. And if you never even tried it (and I’m fairly certain it’s been an alien concept to Nynaeve up till now), it can awfully difficult to even realize that you’re in the middle of a match.

At base, it’s a question of perception: if you’re not used to thinking of yourself as an object of desire/interest to others, the indications that others do find you desirable or interesting can fly right over your head. Especially since most social codes dictate that these signs be fairly subtle, at least for people of non-assholish persuasion.

Of course, Luca is not exactly being subtle, here, but that’s just an indication of how divorced Nynaeve’s mental picture of herself is from the way Luca evidently sees her. This is as opposed to Elayne, who by virtue of her looks and rank would probably find it an alien concept not to be found desirable. This is not a slur on Elayne, either (at least it isn’t from me), because each extreme is its own form of blindness, and something both women have to deal with.

Liandrin: Sometimes I am surprised with the amount of sympathy I feel toward evil characters who have bad shit happen to them, like Isendre, but Liandrin is not in that category. She shoulda oughta known bettah. Temaile, while evil and additionally scary (I always picture a giant blue-eyed china doll torturing the crap out of you, eek), sums her up perfectly:

“You have never known how high to lift your eyes. ‘Who reaches for the sun will be burned.’”

So, bye, Icarus! See you in three books or so!

Forsaken Sit-in of Evil Plotting: Even though this is the plot (no pun intended) that drives pretty much the whole of TFOH, I really don’t have much to say about it, since from a hindsight perspective it’s all fairly self-explanatory. It becomes much more relevant in the endgame stages of the novel, so we’ll come back to it then.

Chapter 35: Ripped Away

What Happens
Bored, Elayne watches Nynaeve sleep; she had tried the little Healing she knew on Nynaeve’s black eye just for something to do. Suddenly she notices that tears are leaking from Nynaeve’s closed eyes, and she is whimpering very faintly. She debates whether to try waking Nynaeve, and just as she is about to start shaking her, Nynaeve’s eyes pop open.

Immediately Nynaeve began to weep aloud, the most despairing sound Elayne had ever heard. “I killed her. Oh, Elayne, I killed her with my foolish pride, thinking I could...” The words trailed off in openmouthed sobs.

Elayne asks who, but then someone starts pounding on the door to the wagon. Elayne opens it, and Thom shoves in, carrying a female figure covered in a cloak in his arms. Behind him, Juilin says she was just there all of a sudden, stark naked, right before she collapsed; Thom adds that she’s alive, but only barely. Confused, Elayne pulls the cloak back, and sees with shock it is Birgitte. Nynaeve scrambles up and breathes that she is alive, and tells Elayne to get the men out so she can work. Thom and Juilin roll their eyes at each other, but let Elayne herd them out without complaint. Nynaeve growls curses at Moghedien, working herself up, and Elayne watches with amazement the incredibly complex Healing weave Nynaeve is using. Nynaeve swears she will make Moghedien pay, and then says despondently that it isn’t working; there’s no wound, but Birgitte is fading. She keeps trying, and Elayne says slowly that maybe she can do something that would help.

You were supposed to have permission, but it had not always been so. Once it had been done almost as often without as with. There was no reason it should not work on a woman. Except that she had never heard of it being done to any but men.

Nynaeve thinks she is talking about linking, but Elayne just asks her to let her try. Nynaeve moves away, and Elayne lays a hand on Birgitte’s forehead and channels a complex weave of Spirit, not really understanding what she was doing but imitating what she had secretly watched being done in the Tower. She finishes and sits down, and Nynaeve frowns, examining Birgitte, and asks what Elayne just did. Elayne asks if Birgitte will live, and Nynaeve says she isn’t fading anymore, but it’s too soon to tell. Elayne confesses that she bound Birgitte as a Warder.

The incredulous stare on the other woman’s face made her rush on. “Healing was doing no good. I had to do something. You know the gifts a Warder gets from being bonded. One is strength, energy. He can keep going when other men would collapse and die, survive wounds that would kill anyone else. It was the only thing I could think of.”

After a moment, Nynaeve admits that if any woman could be a Warder, Birgitte could, and wonders what Lan would think of it. She tells Elayne that she will have to keep this secret, and Elayne agrees fervently; an Accepted bonding a Warder was not quite a stilling offense, but it was next thing to it. She asks Nynaeve what happened, and Nynaeve almost begins crying again, but then tells Elayne flatly and in excruciating detail everything that had happened. She curses herself for stupid, foolish pride, and says she deserves to still be back there in Moghedien’s hands, and that would mean Birgitte would not be here. Elayne points out logically that if Nynaeve were still in Moghedien’s clutches, she would very shortly be waking up and shielding Elayne, so all things considered this turned out as well as could be expected. Nynaeve refuses to look at her, and Elayne tells her she is foolish for taking the blame when it is Moghedien’s fault. Nynaeve finally replies that Elayne doesn’t understand.

Her voice sank almost to a whisper. “She... was... one of the heroes bound to the Wheel of Time, destined to be born again and again to make legends. She wasn’t born this time, Elayne. She was ripped out of Tel’aran’rhiod as she stood. Is she still bound to the Wheel? Or has she been ripped away from that, too? Ripped away from what her own courage earned her, because I was so proud, so man-stubborn stupid, that I made her hunt for Moghedien?”

Elayne had hoped that hadn’t occurred to Nynaeve yet, and distracts her by asking if she thinks Moghedien died. Nynaeve doesn’t think so, as the arrow missed her heart, and she is sure the Forsaken will be after them directly. Elayne disagrees; first of all, it takes days to recover from being Healed after a wound like that, and secondly, all Moghedien knows is that they are with a menagerie, and Luca is livid because there are already eleven other menageries in Samara, and three more on their way. She suggests that Nynaeve stop wearing her hair in her trademark braid, and dye it another color. Nynaeve sighs that she is tired of everything, and Elayne tries to get her to sleep, but Nynaeve gets up and says she needs to walk.

At the door she paused. “If she wants to kill me,” she said bleakly, “I do not know that I could make myself stop her.” She went into the night barefoot and sad-faced.

I was surprised to discover that there is no step in Campbell’s Hero’s Journey that specifically describes this moment that’s happening here for Nynaeve, at least not as far as I am aware. (I must guiltily confess that I have never read the original text, only summaries or discussions of it. I tried to watch the filmed interview with Bill Moyer the book is basically a transcription of and, uh, fell asleep. But seriously, you know what that film is? It’s two guys sitting... and talking... and talking... and sitting... and THEN, you know what they do? They sit. And they talk! I mean, it’s an interview, I get that, I’m not asking for a car chase scene or anything, but come on. They couldn’t have cut in some photo stills or stock footage or illustrations, or shot some crappy reenactments, or let us watch some paint dry, or SOMETHING besides two guys? Sitting? And talking? For hours??)

Um. So that was... a tangent. Back to WOT!

The moment I’m talking about generally falls within The Road of Trials, obviously, but this is a moment that is particular unto itself: the trial that the hero not only fails, but fails in a way that brings her close to despair.

In three-act structure screenwriting, on the other hand, this does have a name. It usually happens in Act II, and is called the “midpoint”, where the protagonist reaches his lowest point and seems furthest from reaching his goal.

Now, obviously Nynaeve is not the protagonist of WOT (that would be Rand), nor can this be remotely considered the midpoint of the series as a whole (which would of necessity have to involve the protagonist, i.e. Rand. I tentatively place the series’ midpoint in TPOD, which may explain why I hate that book so much, but a case can also be made for it being Rand’s capture and torture in LOC). However, if you consider the Nynaeve vs. Moghedien story arc separately from the other plot threads, this is quite definitely the midpoint of it. The climax and resolution (for slightly odd values of “resolution”, but whatever) of the arc, of course, happens at the end of TFOH, when Nynaeve confronts and captures Moghedien, finally decisively besting her, but this chapter is where Nynaeve is furthest from accomplishing that goal.

And it happens in a classic way, when the protagonist has it brought home to her for the first time that not only might the cost of her struggle be a higher price than she is willing to pay, but that others besides herself might have to be the ones to pay it – which of course is the worst realization of all for your typical hero.

It resonates strongly, for me, like that moment (usually in your twenties or thereabouts, if you’re lucky) where for the first time you realize, really realize, that you are not immortal, that you are not invincible. That you could actually die if you continue to do stupid shit like that thing you just did. It’s one of those things that is screamingly obvious in hindsight, but at the time can hit you like a freight train if you don’t see it coming. (Hopefully not literally.)

(Tangentially, I am reminded of Douglas Adams’ definition of experience: “Experience is where you say to yourself, ‘You see that thing you just did there? Don’t do that.’” Heh.)

On Birgitte’s status as Hero of the Wheel or not: Nynaeve’s question has not been definitively answered as of yet, but Min’s later viewing of thousands of images around Birgitte, indicating “more adventures than a woman could have in one lifetime”, hints that it may not be quite as bleak as Nynaeve feared. My personal vote (based on nothing more than that I like the idea) is that she was ripped out and is no longer a Hero, but will acquit herself bravely enough in Tarmon Gai’don that she’ll get a fresh backstage pass.

Bonding, you say? What, invoking Campbell wasn’t good enough for you? Ah, don’t worry, grasshopper, we’ll cover that in the next chapter.

Which will be next time, Gadget, next time! See you Wednesday!

F Shelley
1. FSS
Actually, Min's vision was more concrete than that, with Min seeing Birgitte's life entwined with an older man for lifetime upon lifetime, then with a much younger man for lifetime upon lifetime.

I think she's still bound.

BTW - wow this was early!
2. Jormengrund
I kind of liken Nynaeve's experience here with Lucas' Star Wars series..

Her facing Moghedien here reminds me of the duel Luke Skywalker had with Darth Vader in Cloud City.

I can almost hear Moghedien whisper to her "Nynaeve, _I_ am your father" or something similar....

Sorry, geeked out a bit there..

Loved the re-read Leigh!
3. Lost in my own Mind
I know others have commented that they have been disappointed at times that the forsaken aren't formidable enough as adversaries. I think the plot in TFOH is a good example. The idea is "we will bait him to attack Sammeal" which they try to do but this barely trained farm boy sees through it. Not only does Rand see through it, so does everyone else. Later in the book even Nynaeve, who only hears about Sammeals actions during the battle for Carhein secondhand, comments that it reminded her of one man daring another to knock a stick (or something) off his shoulder. The forsaken are supposed to be world class plotters and this is the best they can do?
Richard Singleton
4. Rick
Sensational: a post before I get to bed! That has to be a first.

Leigh, take a holiday so you can come and post from Australia for a bit. I'm sure you deserve it.

Another side note, it's nice to not be self-ensnared reading 100+ comments, running out of posting steam before posting my own (this is a first). So a quick hello to all the regulars who I've enjoyed reading as much as Her Highnessness LB. (except you R.Fife, I'm still seething about being rickrolled, not that I hold a grudge mind)

To the books, to the books:

This part (anything near a wretched menagerie) isn't a high point for me. The exception is the entrance of Birgitte to the real world which is good news because of her awesomeness as a fun female character.

Glad to see Liandrin get what was coming, I remember being red-hot-mad about her betrayal of the wonder girls and wanting some good solid revenge on their behalf. Has she crossed paths with them since this shielding? Do we see her again, can't remember right now??

Sad to say that I glaze and skim anything with Valan Luca. Hoped I could stomach the reread, but even Leigh couldn't hold the eyes open in Menagerie land. Perhaps it is the 1:30am? Come to think of it, I'm sure that on first read I was on edge of seat for all 989 pages!

Goodnight and till next time :)
John Massey
5. subwoofer
Is everything okay? It's the morning and you did a post.... am going outside to witness the end of days. Not that I am complaining. Yay for Monday.

Thanks for keeping my sanity.
Marcus W
6. toryx
I agree wholeheartedly about Nynaeve. Say what you will about her social graces (and lack thereof) she did not hesitate to try and get Moghedian to kill her so that Elayne could be warned. That's seriously admirable.

And I love seeing Liandrin get what was coming to her. If RJ isn't going to be killing people off, at least he was able to put together some serious justice from time to time. He actually made me glad that Moghedian didn't die, just to be able to see that.

On Elayne's bonding: I really have to wonder why it hadn't been done with a woman before. Or if it had, why such bondings had been buried and forgotten. Is it because of the level of servitude that the Aes Sedai place on the men they bonded? Women just aren't willing to go that far? Or is it that women are more successful at resisting an Aes Sedai's command, and therefore the AS aren't as interested in a female Warder?

I've waited until this chapter to jump in on the discussion of what Birgitte's removal from Tel'aran'rhiod means. At first, I thought that it meant that when she died, that was it: no more future lives for her. Then as Leigh mentioned, Min went and saw that she'd have more adventures than one lifetime can provide.

Still, I don't think she's bound to the horn anymore. I think she'll have to earn that right again, and I don't think it'll be easy, given that she's in the predictament she is because she broke one of the main rules of being bound. Seems like a punishment besides being cast out of Tel'aran'rhiod would be warranted.
7. perrin5454
With regards to the lack of depth in the forsaken plan. It is possible that the plan is so simple because they so underestimate Rand. After all, he is just a jumped up shepherd. No on knows about the Lews Therin memories. Asmodean and Lanfear may suspect, but even with Asmodean to teach him Rand is still vastly underprepared for this. My point is that the simplicity and lack of sophistication may just be a lack of respect for the target.
Kurt Lorey
8. Shimrod
@8? toryx. (Something is wrong with the numbering today)

In a later book, there was a little bit of exposition about Elayne and Birgitte being Bonded.

Mostly, IIRC it was partly biological and partly cultural. I imagine the cultural part far outweighed any biological drawback(s).

Masking the Bond just didn't seem to work as well for two persons of the same gender. Aviendha and Min found this to be true as well. ;)

oosquai all around (drunken mouse quantities, if you please).
9. Wes S.
I felt sorry for Nynaeve at this point in the series, but one of the infuriating things about the character is that while Nynaeve later comes to terms with what happened to her and Birgitte...she often acts as if she never learned anything from it. Nynaeve's future conduct strikes me almost as impulsive, reckless it was before she encountered Birgitte and Moghedien.

And I never believed that Birgitte was truly "ripped away" from the Wheel, or that she was doomed to be seperated from Gaidal Cain. Actually, I've suspected that the character of Noam Charin was actually Gaidal Cain, due to the two knives he already carries...and when we're first introduced to Noam, when he's watching Carridin's palace a book or two hence, we know that the reason he carries two knives instead of swords is that his hands were no longer supple enough for the two swords he used to carry.

And Gaidal Cain's trademark was the two swords.

Yes, I know the WoTFAQ - and thank you for pointing that out to me, guys, I spent a pleasant afternoon reading through it yesterday - theorizes that Noam is probably Jain Farstrider...but there's no reason Jain/Noam can't be Gaidal Cain reborn. And Birgitte earlier said that she hadn't seen Gaidal in a long time, and since time in T'A'R works differently than that in reality, there's no reason that Gaidal couldn't have been "spun out" by the Pattern to serve as Jain. Or that the Pattern couldn't take into account what Moghedien did to Birgitte, either. Isn't part of the cosmology of the WoT the observation that the Pattern takes everything into the weaving?

And as FSS pointed out, Min saw Birgitte linked with older men for lifetimes, so that might reinforce the theory.

On the other hand, I've been wrong about other things, like Taim being Demandred. So maybe I'm wrong about this here's another theory.

Since those visions of Min FSS mentioned that Birgitte would in future be linked to younger men for lifetimes...maybe Olver is actually this generation's incarnation of Gaidal Cain?

Thanks to various members of Mat's Band of the Red Hand, Olver's certainly getting the education for it... ;)
F Shelley
10. FSS
LOL - the Tor powers that be must have deleted the "first" posts due their supreme boringness.

I'm number 2 before 1!!!

D'oh - not anymore.

Ummmm, something relevant to the thread...


I bet Birgitte would like a good spanking?
Marcus W
11. toryx
Perrin @ 5454:

I've always thought that the reason the Forsaken are so bad at making tactical plans is that they're not that experienced at it. Sure, they're millenia old now and they weren't young when they were sealed away, but they all come from a world that didn't even know of war until after the Bore. In the hundred years (or whatever) that followed, many of them became master tacticians and swordsmen or whatever; but that's still with only a handful of years experience compared to three thousand years of battle and conflict that came after the Breaking. Comparatively speaking, they're still amateurs.

One thing that seems certain is that the Forsaken think a lot more highly of themselves than is warranted.

Wes S. @ 9:

I hate to say it, but if you keep reading the FAQ you'll find that Olver has been discounted as Gaidal Cain and that the reason he isn't is because RJ himself said Olver is too old. Gaidal Cain, just recently spun out, is still very young. RJ has reportedly said this himself.
John Mann
12. jcmnyu
"Crucios" - HA! Very funny.

Of the characters I love to hate, the list comes down to the following.

1. Elaida
2. Sevanah
3. Liandrin
4. Berelain

All women. I wonder if that says more about RJ or me. For such a weak character both power wise and trait wise, Liandrin sure evokes a lot of hatred.

I'm torn about whether the Forsaken are worthy adversaries. On the one hand, they are scary in that they will pretty much f' you up for kicks and have fun doing it. On the other hand, they assume they are unrecognizable and can move about with no one knowing who they are. This come to bite Rahvin in the ass as Rand knows who he is, but has chosen (no pun intended) not to confront him yet. He does so when he thinks the Morgase is killed. Also, Be'lal doesn't shield his dreams, Lanfear and Asmodean are ferreted out by Rand, and Sammael is quickly discovered by Moiraine. As a result, their sneaky plans are not so sneaky.

On the other hand, Graendal, Moghedien, Demandred, Mesaana, and Semirhage are all reasonanly hidden and stay away from Rand's attacks. I'll be interested if the rest of the Forsaken fall to Rand because of their own stupidity/vanity.

@8 toryx

I think we find out later why women don't bond women. Their emotions begin to reflect each other and resonate. It seems to be a same gender thing. If Elayne is all hot and bothered, so is Birgitte. If Birgitte gets drunk, so does Elayne. Not the best of circumstances for high and mighty Aes Sedai.
13. Cowboy Funk
Whoa, early post. No gender comments on Nynaeve using the phrase "Man-stubborn"? hehe.

I like Nynaeve and watching her character grow, though after this scene with Birgitte it takes a few books for her to be back to her old braid-pulling self. I understand the humility she feels she needs to convey to Birgitte, but was Moggies fault from the start.

Tangent; Why is everyone convinced Taim is a Dark Friend, did we see him with a Forsaken or some other revealing scene I missed? I know he sent renegade Asha'man after rand and has his own secerety followers in the Black Tower...but why is he pegged a DF automatically? I agree I assumed he was Demandred at first and then later just a DF...but as I begin to think about it...he may just be a power hungry jerk. Think of all the people following Rand that are plotting and scheming for their own goals. Is it just cus he is a channeler and does naughty things that he is considered a DF? I can see him as being just a power hungry dude positioning himself into a power seat since he knows the CEO is gonna kick the bucket soon.
Luke M
14. lmelior
As I was reading the summary of what Moghedien did to Liandrin, I was thinking the exact same thing - it's odd I felt sorry for Isendre before but not at all for Liandrin here. It's probably a combination of her being AS (as you say, she shoulda known better), and that she chose to continue her plotting, whereas Isendre was forced to continue.
15. SebastianElgar
On Elayne's bonding of Birgitte, from the later books I think the reason that more females aren't bonded is because the bond conveys more if both ends of the bond are the same gender. They tend to reflect moods more strongly, if one gets drunk they both suffer the effects, and I believe Elayne comments later that her courses shifted 2 weeks to match Birgette's. So it is likely that early Aes Sedai bonds probably included more women, but they realized the extra problems it caused so discouraged it happening again, however, by the present day the reason had been forgotten and only the tradition of not bonding women remained.
F Shelley
16. FSS
@13 - No evidence other than directing his Asha'Man to kill Rand...

...And the Epilogue to KoD where he mocks Pevara by saying "Let the Lord of Chaos rule!".
sandi vogel
17. sinfulcashew
Re: the scene with the Chosen? Forsaken? sitting around talking and Birgitte and Nyneave listening in.

I guess just because you are immortal and 'special' doesn't make you any smarter than the average mortal.
For B. and N. to be able to sneak up and see them discussing their nefarious deeds, seems a little strange to me. It sort of levels out the playing field.
They didn't use any shielding to keep from being overheard. Odd?
Jane Smyth
18. Kaboom
With regards to the lack of depth in the forsaken plan.

I think we have to keep in mind that the forsakens are fighting each other as much as trying to kill Rand. Each want to be just one step below the dark one and over the others. In that perspective it is not hard to see a lack of complex planning where it would involves good collaboration.
This particular plan may even have been thought out by one of them (Rhavin?) to eliminate Sammael.
19. Termie
I think RJ actually said that Olver WASN'T Gaidal Cain (although it seems like a perfect fit, doesn't it?).

And Gaidal Cain can't really be any of them. The first time we met Birgitte, we also met Gaidal Cain, who showed up and told her that she really wasn't supposed to be doing what she is doing right now.


As far as unsupported speculations go, there is no reason to believe that this sort of thing doesn't happen to Birgitte every time around the Wheel (of time)!

The Heroes Bound to the Wheel seem to be spun out fairly frequently – once every seven or eight generations or so for some of them – and so they get spun out MANY MANY times for each turn of the Wheel (potentially as opposed to normal people, who only get spun out once or less per turn of the Wheel).

Eh. Whatever.
20. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
@Cowboy Funk

The scene at the end of tPoD(?) was the clincher, where Taim referenced the "Let the lord of chaos rule" line. I do think it's possible that Taim isn't cowed by the Forsaken, though, and I can see him meeting his end on the other side of an unsuccessful power play against them.
21. alreadymadwithnynspride
Another Nynaeve arc. Funny how we always see her bragging about beating Moggy. She actually bragged about it to get the Wise Ones' respect. But when it came to the crunch the best she could do was hope to die quickly.
Richard Fife
22. R.Fife
Rick: You have warmed the cold, empty hole that is my heart. ^_^ But, as a consolation, have a cute baby giggling. Maybe that will make ya'll hate me less.

Anywho, yeah, I have no sympathy for Laindrin becuase she attacked and got it. Isendre was more or less backstabbed.

Oh, and I thought Avi could fuzz her bond to Rand, it was only Min who could not of the wives because she can't use the Power.
23. Freelancer
Much can be learned from the ancient Aes Sedai symbol. In this cosmology, the Wheel is turned by the energy of two opposing forces working against/with each other. To remain consistent, it would be necessary for something such as the warder bond to have drawbacks and disadvantages when applied to a subject of the same gender. The very clever application of this philosophy in the Elayne/Birgitte bond makes for interesting scenes, although the emotional feedback-loop bit gets beaten like a dead Bela now and then.

As for Birgitte being "punished" for disobeying in T'a'R, I see the "prescripts" referred to not as laws, but an acquired system of guidance which those who reside there have learned over time, and pass on to others. Were they something stronger, I would think Gaidal would be more adamant about Birgitte avoiding those from the waking world.
24. Cowboy Funk
Ok, I forgot about Taim saying the "lord of chaos" line...I really am lost between my own re-read and this re-read and I feel like I am so out of whack in the order of events.

Maybe Gaidal will be one of Elaynes/Rands babies? That would be cool.
lmao @ crucios
26. alreadymadwithgaidal
CowboyFunk @24
Gaidal is always ugly. Something I don't see Elayne and Rand's babies being. Besides, Birgitte already thinks Gaidal has been reborn this early in the series. The babies? Nowhere close to being conceived.
Hugh Arai
27. HArai
The parameters for Gaidal are that RJ has said Olver is too old, and he's been spun out by the time Birgitte is ripped out. So he's pretty much got to be some random infant at the moment.
28. MSedai
Yeah, I just finished KoD (I had to re-read it because I couldn't remember a blasted thing about that book, and things kept coming up in this re-read), and I had a huge "Oh-ho" moment when Taim says "Let the Lord of Chaos rule." Actually, it was more like, "hey only the forsaken call him that... oh!" So yeah, I think that is the clincher on Taim being a darkfriend, because all of his other nasty actions could be taken as him just being a power-hungry unpleasant person (funny the linquistic dance I just did to avoid calling him an a$$hole..and I did anyway. Sorry.).

And I just though of this- discussion occasionally turns to where the Dreadlords for TG are going to come from, and I would submit Taim's Black Tower Faction as likely candidates. What do ya'll think?
Lannis .
29. Lannis
I propose a new rule: early posts on Mondays to help make it through said Mondays...

(Yes, I know Torie's in charge of posting--but I thought I'd give it a go...)

Re: Birgitte being torn from the Wheel...

We've seen RJ set up standards and flip 'em on their heads (easy example: female Warder), and I have a funny feeling that just because Moghedien thinks she can tear Birgitte from the Wheel, and throws around some flashy sparklers, etc., to make it look like that's what's happened, I don't think that's what happened here... I'm starting to wonder if this is a classic case of the character thinks they have info and doesn't have the correct info. If someone were to create a gateway into Tel'aran'rhoid and Birgitte walked in, would she still be tied to the Horn?

I mean, we know she hasn't been spun out, and we know she's never had memories of herself (except in T'A'R), but what if simply physically placing her back where she can be spun out is all that needs to happen--which we know can be done (re: Egwene's race across the world via the T'A'R highway and our favourite equine).

Mind you, s'just a loony theory--I'm sure the BBOBA has refuted the possibility, so feel free to pick it apart... but I'm just sayin' it wouldn't be the first time RJ had shown us a picture of a pipe and then said, "ceci n'est pas une pipe."

The other way I'm leaning is with Leigh: that Birgitte'll be replaced by herself on the Wheel thanks to her efforts in the fight for the Light.

Go Light!

sinfulcashew @ 17: re: the Forsaken and their not-so-smart sit in... Yeah, I think this is where the All-Powerful-Forsaken kind of lost their scary luster for me...

Damn you, R.Fife!

EDIT: added link.
30. J.Dauro
Cowboy Funk

And IIRC earlier (I don't remember where) Taim says "so-called Aes Sedai", which is how the forsaken typically refer to AS.
Andrew Lovsness
31. drewlovs
A very good chapter for Nynaeve, one where (hopefully) no one will be pointing out how much of a closet screw up she is. The fact that she was so out of her element before she went to sleep (the flirting), but knew instinctively what to do when she was confronted by Moggyis probably why I have always felt protective of her. She started off a backward, ignorant "red neck" that was a big fish in a little pond, but as she progresses, we find out that she is in fact just a big fish that needed to grow, and perhaps the little pond was holding her back.

Sorry for all the metaphor...

This is yet another aspect of the "personal growth" I eluded to in earlier re-reads, and I really like the person she is becoming. When she finally releases Lan at the end-game, there is a peace about her that in my opinion tells us the reults of these earlier struggles is all gold.

And the warder bonding? Bleh...

Well; even that bit of trick-out-of-a-Harry-Potter-hat antics (just playing with the earlier crucio topic from LEigh) doesn't help the guilt Nynaeve feels. Perhaps those that disliked her so much might cut her some slack, as she sees in glowing detail that she can, in fact screw up badly.

Well, maybe not...
Mike Edenfield
32. kutulu
@12 jcmnyu

I think you'd need to scratch Semirhage off your list of not-quite-as-idiotic Forsaken, after her disaster in KoD. Unless she pulls out some super complex cloak and dagger moves to justify the position she's in, which I guess is always possible. But as things stand, she basically walked into a confrontation with 4 of the strongest non-Forsaken channelers on the planet with nothing but an illusion of being short to protect her, and promptly got taken hostage. After seeing Rand take down a half-dozen other Forsaken plus watching the whole lot of them get their butts handed to them at Shadar Logoth, you'd think she would have been a bit more careful.

On the subject of Sammael et al's plan, though, I never could figure out just how much Rand fell for it. I know he went to great effort to make Sammael think he was gonna walk right into the trap, but did we ever find out what he was originally planning instead? I know the timing of his attack on Caemlyn was driven by the "news" that Morgase was "dead", but was that where he planned to end up originally, or did he completely change gears at that point?
Mike Edenfield
33. kutulu
@29 Lannis

I've always had a similar opinion to yours on what's going to happen to Birgitte, namely that everyone's "certainty" that she has been ripped away from the Horn and the Wheel was just plain wrong. Moggy has managed to force her out of TAR this time around the wheel, thus screwing up whatever her and Gaidal's next incarnations were supposed to be. But if she's really a Hero of the Horn, why wouldn't she just end up back in TAR when she dies this time?

Her freaking out about losing her memories, in particular, seems like a bit of an overreaction. After all, doesn't she lose her memories every time she ends up in The Real World, only to get them all back when she's returned to TAR?
34. MasterAlThor
Reason #63 on why I hate Nynaeve.
"man stubborn stupid" as if women cannot be.

Brigitte has to still be bound to the Horn. Obviously she has a lot of adventuring to do.
Lannis .
35. Lannis
kutulu @33: Yeah, I was just thinking about how her memories are fading, but came to the same conclusion as you have--she always gets them back when she returns to T'A'R, so who says that won't work this time?

I love that RJ deliberately gives us standards (ie: no Black Ajah, or stilling can't be healed) and then proves them wrong... ::sigh:: can't wait for TGS...
Abdel Masdoua
36. TheDarkOne
@Cowboy Funk

And I think Taim also refers to the modern Randland version of the Aiel as "those so-called Aiel", which would indicate a Forsaken nearby (maybe Demandred teaching him some things...), cause, as of now, they're the only ones to call Rand's Aiel that way - which of course explains itself by the fact that they actually knew the Daishan Aiel.
37. Lost in my own Mind
@32Kutulu: I think Rand knew what Sammael was trying to get him to do, though he probably (IMHO) didn't know the other forsaken were supposed to gang up on him when he was focused on Sammael. I don't think he was going to fall for it (which is part of the reason I have always thought it a lame plan). One thing I have wondered it what angle was Lanfear playing? I've assumed based on her interactions with Rand that she was going to double cross the other forsaken, she always seemed more interested in ruling the world with Rand than with destroying him. What would she have done if Rand had attacked Sammael? We will never know.

As for Gaidal Cain, I have a loony theory I posted on Wotmania a couple of weeks ago (err.. though none of the other posters agreed with me)I think I know who Gaidal Cain is. I think he is Mahiro Shukosa, the warder to Rafela Cindal of the Blue Ajah. He is described in Lord of Chaos chapter 49 863-864 (page #'s from paperback edition).

I have believed this since the first time I read it for a few reasons. First is his description, he wears two swords on his back, he is ruggedly handsome but only a woman in love would call him handsome and he has traveled widely (Birgitte says that Gaidal would be traveling the world looking for her without knowing what he was looking for).

I also think the tone of the whole series supports Gaidal and Birgitte ending up together. I think all the people that are in love in the series will end up together and no main character will have a "bad" ending (admittedly that is just my opinion of how RJ has written the series). I also think the fact Min thinks so highly of him points to his having greater importance than random warder X.

I know people are going to object and say that Gaidal could not be this old, and that RJ said Oliver couldn't be Gaidal because the timing is wrong. I have no argument that explains that away, but I hold to my theory anyway. I guess we will find out eventually.
j p
38. sps49
Do there still exist people clicking R. Fife links?

More of the "Tower is ossified" bit- sure, Elayne wanted to save the life of a HornHero, but she still expects severe punishment. Alanna just gets disapproving looks.

Not sure how we got to Taim (and I still think he was intended to be Demandred as of LoC), but jeez, when is Rand going to take him out? Seriously, is he going to wait until TG is underway and gets betrayed? Rand HAS to realize Something Is Up by now.

Here's your coffee, Leigh. *gives*
John Mann
39. jcmnyu
@32 kutulu

Just because Semirhage gets captured, doesn't mean she was stupid. She was successful in getting Rand to come to a meeting by disguising herself as Tuon. When Rand showed up, she made an attempt to put the collar on him and failed. However, the long term planning that went into getting Rand there was good. Execution of the plan, not so much. Rand had no idea who she was posing as or where prior to the meeting. On the other hand, three of the Forsaken Five's locations were known by Rand. Moghedien was probably never intending to participate and was just there to learn of the other's plans. If fact, I find it hard to believe that any of them would have actually linked. Can you see Rahvin or Sammael entering a circle with one of the female Forsaken leading? Can you see Lanfear or Graendal allowing themselves to be linked with Rahvin or Sammael leading? Also, isn't it true that once a link is established only the person leading the circle can release the link? I think Sammael had Graendal locked into a circle for a while when he was shipping Shaido all over the continent.

And I have a question, the implication made by Graendal is that if the circle is brought beyond 13, the man ''must'' lead. Is that true? I thought the only must was that if it was one man and one woman, the man leads. I thought all other configurations could be lead by either a man or woman and the lead could be passed back and forth as needed.
40. Aegnor
Yeah, the only reason Semirhage gets captured is due to the unexpected use of ter'angreal jewelry which revealed and interrupted her channeling. It was a fairly smart plan, that got foiled by luck.
41. CraigVal
I found Luca's dialog rather charming. I think it might have been very effective if N. hadn't already been bespoken.

I would never have thought of "the little flight of the stools" as being a flirting ploy until RJ rubbed my nose in it.

Also making a woman a warder really came at me out of left field. RJ never said it couldn't be done in WOT. So when E. did it I was all, "way to go!"
Luke M
42. lmelior
Taim's being a DF is hinted at constantly, so the "Let the Lord of Chaos rule" line at the end of KoD wasn't a surprise at all. I could see how it could be, if you convinced yourself after poring through FAQ's while waiting for books that he was good. But if you were like me and got to read all eleven books in a row, it was expected. Not to mention he's a dead ringer for Demandred (physical descriptions, him holding almost as much Power as Rand without straining, etc.), so that doesn't help.

Of course, he still might not be a DF - he could've just picked up the Forsaken saying and colors from Osan'gar and liked them so he started using them. But personally I believe he will be killed by Logain for control of the Black Tower, and possibly become Tamyrlin in the unified (Gray?) Tower..

Now, time for some fun spoiling:

You know, when you mouse over links the URL shows up on the status bar. If you google the video ID (VhzDtXryUvo in this case) you can see what the video is.
43. syncap8
I'm wondering why the s’redit don't show up in dream-land? Do animals only show up if they're wild and undomesticated?

If so, would bears that do tricks still be considered wild? I guess so ... maybe RJ is making a point here?
44. TexanSedai
@38 sps49

Yes, we do exist. Although the link I clicked today was kinda funny for about the 10 seconds that I watched ;)

I love reading all the posts on here. Not only do I get great WOT insights and theorys that I wouldn't ever come up with on my own, but also great discussion on current topics occasionally.

I think the fact the so many extraordinary events occur around the super girls and Min are the reason I don't really care for any of them. Well, Nyn on occassion but Eg, El, Min and definitely Faile just annoy me. Rand, Mat and Perrin all have extra abilities, but those abilities are either explained (Mats mems from the foxes) or they are not the only one in three thousand years to do something (Elyas is also a wolf brother, so Perrin is not completely alone in that.) But with the super girls, they either invent new things, come up with weaves that haven't been used by anyone in thousands of years, break all traditions, ect for no apparent reason. None of it is explained, they just do it. I don't know, I guess I'm just venting because they just annoy me.

Maybe I am just weird, but I do like Avi, Lanfear and even Berelain at times. I think as a female I can relate to Lanfear's obsession with a man being her driving force. Unlike the other forsaken/chosen, her main goal seems to be winning back her man. I think RJ must have been watching alot of soap operas when he came up with her character :) As for Berelain, I gotta respect a girl that does what it takes to rule her own kingdom. She doesn't have many friends out there helping her stay in power, and plenty of people wanting to take it from her, but she hangs on. And Avi is just a bada**. And she doesn't get all snively and whiney like Rand's other lovahs.

Anyway...theres my diatribe and thoughts for the day!
Marcus W
45. toryx
Imelior @ 42:

Not to mention he's a dead ringer for Demandred (physical descriptions, him holding almost as much Power as Rand without straining, etc.), so that doesn't help.

I've always wondered why RJ seemed to put so much effort into making us believe that Taim and Demandred were one and the same, and then got so annoyed when so many would ask him for confirmation. From the first time we "see" Taim the connection seems obvious and without RJ flatout telling us that they are not one and the same I would never have believed any argument to the contrary.

Then RJ goes and flat out tells us that they aren't the same, that we haven't even seen Demandred's alter ego, which is unusual in itself. Why would he even bother to tell us that instead of using his customary "read and find out?" And how could he be so surprised that so many are convinced they're the same?

It's one of the odder mysteries that's always nagged at me. The last time I saw him was in fall of 2001, nearly a year after Winter's Heart was published and I didn't quite have the nerve to ask him about it, much to my everlasting regret.
Brett Michie
46. bchurch
Love the post Leigh!

Too bad proselyting for the "people of the non-assholish persuasion" would be counterintuitive . . that's a religion that could stand to see more members.
Tess Laird
47. thewindrose
TexanSedai - We had a lot of comments on Lanfear in a prior post. I think she is driven by power, not love. If she had every really convinced Rand to choose her side, it would be a Rand that follows and worships her, not Rand our protagonist and team 'go light!' leader.
I think Taim is a dark friend, however I do not believe he started out as one. I also think Logain will take him out - just wish - no supporting facts. Although, Logain is very mad a Rand for not taking care of Taim.
I think that Birgitte has been pulled from being a Hero of the Wheel, but she's going to be at TG - I am sure she will earn her place back, but it may be with out Gaidal.
48. Buddhacat
My pet theory for Birgitte to be re-bound to the Horn is that she will be the one to sound the Horn, when it is used again in TG (it is not Mat's anymore.) And so get bound to it again.
Christa Warden
49. grnidgrl
@ 48 why isn't the horn bound to Mat anymore??
50. TexanSedai
@47 thewindrose -
Thanks! I think I read too "literally" or naively sometimes.

I have no real theories on Birgitte / Gaidal and who they are, but I am very excited to see how that plays out.

Question...if the Dark One is totally dealt with at TG, will there be a need for heros to be spun out again after TG? Who will they need to fight?
Kurt Lorey
51. Shimrod
@45 toryx.

Important point of order.

Did RJ specifically say we hadn't seen Demandred's alter ego (at all), or that we just hadn't seen a PoV chapter under his alter ego's name?
Luke M
52. lmelior
@ grnidgrl #49
This is still conjecture at this point, but I think the most popular belief is that Mat's ordeal in Rhuidean broke his link to the horn.

@ Shimrod #51
RJ specifically said we haven't seen Demandred's alter ego on screen, a statement which was current as of CoT. So, it is entirely possible we saw him in KoD. I suggested many reread posts ago that his alter ego could have been mentioned at some point without actually being present, though I couldn't think of an example of someone like that.
Kurt Lorey
53. Shimrod
@52 lmelior

When was the last time a Fade called Mat, Hornsounder?

I have a minor character in mind for Demandred, but, if we haven't seen his alter ego at all, the theory goes up in smoke. If his alter ego hasn't had a PoV chapter (or sub-chapter), then a chance still exists. In this case, the specific language is very important, because I believe RJ spent a lot of time preparing answers for questions like this, and he wanted to tantalize without giving anything away.

Time to commute.
54. CraigVal
I am positive that Taim is a forsaken because everytime he is seen by LT 'ol LT becomes unglued in Rand's head and wants Taim struck down immediately and with severe prejudice.
Tess Laird
55. thewindrose
Egads Shimrod - you can't leave us without telling us who you think it may be!

RJ has said that Mat did not die at Rhuidean, he fulfilled his part during the purging of Rahvin, and Rand erased that by using balefire. I think Rand brought everything back status quo, so therefore Mat is still the Hornsounder.
Deborah Jones
56. NanaD
RE: Warder Bonds

I was always under the impression that Aes Sedai bonded Warders to watch their backs, so to speak. They would have picked the biggest and the baddest for that job. Maybe why the Green, as the battle Ajah, have the most.

Until recently in Randland, with the exception of the Aiel, there haven't been many women warriors have there?

As for feeling emotions through the bond, didn't the one who bonded Rand(can't remember her name) say she felt his emotions the night he spent with Elayne?
maldoror's little melvin
57. photofalling
sinful cashew@17 What makes this episode even stranger is that at some point the Aiel Wise Ones mention that they have seen folks who obviously know they are in Tel'Aran'Rhiod(sic) roaming around. Surely Lanfear (self proclaimed master of the Dreamworld) would have detected these old ladies doing their thing there, and been more cautious. Birgitte says she can find people who know they are there, so why can't the Forsaken? Or at least set eavesdropping wards like even degenerate Aes Sedai do in the waking world? Maybe like so many 3rd Age talents/weaves developed during or since the Breaking, it wasn't considered possible in the Age Of Legends?
Dale Metzger
58. Metzg31
Nana @ 56

Alanna faints when Min, Avi, and Elayne bond him. I don't think she felt his emotions from that event. And IIRC, he shielded/hid his bond to her, Avi, and Min while he and Elayne were In Flagrante Delicto.
59. Dreamwolf
@56. NanaD
As I remeber it, what she felt was when Elayne, Avienda and Min bonded Rand, and that put her in a coma for a time.

57. photofalling

I think the lack of wards was just a symptom on the amounts of distrust among the forsaken, best not let anyone channel in my presence. They do presumably know about the aiel dreamwalkers but as we have seen from Lanfear and Moghedien the forsaken has skills in TAR use and shaping that outpaces what we have seen from the Aiel dreamwalkers so they probably just asumes they are safe from them. Why they dont consider that Moghedien or Mesana or any other forsaken may be spying is harder to explain. Plot device?
Dale Metzger
60. Metzg31
re: Overrated Forsaken, and Friday's post

Does it seem at all odd that the almighty Forsaken, who can semmingly think of nothing else other than finding (sa)angreal, don't just make some for themselves? Maybe it's something similar to how a channeler can't lift themselves, maybe a (sa)angreal won't work for the one who makes it.

I also think it's odd that all of a sudden Elayne thinks she can make them. In a side bit of oddity, I also have a hard time believing that Elayne is such a great cook and seamstress. Eating gourmet meals and wearing fine gowns for one's entire life does not give one the ability to recreate said meals and gowns.
sandi vogel
61. sinfulcashew
38. sps49
"Do there still exist people clicking R. Fife links?"

uuuuhhh.....Unfortunately, I be one!
I hadn't caught on to the trick yet. It hasn't been done for quite awhile, so of course I fell into the trap.
I usually check out all the links, as they are usually very interesting and I find neat stuff there.
Except for,,,,,well, you know!

The only thing that bugs me about links are the ones people put up that DON'T work.
Makes my curious-catness go bananas.
62. alreadymadwithbonding
Dreamwolf @59
It's not like she couldn't wake up. IIRC the narrative actually says it's as if she did not want to wake up.
Ian Horn
63. IanGH
I don't think the Forsaken were all that incompetent in their planning. They were trying to draw Rand towards Sammael and that was what Rand was planning. Of course, the others were all foolish to trust Lanfear.

Rand pierced through their plans with shear luck (or I guess we can call it ta'varen-ness). He gets all upset when he hears that Morgase is dead and changes his plans at the last minute to eliminate Rahvin. And he only manages to do this with (again) luck and happenstance (or I guess more ta'varen-ness).

This make me wonder. Rand is no more ta'varen than Lews Therin but he's managed to knock off four of the forsaken, something Lews Therin never managed. Seems odd...
64. Drew Holton
Re who Taim is posing as, I've had a Looney Theory for a while now, (although RJ saying we haven't seen him onscreen kinda ruins it) which is that he is High Lord Weiroman. I mean really, not many could be that big an idiot, and it makes a great cover. And there's that brief moment where he's talking to Dashiva/Osan'gar of how he's not the one left hanging in the breeze or something to that effect.
65. Freelancer

There is a difference between Birgitte's memories this time being torn out of T'a'R, as compared to the more usual case of being born out. In those cases, she has no memory of her past lives. In this case, she remembers exactly who she is and was. Those memories are fading, which is terrifying to her (and would be to most people). This distinction itself shows that she has been separated bodily from T'a'R in a manner extremely unlike the normal method. It seems best to take that at face value in the absence of contrary information.


I don't hate Nynaeve, never have. But I don't give her as much slack as others do for her hypocrisy and double-standards. The "man-stubborn stupid" quote is but the latest example of her prejudice, which she never gets past in spite of those areas where she does indeed grow (up). Her extreme repentance for Birgitte getting harmed because of her hunt for Moghedien is even an odd form of pride, as shown by Birgitte's reaction to the event. Nynaeve did not force Birgitte to seek out a dangerous forsaken who happens to have a personal vendetta against her, so Nynaeve has no need to blame herself for what happened. The blame belongs to Moghedien alone.


I'm with you that Semirhage wasn't stupid. How was she to know that there would be a ter'angreal present to unmask her? And the agreement for the meeting had a balance of channelers on each side, so with the element of surprise and herself masked/inverted, Semirhage held the advantage. But like Monty Python says, nobody expects Cadsuane Melaidhrin's ornaments. Or something like that.


I believe that is the general idea being represented in that scene, that domesticated animals, or those with close connections to humans, are unlikely to have a reflection in T'a'R. Perhaps the determining criteria is a level of sentience, and how closely it approaches that of humans.


So this brings up a very interesting question, one I raised on the theory boards of WOTMania several years ago. What would prevent an asha'man from taking a male warder? If, as you say, a warder's primary function is watching the back of a channeler, wouldn't a male channeler want one? And why would he want a female for that purpose? I know that initially, the only reason Logain and his crew bonded the Aes Sedai was to subdue them. They surely don't expect them to act as warders would. And with one of the "norms" for warders being deadly warriors, it would make sense. Why not have the asha'man bond those men who came to the Black Tower but couldn't learn to channel, those that were able to become competent warriors. They already sympathize with the BT purpose, or wouldn't have come.

Of course, given the "issues" that Elayne/Birgitte have with the single-gender bond, one can only wonder what similar difficulties would arise in an all-male bond. No menstrual cycle to worry about, fewer hormone-driven emotions to be fed back-and-forth, but all those male foolishnesses being magnified and reflected?
66. Balance
Mat: Still the Hornsounder. I read the interview where RJ confirmed it. I mean co’mon, he wouldn’t take that from Mat.

Taim: Very good red hearing fer Demondread. Definitely a darkfriend. Will lead his faction to be the dreadlords. He’ll have the BA fer female company.

Brigitte: One of the coolest female characters in the series. I love how she interacts with the men. (vs some of our main chicas) I’d hit it! : )

Forsaken and TAR. Meh, they are not that scared of anyone. Their arrogance is a reoccurring theme. The Aiel dreamwalkers (in their mind) wouldn’t DARE to come near them.

Random: I agree with most folk’s notions that the Forsaken haven’t really had too much of a sparkle for inducing fear in the readers anymore. Ishy (Bal form) was the last great antagonist we had. RJ’s been trying to work up Dem and Sem, but not after tDR have we had a major baddie that really got me nervous. No great monologue-ing, twisted thought patterns, ect. After tSR I figured one would just be cannon fodder for the last fight at the end of every book.

Crazy theory: On topic with who might be a DF. High Lord Weiramon. Here’s a character that, so far, everyone seems to think is just be an idiot. I’m not buying it. He’s DF, not stupid, and will play a role in creating chaos. There is a scene, during Rand’s campaign against the Seanchan in Altara, where he is talking to Rochaid (sp) and what’s his nuts (the other DF Asha’man) that gives us a lil glimmer. Keep an eye on this bastard!
67. Freelancer

It's a common medieval fantasy trope to have princesses hanging out in the palace kitchens, or among other of the senior servants, who probably bear more of the raising and training of said princess than the queen. So it isn't farfetched at all that she would have cooking and sewing skills.

Aside from that, remember that the description of these skills is normally out of Nynaeve's POV. What you and I might call a common, decent meal, would be mischaracterized as gourmet by someone who refuses to admit that she's a horrible cook. Reasonably competent needlework would be upgraded to very fine in the eyes of someone who can barely thread the needle to start with.
Deborah Jones
68. NanaD

How many men will admit they need help of any kind?
Directions anyone?
69. Aegnor

Which forsaken is Taim then? They are all accounted for except Damodred. Really, unless RJ flat out lied about it, Taim is not a forsaken.
Michael Thompson
70. TrollocBait
Haven't gotten through all the comments yet, but I had this thought as I reading about the Forsakens' "sneaky" plan. They intended to kill someone close to Rand to draw him to Sammael (i.e., get Mat's girlfriend to kill him). If only they had realized that Elayne was more important (to Rand's emotions) than Mat they could have planned for Rand to go charging into Caemlyn and used Rahvin for bait. Their intent was good, they just picked the wrong target. Too bad one of them wasn't eavesdropping when Birgitte said "You always choose women who cause you trouble, Lews Therin." It's almost enough to make me want to slaughter a quote about no one can know the affairs of the heart, or something like that, but I won't do it.
71. JennB
I always thought Birgitte would be pulled back the next time the horn was sounded. After the battle she was called for, she would return to T'A'R to be spun out.

I did not remember Min's viewing about being tied to a much younger man in the future. This implies that she will simply live out her life (do what needs to be done for TG), meet a much younger Gaidal Cain, and live happily ever after (we hope).
Cain must have been spun out to be a major player in picking up the pieces after TG because he is much too young to participate in the battle itself.

It is interesting that Birgitte will now always be older than him in future lives.
Tony Zbaraschuk
72. tonyz
What Moghedien did to Birgitte was certainly enough to put the image of fear back around her. Yes, the Forsaken are only human; yes, they mess up just like everyone else... but they are the inheritors of the Age of Legends, they know things and can do things of surpassing power, and they are not fools. They wouldn't have survived each other or the War of Power if they were fools. And every once in a while they show you just why people have been using their names to scare small children for more than thirty centuries. This is one of them, and the moment when Nynaeve explains to Elayne what she might have done just drives it home. How would you react if you were Jewish and learned that thanks to you Moses or Miriam had been thrown out of heaven?

Speaking of Nynaeve, I continue to like her. She's prickly and annoying, and she doesn't have great manners, and she walks around in a bit of a haze of self-delusion (and I keep wondering how on earth she ever got picked as Wisdom with this much stuff floating around her skull). But at the core, when you turn the pressure up to max, her moral compass is true and she's strong enough to bear anything. Anything at all, and that measures her moments of triumph. Judging the sul'dam in Falme, facing off with Moghedien in Tanchico (and again at the end of this book in Tel'aran'rhiod), and above all the Golden Crane... Go Nynaeve!

I think part of her problem is the universal WOT one of cultural problematics; she's probably well-experienced and well-adjusted inside the Two Rivers, despite a slight anger management problem, but here she really doesn't know how to behave and what to do. For instance, she has absolutely no experience with people who do Luca-type mannerisms, and she's been in situations she has no experience with at least since she left Tear a book and a half ago. She's not coping with it well, but frankly neither is Elayne (hidden exhibitionistic streak, girl, with one of the Forsaken chasing you?)

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Lanfear was planning to betray the other three Forsaken if Rand did show up in their trap in Illian: she doesn't totally give up on Rand until she thinks He Dared To Sleep With Some Aiel Girl. All she has to do is put herself in charge of the link...

Which does open up the question: why don't each of the Forsaken get a contingent of Black Aes Sedai to work with them? There have been some attempts (Be'lal and Mesaana, another plot spoiled by Lanfear's interference and ta'veren fate-twisting; Moghedien's use of the group), but Sammael and Graendal seem to be all by themselves. Are there maybe not enough Black Aes Sedai, or is something else going on?

Liandrin. Heh. Love to hate her, and she so deserves what she gets. Isendre just got thrown by other people into a situation she couldn't handle (though being a Darkfriend she probably deserved whatever she got), but Liandrin specifically tries something that already failed once, and something Moghedien had already directly warned her was a bad idea. ("I make second lessons exceeding sharp.") Hubris invokes Nemesis, once again. Go Nemesis!
73. Seamus1602
I think it should be remembered RE: bad Forsaken strategy:

Despite the Forsaken's plans coming to nothing in terms of Sammael as bait, they all but take out Rand et al in fell swoop.

On one day, Egwene is incapacitated, Avi, Mat, and numerous Aiel DIE, and Rand is pretty much at Rahvin's mercy before Nynaeve uses her dream-fu to leash Moggy and show up to distract Rahvin. Without THAT impecable bit of timing, the Forsaken wouldn't have needed any strategy because it would have been GAME OVER. But... knowing how all that turns out, it's difficult to see these guys as too threatening. If you need incentive, think of Morgase's plight.
74. CalaLily
:) I am satisfied with the way RJ deals with the Higher Ups on the DF ladder. Suroth being sold into slavery, Galina being Therava's plaything and pack animal for the rest of her life, Liandrin being punished by Moggy/threatened with the kind of death that gets delivered to Jaichim Carridin...

Any others?
Tess Laird
75. thewindrose
From Robert Jordan's Blog: Dumb Evil? It is a little long, but for those of you who are downplaying the Forsaken, and therefore the trouble that WoT world is in(A Memory of Light dosen't sound very positive does it?;)

The Forsaken are a group of power hungry people who don’t like one another and vie with one another for power as much as they vie with the forces of the Light. Much like the internal politicking in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. But look at the situation in the world as it actually stands, from the White Tower divided to crop failures caused by a too-long winter and a too-long summer and people fleeing their farms because the Dragon Reborn has broken all bonds, meaning still less food, and that spoiling at a fearsome rate, from chaos in Arad Doman to a large part of the Borderland armies out of position, from the arrival of the Seanchan focusing too many eyes on them instead of the Shadow to the strongest single nation, Andor, riven by civil war in all but name and Tear split by open warfare, from…. Well, take your pick. There are lots more to chose from. Take a step back and look at what the forces of the Shadow have wrought. The world and the forces of the Light are in bad shape. At this point, boys and girls, the Shadow is winning. There are glimmers of hope, but only glimmers, and they MUST pay off for the Light to win. All the Shadow needs for victory is for matters to keep on as they have been going thus far and one or two of those glimmers to fade or be extinguished. The forces of the Light are on the ropes, and they don’t even know everything the Dark One has up his sleeve.

Think of it this way. The bell is about to ring for the fifteenth round, and the Light is so far behind on points the only way to win is a knockout. Our boy is game, but he’s wobbly on his legs and bleeding from cuts over his eyes. Now he has three minutes to pull out his best stuff and deliver the punch of his life. The Dark One has taken a few shots, but nothing that has really damaged him. He’s still dancing on his toes and talking trash. His head shots can fracture a skull, and his body punches can break ribs. And now he’s ready to unveil his surprises. You didn’t think all it would take is for Rand to show up at the Last Battle, did you? According to the Prophecies, the Light has no chance without him, but his presence doesn’t ensure victory, just that the Light has a chance. Gotta stiffen your legs and blink the blood out of your eyes. Gotta suck it up and find that punch. Three minutes to go, and you gotta find that knockout. That’s your only chance.

I seem to be making a lot of posts to something I said I would post to infrequently. I think I need to let my keyboard cool off.

Take care, guys.


Edited: Memory
F Shelley
76. FSS
@71 - perhaps. What hasn't been made very clear to me is whether Birgitte's memories extend to the previous iteration of the 3rd Age. Based on my memories (and admitted poor reading skills (re: Chosen Ones)) I think they don't go back that far. It could be that at the end of the 3rd Age she's ripped out and older than Guidal, and at some other point the switch is made. I don't think we have enough info (but again, could be wrong)...
77. Freelancer
Which forsaken is Taim then? They are all accounted for except Damodred. Really, unless RJ flat out lied about it, Taim is not a forsaken.
I knew some folks hated Galad, but now he's a forsaken? Or did you mean Laman? No, he's dead. Moiraine is certainly unaccounted for, but... ;-)
78. CalaLily
There's no saying that just because Birgitte is older than Gaidal this go-around means they'll be like that for the rest of forever. I mean, she could have been older than him in the past. I don't see any reason to assume that's the way it's going to be just because Min had a viewing about a man "sometimes older....sometimes younger" than Birgitte.

The Wheel spins them out for reasons, and if that reason(s) involves experiences that can only occur when one of them is older than the other, or younger, then why can't the Wheel take Birgitte back, wait for Gaidal to die, and then spin him out first? Same with if he is spun out first; die first, wait for Birgitte to die, then have her be reborn before him the next time they're needed.

I just find that line of discussion odd. x3
Brian Kaul
79. bkaul
I agree with you that Birgitte being torn out of TAR is different from the typical case of being born out. But as far as the memories go, who can say? It's not exactly as if an infant could communicate that she had these memories she couldn't make sense of, and by the time she'd developed enough brain capacity to understand them, they'd have long since faded away. I don't think it can actually be proven that the memories don't normally fade just like they do this time, though it seems an unnecessary complication and isn't supported by the text.

When we don't ask for directions, it's because we really don't need them. ;)
80. alreadymadwithmemories
FSS @76
Birgitte's memories extended through most of her previous lives when she was first ripped out. But over the time since she was ripped out, she's been slowly losing some of her memories. It's why she's such an alcoholic. She's afraid of losing her memories of Gaidal.
Alice Arneson
81. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @65 can only wonder what similar difficulties would arise in an all-male bond.
Can you say "testosterone poisoning"? ;)
Andrew Lovsness
82. drewlovs
75. thewindrose

Great post, I'm glad you found a way to put the "three stooges" theory behind the forsaken to bed. RJ's own words is pretty diffinitive, in my opinion.
83. alreadymadwithmalebonds
Wetlandernw @81
Oh man... A lot of things can be attributed to too much testosterone. Male pattern baldness for one thing.

I can already see the testosterone aggression bouncing off of each other and spiraling way out of control.
84. jafco
@30. J.Dauro

"..And IIRC earlier (I don't remember where) Taim says "so-called Aes Sedai", which is how the forsaken typically refer to AS...."

Yeah, I felt the same when that occurred. It's in LoC, I think (maybe aCoS), the first time Rand opened a Gateway to Travel with Taim to the Black Tower site from the Caemlyn palace. Taim even says something to the effect "so you've learned to Travel?". If not Demandred, he's still versed in techniques, sayings and beliefs that firmly place him on the slopes of Shayol Gul at some point(s) recently, if not several thousand years ago.

The Chosen are supremely arrogant, among other failings. The idea that a 'farm boy' - or anybody else from this Age for that matter - can beat them is impossible for them even to contemplate. They know he's strong, and somehow has beaten several of them, which they respect, but otherwise, pah. They respect no one in this Age, and so get caught with their knickers down on multiple occasions.

Tired of hearing about Nyn's "hypocrisy" etc.. blah, blah. She's a bitchin' character - great to have in one's corner when the chips are down and funny as hell (I'm male, and none of her little asides or observations bothers me a whit. I've had worse from my numerous sisters-in-law. Some of them may even be accurate!). She's the Mat - in terms of outlook - of the female protagonists of these books. Without her, the femmes (except Birgitte, sometimes) would completely come off as real sticks. Not one of the latter would ever sit and watch 2 minutes of "The Three Stooges". Nyn would, and would pick up some pointers ("pick two - any two. Squish!)
Alice Arneson
85. Wetlandernw
AMW @83 Does that mean that in a male-male Warder bonding, they'd both go bald early? You can sit and watch their hair fall out... :)
86. HurinSmells
RE: Gaidal Cain
It would be too much to ask for RJ to tie every thread by the end of the last book. We can speculate on who/where he is, but i doubt we'll see him on screen before it's done.

RE: Semirhage
She's been on of the most effective Forsaken so far! It was ta'veren luck that allowed her trap to be sprung before time. Her main success to date has been getting Aran'gar into position with the Salidar Aes Sedai, and for single handedly wiping out the Seanchan royal family! I don't think being captured will slow her down for long.

RE: Taim
I used to be a Taimendred subscriber, but since RJ stamped it out I've been looking for other answers. Right now I think he's possibly an agent of Messana (freed by Black Ajah in Saldea) or else just a power hungry non-DF. It's pretty clear from Egwene's dream of Logain, the he will get his glory by bringing down Taim, a false Dragon, and running the Black Tower ("Logain, laughing, steps over something onto a black stone. It looks like Rand's body, but when she touches his face it breaks like paper puppet"). So whether Taim is evil or not, he's going down.
John Massey
87. subwoofer
Hi Leigh, had to work all day so only had time to say "hi". Was outside and the world didn't end. Am baffled. I thought an early post was one of the Seven Signs. But then, I was the only person to run for shelter when you had the EBS go off.

*Rolls up sleeves*

'K, lets get down to it. The hornsounder thingy. Several threads ago- think back to when Mat got hung- I was the scholar that posed the idea that Mat is not the guy. Many people shot that one down and somebody even provided a link to a WoT FAQ, where that question was put to bed. See me go down in a blaze of Glory.

As for Taim. hmmmmmmm. He's a douche, and he may even be a darkfriend. My thought is simply this... guy was channeling for 15 years... did he go crazy from the Saidin? Or if he didn't, did he sell his soul to the DO to protect him from going bonkers? I choose the latter. I think he's a rat. And a cocky one. And Rand is a doof to give him free reign to the Black Tower where everyone follows Taim... Am I the only one who saw disaster coming down a mile off? A simple oath and Rand gives the guy keys to the kingdom. Grrrrrrrrr.

That wasn't so bad. Turns out I didn't need to roll up my sleeves as I was wearing a polo. Hmmmmm. Maybe I need to ask for directions....
John Massey
88. subwoofer
Oh yeah... not much to say about Nana, I get her guilt though. She was a fool, did a foolish thing and somebody else had to pay the price for it. It is one thing when you make a mistake and you deal with the consequences, it is another when others have to suffer. Learned that one the hard way in Basic.

Maybe she needs to practice smiling or frowning. She seems to have the two confused.
Roger Powell
89. forkroot
Not to put too fine a point on it but...
Mat was "hanged" at Rhuidean.

As to whether Mat was "hung" I suggest you
ask Melindhra or Tylin.
90. alreadymadwithtaim
J.Dauro @84
Oh please. Nynaeve could give the Three Stooges pointers. Listen to me! THUMP! Why you half-witted man! SWITCH!

Wetlandernw @85
Only if one of them is predisposed. All it takes is for one of them to tend towards it, and both of them go bald.

HurinSmells @86
Interesting. You're equating the black stone in Egwene's Dream to control of the Black Tower, and the Rand-like puppet to Taim? I can see how that would work. Very intriguing.

subwoofer @87
Well, apparently, surrendering the Seal was a noteworthy act. And Taim did do well in setting up the Black Tower. It's only in the latter part where it turns out he's been playing favorites.

As for Nana, the really annoying thing about her is not that somebody paid the price for her foolishness. It's that it took somebody paying the price for her to learn her lesson. This woman was a walking disaster waiting to happen ever since she slipped out of the Tower.
91. Noren
Weiramon?Almost certainly a DF.A caricature of one,even.Bors(Jaichim Carridin) identified him as one all the way back in the Prologue to The Great Hunt,where Ishamael had all those personalities gathered to receive instructions.Check;you'll find that one of them was ID'd as a High Lord of Tear,with a description that pretty much fits my mental picture of him.Then there's his convo with the DF Ashaman in TPOD.

It's amazing how far back RJ laid hints.Same chapter,Seafolk male DF gets instructions he is reluctant to hear;ten books later,the Amayar all commit suicide.Coincidence?
93. alreadymadwithdeadamayar
Noren @91
The Amayar committed suicide due to their religious beliefs. That the Time of Illusions was past. It had nothing to do with anything the Seafolk or Darkfriends did.
94. CalaLily

The people on Tremalking committed mass suicide because the hand of the female Choeden Kal lit up when Nynaeve and Rand used the access keys to cleanse saidin. They had prophecies about the end of the world, only there was no savior in theirs. :) They basically killed themselves before the DO could send his minions to do it, in their books.
Roger Powell
95. forkroot
Gee, I hadn't thought about the darkfriend social for quite a while. Can't say as that proves Weiramon is a DF, but few of us would be surprised.

The interesting thing you remind me of though, is that there was someone from the Sea Folk there (and there was also a Tinker). We haven't seen either of those two come into the picture (that we know of) yet.

What struck me was the relevance to the quote from RJ that thewindrose@75 graciously put in the posts: The forces of the Light are on the ropes, and they don’t even know everything the Dark One has up his sleeve.

I suspect there will be all sorts of unanticipated disasters that will befall Rand and co. as some of the "deep mole" darkfriends surface around Tarmon Gai'don. Certainly an Atha'an Miere darkfriend could disrupt the critical movement of supplies up to Arad Doman (just one example.)

Furthermore, my intuition has always said that the Tuatha'an will play a critical role in the end of the age. I wonder when that Tinker darkfriend will surface.
Julian Augustus
96. Alisonwonderland
Leigh @ commentary:

I heart Nynaeve, I really do. She’s frequently an idiot, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when the chips are down, girl is hardcore. Being able to spit in the face of someone who just twisted you up like a Rubik’s cube and is about to turn you into livestock more than makes up for her lack of social skills, if you ask me.

I have been following the re-read posts so far very closely, though I've only posted a couple a times because I was always playing catch-up. One of the things that have intrigued me is the strong and very diverse opinions about the characters in the books. I think it would be instructive to catalogue the opinions, so like Wetlander I would like to start a survey of opinions on the "good" guys. Should be interesting.

I would like to tabulate everybody's opinion about the major WoT characters, and in my opinion just about all the central characters (except Siuan) were introduced in tEotW. So, for the survey, I would like everyone to give their opinions on the characters on the side of the light: Rand, Mat, Perrin, Moiraine, Lan, Nynaeve, Egwene, Min, Elayne, Aviendha, Siuan, Thom, Gawyn, Galad, and Elaida.

I propose a 5-level ordinal scale of affection for the characters: Love, Like, Indifferent, Dislike, Hate.

For the record, here are my opinions:

Rand: Love. My favourite character. The guy is fated to be the reincarnation of the most hated man in history, to start to rot even as lives, and to bring unspeakable death and destruction on the world. Yet, without him the world is doomed. So he bravely accepts that duty because no one else can do it. For all the pain and suffering he has to experience on behalf of the world, I am willing to forgive him just about everything.

Mat: Like. I absolutely hated him in tEotW and even more in tGH.He was a slacker and an ingrate, a whining complaining sod in the earlier books, and it has taken all his awesomeness in tFoH and later books to temper my earlier hatred of his character to the point where I like reading about his adventures.

Perrin: Like. I loved him in the earlier books, especially in tSR, but he slipped quite a bit in my eyes with his obsession with rescuing Faile above even his duty to the struggle against the dark.

Moiraine: Love. My second favourite character after Rand. She has devoted her whole life to finding the DR and preparing him for TG, and her heroics in tEotW, where she was frequently what stood between the boys and possible capture and turning, is to me one of the greatest mothering acts in all fiction.

Lan: Like. Not a really central character like the 2R boys, but awesome nonetheless. His training and guidance of Rand in the early books was top notch.

Nynaeve: Dislike. I know she has many admirers on this board as Leigh's comment above shows, but I couldn't stand her. In real life, I doubt anybody on this board, even Leigh, would think well of someone whose main means of persuasion is to shout down or beat with a stick anybody who disagrees with her. She was a thoroughly unpleasant character when we first met her. What I found most galling about her was her hatred of Moiraine. Any person with the slightest modicum of sense would have realised that Moiraine coming to Emonds Field saved the boys from a fate worse than death, yet as late as tDR Nynaeve was blaming Moiraine for taking the boys away from ER and using her hatred of Moiraine as motivation for her actions. The truth is, she hated Moiraine because of jealosy over Lan, but true to her nature was using the stupid excuse of Moi taking the boys away to justify her hatred. I don't hate Nynaeve now only because she is one of the two people (along with Min) that Rand trusts absolutely, and she has done some pretty awesome things on the part of the light. But I can't get over the fact that in real life I wouldn't want to be anywhere near a person like her.

Egwene: Dislike. In my view the most manipulative, conniving, arrogant, selfish, (I am running out of pejorative adjectives here) person on the side of the light. On my website in 1998 I wrote a detailed theory about why I thought Egwene might be Latra Posae reborn. And as the series has progressed she is showing every sign of bringing about a split among the forces of the light along gender lines, just like Latra Posae did in the AoL.

Min: Love. My third favourite character. She loves Rand unconditionally, and has been instrumental in keeping him as sane and balanced as can be under the circumstances. I have no doubt that but for Min loving him and keeping him calm, Rand would have gone over the deep end by now. I was amazed to find on these re-reads that some readers dislike Min. Shows how different all of us are.

I think this post is already long enough. Hope Pablo doesn't start issuing me warnings. So I'll stop here and continue in another post.
j p
97. sps49
@60 Metzg31-

Huh. Never wondered why the Forsaken don't make any *angreal; they should hold a lot more knowledge than they currently show.

@86 HurinSmells-

We can't expect threads wrapped up? I do. A plethora of loose ends is not a hallmark of great works.

@96 Alisonwonderland-

Not your personal army. Too complicated a survey. And I'm not going to describe a fictional male character as one I "love".

EDIT: this reads more harshly than I intended; sorry.
Alice Arneson
98. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland @ 96

Better you than me! Warning: you may have to sort through some serious verbiage in the process of collecting your data. :)

Here's mine, without rationale. These reflect my current opinions of the characters after umpteen rereads, as of the end of KoD:

Rand - like
Mat - love
Perrin - like
Moiraine - love
Lan - love
Nynaeve - love
Egwene - love
Min - love
Elayne - like
Aviendha - like
Siuan - like
Thom - like
Gawyn - reserve judgement
Galad - reserve judgement
Elaida - hate

So... does that make me undiscriminating? My opinions have changed over time, due to a variety of factors: characacter development, plot development, greater insight from re-reading and this great discussion, and my own personal growth. They all do things that irritate me from time to time, but who doesn't? :)

For the rest of you - copy the list and fill in your own eval! Come on, what else do you have to do at work on Tuesday?
Julian Augustus
99. Alisonwonderland
Here are more of my opinions on the character affection survey, then I really have to go to bed.

Elayne: Like. I know, I know, she always has her chin in the air and has made some pretty boneheaded moves, especially in KoD that has gotten a whole of people killed, and she treated Mat abominably (not as bad Nynaeve and Egwene did) in several books, but I think basically her heart is in the right place. She genuinely cares about doing right by the common people, and she was the first to apologize to Mat, (in contrast with Nynaeve who would rather die than apologize to a man). She is the only one of the SGs I wouldn't mind knowing in real life.

Aviendha: Like. I like her strong sense of honour and her love of and protectiveness over Rand. But she is probably the hardest to know of the supergirls. She doesn't have the major negatives of the more active girls, but not much of the positives either.

Siuan: Love. Probably the smartest, strongest-willed character in the whole WoT world. Even the fear of stilling, which she's had all her life, didn't keep her from doing what she thought was right, finding the DR and protecting him. When her greatest fears came through, even after being stilled and tortured, she didn't crawl away to die like most other Aes Sedai suffering that fate, but she fought on to achieve her greatest feat, turn a bunch of frightened rudderless Aes Sedai into a cohesive force on the side of the light, powerful enough to rival the Tower, and backed by a powerful army. My 4th favourite character.

More later.
100. Noren
Yes,I remember the official explanation.It just seems a little...pat for a mass suicide of an entire race to happen because of a prophecy no-one else had ever heard of,not even the Sea Folk.And the timing seems designed to basically compel a mass withdrawal of SeaFolk from mainland affairs just as events were coming to a head.Then add the suspicious(to me,at least)speed with which the reports reached Illian.

Consider,please,the role played by the Sea Folk in breaking the Dark One's weather spell.Add their role in rescuing Elayne outside Caemlyn.

Is it too far fetched to have the Shadow arrange to keep a bunch of channelers and logistics specialists out of the action?Really?

Ah yes,the Tinker.I couldn't think of any reason why Ish would have wanted to talk to a Tinker.Then the burned Tinker wagon showed up.The one Mat found in LOC with "Tell the Dragon Reborn" on the side.And RJ kept foreshadowing the Perrin/Tuathan thing....You're probably right there,though for the life of me I can't think of how.
John Massey
101. subwoofer
@89 Forkroot- Shenannigans!- Darn it all- you made me work here at this to dig up my past references and let me tell you- I post like a champion so that was hardcore work! Soooo... tried this link think and it is not working but if everybody(or anyone who cares) looks at TSR PT4 from comments 80-> they will see the whole conversation played out about Mat's dying. And me beating poor Bela when I am too stubborn to realize the truth. In TSR pt4 Fortune_Prick_Me@90 gives a link to an interview in 1999 with RJ. He answers it pretty bluntly.

@AMW90-I am thinking that in the final books the seals will turn out to be a moot point. Break it, break it, break it is more than the cry of a loon. IMHO it will turn out that you have to break the seals first before the Bore can be patched.

Yup Nana had someone else paying the price for her. She really needed a bit of humble pie and some perspective to quiet down her "10 feet tall & bullet proof" attitude. Is much better when Lan takes her in hand and gives her directions...;)ducks for cover in the cuendillar bunker- damn that Elaida!!!
Tess Laird
102. thewindrose
subwoofer - You do seem to be posting more - did you make a deal with your wife? I'm thinking you got her hooked on the WoT, and know you are home free with the computer time?
I do have to argue with the 'Nana' having someone else pay the price for her. Birgitte helped on her own accord, and what Nyn is doing at this point is denying that Birgitte is her own person and can make her own decisions - and that Birgitte realizes what the ramifications could be if something bad happens.
103. afterthefallofnight
"Speaking of which, it’s telling to me that Elayne really doesn’t seem to get that Nynaeve isn’t leading Luca on. Well, she is, but not on purpose."

Hmmm. I have always felt that Nynaeve was an intentionally "unreliable narrator" whenever she was sharing insights about herself or others. I think that at some level she was flirting or at least learning how to flirt. I don't mean to say she magically knew how to vamp, but I think there was a least a hint of self-delusion in her denials.
Brett Michie
104. bchurch
For the survey:

Rand - love
Mat - love
Perrin - love
Moiraine - love
Lan - love
Nynaeve - dislike/like depending on the book
Egwene - love
Min - love
Elayne - dislike
Aviendha* - like
Siuan - indifferent
Thom - love
Gawyn - like
Galad - indifferent
Elaida - hate

*We didn't actually meet Aviendha until tDR.
105. HurinSmells
@97 sps49

I think the absolute most you can expect in terms of resolution before the end of the series are plot lines involving major characters. Who/where Gaidal Cain is has barely made a ripple, so will unlikely be dealt with. The nature of Wheel means there is never a clear beginning and ending to anything, so while we will get a grand finale, I don't expect to have every single question I have answered before the last page. Given the pacing of the last few books it's possible we won't even see Elayne give birth!

I think I'd be more dissappointed, if we got a "hollywood" ending where eveything was nice and neatly wrapped up. If that happened, there would be no more room for disscussion, and that would be a shame.
Pete Pratt
106. PeteP
Re: dumb Forsaken
One thing everything forgets is that the Forsaken are not always trying to kill Rand. Ishy & Lanfear (except on certain occassions) are not trying to kill Rand, they want him for their own reasons. Then in LoC, the order comes not to kill Rand. To Ishy, Rand is the Fisher, the piece to move back and forth on the board. Moridin thinks he controls both sides of the board. It is only when things appear out of his control does he actually try to kill Rand. Moridin actually helps Rand fight Sammy in CoS.

Many of the Forsaken worked after becoming free at having power over kingdoms -- Be'lal, Sammy, Rahvin, Graendal, Semirhage. Mesaana went to work in the White Tower, leading to the Coup and the Split and the division of the Ajahs. Asmodean played his music. Ishy tired to direct Rand's footsteps. Lanfear tries to control and seduce him. Aginor and Balthamel die why too early, and are sent back to influence the Black Tower and the Salidar Aes Sedai. The Spider is hiding out in Tanchico until she tangles with Nynaeve.

Of all, most of the Forsaken do a pretty good job at taking over chunks of the world and creating chaos. Rahvin only dies out of dumb luck -- Rand goes after him instead of Sammy, and Rand is saved by Nynaeve. Be'lal thought Moiraine was trapped when she killed him. Moridin helped Rand fight Sammy. Lanfear could have killed him, but for Moiraine's preparing the situation in accordance with the vision in the Rings. Sure, Dashiva died a second time. Semirhage got captured, but for Semirhage that is not a bad thing, as she has been known to use captivity for her advantage and to destroy enemies.

As things stand, Moridin has Moggy, Mesaana, and Cyndane in hand, Graendal Demandred, and Aran'gar somewhat obedient, the world on the way to oblivion, what with the Pattern coming apart, the Dead walking, buildings changing, the Black Tower full of Darkfriend Asha'man, and all that.

Moridin seems to be having most everything in hand. He did have minor set back with Cleansing the Source and Fixing the Weather, but all in all Moridin's plans are setting up nicely.
Pete Pratt
107. PeteP
For the survey

Rand: love
Mat: love, though I did not like him until tDR, now my favorite character
Perrin: like (though occassionally love)
Moiraine: disliked somewhat until she died, but now I really miss her and I have wanted her back many books ago. Every re-read makes me want like her better. So -- Love
Lan: he rocks, love
Nynaeve: hated her and disliked her until The Golden Crane, now I really, really like her, warts and all
Egwene: disliked her since the very beginning, I have begun respecting her with Honey in the Tea, so overall, Indifferent
Min: Love
Elayne: Love (Even when she is bad to Mat)
Aviendha: Love (Except for holding out on Rand after Far Snows)
Siuan: Like (I would like to say love, but I will wait until she actually gets with Gareth)
Thom: Love (we do not get enough of him though -- I look forward to his little trip with Mat)
Gawyn: Used to like, not sure now indifferent
Galad: Used to dislike, now, love
Elaida: Hate (how could anyone like her?)
three extra --
Cadsuane: Really Like, ok, love
Faile: Like, even though you all hate her
Tuon: Love
Alice Arneson
108. Wetlandernw
PeteP - I'm with you on those last three! We're a minority, but we're used to it. :)
109. whatusername
Is there a chance of the tinker DF being Aram?

(prob not - but it's worth mentioning.. Are we sure he was 100% light?)

Hell - or Raen for that matter? RJ loves re-using characters - sometimes turning up after huge absences, so it might be possible.

Because there might be merit in Ishy sending some DF's to Duopotamia just in case...
110. whatusername
Rand: like
Mat: love
Perrin: meh
Moiraine: miss her. probably a love.
Lan: love
Nynaeve: kinda like.. (Cleansing, Moggy, Rahvin, Golden Crane - she gets stuff done - but never been a huge fan)
Egwene: like
Min: like
Elayne: meh
Aviendha: meh
Siuan: like
Thom: Love
Gawyn: meh
Galad: In KOD: Love, previous: dislike
Elaida: dislike
Cadsuane: annoyed.
Faile: kinda like
Tuon: Love
111. Noren
@109 whatusername
Aram?Nah.Aram,Light bless his soul,was sincere.He couldn't have survived so long in the company of Perrin "The Walking Lie Detector" Aybara otherwise.His main fault was his...enthusiasm.Really:)
Pete Pratt
112. PeteP
Wetlandernw: I am glad that someone else loves Cadsuane and likes Faile
j p
113. sps49
@105 HurinSmells (ha!)-

Everything doesn't have to end nice, but I do want resolutions, and I want them to affect the story and not get summed up in a final blare of exposition. I mean, if I'm given a complicated story to follow, I want C. J. Cherryh to make it flow back together, not Hideki Anno deciding screw it, we don't know how to resolve all of this so let's just give up.
114. eatshitnynaeve
I have loved your re-read, its like revisiting old friends without having to read every word, but honestly, am I the only one that sees that nynaeve is a total fucking narcissistic SNUFFLEUPAGUS that truly believes she is the only damn person existing that can do something right? C'mon, can we get a break for one moment? PLEASE? She berates everyone, thanks nobody, and when it lands her in shit the best she can do is act like she planned it... or insult you for having the gall to pull her ass out of the slinger. In your words, Leigh... girl's a fucking snuffleupagus yo! Never one time in the entire series does she consider that hey, you know, they really know what's going on and I got no friggin clue. Nah, I'll just be a fucking snuffleupagus and browbeat them till they fuck it up MY way. PLEASE LEIGH, TAKE A REALITY PILL AND REALIZE THAT WHILE CRAZY COURAGEOUS, NYNAEVE IS A STUBBORN SELF-SERVING SNUFFLEUPAGUS. And have a great Tuesday, too.

Moderator's note: I know Monday mornings are hard, but calm down, and no ad hominem attacks. No need to be nasty. You'll note that I've replaced each instance of the b-word with "Snuffleupagus" to encourage you to play nice.
115. Freelancer
Several threads back I ranked the more significant characters based on my personal opinion of them, esteem-wise. Not fond of using words like love or hate regarding fictional characters, so being a numbers geek I'll use a 1-5 scale, and the relative positions within each are by preference:






116. Cristine
Rand: love
Mat: love
Perrin: dislike
Moiraine: like
Lan: love
Nynaeve: like
Egwene: meh
Min: like
Elayne: meh
Aviendha: like
Siuan: meh
Thom: love
Gawyn: hate
Galad: like
Elaida: hate
Cadsuane: meh
Faile: hate
Tuon: meh
117. CJB
Rand: Love
Mat: Love
Perrin: Like
Moiraine: Like
Lan: Like
Nynaeve: Love
Egwene: Hate
Min: Like
Elayne: Like (though I hated her in KoD)
Aviendha: Love (but needs more POVs)
Siuan: Love
Thom: Like
Gawyn: Dislike
Galad: Love
Elaida: Love (I know it's weird, but I can't not love someone so flamboyantly crazy)
Cadsuane: Hate
Faile: Indifferent
Tuon: Like
Birgitte: Love
Loial: Love
Logain: Love

I think that's everyone.
Michael Catapano
118. hoping
re Taim

Maybe he is the result when a male channeler is taken over by an emerging past life. Rand is strong enough to keep LTT at bay but perhaps others aren't. This would account for Taim's apparant AoL sensibilities, if the prior life was from then.
Definitely a DF, but not one of the original thirteen and he will probably be promoted to third age forsaken.
I think Cad will teach the ashaman how to deal with prior lives shining through.

For the new survey (ala free)
I've rated them based on how they well they support the story not on whether I would like to have a beer with them. The list would be different then.





119. RobMRobM
I like Freelancer's approach -- and adding a few extra characters to mess up the survey ;-)


Mat (TDR onnward)
Egwene (from LoC on)
Faile (through TSR)


Thom (should be higher but RJ doesn't give him enough to do)
Galad (KoD and with potential to move up in TGS)
Gawyn (intentions)


Faile (post-TSR)
Egwene (pre-LOC)


Galad (pre KoD)
Gawyn (actions)
Elaida (she's such an epic mess, she gets some bonus points)
Mat (pre-TDR)


Sea Folk
John Massey
120. subwoofer
@102thewindrose- wife is onto the Bachelorette. Gives me hours of free time while she is sucked into that show. And shhhhhhhh on the typing, last night she heard you and told me to come to bed.

My spin on new survey so far(note the ranking):




all I got so far....

edit- subject to frequent modification-
121. J.Dauro
NanaD @68
We do exist. Although I will admit the three women with me did faint when I stopped to ask directions in San Fran.

alreadymadwithtaim @90
Pay attention - that was jafco @ 84

Personally I like Nyn, but I think after so many times of bad calls, she might learn a little bit.

sps49 @97
From Brandon, there are specific questions that RJ left instructions to not answer. (No, he won't tell us what they are.)

subwoofer @101
Yes!! - the seals all have to go. Rand cannot patch the bore, he has to completely mend it. This is foresahdowed by Harad Fell in his talk with Rand.
craig thrift
122. gagecreedlives
I still think Birgitte is bound to the pattern and I don’t think there is anything a mortal can do to stop it. As for her dying once she is ripped out I am in 2 minds. I think that either that was the pattern trying to put her back where she belongs or that dying was the best Moggy could come up with while she has an arrow sticking from her chest.

Lost in my own Mind@3

I think the simplistic plan is a) because they hold Rand and to a lesser extent Asmo in contempt and b) Lanfear is in on the planning and still wants Rand for a hubby.

Cowboy Funk@13

My thoughtlines have gone the other way. Originally I just thought he was a power hungry maniac. After his comments at the end of KoD I am convinced he is a darkfriend and probably a high ranking one at that.


Very likely


The black stone is at the black tower. Its where they do there speeches and its where Rand first gives out the dragon pins. Very likely IMO that the stone will end up becoming a symbol for the black tower.

I think HurinSmells is right. IIRC RJ actually said that not all plot lines will be resolved by the end.


So I am guessing your not gonna put love next to Nynaeve for the survey

Mat = Love
Rand = like
Perrin = like
Moraine = like
Lan = Love
Nyn = Love (only because of KoD)
Egwene = indifferent
Min = indifferent
Elayne = dislike
Aviendha = indifferent
Siuan = like
Thom = Love
Galad = like
Elaida = hate
Tess Laird
123. thewindrose
Love the rankings! Yay - Leigh is a gooder;)
HaHa - Elaida funk includes Rickrollers. Good thing you didn't post this last night as my laughter would have woke up my husband and he would have come out and shook his head slowly and say you are still doing that!
Marcus W
124. toryx
CalaLily @ 94:

They basically killed themselves before the DO could send his minions to do it, in their books.

Your post about the suicides on Tremalking gave me an interesting thought. They all killed themselves, presumnably to save themselves from the DO and his minions. But the DO is the Lord of the Grave, which means he can pluck those people back to life. I wonder if he could not only bring them back to the world of the living, but force them to fight for him too?

It'd be an interesting twist to the whole thing.

Alisonwonderland @ 96 - On to the Ranking:

My feelings on a lot of the main characters have changed over time, so I'm separating how I first felt about them with how I feel now. Before the / is original opinion, after is current.

Rand - Like
Mat - Indifferent / love
Perrin - Love/ Like
Moiraine - Dislike / Indifferent
Lan - love
Nynaeve - like / love
Egwene - Dislike / Indifferent / hate / Like (as of her capture by the WT)
Min - love
Elayne - Indifferent / Dislike / Hate (after she started hammering on Mat)
Aviendha - like / love
Siuan - Dislike
Thom - Love / Like
Gawyn - Like / Dislike
Galad - Indifferent / Like
Elaida - Hate
Cadsuane - Hate / Dislike
Faile - Dislike / Like
Loial - Love (How on earth could Loial not be part of the survey/ ranking?)
April Vrugtman
125. dwndrgn
Mat = Love
Rand = Indifferent - sad, but true, his on screen times are my least favorite bits.
Perrin = Indifferent - Faile has ruined him forever for me.
Moraine = Love
Lan = Love
Nyn = Love - yes she's hypocritical, stubborn and prone to use the stick over the carrot but as Wisdom was required to be THE authority and take care of everyone at a young age and that has never left her.
Egwene = Like, though jury still out, she's the youngest of everyone and has been forced to age way quickly.
Min = Like - her fawning over Rand annoys me but I like everything else about her.
Elayne = Like
Aviendha = Like - I'd have liked her better if she hadn't been such a back-asswards boobie about the Rand thing.
Siuan = Like
Thom = Like
Galad = Indifferent
Elaida = Indifferent - she's too blind to hate.
Loial = Love
126. TexanSedai
Allisonwnderland - Thanks for doing a survey!
Here are my opinions, I may add a few lesser faves as well.

Rand - like
Mat - LOVE!!!! Can I marry him????
Perrin - Like except the whole Faile thing. He
can do better than her!
Gaul - LOVE
Loail - LOVE
Thom - Love
Juilin - Like
Nyn - Like although she is really growing on me
and starting to rank up there.
Egwene - Meh...liked at first, just annoys me now
Elayne - Dislike - seriously annoys me
Faile - HATE - annoys me with the fire of a
thousand suns
Min - Meh - gets way too whiny around Rand.
and her pants irritate me to no end.
Moiraine - COMPLETELY LOVE - second fave
Lan - LOVE
Avi - LOVE - totally awesome
Gawyn - Don't care either way
Galad - Like - smokin hot and always doing
right thing - whats not to like?
Elaida - Dislike - though I do feel some sympathy
for her.
Liandrin & BA- Hate all
127. TexanSedai
@125 dwndrgn -
I completely agree about Rand and Perrin.

Did I mention that Min's pants and high heeled boots are SUPER IRRATATING????????

A couple more I forgot:

Siuan: Like, kinda.
Leane: Like alot
Birgitte: LOVE!!!
Berelain: Love
Lanfear: Really Like
Band of the Red Hand: Love!!!!

Need to get back to work now....
John Mann
128. jcmnyu
Rand - like (really a 4.5 out of 5)

Mat - love (a number of my favorite scenes revolve around him)

Perrin - indifferent (loved until book 7, hated since then. I remember how pissed I was that he was left out of Book 5. No way I would feel that way about book 12.)

Moiraine - like (I anticipate it will turn to love when she returns)

Lan - like (Not his fault. Difficult to love since he hasn't had a POV in the main sequence)

Nynaeve - indifferent (Really rubs me the wrong way for most of the books, then begins to redeem herself when her block breaks down, the helps cleanse Saidin, and she sends Lan to the Borderlands)

Egwene - indifferent (Hated her until she ended up a captive in the White Tower. Then her stock rapidly rose.)

Min - like (Wish her philosophical side was emphisised more)

Elayne - dislike (The whole succession storyline really is a low point for me. Also, I can't shake the statement that she wanted to stay one more day so that she could walk the high wire.)

Aviendha - like (Her struggle to stay true to her heritage was a good read, and her "veins of gold" exclamation is one of my favorites. She reveals herself in an unguarded moment.)

Siuan - love (Absolutely dedicated to defeat the Dark One in any way she can.)

Thom - like (The cool uncle everyone wishes he had. Constantly does the right thing.)

Gawyn - dislike (too wishy-washy)

Galad - dislike (He joined the freaking Whitecloaks)

Elaida - hate (The one I love to hate. Gets absolutely everything wrong.)
129. Aegnor

Oops, I meant Demandred. Getting my D names mixed up...
130. alreadymadwithbrokenseals
Noren @100
The Shadow may well have something to do with how the Amayar interpreted the prophecy. But it would have been far in the past. No one in the present knew how the Amayar would react, the Seafolk included.

Besides, it's not as if the Seafolk can do anything about it. Judging by how thorough the Amayar were, everyone has been dead for days. And the Seafolk can't investigate because to spare the ships to do so would be to break the bargain with the Coramoor.

As for Perrin and the tinkers, Perrin is rather close to them but only in regards to screentime with them. The only Tinker really close to him was Aram. That plot thread is dead. Aram turned on him, but not because he was a darkfriend.

subwoofer @101
I happen to believe the Seals get broken sooner or later myself. But I'm thinking not until the forces of the Light are ready for the main event at the Last Battle. By handing them over to Rand and his followers, Taim essentially ensured that no one would be able to break it prematurely. Besides, why turn them in now, and then send people looking for it later? Perhaps he was expecting to be let in on the secret of where they were to be kept?

thewindrose @102
Of course Birgitte made some choices of her own. It does not change the fact that Nynaeve had to learn how much danger the people around her get in whenever she leaps without looking. She still needed to learn the price of her arrogance.

J.Dauro @121
My bad.
131. AlleyGirl
Rand - Like
Mat - Love
Perrin - Meh
Moiraine - Love
Lan - Like
Nynaeve - Love love love!
Egwene - Dislike
Min - Meh
Elayne - Like
Aviendha - Meh
Siuan - Dislike
Thom - Love
Gawyn - Dislike
Galad - Like
Elaida - Dislike

Just to add a few extras:

Cadsuane - Love love love!
Alanna - Dislike
Tuon - Dislike
Birgitte - Like

Mostly indifferent to everyone else.
132. MasterAlThor
Suervy Says:

Rand like
Mat like
Perrin like
Min annoying
Elayne annoying/ getting better
Egwene annoying/ getting better
Moiraine indifferent
Lan cool beans
Tom cool beans
Loail like
Avi hot/ crazy
Brigitte hot/crazy
Lanfear crazy/ hot
Galad useless
Gawyn useless
Nynaeve useless/ lvl 99 hate
Elaida useless/ lvl 20 hate
Faile useless/ lvl 70 hate
Fain hate
non important characters that we get introduced to after 9 books lvl 100 hate
133. Cowboy Funk
Thank you all for the clarification on my Taim ordeal. I totally forgot about the "let the lord of chaos rule" scene...though I feel like Lews Therin may have been sagged with that title in his day that others may know it...but its true only the Shadow references him as so. BUT, someone else brought up a good point; the seal Taim gives away. Would the Shadow really allow a DF to give away a Seal to their #1 enemy just so he can gain his trust? And later on the Shadow is desperately trying to find the Seals in Rands possession by going after Davram and Dobraine. SO, my new question is, was this a clever gamble by the Shadow to get someone close to Rand or was Taim not a DF at the time and was turned later?
Tony Zbaraschuk
134. tonyz
Rand: Love. Hey, he's the Dragon Reborn, and he does what he has to do.

Mat: Love (at least once we start seeing stuff from inside his head).

Perrin: Like at first, ranging to Indifferent later. Just rescue Faile and get out of there already.

Moiraine: Like. You'd think she might have thought a bit more throughly through what it meant that Rand was the Dragon Reborn.

Lan: Love.

Nynaeve: Surprisingly, love. Her heart is the right place.

Egwene: Love. I like characters who can do things and achieve things, and while Egwene may be getting some rocket propulsion upwards, she can work on the heights.

Min: Love. She's human, more so than almost anyone around her, and she knows it.

Elayne: Like, verging on indifferent. Oh, she's beautiful and all that, but she knows it a bit too much.

Aviendha: Like

Siuan: Like. She needs a bit of a humility lesson, but then again few people ever got to be Amyrlin by being weak-willed, and at least she doesn't give up.

Thom: Like. Don't see enough of him.

Gawyn: Indifferent. Come on, kid, figure out what's going on.

Galad: Like. We all get poisoned by Elayne's view of him, but he really does have the strength of ten because his heart is pure... and who else could have led the Whitecloaks out of the mess they're in?

Elaida: Love to hate. Not quite as much as Liandrin, and she does sort of go into it with good motives, but she is such a poster child for how the Aes Sedai get things wrong.
135. SeanM
Ok, time to jump in on a survey.

This is really my "how excited am I to read a chapter with them in it" rating..

Rand: Like. And sinking. All the LTT stuff is getting old.

Mat: Love, now that he's left Ebou Dar. Pretty much the only character I say "Oh Boy! A Mat chapter!" to. Well, and the Forsaken social clubs, but those aren't really characters.

Perrin: Dislike, but hopefully will recover in the next book.

Moiraine: Like. I'm really curious to see her reaction to how the world has changed over the last several books.

Lan: Indifferent/Like. He doesn't seem to have much of a personality to me.

Nynaeve: Like, I guess. I'll like her more after we finish the rest of this book.

Egwene: Like, and rising. She's at a low point of annoyingness now, but from when she arrives in Salidar, she really grows up fast.

Min: Like, since she's one of the few women who don't go around trying to manipulate Rand. I've always wondered whether the other two girls are jealous of Min following Rand around for like 6 books now.

Elayne: Hate. Partially because of her personality, partially because she gets the boring "taking a bath" and "talking about alum" chapters.

Aviendha: Indifferent.

Siuan: Like. She's "love" for me right now, but kind of sinks into the background.

Thom: Like, sinking to indifferent.

Gawyn: Dislike. I liked him before he went all psycho in the tower coup.

Galad: I don't remember much of KoD, so indifferent.

Elaida: Indifferent. She's annoying and repetitive, but I'm sort of rooting her to start a "Great Purge".

and I'll throw in...
Morgase: Hate. From here on in, every appearance of Team Morgase can be sliced from all of the books and nothing would be missed.
Marcus W
136. toryx
Ooh, I forgot about Morgase. Mark me down in the hate category for her too.
137. MikeDeepo
Going back to the Dumb Forsaken and the Rahvin/Sammael/Lanfear/Greandal plot, I don't actually think the plan was bad or they underestimated Rand to any significant degree. That plan failed because of Lanfear, on two points. #1, she revealed who Rahvin was, so that when Morgase disappeared Rand was able to go after him. #2, she went insane(r) and got herself killed(ish). So that's half of the participants gone.

Rand never saw or defeated their plan. He DID realize that he was being baited to attack Sammael, and planned accordingly. It was never spelled out explicitly, but here's what I've deduced of the plan he, Bashere, and Mat came up with.

1) Attack Illian with a really f'ing big army.
2) Lots and lots of work to convince Sammael that Rand would not be with said army.
3) Army attacks, and Sammael goes to help since he knows Rand won't be there. Sammael's a defender, and wouldn't leave his heavily-fortified base if he thought he would have to face Rand.
4) Rand Travels to Illian, sets off all of Sammael's traps, and faces him on an even playing field.

Which is how things played out, with some additional assistance from our friend Fain. It didn't work perfectly from Rand's perspective, as Sammael had the foresight to prepare a fallback position, but from everything I can see Rand never suspected the possibility that he would have to face multiple Forsaken linked together. Nowhere here do the Forsaken assume Rand is not a formidable opponent. Rand is actually the one who underestimates his opponents, by assuming that the Forsaken would be unwilling to work together.
Luke M
138. lmelior
Original survey:
Rand - dislike
Mat - love
Perrin - like
Moiraine - love
Lan - love
Nynaeve - dislike
Egwene - hate
Min - like
Elayne - dislike
Aviendha - like
Siuan - like
Thom - like
Gawyn - hate
Galad - dislike
Elaida - hate

Faile - like
Loial - like
Cadsuane - hate

Entire groups:
SeaFolk - hate
Kin - dislike
Whitecloaks - hate
Seanchan - hate

I'm indifferent otherwise.

Note that this doesn't necessarily reflect whose parts I actually enjoy reading. I wanted to stab my brain out waiting for Perrin to rescue Faile, but I mostly like Rand's sections.

@TexanSedai #126
You might have enjoyed the first survey many, many posts ago: what WoT character would you (a) marry, (b) kill, (c) boink?
139. Cowboy Funk
@ 137. MikeDeepo

Agreed, Rand only managed to avoid that trap by pure dumb luck on his part and a slight miscalculation on Rahvins end.

But his plan for Illian was great, attack on all fronts and then dump a massive force direct into the City to draw out Sammael. But then again, Rand only survived this encounter by direct help from Moridin.
140. JennB
The survey:
This is hard because it has been so long since the last time I read the books. After reading the comments on the reread, I have realized that I don't remember KOD at all. I will give it a try.

Rand: Like, but he's become so high and mighty, us common folk can barely relate to him.

Perrin: Loved/Indifferent There was a time, oh about 18 years ago, when I thought if I was 4 or 5 years older and living in Randland, he would be the guy for me. Now I groan with dread any time I see the wolf icon.

Mat: Disliked/Like Maybe I would love him if I could just remember KOD.

Egwene: Liked/Indifferent

Nynaeve: Like I enjoy her story and like watching her grow.

Moraine: Like(maybe Love??) I miss her, she was cool.

Lan: Love He was always straight with Rand.

Min: Indifferent I never could figure out what the big deal was about her. Kind of a boring character. Though I do credit her as being one of just a few female leads that actually thinks of men as people.

Elayne: Like lots Most of the time she is pretty cool. She was always awful to Mat though.

Aviendha: Love She is my favorite. I love her because she is just as strong as Egwene and Elayne but doesn't act or feel so entitled. She is also one of the few female leads that thinks of men as people. Of course RJ can't let her get away with looking normal so he gives her major hang-ups courtesy of ji-et-toh. On a side note: I also think she has a lot in common with Mat. She is told she has a duty and a destiny. She runs away. When the duty catches up with her she begrudgingly accepts it, but she continues to fight the destiny until she is so tangled up in it that she sees there is no way out.

Faile: Hate

Loial: Love

Galad: Dislike, but not too much.

Gawayn: Liked/Hate

Suian: Like

Thom: Love

Elaida: Hate

Birgitte: Like

Tuon: Like
Pete Pratt
141. PeteP
Cowboy Funk @ 133: This always gets me, too. Given how hard the DF and Forsaken are looking for the Seals, I would find it very hard to believe that they would give one up. However, given that Rand starts thinking about breaking the seal, maybe it was just a ploy to get Rand to do that.

But I think Taim joined the dark side of his own free will, but after coming to the Black Tower. Maybe Rochaid and his buddies were DFs and recruited him.

I have wondered since RJ knocked down Taimindred whether or not RJ first had Taimindred and then changed his mind later. Taim looks too much like Demandred, acts like Demandred, talks like Demandred, that the only way that the theory could be knocked down is for RJ to say otherwise.

As to survey re: Morgase--- screw the rest of you, I like Morgase and feel really sorry for her. I have a lot of empathy for her, given the beating down she took from Rahvin.
142. MikeDeepo
@139. Cowboy Funk

I quite agree that Rand's plan was good, but it still included the assumption that he would have to fight Sammael ONLY. If things had gone out they way both sides had originally planned it, Rand would have hopped into downtown Illian and been met by the four of them linked together. Assuming Sammael and Rahvin are as strong as Rand, with Lanfear and Greandal not far behind, he would have been summarily overwhelmed and captured/killed/atomic-wedgied/whatever.
Marcus W
143. toryx
PeteP @ 141:

I have a great deal of sympathy for Morgase and thought she got the raw end of the deal with Rahvin and everything that followed after, but I still can't like her. Even when she was (supposedly) the wise and wonderful Queen, I don't dig people who are capable of threatening their supporters/ lovers/ friends with execution, fit of fury or no.

I also think she did a crap job of raising Elayne.
144. Cowboy Funk
@ 142. MikeDeepo

Very true. And at this time I dont think Rand was traveling with his coterie of Aes Sedei and Asha'man...not that even they would have helped much against linked Forsaken anyway.
145. TexanSedai
lmelior @ 138

A) Marry - Definitely Matt. Maybe Talmanes.

B) Kill - FAILE - most annoying character Ever!
Well, I would probably kill Fain, Galina and Alviarin too oh and definitely Sevanah. Rivals Faile on the annoyance factor.

C) Boink - and this list could be long:
Galad, Galad, Galad- its the super hot thing
Probably just about any hot Aeil. I like strong, wild types. No emo or pretty boys for me (except Galad - I think he probably has a wild side behind closed doors ;O ) I like a manly man!

And - I agree with hating the Seanchan, Whitecloaks and definitely the Sea Folk and Kin. Ugh! The Kin!!!!! What a beating!
Also agree with the Team Morgase assessment - Ugh!

Good thing I REALLY love the characters I like in this series, because I seem to really hate alot of them!
Jay Dauro
146. J.Dauro
Cowboy Funk @139

Dumb Luck. Never. A taveren's luck is never "dumb." It's just the definition of the word ;^)
barry troy
147. perrin5454
To continue on the line of questioning about the merits of the Forsaken plan. I admit I am a little confused. Was the attack on Rand at the tower one of the goading attacks? If so I would say that the only reason that the tactic does not work is that they do not actually kill anyone there that Rand really cares about. Granted he remembers the names of the Maidens who die there, but when Rahvin kills Aviendhva, Mat and Asmodean (I know Rand doesn't actually care about him except as a teacher) in Caemlyn, Rahvin certainly gets Rand's full attention and he goes straight for him.
Basically, my argument is thus, if the lightning strike before the battle of Cairhiern had succeeded in killing say Egwene or Aviendhva, then I do not doubt that Rand would have taken the bait and gone straight for Sammael, exactly as he does for Rahvin later.
148. Maeke
I started reading these books way back in 1992 and came across this thread and it looked fun, especially the survey. My take...

Rand: OK at first but gets fuzzy at times
Mat: one of the best characters
Perrin: EMOx10
Moiraine: this character is sorely missed and left a big hole that hasn't been quite filled. Because of ANS you are able to to understand her more than any other character and then blam! she's gone. AMOL better fill in all of the holes.
Lan: a manly kickass dude on a major mission ala Aragon from LoTR
Nynaeve: like a big sister who never leaves you be - she would be on COPS and in the back of a police car in real life.
Egwene: I like her character but some of what she really thinks is foggy due to other circumstances in the books. She finally comes into her own when she is taken prisoner at the white tower. That will be good when it plays out.
Min: OK - Rand's boy toy for the most part
Elayne: very complicated character and has her head in the clouds somewhere most of the time.
Aviendha: one of my all-time favorites because she only takes crap from her real bosses, the wise ones
Siuan: I read above she is the toughest and strongest willed character in the story but I have to put Moirane along side of her for the reason they share the same convictions. Siuan will do something with Gareth - Bond?
Thom: cool and always where he should be. He isn't capable of channeling as far as we know - something I had always considered as his nephew could.
Gawyn: meh - gotta agree with meh.
Galad: kind of impersonal until he fights and wins the duel.
Elaida: reminds one of the bitch at work who is in everyone's business and makes the place miserable.
Cadsuane: she's like someone's grandma wih a perpetual hemorrhoid
Faile: could have been killed by the Shaido and I wouldn't have missed her - wasted too many chapters
Tuon: pain in the ass and wasted too many chapters
Morgase: when is this woman going to surface
149. alreadymadwithcadsuane
Cadsuane: she's like someone's grandma wih a perpetual hemorrhoid
That's so true. LOL.
150. Cowboy Funk
Welcome to the discussion, Maeke.


Morgase's storyline was less then interesting especially since she was never built up much in previous books. But I think she redeemed herself with the Shaido escape. I think she was humbled in her experiences and then got a chance to prove her worth again. Although I dont really care what happens to'd be nice to see a family reunion (not sure how much of a mess this would make for Elayne though, even though Morgase "resigned" the throne) but I coudl care less if her an Tallanvor end up together. I think her storyline peaked when Galad finally avenged her "death/rape"

not sure why i went on this tangent, but there it is. hehe.
151. randomjohn
I think what you're looking for in the monomyth of the hero's journey is called the belly of the beast or the whale, I forget. Vogler called it "The Ordeal" in The Writer's Journey, which was just a rehash of The Hero with a Thousand Faces anyway.
152. MikeDeepo
I feel like about 75% of the things that are really bugging me in the series would be solved by a Trakand Family Reunion. So come on Brandon, get them some t-shirts and send them to Six Flags.
John Massey
153. subwoofer
A while back I blew the transmission on my Grand Caravan and it became a useless hunk that I wanted to push off a cliff. After a bit I began to compile the List of Seven- people that would be in said van when pushed off the cliff- enter the Trakand Family. I hear you MikeDeepo.

Maybe after the reunion Gawyn and Morgase and Elayne can step up and show what royalty can do. Spent many chapters being a pain to read, maybe they can rally. Elayne can rule and bring a strong army to TG. Gawyn could stop putzing around and be Elayne's first prince of whatever. Morgase can stop playing serving maid and smack some sense into her sons and daughter.

@141PeterP, I think you are getting your surveys confused... Now have you down for marrying Morgase and boinking the rest of us;)
154. CalaLily
Sorry to dredge up an old conversation, but I remember a while ago someone said that Tuon's "razor" could be a zebra, and several people, including myself, said "Nah, it's a piebald."

Well, whoever you are, I have vindication for your theory. :)

"More than that, she was a breed he had heard tell of but never thought to see, a razor, from Arad Doman. No other breed would have that distinctive coloring. In her coat, black met white in straight lines that could have been sliced by a razor, hence the name."

KOD, A Stave and a Razor, page 186.

Doesn't mention a stiff mane or thin, tuft tail, but I've never seen a non-zebra equine with the markings described. :)

Ya know, the image of Tuon riding a Zebra is actually pretty striking, given her African appearance. If I had more skill at drawing people and horses I would sketch that out as quickly as my hands could follow my brain.
155. Valan
Survey: First Impressions/ as of KoD (thanks Toryx)

Rand - Love
Mat - Love
Perrin - Love/Annoying/Like
Moiraine - Dislike/ Indifferent
Lan - Love
Nynaeve - dislike/Love (the Golden Crane)
Egwene - Indifferent/Like
Min - Love
Elayne - Indifferent/hate/dislike
Aviendha - love
Siuan - Like
Thom - Love
Gawyn - Like/indifferent
Galad - dislike/Like
(It'd say 'Love' if he wasn't a flaming Whitecloak)
Elaida - hate/ Despise

Faile - Like
Loial - Love
Cadsuane - Like
Rhuarc: Like
Gaul/Bain/Chiad - Like
Ishamael/Moridin - Love. Was and still is a kickass villain.
Fain: Love to Hate

The thing about Taim is that it was TOO obvious he was Demandred. And the fact that I noticed this on my first read automatically discounted the possibility for me. I subscribe to the view that he turned after it became obvious he wasn't getting an equal footing with Rand. Jealousy, just like Demandred, really.

@143 Toryx
"I also think she did a crap job of raising Elayne. "

You and me both.

@ 154 CalaLilly
The post that coversation came from had a link to RJ's blog discounting the theory. Sorry. :)
156. CalaLily
@ Valan:

:) No need to apologize.


That's a weird lookin' horse, though.
157. Freelancer

In that same old conversation, somebody was nice enough to pull an RJ quote that the razor was definitely not a zebra. Even without that, I'd argue that it could not be. Mat's eye for horseflesh wouldn't touch a zebra with a ten foot longbow. Akien, however, is described in great detail and has near thoroughbred specifications. Zebras are shorter both in height and length, body and legs thicker than a race horse, with a scrub mane and a blunt snout.
158. Valan
Other Characters I forgot:

Birgitte: Love. She's my favorite female character i think, probably cause she's the only one that would drink with me ;)

Aludra: indifferent

Berlain: Hate/ Like

Tuon: like

Morgase: Dislike

Tallanvor: Like

Lanfear: Like (cool crazy b*tch villain)

Rodel Iteralde (sp?): Like

The Forsaken:

I just think more characters than Mat have some crazy kinds of luck. A combination of that, Arrogance on the Cho- I mean Forsaken's part, and the fact that they are looking for a way to backstab each other all of the time has led them to their doom so far. I also think Semirahge will escape to give us all nightmares. Hopefully not though.
159. twicemarked
I dislike Elayne quite a bit in KOD, due to the happening in this chapters. Here, Nynaeve realized that sometimes, your mistake is paid for by other people. Since Elayne bond Birgitte, she should remember this well.

When she comes to Full Moon street in KOD, she forgets all about this. Well, her baby will be born healthy, but that only means she won't pay a price with her physical body, no matter what she did. She did not even think about what prices other poeple may have to pay for her mistake. She has been there and seen that with the Birgitte incident. She whould have learned something.

But, her memory may have been impaired due to the pregency. But what she did was totally uncalled for.

The other character I like very much is Tuon. Now, to be honest, it has a lot to do with the culture background. I actually identify with the Seanchan culture instinctively. Whom I like and whom I don't like have a lot to do with that up bringing, no matter how much you change as you grow up.
160. HurinSmells
@152 MikeDeepo
Damn straight! In fact, if there was a town meeting of all the major "light" characters in the series I reckon it could be wrapped up in just a few more chapters! A good 80% of the plot could have been avoided if there were cell phones in WoT!
Julian Augustus
161. Alisonwonderland
Survey Update:

I have 21 usable responses so far, and I plan to post a summary when we have 25 responses.

Two responses, while interesting in their own right, are not usable in the survey because I can't fit them with the rest of the responses; Subwoofer put the characters in a 3-level scale that doesn't really correspond with my 5-level scale, and Maeke discussed the characters without stating his/her overall assessment on each character based on the survey scale. I almost left out the response by MasterAlThor because I couldn't relate some of his rankings to the survey scale. In the end, I guessed that his "cool beans" and "crazy hot" rankings perhaps reflected the top level affection on the survey (Love) while his "useless" with or without the hate levels corresponded to the bottom level affection (Hate).

For the sake of brevity I wanted to limit the survey to the most important central characters, specifically the characters who were introduced in tEotW and have featured prominently in the 11 books so far. Loial definitely belongs in that group and his omission was an oversight. Some posters have added a few other characters to the survey. I will post summaries on these other characters if I have enough ratings to comprise a statistically useful sample on them.
162. Valan
@ AlisonWonderland
I have simplified my response to my current opinion of the characters.

Rand - Love
Mat - Love
Perrin - Like
Moiraine - Indifferent
Lan - Love
Nynaeve - Love
Egwene - Like
Min - Love
Elayne - Dislike
Aviendha - love
Siuan - Like
Thom - Love
Gawyn - Indifferent
Galad - Like
Elaida - Hate
Loial - Love
163. Digital_Eon
Well, for the sake of having the survey results out faster... :P

Rand: Love
Perrin: Indifferent
Mat: Dislike - I'm generally indifferent to him, but the fans have really put me off of him. Not that they're crazy, it's just that I can't stand all the Mat love for someone I'm not really fond of anyway.
Egwene: Love
Nynaeve: Indifferent... same as Mat, really, but it's true that she's more awesome in later books. Otherwise, I'd dislike her too. It's not (just) her attitude; she just doesn't really interest me as a character.
Elayne: Like
Moiraine: Love
Lan: Like
Min: Hate (for reasons I have specified elsewhere)
Aviendha: Love
Thom: Like
Gawyn: Indifferent. He's interesting, at least.
Galad: Like
Siuan: Like. Would be love if not for the Bryne stuff. Why do the women have to be so obnoxious when it comes to romance - minus Aviendha, anyway?
Elaida: Li- oh, forget it, I love 'er. She's a horrible person, but a damn interesting character, and her scenes provide a great break from the other PoVs. We wouldn't get to see so many others be awesome if not for her.
Loial: Like

And because others brought them up...
Faile: Like
Tuon: Love
Morgase: Like. It'd be love, but I can barely read her Whitecloak scenes - they're just so painful for her. It's because I like her that I have a hard time with them.
Cadsuane: Indifferent. Hate her personality, but I understand her impact on Rand and the plot.

And for the OTHER survey...
Marry: Rand. He seems like a nice guy.
Kill: Fain. Can't stand him. Would rather see the world explode without him.
*ahem*: Galad. He's the handsomest man alive! No woman can resist him!

On to something discussion-related:
There's a fairly unpopular theory out there that Taim is actually Moridin in disguise - explains the evidence that people originally had for Taimandred relating to AoL-knowledge, as well as the Forsaken sigil of hand-with-thunderbolts(?) and the red-and-black colouring Moridin favours... if I recall correctly. An interesting theory, I thought, even though no one else seems to agree. At the very least, he IS a Darkfriend, and it'll be interesting to see how the Red bonding Asha'man thing works out in the next few books. Since it relates to the BT (Rand) and the WT (Egwene), could we see effects in TGS?
164. CalaLily
Prepare for the post of random topics!

Re: to the razor: Well, glad RJ cleared that up, then, because I barely know one end of a horse from another, let alone well enough to understand half of the specifications he makes in the book. xD

My favorite characters have really always been Mat, Perrin, and Nynaeve. Mat was a whiny little brat until he was Healed, and Perrin's single-minded, I-don't-care-who-I-hurt-as-long-as-I-get-my-wife-back attitude did wear on my patience through the end of KOD, but I really liked Nynaeve from the moment she pinned Suian against the wall alllll the way back in The Great Hunt. Sure, she's had some wince-worthy moments, but what character hasn't? And honestly, whose were worse is a matter of opinion no matter how you slice it. :)

I never did get the feel for the Tuon/Mat pairing. .-. Aludra and Mat have always had more "chemistry", in my opinion. I can accept the relationship, but it seemed a bit....forced to me. Not that I don't like Tuon; she's an interesting character, no matter the flaws we see in her culture. I just wonder what not expecting to be her equal means.

Trakand family reunion: YES, LIGHT, PLEASE. Pleeeeeeease let this NOT be one of the "loose threads" we never get a resolution for. I think there would be the proverbial riots in the streets of WOTland if it didn't. I know I'd grab -my- pitchfork.

As for Elayne's supreme arrogance as of KOD: Poor Sareitha. I feel so sorry for her, out of all of them. At least Vandene knew who killed her sister, and I guess all I can hope for was that it was painless as well as lightning quick. Ya know, as if I'm talking about actual people and events and not words on a page.

Speaking of: Survey! Gosh I love these things. Mostly, I'm guessing, because no one ever asks me to be in one in real life and I feel gypped when the gallup polls come out.

Rand - eh
Perrin - love/like
Moiraine - Heck, I'd follow her. Love.
Lan - love. Strong silent types ftw.
Nynaeve - love. The only one of the SGs to stand toe-to-toe with a Forsaken. And I agree with Leigh; her inner dialogue has me snickering all day.
Egwene - tolerated/loved
Min - eh/like
Elayne - eh/like
Aviendha - like
Siuan - like/love
Thom - like/love. I've always loved Thom.
Gawyn - Bugs the ever-livin' daylights out of me.
Galad - eh/ick/love. Some serious redemption in KOD.
Elaida - hate, and love to do so. The woman needs a year with Amys and Sorilea.
j p
165. sps49
Apropos of nothing:

I didn't see this in the WOTFAQ, but did y'all know Dumas' d'Artagnan was based on a real life person?

According to the Wiki-

Charles Ogier de Batz de Castelmore, Comte d'Artagnan
William Fettes
166. Wolfmage
I'd say it's a great testament to the depth of characterisation found in WOT, seeing just how divergent opinion can be about the main and peripheral cast amongst enthusiasts like our august selves.

There are lines being drawn here around perceived moral virtues, outcomes, consistency, manners, sexual discretion and propriety, style, and associations with plot arcs, good and bad. Best of all, people still come out with radically opposite opinions about many important characters, after sharing 90% of theirs opinion about the rest. That’s a really good sign to me that the text leaves sufficient scope to really tease out the human condition.

Anyway, without further ado, these are my ratings:

Rand - love ; he's the DR ya'll.

Mat - love ; He's easily my favourite character, and there's basically no serious competition to that estimation, as he's so far out in front of the rest. Mat is awesome warts and all, and I don't count his comparative promiscuity as a flaw.

Perrin - like; I do find Perrin to be sympathetic, though he is lowered in my estimation by his association with Faile and her Shaido rescue arc. Is that fair? Not entirely, as you can't always help who you have feeling for. But he does get way too EMO.

Egwene - like ; I would say I like Egwene, up to a point, just as someone might find themselves admiring a precocious child, who has a lot of potential, but often shows poor grace at winning, for example. The child may not be a real candidate for friendship or personal acquaintance, and they have a long way to go to fill out their shoes, but I'm not fundamentally at odds with rooting for them. Overall, I'd say I like her as a designated fastlane overachiever, though she does have moments where I would agree with others that she is conceited, hypocritical and unreflective.

Elayne - like (stronger than Egwene) ; Elayne is a pretty great SG, all in all. Though she can be annoying at times, with her nose in the air and such, being complicit in emasculating the men, I'd say she is still highly self reflective for a princess. She is quite happy to admit it when she is wrong and can re-evaluate her judgements in a very adult and mature fashion. That goes a long way with me. She also discovered how to make ter’angreal which is huge in terms of the concrete good can and will achieve.

Nynaeve - love ; she's just plain awesome IMO. From the moment we see her first significant on-screen actions - tirelessly healing the villagers after Winternight - to her bravely setting off into the unknown alone to save the boys, we see her heart is truly in the right place. I will always remember that she stayed true to Rand at The Stag and Lion. Her bad manners don't matter too much to me, compared to her fidelity to Rand, et al.

Moiraine - love; Moiraine and Verin are tied for being my favourite characters after Mat. She's the consummate mysterious and cool Aes Sedai, a pint-sized slayer of the Forsaken, and masterful player of the Great Game. A person whose very concrete steadiness in understanding and exposing the world to the reader, and her unwavering commitment to fighting the shadow, enabled her to fulfil the function of the reliable narrator time and time again, for most of the early books. Also, she had lot's of great tricks with the power which weren't known. Pure awesome.

Verin - love ; sneaky, sneaky Verin. Verin is what more Aes Sedai should be like - learned and helpful to the cause of light, but devious and sneaky. Did I mention sneaky?

Min - love ; IMO Min is one of the least openly neurotic of the central females, at least in terms of her outward behaviour. For those who disagree with that statement, I would qualify it by saying I refuse to criminalise neurotic thoughts. We may have some control over our thoughts, but it’s far from perfect, and it’s a harsh thing to penalise someone for their thoughts. The way I see it, many thoughts are spontaneous and non-deliberative, and those that bear on relationships tend to touch our own buttons pretty well, making the whole process fairly unordered and chaotic. So I really can't hold it against Min that she can dwell. What's important to me is that for the most part, Min does not betray her neuroses by inflicting them on Rand in a negative fashion.

Siuan - love ; probably the most intelligent woman in the series.

Thom - love ; Can't think of a single bad thing to say about the old Gleeman.

Gawyn - dislike ; he's done so many stupid things I find myself hoping he either dies to redeem himself in AMoL or otherwise just dies. He hasn't yet done a single thing to aid the cause of light, except sparing Siuan - hooray for a modicum of morality, but he gets no accolades from me for that.
167. Dream Healer
I can't quite understand why so many people like Tuon. The whole damane/sul'dam thing is so abominable that my hands sometimes start trembling when I see the a'dam icon at the beginning of a chapter (Egwene is one of my favourite characters by the way). And Tuon used to train damane for fun and used the a'dam that one time the menagerie in KOD (?) just to make a point with Joline and the other AS IIRC. Was there any hint she might come round to recognize that using an a'dam is absolutely out of the question no matter what anyone's cultural background is? Bleagh.

I also can't understand why Mat (whom I like much less than Perrin or Rand) can like anyone with that attitude towards all women who can channel, even if he wants to stay away from them, too.
Antoni Ivanov
168. tonka
Rand: love. He is my second favourite character. Most of the reasons were already listed.

Mat: like, maybe love. He is getting cooler and cooler

Perrin: like - his total obsession with Faile temper my love for him but I think I can understand him, although I've never felt the way he does.

Moiraine: Love- she is my favourite character.Although she had some of her irritating moments in TSR I couldn't stop like her.I hope we'll see her in TGS!!!

Lan: like. maybe even love. He is very cool guy.Someone I could look up to if I had him around me, Rand is very lucky to have him as a trainer earlier.

Nynaeve: like- She is fiercely loyal to Rand and really have her heart in the right place. But she is mildly irritating

Egwene: like/love - Since she became Amyrlin she is really much better.

Min: like/love - she is there for Rand, he needs her.
Elayne: like - She is fine. I like her chapters but not so much for her in them though

Aviendha: like - she is ok.I like her

Siuan: like/love - she is again as the other live/love in the middle.I cannot rank her with
Moiraine and Rand but as the other she is close.I agree that she is the smarter of all.

Thom: Like/love

Gawyn: indifferent. We'll see.I am waiting for him to redeem himself *arch an eyebrow*

Galad: indifferent - Meh we'll see

Elaida: dislike. Well there must be someone in the books I don't like , right ? :)

Cadsuane: like/love- she is very cool. On moments irritating but in good way ;)

Faile: like. - she is a good kid :)

Tuon: Like - I cannot say I love her or even close to that.I even dislike her on moments like when she treats the people like slaves and animals -I hate her hideous believes.
Karen Walters
169. Wrenza
Rand - Like

Mat - Love

Perrin - Dislike, there is something about him that puts my teeth on edge. I keep wanting to shout grow a backbone.

Moiraine - Like

Lan - Like

Nynaeve - Love

Egwene - Love, the way she is in the White Tower turned it around for me

Min - Indifferent, too much the love sick puppy

Elayne - Dislike

Aviendha - love

Siuan - Love

Thom - Like

Gawyn - Love, another gut feeling.

Galad - Like

Elaida - Love, ok so as much as I don't like her personality she just reminds me of so many people that I love the character

Loial - Indifferent
170. RobMRobM
@167. Tuon's a favorite for obvious reasons: whipsmart, brave, discplined, mentally and physically tough, willing to take calculated risks, willing to trust, funny (her POV finger talk discussions with Seluccia in the As if the World Were Fog chapter in KoD is on of my favorites in the whole series), and full of charisma to inspire deepseated loyalty in those following her (Karede, Seluccia, Mylen). The interesting thing for me is that by KoD Mat shares virtually all of the same characteristics, making them a perfect match.

All that is left are the odd Seanchan beliefs re damane and lack of belief in Trollocs and ta'veren, all of which can be overcome. I find it interesting that after the obnoxious Seanchan characters in the early books (Suroth, Turek) we now have a host of strong and even likeable Seanchan characters (Egeanin, Tuon, Seluccia, Karede, Musenge, Tylee, Mishima), setting the stage for a pre-TG concordance. Keep in mind that Randland is grossly underpopulated -- think back to Perrin and Egwene's trip through empty lands in EOTW -- so that integrating the Seanchan farmers and merchants broiught back during the Return would be a good thing for Randland as well.

Michael Thompson
171. TrollocBait
Here are my answers to add to the tally.

Rand - Like
Mat - Love
Perrin - Like
Moiraine - Like
Lan - Like
Nynaeve - like
Egwene - Love
Min - Love
Elayne - Indifferent
Aviendha - Love
Siuan - Indifferent
Thom - Like
Gawyn - Indifferent
Galad - Indifferent
Elaida - Dislike
Cadsuane - Like
Faile - Like
Loial - Love
Richard Fife
172. R.Fife
Ya'll are crazy.

Rand - like
Mat - love
Perrin - dislike
Moiraine - indifferent
Lan - like
Nynaeve - indifferent
Egwene - like
Min - love (gets on one knee)
Elayne - dislike
Aviendha - dislike (srsly, its Faile with a spear and the Power)
Siuan - like
Thom - love until his awesome is overshadowed
Gawyn - hate
Galad - indifferent
Elaida - dislike (she funked up my ceundillar bunker!)

And bonus:
Fain: LOVE! I know I'm the only one.
Faile: like. Would love cept for some of the stuff she does to Perrin
Verin: love, of course
Cadsuane: hate. She's like Sorilea, only not funny
Loial: indifferent. He's cool, but just doesn't have that much screen time to like/love.
John Massey
173. subwoofer
@Alisonwl- shucks, I gotta be original. And no matter how much water boarding you use, I'll never say love in reference to any male character. Same thing for other survey, I am a fan of Mat, but would not boink him. Say Megan Fox was Lanfear, I'd be all over her like a cheap suit, clubbed thumbs or not- but I do not like/love the character in the book. Slimy. And there is the whole Loial thing, same idea as Mat. And Bela...

You see where I'm going. Thus my personal categories, I either like 'em, don't care one way or another, or they are smeg.

How about them seals? Toss them a fish, they like it- kidding- ah, I got nuthin'. Anyway, take the seal out of the equation and the logical assumption is that Taim is a scmuck and a DF. So the question becomes, why would Taim give Rand the seal? We know the Shadow has done wonky things in the past. I am still not over the whole- "go get Callandor so you can fight me with it" back in tDR- and we know how badly that ended for the Shadow...

As Marcellus said, something is rotten in the state of Denmark. And it's not the fish.

-edit- @R.Fife- don't worry, I am sure you are not the only one out there with a thing for little greasy guys with short pointy objects.;)
174. RobMRobM
rfife @172. "Aviendha - dislike (srsly, its Faile with a spear and the Power)..." ROFL. Yes, plus the magic power to identify tergreal, minus the willingness to boink her lover (so far, anyway). I like her but I'm far from loving her for the reasons pointed out.

Lannis .
175. Lannis
R.Fife @ 172: I'm with RobM, your Aviendha comment is hilarious!

Rand - Love
Mat - Love
Perrin - Like (used to love, but the whole Shaido thing made me nuts)
Moiraine - Love
Lan - Like
Nynaeve - like (back and forth--currently enjoying her)
Egwene - Like/indifferent: she has her moments...
Min - Love
Elayne - Indifferent
Aviendha - Love
Siuan - Like
Thom - Like
Gawyn - Indifferent
Galad - Indifferent
Elaida - ARGH! Drive me up the frakking wall!
Cadsuane - Love
Faile - Indifferent
Loial - Indifferent
Verin - Love that sneaky lady!

@ subwoofer and all other Canadians: Happy Canada Day, eh!
Ed Rafferty
176. BigBoy57
I lurv surveys - let's go!

Rand - Love that Dragon Reborn - what he has to face would drive anybody nuts and that's without the madman babbling away in his head.

Mat - Love - gotta love him for being spot on about AS - never trust 'em.

Perrin - Love him - but he's gotta do something about his batshit wife.

Moiraine - Loved her from the start, can't wait for her to get back into the action.

Lan - Love

Nynaeve - Love

Egwene - Like

Min - Love

Elayne - Dislike

Aviendha - Love

Siuan - Like

Thom - Like

Gawyn - Indifferent

Galad - Liking him now - get the Chief Inquisitor next, pretty boy.

Elaida - Hate - but I must admit I cannot quite see how someone with so many character flaws could get elected Amyrlin if she was the only AS left alive.

Cadsuane - Like - whip his arse Caddy!

Faile - Like/Dislike

Loial - Love - GO OGIER!

Can't wait for TGS.
John Massey
177. subwoofer
@Lannis, yes, it is a happy Canada Day, isn't it? Good times, eh:) Working like a heathen today, but will crack open the burbon and fireworks tonight. Dumb holiday in the middle of the week. grrrrr. Who came up with that plan? Juggled schedule so at some point in the near future I actually have a real long weekend.
I am Canadian!

-edit watch Gordie all the way through to the Canadian anthem...

-edit- Go Bela!
178. Tenesmus
Looney Theory #92: Luc kills Birgette, Birgette gets re-attached to the Pattern, then Birgette kills Slayer in T'A'R

General Comment: VERIN = COLUMBO. I picture Mr Falk in a rumpled trenchcoat everytime she is on screen.
Marcus W
179. toryx
Thoughts on Perrin's "decline":

I get the impression that a lot of the reason people don't like Perrin so much (calling him emo and whatever) has to do with his willingness to do whatever it takes to get Faile back.

I don't quite have that problem in the same way, primarily because if a bunch of bad guys came and took my partner, I'd tear the world apart to get her back myself.

On the other hand, she's way cooler than Faile and not nearly as touchy so maybe that makes a difference.

Anyway, Perrin was definitely my favorite character all the way through the series up to The Shadow Rising, and I've only really moved from Love to Like because of my frustration re: the Faile/ Berlaine drama. That and he's been sent off to do a bunch of lame ass tasks by Rand, which is more Rand's (or the writer's) fault than Perrin's.
Tracy Long
180. BookFairy
My opinion of the Characters change, so sometimes it’s hard to decide whether I like them or not depending on which book I’m reading.

Rand- like
Mat-love after TDR
Egwene-like /after she meets her toh.
Min- like
Gawyn-dislike /so disappointing he was so good in the beginning.
Galad-dislike? / Still has potential
Elaida-hate but not as much as Sevanna
181. Aegnor

I suppose its possible that Taim is Moridin, but I find it unlikely. Moridin would have had to have changed his appearance as Taim (remember Rand and Moridin have met). Did Rand ever shield Taim? If so, he can't be Moridin as the disguise would be broken. I suppose his Moridin appearance could be the disguise, but I don't think so. Then there's the whole saa thing.
F Shelley
182. FSS
As far as Perrin goes, I dunno, he comes from a culture where women basically expect to be treated a certain way, while Faile comes from another culture of male/female relations. Neither is more necessarily "right" than the other, but the short version is: they're not only fighting the regular fights any couple faces, but fighting them in a cultural mis-match, too. From the limited POVs we've had of Faile, she's been gritting her teeth and trying too; he's just very different from what she expects of men (isn't loud, doesn't brag, etc).

Of course, the best part of their arc in the Gathering Storm may be what happens when Lini tells Faile that Perrin found comfort in Berelain's tent while she was away!
Kurt Lorey
183. Shimrod
Moridin is way past playing at The Mask of Mirrors anymore.

Perhaps, Taim was sprung from captivity with the requirement that he follow the DO?

Let's see, stay put, get Gentled, die soon. Or, be free, lead a crowd of sycophant Dread Lords, sell soul to DO. Many might choose the latter.

The thing about Perrin (for me) is that he would willing do anything for Faile. That would include bad things as well. Plus, he can't seem to communicate that to Faile (or she is too narcissistic to figure it out).
184. normalphil
I started to "love" Perrin at the moment Morgase referred to him as TDR's "wolf-eyed killer" and it's been reinforced ever since.

Thing is, we know Perrin is a completely devoted nice boy from the Two River who by virtue of a particularly sadistic class and culture clash has been operating on emotional extremes for some time. He's an emotional and physical doormat to his wife who happens to be healthy and strong-willed otherwise.

But other characters don't know that, and have to put a different spin on his actions- one in which there's this extremely physically off-putting guy that is effectively interacting with the world around him (profoundly, never-at-a-loss effectively), just in no way a human being would find sane or intuitive.

Total fearlessness. Total ruthlessness. Total zen. He fits the world like an animal fits the world, he accepts it utterly and he takes actions within it to the limit of his abilities freely and in perfect context.

To them, he shows up as the mind and soul of a beast in the body of man that's figured out how to talk, and the circumstantial evidence just keeps reinforcing it, over and over.

And let me tell you, perspective dissonance like that is as cool as it gets.
185. Herr_Flick
@Subwoofer 173
"As Marcellus said, something is rotten in the state of Denmark. And it's not the fish. "

With the heat wave we're having at the moment, I think there is a pretty big chance that it is in fact, the fish.
Jason Lyman
186. jlyman
@165 sps49

So does that mean that Loial is the fourth musketeer to our trio of farmboys?
Alice Arneson
187. Wetlandernw
normalphil @184

Love the eval! That was a great summary of what's going on w/ Perrin, and expresses better than I ever have (or have even tried) why I still like and want to defend Perrin. And Faile, for that matter. The story line gets painful sometimes (esp. with the Shaido), but I now think (upon multiple reads) that it's really well done because it draws the reader into the painful and seemingly interminable ordeal along with the characters.

Edit - One other note: even Perrin doesn't really like who he has become, but he's reached that "nothing to be done about it now" stage, for himself as well as for Rand, and he just goes on and deals with it. I have to admire that.
188. CalaLily
@167: Yeah, and wait 'til he finds out his sister can channel, too, and is pretty darn strong at it, to boot. -That'll- create some conflict.
189. MasterAlThor
toryx @179

I get the impression that a lot of the reason people don't like Perrin so much (calling him emo and whatever) has to do with his willingness to do whatever it takes to get Faile back.

For me you are 100% correct. The whole thing with I have to get Faile back and damn the world until I do smacks of immaturity.

If you know that you are one of the people required to save the world but you give it up just so you can be happy??? That is downright selfish. And you should be sent to Leigh's office for the appropriate punishment.(I'm thinking a visit there would be something like visiting the Mistress of Novices)

Perrin could be way cooler if he would just drop that pretense.


Sorry if my answers messed up your survey. From now on I will comply. Just don't send me to Leigh's office!!!!
Sydo Zandstra
190. Fiddler
A few short comments on stuff scattered in this thread:

Taim: I always took him to be one of Demandred's proxies. It's been stated by another Forsaken, I think it was Sammael in a conversation with Graendal, that Demandred likes working through proxies. I think Weiramon's another.

That's also why Demandred's not posing as a character we have seen already. All of his time on screen he was just Demandred. Just because Sammael, Rahvin, Osan'gar and Aran'gar took a Randland identity, doesn't mean that Demandred did, too.

Masema could also be one of Demandred's proxies. But he probably just is a deluded power hungry lunatic. I've always seen a touch of Fain in him. Maybe he did some guard duty back when Fain was captured in Shienar (although I only saw 2 other guards there being influenced on screen; but guard duty is done in shifts).

Note that Masema's influence finally drove Aram over the brink too.

The Seal Taim gave to Rand, that was stolen back later: Between those two events, Rand and Nynaeve cleansed Saidin and even the combined force of the Forsaken couldn't stop it. That's a major event. Major enough to make Moridin reconsider the consequences for his stragey, and change his mind on who should have possession of the Seals.
191. JennB
I don't see how people can say that Avi and Faile are the same. Avi purposely pushes Rand away because she wants to control her own destiny and she respects the relationship between Elayne and Rand. What would you do if you were told that you were destined to marry your friends boyfriend, especially when you never wanted to marry in the first place.

Faile is just mean and controlling. She is jealous, has no trust for the man she loves and uses him as canon fodder in her personal war with Berelain.

On another note: Taim can't be Moridin because Taim was a player befor Moridin existed in his current body.
Aidan Young
192. aidanyoung1102
Rand - love his badassery, but wish he would trust someone occasionally
Mat - love -ready for him to be done falling in wuv
Perrin - he's ok, but obviously not very smart for his love of Faile
Moiraine - love
Lan - The ultimate man's man
Nynaeve - annoying for 10 & 1/2 books and AWESOME when she sends Lan into the borderlands
Egwene - like her more every day she's in the WT
Min - yawn
Elayne - she must be RJ's example of everything his wife does that is awful
Aviendha - yawn
Siuan - Awesome
Thom - Can't wait for Tower Ghenjei
Gawyn - lamest, least interesting character except for Weiramon
Galad - Love his "accidental hero" stunt in KOD. That's a chapter I could read every day.
Elaida - SO looking forward to her inevitable fall

I like R.Fife's bonus characters and I'll add one or two of my own:
Fain: I am a big fan, too! He's the wild card, the x factor, whatever you want to call it, and he's CRAZY!!! Excellent character.

Faile: Would be the best Supergirl if not for her relationship with Perrin, which makes her the WORST character EVER. Perrin is 2nd worst whenever they're together. WHY, WHY, WHY does he like this girl? She is terrible to him!

Verin: She's got tricks!
Cadsuane: She says what everyone is thinking: Rand, you're being a dick.
Loial: Ran out of interesting about 10 books ago.

Gholam: HATE, but love that it exists. What can they do about it?
Graendal and Demandred: Anyone else think their first encounters with our heroes are going to be awesome?!

Gareth Bryne: Second to Lan in sheer Manpoints

Morgase: She's got some bad Karma from somewhere, but I CAN'T wait for the family reunion!
193. Herr_Flick
"Gholam: HATE, but love that it exists. What can they do about it? "

what if it follows Mat into the tower of Ghenjei?
He got the amulet from those critters, maybe they have a way to deal with it.
Marcus W
194. toryx
MasterAlThor @ 189:

If you know that you are one of the people required to save the world but you give it up just so you can be happy??? That is downright selfish. And you should be sent to Leigh's office for the appropriate punishment.(I'm thinking a visit there would be something like visiting the Mistress of Novices)

The distinction for me and the reason I don't think so poorly of Perrin for his actions is that it's not for his own happiness. He's not doing it for himself: he's doing it for the one person who means more to him than anything else in the world. It's a continuation of the realization he came to at the end of TDR when Faile got caught in the hedgehog trap. He'd die for her in a heartbeat and once she's safe I have no doubt he'll do whatever it takes to help Rand defeat the Shadow, as much for Faile as for the world.

That's something I, personally, can relate to. It may be selfish to a degree, and it's certainly narrow-minded, but she's the most important thing in his life. Without her safe, the world might as well be lost to Shadow.

If I were in his shoes I'd probably do the same. No one messes with my love.

As for Faile, I like her fine. I wouldn't choose to be in the relationship with someone that manipulative but I certainly can admire her determination and fierceness. She's every bit the falcon.
195. Aegnor

Taim was a player before Moridin was seen onscreen in his current body, but I don't think a fixed time was ever given for when he was put in his current body. The only parameters we have is sometime after the conclusion of TDR, and sometime before his first appearance onscreen.

Note, I do NOT think that Taim is Moridin. There are too many things that don't make sense about that. But I can't think of anything that would absolutely preclude Taim=Moridin.
Tess Laird
196. thewindrose
Aegnor and JennB-
From lmelior #52-
RJ specifically said we haven't seen Demandred's alter ego on screen, a statement which was current as of CoT. So, it is entirely possible we saw him in KoD. I suggested many reread posts ago that his alter ego could have been mentioned at some point without actually being present, though I couldn't think of an example of someone like that.

We see Moridin before this.

Awesome - we have a new punishment - being sent to Leigh's office. Who do you think will get sent there the most?
197. MasterAlThor
toryx @194

I understand the you love someone so much part. But to the extent that you would allow evil to come and destroy or take over the world???

I love my wife, but she would not respect me if I allowed evil to happen just to save her. I would die for my wife and she knows that, but to sacrifice everything else in the world that she loves just to save her would not go down well.

This is the ultimate reason I believe others can't stand Perrin's point of view.

If it wasn't for Faile, Perrin would be BA.
199. Aegnor

Yes, Taim is definately not Demandred (unless RJ was lying).

But what we were discussing is if Taim could be Moridin.
200. MasterAlThor
Nominating R.Fife, Wetlandernw, and Alreadymad

Just joking
201. NearToothlessWilder
For the survey:

Some of my opinions changed radically over the course of the series.

Rand Indifferent
Mat Love
Perrin Indifferent but shading back to Like since KoD
Moiraine Love
Lan Like
Nynaeve Love
Egwene Like
Min Dislike
Elayne Indifferent
Aviendha Like
Siuan Like
Thom Like
Gawyn Dislike
Galad Like (since KoD)
Elaida Dislike

Missing out in the love category are Tuon and Verin. Also like Cadsuane.
202. TexanSedai
JennB @191

I totally agree with Faile and Avi not being anywhere close to the same person! Avi is great, faile is wretched.

AdainYoung1102 @192

Great comments! Agree on almost all of your assesments.

Toryx @194

I can't speak for anyone else, but for me it is not Perrin's willingness to do anything and everything for Faile that is the problem. Faile herself is the problem. It is so annoying to see a guy like that through himself away on such a manipulative troll that treats him like dirt. Makes me wonder what is going on with him that he would hook up with her instead of..oh...say Berelain. Gorgeous and respects him.

Its like the end of the movie Urban Cowboy - who would really pick Sissie over Pam? Sissie, really? Just baffeling....
Tess Laird
203. thewindrose
Aegnor - I did say that we have seen Moridin before this(aCoT).
204. PRW2732
MasterAlThor @197

But you are assuming that freeing Faile allows evil to happen.

What if freeing Faile is necessary to win Tarmon Gaidon ? But at this point, neither any reader OR character has sufficient knowledge to determine if EITHER viewpoint is correct. So Perrin's actions can't be judged now. Wait and see.
Aidan Young
205. aidanyoung1102
@202 Wow, good point about Berelain! She really does treat Perrin better than Faile by far. Of course, the question is whether she would actually go for it if he was available or if she just likes the hunt.

Faile sucks at love.

That needed it's own line.

I think it would be an interesting plot twist if Faile crossed the line and Perrin kicked her to the curb and ended up with Berelain. I think I have always just assumed Berelain would get the short end of the stick here, but who knows?
206. Aegnor

Sorry, I'm not following you. RJ's comment was that we had not seen Demandred's alter ego. It said nothing about if Moridin and whether he might be Taim.
Brian Kaul
207. bkaul
@205: Perrin already married Faile. Being from the Two Rivers, that pretty much finalizes it for him. I don't see any chance of him kicking her to the curb.
208. TexanSedai
@205 -
I'm sure Berelain just likes the thrill of the hunt. It just seems like she should be more appealing to Perrin but he clearly has some issues since he prefers a woman that only wants to play games with him. Jr High games at that. And someone theorized that Berelain and Galad would hook up later. They would be smokin hot together.

I would like for Faile to get dumped for ANYONE at this point. You are so right - Faile sucks at love.
Marcus W
209. toryx
MasterAlThor @ 197:

I see your point, but I'm not convinced yet that his actions are outright evil. He's been willing to be vicious, sure, but that's the wolf in him as much as anything. And it's not like he's the Dragon Reborn. His dropping everything to go after Faile doesn't necessarily guarantee the end of the world in the way that Rand's dropping everything to save the Two Rivers would have.

But I can certainly see how believing that Perrin's actions are evil, people would begin to dislike him.

TexanSedai @ 202:

Well, I admit that I don't like the way Faile treats Perrin either, or the way they so easily forget how to be with each other. They both have a long way to go, imho, before they're really ready for their relationship.

But I don't see that Berelaine is a better person, or a better partner for Perrin. She wants him because she can't have him, and she's never respected his decision. Just because she shows respect for him in other ways, it doesn't remove her lack of respect for his choice.

And frankly, much as I might dislike someone else's partner, it's not my business (or anyone else's) to come between them. Particularly after marriage has come into the equation. That's just wrong.
210. CalaLily

Unless you count completely ruining his reputation with his friends and the people who watched him grow up, supposedly because she could and because Perrin wasn't returning her attraction. Yeah. Gotta love people like that. "He slept with me the very day his wife and liegewomen and the rest of her servants are either killed or kidnapped!"

If anything, I think -that- had a lot to do with people questioning his motives. How far could you trust a man's judgment in a situation like the one Berelain lets everyone think happens?

And -why- does everyone hate Faile so much? xD I mean, sure she manipulates Perrin, but he -knows- she does it and goes along with it. I think if he wanted to he could easily set her down and tell her not to do it anymore and she would. Especially if he yelled at her.

Plus, think about what that plot arc accomplished.

1) Broke the Shaido and sent them back to the Waste
2) Galina is punished with a fate worse than death (yay!)
3) The Seanchan might be more willing to work with Rand if Perrin is there, since no doubt Tylee spread the word that the Wolf King is on this side and totally let her capture 400+ damane. Heck, he's probably almost a hero to them.
4) Did I mention Galina's fate worse than death? Gosh, I LOVE it when bad guys get their due.

Besides, a lot of people are convinced Galad and Berelain are going to get together, based on a vision Min had about Berelain and man wrapped in white. I'm not sure, myself. It -could- be Galad, but personally I'm not going to pick a side and just RAFO.
211. TexanSedai
toryx @209

Oh I am not saying that I think Berelain should try and split them up. And I know that she has tried. But Perrin did meet her, and knew she was interested, before he married Faile. My question / problem I guess is...why would you choose Faile when you know there are other options out there? (Not neccessarily Berelain, that was just an example.) That is my main reason for not liking Perrin more. That and he always seems to be so conflicted about everything. Just go with it and do what ya gotta Matt. Perrin needs someone who will make his life LESS complicated, not add more stress by acting crazy!

Anyway...I guess Perrin married Faile because thats what was in the script and no use arguing about it!
Deborah Jones
212. NanaD
Let us remember that both Faile and Perrin are young and very inexperienced.

As for the Shadio Wise Ones that he allows to be collared, I think that these were the type of women the collars were invented for.
Kurt Lorey
213. Shimrod
Wow. Somebody identifies with a character from Urban Cowboy.

You are the TexanSedai! ;)

Worse, I'm going to stand up for another character from Urban Cowboy. What is this world coming to?

C'mon. Sissy loved Bud. Pam loved Pam, and the world only existed where it revolved around Pam. Bud was just a plaything to make her feel like she belonged somewhere real (not in her Daddy-bought, high-rise condo).

Go look up her big quote from her final scene in the movie at IMDB. Pam's a shit, and she knows it.

Besides, if anybody ever deserved each other (in cinema), it was Bud & Sissy.

Trivia. Even though he had already been around for a few years in some TV and movies I had seen, it was this movie that put actor Scott Glenn on my radar.
214. JennB
Re:The survey
The female characters in this series are very controversial. I would be really curious to know whether some of our likes and dislikes follow gender lines.

Re:Nynaeve's vendetta against Moraine
I have been thinking about a comment someone made about Nynaeve: how they hate her because she hates Moraine simply because she is jealous of her relationship with Lan. It made me think of my husbands job. He enjoys his job. I am proud of the work he does and am very aware that as a stay at home mom our family is completly dependent on that job. BUT... When he works 12 hour days (instead of the regular 10), I don't like his job very much. Fourteen hour days and/or weekends I begin to feel the H word.

The most extreme example happened when I was pregnant with our son and he had to work every day, 7 days a week, 14+ hour days for a month (starting the Sunday after Thanksgiving until a few days before Christmas) At that time I HATED his job. I didn't want to go to the Christmas party, but I did. I felt angry at every single person there even though I know that most of them were not responsible for his hours. On top of that I was angry that most of them weren't working the long hours he was working.

Lan's job keeps him from being with Nynaeve, not just for a month or part of the day, but forever as long as Moraine is his boss.

I can symphathize.
Tess Laird
215. thewindrose
Aegnor - Sorry I misread the post.
However, I don't think Taim is Moridin either, but either Demandred's proxy or Moridin's lackey.
Jay Dauro
216. J.Dauro
I believe Perrin married Faile because he loved and respected her. She is a pretty capable woman.

Berelin has accepted this. In KOD we see that she no longer smells as if she is hunting Perrin.

We see through Davram, and Elyas that the Saldain culture is exceeding different in some ways from the Two Rivers (and many of ours.) Neither Perrin or Faile really understands this, or even makes a good faith attempt to understand how the other one thinks. In this Perrin has more clues, and still doesn't get it. (He knows she is disappointed and mad when he apologizes. He knows she reacts with pride when he tells her wht to do. And so on. And Elyas pretty much lays it out for him.)

No she doesn't get off easy either. She knows that he does not want, and tries to stop, Berelain's attentions. But she sulks and won't talk to him about why.

So the whole situation boils down to a lack of real communication. Never seen that before in WOT.

However, since most of us come from a culture much closer to the Two Rivers, we see Perrin as correct, and Faile as wrong.

When Rand thought he lost Avi, he went straight for Ravihen. Anybody really want to tell me that wasn't just revenge on his mind. I think if the Shaido were to have kidnapped Min, Avi and Elayne, Rand would pretty much behave in the same way. But of course, he hs a bit more resources.
Corey Ouellette
217. FU26
Rand - Love/Love
Mat - Indifferent/Love
Perrin - Love/Like
Moiraine - Like/Love
Lan - Love/Like
Nynaeve - Hate/Indifferent
Egwene - Like/Like
Min - Love/Love
Elayne - Love/Love
Aviendha - Like/Love
Siuan - Indifferent/Like
Thom - Love/Like
Gawyn - Like/Dislike
Galad - Indifferent/Love
Elaida - Hate/Hate
Loial - Like/Like
Tuon - Indifferent/Love
Verin - Love/Love
Faile - Like/Indifferent
218. TexanSedai
@213 Shimrod

Glad someone can enjoy a nice '80s movie reference! Yes Sissy loved Bud but she slept with that sleazy prison rodeo cowboy - Ew! Ruined her in my eyes. Was that Scott Glenn?
Corey Ouellette
219. FU26
Oh and the other one

1)Min - Aviendha - Elayne
2)Elaida - Galina? - Sevanah
3)Berelain - Lanfear - Birgitte
Marcus W
220. toryx
TexanSedai @ 211:

My question / problem I guess is...why would you choose Faile when you know there are other options out there?

Well, I don't entirely see what Perrin sees in Faile myself; she's too young and immature for him, in general. On the other hand, she's fierce and determined and wild and free. In a lot of ways, it's an opposites attract sort of deal and often those opposites are sort of complimentary.

But the main reason for Perrin to choose Faile is because he was in love with her. He'd discovered/ admitted that fact to himself at the end of TDR just prior to meeting Berelain, and he chose to accept that love. The wolf part of him essentially chose her for his mate far before they got married and wolves, after all, mate for life.

By the time Perrin met Berelain, he was already off the market.
Helen Peters
221. Helen
I know everyone has gone to post 15 but....
Rand: Like
Mat: Love (but I know why people hate him, esp in the first books, coz he was mixed up by the dagger, but after that, hmmmmm)
Perrin: Like
Moiraine: Like
Lan: Like
Nynaeve: Love, because of the reasons listed in 114
Egwene: indifferent (though I've still not got round to KoD)
Min: Love
Elayne: indifferent
Aviendha: indifferent
Siuan: Love
Thom: Like
Gawyn: indifferent
Galad: swoon (though that may change as I've 'met' Acheron)
Elaida: indifferent
Cadsuane: indifferent
Faile: Indifferent
Tuon: Like
Birgitte: Love (I'm halfway through CoS and she's me!)
Loial: Love (We were watching the rallying on the goggle box the other day, one of the drivers was called Ogier)
Logain: Love
Berelain: Love (no she's not a tart)
Emma B
222. EmmaB
Metzg31 @ 60, I actually buy the seamstress thing. Elayne doubtless would have been taught to embroider as part of Princessing 101 -- decorative work, not the kind of practical sewing Nynaeve flunked, but that still teaches you to sew a straight and even stitch. Garment construction is a whole different skill, but all we've seen her doing are minor alterations like hemming and taking in/letting out seams.

I would have only a vague idea about creating a dress from scratch without a pattern to follow, but I've been doing various forms of embroidery since I was six. I can hem and alter side seams and even throw in some darts if necessary, and I totally believe that Elayne could do that much.
Kurt Lorey
223. Shimrod
@218 TexanSedai.

Yeah, but only after Bud drove her away.

Two of the most believable twenty-something characters from movies of that era.

No. I just threw that Scott Glenn trivia in as a red herring (sarcasm).

Yes, that was Scott Glenn. Not a nice character, but at least he knew it.
224. HurinSmells
@205 @208 -
Faile sucks at love? Really? I think Perrin and Faile but suffer from the same condition of loving each other entirely too much. Perrin is willing to burn down the world to be with Faile and keep her safe, and Faile is willing to let Perrin thinks she hates him to be near him and keep him safe (ref. the whole journey thru the Ways saga in tSR).

In terms of bullying Perrin around, Faile just wants her man to stand up and be the Lord she sees him as, but Perrin just wants to sit around and drink with the servants and be a blacksmith. As Faile see's it, she's just trying to get him to be the man she knows he is. She's also afraid the Perrin will tear off into something dangerous behind her back in an effort to prtoect her from danger, when she just sees it as him putting himself in danger by not allowing her to be there to protect him!! phew!!

Also Faile's idea of a good relationship is to passionate and be treated and respected as an equal. For her the only way to prove equality is to have constant arguments over everything. On the other hand Perrin's idea of a good relationship is to never fight and remain calm at all times. Perrin doesn't understand why bending to Faile's will is not making her happy, until Elyas comes back into the picture and tells Perrin that Faile actually wants him to yell back at her, then things start to gel a little more them. The along came the Shaido :(
225. Jenny Creed
I've been trying to come up with a real world equalient of Nynaeve's goof where it appears Birgitte died. I figure it'd be like meeting, say, Buddha, finding that he's a real person, watching him work at his grand plan to make the world better, and then making him die with your clumsiness.

Yeah that would suck.
226. Daniel2424
"Nynaeve thinks this is unfair."

I think this is why I can't bring myself to join the Love Nynaeve Team. Every other Edmond's Fielder pretty much accepts what is/has happened/happening and decide to just do their best. Whereas Nynaeve decides to continuously moans about how unfair everything is (yes I know she does her best too.)

I remember reading through the series the first time and loving how Egwene bullied Nyneave in this book.

I don't know, her act just gets old to me. I know she is loyal, brave, and loving (even though she never shows it). But....arg....she still bothers me on every re-read.

thanks for the effort Leigh, always appreciate it!
Martin Lambert
227. RemyLeBeau
Isendre just got thrown by other people into a situation she couldn't handle (though being a Darkfriend she probably deserved whatever she got)

The "probably" there is, I think, the essential difference.

We are told that Isendre is a Darkfriend, but never actually see her doing anything too terrible directly. We only see her failing, repeatedly, and finally breaking as a result. We naturally feel some sort of sympathy, and only temper it by recalling to ourselves that she is a Darkfriend and ultimately brought it on herself.

Liandrin, on the other hand, causes direct harm to several of our heroes onscreen. We suffer with Egwene and the others, and we are privy to their rage and hatred of Liandrin as a result. We follow them as they chase her across the continent, and we get occasional POVs from Liandrin herself that only reinforce how terrible she is. We WANT to see her punished after all of that.

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