Jun 1 2009 4:57pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 3

All righty then! It is time for more Wheel of Time–Re-read, that is. Today we are covering Chapters 4-5 of The Fires of Heaven, yah, for sure.

Previous entries are where they always are, and you are warned about spoilers for all currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series, as you always are. Because wherever you go, there you are. Or something. Hey, don’t look at me, I didn’t make this stuff up.


Anyway. Please click on through to see me show all the ways in which I slept through philosophy and civics!

Chapter 4: Twilight

What Happens
With his escort, Rand walks inside the Rhuidean Roof of the Maidens, even though men are not allowed inside unless they are gai’shain. Inside there are Maidens all over, playing games or chatting or tending weapons, and they all smile at him, some patting his shoulder and asking if he was hungry or if he needed anything. Rand smiles back and answers briefly, but doesn’t slow down, knowing that if he did he would be down there for hours.

Far Dareis Mai had adopted him, after a fashion. Some treated him as a son, others as a brother. Age seemed not to come into it; women with white in their hair might talk to him as a brother over tea, while Maidens no more than a year older than he tried to make sure he wore the proper clothes for the heat. There was no avoiding the mothering; they simply did it, and he could not see how to make them stop, short of using the Power against the whole lot of them.

He sees no way out of the situation without deeply offending the Maidens’ honor, and thinks that at least they mostly limited the mothering to when they were under the Roof, with no one else to see except gai’shain who knew better than to say anything. He climbs up the various levels, answering more inquiries about his health, nodding and smiling, and finally reaches the lowest empty level, where his bedroom was, and sighs in relief. He lies down fully dressed, trying to ignore the cold; Asmodean had tried to show him a simple way to heat a room, but the one time Rand had tried it he had almost cooked himself alive in his sleep. He thinks of how this building hadn’t been the Roof of the Maidens when he chose it; he had simply woken up one day to find that the Maidens had moved in, yet expected him to stay. He had managed to convince them not to stay on the same floor, at least, which had amused them greatly. He thinks about Moiraine and how easily she had gotten under his skin, and wonders when his temper got so bad; he doesn’t think he used to get angry this easily. He hadn’t meant her to learn about his plans until he was ready to move, and thinks that it’s sad that he cares less about Asmodean, a Forsaken, learning about his plans than he does Moiraine.

Asmodean. If his bonds to the Dark One had shielded him from the taint on saidin, there had to be another way to do it. Or to cleanse it.

Then he tells himself he’s being foolish; he had an appointment at Shayol Ghul, and after that going mad would hardly matter. Aviendha enters, to his surprise, holding a bundle of blankets. He suppresses a stab of jealousy at the silver necklace she wears, wondering who gave it to her, and says that he hasn’t seen her in ten days; he’d have thought the Wise Ones would tie her to his arm once they found out he could block them from his dreams. Aviendha answers that she has her own training to do, and that Amys et al were not happy, either at what he had done or that Aviendha had let slip about the matter to him.

He stared at her. “You told them? But you didn’t really say anything. I figured it out myself, and I would have eventually even if you hadn’t let a hint slip out. Aviendha, they told me they could speak to people in their dreams. It was only a step from that.”

She glares, and asks if he would have her dishonor herself further, and throws the blankets at him, saying she should have let him freeze. Rand tries to think of what to say, because despite how prickly she is, she is comforting to have around, mainly because she never seems wary of him, like everyone else does, even Moiraine. He had missed her, and sent her flowers half a dozen times, but she had never acknowledged them. Finally he thanks her for the blankets, figuring that was a safe topic. She shakes the ivory bracelet at him and says that it was not a regard gift, and so this has no meaning either, and tosses something at him, saying it cancels the debt between them. Rand examines it to see it is a belt buckle made of steel with gold inlay in the shape of a dragon. He thanks her, and says there is no debt to cancel, but she returns that if he will not take it against her debt then he should throw it away. She tells him when she gave up her spears, they were melted down and made into things to give away; the Wise Ones made her name the three men and three women she hates the most, and give them each a gift made from her weapons. Rand asks sadly if he is one of the ones she hates.

“Yes, Rand al'Thor.” She suddenly sounded hoarse. For a moment she turned her face away, eyes shut and quivering. “I hate you with all of my heart. I do. And I always will.”

Rand offers again to have someone else teach him, then, and Aviendha rejects this fiercely, saying that she has toh to Elayne to watch him for her, and tells him again that he belongs to Elayne and no one else. Rand gets angry, and tells her that he kissed Elayne a few times, and thinks she enjoyed it as much as he did, but that does not make them betrothed, and he’s not even sure she still has feelings for him. He’s working himself into a full tirade when the door opens and Isendre comes in, carrying a wine jug and two cups. She’s wearing a head scarf, a ton of jewelry, and nothing else. Rand groans at the astronomically bad timing, and Aviendha looks murderous. She asks if someone sent her with that, and, terrified, Isendre whispers no; Aviendha says she was warned about this, and Isendre looks like she is about to faint. Rand tries to intervene on Isendre’s behalf, but lets it go when Aviendha tells him not to meddle in Far Dareis Mai affairs more than he already has, referring to how he stopped them from sending Isendre out to die in the Waste after being caught with all the stolen jewelry. He knows he should not feel any sympathy for Isendre, being a Darkfriend, but he can’t help it.

Once he had killed a woman; a woman who meant to kill him, but the memory still burned. He did not think he would ever be able to do it again, even with his life in the balance. A foolish thing, with female Forsaken likely seeking his blood or worse, but there it was. And if he could not kill a woman, how could he stand by and let a woman die? Even if she deserved it?

The problem is, Rand thinks, that he cannot expose either Isendre or Kadere for what they are because that would lead suspicion right to their former comrade Natael, and Rand can’t allow his teacher to be taken from him. Worse, Rand has no idea how to resolve the situation. Aviendha tells Isendre to leave the wine and go to the Maidens and tell them what she has done. As soon as Isendre leaves, Aviendha rounds on Rand and says he has no right to lure any woman who isn’t Elayne, but particularly not that one. Rand is astounded, and tries to tell her that he wouldn’t go after Isendre if she were the last woman on earth, but Aviendha counters that the woman has tried seven times to get to Rand, despite severe punishment, and there’s no way she would persist like that unless he was encouraging her. Aviendha stalks out; bemused, Rand puts the wine in a corner, having no intention of drinking anything Isendre had touched, and lies down to sleep. He touches the half-healed wound in his side, and thinks that that is what will kill him on the rocks at Shayol Ghul, he was sure of it, and then tells himself not to think of it tonight. He soon falls asleep, protected by his shield, and dreams of Aviendha, Min, and Elayne.

Only Elayne had ever looked at him as a man, but all three saw him as who he was, not what he was. Aside from the nightmare, they were all pleasant dreams.

Well, if y’all were hoping for me to lay off the gender issues, this is the wrong post for it, because this chapter is nothing but that topic.

I don’t know who Rand thinks he’s kidding re: Aviendha. I’m sorry, honey, but guys don’t send a girl flowers, multiple times, unless he’s interested in her That Way. Seriously, dude, own it already.

I’m also really kind of curious at the unity the Maidens display over how they regard/treat Rand, considering that the situation by definition is unprecedented and thus could not possibly be covered by standard Aiel tradition. Did they all have a town hall meeting, or something? Actually, they probably did.

Here’s something I realized, reading this chapter. The more I look at Jordan’s pattern of male-female interactions, the more I notice a common trend: in almost every situation, both in a macro sense and individually, women act as the control group.

Go with me here, this is stream of consciousness. I’m like Faulkner, except I use punctuation!

“Control group” may not be precisely the right term for what I’m trying to say here, but it’s what I’ve got at the moment, so we’ll go with it. Certainly it seems to fit in an overall sense; if you look at the Dark One’s tainting of saidin as a kind of (really cruel) scientific experiment, you see an effect introduced into one segment of the channeling population, namely men, which is not introduced into the other segment, women. (And then you sit back and see what happens!) In that sense women are literally the control group, in the traditional sense the term is generally meant – as long as you leave out the fact that the control group is supposed to be as statistically identical to the experimented-upon group as possible, of course. Look, I’m just making this up as I go, bear with me.

On an individual level, though, I mean it in a less specific sense, or maybe just a less accurate one. If you look at Rand’s interactions with women, in particular, in almost every case – the Supergirls, Aviendha/Min/Elayne, the Maidens, the Wise Ones, even Moiraine – to varying degrees they all act as normalizing influences against all the extremely non-normal crap that happens to him.

In other words, where he’s crazy, they remind him to be sane; where he’s ostracized and/or exalted, they treat him as just this guy, who’d better not get a swelled head if he knows what’s good for him. And as annoying or frustrating as the major female characters’ determined refusal to treat Rand as Super Special Hero Savior Guy is (and I do find it frustrating, often), I think it’s obvious that Jordan’s intent is to show that this is pretty much one of the main factors that keeps him from going off the deep end over the course of the series, into either megalomania, suicidal depression, or just plain old-fashioned insanity. Because let’s be honest, there’s plenty enough going on to drive a guy crazy even without the taint putting its greasy fingers in the mix.

Rand himself notes this, both in this chapter and elsewhere; it’s the primary (one might say, meanly, the only) factor in his attraction to Min/Elayne/Aviendha in the first place, that they look at him and see, not the Dragon Reborn, but Rand al’Thor.

One might even say that which side of this line the female characters fall upon – regarding Rand as Rand, or Rand as terrifying Savior/Destroyer figure, is the main dividing line between the women in WOT whom we root for, and those whom we wish would get sent to the World Without Shrimp forever and ever.

Case in point: Siuan and Elaida. Siuan was (and is) scared of Rand, yes, but she made the decision in TGH to treat him as a person rather than as an abstract icon, and let him “run wild”, as Elaida disgustedly puts it, to forge his own destiny. With ham-handed guidance attached as a rider, true, but still. Elaida, by contrast – well, you remember the speech she made in the Prologue; that pretty much sums it up, there. To her, Rand is not a person but a tool, and this informs her every (disastrous) decision from the coup onwards.

The male characters (I continue to theorize wildly and stream-of-consciously), on the other hand, don’t seem to necessarily need or care about that line to decide what side they fall on. Mat, for instance, is scared shitless of Rand, and most definitely sees him as the terrifying Savior/Destroyer, but this is not – well, actually now that I think about it Mat is not the best example; he sticks around because of the ta’veren thing, which is about the same as saying that he sticks to Rand the same way iron filings stick to magnets. The way the iron feels about the situation is not really at issue. (Whether Mat would stick around were the ta’veren factor removed is a different matter; I believe he would, but then I’m an unapologetic Mat fan, so I may be biased.)

A better example than Mat, I think, is Davram Bashere, in LOC, who more or less flat out tells Rand he thinks Rand’s probably barmier than a bucket of bananas, but that this is largely irrelevant to the choice Bashere made to stick with him.

Um. I had a point here... My point is, Jordan seems in my opinion to differentiate the way his female characters make decisions re: Rand from the way the male ones do, and while I don’t think he’s necessarily trying to say one is better than the other in a general sense, the way the women do it seems to result in either great benefit to him (keeping his head screwed on straight, and also, nookie), or the worst shit that happens to him in the entire series (getting locked in a box and beaten repeatedly). But it’s how they relate to him as a person that is the vital factor.

I seem to have wandered away from my original thesis, here. Well, a scholarly dissertation this is decidedly not; I’m basically just telling you guys what’s going through my head. I guess the question here is whether this is an accurate representation of the differences in how women make personal and/or moral decisions in the real world, as opposed to men. Or if there aren’t any, and this is just a narrative device writ large. Or, I’m imagining the whole thing and have been totally talking out of my butt. You decide, I’m kind of exhausted now.

Chapter 5: Among the Wise Ones

What Happens
Egwene washes herself in her tent, feeling guilty for heating the water with saidar and lecturing herself that she should have more discipline. A gai’shain enters and tells her she is summoned to the sweat tent; Egwene inwardly curses Bair’s stubbornness, which keeps the Wise Ones in tents outside the city instead of living in Rhuidean like everyone else. She bets herself that Rand isn’t sleeping cold. She tries to talk to the gai’shain, Cowinde, and quickly realizes that she is one of those who has made her peace with the bleakness by refusing to put off the white when her time is up. She follows Cowinde to the sweat tent, shivering in the cold, and ducks inside to find Bair, Amys, Melaine, Aviendha, and Moiraine inside. She sees with shock that Aviendha has been switched recently, even though Aviendha was regularly held up to her by the Wise Ones as a model of obedience. Bair chastises her for being late, and compares her to Aviendha again, which Egwene sees makes Aviendha look thoughtful. Egwene apologizes as meekly as she can, and Melaine picks up an obviously interrupted conversation, telling Moiraine that the Wise Ones follow the Car’a’carn, not the White Tower. Egwene thinks they are talking about the inevitable recruiting parties the Tower will send to the Waste now that they know about the channeling Wise Ones; she doesn’t worry overmuch about Aes Sedai being able to bully them, but as the conversation continues realizes that Moiraine is trying to convince them that Rand leading the Aiel across the Dragonwall is a bad idea. The Wise Ones are not concerned, and Amys tells Moiraine that the White Tower’s plans are not theirs. They must do what is best for the Aiel. Moiraine believes it will be as much a disaster for the Aiel as for the wetlanders, but Melaine tells her that it does not matter much if Rand does his prophesied breaking of the Aiel on this side of the Dragonwall or on the other, and Bair unsubtly dismisses Moiraine. Moiraine coolly tells them that she has other matters to attend to, and leaves. Aviendha leaves the tent to brew tea, and Egwene asks Bair if she has done something wrong.

“You mean her stripes?” she said in a normal voice. “She came to me and said she had lied twice today, though she would not say to whom or about what. It was her own affair, of course, so long as she did not lie to a Wise One, but she claimed her honor required that a toh must be met.”

Egwene is astounded, and thinks the Aiel are all crazy when it comes to ji’e’toh. Bair changes the subject, and remarks that there are a great number of Lost Ones in the Waste, fleeing the troubles in the wetlands, no doubt, and Amys says she has heard that some of those who have run from the bleakness have gone to them and asked to be taken in, which produces a long silence. Then they start talking about Rand, and how he is changing everything: Rhuidean, the bleakness, even the Maidens, who have let a man beneath their roof for the first time ever. Melaine complains that Bael will not tell her what he says to Rand al’Thor, or vice versa, and that she would like to thump him with a stick. Bair and Amys laugh.

“There are only three things you can do with a man like that,” Bair chortled. “Stay away from him, kill him, or marry him.”

Melaine goes brick-red, but then Aviendha reenters with tea. They settle for a while, and then Amys asks Egwene how Rand al’Thor would take it if Aviendha asked to sleep in his chamber. Aviendha freezes, and Egwene gasps that they could not possibly ask her to do such a thing. Bair tells her they don’t mean for Aviendha to share his blankets, but would he take it that way, if she asked? Egwene doesn’t think so, but insists that it is completely improper. Aviendha asks that they not require this of her, and then flat-out refuses, but the Wise Ones shoot down all her arguments, even the one about her honor.

“The Pattern does not see ji’e’toh,” Bair told her, with only a hint of sympathy, if that. “Only what must and will be. Men and Maidens struggle against fate even when it is clear the Pattern weaves on despite their struggles, but you are no longer Far Dareis Mai. You must learn to ride fate. Only by surrendering to the Pattern can you begin to have some control over the course of your own life. If you fight, the Pattern will still force you, and you will find only misery where you might have found contentment instead.”

Egwene thinks that this sounds very similar to what she learned about saidar, but says again that she thinks the notion is improper. Amys merely asks whether Rand will allow it, and Egwene says slowly that she isn’t sure; she doesn’t know him like she used to. But he might, if they gave him a good reason; he likes Aviendha. Aviendha sighs, and Bair snorts that in her day, having a pretty girl show that much interest would have been reason enough. They move on to Egwene’s lessons, and Amys asks if she’s had any success in finding Nynaeve or Elayne’s dreams. Egwene says no, and thinks of how much more difficult it is to find a person’s dreams than it is to find the Dreamworld; it is also more dangerous in a way, because in a person’s dream, they are in control of what happens. Her experience with Rhuarc’s dream had been humiliating; she was shocked to see that he regarded her as little more than a child.

And her own control had wavered for one fatal moment. After that she had been little more than a child; she still could not look at the man without remembering being given a doll for studying hard. And being as pleased with the gift as with his approval. Amys had had to come and take her away from happy play with it. Amys knowing was bad enough, but she suspected that Rhuarc remembered some of it, too.

Amys tells her to keep trying, and Egwene is reluctant, as she suspects Nynaeve’s dreams might be worse than Rhuarc’s; Amys tells her to try finding Amys’s dream tonight, and Bair makes as if to leave. Melaine stops her, though, and asks for her and Amys’s help. She wants them to approach Dorindha for her. Amys and Bair both laugh with delight, Aviendha looks startled, and Egwene is clueless, until Bair teases Melaine about saying she never wanted a husband. Melaine flushes, but says she cannot stay away from Bael and she can’t kill him either, so if Dorindha is amenable to being her sister-wife, she will take the third option. Bair teases her that he might step on the bridal wreath instead of picking it up, but Egwene doesn’t think there’s much chance of that if Dorindha decides she wants Melaine as sister-wife.

It no longer shocked her, precisely, that a man could have two wives. Not exactly. Different lands mean different customs, she reminded herself firmly. She had never been able to bring herself to ask, but for all she knew, there might be Aiel women with two husbands. They were very strange people.

Melaine asks them to ask as her first-sisters in this, and Amys and Bair’s teasing changes instantly to warm hugging and congratulations. They leave the tent arm-in-arm, giggling, and Aviendha asks Egwene if she thinks a wetlander woman would ever accept having a sister-wife. Egwene says she doesn’t think so; she adds maybe if it were a good friend, but only because she doesn’t want to seem to be denigrating Aiel customs. They finish cleaning up and exit the tent, where Bair tells Egwene that her clothes have been taken to her tent. Since Aviendha forgot the tea, and Egwene was late, they can both run around the camp fifty times without their clothes before they go back to their tents. Aviendha sets off immediately, and Egwene only hesitates a moment before following. As they run, Aviendha casually mentions how the Wise Ones are always holding Egwene up to her as an example, how she never has to have something explained twice, and she and Egwene share a giggle over this. They discuss Rand, and Egwene tries to make Aviendha understand that according to their customs Rand does not belong to Elayne, but Aviendha is stubborn; Egwene lets it go, and says that surely they can change the Wise Ones’ minds about Aviendha sleeping in Rand’s bedroom. Aviendha doesn’t understand why this upsets her so, and asks if it is because she does not trust her, or Rand. Egwene hurriedly replies that of course she trusts both of them, and tries to think of how to put it. She says she knows she does not understand ji’e’toh, but... Aviendha tells her that Egwene may not fully know ji’e’toh, but she follows it. She obeys Amys and Melaine even though she far outstrips them both in the Power. Egwene thinks that’s not the same thing at all; she’s just doing what she has to so she can learn what she needs to know.

They were coming back to where they had begun. As her foot hit the spot, Egwene said, “That's one,” and ran on through the darkness with no one to see but Aviendha, no one to say whether she went back to her tent right then. Aviendha would not have told, but it never occurred to Egwene to stop short of the fifty.

While I have issues with any kind of rigidly enforced code of conduct on a societal level, such as the various cultural codes Jordan extrapolated ji’e’toh from, I do admit there is a certain attraction to the notion of having the rules all laid out and defined for you, so you know exactly what is what at all times. I think a great deal of the fascination Westerners in general and Americans in particular feel for cultures that have such narrowly defined social regulations is due to a certain subliminal anxiety that results from the fluidity in our own.

This is not to say we don’t have taboos and codes of conduct, because that is decidedly not the case, but in a very real way the entirety of American history has been the fight over which rules of behavior are consonant with our core ideals and which are not. As a result, things that were par for the course a hundred or fifty or even twenty years ago are all but unthinkable now. Which is a good thing, in my opinion, but I do think it produces a sense of nebulousness and ill-definition that makes many people very uncomfortable. There’s a feeling that, if any minute someone is going to come along and tell you that everything you were taught to believe is total crap, what then is the use of holding beliefs in the first place?

I think this feeling kind of misses the point, but I do understand why one might have it. Evolution is often a difficult concept to accept, even when it’s not the kind that involves monkeys.

But I digress! What this chapter is really about, of course, is Egwene. One of her core character traits, as many people besides me have already noted, is that she is an adapter par excellence; her ability to throw herself into whatever she is doing 150% is the key to her adaptability. If you can’t commit, you can’t assimilate.

That being said, I think the point of this chapter is not so much to show Egwene’s assimilation into Aiel culture, as it is to show that her basic sense of honor and dedication is already consonant with ji’e’toh to start with.

A note about dreaming: violation of privacy much? This is where I’m having a problem with my own core values, and the clash with the Aiel outlook, as it is obvious that the Aiel, or at least the Wise Ones, consider privacy to be very much a distant second – or third, or whatever – in their list of priorities. The top of the list being, as they told Moiraine, the survival of the Aiel.

Indeed, there are a lot of things that take a backseat to that objective, not just privacy, things like, oh, sovereignty of other nations (cf. Amys’s indifference to Rand’s plan to invade the wetlands) and free will in general. Aviendha, for example, has no choice but to become a Wise One, because her freedom to choose her life’s path is secondary to her people’s need for her services, in the Wise Ones’ view.

You could have hours’ worth of debate over this, especially once you throw the “survival” landmine in there. ‘Cause, yes, those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither, but does this still apply if you’re talking about the actual survival of the nation/species/planet/bookclub?

Okay, it probably still applies for the bookclub. But you see what I’m saying.

All right, I can brain no longer. Pseudo-philosophical thinkings are exhaustifying, you guys! Feel free to point out all the ways in which my learnings are suck in the comments. Or you can just complain about the shocking crimes I’m committing against the English language, like, whatevs. See you Wednesday for MOAR, try not to QQ too much till then!

1. alreadymadwithjewelryinthenude
Just throwing it in there. Poor Isendre. Nothing rant worthy with this one.
2. Spook
Thanx Leigh,

Was getting worried! I'm addicted to these re-reads you know. ;-)
3. Jelsel
excellent, first post :P

no really, it's my first post ever here, thanks for the re-reads, Leigh!!! I've come to look forward to them.

Greetings from Holland
4. Jelsel
i stand corrected....
(darn, that slow connection)
Andrew Lovsness
5. drewlovs
I will avoid the gender topic for a bit, only because I do not like to post my opinion until its... well, formed. I like to read and re-read opinions of those I respect and as such, my "don't read other responses" approach doesn't work.

This is where Egwene really starts to work for me. I have worked many, any jobs, and Leigh is dead on when talking about how you approach important things in life: the more effort you put in, the better you do and are looked upon.

The wise women have a very good opinionof Aei Sedai due to Egwene's respect for their "ways", which is yet another unintended consequence of her work ethic.

It also creates a basis for our belief of the "tower captive" Egwene, in my opinion.

More later.
6. Rebecca Starr
Wow Leigh, that was a lot of thinking! I don't have much comment rd: the gender or the ji'e'toh - except perhaps to say that the latter is a remarkable example of how one can be ethical without having religion (an argument made in God's Delusion, among other books). As an atheist who holds herself to highest ethical standards, I never really quite made this realization until reading your post just now, but Jordan presents a lovely picture of how religion is not necessary per se in order to have an ethical society. So I am happy for the day.

okay what I really want to talk about is Egwene's 50 lap jaunt around the camp at the end of chapter 5. Because, wow, I'm a runner, and I have tried to calculate this. If you read the scene out loud with Eg/Avi's conversation, it seems that 1 lap is about 5 minutes? right? So 50 laps?? does anyone else get exhausted just thinking about this??
j p
7. sps49
EDIT: oops

Women hold power in this world because of the Taint, and we have seen repeatedly how they exercise it. Um, not well, often. I read this as women still having the last say like IRL (sorta like chivalry), but with added channeling (which men haven't had for EVER). And it's still weird.
John Massey
8. subwoofer
Hey Leigh, missed you much...

um, I'd be willing to bet there was a fair chunk of Maiden hand talk about Rand's role vis a vis how the Maidens view him as a son/nephew/brother etc. And, yes, he's a doof for playing games with Aviendha.

Actually, they are both doofs. It reminds me of a grade school crush, where if you like someone, you sock them in the arm to let them know. The more you like someone, the harder time you give them. Saw it in a John Wayne movie... Aviendha could of also stepped up and said, "Hey Rand, this is how I feel..." Rand could of done the same thing. Yet they putz around until they find a snow storm.

Speaking of games, genders, equality and morality... how come no one has really pounced on the guy with three wives thing? May be a custom of the Aiel, but Rand wasn't raised Aiel...
9. cor-darei4life
Rand started off so good with the maidens, compared to later when basically everything he dies pisses them off.
10. toryx
Two things stand out to me in Chapter 5 and both concern the following quote:

[i]“The Pattern does not see ji’e’toh,” Bair told her, with only a hint of sympathy, if that. “Only what must and will be. Men and Maidens struggle against fate even when it is clear the Pattern weaves on despite their struggles, but you are no longer Far Dareis Mai. You must learn to ride fate. Only by surrendering to the Pattern can you begin to have some control over the course of your own life. If you fight, the Pattern will still force you, and you will find only misery where you might have found contentment instead.”

The first is that I wonder if they somehow know that Aviendha is fated to be Rand's lover, and if the hidden meaning behind this is that she's got to learn to surrender to her fate in this just as much as in being forced to give up the spear.

I'd never really thought the Wise Ones knew that Aviendha and Rand were destined to be but reading this again for the nth time makes me think I was wrong.

The second thing is that this speech also indicates just how committed they are to Rand's position as the Car'a'carn. It's been said over and over again that the Aiel are the ji'e'toh. Yet Bair is actually saying that ji'e'toh is nothing against the pattern.

That's a curious thing to me because on the one hand it illustrates the whole point of Rand being the one to bring change (over and over again) but at the same time it demonstrates that a part of them knows that they can't change the Pattern. Yet they all are helpless to try, even knowing it's futile (when it comes to saving as many of the Aiel as possible).

People talk about Rand being stubborn, but I think the Aiel are real paragons of the dubious virtue.
Richard Fife
11. R.Fife
"barmier than a bucket of bananas"

Is that a real turn of phrase? If so, it is the most awesomest turn I think I have ever heard.

"Control Group Theory"
I'm of he opinion it is more of a narrative device. I've noticed that, in general, women in WoT rule by committee (Hall of the Tower, Women's Circle, Knitting Circle, Council of Wavemistresses, the ability to Link), where the men want a set pecking order (most royalties, clan chiefs, Asha'man under Taim, no linking) which fits to the description you noticed of the women typically being in groups with how they treat Rand.

The reason I am calling this a narrative device, though, is that I've seen female groups with strong pecking orders and male groups with rule by committee in real life in addition to vice versa, so I think it is more of a mind-set examination that happened to fall on gender lines for the sake of the story and the construction of Jordan's World. Perhaps we could argue that Jordan's world needs this construction as men have always "alone" in channeling and it bled into other aspects, while women have been fairly group-organized.
Jay Dauro
12. J.Dauro

One of the things that RJ manages to do well, is to make me feel sorry for people who really don't deserve it.

In TFoH we see Isendre being punished for things that she did not do, and for things she is forced to do. We see her lose her life for them. And even though she is a Darkfriend, and probably should be executed out-of-hand, I still feel for her.

Later we see a similar thing with "Little Lina". I despise Galina Casban, and what she does. But when we see Therava abusing her, I still get mad, and feel sorry for her.

Just another way RJ impresses me.
James Jones
13. jamesedjones
"Control Group", snort. Not that I disagree, I just love to see Leigh scoop up the big broom o' sweeping generalizations. Sometimes the mess just calls for a big ol' broom.
j p
14. sps49
Eg adapting-

I see this a a trope in a lot of fiction (and based on RL works like Laurence of Arabia) where the human protagonist assimilates to the alien culture and saves the world (somebody's) because of it. C. J. Cherryh comes to mind here. The only time the POV soiciety has an outsider assimilate is when Niven's Moties do it, and that is just a surface assimilation (I am biased, Moties scare me!).

So I don't see Egwene as special because of this, she is just gaining knowledge and this is how. J'e'toh isn't that far from "face", or obligations in our society.
Sean Banawnie
15. Seanie
good stuff, watch out for the grammanazis!
chortle, snickerdoodle, fantabulous !!
interesting gender relationships ---look at Melaine choices with Bael--stay away , kill or marry --Aiel relationships are intense , eh?
I like your analysis of Rand's relationships with others --specifically the difference between men and women---barmier than a bucket of bannas ! what a phrase !!! *rolls on floor in laughing spasms three kidsjumpon me trying to perform Heimlich*
Bashere gets it --he wonders if Rand is nuts yet --just a matter of time--no other choice tho--'course Bashere is nuts too --he is married to a werewife of a woman-- sorry letting the words/thoughts flow---not a stream of conscisouness (yuck! ) so much as a small sewer outlet..... need to breathe... talk later
Thanks for the post Leigh great stuff as always...don't ever be late again*shiteatingsmirk*
16. garstzilla
First thought on the attitude of the women being decisive in how Rand relates to them works for me but I think you have to extend it to the whole of the Aiel both men and women. The Carn a carn (does that translate to cheese head)is not a wetlander king ya know. I am sure Ill have other thoughts on this topic but thats the first one.
17. Lsana
Is anyone else a little bit bothered by Egwene's hypocrisy here? Specifically, regarding how Rand will think of it if the Wise Ones ask him to let Avi sleep in his room. She (and for that matter Aviendha) obviously jumps to the conclusion that they want Avi in his bed, but she seems horrified at the thought that he might come to the same conclusion.

@6 Rebecca Starr,

I'm not a runner, so when I think about running around the camp 50 times, naked, in the cold, I wonder if the Wise Ones are actually trying to kill Egwene. I couldn't do it if the length of a lap is anywhere near as long as Eg and Avi's conversation seems to imply that it is. My only hope is that this falls under the "talking is a free action" trope and a "lap" only takes about 20 seconds or so...

@12 J.Dauro,

I thought I was the only one who felt sorry for Galina. I'd have been okay with her being killed via pretty much any execution method they could come up with. But they way she was trapped with the oath rod...*shudder* no one deserves that.
18. SonOfBattles
There's a world without shrimp? ;)
Luke M
19. lmelior
@ J Dauro #12
Funny, I didn't notice it as I was reading, but I felt sorry for her too. Maybe we are as foolish as Rand. I was thinking instead how believable Aviendha's behavior is here, when she starts to slip from her normal vehement defiance mode (when she asks Egwene if a wetlander would accept a sister-wife).

I also liked the bit about Aviendha being held up as an example for Egwene, and then later we find out the reverse is true as well.
Kevin Morgan
20. DrMorganstien
I try to say that once a week but I've been slacking, so thanks, gracias, and... an other one in another language because I don't trust free online translators.

I like where your head is at regarding the gender stuff. I'm gonna percolate on it a bit before I put my foot in my mouth sometime tonight or tomorrow morning.

@6 Rebecca Starr
I'm also very glad that at least one author has had a society with actual honor and no god. The Klingons tried it and failed miserably.
Hugh Arai
21. HArai
As always, appreciate the commentary Leigh.
I was surprised to see your comment about wanting Rand to "own it", because when I read it, it seemed obvious Aviendha is the one who won't own up. From Rand's POV, we can tell he thinks of her "that way" but I have to say if someone told me
“Yes, Rand al'Thor.” She suddenly sounded hoarse. For a moment she turned her face away, eyes shut and quivering. “I hate you with all of my heart. I do. And I always will.”

I probably wouldn't reply "So.. dinner and a movie?"

As far as the unity of the Maiden's response to Rand goes, I thought that was explained by the "son of a Maiden" bit. All the Maidens have been giving up their children all of these years, never knowing who was "one of theirs". Now, finally because of the prophecies, they know Rand is a Maiden's son. He represents all the children given up. A Maiden wouldn't treat him as a father figure, so that leaves sister or mother as customary roles to choose. That's how I see it anyway.

As far as the dreamwalkers go, I'm ok with it on Rand specifically since in a world with predictions that are known to be true, trying to save "a remnant of a remnant" probably should be their A-1 priority. The spying on everyone else I'm less easy with.

And I loved "World without Shrimp".
Dan Sparks
22. RedHanded

If what your saying is what I think it is, i.e. should liberty be sacrificed for security, that is martial law in the event of some extreme circumstance? I would say that depending on the circumstance it wouldn't be a sacrifice. No one should be forced to fight/participate/or work for something they don't believe in. What's the point of doing something if you really don't want to do it? If there was a zombie apocolypse/alien invasion/super swine flu outbreak, (who's to say what is a BIG deal?)etc. it wouldn't be a sacrifice of liberty to say...join the army or some militia group and willingly take orders from someone who may know better in order to defend yourself and the things you care about. Or to willingly stay in a quarantined zone because by leaving you could spread some deadly mutated monkey virus beyond the "perimeter". That's not sacrifice. Sacrifice is giving up something you value for something you don't. Or a higher value for a lesser value. If I was deathly ill and could contaminate other people, I'd stick strictly to contaminating people I hate around me and not go running off to infect the world.

Agreed that many people don't think this way and would just go nuts and run screaming for their lives but I believe that has more to do with the education/moral code that is so fluid as you put it. Generally many people don't use reason when thinking about a problem (especially personal problems) but let their emotions guide their actions. Anyone in the KNOW knows this isn't the way to go about living life. No use crying over spilled milk right?

My point is that it doesn't mean that other people (who may have just as clouded or not judgment) have some right to make everyone else a slave to what they want.

Definitely the Aiel are all about the AIEL and have little regard for an individual life. I shouldn't say they don't care if someone close to them dies, but in general they are ready and aware that it could happen at anytime and therefore act on that premise. Oh hey you are probably going to step on one of those poisonous lizards that people seem to always be talking about so really just do what I say because otherwise I might put one of those damn lizards in your blankets. What? I don't know, but arbitrary control over another person's life = bad. Now I must smoke.
Jon Severinsson
23. jonno
One thing I always wondered about these two chapters is:

What are Avienda's two lies?

Somehow I always figured that one of them is:
“I hate you with all of my heart. I do. And I always will.”

Is there any actual evidence for this, or just my wishful thinking? Any other ideas of what they might have been? I know it's possible that it is something she said of-screen, but somehow I don't think that is RJ's style...

Edit: I just realized what the second lie must be:

Rand thinks in Chapter 4:
"He had even picked flowers from some of the spiny plants around Rhuidean—bloodying his fingers until he realized he could use the Power—and sent them to her , half a dozen times"

Egwene thinks in Chapter 5:
"The icy gust had made two large white blossoms, resting in a shallow bowl, curl partway closed. They came from a plant called a segade, a fat, leafless, leathery thing that bristled with spines. She had come on Aviendha looking at them in her hands that morning; the Aiel woman had given a start when she saw her, then pushed them into Egwene’s hands, saying she had picked them for her. She supposed there was enough of the Maiden left in Aviendha that she did not want to admit liking flowers."
Jason Deshaies
24. darxbane
I've always had issue with interpretation of that particular Ben Franklin quote. After all, the Constitution itself is a balance of liberty v. Security. Ben Franklin also wanted the National Bird to be a Turkey instead of an Eagle, so the man wasn't perfect.

Are the Wise Ones not correct about Aviendha? If everyone did whatever they wanted all the time, society would fall apart. If you have a gift for medicine that could help save millions, but decided to become a failed artist instead, is that fair to yourself or to society? History has shown us that every great society that has failed has done so because the arrogance and selfishness of its people destroyed it. Evolution is trial and error; not every mutation is a good one.

In the case of this story, one could argue that the impartially-sealed bore allows the DO's touch to intensify human failings, particularly suspicion, greed, and hubris.

I don't know what to say about your first chapter comments. A control group? Really? When Rand comments about how the three girls treat him like a normal person, he compares them to everybody, not just other women.
6. Rebecca Starr:

funny , i alweys thoght of ji'e'toh as a religion without a god , kinda like bodhisem.
Leigh Butler
26. leighdb
R.Fife @ 11:

"barmier than a bucket of bananas"

Is that a real turn of phrase?

It is now!

@ 18:

There's a world without shrimp?

Yes. Or So I Hear.

jonno @ 23:

What are Avienda's two lies?

1) I hate you with all of my heart.

2) And I always will.
Brian Kaul
27. bkaul
Ben Franklin also wanted the National Bird to be a Turkey instead of an Eagle, so the man wasn't perfect.

That letter was a bit tongue-in-cheek, you know ... while he could well have preferred that something less warlike than an Eagle be chosen, it's hard to imagine he was being entirely serious here, when he's making fun of the fact that a poorly drawn eagle on an emblem looked more like a turkey to him:
I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.
Hugh Arai
28. HArai
jonno@23: I'm pretty sure it is. I think Aviendha says so at the end of their arctic adventure.
29. Freelancer

Yes, the quote you gave was one of Aviendha's two lies that day. She has been fighting her impending love for Rand ever since she went to Rhuidean. That's when she first showed her "hatred" for him. That's why she is so adamant that Rand belongs to Elayne. It isn't Elayne alone that she's doing that for, it's a barrier for herself, to keep him away.

I really expected Leigh to go there, and identify the other lie, but she didn't. If I'm not mistaken, it's Aviendha saying that the bracelet "has no meaning". She did get Rand to admit that it hadn't been given in an attempt to draw her interest, but she still treasures it deeply. So, to summarize:

Lie 1: The ivory bracelet is meaningless to Aviendha
Lie 2: She hates Rand al'Thor with all her heart, and always will

Why else would she go on internally about having toh to Elayne, except that she already knows she's falling in love with him?

EDIT: I see Leigh has weighed in. I still see that as one complete statement, Leigh, and therefore one lie. Her shaking that bracelet at his face and saying it means nothing, knowing what we know that cannot be true.
Jon Severinsson
30. jonno
leighdb @26

What are Avienda's two lies?
1) I hate you with all of my heart.
2) And I always will.

I think that counts as one lie, as I just realized what the other one must be.

Rand thinks in Chapter 4:
"He had even picked flowers from some of the spiny plants around Rhuidean—bloodying his fingers until he realized he could use the Power—and sent them to her , half a dozen times"

Egwene thinks in Chapter 5:
"The icy gust had made two large white blossoms, resting in a shallow bowl, curl partway closed. They came from a plant called a segade, a fat, leafless, leathery thing that bristled with spines. She had come on Aviendha looking at them in her hands that morning; the Aiel woman had given a start when she saw her, then pushed them into Egwene’s hands, saying she had picked them for her. She supposed there was enough of the Maiden left in Aviendha that she did not want to admit liking flowers."
31. alreadymadwithundeservedpain
Re: Galina and Isendre
Actually, I don't feel sorry for Galina. The woman deserved what she got. She was on the councils of the Black Ajah. She was one of the cabal that initiated the vileness in the aftermath of the Aiel War. She had innocent young (and not so young) men killed.
Isendre however, despite being a darkfriend, was innocent of the crime she was being punished for. Lanfear framed her because she got to look good while Lanfear hid out behind layers of blubber. How sucky is that?
32. Freelancer

Oh yeah, about poetic justice. We know where Galina is headed as of the end of KoD, but somehow Thom still needs to get his hands on her. I have a feeling that she will be on the short list that Moiraine has for who was involved in Owyn's not-so-gentle gentling. Elaida being another, of course.
Dan Sparks
33. RedHanded
@ 6 Rebecca

Agree w/ the whole not needing religion to have a moral standard.

And seriously Egwene never thought of quitting before getting to 50 laps? I doubt that. She should get switched. 250 minutes by your calculations, so 4 hours 10 minutes. Hey you were late (oh wait we never had an appt.) so run for 4 hours. Seems fair.
Ofer Nave
34. odigity
I was disappointed when Rand walked through the HQ of the maidens and none of them were knitting exciting underwear.
Dan Sparks
35. RedHanded
@34 odigity

Maybe if some oosqui was involved there would be more knitting of the undergarments. It's crazy that grown ass women play cat's cradle with each other. Guess they didn't have hungry hungry hippos in Randland.
Jason Deshaies
36. darxbane
It wouldn't surprise me if Egwene never thought of quitting. She wants to learn dreaming so bad, she'll do anything. The Aiel honor is wearing off on her, and if you combine that with Two Rivers stubbornness......

@27, Alright, you got me there, but it still doesn't mean his every quote is right. Wouldn't liberty also include the right to be racist, and security include protections from racism?
Dan Sparks
37. RedHanded
@36 Darxbane

There is no right to be racist, like there is no right to a home or a job or my job. You are free to be racist, but if you violate someone else's freedom i.e. initiate physical force, then you break the law sucka. And for that you run through the Waste in a black garbage bag.
Leigh Butler
38. leighdb
jonno @ 30:

Yeah, you're probably right.
Ofer Nave
39. odigity
Hey, nice - I finally get to join the ranks of those who cry "you missed a spot!" when Leigh's summary inadvertently leaves out a personally cherished detail.

He thinks of how this building hadn’t been the Roof of the Maidens when he chose it; he had simply woken up one day to find that the Maidens had moved in, yet expected him to stay. He had managed to convince them not to stay on the same floor, at least, which had amused them greatly.

In the books, doesn't it specifically talk about how the maidens would keep increasing each day, and each time they filled a floor, he'd move up a floor to give the current one to the new maidens, so as to always stay on his own floor? I was looking for that detail in the summary - for some reason it always cracks me up.

If you look at Rand’s interactions with women, in particular, in almost every case – the Supergirls, Aviendha/Min/Elayne, the Maidens, the Wise Ones, even Moiraine – to varying degrees they all act as normalizing influences against all the extremely non-normal crap that happens to him.

Reading this whole section, I keep flashing back to one of the key themes in Buffy, about how what separates her from other Slayers is that her friends/watcher act as a support group that keep her tied to reality and normalcy. And then you dropped this:

and those whom we wish would get sent to the World Without Shrimp forever and ever.

So clearly I was surfing the right wave.
40. alreadymadwithAviendha'slies
Freelancer @29
I'm sure with a little more time, we can come up with more lies from Aviendha. I'd have to disagree about the meaningless bracelet though. She might treasure it, but the way she presented the question, she was actually asking Rand what it meant to him, which was nothing extraordinary. A little Aes Sedai logic and voila! Aviendha did not actually lie about the bracelet being meaningless. You could argue that she made Rand tell a lie.

As for moral standards. A lot of the killings done these days are done in the name of religion. Bunch of hypocrites.
Jay Dauro
41. J.Dauro

No, Not "You were late" but

"You did not come as quickly as you could when we summoned you."

Which is true. She deliberatly dallied because of the cold. So, she got to experience it a bit more.

I do not think I would put up with it, but hey, Egwene does have her good points. Even if there are times I want to slap her.
42. mityorkie
Re #11. Deborah Tannen writes about the gender normative cooperative vs. competitive ways of going about things e.g. in "Working 9 to 5." That book was a few years back... more recently cooperation and networking has been the heavily favored approach.

Risking a bit of flame, the more rigid social contracts associated with ji'e'toh especially make sense for a culture featuring warring tribes. There is also a comfort in having such a structure to rely on, which is also associated with strict religious belief.
Lannis .
43. Lannis
Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Wonderful as always.

One thing about the Wise Ones, re: Egwene and Aviendha's 50 laps... I like the whole "useless labour" as punishment... there's a line somewhere that says you can't pretend you're doing anything other than being punished when all you're doing is burying ashes with a spoon (or something of that sort). And it's one of those little details that struck me on my first read, and makes me grin every time. Waste that energy! Go on, waste it! Feel like disobeying again?

Freelancer @ 32 & already mad @ 31: re: the Aes Sedai who captured and gentled Owyn... I have a strong gut feeling that Elaida's involved for sure--she was in the palace at the time when Thom would have received the letter saying he needed to go to Owyn, and probably wanted Thom out of the palace in order to cement her grasp on Morgase as her advisor (and probably planted the seed that made Morgase so frakking angry that she wouldn't listen to Thom's explanation of his disappearance).

Or, you know, I have the timing off and Elaida and Thom weren't around Morgase at the same time and I'm talking out my arse. Whatever. ;)
Leigh Butler
44. leighdb
odigity @ 39:

Just for you:

The best he had been able to manage was to make the Maidens agree to stay below the floor where he slept; that had amused them all no end. Even the Car'a'carn is not a king, he reminded himself wryly. Twice already he had moved upward as the numbers of Maidens increased. Idly he tried to calculate how many more could come in before he was sleeping on the roof.
Ofer Nave
45. odigity
toryx@10: The first is that I wonder if they somehow know that Aviendha is fated to be Rand's lover, and if the hidden meaning behind this is that she's got to learn to surrender to her fate in this just as much as in being forced to give up the spear.

I'd never really thought the Wise Ones knew that Aviendha and Rand were destined to be but reading this again for the nth time makes me think I was wrong.

I, too, am getting tons more meaning/insight this time through than the last 6-10 times. I think I know why. I started when FoH came out, and did the customary full re-read before each book up to book 8, I think. Which means a full reread every two years or so. This time, however, I raced through the books in two months and finished a week or two after Leigh had just started (coincidence), so this is the first time I've ever gone through the whole series immediately after going through the whole series. Meaning, the full scope is fresh in my mind and is able to be applied to understanding the details on the second pass. Fun.

Back to the topic. Yes, I now think that the Wise Ones, either through their own Acceptotron Ring journey or through their Dreamwalking, have seen that either Avhienda will hook up with Rand, or that she may or may not, but it would be preferable if she did. I also think Avi saw something similar in her own trip, which is why she hates Rand - because her feelings for her are going to cause her to violate ji'e'toh with regards to her obligation to Elayne (as she sees it, anyway).

I also think that when she says she lied twice that day, she's referring to "I hate you" and "I will always hate you", which reinforces the above speculation.

Guess this re-read thing is a good idea after all.

Lsana@17: My only hope is that this falls under the "talking is a free action" trope and a "lap" only takes about 20 seconds or so...

Ofer Nave
46. odigity
leighdb@44: Just for you:

The best he had been able to manage was to make the Maidens agree to stay below the floor where he slept; that had amused them all no end. Even the Car'a'carn is not a king, he reminded himself wryly. Twice already he had moved upward as the numbers of Maidens increased. Idly he tried to calculate how many more could come in before he was sleeping on the roof.

Uh oh... I'm tickled, honestly, but now you've opened the floodgates for personalized summary/quote requests.

Unless you're purposely floating that idea as a possible business venture. In which case, bravo.

In any case, another example of how RJ is a great writer, and I'm not. Half the size of my description, and ten times funnier.
Adam Miller
47. AdamM
Just one quick comment on the liberty/security quote, even when survival is thrown in.

I think it comes down to the definition of survival. If you mean that the people/nation, as they were, were to survive, then yes, perhaps liberty can be exchanged for security.

However, if the people/nation held liberty as one of their core beliefs, would trading any of that for security not result in a changed society, meaning that it wouldn't "survive" in it's original, ideal form?
Luke M
48. lmelior
@ odigity #39
Thanks, I'm not following along with my own re-read so I forgot about that part Leigh posted in #44. Very funny stuff. Poor Rand though, if Mat was there, he'd know what to do.

Re: Aviendha's lies
I vote that they are two different lies.
So we have:
1. She hates him
2. She always will
3. The bracelet means nothing
4. She picked the flowers for Egwene
5. She lied twice today

I count five lies, anybody else with a book catch more?
49. Freelancer

Yes and no.

Liberty includes freedom of thought, so if that includes racism, you're free to be one. Security does not include protections from racism, but protection from harmful illegal acts, hateful source aside.

It isn't against the law for one person to call another person a race-based slur (at least not quite yet), but it is against the law to assault somebody, whether the motivation is race, greed, jealousy, etc.
Jim Adams
50. dubjazz
I'm interested in the logistics of the Aiel sweat tent. We are told that Egwene walks past a pile of stones the size of a mans head with a few glowing embers scattered atop them, presumably the remains of the fire used to heat the rocks. So what do they burn? Elsewhere fires are described as being made of dried dung. There can't be a lot of wood available in the waste which is desert like.
In the community that I live in (Tipi valley, West Wales) we have held sweat lodges at the new and full moons for over thirty years, so I know what I'm talking about here. We heat up limestones about the same size as described in this chapter on a fire that will burn for 3-4 hours. To heat the rocks hot enough to use in the lodge this will consume about half a ton of wood; logs and smaller branches, kindling etc.
So what are the Aiel using here? Dried dung? It would take a hell of a lot and you would have to have some sort of bellows to keep it burning. We are led to believe that sweat tenting is a regular Aiel occupation, so where is all the dung coming from?
Then in the sweat tent Egwene channels to heat up the rocks and the kettle that is holding them. So why bother with a fire at all?
The Aiel sweat tent is described as being like the usual tent except the smoke flap is shut. Outside it is freezing cold yet the tent manages to hold the heat? In Wales we use a bender with two layers of blankets and 3-4 layers of canvas covers and a thick layer of fresh cut rushes on the floor. This is just about sufficient to hold the heat for a couple of hours in frosty conditions.
Just a few anomalies, any thoughts anyone?
51. RobMRobM
@48. I'm pretty sure 1/2 is the first and 4 is the second. I thought she admitted that these were the two in a subsequent chapter (either than or I stole it from a footnote in encyclopedia WOT). Rob
Hugh Arai
52. HArai
@50: They have herds and use pack animals. And well, people provide dung too...
53. ZamIt
This chapter focussing on Egwene reminds me of the extra prologue added to From the Two Rivers. That prologue was Egwene focussed. There she was the water carrier for the big sheep-shearing village event. She was the little girl who wanted to be the best water carrier ever, and move onward to bigger things. In many ways, her character has stayed as close to her roots as any of the major Two Rivers characters.
54. jafco
Leigh: Great stuff. As to: "...There’s a feeling that, if any minute someone is going to come along and tell you that everything you were taught to believe is total crap, what then is the use of holding beliefs in the first place?..." As the old saying goes, if you don't believe in something, you'll fall for anything? I think we see a lot of that these days.

@6. Rebecca Starr "...Jordan presents a lovely picture of how religion is not necessary per se in order to have an ethical society. So I am happy for the day...." Religion, no. But very clearly deist: "...belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe. The term is used chiefly of an intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that accepted the existence of a creator on the basis of reason but rejected belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind....

Everyone in Randland acknowledges a "Creator" and also the opposite - the Dark One. Clearly there is a belief system - although it's never really spelled out - of right behavior that accords with the Light, and bad behavior that accords with the Dark. They don't, so far as we know now, go to "church". That's a lot more than a system in which each, willy-nilly, upholds "...the highest ethical standards..." Which standards, one asks?
craig thrift
55. gagecreedlives
I wonder if any other clan chief besides Rhuarc have their dreams used by the wise ones for training purposes and whether they have actually bothered to tell him what they are doing.

drewlovs @5

“The wise women have a very good opinionof Aei Sedai due to Egwene's respect for their "ways", which is yet another unintended consequence of her work ethic.”

Well that’s gonna change soon. They still respect Eg but they certainly no longer respect aes sedai. Well maybe Cadsuane as well but certainly not the aes sedai as a whole.

J.Dauro @12

“In TFoH we see Isendre being punished for things that she did not do, and for things she is forced to do”

Well she did steal some of the jewellery. Lanfear just added some more.

Oh and to Subwoofer thanks for that Gage Creed link. It brought a smile to my face.
56. RobMRobM
odigity @45. I'm in the just-under-a-minute-per-lap school, so 45 minutes tops. Rob
57. Freelancer

Indeed. Egwene's personality has always been learnitallNOW, doeverythingBETTER, the proverbial "ooh-ooh girl" which has become the identifying feature of herself, and a large number of the commenters. I happen to enjoy this aspect of her character immensely.

Some would use the label "perfectionist", and mean it in an unkind way. I suspect Egwene would wear it happily. To her (and those like her), there is no acceptance of mere competence. It isn't simply about being able to do something, but being able to do it as well as possible. This only becomes a problem when the completion of a task is interfered with by the attempt to squeeze an insubstantial increase in quality from the result. Wisdom comes in knowing when good enough is good enough.


I see you pulled out the BIG can-opener.
58. Freelancer

Well, but under-a-minute for 50 laps? A mature Aiel, maybe. Egwene al'Vere? Hmmm.
59. RobMRobM
Free and Zamit re Egwene -- yes on both counts. Interesting thing was she originally would jump in but fudge the edges (illegally channelling on the side as a novice; ignoring direct Wise Ones' requests not to go unguided into TAR; supporting becoming AS without the limitations of the Oath Rod). But down the line she combines performance with strict adherence to the applicable code (je't'toh, Oath Road, custom in dealing with Sitters, her private code when captured in KoD) and turns formidable, as Rand will learn when she (correctly) dresses him down for wrongly and unnecessarily forcing AS to swear fealty to him.

60. RobMRobM
Free - I just don't think there are THAT many tents to run around. Eg is fit, she can handle a 45 minute run.
61. alreadymadwithrunningbrouhaha
That actually depends on how big the camp is. IIRC those in the tents were primarily Wise Ones and gaishain. Most of the Warrior Societies and others followed Rand's(and the Maidens') example of selecting a proper building. So it could not have been particularly big. On the other hand, I'm sure Egwene measured it somewhere in the text.
62. Freelancer

Yes, that part of Egwene's personality also makes her rush ahead of what others believe she's ready for, whether channeling or dreamwalking, or whatever. I'm sure none of us identify with that behavior ::coughcough::.

I think there will be plenty of time for the unavoidable debate over the "dragonsworn" Aes Sedai. I've always felt that it was more ta'veren action than Rand's own personality.

In matters like that, I tend to use Verin as a touchstone for truth (Am I the only one who sees the possibility that Verin=veritas=truth?). Verin swore to Rand willingly, though to Cadsuane she admits that she was so heavily under his ta'veren influence she doesn't know if anyone could have resisted.

Who is Egwene to dress anyone down about accepting a previously unheard of pledge of fealty from a sister? She's got a double handful of such herself, and at least two of hers were coerced.

I'm not saying she's wrong, just that it would surely be hypocritical to get after the Dragon Reborn for the same behavior.

I honestly think that we have yet to see the actions on Rand's part that will bring him to "know the wrath of the Amyrlin Seat".

Come on, November...
Hugh Arai
63. HArai

In Randland they have proof the Dark One exists and you know.. is Bad. All the cultures we've seen know the DO is there. Most of the cultures appear to be deist. It does not follow necessarily that they believe "in right behavior that accords with the Light".
64. RobMRobM
Free - I was thinking of the "kneel or you will be knelt" Salidar sisters who were compelled by the Ashaman to swear to Rand. That was not ta'veren - that was forced under extreme duress with a proverbial gun to their heads. Not cool and Egwene will be justifiably mad. (Rand even has a monologue later where he acknowledges it wasn't necessary and probably wasn't appropriate.)

The more interesting case are the White Tower AS who kidnapped Rand and swore "voluntarily" influenced by Verin's weave. Egwene will have a big problem with that and (unfortunately and inaccurately) will blame Rand.

Sean Banawnie
65. Seanie
While I do feel the tiniest bit bad for Isendre , I can't feel bad for Galina. Yes , Issy is DF but we haven't had a chance to build up a good head of steamed up hate for her like Galina who is just awful in her hateability . We have witnessed awfulness time and again from Galina. Anyone wanna spend a little time in the box ? Let Therava have her kicks on route Galina . Serves her right . And no shrimp either.
66. jafco
@ 50. dubjazz

"...In Wales we use a bender with two layers of blankets and 3-4 layers of canvas covers and a thick layer of fresh cut rushes on the floor. This is just about sufficient to hold the heat for a couple of hours in frosty conditions.
Just a few anomalies, any thoughts anyone?...

I always interpreted the sweat tents as a form of sauna (I live in the UP of Michigan, with lots of folks of Finnish heritage. Everyone takes saunas!).

It takes a small armload of dry wood to get the small (fist-size) rocks held in a metal basket hot enough to crank out dry steam at 200+ degrees F. in about an hour. In a low felt? tent floored with carpets that would do the job. You would sweat copiously. I would like then to rinse with clean water, but an Aiel would probably skin me for that. Still, I think one would come out feeling quite clean.

I've used cattle dung to boil water for coffee on a number of occasions. It can make a good fire. Also, almost any (Sonoran-Mojave) desert plant, when dead and dry, will burn extremely hot. I know there isn't a lot in the Waste, but the dung will always be dry and the plants probably burn hot. I suspect they also burn corn husks, stalks and cobs back in the Holds.

My appreciation of the Aiel is of a very clean people. There are so many references to the sweat tents throughout the books that it seems they use them very regularly. I never felt they "bathed once a week, whether they needed it or not!"
j p
67. sps49
@ 32 Freelancer-

I hope noone has already done this:

(Thom dons the Matmedallion) My name is Thomdril Merrilin. You killed my brother. Prepare to die.
68. Freelancer
I might be late to this, but have we discussed the cover art for TFoH? I know that Leigh was happy to leave what she said was her least favorite WoT cover.

So there's Rand looking all arrogant and full of himself in the knee-length red coat, Mat behind him, and a red-haired Aiel Wise One facing away on his left. Plus the obligatory trollocs set to attack. Now, I know there was a darkhound attack at Rhuidean, but I think not trollocs.

For Leigh's peace of mind, the woman on the cover is clearly not behaving in a servile capacity. I would imagine it's Aviendha, who is trying to convince herself that she isn't interested in the sight of Rand just now.

I think Mat's ashandarei is a bit overdone here. The descriptions give it a very slightly curved blade, more like Lan's sword, I'd say.

Other than that, meh.


Ah yes, I side-stepped that line on purpose. "Kneel or you will be knelt." That wasn't Rand, it was Taim. And it followed Rand telling the SAS embassy to kneel with the TAS embassy. He wasn't demanding fealty at that point, he was putting them on equal footing as he had promised, since they came with more sisters than he had permitted. Was the decision to swear forced upon them, or was it a ta'veren swing of the moment?
69. busterf18
Nice on the QQ. I invest in Asian stocks and am a big fan of Tencent
70. alreadymadwithAesSedaihubris
I wouldn't quite say forcing the Aes Sedai to swear oaths of fealty was unnecessary. Let's face it, after what he had been through, it was the only way he was going to let any Aes Sedai near him and his plans. And he had just shown decisively that if it came down to the Power, he had his own ace in the hole. Whether or not the Aes Sedai, or even Rand realized it, they had a clear choice. Submit to his leadership, or forever lose any chance of the White Tower being relevant to the Dragon Reborn's plans and by extension, the Last Battle.
IMHO it's high time the Aes Sedai experienced the consequences of their arrogance. No longer were they the only users of the Power, they weren't even the largest. Not by a long shot. In that single engagement, the Aes Sedai was the smallest of the players using the One Power. In any case, even with oaths and everything, the sisters are still given considerable leeway. So it works out alright in the end.
Egwene could show Rand her wrath. But I doubt it would matter much. Besides the one now in charge of them is Sashalle, who, having been stilled, was mostly ignored by Verin's efforts.

Freelancer @68
Isn't the Wise One on the cover of TFOH Aviendha? Same age as Rand, Red hair, tall. Yep, think it's her.
Richard Fife
71. R.Fife
Freelancer, just pretend (or accept) that is Caemlyn at the end. They arrive, no one is around, they are like WTF, mate ^^? and then boom, trollocs and lightning.
Sara H
72. LadyBelaine
AlreadyMad@70, et al.

Can I ask, beg, implore, beseech y'all to not have the whole "Was Dumai's Wells necessary?" debate yet?

That tends to be a total conversation killer - well, not killer, but conversation-devouring, forum engulfing debate and well, we're not there yet.

Please, please, pretty please with sugar on top?

Freelancer@68, I always thought that was Aviendha on the cover, since they seem to be in Rhuidean, and Aveindha is with Rand for most of this story.
73. jafco
@ 63. HArai

"...In Randland they have proof the Dark One exists and you know.. is Bad. All the cultures we've seen know the DO is there. It does not follow necessarily that they believe "in right behavior that accords with the Light"...."

I disagree. In Saldaea, they know it for sure. Every day could see you end up in a Trolloc's cookpot. In The Two Rivers, the concept of a real badman is fuzzy at best (until now, of course). Yet universally, Randland's lore is one of Light and Dark. "Walk in the Light" (note the caps) has some kind of informed meaning. We just don't ever see what informs that meaning (I mean there is no Bible, or the teachings of some philosophical school like Confucianism that permeates the culture).

Gleemen, in some sense, may be the traveling preachers of Rand's continent. They tell stories of good and evil, or Light and Dark, and presumably they have a stock of well-worn stories that exemplify treachery and betrayal and heroism and love and so forth that exemplify things to aspire to or not. The Tuatha'an also spread a certain concept of behavior (but apparently also turn many people off for reasons real or imagined).

What goes on elsewhere, like Seanchan, where they also distinguish Light and Dark (yet do things that raise the hackles or worse for Randlanders - and most of us) is not elucidated.

Clearly, Jordan had a view of morality that is manifested in his characters and their world. We just don't ever the full monty, so to speak.
74. alreadymadwithstrangemorals
As you wish, my lady.

Re: varied moralities(sp)
It's refreshing to see the boundaries of morality stretched like that. Makes you see your own limits.
75. Latecomer
Yay - I come back after 4 days and there are 2 new posts to read! Good Stuff....

"He touches the half-healed wound in his side, and thinks that that is what will kill him on the rocks at Shayol Ghul, he was sure of it, and then tells himself not to think of it tonight."

That line right there caught my attention - and made me think that maybe this is what will "SAVE" him instead... DO evil warring with Mordeth's evil.. or maybe even the cause of the blood on the rocks at Shayol Ghul that will save the world. How I don't know - maybe the DO will slip on it and lose focus, and (POW!) get shielded and captured.. who's with me :P

Flowers? In the Desert? That’s really showing how serious you are.. come on Avi, take a hint!

Also - I always thought that the other lie might have been this. "the Wise Ones made her name the three men and three women she hates the most, and give them each a gift made from her weapons. "

So she obviously told the Wise Ones she hated Rand as well.. and that was her other lie. Or maybe the same lie, but to different people.

Does this naming and the flowers thing happen on the same day? Because that tally of lies is adding up quite quickly!
Tony Zbaraschuk
76. tonyz
My favorite line on the gender issue is "Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it."

This seems not to be true in Randland, but maybe it's one of the things that varies from Age to Age. And the Rand/Aviendha relationship has not only male/female issues to resolve, but adolescent/adolescent issues as well. We have a number of cases (Amys/Rhuarc, the al'Veres, the Basheres) where a mutually satisfying solution to life seems to have been achieved, at least by the adults.... perhaps Rand and company can get it together eventually.

The Wise Ones are pretty good at figuring out the levers that move people, and getting them to move _and_ learn in the process. What do you want to bet Bair and Amys figured out that Egwene and Aviendha would share notes on who was getting praised for what? (And it's a nice foreshadowing of Elayne and Aviendha's sisterhood ceremony later, when each of them has to provide truths about the other.)

_Ji'e'toh_ is a hard code, for a hard people and a hard land -- but some sort of code is necessary. I'd hate to live under it, but when you have no code at all the result is the sort of thing the Shaido do, particularly in the later books.
James Jones
77. jamesedjones
75 Latecomer

I don't believe the Wise Ones ask who the individuals are that receive the gifts. It just doesn't strike me as something that would concern them (not really information they care about). They give the instruction, and trust to the Aiel honor to ensure it happens.
Richard Fife
78. R.Fife
One the two lies: I'm going with "I hate you" for one and "I picked these for you" for the other.
79. RobMRobM
RFife @78. As I predicted above, those are the two lies as identified by Encyclopedia WOT. Rob
80. Valan
Ok, weighing in.
I totally dig the Aviendha/Rand relationship, because it just seems such a natural reaction for a Maiden of the Spear to be pissed off over what must come down to her being forced to love someone by fate. That would just about suck (at least until actual fruition of said love). Loss of free will = no bueno.

Aviendha is my 2nd favorite female character behind Min. Birgitte gets a close 3rd. Sorry I'm not a huge Moraine fan, her bullying of Rand straight up pisses me off enough that her inert awesomeness only barely keeps her on my good side. In fact, my favorite part of this book besides Mat coming into full badassness is Moraine totally breaking down. Yeah, evil of me I know.

I really, really like the deism thing going on here, and the notable lack of organized religion. Faith in God = A Ok until you start second guessing other people's. Jordan just nicely sidesteps a thing that could have made the series twice as long and even more bloody. Oh shite, I forgot, the Seanchan.
But even they are subject to DO vs Creator facts.

And what was it Leigh said a while back about Whitecloaks being like Jehovah's Witnesses that pass out swords/arrogance instead of pamphlets (can't remember exactly)? I digress.

This is actually my favorite WoT cover. Can't say why. Perhaps because it doesn't precisely suck.
craig thrift
81. gagecreedlives

"And what was it Leigh said a while back about Whitecloaks being like Jehovah's Witnesses that pass out swords/arrogance instead of pamphlets (can't remember exactly)? I digress."

Wow thats taking us back. I do remember Leigh saying something like that. I also remember several people got offended. Not sure if any of those are still with us though.

And I do like Moraine but I also enjoy her sharp lesson is humility. Probably not as much as Mat does though
82. Valan
No offense intended, but the quote from Leigh was hilarious to me, and clarification is needed.

[i]Ah, Whitecloacks: Just like Jehovah's Witnesses, except instead of pamphlets, they want to give you GRIEVIOUS BODILY HARM.

I'm pretty sure thats my favorite thing Leigh's ever written thus far.
83. Planeswalker
oh c'mon, it was dark! Aviendha could not clearly see... Egwene was riding Bela for the remaining 49 laps!!!
John Massey
84. subwoofer
@55Gagecreedlives- you are welcome:)

Just to touch on a reoccurring thread- use of the power. Does might make right? So Rand and the Asha'man have more power than the Aes Sedai. Does that give them the right to cow the women? The kneel or you will be knelt?

Don't get me wrong,(and no, I don't want to talk about the Wells) I know that the Aes Sedai... hubris... was towering, sending an "embassy" to bring the Dragon back to Tar Valon, but c'mon... but using a stronger power over them, you are just asserting your will to dominate somebody. It doesn't mean what your doing is right, you are just stronger, a bully.

I have always come from the school that two wrongs don't make a right so I can't totally condone what the Asha'man do. The AS at least take oaths to keep their power in check. What will the men who use Sadin do? There has to be balance.

Rand wants the Black Tower to match the White in numbers, but these men are being raised as tools to use- weapons- without any ethics or code. This is like LTT's 100 companions all over again. Lot's of power with no guidance or limits. What was that cheesy quote? hmmmm... "with great power comes great responsibility". The Asha'man have the power, but do they have the discipline?
85. twicemarked
About the Maiden's treatment of Rand. I always thought that those maidens who had children treated him as a son, while those who never had children treated him as a brother, regardless of age.

I know a big theme in these books is about communication, or rather the lack of it. The Wise Ones seem to be the one group that is the least impacted by it. Like later on, when the captured AS is not shamed by doing useless work like normal Aiel, but are shamed by being naked, etc. As a general rule, Aiels seem to be the most accurate in obtaining and processing information amoung all the groups mentioned. Their scout and clan chief are the least likely to be getting bad information.

As for the religion/morality thing, I thought it mostly a reflection of RJ being a Freemason. Believing a supreme being, without further elaboration into religion.
sandi vogel
86. sinfulcashew
Now that I'm down here, I can't remember where this quote came from-Leigh, maybe, way back at the beginning?

"I do admit there is a certain attraction to the notion of having the rules all laid out and defined for you, so you know exactly what is what at all times."

Story time!
As a young child, the neighbors would take my sister and brother and I to church. I was always curious about God and wanted to know more.
As I grew (teens) and learned about the Jewish people, I felt like 'gee, I would like to be Jewish!'
They know exactly what He wants and what to do every day and don't have the questions that us gentiles have. I felt like I was wandering in the dark.
Suffice it to say, I have finally figured out how it works.

And as for you sympathizers for Galina.....:
I think she certainly deserves all she gets and more. Has an Elaida stupidity. Egotistical and alot of other nasty things I can't think of the words for.

The sweat tent thing:
The one you described sounds weak? thin? like it could use some more covering? something like that?
(proper words gone again-CRS strikes again!)

Also, are the Whitecloaks here yet?
I keep waiting for someone to remark on them.

edit-oops, I just saw a reference in the latest remarks.
Joseph Blaidd
87. SteelBlaidd
This is one of my favorite chapters for examining Rand's character.

We see from his thoughts that he is one of the most self-aware members of the cast. He recognizes the changes in his temper, that while he doesn't trust Asmodean he can reveal more to him that to those he knows he should be able to trust, and most telling he recognizes that his inability to kill a woman is both pathological and potentially dangerous.

He did not think he would ever be able to do it again, even with his life in the balance. A foolish thing, with female Forsaken likely seeking his blood or worse, but there it was.

Now he is in rather serious denial about his feelings for M.A.E., but that's mostly because hes already trying to separate himself from others so as not to be a threat to them.

I like your observation that Jordan uses women as a baseline to pull Rand back to normal. It fits with what I see as him setting up the culture with Women rather that Men as the Normative gender.

Regarding the strictness of Ji'e'toh, I remember a bit out of Card's Homecoming series where they talk about the "The Law of the Desert." Basically it boils down to that for nomads in the desert the only workable punishment is death. You cant lock people up because your moving all the time, and if you deny them water or food or clothing because they will only slow you down and that puts the whole group in danger.

The fact that we in the First world can permit everyone to go their own way is a function of the abundance of food and shelter. The closer a community is to the edge of survival the more necessary it is that there be well defined rules and roles. You don't have the extra resources that allow people to be make up the rules as they go along. You've got to get things right the first time. Taking gaishan is another way of preserving scarce resources.
88. alexonthemovetx
alreadymadwith...whatever pops into your head!

As much as I love the thoughtful insights in everyone's comments, include, of course, Leigh's, I have to admit I look forward to seeing what name you'll come up with next! People at work must think I'm crazy when I LOL :) Keep it up!

I'm currently on tPoD and just finished Eg's big "hail to the chief" section, so right now me thinks she learned a lot, running those laps and sweating in the tents and all.
Ryan Nash
89. RNash
Excellent work, as always.

About the Wise Ones bullying Aviendha into becoming an apprentice, is that really any different from when Aes Sedai find a girl who can channel? At least the Wise Ones are actually respected and mostly trusted in their community. And when the girl has the spark, it does become an issue of "learn or die". Just sayin'.
90. alreadymadwithinsincereoaths
Valan @82
Grievous bodily harm LOL. That's so Gaiman. And Pratchett.

subwoofer @84
Rand simply wanted them to give over acting as if everything was their plan. To stop assuming airs around him. To stop trying to take control of the situation. To submit that Dumai's Wells was his victory instead of theirs. It was Taim's idea to have them "kneel or be knelt", and only when they proved reticent. The oaths were probably excessive, but Rand himself did not really expect them to be so explicit.
After all, Aes Sedai put a high price on their dignity and the dignity of the White Tower. How was he to know that ta'veren twisting would lead the Aes Sedai to the conclusion that if they did not swear to him then, he could render the White Tower impotent and irrelevant as the The Third Age closed. They probably don't realize it themselves. Ta'veren effect had them kneeling before they could realize why. Sashalle in KoD does though. And she says so in her report back to the Highest of the Red.
As for Asha'man discipline, the training itself is harsh enough to kill those without discipline. Besides, even without oaths, Rand himself outlined a code of ethics for Asha'man when he gave them the name. Lot of help that does with Taim and his cadre, but then again, the oaths don't really stop the Aes Sedai either, anyway.

alexonthemovetx @88
We aim to please.. :P
91. DrewH
The issue of the midnight running session brings up one of the questions I've had about the Aiel in general for years: Are the Aiel even human? They continually perform impossible feats of speed and endurance! Just look at when the Shaido captured Faile. They ran, all night, in probably subzero temperatures, through kneedeep snow, carrying prisoners on their shoulders, ALL NIGHT WITHOUT STOPPING. (well ok, they had a few rest stops. But that was for the prisoners, not themselves.) Not only that, but they continually defy the Laws of Logistics. They're able to leap whole armies across the country with no supplies and at double speed in a single bound! Ok sure, Rand mutters somehting about bringing up wheat from Tear, but that's after they've migrated their entire culture, practially, from the Waste to Cairhien.
I submit to you, these..people...are...not.. human! And Jordan worries about how superhuman channelers are integrated into various societies. Ha!
92. Freelancer

Yeah, I said I believed it was Aviendha. But thanks for convinving me it was Aviendha. ;-)

Oh, Leigh. You referenced Rand's love trinity twice in your post, but you didn't use the new, approved contraction, Minaviyne.
93. alreadymadwithbabyingrand
twicemarked @85
Actually I think it's the other way around. By Rand's examples, the older, more experienced ones were more likely to treat him as a brother. An adult that did not need babying. In contrast the younger, less mature ones try to treat him as a son or a very young brother.

Freelancer @92
MAE is so much easier.
94. Freelancer

From the text:

Age seemed not to come into it; women with white in their hair might talk to him as a brother over tea, while Maidens no more than a year older than he tried to make sure he wore the proper clothes for the heat. There was no avoiding the mothering; they simply did it, and he could not see how to make them stop, short of using the Power against the whole lot of them.

You say "more likely", where Jordan uses these as exceptions to what might be expected, specifically to point out that there is no such pattern involved, one way or the other.

MAE is easy, but as a veteran, unnecessary acronyms turn my stomach.
Hugh Arai
95. HArai

It's the very consistency of the "Walk in the Light" that shows there isn't one particular informed meaning. If you are doing whatever your particular Randland culture thinks is good, you're walking in the Light. Sniping Aes Sedai is walking in the Light if you're from Amador. Chaining channelers is walking in the Light if you're Seanchan. Following Ji'e'toh is walking in the Light if you're Aiel. Following the Way of the Leaf is walking in the Light for Tinkers. Being a wolf is walking in the Light. Spending your time backstabbing each other is walking in the light if you're an Aes Sedai. There's intentionally working for the DO and there's everything else -"Walking in the Light".

About the Aiel and Ji'e'toh: Another reason for lots of specific rules in societies with warriors for a large portion of the society can be to limit when,where and how it's "acceptable" to fight. Also, I think some people are confusing "willing to die" with "not valuing life". It's not the same thing.
96. Valan
@ alreadmadwithwhatever 93
Minaviyne just looks way cooler.

@ Drew H 91
The issue of the midnight running session brings up one of the questions I've had about the Aiel in general for years: Are the Aiel even human?

Of course they are. They're just uber-badass. Plus they're raised to fight lions at 8 years old and make Spartans look like Tuatha'an.
97. alreadymadwithstrangeacronyms
Minaviyne looks like some weird combination of Miniver and Ivaine. Or alternately, a four wheeled vehicle.
Rikka Cordin
98. Rikka
huzzah update! I can't wait til we get to the fun stuff in this book....
99. Valan
Maybe i just like it cause Min gets her full name in it and Elayne's name is barely noticable. Just feels like all is right in the world when I read it.
100. HurinSmells
Thanks for the re-read's Leigh, I'd forgotten just how addictive this series was!

On the topic of gender issues, I believe it get's down to who owns the responsibility for making the big decisions, and which decisions need to be made together. For instance my wife and I decided long about that we would never again attempt to assemble flat pack furniture together, however we are both able to successfully collaborate on making a selection at Blockbuster.

For me the core idea RJ has built on is how a the balance of power/decsion-making is managed within each relationship (Yin-Yang/Aes Sedai emblem = balance?). We see a lot less conflict between our male and female characters when they stop trying to order each other around and start using words like "please" and "thank-you" and actually asking each other what they're thinking instead of making wild assumptions or spying on each other. Unfortunately most characters in the series are of the view that if you have to ask nicely for something, it means you're a lickspittle lackey with no backbone.

Compromise is a part of any successful relationship, but so is knowing when to trust the other party with 100% resonsibility, and knowing when to dig your heels in over something. Although in WOT we see a lot of heel digging and not a lot of open and honest discussions!
Kevin Morgan
101. DrMorganstien
I like it (Minaviyne) because MAE makes me think of dear old Aunt Mae from Spider-Man(it may be May, but the last time I grabbed a spidey comic it was Mae). I love aunt Mae way more than I love those three women combined. Though I do love the WOT more than the general world of comics.

Oh, @alreadymadwithsweetreferences
but GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM reminded me of Gaiman too

I just saw the name HurinSmells and laughed very heartily
102. Lisamarie
Just checking in and saying thanks for the comments in the previous post :)

To answer the question that got asked of me - I actually did a reread about a year ago, which was the first time I'd re-read the books since starting to read it. And I used to frequently go through the FAQ and WOT Encyclopaedia. But since leaving college I just seem to have less brainspace to devote to such things and it gets muddled (ie, my mixing up my LOTR Ages with WoT Ages, which is why I was thinking of the AoL as the First Age and the current Age as the Third Age...heh).

Anyway... I have the general cosmology down and the Wheel idea down, I just was wondering about some of the actual logistics and mechanics of the whole thing.

One thing I think is kind of interesting is that while Rand is Lews Therin reborn, Ishy and the other Forsaken were never actually reborn...they are just the same incarnations as they were in a previous age. Not sure if that has implications or not.
j p
103. sps49
@ 94 Freelancer- TMA!
(for the uninformed, Too Many Acronyms)

@102 Lisamarie-

Well, Ishy is offstage (at this point in tFoH) being reborn, DO style. I might be disappointed- out of 3 reincarnations of Forsaken, 1 is roughly equivalent to the prior body (Moridin), while the 'gars got an old dude body and a hot body of the other sex.

Rank-and-file DFs do not seem to get even this- Howal Gode didn't get his expected eternal life, and I haven't seen one who did. So far.
Chris Hall
104. bookwormchris
My guess would be that the laps were not all that long. They were probably only Wise One tents as most of the other societies moved into the city. Still 50 laps would probably be a lot of work (they didn't have shoes as I recall). Egwene still pushes when she can to learn beyond what her teachers think she should, but that is just classic Egwene. Which reminds me, I want to get the YA splits of the first two books for the additional info they seem to have in them. (Does the second TGH part have a new prologue?)

Still tired from reading over 100 posts in the previous re-read while waiting for this one to be posted earlier today. Of course this one goes up about 30 minutes after I give up looking and go read a book for class. Such is life, no? Waiting for the bloody virus scan to finish so I can close down the computer and go to bed.
Kurt Lorey
105. Shimrod
My own oversimplified generalization about gender with this chapter is that RJ was a pretty good observer of human behavior (IMO).

Women generally aren't "lone wolves". Think about the old joke about all the women in a party leaving a table for the ladies room at the same time.

Men generally are "lone wolves". Most men might think it odd if all the rest of the men at their table decided to visit the mens room at the same time.

Then, there is the reversal for those who identify with non-traditional gender roles.

As for Rand, cut the guy some slack over Aviendha. He doesn't have much experience with women, remember - country boy? He learns, but it isn't something boys are born with. Besides, Aviendha could have helped by sending out less conflicting signals. Unconciously, she is saying "I'm interested". Conciously, she's as grouchy as a bear with a sore tooth.

Elayne too, for that matter. Those two farewell letters. Letter one: Gush, mush, ooooooh. Letter two: Presumptious bumpkin! Swelled head. Don't touch me! Jeez. No wonder Rand's head spins. Bipolar.
106. RobSS
Sorry if somebody allready brought this up.
I didn't read all the posts.

As far as Aviendha sending out mixed signs. Did we find out why she got her "stripes?" What lies did she tell. Maybe that she doesn't or never will love Rand.
107. RobSS
Sorry guys.

I just found #78 that goes into it.
108. RobMRobM
@104 - the second Young Adult Book (To the Blight) does not have a new prologue but does have a revised/expanded glossary at the back. (Don't ask me what's in it; I don't recall.) Rob
James Jones
109. jamesedjones
105 Shimrod

Thanks for the analysis. When your main characters start commanding nations and/or armies, you tend to forget the simple experiences that they lack. The whole idea of a trio of 20 year old men understanding women and reading signs that we, as third person readers, see clearly (on the second or third or 20th reread) is quite laughable.
Richard Fife
110. R.Fife
Bookworm, the "new" prologues (Strike at Shayol Ghul and Ravens) are available on, iirc. Leigh linked them back when Rand went through the ancestron (I think, I know she linked to SaSG, and Ravens is on the same site). Not sure if the expanded glossaries are available as well.
John Massey
111. subwoofer
@alreadymadwhenIfoundoutthechocolatebarwasexlax &free- I like Minaviyne, although it does remind me of mini-me. And don't forget ENEMA. But as we are referring to the three furies, Minaviyne fits.

And yes, guys will be guys, but Mat seems to do fine with um, hooking up with random people, when he encounters Betse, she gives him a run for his money. Rand and his penchant for multiple women, he grows into it but still, grab the bull by the horns. What's the use of pussy footing around? The worst Aviendha could say is "no"... and then run a spear through him.
112. Garstzilla
Ok someone help me here. "A world with out shrimp” I know somewhere in a book I have read that before. Some plot where there was world traveling or dimension possibilities being described that phrase was used. Was it in the Cenotaph Road series or maybe in Zelanzy's Amber books. Leigh come on tell me or I may not be able to survive the day. Wait I have Google, Yes there it is; its a Buffy reference. Knew I knew that reference from somewhere; though I still have the feeling I had read it some where before.
Blake Engholm
113. UncrownedKing
@90 AlreadyMadWhenHeMixedAllergyMedicine&RedBull

How was he to know that ta'veren twisting would lead the Aes Sedai to the conclusion that if they did not swear to him then, he could render the White Tower impotent and irrelevant as the The Third Age closed.

It was more badassery that did it. The fact that he pwned the best reds in the land, once he broke free of the bond, made the Reds say "O shit! I think we forgot that he is LTT reincarnated and could replace our ass with our heads and vice versa before we could huff puff sniff and fold our arms." And I think that the WT went impotent and irrelevant as soon as the coup occured.

Love the name changes.

@90-something +
Love MAE, can't bring my mouth to form the syllables neccessary to say minaviyne....I'm still learning the ABC's

The main thing that I forget about Rands ladies are: Elayne is hormonal and unbalanced (hence the two letters contridicting one another), Min has never thought of herself as the girlfriend/wife type and is inexperienced (but significantly more stable), and Avi is like ... I dont know how to put Avi. She's like Amazon, growing up in a warrior society, thinking of nothing but defense/offense against enemies, and then one day realizing that she is ment to be something different/more and realizing that the opposite is attractive (hence the not knowing how to communicate her feelings in the least bit).
Note: it also doesn't help to know that you'll fall in love with a sheep herder and have no choice in the matter.

Ramble over!
John Massey
114. subwoofer
Wow! Almost glanced over that one. WT impotent- That many woman bossing countries around may not want to give up the power they have had for the last 3000 odd years. I am surprised Lanfear did not lead the Tower. They may be squabbling and going back and forth with re-uniting but impotent. I think countries are being quiet so as not to offend anyone- Eg does meet with a few rulers- memory bad here- I can't remember what was said but I think no one wants to get in the middle of a power struggle beyond them.

Once the Tower is reunited, they will get back to their old ways- or new ways if Eg teams up with Rand and Co and actually focuses on TG.
Blake Engholm
115. UncrownedKing
Egw meets with some large house leaders in PoD/WH while in Murandy. The househeads want to make sure they arn't invading Andor/Murandy and express how they want to stay out of the power struggle.

This is also where Egw picks up a huge amount of potentials. She makes the novice book and open enrollment thing when she says the new WT will not turn away any one that associates with the OP. Also, a hell of a way to recruit for the upcoming TG. Don't see Elaida recruiting.....dumb b!+ch
John Massey
116. subwoofer
ahhhh, that's right. Opening the book. Don't know if Elaida is dumb or just stuck on tradition. Older people seem to fall into familiar thought patterns. But yes, in a war of Power, it is wise to keep a low profile if you have no power.

TV will come to prominence in the next book as we see the outcome of the siege and maybe a big Seanchan thing with As fighting the leashed ones, some who are former AS. Especially with Eg being the one that has been leashed, I am sure she has strong feelings about it.
F Shelley
117. FSS
@105 and @113 - I once posted a defense of Elayne's 2 letters. Can't find it now, or I'd cut and paste it here, and don't want to retype the whole thing, but in short, remember that Rand and Elayne met in between those letters, and Rand acted releived (which Elayne took for happiness) when he learned (from her) she was leaving Tear and headed to the single most dangerous city in Randland at the time.

Of course, what she didn't know was that he had tried to make a dead child live again and blamed himself for her death because he stayed in the Stone for a few extra days just to see her a few more times.

Chalk up another victory for the don't-ever-tell-anyone-anything-useful-at-the-time-it-would-make-a-difference mindset.

Oh, I've been away for the last week (moving to FL, love it!), so here goes my stats: 35, married, one daughter, BS in PoliSci, working on MS in CompSci, PMP, USAFA grad.
118. SusanB
So much to comment on! Leigh, I love the idea of the women being a control group. All the women in the book that are close to Rand try to bring him down a peg. You don't mention it, but the maidens do it too. Treating him like a brother or a son when they are alone. As someone else already mentioned, I believe the ones who treat him like a son are the maidens who had children & gave them up.
Avi's lies...I don't think the "I hate you & always will" is a lie. I think that part of her does hate him. When she goes through the "rings" I believe she sees numerous versions of her future. I imagine in all of them she falls in love with Rand & follows him around. Whether or not he returns her feelings probably varies. I also believe in some of them he may marry her & not Elayne (there by incurring a great deal of toh on her part). Or she may have seen that the Aiel are totally destroyed unless she marries Rand. In this case I would think she only saw her marriage to Rand & not know his feelings (or hers) & probably did not see that Rand also marries Elayne & Min. Again incurring toh. All these things would make her hate him. She can love him & hate him. I think her lies must be something else. Like the flowers & bracelet.
Love Egwene's determination.
119. Kaboom
about the gender issue.

The way I see it, the best way to describe the gender issue in WoT is with the ancient Aes Sedai symbol. You can't get more different than black and white, but both are equal (shape and size) and most important complementary. That fits for the population in general as well as with the power.
Kevin Morgan
120. DrMorganstien
@119 Kaboom
While that is a very good point, the ladies and gentlemen (pun intended) of Randland have been operating in a different world for the past 3 thousand years or so. With the breaking and the following taint on saidin then men fucked up pretty bad. Since then women have had to be innately distrustful and at the same time protective of men, lest they break the world again.
121. alreadymadwithdumai'swellstalk
subwoofer @114
Absolutely true. And only few understand that unless they somehow connect themselves to the Dragon Reborn's agenda, they will indeed become irrelevant at the main event of the Third Age, probably for ever after. The main problem is up until that time, either side of the fractured Aes Sedai was trying to use Rand in order to legitimize their claim, with no regard for his goals. Dumai's Wells showed them the error of their ways. Ta'veren twisting also led them to make amends by swearing fealty, but skipped over the logical deduction that would explain (to them, primarily) why such an act was necessary.
Some did eventually realize why. And swore to him. Without ta'veren twisting and without Verin's trick.
Jason Deshaies
122. darxbane
I know this is a little late, but my point on post 36 was just an example. I am in no way racist, and it is interesting that people would so easily jump to that conclusion. Even so, the responses to my post actually helped my point by speaking of laws. Liberty is just another word for freedom. If you have absolute liberty, you are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want without consequence. Laws provide protection for individuals and society in general, and what's a synonym for protection? Security! Therefore, We have already given up some liberty for security. I feel Franklin's point was to always be mindful of restrictions of liberty. Some are vital to maintain society, others are veiled attempts at control, even tyranny.

The Aiel society is much more in-tune with nature than ours. They live by survival of the fittest, and the good of the many over the good of the one. We are able to bend nature to our will, which allows for a much more understanding society.
As for why they are such fantastic athletes; imagine a group of people, already with good genes, spending 2,000 years in an unforgivable environment where only the strongest and fittest survived to reproduce. The constant fighting culls out the weak even more, and you are left with a group of extremely fit people.
123. Kaboom
DrMorganstien @120

In terms of power, I agree that the symbol does not represent how the world is when the book started. But it was in the age in the legends and I believe that it will become so again by the end of the series. The in between part is an anomaly caused by the action of the DO on sadin, which will eventually be corrected (cleaning of sadin being only the beginning)
But for the population in general, what happened in the breaking is long forgotten and both male and female population have a complementary role just as represented by that symbol
124. SeanM
All of this discussion of Avi and her mindset made me think of something interesting (to me, anyway)- do we ever see why she falls in love with Rand?

I can sort of see it for the other 2 (it's not great, but..):
Elayne- "Hey, this interesting attractive person fell over my wall and let me take care of him! *swoon*"

Min- "You poor sheepherder, excitement and danger follow you everywhere, let me protect you from it."

For Avi, all I can see is "I saw the future and it says I'll fall in love with you. So I guess I will."

Am I missing something?
Alex Johns
125. almuric
MAE - at first I thought that referred to Moiraine, Aviendha, and Egwene, which was confusing. So the other thing might be better, but how do you pronounce 'iy'?

Running - The amount of talking the two girls do on their first lap led me to believe it was at least a mile. Perhaps they were running really slow to warm up, so half of a mile? Still, that adds up to a marathon or more. No way they did that amount of talking in a minute.

The Aiel and their running has always irked me. No mention is ever made of what happens to people who can't run anymore. I'm guessing minor injuries get fixed by the Wise Ones. But as much as they fight, I'd have to guess there's quite a few missing limbs. There just aren't that many healers around to fix everyone up instantly. What about pregnant women? How do they carry babies? And what about 5-year olds? Can't run far yet, too heavy to carry all day. Jordan just ignores the logistics, I guess. It's ok while reading, but when you sit down and chew it over, you realize there's a whole bunch of stuff that's skipped. Super-people indeed.

I don't think Avi was lying about the hate thing. I think she really does hate him right now, partly because she's rebelling against her destiny (not being a Maiden anymore), partly because she thinks she has an obligation to Elayne to keep Rand safe for her. One lie was definitely the flower thing. Perhaps the other one was a lie of omission. "I hate him, but I love him too." If she had lied about the hate, then that would have been a lie to a Wise One, which we can feel fairly certain wasn't the case, as Bair tells us: "It was her own affair, of course, so long as she did not lie to a Wise One, but she claimed her honor required that a toh must be met."

Burning dung - You have to dry it first. How's that accomplished? Is there an Aiel sect that carries bags around and collects animal dung? Sucks to be you. Maybe that's one of the gai'shain jobs. Ruminant dung is ok to burn. You wouldn't want to burn carnivore feces. Not enough heat energy in there to make it worth the effort, plus the smell would be overpowering. Still, how do they do that while moving an army? Other than Kadere's wagons, there's no mention of the Aiel having manure wagons. Seems like the One Power would be perfect to use for heating rocks. I'm not sure Jordan thought through the whole dung thing through.
126. Freelancer
RE: Aviendha falling for Rand

Given how she fought against becoming a Wise One, how she fought leaving the Maidens, there's no way she simply surrendered to "her destiny" with Rand. Show me a women who falls in love because she's been told she has no choice. I doubt such a creature exists, and certainly Jordan wouldn't have written one.

I say that it is in parallel with her fight against the vision from the Rings, that Aviendha comes to love Rand. She is stuck with him, which enrages her at first. But, the fact is, she learns that he wants what is best for her people, that he wants what is best for the world. She learns that, no matter how ignorant Rand is of her culture, he is trying very hard, against all odds, to do what is right, what will save as many people as possible, what will defeat Sightblinder. Also, there's the little tidbit that he is of her blood, and he's a decent guy after all.

The most recent wedding I attended told the story of how the couple came together, and it was a very familiar theme. They hated each other when they first met, until enough gatherings of mutual friends gave them a chance to see beyond the surface attributes that turned them off to each other, and they found things they liked about each other. Love blossomed in the time which followed.

Basically, trying to explain exactly why two people fall in love is never a simple formula. But I'm quite sure Aviendha chooses to love Rand, rather than succumbing to an undesired "destiny". At the point in "Far Snows", in the igloo where she admits she cannot fight any longer, she has already come to love him, but has continued to try and deny it out of her sense of obligation to Elayne. It is the denial which she finally releases, not the hate, which is long gone.
Kurt Lorey
127. Shimrod
Sometimes two people "hate" each other upon meeting because they automatically recognize the other person's less appealing traits.


Because they actually share those traits, and they recognize them more easily on an unconcious level.

Sometimes then, it turns out that they are quite a match (as friends, or perhaps more) because they are really a lot alike.
128. Freelancer

Humans are omnivores, and it would follow that the Aiel diet is far more vegetable than animal protein. Not that detailed discussions of nitro-humus as a cooking fuel is particularly savory, especially at lunchtime.

Yum. As to dung carts, they are never mentioned in the text, but it would be hard to imagine semi-nomadic trains which include blacksmiths and other support workers that didn't include such necessities. It just isn't germaine to the story to cover any more detail than Jordan already included. He's the Guinness Record holder for epic worldbuilding as it is. How big would these volumes have gotten?
129. Freelancer

Absolutely agreed, I could never have gotten along with someone too much like myself. YUCK!. My wife and I had such an easy time of getting together (and staying together) because we are just different enough in just the right ways, that we never had that disdain of recognizing in each other traits we subconsciously disliked in ourselves. Balanced, yin-yang, complementary, however it is said, it works out the best.

But Aviendha's reason(s) for disliking Rand aren't from that source. She's in the midst of fighting against a major life change already, being taken from her spear-sisters and told she must become a Wise One. Then, to learn from a source that cannot lie that this sword-wielding wetlander, the Dragon Reborn, is to be her future love, after she has promised to watch out for him in behalf of a friend-of-a-friend. What's to like in that? She hasn't had a chance to like or dislike Rand as a person yet, but chooses to hate him as the face of things she hasn't yet accepted.

After this, the analogy applies. They spend enough time together that she learns of the person, apart from the titles and destiny, and eventually finds that she loves him. Still she refuses to accept for a time.
130. alreadymadwithtalkofdung
SeanM @124
Tall. You forgot tall.

almuric @125
This is a desert we're talking about. Dung dries up pretty quickly.
Hugh Arai
131. HArai
almuric@125: On dung usage: Since a google search brings up several real-life nomadic tribes that do exactly that, it seems it is workable, although RJ doesn't explain how the Aiel are doing it.

As for the running/mobility: The pace described seems high to me, but they do use pack animals and carts for their supply trains. Also, the people we see running around are for the most part warriors and gai'shain. The pregnant women, children and so on are in the holds. Rand's father was pointed out as breaking the rules to bring Rand's mother along during the Aiel War. As for the injured, in raiding cultures, a common rule is that you stay with the column or you die. Considering how impressed the Aiel were when they first saw Nynaeve Heal, I expect the vast majority of Aiel warriors that receive a mobility-hampering wound die. And again, the real world examples the Aiel seem to be based on really were very mobile.

All that said, playing loosely with logistics is pretty common in fantasy and I can see why. Long descriptions of how the gai'shain go out every morning and collect dung don't make for a great story most of the time :)
Kathy Keith
132. Babokathy
How Come: how come the Aiel demand that the Wetlanders obey their strict customs (like the sweat tent and ji'e'toh) while in the Waste ("when in Rome, do as the Romans do"), but they are not going to be adhering to the Wetlanders' "weird" customs while they're West of the Dragonwall??? ("Into the river you go, Wise One, and bathe there! And use the soap, that's an order!")

On Rand giving those Segade flowers to Aviendha, I think those are one of the faves used by Melaine in her Bridal Wreath she lays at Bael's feet, isn't it? Someone of the characters at some point mentions that some Aiel men go so far as to give a woman flowers so she'll hurry up and make a wreath. I suppose Av must've thought Rand was pushing the flower thing just so.
Richard Fife
133. R.Fife
also, since they are basically cactus flowers, him giving them to implies a respect for her strength and independance and her prickly nature, same as the rose-bracelet with thornes, eh?
134. alreadymadwithpricklyflowers
I wouldn't go quite so far. She knows how ignorant of Aiel customs he is. I suppose she might have felt conflicted considering how it might mean with Aiel symbolism vis-a-vis how little he knows of Aiel symbolism. She probably thought of it as another gift borne of ignorance but with a potential to be blown out of proportion.
Richard Fife
135. R.Fife
I am sure she is rationalizing it as ignorance, but imagine if a stranger to our culture appeared, got into a similar relationship with a woman of our culture, then gave her lavender roses on a regular basis, not knowing the cultural context of lavender roses. The woman might rationally think "oh, he's ignorant, whatever", but on another level, provided she knows the meaning of the lavender roses, she will still see those flowers as the symbol they mean to her within her society (love at first sight). SO yeah, rational brain fights, but the deeper meaning can still impact.
Alice Arneson
136. Wetlandernw
almuric @125

The Aiel and their running has always irked me. No mention is ever made of what happens to people who can't run anymore...What about pregnant women? How do they carry babies? And what about 5-year olds? Can't run far yet, too heavy to carry all day. Jordan just ignores the logistics, I guess.

You're assuming that the whole culture runs everywhere all the time. Actually, the only ones you see running are the warrior societies, and occasionally the Wise Ones. The aforementioned people who can't run anymore, the pregnant women, the 5-year-olds are all in the holds where they live year-round. So no, Jordan didn't ignore the logisitics. He made perfectly good sense, where a large proportion of the people live in stable, fixed homes and generally the warriors are the only ones out and about all that much.
137. Freelancer
::dives in between before R.Fife twitches his shawl::

He is who he is. True, he didn't choose the segade knowingly, it was the only blooming flower he could find. But, being Who He Is, it was also the right selection, for the reasons R.Fife outlines in 133. And, as he says in 135, part of her will see them as meaning what they would mean if given by one raised in her culture.

This almost demands to be so, otherwise the scene where Egwene catches her with them has much less meaning. Aviendha is staring at the flowers, suggesting that she is either admiring them like any girl getting flowers, or else pondering how to react to them. Either way at least implies that she is considering some meaning to the flowers, and it would be very hard to leave out the known cultural meaning.
Brian Kaul
138. bkaul
TV will come to prominence in the next book as we see the outcome of the siege and maybe a big Seanchan thing with As fighting the leashed ones, some who are former AS. Especially with Eg being the one that has been leashed, I am sure she has strong feelings about it.

While there'll have to be a showdown between the White Tower and the Seanchan, I'm not sure about the prominence part. It's been a while since I've read the later books, but isn't it foreshadowed pretty heavily that the Seanchan will pretty much sack the tower? Even if the AS fight 'em off in the end, it's hard to see how Tar Valon would be very prominent in the inevitable aftermath of such a conflict: as likely, they'll be reduced to licking their wounds and rebuilding or else giving in and following Rand because they have nowhere else to go, anyway. Manipulating the nations would probably have to wait.
James Jones
139. jamesedjones
138 bkaul

Actually, it's from Elaida's foretelling. She says that the White Tower will be whole, whole and stronger than ever before.
140. TAmyrlinring1

Or, it could be the opening needed for Egwene to take control and build a stronger better tower with all those new recruits and those she has converted during her time in captivity in the tower. One does wonder if it will be the Seanchan that take down Elaida . . . or Egwene . . . or will Thom come back in time with Moiraine and avenge Owyn?

At any rate, I think that while the WT will be somewhat pulvarized that the phoenix will rise from the ashes and kick the cowbird out of her domain. Also, the BT will have to fall as well . . . will this somehow lead to a united bunch of guys and gals. Seem to have misplaced my copy of the Karaetheon Cycle . . .
141. jafco
@125. almuric

"...Burning dung - You have to dry it first. How's that accomplished? Is there an Aiel sect that carries bags around and collects animal dung? Sucks to be you. Maybe that's one of the gai'shain jobs. Ruminant dung is ok to burn...."

If you remember Kipling's "Kim" everybody burned dung throughout the book (only about 700 million people then, probably as many cows). The Waste, apparently, is a rain-shadow desert: very dry. We know they herd sheep and goats. Voila! Some fuel. Desert plants in areas like Nevada (another rain-shadow) are not rare, and they burn hot. The Aiel grow much corn and this more provides fuel (and oosquai!).

I have an issue with Jordan's world here. The Spine of the World seems to rival the Sierras at least, maybe even the Himalayas. It snows up there a lot, yet bars much moisture from reaching the Waste. So far so good.

However, all the rivers emanating from that snowpack seem to run west. In the Sierra or the Himalayas, there are some big rivers that flow into the rain-shadow regions (the Owens and the Truckee; the Brahmaputra). There should be some water, even if just ephemeral flash-flood streams, that pours into the Waste. Jordan makes the Waste (and its people) something special on account of its completely parched nature, but it ain't natural, is all I'm saying.
Helen Peters
142. Helen
Just a thought, the wise ones sending Cowinde to get Eg. I'd have thought that the wise ones would have stopped using the gai'shan who refused to put off the white at the end of their year and a day, as they're not 'playing ball' and making a mockery of ji’e’toh.

Also, as people have been speculating about Eg, WT and Seanchan.... If you shield a sul'dam can her damane still channel? If you shield and invert can the damane unravel it? Would this be an 'easy' way to defeat the Seanchan?

Now I'm off to bed as it's past midnight.
143. Latecomer
Hello again!

Thanks James/ R.Fife for the lies correction (way up there).

Reading some of these comments about Avi finding out only after Rhuidean - I am pretty sure she was behaving this way in Tear - particularly when they were leaving to go back to Rhuidean. So she's attracted to him from way back, and is angry at herself for it for several reasons, and takes it out on him as bad temper.

Re the flowers v/s culture thing - its very hard to ignore the import of something that is significant in your culture even if you know that the other involved party may not be aware of it. Didn't Mat and Tuon's relationship build in much the same way? His marriage declaration, his gift of the razor etc.
Imagine if someone you really liked, someone from another culture that was extremely physically demonstrative came up to you and hugged and kissed you. You KNOW they may not mean anything special but it would be so hard to keep your heart from going loopy-loop.

finally @141 - the geography of Randland isn't Natural - yeah, we know, those crazy male aes sedai messed it up good 3000 years ago.
Hugh Arai
144. HArai
jafco@141: There appears to have been a tremendous amount of water underground at Rhuidean. Though I agree is seems odd "nothing" goes east.Maybe due to the Breaking? That's what I'm curious about actually. There's talk of the Breaking changing the face of the World. I don't think we've seen anything able to do that from Rand, so how did all the presumably weaker male channelers do it? Earthquake ter'angreal?
John Massey
145. subwoofer
Does anyone else find it funny that from one post to the next we are talking about the siege of Tar Valon then the next words are "burning dung"?.
146. Latecomer
Subwoofer... re. dung

Someone up there was talking about the smell of carnivore dung and I could feel my face making 'ewww' expressions independently. I read somewhere that humans are quite strongly conditioned to associate faeces with negative emotions - so much so that putting food in the same aisle as kitty litter will cause people to avoid buying it.

And here we are happily discussing the various types of poo that can be used INSIDE a closed tent.. eeek!
147. CalaLily

What about his battle with Asmodean in Rhuidean? I'd say that was a pretty big example of mountain-moving, earthquake-inducing saidin usage, right there.

And they weren't even insane.

Plus, I think some of the strength has been bred out of humanity channeling-wise because the Aes Sedai have been culling the male channelers out of the population. All the Tower gets are the genetic anomalies, since I don't think we've yet seen an example of an Aes Sedai who has had children, or even wanted to have children.

For all intents and purposes, the "wilder" men are found and gentled, while those who can be taught but never actually channel live to pass the gene on to their children, which may or may not manifest and then gets passed on that way. Just imagine the daughter of a man who could channel marrying a man who could channel. Oi. Funfun genetics ahoy! Could explain how strong wielders like Narishma and Flinn can be found, though, in modern-day Randland. Or, like, it comes from their mothers.

Take the Windfinders. Taalon says that five successive generations of women in her family have the ability. We don't see anything like that west of the Spine of the World. we even know which parent passes on the gene for channeling? IS there a One Power gene? I mean, male pattern baldness is inherited from your mother... It'd be pretty cool if the ability to pass on the ability to channel was solely in a woman's genes, rather than a man's.
Lannis .
148. Lannis
@ subwoofer and Latecomer... re: dung

BAHAHAhahahahaha! While scrolling and reading through the posts, I just described to my husband the two basic threads of conversation (Avi & Rand and the segade blossoms, and then the dung).

Over the course of this reread, we've covered many topics... but I can honestly say I never expected to be holding a conversation about poo! ACK! :|
149. TAmyrlinring1
Helen @142--interesting thought about shielding the suldam to take out the damane. We learn later on that the leash is an involuntary link with the suldam controlling the flows, and if I remember right, in the link/ring that was formed in Salidar--without a leash of course--(LOC)Nynaeve tried to pull back from the link experimentally but could not since she didn't control it. So theoretically, your hypothesis might be possible unless shielding whoever controls the link/ring automatically breaks the link. I don't think we've seen anywhere where anyone linked has been shielded. So there is the "does a link break when the controller is shielded question", and then there is "just how does the link work?" question. The suldam or "controller" of a link/ring "controls" the flows, but does that mean in controlling that the flows are channeled through her/him? Or does it mean that there are all these separate flows of the one power that she/he must combine externally into a single flow? Someone else may recall something to give more of an idea on that one, but I thought of it from the descriptions when they use the Bowl of Winds as "opening" oneself through the other, just like an angreal. If that's the case--that the other person serves as a living angreal for the controller, then you have the same problem as with shielding the damane--strength. Any thoughts?
150. Freelancer

Egwene's dream about the Tower being attacked by air includes small droplets of flame being thrown off and extinguished from the main flame (sisters will die), but the imagery doesn't quite suggest large-scale destruction of the Tower. I think Egwene's presence, and some unforeseen variables will help them largely survive the attack.

RE: Elaida's foretelling of the tower whole and stronger than ever

We know by now that everything Elaida foretells comes to pass, and that her interpretation of how is as close to 180 out as humanly possible. She thinks that it is her who guides the "stronger than ever" whole Tower, so we can be dead sure it won't be. Any guesses? Yes, you, the "ooh-ooh" girl in the front row. That's right, Egwene.


The landscape changes were explained as a result of wholesale, unrestrained use of balefire.
Richard Fife
151. R.Fife
@TAmyrlinring1: My understanding of linking:

It is impossible to shield just one person inside a circle, you have to shield all or none, which is part of the strength of 13 women linked vs a man.

Also, from the description of the Bowl of the Winds, the Cleansing, and the healing of Mat, I think that whoever is leading the circle gets all the saidar/saidin drawn in from the members of the circle as a giant pool to do with as they wish, so there is only one conscience guiding flows as normal, and no need to orchestrate or even differentiate where the power is coming from (aside from the diff of Saidar and Saidin in multi-gender circles)

Just what feel the text is saying.
152. alreadymadwithtalkofthebreaking
Tamyrlinring1 @149
You could just break the silver cord that links them. Or shield the damane. Even if it were the suldam that directs the targets and weaves, the power still comes from the damane.

Freelancer @150
Where was that explicitly stated?

I thought the mad men at the end of the AoL were simply carrying angreal and sa'angreal. After all, what sane channeler would not go to a major battle such as the raid on Shayol Ghul without bringing the most powerful force multiplier he had? When they went nuts, they Travelled in several different directions still carrying the "hardware". That's why stopping them took three hundred years. They did not all go insane at once, some stayed sane long enough to fashion the EoTW. Some stayed sane long enough to get to steddings. Yet major damage was still done. I think they just couldn't stop those who went mad first because of the angreal/sa'angreal they carried. That's why the women couldn't stop the likes of Jaric and Heindar even with their own sa'angreal and the possibility of linking. Lews Therin's One Hundred companions were not only the first to go mad. They were also the most powerful males of the time, fully in the prime of their strength unlike Rand at this time, and I theorize, loaded with angreal and sa'angreal.
John Massey
153. subwoofer
@TAmyrlinring1 & Helen- Theory has potential.
The wearer of the bracelet (who must at least be able to learn to channel, or she can't use it) can feel the emotional state of the woman in the collar, can cause her pain or pleasure just by willing it, and can completely control her access to the Source. If she wishes, she can channel, with the damane being nothing more than a conduit.

- WoT wiki

If you shield the sul'dam, it's not like the damane can do anything. They(the damane) cannot pass the leash around and unless there is two sul'dam to every damane it could make them immobile. hmmmmmmmmm... will ponder this some more...
154. TAmyrlinring1

Do you know of anywhere (generalized, I'm not expecting a quote or anything here)where they do talk about linking and the need to shield all in order to take out the ring? I'm not feeling ambitious enough to pull out all the books to look at all of those scenes, but Helen's comment @142 does have me thinking now. I think the ring's potency is the added strength, not that it protects anyone from being shielded separately, and Helen's question dealt with suldam/damane--so, if you shielded the suldam, you've effectively cut off the ring because the damane can't channel on her own while wearing the leash, but since the suldam has access to the damane's strength, the question is academic since it would be equivalent to having to shield the damane (I think anyway), but for a ring, if you *could* attack the ring's separate members thereby reducing the strength of the ring little by little, that might be a good tactic. Or, if by shielding the controller of the ring you can break up the ring (because then who has control over the flows?), then you've at least temporarily helped your cause until they link again and you're back to square one. Just thinking . . .
155. TAmyrlinring1
Subwoofer @153

You got a post in while I was thinking through question/response to RFife . . . I think we're at least on the same train on that thought ;D


I have to disagree with you on breaking the cord on the leash--Elayne's terangreal that the SG's used on Mogh didn't have the leash and didn't even require really close proximity and was based on the leash, so in all likelyhood, the "leash" part of the Seanchan terangreal isn't necessary either, just the bracelet and the collar/necklace.

I agree with you that the madmen probably were packing heat so to speak, which, if some of them like LTT channeled themselves out of existence, could explain why we haven't seen more male sa'angreal and angreal. But then again, maybe Rand just hasn't run across them yet and the female AS just can't recognize them for what they are being, well, female.
156. alreadymadwithbreakingthering
Tamyrlinring1 @154
I think the main issue with shielding linked sisters is that you are essentially dealing with their combined strength. So just to break the ring, you have to be strong enough to shield the entire ring, which basically amounts to shielding each sister individually, anyway.
This makes it easier with suldam and damane since the only strength active here is the damane's. With Aes Sedai though, it's an entirely different ballgame.
I'll agree, we don't have enough input to say how breaking the cord would work out. Elayne was the one who figured out that she could make it work without the cord, and her a'dam are thus constructed without it. Who's to say the a'dam the Seanchan use are constructed in an exactly similar fashion? Whoever originally created the a'dam obviously thought the cord necessary, and it was Elayne looking through it from a different perspective who realized she could do it without the cord.
sandi vogel
157. sinfulcashew
"Take the Windfinders. Taalon says that five successive generations of women in her family have the ability. We don't see anything like that west of the Spine of the World."

I think that they just didn't keep records of the passing of the ability.
As it wasn't necessarily a 'good' thing. You were either whisked off to Tar Valon or you pretended you didn't know anything. And it seems alot of them didn't understand what was going on when they started using the Power.

Dung, Scat, Poo, what other words can we think of that are names for the various animal leavings.
Richard Fife
158. R.Fife

I for the life of me cannot remember where, some large block of exposition, perhaps from an Aes Sedai, but I'd swear there is a jot somewhere that says if that you can't just cut off one part of the circle, you have to shield them all or nothing, and it gets treated like you are shielding one person who is channeling the strength of the circle.

That being said, I'm not entirely sure of how shielding a damane/suldam would work. After all, the Suldam don't even really hold the power, so they would add no additional hinderance to shielding the damane, and the SGs have shielded a linked Damane before, haven't they? Seems like it, but again, brain is farting.
159. alreadymadwithmoretalkofdung
stool, waste, feces, droppings, guano(exclusive for bats) come to mind
Sara H
160. LadyBelaine
to everyone who questions the.. uh... vitality of Aiel culture as it exists in the arid sere, inhospitable Waste...

Don't forget that they are NOT natural - they have the added help of the Wise Ones and their supernatural abilities to find sources of water.... and presumably they found their settlements around them. And when the sept grows too large, or the water source dries up, they use NEED and move on.

Then again, I am reminded of this from a parody from rasfwrj:

"Elayne sighed. Her Aiel-born First Sister went on at great lengths that her people subsisted on cactus needles and sand, and were able support
hundreds of thousands of warriors in the field with no supply trains. Alas, when the Creator made the Aiel, he bent the rules of human physiology so far as to break them into all implausibility. Aviendha also liked to mention that her fellow Aiel could run as far as a horse, and kick a mounted warrior out of the saddle, and even lay siege to fortified wall cities without engines or trebuchets, which Elayne knew from her study of military science and tactics to be impossible, and well, just stupid."
161. TAmyrlinring1
Alreadymad @156

Don't know if I made it clear, but I agree that I think the thing with a ring is the amount of power you're dealing with. RFife says he thinks that somewhere it says that you have to shield all or none, so I'll have to be watching for that on my addictive re-reads.

As for the leash--the AS who originally made the first . . . I think her name was Deane or Deana (not really sure, reaching into the fog for that one) went and got herself collared (that I do remember), so I'm not going to call someone that came up with a weapon that could be used on herself that way the brightest bulb ;D I am making a leaping judgment that if Elayne who is just figuring out how to make terangreal can look at that leash and make it without the connecting portion, then it's likely that it wasn't needed in the first place. But then Elayne is an SG, so who knows . . . unless the Creator snuck that information in there somewhere.
Jay Dauro
162. J.Dauro
TAmyrlinring1@155 In TFoH Chapter 33 Elayne says

I don't really believe there is any need for the leash. The collar and bracelet would work as well without it, and in just the same ways.

So I think you could cut it with no effect.
163. TAmyrlinring1
JDauro @162

So he did sneak the information in :-)
164. alreadymadwithcraftingadam
TAmyrlinring1 @163 and JDauro @162
Yes but this POV is from Elayne. Who's looking at the problem from a fresh set of eyes. From what she could see, it was obvious that she could make it work without the cord. That is not the same as saying the Seanchan would be able to see things the same way as she. Hers is a new perspective different from the Seanchan's.
165. TAmyrlinring1

But it's an objective observation, not a subjective one, like "this would be just as pretty if it were gold, not silver". That's subjective, but if she said, this would work using gold instead of silver," that's an objective hypothesis that can be tested, just like her objective hypothesis that the leash terangreal would work without the connecting portion of the leash. She tested her hypothesis by making the leash without the connecting portion, and it worked, ergo, that part of the leash was not necessary, so cutting the unnecessary part would not be likely to break a link between the damane and suldam (as happy a thought as that would be for those facing the suldam/damane combo) . . . unless you have some objective rationale? How the Seanchan "view" it is beside the point--its whether slicing that leash accomplishes anything in severing the link, and it looks (from what little we have to go on) that it would not sever it--unlike the removing of the collar or bracelet portions of the leash. So, my suggestion to you channelers facing suldam/damane is to go for the bracelet or collar :-)
166. Valan
Oh My God thats 5 whole comments and no one mentioned shite. My faith in humanity is restored.

The leash doesn't actually do anything with the Power. Its entire purpose, in my opinion, is to invoke further humiliation of the collared, leaving no question of who is property.
Michael Johnson
167. twosheddz
I'll weigh in on the analogy @165. Many of you probably don't remember, but VCR's and such used to have wired, (yes wired!) remotes. Some smart guy or gal looked at it and thought, "I could make one work without the wire with a little IR." And so wireless remotes were born. That doesn't mean that everyone with wired remotes could snip their wires and expect them to work. The Seanchan leashes may only work with the connections because they weren't constructed with Elayne's version of Bluetooth.
Jay Dauro
168. J.Dauro

I have to think our expert is Elayne. She doesn't say "I can make one of these without a leash."

She says "I don't really believe there is any need for the leash. The collar and bracelet would work as well without it, and in just the same ways."

To me, that says that this one does not need the leash
Jay Dauro
169. J.Dauro

One of the few times we see shielding a circle is LOC 10, when Rand shields Verin and Alanna, they have linked just after Alanna has bonded Rand.

Weaving his own shields, he slammed them into place.

This seems to imply that it takes a shield on each channeler, and that shielding them breaks the circle. But it doesn't tell us anything about what a single shield will do.

I can't think of anyplace else where we see a shield being applied to a circle.
170. alreadymadwhenadamwerecopied
Precisely. This is Elayne we're talking about. I doubt she even understands the word objective. Her own POV makes it obvious to her that she can make it work without the cord. We have no proof the Seanchan see things the same way, or that they have even tried, let alone make it work. And how the Seanchan view it is extremely important seeing as they're the ones mass-producing the darned things.
Besides, RJ is constantly putting up the girls as making innovations that revolutionize how things are done. I wouldn't put it past him to set her up to improving upon a Seanchan design. Said improvement being the wireless capability.
171. alreadymadwithcounterfeitadam
J.Dauro @169
There is one instance where Rand faced off with linked sisters, also in LOC. After Demira was stabbed, and the Aes Sedai appeared at the palace in force. Rand's POV specifically states that he would have had to weave a shield for each sister. That it would tax his strength but should be doable. Fortunately he found another option in slicing the weave instead.

As for Elayne making ter'angreal. She knows nothing of the Seanchan process for making it. All she knows is what she puzzled out from studying it and attempting to reverse engineer it. That lead her to conclude that she could copy it without the cord. That's not the same as saying the Seanchan necessarily designed theirs to work without the cord.
Kathy Keith
172. Babokathy
I don't remember anyone of the Seanchan persuasion saying to anyone in the books just who back in the homeland is "aes sedai" enough to be making all the a'dams that are being used. Any thoughts out there? I thought that all of their channelers back home were collared as damane!
Julian Augustus
173. Alisonwonderland
"Minaviyne looks like some weird combination of Miniver and Ivaine. Or alternately, a four wheeled vehicle."

I concur. Horrible to look and terrible to try and pronounce. MAE seems cool. But if we have to use a longer name, why not the more pronounceable MinElAvi, which someone proposed earlier?
174. Valan

The damane make the a'dam. I recall an instance of a sul'dam being ecstatic because someone-or-other had the ability to make them.

The Aes Sedai that originally came up with the idea was eventually decently collared, meaning they would have no trouble forcing her to teach her secret.
Kevin Morgan
175. DrMorganstien
I assume damane make the collars and leashes. When Egwene is captured in TGH they state that she will be more valued for her non-battle uses (specifically the ore finding). So it stands to reason that they have the specifically Talented girls do things in their area, and it appears to me that making of *angreal is a Talent, partly because of the fact that none of the forsaken or Lews Therin POVs have mentioned the making of such things.

EDIT: well played, Valan
you have made a powerful enemy this day!
sorry, I just like to say that
176. alreadymadwithtalkofadam
Babokathy @172
Damane are tested for all sorts of Talents. Egwene herself in her short stint was tested for the Talent of Delving for ores. Some have the Talent for making ter'angreal and these make the a'dam.
Joseph Blaidd
177. SteelBlaidd
Umm Nyneve discovered that the A'dam works without the cord when she makes it disappear in T'A'R so Rand won't realize she has a forsaken on a leash after he destroys Rahvin.
Alice Arneson
178. Wetlandernw
Re: shielding someone in a circle, I finally found the quote I was looking for.
It isn't possible to shield one person out of a circle since, in effect, the circle has become a single person for the purpose of channeling. You would have to shield the entire circle, which would require either a circle of your own or a pretty hefty sa'angreal.
It's RJ answering the "week 8 Tor question." Can't find anything about shielding damane/suldam.
Kathy Keith
179. Babokathy
alreadymadasamarchhare 176

Huh? I thought the damane can't even stand to touch their own a'dam while wearing it; so I just sort of surmised that while wearing one, a damane wouldn't feel too hot touching a new one. Schmaybe they had a "closet" damane make them.
180. alreadymadwithreinventingadam
SteelBlaidd @177
You mean her version of a'dam in TAR works without the cord. Not really surprising considering how mutable TAR is. I'm pretty sure it was after Elayne said it could work without the cord though. So she's still going by Elayne's input.

Wetlandernw @178
Since a suldam and damane linked by a'dam is also essentially in a circle, same rules would apply. Only the one doing the shielding has to be strong enough to shield only one.

Babokathy @179
Damane can't touch their own collars because that could potentially lead to their trying to free themselves. That's different from making new ones for others to wear.
181. Kung-Fu Chicken
re 125 we see when Faile is captured that the elderly the young and the sick ride with the supply trains
the ones who do most of the running are the algai'di'swai and wise ones who have to keep up.

Avi loves Rand because he is an Aiel who is a great warrior (like her) and his strength i.e. his never healing wound, his weapon and hand to hand trainning which she watches and that hes so different from her own culture and her wanting to show him her way and learn his
182. Kung-Fu Chicken
re 141 no rivers to the dry land

those rivers do flow into the waste but they go underground before hitting the desert plane thats where Rand draws the water up from. A large underground aquifer {not exactly the right word} that is filled by a convergence of rivers think of Carlsbad Caverns )insert your own massive cave system( which has waterfilled caverns that are sometimes immeasurably deep. Answers why the Jenn Aiel built Rhuidan where they did. I mean they didnt just stand and say "Lets build our city by that cactus" "No i think that cactus over there is a much better place to build"
183. birgit
If the sul'dam lead the circle, why to the Talents of the damane matter? Shouldn't it be the Talents of the sul'dam that are relevant for what they can do?
184. TAmyrlinring1

Thanks for the reference to the Alanna & Verin faceoff with Rand. I'll have to go find that one now.


To take a look at your analogy of wired vs. bluetooth. Developing completely new technology is hard. Elayne had just begun thinking that she could make terangreal which, yes, someone referred to as a Talent, big T. So, yes, she has some affinity for it, but is just starting out. If you just start out making things, you generally (I will say generally because it is a SG)copy what is there, so I believe Elayne would copy what was there, but leave out a part just to see if it would work--if it didn't work without it, you add it in, no big deal. But, if you are completely restructuring everything for "bluetooth," and you are not a "VCR" tech and bluetooth hasn't been invented, then why would you think it would work at all, and how the heck would you be coming up with bluetooth when you are just beginning to understand what makes the pretty picture? I'm not saying Elayne can't come up with bluetooth, I'm saying she's not going to come up with it on a very early try.

Already mad @171
You are persistent aren't you ;-) My point is that unlike TAR or the void space where they skim, the "real" world is not mutable, so the Seanchen or Elayne's "POV" doesn't matter. As you do point out in response to someone's comment about Nynaeve, hers works in TAR, so that *is* dependent on her POV. But back in Salidar, Elayne doesn't have that luxury. What she does have is a trapped Forsaken that needs dealt with and a model to go by (the leash), so she does reverse engineer the leash--she copies it, but *does* improve it (her bluetooth addition, I guess) because she leaves out the decorative, nonfunctional accessory--the leash portion. I do remember a mention that she had found in the reverse engineer that the thing was based on "exactly identical matrices". So very likely, and none of us can definitively say, but very likely the connecting portion of the leash was unnecessary in the Seanchan design as well since Elayne was copying their design, but simply left out the piece she believe it would work without. I think it much more likely that the Seanchan design having the connecting piece was a psychological tool to dominate the damane.

Valan @174

Yes, thanks, Valan. The "original" leash was made by an AS who ended up collared by it for her efforts. She taught the Seanchen how to make them, and yes, the damane do make them, but it's only so much silver unless it's attached to your neck and you can channel, so the damane touching the ones not on their own neck is no big deal.
Eugenie Delaney
185. EmpressMaude
birgit@183 asks:

If the sul'dam lead the circle, why to the Talents of the damane matter? Shouldn't it be the Talents of the sul'dam that are relevant for what they can do?

That's a good question, and I never understood how this works; I can only assume that it has something to do with the addititive nature of a link - basically, the Talents of any of the link-members are accesible to any of the other link members, and the sul'dam (in a damane-sul'dam linkage) essentially "pilots" the damane and her skills...

I would also assume this only works in "voluntary" Talents, like Healing or Ter'Angrealing(sic) - Fortelling is involuntary, and I have no idea how Tuon was able to trigger Lidya into Fortelling on demand... (then again, Nicola started spontaneously Fortelling when she was linked, so who knows... maybe just linking with a Fortelling damane, in the case putting on the bracelet and 'completing the link' "turns the Fortelling on" - or perhaps Tuon can "pilot" Lidya into accessing her Fortelling and making her Fortell? Who knows?)
John Massey
186. subwoofer
I think we are getting a few ideas confused here. Shielding a circle is another topic as compared to shielding damane/ sul'dam. IIRC the problem the Atha'an Miere had with shielding them is that they shielded the damane. They saw these leashed people hurling fire balls at them and tried to stop it.

What is proposed is placing a shield on the other side, the sul'dam. Regardless of whether or not there is an actual physical link between the two, the link to saidar should be broken. The damane is just a conduit, they do not initiate tapping the power and as I have mentioned, the sul'dam have to have the ability to channel otherwise the leash is useless. Shielding them should render the damane helpless.
187. TAmyrlinring1

Interesting, but it does still leave an opening. If slamming a shield on Alanna who's controlling the link would break her off the ring (effectively breaking the ring for a link of two), then he still has Verin there able to channel at him after the link has been broken, so it is possible that he readies shields, plural, because he is dealing with all of the threat, two channelers separately, and not just the immediate ring of two. My whole thought line raised by Helen was whether in slamming a shield on the one controlling the flows is whether he has to be able to shield the entire power of the ring on that one person--instead of wrestling with a kitty cat, he's wrestling with a super tiger to get the shield on her kind of thing. If that's the case, then is the power he's overcoming to shield each member of the ring, individually, a cat or a tiger at each individual point? If it is just the level of each channeler, then the *only* point of the ring is whatever magnified weave that the controller of the link ring is hurling at, say, Rand, and *not* that the ring is actually protecting each member by virtue of the link itself. And, if they're not receiving extra protection by virtue of being linked, then you can just pick off members of the link individually. Thoughts?
Richard Fife
188. R.Fife
@185 Makes sense. That's the reason they had so many Windfinders in the Bowl circle, even though there might have been more powerful Kinswomen available. They wanted people in particular strong with weather.
Eugenie Delaney
189. EmpressMaude
Valan, JDauro,

I would tend to agree that the addition of the leash to the a'dam is actually just for psychological effect, to help train/condition/brainwash/mindfsck the damane that they are leashed animals, plus it also places upon them a fetter - they can't wander around if their bracelet is on a peg and their wanderings would cause it to move. It physically confines them and limits them in a way that Moghedien's leash-free a'dam did not...

She was free to roam around Salidar, but was unable to flee, due to some psychological component. Her limitations were probably something like a prohibition against thinking of trying to flee, or actually trying to run away (I guess). For example, if someone took the bracelet and ran away with it, I'd wager that Moghedien's psychological constraints (the nauseau, etc..) wouldn't be activated because it wasn't her thoughts or actions that caused the seperation between the necklace and the collar.
190. TAmyrlinring1
subwoofer @186

No, I don't think we're confused in making a comparison. The suldam/damane link via the leash *is* an involuntary ring, so everything that applies to a regular ring applies here except that to form a regular ring you have to willingly place yourself on the edge and allow the other person to draw saidar/saidin through you just like with an angreal (as they described when they were showing the Atha'an Miere how to do so before using the bowl of winds).

So . . . if it makes a difference who you're shielding on the suldam/damane ring, it should also make a difference on the voluntary ring. If shielding the damane doesn't work because the damane didn't have control of the flow, then shielding a mere member of a voluntary ring shouldn't break it either--you'd need to shield the one controlling the flows. Which leads me right back into the morass ;-) I may not have paid enough attention on the AM/Seanchan confrontations--was there a place where they said they shielded the damane and the channeling continued? If so, we should have at least a partial answer . . . you would have to shield whoever is controlling the flows to break the ring, voluntary or involuntary. But, as with my comment @187, if you just shield one then you have the rest of the members of the ring *individually* ready to throw a fireball/lightning/balefire in your direction, so maybe the shielding of the whole ring is just to prevent that?
Richard Fife
191. R.Fife
Tam: Quoting Wetlander back at 178 here:
Re: shielding someone in a circle, I finally found the quote I was looking for.

It isn't possible to shield one person out of a circle since, in effect, the circle has become a single person for the purpose of channeling. You would have to shield the entire circle, which would require either a circle of your own or a pretty hefty sa'angreal.

It's RJ answering the "week 8 Tor question." Can't find anything about shielding damane/suldam.

So, the argument over shielding an individual member of a circle seems somewhat moot, and it also seems to imply that both Damane and Suldam need shielded, although, as I mentioned earlier, it might not be much more than just shielding the damane strength wise as the suldam is contributing zilch power to the link.
192. TAmyrlinring1
Empress @189

Good point. You gave me a brief "uh oh" there when you started to discuss moving the leash--because I hadn't thought out that part yet :-), but you dealt with that. For the damane to move the Seanchan leash she has to move the suldam's bracelet portion too. I imagine that is the no-no. Having anyone else touching/moving that part wouldn't hurt the damane. But, you're right there has to be some built in direction that the damane can't take off running because you now don't have moving the bracelet portion to contain them.

My goodness but didn't Elayne complicate things for us there!
193. TAmyrlinring1
RFife @191

Aha! Thanks--I missed that post somehow. I'll accept that, but there have been posts that the AM shielded the damane and still had problems. If that was in the books (I don't remember it myself, but I'm not going to say it isn't in there without looking because I have been wrong before!), then what gives? We know the S/D link is a circle, so that shouldn't be possible. If it's not in the books, then yeah, that's moot.

So, given this quote, the rest of the ring (not the controller) are basically living angreal for the controller, so that the OP would flow through them and into the controller who then makes the weave. I would wonder though why shielding the controller wouldn't break up the circle temporarily or at least break them off. Granted, that sa'angreal would be necessary to overcome that much OP, but I still think it's viable, but only at the point of the controller. Maybe LTT will discuss the mechanics of it in depth for us later on . . .
194. alreadymadwithlinkingtalk
Elayne giving us problems. What else is new?

IIRC even without the silver cord, Moggy still had to stay within a certain distance from the bracelet. And that is what kept her in Salidar.

During Rand and Aviendha's wild(sic) Seanchan field trip, they did encounter suldam and damane. IIRC Rand had Aviendha shield only the damane. That seems to have worked.

The main problem with the damane/suldam circle is that only the damane can actually output the Power. The suldam has no channeling ability per se, despite being "trainable". Furthermore, the link isn't facilitated by either one, but by an artificial device. So you could shield the damane, and by standard linking rules it would be close to the strength needed to shield the damane, the only contributor of strength in the Power within the circle. But the circle itself, being facilitated by artificial means, would still exist and the damane would still be under the suldam's control and still able to channel.

To shield standard circles you would need to be strong enough to shield the linked strength of the circle. It would not be very far from being able to shield all participants in the circle anyway and just shielding the circle while enough to theoretically break the circle, would just leave the other participants in the former circle still able to channel. So you might as well shield them individually while you're at it.
195. Kaboom
I see the damane/suldam case quite different than a circle of willing participant.

The adam works only on people who can channel or learn to channel. These people are born with their brain wired differently (genetic component of channeling) which as a side effect allow the adam to work.
The way I understansd the adam, it is not just controlling channeling, but to control every aspect of the damane, including her perceptions (ie pain) and actions (channeling the power).
The suldam (at least in the beginning) know nothing about channeling, but they can in effect control the damane in the manner that they are not allowed to channel unless given permission. They do not in fact channel themselves has Nynaeve does with Moghedien. They are not aware that they can do so. They only psychologically prevent or allow the damane to do so. The damane are trained to do stuff with the power, according with their ability, strenght and Talents.

So in this case, I think that shielding the suldam would have no effect whatsoever. They would still be able to "allow" the damane though the adam to channel, and they would do exactly has they have been trained to do.
196. TAmyrlinring1
alreadymad @194

Getting a little dizzy in this circle . . .

I think I'm going to have to reread that section, again. I can't recall if Aviendha only shielded the damane or both the damane and the suldam.

Have to get some work done now though. Will see where this discussion is at later.
197. dwndrgn
RE this post: That being said, I'm not entirely sure of how shielding a damane/suldam would work. After all, the Suldam don't even really hold the power, so they would add no additional hinderance to shielding the damane, and the SGs have shielded a linked Damane before, haven't they? Seems like it, but again, brain is farting.

Doesn't Rand and/or Avienda shield a damane/sul'dam in the Far Snows? Where Rand ends up with the piece of spear?
James Jones
198. jamesedjones
197 dwndrgn

A "piece of spear"? Is that what they're calling it nowadays? :P
Eugenie Delaney
199. EmpressMaude
Here's a query regarding the sul'dam/damane link (aka "involuntary rings").

We have been told that when channeling woman link, they are stronger than each individually, but not as strong as if they had simply added their strengths together. There appears to be some loss of power in the combination.

So when a sul'dam links with a damane, is the damane actually weaker in the link than she would be by herself? I seem recall Moghedien telling Nynaeve that when she (through Moghedien) zorched Rahvin, Nynaeve "contributed nothing" and Moghedien's own not inconsiderable strength was being dampened....

Can anyone find that quote?

Edit: according to the handy-dandy Ideal Seek search engine, it is tFoH, Chapter 55: - can someone with the books to hand look it up, please?
John Massey
200. subwoofer
TAmyrlinring1 187- am thinking giant rocks at a distance hurled from a catapult or arrows for picking off members of a circle. That is supposedly why warders are around- to protect the AS from harm in their immediate vicinity.
Michael Catapano
201. hoping
In the post igloo shielding event in Seandar, Rand tells Avi to shield the two damane. She tells him that the other two (suldam) can channel as well, altho weakly, so she will shield all four, just in case.
So they didn't know what would work. Doesn't help the discussion here unfortunately.
202. alreadymadwithtalkingincircles
I'd have to read that again. I don't really recall her saying that it was the link that was reducing her strength. What I do recall her saying was that their sleeping their way into TAR meant they would not be able to channel as strongly as if they Travelled there like Rand and Rahvin did.
I'm inclined to agree there would be a loss in channeling strength, but not enough to be sure, though.
Thanks for clearing that out, hoping.
203. dwndrgn
@198 jamesedjones

@201 hoping
Well shoot, thought I was being helpful. The last time I read that scene, I interpreted it as she was shielding all four individually - as in she shielded the first two and then the other two - which to me meant that even though they were linked she could shield one part of that link. Now I see it as just my own particular interpretation. C'est la vie.
James Jones
204. jamesedjones
203 dwndrgn

Don't they call it the "Dragon Scepter"?

Wait, what were you thinking?
Jason Deshaies
205. darxbane
The A'dam link is different from a real link (the cord is just decoration, deal with it). While it does require someone with the ability to channel to control the link, the controller does not need to be embracing the Source in order to control the A'dam. Nynaeve proves this repeatedly, as others have said. Shielding the Sul'dam will not help because they are not actually holding the Power to begin with. That would also mean that shielding the collared channeler would be enough to stop them. I don't think the leash decreases their ability, at least not noticably. Moggy's reduced ability was the result of dreaming into TAR instead of being there in the flesh (just read this the other day). I think RJ also answered this question. I swear I remember him saying that part of the Channeler's ability was used to create the link. In the casd of the A'dam, it provides the link, so the power is conserved. That leaves an interesting question: if a Ter'Angreal was made that created an equal link, would the full power of both channelers be available to whoever controlled the link?
Helen Peters
206. Helen
I started something there last night didn't I?

Thanks for all your theories.

But thinking about it, severing the cord would probably work, because the suldam and damane think they need it to work, psychosomatic type stuff. On the same note, can you sever the flows that are being channeled to form the circle, is that what Rand did (alreadymad @171)

I'm off to find the new post.
Helen Peters
207. Helen
Can't find the new post, is it up yet?

The wotmania daily poll is who kills Asmo. He he he
208. alreadymadwithmirrorofmists
Helen @206
Severing(I assume you mean slicing) the flows that form the circle would take as much strength as breaking it and shielding the individual sisters. Rand had the option to do that but decided there was no way he could control his strength at that level and the sisters might end up testing(and overcoming) the full limit of his strength. Something he was not ready for.
What he did instead was slice the illusion the linked sisters were weaving. The Aes Sedai were weaving a weave that LTT(and Asmo) called Mirror of Mists or Illusion. He had already seen Moiraine weave something like this in EoTW. Apparently LTT thought the weave so simple he actually laughed at the idea of trying to intimidate him with it. Lanfear had already told him early in the Stone of Tear that you did not need to see the weave to slice it, only know where it was. And since the illusion was extremely visible, he knew exactly where to strike.
Once the weave had been sliced they rebounded back on the linked sisters. This, combined with the thought that the Dragon Reborn was not only not intimidated but also apparently skilled enough to slice a weave he was not supposed to see, caused the shocked faces.
Ofer Nave
209. odigity
SteelBlaidd@177: Umm Nyneve discovered that the A'dam works without the cord when she makes it disappear in T'A'R so Rand won't realize she has a forsaken on a leash after he destroys Rahvin.

Wait. That happens at the end of the very same book we've just started. Which means between now and then, we're going to have to get through Valan Luca, the Shienarans, Galad, Masema, Salidar, etc.


Lannis@148: Over the course of this reread, we've covered many topics... but I can honestly say I never expected to be holding a conversation about poo! ACK!

I can't see or hear the word poo anymore without thinking about Fred and George Weasley's great escape.
210. Gambit
OK off topic Noal Charin is Demandred, they both in their descriptions have hooked noses... discuss.
211. RobMRobM
Free @92. I usually like the way you think but Minaviyne doesn't work for me - hard to pronouce and it gives reflects too little of Elayne.

I'd vote instead for Elmindha - easier to say and so close to Min's real name (Elmindreda) as to be almost an inside RJ joke.

Alternatively, we could go for the Brittany Spears-approved contraction AME (as in her current song and bad pun "If You Seek Amy" or AME as the case may be).

212. Jenny Creed
Here in the North we have a very strong tradition of socialism. Russia spearheaded communism and all. There's definitely a willingness to set your own needs and wants aside for the good of the community. It's been theorized that this developed because it's cold here. Life was hard, and people had to learn to work together and trust each other or die.

I realize now it's the same for the Aiel. Well, they have to fight even more extreme climates and lack of natural resources, just for the opposite reason.

So yeah, it isn't weird to me at all that Aveindha submits to become a Wise One, or that their society expects her to. On the other hand it's interesting to see how other cultures with a stronger sense of indivisualism (Americans) react to it.

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