Jun 5 2009 2:33pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 5

Why hello! Fancy meeting you here. Care for a spot of Wheel of Time Re-read? Ah, I knew you would. You’re so adorably predictable!

Today, my chickies, we are covering Chapters 8-10 of The Fires of Heaven, in which we contemplate the intersection of solanaceae mandragora, camellia sinensis, mus musculus and ficus carica, and the myriad ways in which I can mangle Latin and/or scientific classifications. Yay!

Previous posts are here. As always, this and all other posts contain massive spoilers for all currently published books in the Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, don’t read.

We good? Of course we are. Game on!

Chapter 8: Over the Border

What Happens
Nynaeve clings to the back of the wagon, looking at the dust storm in the distance she had raised to escape the brigands that had threatened them. She and Elayne both had been surprised at the fury of it; Nynaeve thinks that her teachers at the Tower had told her that her strength would continue to increase, but she doesn’t think it worth much when she can only channel while angry. She was beginning to regret her choice to leave Tanchico by wagon rather than by ship, but at the time she had thought it better to throw off pursuit by taking the slower route. Juilin hands her a water bottle, and she thinks that the Taraboner hat he had taken to in Tanchico makes him look like he is wearing a cake on his head. She climbs up to the front of the wagon and tries to sit between Elayne and Thom, but Elayne is glued to the gleeman’s side. Elayne gushes to Thom that he drove wonderfully, and Nynaeve debates giving her a thump. Thom looks uncomfortable, and points out that they have more company coming, and Nynaeve sees a column of Whitecloaks heading toward them on the road. Thom pulls over, and Nynaeve greets the Whitecloak leader warmly, but he returns suspicion, asking where they had come from. Nynaeve gives them their cover story of carrying dyes from Tanchico, and the officer demands word from Tanchico. Nynaeve answers more or less truthfully, telling him that Andric was still on the throne when they left, and no, they know nothing of Aes Sedai involved with the troubles there. The Whitecloak officer advises her that they are within the borders of Amadicia, and that they would soon come to the town of Marcedin, and they would do well to walk in the Light there.

“Have you come to move the border?” Elayne asked suddenly and coolly. Nynaeve could have strangled her.

The deep-set, suspicious eyes shifted to Elayne, and Nynaeve said hastily, “Forgive her, my Lord Captain. My eldest sister’s girl. She thinks she should have been born a lady, and she can’t keep away from the boys besides. That’s why her mother sent her to me.” Elayne's indignant gasp was perfect.

The officer stares at them, and then warns them again to walk in the Light, and leaves. As soon as he is gone, Nynaeve demands to know what Elayne thought she was doing saying that, and Elayne replies that Nynaeve was all but groveling for them. They shout at each other until Thom tells them to keep their voices down, at which Elayne coos to him that he is right, and Nynaeve resolves that whatever had gotten into Elayne, she would get out again. When they reach Mardecin, Thom and Juilin contend strongly that they should take a day to rest, and Nynaeve eventually agrees, though she insists they camp outside the town rather than seek an inn.

A short chapter! World may end!

Man, I hate seeing characters embarrass themselves. I’m all squirmy on Elayne’s behalf. Poor Thom. More on this later.

TFOH is right around where I started really loving Nynaeve. Which is kind of odd, seeing as she drives her companions crazy for most of this whole trek to Salidar, but her internal monologue is hilarious to me from here on out. Maybe I’m just easily amused, but her thought about Juilin looking like he had a cake on his head made me chuckle out loud. (Or maybe I chortled.) Her thoughts have this bizarre combination of snarky wit and naïve cluelessness that just cracks my shit up.

TFOH definitely marks a change in the tone of the way her character is written. I’m not sure what the motivation or cause for the adjustment was, but I’m personally glad it happened. While normally I deplore the reduction of a formerly serious character to comic relief (see Kate’s spot-on complaints about Movie!Gimli in The Lord of the Rings), in Nynaeve’s case I don’t think it is a reduction – rather the opposite. I think it makes her a more rounded character, and rescues her from being merely a One Note Harridan. Both she and Mat are frequently used as comic relief, but in a way that (in my opinion) does not neglect the complexities of their characters, or the seriousness of the issues they are dealing with.

Most of the time, anyway. I’m telling you right now, drama and portent and pathos are easy. Comedy? Comedy is hard.

Chapter 9: A Signal

What Happens
After they make camp, Juilin and Thom flip a coin to see who goes into town to purchase supplies, and Thom wins. As he makes preparations to head out, Nynaeve pries up the floorboard in the wagon that hides their money, the jewels Amathera had given them, and the seal Nynaeve had found in the Palace. She thinks that more than anything was what fueled her haste to get back to the Tower, so that it could be taken off their hands. She gives Thom coin to spend, and watches him limp off, annoyed that she cannot Heal it.

When she had left the Two Rivers, it had been to protect young people from her village, snatched away in the night by an Aes Sedai. She had gone to the Tower still with the hope that she could somehow shelter them, and the added ambition of bringing down Moiraine for what she had done. The world had changed since then. Or maybe she only saw the world differently. No, it is not me that’s changed. I’m the same; it is everything else that’s different.

She thinks of how all the Two Rivers folk had changed, and that the main reason she was willing to put up with the Tower and everything it entailed was for the chance to learn Healing. One day she means to Heal Thom’s wound, and even the wound in Rand’s side; surely anything could be Healed if only she were determined enough. She tries to engage Elayne in conversation about the fate of Tanchico and Amathera, but Elayne ignores her frostily at first, and Juilin comments on how pretty Amathera was until both women stare him down. Elayne thaws a little, and they discuss Moghedien obliquely so as not to clue in Juilin. Elayne is worried that Moghedien may be coming after them; Nynaeve tries not to think about the fact that one of the Forsaken now has cause to hate her personally, and reassures Elayne that she can’t have any idea where they are by now. Thom returns with supplies and news: Mardecin is not doing well, and no one is happy about the supplies being sent into Tarabon. Thom cannot figure out what Pedron Niall is up to, which irritates him. Nynaeve is more interested in the lack of vegetables Thom bought, and suggests she and Elayne walk into town themselves. Juilin and Thom start to flip to see which one will accompany them, but Nynaeve squashes this impulse and declares they will be fine alone; the men agree reluctantly, and Nynaeve and Elayne head out. Elayne asks what Nynaeve obviously wants to talk to her alone about, and Nynaeve replies that she wants to talk about Elayne’s behavior toward Thom. Elayne lies that she doesn’t know what Nynaeve is talking about. Nynaeve says she thought Elayne was in love with Rand; Elayne says she is, but he is far away and surrounded by Maidens.

“You can’t think he’ll turn to a Maiden,” Nynaeve said incredulously. “He is a man, but he isn’t as fickle as that, and besides, one of them would put a spear in him if he looked at her crossways, even if he is this Dawn whatever. Anyway, Egwene says Aviendha is keeping an eye on him for you.”

Elayne frets that she should have made sure Rand knew she loved him; in Nynaeve’s private opinion this is usually a good way to make a man run for the hills, unless he says it first. Elayne tells Nynaeve that she thinks Min had a viewing about her and Rand, because she made one too many jokes to Elayne about sharing him. Nynaeve declares this ridiculous, but asks if that’s why Elayne is acting this way about Thom.

“Thom is a man with secrets, Elayne. Remember that Moiraine sent him with us. Whatever he is, he is no simple country gleeman.”

“He was a great man,” Elayne said softly. “He could have been greater, except for love.”

With that, Nynaeve’s temper snapped. She rounded on the other woman, seizing her by the shoulders. “The man doesn’t know whether to turn you over his knee or… or... climb a tree!”

“I know.” Elayne gave a frustrated sigh. “But I do not know what else to do.”

Nynaeve grips her braid and stalks into town, but her temper fades as they chat and shop for vegetables, of which there are precious few even though it’s summer. Nynaeve wonders how the town is going to get through the winter. Then she catches sight of a bunch of yellow flowers hanging upside down and tied with white and yellow ribbon by the door of a seamstress shop, and pulls Elayne aside. Pretending to adjust her shoe, she tells Elayne that the flowers are an emergency signal from a Yellow Ajah eyes-and-ears; she shouldn’t know about it, but a sister in the Tower told her, since she was certain Nynaeve would choose Yellow when she was raised.

“Besides, it has not been used in nearly three hundred years. Elayne, only a few women in each Ajah actually know who the Ajah’s eyes-and-ears are, but a bunch of yellow flowers tied and hung like that tells any Yellow sister that here one is, and with a message urgent enough to risk uncovering herself.”

Nynaeve tells Elayne to follow her lead, and enters the shop. The two women inside gape in surprise to see someone come in, and then the older of the two introduces herself as Ronde Macura. Nynaeve tells her that she wants a dress embroidered with yellow roses, but no thorns, as she does not heal very fast. Macura stares a moment, then tells her apprentice Luci to go make tea from the blue canister, which she tells Nynaeve and Elayne is her best tea while making a circle with her thumb and forefinger, as the countersign. Relieved that she was right, Nynaeve returns it, introduces herself and Elayne, and asks what the urgent message is. Macura nervously says they shouldn’t talk about it until the tea is ready. She babbles aimlessly for a few moments until Nynaeve and Elayne herd her firmly into the kitchen, where she serves them tea, which Nynaeve notes has a cool, minty aftertaste. Nynaeve asks again for the message.

“Ah. Yes.” Mistress Macura licked her lips, eyed them both, then said slowly, “It came near a month ago, with orders that any sister passing through heard it at all costs.” She wet her lips again. “All sisters are welcome to return to the White Tower. The Tower must be whole and strong.”

Nynaeve is like, that’s it?, and starts to ask if there was anything else, then notices Elayne has slumped onto the table, and stares at her cup in horror, feeling herself start to go under. She demands thickly to know what they were given, but Macura only watches her, and Nynaeve loses consciousness.

Well, at least Elayne seems to sort of realize that she’s being a dumbass about Thom. I share Nynaeve’s irritation with her, though I do at least somewhat understand the impulse.

A lot of it, of course, has to do with Thom being a “safe crush”, because Elayne knows perfectly well that he would never act on her flirting with him. This is probably at least part of why she’s uncomfortable with Juilin, too (which is something I left out of the summary in these chapters), because she knows he’s not “safe” in this regard.

Elayne’s a little old for this kind of behavior, which in my experience is something you see in girls in more of the thirteen-to-sixteen age range, but I think it’s easy to overlook the fact that up to this point, the Daughter-Heir has led an extremely sheltered life, and however brave a face she may be putting on being suddenly On An Adventure, with the far-from-home and the death-defying and the intermittent kidnappings (what is this, the Supergirls’ fourth capture-and-release? Fifth? I guess it depends on whether you count their Compulsion interlude with Moghedien as a capture, we’ll have to consult the rulebook), it would be more surprising if she wasn’t acting out in some way with a need for comfort and companionship.

In other news, I would like to point out that I’ve just realized the preceding is all one sentence. Take that, Victor Hugo!

This is, I think, the first real glimpse of the intelligence network(s) the Aes Sedai have set up all over Randland, and it’s going to be a major story element from here on out. This ties back into the larger WOT theme of communication and how easy it is not to do any, despite, or because of, having elaborate systems for gathering information in place. Of course, I bet most people don’t get into quite so much trouble with it as the Supergirls do.

Chapter 10: Figs and Mice

What Happens
Elayne realizes she is being carried up stairs, and that she has no control over her body at all. Luci shrieks that she’s awake.

“I told you not to worry.” Mistress Macura’s voice came from above her head. “She cannot channel, or twitch a muscle, not with forkroot tea in her. I discovered that by accident, but it has certainly come in handy.”

Panicked, Elayne tries to embrace the Source, but cannot. She thinks this must have been a Black Ajah trap, and realizes she is trying to scream, but can only make a thin mewling noise. She makes herself stop, and tries to concentrate on embrace saidar. Macura and Luci drop Elayne on a bed and leave, returning with a similarly incapacitated Nynaeve, whose face is slack and wet with tears, but her eyes are furious. Elayne hopes that Nynaeve is angry enough to channel. Macura brings in more tea and an hourglass, and tells Luci to give them another dose when it runs out. Luci moans and wrings her hands, and Macura tells her there’s nothing to worry about as long as she doesn’t forget while Macura goes to make arrangements. She leaves, and Luci goes downstairs, leaving them alone. Elayne spends the hour trying over and over again to channel, and guesses from the sweat on Nynaeve’s brow that she is doing the same. The hourglass runs out, and Luci does not come; soon Elayne is able to move her fingers, and Nynaeve mumbles. She begins to have hope that they can shake it off, when Luci bursts in and forces another dose on them in a near panic, and Elayne loses consciousness again. She wakes again, and berates herself for not being as brave as Nynaeve, and goes back to trying to move or channel. The hourglass runs out again, and again Luci doesn’t come. This time she gets to the point where she can raise her head, sort of.

The door crashed open once more. Elayne lifted her head to stare at it despairingly — and gaped. Thom Merrilin stood there like the hero of one of his own tales, one hand firmly gripping the neck of a Luci near fainting, the other holding a knife ready to throw. Elayne laughed delightedly, though it came out more like a croak.

Thom shoves Luci into a corner and goes to Elayne worriedly, demanding to know what Luci gave them. Nynaeve mutters it wasn’t her, and tells Thom to help her up. Thom hauls Nynaeve erect and helps her shuffle back and forth to walk it off. Thom says Juilin will be up in a moment, and asks if their other captor is likely to bring people back with her. Elayne says it is unlikely, as in Amadicia she would need to keep a very low profile. Nynaeve then wants to know how it is Thom and Juilin are here when she told them to stay at camp. Thom points out that she actually only said to put away the supplies, which doesn’t take two men, so Juilin followed them, and Thom followed Juilin when he didn’t come back. Juilin enters, pushing Ronde Macura ahead of him with his knife, saying he had caught her coming back in; Macura looks like she’s about to either cry or faint. She tells them that she was only obeying orders, and Nynaeve demands to know whose orders, but Macura won’t say. Nynaeve tells her she’d better talk, or she’ll let Juilin question her.

“Some rope to tie her,” he said, grinning a grin so villainous that Elayne almost tried to step away from him, “some rags to gag her until she is ready to talk, some cooking oil and salt...” His chuckle curdled Elayne’s blood. “She will talk.” Mistress Macura held herself rigidly against the wall, staring at him, eyes as wide as they would go.

Nynaeve tells him that he should find what he needs in the kitchen, to Elayne’s shock, but then Macura blurts out that she sends her reports to Narenwin Barda. Elayne remembers Narenwin as a slight, kindly woman who used to let children bring their pets for her to Heal once a week. Nynaeve demands more names, but Macura says she has none, and Nynaeve asks how long she’s been a Darkfriend, serving the Black Ajah. At this, both Macura and Luci are shocked and then outraged, and Macura passionately declares that she serves the Yellow Ajah. Nynaeve and Elayne exchange puzzled glances, for it seemed to ring true; Nynaeve asks if they are not Darkfriends, why did she drug her and Elayne? Macura nods at Elayne, and says Narenwin described her, said she was a runaway Accepted, and that if Macura saw her she was to try to delay her or even capture her, and send word immediately.

“How they expected me to capture an Accepted, I do not know — I don't think even Narenwin knows about my forkroot tea! — but that is what my orders said! They said I should risk exposure even — here, where it'd be my death! — if I had to! You just wait until the Amyrlin puts her hands on you, young woman! On all of you!”

Amazed, Elayne asks what the Amyrlin has to do with it, and Macura replies that it was on her orders, and that the Amyrlin had said she could use any method short of killing Elayne to capture her. Nynaeve is just as shocked as Elayne, and asks if there was any reason given. Macura says no, and explains that she had planned to send them to Tar Valon drugged, and had already sent a pigeon to Narenwin telling her that they were on their way. Nynaeve asks for the real message from the flower signal, and Macura says she told them the real message, figuring it didn’t matter. Then she starts sobbing and wailing, pleading with Nynaeve to please not let Juilin use the salt on her, anything but the salt! Disgusted, Nynaeve tells Thom and Juilin to tie her and Luci up, and then the men help Elayne and Nynaeve downstairs. Elayne wishes Thom were helping her instead of Nynaeve, and then tells herself she’s being an idiot. She asks Juilin hesitantly what he had been planning to do with the salt and cooking oil.

He looked at her for a moment. “I do not know. But they did not, either. That is the trick of it; their minds made up worse than I ever could. I have seen a tough man break when I sent for a basket of figs and some mice. You have to be careful, though. Some will confess anything, true or not, just to escape what they imagine. I do not think those two did, though.”

She did not either. She could not repress a shiver, however. What would somebody do with figs and mice? She hoped she stopped wondering before she gave herself nightmares.

In the kitchen, Nynaeve takes a deep breath and thanks Thom and Juilin, sincerely, saying she begins to understand why Aes Sedai have Warders. Thom and Juilin stare at each other in amazement, and Elayne is only a little less surprised. Nynaeve begins collecting herbs from various containers on the shelves, and Elayne asks what she thinks the message means, about sisters being welcome to return to the Tower. Thom interjects that the Tower has its own rules and reasons for what they do, and Nynaeve says sourly that mostly it just makes no sense. Elayne then wonders why the Amyrlin would give orders like that regarding her, when she was the one who sent us out of the Tower in the first place.

Nynaeve sniffed loudly. “I can believe anything of Siuan Sanche. I would like to have her for one hour where she could not channel. We would see how tough she is then.”

Elayne is of the opinion that it wouldn’t make much difference in Siuan’s case, but only asks what they should do about it. Nynaeve shows her the canister of white henpepper, and says it will dye hair black.

Various villagers goggle when a coach pulls up in front of Ronde Macura’s shop and two women with their hair wrapped in scarves hurry out and jump inside; the coach drives off before the Children coming idly over to see who they were can ask anything. A while later Therin Lugay comes by with his wagon all ready to take two sick women to Tar Valon, but finds instead Macura and Luci on the beds upstairs, so deeply asleep that he can’t rouse them; he considers the money and supplies Macura had given him for a moment, then decides to see what Altara is like this time of year. Much later, Macura herself finally staggers out of her house and heads to Avi Shendar’s pigeon house, where she sends off a bird with a message tied to its leg.

The bird launched itself north and east, straight as an arrow toward Tar Valon. After a moment's thought, Ronde prepared another copy on another narrow strip of thin parchment, and fastened it to a bird from another coop. That one headed west, for she had promised to send duplicates of all of her messages. In these hard times, a woman had to make out as best she could, and there could be no harm in it, not the sort of reports she made to Narenwin.

She leaves, and Avi Shendar goes in and looks at the parchment Macura had placed under her message strips to cushion the pen nib, where the impression of what she wrote is still visible. Soon a third pigeon is heading in yet another direction.

I don’t have nightmares very often, but when I do have them, they are almost invariably the kind where I am being attacked or menaced by something or someone moving very – very – slowly, and yet I can’t escape them. It’s like I’m trapped in molasses, and I can’t run or fight or scream (or breathe) and it feels like I’m drowning and it is basically a thoroughly terrifying experience that I would like to not have any more, ever, are you listening, brain?

So let’s just say that this chapter is a little difficult for me to read, because what happens to Elayne and Nynaeve with the forkroot is quite literally my personal nightmare, and I am here to tell you it is pretty much the epitome of awful. And if it’s that bad when it’s just a dream, I can’t even imagine how bad it must be to have it actually happen to you – plus with added knowledge that Very Bad Things were virtually certain to follow. I probably would have had a heart attack on the spot.

Forkroot: I remember people got extremely nerdy about discussing how exactly forkroot prevents channeling, and speculating on the implied connection between muscle control and using the Power. All I’m gonna say is, it is a Literary Fact that somewhere there is always a drug that will do exactly what you need it to do to make Plots happen, and really I don’t need more explanation than that.

(Although, “forkroot” to me is a pretty clear reference to mandrake root, which is a member of the nightshade family and has historically been used to make soporifics and narcotics, among other things, and so forkroot is not really a Plot-Induced Drug, as such, or at least not egregiously so.)

Figs and mice: This is one of those things that kind of became a meme/inside joke among Wheel of Time fans. I also seem to recall it precipitated a flamewar on the rec.arts group once upon a time, about psychological torture and the ethics of Nynaeve and Juilin using it on Macura (or rather, the ethics of Good Guys using it, period). If you guys would like to recreate it for fun and profit in the comments, I just ask that you play as nice as you always do, mmwah.

As for me, I’m just going to note, as others have, that ethics aside, Juilin’s method is a real one, which probably has a name I’m not going to Google for, and that Juilin correctly notes that the major problem with using torture to extract confessions/information from someone is that if you scare or hurt a person bad enough, they’ll tell you anything they think you want to hear, whether it’s true or not, which actually tends to the counterproductive when you want, you know, facts.

On the pigeons: I would presume that the second pigeon Macura sent was to another Yellow, probably one of the Salidar faction? Though it seemed like it was an arrangement of long standing, so I don’t know about all that. I have no idea who Avi’s pigeon went to. This is one of those things where basically all I get out of it is Plotty Plots Are Afoot, Yo, and am pretty much content to leave it at that.

I’m pretty much content to leave this post at that, too! Whoo, rah, hey. Be excellent to each other in the comments, have a merry weekend, and see you Monday!

1. Shai'tan!
I always assumed Avi sent his pigeon to someone of the Dark Side. I guess there's not much evidence in the text, but it seems to me he's clearly spying on Macura's messages, and sending them to people she wouldn't want to go to.
2. zdrakec
Looney Nynaeve theory: she will eventually heal even Death - Rand's, of course.
Lannis .
3. Lannis
I agree with you, Leigh, about Nynaeve's inner monologue (or dialogue--as at times she's arguing quite well all by herself...). It changes about here and is quite humourous... mostly because it's a little A.D.D., in my opinion... she'll be ranting about something and pop in a seemingly random thought that links back to something she'd been ranting about earlier, and it's quite a funny juxtaposition, and adds a lot of realism to her thoughts--how many of us are surprised at how much is on our minds at once?

Juilin has a cake on his head... that always gets me, too. :)

Ah... and now we enter the annoying phase where we'll have to hear about Nynaeve's herb-filled script every time anything happens in this plot arc... bleh.

Thanks, Leigh! Have a great weekend! :)
Maggie M
4. Eswana
Thrilled to be back! I missed you all! Especially thrilled to be back on three Nynaeve-centric chapters, because I do really love her in this chunk of story.

A few interesting things about Figs & Mice (or oil and salt, to be accurate). Julian's right about the perils of torture (not to mention the ethical problems with it). I'm not going to say any more, lest I ignite a war. However, he's also right about letting people's imaginations be your best ally. This worked out well for RJ as an author, too, since I'm sure the fans have creative minds and can come up with dozens of horrible things Julian could have done with those supplies, and all of those imaginary scenarios are far worse than anything he could have actually written. Is this a product of his Vietnam days? Or just a general statement about human nature?

zdrakec @ 2: I sort of agree. All the Aes Sedai agree that Death cannot be Healed, but they all thought that about stilling too, and see what Nynaeve did there? eh? I would love it if you were right, just because Nynaeve is that awesome. However, if she figures out how to Heal death it might lessen Semirhage's credibility as Best Healer Ever, since she can't Heal death with her centuries of experience, and then *poof* Nynaeve, who has been consciously channeling for like 2 years does it? Hmm.
Richard Fife
5. R.Fife
Torture! Even psychological. OK, I am of the opinion that there is a fine line between extracting truth under duress (or "enhanced interrogation") and honest to goodness torture. And before any of my fellow liberals pooh-pooh on me, yes I think waterboarding is torture.

That being said, there are methods that are "Geneva Friendly" used by the government on how to interrogate. Example, good cop/bad cop. The lie of "your friend already narc'd you out, but if you narc him out, we will go easy on you" method. (Divide/Conquere, I think). And, actually, Juilin's is there too. "Do you know what we do to your type? We lock you up in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison and let you rot!" That is to say, we say "you are already guilty and we are going to do something 'just', but if you co-operate, then we will go easier on you".

That being said, the best interrogators know the fine line between getting honest answers and getting people begging for you to stop. And, I think, psycholocial tricks let you push the envelope a little further than physical ones. A scared person is more likely to be truthful (I feel) than one who is trying to escape physical pain.

So, there's a starter, and hardly explains my entire view on the topic, but it helps to start the "flame-war"
James Jones
6. jamesedjones
Hmmm... I always figured that it would be very dangerous to be supplying 2 AS with information at the same time. More dangerous than, say, sending it to another country, or even another faction outside of politics. Isn't the village on the western edge of Amador? If the pigeon is heading west, what options do we have for it?
Maggie M
7. Eswana
also, thanks to R. Fife for the Graphic Novel link yesterday.

But did anyone else notice that Cenn refers to the Women's Circle as the Women's Council? I know GNs won't be exactly like th books...but it seems like a silly, pointless name change.
8. sprprsnmn

Might she be sending messages to the Seanchan on the islands?
Andrew Lovsness
9. drewlovs
Ahh, the old "forkroot in the tea" trick FTW!!

There is something very humbling, in my opinion, about the mighty Aei Sedai being brought to her (and his? Did we ever find out if Forkroot works on men?) knees; nature strikes back!!

As for Elayne and Thom... I skipped these parts on my re-reads. I just can't deal with the side-story at this time. Perhaps for some it isn't a side-story, so for all of you that feel this way, I apologize.

But it's a lame side-story... hehe.
Angel Banchev
10. Tiranas
There isn`t much to add to Leighs`s comment on chapter 8, but 9 is another story. I think that Ell is cooing to Thom, not only because she knows that he is to quote "safe crush" and because she does need a bit of safety, but also because the sense of familiarity that she has towards him and i do hope you do mention the mustache pull. The inteligence gathering systems...It is kinda hilarious to even think about them, when RJ makes a point of showing that sharing info is not very common to say the least. Forkroot is officialy creepy. Leigh is not the only one that has had similar nightmares. I too was wincing while reading this chapter for the first time. Also the impact of the root later is quite a big deal. But RJ is the Master of Foreshadows, so that shouldn`t be a surprise to anyone. About the torture method...i think Leigh has got it and i am content to leave it at that. Again great post.

P.S. Oh, yeah, Nyn does get Comedy Central Special worthy in the next chapters.
James Jones
11. jamesedjones
9 Drewlovs

Yep. We get the revelation from Tylee or the Administrator over the forkroot that they've caught a few guys with it. I'm pretty sure it's Tylee in her first meeting with Perrin.
12. RobMRobM

1. Tar Valon clearly.

2. First choice - Whitecloaks (isn't thin parchment the same that Pedron Niall would get later in series when Morgase arrives?) Doubt it would be another yellow sister in Salidar as that is still being established. Fact that she says she is doing it for a bit more money signals a local patron and, after all, this is Amadicia. Only problem is that the direction may not be correct. West? Second choice - Blue (as they have best eyes/ears network). I don't recall - wasn't Tanchico where Cabriana Mercandes was before Semirhage got her?

3. Black or Blue - I lean towards Blue.
13. Phantom

About the pigeons, since the second one is heading west, where the supergirls just came from, and considering where Rhonde Macura ends up. I think the pigeon is heading for a Seanchan agent. The third is an excellent question. Salidar has no knowledge of forkroot, nor apparently do the whitecloaks, so maybe one of the forsaken? Moghedian seems to know the girls are in Amador somehow, maybe the pigeon is the answer.

Also by my count the supergirls have been captured and released at least 5 times, 6 if you count the compulsion. Maybe you did not count Egwene with the whitecloaks in the TEoTW because that was just her and Perrin? Egwene does an excellent job of capture and release all by her lonesome. What is she up to now? At least 5, 6 if you count her time with Halima, and by her dreams she has at least one more damsel in distress style rescue still on the way.
Andrew Lovsness
14. drewlovs
And a separate post dealing with part 4. I am hopelessly behind due to graduations taking place this week, but I have read enough to see we have more new posters with interesting ideas. However, we are also seeing more... arguements?... springing up.

I have always enjoyed this forum for its innocence in regards to the treatment of new theories. If you have read as much WoT forum talk as I have, you know that most of the solid theories have been discussed, re-hashed, and discussed again in detail. But new people here have been able to write "loony" theories, and were treated with kid gloves. If they are really out there, a post with links to WOTFAQ clear them up, and the poster in question usually is thankful for the additional reading material.

Part 4 at times went the opposite direction. I have not finished the entire read, so perhaps it got better, but by post 180ish, it started to feel as if the "real world" had intruded on our little party.

I truly hope that it was an anomoly. I hope that we all can allow others to post interesting, if not well thought out, theories to keep us all interested and happy. I for one would be sad if this blog turned into just another, "Your ideas are stupid, mine are the only intelligent ones." sort of thought gathering blog...
James Jones
15. jamesedjones
Forkroot nightmares:

Leigh, watch your diet and make sure to get plenty of exercise. What RJ describes with the forkroot is exactly what I go through at the very end of an insulin reaction. Unless I'm in the midst of a seizure, I can't move, talking is nearly impossible, and thoughts are not available except for the desire to move and/or speak.

We should all be careful with out health.
sandi vogel
16. sinfulcashew
ooo, ooo, ooo.
Juilln thinks that Amathera is pretty!
A foreshadowing?
Jason Deshaies
17. darxbane
I don't personally consider what Juilin or Nynaeve did torture. When you think about it, he didn't actually even threaten them. He just mentioned a few random items and put on a maniacal grin. He did certainly manipulate them, but there was no torture involved. With any type of interrogation, you risk the possibility that someone will lie to get out of it.

Anyway, Leigh's comments on the humor remind me of how much more I laughed the second time through. Nynaeve's comments about how a Maiden would put a spear through Rand if he looked at one the wrong way, and that Aviendha was "taking care of him".....yeah, we are going to see just how much she takes care of him in a few chapters, aren't we? Stuff like this is all through the books. It gets better every time I read it (God, get the pom-poms already).

Nynaeve's little comment to the Children about Elayne is awesome, even if her reasons for shooting Elayne down is completely hippocritical.

Forkroot..Since it seems to be much more potent on people who can channel than normal people, there is definitely some Plot liberties there. I can live with it.
18. dwndrgn
@16 sinfulcashew - I always thought that bit had to be foreshadowing as it was out of character (we don't get Juilan's POV or even many comments other than spying observations and intelligence type things so it struck me as a deliberate "something to do with this is coming" mention.
Sydo Zandstra
19. Fiddler
I've suspected that Nynaeve is going to Heal Death after reading LoC for the first time. Just too much analogy with the stilling thing going on here and too much mentioning of healing both stilling and death throughout the series.

About Macura and forkroot, there was always one thing that bugged me about this: how does a Yellow Ajah agent accidentally find out about the effects of forkroot without an Aes Sedai suffering the effects of it, and therefore becoming really suspicious about Something Not Being Right?
sandi vogel
20. sinfulcashew
I'm in the process of rereading KOD and of course there they are!
It is neat and interesting to find little tidbits like this.
Of course the first time through, it's hardly noticed. Especially since appearances are commented on quite frequently throughout the whole series.
Brian Kaul
21. bkaul
Re: torture ... we really need another word in the mix to discuss the issue, since it's used to refer to several substantially different practices.

The classic idea attached to the word torture would be causing actual physical injuries, but that's never really the actual issue when we discuss it these days. The word is defined by Merriam-Webster as: 1. to cause intense suffering to, 2. to punish or coerce by inflicting excruciating pain, 3. to twist or wrench out of shape. Waterboarding, Figs & Mice, etc. don't fall under that definition, however inhumane, unpleasant, or frightening they may be.

Then, there's also "psychological torture" such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation, forcing people to listen to a 24/7 loop of Britney Spears, etc. No physical injury, or even pain, but definitely not gentle, friendly treatment either. I don't think torture is really the best word for this, since it has the connotation of the more severe idea of inflicting excruciating physical pain and possibly permanent injury. Here, it's not pain that's being inflicted, but rather fear. But it's still very much "not nice" treatment. "Enhanced interrogation" isn't inaccurate, but seems a bit too clinical. "Inflict" is accurate, but a bit vague since we would need to specify what unpleasantness is being inflicted. Suggestions?
Luke M
22. lmelior
@drew #9
As for Elayne and Thom... I skipped these parts on my re-reads.
Yeah, Elayne and her Electra Complex is both uncomfortable and annoying. *grins*
sandi vogel
23. sinfulcashew
Perhaps she was trying a 'new' tea.
But, is she a channeler?
My memory is foggy as to eyes and ears abilities.
24. Tailspinner
I think it might be best for me not to enter the torture debate at all.

Eswana @4: I htink death won't ever be healed, but I think Nyaneve will find a way to get as close as possible (possibly even something like where doctors massage a heart until it starts beeting again).

I have never been able to make a pciture of Juilin's hat in my head. Is it similar to the one Gareth Bryne is wearing for a while before it gets squashed on his Suian hunt?
25. alreadymadwithgirlstroubles
Sigh... more of the girls getting into trouble because they think they can handle everything on their own.

Re: the pigeon
West would be Illian, and Tear. And maybe Cairhien.
Cairhien being the capital of the Game of Houses outside of Tar Valon would be a good bet. Or even Illian where Sammael rules.
26. snuboi
I love the journey to Salidar chapters and completely agree with Leigh. Nynaeve's thoughts made me laugh out loud so many times as I read this book. Especially later when Luca is flirting with her and she can't figure out why.

I also loved the foreshadowing in these chapters. The whiteclaoks ask about Tanchico falling which I forgot all about and wonder now if that is the Seanchan invading. Nynaeve tossing the seal all around cause you can't bust cuendillar. And Nynaeve wanting to get Suian where she can't channel. That totally makes me laugh.

I always assumed that the second pigeon ended up with the Seanchan as the only place west of Mardecin is Tarabon. And the Seanchen end up with Ronde anyway.
Brian Kaul
27. bkaul
Tailspinner@14: I always pictured the hat as a fez.
Hugh Arai
28. HArai
bkaul@21: I think it's more than a bit of a stretch to say waterboarding, and sleep deprivation don't inflict physical injury. I agree Figs and Mice is in a different category. That's about all I'm going to say about the torture topics.

@27: Definitely agree on the fez. That picture even looks like a cake with a slice cut :)
Chris Hall
29. bookwormchris
As soon as I started reading this re-read post I pretty much knew it was the Forkroot chapters. Do we ever get a Ronde Macura viewpoint where she talks about how she found out about Foorkroot in the first place? I have a vague memory of something like that, but it could just be my imagination.

Forkroot is a muscle relaxant I guess. For normal people it doesn't seem to be anything other than minty tea as I recall. Is it this book or a later one where Elaida learns about the incident and is uncomfortable about the idea of Forkroot? Of course we see it used a bunch in the last book or two.

I do like Nynaeve's herbalist skills. She is a non-traditional Aes Sedai (well, I consider her one after her fight with the Spider, even if her block is still around. Maybe when she loses her block she becomes officially Aes Sedai. Although she is raised by Egwene before then. Whatever. How many Aes Sedai can say they captured a Forsaken?) First she uses her herbs to help Moiraine. Then her knowledge helps her in Tear. And now it is helping her to hide their identities. The Yellows of course scoff at the very use of herbs. They'd probably be aware of Forkroot much sooner if they had done a little research over the last 3,000 years. (Seems like a common ailment for the Aes Sedai in that they rely heavily on the Power.)
Alice Arneson
30. Wetlandernw

Ummm... Which map were you looking at? Last I checked, Cairhien was only west of the Waste; pretty much east or north of anything else.
31. Aegnor
Why is the second message going West? I'm trying to remember my WoT map, but wouldn't Salidar be east of Amadicia? It could be the Seanchan she's sending the messages to, but that seems like a weird thing for a white tower agent to do.
Brian Kaul
32. bkaul
HArai@28: I would classify mental and emotional distress separately from physical injury. Waterboarding certainly inflicts the former while avoiding the latter. Sleep deprivation too, if not carried out for too long, though it could eventually lead to the latter as well. I suppose the Britney Spears music could cause physical injury if turned up loud enough to damage the subject's hearing. I was mostly just trying to achieve semantic clarity and stir the pot a bit, though. ;)
Hugh Arai
33. HArai
Leigh, regarding your comment on the extensive intelligence networks in Randland:

I think the very reason they are so pervasive is because no one communicates. The idea of sharing what you know is so alien that everybody needs to have spies to get dirt on everyone. And spies on those spies. And spies on those spies...

I have this picture in my head that if you took away all the spies you'd be left with one guy standing there going "WTF? I just work here! Guys? WTF?".
34. alreadymadwhenpigeonwentwest
Whoopsie. My bad. I meant East would be Illian, Tear and Cairhien.
West is Tarabon. Which could either be the Black Ajah, or some random sister's eyes and ears. Moiraine might even have had eyes and ears there.
James Jones
35. jamesedjones
32 Bkaul

But the first definition just specifies "intense suffering." It doesn't actually say "physical" anywhere in the definition. Although "inflicting excruciating pain" has a very strong case for only being physical, the first definition can include psychological suffering.
36. Aegnor

"About the pigeons, since the second one is heading west, where the supergirls just came from, and considering where Rhonde Macura ends up. I think the pigeon is heading for a Seanchan agent."

My memory is going...where does Rhonde Macura end up?
Hugh Arai
37. HArai
bkaul@28: My knowledge of waterboarding is based on the wikipedia article which has this to say.

In contrast to submerging the head face-forward in water, waterboarding precipitates an almost immediate gag reflex. The technique does not inevitably cause lasting physical damage. It can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, if uninterrupted, death. Adverse physical consequences can start manifesting months after the event; psychological effects can last for years.

I am well aware Wikipedia is not the be-all end-all on any subject, but that sounds like more than pure mental and emotional distress. Just wanted to explain where I'm coming from. And now I really will drop the torture thread.
James Jones
38. jamesedjones
36 Aegnor

She helps the Seanchan provide Perrin with a lakeful of forkroot. Would that make her a good character?
39. RobMRobM
@13. I don't buy the second pigeon going to Seanchan. She says "no harm in it." Hard to imagine that having duplicate messages sent to an invading force could involve no harm. Still leaning towards Whitecloaks (especially given that the thin parchment is save that Pedron Niall received later while entertaining Morgase). Rob
40. RobMRobM
@36. She ends up with Seanchan - but only after Elaida has her publicly beaten and embarrased for her failure to catch N and E, and she heads south with revenge in mind. No proof that they were buddies before that. Rob
41. Aegnor

Woah...I never put the connection together of them being the same person. Yeah, I think with that added info it seems certain that the Seanchan are where the 2nd message was going.
42. Kaboom
In Chapter 8, I found what looks like a discrepancy.
In Nynaeve POV, she thinks that she has no idea what rank the two golden knots signified, and calls him captain. And then a little later she thinks that "the Whitecleak lieutenant waved dust away from his face..." I've never noticed it before.

Fiddler @ 19
About Macura and forkroot, there was always one thing that bugged me about this: how does a Yellow Ajah agent accidentally find out about the effects of forkroot without an Aes Sedai suffering the effects of it, and therefore becoming really suspicious about Something Not Being Right?

I also thought about that. I reasoned it as when she was recruited by the yellow ajah, she may have serve that tea the the Aes Sedai and saw the effect. Would the Aes Sedai really have gone back to the tower and said that she was drugged and admit a weakness?
James Jones
43. jamesedjones
40 RobM

I've got to agree that it's not likely that Macura knew about the Seahchan. According to some high Seanchan officials thoughts, Macura was a fortunate find. On the other hand, her target for the pigeon could have been captured by the Seanchan and/or set up a meet-and-greet.
Hugh Arai
44. HArai
Would the Aes Sedai really have gone back to the tower and said that she was drugged and admit a weakness?

Of course not.That would involve sharing important information that would protect all Aes Sedai in the future. Violation of the 4th Oath.
45. twicemarked
Reviving one single dead person -- Rand, at one particular event -- sometime within the Last Battle, with a lot of prophecies already attached, should not really count as healing death.

Like on Earth, after doctors routinely revive people whose heart had stopped beating, we just change the definition of death, instead of saying doctor can heal death.

My take on the torturing to get information. After reading and re-reading the books, we should already know that any information, whether said by characters, from character's POV, or even Word of God, can be incorrect and debated.

Information obtained from torturing is the same, and needs to be viewed as such.

When the SGs were intergating the BA in Tear, they did get some actionable intelligence to lead them to Tanchico.

This time, they again get some actionable intelligence, like Tar Valon seems unsafe, and they are wanted. But the implication of the message violates their existing view of what the Amyrlin wanted.

Often, it is not the tained information that is the cause of miscommunication. It is the selective adaptation of this information into one's existing world view.

Like in the last reread when Egwene read anything and everything Rand does with a filter of Rand having a swollen head. The dragon buckle is made of iron by an Aiel smith, with a persumed simple design. We are not talking about some fancy jewel encrusted, golden belt shaped like a dragon.

Often, the torturer selectively focus on part of the information that fits his world view, and throws away the part which does not fit. If that is the information processing, torturing does not give anything you don't already suspect.
Jay Dauro
46. J.Dauro
@38 and @36

WH Chapter 14. Ronde went to the Seanchen (Tuon) in Tanchico and begged to be taken into service. She wants to get revenge against the AS, and so brings forkroot to them.
sandi vogel
47. sinfulcashew

I have always envisioned water boarding as 'being held still while someone drips water on your chest constantly'.
I have never seen or heard the real definition. And I asked, too.

What the heck is it????? It sounds terrible.

Some one please explain?
Hugh Arai
48. HArai
@47: from Wikipedia:
Waterboarding is a form of torture that consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. By forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences drowning and is caused to believe they are about to die

And yes, it sounds pretty terrible.
Sydo Zandstra
49. Fiddler

I don't think Macura can channel.

Kaboom, Harai,

I can't think of a reason why an Aes Sedai would need to channel in front of an agent, let alone giving evidence that she couldn't do so.

Even if an Aes Sedai tried to channel and failed, I still can't see how Macura found out forkroot blocks the ability to channel.

Unless she thinks it's just a potent sleeping drug. But that doesn't explain Macura's remark about Elayne or Nynaeve not being able to channel. What does she know about channeling anyway?

@Leigh, I totally agree with your remarks on Nynaeve+Mat being pure comedy. I've always loved their interactions especially because we get to see what they're thinking, and all the selfcentered logic that goes with it.

I never hated Nynaeve, and this book made her become one of my favourite characters. Even at the circus.
Chris Hall
50. bookwormchris
Forkroot causes people who can channel to lose consciousness. It has no effect on those who cannot channel. My guess is that she had a visiting Aes Sedai, gave her some nice minty tea and said Aes Sedai passed out at her table.
Sean Banawnie
51. Seanie
@45 The SG take the easy way out. It is easy to forget how naive they are. Instead of thinking their clues through they just assume the worst. Siuan is a b***h so she must have changed her mind or whatever. They don't investigate further
with their clues , they may have figured out the coup. And Eggy and the dragon's annoying how they never give Rand a break.Interesting how RJ makes us care so much about them that we take so much personally.. I think Rand is very-- (well , usually self-effacing and humble)--as much as he can be. He can't be as humble as he feels usually because he would be eaten alive. Like everyone is always saying-- communication. How rarely people really look at things from someone else's shoes. Interesting subject kind of like here ----lots of good opinions , and knowledgeable
people but lots of egos to go with them .
Better start a bunker of my own . But no Elaida in mine . No way ,no how. Verin, maybe ,but she don't make my tea. Anyway just my two cents .
Ofer Nave
52. odigity
I agree regarding Leigh's description of a class of nightmares. The most horrifying scene I've ever seen in a film is near the end of Saving Private Ryan, when the nazi slowly stabs that guy while whispering "shhh". I can barely even think about that scene without being overwhelmed.
Michael Catapano
53. hoping
The Macura woman healed a man of fever that killed 23 others. Sounds like some mighty good herbs or maybe she is a channeler and can heal, hence the yellow know of her. Might have failed some test and was put out of the tower. The yellow rarely leave the tower. They have the smallest eyes and ears network.
She then discovered forkroot on herself
Later, I think we find that forkroot has minor soporific effects on non-channelers
Blake Engholm
54. UncrownedKing
Re: The workings of Forkroot
So Leigh are you saying the answer to the question of how does it work is: "It's forkroot, Dummy!" haha

Jullin: This is the last scene that I like him in for the rest of the series. I can't think of anything cool off the top of my head he does for the next 7 books....Cool here though

Another good one Leigh.
Jason Deshaies
55. darxbane
Waterboarding involves being flat on your back with your face covered with a towel. Someone then pours the water on the towel until it is saturated. If you have ever breathed through a wet towel, you will see that it is more difficult to breathe. Adding that to the fact that you are lying on your back and in darkness triggers the same reaction as drowning. Supposedly, it is purely psychological. It's like putting a tarantula on the face of an arachnaphobic, only drowning is a universal fear. I have never heard any evidence that it causes the physical after-affects explained in Wikipedia, and at least the way it was done by the CIA involves the towel, which prevents any water from actually entering the lungs.

And no, I have never seen, participated in, nor been a victim of waterboarding, I have just been informed of the practice.
Alex Johns
57. almuric
Oh Leigh, I'll buy you a drink some time and I'll explain to you all the different ways that I hate Nynaeve. I think I've expounded on this before, so I won't make everyone suffer through it again. Hypocrisy just really chaps my hide.

I remember the old 'Chinese Water Torture' - strapping someone down and slowly, randomly dripping water on the forehead. Supposed to drive you mad, over time. Not sure how good that is for eliciting information. I'm guessing waterboarding is much faster.

The figs and mice always remind me of how Winston was finally broken in Orwell's '1984'. I won't recount it for the squeamish here, but you can read about it if you want. Ah, room 101 at the Ministry of Love. Good times; good times. Don't some of the black ajah try the "Do it to her, not to me" thing? Wonder if that was a bit of homage on Jordan's part.
James Jones
58. jamesedjones
57 Almuric

I'd always heard Chinese Water Tortue didn't drive you mad. You were suppose to be lying on bamboo, which grows a few inches per day.
Alex Johns
59. almuric
@58 jamesdjones
Bamboo grows even after it's cut? Or is it just bent over? Or grown sideways? I'm intrigued. Thoughts swirl. Conundrums appear and dissolve. The universe appears a truly mystical place. And it's definitely time for me to go home and have a beer. Yep, it's 5:00 in my time zone. Don't know about yours.
60. Balance
Macura: Perhaps she discovered its affects on her own with no AS. This is Amadica, not a lot of AS around. But what about those girls in the population that get the spark. A girl like that might be drawn to a herb-woman, pre luci apprentice(i.e Egween style). The girl accidently drinks the tea, passes out, Macura figures out what the girl is, ( Mac's an AS agent and might be able to spot the "sickness" signs that young girls get that have the spark), and says "groovy". The girl don't know whats going on, she don't even know she can channel. Mac sends her to Tar Valon and decides to keep the secret of the tea to herself. I doubt Macure has the spark. The Seanchan would collar her AND take her tea.
Jason Deshaies
61. darxbane
Chinese water torture also wasn't really used to extract information, either. It was more a punishment than anything else.

@57, while I have a similar disdain for hipocrisy, I don't hate Nynaeve's character. she is slowly realizing her faults. Her POV's are awesome, I always felt that she was trying to convince herself that she wasn't being an idiot, and actually failing. She has learned to hide her fear through Bitchcraft, which may have been necessary in order to maintain her position as Wisdom. Once her block breaks, she is pretty bad ass for the rest of the series.
Ofer Nave
62. odigity
FYI-Random trivia I came across recently on the mythological origins of "Asmodius":
63. SusanB
I think Macura once gave the tea to a girl who then passed out at her table. Being a fairly intelligent woman she figures out the girl is able to channel. She later sends her off to the tower to become a sister. The channeling ability is confirmed when the girl is accepted by the tower. She could easily tell the girl she had been sick or had some weird reaction to the tea & the girl would probably never think of it again. And in that way, the rest of the AS never find out about it. I also like someone else's suggestion that she may be able to channel, but was turned out of the tower. The only downside to that suggestion is why would she choose to live in Whitecloak land?
As to the pigeons...I think the Senchan are an unlikely place for pigeon number 2. They have not been around very long & it is unlikely they had the time or ability to discover that she was a yellow agent. On the other hand, the whitecloaks have been around forever & easily could have found out that she was a tower agent. It would make sense that they would want to know what the white tower knows.
Now pigeon number 3 could go to the Seanchan. Its possible they sent agents to all the pigeon cotes they could find & are bribing owners for copies of all communications, so they know what's going on in the lands they are about to conquer.
sandi vogel
64. sinfulcashew
Thanks to all for the information!
I appreciate it.

It sounds just as horrible as described.
Funny, they (wiki) don't mention just HOW it is done. Did they think someone would try it?

On to other things:
What exactly does Macura do for the Seanchan? Does she become a Tuon dacovale or something? I am still foggy, per usual.
Rikka Cordin
65. Rikka
I think the Aes Sedai freak out about forkroot more than they should. Except the Reds. Reds should freak out about it, what with the whole, neverbondingWarders thing. This is, after all, what Warders were for (and indeed why Mat starts looking so tasty as one) to be the muscle where the Power won't work. Otherwise, it doesn't even kill them, and I'm sure in Randland there are poisons that /can/ kill them (odorlessly and tastelessly of course!) that could just as easily be used against them. Of course, drugging an Aes Sedai is such an affront! To make them... almost normal! (with headaches and stomach cramps and extreme lethargy, but also unable to touch saidar). But times are changing and so is their place in the world. I wonder what affronts them more, the fact that a non-channeler can knock them out or the fact that it's an herb that does it. If they were a more practical people, I think they'd be a little more reasonable about it. Yes it's upsetting, but so is poison in general and forkroot is just one more in a long list of thingsyoudonotwantinyourafternoontea.

Hrmph. I have no sympathy. Aes Sedai are ridiculous people. XD
Michael Catapano
66. hoping
Both ideas are possible. I was just speculating since I don't think we find out.
I don't remember much about her and the seanchan. Do we know that they didn't collar her?
67. Lsana
The real question with forkroot is not how Macura learns that it affects channelers as how she specifically learns that it prevents them from channeling. It would seem like she would almost have to:

A) Be a channeler herself.
B) Have a channeler take the tea, then tell Macura afterwards that it prevented channeling.
C) Know enough about how channeling works that she is able to reason out that forkroot would prevent channeling.
D) Have fed it to a channeler, realize that channeler was still conscious, then put the channeler in a situation where there was no way she wouldn't have channeled if she could have.
E) Have obtained forkroot, and knowledge of its properties, from someone else.

B) and C) seem unlikely given how secretive the Aes Sedai tend to be about how channeling works (and how everyone else who can channel tends to be secretive just about the fact that they can), and there's no plausible person for E), so that kind of leaves the other two. Either way, it could make a very interesting short story.


My guess on the pigeons is that at least one of them is going to Moghedien. At this point, she has reigned in a number of BA, at least one of whom is yellow. It's at least plausible that she has a yellow/black sister who was involved with the spy network and knows Macura. It would be very in character for Moggy to try to get some access to that network on the off chance that something might come in handy. I also think that Moggy would be the sort of character who could convince Macura to send her copies of the reports without there being any harm in it.

As for the other one, I have no idea. Maybe the Seanchan, but I'm not sure. It would need to be someone who not only knew that Macura was an Aes Sedai spy, but someone who knew who it was who sent the messages for her. I'm not sure the Seanchan would fit with that.
68. Aegnor
There are many groups in the military that go through waterboarding as part of their training (special forces, SEALs, etc). If done right, it leaves no lasting physical damage. That doesn't mean it's not torture though. The Geneva convention doesn't apply for a myriad of reasons, but that is a side issue. Also, many people like to say that torture doesn't work, but that isn't true. It does work in many situations. People just say that to avoid the real issue. Is it right?

Is it moral to torture known bad people to keep bad things from happening. Is it worth the damage to reputation and the psyche of the country. How can we hold any moral high ground if we are torturing people? But what about the innocent people saved by the information discovered? What if an innocent person is tortured by mistake?

All extremely difficult questions. Which is why people downplay waterboarding and say it isn't torture, and why others say that torture doesn't work, or that its against the geneva conventions. It avoids the real, tough questions.
70. alreadymadwithstealingotherpeoplesnames
@50: Do we get confirmation that forkroot doesn't work on non-channelers? I thought there was at least the implication that Ronde and Luci were drugged with the forkroot themselves. They're so deeply asleep that they can't be roused, then Ronde "staggers" out of the house. I seem to remember forkroot being used on others as well.

In the KOD prologue, it says that forkroot affects those that can channel much more strongly than those that cannot channel. The Seanchan use it to detect (and capture) people who can channel.

So in conclusion, uh...I don't know.
71. alreadymadwithidentitythief
If you don't know, don't bother talking about it.
Luke M
72. lmelior
At this re-read rate we might get through aCoS before The Gathering Storm hits shelves. I wonder how that will work out -- week-long reading break? We'll have to worry about spoilers from Book 12 at that point, even if not from Leigh then certainly in the comments, so the slow readers and paperback fans might have to stay away. Sigh, I just realized I might have to suffer through the last four or five books on my own before the release, just to stay ahead of the spoilers.
73. syncap8
Likely Nynaeve will only be able to heal someone who is "mostly dead".
Hugh Arai
74. HArai
syncap8@73: Should work on Rand then, that's True Wuv x3.
75. Aegnor
I think I remember something about it affecting non-channelers in large amounts. Essentially a few sips will knock a channeler out, where it will take a couple cups to knock out a non-channeler.
76. TAmyrlinring1
syncap8 @73

So, no checking his pockets, just give him the magic chocolate-coated pill and wait 15 minutes. I wonder if Nynaeve has chocolate in that scrip.
77. Freelancer
RE: Torture

U.S. Military members who have both the potential to be captured by enemy forces, and likelihood of being in possession of deeply sensitive information, are trained in Survivial/Evasion/Resistance/Escape (SERE). During the Resistance portion, trainees are held in a mock POW camp reminiscent of those in North Viet Nam, and are subjected to "enhanced interrogation". For a very long time, this included waterboarding, as well as beatings, sleep deprivation, sensory overload, and a variety of purely psychological techniques.

The purpose is that when a person has experienced this form of abuse, they can condition their mind to hold out much longer, or entirely, against similar techniques if ever held by an enemy.

The most common form of what is known as waterboarding has the victim on their back in a declined position, with a cloth covering most or all of their face. Then water is poured over the cloth in intermittent patterns. Sometimes the cloth is drenched, sometimes drizzled on. This makes breathing regularly impossible, especially as some of the water travels "up" the declined nasal passages. The person applying the water will watch the victim's chest, anticipating a deep inhale, and drench the cloth just in time to produce a sense of drowning.

Nobody who is waterboarded can say that they didn't feel intense fear that they were going to die. But there is no physical damage or harm. Torture? Depends on your definition. Scary? Absolutely. Effective way to break someone and get information? Yes.

All that to say this. A vague, formless "threat" meant to allow someone's own imagination to induce fear is nobody's idea of torture. If it is, your definition is bogus. Besides, figs and mice have nothing on the proper application of vinegar and chile powder.

EDIT: And now I see that Aegnor got to some of it before me. The Geneva conventions don't apply to how folks are treated in SERE training, because those define the treatment of POWs, not how a military treats its own people. Those are governed by that military's manual of Regulations. And one more thing, waterboarding is no longer permitted at SERE.
sandi vogel
78. sinfulcashew
77: Freelancer
Perfectly alright. Now I know what the heck it means and then some.
Thanks to all!
Lannis .
79. Lannis
alreadymad @ 70 & 71:

I'm nosey... what's up with your handle? Someone impersonating you? Or has an element of today's discussion flown right over my head? :/
80. Valan
@ Freelancer
All that to say this. A vague, formless "threat" meant to allow someone's own imagination to induce fear is nobody's idea of torture. If it is, your definition is bogus. Besides, figs and mice have nothing on the proper application of vinegar and chile powder

Totally agree

@ Darxbane 61 re: Nynaeve's Bitchcraft
LMMFAO. God I almost lost it at work. :)

My personal take on waterboarding is that it qualifies as torture, if low-torture if you will.
As Aegnor was talking about the big questions, I'll answer them for everyone:
Is it moral to torture known bad people to keep bad things from happening.


Is it worth the damage to reputation and the psyche of the country.


How can we hold any moral high ground if we are torturing people?

We can't. We lose it.

But what about the innocent people saved by the information discovered?

There are other ways to go about getting information. If we have the right to torture them and get information to save our people, then we give them the right to do the same to kill our people. Hypocrisy is a epidemic in this country already without ruining are stance on the fact that [b]YOU DON'T F**KING TORTURE PEOPLE BECAUSE ITS WRONG.

What if an innocent person is tortured by mistake?

Yeah, then the torturer is now twice over an evil bastard.

Has anyone seen Pan's Labyrinth? Remember the Captain torturing scenes? Do we really want to be anything like that guy? Like Stalin? Like Hitler? I think not.
j p
81. sps49
I don't like potential Enemy questions like the Ronde pigeon destinations.

Carrier pigeon logistics are one giveaway to spies/ eyes-and-ears in Randland. Look for loads of pigeons carted around, observe who uses them. This may have given Ronde away in Whitecloakicia, and resulted in her being forced to send them duplicates.

This is why your intelligence agent need a duress code, to inform your control that you are compromised.

The Seanchan haven't been around long enough.

Someone in Tarabon?

I dunno, Blue and Black (false flag or not) are most likely.

The pigeonkeeper is much more suspicious. He may be reporting to Balwer.
82. Freelancer
Ok, all you Nynaeve suck-ups

“You can’t think he’ll turn to a Maiden,” Nynaeve said incredulously. “He is a man, but he isn’t as fickle as that, and besides, one of them would put a spear in him if he looked at her crossways, even if he is this Dawn whatever. Anyway, Egwene says Aviendha is keeping an eye on him for you.”

Bash men much, Wisdom? Oh, she's learning soooo much. NOT. This boy from her village, that she watched grow up, is now the most important person in the world. She knows this. She knows that he is trying to Do The Right Thing. She also by now, with her newly acquired worldly experiences, knows that his sense of honor is far higher than all but a few other men she's ever encountered. And she still presumes to insult him left and right. "He is a man...", means that he's likely to grab the nearest skirt available, just because Elayne isn't handy. "...this Dawn whatever", is just rudeness. She has heard enough from Egwene by this time to know the title, but saying it right would be like acknowledging that Rand is important, and she flat refuses.

Yes, she surprises everyone by admitting the value of warders after being rescued. But consider, the fact that everyone is surprised points up her normal behavior by comparison.



However, she was right to run over Elayne for asking political questions of Whitecloaks when they are trying NOT to gain extra attention.
Alice Arneson
83. Wetlandernw

You're just trying to get a reaction out of me, aren't you?
John Massey
84. subwoofer
'K, not to start something, Ny is annoying but she does come around and she is loyal to Rand in the end. And I did say in the last post that Ny will heal Rand's wounds. Thom's leg would be a bonus.

I laughed when she got the name Nana, suits her and in TAR how she reacts at being busted wearing a revealing dress. Her general doofusness makes up for all the nagging and wonky things that come out of her mouth. Her and Luca's relationship is funny too. I like it when he recounts how Ny's screams sound so real when she is the "pretty assistant" to the knife throwing act.

Thom kicked butt. And he didn't get much credit for what he did. I always wondered why, if AS are such hot stuff, how come they need us guys who think with the hair on our chests. Exhibit A. We can spel to.

-edit- hi Leigh- saw the short chapter and went outside to look for the First Sign. Couldn't believe it. Am now in Cuendillar bunker.

85. toddywatts
The Mythbusters did an episode on torture. Chinese water torture was enough to make Kari cry after only about an hour, if I remember correctly, and I think the lying on bamboo is something different. I want to say they used a ballistics gel model and it was really creepy to see the bamboo growing up through it. Of course, I guess there's nothing to say that you couldn't combine the two.
86. Shadow_Jak
The multiple pigeons. Just occurred to me that the second pigeon, the one heading West, likely went to Sebban Balwer (Pedron Naill's Spymaster). The last one, I'm thinking went to the darkside.

drewlovs @ 9
Did we ever find out if Forkroot works on men?
Yes, in KoD

Not sure why the topic of torture came up here since actual, honest to Creator, for real, physical torture been mentioned many times before in the series. What do you think they mean by putting someone to the "Question"? It's even used in Andor.
87. longtimefan
@ 65

I'm sure in Randland there are poisons that /can/ kill them (odorlessly and tastelessly of course!)

So are the poisons wearing gold vests and purple parachute pants?

Maybe Elayne is one of these poisons since she is trying to make time (fake time even) with her mother's old boyfriend and that is pretty tasteless.

Another thought about Thom being older. I always thought he was in his 50s and the spryness was a point that just because some one has lived a bit longer than some it does not mean they are weak with age. Maybe he is 40ish. Is Morgase also 40ish or is she a bit older? I can not remember if it is mentioned if he is older than Morgase or the same age. Would not the tiny bit of her channeling ability grant her a modicum of slowing?
Alice Arneson
88. Wetlandernw

One minor problem: Amador is east of Mardecin. Personally, I think #2 went to someone in Tanchico because that's really the only thing west of Mardecin. (Can't figure who, because no one who shows up in the story seems to have been there long enough to have homing pigeons, but maybe they took over someone else's. IRL, I'd think maybe it was someone she didn't know was no longer in need of her services, but that's not a very RJ thing to do. Might be Seanchan, somehow.) Sorry, R.Fife, but I don't think the "thin parchment" concept bears much weight (arr arr arr) even aside from the directional problem. That's what you use when you send a pigeon. You do want the silly bird to get there without keeling over, and these aren't Harry Potter-style owls, just pigeons.

I think #3 went to the Whitecloaks, probably Balwer but could be anyone, because Avi Shendar seems more like the Whitecloak sympathiser type than Macura. (Good grief - she wouldn't dare let any WC know anything about her sending info to TV!) #3 might have gone to a DF or Forsaken, but if the latter it would almost have to be Graendal, Sammael, Rahvin or Mesaana because they are the only "stationary" ones. Or Be'lal, if Shendar didn't know he was dead.
j p
89. sps49
@87 longtimefan-

Excellent, excellent point on Morgase (slowing) that I have never heard before.

But you poison ruminations leave me scratching my head. Could you elaborate, please?
Alice Arneson
90. Wetlandernw

Yes, Morgase has slowed because of her channeling ability. She looks about 30, but is really 43 or thereabouts. (If you really want to know how I derived that, ask; otherwise I won't go into it.)
91. longtimefan
just poking light grammatical fun at poison killing tastelessly.
92. Shadow_Jak
Wetlandernw @88
One minor problem: Amador is east of Mardecin. Personally, I think #2 went to someone in Tanchico because that's really the only thing west of Mardecin.
Darn, guess that blows my theory. Got my directions turned around. (And I was a Boy Scout too!)
Alice Arneson
93. Wetlandernw

I loved it. Tasteless, indeed. Should have said that when I responded to the query on Morgase's age. I get a one-track mind sometimes...


Well, I had to say it, after all the time I spent trying to find a map with Mardecin even ON it. ;)
Kevin Morgan
94. DrMorganstien
@90 Wetlandernw
Yes, Morgase has slowed because of her channeling ability. She looks about 30, but is really 43 or thereabouts. (If you really want to know how I derived that, ask; otherwise I won't go into it.)
I'd actually like to know if its not too much trouble, I always assumed she hadn't slowed since her channeling ability wasn't even always accessible. I seem to remember (apparently incorrectly) that slowing is a result of the power passing through you, which Morgase shouldn't be able to do enough to slow.

Also, I can't find an answer either way online.
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
DrMorganstien @94

The bit about slowing is straight from RJ's blog dated Tuesday, October 4, 2005:
Yes, Morgase has slowed, and that is exactly why there is so much emphasis on her looking only ten years older than Perrin when she has children the ages of Elayne and Gawyn.

The bit about her actual age is based on several things:

She went to the Tower at age 14, left at 16 to take part in the Succession, which started in 972 when Tigraine disappeared. This book takes place in 999, so 27 years later. I'm sorry I'm too lazy to go back and look up all the book references as to her age in the Tower and the year Tigraine took off for the Waste.

My sources: RJ's blog at Dragonmount; Steven Cooper's WOT Chronology; WoT Encyclopedia. I think that's all I needed to put it together. It helps that I tend to remember a lot of trivia once I've read it, and I have an associative (and partially photographic) sort of memory so I can usually figure out where I read it when I want to find it again. Takes me a while sometimes, but it's kinda fun. In a geeky sort of way.
Antoni Ivanov
96. tonka
Sorilea is about 300 years and she probably just a tad more powerful than Morgase.It's logical that Morgase will slow a little.
Alice Arneson
97. Wetlandernw
Speaking of trivia:

(I can't believe I did this. I must be in the same state as that proverbial bucket of bananas.)

Survey says....

Number responding: 48
Average age: 36.5
Oldest age given: 68
Youngest age given: 18
Identified as students: 12
(or working on degree)
Parents: 24
Grandparents: 3
Greatgrandparents: 1
We have to our credit at least 54 children, 9 grandchildren and one greatgrandchild. (Not everyone included this info, so these are just minimum numbers. Babies on the way (2) are included in the count)

Regarding education:

Those holding at least one college degree: 38
Those holding at least one masters degree: 16
Those holding at least one doctorate: 4
An additional 12 are working on degrees: 7 on their first degree, 5 on masters.

29 people hold one or more degrees in engineering, computer science or technology, hard sciences or medical sciences.

I ran out of steam (and info) to list the number of degrees in English, history, business, etc.; ditto with listing all those who have military service. (Partly that last is due to the fact that some folks specified, but many others didn't when I know from previous comments that they have served thus. So I didn't try to give that one, knowing it would be horribly inaccurate.)

So there you have it, just in case there were any inquiring minds left to want to know... Personally, I think mine's fried.
sandi vogel
98. sinfulcashew

Yipes! You did it!
Actually I find it interesting and informative for some reason. At least we have some ideas about each other.
I just wish the 18 yr old hadn't left, he was also interesting. I think he could have finally contributed alot more.

And by the way, the 68 yr old will be 69 on the 16th of this month. (yahooooo?) Born on Fathers Day, so if it'a like Leap Year, I'm only 25?
Oh, and there is one retiree?

I thought there was an older person (man) on here?
99. alreadymadwithcopiedname
Lannis @79
The first. alreadymadwithstealingotherpeoplesnames is fake. You can tell because his handle is long enough to break the formatting on the homepage. I've stayed within the prescribed limits since one of my replies got balefired. His post wasn't even as intelligent as mine are (if I do say so myself :P).

Freelancer @82
Yeah. Bash our favorite men-basher some more.

Shadow_Jak @86
Putting someone to "the Question". Simply means interrogating him. Usually with rather... harsh... techniques that involve switches and whips. During Verin's Suggestion sessions with the captured sisters in Cairhien one of them, Beldeine, I think it was, described their treatment of Rand as "like putting him to the Question".

tonka @96
How do you know Sorilea's age? AFAIK, the degree to which you slow, and the subsequent extension to your life, is directly proportional to your strength in the Power. This is why only the most powerful Aes Sedai reach Cadsuane's age. Granted, Sorilea doesn't have the Oaths to shorten her life. But still, I don't recall Sorilea's actual age, or even an estimate, ever being mentioned.
Sydo Zandstra
100. Fiddler

It helps that I tend to remember a lot of trivia once I've read it, and I have an associative (and partially photographic) sort of memory so I can usually figure out where I read it when I want to find it again. Takes me a while sometimes, but it's kinda fun. In a geeky sort of way.

Yay! I'm not the only one going through the books like this while looking things up. I take it you know where to look on pages as well (bottom, centre or top)?

It's a weird experience sometimes, having to put down a book while being in the middle of a paragraph, and then picking up right where you left it when you start reading again without having to look for it...

On torture:

The whole psychology behind Figs and Mice is a nice twist, and I don't see it as evil/bad.

But such a trick would only work in a setting where physical torture is common practice.
101. alreadymadwithtalkofquestions
Yep. Putting someone to the Question is literally right out of the Inquisition. It's what follows if you deny being a heretic.
Richard Fife
102. R.Fife
Wetlander: Wow, I feel dumb (being one of the few that doesn't actually have any degree, just the greater part of one that I never plan on finishing).

That being said, I never said anything about thin paper (and am confuzzeled to my name-inclusion in 88). Just wanted to put that out there.

Oh, and Seanchan operatives have been working in western Randland ever since Suroth "saved" the Corienne, as seen by our Seanchan friends in Tanchico last book. So my money is the Western Bird (#2) is Seanchan. And yeah, the 3rd bird is probably to the WCs.
Lannis .
103. Lannis
Wetlander @ 97: re: survery results. Wow. That's an interesting breakdown. Thanks for compiling it! :)
John Massey
104. subwoofer
I dunno about the second bird- When I first read the books I figured that since the Blues had the most extensive network of eyes and ears that whatsherpickle was also sending messages to them. So I thought that the second bird went to Sallidar. Third bird- the guy's a narc so WC it is.

- wetlander- much appreciated at the time it must of taken to compile the results! I strongly suggest sitting under your umbrella and sippin' some Long Islands during your well deserved recovery.

-edit-@alreadymad- the nerve! people taking your handle! We knew it wasn't you. There was no talk of spankings...

Sydo Zandstra
105. Fiddler
@alreadymad, make a choice:

1. create an account over here and never get impersonated again.

2. Don't create an account, and be vulnerable to idiots impersonating you.

Since most people here already refer to you as 'alreadymad' or ARM, option 1 is not as bad as you may think. You are a regular in these discussions.

Personally, I rarely read past 'alreadymad'. I doubt I'm alone there. ;)
Lannis .
106. Lannis
@ alreadymad... actually, I do read your whole handle, usually because they're: a) funny, and b) pertinent to the content of your posts.

IIRC, someone mentioned on an earlier thread that perhaps you should create an account in the name "alreadymad" (or "alreadymadwhen") and then add the rest of your changing handle in the first line of your post... I think it's a good idea. I'm enjoying the humour that comes out of them. :)
Ofer Nave
107. odigity
Rikka@65: Aes Sedai are ridiculous people.

Wow. That's so... concise. Pretty much sums it all up.

If you were a Randland channeler, would you want to be Aes Sedai or a free agent? (I'm assuming you can't be a windfinder/wise one without being born to those races.)

I know what I'd pick.
Kevin Morgan
108. DrMorganstien
Thanks! Very well done. I thought I had read all of RJs blog, I guess most of it didn't stick since I was a fool college student (at the time) reading it all after getting out of work various nights at 3AM.
Thanks once more for the survey info, I'm glad to see the results, kept meaning to add my info to it, could if anyone wants/asks.

I love the name changes and often laugh out loud at them, I'm kind of a nerd.

My votes:
Pidgeon 1: to the Yellow
Pidgeon 2: to the Black
Pidgeon 3: to Balwer, as he is the man, and clearly not with the WCs for their philosophy so he probably wouldn't arrest AS sympathizers.
Michael Catapano
109. hoping
For historical purposes, there needs to be a list of already's handles.
I nominate wetlandernw for this as she has shown initiative and determination.:)
Ofer Nave
110. odigity
R.Fife@102: Wetlander: Wow, I feel dumb (being one of the few that doesn't actually have any degree, just the greater part of one that I never plan on finishing).

Don't. I left in my second year, and it was one of the smartest moves I've ever made. Universities are just another cartel. Like OPEC, the BAR, and the AMA.

sinfulcashew@98: I just wish the 18 yr old hadn't left, he was also interesting. I think he could have finally contributed alot more.

Maybe if people didn't refer to him as "kid" or judge him by his age so often (and if someone had gagged T'amyrlin) he'd still be here. If I had been the target of that onslaught, I would have left even quicker. All I can say is it's a good thing I only arrived after everything was over, otherwise I'd probably have ended up banned.

Freelancer@82: Bash men much, Wisdom? Oh, she's learning soooo much. NOT. This boy from her village, that she watched grow up, is now the most important person in the world. She knows this. She knows that he is trying to Do The Right Thing. She also by now, with her newly acquired worldly experiences, knows that his sense of honor is far higher than all but a few other men she's ever encountered. And she still presumes to insult him left and right. "He is a man...", means that he's likely to grab the nearest skirt available, just because Elayne isn't handy. "...this Dawn whatever", is just rudeness. She has heard enough from Egwene by this time to know the title, but saying it right would be like acknowledging that Rand is important, and she flat refuses.

I agree. Nynaeve certainly has positive qualities (all the main characters do), but she also has massive drawbacks. She needs to get laid. Note that this isn't a gender thing. Lan is also Mr. Drama Queen sometimes, and would similarly benefit from the same activity, preferably with Nynaeve. Surprise, surprise, they're both much more tolerable post-honeymoon.

One of my top ten scenes (or rather, sequences) is Nynaeve and Lan kicking it old-school adventure style in Far Madding with Rand, followed by the Cleansing. Hey Nynaeve, you're really powerful, and Rand can use some help. How about a little teamwork? It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?

On that note, do you realize the last three books are going to be like one thirty hour long orgasm? For about 11k pages now we've been virtually tortured (that's my one and only foray there this thread) with the pain of bad communication and perpetual separation between our favorite ass kickers. No one ever talks, no one works together. The Far Madding scene described above is one of the very few exceptions, and they're always very short. But the last three books are all about coming together. Working together. Finally sharing all the information that's been withheld, and acting on it to get done what needs to get done. 11k pages and 19 years of tension will be released.

I love long songs - the longer the better - because when you invest more time in building the tension, the peaks are higher and the climaxes are more intense. It's not quite the same with books, but I think there is an analogous effect. But WOT is the mother of all fantasy series at this point. I can't imagine what the release is going to be like. I think I'll spend the week after book 14 comes out cruising coffee shops to try to spot people reading it. I expect to find them grinning like the Joker's victims.
111. alreadymadwithcountinghandles
alreadymadwhenBerelainsdressfelloff is a personal favorite of mine. Too bad it's too long. I can't use it or I'd run the risk of the post being balefired.
112. alreadymadwhenIstoleyourhandle
You realize you're really asking to be spoofed by refusing to register?

Plus the captcha is just really annoying. Can't see how it's worth putting up with just for a running gag.
Antoni Ivanov
113. tonka
@99 alreadymad

"Sorilea (soh-rih-LEE-ah): The Wise One of Shende Hold, a Jarra Chareen. Barely able to channel, she is the oldest living Wise One, though not by as much as many think."
(LoC Glossary)

Why I think that she is 300 , I cannot recall, that's what I have as an impression. But being the oldest Wise One when there are so many that can channel much more strongly than her hints something.
114. Freelancer
RE: My Nynaeve rant

Not aimed at anyone, not hunting for a reaction. Calling it how I see it. Yes, she gets better. Yes, when Egwene knocks her in the dirt in T'a'R, it's the best thing that happens to both of them in a while.

Look, even into the middle of TGH, there was reason to understand Nynaeve's displeasure with Moiraine for having taken four young people from their homes. Except that if she had a shred of reason she would have alread admitted that Moiraine's actions were just, beneficial to those young people AND the entire world. So, that shred of sense, had she employed one, would have shown her to back off and help, rather than just being there and looking for a way to "pay back" that horrible Moiraine, the MVP for the Light up to that point.
115. alreadymadwhenwithfakeposters
tonka @113
It looks like you're one of the "some" who think she's older than she looks, then. No surprise, really, since she really does look ancient. Aiel in general have shorter lifespans though, because of the harsh conditions of the Waste.

Freelancer @114
I don't even see how Nynaeve had any business coming after Rand and company. The three boys weren't boys. They were already adults. She's just jealous because Moiraine impinged on her supposed sphere of influence.

alreadymadwhensomebodydecidedtobeanidiot @112
Sigh.. I thought this site only attracted intelligent browsers. I guess I was wrong. Now did you really have anything intelligent to contribute? Or are you just getting your kicks harassing somebody who's having a good time?
116. Freelancer

Nice of you to compile that breakdown. Now to launch a flurry of updates. I didn't mention my two children.


The value of a degree is usually little more than proof you sustained a commitment. The best workers I've ever known were self-taught, which indicates a more sincere motivation to me. All of my paper was gained in the non-traditional manner, parlaying much of my military experience as credits, which to me makes them more valuable. Someone who's degree is earned entirely in classrooms hasn't yet applied the learning, where someone from TSoHK has far more wisdom and experience to bring. I say none of that to put down people with traditional classroom degrees, but I get tired of people without them being put down by someone who couldn't dream of doing the same work as well.


Yeah, we know what you'd pick as well. Your comtempt for organized almost anything has not gone unnoticed, as much as you try to hide it.

BTW, Tamyrlinring1 did nothing amiss regarding Roxinos. His arrogance, rudeness and insensitivity earned the reactions he got. And she attempted to point out to him how easily he left a WWW trail to his real self and more. He took it as some sort of threat, when it was the opposite. She was being kind, and your re-interpretation of that is very silly.

And now, on-topic. Ronde Macura's discovery of forkroot is never revealed. The speculation on this topic has hit all the high points on both and Dragonmount. Likewise with the 2nd and 3rd pigeons. If we don't know by know, it's hard to imagine, long after the rebel AS have left Salidar, any value in it being revisited. When it comes up during a re-read, I always wonder about such things, but unless/until they are resolved in text, I don't spend any mental effort on them.
117. Freelancer

I agree with you there. But looking back to Rand's conversation with Nynaeve in Baerlon, she told him that the Village Council was planning to send someone after them, so she took the initiative, since she didn't have a farm, mill, forge, or some such to look after. Her going prevented some man/men from leaving family and job on a similar hunt, so I can't fault her too much for that. It's her insistence that Moiraine has done some imaginably bad thing, even after she knows the truth, that chaps me. For the record, as I've said before, I'm not a Nynaeve hater.


I suspect you're a regular commenter here just poking fun, but really... best if you not let him find out your normal handle, I could see that being rough for you for some time.
Sydo Zandstra
118. Fiddler

Considering Two Rivers standards, Rand, Mat and Perrin weren't grown ups when Moiraine took them away. Neither was Egwene, but she had to be taken away because her Saidar thingy.

Nynaeve coming after the company back in TEotW, just for Rand, Mat, Perrin and Egwene gives her extra Cool Points right from the start.

Nynaeve is currently the only Aes Sedai that Rand trusts with his life. She already helped him at the end of this book, and she will do so again.

Think on that.
Alice Arneson
119. Wetlandernw
RFife @ 102

So sorry - I was going from memory instead of actually looking. It was RobMRobM that commented on the thin parchment. My bad.
Richard Fife
120. R.Fife
*sniffs and crosses arms under breasts Uno style*

And, for what its worth, I dislike Nynaeve from about this book starting with Valan Luca and lasting until she breaks her block. At least her block-breaking scene was MoA enough to almost make up for all the sniffing and hypocrisy.
121. alreadymadwithjealouswisdom
Fiddler @118
I disagree that RMP were boys by Two Rivers standards. Tam was roughly the same age when he left 30-40 years before. And in LOC the boys who ran off were even younger. The combined Wisdoms of the Two Rivers decided they were old enough to be on their own, then.
Based on these two instances, I have no doubt their departure would have elicited much discussion, but, the "adults" would eventually decide three 20 year olds were old enough to be on their own. And that it would not be worth the trouble to track them down.
Nynaeve can talk all she wants about coming after the boys to take them back, but when she caught up to them, did she even try to discuss returning with the boys? Or did she expect them to meekly follow her home once she had convinced Moiraine to let go of them? All she did was make more excuses about keeping an eye on them. She knows exactly how far she'd get if she decided to discuss it with the boys. The fact is she just got jealous because Moiraine invaded her sphere of influence. Suddenly her position as Wisdom wasn't hot stuff anymore. Why do you think she hates Moiraine so much?
James Jones
122. jamesedjones
Already Mad When I added Spaces

I just want to throw my vote in for the 'I read and enjoy the handles' category.
Claire Edwards
123. ClaireBelle
@alreadymadwhen (the real one) - your handles are one of my fave things about this forum, don't stop!
@the fake alreadymad - seriously dude, what on earth is your problem?!

Oh and because wetlander brought up the survey again - I'm 23, based in the UK and have a history degree (but I'm not precious about it). Been reading WoT since someone recommended it to me once I'd finished LoTR at about 15 and have been hooked ever since. Now addicted to the reread...
Sydo Zandstra
124. Fiddler

They were boys by Two Rivers Standards.

Tam is not a standard to which the TR boys should be compared to.

Why Nynaeve isn't hauling the boys back:

She doesn't have the possibility to do so. Remember the Shadar Logoth part, and remember how often she gets to meet Rand, Mat and Perrin.
125. Slurpy
@2 zdrakec, @4 Eswana: Not only is Nynaeve going to Heal Rand's death, she is going to Heal it after he has been dead for three days (after the funeral barge with Min, Avi, and Elayne), mirroring the Christ-resurrection mythos.
Alice Arneson
126. Wetlandernw
sinfulcashew @98

more detail on age:
teens: 2
twenties: 14
thirties: 18
forties: 5
fifties: 5
sixties: 3

There's one who said "59+" so he fell into the "50s" category, although probably should be in the "60s".

retired: 2

I too remember someone saying something in the early days that made me think he was in his 70s or 80s, but either I was off in my guess or he didn't respond to the survey. Lots didn't, obviously.

Still can't believe I did that, but that sort of thing pulls me like a Siren...
127. alreadymadwhilenynwasjealous
Fiddler @124
How is Tam not a standard the boys should be compared to? Tam had even less reason to leave the village than they did. It was a time of relative peace. Unlike the recent events in the Two Rivers where even Tam was convinced the Dark One was after at least one of the boys. Granted everyone still refers to them as boys, but if the Village Council were left to its own decision, I suspect they'd have simply given up the four for lost. And old enough to decide for themselves what paths they should take. Why else did Nynaeve unilaterally decide to run off on her own after them? Because she did not trust the Village Council whom she's already characterized as "not having a full set of wits among them" to decide properly. She also knows whatever she feels about Moiraine taking the four is extremely personal and nobody would understand. Jealousy is quite personal.
She caught up with them in Baerlon. If she was really serious about hauling the boys back, she'd have gathered them together after her one-on-one discussion with Moiraine. Try to talk them into coming with her. But no, she prioritized her bath. She didn't even try to talk Rand into leaving while the matter was still hot, so to speak. He was right there outside the room. Rand was usually acknowledged as the voice of reason among the three. The balance between Mat's impulsiveness and Perrin's over-caution.

Slurpy @125
That's a good one. I don't know whether to take it seriously or not. It just might happen.

Wetlandernw @126
Add me in. I'm an even 30. Single, no kids, with a college degree.
Helen Peters
128. Helen
120. R.Fife

*sniffs and crosses arms under breasts Uno style*

Uno has breasts?? The mind boggles..

So if Morgase has slowed coz she can channel, but isn't strong enough to be bound by the oath rod, how old will she be when she pops her clogs, barring accident or illness. It's just that her daughter is going to be bound, so will live much shorter. So if not for Rand and Rhavin and co making Morgase leave, would the daughter heir ever have become queen, or would she have been the daughter heir for the next couple of hundred years or so? Just the thought of an old and grey decrepit Elayne asking young and spry mum when she's gonna let go of the throne.
Alice Arneson
129. Wetlandernw
On Sorilea's age, the wiki says:
She is barely able to channel, with an ability less than an Accepted in the White Tower. Despite this she is the pre-eminent Wise One, with all the others following her lead. She is believed to be the oldest Wise One and is potentially 300 years old but there is no conclusive evidence to this.
So somewhere there's reason to think about 300, but no proof. Okay...

RFife: About those degrees... (survey says) Four of those who responded have no degree and no indication that they want one. And since the responders were roughly half of the "regulars" on here (didn't someone say 90 at one point? that's all I'm going on) I'm guessing there are plenty more. You might still be in the minority, but hey, we're all good company, aren't we?

Freelancer: Nynaeve's rudeness... I'm not going to go into a point-by-point on this, but I had to laugh about "that's just rude" when she calls Rand "this Dawn whatever." Every time we're in the Aiel world, they dismiss "this Dragon whatever" just as thoroughly. They couldn't care less about the Dragon Reborn - they only want the Car'a'carn to take good care of the Aiel; if he takes good care of a few wetlanders, too, that's okay as long as its not at the expense of the Aiel. Is that rude? Maybe, but I don't hear any criticism on it.

Fiddler: Yes indeedy, I do see the position on the page in my memory. It is a bit wierd at times. And its very distressing if you get a different printing of something where the layout is different. In college I had a Bible I used until it was literally falling apart, but when I got a new one I couldn't find anything in a hurry. Made me realize how much I rely on the visual memory. Back in grade school and high school, I used to feel guilty about things we were supposed to memorize - in a concert or on a test, I would literally be turning pages in my head and reading it back. Finally realized that it was okay to memorize it that way... :)
130. alreadymadwithElayne'smom
Helen @128
I don't even want to think about it. As it is the words that come to mind when I think of Morgase is Elayne's Mom. With accompanying music by Fountains of Wayne.

Wetlandernw @129
The Aiel may not think much of the Dragon Reborn, but then again, The Wise Ones themselves clarify that the Dragon Reborn is a Wetlander prophecy. Of course, they don't think highly of that. All that matters to them is He Who Comes With The Dawn.
Nynaeve, on the other hand, is a westlander. What excuse does she have aside from some long ago memories of having paddled Rand's bottom a few times?
She's simply taking potshots at Rand's prophesied destiny. Probably because he's now so far above her. Jealousy? I wouldn't be surprised.
Richard Fife
131. R.Fife
Wetlander, surely you've seen the Isam WoT Summaries. They've been linked like 5 times, but here's another:

Isam's Wot Summaries
The Lord of Chaos one is what I was referencing.

Oh, and I am actually 3 credit hours (one class) shy of a Computer Science Engineering Degree, and I actually took the class, just didn't pass ;) Then life got complicated and I had to abandon my pursuit, so I'm more or less degreed, just, you know, its a bit of a salty wound sometimes.
Sydo Zandstra
132. Fiddler

Tam is not a standard the boys should be compared to because he is the only one who left the Two Rivers before the boys left.

That makes him an exception.

Nynaeve went after Moiraine+Lan+the boys+Egwene. She did did this on her own.

And I seem to recall Nynaeve did try at Baerlon.

Moiraine WAS Aes Sedai at the time. Is it Nynaeve's fault that she couldn't outflank her there?
Sydo Zandstra
133. Fiddler

You are my First Read Sister. ;-)
134. alreadymadwithjealouswisdom
Fiddler @132
Tam being the only one who left the Two Rivers before the boys did is not so much an exception as a precedent. The phenomenon repeated itself in LOC when a few boys of Faile's age and therefore younger than RMP also leave. The Wisdom make some fuss about it, but then decide they're old enough to be on their own. How is RMP leaving any different? Because an Aes Sedai was involved?
Only Nynaeve was really serious about getting them. Even Tam would have let them go. He only went with Abell to the White Tower because they were not to be outdone by the Wisdom. Who was now gone as well.
It's Nynaeve's motivation for coming after them that's questionable. She was jealous because in coming to the Two Rivers and convincing Rand etal to leave, Moiraine had stepped over what was supposed to be Nynaeve's authority. She's made her anger and jealousy at Moiraine for disrupting all their lives clear enough.
Richard Fife
135. R.Fife
AMW and Fiddler: I agree that Nynaeve is irked over Moiraine invadering her sphere of influence, but I don't think that barring Nynaeve's decision, the rest of EField would have been "oh, whatever." Perhaps since they went with an Aes Sedai, but if they had struck out on their own, I don't buy it.

As you said AMW, Tam was the first (well, not the first really, but a notable exception.) It isn't until after Duopotamia has a crapload of new blood from refugees, etc, and they are already throwing ten sorts of other traditions to the wind that the other boys leave, and I doubt the Wisdoms were of the same "traditional" state of mind in Book 6 as they would have been in Book 1, nor the rest of Duopotamia in general.

Edit: oh, and for as much as Mat, Perrin, and Rand are treated like older boys, not men, but the Village Council and the Women's Circle in tEotW, I would imagine that no, but 2R standards, they are not men yet (at least not until they actually tie the knot with someone). The Two Rivers seems to think women grow up sooner than men (which, heck, is kinda true).
Alice Arneson
136. Wetlandernw
alreadymadwithElayne'smom @130

Huh??!? I totally don't follow you here. I thought I was just pointing out that Nynaeve places just about the same value on the Aiel prophecies as the Aiel place on wetlander prophecies.

But back to Freelancer's original comments, I still think it's funny. She was actually giving Rand a compliment, however backhanded, by saying that he wouldn't drop Elayne for some other girl even if there was a whole lot of temptation around, because he's not that fickle. (I mean, we all know that men can't help looking at pretty girls when they're around, but Rand isn't so fickle as to do more than look... ;) I think it's pretty cool, actually, that she's one of the few who don't let the he's-the-Dragon-Reborn-cross-between-your-worst-nightmare-and-your-only-hope-of-survival thing get in the way of seeing him as a human being with both strengths and weaknesses. I can't recall that she's ever expressed the least doubt about his honor or his commitment to do his duty as DR even with the horrible ending they all think it entails. Okay, so she does express doubt about his intelligence on a regular basis, but that's typical big-sister type behavior anyway. Not even all that different than what a lot of the Maidens do with less basis.

And before anyone flames me for sexist remarks, don't forget the *wink*!!

P.S. alreadymadwithazillionendings
I think you should register as alreadymad and fill in the blanks. We all have way too much fun with it, but it was only a matter of time till someone misused it. And probably will again, but next time could be a lot worse. And I'm almost sure you won't be sad about not getting to do that password business every time you post... :)
Alice Arneson
137. Wetlandernw
Fiddler @133
I'm honored! Thank you. It's nice to know you're not alone. :)
Jay Dauro
138. J.Dauro
@132, 134

TEOTW Ch 16, by Nyneave

They (the Village Council) agreed you had to be found. Then Tam wanted to be the one to come after you, and him not able to stand by himself.

So yes, it appears the Council was planning to send someone after them. While I think Nyneave often acts without thinking, and ignores facts that she doesn't want to hear, I think we have to say that someone was going to follow our heroes, and it was probably best for her to follow.

Even if the Council felt they were adults (which I do not believe they did) the fact that they went with an AS caused the Council to feel they should be brought back.
Sydo Zandstra
139. Fiddler

I have the feeling that you are not the real alreadymad, since he doesn't spit out words in one bulk and actually uses blank lines in between arguments. If I am wrong, I apologize.

As for Nynaeve's motivation, she came for the kids first. The whole Moiraine/Lan only started after she got up to them.

I'm not buying the jealousy thing. If Nynaeve were jealous, she would have stayed at Emond's Field...
John Massey
140. subwoofer
Good times....
Alreadymad- do what ya gotta do- register- as I have suggested to all regular posters who participate in the conversations-y'all know who you are- stop hiding behind the plants. That was my original suggestion that went sideways. No biggie, just sayin'.

As far as Rand- boys to men- when Perrin came on back to TR it was quite the homecoming. I think it was especially capped off(big honking battle scene aside) by Bran giving him the good stuff. For me that represented Perrin being acknowledged as a man. I am very curious to see if Rand actually makes a homecoming- at least Gatewaying to see his Da- Tam. Should be a mixed bag of tricks to see the ups and downs as the reality of Rand being TDR hits home- literally.

Sean Banawnie
141. Seanie
I am looking forward to that reunion . It was cool the welcome Perrin got , just not the circumstances (news his family was wiped out), hopefully Rand's will be happier ....course Tam will blink a bit at having 3 daughters-in law.....
Alice Arneson
142. Wetlandernw
Seanie @141
course Tam will blink a bit at having 3 daughters-in law.....

LOL! Maybe just a bit.
John Massey
143. subwoofer
@141Seanie- *L*- blink was not the word I'd use- choke on his ale maybe

slams the door
Rand- Dad? I'm home...
Tam- In here son. How are things in the big world?
Rand- Things are okay, Dad? I have some big news...
Tam- What's that son?
Rand- Well, know all that talk about a Dragon?
Tam- Yes...
Rand- Well, its me... don't be mad dad. I don't know how it happened... honest.
Tam- Good for you son! I always knew you had potential.
Rand- Really?
Tam- Son? Where's your manners? Aren't you going to tell me who these ladies are who are trying not to be noticed...?
Tam gestures to Min, Ave, &Elayne standing off to the side holding up the wall...
Rand- Oh yeah... Dad, I'd like you to meet my wives...
Tam does a spit-take
Rand- Who are warder-bonded to me
Tam falls to a bout of choking and gasping for air
Tam-wheezing All three?!
Chorus- Hi Dad!
sandi vogel
144. sinfulcashew
Here is my vote copied from above:

"I just want to throw my vote in for the 'I read and enjoy the handles' category."

AMW(the real one)"
A vote for registering, too!

Is there a way to find out who is plagerist?
Or do we care?
Will they have enough chutzpah to come forward? That would be cool!
We are a forgiving bunch!

On to topics;
I thought when Nyn showed-shown, caught up with the party in EoTW, it annoyed me, as she had come across so know it all in the first part of the book.
But of course, she has redeemed herself since.
John Massey
145. subwoofer
Elayne- Mr. Al'Thor? Would you like to meet your grandkids?
146. alreadymadwithhavingtoregister
Sigh. The real danger with having an impostor running around is that people begin to doubt you are you. I don't think using a registered account will really fix that. And I'll have to stop exercising my creativity if it comes to that. Coming up with a new handle every comment isn't that easy, you know.

Wetlandernw @136
A backhanded compliment is one way to interpret it.

Fiddler @139
It's precisely because of jealousy that she went after them. In her mind, Rand etal still should be under her authority and Moiraine supplanted her. She went after them with an irrational desire to get things back to the way things were before Moiraine came on the scene. She just could not accept that they are now under Moiraine's guidance when as the Village Wisdom they should be under hers.
147. alreadymadwithtalkofimpostors
sinfulcashew @144
A mod account such as that of Torie or Pablo D. would be able to see the email address. If the impostor is stupid enough to use the same email he/she uses in his/her real account, they would be able to track it.

I'm a forgiving guy. But whoever it is better post worthwhile comments.
sandi vogel
148. sinfulcashew
For sure! (about worthwhileposts)
Tess Laird
149. thewindrose
Hi All-
Much going on , sad to see alreadymad is getting lurked.
Rand will be seeing dad soon - Tam is with Perrin at the moment. So we will have to wait for a TR homecoming - if that ever happens. Much to do with TG coming and someone dying. I hope that RJ and BS are keeping Rand around, hard to lose the "hero". But even if Rand lives, would he go back? How hard to see where you have grown up after going through so much and having such a different look on things.
Bill Reamy
150. BillinHI

There is indeed a retiree on here altho I mostly lurk and don't post much. Only 67 (68 in November) and retired for 5 years and loving every second of it. I'd like to say I'm living the surfer life here in Makaha (Oahu, Hawaii) but I'm way too klutzy for that. That's also the reason I don't play golf even though I live right around the corner from one course and just a little farther from another. I do have a living room full of books and a good internet connection, so I spend a lot of time reading. I'm not much of an analytical reader, just read for enjoyment. That and the fact that I'm so far west of everybody else (all the good stuff has been hashed and rehashed by the time I get to it) is the main reason I don't post much.

I'm listening to TFoH now (from Audible, on my Kindle) and have the next book from Audible also, but may take a break to re-read HP and the Half-Blood Prince before the movie comes out _finally_.

I thoroughly enjoy all the insights into the WoT books from all the posters, although the two mini-flames we've had get me scrolling past some posts. Likewise some of the longer discussions on what turn into side commentary.

Mahalo and Aloha to all!
151. Shadow_Jak
alreadymad... @99
Putting someone to "the Question". Simply means interrogating him. Usually with rather... harsh... techniques that involve switches and whips. During Verin's Suggestion sessions with the captured sisters in Cairhien one of them, Beldeine, I think it was, described their treatment of Rand as "like putting him to the Question".
Are you saying that was not torture? Folded double into a trunk in the sun all day, and flogged all night? Makes water boarding sound pretty attactive to me!
But aside from that, there are are other "Question" quotes in the series about, for instance, "hot irons and pinchers".

Wetlandernw @129
Back in grade school and high school, I used to feel guilty about things we were supposed to memorize - in a concert or on a test, I would literally be turning pages in my head and reading it back. Finally realized that it was okay to memorize it that way... :)
Hey ! That's cheating. Why? Well uh... well... because I can't do it! Actually, I have a pretty good memory, or thought I did. But it's a pitiful thing next to that!
Of course, at talent like that must be a blessing but also a curse. Why? well uh, well... Otherwise it just wouldn't be fair! *pouting* AND *sulking*
Alice Arneson
152. Wetlandernw
What's funny is, it felt like cheating. It isn't a true photographic memory - for school as described, it had to be something I'd actually studied, or music I'd worked to learn. Since I don't do so much of that any more, it doesn't come into play as much; mostly things I've read several times or something I read very recently (like FSS's comment about not having to search for your place on the page). If it makes you feel better, the older I get the less reliable it is. :)
153. Quollish
Nynaeve sniffed loudly. “I can believe anything of Siuan Sanche. I would like to have her for one hour where she could not channel. We would see how tough she is then.”

Can I just say, this one absolutely leapt out at me on re-reading.

It's just one of those things I enjoy finding in WoT ... like, "I'm not Aiel, Lord Barthanes, and I'm not of the royal line, either."
(not sure of exact words)

I don't think Nynaeve is being falsely-brave-in-the-absense-of-danger, but how close a match *are* those two, in personality alone?

Yay for Nynaeve for actually thanking the guys, too. =)
James Jones
154. jamesedjones
152 Wetlandernw

I feel a little better. And a little worse for feeling better. bleh
sandi vogel
155. sinfulcashew
Welcome to HI!
Some more statistics for the survey!

I wish someone would fess up as to being older than I-me? I was sure there was one.

I really wish I could get into the debating here more. I have opinions, but not enough to really state anything important. As we can see, the only things I comment on are sidebars.

So, I will check back periodically to see if there is anything I can actually discuss! (as usual!)
Kevin Morgan
156. DrMorganstien
I feel the same way about the contributing. Every time I have an opinion/viewpoint in need of expressing, its already been done by someone much better at the art of debate than I. So that is why I usually stick to references from outside stuff, as I'm good at that, and to letting people help me correct my horrible memory. Also, of course, loony theories.

I wish for your sake(sp?) I could admit to being older, but alas (for many reasons) I am a mere few weeks past my twenty-fourth birthday. Although when people usually ask me in WOT stuff I say "I am five years old" because its true and funny, and I'm horrendously immature.
Alice Arneson
157. Wetlandernw
Although when people usually ask me in WOT stuff I say "I am five years old" because its true and funny...

Hoot! I love it.
158. Freelancer

Not a compliment, my dear. When Nynaeve said that Rand "isn't that fickle, it refers back to her first phrase. Let me run it down:
“You can’t think he’ll turn to a Maiden,” Nynaeve said incredulously. “He is a man, but he isn’t as fickle as that, and besides, one of them would put a spear in him if he looked at her crossways, even if he is this Dawn whatever. Anyway, Egwene says Aviendha is keeping an eye on him for you.”

1) "You can't think he'll turn to a Maiden,"
The setup line, and important, but self-explanatory.
2) "He is a man,"
Nynaeve is here saying she understands Elayne's worry that he'll jump the first set of bones available since Elayne is so far away, and such behavior is expected of men.
3) "but he isn't as fickle as that"
A mere qualifier of the previous, that although Rand would act like any other man and be unfaithful, he wouldn't choose an Aiel Maiden for the act.

It honestly can't read any other way, and is nowhere close to a compliment. It is actually closer to being a prejudiced statement regarding Aiel.


If we find the culprit who has now caused so much difficulty for you, I'll hold him for you. Want to waterboard him?
Tess Laird
159. thewindrose
Wetlandernw -
I never filled out the survey, since I had already posted my info on my tag.

To anybody out there:) - Please post signed in or not - we all love to debate what ever is posted. Now, you may not get accolades or even answered, but hey most likely you will be read. Time to toss the dice - (Two rivers style if you will:))

...And... Lannis started this all(reverse psychology!)
Look RFIfe - you were it - and Wetlander had to fill in. *head shake*
160. Freelancer

Yeah, separating my answers into two posts, don't everyone have a coronary...

Yes, the Aiel don't give two figs for the Dragon Reborn. But that doesn't make the situation equal with Nynaeve disparaging Rand's title. She doesn't care about the Aiel, and that's fine, but it is still Rand we're talking about, someone with whom she has a near-familial relationship. So I'm biased, but my read on this remains, that Nynaeve chose to feign ignorance of the proper title because to do otherwise recognizes Rand's right to it, and she cannot bring herself to do so. Even the preceding qualification phrase "even if he is... shows her refusal to grant him his due. It isn't like he asked for any of this. Some support from the village Wisdom would have been nice.

Let me put it this way. The correct response to Elayne in the given situation would have been:
"Elayne, Two Rivers men might be stubborn and sometimes foolish, but they are a faithful lot. He cares for you deeply, and you can trust me that he will remain true to you."

The things that she chose to say couldn't possibly have provided Elayne with any real comfort.
Tess Laird
161. thewindrose
Nynaeve does not have a free conscious at this point, she is most assuredly a conflicted character because she is connected to Rand first hand.
Nynaeve being comforting - that is priceless:)
Alice Arneson
162. Wetlandernw
Freelancer: Meh. I still don't buy it. I understand that you can't read it any other way, but I can. And do. I grant you that she doesn't use the most tactful wording she could; tact was never her strong suit. (Okay, she's chronically short-suited in it, just like a few other characters, but I seem to like them anyway. Wonder what that says about me.) Still, I do see it more as tactless than as deliberately rude and insulting. Oh well.
Tess Laird
163. thewindrose
"Elayne, Two Rivers men might be stubborn and sometimes foolish, but they are a faithful lot. He cares for you deeply, and you can trust me that he will remain true to you."

Really Really??

1st would our beloved RJ written this? Second, as the author and reader know, there are three women(wifes?) to "become" the bedrock of Rand al Thor -who has some:) problems at this time "Paging Mr. Sanderson"
164. Freelancer
Wetlandernw & Fiddler

I have the same issue. I often find phrases or paragraphs in novels I have read, and in my Bible, by flipping to near where I expect the hunted passage to be, then scan the zone of the pages where I remember seeing the words, and flip along until the visual pattern registers. It's usually easier with the Bible, because I have a fair idea of the chapter I'm looking for. Not always true even to a chapter with novels, just a general sense of how deep into the volume I was, and whether it was a left or right page, and how far down the page. So don't feel alone in that, you aren't the only strange ones.
Andrew Lovsness
165. drewlovs
Nynaeve is a great character due to all the things that are being used to slam her, if you think about it. She was the most "learned" person in her village, as most of the villagers would go to their wisdom for advice and, well...wisdom.

She was too young for the job, but the spark in her gave her the job; in other words, she was always having to justify having that "power position". And all this was before the books begin.

Since that time, she has learned:
-she knows very little outside TR tradition;
-she was definitely a big fish in a small pond;
-her "power", while unusual, is by no means something only she has;
-and lastly, her age, which was always her achilles heel in the TR, is now a HUGE hurdle to overcome.

So we get to watch her shed preconcieved notions, prejudices, and truly find out what is important in her life. Her transition is real to me. I have 2 daughters (I know I've said that before, but I'm a proud father), and I hope they both are as strong as Nynaeve.

I also got really irritated by her on my first read through, but now that I know where she is going, it doesn't seem to bother me. And those that are bothered by the "He is a man" is completely in character with the women in my life. Whenever gender comes up in my house, it isn't positive...hehe. Watch Home Improvement, and you will hear the line, "Men are pigs." That about sums it up for my life...and I understand and can laugh at the humor behind it.

On torture...there is a difference between rods under the fingernails, electrocution, the severing of body parts, etc and the use psychology to extract information. Calling everything that causes discomfort torture waters down what torture really is, in my opinion. Someone tortured in Nazi Germany might be a little upset with the opinion that loud music being played 24/7 is being called the same thing as what they endured.

And I thought the questions (from an earlier response, I'm too lazy to look up who wrote them) that we as a society needed to answer were VERY good ones, and are definitely hard to answer. That someone could "solve" those problems with a post here makes me think that the world is definitely black and white to them.

The decision between torture vs saving potentially thousands of lives is a mine field, with NO easy answers.
Helen Peters
166. Helen
Slurpy @125
Yes! I just got to the bit in LOC where Elayne thinks 'Nyn won't be satisfied until she's healed someone 3 days dead'.
So I'm still holding out for Nyn and Rand's hand since Nyn thought healing a severed hand would be as hard as healing stilling (or something like that).

Re Rand and fickle and men looking at other women. I'm with Birgitte on this one. I like looking at men, though I prefer the pretty ones rather than the ugly ones like her. But the reason men get the reputation of oggling women, but women don't for oggling men is that (I've been told, please don't balefire me) women use their peripheral vision to oggle, whereas men look straight at. Though I doubt that Elayne would oggle others and I'm pretty sure Nyn has blinkers on to block her peripheral vision.

On the torture question, I don't think the figs and mice would work on me. I lack much imagination and would probably be looking forward to seeing what would be happening rather than thinking 'Nooooooo!'
Sydo Zandstra
167. Fiddler
It's precisely because of jealousy that she went after them. In her mind, Rand etal still should be under her authority and Moiraine supplanted her. She went after them with an irrational desire to get things back to the way things were before Moiraine came on the scene. She just could not accept that they are now under Moiraine's guidance when as the Village Wisdom they should be under hers.

Sorry man, but I still disagree. Of the 4, only Rand had permission to go with Moiraine. So in Nynaeve's mind, Moiraine had abducted at least 3 TR kids. If Nynaeve were power crazy, she wouldn't have left TR to get them back becaue the the TR would have been her power base then.

The fact that she wants to become an Aes Sedai later does not change her initial motivation.


1) "You can't think he'll turn to a Maiden,"
The setup line, and important, but self-explanatory.

Maybe. It could also be read as 'There may be hundreds of goodlooking women running around Rand, but they are Maiden of the Spears, who are crazy Aiel women only wanting to fight instead of starting a family life. Do you really think Rand would hook up with one of those?'

2) "He is a man,"
Nynaeve is here saying she understands Elayne's worry that he'll jump the first set of bones available since Elayne is so far away, and such behavior is expected of men.

No, she is saying most men would do that. But not Rand or any other good Two Rivers man. Nynaeve even admits that Mat may chase women, but that the women he chases seem to want to be chased.

3) "but he isn't as fickle as that"
A mere qualifier of the previous, that although Rand would act like any other man and be unfaithful, he wouldn't choose an Aiel Maiden for the act.

Even Nynaeve would have seen how the Maidens are, back in the Stone of Tear. Being a Wisdom (a person of authority), she probably has a better view on them than girls like Egwene and Elayne.

Which is why she makes this comment.

On reading skills: thanks, Read Brother ;)

She (Nynaeve) was too young for the job, but the spark in her gave her the job; in other words, she was always having to justify having that "power position". And all this was before the books begin.

I recall Nynaeve thinking on this in Salidar, after she learned to Heal Stilling, and being frustrated about it.

On the torture question, I don't think the figs and mice would work on me. I lack much imagination and would probably be looking forward to seeing what would be happening rather than thinking 'Nooooooo!'

That made me laugh really hard. Imagine this torturer preparing to torture somebody thinking of how he'll break him with all these mind tricks. And then the torturee turns out to be a dumbwit who doesn't get it at all.

(for the record, I'm not calling you dumb, Helen. This was my mind running away with an idea. )
Jay Dauro
168. J.Dauro
Fiddler @167

Nynaeve even admits that Mat may chase women, but that the women he chases seem to want to be chased.

Although she may at times think this, at other times she explicitly says the opposite.
I am currently reading COS, where Nyn has to apologize to Mat. And she often says that she feels Mat has forced himself on women.

You mark me, he tried to push his attentions on that young woman.

Of course this always gripes me, as we often see that if the woman doesn't want a "kiss and a cuddle", Mat isn't interested. (And sometimes when she does, he wishes she did not. Can anyone say Tylin?)
Sydo Zandstra
169. Fiddler
That's what she says, J.Dauro, trying to make excuses. But it doesn't mean she thinks it's true. What she thinks is more important.

And since we're on the subject of Tylin, that's the most annoying character in WoT for me. I know she's important to Mat's storyline, but frankly I wasn't unhappy to read that the gholam got her.
170. alreadymadwithtorture
Shadow_Jak @151
I only meant that putting someone to the Question meant interrogating that person. Not necessarily involving torture but it does tend to include that, eventually. And I wouldn't say Rand was subjected to torture. Torture is specifically defined as performed for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession. They did not put him to the question because they didn't have any questions for him to answer. What they subjected Rand to was physical and psychological abuse. Plain and simple.

Wetlander @157
Hah! I am less than ten years old.

Freelancer @158
I believe that waterboarding IS a form of torture. And that whoever conceived of the gray area where waterboarding is a permissible means of obtaining information is deluded. Torture is illegal. That said, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Electroshock therapy is the way to go.

She's just trying to hold on to that small scrap of authority she used to hold over Rand.

I do the same. If I can find the page, I can usually find where on the page the quote should be. Of course it's not that easy when you're talking about a series that's 11 books long, each upwards of 300 pages each.

Helen @166
I don't know what figs are. They don't exist where I am. I hate mice though. They're pests. And I have a fair idea what happens if you mix oil and salt. Useless without a fire, though.
Richard Fife
171. R.Fife
AMW: Torture is used to break a person's will, often to get information, yes, but sometimes it is its own end. Related link "There are Four Lights" on the main-page's sidebar. Its a link about Star-Trek and torture. (relinking as its the bottom one and could be gone soon, depending on if Torie/Pablo find anything else cool soon to put up there).

But, Picard comments via above link: torture often becomes a self-serving cause of the torturer trying to dominate the victim and no longer even caring about information.

And holy crap, I feel old now: 12 yrs old myself. Dang its been a while.
172. alreadymadwithmoretalkoftorture
R.Fife @171
True, but the particular example you cite is not quite similar to Rand's case. After all, torture on Picard started out as the traditional type of torture with the aim of obtaining information. It's only later that the interrogator becomes obsessed with breaking Picard, irrespective of any information he could offer.

By comparison the Aes Sedai were never really interested in any information Rand had to offer. They just wanted to punish him for having his own plans instead of going to them for guidance. And for having the courage to try to break out of captivity.
173. longtimefan
@ 170 AMW

Figs are a small dark sticky fruit. I always believed the figs and mice would have been a corollary to ants and honey.

For those with less imagination the sweet sticks to the skin and the insect/animal nibbles.

not something I would suggest. non verbal creatures do not respond to safety words.
174. alreadymadwithrabidmice
I'd prefer ants. Mice carry diseases. Rabies among others.
175. alexonthemovetx
Let's face it, Nyneave volunteered to go after the boys because she thought Lan was cute :) The Village Council may have been the ones who decided they needed going after, but she was not going to lose the opportunity to see Lan again!

AMW: Let no one steal your thunder!

Re Sorilea and her age; I seem to remember that she was being compared to another WO who was the oldest around 300 but died of a snake bite?
176. alexonthemovetx
Survey says:
37 / SWF / Degree / Airline management / 18 years old and have lost count of re-reads. Got my brother reading the series too, but then he had the nerve to get married and start a family :) so he never finished reading the books. Last weekend, I got him the CD of tEOtW from the library, so he might be able to catch up before November.
Sydo Zandstra
177. Fiddler

Let's face it, Nyneave volunteered to go after the boys because she thought Lan was cute :)

No. :P

(as for spreading the WoT, I finally got my mom to read it, translated in Dutch. Got her NS, tEotW and tGH, which she is devouring now. Write on, Sanderson, or my mom will get you!)
Andrew Lovsness
178. drewlovs
The Aei Sedai who kidnapped Rand were trying to break his will, and you don't need questions for that.

Nynaeve has a ton of preconceived notions about men, life and the world in general; I for one enjoy it emmensely when she gets proved wrong time and time again. It is more of a "small town person" mentality that a "elitist woman" in my opinion, though.

As for Tylin...if she were a man, what she did to Matt would be considered rape, plain and simple. That the super girls think its funny demeans them. But...BUT!! Wishing the death she got on her is cruelty in itself; she did not deserve that. She was only living the lifestyle prevelent in her society.

I am, however, enjoying all the motivations casually given here to Nynaeve as to why she does this and that, with nothing to back it up. Specifically, jealousy of with rand's new power, Moiraine's influence on the TRs people, etc. But then, we never get to see her point of view to know for sure, do we...

James Jones
179. jamesedjones
15 years young. Good lord, I've lost a lot of time on this series.

173. Longtimefan

Safety Word?! I shouldn't be laughing, but there it is.
Richard Fife
180. R.Fife
wait, we are counting how old we are from when we started reading? Oh, I am only 5 yrs old, then. I thought we were using the actual WoT definition of "age", and I started studying actual swordplay 12 years ago...
Sydo Zandstra
181. Fiddler
Wishing the death she got on her is cruelty in itself; she did not deserve that. She was only living the lifestyle prevelent in her society.

If Tylin were a real person, I'd agree.

However she is not a real person, and considering that she annoyed the hell out of me in a book I had to wait a couple of years for does not make me a cruel person, I think.

I also think you went out of line by judging me realtime because of views on fictional characters.

Oh, and WoT age? I'm 19 in that calendar.
182. longtimefan
Going back over the chapter where Nynaeve and Elayne are going to get vegetables and get caught instead.

How hungry is Nynaeve and does that affect her mood even if she does not admit that out loud or to herself.

Often I have noticed that people who are hungry are less patient and sometimes down right snappy.

It may or may not have been the author's intent but all that traveling and camping has an affect on mood and Nynaeve was not known for being "so sweet people asked her to dabble her fingers in their tea" even when she lived in Two Rivers. Does she just not eat enough?

And if she did not eat enough would she even know that about herself?

I am suprised that Elayne is not more cranky on the adventures since she grew up with plenty to eat and is now in a very different situation. Maybe for her cranky is haughty.

Oh well, just making random observations.
183. RobMRobM
Wow - I'm the youngest on the board - only nine months. :-)

Jay Dauro
184. J.Dauro
drewlovs @178

I have to disagree on the "She was only living the lifestyle prevelent in her society."

From the other mentions of "pretties", it is supposed to be a voluntary thing.
From WH Chapter 18

But you see a pretty leaves when she chooses. Tylin shouldn't be treating you as I hear she is.

Even though the culture allows a woman to injure a man if he displeases her, it does not appear that it condones Tylin's behavior.

And I do agree it is not to the SG's credit that they think it is funny. They accuse Mat of this behavior (with no evidence) and despise it. But they condone it being done to him.
Andrew Lovsness
185. drewlovs
The SGs are horrified by the Matt/Tylin relationship until they found out who was dominate... then, apparently, it was ok. I am not ok with that. And I stand corrected by the societal norms; thanks for pointing that out.

As for your feelings that I was calling you cruel, Fiddler, I will point to your own comment: we are talking about fictious characters. I said you were being cruel to a fictious character, and I stand by that. If you draw real life conclusions (considering the fact that we are not, in fact, talking about real life situations) I cannot stop you, but it was not my intent.

I'm an old-timer when it comes to forums like this and I want to remind you and everyone else that text is a cold, cruel (I guess I like that word) thing. Concusions never meant are easily drawn, facial expressions cannot be seen, and since we really don't know each other, its sometimes hard to know what another's comment actually meant.

If you had asked if I was calling you cruel, I would have cleared that up and apologized immediately. I do so now, which I also hope is considered "immediate". Your view of poor Tylin being torn to shreds was not a nice thing in regards to that character, but it in no way draws conclusion to how you treat real people.
186. Burning
It is extremely unlikely that any of the pigeons would be going to the whitecloaks. As fanatical as they are, if they found a tower agent they would just kill her out of hand as a darkfriend and never think twice about it.
Sydo Zandstra
187. Fiddler

Let's bury it.

I guess I overreacted.

I am still indifferent about Tylin though. But that is for a reread in the future...
John Massey
188. subwoofer
I was overseas when the first book came out so I am missing only that one for my hard-cover series. So I am 18 years old by Borderland reckoning.

-unrelated but I asked this on the LotR post so I may as well here- Does anyone know if the series is available on Blue-Ray?
Michael Catapano
189. hoping
For the second survey- 18yo
I've done alot of waiting

Drewlovs and fiddler- nicely concluded
Alice Arneson
190. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @164
alreadymadwithtorture @170

Cool! There are more of us than I knew! :)

Helen @166 I enjoyed your comments on all three points. Thanks!

Fiddler @181
However she is not a real person, and considering that she annoyed the hell out of me in a book I had to wait a couple of years....
Aside from cracking me up, you know, that's a point. Now I don't feel so bad about hoping Elaida goes out painfully, and not minding in the least seeing Galina go off with Therava, and all that. :> What might be cruel IRL is more a "poetic justice" reaction when you're reading a book. And if the author let someone off easily in his book when they [i][b]need[/b] to get pasted, you'd hate the book and be disappointed in the author. Of course, this requires that you be able to comprehend the distinctions between fiction and life, which I know not everyone can. (No judgements on people here - I'm thinking of some folks I know personally. My sister, for one! Love her dearly, but we just don't read the same stuff...)

Now I'm going to go find a quote from RJ that I read a few days ago and it's been on my mind. I won't point it at anyone when I find it, just thinking that it's always a good think to know where the author stands.
Alice Arneson
191. Wetlandernw
From RJ's blog, 19 December 2005:
The reason for the popularity of fantasy, and the reason science fiction is fading in comparison, is quite simple, really. Increasingly in books and films, including science fiction but also in everything from mysteries to so-called “main stream literary” novels, the lines between right and wrong have become blurred. Good and evil are more and more portrayed as two sides of the same coin. This is called realism. People by and large want to believe that there is a clear cut right and wrong, though, and that good and evil depend on more than how you look in the mirror or whether you’re squinting when you do. In fantasy, you can talk about good and evil, right and wrong, with a straight face and no need to elbow anybody in the ribs to let them know you’re just kidding, you don’t really believe in this childish, simplistic baloney. That seems to be less and less so in other genres.

Does that mean fantasy all has to be goody-goody on the side of right and black-as-the-pit on the side of evil. No. In my own work telling right from wrong is often difficult. Sometimes my characters make the wrong choice there. Sometimes they do things are quite horrific. But they try to find the right choice. This is the way I think most people see the world and their behavior in it — trying to do the right thing with the knowledge that sometimes you’re going to make the wrong choice, and with “right” defined as more than simply being of benefit to yourself — and they want to read books that reflect this. Right and wrong are not simply different shades of gray. Good and evil are not simply a matter of how you look at them. (Have you ever noticed the use of “of course?’ As in, “The actions of the suicide bombers is quite horrific, of course….” You know that a “but” is coming, followed by an explanation of why their actions. while “quite horrific. of course” are also “entirely understandable under the circumstances,” which come down to “the death and destruction is all somebody else’s fault completely.”)

As the view of the world, as expressed by the evening news and most books, has increasingly become that everything is really just shades of gray, people have grown more and more to want something that says choosing right from wrong may be difficult, seeing what is evil might be hard, but it is not only worth making the effort, it is possible if you try. Maybe not every time, but most of the time by and large. And that is the heart of the popularity of fantasy, and why it has grown. I suspect that somebody has a doctorate in the waiting simply by showing a correlation between the increase in popularity of fantasy on one hand and, on the other, the increase on the evening news and in most literature of the view that right and wrong, good and evil, are just matters of where you stand and how you’re holding your head at the moment.

And from 20 January 2006 (in answer to someone's comment, presumably regarding the above):
I am not saying that there is no relative evil, no shades of gray. What I am saying, and complaining about, is that allowing shades of gray has led us all too often to believe that there is nothing except shades of gray. All truths are equal. By that reasoning, Hitler’s reasons for murdering millions of Jews, and others, in the death camps carry as much validity, and are as “right,” as any other opinion regarding him and the camps. You might say that I have front loaded that, but it wasn’t so long ago that I heard of a number of students in a college class who refused to write papers which called on them to condemn the Holocaust, not because they didn’t believe it happened and not because they were Nazi sympathizers, but because doing so would have required them to be judgmental. All versions of the truth must be given equal weight. That’s the current thinking. And it’s bull. Yes, there are gray areas. Yes, there is relative evil. But that is all too often today taken as an excuse to say that it’s all relative. One man’s perceived evil is another man’s inconvenience. That last is a quote from a man, now dead, who was a terrific writer and a great intellect. I could never argue him down on that one, however. But I never stopped trying. Relativism or no relativism, however many shades of gray you want to call up, evil still exists, and if you won’t expend the effort to figure out where and what it is, then one day it will swallow you whole.

I thought about just linking, but there are so many different topics in those blogs... And since this has come up a few times in various guises, I thought folks might appreciate seeing what RJ had to say on the subject.
192. alreadymadwithreadingaddiction
Wetlandernw @190
I suspect really avid readers who love to cross-reference whatever they read eventually gain that trait or something similar.
Sydo Zandstra
193. Fiddler

There is a difference between Real and Fiction life? :O
Lannis .
194. Lannis
hoping @ 189: I'm with you... 18 years, and a lot of waiting. :|

But I guess we get used to it, yes? Well... maybe...

195. alexonthemovetx
Wetlandernw @190
Thank you for RJ's view; I enjoy knowing where the author is coming from. This reminded me of an article I read in EW a few months ago on Heroes and Villains, which kinda mirrors the views on good vs evil.

I don't know how to hyperlink words like some of you, so here's the link if you're interested...,,20268050,00.html
Kevin Morgan
196. DrMorganstien
Thanks for the quote, it was indeed nice to hear RJs thoughts on the subject
197. Shadow_Jak
Already mad... @ 170
I only meant that putting someone to the Question meant interrogating that person. Not necessarily involving torture but it does tend to include that, eventually.
I'd say that Randland's "Putting to the Question" always involves torture. Otherwise it's just "questioning".
... And I wouldn't say Rand was subjected to torture. Torture is specifically defined as performed for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession. They did not put him to the question because they didn't have any questions for him to answer. What they subjected Rand to was physical and psychological abuse. Plain and simple.
So... "The Question" always includes torture, but Torture does not always include questions. In Rand's case, it was designed to break his will and get him ready to do whatever the Tower wanted. Certainly torture with a specific purpose. (But even if it was just for fun, I'd have to still call it torture.)
198. Shadow_Jak
Wetlandernw @ 191
Thanks for those quotes from the Creator.
199. Freelancer
Based on Jordan's special use of capital letters, putting someone to the Question implies more than interrogation. It implies torture.

I'm intrigued with how many people commented at me that waterboarding was torture, as if I had said that it wasn't. I very specifically didn't claim it was or was not. I can, however, claim a personal experience as the victim, albiet within a training scenario. I believe that I have at least as much right to a judgement on what it is or is not as anybody here, so whatever I DO think of it, others can be certain that their secondhand opinions will not change mine. Apologies if that seems harsh, but try to understand the perspective of someone who has "been there" being told all about "it" by someone who has not. That concept can apply to a great many other things as well.

Hmm, if I remember correctly, TEotW was dropped on my desk by a shipmate in the Summer of 2000, so I'm 9 years old by that reckoning. I believe that CoT was the first volume I had to wait for, since it's the first volume I bought in hardcover.
200. mike78263497362497324
YAY 200th post
201. RobSS
I bought Teotw in hardcover while browing in a Barns and Noble. I picked it up because the cover caught my eye. I was hooked. I went thru The Great Hunt. Then I waited about a year for book 3.
According to the copy right dates in the books I am about 19 years old. Still waiting...
202. stylusmobilus
Wish I could find a copy of Eye in hardcover. I'm stuck with a crappy paperback that is worn out from 6,785,223 rereads.
Michael Catapano
203. hoping

re linking
In the spirit of "see one, do one, teach one" it's my turn to help out, although there are people far more computer savvy than me.

Click on bbcode right above the comment box.
You're link would look like this

(url=,,20268050,00.html)insert your phrase here that appears in blue(/url)

Instead of parantheses, use square brackets

Hope that helps
Michael Catapano
204. hoping
re lotr on bluray

was just on amazon listening to sharon isbin today and found this
John Massey
205. subwoofer
@Hoping- thanks!:) Pre-order stuff. I often scratch my head and wonder if they are waiting for a special occasion. This series was made for a hi-def experience, so get on with it already.

And like the Kinks, I'm tired of waiting- nice pick.

alexonthemovetx- give this a go.

I've been on a waiting list for the EoftW hard cover for 12 years. Which is what hatched my OG theory for taking over the world just to lay my hands on that book.
206. alreadymaddealingwithquestions
Shadow_Jak @197
You're probably right. I've always considered "putting to the Question" as a formal interrogation process. Just usually devolving towards Torture but not necessarily so. Only if the one being questioned was.. uncooperative. Just my thoughts.

Freelancer @199
So you were actually exposed to it? Ok, I really wouldn't argue against the perceived necessity for preparing military personnel for such situations. IMHO some people out there work on different rules of morality and they wouldn't think twice about it. It's still not the same as the actual thing though, where you are actual subjected to it repeatedly for extended periods with the express purpose of breaking you and making you talk(or sing).
Lannis .
207. Lannis
stylusmobilus @ 202, & subwoofer @ 205: I found the best way to acquire the books in hardcover was to check out (or on where you are), and their Marketplace... it was remarkably cheap. That said, eBay wasn't a bad choice, either, as long as the seller could send more than one book to cut down on the shipping cost. I had no problems finding myself a (gently used) EotW hardcover last spring. Just a suggestion. :)
Helen Peters
208. Helen
Just a quickie, before the new post goes up. Someone up there ?, or maybe last post, suggested that Ronde Macura had an amulet like Mat's. And I'm back the the possiblity that she may have discovered forkroot coz she can channel. If the power cannot touch her would she be safe from the linking that the a'dam makes? Coz if she does, and she can, and she is, then the 2nd pigeon could indeed have gone to the Seanchan. But we've still got to figure out how they know each other.

Sorry to keep asking inane questions, but unlike you lot I don't actually know, in the flesh like, anyone who reads these books.
Jay Dauro
209. J.Dauro
Helen @208

If she could channel, the Seanchen would have collared her, after she went to Tuon. (Hey they collared the AS who made the first a'dam for them, they aren't going to let Ronde get by.)
James Jones
210. jamesedjones
208 Helen

Sorry, but I couldn't find any suggestions in this post for Macura having an amulet. Could you be thinking about the last reread where it was suggested that Cadsuane has one?
Deborah Jones
211. NanaD
Post day! Still having fun reading above posts. Somehow I missed the Survey.

53 years old.
Three children
(ages 34 -29)
Six grandchildren
(ages 3 - 16
Work at home caring for children
(ages 4mths.- 11yrs.)
Help care for aging father.
Hold several degrees from SoHK
(school of hard knocks)
My nephew loaned me his copies of the Eye of the World about 5 years ago.
Roger Powell
212. forkroot
A little late to the party this time, since I've been rather busy. I wouldn't want to miss a chance to weigh in a bit, given my chosen handle :-)

Regarding forkroot tea as a plot device: Anyone here read Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels? I enjoyed them, although it's been quite a few years since I have read any.

There's a bit of a parallel between the Dernyi and the Aes Sedai - although the Dernyi passed on the magical ability purely through inheritance.

Kurtz had something called merasha (hope I got that right) that was quite similar in its effect. It would not affect normal humans, but would leave Dernyi groggy (in small concentrations) and could kill in high enough doses.

During the times of Dernyi persecution, it was used by the incumbent clergy (all anti-Dernyi) to screen potential new clergy. When the Seanchan started using forkroot to check for channelers, it reminded me of that.
Alice Arneson
213. Wetlandernw
A couple of updated stats:
(I'm not going through the whole thing again yet!)

Average WoT age: 11
Youngest are less than 1
Oldest are... well, 19, since that's the oldest you can get.

In spite of adding 8 people, the average age hasn't changed much.

And if you really want to know, those of us who have specified so far have spent a total of 481 years on this... Well, not really, since we aren't reading WoT all day every day, but that's how long we've been into it. (That's from 44 people who either gave specific ages, or I extrapolated from the info they gave me.)
Alice Arneson
214. Wetlandernw

Wow, I'd forgotten that. It is very similar! Guess it's been a long time since I read the Deryni books. Pretty sure you got the name right, it "rings" for me.

As a plot device, I think it's fairly logical that since both channeling and Deryni heritage have physical, genetic components, there should be a physical agent that would affect that particular aspect, with or without other side effects or effect on other people. (Wow. I guess that's technically a valid sentence, but it does go on a bit... Still have to work to catch up to Leigh's masterpiece, though.)
Alice Arneson
215. Wetlandernw
Hey, I have an idea. Next time we have a long wait for a post, and we're running out of ideas to discuss, we could have a contest. Who can write the longest on-topic, grammatically correct sentence? :) Should be some entertaining reading!
Roger Powell
216. forkroot
Well, we've already done haiku. We haven't stooped to limericks (yet). Why not some run-on sentences?
John Massey
217. subwoofer
limericks? Is this the rhymes with Nantucket genre? ;)
Roger Powell
218. forkroot
I'm very pleased that you have a clean mind and were undoubtedly referring to:

There once was man from Nantucket
who kept all his cash in a bucket.
Til his daughter, named Nan,
ran away with a man.
And as for the bucket, Nan "tuck it".
219. Dr Hoo
A thought on the healing death debate....

Death can clearly be reversed using the One Power; afterall Rand does it at the end of LoC using balefire to unravel the pattern and reverse the deaths of Mat et al. Presumably Nyn could use the OP to reverse a death by unraveling the part of the pattern wherein the person died (using processes similar to but distinct from the generation and application of balefire). Whether this is actually under the auspices of "healing" is maybe semantics, but it should be possible under the structure RJ has sketched for us.
220. RobMRobM
Re 216-18, here is my favorite (and it's clean too):

There once was a man from Japan
Whose limericks no one could scan
When people asked him why
He replied with a sigh
"Well, maybe it's because I try to cram as much information on the last line as I possibly can."

221. Wolfmage
*Warning - torture post*

bkaul @21
“Then, there's also "psychological torture" such as waterboarding”

darxbane @55.
“Supposedly, it is purely psychological.”

Waterboarding relies on the body’s lymphatic response to trigger an automatic sensation of drowning. Classifying it as psychological ignores this key physiological dimension, which is the whole reason waterboarding is used as opposed to simply dunking someone’s head forcibly into a bucket. If it was purely psychological, then subjects could steel themselves to resist it - lasting long and longer time intervals each session it is administered because they ‘know’ they won’t really drown. But that’s not how it works. All times are tightly grouped together because of the physiological effect.

Also, waterboarding may not produce lasting damage in an idealised and relatively sanitised test case, but it is misleading to think it isn’t dangerous. It does involve some non-trivial inherent dangers. Subjects need to be maintained on strict liquid diets, which can imperil their health, because it is common for them to otherwise choke on their own vomit as part of the gag reflex. For this reason, surgeons need to be kept on hand to perform emergency tracheotomies. Indeed, stoppage of breathing and the consequent need for resuscitation is a real danger, as is ingestion of water, even in the tilted back position is used; as those administering waterboarding frequently over-pour more than is required.

I suggest some of the people who are downplaying waterboarding as some kind of damby-pamby form of psychological distress, read a bit further before commenting. There is also a huge difference between being a SERE candidate who has it administered in a simulated environment, knowing full well they aren't in enemy hands, to an actual captive/detainee who is being held properly against their will and no doubt subject to other techniques simultaneously like walling, stress positions, and other forms of physical and psychological abuse.

“The Geneva convention doesn't apply for a myriad of reasons”

Of course the Geneva Conventions apply. In the main, the Conventions apply reciprocally between party-states as part of the POW system, and waterboading is certainly prohibited for captive POWs as part of that. However, it is also prohibited more broadly than the POW system through the GA Common Article 3 (CA3) which applies as a basic floor-level threshold for all combatants in intra-state conflict. CA3 requires combatant status to be determined by a competent body and has several layers of protections that prohibit abuse.

Of course, waterboarding is also against the United Nations Convention Against Torture and customary international law jus cogens which are binding law for all states.

As for the effectiveness of torture, I'll direct you to think long post of mine on a another forum:
222. stylusmobilus

Cheers. I have tried ebay before for the first 2 books and they, too, were paperbacks.
Martin Lambert
223. RemyLeBeau
Death can clearly be reversed using the One Power; afterall Rand does it at the end of LoC using balefire to unravel the pattern and reverse the deaths of Mat et al. Presumably Nyn could use the OP to reverse a death by unraveling the part of the pattern wherein the person died (using processes similar to but distinct from the generation and application of balefire). Whether this is actually under the auspices of "healing" is maybe semantics, but it should be possible under the structure RJ has sketched for us.

"Twice dawns the day..."
224. s'rEDIT
Ooo . . .

That's a thought worth considering!

We shall see pretty soon now . . .

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