Wed
Jun 10 2009 5:27pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 7

Hello, and welcome to Chez Wheel of Time Re-read! We’re so pleased to have you here, and we apologize for the wait. Yes, I know 19 years is a little long, but rest assured we are always working to make this a better dining experience for you!

I am your hostess for this evening, won’t you step this way? Excellent. Here, sir, this jacket is for you. Yes, I know, that’s why we’re giving you one. No, shawls are not an acceptable substitute. You can return it before you leave. Thanks so much!

So! Tonight’s specials are Chapters 14 and 15 of The Fires of Heaven, served with a side of reincarnation, interpersonal power dynamics, and marsala wine sauce. The chef recommends the Catsfern & Mavinsleaf chardonnay to accompany your meal, which has a lovely bouquet, reminiscent of ritual humiliation, cherries, and outrage by proxy. I’m sure you’ll just love it!

Restrooms and previous entrees are right past the bar over there. If you have not dined with us before, you may want to have sampled everything on the regular menu before trying the specials. Dining at Chez Wheel of Time is not for amateurs, you know!

All right? Excellent! Your waiter will be with you momentarily. Bon appetit!

Chapter 14: Meetings

What Happens
Nynaeve stands in the Heart of the Stone in Tel’aran’rhiod, and tells herself that the watching eyes she always feels there are definitely not Moghedien’s. She clothes herself in a dress, and is surprised to see it is silk, in the Taraboner fashion, clinging revealingly; she had thought them indecent in Tanchico, but she supposes she must have gotten used to them. She tells herself she is not there to blather at herself about dresses, and calls for Birgitte. Birgitte steps out from behind a column, and Nynaeve asks if Gaidal is about, as he makes her nervous. Birgitte tells her she has not seen Gaidal for some time, and suspects he has been spun out by the Wheel.

If Birgitte was right, then somewhere in the world a boychild had been born, a mewling babe with no knowledge of who he was, yet destined for adventures that would make new legends. The Wheel wove the heroes into the Pattern as they were needed, to shape the Pattern, and when they died they returned here to wait again. That was what it meant to be bound to the Wheel. New heroes could find themselves bound so as well, men and women whose bravery and accomplishments raised them far above the ordinary, but once bound, it was forever.

Nynaeve asks how long Birgitte thinks she has, knowing that Birgitte was always born soon after Gaidal, but Birgitte answers that time in the Dreamworld does not pass as it does in the waking world, comparing the differences between when she thinks she met Nynaeve last and Nynaeve does as an example. So, she explains, it could be days or months to her here, and yet years in the waking world before she is born. Nynaeve says they mustn’t waste time, then, and asks if Birgitte has seen any of “them” since they last met.

“Too many. Lanfear is often in Tel’aran’rhiod, of course, but I have seen Rahvin and Sammael and Graendal. Demandred. And Semirhage.” Birgitte’s voice tightened at the last name; even Moghedien, who hated her, did not frighten her visibly, but Semirhage was another matter.

Nynaeve shivers, too, and Birgitte assures her that she has not let them know she watches. She says they are mostly concerned with stalking each other. Nynaeve asks her to try and find out what they are up to, but to be careful, and does not understand why the other woman looks amused. She asks then if Birgitte has seen Moghedien, and Birgitte tells her no. Since she can usually detect people who know they are in the Dreamworld, that means either Moghedien hasn’t been in Tel’aran’rhiod since Nynaeve bested her, or she knows Birgitte is looking for her and is actively hiding, something Moghedien is very good at: she was not called the Spider for nothing.

That was what a moghedien had been, in the Age of Legends; a tiny spider that spun its webs in secret places, its bite poisonous enough to kill in heartbeats.

Knowing it was a very dangerous thing to ask, Nynaeve asks if Birgitte can find her even if she is hiding; without hesitation Birgitte answers that she will try, and makes as if to go. Nynaeve stops her and asks again for Birgitte to let her tell Egwene about her, but Birgitte reminds her sharply that she promised; she has already broken too many of the precepts, and will not break any more if she can help it. She disappears, and Nynaeve turns back to contemplating her dress as a way to avoid thinking about how much Moghedien scares her. She creates a standing mirror to admire herself in, thinking of Lan’s reaction should he see her in it, half-heartedly scolding herself for doing so. She thinks of how Domani gowns are even more indecent, and suddenly is wearing one, which makes her redden.

The gown certainly did more than suggest. If Lan saw her in that, he would not gabble that his love for her was hopeless and that he would not give her widow’s weeds for a bridal gift. One glimpse, and his blood would catch fire. He would —

“What under the Light is that you have on, Nynaeve?” Egwene asked in scandalized tones.

Nynaeve jumps a mile and comes down wearing a thick dark woolen Two Rivers dress, which then flickers to the Taraboner and Domani gowns before going back. Mortified, Nynaeve thinks it would have to be Melaine with Egwene this time. Melaine had taunted her about Lan the last time they met, though Egwene claimed it was not taunting to the Aiel way of thinking. Unable to help herself, she asks if Lan is well, and Egwene tells her he is, and worried about her. Nynaeve is embarrassed by her sigh of relief, and hurriedly begins bringing Egwene up to date on her and Elayne’s whereabouts. She tells them about Ronde Macura, too, but alters the story so that Macura had only attempted to drug them, rather than succeeded. Then she wonders why on earth she’s lying to Egwene, though the part about Elayne being a runaway Accepted had to be altered to avoid giving Egwene away to Melaine.

“A good thing the taste of that tea made me suspicious. Imagine trying to feed forkroot to someone who knows herbs as well as I do.”

“Schemes within schemes,” Melaine murmured. “The Great Serpent is a good sign for you Aes Sedai, I think. Someday you may swallow yourselves by accident.”

Egwene tells Nynaeve about Couladin’s move for Jangai Pass and Rand’s decision to follow him, which is bad enough, but Nynaeve is incredulous to hear that Moiraine obeys Rand, now. Melaine puts in that it is not proper, and Nynaeve agrees, to her own surprise; she thinks that she should be glad to hear about Moiraine being taken down a peg or two, but she still doesn’t think it is right. Egwene opines that Rand’s head is getting more swelled every day, and Nynaeve tells her that it is her job to unswell it, then; Egwene is doubtful, but says she will try.

“Do the best you can. Helping him hold on to himself may be the best thing that anyone could do. For him, and the rest of the world.”

Nynaeve then tells them that she thinks the Forsaken are planning something; to protect Birgitte, she makes it seem as if she was the one who had seen them in Tel’aran’rhiod. Melaine grows angry at this, and tells her she has no business wandering the Dreamworld without knowing what she was doing; Nynaeve replies evenly that she had no one to teach her to channel, either, and she managed. Although, she thinks, she’d been told that was the reason she couldn’t channel unless she was angry; she’d hidden her ability from herself, fearing it, and she couldn’t get past that fear unless she was furious. Melaine comments, so she is what the Aes Sedai call wilders, and Nynaeve remembers that Egwene had told her there were no wilders among the Aiel; the Wise Ones claimed they found every last girl who had the spark before it could kill her. Melaine tells her if she truly wants to learn she should come to them like Egwene, and they will “tame her zeal” the way they have Egwene’s.

“I do not need taming, thank you very much,” Nynaeve said with a polite smile.

Aan’allein will die on the day he learns that you are dead.”

Nynaeve feels a cold stab to her heart, and mutters that Melaine fights dirty. Melaine wants her promise that she will not so anything in the dream unless she asks one of them first; Nynaeve clenches her teeth, and Egwene tells Melaine that she won’t get such a promise from Nynaeve, so she might as well give up. Melaine sighs, and acquiesces, but reminds Nynaeve that she is but a child in the dream. Egwene gives an amused wince, and after she and Melaine disappear Nynaeve realizes her clothes have been changed to a short dress and her hair into two braids. She had forced Egwene to explain last time that this was how the Aiel dressed little girls, and grinds her teeth. She changes back into the Taraboner silk dress.

So she was supposed to ask permission, was she? Go begging the Wise Ones before doing anything? Had she not defeated Moghedien? They had been properly impressed at the time, but they seemed to have forgotten.

She thinks that if she cannot have Birgitte find out what was going on in the Tower, maybe she could do it herself.

Commentary
Given that Gaidal was not reborn as Olver – and he wasn’t, you guys, the idea never made sense in the first place, and plus Jordan said so – given that, I always wondered at the timing of it. Since less than three years have passed from the beginning of TEOTW to the end of KOD (!!), and presumably not much more time is going to pass in the last three novels, Gaidal’s new incarnation can’t possibly be much more than a toddler when the Last Battle hits, if he was born during TFOH.

So I’d say that’s one fight he’s definitely going to be missing, and since that’s kind of THE fight, well, it seems like a waste of a good hero, if you ask me. *shrug* Oh, well.

The lying to Egwene: first of all, speaking of aphorisms, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, because I DARE someone to claim that they’ve never once at least shaded the truth to save themselves embarrassment or some other negative consequence. Unless you’re Jesus, I won’t believe you. And if you tell me you’re Jesus, I won’t believe that either. Because you’re all a pack of lying liars! Who are not Jesus!

I kid, I kid! Except the part about how everyone lies, because they do. (And the Jesus thing, because none of y’all are Jesus. Sorry.)

Lying (the non-malicious and/or –undercover-agent kind) is about insecurity, which as you may have noticed is something Nynaeve currently has a surplus of, nay, perhaps even a monopoly on at the moment. This is a woman who is scrambling for mental purchase if I ever saw one. And yes, she’s acting like a damn fool, but as someone mentioned in the comments (or at least I thought someone did but I can’t find it so possibly I’m hallucinating), the line goes “I hate growing as a person, but I like the results.” Or something like that.

Insane bravado is more of the same, insecurity-wise. The reason I like Nynaeve is that her flaws do not come from vanity or arrogance or misanthropy, but from a fundamental uncertainty about herself, her power, and her place in the world and how she must therefore relate to it. Overcompensation through immaturity is a condition that can be cured; the other sources of this kind of behavior mostly cannot.

And let’s not forget that even when Nynaeve is head down in wrestling with her inner moppet, she still is right on point regarding Egwene’s most important task with Rand, which is to remind him of who he is and where he came from.

Other random note: the comparison between “wilders in the wetlands” and “no wilders among the Aiel” strikes me as not a very fair one; the Wise Ones don’t have nearly the logistics problems the Tower does in searching out channelers, either politically or geographically (and if I’m not mistaken, nowhere near the population volume to winnow through, either). It’s like boasting that you can find every last left-handed person in a town of ten thousand people, and then being disdainful because someone else can’t do the same in New York City.


Chapter 15: What Can Be Learned in Dreams

What Happens
Nynaeve visualizes the Amyrlin’s study in order to go there, but nothing happens. Puzzled, she tries visualizing Sheriam’s study instead, and this time it works. Once there, she changes to an Accepted dress, and puts on Melaine’s face so no one will recognize her, and heads out, ignoring the flickering flashes of novices who dream themselves into Tel’aran’rhiod for a split second. Suddenly, though, Elaida appears before her, wearing the Amyrlin’s stole, except with no blue stripe, and a sweaty face.

Those stern dark eyes focused on Nynaeve. “I am the Amyrlin Seat, girl! Do you not know how to show respect? I will have yo—” In midword, she was gone.

Nynaeve exhaled raggedly. Elaida as Amyrlin; that was a nightmare for certain. Probably her fondest dream, she thought wryly. It will snow in Tear before she ever rises that high.

She enters the Amyrlin’s study, and thinks it is no wonder she couldn’t imagine herself here, as it looks nothing like she remembers; everything is rigid, precise, and ornate, whereas Siuan had always affected simple homey furnishings before. Then the door opens and a red-haired Accepted steps into the room; Nynaeve is about to leap back to Sheriam’s study when the woman tells Nynaeve that Melaine would do more than put her in a child’s dress if she saw her using Melaine’s face, and changes to Egwene.

“You nearly frightened ten years out of me,” Nynaeve muttered. “So the Wise Ones have finally decided to let you come and go as you please? Or is Melaine behind—”

“You should be frightened,” Egwene snapped, color rising in her cheeks. “You are a fool, Nynaeve. A child playing in the barn with a candle.”

Nynaeve is astounded that Egwene would berate her, and tries to answer, but Egwene doesn’t let her get a word in edgewise, telling her she ought to have told Elayne not to let Nynaeve use the stone ring; the Wise Ones were not exaggerating when they told her how dangerous the Dreamworld is, and yet Nynaeve ignores them, playing with fire. Nynaeve can’t hardly believe Egwene is dressing her down, and tries again to defend herself, but Egwene again cuts in and tells her there are nightmares in Tel’aran’rhiod, and dreams that could trap her until she died.

Suddenly rough hands enveloped Nynaeve’s arms. Her head whipped from side to side, eyes bulging. Two huge, ragged men lifted her into the air, faces half-melted ruins of coarse flesh, drooling mouths full of sharp, yellowed teeth. She tried to make them vanish — if a Wise One dreamwalker could, so could she — and one of them ripped her dress open down the front like parchment. The other seized her chin in a horny, callused hand and twisted her face toward him; his head bent toward her, mouth opening. Whether to kiss or bite, she did not know, but she would rather die than allow either. She flailed for saidar and found nothing; it was horror filling her, not anger. Thick fingernails dug into her cheeks, holding her head steady. Egwene had done this, somehow. Egwene. “Please, Egwene!” It was a squeal, and she was too terrified to care. “Please!”

The things vanish; shaking and weeping, Nynaeve repairs the damage to her dress, but the scratches remain. Egwene makes no move to comfort her, instead saying that she had made those, and could unmake them, but Nynaeve does not know how, and even Egwene has trouble with the ones she just finds. Nynaeve counters that she could have dreamed herself away, and Egwene tells her to stop being sullen; Nynaeve glares, but Egwene merely raises an eyebrow at her, and Nynaeve decides to change the subject. She observes that this room doesn’t look like Siuan Sanche, and Egwene agrees. She supposes everyone needs a change now and then, but Nynaeve disagrees, and says that the woman who decorated this room does not look at the world the way the woman who decorated it the old way did, and the painting of Rand on the wall indicates that she wants to be reminded he is dangerous. She thinks it means Siuan has changed her stance toward Rand, and Egwene replies perhaps, and tells her to search the papers in here while she checks Leane’s desk outside.

Nynaeve stared indignantly at Egwene’s back as she left. You search in here, indeed! Egwene had no right to give her orders. She ought to march right after her and tell her so in no uncertain terms. Then why are you standing here like a lump? she asked herself angrily.

She stalks over to the desk and starts going through the papers in one of the lacquered boxes on it. She sees a list of approved penances for Joline Sedai which makes her wince, a note that the Marshal-General of Saldaea was still missing, a report that all the eyes-and-ears in Tanchico have gone silent, and has begun reading a report on a suspected gathering of Blues when a cry of dismay from Egwene sends her running into the anteroom. Egwene tells her, horrified, that Elaida is the Amyrlin Seat. Nynaeve scoffs, and Egwene says she had a paper in her hands signed with Elaida’s name and the seal; Siuan must have been deposed, or maybe she fell down stairs and broke her neck or something. Nynaeve mutters about Moiraine being so sure Siuan would put the Tower behind Rand, and Egwene tells her the paper she had seen the seal on was an arrest warrant for Moiraine for charges of treason, evidently the same language being used for Elayne. Nynaeve observes that this confirms Elaida does not support Rand, and concludes from what she saw that the Ajahs must have split over her becoming Amyrlin.

“Yes, of course. Very good, Nynaeve. I did not see that.”

Her smile was so pleased that Nynaeve smiled back. “There’s a report on Siu— the Amyrlin’s writing table about a gathering of Blues. I was just reading it when you shouted. I’ll wager the Blues didn’t support Elaida.” The Blue and Red Ajahs had a sort of armed truce at the best of times, and came near going for each other’s throats at the worst.

They go back into the study, but cannot find the paper again; Egwene tells her to try to remember what she had read already, and Nynaeve tells her she is trying, and suddenly it hits her that she is making excuses to Egwene. Somehow the balance between them had shifted, and Nynaeve realizes it is because of the lie she had told her earlier, and immediately tells Egwene the truth of what had happened in Ronde Macura’s house. She adds that she will box Egwene’s ears if she tells the Wise Ones the truth, expecting Egwene to flare up, but Egwene only gives her an amused smile and says she’d suspected Nynaeve wasn’t being truthful, and that she always tries to make out that every mistake she made she did on purpose. Nynaeve splutters that that is not true, and Egwene stares at her a moment, then forms a cup of something in her hand and asks Nynaeve if she remembers what she made Egwene drink the only time she ever lied to Nynaeve?

Nynaeve took a step back before she could stop herself. Boiled catfern and powdered mavinsleaf; her tongue writhed at just the thought. “I did not really lie, actually.” Why was she making excuses? “I just didn’t tell the whole truth.” I am the Wisdom! I was the Wisdom; that ought to count for something still. “You cannot really think...” Just tell her. You’re not the child here, and you certainly are not going to drink. “Egwene, I —“ Egwene pushed the cup nearly under her nose; she could smell the acrid tang. “All right,” she said hastily. This can’t be happening! But she could not take her eyes off that brimming cup, and she could not stop the words tumbling out. “Sometimes I try to make things look better for myself than they were. Sometimes. But never anything important. I’ve never — lied — about anything important. Never, I swear. Only small things.” The cup vanished, and Nynaeve heaved a sigh of relief. Fool, fool woman! She couldn’t have made you drink it! What is wrong with you?

Egwene goes back to the topic of Elaida as if nothing had happened, saying that obviously Moiraine had to be told, and Rand, but she should probably keep it from general knowledge among the Aiel, so Nynaeve had better not go blurting it to the Wise Ones at their next meeting; in fact it would be better if she didn’t mention this visit to the Tower at all. Nynaeve says stiffly that she is not a fool, and Egwene agrees, as long as she doesn’t let her temper get the better of her. She warns Nynaeve to be careful, especially regarding Moghedien, and disappears. Nynaeve stares at the spot she was for a while, then steps out of the dream herself, grumbling.

Egwene wakes in her tent, and is relieved to see that she got away with her solitary trip into Tel’aran’rhiod without the Wise Ones knowing. She wasn’t worried about punishment, only that they might make good on their threat not to teach her anymore.

But even so, she had to push ahead. As rapidly as they taught, they were not rapid enough. She wanted to know now, to know everything.

As she dresses, she thinks with amazement about what had happened with Nynaeve. She’d been so afraid Nynaeve would find out she was in the Dreamworld without the Wise Ones’ permission and then rat her out, that the only thing she could think to do was not let her talk and focus on what Nynaeve was doing wrong, and somehow had gained the upper hand. Egwene reflects that not getting angry must have been the key, and recalls that Moiraine seldom raised her voice, and the Wise Ones never yelled either, except at each other, in private.

There was an old saying that she had never really understood before: “He strains to hear a whisper who refuses to hear a shout.”

She resolves never to shout at Rand again, nor Nynaeve, especially when it brings such results, and giggles. She heads to Rand’s tent, and after greeting Enaila and Aviendha outside, peers through the crack of the tent flap, to see Rand reading and Natael yawning. Rand laughs at whatever he’s reading and tosses the book to Natael, telling him to check two different pages and see if he agrees it’s a fine joke. Egwene thinks she can’t talk to him in front of the gleeman, and asks Aviendha why she doesn’t join them in the tent, to which Aviendha replies that he wanted to talk to the gleeman, and won’t in front of her. Enaila makes a joke about sons that makes Aviendha stalk off, and Egwene mutters to herself about incomprehensible Aiel humor as she heads to Moiraine’s tent. She tries to sneak past Lan, which works about as well as you’d expect, and asks to come in. Moiraine had been scrying with her blue stone, but puts it away when Egwene enters. Egwene says she thought Moiraine wasn’t going to eavesdrop on Rand anymore.

“I said that since the Wise Ones could watch his dreams, we should allow him some privacy. They have not asked again since he shut them out, and I have not offered. Remember that they have their own goals, which may not be those of the Tower.”

Egwene tells Moiraine the news about Elaida, and Moiraine asks if she knows through her Dreams, which Egwene thinks is her out, and the only useful thing they had been good for lately, as she had been unable to interpret them herself. She tells Moiraine she saw an arrest warrant for her signed by Elaida as Amyrlin in a dream, and thinks that this is technically all true, but is suddenly glad Nynaeve is not there. Moiraine replies that the Wheel weaves, and now perhaps it does not matter as much if Rand takes the Aiel into Cairhien. Egwene is amazed that that’s all she has to say, and says she thought Siuan was Moiraine’s friend.

“I have no time for tears, Egwene. The Dragonwall is not many days distant now, and the Alguenya... Siuan and I were friends, once. In a few months it will be twenty-one years since we began the search for the Dragon Reborn. [...] There is a saying in Cairhien, though I have heard it as far away as Tarabon and Saldaea. ‘Take what you want, and pay for it.’ Siuan and I took the path we wanted, and we knew we would have to pay for it eventually.”

Egwene does not see how she can be so calm, and Moiraine tells her that of course she is not happy that the Ajahs have split; the Tower has been the bulwark of the Light against the Shadow for three thousand years, and she almost wishes all the sisters had sworn to Elaida if it meant keeping the Tower whole. Endeavoring to be just as calm, Egwene asks what about Rand, and Moiraine reminds her that thirteen sisters can capture him no matter how weak they are. Egwene asks what Moiraine intends to do, and Moiraine says she intends to continue talking to Rand; she thinks it will be easier now that she does not have to dissuade him from Cairhien, and she admits that he does listen to her even if he gives no sign of what he thinks of any of it. Egwene brings up Nynaeve’s news about the Forsaken in the Dreamworld, especially Lanfear, and Moiraine says they will have to keep a watch. Egwene worries that it isn’t enough.

Moiraine leaned over to put a hand on her arm, a look of affection on her face. “We cannot hold his hand forever, Egwene. He has learned to walk. He is learning to run. We can only hope he learns before his enemies catch him. And, of course, continue to advise him. To guide him when we can.”

Egwene makes to go, but stops and asks why Moiraine has started obeying Rand, and comments that even Nynaeve doesn’t think it’s right.

“She does not, does she?” Moiraine murmured. “She will be Aes Sedai yet, whatever she wishes. Why? Because I remembered how to control saidar.”

After a moment, Egwene nodded. To control saidar, first you had to surrender to it.

She leaves, and only afterwards realizes that Moiraine had spoken to her the entire time as an equal.

Commentary
Lordy. Okay.

Hindsight being twenty-twenty and all that, I recognize now that this shift of power between Nynaeve and Egwene was not only necessary but inevitable, for both plot- and character-related reasons. However, this does not change the fact that I was INTENSELY indignant on Nynaeve’s behalf here, both the first time I read this and on every subsequent re-read. Including this one.

It’s been observed before (possibly by me, I’ve done so much writing on WOT by now I can’t remember what the hell I’ve said and not said) that Nynaeve was essentially skipped over her “teenage” years, by dint of being made Wisdom so young and having to deal with such authority so early on, and that this whole crisis of character she’s having is basically her making that passage to maturity that she missed before.

Which, okay, fine. It needed to happen, and Nynaeve brought it upon herself, and eventually she becomes a better person for it. But I have to say, the rightness of the lesson is rather undermined by the fact that Egwene precipitated it merely to cover up her own lie. Hypocrisy: it’s what’s for breakfast!

But you know, the thing that really gets me is not that Egwene browbeats, humiliates and then (from a certain point of view) actually physically assaults Nynaeve – it’s that she then giggles about it afterward.

Which, I might add, is a detail I had forgotten about before. And when I read that bit just now I really, really, really wanted to reach into the book and smack her silly.

I don’t think I’m being entirely fair to Egwene here, since it’s not like she set out with the intention of giving Nynaeve a beatdown, more like just kind of fell backwards into it, but still: giggling? Really? Gah.

Anyway. I liked Egwene before, and I’ll like her again later, but right now she is seriously not my favorite.

As far as the ethicality of the “nightmare” assault specifically goes, I’m going to fail to render an opinion on it, because I recognize all the rational arguments that can be made for its necessity. The analogy I remember (from the newsgroup, I think), was that it is better to deliberately let your child touch a hot stove and learn that fire hurts from a small burn on one finger, than to let him learn by pulling a pan off the burner and ending up in an ICU with third-degree burns over sixy percent of his body. I get that.

That being said, the actual nature of the assault pushes some serious buttons for me, and it’s not something I feel I can respond to rationally. So I won’t. Moving on.

Moiraine: I wonder if it’s only because I know what’s going to happen to her that everything she says in TFOH takes on this kind of wistful, sad, que sera sera tone?

I certainly do think that the knowledge of her impending (albeit greatly exaggerated) demise has caused her to – not soften, so much as loosen. Desperation or no, I don’t know that it would honestly even have occurred to her before going through the rings that surrendering to Rand might work better than fighting him. I also don’t know that she would have ever unbent enough to treat Egwene as an equal, as she does here, without Egwene being raised to full Aes Sedai first, either. However, it’s possible I’m not giving her enough credit.

And you know, I forgot that Moiraine had totally been listening to everything Rand and Asmodean said to each other this whole time. Even though I knew she tells him in her letter that she knows who Natael was, for some reason I thought she had just logically deduced it, when here she is eavesdropping on every word. Weird.


Well, I hope everything was to your satisfaction! Here’s your check, and don’t forget that people who stiff on tips are the scum of the earth, mmkay? Okay! Thanks so much for dining with us tonight, and don’t forget to make your reservations for Friday, and to return the jacket! Yes, you, sir. No, now, sir. Thank you!

225 comments
Genevieve Williams
1. welltemperedwriter
I'm just digging into the re-read, but I have to say that this is my favorite intro ever. Pretty sure I'm not supposed to be laughing this loudly at the reference desk...
Blake Engholm
2. UncrownedKing
Whooo re-read! Made me wait all day Leigh...Not nice of you. ha
Dan Sparks
3. RedHanded
@ Leigh

So I’d say that’s one fight he’s definitely going to be missing, and since that’s kind of THE fight, well, it seems like a waste of a good hero, if you ask me.

Maybe he was born to deal with a new breaking or whatever happens after TG? Either way Birgette is going to be waaaaaayy older than him. That is unless the whole dreamworld/time running different thing means he was actually born like 20 years ago....
James Hogan
4. Sonofthunder
In my own reread of FoH, I just read this part today...and boy was I angry. I realized today partly why I've always loved Nynaeve so much. Sure, she can be abrasive and rude and silly...but when we get her POV, she's also so loveable and hilarious and COMPLETELY understandable. I can relate with her. Egwene on the other hand...I can't relate to at all. And maybe that's why I've never liked her as much as Nynaeve...or even Elayne(who while insufferable sometimes, is still generally cool). Egwene just annoys me. Even though I have to admit she gets some cool bits later on...
toryx
5. toryx
Leigh:
So I’d say that’s one fight he’s definitely going to be missing, and since that’s kind of THE fight, well, it seems like a waste of a good hero, if you ask me. *shrug* Oh, well.

I used to think that way as well, but it's occurred to me since that even with the Last Battle done, there's a new Age to be formed. I think that heroes are just as vital to the creation of a new Age as they are to the ending of the Old, and chances are that Gaidal Cain has a great role to play in the rebuilding of the world after the Dark One has been defeated.

After all, once the Last Battle is done, the thin threads holding all the nations will no longer be strong enough to bind them. The Seanchan are sure to wish to continue their efforts to take over the world and even if Rand lives I don't think he's going to be hanging around to force all the nations to play nicely.

There's bound to be plenty of work for Gaidal yet.
toryx
6. OldWoman
Thanks Leigh, for the re-read. I would like to re-read it myself before the next one comes out but I don't have the time and this is perfect. I love your witty commentary too.
Hugh Arai
8. HArai
Hypocrisy: it’s what’s for breakfast!


That's why I shudder whenever Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve come into contact with each other (or men in general). From their POVs when they are apart you can see them growing up and gaining insights and then... wham! They're back together treating each other (and men) the way they claim to deplore in everyone else.
James Jones
9. jamesedjones
Thank you for the detail of Egwene's vileness. I had forgotten how sick this part made me (all I remembered was that I seriously hated Egwene). After seeing it one more time, I'm left wondering: how does Egwene of all people not see that she is making Nyneave feel pain (and even a brief experience with the after-effects of the scratches) without damage in the real world? Doesn't this sound like something Egwene still has nightmares about? Seriously, the only thing I hate worse than bullying is stupidity.
toryx
10. AllAdamB
That last line of Moiraine's is one of my favorites. She gets to be her coolest just before the end. I hope she makes a comeback.
toryx
11. toryx
AllAdamB @ 10:

That last line of Moiraine's is one of my favorites. She gets to be her coolest just before the end. I hope she makes a comeback.

I completely agree. I got to really disliking Moiraine in TDR and parts of TSR. In this particular chapter, I started to like her again and that line was just brilliantly put.
Dan Sparks
12. RedHanded
It is definitely messed up that Egwene attacks poor Nyn here with a nightmare, which actually leaves scratches, and thinks that's ok. Is it from living with the Aiel that she thinks this is alright behavior? When I was a kid if I hurt my brother physically I got in way more trouble than if I told some stupid white lie. Of course I got into trouble for both before but seriously physical torture amongst supposed friends is crossing the line in my book and I hope a lot of people's books. I think things might have gone differently if Nyn had gotten mad. I'd like to see that fight...
Brian Kaul
13. bkaul
So I’d say that’s one fight he’s definitely going to be missing, and since that’s kind of THE fight, well, it seems like a waste of a good hero, if you ask me. *shrug* Oh, well.

Or maybe ankle-biter-Gaidal will run around slicing the Darkfriends' Achilles tendons. ;)

(I'm picturing the E-Trade baby running around with a pair of hunting knives instead of GC's swords.)
James Jones
14. jamesedjones
12 RedHanded

She got mad. She couldn't touch the power because it was part of the nightmare Egwene created.
Maggie M
15. Eswana
Since I'm not Jesus (or Mary, since I'm Catholic and we believe she was free from sin too-- though I'm not opening that can of worms here in Re-Read Land), I'm totally cool with admitting to lying & fibbing in the past, present, and future.

I find it a little hard to believe, actually, that Nynaeve has *never* lied to Egwene, *ever.* I mean, I don't like lying, but I've lied to even my parents and my best friends on occassion. It just seems a little outrageous that they've never lied to each other. But whatever.

re Gaidal Cain: RedHanded @ 3 makes a good point - the world will near some Heroes after Rand's Breaking too. Also, since it's the Pattern (Creator? Whole other discussion...) that does the spinning-out-of-people, the Pattern probably knows that Gaidal will need to be out in the world at some point soon. Not too long after this chapter, Birgitte will be Ripped Away, so she won't be spun out as "planned" by the Pattern. My guess is that she will die at some point during TG or after, and then almost right away be re-bound to the Wheel and re-spun out, so she and Gaidal's neverending story can continue.

"Hypocrisy: it’s what’s for breakfast!" Indeed! Especially with Egwene, for the next book or so. Once she's Amrylin she calms down a bit and stops being so snippy,but for most of this book she really bugged me. Get off that high horse, sassy pants.
toryx
16. exatec
I pull out what's inside
And I serve it up fried
God, I love little fishes, don't you?
Shaylyn Austin
17. Ispan
jamesedjones @14
"She flailed for saidar and found nothing; it was horror filling her, not anger."

For some reason this attack never stuck with me in previous reads and didn't taint my feelings for Egwene. After this reread though... I really despise her right now, though I'm sure that'll change. She's just doing such a great job of putting all of her most terrible attributes on display. Lying, hypocrisy, egocentricity... yuck.
Jay Dauro
18. J.Dauro
As always Leigh, thanks, and a great job. However, if the intros get any better, I am going to have to stop reading at work.

And R. Fife, I would have let you in with the shawl, it's just that she sort of owns the restaurant.

The Nyneave/Egwene confrontation always make me squirm. On one hand Nyneave needs to learn, but on the other hand, so does Egwene. I understand the necessity for it in the book. But this is one of the places that really makes me hope that Egwene gets a bit of a smackdown in AMoL.
Dan Sparks
19. RedHanded
@14 Jamesedjones
She flailed for saidar and found nothing; it was horror filling her, not anger. Thick fingernails dug into her cheeks, holding her head steady. Egwene had done this, somehow. Egwene. “Please, Egwene!” It was a squeal, and she was too terrified to care. “Please!”

Sounds like she got mad because she was too scared, and not that she couldn't get mad because it was part of the nightmare. Definitely the nightmares caused her fear but the nightmare didn't actually inhibit use of the power, her own block did that.

EDIT: I meant she couldn't get mad because she was too scared.
Maggie M
20. Eswana
@16:
Here's something for tempting the palate
Prepared with the classic technique:
first you pound the fish flat with a mallet
then you slash through the skin,
give the belly a slice...
then you rub some salt in 'cause that makes it taste nice!

{Zut Alors! I have missed one!!}
Genevieve Williams
21. welltemperedwriter
I have to say, as wince-inducing as it is sometimes, I enjoy watching Nynaeve's personal growth here. It's a great arc, and parts of it are just hysterically funny. (That said, I agree with you, Leigh, on Egwene's treatment of her here. Though since Egwene is still a teenager herself, I can kind of understand her reaction to her own realization of power. Don't like it, though.)

Also, I think you kind of covered this in your general comment on the subject, but one advantage the Wise Ones definitely have in finding channelers is their respected place in Aiel society. Aes Sedai are respected, but feared, too.
Dan Sparks
22. RedHanded
@15 Eswana

My guess is that she will die at some point during TG or after, and then almost right away be re-bound to the Wheel and re-spun out, so she and Gaidal's neverending story can continue.

Good point, I didn't even think about Birgette dying but it makes sense that she would die at some point during TG and then be reborn sometime, maybe even 10 years from when Gaidal was spun out. I think somewhere they say that he is usually older than her and by more than a couple years...
Luke M
23. lmelior
I have no time for tears, Egwene. The Dragonwall is not many days distant now, and the Alguenya...
*Sniffle*
William Frank
24. scifantasy
I wonder if it’s only because I know what’s going to happen to her that everything she says in TFOH takes on this kind of wistful, sad, que sera sera tone?

I feel like it was written so that if you know what is coming, it's wistful, and if you don't, then it's foreshadowing--when Rand reads her letter and sees she knew, it hits the reader and Rand both that she knew all this time.
sandi vogel
25. sinfulcashew
Loving the introduction!!!!! The best yet?
I'd like a chicken breast with a side order of thighs.
Dan Sparks
26. RedHanded
@25 sinfulcashew

Sounds kind of like some catcalling!
toryx
27. Orideth
I'd imagine it also works in the Wise Ones' favor that they don't have an army of fanatical zealots hell-bent on killing as many channeling women as they can get their hands on (or arrows/swords into).
Jason Deshaies
28. darxbane
Without saying whether I agree or disagree with Egwene's tactics, let's clear something up: Egwene did not put the nightmare scenario on Nyn because of a lie. It was to scare her straight about the dangers of TAR. All she did to call her out on lying was to make her smell a cup of nasty tea.

If you read very carefully, you'll notice that Egwene did not create the nightmare, but allowed one of Nynaeve's personal nightmares to surface (something that could happen on its own). Had Nynaeve known what to do, she could have stopped it easily. She was too terrified to channel, and it wouldn't have helped. The Trolloc nightmare in LOC explains that the only way to stop the nightmare is to refuse to acknowledge it. By trying to channel, she was pulling herself further into the nightmare.
Genevieve Williams
29. welltemperedwriter
Orideth: yeah, I'd imagine that helps too...it's kind of part of what I was talking about, I think. Though I wonder what the WOs detection mechanism is. How DOES one determine whether someone can be taught, regardless of whether they have the spark or not?
toryx
30. David-2
Was Moraine really eavesdropping on Rand? How can it be that Asmodean teaches Rand how to shield his dreams but not shield from eavesdroppers? Even the AS of this time know how to do that.
Captain Hammer
31. Randalator
jamesedjones @9

After seeing it one more time, I'm left wondering: how does Egwene of all people not see that she is making Nyneave feel pain (and even a brief experience with the after-effects of the scratches) without damage in the real world? Doesn't this sound like something Egwene still has nightmares about? Seriously, the only thing I hate worse than bullying is stupidity.

She's being Aiel.

The lesson she gives Nynaeve is the same lesson she received from Amys when she entered TAR without permission. So, as I can't remember Amys being crucified for her teaching style, I don't hold it against Egwene that she teaches Nynaeve the same way...


David-2 @30

If Rand didn't ask, Asmo most likely didn't teach.
Jason Deshaies
32. darxbane
@29,
They don't say they get everyone who can be taught, just everyone who has the spark. That being said, I believe they do, as the Wise Ones who can channel probably number just enough where they are able to check every girl to see if they have either the spark or the ability to learn.
Alex Johns
33. almuric
About Aes Sedai not being able to find all the channelers: The Aes Sedai put themselves in the position they were in by being the stuck-up witches that they are. Instead of being open and having a chapter-house or recruiting office in every town of appreciable size they made themselves into high and mighty, insufferable, arrogant elites who can't be bothered to take the time to hob-nob with the common folks.

Considering how many Kin and Two Rivers channelers they find in the later books, if they'd made a serious effort at identifying latent talent they would have had a much more formidable army when Tarmon Gai'don finally came along. Instead, they're all too busy playing their little Ajah games.

Of course, Nynaeve isn't to blame for that, but I'm in agreement with the Wise Ones here. The fact that Aes Sedai know that 75% of unidentified channelers will die and they can't be bothered to look a little harder is pretty damning.

You know, I'm rarely angry when I'm reading the books, it's only on reflection that I get pissed off at all the stupid crap. Jordan sure knew how to push my buttons. Is it November yet?
Sean Banawnie
34. Seanie
Hmmm breast and thighs...*rubs earlobe*
I would like a souffle personally.
Well as far as the Wise ones , yes it is easier for them , but they are not aloof like the AS . We have all said it time and again how arrogant they are. Sea Folk get all their channelers too. But AS are "above" the people . God forbid they go out and Heal people and be among them....It is a self fulfilling role they have . They like being mysterious and all but wonder why people are suspicious . Hard to change at this point because so many people hate them-- WC , Tairens , even Far Madding .
Talk the past day or two about this had me a bit prepared but I couldn't remember details. Nyn wasn't as horrified as I woulda thought , she knew it wasn't real. Eggy gigling, not cool tho.
Don't forget as far as Nyn's personality quirks , she was an orphan and not only missed her teen years....
Moi , wistful, indeed . Kinda forgot the simple eavesdropping scene . Rand wards and all but Moi is like superspy---she woulda figured Asmo one way or another.Thanx again Leigh, good job as always.
There'll be a little something extra in the gratuity.
Edit* nice thoughts Almuric , you beat me to the post. Didn't read you all the way through yet , you were probably more eloquent than I anyway....
Michael Catapano
35. hoping
Summer heat heightens
The Dark One stretches his hand
Wisdom grows sharper
Helen Peters
36. Helen
So has Gaidal been spun out?
We're certain he's not been ripped out by a forsaken as retribution for some sin (real or imagined) of his or Birgitte's, or held somewhere she cannot detect him in t'a'r?
Just grasping at straws here.

@3 Redhanded.
No, we know that if he's been spun out he's not too old coz we 'saw' him with Perrin in TSR when Perrin talks to Birgitte, which is only a couple of months ago 'real time'.
Michael Catapano
37. hoping
darxbane
Egwene said about N's nightmare attack that "...I made these, and unmade them."
She was teaching N a lesson ala the wise one's technique but I think it is clear that she jumped to it to cover her own deception. It's not E's finest moment.
toryx
38. alreadymadwithMoiraine'sanswer
Knowing what will happen at the end, Moiraine's comment is touching. It's like the support base she was counting on was gone. And the only thing left to her was to prepare for her death.
Alex Johns
39. almuric
As far as Egwene's nightmares she inflicted on Nynaeve, remember these books were written by a man. It's totally something a boot camp (Aes Sedai) Drill Instructor would do. You crawl under barbed wire while real, live machine-gun bullets are flying a couple of feet above your head. They will teach you to keep your head down or you will go ahead and die in boot camp before we waste any more money on you.

And as a guy, the whole nasty-tasting tea thing didn't bother me too much, either. When one of your buddies BSes about something and you call him on it, you do whatever's necessary to have the truth come out. If we were in dreamland and I could do the tea thing so we could hurry up and get to the truth, I'd be all over that.

The hypocrisy, is of course, another ball of wax. Grrr.

And thanks, Seanie, for thinking I'm more eloquent. It's not true, but thanks for thinking it. ;}
Tracy Long
40. BookFairy
Oh Moiraine, She finally figures it out. I really miss her and can’t wait to get her back.

@ 15 Eswana
I totally agree with you about Gaidal and Birgitte. We can always hope!

Bad Egwene! Bad!
Jay Dauro
41. J.Dauro
@34 Seanie

You made me think. If you are a girl with the spark, but you live in Far Madding, will you have to face the odds of trying to learn on your own?

If later you leave Far Madding, will it hit then?

Could a girl who is starting to channel on her own go to Far Madding or a Stedding to be "put on ice" until an AS can start to teach?
Sean Banawnie
42. Seanie
oh and I forgot ,sorry Gaidal. I think someway,somehow he is or was going to reappear in the story, I know it has been disproven but I thought for the longest time (and I know I ain't alone that Olver was .... Ok, I know RJ himself says no way --I accept that.... but was funny the similarities nonetheless. Yes, I think he will reappear . I almost want to say that he made him into a red herring post script. Just to stir things up. Maybe at some point he was intending him to be ....and changed his mind. I don't think that is an outrageous line of thinking. Any theories/thoughts? I am too late for the live RJ blog and wotfaq but I have looked them over thanks to suggestions here ---thanks lots !Fascinating!
toryx
43. Longtimefan
Random off topic/in book thought.

Why do the Red Ajah and the Blue Ajah dislike eachother so much (aside from being written that way?)

The stated purposes to not seem to be so polarizing that it would antagonize each group so intently.

Reds deal with men who channel and Blues "champion causes" (very vauge)

Do the Reds dislike them so much because of how general their purpose is presented. All the other Ajahs are fairly on point.

From what I can remember both are fairly large if not the two largest and unless the cause is "not gentling men" how does the Blue agenda come to crosspoints with the Red?

Yes the Red are written as having hosted the worst Amyrilns ever and seemingly also the least and the Blue are every other freaking Amyriln. Is that really the whole reason to despise eachother so much that they would have none of the other Ajah in thier camp.

And what about this whole "of all Ajahs and of none" business that they pay lip service to and yet do not seem to put into action.

I just do not get the whole anamosity other than "it is the way it is written"


Then again if I was a fictional female character who could channel I would be considering the Brown Ajah just to stay out of the trouble. And for the reading.
toryx
44. SusanB
Here is something that's always bothered me...Mo says that the Aiel don't have the same goals as "the tower", but what goals does "the Tower" really have. All the AS go in different directions & do what ever they want & there is so much stress in all the books about not interfering in other AS's plans. And the majority of what Mo has been doing was done before the Tower even knew about it. I know it was "approved" by the Amyrlin, which should mean the Tower is behind it, but we know that doesn't exactly work out. So, what is the unified "goal" of the Tower?
toryx
45. RobMRobM
Leigh - "scrying." What is this, Eragon Book 4?
Genevieve Williams
46. welltemperedwriter
Hmm, the unified goal of the Tower seems to be to ensure its own survival. Which, now that I think about it, might be a consequence of the Breaking and all the rest; we know that Aes Sedai is supposed to mean "servants of all", but I'd guess that during that period they went into emergency survival mode, and never really emerged. Like a monastery in the early Middle Ages.
Captain Hammer
47. Randalator
J.Dauro @41

If you are a girl with the spark, but you live in Far Madding, will you have to face the odds of trying to learn on your own?

Not as long as you stay within the perimeter of the Guardian. The sickness thing is a direct result of the sparker unconsciously touching the source. In Far Madding you can't touch the source. Ergo no channeling sickness.

If later you leave Far Madding, will it hit then?

A sparker will inevitably start to channel sooner or later. So if said sparker leaves Far Madding she will start touching the source and have to fight through the sickness.

Could a girl who is starting to channel on her own go to Far Madding or a Stedding to be "put on ice" until an AS can start to teach?

Obviously, yes.
Hugh Arai
48. HArai
Longtimefan@43: If I'm not mistaken the Red/Blue feud started over Bonwhin (Red Amyrlin who tried to control Hawkwing and ended up getting him to siege Tar Valon) being pulled down and replaced with a Blue.

SusanB@44: The best any of the Aes Sedai can seem to come up with for a goal is "to stand as a bulwark against the Dark". Which is bloody vague, yes. What they actually seem to be _doing_ is try to make sure Aes Sedai are in charge everywhere because they're Aes Sedai and should be in charge.
Maggie M
49. Eswana
LongtimeFan-
I believe the Blue is one of the smallest Ajahs, actually, except for the White. I don't have my books handy, but I believe a Moiraine POV from New Spring indicates as much. The Blue might seem large to us because we've been given POVs from lots of Blues - Moiraine, Siuan, Sheriam, etc.

Green is the largest by far, and I think Red follows not far behind.

I haven't a clue why Red and Blue have such animosity towards one another. You could be close with your idea about "Amyrlin envy," since the Blues have a lot of them and Reds have few.
Hugh Arai
50. HArai
Eswana@49: "Amyrlin envy". How appropriate. It sounds so petty. And they are.
toryx
51. Balance
Ode to Moiraine: I was never one who got mad at the woman. For me she has always been one of my favorite characters since the beginning. The scene in TEotW where she pushes back the 3(?) fists of trollocks before Shadar Logarth cemented her in my memory. She is not strong ( as compared to the channellers we know now. ) However her courage and determination has always impressed me. She is the Matriarical figure that is akin to Gandalf. I relish every scene she is in. There is a line somewhere in the books that states, after her "death", that she was quickly becomming a legend among AS. As well she should. I truly hope that when she returns it is in a "Gandalf the White" form. Stronger becouse of her time with the Finns. Pet theory: Perhaps the reason Lanfear is weaker now is that Mo got some of her juice. I could almost forgive her anything. Go Thom!! I'd take that too.

BTW: Note on my spelling and grammer. Some weird MSexplore trick means I must type fast in order to post. Too long on editing means I get kicked out and have to type again. Being with ya'll since the beginning and not being able to respond hurts.

Eg and Nyn. Meh, never got too mad at her. Leigh states it right that they are both growing up. Each is learning her place in the world. You don't get to be the Amerlyn Seat by being nice all the time when a point must be made
toryx
52. tamyrlink
had to say it before i even read the reread:

LMAO @ The Little Mermaid reference! lol thats one of the funniest lines/songs in the movie lol

leigh you kill me every time x_x
toryx
53. tamyrlink
longtimefan@43

the red is the largest (go figure what with fewer men being found all the time)

then the green is a close second (the multiple warder thing pulls em in)

then its

yellow
gray
brown

(i think in that order lol)

but for sure the bottom two are

blue

then white
James Hogan
54. Sonofthunder
In regards to Gaidal...maybe the only reason he got spun out was so Jordan didn't have to worry about writing him in every TAR scene with Birgitte?(since we know they like to hang out together in TAR) I agree that doesn't seem like Jordan(yay for never wasting characters!!!) but I also can't imagine how he'll show up in any of the last three books...
toryx
55. keegansgirl
Not sure if anyone's mentioned this, but Min had a viewing of Birgitte and an older man, and also a much younger man. Meaning that Gaidal will be younger than her at some point. Could that point of time be this age and the immediate age to come? Just a thought.
Luke M
56. lmelior
@tamyrlink #53
Ajah size
From largest to smallest:
Red
Green
Gray
Brown
Yellow
Blue
White
James Jones
57. jamesedjones
43 Longtimefan

Loney Theory time.

The SG become troubled with the information that they are given in The Dragon Reborn on the BA. It goes across all ajahs and all nations. They believe (as should we all when presented with a looney theory) that this even spread of groups and factions is a cover to hide an existing pattern in the BA. My suspicion is that this indicates a heavy cross section of Red Ajah turn into BA. Which would automatically pit them against the blue ajah as it seeks causes to support, like... finding the DR.

51 Balance

We were all having the same problem with Tor.com earlier today. I found it was easier to type the post in MS Word, and then copy and paste it into the comment field.
toryx
58. Valan
I will have to agree with most of the above comments that Gaidal will definitely have plenty to do after the Last Battle. Assuming that the Dragon Reborn and the Seanchan do make a truce, I can't help but imagine that after that truce is over things will get overtly F**ked Up. Especially if (God Forbid) Rand does actually die.

(And I hate to sound morbid, but I'm really hoping he does, I think that the Resurrection thing has been over-done lately and I'm more than ready to see a bloody Tragedy. Give me Macbeth, not Neo DAMMIT (and I'm NOT counting sequels)

I was just really surprised, by the way, that Reds have so many more members than Blues. That sucks.

@ Eswana and HArai
"Amyrlin Envy"
Given what we've seen so far with Aes Sedai, I really don't think they need much more reason. They are petty, indeed. And (for the most part) stuck in the past, and about as resilient to change as the Great Pyramids. And lets not forget complete idiots (for the most part.)
Genevieve Williams
59. welltemperedwriter
I was just really surprised, by the way, that Reds have so many more members than Blues. That sucks.


So am I, though in part it's because I have trouble believing that they have enough to do. Throughout the books we hear about how few male channelers they find (though this changes, obviously).

And once saidin is cleansed, their purpose for existing is gone...which gets back to what I was saying about how the Tower's current structure and mode of operation seems to be left over from the Breaking.
toryx
60. Wolfmage
18. J.Dauro
“But this is one of the places that really makes me hope that Egwene gets a bit of a smackdown in AMoL.”

Well we know she owes massive toh to Melaine, Rhuarc and Mat. So BS better write some serious craw eating for Egwene into the AmoL before she has any chance of being fully redeemed in my eyes.

And here comes the avalanche of excuses!

darxbane@28
“Egwene did not put the nightmare scenario on Nyn because of a lie.”

I disagree. The whole nightmare scenario lesson was an extension of Egwene deciding to seize a tactical rhetorical advantage at the very start of the chapter, which stemmed from the vulnerability she felt in the preceding chapter in the meeting with Melaine. The attacking posture has, no matter if it is partly genuine, was driven entirely by the imperative to distract Nynaeve from uncovering her deceit to the Wise Ones. It’s written plain as day in the text; you can't compartmentalise it or dismiss it.

“If you read very carefully, you'll notice that Egwene did not create the nightmare, but allowed one of Nynaeve's personal nightmares to surface (something that could happen on its own).”

Interesting. I don’t see it, but I’ll re-look at the relevant text. But that doesn’t really change Egwene’s offence. Even if we accept an ethical distinction between action and omission, which I don’t, she still actively causes a partial sexual assault on Nynaeve. Whether she is helping along Nynaeve's nightware or making one out of whole cloth doesn't change her culpability.

almuric@39
“It's totally something a boot camp (Aes Sedai) Drill Instructor would do.”

But they’re not in boot camp, and crucially, Nynaeve is not Egwene’s charge or drill instructor. People in boot camp, whether its Tower training or the military, sign up for what happens at least to a point. Even then, its not anything goes and hazing involving sexual assault is going to be off limits legally and morally.

Now, while indecent assault may potentially be part of the Tower’s gruelling testing process, that is a formalised testing process which involves months, and potentially years, of preparation. Importantly, the candidate can walk away at any time before they enter the test. Here, however, Egwene does this against Nynaeve's will almost entirely to strike home a rhetorical advantage and distract Nynaeve from finding out about her deceit to the Wise Ones. It’s completely unethical.

Randalator@31
“She's being Aiel.”

That wouldn’t automatically make it right, and I don’t agree that the Aiel would do that. As I remember the Wise Ones create scarlet puffers on the SAS, who are not their pupils, change their dresses and put them in pigtails, but they never go to this extreme with someone who isn’t actually their apprentice.

”The lesson she gives Nynaeve is the same lesson she received from Amys when she entered TAR without permission. So, as I can't remember Amys being crucified for her teaching style, I don't hold it against Egwene that she teaches Nynaeve the same way...”

I’m sorry but Egwene isn’t Nynaeve’s teacher. She also isn’t her parent or custodian. Any kind of analogy to those special fiduciary relationships, which inherently rely on trust and custodianship, with implicit constructive consent, is misplaced. Egwene has no business teaching Nynaeve anything forcibly.
sandi vogel
61. sinfulcashew
Finally, Tor is fixed!

Just have to say that I don't remember the part of the book, of Eg treating Nyn this way.
Horrific!
I remember the little girl garb etc. but dang, I totally forgot the molestation scene.

And I was sooooo shocked when Moraine 'died'! Yipes!
She seemed such an integral character that I couldn't imagine the story without her.

By the way, where is AMW? We are missing his colorful monikers!
Is he sneaking in under a pseudonym?
toryx
62. TheRightWing
Right on! Just found this whole re-read thing via my brother, who is on book 1 and never read past book 6 his first time round. I am on either my 5th or 6th re-read, and am in the middle of POD, but seriously considering dropping back to pace you after reading your commentary. I hated Egwene for probably an entire book because ofthis chapter, but by KOD she has climbed back into the top 10. The only thing I would disagree with (that's the spirit of the whole thing right?) is your interpretation of why Moiraine is so "que sera sera". Remember that she was urging Rand, after the fall of The Stone, to invade...Illian I believe? While Rand's take on the prophecy contradicted Moiraine's, and sent him to The Waste instead. Lots of fighting between the two over this, remember? Moiraine now realizes that she was completely wrong, and had Rand listened to her council (very assertive and confident council I might add) disaster on a world-wide scale could have been the result. Maybe your pride can take a shot like that and walk it off, but my pride would not recover quickly and I would be walking small for a long time. This could cause a lot of doubt and hesitancy to make any assertions the way she would have in TDR or TSR. Anyhoo, that's where I felt she was at mentally, in addition to knowing she was not long for this realm, etc..
TRW
j p
63. sps49
The Blue seems to have been chosen by Power-strong Aes Sedai. I imagine their outlook is one that, in general, AS of other Ajahs can be on board with, vice the Reds who, in general seem to be, um, mean women.

Or maybe the Blue's causes are 1) Keep the Reds off of the Amylin Seat, and 2) The bet way to do that is by getting one of us'n's there first.
toryx
64. Lady Amalisa
Okay... I will play the Dark One's advocate and take Egwene's side.

Egwene has learned the value of the coolly raised eyebrow and the calm voice. And at the tender age of, what, seventeen? Eighteen? Nynaeve is eight or ten years older and has not. Really, who is the more mature there?

The dynamics between Nynaeve and Egwene have been purely fraught with tension since, oh, Egwene broke with tradition and unbraided her hair. Probably before that, even, when you consider that Eggy left a promising future as the Nyn's apprentice and heir-apparent to the Wisdom-hood of Emond's Field to go traipsing off with Moiraine, to whom Nynaeve took an instant dislike waaaay back in the beginning. They've squabbled and spat like two cats in a sack off and on ever since. Except for the notable times when unity was absolutely called for to insure survival. (Examples... Nynaeve's refusal to abandon Egwene to the Seanchan, and when the BA actually captured them in Tear.) When you think about it, after Tear, the changes in their relationship were pretty much set in stone. Their paths were sundered, and any pretense of teacher/student or Wisdom/apprentice was over and done with. Egwene gets that. Nynaeve, not so much.

The "lie" that Egwene is propagating is that the Wise Ones have released her to wander about TaR at will. Yes, it is a lie. So is pretending to be full Aes Sedai - something that the Three Amigas are all doing. And pretending to be a noblewoman running away from a forced marriage, and taking her ladies' maid with her. Or pretending to be the ladies' maid. Or saying you are betrothed in order to discourage unwanted attention. Or saying that you've been summoned to Tear by the Lord Dragon. All three of them have told lies in abundance - told so that they can continue to learn or continue a mission or save their necks. Well done, I say. Well done, indeed.

The rub here, I think, is that Egwene is using her "lie" to gain a march on Nynaeve in some way. She could, I suppose, just as easily confess all to Nynaeve, put them both back on an equal moral footing. Done and done. Except for one very practical consideration. Nynaeve is a bit of a loose cannon. Let her temper get the better of her and she might let something slip. We all know the price Egwene eventually pays when she admits her lies. (Not to mention the personal growth she attains prior to that admission.) I contend that Egwene has good reason not to fully trust Nynaeve with that truth. (Consider what happens a little farther into the book, when Egwene speaks to both Nynaeve and Elayne in the dream, admonishes them both not to say anything and at the very next meeting, Nynaeve almost blurts it out!)

Having said all of that... I love Egwene and Nynaeve. Their ups and downs, their strengths and weaknesses. In fact, Eggy and Nyn, Mat, Moiraine and Lan are consistently my favorite characters in the whole series. The first three because they are the ones who "grow" the most, and in really very realistic ways - if you subtract the magic and such. Moiraine and Lan because, well, who wouldn't love awesome, mysterious magic-y types and their equally awesome warrior-type companions. Such is what fantasy literature is all about!
toryx
65. jafco
Thanks for the dinner, Leigh. Here's your jacket. Please have it cleaned by Friday. I know, I'm a slob, but it's so good one just has to shovel it in! ;)

Yes this is Eg's nadir (although she really pissed me off during the little vacation in nowhereland with Perrin back in tEotW, too). She won't regain any grace - in my view of their world - until Mat gives her absolution in aCoS.

After that she's pretty cool, although the entire Halima thing - finally unearthed in KoD - is almost too much. Of all the SGs and The Three Ta'veran, in some ways she is the most hidebound and least curious in a broad sense, yet also the most anxious to learn things that affect her - and by far the most manipulative. Comic relief is not one of her charms (thank goodness for Nyn among the gals, tho' Elayne can sometimes be funny). Still, I'd like to meet them all.
toryx
66. Jambo
That part with Egwene is my least fav. part from the entire series. It takes a character in Egwene who I was neutral towards and made me actually hate her. Every single section with her POV from that point on I have to force myself to read because I just find what she did so disgusting. I don't know why I react so strongly to that but even reading the recap i got really pissed of and wanted to hand out some smackies.

Gaaaah Egwene how I hate thee and ur hypocritical, smart ass, bitchy, ways.

Go bye bye now and come back when u become cool, yet slight unintelligent Rebel Alliance Leader :)
Luke M
67. lmelior
@ james #57 re: Tor.com problems
I didn't notice any problems on Linux + Firefox. It was a bit slow occasionally but as often as not that's just the company network clogging up.

@Valan #58
Surprising amount of misandry going on, eh? *ducks*

Actually, the Reds also do a great deal of recruiting while they're out hunting men. Remember how they tend to hate wilders too? The link I gave in #56 says the color red is often associated with law enforcement (Mat's BotRH, Aiel Red Shields, and the red cloths in Caemlyn back in tEotW). So they aren't completely useless yet.
toryx
68. alreadymadjusttobeajerk
@51

Preemptive apologies:

M Sexplore...
toryx
69. alreadymadwithfreakingtower
welltemperedwriter @59
That's one way of looking at it. My own pet theory is that they're trying to recreate their AoL levels of influence but got it massively wrong.

Sigh... another impostor.
toryx
70. J.Dauro
@60 Wolfmage

Egwene is both Nyneave's and Elayne's teacher in T'A'R. They both have asked her to teach them what she learns from the Wise Ones.
toryx
71. toddywatts
Ugh. I had completely forgotten this whole thing with Egwene & Nynaeve -- I guess we're meant to, otherwise how can you have any sympathy for her?

I don't buy into the whole "teaching a lesson" thing. That usually comes along with some instruction, not just "I know how to heal that, but you don't." I also think there's a big difference between being threatened by a monster and being held down and threatened with rape by two monstrous men -- that seems mighty more personal and invasive to me.

Weren't there two red Amyrlins who f'ed up and were replaced by blue? I think Bonwhin was just the most famous -- well, most often referenced, anyway.

You'd think the AS would have an ajah dedicated to finding women who could channel. After all, they have one dedicated to finding men who can channel and how often does that come up, really?

Valan @58
Not sure it's fair to say that the whole resurrection thing is overdone these days, after all it's been 19 years since we found out that Rand was fated to die and live again. But, maybe that's already come true. He was killed, then someone balefired his killer and it all happened offscreen and will only be revealed in flashbacks at the end of the 14th book when we expect him to get up again and won't we be surprised when he doesn't.
sandi vogel
72. sinfulcashew
I was so excited to see AMW return and then he says 'imposter'
Who's who?

Imelior:
I use Mozilla also, and had a heck of a time until a couple of hours ago.

Hmmmm, I am realizing something in the differences in my posts and others.
I just accept what happens and say whether I like it or not, and youse guys run with it and dissect it and worry it like a dog with a bone!
Nothing intended with this, I just wish I could delve into things a little more.
Lannis .
73. Lannis
Re: Nynaeve's crisis of character/passage to maturity... I don't have much to say on this, except that I enjoy that RJ's characters are complex, and Nynaeve certainly feels identifiable in this reread (who hasn't felt a little insecure and lost--especially under great stress?)... and, well, Lan's probably ecstatic that this "growth" all happened when he was away and offscreen--and totally didn't have to deal with the messy ugly!

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! See you Friday! :)
toryx
74. Wolfmage
Lady Amalisa@64.

“Egwene has learned the value of the coolly raised eyebrow and the calm voice. And at the tender age of, what, seventeen? Eighteen? Nynaeve is eight or ten years older and has not. Really, who is the more mature there?”

While self-discipline and controlling your emotions goes hand in hand with maturity, Egwene’s realisation about this approach, at least at this stage, is primarily geared towards its utility in getting her own way and for manipulating people better, NOT as some kind of general personal virtue. Also, for all Nynaeave’s bluster, she IMHO shows far more capacity from reflection and self criticism than Egwene – which are also strong analogues for maturity. We see in Nynaeve’s POV that though she may be rude to others, she applies exacting standards to herself and criticises herself as a fool all the time; Egwene by contrast is generally lacks even inner humility, unless she feels she can gain something. Egwene’s character is hubris personified – hardly mature.

“The "lie" that Egwene is propagating is that the Wise Ones have released her to wander about TaR at will. Yes, it is a lie. So is pretending to be full Aes Sedai - something that the Three Amigas are all doing…. ”

Um, I don’t see the equivalency. It’s not the lie itself that matters, though the myriad lies told by supergirls are usually justified as part of their mission and their need to survive, successfully navigating the world unmolested. What matters here are Egwene’s action of assault on Nynaeve, her selfishness and her blatant moral hypocrisy.

“Except for one very practical consideration. Nynaeve is a bit of a loose cannon. Let her temper get the better of her and she might let something slip.”

I don’t see any realistic scenario where Nynaeve would actually tell the Wise Ones, but Egwene’s uncertainty about that contigency isn’t a valid reason to do what she did. This isn’t life and death or some important mission; this is Egwene’s petty self-interest in continuing to receive instruction in dreamwalking, whilst simultaneously breaking the parameters of that instruction as set by her teachers. So even in the unlikely event that Nynaeve might tell - big deal – why should Nynaeve have to suffer for Egwene’s uncertainty about her vulnerability to being expelled as a pupil.

“We all know the price Egwene eventually pays when she admits her lies.’

Strike me off as one of those people who has never been overly impressed by the Egwene’s discharge of her toh as against the sins of her character. I don’t think one hard spanking session comes close to atoning for the myriad instances of Egwene’s hubris and moral failings. From Nynaeve’s perspective why should it matter – Egwene never discharges toh to Nynaeve and Nynaeve doesn’t even follow je’i’toh.

If everyone thought they could go around lying, dishing out lessons, breaking rules and screwing people over if all I had to do was face some hard spanking and social humiliation from a sub-set of of people who follow je’i’toh, maybe they would think it was worth the price. It wouldn’t make them less odious people though.
toryx
75. Master Al'Thor
::headdesk, headdesk::

Look, Supergirls are just annoying until much later when they grow up and start acting as badass as they guys.

The attack on TAR on Nyn is just wrong. I cannot, even with Leigh's explianation, condone such an act. This was stepping over the line in friendship.

If Nyn was ever to find out that should be a main event worthy fight. I'm just saying if one of my best friends did that to me, it's clobberin time.
toryx
76. Digital_Eon
I usually have very strong feelings about scenes such as what Egwene did, but strangely enough, I feel absolutely no hate towards her because of this - and even feel sad to see people hate her for it.

What probably helps me not see the attack in a horrible light for Egwene is what happens afterward. Nynaeve isn't horribly traumatized by the attack; she gets embarrassed and then changes the subject. Had Nynaeve responded with something much worse than sulkiness, there's no doubt in my mind that Egwene would have felt immensely guilty, even if her pride wouldn't have made her able to admit her wrongs (and it might have; I don't know). Nynaeve doesn't even attribute the shift of power in the relationship to this! It doesn't seem to have been even close to a turning point for either woman, which is why I'm not sure what's with the strong attitudes towards it here. Yes, it was awful and horrible, and it never should have happened. But it doesn't seem like people are really thinking of the context in the book. You're reacting much more strongly than even Nynaeve did!

Note that Egwene's giggling was about the greater power shift, which was not due to the attack. One of the lessons Egwene learned was in seeming calm and in control, and it was the successful execution of this (culminating in the tea) that she's happy about. The dream thing has been totally forgotten. (Well, Nynaeve mentions being upset at her "unfair" treatment by Melaine and Egwene the next day, but that seems to be more of the overall situation and the power shift...)

I had some long rant about understanding Egwene's position as a teenager, but meh. :P That point's important too, though - Egwene needs to grow up just as much as Nynaeve does. And while the dream thing was not a good way to do it, I... think people are more upset at her attitude in this chapter more than just the attack. She is very arrogant and hypocritical to Nynaeve. In fact, she's probably comparable to a cooler-tempered Nynaeve in some respects. But challenging Nynaeve's authority is a big and necessary step towards being able to be an adult, and I think that without this chapter, Egwene would never have been able to be awesome later on. She wouldn't have been able to stand as an equal (adult) against the rebelling Aes Sedai.

And so the reason Egwene doesn't annoy me at all is because she's not genuinely arrogant and controlling. She consciously behaves in a certain way to faciliate becoming a strong adult. If anything, I think it's admirable that she's able to see and manipulate her behaviour so well at such an age.

As for the Red/Blue battle: It's not as if there were really such compelling world events going on after the big wars every thousand years to stop petty rivalry from happening. It seems awful now, but what about in a time of peace? Suddenly, that power seems much more important. Even if the Aes Sedai weren't practically shut up in that tower with no care for the outside world (for some, anyway!), Tower politics would still be important. Not that I don't think they should have gotten over it by now, of course, but if there were no really strong reasons to get over it before now... :P

Though I think the Aes Sedai get way too much hate. They're flawed, yes, but so is every institution. And individuals that we're actually supposed to care about (who aren't just names to achieve plot goals) are not that bad at all.
toryx
77. toddywatts
Wolfmage @74
Well said!
toryx
78. HurinSmells
I understand that Egwene's lesson was an extension of what she herself experienced at the hands of the Wise Ones... but to do something like that to a friend? In a couple of chapters we see Nyn get trapped by Moghedien in T'A'R, and even then she is still able to turn a brief moment of terror into rage. At the hands of Egwene she is so absolutely terrified she couldn't even summon the anger to channel! I'm kinda happy about Halima's headaches now!

As for Gaidal, I'm certain that at the end of the final book it's not going to be all blue sky and sunshine. After the Bore was sealed war raged for decades. The world will need heroes long after TG, so maybe this is Jordan's way of continuing with the theme of no beginnings and no endings?
toryx
79. Wolfmage
J.Dauro @ 70

"Egwene is both Nyneave's and Elayne's teacher in T'A'R. They both have asked her to teach them what she learns from the Wise Ones. "

Sorry, I don't accept that. Egwene agrees to pass on what she learns about TAR to Nynaeve and Elayne - but there is no undertaking to enter a teacher-pupil relationship. There is a world of difference between, say, me enrolling in a class or accepting mentorship from a scientific committee member, and me showing a friend some tips that I learned in class. The law formally recognises this difference.

Contrast how the Aiel treat the SAS to how Egwene treats Nynaeve.

toddywatts@71

"I don't buy into the whole "teaching a lesson" thing. That usually comes along with some instruction, not just "I know how to heal that, but you don't." I also think there's a big difference between being threatened by a monster and being held down and threatened with rape by two monstrous men -- that seems mighty more personal and invasive to me."

Completely agreed. That's a good point the Aiel don't even treat their wayward pupils so harshly, and Egwene has explicitly accepted Amys as her teacher, and she undertakes to be an obedient pupil.
toryx
80. toddywatts
Digital_Eon @76
I don't think you have to challenge authority to grow up. I think Egwene believes that either she or Nynaeve have to hold the upper hand, which is a shame.

Also, it's not the first time I've been outraged on behalf of someone else who didn't feel as slighted as I thought they should.

I think that RJ realized he couldn't allow any references to this occurence because it would maintain the readers dislike of Egwene. If I were Nynaeve, I would have required an apology at the minimum.
john massey
81. subwoofer
Egwene- bad- needs swatting with a rolled up newspaper. I dunno, Ny's dream or not, assault is assault.

The ajahs. If no one has noticed, causes or not, most AS seem remarkable self absorbed. It would make sense to have ajah go and look for channellers but when did As ever make sense.

Also, in the Waste there are Wise Woman in every sept and they all talk to each other by dreamwalking. AS lost that ability and thereby the ability to communicate over vast distances which is what the whole area west of the Waste. The AS seem very centralized in the Tower so their methods worked against them.

And I think Gaidal was spun out at another time too. Can't not see him with Birgitte in the Last Battle.
john massey
82. subwoofer
Moiraine, she sees her demise in Rhuidean so it is just a matter of how she meets her end. Good that it is with dignity. Rand may not be so much of a schmuck when she gets out of the ToG.
T C
83. Freelancer
Darxbane@28 has it in one. Egwene clearly told Nynaeve that the nightmare was of her (Nynaeve's) making, and that she (Nynaeve) could undo it but she does not know how.

Egwene used Nynaeve's own internal fear to teach her a lesson. I will agree with those who say that she began that process to forestall Nynaeve asking a question that Egwene didn't want to answer, but she didn't consciously decide to "torture" Nynaeve to avoid her own out-of-bounds behavior.

It's not like she could do anything differently, right? She's the "ooh-ooh" girl, the gottalearnitallNOW, gottadoitallBETTER perfectionist that is never satisfied with how much she's being taught. She learned the hard way from Amys of the dangers in the Dream. Nynaeve is no less hard-headed, though for different reasons, so it only makes sense to use a hard lesson for her, too.


RobMRobM@45

Scrying is a very common term for magically sensing remote activity. Crystal balls, bowls, mirrors, there are a great many different scrying tools. For Moiraine, it's just the Power, but with her blue jewel as a focus.


SinfulCashew@61

Is he sneaking in under a pseudonym?

Wouldn't that be a pseudo-pseudonym?


LadyAmalisa@64

I believe at this point Egwene is nearing 19. Recall that during these chapter Moiraine says that in a few months it will have been 21 years that she began the quest for the Dragon Reborn. That positively dates Rand's birth, and from both From the Two Rivers and TEotW we know that Egwene is two years younger than the Ta'veren Trio.


Digital_Eon@76
It doesn't seem to have been even close to a turning point for either woman, which is why I'm not sure what's with the strong attitudes towards it here.

"The people doth protest too much, methinks. - Old Bill

It is often said that we ridicule in others that which we most loathe within ourselves. Then again, maybe that shoe doesn't fit.


A tip, Leigh? Sure, here you go: Don't eat yellow snow. Ahh, relax, it's under my plate, make sure the busboy doesn't pocket it all when he clears. As usual, the roast duck with mango salsa was perfetto.
john massey
84. subwoofer
Hi Leigh, great post! Had the veal, very tasty. Waiter laughed at me when I asked for ketchup though. Just sayin'.
toryx
85. alreadymadwithunintelligentfakes
Sinfulcashew @72
68 is a copycat.


The real one has the good number.
James Jones
86. jamesedjones
84 Subwoofer

Next time slip the little packets in your pocket before you leave home. :)

85 AMW

Brilliant!
toryx
87. warcaller
welltemperedwriter@59

According to the BWB the Ajahs are the remenants of Aes Sedai left from the breaking.

TheRightWing@62

I don't think being wrong about the prophecy would rattel Moiriane all that much. Moiraine, whilst knowing (some) of the prophecies of the dragon, is more worried about temporal matters then spirtual. Thats why she wants Rand to lead Tear to war with Illian, because it will give him an army, thats why before that she wanted him to carry the Horn of Valare to Illian because again that would give him an army and she wants him to go to the White Tower because whislt the Children of the Light and the Tairiens might hate Aes Sedai even they still listen to the Amyrlin and it would be easier with that backing.

toddywatts@71

The other Red Armyrlin who was deposed was Tetsuan, who betrayed Manetheran because she was jelous of Queen Elderne
toryx
88. RobMRobM
Leigh - can you find me a fork? I'm getting tired of eating this spicy food with those little sticks. Much better, thanks.

While Egwene's internal POV is annoyingly self satisfied, I didn't have a problem with her literally scaring the dress off of Nynaeve in T'A'R. Nynaeve needed it or something like it to shake her out of her dangerous complacency. Egwene is well aware that Nynaeve will charge forward into anything and the dialog in both chapters showed that she was not taking seriously the cautions of both Melanie and Egwene that T'A'R contained threats that could kill her easily. This colorful demonstration got Nynaeve's attention and got her to practice the skills that allowed her to survive the battles with Moggy later in TFOH.

Rob
john massey
89. subwoofer
@AMW- 69 dude!- gotta log in... you could just do an already mad when.... whatever as the first part of your comment. It's like chicken. Everything tastes like it but there can be only one OG... Or like the village bike. Every schmuck is gonna take your name for a ride. Just sayin'.

-@jej- good idea, although the last time I buggered around with those wretched packs some yahoo took the door off my Tahoe...long story...
toryx
90. Lady Amalisa
Wolfmage@74

(Love your moniker, btw. WoW or anime? Both or neither?)

While self-discipline and controlling your emotions goes hand in hand with maturity, Egwene’s realisation about this approach, at least at this stage, is primarily geared towards its utility in getting her own way and for manipulating people better, NOT as some kind of general personal virtue..."


Spoken from the vantage point of *mumbles* years, I look back and realize that a great deal of "growing up" involves a "fake it 'til you make it" approach. At some point, acting like a grown-up will lead to actually being a grown-up. Most of the time, anyway.

Also, for all Nynaeave’s bluster, she IMHO shows far more capacity from reflection and self criticism than Egwene – which are also strong analogues for maturity. We see in Nynaeve’s POV that though she may be rude to others, she applies exacting standards to herself and criticises herself as a fool all the time; Egwene by contrast is generally lacks even inner humility, unless she feels she can gain something. Egwene’s character is hubris personified – hardly mature.


"Exacting standards"?? So much of the comic relief provided by Nynaeve is in her inability to see her own negative characteristics when she is complaining about those same flaws in others! The only - and I'll agree that it is a biggie! - character flaw she beats herself up over is her supposed lack of courage. And even there she's wrong! As for Egwenes lack of inner humility... I remember my son at the age of seventeen (he's twenty-five now) and "inner humility" wasn't part of his make-up.

I don’t see any realistic scenario where Nynaeve would actually tell the Wise Ones, but Egwene’s uncertainty about that contigency isn’t a valid reason to do what she did.


Are we reading the same book??

Nynaeve gave a little jump. She did so hate people sneaking up on her. "Egwene, how did you---" she began, smoothing her skirts, at the same time that Elayne said, "Egwene, we can't understand how you---"

~~The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 49, "To Boannda"

Egwene's "assault" on Nynaeve... Someone else in this thread made the comparison to Egwene's encounter with Amys and that was dismissed (by you, perhaps?) as not the same... Something about Egwene agreeing to be taught by Amys and Egwene not being Nynaeve's teacher, guardian, parent etc.

Changing her clothes was easy; as soon as the thought came, Egwene was wearing the same browns and grays as the woman. "I mean you no harm," she said, outwardly calm.

The woman did not lower her weapon. Instead, she frowned and said, "You have no right to wear cadin'sor, girl." And Egwene found herself standing there in her skin, the sun burning her from overhead, the ground searing her bare feet.

~~The Shadow Rising, Chapter 11 - "What Lies Hidden"

This was the first meeting between Amys and Egwene. No teaching offer had been tendered or accepted. And Amys strips Egwene naked.

Egwene, on the other hand, had considered and then discarded the idea of wrapping Amys in Air and leaving her there. Discarded the idea because it would leave Amys defenseless. (Or so Egwene believed. Although, maybe you consider that compassion to be further evidence of her arrogance?)

Strike me off as one of those people who has never been overly impressed by the Egwene’s discharge of her toh as against the sins of her character. I don’t think one hard spanking session comes close to atoning for the myriad instances of Egwene’s hubris and moral failings. From Nynaeve’s perspective why should it matter – Egwene never discharges toh to Nynaeve and Nynaeve doesn’t even follow je’i’toh.


First, as a mother (an "old school" mother. From the South, no less.), a spanking is something done with the flat of one's hand against a large fleshy area, like the butt or the upper back thigh. Anything involving a belt - especially a thin, supple one - is a "whipping". A whipping is generally administered by one individual. More than one person doing the whipping, probably constitutes a flogging. Second, she didn't have to do it. She could have waved a cheery goodbye, made her entrance into TaR, and gone on to face whatever awaited her in Salidar. If the punishment there was too harsh, she could have made another gateway into TaR (or a real one, for that matter) and gone and found Gawyn, taken him up on his offer to run away to that little manor so far in the backwoods that the sun rose two days late. She could have. She didn't. She chose to admit her lies, accept her punishment, and face whatever happened.

Sounds pretty mature to me... ;)

toddywatts@80

"I think that RJ realized he couldn't allow any references to this occurence because it would maintain the readers dislike of Egwene. If I were Nynaeve, I would have required an apology at the minimum."

And Egwene would certainly come closer to apologizing than Nynaeve would, given the same circumstances.
K F
91. TAmyrlinring1
Jumping in here really late this time.

Wolfmage @79
I thought early on in her teaching there was a point where Amys caught Egwene in TAR without permission, and did the whole nightmare attack thing on Egwene. Egwene is copying her teacher here, admittedly for her own purposes, but I think that the Aiel can and do go for such harsh lessons.

Did Nynaeve deserve that particular lesson--nope, I don't think so, and I doubt the Aiel would be so immature as to use that nightmare lesson for those selfish reasons.
toryx
92. WOT Goldfish
Interesting character development for the Women in this section, and FOH in general.

Nyn - This is where I actually start finding her interesting as a character. Before this, it almost seemed like she was a strong person who just ran over whatever she wanted. And yes, she is a strong person who can be very, well, direct. But we start seeing her inner insecurity. The whole back and forth theme between her and Mog and Nyn's own inner dialog about facing it is facinating, and makes Nyn the most interesting character for me in FOH.

Eg - To some extent it is time for her to grow up and be seen as an adult by Nyn. As we know, yes, she becomes the great leader, and as such, it is time for her to stand up and grow up and show the folks who knew back when that she is changing.

But while she has grown "bigger" and more powerful, she has NOT really grown up. It has been a while since I have reread WOT, but I keep on expecting to Aiel to, well, clip her wings a bit, since she needs it. She is certainly developing the inner strength she will need to do what needs to be done, but not really the wisdom to use it, in spite of being apprenticed to the Wise Ones.

Mor - I'm liking her again. She had some weak moments when she teased Lan about transfering the bond back in TDR, but she is showing devotion and inner strength that, yes, is making her a legend in her own time. I had forgotten how she knew as much about Asmo, but this makes it more impressive - she doesn't give up, but she directs, not forces Rand for the last battle.

I had never even thought that she might come back STRONGER, as if she and Lanfear swapped power levels. I will have to think on that some more.
K F
93. TAmyrlinring1
Lady Amylisa @90

Wow. I bow to the greatness of that post, you went where I was timidly headed and blazed that trail :) I don't know that I can be as tough on Nynaeve though because of the sheltered transition from child to wisdom and from being (although somewhat voluntarily) removed from a settled adult life and having all those safe defined areas of her life, well, shattered. Egwene's being younger is actually a plus for her here because she is more adaptable. Nynaeve was 26 at the beginning of this I think, so she had actually started to have some definition in her life whereas Egwene was just thinking about what road to hit.
sandi vogel
94. sinfulcashew
85:AMW
thanks for the headsup?
Is there a way to un-mask the perpetrator?
A secret code to tell us when it is you posting?
Surely there must be something!

I guess some people think they are being funny when they are the only one laughing.

I happen to have 'that' number as my mobile home address. Coincidence? I think not. My mumble40ishmumble son has used that # forever as email add on, sports, and on anything that requires a #.
Jay Dauro
95. J.Dauro
Wolfmage
Egwene uses the word teach, and they agree. Egwene has been teaching them since she started learning from the Wise Ones. To me that is a teacher.

Freelancer @83

As to where the nightmare came from

There are worse things here, but nightmares are bad enough. I made these, and unmade them, but even I have trouble with those I just find. And I did not try to hold them, Nyneave. If you knew how to unmake them you could have.

And sorry folks, in the area of T'A'R, Nyneave is acting almost the same as the AS. "I have nothing to learn, I know it all." And she doesn't know it all.

She is confronted by a minor nightmare (made by Egwene.) If she had learned what was what in T'A'R, it would be a minor thing to dispell. But she has not learned, she loses her head, and Egwene stops it. Compare this to the real nightmare we see, Trollocs killing and eating people.

I think that without this lesson, it is quite possible that Nyneave would not be able to best Moggie later. She needed to learn that if she stays in control, she can control T'A'R. And that at the present time she is a babe in the very dangerous woods.
toryx
96. CalaLily
Everyone keeps saying that Moiraine is dead, but if she's dead, then Mat can't rescue her, which means she's alive. Just sayin'.

I mean, there are some places you can't go in T'A'R', and if I recall correctly, the Tower of Ghenji is one. Sure, you can go up to it, but you can't get in. Same with Rhuidean before the magic mist/ward dissipated. It kinda makes sense that you can't see into Finnland with the ring ter'angreal, if it in any way uses T'A'R as a way to show those alternate lives and decisions.

Moiraine might assume that she dies because all she saw was herself going through the doorway and it melting. Does not inspire I'm Gonna Make It Outta Here Alive mentality.

In fact, the very destruction of the doorway may be what breaks Lan's bond to her and causes it to shift to Myrelle.

toryx
97. stylusmobilus
I've always thought Egwene forced herself to do something she didn't really want to do with Nynaeve's punishment. Had Nynaeve submitted to the Wise Ones' 'request' to be taught, they would never have been let out of sight. Egwene needed a way to make Nynaeve truly understand the dangers of TAR. Time constraints in lieu of an impending Tarmon Gaidon makes crash coursing necessary in many ways.
toryx
98. CalaLily
RE: Egwene's behavior:

It's despicable. Plain and simple. She was watching a woman she respected and knew for her entire life about to be raped by giant monsters, and makes no move to comfort said woman even when she's crying and covered in scratches afterward. If she was any sort of woman I knew, not only would I never speak to her again, I would refuse to acknowledge her existence to anyone.

I mean, she doesn't even act shaken herself when she sees how badly one of Ny's nightmares could affect her. Nynaeve was almost raped.

I'd forgotten about this in my previous re-reads, and her coolness in Salidar and KoD -barely- makes up for it. You don't do that to your friends. Ever.

Maybe I'm taking it too hard, but something like that would seriously scar me. "Oh yes, my friend -you know, the one I was grooming to be my replacement and I had watched grow up from the time she was born?- allowed my own fears to envelop me and watched as I was physically molested by two of the most hideous man-things my mind could create. And you know what's dandy? She giggled about how I will now listen to her as my equal/superior! Isn't she grand?"

*huffsnortfeministrage*

I will say no more on it.
Jacy Clark
99. Amalisa
TAmyrlinring1 @ 93

Thank you! :)

I'd made observations about Nynaeve's rather unconventional upbringing and its effect on her persona several, several threads ago. Specifically about her being raised by her father as if she was a son, and how her ability to channel (however blocked) had made her the youngest Wisdom ever in the Two Rivers.

She is a marvelous character!

(PS: I'm also Lady Amalisa. I'd forgotten that I'd actually registered an account with Tor.com. Silly me!)
sandi vogel
100. sinfulcashew
CalaLily
When the story line is first read.....
She's dead!
A first time reader is going to be -well at least I was- shocked.
I thought how can such an important seeming character be cut out so soon?
It was warming to find out she would be making another appearance later.
toryx
101. Digital_Eon
toddywatts @80

I don't believe you have to always challenge authority to grow up, either. However, when there is a former authority figure who no longer has that authority (as in the case of Nynaeve), some challenge, whether internal or external, should occur for one to be able to feel confident and capable as an adult. Egwene couldn't be that if she continually had to submit to Nynaeve simply because that's the way it used to be.

I also agree that Egwene feels as if one of them must be in control. Who did she learn that from? :P

CalaLily @98:

Except Nynaeve wasn't almost raped. Egwene was in control the entire time. Nynaeve was never even in danger of being raped, because Egwene would obviously never have let it get that far. Saying that she was almost raped ignores the situation entirely; it wasn't as if Nynaeve was alone in a dark alley with only those men around and the barest chance that some passing stranger at two in the morning might hear and save her. What wasn't right was that Egwene created an illusion that physically harmed Nynaeve (though not seriously, in any case), not that it threatened her with the concept of something that would never actually have happened.

And to those saying that Nynaeve couldn't have dealt with Moggy without this experience: I never thought of it before, but I agree wholeheartedly.
toryx
102. alreadymadwithmoirainesfate
J.Dauro @95
Nynaeve? Stay in control? That's a dream alright.

Calalily @96
Moiraine doesn't exactly say she will die. She says she might die and that she will not be around much longer. She's still under the Oaths at this point. And she can't say she will die when what little she knows of what will happen tells her there is a way to survive.

I don't know why the bond broke if she was still alive. She might have been stilled. Or, it might be a side-effect of such a powerful ter'angreal being destroyed.
Jacy Clark
103. Amalisa
CalaLily @ 98

First, from Nynaeve's own POV, she thought she was going to be kissed or bitten. Okay. Rape may have been a natural (definitely, un-natural!) extrapolation for us, the readers, but Nynaeve never gave it (inner) voice.

Second, within minutes - literally, minutes. Like, a very few! - Nynaeve had shrugged it off and was going through the papers on the Amyrlin's table. She was far more bothered by the catsfern and mavinsleaf tea than by the attack of the man-beasts. In all of her recollections (that I can recollect) of the incident, it was the tea that she remembered and was bothered by. Hardly what one would expect from a woman who was afraid she was going to be violated.

Now, later on... when the AS have their disastrous journey in TaR, I'm not sure that one of them isn't raped - or, at least, in great fear of it. That "nightmare" was far more graphic, more disturbing than this one was. For me, anyway.
toryx
104. CalaLily
@AMW:

Eh, I was more puzzled by the fact that we, the readers, who -aren't- first timers in the Wheel of Time, keep referring to her as dead. xD It was almost as puzzling to me as when everyone kept saying stop beating Bela. My reaction was literally "D8 Bela's dead?!" Moiraine isn't dead, or there wouldn't be anything for Mat to rescue, yes? xD It's just weird that we keep talking about her as if she really kicked the bucket instead of just moved off screen.

Also, is anyone else hoping there will be this awesome scene where Moiraine confronts Rand before the Last Battle? I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
Hugh Arai
105. HArai
Lady Amalisa@90:



Are we reading the same book??


Nynaeve gave a little jump. She did so hate people sneaking up on her. "Egwene, how did you---" she began, smoothing her skirts, at the same time that Elayne said, "Egwene, we can't understand how you---"

~~The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 49, "To Boannda"



Minor problem with using this as "proof" Elayne and Nynaeve would tell -- Egwene the hypocritical twit never told them she was exploring without the Wise One's permission. It's fairly typically Egwene to get mad at them for "almost giving her away" when
a) She wouldn't have to worry if she wasn't doing things without permission.
b) There's no reason for them to keep it secret because she told them she had permission.

Some people might call blaming others for your own actions "acting grown-up", I don't. She does grow up eventually, but this is not a start.
toryx
106. RobMRobM
Hey Leigh, you left important stuff off the menu --Egwene's dreams, relegated to a link. I did an entry on this a few weeks ago but I'm intrigued by the dream of Mat bleeding from the face with his hat over his head which is joined to Thom trying to pull Moiraine's blue stone out of a fire.

Pulling various prophecies together, this picture helps confirm that the prophecy that Mat will give up half the light to save the world refers to the fact that he'll lose an eye (probably through some sort of bargain with the finns) saving Moiraine in finnland via Tower of Ghenji. If so, this leads to second question -- if he giving up his eye saves the world and he uses it to save Moiraine, then what exactly is Moiraine going to do to save the world once she's back on the surface? Keep in mind that Moiraine as world saver is confirmed by Min's vision that Rand is fated to fail without Moiraine. So - what will she do? My guess is that she'll use her knowledge to help Rand die and live again somehow, thereby enabling him to defeat the Dark One at TG - but I'm open to other ideas.

Rob
toryx
107. alexonthemovetx
Moiraine: "Siuan and I were friends, once. In a few months it will be twenty-one years since we began the search for the Dragon Reborn."

This made me think that Rand's birthday is coming up, but I don't remember anyone ever mentioning birthdays in Randland, how sad.

Although I thought Eg's treatment of Nyn was rotten, I give her a pass because here she is, learning to be an adult waaaaay outside anything that's familiar to her. She's surrounded by people she hardly knows (some who have very different ideas on how the world works) and the only ones she does know are going through their own growing pains. So I think its only natural that she's stumbling through it all; after all, how many people do you know that are exactly the same as when they were teenager?

I'm ready for dessert now :)
toryx
108. Vecki
HArai @105

Egwene explicitly asks both Elayne and Nynaeve not to mention her popping into their dreams, when she's there. They both remember it - the similarities in their dreams convince them that it was actually Egwene talking to them.

When they have their meeting with the Wise Ones, the first thing El & Nyn do is start flapping their tongues about it. Lucky for Birgitte they're better at keeping her secret.
toryx
109. HurinSmells
RobMRobM@106
Knowing what we know up to the end of KoD I completely agree. My thinking is the as Rand has massive guilt over letting Moiraine "die" for him and this guilt is part of his approaching maddness, seeing her return may give him a moment of sanity at a key point in TG, allowing him to think clearly and succeed where he would probably fail otherwise.

Although it would be awesome if she came back and just balefired all the remaining Forsaken :)
Andrew Lovsness
110. drewlovs
We really need a re-read post delegated to the prophecies and such after every book, just to talk about them. I would love to hear what others have to say on the subject, such as Egwene's dreams and such, but there never seens to be enough time during the regulare re-reads.

I am very late to the re-read, as my wife has given birth to our fourth child, our third girl. But I have to say, I am happy to say we have finally hit the low point for Nynaeve, and she starts to get better from here. Slowly. VERY slowly. But she does start to make progress, and especially after she breaks her block, she starts to become a favorite for me.

She needed her legs knocked out from under her, as Leigh has said; but I also agree that Egwene was incredibly mean and self-serving in doing so. This, for me, was also Egwene's low point; Nynaeve had it coming, but the way Egwene chose to do so and the glee she had in the torment was really... icky... to me.
Jacy Clark
111. Amalisa
HArai @ 105

"Minor problem with using this as "proof" Elayne and Nynaeve would tell -- Egwene the hypocritical twit never told them she was exploring without the Wise One's permission."

In any case, Elayne still was paying no attention to her. "I wonder why she was so insistent we not tell anyone. That makes no sense."


~~The Fires of Heaven - Chapter 47, "The Price of a Ship"

Splitting hairs, I suppose; Egwene wasn't telling them not to tell the Wise Ones that she was exploring without permission. But she did tell them - both of them - not to tell anyone that she had spoken to them in their dreams. And I don't believe that she ever told them that she had the permission of the Wise Ones. The closest that I remember was when Nynaeve started to say something to the effect that she doubted if Egwene had permission, and Egwene diverted her with something else or answered her obliquely or the like. Something any self-respecting Aes Sedai would do... ;) (I'd dig that passage out but it's almost 11:30 and I'm sleepy. Maybe tomorrow...)

Anyway... these discussions are a blast! Thanks! :)
toryx
112. Aye Aye Sedai
OK - Carry over from last session- re 3 oaths and Power as a weapon

Oath prevents you from lying - cannot voice a lie - so can it stop you from using the power as a weapon and how - does it prevent you from making the weave - from embracing the power or just not actively attacking ?

IF you were believing you were to be captured and tortured but not killed could you then attack? When does defense turn to attack- and does the Oath stop this transition?

Sending a Warder or one sister into battle - then provides justification - but if said target is incapacitated or killed - does this kick the Oath into action as no one is is imminent danger?

Or perhaps fireballs are not weapons but pretty pretty lights in the sky that go boom?
toryx
113. aye Aye Sedai
Re lanfear -

Where is the thread that eliminates her as a suspect?

Do we think/know if she dies and is remade or escapes and is reformed by the Foxes?

Which other Forsaken would cause Asmo such fright? Presumably he does not know Shadar Haran or Slayer at this point.
Hugh Arai
114. HArai
Drewlovs@110: Congratulations! Joy and good things for your family, now and in the future.

Amalisa@111: The "diversion" was the assault nightmare in this very chapter. And again, the reason she cares whether they mention the things she does in dreams is because she's lying to her friends and the Wise Ones. Which is, as you say, Aes Sedai-like. But not actually a good thing.

And thank you. I enjoy these discussions too. :)
Hugh Arai
115. HArai
ayeAyeSedai@113: Lanfear as Asmo's killer

The short short version: He died the same day she fell through the doorway so odds are high she was otherwise occupied.
j p
116. sps49
@113-

I have believed it was Lanfear from the get-go. I dunno how, but I believe she did it.

There are several detailed examinations of this; you could google others, but the WOTFAQ rules.
toryx
117. Digital_Eon
Congratulations, drewlovs! :)

On the attack, again: Egwene was most certainly not giggling about the attack! Her response is best described as "cool" immediately after. And the giggling is when she thinks about how she shouldn't raise her voice to Nynaeve when being calm and controlled brought such results. Where are people getting the impression she giggled because of the assault and Nynaeve's reaction to it?

As much as I want Lanfear to have killed Asmodean (the theories had me convinced for years), I have to admit that a certain other character just looks too likely...
Antoni Ivanov
118. tonka
60.Wolfmage

Egwene has no business teaching Nynaeve anything forcibly.



Yes, she has! Or the first time Nynaeve meets a real nightmare she would have been ruefully ignorant what to do thus helpless.It's much better first to be done in controlled situation than in real. Would they have survived the nightmare Ny, Elayne and the Aes Sedai bump into later if it was not for the lesson Egwene gave her.Unlikely.
What you basically say, as I understand it, is that would spare the inconvenience now and let Ny die later. Egwene's motives were not pure but motives rarely matter. It's the results that counts.
toryx
119. Aye Aye Sedai
@76 & 88 - I agree - Eg was letting Nyn get scared shiftless in TAR as she felt she knows it all - the distraction of her lie is just the mechanism. This is not a rape scene - not even close. If you think so then you will need to consider Eg as beign raped in Gawains dream as she loses control - fortunately his was not an erotic one - however I would never consider sex in TAR to be real - yes you may get the scars on the back (psycosomatic effects) but it never happened.

You know they say that one dreams of falling but never hits the ground or they die???? However I have dreamed that I hit the ground - was interesting but I am still here,

HMM - Wonder if Nyn gave the TAR ring to Thom and then healed him in TAR if then his leg would be healed......

Leigh - I'm that kid that pulled the boiling pot onto himself and was in the hospital with burns for several days - and every family seems to have that story of the child putting a hand on the hot stove. Guess the question is whether we view Eg as the mother who deliberately places the kid next to the hot stove with their favorite toy/food at the back making them reach and thus forcing the lesson..... to avoid the worse outcome


@115 - We know time distortion with the Finns occurs but if she was killed or rebooted out right away then she could still be a suspect - although some one looking like Lanfear could have caused Asmos reaction - like he had just seen a Ghost.....

Perhaps part of her "bargain" with the Finn was to remove Asmo - now was he killed or removed from the pattern?????

So - I'm now wondering why Rand/MO balefireing Lanfer didn't happen and what is her future role......other than trapping Mo' in the Fin tower.
TW L
120. Shadow_Jak
Enre Egwene's TAR "lesson" for Nynaeve...

Never thought it would happen, never thought I'd find myself taking up for Egwene. (possibly the one most annoying person in the whole series!)But Jeeze people, get a grip!
Was it a harsh lesson? Yes.
Were Egwene's motives pure as the driven snow? No.
Was it a lesson Nynaeve needed to learn? Absolutely!

Let's have a little perspective here, eh? These girls aren't out on a picnic! This is serious stuff, you know? Saving the world? Saving all worlds? Saving Time itself? Remember?

Nynaeve's immediate part being to survive amid anarchy, riots, Whitecloaks, and the Prophet, while dodging Dark Friends, Shadowspawn, and Black Sisters...Not to mention Moghe-f*cking-dien herself? Remember!
And we're getting all worked up over a few scratches and a torn dress (that's not even real!) .
Sheesh...

And did I mention Moghe-f*cking-dien!?
Oh yeah, guess I did ...
*end rant*

Gee I feel better now. Sorry, just had to get that out ;-).
Rikka Cordin
121. Rikka
yeaah, I don't like Egwene again until Siuan takes her under her wing which is probably.... CoS?

sounds about right. gods, Siuan is a spectacular character....


All this annoying power play crap that goes on between all three of the SG would feature as the main reason that this book is not one of my favorites. I absolutely cannot stand it.
toryx
122. Wolfmage
Lady Amalisa @90
(Love your moniker, btw. WoW or anime? Both or neither?)
Thanks, it’s a contraction of my usual nick Wolf with my usual roleplaying class, which I sign on under when Wolf is taken.

“Spoken from the vantage point of *mumbles* years, I look back and realize that a great deal of "growing up" involves a "fake it 'til you make it" approach. At some point, acting like a grown-up will lead to actually being a grown-up. Most of the time, anyway.”

Oh, I agree. I don’t dislike Egwene for the way she mimics authority figures in other cultures and contexts, I just don’t see the outward signs of that process as convincing evidence for her inner maturity. I brought up Nynaeve’s self-effacement as a contrasting example of a genuine characteristic associated with maturity which isn’t copy-catism that Egwene almost never demonstrates. I don’t think Egwene comes off well compared to any of the supergirls as far as maturities goes.

“Exacting standards"??”
Absolutely. She expects a huge deal from herself – see her reaction to the whole ripping out of Birgitte

“So much of the comic relief provided by Nynaeve is in her inability to see her own negative characteristics when she is complaining about those same flaws in others!”

IMHO, I’d say that’s a pretty superficial reading of Nynaeve – which takes only her obvious outward hypocrisy towards others, and ignores the way she berates herself continually through the books for acting like a fool, or for lacking courage, and elevating others’ ability over her own.

“As for Egwenes lack of inner humility... I remember my son at the age of seventeen (he's twenty-five now) and "inner humility" wasn't part of his make-up.”

Well, often people with outward bravado are nonetheless carrying inner uncertainties. Nynaeve is like this. In real life, however, we never get to inspect these inner insecurities and doubts. In WOT we do get to see Egwene’s POV, all the time and in my estimation she is excessively self-assured and unreflective for someone who continually gets things wrong.

“Are we reading the same book??”

Absolutely. Nynaeve or Elayne et al might inadvertently betray Egwene’s deceit to the Wise Ones, but it is entirely speculative to suggest Nynaeve would deliberately rat her out to them out of spite or some sense of grievance. Nynaeve is always looking out for the Emond’s Fielders; if you can get past her acerbic tongue and her famous temper, her actions reveal a fairly generous disposition.
?
“This was the first meeting between Amys and Egwene. No teaching offer had been tendered or accepted. And Amys strips Egwene naked.”

Well, suddenly losing your clothes is awkward, but it isn’t equivalent to abetting an indecent assault against by ruffians. Also, Nynaeve and Egwene are incredibly close, but to Amys, Egwene at that stage is just some random wetlander, and her motive is clearly just to stop Egwene from wearing cadin’sor. Why should the standard expected of Egwene in her treatment of Nynaeve, a close friend, not rise well above that what is considered decent by an Aiel Wise One to some random wetlander.

“Flogging”

OK, so not a spanking, but my understanding of a flogging is severe; it involves more than bruising but actual tearing of the flesh. A strapping is probably more the right word – well short of what Rand receives.

“Second, she didn't have to do it. She could have waved a cheery goodbye, made her entrance into TaR, and gone on to face whatever awaited her in Salidar.”

I don’t give her much credit for that. She was essentially guilt tripped into that decision by the Wise One’s remarks that they thought she had understood and become more Aeil than that her clumsy observation. This prompted her to dig deep and come clean. She wasn’t exactly caught red handed but neither was she making the decision unprompted. So she gets some credit, but not a huge amount. I also think this is all irrelevant to her actions towards Nynaeve. When will she atone for that? Never is the answer, and she still owes toh to Melaine, Rhuarc and Mat. If she can remember that, and fulfil it in the next books, she will get her due from me.
sandi vogel
123. sinfulcashew
119:Aye Aye Sedai

When I first heard the old saw about dying when you hit the ground in a dream, I thought.....
Who would be alive to tell?
Think about it.

I'm just sayin'.
toryx
124. Wolfmage
“I think that without this lesson, it is quite possible that Nyneave would not be able to best Moggie later.”

Possibly, but that’s speculation. Nonetheless that would only mitigate against the overall harm done, the consequentialist wrong if you like. But that still wouldn’t change the prima facie wrongness of what Egwene did. Violations against a person are not just wrong because they leave scars or wounds, or do psychological damage - they are wrong because they treat people as a means - they interfere with their rights and their autonomy. It doesn't matter if the consequences are minimal. The law recognises this, just as it is recognised in morality - it in the difference between a claim of damages and nominal damages.

“Guess the question is whether we view Eg as the mother who deliberately places the kid next to the hot stove with their favorite toy/food at the back making them reach and thus forcing the lesson..... to avoid the worse outcome”

Of course we don’t do that! Such a “lesson” to a child would be patently illegal and have child services knocking on the door – and Egwene certainly isn’t in charge of Nynaeve’s welfare. Even if you have a reckless friend you just don’t go kidnap them or do something equally rash, assuming the role of an interventionist Mother. Parental and filial relationships are special; they are developed over time based on trust, biological ties or ties of custodianship. Third parties cannot just assume this mantel and do as they like because it is supposedly good for someone.

Regardless the huge elephant in the room here is that Egwene risks just as much and more in her various jaunts into TAR both prior to, during, and after her time with the Wise Ones. Yes, she is more equipped than Nynaeve, at least after her time, but she wasn't always and never felt the lack of caution, and later she also risks more through her greater exposures by delving deeper and longer into TAR and dream space.

Accordingly, she is in no position to be lecturing anyone on the setting of boundaries - she is the queen of no boundaries.
toryx
125. Wolfmage
tonka@118
"Yes, she has! Or the first time Nynaeve meets a real nightmare she would have been ruefully ignorant what to do thus helpless.It's much better first to be done in controlled situation than in real."

I'm sorry but that's a pretty staggering failure of imagination IMO. I know what you're arguing but it makes no sense to me. If Nynaeve needs to learn a lesson, so be it. But do it as part of a controlled situation. Set up agreed upon parameters, or tell her you're going to test her control at some future point then do it at an unexpected time. Importantly, don't do something which directly assaults her and don't just do it out of a selfish, non-pedagogical purpose.

The mere fact that Egwene does this lesson as an extension of her desire to keep Nynaeve off the scent of her deceit undoes any possibility of this being pedagogical. The pedagogical purpose of this lesson was almost entirely incidental to Egwene desire to seize her advantage over Nynaeve and trying to sheet it home to prevent Nynaeve from stopping her precious lessons. It is incredible lapse of moral character.

Also, I seriously can't believe people are trying to argue Egwene of all people, has a right to go around letting off assault nightmares at will to teach lessons on caution! This from the Whitecloaks exploding, Seanchan fireballing, extreme-dream diver, and all around oblivious know-it-all cultural borg!

"Would they have survived the nightmare Ny, Elayne and the Aes Sedai bump into later if it was not for the lesson Egwene gave her.Unlikely.
What you basically say, as I understand it, is that would spare the inconvenience now and let Ny die later. Egwene's motives were not pure but motives rarely matter. It's the results that counts."

Motives are everything. Ethics and the possibility of virtue consists in intentions and motives. Consequences are important, but consequentialism alone is bankrupt as a moral system.
Michael Catapano
126. hoping
I have enjoyed the thoughtful discussion on the N assault. Good points by all.

I think it was a harsh but effective and necessary lesson. TAR is a dangerous place and N wasn't getting the picture. E didn't have much time to teach N since her TAR time is controlled by the wise ones so she had to pick the quick and dirty approach.

Earlier, I think in TSR, E had a conversation with amys about her demand for more rapid teaching which amys cautioned against. I paraphrase but E said that time is a luxury and her purse empty. Amys agreed.

Melaine said in response to another question that if this were a battle then know that there is only winning or dying. I think that applies to E's thoughts here. N is stubborn as a stone but this demonstration made the necessary impression.

As someone has said above, N shrugged it off without much thought later much as we would forget a nightmare shortly after wakening.
Kurt Lorey
127. Shimrod
@83 Freelancer. Good point to darxbane.

@110 drewlovs. Congrats!

@120 Shadow_Jak. Yeah, what you said.

Plus, TAR isn't a playground. Egwene gave Nynaeve a little taste of scared straight. She didn't inflict anything upon Nynaeve, she used Nynaeve's fears against her. Sharp lessons can be the best lessons when it is life or death. Mitigating the fear would not have driven the lesson home with the same urgency.

Egwene knew that Nynaeve could die of ignorance in TAR. Egwene did this to help Nynaeve, not to show off or punish her. If any of you think this isn't friendship, you might wish to reconsider. Friends like that aren't throwaways. Real friends don't let friends drive dumb in TAR.
toryx
128. SusanB
Drewslov...congratulations and best wishes!

Nyn & Eg...I never had any problem with the "lesson" Eg gives Nyn. Yes it is harsh, but I think it helps Nyn survive in the future & be a little more cautious.

I have a greater problem with Eg lying to her teachers about entering TAR. I remember being very mad at her for this in my first read through. It was so disrespectful. It wasn't until after the wise ones found out & told her that it was okay to do what was necessary as long as you were willing to accept the consequences that I was able to feel okay about her lies to them. I suppose we can apply this idea to the nightmare as well. If Eg can accept the consequence of possibly losing her friendship with Nyn in order to get her to be more careful; then it doesn't seem to be such a bad thing. IMO.

Moiraine...everyone is assuming she will be rescued. According to her letter that is only one possibility. It does not mean it will definitely happen. RJ/BS could do the unexpected & have her die (or remain trapped) in the rescue attempt. I think this is unlikely, but it hasn't been written yet (at least as far as we know) so anything could happen.
toryx
129. Wolfmage
"She didn't inflict anything upon Nynaeve, she used Nynaeve's fears against her."

What a bizarre thing to say. Egwene used her control of TAR to instantiate and unleash two man-shaped nightmare aspects on Nynaeve to menace her, tear off her dress down the front, frightening her to the bone, and leave scratch marks from their pawing of her body. It was hardly nothing.

But whether the conceptual source of those nightmare aspects comes from Nynaeve herself, or whether they were made [i]de novo[i] by Egwene is completely immaterial. The point is without Egwene actively willing them into being, they would not have become a tangible menace; they would remain as potentials in Nynaeve's mind like anything else which is currently non-extant in TAR. If that isn't "inflicting" something I don't know what is.

Also, I would like to challenge head-on the notion that Egwene couldn't have done anything wrong because she was in complete control. That is an overly charitable assumption. The act of Egwene interceding and banishing the nightmare is separate and distinct as an act to her bringing them into substance in the first place. TAR nightmares get a degree of permanence once they are set in motion.

Therefore, we can easily imagine a nastier scenario that despite Egwene intending to banish the nightmare, she is snatched away prematurely by a Wise One, after having discovering her dreams were empty. Or similarly, we might suppose her tent was attacked by dark friends or perhaps Moiraine comes to wake her physically? In that case Nynaeve would remain in TAR trapped at the mercy of the nighmare.

So the fact is, Egwene was not in *complete* control; just just has a high degree of control as long as she is present. Given she is not fully trained, it is also possible that the nightmare may have escaped her and enveloped both of them. We know from later chapters, that nightmares can be difficult to resist even if you know what you are doing.

Though these risk may not be huge - it is wrong to dismiss Egwene's act as some kind of trivial matter. It had real dangers.
Kurt Lorey
130. Shimrod
Everything they do now has dangerous implications, in TAR and out.

I'll grant you that for most of us, this kind of lesson would be out of proportion. I can easily understand where most of us would be quite put out to be given a similar lesson. But then, we aren't dabbling in matters that might well kill us either (are we?).

The lesson wasn't meant to be nothing. Bad things can happen in TAR, like horrible nightmares, grevious injuries and death. Nynaeve wouldn't accept that possibility, so Egwene showed her a little hint.

We will just have to disagree on this. And, just because you can't/won't see my point, doesn't make it "bizarre".

Your context can't/won't allow for it, mine can. I can see the value provided. Would I like to be given a similar lesson? No. But, that doesn't make the action invalid within the context of Egwene and Nynaeve's characters within the plotline.
toryx
131. Vecki
Wolfmage @129
"It was hardly nothing."

It certainly wasn't pleasant, but then the most worthwhile lessons rarely are. However, as somebody above said, Nyn is more distressed about the cup situation than the nightmare assault.

Because while the assault is physical, it's temporary and Nynaeve knows this. The cup and Nyn's lie, on the other hand represents the further shifting of the balance of power between Nyn and Egwene. And that is something that Nynaeve 1) finds more disturbing given that 'she used to look after Egwene and paddled her bottom when she needed it', and 2) can't reverse. Ever since the day way back in TGH when she asked Egwene to call her Nynaeve instead of Wisdom, the balance has been shifting, and this situation is probably the moment where the balance of power shifts firmly in Egwene's favour.

Quoting from Shadow_Jak because I think it bears repeating:
"Was it a harsh lesson? Yes.
Were Egwene's motives pure as the driven snow? No.
Was it a lesson Nynaeve needed to learn? Absolutely!"

The Wise Ones wouldn't do it because I think Amys says (or maybe it's Bair?) that Nynaeve is not their pupil and if she wants to learn more, to come to them and learn. It was a very real danger as evidenced by the nightmare Elayne and the SAS later find in the White Tower, and somebody was going to have to demonstrate it somehow or other. Given the Wise Ones not doing it, it was going to have to be Egwene.

If Nynaeve had been more traumatised by the 'assault', I think Egwene would have been more sympathetic, but she gets over it. She's a strong character and has most definitely faced worse (Trollocs, Myrddraal, Black Ajah, Seanchan, Moghedien, need I go on?).
toryx
132. swmdilla
Ah mes oui, savez toujours delice!
K F
133. TAmyrlinring1
SusanB @128

No, we can't know for sure that Moiraine will be back, but I think the likelihood is good. Min's viewing said that Rand would fail without Moiriaine, so I think she has to get out for at least a little while to make it at least a possibility that Rand can succeed. Of course, he can then blow it anyway (yeah, right), and she might have to go back to the Finns as part of some deal (like a temporary release), but I doubt it. I think she'll get out, and we'll see the Thom/Moiraine relationship get to develop. RJ didn't seem to like "loose strings"--even though he developed a lot of strings to tie up. Since he had copious notes, etc. for the rest of the story, I think the Thom/Moiraine thing will have a chance to develop.
Jason Deshaies
134. darxbane
I agree with you all that Egwene's hipocrisy was childish, but since Nynaeve is the definition of hipocrisy at this point in the story, I am not as sympathetic as I would have been with another character. My post at 28 was not entirely correct; Egwene did create the dream, but she didn't hold it, meaning that it took it's own course until she stopped it, and (the important part), Nynaeve could have stopped it, if she knew how. Even afterwards Nynaeve tries to refuse the lesson (I could have dreamed myself away, to which Egwene replied; If you weren't too scared spitless to think of it)Egwene learned much of her bullying ways from Nynaeve, so I feel it is appropriate for her own tactics to be used against her. Besides, some above have made a great point about Nynaeve being more upset that the roles have reversed than anything else.

Now some delicious irony: The Moggy/Nynaeve relationship is made of awesome.
1. Nynaeve captures her while learning to add a physical attack that breaks the opponents concentration long enough to shield them.
2. Moggy monologues when she catches Nyn and gets an arrow for it, and the Light gain a full Hero of the Horn instead of a reborn version.
3. Nynaeve catches her again, and they learn tons of things from her.
4. After all the foolishness, Moggy finally decides to just kill her with balefire; and instead helps Nynaeve break her Block. It says something about Nynaeve's personality that it took certain death for her to give up control.
toryx
135. toryx
I've argued that Egwene went over the line in her "lesson" with Nynaeve before so I've been staying out of it, for the most part.

But I do want to say, re: CalaLily @ 98.

You nailed how I felt about it exactly. What Amys did with Egwene was one thing. Standing there and watching your friend and former mentor experience a near-rape is something else entirely.

Egwene could have done a lot of things and I might not have been upset by it. But watching a rape nightmare take form? That's just too much. If anyone I knew did that to someone else, I'd kick their ass.

You just don't do things like that, especially to someone you supposedly care about.
toryx
136. ZamIt
I see some parallels between Egwene's actions with Nyn and Elayne's flirting with Thom. It seems like two young girls measuring themselves against the "adults".
The comparison isn't perfect, but it seems like they're both working (imperfectly) towards adulthood.
toryx
137. dwndrgn
Ok, maybe I'm just a complete idiot but on all my re-reads of these books, never, not even once, did I get the smallest idea that Nyneave is about to be raped in this nightmare scene. To me it was being physically attacked by monsters - which in itself is frightening but how does this turn into an attempted rape? Anyone have the text handy to help me out here? Am I oblivious? FWIW, I am a woman and have been in an attempted rape situation so I do have some frame of reference. Perhaps I've subconsciously rewritten the text in my head?
Maggie M
138. Eswana
drewlovs @110
CONGRATULATIONS!!! Yay for babies :-) I hope you, your wife, and beautiful daughters are all doing well!

darxbane @ 134
Yup, Moghedian is pretty much a failure. She should end up on Failblog, I think.

It's interesting that when she escapes in LoC it didn't even worry me. She's lost most of her venom at this point. Yes, she was scary as hell for a while in tFoH when she was threatening Nynaeve in TAR, but only for a while. As far as villians go, I was never really afraid of. Maybe that's because I, unlike Nynaeve, didn't grow up in Randland hearing things like, "Make your bed or {insert Forsaken of choice here} will come get you! {...} comes to get little kids who don't respect their parents!!"

Also, Shadow_Jak @ 120 makes a good point (= these girls (and guys) are dealing with some serious stuff. If they have an occasional temper tantrum from the stress.... I can understand that. I mean, after all, Dick Cheney shot someone in the face when he was in power...). Imagine if you found out you and your best friends from high school are the only people in the world who can stop some catastrophic event from happening. There's only like six of you, and all the adults and government officials don't take you seriously because you're a bunch of kids. That would be a little bit of drama, I think, and tempers are bound to flare.

So yes, what Egwene did was stupid, arrogant, and immature.... but let's cut her a little slack, eh?
T C
139. Freelancer
RE: Moiraine

She has some knowledge of her future, enough to write the letters, which already include strong hope for her rescue. So she was clearly shown scenarios beyond going through the doorframe during her trip in the Rhuidean rings.

As for her bond, the two best theories for it breaking are:

1) That she was stilled during the final moment of the fight with Lanfear and the doorway melting. Who knows what happens when a channeler is in/near a ter'angreal while it is destroyed? We certainly have proof that the bond is ruptured when an Aes Sedai is violently stilled, from Dumai's Wells.

2) The disappearance of the portal to the realm of the 'Finn created such a distance in the bond as for it to feel broken. We have many POVs indicating the relationship between distance and the sensed strength of such a bond. The insides of the ToG are not really in Randland, or not in the same plane of reality; in either case, the physical "distance" is vast, and could be responsible for the bond seeming to have been snapped.


alexonthemove@107

Individuals occasionally comment on their "name day" (not to be confused with the Seanchan "true name day"), which seems like a birthday reference to me. As to counting of ages, many such cultures use a fixed day of the year where everyone increases the age they call themselves. In Randland, the midsummer Sunday which is frequently mentioned would seem appropriate.


And, a final contribution to the ongoing debate:

For all the outrage commenters express in Nynaeve's behalf over the brutal, horrific, unimaginable violation that Egwene "instantiated" and "unleashed" on her, perhaps we could consider the facts of the aftermath. Nynaeve never, not immediately, not ever, refers in her mind to the event again. This necessarily includes, then, that she doesn't put any thought into her opinion of Egwene's intentions and motives.

Nynaeve is more concerned with changing the subject because Egwene "arched an eyebrow at her".

Clearly Nynaeve is in such a state of hatred for her former friend that she can't think straight.

Then after the wretched girl comments that she never did listen to lessons in the Tower, instead of mounting outrage upon outrage, Nynaeve's next thought is that she listened to Yellows well enough, the rest was useless rubbish.

Oh, wait. Maybe Nynaeve is simply in denial, hasn't allowed the true anger she feels toward her former apprentice to surface over crafting such a heinous experience.

Hmm, no, it never comes up again. She doesn't use it as an internal point of reference in any other thoughts. The tea, however, that sticks in her mind with nearly as much horror as any she has ever felt.

Oh my goodness, how completely terrible is Egwene for that wretched tea? How can Nynaeve ever even look at her again after this?

I'd say she's over it, unharmed and unchanged. The tea changed her more.
T C
140. Freelancer
Eswana@138

My view of Moghedien is a small bit different. I take a cue from Birgitte. She was scared of Moggy enough, and it certainly has nothing to do with a mother frightening a child into better behavior. Birgitte knows her firsthand, and tells Nynaeve plainly that she is afraid of her. That's enough for me.
Jason Deshaies
141. darxbane
@ 138 - Good points, Eswana.

@ 137 - I suppose because the monsters tear open her dress, and one of them grabs Nyn by the face and turns as if to kiss or bite her, people take the next step. They could just have easily been trying to eat her alive, which apparently is much less horrific.
Why is what Amys did better? She made Egwene think she was already awake before turning into a monster that tried to eat her. That's pretty cold. At least Nynaeve knew she was in TAR, and had been repeatedly warned of the dangers.
Tony Zbaraschuk
142. tonyz
>Melaine had taunted her about Lan the last time they met, though Egwene claimed it was not taunting to the Aiel way of thinking.

Indeed. From Avienda describing Elayne to Rand we know that part of Aiel courting customs include making sure that your intended target gets descriptions (or glimpses) of you in the buff. Melaine is actually trying to _further_ the marriage. (Since I really doubt Lan has talked to the Aiel about Nynaeve at all, I must conclude that the dreamwalkers have seen something about their relationship in the dream.)

dwndrgn@137: I think the close-to-kissing part and the ripping off of clothes form a sexual element. Not explicit (Jordan pretty much never does explicit stuff), but "ugly unwashed man grabs woman, rips dress off, tries to kiss" -- yeah, I'd say it was pretty implicit there.
toryx
143. toryx
darxbane @ 141

Why is what Amys did better? She made Egwene think she was already awake before turning into a monster that tried to eat her. That's pretty cold. At least Nynaeve knew she was in TAR, and had been repeatedly warned of the dangers.

I don't understand why that keeps being used as an effective example of teaching. Amys did it to illustrate to Egwene the dangers of the dream so she wouldn't go off into it on her own. Yet this whole encounter occurs because Egwene disregarded the warning and is exploring the dream on her own and doesn't want to get caught.

Clearly, it wasn't particularly effective on Egwene. So why would she turn around and do it to Nynaeve to teach her? The obvious answer is that she wasn't doing it to teach her at all. It was to control Nynaeve and to keep her from pushing the issue, not to teach anything. A distraction, and an effective one.

Doesn't make it even remotely right.
Antoni Ivanov
144. tonka
I think it was quite effective on Egwene. She might have been worse.

And Egwene does not have toh toward Melaine, She was clear of it (by the time Malaine understood she is pregnant) For Rhuarc I have no idea, but it might have happened off screen(I won't be surprised , there is too much going on for every tiny detail to be mentioned in these books.For instance Semirhage was not mentioned during the cleansing but RJ told us that she attended) . And Mat , he is not Aiel, neither is Egwene for that matter (not entirely) their relationship is different. But I believe she respects him and give him much more credit than Ny and Elayne do.
sandi vogel
145. sinfulcashew
Inre: the topic.
I actually knew a woman who did something similar to the 'rape' nightmare, only in real life, to her supposed 'best friend' and laughed about it.
Needless to say, she lost any respect I might have had toward her.
toryx
146. alreadymadwhennynwasassaulted
darxbane @141
Come to think of it, I never really figured on Nynaeve getting almost raped. The correct term of course is assaulted. But I don't really buy into the sexual implications of the assault. To me it was always more of the I'm going to eat you literally kind of assault.
Jason Deshaies
147. darxbane
I agree, tonka. Egwene at least learned some respect for TAR, which Nynaeve did as well. I will not deny that a major part of Egwene's motivation was fear, and in a way it seemed she was lecturing herself as well as Nynaeve (personally, I think Nynaeve disguising herself as Melaine really set Egwene off. She doesn't show it, but I bet seeing Melaine's face made her heart bounce off the inside of her skull).
Hugh Arai
148. HArai
Wolfmage@122:

IMHO, I’d say that’s a pretty superficial reading of Nynaeve – which takes only her obvious outward hypocrisy towards others, and ignores the way she berates herself continually through the books for acting like a fool, or for lacking courage, and elevating others’ ability over her own.


The problem I have with her here (and the other two elsewhere) is that while she is self-berating, she isn't actually self-aware. If you're willing to think you might be acting like an idiot, that's a good first step. If you keep acting that way, you're still an idiot. This is apparently what most people enjoy as comic relief, and what I hate as a fairly intelligent woman being an idiot at length. Not to say it isn't realistic and I haven't seen people do it (or done it) in real life. I just can't find it funny, or admirable.


toryx@143: Good summary, I think.
Kurt Lorey
149. Shimrod
@145 sinfulcashew.

But that was out of meaness, not out of love/friendship. That is the difference here.

There seems to be quite a lot of emotion about this. Maybe that's why RJ included it?

I can certainly agree that Egwene could have come up with a better lesson. But then, she wasn't sitting in front of her PC having a cup of tea over it either.

@147 darxbane. Another good point.
John Pigott
150. AbEnd
Let's compare the Egwene's TAR assault (sexual and/or physical) on Ny with Perrin's spanking of Faile.

Leigh and many posters were "Outraged" at Perrin's actions but don't have the same reaction to Egwene's actions.

Why does Egwene get more of a *shrug* than Perrin?
Antoni Ivanov
151. tonka
@145 sinfulcashew.

Shimrod is right. I doubt that your friend's friend was in mortal danger,that was out of meaness.

What most people fail to understand is that only being in TAR you put yourself in mortal danger.Any of the Forsaken can pop out and kill you before you could say "Ouch". Egwene is very strong and I guess lucky when she succeeds to escape the trap Moggy set for her. Later we will see Sammael (I think?) spying on Elayne while she was in the Royal Palace in TAR. If he only knew what the connection between her and Rand he would have kill her or capture her for sure. But,fortunately for her, he is left with the impression that she is hostile to Rand(because she is disapproving of the Throne being set as a pedestal and so forth).

I find it almost strange that no one of the Shadow knows about the connection between Rand and his three girls. It's not like many people know but still still there are things that the shadow doesn't know.
Joseph Blaidd
152. SteelBlaidd
As a data point in the Nyn Vs Egw Debate. According to what Egwene knows Nynaeve has ben trapsing around blithly attemting to spy on the Forsaken, People who Egwene knows have vastly mor experiance in T'A'R than any of the Wise Ones. Were I her I would drop a serious spiked clubat on Nynaeve's head out of shear self-defence, to encourage her to be more careful because if she gets coaught by the Forsaken it puts me in greater danger.
toryx
153. alreadymadwithoutrageousgirls
AbEnd @150
Because we're used to this kind of outrageous behavior from and among the girls?
toryx
154. Damplander
Well I had a nice long post on this idea but lost it to strange issues with Tor.com (I think could be my connection).

Anyhow I want to address this whole the Aes Sedai are messed up and it's all their fault.

I think that the Aes Sedai are organized as they are (quite poorly and pretty ineffectually) because they have been systematically attacked both overtly Hawkwing, and many others and subvertly - Black Ajah. The goal of these at least somewhat purposeful attacks is to weaken the only large gathering of Channelers in Randland.

After Ishamael has had 3000 years to be thwarted by the Aes Sedai and has to have had some actual plan for having the Black Ajah work from with in the White Tower.

It is stated or implied several times throughout the books that the worst most disastorous Amyrlin's were either Black Ajah or Black Ajah puppets. It would seem very much in Ishamael's/the Dark One's interest to weaken and ostracize the only large organized body of channelers in Randland.

In fact the mystique slash/fear of the Aes Sedai kept most of the other female channeling groups in the area spread out and secretive as in the case of both the Wise Ones and the Windfinders. So until things begin to unravel with the coming of Rand and the SG's Ishamael had the main body of channelers at their lowest nadir in numbers and quite isolated from the general people in Randland they were in theory suppose to serve and "protect". While the other large groups there were of female channelers are secretive, spread out and either very specialized(Windfinders) or almost fearful of any uses beyond healing and the occasional fireball in the case of the Wise Ones.
Sean Banawnie
155. Seanie
@154 Good points , very good as a matter o' fact . But you have to admit the arrogance and attitude of many AS plays right into BA hands .
Elaida for instance , can be manipulated so easily to contribute to the cause of chaos. Like building a palace for herself , with TG on the way. You could almost say that Fain didn't have too hard a time at corrupting her (not DF , just
Dumbfriend)....... :)
toryx
156. Digital_Eon
Aye Aye Aes Sedai @119

I disagree that sex in TAR isn't real. It would feel real to the person involved, and even if it doesn't affect their physical body, it would still be part of their mind. (And in TAR, if they hit the ground, they die for real.)

That said, Nynaeve was fully aware this was a dream that could be controlled. She was scared, but I think that took a lot of the uncontrollable and personal nature of that kind of assault out of it.

WolfMage @125

Hey, please don't scoff at consequentialism. You may not agree with it, and by your personal ethics it isn't the right way to see the world, but philosophy isn't the same as experimentable science. People are not wrong to believe that Egwene is not wrong because the end justifies the means, just as you are not wrong to say she is because it doesn't.

And that seems to be the basis of these debates. Either one believes that Egwene is wrong because of her motives/the actual act being wrong, or they do not believe she's wrong because it did not have a powerful effect on Nynaeve (except, perhaps, to be more cautious) and Nynaeve needed the lesson. I don't think we're going to see much convincing here, and saying someone is "wrong" for the belief isn't helping anything.
toryx
157. alreadymadwithtwistedTower
Damplander @154
Hawkwing was pretty content to let the White Tower be until Bonwhin decided nobody could take center stage other than the White Tower. He even had a standing agreement with the Green in his time. So whatever issues the Aes Sedai have that lead him to besiege Tar Valon, they were already there when Hawkwing came on the scene.

The reason the Aes Sedai are so messed up is that they are trying to recreate the influence their predecessors had in the AOL. Except they got it massively wrong. Aes Sedai of the AoL were respected and influential because of their deeds, through which they showed that they were deserving of such public trust. They earned that by integrating and serving the community. Aes Sedai of the modern age expect that same trust and influence but do not realize how to earn it.
toryx
158. alreadygladwitheroticdreams:)
@156 - Digital EoN "I disagree that sex in TAR isn't real. It would feel real to the person involved, and even if it doesn't affect their physical body, it would still be part of their mind."

So this is different from an Erotic wet dream - how ?? If you or I were in TAR and made love to someone and then woke up - did it really happen - no. Even though I still feel good. It is still just in your mind - I don't qualify that as real. Yes physical scars can be obtained - just not sure if pregnancy or virginity can be affected - Now if two people entered TAR and then made a fun time (nudge nudge wink wink) and then went out - did they do it or not - when they next run into one another?

Case in Point - would EG have been raped in Gawan's dreams (if he imaginied going furhter than he did) or just have a very vivid experience that she would remember but that he would never think was real - thus affecting their relationship??

So let me toss out an evil Question - is it worse to be forced to endure a sexual act in TAR or to be Compelled to do the same in the real world - or to leashed into a submissive position that you willingly do the same?
Hugh Arai
159. HArai
alreadymad@157:

One could argue the Three Oaths are a perfect example of that:

#1 is an attempt to get people to believe them without going to the effort of actually being honest the way everyone else does.

#2 is an attempt to get people to think that they are neutral and that the product of Aes Sedai knowledge and channeling won't be used against people. But of course this one has so many loopholes it might as well not exist.

#3 is an attempt to make people believe they are safe from having the Power used against them directly without the Aes Sedai actually having to police themselves and be safe.
toryx
160. Aegnor
Regarding how Aiel have it easier when it comes to finding Aiel women that can channel. One reason that this is the case, is that the Aes Sedai have isolated themselves from everyday society. They still meddle in the affairs of mere mortals, by advising kings, queens, and other important people, but they are decidedly not part of the community.

Aiel, on the other hand, are an integral part of their local community. The wise women of the community would be responsible for finding those with the spark, and the local community would have no qualms about handing over their young women for training to be wise women.

Aes Sedai have isolated themselves so that they present a remote, mysterious, and powerful image. Their inability to efficiently find those that can channel is the price that they pay for that.
toryx
161. SpelledIncorrectly
Wow... lots of discussion on the Ewg/Ny situation, and for good reason.

My take is...uh... well... Both of them seem to be in the wrong here. But, in the end, I have to agree with Leigh that the biggest problem I have with this whole scene is the giggle afterwards for Ewg. I guess she's on her first power-rush...

I hate to reactivate an old topic but...

@22 RedHanded (Yes, from there. I know... its been so long! Don't bother checking that post, I'll reiterate.)

"Good point, I didn't even think about Birgette dying but it makes sense that she would die at some point during TG and then be reborn sometime, maybe even 10 years from when Gaidal was spun out. I think somewhere they say that he is usually older than her and by more than a couple years..."

Er.... no.

Birgette isn't going to die. I am 100% positive on that one.

Why not? Because of how she got pushed out of TAR. When Moggy pushed her out, she was dying for 'some unknown reason.' I believe that reason is because she couldn't perform her "Hero's Tasks"(you know, get a silver bow, become a hero, Help Gaidal, marry him, etc.) at the present time. So, the Creator/Pattern/Whatever was going to make her die, thus returning her back to TAR where she could be spun out naturally where she needed to.

Except Nynaeve and Elayne think she's dying for good. So, Elayne makes Birgette her warder.

So, why does Birgette stop dying? Because Aes Sedai live so long, and by extention, so do their warders. So, now Birgette will live long enough to do the "Hero's Tasks", because she's 'warded' to Elayne.

This also explains why she begins to forget her past lives as the series goes on. Soon she'll have only the memories of a normal spun out life, just in time to meet Gaidal.

So, in summery, Birgette: not gonna die. That's one life I can be sure will live through the end.
Hugh Arai
162. HArai
SpelledIncorrectly@161: Very interesting theory. It seems to rely on the Warder bond extending the Warder's lifespan though. Do you have evidence of this? All the oldest Aes Sedai I can think of that had Warders are no longer working on their first one...
Richard Fife
164. R.Fife
well then... If that isn't phallic...
Roger Powell
165. forkroot
When Egwene and Gawyn "did it" it was in Gawyn's dreams, not TAR. So I think that Egwene would still have the physical evidence of virginity.

If they had done it in TAR, then Eg would bear the physical evidence of lost virginity, analogous to the scratches that Nynaeve took, etc.

--
Going back to Gaidal Cain: What if he was taken as an infant to Finnland? We know that time runs differently there. Maybe Mat/Thom/Noal will bring a full grown GC out with Moraine?

--
HArai@162

Interviewer: So sir, is it true that the warder bond has given you an unnaturally long life, so that you may protect and serve your Aes Sedai?

Warder: No, it just seems that way.
sandi vogel
166. sinfulcashew
164:R.Fife
Gee thanks for the comparison!
I wouldn't have noticed until your remark.
toryx
167. alreadymadwithAesSedailegacy
Aegnor @160
That is what leads me to believe the true heirs to the legacy of the AOL Aes Sedai are actually the Aiel Wise Ones. And the White Tower... illegitimate pretenders and impostors.
Jay Dauro
168. J.Dauro
@158 alreadygladwitheroticdreams:)

As I see it.

We know that injuries to the body in T'A'R carry back to the waking world. So I could see pregnancy also carrying back. (Of course it has to be specified in the corpus for this to be confirmed as true, and I can't see RJ as having done this.)

Egwene slept (always euphemisms) with Gawyn in his dream, not in T'A'R, so it does carry back. This is similar to our erotic dreams.
Jay Dauro
169. J.Dauro
@163 Pendragon

I will bet that the two horses in the second row (the front row of two) don't particulary care for being pulled together by the lead horse. Then again, maybe they are really good friends.
toryx
170. Pendragon
@169

lol, good catch. I just threw something together in paint really quick. I figured most people would get a kick out of it. I personally think that's the best interpretation of it.
Sydo Zandstra
171. Fiddler
I usually read all comments, but today I don't have the time ( I should be in bed already...). If somebody else already mentioned this and I didn't see it, here's my excuse ;)


On Gaidal Cain being spun out of TAR by the Pattern, I don't think that happened because of all the great deeds he'd do after The Last Battle.

I think it happened because he was tied to Birgitte in a very close way in their Heroes of the Horn Lore, and the Patttern had to get him out of TAR before Birgitte would be ripped out of that herself.

Birgitte did a lot of important stuff that you could say was meant to happen. Main example is saving Elayne in KoD.

My main point here, which cannot be proven with quotes, is that if Gaidal would be called by the Horn of Valere with Birgitte being torn out, the Horn may be acting flunky, with one of an eternal Horn of Valere 2-set being out of range for calling up from TAR, after the Horn has been sounded. (Because Birgitte was out of the cyclus)


So Birgitte being ripped out had to happen within a timeframe: between Gaidal being spun out of TAR and her being spun out. Which the Pattern made sure happening.
James Jones
172. jamesedjones
17 Fiddler

...or it could be a Pattern-wrought consequence of her breaking the precepts. They have to have a reason for them.

I'm not sure I buy this theory, but I thought I'd throw it out there and see if anyone else likes it.

Before RJ poo-pooed the idea of Olver being Gaidal Cain, I thought that contacting living folks in TAR locked you into their time as affecting them. As long as you didn't contact them or affect anything they did, you were just a cool dream and could occur even if you were living at that time.

But let's see if anyone has any support for my looney theory at the top...
Tess Laird
173. thewindrose
I think when Moghedien ripped Birgitte from TAR, she ripped her from being a hero of the horn as well. I think in the AoL Moghedien promised Brigitte that would be her punishment if she ever found her again.
However, I think Birgette will do plenty of heroic and horn binding things this go around, so she will be tied to it again. I do not know if Gaidal and Birgitte will ever reprise their roles as lovers though.
toryx
174. CalaLily
@thewindrose: I think Moghedien actually promises to kill Gaidal forever, so Birgitte will live continually bound to the Wheel and forever without her soulmate. :(
toryx
175. Digital_Eon
alreadymad (glad?!) @158

A dream is a dream. It might be more vivid for the one who entered it, but it's not TAR. If Egwene were raped in a dream, it would definitely change their relationship. Though that's really what I meant in my initial comment - not that it has physical effects, but that it's a real experience for the person that does affect their future thoughts and behaviour.

And that's why sex in TAR is still sex. It wouldn't have all the risks, in all likelihood, but someone who is there maintains their awareness of it, just like being awake. A dream is a dream, but actions in TAR are a conscious choice (well, maybe not changing clothes!), and the experience upon waking is as vivid as any memory of an action in the real world. If two people had sex in TAR, then they'd both remember it quite well, as long as they were actually there and not just dreaming themselves in for three seconds. Whatever happens in TAR is real, to the extent that it involves people only and not an attempt to affect the real world.

Besides, unlike a dream, sex requires more than one person. ;)
toryx
176. Digital_Eon
Oh, as an example, if Graendal and Aran'gar got it on as part of their manipulations of everything and everyone, it'd certainly influence their outside-TAR behaviour, wouldn't it?
toryx
177. alreadymadwithbirgitte'stears
Calalily @174
Moggy's promise was to make Brigitte cry forever, IIRC. I don't remenber Gaidal being mentioned.

Digital_Eon @176
alreadyglad is a different guy.
toryx
178. Wolfmage
darxbane@141
“Why is what Amys did better? She made Egwene think she was already
awake before turning into a monster that tried to eat her. That's pretty cold. At least Nynaeve knew she was in TAR, and had been repeatedly warned of the dangers.”

Well they can BOTH be wrong. But IMO what Amys did was clearly different in substance and intent.

Amys’ action was clearly driven by a pure pedagogical and disciplinary purpose. Egwene was essentially being disciplined for breaking her word as a pupil after having guaranteed that she would not enter TAR without permission. Egwene had explicitly accepted the strictures of the Wise Ones, and their authority to discipline her, as part and parcel of her instruction. Amys is just administering a kind of psychological shock corporal punishment for Egwene breaking her word. Also what she did was certainly not beyond the pale. The Amys-monster transformation was no doubt scary to Egwene, “In the Mouth of Madness” style, but it wasn’t a sexually-tinged predation on her physically; indeed, she is never even touched physically. Egwene’s nightmare involved sexual predation, and was an assault that occasioned actual bodily harm. The other key difference is that Amys is much more experienced in TAR than Egwene, and she transforms herself (cf. Egwene creating a live nightmare), thus Amys, unlike Egwene, really is in complete control.

This is also kind of a self-defeating point IMO. If we follow the suggestion that what Amys did was right to its logical conclusion, far from exculpating Egwene’s behaviour, it actually cements it as wrong even more. For if it is right, fair and innocuous that Egwene deserves her punishment for going into TAR without permission, how can it possibly be that she is now licensed to be in TAR again in defiance of her word to the Wise Ones?

tonka@ 151
“What most people fail to understand is that only being in TAR you put
yourself in mortal danger.”

But this applies even more to Egwene herself. She is the queen of no boundaries and places herself in more danger than Nynaeve ever has through her much-greater saturated exposure to TAR and the in-between dreamspace. She is in no position to be lecturing anyone, let alone terrorising them.
toryx
179. Wolfmage
SteelBlaidd @ 152
“As a data point in the Nyn Vs Egw Debate. According to what Egwene knows Nynaeve has ben trapsing around blithly attemting to spy on the Forsaken, People who Egwene knows have vastly mor experiance in T'A'R than any of the Wise Ones.”

That’s true. But how is it Nynaeve’s fault in such a way that she must bear the consequences of Egwene’s erroneous interpretation. Nynaeve only brings up the Forsaken at the meeting to warn Egwene, Rand and the Wise Ones. She could have simply not told them, but she did, even though it made her look more incautious than she was because she could not disclose her real source for the information AND protect Birgitte’s secret. If Egwene was more conciliatory, and less in a hurry to to condemn Nynaeve, precipitate the power shift between then and protect her privileged instruction, she could have censured Nynaeve in a more civilised way. She could have used more benign means to humiliate Nynaeve in TAR to demonstrate her point effectively, without using the nightmare the way she did.

“Were I her I would drop a serious spiked clubat on Nynaeve's head out of shear self-defence, to encourage her to be more careful because if she gets coaught by the Forsaken it puts me in greater danger.”

I love all these horribly paternalistic comments. No offence, but I’m glad I’m not friends with anyone like this. If anyone did to me what Egwene did to Nynaeve I would severe all ties with them permanently. Nothing justifies the methods Egwene used, when there are alternatives, and she didn’t even have pure pedagogical intentions.
Alice Arneson
180. Wetlandernw
Aahhh, yes. Can anything happen without the Pattern having woven it so? :)

Actually, good call, Fiddler. Once again I find myself buying into the perspective of the characters without remembering that they really don't know everything. Because of their POV, we assume that Birgitte was ripped out of TAR in an untimely way, and that the Pattern is somehow "making the best of it." Indeed, what if said "ripping" was actually the intent of the Pattern this time around? (Can the Pattern be said to have intent? Hmmm...) Interesting thought to mull over when the hands are busy and the brain is free....

About the N/E debate... Wow. Most folks seem to have had their minds made up before they ever got here, and are marshalling arguments for their side no matter what. Oh well. For my part, I see both sides far too well to jump in on either. Depending on what mood I'm in when I read this section, I'm either irritated with both, sympathetic to both, or, well, both. To lay all the blame on one character or the other mostly just shows a personal bias regarding the characters themselves. IMHO. Neither is faultless in the interaction, and neither is a horrible person who deserves to be kicked out of the book. IMHO.

Having said that, I think the "Egwene-is-horrible-for-making-her-friend-get-almost-raped" reaction is a serious over-reaction. Most of the reasons have been given above, many times. The most telling is, I think, Nynaeve's own reaction to the whole thing. Once the nightmare is gone, she's pretty much done with it. The thing that Nynaeve herself keeps coming back to is the fact that she lied to Egwene. For the record, Egwene did not lie to anyone in this situation. She did NOT tell Nynaeve she had permission to be there, and she did NOT tell the Wise Ones she hadn't been there. She avoided the subject altogether. (Can someone give me text where she explicitly told the WOs that she would not enter TAR without their permission? Or was it rather an edict from the WOs that if she did so, they would not teach her? I'll look it up eventually, but if someone has it handy it'd save time.)

Anyway, Nynaeve knows perfectly well that she lied about the run-in with Macura, so she finally 'fesses up to it. Egwene isn't very kind about it when she points out N's habit of shading things to make herself look better. (Reminds me of a cat:
Grace personified
I leap into the window
I meant to do that

Of course, Egwene has her own version.) So... there's a little power struggle going on. Don't forget these two are NOT and never have been "best friends" in the same sense that E&E are; Nynaeve is enough older that Egwene is just now reaching an age where they can become peers. Not sure all that made any sense, but it had to be said.

And about the giggle, I know it's been said before, but some folks don't seem to see it. Egwene isn't even close to thinking about the nightmare at that point. It's all about the fact that when she stayed calm, she won. Think about it. All her life she's seen strong women (her mother, other village women, Aes Sedai, Wise Ones) tell other people what to do and be obeyed, but she's never been able to do it. This time, when she has learned enough self-control (and has a little desperation thrown in) she manages to be the one speaking calmly and maintaining composure, and what do you know? It works! Someone else, someone nominally "above" her, takes her seriously and doesn't dismiss her as a little girl stomping her foot. She just discovered how to use a MAJOR TOOL in the box. Of course she giggles! If she can remember what she learned here, she can probably be taken seriously by a whole lot more people a whole lot more often. How cool is that when you're 18?
craig thrift
181. gagecreedlives
SpelledIncorrectly@161

“Birgette isn't going to die. I am 100% positive on that one.”

I am in the exact opposite. I am 100% positive she will die a tragic hero’s death during TG more than likely saving Elayne’s life.

“This also explains why she begins to forget her past lives as the series goes on. Soon she'll have only the memories of a normal spun out life, just in time to meet Gaidal.”

So are you saying that she will only end up having memories from when she was ripped out of TAR? That could lead to an interesting identity crisis. Who am I? Who where my parents? How do I know how to use this bow? Why do I remember nothing before waking up in a caravan.?

I actually agree with you that the pattern was killing her when she was ripped out so she could rejoin her rightful place but my loony theory is that Elayne bonding her has caused Birgitte to sidestep her role in the pattern for the time being and is now a wild card similar to Fain. But for the light not evil. Until she dies and normal pattern transmission can resume.

I also think that Gaidal and Brigitte will be needed after TG. The great battle done but the world note done with battle. Well after Rand seals away the DO there is no guarantee that there still wont be a couple of forsaken hanging around or all the shadowspawn will just up and die. Plus you have the whole Seanchan trying to take over the world thing.

And wow that involved a lot more thinking than I normally like to do at work.

Alreadymad@177

What better way to make her cry forever than killing her one true love for all the ages.
toryx
182. alreadymadwhenBirgittecried
gagecreedlives @181
Good point. That's stepping into the realm of unsubstantiated theory, though. And we really have no proof Moggy's gonna be able to make good on her threat.

Besides, IIRC, Min has a viewing of Birgitte being involved with a younger guy. Calling Gaidal, anyone?
craig thrift
183. gagecreedlives
AMW@182

I think this might be the viewing your thinking of

"Auras danced around her and images flickered, more than Min had ever seen around anyone, thousands it seemed, cascading over one another. Those multitude of images and auras flashed by too quickly for her to make out any clearly, but she was certain they indicated more adventures than a woman could have in one lifetime. Strangely, some were connected to an ugly man who was older that she, and others to an ugly man who was much younger, yet somehow Min knew they were the same man."

I suppose the ugly man thats older could be her with Gaidal in the past lifes and the much younger ugly man could be Gaidal in this age and subsequent ages. I dont really buy it but maybe....

Birgitte: A cougar for all the ages.
toryx
184. Wolfmage
“To lay all the blame on one character or the other mostly just shows a personal bias regarding the characters themselves.”

No it doesn’t. What Egwene did was unconscionable full stop. There’s really no two sides to this unless you’re prepared to make some absurd claims about this being the only way for Egwene to address the power imbalance between them or prompt Nynaeve to be more savvy in TAR. Both depend on a gross failure of imagination about the alternative options open to Egwene to pursue both these courses effectively through more benign methods.

In the same vein, you could make the argument that Nynaeve has it coming in the grand scheme of cosmic comeuppance, though I don’t personally don’t buy into that strongly as I like her character. However, that only means we may be broadly unsympathetic towards Nynaeve’s end of the stick in the relationship shift, not indifferent about violations against her person used to bring about that shift. It certainly doesn’t make Egwene’s personal behaviour inherently innocuous.

There are plenty of people in both the real world and WOT that I think are bullies who are in need of a good lesson, but that doesn’t mean I’d wish vigilantes to go around sexually molesting or menacing their nightmares in ways that leave marks.

The only thing you can do here is mitigate what Egwene did against other factors, such as Nynaeve’s lack of lasting trauma from the incident, play down Egwene’s tainted intentions, and weigh it against her future awesome as character. That will go a long way to restoring Egwene to her rightful place as a good, decent character in the WOT roster; however, it won’t make what she did trivially right, much less invoke some kind of wishy-washy on one hand and other the other hand style complete equivocation masquerading as even-handedness. Sometimes even good people do the bad things with tainted intentions; it doesn’t mean they are despicable people and are beyond compassion and identification. That’s just part of the wonderful realistism of WOT.

Now, if the people who are admonishing Egwene here simply refuse to countenance any of that process of mitigation and weighing – THEN they would be guilty of being overly fixated on one instance to the exclusion of other character virtues, and they would be being dogmatic and uncharitable. There’s little evidence of that here, however. Most people are saying that Egwene has been demoted by the incident in their affection but that she makes a strong recovery in the later books. That seems about the only logical conclusion you can make here to my mind.

“Neither is faultless in the interaction, and neither is a horrible person who deserves to be kicked out of the book. IMHO.”

How is Nynaeve in any way at fault at any point in her meeting with Egwene? FFS she is wracked by guilt for a small misrepresentation she makes about her escape from Ronde Macura, and that is the full extent of anything she does that is fishy. Indeed, but for a strong sense of decency and virtue in her relationship with Egwene, which creates strong guilt in her, she would not even be on the back foot and enabling Egwene to exploit the situation. That is to Nynaeve’s credit not Egwene’s. In contrast, the list of Egwene’s misrepresentations and demonstrable hypocrisy in the scene is longer than my arm.

“The most telling is, I think, Nynaeve's own reaction to the whole thing. Once the nightmare is gone, she's pretty much done with it.”

That only goes so far. There are two objections to this; the first is meta. As someone remarked earlier, if Nynaeve actually carried that indignity around with her, highlighting it in the reader’s collective memory as lasting impression, the damage done to Egwene as a character would surely be devastating. Indeed, it might be enough to completely partition her off from many a reader’s sympathy forever, thus interfering with a major story arc and the development of a first-tier character who we are clearly not meant to hate. Obviously RJ couldn’t let that happen so Nynaeve effective can’t hold that grudge in any meaningful sense.

The second point is more direct: so what if Nynaeve doesn’t care? It might diminish the harm we consider flowing from the attack, but it certainly doesn’t mean it is trivial. I’ve seen women assaulted and bullied in relationships and peer groups, all through my life, often tolerating the intolerable for a long time let alone a single instance. I've seen friends allow their friends to steal from them for drugs; I've seen boyfriend cop physical punches from women. Look into battered wife’s syndrome and you’ll understand that human psychology often is prepared to accept intolerable humiliation and abuse until it blows up in a homicide. I don’t suggest this is on the same scale as that, but clearly Egwene assaulted Nynaeve in a way involving sexual predation. That's all we need to know it was wrong - regardless of whether Nynaeve turns her mind to it.

“The thing that Nynaeve herself keeps coming back to is the fact that she lied to Egwene. For the record, Egwene did not lie to anyone in this situation.”

I don't really care about who lies and who doesn’t and the various counts compared to the gravity of the assault. Unless it is actually about something significant, where an action or omission will endanger somebody if they aren’t forewarned, white lies are pretty trivial in the scheme of things. The lie about the folkroot incident here was fairly meaningless. Plus, it’s plain as day that Egwene misrepresents the truth through misdirection and distinction through that whole scene – her whole motives are tainted by preservation of her lessons

“She did NOT tell Nynaeve she had permission to be there, and she did NOT tell the Wise Ones she hadn't been there. She avoided the subject altogether.”

She attacked Nynaeve to prevent her from adverting to the subject so she would not be forced to lie. You’re splitting hairs here.

“Egwene isn't even close to thinking about the nightmare at that point.”

Which reinforces that she is lacking in moral fibre and adult sensibilities, power tripping out on the adrenaline rush she gets from the shift in power, and lacking consideration of her own inherent hypocrisy in being in TAR without permission. It is against her credit that she doesn't even wonder for a second whether Nynaeve would recover from her attack, or showing anything approach decent self-regulation and prudence about her new skills with manipulation and the potential she has to harm others.

“It's all about the fact that when she stayed calm, she won.”

She won? Saying won implies there was a battle as understood by approximate equals. But here she simply attacked her fellow compatriot and mentor to protect her self interest at being taught.
toryx
185. Wolfmage
Also, can I just remind people than Nynaeve only lies about Ronde Macura because Melaine is present in that meeting and she very nearly doesn't lie.

The reason provided in "Meetings" is that Melaine did the whole Aiel sweet tent observation about Lan recently and she is feeling insecure about the very pretty Wise One being there and complimenting Lan, so against her better judgement she lies.

If you're a real stickler about lying maybe you don't care she has a fairly human reason, but I think it is a lot more sympathetic than Egwene's position which is simply to cover up further deceit.
Alice Arneson
186. Wetlandernw
Wolfmage:

There’s really no two sides to this...

Then you and I will always disagree. When two or more people are involved in a situation, there are ALWAYS at least two sides to consider. As I said at the beginning of my post, I can easily see BOTH of their perspectives, so I am both irritated with and sympathetic to BOTH girls. Since you can't... oh well. Your loss.

I think I've even said it to you before, and maybe on the same subject. You've obviously never been a 17-year-old girl! Since the shoe can't fit, I guess you're incapable of attempting to walk in it. I never claimed she was right, only that I think many people on here are over-reacting so strongly to the nightmare thing that they can't see anything else. Too bad, because there's a whole lot more going on here.
toryx
187. twicemarked
gagecreedlives @181

I know there has been a long running debate whether there is free will, and exactly what does free will entail in the WOT universe.

If we say the pattern intend to rip out Brigitte unnaturally this time by Moggy's hand, that implies even the Forsakens have no free will and the drilling of the Bore and the Breaking of the World itself is planned by the Pattern.

So I am of the opinion that Brigitte's dying is not the pattern killing her to send her back into T'A'R again. Her connection to the Wheel was indeed broken, and she need to rejoin the Heroes of the Horn if she wishes to become Brigitte the Silver Bow again. In a way, she has to work her way up from the bottom again.
James Jones
188. jamesedjones
186 Wetlander

Good arguments. But you are clearly in favor of Egwene. It's not appropriate to be claiming to see both sides when your arguments are only supporting one stance. Unless you begin to argue (with equal posts and content) that Egwene's actions were deplorable, you are not seeing both sides.
Hugh Arai
189. HArai
Wetlandernw@186: For the most part I agree with you. Since I've never been a 17 year old girl,let me ask you this though. Is all the sniping, picking at scabs and general bickering that Elayne,Egwene and Nyneave spend so much time on normal? I mean, from your perspective would you have expected 3 friends at those ages to act like that at high school? Or is it more a rendition of how 3 friends under a ton of possibly life and death stress would act? Because when I was 17, my friends and I sure didn't act like that. We messed up in our own ways of course, but we wouldn't have acted like that and stayed friends.
toryx
190. jafco
@103. Amalisa

"...Now, later on... when the AS have their disastrous journey in TaR, I'm not sure that one of them isn't raped - or, at least, in great fear of it. That "nightmare" was far more graphic, more disturbing than this one was. For me, anyway....

I don't recall anything smacking of rape (and there are far too many implications of rape here and rape there in the above discussions to accord with my recollections of these books) but I'll reread it. Mainly I recall people about to be butchered for the trollocs' cookpots and otherwise subjected to terrific physical trauma by huge beastly creatures.

That seems serious and dangerous enough for me without compounding the situation by bringing in an extraordinary interpretation of trollocs' behaviors toward humans. Admittedly, had there been Fades present, rape might well have been a context, given what we come to know about them and their treatment of human women in some circumstances.
Hugh Arai
191. HArai
jamesedjones@188: If she is only posting arguments for one stance, all that proves is that she is only posting arguments for one stance. It proves nothing at all about whether she sees both sides. She could see both sides without posting anything at all.
toryx
192. RobMRobM
Just like in the heated TSR debate that had to be referred to as the "S word," I vote we call this the "D word" and move on. Anyone give me a second before we call the vote?

Rob
toryx
193. alreadymadwithspankingagain
twicemarked @187
IIRC Loial outlined how free will works in conjunction with the Pattern. As he explained it the Pattern is flexible enough to accommodate certain changes that may occur when a person exercises his free will.

RobMRob @192
I don't know anything about any "S" word.

I do know Faile got spanked.
So did Siuan, and Joline, and most likely Berelaine, too.
Hugh Arai
194. HArai
alreadymad@187: That was the conversation where Rand gave "if I wanted to be a king" as an example of something the pattern wouldn't accomodate right?
That crazy RJ and his foreshadowing :)
toryx
195. Wolfmage
Wolfmage:

There’s really no two sides to this...

”Then you and I will always disagree. When two or more people are involved in a situation, there are ALWAYS at least two sides to consider.”

You’re misconstruing what I said. I didn’t say there weren’t two perspectives to this debate. That is trivially false, and it should be abundantly clear from my many posts on this subjects that I am engaging directly which each and every argument here covering Egwene’s perspective. Nobody could in good faith allege I’m not aware of Egwene’s perspective here. I’ve said a number of times that I think Egwene’s usurpation of power is a valid part of her character’s growth. The point I am making here is not that there aren't two perspectives which merit attention, but that there aren't equal wrongs committed, and equal apportions of blame and culpability in this scene between the two characters. That is a completely different point to make.

“As I said at the beginning of my post, I can easily see BOTH of their perspectives, so I am both irritated with and sympathetic to BOTH girls. Since you can't... oh well. Your loss.”

You’re again misconstruing me. I admit I have other minor issues with Egwene, but here I am purely focusing on this scene, and the specifics of the TAR assault on Nynaeve. Within this chapter, we have a microcosm of both characters, their intentions and virtues which we can evaluate, and my position is that clearly Nynaeve comes out looking better. That doesn't mean Egwene doesn't come out looking better in many other scenes and chapters though, or that Nynaeve doesn't have flaws in her character you could drive a truck through.

So let me re-state the scope of my problem with Egwene here, because I think some see the consequence of the scene as being a real indictment against Egwene forever. I’m someone who is making that kind of judgement. I'm not talking about any overall sense of virtue on a grand cosmic scale, or after consideration of the series as a whole. On that score, I'm glad you, like many others, find Egwene a good character; she has a lot of admirable qualities to commend her. In that sense it is very easy to overlook some of these specific missteps or unflattering behaviour and focus on her future awesome or past glories. Or alternatively, to focus on Nynaeve's many problems and the discordance many feel with seeing her as a victim. But if we really evaluate what happened here, in this chapter, Nynaeve actually does nothing wrong compared to Egwene.

Now, please don't take offence at my frankness here, but I’ve heard you declaim about your impartially before, and that’s great all, but don’t assume just because someone isn’t ambivalent in their judgement about the actions and intentions of two complex characters in one chapter, doesn’t mean they are taking all the competing dimensions involved less seriously than you do. I do take the competing dimension seriously AND I still come to the same on balance and all-things-considered judgement about what she did.

That said, I want to say from what I’ve read, I do admire your consistent high-quality posts, and think you show a very fair hand in weighing the virtues and foibles of all the characters, making thoughtful comments accordingly.
Alice Arneson
196. Wetlandernw
jamesedjones @188

No, I'm not in favor of Egwene as opposed to Nynaeve. I just feel that Egwene is getting a disproportianate amount of slamming in this instance. In point of fact, if Nynaeve were the one getting slammed, I'd be defending her, and have done so several times in the past.

Funny, I was thinking about this earlier. When I speak on behalf of a character on this forum, I am often misinterpreted. Let me just say that when I defend someone, I am generally defending the character rather than the action. It is also frequently and incorrectly assumed that if I defend one character I must of necessity favor that one over the other. In this case, I personally have no difficulty in understanding why each character did what she did. Neither is faultless. Neither is horrible. Both are understandable characters with understandable motives and actions. It is not necessary to attack Egwene or her actions to prove that I understand Nynaeve's side of the situation.
toryx
197. alreadymadwithpatternweaving
HArai @194
True. Though it got me thinking. Perhaps ta'veren are the instruments the Pattern use to effect a much larger change than can normally be accommodated.
Alice Arneson
198. Wetlandernw
HArai @189

Is all the sniping... normal? ...Would you have expected 3 friends at those ages to act like that at high school? Or is it more a rendition of how 3 friends under a ton of possibly life and death stress would act?

Sniping, etc... I would say that it's exaggerated, although I have definitely known girls for whom that level of bickering is nearly "normal". Never having been one of them, or having a desire to be close friends with them, I never got into it.

No, I wouldn't expect typical high school girls to behave that way. Then again, typical high school girls don't have either the powers or the responsibilities these girls have. I think it's a combination of strong personalities, youth, danger, stress, responsibility, varied cultural influences and probably a few more I can't think of right now.

I also think RJ over-emphasized the clashes to bring out the personal growth/issues of each character, to get us to see what's going on in their heads and hearts. After all, we don't see the time they spent in the tower just going about their training, which is when much of the friendship had time to develop. (Pretty much that time where Egwene was worried that she couldn't see Rand in her dreams, and that's all we heard about it.) It was there, if you look at the calendar, but for story-telling purposes it's boring and page-consuming and who needs that?

I have no idea why RJ chose this particular nightmare to use instead of, say, suldam or trollocs or myrrdraal or earthquake or fire or spiders or whatever. Fill in your own nightmare; it was just a tool. I'm far more interested in their thought processes. Nynaeve's thoughts on her own failings give so much insight to her behaviors that I love her even when I want to slap her. She's learning to learn all over again, and it's not easy. Especially not when it comes from someone who used to be her pupil. Egwene's giggle over learning the value of a calm demeanor frankly cracks me up; it is a tiny glimpse of childlike delight in a new achievement coming in the midst of all this the-world-may-depend-on-you-learning-fast-enough pressure. (And yes, I said childlike, not childish. On purpose.) It reminds me that she's only 17 and for all she's learned, she LOVES to learn. So much of the time, she's learning stuff that she NEEDS to learn to help Rand, to save the Aes Sedai, to save herself, to save the world. This one is just for her, and it's fun! I think those things are fasciniating character development, and so as part of a work of fiction I can easily overlook the one-paragraph nightmare thing in favor of enjoying the story-crafting going on in the whole chapter.

and @191 Thank you. Exactly.

And that's the end of my philosophizing for tonight. Thanks for listening. (if anyone bothered...;)
toryx
199. longtimefan
What I find intereting is that no one in the Egwene/Nynave debate is blaming Robert Jordan.

He wrote it. He could have written it in any way he chose and he chose that situation.

Maybe the problem is that Robert Jordan never was a 17 year old girl.

As for everything in the pattern being predetermined. yes, the is no free will in WoT. It is all the work of the Creator. (again Jordan)

yes i know it is a pen name.

If anything the situation could be seen as the author making a grey area with a "good" character behaving in a "bad" way.
toryx
200. Digital_Eon
alreadymad @177

Whoops! Sorry about that! Clearly, I need to pay more attention to these things.

Ooh, a thought on Egwene's "hypocrisy" in telling Nynaeve TAR is dangerous while she's there herself: I don't think that's hypocrisy on Egwene's part. It's not as if she's telling Nynaeve not to go into TAR at all because it's dangerous. Egwene did learn that lesson, and so when she goes off on her own, she's aware of the danger she might face, and is learning to deal with it. Nynaeve, on the other hand, doesn't seem to realise those dangers. Hence why Egwene's not a hypocrite for it (not right in her methods, though): she did learn the lesson.

Though I agree that Egwene isn't right. It's definitely that over-reaction to the situation, as well as some previous experiences with those who would take this incident as proof of what an awful and hateful character Egwene is, that makes me jump to defend her.

(Speaking of which, excellent and well-stated points, Wetlander!)
Kurt Lorey
201. Shimrod
@184 Wolfmage.

Just under 1150 words in a post? C'mon, man. Give the rest of us a break. At least for my part, brevity makes one's arguments much more dynamic.

You seem to be projecting upon Egwene here. You are equating your experiences with the scene. That's fine (that was likely the author's intent, in fact). But's that is not the only interpretation possible, and your obstinate insistence otherwise indicates an inability to make fine distinctions between emotive reaction and objective observation.

Your argument fails to persuade me in the end because you expect Egwene to exhibit some kind of experienced mature response outside the range of her physical/emotional age. Morality and ethics aren't exactly nature-oriented, IMO. But, I'm not going to go on for another thousand words explaining why.

You don't like her behavior. I get it. I accept that you don't like it. But, I can't agree that your emotive response is either the only response, or the only rational response. And, I do wish you would be respectful enough to do the same.
toryx
202. Wolfmage
"You seem to be projecting upon Egwene here."

Where exactly am I importing all these exotic foreign notions or sophisticated graces into my expectations of Egwene?

I would respectfully suggest the alternate proposition that it's actually just basic decency I expect from Egwene. You don't need any high-falutin ideas or concepts which are extraneous to WOT to understand Egwene's lapses here.

For example, what she did was wrong in terms of any number of basic ideals that are explained by every decent parent to their child, as they grow out of pre-conventional moral development focused entirely on self. For example, consideration of others' feelings when you have harmed them. The importance of being modestly self-reflective enough to see your own faults in some measure. The ability to recognise the follies in yourself that you despise and criticise in others. The basic ability to put yourself in another's shoes. The basic rights of other individuals. The golden rule not to do unto others what you wouldn't want done onto you. etc etc

Here, Egwene shows no remorse, self doubt or regret. She doesn't even mix the perhaps natural schadenfreude adrenaline she feels at gaining stature at a former authority figure's expense, with some tentative misgiving or hesitation about the extremity of the indignity she visits on Nynaeve to turn those tables.

Now, I do not by any means expect all of these components to be mastered Egwene, and not even a lot of them in strong measure. But I would expect at the minimum level at least some of them to be in evidence.

Let's contrast it with Nynaeve. Nynaeve tells a simple lie that really hurts nobody, principally because Melaine in present. Yet despite the lie being utterly trivial, she feels such fidelity to Egwene and the dictates of her own character, that she is overcome by strong reservations about what she did. She reflects and reflects as her equilibrium is apparently lost that she has been unbalanced by this white lie, and so she owns up to the shame of what she did and the lie to help regain her center. That's exactly what mature people do.

Egwene, in complete contrast, bullies and assaults Nynaeve to misdirect her attention away to protect her own privileges with the Wise Ones. Yet she feels not a scintilla of a doubt, a pause of the moment or indeed any redeeming self reflection whatsoever. That to me is objectively unflattering.

I am more than willing to get beyond this and take account mitigating factors, as well as past and present and future glories, to arrive at a very flattering picture of Egwene as a person, but you can't just wish away the facts at this point or gloss over them.
Sean Banawnie
203. Seanie
Dissertation day yesterday.
But postday today !
The *twitching* begins.
toryx
204. RobMRobM
Wolf and Wet and my other friends on the site - I love the passion you are bringing to this but you're killing me. Too much of a good thing. I'm almost afraid to check the site to see the next round of the debate. Nyneave neeeded a clue by four re TAR and Egwene gave her a clue by eight and had mixed motives. Please let's move on, shall we? (Alternatively, we can start chanting "Break it, break it...."). LOL.

By the way, I second Seanie's motion to commence twitching.

Rob
toryx
205. RobMRobM
@193. As I was on the "S" is ok in the WOT side of that debate, I'm with you brother but I've used the code initial as a courtesy to those on the other side of the aisle. I'm still happy to call this ep the "D word" for Dream-Scare but am happy to use any acronyn chosen by the group members if that will help quiet the debate. Rob
Michael Catapano
206. hoping
Agree with RobMRobM's summary
A great discussion but no new insights coming now. An early new post would be nice.
Jacy Clark
207. Amalisa
Seani @203

Dissertation day yesterday. .


If there were a university somewhere offering a post graduate degree in Wheel of Time, I would be soooo there... ;)
toryx
208. alreadymadwitharguingaboutgirls
I don't really get the point about arguing which of the girls did the right thing, or the less right thing. Both sides of the argument are bound to come up with good and bad arguments for their chosen girl.
toryx
209. toryx
Longtimefan @ 199:

What I find intereting is that no one in the Egwene/Nynave debate is blaming Robert Jordan.

I haven't posted this yet but I actually do think that RJ did a poor job with the reactions of the characters to the nightmare threat. I think Nynaeve should have been more bothered by what Egwene put her through than is shown. When people uses that as an argument for the nightmare clearly not being as bad as some of us view it to be, my automatic response is that it's an example of poor characterization in that one case.

I think RJ did a magnificent job with the characters, the story and the unbelievable weaving of the plot throughout. But I also think he made mistakes, as any writer would (and does). For me, this is one of times.

In response to Wetlandernw's comments:
I agree with most of what you say about Egwene's giggle. If it was just the giggle, I wouldn't be bothered as much. I'm more disturbed, however, by Egwene looking forward to being able to run roughshod over Nynaeve again, to the point of being disappointed when Nynaeve isn't there for the next meeting(for good reason, IMHO). That she feels compelled to try and boss Nynaeve around through Elayne just makes it worse.

That's not a mark of maturity to me but rather the opposite. I don't know...I remember my own (male) rebellious youth, but I never got a kick out of making people feel bad. That Egwene not only does but looks forward to doing it again makes me think less of her.

Ultimately though, I simply don't understand the point of all this stomping on Nynaeve. If Egwene really didn't want Nyn or Elayne to say anything, wouldn't it have been a lot easier to ask them not to? It'd certainly have been safer for Egwene.
Blake Engholm
210. UncrownedKing
Wow....Just Wow.

I am glad I was busy yesterday. Ha. This kind of debate only happens here, and that my friends is awesome.

@Hoping
While a early post would be incredible, we all know deep in our hearts that the post won't come till 2:15-3:00 PM ET. This seems like this is usually the "posting" window.

RANDOM:
Is Leigh apart of the Tor staff?
Tess Laird
211. thewindrose
Leigh has a day job, and a WoT obsession(see earlier web sites;).
But that is why she is our leader.
I think she must have the most popular blog on TOR so I hope she is compensated extra for that.

BTW - Leigh loved the dinner, so I left a great tip, but the late night cap was a doozie.
toryx
212. birgit
Um, yeah, in camp that Gaidal will have plenty to do cleaning up Rand's mess, and perhaps he will even be in the "outrigger" novels that take place 10 years post TG. That'd make him 12ish? Mat's apprentice!

Why not Mat's son? He already practised taking care of an ugly boy with Olver, and with all his women why shoudn't he have some kids somewhere?

Scrying is a very common term for magically sensing remote activity. Crystal balls, bowls, mirrors, there are a great many different scrying tools.

I thought scrying was visual, but what Moiraine does is hear, not see distant things.
toryx
213. RobMRobM
birgit - Problem is that GC is already gone from TAR and no Mat kid in process yet (as far as we know, anyway). How would the timing work for GC to be reborn as one of Rand/Elayne's twins? Would be easy to link B with GC as a younger man (per Min's vision) while living in the castle and he may well have himself a heck of a time when he hits adulthood and the mutual attraction kicks in. Rob
Alice Arneson
214. Wetlandernw
Anyone remember what's in the next chapters? Are we gonna rehash this all weekend, or do we get a new subject? ;)

After cutting a bunch of meandering out of my post last night (yes, I did - I was starting to compete with RJ, or at least Leigh!) I went to sleep composing multiple essays on what I like and don't like in the characters... I doubt it would be interesting to anyone but me, because so much of my reaction to them is based on how I respond to a character trait, which is usually related to how much of that characteristic I see in myself and whether I think it's good or bad in myself. Took a long time to go to sleep last night!

Wolfmage @ 195, last paragraph.

Thank you. I could say the same for you. I think last time we had one of these just-can't-agree things, it was the same subject. Block this one out, and we're cool. :)
Blake Engholm
215. UncrownedKing
Dear Tor,

Give her a raise!

If she is currently doing this for free, then I demand she be compensated. If our demand is not met, then rest assured that we will burn this mother down. We have broken your prescious website multiple times now. We have become quite proficient at it. It would be TSR 10 all over again. Only with R.Fife-rolls and shawls involved. MuahMuahMuahahahahah (yeah I did that).

Sincerely yours,
The *Twitching* Masses
Kurt Lorey
216. Shimrod
@202 Wolfmage.

Just what is "basic decency"? You seem to infer that it is some kind of universal concept. I think it isn't. Instead it is used as a code phrase to denote some under-defined Judeo-Christian preconception of behavioral expectations. If you would (briefly) define your understanding of "basic decency", I might be better able to understand your position.

Once again, you are confusing concepts here. Egwene and Nynaeve are not "parent and child", or even previously in a similar kind of hierarchical relationship. Their relationship was not familial at all. So, using a familial hierarchical framework to criticize a behavior must be considered immaterial, if not illegitimate. Your example fails as well. You argue for presumed "rights" based upon precepts that may, or may not, apply in Randland. Your expectation that a character must feel remorse, self-doubt or regret is presumptuous. Why do you assume that judgements/feelings that you expect in your own experiences, to be necessary in anyone elses? Your experiences, values, expectations do not define the totality of humanity. Unless you can lay out a cogent argument otherwise, your pronouncements about what defines good or bad behavior is just blinkered narcissism.

I'm actually surprised that you allow lying to be an acceptable behavior. You have made a value judgement that it was a harmless or simple lie, but would Egwene have considered it so? Many posters here bemoan the fact that the characters don't commuincate important information well. So then, is providing incorrect information helping? Nynaeve lied to preserve her own self-image. Is that OK? When some falsehood might have had dire consequences for Egwene? Odd that Nynaeve's expediency is acceptable behavior here.

I believe you misinterpret Egwene's intent here. Your value system says that she is a bully, and that she attacks Nynaeve to protect her own behavior. But, what if Egwene initiated Nynaeve's nightmare in order to protect Nynaeve? It is clear Egwene thinks Nynaeve is impulsive and over-compensating. If Egwene truly believes that Nynaeve's behavior could get her killed, then this lesson becomes helpful, and not the act of a bully or a diversion.

I'm not sure what the intent of your last paragraph is? Heroes and heroines, in life as in fiction, are people. People are flawed. It appears that you are attempting to require that Egwene be "perfect" before being allowed to be a heroine? Please explain further (but concisely).
Helen Peters
217. Helen
@71 toddywatts
Yay for the pink ajah. The reds to find men who can channel, the pinks to find women who can channel :D

@89subwoofer
Um, I think we may have a different meaning of ‘the village bike’ over here east of the pond.

@96 CalaLily +
@102 alreadymadwithmoirainesfate
Talking about Mo going through the doorway. Before she went through she looked at Lan and ‘put him out of her head’. Now admittedly this can be read as stopped thinking about him, but could also be interpreted as passed the bond to Myrelle. Taking a huge pinch of salt there.


@110 drewlovs
Congratulations


Is the new post up yet? please?
toryx
218. Tenesmus
I have always thought that Mo Bale-ified Asmo, and the scene in this chapter where we see her listening to Rand and Asmo is the clincher. (to me anyway) She is listening, but she is also watching Rand's back. No doubt she would attack Asmo if she thought Rand could not control him. Note that Asmo is not knocked off until after Rand has defeated Rahvin on his own (learning to run). Mo has done everything she could possibly do for 20 years in service to the dragon. It is more than likely she asked the -Finn's what she could do to help the dragon, and presto, she gets a free pass at Asmo. In my mind, it fits together nicely.

RJ said Asmo's killer should be obvious, and the first time I read TFOH, I assumed that Mo killed Asmo, based on the info in the books to date. (Mo's use of Balefire, the shock of Asmo, etc) I had no idea there was even a great internet debate about it until much later. It just has always been Mo in my mind. We will see if I have been right all these years
Sydo Zandstra
219. Fiddler
Wetlandernw@180:

Because of their POV, we assume that Birgitte was ripped out of TAR in an untimely way, and that the Pattern is somehow "making the best of it." Indeed, what if said "ripping" was actually the intent of the Pattern this time around? (Can the Pattern be said to have intent? Hmmm...) Interesting thought to mull over when the hands are busy and the brain is free....


Somebody said 'IT IS NOT HERE' to Rand at Tarwin's Gap, back in tEotW...

We've all seen the influence of the DO. I think The Creator has some influence as well, in a more subtle way. Ta'veren influences (for good and bad, which is actually typical for the good side), and spinning out GC before Birgitte gets ripped out of TAR.

I'm really curious on why everybody thinks Gaidal Cain will or should play an important role in this story. To me he was only a sidekick to Birgitte while she was talking to real people in TAR, with even less talking lines than Daise Congar.

He disappeared. Birgitte got into the real world, saying she was disconnected from him. Let it lie there.
toryx
220. Mike Holmes
“Schemes within schemes,” Melaine murmured. “The Great Serpent is a good sign for you Aes Sedai, I think. Someday you may swallow yourselves by accident.”

Hahahahaha. Buuuuuurn.
toryx
221. jotto
Not Jesus, Jebus.
Arghya Raihan
222. Umbardacil
@216 Shimrod:

This is not my argument. I have not been involved in this from the beginning. I don't even usually take part in these discussions. But after reading your post I felt like I had to say something.

Your argument seems to be that different groups of people have different moral values and moral expectations and that it is narrow-minded to impose any one set of views on another. Is that so?

Rand changes Tear's laws to reflect his own views of justice. Mat frees the Aes Sedai taken as damane because he thinks that's wrong. Tuon, on the other hand, thinks the exact opposite. Who is right? Both? Neither? One of the most interesting things about WoT is the diversity of cultures and the differences (often extreme) that this diversity breeds. But that does not mean they are all equally valid. The Seanchan are almost universally hated in Randland. Would you argue that the Seanchan's views of how society should run are not despicable? That they are valid to that cultural view and therefore above criticism by others?

I would feel remorse if I accidentally hurt someone. If someone else does not, do you expect me to shrug that off because they have a "different value system" and think nothing of it? Ethics and morals have evolved over time in the real world and, I am certain, in WoT world as well. Once it would have been perfectly moral to murder someone for trivial insults. It would not now. That does not make the previous notion valid. If some people had not thought it wrong, why did it ever change?

People judge others by their own value systems. No single value system is inviolable to contradiction and internal hypocrisy. Simply because different value systems exist does not make them equal. An objective analysis of ethics is beyond the scope of this discussion, but all I want to say is that your assertion that it is "blinkered narcissism" to judge others by how oneself thinks and feels is contradictory. If I apply my value system only to myself and no one else, of what value is that?

Lastly, there's no indication in Egwene's thought processes after she wakes up that she conjured the nightmare to teach Nynaeve an important lesson. She does not think - "It was a good thing that she'd had a chance to show Nynaeve how dangerous the Dreamworld could be. Perhaps that fool woman would take more care not to come into Tel'aran'rhiod whensoever she pleased." She did not think anything like that. She confessed to herself that the berating and the nightmare had been only to distract and divert. Her motive is not helping a friend, but simply covering her own hide. If lying is despicable, so is that.
toryx
223. Rigel Kent
Just because you learn something from what someone does to you, does not mean they taught you a lesson.

If you attack me, and I learn the world is a dangerous place, and I am more careful in the future and survive an attack that I wouldn't have beforehand, I certainly don't owe anything to you for that survival. And you most certainly are not my friend.

Egwene is the sort of person that if you have something she wants and/or authority or power over her, she will kiss your ass until you feel her tongue on your tonsils. (The only exception to this is her captivity with the Seanchan, and there no matter how much ass she kissed she never would've been considered more than an animal, so I can see why she wouldn't.)

But once she has it, or no longer wants it, or finds something better you are the dirt beneath her feet. Even worse, if she has power or authority over you...

At the beginning she followed Nynaeve around like a puppy wanting to become Wisdom. Then Morraine showed up with the one power, and Nynaeve got short shrift. Then the Aiel with dream walking.

Nynaeve unintentionally threatened Egwene getting what she wanted, remember the Aiel dream walkers said they'd stop teaching Egwene if they found her going to TAR without their permission.

So Egwene beat Nynaeve and humiliated her and terrorized her until she was sure Nynaeve would stay quiet. Any "lessons" Nynaeve learned from this ordeal are to her own credit, not Egwene's.

So to those who think that what Egwene did was okay, or that we should "cut her some slack", imagine someone whom you considered a friend beat you, terrorized you, and humiliated you because doing so would get them something they want. How okay would you be with that?
toryx
224. Mightymouse1107
Funny that this is the point where everyone starts to hate Egwene. This is the point where I start to really like her. (Which may also be a result of my utter annoyance with Nynaeve throughout recent chapters).

The most important thing that the Aiel teach Egwene is that the world is a brutal, violent place that won't care a whit if what happens to you is hurtful or unfair. Now, a lot of people can say that they understand that, but I believe the Aiel feel it, live it, right down to their bones. I believe acceptance of this may be one of the main sources of Aiel humor, and why it's impenetrable to non-Aiel. And Egwene, as we all know, is the Queen of Adaptation. She has come close to fully assimilating to Aiel culture.

I can easily picture Amys doing to Nynaeve what Egwene did, and the other Wise Ones not batting an eye. "The Three-Fold Land/Dreamworld is a hard place", etc. So if you want to condemn Egwene, you first have to condemn the entire Aiel culture.

But, more specifically regarding Egwene and Nynaeve... there just isn't time. Nynaeve IS behaving like a spoiled little bint at this point, and Egwene IS the one most equipped to lead at this point. There is no time to say things like "Pretty please, Nynaeve, with sugar on top?", shouting at her will only cause her to dig in, and doing things like making a switch of Air and swatting her too much resembles the pranks they play on each other. A complete, terrifying shock is the only thing traumatic enough to do what needs to be done and reorganize their relationship in short order.

So, yes, Egwene was 100% justified, and yes, may even UNDERSTAND that she is terrifying and humiliating a friend, and on some level may know she is damaging that friendship because of it. But Egwene, more than any other character, is capable of doing what has to be done, and accepting the price of that.

I would also say, Egwene is not some "kiss ass" as Rigel says. She does what has to be done. She needs to understand TAR, so she does what must be done to get that training. If that means showing subservience to the Wise Ones, so be it. Just as Moiraine has learned to show obedience to Rand in order to do what must be done.

But Egwene's behavior in Salidar, and later in the Tower, shows she is not some easily cowed weakling. She is the opposite.

Would I be upset with my friend for doing what Egwene did? Yes. But that's the wrong way to look at this. This interaction wasn't about their friendship, it was about making sure 1) Nynaeve doesn't get herself killed and 2) Establishing the power dynamic so Nynaeve doesn't lead anymore, but can still participate in fighting the Dark One (because Nynaeve is completely ill-equipped to lead right now.) As for the giggling... like I said, Aiel humor. Its a hard world, and Egwene has adopted that worldview (and I contend keeps it all the way through The Gathering Storm.)

Moiraine gets this. That's the "speaking as equals" thing at the end there. Its clear to me at that moment that, even though Moiraine might not know Egwene will become Amyrlin, she certainly expects Egwene to be the one to take over a position of leadership once Moiraine is gone.
Doug LeBeau
225. dlebeau
Well, just a note on why I think the Aiel find everyone who can channel; I think that it has more to do with how they interact with their populace than the number of people in the waste.

We are not given over much information on how many Aiel there are or how the individual septs within a clan live. It is quite clear however that the septs live separately from each other, maybe all in the same region as the rest of the clan but not say, all in Cold Rocks Hold (for the Taardad, as an example).

The big difference is that the Wise Ones interact with the Aiel on a daily basis, they know each other. The Aes Sedai sit in the White Tower and most of the continent fears and/or hates them. They do not live amongst the community.

Egwene, for quite a while in the books, is willing to lash out at someone to cover up her own lies or mistakes (re dreaming without the consent of the Wise Ones). It is the main reason I dislike her character.
Stefan Mitev
226. Bergmaniac
I realise I am way behind everyone in commenting on this chapters, but I just have to give my 2 cents on the whole Eg/Nyn discussion.

This incident which more than anything else in the series made me dislike Egwene and confirmed for me she's the type of person I'd never want for a friend. She summoned two brutes to physically abuse her friend and scare her out of her mind, just to cover up her lie and to get the upper hand in the relationship. This is a horrible act in my book and simply inexcusable. Not only that, but she never even considered apologising to Nynaeve for it. And of course, she never admitted to Nynaeve and Elayne she lied to them by not telling them she wasn't allowed to go alone in TAR without supervision from the Wise Ones.

Not only Egwene treated Nynaeve horribly for selfish reasons, she was being extremely hypocritical. She lectured Nynaeve about the dangers of TAR and even created the brutes as a kind of a lesson, yet at the same time she herself was risking even more all the time by going there alone against the instructions of her own teachers. She was all judgemental when Nynaeve admitted her own minor lie, yet Egwene herself lied repeadly by not telling Nynaeve the truth about her own going behind the back of the Wise Ones and breaking her word numerous times.

It says a lot about Egwene's character that instead of explaining to Nynaeve and Elayne the situation with the Wise Ones and trusting them to support her and understand her reasons for lying (the LB is coming and there's no time for caution, etc), she chose to browbeat, threaten and in this case physically abuse them instead. In order to save a bit of her reputation, she chose to treat her friends like garbage.

I don't buy the justifications offered in the comments here that Egwene summoned those brutes to teach Nynaeve a necessary lesson about the dangers of TAR. Her PoV after that is quite clear that all she did to Nynaeve in this chapter was mainly motivated by the desire to keep Nynaeve from discovering that Egwene was breaking her promise to the Wise Ones. The second thing motivating Egwene here was the desire to take the upper hand in her relationship with Nynaeve. Teaching lessons about safety in TAR is a distant third. I doubt she believed any warning would work on Nynaeve, anyway, she knew Nynaeve was as stubborn as herself, and Amys's lessons didn't teach Egwene caution in TAR. And we saw that Nynaeve was soon back in TAR risking as much as before.

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