Jun 12 2009 11:43am

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 8

Salutations! Welcome to another Wheel of Time Re-read post!

Today, my fine feathered jalopies, we are covering Chapters 16-18 of The Fires of Heaven, in which we ogle pretty boys, watch bad things happen to bad people, and run away to join the circus. You know, like you do.

Previous entries are here. Please note as always that this and all other posts are swarming, nay, seething with spoilers for all currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, don’t read. And you have read, bring Raid.

And I think that puts us straight with the Lawd, or at least with people who hate spoilers. Which might include the Lawd, for all I know, except you’d think an omnipotent being would already know the ending to everything, so she probably couldn’t BE spoiled, hey?

...What was I talking about? Oh yes. Onward!

Chapter 16: An Unexpected Offer

What Happens
Nynaeve wakes from bad dreams of being dragged before the Amyrlin, who is either Elaida or Moghedien, while Rand lies next to her desk, leashed and muzzled like a dog. She had told Elayne the night before that her scratches came from brambles, though she suspects Elayne didn't believe her. Elayne rises soon after, and as they prepare for the day they debate over whether Elayne's plan to take ship for Tear is better than Nynaeve’s idea to go overland, as Nynaeve still cannot remember the name of the place the Blues were supposedly gathering, but come to no decision. They go downstairs for breakfast, even though the common room is half-filled with Whitecloaks. As they finish their meal:

“I thought it was you, Elayne, but the hair put me off at first.”

Nynaeve stared at Galad, Elayne's half-brother. Stared was the word, of course. Tall and steely slender, dark of hair and eye, he was the most handsome man she had ever seen. Handsome was not enough; he was gorgeous.

Nynaeve tells herself to get a grip, and asks fairly calmly what he is doing here, and Elayne asks, in a low fierce voice, what he is doing wearing that, and Nynaeve finally notices that he is in a Whitecloak uniform, with two knots of rank. Galad smiles (Nynaeve takes a deep breath) and says he is here because he was recalled from the north.

“And I am a Child of the Light because it seemed the right thing to do. Elayne, when you two and Egwene vanished, it did not take long for Gawyn and me to find out that you were not doing penance on a farm, whatever we were told. They had no right to involve you in their plots, Elayne. Any of you.”

Nynaeve comments that he gained rank quickly, and he shrugs, dismissing it as unimportant. Still quietly, Elayne asks if their mother knows about this, and Galad replies slightly uneasily that he hasn’t had time to write her. He adds, though, that she may not disapprove as much as Elayne thinks; he’s heard that she is not as friendly with “the north” as before. Elayne is puzzled, and says, but she trained in the Tower too, and Galad hushes her warningly, and Nynaeve realizes he has not once directly mentioned Aes Sedai or the Tower. He asks if Egwene is with them, and Elayne says no, and he sighs, commenting that Gawyn was “nearly unhinged” with worry over her, as he cares for her too.

Nynaeve took note of that “too.” The man had become a Whitecloak, yet he “cared for” a woman who wanted to be Aes Sedai. Men were so strange they were hardly human sometimes.

Elayne asks if Gawyn is here too, and Galad tells her that he remained in the north, though Nynaeve thinks that can’t be right, as it would mean Gawyn was supporting Elaida. Galad continues that all the corruption and vileness in that place “bubbled to the top”, and the woman who had sent them away has been deposed, stilled and executed. With a disgusted look, he says it was never a place for any of them, and he is sure he can get permission to escort his sister home to Caemlyn, where she will be safe. Nynaeve is numb with shock over the news about Siuan, and after a moment Elayne tells Galad that she must think on his offer, and asks for a little time. Nynaeve stares at her, and then they are interrupted by another Whitecloak, who claps Galad on the shoulder and asks to be introduced to the pretty ladies. Galad diverts the other man, and leaves with him, glancing back once with an indecisive expression. The moment he leaves, Elayne announces she is going back to her room, and requires her footman and driver. Nynaeve follows her upstairs to find her packing furiously. She asks what’s the matter, and Elayne tells her they must leave, immediately.

“Right this minute, wherever he is, Galad is puzzling over something he may never have faced before. Two things that are right, but opposite. To his mind it is right to tie me to a packhorse if necessary and haul me to Mother, to salve her worries and save me from becoming Aes Sedai, whatever I want. And it is also right to turn us in, to the Whitecloaks or the army or both. That is the law in Amadicia, and Whitecloak law, too. Aes Sedai are outlawed here [...] I embraced saidar the moment I saw him, and I won’t let it go until we are far from him.”

Nynaeve thinks she is overreacting, and Elayne tells her again that Galad always does what is right, no matter who it hurts, and if he decides the wrong way they could end up walking into a Whitecloak ambush. Juilin and Thom enter, and Elayne tells Thom that Galad is here, and he must remember what a monster he was as a child, and now he is a Whitecloak...


The words seemed to catch in her throat. She stared at Thom, mouth working soundlessly, but no more wide-eyed than he stared at her.

He sat down heavily on one of the chests, never taking his eyes from Elayne’s. “I —“ Clearing his throat roughly, he went on. “I thought I saw him, watching the inn. A Whitecloak. But he looked the man the boy would grow into. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise he grew into a Whitecloak at that.”


Thom says he thought she’d forgotten, and Elayne replies she remembered in Tanchico, and smiles and tugs one of his mustaches, both looking unsteady. Nynaeve has no idea what they’re going on about, and begins discussing with the equally puzzled Juilin how to get out without Galad seeing them, as Nynaeve sees from the window that he is seated outside watching the inn. Juilin offers to crack his skull, and Nynaeve thinks attacking a Whitecloak in Amadicia is a very bad idea.

She leaned over and yanked Thom’s nearest mustache. “Do you have anything to add? Any brilliant plans? Did all your listening to gossip yield anything that might help?”

He clapped a hand to his face and gave her an offended look. “Not unless you think there’s help in Ailron laying claim to some border villages in Altara. A strip the whole length of the border, from Salidar to So Eban to Mosra. Is there any help in that, Nynaeve? Is there? Try to pull a man’s mustache out of his face. Somebody ought to box your ears, for once.”

He begins explaining to Elayne the politics behind the move, and Nynaeve interrupts to bring them back on topic, though she thinks something in what Thom had said tickled her memory. Juilin reports that the only thing the thieves and smugglers in town want to talk about is whether that traveling menagerie will be allowed to perform, and Nynaeve cuts him off, saying that’s it, the menagerie. They all look at her like she’s crazy.

“Of course,” Thom said, much too mildly. “We can get Luca to bring the boar-horses back, and make off while they destroy some more of the town. I don’t know what you gave him, Nynaeve, but he threw a rock at us as we were driving off.”

Nynaeve nobly forgives him for his sarcasm, and explains that Luca said he wanted a patron, and now he’s going to get one. Elayne thinks this is a wonderful idea, and adds that Galad would never think to look in the direction of Ghealdan either. Nynaeve hadn’t thought of this, but pretends she did, and then tries to ignore the sudden taste of catsfern and mavinsleaf in her mouth. She sends Thom and Juilin off to get supplies, over their protests that one of them should stay behind to guard them. After they leave, Elayne points out that channeling doesn’t make them invincible, and Nynaeve acknowledges the value of the men’s help after the Macura incident, but is still determined that it will be when she says, not them. As they pack, she asks Elayne casually about whether she knew Thom from before; Elayne freezes a moment, then answers that he was Court Bard at her mother’s court when Elayne was little, and her mother’s lover. Nynaeve is astounded.

Now she knew why the girl behaved as she did with Thom. She had seen the same back in the Two Rivers a few times. A girl just old enough to really think of herself as a woman. Who else would she measure herself against except her mother? And sometimes, who better to compete against, to prove that she was a woman?

She’s not sure how to counteract the behavior, though. Nynaeve tries to suggest that he must have been like a second father to Elayne, and makes pointed references to his age, but Elayne doesn’t take the bait, and Nynaeve sighs and gives up for the moment, and thinks that for now Thom looks at Elayne as a daughter, but if she keeps this up he might remember she isn’t, and then she’ll be in real trouble. She asks if Elayne is certain about Galad, and Elayne is more than certain.

Muttering to herself, Nynaeve pulled a silk riding dress out of her chest. Sometimes she thought the Creator had only made men to cause trouble for women.

Holy crap, but Nynaeve cracks me up. Her pulling Thom’s mustache makes me laugh out loud every time.

She is also exactly on target re: Elayne’s infatuation with Thom. I saw someone in the comments refer to this as “an Electra complex”, but that’s not exactly what this is, I don’t think, especially since Thom is not her biological father or even her stepfather or anything similar. I don’t know what you would call Elayne’s situation or if it even has a name, but it should if it doesn’t, because I’ve seen this in action in real life.

As a side note, I went and read the Wikipedia entry on the Electra complex, and wow is that a pile of sexist bullshit. Please tell me there aren’t people who still believe penis envy is real.

Nynaeve’s nightmare at the beginning of the chapter about Rand being leashed and muzzled, while a horrible image, was a nice reminder of her loyalty to Rand at the same time.


Although, I have to say, his becoming a Whitecloak is not nearly so headdesk-y as it used to be, since I read the Prologue to KOD. Galad killing Eamon Valda in single combat, in fact, is one of the few things from KOD I remember clearly, because regardless of anything else Galad’s done or will do, killing Valda, aka the man who is such a tool even other Whitecloaks think he’s a tool, is unquestionably a great service to WOTkind. So Galad regained a great deal of credit in my eyes for that.

But pre-KOD, damn. I remember the first time I read this I was like OH YOU DID NOT, YOU STUPID STUPIDHEAD. Gah. Really, I think it’s kind of a tie between Galad and Gawyn over which one of them had the more asinine response to the Tower coup. Though I had to snicker a bit at Galad’s description of Gawyn as “nearly unhinged”. See, we’re not the only ones who think so!

By the way, why does no one ever believe Elayne when she says Galad is horrid? Granted, I think calling him a “monster” is a little much, but God knows I would never want to grow up with him. And anyone who would even momentarily consider turning his own sister (or half-sister, even) over to be tortured and then burned at the stake because of a point of law... well, in retrospect I think we can upgrade Galad to an Eurgh.

Chapter 17: Heading West

What Happens
Elayne pretends to be napping when the serving girl comes to bring them the deep bonnets Nynaeve had sent her for. As soon as she is gone they gather up what they can carry, don the bonnets, and head out the back, through the stableyard and out of town. They walk along the road until Thom and Juilin catch up with them in a green wagon. Thom mentions that he’s heard that Pedron Niall is trying to unite the nations against Rand, claiming he is a false Dragon; Elayne says firmly that her mother will support Rand, and she has as much influence as Niall.

The slight shake of Thom’s head denied the last, at least. Morgase ruled a wealthy nation, but there were Whitecloaks in every land and from every land. Nynaeve realized she was going to have to start paying more attention to Thom. Perhaps he really did know as much as he pretended.

She asks Elayne if she thinks they should have let Galad take them to Caemlyn, then, and Elayne says absolutely not; even if that would have been Galad’s decision, if Morgase is really turning against the Tower, Elayne wants to do all her talking with her mother via letter for a while. Thom comments that Morgase would teach Nynaeve manners quickly, and only grins when she sniffs loudly at him. They reach the menagerie camp, and Valan Luca sneers when he recognizes them. He says he sees Lady Morelin has come down in the world, or maybe she was never up in the first place, and is now running from the noble whose carriage she stole. Nynaeve tells him they can be his patrons, and he sneers again, but Elayne tells him that they will pay all his expenses plus a hundred gold marks if they can travel with him till the Ghealdan border. That stops Luca short, but he asks suspiciously if the Whitecloaks or the army is after her; Elayne tells him she’s discovered a marriage has been arranged for her in Cairhien, to a fat man three times her age, but there is “a red-haired Andorman” she intends to wed whatever her father wants. Luca demands that they show him the money, and Nynaeve angrily pulls out a purse and shakes it at him, and says he’ll be paid when they reach Ghealdan. Luca smiles unpleasantly and says they are still running, and he can’t risk them standing out, so if they come they will have to work just like everyone else. And since they have no talent to perform, he says, they can clean the animal cages. Thom stops Nynaeve from answering this, and begins juggling pebbles. Luca is not impressed at first, but then Thom adds more until he is juggling two circles of six at once, and adds he can also eat fire and throw knives, among other things. Luca is reluctantly won over, but says that doesn’t help with the rest of them. Elayne asks what the contraption over there is, and Luca tells her it’s the highwalker’s apparatus. Elayne says she can walk on it, and starts forward. Luca blocks her and tells her that their highwalker knew what he was doing and they just finished burying him.

“I will tell you what. You do not have to clean cages. You move into my wagon, and we will tell everyone you’re my ladylove. Just as a tale, of course.” His sly smile said he hoped for more than a tale.

Elayne makes him get out of her way, and Nynaeve thinks that Thom and Juilin should realize what she is doing and not look so anxious. Elayne climbs up on the platform, lifts up her skirts, and walks across the narrow rope as if walking down a street.

Abruptly Elayne put her hands down and turned two cartwheels, raven-black hair flailing, silk-stockinged legs flashing in the sun; For the merest instant as she righted herself, her skirts seemed to brush a flat surface before she snatched them up again. Two more steps took her to the far platform. “Did Master Sedrin do that, Master Luca?”

“He did somersaults,” he shouted back. In a mutter, he added, “But he did not have legs like that. A lady! Hah!”

Elayne tells him Juilin can do this too, and would have added Nynaeve, but Nynaeve shakes her head fiercely, knowing her stomach would not be able to take it, platform of Air or not. Juilin looks terrified, but goes up and highwalks once, quickly, praying the whole time. Luca likes the effect of Juilin pretending to be frightened to death, and swirls his cape over to “Nana”, asking what marvelous talent she had.

“I dole out the money,” she told him, slapping the scrip. “Unless you want to offer me your wagon?” She gave him a smile that wiped his clean away and backed him up two steps besides.

Luca introduces them to the rest of the menagerie crew, and Nynaeve is especially interested in Cerandin, the boar-horse handler, who speaks with a slurred accent Nynaeve finds very familiar. Everyone is generally welcoming, including Luca, who gives Elayne an invitation off to one side that earns him a slapped face. Nynaeve goes over to Cerandin and asks what the boar-horses are really called, and Cerandin tells her they are s’redit. Nynaeve asks if there are many s’redit in Seanchan, and Cerandin freezes a moment, then pretends not to know what she is talking about. Elayne joins them and tells Cerandin they heard Seanchan accents in Falme, and they will not hurt her.

That was more than Nynaeve was willing to promise; her memories of the Seanchan were not fond ones. And yet . . . A Seanchan helped you when you needed it. They are not all evil. Only most of them.

Cerandin sags, and admits she was left behind in Falme, and these three s’redit were all she could save. Nynaeve asks if she was a sul’dam, but Cerandin answers that she has no ability with the a’dam, and has always been a s’redit trainer. She comments that they know a lot about Seanchan, and Nynaeve tells her they want to know more. Elayne adds that they will protect her if need be. Cerandin studies them for a moment, and suddenly prostrates herself in front of Elayne.

“You are a High Lady of this land, just as you told Luca. I did not realize. Forgive me, High Lady. I submit myself to you.” And she kissed the ground in front of Elayne’s feet. Elayne’s eyes looked ready to leap out of her face.

Nynaeve hisses frantically for the woman to get up before someone notices, but Cerandin doesn’t move until Elayne tells her the same. Elayne tells her such things are not required here, and she will teach Cerandin the proper way to behave in return for answering their questions. Cerandin bows nearly as submissively as the prostration, repeating she is Elayne’s, and Nynaeve thinks it’s going to be a long trip to Ghealdan.

Luca’s reaction to Nynaeve sharing his wagon is ten times funnier when you know what is eventually going to happen.

On Luca in general: I used to work in the entertainment industry, and let’s just say, I’ve met that guy. Multiple times. And yes, he’s hilarious – as long as you don’t have to actually work with him.

Is it just me, or is it a little strange that Juilin is that terrified of highwalking? Wasn’t he traipsing all over Tear’s rooftops with Mat the night the Stone fell?

Thom: I remember there was something of a fight back in the day over whether Thom’s feats of juggling were unrealistic, which resulted in one of my favorite email back-and-forths I ever got for the Missteps section in the WOTFAQ:

In TEOTW, Thom teaches Mat and Rand to juggle. By the time they reach Caemlyn Mat can perform “six ball circles”.

Which David Mortman interprets as a six-ball shower, and says: “No way. You could probably count the number of people in the world today who can shower six balls to a performance standard on the fingers of one hand. Assuming there are any. I’ve only twice seen a five ball shower done well. It’s certainly not something somebody could learn in a few weeks.”

Rachel Collier, however, disagrees: “A six-ball shower isn’t actually that uncommon. My ex-boyfriend was a serious (professional) juggler, and has juggled nine (I saw him - it certainly wasn’t graceful, but there were nine), which he says could possibly win him a world record if he could get in more than four full juggles which is the current record. Apparently eight is pretty rare, but seven is more common and six just takes a little skill and some practice. I agree with you though, that many of Thom’s juggling feats are awfully farfetched - given that nine is the VERY top number anyone has juggled now, when RJ mentions 10 and up to 14, I think, it’s unbelievable - do you suppose RJ doesn’t know anything about juggling, or is he just making Thom an even cooler guy by making it such a mind-boggling feat?”

Heh. I don’t know why that debate tickles me so much, but it does.

Cerandin: Kissing the ground? Ew. Especially when you consider they’re in an elephant paddock.

Speaking of which, I’m having trouble believing that keeping three elephants, even if one of them is a baby, could possibly be a paying proposition for Luca. Do you know how much elephants eat? Dainty gourmets they are not, is all I’m saying. Not to mention what the bears and horses and the strongman eat! How on earth can he afford all that?

Well, economic realism has never been one of the strong points of WOT, and really I’m pretty sanguine about it. Because economics is BORING.

Yes, I am twelve. But seriously, I don’t read fantasy to listen to characters debate the virtues of mercantilism vs. a free market economy. I... don’t read anything for that, actually. You guys should be happy I even know what mercantilism IS.

Chapter 18: A Hound of Darkness

What Happens
Liandrin rides through Amador, sneering at all the Whitecloaks from the safety of her deep bonnet, and enters the merchant’s house where she and the others are staying. Liandrin is annoyed she doesn’t have the palaces she was promised yet. She meets the merchant’s wife, Amellia, in the entrance hall, who tells her that there is someone upstairs with the others, from Tar Valon she thinks, and then begs her to help her husband. Liandrin tells her he should not have thought his oaths to the Great Lord could be so easily forgotten, and Amellia avers that he has learned his lesson. Liandrin tells her that she will see what Chesmal can do, and heads up, thinking Temaile had gotten carried away that time.

[Temaile] had been Gray Ajah before becoming Black, and she always made a point of spreading the pain evenly when she mediated; she had been very successful as a mediator, for she liked spreading pain. Chesmal said he might be able to do small tasks in a few months, so long as they were not too hard and no one raised a voice. She had been one of the best Healers in generations among the Yellow, so she should know.

She goes upstairs and is startled at the atmosphere in the drawing room; all of the other Black sisters look shaken and nervous, and Jeaine Caide is crying. Temaile is handing tea to a middle-aged woman who looks vaguely familiar to Liandrin; suddenly she recognizes her as Gyldin, their maid in Tanchico, and snaps that she’s gone too far this time. She tries to embrace saidar to teach her a lesson, and finds herself blocked. The woman tells her she is Moghedien, not Gyldin; Liandrin looks at the way the others are behaving and realizes it must be true, though she can’t understand why one of the Forsaken would willingly masquerade as a servant.

Liandrin spread her divided riding skirts as best she could in a deep curtsy. “We welcome you, Great Mistress. With the Chosen to lead us, we shall surely triumph before the Day of the Great Lord’s Return.”

Moghedien compliments her dryly on her erudition, and Liandrin tries to apologize for treating her as a servant in Tanchico, but Moghedien dismisses this irritably, saying of course Liandrin didn’t know who she was, that was the point. Liandrin says there is no need to shield her, and Moghedien is skeptical, since she’d had to teach all of the other sisters their place, but the glow around her vanishes. She tells Liandrin that she has tasks for her and the rest of the sisters there, and perhaps they will not be so inept now that Moghedien is at the reins. Liandrin protests, saying they have orders from the Tower, but Moghedien tells her that they serve whichever of the Chosen “snaps them up”, and no doubt whoever they took orders from in the Tower is now groveling before another of the Chosen. Liandrin notes that Moghedien not knowing who led the Black Ajah meant that the Forsaken were not all-powerful after all.

Liandrin had always imagined the Forsaken as close to omnipotent, something far beyond ordinary mortals. Perhaps the woman truly was in flight from the other Forsaken. To hand her over to them would surely earn her a high place. She might even become one of them. She had a trick, learned in childhood. And she could touch the Source.

Liandrin tries to assure Moghedien that they serve the Great Lord the same as her, and Moghedien disdainfully tells her that they are half-trained puppies compared to her. She tells Liandrin that the others have already tried their strength against her and learned their lesson, and she prefers that Liandrin get her lesson over with as well, so go ahead and try something. Asne Zeramene shakes her head slightly in warning to Liandrin, but Liandrin thinks there is still her trick. She goes to her knees and begins groveling,  and suddenly lashes out with the Power. But Moghedien blocks her instantly, and Liandrin writhes in pain on the floor. Moghedien stops the pain, and asks if Liandrin would like to see what the real version of her pitiful little trick is like.

Liandrin gazed up at her adoringly. Crawling across the floor, she pushed words through the sobs she still could not stop. “Forgive me, Great Mistress.” This magnificent woman, like a star in the heavens, a comet, above all kings and queens in wonder. “Forgive, please,” she begged, pressing kisses against the hem of Moghedien’s skirt as she babbled. “Forgive. I am a dog, a worm.”

Moghedien remarks that she is not Graendal, and releases the Compulsion on Liandrin, who lies weeping in horror at the memory of it. Moghedien asks if she is convinced, and Liandrin say yes, while thinking if she could only learn that, next time she could be sure of success. Moghedien observes that she may be one of those who needs a second lesson, but lets it go for now. Liandrin joins the rest of the Black sisters against the wall, where her ears and mouth are blocked shut with Air. One by one, Moghedien releases them and gives each orders that the others cannot hear, and sends them out. Rianna looks relieved at her orders, Marillin surprised and then eager, Jeaine horrified. Berylla and Falion show no expression, and Ispan kisses the hem of Moghedien’s dress. Then Moghedien releases the rest all at once, and tells them they will stay with her for the most important task, a “personal harvest”. She says there is a woman named Nynaeve al’Meara, and stops when she sees Liandrin’s reaction. She asks if Liandrin knows her, and Liandrin replies truthfully that she despises her.

“Very good. You five are going to find her for me. I want her alive. Oh, yes, I do want her alive.” Moghedien’s smile made Liandrin shiver; giving Nynaeve and the other two to her might be entirely suitable.

Liandrin listens eagerly as Moghedien continues, thinking that for this, her move against Moghedien could wait.

Liandrin kind of reminds me of the old joke about the minister who said that the definition of Satan was that he had no redeeming virtues, and the old lady who pointed out that he was persevering. Whatever else you want to say about Liandrin, girl does not give up. Even when she really, really should.

Moghedien’s statement about “you five” really confused me at first, because in the text it only says that when Liandrin is released she kneels between Chesmal and Asne, and never refers to the other two doing anything or even that they are there. But counting the ones who were sent off leaves, by deduction, Temaile and Eldrith, so, okay. It just seems weird to not-mention them that way.

Oh, and I guess Jeaine survived playing with balefire in Tanchico. Pity.

I believe this is the first hint that we get that there is a Forsaken in the Tower itself, which is old news to us now but at the time was Holy Crap-like in impact, I recall. I remember I thought at the time that it would turn out to be Semirhage, though I have no idea what led me to that (completely wrong) supposition.

Maybe I just really wanted to see Semirhage by that point, considering how much she’d been built up. Unlike Mesaana, who I think got mentioned maybe twice, total, before appearing in LOC. Really, though, Mesaana was kind of shafted throughout the series in the screentime department, even after LOC. So, so sad. (Not really.)

Aaaaaand that’s all I got for now. Have a scrumptious weekend, and if you have an excess of summer anywhere, please send it New York’s way, because I am over this cloudy gloomy stormy shit. This is not the June I ordered! See you Monday!

1. alreadymadwithbadmouthingbro
I wouldn't put Galad on the level of an eurgh.
Elayne, though, is an entirely different matter. Doesn't even trust her own half-brother. Denying their own bloodties. Assuming he would turn over his own sister to be tortured and executed. Assuming he would think as less of her as she of him. How low can one get?
Incidentally, how can always doing the right thing be bad? She justifies it by saying Galad doesn't care who gets hurt. I suspect Galad just caught her playing hooky too many times. And exercised his big brother privileges. Spanking.
2. toryx
As irritating as Moghedien can be (and may I say, what a great name for a Forsaken!) I really enjoy seeing her put Liandrin in her place. I don't know why, but I tend to enjoy evil people punishing other evil people. And lets face it, Liandrin deserves what she gets.

The time with the circus always bores the living daylights out of me. I tended to dread chapters turning to Elayne and Nynaeve in FoH no matter how many times I read it. I just couldn't really care about the circus stuff.
3. Lsana
While I can't speak for anyone else, I know why I don't believe Elayne when she says that Galad is so horrible: it's because he NEVER does anything to suggest that he is. I did believe her at first, but Galad kept doing good things and Elayne kept doing horrible things, so I eventually decided to switch my opinions of him. Most of what he does that Elayne thinks is terrible (for example, getting the guards when Rand appears in the garden), he's actually in the right. He makes only two questionable-bad decisions, and even those are understandable:

1. Joining the Whitecloaks. Yeah, we've seen that they are pretty twisted, but I can see how after a man has spent several months with Aes Sedai being alternately manipulated and ogled like a piece of meat, I can see how the idea of an ascetic organization opposed to Aes Sedai would be appealing.

2. The riot in Ghealdan. If we think of Elayne as a person, Galad's sister, then this is overkill. If we think of her as a political entity, though, Daughter-Heir of Andor, it gets murkier. If President Obama were in danger in a foreign country, I bet the Secret Service would do as much and more to get him out.

Even if we put both of these in the worst possible light, that's still just two bad decisions. If two bad decisions is enough to make someone horrible, Rand has got to be giving Satan a run for his money. Frankly, I'm more inclined to give the label "horrible" to someone who can't muster up the slightest bit of empathy for her orphaned half-brother.

Incidentally, there is zero evidence Galad ever thought of turning Elayne over to the Whitecloaks. She thinks he would, but he later says that he wouldn't have, and she also says that Galad never lies. In fact, the dialog when they meet suggests that he is far more aware of the danger and the need to be careful than she is.
4. cor-darei4life
Holy crap do i hate liandrin, and later Galena. There is something wholly hate-able about the whole black/red combo, one or two of the other black sisters have a redeaming quality or two between them...I have a soft spot for cats, so sue me.
5. swmdilla
I think Juilins fear of highwalking seems resonable. Walking on a roof is one thing, but a single wire..yikes.

i always wondered about the money situation in Randland, but its best RJ stayed away from that, i think i would lose interest fast.

I agree with you Leigh, who used the bowl of winds up in here?! I'm ready for summer already!
6. Jeff Dougan
Not a comment on the post per se, but neither this post nor Wednesday's are linked from the index page.

I was starting to get annoyed/concerned at this, thinking that something had happened to delay posts when I already have to miss next week's posts for being out of town, when I saw the New Posts link on the left-hand column and discovered that, lo and behold, it took me to a new post!

However, I'm loving reading all of the posts so far. It's good to read stuff from you again, Leigh.
Sean Banawnie
7. Seanie
Thanks for the gumball ..err.. post . Leigh. Yeah.Hmm .OK Didn't really think about it till you just mentioned it , yeah but some of the Forsaken really got a buildup. I'm looking forward to Cadsuane interrogating Semirhage.Waterboarding,anyone? *smirks*
And yes , the show gets old after a while with the sniping .... Birgitte is cool tho. Thom and Juilin,poor boys......I don't think Galad would turn them in but he probably feels torn over it (and guilty too) , but you should be able to fully trust your brother but hey look at Tuon's family .
Thanx for the early post today Leigh, now I can get on with my day , happylike.
8. toryx
Lsana @ 3.

While I can't speak for anyone else, I know why I don't believe Elayne when she says that Galad is so horrible: it's because he NEVER does anything to suggest that he is.

I'm inclined to agree. I even think joining the Whitecloaks makes sense, to a degree: He's not joining them for how they are but how they should be. Giving his determination to do the right thing in every circumstance that he can, joining an militant order that's dedicated to defeating the Shadow, particularly when TG is approaching, kind of is the right thing for him to do. It's not his fault that the Whitecloaks are filled with overzealous idiots and his leadership once he's in the group seems to be having a good impact on others.

Elayne's complaint always strikes me as the selfish child who couldn't get away with things because her older brother always tattled on her. Irritating, yes. Monstrous? Only to her.

Personally, I do tend to prefer Galad to Gawyn.
Leigh Butler
9. leighdb
Jeff Dougan @ 6:

The Index is updated now. Thanks for pointing it out.
Alice Arneson
10. Wetlandernw
Hey, how is joining up with an organization that would try to execute your mother as a witch "the right thing"? Aside from what happens later, Morgase wears the Great Serpent ring and was Tower-trained, so in spite of the fact that she can barely channel, the Whitecloaks in general would lump her right in with the AS. The only reason any of them DON'T when they could is that they are politicians (or power-hungry sadists) who would rather use her for other purposes. Maybe they as an organization have drifted from their original purpose and the AS-hatred isn't written into their code anywhere, but it's pretty clear from the books that AS-hating is way high up on their list of priorities.

So tell me again, how is it RIGHT to join an organization who would love to get their hands on your mother and sister, Question them and kill them? I just don't see it. Totally Eurgh-worthy.
Dan Sparks
11. RedHanded
@1 Alreadymad....

You have to remember that Elayne did grow up with Galad and so may have more information than we are given, hence her assertion that either way Galad will screw things up by doing what HE thinks is right. BUT I do agree with Lsana that besides those 2 bad decisions mentioned in her post we never see him be this monster that Elayne claims he is.

I suppose what it comes down to is that everyone has their own version of what's right and wrong based on either reasoned principles or not. Galad has limited information because no one ever talks to each other in these books and only knows Elayne could be in danger and probably is so he wants to get her out of danger. I highly doubt he would have turned her over to the Whitecloaks. It would make no sense for him to turn them over to Whitecloaks especially when he is looking to find a boat to help them leave later on. UMM he had plenty of chance to turn them over then. Just saying, Elayne wasn't thinking straight because of her emotion toward her step-brother which is definitely clouding her rational thinking. Shit, if she would have maybe told him how important what they were doing was, perhaps he would have joined them and who the hell couldn't use a bad ass swordsman? I know I could.
Sydo Zandstra
12. Fiddler

I'm finding Nynaeve tugging Thom's mustache hilarious as well. In fact, without Nynaeve's POV's the whole circus part would be dreadful to read.

(I know many people hate this part already, but I'm making a guess and say that these don't like Nynaeve ;) )

On Luca: He may be showy annoying to work with, but he's a survivor. Later chapters (in several books) will prove him to be so.

On Galad: I always found Elayne's reaction towards him overreacting. I'm with ARM on this one: Galad probably caught her out doing mischief and climbing trees against the Inner Wall in Caemlyn too much.

I like how RJ is using him in setting up the Whitecloaks for a Redemption in KoD.

Moghedien: don't ask me why, but that is my favourite Forsaken. Maybe it's because when captured, she still finds silent ways to resist or fight the leashes that are being put on her. Not only in her teachings to the Wonder Girls, but als when she's enslaved by Moridin's Cour'souvra and tries to hit Nynaeve with balefire anyway.

It will be interesting to see how 'never going to be afraid of anything again' will have affected her behaviour after the Battle at Shadar Logoth in WH.

Oh, for the latest Survey in FoH#7, my first language is Dutch. Apart from English, I have French and German in my bag as well (although the last two mostly in a passive way).
Dan Sparks
13. RedHanded
@10 Wetlandernw

It isn't right for Galad to join the Whitecloaks, but he isn't thinking straight. He just knows the tower fucked things up for him, Elayne, and Gawyn and the Whitecloaks are completely opposed to The White Tower. In that light it makes sense for him to join a group that hates what Galad thinks of as the ruin of his family. Hell if Nyn couldn't channel maybe she would have tried to be a Whitecloak seeing as how at first she joins Aes Sedai just to get back at Moraine and the tower for upsetting her duoptomanians(sp?).
Dan Sparks
14. RedHanded
@ 12
I speak English and Pig Latin, and I know some spanish. Tacos, nachos, spaghetti..?
Hugh Arai
15. HArai
Lsana@3: Very much in agreement with what you said. For the longest time in this series, Galad and Gawyn seem to be the only ones aware of the responsibility and duties being part of the royal family of Andor should bring you. They've all been well-taught, pre-Compulsion Morgase and Gareth Bryne would have been excellent teachers and examples. I think Elayne hates Galad because he does his duty and doesn't bend when she doesn't want to do hers, and likes Gawyn because he let her get away with it. I guess Dyelin must really really not want to be Queen because she'd sure make a better one than Elayne.

Wetlandernw@10: Just because the present Whitecloak leadership and Questioners act that way with AS, doesn't mean Lothair Mantelair wrote that. We know the Children of the Light were formed to fight Darkfriends. I think that's all we know for sure.
Galad would see himself as joining that. I strongly doubt the precepts included preemptive torture, raping women and burning out farmers. So I suspect since Galad knows his mother, sister and love interest aren't Darkfriends, it doesn't conflict for him. His main flaw appears to be how slow he is to realize hardly anyone else tries to live up to standards like he does. I don't think that makes him a monster. And finally as toryx pointed out - look what his example has done for the Children: 7000 men following him, having abandoned the Questioners and their corrupt leadership.
16. alreadymadwithdoubtinggalad
The man is an adult in his mid twenties. Not a boy that has to ask his extremely immature sister and absent mother for permission.

So yeah, the WC's would love to get their hands on his mother and sister, but at the same time, neither should be anywhere near the WC's either. Galad is an idealist. As toryx pointed out, he joined the WC not for what they've shown themselves to be, but what they should be based on the writings of Lothair Mantelar.

Incidentally, Galad may have joined the only organization that was forthcoming in its goals, at least to him. Lothair Mantelar's book was supposedly the bible of the WC's and he just received a copy. Compare that White Tower do as I say, don't do as I do and don't ask any questions. Yes the White Cloaks as an organization has become twisted over generations, but using that book would also give him an idea of what should be done to correct it. Contrast that to White Tower we are what we are, there's nothing you can do except make accomodations.

Better to question Elayne's reasoning for believing Galad would turn her over to the WC's.
17. Jormengrund
Love, love, LOOOOOVE the re-reads..

This has got to be one of my highlights of the week, coming in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to pour over the books and chapters I'd read, and get some other insight on the writing.

Coming to re-hash an old argument:

I have been re-reading the books myself, and in KOD it is confirmed that forkroot works on the men as well as the women. When Perrin talks with the Seanchan general about getting more forkroot, she gives the affirmation that not only does it affect women who can channel, but it also treats some men oddly as well. It is assumed by the Seanchan high command that these are men who can channel, since not ALL men or women are affected by it.

Keep up the great work Leigh! I'm adoring the commentary and summaries. They make my work week much less stressful.
James Jones
18. jamesedjones
13 RedHanded

I've got to side with Wetlandernw on this one. Galad's mind and actions are not Elayne's to know.

Is he a guy who always does what's right and simply joined an organization with the closest approximation to his own, unchanged code of ethics?

Or is he a guy who always does what's right and thus joined an organization with the closest approximation to his own judgment - and then pulled an Egwene on us and adopted thier view?

No way to know until KOD. Elayne's safest course is to avoid said overly judgemental bro and get as far away as possible.
James Jones
19. jamesedjones
Wow, looks like Leigh wants to get an early start on the weekend. Thanks for the quick post today! :D
20. apricotmarmalade
I don't think it's fair to target the Electra complex as sexist, given that it is the inverse of an Oedipal complex, which, although almost every man alive would claim it doesn't exist, we don't pin as a gender thing.

Although I think he's a pigheaded and totally wrong, I admire Galad - every man has to have a code to live by, and you can't argue that Galad doesn't do that.

Economics - reading Raymond E Feist taught me what derivatives trading was, which was pretty helpful in later studies. One of the few times compulsive consumption of fantasy novels has helped me at all.
Jason Deshaies
21. darxbane
Galad is far from and Eurgh character. Elayne is simply wrong about him. RJ is pulling the "beat you with an opinion till you accept it as fact" routine. There is no actual evidence to support any of it. There was never any actions he took that even suggested he would give his sister to the Whitecloaks. All he wanted was to see Elayne safely back in Caemlyn. Period.
RJ does this again with the riot. While the POV's make it seem Galad caused the riot, he did not. Nynaeve did. She made Galad and Masema promise to secure a ship for her, and when Galad secured the Riverserpent first, Masema went crazy and fired up his loony squad. Galad merely defended the ship from the rioters until Nynaeve and Co. could be safely on their way. Had Galad known that Masema so badly wanted the ship for the same reason he did, there most likely wouldn't have been a riot.

Finally, this is mostly opinion, but even him joining the CoL doesn't make him bad. He joined because of that Whitecloak Dianetics book Valda gave him. The Whitecloaks had obviously perverted the teachings of that book to their own zealotry (shocking). Galad does not fit that mold, and when he finally gets a POV, you finally understand him. If I recall the KoD prologue, his first order as the new Lord Captain Commander is to side with Aes Sedai for Tarmon Gai'don. Everything about him is conjecture and opinion. Elayne is jealous of her goody-goody half-brother. That is not so uncommon. She resents him so much that she excuses Nynaeve's involvement in the riot (which she would have never done otherwise. Hell, she doesn't even lay any blame on Masema! She is obviously bias, so her opinion of him can't be trusted.
Corey Ouellette
22. FU26
I was going to post about why Galad acutally was doing the right thing by joining the WC's, but I got beat to the punch when I refreshed.

I have never understood how with all 11? of the remaing Black Ajah members present, Moghedien could cower them all. Obviously she would have had to take them all 1v1 or 2v1, but another would feel the power and come help. Plus they could have easily linked. Maybe they really are loyal the the DO, but i think of darkfriends more as power hungry than actually like Satanic.

Been following since like Part 4 of EotW, but never posted.

For the surveys if anyone is actually folowing them anymore:

male, 21, ks
Currently working on a CSIS, MIS major and Business, Math minor.
My dad got me hooked on lord of the rings and belgariad when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade I think and never turned back in the Sci/Fi Fantasy genre. I read WOT first when I was 14ish.
English is my first and only true langue. Like someone else said I do speak some restaurant Spanish though. Prefer C# to any other language.
23. David-2
re Galad: Gawyn agrees with Elayne that Galad always does what's right, on the other hand, he likes Galad. (Or at least hangs around with him a lot.) I agree with the others: Elayne has a grudge against him that's out of proportion. It's because he caught her smoking in the gardens years ago and ratted on her.

I think Thom IS a totally awesome juggler. A random street performer doesn't get to be court-bard in Andor, you know.
24. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 10:

Hey, how is joining up with an organization that would try to execute your mother as a witch "the right thing"?

Well, a couple of thoughts immediately spring to mind: A. The whitecloaks can't try to execute his mother as a witch because that's only against the law in Amadicia. Given that even Morgase doesn't consider that to be a threat when she goes and tries to talk the King of A into helping her regain the throne, I'm guessing his lack of concern in that area is somewhat warrented.

Further, really, how often do the Whitecloaks really execute Aes Sedai? We know they talk about it, they certainly insult AS as witches all the time, but does it actually happen?

Most importantly, though, I think that Galad's experiences with the Aes Sedai and especially the Amyrlin Seat has pretty much given him plenty of reason to think that the WC are right about them. They've manipulated him, his brother Gawyn, his sister and Egwene and there's been nothing to indicate that they're right in anything they do, as far as he can see. Even his mother has turned against them. And he now knows that despite all AS oath-bound insistence to the contrary, the black ajah really exists.

As far as it goes with Elayne, one of the weaknesses between both Gawyn and Galad is their refusal to see her as anything more than a little girl playing at being Aes Sedai. I don't think either of them really are that aware that Elayne is as powerful as she is, and think she's primarily there for tradition more than to actually be an AS. That's a error in reasoning that also allows Galad to join an organization inimical to the AS without much personal conflict.
Luke M
25. lmelior
Which might include the Lawd, for all I know, except you’d think an omnipotent being would already know the ending to everything, so she probably couldn’t BE spoiled, hey?
Oh, I see what you did there. I contend that the Lawd is in fact omnigender, so any gender-specific pronoun is a grave verbal offense. Yur goin' ta Hay-il!

@apricot #20
I think it was the penis envy portion of it. By the way, the opposite Freud called "castration anxiety," So you might say that, according to Freud, girls want to be boys and boys are afraid of becoming girls. It's not hard to imagine Freud as sexist.

Heh, anyway the most recent Electra Complex comment was mine, though you'd have to go back a couple books to find the first offender (Mr. Fife I believe, though the correct term was brought up by someone else). It was fully in jest since we know from The Man Himself that Elayne is not Thom's daughter. I thought that penis envy had more to do with Freud's "female Oedipus Complex" (where he proposed girls are also attracted to their mother) instead of Jung's Electra Complex though.
Jason Deshaies
26. darxbane
@22 - How can one man hold an entire group at gunpoint? Because he has the gun. Now imagine how many more people he could hold if none of them had ever seen a gun before. Moghedian teaches them all a lesson individually, and what she uses is so foreign to them they can't know just how powerful she really is. Psychological warfare. Besides, they can't be sure the other Forsaken won't be majorly pissed they captured or killed one of their own. The Forsaken may not trust each other, but those who betray one may betray another.
Hugh Arai
27. HArai
darxbane@21: To be fair, Min has had viewings she describes as 'He will always do what is right, no matter who it hurts'. He would not be comfortable to live with for anyone who isn't as rigorous. Someone who won't allow themselves a white lie won't make for 100% smooth relationships. There's a reason more people pray for mercy than for justice.

Hmm. It occurs to me that perhaps part of Elayne's dislike is that she knows when she becomes Queen she's going to have to do what's right to be a proper ruler for Andor, and she doesn't want to accept what that might cost others.
Jason Deshaies
28. darxbane
@27 - I agree. I was not judging Elayne harshly, just pointing out that she was biased. I'm sure I would have similar disdain for an older sibling who was set such an impossible standard. Also, what is considered right is really opinion, isn't it? Will Galad follow the rules blindly, or does he just unwaveringly adhere to his own moral code? By that I mean that he will never lie, never allow another to be punished for his mistakes, and expects others to do the same? It seems to me Galad would be highly respected by the Aiel.
29. alreadymadwithgalad'schoice
toryx @24
You can't really blame Gawyn and Galad if they can't see how powerful Elayne is. Sure she's got serious One Power muscle, but she's also shown herself to be rather irresponsible. Plus, ain't no way you're gonna make two older brothers stop seeing little sister as baby sister.

As for taking the WC's over the WT, by this time, Galad may not be sure WC's are worse. He's been in the WT, and he's seen it mess up. Bad. At least the WC's are upfront about what they want to be. Never mind that they've become a bit excessive, but Galad can always read the book for guidance. By comparison, the WT has a bad habit of sealing away it's own history so that even its own members don't get it right.
Andrew Lovsness
30. drewlovs
And thus, the circus comes to town; all bow down and go to sleep for what feels like 10 books. There are a few decent moments during this time, but for the most part, I can't say I enjoy the turn of events.

And WHY didn't hearing the name Salidar remind Nynaeve?? I for one have been in her position, where you are vainly trying to remember a name of a person or place, and it just won't come to me; but if someone were to say it, it would instantly remind me. Perhaps that is just me.

And Galad...I would agree that he isn't the most likable person, but when I think of his life in general, I only feel bad for him. He lost his mother (and if he is anything close to normal, he blames himself), he was raised by a biological father who didn't love him but by a step-mother who did, and cannot find a true place in the world he lives in. His half brother is being groomed for the job HE should have, after all. So he looks at the world in complete black and white terms.

Of all the "hated characters" in these books, the one I can't agree on is indeed Galad. He just wants to do the right thing.
sandi vogel
31. sinfulcashew
22. FU26
male, 21, ks.....KS? What is that?
Kinky stinker, killer sexy, kooky slob?
Okay, anyone can take over now as, we can see clearly that I have no imagination for this kind of thing.

I went there and at first thought that it was referencing something in WOT. Wow, never heard of them and all the other references.

Elayne and Galad:
Probably he was held up as an example for her and Gawyn to follow as children. "Why can't you be more like Galad?" etc.
Jay Dauro
32. J.Dauro
We have seen that the CoL will tend to ignore local law, unless they are forced to pay attention. They will arrest, try and execute without taking someone before the local magistrate (or equivalent.) Galad has been raised as a noble, and a member of one of the ruling families that support the tower. There is no way Galad cannot be aware of the fact that they would kill his mother if they could, or of their hatred for the tower.

So even if Lothair Mantelar's book impresses him as being right (assuming that the CoL have corrupted this, since we do not get to read the book, we don't know) he has to know that the CoL do not follow this way.

And after he has joined, and been with them, he has seen how they truly behave. So maybe this is why he wants to get the girls away to safety.

But I cannot cut him any slack on joining. Unless he skipped class all those years (which would not be right,) he has to be aware of what he is doing.
33. OldWoman
So is Elayne considered a child and unable to make her own decisions? And does Gawyn feel he has the right to make her decisions and force her to follow them against her will because she is a child or because she is a Royal? Whether what he thinks is right or not is not the issue. Just asking.
34. David-2
BTW, I'll go against the conventional wisdom here and say that I kind of liked the circus chapters. (I like the KoD ones better.) But (skipping ahead a bit) none of you enjoyed Nyn's stint as a thrown-knife target?

"I suppose that means you want to skip the part where I'm blindfolded?" -- Thom
Michael Catapano
35. hoping
Love the early post

I generally skip alot of the circus story in my re-reads. I noticed this time that RJ twice said that N couldn't see the power glow around E. I guess that's because she is blocked? Never thought about it before.

Re the high wire.
N thought that their whole party would see E's ruse with the high wire act. Juilin was probably wondering if the power walkway would still be there. I know I would.
Hugh Arai
36. HArai
darxbane@28: I think he would be respected by the Aiel, and the Borderlanders as well. I think his behavior with Elayne and Nynaeve, not to mention what he does in KoD show he doesn't just blindly follow orders.

The interesting thing is that as far as actual observed behavior, I'd say the male characters similar to Galad are Lan, Rhuarc, Gareth Byrne, Rand. Female would be Moiraine, Siuan, Amys, Tuon, Egwene post-Aiel. They obviously don't all have the same moral code, but they all strive very hard to adhere to their own. Lan offered to break his once, for Nyneave, who said no because she knew it would break him. I'm not sure why Galad is the one considered to be a monster.
37. toryx
drewlovs @ 30.

And Galad...I would agree that he isn't the most likable person, but when I think of his life in general, I only feel bad for him. He lost his mother (and if he is anything close to normal, he blames himself)...

I think that this hits exactly on why Galad is the way he is. I don't recall off hand how old he was when his mother left, but children have the tendency to blame themselves when a parent goes away (as oppose to dying). If he hadn't been a better child, if he'd behaved better, maybe things would have been different.

Being perfect in every way that he can be, to always do the right thing, is a perfectly reasonable response to that sense of abandonment, even if he has no memory of her. Hell, especially if he has no memory of her.

I'm guessing that's exactly what RJ was thinking when he created Galad and personally, I think he pulls it off perfectly.

J.Dauro @ 32:

There is no way Galad cannot be aware of the fact that they would kill his mother if they could, or of their hatred for the tower.

Sorry, but the fact is that they wouldn't kill his mother if they could. We know this, because they could have killed her, and they didn't. Instead they try to use her, which isn't exactly a glowing commendation of them either, but it does show that your statement is not fact at all. And I'm guessing that Galad, versed in politics as he surely is, would be well aware of that.
Brian Kaul
38. bkaul
sinfulcashew@31: I was assuming KS = Kansas?
39. alreadymadwithgaladtalk
sinfulcashew @31
I thought Ks stood for Kansas. Or Kill Steal.

And yeah, I can see how that would make Elayne resent Galad.
40. Lsana
@30 drewlovs,

You forgot the part where Galad's biological father considers trying to take the throne and is murdered for it. It's almost certain he was old enough to have picked up on some of what was going on there, even if he didn't understand it all.

Also, while we can be sure that Morgase loved him, I don't know if Galad could have been as certain. He's never gotten to read her PoV chapters, and Morgase does seem to have a bad habit of proclaiming that she loves someone one day and the ordering that person exiled on pain of death the next day.

Take that along with his mother leaving him and a half-sister who makes no secret of the fact that she thinks he's subhuman, and it's really hard not feel sorry for him.

@32 J.Dauro,

The Whitecloaks don't have a lot of power in Andor (at least any part that actually is Andor rather than just lines on a map), so it's entirely possible that Galad might not have seen the Whitecloak methods personally. He's heard about them, surely, but mostly from people he no longer trusts.
Jason Deshaies
41. darxbane
@33, I don't think she is considered a child (at least not by Gawyn and Galad). In the end, neither Gawyn or Galad can really force her to do anything. Let's put it another way; is it fair to Gawyn or Galad that the future Queen of their country, the woman who they have been taught their whole lives to protect (and have sworn oaths as well), should be expected to just sit by and allow her to jump off a cliff? She is acting childish. She is showing no respect or understanding for their position, just her own. For people all grown up and able to take care of themselves, Nynaeve and Elayne sure need to be rescued a lot.
42. jlyman
@14 RedHanded
I speak English and Pig Latin, and I know some spanish. Tacos, nachos, spaghetti..?


Wouldn't that be tacos, nachos and longo noodle-o's?
Hugh Arai
43. HArai
Oldwoman@33: I think Gawyn feels that since Elayne is the Daughter-Heir and his sister and he is sworn to give his life to protect her, he has a right to know what the hell is going with her.
He never actually told her to do anything, he just asked people what the hell was going on. And no one told him. How that makes him the bad guy I'm not sure.

As for Galad, all he says is that the Tower is not a good place for them, which is hardly unreasonable since half the Tower has turned on the other half, and that she should go Caemlyn. which is also fairly reasonable since she's the Daughter-Heir. He doesn't try to force Elayne to do anything here. She freaks out and claims he will, so she and Nynaeve run away. That is not the same thing.

Morgase also felt she had a right to know what was going on, to the extent of forbidding Elaida to go back to Caemlyn with her when they wouldn't tell her and demanding Elayne go back to her. No one seems to feel that was bad of her though.

@41: I see you made the same arguments while I was typing this...
44. normalphil
Most of the points have been made (the only one I'm really invested in is that seizing and holding that ship wasn't a *bad* call for Galad to make, and pulling it off while having a fanatic nation-state thrown at you was actually kind of awesome and extremely brotherly), but I'll point out one thing-

Joining the Whitecloaks when he did meant that Galad got to avoid choosing which of his friends he'd support and which of his friends he'd kill when the Tower coup happened. And we all know what that did to Gawyn. Less "running off and joining the religious extremists" and more "a pox on your houses, I'm out of here and signing on with the group I find least intellectually offensive".

(later finds out the Whitecloaks are less than ideal)

"Still a good call to make. You sucked *that much*."
Marcus W
45. toryx
David-2 @ 34.

But (skipping ahead a bit) none of you enjoyed Nyn's stint as a thrown-knife target?

Nyn is my favorite part of the circus stuff. The quote you posted about Thom cracked me up too. But even Nynaeve's hilarious bits in those chapters weren't enough to ease my boredom that much, and I think even they grew old when Nynaeve freaked out about the red dress or the arrows for the umpteenth time.

Everyone Else: Okay, you guys have me posting enough to sign up. I'm now officially logged in, burn me.
j p
46. sps49
Liandrin apparently used Int and Wis as dump stats. Disappointed at unfulfilled promises from the Father of Lies? Slow learner re: Moggy?

We don't know what is in the WC book, but the current ones follow this chain:

Channelers caused the Breaking -> Chenneling is Evil -> Channelers are Darkfriends

I don't blame Elayne a bit for taking precautions against Galad following Amadicia law in Amadicia. She doesn't know he won't turn her in, and I think that is a big chance some want her to take. And doesn't Galad agree with her assessment of him, minus the emotional "monster" content?

EDITed italics
Jason Deshaies
47. darxbane
It's worth just to not have to put in the encryption code every post. Welcome aboard! I can feel the nations productivity slip another notch :).

I thought the circus parts were more exciting than much of the Tanchico stuff early on. It certainly wasn't the most exciting stuff, but there is definitely worse (see: Every Andor Besieger POV).

I love the Uno Nynaeve interactions. "perhaps you can swear every other sentence?"
Hugh Arai
48. HArai
toryx@45: Another victim of our fiendish plan!
49. alreadymadwithwctalk
normalphil @44
At least being a WC comes with a manual.

toryx @45
I liked the red dress when Birgitte "just breathe deeply" Silverbow was wearing it.
50. hari coplin
I actually think Thom could very well be Elayne's biological father, her and Gawyn's both. Thom after all was Morgase's lover at the time, and Taringail wasn't really a man Morgase would have cared to share a bed with, or really want to have a child with. Formally, of course, the children would be Taringail's, but whether he himself would have known whose they were or not, the issue would simply not have been made public in any case. After all, Taringail schemed to murder Morgase (and inevitable the children as well), and become king himself, after which he could have a new wife, and it was Thom who stopped this by killing Taringail.
Sean Banawnie
51. Seanie
normalphil @44 Ironically,Galad finds more loyalty,honesty and appreciation among Whitecloaks than Gawyn does among AS. Every time Geurg turns around someone is setting him up to be fragged . Elaida and Galina stand up please.
Wants to make me gag but its true.
Edit:Valda and Asunawa are exceptions to this obviously.
Marcus W
52. toryx
darxbane @ 47.

I love the Uno Nynaeve interactions. "perhaps you can swear every other sentence?"

Ha! That bit's good. Actually, I thought the whole thing picks up a little bit when she runs into Uno.

I enjoy Uno's efforts to contain himself, but I always feel sorry for him. Peace! I love his bloody swearing, especially on the audio book, burn me.

Thanks for the welcome! You too, HArai @ 48.
Brian Kaul
53. bkaul
@50: RJ has definitively said that Thom is not their father. Morgase's romantic fling with Thom apparently didn't start until after they were already born and their father was ... out of the picture. The text is ambiguous enough that people have speculated repeatedly about it, but "the Creator" said it's not so.
Corey Ouellette
54. FU26
I did mean KS to be Kansas... I know people tend to forget us. Although I do steal kills alot in CoD or CS.

I was trying to remember, do Thom and Galad ever meet as grown ups? If not, I wonder how Galad would take it if he knew Thom killed his father. Awkward...
55. hari coplin
Ah, I just read the evidence to the contrary that Thom is not Elayne's father, so be the previous comment corrected.
Sean Banawnie
56. Seanie
*grins* Yes ,burn me but Uno is a breath of fresh air. Sort of. Pardon the malametaphor. And welcome toryx, but I don't think the GNP can really shrink much further anyway.
James Jones
57. jamesedjones
45 Toryx

Whoo Hoo! Welcome to the Dark Side.

Go Light!
Sara H
58. LadyBelaine
Valan Luca's Menagerie:
I know I am probably in a distinct minority, but I have a special place in my heart for the whole circus subplot. I know people loathe this segment of the books, but I really love how it showcases Nynaeve and Elayne's personalities (for example, Elayne can cook!), plus it adds an unusual flourish for a story set in a quasi-medieval(well, Rennaissance) period.

Sue me.

(I do recall an old joke from usenet about how someone insists that the 'Nynaeve and Elayne Join the Circus' subplot was "lifted from an old episode of Charlies' Angels")

Liandrin and Co.:
Regarding Liandrin and her coven, I spent many useless hours trying to deduce what, exactly, some of the errands the BA sisters were assigned. We never really learn, right? I did like the small flash of insight that Liandrin had about the Forsaken not being all powerful. I also had a sense of fondness for the relatively nuanced layers of detail RJ imbued the original 13 BA with (that's an awfully constructed sentence, I know). And as a side note, I love the name 'Asne Zemerane.'

Galad and the Whitecloaks:
I never really had difficulty with Galad's decision to join the Whitecloaks. As originally written, I had the distinct impression that the Whitecloaks were a much more powerful and influential factor in Randlandian poltics, a sort of counterweight to the Aes Sedai and the White Tower. I mean, these guys tried to create a puppet nation and might have succeeded. If nothing else, the Whitecloaks seemed to have unsually heavy suasion in Andor. (plus, Galad killing Eamon Valda was one of my "hooray!" moments for the whole damned saga).

It always did strike me as a little too pat that each of young heroes come to lead their organization and/or nation state, but I certainly never pegged Galad to be the new Lord Captain Commander (or LCC). I thought it more likely that he would end up the King of Cairhien. :shrug:

Lastly, I nurtured a long-held secret theory that Cerandin was actually the Daughter of the Nine Moons, left stranded when the invasion was repelled at Falme, mostly because of the odd hints RJ kept giving us about how Nynaeve thinks she is hiding something, plus RJ's insane Conservation of Characters rule (everyone keeps running into those Tinkers, for example). I was slightly peeved when Tuon actually showed up and she wasn't Cerandin. Fooey.
sandi vogel
59. sinfulcashew
22. FU26
male, 21, ks.....KS? What is that?
Kinky stinker, killer sexy, kooky slob?
Okay, anyone can take over now as, we can see clearly that I have no imagination for this kind of thing.

I went there and at first thought that it was referencing something in WOT. Wow, never heard of them and all the other references.

Elayne and Galad:
Probably he was held up as an example for her and Gawyn to follow as children. "Why can't you be more like Galad?" etc.
Hugh Arai
60. HArai
sps49@46: I don't particually blame her either. I just point out to people who get mad at Galad and Gawyn for "ignoring Elayne's own decisions" that they don't actually try to force her into anything.
They know what they'd like her to do, but I don't see why they aren't allowed to have an opinion.

And yes, I think Galad does agree with her minus the emotional "monster" content. Of course, minus that content, how can always doing the right thing be bad?
Alice Arneson
61. Wetlandernw
For those asking, Galad was "an infant" when his mother left for the Waste. You figure out how old he could have been.

I just have to say that I personally am not fond of Galad, and I think his decision to join the Whitecloaks is wierd. But two comments that are as objective as I can make them:

1. Galad always does what is right according to his standards and knowledge. Is he always correct? Is he merciful? Is he kind? ummm... you figure it out. Just saying that "right" by his lights ain't necessarily "right".

2. Trying to define objectively why Elayne hates him is an exercise in futility. We don't have ANY of the back story that would explain her feeling, since it is already in place the first time we meet her. Even by now this is a 17-year-old girl and a 27-year-old brother, and it obviously had roots in a much younger age. Think about the potential for clash in, say, a 9-year-old girl and her 19-year-old brother given their respecitive personalities. Dispassionate reason isn't really applicable.

So we're stuck with each of us deciding for himself whether we think Galad is a Wow! or a Eurgh! character. I reserve my right to dislike him. ;)

62. Gentled Ben
re: Nynaeve and Thom in the first chapter covered today--So let's see if I have this right. Nynaeve yanking Thom's mustache when he's just sitting there is a crack up, but Perrin spanking Faile after she assaults him is offensive? Talk about "a pile of sexist bullshit..."
63. alreadymadwithpenisenvy
I still believe penis envy is real, Leigh.

In psychosexual development it is a theory to describe perceived behavior (kinda like evolution), not necessarily a literal envy of the penis. Although, literal penis envy is also not uncommon.
64. Lsana
@47 darxbane,

Interesting. I found the "perhaps you could only swear every other sentence" to be one of the parts I can't re-read. Yes, it's funny, but it knocks me out of the story. It's too perfect. Real people don't count their sentences in speech. Most don't even recognize exactly what their sentences are. That section has the effect of reminding me that this isn't what Uno said, but what Robert Jordan wrote, then went back and added a swear word to every other sentence. I'm now reading about the world rather than being in it.
Jason Deshaies
65. darxbane
What makes me laugh the most about Uno's attempted restraint is it reminds me of a challenge I made to a coworker. She doesn't like when we occaisionally swear, so she decided to put a swear jar in place, and bully us into putting money in it. I told her I'd only put money in if she would stop using "like" every. other. word. Needless to say, the swear jar is gone, but her attempts to stop saying "like" were exactly the way Uno is described when trying not to swear, right down to the "Gaahh!"
Sean Banawnie
66. Seanie
@63AMW *uhoh* I'll pull out a lawn chair in the bunker for ya. And a cold one. Or two. And I'm glad I finally figured out these damn bbcodes.
Marcus W
67. toryx
Gentleben @ 62.

At the risk of earning the wrath of everyone, I find both the mustache yanking and the spanking to be equally unoffensive. *shrug*

Alreadymad @ 63.

I don't buy the penis envy thing at all. Penis curiosity yes. But envy? Nah.

Breast envy, on the other hand, I absolutely believe in.

Lsana @ 64.

I've actually seen someone told to keep it to every other sentence, and I've seen him grow red faced in trying. So I found that bit very real.
Sean Banawnie
68. Seanie
toryx@67 Not only do I believe in it , I promote it.
69. J.Dauro
@37. toryx

Yes, they do not kill her. (Valda rapes her, both basically imprison her.) But it is made clear that Whitecloak policy is to kill any woman who has been to the Tower. Both Niall and Valda have to work to keep her alive so that they can use her to get Andor. Which do you think Galad would be taught?

I do like the circus sequences. Both of them. As I have said before, I am very young (in WOT age) so I didn't have to wait for a book. I believe this contributes to the fact that there is very little in any book that I do not like. (There are sections I skip in re-reads, but that's because a character I like is doing something really stupid, and I don't want to cringe.)
Joseph Blaidd
70. SteelBlaidd
Count me as one who enjoys our visits with P.T. Luca:-D

Part of Elayne's problem with Galad is that not only does he not let her getaway with anything, but he dosen't apear to resent Gawyn for usurping his position as First Prince of the Sword, and she cant understand why not, so she dosen't believe it. This means that on a fundimental, conspearicy thorist any-contrary-evidence-is-obviously-a-lie, level she dosen't trust Galad.

I think that her problem with him is so over the top that we are suposed to notice that it is irrational.

On a compleatly speculative side topic. Given that Galad and Gawyn are first degree relitives of two very powerful Sparkers(Rand, Elayne) and a weak Learner(Morgase) and more distantly related to another strong Sparker(Moraine) what are the odds that NIETHER ONE can learn to channel?

Also 1st English, 2nd Argintine Spanish
James Jones
71. jamesedjones
65 Darxbane

Your story reminded me of the best swear jar ever.

Edit: Hyperlink content, while censored for Superbowl, may be offensive to some.
Hugh Arai
72. HArai

Eurgh away. :)

Is he always correct? Is he merciful? Is he kind? ummm... you figure it out. Just saying that "right" by his lights ain't necessarily "right".

And this is different from everyone else in the books how? Why single him out?
sandi vogel
73. sinfulcashew
Hey, just an aside here.
Awhile ago I wrote that I was having a birthday.
That I was born on Fathers Day and that I would only be ? years old, like on Leap Year. Every four years.
Well, it occurred to me that that is wrong!
Being slow of cognitive abilities, it took awhile to realize it.
Actually I think if I only counted my birthday on years where it fell on Fathers Day, I would be pretty much younger. It would be every 7 or 8 years? (Too lazy to figure it out)
As it is, no one corrected me.

And I never really liked Galad. He is too goody-goody. Perfect. Unrealistic.
I doubt many people really like him as a person at all. He would be someone you couldn't get close to. Share 'secrets' with. Have much 'fun' with.
Helen Peters
74. Helen
I understand Elayne not liking Galad as I've got an older brother, who's not so much a goodygoody but a mummy's boy (in that he couldn't do anything wrong in her eyes), but I still love him. Don't know why.

@54 FU26
I think Sub is a scouser, us lot over here don’t know the codes for the different states.

@67 toryx
I’m with you on the tugging and spanking

@70 SteelBlaidd
On a completely speculative side topic. Given that Galad and Gawyn are first degree relatives of two very powerful Sparkers(Rand, Elayne) and a weak Learner(Morgase) and more distantly related to another strong Sparker(Moraine) what are the odds that NEITHER ONE can learn to channel?
Gawyn's not related to Rand.
Who says they can't learn? Has Taim or anyone tested them? Not born with the spark though.
Sydo Zandstra
75. Fiddler
Gentled Ben@62:

re: Nynaeve and Thom in the first chapter covered today--So let's see if I have this right. Nynaeve yanking Thom's mustache when he's just sitting there is a crack up, but Perrin spanking Faile after she assaults him is offensive? Talk about "a pile of sexist bullshit..."

I'm afraid you have missed the mark here.

Nynaeve yanking Thoms mustache is funny because Elayne did that at times in her remembrances as a kid, and just did so again right before Nynaeve did it. There was the whole remembrance-Thom-being-Morgase's-lover going on there.

Nynaeve wanted some answers, and she tugged Thom's mustache right after she saw Elayne doing it, and the admissions that went with it. She just tugged harder, to make a point. That's Wisdom-Nynaeve! :D

Cruel on a man? Yes. Hilariously funny? Yes.

About Perrin spanking Faile, first, these situations aren't related.

Second, I don't recall people here saying that was offensive.
Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
HArai @72

And this is different from everyone else in the books how? Why single him out?

Jason Deshaies
77. darxbane
hARAI@72, I completely agree. It's pretty obvious by the repeated times Galad does not act the way Elayne is sure of that her opinion of him is exaggerated, to say the least. We don't need to know exactly how she formed that opinion. The irony is that she repeatedly says he will never, ever lie, even to save himself, yet believes he will turn them in after promising to make sure they get safely back to Caemlyn. Talk about trying to have it both ways.
Alice Arneson
78. Wetlandernw
Helen @74
toryx @67

On yanking and spanking...

Me too. *shrug*
Jason Deshaies
79. darxbane
@78, phrasing it that way gives it a whole new meaning ;)

@75, go back to the chapter summary and see Leigh's reaction to the off-screen spanking.
80. SNuBoi
Do we ever find out what happened to Jeaine Caide? I don't know why but I have always been curious about what Moghedien told her to do and why it horrified her.
81. Miythrandir
Leigh,I read the LotR re-read/watch and WOW - you're entries are way way better and entertaining. I think the author was angry, but even your frustration writing is funner to read.

@2 - I agree completely - the circus scenario makes me snore..bad. I remember Valan's show leaving the plot and I wanted to stand up and shout, YES. Then they came back and I started to weep. Good thing Jordan's other scenes more than make up for it
82. Gentled Ben
Fiddler @75--Yes, I did miss the mark then! :P
I only caught what I took to be a double standard and puffed myself up for rant-mode without checking the context of the tug. So, in my best Emily Latella voice, "Nevermind." :-{
It was Leigh who was upset by the spanking, Fiddler, not necessarily the other readers.

To the others, I am not offended by either the tug or the spanking either, but I was offended at what I thought was a double-standard. Boy, had this been a real emergency, I would have been ready to argue. Instead, I just embarrassed myself. :-)
Alice Arneson
83. Wetlandernw
Fiddler @75

Check out The Shadow Rising, Part 9, if your blood pressure can stand it. Me, I'd say have an airsick bag on standby if you decide to read...

Edit: GentledBen @ 82
Ummmm... If you read through the comments (if you can stand it) there was a raging (and I do mean raging) debate over the whole thing. We lost a reader or two on it. Never felt the loss much, myself, but then I'm callous that way.
84. TheRightWing
If you think about it, Mesaana may not be getting shafted amy screentime at all. Remember, RJ said that by COT we are supposed to be able to figure out Mesaana's identity in the White Tower, so maybe we ARE seeing a lot of her and just don't know it.
Corey Ouellette
85. FU26
@74 Helen
If you are a scouser, I have to say MANCHESTER UNITED!! Although we did choke hardcore in Champions League.

@26 darxbane
I don't know that the whole holding someone at gun point analogy works for me there, though I do get your point. While she may have a gun, they would also have a similar, if weaker weapon (machine gun v pistol?) and numbers. I'll chalk it up as necessary just don't think it would have worked. Also, I think it is a little out of character for Moghedien to just bust in on 11 channelers and subdue them by force. Maybe it's just me but seems weird.
86. alreadymadwithnewimpostor
63 is fake. I don't touch psychosexual theory with a ten-foot pole. Most "experts" in the field have their own little issues anyway.

Helen @74
Scouser? What's that?
Luke M
87. lmelior
According to encyclopaedia-wot's entry on Jeaine Caide, she never shows up again. Neither does Berylla Naron or Rianna Andomeran. The former was horrified, but the other two show little reaction to their orders. I can't find any theories as to what those orders were, though.
Helen Peters
88. Helen
@85 FU26
No, sub's a scouser (I think), it was he who didn't know Ks is Kansas, though I wasn't sure myself. I'm from Sy myself, :D
Why Man. U? Have they won something recently? Sorry don't follow football. Liverpool and/or Leeds were always top of the league when I was growing up and I've not really got much further than that.
Jason Deshaies
89. darxbane
I will adjust my analogy for you: Moghedian is in full body armor with an M60 and the BA's have flintlocks. Also, Moghedian didn't just barge in, she pretended to be a servant for a while, allowing herself to be bossed around while gaining intel. When she was satisfied that she knew exactly how to manipulate them all, she made herself known. The BA's don't like each other much, and most likely wouldn't trust one another to control the flows, even if it meant defeating a forsaken. They certainly wouldn't do it spontaneously.
90. Damplander
On Elayne's feelings on Galad I'd like to add that obviously her dislike stems from childhood conflicts with his belief in his rightness.

But that it most likely became so over the top because most of the people she tells this to are other women. Don't forget the normal response most women in the book have to Galad near instant panting and ogling. As such they have no interest in listening to or beliving Elayne.

Therefore not only does she dislike Galad for how he acts but it must really piss her off that almost every woman she knows and talks to poo-poo's her because Galad is so Dreamy!!
Alice Arneson
91. Wetlandernw
lmelior @87

I'm guessing that means they'll show up in the next three books somewhere? Or possibly RJ/BS decide that those are loose ends that we'll just... lose. I really am curious, though. Maybe we should start some looney theories.

"Strange notions? Yeah, I've got your strange notions right here."
Helen Peters
92. Helen
@86 AMW
Sorry missed your post, scouser is native of Liverpool, or Liverpudlian. NEVER to be confused with Geordie from Newcastle.
93. Maimie
On Juilin being horrified of wire-walking: I think it's partly (or mostly) because he guesses Elayne must be using saidar, he knows she isn't suicidal enough to not to use it. Juilin is from Tear and is probably not too happy to have the One Power used very close to him, not to mention that he has to rely his life on it. Most men in WOT are uneasy about channeling, Tairens are horrified.
Hugh Arai
94. HArai
Maimie@93: That's a really good point. After all the SGs are all channelers and close friends to Rand and they get really nervous when Rand uses the OP. And it wouldn't be just Tairen cultural bias. Juilin's been exposed to "Compulsion-lite" from Liandrin, being touched with the OP is not going to be happy happy for him.
95. Valan
And I think that puts us straight with the Lawd, or at least with people who hate spoilers. Which might include the Lawd, for all I know, except you’d think an omnipotent being would already know the ending to everything, so she probably couldn’t BE spoiled, hey?

Have you been watching Dogma again Leigh? ;)


I can't believe there's already 95 freakin comments to read.
96. alreadymadwithjuilinonhighwire
I thought so too. Isn't much Juilin's afraid of.
Luke M
97. lmelior
@Wetlandernw 91
I bet they will show up. To recap there are 11 BA left at this point; Marillin is sent to Caemlyn (probably as a spy, later meets up with DF assassin Shiaine), Falion and Ispan are sent to Ebou Dar for the *angreal cache, and Liandrin, Temaile, Chesmal, Asne and Eldrith are sent to chase Nynaeve.

The other three were probably simply sent elsewhere to spy, but that's no fun, so:

Moghedien's unknown orders theory #1:

Jeaine Caide was ordered to be Moghedien's pillow friend. She is Domani and therefore best suited for the task, as Berylla is described as scrawny and Rianna is Kandori (we all know about Borderland women). The idea of being kept close to a Forsaken that just captured 11 Aes Sedai must be rather horrifying.
Richard Fife
98. R.Fife
@95 And for once, I'm actually not reading them (scandal!). Also, yeah, considering what Juilin's act is (being a drunk that stumbles up the highwire), I don't think he's actually afraid of it.

Now, I disappear to try and get some work done this weekend! Wish me luck!
Hugh Arai
99. HArai
Valan@95: With Galad and the circus to rant about, I mean _discuss_? Pretty much guaranteed to get a big dose of reaction :)

lmelior@97: Eurgh.

R.Fife@98: Good luck!
100. alreadymadwithcountingblackajah
Doesn't Liandrin end up as Suroth's pet?

Or am I skipping too far ahead?
Leigh Butler
101. leighdb
Gentle Ben @ 62:

So let's see if I have this right. Nynaeve yanking Thom's mustache when he's just sitting there is a crack up, but Perrin spanking Faile after she assaults him is offensive?


Talk about "a pile of sexist bullshit..."

You are of course entitled to your opinion, but personally I find it difficult to see how the two incidents could be considered in any way equivalent. Try imagining each thing happening to you, and consider which one would be the more humiliating and demeaning experience.

@ 63:

I still believe penis envy is real, Leigh.

Then you subscribe to a theory which heavily implies that women are nothing more than broken or deficient men. Needless to say, I disagree.

Freud had a lot of good ideas, but he was severely hampered by the institutionalized sexism of his time, not to mention his own, shall we say, issues on the subject of sexuality in general, which is among the reasons why this theory is generally regarded by modern psychiatric circles to be bunk.
102. Questionable
As to spoiling an omnipotent being - I don't see why not. If that being also happened to be omniscient though, then you'd be struggling to spoil.
103. David-2
Imelior@97 - Darn! I was just about to post my own Jeaine Caide theory when I read your post, and now I'm sure you're right.

(My idea: She was sent to yank Thom's mustache and he handled her the same way he handled two kings.)
Claire Edwards
104. ClaireBelle
Just a quick one - how do we know Thom killed Taringail? Don't remember that anywhere...
105. alreadymadwhenLeighsaidneedlessly
Leigh @101:

I agree with you about Freud's relevance and personal issues. I even agree that he was fairly sexist (the bad kind) probably because of his socialization.

However, I don't think penis envy is about women being deficient. You don't seem to have any difficulty touting your ability to multi-task. I think we ought to celebrate our differences, perhaps even envy them.


Why do you think I'm a new impostor? Maybe you're fake.
106. Gentled Ben
Leigh@101: They are equivalent because they are both shaming physical assaults on a person of the opposite gender, in a situation where the victim doesn't really have a viable recourse. Faile, because she is simply overpowered, Thom, because any physical retaliation will be seen as an overreaction, or she will overcome him with the One Power. If Thom thought it was funny, the way he does when Elayne pulls his moustache, he would have laughed, rather than wishing for Nynaeve's ears to be boxed.

If Faile had not wished to be demeaned and humiliated, she should not have engaged Perrin in a physical contest. That he answered her blows to his face with a humiliating child's punishment was a mercy, as another woman would not have; it would have been on like Donkey Kong, and no one would have considered the other woman out of line for it, as it would have been self-defense.

Therein lies the sexism--it is okay for a woman to attack a man's face and thus humiliate him, but it is not okay for a man to respond in kind. I did not read or take part in the discussion during TSR, so forgive me if this has all been covered. That Thom's degree of humiliation is less than Faile's was, does not make it something other than humiliating, and Thom, at least, did nothing to provoke it. Violence against men is no funnier than violence against women, unless men and women are not equal...
Tony Zbaraschuk
107. tonyz
Claire @104: It's strongly implied during Moiraine's conversation with Thom in the Stone of Tear early in tSR.

As far as Liandrin goes, she's probably the character I most love to hate in the books, and I just love the poetic justice that gets done to her over the course of the books. Particularly this scene.
108. Pendragon
A few points here.

1) Elayne is quite possibly the character I hate the most of all characters in the series. The way she gets Vandene, and several other Aes Sedai and warders, not to mention soldiers killed just because she was so sure nothing could happen to her, makes me want her dead. The way she treats Galad is far worse than anything he likely has ever done to her. She slanders him left and right. I could write a whole page on how much I hate her. At this point I could barely stand her, but now I’ve read more and more of her, she is the monster in my opinion. A disgusting human being, with virtually ZERO redeeming qualities, and the LAST person who should be leading the most powerful nation in Randland.
2) Galad is misguided, and foolish, but nothing suggests he is cold and heartless. In fact, he deeply cares about several people and shows it. Add to this his badassness with a sword, his idealism, and his accomplishment of redeeming a seemingly unredeemable faction in WoT, he’s one of my favorite tertiary characters.
3) I may be the only person, but I really enjoyed the circus parts. As a general rule, I find Nynaeve and Elanye’s adventures to be snoozefest, aside from their time with Matt in ebou dar, and the circus. Luca is just a great character.

That is all for now. Flame on! ;)
Marcus W
109. toryx
Pendragon @108:

While Elayne is definitely one of the women who irritate me the most, I wouldn't call her cold or heartless. She cares a great deal, I think, and has gone out of her way to show that she cares not only for her friends but for the public as well, even commoners.

She's just so arrogant and full of her position that she tends to be incredibly selfish at the same time. Which is natural for an heir to any throne, I think.

I just wish she wasn't quite SO selfish. Her treatment of Galad aside, for the most part she's fairly benevolent and gentle with most of the people she meets, particularly if they treat her with respect.
110. Cowboy Funk
This was brought up in the last comments section I believe, but if Sea Folk seem to pass down the spark to channel amongst themselves (and maybe the Wise Ones too? Cant recall if any mention of this), yet it seems rare west of the is it that every queen of andor gets sent to the Tower for training to cememnt political bonds. Obviously they have the spark or can learn to it seems it is being passed down through the generations. Or do some queens not have the ability and just kinda kick it in the Tower and flirt with the Warders for their stint? And do they still get a nifty de-coder ring for their effort?
111. toddywatts
Okay, I glossed over the comments, but was everyone so busy Elayne bashing that they didn't notice that Thom shared her reaction to the news that Galad knew they were there?

Someone asked why Nynaeve didn't recognize Salidar, it's because she was looking for Sallie Daera -- okay, I know the Tower wouldn't say that, but I couldn't resist.

I think the closest thing we have to what Elayne is suffering is a Soon Yi Previn complex. After all, how much difference is there between your mother's lover and your stepfather?

Actually, I think people make too much of Elayne's fixation on Thom, but I probably don't remember everything.
112. stylusmobilus
Galad makes the point that he joined the Knights Templar 'because it seemed the right thing to do'. He also makes it fairly obvious that he and Gawyn are filthy at the AS 'meshing them in their plots'. There is enough in these to make one understand why he is now a Whitecloak. Gawyn's stance behind Elaida reflects much of the same opinion, though it is probably likely he has no time for the 'Templars' and therefore didn't join. All built into the pattern.
113. stylusmobilus
As for the most hated character, that has easily got to be Padan Fain. Easily.
Tess Laird
114. thewindrose
How about this for a looney theory-
We know Moghedien disgusied herself as Marigan. What about Nicola and Areina? All three show up in Samara and want to go with Nyn & El when they get off the boat for Salidar.
Nyn even thinks to herself about the three women,
"Each story could have been the reflection of a thread in her own life."
I pose that Nicola and Areina are two of the BA that Moggie has either taught how to disguise themselves, or did it for them(Jeaine Caide, Rianna Andorman, Berylla Naron being the choices).
115. Freelancer

I'm sure there were others that noticed, but who's going to comment about a lady speaking of her own age? Not stepping on that land mine...
And even with leap-years thrown in, your "every Father's Day" scenario calls for an average of once in 7 years. So you could "claim" that at 56 you were really just 8.

We lost a reader or two on it. Never felt the loss much, myself, but then I'm callous that way.

Sorry, dear. Nobody here buys that. Callous is one thing you clearly are not.

RE: Elayne v Galad

As soon as I get home I'll compose myself and present something more coherent than I'd be capable of just now, but the Elayne hatred is really just nutso.


When Moiraine and Thom are talking out of school about their intel on each other, Moiraine runs down a chronology of Thom's past in Caemlyn, his skill in the Game, that it was he who uncovered Taringail's plot to kill Morgase and become Andor's first king, and how fortunate for Morgase that Taringail was killed instead.

Speaking of Thom, somebody (sorry, no time to hunt for it now, I'll edit later) was considering the chance that Thom was Elayne and Gawyn's real father. First of all, Taringail was still alive, and Morgase didn't hate the man. Tigraine didn't love him when she left him for the Waste, but there's nothing to say the same of Morgase. So she would have to have been having an unfaithful affair with Thom while her husband lived, and for several years to produce both children. I don't believe you can find any way in the text to valid that as a possible occurence. Thom wouldn't (cf his talk about the bootmaker's wife), and no matter how inside out Morgase has been turned recently, there's a massive difference between a widow taking a lover, and a Queen stepping out on her Prince Consort.


I'm with you. Thom knows that it's time to head for the hills if Galad is a Whitecloak and knows of their presence. That indicates that at least some of the source of Elayne's feelings for Galad have a foundation in reality.
Alice Arneson
116. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @115

:) Thanks for the vote of confidence. Mostly I was thinking that when someone goes drama-queen and huffs off, I'm not going to regret their departure overmuch.

As soon as I get home I'll compose myself and present something more coherent than I'd be capable of just now, but the Elayne hatred is really just nutso.

I can't wait to read it!!
117. longtimefan
Gentled Ben and all,

While I will agree that it is frustrating (if not a bit frightening) that some comments will be made about violence towards women being deplorable yet violence towards men is hilarious and yet the general vibe on most threads is that people should be equal I cannot agree that a spanking would be equal to a mustache tug.

A braid pulling would be closer in its equivalency.

As for the spanking I suppose we will have to wait until Causuadne puts Rand over her knee and "teaches him some manners" before we have a parallel action in the series.

Sexism exists and as long as it benefits the person using it they will see nothing wrong with it. Even if it is just an author using it humorously because the general social standard allows it to exist.

I will stop here before I go into the long and angry rant about crotch shots being humor in America.
118. stylusmobilus

Fairly possible. Min did say in Salidar that 'those three you brought were trouble, and that is a viewing.' Nicola did cause a fair bit of trouble in Salidar. Two things that might bother me in regard to Nicola, however, is her strength, and the apparent Foretelling ability.
Sean Banawnie
119. Seanie
stylusmobilus@113 I disagree with your earlier statement about Fain. While horrible and well hated, I think Elaida gets even more hate .Fain is DF but Elaida is just awful . She is supposed to be a leader of the good but she is just well---awful. Fain does far worse things but he's evil. Survey time .......don't worry Wets , I'll tally this'un. Elaida ? Fain? Other nominees ? C'mon ,long wait to Monday .
Tess Laird
120. thewindrose
Seanie - Galina, Laindrin, definetly Elaida, Fain, Valda, Sevanna, Couladin, Masema
121. stylusmobilus
Yeah, Elaida's up there, but for some reason I only find her merely stupid. Fain always 'gets away' and it irritates the crap out of me. I'd love to see Fain cop a stream of balefire somewhat akin to what Rand gives Rahvin, or like the kamehamaya Gohan gives Cell in Dragonball Z. Something with passion.
Sean Banawnie
122. Seanie
Balefire would be too quick for him and I don't think the DO will be reincarnating him anyway.He needs to be dragged under Luca's wagon for eternity listening to the SG's whine (before they hit awesome). About a week or two ago I suggested in lieu of the chair of remorse for Elaida she instead gets the commode of comeuppance.
123. cantstandcaddy
Most hated characters?
Cadsuane #1 with Nynaevea a close #2

All the rest are tolerable.
Frank Skornia
124. FSkornia
I'm sure that this is something that has been discussed before, but since Elayne seems to be a focal point for some of these comments there is something that has been bugging me about her for a while.

We find out rather early in the series that when an Aes Sedai is raised to the shawl she is supposed to sever all her ties to family and nation. Essentially her entire loyalty (and obedience) was to the Amyrlin and the White Tower. So what happens when Elayne gets raised to the shawl? Shouldn't her severing the ties to nation mean that she should relinquish the crown of Andor? How can she be Queen of a nation, yet also be feal to the White Tower? Wouldn't that undermine her authority as Queen of Andor, and essentially put the White Tower in the same place as the White Cloaks in Amadicia? What happens if Elayne has to make a decision where one way harms Andor and the other harms the White Tower?

Has there been any answer to this situation? It gets even more convoluted considering the fact that Elayne is going to get (or has gotten - can't remember right now) the Sun Throne in Cairhein.
Alice Arneson
125. Wetlandernw
FSkornia @124

I don't know that this has been discussed a lot, but I can think of three instances which are relevant. 1) We know of at least one Aes Sedai queen in history: Queen Eldrene of Manetheren, at the time of the Trolloc Wars, was full Aes Sedai. Not sure if I'm remembering correctly, but I believe she was the last known full AS queen. No commentary in the books on how her responsibilities to Tower and her country were balanced. 2) In New Spring, there was serious talk of making Moiraine try for the throne of Cairhien, and iirc that was immediately after she was raised to the shawl. She left the Tower vewy vewy quietwy to avoid that particular entanglement and didn't go back for like 5 years. And somewhere... (maybe someone's read it recently and can point it out) someone in the Tower is mildly excited about the possibility of Elayne being the first full AS queen of Andor. (Come to think of it, though, that might have been Elayne...)

I'm guessing that for a queen they'd bend the rules pretty far. As far as the White Tower having authority over a Queen, the AS wouldn't see that as a problem; after all, they expect ANY king or queen to listen and obey when the Amyrlin speaks anyway. This would just (to them) be a situation where they'd have a queen who didn't need to be stepped on so much.

Sure will make a dog's dinner of the Succession, though, won't it?
Hugh Arai
126. HArai
FSkornia@124: The White Tower only pretends to be neutral. They want to be in control of Andor and everywhere else. So if Elayne was going to pass up the crown it would have been up to her to do so, because the Tower wouldn't have wanted her to.

Putting Aes Sedai on thrones apparently doesn't work very well however, people comment that no Aes Sedai has sat a throne for over a thousand years and even before that those that openly admitted it "fared badly". I guess the nations don't want to be Aes Sedai puppets. One can only hope Elayne finds it in her to be a proper ruler for Andor. She made a good start refusing to let Rand hand her the throne. It will be interesting to see what she does when Egwene tries to tell her what Andor should do.
Hugh Arai
127. HArai
Wetlandernw@125: Eldrene was betrayed by the Amyrlin so I don't think that balanced well :)
Sydo Zandstra
128. Fiddler

Check out The Shadow Rising, Part 9, if your blood pressure can stand it. Me, I'd say have an airsick bag on standby if you decide to read...

I'll pass on that one. I read some of it, and quit that one (I was too busy in RL too at the time).

Which is probably why I said what I said ;) Speaking for myself though, I didn't mind the Spanking. ;) Not because I'm a sexist (which I am not), but because Faile had it coming at the time.


As for the most hated character, that has easily got to be Padan Fain. Easily.

There's a difference between 'most evil' and 'most hated'. Fain is the most evil by far, excepting the DO. I still like to read about him though, so I don't really hate him. I do hate reading Elayne's parts in some books (bath scene in CoT for example, and the many times she uses italics in her thinking, like 'I will not let Rand hand me Andor').

I also hate reading about Tuon. Different culture or not, I find her irritating on a constant level. At least Elayne has some good parts in the story.


Looney theory: I pose that Nicola and Areina are two of the BA that Moggie has either taught how to disguise themselves, or did it for them(Jeaine Caide, Rianna Andorman, Berylla Naron being the choices).

I'll challenge you to fit in Nicola's learning curve into this one. :D

Seriously, Nicola has caused enough trouble already, even if she weren't a BA in disguise. About Areina: am I the only thinking she is Nicola's Bonded Warder already?


One can only hope Elayne finds it in her to be a proper ruler for Andor. She made a good start refusing to let Rand hand her the throne. It will be interesting to see what she does when Egwene tries to tell her what Andor should do.

I can't wait to see that happen! And maybe it will, because Elayne is certainly on Rand's side, while Egwene isn't anymore because she has to defend the White Tower's rights.

And don't forget Aviendha in this. She's first sister to Elayne.
sandi vogel
129. sinfulcashew

Thank you for the information re. my true age!
8 huh?
Well I must be one of those children that have that 'old' disease. (name gone, brain has frozen, tongue has seized, eyes crossed, fingers cramped.)

"Most hated characters?
Cadsuane #1 with Nynaevea a close #2"

I don't see how some can be hateful of the main characters.
The only character that gives me the chilly willys is Shadar Haran. Not sure of his name...the uber Myrrdraal? No rehabilitation for him!
Everyone else fills a niche. He is beyond evil. Of course that is his 'niche', I suppose.
And I can't remember how he was 'created'?

Of course Elaida is close to my limits. And Mordeith-Padan Fain? He is just loony. Off in his own little nasty world.

Cadsuane is one of my favorites. Like an old family Aunty with issues. Being gone sooooo long, just how close did she keep tabs on the happenings out in the world.

For some reason Tuon is one of my favorite.(shrug-smirksmile)
130. TheRightWing

Nicola is stronger than any of the 13 BA that escaped TV with Liandrin. Plus, if she was BA, I don't think she would be interested in drawing Egwene's attention to herself in a blackmail attempt. Ariena though...never really thought about that one. If the timing is right, then it may explain her proximity infatuation with Birgitte, who Moghedian had a personal malice towards and had good reason to want shadowed.
131. alreadymadwithlatestcounterfeit
Doesn't matter if you're new or the same old impostor as before. That's simply the newest and most recent attempt to claim my handle. Do you like copying somebody else's handle that much? How unoriginal.

TheRightWing @130
One might argue that Moggy wouldn't really concern herself with Birgitte much once she'd ripped her out of TAR.
132. birgit
how is it that every queen of andor gets sent to the Tower for training to cememnt political bonds. Obviously they have the spark or can learn to it seems it is being passed down through the generations.

The channel ability is passed on in the Morgase / Elayne family, which gained the throne in the Succession. The queens before them might be from a bloodline that has no channel gene (did Rand get it from his father?). When Morgase breaks free from Compulsion it is explained that all Andoran queens train in the Tower and get the ring even if they can't channel. When Morgase was in the Tower she was just a noble, but when she got the throne they gave her the ring although she hadn't earned it.
Helen Peters
133. Helen
@125 wetlander
And somewhere... (maybe someone's read it recently and can point it out) someone in the Tower is mildly excited about the possibility of Elayne being the first full AS queen of Andor. (Come to think of it, though, that might have been Elayne...)

I think that may have been Elaida, all stuffed up with the Kudos for 'finding' her and bringing her to the tower, which we now know means it’s not going to happen,,, ;)
Sydo Zandstra
134. Fiddler
Totally off the subject, but I feel I have to share.

When I started reading WoT (in English) back when tEotW and tGH came out in paperback, and got excited whenever a new book was to be published, my mother (69 now) couldn't understand why.

2 weeks ago, I sent her the Dutch translations of NS, tEotW and tGH. Now she complains she can't get anything done because she cannot stop reading. :D

Since it's useless to debate anything with your mother, I held my silence.

And then sent her the Dutch translations of tDR and tSR...
135. 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
136. stylusmobilus

Yeah, I probably wrote that badly. I should have said he is my most hated character. I like reading about him, but he is still definitely my most hated.
Ed Rafferty
137. BigBoy57
Just a thought but I can't see that a character like Gaidal Cain will not make an appearance before Tarmon Gaidon has come and gone - especially as Birgitte has had such a large role to play.

The question is how can he make an appearance with him still being seen in TA'R not so long ago?

Easy baby - this is fantasy! Why can't the heroes be re-inserted into "the Age Lace" whenever they are required? It defies causality you say - hah! we doan need no stinkin' causality! If they are required to have been born 30 years before they leave TA'R who cares, have at it.

In fact who in the story at present is just the type of man that Birgitte prefers? Step forward Uno and take a bow.When do the heroes recall their earlier lives when they have been re-incarnated? Good question - RAFO (if only).
Sydo Zandstra
138. Fiddler

He IS evil. And when he shows up, evil stuff happens. Which is good for reading. :)


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

Sorry, but you weren't. ;)

Although it's too early to start the Who-Killed-Asmodean yet, I'll take the pitch.

It certainly wasn't Moiraine (btw, 'Mo' could mean Moghedien as well, but from your post I concluded you meant Moiraine).

By the time Asmodean was killed, Moiraine had already taken Lanfear through the door into Eelfinn territory.

Common thought, after years of debating, is that it was Graendal.
139. stylusmobilus
On Asmo (yes I know we should wait, but since it's been mentioned I can't stand it) I have, for some reason always suspected Aviendha. I thought that perhaps Moiraine told her who he was before she went through the doorway ter'angreal and, given the Aiel propensity to want to kill darkies out of hand, she just couldn't stand being around him any longer, snuck into the kitchen after he left her and Mat, surprised the hell out him, killed him and burnt the corpse to a crisp so Rand wouldn't find out and put her on rations for killing his teacher.

'You know how Aiel are'.
Michael Catapano
140. hoping
ugh can't handle your handle :)

I was just wondering how the series sounds in translation?

Re hated characters
For those not 'of the dark' Elaida has to be the worst with couladin a close second. Weiramon (sp) is even more annoying but doesn't screw things up like the other two.
Sydo Zandstra
141. Fiddler

In Dutch it's called 'Het Rad des Tijds'. I never read it in Dutch though, so I can't help you there.

As for hated characters, you forgot Sevanna...
142. stylusmobilus
I still fail to work out why some other Aiel didn't hang draw and quarter Couladin yonks ago. He's a nutjob, and surely must have pissed off someone like Gaul or Rhuarc before this.
Captain Hammer
143. Randalator

Galad killing Eamon Valda in single combat, in fact, is one of the few things from KOD I remember clearly, because regardless of anything else Galad’s done or will do, killing Valda, aka the man who is such a tool even other Whitecloaks think he’s a tool, is unquestionably a great service to WOTkind. So Galad regained a great deal of credit in my eyes for that.

Galad killing Valda isn't even the greataest service to WoTkind (although it is pretty cool). But in the same scene he forms a Whitecloak party that is actually willing to fight alongside Aes Sedai in the Last Battle. Even Byar (that wiry, shadowspawn hating Perrin hunter) is part of that group.

Wich is about the 180-est of 180s I've ever seen...
144. Tenesmus

I know that Mo went thru the red door with Lanfear prior to Asmo getting zapped. If Lanfear got out... then why is it so hard to fathom that Mo was granted the opportunity to balify Asmo by the -finns? I will admit that Grndl has gotten a lot of screen time since TFOH (as far as screentime for FS goes), but there is no reason that she wouldn't take credit for the deed at least once at one of the FS meetings in the last SIX books.

We will find out what happended to Asmo when Mo is rescued... Ladies and Gents place your bets
Wayne Wilson
145. stylusmobilus
Although, the last line in the book did say 'Death took him' this the obvious clue that RJ is referring to....?
Michael Catapano
146. hoping
How could I forget sevanna. Have to insert her in between Elaida and Couladin

Even if Mo had opportunity I don't think she would interfere with Rand's teaching. Unless she saw something in the rings...Hmm
Sean Banawnie
147. Seanie
stylusmobilus@145 I thought thatdeath wording was a clue too but a read a blog of RJ's and he was quoted several times at signings also that the death took him line was not a pun on Morindin. Have you checked out wotfaq?man that was/is a a raging debate there .
Wayne Wilson
148. stylusmobilus
Yeah I've checked out a bit of the WOTFAQ but I missed that. Time to scroll through it all again I guess. I still like the idea that Aviendha did it. Based on the fact that RJ said that very few people have hit the target, and so many have speculated on Graendal I don't think it was a Forsaken at all.
Michael Ikeda
149. mikeda
Galad is evil. He MAY turn out to be redeemable evil. But he's still evil.

It isn't just that he joins the Whitecloaks. He joins the Whitecloaks and FITS IN WELL WITH THEM. Fits in well with a thoroughly evil organization--with a Shadar Logoth in the making.

Elayne is wrong about a lot of things, but she's basically right about Galad.
Sean Banawnie
150. Seanie
sty--ok, this is just FWIW and MHO.....
Asmo's rxn to me says instant shock and fear--strongly. He may fear Avi , but not to this extent.
He sees the relationship that Avi and Rand have and I think his rxn would be to beg and plead for her to think what Rand would want. He sees her around enough that it isn't a total shock to run into her.
I gave no thought as to her whereabouts etc. , this
is just an instant gut rxn. Anyway, just my 2 cents.
Maybe you have a point as far as it being a surprise but I'll have to think on it . RJ liked red herrings and stirring things up , some of his side plots (like Olver), I think he played with just to keep the mystery going , like the Taim/Demandred controversy. How many times did LTT rant around Taim? I remember a hadful of times where he specifically brought up Demandreds name out of the blue when he was around Taim . Just another wait and RAFO.
151. Tenesmus

...which is why the scene with her eavesdropping is so important. She wasn't interfering, but she was still knee-deep in his kimshee. She swallowed her pride to stay near him and spied on him with Asmo.

Also, just a coincidence, but Mo has been missing for six books, and no one, and I mean no one in randland has had an internal monologue about what really happened to Asmo in the last six books. We have had POV's from just about everybody, and absolutely nobody knows what happened to Asmo. I think it is becasue there is only one person who really knows what happened to him, and that person has also been absent for six books...Moraine

I am probably wrong, but until Brandon tells us otherwise, I am sticking with Mo
Tess Laird
152. thewindrose
Hmmm, the challange to validate Nicola as one of the original outed BA's. Well, IIRC novices are measured by some arcane knowelge that if they are this strong now, this is how much they will grow in the power. So, 'Nicola' who is already at her full Aes Sedei strentgh, whould seem to have great potential.
Alreadymadwhenihopeiamaddressingthe'fo'realone -that is hard to do with out spaces! Moggie would never forgive someone who shot an arrow at her - IMO.
Michael Catapano
153. hoping
I don't think Nicola is one of the original thirteen BA but I always suspected that Nicola and Areina were under some long term compulsion from Moggy since they arrived at Salidar with her. I can't find any proof in the text about this.
154. alreadymadwhenbirgittewasripped
thewindrose @152
I'm of the opinion she considered them even when she ripped Birgitte out of TAR. I figure Moggy'd just dismiss Birgitte after that. And for seeing how strong, it's not just novices. When they see the ability to channel in a another female, they also see how strong she can be.
155. Master Al'Thor
Good job Leigh. Here's a few things to consider.

Penis envy. Hah, I am taking a psychology class and we just covered this. Everyone laughed when the teacher said that women have penis envy and their supposed reaction to having it.

My thoughts are this. 97% of women do not have it. The 3% that do only have it cause they can't write their name in the snow. Ha! I can be funny sometimes.

So let's just call what Elayne is going through Morgase Envy. Unless someone already has a name for it, that's what I'm going with.
Corey Ouellette
156. FU26
@149 mikeda

I don't think he really fits in with them as well as you are saying. He seems to have way too much internal struggle since he has joined the WC. Before he joins them he always feels like there is only one correct choice, but now he is always torn. Plus him pulling a coup in the last book, in my opinion, shows that he does not fit in with what the WC's have become.

@88 Helen

And yeah they were in a roll this year until the Champions League final. 3 Premier league titles in a row and Champions League last year. Liverpool still finished 2nd in the EPL though.
157. SusanB
Penis envy...all the women I know only envy one thing about the penis...the ability to pee standing up.

Nyn & mustache pulling...I agree with a previous poster. If Thom (or anyone) had pulled Nyn's braid, we would have all been hysterical. I think her mustache pull is equivalent to that & therefore, not offensive.

Nicolla & Areina as BA...interesting idea, but I think its unlikely. As others have said she is too strong & has foretelling abilities. And if she really were a full AS I would think she would be better at the blackmailing ability.

As for Galad...I neither love him nor hate him. However, I do like reading about everyone's strong opinions of him. There are a lot of interesting ideas about the development of his personality.

Since its the weekend I'm going to ask a question I've been wondering about for a while. I hope everyone takes the time to answer, I'm curious to see what everyone picks. If you had to choose an Ajah, which would you choose & why?

I would most likely choose Brown b/c I love to read & learn new things & I also enjoy teaching. I would probably work in the library & teach novice/accepted classes. My second choice would be the White. I have always thought of them as the scientists & mathematicians of the tower. Since I actually got a degree in science (and teaching) I figure that would also be a good fit for me.
158. longtimefan
I would also pick Brown with maybe a streak of Green. More for multiple warders since I would rather do field work an seek out "lost" knowledge.

When ever I think about Ajahs I also wonder what kind of weaves they would learn with the power. How would the Brown Ajah use the power? Moving stuff and keeping wards? Light for reading?

As for the Grey, other than compulsion (which is somewhat unknown and generally forbidden) what would you do with the One Power to facilitate Negotiation?

Yellow and Green are pretty obvious and even Red has some apparent basics.

What in the world do White Ajah members use the One Power for?

The Blue I guess would just use anything that they would want since it could be used to further a cause.

And then there is the Orange Ajah.
159. mcrbryant
Yep - Galad and Gawyn have given me many headesk moments.

Galad does have his moment of awesome coming up though - when he protects the girls from the mob in Ghealdan. Can't remember the exact wording but it goes something like, "if the Shienarans held the mob at bay, it was Galad who broke them. The shienarans looked at him with a new found respect."

When we get there, please, please quote that passage in full Leigh!! Its one of my favourite fight scenes in the whole series, not least because I find myself with the same new found respect for Galad that the Shienarans have.
Sydo Zandstra
160. Fiddler

Since its the weekend I'm going to ask a question I've been wondering about for a while. I hope everyone takes the time to answer, I'm curious to see what everyone picks. If you had to choose an Ajah, which would you choose & why?

I'm male, so it's kind of a moot point.

I'd be Blue though. I can get angry at some issues, and I want to do something about it.

If there were a real Evil in real life, I guess I'd be Green.
Tess Laird
161. thewindrose
Fiddler @160
Since (well not as yet in the re-read) Rand cleansed saiden, and we have bunch of male channelers traveling about, I am sure Egwene will create some plans to include Females and Males as part of the Tower.
I think the Tower is going to have to go through a total reorg(uhh no more stand alone towers - Real Life company problems haha). The Red and Green Ajah's will have to redefine themselves.
As to the question of Ajah's:
I would like to belong to the Blue Ajah. I like being involved, and actually doing something about issues. I know I do have a strong bend to the White(Econ, Finance, Statistics, Analysis) but I also like to get out and do things, not sit and run numbers all day.
Richard Fife
162. R.Fife
randomly clicked and as saw new survey.

For *ahem* obvious reasons, I'm ordained yellow ajah. My reasons, though is because I do Heal, just, you know, computers, not people. It's still healing! it counts, Harriet said so! *sniff and arm-cross*

For the question of what do Grey's use their power for: intimidations, I'd think. Float things around, make everyone well aware there is a "sorcerer" around. Kinda like Gandalf. He rarely used his power, but he was more known for being a wise advisor.

To the whites, I guess the long life, so they can think about logic and how everyone else should use their power. I wonder if there is a trend of strength in the power to ajah. I'd imagine, for example, that the average Red is fairly strong, considering what they do, and perhaps the average green as well. Yellow would probably be next, but brown, white, and gray would be good for "weaker" Aes Sedai. Blue I could see being the outlayer both ways. really strong ones (Siuan and Mo) and weaker ones too, since you don't necc. need power to fight for a cause.
163. longtimefan
I am also male but it is just question.

I have always been confused by men who read this series and when a question about choosing an Ajsh comes up (other websites have asked) so many go with "I'm a dude so it does not matter".

In a book series about fictional people you are not being asked to chose an Ajah if you were directly transported from Real Life to Fantasy Life. Most people would not be able to channel if that were the case and would not be able to chose an Ajah either.

So imagine your basic gender neutral personality in a channeling woman who can chose an Ajah and get over the male posturing. Having a penis and ogling breasts should not define people.

Uh... Maybe that is to ranty. What I meant to say was "just freaking go with it people."
Alice Arneson
164. Wetlandernw
Hmmm. I'll have to think about my Ajah choice. However, longtimefan made me think about something I've never really considered before: what exactly do the different Ajahs use the Power for? My preliminary conclusion, generalized, is that the only thing they all have in common is the ability to channel (going with the clean-saidin motif). So you've got the Power, therefore a long life, but your basic interests & abilities are still the same. So I think the Ajahs give organization & direction, allowing each person to find a place to fit in. They all learn a certain amount of common knowledge; then each Ajah may have extra weaves peculiar to their purpose, more for some than for others. You already gave some examples of Ajah-specific needs, and I'm sure we'll think of some more. I'm thinking, though, that the best advantage a White has from the Power is the extended lifetime to work on theories and (possibly...) ways to put them to use. A Gray negotiator will get better with more experience, so the long life would be helpful, as well as the ability to get people's attention and the respect (or maybe fear) accorded to an AS. Eavesdropping would be a handy Talent for a Gray, though, wouldn't it? And of course the ability and the Warder to protect your person if things start to get ugly.

I wonder why I've never thought about that before?

I want Helen's Pink Ajah, so I can go find girls who can channel and give them the chance. Given the current choices, though, I'd probably want to be Blue but they'd shove me into Gray, Brown or White.
Alice Arneson
165. Wetlandernw
Seanie for the most-hated poll: I have a veritable loathing for Padan Fain, Shaidar Haran and Jaichim Carridin. They give me the heebie-jeebies. (Not to be confused with Hiby-Jiby.) I'm a compulsive must-read-every-word-can't-skip-over-anything-even-if-I-hate-it kind of reader, but those three really make me want to skip, if only there weren't important info in those scenes sometimes.

As to characters I just like to hate (as opposed to making my skin crawl) there are too many of them... Liandrin, Couladin, Sevanna, Semi, Moggy, Elaida, Alviarin, Berelain, Temaile... (I know I missed someone)

Okay. Given "what a list!"... For most loathed I'd say Fain, for most hated I'd have to go with either Elaida or Alviarin. Probably Elaida because she thinks she's "good" but she's actually stuffed so full of her own arrogant delusions about her own omniscience and wisdom that she can only trip over doing the right thing by accident once in a while.

Hey, drewlovs, how's the little one? And the wife? Give 'em hugs! Congratulations!
166. Jgrizzell
I am not sure if anyone else has commented on the way Elayne "flirts" with Thom, but I believe that in Nyn's commentary to herself she discusses the psychological reason as to why Elayne is flirting. Nyn said that when a girl becomes a women she likes to test her womanhood against the main identified female, i.e. ( her mother). Since Thom is known to be her mothers past lover, then she begins to flirt with Thom. I believe that Nyn also stated that it was because Elayne also knew that it would be safe to flirt with Thom.

I would be willing to say that everyone has "practised" flirting in the past. It isn't some sick and twisted Elecktra complex, but just a girl trying to learn to be a woman.

About penis envy: I believe that there is still a difference in the pay that a woman recieves, when compared to a man working the same job. If there is any real penis envy, it would be that women would be upset,(for good reason), that they aren't always paid the same for the same work.

The excuse men sometimes give is that they don't have to take off work to have babies, so they get paid more. I don't buy it, but I could see where a woman might be envious that if she had a penis, she might at least not have to deal with the "good ole boy", syndrome.
Hugh Arai
167. HArai
Honestly the Ajahs have always struck me as exaggerated high school cliques. Just another excuse to justify keeping secrets or claim superiority. It just seems that (big surprise)
if they'd share the knowledge, and use various individual's strengths to cover other's weaknesses
the Aes Sedai as a whole would be so much stronger. But no, it's all "Browns can't pay attention to the real world" and "Yellows can't do anything but Heal" and "I'm Red so I hate Blues".

I'd probably spend a long time on a farm refusing to pick an Ajah.
Wayne Wilson
168. stylusmobilus
Yep, pass the test for Accepted, suck as much knowledge out of the Tower as I could, refuse or fail the test for the shawl (if you could do this intentionally without dying), then go join the Kin. Or join the Brown or Blue Ajah and bugger off out of the tower for years and years doing a Verin. Who, incidentally, is one of my favourite characters. However, since I am a bloke the last time I looked, I'd be an Asha'man. Therefore I would probably be out in the scrub looking for a Red to bond against her will.

I remember one of the Forsaken commenting that 'you children match the ajah at times'...ever since reading that I have been intrigued as to what ajah meant to those in the AoL. Perhaps the word used to describe very young AS students?

As for Thom being as keen to get away from Galad as Elayne, my view is that Thom knows, like Elayne, that he will interfere with their plans, whether or not the interference is with good or ill intentions.
169. alreadymadwithajahstereotypes
HArai @167
Agreed. I hate stereotypes and I hate following them.

stylusmobilus @168
Ajahs in the AoL weren't permanent associations anyway. Another aspect which the current White Tower has twisted. Individuals banded together for a specific cause, and separated just as quickly when that cause was no longer viable. This matches one of the finnish translations for ajaa which is closest to the word in pronunciation and meaning.

The fifth one is what I'm looking at. Although the fourth one also holds some appeal.
Wayne Wilson
170. stylusmobilus

Thanks. God bless Wiki.

Penis envy. Jgrizzell @166, I'm under the assumption that 'good ole boy' syndrome means 'jobs for the boys', or the like, as it is called here in Oz.
171. CalaLily
If I had to pick an Ajah, I'd have a hard time choosing between Green and Brown. I'm the person who knows random facts about everything but zones out in the middle of conversations, and I -LOVE- gathering knowledge, but I'm also the kind of person that stands up to a group of idiots picking on the Little Guy because he's little/different/not as strong as they are, and scares them off because I threaten to kick them all to the moon and back if they don't leave.

I'd probably make a good Gray, too, though. I out-debated my manager in a argument about the Articles of the Constitution and how they apply to the average citizen in setting up how we choose our representation. xD

...I'd have a hard time choosing between all of the Ajahs except the Yellow, Red and White. xD I fail at understanding the human body. I like men. Cold, life isn't life if you look at it purely logically. No fun, that way. Brown and Green top my list of the remaining four choices, though, so I'd pick one of them. Most likely Brown. :)

As to what Browns use the Power for.... I'd guess they use it to restore books and art, keep the wardings around TV going strong, that sort of thing. I just had the coolest mental image of Verin bent over a frog with a Power-created magnifying glass and a sketch book tucked into the crook of her arm between her wrist and elbow.
172. longtimefan
Cala Lily

Power created magnifying glass sounds great. If we were Browns together I would totally want to lean that weave.

I suppose if the ink gets all over the documents it could be channeled off later.

Alreadymad. It is interesting to think that the original ajahs were just motivations rather than permanent alignments. It would make more sense of the Blue Ajah. The Red would have had a different motivation in the olden days. I wonder what that would have been.
Wayne Wilson
173. stylusmobilus
Would a Power-wrought magnifier be necessary, given that all senses are heightened when holding the Power?
174. alreadymadwithdiscussingred
longtimefan @172
Red in WOT symbolism is usually associated with police and law enforcement organizations. Aiel Red Shields, Mat's Redarms military police. I suspect the Red Ajah at that time also did something similar. Possibly acted as some sort of regulatory or police body among channelers. It would fit with getting the job of hunting potentially insane and unstable male channelers. Conditions during the Breaking must have amounted to some sort of martial law among Aes Sedai. This would explain why to this day, Aes Sedai are particularly harsh on other channeling groups, and why the Red is the largest.

stylusmobilus @173
Depends on what kind of magnification you're looking for, I guess.
Marcus W
175. toryx

I'm going to combine them: Most hated character is actually the White Tower. (In the WoT, I believe the organization is a "character" in the way that sometimes a city can be every bit as alive and distinct as a character.)

I hate the Aes Sedai as a group. Individually they can be okay but whenever they're together they're the most conniving, power hungry, arrogant, rash, irritating group I've ever encountered. Sure the Whitecloaks are kind of evil with their power hungry fanaticism, but comparatively speaking they're harmless next to the AS. I mean, these people actually created the bloody game of houses! And that's just the least of their bad ideas.

As a consequence, I'd not pick an Ajah because I'm unwilling to be an Aes Sedai. If they tried to force me to join their tower I'd refuse to take the first test three times and get put out. Screw 'em.

If I didn't hate the Tower so much, I'd probably lean toward the Brown because I do love the knowledge and history. Not to mention books.
176. Master Al'Thor

1. Personal space. If everyone keeps their hands to themselves ans treats everyone with respect, there would be no sexism

2. Brown Ajah. Love history

3. Nyn. When you think that you know it all and then time and again find out you don't but continue to act like you do. Beatings should insue.
2nd place goes to Faile. Just the I'm going to get away with everyting that you didn't say I couldn't do attitude.
177. Wes S.
Hello. I'm new to, and I just discovered the ongoing WoT re-reads. Too bad I didn't get in on this back on the first book...but, better late than never.

Somebody back up the thread suggested the possibility that Moridin was the one who killed Asmodean. I don't think so; Asmodean clearly recognized his killer. Moridin is, of course, Ishamael reincarnated in a new body, and presumably Asmodean would therefore not have recognized Moridin/Ishamael on sight. Especially since Asmodean was "out of the loop," so to speak, as Rand's teacher.

Myself, I always figured Sammael was the one who balefired Asmodean...and I say "balefired" because otherwise presumably we'd have a fifth reincarnated Forsaken to join Moridin, Cyndane, Osan'gar and Aran'gar. (The Dark One, after all, gave Lanfear/Cyndane a "last chance" to serve him despite Lanfear's own, more serious betrayal; why wouldn't he have done the same to Asmo, had there been anything left of him to reincarnate? Lanfear, after all, wanted to REPLACE the Dark One and the Creator both.)

Fun stuff.

As for "most hated or annoying" of the (non-evil) viewpoint characters, starting with the next book I'd nominate the jealous little wench Faile for that role. With Berelain a close second.

Perrin frankly deserved better.
178. Digital_Eon
Wow, look at all the Browns here! Not surprising, I suppose, since most people posting would have a strong interest in the world of WoT, enough to discuss it and all.

I'd be a Brown too, I suppose. My second inclination... As odd as it sounds, I'd kinda like to be a Red. I don't hate men; I love them, actually, but gentling insane men is very necessary, and I feel like I could help those men in that path (psychologically, anyway). I'd probably get the rest of the Ajah, minus Pevara, mad at me... Such a difficult choice. Why did the Reds have to be so darn man-hating, anyway?

Green is always an option, I guess, but I think I'd rather, you know, do something. :P And help people.

Least favourite characters: Min and Fain. Oddly enough, I like Elaida. She's certainly silly, but she's also interesting, and interesting things happen because of her. I may not like her if I met her in person, but she's a good character to have in a story. Min and Fain, on the other hand, just... bore me, to say the least. Hence the dislike.

Who Killed Asmo: The WOTFAQ had me convinced that it was Lanfear, and I still would like it to be, but the more I read discussions and RJ's quotes, the more likely it is that Graendal is the culprit. Good evidence for Moiraine above, though; I really didn't think of that at all. And it does seem strange that so few people would have guessed it, according to RJ, if it was Graendal. Maybe at the time, these theories hadn't really spread?

A while back, someone mentioned a meeting of Egwene and Elayne as representatives of their own, er... groups: I really can't see open conflict happening here. I think both would be reasonable, responsible, and rational leaders (perhaps not now, exactly, but they've already become much more awesome since this point in the series) and would not have too much difficulty understanding a different position and compromising on most issues. After all, Elayne does have some loyalty to the Tower, and Egwene has some loyalty to Andor (or the Two Rivers, anyway). They're friends. They will consider the other side rather than just dismissing it as overpowering loyalty that prevents the ruler from considering any other position... and that the other side might really have the best interests of the world at heart. So I don't think it'd end up with extreme conflict in most cases.

And it's not that Egwene isn't on Rand's side, it's that she now has the Tower to be responsible for. Again, I think she'd do everything in her power to accomodate both - but if she ever were forced to pick, she'd have to pick the Tower. Rand doesn't depend on her, after all.

179. Rand Al'Todd
Re: alreadymad@169
Definition of ajaa (finnish) as def of Ajah:

"The fifth one is what I'm looking at. Although the fourth one also holds some appeal."

For those who did not click, Here are some of the definitions which appear to apply:
4. To herd (animals) in a particular direction.
5. To advocate certain idea.
6. To force into a certain state.
8. To run, execute (a computer program).

While I can understand ARM going with 4, #6 seems to be the overall long term goal of the WT and each AS in it. (i.e. force everyone else into doing whatever the AS/WT "goal of the week" may happen to be. This includes manipulating the other AS into conforming to your "goal of the week")

8 fits too, in that the WT/AS want everyone else to hop to their program - however, as we have seen so far, the AS are lousy programmers and very seldom do they get the response they wanted.
180. alreadymadwithrunningprograms
Rand Al'Todd @179
Right. That's what happens when you don't document your programs very well. Something is bound to go wrong.
181. RobMRobM
1. Grey

2. Fain (and I believe Leigh would agree).

3. Areina was proven not to channel and Moggy didn't teach the 11 how to invert weaves. QED - Areina not one of the BA.

4. Re problems with Galad doing what is right: Exhibit 1 EOTW. Innocent boy falls in garden; G and E will let him go; Galad intervenes and boy would have been thrown in prison unless Queen intervened. That's why Elayne was right to fear Galad - not cold and heartless but not fully sensitive to adverse impacts on others from his black/white decisions.

182. Tenesmus
Wow, I can't believe that no one said they would join the Black Ajah. I might be tempted. I would have likely started out as a Blue or Green. I could picture me up in the Borderlands, going on weekly excursions into the Blight killing all manner of Shadowspawn with about 6 Warders, and two or three other Greens that were my pillow friends. Drinking and killing and bi-curious promiscuity, Oh Yeah! That would be the life!

On another note, why hasn't a Red sister ever bonded a female warder? Think about it...
183. SusanB
Thanks for all the ajah comments. Its neat to see that so many people would pick brown.

I don't hate any of the characters. However if I had to pick a most annoying, it would be Rand once he starts his rant of women he killed. And when he always talks about how "hard" he has to be. Its so annoying to me. Oh & him always denying his feelings for his girls. Augh!
184. Thorljottsen
I'm a little late to the comments, so no one will likely read this, but I had a comment about what Leigh said on Galad and Elayne's relationship.

"By the way, why does no one ever believe Elayne when she says Galad is horrid? Granted, I think calling him a “monster” is a little much, but God knows I would never want to grow up with him."

My wife is estranged from her psycho mother. When we were dating and early in our marriage, she would tell me horror stories about her mother. These horror stories didn't all sound so horrible, and there was an awful lot I took as exaggeration. Then I met the woman and had some interactions with her. The point is, sometimes you just can't believe or put your mind around something someone else tells you about a person until you deal with them yourself. I get the feeling that this is what it's like for Elayne in trying to explain Galad to others.
ori rosen
185. NightWolf
As I'm a guy, choosing Ajah is quite pointless. But if the WT was accepting male channelers, I think i'd go for grey.
It sounds fun rubbing it with the high and mighty, plus I think that when AS say that grey are "mediators", in truth they are more likely spanking nobles and bullying them into doing what's best for the WT.

Not that i'd enjoy spanking nobles of course. Well, maybe Berelain is an exception...
Marcus W
186. toryx
Digital_Eon @ 178.

After all, Elayne does have some loyalty to the Tower, and Egwene has some loyalty to Andor (or the Two Rivers, anyway).

But here's the thing. No one from the Two Rivers considers themselves to be from Andor; everyone seems to comment on that in their POVs at some point. More importantly, however, Egwene's family and friends in the Two Rivers are now in open rebellion with Andor. They're raised the flag of Manetheren and Perrin's been made a noble.

That's got to cause some conflict between Elayne and all the Two Rivers folk, especially Egwene and Perrin, I'd think.
Tess Laird
187. thewindrose
Actually - Perrin gave away the right to Manetheren to the Seachen, in aid for their help to rescue Faile.
Marcus W
188. toryx
Man, I totally forgot that. Well, I still think the Two Rivers are going to be a point of contention between Elayne and Egwene.

Edit for grammatical errors.
Tess Laird
189. thewindrose
And probably a lot of Two River folks to boot! Tension wise:)
190. CalaLily

Red's probably didn't bond women as Warders for the same reason they don't do everything else.

It's not customary.

AS live by custom and tradition almost more than they live by Tower Law, and it's limited their imagination. I mean, think of all the flak Ny gets for using all five of the elements of the Power when she heals Logain, Siuan and Leane. The AS are all over her, because Healing is "Water, Air and Spirit". Nynaeve just keeps her mouth shut until it dawns on them that she's done something they all thought was impossible because she opened her mind to the possibilities.

And then, with Elayne and Birgitte mirroring each other so closely later on, I think that'd be enough for any AS to NOT chose bonding a female Warder. Keeping their own emotions in check seems hard enough.

Which overall is why the Supergirls being so young and in the Tower for a -really- short amount of time is a good thing. They haven't been...I don't want to say brainwashed, but closed off seems appropriate. They see the possibilities and aren't afraid to break custom partly because they don't know about the customs and partly because I don't think they care. :) For all their annoying habits, they're innovators.
191. alphashard
I had to google Electra Complex as well, and I never realized Penis envy applied to women. I thought that was about Men measuring which of theirs was the bigger one. lol

I think for Elayne it's more a matter of not growing up with a father figure at all and Thom comes the closet to being that. Since her biological Father wouldn't want much to do with her at all, at least in regards to BEING a father for her. So she's confused on how to percieve Thom and how she should react around him. I think it may be confusing for Thom as well because I think there's a time where he may have thought he COULD have been her Step Father.

Not being raised by a father myself has led me to be confused as well so I can relate to Elayne here at least.
Sara H
192. LadyBelaine
Sad to say, I have always had a perverse sympathy for the Red Ajah. They have a narrow, distinct and necessary role - apprehend channeling men to prevent death and destruction. They also, as a forgotten side note, were supposed to be looking for the Dragon Reborn, but that largely got obstructed in three millenniums' worth of tradition and bullshit.

However, I will always credit RJ in that his Ajah-stereotypes were really only existing when they are being subverted. Tarna and Toveine, for example, go on record as liking men. Then again, we have yet to see a really occluded, dreamy Brown, etc.

All of which is to say, that aside from their militant manner of restricting friendships outside their sisterhood, I would have chosen Red.

It does say something about how vital the role of the Red Ajah is that they are the largest.

I had forgotten about Perrin relinquishing the banner of Manetheren. Huh.

That was really, really selfish of him.
Sydo Zandstra
193. Fiddler

Actually - Perrin gave away the right to Manetheren to the Seachen, in aid for their help to rescue Faile.

What Perrin promised is that he wouldn't raise Manetheren to get Ghealdan into it. That doesn't say anything about the TR.
Alice Arneson
194. Wetlandernw
I had forgotten about Perrin relinquishing the banner of Manetheren. Huh. That was really, really selfish of him.

Maybe, but he, at least, never had any intention of actually creating a new Manetheren anyway. The original banner was someone else's idea, and he never wanted it. He made use of it when he started on the Prophet-search thing because everyone would focus on this crazy guy trying to revive Manetheren without realizing what he was actually doing. Sort of a "hide in plain sight" thing. So from his perspective, it's only giving away something of little value to bargain with someone who might think it worth more than it really is. Wooden nickel effect. Of course, those who made the banner in the first place and really think they could make a new Manetheren might get a bit miffy, but none of the mainPOV characters ever took the idea seriously.
j p
195. sps49
The Two Rivers isn't rebelling against Andor- they have been abandoned by Andor. Caemlyn just isn't strong enough to keep a presence there, and it is only geographical obstacles that has kept the 2R separate.

If one mentioned anything to the Queen, sure, she'd get her dander up, but she has more important things to attend to. The 2R has been independent for a while now.

Which Ajah? Purple, of course. Or the Logain/ Dragon faction in the Black Tower.
Sara H
196. LadyBelaine
Fiddler@193 corrects,

What Perrin promised is that he wouldn't raise Manetheren to get Ghealdan into it. That doesn't say anything about the TR

Ah, that makes more sense. But if the 2R is to be the core of a new Manetheren and Ghealdan is not be included what are we to make of the fact that Queen Alliandre swore fealty to Perrin, and subinfeudated her realm to his?

Did Seanchan imperial control extend over Ghealdan yet? As far as I can tell, they have Tarabon, Altara, Amadicia, Murandy and pockets of Arad Doman, right?

Does their control extend anywhere else yet?
Hugh Arai
197. HArai

4. Re problems with Galad doing what is right: Exhibit 1 EOTW. Innocent boy falls in garden; G and E will let him go; Galad intervenes and boy would have been thrown in prison unless Queen intervened. That's why Elayne was right to fear Galad - not cold and heartless but not fully sensitive to adverse impacts on others from his black/white decisions.

That's interesting. You see you take scene that as proof Galad sees things in black and white and I take that as proof Elayne is a naive idiot for an heir to a throne. She doesn't know why Rand is there, she just thinks he's cute. The city was in turmoil, Logain was there, the Whitecloaks were there. Hell Fain was there. Replace "innocent boy" with "Eamon Valda's spy" and tell me how bad Galad's choice was. No one suggested doing anything worse than questioning him and holding him a couple days till Elayne had gone to Tar Valon after all.

I think Elayne's root fear of Galad, Gawyn and (until she thinks she is dead) Morgase is that they actually expect her to live up to the duties of a Daughter-Heir, and she doesn't want to. Since she refuses to tell them what she is actually up to, all they know is that the second most important person to their nation is travelling about putting herself in danger at the whim of the White Tower.
I like a lot of things about Elayne but the fact it takes until KoD before she does her duty as the Heir and the fact even in KoD she still doesn't understand she is getting people killed because she won't be careful are probably her worst features.

As for Perrin and Manetheren:

As several people have commented, all he said was he wouldn't try to rally against the Seanchan under the banner of Manetheren. He flat out told Tylee he would defend Ghealdan, and I doubt he'll abandon the Two Rivers. As for restoring Manetheren, I don't think it's selfish of him to not want to tear apart Amadacia, Ghealdan and Andor and get a hell of a lot of people killed to restore a lost kingdom. No more than it was selfish of Lan to not want to get a hell of a lot of people killed trying to carve Malkier back out of the Blight.

LadyBelaine@196: I think they have footholds on the coast near Tear and Illian as well.
Marcus W
198. toryx
The Two Rivers isn't rebelling against Andor- they have been abandoned by Andor.

That's not how Elayne is going to see it.

I agree that she's too busy to worry about it right now, but I have no doubt it'll rankle her, and if she were to say something about it to Egwene, I suspect she'd be surprised by Egwene's response.
Hugh Arai
199. HArai
I suspect the Two Rivers vs Andor thing is blown out of proportion as well. The real threat to Andor would have been Manetheren, and Perrin just gave that up. I think he's also likely to happily swear to the Queen of Andor as Lord Perrin of the Two Rivers instead of demanding independence as well. Elayne is not always sensible but people like Dyelin would surely straighten her out. Andor will likely end up much stronger not weaker since that would bring them back strong control of the Two Rivers and Ghealdan.

Edit - toryx: Elayne already knows what all the Two Rivers people think. None of the Two Rivers folk that really matter - Rand, Perrin or Egwene - appear to be willing to fight Elayne over it so long as the Two Rivers is basically let alone, which it would be if Elayne let Perrin rule it for her as a vassal.
200. alreadymadwithchoosingajahs
Nightwolf @185
Spanking Berelain. Yummy.

sps49 @195
True. The Two Rivers can make a very convincing case for being abandoned by Caemlyn. Morgase really does not have any right to press her own claims to it.

LadyBelaine @196
I don't think they've pushed north enough to get into Murandy. They solidly control Tarabon, Amadicia and Altara. They have an army garrisoning the northern border with Murandy, the one Mat started all that trouble to get to move. I think they are also currently operating in Ghealdan.
For the most part though, their main efforts seem to be north into Arad Doman and east into Illian.

Re: Ajah selection
Something just leaped out at me. What if the Red is also the dumping ground for sisters who cannot pick an Ajah? Like the default selection unless you show an inclination for another?
I don't want to be red. When it comes down to it I can pick Brown. Or Gray.
Roger Powell
201. forkroot
Wow 200 comments before I chime in.

Re TR vs. Andor ... umm, hello? Tarmon-friggin-Gai'don is around the corner. Egwene, Elayne, Perrin, et al have much bigger fish to fry. Considering that TG marks the end of an "Age", there's no guarantee that there will even be something called "Andor" in the future.

Re: Birthday's on Father's Day - I arrived on Father's Day almost 54 years ago (6/19) - it's fun when the two days re-coincide.

Re: Galad - No one except Elayne seems to take such an extreme view of him. His on-screen actions have certainly always been honorable and reasonable. I'm still looking forward to when he finds out who his other half-brother is!

Re: Ajahs
If the Asha'man had ajahs, I'd be White (as long as the Browns let me use their library.)

Re: Characters to hate
Chesmal Emry - One of the best healers, she uses her talent to kill. Utterly without a conscience. Ick, ick, ick!

Re: The Circus story lines
I like the fact that the story ebbs and flows a bit and that there are some slower-paced story lines. It provides contrast, and gives the exciting scenes (Dumai's Wells, the cleansing, etc.) more emotional punch.

Re: Elayne's likability
Yes she's stuck up, yes she's reckless, especially in KoD. (I don't feel too bad for Vandene. She was near the end of her life and she was able to get her revenge on Careane. I feel for Sareitha who was very young.)

Elayne is also brave, compassionate, and resourceful. Plus she made this guy bawl his eyes out at the end of the "first-sisters" ceremony.

Like most of the major characters in WoT, she is a complex person. Tip of the cap to RJ - (aside to BS: You've got big shoes to fill, but you've acknowledged that!)
202. Balance
Picking yer Ajah: I’m a guy, so I’d go Green a la Rand style. Most of his knowledge about the power is battle inclined. Throw a bonus in to my traveling weaves. And most importantly, the multiple female warders. I’m gonna go for the sisters in this one. I’ll take a brown fer the sexy librarian, take off yer glasses and let down yer hiar, smoky look near the bookshelves thing. I’ll have a blue, a la Angelina Jolie. And lets round it out with a sweet little yellow, lots of compassion for others, sexy nurse J.

Fain: This is another of my favorite characters. It is very important to do the wild card characters well. RJ does great. The fact that so may hate him is an intended thing. Fain is a Mr. Smith, a Ghollum, a 3rd factor outside of the base good vs. evil teams. He’s got the menacing vibe, the unnatural powers, and his own agenda. Plus he’s crazy, crazy’s always fun. And never forget that this man can nail a Fade to the wall, with his bare hands, while its still alive.
203. RobMRobM
H@197. You're fighting the facts,, IMO. He is innocent(per the books). Moreover, Elayne and Gawyn already welcomed Rand, so if he's a killer or a spy, they're already toast but we're not judging their judgment, we're judging Galad's. G and E have talked with him, got to know him a bit, and Rand would agree depart through a hole in the wall if he could. Galad could let him go -- but runs for the guards because he believes it's the right thing to do, even it lands Rand in jail or weeks or months. Sorry, don't buy that Galad is in the right here. Rob
204. Valeiria
A little late to the game... I had to read the last 5 posts this weekend, damn finals, but I'm only gonna comment on this one.

I was always of the opinion that Elayne just doesn't trust Galad because it seems like he should have some ulterior motives. I vaguely remember reading something about her saying he wouldn't mind if Gawyn kicked it so that he could be her general or whatever. I haven't read the 1st book in months, so I don't remember Gawyn's specific title. I think she overreacts, but it would seem a little suspicious.

If you think about humanity in general, the oldest child may be a little resentful towards the younger child getting a higher title. I would assume they wanted to usurp them as well. It's like Tuon and her siblings... with the assassinations and evil plots and whatnot, gaining favor with the Empress.

I think Elayne is completely wrong in her opinion of Galad, since he seems to be the person with the most pure motives in the whole entire series, but I would be suspicious of someone like him too. Some people are just too nice, and there comes a time when you think they just have to be acting that way so that they can get something for themselves. So, it makes sense that she is suspicious of him, but she does take it way too far. I believe that he genuinely cares about her, Morgase, and Gawyn.

I'm still a little suspicious of him even though we've gotten to see him kill Valda. I guess I just got too used to Martin's books probably. No character is really what you think it is in his books, so I generally assume that every character has secrets and possible downfalls. I hope Galad stays good. It'd be nice to see a genuine character stay genuine for once.
Hugh Arai
205. HArai
Rob@203: Opinions do vary of course. Having seen Elayne in action I'd assume she was being overly trusting if I were Galad. I note Tallanvor, Gareth Bryne and Morgase are all also not inclined to just let him go without questioning him, regardless of what Elayne said. But maybe they're "monsters" too? (He said in provoking fashion). Ah well. I doubt anyone is changing their opinions at this point :)
Hugh Arai
206. HArai
Hey I've got one for character to hate: Therava. She's easily the worst of the Shaido Wise Ones, and a truly sadistic person. If it was a sympathetic character instead of Galina she spent the most time abusing, I think she'd get a lot more hate.
William Fettes
207. Wolfmage
I'm lately joining this discussion, but I'll add my two cents. I feel I'm pretty neutral on Galad. I think he is well meaning, but I accept part of the conventional textual account of his bad points which go with the the good. Overall, I actually find him more sympathetic and rational than Gawyn for the bulk of the series.

What do I find bad about him? Well to put it in a more nuanced way than him being a do-gooder: I think his political and moral cognition is excessively conservative and black and white for my taste. I think this leads to him making decisions based on sloppy assumptions on a few occasions, under the cover of supposed moral clarity. However, I certainly don't think he is a bad person; he is basically well intentioned. Clearly Elayne's description of him as a monster is highly exaggerated and wrong.

I do find his decision to join the Whitecloaks to be naive and reproachable, even though it may turn out OK. But I don’t agree it was inherently evil.

In my mind it clearly was in part a reactionary decision, driven by the impetus to reject the murky politics of the White Tower, and also in part an idealistic decision based on the writings of Lothair Mantelair. Neither fully exculpates Galad for joining such a obviously manifest corrupt organisation, but they are much more understandable and legitimate reasons for me than Gawyn’s involvement in the Tower coup and his insistence without a shred of evidence that Rand killed Morgase, for example.

The main problem I have with him joining is that when he joins he is not fully informed about the nature of the current Whitecloak organisation and their methods, or otherwise he is prepared to tolerate associating himself - implicitly condoning their activities in a broad sense. The alternative explanation, that he takes the trouble to inform himself adequately about them, but simply expects to change the whole institutional culture and inertia of the organisation by himself is equally flawed. Because even if it turns out that he does change the Whitecloaks almost single-handed, he cannot possibly have properly relied on that assumption in good faith at the time he joined; it is only the pattern’s fortuitous weave that has put him where he is in KOD to effect that change in any meaningful sense, so he doesn’t get to rely on that chance to change the Whitecloask back when he first joins to validate the decision retroactively.

Otherwise, I think he’s actually pretty decent guy. Just trying to do right in the world, and dealing with the aftermath of missing father, who was by all account not a nice person indeed. I always thought the war over the boat was more Nynaeve's fault than Galads. He was never told that they would attempt to see the prophet so I don't hold that against him.
Tess Laird
208. thewindrose
I am disinclined to think Perrin will be 'Lord of the Two Rivers' - sounds like one of those River Dance things. Remember the 'Broken Crown'. I hate to say this(he is great), but I don't think Davram is going to survive TG, and so that leaves Faile and Perrin to fill in for that.
209. RobMRobM
HArai - I don't think Galad is a monster, just one who does what he thinks is right regardless of potential for collateral damage to others. It's what makes him an interesting character. Elayne is probably overreacting in calling him a monster but that doesn't mean she is safe to leave herself to his judgment. Given that Elayne in the current chapters has what she sees as important things to accomplish on her own, leaving a decision to Galad - who might well take her to Camelyn against her will if he believed it his duty - was a serious threat and worthy of flight.

Here's another example: He loves his stepmother, expresses love for his sister and voluntarily expresses a strong connection to Egwene -- all of whom can channel and are considered evil and subject to possible arrest and death by the organization he joined voluntarily. He should be choosing another career and defending them all against this potential threat. Instead, he joined Whitecloaks because he viewed it as the right thing to do even that it directly or indirectly harmed the interest of many who were close to him. His sense of right causes collateral damage yet again.

Final point that came to mind in thinking about EOTW. Keep in mind the context: Whitecloaks were actively agitating in Camelyn and causing harm and death to local residents and threatening harm to and overthrow of Galad's beloved stepmother -- and he still joins them. .

210. RobMRobM
@208 - absolutely yes, and Tenobia will bite the dust as well. LOL re River Dance - well played.

@207 - Interesting take, not that far from mine.

@206 - She's in third place in Shaido pantheon after Couladin and Sevanna. Since she harasses Sevanna and Galina, who is a reprehensible human being, I don't see her as all bad. (Evil grin).

Hugh Arai
211. HArai
History is full of people who joined organizations even though members of those organizations don't always follow the stated ideals. Many of them have made a difference.

Don't forget that the "Whitecloaks are all horrible" point of view comes from two main places: a group of channelers that feel they are the only people suited to controlling the nations solely because they can channel, and our observed actions of a subset of Whitecloaks that are either sworn Darkfriends, fanatics that even other Whitecloaks think of as fanatics, and Whitecloak leaders infected by Fain.

One wonders how the Aes Sedai would look if all we had for points of view were Elaida, Cadsuane, and Alviarin and the rest of the Black Ajah.

It seems to me the Whitecloaks to this point in the story have been getting the "Shaido" treatment. You just don't see any decent ones. Seems kind of unlikely to me there aren't any.
Tess Laird
212. thewindrose
I think Therava may be a dream walker. There is no hard evidence that I know of, but from our lovely gai'shain 'Lina POV: Therava filled her dreams, and they were never pleasent. Often she woke sweat-soaked and weeping. Waking up from those nightmares was always a relief, whether or not she managed to get any sleep for the rest of the night.
I know it could be just ordinary nightmares, but it would add an interesting twist to things.
I mean, Therava has been through the rings and through the Ancestatron(tm), yet she lets Sevanna do whatever she wants, and never brings up how Sevanna has dropped all ties to ji'e'toh, and the clan and wise ones are right behind her. If she is not a dark friend she has still put out a big sign that she is evil(or perhaps amoral?).
Hugh Arai
213. HArai
The thing I find nastiest about Therava is she doesn't seem to have a reason. What I mean is, Couladin and Sevanna are ambitious as hell, so they have a "reason" to behave as they do, try to seize power and so on. Therava? She just likes abandoning ji'e'toh? I can't spot her angle. And it creeps me out.
214. Freelancer
For the more recent survey:

Were I a female channeler, only the Blue would do.

Hated character, Fain/Mordeth/Ordeith. This mutt now has at least three different parts of evil to him. There is what he was turned into at Shayol Ghul (something so horrible even his normally evil self is repelled by it). Then Mordeth becoming a major part of him. And lastly the Black Wind of the Ways.

Others not hated, but not far from: Anyone who hates on Elayne, but defends Galad or Nynaeve.
Tess Laird
215. thewindrose
About Therava
It could be a sign of insanity. Maybe instead of not accepting where the Aiel are from originly and dying in the Ancestatron, she comes back - but all wacked out - insane - but the other wise ones accept her becuase she did come back. Or, she could be a dark friend:)
Hugh Arai
216. HArai
thewindrose@215: I guess it would explain some of their behavior if the other Shaido Wise Ones survived the Ancestatron with the same insanity.
If she's a darkfriend it's an interesting twist with Galina being head of the Black Ajah...
Tess Laird
217. thewindrose
HArai @ 216: Technically Alviarin is head of the BA. Galina sits on the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah.
I think Therava abandoned all notions that the Aiel have somehow let down the AS's. As Galina is AS and a dark friend to boot - how fun to be in utter control of all of that. Therava has some similiaities to Semi - that would be a creepy meeting.
Semi: So you're a sadist like me?
Therava: Yes, but I bet I can learn a lot more from you, err Great Mistress(Therava would have difficulty admitting any one greater than herself).
Roger Powell
218. forkroot
Another one to hate: Katerine Alruddin - she's another nasty BA, that took special pleasure (along with Galina) in beating Rand while he was in captivity.

As a measure of how dangerous she is, we see Verin lose her cool (when else does that happen?) when she learns that Katerine escaped the Aiel Wise Ones. Verin knows a lot - for sure she knew that Katerine was a hard-bitten Red ... I'm betting that Verin suspected Katerine's BA ties.

We see her back in the tower again in KoD. I suspect she is going to cause Egwene some trouble in the future.
sandi vogel
219. sinfulcashew
201: Forkroot:
"Re: Birthday's on Father's Day - I arrived on Father's Day almost 54 years ago (6/19) - it's fun when the two days re-coincide."

Happy Birthday!
Mine is (6-16). Side note: I have heard that an alternate to 666 is 616!

Re: Ajahs-my favorite color is black, so I would have to be an Ashaman? Just as guys are having to pick ajahs, I, as a 'girl', could pick Ashaman!
Certainly not the BA.

There seems to be more variety in being one of them.
The ajahs are hide-bound in their respective choices. i.e., brown books, grey gabbing, red revolutionary, white whimpy, green greedy-(having more that one warder?), hey I am running out of descriptives here!

I see Gawyn as still very young mentally what with his mooning over Eggy. But, I could be wrong.
I still say that Galad is too perfect. No one a person could have fun with, etc. (I think I have already said that)

Alviarin-head of the black ajah?
Boy, she sure doesn't get treated like it? Or am I missing something?
William Fettes
220. Wolfmage
I distinguish between characters I judge to be flawed and evil, and characters I like and enjoy reading. They often go hand-in-hand, and I seldom don't enjoy reading characters I find admirable, but I actually like plenty of evil characters - including Asmo, and Ishy/Mordeth, and Fain, for example.

In regard to the latter, there's something really awesome about the whole nature of Mordeth's evil - a new strain of pure metaphysical evil being borne out of fighting the Dark One. I love that he is part Lugarder low-rent peddler, part distilled by the Dark One, part vessel of Mordeth's soul and part touched by Black Wind. I'm really not sure why he evokes such visceral hatred from Leigh; I think he is fascinating.

Elaida on the other hand - I totally see where hatred for her comes from. She is just comically wrong about everything, and a tedious power-tripping idiot, despite thinking she is on the side of good. She could literally approach just about any issue by deciding to follow the exact opposite of what her instincts and best judgement tell her is the right course, and I think the odds would be largely favourable that the outcome would help the world.

I'm with Freelancer on all the Elayne bashing being totally nutso. She has her bad moments, and I don't care for the extended Caemlyn succession-pregnancy sub-plot, however, she packs so much awesome. IMO she's easily a contender for the best Supergirl. Making ter'angreal and coming up with the line "absolutely identical matrices" all by herself is arguably the most impressive non-Rand power discovery in the books.

Dare I ask why so many seem to care so much about her harsh words about Galad? I understand she exaggerates, but I very much doubt Galad himself would take any significant offence, so why do you guys? Galad would likely understand and anticipate her misunderstanding him as that is part and parcel of his character. Plus, it's not like she is actively undermining him professionally, or in any capacity that matters. It's basically just Elayne sharing her exaggerated informal opinions to confidants, friends and the those in the supergirl coterie. Maybe it's a bit bitchy, but so what, it's not like it actually hurts Galad in any way.

There's also a small kernel of truth to what she's saying. She is certainly sensible to a degree in being wary of his rigidity, as Thom verifies, he does have that quality to his character, though Elayne carries that judgement to unsupported conclusion.
221. HurinSmells
A little late to this thread but...

1. Most hated character is Morgase - she's just soooo boring! I could easily skip just about all her POV chapters and I would loose not a great deal.

2. If I had to pick an Ajah it would probably be White... i consider myself to be a logical problem solver

I've always liked Fain cause I always imagined him to be the Joker to Rand's Batman... some men just want to see the whole world burn! Galad also is cool, even though he's a Whitecloak. He only enlisted after reading the purist definition of what a Whitecloak should be, not what they've become. I liken it to someone reading the New Testament of the bible and going to enlist in the Crusades. "None of this was mentioned in any of the recruitment literature!!"
Hugh Arai
222. HArai
Wolfmage@220: I actually like Elayne the most out of the Supergirls, at least until KoD. I like her courage, her generosity, her power discoveries. I like when she helps Rand begin to learn to rule at the Stone. I like how she tries to apply what her mother (and Lini!) taught her. And, because she is capable of all those things, I just don't give her the total pass on ditching her responsibilites as Daughter-Heir that so many people seem to. Maybe I'm in the minority but I think a good heir to a throne actually thinks before inviting herself along on dangerous adventures. And then, you know, lets the rest of her family know where the hell she went.

I think the reason I bring it up so much is that people hate on Galad and Gawyn, the two people that she leaves holding the bag early on, as if it's all their fault and they should have just happily sucked it up. Neither of the two reacted wonderfully well, but if Elayne stayed in the Tower, what would they have had to react to?

The other thing I guess is just that unfairly or not, now that I've seen young Siuan and young Moiraine in New Spring, the "the Supergirls are just young women" excuse falls short for me.

We see Moiraine as the "Aes Sedai as Queen" prospect in New Spring, and Moiraine makes damn sure she's not put forward as Queen of Cairhien, because she's worried about the bloodshed and what she would have to do as ruler. Elayne (and the Tower) on the other hand seems to just assume that Andor will be fine, whenever she feels like getting around to it. Rand worries more about the throne of Andor than Elayne does.

Once we hit KoD, I just cringe that she can't understand all the horrible things that can happen when a Queen takes risks and all the hundreds of people that can die while covering for the Queen and still leave her children to be born healthy.
That and Nynaeve and Egwene's coolness in KoD make Elayne look pretty bad to me at that point.
223. alreadymadwithdissinggalad
HArai @222
Agreed. I just cringed at Elayne taking unnecessary risks in KoD. All in the name of being stubborn. Not to mention spoiled. So far, I've seen two ways to explain Elayne's distrust of Galad. He's either too good to be true, or he's simply caught her playing hooky too many times, which I might add is the privilege of being a big brother. Still, concluding that he might turn her over to the WC's is downright twisted and unfair to Galad.

I've also re-read the part where Nynaeve pulled on Thom's mustache. It was in no way an act of endearment. Nynaeve was simply bullying Thom and reminding him who was in charge. Which, considering how many times Thom and Juilin have pulled her and Elayne's butt from the fire is just plain petty. Reading Nynaeve's POV's are just too exasperating. Of the headdesk variety. The girl is just dripping misandry. Which given how many times these men she keeps putting down have gotten her out of trouble is also plain unjust. And she always keeps talking of justice. More headdesk moments.
craig thrift
224. gagecreedlives
Master Al'Thor@155

They can it just takes some interesting aerobics and care.


“Exhibit 1 EOTW. Innocent boy falls in garden; G and E will let him go; Galad intervenes and boy would have been thrown in prison unless Queen intervened.”

An innocent boy carrying a heron marked blade, who looks like an aiel and while a false dragon is being paraded through the city. Plus the white cloaks up to mischief. I think he was right to call the guards.
And even though nobody does anything about it I think the guards should know of such a breach in security.

Most hated character hands down is Elaida. Everybody else has at least something interesting to offer. She just bores me completely. Although before KoD I didn’t mind Elayne but her stock is rapidly falling

And I would pick the Charleston green ajah.
225. Freelancer

I don't give Elayne "a pass" on her "ditching her responsibilities". As long as we're going in those directions with our thoughts on the story, there is merit to wondering why she should put herself in harm's way so much when she's supposed to be readying herself to rule a major nation. Valid.

Comparisons to Moiraine's situation in NS are not so valid. Moiraine runs away from the Tower, and some might argue, from a family obligation, to avoid a throne which is currently VACANT. She is clearly, by virtue of her virtue, the most suited of her entire surviving family to rule Cairhien. That she would hate making the tough decisions as a queen makes her a good choice to be the one making them. Elayne, on the other hand, is not avoiding a present necessity. Her mother is not only one of the most competent rulers in the land, but by all accounts the most secure in that rule. To paraphrase Monty Python, "Nobody expects the Forsaken". She has no expectation of needing to assume that rule for many years, so her decision to help hunt the Black Ajah is not so unwise or reckless. And recalling that it is the Black Ajah they hunt, not telling anybody, including her brothers, has a measure of prudence. They would both give away the plot to prevent their little sister from taking a part. Once she learns of the rumor of her mother's demise, she prepares to return to Caemlyn as soon as she fulfills her current duty of putting the Bowl to use. Definitely not avoiding her responsibility to Andor, but putting a global responsibility first, whether rightly or wrongly.

Staying on that subject, Siuan and Moiraine, being the same exact women they were in NS, but with more authority, are the very reason why the Supergirls do almost everything they do. If there is anyone upon whom blame must fall for the trips to Tear and Tanchico, it is precisely Siuan and Moiraine. After that, Egwene is summoned to Salidar by the Rebel Aes Sedai, and she sends Elayne and Nynaeve to Ebou Dar to find the Bowl. I see none of that as "traipsing around having adventures" for any pointless reasons. They are aiding in the war against the shadow in support of the Dragon Reborn, the very cause Siuan and Moiraine dedicated all of their Aes Sedai lives to.


Regarding Nynaeve pulling Thom's mustache, agreed. When Elayne does it, it's affectionate. The time Nynaeve did it, she yanked it hard in a mocking imitation, just to get Thom's attention, and out of her frustration with the weird vignette the other two were playing out. Minus many cool points, as if she had any to spare.

Lakers Rule!
226. Freelancer

An innocent boy carrying a heron marked blade, who looks like an aiel and while a false dragon is being paraded through the city.

A boy whom Gawyn can clearly identify as having a western Andoran accent, and who is clearly a farmboy. Also, a boy who doesn't know where he has fallen, or who this brother and sister are until they tell him, a boy who doesn't know why six women are sitting in a ring staring at the man in the cage. Rand makes his lack of sophistication clear with every move, and these two young politicians who have been trained in intrigue from birth judge him correctly. Galad, who throws their judgement in the dirt, does what an over-strict version of the law, rather than a more merciful wisdom, would dictate.

Upon examination, and in spite of the counsel of her two advisors, Morgase chooses the merciful wisdom, validating Elayne and Gawyn's judgement, not Galad's.
227. RobMRobM
@226. Very well put, Free. And, by the way, this Celtics fan offers his congrats to your team. Nice team effort. Rob
Marcus W
228. toryx
Freelancer @ 226.

A boy whom Gawyn can clearly identify as having a western Andoran accent, and who is clearly a farmboy. Also, a boy who doesn't know where he has fallen, or who this brother and sister are until they tell him, a boy who doesn't know why six women are sitting in a ring staring at the man in the cage.

Sure, it's not as though any would-be assassin for the Whitecloaks or of Dragonsworn would ever lie, or disguise himself to appear as he is not. It's not like people can act innocent or confused or play the part of a country bumpkin.

Putting my sarcasm aside, Galad is acting far more wisely than either Gawyn or Elayne. It does not take much to wear simple clothes and a befuddled expression, and given how far west the Whitecloaks can reach the accent doesn't convey obvious innocence.

Galad knows better than to take things at face value. That is wisdom. A trespasser on royal (or authoritative) ground in any society would generally be placed under guard and/or arrested until a closer examination can be conducted and a judgement of innocence or guilt assigned.

In the end Elayne and Gawyn were right about Rand not being a threat, but that was luck, not wisdom.
Alice Arneson
229. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @ 225 & 226

I knew I was gonna love it! Worth waiting for. :)
Maiane Bakroeva
230. Isilel
"Which overall is why the Supergirls being so young and in the Tower for a -really- short amount of time is a good thing."

I have to say that I really disliked the whole "ignorance is bliss" vibe that became ever more prevalent as WoT series went.
Initially channeling was presented as something that has logical and complex underpinnings and the AoL use of OP was so much more awesome because they studied and understood the theory of channeling and used it in conjunction with other scientific knowledge ;).

But in the series itself all manner of folks suddenly started to make all those "instinctive" discoveries - IMHO it was just lazy and largely unnecessary.

Just as the whole t'averen thing got totally out of control, to the extent that the TR boys literally can do no wrong - every dumb action of theirs somehow turns out to their advantage or fulfills some prophecy . And any agonizing over choices that they indulge in feels rather fake as their actual decisions demonstrably don't matter.

Frankly, I would have much preferred if there was a 2-3 year gap between EotW and TGH, which girls would have spent at WT and the boys in the Borderlands, training for their future roles. That would have allowed them to become plausibly impressive, without the need for all these artificial handouts. In fact, Perrin and Mat didn't need to be t'averen at all - it just cheapens them as heroes, IMHO.

Re: Gawyn and Galad, I have to say that the supergirls running out on them always irritated me. At the very least they could have taken Gawyn and allowed him to fulfill his duty as Elayne's protector. And if Galad really always keeps his promises, they could have sworn him to secrecy and obedience and taken him too. Not to mention that not warning G&G about BA put them in direct danger...
Roger Powell
231. forkroot

Moiraine runs away from the Tower, and some might argue, from a family obligation, to avoid a throne which is currently VACANT. She is clearly, by virtue of her virtue, the most suited of her entire surviving family to rule Cairhien.

You might recall that she had a pretty good reason to run. She and Suian had had an enormous responsibility thrust upon them, to search for the infant Dragon Reborn.

Granting that she had already made preparations, Tamra Ospenya's murder surely cemented the decision as it was likely that the Black Ajah was taking out anyone who knew about Gitara's foretelling.

Regardless of how willingly she and Siun accepted the charge, Moraine had a much higher calling than running Cairhien as a tower proxy.
232. alreadymadwithtalkingaboutgalad
Freelancer @269
It might be a rather harsh interpretation of the rules. But then again, I don't remember Galad sticking around long enough to notice Rand's Western Andor accent. IIRC all he got was a good look at an armed intruder before Elayne and Gawyn drove him off. If I were him, I'd call security too. The boy was armed. With a sword. A much longer weapon than Gawyn's dagger. And it was a delicate time in Caemlyn. And since the two obviously did not want him to stay and/or supervise, who knows what sort of trouble they might get into.

Re: Moiraine
IIRC, she also mentioned the House of Damodred having a distasteful reputation before Laman's Sin. One more incentive to stay under the radar and hunt for the DR rather than be the WT proxy.
Maiane Bakroeva
233. Isilel
Yes, IIRC it was pretty clear that Moiraine's chances of taking the throne without a massive civil war were extremely slim. So, her staying away made sense.

Given that Elayne was the only clear heir to the throne and her death would have provoked yet another succession crisis, her running into danger was highly irresponsible, OTOH, no matter how competent a ruler Morgase was.
Marcus W
234. toryx
Isilel @ 233.

Given that Elayne was the only clear heir to the throne and her death would have provoked yet another succession crisis, her running into danger was highly irresponsible, OTOH, no matter how competent a ruler Morgase was.

Agreed. And that's to say nothing of what might have happened if she'd been captured or kidnapped by an enemy group such as the Whitecloaks or the Seachan or anybody who meant harm to Andor in any way, shape or form. Death is only the greatest of the ways Elayne's impulsiveness could have brought trouble on her mother and Andor.

I don't care who Elayne might be compared to, irresponsible is irresponsible. There's reasons the Daughter-Heir of Andor isn't allowed to hang out in common rooms.
235. Master Al'Thor
Forgive my ignorance.

What is the sam hill is IIRC???
Michael Catapano
236. hoping
Isilel @ 230
There is some truth in what you say about how discoveries and ta'verenness are forcing the plot. To me, it's just on this side of being OK. You have to decide when suspending disbelief no longer works for you, but to me it seems consistent with the magic system so I'm going with it. :)

Very slow loading today. Is it me, or are others having problems too?
Hugh Arai
237. HArai

She has no expectation of needing to assume that rule for many years, so her decision to help hunt the Black Ajah is not so unwise or reckless.

Nobody expects the Forsaken, but everybody expects the damn heir to stay available and stay safe. Morgase's reaction is _not_ to shrug and say, well "I'm fine and secure, so Elayne can vanish whenever she wants".

If she actually weighed her duty as heir and then chose to hunt the Black Ajah as more important to the world it wouldn't bug me so much, but the text was against her. The first time she took off was jumping in with Egwene and Nynaeve when Liandrin suckers them out of the tower. She was _not_ supposed to go, she invited herself along. I don't have the books with me here at work, so I can't be sure, but I believe this was the time where her response was "I'm not going to stay here and do dishes while you two have an adventure, and besides Gawyn will be so jealous". At least I hope it was this one, because I'd hate to think she was enough of an idiot to respond like that after learning about the Black Ajah the first time.

The trip to Tear, she was also _not_ supposed to go, although Siuan didn't prevent her after Egwene and Nyneave spilled the details. You can probably argue she figured the Black Ajah was more important here, but I would have liked to see her duty as heir at least considered.

She also knew something was seriously wrong in Andor before she left Tear for Tanchico, unless she flat out decided Mat was lying (which would not be a plus). I'll have to recheck her reaction here in the book. Did she just assume her mother would deal with it?

She heard Morgase was dead before she and Nynaeve found the Bowl in TAR. The only thing preventing her from going to Caemlyn then was wanting the approval of the Salidar Aes Sedai more than she wanted to make sure Andor was ruled well, as far as I can see. After the Bowl was found, yes Egwene gave her the duty to go get it, but she knew her nation was missing a ruler before that.
Hugh Arai
238. HArai
Master Al'Thor @235: IIRC = If I Recall Correctly
239. alreadymadwithmoirainesclaim
Isilel @233
Not quite of civil war proportions but still massively unpopular and for at least a generation or two. Can you imagine the reaction to a Damodred and an Aes Sedai on the throne? It would be a PR nightmare.

HArai @238
Let's not forget the headdesk moments when Elayne puts Min's viewing to the test. Yes the babes will be born healthy. Does that necessarily mean free? What if they were born healthy in captivity? And she keeps her reckless and irresponsible habit of ditching those whose job is to keep her safe.
Brian Kaul
240. bkaul
Regarding Ajahs, I note that the Black Tower doesn't have them, and it's only the all-female, dysfunctional White Tower that divides itself into such cliques. Forget them. I'll go with a combination of all except for Red.
Maiane Bakroeva
241. Isilel

to me it seems consistent with the magic system

Well, it isn't consistent with the magic system as it was initially presented. Out of all things that morph during the series, perception of channeling, of AS and of t'averen change the most - and not to the better, IMHO. Basically, I think that our suspension of disbelief was taxed unnecessarily and that the series would have been better off without it.


You can probably argue she figured the Black Ajah was more important here, but I would have liked to see her duty as heir at least considered.

Ditto. And actually, given that there were surely BA in the Tower too and that going home would have provoked a diplomatic crisis, Elayne could have convinced G&G that going and becoming at least a moving target was the best thing to do. Her callous abandonment of her brothers there made my blood boil. It endangered them, it endangered her and the other supergirls, it endangered Siuan... there just wasn't any upside to it.
242. toddywatts
I don't normally like defending Galad, but I have to say that just because Elayne and Gawyn weren't in immediate danger doesn't mean that Rand wasn't a threat. The whole point could have been to become familiar with them, then he could have appeared again on the trip to Tar Valon and lured them away from the party. I admit that it's a stretch, but you do have to consider every angle.

Okay, and to balance that out, if Elayne doesn't fight the black ajah and the dark one now, there may not be a Caemlyn for her to inherit. Of course, she could have used more appropriate channels, like asking her mother to send people to help, but there's the problem of Rahvin -- not that she knows about it.

Still, it's not like there aren't plenty of competent politicians around Andor, so even if house Mantear falls, someone will still take care of the country. Is it fair to ask peasants to risk their lives but not the daughter-heir? History is full of examples of how the world would be a nicer place if people didn't worry about getting and maintaining power.
Michael Ikeda
243. mikeda

As far as the trip to Tear is concerned, Siuan WANTED
Elayne to go along and almost certainly tried to manipulate the situation so that Elayne would go along. Siuan just needed to be able to claim that she didn't send Elayne.
244. OldWoman
So, because Elayne was born daughter-heir, she doesn't have the right to free will? What about coming back and being a better leader because she has some life experience and maturity and is choosing to accept the responsibility? Just asking.
James Jones
245. jamesedjones
242 toddywatts

Amen. But what does House Mantear have to do with it? Isn't Elayne part of House Trakand? I thought Mantear was Rand's House.
Marcus W
246. toryx
OldWoman @244:

In general, being born of royalty is a mixed blessing. Princes and princesses have great wealth and power but less freedom. Elayne generally never has to worry about going hungry but she also has responsibilities that an average peasant does not.

She can order a man whipped for insulting her (not that she necessarily would, but she can) but she can't just go wandering off into the wilderness whenever she wants without protection. Or at least, she shouldn't.

An attack on Elayne is an attack on the Crown. It's pretty well known, I think, just how much Morgase cherishes her daughter. It's also known that there are no other daughters in that family, and Morgase being unmarried is unlikely to have another. Given the chaos of the last succession, Elayne's health is of vital importance not just to the kingdom but to Morgase's hold on the throne.

If Elayne suddenly had a fancy to go out and visit a common room (while living at the palace, say) and was taken prisoner by the Whitecloaks then the Whitecloaks would have a hold over Morgase and the throne.

Elayne never seems to consider this, which is the crux of the disagreement over her irresponsibility. She's astonished that anyone would dare harm the Daughter-Heir of Andor, and yet when she and Nynaeve are attacked by Egeanins thugs in Tanchico, she automatically assumes it's she they want. Because she knows that she is valuable to the wrong people.

There are reasons she isn't supposed to go out into the world unprotected, Aes Sedai or no. Does that mean she doesn't have free will? Well, it's debatable either way, but she certainly has responsibilities that most people don't. That may not be fair, but then she has a lot of priviliges others don't have as well.
Hugh Arai
247. HArai
mikeda@237: True. Siuan would want her to go. But Elayne was the one who chose to go.

OldWoman@244: Of course she has free will. That is irrelevant to what the expected duties of an heir to a throne are. Heirs can choose to do all sorts of things. They are _expected_ to try to choose wisely to benefit the people and lands they are going to be ruling. They are _expected_ to keep themselves out of danger because their death or capture will have seriously bad effects on their nation. If they choose not to do those things, they are considered to be performing poorly as an heir.
248. Master Al'Thor
Thanks HArai.

toryx @246
There are reasons she isn't supposed to go out into the world unprotected, Aes Sedai or no. Does that mean she doesn't have free will? Well, it's debatable either way, but she certainly has responsibilities that most people don't. That may not be fair, but then she has a lot of priviliges others don't have as well.

Well said.
249. Freelancer
Since the term "suspension of disbelief" has been brought up regarding the Elayne/Gawyn/Galad/Siuan/Moiraine discussion, it seems fair to point out that we as a group have long since crossed a threshhold where arguing about what such-and-such a character should have done or not done is in reality arguing with the author. When one says, "I hate Elayne, why did she do that?", the obvious answer is that's how Jordan wrote it. Fine, that's part of what commentary allows for, as long as we don't lose sight of it.

When asked which characters I prefer, I fall back to motives and purity of character, without psycho-analyzing the person or getting buried in details of the fallout from particular decisions made. I'm a romantic, and prefer the sympathetic hero every time. For the record, of the primary Light team, my order of preference:


The second team:


The taxi squad:


There are many, many others, but to me, they are less significant or less impressive than these.
Dan Sparks
250. RedHanded
I definitely have not read all the comments, good god people, but I wonder, did anyone say they would choose Red Ajah? I'd probably go with Brown Ajah personally since I wish I was a book but have to settle for reading them instead.
251. toddywatts
jamesed @242
I knew that didn't sound right. Should have taken it out as soon as I questioned it. Thank you!
Dan Sparks
252. RedHanded
@249 Freelancer

What's with the 3 lists? I missed the point? Most important > least important characters?
Helen Peters
253. Helen
Why does everyone hate Couladin so much? He was only there for 2 scenes, first to be refused entry to Rhuidean, second to make a total prat of himself anouncing he is Cara'carn. Even his death was only told as one of Mat's flashbacks. He's a sad wotsit, but there's not enough of him to hate, IMHO.

Elayne couldn't have taken her brothers with her, either time she left the tower. The first time Liandrin would have killed them out of hand and taken the girls, bound and gagged, through the Ways, then they'd never have escaped the Seanchan. The second time we'd not have seen Mat totally thrash them.

Toryx, all the way up at 175, said he didn't want to pick and ajah, that he'd learn enough, refuse to take the test for accepted and be put out. Now what would happen if someone with the spark, as strong, or stronger than the supergirls went down that route. Would the WT refuse to put them out? There was much kudos for Mo and the blue for finding Eg and Nyn, and for Elaida and the red for bringing Elayne in. If, say Nyn, really was as pissed with the whole system as she reckons in her POVs, and just told the Aes to stuff it all, would they let her?
Brian Kaul
254. bkaul
If, say Nyn, really was as pissed with the whole system as she reckons in her POVs, and just told the Aes to stuff it all, would they let her?

Wouldn't she have had to do that before becoming an Accepted? It seems to have been a legitimate option for her then, but she was determined to go on and learn from them instead.
Marcus W
255. toryx
Helen @ 253:

I did say that, even though I doubt it'd work. All the Tower would have to do is not offer a novice the chance to take the test until they were reasonable sure she'd not back off. I doubt they let anyone get that far without being sure of them.

I don't know if they would have let Nynaeve leave or not. A woman as powerful as she, even a wilder? They give the impression that they would have put her out, but I suspect they'd have found some reason to keep her there longer. They'd certainly have done the same with Elayne.

Those Aes Sedai get what they want one way or another, burn them.
James Jones
256. jamesedjones
253 Helen

I'm thinkin' they might.

First, the Red Ajah might not consider it worth it if Nyn is forced into the Yellow. She was found by a Blue, and her gains for the Yellow would be reflected on the Blue. Red Ajah might not want that.

Second, the Green Ajah would be left with the two toughest Aes Sedai instead of the silver and bronze. They might push to let her leave.

It's all petty and counterproductive, but how is that different from the majority of what RJ did with the WT?
j p
257. sps49
Elayne does have a higher priority task- chasing BA. Not telling everyone makes sense; the best way to keep a secret is to not tell anyone.

I also don't understand why she gets blamed both ways re: Galad. Galad follows the letter of the law in getting the guards in Caemlyn, which was the right thing to do. In Amadicia, Elayne can not take the chance that Galad might decide the right thing to do is follow the local law. I like to think he wouldn't've, but some want her to take a chance with her mission- and her life- with someone who she knows well and still isn't sure what he will do.

There is even a chance he will escort them somewhere against her will. This would likely interfere with her mission, and if his intended destination was Caemlyn, we know it would likely end her life.
Hugh Arai
258. HArai
Freelance@249:But "I dislike Elayne for doing x" is such a convenient short-hand for "I feel a strong negative response to the characterization implicit in the actions RJ has the character Elayne commit in this scene". :)

I prefer to discuss stories as if the characters have their own agency because otherwise about all you can say is "I like/don't like what RJ had happen here".
259. RobMRobM
Helen - re Couladin, let's see...multiple attempts to break the peace at Rhuidean, an unprecedented attempt to use excess troops to prevent the Ta'rdad from attending the all-clans meeting at Alcadair, skinning the messengers sent by the other clans, stringing up civilians on the way through the Jangai pass, and forcing a battle that probably killed 50-100,000 Aiel and Carhienians. Not much direct screen time before Mat (barely) managed to off him but, boy, he sure was productive in a two or three week stretch.


p.s. twitch
Marcus W
260. toryx
sps49 @ 257:

While I'm in the contingent that thinks that Galad is kind of cool, I do think that Elayne made the right decision when she insisted on getting the hell out of dodge. At this point he was in her way, and the whole insisting to send her home against her will was wrong.

I wish that they could have pulled Galad into a private room somewhere, wrapped him up in Air and pointed out quite plainly that they are nowhere near the helpless girls he thinks they are. That would have been awesome. And Gawyn deserves the same treatment.
Maiane Bakroeva
261. Isilel
The second time we'd not have seen Mat totally thrash them.

That looks like a really spurious reason to me. But then, given that Mat is a super-lucky t'averen that scene was about as exciting for me as his gambling "victories" and about as deserved.

Re: Elayne keeping secrets, she is supposed to be able to trust Gawyn absolutely when she becomes queen. Yes, BA was a very important secret, but G&G were also in danger from them _and_ they could have been really helpful.
I mean, the girls had it demonstrated to them in TGH that they needed backup, that OP couldn't solve everything. IMHO, Elayne should have at least trusted Gawyn. Well, not only did her treatment of her brothers had a most unfortunate result for the WT, but she also won't have a First Prince of the Sword.
262. ammbd
@ HArai: "There's a reason more people pray for mercy than for justice." perfectly put!

Elayne: mission 1st. as it should be. the whole world is at stake.
Tess Laird
263. thewindrose
Remember post FoH4. Lots of crazy ideas and a bit of a flame war. I brought up the idea that Alviarin is looking for an "out".

I mean Alviarin - "Alviarin clung to that hope"
The hope that Talene had somehow betrayed her oaths to the Dark One.

Well, in chapter 19 of FoH - Memories - she is chatting with Fain and - "Who are you? Why are you here? Did one of the For - the Chosen send you? (emphasis mine)
RJ with a red herring, or is he setting Alviarin up for redemption?
EDIT - didn't realize I was on #8! Reposted to #9./:
Marcus W
264. toryx
ammbd @ 262:

Elayne: mission 1st. as it should be. the whole world is at stake.

That'd be a lot more persuasive an argument for me if Elayne and Nynaeve actually accomplished something in their Hunt of the Black Ajah. How long have they been on that hunt? How many of the BA have they caught? 2. With help from others. How many BA did they ferret out that hadn't already exposed themselves? None that I know of.

Instead they're just kind of bungling their way into successes. They got lucky with the ter'angreal that could be used against Rand, although they didn't quite dispose of that properly, and the seal they found ended up broken anyway. The best that can be said for them is that Nynaeve managed to capture Moghedian and Elayne eventually learned to make ter'angreals but those were byproducts of them bumbling about, not at all the mission they were set on.
Hugh Arai
265. HArai
sps49@257; I don't blame Elayne for reacting how she did to Galad, if she wanted to keep hunting the BA. I think that people are overly harsh on Galad when they claim he tried to force her against her will (since he never did) and that it was somehow wrong of Galad to want to get her home to Caemlyn, which is where Morgase wants her, and since of course, she never told Galad about the BA hunt in the first place.

toryx@264: Well to be fair, none of the BA they were sent to hunt appear to have accomplished anything worthwhile over the same period of time :)
266. Arekay
Why does everyone assume that the Whitecloaks are evil? Lets not forget that this is an organization dedicated to hunting down Darkfriends, who are unquestionably the worst scum of all.
So they hate the Aes Sedai. Generally everyone in Randland who deals with the Aes Sedai is deeply suspicious of them, and not without reason I might add.
Of course RJ didn't introduce them all that well when they first appeared on the scene with Egwene and Perrin, but look at it from their point of view. Here they are making camp, someone spots a wolf and kills it(Lets not forget that Wolves in the wild are incredibly dangerous), and in comes Perrin acting insane and kills one of them. And after they capture Perrin and Egwene, they're told an obvious bunch of lies. Wouldn't you assume you've captured a couple of Darkfriends.
Then we have the Two Rivers incident which is totally caused by Fain. The other incidents of Whitecloak brutality are caused by the Questioners, led by a Darkfriend who's infiltrated their ranks, and Eamon Valda who is totally the evil underling character. The whitecloaks overall seem to be a terribly misunderstood and maligned group.
267. Roy007
I never really thought about how badly Elayne treats Galad. Which is surprising since I am an older brother who gets treated like him by my "willful" younger sister.

Elayne and Egwene have always rubbed me the wrong way
while Aviendha is can still be annoying she is also more full of win they are. I like Min the best out of the entire female cast.

Personally I can't wait until we get to Elayne's snootiness when she insists Rand isn't giving her Andor even though her mother lost it. Man do I have a rant for that!
Hilde Sørensen
268. edlihs
TPoD: Prologue stats that Katerine Alruddin's guards were poisoned. Verin believes this is clear sign that she is black ajah
269. Mightymouse1107
"Why does everyone assume the White Cloaks are evil?"

Because the White Cloaks say they are hunting Darkfriends in the same way that the Salem Witch Trials were hunting witches. Imagine the world if the White Cloaks actually ran it. It would be an extreme form of theocratic tyranny, where people would be disappeared and 'questioned' on even the smallest of suspicions. The White Cloaks are no different than any other fundamentalist organization. They are the Taliban of Randland.

Speaking of which, just the paragraph or two we get from the 'White Cloak Bible' makes me want to vomit. The fact that a book containing that passage is what led Galad to become a White Cloak is enough to indict him in my book. The man is a young Fred Phelps with better sword play. Let's not forget that Thom (who we can all agree IS a more reliable source than Elayne) practically craps himself when Elayne says Galad is around.

As to the White Tower hate... I agree its messed up as it is. However, where it is different (and better than) the White Cloaks is that the White Cloaks are messed up because of their basic fundamentalist assumptions.

The Tower, as an institutional concept, is a good idea, and the nature of that good idea can be seen from the three oaths. The Tower should be the Randland equivalent of the Jedi Order in Star Wars during the 10,000 years before the Empire. A group of people with super powers who everyone trusts for guidance and peacekeeping, and who can shove or manipulate others back into line if things get too bad. Then you have the three oaths which make it effectively impossible for this group to use their power for world conquest.

Of course the modern Tower is messed up and ineffective, and has been manipulating events in all the wrong ways (though I suspect we are about to see some of those problems remedied in the next couple books.) But the hate directed at the Tower as a more general concept, or the idea that Aes Sedai shouldn't be manipulating events at all is misplaced.
Paul Long
270. Caveatar
135. Tenesmus
RJ said Asmo's killershould 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

WildGuess 1
I think Asmo's killer was the man who grasped at the tuft of grass on the cliffside. Asmo probably didn't save him since he refused to answer Rand's question but I believe the man lived and has been looking for Asmo all these years and having found him the guy gets even. :D

WildGuess 2
Or possibly Master Norry was checking on the sewers and when Asmo shows up ol' Norry clipped him with a clipboard and dumped his ass in the sewers. The rats ARE getting more plentiful in the sewers later on. :D

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