Jul 1 2009 4:33pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 15

’Allo! How are we all feeling this fine middle of the week? Ready for a spot of Wheel of Time Re-read? Brilliant!

Today we cover Chapters 36-38 of The Fires of Heaven, which features unexpected frankness, improbable feats of daring and cleavage, and DIRTY DIRTY LANGUAGE. Dun!

Previous entries can be found here. Please note that this and all other posts contain spoilers for all currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series, so if you haven’t read, don’t read.

At this time I would also like to gently remind all y’all that differing opinions and healthy debate in the comments are extremely welcome, but ad hominem attacks and rabid frothing at the mouth are, well, not. Please remember to play nice with others, or you will be asked to leave.

And now, the post!

Chapter 36: A New Name

What Happens
Elayne watches Birgitte sleep; at one point she calls out for Gaidal. Nynaeve comes back in after an hour with tear streaks on her face and tells Elayne she will take over. Elayne decides to go outside in turn, and joins Thom and Juilin by the fire. Juilin hands her a silver arrow, saying it dropped to the ground where “she” had appeared.

“Distinctive,” Thom said conversationally around his pipe. “And added to the braid... Every story mentions the braid for some reason. Though I’ve found some I think might be her under other names, without it. And some under other names with.”

Juilin asks what she and Nynaeve have gotten them into, and Elayne, still bound by her promise to Birgitte, replies only that she is a friend who has been helping them; the men exchange glances but do not press. She asks why they didn’t give this to Nynaeve, and Thom tells her in disbelief that Nynaeve had actually cried on his shoulder, and apologized for every cross thing she ever said to him, and called herself a coward and a fool; Juilin comments that he saw a woman who had accidentally killed her husband behave like this, and later she hanged herself. Both of them urge her to do something about Nynaeve, as they are at a loss. Elayne tells them she will do what she can.

They were good men, and she did not like lying to them, or hiding things from them. Not unless it was absolutely necessary, anyway. Nynaeve claimed that you had to manage men for their own good, but there was such a thing as taking it too far. It was not right to lead a man into dangers he knew nothing of.

Elayne tells them almost everything about the Dreamworld, the Forsaken, and Moghedien, though she leaves out Birgitte’s identity and a few other details, and makes it clear to them that not only is Moghedien hunting for them, but they are hunting her as well, and tells them that the choice to stay or go is theirs. Thom says gruffly that he hasn’t taught her nearly enough of what she needs to know to be a good queen, and Elayne kisses his cheek in thanks. Juilin says Rand al’Thor will have his “guts for fish bait” if he doesn’t hand Elayne back to him in one piece.

Elayne lifted her chin. “I will not have you stay for Rand al’Thor, Juilin.” Hand her back? Indeed! “You will stay only if you want to.”

She adds that they are not released from their promise to do as they are told, either, and if Juilin doesn’t care for those terms he can take Skulker and leave. Juilin indignantly replies that he’s never abandoned a woman in danger in his life, which is not exactly the response Elayne wants, but decides it will do. She orders them to get some sleep, and overhears them flipping for first watch as soon as she leaves.

She almost went back, but found herself smiling instead. Men! It was a fond thought. Her good mood lasted until she was inside.

Nynaeve is trying to stay awake, watching Birgitte, and Elayne hides the arrow in the cupboard before the other woman sees it. She tries to put Nynaeve to bed, but Nynaeve resists until Elayne tells her flatly that she’s had enough of the self-pity, and Nynaeve is going to sleep now, or she will throw her to Cerandin for another round. Nynaeve tries to be indignant, but falls asleep too quickly. Elayne then sits down and tries to stay awake herself, but nods off and dreams of bonding Rand as her Warder until Birgitte wakes her up, looking pale but alert.

“This is not Tel’aran’rhiod.” It was not a question, but Elayne nodded, and Birgitte sank back with a long sigh. “I remember everything,” she whispered. “I am here as I am, and I remember. All is changed.”

She says Gaidal is out there somewhere, “an infant, or even a young boy”, but he will not know her. Elayne tries to reassure her that she will find him somehow, but Birgitte doesn’t think so.

“He will need me, Elayne, and I will not be there. He always has more courage than is good for him; I always must supply him with caution. Worse, he will wander, searching for me, not knowing what he is looking for, not knowing why he feels incomplete. We are always together, Elayne. Two halves of a whole.” The tears welled up, flowing across her face. “Moghedien said she would make me cry forever, and she...” Suddenly her features contorted; low ragged sobs came as if ripped from her throat.

Elayne holds her until she cries herself out; Birgitte then roughly changes the subject, asking whether Nynaeve is all right. Elayne replies that she is all right physically, but she blames herself for what happened to Birgitte. Birgitte replies to this that she does not appreciate Nynaeve taking responsibility for choices she, Birgitte, made herself. Then she frowns at Elayne.

“I can... feel you. I think I could close my eyes and point to you a mile away.”

Elayne takes a deep breath and confesses what she did, and further that she is only an Accepted, not full Aes Sedai. Birgitte thinks she might have heard of a female Warder once, long ago, but is amazed at the other, and tells Elayne the story of an Accepted named Barashelle during the Trolloc Wars who bonded a Warder the day before she was to be raised, and how it did not end well for her at all, but promises to keep Elayne’s secret, and serve her as Warder. She then tells Elayne that it is time for her to go to sleep. Elayne is indignant, but Birgitte tells her it is a Warder’s job to tell her Aes Sedai when she is pushing herself too far. The next morning Elayne is awakened by Nynaeve trampling her to get to Birgitte’s bedside to check on her, and spends the whole morning waiting hand and foot on her. They go outside as the menagerie is breaking camp and preparing to head into Samara, and Elayne remembers nervously that she is supposed to highwalk in front of people today. Luca swaggers up and gives them flak for sleeping in, and tells them to get rid of their visitor. Showing a flash of her normal self, Nynaeve glares at him and tells him off, but Luca is only concerned with outdoing his competition, and suddenly asks Birgitte if she would be willing to paint her face and get hit with a bladder. Birgitte tells him flatly that she is not a fool, but an archer. Luca sneers that he supposes she calls herself Birgitte, too.

“I am an archer, pretty man,” Birgitte broke in firmly. “Fetch a bow, and I will outshoot you or anyone you name, a hundred crowns gold to your one.”

Elayne expects Nynaeve to object, but Nynaeve only closes her eyes. Luca growls that he has no time for this, but Birgitte inquires sweetly if he is afraid, and Luca turns dark red and hisses he will get his bow. The rest of the crew gathers around as Luca returns with two bows and paces off the target, and then stares as Birgitte doubles the range and throws away most of the arrows he provided, ending with four.

Birgitte nocked an arrow, raised the bow, and loosed seemingly without pausing to aim. Elayne winced, but the steel point struck dead center in the middle of the carved white cross. Before it stopped quivering, the second brushed in beside it. Birgitte did wait a moment then, but only for the two arrows to still. A gasp rose from the onlookers as the third shaft split the first, but that was nothing to the absolute silence as the last split the other just as neatly. Once could have been chance. Twice...

Luca stares in utter shock for a moment, then suddenly throws his bow away and shrieks gleefully that it will be arrows instead of knives. Nynaeve sags against Elayne, but doesn’t say a word of protest. Luca is all for painting her bow silver and calling her Birgitte, but after a glance at Elayne, Birgitte tells him to call her Maerion, and asks if she gets a red dress too. Nynaeve looks like she might vomit.

Otherwise known as Elayne’s Chapter of Honesty.

A legitimate complaint can be made that Elayne and Nynaeve were in the wrong to keep Thom and Juilin in the dark about Moghedien. And they were in the wrong, which is why Elayne’s decision to tell them the truth in this chapter is a major step in her journey toward adulthood. One of the hallmarks of immature youth is the tendency to keep secrets for stupid reasons, most of them linked to insecurity, no matter how Nynaeve may have tried to rationalize it as something else. Also, I think there was a smidgen of imitation going on here; both Elayne and Nynaeve have been led by the example of “real” Aes Sedai, who as a matter of course rarely tell anyone anything unless absolutely necessary.

I don’t think the text is trying to defend that, either. As I’ve said before, one of the central themes of WOT is the trouble it causes when the Good Guys fail to trust each other and communicate effectively. I’m not about to try to remember every incident, so take this for what it’s worth, but offhand I can’t think of a single instance in the series in which honesty between (non-evil) characters was not rewarded positively.

As is the case here; Elayne’s fears that the men (especially Thom) would abandon them if they knew the truth prove to be unfounded. Which of course we knew, but do try to remember that it’s a lot easier to judge character’s reactions from a reader’s height, as it were, than when you’re on the ground in the middle of it.

I’ve noticed that a certain subset of the commenters have begun to get more… vehement, shall we say, in their dislike of Nynaeve. This is not new; it happens in every WOT forum I’ve ever had anything to do with. In terms of reader reaction, Nynaeve is probably the most polarizing character in the series; in fact I don’t think it would be too much of an exaggeration to say she’s one of the most polarizing characters in popular sf.

And you know, if you don’t like her, that’s fine; I obviously don’t agree, but for something this subjective Your Mileage has every right to Vary. However, I do think it is worth examining, if this is the case, why exactly that is. If the only rationalization you can come up with for your dislike is that she’s a “fucking bitch”, you may want to consider who that leads your audience to actually want to take a step back from. You may also want to consider reevaluating your objectivity vis à vis gender issues. And, possibly, your anger management skills.

(And no, this obviously does not apply to everyone who has expressed a negative opinion of Nynaeve. Think, then react. This is all I ask.)

Birgitte: besides being generally awesome and honorable and kickass and all that, I was surprised at how much her grief over Gaidal still affects me. I won’t lie, I sniffled a little bit.

Luca: Heh. Does it count as a virtue if your capitalistic self-interest overrides even your enormous ego?

Chapter 37: Performances in Samara

What Happens
Nynaeve sighs at the brassy red color they’ve dyed her hair, and realizes with a start that Birgitte is standing in the doorway of the wagon, her hair dyed black and wearing a red dress just like Nynaeve’s, except without the concealing shawl Nynaeve has wrapped over hers. Birgitte asks why she is wearing the dress if only to cover it; why not be proud of being a woman? Nynaeve swallows and obediently lowers her shawl, and Birgitte grimaces and asks what if she wanted Nynaeve to lower the neckline another inch, or paint her face like a fool, or ordered her to strip naked. Nynaeve can’t answer, and Birgitte shakes her head and tells her that this has to stop.

“I am only trying to make up for —” she began timidly, and jumped when the other woman roared.

“Make up? You are trying to make me less!”

“No. No, it is not that, truly. I am to blame — ”

“You take responsibility for my actions,” Birgitte broke in fiercely. “I chose to speak to you in Tel’aran’rhiod. I chose to help you. I chose to track Moghedien. And I chose to take you to see her. Me! Not you, Nynaeve, me! I was not your puppet, your pack hound, then, and I will not be now.”

Nynaeve stubbornly insists that it was her cowardice that kept her from doing something in time, and Birgitte is incredulous at the notion that Nynaeve is a coward. She tells Nynaeve that both of them did the best they could, and there is no blame if their best was not enough to defeat Moghedien. Nynaeve still thinks that Birgitte would not have been there at all if not for her pride, and says that if Birgitte decides to miss when she shoots at her today, she will understand. Birgitte answers dryly that she always hits what she aims for, and she will not be aiming at Nynaeve. She says she liked Nynaeve as she was, but not as she is now; most of her female friends have “tempers like snowghosts”. She could take Nynaeve as a “milk-tongued sniveling wretch” if that was what Nynaeve was, but she is not. Nynaeve is getting angry now, and Birgitte notices with a grin and continues to needle her.

“I cannot — will not — leave Elayne. That bond honors me, and I will honor it, and her. And I will not allow you to think that you make my decisions, or made them. I am myself, not an appendage to you. Now go away.”

Birgitte adds for her to be sure to “curtsy like a good girl” on her way out. Nynaeve stomps outside, and argues with herself that she has no right to be angry with Birgitte.

I thought she could do anything she wanted to you, a small voice whispered in her head. I said she could kill me, she snarled at it, not humiliate me!

Nynaeve stalks toward the menagerie’s entrance, and realizes by the guards’ idiotic grins that she still has the shawl looped around her shoulders, whereupon she glares at them and covers herself up hastily. She watches the crowd thronging the show for a bit, and is intensely annoyed to see Thom is performing in his own coat. She heads over to the highwalk platform and slips into the front row between Luca and a villainous-looking man with his head shaved except for a topknot and a patch over one eye. Luca tries to put an arm around her, and she elbows him in the ribs. Juilin comes out and does a performance on the tightrope where he pretends to be drunk, which gets a roar of approval from the crowd, and then Elayne comes bouncing out in a white sequined coat and breeches which Nynaeve thinks might be even worse than her own dress. She begins her routine, and Nynaeve holds her breath, because Elayne is not channeling a platform of Air; the risk is too great with Moghedien and the Black Ajah searching menageries for them. She had tried to convince Elayne to feign a broken ankle, but Elayne had refused, and Nynaeve yelps and clutches Luca’s arm as Elayne cartwheels across the rope. Luca doesn’t get why she’s so nervous now, considering Elayne’s done this routine a hundred times before in practice, but doesn’t miss the opportunity to put his arm around her. Elayne does more cartwheels, a handstand, and a backflip that Thom had taught her, which almost makes her fall, but she catches herself and finishes the routine to thunderous applause. The crowd mobs her as she comes down, and Nynaeve overhears the one-eyed man next to her mutter that Elayne has a face “like a bloody queen”.

“Burn me for a sheep-gutted farmer, but she’s flaming well brave enough for a bloody queen.”

Nynaeve gapes after him as he walks off, remembering where she’d met a one-eyed man with a topknot with the worst language ever, and quickly sets off after him.

The best thing about Birgitte is how she has every cause to be depressed and bitter and angry, and simply refuses to be any of those things. A less forthright character would have been sorely tempted to take out her pain on those around her, especially as Nynaeve is practically applying for it in triplicate, but it speaks volumes about Birgitte that she won’t even consider it. That’s class, y’all.

It also speaks to her relative maturity versus Elayne and Nynaeve. Actually, considering she’s lived dozens-ish of lives from her current perspective, she probably has more life experience than just about any other character in WOT, except possibly Ishamael. (The other Forsaken are just as old as Ishy, but unlike him they were asleep for most of those millennia, so.) I suppose a case might be made for Mat with his memories, as well, but the notion of applying the term “mature” to Mat makes me snort a little.

My point is, girl has been around the block a time or two, and this definitely helps with the “life wisdom” thing. Too bad Birgitte seems to go sour later, but then I can’t say it’s even an unreasonable character development; sad, yes, but not unreasonable. More on that later.

Poor Nynaeve. She just really, really sucks at groveling.

Elayne’s Cirque du Soleil debut: I am not an acrobat, nor do I play one on TV, but I find her ability to do a backflip, on a rope, after only twenty-odd days of practice... improbable. Especially considering that this is the first time she’s really done it on a rope, instead of a platform of Air. Eh.

Chapter 38: An Old Acquaintance

What Happens
Nynaeve follows the one-eyed man to the s’redit display near the entrance of the show.

“Uno?” She thought that was the right name.

His head turned to stare at her. Once she had the shawl back in place, he raised the stare to her face, but no recognition lit in his dark eye. The other, the painted red glaring one, made her a little queasy.

She says she saw him in Fal Dara, and at Toman Head, briefly; he was with... she hesitates, and finally says “with Rand.” He narrows his eye at her, and says he recognizes her flaming face; Nyna? She corrects him sharply, and he grabs her arm and starts hustling her toward the entrance. The guards there see this and start toward her, but she waves them off and yanks at Uno until he lets her go. She demands to know what he thinks he’s doing, but he only motions her to follow him; she growls and follows him till they get away from the crowd.

“What I am flaming trying to do,” he growled then, “is to take you where we can flaming well talk without you being torn to flaming bits by flaming folk trying to kiss your flaming hem when they find out you flaming know the Lord Dragon.”

He adds, doesn’t she know that half these “flaming goat-heads” think Rand is the bloody Creator? Nynaeve tells him acidly that she will thank him to moderate his language, and to tell her where they are going. Uno comments that he remembers her mouth, too, and that she was mixed up with “that blue woman”. He heads toward the city, telling her (cutting off curses every few words) that this is no place for her to be, and he can scrape up enough coin to get her to Tear. Nynaeve is amazed, and wonders what is it with men that they automatically assume women need to be looked after, and tells him she doesn’t need his money; the only thing they need is a boat going downriver.

“We? Is the blue woman with you, or the brown?” That had to be Moiraine and Verin. He was certainly being cautious.

“No. Do you remember Elayne?” He gave a blunt nod, and a mischievous impulse seized her; nothing seemed to faze the man, and he obviously expected to just take charge of her welfare. “You saw her again just now. You said she had a” — she made her voice gruff in imitation of his — “face like a bloody queen.”

He stumbles and stares at her, then starts muttering furiously about bloody queens showing their bloody legs. Nynaeve inquires if his mother never taught him to speak decently; he glares at her, and she asks what he is doing here. Uno tells her that the blue woman told them to go to Jehennah and make contact with a woman there and wait for further instructions, but the woman was dead when they got there, and then Masema started talking to people. Uno and most of the others stick with Masema because he slips them enough to eat on, though only Bartu and Nengar listen to “his trash”. He looks about to choke, and Nynaeve realizes there hadn’t been a single obscenity in this speech.

“Perhaps if you cursed only occasionally?” She sighed. “Maybe once every other sentence?” The man smiled at her so gratefully that she wanted to throw up her hands in exasperation.

She asks why Masema has money when the rest of them don’t, and Uno tells her, why, he’s the bloody Prophet. He asks if she wants to meet him, and Nynaeve realizes he means to take her literally about the cursing every other sentence. Uno tells her Masema could get her a boat if he decides that’s what he wants; for someone from the same village as the Dragon Reborn Masema would probably have a bloody boat built. Nynaeve considers the pros and cons of this notion, and Uno adds that she shouldn’t tell him she has anything to do with “that bloody island”, though, as Masema is almost as bad as the Whitecloaks about women from there. Nynaeve asks if the Whitecloaks have been causing trouble, and Uno tells her there was a woman with one of the shows who did sleight of hand, and the Whitecloaks whipped up a mob with the rumor that she was Aes Sedai; the bloody mob tore the show apart and broke the woman’s neck getting her to a noose.

His scowl matched the-red eye painted on his patch. “There’s been too many flaming hangings and beheadings, if you bloody well ask me. Bloody Masema’s as bad as the bloody Whitecloaks when it comes to finding a Darkfriend under every flaming rock.”

“Once every other sentence,” she murmured, and the man actually blushed.

Uno starts reconsidering the wisdom of taking her into town, scandalized that women aren’t safe there (an alien concept to a Shienaran), and his mother-henning decides Nynaeve. She starts marching into Samara, ignoring Uno’s growling to himself about the stubbornness of women.

I’m sorry, but the cursing every other sentence thing is HILARIOUS.

When it comes to profanity in historical or pseudo-historical contexts, you really can only go one of two ways, and Jordan obviously decided to go the non-Deadwood route.

What I mean by that: Deadwood’s avalanche of obscene dialogue was accurate in volume (Deadwood inhabitants really did curse that much) but not in actual content. Since the popular profanity of the time would strike modern viewers as quaint and innocuous, the TV show creators substituted modern obscenities to properly convey the impact the language would have had on an 1870s listener.

I am personally rather a fan of this method of being true to the spirit of historical accuracy rather than the letter of it. Another example would be the modern musical numbers in Moulin Rouge!; I thought using techno/rock to convey how the can-can would have struck a fin de siècle audience was brilliant, personally, but I admit the conceit can be rather jarring. It’s the sort of thing that you can either go with or you can’t.

Anyway, we don’t have to go with that in WOT; we have the other problem, which is having “obscenity” which we are aware is shocking to the characters, but which we are not culturally primed to have bang on our mental kneecap the way it does for them. (“Bloody” may work better on British ears, but I am under the impression that these days “bloody” rates right around a “hell” or even a “crap” level for Americans, so that’s not much of a help. Thoughts, Brits?)

Of course, this non-profane profanity does have the advantage of keeping the general FCC-compliant tone of the series, as well as allowing this scene with Uno and Nynaeve to be played entirely for comedy. Imagine substituting the word “fucking” for every “flaming” Uno utters here.

Yeah, it’s a little less “ha ha”, a little more “eesh”, isn’t it? And I say this as someone who is a cheerful proponent of profanity in general. But even I have limits.

(Besides, cursing is like pepper; used in the proper context and in the proper proportions it is a highly effective finishing touch, but too much numbs the impact and ruins the meal. Also, it is tacky.)

And we’re stopping! Be excellent to each other in commentage, and see you Friday!

1. Freelancer
One of several reasons I never considered quitting the Series was how Jordan applied "DIRTY, DIRTY, LANGUAGE".

That, and his choice for "panning to fire", pleased me greatly. If I wanted smut, I wouldn't wish to look for it in the sci-fi/fantasy aisle.
John Massey
2. subwoofer
Hi Leigh, really tried to be good... Does it help that you are in my "Gooder" list?

And just wanted to say that Uno was always in my tops list. Love crusty old soldiers that cursing comes so natural it is like breathing. Know a bunch of guys like that who are not even aware that they are doing it. Just a natural form of expression for some...

Yay for the post!

-edit- was that a nod towards Bill and Ted?
- and loved Ian McShane in Deadwood.
Marcus W
3. toryx
Chapter 36 is one of the rare times that I actually appreciate Elayne. I love that she finally came out and told Thom and Juilin what was actually going on.

The scene between Birgitte and Nynaeve that includes the former saying, "You are trying to make me less!” is one of my favorites from the book, and probably my favorite of the entire Menagerie sequence. Birgitte's argument is the same as the Maiden's argument, and every woman that the bloody Two River men (and Galad and Gawyn for that matter) try to "protect" from harm. It's one of the most important messages I've seen in the series and it applies to everyone. An individual's right to choose is one of the most important things anyone has and yet everyone seems to have a hard time seeing it, both good and evil. I wish someone would grab Rand, tie him down, and give him this exact speech. It's even better than Sulin's later on.

Ah Uno. I love Uno. I wish I had a friend like Uno. And I'm glad Leigh alluded to Deadwood, because it's absolutely appropriate (and one of my favorite shows of all time).
Lost in my own Mind
4. Lost in my own Mind
I also have really enjoyed the Uno-Nynaeve interactions on this re-read, a big part of my increased love for Nyneave in general.

Uno is a great secondary character, I hope we see more of him.
John Massey
5. subwoofer
And the Prophet really grinds on me. Clear cut case of somebody in Perrin's party needing to create a Gateway, lead the Prophet through it by "accident" and let him have a heart to heart with Rand. Don't really understand the purpose of him anyway.

And Ny's a doof. Again. Did like the way she "had to wear" a revealing dress. And her walking about in it outside the Circus. Kinda like in TAR.

-edit- still baffled by bloody buttered onions being a curse?!
Lost in my own Mind
6. alreadymadwithinsecurity
Nynaeve claimed that you had to manage men for their own good, but there was such a thing as taking it too far.

Is that words of wisdom from Nynaeve? Bah! You're right Leigh, she's just being insecure.

Uno trying to control his swearing was hilarious.
Lannis .
7. Lannis
This may be petty, but I truly enjoy when Birgitte baits Nynaeve to get her to realize the absurdity of her attitude... tee hee!

Ah, more of Nynaeve's unintended flirting with Luca.

Hiya Uno! Great to see you again! Unfortunately, as fun as your cursing is, the literal swearing every other sentence disrupted the flow of narrative for me, and I stopped to count: boo to distancing the reader. And well, you're about to bring us into Prophet territory. ::shudder:: But it's good to see you, anyway!

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Much appreciated! :)
John Mann
8. jcmnyu
Two things:

1. Nynaeve: I am not in the "she's an f'ing bitch" group. I am also not in the "her doodoo don't stink" group. I'm in the "she's a lying, liar, who lies" group. Until she breaks her block and begins to mature a bit, she can't tell the truth, either to the people around her or herself. She's a bully with her lies, too. When we get her POV, she is constantly slanting what she sees and does to justify doing whatever the hell she wants. No thought to what is right, necessary, or helpful. Simply what she wants. Act first, justify later. Can't stand it. It starts with her leaving the Two Rivers to "rescue" the boys who were saved by the Aes Sedai and Warder, and it continues up to the cleansing of saidin.

2. Elayne: Agreed that there is no plausible way for her to be doing flips and cartwheels on a high wire. Everyone freaks out about Mat learning how to juggle 6 balls in a few weeks. At least if he screwed up, he wouldn't have died. And there is never a mention of a net, is there? One of Jordan's most egregious suspensions of disbelief.

3. I never caught until this reread that Birgitte takes on the alias of Maerion. A clear and obvious reference to Robin Hood.
Lost in my own Mind
9. AlleyGirl
Love love love Nynaeve. I remember being shocked at Birgitte being ripped from TAR and thrown into the 'real world" first time I read this. Great scenes.

and let me just state for the record...

Ugh. Masema.
Lost in my own Mind
10. Smatt
Great post agian Leigh.

Nyneave becomes annoying as the books progress but then transforms into awsomness in KOD. I put this down to her marriage.

Uno is one of the best secondary support acts in the series and I wish we saw more of him during the Salidar AS segments.

I put Birgittes sourness down to the fact that she is in need of a good couch session with Freud to help come to terms with her separation situation. At one point I'm sure Elayne mentions about the amount that she is drinking. It could be that she will have a mini breakdown in the future.

On the whole 'bloody' issue as far as i'm concerned it is barley clinging on with its finger nails as a swear word. I liken it to Nearly Headless Nick in his attempt to join the headless ghost club.
Lost in my own Mind
11. Smatt
Ok, got to learn to spell again!
12. MasterAlThor
Gasp!!! She does read the post!!!

Well I am glad that I wasn't the one running around using Uno landguage to discribe my hate for Nynaeve.

Doof. Ha love it.

Agreeing that Brigitte is total BA, and that she gets a little weak later on.

So....who's going to Leigh's office for some much needed MoN time???? Come on don't be shy. Offer up somebody.
Marcus W
13. toryx
jcmnyu @ 8:

It starts with her leaving the Two Rivers to "rescue" the boys who were saved by the Aes Sedai and Warder, and it continues up to the cleansing of saidin.

While I agree that one of Nyn's biggest problems is her inability to be honest with herself, to say nothing of others, I don't think that it starts with the rescue. I think her reactions about the three men/ boys and Egwene's disappearance was absolutely justified.

Her difficulties with the truth I chalk up in part to having her whole perception of the world turned upside down since leaving the Two Rivers. Being older than the others, she was a lot more set in her ways. Hell, she was forced to be that way by virtue of her age and position. Finding out that the world does not work at all the way she had thought it did has really messed her up and she's struggling to make sense of it all.
Captain Hammer
14. Randalator
Okay, first of all: The cursing every other sentence? Single most hilarious WoT moment ever. Probably even the single most hilarious moment in High Fantasy ever.

re: "bloody":
I'm not British, but I have a fair share of friends there. Some of them are 60 and over and still use "bloody" on a regular basis (as far as that can be said about curse words). We even had a discussion once about cursing and how the perception and use of curse words changes from generation to generation. In that case they said that their parents would have been absolutely shocked at hearing the word "fuck". They themselves still consider it very rude (to a point where they would sometimes switch of a movie because of frequent use in it) while among young people it has become more or less an every-day word.

So in my case I always perceived "bloody" as a real curse word in WoT, albeit a very mild one from my perspective. Something along the lines of "darn" or "dang" in impact. Technically still cursing but without any harm.

"Fuck" by the way doesn't bother me at all because, well, not my native language and buff here. You can only take so much "Shut the fuck up, Donnie"s before you don't care anymore (if you ever did to begin with).

On that note, best swearing in a movie ever:

"Fuck you! What the fuckin'...? Fuck...! Who the fuck...? Fuck this fuckin'...! How did you two fuckin' fucks...? FUCK!"
- "That certainly illustrates the diversity of the word..."

Swearing. It's fun for the whole family...!
Corey Ouellette
15. FU26
@8 jcmnyu
I completely agree with you on Nynaeve. She is just so full of it until much later in the series.

Uno is BA and i forgot to put him in my character list but he would def be a love.

I always kind of found it funny that while they are trying so hard to hide from Moggy that they still let Birgitte shoot arrows in the show. That really defeats the purpose of dying her hair in my opinion.
Lost in my own Mind
16. El Fitcho
Well Leigh, as a Brit, I'm of the opinion that bloody ranks slightly higher than crap and bollocks, about the same as bugger, but still some way behind fuck and shit (and even further behind another word I won't mention)... Which may be the funnest and most obscene sentence I've ever written.

Uno is a legend, but still not as great as my fave Shienaran Ingtar; darkfried or no the boy was awesome and is due a random incarnation sometime before Tarmon Gaidon.
17. MasterAlThor
Randalator will be reporting to Leigh's office.

Funny as hell post man. What movie was that??? And what is your first language??
Lost in my own Mind
18. Jormengrund
I loved how he first introduces Birgitte and her "foibles".. The biggest let-down for me was how she kind of stopped with the flashy show, and became rather dull and depressing later on.. Less mischief, more business...

Nynaeve in this book really made me grin. She's learning that she can't do it all by herself, but that doesn't mean that she can't try first, and then ask for help!

Uno and his language.. About flaming time the bloody fella learned how to control that flaming tongue of his.. Mother's milk in a cup, but he's got one dirty mouth!
19. MasterAlThor
El Fitcho

I was watching the telly and heard someone say that someone else was an Essexer or something like that. Can you enlighten us???

Or any other Brit can chime in if you wish.
21. MasterAlThor
I could be wrong about the town...but that is the jist of it.
Marcus W
22. toryx
I was going to ask what's more offensive than "fuck" to the Brits, but then I thought back to my time in London and remembered.

Yeah, even I'm not going to type that one here.
Lost in my own Mind
23. Latecomer
Thanks Leigh - you have done the impossible. This is the first time that I am actually enjoying reading the 'circus' bits. Although these 3 chapters are not so bad due to the action in them. Still to me a clunky section.

"Masema starts reconsidering the wisdom of taking her into town.." I think that should be Uno there - the coming of the Prophet is weighing upon you, methinks. :)

Love! how Birgitte manipulates Luca into something he was against doing at first - take note, SuperGirls - this is how a wise woman works.

I missed all the Nynaeve quarrels I think. I certainly am one of those people that couldn't stand her at all. Not even the Golden Crane moment could overcome the 10 books worth of annoyance. Her strident hypocrisy, bull headedness, and disrespect of others really ticked me off. It took someone else's viewpoint to allow me to see that she was really a product of her background and upbringing, and she did in fact grow as a character through the series. So I guess I now sympathise more, and don't dislike her as much. But I can still see all the things that annoyed me, although they don't make me glaze over her POV chapters anymore.

That makes me think - who DID I like on the first read? I really disliked the non-communication, Rand's treatment of Moiraine, and Perrin's cluelessness with Faile. Nyn and Elayne didn't really do it for me either. MY Fav characters after the first few books were Moiraine, Thom, Min, Suian,Rhuarc and to some extent Mat and Rand.

But of course I was reading for the story not the 'hero' :)
David Dudley
24. Warspoon
This may shed some light on the Essexer thing: Essex Girl.
Lost in my own Mind
25. MatthewJ
Master AlThor: The movie he quoted is "The Boondock Saints" and is a cult classic very much worth watching.

Does Birgitte sour later? I just finished my latest reread of all the books and She stays pretty awesome all the way through... what am i missing?
Captain Hammer
26. Randalator
Master al'Thor @17

The movie is "Boondock Saints". And my first language is german which neatly explains why I'm immune to any amount of swearing.

It's always fun to see Americans being interviewed for german TV for the first time. Somewhere along the line they'll use bad language and they're all

"Whoops! Sorry. I'll start again."
- "No, that's okay."
"Oh, right, you'll bleep it."
- "No, you can swear on german TV."
- "You can swear on german TV."
- "Yep."
"Wow. §$§"§/)"...! $§$§$=="!"§=?...! "§%§&$§...! Man that's cool!"
Brian Kaul
27. bkaul
Elayne: The one SG who actually likes men. (Yes, an argument could be made for Egwene liking at least some men, but she still has man-bashing thoughts/comments thrown in regularly, and her attitude is essentially contemptuous. Elayne differing with Nynaeve here is refreshing.)

Nynaeve: I think part of the disconnect between whether we like/dislike her is based on perspective. When I think of what it'd really be like to have her around and deal with her on a day-to-day basis, I imagine she'd be quite intolerable, at least until after she's married. But seeing inside her head and looking at things from an all-knowing perspective of seeing her as a "courageous fantasy heroine," she's a pretty cool character.

Birgitte: Perhaps Moggy's threat to "make her cry forever" was meant to indicate that she'll somehow be separated from Gaidal Cain, not that she's ripped from the pattern/horn as previous discussions have suggested. If she never finds GC, perhaps ankle-biter Gaidal will get balefired by a Forsaken in the last battle or something along those lines and she'll have to live with the knowledge that she wasn't there for eternity. Loony theory in some respects, but something along those lines would fit the "cry forever" aspect of the threat better than ending Birgitte's cycle of rebirth and eternal life in TAR. If Birgitte's ripped out for good, there's no "forever" aspect to her misery. If she's permanently separated from Gaidal Cain, but still gets to live with the memory of it forever, that would fit quite well. I think Moghedien's intent might be along those lines.
Lost in my own Mind
28. Latecomer
Re. Bloody .. its used fairly casually down under. Not really considered swearing. Hence the 'Where the bloody hell are you' campaigns for Australian Tourism.
Lost in my own Mind
29. Smatt
Essex Girl is a derogatory term. Never heard of Essexer before.
Andrew Lovsness
30. drewlovs
This is one of those Itimes that I am extremely happy that Leigh is doing the re-reads, and not me. Masema... blach. Nynaeve's self-loathing... BLECH. I really disike these parts, though I guess they are needed to move the story along; and I'm with you, Leigh, when it comes to Elayne's little stint on the high-wire. She learned how to do all this in a couple of weeks? Really??

And the decision to risk her life for the thrill seems a litle out of character... she tries to model herself after previous queens, and the whole episode just doesn't fit. I'm not sure why Jordan included it, to tell the truth.

Isn't there a Rand/Egwene/Matt chapter coming up? Please?
Kurt Lorey
31. Shimrod
@26 Randalator.

Kids in a candy store. Getting to cuss on TV for Americans, that is.
Karen Walters
32. Wrenza
As a brit, the best way I can think of to describe the scale of swearing is how I react to my kids when they say it

Crap, - doesn't get a look from me towards the child.

Bloody - gets a watch your language

Fuck - gets a go to your room and don't come out for several days......

I really enjoy the swearing, its a lot more inventive and evocative than real swearing for me. Fuck I would just glance over, blood and bloody ashes gets a second look. Especially with onions.

Incidentally - Ass doesn't get a look either - its not particularly used here, now arse would get a go to the room for 30 mins.

I love seeing Nyneave trying to watch what she says and how she acts. It just feels very real.
John Massey
33. subwoofer
@Randalator- a couple of posts ago I did a link to the cat scene in that movie and Funny Face when he holds a gun to his head and promises to shoot himself if his GF could remember the cat's name.

er... Bloody Ny, and her bloody flirting with bloody Luca. Ah, don't got it. Bloody burned buttered biscuits?
Luke M
34. lmelior
Were we that bad in the last post? I just remember one potty mouth, nothing like certain other debacles that shall be left unnamed.

Besides, cursing is like pepper; used in the proper context and in the proper proportions it is a highly effective finishing touch, but too much numbs the impact and ruins the meal.
Absolutely. I completely avoid casual cursing, because it is so very much more satisfying dropping the f-bomb when you stub your toe or bang your elbow.

Birgitte: MoA with the arrow-splitting routine.
Joseph Blaidd
35. SteelBlaidd
This is one of my favorite sections.

I love the fact that Nynaeve does have a little voice that tells her she is being unreasonable she just has a lot of practice arguing with it :-)

One of the things that makes Birgitte worthy of her place among the Heroes of the horn is that her first thought is not "oh nohes I have lost my place in the pantheon!" but "The man I have loved for for untold thousands of years will be searching for me and I won't be there for him to find, and he will be hurting."
Captain Hammer
36. Randalator
SteelBlaidd @35

I love the fact that Nynaeve does have a little voice that tells her she is being unreasonable she just has a lot of practice arguing with it :-)

Arguing? Punching it in the face repeatedly with a blunt object is more like it.
Helen Peters
37. Helen
@ 16. El Fitcho
Well Leigh, as a Brit, I'm of the opinion that bloody ranks slightly higher than crap and bollocks, about the same as bugger, but still some way behind fuck and shit (and even further behind another word I won't mention)... Which may be the funnest and most obscene sentence I've ever written.

IMHO bloody is neither here nor there, bollocks is my personal fav, neither are as bad as crap, though that seems to be OK in the US. I don't use f*&^ and have found that shit is generally softened by adding an e at the end, and the worst one c*%£ for some reason doesn't offend me.

Essex girls, as the jokes go, are meant to have 'loose morals', a bit like the SGs think of Berelain (she's not a tart!).
Brian Kaul
38. bkaul
Arguing? Punching it in the face repeatedly with a blunt object is more like it.

Would Nynaeve see any difference?
Lost in my own Mind
39. Drew Holton
So...if "flaming" is the new "fuck", what does that make "bloody buttered onions"? I always wanted to ask RJ if that was truly the worst profanity in WoT...
As for Elayne's high wire act, I agree it took a pretty big suspension of disbelief, but it's still always been one of my favorite scenes in all of WoT. I always imagined it from the perspective of Elayne's old age and her looking back on it as sort of a high water mark of her youthful adventures, before things started getting REALLY serious.
Alice Arneson
40. Wetlandernw
Ah, if only I had time to write my little blurb on the use of vulgarity, obscenity and profanity... Got guests arriving any minute, so you're spared. I'll let someone else's words speak for me. A very wise woman once said "I understand the need to express anger or disapproval, I just wish you kids would be a little more rigorous with your name-calling." It's one of the best (and funniest) rants I've ever read.

At least if I get sent to the MoN, it won't be for my language. ;)
lanyo lanyo
41. lanyo
Leigh and everyone else make these parts a little easier to read again. I had forgotten how tedious the circus bits are, even with all the complaints before we got here.
I love and hate Nyn. Sometimes I think I like her because I can relate to the feeling that the whole world rests on me.. when clearly it does not. Other times I can't stand how she thinks (in the next chapter I believe) men think violence solves everything, she wished she had a stick to thump them with. The hell???!! Stupid stupid Nyn.
I do like Uno. I never counted his lines til someone here mentioned it. Thanks for making it hard to read guys ;)
Lost in my own Mind
42. TexanSedai
Yeah Birgitte! Love her.... Love the way she shows up Luca with her mad archery skills. Take that!

One chapter where I actually like Elayne better than Nyn. Nyn's martyrdom is weak but she makes up for it with Uno.

Yeah Uno! Love him! I have the hardest time picturing his eyepatch.... hmmm.....

@32 Wrenza

Blood and bloody ashes with onions...of man that is too funny....
Lost in my own Mind
43. alreadymadwithcurses
toryx @3
Nynaeve would do well to learn that lesson as well. She's the one who always absolutely refuses to give men, any men, up to and including Rand, their due.

lmelior @34
I do the same. Leave off the cursing for the most part. Then drop the f-bomb for emphasis.
Dale Metzger
44. Metzg31
Love Nynaeve's reaction when Luca announces that it will be arrows instead of knives.

I feel the same way about Elayne's apparently natural-born ability to walk (and flip and cartwheel) on a rope. Seems highly suspect, but at the same time, awesome. I'm a sucker for previously undiscovered skills (num-chucks, computer hacking, etc.)

Also, while we are suspending belief for the sake of awesomeness, if the Mythbusters are to be believed, it is nearly impossible to split an arrow from tail-to-tip with another arrow as the second arrow would split along the grain in the first arrow. It is less improbable with a hollow shaft made from bamboo or the like, but it is still extremely difficult. An arrow loosed from a bow will wobble in flight, making the likelihood of hitting the first arrow dead-on highly unlikely.

Regardless, Made of Awesome. Or in Birgitte's case Legen-wait for it-Dary.
45. Freelancer
And the decision to risk her life for the thrill seems a litle out of character... she tries to model herself after previous queens, and the whole episode just doesn't fit. I'm not sure why Jordan included it, to tell the truth.

Actually, there is a fit here. She considers the past Queens of Andor, and finds they were all intensely courageous. In her state of mind, doing the high-wire act without net or Power is an attempt to live up to that standard. Misguided, sure, but understandable.

Nynaeve gets her second helping of humble pie. Regardless of Egwene's rightness or wrongness about motives for the first one, it was still something Nynaeve needed (the catsfern/mavinsleaf tea, not talking about the nightmare). That one showed her that dishonesty to a friend strips her of any authority when dealing with that friend. This one shows her that guilt needs to be focused only on her own actions/motives, not those of others, even if they are acting as her agent.

Personal growth is always good, but rarely FEELS good.

Nynaeve apologizing to Thom: Mark the calendar! Alert the media!

About Elayne, she has always treated males more equitably than any of the other lead females, just as she shows more consideration to people encountered randomly than Nynaeve or even Egwene. And she's the stuck-up one?
Lost in my own Mind
46. mcrbryant
As a 30 something Brit:

Bloody is a word that I used to get punished for saying as child - ranking up there with maybe... 'Shit!'

It's now pretty meaningless and is mostly used almost as a mocking swear word that only 'Posh' (Oh, how I detest that word) people might use.

The view in Randland of the use of 'Bloody' seems akin to that of my (mostly late) grandparents.

Rudest word in the English (as opposed to American) language? That would be 'C U Next Tuesday'. Maybe it has a similar ranking on the other side of the pond.

As a digression, the funniest use of the F-word on Television ever, has to be in 'The Wire' where the lead protagonists investigate a crime scene and manage to convey an entire 2 minute forensic conversation, using only the word 'Fuck' - absolutely classic.
Julian Augustus
47. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander @ 40:
It's one of the best (and funniest) rants I've ever read.

You certainly would enjoy the movie Cyrano de Bergerac, the old black and white version with Jose Ferrer. The old lady in the elevator was using a technique perfected in that movie.
Wayne Wilson
48. stylusmobilus
I'm surprised that Uno and his crew actually stayed with Masema for so long and didn't just return to Sheinar. His comment ...'only Bartu and Nengar listen to his trash', convinced me he didn't really want to be around. Guess it was the money thing eh? And providential for the SG's I guess. Aside from Masema, who is a complete pain in the arse, (and IMO has something to do with Demandred) I've always liked the Sheinarans. I always hoped Ingtar's suicidal tendency in TGH earnt him the welcome home from Mum's embrace.

Swearing. I've always been fairly literal in regards to swear words. I find 'bugger' fairly offensive if used in some regards, due to what it means. Same with 'bastard'. I never use the word in reference to someone unless they offend me at a fairly high level. Someone earlier (Latecomer I think) mentioned that bloody is fairly common here in Aus. Unfortunately, they all are. Scots and Irish seem to be pretty foul mouthed too.
AJ MacPherson
49. Mackey62
I love the fact that learning to walk the high walk or learning to juggle in a couple of weeks gets so much attention as not being realistic. But Perrin talking to wolves is just cool. Because this is fantasy and that is acceptable but anything that can translate to our world is questioned.

Being as I don't want to work anymore, I will try to defend these.

First, Mat appears to always had good hand-eye coordination, picked up Knives very quickly as well and I don't think you can claim that was all from the memories. So had a good headstart.

Elyane, when we first met her, was climbing trees in a dress. Now I have never worn a dress (it is called a Kilt!) but climbing in a dress and a royal princess dress no less, can't be easy. And we don't have a lot of back story on her, but she seems to be someone who would push the limits of acceptable Daughter-Heir behavior and climb and pretend to have adventures. So it is not the unrealistic that she has an appitude for heights. Plus at least she tried to do something other than scream and have every guy ogle her heaving busom. (Wow, never thought I would use the word busom.)
Richard Fife
50. R.Fife
Swearing in WoT: I don't know about you, but I've actually started using some of Uno's swears for my own in real life conversations. With the right inflections, they get even more a raised eyebrow than "real" swears.

Birgitte: I really enjoyed RJ's testament to what real maturity can be. On the same token, I enjoy some of the childish torment she gives the other characters. Reminds me of a professor I had in college that said "the day we forget how to play is the day we are truly old."

Speaking of play, you all enjoy Friday, I won't be around, as I'll be up in NYC doing the tourist thing. And yes, I have plans that, depending on my B.A.C., I might be seen humping the Flatiron building.
51. MasterAlThor
Wetlandernw @40

I have a new hero.

C U Next Tuesday. ROFLMAO still wiping tears from my eyes. I have never seen it put that way. And yes I think that is one of the most offensive things here in the US.

Here in the US with everything being so PC (oh PC is total crap) you can now pick and choose. IE C U Next Tuesday is offensive to women. N I double Geh Er is offensive to black men and women. And so on.

So you can see my point. I would be hard pressed to pick the most offensive potty mouth word in American.

By the way...I am black, not African American. Definitely American, but not African American.
52. MasterAlThor
Ah I forgot.


I tell you the truth...those comercials are better than the "what's that taste in my mouth" ads.

I about died.
Lost in my own Mind
53. Aegnor
I remember hearing a story about an American preacher who was visiting a church in the U.K. and giving a sermon. During the sermon he was relating an experience he had had where he passed a fairly bad accident. He described it as a "bloody accident". Shortly after that he noticed an abrupt change in the temperment of the congregation as they seemed to have become hostile. He had no clue what had happened, just that something had gone wrong. He quickly finished his sermon and got off stage. It wasn't until afterwords that the pastor of the congregation clued him in to the whole "bloody as a curse word" thing.
Hugh Arai
54. HArai
Very happy with Elayne and her Chapter of Honesty. It's very unfortunate that she reverts back whenever other women like the Kin, Sea Folk or Aes Sedai are around. As for the rope-walking: even in KoD, Elayne still hasn't figured out that "the courage expected of a Queen of Andor" != "takes pointless personal risks".

Uno is great, and so is Birgitte. Gaidal's a lucky guy.

bkaul@38: bang on.

Gah. Masema. I don't get him at all. He is just _broken_.
Lost in my own Mind
55. AllAdamB
On Nynaeve

I remember the first several times that I read these books I had a strong dislike for the girl, but with all the awesome surrounding her in later books it becomes hard to not like her. Now when I read about her in the early books I make excuses for her behavior like she does :) I'm rereading CoT right now and the Flying Crane chapter is an example of her kickassedness.
Lost in my own Mind
56. Valan
@Randalator 14
Love the Boondock Saints! Keep those people of the streets, yo!

That movie is a perfect example of why there is nothing wrongs with words, just sometimes how they are said. Tone is everything, people.

I would have to agree that the moment with Nynaeve and Uno and the ever-other-sentence-cursing incident is perhaps the funniest scene in all of WoTdom, but I wouldn't bet on it. I personally found many of Mat and Tylin's scenes on par. Damn Mat! Karma's a bitch!

I just finished the last chapter of KoD today and Mat + Tuon = Awesome. Still had the epilogue to go, but then I had go to work. It'd be totally lame without these posts Leigh!

@53 Aegnor

And somebody said something about Elayne liking men and being far nicer to them. Yeah it'd make her less snotty if she didn't say the things like a queen to a beggar with her bloody nose in the air.

@ Subwoofer
I say "bloody" in the curse form all the time and I'm from Texas. Definately a WoT habit that worked its way into my mind.

@Mcbryant 46
"C U Next Tuesday"
Stopped bothering me after I saw Snatch. Brick Top cracks my shit up!
Lannis .
57. Lannis
Wrenza @ 32: Re: ass vs. arse... not sure how other Canadians feel, but around my area "arse" is actually a euphemism for "ass," the more taboo of the two words.

I'm finding this discussion fascinating... and I love how Elayne has her mental collection of curses... one of those little details that makes her a better character to read.
sandi vogel
58. sinfulcashew
"Masema starts reconsidering the wisdom of taking her into town, scandalized that women aren’t safe there (an alien concept to a Shienaran), and his mother-henning decides Nynaeve. She starts marching into Samara, ignoring Uno’s growling to himself about the stubbornness of women."

I tried to find where Masema showed up, but think there was a typo there? Wasn't it Uno?

Also, just a sidebar.
From a lot of the comments, I wonder why some of you are even reading the series. The first few survey answers were very negative, in that, I really couldn't figure out what the 'answerers' were here for????
I have gone back and forth with all the characters from book one. I just figure it's people on good days and bad days. Nothing permanent.
Of course the hated characters pretty much remain the same throughout the stories.
I pretty much love them all except for the previously mentioned ones.(hated)
So not going name by name for the survey, just put 'love' where indicated and hate where obviously needed.
Sorry if I seem weird, but .....

I wish I had a funny joke to tell!
Lost in my own Mind
59. RobSS
At this time I would also like to gently remind all y’all that differing opinions and healthy debate in the comments are extremely welcome, but ad hominem attacks and rabid frothing at the mouth are, well, not. Please remember to play nice with others, or you will be asked to leave.

And you know, if you don’t like her, that’s fine; I obviously don’t agree, but for something this subjective Your Mileage has every right to Vary. However, I do think it is worth examining, if this is the case, why exactly that is. If the only rationalization you can come up with for your dislike is that she’s a “fucking bitch”, you may want to consider who that leads your audience to actually want to take a step back from. You may also want to consider reevaluating your objectivity vis à vis gender issues. And, possibly, your anger management skills.

Leigh, You Da Man
Lost in my own Mind
60. Branwhin
Master alThor @51

Winnie-the-Pooh and *that* word??? ROFL, though my eyebrows are trying to hide in my hair. And for CU Next Tuesday, also.

Actually, I seem to have Elayne's attitude about curses. If I hear or read a really *interesting* one I love it. Just using the F-bomb for punctuation, and every other part of speech, though, unless it's deliberately done humourously, forget it.

And in WoT? I love Uno, he's fabulous. And Mat, being bad just for the sake of being bad.

One of the best signature lines I've seen is "Blood and Bloody Flaming Ashes: What happens when the tax man tries to collect from a non-compliant Asha'man." If you're here, whoever had that one, thanks!
Frank Skornia
61. FSkornia
Actually on the topic of language (profanity or not) I've been wondering about the language spoken by the Randlanders. It appears that they all seem to speak the same language (including the Seanchan) although with varying accents. I'm particularly surprised by the Seanchan with this considering their disconnect from the focus continent. Then there is the Old Tongue, which from what I've been able to tell (and I'm certainly not a linguist) has no connections with the current language being spoken. Is it ever explained why there is such a major break between the Old Tongue and the current language? Also, where did the current language come from if not derived from the Old Tongue?
Lost in my own Mind
62. Valan

I'm at work so have no references to hand, but I believe RJ explained that Randland language is actually very close to the old tongue, much like spanish is to latin. He has just translated it into English for our convenience. Also the "common" tongue started to become popular sometime before Artur Hawkwing to the point that his heirs brought it over. I guess that they had an influence over the Seanchan dialects.

Hopefully someone can confirm this and I'm not just pulling it out of my arse. :)
Hugh Arai
64. HArai
Lannis@57: This part of Canada the only difference between ass and arse is the second tends to indicate the speaker is British-influenced, with both terms being fairly mild.
Lost in my own Mind
66. The Book Minstrel
I wish this was around when I was in high school and read WOT for the first time. I had no one to talk their ear off about it and discuss pro's and con's. I still don't have anyone to talk their ear off about what I am reading, but I have created a blog for such purposes. I wish I had the time to re-read the series and jump in on this because I only remember it as a distant fog (the books). They have not been kept vividly in my mind. Will remedy that before the final installments are out. Anyways just wanted to say how awesome of an idea this is that and that I really like the discussions going on and the points being made about the characters. By the way my first read though the series I liked Nynaeve al'Meara. Her love for Lan made her human and real for me. Thanks.
Lost in my own Mind
67. HurinSmells
I can see where people might have a problem with Nyn. The fact her block is based on her temper should be a clue as to how she deals with most problems. I've dealt with plenty of people whose management style is the take no prisoners, brow beating approach. Fact is it's an effective style of management, although no ones gonna love you for it. She's the kinda person you want on your team though, cause she get's shit done!

Also at this stage of the series, she REALLY needs to get laid!
68. Freelancer
Luca: Heh. Does it count as a virtue if your capitalistic self-interest overrides even your enormous ego?
You already know the answer to that. Motive and intent reveal character. It is wise for an entrepreneur to maximize profitability; that is not greed, but neither is it a virtue to supress your ego to that end.

(Besides, cursing is like pepper; used in the proper context and in the proper proportions it is a highly effective finishing touch, but too much numbs the impact and ruins the meal. Also, it is tacky.)
Effective communication with the English language does indeed sometimes demand a pronounced exclamatory. However, I find it completely unnecessary and yes, vulgar to stoop to profanity to accomplish such. That includes two decades in the Navy, most of them in one leadership capacity or another. To complete your analogy, I find profanity more like spicing one's language with manure than something edible.


Agreed, though the more modern version with Rene Auberjonois is also quite good. However, for truly amazing rants, insults, and the like, the Cyrano parody Roxanne with Steve Martin is completely unmatched.


Most definitely not weird. That was why I chose a relative ranking format for my response, instead of an emotional scale format. I feel very much as you do in that regard, I appreciate all the Light-team characters, and despise all the Shadow-team ones.
Lost in my own Mind
69. CalaLily
@ 61 & 62

There's something on that in CoT. I don't have the book on hand; it's in my car, I read it on break at work, but I'll get it tomorrow to verify this. Basically, Berelain sends spies into Masema's camp to find out what he's doing. One brings back a paper written from Suroth saying that whoever holds the letter is doing it with her permission for the Empire, and he found it locked in Masema's desk. I distinctly remember it saying that Perrin couldn't read some of the words of Suroth's letter, and others were close enough to make out with a little thought.

I equate the Seanchan language and Randland language as Spanish and Italian. Both have the same root language, Latin, but they developed separately, so there are similarities enough that if you understand one you can understand a good deal of the other, but some words are completely different and likely a result of regional languages being absorbed into the vocabulary over the years.

btw, I don't believe Berelain's spies ever came back after she sent them back to Masema's camp after they gave her the letter, so I'm thinking they were discovered. -shudder-
Lost in my own Mind
70. ZamIt
Not much to say here, or really in the last few reviews. I don't hate this part of the book, but better stuff is definitely on the way!
Re Elayne tightrope walking: I always figured she used the Oneness, kind of like Rand does. Rand maintains pretty good balance in sword forms. I figure Elayne did the same.
Re Dirty Language: Anyone see the scene in the first season of Wire where Bunk and McNulty had a whole crime scene investigation, and only used one word over and over? Classic.
Michael Johnson
71. twosheddz
My favorite Randland profanity (and I can't remember who said it) was when I believe someone was called a pig-kissing goat-farmer. Had to change my shorts after reading that. Though I drop an occasional cuss word, I subscribe to the thought that profanity indicates an undeveloped vocabulary.
Julian Augustus
72. Alisonwonderland
Survey Update

So far we have 36 usable responses for the original survey, but many of the bonus characters have far only a sprinkling of rankings, so this update may not cover them all. Here goes.

The Taveren
Mat is by far the most popular character in the entire WoT world, with 86% of commenters saying they love and another 8% liking his character. Only 6% say they dislike him and no one hates him. What a turnaround from his sniveling whiney selfish character up to tFoH!

Perrin is easily the least popular of the Taveren, with only 8% loving his character, though 5o% like him. A whopping 42% of posters are either indifferent to Perrin or actually dislike him, though, mercifully, no one hates him. Again, what a major turnaround from the greatly favourable impression people had of him in TSR and LoC!

Rand, the central character in the series, is loved by only 47% of the respondents, but is liked by another 42%, so he doesn't fare too badly. What I find interesting is that 8% are indifferent to his character and 3% actually dislike him! Which is, in my view, a great testament to Robert Jordan's writing, that some readers don't care much for the main protagonist in his story but are still hooked on the story because of its richness in other respects.

The Emonds Field Visitors
By that, I mean the visitors to EF who left with the Taveren on WinterNight. Moiraine and Lan are both loved by the majority of respondents (61% and 60%, respectively) and are liked by another 28% and 37%, respectively, with the remaining respondents indifferent. Thom is loved by exactly 50% of respondents and liked by the other 50%. No one dislikes or hates any of these Taveren helpers and guides.

The Supergirls
As expected, opinion is more widely divided on the supergirls than on any other characters, though, except for Elayne, each evokes overall positive feelings among respondents. Nynaeve is loved by 44% of respondents and liked by another 25% (total 69% positive), Egwene is loved by only 28% but is liked by 36% (total 64%), Aviendha is loved by 40% and liked by 37% (total 77%), and poor Elayne is loved by only 9% and liked by 34% (total 42%).

At the other end of the spectrum, Nynaeve is disliked by 14% and hated by 3% of respndents (total 17%), Egwene is disliked by 8% and hated by 6% (total 14%), Aviendha is disliked by 3% and hated by no one (total 3%), and Elayne is disliked by a whopping 29% and hated by another 9% (total 38%). I must say I didn't expect a bath to evoke so much negative emotions against Elayne. Perhaps she might be consoled by the fact that her near-sister Aviendha comes off best among the supergirls in respondents' feelings.

The Caemlyn Crew
This group comprises the major characters our band of fugitives met at Caemlyn, except for Elaida whom I've put in another group. It includes Morgase's two boys and Loial. Please bear in mind that due to my initial oversight only 22 out of the 36 respondents indicated their feelings towards Loial, so his percentages don't have the same statistical significance as for the other characters. Logain would have been in this group, but only 6 respondents ranked him so I won't bother summarizing the responses for him.

Only 9% of respondents have positive feelings towards Gawyn (3% love and 6% like him). The majority of respondents, 53%, either dislike or hate him. Perhaps this is unfortunate, considering what a great impression he made when we first met him in Caemlyn in tEotW, but he has been such a douchebag since TSR that he is lucky he has any supporters at all at this stage.

Galad, despite Elayne's bad-mouthing of him and active promotion of Gawyn, is more positively thought of by the majority of respondents, 20% of whom love him and 34% like him. A relatively fewer 17% dislike Galad and only 3% hate him. It is amazing how one awesome deed (killing Valda) has made such a major difference in readers' response towards Galad, and I suspect Nynaeve is benefitting from the same phenomenon (The Golden Crane).

None of the respondents had any negative feelings (dislike or hate) towards Loial. On the contrary, 50% love him and 27% like him, and the rest are indifferent. These results are not entirely unexpected considering his overall awesomeness.

The Significant Others
By that I mean the non-SuperGirl females in the lives of the Taveren: Min, Faile, Tuon and Berelain. Of this group only Min was included in the original survey so has the full 36 responses. Faile has 25, Tuon 16, and Berelain only 5 responses, so please take the summaries for Faile and Tuon with a grain of salt. The responses on Berelain are too few to be properly summarized.

Min is loved by 44% and liked by 31% of respondents, a fairly significant majority thinking positively of her, though in my admittedly biased expectations I thought everybody would love her. However, only 6% dislike and 3% hate her, so I guess I can be thankful for small mercies.

Faile is treated more harshly by respondents, not to anyone's surprise, I'm sure. Nobody loves her, and only a minority, 44%, like her. At the other extreme, 8% dislike her and a whopping 20% hate her. She is the second most hated character among the good guys.

Tuon, a relatively new character, apparently hasn't had too many opportunities to piss people off, because she is loved by 38% of the respondents and liked by 31%, with only 6% disliking her. No one hates her so far.

Berelain ... wait I said I wouldn't say anything about Berelain! Anyway, despite some rather caustic comments about her in the re-read threads, none of the few survey repondents who mentioned Berelain dislike or hate her. Which surprised me.

The Aes Sedai
This group includes Siuan, Elaida, Cadsuane, and Verin. The last two were not included in the original survey, so we have only 22 and 12 responses, respectively, on them, and their summaries should be viewed with some caution.

Siuan is loved by 29% and liked by 57% of respondents, a clear majority (86%) showing very positive feelings about her character. Only 6% of respondents say they dislike her, and no one hates her. Elaida is far and away the most negatively viewed character among the good guys. A full 23% of the respondents dislike her, and a stupendous 60% just hate her. Which begs the question, what have the 9% who say they love her seen about her that the rest of us haven't?

A number of other characters, Juilin, Leane, Birgitte, Gaul, etc., were mentioned by various posters, but by and large the responses on these characters are too sparse for me to provide reasonable summaries. Perhaps responses on them would increase as more people respond to the survey.
Julian Augustus
73. Alisonwonderland
Freelancer @ 45:
About Elayne, she has always treated males more equitably than any of the other lead females, just as she shows more consideration to people encountered randomly than Nynaeve or even Egwene. And she's the stuck-up one?

How true! See the survey summary I just published.
Julian Augustus
74. Alisonwonderland
Freelancer @ 68:
However, for truly amazing rants, insults, and the like, the Cyrano parody Roxanne with Steve Martin is completely unmatched.

Actually, I have a copy of Roxanne, but to me the Jose Ferrer version had the better insults. A question of taste, I guess.
Lost in my own Mind
75. CalaLily
Secondary Characters Survey:

Juilin - indifferent. He loses cool with Thera. D:
Leane - Love. She's awesome. End of story.
Birgitte - Ditto. :D
Gaul - love- Perhaps my favorite Aiel character out of the whole entire population. Rhuarc is a close second.

Favorite Bad Guys List:

In order from Greatest to Least

Suroth - Favorite, if only because she's from such a wildly different culture and I get to see how her being Eeeeevil breaks the codes of said culture, even if Seanchan society gives me the heeby jeebies anyway.

Temaile - The woman scares me. For such little screen time, my heart pounds whenever she's in a chapter.

Liandrin - I think I like her just because I get to see how far she falls.

Galina - Same reason. That chapter with her being roasted and coated in icepepper juice was pretty vicious. I almost felt sorry for her, even though I knew she a Bad Guy and totally deserved it.

Fain - Creepy man is Creepy

Shiaine - The Darkfriend equivalent of the American Dream. She rose from nothing to a become a powerful and important player in the Big Leagues.

Daved Hanlon - I love the irony of his whole situation with Elayne in the Caemlyn arc.

Taim - I wish Logain would just kill him, already.

Alviarin - I like her less than Galina and Liandrin, but mostly for the same reason. Evil doesn't pay.

Masema - Whacked-out nutjob who thinks he's a good guy. Who doesn't love to hate him?
Lost in my own Mind
76. Latecomer
Ohhhh - there is a survey?

I had no idea when I mused about the characters in a previous post - where can I got to add my 2 cents?
Lost in my own Mind
77. Valan
@ Alisonwonderland

You are Made of Awesome.
William Fettes
78. Wolfmage
Alisonwonderland @ 72.

Great work. Huge props for compiling all that data and sharing it with us.

The results kinda made me want to revise my rating of Egwene somewhere between between indifferent and dislike, so as to blunt the outliers of those who are very positive toward her, and thereby reach a result closer to my true feelings - tepid like. But that's probably unfair strategic voting. :D

It sounds silly, but I do take comfort from the fact that Nynaeve comes out better than Egwene in the survey, even if it is admittedly by a fairly narrow margin.

I do feel sorry for Elayne though. I really cannot fathom how she could come out as the worst SG with such pitiful ratings. I've always read her as great character with many obvious virtues. Arguably, the prejudice against her is more arbitrary than that against Egwene and Nynaeve IMO.

You also reminded me that I missed some characters:

Faile ; dislike

Aviendha ; like

Elaida ; dislike

Morgase ; indifferent (liked before she became addle-brained.)

Galad - like (killing Valda was cool.)

Tuon - like (It would be love, but I do harbour prejudice against Seanchan political values which I cannot completely overlook.)

Berelain - like ; though I do take objection to her behaviour during the Faile rescue arc.
Pete Pratt
79. PeteP
Great work on the survey results -- but Alison, I am getting a little tired of the Matt bashing-- "sniveling whiney selfish character". I am pretty sure that Matt gets his first POV in tDR and is great from the very first time. I know the whole dagger thing messed him up for 2 books, but really.

In tDR alone, he faces down Lanfear, Siuan, and Leane and the SGs in the tower, beats Galad and Gawyn at the same time with his staff (pre-super memories), wins tons of money gambling in Tar Valon, kills DFs, gets Thom out of his funk, kills Darkfriend river pirates, saves Aludra, kills more DFs, hears Rahvin plotting, gets a hint as to Morgase captivity, races to Tear to kills Comar after altering chance at dice, runs into Aiel on rooftops, gets Julian to go with him to rescue the SGs, blows a hole in the Stone with explosives, defeats High Lord Darlin, and rescues the SGs... That was exhausting. I am sure I missed something.

Mat does not get as much to do in tSR, but going through the doorways and getting his memories, medallion, and spear count as pretty good.

Mat may not have been at his best in tGH or half of tEotW, but he did his part. But make sure you place his greatness from tDR not tFoH. Anything else is just Egwene and Nynaeve beening ignorant.
Captain Hammer
80. Randalator
CalaLily @69

One brings back a paper written from Suroth saying that whoever holds the letter is doing it with her permission for the Empire, and he found it locked in Masema's desk. I distinctly remember it saying that Perrin couldn't read some of the words of Suroth's letter, and others were close enough to make out with a little thought.

Not quite.

The letters written on the paper in a flowing script were oddly formed, some unrecognizable, but the thing was readable with a little effort.

The bearer of this stands under my personal protection. In the name of the Empress, may she live forever, give him whatever aid he requires in service to the Empire and speak of it to none but me.

By her seal
Suroth Sabelle Meldarath
of Asinbayar and Barsabba
High Lady

He has trouble with the letters because apparently Seanchan script differs from Randland script (or Suroth has very bad handwriting). But the language doesn't pose any problem.

I equate the Seanchan language and Randland language as Spanish and Italian. Both have the same root language, Latin, but they developed separately, so there are similarities enough that if you understand one you can understand a good deal of the other, but some words are completely different and likely a result of regional languages being absorbed into the vocabulary over the years.

No, they speak essentially the same language (New Tongue) but different dialects. There are countless instances where someone comments on the Seanchan being hard to understand because of their slow drawl (or Randlanders because of their fast clipped way of talking) but never on the difference of language (apart from the occasional unknown word that can be found in any two dialects).

If they had different languages there would be a lot more problems. An Italian can puzzle out some Spanish given time or a German some Dutch but following a conversation is out of the question.
sandi vogel
81. sinfulcashew
A kinda funny story re:
My, at the time, 18-19 yr old son had recently been diagnosed with a serious disease. He hated it and all that he had to do to keep alive. He also had an attitude that a Tasmanian Devil would envy before the diagnoses.
One evening we had a 'discussion', loudly, and he wound up calling me.....

'C U Next Tuesday slime'.

I was horrified. Just jawdropped.

The next day when his sister came home and I told her what he said, by the time I got to the punch line we were both laughing so hard. ROFL.
Just goes to show you how words can affect
....and not affect you.
For some reason even now it brings a smile to me.

Words are only words. It's what we attach to them that drive us one way or the other.

The only thing that gets me is my grandaughter using some 'big people' words. Only because if she uses some of them around teachers and classmates, oh boy, then the 'crap' hits the fan.

Personally I like "bloody buttered onions"!
Philbert de Zwart
82. philbert
The 'platform of Air' always bothered me. We know (granted from unreliable source) that it is impossible to 'fly' i.e. lift yourself with the One Power, so wouldn't she just drop through if she really fell? She knows this stuff too, why didn't it crop up?

Oh, and another thing about that: the workaround is so simple I wonder why it hasn't been discussed: what if AS1 lifts AS2 with Air, and then AS2 lifts AS1 with Air? That way they can fly like a squadron.
craig thrift
83. gagecreedlives

You cant use the one power to make you fly but you can use it to make a bridge which is what Elayne (probably) did.
Captain Hammer
84. Randalator
philbert @82

The 'platform of air' is a bridge anchored between the two poles. Thus no flying here. Rand does the same when he boards the seafolk raker in Cairhien.

As to the AS1-AS2-Tag-Team approach to flying. Technically possible I'd say, but hard to coordinate. You have to watch the platform your weaving continuously, so it's hard to watch where you're flying. Also you have to shift the platform according to the varying distance between you and your partner (and hope that he/she does the same) as your partner is the one flying you and vice versa.

And so forth.
Duane Swab
85. Qtip-the-Sixth
Loved these chapters, dubious about Elayne's skill on the high wire, though. Greatly enjoyed Nynaeve's attitude of subservience towards Birgitte, and Birgitte's rehection of Nynaeve's solicitousness. Greatly enjoyed Uno's language difficulties. I like it even better when Ragan jumps in later, and they forget Nynaeve is stil there.
@5 (Editor's comment) I always assumed that "Bloody buttered onions" was a reference to a Botulism outbreak in Kankakee, IL in the 1970s. The outbreak was traced to some sauteed onions, which had been left on a counter overnight at room temperature and then the garlic/butter hardened, creating an anaerobic evironment in which Botulism Toxin was able to bloom rapidly. I can totally see this happening at an inn in Randland, and subsequent patrons would curse buttered onions as a source of this toxin, especially since Clostridia botulism is considered the most toxic of all substances. A teaspoon of the stuff is enough to kill 1.2 Billion people. And people willingly inject themselves with the stuff . . .
Sorry, just renewed my Food Safety Cetification. Some of this stuff leaps out at you.
Lost in my own Mind
86. alreadymadwithonions
Qtip-the-Sixth @85
Interesting. I guess that's as good a source as any for bloody buttered onions curse. That leaves us with mother's milk in a cup. And sheep swallop.
Philbert de Zwart
87. philbert
@84 Randalator

That is probably the explanation, though personally I find the distinction between 'standing on invisible platform' and 'flying' rather thin for the big point that was made about the latter.

Re: hated characters.
I used to hate Galad, but his KoD opening was so, so cool that I love him now.

Nynaeve: She may be hard to get along with, but her real actions redeem her so much.
Imagine a friend (that you know will go insane or already has) coming up to you saying 'let's run the largest amount of energy ever through our bodies to do this thing nobody but me believes is possible, attracting every supervillain on this planet' and she just goes 'okay'. Hard core loyalty and courage.
88. Freelancer
I propose to postulate and posit that the unexpectedly favorable status of Galad in the survey is actually a reflection of the overall negative opinion of Elayne. Since she doesn't like Galad, and many readers don't like her, a transference induces a more positive impression of him than he would otherwise receive. It's sort of an odd application of the arabian concept of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend".
Lost in my own Mind
89. RobMRobM
alison@72. You may have just earned hero tied to the pattern status with this post (along with wetlander).

I agree with an earlier comment of someone that the diversity of views among the readers of the main characters is a testament to RJ's ability to create compelling, complex characters. (See Freelancer - I can alliterate as well!).

Interesting postulate, Free, but my supposition is that there are two larger factors in play: (1) blowback from the many, many Mat fans, who are taking personally her prejudicial mistreatment of him in the first two thirds of the stay in Ebou Dar. (One of the funniest lines in the entire series is at the end of KoD when Birgitte prays for some of Mat Cauthon's luck and Elayne has no clue what she is talking about and had to be informed he was the luckiest guy on the planet.); and (2) the fact that she was stuck in Camelyn for three books interacting with the hugely aggravating Kin and Sea Folk, has a negative halo effect that is weighing her down. (I'll note that the fact that I don't love Avi likely stems from the same factor.)

Jody Liner
90. LightBlindedFool
Long time lurker,first time poster...

Re: Not liking Menagerie sections
I find that when I read (or reread) the series, I get a little disappointed when the story changes from one storyline to another (like when a tv show ends and you're bummed because you have to wait for the next episode). But usually, within 2-3 sentences I'm involved in the next storyline.

Re: Nynaeve
I can honestly say I don't hate any of the characters because they each add to the complexity of the story. Sure, I wince when someone does something foolish, but I just shrug (That's my Nynaeve!) and look forward to see how that "butterfly's wings will affect the weather in Seandar" later. RJ hasn't let me down yet.

And one other thing...
One of the best parts about Nynaeve is her ability to bring people down a peg (granted, sometimes it's unwarranted). I reference the scene in the Tarasin Palace in aCoS where Mat is feeling smugly invincible among the Aes Sedai due to his fox medallion. Most of them are at a loss and just try to maintain Aes Sedai dignity and act inscrutable. Nynaeve steps up and literally gives Mat a swift kick in the ass...that is friggin' hilarious (dignity shmignity...I used to change your diapers, boy!). The visual I get of Mat standing there with crossed arms with a smug grin on his face, then up on his toes, hips forward and wide eyed...C'mon, that's funny.
John Massey
93. subwoofer
@85Qtip- I will never look at sautéed onions the same way again.

@Alisonwd- impressive. We are not worthy. Can't even go full bore and type out your full name. Good work:)

My only issue with Ny, other than her being a donkey half the time is the way she treats Mat when she kicks him or something, then hides behind her husband for fear of reprisal. Am a firm believer in a turn for a turn. Don't start something and cower for fear of retribution. She does grow as a character and to a point has self reflection and provides much comic relief.

Rand is a very complex character who I liked because he came from such humble beginnings but has changed in ways that makes me think that he has lost touch with who he is. IMHO he should go home at some point and have a heart to heart with Tam. Give him some perspective and guidance. Then there is the whole three wives thing. No matter what, that stinks to me. Pick one you doof.

edit- @Alisonwd- what about Bela?
Lost in my own Mind
94. RobMRobM
Woof@93 - Rand believes that paying attention to Tam will clue the bad guys into how important he is to Rand, and will get Tam killed. So, Rand stays away for Tam's own good, even though it pains him. Yet another reason why I'm hoping/expecting/praying Tam will have a happy ending down the line, with his son, some worthy partner, or both. Rob
James Jones
95. jamesedjones
49 Mackey62

Being as I don't want to work anymore, I will try to defend these.

Lost in my own Mind
96. Cristine
Other characters:

Verin- indifferent
Luca-indifferent/ he's annoying

A. Marry

Lan, Damer Flinn, Jahar Narishma, Loial

B. Kill
Faile, Masema, Fain, Elaida
any of the Seachan except maybe Tuon
any of the Black Ajah
most of the Whitecloaks

C. Boink
Rand, Mat, Logain, Galad, Wil Al'Seen, Bael, Gaul, Rhuarc, Asmodean
Brian Kaul
97. bkaul
subwoofer@93: Do you really need to ask? Everyone loves Bela.
John Mann
98. jcmnyu
My favorite Randland curse has always been what Rand said to himself when he was trying to save Avinendha in the Far Snows. While he is pulling her along and is struggling he berates himself as a 'flaming fatherless son of a spavined goat.'

You can't get much more colorful than that.

And a little cursing anecdote. My father-in-law, born in Brazil, used to tease my mother, born in Boston, about her accent. In doing so he would use the common words: car, park, Harvard, etc. He would also use the word "can't". But instead of saying "cahnt" he would pronounce it C U Next Tuesday. When we explained to him that he was saying the most vile curse word in the English language, he couldn't have been more embarrassed. I'm amazed about how hard it is to pick up vowel sounds from different languages. My wife speaks four fluently, and she still doesn't hear the difference between color and collar. Then again, I hopeless with the Portuguese nasal vowels myself.
Marcus W
99. toryx
Alreadymad @ 43:

I agree that Nynaeve is far too harsh on the men. But I also think that some of Mat and Rand's offenses to the women, while meant well, are just as bad as Nynaeve's.

I think RJ was trying to make a point that, regardless of how obvious the offense, both sides are just as guilty in their own way.

Freelancer @ 45:

I think that's part of what makes Elayne so infuriating. She can treat others well, she can be far more considerate than either Egwene or Nynaeve together. So when she drops that good behavior for something she wants (as with Mat's necklace or Rand as her warder) it makes it doubly offensive. That degree of selfishness chaps my hide to no end, and it totally demolishes any good feeling I ever had for her.

twosheddz @ 71:

Though I drop an occasional cuss word, I subscribe to the thought that profanity indicates an undeveloped vocabulary.

I used to believe that and a lot of times that's true. But in all my travels and experiences, I've also found that the most talented and intelligent speakers are every bit as capable of cursing up a blue streak as the most limited intellect.

Besides, curses are just words. The only thing offensive about them are the meanings that people apply to them, and given the fluidity of the human language, that changes all the flippin' time.

Alisonwonderland @ 72:

Great job! Thanks for putting all that was really a great idea.
Alice Arneson
100. Wetlandernw
Survey additional, since you asked.

Faile: like
Berelain: hate
Loial: love
Verin: love

I don't care enough about the rest to bother listing them all.

twosheddz @ 71
Though I drop an occasional cuss word, I subscribe to the thought that profanity indicates an undeveloped vocabulary.
Exactly. Why limit yourself to those few words when you've got a whole big language to play with?
Alice Arneson
101. Wetlandernw
toryx @99]
curses are just words. The only thing offensive about them are the meanings that people apply to them
Say what????? What is a word without its meaning? You might as well say "words are just noises". Of course they are, if you don't understand the meaning; if you do understand the meaning, an offensive word is... offensive. Face it, curses are intended to be offensive, or they wouldn't be curses. (I'm assuming from the context you're using the term loosely to cover profanity, vulgarity and obscenity as well.)
John Fitzingo
102. Xandar01
ohh cursing, it's amazing what a stint in the military can do for that habit. I still tease my wife from time to time, calling her a sailor, when she slips. (She was in the USMC as well as I.) It wasn't really noticeable when it was just us, but when had children and decided to clean up our language to be good role models, whew!!

I have to agree with the idea that cursing is not bad if used sparingly. Use it all the time and your just illustrating what a lazy or limited vocabulary you have. BTW, love the SpongBob episode where the mention the "13 curse words," but each is bleeped out in a good ol' undersea fashion. I find my self using some of those silly curse words around the house.

Regarding Elayne and the high wire act, I too found this hard to believe that she could be that good with such a short amount of time. Thinking about it now, I have to wonder, was she embracing the source to heighten her senses? This would seem similar to Rand not using the flame and void when fighting his first blademaster, Turak. If just embracing the source (but not touching it) can make that much difference for a sword fighter, I guess it can make that much difference for an acrobat.
Lost in my own Mind
103. The Not So Dark One
Bloody is no longer a swearword in Britain - Crap is mild, bollocks I think you would have to be at least 15/16 to get away with in front of your parents, the f word is still fairly bad and if I even dare drop the C bomb around my fiancee I'm in the dog house, (even if the blind driver in the red corsa did cut me up). I tend not to curse, or as we Brits say, swear, much. Although it does increase with a few drinks and exposure to other males. I think i must be quite chilidish though because Ive read more of the swear word posts than some of the more, shall we say "intellectual?" discussions. Hitler.
Marcus W
104. toryx
wetlandernw @ 101:

My point was that words are made offensive (and vulgar and obscene) for seemingly arbitrary reasons. The definition doesn't seem to matter.

Shit is viewed as offensive whereas poop rarely is. Crap, oddly enough, is somewhere in between the two. Yet for all intents and purposes, the meaning is exactly the same. Why is it okay for my grandmother to say, "Oh poop," and wrong for a 12 year old to say, "Oh shit?"

That's my point.
Fuck has so many meanings that it's only definable by context. I was raised to believe that it was the worst word you could say (aside from taking the lord's name in vain) and yet since adulthood I've found that it's far preferred over "making love" by the majority of the women I've known. I personally don't agree with that, but that makes me the minority.

So if the definition is so important, why is one word okay when another word that means the same thing is not?

If it's not the definition then perhaps it's the intention. Except that a lot of people (often Christians, I've noted) easily substitute the words "Crud" for "Crap," "Shoot" for "Shit," "Darn" for "Damn," and "Oh, for Pete's Sake" in lieu of, "For God's Sake!" It is intended the exact same way, is used in exactly the same manner, but one word is okay when the other is not. Why?
Rich Bennett
105. Neuralnet
I never understood why birgitte just couldnt step back into TAR (in whole body) like slayer is doing and resume her place. I always got the impression the situation would sort itself out somehow and Birgitte would still be the hero of legends. for all we know this is supposed to happen every 5 or 6 turnings of the wheel.

As for Elayne's acrobatic prowess. I always got the impression that just being able to channel did something to your body to make you a bit extraordinary. i.e. like once you have touched the source it sort of genetically engineers you a bit and you now live tremendously longer and maybe you are also more agile. I wonder if it easier for the ashaman to become blademasters perhaps due to some increased agility.

I also have a love hate relationship with nyn. On one hand her bossiness is overplayed sometimes but on the other hand she is funny to read. This battle with Mog seems like the first time Nyn has ever really lost at anything and so maybe is tougher to deal with.

I love the Uno character.. too bad more wasnt done with him.

As for swearing. I personally dont like to read it in my fantasy/SF. Used sparingly it is ok but fuck is much easier on the ears than it is on the eyes for some reason
Lost in my own Mind
106. Aegnor

Mother's milk in a cup is pretty straight forward when you think about it. The milk in the cup certainly isn't cows milk.
Lost in my own Mind
107. RobMRobM
toryx@99. What are Mat's offenses against women? I can't think of any (other than taking off Egwene's Amyrlin stole). Not even sure what Rand's are either but I'd be happy to limit my question to Mat. Rob
Michael Thompson
108. TrollocBait
While going through this reread (which is great), a question popped into my mind that could only be asked through the safety of a blog where noone could hurt me.

What if the Wheel of Time (the concept, not the books) is not actually a wheel, but a line? What if Ages don't, in fact, repeat? If the myth is long forgotten before the Age comes again, how do people know that time is repeating itself?

All the supporting evidence in the books come from 1) Nameless narator/writer at the beginning of each book, 2) Aes Sedai; who are ALWAYS right about everything, 3) Forsaken; no nut jobs in that camp, especially not Ishamael, and 4) common knowledge/rumor; which never is wrong.

I can just see RJ chuckling to himself about the greatest prank ever pulled when he wrote the last chapter of AMOL, "The Creator appears to Rand on the slopes of Shayol Ghul after slaying the Dark One and says, 'Good job. Oh, by the way, that whole Wheel-of-Time stuff you people have been preaching for the last several millenium? Complete hogwash. Now go make some babies with Avi.'" After all, RJ does like to make points about how things people assume are true don't have to be.

I'm now going to go to work to hide from all the sharp pointy objects being hurled at me.
Lost in my own Mind
109. TexanSedai
First off:
Thanks Allisonwonderland!! That info is great! You rock!

Second: Cusing (just to put my 2 cents in)
I try not to do it much myself, I think it is a lazy way of speaking, but sometimes it does slip out. And movies like Snatch (greatness!!!!!) Boondock saints (greatness!!!!!) and Bad Santa would just not be anywhere near as funny without it. And I am not sure if this is a bad word or not, but after I saw Snatch I loved the word Wanker. It is just soooooo funny to say. And I have friends that act like wankers sometimes (although I have no idea what it means....)

Third: Elayne
This may be a petty female thing on my part but, she 1.) Annoyed me with the two letters to Rand and then expected him to know exactly how she felt - WT...??? and 2.) She is a Super Girl that can do things that no one can do in 3,000 years, can do a back flip on a tight rope and run a whole country all on CRUSTY BREAD AND BROTH. By choice!!! Come now....your a a steak! or at least some scrambled are not Ghandi....EAT!!!!!
Lost in my own Mind
110. TexanSedai
Off subject question:

Suppose Rand does survive TG. Will he have three wives, or will he have to pick one? Which one will he pick? As far as I can remember, the Aeil waste was the only place we saw that society approved of polygamy, so if he does choose all three, where will they live?
Marcus W
111. toryx
RobMRobM @ 107:

It's my opinion that all three of the men: Rand, Mat and Perrin are guilty of the same thing that Birgitte was trying to explain to Nynaeve. They make women less by trying to take responsibility for women's actions.

Rand did it first by trying to keep the Maiden's safe. Later he does it more personally by stripping himself internally every time a woman under his "command" (as much as a Car'a'carn can command anyone) dies.

Perrin does it by trying so hard to protect Faile not from the dangers around her but from herself. Granted, Faile does get herself in trouble a lot, but part of the reason she does that is out of a desire to be able to have her own role in his battles. Treating her like something so fragile that it has to be kept safe in a box all the time, as though she isn't a person with her own mind and abilities.

Mat does this less than any, I'll agree. But while he's right about saving the girl's bacon time after time, he never gives them any respect to make their own decisions or protect themselves any more than any other man seems to.

Half the time it seems like either men or women are doing things they know better than to do solely to prove that they can do it. If people would just respect each other for being able to take care of themselves as well as others, they probably wouldn't bumble around so much.

It's all very much tied up in the fabled stubborness of Randland occupants.
Shaylyn Austin
112. Ispan
Sorry, I'm late to the survey party! My opinions of the characters are primarily positive since I feel like I can relate to many of them and sympathize with their flaws and shortcomings. Also, most of them are very fun to read about and see on screen which definitely colors my feelings for them! I have disliked most of these characters or their actions at some point so don't think that likes and loves were just blindly assigned to people.

Rand - like
Mat - love, some of my favorite chapters
Perrin - indifferent
Nyneave - love
Egwene - love, like a bossy or annoying older sister
Elayne - like
Aviendha - love
Moiraine - like
Lan - like
Siuan - love
Leane - like
Bryne - like
Faile - indifferent
Berelain - indifferent
Tuon - like
Thom - like
Loial - like
Galad -love
Gawyn - like, just waiting for his redemption
Morgase - dislike, some of my least favorite chapters
Elaida - dislike, though I enjoy her POVs and those surrounding her
Min - indifferent, I dread her POVs
Cadsuane - like
Verin - like, intriguing, how can you not be interested in what Verin is up to?
Juilin - indifferent
Birgitte - like
Gaul - like
Lost in my own Mind
113. CalaLily

My question is: What happens to Rand if one of the wives doesn't survive TG? Or more than one? Elayne is only safe until her babies are born, and Min never sees anything regarding her own future. Avi is going to have four Rand-babies, so we know she's good until they're born. So that leaves, like I said, Elayne and Min. Hmmmm.
Leigh Butler
114. leighdb
Latecomer @ 23:

Oops. Typo fixed, thanks.

Brits on "bloody":

That's about what I thought. I was remembering older British movies where characters would substitute things like "ruddy" for it, but now they mostly don't bother.
F Shelley
115. FSS
@113 - we do have Min's viewing of Rand on boat, with 3 women greiving over him. Also, Nicola's foretelling after the bubble of evil attack in Salidar seems to indicate Min will survive.

Alanna may not, however...
Lost in my own Mind
116. TexanSedai
@115 -
So based on Min's viewing do you think he will leave all three of them? Maybe go the way of the elves in LOTR?

@113 -
I have thought of that too...seems like one death would ruin him for the survivors....
James Jones
117. jamesedjones
Might as well...

Rand - like
Mat - love, Han Solo with a cool hat
Perrin - love, Shaido torture was just brilliant
Nyneave - love, I chuckle every time I read her chapters
Egwene - hate, hope Gawyn snaps her neck
Elayne - like
Aviendha - love
Moiraine - like
Lan - like
Siuan - like
Leane - love, her new identity always seemed like the female Mat IMHO
Bryne - love, especially after the Lee analysis
Faile - like
Berelain - dislike, woman does not learn
Tuon - like
Thom - love, his escape from the head matron at the Stone of Tear is still priceless
Loial - love, full of humble awesomeness
Galad -like
Gawyn - indifferent
Morgase - dislike
Elaida - dislike, but prefer her to Egwene
Min - like, but dislike chapters from her perspective
Cadsuane - indifferent, I'm one of the few that thinks RJ changed his story when it got too long, and invented Cadsuane to take Moiraine's spot
Verin - LOVE, she almost killed Cadsuane, and the big bad Aes Sedai that taunts Dragons has no idea.
Juilin - indifferent, used to like him
Birgitte - like
Gaul - love, Gaul + Loial = Awesome x Awesome
Olver - love, kid is Great Expectations and Count of Monte Cristo rolled into one
Logain - love, "Yeah, I was just kidding about that whole 'I'm the Dragon' thing."
Amys - like
Sorilea - like
F Shelley
118. FSS
@116 - no, my pet Loony Theory is: Rand Al Thor will die, period, dot, end of life, die, at Tarmon Guidon. But, being bound to the Wheel as a Hero of the Horn, will meet up with Nynaeve in Tel Anan Rhoid (in fact, given Verin's explanation of the Pattern and Tel Anan RHoid in TGH, I fully expect part of Rand's mission at the Last Battle will be accomplished there, and he'll be called back by the Horn of Valere, which will clue Nynaeve in that he's a Hero). Once Nynaeve gets there, she will cast him out, Moghedien-style, to the waking world, where Elayne and company can re-bond him (sans Alanna).

Lots of supposition, but seems to make sense...
Lost in my own Mind
119. twicemarked
I think the good guys trusting each other has to do with the power relationship they have.

For peer relationship, the good guys share much more information, i.e. Egwene, Elayne. They don't share everything, but share much more. When one tried to become the boss of the other, they stopped sharing.

Since Elayne and Nynaeve were the boss, and the men swear to obey them when they got on the Seafolk ship, it is not an equal relationship. And Elayne seldom share anything othen than how to let the guys find the people she needs finding.

In this light, Elayne and Birgitte shared much more than what passed between Moiraine and Lan.
Lost in my own Mind
120. GregoryD
My take on the whole swearing issue is that it is crap! (Or maybe shit?)

1) I hate the hypocracy of it, especially among women who try to sugar coat a bad word. They are “sleeping” together when everyone knows not any sleeping is going on, just some good old fashioned fucking. So why not just say it? My bowling partner threw a bad ball last night and said to me that, “I just said a word to myself that I don’t say very often.” No, but you think it all the time!

2) The only think that makes swear words, swear words, is a person’s mind. Hell, someday “sleeping together” might be as bad as fucking, the way our society is going. It really annoys me that people that claim they do not swear really don’t have a sanitized mind like they try to portray. I can just see them in bed now: “Will you please put your penis in my vagina and let’s copulate!” Yeah right. Or, “will you put your thingy in my wangy and let’s bangy.” So said the Spy Who Shagged Me.

As for character likes and dislikes:

Rand: love; but man, grow a set of balls and kill Cyndane before TG!!!
Perrin: hate, hope he dies for his tunnel vision of Faile and blowing it with Masema
Mat: love, everybody’s favorite character, mine too.
Faile: hate as well. Should be gai’shain forever
Elayne: dislike. If Rand is crazy enough to marry her, he deserves her and her mother-in-law
Min: love, she is the only sane female in the group. Hope she lives. That could be the DO counterstroke, Elayne lives and Min dies. Poor Rand.
Aviendha: like, but she needs female replacement hormones to deal with the mood swings
Nyneave: can’t stand. Can I sick up now?
Berelain: like actually. At least you know her agenda. Perrin should have picked the hawk, not the falcon.
Morgase: like, I guess. She is a poor ruler, though.
Alanna: dislike. Maybe Rand’s pain will make her go insane before it’s all through
Cadsuane: put up with. You try being the savior of the world and not get hard.
Tuon: like, although her blue blood will make Mat’s life a living hell.
Siuan: like, but she needs to go to an english class and drop all the fish talk.
Brigette: like. She’s the kind of gal you could have a few beers with.
Lan: like, but he has his head band too tight. Needs to loosen up a bit.
Egwene: dislike. She has a stick up her ass. Should have picked Rand.
Gawyn: Yawn, o please! He hasn’t gowin on me yet.
Galad: hate. Should become a TV evangelist and carry some rock tablets
Thom: love. Too cool man
Olver: like, he’s a real bosom buddy!

I could go on but I really am going to sick up now!
Captain Hammer
121. Randalator
FSS @118

Tel Anan Rhoid

Anyone else thinking of "rhoid-rage" right now? *chuckles*

I don't see how telling Setalle Anan about it would do any good, though...
Lost in my own Mind
122. twicemarked
TrollocBait @ 108

There are Ogiers, and their book of translation. There are portal stones. There are stories about the ages before. The exact details of the stories changed, but stories that can not be made up without certain knowledge.

There are artifacts. Did you forget the Benze symbol in the musuem in Tanchico?
123. Freelancer

Yes, well, I wasn't addressing the reasons why people dislike Elayne. I was suggesting that regardless of those reasons, the unfavorable opinion of Elayne had a hidden bearing on the more favorable opinion of Galad. Such that when Person 1, whom you dislike or mistrust, states that they don't care for Person 2, your might be more open to an affinity for Person 2 without realizing it.

It's just a thought, which your comment actually offers support for in the other direction: That the largely favorable opinion of Mat, combined with the almost adversarial juxtaposition of Mat and Elayne during events in Tear and Ebou Dar, enhances the generally unfavorable impression of Elayne for many readers.


Did you say flippin'?? The horror! There might be children reading, be careful. ;-)


Your comments are understandable, but are also quite a large generalization. There are in fact many people who don't allow the words or their other attendant expressions to occupy space in their thoughts. It's very easy to tell the difference. People whom your description fits only require the smallest stress to "slip", and say what they usually don't say, but often think. Others do not find such words on their lips no matter how bad the situation. I wish I weren't reading them so freely cast about here, but this isn't my place, I don't make the rules, so my choice is tolerate it or don't read here. I understand that. In Egwene's words, it doesn't mean I have to like it.

Mat: love, everybody’s favorite character, mine too.
Not everybody's, not even close.


You got there first...
Lost in my own Mind
124. SeanM

Cadsuane - indifferent, I'm one of the few that thinks RJ changed his story when it got too long, and invented Cadsuane to take Moiraine's spot

YES! Totally agree. I hated how all of a sudden in the seventh book, everyone was like "Oh, yeah. Cadsuane is legendary!". It really feels tacked-on.

However, I am (slowly) growing to like her personality and her character. It just took several books for her to warm up :) (Which in survey terms means she's climbing to "indifferent", but I can see her going higher in the next books)
Hugh Arai
125. HArai
toryx@111: I see your point but in my opinion the catch-22 scenario needs to be broken by the people being "made less" calling it out directly instead of going off to be an idiot to "show them". Birgitte addresses it with Nyneave, Sulin adresses it for Rand. In contrast, you have Aviendha and Birgitte both being of the same opinion as Mat when it comes to the SGs taking care of themselves. They simply take way too many chances when they don't have to. It's one thing to say "yes, you are an adult and can make your own choices" and another to say "I don't care that you're taking unnecessary risks one after another".

With Rand, I think it's a bit different. He's holding the bag on the second Breaking of the World. He wants to limit the damage done to the "non-combatants" and the way he was raised, that's what women were supposed to be. The whole litany of names strikes me as his coping mechanism. It gives him something to focus on while his mere presence breaks nations. I don't know how the poor farm kid manages. I doubt I could.

With Perrin, although as a reader I don't like his priorities (hello? End of World!), I can understand him. First time he tried to protect Faile, he was planning to turn himself in for execution. Not a great idea, but you don't usually want your loved ones along, right? Second time, Emond's Field was about to be overrun. Understandable he wants to try to get his wife out alive. Third time, she's been captured by the Shaido. Does anyone really expect him to just shrug and say "Faile is a capable woman, she'll escape" and go chat with Masema? He dropped everything and went after Rand too after all.
Jane Smyth
126. Kaboom
Philbert @87

(about Nynaeve) Imagine a friend (that you know will go insane or already has) coming up to you saying 'let's run the largest amount of energy ever through our bodies to do this thing nobody but me believes is possible, attracting every supervillain on this planet' and she just goes 'okay'. Hard core loyalty and courage.

Although I really like Nynaeve, your statement is not quite true (or complete). RJ went in great details to describe how bad it was with Nyn dealing with the Seafolks, at how badly they were treating her as a "external teacher" with what that implies. And since they were not many other people that were available to teach them, her situation would not improve. That was mostly the reason she leaped at helping Rand even insisting on leaving immediately.

This is an example of what I really like about this series. Jordan has gone to great details on showing what motivates people to act the way they do, and how each action has repercussion later by having A causing B to happen which cause C to happen etc. until many many events later on. It is quite amazing.

For the survey:
I'm not going to be very helpful.
I love practically all the main characters. When I read the books, I get so much into the story that I can't help but to feel for every one of them. The exception to this is Elaida, but then again, I love to hate her.
The story would just not be the same if any of the characters were different (or like some would like to see them).
Lost in my own Mind
127. RobMRobM
Free @153. I think we are in agreement. I agree with your clever argument that Galad's improvement has cost Elayne some support; and I believe you agree that Elayne's poor treatment of Mat - one of the most popular characters in the series (albeit not yours)- also cost her votes. My point was that the latter point had more weight than the former point (in addition to the separate weighty (IMO) factor that hanging out with Sea Folk and Kin for several books will cause anyone to lose support by association).


p.s. Just finished Mistborn II, which I am enjoying. Picking up Hero of Ages tonight.
Michael Thompson
128. TrollocBait
Yes, I agree there are artifacts from previous ages, but where are the artifacts from the previous 3rd age? When is Rand going to find a 30,000 year old picture of himself? There is evidence of a long time line, but none of time turning back on itself and repeating.
Pete Pratt
129. PeteP
I think most people forget that Elayne is one of the youngest characters in tWoT-- along with Faile and Egwene. It is interesting that all three got somewhat questionable marks in the survey (and Egwene would have received much lower if it was only up to CoT, just like Nynaeve).

Teenage girls should not be expected to act as anything other than teenage girls. Under normal situations, Elayne and Egwene would still be novices (since Moiraine and Siuan were the two quickest to Accepted ever in 3 years). Egwene & Elayne rarely act from a position of wisdom, given that they have not yet had a chance to develop much.

Much of the Elayne dislike centers on three things: 1. Her treatment of Mat in Ebou Dar. 2. The long story arc for the Bowl of the Winds (which includes a lot of Windfinders) 3. The long story arc for securing Andor. Since I am one of the few that actually really like Elayne, I will at least come to her defense here.

When Mat is sent down to Ebou Dar with Elayne, Elayne has been set up to question Mat and his worth. Elayne has does not really know Mat or anything much about him. Mat was out of his mind ill from during the long journey from Falme to the White Tower. When the SGs come up with the idea of using him to take a letter to Morgase, Nynaeve and Egwene consider him the same foolish boy from Emond's Field, the trickster who gets into trouble. Much like Elayne prejudices everyone against Galad, Egwene and Nynaeve give Elayne a very hostile understanding of Mat.

So, Mat in tDR becomes Mat the superhero. The SGs know nothing of it, except that Mat came to get them out of the Stone (and the SGs thought that they had largely freed themselves anyway). Nynaeve and Egwene treat Mat like crap during their stay in Tear, criticizing him for his gambling, drinking, and pursuit of women.

So, when Mat comes to Salidar, Elayne knows nothing of what Mat has been doing. Egwene only realizes later that Mat had become a Great General (I think it its in tWH that she realizes that Mat created the Band and that the men follow him for his battle skill, and not that Rand gave Mat the army). Mat does not help things by his hilarious entry into Salidar where he ends up looking like a fool. Egwene plays Mat like a fiddle, but Nynaeve does not help Elayne learn about the true Mat. They are so worried about him trying to take over "their" search (just as they are worried the other AS do not respect them), that the refuse to make use of his abilities. Birgitte finally helps bridge the issue, but it is much too late for you Elayne haters. I fully see where you are coming from, but you should hate Nynaeve just as much (if not more) if you hate Elayne over Ebou Dar.

Likewise, don't blame Elayne over the Windfinders being annoying. As RobMRobM pointed out, hanging out with Kin and Windfinders gives a contact annoyance. But it is not Elayne's fault. Blame Egwene, who makes Elayne keep the Kin with her.

As to the politics of securing her crown, I am rather happy that Elayne had to earn her crown, rather than walk in and have everyone fawn all other her. Rahvin made a mess of her country and Rand only helped things a little bit ("giving" her the Rose Crown?!?!?!?) Sure, the whole plot arc takes a bit long (just like Perrin rescuing Faile), and maybe RJ could have put it all off-screen to save a book, but I am glad he did not. Elayne has to try and re-build a broken country and does so quite well by KoD.
Marcus W
130. toryx
Freelancer @ 123:

Ha ha. Yeah, I knew I was going to go to hell for that one.

Oops! Holy mackerel, I did it again. Egads, I just can't stop! Burn me, Nynaeve is going to strip my flesh and use it for garters.

HArai @ 125:

Well, I completely agree that they're going about it the wrong way by going off like an idiot to show them. But unfortunately, that's the result of all that foolishness that comes from their crazy ideas about the sexes.

I'm inclined to give Rand a little more of leeway for the same reasons but at the same time it's that refusal to accept things that drives him deeper and deeper into insanity. I think LT in his head is the same kind of coping mechanism as the name thing, something he created to deal with being the honest to Light Dragon Reborn. These problems only worsen the more Rand beats himself up over things he can't control and shouldn't be trying to. The thing about making those kinds of crutches for yourself is that you tend to lean on them too much and eventually, it'll slip out from under him.

When it comes to Perrin, it's not so much that he should allow Faile to get herself out of her own mess, but if he'd just been willing to let her have a part in the danger of things, she wouldn't have had to hide her information gathering from him in the first place. She might have still been captured but he would have been far more prepared if he'd known what was going on...which he would have if he'd let Faile be who she is instead of trying to fit her into his perception of what she should be.

In this sense, Faile and Perrin are perfect for each other because they do the exact same thing. She's as guilty of expecting him to be who she perceives he should be as he is of her.

It just seems to me that every time someone tries to protect someone else from themselves, that very action of protection leads directly into trouble. You'd figure they'd eventually figure this out, but no, they're all too full of their own perceptions to come upon a new idea. Irritates the peace out of me.
Julian Augustus
131. Alisonwonderland
PeteP @ 72:
Mat may not have been at his best in tGH or half of tEotW, but he did his part. But make sure you place his greatness from tDR not tFoH.

I don't want to come off as a Mat hater because I don't, but neither am I an apologist for him. True, Mat did many of the fine things you mention after he was severed from the dagger, most importantly going to Tear to rescue the SuperGirls in tDR, but it seems to me that other than particular great deed he spent the rest of the time thinking up schemes about running away. Mat's main thought in all of TSR and up to half of tFoH was running away, shirking his responsibilities, and he would have if Rand wasn't exerting some Taveren pull to keep him nearby. Even at the beginning of the battle with the Shaido Mat was STILL trying to run away, and it was only during the battle, while he was running away, that the circumstances (the Pattern?) forced him to utilize his battle knowledge and lend a hand.

I won't disagree that Mat became an absolutely awesome character after tFoH, but I am not blind to the fact that he was a whiner and a complainer and a slacker until the Pattern forced him to assume his responsibilities.
Captain Hammer
132. Randalator
PeteP @129

Much of the Elayne dislike centers on three things: 1. Her treatment of Mat in Ebou Dar.

Interestingly she is the only one of the involved who actually sincerely apologizes for her behaviour. I guess one just has to hate her for that.

Alisonwonderland @131

I won't disagree that Mat became an absolutely awesome character after tFoH, but I am not blind to the fact that he was a whiner and a complainer and a slacker until the Pattern forced him to assume his responsibilities.

But then again who wasn't? Perrin tries to run away from his wolfbrotherness, from his lordness, he basically tells the pattern to shove it were the sun don't shine and heads off to Duopotamia to get himself a hanging, etc. Rand tries to run away from his Dragon Reborn-ness, his lordness, Aes Sedai (smart move that, actually), etc.

I agree that Mat has character traits that can be pretty annoying if you don't succumb to his general awesomeness and badassery. But others have whined, complained and run away-ed, too.

Anyway, I'm an avid awesomeness and badassery succumber, so what do I care?
Marcus W
133. toryx
PeteP @ 129:

I understand and accept a lot of your points, but my personal hatred for Elayne comes out of one basic idea:

If she sees something she wants, she'll do anything to take it.

When she decided she wanted Rand to be her Warder she goes from dreaming about it to contemplating making him one whether he wanted it or not to obsessing over it "at least that's one thing that'll be mine!"

In the end she bonds him with Aviendha and Min, but only after both women have been far more gracious with her than she ever was with either of them. And does she even think for a minute of giving Aviendha, her first sister, any private time to spend with him? Nope (at least, not that I recall).

Then there's Mat's army. She decides she doesn't like Mat, he doesn't deserve to lead, and hell, she's the daughter-heir of Andor. She deserves an army. So she just starts taken them away from him.

She finds out about the ter'angreal. She is the high muckety muck of ter'angreals, and all items of the One Power belongs to the White Tower after all (which is right along her line of thinking anyway). So regardless of where Mat might have gotten it, regardless of the reasons that he might have for wearing it, she's decides that it belongs in her hands and she does whatever it takes to get it from him. Because she wants it. Because she's special.

I think she'd be that way no matter how well she knew him, just because Elayne wants what she wants and by golly, she's going to get it. Now we can pass it off as her immaturity or her cloistered upbringing except that she's like this after a few years away from the palace, out in the world, learning from people. She's been growing up all this time but she's becoming more selfish, not less. And the fact that up until this point she was more considerate and accepting of other people just makes these other flaws in her stand out all the more.

Gah, the woman just chaps my hide.

And now, I'm getting away from the computer. Sorry for my ranting, everybody!
Lost in my own Mind
134. AlphaShard
I think these two chapters illustrate my problem with Nynaeve, not that I hate her, she takes one step forward and then two back. First she takes blame for what happens to Brigitte and then she completely washes her hands of the fight she got started with the Whitecloaks and Dragonsworn.

I do think she loosens up alot when she gets her block broken and marry's Lan. She's just a happier person to read and "live" with.
Pete Pratt
135. PeteP
@131 Alison, so Mat is not a slacker, whiner, or complainer in tDR, but you sure are hard on him to tSR.

Let's see -- Mat is told that he is an all important part of the Pattern and he is supposed to be "happy" for it?!? Mat always does what is necessary. Mat always keeps his promises. Mat would rather spend time dicing and drinking and chasing women (BTW, I think most 21-year old men would like to do the same), yet he still goes through with his "fate". I think you forgot Mat's first question after going through the Doorway in Tear -- should I go help my people? Mat is thinking about doing his duty to his people, just like he raced from Andor to rescue the SGs in Tear. I do not see Mat "slacking" anywhere in tSR. Mat does his duty and beyond, holding true to his fate, as much as he hates the idea that he is being forced into a life he does not want.

Sure, Rand gets "it" much faster than Mat, that "you have got to give into fate", but Rand is the Dragon Reborn and spent all of tGH and tDR (off-screen for the most part) coming to accept that he is the very person that parents used to scare their children. Mat first learns his fate at the beginning of tSR, even if we already get some of it before.

So, yes, Mat is struggling with his fate for part of tFoH, but considering that his brain was stuffed full of memories, he needed some serious adjustment time. So when the big battle comes, Mat is looking to leave -- why? He wants to get away from his girlfriend and he does not to get in the middle of one of this biggest battles in the last 1000 years. Sounds smart. What duty does Mat have to fight in this battle? What, he is to volunteer to guard Rand? Oh, he has the Maidens. Is Rand to put in charge of some troops? Who would he lead, who would think he was good enough to be the leader?

I just do not see Mat as a "whiner" or "complainer" during tSR and tFoH. We only get his POV a few times during these books before the battle, and we mainly see his struggle. I do not think you will find too many examples of either behavior in these books, outside of his struggle with fate.

So, please, let's not call Mat a whiner and complainer and a slacker. He is just a "man" who struggles with his fate.

toryx @133
Elayne does not try to steal away Mat's Redarms -- she treats them nicely and they respect her. They still all want to follow "Lord Mat", the Redarms only have this attitude towards Elayne, not Nynaeve. Maybe she is actually good at getting most people have nice thoughts towards her.

As to Mat's medallion, Elayne has just learned how to make ter'angreal, and this one is really unique. Of course, she wants to study it. She is just does not been so poisoned against Mat by Nynaeve and Egwene that she refuses to treat him as an equal, which is how he should be treated.

I do not see her as becoming more selfish (she is sharing her man with two other women!!!!). She does her duty as she can figure it out. Sure, she fails a bunch, screwing things up all the time, but "selfish"?!?!? I always viewed Egwene as the most selfish and arrogant one of the SGs. Then again, I have really hated Egwene for most of tWoT and still do not like her.

As to Avi, it serves her right from not getting any "private" time with Rand after harassing him for so long after the Far Snows.
Captain Hammer
136. Randalator
toryx @133

And does she even think for a minute of giving Aviendha, her first sister, any private time to spend with him? Nope (at least, not that I recall).

Avi and Rand already did the nasty, remember? Now its Elayne's turn after the other two got a headstart.

Afterwards Rand sneaks off so any private time arrangements that could have been made then become moot...

Then there's Mat's army. She decides she doesn't like Mat, he doesn't deserve to lead, and hell, she's the daughter-heir of Andor. She deserves an army. So she just starts taken them away from him.

She's not taking them away, she's trying to make them (and Mat, too) loyal to her by making them accustomed to following her suggestions.

Moiraine does the exact same thing with Perrin and Loyal in TDR. Where's the hate?

So regardless of where Mat might have gotten it, regardless of the reasons that he might have for wearing it, she's decides that it belongs in her hands and she does whatever it takes to get it from him. Because she wants it. Because she's special.

No, she doesn't.

If that were the case she'd just have thrown something at his head, knocking him out. Or she could have stolen it when Mat was lying piss drunk in his room at the Wandering Woman. But she didn't. She only tries to bring him to giving it to her (as does about every Aes Sedai who ever knew about the medallion and with more browbeating besides). And when he offers it to her for protection she refuses it despite her desire to study it. After her newfound appreciation of Mat she never asks him about it again.

Also I seem to remember that both she and Nynaeve disapproved of the Aes Sedai experimenting on the medallion by channeling/throwing things at Mat. I just can't find a quote on that right now.
AJ MacPherson
137. Mackey62
toryx @ 133

Avi and Min gave Rand to her b/c up to then she was the last one to receive the Dragon Spector. :)
Lost in my own Mind
138. Lightblindedfool
Art imitates life in this series in that people that are hard to deal with usually become much easier to deal with after they get laid.
Roger Powell
139. forkroot
Alisonwonderland - Great job! Honestly, I wasn't all that interested in the survey initially, but you did a fabulous job on the writeup.

Now that we've talked up how we feel about the major characters, what about a look at the bit players? (just for fun - not for another survey!)

I tried to bring up characters that haven't been discussed (unlike Rhuarc, Alviarin, etc.)

Here are my suggestions:

Minor Characters to Love:
Hurin - Faithful, brave, and might even get to be a new Hero of the Horn.
Erith - Right after the wedding, makes it clear to Loial's mother that there is a new sheriff in town
Talmanes - Mat's thoughtful right-hand man
Someshta (Green Man) - Steadfast for 3000 years+
Raen, Ila and the other Tinkers at Edmond's Field - Prepared to sacrifice themselves for the EF children

Minor Characters to Like:
Bayle Domon - He do be trying to do the right thing, including waiting at Falme for the SGs.
Dobraine Taborwin - The one Cairhienien noble that Rand can trust
Idrien Tarsin - I'm partial to engineers, being one myself
Petra Anhill - A strong man and a good man
Alise Tenjile - Relentlessly competent, by far the most admirable of the Kin
Rodel Ituralde - This guy is good! Glad he's on the side of the Light
Dyelin Taravin - Thinks more highly of Elayne than most of you do :-)

Minor Characters to be Indifferent to:
A cast of thousands

Minor Characters to Dislike (besides most Reds, Sea Folk, and Whitecloaks):
Ronde Macura - Betrayed the secret of forkroot (hey!?) to the Seanchan
Merilille Ceandevin - Bailed out on Elayne when she was really needed

Obscure Character to Dislike:
Mutch (stablehand in Baerlon) - Who you lookin at buster?

Minor Characters to Hate:
Chesmal Emry - Could be one of the great healers, instead she kills with the One Power - Yikes!
Katerine Alruddin - Nasty and dangerous (ask Verin!)
Couladin - Mega-Asshole, plain and simple
Elza Penfell - A viper near Rand. She's under Verin's compulsion to see Rand safely to Tarmon Gai'don - but what then?
Merean Redhill (from New Spring) - She looks like your grandmother, but is a remorseless murderer
Rhadam Asunawa - Murderous, torturing bastard. Still at large, I suspect he'll be trouble for Galad

and a bonus category ...

Character you'd least like to meet in a Dark Alley
Shaidar Haran - gulp!
Lost in my own Mind
140. alreadymadwithelaynessnot
Randalator @136
She's not taking them away, she's trying to make them (and Mat, too) loyal to her by making them accustomed to following her suggestions.

How is trying to change their loyalty different from making them follow her instead of their current leader? She did try to make Mat and his army loyal to her. What's good about that? Or excusable? She knows less than nothing about leading fighting men. What she is sure of, by her Creator-given right as Daughter-Heir is that she can do better than Mat. I'm sure she learned a lot on the fly while contending for the Lion Throne, but at this point, her planning really did not go much further than keeping Mat and his men out of the way. We all know how that turns out.
sandi vogel
141. sinfulcashew
"Anyway, I'm an avid awesomeness and badassery succumber, so what do I care?"

Aphid awesomeness and badassery cucumber?
Captain Hammer
142. Randalator
alreadymad @140

She is NOT trying to change their loyalty, she's trying to extend it. Big difference.

And why does she do that? Because she has been led to believe by NynEg that Mat is an untrustworthy, irresponsible, drinking, whoring scoundrel who shouldn't be in charge of his own underwear, let alone soldiers and is only in command because Rand said so. And Mat doesn't do the slightest thing to convince her otherwise. The first things she sees of his leadership skills is having no food for his men because he didn't think ahead that it's too dangerous to just jump into a city via gateway (he should know from Rands visit in his room). Of course she thinks that she is the better leader under that circumstances. Him getting completely wasted in an inn doesn't better his standing with her, but again: not her fault.

And keep in mind that (as mentioned above) she never openly questions/challenges Mat's leadership. She never gives orders to his men, only checks on them and compliments them. The rest of the time she points out things to Mat that need to be taken care of.

Also what would you do in her situation? You have enough trouble with your fellow Aes Sedai. Would you let a wildcard with a couple of soldiers just run around however they want pointing out to every one that you are not in charge? Or would you make sure that there's at least on side that you don't have to expect trouble from?
Lost in my own Mind
143. alreadymadwiththesnoot
Randalator @140
Perfect reasoning out of Elayne's intentions. That doesn't make it excusable. Mat is after all under no obligation to prove to her why these men chose to follow him. He did not really understand why either. He was stuck doing a thankless job and Mistress Snoot was making it harder by meddling with his chain of command. Also, him getting wasted was simply because she did not ask for his help straight off. We all know how far they get without it.

Besides, at this point, she really doesn't intend to do anything with them except suggest that they get lost and stay out of her way. She is still firmly in the men are useless mindset and does not see the advantages of having them around in Ebou Dar. Also, while you bring NynEg up, I wonder why Eg conveniently forgot that she was there when the Band made its name. Already solidly behind Mat.

In her position, I'd talk to Mat. But we know how much of that actually occurs.
Lost in my own Mind
144. AielAdam
Regarding the use of 'bloody', it's pretty harmless in Australia - an anti-drink-driving campaign in Victoria has used the slogan "Drink, drive, bloody idiot" for years (drink driving = drunk driving in North America).
craig thrift
145. gagecreedlives
I agree with Randalator@136 that Elayne is trying to get Mat used to taking her commands. She is the daughter-heir of Andor and Mat is from the the Two Rivers which as far she is concerned makes him a subject of hers. And as an extension of that she probably views The Band as her army anyway thus subject to her care.

I don’t think Elayne has fully grasped the concept that the people from the Two Rivers don’t consider themselves part of Andor.
Hugh Arai
146. HArai
Randalator@136,gagecreedlives@145: I agree that's what she was trying to do. And that's certainly what Moiraine was doing (Lan doesn't beat around the bush confirming that as I recall). The difference is Moiraine as an experience Aes Sedai who dedicated her life to fighting the Dark One and finding Rand had a solid argument that she should be in charge instead of Perrin as they tried to catch Rand before Tear. Elayne on the other hand has very little to recommend her as leader of an army instead of Mat.
craig thrift
147. gagecreedlives
I dont think she wishes to be a general as such nor is she planning on leading them into battle (she probably would like that idea) but she does view their obedience as her birth right and is going about getting them used to taking her orders .
Hugh Arai
148. HArai
Obedience as a birthright? Well, that would explain why her treatment by Gareth Bryne puzzled her so much.
Lost in my own Mind
149. Smatt
The main problem I have with the SG's and AS in their interactions with Mat, Perrin, and Rand is that they constantly question, berate, ignore and undermine them.

They are Ta'veren. Possibly the strongest since The Dragon (definatley in Rands case). The Pattern has chosen them specifically to steer events and enable the victory of the Light over the Dark One.

All those who want the Light to prevail need to just let them get on and do what they need to. If people did not second guess and activley try to conrtol them things wold be a lot smoother. For a start rand would not find the need to be 'hard'.

Moiraine realised this eventually and I believe that Nyn in KOD is moving in this direction which is a big reason for my increasing regard for her (the whole Crane episode is also great).

Mat provides good examples of this with his finding of the healer woman in Tear and the Bowl of Winds.

The day Elayne, Egwene and the AS realise that Rand, Mat,and Perrin know what is best is the day I long for. Then I will stop thinking of them as
they who are total shits or as I prefer twats.
William Fettes
150. Wolfmage
I think Elayne's defenders really get the better of this dispute. As explained by Randalator and PeteP, nothing she has done is particularly egregious compared to the levels of hostility directed at her. Her only real crime is to diminish and act as a foil of beloved Mat. I understand that impetus, I do, as Mat is my favourite character, but if you can let go of the strong vicarious umbrage about it on Mat's behalf, it is a fairly benign sequence and an enjoyable part of the story which has a happy resolution. All the SGs commit the crime of diminishing Mat, but Elayne at least has the excuse of being poisoned against Mat specifically by the other two. And to her credit, Elayne eventually cops to her mistaken assessment and apologises. In that department she is better than the other two.

If Egwene can recover so much from far worse behaviour, including treating Mat just as bad and never apologising or meeting her toh toward him, I don't see how Elayne must wear an albatross around her neck. As far as I'm concerned, the only substantive unresolved SG moral dubiousness in Ebou Dar was them not telling Mat about Moghedien and the loss of his soldiers, which was more Nynaeve's fault than Elayne's.

I've read the other complaints, but I honestly can't see any case to answer in them. Her attitude to bonding Rand is a tad possessive, but otherwise entirely innocuous and harms nobody. Her plot arc in Caemlyn can be annoying, but I'd blame RJ for that rather than tarring her character by mere association.
Roger Powell
151. forkroot
Her plot arc in Caemlyn can be annoying, but I'd blame RJ for that rather than tarring her character by mere association.
Ummm... shouldn't we pretty much blame RJ for everything? At least until The Gathering Storm. :-)
Lost in my own Mind
152. Smatt
@ 109 TexanSedai

Got to love the word wanker. It means a person who masterbates.

Survey contribution:

Rand - Like
Mat - Man crush
Perrin - Like
Nyneave - Growing Like
Egwene - Dislike
Elayne - Dislike
Aviendha - Like
Moiraine - Love
Lan - Love
Siuan - Love
Leane - Love
Bryne - like
Faile - Dislike
Berelain - like
Tuon - Love
Thom - Love
Loial - Love
Galad -Like always have
Gawyn - Dislike, used to like
Morgase - Meh, used to like
Elaida - Hate the fool
Min - Like
Cadsuane - Like can't wait to see how she reacts to Moiraines return.
Verin - Love she is quite possibly the most thought provoking character.
Juilin - Like
Birgitte - Like
Gaul - Love
Olver - Love
Logain - Like
Amys - Like
Sorilea - Like
Erith - Love
Talmanes - Like
Dobraine - Love
Ruharc - Love
Alyse - Love
Bayle - Like
Vanin - Love
Anan - Love
Davram - Love
Tam - Love
Bran - Like
Marin - Like wish her daughter could be more like her.
William Fettes
153. Wolfmage

"Ummm... shouldn't we pretty much blame RJ for everything? At least until The Gathering Storm. :-)"

Hehe yeah, but what I meant was that there's a category difference between the negative feelings the reader may feel about a character's actions and intentions which fall short of virtuousness, and negative feelings which are merely tied to tedious plot arcs and situations by association.
craig thrift
154. gagecreedlives

I reckon god loves the word too. Otherwise he/she wouldnt have created so many of them
Hugh Arai
155. HArai
Wolfmage@150: I didn't like Elayne's treatment of Mat at the time, but I don't hold it too much against her, because Birgitte and Aviendha straightened her out and she did apologise. I don't find the Caemlyn arc tedious so that's not it either. No, the reason I currently dislike Elayne is 600 dead, 1000 wounded after her stunt at Full Moon Street.
Lannis .
156. Lannis
Alisonwonderland @ 72: Wow! For the results, and your efforts. Thanks! :)

Sorry folks, nothing really to add to the conversation, as fascinating as it all is... it's been a busy week! :)
Pete Pratt
157. PeteP
HArai @155 What stunt? She knew a couple BA were nearby and working with DFs. The plan only turned out bad when a mess of other BAs showed up. We finally found out her was the traitor among the AS in Andor, the flaming Windfinders actually did something beyond their self-imposed limitations, and Elayne got her crown. All for some 600 dead soldiers and a couple of AS. Not a bad deal. Maybe she was a little too reckless, but this is not near as bad as Rand in PoD taking on Seanchan and killing his own men. Bloody ashes! Talk about a major screw-up!! And Rand's assault on Rahvin killed Mat, Avi, and Asmodean and a lot fo Aiel, only reversed by balefire. Elayne's Full Moon Street event actually ended the story arc so many of you hate!
Hugh Arai
158. HArai
PeteP@157: If Elayne had not insisted on going herself, overruling Birgitte and all the other warders and the other AS, those 600 men would not be dead. Well not all the other AS disagreed, Vandene the obsessed thought it was a great plan, so that's a plus, right? Maybe you shrug off 600 pointless deaths, and Elayne certainly does, but I don't. She didn't get the crown because she got those men killed off, it was despite it.

And you do notice the example you bring up is the guy that's going mad right? Not nearly as bad as the guy using the flawed sa'angreal that magnifies taint madness. There's a good recommendation for a ruler!
Pete Pratt
159. PeteP
Going after BA is very dangerous. If Elayne had not gone along, the BA would have killed the AS, but they would have gotten away. No one could have tracked them. So, while 600 men (@ some AS) died confronting the BA, the BA were defeated and captured. Why blame Elayne so much, when the end was good? Should we blame Egwene for letting Aran'gar kill two Aes Sedai? Or Rand for letting Moiraine be supossedly killed? Mat lost hundreds of men during his KoD campaign, so should we be hyper critical of him too?
Alice Arneson
160. Wetlandernw
IIRC, just before Half Moon Stree, Elayne & co. had just discovered that those Kin who they thought had "run away" had probably actually been murdered, which was most likely the action of the BA. So when they find some BA, and have a hope that by taking them, the BA among themselves could be revealed as well, it had to be done. And there was NO ONE else to go. The Windfinders? Not on their precious scent-boxes! More Kin? They aren't remotely prepared to confront Tower-trained BA. Nynaeve is off helping the DR, Egwene is laying siege to the Tower, who else would you send? Vandene by herself? Or risk losing the trail yet again so they can wreak more havoc on behalf of the DO? Given the information they had, and no reason to question it, it would have been dereliction of duty for Elayne not to do something about it. And it was the BA with their crazy-balefire rod who killed 600 men. Hate them.
Jon Severinsson
161. jonno
When reading the "Uno swears every other sentence, literally" section I always find it hilarious, but this time I started thinking: Does he really only know two swear words. I mean, I don't swear nearly as much, but when I do I have a vocabulary of about twenty or so general swear-words to pick between, plus an additional twenty or so for specific occasions. I can't think Uno doesn't.

So then I started to wonder, what swear-words does exist in Randland? These are the ones I've found so far, please fill in any more if you have them:

Adjectives and Adverbs (word modifiers):
bloody ...
flaming ...
goat-kissing ...
pig-kissing ...

Complete expressions:
Blood and ashes!
Blood and bloody ashes!
Sheep swallop!
Bloody buttered onions!
Sheep swallop and bloody buttered onions!
Mother's milk in a cup!
Kiss a flaming goat!
Kiss a sheep on Mother’s Day!
Fish guts! (guess who I found using this one ;))

Complete insults:
flaming fatherless son of a spavined goat

Foul oaths:
burn <you/me>
burn <my/your> <soul/eyes/bones/liver>
burn you, <name>!
Burn you to the Pit of Doom!

Edit: Added a few more...
Lost in my own Mind
162. CalaLily
Ahahaha, my favorite Randland curse has to be one of Birgitte's. "Kiss a sheep on Mother's Day." x3

You forgot " Burn me", "Burn you" and "Burn my bones", although the third one is an archaic form that Mat uses when he talks to Birgitte and slips into the Old Tongue. :)
Hugh Arai
163. HArai
Wetlandernw@160: Well why not the Windfinders? They may be annoying but I don't recall seeing any indication they'd let Black Ajah go free. Elayne could have bargained for help if nothing else.
If you insist on no Windfinders, Vandene leading a circle of 12 Kin comes to mind. The Kin are fully up to shielding if they can shield Nynaeve and Elayne. A circle of 8 Windfinders ended up doing the job easily. Vandene and a circle of 12 Kin ought to have good odds. Why not surround the house with archers? It apparently works for Whitecloaks.

In short, Elayne didn't have to risk herself, so she shouldn't have.
Jon Severinsson
164. jonno
@162. Thanks, adding "Kiss a sheep on Mother’s Day!" to my list.

However, imho " burn <you/me&gt" and " burn <my/your> <soul/eyes/bones/liver>" are not really swear-words, they are more like oaths. Don't know if it's worth making an distinction, but I'm putting them on a separate list for now.
Wesley Parish
165. Aladdin_Sane
@ 60. Branwhin
Oh, for what it's worth, Winnie the Pooh recently decided to change his name, in keeping with the change in the English they used at Pooh Corner, and renamed himself- by deed poll - to Winnie the Shit.

@ 57. Lannis
Around here, ass is another word for donkey, and occasional alternative spelling for arse, which refers to the fundament of the torso ...

@ 49. Mackey62

At least you didn't refer to "heaving beasts" - I knew one once, an old and severely disgruntled cat, who threw up when and where she chose. Though you could have used the word "bosons" instead - "protons" and "neutrons" and "mesons" etc have yet to make it into the severely restricted language:
"she drew on her neutrons, mesons like caissons, pi- and mu- and neutrinos too - "Fee-fi-fo-fum plu-to-ni-um"."
Wesley Parish
166. Aladdin_Sane
@ 99. toryx
"Besides, curses are just words. The only thing offensive about them are the meanings that people apply to them, and given the fluidity of the human language, that changes all the flippin' time."

Perhaps the best illustration of this is that famous Ern Malley poem
"Culture as Exhibit", with those famous lines:
"Have peered me over while I chewed
"Back-numbers of Florentine gazettes
"(Knowst not, my Lucia, that he
"Who has caparisoned a nun dies
"With his twankydillo at the ready? . . .)"

Knowing that nuns and monks are in this culture, by very definition, notoriously sexually overactive, I found that reciting that to an audience one day, I received knowing winks ... and if you look up the definitions of the words "caparison" and "twankydillo", you find out just how much "Ern Malley" Ern-Malleyed his target audience ...
Lost in my own Mind
167. The Not So Dark One
johnno @161

Wasnt there something about daughter of the sands or something when Matt ta'averen's the seafolk and lays his blades bare?
Lost in my own Mind
168. cor-darei4life
alright hows this for a loony theory, it would have to take into account...err a rather lot of time fudging, BUT gaidal cain is elaine or one of the other girls child! too bad avi didnt get pregnant on the first and only try...sorry rand, then it would really carry some weight.
Tess Laird
169. thewindrose
From Promises To Keep in aCoT:
'Renaile looked past him(Mat) toward Tylin, but it was not to the Queen she spoke. "Nynaeve Sedai," she said dryly, "I believe there was no mention in your bargin of my having to listen to this young oakum picker. I-"

"I don't care about your bargins with anybody else, you daughter of the sands'" Mat snapped. (...) It was not the worst insult among the Atha'an Miere. but it came close. (...)
"You listen to me, you bilge stone." All right; maybe he could not hold it.'
Lost in my own Mind
170. Smatt

I don't think there is any possibility of Elayne or Avi giving birth to Gaidal. You can do a lot in TAR but you can't go back in time. Also pretty sure that theory has been debunked before.
171. Freelancer

We might be in agreement in general, but you have my point exactly reversed. Galad's improvement did not cost Elayne in people's opinions. Elayne's fall in people's opinions proved a gain for Galad. This is my postulation. Stated differently, the dislike for Elayne generates an environment of extra sympathy for Galad among many readers.

Regarding the Elayne vs Mat throwdown, Wolfmage has the general structure correct. Elayne is given poisoned information about Mat's suitability, reliability, and dependability. Mat isn't a happy camper at the time, so the physical evidence supports the bad impression. There is no information available to Elayne to change this impression (or if there it, it is suppressed by Nynaeve), until Birgitte and Aviendha begin to stand up for Mat. And Elayne adjusts her opinion accordingly, apologetically. Then begins to question Nynaeve's perspective and motives, a not-unwise thing to do.


I was planning a similar defense of Elayne's decision about that plot piece, but it would now be redundant. Excellent work. When an honorable person takes on a noble task against wicked people, any casualties must be laid at the feet of the wicked, NEVER the honorable person. The deaths there are not Elayne's fault, they are the Black Ajah's fault. War is hell. To doubt this is a war, or to believe that Elayne's proper course of action is to not act because someone might get hurt, is ignorant.


Actually, the windfinders would have let the black ajah go. It' not part of their precious Bargain, so they aren't required to get involved. In fact, it took Birgitte brow-beating them something fierce, [b][i][u]ON THE BATTLEFIELD, before they grudgingly agreed to act directly against the blacks. There is no way they would have agreed to storm the house on Half Moon Street.
172. TAmyrlinring1
A rant to match those of Smatt, Alreadymad, and HArai:

Okay guys, I think it's fairly clear that your real dislike of Elayne is because she "dissed" Matt and tries to "take over" for the most part.

Well, why wouldn't she? On both fronts? She's soon to be the queen and Mat IS technically her subject. (Yes, we all agree that she doesn't get yet that the TR doesn't think that way, but she doesn't really understand that yet and why should she? She knows what her kingdom is supposed to include, and the TR is in it, and no one from the TR has set her down and disabused her of the notion.) This is simple chain of command from her perspective--even if you think it to be somewhat flawed because with Rand as the DR, and Mat as answering to him, then Mat should actually be "in charge", right? Or should he?

SHE's on a trip to find the BoW, and he is tagging along. She has a job to do, is dealing with some "okay sweetheart, straighten your collar and sit over there, child" Aes Sedai who don't acknowledge her AS status, and here she has Mat Cauthon following her. Rand might have ordered Mat to take her to Caemlyn, but what has that to do with anything from her perspective? And, when you come marching in to Salidar and announce that you're basically going to pack her up and move her whether or no--well, what do you expect woolhead? No one would appreciate that, and certainly not someone who has spent her whole life being prepared to lead.

I think that what a lot of us find infinitely charming, Mat's naivete, would be really annoying to deal with, especially if you are NOT aware that Matt has supercharged memories granted by the Finns, or that he has incredible luck, or that he is anything other than a presumptious fellow (who your friends have informed you is the worst sort of slacker who has to be led around and who's only redeeming quality is that he keeps his promises) has just come in and told you, the daughter heir of Andor, an Aes Sedai for heaven's sake, that you're going to listen to him. Ha. I wouldn't have listened to him either.

I think the "Elayne hating" is basically this--you have a lot of perspective that RJ has given you that the characters do not have. Elayne doesn't know anything about Mat being this cool guy that you all like. All she's seen is someone she traveled with on the way to the Tower from Falme who was deathly ill from a tainted SL dagger that he was stupid enough to take from SL; someone who was a little resistant to doing a favor for her in the Tower; someone who showed up in the Stone and merely OPENED A DOOR and expected the SGs to just do as they were told; someone who showed up at Salidar with an army and orders from Rand and told her (an AS) and the Amyrlin where to get off. That's what she knows of Mat (other than what Eg & Nyn have told her). Yes, WE know that Mat went through a heck of a lot before Falme and at Falme. WE know that Mat went through quite a bit to deliver that message and faced down a Foresaken (although he didn't know it) in the delivery. WE know that he then immediately went to "pull her bacon off the fire" from what he saw as their "certain" death in Tear (because Mat assumed immediately that these "girls" WHO COULD CHANNEL could not possibly be okay without HIM. WE know that Mat worked very hard to find them and went into the impregnable Stone. WE know a lot that Elayne doesn't.

So, I present to you that Mat is every bit the annoying jerk that Elayne is, maybe more because he KNOWS a little bit about her awesome abilities and still tries to treat her like she's a witless two year old. All she has seen from him has been him acting like the witless two year old (SL dagger, trying to boss around AS, didn't bother to bring food for troops, that kind of thing).
Julian Augustus
173. Alisonwonderland

Actually, the windfinders would have let the black ajah go. It' not part of their precious Bargain, so they aren't required to get involved. In fact, it took Birgitte brow-beating them something fierce, ON THE BATTLEFIELD, before they grudgingly agreed to act directly against the blacks. There is no way they would have agreed to storm the house on Half Moon Street.

Indeed. The only argument that turned the windfinders into lending a hand was their own self-interest. Birgitte told them that since their Bargain was with Elayne, if they allow the BA to cart Elayne away they could kiss the Bargain goodbye. Then, and only then, did they decide to act.
174. TAmyrlinring1
As for Mat's awesome generalness. How the heck would she know, and who says she's NOT fit to lead troops? There are many mentions of tutelage by Gareth Bryne, recognized as one of the foremost generals of the time. Remember, Mat had no real experience of his own, just other men's memories, and he turns out reeking of awesome when thrown into battle. Well, maybe Elayne would be at least a qualified military leader with her learning from Bryne and her natural intelligence, and oh, that kicking ability to channel. Neither situation is likely (Mat or Elayne), but in Randland, it's mighty possible.

As for the checking of Mat's men, Elayne is used to being in charge, and part of being in charge, from her perspective, is inspecting the lower ranks and improving morale. So, since this is an AS trip, and from her perspective Mat is along at the sufferance of AS and, possibly, to help (but, of course, definitely not to be in charge, this is Elayne working in the AS framework after all), then the inspections are not only good, but necessary. And again, this is a WE know that Mat is the awesome general in charge and that SHE is therefore being presumptious in her inspections. Sure she is. From Mat's and OUR perspective. Just like HE was being a presumptious jerk for coming into the AES SEDAI CAMP in Salidar and ordering around Aes Sedai, including the Amyrlin, in their own camp. Where is the "we hate Mat" chorus because of that? You don't hate Mat because you have considered it from his perspective--he's just there to save Elayne, and maybe Egwene & Nynaeve, so who could hate him?

Give her a break and take into account HER perspective. I think that maybe you want to just ignore that she has been raised to be the one in charge, and therefore naturally falls into that role. (Just like Mat naturally falls into the role to ignore authority, which since we are all "commoners", we can identify with more than we can with being Queen.) When she did realize that she had "wronged" Mat, she apologized genuinely. Mat has not yet realized that on a number of occasions he's been presumptious as well. There was more than enough fault to go around on all fronts. Give Elayne a chance, she's been more diligent than any of the Randlanders (save Aviendha, of course) in trying (emphasis on trying) to be fair and do what's right--which when you think of her analysis of Galad, is kind of amusing.
175. TAmyrlinring1
And, now that I've stirred the Elayne hornet's nest, I'll just tell you all that I heart Mat, and that neither are my favorite character.

And, to agree with other posts, I do find the Elayne storyline to get a little tedious thanks to the Windfinders, but then again, with that treatment, it will be that much more enjoyable later on to see them get a little comeuppance. Maybe we should just let Cadsuane and Sorilea have a pleasant afternoon with them?
Lost in my own Mind
176. RobMRobM
Free - I agree with your revised point too.

I had a long response re Elayne and Mat composed but the computer ate it and I have to go. Will try to post my thoughts later. Rob
Pete Pratt
177. PeteP
Thanks for joining in TAmyrlinring1.

I love both Mat and Elayne. I think they are great and characters. Both will do whatever they view as necessary to get things done, even at putting themselves into great harm.

This whole discussion brings what one of the biggest problems in tWoT -- no one talks to each other to bring everyone else up to date. They do not allow for the other people to change and evolve. They withhold information that would be useful. They think they have to do it all by themselves. Even on little things this is true -- in WH when Rand is in Far Madding with Nynaeve, he thinks she dislikes the Far Madding dress because it is not like those Two Rivers clothes she used to wear, not knowing that Nynaeve usually wears the most revealing outfits these days, made of the finest silk. Just a little issue, but an example of the common problem.

Elayne and Mat would get along much better if she knew he was one of the top generals in the world, with superpower luck, and an incredible fighter. Mat brought his toughest men with him to Ebou Dar, men all capable of handling any confrontation. He gets made when Elayne starts getting them to become respectable and nice around her.

Mat knows Elayne is the Daughter-Heir and an Accepted. He knows Elayne gets herself into trouble by her foolishness. He hates nobles. Mat promised Rand to take her to Andor. And he gets royally played by Egwene in Salidar, forced to take a trip to Ebou Dar for reasons he does not understand. He has promised Rand to keep her from harm, and Elayne goes about making this almost impossible. Elayne may be called an Aes Sedai now, but Mat does not respect her for that, given he has little respect for Aes Sedai in general. He gives her no deference for being royalty at all, but why should he? Again, no one tells anyone enough so that they can work together well.
Lost in my own Mind
178. Smatt
@172 TAmyrlinring1

Just a quick response. Yes Elayne does stir up the fires of hate but it is her attitude (and she is not alone) towards Rand et al that really annoys. They are there for the specific reason to win TG and have been specifically chosen by the Pattern/Creator as the only people who can achieve this. Elayne needs to realise that this is more important than her position and personal opinions. They all need to support and advise the Ta'verens not hinder and question them.

Then again this is just a story (blasphemy) and needs these characters to makle it interesting.
Lost in my own Mind
179. Seamus1602
@177 PeteP

I couldn't agree more re: characters holding information back from each other. Quite obviously a huge theme for RJ, but it certainly seems annoying after a while. My biggest peeves:

-Egwene's general attitude toward Rand re: Dumai's Wells (esp. Compulsion)

-The general perception of Mat by the Salidar-ians re: them not knowing he's now an accomplished general

-The world-wide freakout that results from The Cleansing (I believe that this is the catalyst for both Ashaman-bonding plans among the White Towers)

-Elaida's willful ignorance even when she has good info (i.e. the Forsaken loose and the Black Ajah from Siuan)

-Everyone's confusion re: Rahvin=Gaebril (though I've always thought Rand's super-balefire had something to do with that) and how everyone thinks he killed Morgase, which leads me right into...

-Gawyn. I think the thing that disturbs me most about Gawyn is that I can almost see where he's coming from in terms of his duty and confusion over that. But once Egwene and him meet up, I lose all sympathy. The woman you love told you how it was, and you flat-out denied what she was saying based upon rumor. I think I hate Egwene at this point even more for not standing up to Gawyn and making him see right. That Egwene allowed Gawyn to leave those meeting still believing that Rand killed Morgase was one of her largest failings in the books, IMO.

-Lastly, I've always been bugged by the Forsaken-as-teachers non-communication. At almost the same time, the SGs and Rand take on Forsaken teachers, but neither trust the others enough to say anything about it, so they all continue to operate without telling anyone anything. I'm not sure what telling each other could have accomplished, but it's always bugged me that they couldn't commiserate over the fact that they both were learning from the Forsaken.
Sydo Zandstra
180. Fiddler

If Egwene can recover so much from far worse behaviour, including treating Mat just as bad and never apologising or meeting her toh toward him, I don't see how Elayne must wear an albatross around her neck.

That's probably because Egwene thinks that Mat didn't rescue her, since she was busy liberating them in TA'R at the moment. And I can see her rationalizing that she cannot have toh to Mat, because Mat doesn't follow ji'eh toh. And now, of course, it would be impossible for the Amyrlin Seat to meeting her toh, especially to Mat.

I could add the part where Mat gives Egwene all honour as Amyrlin Seat, after seeing how Sheriam and the others treat her (right before they are off to Ebou Dar), but since Egwene thanked him for that, it's not extra toh.

It probably won't happen, but I'd like to see what Aviendha would have to say about this. ;)


I agree with you when you say that the BA, and not Elayne, killed those soldiers. However, Wolfmage makes a good point saying she should have thought about more backup, and The Kin would have been good candidates. Some of them have faced BA before, at the warehouse in Ebou Dar, so they know what they are, and on top of that, The Kin grew more backbone in dealing with AS. And wasn't that super strong former Damane also around?

Knowing there was a BA in their midst was no reason not to at least consider it. She could have told them to get there apart from Elayne and the other AS.

She did al this while being under siege, and every soldier would have been needed, since the odds were already bad for Caemlyn. Being the one person this siege was all about, she should have gone in with as much strength as possible.

Speaking of the warehouse part in Ebou Dar, that is an episode where Elayne should have learned how dangerous it can be to enter a building without a good backup, before having it scouted properly first.

For the record, I'm not really an Elayne hater. Her thoughts and behaviour annoy me at times (especially when she starts thinking in italics), and that is not because I'm a fan of Mat (which I am). Scenes with both in it are fun to read, especially from Mat's pov.

About Galad, as a character I liked him from the start, and Elayne's talking about him has nothing to do with that. I thought it was clear she was exaggerating, and that her views are subjective on this. I think you are generalizing at little here, but I can only speak for myself. ;-)

I really can't wait for Elayne meeting up with Perrin and Morgase, and Lini... And Faile.

I wanted to add something about my disliking reading the whole Tylin episode, but I'll save that for when we really start discussing CoS ;-)
Clinton Henry
181. Jaidee
I have always been curious over the extreme emotional swings some readers have over characters here, especially the SG. It speaks volumes of how well RJ created them that we have pulled them into our world and measure them by our biases. I think for me what RJ have achieved is to get me to re-think how I view and judge people who doesnt fit "MY" vision of a good person. I know that quite a few of the folks here if they had met someone like Mat on the street would not have liked him as much (drinking, womanizing, gambling, scruffy and very little manners) but being able to see inside his head to the core of who he is makes a difference (awesome battle skills dont hurt either).

I think the folks who hates Nyn need to re-read her POVs carefully. If you grew up in a small village mainly cut off from the outside world, made to believe by your elders that women need to care for men like they were toddlers, given what amount to the power of mayor at the around 21, responsible for the well being of the entire village. What would you do if a few strangers walked into YOUR village and took off with, what in your eyes are babies. It will take a while for her to realize and learn that not all men are toddlers to be cared for and that her babies are grown man and women filled with Awesome. She has all the traits of a parent with the mind of a 19 year old.

I love her character. You see, to me Mat is what we all dream to be, but Nyn is a truer reflection of who we really are/were, people made of good stuff but a little low on the brain scale. That comes with maturity and time.

What she needs most of all is a mentor/parent to guide her, someone strong enough to stand up to her but love her like mad. This she have found in Lan.

ps: pls don't UNOized me for the long post
Sydo Zandstra
182. Fiddler

Well, maybe Elayne would be at least a qualified military leader with her learning from Bryne

Do you have quotes on Elayne learning military stuff from Bryne? AFAIR Bryne was more a mentor to Gawyn, regarding this stuff.
Antoni Ivanov
183. tonka

Forsaken as teachers. Imagine you take the biggest terrorist as a teacher(for instance Osama) , and you need him almost desperately (this is more true in Rand's case than the SG's but anyway). Are you going to tell someone? They haven't met Rand since a year and he is the main "hunter" of Forsaken. It's too risky to tell him something. We are in Rand's head and we know how squishy he is but that's not the case for the rest. Ok, I just don't agree about that. the Forsaken are much worst in WoT World than Osama in ours.
184. MasterAlThor
Ok, I'm diving into this one.

Elayne. I agree with the earlier post about why people dislike her. Now, I am going to add some thoughts to this.

Nynaeve and Egwene should be hated even more for their treatment of Mat, but a lot of you that hate Elayne also love/like Nynaeve. How does that work???

Nyn, IIRC finally got an idea about Mat, but then promptly kicked him and then hid behind Lan. She has never treated Mat with the due respect he deserves.

Compared to Elayne, Nyn should be one of the most hated character on the lightside. Aside from Faile. Elayne at least tries to make things right.

As for Egwene...ahh I got nothing. I like her more since she has been captured, but she still gets on my nerves. And to think she is all about meeting toh.

Anyway, I don't thing that Elayne deserves all the bad rep that she gets. Oh, but she does deserve some of it. Her plan resulted in 600 people getting killed. Her fault. Her thoughs on the Band can be see as her trying to take them from Mat.

People make compelling arguements for both sides. I just happen to fall on the side that says Elayne is not as bad as she seems.

You want someone to hate, hate Nynaeve or Egwene.
185. Freelancer

Yes, I admitted up front on this thought that I was generalizing. Readers that prefer Galad to Elayne each have their own reasons that I cannot dispute. I only suggest that for many, the less favorable opinion of Elayne inherently adds some weight to the more favorable opinion of Galad simply due to human nature and our bent on adversarial positioning in matters of preference.

I have a generally favorable opinion of Elayne, and so her denunciations of Galad shade my impression of him in the negative. Yes, I am aware that Elayne's view of Galad is skewed and exaggerated, but it is not entirely wrong either.


Rob, I didn't revise my point. It never changed. You may have misread it the first time. To quote:
I propose to postulate and posit that the unexpectedly favorable status of Galad in the survey is actually a reflection of the overall negative opinion of Elayne.

My meaning here doesn't change. In the survey, many respondents claimed a favorable impression of Galad, and a mildly to severe unfavorable impression of Elayne. I simply suggested that the bad impression of Elayne helped to fuel a more positive impression of Galad, since she doesn't like her half-brother.

You see, to me Mat is what we all dream to be,
Nope. I would gladly be Rand or Perrin before being Mat. Tons of discussion here about Mat vs Elayne, and several have pointed out that it took a while before Elayne realized Mat's value. Well, a very large reason for that is that he completely lives up to the original impression of him, a slovenly, disrespectful, unreliable slug. And he is, until he can't avoid it any longer. If the Pattern didn't need him so badly, he would have gotten himself killed a hundred times by now through his own foolishness and selfishness. Yes, he gets over it and takes his intended place. But it took him much longer than anyone else to both recognize and submit to that. (Other than Nynaeve, but she could give stubborn lessons to anyone else)
Captain Hammer
186. Randalator
re: Full Moon Street incident

a) Elayne herself thinks about how the Kin are not prepared/willing to use the one power as a weapon.

b) They not only want to capture Falion and Marillin but also expose the black sister among them. So it has to be a group strong enough to deal with two full sisters, small enough for the black sister to try something stupid and arranged so that said sister can't interfere with the Power.

Involving the Kin would not have worked because they would either have refused just as they have always refused to be involved in fighting before or strengthened their number so far that they would have forced the black sister to keep in hiding. Windfinders are also out of the question because they flat out refuse to fight.

Ergo: 4 Aes Sedai, linked in twos with trusted sisters in control.
Sydo Zandstra
187. Fiddler

Fair enough. :)

I'm having a thought about this right now, that is hard to prove, unless somebody starts a new poll. It won't be me. I'm glad to be able to get on at least once a day, and you guys are posting like rabbits reproduce ;)

Anyway, I think maybe the 'hatred' concerning Elayne has something to do with how long people had to wait in between books. If you started reading from the start, the waiting time between books went up to years after tSR.

I have seen (and experienced) a lot of disappointment on stuff like 'We waited for years and you give us: '

- A circus?
- No Mat?
- Elayne taking pages to take a bath?
- and so on.

It's probably not that bad when you are able to read the books for the first time back to back.

Just a thought.
Jon Severinsson
188. jonno
Yes, it's quite insulting to call a sea folk woman "daughter of the sands", but there is no swearing involved in it, so it doesn't make my list.
Lost in my own Mind
189. alreadymadwithapologies
Elayne did apologise to Mat and acknowledge him, but people had to die before she meant it.

Before that she was forced to do it not because she thought she owed it to Mat but to Aviendha and her teachings of ji'e'toh. That does not make it a sincere apology in my book and in my book, an insincere apology is no apology at all.

Is there any difference between an insult and a swear/curse?
Roger Powell
190. forkroot
And wasn't that super strong former Damane also around?
No - Alivia booked out with Nynaeve to help Rand. And a damn good thing too, considering the battle at the cleansing.
191. TAmyrlinring1
Fiddler @ 182:

Sure. When Elayne goes into the woods to meet up with the four borderland kings/queens she mentally goes through Bryne's instructions on how to approach the "battle" when you're outnumbered--do what they don't expect, attack. Not to mention her need to tell people at other points what "Gareth Bryne says" (like Catalyn). I may be being a "stinker" here, but I don't remember Gawyn thinking about GB's tutelage at any point at all. (Not to say that he never does, but if he did, it wasn't often enough to plant in my memory.) Elayne constantly thinks about it.
Delos Rifenburgh
192. KaijuGamer
"Luca: Heh. Does it count as a virtue if your capitalistic self-interest overrides even your enormous ego?"

This, and this alone, is why I like the character of Valan Luca. I just love you how you hit the nail right on the head in regards to his personality!

As for Nynaeve, I have to admit that she annoys the bloody heck out of me. I don't hate her, nor is she a favorite character of mine, but I will admit that when she has her game on, she rocks!
Genevieve Williams
193. welltemperedwriter
This whole discussion brings what one of the biggest problems in tWoT -- no one talks to each other to bring everyone else up to date. They do not allow for the other people to change and evolve.

That's kind of human nature though, don't you think? I think a lot of people, if they haven't seen someone in awhile, tend to think of them as the person they knew when they saw them last. And this story is taking place over a pretty short period of time, really, so it doesn't surprise me very much that all of the characters should do this. Especially considering their ages.

That last is why I'd have a real problem with the characters assuming that the ta'veren automatically know what's best to do based purely on their being ta'veren. Yes, even Rand. The first reaction of all three of them to the news is to deny it (which, again, is a pretty human response). And they may be world saviors, but they're also teenage boys. Teenagers of either sex are rarely the best judge of anything, in my experience. I certainly wasn't.

(Plus, well, if everybody went along with what R/M/P wanted all the time, a) they wouldn't be human, and b) there wouldn't be much of a story, would there?)
sandi vogel
194. sinfulcashew
A little something for the fourth from Australia!

Cool beans!
Jason Deshaies
195. darxbane
The Elayne debate:
How natural of us to gloss over the bad points of the characters we like (Mat for example), but not give the same treatment to characters we don't? This forum is a great example of how accurate RJ's portrayal of human interaction really was. The Elayne haters continuously ignore the evidence presented that should easily adjust their opinion to at least an indifferent state, but we do hold dearly to our opinions and prejudices, don't we? That being said, I will attempt to defend Elayne for a moment.
First, Elayne "pretending" to be a general. Without commenting on whether or not she was stealing the loyalty away from Mat or not, is it not a little foolish to belittle her skills when everything she suggests to do is correct (Mat constantly complains that she tells him to do things he was going to do anyway, so he can never contradict her)? Does this mean you actually feel Mat is a moron?

Second, as far as she knows, Mat was given this army by Rand. She has no idea that he earned it, or that he is so capable. She does have bias, but no more than anyone else, including Mat.

Third, Elayne's brashness and foreknowledge of safety actually prevented many, many more deaths than it caused. If she hadn't have been captured, the siege would have continued for much longer, until Caemlyn was broken. Many more had already been killed on the fights to take the walls up to that point. The Aes Sedai reputation with the Kin and Sea Folk was already wearing tenous at best, announcing proof of the existence of Black Ajah, and for their assistance in dealing with it, would have been disastrous.

Lastly, unlike the other characters, her atitudein the last books does have a pretty legitimate excuse. According to the Wise Ones, Channelers who are pregnant, while spared of morning sickness, have extremely wild mood swings that are very difficult to control.

Now, for the record, I love Mat's character; I love pretty much all the characters, to be honest. I'm pretty sure this won't change anyone's minds, but it never hurts to try. It is easy to form an opinion, but very hard to change that opinion. Ironically, those who despise Elayne and Nynaeve are themselves using similar biased and judgemental reasonings that Elayne and Nynaeve are allegedly guilty of to form those opinions. I guess it's true that we despise in others that which we despise most in ourselves.
Captain Hammer
196. Randalator
alreadymad @189

Elayne did apologise to Mat and acknowledge him, but people had to die before she meant it.

No, she did it before they entered the house in the Rahad and were assaulted by the Gholam.
Sydo Zandstra
197. Fiddler

Thanks. I had the chronology wrong, somewhere.


Good point. I do think Gawyn got the lessons from Bryne too, though. But we aren't getting many POV's from him, and by the time we do, he's already Mr. Youngling...
Lost in my own Mind
198. Louis Theodore Tellman
Yessss!!!! LAST post!
William McDaniel
199. willmcd
Louis Theodore Tellman @198: Not any more.

Mad propz to jcmnyu @8 for pointing out that Birgitte's assumed name "Maerion" is a Robin Hood reference. Exactly the kind of thing I love to find in these books.

Oh, how I hated the Elaynaeve chapters on my first read of this book back in 1994. But I find them surprisingly palatable now; Luca's menagerie is a chance to take slower-paced look at the inhabitants of Randland. Futhermore, my attitude toward Nynaeve has softened quite a bit over the years; where at first I was a hater, now I am quietly a fan.

A couple of good tidbits I noted in chapter 36:

We find out that the tiny Healing weaves Elayne was using on Nynaeve while she slept in Ch35 were actually healing the bruise she got from Cerandin.

Loved how Juilin and Thom collect on their bets after Birgitte proves who she is by thumping Luca in the archery competition (before he fires a shot, if I remember right). Elayne may have thought she was keeping the secret, but T&J weren't fooled at all.

And here's my favorite bit of all: when Thom is talking about how to cure a man from depression, he says "get him drunk and find him a pr--", cutting himself off because Elayne is listening. She upbraids him for thinking that she can't handle the coarseness of what he was going to say.

A bit later, as she's thinking about how to cure Nynaeve's depression, she thinks about using Thom's method, and says something to the effect of "get her drunk and find her, well, in this case it would have to be a pretty young man".

Yep, that's right, as she defended her lack of naïveté to Thom, she thought the term he was trying to shield her sensitive ears from was "pretty young woman". Oh, very subtle, RJ; very subtle indeed.
William McDaniel
200. willmcd
Uno tells her that the blue woman told them to go to Jehennah and make contact with a woman there and wait for further instructions, but the woman was dead when they got there

Worth noting that Cadsuane retired to Ghealdan (I'm not sure if we ever find out if it was to Jehennah specifically), and we know from New Spring that Moiraine is aware of her. Was it her to whom Moiranie had sent the Shienarans? I guess we'll never know.

Of course, I'm with jamesedjones @ 117 in thinking that Cadsuane was a replacement for Moiraine when RJ realized it was going to take waaayyy too long to get her back, so you have to wonder if he's even invented her at this point. Probably just coincidence.

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