Fri
Jul 10 2009 12:43pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 19

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of Wheels – and Time – and Re-read posts –
Of Fires of Heaven – and kings –
Of Chapters 45 & 46 –
And whether pigs have wings.”

’Tis brillig, you slithy toves! But don’t get all mimsy, we don’t wonder what you’re at!

Previous nonsense is here. I’m judge, I’m jury, and if you forget there’s spoilers here for the entire series, we’ll give you plum-cake and drum you out of town! Off with your heads! Snicker-snack!

Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? Excellent! Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

Chapter 45: After the Storm

What Happens
Mat winces against the heat and his many cuts and bruises, which remind him of the thing he does not want to see. He fingers a slice across the chest of his coat and thinks that an inch difference would have had that spear through his heart. All around him, the camp is bedlam, Aiel and Cairhienin and Tairens all mixed up together for once, drinking, dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments cacophonously, celebrating their survival. Daerid and Estean stagger by, trying to teach an Aielman the words to “Dance with Jak O’ the Shadows”:

“We’ll sing all night, and drink all day,
and on the girls we’ll spend our pay,
and when it’s gone, then we’ll away,
to dance with Jak o’ the Shadows.”

Mat wishes he’d never taught them the song; it had only been a way to distract himself while Daerid sewed him up so he didn’t bleed to death, but the song had spread like wildfire by the time they’d returned. Mat reflects on the fact that after all that, he’d ended up right back where he started, and no chance to get away; he’d tried to ride ahead, and Talmanes and Nalesean had almost come to blows over who was going to escort him. He looks at the ruins of the log tower, and thinks he really shouldn’t wait around to find out if his medallion works as well on a man’s channeling as it does a woman’s.

“The hero should not sit without drinking.”

Startled, he jerked around, grunting at the stab of his wounds, to stare at Melindhra. She had a large clay pitcher in one hand, not spears, and her face was not veiled, but her eyes seemed to be weighing him. “Now listen, Melindhra, I can explain everything.”

She doesn’t know what there is to be explained; she knew he would seek his own honor, out from under the Car’a’carn’s shadow. Mat is astounded that she’s not going to try to kill him for sneaking off, but agrees hastily. She says that “he” was a man of great honor, and Mat had earned much ji by killing him; Mat did well to seek him out.

Despite himself, Mat looked at what he had been avoiding, and shivered. A leather cord tied in short flame-red hair held Couladin’s head atop the ten-foot pole near where the Aielmen were dancing. The thing seemed to be grinning. At him.

Mat insists to himself that he was not trying to seek out Couladin at all, it had just happened that way in the thick of the fight. He still doesn’t know if Couladin ever recognized him, but supposes it hardly matters now.

Back in the Two Rivers he had been as fine a hand with a quarterstaff as anyone, and a quarterstaff was not so different from a spear, but Couladin must have been born with the things in his hands. Of course, that skill had not availed the man much in the end.

Talmanes approaches and gives him a formal bow, which Mat acknowledges absently, trying to think of a way to make Melindhra go away, and failing. Talmanes tells him there will be a triumphal procession into the city for the Lord Dragon. Mat isn’t much interested in this news, and Nalesean joins them to add that the leader of the delegation to the camp to announce it was High Lord Meilan; Talmanes interjects that there was a delegation from the Cairhienin as well, Lords Dobraine and Maringil, and Lady Colavaere. Mat observes that the two of them are ignoring each other as hard as possible and yet still manage to be on the edge of dueling, and asks what difference it makes which delegation came, as long as Rand gets his parade? Talmanes replies that it matters because they must secure Mat’s and their rightful place at its head; Mat slew Couladin, after all. Nalesean is annoyed Talmanes beat him to this pronouncement. Mat tells them to ask themselves, it’s none of his affair. They gape at him as if he’s crazy, and Nalesean protests, but he’s their battle leader, their general. He and Talmanes begin fighting very stiffly over who’s going to get to polish Mat’s boots and lend him a coat and so on, while Mat protests that he’s no bloody general.

“Burn my soul,” Nalesean said, “it was your battle skill that won for us, and kept us alive. Not to mention your luck. I’ve heard how you always turn the right card, but it is more than that. I’d follow you if you had never met the Lord Dragon.”

“You are our leader,” Talmanes said right on top of him, in a voice more sober if no less certain. “Until yesterday I have followed men of other lands because I must. You I will follow because I want to. Perhaps you are not a lord in Andor, but here, I say that you are, and I pledge myself your man.”

Cairhienin and Tairen stared at one another as though startled at voicing the same sentiment, then slowly, reluctantly, exchanged brief nods. If they did not like each other — and only a fool would bet against that — they could meet on this point. After a fashion.

Talmanes and Nalesean both agree he needs a banner, and Mat tries to decide whether to laugh or cry. Every step that had brought him here had seemed so logical and harmless at the time. All because of Rand, or ta’veren, or both. He sees Moiraine at the top of the hill, having an argument with Lan; she rides off, but Lan remains, watching him. He shivers, opines that that’s “just bloody wonderful”, and takes a drink of Melindhra’s brandy, which Talmanes and Nalesean take as agreement. Some fifty of the men had gathered to watch him talk to the two lords, and take this as a signal to serenade him with a new verse of the song he’d taught them:

“We’ll toss the dice however they fall,
and snuggle the girls be they short or tall,
then follow young Mat whenever he calls,
to dance with Jak o’ the Shadows.”

With a wheezing laugh he could not stop, Mat sank back down onto the boulder and set about emptying the pitcher. There had to be some way out of this. There just had to be.

Rand opens his eyes and sees he is in his tent, feeling weak but pain-free. He abruptly remembers the things he had said earlier and goes cold.

I cannot let him take control. I am me! Me!

Aviendha tells him that Moiraine Healed him, and he is startled to realize she and Asmodean are both in the tent, watching him and looking exhausted. Aviendha tries to make him feel guilty for making it necessary for Moiraine to do so, telling him she collapsed afterward and had to be carried to her tent, but Asmodean counters that she is already up and about. Ignoring Aviendha’s glare, he adds casually that he did what he could for Rand, but his talents lie elsewhere than Healing.

He strummed a few notes to demonstrate. “I understand that a man can kill or gentle himself doing what you did. Strength in the Power is useless if the body is exhausted. Saidin can easily kill, if the body is exhausted. Or so I have heard.”

Aviendha asks icily if he’s quite finished, and turns to Rand and tells him he had no right to almost kill himself like that trying to do everything himself; as Car’a’carn he has toh to the Aiel, and cannot fulfill it dead. Rand is amazed, as in his estimation he had hardly done anything useful at all during the battle, but tells her he’ll try to remember, and distracts her by asking for news of the undecided clans. She tells him there is much back and forth between societies, but the chiefs are staying put until the Wise Ones are done conferring. Rand is incredulous that they’re still talking, and Aviendha gives him a flat look and refuses to tell him more, though she reluctantly adds that Egwene might; she had been pulled from her blankets as a replacement for Moiraine, who said she was too busy to attend, and Aviendha laughs herself hoarse over Egwene’s confusion.

“I called to her that she would have to dig holes in the ground with her teeth this time if she had been caught in a misdeed, and she was so sleepy she believed me. She began protesting that she would not, so hard that Sorilea began demanding what she had done to think she deserved to. You should have seen Egwene’s face.” She laughed so hard that she nearly toppled over.

Asmodean looks at her askance, which Rand finds a little rich coming from him, and asks about the Shaido. Aviendha is not very concerned with them, but Rand is; without Han to harry them, tens of thousands of them had escaped in good order, and burned the bridges behind them. He’s distracted from this, though, by her casual mention of the fact that Mat had killed Couladin. He is astounded.

Asmodean plucked a few chords of something martial; the harp seemed to echo to drums and trumpets. “In some ways, a young man of as many surprises as you. I truly look forward to meeting the third of you, this Perrin, one day.”

Rand thinks, so Mat had not escaped the pull of ta’veren after all, and suspects he’s probably not too happy at the moment.

Mat had not learned the lesson that he had. Try to run away, and the Pattern pulled you back, often roughly; run in the direction the Wheel wove you, and sometimes you could manage a little control over your life. Sometimes.

He thinks about Sammael, careful to use that name and not the other one in his head, Tel Janin Aellinsar, that he knew was not recorded anywhere, and promises himself that the Forsaken will pay for the Maidens he killed. Hopefully he had made a start on that by sending Weiramon back to Tear, but he had a duty to Cairhien first. He says he needs to go to the city, and tells Natael to have his horse saddled, but Aviendha stops him and says tomorrow will be soon enough. Rand tells her he doesn’t know why Meilan isn’t here already, but he means to find out; Asmodean tells him that Meilan had been here already. Aviendha says angrily that he wasn’t to be told that, he needs rest.

“I can rest when I’m dead,” he said, and wished he had not when she flinched as if he had hit her. No, she would not have flinched at a blow. His staying alive was important to her for the Aiel’s sake, and a threat there could hurt her more than a fist.

Natael explains that Meilan had come at dawn with six other Tairen High Lords, remarking that those men were as dangerous in their way as some others he had known, and that they had been not happy at all to be prevented from seeing Rand; he thinks that it’s possible that the only reason they didn’t try to cut a path to Rand is the thought that Rand might not welcome them with the blood of his allies on their blades. They finally left, but not before Meilan declared loudly that he makes a gift of Cairhien to the Dragon Reborn.

“There’s an old saying in the Two Rivers,” Rand said dryly. “The louder a man tells you he’s honest, the harder you must hold on to your purse.”

He had no doubts about the man’s loyalty, or rather lack of it; these seven High Lords were the ones who had plotted the most against him in Tear, which is why he’d sent them to Cairhien in the first place. Not knowing then, of course, that he would end up here with them. Asmodean seems unsure if that Two Rivers proverb is meant to apply to him, too, but goes on that he thinks Meilan means to be King of Cairhien, subject to Rand, of course. Rand and he are both very dry about that, and Asmodean continues that after the Tairens there was another delegation of Cairhienin, who were even more difficult to turn away than the Tairens. Disbelievingly, he says that when Sorilea threatened to have them flogged, they actually discussed it among themselves, and he thinks if it would have gotten them to Rand some of them might even have accepted. Aviendha puts in that Sorilea should have done it anyway, and Asmodean finishes that two of them, Lord Dobraine and Lady Colavaere, passed him a message that was so veiled in innuendo it’s difficult to make out, but he thinks they also mean to offer Rand the Sun Throne.

“They could bandy words with... some people I used to be acquainted with.”

Rand barked a laugh. “Maybe they will. If they can manage the same terms as Meilan.” He had not needed Moiraine to tell him that Cairhienin played the Game of Houses in their sleep, nor Asmodean to tell him they would try it with the Forsaken. The High Lords to the left and the Cairhienin to the right. One battle done, and another, of a different sort if no less dangerous, beginning.

Rand says he means the Sun Throne for someone who deserves it, and ignores the speculation on Asmodean’s face. He still does not trust the man enough to let him in on his plans; his loyalty is all necessity. He realizes Aviendha has let the talk go on because it was delaying him leaving, and tells Natael again to go get his horse. Asmodean bows and says he serves the Lord Dragon, and leaves.

Commentary
Ha, poor Mat. Well, if he can’t take enjoyment in his lordening, I’m happy to do it vicariously for him. Because, c’mon: that is totally what this is all about.

For some reason I’ve never cared much for Nalesean, while really liking Talmanes, and I’m not sure why, since functionally they are almost identical. Maybe it’s the name; “Nalesean” sounds like a brand of sinus medicine. Or maybe it’s that of all the various nations, Tear seems to have come off as far the worst bunch. Even the Cairhienin seem to have more redeeming qualities as a group, whereas ninety-five percent of all the Tairens we’ve been introduced to (especially the nobility) are pretty much all awful people. Maybe Jordan had a really bad trip to Spain, or something?

Asmodean: You know, for all the lack of trust Rand has supposedly not invested in Asmodean, Asmodean unquestionably knows more about both Rand’s situation and his plans than pretty much anyone else in this novel. Possibly, anyone else in the series.

I’ve said that before, but it continues to strike me. Rand may be right that Asmodean’s loyalty is all on the surface – he probably is right, all things considered – but freakishly enough, what I said about Mat, that actions trump thoughts, applies just as much to Asmodean as it does anyone else. And going strictly by his actions, once he is forced into Rand’s camp Asmodean has been in many ways Rand’s strongest advocate – and in ways it’s not even remotely necessary for him to be, like here where he sticks up for Rand against Aviendha’s mother-henning. For someone whose loyalty is all necessity, he sure does a pretty good imitation of someone honoring the spirit of his pledge of loyalty as well as the letter of it. In fact it’s really difficult for me to not just like the guy.

Which is pretty screwed up when you think about it. It’s kind of a pity, in my opinion, that we never get a chance to see if Asmodean would ever have betrayed that loyalty, given the chance. In fact the more I think about it the more I think his murder at the end of the book was a waste of a good character.

This is fairly ironic, considering that I’ve said (and still do say) that one of the larger flaws of the series is the absurdly high survival rate of major speaking roles in the midst of what’s supposed to be a cataclysmic battle of good and evil, but there it is. I... kinda wish he hadn’t died, now. Crap.

Speaking of which, I did have to smirk a little bit at Asmodean’s comment about wanting to meet Perrin. Ain’t gonna happen, kiddo. Sorry!

 


Chapter 46: Other Battles, Other Weapons

What Happens
Rand is startled when Aviendha flings down her cup, since Aiel never waste drinking liquids. She seems almost as surprised, but glares at him and says so he means to enter the city even though he can barely stand up; she didn’t know he was more than mortal. Rand wants his clothes, and she reminds him of his toh. He smiles and says if she keeps on like this he will begin to think she cares for him. He meant it as a joke, but she is furious, and threatens to get Sorilea and Bair, or maybe Enaila, Somara and Lamelle. Rand stiffens, as those three were the worst about mothering him of all the Maidens, and tells her flatly that he is going into the city. She refills her wine without getting up, and calmly tells him he can go – if he can find his clothes. Muttering to himself, Rand starts searching the tent; he finds his sword, but no clothes. Aviendha remarks that he will no longer need that, as Couladin is dead. Rand is amazed that she had guessed his intentions the day before, and denies it, and she just smiles and tells him she “learns him more every day”.

A fine thing. The High Lords of Tear sweated when Rand al’Thor looked at them, and the Cairhienin might offer him their throne. The greatest Aiel army the world had ever seen had crossed the Dragonwall on the orders of the Car’a’carn, the chief of chiefs. Nations trembled at mention of the Dragon Reborn. Nations! And if he did not find his clothes, he would sit waiting on permission to go outside from a lot of women who thought they knew better about everything than he did.

He finally notices the sleeve of his coat sticking out from under Aviendha’s skirt; she had been sitting on his clothes the whole time. She grudgingly moves, and watches him as he shaves and dresses, and he shakes his head.

She misunderstood his head shaking. “Elayne will not mind if I look, Rand al’Thor.”

Pausing with the laces of his shirt half done, he stared at her. “Do you really believe that?”

“Of course. You belong to her, but she cannot own the sight of you.”

He laughs silently, glad of the reminder that she does not know everything, and ducks outside, trying to hide the shakiness of his legs. He is irritated when Sulin looks at Aviendha and not him for confirmation before readying the Maidens to move out. Asmodean appears, leading his horse, followed by an expressionless Cairhienin refugee named Pevin, who had lost his entire family to the various fighting in Cairhien and believed that by staying near Rand he would see his family avenged before the world ended, and now carries Rand’s banner instead of Asmodean. Rand mounts up and attempts to show off by hauling Aviendha up behind him, which nearly ends up with both of them falling off; he hopes she’s not holding on so tightly to him because she noticed. They ride through camp, where Rand frowns at the some twenty thousand Shaido prisoners, sitting calmly naked in clusters with no guards on them.

Perhaps they would put on white robes just as calmly. Yet he could not help remembering how easily these same people had violated their own laws and customs already. Couladin might have begun the violation or ordered it, but they had followed and obeyed.

Rand notices another oddity: some of the Aiel warriors are wearing a narrow scarlet headband, with the black and white Aes Sedai symbol painted or embroidered on it, even though Aiel warriors never wear anything but shoufa on their heads. Even stranger, gai’shain are wearing it too, even though they are never to wear anything that a warrior would wear. He asks Aviendha about it, and she replies she doesn’t know; Sorilea hit her with a stick when she asked about it, but she thinks they might be those who claim the Aiel are siswai’aman.

Rand opened his mouth to ask the meaning — he knew a scant few words of the Old Tongue, no more — when interpretation floated to the surface in his mind. Siswai’aman. Literally, the spear of the Dragon.

“Sometimes,” Asmodean chuckled, “it is difficult to see the difference between oneself and one’s enemies. They want to own the world, but it seems you already own a people.”

Rand stares at him until he stops grinning, and is troubled by the implications, for Lews Therin’s memories tell him the name does strongly imply ownership, and he does not want to own people. He notes that none of the Maidens have donned the headband, and observes to Aviendha that she does not believe it. She hesitates and says she does not know what to believe, and the Wise Ones are silent as if they are not sure either. Some believe that following Rand expiates their sin in failing the Aes Sedai, while some believe that he will kill them all in endless dances of the spear.

“I have even heard some say that the Aiel are now your dream, and that when you wake from this life, we will be no more.”

A grim set of beliefs, that. Bad enough that he had revealed a past they saw as shaming. It was a wonder they had not all left him. Or gone mad. “What do the Wise Ones believe?” he asked, as quietly as she.

“That what must be, will be. We will save what can be saved, Rand al’Thor. We do not hope to do more.”

Rand notes lightly that he thinks Sorilea at least believes that he needs his ears boxed, and Aviendha mutters that they believe many things she wishes they did not; Rand grins to hear that she does not agree. They pass by Kadere’s wagons, where Moiraine is again fussing over the wagon containing the doorframe ter’angreal; he is surprised that Kadere is still there, especially since Isendre’s escape. Rand slows down as they approach, thinking surely Moiraine would want to accompany him to the city, but she only looks at him a moment and turns away.

Frowning, he heeled the dapple on. As well to remember she had other sheep to shear than he knew about. He had become too trusting. Best to be as wary of her as of Asmodean.

He thinks he should trust no one except himself; except, with another man oozing through his head, he doesn’t know if he can trust himself either. He hurries past the vast piles of the dead, covered with vultures, ravens and flies, trying not to look at it, and arrives at the Foregate. The Tairen guards at the city gate are wary at first, until the officer abruptly recognizes Rand and waves the others aside, calling to make way for the Dragon Reborn, all glory to the Lord Dragon, etc. They bow deeply as he rides through; Aviendha sniffs, and then doesn’t understand why he laughs.

What amused him was that however hard Tairens or Cairhienin or anyone else tried to puff up his head, he could rely on her and the Maidens, at least, to take the swelling down. And Egwene. And Moiraine. And Elayne and Nynaeve, for that matter, if he ever saw either again. Come to think of it, the lot of them seemed to make that a large part of their life’s work.

His laughter dies as he sees the inside of the city, stuffed to bursting with starving refugees, yet who are cheering him madly and struggling to get through the phalanx of Maidens to touch him. Meilan soon appears to meet him with a retinue of Tairens lords and guards who lay about them with the butts of their spears to clear a path. Meilan bows to Rand rigidly and apologizes for the “peasants”, and that he had meant to prepare a grand entry for him. Rand answers that he has had one; Meilan clearly doesn’t get it, but agrees and moves on, inviting Rand to accompany him back to the Palace, all oily subservience, and Rand thinks of how much the man hates him. He notes that now that he rides with the Tairens, the cheers have stopped. They arrive at the Palace, where an entire battalion of Tairen soldiers line the courtyard, raising shouts for the Lord Dragon, Tear, and the Lord Meilan, in that order. The other High Lords greet him there, and Rand decides to make use of the lessons Moiraine had taught him.

Rand clasped Torean’s pudgy hand warmly and clapped Gueyam on the point of a thick shoulder, returned Hearne’s smile with one warm enough for a close companion and nodded silently to Aracome with a seemingly significant glance. Simaan and Maraconn he all but ignored after one look as flat and cool as a deep winter pond for each.

Rand enjoys how much this puts them off balance, until he catches Asmodean’s sardonic grin and Aviendha’s stare, and he barks for everyone to get inside, making the High Lords jump. They go to the Grand Hall, which is filled with both Tairen and Cairhienin nobility, but the Tairens are all ranged in front, even those of minor houses before Cairhienin nobles with stripes nearly to their knees. They all roar in quick acclaim of him, and Rand comes to the head of the Hall, where the Sun Throne sits, which Rand realizes they mean for him to take.

“This belongs to someone else,” he said finally. “Besides, I’ve spent too long in the saddle to welcome such a hard seat. Bring me a comfortable chair.”

There was a moment of shocked silence before a murmur ran through the Hall. Meilan suddenly wore such a look of speculation, quickly suppressed, that Rand nearly laughed. Very likely Asmodean was right about the man. Asmodean himself was eyeing Rand with barely hidden surmise.

A chair is finally brought for him, and he sits down gratefully, trying to hide his relief from Aviendha, Enaila, Somara and Lamelle, who are watching him with concerned suspicion. He had worked out with Moiraine what needed to be done here.

“Why do the Cairhienin hang back?” he said loudly, and the crowd of nobles shifted, exchanging confused glances. “Tairens came to help, but that is no reason for Cairhienin to hold themselves in the rear here. Let everyone sort themselves by rank. Everyone.”

The nobles are all stunned for a moment, but then slowly shift around until the front row is all Cairhienin, and twice the High Lords’ number have joined them at the foot of the dais. Rand continues that it is good that the banner of Tear flies over Cairhien, as everyone in the city would be dead without Tairen grain, and the city would be overrun with Shaido without Tairen soldiers. This puffs up the Tairens even as it confuses them, and Rand goes on.

“But I do not need so many banners for myself. Let one Dragon banner remain, on the highest tower of the city so all who approach can see, but let the rest be taken down and replaced with the banners of Cairhien. This is Cairhien, and the Rising Sun must and will fly proudly. Cairhien has her own honor, which she shall keep.”

He is startled by the sudden roar of approval from the Cairhienin nobles; they go a little crazy, capering and waving their arms as the Tairens stare. Rand bemusedly remembers that Moiraine had said something about Cairhienin reserve being an odd thing, and when it broke the results could be surprising. Rand agrees, now. Finally the cheers die down, and the nobles line up to give him their oaths of fealty, alternating between Tairen and Cairhienin; Meilan is first, followed by Lady Colavaere, who eyes Aviendha speculatively. Rand is impatient as the oaths go on; he knows it is necessary, both from Moiraine and from Lews Therin’s memories, but it’s part of the delay to him. He has to make Cairhien secure before he can move on Sammael.

And that I will do! I have too much to do yet to let him go on stabbing at my ankles from the bushes! He will find out what it means to rouse the Dragon!

He did not understand why those coming before him began to sweat and lick their lips as they knelt and stammered the words of fealty. But then, he could not see the cold light burning in his own eyes.

Commentary
Conflicts are most irritating when you can see both sides of them as having valid points. E.g., the tussle between Rand and his keepers. On the one hand, being mothered and bossed is beyond annoying, even when you aren’t the Big Kahuna; on the other hand, Rand was clearly absent the day they taught self-preservation, so someone has to do it. So, argh.

I would like to point out that Rand’s amused thought (quoted above) about the various women around him’s purpose in life being to take him down a peg or two utterly validates my earlier theory of same. Those pointing out that I may have subconsciously come up with that theory because of that same passage will be primly ignored.

Siswai’aman: So obviously, slavery is wrong. Duh. But I imagine the problem becomes a little more complicated when someone comes up to you and says, “Hi, you own me now, kthx”, and then won’t take no for an answer. That, my friends, is messed up.

I mean, what’s the move there? Are you still guilty of a horrific crime against humanity if you refuse the – what, burden? Responsibility? I don’t even know what you would call that – of owning people, but your “slaves” won’t accept your refusal? Seriously, what do you do with that?

‘Tis a puzzlement!

Anyway. Nice allusion there in that same passage:

“He’s dreaming now,” said Tweedledee: “and what do you think he’s dreaming about?”

Alice said, “Nobody can guess that.”

“Why, about you!” Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly. “And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you’d be?”

“Where I am now, of course,” said Alice.

“Not you!” Tweedledee retorted contemptuously. “You’d be nowhere. Why, you’re only a sort of thing in his dream!”

“If that there King was to wake,” added Tweedledum, “you’d go out – bang! – just like a candle!”

Love that.

Moiraine: Dame Barely Appearing In These Last Few Chapters. I forgot how much she kind of absents herself from the forefront of the action until the Big Ass Ending gets rolling. Still not sure if that was on purpose, or if Jordan had too much else to deal with and just shunted her off till she was needed again. Either way, kind of a shame, considering we’re about to lose her for six-ish books.

The scene in the Grand Hall is another one of my favorite Rand moments, because I had a sudden mental picture of this young man lounging on a chair, speaking to a roomful of the most powerful people of two nations with total confidence that not only is he the boss of them, but he has every right to be, and it’s a striking depiction of how much Rand has changed and how far he’s come since the start of the series. Good stuff. And of course, there is the ending of the chapter, which always gives me a little schadenfreudical “heh”.

Also, poll: Rand’s last thought of the chapter (He will find out what it means to rouse the Dragon!) – Rand’s thought, or Lews Therin’s? Discuss!


Leave off that, you make me giddy! Have a very merry un-birthday weekend, unless of course it happens to be your birthday this weekend. Now, remember: re-read posts tomorrow, and re-read posts yesterday, but never re-read posts today. Unless it’s Monday, of course. Feather!

198 comments
Daniel Goss
1. Beren
Woo! Another fine recap to ease the drudgery of a particularly bad day at work.

And as for Asmodean. I could not possibly agree more. For all of his carping about how he's desperately hanging on to the edge of that crumbling cliff, he doesn't seem to try very hard to undermine Rand in any way, even to the point of trying to keep him alive when there would be no way for anyone to know that he was the one that let him die. Wow, that was a lot of pronouns. Anyway.
I think I especially like that comment later about how he would cheer the death of each of the forsaken in turn, so I guess one could say he has thrown his hat completely into the side of the light and is simply being intellecualy dishonest with himself when doing the whole "He's still the Great Lord to me!" thing. Anyway, I still think it was a waste not to see him in a position where he could have an equal choice between the light and dark and get the chance to see how he would have Chosen.
You see what I did there? I thought so.

Anyway, great post, looking forward to the next!
fppf
2. fppf

Also, poll: Rand’s last thought of the chapter (He will find out what it means to rouse the Dragon!) – Rand’s thought, or Lews Therin’s?


George R.R. Martin's re:Viserys.
John Mann
3. jcmnyu
Poll Answer: LTT

A lot of the fights we have seen on screen have been decided by luck. Rand and Narg, Rand and Turak, Mat and Gawyn and Galad, Rand and Be'lal, and Rand and Ishamael. Narg was all luck. Turak was surprise and ignoring defense. Gawyn and Galad was the same. Mat was so hungry he wouldn't have lasted a minute more, and it was practice to boot. Be'lal was taken out by Moiraine and Rand would have lost a duel. Ishamael 1 was sacrifice which almost killed Rand. Ishamael 2 was Callandor and Ishy being batshit crazy.

So, I felt cheated that Mat's battle with Couladin was done off screen. No outside influences, no luck, no distractions. The same thing happens with Lan in Far Madding later in the series. Cut to Lan leaving the building. I wish he had at least flashed back to it in this chapter.
fppf
4. Garry Owen
Somebody needs to record Jak O' the Shadows to its music...
fppf
5. LynnOH
Asmodean... I agree with you also. It is almost admirable about him how he keeps his own agenda (his own self preservation) unentangled from other Chosen but still can deal and think independently with regard to Rand. Alas he doesn't stay dead long and the "new" Asmodean isn't as likable.
Daniel Goss
6. Beren
Oh, I completely missed the poll. Definitely LTT
fppf
7. bandenjamin
Thanks for the great post. For the poll it's LT thought.
James Jones
8. jamesedjones
Whoohoo! Thank God for rereads! Poll: LTT

I've never been too attached to Asmodean. Sure, he does everything Rand tells him. But how hard is that to understand?

You've got this giant guy who probably grew up on horror stories about you. He kicks your ass the first and only time you fight, then has enough juice leftover to scare away the batshit crazy lady who is killing you. He's got every reason in the world to want to kill you if you give even the slightest hint that you're not working for him. And then he starts spouting information about all of your coworkers that no one should know. You're left with no way out, and no idea when this guy will take offense or see through one of your half-truths with his past-life information.

By the way, you're a coward whose primary abilities (music) have nothing practical to offer the guy who wants to kill you if you don't help him.

Yep. You're going to help him in any way you can. This doesn't make you a good guy. It makes you a great character.
fppf
9. mike23746856345
- He will find out what it means to rouse the Dragon!

That is most definitely Lews Therin's thought, but I think the only reason it came through was that Rand was of the same mindset more or less. I also think that it is sort of a narrative statement about Rand. Think about it.
Marcus W
10. toryx
Mat had not learned the lesson that he had. Try to run away, and the Pattern pulled you back, often roughly; run in the direction the Wheel wove you, and sometimes you could manage a little control over your life. Sometimes.

This statement here is key to Rand, I think. I've noticed that a lot of people like to put Rand on a pedestal, especially next to Mat. I don't think that Rand is really all that much better a person than Mat is; just smarter. In the end, they both do what they need to do and fight for what they want as much as they can. Rand's just smart enough to know the truth of the quote; something that Mat tends to refuse to accept.

Which is pretty screwed up when you think about it. It’s kind of a pity, in my opinion, that we never get a chance to see if Asmodean would ever have betrayed that loyalty, given the chance. In fact the more I think about it the more I think his murder at the end of the book was a waste of a good character.

So true. I'm not amongst those who miss Moraine all that much. I'm interested in learning more about her because I know there's a portion of the plot that's got to be committed to her rescue. But I don't really miss her and never have. Asmodean, on the other hand, I miss a lot. I think he was a far more interesting character than a lot of the other secondary characters and it's unfortunate that his story ended so soon. Relatively speaking.

Also, poll: Rand’s last thought of the chapter (He will find out what it means to rouse the Dragon!) – Rand’s thought, or Lews Therin’s? Discuss!

It's Rands thought, unconsciously pulling on the buried knowledge of Lews Therin's life. His discomfort over it is part of what feeds into his shunting off everything that comes from a former life into his conception of "Lews Therin."
Vincent Lane
11. Aegnor
I think the reason Asomodean is so intent on helping Rand out, does go back to the hanging cliff analogy. He knows that he has no chance of repairing his "relationship" with the DO. Even if he could somehow convince the DO and Forsaken that he was severed from the DO by Rand and was still loyal, how does the DO treat those that have failed as badly as him?

Not only has he failed and been captured, but he has helped Rand. Asmodean is smart enough to see this. He knows his only chance is if Rand wins. He'd be extremely loyal to Rand, as long as he thought he had no chance of returning to the DO without the DO exacting retribution.
fppf
12. Cowboy Funk
I agree one thing I really wanted was to see the Couladin vs Mat fight. I understand it wouldnt have gone very well with the flow of the battle, but still would have been cool. I guess there is so much more action still to come RJ didnt want to fill us up on appetizers.

But it would have been nice to break up all the OP battles with a good ol classic spear vs spear.
Luke M
13. lmelior
I love it when I visit Tor.com for the first time on a re-read day and it's right there at the top with just a dozen comments.

In fact the more I think about it the more I think his murder at the end of the book was a waste of a good character.

Wait, Asmodean is murdered? Hmm, I don't remember that. Who kills him?

Poll: LTT
fppf
14. MSedai
@13 lmelior: hah!

Poll: I definitely get a LTT vibe reading it.

And yeah, I was starting to like Asmodean (even though, yeah, he's awful-but he's the least awful of the Forsaken), and I really hope he is just dead, and not balefired, because then there is a possibility he might be back. I don't remember that passage so well though, but I think it is deliberately unclear as to the means of his death, right?
fppf
15. Lindy
I vote LTT, too.

I always assumed Asmodean was balefired, but reading that part again where he dies, it really could have been anything. But wasn't there an interview where RJ said that Asmodean definitely wouldn't be coming back? I think maybe that's what made me think that Asmo was balefired.
R B
16. MasterAlThor
Poll: LTT

I agree with the earlier poster that felt jipped about Mat's offscrene battle with Couldin. That would have been cool to see/read.

One of my favorite lines from Rand: I can rest when I'm dead. Yeah it's a bit morbid but so am I sometimes.

$10 to the person who can guess what my absolute favorite line from Rand is.
Thomas Bounds
17. Boundzy
Poll: LTT's id

Rousing the Dragon leads to easing the badger and the use of a nine-horse hitch.
fppf
18. JennB
I am pretty sure the DO chooses not to resurrect Asmodean because he proved to be a screw up and a traitor.

But then it has been many years since my last re-read so I may be remembering wrong.
fppf
19. alreadymadwithLTTsvoice
I don't see what's the deal with keeping Rand in the dark and virtually imprisoned in his tent. Yes he's exhausted, yes he was a bonehead idiot in trying to seek Couladin out, but everybody also agrees the fighting is pretty much done.

I cannot let him take control. I am me! Me!

Thus begins the turbulent relationship between Rand and LTT. This is where Rand becomes conscious of his input, and where he begins to dissociate himself from LTT's reactions. Does he actually have proof that LTT will take him over if he lets him?

“They could bandy words with... some people I used to be acquainted with.”

“Sometimes,” Asmodean chuckled, “it is difficult to see the difference between oneself and one’s enemies. They want to own the world, but it seems you already own a people.”

Asmo may have been Forsaken, but he's sure got some good lines.

So Aviendha now belongs to the look but do not touch school.

As for the last line He will find out what it means to rouse the Dragon, this is the LTT personality within Rand reacting.
fppf
20. JennB
Here we go:

THE CHOSEN DWINDLE, DEMANDRED. THE WEAK FALL AWAY. WHO BETRAYS ME SHALL DIE THE FINAL DEATH. ASMODEAN, TWISTED BY HIS WEAKNESS. RAHVIN DEAD IN HIS PRIDE. HE SERVED WELL, YET EVEN I CANNOT SAVE HIM FROM BALEFIRE. EVEN I CANNNOT STEP OUTSIDE OF TIME.

Now I feel dirty. Need to go wash up.

(I know people complain about posts in caps, but the DO talks in all caps.)
Vincent Lane
21. Aegnor
JennB@18

Yeah, it doesn't much matter whether Asmo was balefired or not, as the DO is not going to resurrect him. It doesn't explicitly say that in any of the books that the DO won't be resurrecting him, but I think at some poing RJ said he was gone for good.
Vincent Lane
22. Aegnor
JennB@20,

Oops, it does kinda mention that. I had forgotten.
Jason Deshaies
23. darxbane
@3, I agree that luck is certainly a factor in all those battles. Rand actually messes up Ishy 3 times though, not 2 (you forgot the end of Eye of the World, where he severs Ishy from the "True" power and sets him on fire).

Asmodean is not loyal to Rand because he wants to be, period. He explains that much in earlier chapters. If Rand dies, then the DO wins, which means Asmodean gets to spend the rest of eternity in endless suffering. However, if Rand wins, he will die one day, but death is better than the alternative. This is why he tries to save him, and for no other reason. Everything Asmodean does is 100% self-serving, and his choice between light and dark are based solely on which side could help him the most.

Poll: Both of them, because they are the same person.
fppf
24. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
Poll: LTT

But I was reading a bit on wikipedia about the "Dragon" concept in WoT and I'm not sure I agree with it. It's basically likened to the Child of Light concept from the Belgariad/Mallorean, but I don't think Jordan had it worked out that way at the beginning of the series.

At first, my impression was that Dragon was almost a curse or derogatory nickname for LTT based on the damage he did. There's a line in the prologue or epilogue of EotW that I'm too lazy to look up now like "And he who brought this destruction to the world they named Dragon." Maybe it's just one of Jordan's history being distorted kinda things, but obviously the dragon banner makes it seem as if it was how Lews Therin was known in life. But that also doesn't make sense if "Dragon" is what they call every "hero of the light" because Ishy is supposedly the only one to figure out about the recurring contest motif.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I personally think that "Dragon" refers only to LTT, not to every one of the Creator's champions in the ongoing struggle.
Marcus W
25. toryx
darxbane @ 23:

Poll: Both of them, because they are the same person.

Good answer!
j p
26. sps49
Poll: LTT

Odd, and rough on both, to have Rand undressed in front of Aviendha. They definitely want each other still (see Aiel practice of "accidentally" showing their stuff to potential *friends), but Avi is being hard headed. And why doesn't Rand tell her Elayne would not like Avi scoping him out?

So are Power-wrought blades also vorpal? haha
fppf
27. JennB
hewhocomeswiththenoon@24
I agree totally. Dragon is a name given to LTT and only him. It was most likely a name for his troops to rally to during the War of Power. A name to inspire fear in the forces of the Shadow just as the names like Lanfear and Ishamael were used to inspire fear in the forces of Light.

The only other Hero of Light to bear the name Dragon is the Dragon Reborn. He is named so by prophecy.
mark Proctor
28. mark-p
(finally caught up with the reread again)

I thought RJ killed of Asmodean far too soon he was a very interesting character that he could have done much more with

HeWhoComesWithTheNoon @ 24
I don't know where I'm going with this, but I personally think that "Dragon" refers only to LTT, not to every one of the Creator's champions in the ongoing struggle.
I though it was a name given to him in the same way the forsaken took on new names but later with the k(sp?) cycle prophesies the name became more important.


poll:memories from LLT's life influencing Rand's thoughts.
Bret Scott
29. BlacksmithButNotEmo
JennB@20: Don't forget (courtesy of ISAM - http://www.ataricommunity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=386600):

Demandred: Have I not done well, Great Lord?

Dark Lord: YOU HAVE DONE WELL, DEMANDRED. MY BIG VOICE SYSTEM WORKS GREAT. CHECK ONE, CHECK TWO. TEST. TEST. YOU WILL NOT BE NAE’BLIS. TEST. TEST.

Poll: Both; I remember RJ saying something about only one soul being involved in Rand's head.

Leigh - killer posts as always; many vorpal snicker-snacking thanks...
Jason Deshaies
30. darxbane
In the Demandred at Shayol Ghul Prologue, old Shai'Tan asks Demandred about his "ANCIENT ENEMY. THE ONE CALLED DRAGON". I also remember RJ stating that the Dragon is the symbol for the saviour of humanity in this world, like the serpent biting its own tale is the symbol of eternity.

That being said, since LTT is the only soul that has been tasked with being the saviour throughout history, then I guess you can say that the name was given only to him.
Joseph Blaidd
31. SteelBlaidd
Rand barked a laugh. “Maybe they will. If they can manage the same terms as Meilan.” He had not needed Moiraine to tell him that Cairhienin played the Game of Houses in their sleep, nor Asmodean to tell him they would try it with the Forsaken. The High Lords to the left and the Cairhienin to the right. One battle done, and another, of a different sort if no less dangerous, beginning.


Did any one else start hearing Stuck in the Middle with You when they read this.

And Avi sooooo wants to jump his bones again.

Asmodean is, in a very strange way, Rand's equivilent of Samwise Gamegee. Because he(Asmo) has no one else to turn to Rand can trust him as a sounding board because he(R) dosen't have to worry that Asmo will run around protecting him for his own good.

I have felt for many years that Rand needs an Alfread, some one who he can reveal himself compleatly to who will help and give advise but not overrule.

Suin does this for Egween, Birgite to a degree for Elayne, Mat has Thom and the rest of his lutenants, Tuan has Selucea, Perrin has Elyas, the closest Rand has is Min but he is too emotionaly invested in Her safety so he hides the stuff he most needs to share. Hopfuly with the reveal of LTT at the end of KoD he will start shareing more.
fppf
32. Litg
I always thought Asmodean was killed too soon, that was a big disappointment for me. Based on some stuff RJ said about Lanfear (how she was not, as some people thought, a good person corrupted by boring into the Dark One's prison, but had always been nasty and primed for evil), it seems like he was less interested in exploring the possible redemption of a villain than he was in exploring the possible corruption of a hero. Almost as though he thought it only flows one way.
Sydo Zandstra
33. Fiddler
Steelblaid@31:

Did any one else start hearing Stuck in the Middle with You when they read this.

Yes!
fppf
34. cor-darei4life
Asmo wasnt bale fired, nor was he resurrected. there is a quote someplace in the future where the bad guys are talking and say something like " the traitor wont be brought back"

and i want to say LTT but i almost feel like it is rand getting pissed off from almost getting cooked yesterday and feeling bad ass.
Richard Fife
35. R.Fife
Asmo isn't dead! "Death took him", well from the last thread, that obviously means Lan (who could make it from Cairhien to Camelyn in a day no problem.) At Moiraine's orders, Lan took Asmo into protective custody, and he will be revealed in AMoL *nods sagely*

The scene will be in Malkier, where Asmo will be wearing an apron and baking pies (not cakes, as cakes are nothing but lies!). Sorry for ruining the surprise for everyone. It was just too good to keep in.

I'm going with the edge of the coin for the poll: both. Rand was uncomfortable with the thought cause he thought LTT was going to say "jynx".
fppf
36. Lsana
One thought on Asmodean: yes, he is caught by the good guys, and yes, he will be in some deep doo-doo if the bad guys get him back, but the same thing could be said of Moghedien in Book 6. When she gets her chance to escape and go back to the DO, she jumps at it.

So I don't think it's quite fair to say that Asmo had "no choice." He did have a choice, and it would have been interesting if someone had come along and freed him the way that Halima did for Moggy, would he have gone? Or would he have tried to stick with the good guys?

Lanfear's spying on his dreams seems to suggest that he did sincerely see himself as part of Rand's team (assuming Lanfear was telling the truth on that point). On the other hand, Moiraine asserts that he is "the same man he always was," and she probably had some reason for this belief.

I never cared about Asmodean's death before, but now I am feeling a little frustrated that we'll never know how that would have turned out.
T C
37. Freelancer
The cake is a lie? Through what portal did you learn that?

Poll: LTT
Rand does not call himself the Dragon. Rand does not have the chutzbah to consider what it means to rouse me. For those who answer both, RJ said one soul, but two personalities. They don't think alike, they don't think the same thoughts, they don't think in tandem.


Oh, Leigh. Based on the results of the most recent data analysis on this site the question is; who is the wocky to my jabber?
Brett Michie
38. bchurch
LynnOH @5

"Alas he doesn't stay dead long and the "new" Asmodean isn't as likable."

As other posts have said here, Asmodean has not been resurrected . . and will most likely not be (though I'm leaning toward the camp that the reason for this is his treachery to the DO--don't think he was balefired).

I'm wondering if you were thinking that his "new" self is either Aran'gar or Osan'gar, who are Balthamel and Aginor respectively reincarnated.


And for the poll: LTT, but Rand doesn't notice it because he is of the same sentiment.
Philbert de Zwart
39. philbert
Ok, so what gives? Asmo says in front of Avi: 'Healing is not my thing but I did what I could.'

Is she in on the Forsaken buddy thing?
Sydo Zandstra
40. Fiddler
@Philbert:

Asmodean wasn't admitting openly that he can channel there. He's signaling to Rand that he tried to Heal him.

To Aviendha that could mean that Asmodean put a pillow under Rand's head...

Also, I don't think Aviendha would hear the capital H in Healing there.
fppf
41. twicemarked
I remember an exchange between Rand and Lan at Fal Dara. "The mountain (of duty) is awefully heavy sometimes, when do you put it down?" "When you die". Pretty heavy stuff.

About the siswai’aman. It is like the Aiel's version of the Debtor's Prison. In their mind, they owned a debt so huge they have to put themselves in prison and work off the debt somehow.

When they think they have repaid their toh, or when Rand can release them in a way that satisify their honor, they can walk away with their head held high.

It is quite similar to Aviendha's situation with Elayne. In Aviendha's way of thinking, she owned great toh toward Elayne, even though Elayne can not understand it at all. And her toh is not discharged until they become first-sisters.
fppf
42. twicemarked
I remember an exchange between Rand and Lan at Fal Dara. "The mountain (of duty) is awefully heavy sometimes, when do you put it down?" "When you die". Pretty heavy stuff.

About the siswai’aman. It is like the Aiel's version of the Debtor's Prison. In their mind, they owned a debt so huge they have to put themselves in prison and work off the debt somehow.

When they think they have repaid their toh, or when Rand can release them in a way that satisify their honor, they can walk away with their head held high.

It is quite similar to Aviendha's situation with Elayne. In Aviendha's way of thinking, she owned great toh toward Elayne, even though Elayne can not understand it at all. And her toh is not discharged until they become first-sisters.
Vincent Lane
43. Aegnor
Lsana@36

Well, Moghedien was captured and while she was forced by the collar to help the supergirls, she was trapped and didn't have any choice. Now the DO certainly didn't take kindly to her getting captured, as she was raped and tortured, for many years in time-slowed bubble, by Shaidar Haran.

But in the case of Asmodean, as far as the DO is concerned, he was turned and is a traitor.
Sydo Zandstra
44. Fiddler
Aegnor@43:

But in the case of Asmodean, as far as the DO is concerned, he was turned and is a traitor.

And Moghedien didn't have a cord connected to the DO protecting her from the Taint on Saidin.

Aginor did, though, but the DO still saw a use for him, and resurrected him.

I guess restoring that cord for Asmodean wasn't worth the effort for the DO to resurrect him just so he could torture him for the rest of his life.

Which is a reward in itself for Asmodean, unless he was balefired.


Which may prove that none of the Forsaken really knew about what Asmodean was doing for Rand. Rand revived Mat, Aviendha and Asmodien by a huge balefire on Rahvin.

A huge balefire blast on Asmodean could have undone the teaching he did to Rand...
Vincent Lane
46. Aegnor
sps49@45

I forget what it was called exactly. She was put in a cell and tortured for a long long time. When she was finally released, she was desperate to find out how long she had been in there, as she was afraid that the last battle was long over, and she wouldn't have opportunity to regain favor and position. I forget how long she was there, but I think it was on the order of hundreds of years.
Brett Michie
47. bchurch
@46

I believe the term is "vacuole." Like a void by the same name within a living cell.

-edit. Per Wikipedia, vacuoles within cells are not voids, but are isolation compartments.
Dale schenstrom
48. Dryheat77
Leigh: Love these chapters. Thanks for the whole re-read. I don't post much but pretty much read all (lurker?).

Poll: doesn't matter they agree.

Matt: reluctant hero? naw just not self aware enough to see hero (just doing my job maam).
Antoni Ivanov
49. tonka
Here's one from a book signing in October of 2005. Quote posted by WinespringBrother here:

Me: Since you said at an earlier signing that the Dark One couldn't have brought back Asmodean if he wanted, was that at the time of Asmodean's death, or after that?
Robert Jordan: The Dark One couldn't bring back Asmodean because of the combination of 2 factors: HOW HE DIED and WHERE HE DIED. Not one or the other, both factors.



Asmodean can not be recycled even if the DO was inclined to do so.
fppf
50. Lsana
@43 Aegnor,

My assumption was that the DO would know the truth of the situation rather than the lie that Lanfear put out that Asmo went over of his own free will. In which case, it would be an option for Asmo to go back, since his situation wasn't all that much different from Moghedien's. There would be unpleasant consequences, as Moggy showed, but it wouldn't necessarily be fatal.
T C
51. Freelancer
philbert@39

Asmodean saying that Healing isn't his thing is not an admission of being a channeler. If a man stands in a auto mechanical bay and says "my skills lie elsewhere than transmissions", one might assume that he is a mechanic with a different specialty, or that he isn't a mechanic at all.

Aviendha doesn't have a frame of reference to presume Asmodean is a channeler, so when he says this, there is no cause for suspicion on her part. Had he specifically said that his channeling talents lie on other areas, he would have given himself away. There are numeous statements and actions that he makes that seem to be tweaking at Rand about their shared secret, but nobody knows who hasn't been told by Moiraine.
Vincent Lane
52. Aegnor
I guess I had remembered incorrectly about how long Moggy was trapped in the vacuole. Here's the relevant quote:
"She did not know how many days she had been there, only that tasteless food appeared at irregular intervals"
So not exactly years. It was days, but enough days to lose track.

Why I got confused is because of the following:
The only reason anyone would want to enter a vacuole was that time flowed differently there, sometimes slower, sometimes faster. Sometimes much faster. She would not have been entirely surprised to learn that the Great Lord had really imprisoned her for a hundred years, or a thousand, to emerge into a world already his, to make her way feeding among carrion while the other Chosen stood at the pinnacle.

So she was afraid she might have come out of the vacuole a thousand years later.
Vincent Lane
53. Aegnor
Lsana@50

I don't know, I think I disagree. I don't think the DO is all knowing. When it happens, and Lanfear says she'll lie and say he turned, Asmodean is pretty freaked out that they won't believe him that he didn't turn.
Wayne Wilson
54. stylusmobilus
Perhaps if the DO had caught Asmodean he may have put him in a mindtrap and let Shaidar Haran have his way with him in a vacuole.

Poll: both. I don't think Rand really would have cared about the Dragon denial thing when he's pissed off.
Hugh Arai
55. HArai
Fiddler@44:
A huge balefire blast on Asmodean could have undone the teaching he did to Rand...


Assuming Moiraine is correct, the amount of power used in a balefire weave determines how far back in time the effects go. Rand basically goes full bore on Rahvin and it pretty much only reverses for the time of his fight with Ravhvin. Since Rand is pretty much the equal in OP strength of anybody, it's unlikely anyone could hit Asmodean with a balefire weave strong enough to undo his thread all the way back to Rhuidean and the start of the lessons.
Vincent Lane
56. Aegnor
Not to mention the fact that doing something like that would likely rip the pattern apart.
craig thrift
57. gagecreedlives
For the poll: I think it was LTT. It doesn’t really sound like something Rand would normally think.

Any reason for Moraine to not go into the city with Rand or is she afraid of being recognised by somebody? Or have I missed something obvious (again)?

“I truly look forward to meeting the third of you, this Perrin, one day.”

Well that settles that. Obvious foreshadowing. Perrin killed Asmo ;)

I am almost glad that we didn’t get to see Mat vs Couladin on screen. I think some things just work better using your imagination to plug the gaps. I would of liked to have read it from Couladins PoV though. That would have been different.

bchurch @38

I think LynnOH meant Taim. Rand loses his one power advisor and then almost immediately gains a new one. One who definitely has shifty eyes.

Lsana@50

I’m not so sure about that. There is a scene with Demandred where he is just as surprised by the Great Lords ignorance as well as his knowledge. So it might be possible that he doesn’t know what Asmo is up to and is relying on reports from the other Chosen. Which is the info Lanfear is supplying them. Plus in AoL he did have people killed just on the suspicion that they turned so the Great Lord does think it is at least possible.
Sydo Zandstra
58. Fiddler
@Harai:

I wasn't thinking of erasing all of it, but some. And, assuming it was Graendal who killed Asmodean, she may (I know, assumption) have had angreals before she started looting Sammael's place.


@Aegnor:

These are Forsaken we are talking about, with their own secret agendas. And they'd not be hitting Rand directly, so it would still be within their orders.
fppf
59. JennB
Balefire erases events, but not the memory of the event. So even if Asmo was balefired and some of his teaching was erased from the Pattern, Rand would still remember the teaching.
Richard Fife
60. R.Fife
Jenn: Balefire at least massively fades the event, as Mat only sort of remembered the shadowhounds slobbering on him (and more strongly remembered them not) and Asmo only kinda thought that he had died and had to deduce it via seeing the balefire damage to the Royal Palace.

Regardless, as pointed out above, Balefire strong enough to erase months of teaching (Choden Kal powered in a circle of a hundred or so?) would most likely straight up unravel the pattern.
fppf
61. Smatt
@ 24 HeWhoComes...
The name Dragon was not used as a derogatory term for LTT during the AOL. This only happened after the breaking and the kinslaying. It could be that the all of the Champions of Light have been called The Dragon. Remember that the Wheel turns so slowly that the events of previous ages become unkown.

@ 35 R.Fife
I'm going to take that as a Lan Fact and add it to the list. Now up to 55.:)

With regard to Asmo I always rember Ingtar. You no matter how far you fall you can always return to the Light. I thought that there was definate potential that Asmo would eventually return in actuality and not just self preservation.

Poll LTT.
Tess Laird
62. thewindrose
tonka @49
Robert Jordan: The Dark One couldn't bring back Asmodean because of the combination of 2 factors: HOW HE DIED and WHERE HE DIED. Not one or the other, both factors.

That is very interesting. It makes it sound like he didn't die in 'Caemlyn', because what would be a factor in Caemlyn? So that leads to where - Finn land? or T'a'R? If Lanfear couldn't wish herself out of Finn land, could she wish for Asmo to be brought to Finn land and then kill him? Or did Slayer bring him into T'a'R and kill him. That would mean that a death in T'a'R is final(Hopper would agree with that.)

For the poll - LTT.
paul Hend
63. tugthis
What is the thought of how Rand settles the politics of Caerhean? When he hustles back to the palace and receives the obsequies of the nobles. . . . then says that the thrown is not his but someone else's... What do you imagine is his thinking? I assume that he already knows as he would have been silly if all the way from the Aiel waste he was not planning on what was to be done. Why the hesitation at the moment of triumph.
Richard Fife
64. R.Fife
On the where, I heard a theory that I am begrudgingly starting to accept while I was at J-Con that the DO can only bring people back that die in TAR by normal means. This theory is backed up by the theory that the Eye of the World existed in a pocket of TAR that was also in the real world, thus why it could move around and was found by need. Finnland, perhaps, is also in a segment of TAR, thus why Lanfear was resurrected, and also why the 'gar's were resurrected and Ishy (the only obvious TAR death). Rahvin was BF'd, Asmo and Be'lal were BF'd and not in TAR.
Michael Thompson
65. TrollocBait
tonka @49
Your quote from RJ got me thinking. Could it be that the DO did try to do with Asmo as he did to Moggy? Maybe "Death took him" and put him in a vacuole, but then it collapsed before they took him out. IIRC vacuoles are voids in the pattern, and when they collapse anything in them is removed from the Pattern. Thus the "WHERE he died" (inside a vacuole) and "HOW he died" (removed from the pattern in a vacuole) prevented the DO from reviving Asmo.
Brett Michie
66. bchurch
R.Fife @ 64

Per RJ's quote above, Asmodean could not be brought back by the DO for both the how and the where. If he'd been BF'd, the where wouldn't matter.

So, I think, giving your overheard @ J-Con theory . . . Asmodean walked through a gateway into TAR, cleverly placed by Graendal, where she killed him in a way that precluded the DO bringing him back but was not BF.
Michael Thompson
67. TrollocBait
Re: Rousing the Dragon

Upon reading it this time around, I had the thought that this sounds very similar to having "Woke a sleeping dragon," which, IIRC, is what the United States had said after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. I think the phrase filtered down through the ages to the War of Power and LTT started using the phrase in reference to people who ticked him off, whom he then went after with a vengence.

Poll: I think it was Rand's thought couched in LTT's vernacular.
j p
68. sps49
@49 tonka-

I never heard that,but it supports what I've always thought, which is very close to what thewindrose @69 wrote.

@52 Aegnor-

Ok, that makes sense. I thought I had missed something.
fppf
69. Lindy
@49 tonka-

Thanks for posting the comment that RJ made about Asmo. I knew he had said something like that.

But I don't get the part about Where Asmo died. In the pantry? What difference could that make?
Tess Laird
70. thewindrose
tugthis @63
Rand has always intended the Sun Throne for Elayne. I'm sure he doesn't mention it at this time because he doesn't have her there at the moment, and I don't think he knows exactly were she is(probably would be good to discuss with her first:)) Although we know that he does tell Dobraine and Berelain, and that Dobraine is to throw support behind her claim when she makes it.
When Elayne does hear of this, she isn't opposed to the idea, but she already has a full plate with Andor.
Some of the commenters here have suggested that it would be cool if Galad gets the Throne instead - he does have the credentails. And there is the supposed connection with Berelain(she will end up with a man dressed in white), and she is respected by the Cairhienins.
john massey
71. subwoofer
Weeeeeeee! It's Friday! Hi Leigh! Woodda posted earlier but I was working like a heathen on my hardwood and can barely type. Using teeth and pen for keystrokes...

Question to the masses- does anybody get Aiel humor? It's like reading from the dictionary and cracking up when you get to sphincter...

edit- Asmo- felt for the guy even though he was foresaken... got a dogs dinner for his last moments... can't remember exact quote but something to the tune of can a person be in the darkness so long that they cannot find the light?

-edit, edit Smatt beat me to it
Julian Augustus
72. Alisonwonderland
The lyrics to Jak O' The shadows, especially the first line, reminded me strongly of Monty Python's Lumberjack Song
Tess Laird
73. thewindrose
From The Fires of Heaven - Glowing Embers
Asmo POV: Idly-but with a shiver, too-he wondered whether being reborn in this fashion made him a new man. He did not think so. Immortality was gone. That was a gift of the Great Lord; he used that name in his head, whatever al'Thor demanded on his tongue. That was proof enough that he was himself.
This was after Rand Balefired Rahvin, and Asmo could deduce what had happened. And literaly a few moments before the infamous You? No!
john massey
74. subwoofer
@Alisonwl- talk to twoshedz about that song...

He asks Aviendha about it, and she replies she doesn’t know; Sorilea hit her with a stick when she asked about it,


A Kodak moment... Good times- wish I was there to see that.

It will be interesting to see what will happen once all three ta'veren are together again... more's the pity about Asmo. RJ was building up to a big reunion scene.
fppf
75. birgit
Lady Moiraine of House Damodred, niece of King Laman, doesn't want do go to Cairhien with Rand because she doesn't want do complicate the political situation by her presence. In New Spring the AS wanted to put her on the throne, and she doesn't want do risk someone trying that again when she is running out of time anyway.
Sydo Zandstra
76. Fiddler
thewindrose@70:

Some of the commenters here have suggested that it would be cool if Galad gets the Throne instead - he does have the credentails. And there is the supposed connection with Berelain(she will end up with a man dressed in white), and she is respected by the Cairhienins.

I think I was the first to bring this up. :) Mainly because Galad has a better claim than Elayne does, being firstborn to their father, and having a Cairhienin mother.

Apart from that, disregarding that the Last Battle is coming, Elayne having the thrones of two countries is just too impractical. Andor can't even hold on to its own map-drawed borders as it is, as we can see with the Two Rivers. Andor and Carhien combined is too much for one ruler to hold on to, especially when this ruler has to move seats between Caemlyn and Cairhien all the time.



birgit@75:

Lady Moiraine of House Damodred, niece of King Laman, doesn't want do go to Cairhien with Rand because she doesn't want do complicate the political situation by her presence. In New Spring the AS wanted to put her on the throne, and she doesn't want do risk someone trying that again when she is running out of time anyway.


I always thought (and still do) that Moiraine's issues were with Rand bringing a host of Aiel into Cairhien, even if the Shaido went there first. It's one of those patriotic thoughts that RJ throws in with AS from all countries, to show that they didn't leave all of their past behind, while all AS are supposed to do this. I recall one of the Tower AS that captured Rand being from Andor, and having strong feelings about Rand ruling that country.
Antoni Ivanov
77. tonka
Galad doesn't have Cairhienin mother . He is half brother to Rand . her Mother is Tigraine Mantear , she was definitely from Andor.

Actually his claim is not much better than Elayne. Only that he is older. That's the only thing. They both claim the Throne through their connection wiht House Damodred
Sydo Zandstra
78. Fiddler
True. I forgot about Tigraine. That's what you get for posting before drinking coffee.

Anyway, since Galad is older and two countries under one ruler is still impractical, I wouldn't be surprised if Galad ends up there.

Unless the Cairhien people do the same as in Tear, in demanding the Steward wearing the crown (which would not be a bad thing, since Dobraine actually did something for Cairhien). This wouldn't do well with Rand, since he insists on his girlfriend having it.

Now I'm thinking more about this, I wouldn't be surprised if Elayne would refuse the Sun Throne. She has her hands full with Andor as it is, even after having secured the throne. And having a throne handed to her didn't do too well earlier. I know that was her own already, but the same principle goes up for Cairhien: she would be seen as a DR puppet, or so she would think.

Has Rand discussed this with her on his visit to Caemlyn later on?
john massey
79. subwoofer
C'mon, this is WoT. Does anybody discuss anything with anyone? Have a serious sit down and say- "here's my take on the situation... and this is what I want to do". If that happened, we'd have a trilogy on our hands.

Having two thrones has disaster written all over it. After all Elayne has just one bum. Andor is big enough and is keeping her hands full. Galad may be and issue as he is now LCC of the Children. That may make Cairhienians uncomfortable. Don't see Moiraine there either as she cannot be chained to a throne, she has to go on crusades. Who does that leave? We have Thom, Loial, or Bela. Maybe Bryne, or some obscure noble we have not heard of.

-edit- is 06:25 my time. Wife just smoked me upside the head for being up and typing in bed. I have to be comfy too. Of course it may be more comfortable somewhere else where I am not subject to constant bombardment.- Sniff-

edit- Berelain ending up with man in white. Sounds like the guy from the Glad commercials to me. A guy who seems unaware of his affect on woman and not concerned with his sexuality vs Berelain. Buzzard meat.
fppf
80. Smatt
Just a thought to throw out there. When Moiraine is rescued she may not have access to the one pwer anymore or have a world vuew change like Leane. She would be an excellent choice to rule Cairhien, and she would be loyal to Rand.
Maiane Bakroeva
81. Isilel
Didn't manage to voice my precious thoughts ;) on the last installment, so I'll voice all my combined wisdom :) here.

I have actually re-read Ch 43 and 44 (and can't stop myself from going on re-reading, argh!) and here are I my thoughts on Mat:

He came through better than I remembered. Going to warn the column, then giving them a plan that would allow them to survive were his own impulses. As well as sticking with them once he was forced to join. So, if you put folks in mortal peril right in front of Mat, he has both the heart and the nerve to act to save them.
Yep, he is not just anybody, but a good man. OTOH, none of the prominent good characters would have done less.

However, if Pattern wouldn't have forced him, Mat would have run away. He did seriously try. This is also clear. Despite knowing that it was one of the many battles necessary to ultimately save the world and that everybody needs to pitch in to this end.

Again, none of the other prominent good characters would have run, IMHO. And Mat only actually joined the soldiers because Talmanes forced him.

As an aside, I also like Talmanes and it was refreshing to see a very different aspect to Cahirienin than Rand's thoughts of cringing dogs. They are seriously badass here.

As to his leadership, generalship, luck etc. It all comes from outside real Mat via his super-duper handouts.
Of course memories help with leadership - many aspects of it can be learned (Sanderson actually has just such a subplot in his Mistborn series, BTW) and it is easy to be confident and decisive when you know exactly what to do (memories again). The various officers even straight out say that they follow Mat because of his luck and his military knowledge.

Re: comparison with Nyn, yes, she is also full of (funny IMHO) BS in her internal monologue, but the difference is, once she knew what was at stake, it never even occurred to her to run and hide. She was immediately ready to use her abilities in the service of the Light. And if she tried to run, nothing would have stopped her.

Which is why, she is a more heroic character than Mat, IMHO. She is there voluntarily for the long haul as well as the short. And she has to work harder than Mat to be effective, too. The same actually applies to all SGs, BTW.

Re: fight with Couladin, Jordan generally doesn't seem interested in describing blow by blow duels - he is no Salvatore. That's why he invented the Forms for sword-fighting, I imagine.

Oh, and Couladin for all his douchbaggery was a great fighter. Despite all of Mat's advantages he came within a hairsbreadth of killing him. Back then I thought that we were shot of the Shaido at this point - little did I know.

I also have to say that I don't understand acrimony against Egs - I thought that she, Avi and the Maidens were just awesome when they forced Rand to give up his machismo/revenge trip and forced him to do something useful instead. He may not have died in that battle if he had followed his intentions, but lots of folks on his side sure would have.

I don't get the notion that Rand only needs people who uncritically follow and obey him and that disagreeing with him about anything is betrayal.

Which brings me to the upswelling of Asmo love - just because he is subservient to Rand and charming.
I mean, perhaps everybody can change, but this is a mass murderer with blood of millions on his hands. And he doesn't show a shred of remorse! He makes himself indispensable and amusing to Rand , but then he has to in order to survive. No true redemption is possibly without repentance (for super heinous deeds, in his case) and there is not a hint of that in his character.

I actually thought that Avi did the right thing there - she tested whether Rand was fit to go and went with him to provide channeling support if required.

Re: Moraine, she has been clearly grooming Egwene and Avi to fill her role as female channelers at Rand's side.
That's why Egs represents WT with the WOs during the "conclave", too.
Also, her entering the city with Rand would have created a wrong impression, since she is one of the possible claimants herself. So, Rand's snit was rather unjust, IMHO.
She is purposefully distancing herself as well, so that her imminent death doesn't through too much crimp in the works.
BTW, it was pretty funny how she forced Asmo to carry water during the battle.

I think that after Siaun was deposed and Shaido attacked Cahirien Moraine no longer objected to Rand bringing his Aiel there, not even mentally, so that wasn't a factor.
john massey
82. subwoofer
@Smattt- maybe- but if she is going to be Moiraine the White- she will have uber powers from the 'finn, not less.
john massey
83. subwoofer
@Isilel- broad range of topics- may deal with them one at a time.

Moiraine has bigger fish to fry. Her upcoming death and all. I think she was buggering around with that red door frame again. You know, testing the weapon of her "death", again.
Sydo Zandstra
84. Fiddler
subwoofer@79:

or some obscure noble we have not heard of.

Or Dobraine. ;)

I was pretty sure Rand didn't talk about it with Elayne, unless as pillow talk. And, as you said, this is WoT. :D
fppf
85. Smatt
Now I may be wrong and I am sure that I will be corrected if I am but IIRC Ta'veren, although they influence events/people around them, are more tightly controlled by the Pattern. If this is the case then practically anything they do is to the benefit of the Pattern. The Pattern would not allow them to do anything which would be detrimental to its purpose. Great examples of this are Mats attempts to leave Tear.

With this in mind Mats attempt to leave in Cairhien had to happen in order for the DO to be defeated in the end.
James Jones
86. jamesedjones
81 Isilel

Wow. Long post.

First off, military experience equals expert military tactician. I've got no military experience, so I'll ask anyone from a branch of their armed forces to please chime in (Subwoofer, Freelancer). It is definitely true that the best leaders in warfare have a ton of battles under their belt. But aren't there plenty of examples of folks who have been in tons of battles, but still wouldn't be a great tactician?

Second, Moiraine grooming Egwene. She's been through the rings in the waste. I got the impression that she could care less about the wise ones discussions after a night of healing a few thousand folks. It had less to do with 'you should go' and more to do with 'I should not go'. Everything she did after the rings was full of awesome and benefitting the pattern. If you make grooming Egwene part of that, you diminish Moiraine ('cause I'm in the camp that wants Gawyn to snap her neck). Please don't ruin my memory of the first awesome Aes Sedai. ;)

Can't wait to see the responses to the last of that. LOL
john massey
87. subwoofer
Ah... Now we are getting into a fate/destiny vs free will discussion. Not sure I want to touch that... seem to of left my 10 foot pole somewhere...

Bottom line, Mat's a douche bag. But I feel that is why we like him. No one is perfect, and that is Mat personified. And girls like the "bad boy". Course, the best way to take him down a notch is to bring in a "bad girl"... or naughty, depending on where you want to go... I digress- enter Tylin. After that encounter, Mat pretty much keeps himself to himself, until Tuon comes along and complicated the s#*% out of things.

That aside, one of the most refreshing POV's was Tuon's. When she actually sees "Toy" as we do and not some er... toy boy, that wears lace and hangs around for loose change.

@Fiddler-IIRC Dobraine actually comes off as fairly descent in the story- if his lineage was established- why not? Toss up b/t him and Bela.

-edit Gawyn wants to snap Moiraine's neck? wha?
James Jones
88. jamesedjones
87 Subwoofer

Nah. Min had that viewing where Gawyn either kneels to Egwene or snaps her neck. It was like a warm hug from the future when I read it. :)
Pete Pratt
89. PeteP
Isilel -- At least you do not believe Mat is a total scumbag, just almost a total scumbag, who gets by in spite of himself.

As previously posted numerous times, Mat had no role in the battle until he created one himself. What is one more lone fighter after all, even a superb one, in a battle with half a million or so Aiel?

And please to attribute all of Mat's greatness to his Reddoor Minddump. That only provided with a "shortcut" of experience to go with his already innate knowledge.

Just like Rand is the DR and Perrin the Wolfbrother, Mat is innately super-general. He likes war, he understands war, he perceives inherently the art of war. His creativity (shown by the trickster side is part of this great talent. Likewise, the gambler is another aspect. That is who he is. He is not some modern version of a general, studied for years in the art of war. No, he is Alexander the Great, understanding as a young man the who, what, when, why, and how of warfare.

So why is Mat great here? If Rand rode to the hilltop and saw the armies laid out, he would not understand anything about it. Perrin likewise, though he is learning and tries to do better. At the time of tFoH, Perrin only knows attack and defend, not ambush and battleplans. Do not get me started on any of the girls, as they would have no clue about anything here.

The Pattern did not force him to go and fight. Mat did it all on his own. Throughout the passage, Mat is still thinking that he would not really escape the battle except by helping the Tairens and Cairhienens.

The men see in Mat a true leader, capable of winning, protective of the lives of his men, and willing to put himself at risk. Being lucky is only part of it. Having a bunch of memories is only part of it.

You defend Nyn, who continually screws up and tries to justify herself. She is so afraid of being held up to any criticism, even to herself, that she justifies all of her own actions in the worst way. It is only with the introduction of Birgitte that she finally starts to be honest with herself, which is what finally lets her break her block. Nyn only breaks her block because the prospect of death forces her to [b][i]submit[/i] herself to One Power, thereby getting control of it.

Nyn, like Mat, possess those some traits of all people in Two Rivers -- stubborn and unwilling to be pushed in any direction. Rand may have some from growing up there, but Nyn, Mat, Eg, and Perrin have nuture and nature to thank for their stubbornness. All of them work to their goals in a single-minded fashion and none of them like having others tell them what to do.

Now, I have finally come around to likely Nyn a bit more than I did pre KoD, though it really has been she since got married to Lan (Lan's mighty spear slayed the horrible Nyn-beast and turned her into a human being, sorry that was last post).

Subwoofer -- in what why is Mat a douche bag? He sees he has no place in this fight and no reason to hang around with Rand anyway. Mat is willing to fight in the Last Battle, but why should he hang around Rand waiting to be killed? Again, what was his "duty" to anyone to stick around.
john massey
90. subwoofer
Ah, sorry-watching BBT on youtube- train of thought...

oki doki- am in that camp too. Or if they take each other out. IT could happen. As long as I don't have to hear about Gawyn stroking her hair in a field la la la...
Tess Laird
91. thewindrose
jamesedjones -
Both Min and Egwene have either or views on that happeneing by their respective gifts. I personaly do not think Gawyn is going to snap her neck though.
To get some satisfaction on that front, you may need to play a RPG and do it yourself:)
So you don't think she is coming into her own in KoD? That is when I start to like her, well actually when she starts working with Siuan to become a real Amyrlin, and not a puppet. I think she has a lot of forward thinking views, that are going to give the older Aes Sedai conniption fits - should be fun to watch:) She is seeing first hand what what effects a bad Amyrlin has with Elaida - I think she will learn from this as well.
john massey
92. subwoofer
@PeteP taking this way too serious;)

Mat is a douche in the sense that he carouses into the dead of night, fleecing everybody that does not know about his luck with dice, sleeping around with every barmaid, scullion, maid, lady etc with a pulse, or without... waking up in yesterday's clothes, and all the other things I love about Mat. Good times.

Must go now. My flooring calls and I must catch hell for waking up wife...
fppf
93. Robss\\SS
Sorry if this has been brought up allready...

Does anyone think that the "trickle of power" from Asmo was anyhing other then a healing thing?

Survey: Rand
Julian Augustus
94. Alisonwonderland
I don't think Rand actually knew that Moiraine was one of the primary heirs to the Cairhien throne. Aes Sedai generally hide their origins from the general public and even most other AS. Which is why they all drop their surnames and adopt the title "Sedai" as their surname when dealing with the public. Moiraine is one of the most secretive AS in a land where AS are the byword for hiding things and dissembling. Consider her shock in Tear when Thom made her aware that he knew her surname, House and royal blood. I think it most unlikely that she would have given a detailed biography of herself to Rand.

No. Rand only knows her as Moiraine Sedai, the mother-hen, which is why he was ticked off when she wouldn't accompany him to Cairhien, as if she had something better to do. True, she's been teaching him about politics and all that, but her knowledge could easily come from being an experienced AS who's been dealing with the world since before he was born. And the clincher? Rand, in none of his internal thoughts, shows the slightest inkling that he thinks of Moiraine in any other way than a mother-hen who originally wanted to control him and is now a tutor.
Pete Pratt
95. PeteP
Mat is douche only if most 21 year men are douches.

We do not see him sleeping around (we know of only 2 pre-marital sexual relationships, neither of which he was the aggressor).

Mat is lucky, but he loved gambling before he was super-lucky. He avoids rolling the dice while playing Snakes-and-Foxes so as to not cheat.

If you are going indict a guy for wearing yesterday's clothes and not cleaning up when they can get away with it, while then most guys are doomed.
fppf
96. JennB
Ironic, considering that's the only came where you are actually required to cheat to win.
fppf
97. JennB
oops typo...
game with a "g"
R B
98. MasterAlThor
I've been reading the post and someone gave me a thought.

Windrose @91

You were talking about Egwene and her coming into her own as of KoD. Well I just finished re-reading CoT(don't hate it as much now, but still the worst book of the series) and if you read the Egwene parts some startiling things jump out.

1. Wrongheadedness. E.g. she is totally convinced that Rand has used compulsion on the sisters that are with him.

2. Hypocrit. E.g. Bonding the Asha'men. Her whole standce on this is just wrong. It really gets down to power. The AS have been in power for 3000 yrs, and they have all the power and a majority of the answers. Now someone is threatening that power. Yeah, the AS have been hunting for men who could channel for all that time but, the Dragon has been reborn. I think it's time to redifine your job discription.

How is she a hypocrit? Maybe that's not the right word for what I am trying to say. She approves of bonding men with the end result being that after they are used for that purpose, they will be gentled. Now I do remember that she got after Rand about using people.

I have a hypothesis about the AS. I think that they have an over inflated view of themselves and a complete misread of men in general. For my proof I give you all inner monologue of AS dealing with men. This almost puts them in femenist territory, and yes that's a bad thing.

Anyhow, flame away if you must. Support if you will.
Tess Laird
99. thewindrose
MasterAlThor:
This pretains to Egwene thinking Rand has used Compulsion - from RJ's Blog:)

Various people have commented on Egwene being dumb with Rand, in particular contrasting how Pevara leaped immediately to a conclusion that he was ta’veren where the same information took Egwene to possible Compulsion. Pevara has a clean slate regarding Rand. Insofar as Compulsion goes, to her it is a forbidden weave, suppressed so effectively among women who come to the Tower that despite the fact that many wilders have some form of it as their first weaving, by the time the White Tower is done with them many of those same women can no longer make the weave nor, in some cases, even recall how to. How, then, does this young man come by Compulsion? Much more possible, however unlikely, that he is ta’veren. Egwene, on the other hand, grew up with Rand. She largely evaded the training that would have set the same thoughts regarding Compulsion in her head that Pevara has. Whatever Egwene has learned about Rand and now knows intellectually, there is a core of her that says he is Rand al’Thor rather the Dragon Reborn, or least before being the Dragon Reborn, and if Rand were in any way ta’veren, surely she would have noticed it during their years growing up. On the other hand, he has surprised her, and others, with abilities and knowledge of weaves, such as Traveling, that they didn’t expect. If he is pulling strange weaves out of nowhere, who is to say that Compulsion isn’t among them? It would certainly fit the information, after all.

As to an over inflated view, I think almost all of us would agree with you. People in WoT have a terrible track record with communicating with each other, and it is one of the big points RJ was trying to get across to us the reader - learn to communicate people! (In WoT and iRL)

BTW - MasterAlThor - I am happy to hear you got through CoT!!!
j p
100. sps49
@94 Alisonwonderland-

I believe Thom probably told Rand about Moiraine, as part of his Game teaching (knowing the players is imortant) and to help protect him from Aes Sedai control (knowledge is power).

I have no evidence of this to provide.
Richard Fife
101. R.Fife
In her letter to Rand, Mo signs it only "Moiraine" and Rand thinks "she almost never used her House name" With the capital. He knew she was noble, and probably knew which House she was from.
Julian Augustus
102. Alisonwonderland
sps49@100:

That seems highly unlikely. If Rand knew from Thom that Moiraine herself was a Cairhienin royal and one of the top candidates in line for the throne, he surely would have had at least a chat with her about if she wanted the throne and who is who in the succession sweepstakes. As it is, he has absolutely no thoughts about Moiraine's connection with Cairhien on his way into the city, and doesn't even know the players in the Cairhienin nobility other than the stripes of rank he sees when he is facing the Tear and Cairhien nobles.

I think it is straining credulity too much to believe that he knew about Moiraine and who's who in Cairhien and yet that didn't enter his thoughts even once (other than trying to implement the statecraft Moiraine had taught him) as he was making pronouncements about the governance of the country.
Pete Pratt
103. PeteP
I am sure Rand and Moiraine talked a whole bunch about Cairhienin nobility. We just do not see it on screen. Once she talks her oath, she is non-stop educating him in all aspects of politics and everything about her homeland in particular.
Maiane Bakroeva
104. Isilel
PeteP:

Why would Mat be too good for the role of a fighter? It is a necessary role, after all. If everybody thought that one more wouldn't matter, there'd have been no army.

Also, how did he take command? In Rand's name. It was enough for Cairhenin and the fact that he was Rand's childhood friend and known from the Stone of Tear was enough for Tairens. If Rand had appointed him their commander to begin with, instead of Lord Dumbass, it would have gone even more smoothly.
The roles were there - the desire to fill them wasn't.
In fact it takes a lot of subsequent attempts to escape with the Band following and Pattern forcing for Mat to accept it.

Re: native talent. I saw no sign of it before Rhuidean. Yes, Mat would talk in the Old Tongue from time to time and liked stories about battles to begin with, but it was all. No clever tactical plans for any of the skirmishes they got themselves into.

Re: trickster, a big chunk of Moraine's and Siuan's contemporaries as Accepted were pranksters too, they themselves foremost. Yet none of them is a great general ;).

Nyn screws up - well of course. She doesn't have the Pattern cleaning up after her. She is still fighting for the Light of her own will - unlike Mat.

MasteralTor @98:

She approves of bonding men with the end result being that after they are used for that purpose, they will be gentled.

That was before the taint was cleansed. Harsh, but necessary. Or do you think that letting them go crazy and murder innocents would have been preferable? At the BT they killed any men going strange _with Rand's blessing_.

Frankly, I don't understand the acrimony against Egs. A lot of information she keeps from Rand _has_ been received in confidence. A lot of her disagreements with Rand _did_ have some merit. Etc.

Re: Moraine's status, the fact that she was Cairhenin noblewoman was rather obvious. I can't imagine Rand _not_ asking her family name at some point or not learning it from Thom.
Pete Pratt
105. PeteP
Mat is the trickster, the gambler, the son of battles. That is who he is. As a good general, he is creative, lucky, and able to win battles.

Give the minddump to Egwene and she would not likely a single thing more about fighting war then she did before, except dying sucks. The French and English generals in WWI studied war their whole lives and experience war, and still sucked, sending millions of men to their death in stupid attacks.

Military knowledge does not make someone a good general. Being able to take that knowledge and apply it is the key. That is the problem you do not seem to see. Mat can. The minddump merely helped to shorten the process by giving him experience, much like using a simulator today, but with a better VR interface.

I can have a minddump from the thousand greatest artists, but I still will not be able to paint anything. I totally lack any talent in that area, even though my father is an excellent artist. Knowledge needs talent to become effective.

On Eg -- I will not even begin -- she has sooo many flaws and problems. I would have felt very sorry for Rand if he had married her -- his life would have been absolutely horrible.
paul Hend
108. tugthis
In settling the Cairhiernan throne why do we assume that he has to chose one of the 12 teenagers (slight exageration) he is already friends with. Knowing that the battle for the end of the world is coming he makes a mistake to place a neophyte (he knows enough about this himself) in charge of a country. Conquer and move on, appoint some wise old man or an Aiel to administer and move on. Similarly it is probably a mistake to allow Elayne to assume the throne in Andor. She has zero experience, and the idea that although the Lord Dragon changes everything his girl friend gets to be queen is too easy.
T C
109. Freelancer
TrollocBait@67
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
This line is not known to be a true life quote, but it from the character of Admiral Yamamoto in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!. I strongly doubt that an American would refer to America as a sleeping dragon, and I'm quite sure that a Japanese of the time would not honor America as a dragon of any kind, a beast-myth revered throughout their culture.


Fiddler@84

Hasn't been a "pillow talk" situation for Rand & Elayne yet. Maybe "snuggle-corner" talk, but there nothing to suggest that the Sun Throne ever came up as a topic.


jej@86

Experience does NOT automatically confer skill, nor leadership. I would say that it's possible for one with the appropriate genius to have never been in battle and still be a superior tactician to many who have loads of battle time but lack the analytical acumen. But tactical expertise is just one aspect. The larger is simply leadership. Sometimes winning isn't as much about doing the exact most effective thing, but that whatever you plan to do, your entire team performs their proper role within that plan. This is clearly seen in micro form on a football field or a basketball court.


PeteP@95

By that standard, Mat most certainly is.
fppf
110. Valan
@88 jamesdjones
"Nah. Min had that viewing where Gawyn either kneels to Egwene or snaps her neck. It was like a warm hug from the future when I read it. :) "

LOL

You know I've never been in the I hate Egwene camp, but if he snaps her neck... I can't help but think it would be an awesome twist. The entire Two Rivers would kill the F%$# out of Gawyn. :)
James Jones
111. jamesedjones
109 Freelancer

Thanks for the input, but you bring up an interesting ancillary idea. Is it taveren effect or simply inherent stubborness that creates such strong leadership qualities in the guys? I'm in the camp that they are just raised that way and come into their own in times of calamity. Any thoughts from anyone else out there?

110 Valan

Yep. Now, Gawyn, that's a guy that deserves the douche title.
fppf
112. AYe Aye Sedai
Ok - So the point of the wooden tower was to be able to see where to hit with the power - many times it is said that one needs to see to direct the weave - so why aren't the Aes Sedai all afraid of people with blindfold or hot pokers??

Blind them and they cannot direct the weaves and channel - much more fearsome that forkroot - hmm ???

Wonder what this means for a blind Rand ?

For that matter how was Sammael/Rahvin able to direct his power such a long distance to the Tower and Maidens - shooting arrows(bolts of fire, etc) into the sky and letting them fall haphazardly I assume,

Also - if the forsaken are not aware of Asmo helping Rand then how does the DO know? Likely Cydane/Lanfear/Meirin - obviously she is killed and is resurrected( which we finally find out in like 1000+ pages ) but the question really is when did she die and how quickly was she resurrected? If she kills Asmo then she has to do it before becoming Cydane as she is not recognized by Grendael when met. Will wait for better discussion but wonder if Morraine kills him from Finn land :)
fppf
113. Smatt
@112

If it was me and I was a kick ass power user I'd open a couple of gateways that opened up in the sky looking down tie them off and then throw my weaves down on the unsuspecting miscreants.

Total battlefield view maximum destruction anc carnage. Sod the wooden tower.
fppf
114. JennB
There is no information on when Lanfear dies after Moraine pushes her through the twisted doorway, but we do know that once she died the DO resurrected her immediately. The DO, by its/his own admission, cannot step outside of time. This means that souls can only be retrieved at the moment of death. Otherwise the DO would be able to go back in time to resurrect the souls of Rahvin and Be'lal.

This is also why Balthamel ends up in a woman's body. It was the only one available at the time of his death.
craig thrift
115. gagecreedlives
JennB@114

"This is also why Balthamel ends up in a woman's body. It was the only one available at the time of his death."

I thought that was more in line with the Great Lord's sense of humour. I hear its wicked.

AYe Aye Sedai@112

"Also - if the forsaken are not aware of Asmo helping Rand then how does the DO know?"

If the DO just waited for the forsaken to give him info he would never learn anything. The DO does have other spies like rats and crows so its possible he is getting info from them.
Wayne Wilson
116. stylusmobilus
JennB

Cyndane's thought in her POV at Shadar Logoth when she confronted Alivia suggests she may have spent some time held by the Finns. Perhaps the DO retrieved her soul when, and if, the Finns skinned her for being a Forsaken. I get the feeling the DO can use vacuoles to keep souls available for the most suitable body, be that for satisfying humour or otherwise. Maybe that is the punishment they all go through. Moggy was lucky enough to still have her own body I guess. What I've been wondering about is, does Cyndane still have her TAR abilities, and/or does the mindtrap prevent her and Moggy from visiting TAR?
fppf
117. Aye Aye Sedai
Ok - enough with the frigging vacuoles - unless they go backwards in time - the only effect is in having the detainee speed up/slow down to distort their sense of time - in the timeline that matters (ie our viewpoint) the duration of the detention doesn't matter except for the effect to make them more pliable.

WRT (with respect to) Cydane - dosn't matter if she was in one or not, she was last seen entering the portal in FOH and then seen again as Cydane in POD - possibly a few weeks or months later by our reckoning (in the finns could have been weeks, months or years - (not checking the time line for this small issue). As of yet we have no clue how long she was off the scene or when she was reborn or how long she was detained after being reborn - no clue if she died upon entering the portal, killed by the finns or by Moraine - or by Slayer or other agent.

With respect to the text in the books how do we know that Asmo is not eligible to be reborn? As far as we know he was in the pantry with MR Plum and a Candlestick. Unfortunately Lan was a Zombie at this time. Even though he is Death - how would he be able to hide the body?

Just Saying
Richard Fife
118. R.Fife
@117: Cannibalism. Lan eats the flesh of his enemies, not because it makes him stronger--that's impossible--but merely because they all taste like chicken.
K F
119. TAmyrlinring1
tugthis @108

Well, as I read your comment, I hoped someone else would say something in later comments so I wouldn't feel compelled, but hey, no such luck, so here goes ;-)

Rand is not going around trying to conquer all the countries, but he is trying to unite them. Therefore, if he has a "friendly" who will ally with the DR, then all is well, but if you have a bunch of idiots, say the High Lords of Tear, well then you have to take over.

Unfortunately, there was no queen in Andor (since Morgase took off to get away from Rahvin and everyone thought her dead). So, you have NO ONE in Andor who has "experience" as its ruler. The ruler is gone, and there are no "ex"rulers to hop in to that spot. You do, however, have Elayne, the one whose right it is to assume the throne per Andoran law, and who has been in training since birth (what, at least 18 years?) who is coming to claim her throne. It is not because she's the "girlfriend" that she gets the throne. It's because she's the daughter heir that the throne is hers, and even then, she has to prove herself to EARN that throne as if it were a succession, which it isn't. While you can argue (in some cases, even validly) that Elayne doesn't make every move perfectly in the attainment of the throne, she does outmaneuver every other Andor lord/lady/high seat (except Dyelin, who knows Elayne and decides for herself that she is right for the throne), while performing duties as an AS on the side. So whom would you have given the throne to? Elayne shows herself to be perfectly capable of handling the throne, more capable of handling the political intrigue than the other high seats, and in a very mature way, listens avidly to the advice of the closest thing to a "grey hair" hanging around, Dyelin. But, the real brains and power in all those decisions RJ shows repeatedly to be Elayne.

She's not my favorite character either, but geez, to suggest that Rand shouldn't "allow" her the throne? He took Illian's throne, and he is less qualified than her (absolutely no lessons on administration until he takes over the Stone of Tear, and Elayne was one of the ones he was taking advice from)!

Now, I will agree that the idea of Elayne taking over Cairhein in addition to her rightful place in Andor is frankly whacked--that's too much for anyone, particularly given the state of Randland at the moment. I wonder if Moiraine made it clear that she was uninterested in taking over Cairhein (since she knew she'd be out of the picture), and if so, why didn't she give him a better suggestion than Elayne? I believe I recall that she knew there would be news of Morgase, but didn't know that Morgase would be presumed dead, but still, I can't imagine she'd suggest Elayne given that Elayne would eventually be taking over Andor. Why, of why, does no one think of Galad?

Well, that should get me back in the running for the long posts ;-)
T C
120. Freelancer
The text tells us nothing of Asmodean's ultimate disposition. Without direct answers by RJ we would still be expecting his return ala most of the other "dead" forsaken.

Moghedien wasn't "lucky" to retain her own body, she never died. She was mindtrapped, then punished in the vacuole. Lanfear died. We don't see when, how or by whom, but her return in a completely different body is adequate evidence. She was never, to the reader's knowledge, held in a vacuole.

I don't see employing a vacuole to "hold" someone until a suitable body is available as a viable option. Since we're talking about a dead body, the soul has separated from it. We have no information to suggest that a disembodied soul could be placed in a vacuole. It seems to me that, based upon the information available, there is a very short span of time for a soul to be restored into another body. Otherwise the explanation given to Balthamel about being return as Aran'gar would have been difficult to accept:

DO: Sorry about the girl body, only one handy when you died.
Aran'gar: You should have put me on ice in a vacuole until you had a dude's bones to give me.

DO: Hmm. Yeah, hadn't thought about that.


So, not likely a possible choice.
fppf
121. Smatt
@118
I'm counting that as another Fact Mr Fife.

Moggy never died so she could not ne put into another body.

Rand doesn't want to conquer all the lands he just wants everyone to be united in opposing the DO. If the various lands would get behind his leadership then no issues. It has to be him in charge as he is the DR which nearly everyone including some of his closest friends seem to have a problem with.
john massey
122. subwoofer
Ya, ya- There were two Eyes of the world until Lan Mandragoran elbowed the other one.

@Peter- er, yes, most guys age 21 are douches- was me at one time. 10 feet tall and bullet proof. Who said being a douche is a bad thing? We all have our moments. Who says that a person who walks the douchebag path for awhile cannot come back into the Light... or some such. And I believe that there were a few references with Eg where Mat winks at various ladies in Eg's presence, the ladies blush knowingly and Eg wants to push him over a wall.

Also Mat talks about a wink and tickle thing etc with plum women or some such... Books are packed away for renos so I can't plow through them but here we are. No biggie. Just saying that event though Mat is not the most upstanding of the three, it does not make him a bad person or any less awesome or any less of a super general. Get over it. As I said, no one is perfect, but Mat's faults make him that much more tangible and everyone's favorite because we can picture him in real life.

It is possible that the DO doesn't really care about the gender of the bodies he picks for his Forsaken. To the DO a body is just a shell and it is not important which bits hang where. It is the power of the soul that matters. I dunno. Just spitballin' here.
john massey
123. subwoofer
@Smatt, for me, I think that it is a toss up whether everyone has a problem with Rand being the DR or if they are questioning Rand's sanity. There is still much stigma floating around for male channelers in general. Seems like people can accept him as the DR from kings to nobles etc. There is an attitude to fear Rand though, for the damage a guy who can channel can do. Who knows, he may hear voices and decide to rain lightening down on everyone regardless of if they are friend or foe. I'm not saying that Rand is crazy, just that in Rand's world there may be that perception.
craig thrift
124. gagecreedlives
Freelancer @120

I thought it was over a year before the Dark One recycled Aginor and Balthamel. And while I certainly don’t think the Dark One kept their souls in a vacuole (what self respecting Lord of the Grave would need to) but I do think he/she/it kept them on ice until either they could find bodies with the physical capability to match their channelling abilities, like Subwoofer said whats it matter to the Dark One what bits hang where, or until they were actually needed.

I see the conversation more like

Moridin: Great Lord everything is going to plan. The lights forces have been splintered into different factions
DO: Excellent
Moridin: But….
DO: But?
Moridin: Well Great Lord I am feeling a little overworked on all this spying, could I please have those 2 souls of the Chosen you have over there so I can delegate some work and ease the load.
DO: *Sigh* If you must
paul Hend
125. tugthis
The suggestion is that Rand is the disruptive political force of the last thousand years. His focus is on a final definitive battle with an evil army. Why would he worry about the nicities of traditional succesion? Put in capable, military leaders who will raise the armies and lead the fight against the DO. The aiel understand this. . . they do not expect to survive the battle.

In Andor there is a logical leader. . . Gareth Byrne... a military leader extraordinaire, and I am sure if we looked hard among the other houses he could find some one who had some experience in leading a country (or great house). Besides... with Rand's backing, (the most powerful man in the world) anyone he picks is defacto THE MAN.

In Tear he sorts the system out and leaves a regent of sorts behind, but there is no doubt that when he is in Tear, he is the ruler, which pretty much will apply to anyplace he lays his head.

What do you believe the time frame is that Rand is dealing with. Will the battle occur in months, years or simply within the current generation.
T C
126. Freelancer
gagecreedlives@124

Could be so. I am looking at the text of the re-awakening of Osan'gar and Aran'gar, and it strongly implies that time was of the essence. It would be difficult to imagine, that in a matter of months there were not two male bodies available to all the forces of the dark, that would suit the resuscitated forsaken.


tugthis@125 & others

Among the many problems Rand must overcome is the human factor of commonly denying an imminent apocalypse. This is completely understandable. If someone is proclaiming that the "day of reckoning" is closer than expected, most people would immediately think "wingnut". Even when events foretold are happening, people will rationalize it away as someone forcing an event to fit a prophecy, etc. They want life to just go on as they know it, and refuse to consider that the end really is nigh. If they cannot accept a position of obedience to the One who is meant to face the Dark One, they need to be broken down until they comply.

As for the time frame, counting from the encounter with Semirhage, I would say less than four months, maybe just more than one month at minimum.


PS: The day of reckoning is closer than you expect.
craig thrift
127. gagecreedlives
Well I dont have an accurate timeline handy but Aginor and Balthamel both kick the bucket at the end of EotW and IIRC the 'Gars dont appear until LoC. So I think theres at least a few months in between those books.
fppf
128. alreadymadwithlastbattle
Freelancer @126
It's almost a universal conclusion that the Last Battle is at hand. Even Tylee Khirgan and her staff knew this when they met Perrin. Wolf-like eyes, a wolf banner, an axe and a hammer, they knew the prophecies. One of the indicators involved the Wolfking. Lan was itching to go to the Borderlands because he knew it was close. Elaida is going nuts trying to force the Aes Sedai body under her control because she knows it's close.
fppf
129. Balance
@112—You try holding someone down and putting a hot poker in their eye when they can channel you into the ground. Also if you had the ability to subdue them to where they can’t channel, why go to all that trouble? Just slit the throat. This isn’t “once apon a time in mexico”

The Gar’s---There was time in between their resurrection and their death. I think it was partly the DO’s humor and the author’s discretion that placed them where and when.

Andor and Car…--Well Rand isn’t going to put Galad in power, he doesn’t know him. Elayne, he knows, inside and out :), she has claim, nobody will bitch, easy decision. I agree Mo woulda been a good choice. However, if she didn’t have the knowledge she was going to “die”, she would still tell him “no”. I believe she wouldn’t like the job.

I’m in the camp that Mat is one of my favorites simple because he is one of the few I would actually like to go out and have a beer with. (and I did not vote for Bush :) ) Rand would be cool too, if he didn’t have to spend so much of his time trying to save the world and all.
fppf
130. Smatt
How long will it take Lan to fulfil his promise to Nyn in the Borderlands? I think that this is how long there is until TG starts.

I can see Rand putting Galad on the throne of Cairhein even though he has only met him briefly and doesn't really know him. Rand is aware of Galads need to always do what is right and it will come to light eventually that he is Rands brother. I will also predict the miracle of Elayne realising that Galad may not the almighty bastard she claims and telling rand that he is the best persn for Cairhein.

Oh, got your Fact too Sub.
Antoni Ivanov
131. tonka
7@8.Fiddler

Elayne already laid her claim to the Sun Throne. She is going to be the Queen of Cairhien. I have no doubts in that.

QUOTE :


“Have a letter prepared for my signature and seal, Master Norry, to be sent to every major House in Cairhien. Begin with setting out my right to the Sun Throne as the daughter of Taringail Damodred, and say that I will come to put forward my claim when events in Andor are more settled.
(Winter Heart Chapter 9)
fppf
132. Smatt
@131

Just because Elayne has indicated that she is going to make a claim for the Sun Throne does not mean that she won't withdraw the claim. It is still very possible that someone other than Elayne will rest their backside on that seat.
Wesley Parish
133. Aladdin_Sane
"Rand says he means the Sun Throne for someone who deserves it, and ignores the speculation on Asmodean’s face."

Rand looked around the village of Emond's Field - no, town of Emond's Field, now that Perrin had got stuck in and fortified the place, and allowed the refugees to settle in. In Tel Aran Rhiod there wasn't as much to see as he would've seen otherwise, but at least this way he wouldn't bring the eye of the Dark One upon it.

He'd still have to worry about the remaining Forsaken, though - at least those ones with some sort of independence left. Moridin seemed to have collared most of the survivors by now ...

Anyway, he was here with a mission. To find the most suitable person for the Sun Throne - and he meant it to be the most suitable. Someone who actually deserved it - and the Game of Houses. Elayne, he had finally accepted, would never tolerate Daes Daemar, which meant she could never manage the Cairhienin. A pity - she'd managed to manage him!

After a brief survey of Emond's Field, he found the place, stepped out of Tel Aran Rhiod into their dining room, went into their sleeping rooms and took the only suitable person and his family with him.

He arrived in the room of the Sun Throne in the Sun Palace without incident, stepped out of Tel Aran Rhiod, and deposited his by-now-terrified captives there.

"Now listen to me, Bili Coplin," he said. "I'm giving you the only job actually suitable for you. For the first time in your life, you'll be dealing with people worse, much much worse than yourself, and much more inclined to backbite, lie and make mischief than you. What I tell you now may be the only thing to keep you alive in the days to come, so for once, please listen!"
Sydo Zandstra
134. Fiddler
tonka@131:

Elayne already laid her claim to the Sun Throne. She is going to be the Queen of Cairhien. I have no doubts in that.

QUOTE :


“Have a letter prepared for my signature and seal, Master Norry, to be sent to every major House in Cairhien. Begin with setting out my right to the Sun Throne as the daughter of Taringail Damodred, and say that I will come to put forward my claim when events in Andor are more settled. (Winter Heart Chapter 9)


Well, that's typically Elayne. I'd hoped she'd be sensible enough to deny this claim, but I should have known better.

Getting more responsibilities than you can handle. Why Not?

I doubt that the Cairhienin people will welcome her, since the Andorans sent by her mother (inspired by Rahvin) only pillaged the country.
Richard Fife
135. R.Fife
I am lacking a quote, but I believe as of KoD, the Cairhiens have confirmed if not heavily suspect Elayne to be Rand's choice and endorsed it. It helps, I think, considering that Rand did let them all know that Rahvin was in control of Andor prior. I think they also see it in a position similar to why the SAS accepted Egwene. They think the child-queen will be easy to manipulate, especially since she is Andoran and obviously-therefore a bumbler in the Great Game.
john massey
136. subwoofer
Wha? Seems to be many people crying out for quotes beyond me. Does no one have the books or a photographic memory. Don't look at me for the latter as I can't remember what I had for breakfast, and that was 10 min ago... after so many re-reads, you'd think something would stick though. Maybe it is just the feel or perception of what the text meant about certain characters and events.

Like I said, Galad is not a bad choice, after the last book, I am actually coming around to like the guy. He does try to do the right thing despite his sister and Ny being doofs... Thing is, he is now also the LCC of the Children. That title may give people pause for the throne. Yes, Rand is plowing over people's- read noble's- opinions, but to some degree he must listen or he will have an Andor on his hands. He is looking to unite the lands, not spark off more chaos.

Time line for the end? Hmmmm... lemme think- could take awhile. Lan has to ride around and raise an army. There is the whole seige and overthrowing of the Tower- mind you I dunno how long that could be, I just can't take any more of Eg and spankings... Perrin seems to be doing laps with the Prophet instead of just cutting to the chase. Rand is buggering(er figuratively and literally) around from place to place and now he is handless and clueless- kinda like Ahab. Mat is now married?! and is seeing his wife etc safe and is on the other end of the planet w/o Rand knowing where and all three have to be reunited for the last battle. It'll take three books;)

Time line wise, I figure we got six months.



Am now going to go talk about this over a beer with Mat. Maybe we will discuss last night's fight.

Go Bela!
fppf
137. Lord Jim
I always liked to think Asmodean somehow really did convert back to the light. That when the dark one says that bit about how Asmodean was "twisted by his weakness" so he could not be brought back, what he means is that Asmodean stopped being a dark friend and was therefore no longer subject to the DO's power over dead souls.
Sydo Zandstra
138. Fiddler
*highfives subwoofer*

Tell Mat I said how he be durrin'
T C
139. Freelancer
subwoofer@136

Not disagreeing, but Lan isn't going to "ride around" and collect an army. Nynaeve knew he'd never do so, that's why she chose her tactic. Lan is going to go as fast and straight for Fal Moran, because he promised that to Nynaeve, then to Tarwin's Gap, as his stallion can carry him. His army will find him along the way, not he them.


On another topic...
Luan opened his mouth, but Ellorien spoke first. "At least you're not sitting on the throne." Her face might have been carved from marble, and her voice was that hard and cold. "I half expected you to be." Thunder rolled overhead.
Luan looked pained. Arathelle rolled her eyes as if she were hearing something she had heard all too often before. Lir stirred, but Elayne fixed him with a steady look, and he gave a small, apologetic bow.
"I have no right to sit on the throne, Ellorien," she replied calmly. Light, please let her mood hold steady now. "Yet." There was an unintended touch of bite in that. Perhaps she was not so calm as she wished to be.
Ellorien sneered. "If you're waiting for Danine to make your ten, you'll have a long wait. Danine spent the last Succession visiting her manors. She never declared for anyone."
Elayne smiled, but it was difficult. A Succession was when one House succeeded another on the throne. "I will have tea."
Ellorien blinked, but it sparked the others to announce what they would take. {Blah blah paragraph about food spoilage and tea.}
"I see you've gathered most of your support among the children and Arymilla's leavings," Ellorien said. Catalyn turned as red as her dress, and Branlet straightened angrily, until Perival put a hand on his arm and shook his head. A level-headed boy, Perival, and bright beyond his years. Lir managed to restrain himself this time, but Conail started to say something sharp before Elayne's firm look snapped his teeth shut. Karind merely returned Ellorien's spiteful stare stolidly. Karind was not very intelligent, but little ruffled her.
"You must have had a reason for asking this meeting," Elayne said. "If it was merely to offer insults. . . ." She let that trail off. She had her own reasons for wanting this meeting. If they had asked for her to come to them, she would have. Without asking for safe conduct. Feeling a pulse of anger through the bond, she took a firm rein on hers. Birgitte wore a scowl directed at Ellorien like a dagger. If they began feeding one another's temper. . . . That did not bear thinking about, no here, not now.
Ellorien opened her mouth again, and this time, Luan cut her off. "We've come to ask for a truce, Elayne," {lightning, thunder}
"A truce? Are we at war, Luan" Has someone declared for the throne that I haven't heard of?" Six sets of eyes swung to Dyelin, who grunted.
"Fools. I told you and told you, and you wouldn't believe me. Perhaps you'll believe this. When Sylvase, Karind and Lir sent their proclamations of support, I sent my own. Taravin stands for Trakand, and the whole of Andor will know it soon enough."
{Ellorien colors angrily, coldly. Aemlyn looks thoughtful. Arathelle is disappointed}
"Be that as it may," Luan said, "we still want. . . . if not a truce, then a temporary agreement." {...} "even gathering everything we can, we'll have a difficult time defeating the Borderlanders, but if we fail to act together, they'll carve up Andor once they decide to move. Frankly, I'm surprised they've remained in one place this long. Their men ought to be well rested by now even after a thousand-league march." {Lightning, thunder}
"I expected them to be into Murandy by now myself," Elayne said. "But I believe their reason for sitting in one place is a fear of sparking a war if they come too near Caemlyn. They seem to be trying to find a way to Murandy using country roads. You know what condition those are in this time of year. they want no war with us. When I gave them permission to cross Andor, they told me they were looking for the Dragon Reborn."
Ellorien spluttered, and chips of ice should have come from her mouth. "When you what? You prate of how you have no right to sit on the throne - yet - and then you arrogate to yourself the right of -!"
"Of an Aes Sedai, Ellorien." Elayne held up her right hand so they could not miss the golden Great Serpent encircling the third finger. Her own voice was frosty despite all she could do. "I did not speak as Daughter-Heir or even High Seat of House Trakand. I spoke as Elayne Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. Had I not, they would have come anyway. They were short of food and fodder. Had I tried to stop them, had anyone tried to stop them, there would have been war. They are determined to find the Dragon Reborn. It would have been a war Andor had faint chance of winning. You speak of acting together, Luan? Gather all of Andor's strength, as we could nearly match their numbers, but two in three of ours would be men who can handle a halberd or spear but spend most of their days behind a plow. Every man of theirs is a long-serving armsman who would not be surprised to face Trollocs any day of his life. Instead of a war that would soak Andor in blood and cripple her for a generation, we have the Borderlanders crossing our nation peacefully. I have them watched. they pay for the food and fodder they need, and pay well." Another time, with other listeners, she would have laughed over that. Andoran farmers would try to pry high prices out of the Dark One. "The worst they've done is flog a few horsethieves, and if they should have been handed over to a magistrate, I can't fault the Borderlanders for it. Now tell me, Ellorien. What would you have done differently, and how?"


Ok, apologies for the extensive quote. The Elayne-hatred always confuses me, but that others have different feelings than me about a story is no issue. That people see Elayne as senseless, foolish, dim-witted, incompetent or unable to assert command, I find in error. The quote above, from "The Importance of Dyelin" in KoD, occurs just a few pages after Dyelin herself states that the two reasons she never considered fronting her own claim were:
I disapprove of the throne changing Houses without a good cause - lack of a Daughter-Heir, or worse, one who's a fool or incompetent, cruel or greedy. You're none of those things. Continuity brings stability, and stability brings prosperity."
And:
"But in large part," she went on when Elayne said nothing, "it's you yourself. I watched you grow up, and by the time you were fifteen I knew you'd be a good queen, perhaps as good as Andor has ever had."


So, to steal Elayne's question to Ellorien, what should she have done differently, and why? Oh, I know, the Daughter-Heir shouldn't go adventuring and risk her nation's future. That's really why she's hated?
Eric Wells
140. ewells
I realize that he is almost universally disliked, but no one has brought up Gawyn as a possible choice for the Sun Throne. I don't think it will happen, but he has the same claim as Galad. Just thought that it was interesting that no one had even mentioned it (unless I missed it; I read through the comments pretty quickly.)
fppf
141. Smatt
That's probably because most people think he is a waste of space and breathes to much valuable air for personal use.
Sydo Zandstra
142. Fiddler
Gawyn doesn't have the same claim as Galad does.

Elayne has a fixed role, being the Daughter-Heir to the throne of Andor. Gawyn has a fixed role being her First Sword, protecting Andor. Therefore, they are both tied to Andor.

Galad has a better claim to the Sun Throne than both Elayne and Gawyn.

I'm not going to say Galad will be king of Cairhien. But I do say he is a more logical choice, after he'll meet Rand...
Julian Augustus
143. Alisonwonderland
Freelancer@139:
So, to steal Elayne's question to Ellorien, what should she have done differently, and why? Oh, I know, the Daughter-Heir shouldn't go adventuring and risk her nation's future. That's really why she's hated?

We've had some of this discussion on an earlier thread, but the most logical explanation for why so many hate Elayne is that she is featured prominently in the book they hate most, CoT. Oh, you might find given such absurd reasons as she had no right, being daughter-heir, to go adventuring and risk Andor's future, or that she got people killed by going after the BA, or that she treated Mat with disrespect, and so on, but I think underneath all that is hatred by association with CoT.

Personally, I don't think CoT is the worst book in the series. That dishonor, by a wide margin, for me, is reserved for tPoD. Perhaps as people re-read all the books through in preparation for tGS opinions for and against various characters might change somewhat.I intend to launch another survey after the re-read project finishes KoD, to see what fans think then.
fppf
144. LynnOH
Thanks bchurch@38 I did have the who resurrected into
who wrong. I remember being a little miffed at RJ when he started doing that. Like there weren't already enough character names and personalities and plot lines to remember. Back in the '90's I couldn't reread all the books before a new one came out and had several ?? chapters. My thanks to Tor, Leigh and all of you for setting me straight and inspiring a thorough reread before Nov.
Pete Pratt
145. PeteP
LynnOh---I am glad you are doing a re-read now. It is the only good way to read the newest book. Without a re-read, it is way to hard to remember where the many plot lines are and what is happening.

Beginning with tSR, I have done a pre- and post- reread with every book. Things become much clearer, and even the lesser books such as PoD and CoT do not seem so bad if viewed as chapters in a longer book. I am just glad that I am a fast reader, or I would never be able to get through so many re-reads.
T C
146. Freelancer
Alisonwonderland

I've never considered that a less-liked book of a series imprinted onto a more-featured character from that book, but it's as plausible as anything else. I always figured that it was Elayne's relation to Mat, but then that doesn't make so much sense either. Nynaeve is always far worse to Mat than Elayne, and her treatment of him is mostly Nynaeve's and Egwene's fault, and is properly adjusted as soon as Elayne has a good enough opportunity to learn for herself. So if that were a basis for Elayne-hatred, the Nynaeve-hatred would be greater, and it most assuredly is not. So I leave it for others to answer.
Pete Pratt
147. PeteP
I have never understood the Elayne hatred.

I even have one friend who hated Elayne before tSR?!??! He could not explain it, so I think that maybe her character just rubs some people the wrong way.
fppf
148. CalaLily
I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but if I don't write these thoughts down when I get them I usually forget them once we get to the relevant chapters. Which really, really sucks. x.x

Uhm, anywho.

I believe part of El and Ny's bargain with the Sea Folk not only involved "teaching" for a year from the Aes Sedai, but also the return of the three Sea Folk sisters who are currently ensconced in the Tower. My question is, what will the Sea Folk do when these sisters look at them like they're crazy when they're told they can go back? For all the Windfinders consider them -they're- people, Tower training pushes that whole "Aes Sedai before everything" mentality. Not to mention, what would their status be if they did return to the ships?

However, if I were an Aes Sedai, I'd definitely be sending the three Sea Folk sisters to teach the highest ranking Windfinders and the Mistress of the Ships. At least they'd be somewhat prepared for the abuse "shorebound" teachers get, and maybe they would even be treated with a little dignity/respect because of their heritage, even if they do consider themselves something other than Sea Folk.

RE Elayne-hate:

I never really got that. I don't connect with her like I do some of the other characters, but my feelings toward her as a character are indifferent, compared to some's immense dislike. Huh.


And I -liked- CoT, btw...
Pete Pratt
149. PeteP
I liked CoT too. I think many people were disappointed after the wait. Especially if they had not done a re-read and were totally lost.
Marcus W
150. toryx
TAmyrlinrings @ 119:

He took Illian's throne, and he is less qualified than her (absolutely no lessons on administration until he takes over the Stone of Tear, and Elayne was one of the ones he was taking advice from)!

Technically, that's not true. Rand has all the knowledge of Lews Therin at his disposal if he'd just get over his issues and accept them. If he were to take the knowledge that is his and apply it, instead of constantly struggling with the LT personality, he'd be the most qualified ruler in the world.

As long as he refuses to accept that he and LT are one and the same, however, he'll be unequipped for the responsibility. And in every other respect of your post, I do agree. Elayne's been trained to be Queen of Andor since her birth so she's the only reasonable choice. The only thing she's missing is the experience, which she'll earn in time.
fppf
151. CalaLily
I got into WoT just after CoT was released, so it was the most up-to-date novel. :) I only had to wait for KoD.
Marcus W
152. toryx
On Elayne hatred:

I've already explained myself until I'm blue in the fingertips and most people disagree with my rationale. But I did have a new thought.

Elayne's been bred to be a queen and in many ways, she acts it with all the pride, arrogance and presence of a Queen. For the Americans, at least, we've been trained since childhood to reject that sort of authority. It's probably only natural that we'd hate that sort of character because it's so contrary to the sort of leadership we've been raised to accept.

That's not my reason, but it may be related to some of the hatred. Just a wild thought.
Maiane Bakroeva
153. Isilel
I have to say that I don't get the general negativity towards SGs, but I suspect that a lot of El hatred is tied into her being an established royalty and heir to the throne and being aware of the fact. People are more sympathetic towards commoners who become autocrats than towards hereditary rulers.

But while I certainly don't hate Elayne, I'd say that her treatment of her brothers, her careless jumping into danger and adventures that has problematic political repercussions given who she is, etc. do moderate my liking for her.

Also, she has been attached to some unfortunate storylines, like interminable Quest for the Bowl of Winds and in itself interesting, but absurdly drawn out struggle for the throne. She also didn't cover herself with diplomatic glory interacting with the Sea Folk and the Kin, who are quite annoying to read about in the bargain, which is somewhat worrisome in a ruler. OTOH, those may have been necessary rookie mistakes that seasoned her.

Still, there is little doubt that she is better qualified to rule than most of her peers, both old and new.

Nyn profits in comparison not only by being a daughter of the people, so to speak, but also by being funny. Neither does she become a ruler in her own right, which seems to attract particular ire, for some reason ;).

Re: Caihirien, I am not sure that it would be a bad idea if it had the same ruler as Andor. They are pretty impoverished and de-peopled currently, after all and Elayne can Travel.
Nor do I think that it would be a good idea to tie them to WCs, Galad here or there. Galad's absolutism would not a good trait in a ruler either, as a ruler who wants to avoid bloodshed needs to be supple (see Samara).

I am surprised that his stronger claim was never brought up though. Maybe there was some treaty that waived his inheritance rights?
Antoni Ivanov
154. tonka
134.Fiddler

You seem determine to hate Elayne for some reason.And unfortunately you are letting this to cloud your judgment. To be honest Elayne is not my favourite character , far from it but I like to look impartially .She will do very well as both Queen of Andor and Cairhien (one of the many benefits , and probably most important is that she will bring two long feuding countries close)

Here from the same chapter (WH CH9):

As you may be aware, your intention to claim the Sun Throne is well known there, and has large support. It seems that many Cairhienin speak openly of coming to Andor, to aide you in gaining the Lion Throne so you can take the Sun Throne sooner.

Elayne has a large support in Cairhien which is to be absolutely expected since the last one who tried to claim the Throne against the Dragon Reborn wishes end up hanging herself after she was stripped of all titles and lands.
fppf
155. CalaLily
"Technically, that's not true. Rand has all the knowledge of Lews Therin at his disposal if he'd just get over his issues and accept them. If he were to take the knowledge that is his and apply it, instead of constantly struggling with the LT personality, he'd be the most qualified ruler in the world."

Eh, I don't know about that. He has -some- knowledge that drifts through, but I'm not sure that "accepting" LTT's presence would turn on the knowledge faucet. LTT's insane. Plus, they're not the same person, they're the same soul. Two different personalities. He's already worried that letting LTT become the dominant one for only a moment will have their roles reversed, with him the voice in the head and LTT the one out in the world.
T C
156. Freelancer
CalaLily@148

So your non-dislike of CoT, coupled with your non-hatred of Elayne, correlates directly with Alisonwonderland's theory that much of the animosity towards Elayne is tied to her substantial on-screen time in some reader's least-enjoyed volume.

As for CoT itself, I understand the displeasure with repeating a time sequence from numerous POVs. For one, it's somewhat discordant to repeat the same single day multiple times. For another, it leaves the reader feeling that an extremely small amount got accomplished because of the limited total time elapsed. It's definitely not the most enjoyable volume of the story, but I don't dislike it.


Isilel@153

But Nynaeve is going to become a ruler. She's the Queen of Malkier, doncha know.
James Jones
157. jamesedjones
155 CalaLily

Re: Rand in LTT's head. Absolutely. We get confirmation of that from Moiraine's letter to Rand after her death. She claimed that Lanfear would have killed him or taken him away for some time, only to return with him claiming to be LTT and her devoted lover. Of course, spending some time with Lanfear might have just driven him nuts, but I like to think it was the separate personality.

Also, I really like Alisonwonderland's theory about why folks dislike Elayne, but I think it is too limited. Elayne has been in a lot of the parts of the series that drive me nuts. I really like Elayne's character, mainly because she is such a contrast to Egwene, but I would probably like her more if she wasn't involved with adventures that are no more than time-killers so the characters are in the right place at the right time. But, other than wanting to skip the next chapter whenever I know Elayne and Nyneave are going to be in it, I like the character. :)
Andrew Lovsness
158. drewlovs
I'm way behind, but I have to comment on the "Matt is a douche because of the mind dump."

I am a history buff, and know of many, MANY generals/kings/dictators that have see hundreds of battles, and still didn't know what they were doing. Remember, Mat doesn't remember TRAINING, he remembers battles, and understands not only what was going on, but why. He was born with the talent of killing large amounts of people, and the memories help him to be better at it.

I'm not sure why having the memory dump by itself disqualifies him anyway. We are now qualifying characters in WoT not on their actions, but how they got the knowledge to make those decisions and their thoughts while they do the deeds? Pay attention to your own thoughts when you do a good deed, and I'll bet a lot of people could be critical of you if they could hear them...

My point is, Mat did not want to kill people, disliked battle, and just wanted a normal life; why in the world does that make him a "sub" hero in comparision to people like Nynaeve?
Andrew Lovsness
159. drewlovs
The second part of my response is to the Egwene part of the comparison. Egwene has made mistakes, as Nynaeve, Rand and Perrin have. Mat we don't even need to mention, as he is a walking problem child... hehe. But I'm not sure how you can call her "full of problems". I think the weirdness in the last book or 2 is directly from the forsaken influence, and she is becoming not a good leader, but a GREAT one. I fully expect to see the sitters of a restored Tower to elect her AS.

I guess it just surprises me that so many people can pick one of these characters and say, "Now THIS character has problems." They are well written, believable characters that have flaws, make mistakes, and then learn from them. Further, we get to read their minds!! I've said it before, but stop and pay attention to your inner monologe and ask yourself if you would EVER want anyone to know those thoughts. Matt, Nynaeve, Egwene etc do not have a choice; we get to see the ugly parts whether they want us to or not.
K F
160. TAmyrlinring1
Isilel @153

I don't think there could be a treaty keeping Galad from Cairhein's throne. I believe I remember a dialogue or POV--maybe Moiraine?--saying that Tairingail's deepest desire was to have his daughter on the throne of Andor and son on the throne in Cairhien, and so he pursued Morgase when it was clear she would be the new queen. So, I'd think the "path" was clear . . .
Vincent Lane
161. Aegnor
toryx@150

LTT and Rand are not the same person. They are of the same soul, but not the same personality. Accepting LTT could be extremely dangerous (the equivelent of surrendering to Saidin).

Mat's "special" memories are passive. Their just that, memories. Accepting them and using them is a good thing. With Rand though, we aren't just talking about memories. It is a full fledged personality, that just happens to be suicidal and insane. It is an all out battle for control of his own body.
Tess Laird
162. thewindrose
So, since Leigh started the LTT/Rand poll, do you think she will compile it?
Just kidding - rather have a recap tomorrow:)

I think after TG, the Whitecloaks won't be needed and will disband. That leaves Rand's half brother ideal for a certain job in Cairhienen:)
I can't wait for the Trakand family reunion - hopefully coming November 3rd!

Nice word count @ 139 - Freelancer.
john massey
163. subwoofer
Done for the day!- Oh my aching pancreas. Elayne,hmmmm what to say. Many people- JEJ, Toryx etc. summed it up fairly well. Don't really hate her, in my poll she rated a "meh". What grinds on me is as JEJ said- the filler chapters she was in that really made me think to myself self- at this rate this is gonna be a 20 book series. Also every time her royalty training makes her raise her nose in the air to people- grrrrrrrr.

As far as her being a good queen though, there is no doubt in my mind that she will be a just and fair ruler. May plump up a bit from gobbling sweets but everyone has to have a vice. And she is willing to share Rand- go figure.

Lan... Lan is so tough he was born by C-section... see his fist section, as he punched his way out of the womb. Seriously though, Lan may be making a bee line for Fal Moran or some other Sheinaran city but I think this is gonna be like the mustering of Rohan. He can get a fair chunk of people clamoring to his Golden Crane banner but he will have to wait for somebody to shake the trees and have all able bodied men come to him. These things take time. At least two books time.
Marcus W
164. toryx
Aegnor @ 161 & CalaLily @155:

I'm aware that they're not the same person, and if you note, I did not say they were. Nor do I suggest that they have the same personality. Clearly, they do not. I did say that they are one and the same because I believe (and have not been suitably convinced by any arguments to the contrary) that Rand created the Lews Therin personality in his head to deal with the trauma of learning that he is the Dragon Reborn (i.e., in a past life he killed everyone he cared for). If Lews Therin is "in his head" then Rand does not have to accept responsibility for the past life. At least, not in his way of thinking.

We do know that the knowledge of Lews Therin is within Rand's reach. Before LT ever "spoke", Rand would find himself knowing things he had no explanation for knowing (flows, information about Lanfear and the other Forsaken, etc.). It was only later, after he started freaking out over having that knowledge that he began to rely on LT to tell him things.

I am also not advocating that Rand turn over his body to the Lews Therin personality. Instead, I believe that Rand needs to learn (and accept) that there is no separate consciousness within him: it is only a personality that he created. If he can learn to merge his personality with Lews Therin (become the third person Min saw) the he will no longer have to fight with himself. The knowledge he has available to himself, and the experience, might be available to draw upon as needed.

If this happens (and I do not know that it will) then he'll be far more qualified to rule than Elayne because he'll have an entire lifetime of experience as Lord of the Morning and everything else Lews Therin was to draw upon.
T C
166. Freelancer
toryx@164

So the LTT voice in Rand's head is a construct of his psyche, initiated to provide a degree of separation between the Two Rivers farm boy and Kinslayer. He has all of the Kinslayer's knowledge and memories buried within him, and as they begin to appear he assigns them to the LTT construct to preserve his self-esteem and not fall into a depressed psychosis due to immense latent guilt.

I would lean toward a similar analysis if it weren't for the intangible attributes of the real LTT, beyone knowledge and skill, that survive as well, and that are instantly recognizable to the forsaken who encounter such. Lanfear can tell the difference between Rand talking to her and LTT, as can Asmodean, as can Ishamael.

At that point, it becomes impossible to say that the LTT in Rand's head is not real. One of the common aspects of a psychotic split personality is that actions performed under one persona are not normally remembered by the other(s), and they are unable to communicate across the divide. Such is not the case with Rand.
Marcus W
167. toryx
At that point, it becomes impossible to say that the LTT in Rand's head is not real. One of the common aspects of a psychotic split personality is that actions performed under one persona are not normally remembered by the other(s), and they are unable to communicate across the divide. Such is not the case with Rand.

Another common aspect of a split personality is that they are so complete that the outside observer can immediately distinguish between the two personalities based on body posture and language, quirks, tics and even speech. In both cases, however, common does not equal absolute.

Before Lews Therin ever "spoke" Rand was able to channel flows he had no knowledge or understanding of, was able to "remember" things about Lanfear and Sammael that he couldn't possibly have known, began to think of places and events that were completely lost in the Breaking. Later, after LT started to speak, Rand began relying on him for information instead of just knowing things. Rand began that whole business of "I am ME!" Which, incidentally, Lews Therin also began to say later on. Sort as though it came from Rand.

Whether Lews Therin is real or constructed, Rand has access to LT's knowledge. It doesn't matter whether LT is a viable separate consciousness or just a constructed personality, the information is there and initially it came freely.

Then there's the causality of the whole thing. Cause and effect: Rand starts talking and acting like LT, freaking out Lanfear and Asmodean. Weeks after that he starts hearing a voice that he identifies as LT.

If LT was really there, shouldn't it have been the other way around? Why is LT so insane and only growing more lucid over time if he was so powerfully present in the beginning that he momentarily took control of Rand?

Instead, Rand starts knowing things he shouldn't, acting in a way he shouldn't and only then starts hearing a madman in his head, who, curiously enough, becomes increasingly lucid over time to the point where he can begin to take over Rand's actions. It's all backwards.

Well, the answer is that Rand created LT to provide an explanation for why he knows the things he knows. Give the progression, that's really the only thing that makes sense. If LT were real, he wouldn't have been able to "take over" the way he did with Lanfear ("and you loved power!") until after he started ranting about Ilyena, not before.
Pete Pratt
168. PeteP
I must say this is a really good discussion of the LTT situation. I am really enjoying this.
Hurin Smells
169. HurinSmells
My view is that Lews Therin's voice is a construct of Rand's mind. This is because the voice is already insane when it manifests. Lews Therin was driven mad by the taint when he was alive, but unless the taint also corrupted the soul of the Dragon, there's no other reason for him to be represented as insane.

Rand's memories of weaves and knowledge of the AoL can be explained in the same way as Mat's memories, which are more likely associated with being ta'veren than anything else. The reason the memories are represented as coming from an alternate personality is that as the taint is eating away Rand's sanity his mind is trying to handle it by putting all the madness in an isolated area of the mind and calling it Lews Therin. The longer Rand is exposed to the taint the stronger the Lews Therin personality becomes, as he is taking up more and more space in his head.
Alice Arneson
170. Wetlandernw
"The longer Rand is exposed to the taint the stronger the Lews Therin personality becomes, as he is taking up more and more space in his head."
Then why does LTT continue to get stronger, to the point of completely taking over Saidin during a battle, after the taint has been cleansed?
Hugh Arai
171. HArai
Alisonwonderland@143:


"Elayne," Nynaeve said gently, "Egwene and I are the boys' kith from Emond's Field. You are the Daughter-Heir of Andor. If you disappear from the White Tower, why, it - it could start a war."

"Mother wouldn't start a war with Tar Valon if they dried and salted me, which they may be trying to do. If you three can go off and have an adventure, you needn't think I am going to stay here and wash dishes, and scrub floors, and have some Accepted berating me because I didn't make the fire the exact shade of blue she wanted. Gawyn will die from envy when he finds out." Elayne grinned and reached over to tug playfully at Egwene's hair. "Besides, if you leave Rand lying about loose, I might have a chance to pick him up."



I'm sorry but when Nynaeve of all people is recommending caution for the daughter-heir and the response is "screw that I want an adventure and I want to make my brother jealous and maybe I can pick up a cute guy", that tells me that in fact she's being a lousy heir. I'm not sure why that's "absurd". Like it or lump it, there are duties required of a responsible heir in feudal societies. Elayne knows she's screwing around too which is probably why she won't tell her brothers what she's doing and certainly why she won't get closer than courier distance of her mother. Sure it turned out reasonably well, but Elayne had no idea that was going to be the case. I chalked that up to young and stupid like most of the gang and didn't hold it against her forever. At the point in the story Leigh's re-read is at currently, I liked Elayne more than Egwene or Nynaeve. I was a little disappointed she let the Salidar Aes Sedai tell her not to go to Caemlyn when she heard her mother died, since frankly I wouldn't trust the Salidar Aes Sedai to get the direction the sun rises correct let alone give advice on the welfare of Andor, but then she had the Bowl of the Winds quest, and arguably she was necessary for that.

As I've posted in other threads, on balance I liked her right up till Full Moon street, which I thought she handled remarkably poorly for someone who was doing quite a good job as the leading claimant to the throne. Others disagree but I'm sure we can discuss that again once the re-read gets there, the main point for right now is that CoT really has nothing to do with it. In fact, I skimmed it to see what specifically happened in it that would make it so bad relative to the other books and I'm still not sure.
fppf
172. Commendo
I'm probably not the only one you've done this to, Leigh:
http://xkcd.com/609/
fppf
173. Robert Lodgeowl
As an avid fan of WoT since Eye of the World i have no quarrel with A Memory of Light being turned into three books. But only if they do it like Jordan would have. Leave me hanging leave me thinking leave me rereading leave me clues to ferret out and question to ponder over leave me thinking and thinking i know whats next only to be blon away by what happens next and do it over and over until the bittersweet end.
What i would like to see (and am trying to do myself) is other writers writing their own stories in WoT. Stories of the Hundred Year War stories from the Age or Legends maybe even the original Hunt for the Horn as a complete stand alone series.
I hope this isnt blasphemy but looks for post or email me for info on my story from Land of the Madmen
fppf
174. birgit
Also - if the forsaken are not aware of Asmo helping Rand then how does the DO know?

Lanfear told the Forsaken she is plotting with that Asmo is with Rand (but not about her role in it).
Can the DO spy on the male Forsaken through the protection from the taint even when they are not channeling?
craig thrift
175. gagecreedlives
birgit@174

I wouldnt of thought so. Otherwise why would Demandred need to go to Shayol Ghul to make reports.
Marcus W
176. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 170:

Then why does LTT continue to get stronger, to the point of completely taking over Saidin during a battle, after the taint has been cleansed?

Here are two possible explanations:

1. As RJ said (quoted above somewhere) even though Saidin has been cleansed, the taint remains undiminished within the men who were exposed to it. If the effects of the taint on the mind of the challenger is to corrupt the mind and body, there's no reason it wouldn't continue to do so after Saidin is cleansed, since they haven't yet figured out how to cleanse the mind and body.

2. If LT actually is a constructed personality created by Rand, the more Rand acknowledges (or believes in) that personality, the more present it is. It's the same way with lies: the most effective liar is one who so immerses himself in his lies that he actually begins to believe them. If he believes themlong enough, he'll no longer even be able to tell the difference between the lies and the truth, to the point that he can even pass a lie detector test.

Personally, I think the 2nd option is the more likely of the two. I don't think the taint is responsible for LT; Rand is. I believe the taint is responsible for breaking down the barrier between the memories of one life and another so that Rand started remembering things he shouldn't, at which point he started to blame (believe in) LT for the memories, at which point the false LT personality began to take on coherence. The more Rand believes in LT, the more powerful/ real LT gets.

* Edit for clarification.
Marcus W
177. toryx
HArai @ 171:

...since frankly I wouldn't trust the Salidar Aes Sedai to get the direction the sun rises correct let alone give advice on the welfare of Andor...

Ha! That's just so true. Sometimes I really have a hard time telling the difference between the Salidar Aes Sedai and Elaida. They're both so convinced that they're right that they absolutely refuse to see reality when it's staring them in the face.
Pete Pratt
178. PeteP
toryx @177 So true. Aes Sedai in general have been screwing up the world for the 3,000 years of the White Tower. No one is ever allowed to question them and they are never wrong. What bunch of BS!
Antoni Ivanov
179. tonka
@ 176.toryx No , RJ meants that if someone is mad he will stay mad after the taint is gone but he will not get worse. He will be as worse as the taint has left him before it was cleansed.
R B
180. MasterAlThor
I want in on the Elayne, CoT hatered.

I have no real problem with Elayne. Yeah, her character does some annoying things, but so do the other characters.

No my real distaste is for CoT. I did reread the book and I have moderated my dislike for it, but it is still the worst book in the series (MO).

After PoD, there was an expectation that things would start rolling real fast toward the end, but nooooooooooo, we get CoT. That book brought everything to a crawl.

And the most disappointing thing about the book is that it featured Mat. I like Mat. I have my issues with him, like all characters, but he is cool. what did Mat really do in that book? Not much. He advanced his plot line a little, but really he didn't do much at all. I kept expecting something more and was sorely disappointed.

Rand had just cleansed the bloody taint on the male half of the source by the end of PoD. CoT we get some Andoran nobles who aren't really going to factor into KoD, are you serious??? Where is the Asha'man going out and proclaiming that Rand just saved all there hides??? Where is the showdown between Rand and Eliada/Egwene??? Maybe I am just a little impatient, but blood and bloody ashes I want some flaming action.

Sorry about that. I will try to keep it to everyother rant from now on.
Pete Pratt
181. PeteP
CoT is basically taking one day and shows what is happening across Randland.

As to all the talking and politics -- in the early books of tWoT we get very little politics, given that the characters are teenagers on an adventure. As the series developed, we got more and more on-screen politics, which involves a lot of talking and discussing. Not always interesting (unless you enjoy that kind of stuff, which I do -- and if you do, try the The First Man in Rome series by Collen McCullough, highly recommend it), but can provide plot developments anyway.

Sure, RJ could have kept the politics to a minimum -- he did for 3.5 books, but it gets really hard to do that when your characters take over governments left and right.

I never had a problem with CoT -- though I did re-read it once to trying to figure out why so many people did not like it. CoT is not really a book unto itself. Neither is PoD or CoS or WH. KoD is, but it is set up by the previous books.

So, the moral of the story is do not read CoT looking for action -- instead, think of it as coming to a crossroads and looking around before finishing a journey.
James Jones
182. jamesedjones
181 PeteP

"So, the moral of the story is do not read CoT looking for action -- instead, think of it as coming to a crossroads and looking around before finishing a journey."

Absolutely. But, for a lot of us, that means it stunk.

Edit: For all the folks that loved COT, I don't hate the book, unless you are holding it up to the other WOT books. It still beats out most of the other fantasy out there.
Pete Pratt
183. PeteP
James -- we are in agreement. KoD was what I hoped CoT would be. KoD resolved story arcs, had great action, and covered every major character, and even gave life to some minor ones that missed it for awhile (Galad, and even Lan -- The Golden Crane is one the best chapters in the series -- I get choked up every time I read it)

I think this is why we wanted more from CoT -- we did not want a catching up, we did not think we needed a catching up, and we really wanted action and endings to story arcs.
Hugh Arai
184. HArai
@180-183: I found this quote from RJ. Looks like on the whole he agrees with you, but he was simply trying a structure he couldn't quite bring off.

The only thing that I wish I hadn’t done was use the structure that I did for CoT, with major sections beginning on the same day. Mind, I still think the book works as it is, but I believe it would have been better had I taken a more linear approach. When you try something different, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Vincent Lane
185. Aegnor
To figure out why people have a problem with CoT, you just have to look at the summary for the book on wikipedia:
Perrin Aybara continues trying to rescue his wife Faile Bashere, kidnapped by the Shaido Aiel, even resorting to torturing prisoners for information. In addition, Perrin is approached with the suggestion of alliance with the Seanchan, at least on a temporary basis, to defeat the Shaido.

Mat Cauthon continues trying to escape Seanchan-controlled territory while courting Tuon, the Daughter of the Nine Moons, the woman whom he has kidnapped and who, it has been prophesied, will become his wife. Mat discovers that Tuon, as a potential sul'dam, can be taught to channel the One Power.

Elayne Trakand continues trying to solidify her hold on the Lion Throne of Andor.

Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, rests after the ordeal of cleansing the One Power. He sends Davram Bashere, Logain Ablar, and Loial to negotiate a truce with the Seanchan. They return at the end of the book to tell him that the Seanchan have accepted the truce, but demand the presence of the Dragon Reborn.

Egwene leads the rebel Aes Sedai in maintaining the siege of Tar Valon. At the end of the book, she is kidnapped by agents of the White Tower.


It is all soandso continues doing suchandsuch. There is no progression of the story. The only thing of real significance that happens is Egwene getting captured. Compare that with other WoT books where so much happens.
fppf
187. alreadymadwithlttsmadness
Wetlandernw @170
LTT is able to seize Saidin in KoD because Rand is no longer able to. He is this close to falling over whenever he seizes Saidin. So the other personality lurking in his head, who has more experience wielding Saidin anyway, took over.

Yes, Rand is slowly acquiring more and more of LTT's skills and memories. Yes, LTT has different reactions to certain stimuli and activities. This includes channeling and it's the difference that Rand feels as LTT reaching for Saidin when he channels.
fppf
188. J.Dauro
I am always of a mixed mind on the Golden Crane.

I can understand why many folks love it. But I also see it as the woman that Lan loves lying to him (for what she perceives to be his own good.) And no, I do not buy the AS literal truth argument. In my dictionary lie is partially defined as "the intent to deceive." And from what I have seen, they can't [b][i]not[/i] try to deceive with everything they say.

Of course, this is Randland, where not even a husband and wife try to communicate.
R B
189. MasterAlThor
Thank you Pete, James and Aegnor.

Thant is what I am saying. It is not that the book is as I thought it was the first time I read through it. I hated it. It actually stopped me from rereading the series. Standing alone the book doesn't work, not like LoC (personally my fav).

You guys manage to hit the nail on the head. Thanks for verbalising it better than me.
Andrew Lovsness
190. drewlovs
My personal opinion on the Rand/LT thing is Rand started to "remember" the LT memories, and had to have a way to deal with them without taking responsibility.

Remember, Rand IS LT. They are not two different people, they are the same soul that lived in 2 different eras. As he "remembers" what he did during the age of legends, he is more and more horrified with the deaths of all his loved ones at his own hand... just as he was when he took his own life.

The only way to deal with that crushing blow to his psychy is the disassociate himself with those memories. Like, "That is not me, that was LT."

So, in essence, Leigh's poll can only have one answer (if you accept my conclusion, of course!!): it was Rand's thoughts, but influenced by LT memories.
Shaylyn Austin
191. Ispan
MasterAlThor @189

I agree, thanks for putting words to my feelings. When CoT first came out I was actually unable to finish reading it, which made me feel like a terrible WoT fan. Recently though I went back and finally made my way through it and enjoyed the whole experience. The slow pace of the book actually becomes a very exciting build up once you know what you have to look forward to in KoD. The odd part is that when I finished the last page of KoD, this sense of... being whole... settled on me. Sort of an, "Ahh, so this is what I've been missing all along" moment.

And in general, thank you Leigh and all you for your comments that have really opened my eyes to things I missed on my first few reads!
Marcus W
192. toryx
drewlovs @ 190:

So, in essence, Leigh's poll can only have one answer (if you accept my conclusion, of course!!): it was Rand's thoughts, but influenced by LT memories.

Exactly.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one to believe that!
R B
193. MasterAlThor
No prob Ispan.

Now if we can just get today's fix *twitch*
fppf
194. benpatient
*sigh* TWITCH *sigh*
Alice Arneson
195. Wetlandernw
FWIW, I'm not taking part in the who/what/why is LTT discussion. I enjoy reading your thoughts, but I don't feel any need to explain it beyond what RJ told us. *shrug* My comment at was an attempt to point out the weakness in an argument someone had used. Eh, whatever.
R B
196. MasterAlThor
Wetlandernw: FWIW???? from what I witnessed?

Alas.....no fix today....*sigh* Tor must have something against us *sigh*

Let the twitxhing begin...detox is murder yo
Hugh Arai
197. HArai
MasterAl'Thor@196: That one's For What It's Worth, I believe. Also, new post is up.
fppf
198. s'rEDIT
Well, here I am two years later, with nothing to say beyond how much I enjoy not only Leigh's recap but all the poster's comments.

The poll regarding LTT versus Rand is now a moot point.

On to the next installment!

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