Jul 17 2009 5:33pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 22

Greetings, happy WOT campers! Gather ‘round the electronic campfire, because I have another scaaaary Wheel of Time Re-read story to tell you! Note my metaphorical flashlight held under my metaphorical chin. Whooooooooooh!

Today, boys and girls, we will hear the totally true Legend of Chapters 51 & 52 of The Fires of Heaven, in which (*whispers*) things happen.


What? Look, that’s my best scary metaphorical “whoooooh”, just go with it. Everybody’s a critic, jeez. You’ll act good and scared if you want any of these S’mores!

Previous hootenannies are here. If you read these without reading the original series and spoil yourself, you may be EATEN BY BEARS.

(I would just like to state for the record that Word’s spellchecker has absolutely no problem with the word “hootenannies”. I am amused by this.)

Uh, and also, scheduling note: As I did after finishing TSR, my carpal-tunnel-riddled self will be taking a break once we reach the end of TFOH, which should be either one or two posts from now. Fortuitously, this coincides with my actual vacation, the first I’ve taken since starting this crazy thing. (JANE!)

I haven’t figured out exactly how long I’ll be breaking for, but you can probably plan on at least a week. Because I love y’all and I love this gig, but I am kind of tie-tie, you guys. Your Auntie Leigh needs to not brain for a few minutes here.

But don’t worry, we’ll finish this one first! The show must go on!

Chapter 51: News Comes to Cairhien

What Happens
Rand smokes his pipe and watches the sunset from a balcony in the Palace, while a young noblewoman named Selande presses against him and whispers not-so-subtle suggestions about places they can go to be alone. Rand tries to ignore her, and thinks about the heat, and how Moiraine and Asmodean both agreed it was unnatural, and both had no idea what could be done about it. He wonders when the next taunt from Sammael will come, and cautions himself not to go off in a temper, but wait until his buildup in Tear was done, and crush Sammael in one stroke. Selande is still hinting heavily at him, so he scares her silly by talking about the taint on saidin and pretending to be half-mad already; she abruptly changes her tune and hurries back inside, and Rand grimaces at himself, but thinks she would only have regarded a command to leave him alone as a temporary setback.

Maybe word would spread this time. He had to keep a short rein on his temper; it ran away too easily of late. It was the drought he could do nothing about, the problems that sprang up like weeds wherever he looked. A few moments more alone with his pipe. Who would rule a nation when he could have easier work, such as carrying water uphill in a sieve?

He looks down over the city below, crowded to bursting with refugees and opportunists and Hunters and even Ogier, and is thankful the grain wagons from Tear are finally coming in regularly; riots over food are the last thing he needs. He frets about the four formerly undecided clans, whose chiefs he hardly knows, and about Berelain, on her way to Cairhien with a small army, debating whether it would be a good idea to put her in charge here when he leaves, and wonders why her letter asked about Perrin. He goes back inside, where Meilan, Torean and Aracome represent the Tairens on one side, and Dobraine, Maringil, and Colavaere (with a trembling Selande behind her) on the Cairhienin side; Asmodean plays harp in the background. Rand sits in the (in his opinion) ridiculously tacky chair carved into dragons Colavaere and the others had had made for him, and thinks they made a mistake there, as the chair only reminds them every moment what exactly he was. Maringil is not happy about the troops Rand is sending out, arguing they’re needed in Cairhien to suppress brigands, but Rand tells him the Aiel are doing that; then Maringil brings up the Andoran occupation west of the Alguenya and Morgase’s claim to the Sun Throne, somewhat uneasily, since they know Rand grew up in Andor, and many believe he is a son of one of their noble houses, cast off because he could channel, and additionally they still don’t know who he intends the Cairhienin throne for. Rand ignores the hint, scares Meilan and Aracome by threatening to ride out and check that their troops are where they’re supposed to be, and then kicks them all out except for Colavaere, who has been behind the constant barrage of young women flinging themselves at him. He tells her Selande is very pretty, but some prefer a more... mature woman, and she will join him for dinner tonight, and waves her off. She curtsies unsteadily and leaves, and Rand laughs harshly in disgust, at himself and the whole situation.

He could sense saidin like something just beyond the edge of sight. He could feel the taint on it. Sometimes he thought that what he felt was the taint in him, now, the dregs left by saidin.

He found that he was glaring at Asmodean. The man seemed to be studying him, face expressionless. The music resumed again, like water babbling over stones, soothing. So he needed soothing, did he?

Moiraine, Egwene, and Aviendha enter, without knocking. Rand says he’s surprised to see Egwene, and wonders if she has more good news for him, like Masema sacking Amador, or that the Aes Sedai she says support him have turned out to be Black Ajah.

“You notice I don’t ask who they are, or where. Not even how you know. I don’t ask you to divulge Aes Sedai secrets, or Wise Ones’ secrets, or whatever they are. Just give me the driblets you’re willing to dole out, and let me worry whether what you don’t care to tell me will stab me in the night.”

Egwene answers calmly that she tells him what he needs to know, and Rand thinks she is as much Aes Sedai as Moiraine now. He asks what they want, and Moiraine hands him two letters, saying they just arrived for him; one letter is sealed with the Flame of Tar Valon, the other with the White Tower. As he goes to open them, Moiraine adds that there are no poison needles in the seals, nor traps woven, and Rand pauses, having not thought of either possibility. He opens the first, signed by Elaida:

There can be no denial that you are the one prophesied, yet many will try to destroy you for what else you are. For the sake of the world, this can not be allowed. Two nations have bent knee to you, and the savage Aiel as well, but the power of thrones is as dust beside the One Power. The White Tower will shelter and protect you against those who refuse to see what must be. The White Tower will see that you live to see Tarmon Gai’don. None else can do this. An escort of Aes Sedai will come to bring you to Tar Valon with the honor and respect you deserve. This I pledge to you.

Rand comments wryly that she doesn’t even ask, and bets himself that Elaida’s “escort” will just happen to number thirteen sisters. He gives the letter to Moiraine and opens the other, which is quite different, praising and flattering him effusively, and warning him that his “splendor” will inspire jealousy, even in the White Tower, yet assuring him there are some who “rejoice in [his] coming” and wait to “kneel to bask in [his] brilliance”. The letter begs him to show it to no one, even Moiraine, as she is “a secretive woman, much given to plotting, as Cairhienin are.” It’s signed “Alviarin Freidhen”. Rand blinks at it, and passes it to Moiraine, commenting sarcastically that it’s a good thing she gave her oath, otherwise he might suspect her now. Egwene comments sotto voce that Alviarin must have heard about his swelled head, but then says aloud that it doesn’t sound like Alviarin at all. Moiraine asks what Rand thinks, and he answers that there’s a rift in the Tower, which Elaida almost certainly doesn’t know about, since Aes Sedai can’t lie in writing any more than they can in speech. Aviendha says he is not going to do this, and Rand agrees that he is not a fool. Moiraine asks what else, and he tells her he sees White Tower spies.

Moiraine smiled. “You learn quickly. You will do well.” For a moment she almost looked fond. “What will you do about it?”

“Nothing, except make sure that Elaida’s ‘escort’ doesn’t get within a mile of me.” Thirteen of the weakest Aes Sedai could overwhelm him linked, and he did not think Elaida would send her weakest. “That, and be aware that the Tower knows what I do the day after I do it.”

Somara puts her head in to announce Mat, and Rand tells the women to stay, knowing their presence would put Mat off balance. Mat strolls in with a grin, disheveled as usual, with an insincere apology for being late. Rand comments that he hears every young man out there wants to join the Band of the Red Hand, and Mat agrees noncommittally.

“The Band of the Red Hand,” Moiraine murmured. “Shen an Calhar. A legendary group of heroes indeed, though the men in it must have changed many times in a war that lasted well over three hundred years. It is said they were the last to fall to the Trollocs, guarding Aemon himself, when Manetheren died.”

Mat says he wouldn’t know about that, some fool just started using the name. Moiraine tells him he’s very brave, leading his Band across the Alguenya to fight the Andorans, especially considering he went alone first, and Talmanes and Nalesean had to ride hard to catch up to him; Mat’s lip curls, but Moiraine goes on: three battles, and three victories with small losses on Mat’s side even though he was outnumbered. Is he drawn to battles, she wonders, or are they drawn to him? Mat snarls that she can play the cat if she wants, but he is no mouse, and Rand watches silently as Moiraine answers coldly that they must all do as the Pattern decrees, and some have less choice than others. Mat glares right back.

“You always have to push a man where you want him, don’t you? Kick him there, if he won’t go led by the nose. Blood and bloody ashes! Don’t glare at me, Egwene, I’ll speak the way I want. Burn me! All it needs is for Nynaeve to be here, yanking her braid out of her head, and Elayne staring down her nose. Well, I’m glad she isn’t, to hear the news, but even if you had Nynaeve, I’d not be shoved —”

Rand interrupts and asks sharply what news, and Mat replies that Morgase is dead. Egwene gasps, and Rand feels as if he’s been gutted. Mat says apparently Gaebril’s been named King of Andor, and claims Cairhien, too, supposedly at Morgase’s behest, though rumor says she hasn’t been seen in weeks. He adds that Gaebril’s the one who wanted Elayne killed, so it’s pretty clear to him what really happened. Rand thinks Elayne would never forgive him; he’d known about Rahvin, and had ignored it because the Forsaken might expect him to react, going after Couladin and Sammael instead. Mat begins saying something about rallying the Andorans to Elayne.

“Shut up!” Rand barked. He quivered so hard with fury that Egwene stepped back, and even Moiraine eyed him carefully. Aviendha’s hand tightened on his shoulder, but he shook it off as he stood. Morgase dead because he had done nothing. His own hand had been on the knife as surely as Rahvin’s. Elayne. “She will be avenged. Rahvin, Mat. Not Gaebril. Rahvin. I’ll lay him by the heels if I never do another thing!”

“Oh, blood and bloody ashes!” Mat groaned.

Egwene tells him there’s no way he can start another war, with Cairhien barely pacified, but he tells her not a war, but a raid; he can be in Caemlyn in an hour, and he’ll rip Rahvin’s heart out. Moiraine says “tomorrow”, softly, and Rand glares, but admits she’s right. Asmodean starts playing “The Fool Who Thought He Was King”, and Rand throws him out in a fury, then tells the women to leave too, but Aviendha and Egwene don’t move. They want to come along, and Moiraine joins them in mowing down every protest and excuse he has not to take them along; finally he agrees, and they go to leave, but Rand says to Moiraine that she didn’t try to stop him.

“The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills,” was Moiraine’s reply. She stood in the doorway looking more Aes Sedai than he ever remembered her, ageless, with dark eyes that seemed ready to swallow him, slight and slender yet so regal she could have commanded a roomful of queens if she could not channel a spark. That blue stone on her forehead was catching the light again. “You will do well, Rand.”

He stared at the door long after it closed behind them.

He catches Mat trying to sidle out, too, and says he needs to talk to him; Mat spins to face him and declares he’s no bloody hero, but Rand cuts him off and tells him he has to stop running; he knows where Mat got that medallion, and he cut down the rope that almost hanged him. He says doesn’t know what exactly got shoved into Mat’s head in Rhuidean, but he’s going to use it.

In the hall, Moiraine tells Egwene to be careful tomorrow, and Egwene answers of course she will, trying to ignore the butterflies in her stomach. Moiraine tells her that Rand will need her and Aviendha in the days to come, as people who cannot be driven away by his rages, and will tell him what he needs to hear instead of what they think he wants to hear. Egwene answers that Moiraine does that, and Moiraine says yes, of course, but he will need them as well. She bids them goodnight and glides away. Aviendha asks if Egwene thinks that these Aes Sedai in Salidar will help Rand, and Egwene tells her to be careful with that name; Rand cannot be allowed to find them without “preparation”.

The way he was now, they would be more likely to gentle him, or at least send thirteen sisters of their own, than help him. She would have to stand between them in Tel’aran’rhiod, she and Nynaeve and Elayne, and hope those Aes Sedai had committed themselves too far to back out before they discovered how near the brink he was.

Aviendha cautions her not to eat in the morning, as battle is not good on a full stomach, and bids her goodnight. Egwene doesn’t think she will eat at all, and wonders what will happen if Lanfear is in Caemlyn tomorrow.

Mat stomps into his rooms at the Palace, reflecting on the meeting with Rand and the relentless way Rand had pinned him down. The problem, he thinks, is that Moiraine was right; battles were drawn to him, and if he tried running away again, he would be almost certain to land in the middle of one again. Which left doing what Rand wanted.

“Good morrow, High Lord Weiramon, and all you other High Lords and Ladies. I’m a gambler, a farmboy, and I’m here to take command of your bloody army! The bloody lord Dragon Reborn will be with us as soon as he flaming takes care of one bloody little matter!”

He hurls his spear across the room, and Melindhra asks from the door what that was about. He asks her if Kadere has found ships to Tar Valon yet; she tells him the wagons are still there, and asks why he wants to know. He tells her he’s going away for a while, for Rand, and she frowns and comments, so he is slipping back into Rand al’Thor’s shadow, when he has gained so much honor on his own. Mat says Rand can “keep his honor and take it to Caemlyn or the Pit of Doom for all I care”. Melindhra says, he is going to Caemlyn? Mat winces and says he just pulled the name from nowhere. The next moment she’s driven her foot into his stomach, following up with a back spin kick to his head. He lands on his back, dazed, and sees her take out a knife and veil herself.

Groggily, he moved by instinct, without thinking. The blade came out of his sleeve, left his hand as if floating through jelly. Only then did he realize what he had done and stretch out desperately, trying to snatch it back.

The hilt bloomed between her breasts. She sagged to her knees, fell back.

He crawls to her, asking her why, and she whispers to him some oaths are more important than others, and tries to stab him again, but the blade strikes the foxhead medallion and snaps at the hilt. She tells him, “You have the Great Lord’s own luck,” and dies. Anguished, Mat thinks he had never killed a woman until now. The hilt of her blade is jade, inlaid with golden bees; he hurls it into the fireplace, and realizes from her last words that she must have been a Darkfriend. It doesn’t help. He makes the connection between the golden bees and Sammael, and thinks her attack must have been triggered by him telling her he was going to Tear. He wonders why on earth one of the Forsaken would be frightened enough of him to want to kill him.

One of the Forsaken had noticed him. He certainly was not standing in Rand’s shadow now.

He sits there, staring at Melindhra’s corpse, and tries to decide what to do.

The beginning of the end begins, eh? Of the book, anyway.

Another stupid long chapter, and so full of portentous moments I quoted like half of it. Sorry.

My sympathy for Rand soared at his thought about how “carrying water uphill in a sieve” would be easier than what he was doing. I am in total agreement, really; power is only fun if you genuinely don’t care what happens to the people or things you have power over. If you are even partially a non-sociopath, however, it is not fun at all. Mind you, I think it can be satisfying and fulfilling, for those who take pride in a difficult job well done, but “fun” is not the word. Especially if it’s not something you ever wanted in the first place.

Of course, it’s not like I have any personal experience of great power of any stripe, so take it for what it’s worth.

Egwene: Again, it’s an ongoing theme of WOT that everyone keeps secrets and no one talks to anyone else and blah, and it would be very easy to completely hate on Egwene for being so cagy and obstructionist with Rand from pretty much here on out. But also again, it’s a question of perspective. We have to remember that unlike us, Egwene is not in Rand’s head, and has to go on only what she sees.

And what she sees is a childhood friend and once-flame who is almost unrecognizable as the boy she knew a scant year ago. She sees, instead, a man under incredible pressure, in possession of a truly frightening amount of power (both political, military and personal), whom she knows is going to go insane, and who is finally starting to show evidence of it. That shit is scary, y’all.

If you think about it, the amazing thing isn’t that she’s keeping certain things from him, it’s that she trusts him at all. (And actually, getting to be in Rand’s head would probably not make Egwene feel noticeably better at this point, what with the, you know, crazy dead guy in there with him. I’m just saying, it’s not like her perception of him as being “on the brink” is even wrong! It’s just – incomplete.)

Concurrently, her thoughts in this chapter make it clear that she’s not keeping secrets from him from some misguided power trip, but because she is worried about protecting him – from the Rebel Aes Sedai as much as from himself. You can have a debate about whether her methods are effective or not, but I find claims that she’s basically doing it for the lulz to be frankly mystifying.

Moiraine: Man, I’m going to miss her. I love how she’s all so proud of Rand here.

What’s so cool about her in this chapter (well, really, in everything from Rhuidean on, but this chapter especially) is how everything she says and does gains this poignant significance, but only after you know what’s going to happen. So it is a completely different experience the second time around. It’s like re-watching The Usual Suspects; once you know the end, it’s like watching a totally different film.

Mat: Enter the Band of the Red Hand, the coolness of which is pretty much overshadowed by Mat getting pummeled by, well, pretty much everyone. And that’s not even counting the assassination attempt.

He needed it, though. I have a lot of sympathy for Mat, and I have a perverse admiration for his refusal to gloss over his scoundrel-like ways for the convenience of others, but I can’t really fault Rand (and Moiraine) for backing him into a metaphorical corner over his commitment issues.

Mat, however, is as stubborn in his own way as any of the main cast, and like so many people it takes matters getting to a pretty dire pitch (As “matters” go, realizing the term “assassination attempt” can actually be unironically applied to yourself is about as “dire” as they can get, I should think) before he begins to come to terms with the fact that yes, you really are that important, and no, it’s really not going to go away if you ignore it. The results of which we will see in the next chapter.

Chapter 52: Choices

What Happens
Rand finishes shaving in the morning, carefully controlling his anger, and turns to see Aviendha still hasn’t gotten dressed, and is staring at him instead. She says abruptly that she would not shame him in front of other men, referring to Enaila and Somara and Lamelle, and Rand gazes at her and asks if she means to go like that. She suddenly seems to realize she is naked and, flushing, starts dressing in a flurry, babbling to him about the arrangements. Rand wonders why she’s suddenly so flustered about being naked in front of him. He’s taking only Aiel to Caemlyn, and he hopes the Prophecy of Rhuidean was somehow wrong, and that he did not end up destroying them all. Aviendha mentions casually that a woman had come to see him last night, and she had a “talk” with her, and Rand need not worry about “treekiller flipskirts” any longer. Rand asks if she hurt Colavaere badly, and Aviendha sniffs and says her bruises can be easily hidden, and more importantly, she won’t bother him anymore. Rand sighs, but thinks it might actually work. Or it might make things worse.

“Next time, let me handle matters my way. I am the Car’a’carn, remember.”

“You have shaving lather on your ear, Rand al’Thor.”

Asmodean enters, wearing a sword, and Rand demands to know what he’s doing here, instead of following Rand’s instructions. Asmodean replies that setting him to listen here is well and good, but all the talk is of the shrieks coming from Lady Colavaere’s apartments last night, and he doubts anyone will dare to set a foot wrong for days. Aviendha looks smug, and Rand asks softly, so he wants to be at Rand’s back when he faces Rahvin? Asmodean replies, where better than under his eye, where he can show his loyalty? Rand senses saidin in him, weakly, and Asmodean says he is not strong, but maybe he can help. Rand thinks that the shield Lanfear had put on him didn’t seem any weaker than in the beginning, despite what she had said, and thinks it would be like her to lie about it. He’s not sure if he thought that or Lews Therin did, but knows it’s true.

“You know my choices. I am clinging to that tuft of grass on the cliff’s lip, praying for it to hold one more heartbeat. If you fail, I am worse than dead. I must see you win and live.” Suddenly eyeing Aviendha, he seemed to realize he might have said too much. His laugh was a hollow sound. “Else how can I compose the songs of the Lord Dragon’s glory? A bard must have something to work with.”

Rand considers, and agrees, with a warning Asmodean quite understands. He bows and leaves. Rand considers Skimming to Tear for Callandor first, or even to Rhuidean for what was hidden there, but does not trust himself with that much power. He worries that he will try to go straight to Shayol Ghul and end it then and there, and he cannot risk anything but victory there. He murmurs, “The world rides on my shoulders,” and yelps as something pinches his buttock. He demands of Aviendha what that was for.

“Just to see whether the Lord Dragon was still made of flesh like the rest of us mortals.”

“I am,” he said flatly, and seized saidin — all the sweetness; all the filth — just, long enough to channel briefly.

Her eyes widened, but she did not flinch, only looked at him as if nothing had occurred at all. Still, as they crossed the anteroom, she rubbed furtively at her bottom when she thought he was looking the other way.

He opens the door to find Mat standing there with Asmodean, and realizes to his surprise that his usual Maiden guard is gone. Mat tells Rand that Melindhra tried to kill him the night before, and tells the whole story, ending with a bleak “I killed her.” Rand tells him quietly he’s sorry he had to do that, and promises he will settle Sammael soon. Aviendha demands to know what Rand has done that the Maidens are not here, and Rand has no idea. Asmodean suggests maybe it was because of Melindhra, but Aviendha dismisses that as nonsense; if Mat has no toh for defending his own life, than certainly Rand doesn’t. Rand asks Mat if he is ready to ride south, but Mat tells him he wants to go to Caemlyn. Rand considers the possible benefits of having two ta’veren along, and agrees. They meet Moiraine and Egwene in the hall; Moiraine is dressed to the nines, looking regal, and smiles warmly at Mat, pleased that he is going as well, and tells him to trust in the Pattern. Mat looks sour, but Moiraine turns to Rand and hands him two more letters. He sees that both are from her, one to him and one to Thom, and asks what she has to say in sealed letters that she can’t say to his face.

“You have changed from the boy I first saw outside the Winespring Inn.” Her voice was a soft silver chiming. “You are hardly the same at all. I pray you have changed enough.”

Egwene murmured something low. Rand thought it was “I pray you have not changed too much.” She was frowning at the letters as if she too wondered what was in them. So was Aviendha.

Moiraine went on more brightly, even briskly. “Seals ensure privacy. That contains things I wish you to think on; not now; when you have time for thinking. As for Thom’s letter, I know no safer hands than yours in which to place it. Give it to him when you see him again. Now, there is something you must see at the docks.”

Rand thinks this is hardly the time, but Moiraine is already moving off, and Mat mutters that surely an hour can’t hurt; Asmodean adds that it would be well for him to be seen this morning, to allay suspicion. Rand growls, and acquiesces.

Kadere stands in front of his wagon, and contemplates leaving again, but knows he will not dare disobey one of the Forsaken, even though he had not seen Lanfear again since the first time. He has no allies left; all of the Darkfriend wagoneers had long since slipped away, and he still does not know who the Darkfriend Aiel women was who had left him the note. Rand al’Thor appears, with Moiraine, the Warder, Natael, the “young Aes Sedai”, the Aiel wench Aviendha, and Mat Cauthon. Cheers follow them, and Kadere is relieved that for once Moiraine ignores him; yesterday she had made him help uncover the twisted red doorframe ter’angreal, and he had not wanted to go near it to cover it again. He debates trying to get past the Maidens to Natael, and abruptly realizes there are no Maidens surrounding al’Thor at all.

“Aren’t you going to look at an old friend, Hadnan?”

That melodious voice jerked Kadere around, gaping at a hatchet-nosed face, dark eyes almost hidden by rolls of fat. “Keille?” It was impossible. No one survived alone in the Waste except Aiel. She had to be dead. But there she stood, white silk straining over her bulk, ivory combs standing tall in her dark curls.

She smiles and enters his wagon, and Kadere follows reluctantly. He almost screams as he enters and finds Lanfear standing there instead. He falls to his knees, asking how he might serve, and Lanfear tells him she has been too busy to watch Rand al’Thor herself, so he will tell her what he knows. Kadere begins to talk, praying he has enough information to satisfy her.

At the end of the line of wagons, Rand asks impatiently what Moiraine wants him to see; she peers at the wool-stuffed casks protecting the two seals, and murmurs “It will be safe here,” and sets off toward the head of the train, Lan following. Egwene and Aviendha have no more idea what this is about than Rand does, and Rand starts to tell Natael to go find Bael when the side of Kadere’s wagon explodes, mowing down Aiel and townsfolk with the schrapnel. Rand knows instantly what it is, and runs after Moiraine and Lan. Lanfear steps out of the wreckage, holding something bloody.

“He told me, Lews Therin,” she almost screamed, flinging the pale thing into the air. Something caught it, inflated it for a moment into a bloody, transparent, statue of Hadnan Kadere; his skin, removed whole. The figure collapsed and fell as Lanfear’s voice rose to a screech. “You let another woman touch you! Again!”

Moiraine runs toward her, but Lan beats her there, ignoring her cry; he runs into an invisible wall and is flung ten paces away. Moiraine is jerked forward to be face-to-face with Lanfear, who looks at her distantly and hurls her under one of the wagons. Aiel run to the attack, to be engulfed in flame; Lanfear swats them aside absently, looking only at Rand. He seizes saidin and pulls the heat of her fires into the River, simultaneously enclosing her and him in a dome of Air, apart from the other people, but realizes that Egwene and Aviendha are under the dome as well. He tries to trap Lanfear in Air, but she slices his flows and asks which one of them is Aviendha. Egwene screams in agony, as does Aviendha a moment later, and Rand suddenly remembers a weave that cuts them off from Lanfear, and they collapse.

Lanfear staggered, her eyes going from the women to him, dark pools of black fire. “You are mine, Lews Therin! Mine!”

“No.” Rand’s voice seemed to come to his ears down a mile-long tunnel. Distract her from the girls. He kept moving forward, did not look back. “I was never yours, Mierin. I will always belong to Ilyena.” The Void quivered with sorrow and loss. And with desperation, as he fought something besides the scouring of saidin. For a moment he hung balanced. I am Rand al’Thor. And, Ilyena, ever and always my heart. Balanced on a razor edge. I am Rand al’Thor! Other thoughts tried to well up, a fountain of them, of Ilyena, of Mierin, of what he could do to defeat her. He forced them down, even the last. If he came down on the wrong side... I am Rand al’Thor! “Your name is Lanfear, and I’ll die before I love one of the Forsaken.”

Anguish crosses her face, then she answers that if he is not hers, he is dead. She attacks, and Rand almost dies right then in agony, but manages to cut her weave; he counterattacks with Air, trying to knock her unconscious, but she retaliates by trying to sever him from the Source. He barely holds her off, slicing her weaves again and again; another man’s voice tries to tell him how to defeat her, but he ignores it.

If he listened, it might be Lews Therin Telamon who walked away, with Rand al’Thor a voice sometimes floating in his head if that.

“I’ll make both of those trulls watch you beg,” Lanfear said. “But should I make them watch you die first, or you them?”

She’s moved onto the open wagon bed, and now stands before the doorframe ter’angreal, twisting an ivory bracelet in her hands as she tells him she wants him to know pain as he has never known before. She channels, and he is enveloped in pain; he defends himself wildly, but cannot make himself kill her.

A golden-haired woman lying in a ruined hallway where, it seemed, the very walls had melted and flowed. Ilyena, forgive me! It was a despairing cry.

He could end it. Only, he could not. He was going to die, perhaps the world would die, but he could not make himself kill another woman. Somehow it seemed the richest joke the world had ever seen.

Moiraine crawls out from under the wagon, seeing Lan lying on the ground, twitching, and forces him out of her mind. She sees Rand on his knees, laughing and crying at the same time, and feels a chill, but if he is already mad she knows there is nothing she can do about it.

The sight of Lanfear hit her like a blow. Not surprise, but the shock of seeing what had been in her dreams so often since Rhuidean. Lanfear standing on the wagon-bed, blazing bright as the sun with saidar, framed by the twisted redstone ter’angreal as she stared down at Rand, a pitiless smile on her lips.

Moiraine notes the angreal bracelet Lanfear is holding, and thinks of how she had taken it out of a sack of random items and left it at the foot of the doorframe. She climbs up on the wagon, but Lanfear does not even notice her, concentrating on Rand.

Suppressing a small bubble of hope — she could not allow herself that luxury — Moiraine balanced upright a moment on the wagon-tail, then embraced the True Source and leaped at Lanfear. The Forsaken had an instant’s warning, enough to turn before Moiraine struck her, clawing the bracelet away. Face to face, they toppled through the doorframe ter’angreal. White light swallowed everything.


Well. Exeunt Moiraine and Lanfear, stage left. Huh.

I have made it a kind of theme, in these recaps, to compare how I feel about various developments now, at this stage of my extreme familiarity with WOT, to how I felt about them the first time I read them. It always gets especially weird when it’s one of these, a truly major event. Moiraine’s apparent death in this chapter was SHOCKING, the first time.

It still packs quite a punch. I suspect this is in large part because it’s a plotline that’s still un-dealt with, sixteen years later, but also just because, well, wow.

Although, my wowedness does not prevent me from having a couple of problems with this scene.

Prophecy bugs me on a number of levels, mostly because of the utter havoc it wreaks with causality. In this regard it’s only second to time travel on the list of “sf conventions that make you throw up your hands in narrative disgust”. And this particular instance of it is one of the most bothersome examples of this in the whole series.

Moiraine does all kinds of things here to facilitate what happens that she would never have done if she hadn’t already known they were going to happen. Like having Kadere uncover the doorframe ter’angreal the day before, for instance. Or hey, coming down to the docks in the first place! It’s one thing if there had been some organic reason for Rand to have gone down there anyway, but he never would have come near the place if Moiraine hadn’t specifically led him there. If she hadn’t led him there, it wouldn’t have happened that way, and she wouldn’t have seen it happen that way, but she did see it happen that way, which is why she brought him there, and oh no I’ve gone cross-eyed.

Argh. The bit that really kills me, though, is the business with the bracelet angreal. This is the angreal that allows Lanfear to overwhelm and almost kill Rand, which had been in a sack and buried somewhere in the wagons until Moiraine took it out and placed it next to the doorframe for Lanfear to find.

Seriously, what the fuck, over?

Yeah, so she saw it in her vision of the future, fine, but if it had been me, I at least would have tried to change that part of it, to give Rand (and Aviendha and Egwene!) a better chance of survival if for no other reason. But she puts it out where Lanfear couldn’t possibly miss it! I dunno, I suppose there was some reason why everything would get screwed up if Lanfear didn’t have it, but damn. I mean, did she see herself planting it where Lanfear could find it, or did she just see Lanfear using it, and decide to ensure everything was all matchy-matchy with her vision? I know she’s all accepting of her destiny and stuff, but there is such a thing as taking fatalism too far, if you ask me.

Eh. Well, causality gripes aside, it’s still one of the most stupendously momentous events of the entire series, and I’m vaguely sorry I wasn’t active in the fandom when TFOH was originally released, because the fans must’ve gone apeshit over it. I could search the Google Groups archives, I suppose (*pauses for nostalgic sigh over Dejanews*), but, well, I’m kind of busy these days.

So, bye, Moiraine! We luff you, please come back soon! Bye, Crazy Bitch! See you (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) way too soon!

Coupla other notes:

Rand: I forgot that in the middle of all this he comes within a whisker of completely losing it. Again. That boy’s brain must feel like a racquetball.

Also, I have to take a moment to heart the quick little exchange between Rand and Aviendha I quoted at the beginning of the chapter, which is about as succinct a shorthand for Rand’s loved ones’ purpose in WOT as can be imagined. Aw.

Asmodean: Nice little impassioned speech – about how his own survival is the only thing he cares about. Heh. Well, that’s not ironic at all.

Mat: Yay, he manned up! Which just goes to show, manning up is a great way to get yourself extremely... killed. Not exactly the best advertisement for commitment, is it? Good thing Rand hearts balefire!

...Which we will get to Real Soon Now. But not today! Have a scrumdiddlyumptious weekend, chirren, and limber up your eye muscles, cause we polish this puppy off next week! Booyah!

1. aggiewill
Our Friday Fix! Awesome as usual Leigh.
j p
2. sps49
Awww. All the Moiraine foreshadowing makes my eyes kind of blurry and watery.

Just wish she'd been like this the whole time.
3. CalaLily
When Moiraine "died", I don't think I blinked for a good minute. I just remember reading that last paragraph over and over again, trying to force it through my brain. It still gets me. Poor woman.

:D Hopefully the Blue Lady will be back in TGS!

Has it been theorized that Lanfear's channeling through an angreal could contribute to her weakening after reincarnation, or is it just assumed it was something the Finns or the DO did?

Also: I put this out there on Monday, but as soon as I did Leigh posted, so it didn't get much attention.

If Lews Therin is "real", why doesn't he speak the Old Tongue? I mean, it'd be even CRAZIER if Rand had a psycho babbling in his head in a language he didn't even understand. Inter-personality translator, or it it a result of him just being a construct of Rand's subconcious?
4. Sprprsnmn
What if Moiraine saw that if she didn't give Lanfear the bracelet, that would lead to one of the routes where Rand ended up dieing?

I think in her letter she saw three endings, one of which had Rand dieing, so maybe placing the angreal was part of the requirement.

Or, the "bubble of hope" had to do with Lanfear channeling more of the power than a normal person could, and that could lead to Moiraine's survival on the other side (somehow)?
5. Browncoat Jayson
I think Jordan's version of Prophecy is actually quite good, compared to some others. This isn't "You WILL do this regardless of how much you want not to". NO, Moiraine did what she needed to, because she knew that if she didn't, everything would be screwed.

So heres my thought:
She went to Rhuiden, and was told that to keep Rand safe from Lanfear, she would have to return to the Aelfinn and Eelfinn by pushing her through the doorway. Also, to survive that, she would need to do a couple things: give Thom a letter that is actually for Mat, but that Mat can't see yet; and bring an angreal to the 'Finns that Lanfear is channeling through, which I think will be her "price" to be held, protected and whole until Mat rescues her, while Lanfear died instead.

So yeah, she did things she never would have done normally, but based on knowledge that if she didn't, things would be worse for everyone. After all, if she didn't know, and everyone was just going about their day, I think Lanfear may have just killed everyone. What Moiraine did/didn't do wouldn't stop Kadere from telling Lanfear and making her go apeshit.

Well, at least shes not just batshit anymore...
6. JWezy
I think that the angreal was bait - without it, Lanfear would not have any reason to get close enough to the doorframe to be pushed through, which was the critically important part.

And, as Moiraine acknowledges later in the letter to Thom, all the other options were much, much worse.
Rikka Cordin
7. Rikka
This is how I understand it....

The point of the rings at Rhuidean is that you get this general gist of how the future can/will go and what events are pivotal (like Moiraine remembering that her sleeping with Rand would be BADNEWS etc.). So the majority of the future is full of maybes and perhapses but there are several moments that can go one way or another and if they show up, you'd best have prepared for the way that ends in Rand still being alive and sane and not the apocalyptic route.

So Moiraine saw this in the rings, has been dreaming about it since then and everything she's prepared has been so that that moment ended THAT way and Rand lives on to try and take over the world... uhm, er, win Tarmon Gaidan.

j p
8. sps49
Kadere's steadfastness and job performance are not rewarded well by Lanfear.

Rand got off lucky: "Honey, we're out of milk."

"Clearly, that means the Great Lord wants me to kill you!" Slash! Slash! Slash!
Dan Sparks
9. RedHanded
Re: Moraine & the self fulfilling prophecy

I agree about how Moraine could have done things differently when confronting Lanfear such as not giving her an awesome angreal but I'm hoping that somewhere along the way we find out that she HAD to do those things and get Lanfear through the twisted red door frame in order to either learn something, get something or maybe we find out if things didn't go that way there would have been dire consequences. If none of these scenarios is the case then yeah wtf don't put weapons out where just anyone can pick them up.
Dan Sparks
10. RedHanded
@6 Jweezy

If Lanfear didn't have that angreal I don't think Rand would have had too much trouble taking her down, especially if Aviendha and Egwene could have done ANYTHING. There would be no reason to push her through the door frame except that Lanfear was about to fuck some shit up real bad. Didn't he have his little fat man with him at this time too?
Lannis .
11. Lannis
I ? Moiraine. Oh, how I miss her. C'mon Tower of Ghenjei!

Asmodean: I know he talks about his tuft of grass a couple of times in his (terribly) short time onscreen, but I have the image ingrained in my associative memory. Asmodean = tuft of grass clinging to cliff... which, arguably, is exactly his situation from the moment he steps onscreen until his untimely demise... but the funny thing is that when it's been awhile, and I start a reread, I picture Asmodean as the man clinging every time--literally, not figuratively--until we get to that conversation between Rand and Asmodean in tSR, and *every* time I go, "oh, yeah..."

S'funny what our brains do, s'all.

Lanfear: Psychobitch, ahoy! Even though Jordan doesn't say it, I can picture the crazed light in her eyes while she holds Kadere's skin... batshit, people, batshit crazy!

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! :)
12. Muckl
Love this chapters, but the best one will be coming next!

About the causality problem Leigh, I just don't see it.
When Moiraine steps through the Ter'angreal in Rhuidean, it showed her all (or nearly all) of her possibly futures and in every one she sees herself knowing what she will know after leaving the Ter'angreal and planning with that.
So she sees, I think, only one single path in her future where Rand isn't killed or turned over by the Shadow.
In that situation you can't take risks like hiding that bracelet, especially since it is the reason for Lanfear to step up near the door frame.

In the end she tried to make everything as close to her viewing of the only single one future where hope would not die.
mark Proctor
13. mark-p
CalaLily @3
That scene is from Rand's perspective so maybe he is implicitly understanding what Lews Therin says inside his head, like when Mat doesn't realise he is speaking the old tongue but is.
Maiane Bakroeva
14. Isilel
Aw, Moraine's last chapters. I missed her character so much - particularly since I realized in LoC when they played Snakes and Foxes that she was supposed to be back at some point and every book since was a disappointment in that regard.

I actually loved her throughout - IMHO, her initial conviction that she knew better than Rand would have been quite rational... if only he hadn't been such a strong ta'veren.
Rand, on the other hand, felt threatened by her - also understandable.
Mo's tendency towards unnecessary mysteriousness and Rand's paranoia re: her possible manipulations and hidden motives made the rapprochement difficult.

I still think that the oath of obedience was not a great solution - it made Rand look petty and still left Mo quite a lot of wriggle room since she swore to obey like one of the Maidens, LOL. I hope that it may have just come to honest cooperation and trust eventually.

This with WT letters was clearly a graduation exam.

One final instance of a guy being rude to Mo and then internally acknowledging that she is in the right. Well, Mat will have to save her for his sins, hopefully soon now.

Re: Egs, I don't get the ire. Unless one is convinced that Rand can do no wrong, her behavior is rather reasonable. She tries to keep secrets entrusted to her in confidence and wants to carefully ease the AS into alliance with him, so that they don't become alarmed by his ever more noticeable... problems. She is ready to go battle a Forsaken with him, no questions asked, which is quite admirable.

The gals also force him to plan instead of just trying to take Rahvin and all his forces by himself.
15. Thomstel
I always thought that the bracelet was Moiraine's little trap for Lanfear, especially the first time I read this. Sure it gets her attention and gets her standing in front of the doorway, but also, if she was topped-out on OP (she likely would be knowing LT's power level) and gets that extra bit of juice from the bracelet angreal, and then has it forcibly clawed from her grasp (as RJ so conveniently specifically mentions), would that be enough OP to still her right there?
Joseph Daly
16. Joed1414
@3 Calalilly

I don't think Lady M will be back with us in TGS. The summary of what will happen says that book will focus primarily on Rand and Egwene. I think that Rescue will come in the book after. Right in time for TG.
Pete Pratt
17. PeteP
Moiraine rocks! Her absence has seriously weakened the tWoT for far too many books.

Was is Lanfear even mad? She told Min back in tGH to take care of him for her (and since was in bed with a naked Rand, I think Lanfear was including "hook ups"). So Rand slept with Avi one time and now she goes psycho?

Plus she had spied on his dreams (until Asmodean taught him otherwise), seeing him wanting to have a number of women.

Lanfear was also so cool and in control until here that I always thought this was a little too out of control for her. It is not like Rand told her he did not want her and would never work with her. Rand has been thinking about her all along, with never seriously rejecting permanently. He was still of two minds here.
Shaylyn Austin
18. Ispan
RedHanded @10

If Lanfear didn't have that angreal I don't think Rand would have had too much trouble taking her down, especially if Aviendha and Egwene could have done ANYTHING.

Things could/would have turned out very poorly with or without the angreal. Rand WILL NOT kill her, or even hurt her most likely. Even if he captured her, he would still feel responsible for her death if someone else had tried to kill her similar to how he actually felt bad leaving her tethered to the wall in the Heart of the Stone. He worried Trollocs or something would get her IIRC. Who can say what horrible things could have happened even if he "triumphed" in the scene at the docks and took her prisoner? Maybe he could have won the battle but lost the war.

With her knowledge of possible futures, Moiraine decided that these exact circumstances were necessary to avoid disastrous fates. I'm going to trust her on this one ;)
Anthony Pero
19. anthonypero
About the bracelet...

As far as why Moiraine put it out there... she saw possible futures, right? All possible futures from this moment, although not all remain in her brain, but she saw that the outcome had to be this, so she set it up.

I think I know why Lanfear needed the bracelet... it allowed her to play with Rand, and give moiraine time. Otherwise, Lanfear may have felt the need to go for the kill right away without the angreal.

Also, without the angreal, Rand may have killed Lanfear, which I think would have flipped the madness switch for good here.

Brian Kaul
20. bkaul
On Moiraine's placement of the bracelet: I assumed it was the bait required to get Lanfear positioned in front of the doorway. If it hadn't been lying there, and she hadn't gone over to pick it up, she had no particular reason to be standing where Moiraine could hurl her through the door.
Luke M
21. lmelior
@ Browncoat #5 et al
and bring an angreal to the 'Finns that Lanfear is channeling through, which I think will be her "price" to be held

From the summary it sounds like Moiraine got the bracelet off of Lanfear before they fell through the ter'angreal:
The Forsaken had an instant’s warning, enough to turn before Moiraine struck her, clawing the bracelet away

But does she still have it when they fall through the doorway? Unfortunately Google Books doesn't have that page (though they have the page before) so I couldn't verify.

EDIT for clarity.
Tess Laird
22. thewindrose
I am hoping that the following quote is not forshawdowing of what is to come for Moiraine. I want Moiraine the White to come back with her powers in tact or more. But, when I read this, and have read what some other commenters have put forth, I am of a mind that she might be coming back with out being able to channel - though she will still be tough as nails.

“The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills,” was Moiraine’s reply. She stood in the doorway looking more Aes Sedai than he ever remembered her, ageless, with dark eyes that seemed ready to swallow him, slight and slender yet so regal she could have commanded a roomful of queens if she could not channel a spark. That blue stone on her forehead was catching the light again. “You will do well, Rand.”
23. gbm
Concerning Moiraine's foreknowledge, the various discussions of the experiences of the Wise Ones in Rhuidean suggest pretty strongly that they live through dozens, if not hundreds, of potential futures for themselves which they remember to a limited degree. In Moiraine's case, her letter implies that the events on the docks were the 'best' outcome that she could see, and that any other outcomes towards which she might have directed events would have ended up badly/in disaster.

I agree with you Leigh, that every re-read of TFOH provides me even more respect for Moiraine's actions throughout the book. Her internal integrity and sense of mission combine in such a way that she can only make the choice she does, to the extent of setting up every element of the confrontation on the docks. She behaves with increasing dignity and grace - queenly as Jordan often describes her in these sections - as she accepts the self-sacrifice she must experience. In this instance, her comment to Mat that everyone must follow their role in the Pattern is more than a statement directed at Mat, it is a reminder to herself.

I think that Moiraine's behavior in TFOH reflects her true character as RJ created her, only more visible to the other characters around her (not that everyone catches on in the moment), and to the readers, as she drops some of the masks of secrecy and Aes Sedai-ness she had kept up before. Hopefully Moiraine's return comes soon in TGS. It will be very interesting to see how different she is after her time with the Aelfinn and Eelfinn.
Marcus W
24. toryx
I've always thought, on re-reads, that the reason Moraine left out the angreal was so she could pull it away from Lanfear and have it for herself when she goes through the arch.

I suspect that having it will be what saved her life whereas Lanfear got killed. Or perhaps it will play some other role in what's still to come with Mat and Thom and the Rescue.
Tess Laird
25. thewindrose
lmelior- Mo does get the bracelet:
The Forsaken had an instant's warning, enough to turn before Moiraine struck her, clawing the bracelet away.
26. alreadymadwithmeltdown
You let another woman touch you! Again!

I don't know about you people. But that line really cracks me up.
27. Cowboy Funk
All i know is when Rand and Avi were having their little flriting game when she shuts Rand's big head down a notch with "You have shaving lather on your ear Rand al'Thor" i was cracking up. I could just see Rand all serious and worried about the entire well being of the world at this moment...and Avi just bringing him back to reality. classic.

Adios Moiraine...til we meet again. I guess Verin replaces her as my fav Aes Sedei in the books to come. Cadsuane is great but annoying and the Supergirls I never really consider "real" Aes Sedei even when they all get raised.

Mat + Band = Yay.

The end of this book is one crazy thing after another...loved it. Cant wait for the conclusion.

Have a great weekend folks!!
28. LaraBeaton
For the Moiraine setting the whole thing up issue, the way I read it was as follows:

1. The rings in Rhuidean allow you to see all kinds of possible futures.

2. Lanfear was going to go all Silence of the Lambs on Kadere no matter where Rand was.

3. If Rand were further away from the docks, Lanfear would have killed a metric crapload of people to get to him.

4. If Lanfear hadn't spotted the angreal, she might never have climbed into the cart and Moiraine would never have been able to get her through the doorway.

5. If the doorway wasn't accessible, Moiraine's big charge would have left her seriously dead and Rand no better off.

6. If Moiraine didn't grab the angreal from Lanfear, she would have died soon into their battle, and Lanfear could have simply stepped back through the doorway and continued with her crazy ass killing spree.

So, my interpretation of this chapter is that Moiraine had seen all the possible ways that day could have played out in Rhuidean, and chose the path that would save the greatest number of people, give Rand the best chance of surviving, and the best way to trap Lanfear in 'Finnland.
29. LaraBeaton
For the Moiraine setting the whole thing up issue, the way I read it was as follows:

1. The rings in Rhuidean allow you to see all kinds of possible futures.

2. Lanfear was going to go all Silence of the Lambs on Kadere no matter where Rand was.

3. If Rand were further away from the docks, Lanfear would have killed a metric crapload of people to get to him.

4. If Lanfear hadn't spotted the angreal, she might never have climbed into the cart and Moiraine would never have been able to get her through the doorway.

5. If the doorway wasn't accessible, Moiraine's big charge would have left her seriously dead and Rand no better off.

6. If Moiraine didn't grab the angreal from Lanfear, she would have died soon into their battle, and Lanfear could have simply stepped back through the doorway and continued with her crazy ass killing spree.

So, my interpretation of this chapter is that Moiraine had seen all the possible ways that day could have played out in Rhuidean, and chose the path that would save the greatest number of people, give Rand the best chance of surviving, and the best way to trap Lanfear in 'Finnland.
Josh Tunzie
30. Tunzie
@3 CalaLily

As for Lanfear's weaker power level, I have my own personal crazy theory(tm) about that.

So, what if for whatever reason Lanfear going through the ter'angreal while both channeling and having the bracelet ripped off her, stilled her?

And for whatever reason once inside - lets go with 'lives in danger' for the sake of argument - Moraine and Lanfear needed to work together on something, and Lanfear needed to channel.

So Moraine heals the stilling. It would explain Lanfear coming back with a lower strength in the One Power, since they're of the same gender, and it's not like One Power strength is based on the body she came back in - it doesn't work that way for the other returned Forsaken.

So that's my personal crazy theory.
Luke M
31. lmelior
@ thewindrose #25

Sorry, my post didn't make any sense as it was written. What I was wondering is if the bracelet went through the doorway at all. I'm picturing Moiraine getting a few fingers curled around it and yanking it off without getting a good grip.
32. LaraBeaton
@ Tunzie #30

Moiraine couldn't possibly have Healed a stilling. At the time she went through the doorway, it was still thought to be impossible. There was no way she could have learned how to do it.
Tess Laird
33. thewindrose
lmelior - It does not say difinitively - I guess that would be a RAFO in need of a Mo PoV.
Jeremy Guebert
34. jeremyguebert
I think JWezy @6 is bang-on about the bracelet - Rand would never have actually finished Lanfear, and there was no other way she was going to be close enough to the doorway for Moiraine to push her through.

I'm really excited about the whole rescue thing that's been heavily foreshadowed in later books. Should be a good time. Also, my own crazy theory is that the rescue will be a major turning point for Rand.

Yes, I know that it's Mat, Thom and Noal 'Farstrider' Charin that will do the actual rescuing, but bear with me for a moment, I do have some semi-reasonable back-up for this. I couldn't tell you what book(s) it's in, but in one or more of Min's PoVs, she thinks about Rand needing Moiraine somehow, and how it can't happen now that she's dead, and it's the first time one of her viewings has ever been wrong. The thing is, we 'know' that Moiraine isn't actually dead. But Rand thinks she is. In fact, iirc, she's mentioned as being the one to head his 'List of Women Who've Died for Me', something about a name burned in fire or whatnot. I think that seeing her alive again will help him break down said List - if Moiraine's no longer dead, she can't be on it anymore - no more hardening of his soul for the good of the world, etc., which, I think, will allow him to become more human again, coming back from the brink of being entirely too cold/hard and carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Then again, I could be completely out to lunch. Thoughts, comments?
35. AUgradGSUgradstudent
Another one of those sad moments you realize throughout the rest of the series... Thom's letter. I just finished my own reread, and now looking back on it I can't help but think of all the times Mat thinks about Thom constantly rereading the letter. That just kinda makes me sad, because you realize Thom is rereading it IN FRONT OF MAT, just HOPING and WAITING for the day Mat says "hey Thom, what's that letter all about?" Is it any wonder that Thom just shoves it into his hand the moment Mat asks? He's been waiting for that moment ever since Mat first handed him the letter back in LoC (I think).
Josh Tunzie
36. Tunzie
@32. LaraBeaton

Well, we have no idea what's happened with her and Lanfear through there. She could have learnt it in there somehow off the Aelfinn. Yeah, she's had her three questions already back at Rhuidean, but as Mat demonstrates, it's not physically impossible for them to answer more than three. It really depends on what happens in there between Moraine and Lanfear's entry and Lanfear's resurrection, which could be anything at this point.

Or she may have asked as part of her original three questions after getting the answer of 'well, you're going to throw Lanfear into our red doorway'

It's still a crazy theory, but I don't think Randland not having discovered Healing Stilling yet outrules it.
37. normalphil
I can't believe how long it took me to figure out that this right here was Our Heroes dodging the bullet. A cabal of Forsaken have spent the entire book painstakingly arranging to ambush Rand by setting him up to go after Sammael and then chain-summoning whatever it takes to put him down on prepared ground.

Because of Rahvin's carelessness and personal habits, Morgase's willingness to when all else fails run away as fast as she can with whatever she has on her at the time, (and then Mat's luck) that gets derailed by Rand going with an honest visceral emmotional reaction and going after Rahvin. What he was doing before that was lying to himself that he was approaching things dispassionately and logically by focusing on Sammael when instead that was the Forsaken expertly manipulating him into fixating on the guy through countless slings and arrows causing an emotional reaction. Kind of like how he'd convinced himself that putting on a sword and going after Couladin was the most sensible thing to do.
38. kab1
I don't think Lanfear died the second she went through the doorway. I'm pretty sure she mentions something later in the books about the time she was "held by the finns" Can't remember what book, but maybe it was when she was battling Alivia at the cleansing. something about Alivia being as nearly strong as she was before the Aelfin held her? anyone else remember this? So I think she was captive for a time before she dies- maybe not a very long time.

As far as the bracelet goes- I don't know whether or not it went through the doorway or if Mo got it, "clawing it away" sounds to me if she simply struck it to the ground, but perhaps she did get it herself.

Either way the doorway melted- because of the angreal or because they were channeling when they went thru? I always thought it was because of the channeling.

About Mo's return. I always thought she might come back stronger in the OP, the opposite of what happened to Lanfear. Not sure how this would happen- but just a theory. It would add even more Gandalfiness to her!

@30- Wow- there's a thought. If a female did heal her it would explain her being weaker. Maybe some other female channeler (Semirhage?) did know how to heal stilling, but hadn't told anyone. perhaps Semirhage healed her at the DO's request. Not quite sure how the whole transmigration/stilling/healing would work. kinda makes my head hurt!
39. evinfuilt
I thought the ter'angreal was put there for one of two reasons.

1. The damage it does to Lanfear when forcibly removed (possibly causing her to burn out.)
2. The power overload from the tussle causes the doorway to fizzle (since Rand walked through the other while channeling, without melting it, I assume its the mass quantity.)
John Mann
40. jcmnyu
Granted Egwene has good reasons not to tell Rand where the rebels are. Personally I think she should go all in, but I can absolutely see the other side of the arguement here. But, wouldn't some sort of middle ground accomplish what she wants without frustrating the hell out of Rand? Hmmm, off the top of my head, how about arranging a neutral ground meeting in T'A'R with the Aes Sedai and Rand? Sort of a get to know you meeting. There are ways to protect the Rebels and Rand and advance the causes of the Light.

The bracelet angreal has always bothered me, too. If there isn't an explicit explanation when Moiraine is rescued, then I will mark it up as a piece of bad writing. Since RJ has been so good with the details, I bet there will be a reasonable explanation 16 years in the making. But one thing I need to point out is that there is nothing stated to make us believe that Lanfear would have been able to identify it as an angreal by sight. The books beat us over the head with how *angreal all look alike and you can't tell what they do by looking at them. How would Lanfear, while in the middle of a fight with the most powerful channeler ever, be able to look onto a cart, see a bracelet, and wonder if it could be an angreal? It has never made sense.

I know it's one of Rand's "things", but his inability to kill Lanfear is one serious character flaw. Maybe that will be over now that he's down a hand due to another woman who wants him dead.
41. jafco
Wow! is right. Great chapters, thrilling reread and commentary, and the comments are nearly as good. Like someone said, even better to come. Wow!

@17. PeteP

"...Was is Lanfear even mad? She told Min back in tGH to take care of him for her (and since was in bed with a naked Rand, I think Lanfear was including "hook ups"). So Rand slept with Avi one time and now she goes psycho?..."

Kadere has no information about Rand and Avi's relationship and of the one-time only act of passion. He thinks they are passionate lovers (I think Isendre said some things that would implant this idea, plus who knows what other scuttlebutt is going around the docks). That's what he tells Lanfear, which is "alienation of affection - BIG TIME" to the Nutcase Chosen. She goes nuclear on Kadere (so much for bearers of tales, messengers, etc. and then Rand just happens to be RIGHT THERE! KaBoom!!!
Pete Pratt
42. PeteP

Thanks for responding to my question. I know Kadere told her that Avi and Rand were hot and heavy, but Lanfear has never demonstrated any signs of craziness. Power hungry, manipulative, strong-willed, etc., but not insane. For a Forsaken, she seems quite sane (especially in comparison to Ishy).

The only reason she would go psycho is if she really thinks Rand will never work with her. Unless Lanfear thinks that she can not compete with Avi or something, this appears to be a major over-reaction.

Rand's inability to kill Lanfear demonstrates that Rand was still not capable of opposing her. As much as he would like to reject Lanfear, Rand just can't.

I think the only reason Lanfear did the psycho thing was due to Moiraine. She set up the situation so that Lanfear could not calm down and relax. As Moiraine said in the note, Rand would have been Lanfear's slave or dead. Moiraine had to set up the situation exactly. Even minor deviation would have resulted in total disaster.
Julian Augustus
43. Alisonwonderland
When Moiraine died on my first read of this book I was numb with shock. Moiraine was (and still is) my second favourite character after Rand, and her apparent death hit me like a body blow. The chapter had started so well and I was imagining ahead to the upcoming battle with Rahvin. So what, I thought, if Rand had to make a little detour to the docks to see something Moiraine wanted to show them, they will soon be opening a can of whupass on Rahvin. Then, BAM! I didn't have the slightest inkling that such a catastrophe was about to happen. A testament to Jordan's writing, I guess.

The next chapter is, for me, the most touching moment in the series. When Rand read Moiraine's farewell letter, I found the tears flowing down my face even before Sulin came in and Jordan let us know Rand was crying too. Powerful stuff, just powerful. I have read the series several times, and even though I know what is coming and I know Moiraine is not really dead, I still tear up every time. Who says men don't cry?
Ian Horn
44. IanGH
According to Moiraine's dialog in tSR when she describes the door frame in Tear, questions touching on the shadow have dire consequences. I can only imagine what would happen to one of the Forsaken who fall in there.

I agree with those who say that the bracelet angreal was bait for Lanfear.

By the way, I disagree that what Moiraine sees in Rhuidean is truly prophecy. Prophecies tend to be much more sweeping in nature and much more difficult to understand. I wouldn't even consider it like a foretelling or reading the pattern (like Min) since really it was just showing her the consequences of her own actions. She still had to the choose to follow those actions and make sure she followed them properly.

All that makes her that much more awesome.
Lindy Brown
45. lbrown
@ 3. CalaLily
If Lews Therin is "real", why doesn't he speak the Old Tongue? I mean, it'd be even CRAZIER if Rand had a psycho babbling in his head in a language he didn't even understand.

Why don't any of the Forsaken speak the old tongue? They seem to have had no problem picking up the modern tongue and nothing ever been mentioned about them having foreign accents or anything. Oh, well.
Maiane Bakroeva
46. Isilel
I have to say that Rand's inability to kill Lanfear seriously annoys me. I mean, here is an equivalent of a WMD, governed by very fragile and evil psyche and killing hundreds of people right in front of his eyes as casually as crushing mosquitoes as well as has having blood of millions on her hands in the past. The fact that this bundle of destruction is wrapped in a female body should be secondary, surely.

I remember discussions whether Rand could have beaten Lanfear without giving control to LTT even if he went for the kill. Her power level fluctuated wildly throughout the series - in the beginning she was third only after LTT and Ishy, then Rahvin thought that she was weaker than him, etc. But if skill counts for anything at all in OP, she still had a decent chance to beat Rand fair and square.

BTW, I always wondered if male Forsaken have such advantage over female ones, why did they just not kill them all during various meetings? And how can it be that Femsaken didn't have saidin-detecting ter'angreals on them when they got Sealed? Surely they had to fight male channelers on a routine basis during the War of Shadow?

Moraine goes to what, despite the small hope was very likely to be her death dressed in her finest and wearing huge sapphires. Does it have some significance or did she just want to leave a beautiful corpse, figuratively speaking? Certainly a strange outfit to go fight Rahvin in.

But then, I always found female channelers going to fight in a dress to be ridiculous. That's like painting a "please, kill me" bullseye on themselves, since it makes excellent tactical sense to take out artillery first.

I hope that Moraine returns not with higher OP strength, but with ideas how to fight cleverly enough to overcome strength differences to a large degree. Speed, skill and just intelligent use of OP should all come into it, like in fencing.
For instance, why, oh why do female channelers hurl fireballs in battle, when Fire is the weakest power for most of them? Wouldn't razor-thin filaments of Air be much more efficient and far less tiring? Or speed-drying people's eyes using Water? I presume that women can pull moisture out of things, like men can pull out heat.
I am tired of OP brawn and that alone deciding victory. Let's see some David versus Goliath instead.
Captain Hammer
47. Randalator
Woohoo, WoT Chapters where things happen are my favourite WoT chapters.

re: Moiraine & the angreal

Yeah, it seems strange that Moiraine would give Lanfear an advantage over Rand on purpose. But we don't know what she saw in the rings about events when Lanfear didn't have the angreal, so this is pretty much open to debate, wild theorizing and flamewars.

My take on it is that things would have turned out really bad. With the angreal Lanfear is stronger than Rand and she knows it. So she toys with him and neglects everything around her. That gives Moiraine both the time and the opening to kick her through the doorframe for a field goal.

Without that over-confidence Lanfear probably would have taken out everyone without hesitation. Wham! Fry the chicks. Wham! Turn Rand into a dreamy-eyed love-puppy. Enter Moiraine. Wham! Exit Moiraine. Lanfear and Lews Therin go to their rooms to have really disturbing master-slave sex. All kinds of wrong that...
48. Theodor89
Is it just me who thinks that Rands comment, on not wanting to kill Lanfear, is a little stupid? I mean, could he even kill Lanfear if he wanted to? When she was cutting all his weaves and seemed to be on top throughout the whole battle?

And I don't think that he could have killed her with a lightning bolt. Which he thinks he can in the chapter. Lanfear would just have blocked it. And has Rand forgotten that they are surrounded by a dome of air?!? So how would he get the lightning bolt through in the first place??
49. kab1
@39 I didn't remember that Rand was channeling when he went thru the first doorway. thanks.
I guess then the doorway melted possibly because one the forsaken went thru.

I think that Mo had placed the bracelet to lure Lanfear to stand in front the the doorway. How Lanfear knew it was an angreal, I don't know. Perhaps it is one she had actually personal used during AoL and recognized it. slim chance I know. but the pattern and all...

As far as the whole situation, I agree with others that Mo saw may variations of this event in the arches. She just set the whole situation up to give her the best chance of the best possible outcome, the one where she and Lanfear go thru the doorway. I would like to see the whole thing from her PoV. What did she first think when she saw the bracelet angreal, she must have recognized it.
Rich Bennett
50. Neuralnet
agree with the consensus that is annoyed by Rand's lack self preservation in this battle with Lanfear. This always seems were Rand is the most crazy in the series. It is amazing how different these chapters are when you know Mo is going to be lost.

Have a good Vakay Auntie Leigh
51. whatusername
@46 - Isilel
I think the saidin-detectors came during the breaking. (Off the top of my head there's a Chosen POV during the cleansing @ Shadar Logoth remarking on it. -- Either that or Moridin may have made them comment when (IIRC) Avi unravelled the gateway fleeing Ebau Dar) -- Either way - while power attacks would have happened before the breaking - it was after the men *all* went insane that it was really important to be protected from Saidin.
Kurt Lorey
52. Shimrod
I agree with everyone who thinks that the angreal caused Lanfear to become cocky in the knowledge that she had a distinct advantage over Lews Therin/Rand. In fact, considering how the angreal was "carved", I wonder if it din't somehow make the wearer excited about the pain being delivered?

Moiraine. I think that RJ has made her into the exemplar of commitment and valor for the books. Ever since she and Suian committed to their quest 20 years previously, her commitment never faltered. In fact, after her trip to Rhuidean, her commitment seems to have been bolstered.

Moiriane's efforts to actualize what she considered the best option from her visions of Lanfear at the docks represents true valor to me. She had to have known that pain and suffering for herself were the least result of her actions. In fact, from the letter to Thom, she wasn't even sure that she wouldn't die at the docks or with the Finn. That she conciously chose to forge ahead to fulfill her commitment makes her a true hero for me. Too often, adrenalin or anger gets confused as bravery in action, when it is actually those who calmly choose to perform acts "above and beyond the call of duty" I find to be the bravest of all. Even Mat has to take second chair to Moiraine in this sense (for my part).
53. n/a
Just a couple thoughts - my first instinct regarding the angreal, once we learned of Lanfear's return (weaker in power), was always that both would have paid in power, and Lanfear paid in her own, and Moraine used the angreal for her part. NOt sure how much since it makes, but that was how I rationalized it.

On the re-read, somehow the description of the angreal made me think of Graendal, so that may explain Lanfear recognizing it. Or she could have Avi's 'gift' for recognition...
Joseph Blaidd
54. SteelBlaidd
Never underestimate the danger of a Psycho Ex-Girlfriend. I've often wondered if a big part of Lanfear's drive to find access too the "new source of power" was in hopes that it would get LTT back. I also seam to recall a statement by RJ to the effect that she knew that the source of power was the Dark One.Knowing LTT as she did I suspect that While she might forgive a One night stand three months of the same woman in his bed is a relationship and means LTT has chosen another woman over her AGAIN.

Regarding Rand's inability to kill women this quote is vital for understanding.
He could end it. Only, he could not. He was going to die, perhaps the world would die, but he could not make himself kill another woman. Somehow it seemed the richest joke the world had ever seen.

This says that he knows Lanfear needs to die, that he is the only one who can do it, and that he is trying to kill her but he Can't make himself do it. He has not made a conscious decision to be chivalrous but he has a compulsion a lot like The Riddler's need to leave clues or Two-Face's need to flip coins to make a decision
Greg Bloom
55. MuleHeadedLummox
My loony theory on Mo's 'death:'

If Moiraine saw the whole scene in advance, what if the reason the doorway lost its connection was not because of the volume of OP being channeled, but because Mo channeled a specific weave to sever the connection. If she had seen far enough in advance in the rings to foresee her rescue (as per her letter to Thom), that means that she probably saw what happens while in Finland. Perhaps she needed to sever the connection to Randland to prevent Lanfear from simply stepping back through the doorway.
56. Ajbcool
I've been reading these posts, but haven't gone around to talking, except to talk about this 'prophecy' ordeal:

I think she made sure it happened that way because she had some idea of what would happen if if DIDN'T. Remember, the rings at Rhuidean showed her multiple futures. Some ended badly. Many, probably. She probably doesn't remember all of them; after all who could? But she probably knows that that's what needed to happen for the best possible outcome.

Also, the bracelet I feel was there to make sure Lanfear was standing in front of the doorway. What better way than to put a tasty angreal in her path? Moirane, then, overall, knew that it wouldn't be pretty, but that NOT doing those things would lead to disaster somehow.
Michael Thompson
57. TrollocBait
Re: Melindhra

It never clicked before that Melindhra was in on Sammael and companies plan, and it was her job to make sure Rand went Illian. As soon as she discovers that Rand is going to Caemlyn instead, she attempts to assasinate Mat with an Illian knife to redirect Rand to Illian. It had never clicked before as to how deeply she must have known the plan. *Gasp* Someone in Randland actually communicated with someone else!
58. tttttttttt
I thought Leigh would mention Moiraine's immediate reaction right after Mat says that Morgase is dead.

Or is it too obvious for everyone?
Jay Dauro
59. J.Dauro
jcmnyu @40
n/a @53
The bracelet is an angreal. Avi has a gift for recognizing the uses of ter'angreal, which is a difficult thing to do, but not the same thing.

IIRC Elayne recognized an angreal right off when sorting through the cache from the Bowl of the Winds. She had to channel to see if an object was a ter'angreal, and even then could not tell whaat it did without investigation.

So I believe it is quite possible for Lanfear to reconize the angreal on sight.

SteelBlaidd @54

Right. We see how Mat reacts to killing Melindhra, even when she was in the act of trying to kill him. Later in the knife fight with Tuon watching, he cannot defend himself by killing the woman attacking him. Rand cannot kill Lanfear. It's just how he was raised. Me, I would off her in a minute, but he is not built that way.
60. Freelancer
Maybe word would spread this time. He had to keep a short rein on his temper; it ran away too easily of late. It was the drought he could do nothing about, the problems that sprang up like weeds wherever he looked. A few moments more alone with his pipe. Who would rule a nation when he could have easier work, such as carrying water uphill in a sieve?

For the record, these are not the thoughts of a man who is losing his sanity. Rand has changed, certainly. For better and for worse, in various ways. But to chastise yourself for doing something unpleasant (frightening Selande off), something necessary but out of character from your upbringing, this is clear evidence that he is still quite sane.
He found that he was glaring at Asmodean. The man seemed to be studying him, face expressionless. The music resumed again, like water babbling over stones, soothing. So he needed soothing, did he?
This just after he has invited Colavaere to dine with him, intending to get her to stop "flinging" young ladies at him. He is under pressure he has never been prepared for, and is quite tired of the Cairhienen schemes. Yes, he does need soothing, but here's my point. Would the Rand of a year prior have been savvy enough to perceive what Asmodean was doing? This bit isn't evidence of a weakining hold on sanity, but of his growth in political and interpersonal acumen. It's sad for us, because the pure and forthright hero is best, and it hurts to have his original nature corrupted by all of the attacks, both external and internal.

“The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills,” was Moiraine’s reply. She stood in the doorway looking more Aes Sedai than he ever remembered her, ageless, with dark eyes that seemed ready to swallow him, slight and slender yet so regal she could have commanded a roomful of queens if she could not channel a spark. That blue stone on her forehead was catching the light again. “You will do well, Rand.”
Moiraine has just heard the news about Morgase. She asks not for whom the bell tolls, she merely begins to say goodbye. Awesome on ice.

Oh, Leigh. According to Kevin, that's his favorite movie ever.

I know she’s all accepting of her destiny and stuff, but there is such a thing as taking fatalism too far, if you ask me.

Leigh, Moiraine has already written the letters, including the one to Thom explaining how to get her out of the Tower of Ghenjei. So, not quite fatalism. I'm not arguing with your impression that Moiraine did such-and-such because she saw it in advance, that's fingernails on the chalkboard to me too. Just that she already knows she's not going to die of this. I guess that makes it a might bit easier to accept and go on with. Quite likely Lanfear sensed the bracelet, and without it being there she'd not have been near the doorframe, so it was a necessary prop to complete the vision.

Plus, Thomstel@15 has a critical point to consider. We all ask why Cyndane isn't as powerful as Lanfear. If she got instantly stilled by pulling max Power through the bracelet and it suddenly being taken by Moiraine, perhaps having her channeling ability returned via the 'Finn or through her ressurection was something like having it Healed by a same-gender channeler, lowering her ceiling.

For those who believe that Lanfear's final straw was Rand declaring he'd never love her, look again. She kills a DF who adores her, Kadere, because he was the messenger that Rand had slept with Aviendha. And her first words after blowing Kadere's wagon apart was:
“He told me, Lews Therin,” she almost screamed, flinging the pale thing into the air. Something caught it, inflated it for a moment into a bloody, transparent, statue of Hadnan Kadere; his skin, removed whole. The figure collapsed and fell as Lanfear’s voice rose to a screech. “You let another woman touch you! Again!”
This is before he promises her that he'll never be hers. So the impetus of her insanity is clearly his affection for another.
John Mann
61. jcmnyu
@59 J Dauro

I think every time someone has identified an angreal they had to pick it up. If there is an instance where one has been identified by sight, please point it out. And to think she could do so while fighting Rand, sorry, I'm just not buying it.
Daniel Goss
62. Beren
I'm sorry if someone has already said this, but I don't see this exact point anywhere else.

I see Moiraine's decision as being in concert with the way she's controlling Rand, Saidar, and everything else that Women have to control in the series. The perfect example is the Power -- Moiraine controls the events by surrendering to the inevitability of what's coming and working within it to secure the best possible outcome. She fears, however, that Rand would 'fight the pattern' and cause a problem. Men, on the other hand, seem to control things through force -- i.e. the 'constant struggle' of Saidin. You see this every time we're given the difference between how men and women do things with the Power. Take gateways, for example. Women make changes to the Pattern to create a 'similarity' to make the two places have no distance between them, but Rand shudders to even think of changing the Pattern. He has no problem, on the other hand, with the concept of ripping straight through the Pattern to get to where he needs to be. I guess what I'm saying is that it would have been interesting to see what Rand could have done if he had known what was going to happen, as a Man's solution might have been just as workable, if not in the same way. This Surrender vs Struggle dilemma seems to be a theme of the series, and certainly the characters seem to be at their best when working within the 'best' option for their sex.
Ok, done rambling.
Pete Pratt
63. PeteP
Not rambling, Beren. You are just making good points. RJ loved to direct us to his ideas in so many different ways.
64. CalaLily
Re: The Finn Doorway:

Everyone keeps saying they answer questions, but isn't the doorway in Rhuidean the one with those who "give" gifts? The Aelfinn, I think, not the snake-like Eelfin. I mean, if that's the case, Lanfear could have said something along the lines of, "What is this? Let me go!" And *poof*, dead/reincarnated Lanfear. Moiraine's just the smart one who kept her mouth shut and didn't even -think- of things that sounded like demands.

As to those replying to my post @ 3:

@13: Yes, but Rand doesn't understand the Old Tongue even when Mat is saying it out loud. It doesn't make sense that he would understand it from a voice in his head but not in tEotW when Mat was picking battle cries out of his past lives.

@45: Ishy had the benefit of only being partially trapped, so he could walk the world and learn the language as it changed. We don't know for sure how long the others were out before they set up their power bases, or even how long Aginor and Balthamel were out before they finally found the Eye, so they could have spent that time acclimating themselves to the current Age. For all their evilness, they're scary-devious/intelligent. Lews Therin is insane. An insane voice is Rand's head. We know Rand get's bits and pieces of LTT's memories, but I think it's a little much to think that not only has a psycho LTT sat still long enough to get the language, but also gotten it enough to speak it.

If he's even "real".

Arguments have been posted against LTT being an actual past life and more of a split personality that Rand funnels all of his own insanity into, and it's put me back on the fence. I always thought that LTT-voice was the REAL LTT, but now I'm not sure...
Daniel Goss
65. Beren
@60 Freelancer
To your comment about Lanfear's final straw.

Yes, and at the same time, no. Chick definitely lost it when she heard that Rand had been bumping uglies with another woman, but she was still like a child throwing a tantrum -- basically flailing around, hurting people, trying to get Rand to give her what she wanted. It was when she heard from his lips that he would never, ever, ever be with her again that the tantrum ended and she began actively working towards his death. So yes, insane rage -towards the other- at his affection for another. Murderous rage toward Rand himself once she finally accepts that it aint gonna happen.
Maiane Bakroeva
66. Isilel
Freelancer @60:

Just that she already knows she's not going to die of this

This is too strong to describe what Moraine knows, IIRC - she has "small bubble of hope" in her POV when she goes after Lanfear. It seemed to me that she still considered death to be the most likely outcome.

Beren @62:

I disagree about people having most success when they act according to the saidin/saidar scheme or whatever - as has been insightfully noted previously, the ta'veren have to surrender to the Pattern to get a measure of control and to do the most good.
And the SGs certainly have to seize power.

Moraine had such difficulties because she couldn't feel the Pattern like Rand does and tried to best arrange the things according to her lights - which normally would have been quite rational, but in the general upheaval of the Pattern just couldn't work.

Her other major stumbling block was the reputation of AS and resulting suspicion from the Duopotamians. Which was largely undeserved in her case and felt hurtful and unfair - yet quite understandable, too.
I hope that when she returns the guys learn to trust her without obsessing about the strings that they are always afraid of her tying to them. Yet neglecting to notice that any form of association brings strings with it - with anybody, male or female.
And that Moraine just wants the world not to be re-done in DO's image and actually cares about (some of?) them as people, too.

There was no "man's solution" to Lanfear dilemma. Moraine was shown all the outcomes and that was the only one that left Rand free, alive and himself.

Re: Rand and Mat being unable to kill women, no matter how dangerous and destructive they may be - well, it does feel a little offensive to me. And condescending. Of course, my bone is more with RJ than with characters themselves...
67. normalphil
@66 Isilel

Re: Inability to kill women; it makes sense. It's formative head-wiring in the culture they belong to, drilled into them (also beaten into them) that doing real harm to a woman for whatever reason is anathema. That's consistent gender politics and has good precedent. For an idea just how far you can affect peoples behavior in things like this if the culture makes an issue of it, I recall a few years back some Saudi Arabian school girls died in a fire because leaving the building would mean they were unescorted in public while around men- a crippling taboo.
Daniel Goss
68. Beren
@66 Isilel
Right, the SGs seizing power has never led to disaster. BTW, I'm reading the scene in ACoS where they try to seize some power from some windfinders.
All joking aside, Moiraine did the best she possibly could with the information she had. Note, however, that she did not say in her letter that she couldn't tell him about what was going to happen becuase the results would be disastrous, but rather because she "couldn't take the chance." As in, she didn't -know- what would happen. This is what lead me to wonder what would have happened, as it seems that the rings only showed her the results of her choices, not everyone's. Now, seeing that the results of her choices only led to three possibilities, two of them horrific, I can see how she would work to make things come out as well as they could.
And I'd like to see when the boys ever decided to surrender to the Pattern. The only one who ever seemed to say anything about surrendering was Perrin, but note that when he did his big move in TDR he thinks to himself that he can still feel Rand pulling at him, and even has to ride as fast as he can to outpace the Pattern trying to swirl him back in.
69. johntheirishmongol
Another one of the best chapters in the entire series. Good recap and some interesting ideas. I thought I would add a couple of ideas that I missed or didn't see.

As to why Lanfear went over the top, Rand had not actually been with any of the girls, not even Min. There is a whole future part in the series where Min has to make him aware that she actually is a woman which she does by sitting on his lap and teasing him unmercifully. When Lanfear saw Min with him earlier she realized that it was for comfort and healing, not sex. So it was act of sex that put Lanfear over the top, and Rand drove her even further with the Mieran quote.

The way I always pictured Moiraine's problem was that almost anything she did was going to be the wrong move. In Dune, Paul doesn't see a future but millions of different optional futures and the best option is the Golden Path. I felt like Moiraine chose the same type of Golden Path.
j p
70. sps49
Edit: never mind.

Hi, Rahvin!
71. Tenesmus
My Thoughts:

Moiraine needed the bracelet to still Lanfear.

One of Lanfear's wishes was to have the stilling healed.

Lanfear bargained like Mat, and ended up "hanging from a tree" figureatively.

Once dead, she gets new body from DO with her lessened power capacity. (Jordan puts the first "new body" plotline in the Prologue of the very next book--no coincidence)

Moiraine gets a wish and is "allowed" to kill Asmodean.

On my first read through, I instantly thought of her when Asmo gets zapped. I thought she was going to be a shadowy, unseen helper to Rand for the rest of the series, that she got released from the three oaths in -finn land, and was going to be an "One Power Assassin for the Light" charecter type. Oh well. I still think she killed Asmo
Andrew Lovsness
72. drewlovs
Ok, again I apologize if this has been said; remember, I try to hit you with my first observations so that later I can give full credit to thers that inspire me. But I personally think that Lnfear needed to find the bracelet so that when it is ripped from her hands,she can be stilled. But then, if you also believe this, you believe that Moiraine might not be stilled now. But then, if that is the case, then why did Lan have his bond broken...

Look, I didn't say it was the best theory, but it is the only one I can think of that explains the need for the bracelet.

As for Asmo, I can't help but wonder if the reminder puts a hole in a few people's theory about a "hunter" on the look out to kill him. After all, he wasn't eve supposed to go with Rand; sorry, the end of the book is completely spontaneous.
Tess Laird
73. thewindrose
I think Mo put the bracelet in front of the Door Frame -the twisted redstone ter'angreal to get Lanfear in a position where she could take Lanfear out. Lanfear had to jump up onto the wagonbed to pick it up and then use it.
From RJ's Blog:
{56}For Phil Reborn, Lanfear climbed onto the wagon to get the angreal. Rand was occupying her to the extent that she couldn't afford to just use flows of Air to bring it to her. And Lanfear being Lanfear, there was a touch of the dramatic in it. She was always a drama queen.

And CalaLily is correct - this is the Aelfinn or fox doorway - where you get the requests fulfilled not answers, and you have to pay a price - it is always best to set the price first(as Mat found out from getting hanged - one of his requests was to leave but he didn't set the price, and was hanged for it - but Rand saved him from death in the nick of time.)

Also - I think Lanfear recognised the bracelet - who on the Go Light team is going to make a ter'angreal that causes pain?

Since Mo knew about the snake doorway, and what was required and also not what to ask, I think she knew about the bargining part of the fox doorway. Most likely the reason she is still alive to be rescued.

Another comment on the 3 ta'veren. Mat does not like to kill a woman if there is any other way, but he still will if it means his life, or the people who are his responsibilty. Perrin also will 'do anything' to save his wife - so he would also kill a woman if need dictates. Rand is the only one with the psycosis to absolutly not kill a woman. This puts an added danger on Rand - what would he do if one of his 3 women where in mortal danger. We see with Min that he used his own body to block a threat to Min. This may seem callous to some, but the world hangs on a theard linked to him, and he can't kill an evil woman or let fully capable women be on the front line - the enemy can soooo use that weakness.
74. adaptr
You dropped a stitch there Leigh.

As she has gone through the doorframe in Rhuidean, she did not see any sort of "prophecy", she saw possible alternate futures.

And as has been explicated elsewhere, ALL of those visions ended badly EXCEPT for the exact one she caused to happen.

Which is why she wanted to get it exact.

I dunno, you could argue that if Lanfear hadn't had the Angreal, she would not have been so totally focused on Rand and would not have missed Moiraine sneaking up on her.

I apologize for total lack of references, but either you or somebody else already said those things: she saw alternate futures that all went extremely badly - except this one.
75. Freelancer

It has long been speculated that Lan's bond was nullified when the doorframe was destroyed, since the place the 'finn inhabits isn't actually in their world. So the violently instant, massive change in physical distance between Moiraine and Lan, turned the bond to zippo.

Simply channeling when entering or exiting one of those doorframes doesn't cause stilling, since Rand was channeling a sword of fire as he backed out of the one in Tear. But entering a ter'angreal, while maxxing your pull on the Power, and having the angreal you were using to do so removed suddenly, that could easily be seen to burn out a channeler.
John Massey
76. subwoofer
Tried to go away for a weekend of water skiing but a tornado warning brought in a different front. Poopy.

Here's a theory-rummages through the loony theory bin in the basement Mulder and Skully abandoned-what if Moiraine the White finally figured out a way to break a bond? She did want to "pass" her bond to Lan off, but what if she found a way to do the undoable? That would change many dynamics in the WoT world. Stands to reason that in an Age where Stilling is Healed, and that was thought irreversible, maybe MtW stumbled upon something.
Tess Laird
77. thewindrose
Hey sub - sorry to hear your water sking was canceled:(
Aes Sedai do know how to pass the bond, or sever it. It is just in the do not do catagory of things to do. More so when the warder is't given a choice. That is why Myrelle would get into so much trouble if it bacame known

And of course I have little blurb about this from RJ: (From Tor Question of the week)
Week 13 Question: Is the White Tower currently aware of any way to completely dissolve/undo the bond between an Aes Sedai and her Warder so that the link no longer exists and all the positive and negative effects of the bond are removed?

Robert Jordan Answers: Yes, they are. It is called releasing a Warder, and an Aes Sedai who is very old or injured so badly that she knows she is going to die will, if she has the strength, release him so he doesn't suffer from her death. This does require the two of them to be together, and a little more time that laying on the bond. If they are physically apart, or she doesn't have enough time or strength remaining, touch on him.

It has also been used to get rid of a Warder who proved to be unsuitable in some way, such as a man who is discovered to be a thief or who takes reckless chances, a fighter of duels who won't stop without the bond being used to force him. No sister is going to want a Warder who will risk getting himself killed, with all the attendant results to her, for no very good reason.

Although use of the bond in that way (controlling) was not unknown in the past, it came to be regarded as a form of Compulsion to use it so except in the slightest forms. Besides, using the bond to control a Warder all the time is a lot of work. An Aes Sedai wants somebody who can watch her back and keep it safe, not somebody she has to work on all the time. (Which is one of the reasons Aes Sedai stopped bonding men against their will. Not ethical concerns or ethical growth, I'm afraid; it was just not very practical really) Better simply to release the fellow who can't measure up and find another who will.

By the by, releasing a Warder except for cause (the Aes Sedai's imminent death, his own unsuitability) or because he has asked for release is something that JUST IS NOT DONE! It would gain the sister considerable opprobrium from other sisters. A sister certainly would be looked at askance if she released a Warder who was dying, for example, just to avoid the effects on her of his death. When an Aes Sedai bonds a Warder, she is expected to buy in for the full ride. For that matter, releasing him for unsuitability is considered to reflect on the sister's judgement. She should have known better about him from the start.
78. Smalltufto'grass
With all this talk of Moiraine, and her plans, and the way she set things up at the docks...

It strikes me that Asmodean wasnt the only one grasping for a tuft of grass in this book.
79. Freelancer
Thank you, thewindrose

The question is actually answered in the text by Lan and Moiraine themselves, when Moiraine asks Lan if his bond chafes, and ponders when he will ask to be released from it because of his divided loyalty to Nynaeve.

Then later, in the Stone of Tear, it seems even Nynaeve is aware that a bond can be released. Upon learning that Nynaeve and Elayne are going to Tanchico:[quote]Lan trembled - actually trembled! - and clamped his jaw shut angrily. When he spoke he was strangely hesitant. "You will need someone to help you in Tanchico. Someone to keep a Taraboner street thief from slipping a knife into your back for your purse. Tanchico was that sort of city before the war began, and everything I've heard says it is worse now. I could . . . I could protect you, Nynaeve."
Elayne's eyebrows shot up. He could not be suggesting. . . . He just could not be.
Nynaeve gave no sign that he had said anything out of the ordinary. "Your place is with Moiraine."
"Moiraine." Sweat beaded on the Warder's hard face, and he struggled with the words. "I can . . . I must . . . Nynaeve, I . . . I. . . ."
"You will remain with Moiraine," Nynaeve said sharply, "until she releases you from your bond. You will do as I say." (Then shows him the letter from the Amyrlin demanding obedience to it's bearer, and threatens to order him to dance)

Nynaeve at this point has no idea when she will become a full sister, so she isn't thinking in terms of his bond being passed to her, rather simply released by Moiraine.
paul Hend
80. tugthis
I have been wondering about Matt's assasin. He quickly deduces that Sammael is responsible because of the bee signet on the dagger, but the more one thinks about it the more silly that idea becomes. Why would Sammael want it to be known that he is responsible, ie leaving his name tag on his agent.

Is it just as likely that another forsaken used the assassin and made them use the golden bees knife as a red herring? Similarly it seems unnecessary for him to even use an assassin as he seemingly has the ability to send intercontinental lightning bolts with accuracy from his own palace. (As he did during the battle before with the Shaido.)
81. RobMRobM
Hi all - not been posting much lately, as I've been away at a work conference and, re earlier in the week, my posts at work did not generate an authentication screen and so melted into the ether.

Couple of quick thoughts.
- This chapter makes clear that Egwene knows exactly how good Mat has become at battles, re luck, tactics and leadership skill. She was there in Carhien during the principal day of battles and was well acquainted with the follow up. Thus, she at least knew how capable he had become before sending Mat with Nyn, Elayne and Avi off to find the Bowl. Perhaps if Eg had passed that knowledge onto the other SGs, they wouldn't have treated Mat like a potted plant for two books.
- Thanks to all for the tergreal by the doorway discussion. I had always assume Lanfear had it with her -- no idea that Moiraine had put it there and the reasons for it. Thank god for the re-read.

82. RobMRobM
Edit - "angreal" rather than "tergreal".
Michael Catapano
83. hoping
I agree with those who believe Moraine showed great bravery. It's no less than she has been doing since tNS. She persevered despite knowing she could be trapped in Finnland or be killed.

I wonder how she knew enough to micromanage the encounter as she did. When she went thru the rings in Rhuidean, was she just a passive observer of whatever futures were shown to her or did she consiously go back to this event and constantly repeat the scenario till it turned out as well as it could? Much like Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day.'

I have been wondering about Matt's assasin. He quickly deduces that Sammael is responsible because of the bee signet on the dagger, but the more one thinks about it the more silly that idea becomes. Why would Sammael want it to be known that he is responsible, ie leaving his name tag on his agent.
Is it just as likely that another forsaken used the assassin and made them use the golden bees knife as a red herring?

The knife with the bees was like a big neon sign pointing to Ilian. It's difficult to know who put it there. It was part of the Forsaken's plan, as much as we know, to point Rand to Ilian. It looked like Sammael was getting cold feet about it so it is possible that Rahvin planted it.

Similarly it seems unnecessary for him to even use an assassin
It seems to me that arrogance plays a part in the decision to use a surrogate killer. Perhaps the planner felt Mat's death did not warrant his direct attention.
(As he did during the battle before with the Shaido.)
Maybe it was Rahvin. All we know is that it originated from the west.
John Massey
84. subwoofer
@thewindrose- ahh, thank you. I am enlightened. At least in this matter. I am still wondering at the passing of the bond- er not to Ny, but to Myrelle, of the horny ajah. It is kinda like a will. At the time, Moiraine's choice made sense, but now knowing about Lan and Ny, you'd think she'd do a re-write.

Also, was Lan so far gone after MtW's death? I think he is made of sterner stuff. After all, he is in it for the long haul, wearing his hadori, and Ny did plant a bush of flowers or some such, where Lan grew rocks and dust.

To me,it would of made much more sense to have Lan go find Ny right away, then, instead of all this capering around it would of cut to the chase. Lan spent a lot of time beating around the wrong bush.

Just sayin'.

edit- @thewindrose, thanks for the sentiment too. Just means I have to get back to work on the reno. Meh. We adapt, we overcome.
Pete Pratt
85. PeteP
RobM @ 81: Egwene is at Cairhien, but she seems ignorant of Mat's success -- in Cot or WH (I forget which), Eg finally realizes that the Band is really Mat's and that Rand did not just assign him an army.

Now, Eg is the type of person to be so wrapped up in what she is doing that she can not see the forrest for the trees. This is part of her problem with Rand -- Eg still thinks Rand is the boy she dumped when she left Two Rivers, just with a pretty title and the ability to channel. Eg does not even really consider that Rand is anything but full of himself with arrogance, remember.

So, Eg, being so wrapped up with the Wise Ones and being an fake Aes Sedai and being a dreamer, just ignored (or maybe just underestimated) what Mat did, just like she belittled his rescue at the Stone.
Tracy Long
86. BookFairy
Crazy Theory?

When Egwene took her test to become accepted just having an angreal (the ring) in the same room had some unforeseen consequences. Or unforeseen to Egween . Moraine knew what would happen. So maybe that was why she left the angreal near the doorway and maybe that’s why it melted. I do think Lafear was stilled. It stands to reason if you are drawing all the power you can through an angreal, and then it is pulled away from you, that you would be burned out. I’m not sure about Moraine maybe she was burned out maybe not.
Genevieve Williams
87. welltemperedwriter
BookFairy: the item in the room with Egwene was a ter'angreal, and possibly one similar in nature to the testing ter'angreal (depending on what you think is the nature of the experiences in the three rings). So not quite the same, I don't think.

I do agree, though, that suddenly ripping the angreal away from Lanfear would have the effect of stilling her. As to what caused the doorframe ter'angreal to melt: we know that channeling into/near ter'angreal can have unpredictable effects.
Genevieve Williams
88. welltemperedwriter
. I am still wondering at the passing of the bond- er not to Ny, but to Myrelle, of the horny ajah. It is kinda like a will. At the time, Moiraine's choice made sense, but now knowing about Lan and Ny, you'd think she'd do a re-write.

I think that initially, Moiraine's not quite sure that Nynaeve can handle Lan. So to speak. Later, they're nowhere near each other physically, and I seem to recall reading somewhere that that was necessary to pass a bond. It might even be that Moiraine, Myrelle, and Nynaeve all had to be together, and that wasn't going to happen.
Jacy Clark
89. Amalisa
PeteP @17
Moiraine rocks! Her absence has seriously weakened the tWoT for far too many books.

Was is Lanfear even mad? She told Min back in tGH to take care of him for her (and since was in bed with a naked Rand, I think Lanfear was including "hook ups"). So Rand slept with Avi one time and now she goes psycho?

Plus she had spied on his dreams (until Asmodean taught him otherwise), seeing him wanting to have a number of women.

Lanfear was also so cool and in control until here that I always thought this was a little too out of control for her. It is not like Rand told her he did not want her and would never work with her. Rand has been thinking about her all along, with never seriously rejecting permanently. He was still of two minds here.

Oh, she's mad as a hatter. The dangerous kind of "mad" that can masquerade as sane, while walking a very fine line between "There. I've balanced my checkbook." and "There. I've just dismembered my neighbor and her cat. Time for tea." Exacerbated by obsession, no less, and elevating the whole "hell hath no fury" thing to the nth degree.

Was Rand actually sans clothing way back there with Min? I don't have my book with me. And I don't really think she meant "hook ups" when she gave her "instructions" to Min. But even if she did, operating on the above-referenced theory re her state of mind, logic and rationality wouldn't really be a something to expect from the Daughter of the Night. Would it?

But on the subject of Rand's dreams pre-warding, I do have one little problem. Wouldn't Lanfreak know who Aviendha is? Wouldn't she have known during her time as Keille? Doesn't she say something to Rand about him realizing that he didn't love his little farmgirl anymore? Wouldn't that imply that she knew Eggy from Avi?
Joseph Blaidd
90. SteelBlaidd
Almasia @89 Yes but that assumes that at she cares which one is which. At this point I suspect being female within arms length of "her" LTT is a capital offense.

The reason Moraine doesn't arrange to pass Lan Directly to Nyn is because Nyn is for the foreseeable future sill just an ACCEPTED. And would be forced to pass Lan on to someone else.

Oh and Egwene knows that Mat is a pretty good Fighter but so does Aviendha. Neither of them has the knowledge base to realize just how good a General he is(the don't know enough about his battles or generaling).
91. whatusername
@83 - Hoping -
I think there was a forsaken POV where there was a comment along the lines of "if necessary, someone close to him will die, clearly at Sammael's order"
Hurin Smells
92. HurinSmells
It's been mentioned above, but Mo has deliberately steered circumstances to this scenario, as it's the best option of all possible futures she saw in Rhui. Lanfear was always gonna be having a chat with Kadere down at the docks, so who knows what would have happened if the gang was not down there to head her off after she goes bananas?

Also, I'm a fan of the "Lanfear is stilled and killed after Mo knocks the angreal from her hands" theory. It would explain why Cyndane/Lanfear is only able to draw the OP to lesser degree after coming back, because Ny's Healing weave for being severed was specific to male channelers and at the time it was the only one available for a Black sister to pass on to the Shadow.
93. J.Dauro

And Moraine can't be sure whether Lan will pull through losing her. It is stated that very few warders survive the death of their AS. Myrelle has saved 3.

So it makes sense to pass the bond to her, first to save Lan from killing himself, and second because Moraine trusts Myrelle to hold Lan until she can safely pass his bond to Nyn.

In this once again we see how Moraine is trying to make Lan happy, and probably Nyneave also, even though Nyneave gives her nothing but grief.
craig thrift
94. gagecreedlives
"I am still wondering at the passing of the bond- er not to Ny, but to Myrelle, of the horny ajah. It is kinda like a will. At the time, Moiraine's choice made sense, but now knowing about Lan and Ny, you'd think she'd do a re-write"

I agree with SteelBlaidd@90 that its because Nyn is still an accepted. And doesn’t Birgitte tell Elayne a story about an accepted bonding a warder. She had to pass the bond on and when she became aes sedai they made her bond a very disagreeable man. From memory the story gets bastardised into a romantic one. Probably not a result Moraine would want for either of them. Plus realising what Lan would likely be after their bond breaks she might of decided Nynaeve would need a bit more time.

Although Mo is kinda cool. Maybe sending Lan to Myrelle is like her version of throwing Lan a bucks party before he gets hitched.
Andrew Lovsness
95. drewlovs
75. Freelancer

Very nice. I have never seen anyone talk in detail about Lanfear being stilled due to the doorway, she tends to get lumped up with Moiraine.

77. thewindrose
For that matter, releasing him for unsuitability is considered to reflect on the sister's judgement. She should have known better about him from the start.

I found this interesting, since the military sees it the same way in regards to their officers. If an officer has problems at home with their spouse, or if said spouse becomes an embarressment, the next promotion falls through the cracks.

84. subwoofer
To me,it would of made much more sense to have Lan go find Ny right away, then, instead of all this capering around it would of cut to the chase. Lan spent a lot of time beating around the wrong bush.

To me, this was a nod towards Moiraine and doing the right thing. He saw she had orchastrated things, and said as much to Rand; I'm referring to the "Men like you and I...." speech he gave Rand at the end. When Moiraine died, it hit him lik a mack truck; Moiraine's "death" straightened his loyalties out, but in a pig-headed MAN sort of way. He was convinced that he needed to stay as far away from Nynaeve as possible.

As far as Lanfear's inability in "telling the difference" between the 2 SGs; we have no idea if Kadere knew nothing more than Rand did some biblical knowing. So Lanfear had two options: The Aeil slut, or the hometown girl slut. That was how I read it, anyway.

I have to say, the "this is why I hate this character" people should really consider backing off. Every charater in these books, excepting Mat perhaps, thinks the projects they are on are THE projects that will save the world. Egwene was trying to smooth the way for Rand, thinking that he MUST have AS support. Ny and Elayne will soon go looking for a bowl; a blow to the dark lord, what could be more important? Rand is the Dragon Reborn... /muscleflex.

The point is, they all have ego issues and a superior-complex. When I try to think of what I would do in their shoes, I can't really fault the logic each one uses based on the "I am very important!!" suppositions. They ALL have flaws, but as they mature, they more and more become characters that you would be proud to call friends.

Last point, I promise. In regards to why the super dudes do not communicate, especially with Rand. If you have ever done projects that do not have a designated leader, you already know this is human nature. Some might point to reality TV for examples (such as the Apprentice), but my daughter is in a "friendship guild" in World of Warcraft, and when they try to do things as a group, its like herding cats. Everyone does what they want, explaining that THAT role for the event is the most important. Rand was never designated "leader" when this all started, and thus it never occures to anyone else that he should be the intelligence center. After all, he just needs to bleed on some rocks, right? Why give him too much information and screw everything up?

Does that make any sense at all?
craig thrift
96. gagecreedlives

Isendre told Kadere that Avi and Rand were doing the nasty since Rhuidean and that the maidens think he will marry her. So Kadere at least new it was the aiel woman. Not sure how much of a chance he got to pass on that info.

I think maybe Lanfear got angry at the idea of him sleeping with Avi and then Kadere drops the M word and she truly loses her shit and turns Kadere into a kite
sandi vogel
97. sinfulcashew
Like all of what you opined.
Especially the "herding cats".
edit, yes it makes sense to me.

Here are some interesting messages I just noticed in my account:
I don't go to it often, but there was a notice when I logged on.

"My Shoutbox Messages

philbert said (2 days 13 hours ago):

jamesedjones said (1 month 16 hours ago):"

I find the times interesting.
A month ago? 2 days ago?
I'm not sure they are even intended for me?
Philbert or JEJ?
Maiane Bakroeva
98. Isilel
Yes, Lan was in a fine pickle re: Moraine and Nyn. If he had asked to be released in Tear, he'd have had a very guilty conscience and felt that he had betrayed Mo and their common goal. That's why Nyn told him to stay, too. She knew that whatever relationship they could have had at this point would have been completely spoiled by his feeling of guilt.

And it wouldn't even have mattered if Moraine suggested it first. After 20 years of being close friends, confidants and comrades-at-arms and with their all-important quest coming to a cusp, leaving would have been the worst dereliction of duty for Lan.
It is a testimony for the strength of his feelings for Nyn that he even considered it. And if anything happened to Mo after Lan went away, he'd have felt honor-bound to die avenging her, bond or no bond. Hence, Myrelle.

And of course, if Moraine tried releasing Lan shortly before appointment at the docks, he'd have known that something was afoot and interfered. So, she couldn't spare him the pain of severed bond, however much she may have wished it.

This leads me to wonder about this business of forcing sisters to transfer warders as a punishment. I mean, surely it is every bit as bad as forcibly bonding them in the first place? Aren't warders given a say in this? And what if a sister refuses no matter what is done to her? Or if she and the warder are married?

Which really makes me question what causes men to become warders.
I mean, if the AS had been guarding the Blight Border, I could imagine the best warriors standing in line to get bonded, but as the things were in the beginning of the series, I couldn't really see the attraction.

Being psychically tied to somebody so closely and forced to share whatever happened to them, yet having no direct say in their actions or access to their information?
No particular chance at glory, no family, not even a romantic relationship with the AS in most cases to look forward to? I just dunno.
I hope that Egwene's reforms go as far as giving the warders a voice in the Hall, at least.

Had somebody asked RJ about the effects of Ashaman bonds, BTW? Do they also give increased vitality to normal women (an AS wouldn't notice it as they already have it anyway)? Do they also get an irresistible death-wish if their bonder dies? Are they forced to share his insanity? I have to say that they always felt deeply problematic to me, Compulsion aside. Why would an Ashaman want to do this to a loved one?
99. twicemarked
When I look at Moiraine's action, it is not really surprising. She was given a working examples of defeating Lanfear. She followed it to the letter.

It is like professional athletes. Some have weird superstitions. They did something, like wearing a lucky shirt, eating a particular meal, swing their bat a particular way on the on-deck circle, and it seems to lead to success. Then they will follow the routine EXACTLY.

You can say Moiraine is a bit too superstitious. That is hardly enough to fault her.

Also, as far as Lanfear's under-reaction when Min is lying next to Rand at the end of tGH. Rand is unconscious ATM. Based on the text, Lanfear examined Rand, and Healed him in a way to prevent him from dying. She knows Rand and Min can not really do anything despite their appearance. And since she gave the name "Lanfear" to Min, she believe Min would not dear to challenge Lanfear as soon as Min hears the name.
100. birgit
Is it just as likely that another forsaken used the assassin and made them use the golden bees knife as a red herring?

It was Rahvin. He said in tFoH ch. 34 that someone close to Rand will die if necessary to lure Rand to attack Sammael.

Lanfear probably knew that it was an angreal because she looked at the stuff in the wagons in TAR.
mark Proctor
101. mark-p
They could have been spam,
I only noticed a few days ago that 3 weeks back I got a short story in my shout messages about someone needing help moving money to the philipines.
John Massey
102. subwoofer
@SteelBlaidd &Gagecreedlives- thanks- Yes, Ny has spent to much time parading around as a full Sister I had forgotten that she was only Accepted. Which brings up another question, Elayne is Accepted too. She bonded Birgette. Soooooo....? Can't remember the chapter, but Ny gets raked over the coals, and the SAS take her back into the fold. I believe that Elayne gets grilled too. Isn't there a way to detect the Warder Bond that she has with Birgette? Why didn't that go sideways for Elayne?

Not sure about Lan being too far gone and becoming bent on Revenge. He did give that speech to Rand, but then again, he always says grim things. That is part of his charm. Back to the bush of flowers where rocks grew bit. I think he is in love at this point. I wouldda saved him. Look how zippy he was on a horse as soon as he learns that whatsherbucket is in Ebou Dar(one of the good things Eg does) and now he has a cause to focus on. I feel that his duty as the Dai'shan, Diademed Battle Lord of the Malkieri, the last of his kind, would of kept him alive and not foolishly throw his life away.

And I had always wondered what would possess Lan to be bonded to Moiraine in the first place. Did she tell him that her "cause" was to find the Dragon, and that got him going? I think that has to be looked at.

Curiouser and curiouser.
John Massey
103. subwoofer
Oh, she's mad as a hatter. The dangerous kind of "mad" that can masquerade as sane, while walking a very fine line between "There. I've balanced my checkbook." and "There. I've just dismembered my neighbor and her cat. Time for tea."

-Poor kitty. Meow.

Lanfear is the kind of woman, if she is stalking me, I'd change zip codes.

On another note- Leigh, you're taking a break?!!
Leaving us to fend for ourselves???


Um.... nice benevolent Tor people- Pablo et al. Not wanting to break the nice post, was just wanting to go for the record... y'know. Show the world how much loved RJ and WoT was, albeit by random and kooky people. Show Tor that they shouldda lit a fire under some writer's butt a long time ago to get this series done. And then we will take over the world...

edit- Tor's IT wizards must of surely updated the site since I am not calling you Surely.
Philbert de Zwart
104. philbert
Re: Lanfear recognizing an Angreal on sight: the thing looks decidedly odd: Moiraine describes it as something like a human figure bent over backwards with hand bound to feet. Something that looks strange like that is invariably an item of the Power in Randland, so I can't say I am surprised about Lanfear picking it up.

And yes, It seems obvious to me that Moiraine placed it there to get Lanfear in position for the doorway Ter'angreal

In general, I agree with Leigh's gripe about prophecy becoming true because the main character works towards it because it was prophesized, but in this particular case it doesn't hold:
This wasn't a prophecy as such, but a catalog of possible futures Moiraine had to choose from, and she picked the one of which she most liked the color.
105. JWezy
Regarding the assassination attempt on Mat - I recall a conversation between the Forsaken in which Sammael says "If necessary, one near to him will die, obviously at my hand", in order to keep Rand's attention focused on Ilian. I have always thought that this was exactly what was happening when Melhindhra attacked Mat.
Kurt Lorey
106. Shimrod
@102 subwoofer.

Elayne initially kept having a Warder on the QT. Too many people know now for it to be a secret until she is Raised using the Oath Rod. Likely, she will pay the price at some point, even though it was due to extenuating circumstances.

I think New Spring explains why Lan accepted becoming Moiraine's Warder.
107. ralph_nerd
I recommend you pick up a dictionary and check out what 'metaphorical' means! :)

metaphorical does not mean imaginary :)
Marcus W
108. toryx
I just thought I'd mention that this post is not yet listed on the index page. Or at least, it wasn't a good ten minutes ago or so.
Pete Pratt
109. PeteP
Isilel, amazing enough I liked your comments on Lan.

Back to Lanfear -- why did she not just jump his bones sometime during the series before this?

I think she have easily turned Rand into a whipped sex-slave. 21-year old guys unfortunately rarely think with their brains, but rather anothe body part. Lanfear tried to seduce Rand with the idea of power, which is what Lanfeaf likes, but is not how Rand is made. Sex would have been a lot faster and easier and Rand could not resist (he could barely resisted Berelain in the Stone).
James Jones
110. jamesedjones
97 Sinfulcashew

That was me, but it was a looooong time ago. The shout didn't really have anything constructive for the thread, so I was reluctant to just toss it out there (Pablo might have recently complained about handles or something).

Same thing for this thread. I'm not a fan of the end of tFoH. This was the last book I was able to read before I had to start waiting for the next to be published. So, since I'm not sure if my dislike is due to the book itself or just my own experience, I thought I'd pause and get caught up on work.

On the other hand, I never cared for Mo (although I liked her better in this book), and Harry Potter could have killed Asmodean for all I care about that. So my dislike could be related to the material itself. Who knows?
Tess Laird
111. thewindrose
I don't think Elayne will have to worry too much about making Birgette a warder . There probably is a way to 'see' a warder bond, but why would the SAS Aes Sedai be checking for that - especially since she is a woman. If it had been -say- Uno following Elayne around all the time they would have been suspicious and most likely required Elayne to sever the bond and then receive a lot of physical punishment(since that is their thing:).
By the time it becomes clear to many people that Birgette is indeed Elayne's warder - Egwene had already raised her to the Shawl on Amyrlin's prerogative and she was off chasing the Bowl of the Winds.
Also, since Elayne is a sister now, and one of the most powerful, not many can challenge her decision.

On Lan's decision to become Mo's warder - it is covered in tNS. Mo being Mo, she is very persuasive, and convinced Lan that in dropping his one man against the blight and joining her cause, he was still technically avenging Malkier, but not throwing his life away.
Michael Catapano
112. hoping
Time for the next post soon. I can almost hear the loony Asmo theories hatching.
113. Baravius
Good stuff Leigh! My heart was in my throat and my jaw was somewhere below it when they fell into that doorway the first time I read it too.
Vincent Lane
114. Aegnor
I totally agree with Leigh on time travel in books/movies. Its why I don't really like the 3rd Harry Potter movie/book. Time travel is bad. Trivial time travel is much worse. It creates so many inconsistencies and plot holes that are usually just glossed over.
Tess Laird
115. thewindrose
Did you notice that Leigh timed her vacation to coincide with the great ASMO debate that will surely happen?
Leigh Butler
116. leighdb
Hi guys,

Due to various factors, there will be no Re-read post today. Also due to those same various factors, it is yet to be determined whether the post will go up tomorrow or Wednesday. Because those various factors are mean and heartless sonzabitches.

I'll keep you guys updated. In the meantime, Happy Anniversary,!
Michael Catapano
117. hoping
It's too bad because I'm sure we'll solve it. ;)

just read leigh's post
I feel another top ten list coming on
Vincent Lane
118. Aegnor

Does it have anything to do with why the site seems so slow this morning? Or is it just me?
Tess Laird
119. thewindrose

A submerged metaphor is one in which the vehicle is implied, or indicated by one aspect. Example: "my winged thought". Here, the audience must supply the image of the bird.
Or in our case:

What? Look, that’s my best scary metaphorical “whoooooh”, just go with it. Everybody’s a critic, jeez. You’ll act good and scared if you want any of these S’mores!
In this case we must supply the actual sound.
Or flashlight or flashlight under chin because we are gathered around the electronic campfire.

Yikes on Leigh's post. We need another top ten and some good `ol fan fiction:)
John Fitzingo
120. Xandar01
RIP Moraine.

RIP our Monday post.

Well at least I entered myself in the bag of holding contest.
Tess Laird
121. thewindrose
Aegnor - It could be because of the Anniversary - There is tons of traffic going on between blogs and contests. *that's my guess at least*
Philbert de Zwart
122. philbert
Sinfulcashew @97
I sent a direct message to you indeed. Also something unsubstantial that I didn't want to pollute this thread with. I'd say RAFO.
123. Freelancer
Since we will be sans post for another day or two, time to mentally wander the WoT Zone.

I wonder, what percentage of people read a given book more than once? How many of them would read a trilogy more than once? For myself, there are numerous trilogies that I have enjoyed that I've never felt a desire to re-read, while there have been others that I've re-read multiple times, as well as single-volume stories. Certain classics I make a point of reading once each year or so, and I suspect I'm in the minority on that count.

Among these last few chapters in TFoH, there is a vast amount of foreshadowing on Moiraine's part, which we all agree is very poignant considering that we know now she is performing her swan song. But how many of those minor points made an impression during first reading? And this question could be expanded to literally hundreds of small and large plot points throughout the series.

The larger point is this. Jordan knew. He knew that this story would be re-read by a great portion of its audience. Why bother with the sorts of detail that we now pick over and exclaim about, if he had expected that most readers would have left the books behind them after first consumption? Is it hubris, presumptuousness, or something more profound, to compose so very many words believing that they will be revisited so regularly? However one might label it, it's remarkable.

On the time travel issue, I find that most such stories end up with one or more irreconcilable problems, which always breaks the SoD for me. One of my wife's favorite movies, Somewhere in Time, includes the worst of these. The pocket watch.
Jerry Blair
124. Linekat62
Chapter 26 of The Path of Daggers (The Extra Bit) Eliada's henchwomen Seaine & Pevara looking for the Black Ajah uncover the 10 "spies" the from Hall in Salidar that were sent to keep tabs on Eliada and the White Tower
Kristina Blake
126. kab1
bummer on no new post, but I guess we'll have to get used to it as Leigh is going on holiday.

I agree with others that none of the SAS seemed to notice Birgitte was a warder and then once Elayne was raised, it's really a moot point as she is now a sister. I don't think that the others will never find out exactly when she bonded her. She has two warders now as well!

@123 I definitely agree with you that rereading the WOT is great.
I read the series a long time ago, and did a reread this past year, well actually a "relisten" as I have the audiobooks. Has anyone else listened to the audiobooks? I really enjoy them, and it's forced me to start pronouncing the names correctly. Although obviously even the narrators don't pronounce everything exactly correct as sometimes they have different pronouncations from eachother, but I think they have most of the major names correct.

My boyfriend is listening to them for the first time and it's great to see things thru his eyes. He was shocked when Mo died. Although I have to say it's hard for him to listen to the books as his first read. There are just so many different characters and plots to keep straight. Sometimes he asks me about a chapter and I can't even remember it, as RJ has so many details!
He also really likes to look at maps when rereading, so it's a good thing we have some of the books around, as no map with an audiobook! I was thinking this when I read Jayson's post about maps. It's a definite drawback to audiobooks.
127. JohnDoe
What Asmodean theories are you all referencing? I hear about Demandred/Taim ones all the time but not so much ones about Asmodean (unless they're ones about his murder/er).

Another good recap, Leigh. Also loved the link to the Austin Powers quote about the... (ahem). Must find that video now.

About Moiraine knowing her death: Is what she saw in the rings at Rhuidien the absolute future or can it be changed a la the "butterfly effect?" It seems as if she facilitated the events that led to her "death" or did she have to set it up that way because another future would result in Rand dying if she didn't?

My mind's swirling just thinking about it. That's the problem with time traveling...apart from the whole making a time machine conundrum of course.

Have a good one everyone and Happy Anniversary, "And many more..."
John Massey
128. subwoofer
I barked at a few posts for all the freebies, so here I am now, and judging by Leigh's notice SOL. Hmmmmmmmmm...

Gonna work on my floors. :^(...
Hurin Smells
129. HurinSmells
Boo on the no new post! Ah well, I'm a WoT fan, I'm used to waiting! So, new survey time...

Hands up anyone who has actually tried to teach themselves the trick of not sweating when it's hot? C'mon, you know you have!

I think your spot on, RJ must have intended that many people would come back for a re-read. Maybe it was because he knew how long it would take to release each new volume! :) Actually I remember a quote from him saying that he intended all along to write the series so that it could be enjoyed on multiple levels, where on the surface it's just a great epic fantasy, but beneath the surface there are lots of subplots and little details for people willing to invest themselves.
Kerwin Miller
130. tamyrlink
idk if someone said this but heres my two cents:

(about the bracelet angreal)

iirc when rand had channeled near the statue in cairhien he started to pull thru it with out the access key and with out touching the statue itself. just being near it.

so maybe when Lanfear stepped up on the wagon, with all of the saidar she had in her, maybe she felt the pull of it or a harmony or something like that and she picked it up thinking it was random luck that it was sitting there.
131. alreadymadwithangreal
I agree with tamyrlink.
Rand was able to tell that the fat man was an angreal almost as soon as he laid eyes on it. Perhaps some channelers have a Talent for it? Or there maybe some unknown trick to quickly identifying one.
sandi vogel
132. sinfulcashew
122 JEJ
I RAFOed and thanks. It's just that yesterday the times that were entered for the sends were VERY weird. When I just went back they seemed to be on track now.

twitching and scratching will ensue!

The Asmo thing has always puzzled me. When I found out he was killed it was a surprise, and it seemed to not really be talked about too much in the book?
As we can see from this angle, this reader doesn't remember much about this particular incident.
I haven't read this book for awhile. I am recently starting from TEOTW and going to continue through the rest. Even though I just reread the last 4 (I think) a month ago. Can't get enough?
Oh well, I must not have much of a life, but at least it is interesting.
133. w86
re:re-reads (small chuckle to self)

besides this WoT re-read...which i started once i found out about this site...i have only ever reread the Animorphs series, just to remind myself of youthful days gone by i guess.

though i would have to agree with Freelancer that i usually am content with one read, i did want to reread the series b4 KoD came out, just because of all the treads in Randland, but i was deep into college then and was excited just to find enough time to read it at all!

of course its easier when you own the books! once my Drizzt book collection is complete i'm going to have to read those again too.
lanyo lanyo
134. lanyo
Leigh always manages to have a pause just when I catch up. Fortuitous!
First time around, I was SHOCKED Mo died. How could the scoobies make it w/o their fearless leader? I hope she does come back, in any channeling shape. Even as a complete muggle, she'd be pure rad. Maybe with no super-powers she can be the voice of wisdom, which really may be enough to help everyone??
Roger Powell
135. forkroot
Since we're a bit aimless at the moment...

I was on vacation last week and had a chance to pick up one of Brandon Sanderson's books to check out our new co-Creator. I thoroughly enjoyed Elantris. Yes it has some faults, but considering it was his debut work it was very good.

It was clear that Sanderson has the ability to write characters that are compelling and a story that is richly imagined and avoids mining too many fantasy cliches.

Of course for WoT, he had better not be introducing any more characters! Geez, it will take three books just to clean up what RJ left us.

I've got a longer vacation coming in September .. should be enough to tackle the Mistborn books.
Roger Powell
136. forkroot
Now that I think of it... Sanderson should be in the business of killing off characters! It has been noted before that RJ was loathe to kill off WoT characters of any importance. It's time.

Call me bloodthirsty, but... if the three boys and the SGs all make it through TG then the series will pack less emotional punch. We need to grieve over the favorites we lost while the survival of other favorites will seem more satisfying in contrast.

That's my .02 - fire away!
John Massey
137. subwoofer
@Forkroot- interesting- Let me go off on another tangent. Killing off the main characters would make the series seem -"real". How can the world end and everyone remain alive and happily ever after? Look at the impact of Moiraine dying and then we find out she is trapped in the ToG.

To put it in modern or "pop culture" terms- what about the end of the Matrix series? The Matrix Revolutions ended not happily ever after. A reboot. Somebody has to die. Why not Rand. It would make sense. Why does everyone have to live?

On another front, Mat must care about Moiraine. For all his ranting about AS strings and wanting to put distance between himself and anything with the Power and especially the 'Finn- he is going down that dark road again. Wonder what the 'Finn reaction to meeting the gambler again will be?
Joseph Blaidd
138. SteelBlaidd
While everybody is waiting for Leigh to get back I recomend that you go Check out the Re-read that is happening over at The Thirteenth Deposiory.

I especially recommend two recent posts on Understanding Symbolism in WoT and The Underlying Structure of the Shadow Rising

Then there are a number of posts that show how the Two Rivers acts as a small scale model of the whole Westlands. The last two Post for TSR Are Focusing on The Battle of Emonds Field as a allegory of the battle against the Shadow as it is seen throughout the whole of the WoT.

Reading these has really opened my eyes to the depths of the books. For example Water is a constant Symbol of Saidar so anytime baths or rivers or oceans show up look for the symbolism. The Super Girls are an excellent example. Ege, and Ely: all gung ho about learning - no problems. Nyn: Blocked- Gets seasick constantly, block broken by a near drowning. Avi - Does not want to be a Wise One -You can track her comfort with channeling by her comfort level with bathing in actual water. Min- we never see her on a boat or in a bath without Rand.

One of the things that came up about the TSR is that Rand becomes truly orphaned as he discovers that both his blood parents are dead. By the end of TFoH he will have lost all of his Mentors (Tam, Thom, Elayne, Moreane, Lan, and Asmodean) and will have to go forward on his own from here on out.
sandi vogel
139. sinfulcashew
I am shocked at such callousness, but you may have come up with a new list?(see next)

Who would YOU have 'killed' off in this series?

Personally, I think any of the main characters is a no-no.

But having said that, I'm sure 'yall' can come up with some good reasons and they better be real good!

Shame on you death dealers!
What is up with having sadness a big part of this. Just because we as earthlings, have to put up with these kinds of losses doesn't mean our favorite story people have to!
Shame be it ever on your heads!!!!!
sandi vogel
140. sinfulcashew

Using Matrix as an example of what?
I went to your link.....expecting something Matrixy.
I recently (last week) watched the last one, can't remember which it is: Reloaded or reinvented or reincarnated or whatever, I laughed through a whole lotta the movie. Over kill comes to mind.
I do still love the first one: good story line, effects, etc. but somewhere along the way, something got lost.
I really laughed when the huge guns(?) that you sit in to fire and move around came on screen.

I really looked forward to the 2nd and 3rd releases. Bought the movies when they became available, and haven't watched them since, til now.
I was expecting so much more?????
Roger Powell
141. forkroot
Here's my "hit list" ... bearing in mind that I love a lot of these characters, OK?

1) We know Mat survives (because of the planned outrigger series) and there is a strong foreshadowing that Rand does in some fashion. Thus poor Perrin will be history.

2) Lan has always had a tragic aspect to him - I expect to lose him and thus Nynaeve in a sad heroic way.

3) Suian and Gareth Bryne both die when Suian makes a mistake that separates her from Bryne. Min's viewing comes to pass (showing that the "bad" side of Min's conditional viewings occasionally comes true.)

4.) Egwene survives, but sadly (for her) Gawyn doesn't. Galad survives (with Berelain.)

5) Avienda, Rhuarc, Amys and Melaine all make it, but Sorilea, Bael, Gaul/Bain/Chiad and most of the Aiel do not.

6) Cadsuane, Leane, and a bunch of other "light-minded" Aes Sedai are killed. Curiously, Verin is thought by some to be dead, while others think she survived ... thus she exits the series as mysterious a figure as ever.

7) Elayne survives but Birgitte dies and goes back to TAR as a HotH.

8) Lots and lots and lots of secondary characters snuff it. This is the end of Age, right?

9) Of course it goes without saying that Bela survives.

10) All the Forsaken, Shaidar Haran, and other assorted baddies get theirs, of course.

That's my "list" and I'm sticking to it.
Ronald Hobbs
142. dustrider
@forkroot I can highly recommend the Mistborn series. Since they were the only Sanderson books out in the UK currently (ahem) I took the plunge and bought the lot.

Couldn't put them down.

I'm not going to ruin any plot elements, especially the ending. But he's certainly not Jordan in allowing everyone to live. He's fortunately not as bad as G.R.R. Martin though, where you end up getting pissed off as every time you get attached to a character they croak. I'd put him just about in the middle.
Marcus W
143. toryx
HurinSmells @ 129:

Hands up anyone who has actually tried to teach themselves the trick of not sweating when it's hot? C'mon, you know you have!

This is actually something that's always bothered me, cool as it at first appears.

Sweating is necessary for survival. If Aes Sedai are going around in a ridiculous heat shutting down their sweating facilities, they should be suffering heat stroke and getting very ill. Especially when you consider the women in their dresses and the way they bustle about as though nothing has changed. Or, for that matter, the Ashamen in their black coats.

If there's ever any penny ante detail that shatters my ability to suspend disbelief, this is it.

forkroot @ 136:

I don't have a link handy but I do know that sometime after RJ got sick he mentioned that not everyone would survive to the end. Naturally, he didn't name anyone specifically, but he was pretty clear that there would be at least some deaths.

subwoofer @ 137:

Matrix series? There was only one Matrix. Oh sure, I heard talk of a couple of more movies but they were little more than fan fiction and certainly not canon.

dustrider @ 142:

There's nothing bad about GRRM killing off characters. That's one of the things that makes him the best Fantasy author ever. :)
Kristina Blake
144. kab1
I too recommend the mistborn series


Ok, I admit it, I've tried the ignoring the cold the below zero freezing winter. It worked. sorta. for about 10 seconds. Then reality came crashing down, or maybe it was just the windchill.

I always liked this idea in the book, it reminds me of the stories of the monks who survive in the Himalayas.

However, as torynx says, it's not really plausible to not sweat (at least not for long periods of time), unless you plan to go panting about like a dog. But a fun concept. I suggest that the idea is you can cool your body internally so that sweating would not be necessary. but maybe that not correct as Jordan says they "ignore" the heat.

I also liked the fact that it was revealed that it had nothing to do with the OP, but was rather a matter of concentration and control, which again reminded me of the monks.
John Massey
145. subwoofer
Dang... instant gratification... Thought a link to Matrix 101 would be enough. Oki doki-good enough?

@Toryx- Matrix was revolutionary- some felt the next two were let downs... maybe like the end of this series... Not a big fan of the idea of outrigger novels. Let things go with RJ...

As for death- why not Gawyn?

"So Mat, what makes you think you're so special?"
"Oh, nothing... Wanna take a look at this?"
"What is it?"
"I had it made by a bell founder. Your head goes in that end and you listen..."
"Listen for what?"
"Oh... here it may hear some hissing at first."
John Massey
146. subwoofer
Elaida and one of the Forsaken could have a close encounter in a sweat tent...
Marcus W
147. toryx
Subwoofer @ 145:

Yeah, I'm one of those people who deny the other two movies. They are dead to me.

I'm not a fan of the outrigger story idea either. If they're published, I probably won't read them.
Leigh Butler
148. leighdb
Hi guys,

Post should go up tomorrow. Thanks for hanging in there.
Vincent Lane
150. Aegnor
Roger Powell
151. forkroot
I'm not a fan of the outrigger story idea either. If they're published, I probably won't read them.
Once BS is done with the three books (assuming he does a good job with them), I'll lobby for creation of the prequel with Tam's story that RJ apparently contemplated.

Tam is an enigma at the moment. What caused a Two Rivers boy/man to leave the TR, pursue a military career, become a blademaster(!), and then quietly settle back in as a sheepherder? (Oh yeah ... there was something about picking up an orphan on Dragonmount in there too!)
sandi vogel
153. sinfulcashew
122: Sorry philbert: I missed thanking you also!
I RAFOed and thanks.

Egads! Did I mix things up?
110: JEJ instead of 122 and.....oh heck!

Thanks to both of you and I will try to keep things straight.

I will try to figure out how to 'shout' next time.
John Fitzingo
154. Xandar01
toryx@147 & forkroot@151

I kinda like the idea of some additional stories in the WOT setting. I don't think I would want Brandon to do it though for two reasons. One he has some other series of his own I would like to see expand, Mistborn especially. Two, let some other authors give it a go.

However, I would have to demand a few things before I would accept additional stories. Harriet would have to be the editor. I would also want the same team that is used to make sure the story has good continuity.

The only out rigger i've heard of at the moment is Matt going back Seanchan. I do like forkroot's idea of Tam's story. Another one that might be interesting is about Bayle Domon and his sailing adventures. Maybe we could get some insights into some of those strange sights that he saw. The final chapters could be when he first meets the boys and Tom.

What other stories would you like to see?
John Massey
155. subwoofer
You have to ask? Lan and his butt kickin'. Natch!
156. Cristine
I don't care about the outrigger books. But Id love to read the prequel about Tam. I hope Brandon lets Rand and Tam meet up again. I can't wait to see their reaction.
Vincent Lane
157. Aegnor
A story towards the end of the Breaking of the World would be interesting. Fighting to re-establish civilization, It could be interesting.
John Massey
158. subwoofer
I'm an old Dragon Lance fan... the cataclysm was great fun. Liked Knight of the Black Rose. One guy could of stopped everything from going to hell in a hand cart. Would be interesting to see how the Forsaken fell from grace. AOL stuff...
battle ajah
159. battleajah
Stories (or movies) that I want to see (in lieu of the outrigger novels which may or may never be developed):

Aiel Wasted (An autobiography of how Tigraine became Shaiel)

The Queen of the Thousand Lakes: Her Royal Highness Nynaeve ti al'Meara Mandragoran, Puller of Braids and Smoother of Skirts

*Sniff*: The Curious Lives of Randland Women

Mr. & Mrs. Smith in the Fourth Age (political thriller starring Brad Pitt as Thom Merrilin and Angelina Jolie as Moiraine Damodred)

Married...with Children (TV remake based on Gareth bloody Bryne as Al Bundy and Siuan Sanche as Peggy Wanker Bundy)
craig thrift
160. gagecreedlives
You mean Gareth actually scored 4 touchdowns in one game too
Hugh Arai
162. HArai

This says that he knows Lanfear needs to die, that he is the only one who can do it, and that he is trying to kill her but he Can't make himself do it. He has not made a conscious decision to be chivalrous but he has a compulsion a lot like The Riddler's need to leave clues or Two-Face's need to flip coins to make a decision

I think Rand subconsciously fixed on this as the one thing he wasn't going to do, the one thing that was supposed to prove he's still Rand even if he had to do his duty as the Dragon Reborn. Rand knows he brings disaster for a lot of innocent people and he's clutching for something he can point to and say "at least I don't do that". Plus he wants to separate himself from LTT and what's the one thing LTT would take back above all? Killing a woman.

The confrontation with Lanfear and Moiraine's apparent sacrifice is what pushes him over I think. Right after this he agrees to take the Maidens on the raid against Rahvin, and it's about this point where people stop telling him he needs to be harder and start wondering if he isn't becoming too harsh.
He lets go of "innocent Rand", eventually coming to the point where his friends wonder how much Rand is left.
163. Balance
@154-- Outrigger that would be great if done well: Stories from the Shadow, do an Ishy POV with sides, describing the events from AOL to TeotW.
164. MasterAlThor
battleajah @159

you forgot one

My Three Wives....the tale of Min, Avi and Elayne

or could go as

Like saidin through the hourglass these are
The Days of My Wives

I just thought of another

All My Children...with Galad co starring Berlaine
Kerwin Miller
165. tamyrlink
forkroot @ 141

that list...lmao!!

especially the aiel part! but why sorilea? and why cadsuane and leane?

i can so see suian and gareth going down tho but not cadsuane.

leane never really ranked all that high for me, except as an extension of suian.
Roger Powell
166. forkroot
How about "Survivor", starring the entire population of Randland? Nothing says "you are voted off" quite like being balefired.
Kerwin Miller
167. tamyrlink
all this talk of death has me thinking.....

there's 8 forsaken left....

how many do you think will make it to the last battle, and of course theyre gonna bite the bullet, but who's gonna do the feeding do u think?
craig thrift
168. gagecreedlives
I dont know if all the Chosen will necessarily bite the bullet. I wouldnt be surprised if one or two of them upon finding out Rand has sealed the Great Lord away do a runner.

And then you have the next big hit in Randland TV. Randlands Most Wanted.
Roger Powell
169. forkroot
If there's any justice, Nynaeve will take out Moghedien.

I'm sure Moridin will have to battle Rand.

If I were Cadsuane, I'd execute Semirhage right now.

Moraine comes back and finishes the job on Cyndane. (That balefire weave is sure handy.)

In an interesting plot twist, Elaida kills Messana (while saving Egwene) but loses her life in the process. She joins Ingtar in the "it's not how you start, it's how you finish" club.

Jahar Narishma draws from Callandor as part of the circle that vaporizes Halima.

Graendal is killed by Shaidar Haran when she attempts to desert at the end of the Last Battle.

In another surprising plot twist, Demandred is killed by Mazrim Taim, who wanted to put the whole Taim/Demandred theory to bed once and for all.
171. Freelancer

As I have said to anyone who'd ask, including the author himself at a local signing, Elantris is the overachieving adolescent to Mistborn's fully-blossomed adult. I've rarely come across a story that could properly be called a single-volume epic, but Elantris surely is. The geographical scale and size of the main cast is reasonably small, but the detail is immense, and the conceptual scope is excellent. That and the entirely unique and intriguing magic system make for a great story.

Mistborn, on the other hand, is not much smaller in scope than WoT, both geographically and in time scale. A handful of extremely well-crafted magic systems, independent of each other yet intertwined in nature. And he's not afraid to kill off characters that you'll miss. A wonderful, wonderful story.

Warbreaker also has a great magic system, but I have to say I was disappointed in the book. Not for the story itself, but in whoever the final proofreader was. Typos, missed words, repeated words, split sentences that were not caught in final editing abounded.
Tess Laird
172. thewindrose
Funny - forkroot-
In another surprising plot twist, Demandred is killed by Mazrim Taim, who wanted to put the whole Taim/Demandred theory to bed once and for all.

Red Ajah 911 - Elaida as a female LT Dangle

CSI - Ebou Dar

TV(tar valon)PD Blue

Desperate Housewives (staring Elayne, Aviendha, and Min - special guest star Lanfear/Cyndane)
Julian Augustus
173. Alisonwonderland
Jordan had two prequel novels planned, and I'll love for Sanderson to write them if RJ left notes for the stories. One prequel novel is about Tam's story as described above. The other is about how Lan and Moiraine just happened to arrive at Emond's field in the nick of time. Mouth-watering.
Pete Pratt
174. PeteP
Freelancer @ 171

I found Elantris to be BS's best work. Mistborn really could have been reduced in size and still have the same story be told. Warbreaker ..... I thought it was pretty average.

Elantris was BS's master's thesis, so it had a lot of reworking and restructuring. Defintely inventive and well-done.
175. Valan
I have to disagree - Warbreaker was by far my favorite. That's probably mostly due to Lightsong being awesome. And Vasher. And the plot. And etc.

Just don't know what ya'll are talkin about there...

Have to agree with forkroot that Perrin's probably going to be history. Unless the taveren trinity has to stay intact for the entire duration of the Last Battle.

Other chracters to kill: Elayne. Dylin really would make a good Queen :)

Moraine: Mat, Thom, and Farstrider go on a big quest to find a corpse. Fun!
(I think I am one of the few that has not missed her presence too much)

Morgase: Just to screw us out of the reunion.

Tallanvor: Just because.

Alliandre: For swearing fealty to a blacksmith, and therefore a 16 yr old girl.

The High Lords of Tear except Darlin: for being douches.

Egwene: Because Gawyn's gonna snap her neck. I'm calling it!
Wayne Wilson
176. stylusmobilus
There could be a couple of CSI episodes. CSI- Tar Valon springs to mind.

Deal or No Deal- Mat Cauthon cracks the big case and his wife gets the $10000 megaguess.

Mandragoran- Texas Ranger.

Loial's Backyard. Gardening and yard tips, including wood and seed singing.

Avi The Draghkar Slayer.
Ian Horn
177. IanGH
Surely there must be plans for an outrigger novel telling Bela's story...
Lord Haart
178. LordHaart
IRT Moiraine and the Angreal:

Quite simple, really. There's 2 reasons this was required:

1) If Rand had had a chance, then LTT would have taken over. As it was, he could just "give up". Even with the angreal, no one would have stood up to Lanfear in a rage.

2) Moiraine grabs the angreal as they fly through the doorway. I have no idea what effect having an angreal taken away from you means when you're channeling at max capacity, but this may have been what stilled Lanfear (who was later partially Healed a la Siuan/Leane and renamed to Cyndane). The angreal may also have facilitated Moraine's survival in Ghenjei, and gives her a bit more of a punch when she finally gets rescued (otherwise it would probably have gone to the Tower, where it's useless).

Realised the above theories were mentioned, though there's a counter-argument to the stilling one, which is Asmodean. Or perhaps, it makes it stronger.

Basically, Asmodean fought with Rand over the Choedan Kal, but lost while channeling all that power - why wasn't he stilled? The thought occurs that maybe he almost WAS, and that the "shield" placed on him by Lanfear was just her way of explaining what was done to him. VERY convenient for her, and extremely well intimated by Jordan, dropping that line about how Asmodean's shield was still just as strong, and maybe Lanfear had lied.

The corollary to this is that if the CK could reduce Asmodean to almost stilled, a mere angreal might have a similar but lesser effect in Lanfear/Cyndane. Though none of the other Forsaken seem to think about this possibility, so it's unlike the phenomenon is widely known about if it exists.
Kerwin Miller
179. tamyrlink
i always had hoped that semirhage would get captured by nynaeve and all her knowledge of Healing would get tortured out of her....but Semi is no Moggy....and even with Cadsuane there....i dont see it happening lol.
180. RobMRobM
How bout

Welcome Back Moiraine - no doubt John Sebastian can do another kick butt theme.

Let's Make a Deal, hosted by the finns and with Mat as first contestant.

Galad and the Half Blood Prince (starring Rand al'Thor).


p.s. For some reason, the security code screen hasn't come up on my posts recently. Arrgh.
Tess Laird
181. thewindrose
Are you a good writer? You could write the early Tam story. About how he leaves the Two Rivers and runs into a beautiful young Lady who is quite sassy. How a war separated them. Will they ever meet again?

Another show - 24 a.k.a. CoT
Marcus W
182. toryx
forkroot @ 151 & Xandar01 @ 154:

I'm not ordinarily a supporter of secondary writers delving into a writer's world. The only reason I'm reading the remaining WoT is because Harriet invited BS and RJ took the time to tell people how the series was going to end.

So Brandon reallyhas to impress the heck out of me in order for me to read any other books set in the WoT world. I personally doubt it's possible to do that but I'm willing to give him a shot.

I agree that Tam's a big enigma but I don't need to have all the questions answered. Part of what makes a great story, imho, is mystery and I don't want to have every mystery solved, every plot tied up.

For that reason, I've never actually read the full novel of New Spring. I've only read the novella version. I'm not sure if I'm going to do the re-read of NS when it comes or not.

If RJ had lived (curse the Dark One for winning that battle) the only story I would have wanted to see set in the same world is something about Shara. Shara intrigues me far more than Tam's past or the Seanchan.
craig thrift
183. gagecreedlives
I agree with toryx that the mystery can certainly add to the story. I think there is a habit when doing prequels to try and justify and/or tie everything in. Example of this would be Michael Myers in Halloween or Darth Vader built C3PO.

But I'm not totally against another author with Harriets approval having a crack at telling a story set in Randland. Similar to what people have done with Raymond E Feist's work. Like Murder in Lamut or Honoured Enemy.

I would be curious enough to read something about a bit character, say Hurin (even if he does smell)and his POV during tGH and his journey back to the borderlands or maybe something about the ogier deathwatch guards.
Rich Gold
184. richg25
71. Tenesmus - That's the first time I've ever heard anyone suggest that Moiraine killed Asmo - perhaps it was suggested before - I don't know - but I love it!

As for re-reads - I've re-read books before - I don't know how many times I've read LOTR - maybe 6 or 7.

Audio - I read tEotW first, and then I listened to the rest of the books on audio because I had a very long commute at the time - it was great having them for company. But I'm doing a re-read now - books - and it's great getting to spend more time, knowing what to look for, be able to flip back, etc. Both forms have their own merits. I loved the performances by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer in the audio books.
185. Tenesmus
184. richg25

I have always thought:

1.Moiraine killed Asmodean
2.Messanna is posing as Laras (the WT cook)
186. Tenesmus
184. richg25

I have always thought that:

1. Moiraine killed Asmodean
2. Messanna is posing as Laras (the WT Cook)
187. Tabernerus
My take on why Moiraine planted the angreal where Lanfear could find it (and acted as the hand of prophecy in general) is based on a few things we find out later:

Moiraine's vision(s) in Rhuidean told her that she had to do certain things because no matter what, Rand and Lanfear were going to be at the docks that morning, no matter what actually brought them there. If she didn't do what she ended up doing, the results were bad, up to and including Lew Therin winning Rand's mind-war, and turning to the Shadow. That would, presumably, be bad.

Also, at this point she has seen (we think) that she will survive the battle, though she'll be out of circulation for a while. The last thing she does as she tumbles through the door frame is to claw the bracelet off of Lanfear's wrist. Sure, that's probably because with it, Lanfear would crush Moiraine, but maybe it's also because with it, she's in a MUCH better position to bargain with the 'finn (Which 'finn are these, again?) for her escape, after she defeats Lanfear in the 'finn's world (something that will be much easier for her to accomplish, by the way, with an angreal). This would explain, incidentally, why Lanfear is apparently dead enough to require a Dark One sponsored rebirth in a new body, and why Moiraine is (supposedly) going to be rescued from the 'finn any freakin' day now. This leaves only the question of what she requested from the 'finn that was so important that she didn't leave one request remaining to use as an escape hatch, a la Mat's mistake. Maybe one is to be let out long enough to kill Asmodean, since her letter indicates that she doesn't think Rand fully understands that Asmodean is and will always be a follower of the Shadow, his current predicament notwithstanding? Or if she doesn't fully remember or understand the system of agreements and payments for the 'finn's favors (like Mat didn't), maybe that is why she ends up trapped. Of course, if she knows she'll end up getting rescued by Thom and the Gang, maybe she realizes she doesn't have to play the 'finn's game, and can leverage their favors fully.

Either way, I suspect that angreal makes another appearance, on Moiraine's wrist, and ends up letting her so something important and cool in the future - which better happen soon!
188. RobMRobM
wind@181. My response didn't post -- argh! Short version: yes I can write and will do it if BS doesn't; won't be any romance (as said heir will no doubt be below the age of consent at that point) but I anticipate at minimum a fascination with his unusal accent and an unrequited crush.

Tess Laird
189. thewindrose
RobM -Sounds good;)

On re-reads. I have read tLoTR several times. Of course several time for tWoT as well. Some classics that I read when I was young, I have read again with an adults perspective, and *wow* did they change.
RJ commented that his favorite fantasy books were tLoTR. He also said he wanted to pay homage to them but turn some of the tropes around. With such complex world building that he has done, I find it a pleasure to revisit tWoT every now and then. This time is perhaps the best though, as I have never 'read' the books with a whole bunch of other people and have back and forth discussion of the series. How cool is that?:)
Sam Mickel
190. Samadai
A note about Moraine is that not only did she knock the angreal out of Lanfears hand, she also had one of her own that no doubt she was probably using as well. So she has 2 angreal to bargain with the Finn.
191. MasterAlThor
Toryx well said.

I also agree with Wind.

This is probable the greatest time to be rereading the series. I have a lot of friends who are into WoT, but we hardly ever have deicussions like these.

So, thanks everyone for your input and views. I truly enjoy reading them. Gives me a lot to think about.
192. MasterAlThor
Now can we get on with the next post Tor??? *twitching*
Kristina Blake
193. kab1
MasterAlThor- I couldn't agree more with both posts!

thanks to everyone for great insights in the books.
Bret Scott
194. BlacksmithButNotEmo
My thanks also for everyone's insights and comments in the reread (especially yours, Leigh!). I've been doing my own reread everytime a new book came out since TFoH, and there are nuances and gems offered that I've missed despite the number of times I've been through the books.

Ditto also on the twiching. Perhaps one of the industrious graphical types could chart the frequency of the post being offered versus time of day...seems like the 4:00-5:00pm EST/US window gets hit more than any other, by a long shot. Leading, of course, to those of us in the eastern US pounding the site all day long, hoping and looking for the fix. I remember gasping the one time they ran the update at noon...

195. MasterAlThor
Ok, Tor, please give us our fix. As I see it, you owe us two. Now would the person incharge of this please get to it.

You really don't want to have us come over there would you???
Sydo Zandstra
196. Fiddler
On the Tam story.

I recall RJ giving a lecture, right before of a signing session, where he said he originally wanted to tell the story of a farmboy who goes to war and then gets back to his village, feeling how everything has changed for him. That would be Tam's story.

But while writing it he switched to Rand's story instead...
197. AMMBD
"I have to say that Rand's inability to kill Lanfear seriously annoys me. I mean, here is an equivalent of a WMD, governed by very fragile and evil psyche and killing hundreds of people right in front of his eyes as casually as crushing mosquitoes as well as has having blood of millions on her hands in the past. The fact that this bundle of destruction is wrapped in a female body should be secondary, surely. "

yes. that perfectly puts Rand's sheer cowardly, self-pitying, selfishness.

it's long since been utterly clear the woman is too crazy, evil, persistent!, etc. to be allowed continued existence.

AND YET there he writhes, a hair from irrevocable insanity, a hair from death, a hair from failing to save the WORLD - knowing & refusing, consequences be damned, to do what needs to be done.

in essence making it just as crystal clear, he will not - WILL NOT - as opposed to CAN NOT, do what's necessary.

sorry, he's in the position he's in. really am. however, it's far past time for him to sack up & take care of the Lanfear business. AND to stop with the "eeek! it's a, a, gasp! woman! committing evil! must immediately cave, collapse, FAIL."

as a woman i find Rand's insistence on such stupidity so far beyond offensive the Hubble's needed to see whatever word's out there that fits.

You have the crappiest job ever - yes you do & I really feel bad for you. However, just because you have the crappiest job ever, does not mean you get the luxury of refusing to kill a woman, or man for that matter, if it's going to cost the WORLD.
Clinton Henry
198. Jaidee

They fall through the red door, but these guys dont answer questions, they grant wishes (for a price). What if Moiraine uses up her 3 wishes to improve the light/Rand's chances of winning using the bracelet as payment but by doing so have no wish left to ask for her freedom. While Lanfear in typical style likely would be screaming demands at the 'door guys'
in anger without any thought, and they would just do what they did to Mat and say "DONE!" DONE! DONE! she wouldn't have anything to pay them with and they would set the price(like they did with Mat) and the price was her ability to channel or some of it anyway. At which point she would start threatening them and likely mention the dark one which got her killed.
199. yasiru89
I've not read all the comments, but on Leigh's seeming problem with prophecy- it's a matter of misinterpretation. What Moiraine saw was not at all akin to prophecy. The Aiel ter'angreal presents visions of possible futures (I assume it shows the subject a series of top probable futures, perhaps based on information right out of the subject's brain- at least, that's what I'd think to do to make a machine like that... if I lived in the Age of Legends... dammit). Anyway, the point being that no, it's not prophecy at play here, and that maybe (if the ter'angreal bases these possible futures on the subject's view on things) Moiraine being who she is caused these events to turn out as they did (self-fulfilling prophecies aren't really prophecies when you think about it).

As for the angreal, well, there's several things to consider here- for one, Rand would probably not have been able to incapacitate Lanfear even if she didn't have all that back-up power (she's more experienced than he, as evidenced by the Shadowspawn attack in the Stone of Tear back in tSR, and he doesn't want to listen to Lews Therin for fear of losing himself). For another, Moiraine opening herself to saidar and grabbing at the angreal may have been just the distraction that would work. And then there's the possibility that Moiraine remembered more of what the vision led on to and she believed the only way she could be useful later on, given her leached power, would be to make a play for the angreal (maybe she would have been taken out of play long before had she just used it to begin with). Enough points for speculation to take away from any supposition that the scene was poor at least.

Also, I liked Lanfear. Cyndane not so much since she's pretty one-dimensional on comeback, but still- if ambition were such a crime, where's Egwene's noose already? And we all know Elayne has witlessly already aided the Shadow's cause at the very least as much as Moghedien ever has.
200. srEDIT
I don't know why, but . . . although I was initially stunned and shaken that Moraine was out of the picture in this way . . . somehow I "knew" she'd come back later.

It's just that how *much* later has been agonizing, almost to the point of "who cares anymore." If it weren't for the prediction given to Mat by the Aelfinn, I would have given up on her long ago.
William McDaniel
201. willmcd
What? Nobody wanted to talk about how Aviendha spanked Colavaere off-screen? It's quite ridiculous how often that motif pops up in this series, I'm realizing.

One note from Egwene's POV in Ch51. In past discussions, people have gotten very caught up in trying to figure out which historical figures the main characters might be reincarnated versions of. Is Mat Aemon al Carr al Thorin reborn, etc. I have to admit, I was always in the camp of "Not everyone is someone reborn!"

Well, apparently my belief is not common in Randland; Egwene thinks quite plainly: "Everyone is reborn as the Wheel turns". But was that her thought, or Latra Posae Decume's? :-)
202. DougL
Moiraine's actions here are mystifying if you think she only saw two or three variations of the future when she went through the rings in Rhuiden. If she saw, say, dozens or more permeatations and saw, for example, what happened if she did not follow those exact steps, like even just leave the angreal out, then it explains her actions perfectly, even if a lot of it is subconscious to her.

There is also the fact that Moiraine, more than probably any other character, believes in and serves the Pattern.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment