Wed
Aug 12 2009 11:12am

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 3

All right, youse mugs. Sitcherselfs down, ’cause this here’s the Wheel of Time Re-read, and you’d better not forget it.

We’re covering Chapters 1-2 of Lord of Chaos today, see? And I don’t wanna hear no backtalk about it, see?

What, you’ve forgotten the plan already? Why I oughta… There’s the old program, ya dumb mook, catch up! And don’t come cryin’ to me if you learn stuff you shoulda oughta known before comin’ in here, see? The noive.

Oh, and I gots a note here from a dame what calls herself Virginia, who says she’s got herself some kinda shell she’s throwing, with me on it. I dunno about that, but I do say anything she’s got on tape will never hold up in court, see? You’ll never catch me, coppers!

...Yeah, I have no idea. Let’s just move on, shall we?

Chapter 1: Lion on the Hill

What Happens
Wheel/Time/Age/legend/myth/wind. The wind blows through Cairhien, ravaged by both war and drought, to Andor and Caemlyn, where Rand’s two banners fly atop the Palace. In the courtyard, Rand spars with five men, the best fighters he’s found since Lan left. Rand swiftly takes out three of the five, but as he defeats the fourth, the fifth manages to crack him on the head with his practice blade.

Shaking his head in an effort to clear his eyes, he used the practice sword to push himself to his feet. Panting hard, the shaven-headed man watched him cautiously.

“Pay him,” Rand said, and wariness left the shaven-headed man’s face. Needless wariness. As if Rand had not promised an extra day’s coin to any man who managed to strike him. Triple to any who defeated him one-to-one. It was a way to make sure nobody held back to flatter the Dragon Reborn.

Sulin tosses the men gold coins, grimacing over their swords, and a ripple of applause comes from the courtiers watching. The fighters leave, and the Andoran nobles (including Arymilla Marne, Elenia and Jarid Sarand, Naean Arawn, and the addled Nasin Caeren) all gush over his prowess with the sword. Rand despises them all as bootlicking toadies of Gaebril’s (though he doesn’t believe any of them knew who Gaebril really was, judging by their reactions when he told them), but thinks to himself that he will use them anyway. He also thinks they are not nearly as skilled at the Game of Houses as either the Cairhienin or Tairens are. Nasin declares that Rand is another Jearom, and Davram Bashere, who’s lounging in a chair, cuts them all off to ask Rand why. Rand asks what he means, and Bashere returns, why practice against five? It’s foolish and will get him killed eventually, even with practice swords. Rand answers tightly that Jearom once defeated ten; Bashere laughs and asks if he thinks he’ll really live long enough to match the greatest swordsman in history. Without warning he flings a dagger straight at Rand; Rand seizes saidin and stops the dagger with Air. The Andoran lords and the Maidens all move to skewer Bashere for attacking him, but Rand shouts for them to stop, and plucks the dagger out of the air.

Turning the dagger in his hands, he walked slowly to Bashere. “Had I been an eyeblink slower,” he said softly, “I’d be dead. I could kill you where you sit and no law in Andor or anywhere else would say me wrong.” He was ready to do it, he realized. Cold rage had replaced saidin. A few weeks’ acquaintance did not cover this.

The Saldaean’s tilted eyes were as calm as if he lolled in his own home. “My wife would not like that. Nor you, for that matter. Deira would probably take command and set out hunting Taim again. She doesn’t approve of my agreement to follow you.”

Rand is momentarily distracted with contemplating the strange Saldaean tradition of the lords taking their wives with them on campaign, and Bashere’s composure dulls his anger. He sighs and asks why, and Bashere replies that Rand is who he is, and can do what he did with the dagger every time; in addition, any assassin would have to get through all Rand’s Aiel and nine thousand Saldaeans. He says if Rand wants to practice the sword, fine, but don’t get himself killed doing it. The Andorans are plainly disappointed that Rand is not turning on Bashere after all, and Rand thinks he can’t wait to get rid of them.

The only way to live is to die. The thought came into his head suddenly. He had been told that once, in such a way he had to believe it, but the thought was not his. I must die. I deserve only death. He turned away from Bashere clutching at his head.

Bashere jumps up and asks if he’s all right, and Rand says that he’s fine. To himself, he thinks that there is no pain, just the shock of having another man’s thoughts in his head. The Andorans are watching him fearfully, no doubt wondering if he was going insane right in front of them, and Rand repeats that he is fine.

It had come on him slowly, but the more Rand learned of the One Power, the stronger he became with saidin, the stronger Lews Therin’s voice became, and the harder Rand had to fight to keep a dead man’s thoughts from taking him over. That was one reason why he liked sword practice; the absence of thought was a barrier to keep him himself.

Bashere wishes that they had not let the young Aes Sedai staying in Caemlyn leave, even though she had literally run screaming when she found out who Rand was, but Rand asks if he can trust any Aes Sedai, even to Heal a headache. Bashere replies he’ll have to trust them sooner or later; otherwise he’ll never unite the nations behind him without fighting. Rand counters that there will be fighting anyway; the Whitecloaks don’t care what the Tower wants, and Sammael won’t give up Illian without a fight. Arymilla falls down in a faint at the mention of the Forsaken, and the other Andorans don’t look much better.

At least he was telling the truth. The Aes Sedai were all trying to keep it secret, the Forsaken being free; they feared that knowing would just bring more chaos and panic. Rand was trying to spread the truth. People might panic, but they would have time to recover. The Aes Sedai way, knowledge and panic might come too late for recovery. Besides, people had a right to know what they faced.

Bashere opines that Illian will not hold out long; Rand answers that he and Mat worked out a good plan, and thinks that Mat had provided more of it than Bashere. Bashere calls Mat “an interesting young man”, and observes that he never would say who he studied under, or whether he found a library or what. Rand supposes Mat might have read a book at some point, but only answers that he doesn’t know. Bashere drops it and moves on, commenting that Rand ought to go to Cairhien and bring back that Green sister there, Egwene Sedai. He could trust her, couldn’t he? Rand laughs, and says Egwene has other duties, but Bashere reiterates that he needs the Aes Sedai, and cannot afford to have them against him. Rand asks, what if there are hundreds of Aes Sedai ready to support him? Bashere makes the connection, and says in disbelief that he must mean the Tower has really split. He steps near and says softly to Rand that he might be able to strike a better deal with the rebels, but they will still not have the weight of the Tower behind them. Rand replies that they are still Aes Sedai, regardless, and squashes down Lews Therin’s muttering about “Servants of All”. He thinks if he had an Aes Sedai he trusted to ask about that, he would, but the one Aes Sedai he had trusted (by the end) had advised him against trusting any others.

“I’ll never trust any Aes Sedai,” he rasped softly. “I will use them, because I do need them, but Tower or rebel, I know they’ll try to use me, because that is what Aes Sedai do. I’ll never trust them, Bashere.”

The Saldaean nodded slowly. “Then use them, if you can. But remember this. No one resists for long going the way the Aes Sedai want.” Abruptly he barked a short laugh. “Artur Hawkwing was the last, so far as I know. The Light burn my eyes, maybe you’ll be the second.”

They are interrupted then by one of Bashere’s soldiers, who tells them uneasily that a man has presented himself at the gates; he says his name is Mazrim Taim.

Commentary
I think Bashere is my new pretend boyfriend. I heart him.

Although, I have to suspect that under all the “it’s cool, maaan” façade, the man’s got a daredevil streak a mile wide. I mean, damn. That dagger stunt would do Evel Knievel proud.

I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a POV from Bashere (not that I recall, anyway), so I guess I just have to wonder whether he would deliberately provoke a man who is possibly going crazy and is definitely extremely powerful because danger is fun, or because he really has such a good read on Rand’s character that he accurately judged his reaction. We’ll talk about this more in the next chapter.

Andoran nobles: Ugh. Make them go.

I’m remembering a story I read once, where a Good Guy is of necessity playing the role of the villain (for reasons too complicated to get into), and reflects that she finally understands why villains yell at/smack around their minions, because all that toadying and cringing and insincere bootlicking gets REALLY ANNOYING when you’re just trying to get shit done. I am deeply amused by this observation.

Lews Therin: LOC is where our favorite loony head-invader really gets going, and it is deeply unpleasant for Rand, understandably so. It also marks a distinct shift in how the Lews Therin phenomenon manifests; previously Rand more often spoke as Lews Therin, and only occasionally heard him “speak for himself”, so to, uh, speak, but from LOC on Lews is almost exclusively a voice in Rand’s head, talking to Rand. In other words, there seems to be much more of a separation between the two than before.

If you recall, the Lews Therin theory I’ve always personally favored is that the memories are real, but the voice/personality is not; rather it is a defense mechanism constructed by Rand’s subconscious to separate himself from his growing taint-induced madness. Rand’s quote above, about the correlation between the length of time he’s channeled (i.e., sucked taint into himself) and the increasing strength of the Lews Therin voice matches this theory, as well as my observation about the growing separateness of the two. I think it is also supported by the fact that Lews Therin not only gets louder, he gets progressively nuttier as well.

Moving on from that, also here in a nutshell are the two big themes of LOC and WOT as a whole. Miscommunication is one, as noted by Rand in his thoughts about his campaign to spread the truth about the Forsaken (and the reader’s probable note of the total fruitlessness of such an attempt).

The other theme is explicated in Rand’s conversation with Bashere about the Aes Sedai: trust. Or, rather, the lack of it. The two themes, obviously, are closely related, but they are not exactly the same thing, and I think it takes the two of them together, interacting with each other and fueling each other, to create the kind of colossal FUBAR situation we are soon to end up with in this novel.

The problem, of course, is that Rand is actually completely correct in not trusting Aes Sedai, but the bitch of it that he’s only right because they don’t trust him. Ah, irony.


Chapter 2: A New Arrival

What Happens
At the mention of Taim, Bashere grips his sword hilt and Arymilla faints again; one of the other Andorans throws up. Rand takes his hand out of his coat pocket and reminds Bashere about the amnesty. Bashere asks what if Taim still thinks he’s the Dragon Reborn?

“If he thinks that,” Rand said firmly, “I will disabuse him.”

He thinks that he needs men like Taim, no matter what he’s done; he won’t turn away anyone short of the Forsaken. Lews Therin starts reciting the names of the Forsaken until Rand shuts him up. Bashere finally says that he agrees to the amnesty, but if Taim ever sets foot in Saldaea again he dies. Rand promises to keep him out of Saldaea, and orders Taim brought in. He tells the Andorans they may leave, and after a token protest or two they are thrilled to obey. After a long while, Taim enters, escorted by five of Bashere’s men with bared blades. Rand estimates his age as “at least fifteen years older than himself”, or around thirty-five, and thinks that itself was worth something, as it meant that Taim must have managed to keep the madness at bay for at least ten years, maybe longer.

Rand opened his mouth, but before he could speak, Lews Therin rose up in a frenzy in his head. Sammael and Demandred hated me, whatever honors I gave them. The more honors, the worse the hate, until they sold their souls and went over. Demandred especially. I should have killed him! I should have killed them all! Scorched the earth to kill them all! Scorch the earth!

Face frozen, Rand fought for his own mind. I am Rand al’Thor. Rand al’Thor! I never knew Sammael or Demandred or any of them! The Light burn me, I am Rand al’Thor! Like a faint echo, one more thought came from elsewhere. The Light burn me. It sounded like a plea. Then Lews Therin was gone, driven back into whatever shadows he lived in.

Bashere asks the newcomer if he is Mazrim Taim, sounding doubtful, which confuses Rand, and Taim almost smiles and tells him he shaved. He asks if Bashere wants proof; should he channel? He glances at Rand, and says perhaps not. He mentions instead the fates of “Musar and Hachari and their wives”, who tried to kill him under a flag of truce and now will only want to “serve and obey”. Bashere growls and goes for his sword, but Rand grabs his arm, stopping him. To Taim, he says if he taunts Bashere again Rand will let Bashere kill him. Taim studies Rand, ignoring the Saldaeans drawing his blood with the points of their weapons, and says he’s here to see him; Rand is the one from the vision in the sky, fighting the Dark One. Still holding Bashere’s wrist, Rand replies that he thinks it was Ishamael, actually, and he killed him later, in the Stone of Tear. Taim says he’s heard Rand killed a number of Forsaken; does he mean to kill them all? Rand thinks this is getting ridiculous, but doesn’t dare let go of Bashere yet.

“Whatever your crimes are, Taim, they pale beside the Forsaken’s. Have you ever tortured an entire city, made thousands of people assist in breaking each other slowly, in breaking their own loved ones? Semirhage did that, for no more reason than that she could, to prove she could, for the pleasure of it. Have you murdered children? Graendal did. She called it kindness, so they would not suffer after she enslaved their parents and carried them away.” He just hoped the other Saldaeans were listening half as closely as Taim; the man had actually leaned forward slightly in interest. He hoped they did not ask too many questions about where all this came from.

He goes on, listing other crimes, and sums up by saying if Taim submits to him and helps Rand hunt down the rest of the Forsaken and battle the Dark One, he’ll have earned his pardon a hundred times over. Finally Bashere relaxes, and Rand lets him go and orders the Saldaeans to put up their weapons, which they do. Taim answers that he’d thought of it as more of a compact between them – with Taim the lesser partner, of course, but there is much he could teach Rand. Rand literally sees red, and doesn’t even silence Lews Therin when he starts raving to “Kill him!”

“No compact!” he growled. “No partners! I am the Dragon Reborn, Taim! Me! If you have knowledge I can make use of, I will, but you will go where I say, do as I say, when I say.”

Without a pause Taim slipped to one knee. “I submit to the Dragon Reborn. I will serve and obey.” The corners of his mouth quivered again in that almost smile as he rose.

Lews Therin keeps raving to kill him, and Rand softly asks what would make Taim give up so quickly; Taim shrugs and replies that his choices are limited; he can be hunted on all sides, or follow Rand and at least get part of the glory. He adds that it could have been him, to be the Dragon Reborn; all he had to do was fulfill one of the Prophecies. Rand asks, like managing to be born on Dragonmount? Taim points out that the victors write the histories; if he had taken the Stone, he’s sure the legends would have said he was born wherever he needed to be. Rand tells him to think of what’s happened to the others like him if he’s starting to feel put-upon; he will forget about honors and remember the Last Battle. Taim agrees; Rand is the Dragon Reborn, they march toward Tarmon Gai’don, which the Prophecies say Rand will win. And the histories will say Mazrim Taim was at his side. Rand answers, perhaps.

He had lived too many prophecies to believe any of them meant exactly what they said. Or even that they insured anything. In his opinion, prophecy set the conditions that had to be met for a thing to happen; only, meeting them did not mean the thing would happen, just that it could. Some of the conditions set in the Prophecies of the Dragon more than implied that he had to die for any chance at victory. Thinking of that did nothing for his temper.

Moving on, he asks whether Taim can teach others to channel, or test for the ability; Taim is incredulous that anyone has actually shown up for Rand’s amnesty, but answers that he can do both. He adds that he’s found a few over the years, but only one went beyond testing, and he went mad after two years; Taim had to kill him. Rand points out that Taim’s held it off quite a bit longer than that, and asks how. Taim asks if he’s worried, then shrugs again and says he doesn’t know how, but he’s still sane. Observing the total lack of concern Taim shows for the people in the courtyard who would like to kill him (i.e. everyone), Rand is uncertain of this. After a moment, Taim observes that Rand doesn’t trust him yet, and says he’s brought a gift to help with that. He hands Rand a rag-wrapped package which proves to be one of the seals on the Dark One’s prison. Stunned, Rand thinks of the other two in his possession, and the three he knew were broken already, and wonders where the seventh seal is, and whether it is still whole.

Lews Therin’s voice came up like thunder. Break it break them all must break them must must must break them all break them and strike must strike quickly must strike now break it break it break it . . .

Rand shook with the effort of fighting that voice down, forcing away a mist that clung like spiderwebs. His muscles ached as if he wrestled with a man of flesh, a giant. Handful by handful he stuffed the fog that was Lews Therin into the deepest crannies, the deepest shadows, he could find in his mind.

Abruptly he heard the words he was muttering hoarsely. “Must break it now break them all break it break it break it.” Abruptly he realized he had his hands over his head, holding the seal, ready to smash it to the white pavement. The only thing stopping him was Bashere, up on his toes, hands raised to grip Rand’s arms.

Bashere says he doesn’t know what that is, but he thinks maybe Rand should hold off on breaking it just yet. Everyone is gaping at him, even the Maidens, and Taim looks shocked. Rand lowers his arms and agrees with Bashere, and demands to know where Taim got it, and whether he had another. Bashere finally gets what it is, and gasps. Unsteadily, Taim replies no to Rand’s latter question, and says that he was given the seal by a farmer in Saldaea who thought Taim was the Dragon Reborn, and claimed his family had guarded it for two thousand years. Rand figures that unlikely things must happen even when he was not around, and hands the seal to Bashere, telling him to guard it carefully, who agrees reverently.

For a moment Rand studied him. “Everybody’s waiting for me to go mad, afraid of it, but not you. You must have thought I finally was, just now, but you weren’t afraid of me even then.”

Bashere shrugged, grinning behind his gray-streaked mustaches. “When I first slept in a saddle, Muad Cheade was Marshal-General. The man was as mad as a hare in spring thaw. Twice every day he searched his bodyservant for poison, and he drank nothing but vinegar and water, which he claimed was sovereign against the poison the fellow fed him, but he ate everything the man prepared for as long as I knew him. Once he had a grove of oaks chopped down because they were looking at him. And then insisted they be given decent funerals; he gave the oration. Do you have any idea how long it takes to dig graves for twenty-three oak trees?”

Rand asks why no one did anything about him, and Bashere replies Cheade was crazy, but he never lost a battle; he could “out-general” anyone Bashere ever saw. Rand laughs, and asks so Bashere follows him because he thinks Rand can “out-general” the Dark One?

“I follow you because you are who you are,” Bashere said quietly. “The world must follow you, or those who survive will wish themselves dead.”

Rand nods slowly, thinking that he was not yet mad enough to believe that Tarmon Gai’don would be a one-on-one battle between him and the Dark One, and Bashere therefore was right. He tells Bashere he’s taking Taim to “the farm”; Taim asks what farm, but they ignore him. Bashere dryly declines the offer to come along, and reminds Rand that he is to inspect his men that afternoon. Rand agrees to be there, thinking he mustn’t change that routine, or let anyone besides Mat, Bashere and himself think it was anything but a casual and useless ceremony. He has another visit to make today too, but that one he only wanted people to think he was trying to keep secret. Taim asks what farm again, and Rand tries to figure out if his dislike of the man is due to Taim’s personality or jealousy at no longer being the only man who could channel around. He doesn’t think the latter is very likely, though.

Kill him! Lews Therin shrieked. Kill them all! Rand pushed the voice back down. He did not have to like Taim, only to use him. And trust him. That was the hard part.

He tells Taim he is taking him where he can serve him; Taim only watches him, with his almost-smile.

Commentary
Hokay.

First of all, I will not be discussing the Taimandred thing; that theory is dee ee dee Ded. Taim is not Demandred. Deal. Know it, own it, love it.

I will further comment that I have never had the slightest amount of patience with the asinine theories that Taim used to be Demandred until the fans “found it out”, and Jordan changed the story later out of pique, or something. Nor would I ever believe that he would violate the integrity of his own story just to play a mean joke on his fanbase. That’s total crap.

Jordan is just not that lame, you guys. Sorry, but no. Taim is not Demandred, and Taim was never Demandred. Deal.

Having said that, I do absolutely believe that Taim was written to make us think he was Demandred, and that this was a perfectly legitimate red-herring plot for Jordan to use. (Anyone being angry about Jordan misleading his readers about Taim’s real identity really needs to relax.) In lieu of me rehashing all the ways in which Taim is dodgy here, please read this section. The FAQ is out of date with regard to events in KOD, but it certainly covers Taim as he appears in LOC, so let’s all get on the same page with that much at least before discussing.

(Guess, if you can, which part of the FAQ was the most annoying to update after Asmodean. I bet you’ll never guess.)

And... I don’t really have much else to say on the subject, honestly. Taim is definitely a Darkfriend as of KOD, but whether he always was or it was a more recent development I decline to speculate. Mostly because my memories of Taim’s antics in the latter books are too fuzzy for me to want to risk sounding like an idiot on the subject. You guys feel free to knock yourselves out in the comments though. I’m interested to see what you think.

(On a random Taim note, though, I totally forgot that Taim straight-up confesses to using Compulsion here, or near enough as to make no difference, and I kind of wonder why that never got brought up (that I noticed, anyway) sufficiently for it to be included in the FAQ. I mean, that’s pretty significant, if you ask me, especially since it sounds rather like Taim used almost Graendal-level, brain smushing-style Compulsion, as opposed to the half-assed version Liandrin worked out on her own. Of course, it’s possible Taim could just be better at working things out than Liandrin, but, well.)

break it break it break it: I have to say, this episode freaked me right the hell out when I first read it, and further deepens my mystification re: Bashere’s calmness. Yes, he’s worked with crazy before (I’ve always loved the Muad Cheade anecdote - heh), but daaaaammnn, you guys. After seeing that, my ass would have been Oh gee lookit the time gotta take off I got this thing in, uh, Shara, yeah that’s the ticket kthxbye. I mean, yikes.

Of course, later we find out Lews Therin (or rather, his memories as manifested in Rand’s split personality, ha ha!) may actually have had a reason to want to break the seals – a reason other than I’m a barking loonybar, that is – but still. I remember being fairly upset over the notion that this would cause Rand to possibly lose followers. Except Bashere, who is apparently impossible to freak out.

You’ll note that even as Rand marvels at Bashere’s trust in him, he returns that trust almost unconsciously; he doesn’t even hesitate to hand off the seal to Bashere to guard. This is an example of trust done right, y’all.

Except for those of you who believe this all means Bashere is a Darkfriend, of course. I don’t personally subscribe to this theory, myself – I think the nasty aura Min sees around him later refers to his necessary demise (necessary, since both Bashere and Tenobia have to bite it in order to clear the way for Perrin n’ Faile to live Royally Ever After) – but I can see the rationale for it, because it would be Just That Ironic.


As a final exercise, I double dog dare you to diagram that last sentence, because I do love me a run-on. Alternately, you could do something fun, like comment! So enjoy, and see y’all Friday!

207 comments
Razorbuck
1. Razorbuck
Yea! Way to go with another update. My day is complete!
Razorbuck
2. isriam
How did I miss Taim being a DF in all this. I must have been asleep when I read it!
Marcus W
3. toryx
I'm pretty good at avoiding red herrings in general, I think, but RJ totally sold me on the Taim is Demandred mislead. I admit I believed it for years, even after RJ denied it until he told me himself.

I'm still kind of disappointed that he wasn't Demandred. But I now believe, after my latest re-read, that the reason Lews Therin freaked out is that the shadow personality was able to somehow recognize Taim as the type that would sell his soul to the DO out of jealousy. He wanted to kill Taim before he could turn to the Shadow.

At some point later, perhaps after Rand gave Taim the pins, I think Taim gave his soul over to the DO. Or maybe it happened as a direct result of Rand almost breaking the seal. But I'm sure it happened after this scene, not before, and that jealousy and arrogance were the prime motivators.

I also think there was a true purpose to breaking the seal right away, though I don't know what it could have been. I half suspect that TG will be started on purpose by Rand breaking the seals. We'll see.
Pepijn Vemer
4. Artsapat
When I re-read LOC some weeks ago (still ahead of you, Leigh!) I still had that feeling about Taimandred. I know: it's dead, it's put to rest and I don't stand for it anymore, but the many reasons for it to be true in this book are just... Well, many.

For a red herring, I think RJ might have gone a bit overboard. There's to be some serious explaining to be done here, in the later books.

Also: I always figured Taim was a Darkfriend and was sent to Rand to infiltrate. How else could he have gotten a hold of the Seal? If he was turned, or he turned himself later on, it must have been really soon after taking over the farm, since at least Gedwyn and Torval, but maybe all the "renegades" how exploded the Cairhien castle, are in positions of power during LOC.
Razorbuck
5. TexasHovda
I never really believed Taim = Demandred. I always compared Taim to a new breed of Forsaken.

One of the major themes of the WoT is that time is circular and history repeats itself over and over. This epic battle has been fought over and over with different outcomes each time. But, the players and events that surround the showdown are basically the same.

It just made sense that there were would not just be a rebirth of the old generals for the Dark One, but that he would recruit new. So, to me, Taim was an obvious choice for a new Forsaken.

What's funny is that though he is not Demandred, he basically joined the Dark One for the same reason - jealous of the Dragon and his glories. He wanted a joint command with Rand, and Rand slapped him down.

Anyway, cant wait for the next book. 10/27 will not get here fast enough.

I hope they release the prologue early.
paul Hend
6. tugthis
I really like Bashere here. He is dead on with taking the air out of Rand's macho workout. It is ridiculous of him to train this way.

I also wondered until rand finds himself with the seal over his head threatening to smash the seal if anyone else was aware of his mental stability. Other than occasionally muttering to himself which could be waved off as a quirky personality.

Finally, What would be wrong with LTT taking over Rand. The suggestions he makes seem pretty prescient, and his ability to channel most formidable. If Rand were to lose the mental battle I think there is a better chance of winning the war.
Ryan Maguire
7. SonOfBattles
Nice job on the podcast, Leigh. That was fun to listen to.
James Jones
8. jamesedjones
We get a POV from Davram when someone attacks his wife.
Razorbuck
9. Lsana
I don't think the "Taim = Demandred" clues could have been put in as a red-herring. If they were, I would assume that Jordan would have been rubbing his hands together and cackling with glee when he heard the fans talk. There would be no reason to Joss the theory in an interview rather than actually in one of the books.

If we assume that Jordan didn't change his mind, I assume that he was probably going for analogy, like an SAT test: "Taim is to Rand as Demandred was to Lews Therin." Unfortunately, he went overboard and included a few too many parallels between the two.

I don't think there can be any doubt that Taim is a darkfriend, but in my mind the "Minion Taim"/"Non-minion Taim" debate is still very much open: that is to say, is Taim the particular protege of one of the Forsaken, or is he more or less a run-of-the-mill Darkfriend, the male equivalent of Alviarin. The "minion" theory has some definite evidence behind it (Taim knowing a lot of sophisticated channeling techniques, holding off the madness for so long, the "so-called Aiel" comment), but it's all indirect.
Kurt Lorey
10. Shimrod
I always wondered if Chapter 2 wasn't one of the key chapters to the whole series?

Meeting Mazrim Taim, acquiring one of the Seals, Bashere's character being filled out.

Oh, and of course the whole Taimandred argument thingy...lol
Max Espensen
11. Andvari
If we assume that Jordan didn't change his mind, I assume that he was probably going for analogy, like an SAT test: "Taim is to Rand as Demandred was to Lews Therin." Unfortunately, he went overboard and included a few too many parallels between the two.


Yeah, I like this and it's pretty much how I viewed it, and the obvious thought that Taim could be Demandred didn't actually occur to me until embarrassingly late. (The fact it has been said categorically not to be true isn't exactly the best defence as I certainly hadn't read that at the time.) Perhaps he included the parallels and they were initially coincidences, but some of it I'm sure is misdirection and red herrings. I certainly don't believe he backtracked, it wouldn't be in his style.

The idea that Taim became a Darkfriend after this point is a theory I'd never thought of before, and has some nice idea superficially, but there are too many things like Taim knowing what Travelling is that suggest he has contact with a Forsaken.

How about this: Taim is Asmodean reborn because the DO likes the music so much...no I'm only joking. Really!
Josh Davis
12. YoSoyElJosh
I enjoy both Taim and Bashere a great deal, especially in Lord of Chaos.

For me, I see Taim as already Shadowsworn or an unwilling convert to the shadow. It's unlikely he would've been shadowsworn while proclaiming to be the Dragon Reborn, but then, he does have his less-than-literal view on the prophecies. I see it more likely that he's been studying under one of the Forsaken than that he's simply a gifted channeler.

Also worth noting that Bashere doesn't seem to think he's the real deal, at first.

Taim's handing over the seal might just be an example of the "Let the Lord of Chaos rule." That seems to stem mostly from a confidence of the Dark One that the forces of light are quite weak, and far less organized than the forces of the shadow. Forsaken may scheme against Forsaken, but most other Darkfriends are rank and file in terms of obeying their superiors. If the Dark One thinks giving the Forces of Light a little false hope before taking them away, it only serves his end purpose better to sew confusion.

Taim gives Rand the seal, then intruders attempt to take it back. The shadow allows Moghedian to remain a prisoner for a time before taking her back as well.

As for the Dark One, and the nature of the seals, I expect we'll learn a lot more about him in the final book. There's just something not quite right about him. The War of Shadow lasted for... 100 years? 150 years? And he didn't didn't break free. What kind of power was he actually exerting over the world then? Was he just making it hot? Making it cold? Spoiling food? More than a century, and he was still trapped at Shayol Ghul (well, metaphysically at Shayol Ghul).

The power he's shown to exert since Book 1, when it's implied he's already having some effect on the world, with the unending winter, and no seals are broken, seems not such a great stretch from the power he's exerting here in LoC, as we enter the unending summer. It's only later (Crossroads of Twilight, I think) that the Dark One starts spoiling food and waking the dead, sending ripples through space-time, etc.

My case is that, either the seals are useless at this point (though I still look forward to Rand breaking them to commence the Last Battle), the Dark One isn't terribly interested in actually breaking free, or when Rand walks into Shayol Ghul, we'll find out it's Bela with a megaphone hiding behind a rock the whole time.
Mitchell Swan
13. mcswan
I'm a barking loonybar

That's quite the nifty turn of phrase.

I'm using that one.
Lannis .
14. Lannis
Taim, Taim, Taim (or Ta-eem or whatever...)...

Yeah, no... I suspected something from the get-go with him, but not having delved into the realms of the online fandom community until recently, the whole Taimandred thing flew by me and was debunked before I knew of it.

I've always kind of thought like TexasHovda @ 5... that Taim's just a baddie, and a new breed of Bad Guy, or a Forsaken v2.0...

I've held more in the camp that Taim was forced to turn. The whole "Red Ajah held him and then BAM! He's on the loose again!" was a little suspicious, seeing how (and this might be my own perception) most of the Black Ajah we've seen have actually been disguised as Reds... perhaps Liandrin and Galina are tainting my views here...

Great recap, Leigh! Thanks!
James Jones
15. jamesedjones
I remember hearing a few times that RJ once told Tom Doherty that the WOT would be a trilogy. :)

I would never suggest that RJ messed things up with Taim and Demandred, but it's not like things have never grown beyond his initial vision. He's got the final scene in his head and a general idea, including thousands and thousands of pages of notes, of what needs to occur to get there.

We have quotes from BS saying that there are parts of tGS that he had to create, and he only used Harriet and Maria as boundaries and controls to make sure he didn't include anything that contradicted anything else.

So it's not heresy to suggest that this was a red herring, but I think it is an insult to RJ's skill as a writer. I personally believe that he would not have spoiled a "big reveal" just 'cause the discussions got to be too annoying.

But that's just me. I don't know if Taim is Demandred, if he was Demandred, if he should have been Demandred, if he is Demandred's minion, if he is Demandred's decendant, if he has a Demandred autographed picture in his locker. I don't know! But I definitely care about this thread.

Edit: Yes, I left off "Demandred's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate." It just seemed silly. :P
Greg Hollingsworth
16. artifex
Trust is one of the main themes running throughout that no one seems to have much of, so I was shocked to see Rand have so much of it in Bashere. Maybe it’s just that Bashere is so cool and collected that he just comes across as very trustworthy. Or the fact that Bashere seems to trust Rand, so Rand automatically trusts Bashere.

If Taim is not already a DF why use compulsion on someone, even though they just tried to kill you under a flag of truce? This could be a clue as to Taim’s alliance. IIRC, up to this point it’s only used by the dark side until Verin uses it later on. Admittedly there a number of AS who learned/used it pre-Tower. Using it openly, I think, throws up the DF flag. (No I don't think Verin is a DF.)
Richard Fife
17. R.Fife
@15 And Tom laughed at him and said "We're signing you for six books and we'll see what happens."

Anywho, I'm of the camp that Taim was 13-13'd after he went missing in TSR. With how Jordan explained the 13-13 process, as taking the worst traits of a person and magnifying them, that would very much make a egotistical false dragon even more Demandred-like.

Bashere, yes, the "calm badass", but I think the more I read the series, the more I'm getting tired of that trope. I mean, how many of them do we have? Pretty well all the Aiel, Lan, Rhurac (he gets to count twice), Bashere, Galad, Gareth Bloody Bryne, etc etc. Jordan really loved the calm badass. Yes, he loved alot of different types of badass, but I guess he enjoyed John Wayne and Charles Bronson quite a bit.

On the flip side, at least he does make all the different types of calm badasses stand out on their own in some little way by giving them different things that break the calm.
Razorbuck
18. alreadymadwithbashere
Bashere is pretty much the same with Berelain. Neither Berelain nor Bashere had any reason to ride far from their holdings and come to ally with him, but they did anyway. That's why Rand trusts them.
James Jones
19. jamesedjones
17 R.Fife

Do you, by any chance, have link to that story? :D
Richard Fife
20. R.Fife
@19 *points to his head* I heard it from Tom's own mouth when I sat in on the interview for the RJ Documentary.
Razorbuck
22. Diceroller
I'm stepping out of the shadows here, but a possibility that's always been nagging in the back of my mind is that Taim is Sammael.

Yes, I know the quote 'Sammael is toast', but does that preclude the possibility of him being voluntarily reborn prior to LoC, with all his Forsaken interactions since then occurring while wearing a Mask of Mirrors.

Sammael is gone, just as Aginor is gone, there is only Zuul (sorry, got sidetracked).
Anthony Pero
23. anthonypero
Love this! Now for the rambling post:

Never thought Taim was Demandred. Always thought he was a DF from the get-go here. I used to think he was turned by a BA Circle of 13, since that has to be used at SOME point, but more recent developments suggest that to be Sheriam, so now I think Taim has been a DF for a long time. And I think Ishmael trained him, AND set him up as a False Dragon. And I think Taim gets Taint protection from the DO. Oh yeah, and I STILL think he killed Asmodean *ducks and covers*

Bashere is not a DF, and if he is, it better be revealed on the last page of the series or I'll stop reading. Rand is offered trust, therefore he gives it. This is beautiful, and it needs to remain that way. RJ was not a cynic.

The Seals--I latched on to a Looney Theory pretty quickly, and it's never let me go, and I think Herid Fel's death scene later confirms it for me: the seals actually help hold the Bore open. They need to be broken (the rubble cleared away) before the Bore can heal itself. Bash away.

Lews Therin in Rand's head--I wanted to comment on this at the end of FoH, but forgot about it during the Great Chivalry Debate(TM) of '09. Lews Therin almost took over Rand's body in T'a'R. Anyone every notice how similar that is to what we now know about Slayer? At the time, Rand assumed it was a trap of Rahvin's, but I dunno... So, I disagree with Leigh. I think Lews Therin is really in there, somehow. I don't have a real theory here just some pieces that seem like they should fit together in some way. Luc is Rand's uncle, Slayer switching bodies in T'a'R in the flesh, the same thing almost happening to Rand/LTT. The other question is "Why now?" Leigh mentions Rand thinks its channeling the OP as a point in favor of LTT being a projection of Rand's memories... but when has Rand's self-introspection ever been correct in the history of this series? I think Rand is also wrong about this. I think the LTT thing is somehow caused by entering T'a'R in the flesh, which he apparently has been doing off-screen an awful lot. Egwene and the others think they see him all the time. Some of that is Slayer/Luc, but some of it is probably Rand as well, since we know he is spying on Egwene and trying to find Salidar in T'a'R. Not to mention the battles he had with Ishy and Rahvin in the Flesh in T'a'R.

Just some thoughts.
Tess Laird
24. thewindrose
I was always puzzled by this:
(Taim)He mentions instead the fates of “Musar and Hachari and their wives”, who tried to kill him under a flag of truce and now will only want to “serve and obey”.
This sounds like Compulsion.
But from RJ's blog:
For kolp, Oberonus and NaClH2O, what Taim did to those Saldaeans wasn’t Compulsion. They just don’t have the intelligence left that would be needed for anything too exacting.

Am I getting two different scenes confused or is there a brain scrambler weave?
Razorbuck
25. Caseyft
Stupid Andoran nobles. I've already started skipping Supergirls chapters and I'm definately going to skip them once they arrive in Caemlyn in POD. Longest. Plotline. Ever.

To me, LTT seems to be a manifestation of the DO/taint breaking down boundaries and things losing their organization. This seems to be the general rule with taints of various kinds: ghosts appear because the living are no longer completely separated from the dead, palaces rearrange themselves possibly because the various Portal Stone worlds start impinging on the real world. The first bubbles of evil seemed to be imagined fears come to life (at least Perrin and Rand's, I don't know why Mat would be afraid of playing cards). LTT is a broken down combined Dragon ... Rand and his personalities become confused. Of course he's also a brialliant plot device: we're meant to sympathize with Rand and if LTT is in some ways real that helps us rationalize him. It's makes insanity more it happening to the reader: the insane person never thinks they're insane.

Personally, I think Taim was a darkfriend from the beginning, but I don't think there's much evidence one way or the other. At this point it seems that Taim is Demandred's proxy. I can't wait for a scene with the two of them if it ever happens. Jordan does such a good job with arrogant, nasty DFs being brought down a notch by Forsaken (e.g. Liandrin and Moghedien). Kind of like Forsaken and Shaidar Haran ...
Anthony Pero
26. anthonypero
Um... maybe I'm not remembering right, but I thought there was a Taim PoV in KoD in which Taim remember Demandred just going batshit crazy yelling at him? Or am I imagining that? KoD is the haziest of the books for me, cause I haven't touched it since two days after it came out.
Ryan Maguire
27. SonOfBattles
@26 I think you're imagining that. However, at the end of KoD, Taim says "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule."
Tess Laird
28. thewindrose
If Taim is a proxy theory is true, I don't think he will be taken down a notch. He seems to be doing pretty well, not making the usual stupid DF mistakes, definitely sowing chaos.
If anything, his status is rising I think - to maybe a new favored Forsaken level.
Anthony Pero
29. anthonypero
@27:

Ah, well, I can be wrong. Especially about this (but not about Asmodean, mwahahahahaha)
Rikka Cordin
30. Rikka
Bashere is such a fave. So unflappable. No wonder he's one of the great generals.. :D

I personally never cared for or about Taim (which should so be pronounced tame, not tah-eem, geeze RoJo) except when he later gives Logain someone to prove his own awesomeness against. Otherwise he was just seditiousbadguyraisingyourarmysoitwillonedayturnonyou kind of thing.
Josh Davis
31. YoSoyElJosh
@28

I would enjoy seeing Taim and Alviarin both promoted to Forsaken levels. The Shadow needs Dreadlords, of course, but I figure between the Taim's elite group and the Black Ajah, there might be enough. But Alviarin and Taim seem to be the highest serving channelers. It'd be nice to see those extra chairs Moridin brought out put to use.
Mitchell Swan
32. mcswan
I have a question directly for Leigh, but anyone is welcome to chime in.

I've been listening to the podcast (not finished yet) and have been keeping current on this blog, but maybe not on the comments.

My question is: "What will be the focal point for fandom when TGS hits the bookstores? Will we all flock back to rasfw-rj? Will this very forum here explode? Will Dragonmount get buried?

I think it's safe to say that your re-read and Sanderson's other works have heightened the anticipation for WoT. Maybe not to the heady days of rasfw-rj, but the discussions here certainly indicate that any new canon will be hotly bandied about.

So, folks, where should we go? Maybe Leigh could talk to the folks here at tor.com to open up some dedicated cyberspace akin to rasfw-rj. Maybe we could all agree to revive rasfw-rj itself. Maybe we all truck over somewhere else.

I'm curious what y'all's thoughts are; Leigh and her faithful readers alike, expecially since I know at least a handful of rasfw-rjians lurk hereabouts.
Tess Laird
33. thewindrose
It would make winning TG more satisfying if we had some competent baddies to strive against.
Taim is almost as strong as Rand - so he is a shoe-in for becoming a chosen. Alviarin isn't as strong, and has the invisible mark on her head addling her wits.
Antoni Ivanov
34. tonka
@24.thewindrose

I was always puzzled by this:
(Taim)He mentions instead the fates of “Musar and Hachari and their wives”, who tried to kill him under a flag of truce and now will only want to “serve and obey”.
This sounds like Compulsion.
But from RJ's blog:
For kolp, Oberonus and NaClH2O, what Taim did to those Saldaeans wasn’t Compulsion. They just don’t have the intelligence left that would be needed for anything too exacting.


Thanks for the quote. It has always bug me- it sounded too much like compulsion what Taim did but in the same time it didn't because if they were compelled they will want to serve and obey Taim not everyone but the quote implies that that all they will want to do was serve and obey anyone. And from what we've read about compulsion it sounds like impossible thing to do. Compulsion doesn't work this way.But now thanks to the quote it makes sense , Taim didn't use compulsion he just simply seriously damaged their brains and consequently brainpower.That's better. I just got an answer for something that has bugged me for a long time. Thanks.
Razorbuck
35. Kris10
Help please....should I pre-order TGS? I would then have to wait for it to ship - I hate waiting! If I buy it in the store I could have it the day of, but I guess the store could run out of copies....bookstores in general reserve copies for you right?

Opinions?
Anthony Pero
36. anthonypero
RE:Post TGS congregation for discussion

Have you been to the old newsgroup recently? It's flooded by spam every day, last I checked.

I'm not stepping foot in that mess.

If we're throwing out ideas, I think it should be someplace neutral, not one of the fan sites (as great as they are). It would be horrible to promote one over the other, here.

It should be something that could be subscribed to and posted to via RSS, since the most people use RSS, and still accessible via web. We could start a new newsgroup, or a google group, or a yahoo group. I'd say more people already have google accounts than Yahoo! accounts.

Tor setting something up would be fine, as well, but I'd hope to be able to post and read from my phone and email. Brandon's forums are also an option. We may crash that, though, if someone doesn't tell his brother Jordan ahead of time.
Anthony Pero
37. anthonypero
@35: You can pre-order and reserve your copy at your local bookstore. These still count as first-week sales.
Sydo Zandstra
38. Fiddler
@mcswan:

I can only speak for myself here, saying that I probably won't be going to Dragonmount. The fandom-factor there never appealed to me in the past, really. Too many kids there not accepting criticism against RJ, or that is the impression I got there after the last book. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me. :)

As an old rasfw-rj'ian, I may connect to that newsgroup again, just to check. If it hasn'nt been taking over yet completely by people posting movies there, and if my ISP still hosts it. I fear rasfw-rj is dead though.

So that leaves a separate blog, either here or on personal space.
Maggie M
39. Eswana
@mcswan:

I'd imagine a lot of discussion will stick over at DM, or TarValon.net, and lot of it will be here. Wotmania is closing shop the end of this month (sniffle.... there goes another piece of my childhood....), but I would love tor to host a forum. It would be rather useful to have us all in once place....

I wasn't part of the fandom when the recarts group existed (or if I was, I didn't know it was there), but I've heard so many tales about its exploits that it's akin to Camelot in my imagination.
Anthony Pero
40. anthonypero
The entire group is archived on Google and Yahoo. Y'all should check it out sometime! YOu'll just have to wade through a bunch of male enhancement crap to find anything, lol.
James Jones
41. jamesedjones
35 Kris10

The books don't arrive at your local bookstore on the day of release. They hang on to them and bring them out on the correct day. This is the same with shipped books. Your mail carrier has the capability to deliver an item on a specific day (I work for FedEx Office). If you order from Amazon or one of the major online providers, such as Barnes & Noble, they will be able to ensure that you receive your copy of The Gathering Storm on Oct 27.

Of course, mistakes happen. I remember hearing that several of the last Harry Potter books didn't arrive on time (and a rare few actually arrived early). But that's no different that the argument that you have a chance of your car breaking down on the way to the bookstore.

Edit: Also, of course, you might miss out on a few early hours of reading time! :)
Anthony Pero
42. anthonypero
just popped in to the old group to check it out... there IS some WoT related activity going on in there...
Tess Laird
43. thewindrose
Rand supposes Mat might have read a book at some point, but only answers that he doesn’t know.
I don't know why, but that always makes me chuckle.

Love.Love.Love Bashere - he is one cool cat! I too, will be sad if he turns out to be a dark friend. I also agree with several posters that think he will die pre or during TG along with wife and Tenobia leaving the broken crown to Perrin and Faile.
Sydo Zandstra
44. Fiddler
@anthonypero:

Interesting. Though, I only recently started using Thunderbird. I didn't find any newsread options in it yet, though. Maybe I need a plug in?

Or, a separate newsreader. I have been enslaved by Microsoft for too long now... ;)

Edit: I'll look into it tomorrow in any case.
Razorbuck
45. Ian B in Manchester
I got the feeling that Taim was turned to the dark by 13 Black Ajah when they freed him. It was mentioned so much in the early books that it could be done, aand yet it has never been shown.
Also, was the murder of Asmodean done to clear the way for Taim?
Anthony Pero
46. anthonypero
Thunderbird has a plugin

Edit: You can also access the old group directly from Google's website.
Greg Hollingsworth
47. artifex
@24 Thanks for the quote. Compulsion or not, it still makes Taim seem like a friend of the dark IMO.
Razorbuck
48. Kris10
Thanks for the info!

P.S. Anyone else have problems with comic subscriptions from Dabel Bros? They sent me #0 but I have received nothing for over 2 months. They are not responding to my emails, about that or about the remaining New Spring issues they recently said they would mail.

I'm kicking myself for trusting them again (long sigh)
Sydo Zandstra
49. Fiddler
@anthonypero:

Thanks. I'll look into it tomorrow :)
Razorbuck
50. Kris10
Thanks for the info!

RE: Bashere - Min's viewing (paraphrased)
"There's something...dark...in the images around Lord Bashere"

P.S. Anyone else having problems with comic subscriptions with Dabel Bros? I received #0 but nothing now for over 2 months. They are not responding to my emails about this or about the remaining New Spring issues they recently said they would mail to me.

I am kicking myself for trusting them again (long sigh)
Tess Laird
51. thewindrose
Ian B @45-
Leigh would love to discuss the Asmo part of your comment - *in search of new handle and infamous bunker*
Lord Haart
52. LordHaart
Just wanted to note that in one of the later books (CoT I think), we get a short POV from Bashere. That, plus his chat with Perrin were enough to convince me that he isn't a DF. He certainly isn't a FS since he's married and has a runaway daughter who can identify him (plus he's too short).

As for Taim, I remember that before my re-read, I was clinging to the hope that he was just a self-serving jerk, not a DF/FS. When I re-read Chapter 2, I became almost certain that he was either one of the Forsaken, or a DF of Luc/Slayer's calibre. That plus KoD points to him either being a direct underling of Demandred or Moridin, or perhaps Moridin himself.
Mitchell Swan
53. mcswan
I think that if Tor is not amenable to setting up a forum, then a *new* Google group would be called for.

RSS-able, for all intents and purposes unlimited space...

And yes, I agree, rasfw-rj is a long fetid morass with only occasional twitches of incoherent life compared to what it once was, but I was wanting to convey the threaded forum-type of cyberspace for people's consideration.
Antoni Ivanov
54. tonka
I just wanted to add something about Gawyn, that's from COT (book 10)
He doesn't know where Elayne or Egwene are, he thinks there are on their way to tarvalon probably. He knows nothing of how strong the rebellion has grown and that Elayne and Egwene are deeply entangled in it. He is kept completely in dark. I cannot blame him for not going to Caemlyn.

COT Prologue
Gawyn sighed. He should have gone home when he returned to Tar Valon and found the
Younglings expelled from the city, instead of letting himself be caught here by winter. Especially when he was sure Elaida wanted them all dead. His sister Elayne would come to Caemyln eventually, if she was nor already there. Certainty any Aes Sedai would see that the Daughter-Heir of Andor reached Caemlyn in time to claim the throne before someone else could. The White Tower would not give up the advantage of a queen who would also be Aes Sedai. On the other hand, Elayne could be on her way to Tar Valon, too, or residing in the White Tower right that minute. He did nor how she had become entangled with Siuan Sanche, or how deeply-she always dove into a pond without checking the depthbut
Elaida and the Hall of the Tower might want to question her closely, Daughter-Heir or not. Queen or not. He was sure she could not be held accountable, though. She was still only one of the Accepted. He had to tell himself that frequently.
....
The army was as real as stone, however, so he could neither enter Tar Valon to find whether Elayne was in the Tower, nor ride south. Any army would take notice of upwards of three hundred men on the move, and the rebels would have no good will toward the Younglings. Even if he went alone, travel in winter was very slow, and he could reach Caemlyn as quickly if he waited until spring. There was no hope of finding passage on a ship, either. The siege would mire river traffic in a hopeless snarl. He was mired in a hopeless snarl.
Pete Pratt
55. PeteP
I always wondered if RJ just did not decide to just lie about Taimindred. The set up here is too perfect. Taim does not look like Taim. LTT compares him to Demandred and wants to kill him. Taim is too old not to be crazy. Demandred just showed up in the Prologue. Taim, like Demandred does not care for swords or in person confrontations. Etc.

Oh, well. Taim is just a proxy, whether turned by the 13/13, always a DF, found and created by Ishy, or whatever.

I just can't wait for him to die.

As to rasfw-rj, I remember when the WoT folks got kicked out of rasfw for dominating the forum. Good times, great flamewars, epic discussions, etc.

I would love for Tor to establish their own tGS discussion forum.
Tess Laird
56. thewindrose
LordHaart - Taim may have started out under Demandred, but his new palace is decked out in Black and Red - the colors Moridin perfers. We don't meet Moridin until aCoS, so while not definitivwe I don't think Taim = Moridin, more like Moridin became Naebis and gathered in all the resources he wanted to use - Taim being one.
Marcus W
57. toryx
On a tGS discussion forum:

I imagine that Leigh will be writing and posting (on Tor) a review of the book. If that's the case, that particular post would be a good place to discuss the novel.

I'm seriously concerned that people won't be able to help themselves, however, and post comments and spoilers about the book in one of these threads. Which is why I will be absent from these discussions after the publication in October until I have time to buy and read the book.
Mitchell Swan
58. mcswan
@57

To avoid the spoilerage in these threads are why I'm bucking for a separate space.

Only if Leigh gets to pre-read and review tGS before the unwashed masses, will there be an optimal spot for the "read" folks to fall into. That and if Tor doesn't shut down the forum.

I also think that would be the best all around; a Tor designated forum that won't get shut down to further posts well into the future.
Heather Porter
59. Bym1971
A couple of things here:

I always thought Taim was a DF from the beginning, because he's been able to hold off the madness for so long. I haven't heard of a good way to do that.

And what is this I'm hearing about TGS coming out on Oct. 27? I pre-ordered from Barnes and Noble, and it still says release date is 11/3. When did it change? My work computer is not agreeing with me right now, so I can't check Amazon.
Mitchell Swan
60. mcswan
@59

Brandon's blog announced the change in the date yesterday.

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog/815/The-Gathering-Storm-coming-sooner-than-expected
Heather Porter
61. Bym1971
Ah. Now I see it. Wahoo! Now I'll think positive thoughts that I will actually receive it on that date -- otherwise I think I'll start twitching. Worse than I am now, that is. :-)
Sydo Zandstra
62. Fiddler
I will wait for amazon telling me so then :D

Great news, after getting news that Steven Erikson's 'Dust of Dreams' is out earlier too.

My last book in pre-order is the latest ASoIaF book by Martin. For some reason I am not expecting a similar message there... ;)
Sam Mickel
63. Samadai
anthonypero@26,

it was in Winters Heart that you are remembering but it was one of taims underlings. Torval I think, was musing about how Taim told him to kill Rand and no mistakes this time. And then he thought about how a little while later Moridin told him to kill Rand if he could but above all else grab whatever he had on him
Joseph Blaidd
64. SteelBlaidd
We could, of course, go talk in
Brandon's forum.
Sydo Zandstra
65. Fiddler
Samadai:

Instead of Moridin you mean Demandred. ;)
Razorbuck
66. Aye Aye Sedai
Re Comics - I've only seen #0 and #1 of WoT and #6 on NEw Spring - # 7 was supposed to be today.

Think plans are delayed

Later
Sam Mickel
67. Samadai
Actually I just read the passage and in between Taim and Moridin Demandred also tells Kisman to kill Rand but tell no one. Of course it is Raefar Kismans Point of view not Torvals
Sydo Zandstra
68. Fiddler
nm. double post, due to using browser's back arrow.
Theodor Engström
69. Theodor
An interesting note to the discussion would be that Taim actually isn't as old as Rand thinks he is.

The quote from Robert Jordans Blog:

RJ: "For Linda Sedai, Rand misjudges Taim’s age because when they meet, you might say Taim has been rode hard and put away wet. He has just finished a long and difficult flight to reach Caemlyn, the one place where he might find refuge instead of being hunted — along with other reasons — and that has a wearing effect on anyone. Now that he has recovered, he doesn’t look so old."

So the argument about Taims age and madness isn't really relevant, and I would put his age to be about 27 and not 35...
Jason Lyman
70. jlyman
Boy! I started this entry when there were only three comments, finished and there were 33 and after getting back from a birthday lunch with a son there were over 60! So I had to read quickly in order to get caught up.

I came on the whole Taimandred thing really late myself. I really had no clue to the entire controversy. But the more I read about it and from a lot of the discussion here I am leaning towards Taim being "13-13'd" while he was MIA.

@17. R.Fife

how many of them do we have? Pretty well all the Aiel, Lan, Rhurac (he gets to count twice), Bashere, Galad, Gareth Bloody Bryne, etc etc.

That's a good question, but going through the list you put out (and I know it's not extensive) I see mostly guys who have been around the block more than a few times. They have experience, leadership skills, even some political skills and most importantly the uncanny ability to read people better than the young'ns who make up our main cast. They seem to me to have earned the right to be calm in the face of danger. Now the exceptions to that are Galad and the Aiel. The Aiel are just that way cuz if you are raised by wolves you're gonna be a wolf, most likely. Galad is the only one there who doesn't really fit my thinking, but then again he does have a few more years on the main characters and in some ways seems to have matured already in his decision making and such. I don't know if that came out as clearly as the thought came into my head.

But I could see RJ sitting down for a night of John Wayne movies.

Re: Bashere

I think that the viewing Min had about the darkness surrounding him has to do with something bad that will happen to him and not that he will do something bad. Just always seemed that way to me.

@43. thewindrose

Rand supposes Mat might have read a book at some point, but only answers that he doesn’t know.
I don't know why, but that always makes me chuckle.


Me too. It's well worth a chuckle or two.

As for discussing the new book at the end of October I think I will have to respectfully withdraw form any and all talk of that. Probably for a while too. I probably won't be picking it up until I am done with my re-read and then probably when it comes out in paperback. That's what I've done with all the rest so I see no reason to stop now. Except for getting a few answers, hints, plots, games and flowery descriptions sooner rahter than later. :-)
James Jones
71. jamesedjones
I'm really enjoying - but utterly bemused by - the discussion concerning what do we do once the next book comes out.

Am I the only person here who is participating in this reread because I've already finished the last book, and the next one hasn't come out yet?

As much as I enjoy Leigh's post, and our subsequent discussions, I'm probably not going to be reading it (or anything else) until I finish the next book.

From the moment it is placed in my hands, I will stop reading only for bathroom breaks and maaaaaybe food. Why would I want to read anything else (especially if it might spoil it)?! Leigh warns us about spoilers in this and every post. Let's not put the burden on the ones who want to discuss it.
Jason Lyman
72. jlyman
71. jamesedjones

I've already made my decision. I probably will keep up with the reread and just not read the comments. Cuz you know there's gonna be some joker who comes in and blurts out that Jheade'en killed Asmodean!
Pete Pratt
73. PeteP
I will get tGS and read it until it is done. Then I will read it again. Then I will go and do another series reread, when I have time, likely in early 2010. I have done this with every book since tDR and will continue to do so.

Even with a recent reread, the new information always puts new spin on previous books. Then again, I view the entire series as one super long book these days, so tGS is just another super-long chapter to the epic tWoT.
Razorbuck
74. syncap8
I'm flying to Tokyo on Oct 26 ... crap, that plane ride would've been a lot better if the date was pushed back one more day!
Maiane Bakroeva
75. Isilel
Yes, Bashere is very cool... and I for one wouldn't be displeased if he turns out to be a DF and Demandred's proxy ;). The search for the Seal and attack on his wife could well have been a feint or a plot of his master's rival. I mean, what with Alviarin losing her nerve because of switchings and whatnot we need another competent DF who isn't an OP powerhouse.

Re: Taim, I used to think that he might be Taimandred before RJ nixed the idea, but I thought that it was equally likely that he was a pupil of Ishy, as has been already mentioned.

15 years that Taim has been channeling is awfully close to the time when Ishy came up for air, saw the "vileness" and slaughter of the "lucky" men by the BA and stuffed the then head of it into killing ter'angreal for punishment.

And what did he try to tempt Rand with most of all? OP training and madness protection. Ishy also recruited male Dreadlords for the Trolloc wars - this MO fits him to a T.

Taim always seemed almost mocking when he mentioned madness - even here.
His story about the Seal is very reminiscent of Fain's story to Turok about the Horn, which is intentional, I am sure.

And - Taim knows the test for channeling ability, which would be impossible for a male wilder to invent without access to another known male wilder, which he denied. And he is contemptuous of Rand for not knowing it.
He also knows the non-sweating trick, which can't be "intuitively" learned at all, since it is not of the OP.
He is also fond of OT titles. He uses "so-called Aiel" - an expression that only an AoLer or somebody tutored by one would use.

He is against experimentation - a pretty untenable position for a self-taught wilder.

Not to mention that his training regimen feels very practiced from the start.

We have heard rumors that Taim tried to gather other male channelers as a False Dragon. IMHO, it was true even before he proclaimed himself, though it was understandably slow going without ta'veren on his side.
Still, I am sure that all the early dragon-pin Asha'man were his students from before and therefore DFs.

Re: RJ's mention of Taim's age - wouldn't he have slowed with 15 years of channeling and thus looked younger than his age? Maybe that's what RJ's quote was about.
Joseph Daly
76. Joed1414
@71: Dude the bathroom is a great place to get reading done you have no excuse to put the book down to go to the bathroom. Me? I plan to take off from work and pee sitting down for a few days once it comes out.
Sam Mickel
77. Samadai
unfortunately you have to get up every so often to wake up your legs
William Fettes
78. Wolfmage
I always loved these two chapters with the introduction of Taim and Bashere's coolness. Yay. Another good re-read, thanks Leigh. Though I must say I find the insertion of the theory that LTT is coping mechanism to be a little forced and grating.

To me, the grammatical structure of the LTT voice, the long list of its coherent ad hoc reactions to events and other experiential cues, and its attempts to control Rand's channelling facility all fit closely with it being a separate and independent agency that emerges more and more strongly as the walls break down between Rand and his reborn soul.

To be honest, whilst I'm usually very open to revising my opinion in light of new information, I think I would recoil in distaste at the gimmick trickery of it all if it turns out that is the correct theory. That is, I would find it positively alienating if it turns out so much of the books are so deceptively written, and at the sheer arbitrariness of Rand having an automagical cognitive facility which transforms a mere memory feed into a mental construct so perfect as to be identical to the real LTT, whilst other characters have no trouble assimilating several ages worth of identities without developing such problems. I also don't accept that the voice gets progressively madder.
Razorbuck
79. forgotmypassword
Right after RJ's passing, veteran members of rasfwrj came back to the old newsgroup briefly, then went back to their separate ways (many of whom are on Livejournal, I believe).

Loved your podcast, Leigh! I still have an hour left to go on it. I'm glad to hear that you're just as funny in person as you are in blog format.
James Jones
80. jamesedjones
76 Joed1414

Absolutely! Thank you!

I'm not going to be putting the book down, but I'm afraid I have to stop reading it if I want to avoid putting ice on my ankles and/or toes. I work with a lady who never takes her nose out of a book, but try as I might I cannot avoid injury whenever I attempt it. :)
Sam Mickel
81. Samadai
Curiosity poll,

If you found out about the major plots in the story of tGS would it really ruin the book for you? or would it make you want to read it even more?

I am in the no amount of spoiler could ruin this book for me at all camp.
Heather Porter
82. Bym1971
@81 Samadai --

I'm with you. No amount of spoilerific anything would spoil it for me. Of course, I'm the knucklehead who kept getting stuck in KOD and only managed to finish it about a month ago, so one MAJOR thing with Rand was spoiled for me by reading this reread. That being said, I still was anxious to finish the book because even spoilers need context, right?
T C
83. Freelancer
Poll answer first. I hate spoilers. Don't tell me about a movie except for a very raw outline. Don't tell me about any climactic events from a story. When I read, I immerse. Any outside influence on the internal imagery I create weakens the experience.
William Fettes
84. Wolfmage
Poll answer - I don't think it would ruin the experience for me, but I'm pretty confident that it would probably diminish it at least a little.

I've been reading WOT for years and years, but I never actually had it spoiled previously, so I don't want to start now.
T C
85. Freelancer
If Taim had been just this guy who happens to be able to channel and decided to test the waters and see if he were really the DR, then I expect he would have lost a great deal of his blind ambition after getting captured, then learning that the real DR is out there fighting the shadow.

Several points about his personality. He never, ever says anything to suggest that he's interested in the Light's victory. The only thing on his mind is personal glory. He risks Rand's anger to suggest a near-equal partnership, as if the DR needed a second in that way. Even after Rand blows up about that, and Taim submits, he says its so that the histories will remember that he was there. The relativists will think otherwise, but in fantasy, this kind of thinking is a virtual Mark of Cain, and separates the Good Guys from the Bad. Further, Taim expresses no remorse for brain-damaging that couple in Saldaea, using the front of proving who he is to tweak Bashere about it. Also not a trait of a nice person. Then there is the ever-present smirk, the smug near-smile. He knows much more than he is telling, and he isn't Rand's friend in any way imaginable.

All of the above suggests that he's a DF, and I think most would agree. It also suggests that that's the way he wants it, meaning he was not 13-13 turned, but came to it willingly. There is no anguish, remorse, angst, or any other emotion that would point towards internal conflict. The impression is of someone who is fine with who and what they are.

The arcane idioms, "so-called Aiel" reference, and his comments about Aes Sedai all suggest involvement with someone from the Age of Legends. Since the forsaken are the only folks around that fit that bill, Taim is a darkfriend. Now, not later. Another commenter suggested that LTT's rant is caused by his ability to recognize someone who is amenable to turning to the shadow. Would it not be more plausible if LTT could identify someone who already had? Someone who say, has had close contact with Demandred or Sammael. (I personally think he was Sammael's student, as it would be fitting if Sammael found a darkfriend male channeler who could be mistaken for Demandred, then used him to sow chaos in Demandred's name) LTT knew both Demandred and Sammael extremely well, so someone on whom one or both of those forsaken has had an influence might just trigger LTTs reaction.

The seal. I was sure that something really, really BAD was about to happen when Rand lost control and nearly smashed it. Lump in the throat time.

Bashere rocks. More significant to me than the risk he takes by showing Rand how well he can defend himself, is the complete lack of notice he takes of the assembled sycophants. They might as well not be there as far as Bashere's concerned. Who would care about a bunch of creampuff nobles when you are used to facing fades and trollocs?
William Fettes
86. Wolfmage
Freelancer @ 85

I agree with all you've said there Freelancer, but I don't think a 13-13 circle turning would necessarily leave a legacy of any internal struggle or remorse. I think it's just more likely, accepting all you've said, that he was rotten from the beginning - likely acting in concert with Forsaken.
j p
87. sps49
I will avoid tGS spoilers, and don't really need reviews- nothing will prevent me getting and reading the book ASAP.

Rand's sword practice (and the Asha'man training) is a sound idea. It's exercise, for one, plus a channeler never needs a sword until a channeler really needs a sword. Far Madding, anyone? Moiraine vs. Merean?

I still think Mazrin Taim is somehow from the Age of Legends. His scorn for "so-called Aiel" just doesn't fit anyone who doesn't remember the original People of the Dragon.
Anthony Pero
88. anthonypero
Well, I don't think Mazrim Taim is from the AoL, and I don't think this other Loony Theory I just thought of either... but it would be freaking awesome!

What if Taim was from one of the other Portal Stone worlds? Hmm? THAT would be cool!
Razorbuck
89. Valan
@ Anthonypero

Yeah, that would be cool because RJ loved to do that. That being 'you remember that thing from like 10 books ago, that thing you forgot, BAM there it is again, if you had paid enough attn...'

Ha, nice loony theory.
Michael Rosenberg
90. msr
Gee. Two chapters about Rand, immediately following the end of the previous book, and not a single mention or thought by Rand about where Asmodean might have wandered off to? Good to know he was so unimportant as to completely beneath notice.
Razorbuck
91. longtimefan
As to spoilers. I will read any review no matter what it says about the book/movie. I am not a big fan of RAFO. I am a big fan of structure and syntax and the architecture of language. It did not bother me when there was the big spoiler controversy in the Harry Potter series. Just because I know something will happen does not mean I know when or how it will be written.

When I am reading something I can get into the work so thoroughly I will not remember the little bits of pre-knowledge that sit quietly on the shelves in the back of my mind.

Honestly I would be perfectly happy if there was a web review that was filled with spoilers about the upcoming book. It would be very read at your own risk but I want to take that risk and I think there are others with a similar interest. And those who do not, would not. The review at Dragonmount was uninteresting to me. Brief, gleeful and secretive. Three things I am not particularly fond of.

I will be honest and say that I am just reading the series to finish the series and was not happy with the last three books although Knife of Dreams was better than the two that preceded it. I like some of the characters and I follow the plot lines that I like such as the Tower (whole and split) and early Perrin (later Perrin is ok but the character change is in need of redemption). The pacing has changed through out the series and I am not enjoying the slower pacing with the longer spacing between books. It is not what I would consider optimal storytelling. If the pacing were quicker;similar to the first three but maybe not as fast and the spacing between them still as long it would not be so bothersome to me. If the pacing remained this drawn out but the spacing was not so far apart then it would be less annoying to me. Obviously the molasses pacing and the multi year spacing does not bother some people.

As the waiting is not something I enjoy I am all for the spolierest spoliers anyone is willing to post as a review. It would not keep me from buying the book. It is a series after all. If I was going to give up I would have done so by Winters Heart.

Also, cynically since I have said things that will be unpopular, I was not 100 percent on the Taimendred theory but I was 100 percent certain that Taim was on the Dark side. Only after it was denied did I suspect that the theory was possible but the story had become to vast for the reveal to match the fan base interest and had to be changed. Not saying it is bad writing just the length of the story surpassed the pacing and the Author had to realign some things to stay ahead of the fan base. Why? I do not know. This is the same person who knew that Asmodean's death was unimportant and yet refused to reveal it because the fan base was so frenzied about it and claimed to enjoy tweaking the fans about the mystery of the killer.

A weak hook to hang the change of Taimendread is a red herring hat on but I like the series not the Author. Every person is magnificent and flawed in their own ways.
Anthony Pero
92. anthonypero
msr@90:

Well, in Rand's defense, Chapter 1 takes place a month after Rahvin's death. So he's had plenty of time to think about it, and it's not surprising that he's not monologuing about it in his head any more. He does think about ti a few times in the first 300 pages of LoC... just not in these chapters, with everything going on.
Pete Pratt
93. PeteP
Sorry for you, Longtimefan. I thought KoD was one of the best books of the series, up with the first 6 and better than any book after LoC.

Now, CoT only works when reading the books together, rather than as a book by itself. The Mat parts are really good. The Great Purge investigation is kind of cool. Overall, I like the book, and it find it an interesting chapter in the series.

As for Winter's Heart, I loved the end. It redeems the entire book. Nothing like a massive battle between channelers at the end of a book.

As to waiting, I started reading in 1991. I have waited for a lot of books. And re-read the series many times. Waiting kind of sucks, but is expected.
Razorbuck
94. Valan
Everybody always complains about "the last three books." I can understand CoT, its really just a companion book to Winter's Heart. And i can kind of understand A Path of Daggers, which I absolutely hated the first time around because of a certain lack of of a certain character who happens to be my favorite and who's storyline ended on a crazy cliff-hanger in aCoS, but on a re-read I found that I really liked. But Winter's Heart is one of my favorite novels in the series, and I realize that the Perrin/Faile storyline kicks into gear here, which is not a favorite of most peopl's, but Mat and Rand's story's are great in WH. so WTF? anyway Lord of Chaos, right.

Lews Therin’s voice came up like thunder. Break it break them all must break them must must must break them all break them and strike must strike quickly must strike now break it break it break it . . .

(emphasis mine)

I never once noticed that until this re-read, I am now in favor that the seals must be broken to fight and win Tarmon Gaidin and seal the Bore for good.
Antoni Ivanov
95. tonka
I hate spoilers . I am not going to read the comments after the book is out till I read it myself.

May I suggest that Leigh takes a week or 2 off after the release of the TGS
craig thrift
96. gagecreedlives
Am I the only one that found the image of the young red running away screaming because she found out Rand was there funny.

Beyond being sure Taim is a darkfriend I cant make up my mind on minion Taim or not. However I do have have a bit of a loony theory. We are assuming that Siuan is lying when she said the red set up Logain and others as false dragons but what if she isn’t or more likely that she is lying but ironically enough it’s the truth regarding Taim.
The red through Galina organises Taim to declare himself the Dragon and they either rescue him so he can tell no tales or one of the forsaken do.

And as cool as Bashere is Im gonna have to disagree with him about Rands sword play. I think it will come very important at one stage in the later books. I think there has been some very subtle foreshadowing that Rands skill with a sword will save his life at one stage. And when he loses a hand he doesn’t wonder how this will affect his channelling he states he will have to learn the sword all over again.
Lindy Brown
97. lbrown
If you recall, the Lews Therin theory I’ve always personally favored is that the memories are real, but the voice/personality is not; rather it is a defense mechanism constructed by Rand’s subconscious to separate himself from his growing taint-induced madness.


Leigh, how would you explain that part in KOD when Rand and company are in Tear and the trollocs come and LTT takes hold of the source and is in total control and almost kills Rand and him by ODing on the One Power. Would you say that that was really Rand almost killing himself and his madness was just making him think it was LTT?
William Fettes
98. Wolfmage
97 @ lbrown

"Leigh, how would you explain that part in KOD when Rand and company are in Tear and the trollocs come and LTT takes hold of the source and is in total control and almost kills Rand and him by ODing on the One Power. Would you say that that was really Rand almost killing himself and his madness was just making him think it was LTT?"

And while you're at it Leigh, explain the other half dozen times LTT attempts to seize saidin in a way that is clearly described in terms of it being a foreign exogenous entity, which cannot be influenced except by consciously talking LTT down - ie. treating it like a real thing.

The truth is there's no way to explain these things without great mental gymnastics which involve Rand creating a near-perfect LTT construct ex nihilo out of memories and having it stuck 'on' and unammenable to being forced into retreat or dissolution by silent unconscious processes (ie. how it was allegedly created). The fact that it reacts to stimuli so organically and accurately, and that Rand's influence is limited to conscious bargaining and mental conversation is just a coincidence about Rand's automagical one-way coping mechanism.

The construct also just 'appears' to have independent force to the reader because we're seeing through Rand's mad viewpoint and have no way of separating from Rand's consciousness. Of course, that this would make RJ's writing throughout the novels deeply deceptive, in terms of its object-subject syntax and structure is assumingly just a necessary casualty of it being a neat theory backed by Callandor's huge wall of text. Urrrg.
Razorbuck
99. Planeswalker
Hello now! It's been a while! We're in LOC?!? hahaha

Time sure flies fast. **Though not as fast as I would have wanted it catching up before GoS arrives. But it's not my reread. Nevertheless, great job Leigh!

Where are we now... hmmm Taim!!! Lord of Chaos, anyone? Here's Taim for you!
Definitely a much more major role in the AMOL books. Can't wait. And as for Bashere? I mean yeah, he's as cool as Lan.

Oh? you guys hitting on Leigh (with questions)?hahaha though i also prefer two separate minds inside Rand and not because of his subconscious. Though, the last book will bring closure to this issue. :)
William Fettes
100. Wolfmage
Planeswalker @ 99

"Oh? you guys hitting on Leigh (with questions)?hahaha"

I'm not sure why that's funny. If there is any expectation here of any kind of dialogue, it's obviously meant to modestly inform later posting efforts. Obviously, we don't expect Leigh to actually respond to individual posts in the thread itself. Leigh has stated a number of times she does actually read the comments, even if she doesn't have time to post most of the time, so it's not like it's a completely futile gesture.

Speaking personally, I just wanted to put my reasons out there for why I regard the LTT-coping mechanism theory as a pretty exotic theory, based on very thin evidence. So, as an exotic theory, I'm simply hoping it will take up less column inches in future posts compared to more grounded speculation and theories which I find more compelling.
TW L
101. Shadow_Jak
This exchange in chapter Two always struck me as very suspicious...
Rand asks Taim where he found the Seal and he replied...
"In the last place you would suspect ... A decaying little farm in Saldaea."
Later Rand tells Bashere...
"I'm taking Taim to the farm. Do you want to come along?"
"The Farm?" Taim said.

Rand and Bashere continue there conversation, but Taim keeps asking...
"What Farm?"
and later...
"What farm are you talking about?" Taim's voice grew harder. "Where is it you mean to take me?
It seems to me that Taim thinks Rand means to check up on his story about finding the seal on a farm.
Made me suspicious of him from the very beginning.
john mullen
102. johntheirishmongol
Bashere...balls of steel

Mat...even when he's not there he's doing cool stuff

Taim...I caught the parallels with Demandred but never thought he was other than a DF. I agree that he only staved off the madness because he has sold his soul.

Does Rand need to fight 5 at a time? no..but pretty cool anyway. After he loses his hand he has to relearn how to fight anyway so all this practice only does so much.

I can't be the only one that sees Rand=Luke with the loss of hand. But what I think is the funny parallel is that to me Asmodeon is the Bobba Fett or the entire WOT, because what is written about him is totally disproportionate to what he actually does.

As for spoilers, I am taking the day off to read TGS anyway, so unless someone gets a preview copy, I will take bets on being one of the first to get it read. Twice!

But I am pretty careful about passing out that kind of info when I talk to anyone about movies or books because when I was younger, I got drunk at a party and passed on the "Luke, I am your father" line. Took me months to repair that damage, lol.

As I have said before, I believe that LTT is a real entity inhabiting the same brain. I don't think its a defense mechanism, or a taint induced madness. He has info that Rand could not possibly know unless he was real.

I had started my reread in preparation for TGS and ran across these rereads soon after I started but way behind what had already been written. I was going to try to stay somewhat even with the reread here just to pick up additional insights but I just cannot read that slowly and want to go ahead and get them all done but will continue to follow the rereads and post my comments.
Brett Michie
103. bchurch
gagecreedlives @ 96

"Am I the only one that found the image of the young red running away screaming because she found out Rand was there funny?"


I always thought that this was the young red spy from the TAS that Ravhin had compulsed to feed them the info he wanted. I'm not positive and I don't have my books with me so I can't check(in the process of moving, urghh!). Anyone here know if we ever learn her name or if she shows up again? I remember the TAS discussing her in Elaida's study and Ravhin telling Lanfear not to worry about her, but can't recall a name.
TW L
104. Shadow_Jak
OK, Here's my pet Taim theory (been waiting so long for the right time to share!)

We know that the 13 Forsaken were somehow trapped when the bore was sealed.
But I seem to recall a reference from somewhere that during the AOL, there were actually more than these 13 who were named "Forsaken". That these 13, remembered today, were just the most infamous of those.

I may not have that right, but either way, if these 13 could be trapped in the bore, then some of the DO's lesser servants might also have been trapped.
Maybe someone, Demandred for instance, brought a promising young convert to the meeting?

Taim just knows too much to be anything else but an AOL'er.

I apologize in advance if this theory has already been shot down.
And if not... Please fire at will ;-).
sandi vogel
105. sinfulcashew
For the poll:
I could read the book after the spoilers.
I would probably find things that weren't mentioned anyway.
I am rereading now (and not my first reread) and have forgotten sooooo much.
The things that are happening are sure not what I remember, quite. My impressions were that things were more spread out, IE, not happening so fast!
I didn't think so much happened in the first books.
Weird! I am enjoying the re-acquaintance with the things I DO remember and finding all the instances of 'when' things really happened.
There is so much packed into these books.
craig thrift
106. gagecreedlives
bchurch@103

Pretty sure we are speaking of the same red. And yes while it might be wrong for me to be laughing at somebody that has been compulsionized I do still find the image hilarious.

But I dont remember her name either but pretty sure we havent seen her again.
Lord Haart
107. LordHaart
What if Taim was actually just insane from the taint, but instead of fake voices or LTT's voice, he was hearing one of the Dreadlords from the second age? After years of this, he has become that person. Would explain his knowledge, allegiance, and also make him somewhat independent from the other FS, explaining his behaviour with Torval.
Brett Michie
108. bchurch
Gagecreedlives @ 106

I agree with you. It's probably wrong on some level, but I can call up an image of her running and screaming at the thought of the big, bad Dragon Reborn that is, as you say, hilarious.

Dunno if I'm desensitized by hollywood or if I'm just twisted, but it is funny.
j p
109. sps49
@104

Hey, I can get on board with that. Especially if he replaced the real Taim.
TW L
110. Shadow_Jak
@109
Maybe. On the other hand, Taim, the false Dragon didn't show up until TGH. He could have been freed from the bore about the same time as Lanfear. Could have been him from the beginning.
craig thrift
111. gagecreedlives
bchurch@108

I have an image of her hiking up those hems so she could really get those knees pumping.

Wonder how far she could run and scream for at the same time. Hope she was fit
Captain Hammer
113. Randalator
Leigh

I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a POV from Bashere (not that I recall, anyway)

We've seen two Bashere POVs so far: A short glimpse during the Seanchan battle in PoD, ch. 24 and one less shortish in CoT, Prologue when his wife gets stabbed by darkfriends trying to find the seals...
Maiane Bakroeva
114. Isilel
Shadow_Jak @101:

Great point about Taim's reaction to mention of the Farm - he is afraid that Rand intends to check his story! Never noticed it, but it fits 100%.

Re: false Dragons supposedly set by the Tower, IMHO it is another example of "conservation" and ta'veren influence.
Ishy tells this lie (IMHO) to Rand to prevent him from working in concert with the AS.
Rand tells Siuan in Fal Dara that he won't be a False Dragon for WT.
Then she remembers the idea and with Logain's help uses it to undermine the Reds and keep the SAS rebellion going.

Re: Taim, a false Dragon would be a pretty evilish person to begin with, unless he is sufficiently deluded to believe that he is the real thing - which Taim by his own admission here was not.

I am still waiting for Logain's excuse - he seems decent now, but he did rip apart Ghaeladan and caused deaths of thousands, so... Maybe we'll learn that Ishy sent him dreams that made him believe in being the DR? I hope so.

Honestly, a male channeler in this age would have the most compelling reason of anyone to turn to the Shadow.
And why should the 13:13 trick be wasted to explain evilness of a character whom we never met before? IMHO, it has been used or will be attempted/used on somebody whom we know and know to be intrinsically good.
Razorbuck
115. JWezy
I could read it 'twere it spoiled;
I could read it boiled in oil(ed).
I would read it in my shorts;
I would read it peeing quarts.

I would read it in a minute;
I would read if Faile were in it.
I would read it in the rain;
Hoping to read about Moiraine.

I would read it with the light on;
I would read 'bout Tarmon Gaidon
I would read it to the end;
To find out who killed Asmodean.

Thanks, Dr. Seuss.
Marcus W
116. toryx
syncap8 @ 74:

Now that you mention it, I'm going to be flying back from France on October 30th. Assuming that I can find an english version of the tGS in Montpelier or Marseille, it'd make the flight home much more pleasant.

Of course, it'll also be a lot more expensive over there too. Curses!

I'm kind of tempted to get a Kindle and just download it from Amazon.


Freelancer @ 83 re: Poll

This is one area in which I completely agree with Freelancer.

Spoilers wouldn't stop me from reading the book but it'd definitely diminish the experience for me.

lbrown @ 97:

Would you say that that was really Rand almost killing himself and his madness was just making him think it was LTT?

Yes.

Okay, sorta. I, for one, agree with Leigh completely. The argument is that the LTT in Rand's head is a multiple personality disorder type construct created subconsciously by Rand. Technically it is Rand...there's no one else there...but the personality is still distinct.
T C
117. Freelancer
gagecreedlives@96

It wouldn't be the first time that someone fabricated a story that turned out to be all too true. A substantial number of Reds were involved in illegally gentling male channelers such as Owyn. And earlier on, the Black Ajah was busy killing any male rumored to be inexplicably fortunate. More recently, the Reds haven't had anything to crow about, and since several of the most powerful Reds are also black, it's quite plausible that they'd do exactly as Siuan's story suggests.


Wolfmage@100

What was funny in Planeswalker's mind @99 was the double entendre in his phrase "hitting on Leigh". Nothing more. You seemed to get from his comment that he found it funny that a commenter would address a question to Leigh. Nah, he was chuckling at his own wit.


Shadow_Jak@104

I've considered the possibility that Taim was trapped with the other 13, managed to remain unidentified and obscure both before and after, until he began to cause trouble as a false Dragon. The question would be, why declare yourself as the Dragon Reborn if you had lived when the Dragon lived, haven't died to be reborn, and knew you weren't him? Even for Taim's level of ambition and need for glory, that doesn't wash.

Also, if I were in his shoes and this theory were correct, how much easier to put yourself forward with a story that is mostly true? Go to Rand, tell him that you've read some modern history and learned that only 13 were spoken of as sealed at the Bore, but you were one of LTTs Hundred Companions and got caught accidentally. It would explain his AoL knowledge and his lack of taint-induced madness. And if he'd been released from the Bore prior to Rand becoming common knowledge, he could have gone to the White Tower with the same story. Or he could have remained obscure and worked totally from the shadows, ala Slayer.

But no, he declares himself the Dragon Reborn, get himself caught, gets free, hides for awhile, then submits to the real DR. Overall, it doesn't add up.

But he most certainly has been trained by someone from the AoL.
Michael Catapano
118. hoping
I'm in the 'LTT is a real personality' camp. His independant knowledge of the aol, the forsaken, and weaves are enough for me. Also, agree with those above who think it would be an inelegant plot device. I know there is not enough evidence to clinch it either way.

Along these lines, I have floated the idea, in past threads, that Taim is a channeler who was taken over by a prior personality (ala Lordhaart). He lost the battle that Rand is currently winning with LTT. Furthermore, the personality is probably from the AoL, hence Taim's knowledge from that era, as enumerated by other commenters.
I have always thought he was a DF and probably under the control and tutelage of Ishy from the start of the series. Maybe it wasn't the Pattern rejecting a false dragon that caused Taim to fall from his horse in tGh. It could be that he was somehow linked to Ishy's fate.

and
Spoilers be damned. Full speed ahead.
I'll get thru the book at breakneck speed anyway.

Goats are calling. Gotta go

Maaa

edit
jwezy
lol
agree completely
William Fettes
119. Wolfmage
Freelancer @ 117

Ha! Boy do I feel like a doofus. Yes, you're right, it's completely obvious in retrospect.
Maiane Bakroeva
120. Isilel
Freelancer @117:

More recently, the Reds haven't had anything to crow about, and since several of the most powerful Reds are also black, it's quite plausible that they'd do exactly as Siuan's story suggests.

But there is zero evidence that this story is anything other than an Ishyism that Siuan decided to adopt to stiffen SAS resistance to Elaida. I mean, Siuan never thinks of a precedent from the secret archives and from the Black/Red POVs we have seen such course of action seems incompatible with them. I mean, if a Forsaken gave a direct order - yes they'd do anything, but otherwise?

What is more likely IMHO is that BAs reported the male channelers they found to Ishy after he got out those years ago, so that he could approach them and try to recruit them.
And that's one of the reasons for the number of male channelers found in the last couple of decades falling off so sharply, even with illegal gentlings taken into account.
Greg Hollingsworth
121. artifex
As some of the other posts suggest, or mention, it does seem likely that the dark side minions would also be spun out by the Wheel over and over, even though this is not even hinted at that I recall. It never really occurred to me before as there are too many other things to fire up the little grey cells within these books. Is it possible that someone from the dark side could also have memories from past lives bubble up? Could Taim unknowingly be spouting things from the past? Not that I believe this is the case, but it does bring up some interesting thoughts.
Razorbuck
122. twicemarked
I believe Taim is an understudy of Ishamael. He claimed to channel for 15 years. And that is about the time when Ishamael killed the head of the BA, and stopped the "Vileness" after the Aiel War.

I think one of the main reason is that the BA happened to killed one of Ishamael's Dreadlord understudy. Otherwise, Ishamael should not get into such a rage as to kill such a high ranking DF.

Taim was taught by Ishamael after that.

Isilel @114

I am not sure claiming to be the DR is automatically evil like you termed it. The way Taim speaks, he does not seem to believe in prophecies at all. He seems to believe the victors write the history, so whoever conquers the world can say he fullfilled all the prophecies, without actually doing so. Maybe it just means he believes more in free will rather than the Pattern's control.
TW L
123. Shadow_Jak
@117
The question would be, why declare yourself as the Dragon Reborn if you had lived when the Dragon lived, haven't died to be reborn, and knew you weren't him? Even for Taim's level of ambition and need for glory, that doesn't wash.
Why? Two possibilities:

1. He chose that path to start building a power base. Just as each of the Chosen began building power in their own way. Maybe he underestimated the current Aes Sedai, as they all do.

2. On orders from the DO or one of the Chosen, Ishy or Demandred.
T C
124. Freelancer
twicemarked@122

Taim believes more in his own power and potential glory than either free will or prophecy, or the Pattern's control. Who, having such ambition, would acknowledge a force to which logic demands he must submit?


Shadow_Jak@123

1. Each of the other Forsaken chose a hidden method of acquiring a position of power, not becoming public until they were established. Starting battles and calling yourself the DR is how you get opposed. Not an intelligent method, not worthy of someone from the AoL.

2. About the time Taim began his campaign in Saldaea, the other forsaken were completing their positionings elsewhere. If he were one of them, he'd feel no compunction to obey them. It has been very well established that they disdain each other except for joint power operations, they have no trust for each other. Given what we know up to KoD, Taim seems to have some guidance from Moridin, which only makes sense if Ishamael discovered him in this age.
Antoni Ivanov
125. tonka
Taim is from this age.He is in his late twenties (not 30 even)

RJ Quote :
WinespringBrother: How old is Taim and has he slowed?
RJ: Taim has slowed, but one thing I am not going to reveal it in the books, so I'll tell you, men slow later than women do. And yes, he has slowed, and he is in his late twenties, yes his late twenties.


And this one. If he was forsaken the answer of the following question would have been RAFO not this :

Sodas: Is there anything you can tell us about Taim's choice to head to Andor after his escape?
RJ: Well, he really didn't have much other choice. He's a man who can channel. At that time, as far as he knows, any Aes Sedai that gets their hands on him will try to gentle him again. But the word is getting around: there are men gathering near Caemlyn, men just like him, and maybe there are enough of them that if they stick together the Aes Sedai will not be able to take them down. So he has no other choice. He can either spend a life on the run or he can enlist. He decided to enlist.


Why would Forsaken think this way ? Taim would know how to travel and who know how many things if he was from AoL. And he definitely won't be afraid of Aes Sedai as someone suggested.

And this is Robert Jordan explanation for why Taim holds so much time the madness which is less than the questioner thinks even.

Q: What about Mazrim Taim? Isn't his withstanding of the madness for 15 years something exceptional?
RJ: The duration varies from man to man; the circumstances are different, and the men themselves. Nobody really knows how long the process takes (or has to take), since once you start channeling the Aes Sedai usually find you pretty quickly, and gentling stops the progression of the madness and the taint (though it does not cure what's already happened). Channeling is addictive; once you've done it, you can't stop. The Breaking took about a hundred years before all the men finally died, though some of them did shelter in the Stedding for a while. Nobody knows how long the process takes, except that there is variation. It's all in my notes.
TW L
126. Shadow_Jak
@125
RJ: Taim has slowed ... and he is in his late twenties, yes his late twenties.

Oh well... there goes another pet theory. *sob*
Alice Arneson
127. Wetlandernw
Anyone want to place bets (or do a poll) on whether or not we'll ever find out which LTT theory is correct, if any? I'm half convinced that it's one of the things RJ never intended to answer.
Rich Gold
128. richg25
I find it interesting how we go round and round here about the nature of LTT - but in the story itself, there's almost no discussion about just what being the "Dragon Reborn" actually means. I do recall it coming up slightly in one spot - someone mentions how it's the only case where a specific person was identified as being reborn from someone else - after all, they all believe in soul rebirth, it's in that oath they speak about cradling the the hand of the creator and their rebirth.
Jason Lyman
129. jlyman
@102. johntheirishmongol

Mat...even when he's not there he's doing cool stuff

HA!

@106. gagecreedlives

compulsionized? That's a new word... :-)

@115. JWezy

Nice poetry. Thanks, Dr Seuss indeed!


This whole discussion about Taim is pretty interesting. I have leaned toward the 13-13'd camp, but now I just don't know. Don't think he is a Forsaken, or Forsaken Jr. Probably a dreadlord in training, though who his sponsor is may still be in question. Either Ishamael or Demandred though. But this is another thing that I am looking forward to finding out about in the next books.
Marcus W
130. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 127:

If Min's viewing about Rand and a second person (and the later one about even a third man) is truly related to the LTT situation, I suspect we'll get our answer.

I also think that in order for Rand to win the final battle he'll have to be one whole mind (consciousness, personality, what have you). If that's true then we'll likely be able to witness the resolution of those internal conflicts. I think that will answer the question once and for all.
Alice Arneson
131. Wetlandernw
richg25 @ 128

It is rather interesting - not to say amusing - to see the huge debate on the nature of LTT. I've never felt that it mattered all that much, myself, but then I feel that way about many of the esoteric debates. Like many others, I wasn't aware of an "issue" until I got sucked into this online thing and discovered the angst that was out there! ;) It never occured to me that Taim might be anyone other than Taim, though I was pretty sure early on that he was probably a DF or at least a bad guy. Who killed Asmodean was mostly a curiosity; if it was in any way significant, we'd find out, otherwise it was this little unresolved mystery over in the corner. Whatever.

Not that I'm laughing at "them," you understand. I'm laughing at "us," because I too can get into heated debates over character motivations and the validity (or not) of actions taken. It's incredibly easy to get your head so far inside the world of WoT that you see these fictional characters as real people. But I (and others) have said all this before.

You're right; we did talk briefly about "what does it mean to be the 'Dragon Reborn'?" one day, but I think it got lost in the "nature of LTT" debate that time, too. Now that you remind me, I think I'll go see what I can find of the few comments on the subject that time, and see if there's any fuel for discussion. It's kinda hard to find with this bunch, you know... ;)
Alice Arneson
132. Wetlandernw
toryx @130

I dunno. I can easily see a situation where Rand resolves the internal conflicts and unites the LTT/Rand minds (I think you're right that it has to happen), but we STILL don't know for sure whether LTT was Rand's mental construct or a real person all his own. There's nothing in the setup that overwhelmingly demands an explanation of the "physics" (or metaphysics) involved. Honestly, I won't be at all surprised if this is one debate that continues after the books are all published, and doesn't end unless/until the great Encyclopedia with all RJs background info & notes gets published. If then. I'm not convinced that it matters, or that it ever occurred to RJ that anyone would think it did (before the raging fan-debate started, anyway).
Marcus W
133. toryx
The nature of a lot of the debates on these books really comes down to perception. So many things seem so obvious to people that it's startling and sometimes shocking to see a different perception of an event that another group has that directly opposes one's own.

So if it's so obvious to one's point of view and so shocking to see a contrary opinion you just can't help but jump in there and discuss it. I know in my own case, a lot of the arguments people make for why my LTT theory is wrong involve the exact same passages that I believe prove my theory to be right.

You wouldn't figure that one set of books could result in so many interpretations and still have such a varied group of people who enjoy them. But here we have it.

It's no wonder people the world over have such a hard time disagreeing on larger topics.
Rich Gold
134. richg25
131. Wetlandernw - I agree with most of what you said - I also simply accepted what seemed simple - Taim = bad guy, but pretending to follow Rand, etc.

As for my point, what I actually meant is that the characters themselves, especially the "learned" AS, don't give a second thought to what it means that Rand is the DR - that there might be some connection to LTT.
James Jones
135. jamesedjones
133 toryx

"It's no wonder people the world over have such a hard time disagreeing on larger topics."

What larger topics?!?! Blasphemy!


Edit: Okay, okay, maybe after November...
Alice Arneson
136. Wetlandernw
toryx @133
... a lot of the arguments people make for why my LTT theory is wrong involve the exact same passages that I believe prove my theory to be right. ... It's no wonder people the world over have such a hard time disagreeing on larger topics.

Too true! It's happened over and over: people use the EXACT SAME passage and words to prove OPPOSITE points. It's really funny to read! I guess it just shows that no matter what you're reading, you see it through the lens of your own experiences and biases. No wonder, indeed.

richg25 @ 134

You are correct, and I knew that's what you meant. I just got sidetracked (who, ME??). Now I'm going to post this so I can stop typing and think about what I really meant to say on that subject...
Sam Mickel
137. Samadai
*warning*warning*
crazy all new theory that I just made up(although possible it has been discussed before)

What if Taim was a good guy up until WH. He recruits some followers who are just as arrogant as he is (Torval, Gedwyn, Rochaid, Kisman and others). They comealong with him to learn the power because of the glory they want but realize the price is higher than they are willing to pay. They run into a gentleman,(Demandred), who tells them that there is away for them to avoid madness, end up with heaps of glory and live forever above everyone else. They are of course interested and ask how. the Gentleman says come with me and whisks them off to Shayol Ghul where they swear loyalty to the Dark One. Demandred then tells them to go suck up to Taim,(because people who want power always need asskissers), and do what they can to recruit more followers. After awhile recruiting and now being Taims pets they have enough new Dreadlords and shield Taim. Demandred appears and takes them through a gateway where 13 myrdrall are waiting and presto-chango Taim is now under the control of the shadow as well as being arrogant and power hungry. This happens after He tells the to kill Rand because then he just wanted the glory of being the true leader of the Black tower, and he knew nothing about Demandred or Moridin ordering his posse to kill Rand.


I know its crazy but it just popped into my head for some reason
Tess Laird
138. thewindrose
Arymilla falls down in a faint at the mention of the Forsaken, and the other Andorans don’t look much better.
These are the Andor nobles who hung out with Rahvin. Does anyone agree with me that the only way Arymilla becomes a contender for the throne of Andor is with Forsaken help? Which one helps her? Moridin? I know this is books off from now, but maybe during the reread it will become clearer. I have heard a theory that Nasin's grandaughter Sylvase may be either Cyndane or Moghedien.
Alice Arneson
139. Wetlandernw
Okay, what does "Dragon Reborn" really mean to people in WoT?

For the vast majority of Randlanders, this is only meaningful in terms of "what will he do?" They all know something of the Dragon prophecies, whether they think of them as folk tales or actual prophecy. When they come up against the reality, they suddenly understand why "May you live in interesting times" is considered a curse. At that point, they couldn't care less about the physical/metaphysical/psychological/psycotic ramifications for the individual involved. They are thinking totally in terms of what he will do and how it will affect them, personally or as a people. This leads them into thinking about how to help him, hinder him, get him out of their corner of the world, kill him, make it all go away... whatever their individual agenda involves. And that's pretty much all we see of their POV.

To the best of my knowledge, no one (within the books) has spent much time considering what it means for Rand as a person (as opposed to the actions he should be taking). No one has spent much time pondering on whether Rand as a person exists, or whether he co-exists with LTT, or whether he's LTT from the day he's born, or... whatever. Given the way people function, they mostly don't care. Those who might care would predominantly be AS: either Browns with a White leaning, Whites with a Brown leaning, or the rare Yellow who is as interested in the health of the mind as of the body; those who are interested in logic, knowledge, and understanding the human psyche. The only individuals I can think of that might be interested in the question (for both the knowledge and the effect) are Nynaeve and Cadsuane, and they are both pretty busy just dealing with the effect of living in interesting times.

So... that's from within. From without, as a critical reader, I have to assume that the author either didn't want to get into it (can you imagine how many more pages COULD be written if you had a whole passel of AS trying to study the phenomenon?); didn't think it was all that important as a subject; or didn't think the people on the scene would be likely to consider it given what else they had on their plates. Myself, I can see RJ taking any or all of those attitudes. In any case, he really didn't write ANYTHING (in the books) about anyone besides Rand trying to figure it out. Oh, Cadsuane mentions "voices in the head" and Semi makes some snide comments about the impossibility of reintegrating the souls (or some such), but those are the only instances I can recall of anyone coming anywhere close to it.

So... those of you who think on these things, can you recall anyone else considering the science involved in the rebirth of a specific person?
Marcus W
140. toryx
jamesedjones @ 135:

Oh, of course. Maybe instead of larger topics I should have said more mundane topics.
Richard Fife
141. R.Fife
Wetlander: Graendel briefly comments in TFoH about "what does it mean for a soul to be specifically reborn", and while perhaps meant to be snide and nettling, not in the same way we might think of Semi to Rand. Heck, that was her speciality prior to going completely short-form hedonistic, so of anyone, I think she is the most interested.

There is something that kinda makes me wonder, though. Graendal's PoV indicates that she went from sainthood to forsaken of her own decision in the AoL, but Sammael's PoV just prior to that (a few chapters from now) indicate that it was a bit of a crazy shocker of a 180. Maybe Graendal was 13x13'd! OMGWTFBBQ! Channeling through chupacabras!

Ahem.... Anywho, I'm of the opinion that its 6 of one, half-dozen of the other. LTT is a "distinct personalty" and Rand does have access AoL memories from LTT, but mainly through the LTT voice in his head. So, if its a self-created coping mechanism that uses the LTT memories in Rand's souls, or "the real LTT", aren't they the same thing?

That is to say (boy I'm getting long winded), what is a unique personality (or person) but the sum of the experiences? Has not Mat become a new person with his new memories? He has definately become more responsible and altruistic, even if his "dominate personality" doesn't want to admit it, and I'd say that it is because he now has the experiences of altruistic/noble men in his head.

So, yeah. My camp is an engineer's perspective: LTT is real enough for all practical purposes.
Joseph Blaidd
142. SteelBlaidd
The lack of thinking about the implications is one of the prime handycaps for the Aes Sedai dealing with Rand. They keep expecting to deal with someone that should hold them in awe. when in fact they are dealing with a soul that is used to dealing with strong chanelers as subordanats. This is the same problem they have with Siuan so it's not much of a suprise.
John Fitzingo
144. Xandar01
Poll Answer:
I don't want to be spoiled by major events. Minor plot elements get me excited, but it's no fun when the surprise is taken away. Yeah, it won't be a surprise the second time around, but that is what re-reads are for. I want my shocking surprises!

I never got into rasfw-rj, but looks like it was a fun place to be. I definitely like the idea of have a separate post here just for TGS; I believe Leigh already mentioned long ago that she intended to do something like that.

As for spoilers in this re-read, It'll be hard to keep them out. After a few weeks they start showing up in here. Maybe an additional warning about spoilers for TGS would be in order?
Bill Reamy
145. BillinHI
Jwezy @115

ROFLMAO!

Bashere: One of the coolest non-OP characters in the whole series. Gareth Bryne and Lan are in that same group, as well. And Loial, of course, of whom we don’t see nearly enough IMHO. I will be extremely disappointed if Bashere turns out to be a DF, but I won’t be at all surprised to see him and his wife, along with Tenobia, die during TG or the run up to it.

TGS: I don’t really want to see any spoilers, even on plot arcs, since I know I will not see all of my favorite arcs resolved (or even continued) in TGS. I am on pace to finish my re-listen before TGS comes out (now on aCoS) and am thoroughly enjoying listening to the books as I seem to get more nuances than when I read. I find myself chuckling at some of Nynaeve’s inner dialogue and getting really irritated at some of the arrogance shown by the AS and some others, especially the Kin in the next book at their first “meeting” with Elayne and Nynaeve. Obviously the SGs (or somebody) needed to find and get together with the Kin, but that “meeting” raised my blood pressure a bunch! Of course, Elayne puts a body slam on the Tarasin Palace AS right after that.
Mitchell Swan
146. mcswan
@116. toryx

Has there been some word if tGS will be available on Kindle?
Kathy Keith
147. Babokathy
Kris10 @50

I agree that Dabel Bros are taking too long to issue their comics. We just received our WOT #01 yesterday, Aug. 12. They had emailed us a few weeks ago, asking for $17 for postage, which had not been included in the Pre-order of the complete set. So we've only gotten New Spring up to #06 as well. Just gotta wait and be patient.

Toryx @ #116

I have a Kindle, and it's great, however, NONE of Jordan's books are available for Kindle yet!!! It's a shame, and Amazon is missing out on some fabulous income! Go figure. Unless you're able to download TGS Audio-book from somewhere and transfer it from your laptop to your Kindle when it comes out???
Marcus W
148. toryx
mcswan @ 146 & Babokathy @ 147:

Actually, I have no knowledge whatsoever of the availability of tGS on the Kindle. I don't actually have a Kindle at the moment (though my partner does) and I've not bothered to check into it. I thought that it'd be a logical choice for the Kindle but perhaps not.

If tGS doesn't become available on Kindle it won't necessarily be Amazon's fault. That could be an issue between Tor and Amazon. Actually, learning that the WoT isn't available on the Kindle yet makes me feel a little relieved. I've been holding off on buying the Kindle until it's had more upgrades and I'd rather not spend $300 right now.
Sam Mickel
149. Samadai
I go away for lunch and not one comment on my crazy theory when I get back.(Best Rodney Dangerfield voice) I tell ya I get no respect
Marcus W
150. toryx
wetlandernw @ 139:

Okay, what does "Dragon Reborn" really mean to people in WoT?

I think you did a great job of summing up the issue of Randlanders and their worry about what he will do. But there's another aspect to consider when answering this question.

Depending largely on what part of the world you're looking at, the Dragon Reborn is also viewed as the male representation of evil returning to the world. This is most strongly demonstrated in EotW and I think Robert Jordan must have decided to step away from the emphasis in later books. As Kinslayer, however, and the man most view as responsible for the Breaking of the World prophecy also states that he'll break the world again. So for most people, the Dragon Reborn is the human equivalent of the DO and I think he was frequently considered to be the source of the world's problems.

The Aes Sedai, of course, view it differently but a lot of their decisions are based on three thousand years of isolation and distrust for men. They know intellectually that he's needed to save the world from the Dark One but they can't imagine that he'll actually be capable of doing that without their guidance.

Then there's Elaida, who can't even conceive of anyone doing anything for unselfish reasons. Rand does experience some of the corruption that comes with such power but he does what he does because of the duty; a concept Elaida can't even conceive of, the poor fool.

So... those of you who think on these things, can you recall anyone else considering the science involved in the rebirth of a specific person?

Not right off hand, no. I think that Verin may have given some thoughts to that but she's so mysterious it's hard to tell. If anyone had, it would have been a Brown Aes Sedai, if she could see her way clear to look beyond the natural prejudices of her upbringing and teachings. Harid Fel may have, but we never actually had the chance to "listen in" to any such musings. Most of the time people simply view the Dragon Reborn as either the next thing to the world's most powerful boogeyman or a tool that must be used to stop the Dark One and then locked securely away in the gun closet.
Kathy Keith
151. Babokathy
Samadai @ 149

Re: Looney Theory: We're all "out to lunch", not just you, if you know what I mean!

I like your looney theory; but we all just have to WAFO, dang it! Won't find out until the 14th book, or 2014, whichever comes first!
Sydo Zandstra
152. Fiddler
Wetlandernw@136:

It's happened over and over: people use the EXACT SAME passage and words to prove OPPOSITE points. It's really funny to read! I guess it just shows that no matter what you're reading, you see it through the lens of your own experiences and biases. No wonder, indeed.

One of the arguments that the Taimandred camp used to prove that theory always itched me back in rasfwr-j.

"Taim HAS to be Demandred. We have seen all (or most) other Forsaken take on Randland personalities, so this has to be him because he shows similar traits to Demandred too."

I found Taimandred too obvious. None of the other Forsaken's identities were shown that easily (Sammael and Be'lal by Moiraine saying so), except maybe for Rahvin. But even there it was another Forsaken saying Rahvin took up a new pretty Queen pet that made it obvious to me.

Especially after reading Demandred works through proxies, I was convinced we hadn't seen him yet, except as Demandred.


I forgot who came up with this, but Taim being recruited and working for Ishamael sounds good. Especially with Taim showing Ishamael's colours at the end of KoD. Good call.

Now for a question: does Taim know Ishamael is now Moridin?
Rich Gold
153. richg25
152. Fiddler
>> does Taim know Ishamael is now Moridin?

Does ANYONE - even the remaining Foresaken - know that Moridin was Ishamael? I don't recall any of them catching on.
Sam Mickel
154. Samadai
richg25@153

there are a couple of pov's from forsaken talking about he is as Moridin is as crazy now as back in the Age of Legends. As well as how he has been srictly using the true power since he was reborn because of all the sau? flakes floating in his eye
Sydo Zandstra
155. Fiddler
richg25@153:

My question came from assuming Taim was recruited by Ishamael.

If any of the Forsaken knows or suspects, my bet would be on Graendal.

If Taim is Ishamael's apprentice, though, he just might have some more knowledge about it than the remaining Forsaken have.
Razorbuck
156. wallace86
here's my little thing about Taim--the Taim that we meet here with Rand is not the same Taim that Bashere and Saldaea have all come to know and hate. this was touched on @101 when Rand is gonna take Taim to the "Farm" but my big piece of evidence is that Bashere is not convinced that Taim is who he says he is and needs convincing. though he seems to get it, that is just info that someone could have tortured out of the real Taim. while i was one the path that he was a Forsaken, the RJ quotes @125 do seem to squash that. so i am going to go with a present day Randlander...but not the real Taim
Jason Lyman
157. jlyman
Hmmm... found this link while I was "working." Interesting and kind of fun. Some may have seen it before, I hadn't.

Which Forsaken are you?
Sydo Zandstra
158. Fiddler
@jlyman:

1. Be'lal (by far)
2. Asmodean
3. Graendal
4. Moghedien.

(2-4 were pretty close)
Jason Lyman
159. jlyman
I forgot to post my results for which Forsaken I am most like.

1. Be'lal
2. Rahvin
3. Aginor
4. Demandred
5. Sammael

Yeah, I guess I come across as a guy who only lasts for one book. :-)
Sam Mickel
160. Samadai
jlyman@157

1:Lanfear
2:Belal
3:Rahvin
4:Aginor
5:Demandred
Mitchell Swan
161. mcswan
@149 toryx

I don't have a Kindle either, just the Kindle app for the iPhone, but most of Brandon's books are already on Kindle, so it's not a Tor issue. I have asked Brandon via email on his blog, and he says he gets to all fan mail, but it's been a long time. I seem to remember ebooks being an issue with RJ. Maybe things will change now.
craig thrift
162. gagecreedlives
1. Balthamel and Ishy (thats an interesting tie)
3. Asmodean
Razorbuck
163. RobMRobM
Also Balthamel/Ishy tie, then Aginor.
Alice Arneson
165. Wetlandernw
1. Lanfear & Rahvin (tie)
3-8 Ag, Bal, Dem, Ish, Mes, Sam all tied but way back.
Remaining not even on the radar.
James Jones
166. jamesedjones
1 Rahvin
2 Demandred (so cliche)

and about 5 others registered. :)
Anthony Pero
167. anthonypero
RE: Dragon Reborn

I'm not in the LTT Construct camp... but after reading all this and thinking about it, I'm no longer sure.

WoT is very Manchian/Dualistic. So, there is an eternal soul (hope of rebirth and all), and a physical body and mind. The soul gets reborn (reincarnated). So, there AREN'T two souls in Rand, an LTT and a Farmboy. There's just one soul in there. So, in one sense of the dualism, they are the same.

Bridget, in T'a'R, remembers ALL of her previous lives, although they are fading now that she has been ripped out. She also states that every time she'd been reborn, she never had any knowledge of her past lives, at all, which is wierd, because ultimately, Rand is the same as Bridget, a hero of the Horn reborn. Hawkwing implies as much in TGH. They all hung out together in T'a'R before LTT was spun out again.

The Forsaken are given new bodies, but remember everything. This would seem to imply that the memories go with the soul.

Mat and Egwene's characters seem to suggest that a type of Genetic Memory (ala Dune) exists in Randland. Matt's 'finn memories aside, prior to that, he expereinced genetic memory on umber of occasions, and Egwene almost has a number of times, almost recognizing old tongue words, etc.

So, it would stand to reason that memories can be passed either through the soul or through the flesh.

Memories can also be implanted, as the 'Finns have proved.

So, the question as it pertains to Rand/LTT is: where does he get the AoL memories? We have to assume that they are real memories, and not made up crazy saidin taint memories, because he really freaks out the Forsaken with what he knows. They are also obviously, specifically LTT's memories-- that is important, because unless RJ made a huge gaffe, that means they are categorically not genetic memories, because LTT had no descendants--he killed them all. That leaves soul memories and implanted memories.

Mat views his memories as simply that--his memories. Rand started out that way, until LTT started talking to him. So it is possibly that he somehow had LTT's memories implanted in him (maybe in T'a'R?) and he's created a defense mechanism to help him cope with it. Which makes him decidedly wussier than Mat, which I don't buy.

On it's own, as shown in the Bridgette example, LTT's soul memories should not be making their way into Rand's head.

Bah, I just eliminated all three of my ideas. I'm done. Sorry for the post!
Anthony Pero
168. anthonypero
So, I think I convinced myself the LTT must be a construct of Rand's mind. Not that the memories and personality aren't real... but it's not possible for Rand to be like Slayer--two souls in the same body--because there is only one soul! But what Rand is displaying is nothing like a schizophrenic break--he would be seeing LTT when know one else does, in that case.

These are obviously real memories being carried by the soul (not genetic memories), and something Rand is doing is causing those memories to come to the surface. LTT and Rand are the same person, except for the physical--so it can't be a real battle for possession, like Slayer. Pardon the pun, but it must be all in Rand's head. The question really is, why him and not Bridgette, or Mat, or Moiraine, etc...?
Razorbuck
169. Latecomer
I am... * drumroll *

Graendael
Mesaana
Semirhage

in that order.....

Well, I guess they got 'female' right! ;)

Hello everyone... Happy Friday!
Sam Mickel
170. Samadai
quit teasing its only thursday afternoon here
craig thrift
171. gagecreedlives
Latecomer

A happy Friday to you too. I think today is actually POETS day as well.

Samadai

Let us down here enjoy our Friday. If it makes you feel better you enjoy getting the posts at a reasonable hour.
Tess Laird
172. thewindrose
I am Mesanna and close behind that a three way tie for Lanfear, Graendal and Moghedien. I will teach them all!!! Not;)
Richard Fife
173. R.Fife
I am....

Rick Astly! No, not really

Number 1 3-way tie as: Balthamel, Ishamael, and Rahvin. WTF. Num 4 tie with: Aginor, Asmo, Dem, and Sammy. Craziness.
Tess Laird
174. thewindrose
I have heard that Sammy was going to be reintegrated into Rick Astly. *nods head sagely*
William Fettes
175. Wolfmage
The position that LTT is real has nothing to do with assuming there are two souls. RJ has explicitly confirmed that in Rand's case there are two personalities and one shared soul. Nobody is disputing that.

This issue here is about whether or not the voice in Rand's head is an actual manifestation of LTT's real personality, before he died, or whether he is a construct which merely seems to mirror our idea of LTT effectively. If the voice is a construct, then its astonishing accuracy must be put down to the input of real memories, even though it is only an approximation of LTT brought about by some nigh-magical and unexplained form of psychosis.

As I've argued above, I think this explanation involves leaps of fancy. The preponderance of evidence of the voice's logical coherence, its pitch-perfect response to stimuli and its independence as an entity from Rand - all point strongly away from it being an arbitrary creation.

If LTT were merely a construct, fed by the hazardous process of memories drifting across the barrier between lives and then firewalled by Rand into a voice to help him cope, it is inconceivable to me that this process would be perfect. That is, there would have to be some tell-tale evidence of the personality being composed by a psychosis-induced arbitrary process like that. Accordingly, we could expect RJ to plant at least some clues, here and there, that the voice was behaving how Rand's subconscious might naively think LTT would so behave, but not how the actual LTT would behave and think. But there is no evidence of that. The voice never acts in a contrary manner to the real LTT - and often shows astonishingly penetrating reasoning beyond Rand's ken. Indeed, if LTT is a construct, he is so perfect that he is indistinguishable from the real LTT even to the sceptical reader. Of course, I acknowledge that LTT's madness makes this a very difficult assessment to make, because how do you distinguish between a perfect manifestation of LTT's real madness, or arbitrary misbehaviour by construct - but I think the balance of probabilities is clearly against the perfect construct.

Furthermore, the fact that the voice is objectively warring for control within Rand tips the balance for me. Every time there is a scene involving LTT attempting to seize or actually seizing saidin, the textual characterisation of what is going on is unmistakeably that of a real entity trying to take control whilst Rand is still fully in control of his own physical body. But why is that? Why would only Rand's channelling facility be vulnerable to being usurped by LTT the construct? Why isn't Rand's physical automatism ever subsumed by this process, if it is a split personality born of psychosis? If LTT is real, then his personality is attached to the one central shared soul - and as we know - the seat of channelling is in the soul (which is why Rand has the exact same strength in the power as LTT). Therefore, the LTT is real theory can easily explain why LTT the voice only interferes with his channelling and never takes control of Rand's body. That's because he is a real personality attached to Rand's soul, because the barriers which conceal past personalities from each other within the one soul have weakened in Rand.

Moreover, the construct theory has other difficult problems in being unable to adequately explain why these mere extra memories have this unique effect on Rand. Mat has memories totalling many more lifetimes than he has lived - all housed in one rebellious cranium. He has no need to form a voice, despite being an unwilling victim implanted with the memories from *foreign* souls. Similarly, Birgitte has all hers past lives available to her at once. None of them show the slightest tendency towards being unable to assimilate all this information, without cracking like an egg.

The central conceit of the construct theory is that LTT's voice is so horrific to Rand that he needs to invent a voice. But I don't see it. Rand is reconciled to being the DR long before he starts hearing the voice. It is a forced explanation.
Joseph Blaidd
176. SteelBlaidd
Regarding the "reality" of LTT as a voice in Rands head. I am also in the "Real Enough" camp. Afterall everything we experience results in an electrical pattern in our brains and therefore is "all in our heads." Once again I direcct everyone to THE analysis of RandsMultiple Personalities

Re surveys: I'm am pretty much spoiler proof so anything I can find out is fine.

1. Moghedien
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
2. Balthamel, Grendal, Ishamael, Messana, Rhavin, Asmodean, Demandred, Sammael, Simerhage, Aginor, Bel'lal, Lanfear
Lannis .
177. Lannis
Re: spoilers... NO! NO spoilers! Bad Wotians! NO! NO spoilers!

Now, that said, I think there should be a one week delay (after the tGS release date) where we can't say any tGS spoilerage on Leigh's lovely chats here... but then after that week is up I think it should be open to spoilers as part of our conversation... give everyone a bit of time to get through it, before it's open season...

I've been known to lock doors and hide in order to finish a new book... even stuffing a towel under the door to hide light at night... don't bug me and don't tell me what's going to happen!


jilyman @ 157: Ooh... Forsaken test... fun!

1: Lanfear
2: Mesaana

No one else even made it on the chart... Does this mean I'm a deadbeat teacher who's obsessively in love...? :|
Ed Dyer
178. HumbleReader
@176 SteelBlaidd
And as I noted in Fires of Heaven Part 17, Maggie Hettinger's Essay has moved to a new ISP :=) I guess we both commented after Part 18 was posted.

@157 jlyman

Lanfear
Mesaana
Aginor
Asmodean
Be'lal
Graendal

Sheesh :=}
T C
179. Freelancer
1. Ishamael
. Balthamel
3. Asmodean
4. Sammael
. Demandred
6. Rahvin
. Be'lal
. Mesaana
. Semirhage
10. Aginor
. Graendal
. Moghedien
13. Lanfear

And perfectly fine with Aginor, Graendal, and Moghedien being near the bottom. Not even going to mention the one at the very end. ::shudder::


It has been said in previous threads, and repeated here, that beyond a certain point, there is no discernable difference, no measurable distinction, between LTT being a "construct" composed of AoL memories layered over a schizophrenic separation, or an internal manifestation of the original person's mind and spirit, cohabiting with his own reincarnation in the form of Rand. With the exception that multiple personality victims cannot identify both (or more) personalities as present simultaneously. Each may or may not be aware of the existence, even the traits, of the other(s), but when one is present, any others are absent. Rand has lucid two-way conversations with LTT after a certain point.
Razorbuck
180. Planeswalker
Freelancer@117
good defense! :)

Randalator@113
Nice search! Yea, even in Bashere's POVs, he's still cool!


Oh, and Taim is no Forsaken. Just a darkfriend with special rights - he's the lord of chaos y'all! :) Anyways, I'd like to think Padan Fain kills Taim in the end. hehehe

What does 'Dragon Reborn' mean? hmmm, why do you think all this time Rand was so busy reading all the books in all his cities' libraries looking for prophecies and the like? He doesn't know either. That's why he'd rather learn and be ready, than face Tarmon Gaidon unprepared.

Forsaken Survey? Hey, lots of surveys I missed.
1. Balthamel/Ishamael (yea! power!)
2. Asmodean (must be the bug thing)
3. Rahvin (balefired? no!)
4-6. doesn't matter
T C
181. Freelancer
Some research into the "Which Wheel of Time Forsaken are You?" survey:

Most 'Yes' answers: Rahvin - 8
Fewest 'Yes' answers: Moeghedien - 3
Question with most 'Yes' answers: #4 (12)
Question with fewest 'Yes' answer: #5 (1, Lanfear, go figure)
Most divergent forsaken: Lanfear (7 of 13 answers matched the majority)
Least divergent forsaken: Ishamael & Balthamel (All 13 answers matched the majority)

Most telling question: #13 (Every male cringes at the thought of Balefire, every female has a thought)

Answers by name:

Aginor - Y, Y, N, Y, N, Y, Y, N, N, N, N, Y, Y
Asmodean - Y, N, N, Y, N, N, Y, N, N, Y, N, N, Y
Balthamel - Y, N, N, Y, N, N, Y, N, Y, Y, N, N, Y
Be'lal - Y, N, N, Y, N, N, N, Y, N, N, N, N, Y
Demandred - Y, N, N, Y, N, N, Y, N, Y, N, Y, Y, Y
Graendal - N, Y, Y, Y, N, N, Y, N, N, Y, N, N, N
Ishamael - Y, N, N, Y, N, N, Y, N, Y, Y, N, N, Y
Lanfear - N, N, N, N, Y, N, Y, Y, Y, Y, N, Y, N
Mesaana - N, N, N, Y, N, Y, Y, N, N, Y, N, N, N
Moghedien - N, N, N, Y, N, N, N, N, Y, N, Y, N, N
Rahvin - Y, N, Y, Y, N, N, Y, N, Y, N, Y, Y, Y
Sammael - Y, N, N, Y, N, N, Y, N, Y, N, Y, Y, Y
Semirhage - N, Y, N, Y, N, N, Y, N, N, Y, N, N, N

Demandred and Sammael have identical answers, as do Ishamael and Balthamel. So no matter how the questions are answered, those two pairs will end up tied.
Alice Arneson
182. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @179
Not even going to mention the one at the very end. ::shudder::
I shudder to think what answers made your "very end" Forsaken my very first... Yikes.
Razorbuck
183. Valan
Spoiler survey: Anything more than Jason put in his review would be way too much, IMHO. I happen to really enjoy surprises.

Forsaken Survey:
Tie between Asmodean (#1) and Graendal (#2)

Now THAT is pretty ironic.
Razorbuck
184. Aye Aye Sedai
Hmm - It said that I am most like Bela with Taim in close second followed by Shadair Haran.


Ok - let get the prediction machine going -

In the first chapter of AGS - which direction will the wind blow and where will its description end?

(side note has anyone compile the wind data from the 1st 11 books?)

Hmmmm - I'll take the mountains of mist towards the north east ending up whipping flags at the white tower.

1st chapter will settle the AS split then we'll get 300+ pages of Faile/Perrin setting up to aid Rand - who only frets/fumes from his hospital bed until the big climax where he actually gets out of bed and has a big One Power battle with Elayne and Avi to enable him to jump on his horse and disappear into a gateway - then we cut to the remain chapters where Mat and company are floating down the river playing games of snakes and foxes trying in vain to figure out how the damn game works - the dice in his head are rattleing - then they spy the tower og Gengi and pull into the bank - where they disembark and approach the tower. Matt pulls out his bronze knife and knocks on the smooth wall. Suddenly a black door opens in the wall and he realizes that the dice have stopped rolling - and its a pair of single pips!!

Then the book continues with the encyclopaedia which contains only 3 new entries but dozens are modified reworded that creates mass confusion and kills Tors BBoard/blog as ever reader uses each changed word to argue for unique theories on Asmo killer and to use the same words to refute other looney birds theories that are in fact the same as to what they meant to say. :)


Peace Out
T C
185. Freelancer
Wetlandernw@182

Let's see, you're female, you love Rand, and you aren't afraid of balefire?


Valan@183

Ironic, yes, but reasonable within the context of the survey. They share 9 of 13 answers.
Razorbuck
186. Valan
@ Aye Aye Sedai

hmmmm. I predict the wind starts in Shayol Ghul, comes down through Tarwin's Gap, passes through Elaida's office, and ends up at the Black Tower surrounding Taim, where he will relish in it, and finally convert the 1% of fans who STILL don't think he's a darkfriend.

@Freelancer

Reason has no effects on the likes of Graendal and Asmodean. BWAHAHAHAHA

(wow that might be my lamest comment yet! awesome)
Razorbuck
187. TacoPirate
Planeswalker @ 99

"Oh? you guys hitting on Leigh (with questions)?hahaha"

what's wrong with that? Well written, witty, wicked women = grrarrrrr.

Also, I seem to suddnly like words that begin in "w". Odd.
Maiane Bakroeva
188. Isilel
A tie between Lanfear and Mesaana?! You gotta be kidding me...
Razorbuck
189. altarego
Re: LTT vs. Rand, just this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_identity_disorder

Sounds like a pretty standard case, especially given the auditory hallucinations and the comments Semirhage makes about "reintegration" in KoD.

For some reason, some folks in certain circumstances 'split', as a coping mechanism under times of severe stress, etc. If anyone could be a candidate for PTSD, at this point, it's Rand. A lot of soldiers with severe PTSD go through a form of this coping mechanism, but still maintain higher functioning. I believe that this is where RJ draws his inspiration from, as with many other themes in WoT - from his military experience.

So, then where is all this knowledge of the AoL come from? My basic theory is that Randland folks who are reborn are recycled in only a very general sense. Like the metal from a spoon being recycled into a can, or something else. The inherent material (the soul, if you will) is the same, including some of the properties (general personality traits). However, the person reborn *should* be wholly the person of that time, with only bits and snips of memory coming out subconsciously (e.g. Matt pre tSR, or Egwene's dreaming abilities).

Then, for whatever reason, the person begins to split/crack/whatever. What should have been just an echo of an echo of a memory becomes a more solid memory. The aspect of the soul that was reborn begins to assert itself and turns random memories into a coherent voice. Then that voice begins to have coherent thoughts, whole conversations, etc.

With a normal person (i.e. us), it's all just made up. But with a reborn person in Randland, the behavior takes on the actual life memories/skills/desires of someone who used to be real. If you read about treatment of DID in the wiki, the key seems to be reintegrating the disparate personality traits into one entity again. Sounds a lot like Semirhage's (Graendal's) "reintegration" to me.
Marcus W
190. toryx
anthonypero @ 167 & 168:

Mat views his memories as simply that--his memories. Rand started out that way, until LTT started talking to him. So it is possibly that he somehow had LTT's memories implanted in him (maybe in T'a'R?) and he's created a defense mechanism to help him cope with it. Which makes him decidedly wussier than Mat, which I don't buy.

There's one huge difference between Mat's memories and Rand's knowledge that he's the Dragon Reborn: To Mat, they're just remembrances of other people's lives. He didn't do those things, other people did.

Rand, on the other hand, has to come to terms with the knowledge that in another life he was Lews Therin. That means that he is responsible for killing his family, not some monster out of the past. Rand hasn't been able to accept that, which is why he's constantly saying, "I am ME!"

The point being that it's one thing to realize that you have the memories of other men in your head; it's another thing to deal with the notion that you are one of the world's most hated boogeymen out of history. And if you look at EotW, the Dragon was every bit as hated and feared as the Forsaken.

The question really is, why him and not Bridgette, or Mat, or Moiraine, etc...?

There are a lot of possible explanations for that. Going back to differences: Birgitte has the memories of ALL her former lives. And in most of them, as I understand it, she's a hero, not a monster. Furthermore, when heroes die and go to Tel'Aran'Rhiod, there's some sort of difference in them that allows them to handle all that knowledge. I suspect it's based on not having a true body and all the limitations that come with it. I imagine a body in Tel'Aran'Rhiod is very different from a body dependant on the rules of the real world.

I happen to believe that the biggest reason Rand is accessing LTT's life is due to the effect of the Taint on him. I've suggested before (and surely will again) that the normal soul has a sort of boundry put up between one life's memories and the current one. My theory is that the taint has eroded that boundary and so memories started to seep through. Rand constructed the LTT personality because if LTT is real then he's separate: All the horrific things that LTT did are things done by someone other, not Rand (or his own soul). It's not a reasonable idea on Rand's part but when are humans really all that logical and reasonable under stress and horiffic situations like this?

Another theory is that going to Tel'Aran'Rhiod in the body helps to break down that barrier too. I think that might contribute to it (maybe) but I don't think it's the cause.

So that's what I think.
Marcus W
191. toryx
wolfmage @ 175:

Every time there is a scene involving LTT attempting to seize or actually seizing saidin, the textual characterisation of what is going on is unmistakeably that of a real entity trying to take control whilst Rand is still fully in control of his own physical body.

Yes, but it's always from Rand's perspective. Rand thinks Lews Therin is completely separate from himself so of course it appears that way since we're seeing it from Rand's pov.

Rand cannot be taken as a reliable witness in this case.
Richard Fife
192. R.Fife
@toryx I will point out that in upcoming chapters, Mat actually thinks about how it is nearly impossible for him to tell the difference between his implanted memories and his real ones anymore, even with the knowledge of them being well before he was born and in different bodies. Thus far, I don't think that any of Mat's memories have been from "monsters", but surely not every genius tactician that visited the 'finns was a saint. So, he likely has first hand memories that are indistinguishable from his own of some pretty bad things (heck, all the memories of dying, wars, etc are bad enough without monstrous other issues).

Anywho, I think the biggest thing that seperates Rand from all of the other brain donors in the series is *drumroll* the taint! As has been mentioned in both text and our comments, the taint seems to break down the barrier between this life and past lives in the matter of memories, at least. To this I'd point out that we have no reference at all of LTT having had past lives memories, even though that soul is obviously a rebirth.

And again I will say: what is LTT, or anyone, but the sum of his or her memories? So, psycosis or LTT's personality magical resurrected, its the same thing. A set of memories fuels the voice.

So, as to how Rand can be re-integrated? Well, either remove the memories or take ownership of them. As Toryx said, Rand is dealing with the fact that his memories are "vile," and from the very begining he has had a "I am ME!" attitude, even as he accepts that he is The Dragon Reborn, he cannot accept that he is The Dragon. Perhaps that is the integration that needs to happen.

...I'm not even sure of what I just said, but hey, it adds fuel to the fire, so what the hay?
Razorbuck
193. twicemarked
The standard response against Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is that the two personality does not exist at the same time. They may communicate through diary, recording, etc. But they can not co-exist at the same moment in time. It take the whole brain to function as one identity, and there is simply not enough brain capacity for two complete personalities to be present and coherent.

If they co-exist, it is not DID. As a standard coping mechianism, children do it all the time, and it is called an imaginary friend. But an imaginary friend would not have any knowledge the person does not have. If a child can not spell a word, the imaginary friend also can not spell the word.

I believe the Dragon Reborn is a unique case, rather than someone that should be sent to a mental asylum.
Razorbuck
194. alreadymadwithforsaken
1. Aginor
2. Graendal
3. Rahvin
4. Bel'al
5. Demandred

Hmmmmm....
sandi vogel
195. sinfulcashew
Survey:
Mesaana
Graendal

I was going for Asmodean?
T C
196. Freelancer
amw@194

Yeah, we already knew that about you. ;-)
Razorbuck
197. Dacole
I would be interested to know which story it was where the good guy was posing as a bad guy that sounds highly interesting and creative. Won't have time to check comments so mention it in the next reread will ya?
Razorbuck
198. Cristine
Survey:

1. Lanfear
2. Asmodean & Graendal tie


Interesting apparently im only like Lanfear. Asmodean & Graendal are a much smaller green line.
Tess Laird
199. thewindrose
toryx!!!I'm pretty good at avoiding red herrings in general, I think, but RJ totally sold me on the Taim is Demandred mislead. I admit I believed it for years, even after RJ denied it until he told me himself.
*so jealous - you are so lucky to have met him!
Razorbuck
200. rankysmackwhoppeloid
Yeah, I don't understand why Rand doesn't just give up the mental battle. Lews Therin is WAAAAY more experienced, and plus...if Rand had listened to Lews Therin in Fires of Heaven, FUCKING MOIRAINE WOULD STILL BE ALIVE! But NOOOOO!!! Rand had to be a gentleman, and because of him, Moiraine is freaking dead! Well, she might as well be, at least...bullshit. I think Moiraine should come back for Tarmon Gaidon, and be the new Amyrlin instead of fucking Egwene, who's name sounds like a creepy-ass boy's when properly pronounced, and who has a severe superiority complex 'cause she's a haughty bitch who's weaker than Nynaeve. But yeah...I also don't get why the frig RJ killed off Asmodean :( *very sad* Because Asmodean, being reborn technically from Rand's Balefiring of Rahvin, starts talking about how he's no longer tied to the Dark One, and he's a new man, and...why the fuck did he have to die!?!?!?!? NO POINT ROBERT JORDAN! NO--POINT!!!
Razorbuck
201. Jarommoroni
Taimandred.

I only have one thing to say. So think about it.

RJ said something to the effect of: Demandred has never posed as Mazrim Taim.

When RJ made this famous statement (that most everyone believes debunks the Taimandred theory) he followed his comment with this, "I believe that was a suitably Aes Sedai comment."

I'm not saying what I think one way or the other, but many of us seem so sure that Demandred is not Taim. RJ was hiding something. He was telling us that he was hiding something.

Really, Demandred could still be anyone, but I half suspect that Taim is Demandred. Let the Lord of Chaos Rule.
Razorbuck
202. Bradbutt
Anybody else notice that Taim's story about where he found the disc was very similar to Fain's story in the Great Hunt regarding his gift of the Horn to the Seanchan high lord? I don't have a clue what this signifies, but I find it hard to believe that it was a coincidence.
Razorbuck
203. Jason Ballew
Taim is almost DEFINITELY a Darkfriend at his introduction here, for two reasons.

1) Compulsion. This is generally an Icky Bad Thing, and something that really only DFs tend to use.

2) First few sentences, he's already talking about glory. Glory, glory, hallelujah. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the (Great) Lord (of the Dark). Ahem.

Yeah. Darkfriend. No doubt.
Razorbuck
204. Tony Miceli
So in re: the whole thing with Lews Therin going over how he heaped tons of praise and rewards on Sammael and Demandred and they still turned on him (hell it might even be the reason they went to the Great Lord of the Dark), and that it would just have been easier to kill them I think he is trying to make a point in his own loony way to Rand. Alas I did not read all the comments, and I feel noone will ever read this anyway I just wanted to post my two cents.

Mazrim Taim declared himself the Dragon Reborn. So he must like, nay love, glory. Now, he is second bannanna to Rand al'Thor. No glory hound wants to play second violin in the orchestra with Yo Yo Ma in the first chair. What LTT is trying to tell, albeit as crazy as he was when he blew himself away, Rand is this situation is exactly what happened with Sammael and Demandred. You make a world famous false Dragon your number two man, don't be suprised when he turns on you.

I'm Tony Miceli, that's my take on the kill him/Demandred/Sammael reaction from LTT to Rand, and I'm the Boss
Razorbuck
207. Darkfriend
Crazy Theory Could Demandred be Masquerading as Bashere, after replacing him
William McDaniel
209. willmcd
Can't add anything here on LTT real-vs-construct, Taimandred. All I've really got to say is that I liked the bit right at the beginning when it states that the figure on the Dragon banner (flying above Caemlyn) "seemed to ride on the wind". A reference to the little poem that appears on the back cover of all of the books ("Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time").

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