Aug 14 2009 10:50am

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 4

Well, whaddaya know. It’s a Wheel of Time Re-read post! We hardly ever have one of those!

Today’s post covers Chapters 3-4 of Lord of Chaos, which my then-six-year-old cousin once looked at the cover of and pronounced “Load of Choss,” which led to an extremely giggle-filled dialogue among my sisters and I as to what exactly “choss” might be, and how a load of it might be employed. Most of our suggestions, needless to say, were not terribly FCC-compliant.

Anyway. Previous entries are here, and as always, all posts can, have been, and will be filled with spoilers for all currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series.

So There.

Chapter 3: A Woman’s Eyes

What Happens
Rand seizes saidin and forms what he thinks of as a hole in the Pattern, something he had learned on his own. He tells Taim, who is staring at him, that this is a gateway, and he’ll teach it to Taim if he didn’t catch it the first time. The Maidens dart through first, then Rand and Taim follow; Rand hears Aviendha calling to him to wait from the Palace side and quickly lets the gateway collapse before she reaches them. The others all look at him, Taim curiously and the Maidens with disapproval, but Rand ignores them and sets off through the trees. As they walk, Rand tells Taim that sooner or later he’ll be coming up against the Forsaken, and then observes that Taim doesn’t seem surprised. Taim says he’d heard rumors, and Rand is pleased that the word seems to be spreading.

“You can expect anything at any time. Trollocs, Myrddraal, Draghkar, Gray Men, gholam . . . ”

He hesitated, heron-branded palm stroking his long sword hilt. He had no idea what a gholam was. Lews Therin had not stirred, but he knew that was the source of the name. Bits and pieces sometimes drifted across whatever thin barrier lay between him and that voice, and became part of Rand’s memories, usually without anything to explain them. It happened more often, lately. The fragments were not something he could fight, like the voice.

He goes on, explaining about Darkhounds and bubbles of evil, and that Taim is not to use or teach balefire if he knows how to do it; Taim replies that he’s fought Shadowspawn before, and he’s never heard of balefire. They arrive at the “farm”, where twenty-seven men and a few women are busy doing chores. The men range in age from Eben Hopwil, who is maybe fourteen, to white-haired Damer Flinn. When they notice Rand they all cluster around Flinn to watch him. Rand asks Taim how many he can test for channeling ability before sunset; Taim is contemptuous of the rag-tag group, and incredulous to learn that Rand knows how to Travel, but not how to test for channeling. He asks if this is truly all Rand wants him for, to teach these “pathetic dregs”?

“This is important, Taim; I’d do it myself, if I could, if I had time.” Time was always key, always lacking. And he had made the admission, as much as it curdled his tongue. He realized he did not much like Taim, but he did not have to like him. Rand did not wait, and after a moment the other man caught up with long strides. “You mentioned trust. I’m trusting you with this.” Don’t trust! Lews Therin panted in the dim recesses. Never trust! Trust is death! “Test them and start teaching as soon you know who can learn.”

Rand introduces Taim, to dropped jaws and stares from the group, and tells them Taim will be teaching them from now on. As the men begin introducing themselves to a sour-looking Taim, one student named Jur Grady comes up to Rand and hesitantly says he’s been thinking of going home. Rand notes Jur’s wife Sora among the women standing anxiously to one side, and thinks that five men had left after arriving, and all had been married. Rand can hardly blame the women for not wanting their husbands to do this, but also thinks that having a family will remind the men of what they are fighting for.

In Rand’s opinion, the Aes Sedai had made a mistake sealing themselves off from the world. Few entered the White Tower beyond Aes Sedai [...] When Aes Sedai left the Tower, most held themselves aloof, and some never did leave. To Aes Sedai, people were pieces in a game and the world was the board, not a place to live in. To them, only the White Tower was real. No man could forget the world and ordinary people when he had his family in front of him.

Rand tells Jur he’s free to leave if he wants; maybe he’ll be able to sit out what’s coming on his farm, maybe not, but he should at least give his name to Taim before leaving. He then berates himself for manipulating people. Taim loses patience with the introductions and declares that he’ll get the testing over with, and starts with Flinn, to “get him out of the way”. For Rand’s benefit, Taim explains that using the Power creates a “resonance” that can be detected, and creates a flame between himself and Flinn and tells him to concentrate on it; Rand is rather relieved at this proof that Taim really can channel. Flinn stares at the flame for a number of minutes with nothing happening, then Rand suddenly feels the resonance Taim was talking about. He is surprised that Taim doesn’t seem to notice it for another minute or so after Rand does, but finally Taim nods and says Flinn can learn.

He seemed surprised; no doubt he had not believed the very first man tested would pass, and a nearly bald old man at that. Damer grinned weakly; he looked like he might vomit. “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised if every one of these simpletons passes,” the hawk-nosed man muttered with a glance at Rand. “You seem to have luck enough for ten men.”

Taim starts picking out the next volunteer, and Rand tells him to carry on, and Rand will be back tomorrow to see how he’s done. He turns away, ignoring Lews Therin’s moaning not to trust Taim, and Taim follows him, annoyed, saying Rand can learn the test if he sticks around. He also warns that the teaching will be slow; it will be weeks before Flinn will be able to even sense saidin, much less channel it. Rand tells him he already picked up the test (“it wasn’t difficult”), and tells Taim that he has to “walk the edge” with them, teaching as fast as possible. Rand reflects on how dangerous that policy is when dealing with saidin, and avoids Sora Grady’s eyes. He says the men must be weapons, and also that Taim needs to increase the men’s numbers, any way he has to.

“I am going to defeat them, Taim. All of them. They think they can tear everything down. It’s always tearing down, never building up! I’m going to build something, leave something behind. Whatever happens, I will do that! I’ll defeat the Dark One. And cleanse saidin, so men don’t have to fear going mad, and the world doesn’t have to fear men channeling. I’ll . . . ”

[...] “Cleanse saidin,” Taim said softly. “I think that would take more power than you can imagine.” His eyes lidded thoughtfully. “I have heard of things called sa’angreal. Do you have one you think could actually—”

Rand cuts him off angrily and orders him to pay attention to his task. He hesitates, and warns Taim to watch for any student who learns too fast, as the Forsaken may try to slip in among the students. This seems to genuinely alarm Taim, and Rand abruptly asks how strong he is, and orders him to seize saidin, as much as he can hold. Taim obeys, and Rand senses that it is not much less than he himself could hold unaided. Taim lets it go after a moment, and Rand realizes he has seized the Source as well, as much as he can through the fat man angreal.

For a moment shock gripped Rand; the emptiness surrounding him wavered, saidin raged and swelled, and he barely released the Power before it could crush the Void and him both. Had he seized the Source or had Lews Therin? Kill him! Kill him!

In a fury, Rand screamed inside his head, Shut up! To his surprise, the other voice vanished.

He tells himself that he must have done it, not Lews Therin, and just repeats his warning to watch. Taim bows slightly and agrees before heading back to the students. Rand notes the Maidens watching him with concern, and ignores the not-so-subtle hints they give him about Aviendha; Jalani gives him a shoufa and makes an incomprehensible Aiel joke at his expense, and Rand makes himself grin in return, thinking he owes it to them for what they do for him. He decides not to go to Bashere first, on the off chance that Aviendha might be there waiting for him, which means he’s going to Weiramon instead. He opens a gateway to the inside of a tent, and pauses to look back.

Taim was facing Jur Grady, both staring at a tiny flame wavering between them. Sora Grady, her son clasped to her breast, was not watching her husband. Her eyes were still locked on Rand. A woman’s eyes cut deeper than a knife; another Two Rivers saying.

Stepping through the gateway, he waited for the rest of the Maidens to follow, then released the Source. He did what he had to do.

First mention of gholam. And can I note that the decisions of whether or not to italicize Old Tongue-ish words in WOT seems rather arbitrary? Although, I suspect this is more for practical reasons than anything else in a lot of cases. I know if I’d had to italicize “Aes Sedai” every single time it comes up – just in this re-read! – I’d have gone stark staring mad by now.

Speaking of which, one more step down the Road o’ Crazy we go! It’s bad enough when you hear voices in your head, Rand honey, but when you start talking back to them? Eeeech. Is not good, darlink.

As far as the ongoing Lews Therin debate generally, it always faintly bemuses me that people seem to get genuinely angry at theories which suggest that he might not be real. Like mine, for instance. I’m not just talking about here, either; I remember getting full-on flamed on Usenet for purporting the same theory. You’d think I was advocating clubbing baby seals or something.

(For the record, I would never club a baby seal. When I do my baby seal-killin’ I use a CHAINSAW, whoohaha! VRRRNNNNNNN)


Anyway. I think one of the more cogent observations I’ve seen about the whole thing, actually, was in toryx’s comment to the last post:

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.

Which is exactly what keeps happening to me. Just for example, I think Lews Therin’s continued attempts to (and eventual success in) seizing saidin in lieu of Rand is evidence that he’s not “real”. To my way of thinking, Rand’s channeling ability is his channeling ability; Lews Therin attempts to “take it away” from Rand wouldn’t work if he weren’t part of Rand to begin with, i.e. he is another aspect of Rand. He seems to be separate from Rand because Rand believes that he is. When the whole thing is mental (heh, no pun intended), there is no functional difference between perceived and actual effects. (This is something Jordan also plays with regarding Tel’aran’rhiod.)

As to the charge that there’s no way Rand could have created an alternate personality that just happens to be like Lews Therin Telamon in every way, well, first of all, if he’s working from actual past-life memories I don’t see why he couldn’t, really, but more importantly, who’s to say that the Lews Therin in his head actually is identical to the historical Lews Therin? He’s similar enough to ring bells with Lanfear and Asmodean and so forth, certainly, but again, working with real memories here, and from their outside perspective, you would only need a little to go a long way.

Alternate personalities (in fiction, anyway) are notorious for how fully-realized and detailed they are, often possessing skills and character quirks that are nothing like the “host” personality. Which is why they’re so fascinating as plot devices. Sounds familiar to me.

But, as toryx points out, these are the same episodes that people are using to argue the exact opposite stance, that Lews Therin is real, so in the end it comes down to your perception, heh. This is mine, but that doesn’t preclude other people from having their own. As another commenter notes, this is almost certainly something that will get resolved by the end of the series, so it’s all good.

And if the resolution proves the “LTT is real” theory right, and the “LTT is an alternate personality” theory wrong, I will be the first to be up there with my mea culpas, y'all. I totally swear.

Moving on!

Taim: is still dodgy. That quote about cleansing saidin, relatedly, was a MAJOR ding ding ding! moment for me with regard to whether or not Taim is a Forsaken minion or not, but which is way too complicated for me to get into here. It’s summed up in Point 18 on the Taim page of the FAQ if you’re interested. (This section may also be helpful.)

Proto-Black Tower: Hi, Flinn! Hi, Grady! I’ve always thought Flinn was a great character, and that was even before I noticed that all the other students cluster behind him in this chapter when Rand shows up, which (a) is hilarious, and (b) tells you an awful lot about the kind of person he is. Heh.

I was fascinated by this chapter on first reading, as it is the first time we get to see men engage in magical-power-type activities on a large (well, larger) scale than just Rand running around blowing shit up. Comparing and contrasting the to-be-Asha’man to the Aes Sedai is endlessly interesting, and one of my bigger peeves with the later books is how little we get to see of the Black Tower in a “slice of life” sense. The utter dearth of (non-DF) Asha’man POVs is another thing that bugs.

In a lot of ways it seems like the Black Tower in general is a plot thread that got “left on the cutting room floor”, in film editing parlance: largely ignored for lack of time. Also, possibly, to assist in keeping us in the dark about What’s Up with Taim, of course, but that doesn’t noticeably alleviate my poutiness on this score. More Asha’man, dammit!

Although, I won’t deny this chapter made me uneasy as well. However well the Black Tower project turned out (at least so far), it still strikes me as being like having fire-eating auditions in a methane factory.

By the way, Rand’s thoughts on the ivory towerishness of the White Tower quoted above is possibly one of the smarter thinks he’s ever thought in the series.

Chapter 4: A Sense of Humor

What Happens
Rand exits the tent, which is in the camp of the huge army gathering on the Tairen border with the Plains of Maredo. Half the Aiel guarding the tent are wearing the crimson headband of the siswai’aman, which still makes Rand uncomfortable. Roidan, their leader, greets Rand, and tells him pointedly that none of the clan chiefs have been asked to Weiramon’s tent in three days. Rand assures him he will take care of it. Enaila and a young Thunder Walker engage in a brief joke contest, which Enaila apparently wins, and Rand walks off musing about Aiel humor. Behind him Enaila and Somara admire the Thunder Walker’s sense of humor, and Sulin asks Rand why he never laughs at their jokes, does he not have a sense of humor? Rand stops dead, wheels to face them, and tells them a joke about two farmers who climb a tree after a rooster, until the one higher up on the tree (Hu) has a branch break under him and falls into the pond below.

“Wil scrambled down as fast as he could and reached out to Hu from the bank, but Hu just lay there on his back, sinking deeper into the mud until only his nose stuck out of the water. Another farmer had seen what happened, and he came running and pulled Hu out of the pond. ‘Why didn’t you take Wil’s hand?’ he asked Hu. ‘You could have drowned.’ ‘Why should I take his hand now?’ Hu grumped. ‘I passed him just a moment ago in broad daylight, and he never spoke a word to me.’ ” He waited expectantly.

The Maidens exchanged blank looks. Finally Somara said, “What happened with the pond? Surely the water is the point of this story.”

Throwing up his hands, Rand started for the red-striped pavilion again. Behind him he heard Liah say, “I think it was supposed to be a joke.”

“How can we laugh when he doesn’t know what happened to the water?” Maira said.

“It was the rooster,” Enaila put in. “Wetlander humor is strange. I think it was something about the rooster.”

He tried to stop listening.

Rand greets the Defenders on guard at the pavilion tent with “The Stone still stands”, which makes them smile, and heads inside with Enaila, Liah, Sulin, and Jalani. Weiramon and a number of other Tairen and Cairhienin lords are inside, and greet him with bows and “all hail the Lord of the Morning”. Rand grimaces, as that had been one of Lews Therin’s titles, and is surprised that it hadn’t brought the man up to the surface.

Come to think of it, Rand had not heard that voice since shouting at it. As far as he could recall that was the first time he had ever actually addressed the voice sharing his head. The possibilities behind that sent a chill down his back.

Thinking about that, he absently tells the lords present that as soon as Hearne and Simaan arrive everything will be in place, then notices the tent has gone dead silent. He asks what is the matter, quietly, and Weiramon tells him hesitantly that Hearne and Simaan are not coming; they’ve gone to Haddon Mirk instead. One of the Cairhienin lords says (not quite gleefully) that they are in rebellion against Rand, and Weiramon adds that they’ve been joined by others, including the High Lords Darlin and Tedosian and the High Lady Estanda. Rand thinks that he almost admires Darlin, who had opposed him openly from the start. He asks if anyone will speak in their defense, and when no one does, orders their titles stripped and arrest warrants to be issued. He adds that any who surrender will be spared their lives, thinking this might solve the problem of the women in the group, as he will not order a woman executed. The lords are shocked, not by the death sentences, but by the stripping of the titles beforehand; the servants, by contrast, seem a tiny bit more cheerful. Rand moves on to Sammael and the map table, and the lords are unsuccessful in hiding their unspoken belief that all Rand’s talk about Forsaken was just a symptom of his madness.

They gathered around the table, though, as he tossed down the shoufa and rummaged through the maps scattered in layers. Bashere was right; men would follow madmen who won. So long as they won.

The Aiel chiefs enter, Han looking furious at the slighting way the Tairens behave towards them, and Rand firmly ignores the antagonism between the three groups. They all discuss the deployment of Sammael’s troops, and Weiramon, as usual, advocates an all-out frontal assault, which Rand rejects curtly; he tells them again they are to stay put until Mat arrives to take command. They accept this with ill grace, and Rand moves on to discussing supplies. Finally they finish up and Rand leaves (hearing Torean actually giggle with relief as he goes), and Rand meets separately with the Aiel chiefs, who are very unhappy with their treatment by the Tairens and Cairhienin. Jheran opines that this is all a waste of time, and Rand should take the Aiel straight to Illian and get this over with; Rand makes them all promise they will not move without permission. They go back to the arrival tent and sit and talk, in order to redress the imbalance of Rand having spoken alone to the Tairens and Cairhienin, while the Maidens and Thunder Walkers have more joke contests outside.

Even patient Bruan finally spread his hands in surrender and gave up trying to explain Aiel jokes. What under the Light was funny about a woman stabbing her husband by accident, whatever the circumstances, or a man ending up married to the sister of the woman he wanted to marry? Han grumped and snorted and refused to believe Rand did not understand; he laughed so hard at the one about the stabbing that he nearly fell over. The one thing they did not talk about was the coming war against Illian.

After the chiefs leave, Enaila and Somara discuss his strange behavior regarding Aviendha in front of him, and make him eat, while Sulin gives him advice on how to be “modest”, including an inquiry on whether he can make himself blush on command. Rand grits his teeth and keeps quiet through all of it. They return to Caemlyn, and Rand sneaks into his bed to avoid waking Aviendha, who still sleeps in his chambers, but she wishes him a good night, and Rand is absurdly pleased at it. He thinks about humor, and how the giant army he’s gathering in Tear was the biggest joke of all.

With any luck, Sammael would be dead before he knew he should laugh.

I do enjoy when Jordan does these little “themelet” chapters. The mini-theme here, of course, is humor, and is probably a good a time as any for me to reiterate my (possibly plagiarized) observation that you can’t truly understand a culture until you understand what that culture finds funny.

Which is ironic, because Rand’s joke here... wasn’t all that funny. Not to me, anyway. I mean, I got it, which is more than I can say for most of the Aiel jokes (except for the Maiden handtalk joke, because it appears that certain stereotypes are universal and unkillable), but I didn’t think it was funny. (Rand’s joke, I mean. I actually thought the handtalk joke was funny, even though I rolled my eyes at the same time.)

The Maidens’ mystified discussion of Rand’s joke afterwards, on the other hand, was hysterical.

So I guess whether Jordan genuinely meant Rand’s joke to be funny or not is a matter of opinion; the juxtaposition between Rand’s joke and the Aiel’s would have been better if I had genuinely found Rand’s joke to be funny, but on the other hand, Rand doesn’t exactly strike me as the kind of guy who’s good with a joke, so maybe it was deliberate.

And now the word “joke” has completely lost all meaning to me, so I sense I should move on.

Random note, but I think this is the first time Liah is mentioned by name. Dun, sort of? Am I right?

Weiramon: Still an assclown. Thank God, really.

I don’t know why this “giant hammer army” scheme of Rand’s struck me from the moment I read about it as an equally giant disaster waiting to happen, but it did, even despite Mat and Bashere’s involvement with its planning. Perhaps because it involves Weiramon, who can be relied upon to make me automatically nervous about the outcome of anything he’s associated with no matter how well planned. Because he is an assclown. Q.E.D.

I don’t know that the eventual results really put the lie to my off-the-cuff assessment, either, though I admit I’m kind of fuzzy on the eventual consequences, at least in LOC. However, I seem to recall that this leads us (indirectly) to Rand’s campaign against the Seanchan in TPOD, which was a veritable litany of disaster from start to finish, so maybe I was psychic on that one.

(Ugh. I’m so not looking forward to that bit.)

Aaaand that’s about all I gots to say on that, so we’ll stop here. Have a weekend, whydontcha? And if you’re good, you might have a Mat POV for Monday. Huzzah!

2. crsandoval
Hello Leigh
You ROCK and KEEP the rest of us getting through the long work days.
And debate all the Tidbits
Richard Fife
3. R.Fife
Woo Earlier-in-the-day post.

Just to beat Bela, I'm still in the "close enough for rock'n'roll" camp on LTT's realness.

The one thing about Wiermon that kinda gets me odd is Rand thinking about how Wiermon is an impulsive, over-eager oaf, then instantly thinking that he's the perfect guy to tell "wait" too. Is he trying to use Wiermon's reputation to make Sammy jumpy, or what? I just somehow don't get it, iunno. Maybe its Aiel humor to me.

On the topic of Aiel humor, its odd, I find it typically more humorous than wetlander humor (which, come to think of it, is kinda rare). I think what I enjoy bout the Aiel the most, though, is the showboating. They can't just have a comeback, they have to do a jumping kick first.
Captain Hammer
4. Randalator
Joke scene is indeed hilarious.

Although that joke isn't necessarily a full fletched joke but a humorous observation on a certain kind of people. In this case Duopotamians. I come from a region with this exact kind of people so I can definitely see the fun in it and it makes me grin. But it's not supposed to make people asphyxiate from laughter. So it proves your point, Leigh, that Rand isn't exactely made out of stand-up comedians and funny.

Interesting side note: I always felt that Aiel, being such sticklers for honour, pride and (strange) know, always blood feuding because a Stone Dog in a loincloth ate lizzard stew in front of his brother's ladyfriend's stepmother (which is a serious no-no, apparently; now, if he had been hopping in circles on one leg while doing it...alas...)...anyway, Aiel being Aiel I always thought that they should have gotten the joke.

To me that seems exactely the kind of thing Aiel would find hilariously funny. At least unless it had ended with Hu making Wil gai'shain, marrying Wil's daughter and getting poked in the behind with something sharp and pointy by their firstborn or some such...
Marcus W
5. toryx
I'm so glad that some of my comments make sense to other people (especially Leigh) because sometimes I work at them so hard that they don't even make sense to me anymore.

Anyway, yeah. I agree completely with the thoughts to Chapter 3. Obviously.

I have to admit that once the Black Tower gets up and running I start to have a really hard time keeping track of characters, especially when it comes to Ashaman. I just can't tell the guys apart that well. I remember the first time I read CoS that I had no clue what the hell happened near the end because I couldn't remember who half the Ashaman were. Even now, after multiple re-reads I can't keep them straight. It's so irritating.

The thing about Liah is that she first gets mentioned just in time for her to get lost in Shadar Logoth. I think the same kind of thing was done with whatsohisname, the Aiel that Rand had to order hung for murder. He popped up just enough for us to go, "Hey, that guy's kinda neat," and then bam! Off with his head! In manner of speaking.

I think I'd be a lot happier if real characters got killed or lost or whatever rather than these newly introduced red shirts. It's not like I want bad things to happen to characters I care about, but at least then their deaths wouldn't seem so...flippant.

As far as the jokes go, I've always found Aiel humor to be hilarious. They've never gone over my head. I must have had an unusual upbringing or something.
Anthony Pero
6. anthonypero
*EDIT: This does not really apply to this post, it's a continuation of a discussion from the last post. I only put it here because everyone jumps over to the new post and hardly checks the old one*

RE: LTT seizing saidin vs taking possession of Rand.

There seems to be some subtle hints in LoC that maybe LTT is taking control of Rand's body at various times. Maybe.

In Ch 9, Balwer mentions that Rand has been reliably sighted in Caemlyn, Cairhien and Tear on the same day. This doesn't happen on-screen, it's never referenced by Rand, and it's not mentioned by anyone else either. Now, it could have happened off-screen, but this caught my attention because of Chapter 18.

Ch 18 – A Taste of Solitude ends with a Sulin POV in which, after Rand went to bed for the night, apparently, he leaves his rooms inexplicably, and Sulin and three maidens search the Palace for him. The next chapter opens with Rand still in bed, having LTT dreams of the War of Power. He comments thats the first time he's ever done that and it freaks him out, and he wakes up several hours before dawn and stays in bed awake until then. No mention at all of a midnight jaunt.

There are a few more examples in the last half of the bok that I'm still searching out, but I found these two items to be interesting, and possibly relevant to the LTT conversation we were having in the last thread.
7. Lsana
On the Lews Therin real/not real debate, I think that line about how Rand prefers the voice to the memory leak because it is easier to fight is support for the alternate personality side. Not conclusive evidence by any means, but it's at least suggestive that Rand may have created the voice so that he would have someone he could fight.

On the jokes: I'm with Leigh, Rand's joke wasn't funny. Actually, I reacted to it much the same way I did to Amys story back in TSR: I didn't find it funny, but I understood why it was supposed to be funny. I would have liked to see more of the Aiel jokes for comparison. The summaries we get don't really give us enough, I don't think.

@4 Randalator,

I think the problem with Rand's joke as far as the Aiel are concerned is that it is impossible to have a story involving a large body of water and not have the body of water be the focus of things. Sort of like if we told a story involving a 700 million dollar diamond mentioned in an off-hand comment, then never referred to again. Most people would be too distracted by the mention of the diamond to understand anything else.

@5 toryx,

Absolutely agree about the redshirts.
paul Hend
8. tugthis
Another good episode of the Rand- LTT split and I can't help but feel that it would be better for the light if it were LTT who was in charge and Rand who is "breaking through".

Similarly someone brought up the idea of what the Dragon Reborn was. It seems that what he is is the giant reset button on the age. As the age winds down and the Dark rises, a counter force is thrown out to reset the balance-- the wheel coming full circle as it were. Once the light wins.. . as is inevitable in a circular time line like this, the dark will slowly grow again until a new dragon is thrown out. The question I have will be will this one have to contend with a Rand babbling in his head?
Michael Ikeda
9. mikeda
Lsana@7, Randalator@4

My thought is that the problem might be that the Aiel take the concepts of honor etc. TOO seriously to see the humor in a joke about them.
Sam Mickel
11. Samadai

what novel is that it sounds familiar but drawing a blank
12. Alrin
@5, 7

I believe that Mangin (the Aiel man who was hanged) was actually introduced to us by name as far back as The Shadow Rising. He wasn't mentioned anywhere in between, but he was certainly around and had already been identified.
13. Alrin
@5, 7

I believe that Mangin (the Aiel man who was hanged) was actually introduced to us by name as far back as The Shadow Rising. He wasn't mentioned anywhere in between, but he was certainly around and had already been identified.
Marcus W
14. toryx
Alrin @ 13:

My recollection of Mangin is that he popped up briefly in one scene toward the end of one book (tSR maybe, or FoH) and then there was nothing until he came back in the next book and explained he had Toh to Rand.

I'm just not firm on the timing. At any rate, it was still a brief interaction; aside from Rand liking him, there didn't seem to be any real relationship that the reader could witness.
15. drothgery
Flinn's a great character, and so is the only character that almost gets a pass on stealing Nynaeve's awesome by horning in on her schtick (which the various other uber-healers and uber-female channelers do to varying degrees starting in LoC).
Galen Brinn
16. GatheringStorm
I'm firmly in the camp of LTT being real. Otherwise, I just can't come up with an explanation of how baddies like the gholam pop into Rand's head when no one else in this age (yet), not even the Aes Sedai, knows about them.

That being said, if Brandon/Jordan come out and say that LTT was a figment of Rand's imagination and have some kind of explanation regarding how Rand could come up with gholam, etc, then who am I to argue with The Creator(s)?
17. swmdilla
On the subject of whether LTT is real or not, I'm going to have to steal your theory Leigh.

*Holds it close with shifting eyes*

IMO Rands condition is very similar to Matts (they went through the same doors), but where Matt got many mens memories, Rand got one. Matt, being sane, is able to understand that these are only memories and "gifts" from the finns. Rand however, not being completely sane, believes that there are more to these memories and creates LTT (or the voice in his head) to blame.
One argument for Rand not being able to control LTT can also be compared with how Matt slips the Old Tongue and others memories unconsciously.
Another argument is that hearing voices in ones head is not something particular to Rand. As we find out from Cadsuane, hearing voices is common among channeling men going insane.

This could also just be a Load of Choss.
18. MasterAlThor
Great way to kick off a Friday, Leigh.

Mad Props to Toryx...anytime the Creator quotes you, you know your that and a bag of chips.

That being said....I think I fall in the LTT is real camp. But appearantly that is a bit of a deceased equine.

My question that I have for anyone who can explain it is...the meating between Taim and Rand. When Rand is talking about cleansing saidin, and Taim comments on it. Leigh said that that was a tipping point for her to see that Taim was a minion. I don't see how. I didn't get anything from that. So I need someone to explain. Just clear it up for me ok.
19. Lsana
@9 mikeda,

I don't think so. What was the Wise One's story from TSR if not an extended joke about honor? Roofmistress A feels that she owes Warrior B a debt of honor, B disagrees, but A is determined to pay her debt no matter how embarrassing the situation becomes for B. It seems to me that the Aiel, or at least the Wise Ones, are capable of seeing the humor in taking honor too far.

I really think the problem was the presence of the water in an important place in the story.

@16 GatheringStorm,

Rand knows about gholam and the like for the same reason Mat how to fight with his spear: those memories exist within him. I don't think anyone is arguing that Rand isn't LTT reborn or that he doesn't have access to the memories of when he was LTT. The "alternate personality" theory is that the memories are real, but the voice that occasionally spouts those memories is just a creation of Rand's mind. It isn't necessarily correct, but it's perfectly plausible.
20. Caseyft
With respect to Rand's joke not being funny, RJ's point may be that our culture is pretty different from the Two Rivers. I mean, I could see a country bumpkin finding that funny. Men don't marry men anywhere in Randland, and the concept may be so foreign to someone from a country village that it's just ridiculous.

OTOH, it's really a long pun, so if the Aiel don't use "take his hand" to mean marriage then of course they wouldn't get it.

I found the Maiden's joke about Thunder Walkers getting drunk on empty cups to be quite funny.
21. swmdilla
On the subject of whether LTT is real or not, I'm going to have to steal your theory Leigh.

*Holds it close with shifty eyes*

IMO Rands condition is very similar to Matts (they went through the same doors), but where Matt got many mens memories, Rand got one. Matt, being sane, is able to understand that these are only memories and "gifts" from the finns. Rand however, not being completely sane, believes that there are more to these memories and creates LTT (or the voice in his head) to blame.
One argument for Rand not being able to control LTT can also be compared with how Matt slips the Old Tongue and others memories unconsciously.
Another argument is that hearing voices in ones head is not something particular to Rand. As we find out from Cadsuane, hearing voices is common among channeling men going insane.

@ 16 GatheringStorm
Rand knows about gholam just like Matt knows, from memories thanks to the finns. Rand has LTTs memories but does not necessarily mean he is real.
But that is just my opinion

This could also just be a Load of Choss.
22. MasterAlThor
I forgot

The Aiel's misunderstanding of Rand's joke is one of the funniest scenes in the series.

I dare you to come up with a better one.

Go ahead try....I'll wait right here
23. Lsana
@20 Caseyft,

Okay, that was a completely different spin than I put on the joke. I assumed it was completely about pride ("he wouldn't speak to me, why should I shake his hand?") and never thought to put a gay marriage spin on it. I'm curious if anyone else had the same interpretation of the joke.
Captain Hammer
24. Randalator
Caseyft @20

You completely missed the point of Rand's joke. In fact, you shot right past it and killed some innocent bystanders...
Marcus W
25. toryx
MasterAlThor @ 18:

Mad Props to Toryx...anytime the Creator quotes you, you know your that and a bag of chips.

Yeah, I admit it made my day.

My question that I have for anyone who can explain it is...the meating between Taim and Rand.

This is me, biting my tongue, trying not to make an off-color comment out of an honest typo.


I think that particular instant when Taim responded to Rand's comment about cleansing saidin is a very important one. It carries all kinds of possible meanings. But I'm not entirely sure what Leigh's getting out of it.

What it means to me is that Taim knows that doing something like that would require power beyond even what a Forsaken is capable of getting ahold of. For Rand to intend to do it himself suggests that he's got something very potent. Like those Sa'Angreal. If Taim is working for a Forsaken, it's possible that he's got more knowledge than the average current day Randlander about those massive sa'angreals that Rand's got the keystones for.

Taim focusing on the sa'angreal instead of the possibility that saidin might be cleansed is a pretty telling response.
Antoni Ivanov
27. tonka
@5 toryx
Mangin was mentioned and chapter 7 of The Shasow Rising. While there were yet in the Stone of Tear. As for why he was not mentioned anymore.That was all he has to do in the books- to be one of the first Aiel Rand get to know and befriend and later Rand to sentence him to dead. Do you really want this books any bigger. The world is huge, there are a lot of things happening off screen , not everything can be included in the books.

@ MasterAlThor
Read Leigh's link for explanation and because for some reason it doesn't work for me - here is , I think the same, look at point 18 -
Lannis .
28. Lannis
Weiramon... Erg. I can't remember how long it took to start hating him on the first read, but in subsequent readings his name just makes me roll my eyes. And swear, depending on the book...

Rand's joke is one of those peculiar scenes that I wish we had more of... I love that we see him tell a joke and the Maidens misunderstand it, it's just funny. But the sudden appearance of this scene does well in juxtaposition: you really get a sense of how little his mind is on enjoying life right now... he's totally focused on more important things (Tarmon Gai'don, his three loves, a blazing list of fallen women), and because of this I've always found this scene to be a little melancholy...

And for some reason I find it hearkens to the whole Team Two Rivers moments... when our Heroes can laugh and joke and jab a bit and remember who they used to be...

toryx @ 5: I'm with you on the inability to keep the Asha'man straight... a whole list of surnames and they're all wearing black coats and can channel... the only equally tricky group of characters for me are the D-list Aes Sedai who come out of the woodwork in PoD to hunt the BA in the WT... Seaine, Saerin, Doesine? Wha? Pevara I've got... then I have to keep checking to remember which was the first contacted by Elaida...

Ah, Leigh, your jokes always make me laugh. Thanks again! :)
Sam Mickel
29. Samadai
I have read and reread each of these books multiple times as most have.I started reading them in 1991 and I have several copies of each books including the originals and reprints. I had read all the way through tKoD before I discovered all the WoT online communities. I did not know about all these crazy theories about all the mysteries in the books. I have always believed in the Lews Therin is real theory not a construct of Rands Insanity. because I don't believe he is insane.Stressed unbelievably with few people to trust not to use him for their own benefit. Trying to force the world to peace so maybe there is a chance to win the last battle and suffering the fools who want to go their own way. Rand isn't insane, he just has the pressure of the world riding on his shoulders. i'm not going to quote any passages because as stated previously they can be used to promote either view.
I know I am not changing anyones mind with my long rant nor do I want to try. I believe flat out Lews Therin is real and until the creator(s) tells me different that is my stand. I agree to disagree and humbly respect and understand where all the insane consruct fans stand.
Joseph Blaidd
30. SteelBlaidd
Taim was facing Jur Grady, both staring at a tiny flame wavering between them. Sora Grady, her son clasped to her breast, was not watching her husband. Her eyes were still locked on Rand. A woman’s eyes cut deeper than a knife; another Two Rivers saying.

This has always been one of my most favorite passages, and the Gradys one of my favorite minor couples. RJ uses them wonderfly to ilistrate and explore the relationships of thouse who must remain home when thier loved ones go off to war.

One of the great things about Rand's museing on Family,
In Rand’s opinion, the Aes Sedai had made a mistake sealing themselves off from the world. Few entered the White Tower beyond Aes Sedai When Aes Sedai left the Tower, most held themselves aloof, and some never did leave. To Aes Sedai, people were pieces in a game and the world was the board, not a place to live in. To them, only the White Tower was real. No man could forget the world and ordinary people when he had his family in front of him.

Is that explicitly talks about one of the major themes of the series, which is that seperating yourself from others leads you to do evil. This is even more poignant given the determination with which Rand tries to protect others by seperating himself from them.

Regarding Humor: First read the first example here for a good explination of what makes Aeil humor work in the more obscure casses.

Rand's joke is very southern but his delivery sucks ( as it useualy does when one is "telling a joke" s opposed to inserting a funny story in to conversation) and, Leigh is right, it's just no that good.
Sam Mickel
31. Samadai
Mangin is also noted in tFoH when Rand is going to the tower to view Cairhien. Mangin asks Rand if he wants to go hunt,(rabbits I think). Then he puts bothhands up towards the Tairens and says something like "they may be a little to big for the bags" Rand just looks at him and the others with him and thinks I could be friends with all of them but especially Mangin.
Sam Mickel
32. Samadai
I realize I was preachy and am sorry if I offended anyone
33. lerris

I'm pretty sure Caseyft@20 got the joke as it was intended, but invented an exaggerated example of how a different culture could interpret it differently.

Though I could be wrong.
Michael Catapano
34. hoping
Rand's Humor
I first heard that joke in the 60's in which two Vermont farmers were involved, presumably playing on the stereotype of flinty, stubborn prideful New Englanders. It wasn't funny then either. On the other hand, the elephant jokes of the time were hysterical.

BTW, Lanfear for me, if anyone is keeping track.
Bridget Sullivan
35. Ellid
Samadai#31, that was Mangin referring to the Cairhienin, who are notably short to the rest of Randlanders and to the strapping Aiel, must seem positively tiny.
36. JohnDoe
I'm not sure with my position on Rand and LTT. I don't think the answer will be resolved until maybe book 2 of aMoL. I was in the camp that LTT was in fact real but Leigh and toryx had great points. Honestly, the things LTT has said about the AoL is either pretty common knowledge or his subconscious memories.

As for the Aiel jokes, I often find them funny. It's true about women though. They can't stop talking. Don't shoot...I was just saying.

I do have to say that I didn't/still haven't gotten Enaila's joke about "why they are called Thunder Walkers." My sense of humor recently got out of the hospital so any clarification would be nice.

Also, while it took me a little bit to get Rand's joke, I did laugh at it. It is weird to see Rnd have a "funny moment." they're usually reserved for Mat.
Lannis .
37. Lannis
@ Samadai... I wouldn't worry about offending anyone, I didn't read anything in your comments that was written to offend. You stated your opinion, and that's what this forum is for.

But thanks for being concerned and courteous. :)
Anthony Pero
38. anthonypero

I don't remember either... It hard Dark Elves and good elves, and some kind of Dragon Armor that fuses itself to the wearer, and inserts a personality (of the dragon, or a previous user, or something like that.)


I don't know if you read my comments in the last post, but Mat and Rand's memories most definitely do not come from the same place. Mat got his implanted memories from the 'Finn in the Rhieudan Ter'Angreal. Rand never went in that one. Also, Mat has had both genetic and implanted memories. Rand's memories are not genetic, because LTT had no descendants.

In a previous post I mentioned that Rand's memories had to come from the soul (like Bridgette's), which is different than Mat. Rand only has one soul, LTT and Rand are essentially the same person. That's why his personality split is so bizzarre, and causes so much controversy, because, quite frankly, it must be either a personality split, or have been done to him intentionally, IMO, because it doesn't fit the Metaphysical info we've been given about Randland.

But, as Verin said, this is the only instance we know about regarding a specific soul being reborn because of prophecy, so maybe all bets are off.
Anthony Pero
39. anthonypero
Does anyone have a thought about my comment @6? Is LTT actually taking posession of Rand's physical body occasionally at night?

If so, that would be significantly more like Multiple Personality Disorder as we understand it. Not that it would solve our question.
40. Hopper
So I decided I have to comment on how Leigh noted Rands comment about the "ivory" white tower was one of the smartest things he said.

To me, the whole Aes Sedai = automatically superior is just a Load of Choss. I love how channelers are treated in other cultures, respected because they earned it, and not crippled by three oaths to avoid fear.

The biggest display of this nonsense to me was the treatment of Suian. Ok so she got stilled, but she was basically the freaking leader of the free world, and now all of the sudden she has no right to speak in a meeting? I don't understand how they make the connection that just having the ability to channel makes somebody automatically more intelligent or capable in a leadership role. This always bothered me a LOT about Aes Sedai, and I think it is a big part of the reason the rest of Randland thinks so little of them.

I guess I didn't really have a point other then that its annoying :)
Joseph Blaidd
41. SteelBlaidd
As to why the Aiel dont get Rand's joke, It has nothing to do with honor but with differeing conventions on how one ges about acknowlidgeing the pressence of others.

This storry from Orson Scott Card's recent trip to Japanis an excelent example.

The rules of courtesy are not the same as ours, however. Japanese politeness consists of benign blindness. When someone does something ill-mannered or appalling, unless it's an actual emergency or criminal act, it is simply invisible.

I was on a train on the Chuo line, heading from Musashi-Sakai to Kichijoji, when a young woman (who was dressed rather like a country girl, so perhaps she was a visitor to the city) suddenly had a sneezing fit. At once it was obvious that she had been caught without a tissue, and was in dire need of one.

I happened to have a pristine packet of Kleenexes with me, and, being an American, I immediately pulled it out and gave it to her.

Only afterward did I realize that I had just done something appallingly rude. Until I did that, the young woman was invisible. Her sneezing, her nose-wiping -- none of them had actually happened until I called attention to it by offering the Kleenex.

The only thing that excused my rude action was that, as a gaijin, nobody actually expects me to know how to behave with proper civility.

In the Two Rivers it's comomn courtesy to acknowlidge someones pressence when walking down the street. Hence Mat's irritation with Berelain when she blows past him in the Stone.

Among the Aiel recognizeing someones presence (I see you Rand Al'Thor") is only a prelude to a more extended interaction. And of course understanding the rules and explaining them can be very tricky.

Look, foreign countries are, in fact, foreign, and there are things that a visitor doesn't know. Nor would anyone in Japan be so impolite as to point out to me that I had done something wrong. I only got tips on manners from fellow foreigners, who knew the kinds of things that Americans would inadvertently do wrong.
42. Hopper
And now to pipe in on the existing discussions:

Rand's joke = not laugh out loud funny (and not about gay marriage) but it definitely made me smile. I think I had actually heard something like that before reading it here. Either way, the point was that the Aiel didn't even understand how it could be a joke.

And I'm in Leigh's camp on LTT. Memories real, voice a construct of Rand's. Although since Rand technically is LTT, it doesn't really matter, right?

Actually that just reminded me of something that has always bugged me. Ok so when Birdgitte gets spun back into life in the past, I got the sense that she always looked the same (pretty, braid, bow, etc). Especially because this is how she looked in TAR. So what did LTT/Rand look like in TAR (I'm assuming he is a hero tied to the Wheel) and why doesn't he look the same when Birdgitte did? Note: Artur Hawking seemed to recognize Rand in TGH.

Lots of different thoughts here, Sorry :)
Anthony Pero
43. anthonypero

I don't think there is any evidence to support your assumption that Bridgette looked the same in her other lives, but I could be wrong. She did specifically state that in all of her incarnations, she never had any memories of her previous existence, which is why LTTs memories being in Rand is so strange, and controversial.
Sydo Zandstra
44. Fiddler

I don't remember either... It hard Dark Elves and good elves, and some kind of Dragon Armor that fuses itself to the wearer, and inserts a personality (of the dragon, or a previous user, or something like that.)

I think you are referring to Feist's Riftwar trilogy (Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon).

The merging of minds would be happening between Tomas and Ashen Shugar, a Dragon Rider of old. Tomas found Ashen Shugar's armour, and started to change into him.

I don't think Jordan copied Feist though.
45. ScottM
"In Ch 9, Balwer mentions that Rand has been reliably sighted in Caemlyn, Cairhien and Tear on the same day. This doesn't happen on-screen"

Actaully, it very much happens on-screen. We see through Rand POV him in Camelyn and Tear on 'this' day and in Matt's POV comming up in the next chapter we find out that Rand also visited him in Cairhien.
Marcus W
46. toryx
anthonypero @ 39:

Rand has said (more than once, I think) that he is always traveling around without the Maidens. He does so initially when he goes to see the rebellion with Min. But the story doesn't capture every trip he takes or everything he does. Whole days passes while he handles the mundanity of ruling. Sometimes a chapter will go back and catch us up, but not in every case.

While I think it's possible that the instance you mention can be explained away as you suggest, I personally don't think LTT is coherent enough to do things on his own without Rand being aware of it.

Edit: I just realized that I misunderstood completely what anthonypero had been saying. So I've cut a bunch of garbage out of my post and focused on his question. Sorry about that.
Anthony Pero
47. anthonypero

Ahhhh... I assumed Balwer was referring to the cities, not the countries, since he said Caemlyn, and Rand visited the Stone to invert the weave on Callendor, but you could be right, it could be referring to his visit to Mat.
Bill Siegel
48. ubxs113
That scene with the aiel sense of humor and the joke about two farmers who climb a tree after a rooster is one of my top ten favorite scenes in WOT. It just feels real.

Also, LTT is totally in Rand's head.
Anthony Pero
49. anthonypero

No, it's not exactly like MPD, or DID, because the disassociative personalities do not communicate with each other. LTT's voice in Rand's head has no part in our understanding of these disorders

*edit: Toryx just cut out the part this post refers to, but I'll leave it in here for anyone else.*
50. phresus

You're thinking of Tomas from the Riftwar saga with the merged personalities and Dragon ties.
Anthony Pero
51. anthonypero

My point is that Rand does recall what happened that night in his POV in the next chapter, and it doesn't match Sulin's POV. He specifically recalls being in bed and dreaming LTT dreams, then waking up in a cold sweat and staying in bed till dawn. Rand doesn't think he left his room. At least by my reading of Ch 19.

EDIT: And I know it's the next morning, because he only stays in Cairhien one night, and leaves the next morning before Mangin's hanging.
52. AnneW
I was ho-hummingly on your side re: Lews Therin (despite the ear-thumbing and humming blah blah) until the bit I just listened to - the fight at the manor house in KoD. lews Therin seizes saidin and lets fly with all these battle weaves that Rand doesn't know. So now I have to come down on the other side - and am curious how you fit that scene with the "part of Rand's subconscious" theory.
Sydo Zandstra
53. Fiddler
I forgot to mention this. The scene about the Maidens wondering about what was funny about Rand's joke cracks me up every time I reread it. Especially because they are serious about it.

Rand doesn't seem to have a well developed sense of humour. But he can be funny to others, sometimes even to the reader.

And it works in more ways. I think it is also in this book where Rand notices one of the Wise Ones sticking her head around the corner of a door (in Caemlyn, IIRC) to check for safety first, before entering the room where he's in. Rand wonders what kind of danger would actually stop an Aiel Wise One from entering anyway.

I found that thought very funny, even if Rand was serious.
Anthony Pero
54. anthonypero

Who are you directing that at? People who think LTT is a construct think that Rand created him in his head out of LTT's memories, in order to deal with at, a la Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

As others have said, for story related purposes, LTT might as well be real, if Rand thinks he is. What is being discussed is whether LTT is really real, or if Rand made him up. Even if Rand made him up, he'd still be able to "sieze" saidin, at least from Rand's PoV.
Joachim Magera
55. Urainc
Thanxs Leigh for all your great work.

And the silent shall speak….

@ 17. swmdilla
I agree with you, and to add to that, there’s also the link with Birgitte, she’s lived many different lives being spun into the wheel at various times. In those times there was only one taveren at a time. Now there’s three and no time to spin them back in time for the last battle. Hence the many memories being mushed into Mat’s head.

“The Wheel weaves as the Wheel Wills” hence the balance.

Remember the rules and players have changed. It’s a different game all together. (The forsaken were walking in the light at one point before they moved to the dark side.) LTT knew them and how they operate, hence the best “weapon” to counter the forsaken.

In regards to humor, IMO, no one does it better than the finns. Take Mat as an example… a gambler who Even Lord Bashere question as to which General he studied under….. nuff said.
Marcus W
56. toryx
AnneW @ 52:

Way back in the beginning of tSR Rand pulled out a major weave that killed all the Shadow critters in the tower without knowing how he did it. But the information must have been there or he couldn't have pulled it off.

But this was way, way before Rand ever started to hear LTT's voice.

The reason I bring this up is to point out that all of LTT's knowledge is there, accessible to Rand whether he wants to admit it or not. At times, like in the confrontation with Lanfear at the docks, he resists that knowledge even when it's 'given' to him.

If LTT is a construct like Leigh and I believe then the constructed personality would have every bit as much access to those memories as Rand. More, actually, because it doesn't hesitate to use them.

The whole argument of LTT as constructed personality is that every bit of memory associated to LTT that Rand has, he pushes over to 'Lews Therin'. That way he doesn't have to accept the responsibility that comes with knowing that he has all that knowledge because it's his.
Anthony Pero
57. anthonypero

Can you please cite where you info is coming from? Where does it say that only one Ta'veren existed at a time before this? How in the world would Siuan know she has a Talent for recognizing Ta'veren if only one Ta'veren existed in the world at a time? There is nothing that I know of anywhere in the books to suggest that only Heroes of the Horn are Ta'veren, or event that all Heroes of the Horn are Ta'veren. There is nothing to suggest that Mat or Perrin were tied to the Horn in a prior life.
Luke Thompson
58. thom9894
Mat had some Old Tongue slip out before going to 'Finn-land. I'm thinking the "old blood" runs strong in Rand, just like Mat. Instead of language, he gets some fun weaves :)
Rich Gold
59. richg25
ok - LTT is Real or Not controversy - I guess I don't really care that much. I mean, what exactly does "Real" even mean here? He's certainly exists only in Rand's head. There certainly are real memories. Is the voice real? Real what??? I don't think this has any meaning unless you descend deep into the metaphysical, way beyond what I believe the author intended.
Marcus W
60. toryx
anthonypero @ 49 & 51:

Sorry for my mistake with that post in the beginning and for 'fixing' it. I just didn't want to poor a lot of crap out there that has no real purpose.

Anyway, I've actually encountered two cases where the MPD personalities actually were aware of each other and communicated to some degree. It does disrupt the accuracy of the diagnosis somewhat and it's difficult to be certain it really is MPD but all the other flags still applied.

As for that particular incident, I may have to dig out my copy of the book when I get home tonight and look at it more closely. That IS an interesting conjecture. I still can't believe that there's enough of coherency in LTT to actually take over at this point. Could Rand have sleep Travelled?

It'd be really interesting if we could find another similar incident to confirm this first one. I'd think that if LTT was able to take over and go on his own trips once without Rand's knowledge, he'd be able to do it again.
Anthony Pero
61. anthonypero

Mat's "old blood" memories are genetic memories, as the name old blood implies.

The problem with your theory is that Rand gets more than some "fun weaves". He gets specific memories about the Forsaken, especially Lanfear, that only LTT would know. The Forsaken PoVs confirm this.

It can't be "old blood" memories of LTT, as I've stated previously, because LTT killed everyone related to him. Rand is not a descendant of LTT. There are no descendants of LTT
Anthony Pero
62. anthonypero

As I said in my original post, I seem to remember something along these lines in the second half of LoC, but I can't find it right now. This all hit me late last night as I was drifting off to sleep. Something I had just read (between page 500-610, hardcover, I think) hit me and made these other two instances click together.

As I said, ScottM may have debunked my Balwar example, but maybe not, as well, if Balwar was specifically referring to the cities, and not the countries.
63. Hopper
I am totally hoping for a scene where Rand accepts that he and LTT truly are the same person, and takes in and uses all the memories and weaves because he finally understands that they are *his* memories too.

People mentioning this have said something about the 2 personalities fusing to form a third person, but I'm hoping it will be a little more like the one personality realizes it is only one personality and the true person steps out.

To use Bridgette again, it would be as if she were reborn as normal, but then realized she was tied to the wheel and used all the memories of her past lives to dominate the DO!

I think this is kind of what Mat does, but ya.
Joachim Magera
64. Urainc
@ 42 Hopper.
Since Artur Hawking did not live in the same age as LTT, I think the recognition comes from when the horn is blown, and the hundred companions come out to assist, with whatever fight is going on at the time.
Anthony Pero
65. anthonypero

Mat's different. He gets the specific memories to fill his "holes." But he doesn't seem to get any one person's personality. He remembers the memories as if he, Matrim Cauthon, lived them, but either the 'Finns gave him memories from people exactly like him, or the experiences are somehow detached from the individuals who lived them.

Or, it could be, much like in Dune, that there are just so many memories in there that no single persona is strong enough to usurp the character's persona. The exception to this is Alia and Baron Harkonnen, of course, but Alia was a special case, because she was slightly unhinged from the beginning.

Rand is another story entirely. Unlike Mat, there is only one person's memories in there, and for some reason, the persona is a separate entity in Rand's head.

Bridgette is a bad example, because she has stated that when spun out as intended, she never has any recollection of past lives. And her memories are fading right now, except for the most recent incarnation (the Bridget incarnation)
Anthony Pero
66. anthonypero
@ Urainc, 64:

There is no connection between the Horn and the Hundred Companions. The Heroes of the Horn are different from the Hundred Companions.

The Hundred Companions were all Male Channelers from the AoL. They sealed the Bore
67. hapazard
About the LTT voice real/construct

IS there really anything to a person BUT memories? If so, this is what would be called soul (or in our more scientific view), the unique quirks of the individual brain.

Rand is LTT reborn and that means that they share the same soul, agreed?

The only thing that then differentiate them is their individual memories. Now, what happens when you put two sets of complete memories from the same soul in the person who that soul belongs to? Think of the memories as pieces of a infinitely complex puzzle and the soul the chart that tell how to put them together.

Wouldn't that, in effect, create two unique personalities in the same person? struggling for control ....

If so, then there is no difference between the: LTT is just a construction of memories and: LTT is REAL!!!

Being a construction of memories makes him a real person, as that is what a personality is!
68. Hopper
@ anthonypero, 65

I didn't mean Bridgette as an example, more of a parallel to try and explain what I was saying. And yes I agree Mat's case is different.

I guess my main point is that I think the voice in Rand's head is his creation, a product of his losing his grip on sanity, but the memories are there because he IS LTT. The same soul, just in a different body. And I think it would be a cool character development to see him embrace that and use the memories, and I also think that in doing that, he would remove the need for the false voice he created in his own head, thus restoring his sanity.
Anthony Pero
69. anthonypero
I agree with Hopper@68.

I did not yesterday, lol. I also agree with haphazard@67: LTT is real in every sense that he can be. The persona is there, whether Rand (re)constructed it from LTTs memories or not. And I would assume it is accurate to the AoL LTT, since it's LTTs memories.

The real question is: Why? and How? The other example we have is Bridget, and she specifically says she never remembers anything when she gets reborn. So why does Rand?

It's not like Mat's "old blood." LTT has no descendants. The Why? and the How? are important to the plot, I'm sure of it. Maybe not as important as the What Now?, but still important.
Anthony Pero
70. anthonypero
And even though Rand isn't a case of two souls possessing the same body, I still think Slayer fits into this somehow. LTT trying to take over Rand's body in T'a'R in tFoH is just too much like what Slayer does for it to be happenstance.
Antoni Ivanov
71. tonka
Jordan:You become ta’veren according to the needs of the Wheel. Like the Heroes linked to the Wheel, who are spun out as needed to try to keep the weaving of the Pattern straight, a man or woman becomes ta’veren because the Wheel has “decided” to use them as an influence on the Pattern. And, no, the Wheel isn’t sentient. Think more of a fuzzy logic device that uses feedback to correct what it is doing in order to do it in the most efficient way.


It would be possible for a Darkfriend or Forsaken to be made ta’veren, but it seems unlikely. Ta’veren are part of the Wheel’s self-correcting mechanism. When the Pattern seems to be drifting too quickly, and especially if it is in the wrong direction, one or more ta’veren are created. I can’t really see how making a Darkfriend or Forsaken ta’veren would help with correcting the drift of the Pattern. Ta’veren can oppose one another, when their conflict is what the Wheel “sees” as the necessary corrective. And, no, ta’veren is not Old Tongue for Deus ex machina. It came out of musings on luck, charismatic leaders, and the theory of the indispensable man....Someone who sees ta’veren sees them as glowing. The more strongly ta’veren, the brighter the glow. This is a Talent, and is something that only someone who can channel can do. While she was stilled, Siuan could not see ta’veren, nor could she have if she had been burned out.

I don't think ta'veren are that uncommon, maybe ta'veren as stong as Mat and Perrin are uncommon , true (not mentioning Rand who is the strongest since Lew Therin, who knows maybe even more ? ) .
But otherwise the wheel will throw occasionally ta'verens when it needs it.So there might have been a few even in Siuan's lifetime.
72. MasterAlThor
I stated earlier that I was in the real camp, and I see that everyone is going on about it. So *tosses in two pennies*

I think that AnneW. might be on to something, but toryx has a point too. I would go further in KoD and use the convo with Semirhage.

"Graendal could explain it better than I. Madness was her specialty. I will try, however. You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes very rarely, the voices they hear are the voices of past lives. Lanfear claimed he knew things from our own Age, things only LTT could know. Clearly, he is hearing Lews Therin's voice. It makes no difference that his voice is real, however. In fact, that makes his situation worse. Even Graendal usually failed to achieve reintegration with someone who heard a real voice."

Semirahge flat out says that the voice is real. The memories are real. Therefore, LTT in Rand's head is real. Now, as those before have said, this could be used to say that LTT is a construct, but this conversation settled it for me.

By the way, A Plain Wooden Box p592.
Sydo Zandstra
73. Fiddler
@anthonypero and Hopper:

I seem to fall in right in the middle of an ongoing debate. ;-)

Still, I was wondering why you are comparing Birgitte, a Hero of the Horn, to the Dragon Reborn in this discussion.

IIRC, the Heroes of the Horn are spun out way more often than the Dragon Reborn is, and for different purposes. Birgitte has had a lot more incarnations than the Dragon Reborn has had.

- Heroes: do their deeds again, and be remembered.
- Dragon Reborn: face the Dark One when that entity gets close to becoming free.
75. Hopper
@ Fiddler, 73:

I have actually wondered for awhile whether the Dragon Reborn (and any of our other main characters, for that matter) is a Hero of the Horn, or something different, as you suggest.

Ishamael tells Rand they have fought their battle thousands of times, but this doesn't really prove anything one way or the other, except that Time is cyclical in Randland.

Haha, here's an interesting thought, if time is cyclical, and therefore infinite, the DR and Bridgette could both have been spun out infinitely many times, and so regardless of the frequency they have both had the same (infinite) number of reincarnations ;)

PS you can ignore that last paragraph, I'm a kid trapped in an Engineer's body
Anthony Pero
76. anthonypero

I'm bringing up Bridget for two reasons:

1) She's the only other example we have of someone who has been reborn. She remembers those past lives, and so her knowledge on the subject is enlightening.

2) The Dragon seems to be tied to the Horn as a Hero of the Horn as well, based on the conversation Arthur Hawkwing had with Rand in TGH. My guess would be that even though the Pattern only spins the Dragon out at a specific time, and others, like Bridget, are spun out more often, if the Horn of Valere had been sounded during Arthur Hawkwing's reign, that LTT/Dragon would be leading those heroes.
Marcus W
77. toryx
MasterAlThor @ 72:

Semirahge flat out says that the voice is real. The memories are real. Therefore, LTT in Rand's head is real. Now, as those before have said, this could be used to say that LTT is a construct, but this conversation settled it for me.

There are two reasons that this particular quote doesn't change my mind on the Construct theory.

1. Semirhage simply doesn't know. Everything she says in your quoted passage is conjecture; her reliability as a witness isn't that strong, Age of Legends knowledge or no.

2. Even if Semirhage knew exactly what she's talking about, it doesn't mean that her understanding of the phenomena is complete. As she says, Graendal could explain it better. What does "hearing Lews Therin's voice" really mean? She doesn't know that Rand is actually talking to an LTT presence.

Even using those past cases as an example, they're too vague to be used to settle the argument one way or another. "Hearing voices" could as easily be hearing things like memories of words the Past Life said or heard. Or it could be hearing a lecture on how to build a Shocklance. Or it could be the kind of thing that Rand's experiencing.

Either way, it doesn't provide enough specifics for us to even make an accurate guess as to whether Semirhage is right or not. We just know what she believes, which only informs us of why she acts as she does, not on what LTT really is.
Marcus W
78. toryx
Man, I'm a posting fool today.

anthonypero @76:

1) She's the only other example we have of someone who has been reborn. She remembers those past lives, and so her knowledge on the subject is enlightening.

The problem I have with that is that she hasn't been reborn. She hasn't been spun out again, either. She was ripped out of Tel'Aran'Rhiod in such a way that her knowledge of her past lives are completely unrelatable (imho) to what Rand's experiencing.
James Jones
79. jamesedjones
18 Master AlThor

I don't get it. What happened to the bag of chips?
80. MasterAlThor
Well said toryx...

I see how you can say that Semi is not a reliable witness, but she is all that we have at the moment. Not only that, the reason I believe her is that at that moment she has no reason to lie. It cannot possibly further her agenda. She behaves the way she does, because it is in her nature to do so.

I'll grant you that they may be too vague, but they do the trick. If you go for that sort of thing.


you know...all that and a bag of chips. In case you aren't from the US, it is a saying here.

Oh! You....aiel it. Damn you....damn you.

Captain Hammer
81. Randalator

Thank you, finally someone who put an end to this whole "Bridgette" thing. And I don't mean the discussion.

I realize that 2000 odd (and yes, that is meant as a pun) WoT-names are hard to memorize and a huge magnet for typos of all kinds. But after eleven books we should get at least the major players right. Still, over the course of this re-read I've seen so many Bridgettes, Julians, and-so-ons that my teeth start hurting.

Whoever said desensibilization're wrong, mister...!

Yes, I'm anal. Please don't kill me...

I'm bringing up Bridget for two reasons:

Sydo Zandstra
82. Fiddler
@anthonypero and Hopper:

If the common DR spirit/soul is always in the current DR, a DR cannot be a Hero of the Horn. That would imply that whoever sounds it (the Horn), Lightfriend or Darkfriend, can summon a DR spirit to support or oppose the current DR.

Knowing my memory, somebody will smack me around the head with a tGH quote soon enough...

On comparing Birgitte to the DR, I think it's comparing apples to pears. But that's only a feeling I have.

(BTW, and please take no offense for me asking, why are you both calling Birgitte Bridget? Is that due to some translation from the English books? In the Dutch translations, Mat is called Mart...)
Captain Hammer
83. Randalator
jamesedjoones @79

I don't get it. What happened to the bag of chips?

I think it was eaten by the rooster...
Ryan Maguire
84. SonOfBattles
You need to place more importance on what kind of chips!
James Jones
85. jamesedjones
56 toryx

Rand totally heard LTT's voice say "Now" when he cut the threads on the weave. For the survey, LTT is real and your example is just one of my reasons for that perception.

Edit: So long as it is assumed that the "Now" voice in Rand's head was LTT. ;)
James Jones
86. jamesedjones
83 Randalator

Brilliant! ROFL (or trying not to let anyone hear me at my desk).
87. Hopper
Haha, I've been calling her Bridgette because I have a nasty habit of reading the crazy names in the books a certain way in my head, so that when I write them out, I can't remember how its spelled.

More examples, I call Taim "Tame", the Aiel "Ale", and for the longest time Siuan "Su-Anne" :)

Birgitte also doesn't look right to me for some reason (I thought there was a "D" in there somewhere?) But out of bad habit the "normalized" name I call her in my head slips out quite often.

@81 I wont kill you for being anal if you dont kill me for not being anal. :D
Captain Hammer
88. Randalator
SonOfBattles @84

You need to place more importance on what kind of chips!

Let's open the rooster and check...!

Fiddler @82

(BTW, and please take no offense for me asking, why are you both calling Birgitte Bridget? Is that due to some translation from the English books? In the Dutch translations, Mat is called Mart...)

Whoa, I just took a look at nl.wikipedia. Quite some casualties we got there. Is there a specific reason for changing the names or were they just netherlandified to smoothen the ride? And is that a common thing to do?
89. Hopper
Oh and I say "SAY-dar" and "SAY-din" too.
Captain Hammer
90. Randalator
Hopper @87

I wont kill you for being anal if you dont kill me for not being anal. :D

Thought never crossed my mind. *hides spear behind back*
91. Hopper

And break the peace of Rhuidean????

Edit: this might have made more sense to me when I said it in my head
92. AnneW
anthonypero @54: Leigh, actually.

Also, I wasn't swayed by LTT's seizing, I was swayed by the knowledge that Rand didn't know the stuff LTT was doing with the power.

So, if I'm clear - the LTT is a construct people also have to believe that the reincarnated Rand has all the info from his former selves? That jives.
Sydo Zandstra
93. Fiddler

I have no idea. I'm a long time WoT reader, from the start, where the books weren't translated into Dutch yet.

I have never discussed WoT with Dutch readers, meaning those who read the Dutch versions, so far yet. I may, soon, since I'm buying the Dutch books for my mother, who's devouring them.
94. Freelancer
Ok, let's see.

Rand cuts off his gateway before Aviendha can get there. The Maidens disapprove. Rand doesn't have the luxury of a secret identity, ala Peter Parker, so he can't play Spiderman's game of privately courting M. J. as Peter while publicly avoiding her as Spiderman. But Peter's reason is the same. Anyone close to him is a target. Rand cannot afford public confirmation of his relationship to Aviendha, or she will be in greater danger than the run-of-the-mill Maiden and Wise One to be. And the reason for that danger would be the Dragon Reborn. So forget Chivalry for a moment, and just accept that this is what people do when the people they care about can be used as leverage against them. Distancing for safety's sake, and to keep a tool out of the hands of the enemy.

I love Taim's reaction to his first task at the Black Tower. It's like a new detective on their first stake-out. A whole lot of boring when he was expecting action and excitement and glory. Sucks to be second fiddle, eh? Ask Demandred. Heh, bet he already has.

Where does a guy go to learn about being a male channeler? Taim chooses Damer Flinn to test first to "get him out of the way", which means that he's so old if he hadn't started channeling by now he isn't likely to be able to, which made it a great surprise that he could learn. The question is, how does Taim know this? The White Tower knows it about women, but it's not included in their public Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles. Strong evidence that he has had training of at least a semi-formal nature.

Next is Taim's reaction to Rand's declaration that he'll cleanse Saidin. He clearly has an understanding (or at least a speculation) about what might be required to accomplish that, to jump straight to the requirement of a powerful sa'angreal. After the previous LTT reacions to Taim, I'd not have been surprised if LTT had popped up there with another rant about not trusting him.

Next paragraph (and I wonder that Leigh gave this no attention), Rand considers a forsaken infiltrating his Asha'men. A clue aobut Taim being of the shadow? Or just a preparatory thought in advance of Dashiva? YTBR

RE: More Asha'man!

There are a variety of small snippets of the life of an Asha'man, such as Jur Grady and Fager Neald while with Perrin's entourage; Hopwil, Morr, and Flinn having Rand's back for a time. But I agree with Leigh, no common looks at the activities in the Black Tower. Of course, we don't really have much in the way of common looks at the daily activities in the White Tower either, every time we're there something at least semi-momentous is happening. That, or we're following Egwene's captivity in KoD, or Moiraine and Siuan's angst in NS as they give birth to their Grand Plan for the Dragon Reborn (tm).
Marcus W
95. toryx
MasterAlThor @ 80:


I don't actually think that Semi is lying in this particular case. I just think she's mistaken.

AnneW @ 92:

Rand doesn't have access to the memories from all of his reincarnations, just the most recent one, aka Lews Therin.

Actually, the question as to why Rand is only drawing on memories from one former life is the only thing that makes me doubt my Construct theory. I don't have an explanation for that one. Maybe other memories just aren't relevant enough to bubble up.
Maiane Bakroeva
96. Isilel
OK, some massive warning blimps re: Taim -

he is contemptuous of Rand not knowing the test for channeling ability when it is very logical that a wilder would have no chance to learn something like that.
He also has a very definite idea how long it should take Rand to learn the test - like a man who has experience in the matter.
He is frightened when Rand mentions an undercover Forsaken worming his way in... when just a little previously the mention of fighting Forsaken left him completely unperturbed. Close, Rand, but no cigar!

Mention of cleansing the taint only prompts him to try to grill Rand about sa'angreal.

Yup, not suspicious at all!

He also warns that the teaching will be slow; it will be weeks before Flinn will be able to even sense saidin, much less channel it.

It never made sense to me in light of this that 2 months later there are 200 (!) completely badass Ashaman. Even Rand needed much more time and he is a sparker, the most talented ever and has LTT in his head.
And also, if pushing is so dangerous why do only 10% die in training?

Re: Ashaman families, IMHO it could all go wrong in so many ways:

i.e. if some Ashaman go crazy and rampage, the families may get killed sending their husbands/fathers over the edge.

What happens to them if the husband/father gets killed in training or for madness? They'd be stranded in a very dangerous place without means to support themselves.
The urge to make a nest egg for their families by means fair or foul must be quite strong.

Also, they can be used as hostages against their men.

when the bonds get invented - what happens to the wife if the husband dies/go crazy? Etc., etc.

While WT's ivory towerishness is certainly not the best solution, there are practical reasons for it.

Also, in the early books it seems to be more a case of most men being unable to tolerate a wife more powerful than themselves than AS' general unwillingness to marry... though it changes in that direction later.

And BTW, it always seemed massively unrealistic to me that most AS don't live in de-facto marriages with their Warders. This goes along with RJ's tendency to generally make women far more chaste than men.
Think about it - if you share emotions with a person of an opposite sex and feel each other's physical condition intimately, how far is it to sharing everything else? And why would most resist such a development?
Anthony Pero
97. anthonypero

I was referring to Birgette referring to her past lives. I know she wasn't reborn this time. She's saying that when she HAS been reborn, she remembers nothing.
Hugh Arai
98. HArai

And also, if pushing is so dangerous why do only 10% die in training?

Umm 10% is a _lot_ when you're talking about fatalities. Origin of the word decimate and all that. I think your perspective is a bit off.
99. Freelancer

Rand's joke had nothing to do with men marrying men. Where did that come from? The stoic farm country etiquette which can be found in our own country in the central and northeastern plains is such that if you cross paths with someone, you greet them. When the falling man passed the other, they crossed paths, and yet the man still in the tree said not a word (as if he had time to). So the fallen man took umbrage with the other's clear insult, and with pride and stubbornness being mistaken for honor, refused to acknowledge him while sinking.

Leigh is right, it's too long a trip for too small a prize, not quite funny. But it's totally beyond the Aiel for several reasons. Their sense of honor (pride) is just as deep, but different, based not in gentility, but in hostility. A serious insult among them ends either in a blood fued or someone being made gai'shain. Second, they don't recognize other cultures' sense of honor as they do their own, so the idea of the fallen man being insulted over the perceived impoliteness of not being greeted will never be comprehended by them if not explained in detail.


I'm with you. Consider Rand's internal POV about the Aes Sedai's mistake of shutting themselves off from the world. Or his constantly questioning his own sanity. Nobody who does that isn't sane. Stressed beyond belief indeed. He's carrying a mountain the likes of which Lan has not known, and has had far less preparation for it. (Which is why Lan choosing Rand's side instead of Moiraine a few times is always a knock-out scene to me)

AnthonyPero@38 (and Fiddler@44)

Jordan didn't copy any particular author, in the way suggested. He borrowed mythology, culture, and personalities from every source under the sun, just not in a way that would lean toward plagiarism. I don't find any parallel between the Dragon Reborn and a Valheru. The Dragonlords thought themselves immortal gods, and lorded their power over lesser beings. Lews Therin was the greatest among equals at the end of a time when harmony prevailed, a station which could not have been attained by someone of less than noble purpose.
John Fitzingo
100. Xandar01
@5. toryx
Liah is a one book wonder, except where she shows up briefly to torment Rand at the end of ACOS.

Mangin on the other hand has been around since the fall of Tear. No he didn't get alot of screen time, but Rand admired the guy somewhat, thought they could be friends.

EDIT: I see others already responded, so I'll just add this link.
101. Freelancer
New Poll:

How many ways are there to spell Birgitte?

Randalator, thank you for being the one (and self-referring) to be 'anal' about it. I'm with you, when you've read the same word hundreds or perhaps of times, what keeps you from spelling it as you read it?

Maybe I should ask Matt, or Julian, or Suian, or Avhienda, or Gawain, or Gawayn, or Gawyne. Amusing also to note which otherwise uncommon names are almost always spelled correctly, like Semirhage, Moghedien and Mesaana (although the occasional Messana does slip through).
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @101 (and Fiddler, and Randalator, - yes, I noticed!! and appreciated!!!)

How many ways are there to spell Birgitte?...Maybe I should ask Matt, or Julian, or Suian, or Avhienda, or Gawain, or Gawayn, or Gawyne...

ROFL!! Thanks, man. I try REALLY HARD to make myself not notice, but it doesn't work. *sigh* Some bug me more than others - I think the ones I really had to work on to replace the common mispronunciation with the correct version are the worst. But Matt always bugs me, too, because... uh... well, why??? It hadn't occurred to me that translations might have spelled names differently, so maybe that's some of it. Anyway, thanks, guys, for reminding me that I'm not alone. ;) Desensitization be damned.
Justin Levitt
103. TyranAmiros
Here's a theory--
What if the taint works by breaking down the barrier between lives, but not (necessarily) in the Brigitte way (as one integrated personality) but rather as distinct personalities. Since Rand's reaction of fighting the "new" personality in his head is completely natural, that in and of itself could drive a person crazy, particularly in combination with the dangers of saidin and societal taboos against male channelling.

This might explain why Taim not only appears to be more sane but also seems "different" according to Bashere and knows a good deal about teaching saidin. His Age of Legends soul/personality has taken over, or he has managed to assimilate that personality's knowledge. Rand, on the other hand, has been fighting, and it's driving him insane--literally.
Sam Mickel
104. Samadai
Insane people do not worry if their insane. Rand clearly worries about it all the time.
Anthony Pero
105. anthonypero

I'm not sure how that applies to my tongue-in-cheek comment @38. I was specifically referring to the plot device of integrating Rand/LTT into a new third personality who is neither.

By the way, to all those objecting to my misspelling of Birgitte... I just misspelled tongue and misspelling... twice, lol. I come by it honestly. Sorry to annoy, lol. Maybe somebody would be kind enough to make a WoT dictionary for Firefox, that includes all the names, and we can insist everyone uses it ;)
106. Drew Holton
Re Rand's thoughts of the aloofness of Aes Sedai:
When I first read the books, (amd many times after) I agreed with Rand on this. However, now it occurs to me that while he might be right from one perspective, from another I can see a rationale for the Aes Sedai remaining apart from others. This gets into my thoughts on RJ's exploration of how a culture would deal with the Ubermensch (Uberfrau?) that in essence channelers are, so bear with me.

*Deep Breath*

One of the themes of the WOT is of the myriad ways a society would deal with people with superpowers amongst them. The Aiel integrate them into society in a leadership role, but not sole leadership. The Sea Folk, integrate them also, but in the more limited role of the windfinder. The Seanchan deem them a danger and control them utterly in abject slavery. The AOL society had them integrated completely, each person an equal citizen legally, with the AS perhaps being treated as first among equals socially.
All of these cultural templates are viable because they have a system of checks and balances of varying degrees on channelers to keep them from running amok. The exception to this is the pre-Luthair Paendrag Seanchan society, where channelers did run amok, creating chaos.
Now the founders of the White Tower chose a different path. Instead of integrating themselves into society, they separated themselves from it. However, recognizing the need for checks and balances, they took the Three Oaths, both to limit themselves and reduce fear of Aes Sedai by ordinary people. They set themselves up in the Gandalf role as mysterious but powerful advisors, but with the mandate to serve not just one country but in the best interests of all Mankind. This is a tricky path to walk, one that has to be balanced on the edge of a knife.
On the one hand, (and this is the point of my long windedness)they need to remain aloof to maintain the objectivity necessary for their chosen role (and of course maintain the aura of mystery that is part of their image), yet on the other hand not become so isolated from society that they fall into the Us vs Them fallacy that the Psicorps of Babylon 5 did.
Now, the above is the ideal of how the Aes Sedai should function, and like all things can become corrupted, and is not free of flaws. A lot of which we see demonstrated throughout the Wheel of Time. But, as I said in the beginning, this does provide a valid rationale for the aloofness of Aes Sedai. The trick is how apart they should keep themselves, and perhaps Rand is correct in that they've taken it too far, into arrogance.
Alice Arneson
107. Wetlandernw
I sure am glad to read these posts questioning Rand's insanity. I never really doubted his sanity until I got into this online thing, where a lot of people assume as a de facto thingy that he really is insane, or blazingly on the road thereunto. I allowed myself to lean that way a bit, but now I'm leaning back. It's quite clear that a lot of characters in the books think he's losing it, and from their perspective it would most certainly appear that he is. But his own POVs really make me question that, because the things he does make perfect sense when you know what (and only what) he knows.

BTW, is it safe to say that those who go for the "construct theory" also believe that he's already going insane? (That's directed only at those who believe in said theory - I haven't been keeping track of who thinks what, and I'm not about to start now.) Just checking a theory theory I'm starting to develop.

For myself, I've always held the position R.Fife stated so well last time - "real enough for government work" as it were.

Speaking of which, Freelancer, I appreciated your point regarding Rand's attempts to leave Aviendha behind. When you apply for a security clearance, they ask for (among a gazillion other things) a list of all your friends and relations who live in other countries. The purpose is not to find out if your friends & relations are terrorists, but if they are where they could be somehow used as leverage against you or might need to be protected should certain circumstances arise. I really find it a little frustrating sometimes that none of these people think about that side of things. Rand nearly obsesses on it, but no one else even wants to acknowledge it as a real possibility. (Well, at least until Elayne gets pregnant, and then she realizes that she needs to hide the babies' parentage for all those reasons.) Everyone gets all caught up in "let me make my own choices and risk my own death" when he tries to keep them out of danger. No one seems to recognize the kind of pressure their capture could put on Rand, or the kind of choices he might be forced to make if someone took them as a hostage.

anthonypero: you're forgiven, but some of us are just not capable of not seeing misspellings. ;) And while there are lots of typos, and lots of people for whom English is not the first language, the misspelled names are generally a matter of people writing the name they say in their heads instead of the names RJ wrote. It just bothers some of us more than others. Guess I should have been an English teacher...
108. RobMRobM
AP @ 38 - I could have told you that you were thinking of Feist's Riftwar as I am almost through Magician Master as of today.

Regarding my fantasy/sci fi read, as discussed in nearly 100 posts during Leigh's vacation, I have begun working through my "assigned" authors/stories (Feist, Salvatore, Bujold, Weis/Hickman, and two others I'm forgetting ATM). Started with Feist, largely because books 1, 3 and 4 were in my local library and I picked up 2 today. Also due to its availability, I picked up and read Ender's Shadow and the first of Donaldson's Gap books.

Liking but not head over heels for Feist so far. Book 2 took the series in a very different direction than I was anticipating, which is a good thing. I was somewhat horrified by the first Gap book and thought it not great but clever.

I'll pass along updates when I have em. Rob

P.s. LTT is real.
lanyo lanyo
109. lanyo
I always thought the Aiel jokes were funnier than Rand's, but it may have just been in the telling.
Funny for every one:
I had a coworker tell me today that the cover of my book, LoC, was pretty bad. I told him out of the whole series, it's not on the bottom of the list.
Not sure if I've won a convert ;)
john mullen
110. johntheirishmongol

Really nice analysis. In fact, you could probably get a pretty good dissertation out of working that theme out. Goodness knows there is a wealth of material out and about.

I have already said that my belief is that LTT is real, but I will add that Rand is sane in my book.

As for the chapters, Taim going to the Black Tower is important, but at some point you reach a point of diminishing returns on the number of characters you can consider major care about. I considered pretty much everyone from here out peripheral characters. This includes Cadsuane, Alivia, Flinn and all the others.

In talking with a lot of people who started reading the series, it was about here that they start dropping like flies because it gets very difficult to keeptrack of all of the various threads and where they are going. My wife dropped out after this book. I keep trying to get her interested again and I am going to give the audio books a try to get her back into it.

Chapter 4 I did find amusing. Rand's joke is a takeoff on an old joke about 2 guys from New Hampshire. The Aiel sense of humor is a little obscure but the attitudes are great.
sandi vogel
111. sinfulcashew
In re: Rand's divided-ness.

I've been trying to make a connection between the two camps and finally came up with this:

Being born as a descendant with 'old blood' (as a 'scion') is different than being reincarnated as when a 'soul' is reborn into a new body.
Does that cover any confusion?
Let me know, thoughts?????
Anthony Pero
112. anthonypero
I think we knew that, sinfulcashew, at least, I did. There are three ways people (so far) have acquired memories in WoT:

1) Implanted Memories (Mat and 'Finn)
2) Ancestral Memories (Old Blood - Egwene and Mat)
3) Soul Memories (Rand and Birgitte)

Although, in Egwene's case, it's less specific memories, and more vague impressions of almost understanding the Old Tongue.

I just misspelled tongue again. Twice *giggle*
Antoni Ivanov
113. tonka
It never made sense to me in light of this that 2 months later there are 200 (!) completely badass Ashaman. Even Rand needed much more time and he is a sparker, the most talented ever and has LTT in his head.
And also, if pushing is so dangerous why do only 10% die in training?

Rand is not the only sparker and who says he is the most talented. And most importantly Rand had to teach himself everything from A to Z till he found Asmodean. While all these boys have a teacher.That's a HUGE difference.With a teacher you can learn many times faster than without . More, the way Asha'man rise in the power (by leaps) it is logical that when they are constantly on big pressure they will "leap" more often.

And for 10% casualties , that's not small amount IMHO.
Maiane Bakroeva
114. Isilel
Drew Holton @106 -

couldn't agree more. In addition, I'd say that the AS probably were much more integrated before Hawkwing. Hawkwing's purge likely hit AS with roots in normal society disproportionally hard, as their families and friends could easily be used to make them give themselves up.

And afterwards, of course - the instilled fear and suspicion, Whitecloaks, and general male attitude towards AS made recovery impossible. Huge coup for Ishy there.

Oh, and BTW if Vandene and Adeleas are in any way typical, old AS who know that they don't have much time to live can and do integrate into communities incognito. This way they don't have to see too many people whom they attach themselves to die and their longevity is also not apparent.

What I wonder about are those Tower rejects who don't join the Kin and the wilders. What do they do when they notice that they don't age like normal people? Do they move every 20 years or so? Is it the reason for Wisdoms and equivalent often being from far away in most places?

Re: why Rand has LTT in his head unlike other reborn characters of note - well to me it was obvious that that's because Rand would have no chance without LTT's knowledge and skill. No simple wilder could have beaten the Forsaken or cleansed saidin. That's why he is "Dragon Reborn" - he needs
the previous Dragon to do his thing. While LTT and presumably other incarnations could develop naturally.

Oh, and do we know that the Dragon soul can be only reborn as the Dragon? I hope not. I hope that there are normal incarnations in-between.
And given the WoT balance in some ages the savior ought to be a woman, no?

Re: Mat, I am now re-reading TDR and his first battle memory comes before the Finn, after his Healing. His battle with G@G also screams of his previous life bleeding through to me. I know, I know - but the guy barely stops himself from a killing stroke. Would any TRer apart from Tam have this problem? So, personally, I have to conclude that the dagger did thin the barrier between lives for Mat even before the Finn. That went beyond genetic memories, IMHO.
Lindy Brown
115. lbrown
About the LTT discussion:

Before reading Leigh's theory, I had always thought that LTT was real, especially after that passage in KOD where LTT seizes control of saidin.

But Leigh's theory kind of makes sense, too, because the Dragon has only 1 soul, so how could Rand be sharing his body with someone else, when that someone else if actually him.

Anyway, now I don't really know what to think. I, too, hope that we get some kind of answer to this before the end of the series.
Antoni Ivanov
116. tonka
For Lews Therin discussion. I've never taken any side. But there are things that are clear. The soul is one, there are not two souls , it is one , there are two character or personalities so to speak, that was cleared by Robert Jordan himself. Now whether LTT's personality is real or induced as a protective mechanism against the madness or something else I have no idea and myself I'd rather wait than speculate.

"Lews Therin is a disembodied voice that refuses to believe he is a disembodied voice."(RJ's quote)

And another thing that is clear is the both voices in the present (e.i. it is not happening across time) (RJ said so)

Another thing everyone is reborn in WOT World but Rand is the only one who knows who his previous reincarnation was. Maybe it has something to do...

And you cannot change genders during rebirth. Soul and gender are somehow connected ,the Dragon will always be male. (Again coming from RJ's quote)

All this are facts.I am not making conclusions.I am just laying out facts to help you with the discussion.

Haha, While perusing quotes by Robert Jordan I found this :

Q: If Galad and Rand were to fight with swords, who would win?
RJ: Well, it's not going to happen. I would say Rand would, at least until recently.

By recently we could understand before he lost his hand, the quote is after KOD release.

and this one

RJ: Rand is second only to Lan with the sword.

I knew Rand is good but never suspected he is the second best in the whole world or rather he was before he lost his hand.
Lannis .
117. Lannis
Re: typos, etc... I admit I'm picky. I like correct spellings and grammar if possible (though I *do* enjoy scattering some ellipses here and there).

Re: Character names... I twitch a little when I see them misspelled, but the real challenge is when you begin discussing these books aloud with other fans who have developed a different sense of pronunciation for names than you, yourself, have. A little tricky. And gawd forbid a debate comes out about how to "properly" say something... erg. It took me years to covert "Mwar-rain" from "Mori-anne."

And I still say "Per-RIN," not "PEAR-rin." The latter just doesn't sound masculine to me... And Ale... can't help it.

It is for this reason that--although I truly want to attend a Con in the future--I kind of dread it, too... ;)

Wetlander @107: I ? that you said "whom." :D

LLT is real. He told me so. He also said the chips are ketchup and are only good for roosters, so fergedaboudit... :P
Captain Hammer
118. Randalator
re: the (un)real LTT

I'm on the fence with this one. Actually both sides have a very good case for their argument.

Just some things I'd like to add: Rand does not have a split personality. As someone already pointed out, people with multiple personalities switch between them. They don't have several personalities acting simultaneously.

If LTT is not real, it means that Rand is a schizophrenic and LTT just an auditory hallucination (not the only symptom of schizophrenia that could be attributed to Rand). Which answers the question about Rand's sanity for the members of the Church of Leigh.

If LTT is indeed real, Rand still doesn't have to be sane necessarily. He is still mentally unstable, paranoid, phobic, etc. But here you can at least argue that it's just huge stress and not an actual condition.

Personally I think that Rand is at least partially insane, no matter if LTT is or is not real. That is not meant to say that he is completely spiders-crawling-under-my-skin-I-will-kill-you-all crazy. But he diplays lots of symptoms like the aforementioned paranoia, dead woman anxiety disorder (DWAD), slight thought disorder (e.g. his conversation with Mat in Maerone switching topic from war preparations to Forsaken to women and back rapidly several times), blunted affect (see the loss of his hand in KoD), etc.

You can't really deny that. And I think a lot of WoT-readers have a slightly warped judgement on this (I did, too, during my first two or three read-throughs) because they have come to associate "insanity" with the Kinslayer, mad channelers and saidin in general and fail to see that this is just one manifestation of insanity (and a rather extreme one). There is after all a wide variety of flavors to insanity. From a purely scientific point of view Rand to a certain degree is indeed insane.

If his insanity is permanent or temporal, saidin-induced or due to the immense pressure he's under, is open to debate.
Michael Catapano
119. hoping
re load of choss

Sammael speaks
"Lews Therin is long dead," he said harshly. "Rand al'Thor is a jumped-up farmboy, a choss-hauler who has been lucky."

Certainly a clue here as to what choss is.;)
Helen Peters
120. Helen
94. Freelancer
Taim chooses Damer Flinn to test first to "get him out of the way", which means that he's so old if he hadn't started channeling by now he isn't likely to be able to, which made it a great surprise that he could learn. The question is, how does Taim know this?

I'd have said that it proves he knows nothing, coz he assumes you are born with the spark. I don't know how to put this, but the difference between damane and sul'dam. He's thinking strictly damane and not sul'dam.

Also, is he lying when he says he doesn't know balefire? If he'd had a forsaken teacher I would have thought he'd at least heard about it.

Regarding LTT being real or not, I always thought we ought to start Rand on the lithium.

Speaking of sanity and balefire and post @75, if Moggy balefired Nyn's boat and got the rowers, they were taken out of the pattern say 30 seconds upriver so the boat hadn't gone as far so how did Moggy hit them with the balefire, coz they weren't where they should have been.
Helen Peters
121. Helen
Oh and Rand has definitely started losing his marbles.

In a fury, Rand screamed inside his head, Shut up! To his surprise, the other voice vanished.


Come to think of it, Rand had not heard that voice since shouting at it.

OK those 2 sentences were a chapter apart and in some remote corner of the universe it is possible that we could have put the book down at the end of chapter 3 and had a good night's sleep, but in reality Rand shouted at LTT, walked 100yds, looked back at Taim and Grady, moticed Grady's wife, opened a gateway, stepped through, let the maidens through, greeted the defenders and thought he hadn't heard LTT for a while! That's what, a whole minute or 2 with no LTT in his head. Yup, he's barmy.
Captain Hammer
122. Randalator
Helen @120

Speaking of sanity and balefire and post @75, if Moggy balefired Nyn's boat and got the rowers, they were taken out of the pattern say 30 seconds upriver so the boat hadn't gone as far so how did Moggy hit them with the balefire, coz they weren't where they should have been.

Congratulations. You discovered why balefire is so dangerous. Exactely these kind of paradoxes are what (in the words of the legendary Doc Brown) "could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe. Granted, that's a worst-case scenario. The destruction might, in fact, be very localized, limited merely to our own galaxy."
Kerwin Miller
123. tamyrlink
lol i thought rands joke was funny, but the aiel discussion of it made it even more funny. borderline hilarious.

is it just me or does anyone else think that RJ went a lil overboard with some these characters heights? (not that anything brought this up it just popped in my head)
Lord Haart
124. LordHaart
^Yeah, some of them must be like 7-8 feet tall, and others 4-5 feet at most. However, given that the story is given through the perspective of the characters, it may just be that they notice height differences more and attribute more meaning to them.
Alice Arneson
125. Wetlandernw
Well, I know a couple of guys who are 6'10", and one who is 7'. I also know several (typically developed) adults who are under 5'. I don't think RJ wrote anything that would place his characters outside that range. Not really a problem for me.
Kathy Keith
126. Babokathy
@110 johntheirishmongol

A scoop on the audio books: I listened to the whole of the Fires of Heaven in my car driving to San Jose and back. It's done by a man and woman, who trade off every few chapters, not role-playing men or women but both voices. It was nicely done, and as one commentor suggested ( @117 Lannis: it's almost abrasive to hear the names when someone else pronounces the names contrary to your own style) but it was a great way to "read" the story. Just keep your eyes on the road while changing discs!!!
Alice Arneson
127. Wetlandernw
Lannis @117 LOL!

With you on pronunciations; I just about went nuts listening to Leigh's podcast the other day with the names. A Con would definitely have its challenges! I think I'd be studying the glossaries and seriously working on the names to make sure I had every name as close as I could to the official RJ version. Then at least I wouldn't feel stupid when I said it different than everyone else. (Funny about Perrin, though - I automatically said PEAR-rin without ever noticing.) It would really irritate me on the audiobooks, though, if they didn't bother to get the names right. I was considering those, but maybe not.

Um... yeah... "whom" isn't all that commonly used, is it? I try... although I let the occasional preposition end the phrase if it would sound horribly stilted to do it right. At least I mostly only do it on purpose... and I'm a BIG fan of ellipses. That's the way I talk, too. :)
128. alreadymadwithrandshumor
MasterAlThor @80
Semi did have a reason to say what she did. Breaking her own captors is what made her an object of fear in the AOL War of Power. Turning her own captivity into an advantage. It's only natural for her to try again. By confirming Rand's madness, in front of his followers, by saying out loud that this man is mad and following him will get you killed, she hoped to isolate him from them. To break up this little band that gave their faith to the Dragon Reborn.
And Rand actually fell for it. Then and there he expected Min to abandon him. Good for him that Min (and her love) was made of sterner stuff. And of course Bashere was no stranger to following madmen. Gotta love the guy.

As for the LTT thing:
I'm with Leigh on this one. Rand primarily created the voice so that he could deal with the input from LTT's memories and experience. He saw the seal and LTT's memories and experience gave him a very powerful gut reaction that creating them and putting them in place was a big mistake. From LTT's memories his immediate impulse was to break them and strike at Shayol Ghul. LTT teaches him weaves and says "now" when it's time to finish the weave in much the same way that we say so to a student when it's time for them to make their move. He feels LTT reaching for the Power at the same time he does because, let's face it, the One Power is far more familiar to LTT's memories than they are to him. What he feels is actually an echo of LTT's own memories of using Saidin. The part of LTT that initiated the Breaking is always wary of other male channelers. Most importantly however, Rand believes the voice to be as mad as the day LTT died. Because as far as he knew, LTT died mad, taking his entire family along with him. As readers we know better. LTT might have been suicidal at the time of his death(which could be argued as a form of madness), but he was fully in control of his faculties. In complete contrast to when he was in the throes of Taint induced madness when he wouldn't even recognize his own kin.

And yes, I didn't get Rand's joke the first time either. But the Aiel focusing on the water was completely hilarious and completely understandable. The handtalk joke was pretty good too, but all the highjumps are driving me nuts.
129. longtimefan
10% is a small amount or a large amount depending on from what you are taking 10%.

The Aiel take a fifth which is 20% and that is deemed reasonable by looting standards when The City of the Sun is reviewed at a later date. (the spelling debate makes me wary of trying my hand at that one. I know I do not know how to spell it)

When it is human lives or personal wealth no percentage seems small enough to be taken.

If it is spoils from defeating a villain or a donation to a charity that is considered fundamentally important to society then no percentage is too small.

ah perspective. A troublesome thumb in the painting of life.
Alice Arneson
130. Wetlandernw
all the highjumps are driving me nuts

Is that what my dad always called "one-up-manship"?
Alice Arneson
131. Wetlandernw
longtimefan @129 (the spelling debate makes me wary of trying my hand at that one. I know I do not know how to spell it) That's what Encyclopaedia WoT is for. :P

BTW, it's Cairhien.
Lindy Brown
132. lbrown
I'm glad about the move up of the date for the release of tGS, but a little miffed because it messes up my oh-so-carefully arranged reading schedule for my Reread of the series. About two months ago, I decided I really needed to speed up my reread or I wasn't going to finish before tGS came out. I think I had just finished tSR at that point. Using my schedule (which is a little more breakneck than I'm used to) I'm now on tCoS (almost done with it). My schedule had me ending KOD on November 1, just in time for the new book. That's not gonna work now. I'm gonna have to go faster through KOD or one of the other books between here and KOD.
Captain Hammer
133. Randalator
Wetlanderw @131

Or Al'cair'rahienallen as us scholars from Mafal Dadaranell like to call it...
Tess Laird
134. thewindrose
Wow - an early start on Friday and tons of comments to catch up on! Figures I would miss that:(
A debate on is LTT real and is Rand insane/crazy yet.
Of interest on the insanity - we saw in tEotW LTT being brought back from insanity.
An RJ comment on this:
Access to the True Power is a matter of wanting it and the Dark One letting you. NOT black cords. In Prologue to The Eye of the World we saw True Power to heal insanity. The One Power cannot be used to heal insanity. The True Power used at Shayol Ghul will fry you instantly.
SO if our hero is insane or on the way to being insane, he would need to be healed by the TP, and I would assume that Moridin would be the one. He already helped Rand out with Sammuel. Just some speculation...
Anthony Pero
135. anthonypero

Or you can just skip Crossroads of Twilight entirely and read the Dragonmount Summary. I don't think you'll miss anything important.

*ducks and covers*
136. mangey
I think the big issue with trying to work out the is-LTT-real issue is that we don't really know.what a Randland soul is. There is something here (a soul, a thread in the pattern) that can be incarnated in multiple lives. RJ has specifically stated that souls do not transmit personalities. What exactly they transmit is unclear. Can one transfer memories without thus transferring personality? If souls create dispositions to act in certain ways, will identical souls typically yield similar personalities?

It could be that the soul of the Dragon connects Rand in a tight way. It could be that the soul of the Dragon is defined by its role in the pattern, and not any specific object which is multiply instantiated. The memories are genuine, which suggest something more akin to the former, but I merely mention these two possibilities as sort of limit cases.

I'm not saying that we can't speculate (it's fun!), but the the metaphysics of the pattern and souls makes it hard to clarify the different positions. Indeed, I'm not sure I know what the difference is between the real and mental construct hypotheses on some readings of the nature of souls in Randland.
Antoni Ivanov
137. tonka
94. Freelancer
Taim chooses Damer Flinn to test first to "get him out of the way", which means that he's so old if he hadn't started channeling by now he isn't likely to be able to, which made it a great surprise that he could learn. The question is, how does Taim know this?

When Taim said "get him out of the way" he didn't mean it because Damer was old but because Taim didn't really believe that anyone here will be able to channel at all and he was surprised that the first tested is able to channel!
138. fuddy
hey guys.. i was wondering, what do you have the books in the series ranked in order?
Tess Laird
139. thewindrose
Tonka @137
Followed by:
"I suppose I shouldn't be suprised if every one of these simpletons passes," the hawk-nosed man muttered with a glance at Rand. "You seem to have luck enough for ten men."
BTW 4 passed the test from the first group. Damer Flinn, Jur Grady, Eben Hopwil and Fedwin Morr
Lannis .
140. Lannis
Wetlander @ 127: re: grammar... yep, sounds like we work the same way: generally correct unless going for effect. I had a poetry prof once tell me that you had to know the (grammar) rules before you could break them... and I totally agree. (Granted, in poetry every idiosyncratically placed comma or period can read volumes into your work, and we're not exactly going for form here--artistic or otherwise...)

Mind you, I will muddle things a bit sometimes if I think it's more colloquial. S'a way to sound more personable, especially on the interwebs, yes? ;)

@ fuddy... Dude, I'm a little unclear about your question. Care to shoot that by us again? :)
Ron Garrison
141. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. LTT: I think it is pretty well established that Rand is the Dragon Reborn (emphasis on REBORN). If LTT was once the Dragon and Rand is him reborn, then it would seem logical that LTT is past-life memories. Otherwise, it would be LTT Reborn.
Anthony Pero
142. anthonypero

Order of preference?

1) The Shadow Rising
2) Lord of Chaos
3) The Eye of the World
4) The Fires of Heaven
5) The Dragon Reborn
6) The Great Hunt
7) Knife of Dreams
8) Winter's Heart
9) A Crown of Swords
10) Path of Daggers
11) Crossroads of Twilight
Anthony Pero
143. anthonypero

Right. My focus, at least, has always been trying to figure out what the vehicle for those memories could be, and the mechanism by which Rand receives those memories. Because other Reborn people (such as Birgitte) do not remember their previous lives after they are Reborn.
Abraham Park
144. Abe
What about her relationship with Gaidal Cain?
Anthony Pero
145. anthonypero

That's the Patter spinning a similar weave with her lives. She specifically says that when she is reborn the normal way, she remembers nothing, ever.
Lindy Brown
146. lbrown
anthonypero @135:

Or you can just skip Crossroads of Twilight entirely and read the Dragonmount Summary. I don't think you'll miss anything important.
*ducks and covers*

No, I have to read all of them! LOL!

I'm one of those people that likes all the books and really doesn't have too much to complain about, even with CoT. I view it as just another chapter to the series. I guess I am not too picky. Also, I only started reading the series in late 2003 and probably finished it in late 2004, so KOD was the first book I had to wait for.
147. EmmaPease
@120 on Taim if taught by Forsaken knowing Balefire.

I suspect Forsaken would be chary of teaching their minions balefire for two reasons.

1. They aren't willing to use it themselves (unless possibly ordered by the DO or as a desperate last measure) so why teach it to their followers (unless, again, ordered by the DO).

2. It is the one surefire way of getting themselves removed permanently from the pattern and difficult to defend against so why teach it to anyone who might use it against you.
Lindy Brown
148. lbrown
Lsana @ 23
Okay, that was a completely different spin than I put on the joke. I assumed it was completely about pride ("he wouldn't speak to me, why should I shake his hand?") and never thought to put a gay marriage spin on it. I'm curious if anyone else had the same interpretation of the joke.

I agree with you, Lsana. This is also what I thought.
Lindy Brown
149. lbrown
@ 67. hapazard
IS there really anything to a person BUT memories?
Rand is LTT reborn and that means that they share the same soul, agreed?
If so, then there is no difference between the: LTT is just a construction of memories and: LTT is REAL!!!
Being a construction of memories makes him a real person, as that is what a personality is!

Hmmm, yes, I think you have something here.
150. Longtimefan
and the Tyrell corporation makes them more real than real.
151. MikeJ
Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about... your mother.
152. alreadymadwithLTTreborn
anthonypero @143
My focus, at least, has always been trying to figure out what the vehicle for those memories could be, and the mechanism by which Rand receives those memories. Because other Reborn people (such as Birgitte) do not remember their previous lives after they are Reborn.

Graendal already comments that Rand's situation is unique. That's enough vehicle for me.
153. eurorandlander
Lannis @117

I also have trouble with the correct pronounciation. I think this is because Randland names, like weaves, are almost impossible to learn a second way after you've learned them once. However, I still look forward to going to a con and claiming that I'm saying the names correctly -- with a Sharan accent.

I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this before, but Leigh's cup overfloweth with awesomeness.
Tess Laird
154. thewindrose
I have to agree wth EmmaPease @ 147 - None of the Forsaken are going to teach Balefire to an apprentice, err minion.
Demandred is even thinking of ways around using it while getting orders from the DO. Since all the Forsaken want to be top dog, why would they teach something permanent like Balefire to anyone?
On the Go Light Team, I think there are only 4 to 7 that know the weave? Rand, Moiraine, Cadsuanne, Nynaeve - and then maybe Egwene, Elayne and Aviendha.
155. Balance
@#114: Like where your heads at.

@#128: I agree that Semi is skilled in this area. Being captured could actually work to her advantage. Sort of like Egg in the WT. From this I create another loony theory that has to do more with writing a story vs. filming a documentary. TGS with have the two main perspectives of Rand and Egg, this we know. A subplot will probably be the compare and contrast of Egg and Semi both “working from the inside”.

LTT: For the longest time I was a staunch LTT is real man. However, the well-written arguments to the contrary have caused me to question my faith. If we want to get very philosophictical (just fer you spelling nuts) it could boil down to what your definition of what “real” is.
156. fuddy
lol sorry guys, yes order of preference
Philbert de Zwart
157. philbert
So question:
For whom is the Dragon's fang of chapter 3?
IIRC the Dragon's fang as a chapter icon denotes a darkfriend, right?
Is it Taim? He is the most prominent personage in this chapter except for Rand, even though he was introduced in chapter 2.

In fact, I wanted to post this same question for chapter 2, but while writing I saw that in fact the icon for chapter 2 isn't a fang, but the entire Aes Sedai emblem, so that is for the Seal that Taim gives to Rand.
Helen Peters
158. Helen
Emma @147, windrose @154, but he'd never even heard of it according to him. Surely if he'd been around the forsaken long enough for them to teach him things they'd have mentioned it, they're not infallible, slip of the tongue thingys, then they would have to have fudged why they wouldn't teach him. Surely he'd have been curious, even if only in 'why didn't they tell me about this stuff' kind of way.
Helen Peters
159. Helen
Windrose @154, I'm pretty certain Avi knows Balefire, but I'm not sure why I think that.
Andrew Lovsness
160. drewlovs
I am of the ilk that feels LTT is another apsect of Rand, not a separate entity. I don't really understand people who have a hard time at least acknowledging the possibility; after all, Jordan has been beating us oer the head since the first book with that fact that Rand is LTT's soul reborn. Not recycled; in fact, we are lead to believe that this has never happened before, even with the heroes of the horn.

Thus, Rand IS LTT, only with amnesis as to what happened during the era he was called LTT. And as the madness breaks down the barrier between the 2 lives lived, it creates a confusion of which is which. But Jordan never lets us forget that LTT and Rand are the same person. Thus, LTT could NOT take over, because he would in fact be stealing control from himself!
Antoni Ivanov
161. tonka
Dragon's fang denotes Black Tower ,Saidin, Asha'man too.
162. kab1
re: the audiobooks and pronounciation. I think they get most of them correct. Clearly some are a little off because they (the two co-narrators) pronounce some words slightly differently (I think damane is one of these) All in all- I truly enjoyed them. Also they can't be that bad if RJ listens to them himself (there is an interview at the end of the books where he says he listens to them) I think if they had been horribly mispronouncing everything he would have stepped in at some point during the production of these.

LTT- I've always thought the voice was real, but some of the stuff above makes me reconsider. However, I still think I'll come down on the side of real. Like MasterAlThor @72- the Semi part seals the deal for me. However as Toryx said she could simply be mistaken. I'm interested to see how this whole thing turns out, as well as to how the prophesy "his blood on the rocks at Shayol Goul" will be fullfilled. lots of different theories on that one.
Kristina Blake
163. kab1
in regards to Rand's joke- I got a kick out of it, not an outloud laugh, but amusing. However, the maidens discussing it afterwards was hilarious! I actually really enjoy the Aiel humor throughout the books.

I also really enjoy the humor of all y'all. I have quite a few snorts and giggles while reading these posts!
Kristina Blake
164. kab1
Leigh- I really enjoyed the podcast and I'm totally with you on POD. Should be interesting to go through it on this reread. The whole ordeal with the Seanchan just killed me.

In regards to COT being slow, I didn't really mind it. Part of the reason that I like these books is actually not for the huge climatic scenes, but rather for the attention to detail and the subplots (even if I don't care for them all) This of course means I enjoyed the whole Nyn and Elayne traveling with the circus. and Mat and Tuon as well, although I admit that one got a bit lengthy.

RFife- you got mad props on the podcast! So I guess you get to be all that and a bag of chips too! If we can get them away from the rooster that is.

okay three posts in a row, and I'm spent!
Tess Laird
165. thewindrose
The number one rule to remember about the Forsaken is that it is not a good idea to believe anything that comes from their mouths. So Semi saying what she did in KoD A Plain Wooden Box is questionable to say the least. she could be speaking the truth, or she could be underminding Rand and already working on his followers. It will be interesting to see how they do go about questioning Semirhage. Will they be able to bind her with the Oath Rod? That would be ironic, since that was the reason she went over to the dark side - never to enjoy her pleasures and to feel deaths grip on her. Is it possible to force someone to bind themselves? I agree with the commenter above about watching how Egwene and Semirhage deal with capivity.
Alice Arneson
166. Wetlandernw
philbert @157, re: meaning of the Dragon's Fang chapter icon -

Per the FAQ, the Fang denotes "Early books: Darkfriends, other minions of the DO, or Rand; Later books: Rand, Asha'man, saidin."

So I'd say here it could be any or all of the above. Rand, Taim, Asha'man, saidin all come into play here.
jane reynolds
167. janie
Loved the podcast, Leigh :)

About the LTT voice being real/not real:
I was firmly in the real camp, but reading these comments has made me realise that my position is much closer to that expressed by hapazard @67. The memories are definitely there, and Rand is definitely hearing LTT's voice, so we're arguing about whether Rand constructed the voice from the memories, or ... it's just there some other way (yeah, I've no idea how), and I'm not convinced it makes all that much difference one way or the other. Whether or not Rand is crazy, now, is another matter. If he has actually developed taint-induced madness rather than just being under tremendous strain, that's rather a bad sign.

@Fiddler, Randalator, Freelancer, Wetlander, Lannis
I, too, have noticed the occasional (or slightly more frequent) errors in spelling and grammar, but I try to ignore them, knowing full well that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Although, personally, I always try to make sure I'm getting the names right, especially if they're ones that people often get wrong. Mat, Gawyn, Birgit and Juilin are the ones that particularly annoy me - although I must admit it's only fairly recently that I realised I was reading (and consequently spelling) Juilin wrong myself. That being said, I get tripped up almost as often by the American spellings of some words. Especially the 'Z's everywhere!
168. Katiya
Honestly, I never thought to question whether or not LTT was real, just as I never questioned that Rand is still basically sane. Stressed beyond belief no doubt, and clearly in a position that no human could ever understand, but as for truly being needs-to-be-committed-rubber-room-insane, I just never thought it. And that's really the only kind that matters, because while yes, he's clearly not on all cylinders emotionally, I would say that's more of an unhealthy thing, and not a "mild" form of insanity. I mean, wouldn't you be paranoid if the whole world rode on your shoulders and EVERYONE wanted to kill you? If I had to worry about everything like Rand does, I'd probably have a hard time keeping my thoughts straight too!

The LTT thing...*sighs*. I will be really disappointed if he turns out to be a construct, simply because that would really dull the fantasy for me. That's such a modern, psychoanalytical thing, and to me, that doesn't belong in my happy fantasy novel. That explanation requires a significant and modern understanding of the human psyche, one that doesn't fit with Randland standards, and I can't imagine how it would ever be explained in terms that would seem authentic to the times. Maybe I'm just rambling, but...Rand and LTT are clearly the same person, the same "soul", but also clearly have different and competing personalities. No, LTT cannot "take over", since he and Rand are the same person, but that PERSONALITY can vie for advantage. It's not really an issue of multiples, just something that works for the particular physics of soul-rebirth. Rand was raised in a different way and in a different time, and his previous aspect, the LTT persona, bleeds through and will sometimes try to assert itself. The only thing that sways me in this debate is the theory Leigh mentioned about LTT being an outlet for Rand's emotions, because the harder Rand gets, the more emotional and volatile LTT becomes.

As a side note, on the theory of integration, Stephen King did that exact thing in his Dark Tower series with his character Susannah Dean. She started as one woman, Odetta Holmes, who developed another personality (a nasty one, Detta Walker) after a head injury, and through some magic mojo, forced a confrontation between the two and emerged as an integration, Susannah Dean. My guess with Rand and LTT is that there isn't much to integrate at the "core" of who they are (whatever that means)...Artur Hawkwing even makes some joke about Rand (or Lews Therin) having trouble with women. But the vast gap created by the extraordinarily different circumstances of their births makes those personalities harder to assimilate.
Antoni Ivanov
169. tonka
That explanation requires a significant and modern understanding of the human psyche, one that doesn't fit with Randland standards, and I can't imagine how it would ever be explained in terms that would seem authentic to the times.

Wait ! Age of Legends is supposed to be society that is even far more superior than ours. If Graendal explain it , it would be us that shouldn't be able to understand it since she comes from time which is superior ,again to say it, to ours.

As for Randland , I don't think that Robert Jordan intended to compare it to some of our ages, times. It's completely different and it has elements from different ages. It has printing press but they don't know gunpowder.That's easily explained because Randland society is formed based on the knowledge coming from AoL and the One Power. These are things that we don't have.
170. Fieldy
@76 anthonypero

IIRC, the horn was hidden in the Eye of the World, created at the breaking by the hundred companions. The horn could not have been used since then as it was still in the eye when the heroes found it. I think Hawkwing recognized not Rand's physical appearance, but his soul (as he is a soul himself, this makes sense). There is no evidence that the horn is blown anytime other than when the dragon is around, and there is at least evidence that it was not in the third age (prophecy stating that the horn will be used in the last battle).
Tess Laird
171. thewindrose
@170 As for the horn-
(Tor questions)Week 1 Question: Was the Horn of Valere known and used in the Age of Legends? Or did it only appear in the Third Age?

Robert Jordan Answers: The Horn of Valere was known in the Age of Legends, though it was an artifact of an earlier age, but it was never used in the Age of Legends. In part, this was because there wasn't any need in an Age that knew universal peace, but also it was because what it could do was considered a sort of myth by most people in that Age. No one who is serious spends time trying to test out whether a myth might be real. (Seen anybody sacrificing a white bull to Jupiter lately?) And once the Dark One touched the world, before the War of the Shadow actually began, the Horn was among the items lost, and thought destroyed, in the first rush of mob violence, terrorism etc. So it wasn't available for use then even had someone wanted to try. It was later recovered and sealed up with the Dragon Banner because along with the Foretellings that made up the Prophecies of the Dragon was one saying that it must be.

In any case, the story of the Horn was carried on through the Age of Legends in the same way that myths are today, and magnified thereafter though the twisting that occurs in the telling and retelling of a story. And believe me, stories about the Dragon Reborn and the Prophecies and everything concerned with them were rife during the Breaking. When everything is going to hell around them, people cling to anything and everything that might offer hope. That is how the Breaking could end with tales of the Dragon Reborn and the Prophecies already on many peoples' lips.

The Hundred Companians did not make the horn, they were the stongest male channelers to join LTT in sealing the bore, and as a result were the first to go mad from the backlash of taint.
Marcus W
172. toryx
Samadai @ 104 (and so many others)

Insane people do not worry if their insane. Rand clearly worries about it all the time.

I've seen this statement made repeatedly as though it's a fact that resolves the issue entirely but sadly, that statement is not true. Insane people can and often do question their sanity. Just because you can question it doesn't mean you aren't. That's just another urban myth that people came up with to calm their fears that has absolutely no basis in reality.

It's also not true that once you're insane you remain insane without periods of lucidity. Insanity is merely a poor way of describing a period of disconnection from reality. It can be a state that affects one over years or just moments. It's not as cut and dry as so many of you seem to think it is, in reality or in fantasy fiction.

In answer to wetlandernw's question @ 107, I think Rand has periods where he slides into the region of insanity and then snaps back again. He was clearly spending some time there in tDR on his journey to Tear. He has his moments when he's not fully in touch with reality throughout most of the successive books.

I don't think the creation of the LTT personality is a function of insanity necessarily as much as it's a coping mechanism. The more he relies on that personality, however, the more his grasp on sanity decreases.
James Jones
173. jamesedjones
170 & 171

I think he was suggesting that the Hundred Companions made the Eye of the World. This is doubtful, since IIRC everyone of the HC went mad when the bore was sealed. Does anyone have documentation to confirm that LTT and the HC (sounds like a tween band) went instantly insane?
Marcus W
174. toryx
Helen @ 158:

I don't think it's necessarily true that a Forsaken would mention balefire to one of their minions.

These people aren't exactly the trusting type. And balefire is the end all of channelling to kill. It actually wouldn't make any sense at all for a Forsaken to teach one of their minions how to channel the weaves for something that nasty and dangerous, even to them. And when it comes to Taim, the one certainty anyone can have about him is that he's ruled by his ambition. He'd be the last person I'd teach balefire to.
Captain Hammer
175. Randalator
Jamesedjones @173

Booker LTT and HCs went loco instantly. They did not pass go, they did not collect $200:

there was the counterstroke from the Dark One at the moment of sealing, and saidin itself was tainted. Lews Therin and the sixty-eight survivors of the Hundred Companions went insane on the instant.
(The Strike at Shayol Ghul)

The Eye of the World was created by a group of young male Aes Sedai working with female channelers:

"Can we trust Kodam and his fellows, Solinda?"

"We must, Oselle. They are young and inexperienced, but barely touched by the taint, and . . . And we have no choice."

"Then we will do what we must. The sword must wait. Someshta, we have a task for the last of the Nym, if you will do it. We have asked too much of you; now we must ask more."
(TSR, ch. 26)
Jay Dauro
176. J.Dauro
I do not know if any of you listen to Brandon's Writing Excuses podcast. But in the latest issue (subplots) he makes the statement that there are 22 sub-plots in tGS. Howard comments that this is partly because he has to close sub-plots out, and he aggrees. But I thought the specific count was interesting.

Writing Excuses
Tess Laird
177. thewindrose
This is a synopsis from The Strike At Shayol - I know someone (maybe Leigh) linked us to the story a while back.

Lews Therin convinced a group of powerful young male Aes Sedai to carry out the attack at Shayol Ghul without the aid of women. The 113 men managed to seal the Bore also trapping the thirteen Forsaken, but the 68 survivors went insane instantly and hundreds more male Aes Sedai followed.

Edit - I see Randalator beat me to this:)
Tess Laird
178. thewindrose
toryx- Would this be confirmation that you are Demandred?;)

And when it comes to Taim, the one certainty anyone can have about him is that he's ruled by his ambition. He'd be the last person I'd teach balefire to.
Philbert de Zwart
179. philbert
@171: thewindrose
No one who is serious spends time trying to test out whether a myth might be real. (Seen anybody sacrificing a white bull to Jupiter lately?)

I guess I'm not the only one suddenly seeing Adam and Jamie blowing the Horn of Valere in my mind's eye, right?

On a serious note: the last Green Man, Someshta, was asked to guard the Eye of the World and the Horn with it. It's in Rand's Rhuidean visions. This is separate from the Hundred Companions' quest.
Captain Hammer
180. Randalator
Philbert @179

I guess I'm not the only one suddenly seeing Adam and Jamie blowing the Horn of Valere in my mind's eye, right?

Actually I'm suddenly seeing them building their own Horn of Valere because they'd like to see what a mystical horn can do when it's done Mythbusters style...
Tess Laird
181. thewindrose
philbert - Too true.

Someshta:He is man-shaped and as much bigger than an Ogier as an Ogier is bigger than a man. He appears to be made of woven leaves and vines. He hair is grass, his eyes are hazelnuts and his fingernails are acorns. There is a deep scar running up his head.

Anyone know what caused the scar?
My guess would be taint on saiden.
Captain Hammer
182. Randalator
thewindrose @181

Anyone know what caused the scar?
My guess would be taint on saiden.

From what I quoted in post 175 it's most likely an injury sustained while fighting against the Shadow or trying to contain mad channelers.
Marcus W
183. toryx
Ah crap. My secret is out. Yes, I'm Demandred's alter ego. So much for keeping spoilers from tGS out of this forum!

Anyone know what caused the scar?
My guess would be taint on saiden.

I always just assumed that Someshta got in a fight at some point, perhaps protecting some of his Aiel, and took a glancing blow from a shocklance or a darkfriend's channelling at some point.
Tess Laird
184. thewindrose
The problem I have with Someshta receiving an injury is that he is a living/growing constuct. He can touch plants and make them grow. I think he would be able to heal himself - unless he also reflects the land/world as is, and it is injured by the taint on saiden. A reverse of this would be Rand, being the Fisher King.
Kurt Lorey
185. Shimrod
Could have been the Power generated by the Dark One's universe.
Marcus W
186. toryx
thewindrose @184:

I'd agree except that in the case of a wound caused by lightning (as this one appears to be by description) it's reasonable to assume that the wound was cauterized to a degree that kept the plant material from closing the fissure.

I'm thinking more of a burn on wood than the kind of burn in fields or forests that encourages regrowth with ash as an accelerant. If you look at a tree struck by lightning, there's often the same effect.
187. dwndrgn
I'd always assumed Someshta's scar was a representation of the Blight.
Kurt Lorey
188. Shimrod
@187 dwndrgn. That is certainly a plausible explanation. Why on his face then?
Tess Laird
189. thewindrose
On his face / head. He also has memory loss - perhaps the representation of the Blight, the Blight being the opposite of healthy normal growth.
Lannis .
190. Lannis
Philbert @ 179 & Randalator @ 180: re: Mythbusters & the Horn... BAHAhahaha! Mentioning them just gives me the image of Adam and Jamie trying to blow up the Horn of Valere...

Adam to Jamie: "Hey... screw calling back old heroes of legend, let's see if this this would withstand the damage of the Breaking... where's our explosives?"
Captain Hammer
191. Randalator
re: Someshta/Blight

The scar in Someshta's face consists of dead leaves and charred vines. I have trouble associating that with the Blight which is characterized by corruption and decay...
192. Drew Holton

Ahem, I'd just like to point out that I was the one who asked that question, on week 1.:-) (Digs toe into dirt shyly, averting eyes...)
Tess Laird
193. thewindrose
Drew @ 192 - Was anything ever decided from that? I caught up to everyone at TSR10, so while I 'read' every comment, that was a lot to read in a bit of time. I realize it is kind of a mute point as Someshta died aiding Rand and company, but interesting none the less.
194. Fieldy
@171, 173, 175, et al.,

Ok, so it wasn't the HC, but it was hidden in the EOTW shortly after or during the breaking, meaning it couldn't have been used by Hawkwing. The only way AH would have recognized LTT is because of his soul. Simply attempting to debunk the theory put forth by AnthonyPero @76.

Furthermore, I would argue that the only way the Dragon is tied to the horn would be that it is blown when he declares himself. Yes, he is the savior of the world, but he destroys it(or just breaks it, we don't know yet), and is (theoretically) always more than a little cuckoo when he kicks it. Wouldn't he be "not all there" when the horn called him back if he was tied to it?

It makes more sense to me if it is more of a religious relic from before the AOL? Maybe there is always a horn created in the 1st age for use at the end of the third age? Since we have a character who is tied to it and still remembers it (Birgitte), it would be kinda neat to hear how many times/how often it is used.
195. Graeme1
i like this story, most like jokes that was fantastic.

Marc Breault
196. lizmarc
When going through this post, I noticed something I hadn’t picked up on before. PoD seems to be the first time the Forsaken learn Rand means to try to cleanse the taint. I assume they learn this because in PoD Rand’s mind wanders and he mentions cleansing the taint. Corlan Dashiva, being a Forsaken, reports this to the others and the bad guys start to freak out mainly because they suspect Rand has the choedan kal. Yet at the beginning of LoC, Rand mumbles about cleansing the taint. If Taim were already a Darkfriend he would surely have reported this to his controller.

Also, in WH when Rand actually starts cleansing the taint, surely Taim would have been told to help stop this because cleansing the taint is the one thing the Dark One really didn’t want to happen. Of course, Taim would have been unmasked earlier than desired, but surely preventing the taint from being cleansed far outweighed any benefit gained by masking Taim’s true allegiances. Also, I’m sure when Taim reported to his controllers he would have sensed Rand hated his guts so unmasking Taim at the cleansing battle would not have been a big loss seeing Rand really didn’t want him around in the first place.
Philbert de Zwart
197. philbert
I don't have the exact quote, but the last POV thought of Graendal led me to the following conclusion:
She believes that 'Let the Lord of Chaos rule!' means that the Forsaken that creates the largest amount of chaos in Randland, is the one that will become Nae'Blis.

It is typical that the Forsaken always literally quote this directive, and I think it means that they don't have an obvious interpretation of it either. So like us, they too may be guessing what the DO exactly wants of them, and some of them may come to other conclusions than others.

Edit: sorry, posted this in the wrong thread, it should be in Part 5. Reposting there.
198. TiredALil
I skimmed through all the comments looking to see if anyone brought up the point that Semirhage says flat out that the voice in Rand's head is really Lews Therin.

"He's insane," she said coolly..."Graendal could explain it better than I. Madness was her specialty. I will try, however. You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes, very rarely the voices they hear are the voices of past lives. Lanfear claimed he knew things from our own Age, things only Lews Therin Telamon could know. Clearly, he is hearing Lews Therin's voice. It makes no difference that his voice is real, however. In fact, that makes his situation worse. Even Graendal usually failed to achieve reintegration with someone who heard a real voice. I understand the descent into terminal madness can be...abrupt."

This passage told me two obvious things. One, Lews Therin is really alive and awake inside Rand's head and two, this isn't a thing that is unique to Rand. There have been others who have had their past lives awaken inside their minds and it is possible to reintegrate these two persons. The "Even Graendal usually failed" implies that she is extremely powerful in this area of expertise and she wasn't always successful BUT she had succeeded.
199. TiredALil
Just wanted to cite the source of my quote

Knife Of Dreams; A Plain Wooden Box pg. 592 (hardback edition)
200. Tialin
OMG - I can't believe only hoping got the real joke - Sammael thinks of Rand as a jumped-up farmboy or choss-hauler who has been lucky.

You are awesome as always, Leigh.

4th Age podcaster
Mikio Miles
201. mikiomiles23
Leigh, you're absolutely awesome. Great, intriguing story! Keep up the awesome work, looking for more from you!

(I'm a resveratrol researcher; any questions? Email me!)
Derek Barolet
202. Derek.barolet
Absolutely get the aiel humor for some reason, always thought they were hilarious
and this joke chapter was awesome
203. Amy Woods
On his face / head. He also has memory loss - perhaps the representation of the Blight, the Blight being the opposite of healthy normal growth against any fracure.
William McDaniel
204. willmcd
Not much to add here, but I do want to compliment Drew Holton @106 for his excellent commentary on the role of the ubermensch in society in WoT. One of the really outstanding comments of the re-read so far.

Also, way back on @36 JohnDoe stated that he didn't get Enaila's joke about the Thunder Walkers, and nobody ever clarified that I can tell:
"Do you know why they are called Thunder Walkers? Because even when they are standing still, you keep looking to the sky expecting to see lightning"
I read this to mean that she's implying that Thunder Walkers are inclined toward such a robust, er, flatulence, that it is indistinguishable from thunder. Real schoolyard-level humor there. If somebody else has a better explanation, I'd love to hear it (I certainly didn't get the "Wil and Hu" joke until somebody explained it).

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