Mon
Aug 24 2009 5:16pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 8

Salaam and good day to you, worthy friends! It is time for Wheel of Time Re-read, yes? Yes!

Today’s installment covers Chapters 10-11 of Lord of Chaos, in which I LOSE MY SHITE, because AAAAAHHHHHH. It’s... kind of not pretty.

(Do I know how to advertise or WHAT?)

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

And so, brace yourselves, gird your loins, butter your popcorn, and click the link!

 

 



Chapter 10: A Saying in the Borderlands

 

What Happens
Rand walks through the Palace, accompanied by Bashere with half a dozen Saldaeans, Bael with the same number of Sovin Nai (Knife Hands), and Sulin with twenty Maidens, and thinks wistfully of times when he used to get to be alone. He keeps thinking of details he needs to take care of, and each thing leads to another thing; Rand reflects that it is like “being beaten to death with feathers”. He is grateful, though, that Lews Therin seems to be mostly leaving him alone at the moment, and that the trick Taim had shown him of ignoring the heat seemed to be working. Bashere and Bael are worried about the number of people arriving in Caemlyn; even if none are Rand’s enemies or Darkfriends, trouble is brewing. Bashere tells him a number of people have been beaten for doubting Rand is the Dragon Reborn, and one man was hanged in a barn for laughing at Rand’s miracles.

“My miracles?” Rand said incredulously.

A wrinkled, white-haired serving man in a too-large coat of livery, with a large vase in his hands, trying to bow and step out of the way at the same time, tripped on his heel and fell backward. The pale green vase, paper-thin Sea Folk porcelain, flew over his head and went tumbling end-over-end across the dark red floor tiles, spinning and bouncing until it came to rest, upright, thirty or so paces down the hall. The old man scrambled to his feet with surprising spryness and ran to snatch up the vase, running his hands over it and exclaiming in disbelief as much as relief when he found not a chip or a crack. Other servants stared with just as much incredulity, before abruptly coming to themselves and hurrying on about their tasks. They avoided looking at Rand so hard that several forgot to bow or curtsy.

Bael and Bashere look at each other, and amend it to “strange occurrences”, and Rand notes they do not list examples of the bad kind, like a loose roof tile getting blown into a window and killing a woman eating supper. He thinks that even without the Dragons on his arms, he is still marked.

There was a saying in the Borderlands: “Duty is heavier than a mountain, death lighter than a feather.” Once you had that mountain firmly on your shoulders, there was no way to put it down. There was no one else to carry it anyway, and no use whining about it.

Rand tells Bashere to have the lynchers found and arrested, but also to find and arrest the ones inciting rebellion against him for supposedly killing Morgase. Moving on, Bashere tells him Pelivar Coelan and Ellorien Traemane sneaked into the city three days earlier, and Dyelin Taravin is rumored to be nearby. None have responded to Rand’s invitations; Rand tells him to send fresh invites via Arymilla. Bael says that the Red Shields tell him two Aes Sedai are in the city as well; Rand asks if one of them is “our friend who likes cats”, referring to the persistent rumors that an Aes Sedai who Healed dogs and cats was in the city, but Bael doesn’t think so. Rand supposes these two Aes Sedai might be in the city for some reason unrelated to him, but can’t imagine what that might be. Lews Therin abruptly pipes up:

Pride fills me. I am sick with the pride that destroyed me!

Rand hardly notices, because Aviendha is standing in the garden they’ve just come to, watching the fountain in wonder, and he stares at her, trying to figure out if he is in love with her.

He did not know. She was all tangled in his head and his dreams with Elayne, and even Min. What he did know was that he was dangerous; he had nothing to offer any woman except pain.

Ilyena, Lews Therin wept. I killed her! The Light consume me forever!

Rand decides not to enter the garden, and says he intends to visit the inn where the Aes Sedai are staying. Enaila and Jalani start into the garden anyway, but Rand says sharply that “anyone who wants to put on a dress and discuss matchmaking” can stay behind; Sulin handtalks at them, and they return, shamefaced. The party leaves with Aviendha never seeing them, and Bashere and Bael both make sententious pronouncements about the foolishness of young men in love.

Irritated, Rand looked over his shoulder again. “Neither of you would look well in a dress.” Surprisingly, the Maidens and Knife Hands laughed again, more loudly. Maybe he was getting a grip on Aiel humor.

He heads out into the city, trying to enjoy the ride as much as he can, though his pleasure is dampened by the number of refugees wandering aimlessly, having abandoned everything to follow him here. Rand wonders what on earth he’s supposed to do with them, but knows it is his responsibility whether he asked for it or not. They arrive at the inn and troop inside, and Rand sees that the common room is filled with young girls, and then realizes with a shock that he knows many of them.

“Bode?” he said in disbelief. That big-eyed girl staring at him—when had she gotten old enough to put her hair in a braid?—was Bodewhin Cauthon, Mat’s sister.

He asks what she’s doing here; Bode gapes back at him, but answers excitedly that they are on their way to Tar Valon to become Aes Sedai, just like Egwene and Nynaeve. She asks after Mat, and Rand says he is not here, but is well. The other girls chime in, asking about him, for Lord Perrin hardly told them anything, and Verin and Alanna Sedai are always asking about him. Rand reacts to the “Lord” part, and the girls deluge him with an account of everything that had happened in the Two Rivers, and Rand feels guilty for not being there even as he acknowledges that it was the price he paid for what he gained in return. They babble on until suddenly Verin and Alanna enter, both gazing at Rand. Rand hasn’t met Alanna before, but notes that her eyes look slightly red, as if she had been crying. Their two Warders follow them in, and the Aiel and Saldaeans instantly go on alert; Rand says loudly there will be no trouble, unless Verin starts it.

Verin studied him with birdlike eyes. “Who are we to start trouble near you? You have come far since I saw you last.”

Rand doesn’t want to talk about that, and replies that they must have heard about the Tower split by now (the girls react with shock) and asks if they know where the Aes Sedai opposing Elaida are. Alanna says they should talk alone, and they head for the private dining room. There is almost an incident between Rand’s escort and the Warders until he and the Aes Sedai convince everyone to stay outside. Inside, he asks if they mean to take the girls to the rebels, and Verin frowns that he appears to know more about recent events than they do; they had only learned of the Tower split in Whitebridge. Rand says he means the rebels no harm, and has reason to believe they might support him. Alanna and Verin tell him if they did know they would have no right to tell him, and he should wait for them to come to him, if they so decided to.

“It is foolish to treat us as enemies,” Alanna murmured, moving toward him. “You look tired. Are you getting enough rest?” He stepped back from her raised hand, and she stopped. “Like you, Rand, I mean no harm. Nothing I do here will cause you any injury.”

Since she had said it straight out, it must be so. He nodded, and she raised her hand to his head. His skin tingled faintly as she embraced saidar, and a familiar warm ripple passed through him, the feel of her checking his health.

Alanna nodded in satisfaction. And suddenly the warmth was heat, one great flash of it, as if he stood for a heartbeat in the middle of a roaring furnace. Even after it passed, he felt odd, aware of himself as he never had been before, aware of Alanna. He swayed, head light, muscles watery. An echo of confusion and unease rang from Lews Therin.

“What did you do?” he demanded. In a fury, he seized saidin. The strength of it helped hold him upright. “What did you do?”

He realizes they are trying to shield him, and slams his own shields on them; Verin staggers. He demands they tell him what Alanna did, threatening them, and Verin quickly explains that Alanna bonded him as a Warder, “that’s all”. Alanna looks at him with contentment and says she did not lie, that what she did is the “opposite of injury”. Rand tries to choke down his rage, and tells them since they said they wouldn’t be going to Tar Valon, they can stay here in Caemlyn, but they will stay away from him unless he sends for them; otherwise he will leave them shielded and throw them in prison to boot. Neither of them like this, but agree, and Rand storms back into the common room. Bode, who had been talking to Bashere, tells him that this man has been saying horrible things about him, that he is the Dragon Reborn. Rand replies wearily that he is, and the Two Rivers girls all scoff at him.

Saidin still filled him. Gently he wrapped Bode and Larine in flows of Air and lifted them until their shoes dangled a foot above the floor. “I am the Dragon Reborn. Denying won’t change it. Wishing won’t change it. I’m not the man you knew back in Emond’s Field. Do you understand now? Do you?” He realized he was shouting and clamped his mouth shut. His stomach was lead, and he was trembling. Why had Alanna done what she did? What Aes Sedai scheme was hatching behind that pretty face? Trust none of them, Moiraine had said.

Alanna touches his arm and begs him to let them down, he is frightening them. Rand sees that it is true – Bode is sobbing, as are most of the girls in the room – and Rand hastily lets them back down and tries to apologize. None of them will look at him, though, and Bashere comments that done is done, and maybe it was for the best. Rand nods slowly, and wishes that he could have been just Rand al’Thor to them for just a little while longer.

Best that they were afraid of him. Best that he forgot the Two Rivers. He wondered whether that mountain ever got lighter for a time, or only kept on getting heavier.

Commentary
AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHSMASHRENDSTUBTOEOWAAAAAAAAHHHH

You—that—I—*shriek*

There are not enough headdesks in the world, you guys. IN THE WORLD.

I don’t think I actually threw the book against the wall when I got to this chapter, but it was undoubtedly a close call. To say I was pissed off by what Alanna did would be to drastically understate the situation. Sorry, make that AM pissed off, because it still infuriates me now.

Acts of violation, in case you haven’t noticed, are tops on my list of Shit Your Scumbag Ass Should Bleed For. And that is unquestionably what this is. How DARE she? How dare ANYONE do such a thing? I would have smacked that bint into the Fourth Age! AAAAAHHHH

Did I mention that this might have pissed me off a bit?

I’m pissed at everyone, too, not just Alanna. I’m pissed at Verin for not slapping her stupid cohort upside the head, I’m pissed (unfairly) at Bode and the other Two Rivers girls for making it worse afterwards, and I’m even pissed at Rand, for (a) being so goddamn stupid as to let her touch him in the first place, and (b) for not being angry enough after.

Seriously. Yeah, he’s angry, but I really thought his reaction wasn’t nearly commensurate with the offense. Not by HALF. I recognize that a stronger reaction would probably have been an even greater disaster than it was, and possibly have led to an unforgivable act on his part, but still. Not angry enough!

It’s possible that I am projecting. (Naw!)

As for her claim that she did “the exact opposite” of injuring him by bonding him, obviously she’s referring to the fact that he’ll get the benefits of Warderhood—most usefully, the ability to survive wounds that would kill anyone else—but this is sophistry on a level that even most Aes Sedai don’t indulge in, and in my opinion doesn’t mitigate the outrage of her act in the slightest. I’ve always said Alanna’s had a big fat target painted on her from the moment she bonded Rand, and I say that not only because it would be a way to send Rand ax-crazy (well, ax-crazier) without sacrificing any of his three loves, but because in my book it’s only karmically fitting. That might not apply in the real world, but epic fantasy is another matter. We’ll see if I’m right. I’d BETTER be right.

Slightly less vengefully, I will note that I’ve always been slightly puzzled as to why Jordan felt this particular plot twist was necessary. Yes, it could send Rand over the edge if Alanna dies, but frankly there are already a plethora of ways in place which could accomplish the same goal, and I can’t think offhand of any particular plot-related use it has been or could be other than that.

Well, I guess other than generating drama. And chaos. Okay, fine. Bah. Grump. I am moving the hell on.

(aaaaahhhhh)

Black Ajah: Are in the city, whoo! At least Marillin Gemalphin is. This will be important later. Nice clue there.

Lews Therin: Is still supporting my theory by directly commenting on Rand’s hubris. Unless of course you take that to mean he’s real. Heh. At this point I’m just harping on it to annoy people.

Bode: One thing I am definitely hoping we get to see at some point is Mat’s reunion with his sister Bode. The reasons why should be screamingly self-evident. Hee.

Random reference: the name of Verin and Alanna’s inn, Culain’s Hound, is a reference to Cú Chulainn, one of the most famous heroes of Irish mythology. I don’t think anything in his story is supposed to evoke or refer to what happens in the inn, but may I just say, Cú Chulainn did some messed-up shit, y’all. That is all.

(aaaahhhhhh)


Chapter 11: Lessons and Teachers

What Happens
Verin sighs with relief the moment Rand is out the door, and reflects that neither Moiraine nor Siuan had listened to her about how dangerous he was. And now Siuan was stilled and probably dead, and Verin assumes that Moiraine must be dead, too, otherwise she would never have let Rand out of her sight. She wonders if Rand turned on Moiraine, and whether he was already struggling with madness.

Verin tsked irritably. If you took risks, sometimes the bill came due when you least expected, in the last way you expected. Almost seventy years of delicate work on her part, and now it might all go for naught because of one young man. Even so, she had lived too long, been through too much, to allow herself to be dismayed.

Verin tries to settle the girls down, but they refuse to be calmed, especially Bode, who is demanding that they find Mat. Alanna loses patience and scares the girls silent with an Illusion of herself growing bigger, and orders them to their rooms immediately. The girls stampede out of the common room, and Verin sighs, thinking that had not been necessary. She calms the terrified inn staff as best she can, and then takes Alanna back into the private room, where Alanna immediately starts ranting about Rand’s gall in restricting them. Verin reflects that Alanna had held her emotions over losing her Warder Owein in check for far too long, and points out that Rand can’t really hold them in Caemlyn if they are determined to leave (reasoning that no matter how much he’s taught himself there’s no way he could have discovered wards), but neither she nor Alanna have any intention of abandoning the treasure trove of channeling talent they had found in the Two Rivers. She asks if Alanna thinks he’s right about a rebel faction; Alanna finds the notion repellant, but thinks the message from her informant in Caemlyn (“All loyal Aes Sedai to return to the Tower. All is forgiven”) more or less confirms it. Verin further points out that Siuan’s hiding al’Thor’s existence was undoubtedly part of her downfall, and before Alanna can ask how she knows that, asks what Alanna was about, bonding him like that.

“It was the logical thing to do, with him right there in front of us. It should have been done long ago. You could not—or would not.” [...] “They all should have been bonded at the first chance. They are too important to run loose, him most of all.”

Verin thinks that the only reason Alanna hadn’t bonded Perrin in the Two Rivers was because of Faile’s threat to kill Alanna if she did so – not because of the threat itself, but of Faile’s ignorance of what that would do to Perrin if she did. Verin considers it was the frustration of that which led her to bond Rand without his permission – something that hadn’t been done in hundreds of years.

Well, Verin thought dryly, I have broken a few customs in my time.

She asks what Alanna expects to do with him now that she has him, adding that she’s reminded of the old story about the woman who saddled and bridled a lion. Alanna can’t believe how strong he is, and Verin almost shivers, thinking of how easily he had shielded them both. She moves on to the subject of Rand’s amnesty, and they discuss whether it could possibly be true or not, and what to do about it if it is. Verin has a plan for that, and as she is detailing it to Alanna, thinks that there are a great many questions to be answered, and it is perhaps lucky that Alanna’s emotional state is so frayed, for that will make it easier for Verin to make sure they are answered the way she intends them to be.

Rand races back to the Palace, outdistancing Bashere and the Maidens, skin crawling as he realizes he can still feel Alanna in his head.

If he could feel her, could she feel him the same way? What else could she do? What else? He had to get away from her.

Pride, Lews Therin cackled, and for once Rand did not try to silence the voice.

He arrives at the Palace and runs to the Great Hall, where he quickly opens a gateway to the farm and jumps through to a nearby clearing. The feeling of Alanna’s presence is fainter, but still there, and he knows exactly what direction she is from him. He tries seizing saidin again, but it doesn’t help. He realizes he is laughing and can’t stop.

His fool pride. Overconfidence. It had gotten him in trouble before, and more than him. He had been so sure that he and the Hundred Companions could seal the Bore safely...

Leaves crackled as he forced himself to his feet. “That was not me!” he said hoarsely. “That was not me! Get out of my head! All of you get out of my head!” Lews Therin’s voice murmured indistinctly, distantly. Alanna waited silently, patiently, in the back of his head. The voice seemed afraid of her.

Rand pulls himself together after a few moments and heads to the farm, where Taim is training the seven students he’s found so far, including Damer Flinn, Jur Grady, Eben Hopwill, and Fedwin Morr; Sora Grady is now the only woman left at the farm. Rand watches as Flinn inexpertly wields Fire and Earth and blows up a rock, causing everyone except Taim to dive for cover as shrapnel flies everywhere (Taim shields himself with Air). Taim comes over to Rand as the students continue; Rand asks if it’s safe to leave them alone as Eben blows up another stone, but this time all the students have woven shields for themselves. Rand pushes away the one Taim had over both of them, which makes Taim almost smile, and Taim points out that Rand had told him to push them, and he is. They have to do all their chores with saidin, and if they can’t heat their own food, they eat cold. Rand asks where Haslin is, and Taim replies that he sent him away; what need has a man who channels with swordsmanship? Lews Therin shrieks to kill him, and Rand fights down anger, telling Taim coldly to bring him back; the students must be able to defend themselves if they are ever in a position where they can’t channel. Taim is contemptuous, but replies he will obey. Rand moves on, telling Taim that there are Aes Sedai in Caemlyn, and visits to the city will have to stop.

Taim shrugged. “Doing an Aes Sedai’s head like one of those rocks isn’t beyond them even now. The weave is only a little different.”

He offers to “remove” them himself, if Rand is “not up to it”; Rand replies if he wanted them dead, he’d have killed them himself, and warns Taim that until he gives the word, he and the students are to avoid all Aes Sedai and harm none of them. Taim shrugs and acquiesces, and changes the subject to the idea of going out recruiting, which he has been pressing Rand on for some time. He’s pointed out that at the current rate, it will take them six years to match the Tower’s numbers, and Rand knows they don’t have that kind of time. Taim’s plan is to use gateways to visit villages and recruit for men to follow the Dragon Reborn, and test those who come along after they’ve arrived. The ones who don’t pass can be formed into a fighting force.

“It’s time you started raising an army of your own instead of depending on others. Bashere could change his mind; he will, if Queen Tenobia tells him to. And who can know what these so-called Aiel will do.”

Taim bets Rand that in one day of recruiting he’ll match what would have walked into Caemlyn on his own in a month, and further that he’ll match the Tower in less than a year. Rand is leery of the risks of letting Taim loose, but finally agrees.

Commentary
I usually applaud Verin’s general sneakiness, and certainly a large (and awesome) aspect of her character has always been her hidden ruthlessness, but my personal prejudices on the matter of Alanna’s forced bonding of Rand makes me less than thrilled with her here. She knew Alanna was a ticking time bomb on the subject, and yet did nothing. Bah.

Alanna: Still would like to drop-kick her. Emotional instability my ass! (aaaaahhhhh) It should also come as no surprise that I find Alanna’s “logic” on why the Superboys should all have been bonded right off the bat to be repugnant. I will note that I think she’s pretty alone in that sentiment among Aes Sedai; most of them pretty reliably find the notion of bonding someone against their will to be horrifying. AS THEY SHOULD. Grr.

I forgot Verin’s observation here that Alanna would totally have bonded Perrin were it not for Faile—though honestly I’m still not sure why that stopped her. I mean, as long as we’re going to completely violate tradition and all moral notions of respecting free will, why would Faile’s threat have been a concern? All she would have had to do was explain to Faile what Perrin’s bond-induced reaction would have been to Alanna’s death, and Faile’s hands would have been tied—not that Faile would have had much of a chance in killing Alanna in the first place.

Although, it’s true that it’s not impossible for mundanes to successfully ambush channelers, as we will see, so maybe that was it, but... enh. The rationale seems pretty thin, even so, and it’s unlike the arrogance of channelers in general and Aes Sedai in particular to seriously consider that a non-channeler poses a threat.

Of course, Aes Sedai hardly hold the monopoly on arrogance, as Taim’s contempt for swordsmanship clearly demonstrates. Fortunately Rand’s not nearly so foolish, though of course he’s had ample experience to prove the wisdom of having a back-up option.

“So-called Aiel”: I really would like an explanation of this quote someday. Of all the arguments for Taim being Demandred, this one was (in my opinion) by far the strongest, and now that we know for sure Taim isn’t Demandred I would really like to know where the hell it came from. The common speculation is, assuming Taim is working for Ishy and/or Demandred, that he just picked up the phrase from one or both of them, but that seems like an awfully random phrase to adopt, if you ask me. I guess it could simply be an authorial gaffe, but I remain unsatisfied on this score.

More Verin: Speculation has run rampant on the exact nature of Verin’s “70-Year Plan”, and I must confess I’ve forgotten what if anything we’ve discovered about that. I tend to think that thus far it’s never been explicated for us, but again I am very vague on events in KOD so I could be wrong. I’m sure someone in the comments will be able to enlighten me.


So! I’ll leave you chickies to do just that, why don’t I? And, of course, to make fun of me for my histrionics. (aaaaahhhhh) Happy Monday, if there is such a thing, and I’ll see youse guys anon, yo!

171 comments
Tasneem Gould
2. Latecomer
One thing I have always wondered about in this chapter - whenever someone was healed, they described it as a cold shiver. This stands out to me more because of recent chapters with Elayne etc being healed after the TAR nightmare - she mentioned shivering herself, and then sees someone else shiver as they are healed.

However, Rand is talking about a 'familiar' warm ripple here - am I missing something?

Or do men and women feel a different feeling when being healed?
Rob Munnelly
3. RobMRobM
Leigh - still no explication in KoD or elsewhere re Verin's 70 year plan. I'm open to ideas because I don't have any. Verin's motives are probably my favorite mystery in the entire WoT (even more than Asmo). Fascinating subject so go to it everyone.

@2 the warm ripple is the bonding not healing.

Agree that Alanna is incredibly aggravating here and just blew any chance of productive AS-Rand trust (for several books, anyway).

Rob
Michael Catapano
4. hoping
Leigh
re the bonding
at least you're not bitter

I think the main purpose the bond played was it allowed alanna to help the troops find Rand at the end of the book.

so-called aiel
My explanation is that Taim was taken over by an aol channeler, like LTT threatens to take over Rand. But you don't believe LTT is real, so nevermind.:)
JWezy
5. JWezy
This is the first time I have noticed the implication that Verin's Plan does not seem to be centered on the Dragon Reborn (in fact, she comments that he may be on the verge of disrupting it). Score one for the "Find the Black Ajah" camp, I suppose.
Rob Munnelly
6. RobMRobM
Leigh - re the bonding plot twist - it is needed to set up an antogonistic relationship between Rand and AS that won't be resolved until the final three books (when Rand meets a meeting of the minds with Eg). Without it, there could have been better dealings and drama-depleting trust between Rand and either branch of the AS. Now, every dealing he has with the AS has a level of skepticism in it. Fact that he might go a bit crazy when she bites the dust is secondary (or even tertiary.) Rob
JWezy
7. keegansgirl
What goaded me the most about Alanna's bonding of Rand was that she had no remorse about the act afterward. Except when explaining later that the 'compulsion' part of the bond was like trying to pick up a tree with bare hands. And also I absolutely despise the way that she is possessive of him as her warder. It truly makes me sick. And to think that before this i actually liked her as a character.
Tasneem Gould
8. Latecomer
Hi RobM

I thought that at first, but the line reads:


His skin tingled faintly as she embraced saidar, and a familiar warm ripple passed through him, the feel of her checking his health.

And yes, stupid Alanna - and all that for what? I guess the reason (in the plot) was to push Rand a bit more towards the Tower AS or at least not dismiss them out of hand later?

Difference between Perrin and Rand? Faile made it clear that she knew what Alanna was thinking, and would have certainly not held her tongue about it had Alanna actually bonded Perrin - already married. Not to mention the obvious adoration of him in the Two Rivers now (just listen to Bode and the other girls). Stories of untrustworthy AS would have spread even further.

Rand by contrast in 'unattached' and no one will find out about the bonding from him (for a while yet?). In any case I imagine bonding the DR might actually be viewed by Joe Bloggs as not such a bad thing.
JWezy
10. Browncoat Jayson
@2 The warm ripple is her dousing him, to discover any injury (I believe this uses all 5 powers, at least Nynaeve's does). Healing is cool, and causes shivers (it is water, air and spirit only, except Ny's and Damer's 5-power healing). Bonding, apparently, causes heat (so must have fire in it, in addition to spirit at least. I can't recall what the weave for bonding is, offhand).
Tasneem Gould
11. Latecomer
Leigh - you mentioned 'so called Aeil' comments by Taim. Another thing that Rand thinks (whilst making a Gateway) is that Taim was a very quick learner and only had to see something a few times before he picked it up. That sounded exactly like the advice he gave Taim about 'how to spot a forsaken in the ranks'.

Reading these chapters, even just reading about Taim's arrogance and attitude in general, its not hard to see why readers were so certain that Taim was Demandred.

It isn't a red herring - its a blue whale!
Tasneem Gould
12. Latecomer
Browncoat Jason @ 10

Thanks for the chemistry lesson :P
JWezy
13. dcole78
ooo do we get more great wonderful battle of the sexes here...Legih loosing her crap...oooo...must go read now!!
Marcus W
14. toryx
I completely agree with Leigh on the subject of Alanna's bonding of Rand. I was livid when I read it myself. There are simply no words for the atrocity.

I also agree that Rand wasn't angry enough. But part of it was probably due to the fact that Alanna is female. And of course he can't possibly get angry enough at a woman, no matter how evil she behaves, that'd be worthy of doing any sort of appropriate response.

What really pisses me off? (And this came later) Knowing that part of it must have been a device to explain away how he survives a lot of the crap he goes through later. That sort of justification just doesn't work for me.

Lews Therin: Is still supporting my theory by directly commenting on Rand’s hubris. Unless of course you take that to mean he’s real. Heh. At this point I’m just harping on it to annoy people.

That cracked me the hell up. I'm still laughing now, even as I type this. Good show!

"So-called Aiel" is the reason I think that Jordan changed his mind about Demandred later. I know all the theories about Taim picking it up from the Forsaken but I've always thought that was an incredibly lame explanation.

So yeah, today I'm pretty much agreeing with Leigh wholeheartedly on everything.
Tyler Durden
15. Balance
Bonding Rand: This event royally pissed me off as well. Most compare it to raping someone. I say its raping plus getting her pregnant. To be forced to have a connection like that for the rest of you life, against your will, is repugnant. I’d like to add a little analysis of our hostess here. There are two types of feminist, in my opinion. One type wishes to empower women so that the sexes can exist in society equally. I agree with this view. The second says they are doing that, but really only wish to bring men down, to demonize them. I have serious issues with those. LB has shown herself to be a strong feminist of the right caliber, in my opinion. Her rage against what Allana did demonstrates this equality of view.

Warm fuzzies: This familiar feeling is from the weave that checks one’s health. Rand has felt it before from Moraine and Nyn (perhaps others). Allana wasn’t healing Rand, she started by checking his health, then went in fer the kill.

Love Verin’s sneakiness. Love her interactions with Thomas. Love how this is another chapter that allows us to see what a baddass Rand really is in the eyes of others. (Allana’s “please”, Both AS’s disbelief of his strength, and how easily Rand handled them when he got his wits back). I believe LB commented on these types of POV’s before, and I agree with her here too.
Kristina Blake
16. kab1
I also am really interested in Verin's character and the mysteries surrounding her.

Leigh, I totally agree with you on the lack of action by Verin, I thought she should have been harsher with Alana, and in front of Rand so he could see that not all AS agreed with what Alanna did.

gotta run now, but I have more thoughts I'll post later.
Brian Kaul
17. bkaul
One way Brandon could clear up this whole "Is LTT real?" question pretty easily, if he is real: give us a LTT POV. :)

As for Alanna, yeah ... why exactly didn't Rand hold her hostage and refuse to release her until she undid the bonding?
Theodor Engström
18. Theodor
@17

Because he didn't know that the bonding could be undone. Lan told him that later...
JWezy
19. alreadymadwithbonding
Now that I think about it, the AS who loves cats may well have been Marillin. Staying hidden as per Forsaken orders but unable to stay away from the cats.

And Alanna. Ugh. If it were me I'd have dragged her Warder in with the Power and broken his bones one by one until she released the bond. Not kill him mind you, leave something for them to heal.


One other thing. LTT's purported insanity, I don't see it.
JWezy
20. Clinton_Blue
I also think I missed it initially that Verin intends to use her Compulsion-lite on Alanna here. Is there any evidence later on that Alanna is acting compulsed (a la Elza)?
JWezy
21. Daniel Holm
I completely and utterly share your outrage.

I also agree that Alanna is dead-dead-dead and just doesn't know it yet.
Anthony Pero
22. anthonypero
If Verin's 70-year plan revolves around exposing the Black Ajah, then it's going become pretty irrelevant soon... unless some information she has obtained is crucial to prosecuting the BA somehow.

Although, it WOULD explain some things, like the Corean Neadal (Sp?) investigation, her possibly removing the three oaths from herself, etc... And if I were hunting the BA all by my lonesome, I'd be awfully circumspect, myself.
JWezy
23. rosetintdworld
I always took the "so-called Aiel" thing to mean something completely different, which does not require Taim to know that the Aiel were pacifists in the Age of Legends. That is, the context of Taim's phrase is that he is trying to convince Rand not to rely on other people. Read: "the Saldaeans could betray you at any moment, my Lord Dragon, and who knows what the so-called "Dedicated" could possibly do," invested with sarcasm to say: "who can say how 'dedicated' they really are at all?" I took it to be a bilingual play on words, nothing more. I don't think that knowing a few words of the Old Tongue creates the same logistical headaches as implying that he was aware of Age of Legends culture would.
Jane Smyth
24. Kaboom
Because he didn't know that the bonding could be undone. Lan told him that later...

So he knows now, and Alana has swear to obey him. So why does he not order her to release it now?
I don't remember when Lan told him though. Is it to recently for him to have a chance to demand the release?
Marcus W
25. toryx
rosetintdworld @ 23:

Excellent thought! That makes a lot more sense than most of the other explanations I've seen. I'm going with that one.
Antoni Ivanov
26. tonka
I don't think I was pissed by the Warder bond , it was necessary , it offers protection, more endurance like nothing else and Rand needs it. Well maybe it shouldn't have come from Alanna but the point is moot now. True it was ... well ... disgusting , but it was necessary and I am practical person and after all it's true Alanna didn't do anything to harm him but the opposite.
And in the end Alanna got her punishment. Verin's comparison about the lion was not far from the mark. *chuckles darkly*

This is one of my favourite chapters. From the way how Rand , The Dragon Reborn, thinks about simple thinks like pensions for the older, clothes for the servants ,etc. His reunion with the Two Rivers girls and confrontation with the Aes Sedai. There is some drama in his meeting the Two River's girls but I agree with him that he has to distance himself. He is a target and everyone he loves or cares is automatically a target too, and most importantly they are a tool his enemies can use against him. (Thank God no one of the shadow knows that he is in love in the trio (Avi,El,Min) or at least they didn't know by KOD although they may know about Min if they managed to sneak a darkfriend in the close circle around Rand(A darkfriend who was not compelled by Verin)


@2.Latecomer - she was not healing him,I think, she was delving him to see if he has injuries.


I don't find it strange that Taim is quick learner.Rand is quick learner so are Elayne, Nyneave, Egwene and none of them are Forsaken. I never thought that he is one of the Forsaken. The Timing doens't fit people !!!!. From interview RJ said that he was surprised that people thought Taim is Demandred and that means that he has never intended for Taim to be any of the Forsaken.
As for the "so called Aiel" I think 23.rosetintdworld explanation seems very sound to me

I don't give five cents for who killed Asmodean compared to Verin's sneakiness .There is so much I wish to know of her. The next most sneakiest Aes Sedai ,IMO, is Moiraine, she has many secrets to reveal too.
Captain Hammer
27. Randalator
Leigh

Slightly less vengefully, I will note that I’ve always been slightly puzzled as to why Jordan felt this particular plot twist was necessary.

As was already mentioned it served to get rid of any trust that might have been left between Rand and the Aes Sedai, most importantly the Salidar AS.

Apart from that, it's probably the only thing that keeps Rand alive after being kidnapped by the Tower AS. And it most definitely was the only thing keeping him alive when Fain cut him with the Shadar Logoth dagger in ACoS.
Anthony Pero
28. anthonypero
The problem with @23 is that this is the exact term, word for word, that many of the Forsaken have used; it's possible Jordan used this idiom to mean what you suggest, but that's awfully ham-handed of him, if so, and I don't think so.

Since I don't want to think Jordan would change his mind out of pique at the fans for being intelligent, and I refuse to believe that he would deliberately lie and say he was "surprised" people thought that, I think he must have picked the term up from his sponsor.

Or, Jordan chose to practice a little Aes Sedai double speak, lol. Maybe he was surprised the fans thought that... so soon. But no, I don't think that.
Richard Fife
29. R.Fife
Hmm, the suggested "word play" of "so-called aiel" doesn't sit with me. Right after he said that, Taim paused, as if he knew he might have just mega-gaffed, but Rand didn't catch it. I could see in the Minion-Taim outline if during his education whichever Forsaken had let slip, in disgust perhaps, what the Aiel were once-upon-a-time.

I'm not touching anything else with a 30-ft stick.
Pete Pratt
30. PeteP
Verin just rocks. Plans within plans, supersneak Verin just keeps going.

Taim using "So-called" Aiel means that he was DF by this time, if not always. He would have heard it from his master Demandred.
Tess Laird
31. thewindrose
Verin and Alanna have just found out about the Tower split, neither is Blue, so it doesn't mean they would automatically decide to side with the SAS.
Bad Alanna! Bad Bad Bad
I think when Egwene takes top seat at the Tower, there are going to be some bond releasing ceremonies - Alanna, Myrelle.
I think RJ meant for Taim to say 'so called Aiel', not to set him up as Demandred, but hint at his dark friendness, and tutoring by at least one Forsaken. On thread 7 altarego suggested that Osangar was tutoring Taim, and that was why Taim was so upset when Rand picked him to be with him and not Taim. I think Taim started picking up some lessons from Ishy, then maybe Demandred onto Osangar and as Moridin became nae'blis he is Moridin's minion.
mark Proctor
32. mark-p
14.toryx:
I also agree that Rand wasn't angry enough. But part of it was probably due to the fact that Alanna is female. And of course he can't possibly get angry enough at a woman, no matter how evil she behaves, that'd be worthy of doing any sort of appropriate response.

and also he dosn't seem to know much about bonding yet. Over the next few chapters he seems to get more and more distressed about Alanna always being in his head.
Bill Bácsi
33. billbacsi
She's a supersneak. Supersneak. She's supersneakaaaayy.
Luke M
34. lmelior
Whew, finally caught up today after my vacation.

My thoughts on the bonding:

Firstly, I have always assumed Rand wouldn't be (as) affected by Alanna's death as Warders usually are, since Aes Sedai can survive the death of their Warders. I guess I don't really know that now that I think about it, I think it's just something I assumed.

Operating under that assumption, I probably would have stilled her right then and there. Or, if I acted as Rand did, as soon as I found out that Flinn could Heal Stilling, "Hey Alanna, I wanna try something..."

Anyway, since at this point we knew about passing bonds, I suspected Alanna would do that eventually, just as Myrelle would pass Lan to Nynaeve. Like keegansgirl #7 I was greatly annoyed at her failing to do so later on.


Re: so-called Aiel
Yep, Taim = darkfriend. I am of the opinion that he has been at least since he was freed from captivity by the Black Ajah.


I think we've spoken about this before on multiple occasions (back when she apparently lied in tGH and when she used a light form of Compulsion in the Aiel Waste in tSR), but I still can't wait to find out what the deal is with Verin.
Maiane Bakroeva
35. Isilel
an Aes Sedai who Healed dogs and cats was in the city,

The unfortunate decision to saddle AS with cats and make dogs hate them (ugh!) didn't yet happen, I see.

Yes, Alanna is disgusting. What's the matter with her, seriously? Nor do I understand the blasé reaction to her behavior from Verin and later other AS in the know, including Cadsuane.

And by this point in time so many know of her bond that it is a wonder that she is still alive. And Rand? Why did he accept this and continues to accept it up to and including KoD, when he is already bonded to his 3 women and knows quite well that Alanna can release him?

Rand's interaction with TR girls is heartbreaking. I am additionally angry at the AS duo that they barged in and cut it short.

reflects that neither Moiraine nor Siuan had listened to her about how dangerous he was.

To Moiraine's credit, she was never afraid of Rand and to Siuan's that while she was afraid, she didn't let her fear rule her. When one considers that they were struggling with millenia of prejudice and all too well-founded fear by which even Verin and Cadsuane are influenced in their POVs, one has to give them their due.

I have to say that I generally like Verin a lot, but her thought processes here irritate me - as they are supposed to, I am sure.

Clinton_Blue @20

Wow, I never even considered that Alanna was subjected to Verin's Compulsion-Lite! A very subtle hint indeed and only clear after several more volumes. Hm... I wonder what modifications were introduced.

the students must be able to defend themselves if they are ever in a position where they can’t channel.

Indeed. Particularly since all manner of Shadowspawn nasties can zero on channeling, too. Honestly, it took the DR to see the necessity? Oh, the Randlandity... or something.

Anyway, it never made sense to me that AS didn't receive weapons training, especially since it takes years to bond warders and some never do and that they often travel to dangerous spots and usually want to conceal that they can channel. Not to mention that just embracing the source gives one awesome reflex upgrades, so that even being feeble wimmens they'd still have some advantages.

Taim - knew the non-sweating trick, which is all in the mind and now "so-called Aiel". Yes, IMHO it can't be clearer than that - he has been taught by an AoLer. IMHO, it was Ishy.

He also starts his campaign of attempts to irrevocably clash Rand with the AS.

Let's also notice that the 4 guys whom Rand directly attracted through his ta'verenness and who were at the BT the longest weren't full Asha'man at the time of Dumai's Wells. Dum-dum.

And how much time is it until Dumai's Wells anyway? A month? And by that time Asha'man are in the hundreds and all awesome? Hm...
JWezy
36. adaptr
I read one of the comments just now and misread DR as DO, and it just popped right into my head:
Rand needs to bond the Dark One!
And then die...
If that doesn't end him, I don't know what will.

Oh and as for Taim and the so-called Aiel - he could know that it means Dedicated in the OT, and know the history of the Aiel, and scoff at the name for the exact same reason the FS do, while not having the mannerism FROM the FS.

Excellent re-readology as usual, Leigh.
JWezy
37. Sonofthunder
Yep, I think the "so-called Aiel" line is too much to dismiss Taim as just a "power-hungry saidin wielder" - while I'm not sure he's under a Forsaken's thumb, he had to pick up that line SOMEWHERE! So Taim = bad dude. I still think it's weird that Jordan didn't expect people to make a link between him and Demandred though.

And Alanna...*shakes head* I got SO UPSET when I first read that. There are few times when I get emotional reading - that was one. Just the sheer outrage of the act of being bonded unwillingly! We'll get a lot more of that later with Logain's girls...but this first time was bad enough. I think I was expecting Alanna to die in this book, just because I couldn't imagine her being bonded to Rand for too long...

I guess I was wrong.
JWezy
38. Sonofthunder
Yep, I think the "so-called Aiel" line is too much to dismiss Taim as just a "power-hungry saidin wielder" - while I'm not sure he's under a Forsaken's thumb, he had to pick up that line SOMEWHERE! So Taim = bad dude. I still think it's weird that Jordan didn't expect people to make a link between him and Demandred though.

And Alanna...*shakes head* I got SO UPSET when I first read that. There are few times when I get emotional reading - that was one. Just the sheer outrage of the act of being bonded unwillingly! We'll get a lot more of that later with Logain's girls...but this first time was bad enough. I think I was expecting Alanna to die in this book, just because I couldn't imagine her being bonded to Rand for too long...

I guess I was wrong.
William Fettes
39. Wolfmage
tonka @ 26

“From interview RJ said that he was surprised that people thought Taim is Demandred”

With all due respect to the memory of the big man, that comment was always so much bs. If he really didn’t anticipate readers would infer Taim was Demandred then he’s either being a bit glib and obtuse about the issue, probably because of its annoying persistence in the face of it being emphatically debunked, or he is simply 'counting on' the readership working their way through dozens of false trails and red herrings which do obviously point to him being Demandred on the surface. Either way his expression of surprise isn’t really that convincing. At best he would be genuinely surprised at the tenacity of the theory in the face of repeated authorial contradictions.
Hurin Smells
40. HurinSmells
Alanna: this is a key plot twist because it gives the side of Light a way of tracking down Rand later on. Also in WH, it leads Cadsuane to Rand after Alanna blacks out when Rand enters Far Madding. I'm not sure killing Alanna would affect Rand the way it would a regular Warder though, because as is noted in aCoS, Alanna doesn't have the same ability to compel Rand as she does her other Warders. IMHO this is because Rand can channel, so the the bond is different.

So-called Aiel: I too was baited to the Taimendred theory based on this quote alone. Even on a re-read knowing it had be proven false I still thought it could end up true. Now I just don't know. I'm going to try not to think about it though, because it makes my head hurt.

Lews Therin: In my own re-read i'm at WH, and what the hell is going on with this 3rd person Lews Therin refers to? I had totally forgotten about that. That can't be Moridin can it? Because Lews Therin is talking like it's someone else in Rands head with him.
Genevieve Williams
41. welltemperedwriter
It won't surprise you, Leigh, to learn that my reaction to Alanna's bonding of Rand was virtually identical to yours. I may even have thrown the book.

I agree that its purpose, plotwise, was to further scupper any possibility of trust between Rand and the AS. I suspect this is also behind Verin's fairly mild response--that, and she clearly has other priorities throughout this chapter and beyond. I don't remember what, if any, clarification we get on her plans and motives; I can't even remember if I read Crossroads of Twilight, and I definitely haven't read Knife of Dreams. Chances are I'll get the audiobook though, when I get that far.

On Taim: I actually think it would've been more interesting if Taim hadn't been a DF, but I suppose the series already had enough overly ambitious and misguided characters who were technically on the side of the Light *cough*Elaida*cough*Niall*cough*

I did think that Rand leaving the Black Tower almost entirely up to Taim was going to bite him in the ass eventually, which of course it did.
John Shaw
42. Kinsbane
First and foremost, upon initially reading these chapters, I realized what present-day occurrence is equal to what Alanna did.

Basically, she had protected sex with him, or what he thought was protected sex with him, only she poked holes in the condom and skipped her birth control. It's a means to try and control the man when they think the relationship isn't working out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

@26. tonka:
...but I agree with him that he has to distance himself. He is a target and everyone he loves or cares is automatically a target too, and most importantly they are a tool his enemies can use against him.

The Wheel of Time has always, always been about choice with your life. And how, being ta'veren, you aren't afforded any choice in how you live your life. It's nice that Rand is noble, but he cannot make that decision for other people. It's still their decision and their risk to take.

Padan Fain tried to fuck up the Two Rivers in TSR as a means of directing what Rand does or where he goes. What happened? Perrin accepted the risk and went and took care of it. Not that Rand wouldn't accept the risk, but he already had accepted other, bigger risks. But that's the whole point of having friends and loved ones who NEED you to succeed - they can accept risks for you while you go and do other more important things.
JWezy
43. Wes S.
It's a pity Alanna didn't try bonding Mat instead; as we learned in a subsequent volume of the WoT, Mat is perfectly willing to turn an Aes Sedai over his knee and give her a good spanking for being a bad girl when the situation requires it.

(And, if memory serves, Alanna was literally knocked for a loop when Elayne, Aviendha and Min bonded with Rand in turn. Payback is a b*tch, huh?)

On the other hand, if bonding someone without their permission constitutes an act of rape, then how do you justify Elayne's continued bonding of Birgitte? Not the actual bonding itself, exactly; Elayne bonded Birgitte in an effort to save her life because - after Moghedien ripped Birgitte out of the World of Dreams - Healing wasn't enough. And Elayne certainly didn't intend to control or compel Birgitte, either...nor, under the circumstances, was it possible to ask permission first.

That said, once Birgitte had recovered, it seems a violation of Birgitte's privacy, if nothing else, for Elayne to maintain the bond. Not to mention what happened to Birgitte when Elayne finally *ahem* "bonded" with Rand as well...

(I cry! You cry! We all cry for oosquai!)

I'm also not sure quite how you reconcile the ban on the Talent of Compulsion with the Aes Sedai bond, since AS can use it to compel their Warders to do things they might not ordinarily have done on their own.

But, come to think of it, if I recall correctly RJ wrote in one of the novels that Aes Sedai had "raised the talent of hypocrisy to a fine art..."
Lee VanDyke
44. Cloric
re: "so-called Aiel"

I've always been firmly in the Taim =/= Demandred camp, so I thought about this comment quite a bit. We really don't know much about Taim's background, socially speaking. He's around 35, but just declared himself as (false)Dragon Reborn about a year (or so, the series always seems to have serious timeline issues around this point to me) ago. We don't know if he's educated, a minor noble, a farmer, etc. And while study of the old-tongue is rare, it's not unavailable, and if you're gonna attach yourself to a guy surrounded by Aiel, you'd probably try and find something out about them. Shouldn't be that hard to find out that "Aiel" means "Dedicated." And he DOES seems to be questioning their dedication.

"And who knows what these so-called will do?"

On a further note, from his initial almost Concern over Rand's sanity to his later complete disregard, I've always thought that while never a "Good-Guy", he may have actually been turned, ala 13 BA & 13 Half-men. I've no doubt the Black Ajah plot mentioned in tSR had some basis in fact, if only to support Joyia's claim that she now walked in the light.
Lannis .
45. Lannis
Oh, Rand and the TR girls... this entire exchange was so sad for me... it really smacked of Rand trying to pretend he's something he's not or just try to remember who he used to be...

Alanna! GEEZ, girl! What is in your head?! *smack* *smack* *smack*

I must say that this chapter is where I remember thinking, "and here we GO!" really picking up the pace and excitement of the plot... onward HO!

Re: Taim and the "so-called Aiel"... what are the chances that this comment stems from Taim having heard tales about the "wild" Aiel from the Aiel war and was decidedly unimpressed when he discovered they were "tame" for Rand? This comment never really stuck out for me... I just took it as disdain from a man who plays the blasé/jaded/arrogant card way too often.

It wasn't until I started skimming through the WOT forums that I realized there was a big ol' controversial theory about Taimandred/Minion Taim... and that said, I'll admit that Jordan's very skilled, and has skilled editors, too... I can't see an accidental "so-called Aiel" slipping through... so I'm with R.Fife (@ 29) on this one. Sounds like a deliberate gaffe on Taim's part--one that he regretted immediately.

bkaul @ 17: oooh! A LTT POV would be insightful on so many levels! You've got me twitching for October again!

billbacsi@ 33: Now I have that song in my head... grr... ;)

Thanks as always, Leigh! :)
JWezy
46. tulirec
Just a thought relating to your large target on Alanna's back thing...

Does anyone remember how interested Semirhage got in the effect of killing a warder on the aes sedai in her introductory torture scene (can't remember exactly which book) - and isn't Semirhage in pretty close proximity to an increasingly unstable Rand at the end of KOD? Would it be beyond the Forsaken to have Alana bumped off at this highly opportune moment?

Just a thought
R B
47. MasterAlThor
@22

I would like some more info on this exposing the Black Ajah plan.

I am very intregued by this. I have kept an eye on Verin ever since she started her sneakyness back in TGH. But I have never gotten the idea that she is hunting BA.

Alanna: I was not pissed at all, although I now understand that I should have been. Rape is not cool. (Understatement of the Year) I cannot justify any of Alanna's actions. And Verin doesn't get a pass either. She knew that Alanna was unbalanced. She should have done something. I glanced through the comments and I didn't see anyone, not even Leigh, mention that Verin tried to help shield Rand after she saw what was done. That's like watching someone rape another person and then trying to help them cover it up. What is up with that? I like Verin and all, but she loses major points.

And now I am off to watch MNF. Be back later
Ron Garrison
48. Man-0-Manetheran
I'll have to admit, I was so outraged at Alanna's bond rape, I completely missed Verin's reference to her 70-year plan. OK, no one has said much about it in today's discussions. I'm mystified, and would love to hear the theories. Just what is supersneaky Verin up to?
Roger Powell
49. forkroot
Lucky for Alanna that Rand has this issue with harming women. Me? I would had immediately balefired the living crap out of her, releasing the bond.

Verin would have been momentarily stunned, then her natural Brown curiousity would have her asking Rand if the Warder bond had indeed been erased.
craig thrift
50. gagecreedlives
Do we have a definite age on Taim? If so how old was he during the Aiel war. If he was young enough not too or just avoided the fighting he might have some funny ideas on what Aiel are actually like which could explain the comment.

KAboom@24

He has and she has refused until she knows who else he is bonded to and she wants to be satisfied that whoever holds the bond can handle him. I think she swore to serve not to obey. So she is slipping around the oath that way.

Wes S.@43

Birgitte did agree to serve Elayne as her warder after she recovered.
JWezy
51. longtimefan
Do we have any proof that Alanna is not a Darkfriend?
Tess Laird
52. thewindrose
gagecreedlives @50 - From Dragoncon05

Q17: How old is Taim, and has he slowed?

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

Also from tFoH Performances in Samara:(Birgitte)"I cannot-will not-leave Elayne. That bond honors me, and I will honor it, and her.
Jay Dauro
53. J.Dauro
HurinSmells @40

I always figured that Alanna passed out when Rand was bonded by the three.

When Alanna got close enough, she knew that Rand was in Far Madding, so it did not "break" the bond.

Wes S. @43

I do not think Elayne even knows the bond can be undone, much less how to do it. She learned how to bond by watching it being done, but has never seen an un-bonding
JWezy
54. CalaLily
@35

Alanna's erratic behavior is best explained by the fact that one of her Warders was skewered by Whitecloaks in the Two Rivers. Which also explains why she looked like she was crying when her and Verin came in to meet Rand. It doesn't excuse her behavior , but it does explain it.
Jane Smyth
55. Kaboom
HurinSmells @40

and what the hell is going on with this 3rd person Lews Therin refers to?

My first idea was that the personalities of Rand and LTT were merging and forming a third personality and that when the merging is completed it would be the only personality left.

Another possibility I thought after was that the taint broke further barriers and that this "third person" is the personality that was reincarnated in LTT. In this "model", had the taint continued longer, more personalities could have emerged going further back in time.

But I think most people believe that it is Moridin
Although I'm not quite sure why
Hurin Smells
56. HurinSmells
J.Dauro @ 53
Yeah you're right, I got the timings of events wrong. That's pretty much the whole reason Alanna wants to go to Far Madding, because she's pissed at Rand for allowing someone else to bond him.
craig thrift
57. gagecreedlives
thewindrose@52

Thank you.

So he is in his late 20’s and the Aiel war was about 20 years ago. So Taim would have been about 10. Im gonna stick with the so called aiel as they aren’t 20 feet tall, stabbing everybody in sight and seem to lack devil horns.

HurinSmells and Kaboom

It’s a side effect from when Moridin and Rand crossed the balefire streams. It is confirmed that it is Moridin when Rand recognises the wanderer from Shadar Logath.
James Jones
58. jamesedjones
46 tulirec

"Would it be beyond the Forsaken to have Alana bumped off at this highly opportune moment?"

And let's not forget that there happens to be an overzealous BA (Elza) right next to the DR. Semi is going to stay a prisoner for exactly as long as she wants to. Shiver
JWezy
59. Dank
I thought that the 'So-called Aiel' comment was explained in Knife of Dreams. Hearing voices of past lives was a frequent affliction of male channelers. We must assume that memory creep is too. Taim has memories of the Age of Legends just as Rand does, and this is where the comment comes from.
Richard Boye
60. sarcastro
Leigh sez:
"More Verin: Speculation has run rampant on the exact nature of Verin’s “70-Year Plan”, and I must confess I’ve forgotten what if anything we’ve discovered about that. I tend to think that thus far it’s never been explicated for us, but again I am very vague on events in KOD so I could be wrong. I’m sure someone in the comments will be able to enlighten me."

I used to have this vague inchoate idea that Verin, who has been working on something for 70 years, has basically working to trigger the events of the Karatheon Cycle - that is, working alongside Gitara Moroso to set into effect the events that would trigger the Second Coming.

Gitara told Tigraine that she needed to haul ass over the Dragonwall, where she became the Maiden Shaiel who came back over to birth Rand in the middle of the Aiel War, which was set off when King Laman decided to hack down Avendeslora(whatever). Just because Verin seemed so very conversant with Cairhienin society (and has a recurring use of a private dining room in that inn), I have postulated that she was the one who talked Laman into chopping down the tree.

Verin later makes a Verin-esque reference to making a huge mistake "seventy-one" years ago, which I (just a hunch) think has something to do with Verin attempting to manipulate the Cairhienin nobility to make sure House Damodred stays on the throne... to ensure that Laman gets the throne eventually .... or something.

Hey, it's a wild, unsupported theory.
sandi vogel
61. sinfulcashew
.........................!

(me, after I read the Alanna 'bonding' Rand part)

Speechless!
WTF?
What is RJ thinking?

Similar reaction to when Moraine 'died'.
But this one was worse.
Just stunned, sitting motionless and staring.

.........................!
Pete Pratt
62. PeteP
Wolfmage @ 39: I, too, always thought RJ was being a little too cute here. He obviously wanted people to think Taim may be Demandred -- he planted enough false clues.
JWezy
63. joten
Why is everyone so bothered by the 'so-called Aiel' line? Taim knows the Old Tongue, and the Aiel's secret shame is out now, so he's just mocking their lack of dedication. Granted, it's odd that he would use that phrase, but not that hard to rationalize.
john mullen
64. johntheirishmongol
Bad Alanna, and I thought it was a nasty piece of business. As for why Rand wasn't more angry, I felt like he found that he had control of Alanna more than she of him, and when he went into the next room angry, he scared a bunch of teen girls that he knew from birth, and that threw a total damper on his anger. Anyway Alanna was obviously needed to be Rand's GPS system, not just at Dumai Wells but later in the series as well (or should I say Cadsuane's)

Verin, how do I love thee? She is so perfect a character, I just love the reveals when they happen. Anyway, blaming Verin for another character's actions doesn't make a lot of sense to me. People are responsible for their own decisions.

Final Standings:
Bashere
Cadsuaine
Min

Almost everyone got at least one vote, except for Faile and Perrin even though most would say that wasn't their fave story line.
Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
Isilel@35 - It's a couple of days shy of 2 months from here to Dumai's Wells, according to Steven Cooper's Chronology.

Wolfmage @39 (and others leading up to this) I don't know why y'all have such a problem with RJ's surprise over the Taimandred thing. As the author, he knew exactly who Taim is/was/trained under/whatever, and so his knowledge of Taim was from a specific angle. If a bunch of people put their little heads together and come up with a theory that seems to fit with some niggling details of physical description, etc., and it's completely other than the reality from which he'd been writing, why shouldn't he be surprised? I personally have never found the "evidence" that Taim=Demandred all that compelling. If I had come up with a completely diffferent theory that fit the same details but totally contradicted the T=D idea, I would be as surprised by your theory as you would be by mine. And if I were the author... hey, I'd be surprised.

Kinsbane @ 42... yikes.

1) "Protected sex" involves two consenting people, and your version just means one "deprotected" without telling the other. What Alanna did was totally one-sided - he had no idea what she was going to do until it was done. Not even really comparable to rape, IMO, because there you generally know what's coming and have a chance to at least attempt to resist. (There is no "real world" analogy that bears up long, really.)

2) Being ta'veren does not mean that "you aren't afforded any choice in how you live your life." It means that certain things must and will happen through and around you, but you still have plenty of choice in how you handle it, how you generally behave, and the vast majority of the decisions of daily life.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, people you care about CAN BE USED AGAINST YOU. Allowing them to take their own risks is all well and good, but can you seriously claim that if someone was holding your mother or your sister or your child hostage against your behavior, that you would be able to just go ahead and do "what needed to be done" no matter the cost to them? In this situation, it is TOTALLY logical for Rand to appear to distance himself from his homeland and his people. Perrin saved the TR, but that rescue was only necessary because Fain knew Rand loved his home. By trying to make it at least appear that those he loves most are not all that important to him, he can do two things: protect them from unnecessary danger, to some degree, and protect himself from the distraction that would come if they were targeted simply because they were important to him. Many of those people Rand hopes to protect in this way end up in dangerous situations anyway, simply because of who they are or what they can do, but he's doing his best by them in trying to make sure that the risks they take are their own, not his. Yes, I'll admit that sometimes he goes too far in trying to keep them out of danger, but I still think it's admirable. May I repeat it? Rand knows that, much as he might like to, he can't keep other people from taking their own risks, but he is doing his best to make sure that the risks they take are their own, not his.

Wes S. @43 If Birgitte had wanted the Warder bond removed, Elayne could have (and I'm sure would have) done so, but I don't recall that Birgitte ever expressed any reluctance to continue as Elayne's Warder.

OTOH, "I cry, you cry...." LOL!!
Sean Banawnie
66. Seanie
MTC: Demandred clues.....frequently in Taim's presence LTT or his voice anyway, depending on your pet theory , goes off freaking about the forsaken and Demandred in particular. On the info at hand.....hard to ignore. Now , a case could be made that there is a parallel between Rand/Taim and LTT /Demandred . Jealousy,second bannana envy etc causing LTT to go nuts....but still I thought that was a very plausible theory. Love RJ but sometimes I thought he was a little protective/defensive of his "red herrings " Can you say OLVER ?
j p
67. sps49
How is Taim saying "so-called Aiel" suposed to hint at DF status when no other DF uses the term? I only recall Forsaken calling the Aiel that.

And making comments about so-called Dedicated using the Old Tongue is like using Latin for the same purpose.

I don't think RJ changed anything out of pique, but I do think the Usenet group figured out a reveal much too soon- and makes me fidget with anticipation to find outr What Is Up with Taim, Demandred- and Verin. As for his denials, it is a) human and b) akin to Joe Klein denying he authored an anonymous book to every easter-egger who asked.

Alanna is an idiot to be surprised at Rand's strength- he is the Dragon Reborn, duhhhh.
William Fettes
68. Wolfmage
Wolfmage @39 (and others leading up to this) I don't know why y'all have such a problem with RJ's surprise over the Taimandred thing."

That's because I don't actually take what he said at face value. I'm fairly incredulous about it if he meant it completely literally. I feel it is more part snark at the persistence at the theory, rather than a genuine expression of surprise at a theory completely out of left field.

"As the author, he knew exactly who Taim is/was/trained under/whatever, and so his knowledge of Taim was from a specific angle."

Oh absolutely, he "knows" everything in advance. I'm not contesting in any way shape or form that as the series' author he is the master of his own universe, and so he will naturally have a narrower definition of what is a reasonable and obvious interpretation of his own work (which will favour the correct interpretation). What he finds reasonable won't just be set by what he knows in advance, but by what he thinks he wrote previously - thing which foreshadow, allude to or explicate matters with a certain emphasis that he finds self-evident, etc.

However, saying he is surprised by Taimandred goes beyond what I would call a normal authorial bias about what is "obvious." Even his contestable remark that Asmodean's killer is obvious, which it clearly isn't, is not as cute by half as this suggestion that there isn't a reasonably founded inference in the text towards Taimandred.

Personally, I refuse to believe a man of his stature and gifts - someone who wrote with such precision - keeping straight a cast of hundreds and almost innumerable plot stands - would not be conscious of the numerous red herrings that do point to Demandred. The Aiel comment, his appearance, his reaction to praise, accolades and awards, and his familiarity with AoL channelling terms, etc., and the events to the South comment. None of this comes close to showing Taimandred is a definitive theory, and it is clearly falsifiable outside his comments, but it is also clearly raised on the facts as a reasonable inference to make.

RJ has commented a number of times that he is a fan of the audio books precisely because they are actually read 'wrongly' or at least differently in parts to how he intended his books to be read - and he likes the spotting those deviations. So I really do not buy that he is as oblivious to reasonable interpretations of his work as that - taken at face value.
Lord Haart
69. LordHaart
Well, how about the idea that Moridin = Taim? Just as likely as Demandred (except for hatred of swords, but that could be misdirection, or intentionally trying to cripple the Ashaman).

IMO, Demandred is in the Borderlands (or the 200,00 strong army). It's the only place we haven't really seen, and where there is almost definitely a FS. In WH, he thinks of himself as a soldier, which certainly fits with the demographic.

Taim = Moridin makes more sense in light of KoD's ending (red and black anyone?) as well.

As for Verin, either her plan has nothing to do with the Karatheon Cycle, or she doesn't think Rand is the DR. This latter idea has always been a pet loony theory of mine, that the Pattern has used Rand as a decoy Dragon, so that the Shadow focuses on him in TG. Then, at the last moment, Logain or some other dude will stand up and kill/entrap the DO.

I should also note that Verin's work with Elza makes me think she is either Black (unlikely from her POVs, but not impossible) or actually doesn't care about the DR, so long as Rand stays out of her way. The only reason she might not care about TG is if she had some means of getting to another dimension, like the Ogier. For certain, many of her actions make no sense unless prophecy of some sort has come into play, making me almost certain that she's been through the doorway Ter'angreal in Tear.
Roger Powell
70. forkroot
I don't see how Taim could be Moridin. We know Rand encounters Moridin at the end of ACoS, and ever since their balefire streams crossed, Rand sees Moridin's face (on occasion) ... so it seems like that was his real face.

That would imply that Moridin would have to use "Mask or Mirrors" or something to look different as Taim. I guess it would be possible to have a tied off weave that Rand couldn't sense ... I dunno - seems a bit of a stretch.
Antoni Ivanov
71. tonka
@42.Kinsbane
The Wheel of Time has always, always been about choice with your life. And how, being ta'veren, you aren't afforded any choice in how you live your life. It's nice that Rand is noble, but he cannot make that decision for other people. It's still their decision and their risk to take.


No it's not. If it was only their life to risk I would be completely fine. I believe that any man or woman can do with their life whatever they want. If you wish to risk it foolishly or not foolishly it's your call. I don't care. It's your life, do whatever you wish with it.

But here it's not only the life of the Two Rivers girls that is in stake nor only the life of the three silly women in love with Rand. It's millions lives that are on the block. Can you imagine how powerful tool is his feelings for Avi/Min/El. The only reason the Shadow has not use this is because they don't know it. (Although they must know that Elayne is in love with Rand from Moghedien but they don't know if Rand respond this feelings, probably they think he doesn't). So what is more important - the lives of millions or three girls to indulge themselves ? Of course in the end everything will turn out to be great because that's a fantasy book, but real life is not like that.

Padan Fain wanted to ravage Two Rivers just because it was Rand's home. If Rand indeed went back there to protect them. Or if he has shown that he cares it would not have been only Fain in Two Rivers. We've read about the terrors the Forsaken were capable of during the War in Powers. Two Rivers would have been a huge target for any of Rand's enemies. I am still surprised that no one besides Fain paid attention to Two Rivers but I guess that if even Egwene and Nynaeve think that Rand has forgotten himself and who he is ,the rest wouldn't be too hard to convince themselve that.

Don't misunderstand me. I am not saying that Elayne and the other two girls have to leave Rand. He needs them but don't you just answer with a overused tag phrase. Sometimes you have to think for more than your life. Sometimes people (especially these in Rand or Elayne's position) have to take decisions which they don't want or like.Anything else is selfish. Distancing himself from Two Rivers was the right thing to do whatever the Two River's people thought about the matter.
Rob Munnelly
72. RobMRobM
First of all,I'm incredibly crabby since my water heater died and I came home to my downstairs carpeted playroom being under an inch or two of water - and I'm only now going to bed (at 3:45 est). So, I'll take it out on Alanna.

The most amazing thing about what she did was the timing of it. She pulled her fast one on Rand BEFORE EITHER OF THEM HAD A CHANCE TO ASK WHAT WAS UP WITH MOIRAINE OR WITH HIM. They could have had a reasonably honest, give and take communication about critically important issues and Alanna killed it. Check out the follow up discussion -they admit they have no idea what is going on. ARRRGGGH.

Damn Alanna.

Damn water heater.

Rob
JWezy
73. birgit
And by this point in time so many know of her bond that it is a wonder that she is still alive.

They can't just kill Alanna because it would affect Rand.
Maiane Bakroeva
74. Isilel
Re: Taimandred theory, let's not forget that their physical descriptions are also similar and they both have that "almost smile" which is as close as they come to an actual one. So, yes, a pretty elaborate Red herring IMHO.

And also - for a male channeler temptation to turn to the Shadow would be stronger than for anybody else. Ishy has been meddling with the BA and all manner of DFs for the last couple of decades - why would he neglect male channelers? He tried to seduce Rand with promises of training and protection from madness - it only stands to reason that others would have been less resistent. And a man who by his own admission craved power and glory would seem a natural fit.

Wetlandernw @65:

he's doing his best by them in trying to make sure that the risks they take are their own, not his.

Yes and no. What risks can be considered to be "his" when world's salvation depends on him? Rand often risks himself wantonly - and when he does it he also risks his loved ones and all the innocents who depend on him.

By the same token, people who sacrifice themselves for him also or primarily do so to save the world/their people. Yet Rand always takes it personally, which is one of the roots of his problem and IMHO pretty arrogant to boot.

Also, Rand's distancing from people leads him to make mistakes. It is actually pretty funny and sad that he comes to behave pretty much exactly as Moiraine did for similar reasons and to fall in all the same pitfalls. Of course, his ta'vereness helps him some, but I can't believe that it is supposed to be the right thing to do for him any more than it was for her.
T C
75. Freelancer
Latecomer@2

Alanna wasn't Healing Rand when he felt warmth, she was delving him, checking his health. He felt that warmth, the delving, before she changed the weave to Bonding.


For those who ask, regarding Alanna's motive for bonding him, "all that for what?", consider this:

1. Alanna is a Green, expecting to help lead the fighting in the Last Battle
2. She likely believes the Dragon Reborn must fight and win the Last Battle, therefore:
3. She wants him protected
4. She wants him trained
5. She wants him guided
6. She's Aes Sedai, which means she is convinced that only an initiate of the White Tower can do these things properly, if at all
7. It is possible for an Aes Sedai to "compel" her warder through the bond, "for his own good". However:
8. No Aes Sedai had previously bonded a man who could channel, so...
9. She didn't know that he could resist her influence through the bond
10. Up till this point the Aes Sedai haven't been able to get or keep any kind of handle on him, know his intentions, actions or whereabouts, and they all, from Moiraine on down, have thought that keeping him on their short leash is best for everyone

I am not taking Alanna's side, not justifying her actions or mitigating her blame for the damage done to Rand's already minimal trust for sisters. But her intent is recognizable, and without the tidbit that his channeling keeps him from being pushed as she wishes, the decision is understandable, while being wrong in every possible way.


For everyone who thinks Jordan changed gears midway through the story from Taimandred to not Taimandred: Really?


On Verin's lack of action against Alanna. Much can be said in several directions on this topic. Verin obviously has goals nobody else knows of, that most likely have nothing to do with the White Tower's strength or continuity. However, she has been a sister for a very, very long time, and to be seen publicly opposing another Aes Sedai is virtually unnatural for them. This is pointed up in this very chapter when Alanna scares the girls to get them to their rooms.


bkaul@17

I don't believe Rand yet knew that a bond could be undone, so perhaps the thought didn't occur to him.


amw@19

Well, you can't see LTT's insanity because you're alreadymad. But actually, I'm mostly with you. He might moan and whine about his shame and his pain, but he's paying attention, and that's not easy to do if you're in the cuckoo's nest.


Clinton_Blue@20

Where in these chapters is Verin planning to use her persuasion weave on Alanna? When it says;
Verin knew exactly how some of those questions had to be answered. She did not think Alanna would like some of those answers, Best not to let her learn them until it was too late to change them.
She is not referring to answers she is going to pull from Alanna. She is thinking about the questions she brings up in her thoughts there, as well as others related to Rand, the Tower, and the future. In keeping with her own plans, she has answers for these questions already, but wants to keep them to herself, sees Alanna's unstable emotional condition as giving her the advantage regarding how to view things. Verin is quite persuasive on her own, without her tricks.


rosetintdworld@23

Your analysis seems completely valid regarding Taim's use of "so-called Aiel". However, there is the very similarly AoL style references to Aes Sedai, his knowledge of weaves that only Aes Sedai know, that he knows the trick of not feeling the weather, etc. There is some ancient knowledge at work, whether at first or second hand.


tonka@26

Good points. Before I got into the comments, I was quite surprised that alongside Leigh's other outrages, she had not a word about Rand continuing to make choices for others, by either keeping away from them or scaring them away. But you're right, and so is he. Anyone he cares about is in danger if it is known, and nobody else is as protected as he is. (Granted there's plenty of times he leaves himself unprotected, but those near him are extremely vulnerable to ambush). And I'm with you on Verin. Her 70-year plan is very near the top of my list of things I need to know about. I believe she's learned to interpret the future from T'a'R, that she saw all the Duopotamians coming to their respective positions of power and influence, and she is working behind the scenes wherever her foreknowledge guides her to being the most useful.


Isilel@35

Cadsuane's reaction to learning that Alanna had bonded Rand without permission was actually quite strong with outrage, though Cadsuane isn't certain that she might not have tried the same thing.


HurinSmells@40

Yes, it's Moridin. After they crossed balefire streams, one of Saidin and the other of the True Power, an odd connection was made between Rand and Ishidin.


Wes S.@43

Elayne likely has no clue how to release the bond by this point, and Birgitte has no qualms about it remaining. Non-issue.

Compulsion is a weave, not a Talent. The rationale for Aes Sedai commanding their warders through the bond is that the man accepted the bond in the first place, and therefore placed themselves at the Aes Sedai's service, pledging their lives for her. That is seen as tacit permission to do with him as she will.


Cloric@44

We've seen in a recent quote from RJ that Taim is actually in his late twenties, not thirty-five. So he likely hasn't been channeling much more than eight years max, perhaps as few as five. It was a false assumption on Rand's part that he was older.
Maiane Bakroeva
76. Isilel
Freelancer @75:

So he (Taim) likely hasn't been channeling much more than eight years max, perhaps as few as five.

Umm, why? We have seen a boy at BT in KoD who was what, 12? And kids were selected for AS training at 10 during AoL or at least during the Collapse and the War of the Shadow according to the columns of Rhuidean.
If Taim is Ishy's student he could have started as early. Particularly since it is Taim who is very insistent on recruiting children that young. He somehow knows that they'll be able to handle it... which is more than anybody in Randland could be sure of at the time.

they all, from Moiraine on down, have thought that keeping him on their short leash is best for everyone

Well, I always found Moiraine's laissez-faire attitude in TGH contradictory to her later attempts to be controlling and rather confusing. Maybe 3 countries going up in flames changed her opinion ;). It is kind of rational to want to guide the events more after something like this.

In any case, she didn't stoop to bonding the 3 boys against their will, however much their unpredictability got on her nerves. And I doubt that the Blue tradition had much to do with it.
Lord Haart
77. LordHaart
Maybe Taim's mannerisms are a plant by the FS in order to try and drawn LTT out? Semirhage certainly seems to know that Rand habours LTT's voice in his head, so perhaps she convinced Moridin/Demandred (whomever controls Taim) to make him act in such ways in order to help push Rand towards insanity (chaos). Perhaps Ishmael mocked Lews Therin (post-sealing) about his kinslaying by calling him "the true Lord of Chaos", and the DO wants him back for a rematch, rather than facing off against some farmboy.
T C
78. Freelancer
Isilel@76

It is pointed out that men often don't show the spark until as late as twenty. That's why.

About Moiraine, her original plan was always to find the Dragon Reborn and bring him to Tar Valon for guidance and training, the same thinking Alanna employs here. I disagree with you on this: She is Blue, and has a warder, so never considers bonding any of the boys. I wouldn't dream of claiming that she'd never have done it otherwise, as she has no compunction about stretching Tower customs or traditions on the path of her ultimate goal, which is winning the Last Battle. How much worse is bonding a man without permission than promising to destroy him before letting the shadow have him? I don't say that to judge her, it's the simple truth. Alanna's motivation isn't so very different, and that was my point.


LordHaart@75

Semirhage doesn't "know" that Rand has LTT in his head until they meet. Even then she refers to Lanfear's claims that he knew things only LTT could know, rather than first-person knowledge. I don't believe any of the forsaken (other than Lanfear and Ishamael) truly believed early on that Rand was LTT reborn, so there's little reason (and no evidence) to suggest they'd devise a specific strategy taking advantage of it.
Lannis .
79. Lannis
Re: LTT reborn... (Freelancer @ 78 & LordHaart @77)... I feel like we're getting back to a discussion from past threads, specifically the fact that few Randlanders--including those from the AoL--have actually thought about what it means to be someone reborn... unprecedented event, unprecedented tactics and protocol...

The thought that one of the Forsaken might be deliberately trying to draw out LTT, and thereby aggravate any madness on Rand's part, is actually not a bad strategy... but as Freelancer said, they'd have to be aware the LTT weirdness first hand, and not many have interacted with Rand and survived to implement such a plan...

The mind plays weird tricks... whenever I spot this title, I now read Lord of Choss... :/

@ RobM: sorry to hear about the water heater... ugh. Would you like us to send Alanna over to help you clean up? I'm sure the Hall will agree to this penance once they learn of her stupidity...
Rob Munnelly
80. RobMRobM
Boy, we're quiet on this thread. Must be summer.
Rob Munnelly
81. RobMRobM
@79. Lannis - I was thinking I need saidin to channel out the water myself rather than the darned wet vac. Not sure I'd trust Alanna to do it right - and she'd probably bond me. R
Rob Munnelly
82. RobMRobM
Here's one from chapter 10: "Larine sniffed and folded her arms beneath her breasts." Guess it is a Two Rivers thing rather than just Nyn and Eg.
James Jones
83. jamesedjones
76 Isilel

"In any case, she didn't stoop to bonding the 3 boys against their will, however much their unpredictability got on her nerves."

True. But remember the very first thing she did/gave to the guys. Did everyone forget the coins she passed out to our intrepid trio? They were intended to make them more compliant to her wishes. AS are great with compulsion, and they're ok with using it, as long as it's not compulsion (whatever the heck that means). :)

Edit: I always forget question marks. :D
paul Hend
84. tugthis
I wasn't surprised by Alanna's bonding of Rand, I always thought it was inevitable. Not that she would do it but that it would be done. The AS believe that Rand is necessary to win the final battle and that he is unpredicatble, possible mentally unstable, and certainly untrained. I always believed that the AS would attempt to bond him multiple times... ala Gulliver, to have as many ties to him as possible, in the possible belief that doing so would strengthen all of them.

Likening the bonding process to sex is simple minded. First it makes it defacto wrong, illegal, and somewhat swarmy. Bonding is none of those things, and making it linked to sex is an attempt to play on our prurient feelings. Bonding, if you are opposed to it is more like slavery. . .

After being bonded Rands reaction is indeed too mild. He should have killed or stilled Alanna immeditately. Did he know the consequences? probably not, but it is probable that he would have survived and it would have been a valuable lesson for the other AS.

I am also moved by Rand's reply to Taim that if he wanted the AS in the city killed he would have done it already. . . as we all know by know Rand does not have the stomach for that. . .(which is why Taim's suggestion seems so pointed and knowing) Rand can not bring himself to kill a Forsaken, a woman who bonded him by surprise, or the BA who are in his capital. He has no problem ordering the execution of apparentely powerless and superstitious men but truely evil woman. . . it is interesting to think what he would do with them.
Antoni Ivanov
85. tonka
@83.jamesedjones

Err where did you get that from ? The coins were a Finder , so that she can locate them, they were not any sort of compulsion.
Richard Fife
86. R.Fife
Tonka @85
There was something more to the coins than just being Finders by Moiraine's own admission (although I forget exactly where she admits it). Not only were the boys meant to be very loath to get rid of the coins, but they were also supposed to be more biddable to her direction. This is shown in foreshadowing by her mild shock in EotW when Rand balks against her after having been given the coin. Rand was able to balk, of course, because he is just MoA.
James Jones
87. jamesedjones
85 tonka

Nope. The first clue that Moiraine had that Rand was the DR was the fact that he wouldn't go along with everything she said after he got the coin. She told him that he should have been more compliant to do anything she told him.

Edit: Or just check out what R.Fife said. That was very quick.
Tess Laird
88. thewindrose
tonka @85 - Yep, it's a Finder. Moiraine was surprised how Rand stood up for himself though. After their first meeting when she gives the coins she dismisses them, but Rand still asks her more questions. I don't have the book here, so no exact quotes:)
*edit I see I am slow on the answer.
Antoni Ivanov
89. tonka
Thank you, I guess I am wrong. So it seems Moiraine used a little bit compulsion too.

What does MoA stands for, R.Fife ?
Lord Haart
90. LordHaart
Lannis@79
"The thought that one of the Forsaken might be deliberately trying to draw out LTT, and thereby aggravate any madness on Rand's part, is actually not a bad strategy... but as Freelancer said, they'd have to be aware the LTT weirdness first hand, and not many have interacted with Rand and survived to implement such a plan..."

As mentioned earlier, Taim may well be under the tutelage of one Ishamel/Moridin, a man who seems to have motive, means, and no alibi. As of today (when I first thought of the idea that LTT might be being baited out of Rand's subconsciousness), this is now my Official Belief. Even if LTT wasn't released, Moridin would know that it might freak Rand out to be around a guy that reeked of Demandred, and therefore make Taim act that way in order to keep Rand away from the BT.

"The mind plays weird tricks... whenever I spot this title, I now read Lord of Choss... :/"

Hehehe, you ain't the only one. Actually, I seem to be even worse, I read it as "Load of Choss". Curse you for pointing that word out Leigh! :P
Anthony Pero
91. anthonypero
Tonka@89: What does MoA stands for?

MoA = Made of Awesome
Skip Ives
92. Skip
Hi, I'm a long-ago usenetter, just found the re-read and am enjoying it thoroughly. Though this really needs a forum set-up instead of a comment structure - it's like rasfwrj without a filter.

Anyway, a few points:

@55 The third person in Rand’s head in this chapter is Alanna. The references to the third person in the more recent books is Ishy/Mor.

Alanna: I gave her the crazy pass here. She is not the most stable person anytime we see her, and right now she is most definitely having a breakdown. Not that what she did was right, but she got her payback in it failing, and will continue to do so until someone offs her.

Verin: On the immediate issue of her not slapping down Alanna – what use would it do? Verin is nothing if not practical, and is not going to show Rand how upset at Alanna she is. And yelling at Alanna isn’t going to help the crazy lady, so she moves on.

The problem with the “70 year old plan” is that we don’t know much about Randland 70 years ago. Malkier was still a country; Laman, if he was born, didn’t even have the tree to cut down; and the craziness that surrounded the time of “New Spring” was years away.

At this point I’m willing to bet Verin is a very smart Brown and realized something around 70 years ago, but also realized the Black Ajah was around so simply announcing it would get her dead quick. So she kept her own council and worked to get it done. I make no guesses at a Purple Ajah, especially not yet.

Taim: Taim always causes problems. He is a Damodred analog and is meant to be, and is a DF by the later books if not at the beginning.

The issue is really, when did he go over to the dark-side? I would say right from the beginning if not for the fact that he brings a seal with him. Given the extent the Forsaken go to get them back, I doubt a Forsaken gave that to him to give to Rand. But I could be wrong, the Forsaken do stupidity by the boat-load.

The “so-called Aiel” comment is a dead give-away that he has been talking to a Forsaken at this point. They are the only one that use that terminology, and Taim in later books is setting up his own Dreadlords University inside the Black Tower. So I have to figure he accecpted an offer from the dark side by this time.

Keep up the good work Leigh.
James Jones
93. jamesedjones
92 Skip

The Purple Ajah? Is that the one that will get it there by 10 AM tomorrow?

Edit: The Purple Ajah. Our ajah is your ajah. ;)
Galen Brinn
94. GatheringStorm
Skip said
The “so-called Aiel” comment is a dead give-away that he has been talking to a Forsaken at this point. They are the only one that use that terminology, and Taim in later books is setting up his own Dreadlords University inside the Black Tower. So I have to figure he accecpted an offer from the dark side by this time.


I always figured it more for a 13x13 "turning" than actually being a "true" DF. He was freed by Black Ajah, so it's entirely possible that there were 13 of them along with 13 Myrddraal. That being said, I agree that the phrasing of "so-called Aiel" sounds very much like he's been hanging out with one or more Forsaken.
Skip Ives
95. Skip
jamesedjones The Purple Ajah is from the usenet and WOTFAQ. Basically it presumes that not everyone is the tower is a complete nutcase and somewhere there are adults in charge. Further it proposes that these people get together to do the real work of the tower.

Not sure if I buy that - the Black has done a good job over the centuries to make the tower not work the way it should. I'm sure we will get a Leigh rant on the rules the AS live by in ranking themselves.

GatheringStorm - Taim has always been such a bastard that I never considered they turned him. He just seems the type to go over to the bad guys because he isn't Rand. They may be turning people in Dreadlord U, but Taim doesn't have female channelers around him, and he'd need at least a few to make a ring of 13.
JWezy
96. Vyskol
Aiel have long been a target (victim?) of broad-stroke stereotypes and prejudice in Randland. "So-called Aiel" could simply infer that the Aiel in Rand's company did not fit Taim's preconceived notions of how Aiel were supposed to behave. That's all I ever read into it anyway.

And on that note, the whole Taimandred theory never gelled with me. Dark friend? Absolutely. FS? Uuuuuhh.. I dunno.... And of course now we do know. He isn't. Though his comment at the end of KoD ("Let the Lord of Chaos rule.") does seem to indicate a fairly high rank. And, I think, points towards Ishmael/Moridin.

Good questions as to why Rand doesn't force Alanna to release the bond now....
Galen Brinn
97. GatheringStorm
Skip @ 95. What I'm referring to is from off-screen in book 3 or 4. He has been captured and is being taken to Tar Valon for trial/gentling. The caravan was attacked, sisters and warders were killed by other sisters and Taim was freed. It is here that others and myself speculate that such a 13x13 turning may have ocurred.
Skip Ives
98. Skip
@96 Vyskol That specific term is used by Forsaken almost exclusively in the books. Occam's razor suggests Taim's use is purposeful by RJ. Feel free to disagree though.

The Taimadred thing was pretty well laid out back in the usenet days, by people that had a proven track record of noticing things other people missed. I didn't believe it at first either, but was almost convinced when the theory was blown up.

@97 GatheringStorm I got that - and you may be right, I just never though Taim the type to need it.
Kerwin Miller
99. tamyrlink
I figured taim's comment to be just a generally ignorant comment. perhaps he had his own idea of what aiel are. remember the seafolk ask aviendha in Ebou Dar if they really spear babies or something like that.
so he see's in Caemlyn that the aiel are peaceful regular ppl when not dancing the spears and arent the monsters rumors and legends and reputation make them out to be. so he thinks its an act and he says "so-called aiel" because they arent what he always heard aiel were.
he basically cant reconcile reality with his preconceived notions.

hope that makes sense (and hope nobody already said that cuz i didnt read all the comments yet lol)
John Fitzingo
100. Xandar01
Reading through the comments about Taim possibly having AOL memories as a part of the voices in the head Saidin induced madness, it makes me wonder, what voices/memories did AOL channelers have in their heads? Was it memories from the second age (which would have been when?) If you follow the voices are just manifestations theory, then this is all it could be.

However, if the voices are some sort of link between souls, the voices could from their future selves in the third age. Would that be enough to cause you to go mad, your future self being deathly afraid of the One Power?
Galen Brinn
101. GatheringStorm
It's entirely possible that he didn't need the 13x13 treatment. Since we don't really know anything about him prior to his appearance at the end of book 5 and unless it's expressly revealed by Brandon one way or the other, it's just speculation either way. And really, a moot point, since we practically all agree he is a DF. When/how he became one is irrelevant to the main story at this point, I suppose. No need to elevate this one to the level of "is LTT real or a figment of Rand's imagination". lol
Richard Fife
102. R.Fife
On the argument of "they don't live up to the hype" vs "Ishy told me to say this" for so-called Aiel:

Have we ever heard him be contemptous of the Aiel elsewhere? And not just the normal contempt he has for everything, but for the Aiel in specific, as if they did not live up to the hype or what not? If we haven't, I'd posit that so-called aiel, along with sudden guilty pause, point him towards the dark side. Also, Moggy uses "so-called" to describe present day Aes Sedai really soon, and I doubt RJ did that without realizing what a blazing finger of "hmmmm" it would point back to Taim.

Oh, and for the "he declared to be the DR and was a prick about, he must be a dark friend from the start!" line of thought, Logain declared himself a DF and was a grade-A prick, even killing Aes Sedai, as well, yet he is a pretty strong Light-sider, ne? Nothing says Taim was nothing more than an ambitious fool during his false Dragonhood. Perhaps the 13x13 didn't have to change him all that much ;)
Tess Laird
103. thewindrose
Xandar01 @100:)
A problem with the voices/memories for channelers that I have is not all ages have access to the One Power, even though through every age it makes the Wheel of Time turn. So I believe the abilty to chanel brought the Age of Legends into being(2nd age). Also, the voices are thought of as a form of taint madness - notice we have no female cannelers with this problem.
Tess Laird
104. thewindrose
R.Fife - What, Logain declared himself a dark friend? I missed that one -lol
Alice Arneson
105. Wetlandernw
I have a new theory on Verin. She's Orange Ajah, the one that's so secret the color isn't even known in Randland. ;)
Tess Laird
106. thewindrose
Actually Wetlandernw - someone did a seach of all the books way back and came up with something like 3 instances of it, I remember one was a fiery orange sunset or some such. But I bet no one in WoT has a real word rhyme for it:)
Alice Arneson
107. Wetlandernw
That's what I get for not doing my own homework first - theory shot down in 5 minutes. *sigh*

So I just did an IdealSeek search, and it shows two: an orange-and-white cat in tEotW and "swathes of orange and yellow and red" in autumn foliage, in tGH. That's what I get for believing people when they say "never" about something.
Antoni Ivanov
108. tonka
You don't have to be a Darkfriend to be evil. RJ said that there are evil people who would be repulsed to be even thought as a DF.

And Yes Orange was mention TWICE in the WOT book
So Ideal Seek tells me ,click here.
James Jones
109. jamesedjones
Seriously? Orange was mentioned twice? And someone found it in 5 minutes? ROFL!

God, I love you guys. :D
Lord Haart
111. LordHaart
After reading:

http://linuxmafia.com/jordan/2_nondark/2.2_rest-chars/2.2.7_verin.html

I still see no compelling evidence for Verin not being Black Ajah. Even her lite-compulsion was only used to get Rand TO the last battle, not to help him win it. Elza could easily be (and probably is) just a time bomb.

She also manipulated Moiraine (in NS, there are some hints of this) and Egwene, and on the whole I'm almost certain that she is either a DF, or her whole plan will be complete before TG occurs. The timing of her orders is the only thing we know, and so far as her efforts are concerned, it's all about reaching TG and not about winning.

Which makes me wonder if she has something grander in mind. One such example could be drilling a twin to the Bore, reaching the Creator instead of the DO. Maybe Verin IS the Creator. But I'm pretty sure that nothing she's done indicates that she wants Rand to win at TG, and some things suggest the opposite.
John Fitzingo
112. Xandar01
@103. thewindrose

Isn't the taint madness caused by a tainted saidin link to memories from prior lives though? These memories that shouldn't be there then manifest themselves in the voices that people hear. Then they go crazy.

If all the crazy men are hearing voices this way, wouldn't the AOL guys have the same root cause? If so, they either hear voices from the 1st age or the 3rd age?
Lord Haart
113. LordHaart
^Pretty sure that from Semi's short talk on the subject, the Taint isn't the cause of voices (otherwise how would Graendal become so knowledgeable on the subject, pre-Taint/Bore sealing)?

Obviously, the voices, both real and imaginary (there is a distinction) are something the Pattern, not the Taint, does. Taim could be hearing an AoL voice, though such a thing is rare. In such cases, "reintegration" is unlikely, which could mean anything really. So far, it seems more likely Taim has current DF connections because of the "Lord of Chaos" line in KoD.
Marcus W
114. toryx
Xandar01 @ 112:

Far as we know, not every crazy male channeler is hearing voices. We also have no evidence at all that all mad male channeler's hearing voices are actually hearing anything other than mad rantings. There's no one else to compare to Rand.

This is also all speculation based on Semirhage who admitted herself that she wasn't an expert in such things.
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
Not to mention our confidence in the truth, accuracy and completeness of Semi's statements to her captors. It's not like she's ever been one to mess with your head unless she's forced to. She hates that, you know.
Rob Munnelly
116. RobMRobM
Wet - Orange you glad that you checked the Semi statements before you posted? LOL.
Jane Smyth
117. Kaboom
One thing to remember about Semi's comments is that see was an expert on mind problems in the AoL.
So before the taint. She might not be aware of the newer problems that occurs as a result of the taint.
Perhaps hearing voices had a certain cause in the AoL, but now since the taint is present there is an alternative cause.
JWezy
118. twicemarked
Throughtout all the argument of whether LTT is real, I wonder what different treatments should be applied if LTT is real or not? The scientific method is to come up with falsifiable plan of action.

If LTT is real, I guess the best treatment would be to talk to LTT, and somehow come up with a bargin of how to share the body with Rand, and promise LTT something he so desparately seek, like to die? Communication being the major theme of WOT, and all that.

If LTT is merely a madness, confirming its existance by talking to it would make the madness worse, right?
Bret Scott
119. BlacksmithButNotEmo
You guys are awesome with finding all of the little nuances. Eight or nine rereads and I missed the "healing cats and dogs" AS clue until now. I weep for my sorry attention span.

I like the idea of Taim going dark (getting darkened via 13x13?) at the point of being freed from capture. I think prior to that, he was thinking of himself as the DR, right up until Rand's coming out in tGH. Like also the idea of Ishydin tutoring/aiming him right after.

I missed the 70-year plan from Verin until just now, too. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of her puzzle unraveled in the coming books.

I see the plot points everyone brought up about needing Alanna in the bonding position...but I still don't like it. My memory of the Rand/Elayne scene down the road is sufficiently fuzzy (it's been a while, I'm old, and the oosquai) that I don't remember if Elayne is even aware that Alanna was in the picture. These kids can Travel; why not go find Alanna and make her pass the bond to Elayne?

Mat had best keep that foxhead medallion handy. A brat little sister who can channel has to be one of the circles of hell.

Current reread: a week in, got through NS and most of EotW. Expect to miss the 10/27 release date, but not by much.

Leigh, you rock...
Jane Smyth
120. Kaboom
Elayne is aware that Alanna is in the picture, Rand told her just after she asked for the bonding. But for what she has in mind with Aviendha and Min, finding Alanna and make her pass the bond will not work. First this way would not include Min who cannot channel and second having all 4 of them together is not so easy.
Skip Ives
121. Skip
@102 R.Fife It may not seem like much but Logain declared himself the Dragon Reborn, not a DF. he did kill AS, but he also claims that the Red Ajah used him. Whether the latter is true or just a plan of Suian's - I'm not sure. But if it is true, Logain was just a rube used by the the Red or Black Ajah until he was captured and learned better. If false, well maybe the Pattern made him do it.

@111 LordHaart It is notoriously hard to prove a negative, and some people do think Verin is Black. I think she had too many opportunities to kill Rand for that to be true though.

As for Verin being the Creator, she can't be - everyone knows the Creator is Bela.
Jane Smyth
122. Kaboom
Concerning Logain as the Dragon Reborn,
I think I remember Moiraine mentioning that the pattern would keep spitting out false dragons at an increasing rate until the real Dragon Reborn declares himself. (And incidentally why she nearly panicked when she heard a (false) rumor than another man has declare himself the DR after Rand).

I think that Logain and Taim probably found themselves under very strong pressure to proclaim themselves as DR. It would probably have been very difficult to resist the plans of the pattern. And so have nothing to do with them being DF.

I think one reason for this might be that with so many man declaring themselves DR, the people were better prepared for the real one coming as well as that the AS were less focused on Rand thus less chances of gentling the real dragon reborn.

*edit to add the last line.
Cian Grogan
123. Caine09
Alanna is such a B***h if you ask me, i'm shocked Rand didn't just kill her there and then. Ya I know Warder bond would have caused him to go crazy or depressed (or at least a bit more then usual). But he's so ta'veran i'm sure he would have been grand.

Is there anything more satisfying then proving someone wrong, lifting the girls into the air was brilliant haha.

Verin is totally the Creator by the way.
Julian Augustus
124. Alisonwonderland
LordHaart@69:
Then, at the last moment, Logain or some other dude will stand up and kill/entrap the DO.

The DO is a force something like the antithesis of the creator, and doesn't have a physical body to be "killed". No matter what form the confrontation between Rand and the DO takes at Tarmon Gai'don, the one thing we should know is that it won't be a hand-to-hand combat.
JWezy
125. Spook
Hello all,

Just a thought, could Olver be Demandred? I never realized it until this re-read that Taim and Olver enter the story-line at almost the same time.

Cheers!
Antoni Ivanov
126. tonka
Alanna doesn't deserve to die certainly , she didn't mean harm after all though unwittingly she did harm even though not physical. And I wouldn't call scaring the shit out of little girls brilliant, excuse me.
Antoni Ivanov
127. tonka
@125 I've said it a couple of times but I will say it again.Up to and including Crossroads of Twilight we have not seen Demandred's alter character. These is what Robert Jordan said. (That doesn't mean we've seen him in KOD , it's just the question was asked before the realease of KOD)
JWezy
128. bharrison1976
Loving the comments and theories everyone...one question though I am not sure if anyone on www.tor.com has any info on it. Any idea if we will get to see the Prologue to TGS prior to release date? Only two months left until release and BS does not have an update on it...

Thoughts?
JWezy
129. Spook
@127 Tonka: OK so much for my theory. I did not know that Robert Jordan said that. I guess it's because I have to skip the comment threads often to catch up on Leigh's great re-reads ;-)
JWezy
130. longtimefan
@121.

Have you ever noticed Verin and Bela in the same room? Perhaps they are the same person and therefore Verin as Bela is the Creator.

Now I just need to find the POV where Verin thinks about how much she like sugar and apples.
Alice Arneson
131. Wetlandernw
bharrison1976 @ 128
Everyone seems to expect that it will happen, and apparently in some panel discussion at JordanCon both Tom & Harriet seemed to confirm that assumption. From what I've read, the only question was whether it would be published by Tor or by Simon & Schuster as past Prologues have been. That said, I sure can't find anything on either site saying that it's coming.

Only two months (and two days) to go!!
T C
132. Freelancer
Wetlandernw@107 - There is also a description of the sky above Shayol Ghul which refers to orange and red striations.


jej@109

Umm, no, the finding was done in a previous thread. Wetlandernw is just saying it only took 5 minutes after she posted for her thought to be nullified.


LordHaart@113

Don't ignore the small chance that Semirhage is planting distrust in Rand with her comments. She is almost as sneaky as Verin, she could wrap a small lie (He is insane) within a great truth (The voice of Lews Therin in his head is real), and shift everyone's perspective on Rand. See what happens immediately after her comments in KoD.


RE: Taim

His manner doesn't very well permit the thought that he was turned against his will. His smugness, his ability to find so many things almost humorous, and a dozen other tidbits add up to someone who is what they are by choice. It is reasonable to think that the Black Ajah freed him, since Joiya told Moiraine that Liandrin's plan was to do so and use him to creat havoc in Rand's name. And it is further reasonable to consider that a forsaken (Sammael, Demandred, Ishamael if the timing allows before he dies in the Stone) is available when he is freed. The 13x13 is not an impossibility, but an improbability without the slightest hint of that having occured.
JWezy
133. Dedicated
I never liked the name Phantom, it was just something thought up quick so I could post. I think I will try something different.

You cannot tell if someone has or has not been
turned by their current attitude. RJ said that when a channeler is turned, they essentially have anything redeemable burned out of them (I do not remember RJs exact words but that is the essence of what he said). They would not wish to be turned back even if it were possible. So to judge that Taim has not been turned by his attitude would be to try to see goodness where there is none (if he has been turned). I have wondered about Taim being turned for years. I mean why did RJ tell us about that and then never use it. Someone either has been or will be turned and Taim seems like a prime suspect.
On the other hand, Taim is also too old in appearance for how long he says he has been channeling, and any longer would be suspicious for having had darker connections anyway. One possible explanation for that is for him to have not been born with the spark, but to have been taught to channel, say by Ishy at the time of the Aiel war and then set free in time to mess with the DR.
Another point, we should not be relying on Joiya's words either for the BA's plans. She was still under the influence of the BA oaths, and one of them is obviously an oath not to betray the BA or their plans.
Now having poked holes at everybodies arguments I will shut up.
T C
134. Freelancer
Dedicated@133

There is a faction that believes Sheriam has been 13x13 turned. The circumstantial evidence in support includes:

- When Egwene has the scene in the Acceptitron where she is going to be turned, it is Sheriam she asks about it, and Sheriam is very upset about it. Some believe that the ter'angreal draws on the experiences of those Aes Sedai which are present to incorporate into the test events. Where this true, somebody in the room with the ter'angreal would have had experience with the 13x13 activity. By the rules of first mention and proximity, Sheriam is a candidate.

- There has always been the question of why Sheriam paid more attention to covering up the death of a Gray Man in the Tower than to who killed it or why either (the Gray Man or his killer) was in the Tower?

- We know that Sheriam is under someone's thumb in the rebel camp. What manner of extortion is being used to keep her quiet? The suggestion is that she is complicit of her own (non-free) will.
Lannis .
135. Lannis
BAHAHA! I just realized (that for probably the entire reread), I've been switching the initials for LTT to LLT... Whoops! Too many distracting kids around?!

Sorry guys... I'll try harder to stay on task. ;)
Alice Arneson
136. Wetlandernw
Wow. I just finally realized what has always bothered me about Sheriam as a 13/13 candidate. Here's the description by RJ of what the turning looks like:
They are not in a mindless state of Compulsion. Their former personality is twisted, the darker elements that everyone has to some degree elevated while what might be called the good elements are largely suppressed. I don't mean things like courage, which is useful even to villains, but they are unlikely to be very charitable, for example, and forget any altruistic impulses. Call it being turned into a mirror image of yourself in many ways. It is very unlikely that a channeler forcibly turned to the Shadow could find a way back to the Light unaided. For one reason, by virtue of the twisting he or she had undergone, it is very unlikely that he or she would have any desire to do so.
So what bothers me is that Sheriam doesn't appear to have all those darker elements elevated in a way that would be consistent with this description. The biggest thing people usually seem to bring up is the way she "covered up" the presence/death of the Gray Man in the WT. To me that's always been a terribly weak argument - it would be totally inconsistent with AS general behavior for her to do anything else with a couple of Accepted. She wouldn't waste time wondering about anything with them; she'd leave that for when she's discussing it with full sisters. And the fact that she is obviously "under somebody's thumb" doesn't say anything one way or the other about being Dark.

All that to say, 1) I don't believe Sheriam is BA and 2) even if she is, she wasn't 13/13'd.
John Massey
137. subwoofer
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Good to be back...

Am up to my tits in real estate shenanigans and wasn't able to tell up from down for a bit.

Rand- sack of hammers- somebody just throw it out there... or somebody probably has as I have not read the other comments yet- what was he thinking? 10 foot pole time. And didn't Moiraine give him a heads up for the rest of the AS out there? meh- chalk it up to lesson learned.

If you want to tell which forsaken is about, pick up a cat and start swinging it and see who reacts. Sounds like a plan to me.

Missed ya Leigh- good times!

Woof.
JWezy
138. Clinton_Blue
Freelancer@75: I think you missed the quote that might raise some eyebrows with respect to Verin's Compulsion-lite.

"In her raveled conditon, Alanna was bound to be more amenable to guidance."

I think the whole not liking some of those answers is the same as Elza. She would not have liked to think of Rand surviving to the Last Battle but now she sees it must be so. And Elza certainly didn't realise her response until it was too late for Osan'gar.
Roger Powell
139. forkroot
subwoofer@137
Oh there you are ... we were getting ready to put out an APB.

Wetlandernw@136
Good points on Sheriam not likely to be 13/13'd. She's definitely got a few secrets we don't know about yet. Somehow though, she just doesn't "feel" like a DF. Same for Verin.
T C
140. Freelancer
Wetlandernw@136

Yeah, didn't say I was in that faction, and I agree. I personally do not believe that the major purpose of the WoT saga is to get all of the readers chasing wild geese. Therefore, while many things are deftly foreshadowed, and hints about other things are sometimes very subtle, I cannot accept the notion that certain theorised events (Gawyn was Compelled prior to the Tower Coup, Sheriam was forcibly turned to the dark, Verin is freed from the three oaths) are meant to be discovered through indirect inference and intuition only. Saying that since a theory cannot be proven false, it must be considered, is no more than wishful thinking. It's a story, undefined and unsupported events simply do not exist. I might as well ignore Jordan's thoughts entirely and start imagining the rest of the story as I'd wish it.

And that said, back for one more visit on the subject of Taim. Whether his path to the dark was voluntary or not, he is evil from the moment Rand meets him. The issue of the seal remains to be cleared up, but that isn't a strong enough point to overlook his glaringly obvious desire for glory and power, his supposition that if he "won", it would retroactively prove him the Dragon Reborn, indicating an utter disdain for both history and Prophecy, his contempt for all things mundane, etc. There is no alteration of his personality or behavior from beginning to end of his appearance in the story, leaving the idea that he started out more like Logain and got turned (or chose to turn) unlikely and unsupported by textual evidence.


Clinton_Blue@138

I most definitely didn't miss that point. My stance is that guidance isn't automatically a sinister euphemism for Compulsion. I have known plenty of people who, when they are not at their best, are quite suggestible. One person I worked with could be convinced that he was sick, just by two or three different people commenting that he didn't look very well at the moment. Within an hour he'd be on his way to the clinic, moaning and groaning. Alanna is a wreck, plus she has just had a string of shocks from trying to use the wrongly applied bond with Rand. Verin is as shrewd as they come, she doesn't need anything extra to steer Alanna in a given direction.
John Massey
141. subwoofer
@139forkroot- c'mon, you guys can't get rid of me that easy. Rasputin has nuthin on me. Missed you guys too. :)
Joseph Blaidd
142. SteelBlaidd
A thought on a completely different topic. I was thinking about the idea that Rand massively under-reacts to Alanna bonding him and a question occurred to me.
Have we ever seen Rand strike another person in anger, on his own behalf?
( I add the last because of his attacking the Warders when he sees Min being held captive.)
craig thrift
143. gagecreedlives
subwoofer@141

Just to be safe though mate if any russians start offering you cake and wine I would suggest you dont eat or drink any.
Hurin Smells
144. HurinSmells
SteelBlaidd@142
Unless you count self defence I don't believe so. Books 5-8 see him develop a seriously bad temper, and he throws Perrin across the room in thier semi-staged fight in aCoS because he mentions Aes Sedai. But you can't really count that because it was mostly all a show.

In the last few books he seems to have hardened himself beyond to ability to feel anger. He kills Rochaid with his bare hands without even registering a blip on the warder bond, and loosing a hand seems only a minor inconvenience.
JWezy
145. alreadymadwithcompulsion
Freelancer @75
Aes Sedai values seem to cover a wide range as far as forcing through the bond goes. Some like Moiraine call it what it is, Compulsion, and absolutely hate it. Others call it by other terms, "brought to heel" or "forced to obey", and are more likely to use it. Like a lot of greens. I suspect this is rooted in the no lies oath, as well as the restrictions on Compulsion.
Obviously Compulsion is banned. Therefore if a sister considers it Compulsion, she can't do it and still stay honest to herself and her compliance with the ban. If she doesn't consider it Compulsion, and calls it something else, she is more likely to use it as well. Hypocrisy? Absolutely.
Also, while Compulsion is most likely a weave, it isn't farfetched to assume that some channelers innately have a gift, or Talent for it. Just as some sisters have the Talents for Healing more than others, or for Travelling, the same could be true of Compulsion.

Skip @92
The Dreadlords University pretty much got started when Taim was given permission to go hunting for potential Asha'man. Take note that at this time the Black Tower isn't much more than Jur, Damer, and a few other boys. By Dumai's Wells however, he has enough full Asha'man to assign one to watch over each of the captured Aes Sedai, but not one of the original students have gained the dragon. He's obviously been playing favorites by then.

Kaboom @117
Semirhage was not an expert on mental problems, Graendal was. She was a topnotch healer and anatomist. She knew how the human brain was laid out, but she was more of a surgeon, not a psychiatrist like Graendal.

On the Taimandred issue, if Demandred considers himself a soldier, wouldn't that mean he could handle a sword? Probably not at blademaster level, or is he?

As for Sheriam being 13x13'ed, if it's true whoever's pulling her strings wouldn't need to beat the crap out of her. Neither would she be crying over it, plot revenge, maybe.

Also, am I the only one being bothered by the continued Aes Sedai use of the term "leash/ed"? A leash is something you put on an animal. It's dehumanizing, is what it is. Blasted Aes Sedai arrogance.
Richard Fife
146. R.Fife
AMW @ 145: don't forget the whole marath'damane, those who must be leashed ;)
John Massey
147. subwoofer
@R.Fifester... the marath'damane was a remnant of Hawkwing and his distrust of er... people- male or female, who channel.

@alreadymadwhentheytookmyeggo, I believe Moiraine mentions something to the effect that when you make the world dance to you for the last 3000 years, it is hard to change on a dime. 'Tis true, people are creatures of habit and when a person walks around expecting deference from everyone, it is similar to the analogy the Mistress of Ships gave when trying to change the weather pattern of the world.

@GCL-Now you tell me! The lady said it was a bunt cake to welcome us to the neighborhood...
Susan Brownhill
148. SusanB
I didn't get to read all the comments, so I apologize if someone has already said these things.

Taim & "so called Aiel": My opinion is that Taim has grown up on stories of the Aiel being wild, vicious fighters. Primatives who will kill you as soon as look at you. The people with Rand are calm, quiet, and under Rand's control. Taim hasn't seen them kill anyone. Also, the Aiel look just like Rand. Taim knows Rand is NOT Aiel, yet these Aiel follow him & obey him. I think Taim believes that the "so called Aiel" who follow Rand are actually people from Rand's homeland whom he has dressed up to look like Aiel. This would explain why they look alike & why these Aiel are tame. Why would Rand go to the trouble of doing this? B/c an army of Aiel would be much more terrifying than an army of wetlanders. This is something I believe Taim would have done if he had thought of it. So, its not hard to believe he would think someone else would do it. From our perspective it is a strange & complicated plan. However, from Taim's perspective it is more reasonable than to think of the "wild" Aiel accepting a wetlander for a commander.
Rand & Alana...I think he is initially in too much shock over the situation to get too angry at her. He is also probably more mad at himself for not listening to his instinct. He almost didn't let her touch him, but he decided to trust her & let her. If I were him I would be mad at myself for being that stupid. He believes its in her nature as AS to be sneaky & to do whatever she wants. So, in his mind; he knew that & should not have trusted her. So, its his fault. Its also his fault for going to the inn in the first place, just so he could avoid a conversation with Avi. I bet he's wishing he stayed & had that conversation now.
As for passing the bond...in a later book (I don't remember which one) Alanna offers to pass the bond on to which ever AS he let bond him. The catch is that he has to tell her who it is & he refuses.
Tess Laird
149. thewindrose
I can't wait until Aviendha meets Alanna. Now that is going to be a thrashing of a life time! When Rand's three ladies find out what Alanna did, Elayne confirmed that it was very wrong.
Also, I think Alanna was just saying she would pass the bond, just because she wants to know who it is.
craig thrift
150. gagecreedlives
Subwoofer

You sure she said bunt cake? Russian accents can be tricky sometimes

thewindrose@149

She might want to bring some spear sisters. Ihvon might take exception to somebody trying to get to rough with his aes sedai.
Lord Haart
151. LordHaart
Alanna's actions didn't anger me, they saddened me. At the heart of it, she is the big reason that he didn't trust the Salidar AS, and instead ran of to Cairhien to get trapped. Sure, someone killed an AS in Caemlyn to boot, but had Alanna not cemented his views on AS, then he may have considered their actions from a more understanding light.

Basically, Alanna's bonding was a highly sophisticated strike at Rand's trust centres, which may have been the Pattern, but seems too contrived. We know Verin, the master plotter, was with Alanna; while her POV makes it look like she hadn't foreseen the bonding, I'm really not so sure. Even asking Alanna why she did it would make perfect sense for Verin to test how well her Comp-Lite had worked.

EDIT: Speaking of Verin being BA, while there's no proof that she is, I don't consider the "she hasn't hurt Rand" argument sufficient. Plenty of DF's have their own orders and imperatives, hers could involve Rand being at the Last Battle for some reason. She could also be doing that for a separate reason than serving the DO, of course, but we do know that if she wanted him to win, she would have either used heavier compulsion on Elza, or forced Elza to reveal herself.
Tess Laird
152. thewindrose
gagecreedlives - Avi is way stronger than Alanna in power - she could easily wrap up Ihvon tie off that knot and I think Avi should probably shield Alanna, because I *know* Avi just wants to physically thrash her.
On another note, when I say that Alanna wouldn't pass the bond, but just wants to know who it is, I don't think she would actually be lying. I am sure that she could justify why she is a better holder of the bond - i.e. Min not even a channeler, Avi a wilder and not Aes Sedei, and Elayne a trumped up sister(although she is way stronger and a green and flew through training - but I am sure Alanna would would glom onto the 'raising to be Aes Sedei by Amyrlin's decree', and how young Elayne is.
Marcus W
153. toryx
Freelancer @ 140:

It seems as though you've got an interesting definition of evil.

Whether his path to the dark was voluntary or not, he is evil from the moment Rand meets him. The issue of the seal remains to be cleared up, but that isn't a strong enough point to overlook his glaringly obvious desire for glory and power, his supposition that if he "won", it would retroactively prove him the Dragon Reborn, indicating an utter disdain for both history and Prophecy, his contempt for all things mundane, etc.

Now all those things are unappealing traits in a personality, but I'm personally not convinced they add up to "evil." Arrogance and selfishness, while unattractive qualities in anyone, are not necessarily evil. If it were, a far more substantial portion of the human populance in this world must be evil than good.

I don't really think Taim needed to be turned by 13x13. I suspect that his intentions to stick with Rand were selfishly motivated out of a desire for power. But the first thing Rand does (aside from sticking him with a job Taim surely views as beneath him) is act as though he's going to destroy the seal; an act that most people who knew what the seal was could only consider to be a sign of madness.

For an ambitious, selfish, arrogant bastard like Taim it isn't too hard to conclude that the best choice for him is to switch to the side more likely to win. I wouldn't be surprised if he offered up his soul to the DO 15 minutes after Rand left him on the farm. In which case his actions are certainly evil and so is he.

I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I think actions illustrate the nature of evil better than attitudes.
Tess Laird
154. thewindrose
I don't think Verin or the other's know Elza is Black Ajah.
Jay Dauro
155. J.Dauro
LordHaart @151

When we see Verin do the Compulsion Lite on the AS, she asks questions, but does not appear to ask under compulsion. And we do not see her ask "Are you Black Ajah?" (Which would probably not be answered due to the BA Oaths, but would probably show some fireworks.) So I have to agree with Windrose, I do not think that Verin knows Elza is BA. (unless of course Verin is the real power behind the BA, somewhere between Alviarin and Messina. From what we have seen, Alviarin appears to know who all the BA are, but no others have that knowledge.)
Rob Munnelly
156. RobMRobM
Re Verin and BA - Verin in PoVs refers to Foresaken as such rather than as Chosen, suggesting she is no darkfriend. I have trouble imagining her as a darkfriend but am dying to know her real agenda. I like the theory of her trying to root out the BA but am trying to reconcile her actions to that goal (such as mildly compelling the Cairhein swearees' to support Rand). R
James Jones
157. jamesedjones
153 toryx

"Arrogance and selfishness, while unattractive qualities in anyone, are not necessarily evil. If it were, a far more substantial portion of the human populance in this world must be evil than good."

I'm afraid (IMHO) that is a very naive view of the world. Of course most of this world is evil. Look at the condition it is in. You can be evil without wanting to murder and pillage innocents. A lot of people have bought into the line from Wall Street that "Greed is good." Did no one understand that Michael Douglas played a villain in that flick?!?!

This is just an opinion, but Arrogance and Selfishness are evil. They are not DO evil, but they make you a bad person.

Of course, a lot of evil makes you more fun, too.




Go Light!
Lord Haart
158. LordHaart
RobMRobM@156
"Re Verin and BA - Verin in PoVs refers to Foresaken as such rather than as Chosen, suggesting she is no darkfriend. I have trouble imagining her as a darkfriend but am dying to know her real agenda. I like the theory of her trying to root out the BA but am trying to reconcile her actions to that goal (such as mildly compelling the Cairhein swearees' to support Rand). R"

Note that other DF's (even BA) also use the term "Forsaken" in their POVs at times. That said, I don't think she's a conventional BA member, if she's even a DF at all. I just think her motives aren't necessarily in favour of Rand. While some things she has done seem to support him, other things don't, and this chapter especially seems to point towards Rand being an external force that must be managed rather than a centrepoint in her 70 year plan. I'd have gone with "rooting out the BA", except that there's very little evidence of that, and you'd think she'd have figured out Elza were that the case. So I highly doubt that's her plan.

I think that the most likely candidate for her attention is something other than Rand, but I'm still not decided on what that is. On re-reading the chapter, this stood out:

"So. Moiraine dead, Siuan dead, the White Tower broken, and Rand possibly on the edge of madness. Verin tsked irritably. If you took risks, sometimes the bill came due when you least expected, in the last way you expected. Almost seventy years of delicate work on her part, and now it might all go for naught because of one young man." (emphasis mine)

IMO, this shows that Rand is just a wrench in the machine. New Spring (the full book, not the short story) shows Moiraine mentioning Verin a few times, and if I had more time I'd dig up those quotes again. Just like with Egwene, it seemed that Verin was pushing Moiraine & Siuan towards something, though we are yet to see what exactly.
Skip Ives
159. Skip
LordHaart - I always read that to mean that Rand's inabiltiy to be steered by anyone, but particularly the White tower in this comment, is causing Verin's distress. But I don't think she is BA. You do. People disagree, I'm okay with that.
Marcus W
160. toryx
jamesedjones @ 157:

I've noticed that there tends to be tendency for a lot of people to paint as "evil" those things or people who are other to themselves. It's often used as a blanket term for people or perspectives that are contrary.

There are certainly a lot of bad things going on in the world today and in the past but I don't think bad automatically equates to evil. Most actions are a consequence of ignorance rather than cruelty. There's a reason for the saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." It's true and when things that are begun with good intention turn bad, it's usually a consequence of ignorance.

Evil is such a heavy handed word and I'm a little surprised at how freely people fling it about. I've travelled around the world and known a great many people, those I've liked and disliked and rarely have I actually encountered true evil. Idiots and ignoramuses, yes. Evil? No. I don't think that makes me naive but, rather, worldly.

But let's keep this to the subject at hand, shall we? Randland, more specifically.

My response to Freelancer was based on his presumption that Taim has been evil from the moment he met Rand. The evidence he used for this was that Taim acts with arrogance and selfishness (though the selfishness in my word, not his).

My argument is that emotional traits of personality are not as significant as acts. Over time, for example, Rand becomes increasingly arrogant. Which is to be expected when you consider another maxim, power corrupts. I'm sure it doesn't help that he's got the taint driving him mad either.

But is Rand evil? Is he becoming evil by virtue of becoming arrogant? I'd say that he's not, because its his actions that determine how good or evil he is, not his behavior. Some might argue that action and behavior are one and the same, but I don't agree.

Lews Therin (the one in his head, anyway) is also arrogant, trumpeting from time to time, "I am the Lord of the Morning!" He also slaughtered everyone he ever cared for. Is he evil? Well he's insane, and a lot of people would argue that while an action undertaken under the influence of insanity can be evil, the person who is insane may not necessarily be evil. I don't get the impression that most people consider LTT to be particularly evil, which sort of underlines my point.

In the end, Taim may well be evil, he may have always been evil. But can one determine that based on personality quirks so commonplace as arrogance and a disregard for history?

I don't think so.
T C
161. Freelancer
thewindrose@149

Allana's words on passing/releasing Rand's bond:
However I acquired you, you are my Warder, and I have a responsibility. That is as strong in me as the oath I sword to obey you. Every bit as strong. So I will not release you to anyone unless I know she can handle you properly. who bonded you? If she is capable, I will let her have you.

Aes Sedai wordsmithing disguised as pure arrogance. Her offer to "let her have you" when it was already done. Ahh, but she did not directly say she would release him, though he is clearly meant to receive it that way. She actually has two "outs". If Rand told her, and she judged the sister not capable, she could still refuse. Or, she could state that in saying "let her have you", she never meant that she'd release his bond, only that she wouldn't seek to have the other forced to release theirs.

Now going back to the first phrase of her comment above: If I stole a piece of artwork from someone's home, was found and told to give it back, would it be reasonable to say, "However I acquired it, it's now in my hands, and I have a responsbility to take care of it". Umm, nope, and neither can Alanna sidestep how she "acquired" him, as if he were a painting.


toryx@153

Oh please. I am not saying that those traits are evil. But having read more than one adventure story in my life, a character who behaves as Taim behaves can be fairly well pigeonholed. What are his goals, what is his motive? He's worse than either Elaida or Pedron Niall. They are each deluded by both power and organizational tradition into believing their authority allows them to do things that aren't right or proper, but each with a goal of beating the DO and winning the Last Battle. Taim's ambitions are not driven by any honorable intentions, and attempting to murder the Dragon Reborn is surely an evil act. As to actions vs attitudes, I completely disagree. An action based on good intentions which turns out to be a bad choice isn't indicative of evil. An action based on evil or immoral intentions, but which works out to the betterment of all involved, is no indicator of honor. That's the reason why the Bible says to not judge one another. You can't always know all of the truth behind what you see.


LordHaart@158

I agree with Skip@159, that very sentence you quote can be interpreted such that since the guy who turned out to be the Dragon Reborn is such a stubborn, strong-willed, non-Aes Sedai trusting person, her long-range plan is at risk. While Verin isn't as old as Cadsuane, she isn't terribly far behind, and is used to being able to tweak things to go as she plans. Alla sudden that ain't so, and she's irritated.

Whether she is free of the oaths or not (I don't believe she is, but it's neither impossible nor improbable given her smarts and sneakiness), there is no oath to serve the Tower before all other entities. I believe that as she sees it, Rand is the most important entity to be served in her lifetime. Therefore, it is easy for her to justify using her persuasion/suggestion weave on the Dumai's Wells captive sisters. Just remember that it isn't true Compulsion, that the subject's free will isn't destroyed, and what they are guided to do has to be something that they could have been willing to do anyway. A thin rationalization, but enough that Verin doesn't see herself as committing a crime against Tower law.


toryx@160

As you can see that I acknowledge above, evil isn't based on actions, or even results, but on intentions and purposes. And there is very much evil in the world. I am not half so arrogant as to suppose that it is defined based on what is different that me, for I know that in me dwelleth no good thing, but based on what can easily be understood as the difference between right and wrong that every sane person alive knows inside themselves. I won't spend the space to defend that premise, but you can be assured that I could and would if pressed.

As to Rand as a counter example, he most certainly is not arrogant. Everyone thinks he is, he even thinks it of himself, with disgust. And that very thing proves it not to be true. He doesn't like things he has to do, but given that mountain he bears, he believes he must do them. That isn't arrogance, it's at worst an unbalanced sense of duty because he's [u][i][b]The One[/u], and nobody else is in a position to get things done as he is. Please show me a concret example of his arrogance that isn't immediately contradicted by his own emotional response.

Finally, could Taim be convicted in a court of law of "being evil" based on the evidence at hand? Surely not, we are agreed on that point. Perhaps I should put it this way: We learn later that Taim is definitely not a good guy. I posit that none of his actions, behaviors, or attitudes are different at the end than they were at the beginning, very strongly suggesting that he is the same all the way along the story, meaning evil from the time of his appearance in Caemlyn. What he might have been before then cannot be determined.
JWezy
162. birgit
Why should the Forsaken want to bring out LTT? It is easier for them to fight the untrained farmboy Rand than LTT with his AoL knowledge.

Moiraine explains about the coins when Rand realizes that he channeled after the fight at the Eye.

If LTT is real, I guess the best treatment would be to talk to LTT, and somehow come up with a bargin of how to share the body with Rand, and promise LTT something he so desparately seek, like to die?

Rand does make an agreement with LTT that they will die at Tarmon Gaidon and not before.
Lord Haart
163. LordHaart
"Why should the Forsaken want to bring out LTT? It is easier for them to fight the untrained farmboy Rand than LTT with his AoL knowledge."

Most of the Forsaken wouldn't, but not Ishmael/Moridin. He has a few motives to release LTT:

1) At the end of the prologue in EotW, he clearly scorns LTT's suicide, claiming that he will defeat him again. Not the Dragon, but LTT personally.
2) Moridin acts under orders from the DO, and is apparently less self-serving than most other FS. It's not hard to think that the DO might want LTT out there instead of Rand, because LTT is half insane already and in KoD, he nearly killed Rand and all the other Light-siders in Rand's party. Releasing LTT fits perfectly with "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule".
3) Lanfear/Cyndane is working under Moridin and might also want a return of the exploitable LTT, so she could be pushing for that.

As for Rand and swords, I think there is sufficient evidence to believe that Rand will have to face down Shaidar Haran without access to the Source. A sword would come in handy in that case. It's also possible that such a fight will have some relation to T'A'R (given SH works by breaking down reality), so Rand can "imagine" back his missing hand when he needs it.
JWezy
164. liedra
Yup, definitely this one that has a broken link on the chapter listing page :)
Crystal McMillan
165. CDragon27
I always loved this part for Rand's meeting with the girls from home. It is heartbreaking and always fun to get a view of how much he has changed from the simple shepherd he was.
I wanted to run through Alanna. rape is rape whether it happens to a male or female. If RJ was just using this as a "get out of bad jail card" for when Rand is captured, then he may have been one of those people who doesn't really believe a man can be raped by a woman. it would explain why he allows this plot device to have so few consequences for Alanna.
as mad as this part makes me, LOC is still my favorite of the middle books in this saga.
JWezy
166. observer
Spoiler Alert for TGS:





Now we know what Verin's 70-year plan was!
JWezy
167. Louis Theodore Tellman
What I don't get is why anyone didn't think to have Alanna pass on the warder bond to Elayne or Aviendha once their intentions were made clear to Rand...

Just a (belated) thought...
Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
Louis Theodore Tellman @167 - Whether they thought about it or not, she figured out that he'd been bonded by someone else. Alanna said then that if he'd tell her who it was, she'd decide if the other woman could handle him and if so, she'd release his bond. Since he wouldn't tell her, she refused to do anything about releasing. Can you seriously imagine Alanna being willing to pass Rand's bond to Elayne, whom she would see as only half-trained, much less Aviendha - who isn't even AS-in-training? Not bloody likely. And so far as we know, there's no way to force someone to pass a bond if she's not willing - or at least, not any way that AS would consider ethical.
JWezy
169. yasiru89
Okay, so the natural reaction if somebody used 'continuous emotion rape' on you and presently tried to Compel you with the link would be to immediately balefire them from here to pre-bond, right?
Not so, unfortunately. Yet another Aes Sedai escapes justice because Rand is too soft on women (a more deep-seated failing, I believe, than one might think naively). But plot-wise, wow! You don't even realise how far-reaching it is till Cadsuane comes along, since Alanna becomes a major string she has on Rand. In the present book, all it really accomplishes is ensure that both Aes Sedai groups are treated (just about) equally come the epic finale, but still, that is the defining scene of Lord of Chaos, with the Aes Sedai, who've believed they've maintained order in the world since the Breaking being made to drop to their knees and swear fealty to a (Creator forbid!) man.
Charles Gaston
170. parrothead
Just got to here on my final pre-AMoL reread (the joys of waiting for jury duty). And while I share the disgust at Alanna here, I could not help snickering at Verin, Patron Saint of Sneekiness. Such an amazing character.
William McDaniel
172. willmcd
The opening paragraphs of Ch10 jumped out at me, as Rand walks through the halls of the palace, concerned about whether or not the servants have enough work clothes, and whether pensions are being paid. Despite all of the insanity going on around and inside of him, RJ deliberately shows us Rand's best qualities here: he is concerned for the well-being of everyone around him. One could hardly imagine that Rahvin, when he walked those same halls, even looked at the servants as being of the same species as himself, much less had any concern for their welfare.

This starkly contrasts with the Rand we will see before long, when his time imprisoned in the box and the crossing-of-the-streams with Moridin turn him into a pretty cold-hearted fellow.

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