Sep 2 2009 12:22pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 12

Greetings and salutations and alla that jazz, WOTish ones! I have a shiny new Wheel of Time Re-read post, just for you! You’re so special.

Today’s post covers Chapters 18-19 of Lord of Chaos, in which I am confused, annoyed, and philosophically dazzled! Just like every Wednesday!

Or, you know. Something like that.

Previous posts 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 that, I trow, puts us square with the house, so without further ado, I give you the post!

Chapter 18: A Taste of Solitude

What Happens
Rand glares at Rhuarc and Berelain and tells them to set Mangin’s execution date for tomorrow, and that he’s going to the school, refusing to see the Wise Ones and Cairhienin nobles on their way to see him. He quickly has a horse saddled, and leaves the Palace with only two guards in tow, Jalani and a Red Shield named Dedric, which shocks everyone who sees him; Rand enjoys the relative amount of solitude as much as he can, though he is a little impatient that the throng on the streets do not give way for him like they normally would. He reaches the school (which used to be Barthanes’ manor), and is greeted by the headmistress Idrien Tarsin and dozens of other scholars.

Time and again he had heard how much had been lost in the War of the Hundred Years and the Trolloc Wars. How much more must have vanished in the Breaking of the World? If he was going to Break the World again, he meant to create repositories where knowledge could be preserved. Another school had already started in Tear, though just barely, and he had begun seeking a place in Caemlyn.

Nothing ever goes as you expect, Lews Therin murmured. Expect nothing, and you will not be surprised. Expect nothing. Hope for nothing. Nothing.

Idrien tells him they have prepared a display for him, and politely ignores his query about how many spies she has in the Palace. He follows her into the entry hall, which is filled with bizarre contraptions: a machine for making linen paper, an improved printing press, a prototype combine harvester (Rand especially likes this idea), models for aqueduct systems, and plans for paving roads. Kin Tovere has made a giant lens for looking at the stars; Rand is not sure what use that is, but he likes Tovere, so tells him to build the looking glass to hold the lens.

The lanky young woman whose display was mainly a shell of paper moored by strings and kept aloft by the heat rising from a small fire in a brazier. She mumbled something about flying—he was sure that was what she said—and birds’ wings being curved—she had sketches of birds, and of what seemed to be wooden birds—but she was so tongue-tied meeting the Dragon Reborn that he could not understand another word, and Idrien certainly could not explain what it was about.

A heavily bandaged man named Mervin has built a large contraption of brass tubes and cylinders, which emits steam and shrieking whistling noises, and almost blows up. Rand politely compliments the brasswork, and asks Idrien what that was all about as they move off.

She shrugged. “Mervin will not tell anyone. Sometimes there are bangs in his rooms loud enough to make doors tremble, and he has scalded himself six times so far, but he claims it will bring a new Age when he makes it work.” She glanced at Rand uneasily.

“Mervin is welcome to bring it if he can,” he told her dryly. Maybe the thing was supposed to make music? All those shrieks?

He asks after Herid Fel, and Idrien sighs and says he is in his study, as always. Rand is obliged to make a speech to the scholars, and leaves them pleased, though he wonders why none of them besides Idrien had thought to invent a weapon. At Herid’s study, Rand tells Jalani and Dedric to wait outside, and abruptly figures out what is going on when they agree immediately.

“Enjoy yourselves,” Rand said over his shoulder, producing two startled stares, and went inside.

Inside, Herid is very disheveled and vague, and can never remember that Rand is the Dragon Reborn, which suits Rand just fine. He asks Herid about Warder bonds, and whether they can be broken, but Herid doesn’t think so, unless the Warder or the Aes Sedai dies, of course. Rand sighs, and asks about his question from last time; Herid mumbles that the Last Battle can’t really be the Last Battle, and maybe every Age has them. Rand prods him to explain.

“What? Yes, exactly the point. It can’t be the Last Battle. Even if the Dragon Reborn seals the Dark One’s prison again as well as the Creator made it. Which I don’t think he can do.” He leaned forward and lowered his voice conspiratorially. “He isn’t the Creator, you know, whatever they say in the streets. Still, it has to be sealed up again by somebody. The Wheel, you see.”

“I don’t see... ” Rand trailed off.

“Yes, you do. You’d make a good student.” Snatching his pipe out, Herid drew a circle in the air with the stem. “The Wheel of Time. Ages come and go and come again as the Wheel turns. All the catechism.” Suddenly he stabbed a point on that imaginary wheel. “Here the Dark One’s prison is whole. Here, they drilled a hole in it, and sealed it up again.” He moved the bit of the pipe along the arc he had drawn. “Here we are. The seal’s weakening. But that doesn’t matter, of course.” The pipestem completed the circle. “When the Wheel turns back to here, back to where they drilled the hole in the first place, the Dark One’s prison has to be whole again.”

Rand wants to know why it couldn’t be that they drilled a hole through a patch, rather than the prison being truly whole, but Herid counters that it had to be whole at some point, unless you suppose the Creator made the prison with a hole in the first place, so it must be whole when the Third Age comes around again; it may not be the Dragon who makes it whole, but it has to happen at some point, and long enough before the Second Age comes around again that no one will remember the Dark One’s existence.

“Any Age where seals weaken must remember the Dark One eventually, because they will have to face him and wall him up again.” Sticking his pipe back between his teeth, he tried to make another note without dipping the pen.

“Unless the Dark One breaks free,” Rand said quietly. “To break the Wheel of Time, and remake Time and the world in his own image.”

Herid agrees there is that, but doesn’t suppose there’s much he or Rand can do about it. Rand asks if there would be any reason to break the seals; Herid is shocked at the notion, and asks why he would even think such a thing.

“I don’t know,” Rand sighed. In the back of his head Lews Therin was chanting. Break the seals. Break the seals, and end it. Let me die forever.

Egwene wanders through the Sun Palace, irritated at being lost and wondering why the Maidens in the corridors seem to be avoiding her. She’s also a little grumpy that Aviendha had finally come back only to barely acknowledge her and closet herself immediately with the Wise Ones, a meeting from which Egwene had been specifically excluded. She runs into Sorilea, who demands to know what she is doing there.

A good head taller than Egwene, as most Aiel women were, Sorilea stared at her with a green-eyed gaze that could knock a bull off its feet. That was a relief; it was Sorilea’s normal way of looking at everyone. Had she a bone to pick, the walls would have been crumbling wherever she looked and tapestries catching fire. Well, that was how it seemed, anyway.

Egwene tells her she has come to see Rand, and Sorilea tells her he’s gone to the school, and Berelain Paeron thinks it is not a good idea to follow him at the moment. Egwene cannot for the life of her figure out why the Wise Ones like Berelain so much when she is, in Egwene’s opinion, a lightskirted flirt who behaves outrageously. This brings back a memory of Gawyn’s dream, and she tells herself firmly that dreams don’t count. Sorilea observes that when young women blush for no reason, a man is involved, and wants to know who it is. Egwene tells her loftily that “Aes Sedai seldom marry”, which Sorliea finds absurd, as Egwene’s “hips were meant for babies, and you will have them”. Egwene considers the notion of having Gawyn’s babies, but does not see how it would be possible.

In truth, Aes Sedai almost never married. Rare was the man who wanted to marry a woman who, with the Power, could handle him like a child if she chose.

Sorilea continues digging for who it could be, but finally leaves Egwene alone in Rand’s rooms. Egwene tries to convince herself that Sorilea wouldn’t really manhandle her to the Aiel equivalent of the altar, but is not so certain the Wise One thinks of her as anything but Aiel anymore. Niella (Aviendha’s sister) comes out of the bedroom with laundry, and Egwene embarrasses them both by asking if Niella will put off gai’shain white when her time is up (Niella says of course she will). Niella leaves, and Egwene ponders Aviendha’s situation until Rand arrives, whereupon she bounces up and says he has to help her with the Wise Ones. Rand is like, nice to see you too, Egwene. Egwene notices that he is not sweating in the heat, and that he seems harder than ever even while smiling. Egwene offers him a bargain: she will carry messages from him to Elayne if he will convince the Wise Ones to let her return to her studies. Rand asks where Elayne is; Egwene hesitates, but thinks that he cannot be allowed near the rebels without a buffer to prevent the conflict that is sure to follow, and replies that she can’t tell him, it is not her secret to tell.

He leaned forward intently. “I know she’s with Aes Sedai. You told me those Aes Sedai support me, or might. Are they afraid of me? I will take oath to stay away from them, if they are. Egwene, I mean to give Elayne the Lion Throne and the Sun Throne. She has claim to both; Cairhien will accept her as quickly as Andor does. I need her, Egwene.”

Egwene opened her mouth—and realized that she was about to tell him all she knew about Salidar. Barely in time she clamped her teeth shut so hard her jaws ached, and opened herself to saidar. The sweet feel of life, so strong it overwhelmed everything else, seemed to help; slowly the urge to talk began to ebb.

He sat back with a sigh, and she stared at him wide-eyed. It was one thing to know he was the strongest ta’veren since Artur Hawkwing, but quite something else to become caught up in it herself. It was all she could do not to hug herself and shiver.

He sighs, then notices she is holding saidar and becomes angry, asking if she really thinks he is such a monster that he would force her to tell him? She replies as calmly as she can that she does not think that, and lets the Power go. She asks him again for his help, even though she cannot tell him what he wants to know.

His anger was swallowed by a maddening grin; it was frightening how quickly that could happen with him. “ ‘A cat for a hat, or a hat for a cat,’ ” he quoted.

But nothing for nothing, she finished mentally.

She tells him he can shove his cat where the sun doesn’t shine, and leaves, wondering what to do. She is eager, though, to tell Elayne that Rand said he needed her.

Rand stares at the door, and thinks of how much Egwene had changed. She had always thrown herself wholeheartedly into whatever she did, and he reflects that he must remember that she is Aes Sedai now, and think of her that way; now she was one of them.

In the courtyard below, Sulin lets out an oath as a signal goes out that Rand al’Thor has left his rooms again. She and three other Maidens begin to search the corridors for him; she is determined that nothing should happen to the only son of a Maiden to come back to them.

Rand’s visit to the school is one of my favorite little interludes in LOC. Like most people who are into speculative fiction, watershed moments in history (whether real or invented) are fascinating to me, and the school is Jordan’s clear signal to the reader that Randland is at the tipping point of their own version of the Industrial Revolution. Assuming they don’t all die in the apocalypse, of course.

Since the real Industrial Revolution is considered from many perspectives to be the most profoundly world-changing event in human history, this is pretty darn significant. And of course, as Proto-Steampunk Guy Mervin points out, this ties in with Randland coming to the end of the Third Age; whether Rand wins the Last Battle or not, the world as the Third Agers knew it will be gone. I hope they like soot!

This also ties in with the assumption that many readers have made that the Last Battle and the end of the Third Age will also involve the end of channeling. Since the general presumption is that the Fourth, presumably industrialized Age is our own (or maybe we’re the Fifth, I forget), it goes without saying that humanity has to lose the ability to do magic at some point, and a potentially world-shattering apocalypse seems like a good candidate to cause such a fundamental shift in... well, reality, I guess you’d have to term it.

This is a perfectly logical, natural, and story-appropriate event to suppose will occur. It also completely pisses me off.


In non-sulky news, I thought it was a nice nod to Rand’s farming roots that the invention he was most interested in was the combine harvester. I personally would have been all over the woman with the flying inventions, but of course I have the benefit of knowing that mechanical flying machines are actually feasible, or will be. (Although, technically Rand knows this too, given that he took a trip in the Wayback Ter’angreal in Rhuidean and saw the sho-wings and such. But, you know.)

Herid Fel: I totally swear I had this guy for English in college. Well, except that my professor was also kind of a lech who spiked the punch at the Christmas party he threw – for his freshman classes, I might add. Blagh.

Anyway, Herid is pretty obviously Jordan’s mouthpiece to get across more of the basic cosmology of the WOT universe. Calling something “exposition-heavy” is usually a way to say it was bad, but in this case there was no real way around it, and plus is fascinating enough (especially on first reading) that it’s worth it.

I have to say, I still don’t see how exactly breaking the seals is going to lead to making the Dark One’s prison whole again, which is obviously what this dialogue is leading up to. I mean, yes, clearly you have to get rid of the seals in order to get to the patch (like removing stitches from a wound, sort of), but it’s the part after that – the sealing it up like new part – which puzzles me. How do you not leave a scar, metaphorically speaking? Create a whole new prison, I suppose, but that seems a little above even Rand’s paygrade.

Well. We Shall See, I guess.

Egwene: *headdesk*

Way to go, Captain Diplomacy. Your honorary UN Ambassadorship is in the mail.

Seriously, could she possibly have handled that worse? Well, yes, actually, but Holy Christ, y’all. It doesn’t help that her motives for offering her bargain to Rand were essentially selfish ones, either.

Why, why, WHY does it never occur to anyone to explain anything in this series? Although I suppose in this instance Egwene might be reasonably leery of telling Rand about her “buffer” notion, at least then he would know she’s not keeping the rebels away from him just to be obnoxious obstructionist. Gah. Yes, chaos, mistrust, part of the theme, WHATEVER. Am annoyed!

Sulin: Am... also confused. See commentary for the next chapter.

Chapter 19: Matters of Toh

What Happens
Rand has very strange nightmares that night, which he realizes are Lews Therin’s dreams, of cities from the Age of Legends burning, and a golden-haired woman whose loving look turns to terror. He wakes shaking, and is afraid to go back to sleep. He refuses breakfast in the morning, and exits his room to find a crowd awaiting him: Wise Ones, Aviendha, Maidens, Red Shields, Berelain, and most of the ranking Cairhienin and Tairen nobles. Rand notes Selande, one of the young women Colavaere had had try to seduce him, now wearing the uniform that says she is studying the sword; she is terrified of him. They all watch each other as much as they watch him. Rand tells them he’s honored, but he is returning to Caemlyn. Berelain says his orders regarding Mangin are to be carried out this morning, “so he may witness it”; the Wise Ones, surprisingly, look disapprovingly at her.

“I don’t mean to be a witness to every murderer who’s hung,” Rand said coldly. In truth, he had forgotten, or rather shoved it out of his mind. Hanging a man you liked was not something anyone would want to remember.

This makes quite the impression on the Tairens and Cairhienin; Berelain looks rueful, while Selande looks more scared than ever. They all accompany him to the room he uses to make gateways, and Berelain promises to tend Cairhien for him “without fear or favor” until his return, and adds for him to give her regards to Perrin, and Mat, when he sees them next. The other wetlanders give flowery and insincere speeches, and Rand is glad to escape them. To his surprise, Melaine is coming along; he assumes it is to reestablish the Wise One’s influence with Bael. As Aviendha watches him form the gateway, she is apparently reminded of the one time she had made one by accident, and reddens; Rand remembers too, and is anxious to get away from her. He goes through the gateway first, which infuriates Sulin; she comes up to him on the other side.

“The great and powerful Car’a’carn gave his honor to Far Dareis Mai to carry,” she all but hissed in a low whisper. “If the mighty Car’a’carn dies in ambush while the Maidens protect him, Far Dareis Mai has no honor left. If the all-conquering Car’a’carn does not care, perhaps Enaila is right. Perhaps the omnipotent Car’a’carn is a willful boy who should be held by the hand lest he run over a cliff because he will not look.”

Rand considers this going too far by half, and tells Sulin that he thinks from now on two guards are sufficient for inside the palaces, though the full contingent can accompany him outside them, and turns away leaving her gaping. Aviendha follows him into his rooms silently, but when he asks what’s wrong, suddenly grins and says she doesn’t think she’s ever seen Sulin set down like that, even by Rhuarc. He remarks that he’s surprised she’s on his side; she gazes at him a moment, and replies that he troubles her. After a brief fight with Jalani, he gets her to leave Liah and a Red Shield named Cassin to guard him and goes into the sitting room, Aviendha following. He asks if the Wise Ones told her where Elayne is, and Aviendha says they do not know, but they have had dreams about Rand. He thinks he knows what two of them mean, but Aviendha is not convinced. She goes to leave, and he asks if she wants to go back to the Wise Ones; surely she’s taught him all he needs to know about Aiel by now. Aviendha peppers him with questions that prove he doesn’t know nearly as much as he thinks.

“Sometimes ji’e’toh makes for very great jokes. I would laugh my sides apart if I were not the butt of this one.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “I will meet my toh.”

Rand tells her if she means Lanfear, it wasn’t him who saved her, it was Moiraine; she has no toh to him there. She smiles and thanks him for reminding her that men do not know everything, and leaves. Rand stares after her, confused; Lews Therin laughs that he destroys what he loves, and Rand tells him to shut up.

In the hall, Aviendha tries to calm herself, and thinks that however much being around Rand al’Thor tortured her, her toh to him was nothing beside her toh to Elayne. Liah smiles at her knowingly, and Aviendha flares up and asks in handtalk what Liah thinks she’s looking at. Liah signs back that she thinks Aviendha will “put [her] soul in a wreath to lie at a man’s feet”, a deliberate insult among Maidens. Aviendha steps toward her furiously and stops, knowing Liah could take her in skirts. Watching them stare, Cassin remarks idly that he must learn this handtalk one day, and Liah breaks the impasse by laughing he would look well in skirts. Aviendha is grateful, and signs that she has toh; Liah signs back that it is very small. Aviendha strides off.

Killing Rand al’Thor would meet one toh, killing herself the second, but each toh blocked that solution to the other. Whatever the Wise Ones said, she had to find some way to meet both.

So, wait. Why was Sulin saying that Rand had left his rooms in Cairhien at the end of the last chapter, when we start this chapter with him in his rooms, in Cairhien, having nightmares, with no indication he went anywhere between the time Egwene left his room and him going to sleep? Did I miss something, or is this a gaffe, or is this a Subtle Clue? And if a clue, a clue to what? Where did he go? Is he sleepwalking or something? Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, over?

Other than that, this chapter basically involves Rand walking about two hundred feet, subjectively. Objectively, of course, he went about six hundred miles, but even so, sheesh. The only two things that really interested me in this chapter, other than my Sulin-induced confusion, are the Wise One dreams and Aviendha’s last line.

Dreams: Have all been pretty much fulfilled long since, though you could still argue over whether the unseen dagger man was Taim, Dashiva, or a literal Gray Man, the latter two of which show up shortly in the narrative and all of which of course present a danger to Rand. At this point it’s fairly moot, though. As for what the “treasure” associated with the Bowl of the Winds is, I always liked Rich Boyé’s notion that it was the Kin, rather than the *greal stash, that was the treasure. But again, it works either way. I liked that Nicola’s Arthurian boat imagery is backed up here, too.

Aviendha: I also liked the little Aiel/Maiden cultural vignette between her and Jalani, but I’m still confused as to why killing Rand would meet any toh of hers. Killing herself, I get. Well, I don’t get it, because it’s insane, but I understand why it would expiate her sin against Elayne for sleeping with Rand. The other, though, I don’t get at all. The exact quote is:

She had toh toward him, but much more toward Elayne. All he had done was save her life. Lanfear would have killed her without him. Lanfear had wanted to kill her in particular, as painfully as possible. Somehow, Lanfear had known. Beside what she had incurred toward Elayne, her toh toward Rand was a termite mound beside the Spine of the World.

Seriously, how does killing Rand for saving her life make the slightest amount of sense? I ask you.

No, really, I ask you. Esplain!

And, Done! Bring me another pie! I will eat it on Friday. Have fun till then, kids!

1. Jormengrund
I don't get it..

I had to wait ALL DAY for Monday's post, and Wednesday's comes SUPER early!!

Is there some kind of crazy formula that I should know about for when to come here and read??
Conor Murray
2. NotPropaganda
I don't understand Aviendha's POV at the end of this chapter one iota. She has toh to Elayne for sleeping with Rand, and toh to Rand for saving her life, but how does killing Rand meet either of these? It makes no sense in my head. Then again, I'm not Aiel. Although I do find Aiel humour quite funny, so maybe I'm halfway Aiel?

I'm also confused by how the prison will be sealed again. Like you say (and Herid Fel says), the Dragon Reborn is not the Creator, so how can he seal it up like the Creator had sealed it?

Also there's the argument that if our world is the Fourth or Fifth Age, then isn't the Dark One essentially Satan? I'm confusing myself.

There is the theory that Mat "giving up half the light of the world to save it" will involve Mat somehow being involved in sacrificing channelling in order to properly seal the prison once more, although I have no idea how this would come to pass. A wish in Finnland?

I personally believe Mat will simply lose an eye in order to save the world in some way.

I'm rambling.
Rob Munnelly
3. RobMRobM
@1. Yes. It depends on the respective entertainment activities the night before of Leigh and either Torie or Pablo. Good for us that the three of them took it easy last night. Rob

P.s. I'm kidding - aren't I?
John Cater
4. katre
Hmm, I had somehow thought we were in the second FIRST Age. I think this was mostly from Thom's list of "stories from before the Age of Legends", which has a bunch of fairly transparent 20th century stuff in it (like the Cold War, and the Apollo moon landings).
Rob Munnelly
5. RobMRobM
@2 and Leigh's commentary. Avi is supposed to be keeping an eye on Rand for Elayne. Rand broke his "vows" by sleeping with Avi. One way to meet her toh to Elayne is by punishing the "oathbreaker." Not a good solution for a whole host of reasons. Rob
Conor Murray
6. NotPropaganda
@5. What vows were these? My memory is sketchy. In fact on numerous occasions hasn't Rand said he doesn't "belong" to Elayne and isn't betrothed to her?
Rob Munnelly
7. RobMRobM
@4 - and the Mercedes Benz symbol in Tear - don't forget about that. R
Kristina Blake
8. kab1
Yes- I agree with RobM @5, Avi could kill Rand because he didn't stay true to Elayne when he slept with her, but she shouldn't kill Rand because he saved her life (I think she also knows that Elayne would not be happy with this solution either)

as far as the ages go- anyone got one of those handy links which explains which age is what and how many ages there are in a turning of the wheel? What's the First age? the second age is the AoL where they drilled the hole?
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
@6. Avi keeps believing that there is some kind of vow or commitment - all the way through TSR and TFOH - despite Rand's words. R
John Fitzingo
10. Xandar01
Oh how sad this exchange between Rand and Egwene is. I believe Rand was trying to be open with her, but he instead comes to the realization that he can't trust her anymore. It is bad enough that he shuts himself off from others "to protect" them, but when it is caused by this "must keep the secrets" attitude, it just makes Rands position even more undesirable. Sometimes I forget that one of the main themes that started this series is that sometimes it sucks to be the hero.
11. Lsana
@4 katre,

AOL is the second age. An age "before the age of legends" could be 1st or it could be anywhere from 4th-7th, given Jordan's cosmology.

I personally don't think we're in the 4th age now. I think that we are at least one age, possibly more, away from the last age when anyone could channel, so I would say at a bare minimum we're in the 5th age. If I had to bet money, I would put us in 1st age. That seems about right for the "Lenn in the Eagle of Fire", "Mosk and Merk", and "Alsbet" stories to evolve the way that they have.
Peter Nein
12. gimpols1908
On breaking the seals, perhaps you could view it like patching a plaster wall. First you have to clear away all loose debris. So breaking weak seals actually would give the patch a stronger hold when filling in so it becomes part of the seal rather than just a covering. So perhaps what Rand may do is actually 'reweave' the age lace over the bore to make a seamless patch, then a little sand and some spackle, slap on a quick coat of paint and done, rather than just moving a heavy chair in front of the hole.

So if you think of the bore like a hole in the wall during the winter and the patch/seals like a picture hung over that hole and the D.O. a cold breeze. You don't see the hole but you can feel the effects, perhaps not as bad with out the picture, but it is drafty. Rands patch will through in some insulation and replace the wallboard...

/can anyone else tell I have been doing some home renovation?
Josh Davis
13. YoSoyElJosh
@8. There are seven spokes to the Wheel of Time, and an age between each spoke. The story is set in the Third Age (though how they decided to start counting ages at before the Age of Legends is not really explained).

The bore was drilled shortly before the end of the Second Age, the Age of Legends. The discovery of Saidin marked the end of the First Age, which I suppose we could call the Age of Myths, from the story's perspective.

There's some debate as to whether we are the First Age, or separate set of ages (there's suggestion that Jesus, in the context of the story, would've been a Dragon-incarnate. At least, our present Dragon and he share many common traits).
Kerwin Miller
14. tamyrlink
i completely understood what Herid Fel was saying. idk how it would happen but it makes sense is all im sayin.

avi slept with rand who she thinks belongs to elayne. so she says she has toh to elayne for sleeping with him.

maybe in some wierd aiel way her toh for killing him would be less than her toh for sleeping with him, as killing someone doesnt really incur toh (idt), but she cant kill him because he saved her life.

(also consider she still blames him for the encounter and everything she forsaw in the rings, and she feels its his fault she has this toh to elayne and killing him would erase it.)

(also consider that she could feel he shamed her by them commiting an act of betrayal against a friend.)

as the wise ones say to egwene "only you know your worth" (or something like that, which means only you can say if your toh has been met in certain situations) so because avi goes to Salidar expecting elayne will want to kill her, she must feel that the situation is seriously shaming enuff that someone needs to die. her or rand.

just my thought on it lol. never gave it much thought before.
15. Redwing
Xander01 @ 10 - Egwene really has a rough time here, doesn't she? It seems that her time with the WOs prepared her to lead in Salidar, but it certainly doesn't seem to have helped her regarding Rand.

What bugs me is that she has all this free time on her hands but doesn't seem to do much of anything with it (for the past two months). She finally sees Rand after several weeks and all she can ask about is for him to intercede with the WOs? When they both know it won't work anyway? For all of her "ooh ooh"-ness it seems like she missed some opportunities for learning and helping Rand (or helping herself, for that matter, outside of puzzling things out in TAR).

Also, I certainly don't envy Sulin her job. Rand does not make being a bodyguard very easy...
16. litg

It never occurred to me before you summarized it and quoted it like this, but I think Herid Fel might also be a subtle jab at us, the obsessive fans bent over desks (or screens) trying to puzzle out the often philosophical minutiae of this series. Which is, to me, a very funny joke.
Conor Murray
17. NotPropaganda
I actually quite enjoy Rand's interactions with the Maidens because even though they would no doubt be frustrating to have around I think the family bond between them is very... endearing, I guess.

I thought Avi felt no resentment toward Rand anymore, it was pre-sex that she was so full of hate towards the guy was it not?
Rob Munnelly
18. RobMRobM
@15 - Red - Egwene has been mostly out of pocket recovering from Lanfear's injuries. Don't think she's had much free time to do anything until recently. It is her most important priority to get her formal studies with the WOs resumed (before she gets in real trouble), hence the appeal to Rand. Sad but understandable not much chitchat takes place before the ask and counter-ask. R
19. Hopper
So I think Avi wants to kill herself for failing to keep Rand safe for Elayne, but can't because Rand saved her life so she has toh to him to stay alive.

She wants to kill Rand because he shamed her/ wasn't faithful to Elayne/ caused her toh towards Elayne, but can't because she promised Elayne to keep him safe, and so has toh towards her not to kill him.

Thats as much sense as I can make of it...
20. thxdsai
@1 I'm beginning to think there is something fundamentally wrong with the Tor index for these re-reads posted by Leigh.

There are times I click on the link Leigh puts at the beggining of her posts and do not see the links for the most recent ones. I generally have to look along the left margin of the website and find what I'm looking for in the listing for most recent posts.

Not really sure that I answered your question, but hopefully I assured you that you are not the only one noticing the strange.

Seriously, how does killing Rand for saving her life make the slightest amount of sense? I ask you.

No, really, I ask you. Esplain!

My understanding of ji'e'toh would lead me to believe that if she killed Rand, then her obligation given by the wise ones to teach Rand that the Aiel are human and not simply a weapon would be lifted. That in turn would prevent her from being tempted to incur more Toh towards Elayne by having to stay close to him and continue to fall further in love with him.

I think (the honor of the Aiel is by no means easily understood) that the longer Aviendha stays near Rand, the greater her sin against Elayne becomes for breaking her promise to watch him. It is not simply because he saved her life, it has to do with her loving Rand more because he defended her toh to Elayne by doing so.

Hence the comment about her Toh towards Rand being a bug mound in relation to her Toh towards Elayne being a moutain.

I think it was said somewhere during "The Shadow Rising" or "The Fires of Heaven" by either Sorilea or another wise one in regards to men that there are only two ways to deal with them...Marriage or killing them - or some such nonsense. Perhaps that may shed some light on Aviendha's thinking.
Alice Arneson
21. Wetlandernw
katre @ 4 - Third Age is Rand & co, and the last 3000 years. Second Age was the AOL.

I've always sort of assumed that we were First Age, which would fit the idea that "it all started with Creation", and we don't know what the Fourth through Seventh Ages might look like. (No, I'm not going to get into theology today!!!)

I personally don't quite believe that Rand will be the one to create the new prison or whatever it takes to make it "whole." I think he will seal it better than LTT & co. managed, because he'll be working with the women to do the job right, but it will still be a better patch. It won't be until the end of the Seventh Age that the DO's prison will be made whole and perfect, and then it will start all over again. So Industrial Revolution notwithstanding, the OP isn't going away any time soon.

So maybe that's all wishful thinking because its the way I want it to work. I'll be seriously annoyed, though, if they survive TG, having finally learned to work both sides of the OP together again, just to have it all disappear in a puff of smoke (or possibly soot).

About Aviendha's two solutions... I have a vague notion that at one time I'd made sense out of it, but I sure can't now! RobM might have it @5, I'm not sure.
22. Hopper
@20 thxsdai,

That actually a good point about her toh towards Elayne increasing every day she is with Rand, killing him would stop her from incurring more, thus solving one of her problems... although by killing him she would incur more by not protecting him... hmmm...

Maybe RJ was just as confused as Avi was, and that was the point? At the end of the day, her situation really just sucks.
James Jones
23. jamesedjones
Re: the seal and the last battle.

Let's realize that the DO is going to break free, meaning there is no more prison. Unless there is anyone out there who honestly believes that the last battle between Dragon and DO will be a matter of poking attacks through a hole... (waaaayy too Freudian).

This is also one of several points, and I think the only one involving Egwene, where Rand is the one making the wrong assumption. It's one thing for the girls to think that the men are woolheads, but it goes beyond anything for Rand to assume Egwene thinks he might attack her. That part is just sick IMHO.

Also, Herid Fel is about as cool as they come. :)
Lannis .
24. Lannis
I enjoy that Rand's school is in Barthane's manor house... recycling is good... :)

Egwene's thoughts about Gawyn's babies, and how she doesn't see it possible: way to buy into the culling propaganda hook, line and sinker, girl! No wonder the ability to channel is disappearing! Back to those stupid, nearsighted ways!

I think this might be why Egwene annoys me sometimes (I'm not a huge Egwene hater like some, but she does irk me now and then...). Sometimes she's great at thinking outside of the box (multidisciplinary learning can be good for that...), and at others, at times when it's most needed, she likes to pigeonhole herself because she "knows" the answers... grr...

Rand and Egwene: I can only imagine how great an insult it is to Rand that Egwene responded to his question by holding saidar... actions over words, right? Big letdown that the childhood friend doesn't trust you when you're simply having a conversation--and for the good of all, too!

gimpols@ 12: I ? your plaster wall metaphor!

As for the rest of the bore/prision/Ages debate, I'm on the sidelines--where'd I put that lawnchair?--it's all interesting, but I find it tricky to logic out... I'll just sit back and observe... :)

Great stuff, Leigh! See you Friday! :)
Jason Lyman
25. jlyman
@23. jamesedjones

the seal and the last battle

When I first saw this the first thing that came to my mind was the kind of seal that you might see balancing beach balls on his nose for adoring fans. And it just didn't make sense.

*sigh* You can tell that my while my body may be awake my brain certainly isn't.
j p
26. sps49
@23- no no no, if the Dark One broke free/ no prison it would be the End of Everything, Totally.

I never try to figure out where we are, as it is too much effort for no reward.

I do wish Rand would make a move on Aviendha. She has the strongest feelings of anyone toward Rand, and her suppression of them helps noone.

Egwene was only filling herself with saidar to help resist the ta'veren!Compulsion, right? She could've said so.

Edit for italics fix
Peter Nein
27. gimpols1908
25. jlyman

the seal and the last battle

so basically that makes Rand a seal clubber?

If he breaks the seals with a club I may tinkle my self laughing at the image.
Alice Arneson
28. Wetlandernw
gimpols1908 @ 27

LOL!! And with that mental image, one could anticipate TG rather differently...
John Fitzingo
29. Xandar01
First age can't be us because of the portal stones. They are from an age before the AOL, which makes them 1st or 7th age items. That makes us either 6th or 7th age.

Edit: Oh yeah, in re: to 21. Wetlandernw
David Gibson
30. DrG
Warning, New guy post!!

First off, I just want to say how much I really enjoy reading Leigh's commentary on her re-read, because I still had some of the same questions/comments on my second and even third re-read of the series. I'm currently deployed to Afghanistan, and this commentary and subsequent reactions are pretty much what gets me through the days since I finished the books...again! Coincidentally the release of the new book coincides with my return date almost to the day. All I can say is, about freaking time!

Rob, I always look forward to your comments on here, usually hilarious, always insightful.

Everyone else, I love to hear how many of you are confused about the same things I am, and how many things I guessed right!

As for the Avi Toh thing, I think Tamr @14 says it best. I mean, how many closely related are love, hate, and killing people?
31. Redwing
sps49 @ 26 - but that would require Egwene admitting that the Pattern wants Rand to know where Salidar is located. And really, once he finds out it's not such a bad thing, right?
Roger Powell
33. forkroot
Wow! Leigh you were prompt today. Just want everyone to know that I'm holding the "VSO" survey open until Friday's post, whereupon I'll post the summary.

As a reminder, the survey was about your VSO (Very significant other, i.e. husband/wife/partner) and their attitude toward WoT:

A) VSO also very into WoT
B) VSO has read at least one WoT book, but only casual interest
C) VSO has not read WoT but indulges my interest
D) VSO is skeptical or hostile to WoT
E) No VSO at the moment

You can respond with the letter, or choose a "tween" response (B- is the same as C+).

Thanks to all who have responded so far - It will be fun to tally the responses.
Rich Gold
34. richg25
Whoa - I forgot this little LTT quote:

Lews Therin was chanting. Break the seals. Break the seals, and end it. Let me die forever.

Is this possibly a clue that LTT in Rand's head is also somehow related to the seals - like trapping the foresaken? I don't think I ever heard this theory - that somehow the seals also "partially" trapped LTT - to awaken again when his soul was reborn.
mark Proctor
35. mark-p
It's sad the way Rand and Egwene's friendship is getting less and less trusting through the series. If she had at leased said she would pass a message on to the Aes Sadai, it could have gone the other way.

If the seals are stopping the bore opening maybe they are also stopping it closing, so if you break them and distract the dark one long enough the pattern will heal its self.
Alternatively the last battle will be something like this:
Rand El Salvador
John Fitzingo
36. Xandar01
@31. Redwing
I find it funny that he learns where Salidar is by spying on them in TAR, where she is definitely better trained to use. (Well except that Rand probably has a little help from LTT's spirit/memories.) So this whole big secret for nothing.
Peter Nein
37. gimpols1908
@ 33. forkroot
C- (Does not read, does not care) Spends time with her Phillipa Gregory and jodi Picolut.

I won't read that and do care either so it works.
Conor Murray
38. NotPropaganda
@26, this is something I've always been confused by because what happened in the War of Shadow back in the Age of Legends if the Dark One wasn't free? I always assumed that the DO had been free back then once Lanfear did what she did and it took LTT and the rest to seal up the Bore and keep him imprisoned again, but not as he was before.

My idea of it was that the seals will be broken and the DO will be free as he was in the War of Shadow. What happens next, anyone's guess really.
Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
DrG - Welcome! and thank you for your service! Glad we can all help you pass the time with something enjoyable some days. :) Yeah, we're a pretty confused bunch, but we have a lot of fun with it. You get involved here, and you find out there are answers (or at least theories, however crazy) to questions you had never even thought of asking. Good times.

(Did I write that before somewhere? Just had a huge deja vu with that last bit.)

And just for the fun of it (and just a little because of yesterday) I just have to share with y'all the Google "quote of the day" from one of my favorite authors, G. K. Chesterton:
The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.
Mea culpa.
Jason Lyman
40. jlyman

I don't remember what it was I put down for the survey. I think I put C, but that is wrong. She is most definitely a B. We actually have duplicates of several of the books. But she is just not as invested in it as I. She has yet to read Knife of Dreams even.
41. gavindoyle
The index now lists books 1-12 as scheduled for re-reads. I was wondering if you were planning on also doing a re-read of New Spring?
Alice Arneson
42. Wetlandernw
Gah! I can't even look at the index without seeing "load of choss" now. *sigh*
Rob Munnelly
43. RobMRobM
DrG @30. Welcome and thanks for the shout out. Always happy to help. I'm one of the longtimers (I found this re-read only a few chapters into EOTW) and try to throw in a few thoughts each time one comes out.

Gav@40. Yes she is. She'll do it in publication order (don't recall which one it comes after).

@35. Wait until Eg makes him bow to her in one of the next three books. Maybe then it will get better again.

@25 and 27. Very well done. LOL.

Leigh Butler
44. leighdb
gavindoyle @41:

Yes, I plan to include New Spring. Probably in publication order, so it will fall between Crossroads of Twilight and Knife of Dreams.
Rob Munnelly
45. RobMRobM
Oh goodness, the Great One speaks. Yes, I will use balefire for you.

Stacy Berger
46. anIceFan
Crazy theory alert.
This is my pet theory, and even I don't believe it, but here it is. It was prompted by Herid Fel’s talk about the wheel and the prison.
When they re-seal the bore, the Rand persona and the Lews Therin persona will split, with Rand sealing and smoothing the patch from the outside, and LTT doing the same from the inside.
Why you ask?
Well, I liken the DO’s prison to a big spherical wall. If you have ever patched drywall, you know that you put in the mud and then smooth it over, attempting to make the surface seamless. The problem, in this case, is that you are only smoothing one side, and the other is rough and would give someone a weak point to work on to remove the seal. In order to make it so that the DO has no place to pick at, you need to smooth both sides.
Now, there are 2 problems that I have with this theory,
1) What happens to LTT afterword, is he now a plaything for the DO to torture for eternity
2) When I suggested this to RJ at a signing he looked at me as if I was insane and asked “Why would you want to do that” my response, “The ultimate sacrifice”

Anyway, I have been dying to get this out, I will go back to my corner.
Tess Laird
47. thewindrose
RobMRobM - You are just on fire today:)
I will comment more later - very busy at work:(
James Jones
48. jamesedjones
43 RobMRobM

Elaida's foretelling was only that he would "face" the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger.

That's, and I qoute Tarantino here, "More like chewed out. I been chewed out before."

The only thing about him bowing referenced the Crystal Throne.
James Jones
49. jamesedjones
43 RobMRobM

Elaida's foretelling was only that he would "face" the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger.

That's, and I qoute Tarantino here, "More like chewed out. I been chewed out before."

The only thing about him bowing referenced the Crystal Throne.
Rob Munnelly
50. RobMRobM
Re the commentary:

"So, wait. Why was Sulin saying that Rand had left his rooms in Cairhien at the end of the last chapter, when we start this chapter with him in his rooms, in Cairhien, having nightmares, with no indication he went anywhere between the time Egwene left his room and him going to sleep? Did I miss something, or is this a gaffe, or is this a Subtle Clue? And if a clue, a clue to what? Where did he go? Is he sleepwalking or something? Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, over?"

Time lapse - c. 18 was in afternoon of one day and 19 was a.m. of second day. No doubt had other meetings in the castle in the evening of the first day that RJ didn't put on screen. Nothing mysterious, just that the Maidens are keeping a close watch to get around his only two guards rule while in his castles.

Rob Munnelly
51. RobMRobM
@48 - good clarification. Note that Crystal throne bowing was a Foresaken-induced edit to the Prophecies of the Dragon to try to cause trouble.

@47 - Unlike you, I'm not out of control at work today, so have some time to comment. You'll note I'm keeping em short and sweet so that my secretary and coworkers won't have coronaries.

David Gibson
52. DrG
@38 I was always under the impression that if the DO breaks free, all hell breaks loose. i.e. end of everything. The only time that he is ever actively fighting (in another Age) is when there is a hole in his prison and he can only use part of his power. Although, I do agree that the seals have to be broken in order for TG to happen. I guess I'm just really curious as to how things are going to progress from there. I suppose Rand will have to beat up the DO and somehow make a new prison, but who is going to help him do that? The Creator is going to finally reach out and touch the world? If the DO can do it, that's only fair right?

Thanks for the warm welcome Wetlandernw!

Also, as a sidenote, the interweb here is REALLLYYYY slow, so if I post way after an issue is dead, I apologize in advance!
Peter Nein
53. gimpols1908
@ 46. anIceFan

Lovin that you use the drywall thought as well...

Interesting theory, I suppose it is a subset of the LTT is a real dude camp. But if Rand is LTT reborn, and LTT is trapped inside the prison with the DO, would Rand also become a plaything? Perhaps we went too far with the drywall/Spackle theory and need to move on to the Great Stuff theory where once the fill the hole it expands to fill all unused space... Ok perhaps too far into the construction metafor in total. What if we move to the description of the "Age Lace" It seems the bore was opened through a perceived weakness in the age lace (I could be misremembering) by Mirian/LF (SP?) So this is the result of a woman using sadiar to bore a hole in the lace. Remember when, I think it was Eggie, said that if she tried to bore a hole to travel (like rand) she feels like she would be sucked inside? Perhaps that sort of bore that was used added with the fact that LF was going to try to tap a huge source of power. So this hole could in theroy be mended, sticthed as it were so it would look seamless. So you would
1. Club the Seals
2. Turn the prison inside out metaphorically
3. sew the edges
4. Turn it back around
5. Stuff with the DO of your choice
6. Seal up the last few inches with invisible stitches.

Perhaps it needs a man to fix it because they approach the One Power from a different direction, perhaps men and women see different sides of the Age Lace and if they work together it will be stitched from both sides and the DO will be trapped in the space between atoms.

Perhaps I need a new project...
54. altarego
The DO's ability to influence the world (via shadowspawn, Forsaken, or whatever) is directly dependent on the presence of the ability to channel/touch the OP.

No channeling = no Forsaken, no creating shadowspawn with experiments, no temptation for crazy women in white dresses

The DO's influence on the weather is a *consequence* of thee being a patch there, as opposed to the original prison.

If you break the seals (like debriding a wound) and take away the ability to channel, eventually the prison will heal itself over good as new.
55. SteveC
Re Seals and the DO's prison.

I've always assumed that Rand will seal the DO's prison with the magical equivalent of welding. In the real world, the weld is stronger than the two metals being joined and is a mixture of the various chemistries involved. It's not too hard to imagine a magical equivalent to welding that would seal the DO's prison and leave no trace of the Bore ever being drilled.

The Seals are already crumbling and I don't remember the last time that we have seen one inspected to see that it was still intact. So it's possible that all of the seals will simply crumble away with no action required by anyone. But going back to the welding analogy, it's also easy to draw a parallel between breaking the seals before sealing the DO's prison and cleaning the two pieces before welding.
56. mirrorshadow
In regards to the 'Herid Fel/Break The Seals' thing, I always thought that the Pattern itself was the DO's Prison. That Time and The Wheel and whatnot were what kept Him constrained (or something...our few brushes with the DO have revealed only hints of the nature of Its constraint). That being the case, I theorized that the re-sealing/repair of the Bore would be a Healing. Something along the lines of three strongest-of-the-Age ta-veren (Rand, Mat and Perrin) showing up at Shayol Ghul. The presence of all three (which have not even all been in the same room in quite some time, I might add) would literally yank the Pattern towards the Bore. Then, maybe Nynaeve links with Alivia and Rand (with Nyn guiding the flows), and quite literally 'Heals death' (something like this would be right up Jordan's foreshadowing alley), by weaving both halves of the One Power with the Pattern itself to Heal the Bore.

In order for anything even remotely like that to happen, the 'rubble must be cleared', as it were. I even wonder if the Bore would have healed on its own, over time (as The Pattern seems to operate somewhat organically, adapting and healing itself as needed), but that it wouldn't have healed fast enough for the War of the Shadow to overcome the Light and find a way to free the DO permanently. How ironic, if the Seals were what kept the Bore open all this time. LTT's list of Reasons I Should Die would grow yet again.

There are enough gaping holes in this idea/philosophy of WoT to put the Bore to shame, but there it is. I couldn't resist adding my voice to all the Herid Fel-ing this post has provoked :). I will now return to lurking.

(note - I also REALLY like the idea of the One Power being a detriment to the fight against the DO. He gets at least as much use out of it as the Light does. And after all, what did Mieren use to drill the Bore in the first place? The seals were probably the very reason the DO was able to taint Saidin. But that's another theory for another time :)
Jason Lyman
57. jlyman
@52. DrG

The Creator is going to finally reach out and touch the world?

Wasn't that Him at the end of The Eye of the World? "IT IS NOT HERE. I WILL TAKE NO PART. ONLY THE CHOSEN ONE CAN DO WHAT MUST BE DONE, IF HE WILL." So from that it seems to me that the Creator, if that was Him, cannot take part directly. I would assume that neither can the Dark One. Each has his "Chosen" to do the work for them. Interesting...

@54. altarego

If you break the seals (like debriding a wound) and take away the ability to channel, eventually the prison will heal itself over good as new.

That's an interesting thought.
58. CalaLily

The Dark one wasn't free, there was just a hole in his prison. I think the BBoBA described it as a "finger hole"; it was just big enough for him to touch the world. Now, if he's just sort of poking the Pattern, hoping his fingernail can unravel it (and doing a mighty fine job of it, might I add) then just imagine what would happen if that "finger hole" became a full-blown door.

And as to all those people who think magic will go poof into the Fourth Age...

I hope not! I mean, all the progress channellers are making, starting to come together and make all of these advancements, whether Kin, Windfinder, Wise Ones, Asha'man or Aes Sedai, and you guys think they'll be burned out during the Last Battle?

That. Sucks.

That WOULD suck.

Who knows, maybe this turning of the Wheel magic stays around for another two or three Ages? After all, Ages aren't the exact same every time they come 'round.

Besides, we don't know how long particular Ages actually last. The Third Age was 3000 years, but, in the context of the WOT world, think of our own Age, we've been hanging around for 6000 years or so. We don't even know how long the Age of Legends lasted. For all we know, the Fourth Age could last three times as long as the Third, or just shy of 6000. The only thing we do know is that an Age is forgotten before it comes back around. I think Randland has a while before Alsbet and Lenn and Anla the Wise Counselor are completely lost to the bards and gleemen.

And what about the lost creatures we have today? The giraffe skeleton in the Panarch's palace, that Egwene had that impression of great age from. No, I think -our specific- time has already passed, and when our Age comes round again, it'll be similar, but very, very different than what we have today.

And that's what I love about this series. It actually has me talking about it like it's real. *sigh*

As I've said before, I'm thinking the Fourth Age will be sorta steampunkish, with the "punk" part supplied ala the Source. :)
Anthony Pero
59. anthonypero

In regards to Aviendha's two tohs: neither of them refers to Rand. SHe disregards her toh to Rand entirely. In this case, both tohs refer to Elayne.

The first one is obvious: She slept with him. Killing herself fulfills that obligation. The second one is less obvious: she promised to "watch over" him for Elayne. Acting as a near-sister, killing Rand fulfills her toh to Elayne for letting Rand sleep with someone else. Except the someone else is her, so the avenues to fulfilling her toh, either one, are blocked.
Jay Dauro
60. J.Dauro

I would have to rate VSO as a B+. We just got together recently, and she decided that she wanted to see what took so much of my time and attention (and some of that is all of y'all's fault.)

She has started listening to the audiobooks. Finished tEotW, and started on tGH. So far, she seems very interested (I am having to use RAFO a lot.) So I can't really rate her as a B, even though she has only finished 1 book.

Welcome and thanks, DrG. Glad to have you join us. I hope we manage to keep you and your fellow service folks (we do get some others) entertained.
Conor Murray
61. NotPropaganda
@58, if he wasn't free then, and the hole in his prison was sealed by LTT, and these seals are weakening... surely when they're broken it will simply reopen that hole? So he won't be completely free?

Unless I'm missing something completely here, in which case forgive my ignorance and please enlighten!
Anthony Pero
62. anthonypero

Actually, the Bore wasn't large enough for the DO to "step" through. There was a hundred years after the Bore was drilled in which the DO influenced the world without most people knowing he existed, then the War of Power broke out and lasted 10 years. During those 10 years, the DO and the Forsaken, etc, increased the size of the Bore, trying to cause the Day of Return, not realizing how idiotic they were, cause the DO WILL DESTROY EVERYTHING, MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

So, He was never free during the War of Power. The Bore just allowed him to touch the world.
63. Jormengrund
I've got a minor thought here...

If the wheel turns, and everything is as it was in time...

Then wouldn't it stand to reason that the DO was trapped, someone bored a hole into said trap, trap was opened, and the DO was again trapped??

Thus, New trap, hole in trap, trap broken, new trap brought out and trap DO again.. Rinse, repeat..

Yeah, I might be going a BIT too far on this, but that could very well explain the entire plotline..
Conor Murray
64. NotPropaganda

I think I geddit now haha, cheers.

Basically, the initial Bore wasn't huge, but Darkfriends/Forsaken worked to increase the size of the Bore before it was sealed - thus, if the seals break the DO and Forsaken are working from where they were stopped at the end of the War of Power and obviously haven't as far to go to widen the hole in his prison to such an extent that he breaks all the way through?

I worded that quite terribly!
James Jones
65. jamesedjones
63 Jormengrund

That's pretty much it. Unless Herid Fel is a nutcase (which I do not believe).
66. CalaLily

No, he won't be completely free. But, in the War of the Shadow, the world went from Utopia to Almost Destroyed in no time flat. Large swaths of territory were controlled by the Shadow and "governed" by the Forsaken. Trollocs and other shadowspawn basically had free reign, and the Light was holding on by the skin of their teeth. The DO has seen THIS coming for a long time, and has had time to prepare. The Bore was an accident, while in Present Day Randland darkfriends and the Forsaken have actively been working to free the DO. I imagine the carnage and choas would be swift, and then the world would blink out of existence as the DO ripped open his prison and destroyed everything....
Rob Munnelly
67. RobMRobM
"I give you the sixty-fifth" (if this posts fast enough).

Can I say that I find all the DO talk "bore-ing"?


Edit - didn't make it in time for the joke. Drat.
Anthony Pero
68. anthonypero
I actually think the Seals are the mechanism through which the DO tainted Saidin in the first place. The Seals were made exclusively with Saidin.

I think what Rand did at the end of Winter's Heart was sort of like an oil change: what's causing the gunk in the first place is still there. I think the Seals need to be broken in order for Saidin to not be in danger anymore.

I also think the Seals keep the Bore from closing all on it's own. I think trapping the DO in some sort of time-suspension field (like the Vacuoles that Moridin uses), and simply keeping anyone else form the Bore, will allow the DO's prison to heal itself.

Of course, they could always simply use the Choden Kals and Balefire Lanfear/Cyndane back about 3500 years, lol.
69. Kadere
Hey Leigh, how was holding TGS and did you actually manage to get an early copy?
John Mann
70. jcmnyu

And always watch out for the Loose Seal that has acquired a taste for humans. You could loose a hand to that thing. Right, Buster?
Anthony Pero
71. anthonypero
About Sulin and Rand at the end of this chapter:

A while back (at the beginning of the LoC re-read) I commented on this, because I though maybe LTT was "taking over" Rand and doing night-walks. Well, I'm up through Winter's Heart now, and there has been no further evidence of this, at all, other than possibly the one instance in LoC where Balwer mentions Rand in all three countries at once. Someone pointed out to me that his visit to Mat in Arringal could count as Cairhien, so without further evidence surfacing...

Apparently my suspicion here was unfounded.
Helen Peters
72. Helen
Quote "Wearily he got to his feet and donned his coat again. There were still the Cairheinin nobles to see......" Yup he went out again, saw the Cairhenin nobles, the Tairens, WOs, clan chiefs. The 3 paragraphs between Eg leaving and Sulin playing with knives strongly suggests so.

For the survey, hubby is D, he cannot figure out why I get engrossed in books and makes me stop reading to cook dinner.
73. OldWoman
For the survey: E
But does it count that last Thanksgiving, that as we sat around digesting dinner, I realized my son, my grandson (his nephew) and I were all rereading different WOT books?
Josh Davis
74. YoSoyElJosh
The difficulty with The Bore and with the Seal is that even when the Dark One was most free, from the time of the Bore to the placement of the Seal, what did the Dark One do?

Nothing world-ending, really. He was able to make his presense known, and win over some powerful converts. But he couldn't end the world. We've no idea if he had any meterological influence, as the weather was still highly controlled.

He was able to reshape the area nearest Shayol Ghul, where the Bore manifested itself most physically, but he himself could not break the world.

Lastly, he was able to taint the male half of the source. That, and the Blight, are the only things he did that have persisted.

So what happens if the Dark One is free again? Does the Blight continue to advance at a crawl? Does the weather just jump from one extreme to another?

Maybe the records are incomplete, but in the 100 years between the Bore, and the Seal, the world didn't end.
Bryan Cogswell
75. shmoo
@74 Do did a really good number on the Ways too...
Rob Munnelly
76. RobMRobM
Before this thread gets too played out, I should note the current status of my attempt to re-read a set of Sci-Fi/Fantasy classics written over the past 25 years or so (since I graduated college and got married to my DW who is not a big fan of genre books).

Feist Riftwar - done and discussed in an earlier post. Good but not great.

Donaldson Gap series - finished all five last week and LOVED them. Wonderful, compelling characters, complicated but logical story - really well done. One caveat - first book has significant brutality towards one of the main characters that is close to stomach turning, so be forewarned before you dive in. Later books keep those elements as well, so not for faint-of-heart.

Now on Book 1 of Bujold's Vorkosigan series and liking it very much so far.

Still to come: Weis-Hickman, Willis, Salvatore (and maybe another).

P.s. Took time out and read Sanderson's Elantris, which I also liked but didn't love. Great set up, thought the ending was a bit rushed and not fully plausible within the world created. I liked Mistborn much more. Pretty much on par with Warbreaker.

Vincent Lane
77. Aegnor

Regarding the portal stones, these could very well be something that was created late in the 1st Age. Therefore it could be something that happened before the AOL, and yet post current day. My best guess is that the portal stones were created right about the time of the transition from the first to second age, along with the discovery of the One Power.
James Jones
78. jamesedjones
72 Helen

Just give him a heads up that you'll be "cooking" a lot of pizza and chinese food during the week of Oct 27th. :D
Marcus W
79. toryx
Busy day for me.

Harid Fel: Love him. Wish he hadn't been killed so soon. On the other hand, at least someone interesting gets killed in these books.

I like a lot of what mirrorshadow @ 56 was saying about the hole in the DO's prison. I'm not sure I entirely agree, but there are some good thoughts there.

Personally, I've always thought of the hole/ bore as being something that had to be healed. And I do think that the seals have to be broken before the bore can be healed.

However, I think that the LTT construct in Rand's head partially wants the DO to win. If the wheel of time is broken then chances are there will be no more rebirths. To a sick and twisted perspective, death may go on forever that way, which fits LTT's desires pretty well at this point.

As to the mystery inherent in Sulin being pissed off about Rand leaving again, I've been wondering if Rand physically enters Tel'aran'rhiod sometimes in his sleep. It probably wouldn't be all that different from activating a Portal Stone in one's sleep. Then he could have dreams that are somewhat real (all the images from the former life) and be physically absent from his real world room at the same time.

But that's a crazy theory that has no evidence to support it.
Rob Munnelly
80. RobMRobM
Wait - what is Avi meeting with the WOs about such that Eg isn't invited? Has to be something discussed in last few chapters that is important to WOs. Rand ducking her? Avi trying again to be let out of teacher mode? Figuring how how she can find Elayne and discharge toh? Ideas?
James Jones
81. jamesedjones
79 Toryx

You can only channel spirit when you are asleep, so Rand's gateways wouldn't work (they require some earth). And as for the waking up in the twighlight zone during the second book, I've always assumed that Lanfear took Rand through the portal stones while he was asleep.
82. Dedicated
@51 RobM

@48 - good clarification. Note that Crystal throne bowing was a Foresaken-induced edit to the Prophecies of the Dragon to try to cause trouble.

Actually, I think this was an edit by a Seanchan ruler sometime in the past. The forsaken have only been free for a couple of years, except for Ishamael who could have done it. But I think it is much more likely that one of the Seachan kings or queens did not like reading that the Nine Moons would bow to the Dragon Reborn, so in their pride, they decided all of the copies of the prophecies should be alter to read the other way round.
That fits with how dictators in the real world tend to try to rewrite history.
I find it somewhat interesting that RJ has not had someone from Seanchan question which prophecies were altered instead of assuming the westland copies had been changed.

Oh and for the poll: C-, my wife tolerates my reading, but will make some snippy little comments about how the bills aren't getting paid or the kids are being ignored! Sheesh, you would think she would have SOME sense of priorities;P.
Marcus W
84. toryx
jamesedjones @ 81:

Only spirit can consciously be channelled when asleep. It's never been established if other weaves can be channelled unconsciously.

Besides, there's no real constant when it comes to channelling. Every time an Aes Sedai says one can't do something, someone comes along and shows otherwise.

I know a lot of people assume Lanfear pulled Rand through the Portal Stone but I'm not one of them. Rand went to sleep with Saidin flickering at the edges of his awareness and calling to him. That seemed too sharply noted in the writing to be sheer coincidence to me.

Also, I don't think Lanfear would have brought Hurin and Loial with Rand if she was responsible. Their presence seemed to annoy her.

But who knows? Like I said, it's a crazy theory and personally, I don't like crazy theories.
Rob Munnelly
85. RobMRobM

Gathering Storm, Tor Books category
Tor Books announced the schedule for the upcoming U.S. book tour that Brandon Sanderson and Harriet will be going on when THE GATHERING STORM is released. See below for the exact locations and dates.

Brandon will be at every book signings, but Harriet will only be at the marked events.

BYU Bookstore, Provo, UT
Tuesday, October 27th: Midnight
Wilkinson Student Center (WSC)
Brigham Young University
University Hill,
Provo, Utah 84602
(801) 422-2400

Barnes & Noble, Charleston, SC
Harriet to attend
Tuesday, October 27th: 7:00 PM
7620 Rivers Ave
Charleston, SC 29406
(843) 572-2322

Borders, Chicago, IL
Wednesday, October 28th: 7:30 PM
1500 16th Street, Suite D
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 574-0800

Books-a-Million, Baltimore, MD
Harriet to attend
Thursday, October 29th: 7:00 PM
7000 Arundel Mills Cir
Hanover, MD 21076-1282
(443) 755-0210

Barnes & Noble, Minneapolis, MN
Friday, October 30th: 7:00 PM
HarHar Mall
2100 North Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN 55113
(651) 639-9256

West Charleston Library, Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, Oct 31st: 2:00 PM
6301 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 507-3940

Tattered Cover, Denver, CO
Sunday, Nov. 1st: 2:00 PM
1628 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 436-1070

Sam Weller’s Bookstore, Salt Lake City, UT
Monday, Nov. 2nd: 6:30 PM
254 South Main Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 328-2586

Borders, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, Nov. 4th: 7:30 PM
5871 Crossroads Center Way
Baileys Crossroads, VA 22041
(703) 998-0404

Harvard Coop, Boston, MA
Thursday, Nov. 5th: 7:00 PM
1400 Massachusetts Avenue
18 Palmer Street
Cambridge, MA 02238

Chester County Books, Philadelphia, PA
Friday, Nov. 6th: 7:00 PM
975 Paoli Pike
West Goshen Center
West Chester, PA 19380
(610) 696-1661

Toadstool Book Shop, Milford, NH
Saturday, Nov. 7th: 2:00 PM
586 Nashua St.
Lorden Plaza
Milford, NH 03055
(603) 673-1734

Barnes & Noble (Union Square), NYC
Harriet to attend
Monday, Nov. 9th: 7:00 PM
33 East 17th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 253-0810

Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY
Harriet to attend
Tuesday, Nov. 10th: 7:00 PM
161 Lexington Green Cir # B
Lexington, KY 40503-3325
(859) 273-2911

Books & Co., Dayton, OH
Wednesday, Nov. 11th: 7:00 PM
at The Greene
4453 Walnut Street
Dayton, OH 45440
(937) 429-2169

Norcross Cultural Arts Center, Atlanta, GA
Harriet to attend
Friday, Nov. 13th: 7:00 PM
10 College Street
Norcross, GA 30071
(678) 421-2025

Borders, Dallas, TX
Harriet to attend
Saturday, Nov. 14th: 2:00 PM
10720 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230
(214) 363-1977

Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
Sunday, Nov. 15th: 2:00 PM
7051 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-4747

Scottsdale Public Library, Phoenix, AZ
Monday, Nov. 16th: 7:00 PM
Civic Center Auditorium
3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 947-2974

Vroman’s Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, Nov. 17th: 7:00 PM
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 449-5320

University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Wednesday, Nov. 18th: 7:00 PM
4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 634-3400

Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
Thursday, Nov. 19th: 7:00 PM
Cedar Hills Crossing
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 228-4651

Bay Book Company, Half Moon Bay, CA
Harriet to attend
Friday, Nov. 20th: 7:00 PM
80 North Cabrillo Hwy, Suite F
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-3488

Barnes & Noble, San Jose, CA
Harriet to attend
Saturday, Nov. 21st: 2:00 PM
2200 Eastridge Loop
San Jose, CA 95122
(408) 270-9470

For long-time fans of the series, you may have noticed that there are cities on this list which have never had a Wheel of Time book signing event before. Tor made a big effort to go to some new locations this time, and I know suggestions all of you played a big role is helping to decide where they went.

Wait, there’s more!
There will be a big announcement this weekend at DragonCon with regards to the tour and how YOU (yes, YOU) can get some really awesome opportunities. Keep checking our news page over the weekend and look for several announcements.
Jason Lyman
86. jlyman
I love that he's coming to the "Y"! Just a hop, skip and a jump from here. I wonder if the VSO will let me stay up that late...

EDIT: Were there any marked in that post?

EDIT of the EDIT: I see them now. I was looking for more of a visual identifier, like an asterik or something. Sorry.
Vincent Lane
87. Aegnor
I think people are reading too much into the whole Sulin thing, and Rand leaving his chambers. For all we know he just went to the pantry for a late night snack. The purpose of that scene could have been just to show that the maidens were making every effort to keep track of Rand, and also to show their growing frustration with Rand making the task difficult.

It may just be a minor setup scene for the big finale of the book where Rand is captured, and the maidens assume he went off without telling them.
Jason Lyman
88. jlyman
@87. Aegnor

But we all know what happens when you go wandering off to the pantry alone in a big castle... :-)
89. Freelancer

Couple things. First, on your non-WoT reading selections, I liked Elantris much more than Warbreaker, though I admit I might have been mildly soured by having read the poorly edited online doc version first. It's still very good, but all those typos get to me. And if the Orson Scott Card Ender's series isn't on your radar, I suggest it.

In answer to your post@80, I think they were providing continuing guidance to Aviendha about making sure Rand does what's best for the Aiel as a whole. Of course, the WOs believe that the surest way to do that is if he's in love with one of them. Not a conversation anyone would want Egwene involved in.


I believe that as well. Rand didn't accidentally channel himself through a portal stone just exactly right to end up where they did. Lanfear put him there so that he could heroically rescue her and she could capture his heart. She didn't count on his incomparable sense of gentlemanliness to surpass her devious damselness, resulting in his Nice-Guy-ness remaining unblemished by her trampy seductiveness.
Vincent Lane
90. Aegnor

Thats it! Rand wandered into the pantry, went back in time, and killed Asmodean. Two mysteries solved!
91. Freelancer
But we all know what happens when you go wandering off to the pantry alone in a big castle...
You only need to worry about that if you're a weak, cowardly, partially shielded male forsaken with a musical bent, who was just balefired back to life after being killed by a power-wrought lightning strike.

You aren't, are you?
Jason Lyman
92. jlyman
Elementary, my dear Aegnor. Elementary.

@91. Freelancer

You only need to worry about that if you're a weak, cowardly, partially shielded male forsaken with a musical bent, who was just balefired back to life after being killed by a power-wrought lightning strike.

Weak... check. Cowardly... sometimes... check. Partially shielded... whu? Musical bent... sure. Died and came back to life? Not that I recall. So I guess not.
93. thxdsai
@22 Hopper

Groovy, I wasn't sure if I was even making sense, (wait till you read my new theory).

I think alot of us have had relationships similiar to Rand/Elayne & Rand/Aviendha (I've had it happen to me, where my best friend and the girl I'm seeing end up falling for each other - not saying it is right, just that it is not that uncommon).

I do agree that it sucks!

@25 jlyman

I was rolling around hysterically with laughter from the images flopping around in my head when I read that.

@46 anIceFan

I really like that theory because it actually seems logical. I don't think I'm cut out to agree with the repairing plaster idea though (/tease gimpols1908)

I'm going to try and one up ya however on crazy theory.

My theory requires one to discount the ideas of good and evil for a moment. Think of the wheel as something that exists more as an idea then actual object. Everything associated to the wheel - from the One Power, Ta'avern, and portal stones - has an echo (or equal but opposite rather).

Now if one turning of the wheel measures all the ages before they begin to repeat themselves, then the Dark One must eventually break free if there is ever to be an age where he is not known.

The books say that the Dragon Reborn (or his equivilant) has served the shadow before. I think it also states that the Dark One wants to remake the wheel, not do without one entirely. What if the Dark One and the Creator trade places every so often just so that they can keep learning from each other. They take the knowledge from all the things one of them did at one point and rework the those that failed them in the previous point.

It seems natural to me that anytime creation is threatened, the created name the author of their distruction evil and continue to revere that which gave it life. This eternal flip/flop seems like nothing more to me then balance.

I see the Dark One as really liking dinos and the creator as liking hairless apes (wonder what Howard would say?). After all, something has to happen to refill all the oil reserves that get used up during coming age(s?).

@53 gimpols1908

It is not my intention to be nit-picky but I thought LF linked with another male channeler and used the Choda-Kals (or however they are spelled) to create the bore. Did she really do it on her own?
94. Dedicated
Lanfear probably linked with Biedemon to create the bore, though we do not have an exact description of what happened. But they did not use the Choadan Kal. Those were not created until the war of power 100 years later.
Tess Laird
95. thewindrose
HA - you beat me to it Aegnor - I was going to say something quite a bit like that:)
Oct 30th Minn MN - whoo hoo!! Now how do I sneak out around Halloween with kids? That will be harder than sneaking by Maidens of the Spear.
I agree that the Seanchen changed the prophecy to better suit themselves.

Edit - Wow I would not want to be BS - look at all the plane hopping he is going to be doing!
Tyler Durden
96. Balance
@#93-- Damn man, you and your friends need to adopt "the code". You don't make a play fer your boy's gurl. If she hits on you, you play it off. You can date her after they break up, only after he is truly over her, and you know he's cool with it. It may not be truly fair to "twu lub" but it sure helps keep honor amongust friends. The way Egg and Elayne do it is fine.

The Seals: I agree that the seals are actually holding the prison open. They will have to be broken before the prison can be resealed. Remember that Lews and his boyz kinda went in on their own. It was an imperfect solution. Rand must "clear away the ruble" before he can build again

Rand does sneak out alot on his own. (wouln't you if you could Travel?) He thinks it's fun. Min comments on it later. Sulin is no fool.
Tess Laird
97. thewindrose
sps49 - Did you ever envision that it would take so long for Rand and Avi to hook up again? I think the Min viewing of Aviendha w/ the 4 babies is going to happen after TG - so we may not even see them together in the books - that may be a loose end!
98. Rand Al'Todd
"Rand asks if there would be any reason to break the seals; Herid is shocked at the notion, and asks why he would even think such a thing.

“I don’t know,” Rand sighed. In the back of his head Lews Therin was chanting. Break the seals. Break the seals, and end it. Let me die forever."

Lews Therin is so full of guilt over his actions that he is now willing to release the DO so that the DO can break the Wheel, just so long as he, Lews, gets to "die forever" - i.e. die with no Heaven or Hell or being reborn to the Wheel.

In short, he just wants to be put out of his misery!!!
Sam Mickel
99. Samadai
Nothing like a Leighcotine fix to bring you back from too much work over the past two weeks.
Vincent Lane
100. Aegnor
"In short, he just wants to be put out of his misery!!!"

Maybe, but I seem to remember that when Taim first gave Rand the seals LTT was also saying something about breaking the seals and then striking.
101. Lsana
@92 jlyman,

But if you are killed and brought back to life via balefire, I'm not sure you necessarily do remember it.

Just to be on the safe side, if you ever find yourself in Caemlyn, take an Asha'man friend or two with you when you go looking for the pantry...
102. Lsana
@97 thewindrose,

My theory has always been that Rand will get Aviendha pregnant shortly before he dies at TG and one of her babies is going to be the reincarnation of Rand himself.
Skip Ives
103. Skip
Aw, they're not doing NYC on the date it comes out. That's how I've gotten all my others signed. I guess I can wait to November.
104. thxdsai
@96 Balance

Perhaps I was too vague in the example I tried to give. I don't want to give the wrong impression, so allow me to clarify.

I had a friend move in on my girl because they started spending time together. When I found out, I told the girl to get lost and to not try and weasel herself back into my life ever again. I told the friend that if he wished to remain a friend then severe all his ties to the girl and lets move on together.

Otherwise, I wanted nothing to do with either of them. I didn't particularly want to lose a friend over a girl and I figured there was a better girl out there somewhere for me anyway.

Perhaps this wasn't the best example to give in Aviendha's case. I only wanted to illustrate that I thought I could identify with the pain Aviendha felt in her act of betrayal to Elayne and how my understanding of Toh would lead her to believe that killing Rand would met part of the Toh she had incurred.

I still think her situation sucks, just as mine sucked because I was going to lose at least one person I cared about not matter what the outcome might have been.
Hurin Smells
105. HurinSmells
On Herid Fel
Did anyone else notice in tFoH the name of the dude that half fell into the doorway ter'angreal on the back of the wagon in Rhui... the one Lan pulls out? His name was Herid!!!!

I like to imagine RJ reading over that section and stumbling across "...Herid fell..." and thinking to himself "That would make a really great name", and thusly Herid Fel was christened.
William Fettes
106. Wolfmage
jamesedjones @ 48

"Elaida's foretelling was only that he would "face" the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger."

Yes, exactly. It would be pretty insufferable if that was what was ordained in light of all the preceding headdesk moments regarding Egwene's attitude toward Rand. If there must be some outward gesture of an attitude adjustment let it be mutual, thanks.

If the Foretelling does represent a continuation of this 'conflict', I hope it will be the last gasp of such estrangement and lack of trust - potentially leading to a new compact between Rand and Egwene. Alternatively, I would be happy if it was simply misleading, because the Foretelling never states that the Amyrlin's anger is actually directed at Rand. Egwene and Rand sharing the same grievance would satisfy him knowing her anger.

I cannot help but recall here Egwene's post-Acceptotron moment of revulsion at the repetition of her failing Rand again and again. Since she's risen up in the world, she hasn't shown the same degree of humility and loyalty of that moment, but I think she will get there eventually. No doubt she will be more disposed and empowered to do so once she isn't dealing with the Tower split.
107. alreadymadwithacademies
Xandar01 @10
Agreed. Egwene was being presumptuous in asking without offering anything in return. Even after Rand almost promised to stay away from them.

Hopper @19
Close enough. I personally believe killing Rand will not so much remove her toh to Elayne as render it moot.

jamesedjones @23
It's perfectly logical to assume Egwene thinks he might attack her. What other reason could she have to seize the Source other than to defend? Even among full Aes Sedai, suddenly seizing the Source in the presence of another without any sign of danger is taken as a sign of aggression. Besides, as Rand noted Egwene was downright rude. Went straight to do this and that without even so much as a hello.

sps49 @26
I don't recall holding The Power as an effective defense against the ta'veren effect.

gimpols1908 @53
Saidar wasn't used exclusively to create the whole. Lanfear worked with an entire team of researchers. Including Beidomon whom I believe was a male.

toryx @79
It actually makes sense that Rand went to TAR when he disappeared. Not asleep though, he Travels his way into TAR, and last I heard, you have to be awake for that.

RobMRobM @80
Asking for permission to stop teaching Rand so she can go to Elayne, most likely.

jlyman @92
Asmo died the same way Mat did at Caemlyn. Along with Aviendha. They were all brought back the same way.

Wolfmage @106
My two cents on that is that Rand will know the Amyrlin's anger but not necessarily be cowed or affected by it.
I mean, come on, if it came down to a contest of the Power, Rand wins hands down. If it came down to political influence he has four major nations solidly behind him. Plus a few others that should be if he ever managed to contact them. He'll know about the Amyrlin's anger, all right, but it doesn't have to be a serious cause for him to worry.

I'll stay out of the which age we're in discussion and jump right to resealing the Bore.

IMHO all that would be really needed would be to blast the Bore with the combined might of Saidin and Saidar. Force the Dark One's hand away from the Bore and it will close of its own accord. With only Saidin, the most LTT could do was to patch it with a patch of Saidin held in place by the Seals. That's why Saidin ended up tainted. The Seals themselves were also acting as contact points for the Dark One. That's why the cuendillar in them is deteriorating. Only something outside of the Pattern can cause it so much damage. And now, the patch is keeping the Dark One out, but at the same time keeping the Bore open.
Tess Laird
108. thewindrose
I think while Egwene will *help* Rand, we are not going to be seeing her eat humble-pie anytime soon.
She is the Tower, she is Aes Sedai to her marrow. I think we will find Nynaeve to be more in Rands camp, she will always remember the boy shepard, look at what she does for Lan. She knows she has to let him go to the Borderlands, and she knows also that Rand needs her by his side. She takes Lan to raise an army(making all sorts of stops afterwards to help him do just that.) Then she goes back to Rand.
When Egwene gains the Tower, I don't see her dropping everything to be at Rands side. Don't get me wrong - she will do what is in her power to help the Lightside prevail, but Rand is the Dragon Reborn to her now. The boy she knew is from a different life, she will use him how she sees fit -if she can.
William Fettes
109. Wolfmage
alreadymadwithacademies @ 107

Yeah, I don't think it reflects poorly on Rand that he is taken aback by Egwene apparently being spooked here and seizing Saidar. It's entirely logically from his viewpoint to think she is doing this to be on guard against him. Rand has no way of knowing she only does it to buffer herself from his ta'veren influence, and she elects not to explain it. Why not? Well, I assume because she defaults to Aes Sedai mystique and doesn't want to admit this influence to Rand. That's understandable, given their history, but it doesn't help Rand understand what really going on.

I also want to underscore that this scene really shows emphatically that Egwene fully comprehends the power of Rand's ta'veren influence. RJ has partially defended Egwene's assumption in CoT that Rand is using compulsion because she supposedly discounts his ta'veren force, compared to what she knows about Rand's inventive channelling and his new toughness. However, I'd say this scene really makes that argument untenable, or at least it does create a tension for those who are trying to have a bob each way on Egwene here.
110. Branwhin

LOL - I am inescapably reminded of attempting to stuff (re-stuff?) an exceedingly ill-tempered feline into a carrier when it has managed to get its paw out. With, of course, the attendant risk of being clawed and/or chewed on.

That said, I like your thinking. Instead of the 'containment field' theory of Latra Posae Decumae, just shoving CK-powered Everything We've Got at the DO long enough for the Pattern to re-form itself over the hole might be just the thing. Too bad Sammy forced LTT's hand.

And oh - I do hope it doesn't occur to poor LTT that the Seals are keeping the Bore *open* (which very well could be). Then again, with all his ranting about breaking the things...
William Fettes
111. Wolfmage
thewindrose @ 108

"I think while Egwene will *help* Rand, we are not going to be seeing her eat humble-pie anytime soon."

Agreed. That would be too much given her character. However, I do hope they evolve the relationship, so they can reach a more mutually respectful détente.

"When Egwene gains the Tower, I don't see her dropping everything to be at Rands side. Don't get me wrong - she will do what is in her power to help the Lightside prevail, but Rand is the Dragon Reborn to her now. The boy she knew is from a different life, she will use him how she sees fit -if she can."

Oh, I wouldn't want that anyway. I don't need to see Egwene's character devolve into a sidekick, and obviously that's not what RJ had in mind when he has continually boosted her character from the beginning of the series.
Rob Munnelly
112. RobMRobM
Free -perhaps my problem with Elantris was one of expectation. I expected better than Mistborn -- and I thought for 2/3rd we were heading in that direction -- and then I thought the story petered out by the end. Too much too soon over the last 80 pages. So liked the three main characters, liked a bunch of subsidiary characters, thought it was an interesting magic system, but the way it all came down at the end didn't do it for me. In contrast, I liked the end of all three Mistborns and liked the end of Warbreaker as well. Warbreaker had the countervailing problem of taking too freaking long to move the story forward.

Re my other books, I have read Ender's Game and Speaker, and just finished Ender's Shadow. Loved all of them.

Really enjoying the first Bujold so far.

113. Shadow_Jak
Welcome DrG!
God bless you and all your Companions and thank you for your service.


Ideas on sealing the bore... So far we have:
plaster and drywall
plaster and a poultice (healing)
needle and thread
MIG and TIG (Welding)
and likely a few more that I missed
How about we just take a tap, cut some nice clean threads in that sucker, choose a suitable bolt, (apply lock-tite!), and Torque to about 250 foot/pounds?
That ought'a hold it for a while.
Bryan Cogswell
114. shmoo
Q: Do we know if there is gonna be a prologue and if so is it gonna be released early?
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
shmoo @114 There is definitely a prologue - at JordanCon they heard a recording of RJ reading (part of?) it. It's generally assumed that it will be released early as the last few were, but there has been no announcement yet as to where or when. Keep an eye on - they usually keep up-to-date announcements on any scraps of info related to the series. Not entirely sure why Tor doesn't have better visibility of some of these things for us (Pablo? Torie? other PTBs?) but I can never find anything useful (other than this wunnerful blog, which pretty much makes up for the lack of breaking news anyway).
116. Amalisa
Being a Southerner, I'm in favor of duct tape for sealing the Bore. The Creator knows we use it for pretty much everything else...
117. alreadymadwithprologues
Speaking of which, I hope they post the recording online. Reading it just isn't the same as listening to the Creator.
Christopher Sandoval
118. crsandoval
“ ‘A cat for a hat, or a hat for a cat,’ ” he quoted.

But nothing for nothing

dont you just love the quotes in WOT
Bryan Cogswell
119. shmoo
@115 Duh. I knew there was prologue. I recall reading the commentary from the people who were there. Sigh shmoo stands for stupid tonight.

If it were to be released - when do you think that would be? First of Oct? Two weeks prior? I can't for the life of me recall how early they were released before - just that some were. But that was long before law school and this real world junk. Been reading the books since 1993...

Speaking of which - you notice that there are no lawyers in Randland? That in and of itself makes me want to be there...
120. alreadymadwithlawyers
I think there are. I believe they are called advocates.
Lindy Brown
121. lbrown
For the survey-

My Very Significant other is between C and D.

C) VSO has not read WoT but indulges my interest
D) VSO is skeptical or hostile to WoT

He's kind of hostile to reading in general. He says men don't read, which I reply to with "Yes, they do!" And then I threaten to dump him for a guy who reads :)

But, actually, my brother started reading the series and he's now on tDR. My mom and stepdad have also read tEotW and are really liking it.
Sean Banawnie
122. Seanie
plug idea : my mother-in law's meatloaf--will not only seal up the DO , but will punish him as well.(for all eternity)

second idea :xmas fruitcake.
123. CalaLily
@ 116

Hear hear! It even comes in camo, so you KNOW the Aes Sedai could whip up a fancloth one, and no one would even know it was there.
124. CalaLily
Another thing to seal the Bore: All the loony theories that have been disproved in the last 20 years. It would serve to both fill up/seal the Bore AND smother the dark one! :-D
125. FredOrFred
Perhaps the Creator created a self-healing prison. Lews Therin and his band created a ham-handed patch that interfered with the healing process while only temporarily stopping the Dark One. I doubt, with all the mayhem from the Dark One touching the world again, that anyone had time to take scientific measurements of the bore to find that it was already closing, so they had a big old panic instead.

What I'm not clear on is how they managed to seal it up along with (most of?) the Forsaken inside. Did they throw some Forsakey Snacks through the bore and hide behind some bushes?
126. Fieldy
So I guess there were no carpenters during the AoL to think of a simple solution like drywall???

@125 FredOrFred - I think when the DOs prison was sealed the Forsaken's souls got sucked into the prison because of whatever it is that keeps them tied to the DO. Whatever that is allows DO to touch them so, in order to maintain that control, he either pulled them all in with him to return again at a later date, or the pattern sucked them in there knowing they would have to be there to prepare the dragon reborn at the end of the third age for TG.

LTT was just going for imprisoning the DO, forsaken getting trapped was a bonus (or detriment depending on how you look at it - forsaken are out, eventually die because of no attachment to DO, Ishy isn't there to instigate the Trolloc Wars, etc.)
Maiane Bakroeva
127. Isilel
Rand's Schools make me wonder how is it that in Randland scholars and inventors existed without any supporting structures.
IRL, while scholarship wasn't necessarily concentrated only around Universities or monasteries, unaffiliated scholars and inventors were either supported by royal and noble patrons or were themselves people of independent means. But we saw no sign of it in WoT.

Steamwagons - from first steps to implausible effectiveness in less than a year?

Re: Egwene and Rand. I respectfully disagree that she was wrong to withhold SAS location. Just think what would have happened if Rand sent Mat to fetch Elayne before Egs became Amyrlin. Nothing good, I warrant.
And Rand's interaction with SAS embassy proved conclusively (IMHO) that a buffer was very much needed.
It is one of those particularly sad cases where both sides very much have a point, but refuse to explain it to each other. Not that Rand would have necessarily listened.

I also have to say that Egs tried to remain his friend for longer than any other Duopotamians, but Rand was constantly pushing her away due to his "OMG, she is becoming and AS!" hysteria.

OTOH, I have little sympathy with Egs being so bored here either. She could be working on her channeling skills and inventing new stuff or researching something useful in the second-greatest library in Randland.

Since the general presumption is that the Fourth, presumably industrialized Age is our own (or maybe we’re the Fifth, I forget), it goes without saying that humanity has to lose the ability to do magic at some point,

I hate the "and magic departs" endings! They are supposed to emulate departing childhood and "getting real" blah-blah-blah.

Anyway, I was never convinced that channeling was intended to be totally absent in "our" age. I thought that descriptions of blocked wilders fit to T various unexplained phenomena, miracles, etc. So, I assumed that channeling ability is supposed to be rare and weak and nobody managed to learn to do it consciously ;).

Here is my largely unsupported Crazy Theory of Ages:

We live in the Seventh Age. Before our age some huge catastrophe happens that throws humanity back into the stone age. We have our normal development and end in a nuclear holocaust that doesn't quite destroy the planet. Among the survivors channeling is on the rise.

The First Age - arrival of the Ogier and the *Finn. The *Finn construct the Portal Stones (there is no proof in books, but IMHO it fits. They seem to use symbols like on the Stones). The *Finn prey on humanity, possibly slowing down it's development. At some point the humanity has to force them out - with the OP? So that only a limited access to them remains.

The Second Age - Age of Legends. Amazing technological development, but OP is pre-eminent and most technologies are based on it or utilize it in some way. Hence:

The Third Age - total collapse of OP-based technology with tainting of Saidin, death and disorganization of most saidar users, etc.

My theory is that the mad male Aes Sedai were able to become so destructive because among other things they were blowing up OP-powered installations. Otherwise female circles should have been able to overcome them and Paaran Disen wouldn't have had to be abandoned due to just 2 madmen advancing on it. Or Tzora to one.

Further, again unsupported, but IMHO the Sealing and the blow-up of OP-powered infrastructure resulted in something like the OP "wildness" around Altara after the Bowl was used, only many times worse and much more prologued (several centuries). This is the only way for me to rationally explain how Travelling and other important weaves not depending on specific Talents could have been forgotten, despite some female AoL AS surviving the Breaking (like those who eventually joined the Jenn). But if complicated and dangerous-to-fumble weaves just flat-out couldn't be used for a long time, that would fit.

The Fourth Age - technology is on the rise again, but it is independent of OP. Channeling may be on the wane - channelers were already much rarer in the Third Age than in AoL and disproportionally many of them may die in the Last Battle. But not out and still quite important. Etc.
john massey
128. subwoofer
Wooo- busy day! Must be talking about Micheal dying because the post traffic has certainly picked up. Hi Leigh- here's a slice of key-lime, enjoy:)

Hi DrG! Welcome.

DO and seals,hmmmmmmmm. I noticed that there was some knee jerk reaction to this, but when Lanfear drilled the Bore, the DO wasn't free to walk down Penny Lane. It just freed him in a sense to touch the world directly. Rest of the prison still there.

@AMW107 good point, maybe Rand could use some of his friends and teamwork and patch the Bore properly. El would be the one to make new seals as she is the "best", and Bob's your uncle. DO puts his had on the world and Rand could call him out for doing it because there was no "Simon says touch the world".

Love Herrid- descent guy.

129. birgit
you notice that there are no lawyers in Randland?

They existed in the AoL.

What I'm not clear on is how they managed to seal it up along with (most of?) the Forsaken inside. Did they throw some Forsakey Snacks through the bore and hide behind some bushes?

The Forsaken were sealed with the DO because they happened to be at a conference at Shayol Ghul when LTT sealed the Bore.

Does the ta'veren pull also make the ta'veren themselves say things they didn't want do say, or does it only influence the threads around the ta'veren?
Tess Laird
130. thewindrose
119 -shmoo - We had a discussion of what the Ajah's do, and the Grays we thought were the lawyer/advocate type and also diplomats.

Also on how the DO effects the world. In the War of Power the DO was able to have a great effect on the world. This is discussed in The Wheel of Time - which isn't the most reliable canon, but I think the description of what was going on at the end of the Age of Legends is good. Basically, the DO's influence introduced humans to their baser instincts, where greed and vanity and power over others were almost nonexistent before the bore happened, afterwards these became prevalent and where before only scholars knew of war, wars and fighting also started up again. As time went on more and more people joined the Dark-side, because it looked like the Dark were going to win. The Light-side was on the verge of defeat when LTT and his Hundred Companions sealed the bore. The 13 Forsaken we know were gathered at a meeting at Shayol Ghul when LTT and HC's did the 'sealing'.
Anyways - I am at work without the afore mentioned book, so can't quote directly.
Tess Laird
131. thewindrose
102 Lsana -
My theory has always been that Rand will get Aviendha pregnant shortly before he dies at TG and one of her babies is going to be the reincarnation of Rand himself.
It will be interesting to see if they have time to meet up before TG - Rand is a bit of a wreak right now.
Also - being married and a mom, that theory is a bit frighting - I know that if my husband died I wouldn't want him to come back as my kid;)
Peter Nein
132. gimpols1908
you notice that there are no lawyers in Randland?

They existed in the AoL.

One of the Kin (i think) note that her mother or aunt was a noted advocate.
133. Aye Aye Sedai
Was this "absence" where/when Rand when and retrieved the Chodean Kal Keys? There might have been another point where he goes away by himself - he also has to change the shield in Tear and lockup the store room - so this just may be part of his "disappearing" act so that no one knows all the traps he's setting.
Peter Nein
134. gimpols1908
Also commenting on what age and how they work...

On one point LTT says or someone says "remember when we took that game 'swords' and learned to kill with it" or someting like that. So some point perhaps after the shocklances went away the drop back to swords happened, which means they existed in the past as probably a weapon and turned into a game as many things do... (javlin, discus, fencing, wrestling, rugby)
James Jones
135. jamesedjones
129 birgit

"The Forsaken were sealed with the DO because they happened to be at a conference at Shayol Ghul when LTT sealed the Bore."

It's nice to know that team meetings are sucking 3000 years of life away from other folks, too.
Marcus W
136. toryx
gimpols1908 @ 134:

I interpreted that completely differently. I thought they had been playing games with swords before the bore and war came back into the world again. Then they started using the swords in battle and only later they created the shocklances.

They didn't even know what war was when the DO began to touch the world. So they developed the weapons of war first by taking playthings and making them real and then coming up with new and improved ways to kill each other. Just like all of human history.
John Fitzingo
137. Xandar01
@127. Isilel
I love your theory on the Ages. It would seem logical the the *finn create the portal stones. Maybe there were even more doorways constructed than the two we see in the books. When Matt is in finnlad there always seem to be a great many doors there.
Kerwin Miller
138. tamyrlink
@ 102

wasnt there a movie like that not too long ago? except the husband didnt come back as *her* kid, but he came back as *a* kid, with knowledge he shouldnt have had?
140. Amaranthine
I had a thought late last night. Is it possible that the age after the current age in Randland will be ours?

Perhaps when Rand seals up the Bore, saidin and saidar will be trapped in the Dark One's prison and no longer exist in the world.

This could fulfill the prophecy of Rand's dying in order to live. It would also get rid of the age difference between Thom and Moraine, and between Min and Rand.

Thoughts, anyone?
Antoni Ivanov
141. tonka
"17 Again" with Zac Efron and Matthew Perry. I like it a lot. It was very good. I recommend it.

I think the Fourth Age will be a new boom to channeling . Many channelers and technology development but technology and channeling are separate.It is in this age(the 4th) that the Egyptian Pyramids are built with the help of channelers and technology.It ends up with some big cataclysm.
Fifth Age channeling begins to wane (something that begins at the end of the 4th age) and the 5th age ends with dead of the last channeler (Jesus).
Sixth is our age.Nuclear Holocaust ends the age
SeventhPeople try to recover from the Nuclear Holocaust.
First The Finn and Ogier show up, someone builds the Portal Stones and so on the wheel weaves.
Nathan Martin
142. lerris

I read Elantris first. It was written years before Mistborn, and it was obvious upon reading Mistborn that Brandon's writing matured considerably in between.


The rapid advance of steamwagons from first principles to working prototype is likely a result of ta'veren influence.
143. alreadymadwithages
Our age can't follow the Third Age very closely, unless something really cataclysmic happens. Our age starts with the Big Bang. All of history as we know it is our age.
Ryan Fields
144. Fieldy
@129 Birgit

Guess I missed that memo...maybe that's why I'm here and not sealed up in the bore...mwahahahaha!!!!!
145. Freelancer

I agree with all that you said regarding Elantris. However, realize that this was his first published novel, Mistborn came later. When I spoke to him about them, I phrased it that Elantris was a precocious adolescent to Mistborn's adult. The talent, vision and promise were there, not quite matured. He was happy to agree with that opinion himself. Again, Warbreaker is a very good story, in spite of having the most far-fetched magic system of his stories, and I loved how well he hid who was "really" who for much of the novel.

(edit: I see Lerris said much the same thing)

I haven't read Ender's Shadow yet. I left the set at the first four (Xenocide and Children of the Mind are actually darker and more psychological than Game and Speaker). The thought of going back into the same timeframe as Ender's Game with a new character in Shadow pulled me up short. But that's Bean quite some time, so I'll go ahead with it.
Alice Arneson
146. Wetlandernw
amw @143 - that's why I think we're the "first age" - the 2nd and 3rd ages, as we've seen them, have some knowledge of other ages. In the 3rd, it's only limited knowledge of the 2nd and "myths" from the 1st, but it makes sense to me to call the "first age" the one that thinks it all started here. At least that's what I'd do if I were writing it. Then again, it wouldn't be much of a story if I were writing it, so... fwiw.
Guillaume Bergeron
147. Nightbaron
I think all you need to seal the Bore are some figs and mice... Think about it.
Peter Nein
148. gimpols1908
@143. alreadymadwithages
Perhaps the wheel is not supposed to be meant as literal as an age happening again.

You could call the BC/AD split an age. We have lost quite a bit of knowledge (library of Alexandria), histories/prophecies have been altered (cannon 500AD),
and in the judeao/christian belief system are currently waiting for the 'big showdown' between the debil(DO) with his forsaken (anti-christ) and the Light (Jesus)

So perhaps the changing of ages more accurately refers to time between the power of evil and how it is handled. (1) So we start with no idea of evil (Garden of Eden), Eve bores a hole in the quest for Knowledge (knowledge is power after all),(2) humanity is introduced to sin, things get bad for a few thousand years,(3) savior steps in, things get better but he as to sacrifice himself, prophesied to show up in another 2 to 3 thousand years when things get bad again(4). rinse/repeat/wipe hands on pants
James Jones
149. jamesedjones
145 Freelancer

"When I spoke to him about them, I phrased it that Elantris was a precocious adolescent to Mistborn's adult."

Which makes the WoT some rambling old geezer who... won't... stop... talking, while legend fades to myth, and even the first book is long forgotten by the time they publish the last.

Which makes rereads something of a requirement. Thanks, Leigh, for making it fun! :)
Josh Davis
150. YoSoyElJosh
The only argument I have that channeling will persist beyond the Last Battle is Nicola's Foretelling:

LoC,Ch14 - "The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."

To me, it suggests that after "The Great Battle," we'll not only see the Seanchan still remain present in Randland, but the "Guardians" will balance the "Servants".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's Asha'man and Aes Sedai. No one but Brandon knows what will become of those two groups, but as the Asha'man exist solely as a channeling force in this story, I see it unlikely that those who would live long after a global stilling would choose to retain the name, and use it to build an organization to compete and collaborate with the White Tower.
151. nipper
I love the way it is Rands fault that he slept with Avi (thus cheating on Ela). Yea killing Rand would be a good punishment.
Rob Munnelly
152. RobMRobM
@147. ROFLMAO. Bravo!

@145 - Free, as virtually always, I agree with your points. I viewed Elantris the same way. Lots of good things in there but I liked Mistborn more. Agree, by the way, with your point that the Warbreaker magic system is the most far fetched. Very much so, but I suspended disbelief and accepted it. At least it is internally consistent if a bit arbitrary (how many breaths equals which level?) Rob
153. Freelancer

I am always amused at that as well. Rand never makes the first move. Aviendha wakes up in the igloo, gives up her fight to avoid what she knew was happening from the rings, and attacks Rand, even while he's trying to pull away. Min, after seeing Colavaere and hearing about Herid Fel, decides she needs to feel alive like never before, even though Rand is still under the influence of her keeping him off-balance romance-wise. Elayne pretty much just says, "I'm here, there's the bed, it's my turn".

And yet so many commenters refer to Rand as the lust-filled lech. A very twisted perspective.
Kristina Blake
154. kab1
@95 windrose I'm from Mn too, but live in NY now. I was thinking of flying back to MN around that time with the kids to visit my dad, now I might make the trip official just to attend the signing! (I live nowhere near NYC, so that one is out). I'm surprised it's in Har Mar, but I guess it is a pretty big BnN.

As far as the whole "break the seals" thing goes, I always just took it very simply- as in Lews Therin just wants this whole thing over with right now! He knows that the seals need to be gone so the DO can be "free" (not completely) and TG can begin. This would also suggest that he doesn't really care who wins (Rand/the world are certainly not prepared for TG at this point) as he is too depressed over Illeyna. However, LT seems to perk up a little throughout the series because he does some awesome channeling in KoD even when he has the power to do himself and Rand in.
Maiane Bakroeva
155. Isilel

It kinda jumped at me during this re-read that the only time symbols like those on the Portal Stones appear in the saga, it is in connection with Snakes and Foxes. And they also deal in possibilities.

Maybe there were even more doorways constructed than the two we see in the books.

Well, I think that the doorways are a later development, after Snakes and Foxes were chased away from Earth. The doorways were supposed to provide a relatively safe way to interact with them - and/or maybe convinced them to go more easily than they otherwise might have.


I used to think that "we may live" in the First Age too, but the Portal Stones were created before the Age of Legends, so there must be at least one Age in-between.

Amaranthine @140:

It would also get rid of the age difference between Thom and Moraine, and between Min and Rand.

It would also kill most channelers and hardly contribute to happiness of these 2 either. Also, there is no reason to think that OP is ever unavailable, just that there are (almost?) no channelers during some Ages.
mark Proctor
156. mark-p
@148. gimpols190
@143. alreadymadwithages
Perhaps the wheel is not supposed to be meant as literal as an age happening again.

How do we know there are 7 ages which are repeated endlessly (unless the DO wins)? Did Robert Jordan say that was so or do we just believe the people in the books?
If the first age is forgotten about by the time the 7th age comes round how dose anyone know there are 7 rather than 3 or 30 or ... and if no one knows for sure how many there are how do they know the wheel turns repeatedly?
And if they don't know that, do they really know what will happen if the DO escapes? He is obviously* up to no good but do we really know why?

*then again in this series things that are obvious usually turn out not to be true. Probably not in this case but hopefully the end will be a surprise of some sort.
Peter Nein
157. gimpols1908
@156. mark-p

*then again in this series things that are obvious usually turn out not to be true. Probably not in this case but hopefully the end will be a surprise of some sort.

Que the autistic child with a snow globe!
Rich Gold
158. richg25
I'm gonna try again - perhaps LTT in Rands head is 'real' and the seals trapped him (not his body) like the foresaken. That could be why he says to break the seals and let him finally die.
Jane Smyth
159. Kaboom
I know some have already wrote their theories about the ages (ie Isilel), but I did spend to time on it so I will share mine.

As time is circular I will start with the second age and finish with the first.

Second age:
What is called the age of legend. There is a high level of technology, both woman and man channel, and the DO prison is intact with no fighting and war. Near the end of the age, the bore is drilled, which result in people knowing the DO and the beginning of fighting and war. In the end the prison is patched and the world is broken.

Third age:
The age of the story. There is no technology, only woman can safely channel, the DO is well known with the patch in the process of breaking and a lot of fighting and war. Near the end of the age, Saidin is cleaned and the patch is redone much better with the help of both men and women.

Fourth age:
the level of technology start low but steadily increases. Both men and women can channel. The DO is well imprisoned but people still remember well and there are still fighting around (formation of new countries).

Fifth age:
The level of technology and channeling ability is high again, and research well established. Creation of the portal stones and discovery of the 'finns in another dimension. Through research, a method for permanently fixing the DO prison is found and implemented. The result is the sudden lost of channeling for both men and women and a cataclysm similar to the breaking that destroyed knowledge and technology.

Sixth age:
no or low level of technology, nobody can channel. Eventually the knowledge that channeling used to exist is forgotten, the memory of DO is fading but there is still low level of fighting among people.

Seventh age:
Our age. Start with low levels of technology but steadily increases. Channeling is completely forgotten and no memory of the DO. But as is current, fighting still exist. Near the end channeling is re-discovered.

First age:
pre-age of legends. Technology level continue to increase, both men and women channel and through both technology and the channeling ability, most problems of life are solved (poverty and disease) and fighting and war slowly disappear.

So there it is. Yours do destroy :( or complete :)

*edit for puntuation
Vincent Lane
160. Aegnor

"while legend fades to myth, and even the first book is long forgotten by the time they publish the last." that is funny.
161. alreadymadwithages
@148 I actually kinda like the symbolism there. So I could go with we're actually in the Third Age come again. My point was that we couldn't be in the Fourth Age right after Rand's Age, unless Rand destroys the universe as we know it.

@159 My only comment is that, again, the end of the Fifth Age in your theory would have to be the "Big Collapse" (i.e. all matter condensing to a single point) which is orders of magnitude greater than the Breaking. Easy for knowledge to be lost, though.
162. whoami
Question: What is the Dark One's actual goal?

I mean, I understand he wants to break free, but he had more than 100 years after the Bore was opened and he never succeeded in doing it.

The Forsaken were trying to take over the world, of course, and the Aes Sedai were trying to stop them, but does the Dark One really care about the Forsaken taking over the world and setting up kingdoms and ruling in his name?

I think not.

What he wants is to break free. The goal of the Forsaken should have been to find a way to release him.

The REAL question is: how can the Dark One break free? Did the Forsaken in the AoL know how to do it? If so, we've never heard of it. They may not even have known the true strategy, since they were all blinded by their own ambitions.

Seems to me that breaking the Seals isn't enough. That just gets us back to AoL status. What is it that the Dark One REALLY wants to happen to free him?
163. whoami
Okay, after reading some of the comments, I see you guys have said that the Forsaken were actively trying to widen the Bore during the Age of Legends.

I really don't see that. It wasn't mentioned in the text, and I don't know why they wouldn't have succeeded when they had 100 years to do it, unless they needed advanced equipment, and that's not available in the 3rd Age (other than the Choeden Kal).

Since LTT had to conduct a strike against Shayol Ghul, I'd consider it a protected base of operations for the Shadow, and the Forsaken should have been able to stand outside channelling their hearts out to widen the Bore at some time during the War or its buildup. That didn't happen to our knowledge.

I think there's something special that has to happen to free the Dark One, and we haven't been told what it is yet.

Maybe all you need to do is to kill everyone on earth to unravel the pattern.
John Fitzingo
164. Xandar01
@143. AMW

The Big Bang can't be the start of the first age.
Ages seem to be on the order of 3-6 thousand years. The Big Bang happened some 13.73 ± 0.12 billion years ago. The Big Bang can be the moment of creation or the last time the "DO" one became the new creator and imprisoned the old creator as the "DO."
Vincent Lane
165. Aegnor
Well, I've heard that Naeblis means the "last one to die". Not sure if that is true or not.
166. whatusername
@159 - Kaboom -
I'm not convinced that Saidin is always tainted in the Third age. Why can't Saidar be? Does the DO only have one counterstrike?
167. Noren
The Seals need to be broken prior to repair of the Bore;think of it as a surgeon debriding a wound to get rid of dead flesh and foreign matter before repair.I suspect they were also the means by which the DO was able to strike at saidin.It stands to reason that if he'd been able to taint the Power before,he'd have done so during the War of Power.

Someone mentioned that the Pattern might be self healing if you get rid of the obstruction,which makes sense.After all, saidin Gateways do not persist once you undo the weave.All that remains is persuade the Dark One to take his finger out of the Bore.That should be easy:)

Crazy theory time
The Dragon Reborn has one soul but lives multiple lives,as apparently do other people.I think LTT is real,a real personality that is alive.His appearance is unrelated to the taint working on Rand,but is rather related to the fact that he played a central part in setting up the Seals . I think this personality was sealed in a manner akin to Ishamael,so when he died he didn't go wherever souls go before they are spun out again.He reappeared after the seals started breaking down but will not be completely freed until they're all destroyed.Then,and only then,will the LTT personality be subsumed into the larger Dragon soul.

When they integrate,the older one will "die" or be subsumed into the younger,as well as all the other personalities that have worn that the Dragon,and the Dragon's soul will be called Rand Al'Thor.At least until the next Turn of The Wheel.

Supporting evidence?The sounding of the Horn at Falme;all the heroes tied to the Horn remembered their previous lives but were known by their most recent names;Gaidal Cain,Birgitte.Hawkwing.
Ryan Thistlethwaite
168. shintemaster
Take this as you will, but I'm not as convinced as some of you obviously are that the ages follow some specific path, or that just because a character says that something was from the age before the age of legends that it is then in a definite timeframe.

The overarching theme of the series is that of the first paragraph chapter. Memory fades to myth by the time the age comes again. I wouldn't bother taking anything as 'gospel' when looking that far back. Plenty of truth in some of the statements made by characters, and plenty of misconceptions as well. I think the series overall is quite impressionistic at times, it's about the vibe or feel of the myth / history.

Not the clearest comments, but hopefully you'll 'get' me.

On the Dark One and breaking free, all the shenanigans with Moridin, references to the Fisher King and constant talk of the Dragon having to be at Tarmon Gai'don from both teams tells me that turning or deleting the Dragon is part of the key to destroying the pattern.

P.S. On that, someone mentioned in one of the last threads when discussing re sealing the Bore that maybe LTT will be on the inside. I'm not sure about that exactly, but I do find it interesting that when shielding a channeler the shield is immensely more difficult to break when the channeler is 'holding' the shield. Maybe someone has a long few millenia of work ahead of them...
Jane Smyth
169. Kaboom
whatusername @166

One thing I wanted to add but forgot is that I don't believe that at every turning of the wheel to the second age it is the men who patches the bore and that Saidin get tainted. Not every cycle are exactly the same. In some cycles it would be the women that patches the bore and Saidar that would be tainted. Whether men or women, the effect would be similar and would happen at random.
170. Planeswalker
Why was Sulin saying that Rand had left his rooms in Cairhien at the end of the last chapter, when we start this chapter with him in his rooms, in Cairhien, having nightmares, with no indication he went anywhere between the time Egwene left his room and him going to sleep? Did I miss something, or is this a gaffe, or is this a Subtle Clue? And if a clue, a clue to what?

How come everybody is forgetting the third person / 'personality' within Rand and LTT? Theories whether the third one is an amalgamation of both Rand or LTT, or that he is the Dragon from the 1st or 2nd age, or someone completely unknown? I didn't see any discussion about that here?
171. Sonofthunder
I thought that was Moridin, no? Or at least, that's the face that he kept seeing, after their balefire streams crossed each other.
Hurin Smells
172. HurinSmells
Xandar01 @ 164
Logically if you can define it as "the moment of Creation" it has happened within the bonuds of time. Therefore if time is circular and restricted to 7 Ages it is a natural conclusion that the "moment of Creation" must occur once every 7 Ages, and presumably and the end/start of an Age.

That means every 7 Ages there is an event that reduces all matter in the universe to pure energy (think OP) and at that point the Creator jump starts everything again, matter starts forming, stars, planets, life etc.

EDIT: spelling
Lord Haart
173. LordHaart
I really wonder why people still assume there are 7 ages, and the books take place in the third. NOBODY has ANY evidence of this in the books. For all we know, AMoL will begin by saying "In one age, called the third age by some, the fourth age by others, and the nineteenth by others still...".

We also have no idea how long ages are, or if our society really is meant to be one of the ages (I'm fairly sure I've read an RJ quote somewhere that says that either we aren't in WoT at all, or that we're only in there as one of the Portal Stone's parallel universes.
john mullen
174. johntheirishmongol
Wow, some way overthinking here about how the bore is fixed/closed/drywalled. I think that after 14/15 books I will be very disappointed if I find out that what happens is that the DO is simply imprisoned again and nothing has been finalized. Because then you have that old saw about good having to win every time but the DO only needs to win once and that its all over.

As for why Aviendha met with the WO, she needed permission to take the opportunity to go see Elayne.
Antoni Ivanov
175. tonka
for each spoke of the great Wheel represents one of the seven Ages

(The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time)

The Wheel of Time contains seven spokes, each spoke representing one of the seven Ages.
Just turn to one of the glossaries in almost any WoT book:
Wheel of Time, the:
Time is a wheel with seven spokes, each spoke an Age.
176. alreadymadwithblades
gimpols1908 @134
IIRC that was Bel'al and he and LTT were friends at the time, so that had to have been before the War of Power. Apparently what they had was a rather tame and impotent form of fencing. LTT and Bel'al (and maybe a few others) restored it to the martial form it is today as used and taught by blademasters. That also makes them the first blademasters.

and btw..
The real alreadymad stays out of the what age we're in debate
177. birgit
telamon: a male figure used as a pillar to support an entablature or other structure, from the name of Telamon, a hero of Greek mythology, king of Salamis and father of Ajax and Teucer
The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Lord Haart
178. LordHaart
"Wheel of Time, the:
Time is a wheel with seven spokes, each spoke an Age."

That still doesn't answer why we think this is the third age. The very nature of a wheel is that there is no beginning or end; for all we know, the "7th" age was actually the first, but everything was lost afterwards. I think I'm just unsatisfied with the idea that our world is one of the ages.

There's also the possibility that the wheel changes on every rotation; in some, there is a bore in the 2nd age, while it happens in different ages (or not at all) in other turnings.
john massey
179. subwoofer
Any thought given to how Rand will fight the DO? Will he use an Access Key? Is he going to wonder down to SG and slug it out? Bring a bunch of his Black Tower and some AS and Link and reseal the Bore? Or maybe he will go nuclear, drawn in too much of the power right at SG and make a new prison that way... or something.

Rob Munnelly
180. RobMRobM
Wow, this thread is theoryland central. I'm speechless (literally - too much on which to comment). What we need is a nice quiet visit from three Ogiers and a bit of travelling to the Two Rivers via Shadar Logoth to settle us down. Rob

Tess Laird
181. thewindrose
From a fan with the handle of Raina, off the Theoryland website:

Each age is NOT precisely the same with each new turning of the wheel. I actually asked RJ to explain this before Eye even came out, because he was trying to explain the cosmology to me and I wasn't getting it. The analogy he used (for the differences between an Age in one turning and in another) was to say that it would be like standing in front of what looked to be two copies of the same painting; but as you looked closely, you'd start to find tiny, subtle differences, more and more differences the more closely you looked, until you eventually realized that the paintings were almost completely different.

Q: Is our earth a future or past turn of the wheel?
A: Both. The characters in the books are the source of many of our myths and legends and we are the source of many of theirs. You can look two ways along a wheel.

Check out Thus Spake The Creator for all sorts of tasty quotes:)
Michael Ikeda
182. mikeda

There are short paragraphs of text both before the main text (after the table of contents in the paperback version) and just after the main text. Several of them explicitly are labelled "Third Age" and are talking about some prophecy or other. Several others are labelled "Fourth Age" and seem to be looking back at events in the novels.

As an example, in "The Dragon Reborn" the pre-main text paragraph is labeled as a quote from "Commentaries on the Prophecies of the Dragon" and is dated 742 AB in "the Third Age". The paragraph following the main text is labeled as a quote from a work in the "Fourth Age" and refers (in past tense) to something that happened in TDR--Rand drawing the Sword from the Stone.

This (and other examples) at least suggest that the events of the novels are taking place in the Third Age.
Marcus W
183. toryx
Excerpt from the beginning of...well, all the books I think:

"Legend fades to myth and even myth is long forgetten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past..." Emphasis mine.

The point being that time and the Ages are not fixed. It all depends on what people choose to call a given time period. History isn't truth, it's just perspective. Our Age could be any given Age. In the end it's both before and after the events in the WoT.

It's like the whole prophecy of the Dragon Reborn breaking the world again. People in the books tend to think of it as a literal breaking but it could just as easily be the breaking of nations and traditions as the sundering of the earth.

I think RJ was trying to suggest that there are no absolutes in the turning of the Wheel except that there are no beginnings and no endings. Which basically means that everyone's theories about the order of the Ages are both wrong and correct at the same time.

The DO's goal is to break the Wheel. If it's broken then time comes to an end and there will be no more change, no more evolution. The pattern will be torn and there will only be one unending Age. It's the very antithesis of life's progress in the turning of the Wheel.
184. twicemarked
LordHarrt @ 178

I think no character in the books has ever explicitly mentioned the age they are in as "the Third Age". They only refered to AOL or the age before AOL.

So you are right, they don't know. It is only RJ who used the third age directly as a reference. That is why it is the Third Age by some, "some" meaning the author RJ and his readers.
Ronald Hobbs
185. dustrider
See I just dig the age speculation stuff. That's what always makes fantasy such as this so engaging.

I hardly caught some of the cryptic ones till this reread, like the three pointed star mercedes logo, but when you do catch them they're oh-so-cool.

I do reckon people are still thinking of the ages as way too short.
In our own timeline there's plenty of room for ages where we've forgotten most of what occurred. Stuff like Troy, atlantis, the garden of eden are all put between 5 and 8 thousand years ago.

Hah, while trying to find some non-biblical examples I came across the concept of yugas in hinduism, four ages that repeat, looks familiar

1st age is over a million years, but supposedly average lifespan is 100,000 years, and gods walk the earth. sounds pretty age of legends to me, lots of stuff around that goes into the crackpot archeology category

Good news is we've only got 427,000 years to go before our current, most unmagical, age ends and we're back to immortal gods again.

Damn, could you imagine how many books WOT would take with that scale!
Brian Kaul
186. bkaul
Re: Ages ... Thom doesn't merely refer to our age as "before the Age of Legends," but "The Age before the Age of Legends," so assuming he's correct, we are in the first age.
... Go back further, back to the oldest tales I know, from the Age before the Age of Legends. Did Mosk and Merk really fight with spears of fire, and were they even giants? Was Elsbet really queen of the whole world ...

(From The Shadow Rising Ch. 20)

Xandar01@29: Re: portal stones: I don't know ... the description sounds awfully similar to Egyptian obelisks, except for being cylindrical rather than square in cross-section. If they're from a 4-7 age and still around, it's not as if we could channel to use one if we found it; it'd just be a pillar that we'd take as ruins ... or maybe they're something that pops up at the end of our own age when channeling becomes possible, and no one in the AoL knows where they came from. I don't think they pose a great problem: there are any number of plausible explanations for why we don't have them everywhere.
Ron Garrison
187. Man-0-Manetheran
Breaking the Seals:
I too like the plaster metaphor!
We know that sooner or later, the Dragon must fight the DO in the Last Battle.
Tactically, it would be better to choose the time and place of the Battle. Rather than wait for the seals to all crumble and the DO to break out and come looking for the Dragon, better to go to him, break the seals and attack.
188. tearl

That still doesn't answer why we think this is the third age.

"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some...."
Thad Anderson
189. teec19
... Go back further, back to the oldest tales I know, from the Age before the Age of Legends. Did Mosk and Merk really fight with spears of fire, and were they even giants? Was Elsbet really queen of the whole world ...

MOsk and Merk = MOSKow & aMERiKa, spears of fire = nukes...Elsbet= ...I dunno, is Hillary Clintons middle name Elizabeth?? I suppose Elsbet could be Queen Elizebeth...
190. CraigVal
Dear Leigh

I suppose it's been answered long since but I skipped down to the bottom to add my 2 cents.

Aviendha was in love with Rand; and, she REALLY wanted to marry him. If she married him she could no longer be a Maiden. Therefore the only solution was to kill him.
191. Bryan v
About toh and Aviendha's "killing rand" thing, does ji'e'toh ever make complete sense? No...
Tess Laird
192. thewindrose
190 CraigVal - Aviendha is no longer a Maiden - she is a Wise One Apprentice - Wise Ones get do marry, and as they usually live longer(the ones who channel) - they marry several times.
191 Bryan v -
thxdsai @20 had a pretty good explanation of toh and Avi's quandary.
Clinton Henry
193. Jaidee
I just thought of a way to re-seal the DO's prison as it was before.

balefire the one who created the bore; Lanfear

wipes out everything she did.
194. birgit
balefire the one who created the bore; Lanfear

wipes out everything she did.

How far back balefire wipes out things depends on its strength. Lanfear and Beidomon (where is he now?) opened the Bore 3000 years ago. Balefire strong enough to undo something that long ago would destroy the Pattern.
Jason Neighbors
195. melonball95678
On the toh thing, I haven't seen an explanation posted that is satisfactory to me, so even though this is a late post, here is my shot at it.

In Avi's mind the simplest solution to meeting her toh to Elayne would be to kill herself. However, she has toh to Rand for saving her life; therefore, she cannot honorably just throw her life away. But if Rand were dead, her toh to him would be moot- she would no longer be obligated to stay alive. Doesn't seem like a very fair solution for Rand, but in Avi's eyes he's not an innocent party. He shares responsibility for betraying Elayne and is the source of her unbearable shame. And her toh to him is so insignificant compared to her toh to Elayne that if he has to die in order for her to fulfill her toh to Elayne, i.e. killing herself, well it's a small price to be paid. Except that she also promised Elayne to keep him safe and so would further dishonor herself if she killed him.
Personally, I don't think she could actually go through with killing Rand anyway. Thinking is one thing, actually doing quite another. This whole ridiculous toh conundrum thing might just be somewhat of a defense mechanism for her anyway. "I would do what ji'e'toh demands, but I just can't..." In reality, deep down, she wants nothing more than to be with Rand, and it's shaken up her whole pre-Rand idealistic view of herself something fierce. Along with being forced to give up the spear to become a Wise One, she's going through a big-time crisis of identity.
198. itsjustme
I think the "treasure" to be found with the Bowl of the Winds just might have been the ter'angreal of the little man that holds thousands of books that Aviendha and Elayne figured out how to work in KoD, chapter 15, "A Different Skill." Maybe one of those books will complete Min's research on how to seal the Dark One's prison. That may just be the whole reason behind these 3 girls coming together, Aviendha figured out and knows how to work the ter'angreal, Elayne can read the old tongue and translate, and Min to figure out what it all means Rand has to do.
Alice Arneson
199. Wetlandernw
itsjustme @198 - Now there's a theory I hadn't heard propounded yet. I like it! I've been vaguely wondering where Min was going to get the additional books that would give the final clues. Now I'm also wondering if that ter'angreal holds the books written by Elan Morin Tedronai (now known as Moridin). I keep thinking that they should somehow be significant.
Brad Smith
200. Legend of Imrahil
@51 Rob: Where did you find the specific text for that altered prophecy?
Doug LeBeau
201. dlebeau
I am actually of the belief after reading ToM that the age we are experiencing in the books was never supposed to happen. Go with me here for a bit please.

I am guessing that the ability to recreate the prison, or seal it like new has to do with the use of the ONE Power. Every character is like, wow, I wield the One Power. No you don't! You wield half of the One Power, not the same thing. We are continually told that Saidin and Saidar used in concert is way more powerful than simply adding them together.

I don't think the Wheel has an age where the Dark One is freed/partially trapped and then resealed in the next age. I get that maybe it happened once but all the time?

I think that's why the Dark One is working so hard to turn Rand this time around, why he believes that this time can be the last time.

It's my own pet theory but I believe we wouldn't have had this age at all had some of the women joined Lews Therin. I don't believe Shaitan could have tainted Saidin if Saidar was present as well. This brings me to the second part of my theory that the Pattern, while not being sentient by any means, will act to protect itself. While it is not "good" it must necessarily oppose the Shadow to a degree to protect itself.

Look at what the Dragon has this time around that he didn't last time. He has the Aiel...a military beholden completely to him, no competing influence. Lews Therin could only get 10,000 soldiers together, Rand will have no such difficulty. Female channellers...well, the Pattern gave Rand Nynaeve, Alivia, the Wise Ones, and a bunch of bonded sisters. This time Rand is going in with Saidar on his side. To top it off, the only tool powerful enough to use at this point is Callandor, which basically requires Saidin and Saidar to be used. All of this together is the Pattern protecting itself by ensuring that this time Shaitan gets locked away for a good long time.
Alice Arneson
202. Wetlandernw
Legend of Imrahil @200 - Are you asking what his proof is that the text was Forsaken-altered, or what the text of the prophecy is (as we know it)? If the first, there are several indications that Ishamael played some little games with the Seanchan in general; there is no actual proof that this particular prophecy was altered by Ishamael, it's just assumed by a fairly large number of readers. If the second, we are not given the actual prophecy, just Tuon's interpretation of it. In Winter's Heart, ch 14:
"He must kneel before the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai'don, or all is lost." The Prophecies of the Dragon said so, clearly.
There's a similar reference in Knife of Dreams.
dlebeau @201 - As pet theories go, it's quite interesting. There is one problem: RJ said, quite distinctly, that if the women had joined in with Lews Therin's plan to seal the Bore, saidar as well as saidin would have been tainted. (Q&A at an event in Budapest) However, it's still quite true that men and women must work together this time. Hopefully Rand will come up with a better plan that won't allow the backlash to taint the One Power.

FWIW, please don't forget to keep ToM spoilers off the reread threads for the time being.
203. Van Slanzar de Fanel
Since the general presumption is that the Fourth, presumably industrialized Age is our own (or maybe we’re the Fifth, I forget), it goes without saying that humanity has to lose the ability to do magic at some point, and a potentially world-shattering apocalypse seems like a good candidate to cause such a fundamental shift in... well, reality, I guess you’d have to term it.

I admit to being someone who thought of us now as the Fourth Age, but looking back at the First Age legends, it seems possible that we might be the First Age. Just a thought.

As for Aviendha killing Rand to meet toh for saving her, it's not the act of saving itself, but the shame of her needing to be saved, I think, that makes her think this.
Mike Meyer
204. Meyer217
Okay as far as Sulin getting a warning or whatever saying Rand left his room this is my opinion on the matter. Sulin set up a weave sorta like a motion detector on Rand's door. So when Egwene leaves the room she set off the detector but Sulin thinks its Rand who left and starts searching the the palace while he lays in bed with his nightmares.

On a side note: If this were ever made into a movie (not a good idea in my opinion but if it were) this would be my cast to start with..
Rand - Alex Pettyfer
Mat - Nicholas Hoult
Perrin - Kellan Lutz
Lan - Chris Hemsworth
205. MGP
Possibly too late to matter (but I just discovered the re-read thingy a couple weeks ago), and possibly has been theorized in the 150 or so comments after I stopped looking, but:

Rand's "disappearance" from his rooms at the end of Chapter 18 was due to entering TAR in the flesh, as he did to confront Rahvin. Recall that he discovers the location of the rebel Aes Sedai via spying in TAR (apparently in the flesh, as he does not know how to enter otherwise). This also suggests that the person previously glimpsed in TAR that looked like Rand may have been, in fact, Rand himself, especially given that Tar Valon is a logical place for him to go looking for clues.
William McDaniel
206. willmcd
A few things that jumped out of me in these chapters:

When Rand is leaving the stables in Cairhien, he thinks about his lack of concern for potential assassination attempts:
anyone who ambushed him would find they had come to the shearing without clippers.
Rand himself is the sheep in this analogy, or perhaps more appropriately, the lamb--a messianic image.

Also, note Rand's statement about Elayne and how he "needs" her. Rand is speaking with the tongue of a man, thinking only about his goals and objectives, as his POV shows us:
she would keep Aes Sedai secrets even after he made it clear that he needed Elayne to insure peace in two nations.
Whereas Egwene hears him with a woman's ears, taking the remark on an interpersonal level:
One thing she was eager to tell Elayne. Rand needed her. He sounded as if he meant that more than anything he had ever said in his life. That should set to rest all her worries about whether he still loved her. No man could say he needed you that way unless he loved you.
The fact that RJ gave us these two very different perspectives on the same quote so close together in the text had to be deliberate, I think. He's pointing out the extreme difficulty of effective communication (especially between the sexes) even when people are trying.

As a last remark, Sorilea's remark to Egwene that her "hips were made for babies, and will have them" takes on an awfully somber tone after having read AMoL. I strongly dislike Egwene as a character, but it's still sad to see someone so young end up as a casualty of war, and missing so many experiences of life.

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