Sep 7 2009 4:34pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 14

Hello! Welcome to the Labor Day Edition of the Wheel of Time Re-read, in which I celebrate a holiday about labor by, uh, working. I might have missed a memo, there.

Anyway. Today’s post covers Chapters 22-23 of Lord of Chaos, in which we ponder the ominousness of board games, honor – or at least efficacy – among horse thieves, and the importance of not annoying people by croaking mid-portentous message.

Previous entries are here. This and all posts contain spoilers for all currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series, which until next month means through Knife of Dreams.

As a gentle reminder, I know that there wasn’t much in the way of spoiler material in the sample chapter currently up on (Whee!), but please do try to refrain from discussing any spoilers for it here. This also goes for when the Prologue goes online on September 17th; I know it’s frustrating, but let’s be considerate to those who want to wait until the whole shebang comes out in October, kay? Thanks!

(As to my own opinion, I’ve decided to refrain from commenting on either the sample chapter or on the Prologue; fairness, or bloody-minded perversity, take your pick, dictates I withhold a verdict until I can judge the whole thing. Sowwy.)

And there you have it! And now, have a post!


Chapter 22: Heading South

What Happens
In the saddle, Mat juggles some interesting stones he’d found, which makes him think of Thom; he hopes the old man has survived hanging out with Elayne and Nynaeve, and grouses to himself about the girls’ lack of gratitude toward him for rescuing them. The Band is eleven days out of Maerone, making even better time than Mat had initially hoped, riding on high ground to avoid the refugees crowding the river road. The others are having a conversation about Aes Sedai, inspired by the groups of them they’d seen on the other side of the river, and Nalesean asks if Mat had ever thought of being a Warder. Mat puts the stones away and opines that Warders are “fools and dupes”, to let themselves be led around by Aes Sedai. Talmanes asks if he thinks the rumors about Logain being a Tower puppet are true, and Mat says he wouldn’t put much past Aes Sedai, but he doesn’t believe that. The rumors about Dragonsworn are more troubling, but Mat says that’s Rand’s concern, not theirs. Chel Vanin appears over the next rise, galloping toward Mat, and Mat orders a halt. He had surprised Nalesean, Daerid and Talmanes by asking them for the best poachers and horse thieves in their companies; the two nobles especially hadn’t wanted to admit having such men, but eventually they came up with seven names. Those seven had provided more, until Mat had forty-seven former thieves to use as scouts.

The last, named by all three just before him, had been Chel Vanin, an Andoran who had lived in Maerone but ranged wide on both sides of the Erinin. Vanin could steal a hen pheasant’s eggs without disturbing her on the nest, though it was unlikely he would fail to put her in the sack too. Vanin could steal a horse out from under a nobleman without the nobleman knowing it for two days. Or so his recommenders claimed in tones of awe. With a gap-toothed smile and a look of utter innocence on his round face, Vanin had protested he was a stableman and sometime farrier, when he could find work. But he would take the job for four times the Band’s normal pay. So far, he had been more than worth it.

Vanin tells him there’s something he thinks Mat needs to see, and Mat tells the others to wait and goes with him to where the remains of a Tinker caravan lies, wagons burned and corpses covered with vultures and ravens. Mat wants to know why Vanin couldn’t have just told him about this, and Vanin points out one wagon where a Tinker had written “TELL THE DRAGON REBORN” in his own blood on it.

Tell him what? Mat thought. That somebody had killed a whole caravan of Tinkers? Or had the man died before he could write whatever it was? It would not have been the first time Tinkers had come onto important information. In a story he would have lived just long enough to scrawl the vital bit that meant victory. Well, whatever the message, nobody was ever going to know a word more now.

Mat tells Vanin to make sure this wagon burns. Vanin spits as a large party of Aiel pass by, opining that they could have done it, even though a number of them recognize Mat and wave to him in greeting. Mat tells him he doubts it, and heads back to the others. The Band stops for the day, and news of the slaughter makes it a subdued camp that night. Mat can’t sleep; finding his tent confining, he takes a blanket (and the spear) and bunks down under some nearby bushes. He’s looking at the stars when he hears a faint noise, and looks over to see human shapes sneaking into his tent, and back out once they do not find him there; he sees they are veiled, which means Aiel, and can’t imagine what is going on, but keeps very still. Unfortunately, Talmanes chooses that moment to stomp drunkenly up to Mat’s tent, calling to him that he has some brandy; cursing, Mat leaps up and bellows an alarm, rousing the camp, before Talmanes gets murdered. The Aiel all go for Mat immediately, and Mat fights desperately until his men finally catch up and take on the Aiel themselves.

Mat slipped back and left them to it. The general who leads in the front of battle is a fool. That came from one of those old memories, a quote from somebody whose name was not part of the memory. A man could get killed in there. That was pure Mat Cauthon.

The Aiel assassins kill and wound a large number of the Band before they finally go down. Mat knows some of his wounds need stitches, and limps to where Daerid is putting a tourniquet on Talmanes’ leg. Daerid comments that the Aiel were clearly after Mat, and Mat wonders why Aiel would want to kill him. He inspects the bodies (relieved that they all turn out to be men), and supposes aloud that they are Shaido, though to himself he supposes they could also be Darkfriends. Daerid suggests they seek out the Aes Sedai across the river, to help with the wounded; Mat agrees, and then tells them he wants a ditch and a palisade around the camp tonight and every night thereafter. The others are astonished, and protest that the men will mutiny, but Mat disagrees, and sends them off. He examines his tent, and notices that two of the ropes and a bush have been sliced in a way that tells him the Aiel must have come there via a gateway, and thinks with a chill that they had been sent by a Forsaken.

Next time it would probably be a hundred Trollocs, or a thousand, instead of a handful of Aiel. Or was he important enough for that? If they decided he was too important, the next time it could be one of the Forsaken. Blood and ashes! He had never asked to be ta’veren, never asked to be tied to the Dragon Bloody Reborn.

He hears a footstep behind him, and whirls, almost skewering Olver, who screams and falls over. Mat snaps at him, demanding to know what he’s doing here instead of in Maerone; Olver tells him that the lady Edorion left him with didn’t really want him, having six kids of her own already, and “Master Burdin” gives him food for helping take care of the horses, which Olver likes much better. They are interrupted by Nerim, Talmanes’ serving man, who tells Mat with obsequious gloominess that he’s there to “mend the tears in my Lord”. He sends Olver for water, and Mat follows him inside his tent. To distract himself while Nerim sews him up, he asks Olver to show him what he’s got in his bag; Olver shows him a redhawk feather, some pretty stones, his game of Snakes and Foxes, and a turtle shell. Mat compliments the turtle shell, commenting he used to have one himself, and pulls out a couple of gold crowns, which he tries to give to Olver. Offended, Olver tells him he is no beggar, and Mat hurriedly improvises that it’s not charity, it’s pay, for carrying messages.

“Of course, you’d have to take care of your own horse. I could not ask anybody to do it for you.”

Olver sat up straight. “I would have my own horse?” he said incredulously.

“Of course. There is one thing. My name is Mat. You call me Lord Mat again, and I’ll tie your nose in a knot.” Bellowing, he jerked half-upright. “Burn you, Nerim, that’s a leg, not a bloody side of beef!”

“As my Lord says,” Nerim murmured, “my Lord’s leg is not a side of beef. Thank you, my Lord, for instructing me.”

Olver was feeling his nose hesitantly, as if considering whether it could be tied in a knot.

Mat reflects that he’s done Olver no favors, considering the Forsaken were after him, and hopes Rand’s plan works to get rid of one of them, at least.

Well, so now we know why that bit about Trollocs not being able to use gateways was brought up in the preceding chapter – so that this attack makes at least partial sense. If you don’t want to get irritated, I recommend you not think about it too much.

Vanin: Another cool minor character. I’ve said this before (I think in reference to Basel Gill), but I like that Vanin is both competent AND overweight. I’m heartily sick of stories where Fat always equals slovenly/lazy/incompetent/evil/all of the above. (Really, anyone who saw the behind the scenes footage of a then-quite-portly Peter Jackson careering around the set of Lord of the Rings for half a decade ought to know better than to believe that stereotype.) WOT is not overburdened with non-repulsive heavyset characters, but they’re there – including among the Aes Sedai, which is nice, since generally there’s a much stronger stigma against women than men in the arena of weight – and not just in fiction. But we all knew that.

Tinkers: I can only assume the message on the wagon refers to Perrin and Egwene’s encounter with Raen’s Tinker caravan aallll the way back in TEOTW, in which Raen told them about the Tinkers who found the Maidens dying from their trip to the Blight:

“‘Leafblighter means to blind the Eye of the World, Lost One. He means to slay the Great Serpent. Warn the People, Lost One. Sightburner comes. Tell them to stand ready for He Who Comes With the Dawn. Tell them... ’”

Of course, this isn’t for sure, and actually there are a number of problems with it. Namely that the Eye of the World bit has long since been dealt with. Although I suppose the Tinkers might not know that? Maybe? Also problematic is that this suggests that Tinkers at large know He Who Comes With the Dawn = the Dragon Reborn, which I’m not sure is a connection they would have enough information to make, frankly.

So, I’m not sure this is the same thing, at all. I feel like I’m missing something. Maybe it is as simple as what Mat supposes (“Tell the Dragon Reborn we’re getting slaughtered”), but somehow I doubt it. Ideas?

(This Tinker caravan couldn’t be Raen’s, could it? Weren’t they planning to leave the Two Rivers back when we saw Perrin in the Prologue? Because that’s horrible, if so. I hope not.)

Olver: And the surrogate-fathering of Mat begins! Jordan tends to belabor this aspect of Mat’s relationship to Olver over the course of the series, but I forgive it because it is adorable. And hilarious; I giggled aloud over the bit about tying Olver’s nose in a knot (and Olver’s reaction).

Jordan claimed that Olver had a purpose other than just being a red herring in the Gaidal Cain business, but I still don’t know what that purpose might be. Simply introducing Mat to Chutes and Ladders Snakes and Foxes doesn’t seem like enough. But, who knows; maybe that is all it is. It is going to be fairly important for Mat to know how to beat the Finn (by breaking the rules) Real Soon Now, after all.

Chapter 23: To Understand a Message

What Happens
Graendal’s streith gown gives away her shock and envy as she enters Sammael’s apartments in Illian and sees the number of items from the Age of Legends he has displayed there. He tells her he found a stasis box, and Graendal notes it must have belonged to a follower of the Great Lord, owing to the presence of a zara board, which contains illegal “once-human playing pieces”. She replies that she found a box, too, but other than the streith it contained only “rubbish”.

“How sad for you.” Again that faint smile. He had found something more than playthings and pretties. “On the other hand,” he went on, “think how awful it would have been to open a box and rouse a nest of cafar, say, or a jumara, or one of Aginor’s other little creations. Did you know there are jumara loose in the Blight? Full-grown, though they’ll never transform now. They call them Worms.” He laughed so hard at that, he shook.

Graendal is not amused, having had an almost fatal encounter with a jumara, and reflects Aginor was mad to have made things like it, especially the gholam. She comments on Sammael’s good mood, and he tells her he all but has his hands on a stash of angreal, but more importantly, he has a truce with al’Thor. Graendal goes cold, and protests that his army is still gathering in Tear, but Sammael nonchalantly points out that it takes time to dismantle such a huge fighting force. She mentions the Maidens Sammael killed, but Sammael is honestly confused as to why that should be important.

“You really never have looked at these people. They have changed as much as the land, Sammael. Not just the Aiel. In some ways, the rest have changed much more. Those soldiers were women, and to Rand al’Thor, that makes a difference.”

He shrugged dismissively, and she suppressed contempt, kept the streith steady in a calm fog. He had never understood that you must understand people to make them do as you wished. Compulsion was all very well, but you could not use Compulsion on the entire world.

Graendal attempts to regain ground by taunting him, but Sammael merely smiles and tells her that given his truce with al’Thor, it is very likely that he will be the last of the Chosen left standing when the Day of Return comes, and implies that if she wishes to have a chance to survive, she would do well to give him more information about the whereabouts and plans of the other Chosen. Graendal has become convinced he must have the advantages he claims, and finally tells him that she doesn’t know where Demandred or Semirhage is, but Mesaana is in the White Tower. Sammael tells her to find the others or prove their deaths; Graendal is furious, but agrees.

After she leaves, Sammael relaxes his smile, and wonders what will happen if Graendal realizes how thoroughly he manipulated her. He thinks the information on Mesaana is interesting, but is sure that Graendal had not guessed his real purpose.

Do I want to know how one goes about making a person into a game piece? Probably not. Nice little detail, though.

Streith: This has got to be the worst fashion idea since the invention of the skort. A dress that reflects your emotional state? Ye gods and little fishes. Thanks, but no thanks. The whole point of a great dress is that it looks good no matter what you’re feeling. Fashion is camouflage, and anyone who thinks different hasn’t been paying attention. All streith sounds like to me is one more damn thing you have to worry about, instead of just enjoying the damn cocktail party. Or the damn evil plotting symposium, as the case may be. Either way, it seems like a particularly asinine – or arrogant – sartorial choice for a situation in which a good poker face is needed. Sheesh.

Jumara: This is one of my favorite references I ever put in the FAQ, because verifying it led me on a fascinating web trawl which taught me a lot, and ended up nicely expanding the original submission to this:

Jumara: Arabian Nights’ “Tale of the Three Sharpers” makes mention of a creature called a “jamusah”, the mythical offspring of a bull and a mare, or an ass and a cow. In French, this is called variously a “jumart”, “gimere”, or “jumarre”, depending on the region, and is derived from the Latin “Chimaera”.

It’s a neat example of the way cultures and mythologies bleed into one another. Good times.

This chapter is an example of how easy it is to overthink a situation – not just for Graendal, but for the reader. On the one hand, it’s tempting for the reader to conclude that for a supposed master manipulator, Graendal was maneuvered into submission far too easily by Sammael’s subterfuge; but on the other, Sammael does have a point in that people who are used to hoodwinking others are often arrogant enough to believe that no one else could possibly do the same to them. And as I’ve just noted, arrogance is unquestionably a large part of Graendal’s personality. Not that this differentiates her much from the rest of the Forsaken, but there you are.

Then again (see what I mean about overthinking?), it does strike me as at least slightly odd that Graendal never seriously considers the possibility that Sammael’s lying through his teeth – which he is, of course. But then again again (aaagh), it’s always most tempting to believe the worst possible interpretation of something, and obviously Sammael having a bona fide truce with the Dragon Reborn is the worst possible scenario for Graendal’s position.

So, yeah. I guess it comes down to a matter of opinion, really. At least we can give Graendal props for noticing Rand’s chivalry issues, whereas Sammael is utterly clueless. I would give Sammael semi-props for not caring about whether a soldier is male or female, except for how I’m pretty sure that that’s just because he doesn’t care, period. Egalitarianism through the application of universal sociopathy is, I’m pretty sure we can all agree, not the way to go on that score.

As to what Sammael’s real purpose is... I dunno? I mean, other than the obvious one of “make Graendal think he is unassailable, and use her to gain advantage over the others”, that is. Does there actually need to be more to it than that? Sammael’s POV snippet at the end of the chapter seems to suggest there is more, but I’m getting a little muddled about the various plots at this point, so I guess I will just wait and see.

And we out! I hope you have had a lovely Labor Day weekend, even if you didn’t technically have one, and I will see youse guys Wednesday!

Andrew Lovsness
1. drewlovs
So the "worms" would have evolved into chimera if they were raised correctly? THAT I somehow missed. Further, what the heck were they originally use for? And that happened to Granny that makes her uncomfortable talking about them? Lots of questions there.

I personally do not mind that trollocs and such cannot use traveling. Considering that traveling uses altering the pattern, and they were creations that might be outside the pattern, its not a stretch for me to go along with the idea.

Does Mat undrestand the meaning of the snakes and fozes game, or does Oliver say something to make him understand?
Joseph Blaidd
2. SteelBlaidd
I've always loved how Mat the Wastrel is the first of the main cast to have kids :P

It's a great example of how much having too be responsible for someone else can mature you.

I am of the opinion that while being the pass through for the important info on getting in to the Tower of Genjii there are other things that Oliver will do and has done to influence the plot. Getting Mat stuck in Ebou Dar during the Seanchan invasion, for example, is pretty critical in my opinion.

The thing that has always made the Sammael-Greandal interaction believable for me was that his POV afterwords shows how massively out of character this kind of subterfuge is for him. It would be like Wieramon using pike men as his main force and Hose as flankers and reserves.

Edit: 2nd Post W00+
3. Lily of the Valley
All right! New chapters up! *dance*

Although we never actually see a full grown jumara could it be safe to assume their another amalgamation of creatures, like Trollocs? Chimaeras are a combination of a lion, goat and snake, and that "jamusah" would be some sort of weird cow-horse.

And if so, geez, Aginor, really got a lot done during the War of the Shadow.

I have a vague memory of something from the Shannara series about a giant worm-like creature covered in armor that ate people... Which is kind of what I always picture when I re-read that bit about the Worms in TEotW.
Andrew Blackburn
4. ajbcool
Wait-do I actually have the first post here? I got here before anyone else? Score!

And I was so hoping for some opinion on that chapter...oh well, your reread is as good as ever! Keep it up!

Edit-drats, at least three others got here when I previewed it. Took too much time I guess.
Andrew Blackburn
5. ajbcool
Lily- weren't the huge creatures that attacked the party in tEotW known as Worms? You know, the worm creatures that attacked them right before they found the Green Man?
Tasneem Gould
6. Latecomer
I love chapters with little snippets about life in the AOL.

Also something (completely irrelevant) I spotted in the Mat chapter - when he puts the stones away, he thinks about the other contents of the pouch - some stones, feathers etc - just the kind of stash a kid would have. Made me smile - like he's kind of holding on to his childhood :)

@SteelBlaidd. Mat the Wastrel... LOL!
Bryan Cogswell
7. shmoo
The advantage the dress has for Gren is that it is proof that she has found some stuff from the AOL. Leading others to wonder what else she has found...
Tasneem Gould
8. Latecomer
Also - when ever I think of the worms I think of (DOH) Sandworms of Dune.
9. Lily of the Valley
I don't think they were attacked by Worms. They were attacked by a bunch of evil tree-creatures and shadowspawn, but all we ever saw of the Worms was their "flute-like" calls. Lan was going to go back and take the one on, but when a whole pack of them took up the hunt, Moiraine's group just bolted, and then they were in the Green Man's domain. We never actually saw the Worms.

Gimme a sec, I have my copy of TEotW in another room. I can go find the passage real quick.


Aha! Here it is.

The reedy shrill came again, like a cracked shepherd's pipe, and was answered in kind by a chorus. Half a dozen, singing among themselves, far behind.

Yep, that's all we see. It's page 737, if anyone is interested in reading the entire exchange.
10. xixi'an
Leigh: In standard French, chimère is still in use... Thank you for bringing so many unsuspected links to my attention over this recap of WoT. This will make reading The Gathering Storm so much easier!

Lily: There is a wormlike creature in the second volume of the Deeds of Paksenarrion that is very well-rendered, with an almost unassailable rock-like cover...
11. Lily of the Valley

I haven't read that series. =o And when I read the Shannara series, I was, like, 9, so yeah there's a fog hanging over my memory of events in those books.

Although it seems getting eaten by earthworms is a fear held by many authors.

EDIT:// Oh! Oh! I remember the worm thing! It was from, uhm....Oh gosh. Oh wait! The Druid of Shannara.

EDIT EDIT:// Found it. -cackles-

Uhl Belk's son, it turns everything it touches into stone using a greenish poison that comes from its body. It used to be human in shape but too much magic and power mutated it into a worm-like thing.

So a giant, oozing earthworm made of stone. Fun!
lanyo lanyo
12. lanyo
All forms of chimera are pretty scary. I used to work in medical research, and genetically modified mice were called chimeras. Made me a bit spooked by them, since they were prone to wild fits and brutal attacks on other mice and self-mutilations.
So tho we don't get too much detail what the Worms would have gone on to be, I bet it would be monstrous and scary to Trollocs.

Not that I'm generally scared of mice. They're quite cute, when they aren't mutants.
13. Lily of the Valley
Well, Worms themselves were pretty scary, too.

"A Worm" -there was a sharp difference in the way the Warder said it from the way Mat had- "can kill a Fade, if the Fade hasn't the Dark One's own luck with it. We have an entire pack on our trail. Ride! Ride!"

Mutated mice = not cool

They're probably as freaky as cockroaches, and I HATE cockroaches.
14. Freelancer
It is Birgitte who gives Olver and Mat the downlow on the connection between the game and the 'Finn. Aside from her telling Olver how to enter the Tower of Ghenjei using a bronze knife, the rest of the "clues" from the game haven't yet been revealed for how they defeat the real snakes and foxes.
James Jones
15. jamesedjones
12 lanyo

Holy Crap! My house would be covered in mouse traps if I had a job like that.

Oh wait, love the chapter on Mat, Vanin, and Olver. Mat just collects the coolest "outsiders". Ya know, the folks that are terribly successful at what they do, but are never really accepted by the rest of society until their skills are given an appropriate channel. Great stuff!
David Gibson
16. DrG
@2 Steelblaidd I agree with you about Olver. Not only does he add some amusing little tidbits (such as his interaction with the maids and such in the Ebou Dar), but I get the feeling that he's going to be integral to getting into the Tower later on. and as usual, I have no hard evidence to back that up, just mindless speculation!
Tony Zbaraschuk
17. tonyz
And the fun part of that trip into the Blight is "Worms are afraid of what lives in the high passes", as Lan tells everyone. There's some seriously bad stuff up there. Wonder if we'll see any of it at Tarmon Gai'don.

Vanin's a fun character and reasonably well-informed. Plus having his own scouts shows just how clued-in Mat is about military operations.

The question bothering me is: who sent the Aiel after Mat, and why? Ishamael/Moridin isn't back yet IIRC and he's the only Forsaken one so far who's shown much interest in the other two ta'veren. They might be Darkfriends, but any of the Forsaken could have managed a major Compulsion effort on an isolated band of Aiel.

The occasional looks we get back at the Age of Legends through the Forsaken meeting-places are fun little glances; another example of Jordan being the master of the info-drop from time to time. We get (a) some sensawunda, (b) some incluing about how things worked in the Age of Legends, which might be useful as we see occasional other stuff put to use later, and (c) the Forsaken thinking about the scene-setting gives us beaucoup information on each of them and how they think about each other. Not bad triple-timing for some minor information.

And, yes, zara pieces are seriously chilling. Especially the thought that Sammael has a whole board when a single piece meant a death-sentence... how many pieces are there on a board, anyway?
Jane Smyth
18. Kaboom
a bit off topic
But I just finished reading new spring (right after finishing path of dagger) and at least 3 times it is mentioned that there is smoke coming out of Dragonmount. Once at the end of PoD, and at least 2 times in NS. It is also mentioned (in NS) that there is heat around the mountain (the snow melts faster). I never caught it before in my re-reads, but I think this means that Dragonmount is a volcano. I wonder if it will erupt during TG.

Also considering this quote:
"Twice dawns the day when his blood is shed. Once for mourning, once for birth.
Red on black, the Dragon's blood stains the rock of Shayol Ghul.
In the Pit of Doom shall his blood free men from the Shadow." The Great Hunt (Chapter 26).

Could the second dawn be the clearing of the ashes after the eruption?
Rob Munnelly
19. RobMRobM
@17. Has to be Sammy who sent them. His relationship with the Shaido shows up shortly. Pretty good trap to kill a bunch of Tinkers, give a mysterious Dragon Reborn message, spot where the campsite is when they settle down for night, and send them in by traveling. Could well be a message back to the DR that you shouldn't be rejecting a Sammy offer of truce.

Edit - "Ishamael/Moridin isn't back yet IIRC and he's the only Forsaken one so far who's shown much interest in the other two ta'veren." Remember that Sammy had Melidhra shadowing and eventually trying to kill Mat in TSR.

On a separate note, pay close attention to Grendael's talk with Sammy. We're only 23 chapters after Asmo died, only a matter of weeks, and she states for a fact that Asmo is dead while, at the same time, not being clear about the status of other missing Foresaken. Big Flashing Clue that she bumped him off. No doubt she bumped him and then ran straight to Shayol Ghul to tell the DO, so he knew Asmo was dead when Demandred showed up the next day. Also note that Grenny has inside info on what's happening with Rand in Camelyn (such as his moaning over dead Maiden) which again suggests that she has spent time in the castle -- and easily could have been in position when Asmo accidently strolled into her hiding place.

Kathy Keith
20. Babokathy
Happy Labor Day All.

Oh, by the way, Mat's drunken fellow Talmanes, wasn't murdered, he shows up in one piece later in Ch. 38. His leg was only needing a tourniquet in this battle; his brandy disinfected him well enough to see another battle.
Rob Munnelly
21. RobMRobM
Leigh - no, the Tinkers wagon doesn't refer way back to EOTW. At minimum, it is a signal to Rand that he can't reject Sammy's offer of truce without paying a penalty. More likely, it is a trap for Mat and was intended to send an even clearer message of that type to Rand.

By the way, Nerim is an awesome minor character, and high comedy is in own right. “As my Lord says,” Nerim murmured, “my Lord’s leg is not a side of beef. Thank you, my Lord, for instructing me.” Priceless....

22. Lily of the Valley
@ 20

Not to mention he's in KoD. Talmanes has a bit left in him, yet, I think, before he gets killed off.

Someone better get killed off, darn it.
23. eurorandlander
Regarding TGS, Chapter 1: I can't believe that actually ! had to have been . I thought that the POV of was accurate, though . I mean, .

As for these chapters, Nerim's quote is one of my favorites:

“As my Lord says,” Nerim murmured, “my Lord’s leg is not a side of beef. Thank you, my Lord, for instructing me.”

Francesco Paonessa
24. ErrantKnave
"But then again again..." -LB

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
25. jmidd
Well, after a long time lurking, just a quick thank you to Leigh and all the commentators: this re-read has been superb fun, and promises to be for a while yet.

Does anyone else here remember The Druid's BBS on WOT back in about 1997, and then a few other similar sites after that? I can only remember a few names from the old days - Sei'cair, WiseOneBair, Noire - but its nice to be able to sink into this community and enjoy the banter.

I note I have added nothing of any substance, so I will try this: of all the main characters, each has been given someone or thing to ground them. For Rand; its his destiny, for Perrin; Faile, Nynaeve; her love for Lan, Egwene does not have such grounding and probably needs such a thing, and Mat has Olver.
Kathy Keith
26. Babokathy
Just curious, "jmidd" @ 25, Egwene needs some "grounding" event/person: could it be that we will ever find out just what SHE saw when she ran through Rhuidean? (Moiraine saw her scuffle with LF and her "death", Rand saw the Aiel history, Matt saw a grim future that he didn't ask for, Aviendha saw her "role" with Rand). Don't remember ever eavesdropping on Eg's viewing.
Jane Smyth
27. Kaboom
I don't recall Egwene ever going to Rhuidean. At least on screen. Were there hints about her going off screen?
Rob Munnelly
28. RobMRobM
Bobo - Eg didn't go through the Rhuiden ter'greal. Rob
Maiane Bakroeva
29. Isilel
So, why on earth would a Forsaken bother to transport some Aiel through a gateway and not deign to turn Mat's tent and a goodly amount of space around it into slag as the first step? After all, they knew where he was... I mean an OP nuke is ever so efficient and it makes sense to invest into contingencies when dealing with a Ta'veren. This is just lazy - well I guess I have no hope of qualifying for a Chosen ;).

I like Mat's hangers-on, but come-on - no medics in the Band? That's a major fail. And it isn't like finding displaced herbwomen eager to take a well-paying job would have been difficult.

Re: streigh (?), I thought that the point of wearing it was to demonstrate perfect self-mastery?
James Jones
30. jamesedjones
26 Babokathy

Egghead didn't have a viewing. She was shunted from Rhuidean by her betters.
Thomas Keith
31. insectoid
Eurorandlander @23:

Babokathy @26:
Egwene never went to Rhuidean. However, perhaps her "grounding" will be Gawyn when they meet again.
Drew Riley
32. drewoftherushes
How about being the Amyrlin Seat for the SAS captured in the WT? If that's not grounding, I don't know what the word means.

Frankly, now that I think about it, I don't really know what we're talking about when we talk about "grounding." Sounds like vague 9th grade literary sophism to me.
Drew Riley
33. drewoftherushes
@29 Isilel

If you think too hard about what the bad guys (or good guys, sometimes) could be doing differently to actually win, or actually kill someone, you'll just get pissed. Trust me.
Leigh Butler
34. leighdb
ErrantKnave @ 24:

Wait till I get going!

Where was I?
Leigh Butler
35. leighdb
Sorry, to clarify: I was not saying in the recap that Talmanes did get murdered, I was saying that Mat gives the alarm before he stumbled upon the Aiel and got his throat cut. Talmanes is alive and well.
36. Freelancer
Ah yes, Nerim the Dour. Excellent bit of fluff.

On Graendal's proximity to Asmodean's death, there is also the fact that the plan amongst her, Rahvin and Sammael (and Lanfear, though she wasn't too interested in whether it worked, and might have actively been disrupting it), was to make Rand so angry at Sammael that he rushed into Illian guns ablaze, where the others would follow in, linked, to capture him.

So Graendal would have to be reasonably handy before the trap was sprung. That gives her cause to be in or near the palace. Once Rand, Nynaeve, and the captive Moghedien finish off Rahvin in T'a'R, it is also reasonable to believe that Graendal would have surmised that Asmodean was at fault for the sudden shift in Rand's actions. Asmodean via Lanfear, to be precise. But since Lanfear is beyond reach, the next best traitorous forsaken will do.

From Graendal's POV, the plan gets tossed in the wood chipper in a very violent manner. Rand and a raiding party come after Rahvin, and get clobbered by his lightning strikes (killing Mat, Aviendha and Asmodean). Rand and Rahvin (and later two Saidar-wielders) enter T'a'R and start hammering the palace with the Power in an epic battle that ends with a massive blaze of balefire. She would have to assume that Rand's ability to go toe-to-toe with Rahvin comes from Asmodean's training, and would also believe that he learned Balefire from Asmo. So once the dust settles, she considers how to salvage something from whatever Rahvin has collected (as she later does in Illian after Sammael gets Mashadar'd), and runs into Asmodean.


Pssst! Beware, there is iocaine powder in both glasses.
Richard Millard
37. rsmillard
Well, I've read the sample chapter. Or at least the first couple of paragraphs.

Color me unfair, but I have to comment.

I find the quality of the writing shockingly poor and the voice dramatically different from the Jordan voice to which we've been accustomed over the first 11 books. I really don't know that I'm going to be able to finish.

A huge fail.
John Massey
38. subwoofer
Hi Leigh, brave soldier forging on during Labour Day.

Some of us have built up a tolerance to iocaine over the years being a pirate...

WoTish- Mat- reflected that Thom told him he has the fastest hands Thom has seen. Love the way Mat was counting the steps and trying to get out unscathed then the drunk numb nut comes wondering up the hill yelling for the far end of Poland to hear and then Mat has to bite the bullet. Rally! Ahhh, good times.

Seem to remember there being Genera hypercolors back when.

Nerim, ham fisted indeed :)

Edit- don't try to delve into the motivation of the Forsaken... like being mired in quick sand.

Drew Riley
39. drewoftherushes
@37 rsmillard

You need to move that comment into the first chapter's actual comments section -- we're not talking about that here.

P.S. In the future, don't be a humbug.
40. meal6225
I maybe confusing story lines but dont "worms" transform into Dragons in a series of books by Robyn Hobb?

Love Mat in future Olver chapters when he laments what the boy is learning from "the Uncles".
James Jones
41. jamesedjones
37 rsmillard

"Color me unfair, but I have to comment."

I'm honestly very close to checking a few other posts on to see if you posted your "huge fail" opinion on there, too.

I'm sure all of us are truly broken up that you are disappointed in the efforts of Brandon Sanderson. I know I won't be able to sleep tonight. But with hope, and love, and a lot of therapy, I think I'll manage to pull through. I just pray that all of the other fans of RJ, who are absolutely on the edge of our seats about how you feel, will be able to continue living another day.

FYI check some of my other posts. I'm just being silly for everyone's benefit. :P
Justin Levitt
42. TyranAmiros
Well, "wyrm" is a synonym for "dragon" in many legends and fantasy stories. It wouldn't be too far a stretch to say wyrm-->worm, particularly if jumara-worms resemble common worms. On Language Log they'd call it an eggcorn, a linguistic process by which a word is substituted by a homophone that describes/resembles the original.

Part of me thinks that part of rescuing Moiraine will require Mat/Thom/Noal to "cheat" by bringing Olver with them, because no one knows Snakes and Foxes better than he.
John Massey
43. subwoofer
***I find that burbon helps me sleep sometimes. ;)
I took up drinking because I thought it would help. Started with Nyquil and it snow balled from there.

Interesting thoughts- Wyrms. Would be cool if actual dragons came to light in WoT. But would really shift the balance of power and feel of the books.

And yes- I think the first cheat will be that Mat won't be a donkey and give up his knives again, then do everything else the opposite of the prescripts, the matches, a bard, you name it...

James Jones
44. jamesedjones
43 Subwoofer

Nyquil. Got it!

Thanks, Subwoofer.
j p
45. sps49
Sammy is such a liar! I think he just wants to hoodwink G and use her for a while (until she finds out). And did/ will he get resurrected by the DO after MAshadar got him?

So why would Graendal keep offing Asmo a secret? All the explanations for her sound like the small time crooks on Cops 'splainin' why that vial is in their pocket.

Edit to Cops, not "Cos" the Cosby Show
John Massey
46. subwoofer
Ahhh-JEJ- I'm just here for my quick wit and snappy patter :)
John Massey
47. subwoofer
I would really like to see some serious focus on the Blight. Lan's battle in there, everyone rallying to the Golden Crane banner, and some beastie fighting. Everyone loved the Emmond's Field Battle, hands down favorite according to many of the listed opinions, so imagine that being taken to the next level.

RJ kept on talking about the ever advancing Blight, how the Shadow was creeping over the land etc. I want to see the actual war take place- let us put the spotlight back on the Borderland. Battle Ajah, Dreadlords, worms,Shienaran Heavy cavalry, even Ogier joining in the fray at some point, singing the Blight away...

One can dream :)

lin mei
48. twicemarked
TyranAmiros @ 42
I don't think bring in a fourth person is cheating, as the Fin's never said four peolpe are disallowed.

Only Moiraine said that more than three means death to all. To bring in Olver is not to cheat the Fin's but to cheat on Moiraine.

About worms.

Whenever worms and transform come together, I always think of butterflys. So maybe they are supposed to transform into some kind of flying monster, a type of Chimaera with wings, which is close enough to a dragon. But since they can no longer transform now, we will never find out.
49. altarego
Re: the Tinker Tragedy

There was foreshadowing several times for this, though Tinkers were not explicitly targeted.

Aiel, even darkfriend Aiel, wouldn't bother randomly attacking a group of Tinkers unless there was a direct order to do so. But why would a random traveling band of Tinkers be a target. They could have no idea that Mat would be passing by, let alone Rand. Similar logic follows for shadowspawn.

On the other hand, Pedron Niall sent a bunch of his men, disguised as Dragonsworn, to Altara and Murandy (beginning of LOC) to commit acts of heinous brutality in the name of the Dragon. This was to inspire fear and loathing (for Rand) in the populace and set the Whitecloaks up as the benevolent protectors. The subtle reminder of this foreshadowing was Mat's comment to himself that the presence of the Dragonsworn sounded "troubling".
john mullen
50. johntheirishmongol
I really think the Tinker massacre was just a red herring to get people talking but it didn't mean anything in the long run.

RE: Streith (sp?) Mood cloth? like a mood ring? brings back memories lol

Olver: sad story but pretty soon turns into a spoiled brat. I could have done without him.

Greandel (grendel??) and Sammy chat, I thought the point of it was to keep the other Forsaken pointed at Rand.

Didn't see the point of Matt ordering a palasade if he knew the attack came from a gateway.
James Jones
51. jamesedjones
48 twicemarked

"Only Moiraine said that more than three means death to all. To bring in Olver is not to cheat the Fin's but to cheat on Moiraine."

I see Olver sneakin' in. :)
John Massey
52. subwoofer
Sooo- was this more than 3 coming in or going out? Because if they add Moiraine to their numbers does that mean they all die? Or do they have to leave someone behind? Seems to me they could use a used car salesman I know to wheel and deal them out of this one.

Olver thing has disaster written all over it. Look at what happened when he snuck off and Mat went capering after him to have a wall fall on him and then the whole- "What happened to my bloody luck" bit.

Edit- will know when I hear the dice rolling again...

Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
Prologue on September 17th? SWEET - a most excellent birthday present!! Thank you very much!
Wesley Parish
54. Aladdin_Sane
@2 SteelBlaidd

"It would be like Wieramon using pike men as his main force and Hose as flankers and reserves." Hose = Pantywaisters? (LOL :)

I like the Matt - Olver interaction. That's where Matt starts to become fully rounded. He makes a start rescuing the matches-lass - what's-her-name from the Illuminators' Chapter House.

While Rand, who I liked from the start, starts becoming dangerously one-sided and single-minded at about the same point.
Wesley Parish
55. Aladdin_Sane
As far as the Tinkers go, I always tied it in with the two sets of Lost Ones in The Eye of the World, and the dying Maiden.

I think there's been sufficient interaction with Tinkers following Rand's exposee of the Big Secret - that Aiel split into three groups - the Tinkers, the Aiel, and the Jenn Aiel, over the century of so it took to take the path to the spear. How many taken by the bleakness joined the Tinkers? We're not told, but it can't have been a small number. So by now, most Tinkers would know that Rand al'Thor is indeed the Dragon - the twin dragons on his arms would've been sufficient, considering that the Tinkers would've still had tales of their being the People of the Dragon. How long since the Golden Bowl?

I think they were taking some news they got from the Aiel Waste, or across it, looking for the Dragon, and the resident evil got a cluebat thrown in his/her/its general direction, and sicc'ed some darkfriend Aiel onto them.
56. Robin42
To follow up the coment by meal6225 et al..

If we're to believe Wikipedia (which knows all and sees all), the word for dragon in Germanic languages is "wurm" which means "snake or serpent"

A chimera that transforms into a dragon, or even a very large snake that grows wings at some point in its life cycle would not be something I'd like to bump into.
57. Robin42

I have to clarify that I was refering to the European dragon.
58. alreadymadwithdragon
Isilel @29
I'd agree. The reason Graendal uses streith aside from making a fashion statement is that she has control over her emotions and thus what color the streith will be. She can essentially fool the other forsaken into thinking she has feels one thing when she feels another.

Based on what others have said about worms, I'm inclined to believe they are close to the dragons we are familiar with. Maybe even gigantic snake-like creatures. Only RJ couldn't very well call them dragons because Randlanders aren't supposed to know what dragons are. I'm curious though, Sammael said they were supposed to transform but not in their current full grown state. What are they supposed to transform into?
Pete Pratt
59. PeteP
Sammy is so fun. Really good tricking the queen of manipulation....
Agnes Kormendi
60. tapsi
"Only Moiraine said that more than three means death to all. To bring in Olver is not to cheat the Fin's but to cheat on Moiraine."

Olver is still a child, so maybe he's under different rules (obviously Mat would never let him come along, he's far too protective of women and children for that; but he could sneak in).

Also, in one Mat POV he muses over the fact that Olver has yet to learn that the only way to win in Snakes & Foxes is to cheat. So Mat does know the only way to defeat them is to cheat.
61. alreadymadwithDFaiel
"A man could get killed in there. That was pure Mat Cauthon."

I always got a kick out of that.

I thought at first the “TELL THE DRAGON REBORN” bit had been from the attackers. Sort of a potshot at Rand being unable to protect everyone all the time. On the other hand, if it wasn't, what would the full message had been? This is one of the plot points which IMHO got abandoned early on. And this is the only book in the series where we see darkfriend Aiel doing an assassination gig for one of the Forsaken. Aside from Melindhra, that is, and I don't think she was really instructed to sic Mat, more like she eventually thought it would be necessary.
Maiane Bakroeva
62. Isilel
Eh, I always hated the annoying, but plucky kid who sneaks into proceedings in action movies. "Yiipie!" and all that.
Not that Olver had been too bad so far, apart from the stupid stunt in Ebu Dar, but sneaking into the Tower of Genji would cross the line for me.

As to whether they'll have to leave somebody behind, IMHO Noal Charin has the "redshirt" painted all over him. He's been given just enough exposure for us to feel something for him when he gets offed, but not to get too sad.
Jay Dauro
63. J.Dauro
Isilel @62

What stupid stunt in Ebou Dar? Going out to play? Which he did most days when he could. He is a kid, and was not told to stay in the palace.
Jane Smyth
64. Kaboom
johntheirishmongol @50

Didn't see the point of Matt ordering a palasade if he knew the attack came from a gateway.

I don't think Mat would ever tell his men about the gateway. His men surely believe that the aiel made it in through the whole camp and without him ordering a palisade around the camp, it is very likely his people would not feel safe enough to sleep.
John Massey
65. subwoofer
Yes, nothing but disaster can happen if any leaks got out about channeling. Maybe people will think the Dragon went crazy. Maybe panic will ensue if people connect the dots and realize the Forsaken may be behind this...

Things would go sideways in a hurry. Best to keep it simple.

Edit- Noal/ Jain Farstrider- le sigh- I suppose things would have to happen to him... then a follow up story about how JF escaped from the 'Finn and the ToG.

66. Lost in my own Mind
I think the the attack on the Tinkers has some meaning that will be revealed in the future, it will be one of those bits from the series that suddenly pops up again proving to have more siginificance that most readers gave it on the first read.

I have also noticed in this read through how often characters keep referring to all the hunters for the horn that seem to be everywhere. It is mentioned by many characters in various locations (carhein,camlean, the two rivers). I don't have a specific theory about this, but I think the hunters are going to play a big role in some part of the story in the last three books.
67. JWezy

But can a European dragon even carry a coconut? An African dragon, perhaps...
Tess Laird
68. thewindrose
@subwoofer 47
RJ kept on talking about the ever advancing Blight, how the Shadow was creeping over the land etc. I want to see the actual war take place- let us put the spotlight back on the Borderland. Battle Ajah, Dreadlords, worms,Shienaran Heavy cavalry, even Ogier joining in the fray at some point, singing the Blight away...

One can dream :)

hmmm - maybe TG;)
Although I think the singing will happen after TG, when the Ogier have some Ent droughts, ummm I mean ale.

Noal/Jain Farstrider is connected to Graendal I believe. When she gathered up the Sheboyans(sp) from Shara she probably went for the package deal which included JF. I hope he can through off her subtle compulsion and help Mat and Thom rescue Moiraine. He does seem to be wearing a red shirt for this mission. If he can escape Graendals influence, I see him becoming tied to the HoV.
69. topknot
Is the attack on Matt supposed to kill him or is it just another attempt to sow chaos by making him think that Rand wants him dead?
Josh Davis
70. YoSoyElJosh
@68 - I thought it was Ishmael who had a leash on Jain, after his visit to Shayol Ghul? Not to say two Forsaken couldn't use the same pawn, but I assumed any compulsion on him was a long-standing order from before the Aiel War. Wondering what'll trigger him; he has those lost memories just below the surface. Would be most unfortunate if he turned on our friends in Finnland.

@69 - If the attack had been successful, then Mat's followers might've assumed, power or no power, that Rand had ordered the attack, or perhaps that their Aiel were betraying them. Either way, definitely chaos there. I can't believe Mat was meant to survive.
71. Robin42


But then of course, African dragons are non migratory.
Rob Munnelly
72. RobMRobM
@67 and 71. It depends on the number of wingbeats per minute, as I recall. R
Tess Laird
73. thewindrose
Hi fookroot:)How's Hawaii?

A man could get killed in there. That was pure Mat Cauthon. Mat = one cool cat:)
Peter Nein
74. gimpols1908
Thoughts on the whole over-weight/weigh-ist issue. Jordan does make good uses of overweight characters... Verin is portly and sharp, while playing spacey, Vannin is teh awesome of thieves. However if you ever walk into an inn and the inn keeper is skinny... GET OUT! Every time one of our cast members goes to an inn with a skinny innkeeper there is trouble. I believe in Four Kings is the first time we meet one. And it happens a few more times. Skinny with a sour expression, and you will be robbed or someone will try to kill you. Please someone find me an example of a skinny innkeeper that didn't try to do something bad to really bad to our heroes.
Jason Deshaies
75. darxbane
Phew! Work has been busy lately! A lot of good discussions, and I am behind. I have one comment about the Trolloc/Gateway issue. I have read notes from RJ that mentioned the Nym were also unable to use Gateways. Apparently, creatures who are created using the Power (good side for Nym, "True" Power for Shadowspawn)have this flaw. The Trollocs were more than just "twisted" pieces of human and animal; the process also required the use of the DO's Power in order to work. It would be a good clue if we could find out whether or not a Grey Man is able to use a Gateway.

Getting so close to tGS!
Rob Munnelly
76. RobMRobM
Here's something funny - from Brandon Sanderson's site. (No rickrolls guaranteed.) Three guesses who are the two in the picture.
Alice Arneson
77. Wetlandernw
RobMRobM @ 76 - couldn't get there. Dreadfully curious.
Rob Munnelly
78. RobMRobM
Wet - just for you I'll ruin the surprise. It is Brandon and Leigh having a tug of war over a copy of TGS.

Alice Arneson
79. Wetlandernw
Okay. I'm not going to comment on the sample chapter Leigh referenced. I just have to say I'm really glad I went and read it. As has been much proclaimed, Mr. Sanderson has no intention of trying to sound just like Mr. Jordan, which most of us agree is a good thing. However, I felt that reading the first chapter gave me a chance to adjust to the new style while I have plenty of time to do so, instead of having it take me off guard when tGS arrives on my doorstep.

That said, I almost wish I'd waited to read it until just one week before the release, instead of seven...
Alice Arneson
80. Wetlandernw
RobM @ 78 - Did you find it from his website or his twitter?

jej @ 41 - HOOOT!! Meant to say it last night. I loved your response!! Good answer. ;)
Rob Munnelly
81. RobMRobM
@wet - Brandon has a link to his twitter on his website. So, the answer is....both. R
John Mann
82. jcmnyu
@37 rsmillard

So, based on "the first couple of paragraphs" of a 300,000 word novel you are going to judge it? Let me clue you into a little secret. Most likely, the part you read is Jordan's work word for word. Sanderson was pretty specific about what was completed at RJ's death and, I may be wrong, but I remember his stating that the beginning and the end were all Jordan. So, being the first chapter and all, my bet is that there is very little Sanderson in what you read.

@40 meal6225

I know I didn't catch it on the first few times through the series. Mat completely fooled me, but I love that it isn't the uncles who are corrupting Olver. Olver is aping Mat, move for move, and Mat has no clue. Just a great piece of subtle writing.
Josh Davis
83. YoSoyElJosh

Sure that's not Jason from Dragonmount with Leigh?


Agree. The waiting is worse now. And the one friend I can call up and talk about WoT with is in Northern Alaska now, so I'm all bottled up and ready to burst.
Rob Munnelly
84. RobMRobM
@78. You are correct. (All those Fantasy guys look the same. LOL) I was faked out by fact that Jason twittered to Brandon's site.

"RT: @dragonmount That's me and Leigh Butler fighting over The Gathering Storm in Tor's offices.-Jason"
Kristina Blake
85. kab1
Hi Everybody. Someone on the podcast (can't remember who) about the Finns had an interesting Oliver theory- where they thought (like some above posts) that Oliver would sneak into the tower after Mat's party and play an important role. The fact that he did not come with Mat's party meant that Mat did not break Moraine's instructions. I always liked this theory myself.

Also, I don't think Oliver did anything terrible when he wandered off in Ebou Dar (kids do wander off) and in fact it was important that Mat remained in Ebou Dar to met Tuon. So, Oliver played a very important role there, and that he probably has an important role to still to play with the Finns-- we shall see.
Kristina Blake
86. kab1
I enjoyed the first chapter- thanks Tor!

Excited for the prologue as well. @ wetlandernw it'll also be a birthday present for me!

Anyone have any news on the audiobooks? Will they be released at the same time as the book? Did I just miss this news somewhere?

I'm going to have to go find this picture of Leigh and Jason, none of the links are working for me.
Joseph Blaidd
87. SteelBlaidd
Just so everone knows, from Brandons blog, we know that Chapter One, Paragraph One was written by Brandon and was in fact the first words of the Gathering Storm that he wrote. This, of course, dosen't tell us how much of the rest of the chapter preexists him starting writing.
Ron Garrison
88. Man-0-Manetheran
Mat: "Warders are 'fools and dupes', to let themselves be led around by Aes Sedai." LOL. What are the odds Mat ends up being warded by Tuon against his will?

RobMRobM @ 19
Great catch on Grendael being the likely killer of Asmo. 'splains a lot!
"Tell the Dragon Reborn" message on the Tinker's wagon. Agreed. The tinker didn't write it. Maybe Sammy did, but I like altarego's idea of Pedron Niall.

drewoftherushes @ 32
I believe in the 9th grade, it is called "grounded" as in: "Dude! Can you believe I've been grounded for a we-e-e-e-k?"

>>>Finally: Could TOR please make an effort to place a link to the latest re-read in the INDEX page? I'm thinking that it's not that difficult - just negligence.
Leigh Butler
89. leighdb
The picture is of me and Jason Denzel, not Brandon.
Kristina Blake
90. kab1
As far as the "Tell the Dragon Reborn" I was always of the impression that the message was unfinished and that it was supposed to say Tell the Dragon Reborn-something important" As in the Tinkers found out something of importance for TG. But maybe not. At this point the Tinkers haven't really come back into major play.
Philbert de Zwart
91. philbert
When I was rereading this, I was wondering why there was so much attention for the stuff in Mat's bag. Until in the end of the chapter it became clear that Olver had exactly the same stuff in his bag:
Mat: stones he juggles of which he likes the colors
Olver: stone just the color of the sun
Mat: Eagle feather
Olver: Redhawk feather
Mat: Snow white stone carved with scrolls
Olver: stone with a fish head on it

It really struck a personal chord with me. I have a 3 year old boy, and every day I see how much he is like me, in so many ways. He really is my spitting image.

What strikes me about Mat the unlikely father, is how good he is at it: Whenever the boy objects to something, Mat distracts him with a detail, something young boys are very sensitive for. It started already with the bath on Olver's first appearance.
I do this all the time: when my boy doesn't want to go up to take his bath, I say something like: you can take the little red car upstairs with you. He will then say, No, I want to take the big car with me! Then I yield to that, and victorious he goes upstairs to his bath, carrying his big car. Works wonders.
I bet RJ was a terrific father.
Kathy Keith
92. Babokathy
@86 kab1

I think I read an announcement that audiobooks and finally real-live "e-books" will be available from several "sources" for not only TGS, but the entire series eventually. "e-books" have previously been unavailable until these first ones come out in Oct.
Asger Grunnet
93. asgerix
To those who are annoyed with missing posts in the index page: Use this link instead. (It is simply a link to the search result for posts tagged with "Wheel of Time re-read")
This page is updated from the instant Leigh posts. Put it in your Favorites.
94. Dreadlady
Hi everyone!

First time post ... long time lurk.

Re: the Aiel attacking Mats camp. This time, and a few times before, other participants have referred to "black eyed Aiel." Since authentic Aiel have universally light eyes, these must be some sort of "faux" Aiel.

The ones attacking the brown Aes Sedai also had dark eyes, and referred to "witches."
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
Dreadlady @ 94

At the time of the attack, I'm not sure anyone was looking at the color of anyone else's actual eyes. I always assumed that "black-eyed Aielman" (which does come up a few times) is a corruption of "black-vieled Aielman" (which is more accurate) and is usually spouted by someone who bases their opinions on rumor and folk-lore. If there's something in the text somewhere (in any given scene) that the "Aiel" in question actually have dark eyes, it would indeed be a clue that they're fakes.
96. whoami
David Gerrold's unfinished Chtorr series has some really nasty, VERY intelligent worms.

This series is about invasion by an alien ecology, which quickly overwhelms Earth's native flora and fauna with the much nastier Chtorran versions.

Civilization's days are numbered, and men set up a lunar base in an effort to save native Earth life-forms.

Lots of military action, and lots of really screwed up sexuality on the part of the mildly insane main character. I guess he's somewhat Randlike in that way, less the weird sex.
97. Freelancer

I believe that the blood-written "TELL THE DRAGON REBORN" on the Tinker wagon is simply a tidbit that was never meant to be followed up.
In a story he would have lived just long enough to scrawl the vital bit that meant victory. Well, whatever the message, nobody was ever going to know a word more now.
If one reads carefully, there are myriad unclosed items of that nature, and not all of them have text to clearly say so, as this one does. I see it as a point of Jordan's genius, making the world more real by including items that draw dramatic interest, but are left as loose ends.

I know that Brandon has said that some of the significant subplots of the story will be left unresolved, and I'm not referring to those, just the one-time things like this, which produce a sense of tension that is never relieved.
Ron Garrison
98. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks for the link asgerix! But I still don't get why one would create an Index page and not keep it up to date. At least now I won't have to click all over the site looking for a random link.
Captain Hammer
99. Randalator
re: Streith

I see your point, Leigh, where it is all kinds of stupid to wear a dress essentially made out of a lie detector. Especially when it's a good idea to be able to, I don't know, when your an evil sociopath plotting with evil sociopaths, maybe? Even Graendal doesn't have 100% control over her emotions. Although her 90% still are an impressive feat.

On the other hand, I'd kinda like it when the dress of the girl I just met on said cocktail party would suddenly turn into a nice dark shade of 'I want to tear your clothes off'. Stupid subtle female body language... *grumble*
100. Hopper
@ 87

I can't tell if your being sarcastic... I'm pretty sure chapter one, paragraph one basically writes itself, and while Brandon may have put the words on paper, they have been written 11 times already. :)

Either way, it would be interesting to know how much RJ did write of the first chapter. I very much believe that people often only see what they want to see, without even realizing it. It would be funny for all the nay-sayers if the chapter was 99% RJ.

Personally, my biggest reaction was wanting more!

Oh and I definitely think Olver has a big part to play with the 'Finns
IS it just me being a dense idioit? Or did that prophesy mentioning "he who comes with the dawn" imply that rand is not " he who comes with the dawn" but is actually sightblinder or...whomever
Alice Arneson
103. Wetlandernw
ZEXXES @ 102 - Sightblinder is one of the Aiel names for the Dark One.

"Til shade is gone, til water is gone,
Into the shadow with teeth bared
Screaming defiance with the last breath
To spit in Sightblinder’s eye on the Last Day."
Ryan Thistlethwaite
104. shintemaster
I believe that RJ had written most of the Prologue, not necessarily chapter one. Take it as you like, but I think the voice is notably Brandon's. I'm also reasonably content, it will never be the same but it seems good enough.
105. Noren
Concerning the Gateway question:
Just occurred to me;Mydraal can teleoperate Trollocs,but not Darkfriends.This indicates there is a physical taint in the makeup of Shadowspawn,a link that is disrupted by their passing through a spatial discontinuity e.g a Gateway.I suspect Shadowspawn wouldn't be able to survive a vacuole either,for much the same reason,while Darkfriends and Forsaken can.

Why do I think it's physical?The Dark One has a link to the souls of all the Forsaken(as shown when Rand severed Asmodean,and when he killed Ishy) but they have no problems Travelling.Maybe it has something to do with the presence(or absence) of souls. I'd be very interested in finding out if Gray Men can use a Gateway.

Concerning the chapter:
Enter Matt's supporting cast.Easily my favorite character, at least in part because his motives are just so reasonable:)Wish I could have a Mat focused trilogy by RJ*sigh*

PS Does anyone else wonder if the presence of a soul is a prerequisite for using the One Power or the True Power?I've always found it curious that none of the Shadowspawn seem to tap into the Power(One or True).If I was an evil mad scientist in the Age of Legends,it's one of the first things I'd work on.
John Massey
106. subwoofer
generally there’s a much stronger stigma against women than men in the arena of weight

Now, I could play with this and talk about people needing to skip a meal if they weigh as much as an arena, but I am going to take the higher ground here;)

As far as Olver- yes he's an orphan, raised by a bunch of "Uncles" and ladies of questionable reputation- the it takes a village to raise a child- literally. So stuff is bound to happen. I just think Mat is going to have his hands full when he wonders into the tower and Olver could be collateral damage. Or maybe he comes out like Old Bili with a bag of gold and two swords strapped to his back...

Welcome to the group Dreadlady :)

I do find it comical and annoying and endearing the way Vanin dotes over Elayne later on in the series though. I did not quite see that transition coming- especially from the impression I get in this chapter, but hey, it works.

Rob Munnelly
107. RobMRobM
Woof@107. Vanin's from Andor, enough said. He's probably been dreaming about her being his queen since she hit puberty (not that there's anything wrong with that). Rob
John Massey
108. subwoofer
Vanin to El *** As you wish...

Tess Laird
109. thewindrose
So, if Leigh had her hands on tGS, (as the picture link shows)do you think she read it?
110. Freelancer
Hmm. So the growing opinion is that Olver is going to sneak into the Tower behind the three rescuers. And what if he gets three wishes? That's how he'll turn into Gaidal Cain? Did not RJ put that notion to rest?

I suspect that he'll have some spark of insight that will guide the others on how to outwit the 'finn, but I have a hard time imagining him going inside the Tower, especially alone. Not a good place for a child.

Anyway, if there are any three folks better suited to out-gaming an opponent than Mat Cauthon, Thom Merrilin, and Noal Charin, either we haven't met them yet or they're very busy elsewhere. It's certainly a good thing this will happen after Tuon and Mat have parted ways; just imagine the ultimate freelancing Aes Sedai (Moiraine) facing off against the empress who would want her leashed? Teslyn and Joline would want to take notes, Mat and the Band would want to take cover.
111. Freelancer

Haven't we had enough allusions to that story yet?


Tess Laird
112. thewindrose
subwoofer@ 108:
John Massey
113. subwoofer
sniff*so beautiful* sniff...

Remember- RJ is not the one writing the story now...

j p
114. sps49
Haven't seen it mentioned in a while, but Chapter 22 opens with Mat (understandably) still grumpy at how the Supergirls treated him post- rescue.

Edit: @108, it is inconceivable that Leigh would have that book in her grasp and then let it go without staying up through the night reading it.
Pelumi Adefope
115. GenghisCan
I don't think Olver will enter the Tower of Ghenjei because Moiraine did say that it was an automatic failure if more than three people came. And I believe she might've said men so that rules out our young hero-to-be.
Tess Laird
116. thewindrose
From KoD Nine Out Of Ten:
The Queens Guards were sworn to defend Andor, the Queen and the Daughter-Heir, yet the decision to carry her personal banner had to have been Charlz Guybon's. Sitting a tall bay with his helmet resting on the saddlebow, he bowed to her, a broad smile on his lips. The man was(emphasis RJ) a pleasure to look at. Perhaps he would do for a third Warder.
Elayne does have her eye on Charlz, wonder if anything will come out of this:)
Leigh Butler
117. leighdb
thewindrose @109:

At the risk of ruining the joke, honesty compels me to assure you that the "TGS" copy Jason and I are holding in that picture is a mock-up.
William Fettes
118. Wolfmage
I don't share some of the reservations made here and elsewhere about Olver's character. In terms of his utility, I think it is likely he will have some future impact in the series, but to my mind, I don't think he's simply there to dole out clues at crucial points, from off-screen Birgitte or whatever.

For me, he has a place in the story in his own right as a loveable little rascal and I find his sections enjoyable to read. He's also an extension of Mat's development as a character. More obviously Mat taking up his care can be seen as part of Mat's steady embrace of responsibility, however, just as important is the way Mat develops a cool avuncular relationship with him. I'm not sure how it is with others, but I have always had favourite uncle figures in my life who were engaged, interested and there for encouragement and support (possibly boosted by the fact they only had daughters). They were the type who were sort of safely on my side, and who would err on the side of enabling rather than stifling or protective love. That is what is between Mat and Over. So it isn't just about some kind of filial responsibility - it's about that funny mixture of self recognition, potential, and special bonding that drives such relationships. I really think RJ enhanced his work by including that kind of relationship in WoT.

So, I definitely don't agree that it is belaboured at all in any sense. Similarly, whether Olver goes into Finn land or not wouldn't matter to me one bit.
sandi vogel
119. sinfulcashew
37. rsmillard
" Well, I've read the sample chapter. Or at least the first couple of paragraphs.
Color me unfair, but I have to comment."

Late response, but.....
Give it some more time. Don't give up yet!
I felt the same way at first, but my interest in the whole series made me continue on.
I even listened to the audio version.
!!It get's better!!
Rob Munnelly
120. RobMRobM
Wind@116. Why that shameless Green hussy....

Never noticed that one before.

p.s. Why did you attach my name to the comment? I can guess but just curious.
John Massey
121. subwoofer
'K- first off- I want to start a poll that says Leigh coulda taken him... Then read the book to us chapter by chapter, but pt 2 of my idea went sideways.

I figured it was a dummy book, otherwise it would not just be a couple of people fighting for it...and I wasn't there- on top of the pile. Timing was off.

Olver- I figure his role will have to do with his ability to ride a horse. Probably will have to ride for help through enemy lines without anybody catching/noticing a little kid... and then his ugliness comes into play if he gets caught. Just a theory but that's what I am going with now. And what Wolfmage said about the development and maturity of Mat's character.

Tess Laird
122. thewindrose
leighdb @117 - Sounds like a Aes Sedai answer if I ever heard one;) - "TGS" copy Jason and I are holding in that picture is a mock-up.
Tess Laird
123. thewindrose
Hmmm should I keep him guessing?
Well, the statement you made about Vanin:
Vanin's from Andor, enough said. He's probably been dreaming about her being his queen since she hit puberty (not that there's anything wrong with that). Rob
That had me laughing, so I thought I would try tying your nose into a knot.
Rob Munnelly
124. RobMRobM
Wind - No doubt Charlz has been having the same dreams as Vanin -- I just hadn't realized the feelings were at least somewhat mutual (for Elayne, that is).

James Jones
125. jamesedjones
124 & 123

Let's not forget, Elayne is not the only hot blonde in Andor. Maybe Charlz is looking for HOV nookie. He might not be ugly enough for her, but that has absolutely nothing to do with his feelings.
Rob Munnelly
126. RobMRobM
Hero of the Horn joke coming in 3...2...1...
Tess Laird
127. thewindrose
So Subwoofer @121 - If you had won, would you have read it to us? And I totally agree - 100 to 1 odds on Leigh - sorry Jason - Leigh is teh bomb!!
John Massey
128. subwoofer
I can read?- um, yeah, of course I would of dished with everybody. I may of been dodging the other dogs and S.W.A.T. team sent out by TOR, but idda gone underground and read covertly. 'Course, the quality of my comments may leave much to be desired. I've got old age and treachery working for me. My morals seem to of slid in my twilight years.

James Jones
129. jamesedjones
Mat: I don't like to blow my own horn, but when I do...

Edit: With regards to 126
Bill Reamy
130. BillinHI
re: Index - Another method that works is to link to the blogger The LotR index was in even worse shape than WoT's so I looked at the list of bloggers on home page and bookmarked that link. You have to expand the list to see all the bloggers and it might not work as well for some if they are blogging about more than one subject.

Edit: That link can also come in handy if you want to look at earlier blogs for reference.
Rob Munnelly
131. RobMRobM
@129 - I was thinking more along the lines of a horny guy who liked "horn-y" girls.
132. Dreadlady
95. Wetlanderw
"black-eyed Aielman" ... If there's something in the text somewhere (in any given scene) that the "Aiel" in question actually have dark eyes, it would indeed be a clue that they're fakes.

Sorry, I got ahead of myself. The reference is in Lord of Chaos, Chapter 46, "Beyond the Gate": The spear going into side was such a shock ... That remembered face was thrust into hers, black eyes mocking ...
Rob Munnelly
133. RobMRobM
OK, where's Leigh? This morning drinking has got to stop. Get the entry in, and then she can party like it's the third age....


134. Hopper
It may be a little late on this post, but I say we start a poll debating the *real* reasons some of Leigh's posts come so much later then others.

All in good fun of course :)
Sam Mickel
135. Samadai
hopper your on.

Leigh is secretly Semirhage and just enjoys good torture
Brian Slover
136. Xiiv
Hmmm I don't think Leigh is Semirhage but perhaps Mogh as one of the forsaken...Its just one of her plots to make us wish for her posts more and more...

Also on a side note...Has the chapter where Perrin meets the Basheres been covered yet and I just passed it over somewhere...Or is it upcoming still?
David Gibson
137. DrG
Heh, I was just sitting here thinking the same thing as you guys, Rob & Hopper. On the upside, it gave me time to catch up on the million other posts for TGH Ch. 1! and let me tell you, I can feel the love in that room...
138. Freelancer
You know, sometimes pleasant means...pleasant. That Elayne finds Charlz Guybon easy on the eye doesn't come within a thousand lightyears of suggesting there is a lust component involved. View each such thought in light of the entire story, and you will easily see how off base such insipid suspicions are. Aside from Mat's suggested forays, all of our heroes has expressed or demonstrated specific love for an individual before becoming intimate with them. And yet this pervasive, vulgar idea that they are all "players" abounds. As if Elayne will step out on Rand because a guardsman has a pretty face. And since I mentioned Mat, his internal POV speaks to how he will no longer carouse; no more pinching, poking, slap and tickling any handy wench, since he has become a one-woman man. Or is that just until a prettier face or fuller figure comes along? As our "favorite" Green would say, "Phaw!"

The answer is no. Nothing like that will come of it. Bank.
Tess Laird
139. thewindrose
Freelancer - What about the 'Perhaps he would do for a third Warder.' And I am sure you know that Rob and I were joking around.
Although, why would it be so bad if Elayne did have relations with Charlz? If Rand can have a 4 square relationship, is it out of the question for Elayne to have another love interest?

I really don't think that many people on this thread think all the characters are "players" either.
Athena Barnes
140. a_m_m_b
"The reedy shrill came again, like a cracked shepherd's pipe, and was answered in kind by a chorus. Half a dozen, singing among themselves, far behind."

That has always struck me as rather like a chorus of modified Shoggoths from Lovecraft.

edit: which reminds me ~ why can't they transform now? what is missing?

and of course my paranoid bump must ask, "Are we SURE they can no longer transform?
Pelumi Adefope
141. GenghisCan

The reason it would be bad for Elayne to become "involved" (physical not warder) with Charlz Guybon would be because the relationship between Rand and the Three is focused on Rand. Her and Guybon would consist of adultery because it was outside that defined relationship between the Four.

I would like her to bond him though. He's proven himself to be very competent.
142. Tialin
139 @Windrose

Well, maybe Elayne is just keeping Charlz waiting on the side in case Rand _doesn't_ survive TG.

Besides, just because he might become a Warder does not mean they are having intimate relations. Not all Greens indulge themselves with their Warders, according to Cadsuane. Elayne can have Charlz and Vanin as Warders, and still have room for one more!

One can never have too many Warders - *sigh*

140 @a_m_m_b

I love it! The Worms can't transform anymore.
Or... can they?
Tess Laird
143. thewindrose
Although I said I would most likely be a member of the Blue Ajah many threads back(with a touch of white), I say lets get rid of the one Warder rule -as Tialin points out - One can never have too many Warders - *sigh*.

Anyways - Charlz ia a cool character, and there is a nice true story behind him:Charlz got his name in some contest overseas, and RJ used the name and the wife's description of him.
144. Tialin
Yep - I agree! If the Red can change enough to bond Warders who can channel, I say let each Aes Sedai choose how many Warders she can handle.

Makes me wonder - when Elayne bonded Birgitte, she thought to herself that she was going to have to choose Green now. Was she really thinking of the Blue, as one Aes Sedai had her marked out for at one time (Lelaine,perhaps?)

I loved how Charlz got his name. There was a contest on and Tar for the same thing for TGS. Wonder who the lucky winner was?

I would be a Green myself, with more than a touch of Brown, however.

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