Wed
Sep 9 2009 5:22pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 15

What goes up must come down
Spinning Wheel (of Time), got to Re-read
Talking ’bout your Chapters Twenty-Four and Five
Ride a painted Bela
Let the Lord of Chaos ji-i-ive

(Jive, rule, whatever. I went for the rhyme scheme. QUIT JUDGING ME!)

Aaand now you will have that horn section riff stuck in your head all day. Mwhahahaha!

Previous entries are here. This and all earlier posts contain spoilers for the novels of the Wheel of Time series through the 11th book, Knife of Dreams, so if you haven’t read, don’t read.

So, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, why don’t you drop all your troubles by the river side, and click the link?

Chapter 24: An Embassy

What Happens
In high spirits, Egwene wends her way through Cairhien, amused at how everyone assumes she is Aiel despite her height and dark eyes. She is pleased because the Wise Ones have finally agreed to let her back into Tel’aran’rhiod soon, though her mood is blighted a little when she thinks about Mangin’s hanging six days ago, which he had gone to with a cheerful joke.

Rand had liked Mangin; she was sure of it. Berelain had informed the Wise Ones of the sentence as though telling them their wash would be ready the next day, and the Wise Ones had listened the same way. Egwene did not think she would ever understand Aiel. She was very much afraid she did not understand Rand anymore. As for Berelain, Egwene understood her all too well; that one was only interested in men who were alive.

She moves on, listening to various rumors circulating, and abruptly thinks that there must be spies for the Tower in the city; this worries her until she is reminded that everyone believes her to be Aiel. At one point she stops and berates a group of men for setting upon another four-to-one, and then realizes with embarrassment that she had chastised them as if they followed ji’e’toh. She is then distracted by the sight of a party on horseback, and realizes that the women are Aes Sedai, and at least one of them is a Red, which makes them the embassy from the Tower Elaida had written Rand about. Egwene instantly runs, not stopping until she reaches the Aiel camp outside the city, where she finds Berelain taking tea with Amys and Bair and Sorilea. She tells them about the embassy, and Berelain rises, sighing that she must get back to the Palace, then. She asks Amys to give Rhuarc a message to join her there, and Sorilea advises her not to let herself depend on Rhuarc too much, lest he take advantage. Berelain replies that he reminds her of her father.

“But he gives very good advice. And he knows when to loom, and how much. I think even Aes Sedai must be impressed by Rhuarc staring at them.”

Amys laughed in her throat. “He is impressive. I will send him to you.” She kissed Berelain lightly on the forehead and each cheek.

Egwene stared; that was how a mother kissed her son or daughter. What was going on between Berelain and the Wise Ones? She could not ask, of course. Such a question would be shaming to her and to the Wise Ones. To Berelain too, though Berelain would not know it, and Egwene would not mind shaming Berelain until her hair fell out.

Egwene stops Berelain as she goes to leave, and swallows her dislike enough to ask obliquely that Berelain not let the embassy know about Egwene’s presence in the tents. Berelain begins to be snide about this, but Sorilea brings her up short, and Berelain blushes and asks them not to mention it to Rhuarc. They agree, and Berelain leaves. The Wise Ones chuckle over her, opining that they need to find her a worthy husband, but move on to the embassy. Amys asks Egwene if she thinks they mean harm to Rand; Egwene hesitates and says she doesn’t think they mean him intentional harm, but they will definitely try to control him, and they will not leave Egwene free if they learn she is here. Sorilea says decisively that Egwene should stay among the tents, then; she will make a fine Wise One in a few years. Egwene replies carefully that she’s flattered, but she will have to leave eventually. Sorilea does not look convinced, and they move on to Egwene’s health, making her eat and putting her through a series of rigorous calisthenics that Egwene reflects would have half-killed her before she started living among the Aiel. Finally they pronounce her “sound as a Maiden”, which makes Egwene very proud. She goes to sleep that night and dreams of Gawyn.

 

Commentary
This chapter is mainly about establishing the degree to which Egwene has assimilated into Aiel culture, which is the kind of thing I always find interesting to track in characters – and people, for that matter.

This is not exactly the same thing, but at one point in my life I was more or less fluent in French, and the way I knew I had reached that point was when I noticed that I was speaking French without having to translate it from English in my head first. It’s a bizarre and strangely exhilarating sensation. Well, it was to me, anyway. I lost the fluency, though, through lack of opportunity to practice. For some reason, there are not that many French-speaking people in Los Angeles. Who knew, right?

(Funny random story: A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless for dignity’s sake, was in the south of France years ago. She was desperately trying to find the train station, as she was late for her train back to Paris. She spoke a little French, and asked several people for directions, but couldn’t understand why they all just stared at her like she was crazy. Much later she realized that she had been mispronouncing the word for “station” – so instead of asking “Où est la gare?” (“Where is the station?”), she had been running around frantically demanding to know “Où est la guerre?” – or, in English, “Where is the war?” Heh.)

Anyway. Egwene’s unconscious internalization of ji’e’toh, therefore, rang very true to me as an indicator of her immersion in the Aiel way of life. This is also reflected, of course, in how everyone considers her Aiel, even the Aiel themselves. Telling her she’s “sound as a Maiden” is high praise indeed; I remember being a little “whoa” when I read Sorilea saying that.

This was necessary, of course; Egwene is about to embark on what will be her central character arc for the rest of the series, so she needed to be shown as having finished/succeeded at the preparatory phase. Her training as a Wise One was needed as a replacement for the training she would have gotten in the Tower – and meant to be a superior replacement, at that – and we would not have believed her ready for the challenges of being Amyrlin if we had not seen that the Wise Ones considered her ready to be a Wise One. So, yay for that.

The only other thing worth noting in this chapter is Egwene’s behavior towards Berelain, which I’m sort of ambiguous about. On the one hand, her comment about Berelain only being interested in “men who are alive” is about the cattiest thing I’ve ever heard; overall, it would be extremely easy to put her extreme dislike of Berelain down to pure spite and envy.

And I’m not denying that there’s probably a little bit of that in there. However, two things keep me from condemning Egwene’s behavior outright. The first is that dislikes, even irrational ones, are not always motivated by maliciousness or jealousy. Egwene, in my opinion, is mostly hating on Berelain out of loyalty to Elayne. Whatever a woman’s redeeming values may be, I tend to agree it becomes difficult to see those virtues once the woman in question has made a play for your best friend’s boyfriend. That shit is Not Cool, in any setting.

The second thing is that as events turn out, Berelain kind of ends up acting exactly in the manner in which Egwene mentally accuses her – just in regards to Perrin, rather than Rand. True, this may be a little disingenuous to use as an excuse for Egwene, since Egwene obviously could not know she would do so beforehand... um.

Actually, she kind of did, didn’t she? True, there’s no indication that I can recall that Egwene actually makes the falcon=Faile/hawk=Berelain connection herself, but hell. Maybe she knew it subconsciously.

As to what’s going on between the Wise Ones and Berelain, I still got nothing. That must have been one hell of a “talk” she had with Rhuarc in the Stone, is all I’m saying. And I don’t intend that as a sexual innuendo, either, because ew. Maybe it really is as simple as they think she is a Cool Chick. If you can have irrational dislikes, I guess you can also have irrational likes, n’est-ce pas?

 

 

Chapter 25: Like Lightning and Rain

What Happens
The next morning, Amys tells Egwene that Rhuarc had much news about the Tower embassy, and relates it to her. Egwene cannot believe Elaida had been stupid enough to send two Reds among the six sisters, but at least a Gray (Coiren Saeldain) is in charge. She tells the Wise Ones that she only knows two of the sisters in the group: Nesune Bihara (Brown) is “fair-minded”, but she can find any flaw in an argument, and never forgets anything; Sarene Nehmdal is cool and logical like most Whites, but she has a temper, though she will admit being in the wrong after she cools down. This is based on Egwene’s experiences with them as teachers while a novice, though of course she doesn’t tell the Wise Ones that. Rhuarc had said Nesune had muttered something about the Great Library and the seals, and Sorilea sends three Wise Ones to find any information in the library on them before Nesune does. Amys tells Egwene that the Aes Sedai have declined the hospitality of the Palace, and are staying with a noblewoman named Arilyn, who Egwene immediately pegs as a spy for the Gray, or perhaps Coiren personally. This disgusts the Wise Ones.

Spying violated ji’e’toh, though how that squared with the dreamwalkers’ peeking into people’s dreams whenever they liked was something Egwene had not worked out. There was no use pointing out that Aes Sedai did not follow ji’e’toh. They knew that; they just found it hard to really believe or understand, about Aes Sedai or anyone.

Bair puts in that the embassy has over a hundred guards with them, and believes they fear the Aiel, and Amys counters that actually they have over five hundred; the rest are outside the city. The Wise Ones look grim at this news; Egwene assures them that Rand will not be fool enough to accept their offer, but suggests that they have Wise Ones who can channel follow the Aes Sedai and make sure they do not leave any traps behind them when they enter the Palace. She also says they must verify that there are only six sisters, and explains about the traditional thirteen used to capture men who can channel; she knows Rand can handle two women, and possibly up to six, but there’s no point in taking chances. The Wise Ones agree, and make preparations to implement Egwene’s suggestions. After breakfast, Egwene slips back into the city and makes her way to Arilyn’s manor house, where she senses women channeling inside in significant amounts, but cannot tell what they are doing without seeing the flows. She hides herself behind a wall, and uses Moiraine’s eavesdropping trick to listen in on the manor, skipping from window to window. Mostly she only hears servants’ gossip, though she does learn that Arilyn had left to meet her husband in the country. She catches the tail end of a conversation between Coiren and another Aes Sedai:

“...really believe this is necessary?” Even in a whisper, as it seemed, the woman’s voice sounded rich and full of herself.

“We must be prepared for any eventuality, Coiren,” another woman replied in a voice like an iron rod. “I heard an arresting rumor—” A door closed firmly, cutting off the rest.

Frustrated, Egwene keeps going until suddenly Nesune exits the house, Warder in tow, obviously looking for something, and Egwene decides this might be a good time to make herself scarce. She turns and runs.

For all of three strides she ran. Then she struck a stone wall, bounced off, and sat down in the street so hard that she bounced again on the hot paving blocks.

Dazed, she stared up, becoming more dazed by the heartbeat. The stone wall was Gawyn, staring down at her, looking as stunned as she. His eyes were the most brilliant blue. And those red-gold curls. She wanted to wrap those around her fingers again. She felt her face going scarlet. You never did that, she thought firmly. It was only a dream!

He goes to help her up, and she jumps up and pulls him away from the manor, but he catches her hand when she lets him go. He comments on her Aiel garb, and says the last he heard she was in Illian. She replies she’s never been to Illian, and suddenly realizes he must be with the Tower Aes Sedai, and says so, shocked; Gawyn confirms it.

Egwene’s heart was in her throat. “I . . . I must ask you a favor, Gawyn.”

“Anything except these,” he said simply. “I will not harm Elayne or Andor, and I will not become Dragonsworn. Anything else in my power is yours.”

This attracts angry stares from passersby, and Egwene hastily gets him to take her somewhere private. They go to a private dining room in an inn, and both become tongue-tied at finding themselves alone. Finally Egwene asks him how he can serve Elaida after what she did, and he replies that he had been taught to follow the law no matter what. He adds angrily that he should have expected she would be here, where al’Thor is. She asks how he can hate Rand so much? He is truly the Dragon Reborn. Gawyn replies that he doesn’t care; al’Thor killed his mother, and probably Elayne. Egwene gasps that that isn’t true, and he asks if she can swear to it. Egwene replies she can swear that Elayne is alive and safe, but she cannot tell him where Elayne is. He studies her, and says she becomes more Aes Sedai every time he sees her, and laughs that he used to think of being her Warder. She replies that he will be her Warder, suddenly certain that’s what her dream had meant, and he thinks she is joking; surely she wants Galad.

“I do not love Galad. I love you.”

The man still tried to pretend it was a jest, smiling against her fingers. “I cannot be a Warder. I’m to be Elayne’s First Prince of the Sword.”

“If the Queen of Andor can be Aes Sedai, a Prince can be a Warder. And you will be mine. Push that through your thick skull: I am serious. And I love you.” He stared at her. At least he was not smiling anymore. But he said nothing, just stared. She took her hand away. “Well? Aren’t you going to say anything?”

“When you wish for so long that you could hear something,” he said slowly, “and then suddenly, with no warning, you do, it is like a lightning strike and rain on parched ground at the same time. You’re stunned, but you cannot hear enough.”

“I love you, I love you, I love you,” she told him, smiling. “Well?”

He kisses her, a lot, and tells her he loves her too, and cannot wait to be her Warder. He asks what he can do for her, and she replies, don’t tell Coiren and the others about her. He agrees immediately, though he thinks she should return to the Tower. She tells him Rand did not kill Morgase, and asks him to promise not to raise a hand against him until she can prove it; Gawyn likes this much less, but again agrees without hesitation. She wonders what Coiren et al are up to, and realizes she has spoken aloud when Gawyn begins entreating her to run away with him and get married, saying he will betray anything for her.

He thought she wanted him to spy on them. And he would. Desperately seeking a way not to, he still would, if she asked. Anything, he had promised, and anything he meant, whatever the cost to him. She made a promise to herself; to him really, but it was not the sort of promise she could speak aloud. If he let slip something she could use, she would—she had to—but she would not dig, not for the smallest scrap. Whatever the cost.

She tells him she cannot run away with him, and he cannot betray anyone, the notion is ridiculous. They make arrangements to meet in the city again, and after quite a bit more kissing, Egwene finally leaves the inn. She still wonders what the Aes Sedai are up to, but leaves without attempting any more eavesdropping.

Katerine Alruddin meets with Lady Colavaere, while Nesune visits High Lord Meilan. Each separately tells the two nobles that they intend to escort Rand al’Thor to Tar Valon, which will leave a power vacuum in Cairhien. Both nobles are very interested to hear it.

Sarene meets with Coiren and Erian, and tells them Berelain may prove difficult; she is not sure whether “the apple or the whip” will work better there. Coiren brings up the rumor that a Green sister is in Cairhien with al’Thor; Galina enters and adds that someone channeled at them that morning. Sarene points out that a woman channeling does not prove a Green’s existence, or even an Aes Sedai; they’ve heard some of the Aiel women can channel. Galina believes it was Moiraine, and that the tales of her death are fabrications; Sarene had been friends with Moiraine once, and thinks the woman quite capable of faking her own death if necessary. Galina goes on that she thinks this mysterious Green is actually Moiraine herself, passing herself off as a different Ajah, which shocks Sarene and infuriates Erian (who is Green). Sarene is not convinced, but Coiren interrupts to tell her that it is “her turn”. Erian opines that she doesn’t like it, as it feels like “preparing for failure” to her, but Sarene tells her it is only logical to be ready for any eventuality.

“We have as much time as we need,” Coiren pronounced. When she was not making a speech, she made pronouncements. “Beldeine arrived today and took a room near the river, but Mayam is not due for two days. We must take care, and that gives us time.”

Sarene sighs, and heads off to her rooms, where she begins drawing as much Power as she can and runs through novice exercises. They were as good as anything else.

Commentary
GRR LEIGH SMASH STUPID AES SEDAI

Seriously. At least Katerine and Galina have the excuse of being, you know, evil, but Coiren and the rest... argh. Especially Sarene, who I quite like here and later on, but damn, woman. How is it logical to suppose putting the savior of the world in a box and beating the shit out of him will end any other way but very, very badly? Bad White! No makeover!

Basically everything you need to deduce that the Tower Aes Sedai are planning at least provisionally to kidnap Rand is right here in this chapter, and yet I still don’t think I realized that’s what was going on at this point, the first time around. I mean, I knew they were planning something stupid and gumming-up-the-works-like, but I think I just never dreamed they would do anything near as utterly retarded as what actually happened.

Grr. Smash. Bah. I’d better save some of this righteous anger up, because we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

I do love that Moiraine is now this towering legendary figure of awesome sneakiness to the Aes Sedai. The Tower is going to have a collective aneurysm when she shows up alive, you guys. This I Foretell. I look forward to it with gleeful glee. Possibly even a squee! And I don’t squee! for just anything, you know.

Egwene/Gawyn: Well, at least no one can accuse Egwene of beating around the bush when it comes to romance. Wow. Just spat that “I love you” right out, didn’t you?

Ah, I don’t know, maybe I’m being too critical. I feel like this whole love story plotline was rushed, but maybe that’s only in comparison to how long everything else takes to happen in WOT, generally speaking. You can’t have it both ways, maybe. Also, I was recently reading back over some of the older recaps, and was reminded that there was actually quite a bit more foreshadowing of the Egwene/Gawyn hookup than I had previously supposed. And Egwene slamming smack into Gawyn on the street was cute. Clichéd, but cute. If it ain’t broke...

I seem to recall that people have come up with laundry lists of useful things Egwene could have told Gawyn at this juncture and didn’t. And, okay, there’s no doubt that there are plenty of things besides “Elayne is not dead” that she could have imparted to him, but you know, if impartial observer, read-the-series-*mumble*-times me can’t think offhand of what those things are, I can’t exactly blame extremely-distracted-by-first-love-smoochies Egwene for not thinking of them either. I mean, I could, but I won’t.

In any case, I’m not a hundred percent approving of the way it happened, but I am happy that Egwene finally catches up to the rest of the Supergirls in the romance department (if not the actual nookie part of it, since as far as I recall, to date she and Gawyn have never had the chance to consummate the relationship; they just got to neck a lot). It kind of sucks that her True Love is a part-time psycho who might possibly kill her down the road, but hey. Nobody’s perfect!

(And, uh, actually, that description could apply just as well to Rand as to Gawyn, especially pre-taint-cleansing. It seems that impending apocalypti do not lend themselves to uncomplicated relationships. Who’da thunk it.)

Wise Ones: How does peeking at people’s dreams square with spying being against ji’e’toh? The only thing I can figure is that maybe they liken it to reading body language: what you unconsciously give away, pun intended, doesn’t count as actually spying. This is awfully splitting-hairs-ish, though, if you ask me, especially in FictionLand, where dreams are often suspiciously plot-relevant even when they’re not actually Magically Prophetic. They’re Frosted Lucky Dreams!

(I apologize, both to the non-Americans who will not get that joke, and to the Americans who will. That was horrible and I’m sorry. I plead an entire childhood of misspent Saturday mornings.)


And that’s all I got, chirren. Catch you on the Friday side, wot? WOT!

114 comments
Texas Hovda
1. Texas Hovda
Magically Delicious!!

I never understood, either, why she did not set Gawyn straight on many of his misconceptions.
john mullen
2. johntheirishmongol
Grrrr Gawyn, what an idiot. I don't mind that he has a thing for Egwene but unless something was said earlier, how does this work out to romance instead of a hot little tryst with a peasant girl? All the nobility of the world think nothing of using peasants and Egwene is one of his mom's subjects. Maybe she counts as nobility once they become AS but still, give me a break, its not that easy to change a mindset.

Remember when Rand was first found in the garden, no one took him for anything but a peasant, except maybe Logain.
Jay Dauro
3. J.Dauro
The twitching has stopped. Thank you Leigh.

Yes, you should be severly chastized for "Frosted Lucky Dreams."

I think that the WO see Berelain as much like an Aiel. Of course not the dress, but the attitude towards men and the use of what weapons you have.

And peeking in dreams is not spying, because Aiel do not spy, and WO do peek in dreams. QED.

It's always easy to define things to your advantage.
Andrew Lovsness
4. drewlovs
That Rand, at the same time the Tower AS are making plans "for the best" is being a dork and running away from the only protection he has is frustrating. I think Jordan didn't try to hide what was coming at all; but with all the distrust, it became much like 9/11 for me, where I as waiting fo the second tower to fall. Sorry for the 9/11 reference, but the anniversary is coming up, and I am firmly one of those that will never forget.

Anyway, I knew what was coming; Jordan told us that even LTT couldn't fight 13 AS linked. It had the feeling on inevitablity.

BTW... has anyone else wonderd why he chose the number 13?
David Gibson
5. DrG
Well, its good to see that Semir...err...Leigh did get crack-a-lackin on these chapters!
I know we've discussed it before, but I still can't wrap my head around why the Wise Ones are so damn fond of Berelain!! I mean, sure she's hot, and sure she's cunning, but how can they not see she's a total sleezebag! (most of the time, even if it is for the good of...Mayene, herself, whatever) Ah, maybe we'll get more on it later is all that I'm hoping.

At this point in the books, I still haven't started hating Eggs plotline too much, and being a hopeless romantic myself, I really like the way she literally runs into Gawyne out of the blue. Sure glad that she didn't end up with Galahad! Though I still forsee a bit of trouble between the brothers about it later on.

And can I just say that I loved everyone's favorite sneaky Blue from the beginning of TEoTW? As the books progressed, she just became so much better! And I agree with Leigh, its basically going to be sweet when she shows back up to kick butt and take names! Wonder what all she will end up doing....hmmm...
S Diller
6. CuenDiller
I guess in Randland you don't actually have to establish a real relationship with somebody before you tell them you love them. Always seemed a bit middle school-ish though.
Lily
7. Lily of the Valley
drewlovs:

I was home sick, by myself, watching the attack on TV. I didn't know that my dad was on lock-down at the AF Base, and my mom was running her route for her job. I was 9. I think I grew up that day.

As to 13:

I think maybe it had something to do with "unlucky" 13. A man can't break a shield woven by 13 women, and women can't extend their circles past 13.
David Gibson
8. DrG
@6 CuenDiller I can see how one would be skeptical of a "love at first sight" or fairy tale-esque type of romance. I guess I just take it as one of those things that happens in books and movies that we wish could happen in real life more often. Then again, I'm the same guy who watches movies and goes "Yeah right, that'd happen.." So take it for what it's worth!
Hilde Sørensen
9. edlihs
How is it logical to suppose putting the savior of the world in a box and beating the shit out of him will end any other way but very, very badly?

Answer: Simple. amrylin Seat said so! She is red, and every aes sadei know the reds know best how to deal with male channelers
Lily
10. Lily of the Valley
@6

Well, I don't know about love at first sight, but my mom told me that my dad told her on their first date that she was the woman he was going to marry.

She thought he was insane.

23 years, 3 kids and mortgage later...
Texas Hovda
11. Lsana
At the time Berelain made her play for Rand, Rand was kind of in-between girls: he still "officially" belonged to Egwene, but she'd lost interest in him and he in her. So it doesn't count as "making a play on your best friend's boyfriend."

No comment on Egwene's brilliant decision to try to eavesdrop via the One Power on Aes Sedai? Geez, Girl, you know darn well that Aes Sedai can sense another woman channeling. What could possibly have been going through your head?

On Egwene/Gawyn: this romance strikes me as one of the most poorly done in the entire series. Yes, I know there was foreshadowing, but there wasn't any lead-up to it in-story. It was something like the Padme/Anakin romance in Star Wars: you knew it was coming, but there was still the WTF? when it did.

For metastory reasons, the development was obvious: pretty much as soon as Elayne said that Gawyn liked Egwene but was too shy to say so, I knew they would be a couple in the end. But in-story what happened was this: Egwene has a slight crush on Galad and doesn't notice Gawyn exists. Then, after not seeing either of them for several months, or particularly thinking about them for that matter, she decides she is madly in love with Gawyn and must marry him. WTF?
Tess Laird
12. thewindrose
Frosted:)
Anyways - I have always had a problem with the whole watching someones dreams isn't spying - especially when Wise Ones can understand said dreams.
Egwene, yes I am talking to you! Please tell Gawyn what you know... Please??? Ahhh, you would think by now that I would know she doesn't hear me:)
David Gibson
13. DrG
No chance thewindrose, one of these days she'll perk up and finally listen to your sense!
Texas Hovda
14. Denalil
My only question on the return of the Blue is if she will have her staff with her. Haven't seen the LOR/TEoTW staff for many books.

Also, what will she learn from the Finn to help Rand?
Texas Hovda
15. Dreadlady
What Egwene didn't tell Gawyn!

This is one part of the story that absolutely leaves me agast, and really turned me against Egwene.

When Gawyn started spouting his "He killed my mother" stuff, I completely believed Egwene would stop
him in his tracks. Like: "No, I wasn't there when she died, but I WAS standing right next to Rand when
he got the news, and he was heartbroken. He didn't attack Caemlyn until he heard this, and it was to
avenge Morgaze' death."

Who knows, she might have even thrown in: "Your mothers trusted counseler Gaebril was really Rahvin. HE killed her."

That would have been a lot more helpful than, "Oh please don't kill him until I find proof."
Texas Hovda
16. Dreadlady
What Egwene didn't tell Gawyn!

This is one part of the story that absolutely leaves me agast, and really turned me against Egwene.

When Gawyn started spouting his "He killed my mother" stuff, I completely believed Egwene would stop
him in his tracks. Like: "No, I wasn't there when she died, but I WAS standing right next to Rand when
he got the news, and he was heartbroken. He didn't attack Caemlyn until he heard this, and it was to
avenge Morgaze' death."

Who knows, she might have even thrown in: "Your mothers trusted counseler Gaebril was really Rahvin. HE killed her."

That would have been a lot more helpful than, "Oh please don't kill him until I find proof."
John Shaw
17. Kinsbane
Egwene and Gawyn are the single most bullshit thing I've ever read in a story, ever.

By the way, since I just read this part in Crown of Swords, can anyone explain why RJ didn't go with Rand's POV when he and Min were with Caraline Damodred at the rebels' camp, when he fought with Toram and Padan Fain gave him the other slash that would eventually lead to his figuring out how to cleanse saidin?

I've always, since first reading it, demanded and thrashed and raged to know why we didn't have Rand's POV for that part.
Texas Hovda
18. MikeDeepo
Re: Denalil @ 14

“It could not pass,” Moiraine said. “I thought it could not; I hoped it could not. Faugh!” She tossed her staff on the ground and scrubbed her hand on her cloak. Char, thick and black, marked the staff for over half its length. “The taint corrupts everything in that place.”

From TEotW, when they exit the Waygate at Fal Dara. No more staff.

Re: Dreadlady @ 16

Agreed. Egwene doesn't seem to consider just telling him what happened without proof. She uses his love for her to get him to promise not to kill Rand, but doesn't think that the same love might believe her without concrete proof. After all, who wouldn't believe random-not-too-bright-peddler-guy, plus rumors in the street which ALWAYS turn out to be true, over the woman one loved?
Phillip hamilton
19. Phillbie
I've gotta say on the whole Egwene/Gawyn love stuff, it's not like it happened straight away, they'd been having sweet loving in his dreams for something like a month though he of course didn't know she knew, that explains how strait out with it she was, she new she loved him. and she didn't hesitate to tell him simply because she knew he loved her.

On the number 13 thing. it's always struck me that its used a fair bit in fantasy, RJ expecially, 13 AS to capture a man, 13 AS limited linking, 13 Forsaken, 13 AS and 13 Fades to turn a channeler, and probably more that i can't think of.
Texas Hovda
20. Tektonica
Hi guys...I've been a lurker for months now and have finally caught up to you all. (I was stuck in Midkemia (Raymond Feist) and couldn't get here!) Time to get ready for the new book!

Anyway, I've just got to say that I'm really really sick of the Tower Aes Sedai, too much blather about them and all their nasty tricks and we're just getting to the worst part! I"m starting to skip the Aes Sedai parts in my own reread. (I've got Leigh to cover the important plot points, after all.)

And Leigh, I'm really enjoying your rereads and your humor! Thank you!

I too am looking forward to the return of our sneaky Blue...one of my favorite characters! Wish I could see the look on some faces when she reappears and kicks butt!

And DrG, love at first sight does happen....it happened to me!

Thank you all for the comments too...carry on......
Texas Hovda
21. Tektonica
How did that get in there twice??? Sorry.
Texas Hovda
22. Rigel Kent
I think the Wise Ones, at least unconsciously, think of themselves as above ji’e’toh. And in the case Sorilea, not that unconsciously.
James Jones
23. jamesedjones
Smackings for all involved in these two terrible chapters! Ugh!

Yes, that includes the wise wons for their attitude toward Berelain.

Edit: No, that does not include Leigh, and of course not us. :D
T C
24. Freelancer
Leigh, where do you come up with those intros? Did you find a directing sign on the straight and narrow highway?

As for a funny French-translation story, I'm in an upscale bistro in Lyon, the first day actually in France, and I asked the waitress for a napkin. To which she replied, with a slightly strained look on her face, "Soviet". At least, that's what I thought she said. So I responded, "No, American". After a suffering eye-roll, she explained, attempting to remain calm while still oozing disdain, that what I wanted was called a serviette, and that the word napkin is only used to refer to feminine hygiene products.

Errr, moving along...

Egwene failing to tell Gawyn what he ought to know in order to not hate Rand and get with the straight program, that's an itch. Egwene believing that for some awfully thinly crafted point of honor, she will refuse to find out from him things that can help her, Rand, the Aiel, the rebel Aes Sedai, and just about everyone else she cares about, that's Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever..

As one not joined to the I-Hate-Egwene club, this is a point that truly disturbs me. She makes him a promise, but not so that he'd know it. She'll make use of scraps falling from the table like a hungry puppy, but she won't beg for roast. And the non-communication trend hits a new peak.

On the Egwene/Gawyn-romance-as-implausible-fantasy front, I buck the trend. I have no issues with how this plays. It is foreshadowed, considered, hinted, bemused, dreamed, and all but demanded long before this. It is less surprising than many other things that happen in this story.


Berelain. When you've been raised in Emond's Field, it's impossible not to see her as she quite freely allows herself to be seen; as a breeches-chasing floozy. It's a much more honest assessment of her than the corollary judgement of Mat by his own homefolk. Mat, as the Goonies girl sang, just wants to have fun. Berelain uses what she's got to get what she wants. There's words for that, and they all fit. How wise are Wise Ones that treat her like a long-lost daughter?
T C
25. Freelancer
MikeDeepo@18

Thanks, I was going to hunt for that same quote about Moiraine dumping her staff. But, it brings up something much more interesting:
“It could not pass,” Moiraine said. “I thought it could not; I hoped it could not. Faugh!”


How is Moiraine's Faugh pronounced differently from Cadsuane's Phaw? Is it a Far Madding vs Cairhienin dialectic distinction? Is it the difference between disdain and disgust? One spelling appears harsher, the other a bit gentler (even if it does come from Cadsuane). Inquiring minds want to know.
William Fettes
26. Wolfmage
I'm not sure what is so difficult to grasp about the Wise Ones liking Berelain. They constantly remind us about their distaste for the perceived subjugation of Wetlander women under Wetlander kings and men more generally. So Berelain is a nice counterpoint to this for them. From their viewpoint, she is a cross between a roofmistress and a woman chief. They like this empowered role, in contrast to their imagined idea of simpering Wetlander women. I'm sure it also doesn't hurt that Berelain has no prejudices where the Aiel are concerned and that she is super respectful of Rhuarc and his advice.

Remember, dear reader, your own sexual morality isn't relevant to the Aiel. They do not have notions of demure sexual propriety; to them, Berelain is 'spirited' which is a quality much admired amongst Aiel. Indeed, the Aiel are open minded about sexual partnering and seduction (though they are ritualistic about the latter). Their main cultural taboo in this regard is about public displays of intimacy. But Berelain isn't going around kissing people in the hallways, (that would be Elayne in Tear), she just wears revealing dresses which isn't scandalous to them at all.

Berelain's huge moral failing is about how she treats Perrin and Faile, which is of no moment to the Wise Ones, or the SGs for that matter.

Lsana @ 11

Great post.

"For metastory reasons, the development was obvious: pretty much as soon as Elayne said that Gawyn liked Egwene but was too shy to say so, I knew they would be a couple in the end. But in-story what happened was this: Egwene has a slight crush on Galad and doesn't notice Gawyn exists. Then, after not seeing either of them for several months, or particularly thinking about them for that matter, she decides she is madly in love with Gawyn and must marry him. WTF?"

Maybe a bit harsh, but I love how you express this. I agree that the groundwork was mostly metastory rather than in-narrative, which does hurt the buildup. Long time readers who like Egwene are probably just more ready to accept those metastory clues as a substitute for the in-narrative development.


Dreadlady @ 15

Agreed. Some have tried to excuse this because apparently Gawyn wouldn't believe her if she tried. But it's not very convincing to me. It's written right there in the dialogue that Gawyn is prepared to run away and sacrifice everything for Egwene. Therefore, such obstinacy over a rumour really goes against the grain of his declaration and the dream suckage grand love for the ages. It's just very frustrating that she doesn't even attempt to offer a semi forceful argument based on her knowledge of Rahvin, Rand's activities and reaction to the news in the timeline, and she just gets swept up in the romance. She witnessed the lead up to Rand's assault on Caemlyn, so there's really no excuse.

It's like:

"Your old boyfriend murders puppies for fun and is a paedophile!

"No. I can't prove it, but don't kill him."

Oh well... let's lock faces!
Genevieve Williams
27. welltemperedwriter
Leigh, if you have an opportunity to speak French for an extended period, you'll find that it comes back. A couple of years ago I went to France and that was the first time I was speaking French on a regular basis since I was 16 or so. The first few days were difficult; I couldn't remember the words for anything. But it does come back. (And the act that "baiser" refers to had changed substantially in the meantime. Oy!)

On the number 13: it has significance in a lot of cultures. Sometimes it's considered lucky; sometimes unlucky. For instance, 13 is the traditional number for a witches' coven (why THAT is, I don't know), Judas is said to be the 13th Apostle to sit at the Last Supper. OTOH it also often has positive significance, being the age of maturity in Judaism, for instance.

All the instances of 13 that I can think of in WoT are negative, so I'm guessing RJ was working with its negative connotations in using it.
Pete Pratt
28. PeteP
Dreadlady -- Exactly correct. I had long started to dislike Eg before this (especially for being a two-faced liar and her poor treatment of Rand), but I must really question her smarts here. Stupid little girl.....

Egwene is proof that strength in the power has nothing to do with IQ.
Phillip hamilton
29. Phillbie
@28
I compleatly disagree, Egwene is most definatly one of the strongest charactors in WOT, in will, IQ, and the power. her mis treatment of Rand throughout the series is initially imaturity along with being unable to understand him, when you look at it who does, but she grows up and about this time is when you start to relise it, she still stuffs up, but as i recall she treats Rand much better from about here on in. though she leaves soon so thats not much anyway, and all the charactors in WOT are flawed in some way, it's what makes them so freaking awesome. though i too have pondered on why she didn't try to proove Rand's inocence a bit more, but i suppose she other things on her mind.

Sorry 'bout my spelling.
Jane Smyth
30. Kaboom
Concerning the wise opinion of Berelain, Wolfmage @26 has pretty much said what I was thinking, and better.

I was also thinking of the wise one's view on spying and peaking in dreams. I wonder how much of that they actually do. My impression was that the most important part of their dream walking ability was to have and interpret prophetic dreams as well as to be able to communicate with other dreamwalkers. And of course TAR. I see it in their philosophies to train all aspect of their ability, but I don't think they just go randomly check in other peoples dreams, unlike Egwene. (I don't think peaking in your new husband's dream really counts)
Texas Hovda
31. CFP
Berelain+Wise Ones:

Back when we first really meet Berelain in the Stone, after some of her stranger behavior I imagined that Rhuarc and Berelain had a conversation something like:

B: I don't understand ji'e'toh!
R: But even a CHILD understands ji'e'toh!
B: Fine; then you must teach ji'e'toh to me as if I were your child.

Not the "talk" that was mentioned, necessarily, just something off-screen that (to me) sets up the father/daughter thing the two had going. This idea was reinforced (to me) by Berelain's not touching a sword (I forget when that happened), and reinforced here by Amys' motherly attitude. I don't think Berelain was converting to j'e't, just trying to understand the culture, which could be seen as respectable.

But being Cool is cool, too.
Lannis .
32. Lannis
Freelancer @ 24: LOVE your "serviette" story... Loved Leigh's little miscommunication tidbit, too... gotta say I feel like they kind of fall into the lack of/misinterpretated communication theme we've got going on in WOT...

Tektonica @20: welcome to the chaos (choss?). Extra lawn chairs are over there...

@ CFP: I like your breakdown of the possible Berelain and Rhuarc convo... excellent speculation...

Um, yeah, don't have anything really to add to these two chapters, except that I never really felt the Egwene-Gawyn romance was too quick or forced... though, in all honesty, this could perhaps be due to the extreme wait between books--anything happening was good for me! And then, of course, on subsequent rereads I was expecting it...

I have learned (from all our lovely reread commenters) that I have really not deconstructed the WOT before this reread, and am humbled and enlightened by our collective insights... Thanks all!

And thanks to Leigh, for another great installment! See you Friday! :)
Hurin Smells
33. HurinSmells
I think everyone needs to give Egwene a break over the Gawyn love arc. Can you really tell me it's so far beyond believable that she's so speedy to get her smooch on when she's got no idea how long/often she's gonna get to see the guy while he's in town, and then no idea how long it's gonna be until she EVER sees him again?! She's a 20 year old girl! Plus Gawyn being a part-time psycho shouldn't even be an issue, cause it's scientifically proven that 20 year old girls just naturally dig on bad boys.

Also the hostility between Rand/Gawyn, while being completely based on rumour, would not have been settled simply by Egwene telling him all the facts. Gawyn is just an angry young man that lays all his problems at Rands feet. If you think of Gawyn as a soc and Rand as a greaser it will sit a little easier with you. (Kudos if you get that reference, shame on you if you dont). Everyone knows the only way for two guys to settle a problem like that is to have to have an all-out brawl. Either that or a dance-off.
lanyo lanyo
34. lanyo
I don't know that a dance-off will translate well on the page. Though it's safer than a rumble. These guys are all handy with a blade, but Rand's got some extra skills.
Egwene is too twitterpated and Young to realise she needs to stop Gawyn's loony train. She's also the Ooh-ooh girl, so she probably figures she can control him as well as she can everyone else. Heh.
Michael McCarthy
35. KilMichaelMcC

When Gawyn started spouting his "He killed my mother" stuff, I completely believed Egwene would stop him in his tracks. Like: "No, I wasn't there when she died, but I WAS standing right next to Rand when he got the news, and he was heartbroken. He didn't attack Caemlyn until he heard this, and it was to avenge Morgaze' death."

Who knows, she might have even thrown in: "Your mothers trusted counseler Gaebril was really Rahvin. HE killed her."


This. A thousand times this! Perhaps the single most mind-boggling case of plot-induced amnesia/stupidity in the entire series. We're expected to believe that it simply doesn't occur to Egwene to relate any of the above to Gawyn. It just makes absolutely no damn sense whatsoever.
Maiane Bakroeva
36. Isilel
Another gratuitous mention of Mangin and how much Rand had liked him and how he could have been Rand's friend (sic!). Not seeing it, seriously. IIRC they exchanged a couple of words on-screen and that was that. Nothing particularly memorable about him either, he was just a random stock Aeil. Ave, Atque, Vale!

Berelein - her dependence on Rhuarc diminishes her accomplishment as a ruler of Cahirien, IMHO. For all her supposed skills, she always must be guided and protected by a big, strong man - first Rhuarc and then she latches onto poor Perrin. Meh. As to why the WOs like her so much - they seem to like folks who suck up to them ;).

Aiel tendency to judge wetlanders by ji'toh yet always stressing how they can't possibly be equals to Aiel and refusing to _explain_ their standards, starts to get bloody irritating here. They do make some (often arbitrary) exceptions for individuals, but not for groups or peoples. They didn't even explain to Cahirienin anything about the Tree (as I have seen on my current re-read of TFoH), but were more than happy enough to wreck them and even sell them into slavery to Sharans when Laman acted in the consequence of this imposed ignorance. Not that it is unrealistic - on the contrary. Sigh.

Egwene - she treated Rand better than he treated her. He was the one who went into the whole hysteria of "oh, no, she is becoming an AS!" and pushed her away at every opportunity.
She stood by him when it turned out that he could channel and then that he was teh DR, when even Mat and Perrin distanced themselves. She braved the Ways again and ran to Falme because she thought that Rand needed her help. Etc.

And here she is yet again protecting his interests. She may be tactless and she refuses to worship Rand (and she is _right_, IMHO), but her heart is in the right place. If only Rand had listened to her cautions and didn't sabotage the security plan that she outlines here, he wouldn't have found himself in a box.

Having said that - Argh! Just tell Gawyn what provoked Rand's attack and make him talk to Aviendha, too. She may not have seen Rahvin, but saidin traps and Shadowspawn ensconced in the Royal palace, she has seen aplenty during the raid, and with her own eyes. I guess that it would have made Gawyn look completely irredeemable though if he still refused to listen to reason, so instead RJ chose to make both of them merely stupid ;). I am too tired for a proper Gawyn rant, but it is coming at the next opportunity, oh, yes!

And BTW, the TAS plan, while insanely stupid in concept was actually very sleek in execution. As we'll get bombarded with masses of idiotic AS in this and following volumes it kinda gives me hope that they can too be competent. LOL.

But yeah, I am terribly missing Moiraine. My favorite character, with her flaws and all... (Rand is second, Nyn third).
Texas Hovda
37. Planeswalker
I do love that Moiraine is now this towering legendary figure of awesome sneakiness to the Aes Sedai. The Tower is going to have a collective aneurysm when she shows up alive, you guys. This I Foretell. I look forward to it with gleeful glee. Possibly even a squee! And I don’t squee! for just anything, you know.


Wait. So you haven't squeed yet Leigh? But... But... you have read TGS! Does this mean then that Mat and Thom and Noal is still playing snakes&foxes? Awwww. Damn.
John Massey
38. subwoofer
Hi Leigh, Hello everyone, round #???? -This is an old skool 'till somebody can't make the scratch bare knuckle brawl.

So the Gawyn thing rears its ugly head... big surprise here- nobody tells anybody anything. If there was a sharing circle at least once, with all the major players, this series would of ended about now. Much ado about nothing. Much like the play, if people just said things outright, there would be waaaayyy less drama. meh.

Galina is too quiet for such a baddie in latter chapters too. Must be something wrong with her.

Berelain- fully clothed and baffling. What is her deal with Perrin? I somewhat get the WO's doting on her. She has done her best to make sure her little country survives and is taken care of, not ethically by some er... standards, but Aiel tend to view things differently so that is the perspective I am taking here.

What the deuce is a squeed? Is that the noise a smurf makes when you step on them, or is it the cry from the Graboids from Tremors?

@Tektonica- hey *waves* s'up? Duck and cover, that's all I can tell you. Duck and cover.

What else?.... Er... Egg's is really starting to grind on me here. Ego needs some deflating and for once, it would be nice if she takes things from Rand's POV instead of automatically taking everyone else' side. Ummm... except for the bit where she channeled for him in the big battle in the last book...

Woof.

Edit- my Home Depot account has not changed yet...
Lily
39. Lily of the Valley
@33

It's worse. She's 18, not 20.

You know, I was just thinking about all the romances in this series, and they're kind of tragic. I mean, so many of them are made up of channeler/non-channeler pairings. Lan/Nynaeve, Rand/Min, Amys/Rhuarc/Lian, Egwene/Gawyn, Mat/Tuon .

It's gotta suck that you'll outlive your True Love by several centuries.
James Jones
40. jamesedjones
38 subwoofer

"What the deuce is a squeed? Is that the noise a smurf makes when you step on them, or is it the cry from the Graboids from Tremors?"

It's the sound you get when making Mushroom Soup.
John Massey
41. subwoofer
Wha???? I thought women mature at an early age. 18 going on 25...

Whereas the average guy, 20 going on 12, or in my case, 8.

Just sayin'.

Edit- JEJ- I knew it! Vegans are not really Vegans- they have to get their protein from somewhere.

Edit, - parental discretion is advised.

Woof.
James Jones
42. jamesedjones
39 Lily of the Valley

"It's gotta suck that you'll outlive your True Love by several centuries."

It would, except, well... it's High School love. You get over that in a few weeks. ;)

Plus, it's the WoT. Your twoo wuv might just be reborn before you're ready to give up the action.

41 Subwoofer

Yep. The truth comes out!
Hurin Smells
43. HurinSmells
Lanyo@34
I don't know, I think if you try to imagine dance moves associated with the sword form descriptions it starts to become a little easier to picture a dance-off.

Using sword forms I think I can accurately portray the well renowned actions from "Blame it on the Boogey"...

"Don't blame it on the sunshine
Moon Rises Over the Water

Don't blame it on the moonlight
Arc of the Moon

Don't blame it on the good times
The Cat Dances on the Wall

Blame it on the boogey
Twisting the Wind"
Texas Hovda
44. Johnny Chimpo
"Also the hostility between Rand/Gawyn, while being completely based on rumour, would not have been settled simply by Egwene telling him all the facts."

This, to me, illustrates the key point of the series, which is how completely fucked the world would be if it depended on freaking teenagers. I mean, seriously - insecurity, false assumptions, and intentional miscommunication? Jordan nailed it.

Well, that and the fact that outside of Thom Merrilin and *maybe* Mat none of the characters have demonstrable IQs above room temperature.
Alice Arneson
45. Wetlandernw
For those of you who forgot, WAY back in Fires of Heaven, Chapter 25 (oddly named "Dreams of Galad")... Well, here was Leigh's comment:
Well, here we have confirmation that it’s Gawyn and not Galad that Egwene is googly for. I... don’t really have the problem with this that so many other people seem to. I had forgotten about Egwene’s thoughts here that Galad is way hot, but she doesn’t actually like him very much, and that Gawyn may not be quite so dreamy looks-wise, but is a much cooler person.
Okay, if you want more you can go read the chapter, but it was clear long before she linked into Gawyn's dreams that she was highly interested. Personally, I never had a problem with this as a romance.

The other big rants going...

Egwene not telling Gawyn more stuff: I already wrote that one a few weeks ago, and y'all have said 5 or 6 different sides of why and why not and wherefore. No further comment.

The WOs and Berelain: Loathe Berelain, but not going to write more tonight about her. I've expressed my opinion of her fully many times before. But the WO's attitude... I think there's something worth thinking about there, but I'm too tired to think about it tonight. Somebody up there brushed the edges of it, but I don't really think anyone got the essence yet. Oh well. How's that for a load of choss? or at least significantly lacking in actual input? Sorry - that's the way my day went.
Jacy Clark
46. Amalisa
Leigh... loving the BS&T mention! And the "Spinning Wheel" horn riff segued nicely into "Lucretia MacEvil" ...ooh, Lucy, you just so damn bad...

Egwene and Gawyn... yeah, a little contrived. But romance isn't RJ's strongest suit. Of all the romances, the ones that seemed to develop over time, thru interaction that we readers were somewhat privy to were Rand and Avi, Rand and Min, Perrin and Faile, and Mat and Tuon. Even Lan and Nynaeve - and I heart them! - sort of went from being "yeah, he/she's cool, I guess" to flat out hopeless love without a lot of exposition in the middle to account for it. Granted they were running for their lives for much of it, but still...

We do know that Gawyn was frantic with worry about Egwene after the SG's left the Tower the second time. His conversations with Min confirm that. Min's viewings establish that, flip or fly, good or ill, what exists between them is pretty important. We know that he dreamed about her (and she Dreamed about him) while she was off with the Aiel and he was leading the Younglings. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and fonder still when Fate takes a hand in it. Danger adds a certain fillip; desperation is an excellent spice, n'est-ce pas?

As for Egwene not telling him everything, I think Gawyn's comment about her becoming more Aes Sedai says it all; she is. She was, for all practical intents and purposes, Moiraine's protégé. She learned from the best how to hedge her bets, play her cards close to the vest. Even with the man she loves...

Now I'm going to go home and listen to Blood, Sweat & Tears 3, while eating a bowl of Lucky Charms.
William Fettes
47. Wolfmage
Isilel @ 36

"Egwene - she treated Rand better than he treated her. He was the one who went into the whole hysteria of "oh, no, she is becoming an AS!" and pushed her away at every opportunity."

I don't see it. All he really does is note the gulf between them, on the basis that she has adopted the secrets and priorities of both the Wise Ones and Aes Sedai. It's hardly hysteria. They both have different priorities now, and Egwene's priorities are not Rand's. That's common sense.

Also, so what if he resists her trying to reducing his swollen head. Maybe he needs it sometimes, but often she is just being a opportunistic scold and a know-it-all in the tradition of many women in the series. Is he meant to simply stand still for an attitude correction, in case she manages to impart some kernel of wisdom she has gained from her several months as part Apprentice part Accepted. If she has some wisdom then surely she should volunteer it instead of playing games. She can do that without bending to Rand. Nobody is expecting obeisance.

"She stood by him when it turned out that he could channel and then that he was teh DR, when even Mat and Perrin distanced themselves. She braved the Ways again and ran to Falme because she thought that Rand needed her help. Etc."

Yeah, but Rand is a ruler, military chief, and the Dragon Reborn, being challenged from all quarters by the Forsaken and other powers. It's only natural that the favours would be asymmetrical before Egwene actually needs anything from Rand.

Egwene is safe and sound as a Wise One's apprentice for much of this time. But when she does need help, Rand hides her from the Tower Aes Sedai without question. When he thinks she may be in trouble in Salidar, he puts the Illian feint on hold in part to extricate her from there (which is no different from Egwene gallivanting off to Toman Head with incorrect information). He also tries to keep the Ashaman from getting into trouble with any AS, and sends some to be bonded to keep the honours even. So it's not totally one sided.

"And here she is yet again protecting his interests. She may be tactless and she refuses to worship Rand (and she is _right_, IMHO), but her heart is in the right place. If only Rand had listened to her cautions and didn't sabotage the security plan that she outlines here, he wouldn't have found himself in a box."

What security plan? As I remember, she never finishes vocalising it for Rand. Instead she is caught up playing games with him, because she believes that he is gulled by Elaida and must be manipulated. Yes, he's cocky - but to blame Rand for his own kidnapping is going too far IMO.
Texas Hovda
48. LynnOH
How do you go about getting a "gray" name?

I loaned the first three books to a friend at work (hooked another on WOTcrack) her first question after finishing TEOTHW "how old are these kids by the last book?"

I had not been fully forthcoming with how many books were in the (uncompleted) series. Do I have toh?

So what do you think--Rand and company were 18 in book one--23? 24? by book 15?
Texas Hovda
49. alreadymadwitheg'sgaffe
johntheirishmongol @2
I don't think everybody thought Rand was a simple peasant when the first showed up at the palace. Strangely dressed Aiel with a sword, or overly young blademaster in peasant's clothes come to mind. Even then Rand had a way of carrying himself that garnered respect. Even Bryne thought so.

Rigel Kent @22
Badass that Sorilea is, she's at least honest where it counts.

subwoofer @41
Vegetables do have protein. All living things do.

Re: Eg not telling Gawyn about his mother
It was either stupid thinking or Eg trying to get back at Rand for not doing what she wanted him to do. Or even possibly longterm planning on a way to do Rand in when it becomes necessary. Eg by now is completely capable of all three.
Jacy Clark
50. Amalisa
LynnOH@48:
How do you go about getting a "gray" name?
To get a "gray" name, register. And then log in to post.

I had not been fully forthcoming with how many books were in the (uncompleted) series. Do I have toh?
*lol* Yes, probably. But if your friend becomes a fan, it'll totally be worth it! If not, you do what you have to do and then pay for it, right??

So what do you think--Rand and company were 18 in book one--23? 24? by book 15?
Somewhere around there, I think.
Texas Hovda
51. alreadymadwithages
The three boys were 19 going on twenty when it started. Should be about two or three years by the time everything ends.
Texas Hovda
52. NancyM
I agree with those who think the Wise Ones/Berelain thing makes sense. After all they came up with the plan to have Rand fall in love with Avi, so he will be more sympathetic to the Aiel. I think they feel you should use your assets however you can to achieve your goals.
Ryan Fields
53. Fieldy
@25 Freelancer

Moiraine uses the "faugh" because she is disgusted by the taint corrutping her staff, whereas Cadsuene uses the "phaw" to show disdain for other characters.

I think the "FAUGH" is more a sound of disgust, like a spitting, getting this foul taste out of my mouth, ptooey. It only makes sense that since they use flaming instead of f***ing that they would use different words to describe the sound of spitting, right?
Texas Hovda
54. David DeLaney
Just a quick note - found out about this indirectly from the Making Light blog ... and it's nice to see so much of the old r.a.sf.r-j crowd still around! (Three ... more ... books!) Catching up slowly, still reading her take on book 1, but I'm here.

--Dave, still sorry Tam al'Thor couldn't have been Jain Farstrider
John Massey
55. subwoofer
@Wetlandernw- tough one eh? Your husband got his clothes wet again, didn't he?

For romances WoT style- it's a toss up b/t Bela and Mandarb or Gaul and Chiad. These are the ones that have had time to develop and seem less "forced".

@LynnOH - Log in- create an account- follow the prompts.

@AMW... you are not using your profile. And yes, all living/dead smurfs have protein ;)

Think when the dust settles and whoever remains alive is around 3 years will of passed. Haven't talked about Bel Tine and Winternight too much so that is how I am marking the passing of years so far.

Woof.
Jane Smyth
56. Kaboom
LynnOH @48

So what do you think--Rand and company were 18 in book one--23? 24? by book 15?

20, 21tops.
When the story started the guys were 18 (20 now) and the girls (Elayne, Egewene) were 18.
I don't think much time will elapse until the end. A few months max
Tess Laird
57. thewindrose
LynnOH @48:
I had not been fully forthcoming with how many books were in the (uncompleted) series. Do I have toh?
Actually, this would be considered humor to the Aiel, along the lines of getting married to the sister of the woman that supposed to be the bride.

subwoofer - What?? I thought it was supposed to be Aldieb and Mandarb:)
Texas Hovda
58. prw2222
I think a lot of people are overlooking the solid evidence Egwene has that she loves Gawyn: specifically that she was inexorably drawn into his dream in T'a'R. This was explained by the WOs as occurring only with love between the parties. This occurred well before she ran into Gawyn in the "real" world. Not only did she fall into Gawyn's dreams, she knows how he dreams about her.

T'a'R is very real to Egwene, and a source of TRUTH to her.

As far as Gawyn's view of Rand, she asked him to wait until she could provide proof. Proof is more than hear-say, which is really all Egwene has to tell him. All the knowledge she has is true, but not demonstrable to him. So I think she used what she was given - his trust - as well as she could.
John Massey
59. subwoofer
Thought when Moiraine went sideways the horse did too... hmmmmm big reunion? Maybe Aldieb and Bela could be first sisters? Then first wives... why should Rand have all the fun?

Woof.
Texas Hovda
60. Lost in my own Mind
Like many people I find the Egwene/Gawyn romance completely unbelieveable- it just feels like they were matched up because everyone else has someone. I like the way Jordan developed Rands relationships with his three- he had time with each of them to get to know them. I also think the Faile Perrin relationship works,even though I find their later storylines incredibly annoying. I think the Gawyn Egwene romance is an example of one of the things Jordan should have left out of the story.
William Fettes
61. Wolfmage
prw2222 @ 58

We've debated this previously, and many people believe that Bair's quote only indicates that one party must have the requisite love or hate so strong to suck their intended in. Either way, there isn't any direct evidence that reciprocity is needed.

Ironically, I actually think it works better for Egwene and Gawyn's relationship if it is only one way. Because that way the reader is still allowed to make up their own mind; you know that Gawyn does have knock out feelings for Egwene, but Egwene still has to grow into her side of the love by her own lights. In that way, the dream sequence only represents a kind of a self-realisation moment for Egwene, in understanding how Gawyn really feels about her and coming to terms with her own feelings. That works better for me than the alternative: RJ forcing us to acknowledge the relationship by cosmic contrivance. Better the development is a little rushed than feel it is being imposed by authorial fiat.
Captain Hammer
62. Randalator
What's not to get about the Aiel ?-ing Berelain?

No submissive wetlander woman? Check.
Serious hand-to-hand skills? Check.
Not afraid to go unarmed against an angry chick with knives? Check.
Totally gets ji'e'toh (at least as a concept)? Check.
Treats Aiel fairly and as equals instead of "savages"? Check.
Skilled "clan chief" (read: ruler)? Check.

A match made in heaven...
Tony Zbaraschuk
63. tonyz
The Wise Ones' opinion of Berelain always made sense to me: here's a wetlander who has a brain and isn't afraid to use it, and a fair amount of courage.

(We also learn, much later, that Berelain has only ever slept with two men, when she offers Perrin the chance to be the third; the Wise Ones presumably note that she's not as promiscuous as the Duopotamians are all thinking. So the Wise Ones are looking deeper than the surface opinion.)

Egwene tries to convince Gawyn that Rand didn't kill his mother, but Gawyn isn't buying it because she doesn't actually have proof. Which would be true no matter what she said to him; it could all be more nefarious lies by Rand al'Thor or mistakes by Egwene. (I Foretell that it will be Elayne who will have to beat some sense into her brother's head.)
Jay Dauro
64. J.Dauro
tonyz @63

I don't know, Elayne may be able to convince Gawyn that Rand did not kill Elayne, but I think it will take Morgase to convince him that Rand didn't kill Morgase (the guy is a bit hard-headed.)
William Fettes
65. Wolfmage
tonyz @ 63

How can Egwene prove something didn't happen? What would that even take aside from producing Morgase herself out of a hat. It's just not a reasonable or logical demand.

And while I'm flogging this dead horse, why is Gawyn so obstinate in his belief that he needs such proof to counter a mere rumour? The onus of proof shouldn't shift so strongly onto Egwene without some substantive evidence in the first place.

Rational people deal with the absence of information by making best fit generalisations according to the available evidence, weighing the veracity of each piece of the puzzle. In Gawyn's case, a rumour like this shouldn't be ranked very high just because it's emotionally potent. So, even if he hears and believes that Rand killed Morgase at first instance, it should be open to challenge on the balance of probabilities, when new evidence is adduced - especially when it isn't mere rumour.

Viewed in that light, Egwene has more than enough first-hand evidence to completely destroy Gawyn's flimsy belief that it was Rand. His character takes a severe beating in my mind, by being so irrational here.
James Jones
66. jamesedjones
65 Wolfmage

"Rational people deal with the absence of information by making best fit generalisations according to the available evidence, weighing the veracity of each piece of the puzzle."

Huh?
Lynn McDonald
67. meal6225
My own little language story--Have been lucky enough to travel in Europe twice. Loved Italy and was surprised how 4 years of high school latin helped in understanding the natives. Scotland, while technically speaking English---my ears only got every 40th word. If the 15 yr old had not been with me to translate I probably would still be asking the official at the airport what? She was asking me the stuff about luggage-had I packed it, had it been with me...maybe I'd have ended up in Scottish Gitmo.

ps LynnOH is the new gray meal6225!
Andrew Jenson
68. Redwing
Re: Egwene's lack of communication with Gawyn. I wonder how much Egwene does know about what happened in Caemlyn? She was out of it for several days (weeks?) right after the attack, she hasn't spoken much with Rand or Aviendha, so all she would have would be whatever dribbles the Wise Ones gave her, which would ALSO be second-hand from the Clan Chiefs.

While it would have been helpful to tell Gawyn about Rahvin and about Rand's reaction -- I suppose that's kind of an understatement :) -- remember that all she has is a rumor from Mat that Rahvin killed Morgase, who she probably doesn't consider the most reliable source. As readers, we know that Mat's assumption that Rahvin killed Morgase is just as false as the rumor that Rand killed her, so we can let Egwene take it with a grain of salt, right?

For all Egwene knows, Morgase was locked up in a dungeon and killed as collateral damage during the big OP fight between Rand and Rahvin. Until she finds out more information, I can sort of understand not being more forthcoming with Gawyn.

By the way, does this promise ever come up again? Does she ever give a second thought to finding "proof"? As others have said, the only proof that will work is to have Morgase show up with Perrin and co. and wait for all of the double-takes.
Texas Hovda
69. Rand al'Todd
Re: redwing @68
"As others have said, the only proof that will work is to have Morgase show up with Perrin and co. and wait for all of the double-takes."

No. My bet is that Morgase will see Elaine, Galad, Gawyn, Byrne, etc. (any one or all at a time) and she will run away and hide.

Remember, SHE still thinks she was Fracked up enough to alienate/banish all her true friends and supporters.

Somebody else, maybe Tallanvor, will have to actively force the family reunion and "double-takes" to make it happen.
Lannis .
70. Lannis
Um, yes, just where is Aldieb, btw? I mean, we've been tracking Bela, but where's poor Aldieb?

Anyone?

@ meal6225/LynnOH: congrats on going grey! Now you can go read Tears from Steel. ;)
Rich Gold
71. richg25
On Egwene's not telling Gawyn the full story about Rand and Morgase - my beef is not with Egwene - it's with RJ! I see this as just a plot device to build the hostility in Gawyn towards Rand. But it's a poor one because it just not credible that someone would not say more under the circumstances.
Joseph Blaidd
72. SteelBlaidd
One of the Big problems is the dea of Gwayne being rational. Galad maybe(maybe) but Gwayn is an extreamly emotional person(Sigal: Wild Boar) with only two real emotional states: mild indiference and the white hot fury of a thousand suns. This is why the Dream Magnet(tm)works.

Additonaly this is not about Rand. Gawayn is projecting onto "the Dragon Reborn" his guilt for not being there to protect Elayne and Egwene and his Mother. Asking him to think rationaly about Rand's putativer inocence is about as reasonable as asking Rush Limbaugh to consider Hillary Clinton's virtues, Michale Moore to give W. the benifit of the doubt or Osama bin-Ladin to see the benifits of western civilization. At this point I'm not sure even Morgase could convince him of Rand's inocence (the man has to be guilty of SOMETHING).

Regarding her Promise
Freelancer @24:
Egwene believing that for some awfully thinly crafted point of honor, she will refuse to find out from him things that can help her, Rand, the Aiel, the rebel Aes Sedai, and just about everyone else she cares about, that's Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever..

As one not joined to the I-Hate-Egwene club, this is a point that truly disturbs me. She makes him a promise, but not so that he'd know it. She'll make use of scraps falling from the table like a hungry puppy, but she won't beg for roast. And the non-communication trend hits a new peak.


This is one of the exchanges that realy makes me respect Egwene and to think it is about lack of comunication is to compleatly miss the point. Egwene's promise basicly boils down to not asking him to break whatever oaths he has made to the White Tower and spy for her ( and by extension for Rand). If she had done this she WOULD HAVE BROKEN HIM BEYOND REPAIR. It would have shatered his honor and any relationship they would have had after that would be doomed to failure.
Texas Hovda
73. nanaimobar
Leigh! Excellent.

"Blood Sweat and Tears" is a hidden reference to the title of the next book after Gathering Storm!

....?
Bill Reamy
74. BillinHI
re Egwene v. Berelain: Egwene does not understand Berelain at ALL, at least not here. Granted, Berelain behaves very badly around Perrin/Faile, but here she is doing what she was asked to do and doing a very good job of it. As for Berelain making a play for Rand, that was once, IIRC, back in Tear just after Rand was outed as the Dragon Reborn. That was politically motivated, as are most (if not all) of her flirting/bedding/whatever was. Not saying it’s the right way to go about things, but ya use what ya got. She doesn’t have a large country with a large army, so she does what she can do to keep her country whole.

I’m not an Egwene hater, but she definitely goes up and down in my estimation at different points in the story. She is certainly not alone in the lack of communication department, but she makes a serious error here, as others have pointed out, in not giving Gawyn the full story on her mother and especially Rahvin. I think one of her greatest turn-abouts (and in the wrong direction) also comes in Winter’s Heart when she says that they must take the three oaths on the Oath Rod as that is what makes them AS. Of course, it also has made them one of the most screwed up organizations in Randland IMHO. It’s too bad she didn’t go to Rhuidean and find out the full backstory of the Aiel and how they failed the AoL AS, not to mention what the "real" AS of the AoL really were: servants of all, not manipulators of all.

Re “black-eyed Aiel”: In Elayne’s meeting with the four Borderland rulers in Winter’s Heart, one of the rulers (Tenobia?) makes that reference out loud and Aviendha mutters she never saw black eyes until she came over the Dragonwall. I’ve always assumed that was a corruption of “black-veiled” Aiel.

The WOs are just as bad as the wetlander rulers in not caring much if at all about the larger problem of TG approaching. All they seem to care about is saving as many of the Aiel (and their culture) as possible and they manipulate everyone they can to achieve that aim. I think they like Berelain because she is acting a lot like them (and taking advice from Rhuarc and the WOs).
Texas Hovda
75. tearl
Re the time elapsed in the novels:

From Steven Cooper's timeline we find that from TEOTW through KOD takes 2 years and 35-ish days. (The events of KOD Epilog aren't specific timewise.)
Rich Gold
76. richg25
Redwing@68
"Re: Egwene's lack of communication with Gawyn. I wonder how much Egwene does know about what happened in Caemlyn?"

There's a much better source to what happened than Mat or Aviendha - and that's Nynaeve!
Andrew Jenson
77. Redwing
richg25 @76
At this point in the story she hasn't spoken with Nyn since before the events in Caemlyn...in fact, I wonder how much of that night Nyn shared with the rest of the Salidar crew (or Elayne at least).

I don't believe it comes up in the brief period when Nyn and Eg are together in Salidar. Do you think Nyn shared the whole epic battle with Elayne, or just that she was able to collar and forkroot Moggy? I'm guessing Rand didn't make it public knowledge that Nynaeve had been involved...too many questions.
Rich Gold
78. richg25
Redwing@77 -
are you sure eg and nyn haven't spoken? hasn't eg been sneaking into TAR to meet - or is that just for practice - I don't remember.

As for what they share, I remember some places where I was surprised that Elayne or Nyn knew something and RJ hadn't explicitly shown that onscreen - where one or the other mentioned being told by the other - I'll see if I can dig it out. The point is that RJ indicates that a lot gets shared among those 3 without actually having the scenes.
James Jones
79. jamesedjones
78 richg25

"are you sure eg and nyn haven't spoken? hasn't eg been sneaking into TAR to meet - or is that just for practice - I don't remember."

She has been sneaking in, because she is an untrustworthy little snot. But she has had no contact with Nyn or Elayne since Lanfear. When Elayne and Nyn used Need in TAR, she and Nyn appeared almost on top of Egghead. From Egghead's POV later we find out that Egghead has dreamed that any contact with them will be a disaster. So nothing gets shared until Salidar.
D Z
80. Hopper
I think rich @71 says it best.

Obviously in reality Eg probably would have told Gay something. But that would not have been conducive to the Gay vs. Rand plot arc, and some other things I'm sure will come up in the future. So RJ asks us to suspend our disbelief (one of the more difficult times we must do so IMHO) to allow the story to continue as he saw fit.

But since I don't think having Gay be such an idiot adds anything of value to the story, all I can say is... REALLY???
Sharon Asbury
81. Dreadlady
Amalisa @50: Thanks! I was also wondering how to get a "gray" name, and icon.
Ron Garrison
82. Man-0-Manetheran
Eggie 'n' Gawyn:

Like many, I thought this bit was pretty ham fisted on RJ's part - either that or he deliberately chose to leave Gawyn believing Rand was a mutha killa. Yes, it's another example of bad communication, but at this point do we really need another example of bad communication? Load of Choss, indeed!
Hurin Smells
84. HurinSmells
Wolfmage@65
I think the point is that Gawyn is the opposite of rational when it comes to his opinion of the Dragon Reborn. He's been too far removed from actual events and has had nothing to go on other than rumor. He's spent too long believing the rumors and now any alternate version of the story, factual or otherwise, is rejected out of hand. Gawyn hates the Dragon Reborn. Hate is not a rational emotion.
TW L
85. Shadow_Jak
Oh come on. Would Egwene's explanation have been any better than what Gawyn already believes?

Egwene, "I know that he didn't kill your mother. He was shocked to hear that Rahvin had killed her."
Gawyn, "Rahvin?"
Egwene,"Yes, you know, the Forsaken"
Gawyn, "The Forsaken?"
Egwene, "Yeah, the one that was posing as Lord Gaebril, your Mother's lover".
Gawyn, "How do you know all this?"
Egwene, "Oh, Rand told us all about it. He's known for months that Morgase was under compulsion from Rahvin. He's been porking her blind, while cheating on her with all of her old enemies, all right in front of her and the whole Court; meanwhile making himself the first King of Andor.
I'm sure Rand planned to do something about it when he got around to it. Why, when Rand heard she was dead, he took the rest of the afternoon off from 'Dragon Reborning' and went right over and killed Rahvin right back.
How can you be mad at him?"
TW L
86. Shadow_Jak
Berelain and the Wise Ones.
Simple. She's the only Wetlander Roof Mistress they know. And she's doing pretty well at it.

BTW, the reason Berelain is carefull around Rhuarc is because...
Leigh, please look away now...
No peeking...







He *SPANKED* her.
Tess Laird
88. thewindrose
Aldieb is a white mare belonging to Moiraine Sedai. Her name means Westwind and she is described as very graceful. She currently resides at the Sun Palace.

Retrieved from "http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Aldieb"

Aldieb is angered because Mandarb left with Lan and went to Salidar to join Bela.
Texas Hovda
89. alreadymadwithberelain
@86
LOL. I happen to agree. She's not only a Roof Mistress, she's also a clan chief and a little bit of Wise One all thrown into one eye-pleasing bundle. She's what the Wise Ones want to be when they grow up. No more sharing of power with the chiefs.

As for Rhuarc's "first talk" with Berelain..
R: why did you want speak to me?
B: I wanted to get to know you better.
R: I'm already married. To two women.
B: and both of them are far away in the Waste
R: You're young enough to be my daughter
B: Age is obviously not keeping you from doing what you want to do
R: You really want to get to know me?
B: of course
R: then come over here
**after the... ahem**
B: why'd you do that? I'm not a child
R: You were acting like one. Don't ever come on to me again. I don't care about your wetlander games.

As for Gaywn...
It's like the movie Inventing the Abbots. Even if it became proven that Rand didn't kill his mother, I suspect he'll find some other reason to want him dead. Just plain batshit crazy.
Scott
90. Shard
I have a feeling that this quote from Gaywn is going to come back to haunt us:

“Anything except these,” he said simply. “I will not harm Elayne or Andor, and I will not become Dragonsworn. Anything else in my power is yours.”

Specifically the part about not being Dragonsworn, I wonder how he will take it that Elayne and Galad are pretty much Dragonsworn now?

I really hope that they illustrate how Galad made the 180 to wanting to serve Rand and bring the two most rabid WC's Dain and Byar to heel?
William Fettes
91. Wolfmage
Shadow_Jak @ 85

"Egwene, "Oh, Rand told us all about it. He's known for months that Morgase was under compulsion from Rahvin. He's been porking her blind, while cheating on her with all of her old enemies, all right in front of her and the whole Court; meanwhile making himself the first King of Andor.
I'm sure Rand planned to do something about it when he got around to it. Why, when Rand heard she was dead, he took the rest of the afternoon off from 'Dragon Reborning' and went right over and killed Rahvin right back.
How can you be mad at him?"

That's a really artificial conversation given that it would never play out like that and neither Rand nor Egwene know any of those specifics.

But fundamentally, why is Rand culpable for the actions of a Forsaken? That's just silly. Rand berates himself for leaving Morgase under Rahvin's power, but only because of his psychological hang-ups about women. He's actually not guilty of anything. This is war, and in war you have to pick your battles, and Rand was focused on Sammael.

Rand had no duty to go haring off after Rahvin as soon as he figured out he was in Caemlyn, potentially blundering into fatal confrontation. He didn't even know exactly how Morgase was in his thrall.

If Gawyn blamed him for that he would be doubly a fool, especially given that Rand did eventually act against Rahvin.
Kristina Blake
92. kab1
On Egwene and Gawyn- I said it before, but I have no problems with their romance. IMHO, I find it believable. The earlier hints as wetlandernw @45 pointed out to me made it obvious they would be together. As RJ never bothers with the details of any of his romances, I think the dream sequence leading up to this works fine. Besides, at this point they aren't even fated to be together, he could still end up killing her.

As far as her not explaining things about Rand to Gawyn, I honestly remember screaming at her- explain more! Sheesh! and on subsequent meetings, less canoodling, more talking! Ravin, Rand, Elida, TG etc, etc, etc. Why doesn't she explain that neither she nor Elayne are following Elida? If he were to know more about the situation, maybe he could make a better decision about who he and his younglings should follow. And why is he not returning to Andor? He now knows Elyane is alive, and it is his duty to return (as she will eventually) and help her win the crown. Gawyn has to be the most irritating character to me. Okay, rant done.

On my first read I also had no idea of exactly what these sisters were planning, only that it was to be bad! I remember thinking, uh oh, when they announced the arrival of other sisters. These ladies sure are not magically delicious!

Also for anyone who enjoys George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, there's a blog (not a reread) on them by Jo Walton here on the Tor site (one post today, the other a couple of days ago)
Tess Laird
93. thewindrose
Galad in KoD:
"If you intend to be at Tarmon Gai'don, then you will have to fight along side Aes Sedai," Galad said quietly. Young Bornhard grimaced in strong distaste, and he was not the only one. Byar half-straightened before bending back to his task. But no one voiced dissent. {...} "We'll see what the the Children have to say on the matter," Trom replied, grinning widely, "when you ask them to follow us to Tarmon Gai'don to fight alongside the witches."
Rob Munnelly
94. RobMRobM
"....but I am happy that Egwene finally catches up to the rest of the Supergirls in the romance department (if not the actual nookie part of it, since as far as I recall, to date she and Gawyn have never had the chance to consummate the relationship; they just got to neck a lot)."

Pretty clear that Egwene lost her purity with Gawyn in T'A'R, and that she remembers it. So she has that, anyway. If that is taken into account, Elayne and Min are tied for last place (at this point in the story and, if not, it's a three way race.

Rob
John Massey
95. subwoofer
Porking her blind
...

Gee, where do you go from there? Maybe they aimed for the eyes in the AoL;) The upshot of the situation is that no matter what Eggy said, Gawyn is gonna play the blame-game and it will always fall on Rand- The Dragon, a male channeler and --> Eggy's last boyfriend. There was a quote somewhere about men carrying their brains with their swords in their scabbards... Gawyn seems highly suspect of this symptom.

I am sure that when Morgase crops up, as other posters have mentioned, all this will be put to bed. What will go sideways is the reunion of Maesma and Rand. Maybe a little Fain thrown in there for good measure. Hard to say who is more wacky at this point.

I am also looking forward to some kind of inner revolt with Elaida finally dealing with Eggy head on. Maybe there is a Tower Law similar to the one The Children have and there can be a confrontation involving Power. Very exciting. Or at least, a pleasant distraction from speculation on who is ...pure... or not so much...

Woof.
Vecki
96. vecki
It probably fits better in a Looney Theory, but it's always stuck in my head that a couple times during the series there's been mention that 'the only way to tell the difference between AS-1 and AS-2 would be a duel', and at least once, someone's thought or said that 'thankfully, we're beyond that'... It makes me wonder if the Tower has ALWAYS been beyond that. :-)

Also, Eg's still technically a virgin. Virtual sex does not count. Her and Gawyn's night of passion occurred in his dreams, not TAR. She's in last place in the nookie stakes.

vecki, in greyname form
Lynn McDonald
97. meal6225
I have always felt like I missed something obvious--what were the sisters doing all that channeling for? The meeting/kidnap is days away.

Sub--when Morgase shows up it will all be laid to rest--Morgase does not know she was compulsed or even that Gaebril was Rahvin.

If I have counted correctly 46 days till TGS!!!!
Vecki
98. vecki
meal6225 - All that channelling was so nobody would think it amiss when Rand was kidnapped and they were shielding him night and day. It prevented it looking like they started channelling like the DO had come to town the day Rand went missing.

Sneaky buggers.
Joseph Blaidd
99. SteelBlaidd
Convincing Gawyn that Rand is inocent of his mothers blood is probably going to be as successful as trying to convince Dain Bornhold that Perrin is not shadow spawn.
Bornhald frowned at his horse’s mane, not answering. After a moment, Byar spat, “We are leaving here, Shadowspawn.” An angry mutter rose from the Companions, but the hollow-eyed man ignored them as he did Aram’s reaching over his shoulder to his sword hilt. “We will cut our way back to Watch Hill through your friends and rejoin the rest of our men.”

Leaving. Over four hundred soldiers, leaving. Whitecloaks, but mounted soldiers, not farmers, soldiers who had agreed—Bornhald had agreed!—to support the Two Rivers men wherever the fighting was hottest. If Emond’s Field was to have any chance at all, he had to hang on to these men. Stepper tossed his head and snorted as if catching his rider’s mood. “Do you still believe I’m a Darkfriend, Bornhald? How many attacks have you seen so far? Those Trollocs have tried to kill me as much as anybody else.”

Bornhald raised his head slowly, eyes haunted and at the same time half-glazed. Hands in steel-backed gauntlets flexed on his reins unconsciously. “Do you think I do not know by now that these defenses were prepared without you? It was none of your doing, yes? I will not keep my men here to watch you feed your own villagers to the Trollocs. Will you dance atop a pile of their bodies when it is done, Shadowspawn? Not ours! I mean to live long enough to see you brought to justice!”


The 13th Depository reread has made me much more aware of echos and mirrors and I ran across this one looking up one for tGS ch 1.
Roger Powell
100. forkroot
Aloha to thewindrose and the rest of the regulars. AT&T edge service is slow here on the Big Island, so it's been hard to keep up with the postings and comments on this poor lil ole 1st generation iPhone.

No disagreement that Eg's failure to infodump Gawyn was a major headdesk moment; but hey..... She is 18 and seriously lovestruck as only a teen can be. She is not thinking as straight as she would without the hormonal rush. Add to that the learned AS proclivity for not divulging information and the fact that technically speaking Gawyn is aligned with "the other side" of the tower split and it's not hard to see how she would not want to tell him much at the moment. Besides, who wants to chat about important stuff like that when there's a limited time together and much face sucking to be done?
Maiane Bakroeva
101. Isilel
Wolfmage @47:

All he really does is note the gulf between them, on the basis that she has adopted the secrets and priorities of both the Wise Ones and Aes Sedai.

IMHO it is all (or almost all) in Rand's imagination, at least until Egs was made Amyrlin.

From the beginning, Egs was much more accepting of Rand than vice versa. Think about their respective reactions to the news that the other could channel - even if in Rand's case it was supposed to be a 100 times worse. Or when he was revealed as TDR in Falme.
Hunt for BA may be considered an "AS priority", but as soon as a potential danger for Rand is hinted it, the SGs intend to stamp it out.
Egs did try to talk to Rand all through the sojourn in the Waste and to console him when they reached those towns destroyed by Couladin, etc. Yes, she tries to be mysterious and cool and whatever (just like Rand works all-too successfully at imitating various hard men he admires), but it is all form rather than substance.
In fact, she keeps secrets from and disagrees with Moiraine and WOs on many subjects, too.
And when TAS and SAS arrive, Egs tries to warn and protect Rand as much as she is able. No AS priority here - she is protecting Rand as she always tried to do.
She may disagree with him and talk smack/be tactless, but she always tried to protect him and also tried to remain his friend for longer than any other Emond Fielder.
Mat basically cancelled their friendship the moment he learned that Rand could channel.
Perrin first succumbed to the fear, then bounced back and continued to waver until Faile sunk his claws into him fully.
But Egwene never wavered, for all her faults. Too bad that Rand didn't (want to?) see it.

Also, this unfortunate affair with Gawyn conclusively demonstrates that Egs would have never betrayed a confidence, whatever Rand's paranoia.

Well, now that she is an Amyrlin there may be some real conflict of interest at last, but that hardly vindicates Rand's previous attitudes, IMHO.


@95 Subwoofer:

I hope that Rand's reunion with Masema results in speedy hanging of the latter. The man is a mass murderer.
In fact, Perrin should have done the honors when he had a chance.

Masema is one in the long line of characters that inexplicably don't get killed/executed when they should have been, so that they can randomly plague the main characters.
Fain heads the list;) - I mean, they execute DFs quickly in the Borderlands, but Fain gets to chill in the dungeon for months even when Moiraine is finished with questioning him and it is clear that he is much worse than your garden variety DF...
Roger Powell
102. forkroot
Oh yeah.... Another reason I've been slow to catch up is that I've been polishing off Mistborn. Excellent read, top-notch ending. Missed a few beachwalks with my nose in the book. I am further convinced that BS may have a different "voice" than RJ but he certainly has the plot skills to flesh out and do justice to whatever RJ left him.
Birgit
103. birgit
I do love that Moiraine is now this towering legendary figure of awesome sneakiness to the Aes Sedai. The Tower is going to have a collective aneurysm when she shows up alive, you guys.

Moiraine's return will be like Cadsuane's:

[i]Not that she had ever spent a day more in Tar Valon than absolutely necessary. Word of Cadsuane came to the Tower, stories to make sisters gape, adventures to make those who dreamed of the shawl shiver. She would end a ledgend among Aes Sedai. If she was not already.
"I thought you were dead," Bera breathed.
Cadsuane sniffed irritably. "I am growing tired of hearing that. The next imbecile I hear it from is going to yelp for a week."[i]
ACoS ch. 19, Diamonds and Stars
John Massey
104. subwoofer
Morning:) First off- the grand reunion with Morgase and family will put to bed the idea that Rand killed her. That whole thread was too much drama and the Princeling Gawyn seems ripe for it.

I think Fain's connection to Rand is what kept him alive. Eggy even spent time "questioning" him. I am surprised that did not do more than hurt her in the end or that she reflects on it. Too preoccupied with thoughts of er... canoodling. And as later chapters of this book will prove out, Fain has much more power than the typical DF.

Maesma- I got nuthin'. No idea why he continues to be alive. I assumed that RJ kept him around because he had to do something important or bring half of Randland to Rand or some such. A quick push off a cliff or knife in the back will solve any further issues with him. Ropes and hanging may take too long. I don't get the impression that Maesma would feel toh and willingly and quietly hang himself.

I am trying to be civil about the person who went to Hawaii and is having "hardships" with his I-Phone. Enjoy the Poi. Aloha;)

Edit- don't know about Rand and Mat's friendship being toast. Rand did stick by Mat when Mat was dagger crazy and everybody wanted to off him. And he did save Mat's life in Rhuidean. That has to earn him friendship dollars.

Woof.
Tess Laird
105. thewindrose
Mat also does what Rand wants him to do. Rand wants him to general the huge army in Tear - off he goes. Rand shows up and say - hey change of plans -I'm taking you to Salidar, Egwene may be in trouble and I need Elayne to deal with these Andoran nobles:). Mat goes to help out at Salidar, and then gives oath to protect Elayne when Elayne, Nyn and Avi go of adventuring again. He also leaves the Band of the Red Hand to follow Egwene if she 'needs a bolt hole'. (With my man Talmanes - another MoA character.)
Just agreeing with sub that I don't think the friendship between Rand and Mat is toast yet. No doubt it has changed, but look at the stresses on both characters.
And forkroot, aloha - any surfing going to happen? (On water - I already know you are here:))
Kevin O'Donoghue
106. Kevstar
@ Subwoofer, Isilel and others wondering why Masema is alive...

Wouldn't killing the prophet be a very, very bad idea? If he is bought to justice, the Dragonsworn will disintergrate from the semi-organised army they are now into hundreds of bands of, er, bandits thus making it virtually impossible to stop them...
Joseph Blaidd
107. SteelBlaidd
Re Rand and Mat: Mat doesn't remember Rand racking up the friendship dollars so they don't count.

For everyone who thinks there is anything that Egwene can say to convince Rand. There is some recent research in to the psychology of conspiracy theories indicating that if you have a position on an issue and you receive information that contradicts that position the tendency is to become more extreme in your position not less.(Ex. some one who believes the moon landing was staged in Hollywood, on seeing the recent photos of the landing site from an Indian moon probe will respond with "I didn't realize it was a world wide conspiracy") Which kind of works against my purpose but I have to try anyway.

Gwayn's initial response to Egwene's assertion that Rand did not kill his mother was to ask basically "How do you know?"

“I do not care if he is the Creator made flesh,” he graced. “Al’Thor killed my mother!”

Egwene’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. “Gawyn, no! No, he did not!”

“Can you swear it? Were you there when she died?"


She can't answer yes to either of his questions because she has no first hand knowledge. So her answers basically boil down to "Rand said he didn't and I believe him." She recognizes that Gwayn thinks she's only still hanging around Rand out of a, in his opinion, misplaced loyalty to someone from home(Gawyn doesn't know of their psudo-betrothal)and obedience to the previous Amerlyn(see quote A), and that Gawyn therefore is not going to accept Rand's word as an answer(see quote B).

A “Egwene, I will not ask why you’re here. No, just listen. I know Siuan mired you in her schemes, and I understand that you feel loyalty to a man from your own village. That doesn’t matter. You should be in the White Tower, studying; ...I know you had no choice but to obey Siuan."


B “It has to be that way, Gawyn. He did not do it, but it will take time to prove.” How under the Light could she? Rand’s word would not be enough.
Tess Laird
108. thewindrose
Kevstar, this has already happened with the after math of the Perrin save Faile arc. Masema escaped with 100 of his men, the rest are dead.
Sean Banawnie
109. Seanie
Isilel@101:
How about Nyn for loyalty? As much as a pain she can be......no one has been like Nyn, she has been like a sister to him , razor tongue, bottom smacking and all.
John Massey
110. subwoofer
@Kevstar-
I assumed that RJ kept him around because he had to do something important or bring half of Randland to Rand


Me@104- I agree as noted. And as thewindrose pointed out, the Dragonsworn following Maesma were cannon fodder in the big battle with the Perrin/Faile mad dash.

Yes, Ny is absolutely loyal. She helped Rand cleanse Sadin when no other AS would link with him. That is trust.

Woof.
Texas Hovda
111. adaptr
drewlove @ 4: it's simple, innit?

In the 3rd Age, the number 13 is completely unremarkable.

Don't forget WE come next (4th Age) - and what do you know, we think it's unlucky.

Couldn't have anything to do with all the shit they put the number 13 through in these books, could it ?
William Fettes
112. Wolfmage
Isilel @ 101

A very thoughtful post as usual, Isilel. I can't say I disagree with your version of the facts, just parts of the interpretation which push me in a different direction.

I accept that Egwene deserves credit for seeing beyond the stigma of his channelling. However, I think that the comparison between her and the Super Boys only takes you so far. I personally wouldn't be so harsh in characterising Perrin's reaction. But putting that aside, I do agree, as a basic proposition, that in Mat's case there is a strong contrast which is favourable to Egwene. But exactly how much work does that do in putting Egwene on the high moral ground? Isn't it kinda true, also, that with the Dark One’s taint, Saidin is legitimately scary and dangerous? And with the dagger’s influence over Mat, can we really be too certain that this is a fair and true baseline for comparison? When you open up the question to a broader field of characters, such as Min, Nyneave, Thom and Elayne, I think Egwene's reaction starts to become less noteworthy. Each of those characters had an existing personal connection, and they behaved similarly or better. So, she gets credit, but it wasn’t a ‘supererogatory’ homerun as they say in moral philosophy.

As this is about the broader moral ledger between Rand and Egwene, I don't think it's good to fixate on a unique cultural shock like the reveal that Rand can channel Saidin and is the DR. That’s a once off revelation, and Egwene's ability to channel Saidar has no equivalent stigma in Randland. Therefore, he has no opportunity to prove anything in the same way. What you termed Rand pushing her away is really just Rand making mostly internal observations about how Egwene has embraced an Aes Sedai identity and other composite features of the Aiel Wise One in her heart. Accordingly, he cannot count on her absolutely in the same way as he might if she was just a Two Rivers alumni writ large in Randland. It's not that he thinks she will consciously betray him, but he's just acknowledging that her identity gives them real divergent purposes; it isn’t just airs. Rand’s thoughts seem to have really been a sticking point for you, but I found them pretty innocuous and true, by contrast.

Yes, as you noted, she does sometimes draw a line, but I personally think there's enough substance to it that I do not feel Rand is being overly unfair just by observing she is more Aes Sedai by the day.

You acknowledged that Egwene's role as Amyrlin probably creates new tensions, but I would argue that is part of one continuous progression, rather than something sudden or new. Her character has always been written as someone who embraces things with her whole heart, assimilating different cultures quickly, and being taped for leadership. Rand knows all this implicitly, and he has seen first-hand how quickly she unbraided her hair, after wanting that her whole childhood, and how she has mimicked and emulated first Moiraine, then other Aes Sedai and the Aiel Wise Ones

When Mat observes about Egwene in tFoH that “She’s left Emond’s Field further behind than either of us. And regrets it less” I felt he was accurate and incisive. But even so, Rand’s reaction is only a provisional “maybe”. He still believes the good about Egwene.

So for me, her position as Amyrlin just makes these existing tensions more acute as the apex of her journey, rather than generating some kind of new priorities that didn't exist before. The conflict is an inherent part of her identity as part of the White Tower tribe, with a dash of Aiel and TRs values thrown in to make her a bit more objective. If Egwene simply topped out at being a powerful Aes Sedai, rather than Amyrlin, I don't think the sense of different priorities would change. Egwene would still believe that the Aes Sedai know best subject to her own critiques of them.

So overall I think Rand is basically correct in judging her first loyalties. I also haven't mentioned the various times she thinks much worse things about Rand than he does about her, excluding Tears of Steel.
Texas Hovda
113. Lnd
1. But is not Egwene supposed to marry Galad as per foreshadowing in : "try telling the Lord Captain Commander of the Whitecloaks he should marry the Amyrlin Seat" ? (No wonder she dislikes Berelain ...) Hopefully, her warder Gawyn would understand such "Marriage of State": he was born of one himself.

2. I do not see why Wise Ones peeking in dreams would be spying. The latter requires trust and betrays it; the former does not.

3. For earlier Reread, Aviendha's Toh: She got (undeservedly as she sees it) her life from Rand and took Rand's love from Elayne. To dispose of Toh, she needs to give up the benefit (whether it does any good to Rand or Elayne seems irrelevant). So, she figures, killing herself would cancel her debt to Rand, killing Rand would cancel one to Elayne.
Clinton Henry
114. Jaidee
Why the 'wise ones' like Berelain? I think they like strong women who can take care of themselves especially one who does so without any channeling, she is made of the right 'stuff'. For the aiel it is not what you have but who you are at your core. they respect and admire inner strength.

Berelain is smart, skillful, a good ruler, a good fighter (she whoops Faile's butt) and she doesn't run when the crap starts to fly.

remember the Aiels don't have the same hangup about sex as some of us, or the rest of Randland, so they wouldn't be bothered by her using sex as a tool

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