Fri
Sep 11 2009 11:55am
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 16

Haaaaay, party people. It is time for Yet Another Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s post covers Chapters 26-27 of Lord of Chaos, in which we avert assassinations, lengthen lists, investigate incest, and manage meetings. Whoo!

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

And that about brings us up to speed, so whyn’tcha click on through, eh?

Chapter 26: Connecting Lines

What Happens
Rand watches Bashere’s Saldaean horse go through their paces, trying not to look south toward Alanna; she had bruised her heel and scraped her hand that morning, though Rand is not sure how he knows this. He circles the valley with his Aiel guard in tow, and it occurs to him that he had not seen Sulin since Shadar Logoth, eight days ago; he wonders if he offended her in some way. He surreptitiously checks for the two white stones on the field Bashere had placed four paces apart. Bashere’s wife, Deira, rides through the Aiel to him fearlessly, and asks icily if her husband is amusing him.

He could well believe the stories of Saldaean women taking up fallen husbands’ swords and leading their men back into battle. Being pleasant had gotten him exactly nowhere with Bashere’s wife; Bashere himself only shrugged and said she was a difficult woman at times, all the while grinning with what could only be pride.

He tells her to tell Bashere that he is pleased, and turns away while Lews Therin giggles about the folly of provoking a woman. Rand mentally demands to know if he is really there, but Lews Therin doesn’t answer. He returns to Caemlyn, worrying about Lews Therin and the prospect of going mad; he thinks he’s seen no sign of it yet, but is not sure how he would know if he had.

He had never seen a madman. All he had to go by was Lews Therin maundering in his head. Did all men go mad alike? Would he end like that, laughing and weeping over things no one else saw or knew? He knew he had a chance to live, if a seemingly impossible one. If you would live, you must die; that was one of three things he knew must be true, told to him inside a ter’angreal where the answers were always true if apparently never easy to understand. But to live like that... he was not sure he would not rather die.

In the city, Rand tries to ignore cheers proclaiming him the King of Andor, and notices a white-cloaked man raise a crossbow on the roof. He knocks the bolt out of the air with the Power and sets the man on fire, but a second later is knocked off his horse by Desora, who dies in his arms with a crossbow bolt through her back. The rest of the Aiel haul him up and wall him in while they take care of the rest of the assassins; Rand sees five more bodies in the street. Four of the attackers are captured alive, all with grimy Whitecloak uniforms. Rand asks if any of these wielded the crossbows, contemplating balefire (Lews Therin shrieks “No”), but the Aiel shake their heads, and Rand tells them to hang all but one; the fourth he tells to go back to Pedron Niall, and tell him Rand will hang him too for what happened here. The man collapses weeping, and Rand walks over to Desora’s body.

Lifting the veil, he memorized Desora’s face. She looked as if she were sleeping now. Desora, of the Musara sept of the Reyn Aiel. So many names. Liah, of the Cosaida Chareen, and Dailin, of the Nine Valleys Taardad, and Lamelle, of the Smoke Water Miagoma, and... so many. Sometimes he ran down that list name by name. There was one name in it he had not added. Ilyena Therin Moerelle. He did not know how Lews Therin had put it there, but he would not have erased it if he knew how.

One of the bystanders who had died in the ambush is also a woman, and Rand memorizes her face too, though he doesn’t know her name, and tells Nandera to find the woman’s family and compensate them. He notices all the Maidens are watching him, and has no idea how they feel about his behavior. He gets back on his horse and gallops back to the Palace, leaving his guard behind, which infuriates them when they catch up. First Maid Reene Harfor approaches and tells him a Wavemistress of Clan Catelar of the Sea Folk has petitioned for an audience with him; Rand thinks a Wavemistress sounds fairly important, and tells Reene he will meet with her in the afternoon. Reene adds sourly that Elenia Sarand is here to see him as well, and he tells her to send Elenia to his rooms. Reene suddenly asks if he really means Elayne Trakand to have the throne, and Rand replies that he swears it; he can’t tell if she believes him or not. He goes to his rooms to meet Elenia, who is delighted that Rand wants to talk about the history of Andor, which she thinks will give her a chance to enumerate how her ancestry qualifies her for the throne. She babbles about the founding of Andor and its first queen, Ishara, and Rand is surprised to learn that Ishara’s husband Souran Maravaile was the general under Hawkwing who had besieged Tar Valon toward the end of Hawkwing’s reign. Rand asks if all the Andoran Houses are descendants of Ishara, and Elenia answers yes, of course. He says, so Tigraine and Morgase, for instance, were related? Elenia says they were cousins.

“I see.” Cousins. Rand drank deeply, half-emptying his goblet.

“We are all cousins. All the Houses.”

[...] Rand blinked. “You’re all cousins? All of you? That doesn’t seem poss—” He leaned forward intently. “Elenia, if Morgase and Tigraine had been... merchants, or farmers... how closely would they have been related?”

“Farmers?” she exclaimed, staring at him. “My Lord Dragon, what a peculiar—” The blood drained slowly from her face; he had been a farmer, after all. She wet her lips, a nervous flicker of the tongue. “I suppose… I should have to think. Farmers. I suppose that means imagining all the Houses as farmers.” A nervous titter broke from her before she drowned it in her punch. “Had they been farmers, I don’t think anyone would consider them related at all. All the connections are too far back.”

Rand feels much more relaxed as Elenia natters on, but then suddenly half-catches something she said. He asks her to repeat herself, and she says she was saying he bore some resemblance to Tigraine himself; perhaps he has some of Ishara’s blood hims – she cuts off with a squeak as he jumps to his feet. He tells her he is tired, and she should leave; she takes a look at his face and fairly runs from the room.

Tigraine had not been related to Morgase. His mother had not been related to Elayne’s mother. He was not related to...

“You’re worse than a lecher,” he said aloud, bitterly. “You’re a fool and a... ” He wished Lews Therin would speak, so he could say to himself, That is a madman; I am sane.

He jerks the door open and tells Nandera he is going to Cairhien, and not to tell Aviendha.

Commentary
I find it deeply ironic that Rand is all “I wonder when I’ll start going crazy?” in the same breath that he’s thinking about a dead man’s voice in his head. The thing is, however, if you go with the “Lews Therin is not real” theory, Rand is actually right, in a weird way. The Rand personality is perfectly (well, mostly) sane; that’s what Looney Tunes Lews Therin is there for, to be insane for him. In My Opinion, Of Course.

Speaking of Lews Therin, his crazy ass can bite me on this quote:

Never prod at a woman unless you must. She will kill you faster than a man and for less reason, even if she weeps over it after.

Um, over-generalize much? Also, what?

I mean, all gender politics aside, this literally makes no sense to me. Most of the time when people make asinine blanket statements about 50% of the entire human race I at least usually get where the stupid comes from, but this one doesn’t even seem to connect to a stereotype I recognize, either in the real world or in Randland. Women are more prone to senseless murder than men? Since when? I’ve never heard of such a statistic. So I guess this either makes me charmingly naïve, or Lews Therin even nuttier than previously supposed. Guess which one I’m going with.

All that being said, while I obviously refuse to accept Lews Therin’s maxim as applying to the female gender in general, I certainly don’t have a problem believing it’s true of Deira in particular. Not at all unrelatedly, I’ve never liked her. There’s a difference between being assertive and being a bulldozer, and someone forgot to get her the memo. I’m glad for Bashere’s sake that he seems to find it a big turn-on, but otherwise, let’s not extrapolate her individual character traits to apply to the rest of the female population, mmmkay?

The ambush: We find out in a couple of chapters that the “Whitecloaks” behind this assassination attempt were Fain’s, but it was pretty obvious immediately by the fact that their uniforms were so dirty. Real Whitecloaks are a lot of icky things, but “slovenly” is not one of them. I’ll talk more about this when we get to Fain.

As for Rand’s list, sigh. At this point I simply have to consider his inability to regard women as people first and women second as a debilitating pathological condition, on par with, say, obsessive-compulsive disorder. I get the feeling I’m supposed to find it noble or maybe endearing, or something, but I don’t, sorry. It does make me feel pity for him, but that doesn’t change the fact that I cannot condone it.

Kissin’ cousins: The main association I have with this whole passage is rather meta, in that it never fails to remind me of a particularly obnoxious troll on Usenet back in the day who would tell anyone who would listen, at great length, about how Elayne and Rand were related and therefore committing incest. The amount of willful stupidity on display was impressive even by Internet troll standards, as I recall.

Aside from that, though, I did find Rand’s concern over being related to Elayne rather puzzling; a smidge anachronistic, almost. It would be one thing if he were worried about them actually being siblings, but historically marriage between cousins, even first cousins, has never had much of a stigma associated with it, and I’m not sure why Jordan would have Randland take a different tack on it.

In fact, if I recall correctly, up until the twentieth century marriage between cousins was even rather common, especially in insular communities with a limited population pool. Like, say, the Two Rivers? I mean, c’mon, a group of villages that small and isolated and you’re going to tell me no one ever ends up marrying a cousin? I find that difficult to believe.


Chapter 27: Gifts

What Happens
Egwene walks back toward the Aiel camp, grinning foolishly over the extended canoodling she had done with Gawyn, though she is concerned over the fact that he had told her the Tower embassy was looking for someone “like her”. She tries to convince herself that it wasn’t her specifically they were looking for, but resolves to be extremely careful in the city from now on. Several of the Wise Ones’ apprentices invite her to join them, as the Wise Ones have given them a rare day off while they confer about the Tower Aes Sedai. Surandha (Sorilea’s apprentice) tells her that the Car’a’carn is back in Cairhien, and will meet Egwene’s “sisters” that afternoon, and Egwene quickly decides to go back to the city. On her way back to the Palace, she sees evidence that Rand is in the area, as chance goes wild. Outside Rand’s rooms, she is stopped by a very tall Aielman named Maric, but the Maiden Somara vouches for her, and Egwene assures her as a joke that she will make Rand wash his ears, and asks her not to mention Egwene to the Aes Sedai. Inside, she thinks that Rand looks like a king, and “one about to do murder”, and tells him Somara says to “wash his ears this minute, young man”. He looks outraged for a moment, then grins, turning her to face a mirror so she can see how dirty her own face is. Embarrassed, Egwene changes the subject, saying she hopes she does not have to remind him the Tower Aes Sedai are dangerous.

“They aren’t all coming. I said no more than three, so that is what they’re sending.” In the mirror his head tilted as if he were listening, and he nodded, voice dropping to a murmur. “Yes, I can handle three, if they aren’t too strong.” Abruptly he noticed her looking. “Of course, if one of them is Moghedien in a wig, or Semirhage, I may be in trouble.”

She tells him to be serious; even if he really believes Alviarin and her friends will kneel to him, these are from Elaida, and what he really should do is send them away. He asks, and trust your hidden friends instead? He continues that he cannot trust any Aes Sedai; they will try to use him, and he them. Egwene becomes more convinced than ever that he cannot be allowed near the rebels, and tries some reverse psychology on him, berating him to treat the Tower embassy with respect. To her surprise, though, he thoughtfully agrees that perhaps he should try to be respectful.

She was not really sure her eyes were popping, but she thought they must be. Her whole life, any time she pointed out that right was a better way, he stuck out his chin and insisted on left! Why did he have to choose now to listen?

She changes the subject to the Sea Folk, and reminds him a Wavemistress is waiting to see him; he replies that if this Harine din Togara Two Winds’s temper is as bad as Berelain says, she can wait. He continues that Berelain seemed uneasy about something, and asks if Egwene has been giving her a hard time; Egwene replies that she’s barely spoken to Berelain. She is interrupted by Somara, who enters to tell Rand that the Aes Sedai are here. Rand is angered that they came early, no doubt trying to catch him off guard, but Egwene is more concerned with her own presence, and how to keep the Tower Aes Sedai from taking her without putting herself under Rand’s protection.

“Rand, is there another way out of here? If there isn’t, I will hide in one of the other rooms. They mustn’t know I am here. Rand? Rand! Are you listening to me?”

He spoke, but definitely not to her. “You are there,” he whispered hoarsely. “Too much coincidence for you to think of that now.” He was staring at nothing with a look of fury, and maybe fear. “Burn you, answer me! I know you’re there!”

Egwene licked her lips before she could stop herself. Somara might be gazing at him with what could be described as fond motherly concern—and him not even noticing her joke—but Egwene’s stomach was turning over slowly. He could not have gone mad as suddenly as that. He could not have. But he had seemed to listen to some hidden voice just a little while ago, and maybe spoken to it then too.

Hesitantly she feels his forehead and asks if he’s all right; he shies back from her suspiciously, and then pulls her over to a corner of the room and tells her not to move. She realizes that he has woven saidin around her to make her invisible, and tries not to panic; he tells her that maybe she’ll see something he doesn’t, and laughs that maybe she’ll even tell him if she does, before telling Somara to admit the Aes Sedai. Coiren, Nesune, and a third Aes Sedai Egwene does not know enters the room, followed by a dozen more women carrying two heavy chests. All three sisters are holding saidar, and Rand immediately strides up to the serving women and inspects them for ageless faces, then turns to the three Aes Sedai and tells them he will not allow them to channel or hold saidar around him, and to let it go. When they do, he tells them that’s much better, and suggests they start over; Coiren and the others react with shock at this evidence that he could tell they were holding the Power. Coiren regains her poise and floridly introduces herself and the other two; the third turns out to be Galina Casban.

“I am Rand al’Thor.” The simplicity was a marked contrast. They had not mentioned the Dragon Reborn and neither had he, but somehow his leaving it out seemed to make the title whisper faintly in the room.

Coiren goes into her spiel, inviting the Dragon Reborn to accompany them to the Tower “in all honor as deserved,” promising the Tower’s full support and protection if he does so. In token, they have brought gifts, and the servants open the two chests to reveal they are chock full of gold and gems. Rand looks at the treasure with a near smile, and suddenly the lids snap down by themselves, and Egwene realizes he had done it with saidin.

Suddenly it occurred to her that so far he had shown nothing of that “humble as a mouse.” He had never intended to. The man had been toying with her! If she were not too frightened to be sure of her knees, she would go over and box his ears.

“A great deal of gold,” Rand said. He seemed relaxed, his smile taking in his whole face. “I can always find a use for gold.” Egwene blinked. He sounded almost greedy!

Coiren is most satisfied at this; Rand goes on that he looks forward to the day he stands in the Tower, but they understand that he has obligations he must meet first, of course. Coiren tightly replies that they have no objection to waiting “a few days”, and offers one of them as an advisor in the meantime; Rand returns that it would be too dangerous, and for their own safety he must insist that none of them come within a mile of him without permission. He then dismisses them; they are not happy, but go to leave.

As they turned to go, Rand spoke again, casually. “I forgot to ask. How is Alviarin?”

“She is well.” Galina’s mouth hung open for a moment, her eyes widening. She appeared startled to have spoken.

They leave, and Egwene charges over to him to demand to know what he thinks he’s doing; Rand replies thoughtfully that Galina is one of Alviarin’s friends. Egwene thinks this is nonsense; Galina is a Red if she ever saw one. Rand is skeptical that Egwene could know that just by looking at her, and adds that besides, even Reds may end up following him.

“They know the Prophecies as well as anybody else. ‘The unstained tower breaks and bends knee to the forgotten sign’. Written before there was a White Tower, but what else could ‘the unstained tower’ be? And the forgotten sign? My banner, Egwene, with the ancient symbol of Aes Sedai.”

Ignoring her further protests, he turns to the issue of how to get her out of the Palace undetected; she counters that it wouldn’t be a problem if he would just try to explain to her how he gets about so quickly. To her surprise, he explains seriously to her how Traveling works for a man:

“I bend the Pattern and bore a hole from one to the other. I don’t know what I bore through, but there’s no space between one end of the hole and the other.”

The idea makes her queasy. She had thought of trying something she had worked out in observing Tel’aran’rhiod, something about making a similarity between places; she asks him about it, but he replies that that sounds like “changing the weave of the Pattern”, and thinks it would tear him apart if he tried. She leaves soon after, observing him seemingly talking to himself again as he goes, and hopes desperately that he is not already going mad.

In the coach on the way back to Arilyn’s manor, Nesune reflects that al’Thor was a fascinating study subject, thinking of her specimen boxes she never went anywhere without. Coiren notes that she didn’t know Galina was friendly with Alviarin; Galina pooh-poohs the notion, but Nesune notices how quickly she changes the subject, and notes it for further reference. They discuss whether al’Thor could truly have sensed that they were channeling or if he was guessing, and speculate on the identity of the channeling woman who shared their interview. Galina is convinced it was Moiraine, but Coiren is not so sure, and opines that in any case they must not let their investigation of that interfere with the larger plan. On this, Nesune thinks, they are all in agreement.

Commentary
Well, so much for my assumption that no one’s noticed Rand having conversations with a voice in his head. That’ll learn me!

Speaking of which, the theme of this chapter could be one of my favorite stupid jokes: “When you make an assumption, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “mption”.

Everyone here, including Egwene, is making assumptions about what kind of person Rand is and how he will react to a situation. And no one, including Egwene, comes out looking very good as a result.

Coiren and Co. come off worst, of course. Seriously, gold? The man is in control of two nations and three major cities, and you think he’ll be tempted by two chests’ worth of baubles? Wow. I don’t know if that’s more insulting than it is stupid, but I suspect you could probably shave with the difference.

At the same time, I confess to a certain amount of irritation with Rand for playing into their assumptions about him. I understand why he did it, of course – always better to have your potential enemies underestimate you – but nevertheless it bugs me when characters I like are not appreciated as they should be by other characters. Yes, this is missing the point, I know, thank you.

Of course, Rand makes an assumption here himself, one which will turn out to be utterly disastrous for him, so it ain’t all on the women’s side, either. Have we learned our lesson about assumptions yet, boys and girls? See that you do!

Traveling: I’m not a fan of the saidin/saidar:fight/submit dichotomy, at all, but I do like the facility with which Jordan came up with different magical ways to do the same magical thing, and this is one of the best examples.

As a last note, Nesune’s reference to her little specimen boxes was a very nice bit of foreshadowing, that made me bare my teeth at the book. Grr. Smash.


And that’s all there is, there ain’t no more! Go forth and weekend with abandon, y’all. See you Monday!

133 comments
Sam Mickel
1. Samadai
yeah, a new post as soon as I turn on my computer this morning, awesome.

I wonder why the Whitecloak Rand spared didn't tell him it wasn't Niall, but was Fain.
Galen Brinn
2. GatheringStorm
I missed the reference to the specimen box. But, now that I've seen it, it really make my blood boil. The whole "I'm the man in the box" scene made me more angry than just about anything else I've ever read...and it may surpass my anger at the whole Seanchan damane thing from Book 2, which PO'd me beyond belief.
douglasm
3. douglasm
I have often wondered, if Rand really cares that much about Desora dying, why he didn't take the crossbow bolt, toss it up in the air, and balefire it. Tada, that bolt didn't exist at the moment it would have hit her any more and she's back alive!
Richard Singleton
4. Rick
Hi Leigh, thanks for the recapping as usual.

I may be in a contrary frame but I'm not with you at all today. Nothing too new I guess but I'm on the other side of the LTT is real debate, I like the Saidin/Saidar contrast (oak & willow) and the gender comment from Mr Telamon made me smile :)

Of course I won't push my disagreement to far lest you... ahem.

Hmmn that out the system, Rand's greed for the gold was well written. I mean I know that he is faking but it still makes the skin crawl. Plus knowing it all goes wrong, when I read this it is like a tv thriller movie. You know the type where you just want to yell at the characters "behind you" or "Gallina is a scheming Black Ajah snake in the grass!"

Does anyone remember if there was some greater significance to the white stones?
Tess Laird
5. thewindrose
douglasm - I always believed that you would have to balefire a person to reverse what happened. People make the pattern of life, therefore destroying an object would not change the outcome, but destroying the person who threw the object would reverse what happened.
I caught the box reference on my 2nd read threw. love how RJ foreshadows.
Now Rand knows he has a 1/2 brother.
S Diller
6. CuenDiller
I have been waiting for a Galad and Rand reunion since I first read this. I can only hope it will happen.

I love how the AS are unsure of Moiraine's "demise." It just adds to her coolness level.
TW Grace
7. TWGrace
Rand doesnt have any cousins (adopted) in Two rivers that I can recall...Dont ever remember any mention of Uncle (whatever) or Auntie (whoever)...am I remembering right?

So maybe he was thrown by the whole 'cousin' thing combined with the 'she is my brother's sister' thing...
James Jones
8. jamesedjones
4 Rick

"Does anyone remember if there was some greater significance to the white stones?"

The white stones were the place he had to "learn" in order to channel the gateway to Illian when the Saldean army attacked in the next book.
James Jones
9. jamesedjones
Re: Big sweeping gender generalizations

I really thought the quote only applied to domestic violence. If you look at married couples who actually kill each other, some disturbing trends start to emerge.

Edit: Just to clarify, I wanted to note that I'm only referencing the really disturbing trends. Like how most of the men claim they never meant to kill their wife, or how many women admit that they didn't feel like their life was in danger when they killed their husband.
Lynn McDonald
10. meal6225
3. Douglasm Balefiring the arrow I think would have been useless as it is an inanimate object. Balefiring the DF that shot it--now we have a pattern connection.

If the women were all more like Mrs. Bashere back in LTT's time, no wonder dude wants his final death.
Tess Laird
11. thewindrose
TWGrace - Actually we know very little about Tam. Even less about Kari. No mention of any relatives. Rand will actually be gaining family when the truth about his real mom comes out. And ofcourse he is going to have a big ole family when the twins and quads are born, I am hoping he survives intact and sane from TG.
Sam Mickel
12. Samadai
Rand did think about balefire and also asked if one of the prisoners was the person who fired the arrows. i am guessing he was going to balefire the archer so he could bring everyone back to life.
D Z
13. Hopper
So I thought I had caught a contradiction between chapter 27 and Tears from Steel, but on closer examination I saw it was very cleverly averted, so fortunately I don't have to comment on it and risk a possible spoiler...

whoops.

Also Leigh, perhaps the TAS knew that gold was a lame way to entice Rand, but it gives them a really good excuse to bring a giant box into the room with him. I don't think they ever seriously considered him taking the bait, although maybe they were hoping they might get lucky enough to avoid the whole awful kidnapping torture box thing.
John Mann
14. jcmnyu
I don't think the gold was there to bribe Rand. The Aes Sedai wanted the people around Rand, and Rand himself, to be used to a dozen extra servants carrying in boxes so that when the time came, no one would be suspicious of a party of 15 women when they take Rand. This is the scheme that is the best planned and executed in the entire series.

Operation Red Shield:

1. Show up with 6 Aes Sedai in an obvious way
2. Sneak in 9 more, some of whom don't have the ageless face.
3. Have servants bring in large chests to each meeting.
4. Channel constantly in the house where you are staying, but away from windows so no one knows what you are doing.
5. Sneak in all 15 Aes Sedai with the chests. 13 shield Rand in an unbreakable shield and 2 to bind and control him.
6. Walk out in a huff telling everyone that he left through a gateway.
7. Leave the city telling everyone that you are pissed at being treated so badly.
8. Meet up with other Aes Sedai and soldiers outside the city.

Really a very good plan. And are we sure the specimen boxes are the chests? I thought they were different and just an example of Nesune's extreme OCD.
Galen Brinn
15. GatheringStorm
I think some of the TAS were hoping that Rand would be gullible enough to go with them outright. People like Galina and Katerina? Not a chance. They were hoping for the "man in the box", IMO.
Genevieve Williams
16. welltemperedwriter
I love how the AS are unsure of Moiraine's "demise." It just adds to her coolness level.


It'll never happen, but if Moiraine's reappearance includes her saying "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," that would be SO AWESOME. :D

I don't think they ever seriously considered him taking the bait, although maybe they were hoping they might get lucky enough to avoid the whole awful kidnapping torture box thing.


Some of them (such as Coiren) were. It became pretty clear to me as I read on, especially the aftermath in aCoS (which I'm re-reading now), that the BA were planning to scupper any chance of Rand cooperating with the Tower by treating him terribly.

Mind you, I DON'T think they intended what actually happened...
Richard Singleton
17. Rick
8. jamesedjones

That makes a lot of sense. I remember reading this the first time and expecting a significance that never (I thought) materialised. Very tidy work there for both character and author alike.
Galen Brinn
18. GatheringStorm
jcmnyu, I believe you are entirely correct, for the planning part and your take on Nesune's specimen boxes. I'm pretty sure that her boxes are not the same as the chest they stuff Rand into.
vo mabulay
19. alreadymad
douglasm @3
The bolt doesn't have a thread to burn out of the Fabric. The Fabric made of people's lives.
If you really want to reverse time, Balefiring the shooter is essentially the best way.

thewindrose @5
Rand has known he has a halfbrother since Rhuidean.

jcmnyu @14
Yes, I thought the specimen boxes were large enough for small animals and plants, but too small for a full sized man of Rand's size. She mentions bringing a number of them.

Galina and co. were expecting a simple farmboy who was in over his head and whose eyes could be blinded by glitter, and Rand played the part well. The fact that they eventually used this to effect their plan doesn't detract from how well Rand played to their expectations in this instance. Also this scene demonstrates how Rand can pull weaves out of LTT's memories at need. It works best if he doesn't question LTT's presence or sanity. Meaning he simply has to accept that the memories are part of him and it will deal.

And yes, I love Nesune. If she ever encounters Perrin and co. who have evidence Galina is Black, Alviarin is toast.
Richard Boye
20. sarcastro
Leigh,

"Kissin’ cousins: The main association I have with this whole passage is rather meta, in that it never fails to remind me of a particularly obnoxious troll on Usenet back in the day who would tell anyone who would listen, at great length, about how Elayne and Rand were related and therefore committing incest..."

Ugh. You HAD to mention him, huh?

Regarding the 'specimen box' and its 'foreshadowing' quality, I remain 'enh.'

As you will see, there is a crucial bit that gets lost in the justified outrage over Rand-in-the-Box. When he is first taken/apprehended/kidnapped/captured, Rand was being transported in a large paddy-wagon replete with furniture (presumably the same thing they used to parade Logain around in for his grand tour), after he went bonkers and killed the warders trying to escape, that's when they implemented the Rand-in-the-Box treatment. He was smuggled out of the palace in the chest, of course..... but they didn't plan on hauling him all the way to Tar Valon like that.

So, I am unpersuaded regarding any foreshadowy-ness of Nesune's specimen box.
Nathan Martin
21. lerris
As far as Rand's concern about him and Elayne possibly being related, I suspect Jordan was using modern values to make his characters more relevant to the reader.
Additionally, genetics and heredity were largely misunderstood, especially among royalty and nobility where pure bloodlines were valued for all the wrong reasons.
Since Rand was not raised as royalty, he would have a peasant's understanding that inbreeding makes for problems in the offspring, and strong offspring are necessary in medieval rural life.
AJ MacPherson
22. Mackey62
@ 4 & @ 8

I thought the stones where the size of the gateway so they could practice riding through a space that wide without the gateway actually being there.
douglasm
23. Longtimefan
Not to be a sexist or anything but it always suprised me that the Aes Sedai using serving women to carry the brass bound chests (large enough to hold a person obvioulsy)was not held in more suspicion by Rand than just a quick look and then complete belief that it was just fine to have women hauling heavy chests around (watch it.)

Yes, he suspects that they might be hiding extra Aes Sedai but he never sets the policy that they have to use male servants. Apparently it tears him up inside if they die but if they are treated like pack animals he is ok with that.

Egwene also negelcts to tell him that the newly raised would not have the ageless look.

Yes, any other behavior would not set up the betrayal and escape scenario that creates the well remembered Dumani Wells battle. It is just frustrating to see characters do stupid things.
In real life doubly so.
john massey
24. subwoofer
Sorry guys- still recovering from the "porking her blind". Will get into the WC later.

Woof.
John Fitzingo
25. Xandar01
@14. jcmnyu

I like operation Red Shield, however did the AS "know" rand was traveling frequently when they made the plan?
Kinda makes "6. Walk out in a huff telling everyone that he left through a gateway." more of an opportunity they exploited then something planned before they left the tower if they didn't.

Once they got there I am sure they could have figured it out. He did disappear for about 3 weeks while they were there. They don't have instant communication like the Aiel (and SGs) do, nor are they "in the loop" aside from what they might get from some informant. I guess pigeon comms would be quick enough for them to figure it out.
Kristina Blake
26. kab1
I also thought Nesune's speciman boxes were not foreshadowing of "Rand in a box". There were several times throughout the series when (brown) AS mentioned traveling with specimen jars or boxes. As sarcastro @20 mentions, I don't think Nesune had any idea that he would end up in a box. As to Galina's plans, who knows, she clearly did mean to punish him.

I also think that RJ cleared away close relations for Rand and Elayne for the benefit of his readers not saying "eeeewww".

Also, I think it may have happened, but has Rand ever had a thought of Galad as his half-brother?

and, yeah, Ewgene should have told Rand that looking for the ageless face was not a sure way to see if a woman was AS, although you'd think he'd know this himself.
Lannis .
27. Lannis
The Kissing Cousins thing: yes, in areas of the world where the ability to travel is not readily available, a population (historically) would include some marriages between cousins... Rand's problem with it I always just chalked up to Jordan using our world's popular contemporary view on the matter to add a panicky twist to the Rand-Elayne hook up.

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Have a good weekend! :)

EDIT: lerris @ 21 beat me to it... shoulda refreshed... ;)
Ryan Fields
28. Fieldy
The foreshadowing isn't the specimen box in itself, but the fact that Nesune's thoughts of him as a "fascinating study subject" in the same thought as the specimen boxes is a little foreshadowing. What do you put in specimen boxes? Interesting study subjects.

I never caught it before, but the foreshadow makes perfect sense to me.
John Mann
29. jcmnyu
I believe there were specific plans in place from Elaida that if kidnapping Rand was necessary, Galina then takes over and she is to begin preparing him for his arrival. The preparation is to break him so that when he gets to Tar Valon, he will kneel to Elaida. So if he left on his own, he gets to travel in the coach, if he is kidnapped, he gets the box. However, he ends up in the box a whole lot more because he killed some Warders. But I think he would have been beaten and put in the box for parts of the day as part of his preparation anyway.

@25 xandar01

You are right. I don't know that #6 would have been planned before they got to the city. But it was planned before kidnapping him. There was probably another #6 which was replaced once they learned he could Travel.
D Z
30. Hopper
@29

Previous #6 possibilities:

1. Walk out with noses plugged saying, "you don't want to go in there"

2. Hire a gleeman to distract the people with stories

3. Tell everyone the truth outright, they will automatically assume your bending your words and you can walk away as the struggle to find the hidden Aes Sedai meaning

4. Run away screaming

...luckily they learned he could travel
j p
31. sps49
This is the first time I caught the subtle suggestion that Galina and Alviarin are on at least friendly terms (or so everyone took the rote "she is well" reply), especially since Red Aes Sedai are discouraged in friendships outside their Ajah.

I do like that that Rand was suspicious enough to check the lady porters, but he will relax later, sadly.
Peter Nein
32. gimpols1908
11. thewindrose " he is going to have a big ole family when the twins and quads are born, I am hoping he survives intact and sane from TG."

So Rand and Elayne and Avi and Min + 6 wouldn't make a good show?

It might make him lose the rest of his sanity.
douglasm
33. alreadymadwithredplan
jcmnyu @29
Elaida doesn't believe Rand would come willingly. The plan was always to force him to come. By kidnapping him. Then breaking him so that he would follow Elaida's lead. Elaida could then take her rightful place as savior of the world.
Rob Munnelly
34. RobMRobM
Leigh missed the best part of the first chapter - the description of the Saldean calvary presentation before Rand. I always passed by it until I read it again last night. It was not just close ordered horse maneuvers (as I had long assumed) but done with tricks at the same time - standing on the backs of their horses, doing handstands on the horses, swinging under the horses' bellies and coming up the other side, etc. Pretty cool when you focus on the text.

Rest of chapter is meh but I never picked up (even last night) that Fain sent the Whitecloaks rather than Niall. Interesting but why would he do that if he wants to kill Rand himself.

Love Nesune - one of my favorite minor characters, who improves in each re-read.

Love Rand in the latter chapter - telling Egwene she might see something he misses and even might decide to tell him -- high comedy.

Rob
Alex Johns
35. almuric
Ok, so I think Rand's split personality works like this: 3000 years ago, LTT was alive and killed by Ishy, right? I think, for some reason, instead of going to the area of TAR where heroes go, his psyche or personality or soul somehow ended up mixed in with the taint of saidin. And it's been there the whole time, so he was unable to be reborn before. Then, Rand gets born, starts fulfilling the prophecies and starts channeling.

Now, Rand's not the first male channeler, but he is the first one who is 'attuned' to LTT's presence. So once Rand starts drawing on saidin, LTT's psyche is 'drawn' to Rand and he enters Rand's head via the saidin that Rand draws in. I think it's pretty clear that some of what Rand does is impossible without somehow gaining knowledge that was lost 3000 years ago.

Now, here's where things get tricky. Let's cut over to Slayer, who is two people in one. Somehow Luc and Isam share a body or switch out between two bodies. There's been no good explanation for how that's worked. Certainly not one from Jordan.

The dragon's blood is supposed to be spilled on Shayol Ghul during TG. What if, somehow, LTT and Rand can find a second body to share, link with it, transfer LTT's consciousness over there and that's the body that dies. "To live you must die". 'You' meaning Rand or perhaps LTT? Now, I don't think this is a plan that Rand's going to actively make happen. He doesn't have enough knowledge to plan this out. But he might have help from Semi or Graendal or even Moghedien. Or this might be something the 'pattern' has planned all along and events will just play out that way.

Why the Forsaken would help him I don't know. How Slayer is constructed I don't know. But I do know that Leigh's theory doesn't hold water for me. There's too much knowledge there for LTT to be just a split-off piece of Rand. I think there's an actual, second person there.
douglasm
36. alreadymadwithredplan
jcmnyu @29
Elaida doesn't believe Rand would come willingly. The plan was always to force him to come. By kidnapping him. Then breaking him so that he would follow Elaida's lead. Elaida could then take her rightful place as savior of the world. Spanking new palace and all.
douglasm
37. tearl
Leigh, regarding the chests of baubles:

The AS needed a reason to be carrying chests to each meeting so that carrying a chest(s) to the last meeting would not be so remarkable.


Rick@4 and jamesedjones@8

I've always thought the reason was that that spacing of stones was as wide a Gateway that Rand could make. The "parade" was a demonstration that the Saldean cavalry could run a column, three abreast, through such a narrow opening without confusion.
douglasm
38. Lsana
One point about the cousins: Historically, it usually didn't matter if you married your cousin (in fact, it was often considered highly desirable), but one place that it did was in Tolkien; both the elves and the Numenorians forbade marriages between first cousins. Jordan obviously did a lot of borrowing from Tolkien, so I wonder if that might also have come from there.

Although, honestly, it's pretty obvious that Rand and Elayne are not first cousins, since Morgase and Tigrane weren't sisters. At most, they are going to be second cousins, which as far as I know has never been considered a problem anywhere at any point in human history, including today. So while he might be a little curious about the relationship, his worrying about it seems weird in any context.
Jane Smyth
39. Kaboom
Rob @ 34
but I never picked up (even last night) that Fain sent the Whitecloaks rather than Niall. Interesting but why would he do that if he wants to kill Rand himself.

Fain saw this as a test of Rand's defenses. He thought later that he would have killed the whitecloak that would have managed to kill Rand. But he needed to see what was needed for himself to kill him.
Captain Hammer
40. Randalator
Leigh

Never prod at a woman unless you must. She will kill you faster than a man and for less reason, even if she weeps over it after.


Um, over-generalize much? Also, what?

I mean, all gender politics aside, this literally makes no sense to me. Most of the time when people make asinine blanket statements about 50% of the entire human race I at least usually get where the stupid comes from, but this one doesn’t even seem to connect to a stereotype I recognize, either in the real world or in Randland. Women are more prone to senseless murder than men? Since when? I’ve never heard of such a statistic.


I think you might have missed the point here. This statement or saying or whatever is less about women murdering men as it is about reasons.

I think we can all agree that there are certain things in a relationship (or elsewhere) that women would consider a legitimate reason for a Grade A fit that men wouldn't even find worth mentioning and vice versa. And that's what this saying is about: Venus and Mars.

The murdering thing is just hyperbole...
Kristina Blake
41. kab1
Hmmm.... I don't have a very close family, but I do know that I wouldn't be in a relationship with any of my second cousins (although I haven't even met them all) even if it is legal.

Also- the part about Saldean wives taking up swords in their husbands places. This part always makes me wonder about the many comments that women in the borderlands aren't trained to fight. From this part, and the fact that they take their wives in to battle indicates to me that Saldean women do know how to fight.

Forkroot- how's the weather in out there? Hopefully better than the AT&T web service!
T C
42. Freelancer
kabi1@26
Also, I think it may have happened, but has Rand ever had a thought of Galad as his half-brother?

Yes. He knows who Galad's real mother is, so he knows that Galad is his half-brother. Between what the WOs told him of Shaiel, then what Dyelin said, plus when he heard of the Gitara foretellings, the puzzle solved itself.

He could hardly be so concerned about verifying the distance of relation between Morgase and Tigraine, while being ignorant of Galad's place in the mix.


OT - It is September 11. Never forget.

Support your local firefighter/peace officer/defender of freedom.
John Mann
43. jcmnyu
@33 & 36 alreadymadwiththeX

I don't think I agree with that. Elaida may very well have thought she could convince Rand to come to the Tower willingly. However, she or Galina, also came up with a plan and put it in place should he refuse. And I am sure that several of the Aes Sedai sent as his escort were actually trying to get him to come willingly. Galina? Not so much.
Jason Lyman
44. jlyman
@40. Randalator

I think you hit it right on the head with your comment. It's all about the difference in perception that a man and a woman. Many times, purely for malicious intent, I will make a comment about the proverbial "women driver" just loud enough so that my wife hears. Simply because I know it will illicit a certain reaction. Always softening it with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge. But once in a while, for whatever reason, she files that away and uses it against me somehow later on. Perhaps even several weeks later.

Maybe that's the prodding that LT is talking about? Maybe I should watch myself a little more closely. It's amazing how differently the male and female minds work.
douglasm
45. AndrewB
Hello,

Long time lurker, first time poster.

First, Leigh thanks for the recapp. They are useful, insightful & humorous.

Second, other regular posters. Comments are also insightful & well thought out (although I do not always agree w/ them).

Third, I thought that Rand was looking at the servants eyes to check for DFs. Like he did in the Waste in the 4th book (with the peddlers).

Fourth, Any guesses on who (if anybody) will make the connection btwn Alvi's secret friends in the tower are all the Black sisters.

thnks for reading my musings -- AndrewB
douglasm
46. Pendragon
I'm sure this is completely unrelated to anything being discussed above, but this just came to me yesterday and I had to post it. It dawned on me that Aiel are Ogier/Human hybrids. I can't believe I missed that, but it makes perfect sense when you think about it.
Jason Lyman
47. jlyman
@46. Pendragon

So Olver is Aiel? Hmm...
Kat Woman
48. thekatwoman
Didn't read through all the comemtary or posts,so correct me if I'm wrong and somebody already braught it up. I do want open debate on this issue of woman killing, "Even if they wept after..".
MEN kill with passion. More woman (in Randland for sure)kill because it was the LOGICAL thing to do.
"He deserved it" comes to mind. Yes both sexes can have a jealous rage. But a woman is more likey to be cold and thoughtful about where, when, why and how someone should die. Aes Sedai in general come to mind.
douglasm
49. Branwhin
My Word.

How did I manage to stumble upon this post when nobody'd commented yet? It's been a couple of hours and I haven't refreshed, so I guarantee people have been chatting about these chapters for a while.

Hrrm, I just answered my own question. I wondered for a moment how Egwene didn't think of the 'proximity alert' thing with Aes Sedai, but it was Rand who put her in that particular location before doing the Air-bending trick.

And speaking of proximity, unless it was one of the brand-new Sisters sensing Egwene (and I doubt they were present, as I can't imagine Egwene would have been quiet about that, with all her talk of danger to Rand), the Tower Sisters would have known instantly that was *not* Moiraine. Egwene is much stronger.

Branwhin
Don Barkauskas
50. bad_platypus
thewindrose@11:

And ofcourse he is going to have a big ole family when the twins and quads are born

I see this a lot (the assumption that Avi will have quadruplets), and I just wanted to throw in my $0.02. (I was going to wait until the WH read-through, but what the heck.) It seems highly unlikely to me---even with the level of Healing available in RJ's world---that quads could be born healthy, as Min's vision says. In addition, prior to the advent of fertility drugs, multiple births other than twins were extremely rare. It's certainly possible, but I highly doubt it.

My personal belief (and I can't take credit for this theory---I saw it somewhere else, although I don't recall where) is that Avi and Min will simultaneously give birth, each to twins. Remember, Min's vision came right after the bonding, so she and Avi are connected, and I really like the symmetry of each of Rand's trio giving birth to twins.

Also (and this is more of a meta-reason), just prior to this scene, Min muses about how she never sees anything about herself, and it strikes me as the type of comment (where a character makes a completely false assumption about reality) that RJ loves to have characters make.
James Jones
51. jamesedjones
40 Randalator & 44 jlyman

But I think this is exactly what Leigh is talking about. All of us jumped right to the idea that Rand was talking about relationships, but Leigh's commentary indicates that she is viewing it from a perspective of any woman regarding any man.

It actually makes more sense since LTT is clearly speaking in referrence to someone else's wife. But I still remain unconvinced that RJ meant it in such a general fashion.
T C
52. Freelancer
AndrewB@45

Welcome to the jungle.

I have for some time insisted that Rand knows Alviarin is a DF. I would guess some insight from her letter pointed out a clear indication of a lie, or it's just so over the top in effusive praise to him that he smells a rat. He doesn't feel in a position to declare the Black Ajah real, since he knows that would put the kibosh on any chance he has of getting any Aes Sedai anywhere to work with him. But for him to use the phrase "one of Alviarin's friends" of Galina, is telling. Does he believe that Galina feels the same about him as the letter from Alviarin sounds? Not a chance. Even though he doesn't know that she's Red (yet), all he has to go on is that she, not the embassy lead, answered his question about Alviarin. It seems important enough to him to comment on it, so it can't be simply that she might be one willing to submit to him as Alviarin's letter pretends. I think he's calling Galina a DF by supposing she's Alviarin's friend.


Also, noting Egwene's response, why can't a White and a Red be friends? Blue and Red, I get, but the Ajahs aren't quite that distant yet.
Captain Hammer
53. Randalator
Pendragon @46

It dawned on me that Aiel are Ogier/Human hybrids. I can't believe I missed that, but it makes perfect sense when you think about it.

You're right. Those large Aiel ears with the hairy tufts on top are a dead giveaway...


Freelancer @52

Also, noting Egwene's response, why can't a White and a Red be friends? Blue and Red, I get, but the Ajahs aren't quite that distant yet.

But the Reds strongly discourage any form of friendships outside their Ajah.

"It was a rare Red who had a friend outside her Ajah."
(LoC, ch. 27)
"The Red firmly discouraged friendships outside the Ajah. Quite firmly, and quite efficiently.
(ACoS, ch. 32)
j p
54. sps49
@52 Freelancer-

I know it is written somewhere, I think in a Galina PoV chapter during the Faile arc, that the Reds strongly discourage friendships outside the Ajah. They also regard their Head as equal or superior to the Amyrlin Seat.

Re: your 42 post- neither my city PD nor FD deserve the pedestals they feel they are entitled to. (And the city council are enablers....) I am proud of how regular people on Flight 93 and at the Pentagon & WTC handled themselves.
douglasm
55. AngryAngryThorn
So maybe he was thrown by the whole 'cousin' thing combined with the 'she is my brother's sister' thing...


That would weird me out for sure...I can never be sure if I like the weirdly twizzly way that most of the halfway fun/likeable/identifywithable are either somehow related to eachother, are sleeping with eachother, are likely to soon be sleeping with eachother or have a big ol' noble bloodline. Forsaken aside, most of these characters are linked through family ect. Its madness...

Though everyone in the real world is probably linked to everyone else which makes my point completely nonsense :p I just dont envy Elaynes kiddies later on. They have to remember Granny Morgase, Dead Granny Kari, Dead Granny Tigraine, Granda Tam, Granda Janduin, Grandpa Taringail, then whoever Morgase marries (ie Grandpa Martyn) , then potentially granda Thom if things work out that way, then the aunts and uncles by blood or adoption(Gawyn + Aviendha, Galad gets to be a Super-Mega-Double-Pronged-Uncle O_o) then whoever they end up with (which means Aunt Avi might also be stepma avi, along with stempa Min, plus possibly aunt egwene, plus whoever Galad ends up with which I have heard several people to favour as Berelain), plus great aunt Moiraine (are great aunts anvaere and innloine still alive?)ect, ect. You get my point. By blood and marriage theyll be related to pretty much everyone. Dont envy anyone drawing that family tree...
Kurt Lorey
56. Shimrod
I think that 18 US states (and the District of Columbia) allow marriage between first cousins, including South Carolina. Still legal in the UK as well, IIRC.

Rand using his ta'vereness to smoke out an Alviarin ally was smart thinking. So rare for these characters sometimes.
douglasm
57. wondering
Ok, I'm going to free-associate for a minute. Maybe this has been discussed elsewhere in the online WOT world. If so, someone please fill me in.

It's been dawning on me lately how often Rand asks if LTT is really there. So far, LTT hasn't answered him, despite some tantalizing moments that made it seem like LTT was speaking to him. So, what's the point of having LTT in his head at all? Just to get some info once in awhile that no one else would know? That hardly seems like a good enough reason. It seems more likely to me that LTT will be taking part in the last battle, either by taking over Rand or fighting jointly with him, so that his knowledge will be of use.

Of course, that raises many questions. Leaving aside the question of whether or not LTT is really there, what is LTT's purpose in the series? We learn from the EOTW on that this is a battle that has been going on throughout the turning of the wheel, from the creation on. There had to have been many incarnations of the Creator's hero. Why was LTT chosen to be the one who is constantly reborn? Was he the greatest of the hero's? If the dragon needed to be reborn at all, doesn't that imply that his presence is necessary at TG? Otherwise, what's the point of his being reborn? Wouldn't Rand be enough?

I don't want to rehash the debate of whether or not LTT is really there. I know that that part has been discussed ad naseaum. My question is, what is LTT's part, if any, in the last battle? What is his purpose in the series in the first place? Maybe RJ has said something to that effect that someone could share with me?

Thanks
John Mann
58. jcmnyu
@55

Have you seen Big Love? It's exactly what happens on the Compound. Last season they worked it out so that a 14 year old was someone's Step-Grandmother, Aunt, and cousin, iirc.
Bryan Cogswell
59. shmoo
@55
wow. I've never thought of the family tree for Rand's kids. Can you imagine the crap they are gonna get in school? "Your daddie broke the world AND is crazy AND married a bunch of whores AND ... "

@56
In Indiana (since i'm a lawyer in that State) - Two individuals more closely related than second cousins may not marry each other. However, first cousins, both of whom are at least 65 years of age, may marry.
Kristina Blake
60. kab1
@50 ooooooh, I like that theory! But I do think that Avi easily could have quads. You dismiss healing, but certainly healing would be more effective than modern medicine in many cases.
vo mabulay
61. alreadymad
43. jcmnyu
Elaida said so herself in the prologue of TFoH...
do any of you believe he will go willingly to his prophesied death to save the world

Based on this the plan was always to take Rand by force. This is why the Highest of the Reds was involved. Because Elaida will not trust any of the other Ajahs to carry out such a plan.
Don Barkauskas
62. bad_platypus
@50 ooooooh, I like that theory! But I do think that Avi easily could have quads. You dismiss healing, but certainly healing would be more effective than modern medicine in many cases.

...if newborns can handle the weave. We know that cats can but small birds can't; it's reasonable to assume that newborns could survive the weave, but it's not certain. At any rate, quads would have to be born so premature that I'm not certain they'd be strong enough, unless there are Aiel (or other) weaves like Caressing the Child for pre-natal care.
Maggie M
63. Eswana
You're right about Rand's incest quesiness- it seems a little odd, especially given the limited pool of Duopotemians he grew up with. However, in tEotW it's mentioned several times how the Congers & Coplins are so intermarried no one really knows who's who anymore... and they're kind of like the lower class hillbillies of the Two Rivers... so maybe Rand is associating "people who marry their cousins" with "Congers & Coplins." If he is, I can understand his worry about Elayne.

Happy weekend!!!!

Also: shameless self-promotion: inspired by Leigh and Kate's efforts, I started re-reading the Harry Potter series last week and blogging through it. If anyone is interested, here it is
Maiane Bakroeva
64. Isilel
Kab1 @41:

From this part, and the fact that they take their wives in to battle indicates to me that Saldean women do know how to fight.

But we know from Faile that they don't! "Women aren't taught the sword or war in Saldea" or something along these lines, she tells Perrin in TSR. Which is what makes this tradition particularly insane.
The wives pick up weapons that they have no clue how to use (because of RJ's strange ideas that swords require a lot of strength), they take military command that they haven't been trained to exercise. What could go wrong? LOL.

Re: Tigraine, I still can't see why nobody thinks about the much more likely (IMHO) possibility that Rand could have been Luc's. According to Janduin, Luc had "Tigraine's face" those 20 years ago and the man should know as he had let Luc kill him because of his resemblance to Tigraine. Was Luc gay, perhaps? Otherwise I just don't get it, as he certainly had much more opportunity to produce illegitimate and unknown sprogs.

Oh, and not only first-cousin marriages, but also uncle-niece ones were perfectly legal in most of the Western world in the 19 century. And not just among the nobility either, but in general population.
Also, while the latter is really not good, the former actually is only a little more dangerous genetically, than a random match as long as it is only an isolated incident and not done repeatedly within the same family, so yea, Rand's concerns make no sense.

@49 Branwhin:

Yes, very true. How come that Nesune didn't notice (?!) that the hidden woman was stronger than any living AS?


And sigh. Why is Rand meeting the AS alone, without the WOs? Wouldn't a couple sa'angreal throw all his estimations about how many he can handle? Sorry, but his handling of the TAS embassy was arrogant and stupid.
He had to know that the Reds were liable to go ballistic - after all that's one of the reasons why Siuan and Moiraine had to work in secret.

Oh and all that jumping about really doesn't help to bring order to his conquered countries. It is almost impossible to coordinate anything that involves Rand in puncto government, cause one can never know when he'd be around and whether he'd be in a mood to listen.
Well, it keeps Rand a moving target, I suppose.
Jason Lyman
65. jlyman
@64. Isilel

Why is Rand meeting the AS alone, without the WOs?

The Aes Sedai caught him off guard by coming earlier than he expected. Although it is entirely possible (maybe probable) that he would not have asked for assistance with the meeting, the fact that they surprised him plays a large role in his handling it the way he did. Kind of forced him to.
douglasm
66. Tektonica
@57 Wondering:

Good questions. Seems like LTT is here to provide alot of information and insight from the past, and has been a better teacher of Saidan tricks than Asmodean was, as well.

But there has to be another purpose for him. Why him of all the Dragons? Will he play a part at TG?

Let's hope he gets killed off to satisfy the "Die" half of the Aelfinn's statement, "To live you must die", and Rand gets to "Live" and enjoy the kiddies after all the trauma that has been his short life!

Good trapping of Galina on the Alviarin question. I think Rand's hip to her true Ajah, or at least suspects. But then why does he get stupid later with these women?
douglasm
67. EmmaPease
Incest rules have varied. Some cultures do no permit people in the same patrilineal line to marry no matter how distant. In other words if you have the same last name as your prospective spouse, generally no go (this leads to problems in Korea which does have this rule and where a large proportion of the population have the family name of Kim).

The Catholic Church at one time (circa 1100) prohibited anyone more closely related than fifth cousins from marrying (common great great great great grandparents). How many of us know any of our fifth cousins (or for that matter fourth or third cousins)? In most cases people just didn't know (it was actually convenient for royalty since if the wife wasn't producing children you could probably find she was a third or fourth cousin and get the marriage annulled).

In some cultures only cross first cousins can get married; parallel first cousins can't (parallel are children of two sisters or two brothers, cross are children of a brother and sister).

I suspect that most of the Andoran Houses are fairly closely related since they seem to have mostly married each other to keep up the number of lines to the founding couple. Morgase and Tigraine were probably third cousins or closer.
douglasm
68. Tektonica
@64 and 65

You're right! Why is he meeting them alone. He knows not to trust any aes sedai and especially any from Elaida. A few wise ones around would make the AS very uncomfortable, especially if they were holding Saidar.

Maybe Rand wants them to underestimate him on this first visit, but he needs some protection and other eyes and ears. Egwene should know this too and get those WO's over there pronto.
SEB
69. AngryAngryThorn
@58
Have you seen Big Love? It's exactly what happens on the Compound. Last season they worked it out so that a 14 year old was someone's Step-Grandmother, Aunt, and cousin, iirc


Havent seen it (but admittedly did just google it). I cant decide if it sounds like an interesting show or a bizarre one-possibly both O_o I did see a documentary on a guy with about 20 wives and 100 kids though. Ahh, the fun of polygamy-regardless of what you think of it, no one can deny that it makes an interesting story!


@59
wow. I've never thought of the family tree for Rand's kids. Can you imagine the crap they are gonna get in school? "Your daddie broke the world AND is crazy AND married a bunch of whores AND ... "


Meh, theyll probably be little royal psycos and assuming aviendha has rands quads within a few years of elaynes kiddies, there will be a mini-army of reddish haired blueish eyed little lunatics chopping of the other pupils heads and running them through with spears.
*sigh* reminds me of my schooldays...:D

@ 64
Oh and all that jumping about really doesn't help to bring order to his conquered countries. It is almost impossible to coordinate anything that involves Rand in puncto government, cause one can never know when he'd be around and whether he'd be in a mood to listen.
Well, it keeps Rand a moving target, I suppose.


There is that I guess, but as a reader, you do feel like grabbing him by the ears and bellowing “Stand still dammit!!’ Or maybe thats just me?
Its sometimes easy to forget that apart from life experience and hanging out with noble people, Rand doesn’t have much experience ruling people at all. His ruling is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a bit like shepherding; move ‘em where they need to be, keep them fed and happy, keep the predators away as far as possible and shoot any infected bugger who might contaminate the rest of the flock. By book 12, the lack of trade and hot weather suddenly turning to winter will probably have him shearing the western world so he can make blankets to sell to the seanchan in a newly revived human-based textile industry
...or not.
douglasm
70. Longtimefan
@67

There are quite a number of Major houses in Andor. (atleast ten but I do not remember how many more) and then dozens of minor houses that are attached to the Major houses. This allows for a wide selection of people to marry which can keep the lines to Ishtara in the high multiples but can also allow for people to be quite distant cousins well beyond 4th or 5th. As Houses rise and fall and some die out (have no women to send to the throne) or split into new houses they have new generations that may not have been considered marragible to previous generations but are now on a similar footing bringing new connections to old bloodlines. If Tigrane could marry Taringal who's to say that a century earlier someone did not marry into a Murandy house to fix that border dispute. The names in the book are a small representation of the thousands of people that make up the fictional lineage of Andor Royalty.

It makes sense that they would be considered not at all related. (in common terms)
Thomas Garst
71. Garstzilla
Ok been reading this since almost the start and I have enjoyed everything about it, the insights and different views have been wonderful and I have understood or tolerated most of the views expressed about sexism but this last one I guess hit me on the right day or maybe I am a little giddy at the prospect of the weekend's freedom but I feel my own rant a-coming. To put it bluntly, I have had it with tearing down on Rand's views on women. Personally it wasn't my Dad that said respect and care for women first (oh he did he just wasn’t first) it was my mom who said treat every girl as a sister and every women as you would treat your own mom, because they are to someone or will be. So I will meet and greet every boy that my daughter goes out with and make sure they get a look at the 6ft4in, 300 pounds of meat that will be looking for them if they don't understand respect. So for me it is really simple I would open the door for my mom and so if I am in the position I will open the door/ hold the elevator/ give up my seat. ext. ext. Until it is communicated that such respect is not wanted or is not warranted. You can call it devaluing all you want I simply call it RESPECT. The same respect I would show mom or if I had been blessed with a sister for her. If my respect makes you feel devalued then you got a problem not me. Yes I am a Texan and call me delusional but I have yet to meet a women that has not been worth some respect at all times.

Enough about me personally, but for Rand I gotta defend against all doubters. His self torture and guilt about the DEATH of women in his life gives them value and determination that they would not have otherwise in the story (as they should have). I remember a guy from another great story Thomas Covenant whose guilt and self torture over women he had harmed on purpose or otherwise were very Cathartic in a story of Chosen Heroes. Too bad Rand can't burn away his angst.

Rand has grown up in a small village with out a mother and so has been subject to every mother in that town being sure he sets his feet right as well as kissing every boo boo. He respects and as a kid surely feared the women's circle. More importantly he knew that he was looked on favorably by those women and he valued (no mother) this greatly. He also had a hope back then of a normal life married to one of those women. Now he has had to break apart all the values and notions that he grew up with to be what he thinks he needs to be to win. He has become to himself a monster of DEATH. His only saving grace, so that he can look into a mirror and think he is not totally dammed is to do the least amount of damage to those he has the most respect for and also because he has one hope that the women he loves will be able to see at least that one good thing about him and won’t leave him alone. (Like Mom)

His List is a self flagellation to remember that he believes that he would truly become a monster if he stops caring about the sacrifice women have made for him. I believe the list is as consuming as it is for him as part of the madness, but because it is that strong it has also become a bulwark against some of the other forms of madness that he may be sinking into.
So yeah I think it’s noble because it is unassuming yet monumental. So it is annoying you, it validates his mental survival against becoming an uncaring despot to me. It is his one surviving grass blade on a cliff from totally being taken over by destiny. His "This is Sparta" against the pattern.

So there ya go blast away I can take it.
douglasm
72. Pendragon
I think most people think I was joking but it makes a lot of sense. I'm not saying Aiel are offpsring of Ogier and Human unions. However, we all know Aiel were to some degree genetically engineered in some fashion, and quiote possibly altered with the power to be what they are. Also, they have some clear link to the Ogier, and the Nym, who were also constructs. Nym are related to the Ogier, and I believe so are Aiel. Basically I believe they are humans who genetically engineered/Powerwrought in a way to introduce elemnts of Ogier into them, and there are various things that hint at it. I don't know if this was through introducing Ogier DNA into human offspring, or maybe just some sort of alterations to make them more Ogier compatibile but there is definitely a strong link. I'll try and list as many references as I can think of though most will be off of the top of my head.

1. Ogier and Aiels have some kind of bond. This is made evident on several occasions, early in the series during a visit to the stedding when Aiel are there, and I think in rands memory trip to the AOL as well. I wish I could cite specific references but I don't have access to any books. I remember the ogier having a special name for the Aiel, kind of how the Nym called Loial, little brother.

2. Add to this the song. All Aiel, Tinkers included have the ability to sing, and in unison with Ogier singing and Nym in a manner designed to empower the growth of plants. This is unique to Aiel, no other humans have this.

3. Aiel are taller than other humans, I mean, this is made quite clear. Every Aiel is as a general rule, much taller than other types of humans in WoT.

4. The parallels between Peacefulness and Ability in war. Aiel were originally a completely peaceful people. They are actually very much capable of this, as evidenced by Gai'shain. However, when the necessity came, and they were roused to violence and war, they became a truly fearsom foe. Sound like any other Randland race we know?

I think the biggest link though is definitely number three. The song that and affinity for nature that is such a huge part of Ogier is also a deep part of the Aiel, though they have forgotten it. Anyways, I really think Aiel are to some degree a mesh of Ogier and human, maybe even some form of genetic hybrid.
douglasm
73. alreadymadwithmarriages
Longtimefan @70
Also, Andoran houses don't seem to attach much stigma to marrying commoners. That, as Bashere puts it, also brings in new blood.
Bryan Cogswell
74. shmoo
@73
Sure Andoran houses don't attach the same stigma to getting with the common folk. BUT each time you do you are lessening the number of lines you have connecting your house to Ishara. Which - in the long run lessens the chance to claim the throne among your heirs.

So there is, sorta, a stigma there, right?
matt
75. mattyh
i wonder why nesune didn't sense egwene's strength in the power and conclude that she wasn't moiraine.
Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
Garstzilla @ 71 - No blasting here! Well said. I, too, get tired of the Rand's-values-bashing. And I, too, find respectful treatment toward women to be a good thing and not the least bit devaluing. I also think you're pretty accurate with Rand's list. Shields locked!

Pendragon @ 72 - ...we all know Aiel were to some degree genetically engineering in some fashion... Wha... ?? Where'd you get that one? You make a nice series of points, but they aren't actually very convincing. There are many other possible reasons for the traits specific to the Aiel, without bringing in genetic engineering, and the traits you mention are not really unique to the Aiel anyway. The only thing unique is that they are the only ones we know of who specifically sang with the Ogier & Nym, but that might be more vocational than genetic. So... not convinced, personally. In either case, I doubt it's something we'll read about in the remaining three books, so we'll probably never know.
Joseph Blaidd
77. SteelBlaidd
Given that Rand doesn't even recognize why he is concerned about the degree of relations between Tigraine and Morgase until after Enalia left I wonder if this is a bit of bleed from LTT's more ummm.. modern(?) sensibilities. I think bleed from LTT is a significant contributer to his issues with hurting women too.
As for Rand’s list, sigh. At this point I simply have to consider his inability to regard women as people first and women second as a debilitating pathological condition, on par with, say, obsessive-compulsive disorder. I get the feeling I’m supposed to find it noble or maybe endearing, or something, but I don’t, sorry. It does make me feel pity for him, but that doesn’t change the fact that I cannot condone it.

From what I have seen in RJ's presentation of The List it has always seamed to me to be presented more as as sign and symptom of Rand's stress and mental trauma.I think we are supposed to see his hang ups about hurting women as pathalogical, that the seem to be a way or Rand to hang on to his humanity dosen't change the fact that they are still messed up.

From Dominic's analysis of
the Battle of Emonds Field
It's very noteworthy - and perhaps very revealing of where this important theme is going in the series as a whole - that in this microcosm of the dual fight against the evils of 'Shadar Logoth' and 'Shai'tan' defeat nearly comes from casting aside half the forces of the Light: the women - and from everyone remaining isolated in their little community instead of joining up (as Perrin visits the area in the Wolf Dream, he sees clearly the fate awaiting Deven Ride and Watch Hill, surrounded by pockets of Shadowspawn, the same fate that already befell Taren Ferry - the city that 'never belonged' and never participated to the common good of the Two Rivers - after this crisis, however, the new inhabitants of the village will join up the other villages behind Perrin. The motifs Jordan created with Taren Ferry - live together or die alone - is similar in the macrocosm to the position of the Aiel, strangers that can't be trusted - by the late series it centers solely on the Shaido).

It is Faile, his soon-to-be wife (behind her the whole village) who forces Perrin to abandon his death wish of surrendering to the Whitecloaks and Bornhald, who wants him for a crime he has not even committed: causing the death of his father. More importantly, Perrin will send Faile away to illusory safety (there is no safety for women and children under the Shadow - the only way to bring safety back, to save women and children, land and possessions, to have a chance at life again is to win). Faile however will deceive Perrin, like the Emond's Field women will, promising to stay with the children and flee to hide in the woods (where they would obviously have fallen to Shadowspawn). At the end, the men aren't enough, their lines are breaking fast and defeat is imminent. This is when the women and older children of Emond's Field will come to reinforce the men (saving the lives of Perrin and his men to the North), when Faile returns from Watch Hill as general of a Two Rivers army turns the tide to the North. To the South, it is the people of Deven Ride, who come to join those of Emond's Field. Men and Women fighting side by side, the land united as One, the necessary sacrifices accepted and the illusion anything can be sheltered aside when fighting the Shadow(emphasis mine)



Just for Fun:Natural Birth Multiples
Sharon Asbury
78. Dreadlady
Pendragon @ 72 - Interesting... But would the AoL Aes Sedai have done that? Modifying a whole people for their convenience doesn't sound ethical.
lanyo lanyo
79. lanyo
Ethical? But.. Trollocs!

I like Rand playing for the Aes Sedai. He does very well, Auntie Moiraine will be so proud! *sniff*
I'm sure a few AS hoped Rand would come with them like a nice puppy, but most of them were coming for a Man Who Can Channel. Danger! Red alert! (heh)
The specimen boxes were a good foreshadowing, not necessarily that the plan was to take him as a specimen, but that boxes with Important Contents may be on the menu.
douglasm
80. Longtimefan
There is a difference between respecting a person and setting one gender above the other.

I have no problem with respecting people, male or female. I do find sexist behavior irksome no matter how socially common it may be.

I work for a "women first" sexist so it might grate on me a bit more than most here in the forum.

Generally he is a very nice guy and we work in a courtroom where helping people is more the order of the day than punishing them. (it is mostly violations and non-violent, non-restitution misdemeanors)

However on certain days he will go off on the "respect the gender" speech which may on the surface seem kindly and nice but the basics boil down to men are second class citizens and women should be given first dibs on all things because they can give birth.

While this may be a delightful personal opinion it is based entirely on a person's sex and not their abilities outside of that arena. It is sexist.

Since it is not like education or money or talent which can change throughout a persons life it strongly sets half of the population aside in that person's eyes. I will never be able to give birth since I will never be a woman hence I will always be second subconsciously to that person based not on my actions or abilities but on my lack of ovaries.

Most people do not believe in equality even if they say they do. There is always a reason or situation where it will be ok to put one person slightly above someone else, just this once.

This I have no problem with. I strive to treat people fairly but I know I do not treat everyone equally. They are not equal. It is not possible since everyone has their differences. Fair is not the same as equal and Preferentially is no where near either of them.

It is when people say they are not sexists or that they believe in equality and yet they speak or write that way which disproves this. It is the lack of self awareness that gets under my skin.

Rand's obsession with women is not a value it is a weakness. It is supposed to be a weakness and seen as one. All Heroes have a weakness that will undermine them to create drama.

Even Superman had Kryptonite which was a rare mineral from an exploded planet that managed to appear regularly in the hands of his enemies.

Treating women as they ask to be treated is different than crippling yourself to protect them no matter the cost to yourself. (and in Lanfear's case when the woman is trying to dominate, control and kill you she is asking you to kill her)

It is not bashing to recognize that even the characters in the book comment that the obsession is unhealthy. It is not a value, it is a weakness.
TW L
81. Shadow_Jak
Leigh's Commentary
Speaking of Lews Therin, his crazy ass can bite me on this quote:

Never prod at a woman unless you must. She will kill you faster than a man and for less reason, even if she weeps over it after.

Uh. Can you say Lanfear? Sounds like the voice of experience to me!

subwoofer @24
Sorry guys- still recovering from the "porking her blind". Will get into the WC later.

Sorry about that.
What the Captain meant to say was, "porking her until she lost her visual acuity". ;)
lin mei
82. twicemarked
Shmoo @ 74
Let us do some simple math. Lines to Ishara go back 1000 years. If you consider 30 years per generation, that is 30+ generations. That means maximum possible lines to Ishara after 30 generations are around 2^30, basically runs in the billions.

Granted, most of the lines must merge way before it grows to be that big, and it must also be limited by the population at the times of Ishara. But even the best claim has only 70+ lines. That means in general, the houses do not intermarry that much.

It is not how much lines a house has toward Ishara that matters. It is how much the female High Seat of the house has. A marriage designed to maximize lines may not produce a female heir, or may not gain the High Seat in its internal political struggle.

Pendragon @ 72

At the beginning of EoTW, an insane LTT asked Ishamael if he has the talent of Singing. Unless you want to claim Ishamael is Aiel, or LTT is so mad that he forget that only Aiel can Sing, the Singing talent does not appear to be racial to Aiel.

Based on current human technology, introducing very foreign genes ususally prevents reproduction. You are aware that mules can not mate and produce offsprings, right? It is for reasons like this people want to aviod exotic gene theory.

I mean basically, you are claiming Ogier as Elf, and Aiel as Half Elf, without satisfying any conditions typicially required under any known fantasy settings.

About Rand's list.

I think Rand's story is designed not to glamrize War. Rand's story reads like that of a front line soldier, not a general -- unlike Mat. Consider RJ himself was a front line foot soldier, and his own war trauma, we are not likely to get a happy and sane story out of Rand no matter what.

If rand does not have the list, he will have something else equally depressing. To have it otherwize would be to glamrize War. It is clear that even Just Wars, wars agianst the shadow are not to be glamrized. The best way to sum it up is from the HoV: "Think not of glory, think only of salvation."
douglasm
83. Whatusername
Ok, I haven't seen any mention of this... Rand thinks about the saldean cavalry trampling the ground over those "two white stones". I have a theory that he's buried one or more of the seals there... We see him bury the sa'angreal later - and we also see the forsaken / moridin thinking that bashere may have the seals. What if rand and bashere cooked up a plan to bury them and then run a thousand horses over the top to hide what happened
Roger Powell
84. forkroot
The weather? Fabulous
Surfing? TBD but snorkeling has been excellent
The golf courses? Pricey, but you can find exceptions
The golfer? Lousy

Consider the above an unpaid plug for the 50th state. Now back to WoT:

pendragon - Ogier and Nym are not related, the latter are created beings that RJ has confirmed cannot pass through gateways. Sorry, I can't buy your theory of Aiel being anything other than human. There is such a physical difference between Ogier and humans, it strains credulity to think that they could interbreed.

Re hidden Egwene - Recall that Moiraine (and Siuan) were the strongest known living Aes Sedai since Cadsuane was thought to be deceased. The tower AS just did not have the SGs on their mind as likely to be around Rand, whereas Moiraine was known to be
around him. Is it any wonder that when a poweful hidden "sister" was sensed that they might have been a bit sloppy in judging her strength? Remember also that Mo had been gone from the tower for quite some time, so it's reasonable to conclude that her exact strength may not have been well-known; rather age would be remembered as "very strong".
Roger Powell
85. forkroot
Gotta carp about the iPhone again (sorry subwoofer) as it will not let me correct the typo in the previous post. The last sentence should end: rather Moiraine would be remembered as "very strong".

Still it's nice to be able to follow the reread from paradise. So as Joe Walsh would say: I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.
Rob Munnelly
86. RobMRobM
Fork - I'm sitting here in the midst of a rainy Massachusetts morning and feeling realllllly jealous. I actually should get to Hawaii (I have two first cousins and a second counsin who live on the big island, Oahu and Maui, respectively) but can't do it ATM. Damn you to heck. Rob
Rob Munnelly
87. RobMRobM
"He jerks the door open and tells Nandera he is going to Cairhien, and not to tell Aviendha."

Just had the thought: Why is he going to Cairhien while deliberately excluding Aviendha? I don't get it. Guilty about thinking about Elayne? Worried he's going to put Avi in danger during the Cairhien trip? I'm confused. Rob
Rob Munnelly
88. RobMRobM
Free @52

"I have for some time insisted that Rand knows Alviarin is a DF. I would guess some insight from her letter pointed out a clear indication of a lie, or it's just so over the top in effusive praise to him that he smells a rat. He doesn't feel in a position to declare the Black Ajah real, since he knows that would put the kibosh on any chance he has of getting any Aes Sedai anywhere to work with him. But for him to use the phrase "one of Alviarin's friends" of Galina, is telling. Does he believe that Galina feels the same about him as the letter from Alviarin sounds? Not a chance. Even though he doesn't know that she's Red (yet), all he has to go on is that she, not the embassy lead, answered his question about Alviarin. It seems important enough to him to comment on it, so it can't be simply that she might be one willing to submit to him as Alviarin's letter pretends. I think he's calling Galina a DF by supposing she's Alviarin's friend."

I have the opposite reaction. He sees Alviarin as a representative of a group in the White Tower that will accept him without reservation, the proof of which being the express statements in the letter he showed to Moiraine and his understanding that the Oath Rod prevents lying in written form as well as spoken. His analysis of course misses the point that Alvi is Black Ajah and can lie. I don't think Rand at this point in the story has a good idea of how deeply the BA has penetrated the White Tower. He is taking Alvi at face value, even to making the point to Egwene (reflected in the latter chapter in the post) that even if Galina is a Red (which he doesn't accept), Reds have read the prophecies and can accept him. Ironically, I believe the presence of Galina (a presumed Alvi friend) is one of the reasons his guard is somewhat down, enabling them to take him in a few chapters. Rand doesn't realize how big a mistake he is making.

Rob
Maiane Bakroeva
89. Isilel
@65 Jlyman:

The Aes Sedai caught him off guard by coming earlier than he expected.

But he continues to meet them like this until the Boxing Day ;).

The bitter irony here is that Rand used to obsess so much about Moiraine and even Egs doing something to him (who of course never had any such intentions)and he uses much stronger precautions when meeting the SAS.
And here with the group that has the strongest reasons to act against him, he is totally careless and arrogant, consistently so.
Also, Rand should know himself that not every woman who can channel has teh face.

@69

as a reader, you do feel like grabbing him by the ears and bellowing “Stand still dammit!!’

Oh, yes. It was at that point that it became clear to me that his idea of forcing people to follow him and personally taking charge of them wasn't going to work. Rand just doesn't have whatever it takes to be an Emperor/High King and no time/opportunity to acquire it either.
Sure, he is intelligent, ta'veren helps him a lot and Moiraine's teaching is very useful, but on some level convincing people to follow as per Siuan's initial plan may have worked better... if only any of the national leaders remained in place.

Re: Rand's obsession with women, he does devalue the Maidens by it. They are warriors and he actively prevents them from doing their job when he can.
Also, as has been astutely noted, nobody can be safe from the Shadow. Most people will have to fight, including women, and if they are untrained and inexperienced or champing at the bit after enforced idleness (like the Maidens), many more of them will die that don't have to.

The final battle of Emond's Field may be endearing, but RJ glosses over the cost - no women die. And of course it doesn't occur to them to train to fight after it. It is not like Tarmon Gaidon is coming after all and they may see more Trollocs soon, right?
And personally, I am surprised that no young Emond Fielder girl decided to emulate Bain and Chiad. They were very glamorous and heroic, after all.
Helen Peters
90. Helen
Regarding the don't prod a woman quote....

In tPOD, the quote used is slightly different. It's a woman would kill you for something a man would shrug off and a man would kill you for something a woman would shrug off.

So I don't think it was necessarily a sexist statement that women are more likely to, just that LTT is potty and so doesn't finish the olde tyme saying from back in his age.

35. almuric
Ok, so I think Rand's split personality works like this: 3000 years ago, LTT was alive and killed by Ishy, right? I think, for some reason, instead of going to the area of TAR where heroes go, his psyche or personality or soul somehow ended up mixed in with the taint of saidin. And it's been there the whole time, so he was unable to be reborn before. Then, Rand gets born, starts fulfilling the prophecies and starts channeling. channeling.

Can I change your theory please? Instead of his psyche or personality or soul getting mixed up with the taint on Saidin, can we get it trapped in the earth of Dragonmount? Then Rand being born on the slopes liberated it into Rand's body. I always thought it was a physical spiritual connection between the 2, that one died where the other was born. Sorry if I'm talking about theories that were debunked or proven years ago, I grew up in my own Randland not knowing anyone else who reads these books to be able to chat with and aren't up on all the theories.
douglasm
91. Dedicated
Leigh,

From the Commentary:

Never prod at a woman unless you must. She will kill you faster than a man and for less reason, even if she weeps over it after.

...

I mean, all gender politics aside, this literally makes no sense to me. Most of the time when people make asinine blanket statements about 50% of the entire human race I at least usually get where the stupid comes from, but this one doesn’t even seem to connect to a stereotype I recognize, either in the real world or in Randland.



I believe the stereotype this comes from is that women are more emotional than men and so more prone to impulsive action. Such as, oh, killing someone you love.

Maybe you didn't see where it came from because you were overwrought with emotion.

Augh, please don't kill me!

Sorry, I couldn't resist that. ;)
Birgit
92. birgit
they didn't plan on hauling him all the way to Tar Valon like that.

So, I am unpersuaded regarding any foreshadowy-ness of Nesune's specimen box.


Why does it have to be planned to be foreshadowing? Most of the time the characters don't know they are foreshadowing anything.

3000 years ago, LTT was alive and killed by Ishy, right?

Ishy Healed LTT's madness. LTT realized what he had done and killed himself.
James Jones
93. jamesedjones
77 SteelBlaid

Cool stuff. Does anyone have any analysis about how the Tinkers fit into the whole microcosm analogy?
Richard Boye
94. sarcastro
birgit@92

it's not that the characters need to be aware of the foreshadowing, it's just that a literary device, it doesn't really balance out, to me - the use of the specimen boxes doesn't actually correlate with Rand's treatment, imho.
DUANE SWAB
95. Qtip6
Leigh, as I recall, it was the Congar and Coplin families who were known in the Two Rivers for marrying cousins, and that is one of the major distinctions they have aside from a difficult disposition. It is possible that Rand did not wish to carry that stigma around with him.
sandi vogel
96. sinfulcashew
93.
Didn't the Aiel and the Tinkers split a long time ago?
The Aiel left the 'way of the leaf' and still have the thing against swords, like the Tinkers.
Maybe I am mixing up some other people, tribes?????
Lily
97. Lily of the Valley
Never prod at a woman unless you must. She will kill you faster than a man and for less reason, even if she weeps over it after.


Um, over-generalize much? Also, what?

I mean, all gender politics aside, this literally makes no sense to me.


I have one word for you: Lanfear.
Alice Arneson
98. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan @ 80

I'm not going to debate your opinion regarding sexism (I've already stated my opinions, probably ad nauseaum for some), but I have to disagree with your final point: Rand's obsession with women is not a value it is a weakness. (BTW, may I assume by this you mean his "obsession" with not killing women, or not allowing women to die on his behalf or when he could have stopped it?)

It may indeed create a weakness for him, but it is still "a value" in the sense of "his personal values, beliefs and ideals." Valuable? Well, that's obviously a subject of much debate. You find this particular ideal of his to be objectionable in the context of the story, and maybe in general based on your previously stated opinion, and you strongly disagree with it as a belief. But you can't say it's not a value. Maybe this is arguing semantics, but it really grated on me. You may disagree with my values, and I with yours, but they are our values, the things we value. They may create weaknesses in our situations by the behaviors we choose, at least from one perspective; they may create unsuspected strengths from another. But they are our values, no matter the opinions of others.
douglasm
99. alreadymadwithrandsvalues
Whatever it is, it's stupid for Rand and it'll eventually be his downfall.
Alice Arneson
100. Wetlandernw
Maybe. Optimist that I am, I hope it comes all the way around and becomes his victory. I guess we'll know in a couple of years...
douglasm
101. alreadymadwithrandsissues
My optimism runs toward Rand seeing the Light, dropping the issue and letting women die for him. Most of them chose it anyway.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
Hmmm. I think the "best" you can hope for is that he doesn't try to stop them if they choose to put themselves in harm's way for him. He's agreed to do that with the Maidens, even though it sears his soul to do it. At some point he'll have to accept Elayne & Aviendha stepping into a fight (he's done it with Nynaeve already, and to some extent Min) on his behalf. I doubt he'll ever "get beyond" the pain, though.
douglasm
103. Longtimefan
@98Wetlandernw

I will agree that we have in the past not seen eye to eye on a few things. (perhaps all things but I think we can agree that the Wheel of Time series is a pretty good read)

I do appreciate that you did assume correctly that I mean his obsession as it pertained to protecting women and not letting them die for him (or in general). I can be as vague as the next person. Partially because I type at the office (never from court) and there are some distractions. (there are more distractions at home.)

As for the semantics of "values" it is basically a word for "opinions we act on and then defend".

Having run into many people with a variety of "values" and having been on the wrong end of some "values" I have a fairly low opinion of the word in general. Perhaps that colors my perception.

I never use the word myself. I use "standards" but that tends to irritate people as well. In my opinion "values" indicates an emotional reasoning where "standards" can have a more logical basis.

Granted not everyone uses the words the way I see them applied but such is the joy of language.

Sometimes I regret that our conversations on this message board have been...discordant. People with strong ideas make great conversationalists even if it can become frustrating. I do appreciate that your words have been honest as I hope you have seen mine.

I suppose I should try to make a few more casual, fun posts to balance out all the strong opinion posts. I have just had some trouble being lighthearted over the past year. I will work on it.

My next post will be fun and perhaps even frivolous.
Tess Laird
104. thewindrose
So Nesune Bihara - Min has a viewing of Nesune - she will be famous for founding a library, my guess would be after TG. She also is one of the first caught in the Ta'vern to swear fealty to Rand. And Min has another view that Beldeine, Elza, Erian, Nesune, Sarene and Sorilea will all serve Rand, each in her fashion.
Also of note is in CoT: Nesune is eager to discuss Verin's report on animals of the Drowned Lands. They get on remarkably well considering that they are on opposite sides of the White Tower rebellion.
So something between Browns, and one being Verin - very, very interesting.
Alice Arneson
105. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan @ 103 My next post will be fun and perhaps even frivolous. Wheeeeeee!!! Let us frivol together! ;)

Well, fwiw, I define "values" as "those concepts we value or hold in high regard". Lots of different ones out there. (Of course, mine are right, but some poor deluded folks don't understand that yet. :P )

One of the things I value (oops - should I rephrase that? nah...) on this site is the frank yet courteous expression of opinions. There are some folks I agree with most of the time, some I seem to disagree with much of the time, and lots in between. In this particular instance, it's partly semantics and partly perspective. I've got some "English teacher" genes in there somewhere (even though I'm an engineer) that won't let me pass up something like that. *sigh* But I still enjoy the exchange, as long as no one starts name-calling.

You and I obviously have some different opinions, because we're different people with different backgrounds. But as you say, we definitely agree that WoT is a pretty good read! (I questioned that after CoT, but I couldn't really stay away.) Please don't take anything I say as a personal attack; I'm not into that. Thanks for being honest!
Roger Powell
106. forkroot
RobMRobM@86
Shouldn't that be you "darn me to heck"?
James Jones
107. jamesedjones
89 Isilel

"But he continues to meet them like this until the Boxing Day ;)."

Oh Lord, that hurt. What's an aneurism feel like?
Tess Laird
108. thewindrose
Only if RobMRobM has taking up weaving;)Heh
(Iknow, I know what were aluding to, forkroot.)

"The Atha'an Miere are everywhere, it seems."(Rand in chap 27 Load of Choss:))
Yes and soon to be dominating parts of the book:(
Joseph Blaidd
109. SteelBlaidd
Iseil @64
Oh and all that jumping about really doesn't help to bring order to his conquered countries. It is almost impossible to coordinate anything that involves Rand in puncto government, cause one can never know when he'd be around and whether he'd be in a mood to listen.
Well, it keeps Rand a moving target, I suppose.


Rand has determined that hes got at most a year or so tho get everyone pointed in the same direction for Tarmon Gaidon, which he doesn't expect to survive except on an outside chance. Mostly he's been delegating the day to day stuff to other people (Berilain, Ruharc, Dobraine, Dailin, Mr. Norey) and he means Elayne to Reign in both Andor and Cairhein. If he was trying to set up for the longterm we would be treated to "Elayne and the Succession" times four, and while I personally enjoy that particular story line most people don't.
douglasm
110. alreadymadwithrandproxies
Agreed. The only place Rand really manages on a day to day basis at this point is Caemlyn. And only the immediate city at that. Even then Halwin Norry generally takes care of it for him, while the Palace household is under Mistress Harfor. Caemlyn is under Berelain and Rhuarc (and Dobraine later on), while Tear is under one or more of the High Lords (I forget which). Rand's primary goal is to point the military capabilities of the various territories under his control at Tarmon Gai'don. Day to day supervision, he leaves to proxies and really has no need to micro manage. I'll agree the AS used it against him though.
Lindy Brown
111. lbrown
I just finished Winter's Heart and the ending of that is my favorite, I think, of all the books. The Cleansing of the Taint. Wow!!! I remember when I first read this I was so excited about it, more than anything else in the series so far, and since I think.

I totally forgot that Eben Hopwill dies. :( He was killed by Halima, I presume, even though they didn't say it. The last time we saw Eben you was throwing himself on Halima. I cried a little. It was so sad.
john massey
112. subwoofer
Hi Leigh- am recovered enough to notice the Hulk smash comment at the end. Good times. I would like to say that it is not Rand's entire fault that he is a boob around women... um, you know what I meant.

Mat and Perrin have similar notions although both of them know when to say- "enough is enough". Rand just has to reach that point. Although one has to question what it would take, as Lanfear pretty much pushed all my buttons and I would of casually... hoofed her in the muff, if I was in Rand's position. Go figure, maybe some part of Rand wanted to have a Forsaken honey... I dunno.

On Rand hopping about. I suggested he use his talents for good, not to run away from his problems. That blew up at him pretty good. It was definitely a growth experience for him in the end though. He took torture, but a few words from Caddy had him sulking again. grrrrrrrr.

Instead of being so cryptic, I hoped he would of just dealt with the women outright. He started off well with the whole "I'm Rand Al'thor" bit but it faded after. Pity. Rand could of set the tone properly from the outset, putting them down the same as he did Alanna and Verin etc. Instead, Rand decides to give a wonky first impression, when everyone else sees him getting harder, the Tower AS see him as a guy who can be distracted with baubles and kept in line easily.

Sometimes I think RJ did these things on purpose ;).

Woof.
Alice Arneson
113. Wetlandernw
Sometimes I think RJ did these things on purpose ;).

Nah. Would he do that?
john mullen
114. johntheirishmongol
Hey if Randland is sexist, and it is, both ways, I say enjoy it. I will be happy to have Rand and the other guys not try to protect women just as soon as the women quit thinking all guys are stupid and actually start treating them as adults.

As for the incest thing, I wouldn't go saying that farmers know about inbreeding because that isn't necessarily true. There is line breeding and inbreeding to reinforce desired traits. Anyway, in most states marraige between 1st cousins is legal. For those that have read Gone with the Wind, Melanie and Ashley were cousins and it was common enough that they were known for it. Personally, I wouldnt recommend it but I can see it happening a lot in remote communities.

As for the gift chapter, we see a lot of this in the books where Rand goes from fear to arrogance to fear again. Pretty soon it catches up to him.
T C
115. Freelancer
RobMRobM@88

I understand your point there. I would posit that Rand knows he's facing a trap, has expected it from the beginning (His suspicion about the chest-bearers shows this). I think that during the earlier visits he is watching very carefully for the sign of the trap being sprung, but then falls into the error of The Unexpected Hanging.

Remember, before we get to The Taking, a great many things happen. LTT speaks in an unambiguous way directed at Rand for the first time. Atha'an Miere wavemistresses are after him in both Caemlyn and Cairhien. The letter from Queen Alliandre comes, offering him allegiance. He learns that Salidar is the location of the rebel Aes Sedai, and that Egwene is going there. The Salidar embassy arrives, which includes Min and her viewings. Min begins proving to Rand that she's more than a friend. The Andoran nobles are defensive and nearly threatening. Throw in a Gray Man, Taim and the Farm, Perrin/Faile showing up, Demira getting ambushed, causing the Salidar embassy to stop coming...

Basically, Rand has a ton of things on his mind, and forgets to be suspicion at the worst possible time.
douglasm
116. GrammarNerd
Mr. Woofer:

You must've meant should have or should've when you wrote should of. I could've emailed or sent an IM but I don't have those skills.


How did you get your photos in your profile?
Noneo Yourbusiness
117. Longtimefan
Here I was all ready to be lighthearted and say something frivolous and, well, um, the "hoof in the muff" statement just irks me.

Can we just go with kicking someone in the shins maybe or a boot to the bum? Slapstick has it's merits as comedy but part of the humor is that it is generally harmless. At the risk of sounding out of touch with the new, hip and apparently more vulgar generation I find the casualness with which people refer to assaulting another persons genitals to be a bit of a slide downward for a "modern" society.

We are using the freaking internet. How much more "modern" can a society be?

I realize that mentioning disappointment in this behavior is not going to change the behavior but hopefully it gets some people thinking about why they may have so casually accepted an idea so deplorable.


Bleh,

As for the light hearted part I was going to reminisce about how when I was a child in the 1970s (I know, it is so last century!)
there was a kid with a box of kittens at the front of the local grocery store every other weekend. Now it would be a different kid and sometimes the kittens were puppies but it was a fairly common sight and it is where our first family dog came from.

Thinking on this I was wondering if the same thing happened in the Westlands were, say in Tar Valon, a kid from one of the villages across the bridge would ride into town on the back of the family produce wagon with a basket of kittens. Would the kid sit at the corner of the vegetable stall and show the kittens to the people who would stop for a handful of turnips or a bag of dried beans? Would a Brown sister stop by and absentmindedly buy a couple of apples and a grey tabby kitten only to surprise herself when there is a kitten sitting on the book she is trying to read back in her room.

How do people get their cats and dogs? There is no Petsmart just up the road.

Well that was my frivolity.
Birgit
118. birgit
Also- the part about Saldean wives taking up swords in their husbands places. This part always makes me wonder about the many comments that women in the borderlands aren't trained to fight. From this part, and the fact that they take their wives in to battle indicates to me that Saldean women do know how to fight.

The two-handed hilt lay toward her {Ethenielle} as tradition demanded, though she herself was not about to try using a sword like some fire-brained Saldean. A queen was supposed to think, lead, and command, which no one could manage while trying to do what any soldier in her army could do better.
TPoD, Prologue
Maiane Bakroeva
119. Isilel
Girls aren't taught the sword or war in Saldea

TSR, chapter 41 "Among the Thutha'an".

I dare say that Faile knows better than a Kandori ;).
John Mann
120. jcmnyu
About the Aiel/Ogier/Nym...

We know the Nym are constructs. This is stated explicitly in the books. No arguments can be made about this.

We think the Ogier are from another dimension/planet. In Loial's POV, he discusses the Book of Translation with his mother and the implication is that if they "open" it they will leave the world to someplace else. (I always called foul on this because Loial thinks about what it is and what it does, we should have gotten a clearer picture ourselves. RJ changed his own rules by limiting our understanding of what a character knows when in their POV.)

We know LTT asked Ishy if he had the capital V Voice when they met in the prologue of tEofW. Anything hich is capitalized in this way implies that it is a Talent which can't be learned. You either are born with the ability or you aren't, similar to Healing, Foretelling, and Dreamwalking.

We also know that in Rand's trip through the rings that in the seed singing ceremony the Nym danced and sang while the Aiel sang.

That is what we know.

What I think is that anyone could have the Voice. It is random chance, similar to the ability to channel. What I don't know is how one became Aiel in the Age of Legends. Was is hereditary? Was it a lifestyle? Was it a job? My guess is that is was a job which involved a life long commitment, similar to entering the priesthood or becoming a nun. You took a vow of non-violence and followed the Way of the Leaf. However, your children were not bound to that life. During the War of Power and the Breaking of the World, it became a culture passed down from parent to child which then split in two and resulted in the modern Aiel and Traveling People.

If the Voice is hereditary, and if that was a major reason why people chose to join the Aiel in the AoL, it could be reasoned that the modern Aiel will be chock full of people with the Voice. Whoever rediscovers the song will have a large population of eager learners who are born with the ability to recreate seed singing. What they do about the Nym's role, I have no idea.
Tess Laird
121. thewindrose
jcmnyu-
One thing that stands out to me with the Aiel, is they all pretty muck look alike - ie tall, fair skin light colored eyes. We already had the debate about 'is it plausible that they would retain these traits' living where they live - the three-fold land
So, I think if having the 'Voice' was a talent and how you were chosen to become Aiel, there would be much more variety in how they looked - they would represent all the peoples of the AoL.
John Mann
122. jcmnyu
@ 121 thewindrose

It's true that they Aiel all look like tall Irish. I'm not sure how to reconcile that with what we know. Maybe the majority of the AoL Aiel came from one continent/country/region. I'm not sure. There are 3 continents in the modern world, maybe there were a lot of smaller ones and the populations were homogeneous.
James Jones
123. jamesedjones
122 jcmnyu

"It's true that they Aiel all look like tall Irish."

I'm afraid it's more like the germanic tribes, big vikings or barbarians. Think Thor, god of thunder. This is most appropriate since al'Thor is clearly the WoT source for this god's identity.
Tess Laird
124. thewindrose
jej - especially Therava = germanic tribes, big vikings or barbarians. She is one scary woman.
Dominique
125. dominiquebr
Never prod at a woman unless you must. She will kill you faster than a man and for less reason, even if she weeps over it after.

What he means here is that women are more prone to acting on their emotions then men, and that their emotions may change quickly and unpredictably. Which is actually quite true.
Also, ever heard about radical feminists? read about it, quite scary shit.
Birgit
126. birgit
What I don't know is how one became Aiel in the Age of Legends. Was is hereditary?

The Aiel at the seed singing in the Aiel history watches a soldier and thinks that Aiel children are not chosen as soldiers, so they must be hereditary.
Derek Barolet
127. Derek.barolet
Never prod at a woman unless you must. She will kill you faster than a man and for less reason, even if she weeps over it after.

I think this was madman for
"hell hath no fury as a woman scorned" with a tag of "their emotional" added on
douglasm
129. yasiru89
Maybe everyone decided they would widen the genepool by not marrying cousins since the Breaking was a cataclysmic event that probably did away with a significant part of the populace and the last thing they needed was some sort of epidemic to wipe out the remainder?

On the list, I say that's more evidence that the 'Rand part' is going mad than ever was Lews Therin being in his head. It's mixed up in 'gender politics', but it's probably to do with the trauma of what Rand did as Lews Therin before he killed himself.

With the Lews Therin quote, I took away more that he was saying women are far less likely to take offence lying down. The 'killing' bit seemed emphasis, and there's nothing 'senseless' about it either, since a 'prod' would have preceded it. Amusing remark, and probably more to do with women like Deira than you imagine. I remember he once thinks fondly of Ilyena because she never gave him the rough side of her tongue just because she was mad at herself. Going by where Lews Therin is coming from also, he would be resentful about women in general, given the gender split in the Hall of Servants about the best way to reseal the Dark One.

I wonder if Rand ever suspected that Alviarin's group were Black Ajah given Egwene's firm belief that Galina was Red (what else could unite Aes Sedai of different Ajah than in sharing a single, secret one!). At least, given Galina's impending treatment of him, he was less likely to reach out to Alviarin I think (distrust is actually a good thing in this series sometimes, especially where Aes Sedai are concerned!).
douglasm
130. yasiru89
Also, on Rand's dealing with the Aes Sedai from the Tower, I think he approached it very shrewdly, except that towards the end of the book, he was just buying time and grew complacent, with suitably disastrous results.

Oh, and Coplins and Congars in Emond's Field are probably full of married cousins. Probably the rest of them think maybe this way the Coplin/Congar trait can be culled. :D
douglasm
131. VandalThor
Hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn for Sega.
douglasm
132. DougL
As to Lews Therin's statement about women, looking at it in context at the time, and also the context of Lews Therin's life, he probably means "noble women" who yes, may kill you because the nobles as portrayed in these books are asshats. So, his statement is not quite as egregious if you put it in the proper context.
William McDaniel
133. willmcd
To those who commented that the scene with Nesune and the specimen boxes is not foreshadowing, let me add to what Birgit @ 92 said:

I would regard foreshadowing as a technique used by the author, not the characters. With this in mind, it doesn't matter that it's not presently the AS plan to have Rand in the box full time (ergo Nesune is not consciously thinking of that). What matters is that RJ is having his character (Nesune) think about capturing Rand, and also having her thinking about the specimen boxes down at her feet. The two things are linked for us as readers.

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