Mon
Sep 14 2009 1:04pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 17

Chin up, Wilbur! It’s time for another Wheel of Time Re-read! Twinkle! Sparkle! Let a little sunshine in!

(Dakota Fanning, pfeh. Debbie Reynolds reprazent!)

Today’s post will be covering Chapter 28 of Lord of Chaos. I apologize for the truncatedness of the entry, but I realized too late that the two following chapters really need to go together. Fear not, your hearts will go on. I totally swear.

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

And that’ll do me for the warnings portion, so let’s dig in, shall we?

Chapter 28: Letters

What Happens
In an effort not to think about Lews Therin, Rand spends the rest of the day driving Berelain and Rhuarc to distraction, and shouts at Idrien, the Cairhien nobles, and even Amys and Sorilea. He sleeps badly that night, afraid that Lews Therin would try to take him over.

He had nearly finished shaving when he stopped, razor poised against his cheek, staring at himself in the mirror on the wall. Running. He had been sure it was the Forsaken he was running from in those dreams, or the Dark One, or Tarmon Gai’don, or maybe even Lews Therin. So full of himself; surely the Dragon Reborn would dream of being pursued by the Dark One. For all his protests that he was Rand al’Thor, it seemed that he could forget as easily as anyone else. Rand al’Thor had run away from Elayne, from his fear of loving Elayne, just as he had run from fear of loving Aviendha.

The mirror shattered, shards dropping into the porcelain washbasin. The pieces remaining in the frame cast back a fragmented image of his face.

Releasing saidin, he carefully scraped away the last bit of lather and folded the razor deliberately. No more running. He would do what he had to do, but no more running.

His Aiel guard catches his mood and stays silent; a servant brings him a letter she says is from the Sea Folk, but Rand only takes it without a word and Travels to Caemlyn, where Alanna’s presence in his head comes back full force. He knows she has been crying, but she stops as soon as he arrives. In his rooms, he surprises Aviendha unclothed, which infuriates her and confuses Rand; Nandera and Jalani find it all very amusing.

Death, Lews Therin whispered.

Rand forgot everything else. Death? What do you mean?

Death comes.

What kind of death? Rand demanded. What are you talking about?

Who are you? Where am I?

Rand felt as though a fist had clutched his throat. He had been sure, but . . . this was the first time Lews Therin had said anything to him, something clearly and plainly addressed to him. I am Rand al’Thor. You are inside my head.

Inside . . . ? No! I am myself! I am Lews Therin Telamon! I am meeeeeeeeee! The cry faded away into the distance.

Rand calls for him to come back, but there is no answer. Now clothed, Aviendha tells him angrily that he has toh to her for leaving without telling her, and instructs the Maidens that from now on they will tell her when Rand goes anywhere. Nandera agrees immediately, and they all look surprised that he even protests this. Reene Harfor enters to tell him that a fair number more of the Andoran nobles who had opposed Gaebril have arrived in the city, and to give him a letter from the Sea Folk Wavemistress he was supposed to have met the day before. Rand sighs; he had forgotten all about that. He reads both letters, the Cairhien one from Harine, and this one, from Zaida din Parede Blackwing; both are equally terse and pointed about his ignoring them. Rand thinks that nothing he had read in the Prophecies mentions the Sea Folk, and that maybe he could avoid getting them entangled with him and Tarmon Gai’don. Another servant has entered with a third letter, and sinks to her knees to offer it to him. Rand blinks, and then realizes with dismay that the servant is Sulin. He demands to know what she is doing, but she runs off without answering; Reene tells Nandera she knew this wouldn’t work, and stalks off muttering about crazy Aiel. Nandera explains to him, in a roundabout way, that Sulin is meeting her toh, and Rand abruptly recalls the conversation she and Sulin had had in the courtyard that day with the Ogier, and says it is his fault. They all stare at him.

The look Nandera shot at Aviendha could charitably be called disparaging. “If you stopped daydreaming about his eyebrows, you would teach him better.”

He asks if he doesn’t have toh toward Sulin for causing her to do what she did, which embarrasses them all even more, and Rand decides to shut up and read the letter Sulin had brought, which makes him smile, for it is a pledge of loyalty from Alliandre, Queen of Ghealdan, though not using her full name or title, and couched in very oblique terms that could be interpreted as just a fond letter to a friend. He is pleased that finally a ruler has come to him without him having to threaten them first. As he explains to Aviendha, he notices the door open and close but thinks nothing of it, but then suddenly realizes he is sensing filth in the room and wraps the Gray Man advancing on him in Air. But then the Gray Man is incinerated with Fire, killing him instantly, and Rand whirls to confront Taim, who is standing in the door to Rand’s bedroom. Rand demands to know why he killed the assassin when Rand already had him captured, and why he’s in Rand’s bedroom. Taim, seeming at ease, says he came by gateway because he thought Rand would want to hear the news immediately, about a young man he’s found named Jahar Narishma, who has the spark. He adds that he’s sorry he killed the Gray Man; he acted without thinking.

I must kill him, Lews Therin muttered, and the Power surged in Rand. Frozen, he struggled to push saidin away, and it was a struggle. Lews Therin was trying to hang on, trying to channel. Finally, slowly, the One Power faded like water draining from a hole in a bucket.

Why? he demanded. Why do you want to kill him? There was no answer, only mad laughter and weeping in the distance.

Shaken, Rand comments that the Gray Man must have been from Sammael, but Taim seems unsure. They discuss the difficulties of attacking Sammel on his home territory for a moment, then Rand dismisses Taim. Taim is displeased, and leaves without another word. Nandera and Jalani seem very uncomfortable, and Rand realizes they are ashamed for not noticing the Gray Man, so he tells them he doesn’t want word of Taim’s visit to get out, so they’d best not mention the whole episode to anyone. They look grateful, and murmur that they have toh to him, which is not exactly what Rand was going for, but it gives him an idea on how to deal with Sulin. He sends them out, and Aviendha tells him that he “shamed her to the bone” this morning, and lectures him on ji’e’toh.

He was sure this was not what she had meant when she said she had to talk with him, but he was enjoying looking into her eyes too much to wonder. Enjoying it. Bit by bit he chased down the pleasure her eyes gave him and crushed it until only a dull ache remained.

He thought he had hidden it, but his face must have changed. Aviendha slowly trailed off and stood there staring at him, breathing hard. With a visible effort she pulled her eyes away. “At least you understand now,” she muttered. “I must . . . I need to . . . so long as you understand.”

She leaves, and alone, Rand laughs softly to himself.

Padan Fain sits and admires the dagger from Shadar Logoth, annoyed when his pet Myrddraal breaks his concentration. He reflects that his link to al’Thor had changed recently, as if something had taken “partial possession” of him, and pushed away Fain in doing so, but dismisses this as unimportant. He is pleased with his encounters with Pedron Niall and Elaida, tainting them with the bit of Aridhol he carries with him, and thinks that they will never trust al’Thor now. A Darkfriend named Nan and her son Perwyn burst in, and Perwyn tells “Master Mordeth” that he has news: someone tried to kill the Dragon Reborn in his rooms, getting past his Aiel guards. Fain deduces this means a Gray Man, and therefore sent by one of the Chosen, and is enraged that they continually try to take his rightful task of killing al’Thor away from him.

All that rage had to go somewhere before he burst. Almost casually he brushed his hand across the boy’s face. The boy’s eyes bulged; he began trembling so hard his teeth rattled.

Fain did not really understand the tricks he could work. A bit of something from the Dark One, perhaps, a bit from Aridhol. It had been after there, after he stopped being just Padan Fain, that the ability began to manifest, slowly. All he knew was that he could do certain things now, as long as he could touch what he worked with.

Nan begs for mercy, but Fain ignores her while contemplating how best to hurt al’Thor. He rejects the notion of going after the gaggle of girls in Culain’s Hound, thinking that if al’Thor hadn’t cared if his home village was overrun with Trollocs, he wouldn’t care about the girls either. He reflects that his supply of onetime Whitecloaks has dwindled since his test of al’Thor’s defenses, and decides what he needs is to clear his mind, and that Nan would be just the distraction he needed.

Why was she struggling? He knew he was being charming. He was going to have to hurt her. It was all al’Thor’s fault.

Commentary
Oh, good, Fain. He’s my FAVORITE. Fain + rape = EVEN AWESOMER. Blargh.

What exactly is this trick of his doing, I wonder? Jordan leaves it rather vague, other than to indicate that it’s really not fun for the recipient. Other than that, I have a typical lack of interest in Fain, except to observe that the whole “testing of Rand’s defenses” explanation of the Whitecloak attack seems a little weird and tacked-on to me for some reason, but I can’t pinpoint exactly why.

So, Lews Therin sensed the Gray Man’s approach? Interesting. Or, he was gibbering, and it was a coincidence. Not interesting. Opinions will undoubtedly differ as to what it means; for my own, I will achieve my weekly goal of annoying people by observing that Rand-with-Warder-bond is, after all, now doubly equipped to sense the presence of Shadowspawn.

(I’m actually a little unclear on whether Rand as a channeler is able to sense them all by himself; Moiraine indicated that she could sense Shadowspawn just by virtue of being Aes Sedai, but I don’t know if we’ve ever seen that male channelers can do the same, though I can’t imagine why they shouldn’t.)

This chapter is generally where we first see matters starting to slowly spin out of control, with Rand alienating his own allies, ignoring the Sea Folk, and disregarding the Black Tower. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold, blah blah blah Yeatscakes.

(As a random aside, I am continually annoyed that my favorite poems are so often the ones that have been overquoted into insensibility. I liked it before it was cool, dammit! ...Okay, maybe I haven’t been alive that long. Whatever. Grump.)

I understand Rand’s reasoning and time constraints re: ignoring the Asha’man, but still I consider it utter madness to not at least attempt to ride herd on Taim and be more personally involved in the Black Tower. To create a society of magic users which not only might all go collectively insane at any time, but whom have no reason for personal loyalty to anyone but the possibly evil megalomaniac you left in charge... yeesh. I’m just saying, this is not good management skills. To say the least.

Narishma: So, this mention of him is, I think, about the only indication we get that he is special enough to be the “one who follows after” with Callandor. It’s not much of an indicator, if you ask me. So he has the spark, big whoop. Yes, I know that generally means that he will be way powerful (every single one of our super-strong channelers in WOT have been sparkers), but I dunno, it seems like there should have been more... portent, there. Ah well.

Sulin: Ji’e’toh occasionally annoys the crap out of me, but I do have to congratulate Jordan on creating an honor system that, after enough immersion in it as a reader, I can generally immediately parse the whys and wherefores of it without it having to be explained that much. I love it when an imaginary culture comes together.

The parallel example of this that springs to mind is Lapine, the rabbits’ language Richard Adams created in Watership Down (one of my favorite books ever). Basically you spend the whole novel learning the language so that you can get to the part at the end where one rabbit tells another to “Silflay hraka, u embleer rah”, and laugh delightedly without even needing a translation. Heh. Still awesome.


This was a rather anthropomorphic animal-themed post, wasn’t it? I... don’t quite know how that happened. Oh well! Have a lovely Monday, and I’ll see you anon avec Moar!

114 comments
Francesco Paonessa
2. ErrantKnave
first? no. second. yay!

Also, early post. Thanks Leigh!
James Jones
3. jamesedjones
Gotta say, I love the Fain POVs. The guy is such an evil, little psychopath. This, and the Black Wind parts, are where Jordan displays that his evil is just as disturbing as everyone else's.
DUANE SWAB
4. Qtip6
Leigh, my Brit Lit professor long ago consoled us regarding the overuse of the best poems with the reminder that they would not be cliched and overused if they were not great enough to be remembered in the first place.

And also, as to the length of the post,a whetting of the appetite and anticipation do much to enhance the savor of what is to come.
Bryan Cogswell
5. shmoo
And Taim was there - i mean his real goal was? Did he send the Gray man?


I also love Fain's POV - I love how he is pissed that the Chosen are getting in the way. And that he is crazy - he knows he is crazy and the fact that he doesn't care that he knows he is crazy is confirmation of his crazyness. If only some of my ex-girlfriends had such self-awareness...
Sean Banawnie
6. Seanie
I thought that it was a way stretch for Rand to be
so clueless with the Black Tower (& other matters). It should be obvious to Rand that Taim is power mad and shouldn't be trusted to run the Tower without close supervision (like 13 wise ones that can channel) OTOH maybe he realizes what a PIA the Sea Folk will be and thus is trying to spare us the pain of reading about them..... anywho he does have multiple distractions.....gotta love Sulin , she's a trip.
not much interaction here but she's had some juicy bits (my favorite was the talk after Lanfear 's attack on the docks).
Sean Banawnie
7. Seanie
oops , great stuff as always Leigh!
got so wrpped up in myself ,I forgot your props!
Sorryies!
Lynn McDonald
8. meal6225
Avi! Just kiss the boy!

Ji'e'toh I'll admit is still beyond me.

Have always loved Sulin.

If Taim was working for Demondred wouldn't he have been quick to agree with Rand on the Gray Man coming from Sammael?

Thanks Leigh the week is off to a good start!
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
Leigh - Re your tangent, here's a favorite poem that is not beaten down with overuse. Enjoy. Rob

The last of the Six Significant Landscapes by Wallace Stevens:

VI
Rationalists, wearing square hats,
Think, in square rooms,
Looking at the floor,
Looking at the ceiling.
They confine themselves
To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids,
Cones, waving lines, ellipses—
As for example, the ellipse of the half-moon—
Rationalists would wear sombreros.
James Jones
10. jamesedjones
9 RobMRobM

I'm gonna use "Rationalists would wear sombreros." whenever someone asks a silly question.
Josh Davis
11. YoSoyElJosh
I guess for Rand, regarding the Tower, he doesn't need them to be loyal to him, really - he's going to die after all - he just wants a weapon. He assumes that Mazrim Taim is a Lightwalker, just a bit power hungry. He's more concerned with the people who will certainly strike against him, or will interfere with the prophecies.
Rob Munnelly
12. RobMRobM
Misc notes.

I still can't figure out why Rand left Avi behind a few chapters ago in the first place? As simple as running from love?

Love that he dreams of being chased by Elayne - reminiscent of Avi's dreams in TSR. Also funny that she is speaking to him seriously about honor and he starts daydreaming about how pretty she is.

Agree Sulin is cool.

Agree that the testing defenses suggestion by Fain is lame. You test defenses with one archer and one watcher, not virtually all of your handful of remaining forces. They might actually succeed.

I was creeped out by the Fain mention that he tainted both Niall and Elaida. Wouldn't riling them up lead to them trying to kill Rand, something Fain abhors? I don't get his longterm plan - he should let Rand do what he wants and then try to get close and kill him. What's the need to get others to oppose him?

Not rape - merely services furnished to a higher up required of Darkfriends, right? Right. Ugh. Tell me again why anyone would choose to become a darkfriend?
Sean Banawnie
14. Seanie
RobM2 @12

so they can live forever, presumbly doing this forever,,,they hope to be the higher up most of the time tho..... ugh is right sounds like hell to me ........
Don Barkauskas
15. bad_platypus
every single one of our super-strong channelers in WOT have been sparkers

Well, except for Sharina, who clearly can't be a sparker since she didn't channel until becoming a grandmother.

Although that does bring up an interesting point; as I recall, some AS tells Nynaeve that wilders who are able to break their blocks often end up among the most powerful channelers. So maybe there is some correlation between strength and being a sparker.
John Mann
16. jcmnyu
This is my favorite Fain appearance. I really got a feel for how his mind works, or doesn't. He's the wild card who will screw with everyone's plans and make a mess of everything. It does make you wonder how Elaida might have been different if not for his influence. Maybe no new palace? No kidnapping?

Love the A Team reference, Leigh. I'll take 80's TV Catchphrases for $1000, Alex.
vo mabulay
17. alreadymad
While there usually is some correlation, it's not 100 percent. Jahar is obviously strong. And his AS notes he is growing stronger. But at various points of their interaction with Rand, Rand has identified Eben and Damer as being stronger.
Ian Horn
18. IanGH
Damn! Finally caught up on the reread. Vacation's a bitch.

Was "death comes" from LTT a reference to the gray man or something else?

I loved the way Rand embarasses Aviendha in this bit. How many times have I embarassed my wife putting my foot in it?

Finally, IMHO Rand ignoring the Black Tower was a real dereliction of duty on his part. I think one of most significant mistakes unless Logain manages to sort them out.
tearl
19. tearl
Regarding the warning about Narishma, I wonder if this wasn't directed by Dashiva/Osan'gar/Aginor. Taim was told by Rand to look out for guys that are too strong too fast. Naming Narishma keeps Rand from looking to closely at DOA.
vo mabulay
20. alreadymad
Or from his other favorites who managed to gain both the sword and the dragon ahead of the Black Tower's founders.
Noneo Yourbusiness
21. Longtimefan
I think it is interesting that Fain notes that the bonding has pushed his awarness of Rand away slightly. Could this mean that the additional 3 women bonding him has pushed Fain's awareness of Rand down to a point where maybe he cannot find Rand as accurately as he used to?

Would this make him even more frantic and rabid? (not that he needs it)

Could this give Rand a chance of sneaking up on Fain or even just the convenience of passing by in a dramatic close proximity.

How many people would need to bond Rand to push Fain off his mark altogether?
Kat Woman
22. thekatwoman
I believe he ignores the Black Tower becuase LTT goes crazy every time he's there. Having someone scream "KILL THEM, KILL THEM ALL" all the time, would get on your last nerve.
tearl
23. cheilman
Leigh -- how does the "He reflects that his link to al’Thor had changed recently, as if something had taken “partial possession” of him, and pushed away Fain in doing so" part of this section integrate with your idea that LTT is another facet of Rand?
Jason Lyman
24. jlyman
On Lews Therin's reference to Death comes... I always inferred that he meant down the road a ways. Dying the "final" death. But I can see how it could be inferred as feeling the Grey man approach. That is actually a pretty cool interpretation.

@21. Longtimefan

I also thought the fact that Fain is losing his link to Rand because of the bonding interesting. I don't remember ever noticing, or at least taking note, of all these little nuances that Jordan included. Makes reading fun and pretty much a new experience every time.
Lannis .
25. Lannis
Yeah, it always bothered me that Rand kind of let Taim run loose with the Black Tower, but I can see the reasoning behind letting that happen due to LTT's shrill nattering in the background...

Love the quote from Nandera about Aviendha admiring Rand's eyebrows... and the subsequent, "she admires my eyebrows?!" a little way down the page...
Jason Lyman
26. jlyman
@25 Lannis

Love the quote from Nandera about Aviendha admiring Rand's eyebrows... and the subsequent, "she admires my eyebrows?!" a little way down the page...

LOL! I love that too! Hilarious!

EDIT: for spelling.
Kurt Lorey
27. Shimrod
DOes anybody think it important when Fain is musing that he says something about "his" touch/control/something has begun to fade in and out and that he is somewhat put out about it. Is it a function of the emerging LTT personality?
Peter Nein
28. gimpols1908
Leigh... I haven't even read the comments above, but had to mention that I just bought (The Original Cartoon)Charlotte's Web for my 2yr old. He says "Watch Pig! Watch Pig!"

So the chin up bit really got me.

off to read things!

Edit: cartoon callout
Andrew Lovsness
29. drewlovs
The question I have about Fain is, is he something that has happened before (aka the "wheel" of time replaying the events over and over) or is he something new? Being something new is a method many writers use when backed against the wall via prophecy and/or fate.

The best example is the Matrix movies, where Agent Smith becomes a virus that changes the fates of all. Up until that time, the machines knew exactly what was going to happen, and knew how it would all work out; but Agent Smith became a fly in the ointment.

To this end, the writer(s) were able to inject uncertainty; yes, things always turned out the same way before, but THIS time, factor X has changed all the rules.

Sooo... is Fain an Agent Smith? Will he screw up the prophecies, will he be the weapon used to change everything ultimately, or is he a pawn in the Game of Life that the world has seen over and over again via the Wheel of Time?
Joseph Blaidd
30. SteelBlaidd
I've always felt a particular poignancy in the juxtaposition of this passage:
He had nearly finished shaving when he stopped, razor poised against his cheek, staring at himself in the mirror on the wall. Running. He had been sure it was the Forsaken he was running from in those dreams, or the Dark One, or Tarmon Gai’don, or maybe even Lews Therin. So full of himself; surely the Dragon Reborn would dream of being pursued by the Dark One. For all his protests that he was Rand al’Thor, it seemed that he could forget as easily as anyone else. Rand al’Thor had run away from Elayne, from his fear of loving Elayne, just as he had run from fear of loving Aviendha.

The mirror shattered, shards dropping into the porcelain washbasin. The pieces remaining in the frame cast back a fragmented image of his face.

Releasing saidin, he carefully scraped away the last bit of lather and folded the razor deliberately. No more running. He would do what he had to do, but no more running.


with this one:

He was sure this was not what she had meant when she said she had to talk with him, but he was enjoying looking into her eyes too much to wonder. Enjoying it. Bit by bit he chased down the pleasure her eyes gave him and crushed it until only a dull ache remained.


Both of which seem to me to be part of his fixation on harming women coupled with a guilt driven determination that he is, by virtue of being The Dragon Reborn, unworthy of any actual happiness.

thekatwoman @22
I believe he ignores the Black Tower becuase LTT goes crazy every time he's there. Having someone scream "KILL THEM, KILL THEM ALL" all the time, would get on your last nerve.

Agreed, this is the prime reason Rand has largely avoided the BT. He is afaid of loosing his, already tenuous, control of LTT and starting a OP fight likly to get himself killed.

I also noticed that acording to Fain's thoughts his practice of avoiding people he cares about in order to protect them IS working.
T C
31. Freelancer
The "Death comes" line from LTT is most likely the Gray Man, though some insist that he is aware of Taim's impending arrival. He always gets het up over Taim.

Taim seeing the Gray Man clearly prior to it being dead could take some analysis. Did he ask for its use, and send it himself, so that he could play the hero ala Daved Hanlon later on? It seems like a very parallel event to the rescue of Elayne. And surely once Rand had it captured Taim couldn't afford to have it able to speak. A subordinate question here is, can those who serve the shadow more easily detect a Gray Man? I can't imagine how that would be, but...


jej@10

I always use "Purple, because ice cream has no bones".


tearl@19

I don't think so. For Taim to tell Rand that Narishma has the spark doesn't say that he's already learned a bunch super-quick. In fact, once a person has been channeling any length of time, I don't think a tester would identify them as "having the spark", but as being a channeler of "x strength". Taim didn't bring the news with the air of "I found someone who might be more than they appear", but "I found someone with exceptional potential".


Longtimefan@21

12, also because ice cream has no bones.
Jane Smyth
32. Kaboom
So why did Taim come to tell Rand about Narishma?
If he is a darkfriend as he appears to be, why would he bother to tell Rand about one potential powerful Ashaman.

Unless he needed an excuse to be there at that particular time (greyman) or that he wanted to deflect the attention on Dashiva and his protege.

If it is for the greyman, I really don't see what advantage it would gain him. (unlike Daved Hanlon)

Am I missing something? I just could not really understand this particular visit.
Maiane Bakroeva
33. Isilel
Yes, Rand has been able to sense un-warded Shadowspawn before the bonding - all channelers can, as well as Warders. But neither channelers nor Warders can feel the Grey Men - as we have seen in Illian. Nor was Rand able to feel the Grey Men on previous occasions - he usually just noticed some hint of movement in the nick of time. Ta'veren and so on.

Re: Taim and BT, indeed. Yes, Rand wants a weapon, but it is an incredibly dangerous one. Not only are the guys fated to go mad - and Rand could have been liable to cause a second Breaking by having them trained, but the temptation to join the Shadow would be incredibly strong for them, given the alternatives. Or just to use their new-found power to grab riches, pleasures, etc. before the end comes.
Of all people they needed to be inspired, disciplined and led by the Dragon himself and Rand failed them. Sure, sure, LTT is a big problem. But the way things are, BT looks very much like the Dreadlord Central by the end of KoD.
noble thayer
34. joetheman
Well about the BT Rand has know that the taint can be cleansed since TSR, so he knows that its a race against time for any man at the black tower, thou its a bit out he does not seem in a rush about it,
William Fettes
35. Wolfmage
Isilel @ 33

Yeah, that's what I thought as well. It would be weird if only Saidar channellers could sense shadowspawn. Makes no sense. Not sure why people think it was only the warder bond - there have been subtle clues since the early books that Rand picked up a wrongness around shadowspawn - well before he was bonded.

Now that I think about it, I always assumed grey peeps (there are women too) had an odour. But on closer examination, I don't believe we've ever seen a channeller detect them in that way. It must have been just the scene with Perrin's wolf senses, and that must have left an impression that they stink!
T C
36. Freelancer
Kaboom@32

I think you have it there. Narishma's potential was a bit of news Taim could use to justify his presence at the precise moment to toast the Gray Man in an attempt to increase Rand's trust in him. Little does he know, Rand doesn't trust anyone much.

(As an aside, suppose the Gray Man was sent by a forsaken to kill Min, and Taim was given instructions to observe, and destroy it if Rand or the Aiel managed to intercept it. It would fit the facts.)

As for Rand not spending time at the BT, while he doesn't trust Taim personally, he knows what he wants re: the BT, and leaves it to Taim to manage, because what else is Taim going to do? Rand has visited and sees that things are moving. Who is to say how slow or fast the progress is, or how dangerous? It's an entirely new enterprise for this age. Between a myriad other issues demanding his time and LTT's ranting whenever he's near an Asha'man, it's understandable that he minimizes his time there. Unwise, but understandable.
Fake Name
37. ThePendragon
RobM2 @12
That's one thing that's never made sense to me in this scenario, or mostly any scenario where people follow "the Ultimate Evil". Specifically in WoT, the Dark One, the Father of Lies, who is in NO WAY bound to honor any promise he makes to you has promised these people immortality and power and all these great things if they serve him. How frikkin stupid do you have to be to follow someone like this? Once he break completely free, what possible use could he have for human regents? Why would he keep humans alive? Except maybe as Trolloc food? Assuming he even bothers keeping the trollocs alive. He is the Lord of the Grave, evil for the sake of evil. Once free he has no need for other beings aside from the pleasure he would get form tormenting them. Especially not channelers, who could posssibly be a threat to him. It's just so absurd that anyone would bother to follow someone like this. I have some hope that maybe Ishy has some deeper knowledge than we do that might explain it, perhaps some madness and desire to see the world reborn in darkness. Most of the other Forsaken believe he's mad, but maybe he's the only one whose vision is truly in line with the DO, despite how detrimental it will be to himself. Lanfear also kind of made sense, since she really seemed to be playing both sides. But as for all the other Forsaken/Black Ajah/Darkfriends, I just don't get it. I imagine a large amount of them are just idiots, but that doesn't account for so many others.
Jacy Clark
38. Amalisa
The Pendragon@37

I believe that many of them have said it's for a "promise" of immortality or for power in the here and now. The same "reasoning" that evil-doers in other epics use when they surrender themselves to whatever "evil one" populates said epics. Same thing that, in Judeo-Christian tradition, constitutes selling one's soul to the Devil. No reasonable person would do it, we think. However, if the tradition exists, who's to say it hasn't been done? *shudders at the thought*

For those who surrendered themselves for power in the here and now, they may have already resigned themselves to no rebirth, no life after death, nothing good coming from the Dark One's release from his prison, so they're going to make hay while the sun shines. So to speak...
James Jones
39. jamesedjones
33 Isilel

"But the way things are, BT looks very much like the Dreadlord Central by the end of KoD."

You make that sound like a bad thing...

Um, I mean - Go Light!
TW L
40. Shadow_Jak
Another great thing about this re-read. Sometimes things jump out at you when someone else does the reading. I never before thought anything unusual about Fain's knowledge of the Grey man.

But Rand made a special effort to keep it quite. So who told them?
...Nandera and Jalani seem very uncomfortable, and Rand realizes they are ashamed for not noticing the Gray Man, so he tells them he doesn’t want word of Taim’s visit to get out, so they’d best not mention the whole episode to anyone. They look grateful, and murmur that they have toh to him, which is not exactly what Rand was going for...

and yet, shortly thereafter...
...A Darkfriend named Nan and her son Perwyn burst in, and Perwyn tells “Master Mordeth” that he has news: someone tried to kill the Dragon Reborn in his rooms, getting past his Aiel guards...

Is this a hint that Nandera or Jalani is a DF?
Tess Laird
41. thewindrose
He could begin by ordering Sulin out of that ridiculous job as a servant, letting her put on cadin'sor again, and...And stop her from meeting her toh. Anything he did to lighten her burden would interfere with her honor. Her toh, her choice. There was something in that,(empasis mine) but he could not see what.

Ah Rand, so close but no cigar:(
Alice Arneson
42. Wetlandernw
And no one has commented yet... Rand's idea of NOT going to rescue the TR (sending Perrin), and staying away from the TR girls after that one visit, has actually worked.
He rejects the notion of going after the gaggle of girls in Culain’s Hound, thinking that if al’Thor hadn’t cared if his home village was overrun with Trollocs, he wouldn’t care about the girls either.
I found this a bit of a relief, knowing the kind of thing Fain likes to do; at least we know he won't bother to go after the kids. And for all the mistakes Rand makes, he does do some things right as well.
William Fettes
43. Wolfmage
Wetlandernw @ 42

Agreed. I always thought Rand didn't get enough credit for this. There's a small chorus of Perrin fans on the Dragonmount forums who seem to believe Rand is in the wrong over this, or at least, they find the comparison with Perrin going back to the TRs and sacrificing everything for Faile more noble than I do. But Rand's tactic does work.

I had more selfish reason to get annoyed at Rand for not visiting the Black Tower more often; I simply love those scenes and want more.
Hurin Smells
44. HurinSmells
Out on a little bit of a tangent, but related to the Narishma thing. Consider the following prophecy...

"Into the heart he thrusts his sword,
into the heart, to hold their hearts.
Who draws it out shall follow after,
What hand can grasp that fearful blade?"


Is it just me or does anyone else think this prophecy comes really close to describing how Sanderson has come along to finish off the series? Just saying...
William Fettes
45. Wolfmage
jcmnyu @ 16

"This is my favorite Fain appearance. I really got a feel for how his mind works, or doesn't. He's the wild card who will screw with everyone's plans and make a mess of everything. It does make you wonder how Elaida might have been different if not for his influence. Maybe no new palace? No kidnapping?"

Agreed. At this stage, we'd already seen aspects of Fain's power manifest in relation to Fades, but this scene is good for encapsulating his increasing abilities with human targets. I also love how we find out he has not just played counsellor, but actually brushed Elaida and Niall with his taint. Leigh seems to hate Fain with the fury of a thousand suns, but this is at least one of his cool scene for me.


Seanie@ 6
"OTOH maybe he realizes what a PIA the Sea Folk will be and thus is trying to spare us the pain of reading about them"

Indeed. I'm sure the Seafolk are important to the Last Battle, and Rand is really needs to sort out his grand Coramoor bargain, but purely as a reader, I'm totally in favour of anything which keeps them off-screen and marginalised.
tearl
46. Leper
Have to admit I'm a fan of the later, crazy Padan Fain. Early on he's a bit of a whiner, but later he's just awesomely crazy. Its a real shame he doesn't do much in the later books.
D Z
47. Hopper
@40 Jak

Or further confirmation of Taim's DFness. Actually, if we suppose that the two Aiel are not darkfriends (at least beyond reasonable doubt) then it is almost proof right away here that Taim is in fact working for the shadow. Never caught that before, but it seems obvious that somebody in that room must have been a darkfriend.

good catch!
D Z
48. Hopper
Actually another possible explanation, Nandera... Nan... Nandera... Nan... hmmmm, could it be????

haha, RJ wouldn't dare.
tearl
50. spacechampion
So, I'm still on chapter 7 of LOC, and noticed that Demandred used a gateway to exit TAR. Does that mean he was there in the flesh? That means he's entered the real world in the Great Hall of palace in Caemlyn. My theories is that Taim is to Demandred like Luc is to Isam. They are sharing a body or whatever it is Slayer is doing. So RJ was honest that Taim is not Demandred, but threw everyone off the scent that Taim is more than Demandred's minion.
john mullen
51. johntheirishmongol
Sulin cracks me up. Would be great to see her in a pair of heels too.
j p
52. sps49
@47-

Another suspect... Aviendha!

Dun dun duuuun....
tearl
53. Landro Gaidin
It's interesting to note that Fain somehow sensed that Rand got bonded by Alanna.

I'm speculating that Fain and Rand have a bond of some sort and that maybe some of the madness that Rand should be getting ends up with Fain. Maybe 50% or more. They are both getting nuttier as the books progress, but Fains madness seems to go a bit faster.

It would be interesting to see what happens when (not if I hope) Fain finally dies and how that will affect Rand.
Michael Johnson
54. ZshadeZ
I still say Fain will be the next DO. It solves the whole question of why the Creator would make a prison with a hole and a patch, or how the creators work could be broken/ made whole by humans.

Fain has been 'touched' by several evils that have all left their mark, and his powers are growing. If the DO is defeated and Fain is somehow trapped in one of those holes outside the pattern to keep his taint/influence from touching the world, with a few ages for his power to grow... we have our new DO, in a very powerful prison made by Rand & co but able to be breached when the 2nd age rolls around again.

... I like the idea, since it's mine... only issue I have is that if Rand & Co manage to defeat the DO they should be able to defeat Fain instead of trapping him. Unless Rand is too wounded/temporarily dead to beat him or Fain escapes into one of the holes on his own and is sealed there to 'get rid of' him.
tearl
55. alreadymadwithtargateway
spacechampion @50
It's hardly unique for one of the forsaken to Travel into and out of TAR. That's how most of them do it. Also the same way Rand does it.
tearl
56. Dr. Thanatos
Death comes...

Aren't we told that Moridin means Death?
Birgit
57. birgit
DOes anybody think it important when Fain is musing that he says something about "his" touch/control/something has begun to fade in and out and that he is somewhat put out about it. Is it a function of the emerging LTT personality?

No, it is Alanna's Warder bond.
Alanna is knocked out when the girls bond Rand. Does something happen to Fain, too?
tearl
58. Landro Gaidin
As to the reasons for people to swear to the shadow:

I believe most dark friends become so because their current station in life does not provide them with the opportunity to fulfill their ambitions.

Some of them, like for example Milli Skane a.k.a. Lady Shiane, actually manage to fulfill their ambitions by serving the shadow. Others are used as fodder.

The fact that some people are succesful fuels the desires of other likeminded people. People in general are afteral, very good at seeing only what they want to see and those who are used as fodder are clearly unworthy, unlike they themselves ofcourse.
John Massey
59. subwoofer
Hi Leigh, s'up? Am liking the reference to Debbie Reynolds- from Bundle of Joy on, I've always been a fan. Sorry I haven't been around, but the season is here and my wife becomes a football widow. I can also identify with the whole great before it became trendy comment.

*** I loved MTN biking back when- before it became a Mountain Dew commercial and they made big clunky bikes. Always had the notion that you have to pedal up before you bomb down a mountain. Bah- I sound like the old guy from UP...

Sulin- I love the behind the scenes explanations of how the Aiel went about trying to solve her dilemma. The going to scrub pots but the cook was as wide as he was tall... I got a kick out of that, and then the way the First Maid conducts herself and has everybody fearing she will put them all to work.- Had the Shaido dusting and cleaning...

Fain- he had the attachment placed on him by the DO to be compelled to seek out Rand- now that has morphed to something more. And apparently so has Fain. I don't see him becoming a new DO, but I do see a new Aridhol coming. If Fain can corrupt one White Cloak...

The BT- Dreadlords- hmmmmmm. Always pondered that one. Seems like Rand is totally mishandling that situation. Everybody else in the Galaxy is scared of men channeling and Rand goes and makes a school for them, then promptly ignores it. Not the best of logic. I can understand delegating, but there is also the need to impress upon the students who is the real leader, the Dragon Reborn, not Taim as M'Hael...

Then Rand goes about treating any Asha'man assigned to him like dirt. I don't know if it is LTT's influence, but Rand should know about attracting more bees with honey...

Just sayin'.

Edit- I love it when a plan comes together...

Woof.
Tess Laird
60. thewindrose
sub - almost sounds like a Lini saying - know about attracting more bees with honey...
tearl
61. Belmont
Fain's character reminds me in
some ways of the "Trashcan Man"
in the Stephen King novel "The
Stand". Fain has his own agenda
and appears to be untouchable
by the Forsaken (unless they
don't really know much about him).
tearl
62. Khorib
I think there's a high possibility that Fain plays are large role in the defeat of the Dark One... kinda like Gollum. His disdain of Rand is only equaled by his loathing of the Dark One, so since Fain is considered an enemy from both sides I think it's is reasonable to assume he is the "key" of sorts to the Last Battle. I believe his role goes much further than just hampering everyone's plans and general shenanigans.
Rob Munnelly
63. RobMRobM
@62. You may be right but I've been enjoying the mostly Fain-free chunks of the books after CoS. As far as I am concerned (Leigh too, doubt), Fain is pretty much an anagram for DIAF. Rob
William Fettes
64. Wolfmage
I don't think Fain will become the next iteration of the Dark One, but I do think he'll be important. My personal guess is that he'll use his wildcard powers to neutralise Shaidar Haran.

The Super Fade's ability to block channelling is a fairly terrifying prospect when used in battles where the Light's main advantage is the True Source. So I expect in the Last Battle he'll power up his radius and add other tricks to his arsenal - striding amongst the battle with Murmandamus-like battle powers. If he threatens Rand, however, or if Fain simply wants to repudiate the shadow as Mordeth allows - I reckon could easily be a checking force against the Super Fade. They're both in the 'other' category.
Jason Lyman
65. jlyman
Dominant Introverted Abstract Feeler? I don't get it.

*wink, wink*
T C
66. Freelancer
jlyman@65

WARNING! You're mixing your MBTI and your Kiersey. That can be harmful, if not controlled. Ask your physician if post-Jung temperament analysis is right for you.
Rob Munnelly
67. RobMRobM
@66. I would have put Fain down as an INTJ, just like Hitler.

EDIT - I'll have to watch Free closer, changing numbers like that.
Jason Lyman
68. jlyman
@67 RobM(squared)

Talking to yourself? Now that's a little scary! LOL
Joseph Blaidd
69. SteelBlaidd
Wetlandernw @42
And no one has commented yet... Rand's idea of NOT going to rescue the TR (sending Perrin), and staying away from the TR girls after that one visit, has actually worked.


*shy hnd raise* I commented.

I've noticed thatregardless of outcomes everybody in WoT generaly has what they consider to be a good reason for whetever they decide to do, even the Darkfriends
Tess Laird
70. thewindrose
68 - That is why his handle is RobMRobM:)

One other comment - when I see RobmRobM I always think of Red Rover Red Rover.
T C
71. Freelancer
RobM^2@67

Hmm? What numbers did I change?

And BTW, the roll of "suspected" INTJs includes Isaac Newton, C.S. Lewis, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Ulysses S. Grant, and Peter the Great, as well as Nietsche and Ayn Rand. So calling out the evil-insane Mastermind shouldn't poison the entire group.

No, I'm not INTJ.

And from within his own POVs, I would position Fain as an INFP.
Rob Munnelly
72. RobMRobM
Free @71 - just a joke, as I used the wrong number to refer to you, thereafter fixed via edit.

I can definitely see your point re the F; would have thought Fain would be more J than P; but as he is a DIAF in the RobMRobMPT(TM), let's move on.

Woof @59. I should take pride in noting that I'm part of a 50 person NFL pool in which we have to pick every game against the point spread and have a weekly winner plus top 5 in total points at the end of season-- and I won week 1 last night. Happy Dance! Thank you Oakland Raiders for covering the spead! (I won a week in each of the last two years and finished in sixth place overall last year - so, yes, my wife is a football widow as well.)

Rob
T C
73. Freelancer
Wetlandernw@42

Yes, it was noted. But most folks are so convinced that Rand is mentally long gone, they won't credit him with much of anything positive, even this. I look at each thing Rand does or says up to this point, and I see perfectly rational choices behind them. Best and wisest choices? No, not always, but trying his best with the information and understanding he has. Absolutely not insane, not even irrational. Just young and human, and under a BIG mountain of duty.


RobM@72
But for the unjustifiable and horrendous incompletion call, Raiders would have covered more than the spread. Oh well, maybe they'll win 6 or 7 this year.
Rob Munnelly
74. RobMRobM
Free @73, re the Raiders, I was the only person in the eight people tied or first or second place in the pool who picked the Raiders even to cover. They were at home, they have McFadden, Russell should start getting good and the defense is decent (with the great CB and the addition of Seymour). I was as confident that Oakland would keep it close or win as I was with anything else on my sheet. As a fan, I hope Oakland will get it together this year but, as a Pats fan who stands to get the Raiders' first round pick in 2011, I hope they struggle - at least next year. LOL.

P.s. I also picked SF - another easy pick that few in my pool took.

Re your response to Wetlander - agree 150%. Most of his decisions are pretty darn good, even in hindsight (except for disappearing without explanation for a few days at a time and letting the Tower AS come near him with three sister plus lots of baggage handlers - who turned out to be sisters when the time was right).

Rob
Rob Munnelly
75. RobMRobM
Look at that. Two of my entries made "Hot Bookmarks". My lucky day. Thank you Torie and Pablo - the check's in the mail (just kidding). Rob
tearl
76. Tialin
44. HurinSmells
Narishma thing. Consider the following prophecy...

"Into the heart he thrusts his sword,
into the heart, to hold their hearts.
Who draws it out shall follow after,
What hand can grasp that fearful blade?"



Is it just me or does anyone else think this prophecy comes really close to describing how Sanderson has come along to finish off the series? Just saying...


WOW - I got chills there! But then, that would have meant RJ was really omniscient and just ran out of time....nah.

Hey, I too have always thought that was a bad move for Rand to create a school for super-channelers who (at the time) were in serious danger of going mad) and then TOTALLY IGNORING IT. what's the point of creating counterweights to the Dreadlords and then leaving them in the care of a rival Dragon Reborn wannabe who despises you? it isn't like Rand hasn't been warned any number of times, too.


I put it down to the fear of losing control of LTT, and also the completely human tendency to put off really unpleasant tasks, even when we know the procrastination will only make the whole thng more disagreeable down the road.


Dreadlord Central for sure. and now the BT is split just like the WT - and how much can we be sure even Logain is completely Rand's man? I think he has or will be turned by the 13/13 combo.

Virginia
4th Age Podcaster
tearl
77. Tialin
Oh, yes, no comment on the cover of Lord of Chaos would be complete without my favorite comment on the artwork.

My fellow podcaster Andrew Gelos calls this one "The Passion of the Aes Sedai".

Perfect!

Virginia
Tony Zbaraschuk
78. tonyz
Rand's (relative) lack of concern for the Black Tower is because Mazrim Taim is patient. Unlike half the rest of Randland, he doesn't immediately morph into opposition to the Dragon Reborn. He stays quiet and seemingly loyal until... well, whatever his master plan involves, which at this point looks rather like "big backstab in the middle of the Last Battle".

So Rand sees loyal compliance to his orders, or at least lack of disobedience, and because it's so much better than what he gets from almost everywhere else, he assumes everything is going fine.
Andrew Lovsness
79. drewlovs
So I am the only one who wonders if Fain is part of what has happened over and over, or is he something new? Sorry to sound disappointed, but I really as looking forward to hearing from you scholars on whether I'm gone crazy or I am on to something...
T C
80. Freelancer
tonyz@78

I would be hard pressed to believe that Rand "assumes everything is going fine" at the Black Tower. When he went to Far Madding, he first spent weeks planting information to lead his enemies there. He expected renegade Asha'man to follow. He has been attacked by members of the Black Tower more than once. And if he pays one iota of attention to LTT, he has never trusted Taim as far as he can throw Dragonmount.

It comes down much more to Rand having much bigger fish to fry, and the time he would need to devote at this point to sorting out the Black Tower isn't worth it in his mind. Add to that his suspicion that a forsaken would try to hide there among the others (a correct suspicion, how would he know Dashiva's toast?), and how much less likely is he to want to hang out there at all?

We have just come to the end of a stretch of the story where Rand didn't tell anybody anything of what he was up to. (He still doesn't tell much, and for good reason) It occurs to me that a strong ancillary purpose for creating the Black Tower is to limit the pool of weapons available to the shadow. This still supposes that he doesn't believe Taim is a DF, and that belief will bite him.
Tess Laird
81. thewindrose
drewlovs-
I think Fain is the agglomeration of all the evils of the WoT universe. I think he is something new.
From RJ: He also mentioned the fact that Fain is essentially his wild card, a character that is outside the structure of the work and can therefore act totally unpredictably.

He hates both the DO/Forskaen as much as Rand.
I think he will be a major part of TG, but as to how I would like to hear from other posters as well. So what do other posters think?
Alice Arneson
82. Wetlandernw
SteelBlaidd @ 69 - My apologies; I missed that last paragraph somehow.

Freelancer @ 73 - That's kind of what I was thinking, although I couldn't wrap my brain around how to say it last night. He does make mistakes, certainly, but over all he's made more good decisions than bad ones, I think. And as you say, his reasoning is good most of the time. From the reader's perspective, we have enough info (especially on the umpteenth re-read) to recognize mistakes when he makes them. Rand doesn't get to see inside everyone's heads like we do, so he usually doesn't have the information he needs to make the best choices.
tearl
83. alreadymadwithblacktower
Freelancer @80
It occurs to me that a strong ancillary purpose for creating the Black Tower is to limit the pool of weapons available to the shadow.

Or to have them all in the same place so he'll know where to look when the time comes to hunt them down.
j p
84. sps49
The Black Tower might also be Rand's implementation of "keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer". At least DF channelers aren't being trained at an undisclosed location to be a total surprise, and most are good guys.

@ 73 & 74- Regarding (Silver and) Black- I live here, they're my team, I wish to GOD that they wouldn't suck- but the Raiders are so dysfunctional that their talent can't win. After the head coach broke an employee's jaw in training camp this year, I figure this is another down year.

The 49ers are on the way up, though.
T C
86. Freelancer
amw@83 & sps49@84

Yes and yes. Having the potential trouble based in a known location would also be a wise point of distinction. I cannot, however, suppose that Rand looked that deeply when deciding on his amnesty/training facility. It was his innate sense of equality, that if he was allowed to walk free as a male channeler, why should another be captured/punished/gentled?

Remember, he didn't conjure up the Black Tower name, it could have remained the farm as far as he cared. To him the original idea was a safe haven for male channelers, free from the risk of Aes Sedai meddling. Once the numbers started to grow, his mandate to Taim was to make weapons of them. Any of these other uses or advantages may noy have entered his thoughts until much later, if at all, except that it makes a natural kind of sense to move those who could potentially do you the most harm in the hands of enemies, to a place of your choosing, under your control.


sps49@84 RE: The Silver & Black

Yes, it pains me to see a team with the talent to win failing to accomplish anything. The players are far too good for them to lose so often. It's the Marcus Allen curse, and I blame Al Davis. I just hope they get beyond it quicker than Boston did the Curse of the Bambino.
Kristina Blake
87. kab1
Hey all, I'm late to the show today, so not much too add. Unsurprisingly, I agree that Rand should have been playing closer attention to the BT, but I could sort of understand why, as pointed out earlier, he wanted to avoid LTT going batshit crazy in his head, and of course, hey, Rand's a busy guy, he doesn't have time for all this. It didn't really bother me all that much until KoD (?) when Logain told him things were amiss and Rand basically shrugged him off (or maybe I'm missing something there).

As far as Fain being something old or something new, my take was always that he is something new, not quite sure why I've thought that, but I'm glad to see that from RJ quote, for once, I might actually be interpreting a character correctly. Like Leigh, I'm not much of a Fain fan, but I did enjoy this POV, since we got to see more of his "powers" in hopes of understanding what he might bring to the table at TG. I enjoyed the theory that he might oppose Shaidar Haran. Sorry, I forgot the post number and I'm not going back to look as I can't find my glasses and I've literally read all this with my face about 6 inches from the computer screen (yes, I'm that blind!)

@77- Virgina! Hi! I really enjoy your commentary on the podcasts. I'm heading off to finish listening to the latest podcast with Jason. Good Stuff! I'm sure I'll be over on the podcast forum commenting tomorrow.

For anyone else who is interested, the audiobook is also scheduled for release on Oct 27th. But I don't know about the prologue audiobook. anyone? I guess we'll find out in just a few days. Also, I have to say that I'm getting pretty excited for the prologue!
sandi vogel
88. sinfulcashew
Reading all the complaints and comments re:
'they should have done this or it should have been done that way'.......
I think of what it would be like to write a tale of our own governmental, financial, economic, political, etc. (redundant, I know) happenings today.
I think the same complaints and comments would be written.
Everyone seems to have the answers, just not all agreeing on them.

Funny, how history, no matter who's (whose?), repeats itself.
I am not judging or anything close. Just my own comment.
I love reading the prose provided by all and I am amused! (sometimes)

Can I enter the bunker? I have some vanilla incense!

edit
PS. I had forgotten all the Fain badnesses from all the previous books, when I voted him off the stage.
I'm guessing he can stay for awhile longer?
Do you think there is a possibility of him supplanting the DO?????

Now that I have read most of the previous comments, I see that the idea of PF becoming DO has been thought of before! And I thought I was being original?????
Ah well,
sillynut
tearl
89. Miythrandir
Tialin @76

Logain being turned by the 13/13 trick? Highly doubtful imo. He's being set up as leading the rival faction of the BT against Taim, who is definitely a DF. I want to see a battle royale of Taim vs. Logain in the future. Plus with Min seeing Logain as having gobs of glory, that makes me think he'll stick with the good guys.

I think Bashere will be a victim of the 13/13 trick in the future. That would be freaky. Then Matt comes to save the day & put him down. That would be cool.
tearl
90. heavy gambler
Semantics (but a lot of that goes on here.)

Only the favorite can cover the spread; the underdog wins with the spread.
j p
91. sps49
Freelancer@86- I didn't mean Rand intended the farm that way at first, but I hope that the Black Tower development and his Far Madding skillz have caused him to look at the BT & Taim with suspicion.

Mythrandir@89- Unless Bashere is a channeler, he is not susceptible to the 13>13 turning.
Lynn McDonald
92. meal6225
Speaking of football/sports I have always wondered a little why RJ didn't add some kind of sport to the WOT culture. Maybe there are a couple of games mentioned with Beltine festivities so never mind!

Tough week to be a ND, Ohio State and Bengals fan aarrgghhhhhhhhhh!
T C
93. Freelancer
heavy gambler@90

Semantically, you are correct. However, it is an extremely common term to say that the underdog "covered the spread", meaning, as you point out, that they got within it. Even professional books use the term that way, just because everyone understands what is meant.

And of course, my point was that the Raiders won that game outright if the obviously bungled call had gotten properly overturned on review. But their reputation demands that as many calls as possible go against them, it wouldn't be the NFL otherwise.


meal6225@92

Yes, there are "festival games" mentioned several times. Youngsters are described kicking stuffed or inflated bladders, rolling hoops, etc. Also, one of Egwene's dreams of Mat is him using people instead of pins in a game of bowls, so lawn bowling is known.

And in other sporting news, the Dodgers beat the Pirates in 13 innings on Andre Ethier's 30th home run of the year, his 6th walk-off hit and 22nd game-winning RBI of this season to lead the majors in both stats.
tearl
94. Tenesmus
I have been doing a re-read/scavenger hunt of my own, and these posts have helped fill in the gaps. I am serivng in Afghanistan and when I travel to various outlying bases, I check their library or MWR tent for paperbacks. I have found WOT 2,3,4,6,7&8, and have been re-reading the series waiting for TGS.

I am at the middle of tPoD, and had a minor epiphany. In the past, I have been a strident proponent of the Moiraine killed Asmodean theory, but I also remember RJ mentioning somewhere that he gave enough clues so that by tPoD it should be obvious. So I have kept that in mind while re-reading. Graendal has a POV in tPoD that just may have made me change my mind about Moiraine. Her POV begins with her fretting over the fact that she didn't find anything useful in Sammael's things in Illian after he was killed. She then even goes on to express frustration over how the Ashaman were all over the palace and it was hard to avoid them while she was rummaging through Sammael's belongings.

(CLICK! goes the light bulb over my head)

I immeadiately immagined her now going through RAHVIN's personal effects after he was killed in Camelyn, and who does she run into-- Asmodean and kills him on site, which is why she is now being extra careful in Illian. I can't remember anyone else ever posting this as evidence for why they thought Graendal killed Asmo, but when you think about it...
It fits nicely, and you only have to make a small deductive leap, which is what RJ was likely referring to with his tPoD comment

Only one detail still bothers me though, it has to do with a comment I read somwhere where RJ said that Asmodean could NOT be reincarnated because of how and WHERE he died. This always lead me back to
Moiraine, and the possibility that she dragged him into 'finnland and was killed by the 'finns as part of her "bargain" Thus he would then be "un-reincarnatable". However, after this new revelation, I may be eating crow.

Comments please
Thomas Keith
95. insectoid
*am chuckling at the amount of sports-related talk*
Late in coming as always.

re: Silver and Black
If it's any consolation, my Chargers didn't look much better. :|

Ahem. Relevant to the post:

re: sensing Shadowspawn
I think it makes sense that male channelers as well as Aes Sedai would be able to sense Shadowspawn. And yes, Warders too.

re: Black Tower
The unattended BT is a disaster waiting to happen. I'm wondering if the Reds that went there (in KoD) will notice what's going on?

re: Fain
Blargh indeed! *skips over those pages*

Lannis @25:
I laugh every time I read that bit about his eyebrows??
James Jones
96. jamesedjones
94 Tenesmus

Nice info. I never caught that, but you are absolutely right.

95 insectoid

"If it's any consolation, my Chargers didn't look much better."

Baby blue uniforms will do that. :P
Maiane Bakroeva
97. Isilel
@79 Drewlovs:

I keep wondering about Aginor calling the Shadar Logoth dagger "an old friend, an old enemy" back in TEotW. Who was Mordeth? IIRC, he showed up out of nowhere with strange powers to somehow corrupt Aridhol people into creature- eating fog within one generation.
Is Shadar Logoth taint really entirely human/unmagical evil or is there something more? Connected with the Finns, perhaps? Areally unwise bargain?
At the very least Aginor seemed familiar with the dagger/taint, so it must have existed in AoL in some form too.

@84 Sps:

At least DF channelers aren't being trained at an undisclosed location to be a total surprise

I, for one, will be deeply disappointed if they aren't ;). I mean, RJ kept saying how the side of Light is losing and is an underdog. That wouldn't be the case if by the end they'd have a vast majority of channelers on their side.

Also, it is just such a logical thing to do and Shara, with it's conveniently marked channelers must be there for a reason too, IMHO. Particularly completely ignorant and intellectually blank-slate young male channelers.

Freelancer, Amw:

I don't see how "keeping close" can relate to people who can Travel. The only thing keeping such folks in the force and from selfishly exploiting their powers would be their own morals, loyalties and convictions. Which Rand has done nothing to instill.
He knows that most men come to BT dreaming of power and glory and/or because they are completely at loose ends. He knows that Taim is the same. Yet, Rand expects them to be his weapons and reconcile themselves to dying soon, their only reward a job well-done?! Heh.

Taim is supposed to hunt and kill renegades - but it is hopeless as anybody who can Travel can go anywhere and there isn't any way to track them.

Re: Rand's sense of fairness, he isn't just protecting sparkers like himself - he is creating new channelers. Folks likely to cause Apocalypse, like they did before. IMHO, most of Rand's other activities should qualify as smaller fish than that.

As to when Rand should have began to wonder about BT - well, confrontational attitude of Taim's favorites should have been a warning sign. And when they began to appear very expensively dressed and adorned Rand should have asked himself who was paying for their silks and rubies.
Kristina Blake
98. kab1
@94 That's a very good catch. I don't think I've ever seen that pointed out before, but I'm not super active on the boards. Do you want the other books that you haven't found yet? I'd be happy to send them to you (no charge). What about GS, is someone sending it to you, or can you just preorder from Amazon like the rest of us?
Sean Banawnie
99. Seanie
@94Tenesmus Well thought out , makes sense to me.
I like it. Graendal has been a prime candidate before that line of reasoning . Keep your head down ,eyes and sights up.
Dan Spicer
100. daniel.spicer
@98 kab1. I wrote something in your "shoutout" box on this site

@99 Seanie Thanks. I just hate that I may have disproved my long held belief that Moiraine did it. I think becasue Mogh'd'n, Cyndanne, and Shadar Haran all make impressive appearances in Graendal's POV, the reader misses the part when Greandal is thinking about rummaging through Sammeal's stuff
Jane Smyth
101. Kaboom
just out of curiosity, what are the hot bookmarks on the left side of the page? What are the criteria for a post to be chosen?
Tess Laird
102. thewindrose
Kaboom - If someone clicks on the bookmark under your handle it shows up as a hot bookmark - I just clicked yours:)
Jane Smyth
103. Kaboom
Thanks,

I never really looked at the "small print" below the handle, so never saw the bookmark part.
Kristina Blake
104. kab1
oh dear, I just clicked on my own bookmark link, before I realized exactly what it did. now I feel dumb.
Tess Laird
105. thewindrose
The flag bookmark is for spam or hateful commentary. By clicking on flag, it alerts Pablo or Torie to review it, and they can remove the post if it is spam or hateful. It doesn't work if you just disagree with the poster though:)
Jane Smyth
106. Kaboom
Ah summer is clearly over :(
You can tell people are busier now, with only about half the amount of comments as before.
It feels sad.
Tess Laird
107. thewindrose
I Fortell - that posting will pick up with the release of tGS:) Of course for about two weeks, this post will be a bit silent until Leigh puts in the line: This and all prior posts contain spoilers for the novels of the Wheel of Time series up to The Gathering Storm, so if you haven’t read, don’t read.
Lannis .
108. Lannis
@ Kaboom & thewindrose... yes, I believe you're both right... I think our slow down is a bit due to the fact that summer is over and things are picking up IRL, and also some are avoiding our discussions due to the Chapter One: Tears from Steel post... I'm all anti-spoiler, myself, so I just went and read it even though my own reread is only at CoT. I can keep mum, but I don't like people revealing things to me, and wouldn't do that to someone in turn, either...

Hmm... that's another possibility, too... people might be busy finishing their own reread for tGS...

Once everyone has a chance to read tGS and we're back into spoiler-friendly zone, our conversations will pick up, I'm sure...
tearl
109. AppleBrandy
I've been lurking for a while, but I thought I'd bring it up something here. I don't think the 13/13 thing is true, but is one of those myths that the AS have. Is there any quote from an AOL person thinking of being able to do that, or have we seen it on screen?
Tom Feltes
110. tomf
"...one rabbit tells another to “Silflay hraka, u embleer rah”, and laugh delightedly without even needing a translation. Heh. Still awesome."

Bigwig to ...the General, I think? Absolutely delighted my 16-year old mind when I first read it, still delights me now (and still don't need a translation some 25 years after I last read it). Rabbits swearing and cursing FTW!

First comment for me (and of course it's TOT). Keep up the awesome job, Leigh, we lurkers are loving it as much as the (usual) commenters!
Andrew Jenson
111. Redwing
AppleBrandy @ 109

I've always thought the same thing...the equivalent of the Aes Sedai boogeyman.

Sheriam tells Egwene before her Accepted test and I think it came up once more, but neither were actual evidence.
Alice Arneson
112. Wetlandernw
@109 and 111 - Does the fact that RJ explained exactly how it works on his blog have any effect on the theory, or is that interpreted as "that's how it would work if it worked at all"?
tearl
113. yasiru89
Rand has been able to sense Shadowspawn as a channeler well before the Warder bond, way back in tSR. In fact, Rand might be particularly attuned to this in particular (almost like a Talent), if the Pattern took into consideration who he is. The only benefit of the Warder bond seems to be pushing Fain's awareness of him away a little.

Interesting how that Darkfriend phrased the news about the Gray Man, as if he hadn't received the news from the Shadow's side (somehow connected to whoever sent it) but from a spy. Nandera or Jalani could be a Darkfriend I suppose, or maybe Taim had something to do with the leak.
Edward Phippen
115. Grimwanderer
Subwoofer @ 59

"Fain- he had the attachment placed on him by the DO to be compelled to seek out Rand- now that has morphed to something more. And apparently so has Fain. I don't see him becoming a new DO, but I do see a new Aridhol coming. If Fain can corrupt one White Cloak..."

Your comment made me think... (and this has probably been theorized before) Fain - the ultimate corrupter - at the last battle may end up against the character who we have been told time and time again is all but incorruptible: Galad. Just a thought.

Of course... Crazy Theories ahead.... I've speculated (as others have as well) that ... If Rand & company do manage to defeat the DO (since, after his moment on Dragonmount at the end of TGS, he now seems to be "super-Rand" and even more of a messiah figure) that Fain will end up as a new DO. does that mean Rand ends up as the new "Creator"? That would make more sense if this was the 7th age not the 3rd.

Although it would be interesting if Rand becomes a new DO.

Although it would also be interesting if Jordan/Sanderson have a real curve ball coming.... And the DO and the creator are the same being. One of the recurring themes, after all, is that whenever there is something that is common belief / knowledge in the books.... It is almost always wrong. And, since everyone knows The creator and DO are opposed (and the big C trapped DO at the moment of creation) it would be a crazy way to end the series.

- Grim

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