Sep 21 2009 4:02pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 20

What do you get from a glut of TV? A pain in the neck and an IQ of three! Why don't you try simply Re-reading a book? Or could you just not bear to look?

...Yeah, I was gonna do the whole intro to the lyrics, but it’s two thirty in the morning and, no.

So! Today’s Wheel of Time Re-read covers Chapters 34-35 of Lord of Chaos, in which we have an inauguration they’d never show you on C-SPAN. You’ll get no, you’ll get no, you’ll get no, you’ll get no commercials!

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

The Prologue of The Gathering Storm, “What the Storm Means,” is available for download here on or at multiple online vendors. Chapter 1 is still available as well. Please refrain from posting spoilers for either the Prologue or Chapter 1 in the posts for the Re-read, in order to protect those who have not yet read them, or do not intend to before the release of the entire book. Spoiler discussion is going on at the respective posts announcing the two releases, linked above; please keep them there. Thanks.

But if you like reading other things, you will go far! And you will click the link below!

Chapter 34: Journey to Salidar

What Happens
Egwene packs and dresses, trying to ignore the pain in her backside, and embraces saidar, hoping this works. She weaves a gateway that makes the inside of her tent identical to its reflection in Tel’aran’rhiod, and knows it worked the moment she steps through. She exits the reflection of the tent and grins to find a dream-Bela there, just as she had envisioned. She eyes the saddle dubiously, then has a thought, and changes things so that her backside no longer pains her, telling herself it’s not cheating; and even if it was, she thinks, there are limits. She mounts and tells Bela she will need to be “swift like the wind”; to her surprise, dream-Bela actually is that fast, traveling across the countryside in a blur that covers miles with every step. Egwene laughs in delight, and enjoys the ride, stopping Bela every so often to orient herself.

A day or two to reach Salidar? That was what Sheriam had said. The Wise Ones were right. Everyone had believed for so long that Aes Sedai knew everything that Aes Sedai believed it, too. She was going to prove them wrong tonight, but it was not likely they would take any real notice of her proof. They knew.

After a short time, she reaches Salidar, and hugs the dream-Bela goodbye before weaving a gateway and stepping back into the real world; she bites off a cry as all her bruises come back full force. She walks up to a woman and introduces herself, and asks for Sheriam Sedai; the woman leads her off with ill grace to where all seven from the Stone are together, though in robes. Sheriam ushers her in, exclaiming over her speed, and Anaiya greets her warmly; Morvrin wants to know if there were any ill effects, and Egwene assures them she is well. The young Aes Sedai Egwene doesn't know puts in sharply that they have no time to waste to make Egwene ready, lest Romanda “gut her like a fat carp”. Egwene gasps, finally recognizing the voice, and is more astonished than ever when they explain what happened. She is puzzled by the fact that Siuan is clearly the weakest in the Power of all the women in the room, when that had certainly not been the case before. She also notes that such a warm welcome argues against her being punished for anything. She asks after Nynaeve and Elayne, but Siuan interrupts again, berating the other Aes Sedai for “jabbering like brainless girls”, and telling them it’s too late to be afraid of going forward, and the Hall will hang them and Egwene out to dry unless they commit. As one, the other Aes Sedai turn and stare her down; Siuan is defiant at first, but soon wilts under their regard and apologizes, which Egwene thinks is most unlike her. For her part, Egwene is more confused than ever.

“You have been summoned for a very special reason, Egwene,” Sheriam said solemnly.

Egwene’s heart began to beat faster. They did not know about her. They did not. But what?

“You,” Sheriam said, “are to be the next Amyrlin Seat.”

LOC is kind of notable for the number of BAM! chapter ending lines, which is not something I recall Jordan using quite as often in earlier novels. It’s a “page-turner” trick that is one of those things I enjoy even while kind of chuckling at the blatant authorial manipulativeness involved. It also tends to be the bad thriller writer’s constant crutch-like companion (*cough*DanBrown*cough*), but that doesn’t negate its legitimate usefulness in more gooder writing.

The text says that Egwene finally recognizes Siuan by the tone of her voice, but I’m willing to bet the fish simile helped. Heh.

Bela: Why can’t I have a zooming pony? I want a zooming pony! Pink macaroons and a million balloons and performing baboons and A ZOOMING PONY. Give it to me! Now!

And, uh... That’s about it, really. Next chapter!

Chapter 35: In the Hall of the Sitters

What Happens
Egwene stares at Sheriam, wondering if this is some bizarre joke. Finally, she points out faintly that she is not even Aes Sedai. Sheriam replies that that can be gotten around, and Beonin explains that while it is clear under Tower law that the Amyrlin is Aes Sedai, nothing in the law says a woman has to be Aes Sedai to be raised Amyrlin. They concede this is semantics, but it is allowable, and therefore Egwene will be Aes Sedai by default as soon as she is Amyrlin. Egwene protests that this is madness, and thinks to herself that she is not remotely ready to be Amyrlin. She says she wouldn’t have the first idea what to do.

Aiel heart. Whatever they did, she would not let them bully her. Eyeing Morvrin’s bluff, hard face, she added, She can skin me, but she can’t bully me. “This is ridiculous is what it is. I won’t paint myself for a fool in front of everybody, and that is what I’d be doing. If this is why the Hall summoned me, I’ll tell them no.”

“I fear that is not an option,” Anaiya sighed, smoothing her robe, a surprisingly frilly thing in rose silk, with delicate ivory lace bordering every edge. “You cannot refuse a summons to become Amyrlin any more than you could a summons for trial. The words of the summons are even the same.” That was heartening; oh, yes, it was.

Sheriam smiles and assures her that they will be there to guide her; Egwene makes no reply to this, and Siuan is sent off to wake the Sitters. Then follows a flurry of preparation, as they have Egwene try on various Accepted dresses and instruct her in her role in the ritual. Egwene is annoyed that they make her repeat it over and over even though she had got it right the first time, as the Wise Ones had taught her, and thinks that if she didn’t know better, she would think they were nervous. They head off to the building where the Hall waits, and Anaiya reassures Egwene that it will go well. Egwene enters bracketed by Sheriam, Myrelle and Morvrin.

“Who comes before the Hall of the Tower?” Romanda demanded in a high, clear voice. She sat just below the golden chair, opposite the three Blue sisters. Sheriam stepped smoothly aside, revealing Egwene.

“One who comes obediently, in the Light,” Egwene said. Her voice should have been shaking. Surely they were not really going to do this.

“Who comes before the Hall of the Tower?” Romanda demanded again.

“One who comes humbly, in the Light.” Any moment this would turn into her trial for pretending to be Aes Sedai. No, not that; they would just have shielded her and locked her away until time if that was the case. But surely...

“One who comes at the summons of the Hall, obedient and humble in the Light, asking only to accept the will of the Hall.”

The youngest Sitter, Kwamesa, stands and asks if there are any present save women; everyone in the room including Egwene strips to the waist as proof that they are women, and Egwene reflects that long ago there would have been more proof required, and formal ceremonies were held “clad in the Light”. Romanda asks who stands for this woman, and Sheriam, Myrelle and Morvrin answer that they do; then Romanda calls Egwene forward and asks why she is here. In the words of the ritual, Egwene answers that she is here to serve as the Amyrlin Seat, if it pleases the Hall. Delana stands first, followed by eight more, not including either Romanda or Lelaine; Egwene knows that nine votes is one short of rejection, and that it was a statement, that the Hall did not intend to be lapdogs. Sheriam had assured her it was only a token gesture, but Egwene is not so sure. Egwene goes around the room with a basin of water and a cloth, washing the Sitters’ feet and asking to serve; when she is done, they vote again. This time every Sitter except Lelaine and Romanda stands. After a moment, Lelaine shrugs and rises; Romanda stares at Egwene for a long, tense moment before finally standing, and Egwene hears a gasp of relief from behind her, where Sheriam and the others are standing. Romanda and Lelaine lead her up to the chair at the head of the room and drape the stole over her shoulders, and all the Sitters recite in unison:

“You are raised to the Amyrlin Seat, in the glory of the Light, that the White Tower may endure forever. Egwene al’Vere, the Watcher of the Seals, the Flame of Tar Valon, the Amyrlin Seat.” Lelaine removed Egwene’s Great Serpent ring from her left hand and gave it to Romanda, who slipped it onto Egwene’s right. “May the Light illumine the Amyrlin Seat and the White Tower.”

Egwene laughs, startling Lelaine and Romanda, because she has remembered what comes next, and manages to sit on the chair without wincing, which she considers a personal triumph. Then the sisters in the room line up in order of age, behind Sheriam, Myrelle and Movrin, and each in turn curtsies to Egwene and asks to be allowed to serve; Egwene answers as seriously as she can manage, and the Sitters leave silently as soon as they finish, until Egwene is alone with her sponsors. She asks what would have happened if Romanda hadn’t stood for her, and Sheriam replies that she would have probably been raised Amyrlin herself, either her or Lelaine. Egwene says that’s not what she meant; what would have happened to her, Egwene? They answer that it is possible she would have just gone back to being Accepted, but usually a woman who is refused the Amyrlin Seat is exiled, and Sheriam adds that as Egwene’s sponsors, they would certainly have been exiled, and likely Carlinya, Beonin and Anaiya along with them.

Her smile was abrupt. “But it did not happen that way. The new Amyrlin is supposed to spend her first night in contemplation and prayer, but once Myrelle finishes with those buttons, it might be best if we gave at least a little of it to telling you how matters stand in Salidar.”

They were all looking at her. Myrelle was behind her, doing up the last button, but she could feel the woman’s eyes. “Yes. Yes, I think that might be best.”

Well, that happened almost insanely fast, I remember thinking the first time.

On Egwene being raised in general, I really don’t see how this could have been viewed as anything but a sham by everyone involved. Perhaps this is just a result of having been immersed in the story too long, but even while seeing the logic behind the move as it is explained to us, I still find it slightly unbelievable that Sheriam et al got the entire Hall to go along with it in the first place.

I’m divided in my own mind as to whether the later revelations we get about the “too-young Sitter” mystery in the rebel Hall (read all about it here if you need an outdated-but-still-good-primer-material refresher) lend credence to the notion of raising a puppet Amrylin or not. I guess it does, sort of, except that from what I can tell getting rid of an inconvenient Amrylin is a mite more problematic than getting an extraneous Sitter off the board. I mean, if Egwene had really turned out to be the pushover they thought she would be, what were they planning to do with her, long term? The more I think about it, the more I think that things would really have not ended well for Egwene had she not taken matters into her own hands.

Of course, I do seem to recall that Siuan later has a number of sub rosa stories of Amrylins who were barely more than puppets for the Hall, but those seemed to be effects of happenstance, of Amrylins who turned out to be much weaker than they were thought to be, whereas Egwene’s raising was deliberately engineered. Or maybe I’m just pulling all this from my ass, and raising puppet Amyrlins happened all the damn time.

All that being said, however, the game of legal dodgeball the Salidar Six play in justifying an Accepted being raised to Amyrlin is actually based on historical fact: in papal elections for the Roman Catholic Church (a process upon which the raising of the Amrylin is obviously based), it used to be that a man could be elected Pope without being a bishop or even ordained first, but if such a man was elected, he was immediately made a bishop by virtue of having been elected Pope, since the Pope is also the Bishop of Rome. (This is no longer the case, but back in the day, it was so.)

Indeed, the allusions to the RCC contained within the Aes Sedai organization as a whole and the Hall/Amrylin set-up specifically are almost too numerous to note, right down to the foot-washing thing and the simultaneous election of two opposing Amrylins, which is a reference to the Great Western Schism at the end of the fourteenth century, as I think I have mentioned before. I always did think this was one of Jordan’s more brilliant (and fascinating) real-world parallels in WOT, and it’s pretty clear he put a great deal of thought into constructing it.

The most pointed allusion in this chapter, of course, is the issue of gender, and the mirrored exclusionary emphasis on it in both organizations. While I seriously doubt the papal conclave ever involved dropping trou to verify everyone there was a man (at least I devoutly hope not), the Church’s total exclusion of women in the clerical hierarchy is codified in ecclesiastical law, just as the exclusion of men is in Tower law – and, in a way, for much the same reasons. Eve ate the apple; male Aes Sedai broke the world. It is perhaps ironic that the White Tower’s reasons for excluding men are the more legitimate of the two.

(What, me be incendiary? Nevah!)

As to the “stripping” aspect of the ceremony, I’ve heard people be derisive and/or critical of this, alleging it to be a chauvinistic or inappropriately salacious vision of what a female-only hierarchy might involve, but I’ve personally never seen it that way. To me, it was a pretty clear reference to some of the European pagan traditions that the Church stomped out and/or expropriated in its expansion, many of which had a decided emphasis on the power/sanctity of women; Egwene’s reference to rituals being performed skyclad “clad in the Light” clinches that if nothing else does. The irony of this particular theological mashup was, I’m sure, not lost on Jordan any more than it is on me.

All in all, yummy allusion fun. Good times.

So, there may be more to say about this chapter, but I’m officially tapped out for now. Enjoy, be nice in the comments (if you are wise you’ll listen to me), and I’ll see you folks in the mid-weekal area. As the Pope would say, Ciao!

Captain Hammer
1. Randalator
Why can’t I have a zooming pony? I want a zooming pony! Pink macaroons and a million balloons and performing baboons and A ZOOMING PONY. Give it to me! Now!

Well, I want a pony and a plastic rocket.

Boy, I really hope Buddha heard that...
vo mabulay
2. alreadymad
Yep... it was the fish proverb that identified Siuan. Not just help identify but really identified. Fish sayings are Siuan's signatures.
John Pigott
3. AbEnd
So, could a person like Caster Semenya be an Aes Sedai? The IAAF has stricter tests then stripping to the waist.
Jeff Weston
5. JWezy
While I seriously doubt the papal conclave ever involved dropping trou to verify everyone there was a man...

Hmmm... I don't think anyone who gets to go to the papal conclave wears trou. Somehow I pictured them in robes. Not that my theological bread is buttered that way, but still.

On the other hand, I did laugh out loud at that statement, so I gladly accept it.
Peter Nein
6. gimpols1908
I always found it staggering that the whole fact that Eggie showed up so quick, and the only reaction was 'well that WAS fast'. I mean, traveling (albeit in a rudimentary form) was just reintroduced to the world, can I get a wut wut?! Seriously.

As per the puppet set up. It seems that anytime the Congress...uh sitters...completely overruled the executive branch...or whatever... they dithered in red-tape and everything degraded into choss...

Hooray Monday!
Rand al'Todd
7. Rand al'Todd
The ancient Greek Olympics imposed a nude gender check after a girl (sister of prior winners) disguised herself in order to compete, then won.

At the time, only one female (a priestess) was even allowed to watch the competition.
Ryan Maguire
8. SonOfBattles
I suppose there's another level of irony in that the part of Eve in Jordan's retelling of the The Fall was played by Lanfear... Not that the Aes Sedai remember that little tidbit anymore.
Tess Laird
10. thewindrose
A day or two to reach Salidar? That was what Sheriam had said. The Wise Ones were right. Everyone had believed for so long that Aes Sedai knew everything that Aes Sedai believed it, too. She was going to prove them wrong tonight, but it was not likely they would take any real notice of her proof.

Egwene - so right about this, even though she thought they were summoning her to be punished for claiming to be a full sister, It is amazing anything ever gets accomplished in the WoT world with the lack of communication, all the misunderstandings and general obtuseness that happens.

As per the puppet set up. It seems that anytime the Congress...uh sitters...completely overruled the executive branch...or whatever... they dithered in red-tape and everything degraded into choss...

Yup, until the supreme leader declares war.
Rich Bennett
11. Neuralnet
As much as I love this series of books, this point in the story is where I really start getting annoyed by the miraculous and instantaneous knowledge the characters come up with. Jordan took so much care to lay out how there were all these uses of the one power and talents that had been lost and then boom, the supergirls can do them all. now at first it sort of seems reasonable, elayne and nyn have the captured forsaken to learn from and we can assume the wise ones may know how to get into TAR in the flesh.. but Egwene weaving the gateway into TAR should have at least had a little trial and error involved. And later in the story and in future books it gets much worse where all of the sudden all sorts of knowlege and talents are instantly rediscovered.
lanyo lanyo
12. lanyo
I was worried for the Dream Bela. If that old unicorn was leftover from someone else and was roaming TAR, then is DB now doing the same? Will they meet and have TAR babies? Is DB, as imagined by Egwene, in any way like real Bela? If you make a Dream person and leave them there, will they have their own motivation and actions?
Alex Johns
13. almuric
Bah. I was just about to break out the pope analogy when Leigh beat me to it. (And there's some Bene Gesserit cross-pollination, too, methinks.) So the AS are Randland's RCC. With gender roles reversed, though, who would be the nuns? Is there a celibate order of males somewhere?

And Eve is totally the reason I'm not living in paradise. Why if that hussy hadn't eaten that apple I'd be living in the lap of luxury. It's completely her (and every other woman's) fault. Heh. I love blaming my problems on other people. It's never my fault. Really! (Who's Eve in the atheist pantheon? Madalyn Murray O'Hair?)
14. Freelancer
Veruca, Sweetheart, they won't sell me a zooming pony. Or an Oompa-loompa. So shut it!

Agree with gimpols1908@6. Egwene pops into Salidar within hours of the summons from Cairhien, and they don't ask a single question. I get that they are a bit nervous about what they are attempting, but it isn't like they have a deadline tomorrow, they weren't expecting her for days. There could have been two minutes set aside for "Did you discover how to fly?".

Egwene was wise enough to know how wrong this business was, yet just a bit too ambitious to try harder to stop them. Thoe "ooh-ooh" girl gets to be popular, too? I'll have some of that, puppet or no puppet.

Siuan knows how strong Egwene is, and I don't mean in the Power. She knows Egwene will not be the puppet of the Hall, nor the Salidar Six. She doesn't realize yet that Egwene won't be hers, either. Oh, the tangled...


I'm not going to pretend to be familiar with Catholic doctrine. Biblical exclusion of women from church authority had nothing to do with the fruit. It is a determined heirarchy, the man reports to the Creator, and is responsible to Him. The design is not for the purpose of putting down or holding down one gender. Remember Siuan and Nynaeve going face-to-face with the ship's crew analogy? There cannot be two people trying to steer and command without chaos. The same is true in families.
Noneo Yourbusiness
15. Longtimefan
I will agree that the rasing of Egwene to Amylin seemed a bit rushed but I still liked how it felt like something significant had happend.

This type of event is less prominent in the following books and almost missing from a few we will be gettin to later so I will not mention them now.

It may be a bit to story like for fans of realism but it is a story and sometimes it is nice that things get a move on.

If tedious sold like hotcakes my life story would be a best seller. :)

As for Popes and such, The papal chair and Pope Joan are a couple of interesting bits to search out on the googles.

(there was a scrotum check for a while, not sure if it is still done mostly because I do not care)
Maiane Bakroeva
16. Isilel
I still find it slightly unbelievable that Sheriam et al got the entire Hall to go along with it in the first place.

Well this leans heavily on RCC history as you have noted, and there were very young Popes like John XII and Benedict IX (who may have been as young as 11 or as old as 18 ;)).

Also, there were "out there" candidates like Celestin V.

Basically, election of Egwene was quite convenient because they could show that they meant business, yet be open to reconciliation. An "out of the left field" candidate like that wouldn't necessarily have to die if they decided on making accommodation with WT and/or wouldn't have the ability to fight tooth and nail for her office (or so they thought).

And of course everybody thought that
they'd be able to rule through her for as long as rebellion lasted, without running the ultimate risk themselves.

IMHO, it was pretty realistic and quite clever.

BTW, I wonder what kind of exile the unsuccessful candidates and their sponsors get. Is it just "Never show up at WT again", which shouldn't really evoke so much fear as many do it of their own free will anyway, or is it along the lines of what the Red Sitters got after the "vileness" was stopped?

Or were the Six just afraid that they'd lose the ability to affect events and ultimately would be hunted down by victorious Elaida?

While I seriously doubt the papal conclave ever involved dropping trou to verify everyone there was a man

Well, a eunuch couldn't be a Pope, so who knows what proofs may have been required? IIRC, when the troops of Emperor Charles V took Rome, they hunted down a number of cardinals and ensured that they couldn't become candidates for papal election...
Galen Brinn
17. GatheringStorm
Freelancer@ 14 said,
I'm not going to pretend to be familiar with Catholic doctrine. Biblical exclusion of women from church authority had nothing to do with the fruit. It is a determined heirarchy, the man reports to the Creator, and is responsible to Him. The design is not for the purpose of putting down or holding down one gender.

That's not quite it. Per my 12 years married to a Catholic (and time with her Catholic family and numerous priests): The Catholic Church's reason (excuse?) for prohibiting women from the clergy is based meetings that Jesus had with the Disciples after the Resurrection where the Church was "created": No women were in the rooms at the time and therefore, God didn't want women as priests (my phrasing).
James Jones
18. jamesedjones
14 Freelancer

"There cannot be two people trying to steer and command without chaos. The same is true in families."

A-men. Of course, in my case, I'm agreeing with you because I'd hate to be in charge of a family. Too much work. But if there is someone else to handle the steering, I'll just sit here and be silly on the rereads. :P

Leigh, thank you for the oompa loompa music now running through my head. :(

My name is Luca. I live on the second floor. I live upstairs from you...

Mwah Ha Ha!

As for the chapters, it is reasonable for the SGs to come up with all kinds of crap. I think the whole debate about what is plausible for the characters falls into the whole deus ex machina of tavereness. Remember, Loial indicated way back in the inn in Caemlyn that an uber-taveren would turn so that all threads were caught in the movement.

For example, one of the first non-major, seanchan POVs was from the guy gambling with Mat when he considered the possibility that the DOTNM might come with the Return. It was no more than a possibility, but she had to come for any chance of success. IMHO the three taveren tugged her thread enough to get her on the ship, maybe even pulling on both her thread and Semi's thread - all the way in seanchan - to set up her part in TG.

Feel free to disparage. :)
Dan Sparks
19. RedHanded

Well it says in the book, at least concerning Egwene going into T'AR, that she "worked it out" for herself. So I'm guessing she did some behind the scenes trial and error. Also I would argue that it is some of the strongest characters in the book that are doing all the discovering for the most part which is totally plausible. There are a few parts where someone is watching someone weave something and are like oh I don't think I could handle so many flows (I think Elayne thought this about Nyn's healing). Being strong in the power I'm thinking allows for the ability to handle more weaves at once hence it is more likely that a combination of weaves to create something new would be discovered. Does that make sense?

@ 18
Not that I don't think that the taveren effect couldn't have drawn Tuon to join in the Return but I'm thinking that she left way before they started having symptoms of them being taveren. Seems as the books go on they tug on those threads more and more, ya know? Also there isn't really any proof in the text, I mean she came on behalf of the Empress, may she live forever, to reclaim the homeland right?
Rand al'Todd
20. Tailspinner
"There cannot be two people trying to steer and command without chaos. The same is true in families. "

Really, my family is fine thank you, but then again I haven't really had any respect for the writings of Paul for some time, I have found not submitting to my husband and acting as partners is really much better for us than that antiquated advice.

On to the WOT though, I remember thinking that about Egwene to, the discoveries start getting a little out of hand. I like the characters because they are flawed,a dn I like seeing people in books struggle, life isn't easy and it shouldn't be in books either.

I love the parallels with the Catholic church, I think this is one of the areas Jordan was even better than tolkien, his allusions were much more subtle and had to be researched to be known. Tolkien was a little more obvious with his paralles (IMHO).

Thanks Liegh, you make my Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays a little more bearable.
Sam Mickel
21. Samadai
It does nnot bother me that the SG's are rediscovering new weaves. they are suppose to be the strongest AS in at least quite a few centuries. Nynaeve can pick up weaves on her first viewing, so i see no reason why the cant modify weaves to create new ones.
Kat Woman
22. thekatwoman
Freelancer, I have to disagree. No woman in the Church was entirerly because of Eve. Original sin was "all her fault", according to the men. Remember, men had all the power. They made the rules and they said it was a girls fault, so it was.
James Jones
23. jamesedjones
19 RedHanded

"Also there isn't really any proof in the text, I mean she came on behalf of the Empress, may she live forever, to reclaim the homeland right?"

Nope. No proof in the text. I'm just going by what Loial told me.
James Jones
24. jamesedjones
19 RedHanded

"Also there isn't really any proof in the text, I mean she came on behalf of the Empress, may she live forever, to reclaim the homeland right?"

Nope. No proof in the text. I'm just going by what Loial told me.
Kat Woman
25. thekatwoman
I think it's reasonalbe that old and rediscovered powers would be coming out at this time. The whole "End of the World" thing.
To quote "And young people will dream dreams and young men will prophesy" (sp? sorry).
Kat Woman
26. thekatwoman
Ok folks a record for me, 3 in one day.
Is there a place to post and disscuss later books? I'm on my third reread, and at the end of POD.
Lannis .
27. Lannis
And now that song will be stuck in my head...

Yeah, um... the whole "entering T'A'R with your whole body as evil" thing I feel was a huge anti-climax... unless we have yet to see the results...? Maybe something is brewing we have yet to see? We know Rand is getting "harder" and, yes, it partly could be because we've seen him dabbling in T'A'R in the flesh (oh, that sounds dirty, doesn't it?), but we've yet to hear anything concrete...

The warning could be a fabrication of the Wise Ones--an err on the side of caution thing--that works as a plot device to facilitate Egwene's shiny Specialness! Or, you know... not...

Thanks again, Leigh! See you Wednesday! :)
Bryan Cogswell
28. shmoo
> Egwene al’Vere, the Watcher of the Seals

They really need to drop this title.

On the SG's discoveries...

Well - even the ones they do themselves* are a result of their experiences. Think about it instead of being locked away in the WT...

Ny&Ely have seen how AS, Seachan, and Sea Folk use the power. All three are different - which give them a completely different view on what can be done. They don't "know things" and they are young enough to naturally rebel against what their elders have told them

Likewise Egw has seen AS, Seachan and Aiel - is sorta in the same boat.

All three are more likely to experiment and learn new things. I think this by itself can explain quite a bit of their discoveries.

*they could at least drop a footnote for the stuff they take from the forsaken - at least internally :)
29. Freelancer

I said very clearly that I wasn't speaking in terms of the Catholic Church. How they made those decisions is beyond my knowledge and awareness, so I trust that those who have direction experience with that organization know much better than me.

What I said was that the Biblical reason was as I stated. There are myriad instances where the Catholic Church doctrine is supra-biblical. This may or may not be one.

God is no respecter of persons, He does not hold one gender as better, higher, more capable, less sinful, etc. than the other. I don't think any of us here would be foolish enough to say that either gender is universally more or less capable of leadership, of understanding, or any other competency. But without a defined heirarchy the result is a ship with multiple rudders. It's possible for them to be aimed at the same goal, but it's uncommon.

Eve ate first, but note that God directed his judgements to everybody in their turn, leaving nobody guiltless, the serpent first. So I don't buy the "Eve ate the fruit, so she can't lead" argument, and it is not mentioned in Scripture. Wherever sin is spoken of, it is said to have come "through the first man, Adam".
Alice Arneson
30. Wetlandernw
thekatwoman @ 22 (and others) No woman in the Church was entirerly because of Eve. Original sin was "all her fault", according to the men. Remember, men had all the power. They made the rules and they said it was a girls fault, so it was. Well, no. I could give you first second and third on the theological reasons, but I try not to debate doctrine on this site. (Or I'm trying really hard to refrain.) But even if you claim that the Bible is the words of men and not the Word of God (the only way you can say "men made all the rules" about it), Eve's sin is not given as the reason. It's a simple matter of a created structure that the church is supposed to follow (even though it too often doesn't).

I will grant that through history many men have taken advantage of their position, resulting in abuse of women, children, other men, entire races, you name it, but that is men's sin (sometimes leading to dictates and traditions that are truly horrendous). If you actually go read the Bible, Eve's sin is rarely mentioned after the 3rd chapter of Genesis. If you honestly want to know where the authority structure comes from, go read the Bible; if you don't really care about accuracy, just blame whoever the current PC/feminist teachings tell you to blame. It's certainly easier than actually looking for the truth.
edit: Freelancer, I should have known you'd be answering this at the same time!

Back to things WoT-related... I thought the "rushed" feel of the summons, trip and raising to Amyrlin was extremely well done. For one thing, if there was a big build-up, there wouldn't be much surprise to it. And I think you're supposed to feel rushed - that's what it was. The Salidar Six have been itching to get this in motion - they've been bugging the WOs nearly since Egwene was injured. The second they see her, BAM comes the summons. Then you're left to wonder what it was about while she goes through the toh resolution and does the cool zooming pony thing, and then WHAP in your face and she's the Amyrlin. They had to do it so fast that the sitters couldn't organize their opposition. If they had waited much longer, either Romanda or Lelaine would manage to get a sufficient majority to get herself elected, and then they'd be SOL. So, yeah, I think it's meant to feel rushed.
Tony Zbaraschuk
31. tonyz
One should probably look into the legend of Pope Joan for reasons for the gender-exclusion thing. Remember that Jordan is mashing up legends as well as history.

I, too, thought that Egwene being raised Amyrlin was rather odd -- and it wasn't until Elaida's reaction to the news, several books later, that I finally came across a reason that made sense. But would the Salidar Hall really plan on raising a puppet Amyrlin that they would then have to exile? That seems a bit cynical for Aes Sedai, particularly with Egwene's promise... or were they just getting rid of a prospective competitor for the future? Wheels within wheels.

The link with Rand is probably very important, though: they figure that they need a string on the Dragon, and what better than his childhood sweetheart "leading" them? That's probably the hook that Siuan and then the Six used to get the Hall to accept things.
Justin Levitt
32. TyranAmiros
I think it does connect in a way to the mystery of the too-young Sitters in both Halls. The intention, at least at this point, is probably twofold:
1. Bring about the reunification of the Tower as quickly and smoothly as possible, with all records being sealed in the 13th depository. This means that those "too-young" sitters can be convinced to step down (they'll have their chance to return to the Hall later). I'm sure that none of the factions intend for Egwene be Amyrlin after the tower is reunited.
2. Establish links to the ta'veren, especially Rand. The Aes Sedai need someone with links to the Dragon and the only Aes Sedai who have interacted with Rand are Moiraine (dead) and Verin (not officially with the Rebels). Elayne's really not mature enough and Nynaeve has her block, so that leaves Egwene.

Part of me has been conceiving of this loony theory where Siuan is put back on the Amyrlin Seat (now that she can channel again) when the Tower is unified. I realize Egwene makes more sense from a story perspective, but putting Siuan back would help the Aes Sedai create an elaborate cover story about how the Tower's split was part of some ploy and maintain their position that they are in control of events.
James Jones
33. jamesedjones
30 Wetlandernw

Bam, Whap, Zooming pony! Fun post. Yay!

Jumping back on the whole biblical argument, from whence I will do a rolling dive back into the infested bunker, there are some denominations that believe no one would have been born without the original sin. It kinda had to happen for this whole being born thing and needing a savior. On the other hand, if we could have been born, then we wouldn't have been able to die unless we ate the fruit, and then we wouldn't have been able to get back to heaven, because we would have been stuck in the garden for eternity (with everyone else who couldn't die). Maybe someone could help me with the logic behind all of that.

Love how Delana is the first to stand here, and the first to lose her lunch when Egwene grabs the reigns.

26 thekatwoman

Just identify it as a future theory and bring it on. There's no where else to post the later stuff yet. But we rarely stick to the material in the current chapters. :)

Edit: Or even in the books themselves, apparently.
Rikka Cordin
34. Rikka
oh dear gods leigh, what have you done? bringing the rcc into this... they'll never stop! D:

That being said, pretty epic set o' chapters right here. Egwene's badassery begins.
Hurin Smells
35. HurinSmells
If Eve never ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge, got wise and convinced Adam to take a bite too, then the human race would have consisted of two morons without sense enough to put on some clothes!

Also, I think the "too young Sitters" conspiracy was entirely to do with RJ's vision of the "clad in the light" scene in the event that WoT was made into a movie.

EDIT: language
j p
36. sps49
almuric @13-

Atheist pantheon???

Egwene is definitely intended to be a puppet; Romanda and LaLaine both think they will be directing events through her. Ha!, I say.
Peter Rabbit
37. Peter Rabbit
A slightly odd point on which to interject, but the whole "dropping trou" thing does have a real world precedent. There was a widely-believed story involving Pope Joan and a rather peculiar chair (viz. Wikipedia:
Roger Powell
38. forkroot
(Back in the 48 and already missing the 49th)

Leigh wrote:
LOC is kind of notable for the number of BAM! chapter ending lines, which is not something I recall Jordan using quite as often in earlier novels. It’s a “page-turner” trick that is one of those things I enjoy even while kind of chuckling at the blatant authorial manipulativeness involved. It also tends to be the bad thriller writer’s constant crutch-like companion (*cough*DanBrown*cough*), but that doesn’t negate its legitimate usefulness in more gooder writing.
Got news for you ... Part of the vacation fun was polishing off the Mistborn trilogy. Guess who else likes to end the chapters with "BAM!"?

> Egwene al’Vere, the Watcher of the Seals

They really need to drop this title.
I really don't see the problem - I watched a number of monk seals last week.

EDIT: D'oh! As BillinHI points out, its the 50th state that I'm missing.
Bryan Cogswell
39. shmoo
forkroot @38

Yeah. But I had no idea that everyone found out that Mazrim Taim had the secret title of "Cluber of Seals" ...

But really... The AS taking this title "watcher of the Seals" when they haven't had them since what the Trolloc wars? Before then?

-i'm only being half serious here - since it seems that every royal title is so pumped up to the point of silliness. Which is why a couple of chapters ago when Rand was "I'm Rand..." sans titles... made me happy.
Tess Laird
40. thewindrose
Arggg forkroot - go drink some tea!
So did you catch some waves? Welcome back.
So we have debate on the rcc and Eve here and Jason Henniger's specficsex Blog on the site as well. Always interesting.

Back to WoT. I have to laugh at Delana. I bet when she signed up for the BA, she didn't realize what that would net her. Vote yes on everything. Oh wait, here's Halima, get her close to Egwene.
41. Siuanfan
Hey has no one ever heard the legend of the Pope testicle-checking chair? People are pretty sure it's just a myth, but this entire conversation had me giggling, remembering reading about it.

The Myth: All Popes when elected must sit on the Sedes Stercoraria, a chair with a hole in the centre of the seat, without underwear on, in order to have their genitals touched, to prove that they are a man. This arose after Pope Joan ruled to make sure that the same mistake would not occur again.

... sure it's a ridiculous story (that I totally wish were true... because lulz, that's why), but I'd take the breast-baring "I am a woman" declaration over the 'poke me in the two-veg to prove that I'm a man' chair any day.

Anyhoo, I think Egwene's made of awesome, and I spend the first 6 books waaaaiting for THIS VERY SCENE which may just be my favorite, just because I was so "Holy crap!" the first time around. Then it's a matter of waiting for the scene where she declares war on Elaida and shows them dippy chicks who's boss around here!

... it occurs to me that Halima would have passed the "I've got boobies, therefore I belong here" test, and they'd have been wrong Wrong WRONG. Perhaps they'd better re-think their screening processes...
Alice Arneson
42. Wetlandernw
jej @ 33 - I tried to figure out how to fit in a BOOM but it just didn't work. ;) As far as the denominations that believe... Quite true that without the original sin we would not have needed a savior. But that no one would have been born? I saw that a few threads back and refrained from commenting, as I will now, save this: **shudder** Oh, the horrible mutilation of theology that takes. ****shudder****

HurinSmells @ 35 You just used one of the worst words in the world. Also, you're wrong about the "no kids" theory, but as said above, I'm not going to discuss theology or heresy here.

Siuanfan@41 - Perhaps they'd better re-think their screening processes... LOL!!
Ian Horn
43. IanGH
I read a (serious) book a while back that talked about the source of early Christianity's, shall we say, male-centeredness. The premise was that early Christianity was essentially a mélange of Greek philosophy and Hebrew mysticism. The Platonic school of thought (which was very male-centered) had a strong influence over Paul, who in turn had a strong influence over the early church. I don't have the book close to hand to confirm if I have that all right but the sense is there.

The concept of original sin was developped much later by St. Augustine, I believe.
44. Shadow_Jak
Seems like it would be a lot simpler to just have each woman embrace Saidar, "I am woman". The "glow" should leave no doubt, eh?

On the other hand, this way is much better for evaluating possible 'pillow friend' candidates.
john mullen
45. johntheirishmongol
I was just thinking, the SG haven't been around the WT long enough for anyone to know them all that well. But I bet it didn't take very long for them to realize that Ny was totally unsuitable for a leadership role. Like 30 seconds

Anyway, one question has always bugged me a little. Once you become Accepted, aren't you really an AS? Otherwise why give you a ring? I can't imagine why they would promote someone to Accepted that would not make the final step, unless they were looking for permanent teachers and I don't get that from what I have seen.

I really did think Siuan and Leann cooked this up between them even before they arrived in Salidar. And, as usually happens, what you get is not exactly what you expected.

Egwene, it turns out, has learned how to learn very well. She is not the strongest, but she may be the smartest of all.
Thomas Keith
46. insectoid
Not-so-late in coming. I remember these chapters being total OMG moments for me when I read them the first time. Before I get to my thoughts:

Why can’t I have a zooming pony? I want a zooming pony! Pink macaroons and a million balloons and performing baboons and A ZOOMING PONY. Give it to me! Now!

BAHAHAhahaha!! I nearly fell outta my chair reading that.


Journey to Salidar: I'm sort of wondering why Eg chose to ride to Salidar in T'A'R. With all the tricks Dreamwalkers can do there, couldn't she have just used "Need" and popped up there instantly? Ah well...she DID get directions. And it gave Bela some screen-time! Go Bela!

Siuan: Woo hoo! Another fish saying! Which I agree would have been more telling than her voice.

Amyrlin: As I mentioned, OMG. It really DOES seem like a great joke--at least until she puts her foot down in TPoD.

The Ceremony: makes sense in a female-dominated society, to me. I understand this is debatable. And no, I never noticed the similarity with the RCC, because I know next to nothing about Catholicism. (read: I know the Pope is in charge!)

Freelancer @14: LOL. Yeah, flying would have worked too...

Forkroot @38: Welcome back. And yes, Sanderson does have a knack (habit?) of ending chapters with a BAM (not to mention the entire book!)

Siuanfan @41: HAHA HA Ha ...heh. Too bad Halima got away. The "I can wield saidar" test would work much better!
Oh... Shadow_Jak beat me to it. D'oh!
Kristina Blake
47. kab1
I really enjoyed these chapters, and Egwene subsequent rise to becoming a tough Amyrlin. I did find it surprising how quickly she was raised, given the already obvious slow pacing of the series, I thought there might have been more of a debate. I'm glad there wasn't and it was all said and done before Egwene even got to see Elayne and Nynaeve.

@41 SiuanFan and 44 Jak- HA!

@28 Schmoo, yeah, I always found the title a bit funny as well, considering they have no idea of where the seals are....
Alice Arneson
48. Wetlandernw
IanGH @ 43 - This again assumes that the Bible is the words of men, not the Word of God. But if that's your thinking... Well, this isn't the place to discuss it. I'll drop it.
Peter Nein
49. gimpols1908
45. @ johntheirishmongol
"Anyway, one question has always bugged me a little. Once you become Accepted, aren't you really an AS? Otherwise why give you a ring?"

See I always thought of being accepted like being a webelo in scouts... you are still junior, and have to hang out with the kids, but you spend more time with the older kids.

on the topic of the whee zoom pony...
Spirit from She-RA... You can at least get the toy of superbella...

/heh, webelo
Tony Zbaraschuk
50. tonyz
Paul isn't particularly a Platonist. (Philo of Alexandria, now he was one.) And I don't know what denominations think that original sin was necessary for people to be born. (I'm sure someone somewhere thinks it's possible, but... nah.)

Getting back to the White Tower and its search for threads to Rand, they don't know about Elayne's extremely strong desire to drag him off into a private room, and they also don't want to lose their "in" to Andor's throne. (I wonder if any of them have ever thought of the consequences of having a queen live for 200-300 years and what that might do to normal political patterns.) And I suppose after a few experiences with Nynaeve they quickly dismissed the idea that she might be "biddable" when it comes to getting Rand to do stuff.

On novice and Accepted promotions: I think the general setup is that novices are trained until they can safely handle the Power, and those who are considered strong enough are sent to face the Accepted test. Then the more intensive training (including the political maneuvering, not just the Power and basic education) begins.
Rand al'Todd
51. Lisamarie L
I am totally caught up now, yay :)

The Zooming Pony made me LOL.

I for one, enjoy the Egwene as Amyrlin sub plot...the Aes Sedai certainly bit off more than they could chew. Heh.

As for the kind of makes my head asplode when people talk about women being responsible for all sin. That belief is like...a caricature of the beliefs of the Church. I get the feeling that the people who think the Church thinks that aren't actually Catholic, or are nominally so (I'm exaggerating a bit - there probably are some 'higher ups' who feel that way, or have even wrongly promoted it)...but it's not part of the doctrine and is probably some form of heresy; In Section Two, Chapter One, Article 1, Paragraph 7 to be exact (which is all about sin/The Fall), it continually references Adam's sin, or sometimes Adam and Eve. It never talks about how women are responsible or how it is all 'Eve's fault'.

To be honest, I consider that whole idea just another example of the misogyny that runs rampant and twists all sorts of ideas, and not just in the realm of religion. People in the Church may have fallen prey to it but it's not of the Church.

At any rate, anybody who uses a religion to feel superior, is probably using it for the wrong reasons. And actually, one of the ideas I've always thought was really interesting (I read it in some of JPII's writings) is the idea that the Devil specifically targeted women BECAUSE of their sanctity, and that the whole strained gender relations we have are a result of the Fall, and not the way things are Supposed to Be. Although I try not to get TOO deep into the sancity of women thing because when taken too far it just leads to scary 'women on pedestals' which is also an unhealthy way to view women.

(As for Paul, we actually had that reading at our weddings, except we had the whole thing where it talks about us both submitting to each other).

Anyway...sorry...I'm kind of a theology geek so I enjoy talking about it, but that's not the purpose of the thread. :) Although to bring it back to WOT, I do enjoy the idea that it is working together that men and women are truly great.
Hurin Smells
52. HurinSmells
Wetlandernw@42&48 - apologies, modified the language in my post. Regarding the "words of men" thing... who knows, in 2000 years people may be using the content of WoT to guide how they live in the same way we use the Bible today, because they're both great stories.

Lisamarie L@51 - great post! I had to smile at "anybody who uses a religion to feel superior, is probably using it for the wrong reasons" though.
John Lofgren
53. JohnTheLurker
I just loved Egwene's ride to Salidar on Super Bela. I makes a great transition from her life among the Aiel to the Aie Sedai. Soon traveling will be very routine, but this journey is special.

It's up there with Mat's luck as he leaves Tar Valen as one of my favorite chapters.
54. whoami
insectoid@46 - I've thought a bit about the T'A'R/Salidar thing.

First, in order to travel to Salidar via T'A'R, she has to be there in the flesh. Once she's there, she has to move physically from Point A to Point B.

Second, I don't think she can instantaneously travel to Salidar because she's unable to picture the place in her mind, since she's never been there. Although, the Aes Sedai should have been able to show her what it looked like if they'd thought about it.

Finally, my guess is that the 'need' approach is too unpredictable to be used for traveling to a specific place. There's no way she could have been sure that the place she most needed to be at that time was Salidar, although it probably was.
John Lofgren
55. JohnTheLurker

Today I listened to episodes 55 and 56 of The 4th Age Podcast and they made a prediction which I hadn't run across before.

Manetheren will return as an independent nation. I hadn't considered this before because Perrin is constantly denying that he wants to restore Manetheren and only uses its banner for misdirection. Will Manetheren be recreated? One step on Manetheren's return has already occurred: Alliandre, queeen of Ghealdan, has sworn fealty to Perrin. The lands of Ghealdan were once part of Manetheren. Of course, Elayne's not going to like this.

What foreshadowing if after Moraine tells the story of the destruction of Manetheren near the beginning of The Eye of the World, RJ finishes the series with the recreation of Manetheren!
Ian Horn
56. IanGH
Wetlandernw@48: That was my thinking, although it wasn't meant to be my point. In any case, consider it dropped...

John@55: I never considered that Manetheren could be resurrected in fact, rather than just as a ruse for Perrin's plot line. It seems odd, though, to be going into the next age by bringing back a great nation from the middle of the previous age. I kind of thought of all ties breaking down and everything being made anew...
57. Freelancer
I'm always saddened by someone who claims the Bible is a "great story" but doesn't believe that it's the truth. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with someone not believing it to be true, that's each person's choice.

But if you have really read it, and don't believe it, then the only responsible position is to consider it the most despicable set of lies ever told. The words of the Bible are meant to touch hearts and change lives. If they are built on fiction, then the authors are history's greatest criminals, for promising Heaven in exchange for faith. There is no middle ground. It is either the greatest truth ever known, or the most wicked deception.
Roger Powell
58. forkroot
It would be more accurate to say that the waves caught me :-) Boogie boards are not surfboards!

Thanks- I guess it's nice to be back to a full keyboard, and to my cat (currently purring in my lap as I type.)

One more Hawaii thing and then I'll let it go: Was fortunate enough to see a rare snake eel while snorkeling in Kauai - then saw a picture and note about its rarity in the paper the next day.

The chair reference gave me a shuddering flashback to a rather unpleasant scene in the remake of Casino Royale. Ouch!
Andrew Blackburn
59. ajbcool
"There cannot be two people trying to steer and command without chaos. The same is true in families. "

My thought is that they're supposed to be 'one', as husband and wife...that's my piece.

@57-I believe it to be true too, but it could also be the writings of a misguided soul. Good intentions and such instead of outright lies.
Maiane Bakroeva
60. Isilel
Well, Pope Joan here or there, a Pope couldn't be a eunuch. Some early dignitaries of the Church castrated themselves to remove temptation and it was considered an unworthy and unacceptable shortcut for a Pope. If there was any kind of check, it had to do with this.

But speaking of Amyrlin election - yea, embracing saidar would have made vastly more sense. But then RJ invented a _lot_ of nekkid ceremonies of varying plausibility for his women, so...

Re: Accepted getting the Ring and in fact the whole "you are sealed to us now" thing - yea. Seems counter-intuitive, as the ring is the usual identification of an AS in the world and Accepted can be kicked out.
IIRC only those who have sufficient potential for becoming AS are tested for Accepted when they reach certain minimal strength level, but if they never become AS, they'd be best able to imitate one.

In fact, the whole treatment of weak recruits by the Tower makes very little sense. They can tell one's potential when testing for ability, no? So, why are they taking those who are too weak to ever become AS?
Seems like a waste to me, particularly since instead of logically making use of thus educated and indoctrinated former students as the Tower agents in various matters, they just drive them away.

And - they know very well that it is impossible to stop channeling. So, how can they seriously believe that failed students would "forget" the OP, huh?
Max Espensen
61. Andvari
When you consider how it gets later on in parts of the tPoD to CoT sections, it seems a little churlish to say this bit feels rushed. Surely the raising of an Amyrlin is more important than Elayne having a bath? Or a whole chapter of Perrin grumping at everyone and achieving nothing except thinking about Faile 2435456467567 times? (In my re-read I'm at the Perrin bit in CoT, a nadir in WoT in my opinion, so am a little negatively skewed at the moment).

But I think, as someone said earlier, the point of this is that it is meant to be rushed, unsure and a bit fumbly, and it's not that it's rushed from bad writing.

I too, assumed that Egwene had done some behind-the-scenes practice for entering T'A'R in the flesh, it is kind of implied, if not quite firmly enough to be sure. I'm trying to recall offhand if there is a specific plotline reason for why RJ didn't just let her Travel there. Anyone?


The trouble here, I think, is that you can't treat the whole Bible as the same, it was written by so many different people over such long a period of time that parts of it could be considered a lovely story and a great example of how to lead your life (though I'd personally feel more comfortable if people had realised that it's cool to be good and friendly to other people because of their own humanity and intelligence rather than for the promise of reward or fear of punishment by a remote omnipotent being). In any case, there are parts of the Bible which are lovely, even if you don't believe in their ultimate source, they are valuable and constructive texts in that sense.

The flip side comes in the other nastier parts of the Bible where they subjugate and trivialise women, say slavery is fine, homosexuality is an abomination (as is shellfish of course), forbid re-marriage if there has been someone in between and generally use their power to abuse minorities in which they disapprove of. (there are also the parts which are just plain weird, like forbidding eating raw meat, shaving your beard, or having a short back and sides, tattoos, or wearing clothes made of more than one material). I personally believe that Christians should accept that the Bible is not canon throughout and recognise that some of this older stuff is clearly written by men for their society of the time, dressed as "divine law" to make people shut up and obey it, and instead focus on the more metaphysical and overarching messages within the Bible of acceptance, equality in God's eyes, peace and love etc. (though the hippies would have to remove their Woodstock tattoos first, obviously). I mean the Catholics and the Protestants can't even agree on what the Bible is, so to treat it as one complete mass that is either all wrong or all right would be extraordinarily foolish.
Sean Banawnie
62. Seanie
IIRC (and I am pretty sure I am) Egs didn't know how to travel yet . This experience in entering the flesh let her work out traveling. Awhile ago , (not sure when exactly) Egs and Rand had the conversation where Egs was asking Rand how he travels....he tells her but is scared to try it, she feels this not only will not work for her but kill her. Her idea "making one place the same as another " horrifies Rand OTOH. She has been working on it but hasn't solved it yet. Remember when she meets Moggy in Salidar and tests her with the trick question about traveling ?
Sean Banawnie
63. Seanie
Isilel@60: I agree with the you about the tower's foolishness . I think it is arrogance that the tower dosen't use them in some other capacity.
More than an Accepted , less than a sister....they should get the respect of achieving what they are capable of......and also for the Accepted that fail the Acceptron , yet another role away from pressure that they say they can't handle. Look at the kin.....

IMHO , I think God in his (or her (LOL) I CAN'T call God an "it") infinite wisdom speaks to people in a way they can understand , in their own time and frame of reference . This changes over time.....The Bible is a collective history , philosphy , law , counsel(countless other functions)for thousands of years....OTOH is has been corrupted,edited and used for people's own ends(for which they will have to answer for).
It contradicts itself at some points . You have to read it with your heart and mind.
Max Espensen
64. Andvari

No, you're quite right she hasn't figured it out by then. Indeed, as you say, I guess it is what helps her to learn. I should have been clearer, what I meant is why RJ didn't just decide (as he would have theoretically been able to) that she couldn't figure it out beforehand and let her Travel to Salidar, was there a specific reason, necessary for the plot, for her to build up to it via T'A'R?
Rand al'Todd
65. Hari Coplin
Indeed, nudity in religious ceremonies is very appropriate. Also in the series, as I recall, especially early on, can't remember now on the later volumes, all of the major characters have their moments in the nude to bring them to the series, and often water is involved. It can be seen as a simple initiation to show them as simply men or women and nothing else, with no background or social standing or anything else relevant. In the ceremonies especially, all worldly things such as clothes are discarded, and it stands to reason a male White Tower would not have been different in such a regard.
Joseph Blaidd
66. SteelBlaidd

There is a reason but its not plot, its symbolism. Thematic and symbolic concerns are often more important in determining what is presented and how that either plot or character.

This passage from the 13th Depository
illustrates the symbolic use of horses in WoT, with a section on Egwene and Bela neer the end.
Jordan's use of symbolism with horses is so rich I can but scratch the surface here. Jordan associated horse (horse power) to destiny, to the Wheel weaving your thread in the Pattern. He used this imagery in a variety of ways. He has for instance the Aiel, who stepped outside their ancient role, scorn the use of horses - yet recently he had the WO begin to use them again... always those belonging to channelers: Egwene's for the most part - sometimes Moiraine's, and most significantly Aviendha whose destiny is tied to Rand goes on and off his horse a lot, before fairly recently getting her own from Elayne - one she will name Siswai. In Knife of Dreams, Mat who has to share his destiny with Tuon, will carefully choose and offer her a magnificient Domani razor. When there are great changes and turning points, characters will lose their horses (lost or dead) or buy a new one. Perrin loses his at Shadar Logoth - much later, his duality - his impatience to go forward and his caution that is often indecision will be represented by Stepper and Stayer. Moiraine, who works to bring Rand's destiny about, to make him 'ride the winds of time' has a white horse named 'West Wind' (that lead to the setting sun, for Rand this is death). Long before she found Rand, when she was still a hunter, Moiraine had a horse named Arrow. Early in the EOTW, before Rand's solar powers emerge, he will ride the most difficult horse of the lot - the one the others didn't want, a grey significantly named Cloud. Cloud will nearly unhorse Rand a few times. To ride to the final battle of the book, he will ride Red. Nynaeve, who seeks to protect all Emond's Fielders, will have a horse named Gaidin: warder. When Rand takes control and find the path to his true past and the secrets of Rhuidean, he will ride True Finder. At the peak of his power (before his decline), he will ride True Glory - a 'borrowed' horse to be kind, one he seized forcefully from an Aes Sedai who swore fealty to him (Kiruna) - the symbolism is that earthly, kingly power, isn't for him, that this isn't were his glory lies. 'True Glory' will unhorse him at the Altara/Illian border, as he fought... the Seanchan. It will be interesting what horse Ran will have for Tarmon Gai'don (if Jordan has left this sort of detail in his notes and outlines - details of symbolism is something from the series that threatens to be swept away by the change of writer, there is no telling at this point how Jordan documented all this or if he rather created and included it almost by instinct, as he went along). Bela is there for Egwene at the most important turning points of her destiny: to bring her out of the Two Rivers safely, to bring her accross the river, whereas Perrin loses his horse. To travel from Cairhien to Salidar at the summons of her destiny Egwene will create herself a dream Bela swift like the winds - while the real one awaits her there - and Bela patiently waits for Egwene all the while she meanders on side paths, like her trip to the Waste. To learn there the mysteries of the world of dreams, she will rather ride Mist - a horse she got almost immediately after getting Corianin's ring - and the horse she will leave behind to create herself a Dream Bela, with her newly acquired skills. And we will end this very long post on another touch of Jordan's humour: Siuan the deposed Amyrlin, when she will conceive her plans to use Egwene to rule in truth through her, will take her horse Bela. Siuan will get only grief from this usurpation - barely able to ride the placid, patient mare who will give her reproachful looks - and give us extremely amusing passages to read. In a bit reminescent of Rand and True Glory, Egwene when the Hall sees her as a figurehead an puppet will ironically try to saddle her with a huge gelding in total contrast with her position at that point: glory. When it's time for Egwene to run into her destiny at the Tower (and capture), she will ride on Bela again, leaving all Glory behind... and become again a novice.

Egwene's raising is done in a rush partly because the actual ceremony is a formality, the campaigning having been done earlier, partly because they don't want to give the sitters time to examine the candidate and change their minds, and partly because it mirrors the way that Rand is proclaimed to be The Dragon Reborn and then has to spend five books (tDR- aCoS) getting everyone to acknowledge that fact.
S Diller
67. CuenDiller
and this was the beginning of my fictional character crush on Egwene.
68. MasterAlThor
I didn't read all the comments so maybe someone mentioned it.

There was a chair that was used to make sure the Pope was a man. It had a hole in the middle of the seat. Guess what happens.

By the way, Leigh, that is one of my wifes fav movies. I will make sure she reads the intro. My kids run around singing the Oompa Loompa song. it's cute to see my 2 year old and 5 year old singing it.
Sean Banawnie
69. Seanie
Steelblaidd@66 Huzzah!
Thank you , very informative and interesting.
RJ had a nice piece of writing there and it was
very measured in her transformation from apprentice
of the Wo(which are held in low esteem by AS)to the top of the AS. As Sorilea said,"they are not nearly so much above us as we believed" or as the AS believed too. *snicker* Ironic that the student of the low becomes the master of the high.
The Wo are far tougher, much more competent , wiser
and COOLER by far . Gotta love it. And it got Bela back in the story. And was pretty writing.
Sean Banawnie
70. Seanie
Masteralthor@68 I wouldn't trust the chair . I've seen some pretty nasty 'roids in my time. I'm in nursing BTW. No misunderstandings here....
Marcus W
71. toryx
Constantly telling myself, "Do...not...get into...the religious...discussion..."

Rand al'Todd
72. Lsana
I'm a bit late to the party, but I just wanted to say that I don't think the "You must be naked to prove you are a woman" thing makes any sense whatsoever. The desire to exclude men is perfectly logical: men either can't channel (and thus are stupid sheep in the Aes Sedai worldview) or are batshit insane. Makes sense that you would want to keep them out whether you have a prejudice against the Y-chromosome or not.

However, wouldn't it be possible for a man to use the OP to disguise himself as a woman? We've seen plenty of disguise weaves, and it doesn't seem like the illusion of breasts or other parts would be so much more difficult than giving yourself a different face. And since women can't sense saidin, none of the Aes Sedai would even realize anything had been changed.

It makes more sense to use saidar as their test. If we wanted to be proactive, we could have everyone embrace saidar, but even that is unnecessary: since all Aes Sedai can detect the ability to channel in other women, it should be perfectly obvious to everyone in the room if anyone in there isn't a woman who can channel no matter what they are wearing.
73. Siuanfan
I too always thought it was strange that the Accepted get the ring instead of the shawl. A shawl is made of material and is therefore temporary, while a ring, being gold, is more permanent - and like someone said, since it's an accepted identifier of someone as Aes Sedai, it makes no sense to give them to Accepted who may be kicked out.

I realize the shawl can have the colored fringe to show an Ajah, which an Accepted has no claim to, but they might get a fringeless shawl and gain the ring + fringe upon being raised. Or they could get a plain ring upon being Accepted but... I dunno, get jeweled eyes put on the serpent in the Ajah colors upon being raised to Aes Sedai. Considering what a crime it is for an Accepted to pretend to be Aes Sedai, RJ sure made it easy to do so. Sure, it makes for a simple plot contrivance for the Supergirls in their travels, but the whole ring-at-Accepted, shawl-at-Aes Sedai always seemed kind of backward.
Tony Zbaraschuk
74. tonyz
Sensing how strong someone is in the Power senses how strong they are right now; they may grow in strength later on. You won't know their maximum strength until they stop growing, so you have to train them for a while before that happens.
Richard Fife
75. R.Fife
Skimming the comments--

On the Ring, doesn't really bother me. After all, we buy our class rings in junior year, not senior (of both high school and college). Also, is it ever said that a turned out Accepted gets to keep her ring? I'd imagine they take it back from her since she is no longer even Accepted, but now only a failed woman. None of the Kin have their rings, do they?

On "Embracing Saidar" as the test, I'd imagine that Aes Sedai were a fairly untrusting lot during the Breaking, so saying "pull out your gun and point it in my face" was probably not something they would have done.
Ian Horn
76. IanGH
There is no need to embrace Saidar to prove you can wield it. Anyone in the room would be able to sense any other woman's ability to channel. Baring the breasts can only be a symbolic gesture, not one of necessity or even prior necessity.

SteelBlaidd@66: You can get all that symbolism out of horses? I guess that's why I became an engineer...

Tonyz@74: What you said is true for men. For women, it is easier to gain a sense of her future strength. Moiraine sizes up Egwene and Nynaeve pretty well right from the get go and apparently is familiar with Elayne's strength from what was probably not more than a casual meeting.
77. Siuanfan
R. Fife @ 75 - " On "Embracing Saidar" as the test, I'd imagine that Aes Sedai were a fairly untrusting lot during the Breaking, so saying "pull out your gun and point it in my face" was probably not something they would have done."

HAH! I just had the exact same thought. The raising of an Amyrlin - and actually any time when the Hall is sitting is likely to be an emotional affair, knowing these women. No point tempting fate. They *should* have their Hall meetings in a stedding-type environment. Perhaps then they'd weigh value-or-argument over strength-in-saidar more often then.
Joseph Blaidd
78. SteelBlaidd
The use of the ring is both symbolic and practical.

One of the cief reasons the Accepted get the ring instead of the shawl is that it is a sign to THEM of their binding to the tower (notice that it is worn on the third finger of the left hand as would a wedding band). The shawl is an outward sign to others, one that can be taken of and put on at need. The ring is worn always as a constant reminder to the Accepted of thier binding to the tower. As such it has to be something they can wear both while attending lessons, and scrubing pots or hoeing fields. The outward sign of being Accepted is the banded dress.

From dom's Keys To Symbolism(If you haven't read this post yet read it now) useing white as a symbol of snow and the regeneretive death of winter.
similar ideas are associated to the novices: the white of their dresses are a blank slate - and they adopt it only after a symbolic regenerative death of their old self (their clothes are burned to make the end of their old life) - but they have many years in full white ahead before being fully reborn, as a full sisters. With the Accepted, the blanket of snow is retracting a bit, with the bands of colours at the cuffs and hem showing. At the full term of this 'winter', they will be reborn as full sisters, having found their true colour, which they will most often wear daily until they die, physically.

Regarding the debate on the Fall Im probaly the one who first brought up the neccessity of the Fall in the progresion of Humanity as it is a fundimental part of Mormon Doctrine, which is going to subtly influence Brandon's implementations of the relevent thematic elements in the same way Jim Rigney's Catholic faith has influenced how he uses them. The casting of the White Tower as the Vatican, with all the attendent ritual, ceremony, prestige, buracracy, and political infighting you get from such an extended orginizational history, is a prime example.

For reference:
Moses 3:16–17
Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die(emphasis mine).

2Nefi 2:22-23

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

Moses 5:11–11
10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
79. topknot
If I remember correctly there is something brought up in one of the previous books about how all Aes Sedai are constantly measuring each other in the one power to see where they stand. Since this is done all the time it would not be special enough to use in an official ceremony as a way to make sure all those present were supposed to be there. This is besides the fact that any woman not able to channel and any man at all would be thrown out long before they reached the point in the ceremony where they all expose themselves.

As far as the religious side of the comments go, all I can say is that what I know about catholicism I learned from watching Dogma.:)
vo mabulay
80. alreadymad
While it would be pointless to argue that Elayne is not any less immature than Egwene, I suppose we can say she's meant for other things, at least.

shmoo @39 and kab1 @47
Yes, it is rather arrogant for the Amyrlins to claim the title "Watcher of the Seals" when they've been lost for a while. You gotta admit though, at least Eg has actually seen the Seals, which is more than other Amyrlins can claim.

Isilel @60
Because Tower training is supposedly open to all women. Regardless of potential in the Power. Only those who can channel effectively are eventually raised Accepted, but in theory even those who will never channel still have courses available to them and are welcome. But yeah.. driving them off after they've channeled makes little sense from a certain perspective.

Re: the original sin thingy
It was Eve's fault for believing the shiny snake (which at the time was said to have wings instead of crawling on its belly and not have a forked tongue), but Adam the typical male chauvinist dummy shared equal blame for believing her. The end result was both of them getting thrown off.
Ducks and crawls into Cuendillar bunker...
Bill Reamy
81. BillinHI
forkroot @38: Unless you returned to the other 48 via Alaska, you’re actually missing the 50th state. And this is our 50th anniversary of statehood. Yeah, we were supposed to be the 49th state, but the Alaskans go there first somehow (probably Ted Stevens’ doing - he was almost certainly in politics that far back).

topknot @79: Dogma!!! Greatest RCC movie of all time!!!! ROFLMAO. Of course, now I have to watch it again soon...
Rand al'Todd
82. Lsana
@79 topknot,

Except that the whole point of bare breasts here is supposed to be to prove that there aren't any men in the room, and that's just stupid. If the point of the exercise was just to make it a special occasion, then okay, I accept it while I roll my eyes at yet another ritual that requires women to get naked. But this one is supposed to be for a very specific purpose, and it doesn't make any sense for that purpose when they have a far better method of determining who's a woman and who's not.
Rand al'Todd
83. Rand al'Todd
@58. forkroot re: Suianfan@41

The chair reference gave me a shuddering flashback to a rather unpleasant scene in the remake of Casino Royale. Ouch!

Actually, the referenced scene comes directly from Flemming's book (which is rare for a lot of the Bond movies - I don't think any of the Roger Moore movies had a single scene from a book).
84. topknot
@82 Lsana

I'm not disagreeing with you, I think it is stupid. I haven't read all of the history of the white tower, is it possible that somewhere in the past they had spectators, or witnesses who were not Aes Sedai watch the precedings and this was a way to show them that no men were present?
Richard Fife
85. R.Fife
By the by, I'm surprised it hasn't been said yet:

Romanda: Who comes before the Hall?

Egwene: I am a woman.

Sheriam: I am a woman.

Anaiya: I am a woman.

Uno: I am a woman.
86. topknot
@82 Lsana

Also I'm not a big fan of "we do it this way because this is how we have always done it" mentality, it tends to stunt growth and innovation, which is a major problem with the WT.
Rand al'Todd
87. EelfinnTy
The men only priesthood comes from several verses in the bible

1 Timothy ch2... 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
Marcus W
88. toryx
Lsana @ 82:

I have to confess, I don't understand what the big objection to the disrobing in this scene is. It's not about demonstrating that all present can channel, or that they are Aes Sedai. It's a demonstration that all present are women and therefore sisters. In Randland, where the sexes are so distinctly separate, that's a tremendously important distinction.

There's nothing titillating or indecent about it. It's about union and common purpose. Exposing their breasts is (at least in part) a reminder of the one thing they all share that transcends the things that divide them: strength in the power, age and ajah.

Displaying the physical evidence of their womanhood is just another method of demonstrating that they are all sisters and are bound to each by their very gender in ways that transcend any other ties.

It's a romantic concept and it may be silly but then, most rituals tend to be pretty silly from an outsider's point of view.
James Jones
89. jamesedjones
88 toryx

...and it is a pretty simple matter of some bad camera angles to make this PG in the WoT movie. ;)
Roger Powell
90. forkroot
Oops - brain fade on that one. In my (weak) defense, I did get it right the first time (see comment on part 16).
Helen Peters
91. Helen
80. alreadymad
Re: the original sin thingy
It was Eve's fault for believing the shiny snake (which at the time was said to have wings instead of crawling on its belly and not have a forked tongue)

So a dragon then. It's all Rand's fault!

64. Andvari.....she couldn't figure it out beforehand and let her Travel to Salidar, was there a specific reason, necessary for the plot, for her to build up to it via T'A'R?
Yes there was a plot reason, so she had something to hold over and threaten Moggy with. If she hadn't have been able to say to Moggy tell the truth as I may already know then we don't know what Moggy would come up with, other than the headache inducing weave.
92. Siuanfan
Aw jeez R.Fife, why'd you have to go and link to that? Now instead of making dinner, I'm going to have to read that whole thing again and laugh my arse off...
Rand al'Todd
93. alreadymadwithwttradition
topknot @86
You can't really blame them for being cautious to change considering the potential side effects of channeling uncontrollably
Sydo Zandstra
94. Fiddler

Manetheren will return as an independent nation. I hadn't considered this before because Perrin is constantly denying that he wants to restore Manetheren and only uses its banner for misdirection. Will Manetheren be recreated? One step on Manetheren's return has already occurred: Alliandre, queeen of Ghealdan, has sworn fealty to Perrin. The lands of Ghealdan were once part of Manetheren. Of course, Elayne's not going to like this.

What foreshadowing if after Moraine tells the story of the destruction of Manetheren near the beginning of The Eye of the World, RJ finishes the series with the recreation of Manetheren!

Except that the main promise Perrin made to get Tylee's cooperation for the combined Perrin/Seanchan attack on the Shaido in KoD was that he would NOT force the Manetheren claim in regard to Ghealdan, or restart Manetheren at all.
(IIRC, I'm not there on my reread yet, but I'm pretty sure)

So that would make Ghealdan a part of 'the south and west that will be united'(under Seanchan rule). Because of those mountain ridges (Garen's Wall?) Mat was manoeuvering to get through in his guerilla against the Seanchan, it's not suitable to be united to the TR in 1 country anymore, anyway.

As for Elayne vs. TR independency, I would like to see Rand, Elayne, Min, Perrin, Faile and possibly Morgase coming together and work that out.

Because IMO the Crown of Andor, doesn't have an automatic reclaiming option here after what happened there. And I can picture Rand taking Perrin's side on that one. Morgase might even agree with them (even if she is no longer Queen)

As for Bible/RCC discussions, I will not join any of them.
Roger Powell
95. forkroot
Is is just me, or do issues like an independent TR (not part of Andor) seem awfully trivial considering the imminence of Tarmon Gai'don?

If TG truly signals the end of the Third Age, there should be a dramatic change to the world as it is known. Perhaps not quite as destructive as the Breaking; but it seems unlikely that current political boundaries would survive.
Peter Nein
96. gimpols1908
@85 and 92

Egwene: Bark?
Elayne: Thanks. Delicious.

/umm umm bark...

The one problem with that whole section is the Uno would have said "I am a bloody woman" (everybody: hi Uno)
Ed Rafferty
97. BigBoy57
Hey - a horrible thought!

I've been assuming 27/10/09 is the date that the trade PB of TGS comes out (as well as the HB) - someone please confirm that - pls pls pls!!

I really don't want to wait any longer but I don't want to pay $50+ here in aussie cash for a HB.
Rand al'Todd
98. alreadymadwithsouth&west
Fiddler @94
It's highly unlikely that Ghealdan would be included in the South and West under Seanchan control. If Rand ever manages to force a truce with the Seanchan, I doubt he would deliberately cede a territory to which he already has sent emissaries and who has sworn fealty to him indirectly. Besides, while the Seanchan may have activities in Ghealdan, they obviously do not have full control over it. Most likely locations to be left under Seanchan control are those over which they currently have a firm grip. Amadicia, Tarabon and Altara.
Alice Arneson
99. Wetlandernw
SteelBlaidd @ 78 - FWIW, Jim Rigney was NOT RCC - he was Episcopalian. (Yes, there are significant theological differences.) As for Mr. Sanderson's Mormonism affecting the story, I'm desparately hoping it won't; it's been my biggest fear about his writing, actually. (Especially after what he did with religion in the last Mistborn book. Argh.)

As far as your quotations, they are from books not generally recognized as canonical, so I don't trust them one whit. Especially since they're dead wrong.

Now can we please stop this except as it relates to WoT?
John Massey
100. subwoofer
Whew! Made it finally!

Rock on! Posted at one Huney!!!

So I see that disaster has loomed so.... Damn it people! Religion and politics- steer clear, unless you want bloodshed at Thanksgiving and Christmas(or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever). Besides- there are bigger fish to fry.

Leigh, s'up? I personally was very happy that it was Bela chosen. We don't need no stinkin' unicorns...

I am liking the reasons for Eggy being raised to Amyrlin. I don't want to skim back as some people put some epic posts that are challenging to wade through but the ties to Rand is definitely a plus in my mind. Eggy's strength in the Power and her being seemingly bidible also make it a lock. Ny has her block, and she is stubborn as the day is long.

Elayne has her nose stuck in the air and she is Queen in waiting. I don't recall but it would be sketchy being queen and Amyrlin. Use your throne to further your AS agenda or use the Tower to gain power for your country. Tough.

I see the Tower in the end, coming back to Rand. Like it or not, the Tower will be whole come the Last Battle- Hall of the Servants yo! If Uno can slip through the cracks, anybody can. Logain has this one in the bag.

Edit- it was TyranAmiros that put it out there.

Hurin Smells
101. HurinSmells
Wetlandernw@99 - The best way to put an end to a conversation thread is to stop replying to it :)
Joseph Blaidd
102. SteelBlaidd
Sorry. ^_^;;

I was hoping we could discuss the philosophical influences on both Jordon and Sanderson (Freemasonry for example)without getting sidetracked into a debate over their truth values.
Rand al'Todd
103. Mr. Micawber
I just can't wait until they get to the next book now!

Tylin: In Ebou Dar, custom says that to show honesty, women get half-naked.
Elayne: Well, I don't want to be rude. Half-naked it is.
Nynaeve: Yes, it's fine with me. I'll just think about Lan.
Tylin: Nothing like being half-naked to help you discuss high politics.
Elayne: It's also good for raising Amyrlins.
Tylin: Custom also dictates that to show trustworthiness, you cluck like a chicken.
Elayne: Thank you. Cluck, cluck.
Nynaeve: This city has odd customs. Woof, woof.
Elayne: No, Nynaeve, woofing is a White Tower custom. Cluck, cluck.
Uno: I am a woman.
Roger Powell
104. forkroot
As for Mr. Sanderson's Mormonism affecting the story, I'm desparately hoping it won't; it's been my biggest fear about his writing, actually. (Especially after what he did with religion in the last Mistborn book. Argh.)
Hmmm... I think Sanderson likes to explore many aspects of religion. In doing so, he'll have his characters voice a number of views as they argue with and/or preach to one another.

He has said:
Those of you who have read Elantris know that I'm fascinated by religion.
Mistborn 2 annotations Chap 36

I also believe he has a generally optimistic worldview that makes him favor those characters that demonstrate integrity, compassion, trust, and other admirable qualities. To that extent I don't see "Mormonism" in particular as these qualities are normally held in admiration by theistic (and many non-theistic) belief systems.

OTOH, I'm pretty sure I know what you are refering to regarding the end of Mistborn (and I agree with you that it is concordant with some LDS beliefs as I understand them). I'll keep this spoiler safe and not get too specific.

Since the worlds of Elantris and Mistborn are his worlds, I have no problem with how he has constructed those worlds, including deities, religion, and so forth.

With that said, it would be discordant to put any of that stuff into WoT. It just wouldn't fit. RJ has set up the world, including a fairly well-accepted theology (nobody argues about the existence of the Creator or the Dark One) with little or no philosophical musings by the characters on deep questions of value. (They muse, just not on that stuff.)

Given Brandon's stated reverence for the WoT and
how he has presented what he sees his role as, I doubt he would inject anything like what we discussed above. I guess we'll find out soon, but I'm not worried.
Roger Powell
105. forkroot
Just for fun, here's another quote from Sanderson:

In my books, one of the things I prefer to do is have characters who voice opinions opposite to my own. I figure that my own feelings and beliefs will work themselves naturally into the text, and so there are probably a disproportionate number of characters in my books who see the world as I do. So, any time that I can add a strong character with beliefs that oppose mine, I feel that it gives the novel more credibility.

In this case, I think Tindwyl has a very strong argument against religion, particularly considering the world in which she lives. Prophecies—the staple of fantasy literature—are silly, if you really look at them. What's the point? I like that she offers some strong arguments against religion in this section because it not only fits her character, but gives context to what she and Sazed are doing.

That is also from the Mistborn 2 annotations.
Birgit F
106. birgit
I wonder if any of them have ever thought of the consequences of having a queen live for 200-300 years and what that might do to normal political patterns.

If there are so many channelers from the Two Rivers, should there not be several centuries-old women who can listen to the wind in every village in the Two Rivers? There must have been some Wisdoms who could channel, why has nobody noticed how long they live?
John Massey
107. subwoofer
Not entirely sure about this, but the crazy amount of females in TR that can touch the Source may coincide with Rand coming along. It is in their blood but it doesn't mean it has manifested. Maybe they were all waiting for the DR to come along.

As for the old Wisdoms- Ny is the oldest one who is more or less self taught. Something about headaches and such leads me to believe that if not properly trained, they don't live too long. It's like a Spock thing. IIRC I remember reading something somewhere about Ny curing bone-fever and having a headache for 3 days after...

And, lets face it living back when does not guarantee long life. It is a hard slog and things are bound to happen.

Or this could be a gaff on RJ's part.

108. Siuanfan
The mind is a pretty powerful thing... it could be those Wisdoms died when they thought they were supposed to. The Kin expected to live long, so they did. But if a woman who had no idea she was a channeler and rarely used the Source except by accident, it's possible they got old and at some point felt they were about ready to kick off from an illness or something, and did.

The more likely story though is that the ability was mostly latent in Duopotamia, and only began manifesting now where it was needed because of the fact that Tarmon Gai'don was approaching. Like the other talents that made a comeback - or even a first appearance, like Min's. The Light began creating more people for "our side" when they were needed, so to speak.

Speaking of immensely long channeler age, did anyone else get an evil satisfaction in KoD out of knowing where and how Galina would be spending the rest of her very-long life?
Jay Dauro
109. J.Dauro
Suianfan @108
Re: Galina. Yes & No.

While I feel Galina deserves it, I feel Therava needs to be taken down also. With Sevanna, she killed another Wise One, and basically threw away all of ji'e'toh. So I hope that we see a bit more of the Shaido.
110. Siuanfan
Nnnngh... not that I don't agree that Therava should be taken down, but I felt a sense of closure for that storyline, and it's pretty much the only thing that felt like "okay well that thread's wrapped up" to me. Therefore I kind of hope that we DON'T have to revisit the Shaido. They're going home to do whatever they do there, and taking Galina with them. Yay, closure!
Maiane Bakroeva
111. Isilel
Birgit @106:

should there not be several centuries-old women who can listen to the wind in every village in the Two Rivers?

Indeed and not only there. IIRC, a lot of wilders are drawn to Wisdom-like occupations. Also, some of them may have blocks, but not all have to. A woman who is seriously in love or already happily married or very happy in her trade won't consider going to WT even if she becomes sure that she can channel.

Given how many folks the Seanchan find to collar there should be plenty of non-Kin Tower rejects and self-taught channelers in Randland. They must lead a pretty sad existence once their longevity kicks in though - moving around every 20 or so years, maybe even faking death by accident the first time... And without the support net of folks in similar plight like the Kin, too.
Reminds me of that melancholy story of Bradbury's about a boy who was frozen at the age of 14.

Perhaps it is the real reason why Wisdom-like characters are usually unmarried - it provides a good cover for this kind of thing and allows them to move on more easily.

Re: Therava, I really dislike the thought of her with that binder. Much as I am tired of Shaido, I'd like her taken care of. Not to mention that the binder could really help with ferreting out channeling DFs.

Oh, and a scene of Tuon or other high Seanchan official questioning the Shaido could be hilarious. I hope that they slightly redeem themselves by being properly stoic and derisive.
Rand al'Todd
112. FlameOfTarValon
Well since religion is on the agenda, I just thought I'd highlight that even Islam has found its way into these books with the whole polygamy thing in Aiel culture.
Polygamy is widely accepted under Islamic law, since it is expected that women will over-populate the planet. However any man with brains should know that one woman is enough to cause a headache, let alone 2 or 3 or more (is there any limit for these Aiel BTW?)

But having said that, most muslims are monogamists and polygamy is a thing of the past - I can tell ya that my grandfather had 3 wives (16 children, 50 something grandchildren, and God knows how many great-grandchildren).

Oh and I know ONE book of God that still contains the words of God, and has NEVER been changed! ;)
Rand al'Todd
113. RandsBowlingHand

I don't know why of the many many polygamist cultures, you chose to relate the Aiel to Islam.
James Jones
114. jamesedjones
113. RandsBowlingHand

It's not that difficult to understand. Here's a quickie synopsis of how the two correlate.
115. Siuanfan
I can't believe I fell for that.

Et tu, james?
Tess Laird
116. thewindrose
That was a good one jej:)
I had a good idea where it was going - next time for all of us regulars maybe preface it with the word fife;)
Galen Brinn
118. GatheringStorm
I can't believe that anyone blindly follows a link after all the RFife-rolling. I mean, wow...(shakes head).

Hint: Hover over the link with your mouse and check the bottom left corner of your browser; it will show you the full address from the link...
Rand al'Todd
119. spacechampion
I'm thinking Manetheren will be reformed as well, including Ghealdan, but also run north to Saldea. I also think Andor will be destroyed, with Caemlyn basically nuked during TG. I think it's possible some geographic rearranging will be going on (mountains rising and falling, not lines on a map being rearranged)

The other borderlands will lose their monarchs, leaving it to Lan and Nynaeve to pick up the pieces... And the White Tower will be destroyed, leaving Tar Valon to become part of the new borderland nation of Great Aravalon.
Rand al'Todd
120. FlameOfTarValon
@113 Rands bowling head

Well being a Muslim, that was the first thing to come to MY mind. I just thought it was funny at the time and wanted to share that with you Yanks.
Jeez, no sense of humour.
Rand al'Todd
121. AppleBrandy
As an amateur medieval historian and Catholic theologian (I made it half way through my MA in Theology), I always chuckle at the supposed RCC parallels in the WoT. I never pick them up the when reading the books, and when I read commentary about it my thoughts are "well, I guess I could see how someone who doesn't really know that much about it could possibly see it that way."
Clinton Henry
122. Jaidee
Just to correct a few error in regard to the Eve issue. The bible does not teach that humanity was condemned because of the woman (Eve). It says 'by one man(Adam) sin entered into the world'. God held the man responsible since it was to him the instructions were given, It is this concept and tradition that a man was responsible for his entire household; security, sustenance, shelter, moral and spiritual why many Christian Faith are male dominated a concept that Jesus came to abolish (at least on a religious level, if not in the family).

OK!! enough preaching

On the issue of the unbelievability of all these new and wondrous discovery.

think about the root concept in the series, that of time being a fabric woven by th e wheel. Things need to happen at a certain time as the fellow at the school explained to Rand that certain things must be in place when the wheel returns to a certain age.
in order for that to happen th e wheel must bend the fabric of time to its will, meaning

it must create false dragons when needed to remind people of the coming of the dragon.

the dragon must be reborn

there must be a bore in the DO's prison at the right time

and it must provide him with those of the light who are strong enough and with the necessary skill for him to reach TG and battle the DO

ALL these things are happening because The Light needs it, so the wheel provides (weaves) it. hence the birth of three Ta'varen, such a bag change in the pattern is needed now because the DO is sooo close to being free.

weeeshw!!!! (out of breath)
Rand al'Todd
123. Seriously?
"Eve ate the apple; male Aes Sedai broke the world. It is perhaps ironic that the White Tower’s reasons for excluding men are the more legitimate of the two."

Am I reading this wrong? Did you just dismiss the beliefs of over a billion catholics and nearly another billion others that beilieve in one form of Christianity or another, by saying a storyline in a fictional book is more legitimate?

I throughouly agree if you take them as two fictional stories; yet one is a fictional story, and the other is highly debated topic in our society that many believe to be true.
Rand al'Todd
124. Porphyrogenitus
There is indeed a real-world parallel to the Aes Sedai stripping down to prove their femininity. During the middle ages and the Renaissance, there was a story (whose authenticity is disputed, but which was nonetheless current and widely disseminated) that candidates for the papacy were either groped or had to display their genitalia to prove their masculinity, so as to avoid a recurrence of (the probably apocryphal) "Pope Joan."

See, e.g.,

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