Sep 23 2009 1:26pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 21

Guten tag, Berlin! Es ist Das Rad der Zeit! Ich bin ein Re-reader!

Jelly doughnut? Why, thanks, don’t mind if I do.

That legend totally isn’t true, by the way. But nevertheless, we soldier on! Today’s post covers Chapters 36-37 of Lord of Chaos, in which we get all Machiavelli on your ass. Or something. The Prince? Consolidating power in a new reign? Geddit?

...You haven’t read it, have you. HAVE YOU. For shame! *points* The fact that I haven’t read it either in no way mitigates your ignominy! *points more*

Um. Anyway. 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.

And now, the post!

Chapter 36: The Amyrlin is Raised

What Happens
Egwene is wakened by Chesa, her maid, in the room Anaiya had prepared for her, whose taste runs unfortunately toward lace and ruffles. Egwene reflects on the discussion last night, in which most of her own information and questions had been ignored; they had told her an embassy under Merana was on its way to Rand, and other embassies had been sent to every sitting ruler, and that since the Whitecloaks were mysteriously quiescent they were fine to stay in Salidar while Bryne built up their army. They had mentioned almost in passing that Nynaeve had Healed Logain as well as Siuan and Leane, and Egwene was not to worry over any of it. After they left, Romanda had barged in with a list of “suggestions”, and she was followed by Lelaine with her own list. None of their advice was much like Sheriam’s, but all three had hinted of dire consequences unless Egwene let herself be guided by each, and should not listen to either of the others. Chesa, who has immediately fallen into the manner of a old familiar retainer, tells Egwene mock-severely that she should not lie abed. Chesa helps her dress, and lets Egwene know obliquely that she won’t breathe a word of Egwene’s bruises to anyone. Egwene smiles, thinking that Sheriam might have chosen Chesa, but she was clearly loyal to Egwene. When she comes down into the room where she had been raised the night before, the Sitters are all waiting for her, along with Sheriam; Egwene is to give a speech, and does not understand why she does not feel nervous. Outside, Romanda announces to the large crowd gathered around the building that they have an Amyrlin Seat, and introduces Egwene, who is lifted up on a platform of Air above the crowd’s heads. A huge cheer greets her, and Egwene begins her speech, which she had made her own adjustments to from the ridiculously lengthy version she had been given.

“We are gathered together in a quest for truth and justice that will not end until the false Amyrlin Elaida is removed from the place she usurped.” The only change in that was “will not” for “cannot,” but she thought it stronger and better. “As Amyrlin, I will lead you in that quest, and I will not falter, as I know you will not.” And that was quite enough exhortation; in any case, she had no intention of remaining up here long enough to repeat everything they wanted said. It all amounted to what she already had said anyway. “As my Keeper of the Chronicles, I name Sheriam Bayanar.”

Sheriam is caught off guard, having expected a much longer interval before her introduction, and gives Egwene an annoyed look as she comes out. Egwene continues her speech, announcing that all Accepted and novices are absolved of penances in honor of the day, which is customary, and decrees that Theodrin Dabei, Faolain Orande, Nynaeve al’Meara and Elayne Trakand are hereby raised to full Aes Sedai, which is definitely not customary. She finishes the speech by declaring the day one of feasting and celebration; the crowd cheers tumultuously, and Sheriam all but hustles her inside the moment she gets down from the platform. In her study, Egwene brightly apologizes for editing the speech, but that she felt “such a mudgin standing up there”, and she got the gist of it in, after all. Sheriam replies slowly, yes, but there will be questions about the other changes; Theodrin, Faolain, and Elayne are one thing, but Nynaeve still can’t channel a hair unless she “yanks her braid at someone first”. Romanda and Lelaine enter without knocking, and Romanda says that was exactly the point she was going to raise, only adding “Mother” belatedly.

“It seemed necessary,” Egwene said, widening her eyes. “I thought of it last night. I’ve been raised Aes Sedai without being tested or taking the Three Oaths, and if I was the only one, it would just point me out. With four others, I won’t seem quite so odd anymore. Not to people here, at least. Elaida might try to make something of it when she hears, but most folk know so little about Aes Sedai, they won’t know what to believe anyway. It is the people here who matter most. They must have confidence in me.”

Romanda nearly splutters, but they are all stymied; Egwene had announced it publicly, and they could not very well go against her on her first day. Romanda and Lelaine are reduced to hoping ominously that Egwene will consult with the Hall next time, and Egwene assures them earnestly that she will do so before asking them to go, saying she really needs to speak with her Keeper. Lelaine and Romanda have no recourse but to obey, and once they are gone Sheriam comments with surprise that she handled that very well, but that she must confide in Sheriam and the other five so that they may help her. Egwene promises, and says she’d like to see Elayne and Nynaeve now. Sheriam leaves to get them, adding that Siuan will be coming to give her lessons on etiquette for the Amrylin Seat. Soon after, Nynaeve and Elayne enter, still in Accepted dresses, and both curtsy deeply, calling her “Mother”.

“Please don’t do that,” Egwene said. Actually, it was more of a wail. “You’re the only two friends I have, and if you start...” Light, she was almost ready to cry!

Elayne reached her first by a hair, throwing her arms around her. Nynaeve was silent, fiddling nervously with a slim silver bracelet, but not Elayne. “We’re still your friends, Egwene, but you are the Amyrlin Seat. Light, remember I told you one day you’d be the Amyrlin when I was... ” Elayne grimaced faintly. “Well, in any case, you are. We can’t just walk up to the Amyrlin and say, ‘Egwene, does this dress make me look fat?’ It would not be proper.”

Egwene shoots back that they should tell her such things – in private, anyway; she needs people who see Egwene, and not “this bloody stole”. She pulls up the chair, noting with a smile that Chesa had put cushions on it, and asks them to tell her everything that’s been going on. Elayne and Nynaeve exchange glances, and only seem willing to talk about Nynaeve’s Healing stilling and Elayne’s work with ter’angreal; Egwene’s tale of life among the Aiel seems to amaze them, and they agree that Rand is in over his head and needs guidance. Elayne says halfheartedly that Min is with the embassy to Caemlyn, and may be able to help.

“Min is a better woman than I am.” For some reason, that got a sympathetic look from Nynaeve. “I wish I were there,” Elayne went on in a stronger voice. “To guide him, I mean.” She looked from Egwene to Nynaeve, red touching her cheeks. “Well, that, too.” Nynaeve and Egwene began laughing so hard they nearly fell out of their chairs, and Elayne joined in almost immediately.

Egwene then sobers, and tells Elayne she is sorry to hear about Morgase, but adds that she has good news: Rand intends to give her both the Lion Throne and the Sun Throne. Elayne, far from being pleased, replies icily that Rand has no right to give her what is already hers; Egwene protests that he loves Elayne, and is sure he didn’t mean it that way, but Elayne only replies that it’s not that simple. Egwene says now that they are Aes Sedai, they can go to Rand anytime they want, but Nynaeve answers that the Hall isn’t letting anyone just pick up and leave, and besides they think they have found something more important. They explain to her about the bowl ter’angreal in Ebou Dar, and say Egwene just needs to send them there and maybe they can fix the weather. Egwene tells them she will see what she can do; Elayne doesn’t understand why there would be any problem.

Grimacing, Egwene shifted on the cushions. “I’m the Amyrlin, but... Elayne, Sheriam doesn’t have to think very hard to recall a novice named Egwene, staring goggle-eyed at everything and being sent to rake the New Garden walks for eating apples after bedtime. She means to lead me by the hand, or maybe push me by the scruff of my neck. Romanda and Lelaine both wanted to be Amyrlin, and they see that novice too. They intend to show me where to put my feet as much as Sheriam does.”

Nynaeve is worried, and Elayne indignant; Egwene continues that she thinks that’s why they made her Amrylin in the first place, so she will do what they want. She says she means to be Amrylin in truth, but she must move carefully, especially at first. Once more rulers and nobles have heard she’s been raised she can be more assertive, but until then it would be far too easy to disappear her and pretend it never happened if she proves troublesome. Elayne asks what she intends to do, and Egwene smiles at her confidence and tells them the fact that they are “trying to fit [her] for three different leashes” will help; she can pull on one to push on another.

“I would like to say I raised you because you deserved it, but the truth is, I did it because you’re my friends, and because I hope as full sisters you can help me. I certainly don’t know who else I can trust except you two. I will send you to Ebou Dar as soon as I can, but before and after, you are who I can discuss things with. I know you will tell me the truth. That trip to Ebou Dar may not take as long as you might think. You two have made all sorts of discoveries, so I hear, but if I can puzzle a few things out, I may have one of my own.”

“That will be wonderful,” Elayne said, but she sounded almost absentminded.

Ha ha, awesome. Even now, I get an unholy amount of glee out of Egwene’s wide-eyed playing of Sheriam and the others. This is where I truly started rooting for Egwene.

Political intrigue in fiction is a funny thing; I’ve often found it walks something of a tightrope between being utterly fascinating and abjectly boring. It’s all in the execution, I think. More specifically, I think it’s about maintaining a fine balance between throwing up enough obstacles to keep the protagonists realistically challenged, while simultaneously providing enough triumphs to keep the reader cheerfully sure that it will all come out right in the end. This is, like so many things, harder to do than it sounds.

As far as this bit goes, I remember I was all but bouncing in my chair in anticipation of Egwene and Co. adroitly outwitting the rest of the rebels. This is where LOC really got into gear as far as I was concerned.

I also remember I was rather overjoyed at this long-overdue reunion of the Supergirls. And like the lordening of the Superboys, I was intrigued by Egwene’s elevation, and Elayne and Nynaeve’s immediate acceptance of it. I’m always fascinated by the effects that power (either the gain or loss of it) has on personal relationships between characters, mostly because I think it’s one of the quickest ways to show a character’s true, uh, character. I think, therefore, that this chapter reflects remarkably well on all three of the Supergirls, especially Egwene. It’s a mark of Egwene’s maturity by this point that she recognizes her concerns about keeping Rand’s head unswelled apply just as much to her as they do to him.

Chesa: The idea that Chesa is a Darkfriend was a pet theory held for a long time by a bunch of people. I’m not a hundred percent sure the idea has been conclusively disproved, but I have to say I never bought it in the first place. Sometimes a dippy maid is just a dippy maid.

Chapter 37: When Battle Begins

What Happens
In a rush, Nynaeve confesses to Egwene that she captured Moghedien and is holding her with an a’dam; besides themselves, only Siuan, Leane, and Birgitte know. Elayne quickly adds that they know they should have turned her in, but the Aes Sedai would have executed her immediately, and there is so much she knows; she is where all their “discoveries” came from, except Nynaeve’s Healing stilling and Elayne’s work with ter’angreal. Egwene is almost dazed with the news, and tells them to bring her here, and Nynaeve dashes out. Egwene’s inadvertent remark about keeping secrets makes Elayne flush, and Egwene realizes she’s thinking about Birgitte and the secret Egwene is not supposed to know; then she realizes Nynaeve had mentioned Birgitte knew about Moghedien, and is slightly indignant that Nynaeve apparently knows what Elayne won’t tell Egwene, but tries to reassure Elayne that she won’t ask about “anybody I’m not supposed to know about”. Elayne jumps, and says maybe she can say something about it tomorrow; Egwene decides to drop it, and moves on. She and Elayne discuss the Wise Ones and their different ways of handling training in the Power, and Egwene says she intends to let anyone who wants to become a novice if they can learn, no matter how old they are; she thinks the strictures are too harsh as they are.

“But the tests are to make sure you’re strong enough,” Elayne protested. “Not just in the One Power; in yourself. Surely you don’t want Aes Sedai who will break the first time they come under pressure? Or Aes Sedai who can barely channel?”

Egwene sniffed. Sorilea would have been put out of the Tower without ever being tested for Accepted. “Maybe they can’t be Aes Sedai, but that doesn’t mean they are useless. After all, they’re already trusted to use the Power with at least some discretion, or they wouldn’t be sent off into the world. My dream is for every woman who can channel to be connected to the Tower somehow. Every last one.”

Elayne winces, knowing this includes the Windfinders, and Egwene tells her she betrayed no one; it’s a miracle they kept their secret as long as they did. Elayne nods, but insists that if the Aiel Wise Ones get dispensation to teach their own channelers, then the Sea Folk should too. Egwene agrees. Elayne asks if this is about Rand and his amnesty, and Egwene says, in part. Neither of them can believe he would do such a thing. Then the door opens and “Marigan” enters with wine on a tray, followed by Nynaeve, who has managed to find time to change out of her Accepted’s dress. She introduces “Marigan” to Egwene, and shows her Moghedien’s true appearance, explaining about inverting and disguising weaves; Egwene thinks that the Forsaken looks proud to be wearing her real face again, and tells Nynaeve to put her disguise back, which she does before giving the a’dam bracelet to Egwene. Egwene tries not to let the memories the thing calls up affect her, and puts it on.

Egwene thought of who it was she was looking at; one of the Forsaken, a woman whose name had been used to frighten children for centuries, a woman whose crimes deserved death a hundred times over. She thought of the knowledge in that head. She made herself smile. It was not a pretty smile; she did not mean it to be, but she did not think she could have made it one if she tried. “They’re right. I have been living with the Aiel. So if you expect me to be as gentle as Nynaeve and Elayne, put it out of your mind. Set just one foot wrong with me, and I’ll make you beg for death. Only, I won’t kill you. I will just find some way to make that face permanent. On the other hand, if you do more than put a foot wrong... ” She widened her smile, until it was just showing teeth.

Moghedien starts to tremble, while Elayne and Nynaeve stare at Egwene, who wonders irritably how they expected her to treat a Forsaken. She closes on Moghedien, making her cower back, and tells her the day she catches Moghedien in a lie is the day she executes her herself.

“Now. I have considered traveling from one place to another by boring a hole, so to speak, from here to there. A hole through the Pattern, so there’s no distance between one end and the other. How well will that work?”

Moghedien answers, not at all; that is how a man Travels, and a woman trying it would be sucked into “space between the threads of the Pattern, maybe”, and never return. Nynaeve and Elayne are furious at themselves for not thinking of Traveling, and Egwene asks, then how? Moghedien replies that you make the two places in the Pattern identical; Egwene replies, “Like this?” and weaves a gateway to the Aiel Waste; she is rather surprised that it works, but doesn’t show it. Elayne is amazed, and says she thinks she could do it if she sees the weaves again.

“Remember what?” Nynaeve practically wailed. “How did she do it? Oh, curse this cursed block! Elayne, kick my ankle. Please?”

Moghedien licks her lips and asks who taught Egwene that; Egwene smiles mysteriously and answers that Moghedien should never be sure she doesn’t already know the answer to a question. Then she laughs and apologizes to Elayne and Nynaeve about just taking over like this, but they are both thrilled to have Moghedien off their hands, and Nynaeve comments they couldn’t take her to Ebou Dar anyway. Through the a’dam, Egwene feels a shock go through Moghedien as Nynaeve spoke, but is not sure what triggered it. Then Siuan enters, calmly taking in the situation, and asks if she should return later; Egwene kicks Moghedien out with a warning, and tells Siuan she knows everything.

Siuan tilted her head. “Sometimes knowing gives no advantage whatsoever. Sometimes it only means sharing the danger.”

“Siuan!” Elayne said, half-shocked and half-warning, and to Egwene’s surprise Siuan did something she had never expected to see Siuan Sanche do. She blushed.

“You can’t expect me to become somebody else overnight,” the woman muttered grumpily.

Egwene gently dismisses Elayne and Nynaeve, and once she and Siuan are alone, regards her silently for a long moment before telling her she needs Siuan to teach her what it is to be Amrylin, and she will have her help with no strings attached.

“Sheriam and Romanda and Lelaine may think I still wear novice white under this stole—maybe they all do—but you are going to help me show them differently. I’m not asking you, Siuan. I—will—have—your—help.” All there was to do then was wait.

Siuan regarded her, then gave a slight shake of her head and laughed softly. “They made a very bad mistake, didn’t they? Of course, I made it first. The plump little grunter for the table turns out to be a live silverpike as long as your leg.” Spreading her skirts wide, she made a deep curtsy, inclining her head. “Mother, please allow me to serve, and advise.”

Egwene answers, as long as it is only advice; Siuan remarks that she never really liked Egwene, and thinks maybe it’s because she saw so much of herself in Egwene. Egwene replies dryly, in that case she can call her Egwene in private. Siuan sits down, and they start to plan.

Romanda and Lelaine have private meetings with their factions, and each wonder where Delana is.

Delana stares at Halima in her room, and protests that she cannot continue supporting every faction without getting caught, but this does not concern Halima, who instructs Delana that she must continue campaigning to have Logain either re-gentled or killed, since Halima cannot get to him to do it herself. Delana doesn’t understand why Halima is so afraid of a man shielded night and day, but she is afraid of Halima, and meekly agrees.

Siuan meets with Lelaine, and complains about having to teach Egwene. She slips in the remark that Egwene had said something about Romanda wanting to stay here instead of marching for Tar Valon.

Nynaeve meets with Romanda, with the excuse that she wants to work on her block, and is almost distracted from her task by her indignation at Romanda making her jump on one foot. But she manages to mention the Amrylin having said something about Lelaine wanting to stay in Salidar.

Elayne meets with Sheriam to give her a new dream ter’angreal, and tells Sheriam she thinks that Lelaine and Romanda have been at Egwene about not moving yet because of the danger. Sheriam replies slowly that she agrees with that actually, and Elayne says yes, but now Egwene is worried that agreeing with them makes it look like she can’t say no to them. She begs Sheriam to help, and Sheriam finally answers she will do what she can.

Egwene enjoys her bath, and thinks about the day.

She had taken her first step as Amyrlin, marshaled her outnumbered army and begun her attack. She remembered hearing Rhuarc say once that when battle began, a battle leader no longer had any real control of events. Now all she could do was wait. “Even so,” she said softly, “I think the Wise Ones would be proud.”

This is a great chapter, one of my favorites in LOC.

Not only do we have Egwene showing to Moghedien (and Elayne and Nynaeve) the leet I’m The Boss Of You skillz she’s learned from the Wise Ones, but we also finally get some real teamwork going. After so much time spent watching people run around at cross purposes with each other, knowingly or otherwise, to see competent folks actually formulating and executing a coherent plan of action is a lovely breath of fresh air. Of course, we’re hardly finished with people running around at cross purposes with each other, by a long shot, but it’s nice to get some leavening of the frustration in there.

Also, political shenanigans yay; it’s early enough in the process that this was where all the Aes Sedai politicking was fascinating, as opposed to annoying, which it kind of gets to be at various points later. Plus it’s always fun to root for the underdog.

Nynaeve: Heh. Her begging Elayne to kick her so she could see the flows made me snort out loud.

Siuan: Is still awesome, and again shows how she is a consummate politician in her ability to work well with people she doesn’t like. Her confrontation/détente with Egwene in this chapter was really well done in terms of being true to their respective characters, I think.

Delana: Once again, as with Isendre, I am put in the position of kind of feeling sorry for a Darkfriend. But then, Delana’s kind of odd for a villain, in that we never (to my recollection) see her doing anything particularly evil, or even learn of evil things she did in the past; the FAQ describes her as “something of a wet hen for a Black Ajah”, which I think is quite apt. Except for one passing remark about regretting the necessity of killing Aes Sedai (which is in itself wishy-washy!), the only thing we see Delana do is be intimidated by Halima. And vote for things. Ooh, scary.

Moghedien: Her start at Nynaeve’s mention of Ebou Dar slightly confuses me, since she’s been effectively out of commission since the end of TFOH, and in any case I don’t see how she could have found out about the *greal stash in Ebou Dar even if she had been loose... right? She does end up in Ebou Dar, but that’s on Moridin’s orders after being mindtrapped, so, eh? There’s something I’m missing here.

All right, I’ve had about enough of your lip. We out! See youse Friday!

1. bharrison1976
Great post!!
Rob Munnelly
2. RobMRobM
Leigh - re Ebou Dar, back when Moggy was free and hanging out with Liandrin and her posse, Moggy sent two BAs (we learn later it is Ispan and someone else) there to hunt for ter-greal stashes. So Moggy just realized that a Nyn/Elayne trip may pay dividends for her, assuming she can escape. Rob
3. gadget
Moghedien learned about the stash before being captured (how I doubt we'll ever know). Just as Sammeal had a couple of circles of darkfriends looking for it, Morghedien sent the two black ajah sisters that Nyn & the kin confront in Crown of Swords to find it.
Francesco Paonessa
4. ErrantKnave
This is weird. I could have sworn I didn't like Egwene until KOD, but these re-reads have me rooting for her. Something's afoot.
5. Lost in my own Mind
I laughed out loud when Nyneave asked Elayne to kick her as well, Nyneave has become one of my favorite characters.
Sean Banawnie
6. Seanie
Egs has been getting cooler--off the top of my head I think I started liking her more after Moi was gone, and she stopped me tooing Rand. She stopped trying to act cool and started being cool.
She gets better yet here and in KOD she getsMOA esp when she is caught. (Kick Elaida's ass, egs)
Yeah ,baby.
Brian Kaul
7. bkaul
The Prince is actually fairly interesting - I read it in a history class in college (translated, of course). Machiavelli's advice for how a new prince should effectively maintain a stable government is ruthlessly manipulative, and he intended it as a compliment to the ruling Medici family to get into their good graces and return from exile. That didn't work out so well, and when they were deposed and Florence became a republic again, it probably prevented his return for good. Ironically, his earlier writing and actions (before the Medicis conquered Florence and exiled him) had strongly promoted a republican form of government ...
john massey
8. subwoofer

Hi Leigh:) Now that everyone has put there clothes back on, we can get down to business.

Eggy's doin' damage on day 1 it seems. Ny and El raised, neat speech and all, especially the way she "modified" it but spoke to the core of what was rehearsed...

Ny hopping on one foot- priceless.

9. LordBryan
I can post now that I caught up. Score!

Just want to say, excellent excellent excellent. I don't know how I would get through a workday without having these to read. Thank you, Leigh.
Joseph Blaidd
10. SteelBlaidd
These two chapters are also some of my fasvorites as we see one of my favorite things about RJ. Like with the "why didn't we think traviling", "it's a miracle the WF haven't been found out before", and “I would like to say I raised you because you deserved it, but the truth is, I did it because you’re my friends, and because I hope as full sisters you can help me." he acknowlidges when there is something that could be a plot hole so that we trust that when the characteres seem to be holding the idiot ball he knows it too and there is a good reason for it.

Regarding The Prince; I have been given to understand that Machiiveli was in that volume not so much his ideal of what a good rule should be but his understanding of what an effctive ruler, in the environment he was living in, did.
11. Siuanfan
I have to engage in some lulz over the wide-eyed "Oh, I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do that" routine. This is a FABULOUS weapon to have in your arsenal when you are relatively new to any position, but it's already clear that nothing gets done without a mind-bogglingly dense amount of bureaucracy and checking and re-checking with "superiors" that have absolutely no idea what it is you do.

It's the "it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission" principle, which I found dead useful at my last job. You can use this to get away with anything - once. Let me amend that, you can get away with doing something unconventional but undamaging once. If it's damaging, you're fired. If it's beneficial, you may be able to do it again. Used effectively (as Egwene found out), it can be the best tool you have for actually getting crap done as opposed to waiting around twiddling your thumbs while a lot of people do a lot of nothing. What can they say? You do the "Oh, I'm sorry - I didn't know... I guess it's lucky that it worked out!" And what can they say? Sure you can't claim not to know the same thing next time, but if it worked well enough the first time, there's no need to ask permission again.

Pardon my glee. I'm a big fan of this method. :D
paul Hend
12. tugthis
A lot of intrigue that seems to ultimately miss the point of the coming battle. Elayne can get as snippy as she wants but fails to see the bigger picture that in the aftermath 'everything will be diffent'. She gets the throne of andor and Cairhern, although they would seem to be ungovernable. Then has the temerity to suggests that Rand needs guidance. The only guidance I think Rand needs is to really listen to the voice in his head and the buzzing gnats of all the AS around him.

Egwene seems to score a lot of fan points here, but she does not seem to grasp the differences either. The Ebou Dar trip sounds like a sidetrip, and to send both of her friends on it seems waste of their talents. . . And, she should execute Moggy now. Acknowledge that the gained info was valuable, though I think more than a little misdirectional, but do the Just thing and execute her. It would be a terrific display of her new AS superleader powers. . . . And Moggy is evil.
Pete Pratt
13. PeteP
While I greatly dislike Eg for her treament of Rand (and misguided views of both Rand and Mat), I have always liked her struggle to become Amyrlin Seat in name, but just in title. Great stuff!
Kathy Keith
14. Babokathy
I always thought that Moghedien was fearful of Ebou Dar, as she rather knew that Semirhage was hiding down there, so she wouldn't want to get dragged down there herself. I'd forgotten about her role with the Black Ajah sisters earlier. But if Semirhage has been hanging around down there, why hasn't she found any of the *stash*? Has she got her own "stasis box"?
Rob Munnelly
15. RobMRobM
Agreed, these are fully MoA chapters for RJ and Egwene, among my favorites (including the toh and zooming pony chapters that preceded them). I've always been an Egwene liker, despite her occasional selfishness and ooh ooh excesses, and I appreciate seeing her elevate her game and soften her weak points. The surprised response from Sheriam ("You handled that well) was priceless as was the showing her teeth to Moggy. R
Brian Kaul
16. bkaul
@10: Exactly. He never even says that he approves of a government by princes rather than the republican form he had previously openly endorsed; he simply gives advice for how a new prince can effectively maintain a stable government through various means. Much like Rahm Emmanuel's twisted "never waste a crisis" approach (which has surely been labeled Machiavellian by someone), he simply gave advice based on its pragmatic value rather than any moral considerations.

Publishing that booklet was a move much like what Leigh mentioned about Suian: it showed that Machiavelli was willing to work with those he didn't necessarily like (or even approve of), in order to be near the center of power.
17. Lsana
I'm curious as to what everyone thinks of Egwene's "I will tie all women who can channel to the tower" idea. In the books, it's always presented as a good idea, but I've always had a lot of reservations on the subject.

Egwene has noted that the Aiel Wise Ones and Sea Folk Windfinders are trusted by people in ways that the Aes Sedai aren't. I've always believed that the trust they get comes from the fact that the Wise Ones and Windfinders are members of their society in ways that the Aes Sedai aren't. The Wise Ones, for example, owe loyalty to sept, clan, and the Aiel as a whole. The Aes Sedai owe loyalty to the White Tower and it's unknown agenda.

It seems to me that if the Wise Ones and Windfinders were to become part of the White Tower, that would significantly lower their status among the Aiel. Suddenly, the chiefs have to worry that their Wise Ones aren't acting for the good of sept and clan, but are trying to insure the Aiel's obedience to the Aes Sedai agenda. Same for the Windfinders. It seems to me that the White Tower gains only a little, and the other channelers lose quite a bit in this deal.
Richard Fife
18. R.Fife
@14 Semi was in Seanchan, not Ebou Dar.

Although, I have to wonder, since Moggy is a dreamwalker, perhaps she has been still using some limited sneaky sneaky in T'A'R to look around and see what's what. I mean, the a'dam shouldn't stop her from entering the dream the same as forkroot doesn't stop Egwene later, so why didn't we ever see any comments on Moggy being all sneaky in the dream, perhaps when she was begging for her life over the flaming lava toilet.
19. Mr. Micawber
@ 7 and 10

My degree's intellectual and political history of Early Modern Europe with a specialization in late Italian Renaissance, Northern Renaissance, and Reformation political thought.

To go on a little tangent - since where else do I ever get to use this knowledge? - Machiavelli was absolutely 100% a republican. His magnum opus was probably Discourses (on Livy), which essentially laid down how Machiavelli thought a successful republic ought to be run; namely, that it ought to emulate a lot of what the Romans did (as opposed to the Spartans/Venetians, who were at the time considered to be the best models, in large part because they gave the Few the most power).

My professor at UChicago - she's probably one of the best remaining historians of the period - describes the Prince as, in a way, something of a cover letter for Machiavelli, who had been thrown out and tortured when the Medici retook Florence. Unfortunately for him, he never got the position.

It should be pointed out that the Prince, when set along side Machiavelli's other work, strongly demonstrates that Mach very much admired rulers who Got Stuff Done. Specifically, if you look at the Discourses, Machiavelli also treats with this concept of the "lawgiver" that he mentions in the Prince. Essentially, his vision of a successful republican magistrate - like, say, the Gonfaloniere for Life - needed to borrow a lot of the Prince's qualities.

However, there's a crucial difference that he notes between a powerful, even dictator-type, ruler in a republic and a prince: the ruler of the republic is concerned with preserving the republic, while the prince is concerned with preserving his own rule, and eventually, the continuance of his line.

I could go on and on, but this isn't really the place.

Btw, Leigh, he manifestly did *not* say I am a Jelly Donut. Nor did the Berliners think he was saying that.

That's an urban legend that keeps getting repeated and annoys the hell out of me because it seriously detracts from how important that speech was.

(Of course, if you read the speech, you realize that, contra what Adenauer and Brandt wanted, Kennedy had no intention of reversing the Wall. That was, frankly, a good decision, because Berlin had nearly been the flashpoint three times before, but after the Wall, never again)
Pete Pratt
20. PeteP
Lsana @ 17 Interesting topic of discussion.

It is as if Eg is going White Tower old school (if you have read the BBoBA description of the tower founding it is).

The Wise Ones and Windfinders are fully integrated into their own societies and any attachment to the WT would disrupt their own society and role in it.

The Kin are a very different issue though.

Of course, I have long argued (back to 1993 on rec.arts even) that RJ set up the WT as a flawed institution to demonstrate the problem of one sex isolating itself from the world, demonstrating the lack of balance.

The AS rarely marry and even their hetrosexual relations are normally done from a position of great power over the male.

The Wise Ones and Windfinders instead are part of the society and culture and have working roles therein. The Windfinders do not dominate their society. The Wise Ones, while extremely important in the society, do not dominate their society.

Now Eg could just want an association of female channelers, sort of like Sister Cities programs..... but I doubt it. The Tower can not be equal to anyone or anything.
Maiane Bakroeva
21. Isilel
IMHO, Chesa is a DF. After all, Halimgar killed both other maids, but not her.

I really enjoyed the politicking here, BTW (or course I thought that they'd have the Tower by the end of the next book), it is later when the re-unification plot-line slowed to a crawl and we were exposed to massive amounts of AS stupidity and unbelievable childishness that it all went sour for me.
Until the BA hunters made their appearance and Egs' lone campaign in KoD, that is.

Elayne doesn’t understand why there would be any problem.

Not very realistic, given Elayne's background, IMHO. We were introduced to Andor when it was having some serious internal problems and she could observe Rand in Tear struggling with the same.

It is great to see the SG's friendship, though, it feels very true. Too bad that they are going to go very separate ways soon.

Re: Siuan, I kind of regret her long and painful deconstruction. I mean, she is a gifted leader and a very strong, clever and capable individual and it is a pity to see her reduced like this. Sure, she makes this voluntarily, which is nothing less than heroic, as very few people could sacrifice their pride to such degree. But still...

It gets even worse in KoD where she reflects how well she now fit into hierarchy and that she barely remembers how it was to be an Amyrlin.

I dunno, IMHO Bashere, Bryne, etc. get a vastly better deal out of being older experienced subordinates of Our Young Heroes.

Why on earth is Halimgar afraid of Logain? Inverted weaves, hallo?
Rob Munnelly
22. RobMRobM
@19. I bow before your greatness. Isn't this forum cool? R
vo mabulay
24. alreadymad
Lsana @17
I'd agree. I wonder if Egwene understood the main difference on why the Wise Ones and Windfinders get the respect they get.

PeteP @20
Right on!

On the whole though, this is one of the rare Girls-centric moments that I actually like.
Brett Michie
25. bchurch
R.Fife @18

That's an interesting point. I wonder if the a'dam has properties that preclude touching T'A'R as it is a physical binding device, whereas forkroot being a medicinal that works on internal chemistry does not. The a'dam doesn't prevent touching the true source the way forkroot does, it just prevents it without the will of the bracelet wearer. Perhaps Moghedien could touch T'A'R if Egwene was wearing the bracelet and took her there.

And indeed, Semirhage doesn't show up in Ebou Dar until what, Winter's Heart, I believe?
26. Mr. Micawber
Oh, btw, was I the only person to absolutely miss that Halima needed Logain gentled/killed/sent away because otherwise he'd realize someone was channeling Saidin in the camp?

I don't think I picked up on that until the most recent book. :(
Kathy Keith
27. Babokathy
@17 Lsana

Surely Eg means that she will have all channeling women in-cooperation during the stand against the "Dark Forces" at the Last Battle. I'd think she knows better than to think all groups would follow orders from the White Tower. As a matter of fact, all separate groups, including the Seanchean, going into the Last Battle may in fact be needing to take orders from Rand, Perrin & Mat, lest us not forget the armies of Galad & Lan, to defeat the Dark One. All will have to be on the same page. And come into the Battle from all sides.
28. Mr. Micawber
@ bchurch, 25

Yea, she thinks while she's torturing Cabriana that she needs to get back to her charge, which almost certainly means she's still in Seanchan somewhere, because Tuon came straight from the Empire to Ebou Dar.
S Diller
29. CuenDiller
"...the only thing we see Delana do is be intimidated by Halima. And vote for things. Ooh, scary." Haha...totally

Awsome chapters!
Maiane Bakroeva
30. Isilel

But I don't see how Logain could realize anything if Halimgar was careful and inverted/reversed the weaves. According to Rand, men feel somebody touching saidin much more indistinctly and at much shorter distances than women can saidar.
And there may be a disguise like the one the Femsaken often use, too.
Genevieve Williams
31. welltemperedwriter
Not only have I read The Prince, I once used part of it as an audition monologue.

...that brief discourse on whether it's better to be loved or feared reads ENTIRELY differently when spoken by a woman, that's all I'm saying.

Now I shall read the rest of the post!
Joseph Blaidd
32. SteelBlaidd
Mr. Micawber@19

Tangent away, learning and discussing this kind of stuff is one of the main points of WoT fandom.

And you might get a kick out of 1632 and the Grantville Gazette, for much that same reason.

I think Elayne's point is well taken, after the last battle everything WILL be different, and if her authority is dependant on a gift from the Dragon Reborn then, after he is gone, she will be in a very precarious position at a time when the world will be in a serious state of recovery and prime for civil wars and other uphevals.
33. MasterAlThor

I totally agree with you on the political intrigue. These chapters are what makes you want to root for Egwene. She still has flaws but that is what makes her believable.


Beans??? As in cool beans? Or as in the magical fruit? Kick my ankle I don't understand....Please.

That was kinda funny. As much as I despise Ny, she does have some cool scenes. That is a tribute to the Creator.
34. Lsana
@20 PeteP,

I have not read the BBoBA, so I don't really know about the White Tower at it's founding. I could see ways in which what Egwene is doing could maybe work, but they would involve greatly diminishing the status of the Tower, and I doubt that's what she's aiming for.

@24 alreadymad,

Egwene definitely doesn't completely understand the reasons Windfinders and Wise Ones are trusted while Aes Sedai aren't. She has seemed to have a few thoughts in the right direction, some recognition that the Aes Sedai's secrecy works against them. However, I haven't seen any signs that she is working to fix even that, and of course, even if every Aes Sedai were 100% open and honest, they still wouldn't be trusted the way the other channelers are.

@27 Babokathy,

That's not what Egwene says. She doesn't mention the Last Battle or the End of the Age. She just says that she wants all channelers tied to the Tower with no caveat of "but only so we can cooperate under extreme circumstances." If there was a hidden meaning in there, I didn't see any sign of it.
Maiane Bakroeva
35. Isilel
Well, the WOs are actually kind of outside the usual system of septs and clans too - and not subject to usual tenets of war, etc. They advise the chiefs, yes, but they are more concerned with Aiel as a whole.

Windfinders have a totally insane system where they are tied to the position of their captain (and have to start anew if she dies) and can never become captains themselves.

The WT stands above nations for the same reason that the Aiel WOs stand above clans - to avoid use of OP in battle and provide neutral mediation of conflicts.

Re: the Kin - yea, it is a completely counter-intuitive approach that the Tower takes in folks who they know from the start are too weak to gain the shawl, teach them to touch the OP... and then throw them out.

I mean, aren't they just creating a problem here? A body of people who haven't been indoctrinated in the morals of OP usage as heavily as the sisters, who may be tempted for material reasons and who could easily misuse what they have learned. Then they need to be kept down to prevent something like that from happening... etc.

One would have thought that the whole point of Tower education for those who can't become AS is to gain willing agents and representatives of WT in all walks of life.
36. Cadsuwallop
Re: tugthis @12 (by the way - love the name!)

Executing Moghedien would have likely resulted in her being resurrected by the Dark One. Considering how she hasn’t given up her vendetta against Nynaeve even under command of Moridin, imagine how much of a threat she would be in an un-recognizable body (at least unrecognizable to the Supergirls.) At least this way they were able to wring a little AOL knowledge out of her. Morally, should she have been executed? Absolutely. Did they luck out without even knowing it? Yup.
Pete Pratt
37. PeteP
Lsana -- Trying to remember this from the last time I looked at the BBOBA.

In the BBoBA, after the Breaking, the various factions of AS (I think 14 or so), called ajah, but not really Ajah yet, met together and determine to build the White Tower. Eventually, one faction leader was made Amyrlin Seat. Later, some of those same faction leaders were hunted down and stilled for not submitting to the Amyrlin Seat.

Basically, no one was permitted to be an open channeler without submitting to the rule of the White Tower.
Pete Pratt
38. PeteP
Isilel @ 35. The Wise Ones are subject to different rules than normal Aiel, but they are very much associated with a tribe. They marry, have children, advise their local leaders, work to resolve differences, etc. Many even marry clan chiefs. If this does not make them part of the society, I do not know what does.
39. Tanis0
PeteP @ 20

I think Eg actually is looking to set up the League of Female Channelers United Against Tarmon Gaiden. Her time with the Aile has convinced her that each group has something to learn from the other. Presumably, she wants to both info-swap leading up to TG and actually have everyone at least semi-used to working together before the last battle. Even a loose alliance is better than none when it comes to developing some sort of battle plan and being able to depend on the other groups to actually do their part instead of whatever the heck they feel like.
Bryan Cogswell
40. shmoo
The biggest problem with not knocking off Moghedien was that she might excape. And she is being held EXACTLY how Eghead was prisoner in tGH - don't you think - once Eg comes into the picture they should have taken a FEW more precautions? A tied off shield or GPS tracking system* or something? I mean... oh we have this foresaken - i'm SURE no one will try to come and free her...

*I wrote this as a joke - then realized that recall the coins that Mo gave to the boys in EoTW that allowed her to track them. How about something like that - except implanted in her - a randland ankle bracelet...
Philbert de Zwart
41. philbert
For all of you who, like me, haven't read it, it's here (Machiavelli's book The Prince, that is).

At your service.
Kristina Blake
42. kab1
I also have been wondering exactly how Egwene means to connect the Wise Ones and windfinders to the tower. I assume, as she has lived with the Wise Ones/been an apprentice that she realizes they will not become part of the tower. I assume from her choice of words "connected to the tower" she means that there will be open communication/teaching between all societies of women that can channel, but not that the Wise Ones or windfinders will be beneath the Amyrlin Seat. In any case, the world after TG may be significantly different than it is now.

I am beginning to wonder what will become of "Rand's" Aiel after the last battle, will they return to the three-fold land like the Shaido, or might they get lands on this side of the dragonwall? What is the remnant of the remnant that will remain? Makes me sad to think about.

On a lighter note, I also snorted when Nynaeve asked Elayne to kick her. One of the many reasons I love this books! Egwene's handling of Moggy was also beautiful, I know there's no way I could have pulled that off. My handling of her would have gone much more Nynaeve's route (meaning her shouting)
Aidan Young
43. aidanyoung1102
@ 18 R Fife

Re: dreamwalker status, do we know whether Moghedien can actually dreamwalk or does she have to channel to get into T'A'R?

If she is a standard dream walker it would be really interesting to find out how the a'dam stops her from going into TAR. Otherwise, she could have easily kept stalking the SGs and, probably, killed them off.
Pete Pratt
44. PeteP
Tanis) @ 39: While I hope Eg wants the league of female channelers, it is not in the Aes Sedai bones to accept anyone equal to them.

Now that the Wise Ones think that the AS actually inferior to them, I do not see how this will work out long term.

We have already seen how the Windfinders and the AS work together.....

I think that most AS would find the idea that there are thousands of female channlers unbound by the Oath Rod and free of the White Tower to be unacceptable to say the least....
Kurt Lorey
45. Shimrod
Chesa wasn't killed because she wasn't installed as a spy by either Romanda or Lelaine. The Amyrlin was going to have a maid, so Chesa was left in place because she was viewed as neutral and harmless.

As to that, maybe she is and maybe she isn't. Rile up a mother hen and see what you get.
Rob Munnelly
46. RobMRobM
lsiel - interesting point with Siuan but wait until she gets healed by an Asha'man and gets back to full strength. Looking forward to that one and what she'll do with it. R
Brett Michie
47. bchurch
PeteP @37

This is off topic, I apologize, but your comment about ajah formation post breaking got me thinking about the ajah and their respective colors. What I'm wondering is, if the ajah in their current state were formed in this age, what, then is the correlation with the colored steps Rand sees around the Portal Stone in The Great Hunt? I know that Stone was in an alternate world, and it could have been Rand just thinking to himself that the steps represented the ajah, but I'm curious. Is there more to that connection, or is it just coincidence?
48. Mr. Micawber
Steelblaidd, 1632 and the rest of West Virginia in Germany might be my favorite SciFi/Fantasy these days :)

At least until this new book finally comes out, or GRRM finally gets around to finishing ADwD
49. Abbumaru
Hey everyone,
I've been following this re-read from day one and I'm pretty much addicted to it (I'm sure the majority here feels the same way). I'm German and was suprised at Leigh's impressive grasp of the language in her introduction. ;-) Just wanted to add some thoughts from my perspective.

@ 19: Thanks for the detailed insight, the Renaissance surely is a fascinating subject.
Concerning Kennedy's speech I got a good chuckle from the jelly donut comment (which I only understood after reading your response to it) because believe it or not, I've never heard it before. I've seen the original speech and especially that passage often in school and later in television and the thought about the donut never even occured to me. What I'm trying to say is, I'm just one guy with a German point of view but that speech and especially his famous comment always struck me as nothing but an incomparable demonstration of solidarity, and that it was always percieved in that way, too. Kennedy gave the people of West Berlin just what they needed, the knowledge that they would not be forgotten in their isolated state in 'enemy' territory. When I think about Kennedy saying "Ich bin ein Berliner" and the crowd cheering him like crazy I get goosebumps all over and the idea that there was even one guy listening to him who thought about a jelly donut (for all non-Germans: Berliner is a regionally used expression for a specific kind of jelly donut) seems entirely absurd to me. Especially since this expression is not even commonly used in Berlin itself.
In north-eastern Germany including Berlin they mostly use the word Pfannkuchen for that kind of donut which in turn and on a totally unrelated sidenote means pancake and is actually used to describe a true pancake in most of the rest of Germany.

Re: the current chapters I have to agree with Leigh, I really like Egwene as a character from here on out although a few passages to come are still pretty exhausting to read. IMO it was an awesome idea to send her to Aiel college before letting her stuff some sense into the Aes Sedai order. I absolutely love her outraged thought about Sorilea when Elayne comments about strength in the power. Sorilea ftw!

@ Leigh: Keep up the excellent work, you make my day three times a week! Due to time zones I get your posts in the evening which is great as it provides a great way to relax after the day, reading about people reading something you learned to love. Btw, I'm absolutely impressed by the awesome WoT community and the extraordinary quality of the comments around here!
50. Alfvaen
PeteP @ 20:

With all of the little subgroups of Aes Sedai in the last few books, I keep picturing a future Ajah-like system--the Aes Sedai taught by the Wise Ones, the AS taught by the Windfinders, the AS linked to Asha'man, etc.

But really, the AS need to get over themselves. The best they can hope for, I think, is to be one of the saidar-user groups. I could see a Grand Council of AS, WO, WF, and maybe even whatever the Seanchan can salvage out of their current sul'dam/damane system. (The current crop of damane may be irredeemably spineless, but if the sul'dam could be taught and still keep their status, and future generations of channelers...) For that matter, the saidin-users should have some kind of say too, though the Black Tower is the only organization existing anywhere in the world right now. Where the Kin fit into that...well, one might say that every woman can try each of the potential organizations, and if they can't be an AS they can be a WO. Or maybe just a damane. :p
Roger Powell
51. forkroot
Mr. Micawber@28
To follow on from your thoughts... I've decided that the "location" of a Forsaken isn't really a useful concept since they can travel. It's probably more helpful to think of a "operating base" where they may need to keep the continuity of an undercover role they are playing.

E.g. Semi travels (on orders) to Shayol Ghul to torture Cabriana, and thinks about getting back to Seanchan to keep tabs on Tuon.

New icon - why no yellow shawl?

Siuan should've been named Keeper.
Sheriam as Keeper was part of the deal that Egwene (the so-called biddable child) had thrust on her. Sheriam was supposed to ensure that the Salidar six ran the show (as opposed to the Hall.) Of course we know how all that turned out.

I am beginning to wonder what will become of "Rand's" Aiel after the last battle, will they return to the three-fold land like the Shaido, or might they get lands on this side of the dragonwall? What is the remnant of the remnant that will remain?
Well a particularly disgusting possibility is that the Shaido that return to the threefold land are the remnant. Only nice thing about that is that Galina can hate life longer.
Kristina Blake
52. kab1
@forkroot, I am wondering if it will be the Shaido as well, I hope not!
53. Tektonica
Egs doesn't actually talk about "binding" the WO's and Windfinders to the WT does she? I know later she muses about the 3 oaths and the roll the WF play.

I don't think she's talking about uniting all the channelers for TG, but that would be nice.....maybe she's just thinking of some sort of G8 summit thing that happens once in awhile? Or some sort of club for channelers? Does she really think they'll let the WT dictate what they do in their own communities? Probably.

It would be nice if she understood just why the WO's and WF's work so well in their communities. Perhaps it would help the WT to not be so isolated and arrogant. More community outreach, so to speak.....

A question I've always had about the WT aes sedai.....seems to me the reason there are so few new candidates for the WT is because they don't mate. Not that they couldn't, they just don't. That and gentling all the male channelers. Why is that? They could have WT nurseries aka the Reverand Mothers in Dune. Renew their numbers. Just a thought.
54. topknot
@53 this is the image that came into my head

Amyrlin: "As a man who can channel you will go crazy and kill lots of people if you are not gentled. This will be done in two days time, between now and then we ask that you sleep with as many Aes Sedai as possible so that they may have children who are strong in the one power."
Male Channeler: "That sounds fair."
Guillaume Bergeron
55. Nightbaron
I always figured that the "remnant of a remnant" who would survive Tarmon Gaidon would be the Shaido. It is pretty sad to consider, definitely, but it would tie in well to their origin; the Aiel that survived the previous age were the ones who turned against their own rules and prescripts, so the ones who'll make it to the next Age will similarly be the outcasts.

Aiel: the ever-changing people.
Richard Fife
56. R.Fife
New Icon to match the phoenix on me website.

Perhaps I'll think about giving the phoenix icon here, at least, a yellow shawl.
57. Lsana
It would be nice to think Egwene means "Let's get everyone together in an alliance to fight the Dark One," but that's never what she says. She never once mentions the impending apocalypse when she talks about bringing everyone under the umbrella of the White Tower.

I also don't think she's talking about a G8-type thing for the same reason: a G8 doesn't make everyone connected to the White Tower. What she seems to be envisioning is people like the Wise Ones and the Windfinders being subsidiary companies under the overall leadership of White Tower Inc., and I'm not sure why the Wise Ones or the Windfinders would agree to that. It seems like they give up their independence in exchange for pretty much nothing.

Just thought of another point: if the Wise Ones who can channel come to be under the White Tower, what happens to the Wise Ones who can't channel? Do they get to be an independent force, or do we just kick them to the curb entirely?

@37. PeteP,

Okay. That actually does sound quite a bit like what Egwene implies that she wants. She's using nicer phrasing, but it still boils down to the same thing: she wants every channeler under her authority.
Brett Michie
58. bchurch
RE: Remnant of Aiel

I've often wondered if that would be the Aiel who have succumbed to the bleakness, thrown away their spears, and sought a new life in accordance to the Way of the Leaf again. It seems to me that it would be fitting that the only Aiel to survive would be those who tried to become Da'Shain again, and all warring Aiel were wiped out. Not saying I want all Aiel warriors dead--they're totally badass, IMHO--but I like that notion better than the Shaido surviving.
Tasneem Gould
59. Latecomer
Yo Elaida imma see you finished and Egwene is gonna be the best Amrylin of all time!
Tasneem Gould
61. Latecomer
"Through the a’dam, Egwene feels a shock go through Moghedien as Nynaeve spoke, but is not sure what triggered it. "

Y'know, I always assumed that this was because Moggy was so scared of Egwene and knew that she would be left with her.. never thought about Ebou Dar beign the reason. This is why I love the re-read - all you clever people with deep thoughts where I just rush through the books.
Hilde Sørensen
62. edlihs
Isn't he the one who didn't invert his wavings at the cleansing? Maybe his stupid or just plain arrogant. The forsaken has showed this side before.

The kin is the ones who excel at healing, like the windfinders excel at cloud dansing.

If RJ "copies" the Great Western Schism she may not. There was some talk of a third amyrlin (pope), unless we are to believe that is Rand...

The many popes eventually led to increased growth of protestantism. Somehow I don't think Egwenes plan to connect all female channelers to the WT is going to work. I think it will only make the other organizations fight harder for their independence.

Neither of them can believe he would do such a thing.
But Egwene already demonstrated one reason. Besides they should consider his position. It is not like the aes sedai go out of their way to actual help him yet.
63. alreadymadwithwhitetower
PeteP @37
True. The WT has only one response to groups of Saidar users not under their control. Crush them. The Aiel Wise Ones have only one response to those trying to crush them. Crush them. And then there's the White Tower response to channeling men. When TG is done and the White Tower gets its act together I shudder to think what will happen.

topknot @54
Gentling only removes the ability to touch Saidin. The gene should still be there. So he should still be able to impregnate AS with potential channeling children even after gentling. ;)
Tess Laird
64. thewindrose
Has anyone seen the WoT Reread index? They have added books 12-14. I wonder if they have told Leigh yet:)
Really like Eqwene at this moment, but then it goes downhill until Honey in the Tea. Maybe this was intentional on RJ's part though - Halima is fragging with Egwene's head.

Also : Light, did they expect her to be polite to one of the Forsaken? Sorilea would stake the woman out in the sun to bring her to heel, if she did not simply slit her throat out of hand.
Exactally - slit her throat would have been the best idea. Mog would have been at the same strenghth as before if the DO put her into a new body, so Nyn could have bested her again.
Kurt Lorey
65. Shimrod
The Shaido are no longer Aiel. They just don't know it yet.
William Fettes
66. Wolfmage
Thanks for another great re-read Leigh. I'm also grateful for the lack of another inflamatory religious reference, which effectively kept me out of the other thread.

"Her confrontation/détente with Egwene in this chapter was really well done in terms of being true to their respective characters, I think."

I agree with this up to a point. I think Siuan's sliding back from her initial blitheness to a kind of begrudging acknowledgement of what is due Egwene is exceedingly well done. However, RJ IMO overdoes it a bit with the whole 'I never liked you, you remind me of myself' comment. There just isn't any indication of this in the prior books. If any of the Supergirls echo Siuan's string-defying stubbornness during their time in the Tower, it would be Nynaeve, though she doesn't have Siuan's effortless perceptiveness, studiousness and intelligence. Egwene may have some of that eager intelligence, but she doesn't have Siuan's rags-to-academia journey, and their contact is minimal for Siuan to form such a strong interpersonal opinion. But more importantly, the qualities which might ostensibly lead Siuan to say Egwene is supposedly unmanipulatable surely aren't demonstrated by her any time in the Tower. She is not out there pulling pranks, seeing through schemes or establishing a reputation as the go-to prodigy child, like Siuan did as a Novice and Accepted. Indeed, Nynaeve shows most of the initiative in the BA hunting discussion. Egwene is basically docile and deferential with all Aes Sedai during this early period. Only Moiraine really gets to see Egwene being truly perceptive - eg. in the Stone of Tear.

So, I think that comment is one of the times (mercifully there are few) where RJ shortcuts the character development by having one character aggrandise another based on a thin reed. Out of our main cast, both Egwene and Perrin get that treatment most often. Egwene for being Amyrlin material before showing anything approaching that, and Perrin for being a player of the great game.

I'm not saying this to ride Egwene. I just think it might have worked better for Siuan to find out quickly that Egwene is no puppet, rather than for her to do the self-recognition thing straight away, as if she's known all along.
67. OldWoman

And it might help with the post gentling depression.
68. peachy
@19 - Sweet, another UofC alum. Who was the prof? (I took several undergrad Renaissance history classes from Hanna Gray; a formidable woman. She would have whipped the Salidar crew into shape right quick.)

My personal academic background makes political intrigue in fiction particularly, er, intriguing - Jordan does an excellent job, I think, of showing realistic patterns of factionalism and self-interest in the AS and elsewhere (Daes Dae'mar for the win!) Martin does this well, too - better, in the sense that motivations for his characters are sometimes not revealed until books later, whereas with Jordan they tend to be more immediately apparent.
69. Siuanfan
Nightbaron @55 that would be so sad if the remnant were the Shaido. The Aiel are the best culture in the series, and the Shaido are... NOT Aiel. :(

I always thought the remnant of a remnant referred to Aviendha's quads.

Regarding Moggybaby, I hope someone balefires her soon. As long as she's alive, she's a liability to Egwene. If it were known that she had a Forsaken in hand and allowed her to go free... well let's just say even if she has the Tower by then, it's just the sort of thing Romanda or Lelaine would latch onto.

Speaking of Lelaine, did anyone else suspect her of being far more dangerous than Romanda right from the beginning, despite the differences in their style pointing to her being sweet and Romanda being a bee-otch?

Regarding tying all channelers to the Tower, they've already started - just perhaps not in ways that Egwene intended when she had the idea. There are Aes Sedai as apprentices to Wise Ones and teachers to the Windfinders (bound by oaths, both), they're planning to formalize a relationship with the Kin, and they're even sealed to the male channelers via oaths to Rand and bonding to Asha'man. I'm just interested to see how the damane are going to fit into the scenario...
70. alreadymadwithgrays
OldWoman @67
Absolutely. We know the concept of sex therapy exists in WoT.

peachy @68
For a moment there I thought you said Hanna the Gray.

Siuanfan @69
I didn't really think much of the remnant of a remnant bit before. But now that I think about it, the remnant may well be those who refuse to put off their Gai'shain whites. We are never shown how the original Aiel came to swear the Pact and became the hereditary servants of the Aes Sedai, but it may well be a series of events much like the one unfolding now.
Ian Horn
71. IanGH
There is an interesting contrast in what Egwene wants to leave as her legacy and what Rand is trying to leave. Rand's whole focus is on getting to Tarmon Gaidon but he sets up a series of schools completely out of his control and influence, just with the hope of something outlasting him, something to seed the next age with knowledge. Egwene's focus is on uniting channellers in an ossified, reclusive, quasi-religious organization under her direct control. Hmmm. Whose head is too big, again?

I wonder whose legacy will live longer?

(To be fair, Egwene is much more realistic of the White Tower's failings than any other Aes Sedai.)

On a tangent, we start off the first couple books living in awe of the Aes Sedai for their calm, serenity, and inner strength. By the time we are finished with aCoS, we see the AS as a bunch of sniveling children who haven't a clue compared to the badass wise ones and windfinders. So I'm curious, at the end of KoD the Seanchean get themselves a boatload of shiny new Damane whe were Shaido Wise Ones. Are they going to choke on those Wise Ones in their attempt to assimilate all of them? It's a pleasant thought, at least.
72. Valan
Man, I forgot who suggested the Dark Tower for a good way to get rid of the twitches before aGS a few months? ago, (maybe Rob) but thanks, I'm on Wolves of the Calla now and it is good, not great, but good (which is something coming from me I'm generally not a fan with the exception of the Stand.)

Alas, I have had no time to comment at work lately!
Lame! Lame I say!

Egwene meeting her toh and these chapters permanently solidified me in the "like Egwene" category, I had almost forgot that with all of the Egwene hating thats gone on in the previous books. But, yeah, don't screw with her Moggy, she'll slit your throat and throw your body into Tel'aran'rhoid! Wonder if she'd be eligible to be raised from the dead then...

@ 19

Wow, I haven't read the Prince but never would have equated Machiavelli with a republic given the usage of Machiavellian, interesting stuff.
William Fettes
73. Wolfmage
IanGH @ 71

"There is an interesting contrast in what Egwene wants to leave as her legacy and what Rand is trying to leave. Rand's whole focus is on getting to Tarmon Gaidon but he sets up a series of schools completely out of his control and influence, just with the hope of something outlasting him, something to seed the next age with knowledge. Egwene's focus is on uniting channellers in an ossified, reclusive, quasi-religious organization under her direct control. Hmmm. Whose head is too big, again?"

Lol. Probably a bit harsh though, as I think Egwene does not really want all channellers under her authority. She just wants them all connected and sees the White Tower as the natural nexus for this. If nothing else, the Wise Ones at least taught her that it can't all be a one-way relationship. Though she does seem a bit one-sided in favouring the Aiel.

For me, where it starts to get a bit more fishy is her blackmailing people to to get them to swear personal fealty to her. It's cool political theatre - and I don't really feel sympathy for the victims - but I'm uncomfortable at the arbitrariness of it.

At this stage, I'm surprised nobody has commented on Egwene doing a recess appointment for Theodrin, Faolain, Nynaeve and Elayne to full sisterhood. Does nobody else have a problem with that? She doesn't even make them provisional appointments, let alone escrow. Where did the Amyrlin get that power from? There's nothing hinting at this in the series that I know of - yet they seem to tolerate it, and eventually accept it according to the power of the Amyrlin. If that was possible for a decently strong Amyrlin all along why didn't Siuan do that at the beginning? Instead, she says something like: if I could raise you now and get you to hold the oath rod, I would, implying that the test is the only way to raise someone. Breaching convention is one thing - but I think this is beyond the pale.
paul Hend
74. tugthis
Lots of intrigue in these chapters and in the end I am hard pressed to decide if I am proud of the precocious supergirls or angry with their. . . shortsightedness.

Elayne is upset that Rand is giving her two kingdoms, and she thinks he needs guidance. She and Eggy are deluded about what the final battle means and what the aftermath will be. I have trouble seeing any future for the White Tower. . . If the Light wins there will be little need for the Tower. They will become some kind of shadowy tri-lateral commission pulling strings in what ever civil structures survive the Big Battle.

SteelBlaidd I don't agree with the idea that Elayne should look askance at Rands help. It seems to me that Andor has for the past few decades had trouble governing itself, and Elayne does not grasp the idea that post battle "everything will be different".

Elayne will be particularly conflicted if she becomes both AS and queen. She will be forever under the pressures of loyalty to Faith (White Tower) Home (Andor), or Husband (Rand). As a typical Andorman I would be concerned about the motivations of my ruler.

Eggy also has a great opportunity to really impress the Salidar faction. Do the right thing and execute the forsaken Moggy. Using her in the manner that has become routine has to prove corrosively evil, and it puts off the final day of reckoning.
Ian Horn
75. IanGH
SiuanFan @ 69 and Tugthis @ 74: Am I missing something here? I thought Moggy was toast at the end of WH. I don't have my books close to hand to verify...
76. Mr. Micawber
@ Peachy

@19 - Sweet, another UofC alum. Who was the prof? (I took several undergrad Renaissance history classes from Hanna Gray; a formidable woman. She would have whipped the Salidar crew into shape right quick.)

My personal academic background makes political intrigue in fiction particularly, er, intriguing - Jordan does an excellent job, I think, of showing realistic patterns of factionalism and self-interest in the AS and elsewhere (Daes Dae'mar for the win!) Martin does this well, too - better, in the sense that motivations for his characters are sometimes not revealed until books later, whereas with Jordan they tend to be more immediately apparent.

Hah! Another veteran! You might have guessed it, but she was my thesis advisor :)

And I should say, whenever I think of the Amyrlin Seat, I see her in my head. She'd have had the SAS retaking the Tower within days of her raising.
Bryan Cogswell
77. shmoo
@ 75 Iangh

Nope, Moggy is alive and kicking... she doesn't have a whole lotta free will anymore. But, she is still around...
john massey
78. subwoofer
I'm not kickin' anybody's ankle. Maybe tripping- but Kiwanuka was tripped by a Dallas player and look where that got him...

One thing I have noticed is Eggy's headaches. Started when Lanfear beat the crap out of her and then progressed throughout these books. Is that a plant by one of the Forsaken or is it the precursor of an aneurysm? RJ has made a big deal out of them so there has to be something to it.

Eggy also plays a good Bossy the Cow. Maybe not as good as Suian, but close. I don't see the Tower bringing anybody in- er women who can Channel unite- but maybe sending apprentices back and forth to learn the different weaves and regain some of the lost knowledge.

IanGH brings up two interesting points- the first about legacy, the second about the familiarity of AS. They go from being put on a pedestal to actually being real human beings, warts and all. The real difference being that when AS gesture with their hands, stuff happens, and they can live a really long time- and can make men miserable beyond just brow beating them( er... the warder bond).

I respect what Rand is trying to do in terms of regaining knowledge for civilization in general. I also respect Eggy for going about something similar, just wrt Saidar. Rand started something close with the cleansing of Sadin, now he just has to remove the stigma attached to male channelers. Maybe some nice cologne...

Edit- @R.Fife- yes, interesting icon, very Rorschach- like. Phoenix?- if you say so. Perhaps a new name to go with it.

79. Mr. Micawber
@ Valan 72

Actually, the Aes Sedai are a republic - the Amyrlin is a better example of what Mach intended his supreme magistrate to be than anything I've seen anywhere else in fiction.

And why would republics be less Machiavellian? If anything, a place where your standing can't necessarily be tied to some kind of permanent factor like a hereditary title or inherited wealth is going to be more filled with intrigue, because no one's position is secure.

Just look at the Tower; your ranking depends on how long you spent in the Novitiate or Accepted; how powerful you are in the Power; how old you are; what your political position in the Hall or the Ajah is; and whether you've been put in command of a mission.

These things are dependent on you, yes, but they're capable of being changed radically in any situation. You constantly have to be on your guard that someone might be faster or more powerful, might come out of retirement, might be elected over you in your Ajah, might be chosen by the Amyrlin or the Hall. You can't be in control of these things, so it forces you to become an adept at the art of manipulation, scheming, and intriguing.

I constantly get amused by the Supergirls or somebody else saying "Light, this is so complicated, it makes you think the Aes Sedai really did invent Daes Dae'Mar".

Because the truth of the matter is, Daes Dae'Mar is merely the pale, perhaps more bloody, and certainly more clumsy imitation of the game that Aes Sedai play amongst themselves from the day they reach the Shawl. Frankly, I can fully understand why the White Tower could exercise so much influence if they've literally been playing Xanatos Speed Chess for hundreds of years and everyone else is just learning the game.
James Hogan
80. Sonofthunder
@subwoofer 78

The headaches are from Halima...makes Egwene rely on her and keep her close by. Stupid Forsaken.

And I gotta say, I do think Egwene is awesome(and I loved these chapters), but I would NOT want her as my boss. Just sayin'.
81. Mr. Micawber
There is an interesting contrast in what Egwene wants to leave as her legacy and what Rand is trying to leave. Rand's whole focus is on getting to Tarmon Gaidon but he sets up a series of schools completely out of his control and influence, just with the hope of something outlasting him, something to seed the next age with knowledge. Egwene's focus is on uniting channellers in an ossified, reclusive, quasi-religious organization under her direct control. Hmmm. Whose head is too big, again?

I think there's something absolutely crucial to remember when we say this - because starting around nowish, Eggs is going to be on a serious downslope of Awesome (exception: the War Vote) until she gets to Honey in Tea.

For the next four books Egwene is going to be under the influence of one of the Forsaken. I don't think we can minimize how much this detracts from her ability to be awesome. Frankly, I think we need to remember how the 13x13 conversion process works: RJ says that the channeler's bad side is magnified until it consumes them.

Eggs has always been an Oooh! Girl who's capable of just as much hypocrisy as anyone else. But her conversation here with Elayne is reasonable, because she really does envision a fairly loose Saidar Inc.

Then, in the next four books, we see this decay into a steam inducing pout about how all channelers are going to answer to HER, dammit, including Rand's. Recall from her scene in TAR with the other two SG in WH where she goes batshit crazy about Elayne and Nyn saying that the Oath Rod is moronic, nobody trusts us despite it, *and* it's killing us off. I mean, someone like Sharina couldn't possibly take the Three Oaths, she'd probably drop dead on the spot.

Rather, I think that Aran'gar has been doing a miniversion of the 13x13 trick, bringing out Eggs' worst side a little like Fain brings out the worst in the people he encounters. The Egwene who wants everyone underneath the Amyrlin Seat and wants a veritable death sentence passed on channelers (remember, the potential of using a binder aka Oath Rod was what drove Semirhage to the Dark Side) is not the same Eggs who takes her beatings with a smile, and wins over everyone with a brain in Tar Valon.
Ian Horn
82. IanGH
Wolfmage @ 73: Harsh? Yeah, especially considering Egwene is my favorite of the supergirls. On the other hand, somewhere in aCoS or tPoD (er, I think- they all blend together) she tells Elayne and Nynaeve that she wants to tie the kin to the tower. I believe she puts it that they will not be directly under tower law or under the hall but would have to acknowlege supremacy of the tower and/or the Amyrlin. She has already built up some Wise One brownie points by getting on Sorilea's good side and at some point soon Amys is going to incur some Toh to her so she may well be on her way to being top dog of the Saidar world.

Shmoo @ 77: So what actually happened to Moggy at the end of WH? Not that it has anything to do with this thread...
William Fettes
83. Wolfmage
Mr. Micawber @ 81

“I think there's something absolutely crucial to remember when we say this - because starting around nowish, Eggs is going to be on a serious downslope of Awesome (exception: the War Vote) until she gets to Honey in Tea.”

I guess it depends on your perspective. Notwithstanding those moments you allude to, I personally think Egwene steadily improves from the scene where she meets her toh (excepting Rhuarc). For me, Egwene was pretty innocuous in tEotW, but in subsequent books I found increasingly precocious. But since becoming shadow Amyrlin, I do start to find her more interesting and relatable. She may still be wrong-headed at times, but at least she has a suitably important job function to fulfil that can back up that healthy ego of hers.

“For the next four books Egwene is going to be under the influence of one of the Forsaken. I don't think we can minimize how much this detracts from her ability to be awesome. Frankly, I think we need to remember how the 13x13 conversion process works: RJ says that the channeler's bad side is magnified until it consumes them.”

Maybe, or maybe it’s just a subtle form of compulsion. I don’t think we ever find out what weave was used, do we?

“Then, in the next four books, we see this decay into a steam inducing pout about how all channelers are going to answer to HER, dammit, including Rand's. Recall from her scene in TAR with the other two SG in WH where she goes batshit crazy about Elayne and Nyn saying that the Oath Rod is moronic, nobody trusts us despite it, *and* it's killing us off. I mean, someone like Sharina couldn't possibly take the Three Oaths, she'd probably drop dead on the spot.”

So do you think the DO cares enough about the Oath Rod / binding situation to actually plan that effect, or do you just think Aran’gar is screwing with Egwene’s cognition in general? Certainly Egwene’s change of mind about the Oath Rod is suspicious, but I don’t think it’s definitive; she does rationalise it after supposedly being convinced by Siuan after all.

Her other behaviour is worse than erratic IMO. Rand has Aes Sedai swear fealty to him only until the Last Battle is over. But AFAIK Egwene has them do it in perpetuity. Dictator for life ftw. But I doubt Halima could have intended that.

“Oath Rod was what drove Semirhage to the Dark Side) is not the same Eggs who takes her beatings with a smile, and wins over everyone with a brain in Tar Valon.”

That’s true – but it was also her pride. She was offended that they weren’t prepared to tolerate her price, given her unrivalled talents.
84. Nathan P. Mahney
I'm thinking that the surviving Aiel 'remnant of a remnant' refers to the Mera'din, the Brotherless. Many of them went with the Shaido back to the Waste, and from what I can gather still seem to hold to ji'e'toh. So we have the first remnant being the Shaido, and the remnant of them that is still truly Aiel, the Brotherless.
85. peachy
@81 - I don't think I'd ever heard the official explanation of the 13+13 trick; sort of a Dark Side of the Force, 'give in to your hate' deal. Makes a lot of sense.

As our esteemed host pointed out some chapters - or books - ago, this series has a Renaissance setting, and the politics reflect that. The AS structure definitely has a RCC/Vatican feel, as noted before - the Amyrlin is the Pope, the Hall is the College of Cardinals, the various Ajah are essentially the religious orders, which have their assorted institutional interests and specialties, and spend plenty of time screwing with each other (the aggressive, straight-forward Green, for example, is rather Jesuitical - in fact, I believe the SJ's leader was also called 'Captain-General.) Eg's plan to bring all saidar channelers under the aegis of the Tower is an echo the Church's universalist aspirations as well.

Moreover, plenty of the 'secular' states have the kind of complex, divided governments that were characteristic of places like Venice - Tarabon splits authority between King and Panarch, Illian between King, Council and Assembly, Arad Doman's King is elected by a Council, Tear is actually ruled by committee etc. With so many positions of power, and routes to gaining it, it's no wonder that politics is serious business, and that you literally can't take a day off if you want to stay in the game. The Borderlands are an apparent exception, but I wonder how true that really is - there's a lot of talk about the closeness of the Bight enforcing comity and whatnot, but I'd think the Shadow would be especially interested in meddling up north. Just remember Malkier, people!

(And yes, Prof Gray would have snapped Elaida like a twig. There's a reason I went with Prof Cook for my BA... I mean, I got on with her just fine, but prudence can be a virtue, right?)
Joseph Blaidd
86. SteelBlaidd
I seem to recall a comment by RJ that a retired KGB agent approached him at a signing once and congratulated him on how well he had written the political infighting. It was just like how the agent remembered from the Kremlin.

I would say that this exchange,
“I’d as soon try tying strings to myself,” Siuan said dryly. “You know, I never really liked you. Maybe it was because I saw too much of myself in you.”

“In that case,” Egwene said in just as dry a tone, “you can call me Egwene."

Is not a literal expression of Siuan's feelings about Egwene when she was a novice but a discreet statement that her treatment of the girls when she was Amyrlin was nothing personal and that she is willing to try a more collegial relationship. Egwene responds with an acceptance.
William Fettes
87. Wolfmage
SteelBlaidd @86
"Is not a literal expression of Siuan's feelings about Egwene when she was a novice but a discreet statement that her treatment of the girls when she was Amyrlin was nothing personal and that she is willing to try a more collegial relationship. Egwene responds with an acceptance."

I have no doubt that Siuan's interactions here, through words and deeds, do convey that transition, but you're doing a gymnastic interpretation to get around the plain language.

It's pretty clear that Siuan saying "I never really liked you" invokes a past tense familiarity with Egwene. Within the context of their past encounters, that can only mean Egwene in the Tower or Fal Dara. Moreover, her saying "Maybe it was because I saw too much of myself in you" again locates this opinion of Egwene in the past, and links back to her claim that she would be able to manipulate Egwene anyway.
88. Mr. Micawber
@ Wolfmage
"Her other behaviour is worse than erratic IMO. Rand has Aes Sedai swear fealty to him only until the Last Battle is over. But AFAIK Egwene has them do it in perpetuity. Dictator for life ftw. But I doubt Halima could have intended that."

I hated that b.s. with a capital B that rhymes with witch.

Frankly, it was ridiculous. Especially since she seems enormously less capable of exercising that authority with a certain amount of flexibility. Rand treats them pretty much like he would Asmodean, had Asmodean sworn the Three Oaths, namely, he allows them enormous flexibility. Moreover, Rand only wants their obedience for a specific purpose that will end - as far as they know - with his death.

I would say by contrast that Egwene's a control freak, and that when she gets people to swear in ACOS, she's not doing so because of Halima; I also think that her tendencies towards control manifest are brought out further under Aran'gar's ministrations. Frankly, now that you mention her forcing the oaths of fealty, I shiver at the thought of her retaining the Three Oaths, because it suggests that no matter who gets the Tower in the end, we're going to have an Amyrlin who thinks it's a-ok to have sisters swear fealty to them.

What Elaida doesn't really think about is that she doesn't *need* a fourth oath, as long as she has sisters swear under the current system. Unless they're BA, they'll be *forced* to obey. There's only a very short distance from Elaida's fancies to what Egwene's actually done already.

@ Peachy

You're absolutely right prudence is a value. It was...interesting is what I can say. :)
john mullen
89. johntheirishmongol
Egwene wants to tie all the channelers together because she knows that they will learn a lot from each other. She knows that she has learned wearves that AS don't have from the WO and she knows that the Windfinders also have weaves that they handle that are different that the AS use. As for the Kin, I believe that she plans to use them as a retirement community for AS after years of service.

Anyway, good couple of chapters but I have a couple of issues on things that never made sense. If Egwene is considered to be a weak Amyrlin, why does Halima even bother messing with her head?

Also, I never understood the sense that Elayne had to go to Ebou Dar when she had a throne to claim. It should have been her overriding priority and it is one of the few things that I see that did not seem even remotely realistic in the story line.
Rob Trotter
90. shadar
@89 - Don't forget the Egwene is also a dreamer.. And one of the things she wasn't doing when sleeping with Halima was dreaming normal dreams (she had nightmares, and didn't remember stuff)

Also - post the law of war stuff - she actually has some power - even if the assumption is that Siuan is the driving force.
91. Freelancer

Delana, and therefore Halima, knew that the other two maids were in fact spies for Romanda and Lelaine. They were killed to keep the Sitters uninformed of Egwene's inside plans. Chesa was never any such problem, so no need to add on more suspicion. As it is, most folks believed that the maids ran away, with the supposition that Chesa was Egwene's favorite, and they might as well find work elsewhere. All three maids disappearing would have raised a serious investigation, and this Aran'gar cannot afford. Chesa isn't a darkfriend.


Siuan is Egwene's defacto Keeper, but only between the two of them. It was a masterful move to name Sheriam. She had held the reins in Salidar until a Hall was constructed, as the presumptive head of the Salidar Six. At the same time, Sheriam was among those who were trying to be Egwene's puppet-master, so let everyone think that's just what she is, the true power beside the throne. Let Romanda and Lelaine think that they need to work with/through Sheriam to deal with Egwene, the "biddable child". This way, she's on to their game, and they are clueless about hers.

R.Fife@18 & bchurch@25

If I'm not mistaken, the forsaken must channel their way into T'a'R. Remember one of them referring to the dream ter'angreal which the Black Ajah had stolen as "training devices". To me it seems reasonably clear that a person learns to get into T'a'R using a ter'angreal, until they are able to bypass the tool. But the step from training to unencumbered access would still require channeling Spirit. All that to say that if that is the case, Moghedien would be unable to get into T'a'R. The evidence bears this out because, while she is captive, none of the other forsaken have a clue where she is. If she could still sneak into T'a'R, surely her first move would have been to call in a rescue, or at least an assault on Salidar.


I can see why you think of Egwene's statement in that way, that she wants all female channelers obligated somehow to the White Tower. I see it from a slightly different angle. What she wants is for all female channelers to be able to be connected, not in subservience or via obligation, but to end the centuries of separation. The Tower only suspected about Sea Folk channelers, because they hid very effectively from the Tower, while sending only their weakest channelers to be novices, solely to keep the Aes Sedai from thinking them a source of powerful potential. The Aiel kept their channeling even more private, both through geographic and customary separations. Egwene's wish is that they could all share training, skills/knowledge, and yes, be able to join up in dire circumstances.


You'll recall that such a proposal was considered by the White Ajah, to have volunteers bear children to male channelers to "refresh the bloodstock" or some such. Most Aes Sedai thought the concept insane, others suggested that the Whites be the volunteers since it was their idea, and it ended right there.


Yeah, but gentle a male channeler and then see how likely he is to get next to an Aes Sedai. Permanent cold shower state, I suspect.


I see it the other way 'round. The post-gentling depression as permanently ED-inducing.


As I commented elsewhere above, I don't believe for a moment that Egwene wants all channelers to be under the White Tower thumb. She wants all channelers to be free from the self-imposed isolations off the previous centuries. I could imagine cross-training and shared purpose committees, without placing any demands on those from outside the White Tower. Egwene is a progressive in all things, and she is a societal empath, or hadn't you noticed.


This is answered directly within the text by Egwene. On her first day as Amyrlin, if the Sitters dared oppose her on this, they might as well remove her. A bold gambit, and a risky one to herself, but audacity pays in such cases. She needed to not be the only untested Aes Sedai, lest her authority always be under question. It was never possible for Siuan, because she was Amyrlin in a whole Tower, with an oath rod, and a testing ter'angreal. Once the Sitters accept Egwene as Amyrlin without having been tested or sworn, they allow the precedent upon which she built.


Egwene's headaches are channeled into her by Halima, for two purposes. One is the satisfaction of causing pain to an enemy. Two is the con of gaining Egwene's trust by being the one who can make the headaches disappear. There is virtual proof that Halima is the source, in a scene where Egwene refuses a suggestion by Halima, and immediately starts throbbing.


You know, it's possible to form a negative first impression of someone with almost no interaction. I'm absolutely certain you can dredge up an example. You stated yourself in a different regard how perceptive Siuan is. It is entirely plausible that she perceives how much Egwene is like herself, and isn't attracted to her by it.

Mr. Micawber@88

As I'm sure is obvious by now, I give all characters a more generous viewing than many others do. Egwene takes a hint from Theodrin and Faolain. They are the first to swear to her, offered freely. It's after that, and in light of the continuing struggles with the Hall and the Salidar Six, that she turns the table on them in a tangible way. They presumed upon how easily she would be used as Amyrlin. So, she takes that as an insult, as well she should. It leaves a standoff, which would get nothing accomplished, until she makes them swear to her. Her purpose here isn't being a control freak. It's removing a roadblock from getting the rebels near the White Tower, which is supposed to have been their goal all along, even though many of them actually fear the confrontation. It can be compared with Lincoln suspending Habeus Corpus for the duration of the Civil War, as it is against all custom and Tower law, but she has bigger fish to fry, and as we all know, she will accept the cost of her choices whenever the bill comes due.


I believe your issue with Elayne going to Ebou Dar instead of Caemlyn is answered in the text, in her own words. It has been determined that repairing the weather is more immediately important than any other task, and since she is currently the prime ter'angreal expert she must be part of the mission. I have no problems with this at all. Her throne, however distasteful it might be to her, is safely in the hands of someone she happens to trust. Or at least someone she wants to smooch the lips off of. Comes to the same thing.
92. Freelancer

Thank you for that post. Interestingly, you confirm that the word Kennedy employed was indeed "Berliner", which others have said was naught but rumor. I have heard the speech many times, and was certain that's what I heard. It makes no difference to the efficacy of the speech whatsoever. Clearly the local people hearing the speech would know what was meant by an English speaker saying "Berliner" in that context, and pass over any concern with the linguistic error as being beneath notice compared with the immensity of the moment. The only thing worse than highlighting it for the sake of ridicule, is falsely claiming it didn't happen in some misguided political solidarity.
93. birgit
Egwene is wakened by Chesa, her maid, in the room Anaiya had prepared for her, whose taste runs unfortunately toward lace and ruffles.

Anaiya also prepares lacy rooms for Moiraine and Siuan when they are raised to AS. Is preparing rooms her job in the Blue Ajah?

GPS tracking system

Elayne also uses a Finder on the belt of a criminal in KoD, ch 16.
Maiane Bakroeva
94. Isilel
I see nothing outrageous in Egs desire to connect the Kin to WT. Rather, it is ridiculous that they aren't connected already. WT gave them the means to channel and thus is obligated to police them.
And they, being in the world and not having the OP and social power of the AS could be more connected to normal society and promote positive image of saidar users by providing valuable services to population at large.

I strongly suspect that it was Ishy's introduction of the Oath Rod to hobble the AS and better protect the BA that resulted in cutting the rejects off, so that the age discrepancies couldn't be noticed. But admission and training of people with weak talent is probably a relic of older and more sensible approach.

I do think that Egs desire to hold on to the Oath Rod and plan of making AS retire into the Kin is stupid.
It is backwards - really sheltered and inexperienced people being handed the political power and responsibility of being AS, while older and more knowledgeable folks get the choice of being pushed aside or die?!
IMHO, it would be more reasonable if Accepted were sent out to be part of the Kin and gather worldly experience for 5-10 years before being raised to AS.

I sorta hope that the Oath Rod either gets destroyed once they rid themselves of the BA or only remains for the purpose of testifying in trials and such.
The AS should be able to instill proper attitudes in the initiates without it. In fact, they do. There is a lot of criminal stuff that is still possible under the Oaths - oaths, non-OP murder, theft, corruption - but IIRC the AS don't engage in it unless they are BA.

Re: Aiel and Windfinders I also thought that Egs envisioned some form of cooperation and cultural exchange. For instance like exchange of students, etc. and allowing those whose interests align better with another group to switch.
Like, what if a poor Sea Folk channeler is really studious and enjoys digging after knowledge? Or strong in Earth and Fire and pathetic in Water and Air? Not much application for that among their own culture. Or some Randland novice really wants to sail. Etc.

Re: Chesa, isn't she Sheriam's spy? Supposedly, at least. Not that I think that Sheriam is a BA.
95. Tanis0
I still think Eg is looking at the whole "all female channelers have connections to the tower" on an egalitarian level. You have to recall that she's just spent a significant portion of time training under the WO's -- probably more than she did at the tower. She doesn't see them as less than her. She says, "a part of her heart will probably always be Aiel." The idea that she has suddenly flipped these egalitarian ideas upside down over the course of 2 days seems highly unlikely to me, and I don't see any basis for the arguments you guys are making that she has. As far as not naming the DO and TG specifically, she's probably not thinking that far ahead, but it does seem to be the next logical step.

Now, all of this is not to say that what she envisions is going to happen, but it seems to be her ideal. She specifically mentions info-swapping in the book as a basis for the alliance. She does not, however, say anything about one group having precedence over the other. She only talks about a connection betweeen the groups and the WT. Yes, we can speculate that to any AS, that means the WT is in charge. But Eg isn't "any AS." She's at least half Aiel in her concepts of honor and leadership, as evidenced by her treatment and thought processes re: Moghiden.
Captain Hammer
96. Randalator
Freelancer @92

Clearly the local people hearing the speech would know what was meant by an English speaker saying "Berliner" in that context, and pass over any concern with the linguistic error as being beneath notice compared with the immensity of the moment.

Just to be clear, there was no error...linguistic or otherwise.

Both the "I am a jelly donut" and the "I am a citizen of Berlin" statement translate to "Ich bin ein Berliner" in German. Which is exactely what Kennedy said. The only way of distinguishing between the two is through context.

And the context makes it absolutely clear that he is not referring to a jelly donut and that he is not claiming to be an actual Berlin citizen but speaking figuratively ("I am a free man").
97. Siuanfan
Honestly, if Egwene is going to connect all channelers to the Tower, she needs to do some housecleaning first. Even when the Tower was whole, there was too much of everyone doing their own thing, which often had the result of some sisters inadvertently wrecking others' plans.

The White Tower needs a clear stated purpose. If Aes Sedai means 'servants of all' (btw which word means 'servants'? If it's Sedai then that looks like "All Servants" which is weird, but if it's Aes then Carlinya Sedai translates to Carlinya All and that's weirder. But anyway...) then they need to exhibit that as their purpose. This whole 'tradition keeps sisters from asking what each other is doing' is really stupid, as it leaves gaping holes for trouble, not the least of which is Black Ajah and other conflicts. The White Tower needs a clear purpose, and all Ajahs should be working together toward that purpose, utilizing their different specialties. Right now it seems that their ENTIRE purpose/raison d'etre is "make people afraid of us yet trust us completely", which, as we can see... isn't working for the most part anymore - especially when in-house conflicts and distrust immediately negates whatever they do. Are they there to advise rulers? Are they there to preserve history? Are they there to dispel conflicts? Are they there to fight the Shadow? A little of each, yes, but there has to be an overarching theme... WHY do Aes Sedai exist? Once that's clear, then forming ties with other groups should be easier.

tl;dr - Egwene needs to shape up the way the Tower operates in a serious way before she can even think of tying other channeling groups in or it'll be pure chaos.
Matt Jarchow
98. jarchowm
Not to beat a dead horse here, but a good analogy for the "Ich bin ein Berliner" comment would be if a foreign dignitary gave a speech in New York City and ended with "I am a New Yorker".

Anyone listening would assume he meant was claiming fellwoship with the citizens of New York, not that he was claming to be a magazine or a Pizza Hut pizza.
john massey
99. subwoofer
@Suianfan- *LOL*

The White Tower needs a clear stated purpose. If Aes Sedai means 'servants of all' (btw which word means 'servants'? If it's Sedai then that looks like "All Servants" which is weird, but if it's Aes then Carlinya Sedai translates to Carlinya All and that's weirder. But anyway...) then they need to exhibit that as their purpose.

Yes, the White Tower needs a mission statement. Perhaps if Tony Robbins paid them a visit he'd get them focused on the right direction. I think the Vote of War was one of the best scenes for Eggy and the direction of the Little Hall because at least then they have a purpose- kicking Elaida out of the bunker and unifying the Break that everyone is afraid to admit.

100. FlameOfTarValon
This is completely off the topic; but did anyone notice something awkward 'bout Sheriam in CoT and KoD? Like random bursting into tears etc.
I've a hunch that she's really BA (or is being controlled by one).

Am I missing the obvious?
Rob Munnelly
101. RobMRobM
@100 - it is clear from text that someone is beating her for not getting Egwene to follow certain unknown instructions. Not clear who is doing the beating (Halima? Delana? Someone else?) Clear that Sheriam is not BA but appears to be somehow controlled by BA or Foresaken. One of mid-sized mysteries to be solved in next few books. Rob
102. FlameOfTarValon
Thanks for the speedy reply, mate! :)
Joseph Blaidd
103. SteelBlaidd
Audio of tGS Ch 2 More Awesome from Egwene


I'm sure that Suin had plenty of time to form an opinion of Egwene on the trip from Fal Dara, and I bet she knows another Ohh Ohhh! Girl when she sees one
Maiane Bakroeva
104. Isilel
I am firmly convinced that Lelaine is the one who is torturing Sheriam.
I have recently re-read KoD and in Chapter 1 both she and her Warder are noticeably more deferential to Lelaine than the situation warrants, while other sisters of the Six, weaker than Sheriam in OP, and their Warders stand up to her much more.
Sheriam immediately blurts out sensitive information too and blushes when Lelaine reprimands her for not wearing the stole.

Moreover, Lelaine basically admits to Siuan that she has captured and tortured Faolain, forcing her to reveal information. And yea, that hair-smoothing thing that both Lelaine and Sheriam's assaulter like to do...

Re: Tower's purpose, it is Ok for it to have several barely related ones, but more accountability and transparency at least within WT itself are a must.

I mean, sisters just vanish for 25 years and everybody thinks them dead without confirmation (how does this work, BTW? Do they stop drawing on their WT allowance? How long must this go on for somebody to be declared dead?);
sisters, including Sitters can just wander off whenever they wish and do whatever they want, so that it is very difficult to know if qualified people will be to hand if anything needs doing, different AS can find themselves working at cross-purposes pursuing their personal agendas, etc., etc.

It is actually a commendation to the WT training that despite this lack of structure there is comparatively so little abuse, but it is highly inefficient.
They should at least insist on yearly reports on individual AS activities, on which allowance should depend, and on some kind of rotating roster re: WT residency and other necessary tasks like garrisoning the Borderlands. Oh, and the Sitters should stay put!
105. Lsana
@66 Wolfmage,

I think you're right about Suian's remarks seeming kind of out of left field, assuming that Suian is being sincere. I don't think she is. Romanda and Lelaine try manipulating Egwene by telling her, "You must do this or dire consequences will occur." Eg doesn't react well to threats. Suian, on the other hand, says, "Oh, Egwene, you are so strong. You're just like I was when I was younger. I could never succeed in manipulating you. You're much too smart for that." And before you know it, Suian is the power behind the throne. Eg does have a weakness for flattery.

88. Mr. Micawber,

I don't like the oaths any more than you do, but I think you (and everyone else) is overestimating what they mean. I don't think there is any reason an Aes Sedai can't break a promise, or else there would be no reason to make them swear 3 oaths on the oath rod rather then just the first. I don't think an Aes Sedai can swear fealty unless she means it at the time, but I doubt there is any method to keep them from changing their minds later.

@104 Isilel,

I disagree with you here. I think the Tower should have less of an agenda. The Aes Sedai are adult women. If they want to go off for 25 years and work on their own stuff, why should that be anyone else's business? (At least assuming that "their own stuff" doesn't involve murder or torture or anything like that.) Especially since, if you aren't an Aiel or a Sea Folk, becoming Aes Sedai is the only way to be trained as a channeler. I don't see why all channelers in Randland need to be working towards some collective purpose or even several collective purposes organized by some central authority.

I honestly think the Tower would do better if it were less like a country and more like a school. "Aes Sedai" means essentially the same as "PhD from Harvard." It's prestigious, it says something about your abilities, but it no more makes you part of a uniform organization owing primary allegiance to the Amyrlin than having gone to Harvard makes you a servant of the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Tony Zbaraschuk
106. tonyz
The other purpose of Halima's headaches is apparently to block Egwene's Dreaming, reducing the amount of information the Light is getting about what they need to prepare for.
107. Siuanfan
Lsana @ 105 that's true; I didn't think of it that way but you have a point (re: the PhD from Harvard analogy). On the other hand, that might be a more accurate description of a Kinswoman than an Aes Sedai. A Kinswoman is Tower-trained and can be likened to a graduate (or undergrad, in the case of those who didn't make it to Accepted), but an Aes Sedai is both an alum and an employee. She's tied her life into forwarding the Tower's goals - only those goals are largely undefined as a cohesive structure at the moment, though the Ajahs do have their individual focuses.

When you go out into the world as an Aes Sedai, you are representing the White Tower, so it seems pretty counterintuitive that nobody in the Tower has any idea what the hell you're doing out there. You could cause an international crisis just by being stupid and then the Tower has to answer for that. Every Aes Sedai needs to be on the same page, or at least KNOW what pages the others are on. If you *don't* want to be responsible for furthering Tower goals, then don't claim the title of Aes Sedai. Retire into the Kin or go it alone - refuse to enter the Acceptatron or refuse the - whatever the procedure is to be raised - and move out.

Speaking of the Kin, since Ajahs have eyes and ears all over the place, it would seem that Kin would be good for that. They'd be more Tower loyal than your average being-paid-for-this Joe-the-Carpenter, wouldn't they? It's a function they could perform for the Tower while possibly serving as a conduit to the Tower for channelers and petitioners and the like. They could even serve their favorite Ajahs (or former Ajahs) so they still feel a part of everything, only not "official".
108. topknot
@104 Isilel,

In response to requiring annual reports, that is a downword spiral, next comes quarterly reports then monthly, weekly and before you know it your so busy doing reports that you don't have time for anything else. Come to think of it that sounds an awful lot like my job. "sigh"

Back to the whole Aes Sedai having children, what would they do with the male children? If they are caught early enough, before they realize they are using the one power, and gentled, would it have the same affect as far as losing the will to live? or would they still be able to function?
109. Mr. Micawber
an Aes Sedai is both an alum and an employee. She's tied her life into forwarding the Tower's goals - only those goals are largely undefined as a cohesive structure at the moment, though the Ajahs do have their individual focuses.

Between New Spring and the scenes we've seen of sisters + the Supergirls after getting the Shawl, I'd say for the vast majority of Aes Sedai, you've got it backwards.

They're alums of the Tower, yes, but they're employees of their *Ajah*, while the Tower does force them into a form of cohesion...from time to time. We know, now, having seen through the eyes of Reds, that they explicitly put their Ajah before the Tower; their Highest is considered on par with the Amyrlin Seat.

Sisters like Cadsuane or Moiraine, who couldn't give a shit what their Ajah or the Tower or even the Hall and the Amyrlin think, are very much the exception to the rule.
Rich Gold
110. richg25
re. Shaido and whether or not we'll see anymore of them - will they be the remnant.

There is actually one unfinished storyline with the shaido - and perhaps it will be one of those that never gets wrapped up. I'm referring to the Bain, Chiad and Gaul threesome. With Bain and Chiad being gai'shain for part of a year to go (what is it remaining - 9 months or so?), I don't think we're gonna see the end of this unless somehow the shaido are brought back into a storyline.
Alice Arneson
111. Wetlandernw
Hey, cool! Freelancer @ 91 and Isilel @ 94: Thank you!! You two made all (I think) of the points I wanted to make while reading through the posts, and saved me the mental anguish of trying to make them all. (This is especially wonderful today, since I have neither the time nor the brainpower to do it properly.)

Add to that: Taniso @ 95.

Isilel @ 104 - I always thought that Sheriam deferred to Lelaine because she was the Blue Ajah head for the rebels, but I now can't find any firm evidence for that. Your evidence that Lelaine is torturing Sheriam is... interesting at the very least. Quite possibly mind-boggling, since that thought had never crossed my mind. I'll be reading KoD again soon, so I'll watch for it. Thanks.

Siuanfan @ 97 - (btw which word means 'servants'? If it's Sedai then that looks like "All Servants" which is weird, but if it's Aes then Carlinya Sedai translates to Carlinya All and that's weirder. But anyway...) - Most languages don't translate literally word for word, even when they come from the same root. Tenses and possessives can look really funny if you try to do it that way, too. My guess is that "Sedai" roughly means "servant" and "Aes" roughly means "of all", so it would be "of all, the servant" - which sounds awkward and stilted in English, but in many other languages would flow perfectly.
Ron Garrison
112. Man-0-Manetheran
Q. What do you get when you spank a jelly donut?

A. Jelly in your lap.
John Mann
113. jcmnyu
Alright, I'm going to put forth my first official Loony Theory in a while.

Egwene wants to have all female channelers connected to the White Tower.

Rand needs to have all factions organized and report to him for the Last Battle.

I see the two ideas being merged into one with Rand at the head. Rand folds the Seanchan, whose entire leadership except for Tuon is now dead, into his current alliance/dictatorship of the Black Tower, Illian, Tear, Andor, Cairhein, Mayene, and the Aiel. Also, once the Borderlanders find him, they will be added as will the Sea Folk.

Egwene recaptures the White Tower, repels the Seanchan, and calls together a summit of the leaders of the channelers. The Kin, Wise Ones, Windfinders, and Aes Sedai agree to work together under Egwene through the Last Battle.

Rand and Egwene have the confrontation where Rand "knows the Amyrlin's anger" and Egwene submits to Rand's authority and Rand concedes a large share of the responsibility to Egwene.

And after the last battle, the various groups are still aligned with each other and their new leader is Logain, which fulfills his glory to come.
Alice Arneson
114. Wetlandernw
jcmnyu @ 113 - Generally speaking, I like the way it falls out. The only one I can't quite see is Logain as the new leader. Nice to resolve his "glory to come" but I don't quite see him being the leader of the new world. I suspect more likely that once Taim is exposed (the sooner the better!), Logain takes over leadership of the BT, as Egwene has the WT, and both are tied to Rand.

My biggest worry about that, of course, is that the Towers could eventually end up in a power struggle...
115. Tanis0
jcmnyu @ 113

Just to advance my own wacky theory, since it relates to yours.. The prophecies state that the DR will conquer under the symbol of the ancient AS. Rand fights some darkhounds on the symbol in Rhidean and wonders if that does it. Then he has a banner made (well, lots of them) with the symbol and uses it in battle. However, RJ's prophecies don't seem to work that way. They just aren't that simple. The only way he can fulfill that prophecy in my mind is by reuniting the tower -- both men and women -- and having them stand united for TG.

The obvious thing to happen is that Taim is driven off or killed (for obvious reasons) and Logain takes over the BT. Of course, Egwene is the only AS he can trust (once he finds out for sure that she engineered his escape and why), so they unite the towers, most likely under shared leadership.
116. Siuanfan
Yeah I definitely think Logain's glory-to-come is tied to defeating Taim with his faction of Asha'man and then leading them into battle but I like the way the rest of your theory plays out, jcmnyu!
117. M. John

In WH, the Victory of Kidron (Tuon's flagship) is sailing from Tanchico to Ebou Dar - so she didn't come directly from the Empire to Ebou Dar because in a brief flashback moment it's described how Ronde Macura came to Tuon in Tanchico to beg to her servant.

I don't remember if it's ever totally disclosed how long Tuon has actually been in Randland - only that she probably arrives after Suroth consolidates the Seanchan forces on Aile Somera in book 4 after their defeat in book 2.
Kev Hamm
118. cavynmaicl
Logain's glory to come will be saving Rand from Taim (by killing Taim, natch) and taking over leadership of the BT. Easy enough, and frankly, given that the BT is building to be equal and separate from the WT, there will need to be ambassadors and co-operations between them both. Harvard Beats Yale, and all that.

I have a theory as to how the entire story ends, and I would love to spout that theory, but I'm not sure this is the space to do so. Anyone have a place for that? It's full-on crazy, but I like it.
Roger Powell
119. forkroot
I have a theory as to how the entire story ends
Actually I know how the story ends. As Brandon Sanderson has noted, RJ had already written the conclusion before he passed on. (Remember, I have those dumpster-dive manuscripts from RJ that I have alluded to earlier.)


... OK, you asked for it ...

Tarmon Gai'don turns into a giant balefire-fest which unravels the Pattern so badly that the last 100 pages of A Memory of Light are blank!

Not only that - RJ had to actually back the battle off a little bit. Early drafts had the manuscript vaporize in the hands of alpha-readers.
Sam Mickel
120. Samadai
Kev Hamm
121. cavynmaicl
forkroot@119 - mwahahahahahaha, that's hysterical. See, I thought it would be something like the BT & WT get together and actually fight the Dreadlords, Fades and Trollocs, while Rand is left to unravel the knot that creates the Bore, which, after breaking the seals, causes the DO to have a chance to touch reality, but he gets flummoxed by Moi who brings to battle the knowledge and power of the Foxes and the Snakes, and after all the seals are broken, and the DO loses a battle and is cast back into his prison, the BT and WT work together to tie a shield around the DO's prison, and in doing so accidently cut everyone off from the OP and we have, well, the 4th Age, which would be ours. However, it seems that before that happened, we have Nynaeve actually able to channel Saidin, and Logain actually able to channel Saidar, and we end up with the ancient symbole of the AS becoming the Yin-Yang symbol we all know and love.

And the knot that keeps us from the OP is why those with the spark turn suicidal in their teen years.

Yes, this is how my mind works.

(This is the same mind that thinks Star Wars ends when C-3PO and R2-D2 are found by us and restarted and they tell us the story of the Galactic Empire because they know all of it, but they are here on Earth, and know that much time has passed.)

I hope I haven't ruined it for everyone out there. Well, kinda, as I do wish fervently this were true. Channelling seems like such a great way to pass the time.
122. peachy
The analogy I'm liking for the moment for the Ajahs (as I noted somewhere upthread) is the religious orders of the RCC - each one has its own particular purpose(s), there's a great deal of competition among them, and their loyalty to the 'central authorities' is often nominal, to the point that orders were occasionally suppressed for getting too far out of line. (You could draw a parallel here between the scheming Blues and the Jesuits, if you'd like.)

It would be nice, I think, if the WT had more cohesion, but I just don't see it happening except under duress - it's important to recall that the current system is the result of a confederation of several once-separate organisations (which does run counter to the religious order analogy, I fear), and clearly many AS still feel their first loyalty is to Ajah.
123. alreadymadwithtowerhubris
Wetlandernw @114
This is the White Tower we are talking about. Of course there will be a power struggle. The White Tower has always engaged in power struggles with entities that can potentially be as influential or more so than itself. Nations have disappeared just by the political infighting in Tar Valon. Mannetheren disappeared because the Amyrlin at the time was jealous of its queen. Bonwhin sent assassins after Hawkwing's family. I would not be surprised if a similar story happened behind the scenes when Malkier fell. After all, Malkieri survivors believe the White Tower abandoned them. So yeah, I fear it will not end well.

forkroot @119
Apparently forkroot has another side effect besides suppressing the ability to channel. LOL
Russell Holley-Hurt
124. Ruslanchik
Finally, after two months of my own re-read, I have caught up to you Leigh. Expect me to be a regular participant henceforth.

First, thank you, Leigh, for doing this. It has made my re-read much more fruitful and meaningful.

I don't have much to say about these chapters except that I have been in favor of executing Moghedien from the beginning. I knew, as soon as they made the foolish decision to keep her captive rather than bring her to justice, that she was going to escape and cause trouble. Although, I guess if she hadn't gotten free then Ny might still have her block, so there is that.

Also, I share your sentiments about Egwene. She has been getting on my nerves for about 3 books already and it is nice to see her finally maturing a little. Maybe it is because, seeing from Rand's perspective, it is clear that he really just needs someone to be open and honest with him and relate to him as a person, not set out to bring him down a few notches at every turn. So every time Egwene interacts with Rand I want to ring her neck. Now at least we don't have to see those two acting like idiots to each other anymore.
Roger Powell
125. forkroot
Welcome - I feel the same way about Semirhage now as you did about Moggy. The more they screw around keeping her in captivity, the more likely she'll escape and cause more trouble.

As for Egwene - I assume you meant you want to "wring" her neck, not "ring" her neck. The Seanchan already beat you to the latter.
Ryan Thistlethwaite
126. shintemaster
I often wondered whether the 'remnant of a remnant' refers to the Tinkers only. It's incredibly sad to think of the whole Aiel culture dying, however I can see them completing their motto; "Till shade is gone, till water is gone,
into the Shadow with teeth bared,
screaming defiance with the last breath,
to spit in Sightblinder's eye on the last Day." They'd probably go willingly if it meant destroying the Dark One, they'd definitely go proudly! :)
Alice Arneson
127. Wetlandernw
Hey, folks, refresh my memory. By the end of KoD, does Team Light even know the DO is re-bodying his Forsaken? Do they have any clue that the only way to get rid of them permanently is to balefire them?
128. Freelancer

We haven't seen any significant Light-side character interact with a previously dead forsaken knowingly. Rand/Moridin in Shadar Logoth, Egwene/Lanfear from Salidar to Tar Valon, and Rand/Dashiva from Dumai's Wells to Shadar Logoth. So no, they have no idea that forsaken are being restored. Cyndane has yet to come in direct contact with any of our heroes, but if she gets within glaring distance of Rand, she won't be able to stop herself from calling him Lews Therin, and he'll guess.

Some have said that the rebel Aes Sedai know now, having uncovered Halima as a saidin-channeler, but I disagree. Egwene knows about Illusion and Mask of Mirrors, she would sooner suspect that a channeling male darkfriend had disguised himself with a female body, than to connect unknown dots to the conclusion that slain forsaken are being resurrected by the dark one. Same holds for those who fought against him/her/it at Shadar Logoth during the cleansing.
129. peachy
The re-incarnation dodge may not be known outside the Forsaken, period - the bad guys are pretty good at compartmentalising information. The interactions we see between newbies and BA don't prove anything either way, unfortunately. Delana is apparently told to obey someone named Aran'gar, but I don't think there's ever any indication that she knows that Aran'gar isn't simply a code-name for an existing Forsaken or high-ranking Darkfriend; and when Elza Penfell casually blows away Osan'gar, it's because she thinks he's simply a DF Asha'man.
Maiane Bakroeva
130. Isilel
I bet that Lanfear would have derisively blurted about transmigration to Moiraine before getting herself blown up by the Finn. She'd have wanted Mo to suffer, knowing that her sacrifice was in vain and Lanfear would be able to get at Rand concealed by a new body.
Andrew Lovsness
131. drewlovs
Isilel early on made a great point that we should enjoy this part of the Rebel Aei Sedai story arc, because very soon, we are going to be bogged down until Egwene does her bit to the chains of Tar Valon's harbor. Sad that, because I too really enjoyed the intrigue, but it just got stale.

Though, there were good moments strung out here and there; its Robert Jordan, after all. Story arcs like these make me wish I could have sat in when he told stories to the kids of his extended family.

Also, Isilel: I think Siuan rocks! She is by far the most empowered woman of these stories, and she shows again and again she was a GREAT Amyrlin Seat while she was in charge. Manipulative? You bet. Would she use her own father if it got her political or social cause furthered? You bet. Even now, with a much more powerful Amyrlin in charge (Egwene), she is in the thick of it making herself almost indispensible. She single-handedly got Egwene educated on Amyrlin matters an ready for her head-to-heads in KoD (even though they didn't know she would need it) in a matter of months.
132. Freelancer

A faulty imagery, that. There's no reason to suppose that even the forsaken had a clue that they could be revived in a new body after dying. Since Moridin didn't appear until ACoS, and there is no evidence to suggest that such has happened before (during this turning of the ages), Lanfear would have had no way to guess at it being possible, could not have used it to taunt Moiraine.

But even if she had, Moiraine is made of better stuff than that, and has seen her potential rescue from the Tower of Ghenjei. Remember who first used balefire against a forsaken, perhaps she knows more than even Lanfear about making sure someone stays down when put down.


Indeed, Siuan rocks. Yet I still consider Moiraine the pre-eminent example of an Aes Sedai, and part of the model Egwene follows, doing what she believes she must and accepting the cost. It will be something to see her turned loose once more, into a world where Mat the scoundrel is the Prince of Ravens, Perrin has outsmarted 400 Shaido wise ones and sent them running for the Waste, Egwene is the shadow Amyrlin beating Elaida from captivity within the White Tower, and Lan is finally on his way back to the Blight.
133. alreadymadwithforsaken
Freelancer @132
Even the Forsaken aren't sure. They only suspect Cyndane to be Lanfear because she knows and does things Lanfear does. Cyndane herself, IIRC has neither confirmed nor denied it. Same with Moridin and Aran'gar.
134. Freelancer

I believe that Cyndane's POV reference to her time held by the Aelfinn and Eelfinn serve as confirmation that she is indeed Lanfear in new flesh. Likewise Aran'gar's thoughts about working with Aginor label him/her/it as Balthamel. And Moridin, there are numerous strong hints, such as the reference to how many among the living remember the Fisher King game, or Tcheran, there is Graendal's thought that he was as insane as ever, new body or not, etc.
Andrew Lovsness
135. drewlovs
On my own take, I have to say that THIS is where I really really started to like Egwene. We are finally past the "Egwene is starting to take control of the superwomen" (thank the Light), and her partnership with Siuan slowly starts to make the Aei Sedai tremble. I love it.

Also, this was the first time I started thinking of the Aei Sedai as something more than a road-block to Rand and his desire to win the Final Battle. As Siuan and Egwene's plans come to light, we start to see that having a strong White Tower might be a good thing; up until this point, I had serious doubts. I wasn't even sure of Siuan while she was Amyrlin, to be honest. NS and Moiraine's past helped sooth these suspicions, but I didn't get to read that right away.

And I missed who suggested this, but kudos to whoever suggested that not killing Moggy might have been a blessing. The Superwomen know what she looks like, and know she is still alive and gunning for them. If they had killed her, advantage the Dark Side, because I am sure the Dark One would have rezzed her. A+ observation!!
Michael Catapano
136. hoping
Thanks to our German friends for clearing up the "Ich bin ein Berliner" situation.

Here's Eddie Izzard's take on it
137. Siuanfan
I'm wondering about Moiraine and Lanfear falling through that doorway. Clearly for some time we thought them both to be dead, Lan's bond was broken, etc. etc.

Then we meet Cyndane, who is apparently a reincarnated Lanfear, upholding the idea that falling through the doorway killed them.

But now we discover that Moiraine is alive... and Cyndane muses about being 'held' by the 'finns, so apparently they both *didn't* die when they fell through the arch, but at some point Cyndane would have had to have died for the DO to resurrect her in a new body... so I'm guessing there's quite a story to be told there. Maybe we'll get lucky and get ourselves a Moiraine flashback POV that will take us through everything that happened since they fell into 'finnland.
138. alreadymadwithrebornfs
Freelancer @134
My point exactly. We know because we have access to their POV's. But the other Forsaken are only making educated guesses based on known and exhibited behavior patterns, Moridin's insanity and Cyndane's propensity to refer to Rand as Lews Therin. They never flat out introduce themselves as who they are. I don't think anybody even suspects who the gars are.
Tess Laird
139. thewindrose
138 - I think at least Moridin knows(well for sure on Cyndane)and I think as well for the gars.
Sam Mickel
140. Samadai
Mo balefires Belal when she is calmly walking up to him, yet she is surprising Lanfear by attacking her when her attention is elsewhere. so why the hell doesnt she balefire Lanfear?
141. alreadymadwithmobalefire
thewindrose @139
Well yes, but given Moridin's "status" that's not really surprising.

Samadai @140
Who knows? Maybe she had seen what would happen if she happened to balefire Lanfear with Rand watching. We know most if not all of Mo's choices that fateful morning revolved around side effects to Rand's psyche.
143. Darky
Elayne's reaction to news from Rand in 36th chapter is one of the biggest nonsenses I've ever seen in her storyline.

"“He does, does he?” she said in a cool flat voice. “He intends to give them to me.” Her chin rose slightly. “I have some claim to the Sun Throne, and if I choose to make it, I will do so in my own right. As for the Lion Throne, Rand al’Thor has no right—none!—to give me what is mine already.”"

Just like Elayne had gained a claim to Lion Throne when Morgase sat on the throne, she also lost it when Morgase abandoned it.


Rand took the Lion Throne from King Gaebril/Rahvin by force, just as Rahvin had taken it from Morgase, and it's HIS to do whatever he bloody wants to. Being a royal herself, Elayne knows/should know this better than anyone. When a throne is gained by force, previous succession line cease to exist. Simple. Morgase knew this, this is why she went to Pedron Niall for an army to re-claim the throne by force. Also noone but Rand knows it, but besides the tradition that Andor is only ruled by Queens, Rand (by Tigraine) has a better claim to throne than any member of the Trakand house by birth anyway.

It's the same story with Sun Throne. Laman died in Aiel war, Taringail was denied the throne becouse of his marriage to Tigraine, so it went to Galldrian Riatin. He was -possibly- killed by Thom, civil war began, then Rand came with gazillion Aiel and took the throne. It's his to to do whatever he wants to. And by rules of succession Galad (being older male child of Taringail) has a better claim to the Sun Throne than Elayne anyway.

tl;dr : Elayne does not have a claim to any throne. And she should be grateful that she is to recieve, not one but two crowns.

It has been a constant pain to read the way royals react to Rand whenever he conquers land by force (until Illian, that is). I thought at least Elayne was different from those dimwits from Tear or Cairhien.


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