Sep 30 2009 1:23pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 24

Greetings, and welcome to another Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s post covers Chapters 42-43 of Lord of Chaos, which address the important topics of men’s fashions in jewelry, (in)effective public speaking, and the intricacies of determining Just Who’s In Charge Around Here. Also, headdesking.

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, and now Chapter 2 is available in audio format. Please refrain from posting spoilers for either the Prologue or Chapters 1-2 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 releases, linked above; please keep them there. Thanks.

Oui? Oui! And now, ze post!

Chapter 42: The Black Tower

What Happens
After an awkward silence, Rand asks Min if she would like to come with him to the farm; when he explains what it is, she goes pale and demurs, saying she should get back to Merana. Rand doesn’t understand how she can be so freaked about men who channel in general when she is so comfortable with him in particular, but simply offers her an escort back to the inn, which she refuses. She tells him that he looks tired, and he must take care of himself, then startles him by quickly kissing him on the lips before leaving, seeming very pleased with herself. Rand mutters at himself for being “a randy goat”, and wonders how long Min is going to tease him for one mistake. He retrieves two bags from his wardrobe, and reflects that he may not like Taim, but he could not keep avoiding the farm, not least so that he could quell any wild rumors stemming from the Salidar embassy’s arrival in Caemlyn; there were too many already from Verin and Alanna’s presence. Rand turns, and knows he is facing where Alanna is, and that she is no longer at Culain’s Hound; she had wakened him the night before with weeping, but now she feels eager as well.

He would wager all of Caemlyn that the plumb line from his eyes to her ran straight to The Crown of Roses. He would wager Verin was with her. Not nine Aes Sedai. Eleven.

Lews Therin murmured uneasily. It was the sound of a man wondering whether his back was against a wall. Rand wondered, too. Eleven, and thirteen could take him as easily as scoop up a child. If he gave them the chance. Lews Therin began laughing softly, a hoarse weeping sort of laugh; he had drifted again.

Rand Travels to the farm from his bedroom in order to avoid taking Enaila and Somara with him, but releases saidin as soon as he gets there, not willing to risk what Lews Therin would do with Taim around. The farm is vastly different than before, with the frames for two large buildings going up behind the farmhouse and more than a hundred students, all in high-collared black coats, all of them either channeling to perform chores, practicing the sword with Haslin, or practicing hand-to-hand with an Aiel named Saeric. One student confronts Rand with a sneer, demanding to know who he is and why he didn’t wait in Caemlyn for the wagon to take him to “the Black Tower”. Rand tells him quietly that he is Rand al’Thor.

If anything, the sneer deepened. “So you are him, are you?” He looked Rand up and down insolently. “You do not look so grand to me. I think that I myself could—” A flow of Air solidified just before it clipped him under the ear, and he collapsed in a heap.

“Sometimes we need a hard discipline,” Taim said, coming to stand over the man on the ground. His voice was almost jolly, but his dark tilted eyes stared close to murder at the man he had clubbed. “You cannot tell a man he has the power to make the earth shake, then expect him to walk small.”

Taim shouts for two students named Kisman and Rochaid, telling them to take the unconscious man, Torval, away and dunk him till he wakes. As they obey, Lews Therin begins panting about how he “should have killed him long ago”, and tries to reach for saidin; Rand yells back (mentally) that he’s only a voice, and Lews Therin flees. Taim reports that he’s had one student kill himself drawing too much saidin and two others burn out, and Rand asks what Torval meant by “Black Tower”. Taim shrugs and says it’s a name the students use.

“The Black Tower to balance the White Tower.” He tilted his head, looking at Rand almost sideways. “I can suppress it, if you wish. It is easy enough to take a word from men’s lips.”

But not from their minds, Rand knows, and decides to let the name stand. He tells Taim to gather the students, and discovers Taim has made a platform for speaking from a block of polished black stone. He notes how far Taim’s recruiting program must have ranged, seeing men from every nation in the group. He tells the students about the split in the White Tower, and the embassy in the city from the rebel side, and tells them not to worry over rumors on that score, which elicits no reaction from the audience (Taim looks wry), and Rand moves on.

“You need a name. In the Old Tongue, Aes Sedai means Servants of All, or something very close. The Old Tongue doesn’t translate easily.” For himself, he knew only a few words, some from Asmodean, a handful from Moiraine, some that had seeped through from Lews Therin. Bashere had provided what he needed, though. “Another word in the Old Tongue is asha’man. It means guardian, or guardians. Or defender, and maybe a couple of other things; I told you, the Old Tongue is very flexible. Guardian seems to be best, though. Not just any defender or guardian, though. You could not call a man who defended an unjust cause asha’man, and never one that was evil. An asha’man was a man who defended truth and justice and right for everyone. A guardian who would not yield even when hope was gone.” The Light knew, hope would go when Tarmon Gai’don came, if not before. “That is what you are here to become. When you finish your training, you will be Asha’man.”

This time he gets a bit more of a positive reaction. Rand continues that like the Aes Sedai, they will have degrees, but not quite the same. They will be “soldiers” when they first join, and after reaching a certain stage, they will be called “Dedicated”, and wear a small silver pin in the shape of a sword. Rand calls Taim over and pins one to the collar of his coat, and hands him the bag, telling him to give them to whoever he thinks is ready. Then he tells them that Dedicated who advance far enough will be called Asha’man, and shows them the gold pin in the shape of a dragon, which he pins to the other side of Taim’s collar.

“I suppose I was the first Asha’man,” Rand told the students, “but Mazrim Taim is the second.” Taim’s face made stone look soft; what was wrong with the man? “I hope that all of you will become Asha’man eventually, but whether you do or not, remember that all of us are soldiers. There are many battles ahead, maybe not always the ones we expect, and at the end, the Last Battle. The Light send it is the last. If the Light shines on us, we will win. We will win because we must win.”

There should have been some sort of cheer when he stopped. He did not take himself for the sort of speaker who could make men jump and shout, but these men knew why they were here. Telling them they would win should have produced something, however feeble. There was only silence.

Rand gets down, and Taim disperses the students to work, which they do quietly, before inviting Rand for a cup of wine, which Rand accepts. Inside the farmhouse, Sora Grady serves them wine, and after she leaves Rand asks why they haven’t taught the no-sweating trick to the women; Taim replies that they’ve tried, but the women refuse, fearing it has something to do with saidin. Trying to be diplomatic, Rand comments that he is impressed with Taim’s recruiting efforts, but Taim stiffly deflects the compliment, and Rand finally asks what his problem is with the pins. He says the men will think more of their badges from seeing Taim get his from the Dragon Reborn, and more of Taim for that matter; maybe Taim won’t have to keep discipline by “clubbing men over the head.” Taim begins visibly shaking with rage during this speech, but quickly recovers and changes the subject to the Aes Sedai in the city, saying he’s heard that there are at least eleven and possibly more, implying that his efforts in the city are to protect Rand, just like he saved him from the Gray Man. Rand’s contempt for that last leaks through in his reply, and Taim jerks at his tone, then suggests that the Aes Sedai in Caemlyn might join up with the parties of Red sisters in the countryside, trying to intercept men coming to join the Black Tower. Then Lews Therin begins shouting that he will kill him, trying to seize saidin, and this time he ignores Rand’s telling him to go away.

I will kill him, and then them. They must serve him. It is plain; they must serve him.

Go away, Rand shouted back silently. You are nothing but a voice! Stretching toward the Source.

Oh, Light, I killed them all. All that I loved. If I kill him, it will be well, though. I can make it up, if I kill him finally. No, nothing can make up, but I must kill him anyway. Kill them all. I must. I must.

No! Rand screamed inside his head. You’re dead, Lews Therin. I am alive, burn you, and you are dead! You are dead!

Abruptly he realized he was leaning on the table, holding himself up with sagging knees. And muttering, “You are dead! I am alive, and you are dead!” But he had not seized saidin. And neither had Lews Therin. Shivering, he looked at Taim and was surprised to see concern on the man’s face.

“You must hold on,” Taim said softly. “If sanity can be held, you must. The price is too high, if you fail.”

Rand answers he won’t fail, and asks if these Reds have taken anyone. Taim doesn’t think so, since most recruits come to the Black Tower via gateway now, but offers to dispose of them. Rand refuses curtly, and tells Taim the chances of the sisters in Caemlyn joining forces with Elaida’s Reds are virtually nil. Taim presses the issue on the rebel embassy, and Rand tells him that if he feels a man channel in Caemlyn, or a sister dies for no reason, he will come for Taim. Taim points out that it would hardly be fair if Rand executed him because Sammael or Demandred show up and kill some Aes Sedai, and Rand answers he’d better hope they don’t, then.

“I hear my Lord Dragon and obey, of course.” The hawk-nosed man bowed slightly. “But I still say eleven is a dangerous number.”

Rand laughed in spite of himself. “Taim, I intend to teach them to dance to my flute.” Light, how long since he had played the flute? Where was his flute? Faintly, he heard Lews Therin chuckling.


God, what a deeply uncomfortable chapter.


The first time I read this I was practically jumping out of my skin with the heebs, and it’s not much better with hindsight either. I keep saying one of my bigger complaints is that we don’t get to see enough of the Asha’man, but then I read this and wonder why I want to see more of them, for they are Freaky.

No, really, they are. One guy being a jerk to Rand, like Torval was, is one thing, because it is a law of the universe that any large group of people will have at least one asshole in it (and probably more than one) even without that asshole turning out to be evil in the long run, but that whole lack of cheering thing? Uh-uh. FREAKY.

You don’t have to be a genius or even have read the rest of the series to date to know there’s something seriously hinky going down at the farm, y’all. Although of course to date we still don’t know what exact form that hinkiness takes, since Logain is apparently not a talker. Whatever it is, Rand loses major smart points in my book for failing to see it – or failing to see it clearly enough to act on it, anyway. Rand notes the weirdness of the students’ failure to cheer his speech, but of course he blames himself for it, like with everything, and thus doesn’t take the freaky nearly seriously enough, in my opinion. Because it was a good speech, dude; give yourself some damn credit for once. He should have been getting to the bottom of that shit, by gum.

And yes, I know that Rand has Lews Therin Issues with being around male channelers in general and Taim in particular, but that’s just an excuse. A good excuse, maybe, but still an excuse; you don’t create a monster (more or less literally) with this much destructive potential and then run off and leave it in the hands of an at-best-amoral (or, obviously-evil-I-mean-come-on) guy who clearly hates your guts. Seriously, the man almost went for your throat just now! Hello! Granted, Rand’s admonishment to Taim at that point was hardly diplomatic, but literally shaking with rage? Yeah, no.

Someone said in the comments recently that Rand views the Asha’man as having a short shelf life anyway, and that’s why he doesn’t get more involved with them (or care that Taim is practically a textbook example of a Backstabber-in-Waiting), but that hardly squares with his determination to cleanse saidin (which we find out he’s been planning to do from pretty much the very beginning, even if he doesn’t get around to it for ten books). Mind you, I’m not saying the commenter is wrong; I’m saying it’s inconsistent of Rand, and just plain dumb to boot. Gargh.

Moving on, it’s pretty obvious that Taim’s purpose here is to keep Rand as untrusting of the Aes Sedai as possible, not that Rand needs a great deal of help in that arena, which makes it all the more obvious in retrospect (to me, anyway) that Taim is ultimately the one behind the attack on Demira. And it was probably the warning Rand gives to him here about men channeling in the city, or mysterious Aes Sedai deaths, that inspired him to use “Aiel” for the attack. Joy. But we’ll discuss that more when we get to it.

Also, hi, Torval/Kisman/Rochaid, you little weasels! Isn’t it adorable how the assholes all manage to find each other? All you need is your fourth and you can play Evil Bridge!

(And hey, where is Rand’s flute? I have absolutely no clue when the last time is we saw it. Surely not since TDR...)


Chapter 43: The Crown of Roses

What Happens
Merana rides back to the inn from the Palace with Min, Seonid, and Masuri, and hopes that what had begun that day with Rand al’Thor ends better than she feels; things seem to be going well so far, but al’Thor terrifies her. She observes Min, who is sitting with her eyes closed, and wonders if the other two Aes Sedai had seen what she had, that Min was absolutely head over heels in love with al’Thor. She suspects but is not certain that Min is the reason that al’Thor knew about Salidar, and thinks they will have to guard their tongues around Min from now on. When they arrive at the inn, Min tells Merana she’s going for a walk, and leaves; Merana wonders how long it will take her to get back to the Palace. Verin and Alanna are in the common room, and Merana gestures for them to join her and Seonid and Masuri in the private sitting room. Merana begins to chastise Alanna for bonding al’Thor against his will, which she considers little short of rape, but Verin interrupts to point out that their opening visit must have gone well, judging by their demeanor, and Rand has not set further restrictions, so the important thing is frightening him enough but not too much. Merana thinks that while Alanna is not a problem, ranking-wise, Verin is, and not under her authority to boot.

Had Verin been part of the embassy, there would have been no difficulty at all, but she was not, and Merana found herself listening attentively, deferring without thinking. Twice in the morning she had had to remind herself that Verin was not in charge. The only thing that made the situation tolerable was that Verin must feel she shared some of Alanna’s guilt. Without that she surely would have been in a chair as soon as anyone else, not standing beside Alanna. If only there were some way to make her remain at Culain’s Hound day and night to watch over that wonderful treasure of girls from the Two Rivers.

Merana sits, and tells Verin that he has placed another restriction, actually; he has charged them to stay away from his “Asha’man”. Merana finds the whole thing chilling, but considers al’Thor more important for the moment. She asks Alanna if al’Thor is still in the city (the revelation that he can Travel had made her rather queasy), and Alanna confirms it distractedly.

She still sounded a little dreamy. “It was... he has a wound in his side. An old wound, yet only half-healed. Every time I let myself dwell on it, I want to weep. How can he live with it?”

Merana begins to comment that she had considered taking Moiraine’s place with him, which makes Alanna flare up; Merana reflects that Greens are very possessive of their Warders, and “al’Thor belonged to her now” however she’d gotten him. Merana continues that she rejected the idea, since thanks to Alanna he is so suspicious of Aes Sedai now that he might have laughed at her had she suggested it. Alanna is clearly distraught, and Merana decides to lay off, remembering how it had been when she lost her Warder. She points out that there is an upside to his suspicion, as he is just as distrusting of Elaida’s emissaries in Cairhien, and they agree that their knowledge of al’Thor gives them a clear advantage over the Tower embassy. At their admission that she had not ruined everything, Alanna recovers and says she may be able to get him to accept her in time, and proposes that they make plans to deal with Rand’s amnesty, even if they have to hold off on them for now.

For a moment Merana regretted her relenting. The woman had done that to a man and all that truly worried her was whether it damaged their chances of success. Reluctantly, though, she admitted that had it made al’Thor biddable, she would have held her nose, and her tongue. “First we must bring al’Thor to heel, so to speak. The abeyance will last as long as it must, Alanna.” Alanna’s mouth tightened, but after a moment she nodded in acquiescence. Or at least assent.

Verin asks how Merana plans to bring him to heel; Merana hesitates, knowing Verin’s allegiance to Salidar is tenuous at best, and dreading what will happen if Verin decides to take over, but begins to explain: they are approaching certain Andoran nobles...

Dyelin tells Kairen Sedai that her worry is Elayne. Kairen smiles and says Elayne may yet be found to take the Lion Throne.

Luan meets with Rafela Sedai, who asks him would it not be better for Andor if “Rand al’Thor leaves the land in peace and unity”?

Ellorien asks Demira Sedai, who would have the Lion Throne then?

“The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills” was the reply, and Ellorien knew she would get no other.

Hi, desk! Have a head!


Blargh. On the one hand, points to Merana for viewing what Alanna did with at least a fairly commensurate amount of the disgust the act deserves. On the other hand, not enough, dudette. Not enough.

I’m not even really censuring her for admitting she would “hold her nose” out of political expediency; it’s kind of contemptible, but she has a point, I guess. I’m more just really really wishing she’d slapped the shit out of Alanna first, or at least actually said aloud what she was thinking about it being rape. Something. I want my righteous-outrage-by-proxy, dammit. Sigh.

Alanna’s little “You’re not mad anymore? Oh, well that’s all right then!” trick, I’m not even touching. My forehead canna take much more of this, Captain.

I’m not nearly as annoyed, oddly, by the political canoodling the Salidar embassy is doing with the Andoran nobles, whereas the canoodling their Tower counterparts are doing in Cairhien filled me with HULKSMASH tendencies. I’m not sure why, because ultimately the Salidar meddling led to (or at least strongly contributed to) the unending, multiple-book-spanning bullshit of the Andoran Succession storyline, whereas the mess in Cairhien was basically resolved in one chapter. Maybe because Merana’s stance on Alanna makes me like her more. Or, you know, maybe because the Salidar sisters didn’t end up locking the hero in a goddamn box.

I left out of the summary exactly how Merana determines that Alanna is lower ranking than she and Verin is not, but I have to say I found this fascinating the first time around even while still thinking the system is absurd. I tend to waffle back and forth over whether I think it’s unrealistic or not that the deference to strength is as instinctively ingrained in the Aes Sedai as it’s portrayed. On the one hand, really? On the other, well, we do that, too, if you think about it, often with as little thought for why. Our “deference triggers” are just a little different, that’s all.

Me, for instance – I’m not religious anymore, but I went to Catholic school for twelve years, and I seriously doubt I would ever be able to be anything other than totally respectful to a nun or a priest (or a rabbi, or a Buddhist monk, or whatever, for that matter). I try to be respectful to everyone, of course (well, unless you act like a jerk), but there’s an extra level to it for me with people who are clergy, in whatever form. It’s not a conscious choice, either; it’s something that’s been ingrained in me from childhood, and it would be a difficult impulse for me to ignore, not that I really think I need to.

(I’ve never personally run into a priest/nun/whatever who is also a jerk, but I imagine if I ever do I will have quite the dilemma on my hands. Actually, wait, never mind; some of the nuns who taught me were jerks, and I was still respectful to them. But then, that’s a double whammy; I was also firmly raised to be respectful to teachers.)

Anyway. So, I can kind of see the “deference to strength” thing becoming automatic, especially since Aes Sedai have a couple of centuries to get the practice nicely embedded. It still makes me blink occasionally, though.

Nice little detail I don’t think I’d noticed before, that Min tends to keep her eyes closed around the Aes Sedai. Merana thinks she’s taking “catnaps”, but of course she’s actually trying to avoid being constantly bombarded with viewings. There’s no significance to this, I just noticed it.

And the post, she is finished! See you Friday, party people!

John Massey
1. subwoofer
Somebody explain to me the whole Taim thing though. I thought he was a baddie? So why the "you must hold on or all is lost" bit at the end. Taim actually seemed concerned for Rand's sanity.

Er... Hi Leigh- hope you didn't get a concussion from all the headdesking.

John Massey
2. subwoofer
Hi Leigh. bark so nice I said it twice...

er... I got nuthin'

Was a good Herid Fel moment here though. It was a pity that he had to go. His letter about the Seals and clearing away the rubble to rebuild was very telling though.

Break it. Break it. Break it

Edit- something still fishy with the site here- Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

Sam Mickel
3. Samadai
Arghhhh I knew I should have waited to post on the new one.
Joseph Blaidd
4. SteelBlaidd
Yes much Headdesk in these chapters.

Rand I can understand kind of, he knows he needs these men , and he doesn't realy have anyone else to run the operation. Add to that LTT freaking out every time he is around Tiam and that means he realy tries to ignore thatm as much as possible so as not to have to deal with the possibility of losing it and starting a OP duel which might get him killed and will certanly destroy any control he has over the BT. It would probably damage his hold on his political holdings as well.

I think we give the SAS a pass on preping for Rand leaveing because they're prepareing the way for Elayne and thier only goal is to get him out of Camalyn not hold him in the Little Tower.
Jeff Weston
5. JWezy
“You must hold on,” Taim said softly. “If sanity can be held, you must. The price is too high, if you fail.”

I'm with Subwoofer - bonus points for anyone who can pin a credible explanation on this donkey. It has always confused me a bit. Is Taim just concerned about the devastation that might ensue? Why not then "something in the wine" that Rand has just been served?
Justin Levitt
6. TyranAmiros
Thanks for the reread, Leigh! I love following along!

The Aes Sedai's ranking system is totally a realistic element, however stupid it is.

Let's take for given that the Aes Sedai need a way to figure out who's in charge in emergency situations. This can't be strictly an Ajah secret, because sometimes (oftentimes) a delegation contains Aes Sedai from multiple Ajahs. Also, it has to be a relatively simple measure so that even if two Aes Sedai have never met and know nothing about each other, they still know the relative positions of each other.

Thus a system has to be (a) easily accessible to all Aes Sedai in a low-information environment and (b) common to all Aes Sedai, i.e. not that every Ajah has its own system.

Age is a natural system, and would seem natural for Aes Sedai, given that the oldest are often strongest in the Power, but it actually fails the first criteria. Imagine if Aes Sedai had to ask each others' ages every single time they met a new Sister, and had to memorize all of them. Not the most efficient system. Similarly, years as Novice/Accepted pose the same problem.

Furthermore, though the White Tower is now a political power first, the Tower was founded less as a political organization and more as an organization dedicated to the preservation and study of the One Power and protection against male channellers going mad. Given that mission, it would actually be somewhat logical that strength in the Power would matter: if you found two people with the same Talents (ceteris paribus), the person who can simply draw more of the Power is likely to have more success than the one who draws less.

Two last advantages are that the system is completely natural and generally stable. Unlike, say, the Hall publishing a list of rankings, no one can say that there was political whim in one's standing. They can only blame the Creator for not being stronger. Also, it means that Aes Sedai who are not in the Tower do not confront awkward situations each time they encounter new sisters working under a new ordering scheme.

I know it's a long post, but, hey, I'm a grad student in political science, and I love how potentially real Jordan got with this particular aspect.
Daniel Cole
7. zaldar
I do so love min. Sigh. Sorry you had bad nun teachers leigh and sorry they swung you away from religon but ah well.

Yea allana should have been punished in some way, maybe not severed but something close. Still think the aes seadi we must control him at all costs is just so crazy. The andoran succession never botherd me much I just wish there had been a bigger pay off. For all the build up there didn't seem to be much.

Anyway looking forward to Fridays reread! (I suppose we could do a rand in a box rendition of D*&^K in a box...)
S Diller
8. CuenDiller
I would have deffinitely liked some POV from the baddies in the Black Tower to know what the hell is going on in there. Here's to hopping there's still a possibility of that.
Bryan Cogswell
9. shmoo
(And hey, where is Rand’s flute? I have absolutely no clue when the last time is we saw it. Surely not since TDR...)

Sadly - read this and my first thought was "the majority of post on this update will be about the location of the flute and only a few will include vague references to min, ave, and Elyane..."
Rob Munnelly
10. RobMRobM
A few quick thoughts -

Like Merana, love Verin here. Merana did so well until the dumb response to the Aiel attack.

Yes, Alanna is aggravating. I was hoping for a penance. Still waiting, in fact (at least until she collapses during the triple bonding).

Hadn't thought that Min was closing eyes to shut off visions, but to avoid talking about details that might reveal her connection to Rand. You could be right, however.

I didn't pin the Aiel attack on Taim, but assumed it was Demandred or some other Foresaken, likely Sammael due to his dealings with Shaido. But do I recall correctly that the alleged Aiel didn't even look like Aiel? If so, not necessarily Sammy and could be almost anybody. Who has trained killers who could stick in a spear but not kill?

Given the slime that Taim picks up from the outset (Torval, Kisman, etc.) did he get directed to them knowing they were slime or did he develop or enhance their sliminess through training? I.e, is he taking on all comers and culls out the likely DFs or is he being guided to DFs along the way?


Edited for grammer and a bit more info
Rob Munnelly
11. RobMRobM
Re the flute, he plays it for Min in Carhien - either later in LOC or in CoS. There, we can shut off the discussion now. R
Kyle Bass
12. SherlockTomes
The ChoSaken (and their DF minions) have been instructed to "let the lord of chaos rule." We know they're not supposed to kill Rand. The DO has plans for Rand. It could be as simple as Taim wanting to be a good little DF and see his Master's plans come to fruition.

Alternatively, he could have other reasons. Personally, I wouldn't feel particularly comfortable, even as a quite-strong channeler myself, being in a room with possibly the strongest channeler in the world (whom I suspect of possessing a sa'angreal) while suspecting him to be losing his marbles one by one. I'd want him to hold on to sanity for a bit.
Tess Laird
13. thewindrose
Now you did it Leigh - with the 12 years in Catholic school - the 'so you're a Catholic School girl' Meowwwww.... It will happen, just watch.

Taim "you must hold on or all is lost" bit at the end - I think it is just like some of the other dark friends like Issy/Mor who know for the DO to win they need to have the Dragon at the last battle.

Yes, these are some headdesking chapters.
Dan Herbert
14. Ordeith
Thanks Leigh for the wonderful post as usual, now I can take a break from headdesking over stupid people at work and headdesk for stupid people on WOT.

It has always intrigued me how well RJ was able to wrap the political bureaucracy that everyone deals with everyday and have come to accept, and present it in a light in the series where you see the damage it does.

The AS and half of everyone else, all want to control Rand thinking that the farmboy from 2R can't possibly know what to do, the tower group just has the advantage of being led by crazy DF's to say "hey lets put him in a box, that will make him listen." Duh.

Considering the SAS know where Elayne is you would have thought that their motivation to talk to the local nobility would have been promote Elayne taking the throne. This may have allowed her to take the throne an ad legitimacy to the SAS as having helped regain Andor from Rand yet still support him and Rand would not be seen putting Elayne on the throne as a puppet. But even "supporting" Rand their first instinct is to cause suspicion and to make the situation worse.

Bryan Cogswell
15. shmoo
Rob @11

damn...well there goes my attempt to stop the headdesking...i was only trying to help....
16. wsean
Wow. That thing with Min closing her eyes never occurred to me! Great little detail there.

Yeah, I'm with windrose. Taim, like some Black Ajah we've seen, believes that Rand must make it to the Last Battle for the Great Lord to be able to truly win.
Peter Nein
17. gimpols1908
This one always gets me:
"I will kill him, and then them. They must serve him. It is plain; they must serve him."
Who is "him" Taim, a specific Forsaken that LTT has noticed is probably running the group, or could it be....Satin? (D.O.)

Also, the flute is in the bottom of one of the wardrobes. I think in Andor... He plays it for Min and she makes fun of him because he causes squeaks and squawks. Or I am getting books mixed up...It has been such a long exposition you see...

Correction from - 11. RobMRobM Carhien not Andor...
But she does make fun of him...
18. alreadymadwithblacktower
“You must hold on,” Taim said softly. “If sanity can be held, you must. The price is too high, if you fail.”

This is one of the arguments for Taim getting 13x13'ed somewhere along the way. Though it can't be too far from this particular event since Kisman etal are already in the Black Tower. Could they have done it?
John Massey
19. subwoofer
@Shmoo- where's Rand's flute?- well, this one time, when I was in band camp...

Sorry, couldn't resist;)

edit for winky face.

Jeff Weston
20. JWezy
It has been such a long exposition you see...

Catherwood! Can't you see you're upsetting Nancy? Leave us alone!

-- Nick D.
Maggie M
21. Eswana
Rob @10:
Regarding whether or not Taim sought out DFs for Ashaman or if they found him.... an interesting conundrum. I postulate that since Taim is a DF with pretty significant status he has access to the master database of DFs in Randland and was able to go recruiting from among them. The few Ashaman who are actually decent fellow get kind of crappy break, since they just wanted to learn to channel, not join the Evil League of Evil.

Also- Merena assumes that Rand knows about Salidar because of Min, but he knows about it because of his spying in TAR right? I wonder, however, how much Min does hold back from Rand, given that she's head-over-heels in love with him. Being around him makes her turn into an embarrassing puddle of goo (or maybe that's me projecting, since that's what I'd do....)

And Alanna? Good lord, she deserves a good head-smacking from many, including Egwene, Rand, his Women, and probably Cadsuane. Let's hope.
Marcus W
22. toryx
There's never been any doubt in my mind that Taim sent the attack on the Aes Sedai. It always seemed pretty obvious to me.

Rand does end up finding the flute not too long after this. I think it's kind of neat that he realized that he'd misplaced it.

Taim's "You must hold on" words always confused the hell out of me too. Hell, it still does. He sounds so genuine for that one instant.
Maiane Bakroeva
23. Isilel
You cannot tell a man he has the power to make the earth shake, then expect him to walk small.

There is a huge problem right there. There has been a lot of feeling that this or that group needs to eat humble pie... and yeah. This is an absolutely wrong approach, IMHO.

And yes, totally freaky. Let me yet again trot out my theory that Taim was taught by Ishy and has been training male Dreadlords for some time.

Rumors of Taim assembling men who could channel when he was a False Dragon had to have some foundation. Of course, it was so unusual that everybody dismissed the possibility - all the more reason for it to be true.

Now, consider also that there had been very few male sparkers found by WT in the last decade - only 6.
In the previous decade they found 16 and that discounting the BA search and destroy mission and the Aiel War - both of which were bound to thin the numbers further.

So, IMHO all the missing sparkers were recruited and taught by Taim and a few "learners" were found by testing from among the DFs and then Taim's followers as a False Dragon. This also explains why there are men from all over.

It wouldn't surprise me if a third or a half of the recruits at this point are Taim's old cohorts.

Also, let's remember that none of the first students got the dragon at the time of Dumai's Wells, even though Flinn at least was powerful, a quick learner and very creative.

Re: Taim's solicitiousness. IMHO, he was just throwing a curve ball to make Rand think that his distrust was just madness talking and not to pay it any attention.
Dan Herbert
24. Ordeith
I tend to agree that the "you must hold on" comment was sincere, but that doesn't mean that it is sincere in that he hopes that Rand wins or sincere that Rand must make it to the last battle in order for the DO to win.
AJ MacPherson
25. Mackey62
Re: Taim

Why can't he have been good here, but the jealousy and envy of Rand made him go to the dark side? Like some of the foresaken did with LTT. This is not an uncommon occurence.
Bryan Schenk
26. Damplander
Two comments first I agree that closed eyes thing is a minor point but one that does show RJ's attention to detail as he just inserts it and let's you put two and two together about why she does it. This is just very cool writing.

On the whole Taim comment this would seem to be one of the things that points to Ishamael/Moridin being Taim's direct superior. This is because Isamael has shown an almost pathological desire to beat Lews Therin straight up in a big one on one fight so if he goes nuts too soon Ishamael would be quite upset. However this comment seems to be meant to soften your whole "oh my god Rand kill him now response" that this chapter evokes. There by at least attempting to confuse us on Taim's evilness:)
John Massey
27. subwoofer
I think it was Fain- the short Aiel. Who heard of a short Aiel aside from one of the Maidens. My vote is Fain was behind the stabbing.

John Massey
28. subwoofer
I think it was Fain- the short Aiel. Who heard of a short Aiel aside from one of the Maidens. My vote is Fain was behind the stabbing.

Edit- darn wonky site:S

James Jones
29. jamesedjones
Gotta say, that speech Rand gave just sounded terrible in my head.
It means guardian, or guardians. Or defender, and maybe a couple of other things; I told you, the Old Tongue is very flexible. Guardian seems to be best, though. Not just any defender or guardian, though. You could not call a man who defended an unjust cause asha’man, and never one that was evil.

It just... rambled. I would not be comfortable applauding unless everyone else started it.

As for the Ashaman recruiting success, it was definitely begun long before LOC. Does anyone remember Howal Gode from tEotW? And whether Taim was part of it from before, how about his wager to find so many men on his first day of recruiting? Seems pretty suspicious.
Peter Nein
30. gimpols1908
29. @ jamesedjones "Does anyone remember Howal Gode from tEotW?"

Was that ole' crispy boots? Not sure what that has to do with anything, but would love to hear a crackpot theory...

The recruiting promise was all blow-hard promises - Taim is a pompous jackaninny.
Lannis .
31. Lannis
The whole "solemn students of the Black Tower" incident should have tickled Rand's brain that something is up there... I get why he kept his distance, but letting Taim do whatever Taim pleases with them is a little much and obviously a call for disaster to strike--and that'd be in any instance, let alone WOT, where we know that if you trust, someone, something, or an absolute, 98% of the time you'll be paying for your mistake...

Re: Taim
Shivering, he looked at Taim and was surprised to see concern on the man’s face.

“You must hold on,” Taim said softly. “If sanity can be held, you must. The price is too high, if you fail.”

MadlyHatter @12: I agree, the "let the Lord of Chaos rule" order is out there, but it doesn't wash with the "concern" on Taim's face, or his choice of words... for me, at least...

Isilel @ 13: I like your curve-ball theory... Taim seems to be able to think on his feet... I buy it. Thanks!

Re: Aes Sedai hierarchy... verisimilitude is a beautiful (headdesky) thing, yes? Who doesn't know of a government system or hierarchy that is questionable at times? (Cuendillar bunker, here I come!)

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that "Merana's in charge" is synonymous with "the project's down the tubes"... I get that she's being thrown into difficult situations here (Salidar Embassy to Rand--notorious for not trusting Aes Sedai; bargaining with the Sea Folk), but c'mon, she's like the worst Gray ever! Rather laughable, really...

@ Subwoofer: I see you've trademarked... nice. :)

Great recap, Leigh! Thanks again! :)

EDIT: grammar
Tess Laird
32. thewindrose
subwoofer - I thought Egwene was considered the 'short Aiel'.
And my money is still on Verin as the puppet master behind door one. On big reason, Demira lives, so the attack had to be calculated within inches of an Aes Sedei life, who better to know this then another Aes Sedei. We also know that Verin is capable of killing - the Cadsuanne almost gets the poison momment.

And gimpoles1908 - I am roflol about ole' crispy boots:)
Rob Mey
33. cap10rob
Has anyone else noticed that Min's visions seem to use an "absolute symbology"? What I mean is if you think about the "visions" that psychic John Edwards describes... The things he sees or feels or whatever mean something to him personally where as Min seems to see things that don't make sense to her or that she can't understand right away as if the visions are in some way fixed or as I said absolute. A raven means something VERY specific in WOT as an example. Just something I noticed during some of the re-reads here.
Pete Pratt
34. PeteP
This was one of the main chapters that for me kept pushing the idea of Taimindred. Rand is the Fisher, a pawn that either side of the game can play, and Moridin is playing both sides of the game.

Part of the preparing for the Last Battle is destroying the current world, causing massive chaos. The unraveling so present in later books is a sign of this, which is mostly from using Balefire too much.

Rand running loose means that he is going to keep using Balefire, with each use destroying a little bit more of the pattern. Rand has used more Balefire than all the Forsaken combined, or even every other channeler combined.
Richard Fife
35. R.Fife
I'm with Sub on it being Fain. The Aiel, as I recall, are even noted as being all sorts of grimy, the mark of Fain's leftover Whitecloaks. Also, the AS did suddenly get more easily vindictive and hateful, so there might have been of a Fain touch going on (although Light knows that she had reason enough to be that way too.)
Rob Munnelly
36. RobMRobM
@33 - Oh no, not another Rob. Perhaps I should be the one trademarked....
David Gibson
37. DrG
Re: Taim

Maybe Taim is planning a fun lil 13x13 for Rand later on? Although, I can't discount the possibility that Taim actually does have a tiny spark of good left in him to allow him to be compassionate to a human being....

Okay, maybe I CAN discount that, but its the best I got!
Peter Nein
38. gimpols1908
33. @ cap10rob "... The things he sees or feels or whatever mean something to him personally where as Min seems to see things that don't make sense to her or that she can't understand right away as if the visions are in some way fixed or as I said absolute"

I am more under the impression that Min's talent has to do with the vibrations in the pattern. Or basically she can sense output caused by the bending of each thread. The bigger the bend the more she can see. Channlers work with the force that powers the spinning of the threads therefore their presence causes disturbances inherently. The average Joe will not cause major ripples. Min then goes on to have these translated to her by her subconscious and she has a hard time understanding them - much like Eggie can't always understand her Dreams. As proof of concept I offer up the twins prediction. A very coherent and succinct viewing, told when she was nearly asleep. It seems to me it is a clue from RJ on how this works because why else would she drowse? I mean who falls asleep during meetings with the boss... (I mean in Randland)
Maiane Bakroeva
39. Isilel
@32 Thewindrose:

I bet that an Asha'man running a Delving on Demira could place the wounds very carefully indeed. And Taim seems very conversant with AS capabilities and limits.
He also tried to alienate Rand from AS and all his non-channeling support - suggesting that Rand couldn't count on Aiel and Bashere and thus needed his own troops, for instance. Did Taim ever call AS "witches"?

Re: Merana. OP strength hierarchy makes no sense to me, since what one is able to do with OP depends on so many other factors, like judgment, Talents, speed, imagination, etc.
And for the most part AS tasks and agendas have little to do with OP anyway.

Honestly, in human societies less than formal hierarchy tended to depend on reputation and age and I don't see why it couldn't work that way with the AS.

But in any case, the hierarchy doesn't work outside the Tower, so I don't get Merana's difficulties here. By tradition, Verin doesn't have a right to interfere with Merana's affairs.

Now, when the idiot Green "twins" show up, I can see it, because they can be said to have been sent on the same task by the same authority. But Verin? Not getting it.

And of course it only shows the difficulty when somebody who had been firmly prevented from developing any leadership abilities is suddenly supposed to lead.
I dare say the hierarchy ensures that a lot of talent is squandered and was probably Ishy's invention in the first place.

Re: AS talks with Andoran nobles - I thought that they were just preparing way for Elayne? And as Rand announced that it has been his intention anyway, I don't see how they oppose him in this.
40. tacoma
RE: @6 Strength in the power as a ranking.

I completely agree, this is totally realistic and actually marries up well with something RJ would know a great deal about...military ranking structures and prioritization.

Measuring strength in the power I would equate directly with the rank worn on the uniform. As a military member, I know immediately who I out rank as well as who outranks me. If there would ever be a situation in which rank became really important (POW camp is one) and the two highest ranking people are equivalent ranks, then there are rules in place that allow the two to figure out who really is no-kidding in charge. These rules include, date of rank (when each pinned on), time in grade at previous rank, commission date, down to date of birth.

I think the interesting part is in the SAS delegation is the Merana/Verin dynamic. Merana questions her own authority based on power ranking and has to remind herself that she is actually in charge of the delegation. I find myself sometimes blowing off superior officers simply because they're not directly in my chain of command. Gives me a warm feeling of independence and has yet to land me in trouble because I do know my place.

someone else
41. Naraoia
wsean @16

Yeah, I'm with windrose. Taim, like some Black Ajah we've seen, believes that Rand must make it to the Last Battle for the Great Lord to be able to truly win.

Isn't it on Taim's orders that the palace in Cairhien gets blasted to pieces?
42. Freelancer

Taim isn't old enough for all of that. He's in his late 20's.

Taim's concern for Rand's sanity is genuine. Now, how to square that with the obvious fact that he doesn't like Rand at all. If we start from these two premises as givens, everything else falls into place. Taim wants to be in charge, despises to his very core the idea of being "the second", but he cannot afford to be seen as in charge, since close scrutiny would potentially reveal his hidden allegiance. It's beneficial to him for Rand to be the public point of contact and influence. His concern is real, but for selfish reasons. His comments are an act.

I agree that Taim is under Moridin's direction later on, not certain if he already is by this point, but it's certainly plausible. The bit about him training male dreadlords for some time, not so much.

You cannot tell a man he has the power to make the earth shake, then expect him to walk small.

This is real, and not a problem. As an admittedly weak parallel, take fighter pilots. They are truly elite, in that very few out of very few are even allowed to try and become such, and only the finest of them make it. (Please pretend you never saw Top Gun or An Officer and a Gentleman, neither represents anything like truth except in a very tangiential way) These pilots know they are the best, and in an air combat situation you only want people who are that convinced of themselves acting as a primary stick actuator. Trying to make them humble would only weaken their chances of success in battle. So, not great for social interaction (very, very true and backed up by massive numbers of factual events), but necessary for success in their profession. Jordan knew this personally, and inserted this bit here for exactly that reason.
j p
43. sps49
Rand does know the Asha'men are not trustworthy; he compares them to a sword that can turn in your hand but the sword is still needed.

And hi, Torval, Kisman, and Rochaid!
Maiane Bakroeva
44. Isilel
Freelancer @42:

Taim is old enough. Or have you forgotten that folks like Lady Shiane and Kadere joined at 15? And in case of the former quickly made a steep career as a DF? A lot of disdain Taim and his favorites show to Rand seems very reminiscent of that which taught channelers display to wilders.

Trying to make them humble would only weaken their chances of success in battle.

Then why is everybody angry at AS displaying the same attitude?

Tacoma @42:

military ranking structures and prioritization.

None of which depend on physical strength. And even in the era of low-tech warfare they depended on many other factors besides or before physical strength. If AS had ranks, even such a relatively simple rank hierarchy as Royal Navy in the late 18th century, it would have been a better analogy.
45. Siuanfan
It's so strange the amount of trust Rand puts in Taim. I mean, it's clear to the dumbest of us that the dude is shady, so Rand would have to be 14 kinds of idiot to trust him. And since we've seen Rand outsmart several groups of people before, I don't think he's quite that dumb. A farmer/sheepherder has to have some common damn sense or you won't survive long. So. It's very odd that he's all "You clearly hate me and are up to something... here, take control of my biggest weapon and be prepared to hand it over nicely to me when I get back. You're welcome." So what's up with that? Compulsion?

BTW if it turns out that Taim is a champion for the Light and has just been greatly misunderstood all this time... BOY are our faces going to be red!

Ahem. Warning! Unpopular opinion coming through!

... are we all being a little hard on Alanna? Okayokay don't hang me yet... yes, of course her actions were pretty damn bad and had REALLY shitty consequences, but first, according to Siuan's Law of Unintended Consequences, that was bound to happen anyway, as it does to anyone who makes a decision in Randland. Second, wasn't she already a little nuts and somewhat irrational at the time because of a loss of Warder? Third, it's not like the warder bond is really a BAD thing (okay I know that's a weak argument, considering sex = good, rape = bad). Fourth, Rand is ta'veren and people do things they wouldn't ordinarily do when he's around. Both Verin and Moiraine expressed wishes to tie themselves to DA BOYS via marriage or bonding (and didn't Moiraine even consider sexxorizing Rand up at one point, except the rings told her that would be a bad plan?), so it's not like the idea hadn't occurred to them. Alanna was just unstable enough at the time to actually do it. Fifth, it's not just people around ta'veren... the times, they are a'changin, and EVERYONE is doing things that would be considered shocking or unusual right about now. Why? Because the time calls for drastic actions, that's why. And sixth, perhaps it was a dumb thing to do, and a violation of Rand's personal space (WAY personal) but Alanna's intentions were not really bad or malicious. Tarmon Gai'don is approaching, and the one hope the entire world has is running around doing all kinds of crazy shit, and none of them know what to expect from him because no one's close enough to him to even have a little reassurance that he's not already going nuts or going to do something stupid and take the world down with him. Sure all the Aes Sedai think they know what's best and don't trust Rand to tie his shoes, but that's partly their culture at fault and partly - yes - Rand's fault for not letting up enough to try to put them at ease. He took the time to give the channelboys a motivational speech of victory and reassurance, but the women he lets hang in the wind. So they're getting desperate. They're reacting stupidly. They're scared, ok? Jeez. Seventh, ever since she did it, she's spent 99.8% of her time weeping from the pain/distress of the experience, whereas Rand's biggest issue is "ohnoes, strange chick in my head." I'd say she's getting her punishment tenfold. So anyway, I like Alanna, even if I strongly dislike her actions here, and I think perhaps she's taken enough flak over it.
Kristina Blake
46. kab1
tacoma@40 That was very interesting, thanks for sharing. I've always been sort of bothered by this power ranking in the Aes Sedai, but the parallels you draw make sense.

As far as the various posts indicating Taim may have been collecting male channelers even before the black tower, I totally agree. Even if he isn't old enough to have been doing it as long as Isilel suggests, I do think he was gathering men before he was captured. I think it might be a natural instinct to gather others like you, whether for good or evil. When he thought he was the dragon (if he really thought that) he may have had the same idea as Rand, but didn't get as far with it.

As for when Taim became a darkfriend, I feel he has been a df for quite some time now, possibly way back when he was gathering other male channelers. I think that he and his many cronies are what add to the majority of the freakiness of the black tower (besides the fighter pilot mentality).

I'm not sure if when Taim became a df he did so by choice, or if he was turned by the 13 x 13. My major vote is for Sheriam on that count. Although I wonder when she would had been turned (right when she became MoN?), or if RJ would have Sheriam turn out to be "thirteened" at all, considering she is the one who explained it to Egwene. Her behaviour in KoD is beyond erratic though, maybe she is not a df but just being threatened/blackmailed somehow. But that is way in the future for discussion!
Alex Johns
47. almuric
Aside from the mindrape aspect, the one really bad part of Alanna bonding Rand as her warder is that if she were to die then there's a very high likelihood that Rand would die also. We've been told several times that all Warders die when their AS bites it.

Perhaps Rand could escape that aspect as he's a channeler (and ta'veren) and doesn't seem to be bonded as strongly as other warders, but there's no way for AS to know ahead of time whether Rand would die, so it seems really, really foolish from that point of view for anyone to bond him. In fact, I'm surprised there wasn't a decree by someone that no one is to bond him because he's the most important part of the world surviving TG and we can't risk him dying because some nincompoop AS fell off her horse and hit her head wrong.

That's the thing no one in the book talks about and I'm surprised at it. Would have been nice for Verin to muse about how Rand would be immune to the warder grief because of some-such, but no one mentions it. Did it just not occur to Jordan to write about it?
Peter Nein
48. gimpols1908
kab1 @46. "Her behavior in KoD is beyond erratic though, maybe she is not a df but just being threatened/blackmailed somehow. But that is way in the future for discussion!"

She is being coherence in some way either by a senior DF or via torture of some sort. At one point she walks into her tent in Salidar or on the road to the WT (I don't remember which Rob feel free to correct me again) and she gets pushed down on her face and is commanded to tell everything on some such. Or am I crazy it is possible (shut up you are just a vooooiiiiice! mumble mumble grumble)
Roger Powell
49. forkroot
You gonna be changing your name to Alannafan? C'Mon I double-dog dare yah! :-)
Rob Munnelly
50. RobMRobM
@48. In TPOD on the way to Tar Valon. (Happy to help.) Rob
j p
51. sps49
I dont thing anyone has been 13>13; this was only to scare the girls in Tear.
Matthew B
52. MatthewB
Trying to make them humble would only weaken their chances of success in battle.

Then why is everybody angry at AS displaying the same attitude?

Because the AS are not an army aimed at winning the last battle. They are at best peacekeepers, and at worst, bullies who meddle with and manipulate entire nations. While some may have ultimately noble goals, it's very difficult to claim that this is the majority view.
Peter Nein
53. gimpols1908
RobMRobM @ 50
Man, that works better than the bat signal...

Thanks Rob!

/How will he know when we need him..
//He gave us this (turns on rob signal)
Rob Munnelly
54. RobMRobM
@53. LOL!

I've commenced my pre-TGS re-read of the final books, so just read LoC and CoS and am half-way into TPOD, so all is fresh as Min's perky bottom.
Tess Laird
55. thewindrose
gimpols1908 @ several-
Man - you are on fire today. May I put you as the reason for getting fired? Just kidding, I am getting the stare from coworkers though.
Ben Frey
56. BenPatient
So can someone tell me again why Taim isn't Moridin?

Every time I see his actions/commentary, I think "that dude is Moridin" again and I can't shake it...yet nobody really talks about it...
Roger Powell
57. forkroot
So can someone tell me again why Taim isn't Moridin?
Rand meets Moridin at the end of ACoS. So Moridin would have had to disguise himself as Taim (actually, Bashere knows what Taim looks like so he would have had to do it anyway).

Given Rand's ability to penetrate Mask of Mirrors, it seems like it might be hard for a male channeler to pull it off around Rand, tied-off inverted weave notwithstanding.

Granted, the above argument only establishes that Taim is probably not Moridin. It does not close the door completely.
58. Siuanfan
almuric @ 47 yeah true but if everyone stopped any plan because of what might happen if someone dies, nothing could ever be done! :D Besides, what with prophecy and all, Alanna's in more danger than Rand since he's the one up for imminent death.

Plus, the Warders tend to die taking foolish risks trying to avenge their Aes Sedai. It's not like gentling where they just stop wanting to live. I doubt that would be the case with Rand and Alanna. He's more in danger of that happening if Elayne or Min died than her.

forkroot @ 49 heck nah! Siuan 4 lyfe, yo!
Kristina Blake
59. kab1
@48 yes, that scene definitely happens, I'm just not sure if she is an actual BA herself!

Ah- I see Rob has beat me to it!
Rob Munnelly
60. RobMRobM
@48, 59 - With that mysterious last line about how Sheriam wished she had never said a single word to the Sitters in the Hall. That suggests it is not Halima doing the deed. Ideas?
Tess Laird
61. thewindrose
Someone suggested Lelaine, and I am warming up to that. I don't think she is black, just wants to be the Amyrlin when the Tower is whole again.
Barry T
62. blindillusion

Could Taim just be that Guy With Own Agenda character you sometimes run across in fiction? Not good, not evil, but just human? I know there's the quote at the end of KoD, and the guy does associate pretty heavily with known DFs, but then, those 3 pretty much fall in with Osan'gar when he shows up. (What a sentence, shesh.)

Maybe Taim is looking out for Taim and when it comes to everyone else he gives this little dity, "Eh, fuck em." Then, sadly, Taim is probably a lacky of one of the Chosen. Why are there no grey people in this story.:)

@45 - I've always seen Alana in this light as well. She's not exactly the Poster Child of Rational Thought at the moment. We say that in T2R. (I mean come one..who really thought she was the one who opened the Waygate? She went off by herself to grieve for her Warder. Is anyone really surprised that an AS wouldn't want someone to see her cry?)

Hmm, only my third post and I'm pretty sure I'll get lots of lovely hate for that comment above, but come on, the woman is only human when it comes down to everything truly important.

- Blind
Kristina Blake
63. kab1
@ 60, 61 Yeah, I'm kinda warming up to the Lelaine idea myself, but I'm not totally sold. The beating just seems so brutal for someone who is not BA. and what do you guys think Lelaine (or anyone else for that matter) has on her in order for Sheriam to keep quiet and take the punishment? This had always been an interesting puzzle for me, one I'm hoping we get light shed on in the books to come.
Kristina Blake
64. kab1
@45 and 62 I would agree with your thoughts on Alanna's actions. However, I do wish we had a scene were Verin was more angry with her right after it happened. I was totally shocked when she bonded him and wondering how it would affect the plot. When all is said and done, I think Alanna has suffered more than Rand because of her actions.
Sam Mickel
65. Samadai
Lelaine is Narg in disguise keeping an eye on Bela the Neigh of the Light.
Sam Mickel
66. Samadai
to all,

I had a dream last night that took place in Randland. I described it in post 23 if anyone is interested.

I figure you of all people could appreciate it
Barry T
67. blindillusion

I agree. Alanna is getting the blunt end of the deal in all regards.

As for Verin..I'm still not sure what I think of her as a character. I tend to agree she's removed at least one of the Oaths. And if Fain is the wildcard for the Dark then Verin is the wildcard for the Light. While she does some cool shit throughout the story, and has some true moments of awesome, she is one one of the few members of this rather large cast that is truly scary. I mean hell..the woman looks at the world like it's a science experiment. We need some serious POV time with the AS.
Marcus W
68. toryx
RobMRobM @ 60:

I've never been convinced that whoever is beating the crap out of Sheriam is actually a DF. The Aes Sedai believe strongly in physical punishment, after all, and if one of the Sitters found out a little of what Sheriam and the others were doing, they could be using that to make Sheriam do what they want. And punish her for failing them as well.

The thing is, the way the AS are, it could be just about anyone. They sure don't believe in sparing the rod in that society.
Dick Papazian
69. Papas
Hmm, I might be mistaken but isn't Taim in his mid-thirties?

Also, I am very confused about Taim's comment, none of the explanations so far seem credible to me :/

Oh, and Fain was definteley the one behind the AS attack :)

Great re-cap, as usual Leigh, you're the best!
70. Siuanfan
I'm jumping on the Lelaine bandwagon as well. She certainly showed her true colors to Siuan, and while I am not yet convinced she's BA, I'm thinking if she isn't, she at the very least is as self-serving as Elaida, willing to do anything to get her opportunity at the stole.

So listen... not to go off topic or anything, but I haven't read The Strike at Shayol Ghul yet (but I want to, someone point me to where I can find it), however I was reading a summary last night. It said 13 Forsaken were bound with the Dark One when the seals were placed. However, we see at the beginning of TEotW that Ishamael was not bound, else he couldn't have been going off to have tea with Wacky Lews Therin. So who was the 13th that was bound? Was that just a typo or a plot mistake or should I chalk it up to the fact that that's what the person who "wrote" that history thinks happened? Or is there another behind-the-scenes person we haven't even met yet?

Loony Theory Time! This Latra Posae Dacume mentioned in this summary seems like a shady character to me. Her actions seemed to be Light-based but they caused the rift between the sexes to the point where they stopped speaking to each other, and then only men went there to seal the Bore. They CLAIM that she saved the women from being tainted with the men, but she just as easily may have deliberately prevented the Bore from being fully sealed. Then there is the nickname they gave her - Slicer of the Shadow or Cutter of the Shadow... which I suppose could be a compliment but can't that also mean "The Shadow's Knife" (or blade or weapon, whatevs)? So here's my loony theory. Since so much of the story here depends on the balance of power between the sexes, is it possible that the Dark One has a female counterpart out there that no one thought to look for and therefore she was able to continue affecting the world undetected? They always refer to the DO as "he" but why can't there also be a "she". Could she have been responsible for the failure to seal the Bore and the madness of the men and the dwindling of the Tower and the eventual erosion of the seals, allowing her male counterpart to touch the world again? HMMM?

Peter Nein
71. gimpols1908
Papas @ 69.

I am with you here... I thought at one point Taim said or someone referenced him holding off the madness for over 10 years...
72. Celebrated
Mazrim Taim is dead. He was killed shortly after The Dragon Reborn (during The Shadow Rising?), right after he was supposedly rescued by the Black Ajah.

He wasn't rescued at all. He was killed, and it was Moridin/Ishy who took his place.

The reason why the Mask of Mirrors thing is obsolete is because there is only a minimum amount of the True Source needed to maintain the appearance. Mazrim Taim himself wore a beard, and when Moridin first showed up masquerading as Taim in Lord of Chaos, Bashere commented on the fact that he looked different.

"Bashere took advantage of the silence. 'You say you're Mazrim Taim?' He sounded doubtful, and Rand looked at him in confusion. Was this Taim or not? Only a madman would claim that name if it was not his.

The prisoner's mouth quirked in what might have been the beginning of a smile, and he rubbed his chin. 'I shaved Bashere.'"

So Moridin is masquerading as Taim. The fact that we don't see him until A Crown of Swords doesn't mean anything, because when we do see him he has two mindtraps with him (one for Lanfear/Cyndane and one for Moghedien) so obviously he has been on the scene for some time.

As for his concern for Rand, you have to consider the Shadow's plans for victory. For whatever reason (and this is still a mystery to me), the shadow believes Rand must be present at the Last Battle for them to have complete victory. However, if it looks like Rand is gaining a foothold, or if his odds are improving slightly, the shadow will lift its "Don't kill Rand" rule. This is because if Rand dies before the Last Battle, it won't be the LAST Battle; he'll be spun out again by the wheel and all of this will be repeated. The Shadow would much rather have this alternative than having Rand gain the victory.

And if you still doubt Moridin is Taim, look back at the chapter where Moghedien first encounters Moridin:

"Suddenly, it occurred to her that this fellow knew a great deal for a Friend of the Dark, especially one not many years past twenty. He swung one leg over an arm of the chair, lounging insolently under her scrutiny."

Compare that scene to the last one in Knife of Dreams:

"The floor tiles were red and black here, too. Taim must particularly like those colors. The man himself was lounging on what could only be called a throne, a massive chair as heavily carved and gilded as any throne she had seen."

See the similarity in body language between Taim in Moridin. Note the colors of the floor tiles in Taim's palace inside the Black Tower.

Moridin is Taim. That's my strong opinion anyway.
Rob Munnelly
73. RobMRobM
@62 - nah, I'm in the camp of Taim as DF under direction of Demandred, Moridin or both, who has received the instruction that Rand needs to live to TG. Taim may be upset, and probably is, but so was Dashiva in CoS for the same reason.

@65 - I knew Bela and/or Narg would make it here eventually.

@66 - need to find some forkroot to help you sleep. A bit too vivid a dream but tres cool.

@69 and 71. RJ was quoted as saying that Rand's mid-thirties estimate of Taim's age was overstated.

@70 - Search for a wheel of time wiki - it should be linked there. Not a particularly long piece but well worth reading. Note that we've talked about LPD is prior posts (long ago) and there is other commentary on the web about her and her role. Most doubt she is dark - just really persuasive and doubtful that LTT's plan would work.

The Lelaine theory intrigues me but in the relevant chapter Sheriam walks into her tent, is immediately shielded and thrown down on her bed, has her covers stuck in her mouth by the power, and "her dress and shift burst away from her body like a pricked bubble." Sheriam is supposed to be strong in the power - is Lelaine that strong to do all those things? That initially sent me in the direction of Halima, who is plenty strong and Sheriam wouldn't have prior warning of her channelling. That's why she is still the leading suspect, IMHO. Of course, the reference to telling Sheriam that "The girl is up to something" sounds like a Lelaine or Romanda thing to say rather than Halima. Of course, to the contrary, I liked both Lelaine and Romanda once they got to the rebel camp at Tar Valon - they seemed to accept Eg and appeared to be very un-DFfy.

Peter Nein
74. gimpols1908
Since we are on the topic of Taim... I wanted to re-introduce the quote from today.

"I will kill him, and then them. They must serve him. It is plain; they must serve him."

Is 'him' Taim - Or is him Moridin/ishy or what ever the heck is going on there, and LTT recognizes the situation?

Is them all the students? Or the rest of the forsaken?

Rob @ 73 'Taim's age was overstated' - talk about your 'rode hard and put away wet'!
76. Siuanfan
Just finished listening to New Spring on audio, Rob. At one point, Cadsuane mentioned Lelaine as being one of the strongest who will be left in the Tower after she herself dies.
77. alreadymadwithRFife
Totally unrelated, but this is for RFife:
Fake Name
78. ThePendragon
Has anyone ever considered the possibility that Taim is just insane? Honestly, I think it makes the most sense. On several occasions he’s shown to have genuine reactions to events he could not have predicted, that seem to indicate he’s all for the victory of the Light. This scene here, the scene where he thinks Rand is going to break the Seal. At the same time, he’s doing all kind of things that clearly oppose that, like ordering Rand killed. He never seemed to give Aginor any special consideration, and I assumed he would, to one of the chosen, so I get the feeling he didn’t know who Dashiva was, because he may not be a DF himself. At first I thought, maybe he’s just power hungry, which might still fit. Now I think he’s just insane. I mean, doesn’t anyone else think it’s a bit odd that he managed to channel the power for so long without going insane? Maybe he didn’t. Madness manifests differently in different people. I think Taim’s madness is some sort of split personality. One who wants Rand to win at the last battle, and one who wants to kill Rand. Whether or not the latter is also a DF, I don’t know. One thing for sure is, they’re both arrogant as hell, and neither of them like Rand very much, much less taking orders from him.
Rob Munnelly
79. RobMRobM
@76 - yes, both Lelaine and Romanda are only a bit behind Egwene but Sheriam is also considered very strong in the OP. Call me crazy, but I can't see the little old lady tossing Sheriam around her tent like that (although it would be fascinating if true).
80. Celebrated
To Pendragon.

No. Doesn't jive with Taim's "let the Lord of Chaos rule" comment.

Moridin is Taim. I'm convinced.
Bridget Sullivan
81. Ellid
Lelaine and Romanda are of the same echelon of OP-ness as Moiraine and Elaida and pre-stilling Siuan, which is a degree stronger the Sheriam/Kiruna/Alanna tier.

And Lelaine isn't really a "little old lady." She is a senior Aes Sedaui, but no so old as to exhibit silver or grey hair.

And she's a bitch, plus she's also Blue, which may let her feel it is her perogative as the strongest Blue in the whole Ajah to punish Sheriam.
Captain Hammer
82. Randalator
No, I'm not letting the flute business go! It's the most important thing to be talked about, ever! That, or how you get the coloured stripes in the tooth paste. It's a close call.

The last time we saw it (as far I remember) was in Far Madding when he played it in his room (WH, ch. 25).
William Fettes
83. Wolfmage
Taim is not Moridin. As we learn obliquely from Verin way back in tGH, Ishmael is the soul of shadow - ie. he is the champion of the shadow just as Rand is the champion of the light. From the very first prologue of the series, it is apparent that Ishmael is both aware of this fact and has the arrogance to match. Accordingly, it really would be beneath him to impersonate Rand's inferior directly. He is far more important than any other forsaken, and when he uses subterfuge, he is most likely to be gliding around hidden by his exclusive access to the true power. Using a tied off mask of mirrors and doing mundane stuff is completely discordant with his high profile.

Plus, Rand and Moridin have been linked since the balefire incident which enables them to perceive each other in real time. So Moridin wearing a disguise 99% of the time would be a dead give away and Rand would've picked up on it by now. But he only sees and recognises Moridin's face and eyes, not Taim's.
John Massey
84. subwoofer
Was thinking about Rand, Taim and the Black Tower. I think that leaving Taim to the students was a serious blunder. Yes, Rand had other fish to fry but come on- we are talking about a rogue sphere having free reign on an elite force with the capability of tactical nukes.

I was thinking the difference to me is similar to giving heavy ordnance-thanks DrG, grammar and spelling were never my strong suits, if I do the same thing with whale or weather lemme know, hopefully Greenpeace and meteorologists are not offended- to a well trained tactical unit that have order and discipline. There is proper ranking, training and respect for those above and it is ingrained. Then you can also give heavy ordnance or the means to kill to a bunch of criminals. There will be a few white collar types that will not do too much but there are also some mass murderers that will take the training and run. Rand is giving keys to the armory to the criminals.

Perhaps taking a few and making them his own from the outset. Getting those Asha'man who had the largest spark and personally taking the odd moment to train them. He spends hours buggering around with swords and hand to hand when he does not sharpen his greatest weapon. Taim was right to smirk in that regard at swords. Beyond that take these men who would be loyal to Rand and give them a company to train and get new disciples. This would have fostered respect and acknowledgment for who Rand is and not some distant unknown person that the M'Heal occasionally tells his students about.

This just burns my ass that Rand does not handle it better. It's like giving your car keys to the village drunk and being shocked when he totals the car. Dim. *headdesk*

Verin- very sneaky- but good on her for it. I think she is aligned with the Light. Maybe she could get a hold of Fain and pummel him until all he says is Baggins and Shire.

Edit- The Strike
-am shelling out the $40 to figure out the tm thingy. we'll see.

David Gibson
85. DrG
@84 Woofer Couple things. An ordinance is similar to a law or statute, while Ordnance is a type of munition or explosive. Only mentioned because thats my current Military Occupational Specialty, and for some reason it chaps my ass when people misspell it. You're still my hero though!

Next, I do like your idea of personally mentoring a couple random high powered Ashaman. At least give em something to show you not only CARE, but that YOU are the real boss, right? Although, I think the sword training is a good thing as it gives them something else to focus on, plus what if they get in a jam they can't channel out of?

Btw, love the TM, you should legitimately register that!
James Jones
86. jamesedjones
83 Wolfmage

"Plus, Rand and Moridin have been linked since the balefire incident which enables them to perceive each other in real time. So Moridin wearing a disguise 99% of the time would be a dead give away and Rand would've picked up on it by now. But he only sees and recognises Moridin's face and eyes, not Taim's."

THANK YOU!!! for posting that. They were really starting to take off on this whole Moridin is Taim thing. :)

While I believe that Taim is working for Moridin, I'm not convinced that he ordered the ashaman to kill Rand. It could have been the same forsaken that was "impersonating" Sammy. It could have been Taim himself. Or it could have just been the stress of the job. :P
Matt Guncheon
87. ChaplainMatt
ok, couldn't let the priest stuff go...I'm clergy and I can be a jerk...

Anyhow, several thoughts on Taim;

1. If Rand is exhibiting signs of OP saidin madness, or touches anyway, why can't Taim be? With great Power comes great stress, to warp Stan Lee's quote.
I'm not downplaying the under-orders-from Forsaken or insane theories, neither of which are unable to be both mutually true. ("Let Chaos Rule"? Ok, let's let our unstable minion run the Primary Hero's Ace-in-the-Hole Hogwarts Academy. Muhahah.)

But sometimes, when someone is acting crazy, it just means they're losing the marbles.

From personal experience, those who sharpen the sword also burn out as quick, even quicker in cases of great responsibility and burden in positions of leadership; add to that iall the burdens that go with the male channeler in WoT society

2. Logain spent much of the time stilled or we might be seeing him exhibiting a few quirks himself; see the comment by Moraine way back when about Ogier stedding and the role they played in the Breaking
Hurin Smells
88. HurinSmells
Ok, so this is controversial but I have no politcal agenda, it's purely observational.

The real world equivalent to the way Rand has set up Taim and the Asha'man is the way the CIA setup the Taliban to fight against the Russians in the 80's. No prizes for guessing who Taim represents in this example!
Peter Nein
89. gimpols1908
Or perhaps how sometimes powerful parties might put someone in charge of a body, such as a school... or perhaps a small country in the middle east... and expect them to be a bff especially when it is known they have the head for killing alot of people. Yeah, you can really see how that is going to end. Thank goodness this is fiction and nobody is that silly in real life!

/where did i put that Cuendillar bunker, lol
90. jotto
I've been thinking, it might have been Verin who was behind the Demira attack.
Hurin Smells
91. HurinSmells
and to take it a step further, there's a similarity between the Seanchan and the Russians in the above example. We are starting to see the truce form between Seanchan (Russians) and Randland (USA), which is similar to the nuclear disarmament treaty and the end of the cold war.

Although, I was reading tPoD recently and I did consider perhaps RJ meant for the Seanchan to represent the US given their superior military power (including an air force!), and to take it a step further, perhaps Randland is supposed to represent a certain S.E.Asian country, where local insurgents using guerilla tactics are able to defeat the superior might of an invading army again and again?

Although, more likely Randland could be used to represent the US and the Seanchan represent the British in the Revolution.
john mullen
92. johntheirishmongol
I don't buy Taim as anything but a DF and hater of Rand, because he wants power for himself. Moridin is something different, and a necessary part that Rand will have to deal with at TG.

I still heart me some Verin.

Silly SAS, trying to play the old game of houses in the new reality.

Taim vs Logain..I look forward to their eventual showdown.
93. planeswalker2
Everyone, the DO and Moridin commanded the Forsaken to keep Rand alive. The DO ordered it Himself (this was brought up in one of the meetings of the Forsaken). That's why Taim wants him alive. And that's why Moridin helped him too in Shaidar Logoth against Rahvin...

As for the speech, I agree from the other posters here... His speech really doesn't sound/read inspiration all over it. Neither I would clap *unless someone else started it, then I guess I would have to too... But definitely, speech = uninspirational / motivational... So sorry Leigh, I don't think these guys deserve to be called freaky, just my two cents. I'm not defending the Ashaman either. Just that if I were in their shoes, I wouldn't clap too.
94. t0kengirl
Ok, so the political commentaries are annoying me just a touch. LoC was published in 1994, EotW in 1990. I'm not saying it's not there, just that I didn't realise in addition to Robert Jordan being a great writer (I have never wanted a book this much ever) he was a extremely accurate political sooth sayer! I'm not saying it's not there just I want to enjoy without trying to figure out whether Seanchan v Randland is USA and the Brits all over again, because that would just spoil the fun
Maiane Bakroeva
95. Isilel
Mr Burack @52:

Because the AS are not an army aimed at winning the last battle.

Of course they are that, among many other things. And it isn't like Asha'man arrogance is going to disappear after TG.

Re: Lelaine, that's why I think that she has been torturing Sheriam:

In NS Moiraine disliked Lelaine's gaze that seemed to bore into one's skull.

She also talked Siuan out of including Sheriam in their search, because Sheriam was a gossip, who while never intentionally betraying a confidence, still couldn't resist giving people hints that she had a secret.

Then in KoD chapter 1 we see the following:

Sheriam stands up when Lelaine enters, though "she need not have" according to Siuan.

She immediately, without being asked, blurts out a piece of sensitive information, to surprise and consternation of others of Salidar Five. Siuan thinks that Sheriam "has become as flighty as a novice".

Lelaine tells Sheriam that she should be wearing the Keeper's stole and Sheriam blushes and fumbles with the stole, while other sisters present (who are all weaker than Sheriam) meet Lelaine's penetrating gaze levelly.

When Lelaine exits the tent with Siuan, Sheriam's warder bows to her, while other warders just continue their watch.

Lelaine admits that Faolain made "a slip too many" and that she imprisoned her and "pressed rather hard" (i.e. put her to the question).

Lelaine admits her intention to go for the stole and staff if something happens to Egwene (Dun!Dun!).

Lelaine "is always patting Egwene and those who she deems inferior (Siuan being the most notable other example), touching cheeks, stroking hair, etc" according to WoTFAQ and that's exactly what Sheriam's torturer does.

As to whether Lelaine would be able to handle so many flows at once, remember Merean, the BA whom Moiraine fought in NS? She could and she was weaker than Lelaine.
Besides, Lelaine could very well have a private angreal to make overpowering Sheriam even easier. Not that striking first, before Sheriam had a chance to embrace the source, wouldn't have been enough.

There is nothing to suggest that Lelaine is the Head Blue, BTW. In fact, Siuan runs through all the reasons why she should defer to Lelaine and that one doesn't appear.
Birgit F
96. birgit
I will kill him, and then them. They must serve him. It is plain; they must serve him.

Go away, Rand shouted back silently. You are nothing but a voice! Stretching toward the Source.

Oh, Light, I killed them all. All that I loved. If I kill him, it will be well, though. I can make it up, if I kill him finally. No, nothing can make up, but I must kill him anyway. Kill them all. I must. I must.

Does LTT think here that Taim and his Asha'man serve Ishy and if he kills Ishy that will make up for killing Ilyena?
I don't think Taim is Moridin. Moridin only channels the TP after he becomes Nae'blis, and Taim must channel the OP at the Black Tower. Taim's personality is closer to Demandred than Ishy, which led to the Taimandred theory.
Taim is either a new Forsaken from this age or the leader of the Dreadlords.

If someone stilled Alanna, would that free Rand from the bond without the problems of killing her?

Sheriam is beaten in PoD ch 16.

Could Taim just be that Guy With Own Agenda character you sometimes run across in fiction?

That is Fain's role. He hates both the heroes and the DO.

However, we see at the beginning of TEotW that Ishamael was not bound, else he couldn't have been going off to have tea with Wacky Lews Therin. So who was the 13th that was bound?

Ishy was bound partly. He was not completely free, but he could sometimes influence the world.
Bridget Sullivan
97. Ellid

"There is nothing to suggest that Lelaine is the Head Blue, BTW. In fact, Siuan runs through all the reasons why she should defer to Lelaine and that one doesn't appear. "

True, but it has actually seemed to me that the First Selector possibly never made it to Salidar Remember that a number of Blues went missing, including of their Sitters, who is never named.

In the microcosm of Salidar, though, and with Siuan stilled and restored weaker and Moiraine, never much of an institutional presence anyway, dead, Lelaine is the strontest Blue sister. She may *think* she is the de facto Head Blue, and thus should be in the loop.

I've actually always thought that Anaiya was the First Selector in Salidar, but was merely the acting one because real, official one was the third missing Sitter. Hence a hidden, internal squabble inside the Blue Ajah between Lelaine and Anaiya.

There was one in the Yellow too, but Romanda firmly settled that.
Maiane Bakroeva
98. Isilel
Well, if Siuan doesn't consider Lelaine to be the Head Blue, why would Sheriam?
I also thought that Anaya was the First Selector, but maybe she wasn't or maybe the Blues have already replaced her - but not with Lelaine, evidently.

Also, Sheriam formed the Salidar Six without any regard for Lelaine or the First Selector. She was clearly their leader and didn't kowtow to any Sitters, including Lelaine... until she "approached a sister in the Hall" with unfortunate results.
Captain Hammer
99. Randalator
birgit @96

If someone stilled Alanna, would that free Rand from the bond without the problems of killing her?

That would have the same consequences for Rand as killing Alanna would.

Irgain was Green Ajah. Or rather, had been Green, before Rand al'Thor stilled her. Being shielded dulled and fuzzed the bond to your Warder, but being stilled snapped it as surely as death. One of Irgain's two apparently had fallen over dead from the shock, and the other had died trying to kill thousands of Aiel without making any effort to escape.
(TPoD, Prologue)

So, stilling? Not a good idea.

The best chance Rand has are his other bonds. Maybe, as long as one of them remains intact he won't go postal. But you can't know without trying and that's a huge gamble when the life of the world's saviour is on the line...
John Massey
100. subwoofer
Or...Alanna could pass her bond along... we've seen that done before. Maybe she sells her bond to the highest bidder. Or it is coerced from her.

I am purposely skirting the whole Lelaine thing because Tower politics drive me up the wall. The chapters where Eggs gets pulled back and forth between the factions vying to manipulate her really grind me. When Eggs manipulates the Sisters into declaring an Act of War on Elaida, I said finally! Then most of that nonsense could end and we could get onto other story arcs.

I am wondering what will happen with Eggs being captured though. Will there be others vying for power as they would assume Eggs would be stilled? Or maybe somebody else gets raised or Lel or Ro assume command. I want to see a POV from the SAS on their view of Eggy's plight. Er... beyond the various spankings.

Wahoo! One Hunny again!- um...Edit

101. TallJames
Long time lurker and this theory may have been suggested before but here goes...

I've always wondered wether Taim is a left over age of legends darkfriend channeler. It gets said at various points that the forsaken were the most notorious top rank dark friend channelers amongst many and were trapped at the bore when it was sealed. Its possible that Taim was attending that meeting and got sealed in at the same time. Maybe Rand's Lews Therin memory recognises him from some where, which is why he always has to stuggle with the temptation to kill him.
Peter Nein
102. gimpols1908
t0kengirl @ 94
LoC was published in 1994 - the Persian Gulf war was 2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991 and Hussein had been in power since the late 70s and in politics (with US support) since the 60s. Just think about Elayne's "Inspections" and how they are told where to go and what to look at. The major difference here is that the weapons are the escort.

I am not saying there is a direct link, just some similarities. When you put a revolutionary in charge, don't expect them to kowtow to your supreme strength. They have overcome odds once and will try to do it again.

Rand knows Taim has tried to grab glory for himself and killed hundreds, if not thousands ,directly and indirectly along the way. The man tried to overthrow countries. Don't expect him to take orders now that he has stability and power. Now you just give him time to plan rather than react.

Wheather or not the man is a DF, you could see this coming a mile away.
/am done realworld parallel politicking.
Captain Hammer
103. Randalator
TallJames @101

I've always wondered wether Taim is a left over age of legends darkfriend channeler. It gets said at various points that the forsaken were the most notorious top rank dark friend channelers amongst many and were trapped at the bore when it was sealed. Its possible that Taim was attending that meeting and got sealed in at the same time.

The 13 Forsaken sealed in the bore were the last left standing of a total of ~30 Forsaken. No one else came close to them in Power. Taim is close enough to Rand in power as to hardly make a difference which means in terms of Firepower he could be a Forsaken.

So if he had been the fourteenth person present at the meeting when the bore was sealed he would have had to be considered a Forsaken, too. And given Taim's strength a very powerful one to boot.

But the Forsaken themselves only reference thirteen Forsaken.

Once we were thirteen, immortal. Now four are dead, and one has betrayed us.
(TFoH, Prologue)

No mention of a fourteenth person which means that if there was someone else present he had to be too weak and insignificant to be considered Forsaken or even worth mentioning. As I stated earlier, Taim is way to strong for that.

Now, ignoring Taims strength for a second and considering the possibility of a small-time DF attending the meeting: I find it highly unlikely that the DO would allow any average Joe Darkfriend to meet him in the first place. For messages and serving the shadow employs zomara, so no need for human servants. And just having him present at a meeting with the most high ranking Darkfriends for no particular reason makes even less sense.

So, bonus points for thinking outside the box, but I don't think that you're on to something here...
Jane Smyth
104. Kaboom
All this talk about warders made me think of Lan.
And my opinion of Myrelle just went up. For her to accept the transfer of the bond from Moiraine knowing what kind of a person Lan was and his personal war with the shadow, she had to have nerves of steel. She must have expected that it would take years yet before she could transfer the bond to Nynaeve.
105. Lsana
@101 TallJames, 103 Randalator,

Let me toss a loony theory out there...

We know that these 13 Forsaken were all at Shayol Ghul for some reason when the bore was sealed. Why? There is one reason we know of that you might want to have 13 channelers present: to turn someone. Suppose that Taim was the person they were trying to turn? If this were the case, I doubt the other Forsaken would bother to mention him. They would probably have forgetten about him entirely during their time sealed away, no matter how powerful he might have been.

I don't seriously believe that Taim is a lost channeler from the AoL, but I thought I would toss it out there. It always struck me as a bit too convenient that the number of channelers needed to turn someone and the number stuck in the bore were the same, and I have wondered if they might have been there for that purpose.
Barry T
106. blindillusion
@ 104

Kinda explains why Myrelle was so frantic to break Nynaeve's block and treated her the way she did in while they were in Salidar. Myrelle knew Moraine wanted Lan's bond passed to Nynaeve but the only way it could be passed would be for Nynaeve to be a full Sister.

Put yourself in Myrelle's shoes for a moment. Wouldn't you be pissed/frustrated at Nynaeve too? Who in their right mind would want that man's bond, especially after the "death" of Moraine?
Barry T
107. blindillusion
@ 105

I've never really been surprised by Mr. Jordan's use of the number 13 to represent negative, and powerful, aspects of his story. Besides the number 7, what number has more meaning than 13? And in American culture, and others as well, 13 is considered the Unlucky Number (DUN?)

I always found it funny because 13 is my lucky number.
Captain Hammer
108. Randalator
Lsana @105

Why would they have to turn someone directly at Shayol Ghul in the presence of the DO himself? And why would the Forsaken do it themselves? You don't need Forsaken strength to pull that trick off...
109. Freelancer

Hadnan Kadere and Mili Skane are invalid analogies for our purposes, as they are mundanes, and we're talking about channelers training other channelers. Men and women are different. I know, shocker. Men, even sparkers, usually don't begin channgeling until around twenty, where girls begin between 14 and 18, as young as twelve if found and trained. So Taim, who is in fact 27-28 according to RJ himself, has therefore had no more than 8 years of channeling experience. Even if one supposed that he was looking for other male chanelers since day one, why would others follow a kid? It would make much more sense if Ishamael had come upon him early in his channeling career, and had been teaching him an advanced course, after which he was sent out to play DR.

Then why is everybody angry at AS displaying the same attitude?

It is far from the same attitude, but let's pretend it's the same. AS are carefully trained, over a very long period of time, to hold their emotions at bay, and to present a face of inscrutable wisdom to the world. The Asha'man are being trained to kill, to be weapons for the Dragon. People get upset at Aes Sedai for ignoring the world except for how to use it to further their plans and goals, rather than being more integrated and involved in helping goals outside of themselves. Basically, because they are politicians in an ivory tower. Asha'man don't pretend to be anything but what they are.


Ishamael was partly trapped or he wouldn't have lived for 3 Millenia. He is among the 13, and there are no "surprise" forsaken to pop up.


That is Rand's supposition based on his guess at Taim's age. He figures Taim for mid-thirties, and therefore has been channeling for 15 years or so. But he is wrong, per my answer to Isilel above.


Good catch, I noted that as well. LTT is talking about prioritizing his kills. It makes full circle sense that Ishamael is first on his hit list. "Him" is Ishamael. He can sense something about these guys, that they are working for the dark.
Rich Gold
110. richg25
>>And in American culture, and others as well, 13 is considered the Unlucky Number (DUN?)

Of course, we do have 13 stripes on that flag! Not too unlucky.
Maiane Bakroeva
111. Isilel
Freelancer @109

Men, even sparkers, usually don't begin channgeling until around twenty,

Sparkers can start channeling as young as 18. But that's if they don't try to learn. If they try, they can start earlier, as per BWB. If taught, age is not an issue at all, see Samml al'Seen in KoD.
In AoL male AS were chosen for training at 10 as per Coumin's POV in Columns of Rhuidean in TSR.

As to who would follow a kid? Well, Lady Shiane had the same problem, didn't she? And mastered it. Taim, as a kid who happened to be a trained channeler, able to tear his students apart? It would have been much easier for him.

AS may not do as much as they could for the world, but they still contribute a lot. They also intend to fight in the Last Battle.
If one feels that arrogance is important for channelers to function well in battle, then AS certainly have as much reason for it as Asha'man.

Personally, I think that it would have been better if both male and female channelers were humbler.
Sam Mickel
112. Samadai

I don't think you can take it as a given that all AS were going to fight at the Last Battle. The very nature of humanity dictates that some will stand aside to see what happens, so they can end up with more for themselves.
113. Miythrandir
This chapter was one of my favorites - seeing the creation of a male channeling organization and structure being put in place was totally awesome! Granted, the people are shady, but still - I've been feeling the guy channelers have been jipped the whole series going wacky wacko and hunted down. Finally they have an organization that they can go to and find some potential ultra power. I really liked Rand's speech, and even the word Ashaman seems cool. It would be even cooler if the people of the organization lived up to the creator's concept, but the place isn't all totally evil. There ARE some good ashaman. I really like Damer Flinn. He's always been my fav. I really hope there's some purging of the black tower coming up.

I'm also scratching my head regarding Taim's concern for Rand's sanity. When I read that, I though, "wow, that's a nice guy there!" Then I'm like, "wait...that's Taim!" Taim is so wierd. I also don't get why he gave Rand a seal if he's so dark. I know he's dark especially with his "Let the Lord of Chaos rule!" bit in KoD, but still...The guy trips me out.
Bridget Sullivan
114. Ellid
"Well, if Siuan doesn't consider Lelaine to be the Head Blue, why would Sheriam?"

Sheriam clearly doesn't but Lelaine thinks that *Lelaine* should be in charge, hence her ire/fury about not being kept in the loop.

There also may be something hinky about what the Blue Ajah did *after* Siuan was raised - as a former Blue (of all ajah, and of none), would Siuan be privy to all of what happened? Then again, when she was restored, she'd probably be brought back into the fold, I guess. Hrmm.

"I also thought that Anaya was the First Selector, but maybe she wasn't or maybe the Blues have already replaced her - but not with Lelaine, evidently."

I would think that *if* Anaiya was First Selector (I hate that title, by the way), then she has been replaced with Maigan. Both were in Fal Dara, and then after Anaiya got killed, look! Here's Maigan!

"Also, Sheriam formed the Salidar Six without any regard for Lelaine or the First Selector. She was clearly their leader and didn't kowtow to any Sitters, including Lelaine... until she "approached a sister in the Hall" with unfortunate results. "

Yes, but the Salidar Six formed as the sisters were straggling in - Sheriam might have been in the highest ranking Blue *at the time*, but then Lelaine showed up with her age/strength/position to serve as a counterweight to Sheriam's authority.

It happened in the Green Ajah, too - Myrelle assumed a leadership role because she was among the first to arrive, but then Faiselle and doubtless other, older sisters arrived. In Myrelle's case, however, she appears to be stronger than any of the Green sisters who could be her senior, so she retained her clout. Sheriam and Lelaine, the opposite.
115. Siuanfan
Freelancer @ 109

So if Ishamael was trapped, even partly, it seems really unlikely that he'd show up at Lews Therin's house 20 minutes later looking no worse for the wear. Nor did Lews Therin, in his moment of clarity, have a "WTF?! What are you doing here?" moment. Which he should have, since Ishamael was supposed to be trapped with the rest, not hanging out and making social calls.
Roger Powell
116. forkroot
I've wondered about that too - best I can figure is that LTT and companions didn't know that all of the Forsaken just happened to be at SG when they sealed the Bore.

Of course LTT and Co. were driven mad instantly by the DO's counterstroke, so it was someone else who recorded (accurately or not) that the Forsaken were trapped.
Captain Hammer
117. Randalator
Siuanfan @115

So if Ishamael was trapped, even partly, it seems really unlikely that he'd show up at Lews Therin's house 20 minutes later looking no worse for the wear.

According to the BWB:
"Aran had heard claims that people had encountered him as long as 40 years after the sealing of the Bore. Using lost manuscripts, Aran concluded it might have taken some time for Ishamael to be brought into the prison with the remainder of the Forsaken, and might possibly have been "thrown out" in a regular cycle."
(WoT Wiki)

So, Ishy making a house call at Lews Therin's...not that unlikely at all.

Nor did Lews Therin, in his moment of clarity, have a "WTF?! What are you doing here?" moment.

Yeah, he might have had a slight case of "ZOMFG! I killed every on I loved!!!". That tends to cloud "WTF? What are you doing here?" moments...

Or, to quote the relevant passage from TEoTW, Prologue:

*painful DO Healing*
*see Ilyena*
*sob* *sob *sob*
Ishy: "Serve me! Serve the DO!"
LTT: "You're a dickweed, the DO is a douche and now you killed my loved ones. I'm kinda angry...!"
Ishy: "Blabla...everlasting battle...bladibla...shadow triumphant!"
LTT: "Yeah yeah, whatever! You stink and for killing Ilyena I'm gonna kick your balls till kingdom come!"

"Remember, you fool! Remember your futile attack on Great Lord of the Dark! Remember his counterstroke! Remember! Even now the Hundred Companions are tearing the world apart, and every day a hundred men more join them. What hand slew Ilyena Sunhair, Kinslayer? Not mine. Not mine. What hand struck down every life that bore a drop of your blood, everyone who loved you, everyone you loved? Not mine, Kinslayer. Not mine. Remember, and know the price of opposing Shai'tan!"

Sudden sweat made tracks down Lews Therin's face through the dust and dirt. He remembered, a cloudy memory like a dream of a dream, but he knew it true.

Up to this moment LTT didn't have a WTF? moment because he didn't know there should be one.

After that he is a little preoccupied with processing his killing spree, Travelling away, committing suicide and stuff. WTF?'s...not really high on his priority list.
Rich Gold
118. richg25
so - how long was it from the strike that sealed the FS until LT went nuts? Is that known?
119. Freelancer
And just for a minor clarification, Ishamael visiting Lews Therin didn't happen anytime on the same day as the Sealing. All of the Hundred Companions have had plenty of time to be taint-insane and begin shredding stuff. For Ishamael to be saying "every day a hundred men more join them" indicates that a matter of days have already passed, perhaps even weeks.

Also, just because you've become touched in the head via the DO's counterstroke doesn't preclude you from being able to tell someone that the Seals were placed, and that the 13 forsaken were there at the time. None of the soldiers, and only 68 others of the Companions survived the event, and there was nobody else in the region, so it had to be one or more of the male channelers who reported. In tSaSG, it states:
Within days they were leaving trails of death and destruction in their paths. By the time the taint on saidin was discovered, hundreds more male Aes Sedai had been driven mad..."

Finally, when Ishamael first shows himself to the insane Lews Therin, he isn't recognized, and by the time he is, there is only grief and guilt being considered, not a retrospective consideration of how he could be present there. Not important to ask how, when it's clear that he is, in fact, standing in front of you pointing out that you've destroyed your family.


From tSaSG:
But that was not the only result, of course. Instead, there was the counterstroke from the Dark One at the moment of sealing, and saidin itself was tainted. Lews Therin and the sixty-eight survivors of the Hundred Companions went insane on the instant.

So, not long at all.
Eigor Maldonado
120. e-mann
After rereading these chapters and the theory posts I find myself rethinking the whole Taim = Forsaken idea. LTT is ranting about killing him finally and for good this time, which makes me think that on some level he (LTT)knows him. Suddenly Taim = Demadred doesn't seem so far fetched. I have even cosidered that Taim could be Ishy undercover as well. Ishy does want Rand to make it to the Last Battle and he would be concerned if he though that Rand was already starting to go mad and not make to the Last Battle with all of his wits; kind of just like he wanted LTT to remember who killed all of his kin. I will have mull over this some more.
Roberto Burtoni
121. MadCardigan
One question i would have for the group - which tower is more corrupt? White tower has been completely infiltrated, even while split, and subject to ishmaels "machinations" for 3000 years. Black tower is also infiltrated, via taim etc.

So which is worse the white tower in its ignorance or the black tower in its obviousness?
122. alreadymadwithtowers
MadCardigan @121
The White Tower is. Yes, the Black Tower through Taim has been corrupted, but the traitors are also readily identifiable. Whereas, for the White Tower, identifying the Black Ajah requires serious work.
John Massey
123. subwoofer
I think men are less subtle. When they want to kill somebody they pull out a gun, er balefire- a la Mr. West- and go to shooting. We know which Asha'man are baddies. The ladies, female AS are cloaked in secrecy, much manipulating and pussy-footing around. There is an odd hint of the dress they are wearing with the color of fringe, maybe a reference to when they were in the Tower. The BA also do not know themselves who else is BA, all the masks at clan gatherings and such.

The Black Tower is also newer and not as entrenched so it is not such a huge task to root out the Dark Friends. White Tower is like a rabbit warren going every which way. The Sisters are older and have had years to mask themselves in the shadow. No contest here.

btw- I like your name. Is it a spin on a character in Willow?

Leigh Butler
124. leighdb
Hi guys,

My regrets, but there will be no new Re-read post today, owing to the fact that I spent most of the day yesterday in the hospital.

Don't worry, I'm fine; the length of time was due to insane bureaucratic delay more than anything else. Regardless, though, it goes without saying that I got nothing else done, so.

Re-read should resume as usual on Monday. Have a good weekend, y'all.
Rob S
125. RobSS
I am glad you are not still in the hospital. I hope you are ok.
Rob Munnelly
126. RobMRobM
A likely story. You just want to sit in your study and read your secret copy of TGS before the rest of us. We're on to you. Rob

p.s. Feel better
127. Miythrandir
hope you feel better soon, Leigh!
Tess Laird
128. thewindrose
Sounds like the SAS may be running the hospital you went to... Glad you are OK, though it sounds to me like you need a couple nights out on the town. Enjoy!

Well, someone needs to come up with a controversial subject or a new survey or something. I am stuck at work with no new reread and I am uptodate on comments:(
Jay Dauro
129. J.Dauro

Glad it was not serious. I will agree you deserve a night out on the town. I am sure we would fund it if we could figure out how.

You have a good weekend also.

** twitch **
Rob Munnelly
130. RobMRobM
OK, Windrose, here you go: who is the character you would most want to spank?

I'll go first: Berelain - for conduct and...let's just say, other reasons. ;-)

131. t0kengirl
Character I most want to spank:- Amathera, for generally being a bit of a drip! Although, if its for other reasons...I'll take Mat and come up with a reason later!
Tess Laird
132. thewindrose
With the way spanking and corporal punishment in general is used in the Wot universe, I don't think it would accomplish anything. I mean, I would like to slap some sense into Rand about the whole 'can't harm a woman' thing. It will be interesting to see how Cads(another one I would like to, well scream at at times)actually teaches Rand a lesson, because he is working at getting harder and doesn't listen to anyone any more. How do you teach someone who doesn't listen? Like I said, it will be interesting to see how it is handled.
I would also say - Rob - that Berelain will fight back, are you ready for that;)
Jane Smyth
134. Kaboom
How do you teach someone who doesn't listen?

As much as I hate to say it, probably the way Cadsuane is doing it. Making him come to him. This way she is sure to have his attention.

Oh and RobM_X_2 Can I watch?

edit spelling
Jane Smyth
135. Kaboom
I mean the fighting. I assume you have martial art skill? It might be required
Rob Munnelly
136. RobMRobM
@134 and 135. Good save on the clarification.

I will just have to rely on my a....lmost Perrin level strength and a....lmost Mat level quick hands. (This is a fantasy book isn't it?)

Rob :0)
Marcus W
137. toryx
Leigh: Sorry to hear about your emergency room misadventures. I'll add my voice to those who are wishing you well and hoping that you're doing okay.
138. Truth panda
I pick Min. Easily my top choice for sexiest wot character! And if she hasn't done anything wrong, she can spank me and we can think of reasons together.
Maiane Bakroeva
139. Isilel
So, how about we petition TOR for a prediction thread? I mean, only 3 weeks to go and it is always nice to secure some bragging rights ;).
Tess Laird
140. thewindrose
We could probably put a message in Pablo's, Torie's or Management Service's shout box. So would it be predictions for just tGS?
141. alreadymadwithspanking
thewindrose @132
There's also the matter of the Pattern tugging at Rand faster than Cads can hand out advice. It happened in KoD, it's gonna keep happening as events proceed closer to TG.

I wouldn't mind spanking Berelain. And if she fights back... Well she can sit on me if she wants.
John Massey
142. subwoofer
I stick behind my theory of Colonel Mustard in the library with a celery stick. Sorry about your experience Leigh :(. Last time I was in the hospital it was for multiple fractures and I was in significant pain and I had to wait for eons before anybody thought to give me painkillers. Damn bureaucracy.

John Massey
143. subwoofer
I think that should be your permanent name. Alreadymadwithspankings. It has a ring to it...

Tess Laird
144. thewindrose
subwoofer - Last time I was in the hospital it was for multiple fractures and I was in significant pain and I had to wait for eons before anybody thought to give me painkillers. Damn bureaucracy.

That's what you get for being stoic.

What happened to the tm?

alreadymadfromspankingberelain - Yes, the Pattern weaves as it will. *nodding head sagely*
Ron Garrison
146. Man-0-Manetheran
Celebrated @72: Very interesting theory and interesting observations, but I'm not convinced.

As to the DO's "do not kill" order, for the DO to truly win, Rand must chose to come over to the dark side as the other Forsaken have done. In the later books I recall that there is some fear in the Forsaken that the DO would do this and Rand would be placed over them. Anyone else recall that?

LEIGH: Best wishes that you feel wonderful again soon. Maybe too much head-desking?
147. Freelancer
Hope you are fit and happy now, Leigh. Remember to take your vitamins, young lady!


Sound more like the Tower Aes Sedai to me, though neither is good at getting stuff done. At least the rebels have a good excuse for the moment. Their Amyrlin is in the Tower and their seige must remain a passive one for now.

For folks looking for a replacement activity since no post today, if you haven't caught up with the Chapter One, Chapter Two, and Prologue threads, that might quell your twitches.
148. Siuanfan
Uh-oh... Leigh, you know how these guys get when you disappear for a few days. Remember that week you went to Jordancon? It was madness! Madness, I tell you! But don't worry, I'll handle it. You concentrate on feeling better!

Okay settle down fellas, Leigh will be back soon. In the meantime, let me give you something to mull over:

Is Verin an animagus? I submit to you that she is. Her alter ego? None other than Bela!

Nono, think about it! Verin - stout and comforting. Bela - stout and comforting. Verin - inexplicably showing up where you don't expect her. Bela - inexplicably shows up when you least expect her. Verin - knew more about the Two Rivers boys than Moiraine and Siuan expected her to know. Bela - was from that village! Verin - mysterious unknown agenda. Bela - mysterious unknown agenda. IT ALL FITS.
Rob Munnelly
150. RobMRobM
@147. Free - I haven't bought or read the Prologue. Have read c. 1 and c.2. Is Prologue worth it? Inquiring, nonspoilery minds want to know.
Sam Mickel
151. Samadai

I agree, you are correct. That is because they are both avatars of the light. it goes back to the end of the EotW when the big voice said they couldnt do anything. It was Bela and because she was in horse form she could not help so The light gave bela the power to become the new avater Verin in order to help Rand.
Jason Lyman
152. jlyman
Hmmm... this discussion begs the question of whether or not Bela and Verin have ever been in the same place together or not.
Sam Mickel
153. Samadai

I am not Freelancer, but it is very good and worth it in my opinion.
Sam Mickel
154. Samadai

I am pretty sure that they haven't been. at least never on page anyways
James Jones
155. jamesedjones
150 RobMRobM

The prologue is very short. There is mention of a decision to move part of the prologue to the next book. Can anyone confirm? The threads were uneventful, and nothing really happened except at the very end. I was willing to buy just for my WoT fix, but I'm honestly not sure $3 is worth it for a 3.5 week jump.
Sam Mickel
156. Samadai
I guess I should clarify that it is worth it if you don't want to wait
Sam Mickel
157. Samadai
but still worth it
Tess Laird
158. thewindrose
Sorry to stop the Verin/Bela fun. But all the way back from Falme Egwene rode Bela and Verin was the AS that brought them back in the beginning of tDR -IIRC.
Maiane Bakroeva
159. Isilel
I wish our Fearless Leader a speedy recovery! Hopefully, it wasn't something painful.

I put a suggestion to open a TGS prediction thread for us in the Management Services shoutbox. So, umm, do you need to support me for it to become reality or should I just wait and see what happens?
160. Siuanfan
Pfft Isilel... how can you be sure that wasn't a trick to throw us off eh? Aes Sedai animagi are powerful and mysterious! And their mystery is only exceeded by their power!
Tess Laird
161. thewindrose
I would imagine that if some of us also said they would like a prediction thread - it would help matters along. I think it would be fun so I will.
Tess Laird
163. thewindrose
Siuanfan - 'Twas I to ruin your idea...

Edit where did that extra u come from, well it's gone now;)
Thomas Keith
164. insectoid
Leighdb @124: Oh dear...hope it wasn't something serious. Get better soon!

Isilel @139: That sounds like a cool idea.

subwoofer @142: Celery stick...BAHAHAHAHA! BTW, what happened to the ™?

Freelancer @147: Haven't had a chance to listen to ch. 2 yet. May do that just to avoid the weekend twitches!

Siuanfan @148 et al: LOL. Yes, very mysterious... and sneaky!
Ron Garrison
165. Man-0-Manetheran
Someone should wave a carrot in front of Verin and see if she takes the bait.
166. Siuanfan
@ thewindrose

Oh. Whoopsie! Sorry, Isilel...

Speaking of wind, there IS an awful lot of wind in Randland, isn't there? The Creator was fond of bean burritos, perhaps?
Thomas Keith
168. insectoid
MasterAlThor: see Leigh's comment @124.
169. Dholton
I propose a new variant to the drinking game "Hi, Bob". Every time someone (other than Egwene, that would be...counterproductive...or not?)gets spanked in TGS, as we're reading it, we take a drink.
170. MasterAlThor the thread.


As with the others I hope that you are well. Take some time to rest, as we all know that you are doing some light reading. (Dont bother to deny, we have you under surveillance)


Ok I am down with it. Someone should balefire those scenes where they are on screen together.


Hmmm. Nyn, Faile and Elida for making me angry
Any redhead women, Elayne and women with large racks for pleasure. Heh Heh heh...beat that.
171. Siuanfan
Who would I like to see spanked? Rhuarc. Rawr.
172. Siuanfan
Who would I like to see spanked? Rhuarc. Rawr.
j p
173. sps49
It is obvious that the frequent head to desk impacts caused by recent chapters contributed to Leigh's hospital visit.

As a sign of appreciation and respect, I propose that leighdb be acclaimed "First Poster" of the Transparent Ajah.

The ajah color can be debated, but if there were really 14 ajahs in the AoL wouldn't they run out of colors?
Sam Mickel
174. Samadai
Siuanfan, sorry but you brought up the bean burritos

He looks through the hole that had appeared in his wall "WHATS THIS" he exclaimed and pokes the floating object in the sky. "OOPS" he says as it explodes."SORRY I CAN FIX THAT IF YOU LIKE." Years and years go by and he keeps getting interupted in his studies by these people calling themselves the Chosen Ones. "Great Lord we are causing chaos in your name and taking over the world for you."

" Yes Great Lord" the thirteen said, "It will be destroyed and remade in your image"


"We have come to bask in your glory and power one more time before our last strike to take over the world."

he thinks to himself I should not have had those bean burritos for lunch, and I am not going to be stuck with this smell forever so he turns around and farts out the closing hole. whew just in time, thankfully the taint had made it all the way out the hole.

Great Lord, Great Lord, now what will we do for your glory. we are trapped help us.

Alice Arneson
175. Wetlandernw
Re: Freelancer's recommendation @ 147, let me add one quick note. At the beginning of each comment section, there's a lot of sniping back and forth about writing (and reading) styles; a few reasonable commments and some irrational responses; and of course some "new theories" that have been put to rest many years ago... But if you know that and can scan past the drek, it's a good way to get some twitch relief.

As far as the prologue, it is primarily of RJ's writing, and yes, jamesedjones, Sanderson did say that some of the original RJ prologue was moved to the prologue of Towers of Midnight because with the split, that portion definitely belonged to the next book. For the "is it worth it" question, I don't think anyone can answer that for someone else. Some people felt it was too short to be worth the three bucks (and of course some had to get all wound up about Tor "being greedy" by selling it a month before the release, but you can ignore those comments - they seem to think we should get the whole thing free or some such), some just didn't have an extra three to spend just now, some thought it was well worth it and happy to pay. Very individual reactions for very individual reasons. It is indeed a good read, and if you want another installment to keep you going... there it is. After all, you've got another 25 days to wait for the book. :)
Sam Mickel
176. Samadai
I was wondering if anyone else was around I was yelling and all i heard was my echo
Alice Arneson
177. Wetlandernw
'Sokay, Sam, you're not alone. Never alone, here. ;)
178. Freelancer

By this point, I would seriously say don't bother spending the $3, but that's up to your personal twitch status. The Prologue is good, and I am not wishing I had the money back. I laughed heartily at all the "Brandon sucks" comments in that thread here, knowing that much of the Prologue was not written by him. As usual, Wetlandernw's comments can nearly be taken as my own. Separated at birth or something. ;-)
Peter Nein
179. gimpols1908
sps49 @ 173.

So, my theory on the colors...
First of all White, Grey and Black are tints, not colors so I find that cheating - but that is nit-picky...

Let think about what is missing.
Have: Missing:
Red Orange
Yellow Purple
Black - we might as well recognize it

Seriously, WTF happened to Orange and Purple?
Any thoughts on their jorbs?

Ok, now on to other colors.

Obviously - Cyan and Magenta need to be in there.

So that makes 11 not counting black 12 counting black

So 3 more colors.... any thoughts?
180. Freelancer
Fuschia, Puce, and Chartreuse.

Though I strongly believe that at one point there must have been a Plaid Ajah.
Peter Nein
181. gimpols1908
Freelancer @ 180. - Plaid Ajah.

Were they known for their soft shirts, torn breeches and playing their SONY Gleeman too loud?

/sometimes I miss the early 90s
Ron Garrison
182. Man-0-Manetheran
You can't forget the Beige Ajah. They specialize in being noncommittal.
Rob Munnelly
183. RobMRobM
Burnt Siena? For the bf specialists?

Thanks re the Prologue advice. I'm inclined to wait but I'm twitching like crazy to check out the discussion threads.
Thomas Keith
184. insectoid
Freelancer @180 & gimpols1908 @181:
Isn't someone on this blog *coughr.fifecough* a member of the Plaid Ajah?
Sam Mickel
185. Samadai
all that effort making up that stupid story and I dont even get a that was stupid or nothing.

humph grumble grumble.rfife any room in that bunker no one appreciates me here anymore
Lynn McDonald
186. meal6225
Tye-dye--The party ajah.

Pink-the perky ajah. Founding member Julie from the "Love Boat", also a Windfinder.

Leigh hope it is nothing serious and instead may your ordeal provide a good story that gets you many free beverages with each retelling--you know channel your inner Thom!
John Massey
187. subwoofer
Whew! was up to my tits in work today so it was a post and run affair. See! It's like they said, no matter how big a guy is- a thumb to the eye will bring any man/blogger down. Hope you get better Leigh. If I haven't shared before, there is a burbon remedy I highly recommend. Of course, there are certain side effects to said remedy-some lady in a lab coat comes along and makes a disclaimer- but to counter the effects, just keep drinking.

As Free suggested, we could take a trip to one of the other threads. I personally drift, but I will say that one of the threads is on its way to eclipsing #10, so I am pretty stoked over the whole affair. At some point I will be posting in 1 word intervals to put us over the top.- Ummmm Tor moderators- I kid, I joke- that's me, mellow in my dotage, c'mon, I'll buy you all jelly doughnuts, we'll be friends...

-please don't hurt me-

Ahem, WoT related, I am skirting the spanking thread. There are professionals that can wade in with their opinions so I will gladly take a back seat. Er... already started the drinking game awhile ago, without the requisite rules however, just started givin' er.

I am also holding out for the book. Back to my horse's a$$ analogy. I don't like the foreplay. I want the full meal deal. I can wait. Hey, I have no choice and I don't have a team of midgets working on extracting a boot leg copy for me from the Tor vaults.

The Verin and Bela idea was not bad, completely shattered by Verin's aversion to wild oats, otherwise not bad at all. I was thinking about comparisons to Yoda. Verin has the blinking an twittering down, she just has to start jumbling up her sentences to sound more sage-like.

I dunno, maybe Mel Brooks could of taken a shot at the series. BS is being loyal to RJ's intent, but it would be... refreshing if somebody like for instance, Pratchett finished the series off. Perrin would have a whack-a-mole mallet instead of an axe and Rand would have one of those boxing glove dealeos at the end of his stump.

Just sayin'

Woof™.-by popular demand.
Thomas Keith
188. insectoid
meal6225 @186: Well, we all know Leigh likes to party...
John Massey
189. subwoofer
But Samadai, as you have already observed,

geeze, you know? We are nothing if not consistent.

190. kab1
@Isilel- great idea, I'll back you up on a prediction thread.

@166 Suian- snorts! that was a good one.

@Rob- others have stated it's a hard call on what to advise you about the prologue. I think if you've made it this far, the last 3 weeks or so aren't that long to wait. That said, I shelled out my $2.50 to to get the prologue and was quite happy with it. $2.50-3 just doesn't seem like much money too me (even these days, and I'm currently out of work). So I'd say if you're looking for some entertainment over the weekend, go for it! The audiobook version was about 2 hours I think, so it was a nice listen. Not sure how long it would take to read for you (not too long probably!)
191. kab1
@leigh, hope you feel better!!

okay, so I have been listening to various parts of Winter's Heart and Crossroads recently, sort of skipping around (since I always fall asleep while listening and end up in a completely different part of the book). But as I was listening, I heard a part where Nyn, Elayne, and Egwene were in T'ar and they saw someone who looked like (an evil?) Rand listening to them. I assume then that this was Luc, but for some reason I thought Luc was always in the waking world and Isam/slayer in the dream world. However, I guess this part makes that assumption wrong. Can I get anybody else's opinion on this?

I think that, also in WH, it may be Luc in T'ar when Isam/Luc goes to kill his nephew and his wife, but ends up killing some old couple instead. Was he trying the kill Rand and Min or Lan and Nyn. How is Isam related to Lan again? I swear we've gone over this before. And if he was trying to kill Rand, then on who's orders? the person giving him orders is indicated as one of the choosen. I realize this is way in the future of our reread, but thought maybe people would be willing to discuss as we have time before the next post.
192. kab1
er, um, I meant one of the forsaken...heh.
John Massey
193. subwoofer
@Kab- how are the audio books? was always worried that the pace of them would be a bit off. On the other hand, I am an audio learner so it may work for me, I am just not used to that format for mass printing. Must be huge to account for the length of the books too.

Tess Laird
194. thewindrose
Ha! We now know where kab1's allegiances lie.
er, um, I meant one of the forsaken...heh.

Samadai- You do have a creative bend, are you channeling it?

subwoofer - I have used the burbon remedy too, only side effect I could see was the morning after;) (maybe remember would be more correct)
Bill Reamy
195. BillinHI
subwoofer @193: I started this re-read reading but switched to the audiobooks (from with Fires of Heaven and have thoroughly enjoyed them. They are indeed quite long: The Shadow Rising, for instance, is 40 hours and 31 minutes altogether. They are not perfect: some pronounciations change (Moghedien is the best example of that) and every now and then a name will get changed (Elayne for Egwene or vice-versa, I think) but those are very few and far between. I don't know that I would go the audio route for a new book, but I will certainly be completing my WoT collection over the next few months (I'm on Knife of Dreams now and have to get the first four books as well as New Spring). The thing I like best about the audiobooks is really _getting_ the nuances more easily, particularly the humorous bits. Of course the *headdesk* moments make me want to scream at the characters involved sometimes. Other than listening to the BBC radio version of Lord of the Rings, this is my first experience with audiobooks and I now have several others that I will get to (eventually).
196. Freelancer
We do get from Slayer's internal POV that he can shift into T'a'R and be either Luc or Isam. What's weird is that it seems he doesn't know which it will be until it happens.
Luc is Rand's uncle, Tigraine's brother. Isam is Lan's cousin, Breyan's son.


Sorry, you said...? ::duck::
197. alreadymadwithslayershift
Freelancer @196
I was under the impression that he changes into either one at will, whether in the waking world or TAR.
198. kab1

first- love the trademark!

second- Yes, as BillinHI said, the audiobooks are really quite long. We got into audiobooks after our first son was born, and doing all those middle of the night feedings and walks around the house. Audiobooks were great to plug into to keep oneself sane!!

Now, we're totally hooked, and we listen in the car, while cleaning, when giving (forever long) backrubs to the kids at night. I have a subscription to for two credits a month therefore each book is $10, this is quite a steal compared to the normal pricing for audiobooks. and the $10 a book makes it worth it as it takes forever to listen to a WOT book! (I personally, always look for and download only long audiobooks, Pillars of the Earth was another good one)

Okay- for an actual assessment of the WOT audiobooks, I think they're excellent- Chapter two of GS is the female reader (duh!) (Kate Reading) and they switch to a male reader (Michael Kramer) for the male POVs. I really like his take on Mat. They are a married couple, and they have done all of the books. Additionally, there is a short interview with RJ at the end of all of them (I love his voice) He actually comments that he listens to the audiobooks himself for an interpretation of his work! At the end of the GS prologue, there was a brief snipit from Harriet on the choice of BS (unfortunate initials :) ), maybe this was at the end of the written format as well (??).

They obviously do have some mispronounciations as BillinHI pointed out(T'ar is another example), but they are pretty close, and the different pronounciations are almost just like how people with different accents would pronounce the names differently, so it's no big deal and not something really noticable!

I honestly think that the best part of them is that it makes me slow down in my reading/listening and enjoy the book longer. I actually cancelled my preorder of GS in written form and decided to do it all on audio, so that hopefully I can enjoy it longer. I know that if I get the book I'll stay up all night reading it, which would be a huge mistake with a 3 and 2 year old running about the house!!!

Okay- this is WAY long! Sorry! I'm cut off.
199. kab1
Oh and as far as the spanking goes, I'll take on Logain!
Alice Arneson
200. Wetlandernw
On Luc/Isam/Slayer - I'm not going to go looking for proof, but somewhere RJ said that he can be whichever he wants in either place, but he can only change faces in the transition in/out of TAR. So if he's in TAR as Luc and wants to switch to Isam, he has to leave and come back in; ditto for the waking world. It's pretty much a given that he does most of his work at the behest of one or another Forsaken, but which one (or ones) has not yet been revealed.
201. J.Dauro

I have done the entire series as Audiobooks. I started looking for something to listen to while I worked out (How did anyone ever exercise before mp3 players?) and found New Spring at our library. After checking with my niece, (who to be fair, did warn me what I was getting into) I listened to it and was hooked. The library only had TEOTW and TGH, so I bought the rest. (Yes I do belong to Audible, but I wanted these to keep.) I have done the entire series as audiobooks, and enjoyed them throughly.

The audios are usually recorded from the first printing of each book, so they have the first printing errors (that was the Elayne for Egwene I believe.)

I am a very fast reader (and yes, I have all of the books also) but I find that I really have enjoyed the series more listening. RJ's prose reads exceptionally well, and Michael and Kate do an admirable job with the books. Yes, some pronunciations change, not only from book to book, but sometimes between the two readers in the same book, but I really don't notice it. They also manage to really pull the most out of the dialog. And the slower pace lets me think about what is happening more, and picture things easier.

I have probably listened to all of the books 3 or 4 times, and some pieces 15 or 20 times.

I have already ordered the audiobook for Gathering Storm, as well as the hardcover. And I do plan to listen first.

(I see kab1 beat me with some of this. But I heartily second the sentiments.)
202. Freelancer
Ahh, yes. Here's the ambiguous line:
Stopping beside the bed, he carefully unsheathed the two poisoned daggers and stepped out of the Unseen World into the waking. As he did, he became Luc. It seemed appropriate.

I admit I had always taken that line to mean that his transition to Luc here was incidental, but that he internally accepted and approved. I can see now that this statement is indicating his selection, and the final sentence is an explanation. Of course it's appropriate that he kill Rand while in the guise of his uncle.
John Massey
203. subwoofer
To all, thank you for your enlightenment:)

Several things- First off, thank you to the Tor moderators for not bale firing my post. Whence we next meet there will be jelly doughnuts for all. T'was a clear cut case of D & P if I ever saw it(@Free, thus my redundant post on the other thread- sorry- I have toh).

***Lemme tell you all about my father-in law. Old school Polish- like before the Iron Curtain fell. Has interesting traditions-and this ties in nicely with some of what Kab1 shared with me. So anyways, last night my wife and I are over at our in-laws, and we make the big announcement that my wife is preggers.

Holy moo! Out comes the hard stuff, and I am talking the Polish equivalent to Absinthe. I am clawing my memory to remember what it was called so I can share the link but it was at least %80+ proof and if there was any spark or open flame, we would have all gone up. Ahhhhhhh, good times!

So back to what Kab1 was saying, these audio books could come in handy in my not too distant future. I personally am curious to hear some of the pronunciations out loud. My experience with audio books started with Driving Force by Dick Francis. It was a positive experience, but I am old school in many ways so books it was for me. After so many rereads, audio would be a fresh approach and a new way to appreciate WoT.

Alice Arneson
204. Wetlandernw
WOOF!! Congratulations!! And to your lovely wife! Way cool. Cracked up at kab1's comment about listening during those... ah... wakeful times... You too can experience it. Fun ahead - look out!
Jacy Clark
205. Amalisa
Congrats, Subwoofer! Blessings on you both and the baby to come!

I also love the audio books, and have been saving my credits in anticipation of tGS and the rest! Kramer and Reading do an awesome job in their interpretations, imho.
206. Freelancer

Here's to a healthy everybody come term. Congratulations! In the meantime, may I recommend extra calcium and B complex for the mommy-to-be. Helps minimize the effects of hormonal shifts. You'll be happier too...

Forgot to add, this man has no toh toward me.
Lannis .
207. Lannis
@ Leigh: Hope you bounce back and are feeling better soon (or if you were accompanying someone, hope whomever it was is feeling better)!

@ Subwoofer: Congratulations! You're in for a lot of fun! Take good care of the missus! :)
208. kab1
Congratulations to you and your wife! Wow, that's great. I'll have to second my suggestion to get the audiobooks for late night (and early morning listenings). Your wife will love you all the more for your ability to help out in the middle of the night.

and may I say you have many memorable moments to look forward to, like the one that just happened to me, where my little one just dumped over a bowl of cereal in my lap during this comment. Good thing it ended up in my lap and not the computer!

Congrats again!
Tess Laird
209. thewindrose
@subwoofer - It would seem you already have multi-tasking down! Time for this, work, reno's on the house, and time with your wife! My best wishes to you and your wife.
Rob Munnelly
210. RobMRobM
Congrats on the sub-subwoof to be! Wa-wa-wa-woof!Now we know why you've been doing so much nesting work on the house recently.

Joseph Blaidd
211. SteelBlaidd

"Hail to the Conquering He-e-ro"

My wife an I have been up to our eyeballs in research on this topic as we get ready for our second one (Girl Due Nov 9th) so if you will permit here are some of the results of our research and experience.

First, find a Doula. A doula is a professional birth coach whose job it is to make sure you and your wife and baby have the best birth and post postpartum experience possible. A good doula will help you find information on your options and accompany you during labor which is a great help as she acts to remind you of your options and the plan you made or your birth. This is real important because in the hospital they will want to do a lot of things because it makes things easier for them but not necessarily better for you. A prime example is the custom in the US of having women labor laying on their backs with their feet up in stirrups. This position gives great access to the doctor but causes the pelvic arch to collapse (making the exit smaller) and forces the mother to try to push the baby out UP-HILL, its the absolute wort position to try and labor in if you want a

Second, make a plan. Research what can happen, your options, and work out what kinds of techniques you want to use and what kids of interventions you are and are not comfortable with. We didn't do that the first time and it resulted in my wife having severe tearing resulting in infection, and severe postpartum depression because the doctor made a lot of the decisions based on her need to deliver our son before she left for a conference the next morning.

Third, if you can, be attended by a Midwife or Family Practice Doctor who does delivery. OB/GYNS are trained surgeons and "everything looks like a nail." They have a tendency to start interventions early, often unnecessarily, which leads to more interventions and often to a c-section, which is MAJOR SURGERY, with all the attendant risks of infection, blood loss and scaring. If you have a low risk pregnancy home birth with a midwife is actually safer and cheaper with less complications and better postpartum recovery than hospital birth.

The Business of Being Born Check out the links page.
Chices in Childbirth
Understanding Birth Better
Bill Reamy
212. BillinHI
Subwoofer: Congrats indeed. Our baby-making and -raising days are well behind us (our 2 kids are in their 40's) but I well remember a long evening of conversation many years ago with an even younger couple who were trying to decide whether to start a family or not. Our final conclusion at the time was: You'll be sorry if you don't and sorry if you do (what with early trials and tribulations) BUT you'll have a much better chance of being very happy if you do have kids and raise them well. We had the early trials and tribulations but much joy and happiness as well and the only thing it seems we didn't get right was that our kids have not given us any grandchildren and obviously there's not much chance of that happening now. On the other hand, if they had, we would probably not be enjoying retirement here in Hawaii. We've lost (close) touch with several friends who moved back to the mainland to be nearer to their grandkids.

At any rate, be happy and healthy and ENJOY!
Sean Banawnie
213. Seanie
subwoofer:congrats and good luck.Life will never be the same.........I mean that in a good way........mostly.{*snickers*} audiobooks sound like a great idea....maybe not make it so obvious to your wife, you'll lose hero points....*Mat grin*
can u post one-handed ? you will have to relearn the forms........seriously savor every moment , they get big fast (and start talking back before you know it.)
214. Tektonica
Congratulations Subwoofer! What a long strange trip you are about to embark on. A very rewarding one too! The good/bad news.....once begun, it never ends, just morphs. It really is what it's all about.

And Steelblaid...what a fountain of knowledge you are! Wish I'd known all that stuff many years ago! Listen up Subwoof!

And Leigh, hope you are recovering from ??? and we miss you!
Alice Arneson
215. Wetlandernw
Let me throw in a caution on posting one-handed... Not the posting itself, but the danger to the interface. kab1 was lucky with the cereal in her lap... My son donated some tomato soup to my laptop one day. Computer had a severe allergic reaction... anaphylactic shock... never recovered. *sigh* Had to replace the computer. I don't think regurgitated milk/formula would be healthy for it either. :> Just make sure you point the baby AWAY from the computer! Or maybe stick with the audiobooks.
Lynn McDonald
216. meal6225
Congratulations to you Subwoofer and to the mom to be!
A few months from now a puppy!

I was pregnant with my first pup when a friend gave me 2 paperback books by an author I had not heard of--that was 1990. Now she is a sophomore in college and I still eagerly await the next book.

This child will be a new weave in the pattern of your life. Enjoy and embrace the unknown.

Might as well make this a long post.
May your child possess some of our characters better qualities;

Egwene--eager to learn
Rand--moral fortitude
John Massey
217. subwoofer
To all- thank you so much for your kind words! It is wonderful to share this with my extended WoT family. @SteelBlaidd- wow- thank you for the very sage advice. My wife has been looking at some of the links and we are really talking about the next step. It seemed pretty straight forward- what was I thinking?! @Wetlandernw- my laptop survives my drool control problem so it is already broken in...

Was thinking about baby names... well technically I was bringing up names from a baby book and my wife was shooting them down. Apparently the rule of thumb is that if there are 2 people in her list of Facebook friends whose kids have the same name, it is a "no". Burns me because I have one of the most common names there is. On a lark, I suggested "Perrin" as it is not in wide use and it actually appealed to her. We are still tossing around names in case it is a girl so...

any thoughts?

er...WoT related- am sold on the audio, going to get my IT department, my wife, to figure that out.
"The Lord Dragon is down there?" Dobraine asked, looking across Rhuarc. Perrin nodded. "And you mean to go in there and bring him out?" Perrin nodded again, and Dobraine sighed. He smelled resigned, not afraid. "We will go in, Lord Aybara, but I do not believe we will come out." This time Rhuarc nodded.

Moment of Awesome!- I loved the way these guys step up with their loyalty. They get it. Without the Dragon, TG is lost. Le sigh that it still takes a bit for the female AS to come around.

James Jones
218. jamesedjones
Congratulations, Subwoofer. May your firstborn sleep soundly and often. As far as names go, I've always thought that it depended a great deal on the last name (but I might be biased). If you've got an uncommon last name, you should be able to try anything you and your wife can agree upon. If, on the other hand, you have a last name like Smith or Jones you may want to go with Ichabod or Beaucephus. ;)
Joseph Blaidd
219. SteelBlaidd
Glad to be of help. This is all stuff we wish we had known when our first was born.

Regarding names, a good rule of thumb is that you should try yelling the child's full name several times. Never name a child anything that you can't shout from the front/back step or across the playground without feeling stupid. And I second you wife criteria, my wife has the most common girls name in America and hates it. I have the most common boys name and usually go by my last name.

While we are on the subject of pregnancy, one of the chief causes of pain during labor is tension, and it occurred to me today that in order to have the most uncomplicated and easy labor possible one must surrender to the process, just as you would surrender to Saidar. Fighting the labor causes fear and the fear causes pain, but accepting the pain, like the Aiel, leads to joy.
Ron Garrison
220. Man-0-Manetheran
woofer: Moraine is a good name, but God forbid you choose Eggy or Nynny. Grade school would be a nightmare for them.
Alice Arneson
221. Wetlandernw
Subwoofer - A few things to consider on names... Not only must you like the name, but it has to go well with the last name, and with the middle name inserted. In addition, you have to consider any unfortunate constructions the initials might make, so you might want to avoid names like Birgitte. :P (Just ask Brandon Sanderson.) You also, of course, need to consider whether the name which fits a child will fit an adult. (Please do me a big favor. Especially if it's a boy, don't name him Catnip. It's a lot for a teenager to live down...) Oh, and it's a kindness to the child to pick a name that doesn't always have to be corrected - either the spelling or pronunciation. (I had a friend in high school named Jayme, pronounced JAY mee, but she got so tired of correcting that she started just going by her middle name.)

Anyway, you probably know all that, but still - don't forget! So here's my list of WoT-sourced girls names, mostly based on whether I think they work well with your last name, but also whether they sound like a real name in our world.

Moiraine (might be subject to the "correction" exclusion)
Joiya (BTW, this means "jewel" in Portugese)
Leanna (she was the last Malkieri Queen)
Elmindreda (a bit much, but of course you could call her Min)
Nicola (an irritating character, but a nice name)
Tigraine (might push the "reality" exclusion)
Verin (mostly because the last name is too close not to consider)
Zarine (whether you like her or not, it's a nice name and not likely to trigger the "facebook" exclusion!)

Now you'll probably get a thousand and one further suggestions... Lots of fun, anyway!! All the best - and don't forget to tell us what you decide!

(BTW, can you give us a clue when the big day is to be?)
Thomas Keith
222. insectoid
Only 221? Must be some serious twitch-control out there. Speaking of which, I listened to Chapter 2, and loved it!

Wetlandernw @221: how about Elayne? That sounds like a real name to me...

Subwoofer: Lacking any personal experience whatever in that department, the only thing I can think of to say is: May the blessings of the Light be on you and yours. Congrats!
Alice Arneson
223. Wetlandernw
insectoid @ 222 I left Elayne off the list for two reasons: 1) I couldn't remember subwoofer's feelings about her, but think maybe he's not a big fan; and 2) it's usually spelled with an i instead of the y, so she'd run into that "correct-the-spelling" thing. Mostly I just didn't include the supergirls, because they're obvious. ;) Actually I really like the name, partly because it's my sister's (with an i).
Hurin Smells
224. HurinSmells
Congrats Subwoofer! My wife an I had a baby girl 5 months ago. It's the greatest thing in the world (even though I've not had 8 consecutive hours of sleep for 5 months) and I wish you all the best!

Wetlandernw @221: I also quite like Alanna as a name, although not necessarily the character.
225. Freelancer
::stares at Wetlandernw's post @221::

Yep, as usual, gave the same advice I would. My wife had a set of boy names all picked out without talking to me about it, but once she did, I told her please no. The names were fine, the order would have given him the initials ABC. So our son has the names my wife wanted, but middle name first.

Questions to answer before deciding:

1 - Will the child think you meant to punish them for life?
2 - Does the name lend to an embarrasing nickname?
3 - Is there a steady meter to saying all parts of the name together?
4 - Are the resulting initials a common acronym for anything?
5 - Is there any interest or value in honoring someone with your child's name? (Parent, grandparent, important friend, etc)

Also consider other oddities. I know a family named Keign (pronounced Cane) that named a daughter Kandy. A family named Wheat that named a daughter April (sounds like a commodity to be traded). I knew a guy in the military named Nikolas Sinkola.

If you really think you'd consider a WoT name, you might as well use the Characters pages over at Encyclopaedia-WoT. Mind-boggling how many names Jordan conjured for this saga. There are 43 distinct names with the first two letters Al. Holy smokes!

Last thing. No matter what you choose, there will be a time in your child's life that they'll wish they had a different name. Doesn't mean they hate it, or you.
Jane Smyth
226. Kaboom
Hey Subwoofer,


Don't worry too much for the name.
I'm was one of these kids with a very unusual name, that everybody had problems with the spelling. And as I later realize, most english speaking people had a hard time to pronounce.

As a kid I hated the name. But now I actually appreciate to have a very uncommon name.

... Well with the exception of things like participating on boards like this... ;)
John Massey
227. subwoofer
Thanks guys! I proposed names like "Maheiboo" or "Jwarhalal", even "Kuthrapoli". My beautiful wife did not bite, no to "Olga" and "Leilani" too. Go figure. She did say she wanted unique names... I am warming to Ichabod though, it has a certain ring to it, and it is a classic;)

It has been my experience that no matter what the name, other kids will find a way to make fun of it. Banana fanna... meh, kids using creativity. If we could only focus that talent to alternative energy sources.

Elayne, good sounding name, and I wouldn't hold the character flaws against her. After all, she is the queen of Andor. The character index that Free linked to is mind blowing. It must have taken RJ forever to come up with so many characters and keep track of them all. I am having problems with one name, there are thousands in RJ's world. Much to ponder. Maybe if it's a girl, the name Leigh will crop up in honor of our fearless leader who I hope is well today.

Jay Dauro
228. J.Dauro
Subwoofer @227

Congratulations. But I would think you would name the little one Tweeter. ;^)

The number of names that RJ has used so far is amazing, and from what Brandon has said, there are lists of more names in RJ's notes waiting to be used.

In these days of the internet, having a unique name can be interesting. Supposedly I am the only person in the US with my first/last combination, and it does make it easier to find me.
Jeff Weston
229. JWezy
Topic for discussion (while waiting for post): Is WOT a series that could not be written before the personal computer age? Specifically, is it even feasible for the author to keep that many characters straight (including their appearance, proclivities, origin, conversational quirks, friends, alliances, where they were last seen, etc. etc.) on paper? A daunting task, no mistake.

That said, I note on my current read-through that there are two "Ivon"s (a knifemaker in Cairhein who is referred to but never seen and a Child of the light) and one "Ihvon" (Alanna's warder), which I would pronounce the same.
Jane Smyth
230. Kaboom
J.Dauro @228
In these days of the internet, having a unique name can be interesting. Supposedly I am the only person in the US with my first/last combination, and it does make it easier to find me.

It is especially interesting when publishing. It is really nice for me that no other person with my name is publishing scientific papers.

JWezy @229
Is WOT a series that could not be written before the personal computer age? Specifically, is it even feasible for the author to keep that many characters straight (including their appearance, proclivities, origin, conversational quirks, friends, alliances, where they were last seen, etc. etc.) on paper?

If I remember correctly, RJ had said that he had everyting on cards, not computer. At least until more recently.
231. Sanctume
JWezy @229
Is WOT a series that could not be written before the personal computer age? Specifically, is it even feasible for the author to keep that many characters straight (including their appearance, proclivities, origin, conversational quirks, friends, alliances, where they were last seen, etc. etc.) on paper?

I think it's very feasible to keep track of characters even before personal computers.

One example are those "dungeon masters" (DM) who run pen and paper role playing games. It depends on the creativity of the DM, most major non-player characters (NPC) would have more detailed information and background to share with players. I've always thought that WOT has that roleplaying flavor and background.
John Massey
232. subwoofer
I believe that there is a WoT rpg.

I also see signs of life from Leigh so I smell a new post coming too.

233. Siuanfan
Grats, woofsie! Best wishes to the wife!

I notice that people have been suggesting some lovely names but seem to have left off the Forsaken - which I suppose is quite understandable, but you know, some of their pre-Forsaken names were quite pretty! Mierin Eronaile... Lillen Moiral... Nemene Damendar Boann... Kamarile Maradim Nindar (and the non-Forsakey Ilyena Moerelle Dalisar)

And the boys! Joar Addam Nessosin... Ishar Marad Chuain... Elan Morin Tedronai...

Hey at the very least you'd have a unique name for your kid, cement yourself in the nerdy Wotfan hall of fame, and just hope no one wonders why you named your kid after psychos and torturers. Then again, most of them were rather brilliant top-or-their-field scientists, so you could always take that route, eh?
Peter Nein
234. gimpols1908
subwoofer - Congrats man! I have one now and it is a blast.

228. - J.Dauro "Tweeter" - Not bad, especially with woof as a dad you know the kid will be 'high-end'

You would be amazed at how many what we may consider to be more common names have dropped out of the top 20. And please do be careful - My grandfathers first name was richard (with the unfortunate nickname) and his middle name was Cox.

Not a great combo, but funny.

You could always go with 'Max Power' (i saw it on the side of a hairdryer)

On a WoT note - HOORAY POST DAY!
235. cghoogstraten
Congrats to the new parents!

@224, we had a little girl last November and named her Alana, which seems to be the more common spelling in the non-WoT (I hesitate to say "real") world. According to some references we've seen, it's an old Irish form that roughly translates "precious child" or some such. It's really started to grow on me, and I'm continually getting responses on the lines of "what a pretty name!" Not bad!

As an aside, my mother (b. 1929) has her middle name spelled "Elayne," and has never seemed too traumatized by the alternate spelling.

Whatever name, congratulations and have fun! (And get sleep when you can ...)
Lannis .
236. Lannis
Hey Subwoofer, re: baby names... check this out. We had the book, and I just found the website (looking for a link to the book for you) and this is probably easier, anyway. It'll tell you popularity (now and in the past), and I know the book would match the name with "brother and sister" names--names that would go well for siblings or middle names due to style similarities. The book also had articles on trends, which I'd think the website would, too...

Oh, and remember, no child is nickname proof--even if you're looking for a name that can't be shortened into something else (pleasant or otherwise), if the kid's got red hair, or is crazy tall... well... some nicknames develop regardless of a person's name...

Happy hunting! :)
John Pigott
237. AbEnd
Congrats on the upcoming blessed event!

Our experience is that "L's" are hard to say for little ones. We named our daughters Lily and Lydia (both namesakes of great-grandmothers). Until they were four years old or so, the "L's" came out as "Y's". Hence "Yee-yee" and "Yee-dee-ah". It's sad when a three-year old says "I can't say my name." :(

Oh, while this may not apply to you yet, it's better to keep the names distinct or you will continually mix up the names when talking about one or the other. "Lydia, I mean Lily, you know who I mean"
238. Siuanfan
You know... "Siuan" is a lovely name, actually...

And I'm quite fond of Hawaiian names, you should look into them - especially for girls. Not only do they sound pretty but they generally mean pretty things like heavenly cloud and bright star and peaceful sea and precious gift... stuff like that. Yay babies!
Jeff Weston
239. JWezy
Wow! Cards!

Like lots of things, that sounds waaaaaay too hard for me. I'll stick to reading.
Tess Laird
240. thewindrose
Is WOT a series that could not be written before the personal computer age?
I think it could be done, but it would not be as easy. I shudder to think about how we had to write before computers were common place. Many people used to joke that I should have been a doctor as my writing was hard to read, thank goodness for word processing!
How about before writing - oral traditions? I know it can be done, but that would be really difficult with the numbers of names and length of story for WoT.
Sam Mickel
241. Samadai

I want to add my congratulations and hope for a healthy happy baby. I don't have any kids nor any coming so never looked at babies names so good luck with that.

Rob Munnelly
242. RobMRobM
@238. My Hawaiian cousin's name is Pumehana. Don't know what it means but it sounds cool.

@235. My wife has two cousins named Alana - both pretty, nice women.

Woof-my latest recommendation: Tam
243. PhantomIce
Congrats on expanding the family Wolf

My advice on names, try to keep them fairly short meaning 6 letters or less. With middle names and in the case of girls the possibility of prefering dual last names after marriage, a person's name can get to be a real mouthful.
Michael Schroeder
244. tacoma

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you...I'd have more if I could.

A note on names if you're planning on having more kiddos after your first. Mix the names up a bit. Mine are named Britain, Brannon and Brenna and when things get really crazy I sometimes have to resort to yelling 1, 2, or 3 so they know who I'm "talking" to.

About the BRs--It seemed like a good idea at the time...who knew? HA.

Best to you, your bride and your newbie.
Kristina Blake
245. kab1
@ Subwoofer,

We picked Isabella Sofia for our daughters name and it goes perfectly with her spanish last name, but I have since found out to my horror that Isabella is one of the most popular names around! (It's the new Jennifer!) Should have checked those SSN baby name rankings first.... you'd think we'd have thought of that since she is our second.

My only consolation is that we use the Spanish pronounciation so her name is actually pronounced Esabella, and we call her Esa for short. I'm sure she's going to have to correct many people as she gets older, or just go with it.

Additionally, as far as pregnancy/birthing advice goes, I'd highly recommend the midwife route. I know some people like to have a OB-Gyn, but we did the midwife route and and I ended up with an emergency C-section with no afterward complications (I was already in the hospital, it was not a home birth). The midwives know when you are in trouble and will get you the care that you need. For us the midwives were so much more personal than doctors and gave lots of great advice on a range of issues/concerns.

That said, go with whatever makes your wife feel comfortable, gut instincts are usually correct. Also, I would totally second the advice on viewing labor as a saidar surrender/aiel embrance the pain. Maybe you can get your wife into the books? I can't remember what you ranked her as in the VSO poll.
Marcus W
246. toryx
Congrats and good luck, Subwoofer.

I think a lot of the names that have been mentioned have been good ones but I have to disagree with Elmindreda/ Min. That'd just be cruel.
Merrill Danford
247. Merrillific
I haven't read all the posts, so please forgive this newbie if this topic has alreaady been discussed ad nauseum, but it has always seemed to me, from the first reading, as though Taim must be Demandred. I think Demandred captured Taim, tortured/wrung out all info, and does the illusion-plus-inverted-weave thing to appear Saldean/Taim-like. Thus the intense hatred, rage, and Lews Therin's hints of recognition. He says things in his rages when Taim is near, little hints, that he doesn't say in his rages around other Ashaman. Note especially the comments quoted above:

I will kill him, and then them. They must serve him. It is plain; they must serve him.


... If I kill him, it will be well, though. I can make it up, if I kill him finally.
Lannis .
248. Lannis
Hi Merrillfic, welcome to the club!

Re: Taimandred... see this. :)
James Jones
249. jamesedjones
247 Merrillfic

I'm afraid it has definitely been discussed ad nauseum.

That said, we still have two distinct parties for debate. The first feels that Taim was a Red Herring that just went too far. The second (faithful member) feels that RJ changed his mind when the fandom went nuts with the theory.

Edit: Ah, 2 minutes late.
250. Dr. Thanatos

I agree. Every clue, from Taim's anger whenever put in a subordinate position to Rand to his use of the quote "let the lord of chaos rule" posed as Taim ." RJ is very precise with his wording, as are the Aes Sedai, and his choice of this turn of phrase has always intrigued me and made me wonder if there is a surprise waiting for us.

Did RJ ever come out and say "Demandred is not Taim" or "Taim is Lanfear" or "Taim is Voldemort" or some other definitive, non-equivocal, non Aes-Sedai-slipperytongue statement on this topic other than "he never posed as Taim with him either]"
Debbi Chambers
251. dchambers59
Subwoofer, congratulations!

Just don't do what one mother in one of our local school districts did:

Teacher: Ma'am, your daughter, La-a (pronouncing it Lah-AH) is missing quite a bit of work.

Mother: Excuse me, but her name is LaDASHa. The dash is not silent.

True story.
Jason Lyman
252. jlyman
@251 dchambers59

I have heard that story as well. Cracks me up! All the IM and texting is just ruining the spelling abilities of the younger generation it seems.
Lannis .
253. Lannis
@ dchambers... that story hurts my brain... X|
254. Dr. Thanatos
Could be worse. this is a true story as I saw the person myself: first name C'mon. I mean, c'mon!
Jay Dauro
255. J.Dauro
Dr. Thanatos @250

See the link to the FAQ in 248

But RJ said to Matthew Julius
"Mazrim Taim is not Demandred."
Pretty non Aes-Sedai-slipperytongue.
256. Dr. Thanatos
@255 J.Dauro,

Point taken. I am now holding out that Mazrim Taim is the long-lost 10th nazgul.
Jason Lyman
257. jlyman
dchambers59, Lannis and Dr Thanatos

My brother had a friend through high school who's name was Benjamin Dover. Went by Ben.
Debbi Chambers
258. dchambers59
IM and texting could be just the precursor to an entire cottage industry of names based upon puncuation marks.

: Powell
259. Dr. Thanatos
That's why the Wisconsin Trade Federation had to change their name last week. Silly texters and their acronymspeak...
Lannis .
260. Lannis
Ah, I went to university with a pair of brothers... Robin and Nicolas Steele. Oh, yes!
Merrill Danford
261. Merrillific
Lannis, thanks for the welcome, and the link! JamesEdJones, thanks for your link, too.

Here's a link to The Thirteenth Depository. Note Q69.... Bottom line: I need to catch up on my reading!
Rob Munnelly
262. RobMRobM
Re funny/rude names, a girl in my town was named Candace (Candy) Kane; I went to college with Paige Turner; and my little league baseball coach was Mike Hunt. My mother also claimed to have a friend growing up named Nancy Ann Cianci - try saying that one out loud.
lanyo lanyo
263. lanyo
Unusual names are good for you. My 2 sisters have odder names than I, and I've only met 1 person with my first name. I noticed though, that maybe being 5 or 10 and having to insist to some idiot adult how to say and spell my name has made each of us girls more assertive, and less likely to suffer fools. No easy obedience from a Jennifer or Heather. We had tiny children, yelling our names at people.
A final note, don't do the matching first letter thing. I have the same first and last as my mom, and all three match one of my sisters. It really confuses the post office whenever only 1 of us moves, everyone's mail gets forwarded too.
Derek Barolet
264. Derek.barolet
Ok I wasnt going to go through 200+ comments to see if anybody had expressed the same as what i have always thought. Rand messed up bad in his speech and pins thing. I think Taim wasnt bad yet here, I think he hadnt decided to go to shadow yet. Obviously he has done some fishy shit, but nothing like end of KOD, I think rand pushed him there. I think a big step was the pins, he says he was the first ashaman and taim was second. Taims been channeling way longer then rand, 15 years if I remember. He basically brushed Taim off here big time, pushed more like it. I think this pushed Taim to seek more glory, though shadow. Taim already had jealousy issues refusing to ackknowledg him that much more pushed him over the edge in my opinion.
265. Nick S.
Wow, I only just realized that verin must have used her Compulsion lite on Allana to get her to bond Rand.
266. DougL
For myself, until we receive information to the contrary I will assume that Taim went to the Shadow side after this incident or a similar one where Rand showed a little too much mental breakdown.

Maybe he was 13x13ed before even meeting Rand but he seemed genuine if quite obnoxious at the start.
William McDaniel
267. willmcd
On the name front, I went to high school with a girl with the rather unfortunate last name of Dick (no relation to Philip K. though). And I swear I ain't kidding you, she had a younger brother named Harry.
268. Soliduck
It's important to remember how much the black tower depends on Rand, if he goes crazy how long will it last? If the BT goes belly up Taim loses all that glory and power.

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