Fri
Oct 9 2009 6:27pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 27

Steampunk, Schmeampunk! This is a Wheel of Time Re-read, buster. Don’t make me break out the gear-encrusted brass rod of Don’t Spare the Child. I was totally going to buy that World War I aviator radio-cum-CD player from Sharper Image, I swear, but then I didn’t. Because this month I am a PHILISTINE. I’m rebelling against the Man! Who is, evidently, Oscar Wilde, at least for the moment. That’s kind of ironic.

So, if’fn ya don’t judge, today’s totally non-neo-Victorian entry covers Chapters 47-48 of Lord of Chaos, in which there is an utter dearth of clockwork machinery, dirigibles, or sepia tones. The Horrah. The Horrah.

(Note to Tor.com: I love steampunk, really! Please do not fire me.)

Previous entries are here. This and all prior posts contain spoilers for all currently published novels 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 Tor.com or at multiple online vendors. Chapter 1 is still available as well, and 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.

And now, the pseudo-17th-ish-century post!

Chapter 47: The Wandering Woman

What Happens
Mat’s party and the Aes Sedai party camp separately, which is fine with Mat, since there is some kind of tension among the women he can’t figure out, with Elayne, Nynaeve, and the Hunter occasionally staring at Vandene and Adeleas, who appear oblivious. However, Mat soon realizes that he does not have enough food for his men, having expected a much quicker trip, and tells Nerim to share the food Nerim had brought for Mat with them, which makes Nerim mournful and Lopin (Nalesean’s servant) very smug. The men aren’t very happy about this either, as the food is quail eggs and smoked tongue and such, while the women are having simple soup and mutton. After dinner Mat is surprised when Elayne approaches and asks for a word; they go aside, and Elayne coolly informs him that his medallion is a ter’angreal, which some consider are the rightful property of Aes Sedai only. However, she does not require that he give it up, only that he let her study it in the evenings. Mat answers that she’s very kind, to allow him to keep what’s his, and pretends not to know what a ter’angreal is, at which she flares up and retorts that he knows very well what they are, as Elayne heard Moiraine speak to him of them in the Stone of Tear.

“The Stone?” he said blandly. “Yes, I remember the Stone. A fine time we all had there. Do you remember something in the Stone that gives you a right to make demands of me? I don’t. I am just here to keep you and Nynaeve from getting holes poked in your hides in Ebou Dar. You can ask Rand about ter’angreal after I deliver you to him.”

Elayne stares at him a moment, then goes back to his camp and performs an inspection, after which she loudly announces that she is pleased with the neatness of the camp, but chastises him for not planning his food supplies properly. She is “sure [he] will think ahead in future”, though, and heads back to the other fire. Almost immediately after this, the foxhead goes cold; shocked, he looks over to the women’s fire and sees them all standing in a row, watching him while Adeleas jots notes. As the journey continues, so do Elayne’s inspections. She ignores him when he tells her to stop, and Mat is even more irritated that she somehow manages to ferret out things he hadn’t known about, but once she brings them to his attention he is forced to address them. Even worse, his men are highly pleased at her praise and encouragement, and even Vanin starts knuckling his forehead to her. None of the other women will give him the time of day, and Nynaeve actually shouts at him to leave her alone when he tries to talk to her, intending to ask about Bode, and spends the trip actively hiding from him. So Mat ends up mostly drinking ale with Nalesean, Thom, and Juilin, discussing Ebou Dar, and the inhabitants’ apparently insatiable appetite for dueling, both men and women. Thom and Juilin don’t really understand what the source of the tension is between Elayne/Nynaeve and Adeleas/Vandene, but reveal that part of it is over Elayne letting slip that she had chosen Birgitte as her Warder; Jaem took to her right away, but Adeleas and Vandene are distinctly not pleased. Nalesean marvels over the notion of a woman Warder.

Mat shrugged. “I suppose she’ll do well enough as long as she really can shoot that bow. Down the wrong hole?” he asked Juilin, who had begun choking on his ale. “Give me a good bow over a sword any day. Better a quarterstaff, but a bow is just fine. I only hope she doesn’t try to get in my way when it’s time to take Elayne to Rand.”

“I think she can shoot it.” Thom leaned across the table to slap Juilin on the back. “I think she can, Mat.”

The Aes Sedai have also continued their attempts to channel at him, which Mat stubbornly refuses to acknowledge. He begins to feel rather smug about their repeated failures to affect him with saidar, until the fourth day, when Adeleas successfully hits him with horse dung, obviously using saidar to throw it. Mat goes into the inn and proceeds to get stinking drunk, while trying to tell himself that being protected only from direct effects of the Power is still better than nothing. So he is nursing a giant hangover when they reach Ebou Dar, which is a beautiful city. Mat wonders why the dice have started rolling in his head when Vandene announces that they will go into the Tarasin Palace to meet Merilille. Mat thinks that normally he likes palaces, but is not enthused about sharing one with a Queen, a bunch of Aes Sedai, a bunch of nobles, and especially Elayne, who had lectured him that morning on the evils of drink. Mat decides he can’t let her get away with any more than she already had, and announces loudly that he and his men will take rooms in an inn, and Elayne and Nynaeve can send for him to “walk them about” when they go out, and chooses an inn at random in the square. The women exchange glances, but say nothing until he starts to head for the inn, whereupon Elayne calls after him to mind that he doesn’t let “the boy” see Mat’s men gone in drink. Mat grits his teeth, making a mental note to warn the men not to drink in front of Olver, and enters the inn, which turns out to be named The Wandering Woman, and is run by a stately older woman named Setalle Anan, who is clearly not an Ebou Dar native but wears a marriage knife. She greets Nalesean and Mat as lords, and welcomes them to her inn.

[Mat] could not help grinning. “Mistress Anan, I feel like I’ve come home.”

The odd thing was, the dice had stopped rolling in his head.

Commentary
So, okay. I am not an Elayne hater, at all, but I freely admit I considered her to suck from here on out till about halfway through ACOS, where (in my opinion at least) she regains all her awesome and then some. But at this point, I wanted to smack her silly.

However, just to play devil’s advocate here, I will point out that between Egwene and Nynaeve, Elayne could not possibly have been given a stronger incentive to view everything Mat does in the least flattering light possible. And Mat does nothing to help, with everything he says to her being designed to annoy her as much as he possibly can.

Also, it’s sometimes difficult to remember, as much as we are invited to identify with Mat in general, that other than the Band themselves, NO ONE, except Rand and Lan (and Asmodean, for all the good that does), were or are in a position to know that Mat has any business whatsoever knowing what he’s doing in the slightest. WE know that he is primed to be the greatest military genius Evar, but it’s important to remember that the Supergirls have no clue at this point that he is toting around three thousand years’ worth of tactical nohow in his head.

So Egwene and Nynaeve, and by extension Elayne, really do have to be cut some slack for assuming that Mat is doing nothing more than riding on his BFF Dragon Reborn’s coattails, and that otherwise he is the same feckless ne’er-do-well they knew growing up. And in a lot of ways Mat shoots himself in the foot as far as acknowledgement from his friends goes, because of people’s unfortunate (but completely accurately portrayed) tendency to judge based on appearances. Mat’s stubborn refusal to change his manner is perversely admirable in many ways, but you have to accept the disadvantages with the advantages: if the way you behave is no different from how you’ve always acted, why should anyone assume anything else is different about you? Sad, but true.

And yes, it’s still shitty of Elayne to try to suborn Mat’s followers, although I have no doubt she considers it to be for the greater good. Mat’s screwup with the food, though understandable, is unfortunately exactly timed to reinforce her predisposed inclination to view him as incompetent. So from that point of view, taking his men away from him, as it were, could be considered as protecting them from a commander who doesn’t know what he’s doing. And though of course we know there’s really no one better to lead them, Elayne doesn’t. But she still shouldn’t undermine the chain of command! But, argh.

So my frustration with Elayne in this chapter is not so much where so many people seem to take it, which is “how can she be such a complete bitch?”, because that’s not what I see. I see the same thing that’s been reiterated throughout LOC, of the utterly stupid ways otherwise clever people can be induced to behave when operating from erroneous or incomplete information. The, as I said, malignancy of misinformation which is a central theme of the novel.

As for the “channeling at Mat” thing, that was a beyond-the-pale amount of bullshit I was initially totally unprepared to forgive Elayne and Nynaeve for, but in the next chapter we learn that Mat isn’t exempt from making erroneous assumptions either on that score, so.

Also, hi, Setalle! Thanks for being one of the most completely plot-driven characters in the series! Welcome!


Chapter 48: Leaning on the Knife

What Happens
Nynaeve joins Elayne, Aviendha, and Birgitte for tea in the opulent sitting room of the suite they had been assigned in the palace, trying and failing to maintain enough concentration to keep from sweating. She mutters that she had expected a different reception, and Elayne replies that was very optimistic of her, after how Vandene and Adeleas treated them.

Nynaeve sighed. “Very well, then, I hoped. I am finally Aes Sedai, really Aes Sedai, and nobody seems to believe it. I truly hoped leaving Salidar would make a difference.”

Merilille had reacted with shock and disapproval at the various revelations of the latest from Salidar, and dismissed them perfunctorily to “freshen up” while the “real” Aes Sedai talked. Nynaeve opines that Vandene and Adeleas are hiding something; Elayne thinks she is being paranoid, but Nynaeve thinks their story about coming to Ebou Dar to look for runaways makes no sense, since everyone knows that almost no runaways from the Tower ever make it off the island without being caught. She moves on, growling that at least Mat had better acknowledge they are Aes Sedai, comforted by knowing she could throw things at him if she had to, at least; Birgitte asks with a grin if that’s why Nynaeve has been avoiding him “like a Cheltan flinching from the tax collector”. Aviendha comments that she would like to see these wetlander places Birgitte keeps talking about, which shuts Birgitte up.

Nynaeve wished she had been there to see her admit to Egwene what Egwene already knew. Egwene had grown impressively forceful in her time with the Aiel, and put up with little she considered nonsense. Birgitte had actually come back looking chastened.

To divert Aviendha, Nynaeve admits that Mat threatened her, and then has to reassure Aviendha “not like that”, as Aviendha starts stroking her belt knife. Elayne interrupts to opine that Mat is the least of their concerns; he is only here to get him away from Egwene, and Elayne will figure out what to do about the ter’angreal later. Nynaeve reflects that Elayne had not been happy when Vandene and Adeleas had started channeling at Mat willy-nilly, and dubiously wishes Elayne luck in her campaign to get Mat “in the habit” of obeying her. They move on to the Bowl, and are discussing the best way to move inconspicuously around the city when they are interrupted by a maidservant, who tells them that Queen Tylin would like to see “the three Aes Sedai”; Elayne and Nynaeve exchanges glances, and Elayne replies there are only two Aes Sedai here, but proposes they all go. Birgitte and Aviendha beg off in favor of going to have a look around the city, and Elayne and Nynaeve go with the maid. On the way to Tylin they are shocked to see Jaichim Carridin in the halls, and on asking learn that the Whitecloaks have sent an embassy to Tylin as well. On meeting the Queen, Nynaeve is impressed by Tylin until she fails to offer them chairs and bluntly questions their claim to be Aes Sedai, observing that Elayne was all of eighteen and Nynaeve maybe twenty-two or so. Nynaeve snaps back that she is twenty-six, and they are Aes Sedai, of the Yellow and Green Ajahs respectively, and that the Amrylin Seat herself is no older than Elayne. Tylin replies flatly that she hadn’t known that, and Nynaeve curses her hasty tongue; Elayne steps in and soothingly asks Tylin to allow her to add her apologies to Merilille’s for the army that was inadvertently gathered on Altaran soil, and assures her that no harm is meant to Altara, and the army will be marching north soon.

Tylin stared at her, unblinking. “I have heard no word of apology or excuse until yours. But any ruler of Altara must learn to swallow insult from greater powers without salt.” Taking a deep breath, she gestured, lace waving. “Sit, sit. Both of you sit. Lean back on your knife and let your tongue go free.” Her sudden smile was very close to a grin. “I don’t know how you say it in Andor. Be at ease, and speak your mind as you wish.”

They sit warily, and Tylin insists that whatever they say, she will take no offense. She asks why four more Aes Sedai from Salidar have come, mentioning in passing the Tower embassy, which has only two sisters (Teslyn and Joline), and the Whitecloaks. She says, laughing, she must listen to all who court her, even Carridin; Nynaeve asks why she would listen to a butcher like Carridin, and realizes her mistake when Tylin’s laughter cuts dead. Tylin comments quietly that they took her at her word, evidently, and explains bluntly how shaky her hold on the throne is, and how small her actual range of influence in Altara, a situation she had hoped to change until the Dragon Reborn came and upset everything.

“Now I thank Pedron Niall when he arranges for Illian to take a hundred-mile swathe of Altara instead of invading. I listen to Jaichim Carridin, and I do not spit in his eye, however many Altarans died in the Whitecloak War. I listen to Carridin, and to Teslyn, and to Merilille, and I pray that I can pass something to my son instead of being found drowned in my bath on the day Beslan meets with an accident hunting.”

Tylin drew a long breath. The pleasant face remained, but an edge entered her voice. “Now. I have stood bare-breasted in the fishmarket for you. Answer me mine. Why do I have the honor of four more Aes Sedai?”

To Nynaeve’s amazement, Elayne then tells Tylin the complete truth about their mission in Ebou Dar, even about how they had found the Bowl in the Dreamworld. Tylin says it would be a blessing to do something about the weather, but the area they describe sounds to her like the Rahad, which Tylin judges highly dangerous even for Aes Sedai; maybe they should leave the search to Vandene and Adeleas. Nynaeve asks if they told her about the Bowl, but Tylin replies no, just that they were looking for something. She remarks that she and Elayne are the first Aes Sedai she’s come across who will say a word more than they have to, and hopes that age won’t change that for them. They take tea and chat with the Queen for some time, discussing the Rahad and whether Tylin can help them search it, and meet her son Beslan briefly before heading back to their rooms. Nynaeve asks Elayne if it was wise to tell Tylin everything like that.

“I know how my mother felt about Aes Sedai traveling about Andor, never letting her know what they were doing. I know how I would feel. Besides, I finally remembered being taught about that phrase—lean back on your knife and the rest. The only way to insult somebody who says that to you is to lie.”

Elayne continues that Vandene and Adeleas only think they’ve taken over, and wagers that in ten days they will have the Bowl, and she will have figured out Mat’s ter’angreal and have him knuckling his forehead. Nynaeve replies she won’t take that bet, except for the part about Mat: “Ten days it is.”

Commentary
Enter: TYLIN. DUNDUNDUNDUN!!!

(Look, I’m not even touching that whole thing till I have to. Which is next book, so nyah. It’s a shame, though; I liked her rather a lot when we first meet her here.)

I must sympathize with Nynaeve, even as I agree with Elayne about her unrealistic optimism re: being accepted by Merilille and the others. God knows their situation would have me ready to tear my hair out. Nothing more fun than being dismissed as irrelevant, oh yeah.

“Merilille”, by the way, has now taken top spot in my list of “WOT names that are incredibly annoying to type”. ILILILILILLLIEIELL, gah. Though the name itself is pretty. She should feel lucky she never had to go through a public school system, though, is all I’m saying.

Adeleas and Vandene: I was actually surprised, but in a good way, that the “channeling at Mat” thing was in no way Elayne or Nynaeve’s idea, and went a long way to reestablishing their cred with me, because that would have been just so shitty if initiated by them. Vandene and Adeleas can be at least a little bit forgiven for doing it (not much, but a little), since they don’t know Mat from Adam, but the Supergirls, no. So I was very relieved to find that that whole thing was not endorsed by either of them. Yes, they could have been a little less reticent in condemning the practice, but given the situation it’s not like Adeleas or Vandene would have listened to them anyway, so maybe they were wise to save their breath.

Also, heh, Nynaeve has no clue about the runaway thing. Although, I’m a little fuzzy on the exact events in ACOS; I know the Aes Sedai knew about the Kin, but I don’t think they knew knew, in the sense of having a clue how extensive and efficient an organization they really were. But either way it was a nice (or annoying) extension of the general theme of misinformation in LOC, in that it all leads Elayne and Nynaeve to conclude that the others were aiming to take the Bowl hunt away from them, when the “real” Aes Sedai probably considered the whole thing a total fairy tale in the first place.

Nynaeve: Tactful as ever, I see. God bless. The Mat thing, I’m a little uncertain about. The surprising impression I get here is that Nynaeve is actually a little bit afraid of Mat, which is certainly not how I recall viewing their adversarial relationship; I had always seen it as being massive mutual irritation from too-similar amounts of tactlessness and intransigence. The notion that Nynaeve fears him is rather demeaning to her, in my opinion. Eh. I’m going to let this go until I see them interacting more in ACOS, and see where I fall then. I do have to love that Nynaeve doesn’t believe for a moment that Elayne will win the battle of wills with Mat; she may not have the best opinion of Mat, but she does know him well in some ways, you have to admit.

Elayne: gets major (if momentary) kudos here for actually extending courtesy and consideration to a non-Aes Sedai. Almost by accident, true, but her motivation is awesome: because that’s how she would want to be treated as a ruler. Golden Rule FTW! Also, let’s not disparage one of the very few times we see any character in WOT be totally honest with another whatever the motivation, because those times, they are rare, my friends – and incidentally, Jordan makes a point of showing the immediate beneficial payoff of doing so, as Tylin can be considered firmly in Elayne and Nynaeve’s camp from here on out. Cherish the love!


Gimme faith, gimme joy, gimme a weekend! Have fun, kids, and see you next week!

201 comments
Darth Touma
1. Darth Touma
The weekend is here.. thanks for the post..
Jay Dauro
2. J.Dauro
I still don't give the girls a complete pass on not knowing Mat's competence. Egwene was there when he took care of Coulidan, and the band formed. And should have seen and heard their praise of Mat.

And as I remember she also was there when he returned from Andor, and Moiraine commented on his accomplishments.

Unless we are going to assume the SGs never talk about things, I think they should have at least heard some of this. They may discount it, but they should at least have had it spoken of.
Darth Touma
3. Darth Touma
What struck me the funniest about chap 48 was how both Tylin and Beslan came across as these nice, demure, proper people.. and how that impression gets obliterated later.. LOL

Oh.. and I was first.. on my first ever post.. gotta love it.. LOL
AJ MacPherson
4. Mackey62
J @ 2

Of course they don't talk about things, Nobody in Randland talks about anything. Plus they left 2 or 3 days after Eg was raised, I am sure they didn't have a lot of time to chit chat about all their friends. Eg was planning on how to be a Leash-free AS. Mat's accomplishments are not a priority.

P.S. Love the whole Mat/Thom/Julian coversation about Brig and the bow. Classic.
John Fitzingo
5. Xandar01
To bad we're not on WH Prologue, there as at least a steam engine and a punk in that... Maybe the castle has some sepia colored windows somewhere?
Maiane Bakroeva
6. Isilel
Well, I have to note here that Elayne's criticisms of Mat's leadership actually have some foundation. I.e. his soldiers not having any rations on them and all the other minor problems, not to mention getting drunk certainly couldn't have convinced Elayne of his competence as commander.

Re: ter'angreal, I understand where Mat is coming from but... it is really important to figure out how it works. Imagine what a boon for the Light it could have been if Elayne could have made more of them! And she asked more or less nicely, too.

Ditto channeling at Mat. Sure, V@A should have asked - and they certainly shouldn't have used dung! But figuring out how to counter it was important - not that Elayne remembers what to do when gholam shows up.

I also kinda see Vandene and Adeleas's point re: Nynaeve and Elayne. They don't have AS general education and they didn't pass the test for the shawl. Their raising was pure nepotism and it is difficult to take them seriously.

The SGs are majorly lucky that Tylin isn't a DF - and a ruler in her position should have been a prime target for recruitment.
Nor does she try to gain some momentary advantage from their openness, which was another likely possibility. I guess Elayne has the right instincts...
Thomas Keith
7. insectoid
(twitches and shivers subside) Ahhhh.

I agree that Elayne is rather annoying here, but she does make up for it later on.

Mat's dice: Heh.

Birgitte's bow: Heh.

"Real" Aes Sedai: Grrr. Can't wait till El puts her foot down later.

Carridin: Do the SGs know he's a DF at this point? I have forgotten.

Tylin: This is about the only time I liked her; everything went dowwwwwwn hill in ACoS.

With all the misinformation floating around, it's a wonder anyone gets anything right. ;)
Darth Touma
8. tearl
Leigh,

NO ONE, except Rand and Lan (and Asmodean, for all the good that does), were or are in a position to know that Mat has any business whatsoever knowing what he’s doing in the slightest.

Actually, Eg should know as well. She was present at the "Morgase Is Dead" Announcement scene where Moi earlier said

"Andoran supply wagons burned, outposts destroyed. And three battles. Three battles, and three victories. With small loss to your own men, though outnumbered."..."Are you drawn to battles, or are they drawn to you?"
John Fitzingo
9. Xandar01
I am eager to see the Day that Setalle learns that she can be healed. Will she want to? Will she ever discover than Elayne has taken up the mantel of studying ter'angreal? Oh what goodness can come of that?

Speaking of which, did Setalle ever learn that the SGs were truly AS?
Darth Touma
10. jhbender00
I always assumed Elayne's motivation for inspecting the troops was her opinion that Mat, as an Andorman, is her subject, and thus the army is hers to inspect. And IIRC, doesn't she reveal later that she was practicing something her mother had taught her about developing loyalty in her men?

I agree it annoys me that she's in effect usurping Mat's command, but I respect the fact that she's making a concerted effort to improve her leadership skills.

I wonder too if Mat doesn't learn a little something about leading men, no matter how much he'd hate to admit it.
Darth Touma
11. alreadymadwiththesnoot
Do you remember something in the Stone that gives you a right to make demands of me? I don’t. I am just here to keep you and Nynaeve from getting holes poked in your hides in Ebou Dar.

Mat hit the nail on the head. Elayne is still riding on her airs as the ter'angreal girl. And approached Mat. She did ask nicely, but as with typical Aes Sedai speech, you need subtitles, "We are letting you keep it even if all ter'angreal rightly belong to the Tower." Mat said no at which Elayne starts using the nose. And the chin. Take note that they are warned about going into the Rahad by Tylin, but ignore the warning again even if it is this time given by the local ruler.

And yes, I agree with tearl, if Egwene thinks the army is just following Mat because Rand sicced him on them, she has a very short attention span.
Darth Touma
12. Elfender
I may be biased, loving both Mat and Nynaeve almost equally as my favorite WOT characters, but i think Nynaeve's real fears about mat come down to her sense of guilt at not being able to protect herself much less the Two Rivers boys, having to be saved by Mat, which though she'll admit only under duress, she knows happened...and lost, and most important, the power shift away from HER>

As a complete control freak, Nynaeve is having to come to terms with the fact that Mat/Rand/Perrin are thier own persons now, no longer the boys she helped raise. Mat however chooses to flaunt this new found freedom, and the shift in roles from protector to occasionally protected annoys..and possibly scares her ^^. IMO
Darth Touma
13. AppleBrandy
As for the "channeling at Mat" thing, that was a beyond-the-pale amount of bullshit

No, it was horse, not bull. :P

I would also love to see Setalle learn that the two young AS that she mistakenly hauled down to the kin turn out to be the one who learned to heal stilling and the one who knows more about ter'angreals then anyone else in a couple of millennia.
TW Grace
14. TWGrace
NO ONE, except Rand and Lan (and Asmodean, for all the good that does), were or are in a position to know that Mat has any business whatsoever knowing what he’s doing in the slightest.

Aviendha should, if she is in any way observant...

Since she was once a Maiden (I dont think they meant that when she put away the spears her brain went with them) she should have the experience to see Mat and the Band, and she also should have been around enough to have heard of his exploits.
David Siegel
15. bigscary
Mat also wants, desperately, everyone to believe that he's still the feckless young lad, most of all himself. The whole time with Tuon, he insists he's just gambler and a horse-trader; Perrin's more comfortable with his status than Mat is; and never, not once, does he pull rank on anyone except in the heat of battle (he only seems comfortable thinking of the Redarms as his drinking buddies, not as his dedicated, nigh-worshipful, subordinates).

That said, he wants the Supergirls to remember and respect him as the feckless young lad who cracked open The Stone of Tear, knowing it was full of Black Ajah and more, to help them out. Is it really only Birgitte gets that? That he doesn't want to be respected for his strategic prowess or his ties to Rand or his luck, that all he wants is a "thanks for inventing new demolition techniques to walk into certain doom to save two women who were always bossing you around back home and their friend"?
Darth Touma
16. alreadymadwithelaynesnose
jhbenderoo @10
Whatever Elayne had in mind while inspecting the men, improving her own leadership skills were the farthest from it. She already had a preformed opinion that she was a better leader and person than Mat. Given this, there is no way to fit a motivation to be a better leader. Her own motivation did not even include the welfare of the men no matter how it turned out. All she was focused on was flaunting Mat's failings. Most of which where due to their giving him practically no information on what they were to do in Ebou Dar.

AppleBrandy @13
I doubt Setalle would care much as even seasoned Aes Sedai fall short of her expectations in KoD. For her it's not just what they can do, but how they do it. How they deal with the world around them.

TWGrace @14
Maybe, or maybe not. Aviendha for most of this period was cloistered with the Wise Ones. And will be kept away from any Maiden business.
Darth Touma
17. ZamIt
I never really considered Nyn being afraid of Mat. I think it is more carry-over from the time she kicked him in the butt, and she's just leary of payback. She's really still following Egwene's advice to stay away from Mat for a while. Of course, Mat has moved on (mostly) but Nyn doesn't know that.
Darth Touma
18. douglasm
Isilel@6

Re: ter'angreal, I understand where Mat is coming from but... it is really important to figure out how it works. Imagine what a boon for the Light it could have been if Elayne could have made more of them! And she asked more or less nicely, too.

She may have used polite wording and tone, but she did not ask; she demanded. Her entire side of the conversation was arrogant presumption that she had the right to take it from him regardless of what he might want, and he quite rightly threw it back in her face.

If she had actually requested it instead and offered a reason why, such as that she might be able to duplicate it, I think there's a pretty good chance he would have let her have it - after extracting some promises about giving it back and not keeping it when she's not actively studying it.
Ron Garrison
19. Man-0-Manetheran
"So Egwene and Nynaeve, and by extension Elayne, really do have to be cut some slack for assuming that Mat is doing nothing more than riding on his BFF Dragon Reborn’s coattails" - Uhh. They do know he is ta'veren. That ought to give him some cred.

...And flinging horse turds with the One Power - surely that violates some AS oath! Or it should. I'm glad that at least the SG's didn't initiate it, but I'd have liked them to have done more to condem it.

All in all, RJ wrote it this way for a reason, and at some point Mat will get the respect he deserves from the girls.
john mullen
20. johntheirishmongol
I personally think Nynaeve is scared spitless that Mat will take the opportunity to get even with her for kicking him in the butt a couple of days before and she knows she cannot protect herself from him. And she is too annoyingly stubborn to apologize to him, and never do I believe her apology is heartfelt because Elayne makes her do it.

As for Elayne, she does treat Mat like a subject but to some extent its Mat's fault for stewing about what they got him into and not keeping his mind on business. Still Elayne was wrong here and was a lot of annoying but she earned forgiveness with her apologies later.

That said, both Elayne and Nynaeve should not have allowed the other 2 AS to abuse Mat like that. Mistakes all around.

I still think Setalle Anan is going to be a surprise when revealed and not the AS that everyone thinks. I get why they think so, because she was stilled and the AS who studied angreal was stilled so you have put 2 and 2 together.

Anyway between her and Tylin, I do enjoy the Ebou Dar sequence as much as any in the books. I do like Mat, probably the best of any character, but I enjoy him getting his comeuppance too because it is so funny.
T C
21. Freelancer
“I think she can shoot it.” Thom leaned across the table to slap Juilin on the back. “I think she can, Mat.”

Poor Thom. A bard with a story he cannot tell. A story to put many to shame, given it's provable in the flesh.

I still give Elayne a pass on treating Mat with no respect up to this point. He has been acting like a jerk (taking time out to show Egwene proper respect), and making declarations about his intentions, such as:
I am just here to keep you and Nynaeve from getting holes poked in your hides in Ebou Dar. You can ask Rand about ter’angreal after I deliver you to him.


Really, he had the moral high ground just before this, pointing out that Elayne had no right to order him to hand over the foxhead, simultaneously not reminding her directly that he had saved them in the Stone. Then he tosses it to the curb with this statement, calculated to put Elayne's nose, chin, and left buttock in a twist. Honestly, the snoot works both ways here, folks, and Mat has raised to match the pot.

Any presumption that Egwene would have or should have told Nynaeve and Elayne about Mat's battle prowess fails on two points. One, whether it's correct to say that Egwene has a bad attention span about it, maybe she didn't understand the inside purpose of Moiraine's statements about Mat being drawn to battles, or they to him. She wasn't privy to the fact that Mat had perfectly outlined the plans for the Shaido. She could still easily (and innocently) be under the impression that he was simply (as always) very lucky to have survived those battles, and nothing more. Two, supposing she sees that he really is competent as a battle leader, it's easy to see her not bothering to say so to Elayne and Nynaeve, because he isn't taking an army with him to Ebou Dar, just a platoon of Redarms. They don't see him as being along to protect them, but to keep him from Egwene so she can play the Band against the Hall's reluctance to move.

Hah, Elayne opens up to Tylin and reveals a plan, and The Wisdom asks if it was wise.

Oh, and Leigh, Nynaeve is afraid of Mat for one simple reason. She booted him in the backside, and he has promised her retribution. He made a promise.

Adeleas and Vandene. The girls, if they paid as much attention as some of the readers, would realize that there must be something to the business of runaways, or the "real Aes Sedai" couldn't have said so. Not that they'd be allowed to know more just by asking, but it's easy to see in the rear view mirror that it wasn't a total smokescreen story. Yes, the Tower knows about the Kin, and given their age, it's quite reasonable to think that these two in particular know quite a lot about the Kin, and would have an idea how to look into matters.


Tylin. Nice lady. ::coughcougarcough::
T C
22. Freelancer
Oh yeah. Elayne definitely went out of bounds trying to bully Mat into letting her study the foxhead. She could have done as Setalle Anan does later, and very gently asked if she could look at it. She could also have made it clear that she has acquired some skills regarding ter'angreal and would want to duplicate it if possible. But how she approached it was like trying to push Rand. Stubborn mode, ON!

johntheirishmongol@20

Speaking of Setalle, there's much more than 2 + 2 as evidence that she is indeed Martine Janata. Her insane interest in Mat's ter'angreal, in spite of her inability to channel, and therefore to do anything to or with it. This can only be because ter'angreal were a special interest to her in her channeling past. The timing is right between Martine being burned out and her arrival in Ebou Dar. And there's more, but here at work I can't look them up. Let's just say that I will be well beyond shocked if she isn't Martine Janata.
Darth Touma
23. mityorkie
Verily let us leave steampunk unto itself. For too soon (or already?) we will be encountering steam's incursion into Randland. I just hope it was a fluke that doesn't develop into actual plot for the last three books.
Ron Garrison
24. Man-0-Manetheran
Yes, Setalle Anan is Martine Janata. Martine was accidently stilled while working with ter'angreal.
Darth Touma
25. CR055
Mat shrugged. “I suppose she’ll do well enough as long as she really can shoot that bow. Down the wrong hole?” he asked Juilin, who had begun choking on his ale.

hahaha hilarious Mat, even if he's unaware of it.


i remember when i read this part i was soo confused about how Nynaeve treated Mat jsut because of his "threat" specially when all he wanted was to talk to her about Bode. Nyneave as Wisdom fails here =(
Darth Touma
26. wsean
This episode is just another in a long sequence of Mat getting treated badly by the SGs. By itself it's not that awful (and it's by no means one-sided), but the constant dismissals/putdowns/undermining get kind of old. Mat might be obnoxious sometimes (ok, a lot), but when it counts, he puts his butt on the line for them. They don't have to be grateful, but they could at least leave him alone.

As for Nynaeve being afraid... well, it's the classic bully problem. She'd been pushing Mat around, only to find that he can actually fight back. He's physically stronger, unaffected by channeling, and no longer intimidated by her being the Village Wisdom. Note that she stops being afraid as soon as they figure out how to get around the Foxhead's protection. The whole thing doesn't speak very well for Nynaeve. There's more to her than just a bully, but she doesn't show it here.

Finally--ah, Setalle. Gotta love her. She might not be able to channel (anymore), but she don't take no shit from nobody.
Darth Touma
27. peachy
Look, I like Elayne the best of the SGs, and she certainly redeems her showing here later on. But I can't cut her any slack at all for this chapter - someone trained by successful professionals in war should KNOW not to take the word of rank amateurs about such a specialised matter. There's an entire camp of Mat's troops there, no doubt bursting to tell of his exploits and answer any possible questions - if she isn't willing to ask them herself, she has a former Maiden of the Spear and Birgitte freakin' Silverbow along to make informed inquiries. Argh!

And really, that's what ends up frustrating me the most with Elayne - she actually knows what she's doing and isn't learning everything as she goes along (unlike the rest of the SFs except post-Rhuidean Mat)... so when she screws up like this she can't even plead ignorance.

The plus side is that she does learn from her mistakes - several hundred pages further along when Birgitte and Aviendha tell her "you done him wrong, sister", she sits down and replies "you're right, please help me to fix it." A crowning moment of awesome for her.

(@28 - I like Setalle, too, even if she is a naked plot contrivance; she and Mat have such a sweet moment in KoD. I really, really hope that burning out can be Healed...)
j p
28. sps49
Elayne is asking fto study Mat's medallion in a very grating way- "Some hold that ter’angreal are rightfully the property of Aes Sedai, but I do not require you to surrender it." sound to me like she thinks she can require him to surrender it. And if someone changes their mind, the medallion will be difficult to recover. She could try "please" and ask to look at it while he wears it.

Xandar01 @9-
If Setalle Anan is burned out instead of stilled, she is likely not Healable.
Asger Grunnet
29. asgerix
Leigh,

It seems you have let "Amrylin" slip into the dictionary of your spell-checker. Please remove it again. I know I am being a spelling nazi, and by some law of nature (I'm sure it has a name, but I could not find it when I googled for it just now), this post must necessarily contain at least one spelling or grammar mistake. Feel free to point it out.

I don't think I have said so before, but I am very grateful for this re-read of yours. You notice so many things that I completely missed when I read the books myself, and on top of that you are pretty funny as well. Thank you very much!
Captain Hammer
30. Randalator
Then he tosses it to the curb with this statement, calculated to put Elayne's nose, chin, and left buttock in a twist.

Now, here's something I'd like to see... *teehee*
T C
31. Freelancer
asgerix@29

If it makes you feel better, you could have capitalized Nazi. ::wink::

On the other hand, you were being polite while pointing out an error, instead of blunt and crude. That unnamed law to which you referred only goes into effect when someone is being snotty about someone else's mistakes.

Finally, thank you. I see those little errors, and twitch to say something, but restrain myself. Some comment posts just about induce a seizure. (Which you would think is spelled siezure, what with "I before E" and all that...)
Jay Dauro
32. J.Dauro
Xandar01 @9
johntheirishmongol @20
Man-0-Manetheran @24

Can Setalle Anan/Martine Janata be healed? She was not stilled, she was burned out. This is mentioned specifically by Vandene in tPoD Chapter 2.

From tBBoBA
The stilled woman, like the man who has been gentled, is cut off from the True Source, always tantalized by the sense of saidar, yet unable to touch or channel it. The woman who is burned out can neither channel nor sense the power.

So a stilled woman can still sense the power (this is mentioned often in WoT). But a woman who is burned out can no longer sense it. This could imply that she cannot be healed.

Of course, since I feel Nyn will heal death and regrow Rand's hand (there is a line in tSR that healing stilling is like trying to re-grow a severed hand), I wouldn't bet against it.
Darth Touma
33. Chrisco
Great post and thoroughly agreed with everything -- except this one sentence. "Mat’s screwup with the food, though understandable, is unfortunately exactly timed to reinforce her predisposed inclination to view him as incompetent." I think the term "screwup" is unfair here, as Mat's operating on a complete dearth of information. He was given an ultimatum to go to Ebou Dar, doesn't know the mission, and doesn't know any of the logistics. His assumption that they're going to gate to the city - where, with his gold, he can buy supplies for his troops - is totally reasonable. (I mean, didn't we all cry foul when we were told how long the trip was going to take?) So the lack of preparation isn't Mat's fault; it's the fault of the SGs for not giving him any info beyond their destination.

I really like the SGs, btw, and while Mat is buckets of awesome at time, and really funny at times, I also find him to be the most annoying character at times...which is a personality conflict. I think I'd find him annoying irl. My sympathy's all with him, here, though.

Somebody mentioned Nynaeve failing as Wisdom, here, and I'm taking that opportunity to say that Nynaeve's character really seems, post TFOH, to become less mature and less competent, which bugs me. She was not so lacking in self-awareness earlier on - like in TSR when she makes a joke about how Elayne should look to her to see how she controls her temper! Nynaeve's still a favorite, but I wish she were less caricatured at this point in the story.

Kudos to Elayne for being honest with Tylin...I just wish honesty between characters wasn't limited to same gender relationships. The thing *I* find most annoying about WOT gender roles is that all the men are always on the same side against all the women, who are always on the other side. Birgitte I think is the only exception...otherwise, there's no hint of men whose best friends are women, or vice versa, or characters who get along equally well with both sexes. IRL, I know several folks like that (including me), so the constant battle lines between the sexes bugs the heck out of me.

And to conclude this rambling post...asgerix @ 29 wrote "I don't think I have said so before, but I am very grateful for this re-read of yours. You notice so many things that I completely missed when I read the books myself, and on top of that you are pretty funny as well. Thank you very much!"

This *almost* perfectly sums up my feelings (and my thanks) as well, except that I would substitute "uproariously, liquids-snorted-through-nasal-passages, drop-dead, delightfully hilarious" in place of the words "pretty funny." In the last week and a half, I've read through all the posts from TEOTW to this one, and I've been in stitches the whole time. Plus, I know have headdesk added to my vocabulary, in noun, verb, and adjectival forms...which is really handy. :)
Darth Touma
34. Rand al'Todd
re @20,22, 24 on Setalle Anan as Martine Janata:

From encl-wot entry on Martine Janata:
* Circa 935 NE - Shortly after being raised to Aes Sedai Martine begins her study of ter'angreal. (TPoD,Ch2)
* Circa 975 NE - After forty years of study she is stilled by an unknown ter'angreal. She disappears from the White Tower. (TPoD,Ch2)
* Martine Janata makes her way to Ebou Dar. Jasfer Anan finds her on the streets near starvation and takes her home. She marries him and starts a new life as Setalle Anan. (KoD,Ch7, KoD,Ch9)

From encl-wot entry on Verin:
# Seventy years ago, Verin begins a project. (LoC,Ch11)
# Some time in the past, Verin experiments with the twisted ring and Tel'aran'rhiod and she is injured. Anaiya tries to Heal her but it does not work. (TDR,Ch21)

It would be very interesting to learn that Verin was the one who set Martine/Setalle to investigate the twisted ring (as part of Verin's project) and both were injured due to using it. I don't think we have seen the two of them on-stage together. That might be yet another interesting meeting to add to our list.
John Massey
35. subwoofer
Steampunk?

Meh.

There is no spoon.

Woof™.
Andrew Jenson
36. Redwing
Isilel @ 6

Feeling very charitable and empathetic today, aren't we? You must have had a good solid breakfast... :)

I think you emphasize something that Jordan does well most of the time. It's hard to make a reader sympathetic to a wide variety of characters at the same time, but Jordan seems to make it work. I love to see a situation where you want to say to a character, "what in the world are you doing, idiot?!?"...but then when you think about it you realize it's a perfectly reasonable response given that character's history and the information available.

It still might cause a *headdesk*, but at least you understand where they are coming from. Now if they would only TALK once in a while...

Off-topic, but my favorite recent example of this is Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica. I was practically yelling at the screen that she was messing everything up, only to realize later that her responses to the situation were very logical and maybe even warranted given the information she had at the time. Love it!
R B
37. MasterAlThor
So like everyone else I too apreciate all that you are doing Leigh. Good job.

Elayne,

Someone said that Elayne is their fav of the SGs. She happens to be my second fav, Avi is the best hands down. Not my opinion, just stating a fact. Lol.

Anyway, she loses major brownie points. What did Leigh say about needing a cookie and a hug? I need one cause of this. I mean seriously, do you think that you can just come off as high-handed as that and not get a smartalcky remark? Really?

Isilel @6

Can you cut Mat some slack? He admitted that he thought that the trip was going to be short. He treated Eggs with respect because she was a TR's girl and his friend. And it doesn't matter how important his Ter'angreal is you just don't go chucking poo at anyone. You sure as heck wouldn't want that to happen to you.

I agree with you about A and V. They were acting very much in character. I also agree that if Tylin was a DF, we would have two less SGs. MO
Alice Arneson
38. Wetlandernw
Xandar01 @ 9 - I thought Nynaeve tried to Heal Setalle and couldn't find anything to work with because she was burned out rather than stilled... I'll find the reference. Maybe Damer can do it, but I don't think so.

About Elayne, Mat and the ter'angreal, ummm...
However, she does not require that he give it up, only that he let her study it in the evenings.
This does not read to me like "asking nicely." This is demanding in a relatively pleasant fashion, as though she had every right to demand it outright and was being extra nice in letting him keep it during the day. Which is pretty much what she thought, but since she has no idea where he got it - or the price he paid for it - it's a bit of a pushy place to start! Let it be noted that I am NOT an Elayne-hater, but this is certainly one of her less-than-endearing moments. The basic courtesy of simply asking about it, expressing curiosity rather than demanding cooperation, would have gone a LONG way to get what she actually wanted. *sigh* Come down off the throne, girl - you haven't earned it yet, literally (or figuratively wrt Mat). (douglasm @18 said much of this; so right!) And every time through, I've gotten irritated with her "inspecting the men" thing, even if it is kind of funny at times. *sigh* Less than endearing.

But about the girls not recognizing Mat's credentials... Sorry, guys, but you'd be amazed at how much attention a 17- or 18-year-old girl can NOT pay when people are talking about battles, generals, who's leading whom... Yes, Egwene did take part in the battle itself, and yes she was there when Moiraine was talking to Mat, but that still doesn't mean she was taking note or recognizing the level of awesome they were talking about when giving Mat his kudos. Seriously, it's not that surprising that Egwene didn't really register just how great a leader Mat was, nor that she didn't make a thing about telling Nynaeve and Elayne all about it. Aviendha I'm not so sure about, but I'm guessing she just doesn't get all the interactions going on, thinking she doesn't understand wetlanders. Also, as someone mentioned, she was pretty tied up with the WOs and not involved in fighting as a Maiden. Eventually she learns more and really calls them down for their treatment of him.

Chrisco @33 Plus, I now have headdesk added to my vocabulary, in noun, verb and adjectival forms...which is really handy. Love it! LOL - and welcome to the madhouse.
R B
39. MasterAlThor
Now I can just imagine a world wide headdesk day. People from all over just banging their heads down on a desk.

ROFLMAO funny. I love it here.
John Massey
40. subwoofer
Going with AMW(?!) on the whole Elayne with her nose in the air thing. It really burned my ass that she was being so subversive w/ Mat's men. Mat should of lured some birds or something to poop in Elayne's bed sheets. Just sayin', not that I would do anything like that if I was in Mat's situation...

Big Scary put it succinctly. Avi needs to call these girls out. In quite a few cases, Aiel Ji'e'toh really does cut to the quick of matters. Ny and Elayne have toh to Mat. They owe him one, and carry on as if they don't makes things worse.

Same thing for Perrin. His focus on Faile really gets me down too. Gaul scratching his head and asking about "wetlander humor" spoke for me. Faile is out of small clothes, so let her be a grown up. Perrin really becomes a head case for the next few books.

Mat...
Mat shrugged. "I suppose she'll do well enough as long as she really can shoot that bow. Down the wrong hole?" he asked Juilin, who had begun to choke on his ale.


Ahhhhhhhh! Good times!

Er... Hi Leigh waves. Glad to see you have stopped destroying furniture with your forehead. Perhaps a Perrin-like axe or hammer, would save the ol' noggin.

Woof™.
Rob Munnelly
41. RobMRobM
Leigh, Lsiel, Free - giving the girls way too much credit here. The behavior is inexcusable in its own right and especially in the context of the overall situation.

First, while he was obnoxious in his message delivery, Mat took his army all the way across Randland to freakin help the three of them. If they didn't want help, they could have said "no thank you" and ask him to leave them alone, just as Elayne did later in having Rand clear out of Camelyn. Or tell Mat directly that Elayne wants to take the throne but has to do the Ebou Dar trip first would be happy to have him come if he stays out of their way or does what they say to help them. They didn't do any of the above, but their behavior should have reflected that he was putting himself out of his way to help them.

Second, Egwene and the girls decided to manipulate Mat and the Band for their own political advantages, at a cost of separating him from the Band and taking him on an out of the way trip that would last at least a couple of weeks. Again, their behavior should have reflected the understanding that they were inconveniencing him and his Army for their own private benefit.

And, third, they kept him ignorant of their true mission and underlying goals, causing him understandable uncertainty and upset - and hunger when he finally figures out that they need a five day trip to get to Ebou Dar. And later, agita when he tries to marshall his men to help them and they hide from them without any explanation or justification. Nyneave goes so far later as to not tell him that two of his men died in the balefire attack.

After having all that "toh" built up, what do they do? They treat him like dirt - and allow him to be treated like dirt by others, which is the same thing. Nyn won't give him info on his sister - which is an eminently reasonable request, given the shock of finding out his kid sister was going to train to be AS. Elayne interposes herself into his management of his Bandmembers, which threatens to damage his relationship with them. (Note that even if Elayne claims authority over her subjects, a doubtful position given that the Band is mostly made up of Cairheians and Tairens and Mat is from the Three Rivers, which is de facto independent for gnerations, she knows the rule of Daes D'amar that you work through your subordinates (i.e., Mat) unless you are trying to undercut them, in which case you intervene directly. She is deliberately messing with him.) They let Vandean and Adeleas hurl sh*t at him without making any effort to rein them in or to at least explain to Mat that V and A are the ones doing it. Finally, Elayne tries to get the ter'greal using just about the most obnoxious, arrogant manner possible. AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH.

As I've noted in past posts, I like all three Supergirls but their behavior here is extraordinarily bad. They fully deserve the ensuing lack of popular support among fandom that they are able to overcome to some level later in the series.

Rob
Rob Munnelly
42. RobMRobM
The Setalle thing will be cool when they get her to Camelyn and she can work with Elayne and Avi to identify and make use of the ter'greals they have and make new ones. I don't believe she can be healed, as she is burned out rather than stilled, but her knowledge will be critically useful. Rob
Alice Arneson
43. Wetlandernw
Uh, Rob, you're getting your timeline all messed around. Some of the events you're talking about haven't happened yet, so they couldn't really be taken into considerations here... Not that I disagree, essentially, but I think there are some reasons you haven't considered.

And let's not forget that since "lack of commmunication" is a primary theme for the series, none of the characters know all the things we know. Heck, even if it weren't a theme, we have a huge advantage: we get to flip the pages back and forth to verify what was/wasn't said by and to whom. They're just stuck with whatever they've been told, and only what they can actually remember of what they've heard or seen. Bad attitudes are bad, but when it's based on the best info you've got, what can you do?
Darth Touma
44. peachy
@40 - Avi does call them out once she gets the full story explained; the scene in ACOS where Birgitte comes back from getting sloshed with Mat and she and Avi have a heart-to-heart with Elayne is priceless. It's a scene that does a lot to redeem Elayne for me; she realises she screwed up and she's willing to fix it. (Meanwhile, Nyn spends that section stamping her foot and behaving like a petulant toddler.)

@43 - I agree that we can't fault characters when they're acting on the best available information; as I noted above, what vexes me about Elayne in this section is that she can get better information, and should know that she needs it... and still chooses not to.
Rob Munnelly
45. RobMRobM
@43 - Wet, yes, I have given some examples of future aggravating actions but the base point remains the same - he was there to help them, they used him for their own good at great inconvenience to him, and them still treated him with inexcusable disrespect, both at this point in the story and continuing into Ebou Dar (partially offset once Birgitte and Avi intervene). And if they actually took the time to obtain additional information from Mat or about Mat, they'd learn that their actions were even more unjustified. Based even on what they know it is beyond the pale.

Back to my head desking. *head desk* *head desk*

Rob
Alice Arneson
46. Wetlandernw
peachy @44 - It's totally obvious to us that Elayne should have put forth a little effort to get better info, and it would really only have taken a little effort. However, I don't quite see that she "should know that she needs it" at this point. Given what she doesn't know, it would be nice if she asked one or two more questions of more appropriate people. OTOH, given what she doesn't know, she doesn't have any way to know that she needs to know more. I know it's convoluted to say it that way, but there it is. I definitely fault Elayne for her high-handedness, because she shouldn't treat people that way at all (IMHO), but I honestly can't fault her for not searching out what we know to be the truth about Mat. How should she know that if she only knew the truth, she's got a great general and strategist riding with her?

If there's fault, maybe we should go back to Rand, who could have written a letter explaining that Mat has "mysteriously acquired powers" that make him a master tactician as well as ta'veren and recommending that they take advantage of this to take care of the Andoran throne thing, and whatever help he can provide the others as well. Oh, hold it a minute: Rand had no way of knowing that Egwene was going to Salidar to be Amyrlin, and that Elayne & Nynaeve would have priorities to trump even the Lion Throne; nor did he know that the SAS were a very large group, had already elected a Hall and an Amyrlin, and were in the process of building their own army.

Oh, and let's not forget that if everyone knew everything we know they need to know, there wouldn't be much of a story to read...
Darth Touma
47. peachy
@46 - I see your point, but I disagree. Elayne knows that Mat commands a substantial army, a small part of which is along to provide assistance on a vital mission, but the only assessment she has of his command ability comes from two women with no military education who knew him as a kid. As someone trained personally by a great captain, she really ought to know what that assessment is worth. For a queen-to-be, finding out more is just simple 'due diligence' - instead she assumes that she knows everything she needs to already, with predictable consequences.

If Morgase and Gareth Bryne had seen this episode, they would have taken turns ripping her up one side and down the other, and deservedly so. If she had made careless mistakes like this later on, we'd be hailing Queen Arymilla of Andor. (Ugh.)
Darth Touma
48. Rand al'Todd
Sorry for long post but its Loony Theory time:

I would wait until later (one of the books/chapters with Cadsuane) but Oct 27 is approaching fast. Although the reveal associated with this Loony Theory will probably not come in Gathering Storm.

We know Caddy has a bunch of ter’angreals, and we are led to suspect she got them during or after an encounter with "Norla, a toothless wilder in the Black Hills" who "taught a humbling lesson shortly after Caddy attained the shawl. (WH,Ch34, CoT,Ch23)

When we think about what we know from the appearance and ages of the Kin, we realize that it would take a LONG, LONG time for a channeler to age enough to be described at "old and toothless."

Then we check "the Strike at Shayol Ghul." Latra Posae Decume was the female Aes Sedai who opposed Lews Therin and single handedly prevented any woman from helping make a circle during the strike. From a footnote:

"Before her death during the Breaking (which cannot be specified from the evidence of the manuscript, unfortunately either as to time or place), Latra Posae apparently rose to a prominence which rivaled that of Lews Therin before her. During the fighting against the Shadowsworn... she gained the name Shadar Nor, best translated as "Cutter of the Shadow" or perhaps "Slicer of the Shadow"..."

So Loony Theory:

Norla, the toothless wilder was really Latra, aka Shadar Nor, Aes Sedai from before the Breaking, whose death was undocumented. She obviously had a stash of sophisticated ter’angreals and a tremendous knowledge of the plans to seal the bore. Knowledge which we will discover has been passed on to Caddy, presumably for her to share with the Dragon Reborn.

Also, we know she hid out in the Black Hills, site of a spire from the Age of Legends (seen in passing by the rulers of the Borderlands in the KoD Prologue). Interesting to see if it contains Latra/Norla's superweapon.

Frankly, I would not be surprised if Norla is not still alive in the Black Hills (possibly after going to the Finn - her 'gift' being to live until the Dragon Reborn fixes "her mistake" by properly sealing the bore - no doubt using seven new seals and a full circle, this time with both male and female channelers working together.)
Pete Pratt
49. PeteP
El and Nyn are just being down right stupid here. Eg sent Mat with them so that he, with his inate ability to shift events around him, might help them find the stash faster. Instead, they do all they can to avoid his assistance, as well as annoy him.

As to the journey, remember that Moiraine did a whole lot of crap to Lan when they first met -- intentionally inflicting discomfort and pain upon him for petty reasons.
sandi vogel
50. sinfulcashew
48. Rand al'Todd
"Sorry for long post but its Loony Theory time:"

I love it! It actually makes so much sense.
Personally I do not remember Latra, but it sounds good to me!
Russell Holley-Hurt
51. Ruslanchik
I just want to say for the record that the raising of Elayne and Nynaeve to Aes Sedai was a bad move. Elayne can at least pretend at being a AS, but Nynaeve has a complete lack of self control that is unbecoming of an AS. I know that at some point (I'm guessing it comes in APoD or WH ) she becomes a strong Aes Sedai, but here and in ACoS she is still as childish as ever.

Let it be known that I love Nynaeve and think she is completely awesome as a character. I hate it when she is proven to be rash and wrong, but her interactions with Mat show that she is mostly an idiot who cannot see past her own emotions. If there is one characteristic common to all Aes Sedai it is that they do not get emotionally involved in their work (or at least appear detached at all times). Nynaeve is incapable of this and loses her cool in almost every chapter.

I'm not sure if RJ intended the reader to feel that it was just that Elayne and Nynaeve were raised or if he just did it that way because it was the most convenient way to get them involved in some more adventures, but (at least in my opinion), looking at it in context, it was a poor move by Egwene and I understand why the other AS do not accept them.

Plus, they are both assholes to Mat and will continue to act this way for the foreseeable future, which I cannot abide.

Peace out!
Alice Arneson
52. Wetlandernw
... and will continue to act this way for the foreseeable future, which I cannot abide. Not that you have any choice, other than discontinuing your reread... :P
Thomas Keith
53. insectoid
J.Dauro @32: I have been meaning to ask this for awhile, but keep forgetting: what does "tBBoBA" stand for?

MasterAlThor @39: BAHAHAhahaha... *sniff*

*headdesking*: I agree with Woof; we all need to encourage Leigh not to damage her head on furniture! ;) Speaking of which: RobM²...save yourself!

Rand al'Todd @48: Wow...nice loony theory!
Jay Dauro
54. J.Dauro
insectoid @53

The Big Book of Bad Art aka
The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time

Review

Once you have seen it, you will understand.
Maiane Bakroeva
55. Isilel
Frankly while I dislike the stupid SG behavior here and dislike even more that the whole inane "let's Travel faaar away from our destination and then trudge to it at a glacial pace" thing was included just to devote a whole chapter to foolish gender struggles, I can't really become too indignant about SGs lack of gratitude, because I never saw any of the TR boys thanking their rescuers either and more often than not they were obnoxious and rude to the latter too (particularly since it often was Moiraine or other AS). Oh, they'd repay the favor, sure, but so would SGs.
Mat's inner and outer monologue is full of gender disparagement too, so there isn't much to choose between him and Nyn :).

Re: supplies, I thought seasoned campaigners always had at least a day's ration along? IIRC Bryne's men did.

Re: what Elayne should have found out about Mat - well, didn't Mat know that Nyn and El rescued Egwene from Falme? That they escorted him to Tar Valon afterwards through rather unsettled territory? Yet he insists on seeing and treating them as helpless idiots.

Etc., etc. Basically, I see a ton of mutual obtuseness.

Now, stuff like Alanna's bonding of Rand or Tylin's molestation (to term it mildly) of Mat - those do make me well and truly indignant.
Darth Touma
56. Stone Dog
Having just reread Moiraine's test for the shawl in New Spring I can completely understand the attitude of all Aes Sedai who have passed this test in not accepting anyone who has not done so as 'real' Aes Sedai regardless of any other accomplishments they have.
Thomas Garst
57. Garstzilla
A lot going on during these two chapters, but I wanted your thoughts on Matt's ease at the end of the chapter allowing randomness to park him right in Setalle Anan's Inn. He knew he was using his abilities right then, maybe not exactly what for but he knew if picked at random the best possible good would come of his choice. What is agony is the time it takes for all the pieces to come together after Matt makes this choice. This is where it all starts though is right here. “Mistress Anan, I feel like I’ve come home.” and then the dice stop.
Rob Munnelly
58. RobMRobM
@53 - as I'm home with my son all day (my DD is trying out for one of the kid roles in the Boston Ballet Nutcracker (she has made it the last two years)) and my son wants to go for a long bike ride, I'll have my bike helmet on a good chunk of the day and will be protected against excessive headdesking damage (I hope). Rob

@48 - that is a really loony theory, given that Latra lived in the Age of Legends three thousand years before, but it is a fun one. I do wonder whether we'll get any more info from Cadsaune about said wilder - that would be interesting.
Jay Dauro
59. J.Dauro
Isilel @55

Mat's men had some dried meat and hard bread. Probably enough for a day or two. Not enough for 5 days.
Maiane Bakroeva
60. Isilel
@48 Rand al'Todd:

Norla, the toothless wilder was really Latra, aka Shadar Nor, Aes Sedai from before the Breaking, whose death was undocumented. She obviously had a stash of sophisticated ter’angreals and a tremendous knowledge of the plans to seal the bore.

Hm... but weren't OP flows-cutting ter'angreal unknown during the AoL? There seemed to be a somewhat inconsistent wonder-creating activity flourishing during the Breaking:

The Ways. I mean, if it was possible to create something like this, making an absolutely secure refuge from the Breaking for Aiel and other people should have been a snap. Also, why not have them in the AoL instead of/in addition to their other transport systems.

Far Madding ter'angreal - another great protection, although unlike the Ways the whole earth shaking/follow up geological activity and climate changes would still apply

OP-detection and flow-cutting ter'angreal, which leave the Forsaken completely dumbfounded and which really should have existed during the War of Power. Etc.

The "toothless wilder" may have been a pre-Hawkwing AS, who decided to go renegade rather than have her life-span cut more then in half by the Oaths or one who learned the truth about the Rod, freed herself and ditto.
I don't see how Latra could have survived for more than 3K years, this is too much even for the strongest channeler. Nor would it be like the little we know of her to be idle for so long. And anyway, I suspect that Egwene or Moiraine may be her re-born.

I have my own crazy idea about Latra - IMHO she went to the *Finn in the end and deposited her knowledge and possibly the Ring of Tamyrlin with them. And that's why rescuing Moiraine is critical for Rand's success.

I also don't think that Latra was wrong per se to oppose LTT. When something like the Fateful Concord can effectively stump the strongest ta'veren ever, there is more going on, IMHO, such as the Pattern is clearly backing his opponents.
Because if saidar got tainted too, it would have been curtains for creation at the end of the next Age, perhaps?
stefan warsink
61. grubber
wow. I so enjoy all of this :)
thank you all, for brightening my rainy days! (leigh most of all, of course)

I wanted to put some off-topic point of interest down here, because I don't think it's easy to fit it anywhere..

I started thinking if any of the 'good guys' fight dirty? it seems in my mind (and I have no access to the books and my last reread was over a year ago), that they all come across as really 'honest' in fights.
rand the technical guy, perrin the ferocious/driven, and mat focused on survival. from this, you would expect mat to do some gougin', bitin' and kneein'..
because I definitely would..

any thoughts?
William Fettes
62. Wolfmage
I just cannot for the life me get upset with this section. This is one of those instances where I think tugthis's point applies about the warts of the journey being a necessary part of the story and any future payoff. There is also just so much blame to go around here that any serious attempt to determine fault between the parties is doomed to be an infinite regress which we end up resolving by resorting to our pre-existing biases for and against certain characters. Those biases are pretty apparent in many of the responses, and I certainly wouldn’t be any different if I tried.

To me, this arc is essentially similar to the menagerie section, in that it’s meant to serve as a funny interlude which is more about setting the scene in preparation for the next main plot sequence. That is, the journey sets up the foundational dynamics between Mat and the SGs and the SGs and the full Aes Sedai, as well as showing us the limits of Mat’s ter’angreal, prior to the Ebou Dar proper arc. In doing so, it’s quite a bit less frustrating to read if you surrender to the generally comedic nature of the sequence.

So, I guess in that respect I’m comfortable accepting it at face value more than some others here. I think an utterly serious approach is also a bit credulous considering how little is really at stake. I am happy to concede that the chain of command is essential to save lives, and so Elayne is walking a fine line here. However, I don’t accept that her level of interference is really enough to truly threaten anything. We’re talking about a small subset of Band Redarms here, not even a single Banner, and she isn’t doing enough to achieve much more than Mat’s irritation at someone puncturing Vanin’s incorrigible indifference to rank. Nothing suggests Elayne actually corrupts Band unity or Mat's authority - and it won't be until they conceal the deaths of the Redarm escorts that you could say they do anything immoral.

Similarly, Mat’s discomfort at being subjected to channeling is poor form by the SAS, but never so terrible for me to step outside its comedic and plot purpose. Knowing the limits of the ter'angreal is important, and Mat isn't exactly forthcoming with it. I fully accept Freelancer’s take on the whole subject here. Mat arguably has the high moral in this situation at first, but he acts so smarmy and provocative, and cuts off his nose to spite his face, for that to hold much water.
Peter Nein
63. gimpols1908
Ok, I know I am in a little late on this one but how is... and I quote fromLeah Elayne coolly informs him that his medallion is a ter’angreal, which some consider are the rightful property of Aes Sedai only. However, she does not require that he give it up, only that he let her study it in the evenings.

How in the world is that nice. How about, "Mat, I have noticed you have a ter'angrel in your possession. It is unlike any I have ever seen before. You have my personal guarantees that if you let me study it in the evenings that none of the AS will channel at you while it is in my possession."

That is asking nicely. Not I see you have something that some consider to belong to us, but I wont take it." That is putting up a threat and then solving that threat in the same sentence. To me that is on par with the Sloman Shield commercials. (for those who have not seen these abominations the script is something like this - That's a nice house I see you don't have an alarm system, aren't you afraid? -family- "Getting afraid!")

Mat also knew they could travel, how was he supposed to know that it was going to be more than a one or 2 day ride. I little information goes along way.
William Fettes
64. Wolfmage
gimpols1908 @ 63

"How in the world is that nice. How about, "Mat, I have noticed you have a ter'angrel in your possession."

Yeah, there's no way you can interpret that as polite. It's not exactly a veiled threat, but she effectively presents her demand for possession as a concession against the force of an impliedly rightful ownership claim - which is obviously disingenuous and obnoxious.

The importance of the ter'angreal might count for something, but it doesn't make her approach any less offensive and doomed to failure. She could have at least asked Mat as a petitioner, and explained her unique status as the best person to study such an item, given her limited success with duplicating other ter'angreal. That might not have succeeded but it would have been the best approach, if she could get over herself for five seconds.
Erika
65. Siuanfan
Warning: wall o' text. :D

I swear I think Elayne gets way too much flak from people for this chapter. If we step back from 'Mat is awesome and anyone who annoys him is an assmonkey', was anything Elayne did *that* bad in context? She asked/demanded Mat allow her to study the ter'angreal. Yes, because she was taught that all ter'angreal rightfully belong to the Tower. They were made by Aes Sedai and are their property.

In her mind, she was being perfectly reasonable in informing him of this and then very nice by stating that she did not intend to enforce Tower law (which is what it is), but only wanted to look at it. Reasonable, from her perspective. No it had nothing to do with her thinking Mat was beneath her or anything else like that. Then he replies with his typical smug bastard responses, because he has his own ideas about who Elayne is as a person because she happens to be nobly born and he figures she needs to be taken down a peg.

He could have easily said truthfully that he paid the price for it and won't part with it since it's the only protection he has. But he instead opts for "you can't tell me what to do, nyah nyah and btw as soon as you little girls are done playing around, I'm planning to giftwrap you for your little boyfriend regardless of how you feel about it because I told him I would." So he's just as guilty as everyone else of addressing her based on his own preconceptions of who he thinks she is - a spoiled, chin-in-the-air, incompetent noblewoman. Which may have some elements of truth (chinwise, anyway), but Elayne more than the others is much more willing to self-correct when she realizes she's wrong and she can have much more humility than say Nynaeve or even Egwene. If he'd responded to her with respect (as she clearly thought she was doing towards him), she wouldn't have lost her temper.

But Mat's got a little bit of smugness now that he thinks he's protected from Aes Sedai so he pushes the envelope with them to downright rudeness when a polite "no thanks" would do just as well. Not that he doesn't have provocation due to standard Aes-Sedai-to-non-Aes-Sedai behaviour in general, but he's taking that out on Elayne when she really was attempting to be respectful and polite to him, even if she can't help being a princess in her demeanor.

He appears to assume that people are only polite to Aes Sedai because they fear them, and since he doesn't have to fear them, he doesn't have to be polite either... and he takes a childish glee in demonstrating that he doesn't have to. The mature thing to do is be polite to people regardless of their title because that's the decent way to behave. However he thinks that if he demonstrates any iota of respect towards them, they're going to try to run over him like they do everyone else. Which is probably true, but a firm but polite "no" once in a while will show them that they can't. I offer Gareth Bryne as an example of someone who doesn't fear Aes Sedai but can be mature and polite to them, person to person without the need to demonstrate "I don't have to listen to you! HA-ha!"

Mat's demeanor to Elayne, based off of his A) not believing they're real Aes Sedai, B) not having confidence that they know what they're doing, and C) HA-ha *point and laugh* attitude toward channelers because he feels immune to everything OP causes him to act like.. sorry to say it.. kind of a dick where the supergirls are concerned. I think all Elayne's actions following this point are a reaction to his attitude, not a flaw in her personality. In essence, he brought it upon himself.

Next - the troops. I don't think Elayne is trying to "steal Mat's troops" away from him. She's a friggin princess for Pete's sake. And one thing royalty is taught is that when you personally inspect troops and give them recognition and praise it puts them on cloud nine and gains their loyalty (not towards her as opposed to Mat, but just loyalty to her as a person in general). This is just basic common sense - if you have an armed force anywhere near you, the prudent thing is to have them see you as someone they'd actually fight for/with, not someone they'd oppose. And if they like her, they're more likely going to treat her with respect just out of admiration, instead of copying Mat's attitude and sneering at her at every turn, which was quite possible, considering how much they try to be like him, and that could have caused any number of problems in the long run, for him, as much as her. She's practicing her leadership skills here (as someone earlier mentioned), and I think there's also a little bit of showing Mat that she's not an incompetent little girl like he seems to think.

She came to him with respect (maybe he doesn't think so, but I'm positive that she did) and he responded by talking down to her, which put her back up - for one, in her mind she's practically his Queen and he could at least be polite out of respect for that, and for two - she's been trained in the Royal Palace of Andor *and* the White Tower, she's been raised Aes Sedai on top of being Daughter-Heir, she's faced Forsaken and Black Ajah, she's had adventures and dangers and trials that most Aes Sedai wouldn't have seen even years after being raised, she's been placed in a position of leadership several times and has managed to come through it (with a few knocks and lessons learned but she did come through it) and yet EVERYONE is still treating her like a dumb kid that can't put one foot in front of the other. You'd be pissed too.

So when Mat does the same thing, she decides to demonstrate her own considerable skills and maybe knock a little of his smugness off of his face when she shows him that she actually knows a few things. Sure it was partially intended to annoy him and get him to start listening to her, but it was really intending to show him that she's worth listening to and worthy of leadership and worthy of respect. Her downfall here is that she doesn't know Mat very well, so instead of gaining his respect as he takes note of her valuable leadership skills, he's just irritated because he doesn't like anyone trying to "lead" him anywhere. She's trying to prove to herself and everyone else that she's worthy of the authority that she holds as Aes Sedai (and will hold, as Queen) and he pretty much hates authority figures regardless of whether or not the authority is merited.

Now before I get pounced upon by the pro-Mat crowd, I like Mat, but I think he's just as responsible, if not more, for Elayne's actions here. I thought everything she did was pretty much justified because Mat's the one who needed to see that he's dealing with people who are as competent in their own way as he is in his, and I lol'd because it was good to see him get a little comeuppance for making assumptions about other people's competence or lack thereof.

Both of them needed to learn a lesson in working together instead of being all "I'm in charge, because I know what I'm doing and you don't". That's why nothing gets done until they manage to rely on each other's skills to accomplish their goal.

I consider this whole upcoming segment a lesson on the benefits of cooperation vs. the uselessness of every Indian wanting to be the Chief and underestimating the people you've got working for you. This lack of trust and communication and cooperation is the Light's biggest liability. Interestingly enough, it is also the Dark's liability, but on the Dark side everyone really IS untrustworthy and looking for an opportunity to stab each other in the back. But they're a more efficient group dynamic because even when they don't trust each other, they generally obey out of fear, and therefore stuff actually gets done. The Light's champions are all "I don't fear you, but I also don't trust you to know what you're doing - only I know best" and therefore they refuse to cooperate, share information, or rely on each other and it's biting them all in the ass. I think both Elayne and Mat demonstrate this problem in the Ebou Dar section, but only Elayne seems to be taking shit from everybody about it. :P
William Fettes
66. Wolfmage
Siuanfan @ 65

Wall-o-text is right, and that's saying something coming from me.

I agree with much of that, at least in terms of the overall thrust of your argument that Elayne does not deserve as much criticism as she receives here.

Where I disagree is only that I don't think her approach about the medallion was reasonable. It doesn't really matter what Aes Sedai presumptions are about ter'angreal. She is barely a full Aes Sedai anyway, and certainly still indebted to Mat. But the main point is that the medallion is Mat's private property, and she can't leverage such presumptions to make Mat acknowledge her demand as a concession. Any assurances of hers to return it in the morning are meaningless in that context - because she is offering them as a voluntary gesture in the arrangement, which is basically a foregone conclusion in her mind. It's just ridiculous logic. Fact is, she is not requesting, she is demanding, and she does so in an highly imperious and haughty manner, without providing any real rationale outside her dubious entitlement as an Aes Sedai.

The fact that Mat's response is juvenile and calculated to put her back up serves as tit-for-tat, robbing him of the high moral ground.
T C
67. Freelancer
Wetlandernw@38

Mat is the first character we know of to learn that Setalle had been a channeler, and that's in KoD. Nynaeve was long gone from Ebou Dar, and none of our main female channelers has been in contact since. So no, there has been no attempt to heal Setalle. The only interesting information we have is her attempt to portray a sul'dam:
"We might as well get the testing over with."
"Testing?" he said, and those hazel eyes gave him a withering look.
"Not every woman can be a sul'dam. You should know that by now. I have hopes that I can, but better we find out before the last hour."
...
After a moment, Joline straightened and lifted her chin. Setalle closed the collar around the Aes Sedai's neck with the same crisp snap it had made opening. He must have been wrong about the size; it fit her quite snugly atop the high neck of her ddress. Joline's mouth twitched, that was all, but Mat could almost feel Blaeric and fen tensing behind him. He held his breath.
Side by side, the two women took a small step, brushing by Mat, and he began to breathe. Joline frowned uncertainly. Then they took a second step.
With a cry, the Aes Sedai fell to the floor, writhing in agony. She could not form words, only increasingly louder moans. She huddled in on herself, her arms and legs and even her fingers twitching and crooking at odd angles.


Contrast that with Siuan wearing Moghedien's a'dam bracelet:
Siuan eyed her stubbornly for a moment -- Light, but the woman could be obstinate! -- before closing the bracelet around her wrist. A look of wonder came onto her face immediately, then her eyes narrowed at Marigan. "She hates us, but I knew that. And there's fear, and... Shock. Not a glimmer on her face, but she's shocked to her toes. I don't think she believed I could use this thing, ether."
...
With a sigh, Siuan shook her head. "And I cannot. I should be able to touch the Source through her, isn't that right? Well, I can't. A grunter could climb trees first. I've been stilled, and that is that."
...
"But there is something there to be Healed," Nynaeve insisted, "or you'd feel nothing through the bracelet."


Siuan felt Moghedien immediately. Setalle sensed nothing about Joline, or she would have remarked over it before they tried to walk. I could wish that Nynaeve had asked Siuan and Moghedien to walk about a little, to complete the comparison, but it's still fairly conclusive. The two conditions are very different. Not proof that Setalle cannot be Healed, though, since we cannot trust tradition and history on that count.


Rand al'Todd@34

Encyclopaedia-wot is a great resource, and usually cautious in deducing facts from the text before stating them, but it is mildly presumptuous in declaring Setalle to be Martine in such an unqualified way. The evidence is very strong, but it is hardly incontrovertable. That I personally believe it to be true is one thing. If I were maintaining a site as an encyclopedia of "truth" regarding a story, I'd only present as facts those things which are provable from the text, or from RJ's lips.


And since I'm rolling, from the area I quoted above, Joline is certain she recognizes Setalle's voice. We read that Joline gained the shawl while Elaida's mother was a child, so she's well past 80, potentially over 100. She would certainly have been a contemporary of Martine.
Darth Touma
68. Owners,Inc
@65 Siuanfan

I don't agree that Mat's attitude towards Elayne comes form his perceived immunity. He openly acknowledges that he is still frisky around AS.

Elayne has done NOTHING to convince him that she is worthy of his respect. She demands the medallion of him because he is apparently her subject and ergo must obey. Which is rather messed up. What you seem to skip over is that it is not simply ok for Elayne to act as a princess because she was raised as one. But she is not in her home kingdom, and she is not in fact addressing an inferior. So there is really no excuse for her attitude.

Mat makes matters worse to be sure, but you've neglected his ever present phobia of all things AS related. You've neglected to mention that he has rarely met any nobles worth their titles. His experiences of the nobles and Elayne's ingratitude over Tear lead to his behavior which is IMO more excusable than Elayne's. I'd rather not start on Nynaeve since she's irritates me too much for a single post.
T C
69. Freelancer
Heh, look out everyone, Siuanfan, Wolfmage and I have obviously had more than one cup of coffee this morning...

On Mat v Elayne, I know I already put up my own wall-o-text, but it's simple. I'm not heavily biased in either's favor, my past comments speak for themselves in that regard. I defend Elayne against the haters, and I point out Mat's flaws when some see no wrong in him, but I keep it balanced. Here, they both blow it, and are both right, to an extent. Using Gareth Bryne as an example of decent behavior toward Aes Sedai while having no fear of them, serves only to point out that Bryne has been an adult for quite a while, Mat is not yet one.

Siuanfan, Elayne's decision to act as though the Band is her responsibility is most certainly not a case of her just being a princess and given them a reason to feel good about themselves. She clearly has taken this action to tweak Mat's nose, since she can't stop him from his appointed task of staying with her until Caemlyn, and she can't do anything to him with the Power. This is a "plan B" response, goofing with his authority as much as she can. Hateful? Not completely, since some good comes of it, but ill-intentioned, most likely.


Bottom line, each does believe they know more about what they're up to than the other, and given what each knows and has been told by the other (too little on all counts), they each have good reason for thinking same. And Leigh's desk takes another beating.
Jonah Feldman
70. relogical
Concerning their knowledge of Mat's mad skillz:

Egwene told them in T*A*R how the battle in TFOH happened, including Mat killing Couladin. She also witnessed, but may have not told them, some of Mat's exploits thereafter.

Aviendha, who saw all of this and is experienced in combat, is with them. What kind of Aiel warrior would allow a war leader to be treated badly by her friends?

They all saw Mat LEADING AN ARMY.

Elayne didn't even grow up with him. What's her excuse for treating him like a farmboy?
Erika
71. Siuanfan
I have to restate that according to Tower Law, any ter'angreal found out in the world rightfully belongs to the Tower. Elayne and Mat really don't know each other well at this point, so he assumes she's like every other noble he's ever met, and she assumes he's going to respect Tower law and respect her leadership skills once he sees them. Both of them are wrong.

So I really don't think she approached him with arrogance or because he was 'her subject and had to obey'; to me it looked like she thought he was unaware that the ter'angreal was "rightfully Aes Sedai property" (we can debate the merits of that all day, but for the purposes of her own understanding, it is), and she informed him of that, probably expecting him to obey Tower law (Kings and Queens do, why shouldn't he?) and hand it over, even if he wasn't happy about it, and she was telling him she didn't intend to take it from him, only study it. She probably had no idea at this point that Mat's opinion of Tower Law was that it can go suck an egg.

Both of them, in my mind, have a legitimate claim to the thing according to their own experiences, but she doesn't understand his claim and only knows hers. To her, it's Tower property, and she figures to him it's a pretty trinket he found. In light of that, the fact that she didn't demand he hand it over at once was pretty damn reasonable, if you think about it. More than likely, Adeleas and Vandene or any other Aes Sedai who were first to approach him would have done so.

Speculating on what I know of Elayne and what I know of Aes Sedai, I'm pretty sure that when they had a discussion about what to do about the ter'angreal, and she offered to approach him about it, they told her exactly that - she must demand he hand it over. I also speculate that she told them she wasn't going to take it from him because it was his, but she did want to study it. Elayne is fair-minded, we know, and I highly doubt the "real" Aes Sedai would have ever considered allowing him to keep it. That HAD to be her idea. Imagine her surprise when after offering the reasonable compromise she came up with, he STILL told her to go climb a tree.

I don't disagree that her actions toward the Band are partially to tweak Mat, but I don't think it's to undermine his authority with them, just to demonstrate that she has authority as well, and to show him that she can gain the respect and admiration of the men on her own merit because she knows how to do it. The part where it tweaks Mat is where she tells him things he was going to do anyway, so it sets up a sort of 'the Band answers to Mat, but Mat answers to Elayne' scenario, which I agree was deliberately to annoy him, but it's not to come between him and his men, just to place herself on a higher rung of authority, because that was sure to irritate him as much as he just irritated her. I don't see how anyone can think her actions were ill-intentioned. Nothing Elayne's done yet has come across as ill-intentioned. I'd believe that of Nynaeve before Elayne and Nynaeve is almost as fair (once she's been forced to have some self-reflection). Nor do I think she was in any way "intending to do something to him with the power". What possible justification could there be for that?

Honestly, I'm not really violently pro-Elayne or anti-Mat; just like Freelancer, I think the blame just has to be balanced out a bit. It's not that it's *all* Elayne's fault and Mat's just the injured party. They were both being brats here. Not out of sincere animosity, but out of brattiness. "You can't tell me what to do!" "Oh yeah? We'll see about that!"

... and yes, I need to lay off the coffee...
William Fettes
72. Wolfmage
Siuanfan @ 71

"I have to restate that according to Tower Law, any ter'angreal found out in the world rightfully belongs to the Tower. Elayne and Mat really don't know each other well at this point, so he assumes she's like every other noble he's ever met, and she assumes he's going to respect Tower law and respect her leadership skills once he sees them. Both of them are wrong."

At the risk of embarrassing myself, I call complete shenanigans on that. There is nothing I can remember in my readings of the books, or otherwise apparent in my quick search of references, such as the WoT encyclopaedia, which states it is Tower Law.

Indeed, Elayne's quote simply says "Some hold that ter'angreal are rightfully the property of Aes Sedai". So even if it was Tower Law, she doesn't know it and isn't invoking any legal presumption. If it was "the law" she wouldn't qualify it by saying only some have that opinion.

Fact is, Elayne has no legitimate claim to it, and I can't see why you think she does. Her hedged and formal way of asking shows she knows full well she has no right to it, but despite this she makes an ostentatious show of granting him a great concession by demanding he give it to her temporarily with the assurance he gets it back every morning. But such a concession is not hers to make. Mat's antagonistic response is the only part where he forfeits his high moral ground here.

EDIT: In KoD, Setalle specifically calls forcible taking of the ter'angreal from Mat stealing, which is an offence under Tower Law. So that's definitive - any claim Aes Sedai make to ter'angreal is still subject to private property rights. She also says that a debate would need to be had on whether to return stolen ter'angreal after the fact - which confirms it's a discretionary issue - in that case about whether they are obliged to correct the wrong once it has occurred. If it was Tower Law, they would not need to debate it, as there would be no wrong in the first place.

So whatever the strength of opinions surrounding the White Tower's province over ter'angreal, they are normative in nature, but fall short of overriding Tower Law.
Darth Touma
73. alreadymadwithsnootie
Deciding to teach a grown man a lesson in manners, simply because he doesn't bow and scrape to her, whether as future queen or as Aes Sedai, falls within my definition of petty and ill-intentioned.
Andrew lee
74. lobododragao
well as far as tower law stating that ter'angreal and the like by default belong to the tower, I seem to remember seeing several references to that, though I think most of it is inferred. general assumption is if it has something to do with the power of course it is the provence of the tower as they are the only ones that deal with such things. thats the general theme I gathered most folks have in the book. not that is is neccisarily the correct one. Of course we as readers can have every kind of opinion we want because we have different world views/ values than they do. and of course as stated above we have a gods eye view of most of whats going on in randland so our opinions are based off of a much broader swath of information than even the main characters. that being said I think there of course is a strong standing point for both of them and that other than normal mulishness nothing extraordinarily crappy is said or done by either one of them. regardless of their powers or life expierences (or maybe because of them) they are reacting like normal people. if someone treated me the way either one of them treats each other I can see myself doing the same things that they do. its all in tone of voice and body language regardless of intentions. how they treat each other makes sense in that regards. saying that I just wanted to point out that obviously there are holes in both mats and elaynes argument points. power wrought object non-withstanding, lets just take the assumption that something created by AS by default belongs to AS, everybody should know that.... well if we use that line of thought then all swords should belong to blacksmiths... rugs to weavers, ect. because only the ones that made such things can truly understand them and use them safely. And turning the other direction as far as elayne usurping command of mats men... I surely didn't see it this way, what i saw was a theme that is repeated throughout by quite a few of the women in randland, via manipulation she is trying to get mat to follow her commands just like moraine did with perrin in the dragon reborn. yes there is a lot of friction at first but if you start with small requests, that would seem silly to baulk against, soon before you know it you are obeying someones commands. elayne being a queen in waiting and very strong willed this makes sense. given the situation there can only be so many captains on one ship. mind you if there was a little more info sharing it would probably go easier, but trust is a sword that cuts both ways and everyone has their own agenda and their own idea of how to go about accomplishing it. imho this section of the book is just a demonstration of the reoccuring theme throughout the books, lack of trust lack of information, assumptions equals large amounts of choas. wether they mean to or not I think everyone is playing right into the darkones hands.
*note- sorry for runon paragraphs bad spelling, grammar and poor punctuation, never a strong point for me* :)
Don Barkauskas
75. bad_platypus
Wolfmage @ 72

"At the risk of embarrassing myself, I call complete shenanigans on that. There is nothing I can remember in my readings of the books, or otherwise apparent in my quick search of references, such as the WoT encyclopaedia, which states it is Tower Law."

Took me a while, but I tracked it down:
Like angreal and sa'angreal, by Tower law ter'angreal were the property of the White Tower, no matter who happened to possess them for the present. Very seldom did the Tower insist, at least when possession lay somewhere like the so-called Great Holding in this very Stone of Tear—eventually they would come to the Aes Sedai, and the White Tower had always been good at waiting when it needed to—but those actually in Aes Sedai hands were in the gift of the Hall, of individual Sitters. The loan, really; they were almost never given.

— A Crown of Swords, Ch. 19
This is from an Egwene POV, so it's reasonable to assume it's correct (learned either as a novice in the WT or from Siuan after being raised). If it is taught to novices (which certainly seems reasonable), then Elayne would definitely know this.
Bill Reamy
76. BillinHI
Siuanfan & others re Elayne and Mat's ter'angreal: Elayne softened her demand that Mat give her his ter'angreal but not by much. Mat certainly over-reacted but then there's always a lot of that going on wherever you care to look. As for Kings and Queens obeying Tower law, they do so ONLY because they are afraid of Aes Sedai doing things like kidnapping them (which certainly should be illegal everywhere, if it isn't) and removing them from their positions of authority. Granted that some of them over the ages may very well have deserved to be forcibly removed from authority, the AS have not done what I would consider a stellar job of ruling the world from behind the scenes, which is exactly what they are trying to do. I seem to recall that the AoL AS did not rule anywhere, even indirectly.

As for ownership of Mat's medallion, there is the usual insufficient information: Who, in fact, made the medallion? Mat got it from the *Finns, but where did they get it? Can they get physical objects from Randland as well as memories?

I think that Mat's unspoken expectation that he would never get the medallion back if he gave it up at this point is exactly right. And given how extremely handy the medallion becomes later on, things would have turned out very badly if he had given it up. Setalle Anan had the right approach later on, but I'm not sure even her approach by an AS would have induced Mat to give it up.

Again, I don't like Mat's reaction here and while Elayne probably found some things wrong with the Band members, her putdown on the food supplies was way off base. That was entirely due to lack of information from the AS on the travel duration.
William Fettes
77. Wolfmage
bad_platypus @ 75

Ok, I stand corrected. Thanks for at least sourcing the relevant quote; I'd forgotten obviously.

Nonetheless, it's contradictory on the surface to say it's legally theft to take from a possessor AND simultaneously assert pre-existing ownership. Now, it's possibly a bit of a goof, but I'll give RJ the benefit of the doubt here in terms of legal mechanics.


For those who are knowledgeable about law, I guess you might analogise matters here with the real life division between legal title and equitable title. For most chattels (things) and real property (land), your average person is probably only familiar with the idea of singular title, where such a division is invisible, because both legal and equitable title are united in possession and ownership. However, they do split apart, such as trusts and general law mortgages, for example. In such cases, you have the legal owner and the beneficial owner, and the legal title is generally superior against the equitable title, with some exceptions, in the case of conflict.

Therefore, it's possible the Tower is asserting a general right to legal title over items of the power, but is also acknowledging the equitable title of the possessor. Because it really has to be more than mere defacto possession, dictated by politics, or it would make no sense for Mistress Anan to identify it as stealing under Tower Law, if Joline or Edesina were to take Mat's medallion. Otherwise, Aes Sedai could simply take it and never have to debate giving it back - except insofar as they were worried about perceptions or other ancillary matters.


Anyway, I still think it's basically indisputable that Elayne is being unreasonable here. Exactly why Tower Law ought to move Mat one scintilla isn't clear to me, especially when Elayne makes such a grandiose show of concession in her demand. As a reader, nor am I particularly inclined to care one fig for this assertion of Tower Law, such as it is. Obviously none of the current generation of Aes Sedai made the existing angreal, sa'angreal and ter'angreal. As an organisation, they are little better than a shadow of the originators of such glorious marvels. So whilst it may be proper that they try to keep dangerous objects of the power out of innocent and nefarious hands, their claim of title to all such items (including harmless ones and ones in possession for many generations) is not inherently superior.

Moreover, such a general claim, resting upon competency in the power as it does, only looks coherent if we ignore other channellers. Indeed, wilder organisations can conceivably have more expertise regarding objects of the power than the whole White Tower put together. This is amply demonstrated by the Seafolk's mastery of the Bowl of Winds, which no circle of Aes Sedai could have used properly. With items made from Saidin, such a claim would presumably be automatically suspect in contrast to the Black Tower. So, if we want to set a normative basis for regulating such items of the power, it has to be about expertise, and Aes Sedai have no monopoly on that. They are hardly so expert to qualify for an entrenched right of title against the world.
Thomas Keith
78. insectoid
J.Dauro @54: Naturally! I have that book. But, I'm not an art critic...
Joseph Armao
79. joeyesq
You don't need to be an art critic to tell that paintings in that book are monstrously awful. =0p
lin mei
80. twicemarked
All this debate about ter'angreal ownership make me think of the magical items in the Harry Potter series.

Specifically, the goblin's claim to all items made by goblins. If you recall, the law of goblin states that all magical items made by goblins belong to goblins. If a human bought it from goblins, it merely means a loan from goblins for the life time of that human being. When the owner dies, the item belongs to goblins, instead of the heir of that person.

The AS claim of perputual ownership of all items of power is very similar to goblins's claim of ownership of those magical items. Yet in the HP series, humans do not respect goblin law at all.

In human history, this type of ownership claim has never been applied to chattels at all. Only real estate has this type of claim. Even in real estate, it is documented as a "leasehold" with clear history of claim.
William Fettes
81. Wolfmage
twicemarked @ 80

The simplest RL analogue to the HP Goblins' claim would be life estates in land. The Goblins would thus be asserting current title to the remainder of title, which reverts back to them as soon as the possessor's life ends.

It's true what you say that there is not a life estate as such for chattels. A common legal mechanism for contingent division of chattels is a bailment. But with a a bailment, you still need to have original title. So that works for the Goblins, but it might breakdown for current Aes Sedai. Trusts are another mechanism that might work. Trust property is not limited to land, and they are very flexible devices.

Not sure what your point is about leaseholds. A lease is one way you can retain ownership and grant away exclusive possession to someone else, but it's not the only way.

It's important to note here that there's a difference between what the technical nature of absolute private ownership of land means in different systems - eg. true allodial title which is real absolute ownership (France), fee simple estates where you are still technically inferior to the Crown's radical title (US and Commonwealth nations), and administrative lease systems where everyone is under the thumb of the government (China).
Darth Touma
83. wsean
Ok, so I will admit I look at these events through Mat-colored glasses, as he's my favorite character (Egwene coming in a close second).

But I just don't see how you can claim that Mat is as bad as the SGs here. They are equally bad in attitude, yes. Mat is rude, Elayne is haughty and condescending. Each assumes that the other doesn't know what he or she is doing. But it's the actions of the SGs, not their attitudes, that are the real problem.

Elayne threatens Mat to try to get what she wants (whatever you may think about the legitimacy of Tower Law, or whether to the best of Elayne's knowledge, that was the best way to approach Mat, she definitely used Tower Law as a threat, a bludgeon). He, completely understandably, refuses to comply ("hey, I consider that thing you have as belonging to me, and if you give it to me you'll have no way of stopping me doing whatever I want to you, but seriously, I'll give it back." "Yeah... no."). Is the rudeness in his refusal equivalent to the original threat? I don't think so.

Then the AS go about sneaking up when Mat's asleep, trying to directly attack him, trying to indirectly attack him... and he does nothing in return except a little more rudeness.

Then Elayne decides that if Mat won't obey her orders, she'll make sure his men will. She directly tries to usurp his authority with his men. In return... he's a little rude.

I really don't see how these are equivalent.
Darth Touma
84. peachy
@83 - Just so. Even if Elayne were right about the specifics of Tower Law (which appears doubtful), and even if Mat gave a flying leap about them (and there's no reason he should - he isn't a subject of Tar Valon), he'd be an absolute blithering idiot to give up the only thing that allows him to hold his own against four AS. (I say "give up" because he'd also be an absolute blithering idiot to believe that he'd ever get it back. You do remember the little ditty he remembered writing a couple of chapters back, yes?)

Could he have been more polite? Sure. But his level of politesse is irrelevant - would Elayne and Nyn and the others have behaved any differently if he had said "No" with a friendly smile?
Andrew Jenson
85. Redwing
A quick comment about the SGs supposed knowledge of Mat's battle skills: I saw several comments about how Egwene at least should know about his new found skill...but she says she doesn't.

I'm reading ahead a little and in COS, Chapter 12 she and Bryne are talking about the Band and Bryne remarks that some of the Band have defected to him since Mat left. Egwene then thinks:

"Mat had a reputation as a soldier? She had believed he commanded only because of Rand, and that had been hard enough to swallow."

So much for Egwene being observant during FOH. :)
Darth Touma
86. peachy
@85 - And - not to further abuse a deceased equine - that's exactly why queens-to-be don't take their cues from amateurs when it comes to technical matters.
Andrew lee
87. lobododragao
well... all the arguments aside, I really like that phrase of tylins,

“Sit, sit. Both of you sit. Lean back on your knife and let your tongue go free.”

its just cool.
John Massey
88. subwoofer
Whoosh! We seem to be in a debate on the merits of Ter and the Tower. Several things come to my mind- and for those who wish to throw heavy objects- give er- we've got wi-fi in the bunker and Bela asked me to hoof 'em one for her too:P

'K, the things that grind on me. The deliberate undermining of Mat's authority. How can those series of events be construed as anything but that? The inspections, stating the obvious as a command, all of it- Elayne wants authority- well, she earns it later but I understand the sweat and tears compared to "I am Aes Sedai, all bow down before me". It seems to burn Elayne's ass when Mat was saying that Rand had the throne of Andor for her, I believe she felt that it was hers without Rand's say so. Well the same logic applies for Mat's command. They are his troops- respect that and stop buggering around with Mat's authority.

The Ter(for all intents and purposes, I am not going to spell it out as Ter is one of the annoying typing words in WoT for me)- I am of the mind that possession is 9/10ths of the law here. Mat knows it does not give him complete immunity, as evidenced by the dung flinging incident, promptly followed but the getting hammered incident. Mat is also not a subject of TV so sucks to them.

And let us take this a step further- The female AS are only half of the Tower. Rand and the Asha'man are the other half. Rand feels that the Ter is Mat's and he has earned it with his life so now what? Does AS law usurp the Dragon Reborn's? I think the oaths of fealty speak otherwise.

Of course I am not discounting Mat's actions. He behaved like a boob. But he always behaves like a boob. That's why everybody loves him. When he comes slouching up in the Rahad ad El spots him and things he crawled through the taverns- What is he doing here? They probably drank all the wine on the other side. Mat's open leer, and the way that made him more dangerous, he is who he is.

El grows up with her fight for her throne. Mat grows up somewhat with his fight for Tuon and his Tylin escapades. Both their respective times are coming. But right now, El, with all her queenly training and diplomacy, should be taking the higher ground. I keep telling Mat to think happy thoughts- comfy underwear!

Holy Schnike! Epic post- why didn't you tell me? I have to lay down now. Gonna figure out how to fire up the hot tub in the bunker. Let er rip.

Edited because I spell worse than a 3yr old.

Woof™.
James Jones
89. jamesedjones
65 SiuanFan
If we step back from 'Mat is awesome and anyone who annoys him is an assmonkey', was anything Elayne did *that* bad in context?

Oh dear God, I'm going to be refering to any character that bugs Mat as the chapter's 'Assmonkey'. Thank you! :P
Thomas Keith
90. insectoid
Another thought on "real Aes Sedai": Rand believes that crap too--at least in WH. (Still haven't reached that book in my personal reread; may have to skip the rest of TPoD...)

Woof @88: The bunker has a hot tub?? How cool is that?

Yes, Mat is a bit annoying sometimes, but that's why we like him. Besides, what's not to like about a guy who suddenly is leading an army like he was born a general? ;)

jej @89: Doesn't everyone need a catchphrase? Just sayin'.

May think of something more constructive to say later.
Michael Johnson
91. twosheddz
Disclaimer: Mat is my favorite character. That said, I have loved and hated almost all the big players in WoT at one time or other. Almost always, it is due to how they (mis)treat each other. Mat can be extremely rude, especially if he feels put upon. But hey, I think they all have been guilty of the same. I don't think he ever mistreats anyone who is nice to him (as long as he isn't clutching a certain dagger). I like Elayne at many times, but not during this stretch.

Disregarding the foxhead incident, which I think they both handled poorly, my criticism of Elayne comes later with the handling of the troops. She was trained in the palace and by one of the great captains. She knew exactly what she was doing. Either because of her "bet" or because of being PO'd at how the medallion argument went, she is undermining Mat's leadership in the band. As a former leader of troops, this passage leapt off the page to me. I had trouble reading it without growling. With RJ's background in the military, this was how he meant it to come across to me. I seem to get the same vibe from other posters with military background. Take that, you dead horse.

As to the apology for the Stone, I felt her motivation was not entirely sincere as she primarily wanted Aviendha to think her honorable. As Dennis Miller used to say, "that's just my opinion; I could be wrong."

Wow, this installment seems to draw walls-of-text out of every poster.

Great posting everyone. Keep it up!
Rob Munnelly
92. RobMRobM
Siuanfan - appreciate the effort in the wall of words but I call shanigans (I like that phrase). You can't forget the context: Mat comes to Salidar with his army with the intention of helping THEM; instead of just saying no or, for Elayne's part, saying not yet until they finish a job in Ebou Dar, they freeze him out of information on what's going on; they manipulate him into using the Band for their own purposes; and they manipulate him by sending him out of the way on a several week (at best trip). That's at three and perhaps four big lumps of toh (useful concept, that). They owe him bigtime, and should be going out of their way to make the trip as pleasant for him as circumstances reasonably permit. Do they? No, they drop a whole lot of stuff on Mat in which the AS always strike the first blow.
- V and A experimentation on the Ter(and Elayne and Nyn, who know about the toh owed, say nothing to explain to Mat it's not their fault).
- Elayne's obnoxious approach re the Ter.
- And, the capper for me, Elayne's deliberate interference with Mat's authority over his Band members.
- Additionally, he makes a reasonable approach to Nyn to ask about his sister Bode becoming an AS and he is blown off.

I like the girls, I understand they are under a lot of stress in trying to help Eg's plan to make the army move succeed, I understand that they are being driven crazy by the refusal of V and A and other sisters to treat them as real sisters...but taking out their frustrations on someone who has promised to help them and doesn't even have the freedom to get ticked off at their sh*t and leave them to their fate is literally inexcusable. Let's move on and enjoy the fun parts of the tables turning after Swovan night.

Rob
Rob Munnelly
94. RobMRobM
@85 - I was flabbergasted by Eg's comment in the preceding chapters and that one you quoted in CoS in particular. Eg was in Cairhein during the battles and the aftermath. She knows the group Mat was with killed Couladin. She knows that people were flocking to sign up for the Band because of the reputatinal brilliance of the soldiering. She was in the room where Mat's repeated wins over Rahvin's forces were discussed. Either her memory was scrambled as a result of her Lanfear injuries (very possible) or she is even more self-centered and inattentive to things going on in her presence and around her than I had previously suspected (also possible).
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
RobM, I keep tellin' ya - girls aren't always interested in battles and leaders and generals and who-fought-who stuff. Yeah, she heard it all in Cairhien, but not with any actual attention. Hey, we won, who cares about the individual battles.
Pelumi Adefope
96. GenghisCan
Not even some of the commanders believe that Mat is a good general. In LoC, a few of the Tairen lords think he's just getting "praise" because he is one of the Dragon Reborn's bosom buddies.

It's quite believable. Look at it this way: You (as in Egwene) hear that your mischievous and ne'er-do-well friend from back home who never wanted to do work and chores is all of a sudden a good, disciplined commander is pretty hard to believe honestly. Can't blame her.

Also, if a relatively large army of Dragonsworn appears on your (what was supposed to be secret) doorstep, would you not try to keep your intentions secret because their leader (Rand) is known for his unpredictability.
Rahul Luhar
97. Gerontius
@ 92. RobMRobM
- Additionally, he makes a reasonable approach to Nyn to ask about his sister Bode becoming an AS and he is blown off.

IIRC, Mat didn't actually asked Ny about Bode. He tried to talk to her, but she yelled at him and ran away before he could actually ask anything.

Elayne seems quite annoying here, but we see this from Mat's POV. I think that if we had seen this from Elayne's side, her actions wouldn't have seemed as bad.
T C
98. Freelancer
RobMRobM@94

If we return to the quote from TFoH, News Comes to Cairhien:
"I hear," Rand said, "that every young man who can pick up a sword wants to join the Band of the Red Hand. Talmanes and Nalesean are having to turn them away in droves. And Daerid has doubled the number of his footmen."

Mat paused in lowering himself into the chair Aracome had used. "It's true. A fine lot of young ... fellows wanting to be heroes."

"The Band of the Red hand," Moiraine murmured. "Shen an Calhar. A legendary group of heroes indeed, though the men in it must have changed many times in a war that lasted well over three hundred years. It is said they were the last to fall to the Trollocs, guarding Aemon himself, when Manetheren died. Legend says a spring rose where they fell, to mark their passing, but I rather think the spring was already there."

Ok, so far not a word declaring Mat the Band's leader...

"You are very brave, it seems, Mat." It was flatly said, and the silence that followed stiffened his face. "Very brave," she said finally, "to lead Shen an Calhar across the Alguenya and south against the Andorans. Even braver than that, for there are rumors that you went alone to scout the way, and Talmanes and Nalesean had to ride hard to catch up to you." Egwene sniffed loudly in the background. "Hardly wise for a young lord leading his men."

Mat's lip curled. "I'm no lord. I've more respect for myself than that."

"But very brave." Moiraine said as if he had not spoken. "Andoran supply wagons burned, outposts destroyed. And three battles. Three battles, and three victories. With small loss to your own men, though outnumbered." As she fingered a rip in the shoulder of his coat, he sank back as far as the chair would allow. "Are you drawn to the thick of battles, or are they drawn to you? I am almost surprised that you came back. To hear the stories, you might have driven the Andorans back across the Erinin had you stayed."


Ok, Moiraine mentions him leading men, but with a sardonic tone. Moiraine spoke of battles won, but she mentioned Talmanes and Nalesean regarding those as much as Mat, so it remains quite likely that Egwene doesn't see him as the leader of the Band. Mat and Moiraine and all of us readers know that when Moiraine keeps calling him brave, she is pointing out to Mat the futility of trying to run away from his ta'veren destiny. Clearly when she spoke of the rumors of him scouting ahead alone it was those times that he had tried to get clear and leave. I rather suspect that Egwene understood the irony in Moiraine's tone, given the one reaction we have from her in this sequence. She knows he was trying to leave Cairhien and battles behind.

It seems to me that nobody there speaks directly to Mat being an expert military leader, and with everything added up, there is plenty of room for Egwene to have been paying attention and still not be required to conclude that he has become, or is becoming, an excellent general.

As to Egwene speaking to Nynaeve and Elayne about Mat's military skills, the only mention anywhere is after the battle with the Shaido, to tell them that he killed Couladin. She hasn't said anything else to them about him leading the Band. In part, I suspect, because she didn't understand until the Band came to Salidar that Mat truly was their leader. Proof:
Nynaeve appeared in the doorway so suddenly she seemed to pop out of the air. Planting her fists on her hips, she stared at Mat. "What are you doing here, Matrim Cauthon? How did you get here? I suppose it's too much to hope you have anything to do with this army of Dragonsworn that's about to descend on us."

"Actually," he said dryly, "I am in command."

"You ...!" Nynaeve stood there with her mouth open, then gave herself a shake, tugging at her blue dress as if it had been disarrayed.


Had she any inkling that he was a leader of soldiers, her reaction would have been much less shocked. So let's put to rest any notion that the girls should have understood better that Mat was actually competent as a battle leader. They didn't, whether from willful ignorance or simple lack of solid facts. As for Aviendha, there are many comments about how she should have known better, but she isn't around Mat even as much Egwene when he has been leading men, so she probably thinks as the others do initially, that he is only in charge because of Rand.

Since most of us have read these books numerous times, we know who and what Mat becomes. But remember the context within which each character is operating at any given time, to determine what they could or should know. Then add to that the existing perceptions, biases, and presumptions which color their knowledge, and what occurs in these chapters between Mat and Elayne makes more sense.
john mullen
99. johntheirishmongol
I have no doubt that the SG totally underestimate Mat's leadership and battle skills. They remember him as the practical joke playing scamp and it is hard to overcome that reputation.

I also think that no matter what Tower law is, it doesn't have any sway outside the AS and Tar Valon.

Speaking of which, how are they going to get the Horn of Valere back into Mat's hands. I still think he has to be the guy to blow it at TG
Hugh Arai
100. HArai
Insectoid@90:

Of course Rand doesn't believe the SGs are real Aes Sedai. Pretty much all he's seen them do is trot along at the heels of whatever channeling women are actually in charge. He knows that right up until she went to Salidar, Egwene was pretending to be an Aes Sedai and did not consider herself to be one. And look at the women who informed Rand's opinion of what a real Aes Sedai is like: Moiraine, Verin, Siuan. Nothing in Rand's experience would give him the impression the SGs are on that level of training, experience, self-knowledge and self-control. He doesn't count _himself_ at that level, and the last time they specifically discussed the OP with him, he handled Egwene and Elayne at the same time with ease.

As for the situation between Mat and the SGs, I agree none of the SGs have any real reason to believe Mat is a great general. Egwene could have known if she had paid attention but she didn't. However, it seems like some of the people pointing this out are forgetting that Mat also has no real reason to be impressed with their claims to be Aes Sedai and to know what's best. He's never seen _them_ demonstrate any fantastic competence either and frankly he's never given any sign of believing any Aes Sedai/WiseOne/Noble/Parent knows what's best.
Sean Banawnie
101. Seanie
Not having enough time today to read all the walls o' text..:O....have mercy on me if someone mentioned already......one of the good points of Mat's encounter with the AS is he learns that his medallion doesn't stop missiles (fragrant or otherwise)....good point to learn and remember....
as Wolfmage and Tugthis said , don't get too wound up here , enjoy the laughs and set-ups....I think she can shoot that bow , Mat !! Oh yeah , classic...instead of headdesking , how about a simple shake and rueful grin *Matlike*
well all I got time for today....gotta get Halloween stuff out!

Peace favor your mouse.
Darth Touma
102. peachy
@98 - I see your point, but I don't think it excuses Egwene; and frankly, being on the same perceptual side as the Tairen lords is a strike against her. Consider that passage you cited :

- "to LEAD Shen an Calhar across the Alguenya and south against the Andorans"

- "With small loss to YOUR OWN men"

- "YOU might have driven the Andorans back across the Erinin had YOU stayed"

If Egs doesn't realise from this that he's in command, and doing a damned fine job too, it's either because she doesn't want to or because she's denser than a block of granite - and we know the latter isn't true.

This isn't to pick on Egs - it just happens to be her turn to hold blindly to a pre-conceived notion in the face of actual evidence. Just about every character does it at some point, many of them repeatedly.
William Fettes
103. Wolfmage
peachy @ 102

I think I have to agree with Freelancer and Wetlandernw; Egwene doesn't have to be dense or prejudiced if she just wasn't paying close attention.

At worst, she is arguably guilty of not enlivening her mind to the situation, in response to the clues that were there to be puzzled out. But this is WoT, so that's hardly a hanging offence.
Barry T
104. blindillusion
In regards to the whole Mat/Elayne scene, I'm sure if Demandred could have witnessed this it would have pleased him greatly. Chaos...mmmpfh. Let's chalk to up to them both being wrong for the right reasons ;)

Should Avi of been able to figure out that Mat is a great general? Don't really know. From what I recall she knows he beat Couladin in a duel, but that only speaks to his prowess as a fighter, not a General. (Yet, later, doesn't she not take him serious?)

And as for A%V throwing poo at Mat, I still like this theory I presented in Part 25 of the re-read:

SteelBlaidd said, "Mat avoided armor on the theory that it would keep him from putting himself in positions where he would need it. I think he has finally decided that is no longer an option."

From RJ Q&A:

Question Part 1: Are the Aes Sedai ever going to try to use cuendillar to make it into armor? Since they can't make weapons, does that restriction extend to making armor?

Jordan: Read and Find Out.

LOL - Mat's shiny new armor?

Mat = AWESOME

(Granted, unless Mat hooks up with Egwene or his sister pretty soon this won't happen, but how cool would it be? Man would be all but indestructible.)

--Figured this is a good place to discuss this as we're talking about Mat and he just discovered the Ter's weakness, but with armor like that...eh?

For a final looney theory:

We know female AS can heal male AS from being stilled, and vice versa, to full strength. What if female AS can Heal burned out female AS to full strength, but a male would only return her to 3 quarters strength and vice versa?
Sean Arthur
105. wsean
Wolfmage @103

Yeah, that was my take on it, too. Egwene kind of goes "oh, they're talking about idiots killing each other with swords," rolls her eyes, and stops listening.

Also, Moiraine is kind of implying a lot in what she says, without really saying it. It's unsurprising that someone wouldn't catch it if they weren't really paying attention.

So it's irritating, but understandable, that none of the SGs take him seriously.

Anyway, turnabout is fair play, and they get the same treatment from Rand later on. Only about ten times more obnoxiously.
Joseph Blaidd
106. SteelBlaidd
Of course, even if Egwene had been paying attention, at this point she doesn't know enough about battle to understand just how good Mat is.

It like a story I read in Readers Digest once. A guy who flies a lot for business is on a plane going through some turbulence and he sees the guy in the next seat over clutching the chair arms. He leans over and says, "Don't worry, the pilot is a professional. He knows exactly what he is doing." to which the other guy responds, "You don't understand. I am a pilot. I KNOW exactly what he is doing."

Right know in the westlands there are about 10 people who are qualified to know just how good at war Mat is. Of those 10 only Tuan and Bashere have actually watched him in action.
Darth Touma
107. Rand al'Todd
Re the discussions on legal ownership @70 through 80, 81 or so:

@80 twicemarked said:
In human history, this type of ownership claim has never been applied to chattels at all. Only real estate has this type of claim. Even in real estate, it is documented as a "leasehold" with clear history of claim.

This puts me in mind of the original use agreements on records for Edison phonographs: the 'purchaser' was actually paying for use of the record, and did not own it, could not legally resell it to anyone, etc.

Take a look at software user agreements from the 90's. Some (many) of them had similar wording - you purchased the right to use the software, but not actual ownership - which could revert at any time to the original seller. They specifically stated that the software could not be resold to a third party under any conditions.

However, the WT claim to angreal, ter', etc. appears to be more like the rights many governments have asserted relative to automatic state ownership of any historical artifact discovered within their jurisdiction. Thus successful "treasure hunters" discover that their finds are confiscated by the state and any profit is limited by how 'nice' the government is willing to be (just like Elayne).

So there are real world parallels to Elayne's position.
Helen Peters
108. Helen
@ 99. johntheirishmongol
Speaking of which, how are they going to get the Horn of Valere back into Mat's hands. I still think he has to be the guy to blow it at TG

Yes, coz Siuan and Verin know he blew it, and they're the only people who know where it is, even if his dying and resurection did break the bond they know he's the hornsounder and aren't going to let anyone else blow it. The problem comes if the connection is broken, someone random finds it and has a puff, then Verin and Siuan take it away to give to Mat to blow.
TW L
109. Shadow_Jak
Really love this Chapter and the friendly(?)personality friction.

I started several posts to take up for Mat and gripe about Elayne, but on further consideration, and on reading all the other comments, I decided against it.

Was Mat treated poorly? Absolutely.
Did he deserve it? No.

But hey. Nynaeve and Egwene have known Mat all his life. They remember the old Mat all too well. And in many ways, the new Mat is still the old Mat.
When you've been Eddie Haskell all your life, kinda hard to convince your friends you're now The Beave'.
Rob Munnelly
110. RobMRobM
Free @98. That was a particularly thoughtful post. Well done. I agree with Peachy that Eg should have figured out that Mat has battle leadership skills if she was paying attention but (as you pointed out) there was enough ambiguity she might not have figured it out, especially given her preconceived notions. Steel Blaid's point at 106 is a good one as well - Eg doesn't have enough battle experience to know what was going on. Good points all. Rob
Darth Touma
111. mediri
Technically, the legal issue that actually needs to be considered is actually more the extent to which Tower Law applies in the WOT world. Just because the Tower asserts something to be true, it makes it true for those subject to Tower Law - Aes Sedai - but it doesn't necessarily mean it's true for other states.
Jacy Clark
112. Amalisa
Freelancer@98

I agree wholeheartedly - very well put, very well documented.

I think your statement "...(b)ut remember the context within which each character is operating at any given time, to determine what they could or should know..." is appropos for a lot of the debate and discussion that takes place here. We have the luxury of knowing (almost) what everyone is thinking, what they were in their individual pasts, and what they will become.

Of course, these debates are, in my opinion, proof of RJ's genius for storytelling, the way the characters he created resonate with us, the believability of world wherein they were placed.
TW L
113. Shadow_Jak
Ter'angreal and Tower Law.
It's a jurisdictional issue.

1. They are not in Tar Valon (nor Salidar).
2. Mat is not an Aes Sedai, not a Warder, nor in any way in the employ of the Tower.

So, in the opinion of the court, he is not in any way subject to Tower Law.

*gavel* *gavel again* *gavel once more*
(I do like to gavel!)
Hurin Smells
114. HurinSmells
RE: *angreal/WT

Only just read this post and haven't gone through all the comments yet, so I apologize if I'm repeating what anyone esle has alredy said.

The Aes Sedai's premise that all items of the OP are by definition property of the White Tower is naff. What about all the *angreal in Tear or the Panarachs palace? Surely Aes Sedai would have scooped those back off to the White Tower long ago if they truly thought to enforce such a silly presumption? Also I'd like to see them present that argument to the Seanchan regarding the a'dam!

It's completely unenforceable (due to the 3 oaths) and just another way for an Aes Sedai to put pressure onto anyone finding themselves in possesion of such an item to get them to hand it over. Mat being the kind of guy to shrug off that pressure means that the Aes Sedai can do nothing to take it from him.

What realy gets the SGs goats about this one is that Mat's medallion basically nullifies an Aes Sedais power base, which is massive cause for alarm, and the reason Nyn comes off as being afraid of Mat. She know's shes done wrong by Mat, and is expecting tit-for-tat for that kick in the pants. If Mat is immune to the OP Nyn can do nothing to stop him if he really wants to.
Hurin Smells
115. HurinSmells
Hey i just thought of something on the 3 oaths... surely if an Aes Sedai can hurl a rock at you with the OP it's a loophole in the 3 oaths (specifically the one about not harming anyone unless being in danger) as well as with Mat's medallion?
Alice Arneson
116. Wetlandernw
HurinSmells @ 115 - I think you just hit on why they used the... projectile they did. A rock they might think of as a weapon, and therefore be unable to use it; a chunk of horse dung is hardly a weapon, so they were free to throw it as much as they wanted.
Jay Dauro
117. J.Dauro
HurinSmells @115

It appears to be a matter of degree. What about using the power to swat someone's behind? I could consider that using the power as a weapon, but clearly Cadsuane doesn't. Neither do a number of AS in the tower, when they use the power to discipline Novices (maybe just a flick on the ear, but it is still striking a human.)

IIRC in KoD we see the AS throw rocks, etc at Mat, not just Horse Dung.

So if the AS with Mat consider the thrown objects as discipline, or testing, apparently they can get away with it. I would assume that they cannot do any lasting damage, but a bit of pain is just instruction (look at what Eg goes through in KoD, granted not with the power, but a considerable amount of pain. Not damage, just teaching.)

Once again, we see the AS manipulate the Oaths. And they wonder why people don't trust them.
Barry T
118. blindillusion
@117

isn't the striking a human with the power a bit of a moot point? Look at what a non-DF AS does to Rand in the next section. Granted that can be seen as retribution, but retribution doesn't exactly qualify as protecting the life of her Warder. I don't recall how she justifies it to herself, but she still beats Rand with the power.

Sorry not to give a name. But I'm riding shotgun on the way to a shindig with my wife and I'm on my phone typing this.

Kinda goes towards that ealier comment about how mr. Jordan brought us all together with his work.
Joseph Blaidd
119. SteelBlaidd
The relevant Oaths are, in their entirety,
2. To make no weapon with which one man may kill another
3. Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai

It's important to think of the two together and in that order because the first implicitly defines "weapon" as "that which is or can be capable of taking life." I other words switching someone with the power or tossing projectiles at them is perfectly fine as long as the damage done is unlikely to be lethal, i.e. they aren't allowed to kill you but they can hurt you all they want("You would be amazed at what you can live through"-Jafar Aladdin II).

Re: Egwene's understanding of Mat's battle prowess. I had a wonderful idea for an analogy. Even if she had been paying attention Egwene is in the position of a person with no interest in Basketball being told that their friend just beat Larry, Mike, and Earvin in a pick up game. To which the response is "that's nice" because she has no idea that that should be heard as Bird, Jordon and Johnson.

Oh and for future reference Blaidd is Welsh and is spelled with TWO ds.
Hurin Smells
120. HurinSmells
@119

I wonder what would happen if a subject accidentally dies as a result of that action, for example if Cadsuane switches some stubborn king who subsequently dies of a heartattack from the shock of the attack? Also, by that reasoning the lethality argument would also allow for an Aes Sedai to spin out razors or Air and Fire to slice off of and quarterize the legs/arms of an unsuspecting army!

Also, an Aes Sedai could reasonably convince herself the hurling a boulder at someone wasn't killing them ("I didn't kill him your honour, the boulder did") or that no man did weild the boulder as a weapon, just the Aes Sedai in all her femininity.
T C
121. Freelancer
Ok folks, hold onto your hats. I used my hand when required for discipline with my children. That did not make my hand a weapon. Corporal punishment is not injury, it is not abuse. When someone causes injury with corporal punishment, it is now assault, and is abuse. There's a massive difference.

Using the One Power to swat another person is not injury. By degree one could argue on occasion that the manner and method of its use is abuse, but let's not sweat that for now. When swatting someone to get their attention, to impede them being foolish, or some other such, the Power is not being used as a weapon, and is not remotely like a violation of the Oath.

When someone deserves a spanking, then spanking them is the best thing you can do for them.


Peachy@102

What I perhaps didn't make quite as clear as I wanted, was that those things you quoted from Moiraine's monologue there were all said while she was poking at Mat. Talmanes and Nalesean declared him their general (outside of Cairhien after defeating the Shaido, and they hadn't been into the city until this time), and the Red Hand banner was made somewhat against Mat's will, even though he had given them the idea from an old memory.

The careful reader is meant to understand that the foray across the Alguenya was Mat trying to get away, and the Band following almost blindly. Moiraine knows this, Egwene does not. but Egwene does recognize the sarcasm in Moiraine's tone, that those battles weren't a case of Mat leading, but ta'veren accidents. Moiraine's next sentence after what I quoted previously is how some have less freedom in the Pattern than others.

It is also noteworthy that Egwene hadn't been near Rand in six days until just before Mat arrives, so any discussions of battle details happened in her absence. So Egwene's perception is that Moiraine simply wants to keep Mat around, same as back in the Stone, but that Moiraine is disdainful of the idea of Mat as general.

Anyway, I guess if you believe Egwene should have understood that Mat is now a match for Agelmar Jahad, Gareth Bryne, and Davram Bashere all rolled into one, there's not much else I could offer to suggest otherwise.
Thomas Keith
122. insectoid
@numerous: I am of the firm opinion that being burnt out cannot be Healed any more than death. But you never know what Nynaeve will eventually learn to do... :)

Hurin @120: Heh...the boulder did it...

Free @121 re: S*******: I think that horse has been...abused enough already, don'tcha think?
Hurin Smells
123. HurinSmells
free@121... that's all very subjective for the person dealing out the punishment. I'm sure there are AS who are unable to flick someone's ear with saidar because they consider it to be using it as a weapon, just as I'm sure there are AS who have no qualms in bludgeoning someone over the head to get their attention. And to that end, what is the concept of injury to an Aes Sedai who has the ability to Heal?

Apologies to any and all who've heard all this before!
T C
124. Freelancer
insectoid@122

When people insist on equating a swat using Air with a weaponed assault, the common sense flag must be thrown. The debate regarding limits of use of the Power to "harm" someone has been had, as well, but you aren't speaking up to quell that. Besides, in a way Leigh herself started it, by threatening folks with her gear-encrusted Brass rod of Don't Spare the Child


HurinSmells@123

I've made the point before as well, that injuring an Aes Sedai while Healing is easily available isn't all that significant. As to your first point, see above, and anyone who lacks the common sense to tell the difference has more problems than the three Oaths can afford.
stefan warsink
125. grubber
I think it's all wishywashy bull cr*p :)
if I poke you very softly with a sword (not drawing blood), I still used a weapon on you.
if I throw horse dung at you hard enough (or you're opening your mouth to tell me you don't like it, swallow it) and you die, then what?
it's a sliding scale we're talking here, with 'brushing the dirt off my shoulder' with the OP on one end, and brushing my head off on the other end.

I cry black ajah!
Jay Dauro
126. J.Dauro
SteelBlaidd @119

2. To make no weapon with which one man may kill another
3. Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai


The qualification of "weapon" in the second oath with "may kill" implies that there are weapons that may not kill. Otherwise, we could just say "weapon".

The dictionary defines weapon as a object that may be used to injure or kill.

Hitting someone hard enough to cause pain implies that an injury is done. It may be minor, but it is still an injury. Therefore if you hit someone hard enough to cause pain, you are using a weapon to cause injury. You may have a beneficial purpose, to educate or correct, but you are using a weapon.

If the 3rd oath is taken to only mean that an AS may not use the one power to kill, then Eg and Elayne's use of the OP to frighten off the Whitecloaks as they approached Tarvalon would not be a violation of the 3rd Oath. But Verin definitely took it as one. So she at least appears to take the purpose of the use of the power into account as part of the oath. They used the power not to correct, but to drive someone off, by putting them in fear, even though the girls did not really intend to kill.

So as I said above, they are once again splitting hairs to justify what they want the oath to mean. Which we see all of the time with the 1st Oath.

(Really, we see Lan in TSR taking Nyn's deception regarding her going to Tanchico as a lie, although she did not explicitly tell him a falsehood. She still intended to deceive. And I am waiting to see what his interpretation of "The Golden Crane" will be.)

This may be right or wrong, but it is part of the reason that no one trusts them, even with the Oaths.

(BTW Freelancer, I do believe in corporeal punishment.)

My $.02
Rob Munnelly
127. RobMRobM
Editorial comment - this has been a particularly good blog post for substantive discussion. Interesting issues with differing viewpoints and well-argued on all sides. I knew I was hanging out on this re-read for a reason. Rob
John Massey
128. subwoofer
Yes, it is a fine line IMHO and it seems very subjective. As pointed out, if the One Power could of been used as a corrective measure, White Cloaks would all have tender bottoms. I personally believe in Corporal punishment- spanking one's kids- spare the rod spoil the child concept, but that is beyond WoT world.

As for dung being a weapon-*LOL*... good Lord! That would redefine melee fighting :) During the Age of Legends vast mountains of Bela droppings were hurled at the Dread Lords and Battle Ajah alike. Everyone got sick of smelling like an outhouse so an agreement was made on both sides to just use bale fire...

Woof™.
Darth Touma
129. J.Dauro
Subwoofer @128

Kind of gives a new meaning to "Bela, the creator" doesn't it.

Would this be considered using the "power" as a weapon?
Birgit
130. birgit
Carridin: Do the SGs know he's a DF at this point? I have forgotten.

They don't know. Later Mat recognizes Shiaine / Mili Skane at the horse races and follows her to Carridin's palace. Then he warns the girls and Tylin that Carridin is a Darkfriend.

I could wish that Nynaeve had asked Siuan and Moghedien to walk about a little, to complete the comparison, but it's still fairly conclusive.

Ny and El often carry the a'dam bracelet in their pockets instead of wearing it, and it doesn't seem to make Moggy unable to move around the camp.

So, if we want to set a normative basis for regulating such items of the power, it has to be about expertise, and Aes Sedai have no monopoly on that.

But they think they do, and that everybody should agree.
Tess Laird
131. thewindrose
Yikes, I have caught up - very busy weekend - my kids have too many things to do - their parents are worn out... I will have to second Rob at 127 - very well thought out comments.

I think this chapter goes to show that all AS are not the same. Some will consider all that has been mentioned as a weapon, were other's will be able to justify to themselves that most things mentioned are not.
I would imagine that AS like Mo are the later, as they are out in the real world, and AS that stay in the Tower would have a better chance at being in the first group.

So where does this put Verin? After all, she almost poisons Cads.
Rob Munnelly
132. RobMRobM
@129. Guess you would have to call it the "Number Two Power"
Darth Touma
133. J.Dauro
thewindrose @131

I have gotten bitten before with this issue.

Nothing in the Oaths says they cannot harm a person. It says they cannot use the power as a weapon, except in limited circumstances. So apparently poison, knifes, clubs are all OK.
Rahul Luhar
134. Gerontius
@133 J.Dauro
An AS can tie a person down with flows of air and the use a knife to kill them. So that Oath is almost completely useless.
Edit:
I accidentally pressed 'Flag'. What does this do?
Tess Laird
135. thewindrose
Flagging a comment just brings it to the moderator's attention. The moderator then determines if it is spam, which it is not, so nothing will happen.
S Diller
136. CuenDiller
I don't find Elayne annoying here at all, but actually funny in the way she treats Mat. I think that if I were in her shose (and i believe I'm not alone in this), I would have tried anything to get that ter'angreal. If she were able to duplicate that thing...wow

Here's a question...
I wonder if the wearer of the medallion, say Elayne, would still be able to channel? Would she even be able to touch the source? Would her weaves dissipate as they leave her? Or would she basically be indestructable, unless someone threw horse poop at her?
john mullen
137. johntheirishmongol
@131 If Verin had poisened Cadsuane it would have been because she concluded that she was a darkfriend and therefore, she had leave to take care of that problem.

So, jumping ahead a little, is Verin going to retrieve the Horn of Valere when she leaves Rand in KOD? At least it seems logical, and the threads to have to come together soon.
Tess Laird
138. thewindrose
@137
It would be great to see Verin interacting with Elaida. Although Verin knows how to Travel, and I am sure she would go to her rooms. (Not 1-2 weeks outside of the Tower.) And she knows the inversion weave and how to diguise herself. Would be cool though...
James Jones
139. jamesedjones
136 CuenDiller
I wonder if the wearer of the medallion, say Elayne, would still be able to channel?

Cadsuane is said to have a similar terangreal from a conversation with Mat and Setalle, so it shouldn't interfere with your own channeling.
Darth Touma
140. J.Dauro
Gerontius @134

I would say it all depends on how the AS in question interprets the oaths. We have seen differences in how they handle the First Oath. But yes, as I have said, they do have weasel room, and it does affect how people view them. Especially since there are some AS who use the weasel room.

johntheirishmongol @137

I don't think we can say that Verin considered the poison because she was thinking Cadsuane was BA/DF. Verin considered it because she thought Cadsuane might not be good for Rand. I believe even if she was convinced that Cadsuane was not a DF, she still would have poisoned her if she felt that Cadsuane was trying to control Rand.

Eliada is not BA or a DF, but Verin would have poisoned her in a heartbeat.
Rob Munnelly
141. RobMRobM
Of course, Verin might be the dark friend and was considering poisoning Cad until she was confident that Cad was as well. I don't believe that is the case but it would be interesting if true, eh?

Rob

p.s. By the way, not to be self-centered like Eg in Carhien, but where's the love for my Number Two Power joke regarding use or misuse of Bela's poop? I can't be the only one to make the One Power/Two Power connection when talking about bodily functions, can I?
T C
142. Freelancer
Tor seems to have eaten a post. If it doesn't show up when I get to work, I'll use this space to restate it, except that Jamesedjones made one of my points @139, and he's right, if Mat's and Cadsuane's ter'angreal are truly identical in function.
Kathy Keith
143. Babokathy
@132 RobMRobM

I just got up off of the floor after ROFLMAO for your #2 Power joke !!!!!!!!!!! Love it, Bab-o
Kathy Keith
144. Babokathy
@136 re: Mat's Medallion, would an AS be able to pick up/touch the medallion without ill effect to them? When Moiraine tried healing Mat after the Dark Hound attack, she sort of jumped back cause he was wearing it. Didn't she ask HIM to take it off before healing him?
Rob Munnelly
145. RobMRobM
@143. Thanks for the shout out. I'll be performing here all week. Rob

*twitch* (and hoping that Leigh is not taking off for Columbus Day)
James Jones
146. jamesedjones
144 Babokathy
Didn't she ask HIM to take it off before healing him?

Ask? Aes Sedai don't ask. She said something like, "If it's cold, take it off." :P
Tess Laird
147. thewindrose
@144 Babokathy-
Moiraine wasn't repelled by it. When she tried to delve him, it didn't work. She knows Mat very well, and knows he would freak out if she just took it, so she asks him to remove it so she can work on him.

Rob - more like you will be here until the end...

Mail isn't coming so she might just think it is a holiday. - *shudder*
Kathy Keith
148. Babokathy
@147 The USPS deserves a holiday; much more so than ole Chris Columbus (not the director); Columbus was allegedly a DF ;)

I'll take the Post for $200 please, Alex!
Darth Touma
149. jhbender00
I have always assumed that Verin was about to poison Cads to death if she didn't like what Cads had to say, too. However, a thought occurred to me when reading everyone's comments. IIRC, while the poison can kill, at the proper dosage it is meant as a sleep aid. Verin used *something* to knock out the women she compelled to see Rand lives to the Last Battle. (I can't remember if what she used was ever revealed.) Perhaps Verin's intentions with Cads was to knock her out and compel her as she had with the TAS captured after Dumai's Well (sp?).
Tess Laird
150. thewindrose
@ 149 jhbender00

Verin offers the captive sisters Healing, and then she hits them with Compulsion-lite while Healing them(she uses the old-school Healing not the Nyn and Flinn type.)
Darth Touma
151. jhbender00
Yes, that's right. Thanks for the correction thewindrose. I withdraw my misinformed statement.

I am a Verin supporter; I think she's cool. But whenever I think I've found evidence supporting her "good" intentions, I'm usually remembering something wrong.
Tess Laird
152. thewindrose
jhbender00 - not a problem & no need to withdraw an idea. That is what this is for! You know, even RJ had a few retractions on things he said about WoT.

One of the big questions of this series is Verin. It will be great finding out what she is really up to in the last 3 books:)
R B
153. MasterAlThor
Columbus Day

Happy TDay to my northern meighbors. Eat all the turkey you can, with all the trimmin's.

Leigh and Tor are not Canadian and thus are not excused for taking the day off. Of course they could read this and just decide to take the day off anyway. In which case, let the twitching and shuddering begin.

*twitch* *shudder*

Anyone for a game of stones while we wait???
Tess Laird
154. thewindrose
MasterAlThor- My brain is shot, can we stick to Snakes & Foxes?
John Pigott
155. AbEnd
Perhaps the Tor shop should offer WoT themed headgear, a la Petr Cech, for the more persistent head deskers among us?

See examples: http://www.canterburyofnz.com/FOOTBALL/Football_-_Headgear.html
Ron Garrison
156. Man-0-Manetheran
A "Foxhead Medallion" Update

I'm also re-reading Knife of Dreams, and I came upon this at page 203-A Cold Medallion:

Mistress Anan to Mat: "Joline musty have tried to stop you, and Teslyn and Edesina as well, but whatever they did failed. I think that means you possess a ter'angreal that can disrupt flows of the Power. I've heard of such things--Cadsuane Melaidhrin supposedly had one, or so rumor said--but I've never seen the like. I would very much like to. I won't try to take it away from you, but I would appreciate seeing it."

Not only do we see a mature way of asking, Mistress Anan here also reveals that she knows quite a bit about ter'angreal and also the legendary Cadsuane.

This is a great chapter where Mat puts Joline over his knee and ::gasp:: spanks her. Whatever your opinion of spanking, you still want to stand up and give Mat an attaboy.
R B
157. MasterAlThor
Windrose

Sure we can play snakes and foxes. But I guess we should dice so everyone can get in. Besides I'm feeling lucky
Thomas Keith
158. insectoid
Free @124: I know what you meant; was only trying to forestall the inevitable Spank Wars Episode II: Attack of the Aes Sedai! ;)

birgit @130: Thanks for the clarification re: Carridin.

RobM² @134 and 141: LOL! Number Two Power!

*twitch*
Darth Touma
159. alreadymadwithhorsedung
mediri @111
That's actually a good point. Tower Law holds that it is so. But another important point to consider is exactly where does Tower Law hold? I'm sure Aes Sedai, in their delusions of grandeur and dominance would say their authority encompasses the whole of the Westlands and beyond. However, as we know from Morgase and Andor, as well as Perrin, the actual enforcement of authority is more than just simple lines on a map.

Shadow_Jak @113
Yes, your honor. Gavels are good.

SteelBlaidd @119
Is Blaidd the same as blade? Or is it etymologically closer to plaid or is it something else? What about phonology? Does it rhyme with blade or with plaid?
Thomas Keith
160. insectoid
amw @159: Or perhaps he's a secret member of the Plaid Ajah?
R B
161. MasterAlThor
I truly think that Tor likes to torture us. Some days they put up Leigh's post right quick. Others they just decide to hold it until the *twitch* count gets to around 20 or so.

Any other theroies?

*twitch*
Rob Munnelly
162. RobMRobM
@161 - It's all about Leigh and her party-party-party lifestyle. If she goes out the night before, she wakes up at noon with a headache and we don't get the post until 5 or so. If not, she gets it to Torie and Pablo around noon and then we need to watch out for their party-party-party lifestyles and ensuing delays, with the same quick or slow turnaround issues. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. R
Darth Touma
163. alreadymadwithtwitching
The Wheel weaves as it wills.
(twitch)
F Shelley
164. FSS
Unless it's on the bus, then it goes round and round...
Sam Mickel
166. Samadai
I think RobM needs to be gentled so he can't use his #2 power on us
Rob Munnelly
167. RobMRobM
@166 - That's Bela who needs to be gentled (actually stilled, since she's a girl). My dung is my own business, thank you very much. R
Jason Lyman
168. jlyman
@166 I hear that in the Age of Legends it was called "corked, clogged or roughage overload."

Sorry.
R B
169. MasterAlThor
Is it possible that Torie or Pablo or Leigh for that matter, could let us know if there will be a post today?

Does anyone know if they lurk or respond to request?

AMW, you must know something...
Joseph Blaidd
170. SteelBlaidd
Alreadymad@159
It's actualy pronounced blyth with an unvoiced "th", like in theory(Welsh dd == English th), and is the Welsh word for wolf. Hence my Icon. The expectation is people will read it "Blade."
Rob Munnelly
171. RobMRobM
@169. My alternative theory is that Leigh is getting punished by Torie and Pablo for dissing Steampunk in the intro to the above post. Payback is a b*tch, as always. R
Rob Munnelly
173. RobMRobM
I don't either. All I know is what little I've read on Tor.com since October became known as Steampunk month.
Carol Witt
174. carolwitt
SteelBlaidd@170: The Welsh digraph 'dd' is voiced as in the or that, not theory or thing (the Welsh digraph 'th').
T C
175. Freelancer
J.Dauro@126
The qualification of "weapon" in the second oath with "may kill" implies that there are weapons that may not kill. Otherwise, we could just say "weapon".


There is a semantic error happening in your logic, that several others have fallen into as well. Namely, you are applying a potential, rather than a permissive, definition of the word may, and you are applying it to the object, rather than the person, which is not correct. When the Oath refers to a weapon with which one man may kill another, it is saying that the man, because he has the weapon, is capable (or more capable) of killing another man. It is NOT saying that this weapon may kill, where another weapon may not.

Men who believe they have a cause will kill each other no matter what is or is not made available to them. The second Oath is to bar Aes Sedai from enabling such behavior, where they would be seen as taking sides in the conflict, thus reducing their bargaining power as mediators.

Oh yes, Aes Sedai split hairs and spin the truth on a merry-go-round, but there is certainly nothing to be gained by us adding ambiguities which do not really exist.
Darth Touma
176. J.Dauro
We all know Pablo and Torrie love us, and will try to take good care of us. It's just that addicts do not take well to being strung out.

Please.

** twitch **
T C
177. Freelancer
birgit@130
Ny and El often carry the a'dam bracelet in their pockets instead of wearing it, and it doesn't seem to make Moggy unable to move around the camp.

This misses my point. I was referring to when Nynaeve had Siuan and Leanne try on the bracelet and they could feel Moghedien through the link. To make a completed comparison with Setalle and Joline's attempt to walk while wearing the a'dam in Ebou Dar, it would have been helpful had Siuan or Leanne walked around with Moghedien. It's not critical, we already know that there's a difference, since Setalle did not remark about feeling anything from Joline (and she would have). I was merely saying that it would have closed the loop of evidence on the difference.
Rob Munnelly
178. RobMRobM
You know, Torie is one of my favorite names and I'm giving it serious consideration in the event I have more children - even for the boys. Ditto for Pablo and the girls. Just think about those angelic little faces and the joy they will experience when they get a chance several years down the line to read Lord of Chaos post 28 from Leigh Butler. Do it for the children. Rob
T C
179. Freelancer
Babokathy@144

It was Mat who jumped back, because the medallion went ice cold when Moiraine tried to Heal him. Moiraine was unaffected, though she guessed what had happened and asked him to remove it for her Healing. As usual, she doesn't bother to tell anyone what she knows, but she did try to get her hands on it. She didn't ask Mat, she asked Rand, and he said no. From the text, she apparently had brought it up more than once.
Joseph Blaidd
180. SteelBlaidd
Start with Girl Genius Winner of ththe first ever Hugo for Best Graphic Story You will be enlightend.
T C
181. Freelancer
RobMRobM@178

::blink:: Wow, desperate for a post, much?
Rob Munnelly
182. RobMRobM
Free @181. Of course (but I'm actually done with having more children -- don't tell Torie or Pablo, okay?). I'm one of the few people in my office today on this lovely Columbus Day and a post would provide a welcome distraction. R
Alice Arneson
183. Wetlandernw
I suppose we could all start posting *twitch* notes, then start flagging them to get someone's attention... On the other hand, that might delay the post, so maybe better not try it. ;)
Brett Michie
184. bchurch
Babokathy @ 144

An AS would be able to handle the medallion without any ill effects. Elayne takes it and turns it over in her hand in aCoS when Mat offers it to her and Nyneave for protection from Moghedien. Mistress Anan also holds it in KoD, but she's an AS that's been burnt out or stilled. We don't know which from the text, but I rather think she was burnt out.
Leigh Butler
186. leighdb
Guys, relax. New post is up. Just not at the top of the page.
Rob Munnelly
187. RobMRobM
Thanks, Leigh. Do you know I'm going to name my next child after you, boy or girl? Just thought you'd want to know. Rob
Rob Munnelly
188. RobMRobM
Leigh - you knew Tor wouldn't let you diss Steampunk without penalty and, lo and behold, you're not at the top of the page -- below a pre-existing article on Steampunk, I might add. Payback is a b*tch. R
Hurin Smells
189. HurinSmells
free@177 - what you've described is still applying a potential rather than a permissive to may. If it was truly permissive it would read as a weapon with which one man is allowed to kill another.

The only valid interpretation of may here is the a weapon with which one man could potentially use to kill another
John Massey
190. subwoofer
@170- So the rough translation of your name is steelwolf? Flub a couple of letters and you're scrubbing pots ;)

Woof™.
Joseph Blaidd
191. SteelBlaidd
Oh I do most of the dishes at home anyway :D
T C
192. Freelancer
HurinSmells@189

Ok, good enough on that point. However, the arguments over whether a particular weapon may or may not kill, have nothing whatsover to do with the second Oath, where the phrase "may kill" references the man, not the weapon. To then use that ill-premised point to discuss degrees of when something becomes a weapon forbidden by the Oath, is a logical waste of energy.

Basically, someone dying as an accidental or incidental result of an Aes Sedai employing the Power, is most certainly not a violation of the second Oath. Even hurling a rock at someone with the Power doesn't violate the second Oath. It probably violates the third Oath, presuming bodily harm was intended by choosing a rock. But the rock was not made by the Aes Sedai, and that is the proscription of the second Oath.
Kristina Blake
193. kab1
It hasn't happened yet, but since several people have mentioned Elayne redeming herself once Avi calls her out on her behaviour to Mat, already, I'm going to comment on it.

Yes, Nyn acts horribly kicking and screaming all the way to the apology and Elayne handles her own behaviour much better, but she does almost attack Mat halfway through and she's thinking some pretty nasty thoughts towards Mat in her head. To me, it seems like the major reason that Elayne apologies is to meet her toh and get Avi's respect. This helps everything work out with their first sister relationship and their relationship with Rand. She even thinks on this (meeting toh to please Avi) during/after one of her encounters with Mat.

So, all in all, to me her apology to Mat seemed more self-motivated than anything else, even if she did admit that she owed him one. I think she would have not given such a good apology (including taking orders from him) and had future "good" behavior towards Mat if it wasn't for Avi.

Edit: Finally got through all the posts and I see that twosheddz @91 had the same thought!
T C
194. Freelancer
kab1

Perhaps true, but remember, anytime someone apologizes to Mat, he doesn't help matters. In the case to which you refer, isn't he nursing a killer hangover from Swovan Night with Birgitte, and wishing they would just please go, quietly?

So it can be understood if Elayne isn't getting the response she expects from an apology, but don't turn that around into her not having wanted to apologize sincerely. She practically dragged Nynaeve across the Mol Hara square, if I remember right.
Kristina Blake
195. kab1
Freelancer- I got a little off track when saying that Elayne wanted to hit Mat during the apology. I do think that she saw Avi and Birgitte's point, and truly wanted to apologize. However, my main point was that I don't think she would have taken the apology as far as she did (allowing Mat to give orders and behaving meekly around him for several days) if not for Avi's watchful eyes and Elayne's desire to meet her toh to gain Avi's respect. It's my opinion that she wanted to apologize, but that she wants to meet her toh to please Aviendha rather than because she truly wants to meet her toh to Mat. I think she would have stopped at a simple "I'm sorry" rather than all of what Avi wanted her to do if not for her desire to get Avi's respect. and yeah, I agree, Mat's not exactly jumping up and down for joy at the apology!!

On a different topic, I really enjoyed your post about Setalle and Joline compared to Suian and Moghedien. I agree that Setalla would have said something if she felt Joline's emotions. I'd been wondering about that topic for the past couple of days as we recently relistened to the scene with Setalle and Joline and I was trying to figure out what was different here- now thanks to all the comments here, I agree that it may be different since Setalle may have been burned out rather than stilled. Would have liked a bit longer with Siuan and Moghedien as well. I wonder if being burned out can be healed? Just goes to show (once again) the level of detail RJ put into his world!!
T C
196. Freelancer
kab1@195

Yes, I see your point. I believe that Elayne is extremely concerned with how Aviendha sees her, no doubt, and is therefore constantly checking to make sure Aviendha displays approval with her choice of actions. I don't think it lessen the sincerity she feels in her need to apologize. You may well be right, that without Aviendha she wouldn't feel the need to go as far with the mechanism of the apology, but for me, the intent supercedes the behavior, and she sincerely wishes to set things right.
Darth Touma
197. nathanc
Interesting: Recall that the key to finding the treasure of Ebou Dar (be it the bowl or the Kin) was Setalle Anan ("the one who is no longer"), and it turns out that all along Mat was the one who found her, a whole book in advance of anyone knowing what he had done. And he found her by picking something at random, to assert his independence, and the dice stopped rattling. It wasn't until the "supergirls" condescended to visit him one book later that they met Setalle and got set on the road to finding the two treasures.
Darth Touma
198. sessler73
Nynaeve is not afraid Mat. What she is afraid of is when she has to face the idea of thanking mat for the rescue at the stone she will be losing another piece of who she had painstakingly created the wisdom of Edmonds field and just becoming a women who in time will be the one thing she does not want to be a Aes Sedi. Every time she backs down from the way she brow beat every one into behaving around her and behaves as a true grown woman should act it kills a little more of the wisdom while at the same time Nynaeve of the Yellow Ajah is being born.
As for Mat if he received all this wonderful knowledge on warfare and tactics he should have been asking the people he could trust to help him learn every aspect of any weapon or defensive item he might have to use or depend on. It was much better to learn by a little horse dung the weakness than is something late could kill him was thrown at it. case in point the goalm(of course there was no way to test that but what else can it do or not do.
Darth Touma
199. yasiru89
Nynaeve fears Mat here because she thinks he wants revenge for the foot on the backside a few chapters ago, and because she knows that she can't bully him into submission anymore as she might have done with the authority of the Wisdom if they were back in Emond's Field. Demeaning? Indeed.
Deana Whitney
200. Braid_Tug
What no comments on the whole Ebou Dar marriage dynamic? “A woman killing a man was considered justified unless it was proven differently.”
Considering the rant from last chapter, I was looking forward to how you handled this culture.

As a strong woman, who’s dated weak men – give me a man who will go toe to toe with me.

I consider Ebou Dar a crazy city. Would not want to live there, and would never want to be the “prize” of a duel.
William McDaniel
201. willmcd
I have to wonder why RJ included this little bit at the end of LoC rather than putting it into ACoS with the rest of the Ebou Dar plotline. From a narratology standpoint, it would seem to make more sense to have them step through the Gateway at the end of this book, and pick up the journey at the start of the next one, so that the Mat/Elaynaeve tension may be developed and resolved within the same text. (Of course, with the benefit of having read the ending to TPoD, we know that stepping through a Gateway as the climax of a plotline leads to sitting around doing nothing for two books (drum fill)).

Agreed that the 5-6 day post-gateway "real-time travel to Ebou Dar" seems like a construction for the chance to have character interaction to set up tension. For the most part, RJ did a remarkable job of introducing Traveling (a hugely unbalancing power from a story standpoint), without constantly imposing ridiculous one-off limitations on it that make us struggle to suspend our disbelief, but here is one of the times when it shows through just a bit.

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