Mon
Oct 12 2009 6:47pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: Lord of Chaos, Part 28

What ho, gentle WOTtites! It is Monday, and therefore time for a Wheel of Time Re-read! Huzzah!

Today’s post covers Chapters 49-50 of Lord of Chaos, in which there are incidents and accidents, there are hints and allegations, and I discover a need for hot chocolate and Advil, respectively. Sigh.

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... yes. The post!

Chapter 49: The Mirror of Mists

What Happens
Perrin and Rand sit in a courtyard in the palace, puffing on pipes and relaxing. Rand asks Perrin again if he won’t consider Tear; Perrin asks, what about Min’s viewing? Rand asks if Perrin really wants to be “tied to [his] belt”, and Perrin replies dryly that what he wants hasn’t seemed to matter since the day Moiraine showed up in Emond’s Field. Suddenly he looks to their left, and a long moment later Loial enters; Rand and Perrin both spring up to greet him, and usher him to sit and rest. Loial is puzzled at their solicitousness, and insists he is fine, telling Perrin that he owes Loial a gold crown for getting to Caemlyn even faster than they wagered; Perrin grins and informs Rand that Gaul has gotten Loial into gambling, to Rand’s amusement. They both want to know if he stayed long enough in the stedding, and Loial answers that he’s good for another ten years. Rand replies that’s not what his mother says, and Loial is appalled to learn that she had been in Caemlyn with Elder Haman and Erith. He says it means he has to get married, and he moans that now he won’t be able to go with Rand or finish his book; it’s all very well for Perrin to grin, since Faile does whatever he wants (Perrin chokes on his pipe), but in Ogier society it is considered “very rude” not to obey your wife, and she’ll make him settle down to something respectable.

Abruptly he frowned and stopped pacing. “Did you say Erith?” Rand nodded; Perrin seemed to be getting his breath back, but he was glaring at Loial in a sort of malevolent amusement. “Erith, daughter of Iva daughter of Alar?” Rand nodded again, and Loial sank back to his place on the fountain coping. “But I know her. You remember her, Rand. We met her at Stedding Tsofu.”

“That is what I was trying to tell you,” Rand said patiently. And with no little amusement himself. “She was the one who said you’re handsome. And gave you a flower, as I recall.”

“She might have said,” Loial muttered defensively. “She might have done; I cannot recall.” But one hand strayed toward a coat pocket full of books, where Rand would have wagered anything that flower was carefully pressed.

He continues that Erith is very beautiful, and listened to him very attentively when he explained one of his theories about the Ways. This reminds Rand of his project to put guards on all the Waygates, and he tells Loial that he needs someone to talk to the Elders and get their permission for it. This angers Perrin, who tells Rand that he’s already sent Mat off to face down Aes Sedai, wants to send Perrin to fight Sammael, and now wants to send Loial off when he just arrived; is there anyone he won’t use?

Anger welled up in Rand, a tempest that made him shake. Those yellow eyes stared at him grimly, but he stared back like thunder. “I will use anybody I must. You said it yourself; I am who I am. And I’m using myself up, Perrin, because I have to. Just like I’ll use anybody I have to. We don’t have a choice anymore. Not me, not you, not anybody!”

Loial mutters anxiously for them not to fight, and Rand finally apologizes. Perrin makes an off-handed gesture, but does not apologize in turn. They are interrupted by a highly agitated Min, who dashes into the courtyard to tell Rand the Aes Sedai are coming. There are seven of them, not three, and they intend to enter the Palace and go to the Grand Hall before Rand knows they have arrived; Min galloped all the way to beat them here. Lews Therin begins whimpering about not being able to handle seven, and Rand thinks of the fat man angreal, which calms the voice a little. He calmly asks Min if she thinks this is her viewing, but Min doesn’t know. He asks Jalani to get things ready for him in the Hall, making a joke when she tells him it’s all under way already; Perrin and Loial laugh, but Min punches him in the ribs and tells him it’s no laughing matter. Insisting Min stay with Perrin and Loial (and rather surprised when she agrees), he hurries to the Grand Hall, which is crowded to bursting with Aiel, all veiled, and barely gets settled before Mistress Harfor comes in to announce the Aes Sedai. They enter on her heels, decked out in their shawls, and Rand seizes saidin before Lews Therin can beat him to it. Rand figures the one of the seven he does not recognize must be Demira Eriff, and wonders why she is leading the others; he senses that they have embraced saidar, and they appear to be growing taller as they head toward him. Lews Therin is incredulous that they expect “the Mirror of Mists” to impress him, but it’s unnerving the Aiel, except for Melaine.

Demira Eriff began to speak, and plainly channeling was involved there too. She did not shout, but her voice filled the Grand Hall, seeming to come from everywhere. “Under the circumstances, it was decided that I should speak for all. We intend you no harm here today, but the strictures we accepted before, that you would feel safe, we must now reject. Obviously you have never learned the respect due Aes Sedai. You must learn it now. Henceforth we shall come and go as we please, saving only that at our choice, we will still inform you first in the future when we wish to speak with you. Your Aiel watchers around our inn must be removed, and no one is to watch or follow us. Any future insult to our dignity will be punished, though those we must punish are as children, and you will be responsible for their pain. This is how it must be. This is how it shall be. Know that we are Aes Sedai.”

Lews Therin screams about striking now, but Rand makes himself lean back casually, wondering what “circumstances” could make them feel they could threaten him now, and remarks that the Tower embassy in Cairhien accepts the same restrictions, and offer gifts, not threats. Demira replies contemptuously that they will not buy him, and Rand fights down anger. He then wrestles with Lews Therin, who thinks Rand waited too long to shield them, and instead uses saidin to shatter their illusion; they look shocked for a moment, but recover, and Demira says they expect their requirements to be met. He holds off Lews Therin, who is screaming and clawing for the Source, and stands.

“The restrictions stand,” he said quietly. “And one more requirement of my own. From now on I expect to see the respect I deserve from you. I am the Dragon Reborn. You may go now. The audience is at an end.”

They stare at him a moment, then leave without a word; Melaine opines loudly that he handled them well. Rand stares after the Aes Sedai, wishing he understood what was going on.

Min leaves her hiding place where she had observed the audience, and tries to figure out how to smooth this all over, but knows she can’t unless she learns what ticked off the Aes Sedai in the first place. She heads back to the inn, where she finds Rafela’s Warder, a Kandori man named Mahiro Shukosa who seems to fondly regard Min as a younger sister.

“So, cabbage,” he said with a grin, “back with your neck unbroken, not kidnapped and not married.” One day she was going to ask him what that meant; he always said it.

She asks him if anything happened, and he tells her, other than the Aes Sedai returning from the Palace looking like “a storm in the mountains”? He advises her to stay out of business that isn’t hers, but Min cajoles him for just a hint. While he considers, Min freezes to see two more Aes Sedai, Bera Harkin and Kiruna Nachiman, enter the common room; she sees an aura around them that makes her “stop breathing”. They don’t notice Min, and she overhears them disgustedly discussing Alanna’s failure to “bring him to heel” before they head upstairs. Min tries to stay calm, thinking of how there are now thirteen Aes Sedai in Caemlyn, and asks Mahiro for her hint.

He hesitated another moment, then set the puzzle down. “I will not say what is or is not, but a word in a good ear. Maybe you should expect al’Thor to be upset. Maybe you should even consider asking if someone else can deliver any messages, perhaps one of us.” He meant the Warders. “Maybe the sisters have decided to teach al’Thor a small lesson in humility. And that, cabbage, is maybe a word more than I should have said. You will think on it?”

Min asks him to tell Merana she is sightseeing for the next few days, and leaves again, to gallop back to the Palace for the second time.

“Thirteen,” Rand said flatly, and just saying it was enough for Lews Therin to try seizing control of saidin from him again. It was a wordless struggle with a snarling beast.

Min says it’s not just that, it’s the aura she saw: blood, death, the One Power, the two Aes Sedai, and Rand, all in the same place. She adds that Bera and Kiruna do not like Rand at all, and together with her other viewing it’s all too much. Rand thinks about how Merana had decided to challenge him on the very day their number reached thirteen, and wonders if maybe Lews Therin is right about a preemptive strike. Rand tells one of the Maidens to have Nandera meet him in Perrin’s rooms with as many Maidens as she wants to take, and sends for paper and ink, and for someone to find Perrin, Faile, and Loial. Min asks where they going.

“Cairhien.” With the Void around him, that came out cold as a slap in the face. “Trust me, Min. I won’t hurt you. I will cut off my arm before I hurt you.” She was silent, and he finally looked down to find her peering up at him with a strange expression.

“That’s very nice to hear, sheepherder.” Her voice was as odd as her face. The thought of thirteen Aes Sedai coming for him must have really frightened her, and small wonder.

Rand promises to send her from harm if it comes to facing them, and Min flourishes her knives, declaring she can take care of herself. In Perrin’s rooms, Rand explains about the thirteen Aes Sedai to Perrin, Faile, Loial, Gaul, Bain, Chiad, and Sulin; Bain and Chiad announce they are accompanying Faile, whereupon Gaul immediately declares he is coming with Perrin, while Loial goes to pack, and Sulin leaves and reappears with more servants’ dresses, growling that she had been commanded to serve them wherever they are. When the paper and ink arrives, everyone sends notes: Perrin to Dannil to tell him to follow them to Cairhien (Rand and Faile talk him out of trying to get Bode and the others away from Verin and Alanna), Faile to her parents, Min to Mahiro (who she makes a point of telling Rand is an old man), and Loial to Erith, though he tries to hide the name. Hands shaking, Rand writes to Taim to warn him about the thirteen and to repeat his orders to stay away from them.

And to Merana, a different sort of warning, and an invitation of a kind. It was no use him trying to hide; Alanna could find him anywhere in the world eventually. It had to be on his terms, though, if he could manage that.

He barely reacts to Nandera’s decision to bring over five hundred Maidens with them to Cairhien, concentrating on tamping down Lews Therin, and when they finally all arrive in Cairhien is so exhausted from the struggle that Loial has to carry him to his rooms.

Merana sits quietly with al’Thor’s letter in her lap, which she already knows by heart.

Merana, it began. Not Merana Aes Sedai, nor even Merana Sedai.

Merana,

A friend of mine once told me that in most dice games, the number thirteen is considered nearly as unlucky as rolling the Dark One’s Eyes. I also think thirteen is an unlucky number. I am going to Cairhien. You may follow me as you can with no more than five other sisters. That way you will be on an equal footing with the emissaries from the White Tower. I will be displeased if you try to bring more. Do not press me again. I have little trust left in me.

Rand al’Thor
The Dragon Reborn

At the end, his pen had pressed so hard that it nearly tore the paper; the last two lines almost seemed a different hand from the rest.

Everyone else is there in the room except for Verin and Alanna. Bera, Kiruna and the others express disgust over al’Thor daring to write such a letter, and marvel over the existence of Traveling. Verin enters, and confirms Perrin Aybara’s departure as well, managing to mention the Two Rivers men’s banner of Manetheren, which makes Kairen gasp. Merana reflects how foolish it had been to worry about Verin taking over, now that Bera and Kiruna are here; all Verin had done was guide Demira into suggesting today’s “unfortunate” confrontation. Merana supposes she started it by deferring to Verin, but now the embassy is well and truly crumbling.

It was the sort of thing that would never have happened when the White Tower was whole, when an ambassador had the full power of the Tower and the Amyrlin Seat behind her, and no matter if she had taken thirty years to reach the shawl and barely had enough strength to keep from being sent away. They were only a collection of Aes Sedai now, slipping into their relative places without thought.

Alanna enters, and Bera and Kiruna immediately swoop on her, demanding confirmation that Rand is in Cairhien; Alanna defiantly answers that he is somewhere to the east, which could well be Cairhien. Kiruna wants to know why, if she were going to bond someone without asking, she hadn’t gone ahead and used the bond to “bend him to [her] will” while she was at it; Alanna replies, to Bera and Kiruna’s shock, that she tried, and it was like “trying to uproot an oak with her bare hands”. She supposes that it might be because of the fact that he can channel. Bera and Kiruna recover, and tell her no matter, she will still come with them to Cairhien. Merana decides to make one last effort to reassert control, and reminds them of the embassy’s original mission, pointing out as neutrally as possible that the fault for his flight must be laid on Bera and Kiruna’s arrival, however accidental. Bera and Kiruna shut her down and go right back to discussing who should come with them to Cairhien.

Merana trembled, the folded letter crumpling in her fist. “Don’t you see?” she shouted. “You talk as if we can go on as before, as if nothing has changed. There is an embassy from Elaida in Cairhien, from the White Tower. That is how al’Thor must see it. We need him more than he needs us, and I fear he knows it!”

Everyone except Verin looks shocked; Verin nods thoughtfully, with a small smile. Then Bera tells Merana to sit down; she obeys automatically, and Bera and Kiruna decide that Verin, Faeldrin, Masuri, and Seonid will come with them to Cairhien, while Demira, Berenicia, Kairen and Valinde will escort the Two Rivers girls to Salidar, along with Merana. Merana feels cold, and weakly points out that they could use a Gray with them in Cairhien to negotiate; Bera stares at her a moment, and then allows her to come along condescendingly. Merana prays that the rebels have elected someone strong to be Amyrlin, and that they find al’Thor before he decides to acknowledge Elaida, or nothing would save them.

Commentary
I have a feeling I ought to be headdesking a bloody groove into my computer table right about now, but honestly at this point I’m just reduced to my patented weary sigh of You Make Me Tired, You Stupid, Stupid People. Which is nice for the furniture, I suppose. I’m just going to curl up with my hot mug and my ennui in the meantime.

So, the Snit Heard Round the World. This is the problem with righteous anger, a lesson I learned on Usenet, of all places. Quite aside from the Salidar embassy’s complete (and thematic) misinterpretation of information making their Smackdown of Virtuous Justice ring quite hollow, the thing about striking back is that even if you’re in the right to do so, it rarely produces the effect you think it ought to. In fact, in my experience nine times out of ten it only makes things worse.

It’s the whole “fight or flight” thing; when people are attacked, whether verbally or physically, the impulse to either retreat or retaliate is virtually automatic. Whether they deserve to be smacked around is nearly always subsumed by the instinct to defend themselves anyway, and in fact more often than not the knowledge that they are in the wrong will induce them to counterattack that much more fiercely. In Rand’s case, paranoia, stress, and mistrust take the place of actual guilt quite nicely, so at the end of the day it was six of one, half a dozen of the other from a results point of view. Basically there was just about no way in hell for the Salidar embassy’s facedown with Rand to end any way but badly. (And given the titanic battle Rand was having in his own head with Lews Therin, they have no idea just how badly it could have gone.)

Should they have known this? Well of course they should have, but that’s the thing about righteous anger: we so badly want it to work that we rarely pay any attention to the fact that it hardly ever does. The human race has historically displayed remarkable stubbornness in our refusal to admit the unfair truth, of the just response’s tendency to obtain the unjust result.

And that, boys and girls, is why we have wars – or at least why we have wars that span years and decades and even generations. Ain’t it grand?

In fact, usually the only place the Righteous Smackdown ever works is in fiction. Except, of course, when it doesn’t.

Loial: Is still adorable. And, oppressed by the matriarchy. Yay, not.

Mahiro: I don’t know why him calling Min “cabbage” amused me so much, but it did. I like him. Does he survive Dumai’s Wells? I hope so, but I can’t remember at the moment. Well, I’ll find out soon enough.

Min: We used to never be sure if her reaction to Rand’s line about cutting off his arm before hurting her was a viewing or not, but KOD pretty strongly indicates it was, since the reason Rand didn’t just dodge Semirhage’s fireball (after failing to seize saidin) was because Min was behind him. So, that settles that, I guess.

Perrin: The thing that sucks about his argument with Rand is that they are both right. And yet, that’s not going to do anything to help mend the growing rift between them. It’s only just starting here, but it’s going to get worse. Like everything else.

Merana: I feel genuinely sorry for Merana here, not only for how much it just generally sucks to be undermined and dismissed like that, but also because as Aes Sedai go, she is one of the clearer-headed of the bunch, and if she had actually been able to maintain control of the embassy things would most likely have turned out differently. Unfortunately, Merana was the patsy here, both of circumstance and of Verin.

Of course, she’s smart but not that smart, since she thinks that Verin “only” maneuvered Demira into the confrontation with Rand; uh, Merana, that was pretty much the pivotal event here, didn’t you notice? Merana seems to think the key point was Bera and Kiruna’s arrival, which I guess it sort of was from her personal perspective, but that seems to rather miss the larger picture if you ask me. Ah, well.

Verin: Have I mentioned she is sneaky? I might have mentioned that a couple of times. As usual, it’s not really clear here what her larger objective was in engineering the breakdown of relations between Rand and the rebels, and is yet one more mysterious things to add to the mystery of What Is Up with Verin. Y’all feel free to have fun with it in the comments.

Also, Bera and Kiruna suck. That is all.


Chapter 50: Thorns

What Happens
Rand spends the day being mothered by Sulin and Min until he chases them out. He finds his flute in the back of the wardrobe, and when Min returns she is delighted and insists he play for her, amused at his lack of practice.

A mischievous light appeared in her eyes, and she slowly leaned closer, pursing her lips as if for a kiss. “If you put them like this,” she murmured when they were almost touching his, “it might help. There were bits in that last piece that almost sounded like ‘Rooster in the Gumtree.’ ” It took him a moment to understand, with her eyes filling his vision, and when he did, his face must have been a sight, because she collapsed on his chest laughing.

They are interrupted by the Wise Ones, who insist on examining him (and call him stubborn when he refuses to jump up and down). Min is amazed to learn about how they communicate in dreams, and sees something about Colinda but won’t tell Rand what it is. He receives a note from Coiren, inquiring after his health, and offering Healing; Rand can’t help comparing this with the Salidar embassy’s behavior, but sends back polite thanks and refusal, with an invitation for Gawyn to come see him. Gawyn does not appear, and Rand sadly concludes that Gawyn must believe the stories saying he killed Morgase. Coiren writes twice more every three days, asking for an audience, but he makes excuses for those as well; he can feel Alanna coming closer, and is determined that both embassies should be on equal footing, which means Coiren must wait. Rand and Min go to visit Herid Fel at the school; Fel is so flustered by Min’s presence that he says nothing of any substance about his research on the seals, and the next day sends Rand a note on a torn-off corner of parchment:

Belief and order give strength. Have to clear rubble before you can build. Will explain when see you next. Do not bring girl. Too pretty.

This makes no sense to Rand, but it highly amuses Min, who asks if she can keep the note. She spends a great deal of time with the Wise Ones, and Rand is puzzled at how irritable it makes him when she is not around, even as he thinks it is a good thing that she is not near him too often. He wants her to view the nobles, though. Min suggests laughingly that she pretend to be his “lightskirt”, but Rand thinks even that would be too dangerous for her, and tells her that he won’t have people thinking that about her in any case, which seems to please her greatly. Rand is depressed by the things she does see around the nobles: Maringil will be poisoned, Colavaere hanged, and Meilan knifed, while Aracome, Maraconn and Gueyam are all going to die “bloody deaths, in battle”. Min is so upset by this that she takes to bed herself for a while, but she never lets up teasing him, pinching his bottom, snuggling in his lap, etc. He pretends to weep and stammer, but she laughs and tells him it’s not good enough. Min gets interested in a book Rand had found “heavy going” (Daria Gahand’s Essays on Reason), and keeps it with her. Rand is puzzled by the coolness between Min and Faile whenever they are together, and the open animosity between Min and Berelain at their first meeting makes his hair stand on end. While Lews Therin starts humming in his head at the sight of her, Rand chastises Berelain for neglecting her duties; he does not want a riot if Cairhien starts believing he left an Aiel in charge (Rhuarc). Berelain replies obliquely that “rumors grow like weeds” since the Aes Sedai came, and asks who he means to rule here; Rand tells her he intends for Elayne to have the throne, and Berelain replies thoughtfully that she would be a good choice. She mentions, though, that the word is the Aes Sedai are here to escort him to the Tower, and Rand tells her to leave the Aes Sedai to him. After Berelain leaves, Min sniffs and wonders why she bothers to wear any clothes at all, and adds that she saw nothing useful around her, just “a man in white who will make her fall head over heels”. Then she engages seamstresses to make her new coats and breeches in silks and brocades, and spends time practicing with her knives. Rhuarc is not concerned with the rebels in the hills, but is worried about the Shaido, who are reported to be stirring in Kinslayer’s Dagger. Upon discovering that Sevanna had actually been in the city, Rand asks why she wasn’t captured, since she can’t truly be a Wise One, but Rhuarc says if the other Wise Ones agree she is one, that’s the end of it. Rand sighs (ignoring the strange disapproving byplay between Rhuarc and Berelain), and tells him that he’ll have to stop sending spears south to Tear, just in case the Shaido decide to move on Cairhien again. Ten days altogether pass in this fashion, and Rand actually finds it all rather pleasant.

Perrin is not having nearly as good a time. The very first day Berelain walks in on him while washing, and though he bundles her out as fast as possible, calling Faile “wife” every other sentence, Faile somehow knows she had been there the moment she walks in, and begins reeking of jealousy.

It was very strange. Faile smiled. Not one untoward word passed her lips. She was as loving as ever, and even more fierce than usual, raking deep furrows into his shoulders with her fingernails, which she had never done before.

Afterwards, examining the bleeding gouges by lamplight, she nipped his ear between her teeth, not at all lightly, and laughed. “In Saldaea,” she murmured, “we notch a horse’s ears, but I think that will do to mark you.” And the whole while she fairly reeked of jealousy and rage.

The next day he sees Faile and Berelain talking in the hall, smiling fit to split, and hears Berelain tell Faile that she always keeps her promises, and makes the mistake of asking Faile about it, which earns him another set of furrows. He soon realizes that Berelain is stalking him, appearing near him seemingly by chance, always managing to touch him lightly. He’s also plagued by a number of nobles, some older (like Colavaere, Maringil, etc.) who try to pump him for information about Rand, and other younger ones who keep getting in his face for no reason Perrin can discern. All this distracts him enough that he can’t always avoid Berelain, and Faile of course happens to catch them on one occasion right as Berelain pats his cheek and before he jerks away. She immediately turns and heads away; he catches up to her and apologizes, insisting that nothing happened, but this seems to make Faile even angrier. He later overhears Bain and Chiad discussing whether to help Faile beat him, and that night Faile refuses his advances, smelling furious.

He could not sleep with that smell, and the longer he lay there beside her, studying the ceiling in the darkness, the angrier he became. Why was she doing this? Could she not see he loved her and only her? Had he not shown her time and again that what he wanted more than anything in life was to hold her forever? Was he to blame because some fool woman got a bee up her nose and wanted to flirt? What he ought to do was turn her upside down and smack her bottom till she saw sense. Only he had done that once before, when she thought she could hit him with her fist whenever she wanted to make a point. In the long run it had hurt him a lot more than it had her; he did not like even the thought of Faile being hurt. He wanted peace with her. With her and only her.

Perrin spends the next few days hunting with Gaul, trying to stay away from the palace as much as possible, but this backfires, as Berelain lies in wait for him no matter how late he returns, and Faile is always asleep when he returns now. He knows he’s blundered, though not how, and wishes for one word from Faile to explain it to him.

On the tenth day Rand receives another polite request for an audience from Coiren; he estimates it will take at least another ten days for Merana’s party to reach Cairhien, and decides to meet with Coiren twice more before she arrives, so as to give each embassy the same number of audiences. Merana couldn’t know he would “as soon stick his hand into a viper pit” than go anywhere near the Tower with Elaida as Amyrlin, and thinks this may goad her into throwing Salidar’s support to him with no more nonsense about “guiding”. He writes to tell Coiren that she may bring two sisters with her to the palace the next afternoon.

Commentary
Oh, there’s Rand’s flute.

This chapter is mostly an interlude, which serves as a “calm before the storm” kind of thing, and also an opportunity to set up plot points for further down the line, with Min’s viewings about the various nobles and Herid Fel’s note.

Oh, and the setup of the Faile/Berelain/Perrin semi-triangle, which I forgot gets started in LOC, and makes me realize, oh, look! Seems I do have a headdesk or two in reserve!

*headdesk* *headdesk*

Lord give me strength. I was tempted to go back and find my comments on the last time I clocked in on this mess, to see if I’m still blaming the same person, but hey, I’ll let whatever my earlier sentiments were stand, and if I now contradict them, tough titty. People change. Whatever they might have been before, for the LOC edition of the Argh Leigh Hates You Contest, the winner is definitely Berelain.

Now, I like Berelain in a lot of ways. As a political tactician and survival expert, she is awesome, and I really enjoyed her relationship with Rhuarc as long as I ignored some of the formative aspects of it. But girl has got a vindictive streak a mile wide, and cherishes a grudge like nobody’s business, and that is not pretty at all. And the thing that is so very ugly about her behavior here is much less her determination to get Faile (though that’s hardly admirable), and much more how little she apparently cares about the collateral damage – namely, of course, Perrin.

Faile is not exactly covering herself with glory here either, of course, but at least her behavior is culturally induced idiocy rather than active malice. However silly we may find it, Faile is genuinely hurt here by Perrin’s failure to understand what it is she needs to be assuaged, and is acting out accordingly.

And as much as Perrin is obviously the injured party here, I am also annoyed at him for not at least trying to sit Faile down and saying something like “Look, I know this is hurting you, but I am not Saldaean, so please just tell me what I need to do in order to make this right.” I’m not saying this would necessarily work, but at this point it certainly couldn’t hurt. But of course, that requires open and unambiguous communication between characters, and God knows we can’t have that. But then again, this may be a little bit of blaming the victim, and I try not to do that, because that is Muy No Bueno.

(It is really interesting, by the way, to swap the genders of everyone involved, and note how the resulting plot is a hundred times more familiar. Two guys fighting over a girl, with a total lack of concern over what the girl wants? Yeah. May have seen that a few billion times. Think Jordan might have been making a point?)

Bah, moving on. The significance of Fel’s note has been discussed ad nauseam, both here in the comments and elsewhere, so I’m not going to dwell on it overmuch except to say that I’ve always agreed that in general it meant that Rand will need to break the seals on the Dark One’s prison. Of course, it is rather maddeningly vague on what he’s supposed to do after that. “Belief and order give strength”, I’m certain, is the key clue on that, but what the hell that’s supposed to actually mean is beyond me. I guess we’ll find out!

Also, I forgot that Rand actually tries to meet with Gawyn. It’s really no surprise that Gawyn ignores the invite, given that staying away from Rand was probably the only way he considered himself able to keep his promise to Egwene about not trying to kill him, but I’m kind of wistfully curious to imagine how differently things might have gone if Gawyn had met him. I’m not sure why, since there’s no real reason to think it would have gone well, but you never know.


And that, I think, about puts us ready for the Imminent Fit-on-Shanning we are about to be treated to. Yay? Sort of! Wednesday, ho!

146 comments
Fake Name
1. ThePendragon
This may be my first first. We'll see. Thanks for the post! Things start to get real interesting soon, can't wait to see the posts during the box sequences.


EDIT: Just finished, and I must say, the Perrin/Faile/Berelain thing is one situation where I think communication would not have helped. If he had sat Faile down and done exactly as you suggested, I imagine she would have been dissapointed that she had to explain at best, and at worst she would have gotten angrier and refused to explain at all. Either way, I think there was no way for things to go well there.
Sam Mickel
2. Samadai
And so at last the action is building to explosion level. yeah
Almaruc
3. Almaruc
Faile has always been one of my least favorite characters and this chapter is one of the key reasons why. Not that I was ever jealous or possessive.


Me, never.
Sam Mickel
4. Samadai
Perrin in all his glory, before the (Faile) fall.
Almaruc
5. dchambers59
"What he ought to do was turn her upside down and smack her bottom till she saw sense. Only he had done that once before, when she thought she could hit him with her fist whenever she wanted to make a point. In the long run it had hurt him a lot more than it had her; he did not like even the thought of Faile being hurt. He wanted peace with her. With her and only her."

At least we probably won't see another Perrin/Faile spanking incident.
Almaruc
6. Lsana
Just two points that I wanted to consider:

1. While "righteous anger" certainly has had a place in human history, standard practice for the righteously angry is to tell their targets just what it is that has them so pissed off. In fact, it's usually standard practice to say, "And that's for..." right before you start the smiting. If the Aes Sedai had done that, no matter how it was that they approached Rand, he would probably have acknowledge that they had a right to be mad, and he'd have investigated the attack, maybe even found the true villains. Instead, they had to go for the whole "You know what you did" theory. That doesn't work in lovers' spats, let alone delicate diplomatic situations.

2. Is Elayne actually that great a choice for Queen of Cairhein? It seems to me that there are a couple of problems with her. First, her loyalties are to Andor, the Aes Sedai, and the Dragon Reborn. I'm not sure what order those go in, but the well-being of Cairhein would always be a distant forth in her thoughts. She'd be mostly an absent queen, meaning that the question of who will be de facto ruling Cairhein would cause almost as much chaos as the current mess. Also, I seem to recall that her father was passed over for King because he was married to the Queen of Andor; I can't imagine they would be any more thrilled to have the actual Queen ruling.

The second problem is that from what I know of Cairhein law, Elayne wouldn't actually be Taringail Damodred's heir; Cairhein has no problem with male rulers, so she would be behind both Galad and Gawyn. While I don't see either of them attempting a coup, someone else might attempt one in their names...

There are problems with Galad and Gawyn too, of course. At this point, Galad also has another loyalty to the Whitecloaks, while Gawyn in addition to being First Prince of Andor is also batshit insane. Still, though, I don't see Elayne as a great choice for Cairhein.
Almaruc
7. Elfender
a little off topic here....but i am sooooooo looking forward to Moiraine showing back up...as cryptic and secretive as she was, it was still preferable to the thousand some odd other Aes Sedai since her "death"

Also...totally agree that Berlain is like 90% responsible, Fail 9%, Perrin 1%...communication MAY have solved thos little problem from the get go..but then perrin MIGHT be happy...cant have that...yet...i mean out of all the Two Rivers heroes...i think only Mat and maybe Nynaeve (after Lans re-appearance and her subsequent block removal) could be considered even remotely happy...
Maiane Bakroeva
8. Isilel
The era of Green suckage, inaugurated by Alanna continues in style. Have we actually seen a Green who wasn't too stupid to live and an incompetent bumbler to boot, apart from Cadsuane?

Rand not asking about the "circumstances" - aaargh! I also don't get LTT's frenzy re: 7-13 AS when he has an angreal, 2 powerful sa'angreal and Wise Ones to protect him to boot. I mean, crazy, much?

I still don't get why Verin set it all up or why Merana let her interfere in the embassy, in defiance of all custom that reserves obedience and interference due to strength _only_ to within WT itself.
Kiruna and Bera are another matter, as they can be considered to be on the same mission and sent by the same authority - no wonder that they take over. And man, given their idiocy they should have been dead a thousand times over. They stuff the embassy with Greens and generally stronger channelers as opposed to competent negociators. Le Sigh.

I won't even get into Berelein slacking her duties again (not a great politician, if you ask me) or the infuriating "triangle" she enacts. But Faile doesn't have the excuse of cultural blinkers IMHO, for the simple reason that she has lived in TR, dealt with TRians and have seen for herself that their culture _is not Saldean_. So, expecting Perrin to just know how she wanted him to act was clearly insane, IMHO.
Sean Arthur
9. wsean
So much dumb in these chapters.

Perrin fumes and Rand takes flight.
Berelain by day, Faile by night.
Fool women, fool men, everyone's a fool.
Let the Lord of Dumbness rule.
Kerwin Miller
10. tamyrlink
and enter Kiruna and Bera......

yea they did Merana str8 up dirty here but thats how Aes Sedai roll right?

Lews Therin makes me laff. out loud.

as for the semi love triangle....i tend to gloss over it alot....because Perrin doesn't rank all that high on my favorite character list....

but i thinks the next chapter is aptly named The Taking, and its about to get good from there on out lol.
James Jones
11. jamesedjones
9 wsean

Very appropriate. :)

Leigh, going back to your previous post, can I have a cookie and a hug? ;)

Just want to say, the love triangle bugs the crap out of me. Could be just like Leigh said. RJ was writing it with a wink and a grin 'cause you're supposed to flip the sexes. But I've been up a loooong time, and I just can't wrap my mind around it right now.

Edit: you're for your. Sorry wetlandernw.
Maggie M
12. Eswana
wsean @9:
HA. Clever. Well done you!

I've missed Loial's cuteness lately. He added a nice naiveté to books that are otherwise a bit heavy, especially of late; aww.

I'm also amused that Mahiro calls Min "cabbage." IIRC, there is a term of endearment in French that literally translated is "my little cabbage." Can any francophiles corroborate? I hope he ends up happy. What a stand-up fellow!

Since this part of the series steps up/kicks off the annoying-as-all-hell love triangle between Perrin & Co..... I feel like I'm just gritting my teeth, knowing where in for a lot more stupidness coming your way soon. Gah.

Maybe this doesn't need to be said, but was Rand really the only person in Randland who didn't know Min had it bad for him from like Day One? I was smiling as I read about their flirting and cuteness and then I remembered it's a whole book yet until they FINALLY seal the deal. Though, to be fair, ACoS only takes like ten days or something in Randland time, but it seems like a looooooooooooong time.

@Lsana: Good points about Elayne. But who else was Rand going to pick? He has serious trust issues, with good reason, and Elayne is one of the few people he knows for certain he can trust. Her blood claim is weaker than some, true, but she's good for what he needs. It might not matter much anyway; I'm pretty sure that after the Last Battle most of the nations will be in such upheaval that king or queen will be little more than a title. Boundaries between nations might even be re-drawn; maybe Andor and Cairheinen will combine? Or something?
Tess Laird
13. thewindrose
Leigh - I do hope that you have insurance for all the headdesking, or TOR replaces furniture:)

Aarrgghh, the Perrin, Faile and Berelain story arc begins, I need to upgrade my insurance to cover the headdesk injuries.

One thing to remember about Bera and Kiruna, they have been chasing after Rand, even all the way to the threefold land, so travel irritation perhaps?
battle ajah
14. battleajah
Re- Mahiro calling Min "cabbage":

I, too, have always thought his call her that word funny. But I never gave "mon petit chou" a second thought when I read it, despite knowing what that meant.
Ron Garrison
15. Man-0-Manetheran
And I believe "mon petit chou" was popularized by Pepé Le Pew, Academy Award winning Looney Tunes skunk.
Bryan Cogswell
16. shmoo
@ 6. Lsana


And Perhaps Rand's desires for giving the sun throne to Elayne are a little more along the lines of... "so, my girlfriend, who i'm all about but haven't seen since Tear and have slept with someone else since then AND i have this Min chick flirting with me... Well Elayne is gonna be really pissed off. IF she still even likes me. Lets see what can i give her.... flowers? A ring? hmm nope something a little more since i'm like the dragon and everything... hmm... what would a queen want? I know... another Throne! I'm sure to get some after that..."

Or he is just thinking that if the same ruler controls both there will be less chance of war and he won't leave EVERYTHING in complete chaos after he dies.
Alice Arneson
17. Wetlandernw
First, I have to say that if I'd been agreeing any more fervently with the commentary on chapter 50, my head just might have fallen off. So I won't repeat it all, but YES!! Oh, and at the risk of stirring horrible pots, I have to say that "What he ought to do was turn her upside down and smack her bottom till she saw sense" might actually have gotten a resolution faster than anything else. I'm not saying I advocate it as a general practice, but this is Faile the uber-Saldaean. It might have been exactly what she needed to break the ice and get everything out in the open. She's a fight-and-make-up gal - which bugs me as a character trait, but it's true to life for some folks - so he'd probably have been better off to give her the fight she wanted and get it over with. Instead... they both stubbornly stick to their own way of doing things, and nothing gets done. So we have to live with this annoyance for the next five books. Hey, I'd be happy to have a spanking scene thrown in here just to avoid that! (C'mon, Leigh, as much as the spankings make you *headdesk*, wouldn't you rather have a great row now and be done with it? Maybe they could just shout a lot instead of spanking.)

For those who say Faile doesn't have the excuse of cultural blinders... Maybe not entirely, but you don't change deep-seated ways of functioning just by observing for a couple of months that others have different customs. I think that at 18 or so, the gender interactions that she's grown up with are so deep in her mentality that (especially under emotional stress) she can't see any way to get past it. And didn't *any* of you (women especially) ever use that "you know what you did" thing? Especially if you couldn't verbalize it, or if the verbalization sounded too stupid to be real, but you were hurting too much to acknowlege it? Yeah, Faile isn't blameless, but I can see reasons for her behavior that, if not sensible, are at least comprensible. Berelain... just irritates me to the point of wanting to hit something. Gah!

About Elayne ruling Cairhien, I've never thought about it much until it came up in this forum a while back. I think the biggest thing is that she does have a legitimate claim, as Taringail Damodred's daughter, and Rand (with reason) doesn't trust any of the Cairhienin nobles who might qualify. After their conversations in Tear, he also knows that she would put the welfare of her people as a higher priority than a desire for personal power or gain, which he hasn't seen from the nobles in either Tear or Cairhien. Rand consistently approaches things from his own background as a "commoner" and he understands their needs - which include a stable government which cares for the people rather than just using them as a source for power suckage. I wonder if his desire to meet with Gawyn might have been something to do with this... Maybe to see if he thought that he or Galad ought to have the job. I'd forgotten completely that Rand actually tried here.

wsean@9 "Let the Lord of Dumbness rule." LOL!
Rob Trotter
18. shadar
@8 Isilel - Verin and Alanna weren't Rebels at this point. So Merana had no authority over them.

Bera/Kiruna on the other hand - were sent from Salidar - and in theory should have respected Merana's condition.
Almaruc
19. alreadymadwithcrazygreens
Isilel @8
From the Green perspective, which is apparently always on war footing, bringing stronger channelers was the best thing to do. I can't imagine what they intended to do when they got to him, though. Unfortunately, that was completely in line with the Aes Sedai knee jerk reaction when using the Power fails (spectacularly at that). Bring more. Reminds me of the joke about bringing more and bigger guns, and it completely ties in to the Green being the militant Ajah.
Obviously they were pissed at Rand, but really, ignoring Rand's warning is at the root of why they all end up swearing oaths. What were they thinking? That his warning applied only to Merana and not to them?
Almaruc
20. fairfax
I am not sure why everyone thinks Elayne will be Queen of Cairhein. Elayne's interest is being Queen of Andor, being Aes Sedai, and being in Rand's arms. I don't remember an Elayne POV where she wants to be Queen of Cairhein.

The obvious choice for post Tarmon Gai'don Queen of Cairhein is Moiraine. If Moiraine wasn't Aes Sedai she would already be Queen of Cairhein.
Roger Powell
21. forkroot
leigh
The human race has historically displayed remarkable stubbornness in our refusal to admit the unfair truth, of the just response’s tendency to obtain the unjust result.

And that, boys and girls, is why we have wars – or at least why we have wars that span years and decades and even generations. Ain’t it grand?
Gotta give you props for one awesome comment. So true. So sad. And so well-written in your pithy style. Make that "mega-props".

--
Chapter 49 provides an excellent example of the limitations of the advantages provided by Min's viewings. In this case, her viewing of Bera and Kiruna in post-Dumai's wells disarray leads Rand to precisely the wrong conclusion and he flees the more benign Salidar emissaries back to the clutches of Elaida's minions. We know that doesn't turn out well.

--
Having Elayne take the Sun Throne is just a bad idea, plain and simple. I have already argued elsewhere that Elayne would actually be more valuable to the Light if she wasn't bogged down by the throne of Andor. Adding Cairhien would make it worse.

What Rand needs is capable administrators for these countries, not a high-powered, uber-talented channeler. I guess he could have Elayne rule in name but then have a regent actually run the show. Which gets him back to issue #1 which is the selection of someone trustworthy. Lord Dobraine is fine IMO. Dyelin is fine for Camelyn. Let Elayne work on ter'angreals.
Alice Arneson
22. Wetlandernw
fairfax @20 - I don't recall any commenters saying they think Elayne actually will be Queen of Cairhien, but at this point that's what Rand wants. FWIW, in Winter's Heart, she has a conversation with Norry about it, and whether or not she wants the Sun Throne, she's willing to take it. After TG, if there still is a Cairhien, I doubt Moiraine will want to be Queen any more than she did before; at this point she's not in the running because she's "dead". I'm voting for Galad post-TG, myself; not because I think it will happen, but because I think it should. Guess we'll find out sometime in the next two years...
Eugenie Delaney
23. EmpressMaude
I've always thought that Elayne as Queen of Cairhien was a lousy idea, and not the least because I resent her getting the two "best" realms.

I also fail to see, by virtue of any of the accepted methods of succession she has a right to the Sun Throne that her elder brothers do not. If we are to accept that RJ relaxed the rules of primogeniture to allow eldest *child* and not eldest son, to inherit, than both Galad and Gawyn have superior claims. As it stands now, Elayne's claim is nothing more than a naked power grab. I know RJ was intentionally vague about how power passes from one to another under the Cairhienin system, but this is a tad despotic on the part of Elayne. From an outside view, power is transmit in Cairhien by virtue of who is strongest, regardless of familial lines - explain Barthanes to Caraline, or how Moiraine is a viable claimant even though she is "outside the line of succession" as the glossary says.

(I also nursed a secret grudge about Elayne's inheritance as High seat of Trakand - I think it have made a neater event if Morgase had abdicated the throne in favor of Elayne and the High Seat in favor of Gawyn. But, no. )
Peter Nein
24. gimpols1908
fairfax @ 20
f Moiraine wasn't Aes Sedai she would already be Queen of Cairhein.

IF her uncle had not cut down Avensdorladork(whateves)he still would be king. I don't think she was in line. Could be wrong.
paul Hend
25. tugthis
It may be interesting to examine why LTT acts up when he does. I think that in almost every case he gives Rand exactly the right advice that Rand then fights/ignores. I am sure that Jordan is making a point with it but I am not sure what it is. Perhaps that our instncts/subconsious are usually correct and that good will out-- as opposed to the soft headed prevaricating and rationalizing. Again I am not sure the purpose but. . . certainly the story would be tighter.

Head-desking seems to be the go to emotion for the plot complexities Jordan introduces. They all seem to come from the inversion of our expectations regarding communication. We would like to believe that simple dialogue and communication solve or have the capability to solve most conflicts. Fundamentally however communication requires the belief that compromise is possible or even desirable. In some cases however there may never be a cultural meeting of the minds. Then it often comes down to We are rght you are wrong, we are going to kick your ass until you see that. There was plenty of communication between the Greeks and Romans, Americans and Native Americans, Japanese and Chinese, but in no case would any of these civilizations compromise what they felt was their cultural touchstones.
So when conflict arise between Saldeans, Aiel,AS, Andorans, Taraboners, Seanchan. I have to believe it is because Jordan wants it that way. . . That we are as frustrated as Rodney King "Why can't we all get along. . ." indeed.

I still agree that giving Elayne the throne is a bad idea. I do not think she would be welcomed or particularly competant. She willl have her hands full learning on the job with Andor, I don't see how doubling her workload makes for a successful rule. I also would not have "given" her Andor, far better to have her traveling ter'angreal wagon following him around and ready to give him the good stuff for the big fight. Let somebody else oversea the bureacrats.

I do wonder what the AS from both factions think their relationship should be with Rand. If he is in truth the manifestation of the prophecies it is clear that they should bow and be subservient. Of course old habits die hard. . . I wonder at the reaction of the Catholic Church if Jesus returned. . . how long would it take for them to get their act in gear. . . to say nothing of all the other denominations.
Joseph Armao
26. joeyesq
"The Rooster in the Gumtree"??

Is this another "Easing the Badger" innuendo that I'm just not getting? I mean, the first part is obvious, but gumtree?
Alice Arneson
27. Wetlandernw
In New Spring, the AS were considering making Moiraine take the Sun Throne, since she had about as valid a claim as anyone else. She didn't want it, because she had more important things to do.

Elayne wasn't doing a "naked power grab" by any stretch of the imagination. Rand wants her to have it, possibly for some of the reasons I mentioned above. She is willing to take it, but in that same conversation in WH it is made clear that the Cairhienin themselves are actively hoping she'll hurry up and claim it. No, we don't know that her claim is in any way stronger than her brothers', but since one wants to kill him and the other is busy with the Whitecloaks, they probably aren't high up on Rand's preferred list. Even at the end of KoD, Gawyn is out there somewhere acting crazy-like, and Galad is trying to pull together the remains of the WC so they have some hope of success at TG. To the best of my knowledge, no one in Cairhien has the faintest idea where either of them is. Add to that, Elayne has been trained to rule and is coming to be recognized as a powerful individual, which would have a certain appeal to people who have been through the meat grinder with the Shaido and all the uncertainty of the DR and his own crazy-issues.

As for the High Seat of House Mantear, I get the idea that each house has its own definition of who can succeed to that position. Whether House Mantear allows a son to be named as High Seat or not, Elayne's position as Daughter-Heir is certainly strengthened by her also being named as High Seat in the event of Morgase's death, and you can bet that anyone on the Lion Throne is going to give her daughter the best possible chance of a clean succession.
T C
28. Freelancer
Ok, first, Siuan was right, but is anybody going to give her credit? No. She sent Bera and Kiruna to the Waste, because they couldn't find Rand and she deduced enough to send two tough Greens there. And Rand was indeed in the Waste. It isn't her fault that Bera and Kiruna have gone a LONG way for nothing, and are now unwelcome as extras in the Salidar embassy. And Merana is relieved that they are here to take over? Hmm.

I'm not sure why everyone is confused about Verin. I don't know her plan any more than the next reader, but her reason for steering the embassy into gumming up the works with Rand is simple. She believes he should remain independent of Aes Sedai control, and she knows that the embassy is seeking control. Sneaky on ice, FTW.

Gawyn, Gawyn, Gawyn. Go and talk, do you really think he'd invite you so he could attack you? He's got asha'man nearby if he wanted to take you out. Fine, you refuse to discard your pledge of loyalty to the Tower. That shouldn't get in the way of this. ::sigh::

If I recall correctly, Perrin at one point asks Faile what he should do differently, and of course gets "the stare", meaning "How can you not know, and why should I tell you if you're that dense?". It's understandable that he'd rather yell at and threaten Berelain, and be gentle with his wife, I'd be right next to him on that count. But between the two of them, they should have begun to get a clue about a compromise of behaviors. Sheesh.
Hurin Smells
29. HurinSmells
@26... heh - now i have in my head that Min has an Aussie accent!
Almaruc
30. nzeringo
The exchange between Min and Mahiro is one of my all time favorite scenes in the entire series. Mahiro is just plain cool based on this scene. To me he seems to come off as the WoT version of a Renaissance man. I really wish we saw more of him.

As for the constant miscommunication/lack of communication throughout LOC and the series as a whole I believe that is really intended as a reflection of the real world. While the day-to-day interpersonal communication problems may be worse in WoT I believe the widespread miscommunication is a VERY accurate reflection of life.

Regarding a Gawyn/Rand meeting I'm personally glad it hasn't occurred. Gawyn is worse that Elaida when it comes to self-righteous stupidity because he should know better!!!!

Thanks so much for the reread Leigh. I've followed from the beginning and it has been a blast so far. Keep up the great work.
Almaruc
31. Rand al'Todd
Googled "rooster in a gum tree" and found the lyrics at the following link:

http://sniff.numachi.com/page/tiROOOSTER%3BttROOOSTER.html

Yep, it is "ribald".
Almaruc
32. Rand al'Todd
different version at:

http://barrygoldberg.net/sillysongs/rooster.htm
Kim B
33. Amaranthine
Berelain will fall head over heels with a man in white... could it be Galad? The Whitecloaks are the only people I can think of that wear white.
Rob Munnelly
34. RobMRobM
@23 - Gawyn can't take the throne of Cairhien. He has a job - First Prince of the Sword (or whatever the precise title is) to the throne of Andor. His Andor duties trump his potential Cairhien blood rights. Elayne is not so limited. I also believe that Whitecloaks foreswear their previous titles upon joining, so Galad is technically out as well. I believe he'll get hitched to Berelain and end up on the throne of Cairhien eventually, but that's not in the cards at this point in the story where he's a happy Whitecloak. EDIT - @33 - I'd bet serious coin on that coming true if anyone would take the opposite side of the bet.

@28. Free - very cogent and likely true statement relative to Verin. Bravo.

"We need him more than he needs us, and I fear he knows it!” Oh, so true Merana. Note that I like Bera later in the series on the Sea Folk ship and in Tear but Kiruna's aggravation is just too high for me to deal with. Sorry.

I'm not even dealing with Berelain and her Ogier's oath that is so important to her that that she'll proceed even it messes up the head of her boss's married best friend who also happens to be critical to success at Tarma Gaidon. Need to avoid permanent brain injury from application of head to desk. La la la I'm not listening....

R
Joseph Armao
35. joeyesq
@33:

I think the two prevailing theories are that the man in white is either Galad, or a Gai'Shan.

I also remember the looney theory floating around awhile back that Faile dies and Perrin is the man in white (white being the color of mourning in the Two Rivers). Of course I may just secretly want Faile dead, so take the looney theory with a grain of salt.
John Massey
36. subwoofer
Hi Leigh :) I thought we had a discussion on the pros and cons of destroying furniture with your forehead. Are you trying to climb the ranks of favorite Ikea customers?

Maybe Rand did a head count and it creeped him out that too many women around him were wearing granny panties. He did a jump for er... greener pastures. I dunno, just another loony theory.

Bera and Kiruna- what to say about those two, other than the obvious about their underwear selection...hmmmm. Yes they are strong willed, but I believe I read the same letter they did, soooo- what on God's green earth/WoT land were they thinking?! The rational of their plan bites them in the bum later when the oaths come into play so they could of planned this one better.

What Rob said- "We need him more than he needs us, and I fear he knows it!”- True words. The AS know it yet all their actions fly in the face of the obvious truth. - And a shout out for the Number Two power...

Verin- I am telling you folks- she's Yoda. I don't see anybody else manipulating the Force like her. Or she could be a Sith Lord bent on domination... I am still on the fence of if she is a goodie or a baddie. As she has been around for so long and is the other AS that Moiraine talks about, why is she not in on the plan that Mo and Su hatched? Or is she a lone gunman? There is something about when and where she always turns up. Somebody with time and books should plot this out. There is a pattern here somewhere.

Loial- Awwwww :) Who loves ya big guy- somebody's got a girl friend. Classic moments that make Loial a secondary character everybody can connect with. That and the various times when things are going on around him that he decides to make entries in his book.

Berelain- needs to get herself some underwear of shame. Not impressed here. And Perrin should have squashed this from day one. Quit putzing around and call her out. Get some Maidens to teach her respect or maybe some confrontation? I dunno. Too much pussy footing around here.

Rand- damn it boy!

Woof™.
Almaruc
37. drothgery
RE: Mahiro

We see Rafela a few times afterwards, and she doesn't look like she's suffering from a recent death of her warder, so I've got to think he's still around, at least up to where I am in my re-read (early in WH).
Almaruc
38. Rand al'Todd
subwoofer @36

"Berelain- needs to get herself some underwear of shame. Not impressed here. And Perrin should have squashed this from day one. Quit putzing around and call her out. Get some Maidens to teach her respect or maybe some confrontation?"

But remember, Berelain is the one that is in good with Rhuarc and the WOs. I'm not so sure any of the Maidens would do the deed for Perrin.

And poor Perrin pretty much thinks he HAS called her out. As others have pointed out - that's Faile's problem - he is showing Berelain respect by calling her down and insulting her (Faile) by apologizing. As we've stated: Faille is the nutcase here.
john mullen
39. johntheirishmongol
Rand needs an HR department to take Berelain to task for sexual harassment.

The whole Berelain/Perrin/Faile is by far the most annoying storyline in the series.

The AS trying to overawe Rand is simply pretty funny considering he who he has already faced and killed.

I don't know why anyone would think Elayne doesn't know how to rule. She's been trained for it from birth and it looks like her mom took her training seriously.
Almaruc
40. gbm
Concerning Rand's invitation to Gawyn, there is no evidence that it was ever passed on to Gawyn himself. I think in a later POV from either Gawyn or one of the Tower Aes Sedai, it is clear Gawyn had always been cut out of the communication with Rand (as well as the Tower Aes Sedai plans, of course). Whether Gawyn could ever get passed his bias against Rand - bias based on nothing but rumor - so that something good might have come from their conversation is doubtful anyway.
Almaruc
41. peachy
I can't wait for ACoS - Berelain's chase of Perrin is annoying (and has books yet to run), but Tylin's pursuit of Mat is absolutely bloody hilarious. (To me, anyhow; I understand mileage may vary in this particular case.) Perhaps it's because Perrin is already deeply involved with someone, or because he's clearly suffering... whereas Mat, still flying solo, is just being screwed with, and he's just about the only one who doesn't appreciate the joke.

Unsure what I think yet about Elayne and Cairhien... it seems to me that Rand's actually been pretty solid in his choices as Steward/whatever - Dobraine, Darlin, Gregorin, Bashere/Bael. So perhaps we can trust his decision here, too, especially as Andor-plus-Cairhien is awfully big to rule as a single entity, even with 'modern' communications techniques. Presumably she'd need to appoint a regent or equivalent even after her accession, and that gives her the opportunity to provide a consolation to Cairhienin pride. (I assume she'd be sensible enough to appoint a Cairhienin, whether Dobraine or someone else.)

As for the legality of the claim, Cairhien seems to be looser on this score than other places - if you're the senior/dominant figure in one of the major houses, that appears to be sufficient. It might have something to do with Damodred's 'deservedly' poor reputation. I imagine a few generations of that family that could sour people on a rigid scheme of succession. :)
Bill Bácsi
42. billbacsi
~sigh~ Perrin, grit your teeth. You're in for a long, bumpy ride.

This whole Elayne for the Sun Throne thing smacks of set-up for something else, namely, Morgase for the Sun Throne. Surely this idea has come up before, but I don't recall it here on this re-read. Putting a Cairhienin in charge--ANY of them--was already thrown out as a bad idea, which is why first Berelain and Rhuarc and then Dobraine the Tairen were chosen as temps. Elayne has become queen just in time for Mom to come back as no-longer-queen.

Oh, and goodbye Herid! You've been such a cutie-patootie. I hope it doesn't hurt too much..

EDIT: Okay, Dobraine is not Tairen, but clearly trustable to understand his role is temporary.
Alice Arneson
43. Wetlandernw
billbacsi @ 42 - Morgase on the Sun Throne would be kind of cool, but she doesn't have any claim to it. She was only married to Taringail, not his descendant, so she doesn't have any Cairhienin blood. (Of course, Taringail was going to try to use that route to become king of Andor, but it didn't happen. Some court bard didn't think it was a good idea and talked him out of it or something.)
Bill Bácsi
44. billbacsi
wetlandernw @ 43 - That court bard is tickling a memory. That wouldn't be everyone's favorite regicidal court bard, maybe? You're so right. She doesn't have a claim aside from coolness. So theory debunked mere moments after posting. Oh well. I'm still curious what the eventual plan is. Elayne could possibly handle both countries since she's able to Travel, but much better if she concentrates her already divided energies. I hope Morgase gets -something- for all she's been through, poor girl!
Hurin Smells
45. HurinSmells
Not much to add to the Berelain/Faile/Perrin thing that I haven't already said. So i'll just say this...

"Werewolf bah mitzvah
Spooky, scary
Boy becoming man
Man becoming wolf"
R B
46. MasterAlThor
I am tired and I want to go to bed, but first let me fire off a few rounds.

Leigh's comments about why we have wars. Are you serious? We have wars because someones righteous anger was met with more anger?

We as humans fought countless wars cause people had their underware in a knot?

I disagree. Actually, I think that you were just oversimplyfying the matter.

Example: Do you think that the Civil War could have been talked out? Yes you could say that the North was righteous in their anger, but they didn't start it.

How many countries did the Romans bring under their heal? They certainly were not pissed at anyone. That goes for Napolean too.

I will grant you that there were plenty of wars that were fought over someone pissing in some elses wheaties, but there are just as many that were not.

All in all great post as always. I'll be back for more tomorrow
Alice Arneson
47. Wetlandernw
billbacsi @ 44 - That's what usually happens to my great ideas too. Just spreading the love... :P RobM has a theory for you on Morgase's future.

Cue RobM on Tam theory
Roger Powell
48. forkroot
MasterAlThor@46
Do you think that the Civil War could have been talked out?
Leigh didn't say anything about "talking out" wars, so you were arguing against a straw man. She talked about wars coming about as a result of "just" responses to unjust provocation and so forth. Then she immediately qualified her statement to refer to the types of wars that drag on for generations.

For Exhibit A, how about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Without taking any sides, can we all agree that each side has made what they feel were "just" responses to an injustice perpetrated upon them?

You rightly identified various wars of conquest as not fitting the model while overlooking her qualification that was part of her main point.
Sean Arthur
49. wsean
peachy@41 - I thought Tylin's pursuit of Mat was pretty funny the first time I read it, but if you pull a Leigh and flip the sexes around, it becomes suddenly really creepy.

Er, not to be a wet blanket or anything.

bill@44 - I don't know, I actually kind of like that theory. We don't know all that much about Cairhien's succession; maybe Morgase could become queen on the basis of having been married to Taringail. Certainly at this point the Cairhienen are getting desperate.
j p
50. sps49
gbm @40- beat me to it. Galina is trying to isolate and kill Gawyn; she will not pass a message from the Dragon Reborn to him. No, it isn't in the text, it's just obvious. To me.
Almaruc
51. peachy
@49 - That's very true; the inversion of roles - hunter being hunted etc - is part of what makes it hilarious. But it's also the entire spectacle of seeing Mat, who's a pretty cool customer in most ways by that point, become so hopelessly flustered when the rules of the game are changed. (For all they've been through, the TR boys are still pretty buttoned-down.) Ultimately it's an arc that revolves around another cultural quirk; the Saldaeans aren't the only ones who play by different rules than the ones we're used to, and women taking the lead romantically isn't exactly uncommon in Randland cultures.
Lachlan Brumley
52. leper_puppet
While Morgase might be a good fit for becoming Cairhien's Queen, I don't think too many people would see her as a good idea given the end of her reign over Andor. Which isn't admittedly her fault, although essentially running a political campaign on the basis of "I screwed up but its OK, I was affected by compulsion from one of the Forsaken" isn't a good idea.

If Morgase does eventually lose her job as a servant to Faile, maybe she could return to Egwene's White Tower as a sort of Aes Sedai royal ambassador. That is if she's not having too much fun as a servant for a crazy Saldean.
Christian P. Robert
53. xiancpr
Ca alors, I never ever thought of translating cabbage back into French...
Roger Powell
54. forkroot
peachy@51
women taking the lead romantically isn't exactly uncommon in Randland cultures.
No kidding!

The Aiel women all lay bridal wreaths at men's feet. We've talked about Ebou Dari women (the knives would make me rather nervous). I suspect that the women also do the asking in Far Madding and among the Sea Folk.

Not sure we can generalize about the Seanchan, but Eaganin was the aggressor with Bayle Domon.

Even the female Ogier seem to do the initiation (way to go Erith!)

Seems like Faile was the aggressor for Perrin, and Nynaeve with Lan. Tuon played cat and mouse with her "Toy", and even Thom Merrilin seems to get blindsided by Moiraine (he has to go rescue her first though.)

Heck, Rand might be a virgin otherwise. Consider:
1) Elayne is quite forward about her interest in Rand while they are in Tear.
2) Rand pulls back in gentlemanly fashion after "warming" Avienda (when she wakes) in their little igloo. She says "unh-uh" and pulls him toward herself.
3) Min practically throws herself at Rand in Cairhien until he gets the message.
4) Elayne again ... um, hey mister, it's my turn and there's the bed.

It's a world of bold women who know what they want!
Dick Papazian
55. Papas
@6 Lsana

I agree that Elayne in my opinion is not a very good choice (although RJ sets it up that she is in that everytime it is mentioned people agree) mostly due to that her first loyalties will always be with Andor. And as far as I can recall Cairhien and Andor don't have the best of histories.
Why not chose Dobraine? He seems to trust him pretty much, at least later, and I think he's one of the highest ranking nobles. Maybe by the time he met and learned to trust Dobraine he had already said to everyone that he intended Elayne for the throne and it was too late to change?
mark Proctor
56. mark-p
Running away probably wasn't one of Rands best ideas. But on the other hand
eventually he would have had to go back to Cairhien to speak to the Tower Aes Sadai anyway. And waiting until both sets of Aes Sedai were in Cairhien, where they had to face each other as well as Rand would have got him a better deal in any negotiations.
(assuming the Tower side were planning to negotiate not just kidnap him)

I would have said the same as #40 and #50, I don't think Gawyn received the invitation the AS wouldn't have wanted him to speak to Rand when they couldn't control him. But if he had received it would he actually have gone?
Almaruc
57. alreadymadwithsuccession
tugthis @25
The point is simple. LTT is sane. Rand is halfway (if not all the way) gone.

Freelancer @28
Siuan did not send Kiruna and Bera. The Salidar Six did. Although they did do it at Siuan's recommendation and (possibly) manipulation. Just nitpicking.

Also, I'm not sure about Verin myself and you're probably right about her motivations in doing what she did. I myself always thought she just wanted the Aes Sedai to learn that conventional ways of dealing with others will not work with Rand. Too bad Kiruna and Bera arrived too late for the object lesson. Although it would be interesting how it would have turned out if the two arrived a day earlier than they did.

gbm @40
Good point. I thought for a while that Gawyn intentionally snubbed Rand's invitation in a fit of "you killed my mother and we have nothing to discuss". He's certainly unhinged enough for that by now. But you could be right. Though the question remains of what Gawyn would do even if he did receive the invite.

peachy @41
I haven't really thought of it before, but I don't believe Cairhien's system is that much different from Andor's. The major differences of course, are that Andoran major houses trace their lineage to Ishara and must have a female as claimant. Cairhien nobles use stripes on their clothes to indicate rank but otherwise, the system of minor houses owing loyalty to more powerful major houses is essentially the same. I always figured the Cairhien civil war is how Andor could have turned out if Elayne and her rivals really got serious about spilling blood.

billbacsi @42
Dobraine is of House Taborwin, a major Cairhienin house and possibly one of those with actual claims to the throne. His throwing in his influence to support Elayne is actually one of the main points why other Cairhienin find her acceptable.

forkroot @54
Don't forget Berelain going after Rand before everybody else could even blink. Gotta love that woman. She's fast.
Dick Papazian
58. Papas
Oh and by the way. One thing that has always bothered me was Elayne fury that Rand intended "to give her" Andors throne. Excuse me, but Rahvin had actually taken over and named himself King, Morgase had run off and if it weren't for Rand there probably wouldn't be a throne left for Elayne at all. Generally, it's pissing me off the lack of cred for Rand and his actions.

I'm not really an Elayne-hater, or try not to be but she does hand out ammunition. What really sent her over the top for me was the thing about Rand's school, but I'll probably comment on that when we get to it.
Wayne Wilson
59. stylusmobilus
On the rule of Cairhien, my personal view has always been that the Lord Captain Commander would end up with the throne and somehow integrate or join the Whitecloaks to the Sun Throne.

The attack on Demira, for mine was part of the deal done between Elaida's crew and the Shaido. I think it was Shaido Aiel that attacked her, to turn the Salidar crew against Rand, the desired result being more or less what happened at the end of the book.
mark Proctor
60. mark-p
Governing Cairhein and Andor together would be difficult without local support but Cairhein city is only slightly further from Caemlyn than Whitebridge so it could work.
Queens have been able to rule western Andor in the past from the capital (with trouble in recent generations especially the Two Rivers) but the long thin country has never really looked very realistic to me. Maybe there is not enough population between Baerlon and the river at Whitebridge to support an independent nation against a more prosperous Caemlyn.
F Shelley
61. FSS
From a very old post of mine on the atari forums (during a WoT Haiku thread):

Faile's a dumb bitch
Don't know what Perrin sees there
Just take Berelain
John Massey
62. subwoofer
@RAT- yup, I suppose Berelain is being her normal Mayener self- but if the underwear fits... Faile, even Loial notices her jealousy, but then again, most 16 year old girls are full of insecurities so why should Faile be any different. Not to mention the lack of self realization that she, Faile is a jealous woman, and attempt to work on that character defect.

And yes, eventually Rand would of had to have faced the embassy but at least with some Aiel and the odd WO around, there would have been some collateral damage occurring so taking Rand out in a box would have been difficult. At least others seeing the bodies of Aiel etc around may have been alarmed.

- I don't think Elayne waited for a bed to be handy before jumping Rand. Rand has funny notions of when to run and when to stick around for punishment.

Woof™.
Rob Munnelly
63. RobMRobM
@44, 47. Morgase gets Tam (after Tallanvor dies heroically, poor man) and they get to hang out in the castle and play with their grandkids after TG. I won't spin the whole theory out (again) but why should Morgase be the only Trakand without a loving significant other from the Two Rivers. Rob
Rob Munnelly
64. RobMRobM
@55 - the history of bad blood between Cairhein and Andor is precisely the reason why Elayne is a good pick for the Carhienian throne. The two would prosper if they left each other alone and Elayne would ensure that. R
Rob Munnelly
66. RobMRobM
@65. Just finished my re-read of KoD, and by that, of the entire series. *TWITCH*
Jeff Weston
67. JWezy
And a tip o' the hat to Paul Simon, my favorite songwriter! Thanks, Leigh!

And given the titanic battle Rand was having in his own head with Lews Therin, they have no idea just how badly it could have gone.


So, is this an acknowledgement that there is a Lews Therin in his head with whom to battle? ;-)

8@Isalel -
Le Sigh

15@Man-O-Manetheran
And I believe "mon petit chou" was popularized by Pepé Le Pew, Academy Award winning Looney Tunes skunk.


In fact, "le sigh" is also from Pepé Le Pew. Excellent convergence. Did the cat he was "Tylin"ing ever headdesk?

22@Welandernw - "FWIW" - had to look it up, but with all the Looney Tunes references, I imagined Elmer Fudd saying "Fwom What I Wemember"...
Maiane Bakroeva
68. Isilel
Shadar @18

Verin and Alanna weren't Rebels at this point. So Merana had no authority over them.

And neither did they have an authority to interfere with her and by extension the embassy's affairs. The custom that defines precedence due to strength specifically prohibits any interference with another sister's affairs _when outside the Tower_ or trying to command her in any way, no matter how much weaker she is.

And since I don't think that SAS "controlling" Rand was in the cards in any case, which Verin, who had a personal acquaintance with Rand, knew quite well, I don't see what she was after.
Maybe she wanted to set up fulfillment of one of the Prophecies, but was surprised when she herself was caught in it? Dunno.

Bera/Kiruna on the other hand - were sent from Salidar - and in theory should have respected Merana's condition.

On the contrary, SAS didn't bother to clarify precedence and basically sent them on the same mission as Merana. Of course, Siuan only thought to use them to deliver a letter to Moiraine, so...

EmpressMaude @23:

If we are to accept that RJ relaxed the rules of primogeniture to allow eldest *child* and not eldest son, to inherit, than both Galad and Gawyn have superior claims.

But we already know that Cahirienin succession doesn't work by primogeniture alone or even primarily.
Otherwise Taringail couldn't have been Laman's heir in the first place, when Laman still had 2 brothers living who were both older than Taringail's (and Moiraine's) father.
Also, the High Seat of House Damodred couldn't have gone to collateral line(s?) of Barthanes and Caraline.

Galad was initially supposed to be Taringail's heir to the throne of Cahirien, but apparently they don't do minor kings there, since the throne went to House Riatin instead.
Taringail outsmarted himself with marriage to Morgase, IMHO.
In fact, maybe he already sought early promotion while Laman's heir and that's why Laman shipped him off to Andor?

As to Elayne not being able to rule Cahirien - let's be realistic here. Cahirien is a completely exhausted country - 2 Aiel wars and 2 civil wars as well as the loss of lucrative trade across the Waste, + 2 years of bad harvest will do it to a land. It just can't stand and survive alone, currently. It's people's only chance is to unite with a stronger nation.

As to Dobraine - yes he ruled Ok with the constant backing of the DR and of an Aiel host. Could he rule without or would it degenerate into another civil war?

This was the problem with Rand's approach of forcing people to follow him from the beginning - he had to keep forcing, because everybody knew that his rule was going to be ephemeral and that he couldn't really care for their specific nation all that much. And the minute he dropped off the radar, everything exploded.

Also, the sad truth is that a non-channeler non ta'veren is very vulnerable in a current situation (see Morgase, king of Illian, etc). If the Shadow had their act together, they'd have just murdered all Rand's governors or taken control of them in some other way.

Not that Elayne doesn't need some channeling bodyguard too, but she has more of an idea what is going on and a better chance of defending herself.

Re: how Elayne should have been grateful to Rand for disposing of Rahvin, I like how Rand gets male hero's exemption from display of gratitude to Nynaeve, without whom he would have been toast.
R B
69. MasterAlThor
forkroot,

Thanks for pointing that out. I went a reread what Leigh had posted. I still think that she painted all wars with a broad brush, but I was wrong to put the Civil War arguement in there.

I guess we could all hope that wars could be like the 7 Days War that the Isrealis had. But really what war worth the name hasn't lasted years?

She stated that "years, decades or generations" That kinda really covers just about everything. Maybe it waa poor wording on her part, she is human.

My disagreement with her assesment is that we have people in the world who are just nuts. I guess that I take the stance that some wars are started the minute that someone gets it in their head that "hey you got something I want". Not because of the response of the injured party.
Jeff Weston
70. JWezy
Unusually appropriate - from The Onion Horoscopes:

Cancer Jun 22 - Jul 22

Newton's laws say that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, proving he knew nothing about women.


Sums up Faile in a nutshell, eh?
Tony Zbaraschuk
71. tonyz
I really like Mahiro, though I think it would have been better if he'd told Min more. Then again, the Aes Sedai are all pretty much aware that Min is head-over-heels in love with Rand, and the Warders probably picked up on it as well, so Mahiro is probably under orders not to tell her anything secret. (Or maybe he's just doing that on his own, Warders being very protective of their Aes Sedai and all that.) In Randland, even when you TRY to get valid information out of someone, mixups and confusion happen, but I think something more is going on here as well.

Loial's attempt at peacemaking between Rand and Perrin is very good, and very sad.

Berelain/Faile: *headdesk* -- what else can you do? (Be Elyas, I suppose, but Perrin won't meet him again for another few books...)
Almaruc
72. alreadymadwithcivilwars
stylusmobilus @59
Normal travel between Cairhien and Caemlyn takes about a couple of weeks. For example, the Salidar are only leaving for Cairhien now but they never make it all the way into Cairhien before meeting up with Perrin well into the second week of Rand's captivity.

MasterAlThor @69
It's actually the the Six Day War. Israelis are firm believers in doing nothing on the seventh day.
Almaruc
73. WinespringBrother
@27 - Perival is the high seat of Mantear (in lieu of Rand for obvious reasons LOL), possibly due to a lack of living female heirs. Though I wonder how close Perival and Rand are actually related, since it seems Mordrellen only had 2 children, and of those, only Tigraine had children - Galad and Rand.

Some of the other houses have male high seats as well.

@59 - Demira's attackers were likely not Aiel, considering they called Rand the Dragon Reborn and one was dark eyed. It is speculated that either Verin, Fain or Taim ordered that attack to drive a wedge between Rand and the Aes Sedai. I like Fain for this scheme.
Jason Deshaies
74. darxbane
Elayne could not allow Rand to giver her the throne because Andor would not allow it. I just finished the section in PoD where Elayne returns to Andor, and the only reason Tylin backs her is because she intends to earn the throne, not let it be given to her by Rand. Had she just swooped in and taken Rand's offer, Andor would have been divided, which is obviously not what Rand needs. As for Cairhien, Elayne is a good choice because she is the most neutral party eligible for the throne, her ties to Andor will help to foster peace and unity between the two nations, and the Dragon Reborn chose her, which, given Cairhien's history of civil wars and bloodshed over the past 20 years, make most of them amenable to their liberator.

Remember the prophecies, people. The land must be united behind Rand in order for him to win Tarmon Gai'den. That makes Elayne's succession much more important than Ter'Angreal making, no matter how much cooler it is than political intrigue.

On a somewhat unrelated note; did anyone else yell at the book when Elayne and Avi, after just discovering Ter'Angreal that allow communication over long distances (beginning of KoD, I believe), didn't even think to use them to stay in touch after Avi was called away by the Wise Ones? "Hey, if we each take one of these earrings, we can talk whenever we want!" Never even occurred to them.
Almaruc
75. J.Dauro
darxbane @74

Tylin? I assume you mean Dyelin.

But I am interested in the point about unification. Although I believe Dyelin would have been able to unify Andor, if Rand succeeds with Elayne at Cairhien, it may be better in the long run.

And yes, we are looking at two young girls who don't even recognize cellphones when they see them. Maybe they are wanting one with better games.
A A
76. PhantomIce
Elayne's claim hasn't exactly unified Andor and she is facing civil war so not exactly sure her taking the throne as apposed to Rand giving it did make too much of a difference. Though of course the war might have been uglier and more futile for Elayne had Dyelin not supported her though I agree that Elayne has no business ruling any country and should be using her AS talents for something more worthwhile. Dyelin would have backed Rand as Dragon and there would have been no civil war if Elayne hadn't been in the mix.

On another note, this is where Perrin who despite the Faile thing had been one of my absolute favorites starts going down hill. And not just because of the triangle which is just annoying but his growing obsession with Faile and rift with Rand are unacceptable to me.

I mean, ok don't necessarily agree with Rand and fight things out, not saying Rand is end all be all who knows everything but I can sense the loyalty seeping away and that is not cool.

Look at Mat who is whining and protesting and trying to wriggle out of all responsibility but you (or at least I) never get the sense that there might come a day when he is not there for Rand. No question in my mind that Mat will be there if Rand needs him, no questions asked.

But Perrin even agreeing that Rand needs him might not be there for him and to me that is ultimate betrayal of childhood friendships - seriously uncool.
Captain Hammer
77. Randalator
fairfax @20

The obvious choice for post Tarmon Gai'don Queen of Cairhein is Moiraine. If Moiraine wasn't Aes Sedai she would already be Queen of Cairhein.

Well, technically, the White Tower strongly encouraged her to claim the Throne. Or not so much encouraged but ordered her to, once Sierin Vayu became Amyrlin.

That's why Moiraine had to run away in the first place, instead of just leaving the Tower like any regular Aes Sedai would.
Dick Papazian
78. Papas
@68

I agree, Rand is not the only one not recieving all the cred he is due. And I guess this is nothing comparing to the lack of "cudos" he gets after cleaning saidin
Tess Laird
80. thewindrose
The Andoran civil war - would not have been avoided if Elayne bowed out. It would have been Dylin Taravin and her 6 houses against Arymilla Marne and her 6 houses.
Who here thinks the dark side is behind the emergence of Arymilla as a contender? Almost everyone thinks she is an idiot before she lays siege to Caemlyn. I think she does have support from someone high up on the dark side. Look at Lord Nasin, he thinks Arymilla is his daughter.

I also think Sylvase is being impersonated by one of the Forsaken - most likely Cyndane. Not many clues out there, but one is she has no detectable personality or emotion. She also brings Jaq Lounalt with her to support Elayne(something that a girl with just a 'vapid gaze' wouldn't do.
A A
81. PhantomIce
There's something definately up with Arymilla, how else would she know to come into Caemlyn right when Elayne was kidnapped. And she is way too stupid to do this by herself.

Sylvase being impersonated by a Forsaken, I like it, thought there was something fishy about her when I went through my last re-read.
T C
82. Freelancer
On Morgase's future. Some wise folks pointed out that Morgase has no claim to the Sun Throne, while Elayne does. Also stated, Elayne would be hard pressed to handle both thrones, and would be wise to name a regent in her place.

Are you ready?

Flip that script. Elayne takes the Sun Throne, and names a regent in Andor. Is there anybody alive who has some experience there? Hmmm...

And, as a reminder, Elayne has communicated with Cairhienin officials via Halwin Norry, and has received amenable responses, regarding her consideration of her claim. So the tracks are somewhat greased already. In fact, it seems some Cairhienin are actually hoping for Elayne to succeed there.


forkroot@54

Thank you for that. Many times in past threads people have referred to Rand's lecherous ways, when there's not a word in the story to support such a thought. You make the case perfectly. In each event, the girl is the aggressor, and Rand is initially resistant, because his culture says marriage first. And yet people who have read the books more than once still think of him as a skirt-chaser. Go figure.


amw@57

That's not nitpicking, it's semantical gymnastics. Without Siuan's deductive reasoning, nobody would have been aimed at the Waste as the likely location of the Dragon Reborn. No, the orders didn't come from the stilled ex-Amyrlin, but it is most certainly she who sends them. And her purpose, unknown to them, was to let Moiraine know about the Tower split and to keep Rand in hiding awhile longer.

stylusmobil@59

It was not Aiel that attacked Demira. Aiel do not call Aes Sedai witches, there is no Aiel alive with black eyes, and even if there is an Aiel that could be called "squat", coupled with the other two items it's not plausible.
James Jones
83. jamesedjones
80 thewindrose

Nasin got Hammered with compulsion by Rahvin and/or Graendal (and, no, I have zero interest in finding out what he/she did with him) *shudder*. His bag o' crazy kept attention off of Sylvase, though, who wasn't expected to take the High Seat of house Caeren for - a - while. No one expected much of her, and she stayed below the radar for the rest of the High Seats (that title still makes me chuckle). I'm not sure what her deal is, but it would be reasonable for her to be just as she appears: a quiet introvert, who put in the time and effort to prepare to lead her house when the time came.
James Jones
84. jamesedjones
82 Freelancer

Re: Rand's lecherous ways. :)

I dunno. It seems all he thinks about when he's considering any of the three he's in love with is what a 'lecher', or 'skirt-chaser', or 'Mat' he is. :D
Joseph Blaidd
85. SteelBlaidd
I'm a mean person, watching the P/F/B trainwreck amuses me greatly.

DRaxbane@74
On a somewhat unrelated note; did anyone else yell at the book when Elayne and Avi, after just discovering Ter'Angreal that allow communication over long distances (beginning of KoD, I believe), didn't even think to use them to stay in touch after Avi was called away by the Wise Ones? "Hey, if we each take one of these earrings, we can talk whenever we want!" Never even occurred to them.

They have to figure out how they work first. Also, Avi gets hauled off to Arad Doman right after the Mass Identify goes off, so they don't have time to do that. Elayne does send her of with the Dream Ring so they have atleast one way to get in touch.

MasterAlThor@69

My take on Leighs statemnt
Should they have known this? Well of course they should have, but that’s the thing about righteous anger: we so badly want it to work that we rarely pay any attention to the fact that it hardly ever does. The human race has historically displayed remarkable stubbornness in our refusal to admit the unfair truth, of the just response’s tendency to obtain the unjust result.

And that, boys and girls, is why we have wars – or at least why we have wars that span years and decades and even generations. Ain’t it grand?

In fact, usually the only place the Righteous Smackdown ever works is in fiction. Except, of course, when it doesn’t.

Is that it's not about why wars get started it's why it's so hard to get them stoped. Consider how hard it is to comunicate to the various factions in Afganistan, and Iraq that if they just STOP shoting people and blowing stuff up the US would happily pack up it gear and go home.

As Prachett said "every contry has the equivelent slogan that roughly translates as 'remember the atrocity perpetrated against us here laast time that justifies the atrocity we are going to commit her today.'"
Tess Laird
86. thewindrose
jamesedjones @83
Do you beleive that Nasin really died of a seizure?(I am not taunting you, just curious what people think.) Sylvase is the only one who knows of this. No one else knew until she announced it when she said she was the High Seat of Caeren and she stood for Elayne.
Also, the way WoT is written, Andor is a pivotal place, deserving of the attention of a Forsaken. Just think if it is Cyndane/Lanfear right next to Elayne. What will she do when she finds out that Rand/Lews is the father!
James Jones
87. jamesedjones
86 thewindrose

I think Nasin was 'removed' because it was best for the House. I never suggested that Sylvase couldn't do what needed to be done for House Caeren. On the other hand, we do have info from a Graendal POV that indicates that massive amounts of compulsion can have bad effects. A seizure is a physical problem with the mind. Verin didn't wrap her compulsion-light weaves around Erian's foot. Nasin had some serious head trauma. :P

And, as I said, I don't know what Sylvase's deal is. I never said you weren't right. I love looney theories as much as anyone. But the straight line always sounded about right from the viewpoints we had observing Sylvase. She seems hard and cold, but in no way worthy of attention until it's too late. Her as a forsaken, or even a darkfriend, would just be pulling the story too much for me to appreciate the plot twist. Again, that's just my opinion; and RJ didn't ask for it. So, who knows what the real case may be?

Edit: It mighta been Sammy's POV. :)
Brian Roloff
88. Ronin-alTyr
@76 Phantom Ice: It does seem that Perrin’s loyalties are starting to wane. And I agree with you that Mat seems much more firm in his loyalty. However, Mat does not have to deal with Cookoo for Coco Puffs, like Perrin. While Tuon hasn’t been on the scene yet, once Mat does hook up, she seems much more in control. (Not that Tuon is without her games, couldn’t have a male/female relationship without those headdesky growing pains.) More importantly though, IMHO, was Mat’s journey through the Portal Stones in TGH. His repeated failure or betrayal of Rand really hit him hard, which I believe is what cemented his loyalty to Rand. Really makes me wonder what he saw.

@82 Free: Personally, I cannot imagine the people of Andor, much less the nobles, would stand for their failed/abdicated Queen as their Regent. Especially when they were on the verge of tossing her out as far back as TEOTW, which was well before Rahvin hit the screen. It certainly would not look strong, wise or good for Elayne to, in essence, abdicate the throne and hand the reins of Andor back to her Mother.

Andor seems to like wars around their Queens. That and people who lust for power will always grab for it, the succession seems to be a convenient place. So Elayne’s civil war seems inevitable to me, whether she participated or not.

Sorry, that got a little long.
Almaruc
89. peachy
@84 - I've always interpreted that as residual guilt over the whole "in love with three women at the same time" thing, which is definitely right out by TR mores. Of the three, Mat's the only one I'd consider even average in the 'aggressive' department, and in his longer-term 'relationships' he's been the chased each time. (Tuon's case is a little muddled, because of the mutual prophecy/fore-telling that all but guaranteed a certain conclusion, but I'd say she won the bout on points.)
T C
90. Freelancer
jej@84

Consider Rand's "chivalrous" thinking. He sees it as wrong to have shared a bed with Aviendha and Min when it happened. His psyche is unable to consider the female as the aggressor to an act his mores disapprove of. So it's much easier for him to think it's all his own fault. Therefore, he takes the blame, and calls himself those things, though they are patently untrue.


Re: Nasin

There you go again (not meaning anyone in particular, just love how Reagan used the expression). We see a character who is obviously not in his right mind, and that of course means he is under Compulsion. But the people acquainted with him seem to have accepted that he was barmy for much longer than the forsaken have been free.


Ronin-alTyr@88

Yes, I considered all of that. But both Cairhien and Andor have been through a great deal since then. Remember that it was Rahvin's doing that there was political division against Morgase in the first place. I believe that all of that can be settled. Elayne can make peace with the Houses that were injured by Rahvin using Morgase as the weapon. She has already made a very good start in that respect. And I would wager that the Andoran populace would as soon have their badly victimized Queen restored to her rightful place, than to have either Rand, or the mother of his children, running the nation. Cairhien, on the other hand, would be far more pleased with an honorable Damodred heir on their throne, than an Aiel, a Tairen, or a Mayener, which is what they have had of late.
Jeff Weston
91. JWezy
OK, here's an interesting thing:

Cyndane == Lanfear
Lanfear == Sylvie (the weird old lady in the Heart of the Stone in T'A'R (in The Dragon Reborn) - she meets up with Egwene.
Sylvie ~ Sylvase?

No clue whether this is just a close-enough name amongst the thousands and therefore just coincidence, or an intentional linkage.

Personally, I think that Cyndane/Lanfear would have no need nor desire to appear emotionless, so I am not in the camp yet. P'raps, p'raps.

79@Redhanded - Yes, you can call him Al (Thor).
James Jones
92. jamesedjones
90 Freelancer
We see a character who is obviously not in his right mind, and that of course means he is under Compulsion.

Ok, yeah, that was a bit of a stretch on my part.

...but I'm okay with it. I think he was compelled until his toenails fell off. :P
sandi vogel
93. sinfulcashew
31. Rand al'Todd

Went to look for lyrics and found-
"404 page not found" notice.
I was looking for a laugh, needed at times,
and got....

Darn!
sandi vogel
94. sinfulcashew
32. Rand al'Todd

Looked at second link. Pretty funny what with pooched eggs etc.

But ribald? No way, haha
Claire Edwards
95. ClaireBelle
Just a quick question - a few people have said Elayne's not fit to rule but why on earth not?? She's be trained for it since birth, Moiraine recognises her political talents in TSR and she also gives Rand some really good advice when they're in the Stone of Tear. She's also had AS training in politics and, whatever her faults, has a genuine desire to look after not only her own people but those of other countries e.g. her outrage in Tanchico (I think...) about the way the ordinary people aren't being looked after. Sound like decent qualifications to me...
Almaruc
96. alreadymadwithmadNasin
Re: Nasin's death
IIRC it's been hinted in his interactions with other Lords that he's on his last legs. Besides, why kill him, a true blue lunatic in command of a true blue major house? Do the words Let the Lord of Chaos Rule ring any bells?

Not to say it's impossible somebody, (perhaps even Sylvase) had him killed, but they had plenty of opportunities before then to do so.
William Fettes
97. Wolfmage
I really like Elayne, but I have to say I had a similar reaction to some others here in being a tad irked when I read how Rand was planning to plunk Elayne down on Cairhien.

Of course, she does have a claim in her own right, but it felt a bit too much like nepotism the way Rand declares for her - using his authority in Cairhien. Elayne has some undeniable skills, but I personally would have preferred a local candidate. IMO she's lucky enough that Rand pushed her claim so strongly in Andor from the outset stalling the House Succession for so long, that she was well positioned to hang on to the throne for Trakand, from within Caemlyn, after the disaster left by Rahvin. So two thrones seems kinda overly much and maybe above her pay grade. I'd suggest giving it to Dobraine in truth, he's more than earned it, or Moiraine the White upon her return.
Steve McGuire
98. tnfsinger
*Finally joining the reread*
Does everyone except me hate the Perrin / Faile / Berelain triangle? I love it... it is a much needed comic relief at this point, and continues to serve as so throughout. I have always loved RJ's observations on the relationships between men & women, and I see it as a commentary on human nature. Here we have all these powerful, serious people, people who will soon have a hand in deciding the fate of the world, yet they are reduced to petty, bumbling children when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. True enough! I have been in nearly the same situation before myself - though the women involved were perhaps not quite as severe - and I agree with Perrin... it sux! I felt nearly the same as he did, and reacted nearly the same way. Not to mention, I relish these moments in the Falcon / Wolf story line, because the later story, the whole kidnapping, whiny Perrin thing, is to me nearly unbearable to read. I understand it has a purpose, but couldn't there have been some other way for Perrin to come to accept his role as leader? I mean, come on.... you know what I mean?
T C
99. Freelancer
Ok, someone help me. Paul Simon reference from Leigh, and I still can't see it?
Almaruc
101. peachy
Sylvase as Cyndane is intriguing; the Forsaken, including two of the resurrected that we know of, have frequently taken up 'real-world' personae, so it's possible that Cyndane was instructed to keep the pot stirred in Andor... and unlike Mogs, we've hardly seen her since she was brought back, which makes sense if RJ was trying to keep her activities out of sight.

Of course, ruthlessness is hardly a trait unique to the Forsaken - we've met plenty of unambiguously non-Forsaken characters who wouldn't have hesitated to knock off a failing High Seat to clear their own succession.
R B
102. MasterAlThor
AMW

Thanks for the correction.

SteelBlaidd

Good point, though I have no idea who the guy you quoted is/was.

Had to check with my wife for the Paul Simon reference. She ogt it in one take, that's why we call her one take Jenny.
Tony Zbaraschuk
103. tonyz
I don't see any particular reason to believe that Sylvase is Cyndane/Lanfear -- among other things, she seems too tightly guarded to be wandering around doing the various things Cyndane is doing, and she doesn't have any of the psycho-bitch in her makeup that we've seen in all of Lanfear's appearances. I think she's mostly what she appears to be: a smart and patient heir who waited until she had inherited to start doing stuff.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out her grandfather didn't die an entirely natural death, though.
Barry T
104. blindillusion
RE: Many

- Verin is the Light's Fain. Isn't the Light so lucky?

- This part of the story starts Rand's uber mistake in that he stops trusting.

"It is impossible to go through life without trust: that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself."
Graham Greene

- Is the debate still going on about whether or not Elayne would be able to channel with Mat's Ter? Here's a quote from Mr. Jordan's blog:

RJ's blog 4 October 2005 "ONE MORE TIME"

"For Krassos, yes, a channeler could still channel wearing Mat’s amulet. Cadsuane has one much like it. And I think that I will complete “Trust” eventually. I think about doing so every now and then."

- Poor Perrin. I don't hate Faile or Berelain. But this story arc simply goes on for too long. (And even though I don't hate Faile, I do wish Perrin would of ended up with Berelain. She's the cooler character.She's got moxy.)

- The SAS AS: Should of listened to Merana. Her saying that they need Rand more than he needs them is one of the few wise things an AS has said in quite some time.

- Elayne and her possible three-fold career path: I don't really see many of the nations in Randland surviving the Last Battle. I'm thinking Cairhien might be one the ones to go. It's already gasping for breath as it is. And isn't it Dobraine due a nifty new crown? Or was that someone else? It's been awhile.

- "Bera and Kiruna suck. That is all."

Amen
T C
105. Freelancer
jamesedjones

Thanks, I read it like five times and still didn't see it. Just shows to go you...


RE: Cyndane as Sylvase

Cyndane is under Moridin's thumb, working directly for him, along with Moghedien. I can't see Moridin placing her as a relatively unimportant house heir in Andor during a succession war, and she surely isn't taking up such a role on her own initiative.

But just supposing she were. What chaos would be served by her decision to support Trakand? Helping name a queen restores order, and she wasn't the last to add her support, but the first, among those who had been in Arymilla's camp.
T C
106. Freelancer
blindillusion@104

Not Dobraine. Min has a viewing of Darlin Sisnera wearing a crown of an unknown country, which turns out to be Tear.
Rob Trotter
108. shadar
Can someone explain this so-called split between Perrin/Rand?

In the next book they have a public argument over the AS and Rand basically banishes him in front of the court. Except of course that Rand is actually sending Perrin to Ghealdan to see Alliandre and Masema.

How is that not being loyal to Rand?

(Sure - I guess there's the 'do a deal with the DO' stuff to get Faile back - but his personal loyalty isn't really in question is it?)
Hurin Smells
109. HurinSmells
amw@96
As long as Nasin really is dead, and Sylvase's claim is real, I'm not too concerned about the rest of the detail. Just so long as it brought an end to the god-awful story arc of Elayne securing the throne! Not that I have any hope that it's been all nicely wrapped up, but at least it's most of the way there now (fingers crossed)
Joseph Blaidd
110. SteelBlaidd
tnfsinger @98
I think they're funny too.

MasterAlThor@102

Terry Pratchett one of the funniest men in Fantasy
T C
111. Freelancer
shadar@108

Nope. Perrin never betrays in any way. Even when he gets on Rand for using those around him, once Rand states that he's using himself as much as anyone, Perrin understands and backs off. He knows that Rand is carrying the greatest mountain.
William Fettes
112. Wolfmage
blindillusion @ 107

As far as I can tell, the description of a "growing right between them" is a bit of an exaggeration by Leigh.

Here, Perrin's snarkiness about Rand pressing Loial so quickly into service is perhaps understandable in terms of standards of friendship and courtesy. But it's also kind of trivial and utterly misses the big picture of how important it is to guard the Waygates.

The only thing that fits the level estrangement of the word 'rift' is their big confrontation later, but that doesn't happen until aCoS and isn't connected to anything here.

As you say, that incident is also partly contrived according to the whole mission deal. However, the dialogue and Perrin's thought that Rand might have been going to kill him makes it a bit more ambiguous. Obviously there was some genuine heat to it. But I'll leave it to others to sort out how it could have been contrived and still make sense for Perrin to worry that Rand was going to attack him.

But it's not like Perrin never disagreed with Rand before this sequence. I believe it starts with Rand's disrespect towards Moirane in the beginning of tDR, before he starts to grow a pair and talks back to her himself.

In terms of the Aes Sedai issue, he raises their treatment with Rand at the start of aCoS, and the confrontation is the apex of that arc. But speaking personally, I would resist calling it a rift. It's more like Perrin is a one-issue man, (see also his threats to the Wise Ones), and he flares up easily over it. But calling it a long term estrangement of their friendship, which is happening in LoC as well? I don't see it.
Barry T
113. blindillusion
Hmm Wolfmage? I didn't mention anything about the Perrin / Rand issue.

Though I'd have to say it's obvious that Perrin goes to Ghealdan on Rand's orders. The argument, while in some ways a true fight, is simply a show for the nobles.

I've never doubted Perrin's loyalty to Rand. Perrin has his opinions to be sure, but at the end of the day Perrin will be there...with a wolf army at his back.

I have always thought it funny that Perrin appointed himself as the AS protector...LOL.

Maybe I'll dive deeper into this once we get to it in the re-read.
William Fettes
114. Wolfmage
blindillusion @113
Sorry, I was meant to be replying to the chain of discussion with PhantomIce @ 76 and shadar @ 108 I think.

Yes, it's obvious, but I'm still having trouble understanding the setup for how it can be both a true fight so much so that Perrin is subjectively worried that Rand was going to kill him AND an orchestrated show.

"I have always thought it funny that Perrin appointed himself as the AS protector...LOL."

It's also kind of annoying since Perrin is usually only a step behind Rand in realising that being a doormat for Aes Sedai is neither satisfying nor conducive to the great good. He's a bit like a little brother in that sense. Given Rand's hang-ups, I never felt Perrin had a leg to stand on.
Alice Arneson
115. Wetlandernw
You have to remember, though, that Perrin doesn't know (like we do) about Rand's Fiery List, and he's worried about Rand's sanity anyway. So sometimes I think he goes into "AS Protector mode" because he's honestly afraid Rand might hurt a woman. It's not made as in-your-face obvious with Perrin, but he has the same mentality as Rand in terms of not letting harm come to a woman. And we know, of course, that Perrin doesn't carry it quite as far as Rand in any case - but Perrin doesn't know that.
Almaruc
116. peachy
Well, Rand's stability is an issue of concern for those who know him - I can see being how someone might be worried that his temper (or whatever) would get the better of him in the heat of even a manufactured moment. (And at this point they don't know the half of it with re: to LTT. People would be bloody terrified if they were aware that 'someone else' could potentially wrest control of saidin away from Rand, whether that someone else is an actual second soul or an alternate personality.)
William Fettes
117. Wolfmage
Wetlandernw@115

"You have to remember, though, that Perrin doesn't know (like we do) about Rand's Fiery List, and he's worried about Rand's sanity anyway."

He knows about the list since chapter 2 of aCoS:

Whether or not Rand was still completely sane, though, if a Maiden who came to fight for him had been missed down there somehow, Perrin was sure that not only would she be buried decently with the others on the ridge, there would be one hundred and fifty-two names in that list. And that was none of Kiruna's business.


"So sometimes I think he goes into "AS Protector mode" because he's honestly afraid Rand might hurt a woman. It's not made as in-your-face obvious with Perrin, but he has the same mentality as Rand in terms of not letting harm come to a woman. And we know, of course, that Perrin doesn't carry it quite as far as Rand in any case - but Perrin doesn't know that.'

Personally, I think sanity issues notwithstanding, he should give Rand the benefit of the doubt in light of the whole list thing. It also seems silly for him to be so over protective over women who could destroy him without batting an eyelid.
A A
118. PhantomIce
Perhaps "rift" was a bit of a harsh word to use. What I meant by it (oh and I think that fight later on is staged just got out of hand because the topic they picked is something that gets both of them genuinely angry) is that beginning with these chapters I am sensing that Perrin is withdrawing from Rand for a number of reasons such as worries of his sanity, disagreeing with how he's going about his fight against the shadow, faile egging him on, the AS issue, etc.

It's nothing obviously tangible and maybe I am letting my dislike of Perrin (because as of these chapters I actively start disliking him and that's sad because he used to be one of may favorites) color my interpretation of the story but it seems to be that with this withdrawl there is the beginnings of a fork in the road where while for now Perrin is doing what Rand asks of him, it is more for show (or even for fear) than because of any belief in him and that maybe just maybe Perrin might not be there at TG with the wolf army at his back.
Barry T
119. blindillusion
Wolfmage@117

"It also seems silly for him to be so over protective over women who could destroy him without batting an eyelid."

That's what I find so funny about it. These are women who really don't need his protection..and even if they did what the hell could Perrin do about it? This is Rand we're talking about here.

And it's also funny as hell because the AS resent Perrin for it. Here are the women who move the world...listen to them roar...and Goldy sees himself as the one man who stands between them and a..err..scolding/beating/lecture/talking down to? OH how that must chafe.

mumble mumble...really need to find grab aCoS becaues I think it mention an AS by name taking Perrin to task for his attitude...hmmm....
Andrew Lovsness
120. drewlovs
So I have been trying to get ready to move, so I've been able to keep up with Leigh's write-ups, and the first few comments, but little else. But I have been waiting for this part of the book to come for the only wacky theory I've ever developed about Jordan's books. I kinda trust this forum, so be kind if I am truly insane; as with Rand, leave me blissfully ignorant. =)

Ready? I realize this might have gone better on Friday's post, but there you go. Now. Please put your tin foil hats on, ladies and gentlemen, to avoid the CIA from reading our thoughts and follow along.

When I read about Demira's attack, I was mystified as everyone else. After the following books failed to let us all in on who was behind the attack, I was pleased to see WOTFAQ tackle the issue. Unfortunately, they did not even mention the person I thought responsible. See, I tried to look between the lines at who really benefited from the attack; now, with the Lord of Chaos ruling, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes players that could be brought forward. But my most-likely suspect was right there in front of our noses. At first, I thought I was being naive. Now, I'm not so sure...

See, I think Verin was behind it. Now, before you snort with laughter, follow me here. Demira was not hurt badly; if you try to argue any oaths would prevnt Verin from doing so, I would kindly remind you that she will be using complusion on some of these same Aei Sedai she hood-winked here... Also, remember that in a later book Verin almost poisons Cadsuane. I know, I know, we don't know for sure that it was poison that she was to use, but we are left to think it was so. If she is willing to go that far with one of the most famous present day Aei Sedai, I have no doubt stabbing Demira in non-vital areas would not be a big deal to Verin.

She had all the information she needed to do the deed, knew the characters involved, and we know from her POVs that she is doing a lot in the background. I know that she never thinks about doing something like this during those same POVs, but then, we never get to see her considering anything in regards to her stay with the Rebel embassy.

The only person to ever take "advantage" of the attacks on Demira IS Verin. In fact, we see from Merana's POV a fair amount of manipulation of Demira after the attack by Verin; if she did not organize it, she certainly was happy to use it for her own purposes. What those purposes are, we are left to guess; she plays everyone all the time, and is truly one of the greatest Aei Sedai at being... well, Aei Sedai. But back to my point: we do not ever see anyone else directly benefit immediately from this attack.

The problem is, Jordan has yet to tell us what exactly Verin is up to; we don't know what she has been doing for 20 years, her thought sometimes seem to fit a black Ajah Aei Sedai more than a brown, and her background work only seems to be directed at keeping Rand "free as a bird". So.. I really don't know WHY she would want Rand to distrust the rebel embassy; we just know she does by her suggestions to Demira as to how to retaliate against the attack. Of all the Aei Sedai there, she is the only one who has spent any time with him, and knows a little bit about how to set him off.

Weak, I know. But here is the thing; we never see a forsaken gloating about screwing up the relations between Rand and the Rebel Aei Sedai; if Taim did the deed, he never follows it with anything besides showing up at D. Wells and blowing Aiel apart. The attack really only directly benefits the Tower Aei Sedai and Verin's manipulations. The fact that Jordan saw fit to keep the "Whodunit" part of this story-line to himself always sat wrong with me, which makes me put my tin foil hat on and think weird thoughts...
Almaruc
121. mityorkie
tnfsinger@98

Agree that in LoC Faile-Perrin-Berelain is something of a comic relief... vaguely of interest anyhow. It is the spectre of the post-kidnapping Perrin angst to come that spoils it so thoroughly. Doesn't help that Perrin's annoying angst gets all mixed in with the plotline Masema's icky, contagious, counterproductive madness.
Almaruc
122. Poopy al'Pooper
Ah give over on Berelain. She only wants a bit of Perrin on the side. Lol.
Barry T
123. blindillusion
drewlovs@120

That's a very well thought out theory and not as looney as you'd think. It seems that on the whodunit againt Demira front the party lines lean towards either Verin or Taim.

Me you might ask? I believe Taim did the deed simply to throw Rand into a tailspin and Verin took advantage of the situation. Taim = Demandred's Bi..err..Proxy. Verin = Sneaky Sneaky.

Well, that's my thought now. But with some of the research I've been doing I'm starting to question whether or not I even think Taim is a DF at all. Mr. Jordan talked about Taim as if he were running and desperate when he went to Rand and now that he has a small amount of safety he can breathe easier. I'm starting to think Taim is not good or bad but simply one of the grey people out there building a power base for himself.

Mr. Jordan's thoughts on what led Taim to Rand just don't read DF to me...they read: Man Scared Shitless Needs Place To Hide And Now That He Has It It's Time To Inact Own Agenda.

But still, I believe Verin took advantage of what she saw as a good development and that, with the exception of the Oath she has to swear, things went exactly how she planned.

Note: I was wearing my tin-foil hat as I wrote that. HA...Blind
Birgit
124. birgit
Not to say it's impossible somebody, (perhaps even Sylvase) had him killed, but they had plenty of opportunities before then to do so.

While they were Arymilla's prisoners, it was convenient for Sylvase that Arymilla's attention was on Nasin, not her. When Arymilla lost her battle, it was important to make the right decision, so she killed him and took control of her house. Cyndane as Sylvase doesn't fit. Lanfear is too flashy to manipulate things from the background and wait for the right time to act. Moggy might be a better fit, but I don't think Sylvase is a Forsaken. Nasin was probably senile, not Compelled.
Conor Murray
125. NotPropaganda
Regarding Perrin - Rand:

I wouldn't necessarily call it a rift, but I have gotten the sense with Perrin that when it comes to Tarmon Gaidon, he'll be there not for Rand, but for duty. Obviously he is head over heels in love with Faile (unfortunately) and Faile is his priority, it doesn't help that every single time he is to meet Rand, Faile is constantly in his ear emphasising that Rand is the Dragon Reborn.

Ok she has a valid point, if she were talking to anybody else. Yes, Rand has changed, but so has Perrin, does this mean they should act completely differently around eachother, that they shouldn't treat eachother as friends? Look how Rand greets them in Caemlyn, utter joy and happy congratulations on their marriage. Of course he has more of an agenda in the wider scheme of things, he's the Dragon Reborn, but Faile's constant mutterings don't help matters one iota and she just peeves me off in general anyway.
Tess Laird
126. thewindrose
drewloves @120
I do have to keep one hand on my tin hat, else it will blow off with all the wind, but I am waving with the other and nodding in agreement. I did bring this thought up a couple? of threads ago. Thanks for going into more detail:)

As for Cyndane - she is owned by Moridin now(mind trap). She's going to do what ever he tells her. If he tells her to hang out with Ayrmilla's crowd - off she goes. Of course, she is going to want some one like Nasin taking all the attention, as she will need to leave here and there to do other jobs of Moridins, and to report to him as well.
Rob Munnelly
127. RobMRobM
While an interesting theory, I don't buy Sylvase as Cyndane. She helps Elayne gain control of the Andor crown, which serves order rather than chaos. She is an interesting character, because she was smart enough to play dumb while her grandfather was in charge but dotty, and decisive once she became head honcho. (I also don't buy the compulsion or murder theories re Grandpa -- he'd been batty for years and sometimes a stroke is just a stroke.) I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with her as Elayne consolidates control over Andor and cranks up for TG.

Rob
A A
128. PhantomIce
@120. drewlovs
I like that theory, Verin is sneaky and I never liked Taim for that one.

@123. blindillusion
I never liked Taim as a DF, don't know why, even with the DF Ashaman claiming he gave the order to kill Rand I was somehow not convinced that Taim was pure evil. Like you said to me he seems to be doing his own thing.

Though LT's instincts on this kind of thing is usually pretty good and he really hates Taim. Still, maybe I'm being a victim of "if it's that obvious it's not true" attitude.
T C
129. Freelancer
RobMRobM@127

I completely agree that Sylvase helping Elayne serves to restore order. ::glances up @105:: Yep, I was sure I agreed. ;-)


Verin arranged the attack on Demira? Umm, no. took advantage of the situation at hand? When does she not? If you think that's evidence of her guilt in the matter, look around. She takes advantage of every odd situation.
Kristina Blake
130. kab1
RobMRobM@127 I completely agree! I think it would be weird if RJ had forsaken popping up at every major plot turning point.

Yay for a new post today! Especially as I am finally caught up on posts 27 and 28 after a weekend trip away.
Almaruc
131. J.Dauro
PhantomIce @128

In the epilogue of KoD, Taim says, "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule." Sound familiar?

This was the clincher for most folks.
Rob Munnelly
132. RobMRobM
Yes, Free, I should have made an express echo (echo) of your comments above. After seeing your latest point I recalled that I saw your original post and said to myself ("boy, good point"). I then made the same point in my post without attribution. Mea culpa.

And I also agree that Verin is not responsible for Demira. I must say I'm still trying to figure out who is the guilty party there. Since they clearly didn't intend to kill her (giving timely notice back at the Inn), the intent is to cause a rift between Aiel and AS or the Aiel's patron and the AS. While Fain is a potential candidate, he would have killed her outright and I don't believe he would have given a cr@p about Rand's relationship with AS. Ditto re Taim on the latter point (and fear that Rand would find out and come after him). My working theory is more leaning towards the Black Ajah in the City using some of Mellar's cronies. This makes sense because they don't want Rand to lock up a deal with the Salidar BA and leave the Black-infested Elaida mission in the lurch.

R
Joseph Blaidd
133. SteelBlaidd
NotPropaganda@125

To be fair she is only making the same point Rand is makeing. That he will use, and use up, anyone he has to. Even, and maybe especialy, his friends.
Maiane Bakroeva
134. Isilel
@125 NotPropaganda:

Faile's constant mutterings don't help matters one iota

Ditto. Among other things I hate about Faile, her tendency to try to isolate Perrin is up there. In TR she tried to prevent Perrin from socializing with his old friendly acquiantances because she considered them beneath him, here she does her best to disrupt the remains of friendship with Rand, because Rand is above him... Of course, she already started to work on that last in TSR.
I guess we have to be grateful that Faile approves of Gaul and now Elias...

Re: Sylvase, I really don't see it. There are already tons of DFs in the BT, no need to stick a Forsaken in Andor too. It is nicely primed to go up in flames as it is.

Re: Perrin defending AS - why not? They _were_ helpless at the time and Rand doing something drastic about them would have been a very bad move besides.
Also, the AS have been helpful to Perrin previously and repeatedly saved his life. Some gratitude was surely in order.

Generally, I don't see why "standing up to" AS always needs to express itself in rudeness, lack of gratitude or refusal to listen to the word they say, on the part of the TR boys.
Surely, it is expression of weakness more than of strength and only highlights the guys callowness.
Rob Munnelly
135. RobMRobM
Free - I just lost my post apologizing for not citing your excellent point in mine (I recalled afterwards I had read it and agreed) and blaming the Demira attack on the BA in the City, using Mellar and his men dressed up as Aiel, with the obvious motive of trying to prevent the SAS from working out a deal that would leave the Black-infested Elaida mission in the lurch.

This is first one that's been eaten since I registered. Damn steampunks!

EDIT - POST SHOWED UP LATE. THANK GOODNESS.
Andrew Lovsness
136. drewlovs
Verin, even after 5+ books to cast a shadow on my theory, is as good a suspect as anyone else. Longterm, Taim and one of the Forsaken are indeed better masterminds, but a good arguement can still be made, after many many POVs from Verin. And sorry, Windrose, if you mantioned this and I failed to footnote you. Like I said, I didn't have the time to make sure I wasn't just re-hashing older topics.

As to Perrin's defense of the Aei Sedai, I think this is just more fodder saying, "The two rivers bred into the men of TRs what we today would consider chauvinism." It isn't just Rand, its Perrin (and to a lesser extent, Matrim) that has this obnoxious tendancy to lessen the status of the power female gender brokers in WoT.

I kinda like it though, more for it irritating me than anything else. There are cultural traditions today that have the same effect, nd thus, this seems extremely realistic.
Jacy Clark
137. Amalisa
Faile really gets a bum rap. Okay, jealousy issues and odd ideas (to our eyes) about marriage and how men and women relate to one another. But I'm not going to waste breath (or typing time) on arguing that - except to say that most newlyweds (especially young newlyweds) don't really know each other as well as they think they do, and that can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings. Those of you who are married, and have been for a while, know I'm right. Hell, the divorce rate speaks to that fact!

It's so easy to slam her for "manipulating" Perrin, "muttering" in his ear and such. People, come on. They are from wildly divergent backgrounds. He was an apprentice to a village blacksmith. She is the cousin of a queen and daughter of the queen's number one military guy. Perrin has been thrust into circumstances where he has to rub his broad blacksmith shoulders with the high and mighty. Faile navigates and negotiates through the high and mighty without breaking a sweat. It's her world. She is comfortable there and he's like a fish out of water. If she gives her husband guidance - which he listens for intently, I might add - good on her. The one thing about them that I like above all else - and I do like them! - is that they very much admire and respect each other's mental qualities! Perrin refers to her as "quicksilver" and "like a kingfisher". Faile sees his thought processes as "thorough" and "seeing deeply".

I've just finished re-reading KoD and I heart Faile even more than I did. Her time as a gai'shain put the finishing touches on her growth as a person. Without venturing into spoiler territory, I'll say that it makes what happens in the prologue even more awesome, in my eyes. Also, I see nothing wrong with Perrin's determination, to the exclusion of everything else, to rescue her. You love someone with all your heart, you put their safety and well-being above everything else. Period.

Okay… back to work.
Galen Brinn
138. GatheringStorm
FAILe (TM) doesn't get a bum rap. Her own actions bring it down on herself. She is A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G, with a super-huge A. I'm not saying she's not a capable character but her manipulations, machinations, attitudes etc, seem to drive a lot of readers crazy (me included). The way she tries to drive a wedge between Rand and Perrin reminds me of how Melindrha tried to get Mat to come out from Rand's "shadow" in TSR.

For you tin-foil-hat types, I'm NOT saying she IS or ISN'T a DF, either.
bryan
139. bdj6020
Can you update the index? I am only seeing links up tor Lord of Chaos, Part 26. I only stumbled on this part because I saw that it was commented on on the comments feed.
Almaruc
140. alreadymadwithmeddlingAS
Isilel @134
Let's face it, until you tell AS to stick it they're gonna keep trying to get in your way. And even then they won't stop. Just stop being up front about it, but they'll still try to meddle behind the scenes.

RobMRobM @135
That's one possibility I've never actually considered before. But it could be true. The BA does, after all, have a vested interest in disrupting any alliance between the forces of the Light.
William Fettes
141. Wolfmage
Isilel @ 134

"Re: Perrin defending AS - why not? They _were_ helpless at the time and Rand doing something drastic about them would have been a very bad move besides."

The point is who is he to say Rand was doing anything drastic? Where's the evidence? He has nothing to substantiate his pissy rants and presumption to be defending them. The fact is, he first interjects on the issue because he is worried about his trivial morale issues with the Two Rivers men, and confused by the waves of contempt he detects in the scent of the Wise Ones toward the Aes Sedai. It is basically only that which sets up the basis for their confrontation, and his later ignorant attempt to intercede with the Wise Ones in tPoD.


"You've just handed them over to the Wise Ones," he growled back, shoving away from the column. "You don't know whether they're sleeping on silk or had their throats cut! You are not the Creator!"



Amazed, Perrin raked his fingers through his hair. "Light, you're upset because I know you got a switching?" he said incredulously. Well, he would have been, too, but not alongside the rest. "Don't you know these women would as soon cut your throat as look at you? Slit your throat and leave you by the side of the road! Well, I promised myself I wouldn't let that happen! I don't like you, but I promised to protect you from the Wise Ones, or the Asha'man, or Rand himself, so come down off that high horse!"

Realizing that he was shouting, he drew a deep, embarrassed breath and settled back on his cushion, snatched up his winecup and took a long drink.

Seonid went stiffer by the word with indignation, and her lip curled well before he finished. "You
promised?" she sneered. "You think Aes Sedai need your protection? You—?"


As above, he really thinks the Wise Ones will kill the Aes Sedai and blames Rand for it. But this is ridiculous. He is letting his nose and his traditionalist sensibility about protecting women do the thinking instead of his head. He knows about Rand's list and yet carries on like Rand has monstrous indifference to women. It's sheer idiocy.

"Also, the AS have been helpful to Perrin previously and repeatedly saved his life. Some gratitude was surely in order."

So what? They don't want him interfering in the arrangement with the Wise Ones. If he was grateful he would respect that.

"Generally, I don't see why "standing up to" AS always needs to express itself in rudeness, lack of gratitude or refusal to listen to the word they say, on the part of the TR boys."

That's true to an extent - but more relevant to Rand's treatment of some the Aes Sedai who've done right by him such as Moiraine. But the level of pressure he is under and their habitual attempts to manipulate him gives him some excuse.

The only reason I raised the rudeness angle in the post above was because Perrin has an annoying tendency to berate Rand for breaking conventions against Aes Sedai that he breaks only a couple of chapters later. I don't think rudeness is great, but Perrin whines like Loial sometimes about respecting Aes Sedai and then doesn't observe it himself.

"Surely, it is expression of weakness more than of strength and only highlights the guys callowness. "

You really think the guys are callow? Wow.
Conor Murray
142. NotPropaganda
@138: YES! I couldn't figure out what it was but Faile's mutterings in Perrin's ear do remind me of Melindhra talking to Mat about coming out of Rand's "shadow". Obviously it's a different kind, where Faile is emphasising that Perrin should be careful and that he has other loyalties now.

Let me clarify, I'm not saying Faile's advice is bad, I'm just saying it's misguided. In any other situation I would applaud her to be honest, but the fact is that Perrin and Rand grew up together. Both of them need friends, in my honest opinion. Who has Perrin got, really? He has Faile... and who else? Gaul, who is preoccupied with his own strange love triangle. Who has Rand got that he can trust? Who are his friends? While her advice, politically, may be seen as sound, it's still my opinion that she completely misreads the situation and ends up giving Perrin reason to snipe at Rand more than anything else.

She does annoy me in general as a character I must admit so I probably have a *slight* bit of bias here haha.

@137: "Perrin has been thrust into circumstances where he has to rub his broad blacksmith shoulders with the high and mighty"

My point is that he shouldn't see Rand as the "high and mighty", he should be seeing him as his friend who is need of help, whereas Faile is constantly reminding him that Rand is high and mighty and that he has is own agenda. Yes Rand emphasises this himself but this is in line with Rand's attitude of blaming himself and taking everything upon himself - I realise Faile is young but she doesn't help the relationship between Rand and Perrin at all.
Hugh Arai
143. HArai
Isilel@134:
"Generally, I don't see why "standing up to" AS always needs to express itself in rudeness, lack of gratitude or refusal to listen to the word they say, on the part of the TR boys."


1) The AS have a habit of claiming disagreement with them _is_ rude. The AS habit of condescension is also likely to get up the nose of anyone who's seen just how ordinary they are in every way except the OP.
2) People are generally more grateful for help they ask for than for intervention they don't ask for and often do not want. This hold true even when the intervention turns out for the best.
3) If faced with advisors with the track record of the AS other than Moiraine,Verin and Siuan, I think a lot of people would refuse to listen. It becomes more and more apparent "I'm an AS, You have to do what I say" lacks validity for a lot of people, not just the TR boys.
Almaruc
144. Adam E.
Ah, resisting spoilers to the Gathering Storm only gets more difficult. Anyways, I'll say that the Gathering Storm has made me more impressed (again) with Robert Jordan's foreshadowing. The incredible inability for the genders to communicate (that Faile and Perrin scene pained me so much the last time I read it) aside, I have to say that Jordan could foreshadow like no one else.
Almaruc
145. yasiru89
Interesting how Berelain's later-revealed motives almost completely absolve her (in my eyes at least), since even I was annoyed by her here.

Also, Bera and Kiruna aren't above suggesting pulling a Graendal/Rahvin with the bond. Nice... See how Aes Sedai are in general too stupid to live?
Almaruc
146. Pikanin
Latecomer to the re-reads, and just have to say (in case you're still checking comments) that the Paul Simon reference just made my day! Probably one of the best albums ever! And I thought I loved your posts before... ;^)

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