Dec 7 2009 11:57am

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 1

Behold, oh ye faithful!

I give you – bum-bum bum-bum bum-bum BUM - the triumphal return of the Wheel of Time Re-read!


Please insert the appropriately bombastic trumpet fanfare of your choice here. Thank you, that was lovely.

We celebrate this momentous – momentous, I say! – occasion with an unprecedented and death-defying event: a recap of the Prologue of A Crown of Swords - a book which has never been recapped before!

Well. Uh, not by me, anyway. Look, don’t bother me with technical details, I just work here.

Anyway! Previous re-read entries are here. The newly created and terribly spiffy Wheel of Time Master Index is here, in which you can find links to news, reviews, and all manner of yummy tidbits regarding the newest release, The Gathering Storm – not to mention for WOT stuff in general. Because you are just that lucky.

Two notes before we begin, one on scheduling and one on spoilers.

Scheduling: Previously on the Re-read, I’ve been posting three times a week, which I’ll confess to you now was kind of a grueling amount of work even after I slowed the pace of actual material covered per post, back around TSR. That plus recently changing circumstances have compelled me to make an executive decision, that the three-times-a-week deal is just not going to fly anymore. Thus, from now on the Re-read will only post twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays.

Additionally, the holiday season has done its usual excellent job of throwing my whole damn life into chaos – no, I mean even more chaos than previously – and since I will ergo be traveling/elsewhere for the last two weeks of the year, it’s a pretty fair bet that there will be no posts the week of Christmas or New Year’s. So, yeah, I know it kind of sucks that the blog comes off hiatus only to go right back on hiatus, briefly, but, well. Christmas, end of the year, first time I’ve seen my family in six months… guess what, not going to have too much guilt about this. The Re-read’ll be back full force in January, never fear, and in the meantime you’ll be getting four, I say four shiny ACOS posts to play with before I leave. That’s a windfall, son, buck up!

So there’s that. As to spoilers: Given how much the events it portrayed have changed my view of the story and the characters, I realized as soon as I started up recapping again that it was simply not going to be possible for me to avoid spoilers for The Gathering Storm in the Re-read from here on out. Considering that TGS has been out for over a month now, I don’t think this is unreasonable; if you’re enough of a WOT fan to be following this Re-read, you’re enough of a fan to have gotten hold of and read TGS by now. Or, you’re the kind of fan who doesn’t care about spoilers, which amounts to the same thing.

So: This re-read post contains spoilers for all currently published Wheel of Time novels, up to and including Book 12, The Gathering Storm. If you haven’t read, read at your own risk.

Et voilà, n’est-ce pas? And now, with a veritable surfeit of ado, I present you: the Re-read!

Before I get to the actual recap, I have to note that contrary to many fans’ opinions, A Crown of Swords is actually my favorite novel in the series (thus far). There are several reasons for this. First is my theory that the least favorite WOT book of any given fan will more often than not correspond to the first novel that the fan had to wait for; this doesn’t pass muster as an actual scientific Theory, since I know people who have contradicted it, but it’s true enough to serve as a vague rule of thumb.

In my case, I started reading the series right when ACOS came out in paperback. Thus, the first WOT novel I had to wait for was the novel following it, The Path of Daggers, which is by leaps and bounds my least favorite book in the series. (Given that, the recap of TPOD is going to be either hilarious or the grumpiest series of posts ever. Or, possibly, both. Only time will tell!)

Contrariwise, I adored ACOS to itty bitty bits, and didn’t even notice the chief complaint of other fans – namely, that it only covers something like 10 days chronologically – until it was pointed out to me. Not that I am disputing this as a legitimate complaint; as comparison, LOC covers almost 100 days, so yeah, I can see how that might be a little infuriating – especially if ACOS was the first book you had to wait for.

But like I said, I didn’t notice. In my opinion, the stuff that happened in those 10 days was more than enough to make up for the lack of actual time passing. I mean, this was a pretty damn eventful WOT week, you know? Plus, chronology in novels is one of those things I tend not to notice unless I’m really paying attention, or the amount of time passing is a central element to the plot. Sometimes obliviousness is bliss.

(I also tend to ignore maps. This makes me officially Weird in the eyes of many a fantasy fan.)

The other big reason I loved ACOS is because it so heavily features Mat, who at the time was my favorite WOT character. (I’m not sure if he still is, for reasons I will get into later.) ACOS also has what is probably my absolute favorite scene in all of WOT – which I will tell you about when we get to it (and which may surprise you, or at least puzzle you).

All that being said, it’s been quite a while since I’ve actually read ACOS, so it will be interesting to see if my “favorite” ranking of the novel will hold up under close Re-read scrutiny.

Let’s find out, shall we?

Prologue: Lightnings

What Happens
Elaida looks down on Tar Valon from her new high quarters in the White Tower, and admires the beginnings of the construction of her new palace, which will be taller than the Tower itself when completed. She moves back inside her richly decorated rooms, and reads again the note that had come from Cairhien twelve days earlier:

The ring has been placed in the bull’s nose. I expect a pleasant journey to market.

Elaida knows only Galina could have sent the note, and that it meant Rand al’Thor was shielded and in Galina’s control, and she almost giggles. Her satisfaction at getting the Dragon Reborn under control is interrupted by Alviarin, who comes in without knocking to give her intelligence reports from the Ajahs. Elaida pretends that Alviarin doesn’t annoy her, and asks if there has been word from Teslyn (Red) or Joline (Green), both former Sitters sent to Ebou Dar as a punishment, and a warning to the rest of the Hall. Alviarin replies no, but that the Grays have discovered that Nynaeve al’Meara and Elayne Trakand are also in Ebou Dar, posing as full sisters. Elaida thinks this is nonsense, since Tarna had reported them in Salidar with the rebels, and only then does Alviarin blandly point out that they were sent sketches. Embarrassed, Elaida tells her coldly that she wants them taken.

Elaida had the Foretelling sometimes, a Talent many thought lost before her, and long ago she had Foretold that the Royal House of Andor held the key to winning the Last Battle. Twenty-five years gone and more, as soon as it became clear that Morgase Trakand would gain the throne in the Succession, Elaida had fastened herself to the girl, as she was then. How Elayne was crucial, Elaida did not know, but Foretelling never lied. Sometimes she almost hated the Talent. She hated things she could not control.

She uneasily adds to give Joline and Teslyn the information about “the Macura woman”; the reference to forkroot disturbs even Alviarin. Elaida broods about all the ridiculous obstacles in her way, but comforts herself with Galina’s note and the certainty of her eventual triumph. She moves on to the Black Tower, telling Alviarin that she wants “those men” rooted out. She dismisses Alviarin’s reports of their numbers, and tells her to have Toveine lead a force of fifty sisters to take care of the problem; Alviarin openly questions the wisdom of the move, pointing out that Mazrim Taim is supposed to be there. Elaida is furious at her lack of respect, but replies she is sure that no more than one or two of the men there can really channel, citing the fact that only twenty-four men have been found and gentled in the last twenty years, and that surely Taim would never go from claiming to be the Dragon to serving the real one. Alviarin points out that twenty-four is “a dangerous number to speak aloud,” but Elaida doesn’t see who could bring her to task for even if the truth of those years became known, and tells Alviarin that Toveine’s fifty sisters are to gentle and hang any man they find who can channel. Alviarin does not react to this flouting of Tower law, but instead drops the news that the rebels are on the march from Salidar, and have chosen an Amrylin, Egwene al’Vere. Instead of becoming furious, Elaida begins laughing, to Alviarin’s surprise. Alviarin doesn’t see what’s so funny about an army led by Gareth Bryne marching toward them with some 300 rebel Aes Sedai, but Elaida answers that Tarna’s report indicates that more than a third of the rebels are already on the point of breaking; not to mention, she adds, that the fact that they raised an Accepted scapegoat as Amyrlin means they already know their attempt will fail, since the only offense they’ve committed that actually requires stilling is pretending to be a false Amyrlin. She also thinks of “the secret” Alviarin did not know, and is sure that Bryne’s army will hemorrhage fighters as they travel, and ultimately amount to nothing.

“I mean to break them, daughter. They will split open like a rotten melon.” Her secret assured that, however many farmers and tailors Lord Bryne hung on to, but let the other woman think as she would. Suddenly the Foretelling took hold of her, a certainty about things she could not see stronger than if they had been laid out before her. She would have been willing to step blindly over a cliff on that certainty. “The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al’Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds. This I Foretell.”

Alviarin’s cool façade cracks at this, to Elaida’s satisfaction. She begins laying out her plans, thinking of how she would go down in history as the greatest Amyrlin ever.

Sevanna stands with two hundred Wise Ones, Efalin (a Maiden), Maeric (Seia Doon), Bendhuin (Far Aldazar Din), and the rest of the Shaido, thinking of how once she weds the Car’a’carn she will no longer have to worry about maintaining control of the Shaido. A messenger appears and tells her that one of the forward scouts escaped; Sevanna orders that the Shaido attack full force immediately, keeping no reserves in check. Maeric and Bendhuin try to protest this, and the Wise Ones are very uneasy, but Sevanna shames them into silence, reminding them of what had happened to Desaine (especially the Wise Ones who had helped her kill Desaine). The Shaido move out, and attack the circle of wagons at Dumai’s Wells, where the Aes Sedai are projecting an invisible shield that blocks the Shaido’s arrows. After some prodding from Sevanna, the Wise Ones finally counterattack with fireballs and lightning, which are returned in kind; Sevanna watches the spectacle with delight until her group is almost killed by one of the lightning strikes. Then she starts laughing and shouting “Push spears!”, though she is momentarily dismayed when wolves begin attacking the Shaido. One of the Wise Ones, Rhiale, tells Sevanna that there are wetlanders and other Aiel attacking from the south, and that there are Wise Ones attacking with them. Sevanna understands bitterly that even after Desaine, Rhiale and the others will not countenance openly attacking other Wise Ones; she tells Rhiale to kill who she can, and goes back to the battle, sure of her victory no matter what. Then she hears a hollow boom from somewhere in the camp, followed by strange flashes of light among the warriors, but can’t figure any of it out. She sees that the Aes Sedai defenses are weakening, and exults at her victory until she sees that a huge invisible dome is over the camp, blocking physical attacks and channeling alike. She screams at the Wise Ones that they let them do such a thing, but the Wise Ones tell her sickly that it isn’t women channeling that did it. She turns to see Rand al’Thor’s banner being raised through an opening at the top of the dome.

The other women were thinking of retreat. Not her. She had always known that the easiest path to power lay through conquering men who already possessed it, and even as a child she was sure she had been born with the weapons to conquer them. Suladric, clan chief of the Shaido, fell to her at sixteen, and when he died, she chose out those most likely to succeed. Muradin and Couladin each believed he alone had captured her interest, and when Muradin failed to return from Rhuidean, as so many men did, one smile convinced Couladin that he had overwhelmed her. But the power of a clan chief paled beside that of the Car’a’carn, and even that was nothing beside what she saw before her. She shivered as if she had just seen the most beautiful man imaginable in the sweat tent. When Rand al’Thor was hers, she would conquer the whole world.

She commands the Shaido to press harder, but suddenly the earth begins erupting in an expanding circle around the dome, slaughtering the Shaido, who soon break and run, ignoring Sevanna’s shrieks to stand and fight. She threatens Rhiale, but Rhiale shouts back that if they stay they will die, and runs as well. Sevanna hesitates and then runs as well, glad that she had not thrown away the cube of intricately carved stone she had been given. As she runs, she begins formulating new plans.

Alviarin maintains her cool façade as she leaves Elaida, but inside she feels “wrung out like a damp cloth”, noting absently that the sisters she passes watch her uneasily except for Danelle, the dreamy friendless Brown who had participated in Elaida’s coup but since had been pushed aside. Alviarin thinks of Elaida:

A woman of many layers, Elaida. The first look at her showed a beautiful woman filled with dignified reserve, the second a woman of steel, stern as a bared blade. She overwhelmed where others persuaded, bludgeoned where others tried diplomacy or the Game of Houses. Anyone who knew her saw her intelligence, but only after a time did you realize that for all her brains, she saw what she wanted to see, would try to make true what she wanted to be true. Of the two indisputably frightening things about her, the lesser was that she so often succeeded. The greater was her Talent for Foretelling.

Alviarin thinks Elaida may have to be killed after all, but hesitates to take that step without permission. She enters her rooms, thinking of which of Elaida’s orders to have carried out and which to ignore, and immediately goes to her knees when the room darkens and Mesaana appears before her, cloaked in “dark shadow and silver light”, her voice disguised with crystalline chimes. Alviarin repeats back every word of her interview with Elaida, though she knows Mesaana must eavesdrop on them. She had also been puzzled as to why of all the Forsaken Alviarin has met, only Mesaana disguises herself so completely, and has concluded with shock that Mesaana must be masquerading as a sister within the Tower itself. She has set herself to discover Mesaana’s secret identity, but met with little luck thus far. Mesaana muses on Elaida’s Foretelling, and asks if the rebels “breaking open like a rotten melon” was part of it, but Alviarin is not sure. She tells Mesaana that Elaida is dangerous, but Mesaana replies that Elaida is still of use, and chuckles over the woman’s schemes and powerplays. Daring greatly, Alviarin asks if it is safe to send Black sisters as part of Toveine’s expedition to the Black Tower; Mesaana stares at her, and Alviarin thinks uneasily of the fate of her predecessor as Head of the Black Ajah, Jarna Malari, whom Ishamael had punished for “what she had begun”.

Publicly Gray, Jarna had never shown any interest in the ter’angreal no one knew a use for—until the day she became snared in one untried for centuries. How to activate it remained a mystery still. For ten days no one could reach her, only listen to her throat-wrenching shrieks. Most of the Tower thought Jarna a model of virtue; when what could be recovered was buried, every sister in Tar Valon and every one who could reach the city in time attended the funeral.

Mesaana doesn’t answer the question directly, but Alviarin concludes that sending Black sisters with Toveine is likely to be a bad idea. Then Mesaana demands her direct loyalty, to Mesaana only and none of the other Chosen; Alviarin agrees fervently, and as a reward, Mesaana begins to teach her how to Travel.

Pedron Niall plays stones with Morgase, thinking of how he hadn’t had such a good opponent in years. He knows it’s all a ploy to lull him into thinking she’s going along quietly with his plans for Andor, and admires her wiliness; he thinks that if he had been twenty years younger he might even have played along with “her true game”, but reminds himself that she trained with the Tar Valon witches. Morgase asks again to see Galad, but Niall has no intention of losing that leverage, and replies that Galad’s duties keep him in the north. They are interrupted by Omerna, and Niall sends Morgase away after accepting her invitation to dine with her. After she leaves, Omerna tells Niall that he has not found either Gawyn or Elayne, but Niall knows that Gawyn is with the Tower witches, and Elayne in Ebou Dar; he has sent orders to Carridin concerning Elayne. Then Omerna produces a message tube which Niall snatches from him; ignoring Omerna’s continuing report, he opens the tube to find a message from Faisar, who to Niall’s dismay confirms everything his rug seller informant had told him about Tanchico and the “second mad animal” to appear after al’Thor. As he wonders how he is to fight them both, Omerna moves closer and stabs Niall twice, saying tearfully it had to be done. As Niall falls, Eamon Valda appears; shouting “Traitor!”, he runs Omerna through.

Niall would have laughed if he could; breath came hard, and he could hear it bubbling in the blood in his throat. He had never liked Valda—in fact, he despised the man—but someone had to know. His eyes shifted, found the slip of paper from Tanchico lying not far from his hand; it might be missed there, but not if his corpse clutched it. And that message had to be read. His hand seemed to crawl across the floorboards so slowly, brushing the paper, pushing, it as he fumbled to take hold. His vision was growing misty. He tried to force himself to see. He had to . . . The fog was thicker. Part of him tried to shake that thought; there was no fog. The fog was thicker, and there was an enemy out there, unseen, hidden, as dangerous as al’Thor or more. The message. What? What message? It was time to mount and out sword, time for one last attack. By the Light, win or die, he was coming! He tried to snarl.

Valda realizes Niall is still breathing, and is about to finish him off when Asunawa appears and tells him he might become Lord Captain Commander, but not if Asunawa must report he slit the previous one’s throat. Asunawa wants assurances that Valda will give Morgase to the Hand of the Light, but Valda tells him they need Morgase until Andor is taken, and threatens to assist Asunawa’s second in taking him down as the head of the Inquisitors unless he complies. They are interrupted by Balwer, who gasps at Niall’s corpse; Asunawa tells him the official version of what happened. Disdaining Balwer as “useless”, Valda sends him to convene the Council of the Anointed to plan “vengeance” for Niall’s murder, planning to kick the twitchy man out of the fortress as soon as Valda is appointed Lord Captain Commander.

“So it seems you will be our next Lord Captain Commander after all,” Asunawa said once Balwer was gone.

“So it seems,” Valda answered dryly. A tiny slip of paper lay next to Niall’s outstretched hand, the sort used in sending messages by pigeon. Valda bent and picked it up, then exhaled in disgust. The paper had been sitting in a puddle of wine; whatever had been written on it was lost, the ink a blur.

He dismisses the message as unimportant, and assures Asunawa that he may have Morgase once Valda is done with her.

Gawyn surveys Dumai’s Wells in the distance, and wishes he could have killed al’Thor; he doesn’t believe Egwene’s assertion that the man didn’t kill his mother, and if Min was right that Elayne loved him, all the more reason to kill him. But he hadn’t, because he had promised Egwene he wouldn’t.

He hoped she would accept the compromise he had made with his honor; he had raised not a hand to harm, but none to help, either. The Light send she never asked that of him. It was said that love addled men’s brains, and he was the proof.

Suddenly he spies a woman galloping on a horse, which stumbles and throws her; he goes back to the two hundred or so of the original five hundred and eighty Younglings he’d had before Dumai’s Wells, and starts to tell Jisao they have a sister to rescue, but is interrupted as a party of Shaido suddenly top the rise and attack. There is a brief bloody battle which ends with the Aiel withdrawing; Gawyn gathers the unwounded men to go after the Aes Sedai, but only finds her horse. He decides it would be a good idea to have a sister or two with them to deflect Elaida’s wrath, and tells Jisao they will search for her after the wounded are tended to.

Turning his bay with a sigh, he rode back down to see what the butcher’s bill had been this time. That had been his first real lesson as a soldier. You always had to pay the butcher. He had a feeling there would be bigger bills due soon. The world would forget Dumai’s Wells in what was coming.

Freakin’ long-ass Prologues, mumble grumble.

Elaida: Okay, so MAYBE the delusions of grandeur were telegraphed a little more strongly than I initially remembered. If you recall, I was all giving TGS shit in my review for having Elaida more or less literally chew the scenery, but re-reading this scene in particular may make me have to soften that criticism.

I forgot, for one thing, that her stupid palace was actually supposed to be taller than the Tower, which is just beyond idiotic for any number of reasons, not least of which is that I’m pretty sure that doing it without Ogier help is basically just a structural disaster of epic proportions waiting to happen.

And even supposing it could be done without Ogier, has she no aesthetic sensibility at all? A palace taller than the centerpiece of the city? Right next to it? Ugh. Where is the symmetry? Where is the harmony? You are harshing Tar Valon’s feng shui, woman!

Sheesh. Not to mention, nothing says “megalomania” quite like spending vast amounts of resources to build a giant vanity project when half the world is dying in a drought, and oh yeah, THE END OF THE WORLD IS COMING. Priorities, we has them! Except not!

Yes, seeds of Mashadar, not entirely her fault, blah, but you know, she wasn’t exactly a ray of sympathetic sunshine before she met up with Fain either, I remind you. And evidently she’s been an idiot about her Foretellings from Day One. Though I suppose it’s a little much for me to bring her to task for not figuring out that her Foretelling about the Royal House of Andor was about the previous ruling House... although, now that I think about it, House Mantear was on the throne when she actually had the Foretelling, so maybe it wouldn’t have been that much of a leap, but then again as far as she knew everyone from Modrellen’s line was dead, and certainly she had no reason to even suspect that Rand was Tigraine’s son, and oh no I’ve gone cross-eyed.

Whatever. Nicely done as a Prophecy mis-fire, anyway.

Also: “The ring has been placed in the bull’s nose.” That’s some lovely imagery, there. Points for accuracy, I guess?

Sevanna: Is annoying. And just made me recap the same scene TWICE. Grrr.

I’m not going to dwell overmuch on the Shaido right now, since I predict you guys will get more than enough of me grousing about them in recaps to come, but I will just say that while I appreciate the device of getting the “Previously on...” section done by retelling the big ending of LOC from the opposition’s point of view, rather than just a straight recap, this is largely obscured by my irritation that it didn’t also manage to tell us anything new, except possibly that Sevanna hadn’t actually thrown away her cube. Which, okay, that’s important to the plot, I know that; I’m just not sure I needed eleven pages of rewind to tell me that one fact. Especially when it’s eleven pages of Sevanna being annoying.

(Although, I suppose it’s worth pointing out that one of the reasons Sevanna annoys me so much – besides being central to the Plotline That Wouldn’t Die – is because she is exactly the kind of woman I am most disposed to loathe. This is because she is practically the epitome of every negative stereotype about women ever, and it infuriates me that this does not actually make her an unrealistic character, for I’ve met women just like her – minus the actual “inciting to murder” bit, of course – and watching these idiots willfully undermine what fragile progress feminism has made in the past century pisses me right the hell off, to put it mildly. Grr.)

Alviarin: Remains one of my favorite villain characters in WOT. I do like me a smart bad guy, and Alviarin comes across as not only one of the more intelligent villains, but as one of the smarter characters in WOT overall. She is, in fact, rather like a Dark Side Sherlock Holmes, almost, with her methodical attempts to deduce Mesaana’s Sekrit Identity in the Tower. Plus, as I’ve said before, she’s one of the few non-Forsaken evil characters who actually performs effective acts of evil, so yay (in an odd way) for that.

I hope that she does not remain the largely non-existent cipher she became once Elaida kicked her off the Keeper job – which is, now that I think about it, one of the things that rather irritated me in TGS, that Alviarin appears to play no role at all in the Tower battle except to disappear afterwards, and (as far as I recall) basically does nothing except get walloped by Silviana up until that point.

Of course, this is all from Egwene’s perspective, who wasn’t exactly paying that much attention to Alviarin in general, so who knows. Maybe she was doing all kinds of things we won’t find out about till later. I kind of hope so.

Speaking of Mesaana, I am highly amused that we still do not know for certain sure who her alter ego is. I’m personally about 97% sure that she is Danelle. Although, the gratuitous mention of Danelle in Alviarin’s POV here is actually one of the things that gives me my 3% uncertainty, because it just screams of being one of those red herrings Jordan was so fond of tossing out. But of course maybe it is a double red herring, meaning it isn’t a red herring, because Jordan is sneaky that way. You know, with his herrings.

(Herring, herring – word has lost all meaning.)

As for all the business with Jarna Malari and Tamra Ospenya and etc. Alviarin refers to, not to mention the Red gentling scandal she and Elaida both obliquely refer to earlier, I’m not even going there, because I will freely confess I never could keep all that backstory straight. It’s not really relevant until New Spring, anyway. I promise I’ll do my homework on it then!

Morgase: Oh, man. I’m going to have some screaming to do on this plotline shortly. For now, though, I will confine myself to wondering what would have happened if Niall had actually taken the bait he imagined she was offering.

Also, bye, Niall! I quoted too much of Niall’s death rattle, but I kind of felt he deserved it, for being a character I could respect for his complexity even as I *headdesk* at how close he came to being Not An Asshole – and missing.

But like I’ve said before, Niall’s assholishness is microscopic compared to that of the wankers now at the reins of Children of the Light, Inc. I remember when I first read this I was like, Balls. There goes the neighborhood. And by “neighborhood,” of course, I mean “continent”. Valda and Asunawa: it’s like a crap sandwich on whole crap bread, with crap slaw and a turd pickle on the side.

(Now, who’s hungry?)

Gawyn: Was in this Prologue.

And that’s our show! Glad to be back, kids. I hope you are glad too. Have fun in the comments, and see you Friday!

Matthew Smith
1. blocksmith

New Thread, New Re-Read!

Tis the season of giving!

Thank You Leigh!
John Massey
2. subwoofer
Yay! Stop the presses! Leigh is back! We missed ya! People were getting um... unhygienic, Suffa had to be taken out to a fire hydrant and hosed off. We had to deep clean the bunker! We were in a sorry state without you.

Never again leave us alone with her!

Don Barkauskas
3. bad_platypus
Re: Morgase plotline

From the BYU midnight release Storm Leader report on Dragonmount:
He also said that the series’ ending puts certain threads in perspective. For example, Morgase, my least favorite character, apparently turns out to be less annoying than she appears.
I'm personally very curious to see how this plays out. Any thoughts?
Jeff Weston
4. JWezy
Ah, so sad. I was looking forward to these resuming, but since I have not read yet (in expectation of sugarplums in the shape of TGS), I shall not yet read.
5. MikeDeepo
Problem with Danelle-being-Mesaana: Egwene thinks at the end of tGS that Mesaana had to be one of three sisters, none of which are Danelle. I can't give the page reference or names, however, as my father has stolen my copy.
Tricia Irish
6. Tektonica
Leigh, you are just too funny!!! I must say I agree with you mostly on your character likes and dislikes. This will be a fun book to hear you reread. Thanks for coming back to us!

.....the Children of the Light, so bad, so very very bad, and annoying.
.....Sevanna, my very least favorite character, ever, for the same reasons you site. (And the Shaido in general, and this plot thread.)

It will be interesting to see if you still like this book after the reread....I skipped alot of it in my last reread. I got very sick of the above people.

And the line: "Gawyn was in this Prologue." LOL. Still LOLing. Nice of him, "not believing the woman he loves", and so what if his sister loves Rand, Gawyn obviously knows better. He is so ignorant!
F Shelley
7. FSS

Oh thank Goodness!

W/B Leigh!
Matthew Smith
8. blocksmith
Now that I finished reading the re-read...

I did not think Elaida's behavior in TGS was over the top based on this scene and couple of others in later books.

Had the exact reaction to Niall getting assassinated. Just when he was a fingernail away from actually, possibly, doing something good with the COL, he gets offed by Valda and Asunawa. While we don't know Valda's full depth of lack of moral fiber as yet, could there be a worse choice to lead the COL?

By the way, I get a distinctly Rasputin feel from the Asunawa character...anyone else?


The page is 764 in the epilogue, Bathed in Light
Thomas Keith
9. insectoid
*twitches subside*

Woohoo...New post!! The spoiler thread is quite a spectacle to behold, with 3400+ comments!

Leigh: Great to have you back. We missed you.

First-Book-You-Had-to-Wait-For-Syndrome: Oddly enough, while I've only had to wait for one book (TGS, which I adored to itty bitty bits), I am having difficulty determining which of the previous books I didn't like, that I didn't have to wait for. Well, they all have their own merits, I think...

And now, on the post:

Elaida: Is annoying. And is a good damane. The End!

Valda and Asunawa: it’s like a crap sandwich on whole crap bread, with crap slaw and a turd pickle on the side.

(Now, who’s hungry?)

Gawyn: Was in this Prologue.

BAHAHAhahaha!! ::falls over laughing::
Tina A
10. Tinaa
Welcome back Leigh!

Things have been awful twitchy here without you...
11. MikeDeepo
I'm an exception to Leigh's theory. This was actually the first book I had to wait for, and while it's not my favorite in the series (that would be tGH), or even top 3, it's absolutely above average for me.

I will therefore propose the General Theory of WoT Fandom(tm): Your favorite book will be one you didn't have to wait for, and your least favorite will be one you did.
Maiane Bakroeva
12. Isilel
Hurrah! To anticipate the happy event I have even skimmed the prologue quickly myself and I have to say that I now really wonder whether Joline could be Black. I mean, she was supposedly instrumental enough in Elaida's rise to be placed in her council, then to be elected as a Sitter by the Green. Yet she seems to be a complete idiot, who shouldn't have been able to politick herself out of a paper bag.
And it was Elaida who provided Teslyn with info on forkroot - which she eventually used to dose Joline. How quaint.

24 channeling men in 20 years (disregarding those possibly murdered during the BA Dragon-hunting spree)- yet only _6_ were found in the last decade. Including Logain. Not sure about Taim, he may technically be 7th. Ishy must have been recruiting, yes?
I wonder if the Seanchan also detected a dip in numbers of damane found at the time.

"She had always known that the easiest path to power lay through conquering men who already possessed it!"

Right - it was always a mystery to me why people idolized Aiel society and particularly it's power structure.
And remind me again, did all these Shaido WOs sleep through their _2_ Rhuidean tests? Why are they obeying Sevanna? Why did they go along with the murder of one of their number? I mean, I could see it if one of the older and more respected Shaido WOs had been a DF who sabotaged the WO training of the clan and recruited many to the Shadow, but judging by Galina's experiences that doesn't seem to be the case. Oh, and what about WOs born and trained in other clans? I thought that a fully trained WO went where there was an open position?

"Anyone who knew her saw her intelligence"

Oh, really? I beg to differ. Elaida wasn't all that sharp even before she went completely nuts. Some low cunning, maybe. I kind of wondered why Morgase put up with her for so long. Did she really value Fortelling and Healing _that_ much?

Exit Niall - good riddance. IMHO, he was even more villanious than Elaida, because he was more intelligent of the 2, willfully destroyed Tarabon and Arad Doman and breezily ordered mass murders of the innocents. Even Elaida didn't sink that low.

Alviarin - my favorite villain, too. Seems to have accomplished as much as any Forsaken except Ishy, really and more than some. Give her AoL channeling training and an angreal and she'd have been much more use than most of those losers. Strength in OP is over-rated.

P.S. I got into WoT when ACoS was already out in pb, and it was a distinct dip in quality for me when I got to it, even though I didn't have to wait.
Largely because Sammael proved to be such a stupid and pointless antagonist, whom Rand triumphs over by equally stupid means, the Shaido (oh, noes!) and the blatantly dragged-out Ebu Dar plot.
13. twicemarked
For twice weekly posting, shouldn't it be like Tuesday/Friday or Monday/Thursday? That is how scheduling seems to be done usually any way.

About Sevanna. These pages actually help me to understand the progression of the battle better. At the end of LOC, it was kind of chaotic for me, exactly how things went, and who did what to whom. This presents a coherent timeline in the battle sequence. Maybe I am not as sharp in that department, with POVs jumping around.

I felt sad when Niall died. Even if the Seanchan message is seen by Valda, I don't think it will amount to anything. I just don't get the feeling that Valda has the same ambition as Niall, as far as uniting the lands are concerned. Valda will still press on to the WT, and let Seanchan be someonelse's worry. He stries me as a zealot type. So in this way, I guess Niall is not a true believer for whatever the WC is supposed to believe. He is merely using the WC as a stepping stone. Kind of like a certain AS, joining the BA for political advancement instead of for the sake of evil. So in a way, that makes the high number of BA more understandable.
14. Alfvaen
Every time I read this prologue, I get confused by the Sevanna bit, because I assume it must be occurring after Dumai's Wells...and then remember, "Oh, wait, it isn't." Every time.

And it hadn't occurred to me until I just read it that Elaida might conceivably have been Foretelling about House Mantear and not House Trakand. Though it's possible Elayne could still be important. (I still have the Loony Theory that "The Dragon's blood staining the rocks of Shayol Ghul" means that Rand and Elayne's kids will cover it with paint. Or, given that they'll still be babies at the time, they might stain it...some other way.)

This is the book I have reread least, for some reason, though it does contain several notable events--Nynaeve's block-breaking and the beginning of the White Tower Black Ajah Hunt, if nothing else. And is this the one with the arrival of Cadsuane? Too bad the Sammael confrontation comes out a little too tacked-on. But that's all later, of course.
Ron Garrison
15. Man-0-Manetheran
Yippee Yea! Welcome back Leigh! We did our best to crash with nearly 3500 posts. I was just ]thisselfishness was the one trait which the Foresaken all had in common and what the DO used to control them? I like how RJ had characters that did evil without actually being darkfriends.

More on RJ’s contstruction: first the mention of Danelle and then the appearance of Mesaana. I’m liking the odds of Danelle being Mesaana.

Re. your comments on "when" we first had to wait for a book affecting which books we liked the most. I came across LoC on the remainders table at the local B&N. Since I love thick books, I picked it right up. "Book 6"? Wow. That must be some story. I checked out TEotW at the library and was hooked. At that time Amazon had ALL the hardcovers on sale for about 5 bucks each, so I bought them all. ACoS was the first one I had to wait for, and I was so disappointed that "so little happened." Not my opinion any more tho'
John Massey
16. subwoofer

perhaps I didn't clearly out line my never leave us again plan...

17. alreadymadwithdeadniall
I actually felt sad when Niall died. At least the man was sane. As opposed to the combination of Valda and Asunawa. Perhaps he might have stood a chance against the Seanchan. And I don't believe he ordered innocents killed. I was under the impression Carridin was acting on his own for that one.

Oh and let's not forget the distasteful thing about his prologue. Two of the most disgusting women in WOT. Over and above ENEMA.
Justin Levitt
18. TyranAmiros
Yay! Glad the re-read is back. Maybe we can have some multiple chapter recaps during some of the endless bickering scenes? ("This recap covers chapters 1-8 of Path of Daggers. Not because we're going back to the early format. Absolutely nothing happened.")

ACoS is also one of my favorites, and I'd rank Rand and Min's plot from this book highly as well. Rand in his full Ta'veren mode made for some fun scenes in the Haddon Mirk.

@12 Isiel--Morgase probably put up with Elaida because she was the Tower's representative. There's no requirement that a ruler like their Aes Sedai advisor and given that Elaida specifically wanted Andor (and Siuan probably wanted her away from Tar Valon), Morgase was stuck.
Rob Munnelly
19. RobMRobM
Damn - I was wrong on guessing that Leigh would reference "Suffa was a good Damane." She also didn't use the "Dead as a door Niall" joke I had in the back of my mind.

Let's guess Leigh's favorite scene in CoS. Has to involve Mat, I'm guessing it is either the Daughter of the Sands slamdown with the Sea Folk or the Swovan Night encounter with Birgitte and aftermath.

Sean Banawnie
20. Seanie

we missed ya sooooo much.
two posts.....**pouts,kicks heels**
siigggghhhh, we'll live....I guess.....
yes,I look forward to the post TGS perspective, yeeeehhaaahhh!!!
Personally, I thought it was Danelle too.
But, maybe if it was so obvious that I caught it ...well maybe then,its too obvious, like ya was sayin'.
Just sayin'.
Enjoy your new pace and don't mind our twitchin' and bitchin'.

Peace favor your mouse.
Jacy Clark
21. Amalisa
Welcome back, Leigh!! To say you have been missed is to say that Tarmon Gai'don will be a squabble. (An understatement. I'm clarifying that for myself, really, because I was up half the night with noisy stuff outside and I'm still waiting for the caffeine infusion to kick in. Prolly should wait with this. Okay... I will...)

Except to say that I agree with you about ACOS. It was a pivotal book because it tied up some loose ends (yes, while creating some others. Like that's never happened before. *rolls eyes*) and it set the stage for really important things to come. Yes, and Mat, naturally.

More later, when I'm, um, awake.
22. Robert Edwin
Wow, first you say that Egwene is your favorite character (she's my least favorite), now you say that ACoS is your favorite book (it's my least favorite)! This is getting creepy.... :D
Maiane Bakroeva
23. Isilel

"So in this way, I guess Niall is not a true believer for whatever the WC is supposed to believe".

Oh, but he was. That's why he didn't take the first news of Seanchan seriously, falling back on blaming the WT for Falme, which was completely unreasonable.


Niall totally was responsible for mass murders. He sent out people to commit undercover atrocities in order to cause a Tarabon/Arad Doman war and later to act as fake Dragonsworn and do the same. In TGH Bornhald Sr. remarks on it (particularly corpses of children), is disgusted, but orders from Niall compel him to cooperate with Carridin. Until he gets wind of the Seanchan, that is.
Roger Powell
24. forkroot
Welcome back Leigh!

Gawyn: Was in this Prologue.
Perfect! Lines like this keep me coming back for more.

fragile progress feminism has made in the past century
Sorry .. not buying "fragile". There may be metaphorical "miles to go", but women's rights, opportunities, and so forth have advanced FAR more in the last century than in the previous 19 or so. Granted this is most clearly seen in the Western world. In places like Afghanistan the advances are not so clear.

Re: Niall. I remember at the time thinking "Hmmm ... Jordan finally killed off a semi-important character" (Min's viewing had pretty much convinced me that Moiraine was not gone forever.) Even though he was a bad actor, he was intelligent and formidable. In fact, he had been identified as one of the Great Captains.

So... I had thought that possibly the plot would have him coming around to Team Light eventually. Omerna's dagger changed that thought.

Ah Omerna ... possibly the only character of any significance dumber than Weiramon.

Re the cover: I remember that this was the last WoT book that I bought in paperback. I had starting reading WoT about the time that LoC came out in paperback, so I had skipped buying ACoS in hardback since the paperback was impending.

I ordered the paperback from Amazon and WTF? It shows up and instead of the Darell Sweet cover it sports a plain maroon cover with the title. Never did understand why that happened.
25. alreadymadwithdeadniall
Isilel @23
Ah but these people he sent were Questioners. They are totally capable of murdering children on even the mere suspicion of being evil Dragonsworn. And headed by a Darkfriend to boot. Makes me wonder what their real orders were. Did he really order the atrocities or did he simply order them to "find evidence" of Dragonsworn and the Questioners flew off the handle with their typical zeal?

forkroot @24
My paperback's the same. Trust me, that's much better than the Darrell Sweet cover.
Richard Fife
26. R.Fife
WB Leigh!

@5 MikeDeepo Egwene is also thinking that it would have been impossible for Mesaana to defeat the oath rod. Danelle did retake her oaths (apparently?), but BwS said there are ways to defeat the rod (if obliquely). So yeah, Egwene's "final three" can easily all be wrong.

On the First-Book theory, I am a late-comer, having started shortly after CoT was in hardback, so KoD was my first hafta-wait book, and I loved it (although I can't remember half of what happened in it, doh). TPoD is the one that I always bog down on the most, though, probably for its lack of Mat and excess of Perrin.

I actually was upset when Niall died. What can I say, I think he was a good bad guy with a strong potential for redemption. If anyone probably could have gracefully eaten crow and done a heel-face-turn, it woulda been him.
Barry T
27. blindillusion
Welcome back Leigh!!
I suppose I'll begin my participation in this thread by saying aCoS is perhaps my least favorite of the series for 3 reasons, which I suppose I'll discuss when we come to them in the re-read.

Also, like Leigh, aCoS was the point where I entered this series, though for me it was a few weeks after the hardback was published.

Anyway, for something post related, I suppose I can see where some people find ground in declaring Danelle = Mesaana.

I never really saw it because I've never really payed much attention to this book as I was frustrated from Chapter One on.... But, now that I'm seeing things in a new light, a “dreamy friendless” Brown would be a good mask to hide behind. Also, about, what, three seconds after Alviarin passes Danelle in the hall Mesaana shows up in her rooms. Could be a duh moment. After all, Alviarin had just all but written Danelle off as a nonentity!!!

Also, unlike Aran'gar, who decided to play “her”self off as the familiar(?) to a known Aes Sedai, “dreamy” and “friendless” is a lot easier to pull off. So, sure, until proven otherwise I'll cast myself in the Danelle = Mesaana = consummate failure camp.

For other things mentioned in the Prologue:

I do remember thinking “Oh, shit” when Niall was killed. I mean, the guy was a hypocrite, evil in quite a few ways, completely misguided, arrogant, blah blah blah. But at least he was a known barrier to the Good Guys efforts. Asunawa gives me the creeps like no other. And Valda is, well, the complete opposite of what the Children claim to stand for?

Sevanna kept her box...yay? Well, actually, boo!! Because like Leigh said, this development leads to the Side Plot From Hell. Good Ole Chaos, stick around for a few books why don't ya...only, blah.

Elaida, oh dear, sweet, completely vain Elaida. I'm just surprised she doesn't carry a mirror around with her at this point in the series so she can bask in her own glory. Oh well.

Gawyn...Hmm. Why yes, that is universal (for the most part) dislike coming your way. You're not ready for it? You don't understand it? Well, perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to hatred when you don't know all the facts. Rumor is rumor for a reason, ya know? And what, you only have two, count them, TWO, people you know and trust telling you that Rand is a good man!! Gah, what a fucknut.

And I'm done for now. See you guys in the trenches after work.
Maiane Bakroeva
28. Isilel

Their orders were to _impersonate_ first Domani/Taraboners and then Dragonsworn and to commit atrocities that would be attributed to them.

First, the goal was to sparkle a war between these 2 countries that would have allowed the WCs to swoop in and found a WC country on Almoth Plain.
Then to make everybody so afraid of a "rabid lion" aka Rand and people supporting him that they'd come to WCs for leadership and help.

It is all in Niall's POVs.

All in all, repellent as Valda/Asunawa duo was they were an improvement, because being much less capable and much more straighforward they couldn't do as much harm to the cause of Light as Niall.
Heather Porter
29. Bym1971
Welcome back Leigh!!

And I have to say, the timing of your hiatus was PERFECT for me. My life went all crazy and I stopped reading the re-read, because, well, you know, something's just gotta give. So last night I went back and caught up. And now you're back! YAY!

I have to say, this is my favorite book in the series so far -- for Mat, mostly, but also for the Nynaeve-block-going-bye-bye thing as well. I can't tell you why exactly, but Ny has been one of my favorite characters from the beginning.

And I'll stick with the re-read no matter what the pace. I may not have many comments to add here, but I just love getting other people's view.

And I'm not QUITE done with TGS, but I'm reading slowly and savoring almost every word.

Keep it coming Leigh! Love ya to itty bitty bits!
Sydo Zandstra
30. Fiddler

Let's guess Leigh's favorite scene in CoS. Has to involve Mat, I'm guessing it is either the Daughter of the Sands slamdown with the Sea Folk or the Swovan Night encounter with Birgitte and aftermath.

To be more specific, I'm guessing it's the scene where Nynaeve and Elayne finally apologize and thank him for rescuing them at the Stone, and Mat saying something like 'Forget about it. It was nothing.'

I didn't like Niall much, but I do think he was competent. He didn't get counted a Great Captain for nothing. I doubt he could have stopped the Seanchan, but he'd probably have given them a tougher fight.

Perrin meeting with Galad's Whitecloaks has been very much anticipated. I'm sure we'll see it in ToM. The scene where Rand saw Perrin meet Galad was (in my opinion) one of those scenes where the reader gets to check who's where on the timetable. There were a few scenes like that in KoD too, IIRC.

But what I'd like to see also, is Perrin/Galad dealing with Asunawa and his merry band of torturers. I hope Balwer will be there too.

The first book I had to wait for was tDR. Luckily, waiting time between books wasn't over 2 years then, yet. I was disappointed when after a long wait I got PoD, but I have to say that in a back to back reread, PoD is not that bad. It was probably because of the waiting+anticipation.

Re: Elaida's Palace. I know this is fantasy, but that whole palace thing always felt wrong. Tar Valon is on an island and has been for a long time, so I'm guessing that building space is scarce there. A palace with higher towers, would need a lot of building space on ground level. Where did that come from? Did Elaida order space cleared and have a couple of blocks demolished? (I know, I'm being silly, but this always made me go :-s )
31. AndrewB

Welcome back. Have safe travels later this month.

ACoS: Thus begins the (unfortunate) trend of nearly 100 page boring prologues.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Tess Laird
32. thewindrose
Well, to cut Naill some slack(should we??) he has been tampered with by Fain. And I believe he decided to become the 'savior' of Randland during and after this contact with Fain.

And, no I won't cut Suffa any slack even though she was 'touched' by Fain as well. A Palace taller then the tower? Mirror, Mirror on the wall....
Kurt Lorey
33. Shimrod
Welcome back, Leigh.

I like long prologues in WoT. Why? Because the prologues have often been the first part of the book pre-released, and so I get a lot of words read early on.

Which kind of characters are worse, stupid people or people who only see what they want to see?

@30 Fiddler, I think Elaida used the Warder training grounds for most of her "expansion" plans.
Sydo Zandstra
34. Fiddler
@33 Shimrod:

That would be just like her.

(It's been a few months since I read this book; must have been large training grounds though ;) )
Tricia Irish
35. Tektonica

LOLOLOLOL: "Dead as a door Niall". Very funny! Glad YOU used it.

Niall was not a nice man, but Valda and Asunawa are the creepiest! Their agenda's are only about personal power and aggrandizement.

Danelle=Mesaana. Never saw it, but it makes sense here.
Roger Powell
36. forkroot
One thing about WoT Prologs: They are pretty dangerous to whoever is the WC Lord Captain Commander. I hope Galad is not in the prolog to ToM or AMoL! :-)
a a-p
37. lostinshadow
Hiyya Leigh

I'd started to fear that you were going to say might as well restart the reread in the new year so I'm grateful for the 4 posts coming up.

maybe this way I'll have time to read the 3000+ posts on TGS.

*leans in closer to whisper* yeah I don't look at maps either, glad to find out I'm not the only one.
Ron Garrison
38. Man-0-Manetheran
@ 30 Fiddler
Elaida was building her monument, er, palace, on the Warder’s Practice Ground. Which for me was a great example of how “stupid” her decisions became because of her vanity. Why would warders need to stay in shape? Yeah, not much...
39. KingMob
Thank you Leigh! So glad these are back.
Jay Dauro
40. J.Dauro
We missed you, and we didn't behave too badly. And we only wrote words enough for two copies of TGS, and that didn't even break (Bent it a little.).

I am always amused by the people who complain about characters, books, or side plots. I manage to enjoy them all. (About the only things I skip are when a character does something really stupid, and gets into major pain, and that only on quick reads. So I have seen Rand in a box fewer times than Rand breaking a box.)

Granted, the first book I really waited for is TGS (and I did think it was great.) But I still enjoy the "side" plots, although I think many people will be surprised to find that most of them are there for a reason. I doubt RJ wrote any plot lines just for filler, I expect all of them to tie in by the end. (Just as I expect they will find that there is little plotwise in TGS that is not RJ's conception.)

BWS has pretty much said that Messana managed to get through the Oath Rod. So as I see it, the only AS that we can be sure are not Messana are those that we have ahd a POV from, and the 3 on Egwene's list.
Peter Leventis
41. PL1
OBvious comment: I guess this Fortelling of the White Tower being whole again was fulfilled in TGS, assuming the scorned ones are the BA. Seems to fit.
42. AshamanDavid
\m/ Yay! Leigh is back!

I loved this book. Especially scene where Nynaeve breaks here block. Probably my second favourite scene in the entire series (I'm putting Rand's super metacognitive moment on Dragonmount as the best).

I think that CoT was the first book that I had to wait for and yes, it is my worst WoT book. But I still give it a 9.5 out of 10. What can I say, I'm not a hater.
Marcus W
43. toryx
Welcome back!

However, given that I haven't read TGS yet and won't before Christmas I cannot yet enjoy the new updates. That's okay. I'm the slacker who won't spend money on a new book before Christmas (unless it's Stephen King, and that's a whole other post).

But I will have you (all) know that this is the first time since The Great Hunt that I haven't bought a WoT book immediately on release. I'm definitely devoted to the series but I also have an extraordinary amount of patience.

So I guess I'll probably see y'all sometime after New Years. See ya.
Luke M
44. lmelior
Aw nuts, I am ashamed to say that I haven't gotten my hands on TGS yet.

Farewell re-readers, I'll see you in a month!
Nathan Macey
45. nafhan
Glad to see more of the read-throughs. I really enjoyed them leading up to TGS.
I think you made a good choice with not keeping it spoiler free. The only other real option would have been to close off comments, and that's no fun.
Christa Warden
46. grnidgrl
Since reading TGS I've wondered if this passage:

“The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever. Rand al’Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger. The Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire, and sisters will walk its grounds. This I Foretell.”

Is referencing Egwene's anger at how the whole Rand thing was handled by Elaida instead of her anger at Rand.

Lannis .
47. Lannis
Yay! New post! Quick load time! Wa-hoo! :)

The First-Book-You-Had-to-Wait-for-Syndrome: for me it was tSR... and I loved it--for reasons we've already hashed out waaaay back in the posts... It was more when the Sir-Not-Appearing-in-This-Book thing started that I started having ugly thoughts about particular books... though truthfully I still have a hard time admitting I don't like any particular book in its entirety. Certain plot arcs: now there's something I can decisively say I don't like... ::cough cough:: Bowl of the Winds ::cough::

I agree with those who said they felt sad when Niall died. Me too. Yes, he may have been a little blinded in terms of his judgement--for sure hypocritical!--but he was sane and thought things through, and had a wee chance for redemption, though admittedly, he did have his duckies in an anti-witch row... it's just that Valda reeks of tunnel-vision zealot, for me... at least Niall seemed to be seeing things a little clearer...

Excellent recap, Leigh! Thankyouverymuch! Totally understand about the need to slow down the posts--I'm all for having you reach the end of this reread with your sanity still intact... the rest of us, now... it's all been questionable since tSR #10... :)
Francesco Paonessa
48. ErrantKnave
WOOO!!!eleventy!! So glad this is back.

Things I'd missed: "the Royal House of Andor held the key to winning the Last Battle." Oh right... Tigraine and Rand. I guess I was every bit as short-shighted as Elaida thinking that it referred to House Trakand.

More Foretelling: "The White Tower will be whole again, except for remnants cast out and scorned, whole and stronger than ever." Ok, sounds good. Thank you Egwene for doing this.

"Rand al’Thor will face the Amyrlin Seat and know her anger." Um... I guess this refers to Egwene too. But... why? Because of the Ashaman-bonding-sisters business? He didn't know about it, and he already lost it on his own men because of that transgression. Am I missing something again?

EDIT: See comment 51 where I sort of answer my own question.
Ellie Virgo
49. Egglie
Yey! Welcome back Leigh and also welcome back me (avid reader and occasional poster of random Verin theories up until June when life happened for a bit and I lost track of the re-read but now I am all caught up. Hurrah!)

I like aCoS, its one of my favourites, Nyneaves block breaking is a truly great WoT moment and I am quite fond of the Ebu dar bits. I did have to wait for it to come out but I didn’t mind. The first time I really cared was when I waited years for CoT and absolutely NONE of the things I was hoping for actually happened.

Re the prologue: I was really disappointed when Niall died, mostly because his occasional POVs had all seemed to be building up to some kind of coherent plot and I wanted to see how it panned out but instead it is all abandoned and we got Valda being a t**t for the next few books (only redeemed by the excellent way he bites it in KoD).

Sevanna actually comes across quite sinister here like she could have been a force to be reckoned with (although that might just be Leighs re-cap as I don’t remember thinking that before). If she had stuck to her plan of gaining power through men then she could have had a lot of influence in a kind of creepy, manipulative, behind the scenes way. But no, she gives up on that to go on a big power trip, kidnapping wetlanders all over the place, demanding 20 people to watch her have a bath and generally being really annoying and responsible for the slow dull plotline of doom.

Gawyn – I wanted to like him, I really did, particularly when I was a teenager reading these books for the first time, but he is just rubbish. He carries on being rubbish in tGS too. Dumbass.
John Mann
50. jcmnyu
I look forward to hating Sevanna, Gawyn, and Elaida for the next 6 books. It will be a challenge to come up with new and fresh ways to disparrage them, but I feel I am up to the challenge.

I agree with Leigh's decision to include TGS in the reread. Kinda hard to separate once it's been published.

Okay, from the prologue:

I'm in the camp that Elaida is not completely at fault for her slide to mustache twirling in TGS. Her ascension to Amyrlin Seat was illegal and vain and selfish and stupid and treason, but it wasn't evil. I think she honestly thought that Suian was leading the Tower in the wrong direction and she could do it better because she is smarter and Foretells things that give her insight into the future. Alviarin gets it right that Elaida has horse blinders on and can't find her ass with both hands, but the real problem is combining that with Fain's visit in tSR. She goes from being a bad leader to being an agent of chaos. This scene with Alviarin is the largest hint yet of that, but there are many many more which I think are concentrated in this book. Until Alviarin get the smack down on Elaida and starts sending her for her daily penance/beatings, Elaida is truly doing the Dark One's work by dividing the Tower beyond all ability to act in a meaningful way.

I'm on board with the 'Mesaana is Danelle' thinking simply because I believe Graendal's assertion that she is posing as an Aes Sedai and so many people believe Danelle is the right one and I don't have a better answer. If it is someone we haven't seen yet or hasn't done anything suspicious, then what were we supposed to do? I reject that she is one of the sisters who retook the oaths. She would flee the Tower before submitting to that. No way she lets herself be bound like that. And too many things could go wrong if she tried to trick Egwene like Semerhage tried to trick Rand with an illusion. She is too smart to let herself be put in that situation.

Let recaps commence. Thanks, Leigh. We missed you.
Francesco Paonessa
51. ErrantKnave
By the way, I realize the bonding of the Aes Sedai was as involuntary and rape-like as Alanna's bonding of Rand, but they had nothing to do with Rand. Then again, he WAS the one who appointed Taim, so maybe he does deserve a bit of a dressing down from the Amyrlin.

So, I guess I just answered my own question. Unless anyone can remind me of another reason for Egwene to sing How-Dare-You in D minor.
Sam Mickel
52. Samadai
Hey Lannis, my sanity is still intact.(To voice in head, "you shut up, no ones talking to you")

The first book I had to wait for was the Great Hunt, but only about a week, so that might not count. I never hated any of the books, nor any of the plotlines, however, the first time I read CoT I was disappointed because it was anticlimactic after the cleansing. On subsequent rereads it did not bother me

Suffaida enjoy your new palace in a Damane dog kennel.
53. Alfvaen
Just suddenly struck me, with Egglie@49's comments, that maybe we were being intentionally set up re: Gawyn & Galad. Elayne is so unrelenting in her conviction that Galad==bad, and therefore by elimination Gawyn==good...but we have ample evidence now of Gawyn's short-sightedness and waffling. What did Galad do that was so horrible? Well, the worst thing that I can think of was what he did to get Elayne & Nynaeve & Co. onto a boat. Was that any worse than what E&N&Co. had done at the end of TSR to get into the Panarch's Palace? Because they were also "doing what was right".

If Galad decides that they have to work with the Aes Sedai against the Seanchan or the Forsaken or whatever, then he will do it, because it is the right thing to do. What would it have taken Pedron Niall to come to the same conclusion? So maybe Galad will prove himself a better brother to Elayne in the end, and maybe she'll even admit it to herself. (I still want to see him finding out that Rand is his half-brother, though. And if he's joining up with Perrin next book, then that sets the scene for Galad+Berelain, too...)

As far as the "waiting for" book thing, by the way...well, I read the first few books a little far apart, so I think that while I read EOTW while LOC was out, WH was the first one I had to read in hardcover. And yes, CoT still sucks.
Ron Garrison
54. Man-0-Manetheran
@50 jcmnyu
Actually Elaida’s despicable character traits have been evident since Siuan and Moiraine were Accepteds. She was disgusting in New Spring. She may have thought Siuan was heading the Tower in the wrong direction, but mostly it was because she just hated Siuan - and not just because she put mice in her bed.
John Mann
55. jcmnyu
The first book I had to wait for was tDR and I loved it. I didn't hate ACoS, but I did think it was the 2nd worst one written to that point. I really didn't like tFoH the first time through. Books 8, 9, and 10 were the low point for me.

On Elaida's foretellings, I think the "Rand will know the Amyrlins anger could just be that Egwewe will share her anger about how Rand was boxed and transported by Galina. The wording certainly allows for that interpretation.
John Mann
56. jcmnyu
@54 M-o-M

I agree with you that Elaida was despicable, mean, arrogant, misguided, and a bunch of other things. What I am saying is that she didn't start helping the bad guys until Fain came along. After Fain whispered sweet nothings into her ear, she actually started doing things I would qualify as evil. She single handedly ripped the Tower to pieces with her actions that caused the Ajahs to mistrust each other. At the time of greatest need, the White Tower was incapable of action because of their internal problems. While not an employee of Darkfriends, Inc. or their wholly owned subsidiary,, she was doing their evil works. I see a distinct change in her attitude after she became Amyrlin and Fain came a calling.
57. MasterAlThor
Yea!!!!! Leigh's back. Aaaawwww crap she is leaving again.

Woman we missed you. You just run the show we will be here whenever it is you post. Two a week is cool. Enjoy the time with the fam. They are more important than us. And to be truthful I will be spending time with mine too, and I doubt that I will be here very much.

To the post.....

Niall dying wasn't sad for me but it did frustrate me. I thought "damn, that is messed up". I thought that he could be shown the error in his ways and now he is dead.

Savanna I don't care about enough. Just one of those characters you just read about to get to the next chapter. Same with Gwayn.

Valda is a dead character walking. Can't wait for it. He, and others like him, is what makes feminism necessary.

The first book I had to wait for was ACOS. It was not my least favorite book (that is COT) but it was the first book I have ever thrown in disgust. I'll talk about it when we get there.

Eliada and her Foretelling. She is an I-D-10-T and it stands to reason that she would get it all bassakward. You would think......

Someone mentioned about the Dragon's blood being spill on SG. I would think that would mean the Aiel or Rand himself. If his kids are anywhere near SG I will be the first to call for Social Services. I despise the SS for their complete willingness to screw up good families and protect bad ones.

Sorry about that. Just irks me.

So in review, welcome back LB and we will enjoy your short time with us for the rest of the year. The new format will be fine. Although, I have to say you may risk a mutiny if you alter any further.

Heh. Just got a flash of Leigh saying in her best Darth Vader voice "Pray I do not alter it any further." Heh heh.
Jennifer McBride
58. vegetathalas
Missed ya. Glad to have you back.

I thought Elaida took the crown for stupidity when she tried to kill Gawyn...even though she knew that the royal house of Andor was important. Dude, royal pawns = awesome. If an Aes Sedai is too dumb to figure out this, she could not have had the acumen to reach the Amrilyn Seat. Killing someone because he is 'headstrong' seems stupid.

Speaking of which, where did Mattin Steponis go? Did he die in the Seanchan raid? Can't imagine he's too happy to have no country to go home to.
Barry T
60. blindillusion
Just for the fun of it, because it belongs here, kinda, here's Me@2676 from Part One of tWoT: tGSRaOST.

~ I just read through the section in the Prologue where Elaida is thinking about her new palace. I couldn't help but wonder...if she'd lived out the rest of her life as Amyrlin...would she of wanted to be buried in it and have it sealed off as her tomb?

I mean, would someone that narcissistic ever allow someone else to reside in her palace?

Guess we'll never know.... Hope there's a scene in ToM where we see Egwene tearing the damn thing down.

edit: And simply going by Elaida's drooling episode when thinking of her Palace, the Warder's practice yard must have been huge. Though the impression I got from the scene in Scouting and Discoveries, Chapter 20 of tDR, was that the practice yard was a fairly well contained, and rather small, section of the Tower's Grounds. But then, I only say this because weren’t the Aes Sedai/Accepted in attendance rather bunched up while they gawked at Gawyn and Galad?

edit: edit: Go New Orleans!! In general...not really talking about anything in particular.... Looks around for RobM.
Sydo Zandstra
61. Fiddler

Speaking of which, where did Mattin Steponis go? Did he die in the Seanchan raid? Can't imagine he's too happy to have no country to go home to.

Good call.

He's probably been hiding under a bed...
j p
62. sps49
Winter's Heart was the first I had to wait for, but tPoD is still my 2nd least favorite. The total Mat absence is a contributor to that, but also the pacing.

My least favorite book is also the choice of millions besides me :)
Bobby Stubbs
63. Valan
Hmmm, what's going on on today, prolly more aGS spoiler review comments I'll never catch up with...

*click* *click*

Holy hell! A new re-read! My day is made.


Glad you're back Leigh.
64. Hans Rinder...

I've been enjoying following this re-read as I do my own re-read before I get to TGS; the alternate perspectives on various events and characters has been lots of fun. But I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop now that there are going to be TGS spoilers! ah well. Catch you on the flipside!

Best wishes though, Leigh!
65. evinfuilt
Can't you see, Fain was there, in the prologue. This is all his doing.

Elaida, and Niall, his power has set them up to fail, and fail spectacularly. Heck, I wouldn't have been surprised if he had shown up with Sevanna.

We should count it lucky that Fain never stuck around in one place long enough, as it was his corruption hit one person (of high importance) and then they died or got carried away.

Of course, reading what happens to Tar Valon under Elaida sounds awfully a lot like what happened to Aridhol.

To #62 above, I'm in the exact same boat. I had to wait for WH, but didn't mind one bit. The next book, the unmentionable... I felt starting in LoC we started to get 2 books for every one books worth of content (LoC + CoS; PoD + WH; CoT + KoD). Knife of Dreams starts to put things right, and tGS of course is a great standalone book. I just feels like some books are just prologues for the next.
Maggie M
66. Eswana
wooot you're back Leigh! I'm so excited!

ACoS is up there for me too, because it contains my all-time favorite WoT chapter, Mashiara. Squeeeeeeeeeee I can't wait till be get there! Also, Mat's situation is just hilarious and thoroughly enjoyable.

And this is made even better: this book's Prologue, which was just previously annoying is sooooo vindicating to read in light of Elaida's eventual fate. Mmmm, schadenfreude pie is delicious, I say!

I've always like Niall too, if for no other reason that he's surprisingly rational for the leader of a fundamentalist group. Example: technically, Morgase's training in the Tower qualifies her for execution the moment she entered Amadacia, but Niall looked more at the big picture and decided that it might not be the best plan. And even at the end, he did his darndest to get a message to Valda even though he couldn't stand the guy.

I'm still pretty sure Mesaane is Danelle. Verin's list was a handy tool of Plot Wrap Ups R Us, but even Verin isn't perfect and I'm sure she missed something. The problem is, of course, that Egwene is taking Verin's list as gospel truth now and might not be as wary of sisters who weren't on the list whom Verin never knew were Black (or Forsaken).

Leigh, you were missed. Hope things are starting to look up after a month of real-life-drama. We love you!
Ben Goodman
67. goodben
Niall is a pragmatic ends-justify-the-means type of guy with good intentions ("the road to hell"). I think he mostly believes the Whitecloak line, but isn't over the top about it. Niall is a classic example of how the ends-justifying-the-means leads one to unintended consequences.

I think he's a tragic character: wants to do good, but doesn't have the right information and furthers the cause of the Dark through misinformation and pragmatism.

Asunawa: just plain insane. Total wack job. He buys the Whitecloak line completely, but fixates on the irrational parts.

Valda: greedy power-monging fool. Doesn't really believe in the cause except where convenient.
Carolyn Goodwin
68. metacarolyn
Yea! Leigh is back! Thank you for allowing TGS spoilers, I just couldn't see it working otherwise. Kinda makes that new TGS thread obsolete though - where was it 2000 posts ago when we needed it?

Being a latecomer, KoD was the first book I had to wait for and it did not disappoint! I think I stayed up all night reading that book and then started reading it again the next day. I don't dislike any of the books, possibly because I did get to read almost all of them in one go. Like Leigh, I don't pay much attention to things like chronology or maps - I immerse myself in the books and stop when the words run out, so it was just one long spree of good. (Well, except for one certain plotline - you know which one I mean.)

MasterAlThor @ 57: I never thought that "his blood on the rocks of SG" meant that Rand would die, but it didn't occur to me that it could refer to the Aiel dying in mass numbers. That's a good theory.
69. Chapter Dad
Dear Leigh:

I am glad that you are back. Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Richard Boye
70. sarcastro
Hey Leigh!

"Speaking of Mesaana, I am highly amused that we still do not know for certain sure who her alter ego is. I’m personally about 97% sure that she is Danelle. Although, the gratuitous mention of Danelle in Alviarin’s POV here is actually one of the things that gives me my 3% uncertainty, because it just screams of being one of those red herrings Jordan was so fond of tossing out."

and also...

MikeDeepo@5, who sez:

"Problem with Danelle-being-Mesaana: Egwene thinks at the end of tGS that Mesaana had to be one of three sisters, none of which are Danelle. I can't give the page reference or names, however, as my father has stolen my copy. "

Ah yes, who is Mesaana? I share Leigh's suspiciousness that the name Danelle is a red herring, mostly because the whole idea that Mesaana is impersonating a full sister is problematic, i.e., that sister would have contemporaries who would know her, even the smallest bit - and the idea that Danelle was a known commodity enough so that she was entrusted with the not-uncrucial role of smuggling in extra muscle for the coup de tour only strengthens the idea that she was definitely known to someone in the initial cabal of Elaidists.

Mike, you refer to those three throw-away sisters (who have never been mentioned before) that Egwene mentions at the end of tGS. I also suspect that they are a triple red herring. First of all, those names - Nelaia Merhan, Teramina, and
Jamilila Norsish - all sound slightly BS-ish to me, and not very RJ-ian, and I doubt that RJ actually left the identity of Mesaana's alter ego blank. By which I mean, he knew all along, it would have been someone he had in mind, but sadly was unable to write the big reveal. They seem like BS' attempt at throwing up a few more names, before the ta-da Shocking Twist(tm). (Plus, it's odd that Egwene, referring to the census prepared plus Verin's notes, would not have the last names of all three - I mean, it's a casual weirdness of RJ's writing that the Aes Sedai are just as likely to be referred to in conversation by either first name, or full name - - it doesn't flow logically that Egwene, when looking at a printed list, would have the full names of only some of the sisters. imho. It's a little badly thought out, narratively, to be strategically important)

Anyway, the real giveaway regarding Mesaana and her disguise is Egwene's epiphany that Mesaana is hiding successfully because she has found a way to defeat the Oath Rod. Which, as a student of picking out clues successfully, I find that sentence definitively placed out there to serve as a Hint(tm)! and leads me to believe...

...wait for it...

...Mesaana is masquerading as a novice! She gets to flit about the Tower, masking her strength, with none of those pesky Oaths to worry about. None of this "take one set, release yourself from another, take another one, yadda yadda...".

I shunt aside the idea that Mesaana is hiding as an Accepted, because an Accepted comes with luggage of backstory, and are slightly higher profile than novices, and also will have to have been through the Acceptatron, giving observers a peek into her inner thoughts and psyche.

(Laras is no a go - she was around in NS)
Richard Boye
71. sarcastro

"Re: Elaida's Palace. I know this is fantasy, but that whole palace thing always felt wrong. Tar Valon is on an island and has been for a long time, so I'm guessing that building space is scarce there. A palace with higher towers, would need a lot of building space on ground level. Where did that come from? Did Elaida order space cleared and have a couple of blocks demolished? (I know, I'm being silly, but this always made me go :-s ) "

Elaida started digging the foundation for her palace where the warder's practice yard used to be. She's not making a huge tower, with a large circumference, as tall as the WT, though. She has some silly plan for a palace with a "spire" that reaches as high as the WT.

The White Tower has come to be developed as looking rather stubby, imho - it's very, very wide and it doesn't seem very slim and elongated and graceful (like John Howe's version of Tolkien's Tower of Ecthelion; here are "authorized examples": a weird, squared off version , a different image from the NS comic, and an AWESOME picture of Tar Valon - all (c) Mike S. Miller, I believe; here is the awful one from tBBoBA, like awfully, insultingly bad, it looks rather like a nuclear reactor's cooling tower).

I'm not sure what Elaida had in mind, but I guess she was thinking of some ziggurat-y thing with a tall tower with a higher cupola leading up and up towards a finial or something. Like Ulm Cathedral

After all this time, I also still have no real idea of what the White Tower is supposed to look like.

We know:

a) it has a flat roof (feh)
b) it has wings to either side
c) it is tall enough that walking up stairs would be impractical (they use sloping spiral ramps)
d) not so high that it is impossible for Elaida to place her private apartments near the top
e) there are lesser towers and domes and balconies, plus the Accepted and Novices courts all seem to be circular spaces not within the Tower proper.
f) the actual Hall of the Tower is high up, because when the whole is blown open, it lets in high gusty winds
g) the actual Hall of the Tower also has an awesome domed ceiling - is that housed in the shaft of the Tower, but with additional space above it? Or, is it like some bulging dome of a structure that is built abutting the Tower, but still high up? (like one of the apses of Hagia Sophia?)

There is a description of the Tower from way, way back in tEotW that is probably the most complete, but could also be fictional, from when Ishy was trying to screw with Rand's dreams, showing him being traipsed through Tar Valon and draped in garlands, etc.:

"The street by which he entered the city, broad and paved with gray stone, stretched before him toward the center of the city. At its end loomed a tower larger and taller than any other in city, a tower white as fresh fallen snow....the crowd flowed into a huge square in the middle of the city, and for the first time he saw that the white tower rose from a great palace of pale marble, sculpted rather than built, curving walls and swelling domes, and delicate spires fingering the sky. The whole of it made him gasp in awe. Broad stairs of pristine stone swept up from the square.

So, who knows? I have now come to picture something along the lines of Hagia Sophia, only with no minarets, or additional spires not methodically placed at the four corners, plus the huge Tower itself erupting where the main dome would be.

I had pictured something more neoclassical (like a capitol building with pillars and domes and wide steps), with a crazy overly medieval Mad King Ludwig-ish flourish, but I now I think more along the lines of Stephen Hickman's Pharazar.
Captain Hammer
72. Randalator
Yay, re-read-y goodness. Urge to twitch... fading... fading... fading - rising! Fading... fading... gone.

re: Theory of waiting-induced Hatedom

The first book I had to wait for was Winter's Heart which wasn't nearly as annoying as Crossroads of Twighlight plot-advancement wise. And it had one of the CMoAs of the entire series.

Interestingly my second least favourite book is The Path of Daggers which was the last book I did NOT have to wait for. Go figure...
Thomas Keith
73. insectoid
M A T @57: "This deal's getting worse all the time!" Seriously, though, Leigh can have as many days off as she...wait...You? No!

Blind @60 re: Saints: Yes indeed... I'm sure Leigh's happy about that. Or rather, I presume so. ::coughcoughGoChargerscough::
Tasneem Gould
74. Latecomer
Hello Everybody!

I've been away for a while, due to work and home and holidays and whatnot.
And skimmed through some of that monster of a post on TGS but stalled at about 2000. So I am pleased that spoilers = OK for TGS here - I'm just re-reading ATM and keep wishing I could talk to someone about it - but that other post is just.. impossible.

So - hello again! Nice to see the familiar faces in here - sounds like you lot have been getting upto some michief in the bunker :)

Also happy I am back in time for the re-read - everything helps, thanks Leigh. And we'll all be busy over Christmas too, won't we people?

So.. post. Niall dead.. so sad. Where did that puddle of wine coe from - shouldn't it have been blood?

Danelle = Mesaana. Like, totally, dude!

And BwS has been issuing RAFOs? Where can i find out more? I was hoping to get some comments from the guys here who went to the signings but couldn't find them in the mass of comments. Insectiod, Freelancer the tall, where are thou?

Toodle-pips - will pop back later. Bloody outlook reminding me I have a meething in 3..2..1... and I'm off!
75. Cutsnake
First book you had to wait for syndrome:-

First book was Winters Heart and I hated it. I've subsequently re-read it and its not as bad as I first thought. But its frikken slow. That and all the Shaido and Faile bits killed me.
Jacy Clark
76. Amalisa
Of course, Elaida would want to build her palace on the Warders' training ground. It isn't just that she thinks they have no need to train. It's that she would like to be rid of Warders altogether!

MikeDeepo@5 and R.Fife@26:

Eh... the three names (which, contrary to my first post on the subject way back in the neverending thread) I'm sure are red (green and brown) herrings.

Per Egwene's pov in the TGS epilogue:

She set the sheet (the big list with all Aes Sedai in the Tower, captured by Seanchan or executed as Black) aside and picked up another. This one bore only a few names. A list of all the women in the Tower who had not been on Verin's list and who had either been taken by the Seanchan, or had disappeared following the attack.
blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda
That left the three names on the list in front of Egwene. Nalasia Merhan, a Brown; Teramina, a Green; and Jamalila Norsish, a Red. All were very weak in the Power. And the women on this list had been in the Tower for years. It seemed implausible that Mesaana had been impersonating one of them and doing it so well that her subterfuge hadn't been noticed.

Egwene had a feeling. A premonition, perhaps. At the very least, a fear. These three names were the only ones who could have been the Forsaken. But none of them fit, not at all. That gave her a chill. Was Mesaana still hiding in the Tower?

If so, she somehow knew how to defeat the Oath Rod.
(emphasis mine)

I think that Egwene is leaning towards the possibility that none of the three are Mesaana. Black, probably, if they weren't taken and did, in fact, leave the Tower after the attack. But not Mesaana. And she's acknowledging the possibility that Mesaana could defeat the Oath Rod.

I'm starting to move toward the Mesaana as Danelle camp...
77. shadowkiller
Well I started back when tEotW first came out in paperback so I have been waiting YEARS for the answers to certain questions. Agree that Gawyn has basically lost his likability at this point and that any compliments characters make about Elaida are gross overestimations. She had better not have damaged the Grove! I too was saddened by Niall's death due to his all around competence, my question is, have we seen a villain do a heel-face-turn? Egeanin joins the party and such, but she was never evil just a soldier of the evil empire. I can't recall anyone else.
Tess Laird
78. thewindrose
shawdowkiller - Ingtar did a reversal, which was for real:)
Tricia Irish
79. Tektonica

I've always wondered why Egwene will be mad at Rand (If that is the correct interpretation of the '"know the anger of the Amyrlin"). As for the Ashamen bonding the AS.....we know it was a smart move, as the AM were right to mistrust the Tower AS sent to wipe them out. Also, didn't Rand send two Ashamen to the SAS, offering them a chance to bond just as many Ashamen, balancing things out? Which they did.

I just hope Egs isn't of the "normal" AS mindset that wants to "control" Rand, As we know from Moraine's lesson, and Cads too, that it doesn't work so well with Rand. (Or most men for that matter! Ha! And that is how it should be. People don't get to "control" one another! Yuck. Can you say A'dam?)

So, long answer....I don't know either! What's she going to be pissed about?
The chaos all over was really not Rands doing....does she know that? He hasn't interfered in politics tooooo much and doesn't want "power". Perhaps their meeting will start out in anger and then they will talk...hahaha.....and she'll understand where he's coming from and then it will all be sweetness and light...coughcoughcough. Does someone have an idea?
80. Planeswalker
Leigh's fave scene?
-Lan & Nynaeve reunion

First-book-wait syndrome?
-Lord of Choss

Mesaana = ?
-Danelle is just way too obvious. but damn. And oh, Egwene is totally wrong.
81. eatshitnynaeve
I'm not certain WHY, but the comments about the black tower being rent in fire or such and elaida's palace make me almost certain that what started out intended as elaida's palace is going to end up being the home of the ashaman when all is said and done. Me loves the irony there, its almost as fitting as that rabid bitch being made damane, which, while completely horrible, couldn't happen to a better candidate than elaida.
82. Lily of the Valley
RE: Mattin Stepaneos - He shows up in KoD, in Honey in the Tea. Turns out he either a) escaped Illian ahead of Rand's attack and headed to Tar Valon, or b) Aes Sedai not aligned with Rand figured out he was heading to Illian and "rescued" the King. They then sequestered him in the Tower, kept him under the guard of the reds and convinced him that Rand wanted to murder him and it would be best if he kept a low profile behind the Tower walls.

Probably not as accurate as the book. I just don't have it with me right now. :)

Also: I like the idea that "knowing her anger" will actually involve not anger towards Rand, but towards his imprisonment and the acts of the sisters sent to gentle/kill the Asha'men at the Black Tower. Could also involve anger towards forced bonding of sisters, but if those sisters don't display all that much indignation at the situation, it could turn into "And don't ever do that again!" lecture.
Lindy Brown
83. lbrown
forkroot @ 36
LOL! Yeah, totally!

RE: Leigh's favorite scene. I think it might be when Nynaeve breaks her block. I think she has mentioned that before as being a favorite scene. It is also one of my favorite scenes.

Re: Niall's death. I was actually quite upset about it. I liked him for some reason. My reaction was "NOOOOOOOOOO!"
Barry T
84. blindillusion

The name, really? Wow. Angry much?

Anyway. Your theory of Elaida's palace becoming the future home of the Asha''s actually an interesting idea. If only because it'd be amusing as hell if Elaida's shrine to herself became the home of the men who can channel.

I'm going to file it in the Looney Theory Bin. But good on ya.
Kurt Sickinger
85. sizzlerspack33
Welcome back Leigh!!!

A thought on Mesaana=Danelle. I just finished a re-read/re-listen and noticed a throwaway comment by Alviarin during a visit from Mesaana. I'm not sure about the exact quote, but it ammounted to her noticing how Mesaana's knowledge of Tower goings-on was spotty following Elaida's dissolving of her council of advisors, which at the time included Danelle. I now think this is one of those little RJ comments that "explains" everything!!
86. Rargle
How convenient for your theory that the first book I had to wait for was Crossroads of Twilight.

Of course, even if it hadn't been, it would still be right at the bottom of my list. Full-page descriptions of fog will do that to me...
87. Freelancer
Hi Leigh! Bye Leigh! We missed you, and will some more...

You know, I think you need to keep banging that feminism drum, I'm sure there's a WoT fan on an outer island of the Philippines who still doesn't know. ::duck::


To attach onto R.Fife's thoughts @26, Egwene's next thoughts after considering her logic regarding the three remaining sisters who could possibly be Mesaana, were that she could also be completely wrong, but that would mean Mesaana had defeated the Oath Rod. Brandon has confirmed that possibility, and even said specifically that Compulsion would beat the Oath Rod. So, with all of that together, the chances of Mesaana being one of those three Egwene identifies becomes vanishingly slim. Danelle still holds top position, and the mention of her placed so close behind Alviarin's thoughts about Mesaana add to this.
...except for Danelle, the dreamy friendless Brown who had participated in Elaida's coup but since had been pushed aside.

As a reminder, Danelle had orchestrated the infiltration of the tower with enemy soldiers disguised as 200 extra masons, something Siuan had planned to investigate as being out of line. Danelle was present for Siuan's capture/stilling, and the murder of Siuan's Warder, Alric. She was among Elaida's "council" that lasted such a short time following her installation as Amyrlin.

Mesaana, we see you!


Niall did not get offed by Valda, but by Omerna. I do believe that Asunawa put him up to it, so I'll not quibble on that point, but as wicked as Valda is, I don't see him having been part of that. Others will say that his arrival just after the killing blow is damning evidence against Valda. That's an understandable interpretation of events, but we have no text to support it having been the case.

Asunawa as Rasputin? Maybe, I'm thinking more Robespierre.


Yeah, Elaida is Red, remember? Like she cares anything about Warders. It was perfectly in character for her to use that space for her new private palace.


Totally agree that ignoring sideplots leaves one missing useful information, and that they will all turn out to have been significant for timing, for later interactions, etc. Filler? I don't think so.


Egwene currently is angry at Rand. For Asha'man bonding Aes Sedai. Since he's the boss, she holds him responsible, and she sees the action as an atrocity against the Tower. Never mind that those sisters were sent to destroy the Black Tower, gentle and hang any male channelers they found, in spite of being aware of Rand's amnesty. Never mind that those sisters were treated far better, by being bonded to the Asha'man, than if they had been killed on sight, which they would have except for someone's prohibition against Asha'man harming Aes Sedai. Oh yeah, that was Rand's doing. Sure, Rand will know her anger. But she had better hope he's over his "do you believe I can stop your heart?" phase before they meet. I mean, as close as he came to balefiring Tam, Egwene would be a greasy spot on the Tower wall.


Yes, Mattin Stepaneos' lack of presence since we last saw him speaking with Egwene is curious. He isn't exactly a prisoner, but he was not exactly free to leave. So, with all the Seanchan Attack/Rebel Siege/Captured Amyrlin/Egwene Raising going on, did they just forget the poor man? He's hardly better off than Ramshalan at this point.
craig thrift
88. gagecreedlives
For some reason I have constantly wondered if in alternate WoT universe if Niall lived how he would of fared against the Seanchan. I actually got the feeling as leader of the Whitecloaks that he would have been one of the few people that would of seriously considered on how to fight wars against one power users.

First book I had to wait for was KoD and that’s up there with my favourites.


Dead as a door Niall. Lol love it


I really, really like that idea.

I think the “knowing her anger” thing is going to relate to sisters swearing fealty to Rand. IIRC Egwene thinks he must of used compulsion and is furious. Not sure if she is still under that impression though. And I think its very lucky for her that she is going to unleash her anger after Rand did some soul searching atop of Dragonmount. She could have been in for a very rude shock otherwise.
89. Dreamwolf
Welcome back Leigh! We missed you.

As for theories, some commenters have pointed out how Elaida broke the tower by annihilating the thrust between the ajahs. She may have started that process but it's first after Alviarin has taken charge that the process takes off. Alviarin does that on Messanas order while Elaida recognizes that the orders will be harmful for the tower.

I second the opinion of 85. sizzlerspack33 about Danelle, you beat me to the comment.

All the forsaken seems very adept at maneuvering the tel'an'riod is that because the all happen to have the dreamer talent or is talent only something that makes it easier for you, something that can be replaced with large amounts of hard training?

A final loony speculation, the one specific thing we are told about Demandred is that never smiles and always frowns. There is one other character that is depicted so, Asunawa!
Bobby Stubbs
90. Valan
I have to agree with Leigh and others that I did not find Elaida's part in aGS to be too over the top, its hard to be further over the top than to build your own palace when you already live in the most beautiful place in thefriggin world.

Niall was a shame(I really thought he was on his way to doing something good), but hey somebody had to die eventually. And it gave us Valda vs. Galad (one of my favorite scenes in WoT.)

This is certainly not my favorite book, but its not my least favorite either. aPoD is really not that bad if you just read on through to Winter's Heart, but it was my "First-Book-You-Had-to-Wait-For-Syndrome" and I was livid that I didn't know what the hell happened to Mat at the time, as far as I knew he was still crushed under a toppled wall during a Seanchan invasion...

My least favorite is CoT, but I didn't think so until I re-read it. It's still worth reading, IMHO.

My favorite scene in this book is Swovan Night (I think) where Mat and Birgitte chat and have a bit to drink. just a bit. But I'm pretty sure Leigh's is the Nynaeve breaking her block, as I'm certain I remember a similar sentiment from an earlier post.

I keep trying to make excuses for Gawyn but after aGS I'm offically done.
Barry T
91. blindillusion
RE: Leigh's Fav Scene Numero Uno...

Didn't she say we might find it surprising/puzzling? Doesn't everyone like the Mat/Birgitte scene and the Nynaeve finally breaking her block scene?

Anything else happen in aCoS that could be considered a favorite?
Bobby Stubbs
92. Valan
@ GCL and Free

Re: Egwene's anger

Agreed, Egwene should count herself very lucky that she did no such thing in a Gathering Storm.

Honestly, I hope that the foretelling concerns anger that isn't directed toward Rand. The man needs a serious break from the BS (not the BrS)

@ 81
Elaida's palace being used eventually for the Asha'man has crossed my mind as well, its too wonderfully ironic.
Ron Garrison
93. Man-0-Manetheran
FYI - It's THE Gathering Storm not A Gathering Storm - and it's going to be a doozy.
Bobby Stubbs
94. Valan
LOL, my bad. Originally it was "A Memory of Light: A Gathering Storm", and then they changed it to "the" and saved "A Memory of Light" for the last book in the series. And I still think "A".
95. MasterAlThor
I would like to offer a heart felt welcome to all the new posters.

You guys have joined the looney bin. Sanity is optional. Humor manditory.

I would also like to say welcome back to some of the regulars that have been MIA. You know who you are. Maybe you guys were just in lurker status while the rest of us were trying to break the wheel.

Glad you caught that.

You're not being sarcastic are you??? Nah, you couldn't be...could you?

Egwene currently is angry at Rand. For Asha'man bonding Aes Sedai. Since he's the boss, she holds him responsible, and she sees the action as an atrocity against the Tower. Never mind that those sisters were sent to destroy the Black Tower, gentle and hang any male channelers they found, in spite of being aware of Rand's amnesty. Never mind that those sisters were treated far better, by being bonded to the Asha'man, than if they had been killed on sight, which they would have except for someone's prohibition against Asha'man harming Aes Sedai. Oh yeah, that was Rand's doing. Sure, Rand will know her anger. But she had better hope he's over his "do you believe I can stop your heart?" phase before they meet. I mean, as close as he came to balefiring Tam, Egwene would be a greasy spot on the Tower wall.
craig thrift
96. gagecreedlives

“I keep trying to make excuses for Gawyn but after aGS I'm offically done.”

I had a completely different response. Gawyn was a character I had pretty much dismissed into Jar Jar land but the way he was written it tGS made me start sympathising with him. It seems like such a long time since anyone has given him a straight answer to anything or haven’t tried to manipulate him. And the first person to tell him so home truths was Gareth and that basically was that his treasured mother was f*cking up royally (so to speak).

Considering Leigh’s least favourite character seems to be Fain I’m gonna go out on a limb and say when Rand gets stabbed by Fain during the bubble of evil is her favourite scene. Or possibly the wise ones sending all the naked gai’ shain to the wetlanders for their amusement.
97. Other Alias2
Welcome back, Leigh! I am looking forward to the continuation of the task at hand! :D
John Massey
98. subwoofer
'K, rubs hands together ahhhhhhhh fresh meat! Let the ranting begin.

First off- as noted above at Fiddler's comment, Elaida's phallic symbol came at the cost of the Warder's practice yard. Really dim. The Warder awesomeness is what kept some Sisters alive more often than not.

Just from the description of Elaida's rooms, she clearly has lost touch with any kind of humility and is getting opulence confused with respect. The Amyrlin Tower being higher than the White Tower speaks volumes. I think in the end it is a moot point anyways, it is being built without the aid of Ogier or Saidar so I am sure it is not up to code and will fall down shortly. Mike Holmes would level the place and start from scratch.

RJ spent some time really building Elaida up, or letting her dig her own grave- "I am Tower law!" my eye. As to her fortelling...

The first bit is Eggy uniting all factions and casting out the Black Ajah. Rand facing her- meh- what else is new? They have a long history and Eggy will probably try to put Rand in his place, saying she doesn't need his help and he should show the Amyrlin the proper respect. Rand will tell Eggy to show the Dragon Reborn the proper respect... much like the meeting with Fortuona-gah, that name still burns my ass.The Black Tower going sideways, like nobody could see that coming with Taim being a boob and Logain waiting to whoop butt. As to the Sisters walking around, well, nobody said in what capacity or state of freedom.

Only sad thing is that RJ spent some time setting Alviarin up as a party pooper too, and then she gets away. That is something that will have to be remedied.

I am surprised that no one has begun dissecting the cover art for this puppy here. Not sure if Rand is mimicking a choo choo train or doing the Robot, but whatever, there have been worse.

John Massey
101. subwoofer
BTW very shiny new index for all involved. It is so pretty, and up to date and not as clunky as the last one.

Bobby Stubbs
102. Valan
@ GCL 96

Well, I was one of the few who defended Gawyn and his actions as being somewhat rational given his situation in the novels, mainly because I liked his character so much from the start. After tGS, and the scenes with Gareth Bryne, it has kind of changed my opinion that certain decisions he made were, if not completely irrational, still striding far from the marker on which is painted "common sense."

It was a very nice touch by Jordan how through PoV he switched Galad's and Gawyn's appearance to the reader. As in the beginning, not many liked Galad, and now many do, most can see the reasons why, mostly though a biased perspective from Elayne.
Thomas Keith
103. insectoid
Glad to see Sub got 1 hunny!

Just got things straightened out after a 2.5 hour power outage--freak windy winter rain storm. Or perhaps the gathering storm! ;)

Niall: I sort of remember being like "Aw, damn it" when he was killed, because I think he would certainly have been better than Valda + Asunawa. Besides, he actually seemed intelligent!

Leigh's fav scene in this book: Probably Nyn breaking her block and the reunion with Lan.

Blind @91: The beginning of the Black Ajah hunt comes to mind.
John Massey
104. subwoofer
Well, since Leigh did say that she liked this book because it has much ado about Mat, and at the time, he was her favorite character I'd go with-

The bit on the peer where Ny is still being retarded around Mat, and hiding behind her hulking husband. Mat is talking with Elayne and wondering why she is repeating his curses and accusing him of taking advantage of Tylin. He worries about her well being and offers her his medallion. Elly is shocked on several counts. Firstly due to her impression that Mat was the womanizer and the realization that Tylin was getting her some ta'veren love.-
Have you considered practicing different smiles in the mirror, Mat?
Secondly, because her and Ny tried everything under the sun to get it and Mat gives it out of chivalry and concern
You are a worthy subject, Matrim Cauthon
Elayne tries to atone for her toh.

Barry T
105. blindillusion
Just doing some slight research on the WoTweb and believe I confirmed a thought I just love. (err, in other words, I just knew I had to be right...) Anyone care to take a stab at who the Aes Sedai is that the Shaido take in this little Prologue? It's just so delicious.

Insectoid@103: Well, I don't really feel I'm qualified to determine what Leigh might consider surprising and/or puzzling, but heck, it could be the Grand Intro of Everyone's Favorite Cadsuane.

And I wasn't around the re-read when the Aiel were introduced, but is anyone else just a little irked with how much of a resemblance Shaido has with Shadow?
craig thrift
106. gagecreedlives

Its probably my biased perspective on Elayne that makes me like Galad :)

"it has kind of changed my opinion that certain decisions he made were, if not completely irrational, still striding far from the marker on which is painted "common sense."

That made me chuckle. Im not sure how many characters you would actually find on the common sense marker. Im sure they are awfully lonely though.

And seriously the poor guy, when he got to the rebels camp and while he was looking for info on Egwene all the aes sedai wanted to do was quiz him about Elayne. Gawyn should of just bought them all a TR-6 mannequin and been done with it.


I am under the impression it was Galina but I cant remember why.
Bobby Stubbs
107. Valan

Hmmm. Characters standing in the common sense marker area:

1. Rhuarc (Scratch that Aiel are insane)

1. Lan (wait he married Nynaeve... scratch that)

1. Moraine

2. Sorilea (exception to the above)

3. Min ("Why won't anyone just help him?" (paraphrased granted) Welcome to the common sense marker Min.)

4. Mat (He has it, it just runs away from him when the dice start spinning)

Ummm, I'm out of ideas. That's four people out of thousands of characters, help me out.

(What? I like parenthesis!)
Barry T
108. blindillusion
Who's standing at the Lonely Common Sense bus stop waiting for a ride that's seemingly never going to come? Well:

Ailhuin Guenna aka Mother Guenna
(Mother Grubb also, for the simple reason she had the Common Sense to stay nothing more than a mentioned name)
Simion =)

Only slightly serious and nowhere near all-conclusive, this would be the short list I suppose. I'm sure there are other characters who have glimmers of common sense, right? Right?
Jacy Clark
109. Amalisa

What GCL said... the Aes Sedai in question is probably Galina. She surfaces again in Chapter 40 of ACoS as a captive of the Shaido where, among other things, she thinks about her horse being shot out from under her. And considering how Sevanna et al thought it was such a big deal to have a tame Aes Sedai, well... if there was one other than Galina, I think she would have shown up in the Faile-as-gai'shain thread.

Others blessed with common sense... Gareth Bryne... Marin al'Vere... Setalle Anan... Sebban Balwer...
Barry T
110. blindillusion

Yes, it is somewhat obvious, though I only commented on it because Leigh didn't really mention it. I thought she would.

As for my post @ 105 and the fact I had to do some research...well, I've only read this book (all the way through) twice.... I know, I know, but I usually read the Ebou Dar sections and leave the rest to a scattered memory. (Though I do skim the Rand sections...I'll get to that later.)
Alice Arneson
111. Wetlandernw
Various thoughts on what I've read so far, in no particular order: (and while I managed to get in before my predicted 500, I didn't catch the first 100...)

All in all, this prologue is one of my least-liked "chapters" ever; Elaida, Sevanna, the tortuous Morgase storyline, Valda, and Gawyn being dense... Oh, fun. Not.

On Elaida's purported intelligence, I think this is a case where we need to assume that other characters, having observed and interacted with her for something more than 30 years, see aspects of her that we do not. (Probably also true of other characters - Isilel mentioned Joline - where we have to assume that their reputation is based on things we haven't seen.) We don't actually get much visibility of Elaida that would show intelligence or lack thereof until after she's been in contact with Fain. We do have pretty clear indication from early on that, as Alviarin notes, "she saw what she wanted to see, would try to make true what she wanted to be true." This tends to make us think poorly of her intelligence, but don't forget the next statement: "Of the two indisputably frightening things about her, the lesser was that she so often succeeded. The greater was her Talent for Foretelling." I think it's interesting that Alviarin notes that Elaida frequently succeeds in making true what she wants to be true. That argues a certain intelligence, to be able to find ways to make things go her way. It also argues a seriously annoying, domineering, control-freak personality, but that doesn't actually preclude intelligence.

Like bad platypus, I'm really looking forward to the resolution of Morgase's story line. I've had some inklings (finally, after feeling tortured by the storyline until VERY recently!) that this might get pretty cool, but I appreciated that comment too; it's nice to have confirmation that coolness is coming. I'm guessing (or hoping) it may come to the fore in the scenes where she is reunited with her children...

MikeDeepo - I'm no more convinced that Egwene's list contains Mesaana's alter ego than she is. We have pretty good clues from BWS that the Oath Rod can be circumvented if you know how, and since Mesaana comes from the AOL, she probably knows much more about it than anyone in this age. (Note: he made it quite clear that it's not about getting around the Oaths, but the Oath Rod itself.) So I'm still hanging in with the Danelle theory as the most plausible, on the assumption that she was able to work around the OR and is still safe in her disguise. Oh, and sarcastro: ...the idea that Danelle was a known commodity enough so that she was entrusted with the not-uncrucial role of smuggling in extra muscle for the coup de tour only strengthens the idea that she was definitely known to someone in the initial cabal of Elaidists. Yes, but if she really is Mesaana, there are plenty of ways she could get herself included. You don't need me to spell them out!

Niall... I never liked him, but at least I had a certain respect for his intelligence if not his morals or motives. I'm with twicemarked (if this is what you were saying) in thinking that, while he may believe a great deal of what the Whitecloaks claim to stand for, he would never let that stand in the way of doing what he thought needed to be done, especially if it would bolster his reputation and send him down in the history books as "a great man." Valda and Asunawa seem to have nothing to claim regarding intelligence, morals or motives. Valda is a bully of the worst sort: the one with enough brute strength & physical skill to enforce his version of "might makes right." And he's extra-happy to enforce the WC teachings that fit his own perverse desires. Sort of a counterpart to Leigh's description of Sevanna - all the worst stereotypes of a man rolled into one revolting person. Asunawa... is just creepy. He makes my spine crawl.

The question of the Shaido WOs and clan chiefs wrt Rhuidean has always been problematic. How they as an entire clan can be so off-course when they have the same historical input is a puzzle. I've wondered if their ancestral view was rather warped, but it can't have been that far off the rest of the Aiel. *sigh* I carefully suspend my disbelief and dutifully loathe the Shaido lock, stock and barrel. Nothing else to do, really, and they are quite easy to loathe. And Sevanna - Gah. Ick. Ptooey. I usually disagree with Leigh on "feminist" questions, but she's right on with Sevanna being all the worst female stereotypes in one. Gah, again.

grnidgrl @46 - Not sure exactly what Rand facing the Amyrlin Seat and knowing her anger will be, but I'm betting it won't be anything like Elaida's interpretation. Obviously he won't be facing Amyrlin Elaida, and it's at least a fair bet that the anger may have a target other than Rand, just because that's too obvious. (Maybe.)

Dreamwolf @89 - I have a whole essay in work on the forsaken, which I do expect to post (in much reduced form, if I can manage it!) so won't say it here. However, I don't think Asunawa can be Demandred; primarily because we have seen A several times and RJ said that (as of KoD, I think?) we hadn't yet seen D's alter ego.

And here's a lovely quote from Terry Pratchett, which doesn't fit this bunch at all but I know some of you will enjoy: "I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it."
112. Lily of the Valley
I put forth Queen Tylin as nominee for the Common Sense Bubble/Bus Stop. She was a pretty smart, and prudent , woman.
113. afterthefallofnight
Yeah Leigh! Boy, I am glad you have returned. This guided tour has been terrific fun. For me, the last four or five books have been sort of blah. I just finished The Gathering Storm and I think your re-read of the series helped me enjoy it. Thanks!

BTW, I think (hope) you are wrong about fragile feminist progress. When I talk to my daughter and her friends about what they are doing with their lives and their plans for the future, they do not sound as militant as my friends from the 60s and 70s friends - but they are just as determined.

Common Sense: Tam, Min, Lini... There are others, mostly secondary characters. Still, its a pretty short list.

Niall's death: I always thought he was Evil. I had no regrets when I read of his murder.
Tony Zbaraschuk
114. tonyz
Niall was an intriguing villain, and more competent than most of the Whitecloaks (sort of in the Geofram Bornhald mold), and it was a shock to have him go down.

I tend to think that Valda was in on the conspiracy to take out the Lord Captain Commander, but I'll have to re-read and see if that was a justified assumption or not.
115. Planeswalker
Hahaha See? I won't stoop that low. ;p
I sincerely apologize if i poke your bubble.

About Leigh's fave... if it has to be surprising... and if it doesn't have to do with Nyn or Mat... hmmm...

Egwene admits to the WOs (Amys, Bair, and Melaine) that she's Amyrlin? It's a good scene if you think about it really.
116. Planeswalker
sub @99-

Ed Rafferty
117. BigBoy57
Good to have you back Leigh!

I have to take issue with a number of you guys about Pedron Niall - what's all this about him being sane?

One of Randland's "powers" who sends his armed forces out to commit atrocities so his forces can look good when they save the day?
Looks more like a criminally insane action to me - or am I just being naive? What does it say about the Children of the Light that they would obey such orders?

Another thing that really pisses me off is the way the Shaido leadership just let that skank Sevannah ride roughshod all over them. I mean it's one thing to let her speak for the Clan Chief, even allow her to declare herself a Wise One and get away with it (if the Shaido WO's are dopey enough or have little enough self-respect for themselves) but when things get serious and lives are on the line they let an untrained woman (never a maiden even) dictate military tactics - well, they got exactly what they deserved didn't they?

It's really a moment for me where my willing suspension of disbelief is tested to the absolute maximum.

Other than that little rant, ACoS is my favourite WoT book also - well done again Leigh.
Seth Nichter
118. Nichter
I agree with Wetlander @111, I really think that Elaida's intelligence is always talked about but very rarely seen. I do think it exists, however. Though I don't think this little snippet of her contributes that much to downplaying the extremely sudden MUAHAHAHAHA CALL ME COMMANDER-ness of TGS-Elaida (and I'm sorry, but Suffa is the stupidest name), she does come off as kinda crazy here.

Also, I agree with you on Alviarin, Leigh (well, I agree with you on most things). She, along withe lame-fated Graendal, is probably my favorite villain. Very smart.

Sevanna's worthless. Therava's the scary one. Most of the bad guys are very "Oh, whatever" to me, but she actually comes off as like intimidating. Every time Jordan described her eagle eyes it was so vivid and I do pee... just a little bit...

Also, Gawn is the Stupid That Won't Die, and I really would be very pleased if the kind and talented BS would perhaps have him sent off to the Waste with Galina (who was actually compelling to me as well).
j p
119. sps49
BigBoy57 @107-

What makes one a Wise One was shown in tGS, and concluded Aviendha's trials. Apparently Sevannah did this sooner than expected and, although positively goofy, it is at least internally consistent. Especially for Aiel. Who would rather defend Sevannah's WO status than let a non-initiate know the process.
Birgit F
120. birgit
Statistics for the long TGS thread are on the new part two.
Dick Papazian
121. Papas
Great to have you back Leigh!

I was a bit sad when Niall died, liked the character, but was also a bit suprised when someone of some importance died.

I haven't read all the comments, but someone said that Omerna was the dumbest character after Weiramon. Am I the only one who thinks there is something very dangerous (and clever) hiding in Weiramon? There is a scene in tPoD that is very telling I think when he is seen talking to one of the DF Asha'man.

And for the record aCoS is one of my favorite books. It was published when I started reading the series so tPoD was the first book I had to wait for. And I don't think that book is as bad as most people do. I've more or less loved all books with a slight dip at CoT (and for some reason tGH is just a half a step behind most others...)
Ed Rafferty
122. BigBoy57
sps49@119 - I understand what makes a Wise One, but I am under the impression from my reading of the series that Sevannah never cared about the training and qualifications of a Wise One - the normal endeavours of others just don't seem to appeal to her for some reason.

From memory, she gets her tame Wise Ones to declare her a Wise One and the other Clan WO's (Amys, Sorilea etc) cannot bring themselves to go against tradition and call BS on the deal - it seems to be a decided lack of moral fibre on their part - they are never backwards in coming forward normally to keep things on the straight and narrow.

I guess from their point of view, one clan's business is that clan's affair and if they want to go to hell in a hand-basket - let 'em do it.
Ronald Hobbs
123. dustrider
WB Leigh.

Have to say I disagree with the "first one to wait for" theory too. My least favourite is KOD, simply because even on re-reads I'm mostly WTF?

I guess it's because it was flitting all over the place. And possibly because of an over supply of Perin-Faile rubbishness.
124. mattyh
i think BWS's comments that:

1. 'you need to think about ways to defeat the oath rod'
2. 'yes, mesaana is still in the tower'

taken together strongly implies mesaana is still hiding as an aes sedai.

it's very clear that she can plainly say, "i am not black ajah" or "i am not a darkfriend" without lying, because all throughout the earlier books, whenever we get inside a forsaken's POV, they do not consider themselves to be aes sedai or darkfriends at all. there is no doubt about this point.

i understand many people are considering the possibility that she could he hiding as a novice. if so, it casts a strange light on BWS's comments, after all, novices don't "defeat" the oath rod, do they? his comments would come across as very trite if that was indeed the case.

additionally, her clothing under the illusion weave does not match that of plain novice white at all (except in TGS's prologue - i bet that's a herring!!!).

my gut tells me it's danelle. she was in a position to know immediately when alviarin's meeting with elaida had finished. i accept the possibility that mesaana could just as easily have warded alviarin's room, and thus be aware the instant alviarin entered.

also i am rather confused by mesaana's 'crystal chimes' voice when appearing to alviarin in earlier books, and her sudden 'rasping' and 'growling' voice when visiting sheriam in the rebel camp in TGS. well, i am assuming it is mesaana. the physical description is the same but the way she speaks is inconsistent with previous appearances. also note that she does not hide her strength in the power when visiting sheriam, whereas previously she did with alviarin.

such a puzzle >_>

PS it's danelle :)
Wesley Parish
125. Aladdin_Sane
WC - that's an acronym for Water Closet, isn't it? The place where you deal Royal Flushes?

(I don't know about you, but the image of Water Closets sweeping down like wolves on the fold and conquering Almoth Plains is very appropriate for this sort of world ... very "Bubble of Evil"-ish :)

Getting back to the facetious stuff, when I first read aCoS, I was mildly annoyed that Jordan had taken that long to give us the Sevanna-side view of the Shaido defeat. I would've preferred him to have given it a lot earlier.

I never liked Niall - sure he was one of the great captains, but he was also in charge of the Local Fanatics Assoc., and planning mischief on a massive scale, sending psuedo-Dragonsworn in to massacre villages in Altara and Murandy. It seemed appropriate that it was his fanatical spy master doofus who did him in.
Jay Dauro
126. J.Dauro
Freelancer @87

Valda wiped his blade on Omerna's tabard, then suddenly realized the old wolf still breathed, a rasping, bubbling sound. Grimacing he bent to make an end - and a gaunt, long-fingered hand caught his arm.

I cannot see that as Valda 'shooting a horse with a broken leg.' So I have to feel he was in on it with Asunawa.
Maiane Bakroeva
127. Isilel
Valan @107:

Min ("Why won't anyone just help him?" (paraphrased granted) Welcome to the common sense marker Min.)

Well, wasn't it what Min was doing the whole time since she joined Rand in LoC? And with very indifferent results despite her highly privileged position as his lover?

Seriously, I don't get why she was lavished with praise for this sentiment. Rand has been going in the wrong direction for some time and helping him along wouldn't have improved matters any.

In fact, it goes back to his dispute with Moiraine. Moiraine thought that the Randland peoples could be convinced to follow the true DR, while Rand insisted that they must be forced.
And while in short term he seemed to be right, the later books, culminating in TGS, show that in the long term he was wrong.
Rand's habit of considering the Aiel as nothing more than a reliable tool also stems from that time. Etc.

Re: Elaida's palace, they need those practice grounds, not just for warders, but to train channelers for battle too. IIRC, the building didn't progress much in any case.
The Tower is big enough to accommodate Asha'man and have place to spare. Besides, one of the wings was destroyed in Seanchan attack and could be enlarged during rebuilding.

Oh, and BTW, I hope that they figure out how to use the AS test ter'angreal for battle training, too. I assume that that's what it was initially for.

BigBoy 57 @122:

the other Clan WO's (Amys, Sorilea etc) cannot bring themselves to go against tradition and call BS on the deal - it seems to be a decided lack of moral fibre on their part

Indeed, but the Aiel are huge hypocrites. They didn't seem to care that Couladin was skinning messengers either. If it was an Aiel, who chopped down the Tree, they would have come up with excuses too, I am sure.
Anyway, as we have seen with Avi, even after the rite of passage, a woman _still_ must pass the Columns to become a WO - but for some reason Sevanna gets a pass there either.

Re: Weiramon, ditto. He is a rather successful DF, IMHO, who was able to cause a lot of damage without provoking any suspicion. His perpetual cleanliness even in unlikely circumstances... I dunno. It seems unlikely that he could be a channeler, but who knows.
Alexander Foff
128. Abbumaru
On the Mesaana/Danelle theory:

Ever since BrS said that Compulsion could defeat the Oath Rod, I tried to wrap my head around the concept. I mean why or how would she Compulse herself or let herself be Compulsed? But something just came to me:
What if Mesaana keeps the real Danelle stashed aways somewhere? It's always good to have her at hand should some information about certain sisters be needed or something like intelligence on the inner workings of the Tower.
Now, as soon as Mesaana heard about the reswearing procedure she could have opened her locked drawer (=gone to Danelle), Compulse the hell out of her and let her do the Oath Rod thingy in Mesaana's stead.
We don't know where Danelle (supposing that she is Mesaana) is at the time and from Egwene's last two chapters in TGS (To Be Forged Again and Bathed in Light) it seems as if the BA happening started in the Hall only and then was somehow spread throughout the Tower, giving Mesaana enough time to reinstall Danelle for the procedure and take her place again afterwards.
What think you?
Dick Papazian
129. Papas
I don't really agree with that Rand was proven wrong in TGS. Very few rulers have yet decided to aid willingly and I really doubt they would until maybe Tarmon Gaidon had already started. But sure, the taken path was maybe not an ideal one, especially when it comes to the Aiel.

I really liked the idea that Weiramon was Demandred and he was somehow pulling the strings in Tear (thus the army massing there would be the one he's referring to in TGS). I know it's probably not possible considering Weiramon is not in Tear anymore and apparently RJ said we hadn't seen Demandreds alter ego.
Henry Loose
130. schrodinger
gah! compel compelled!!! compulse and compulsed aren't even words!!! gah!
sorry Abbumaru, I like the rest of the argument, this is just something that was going on in tGSBToA (the gathering storm big thread of amazingness)(and yes, amazingness isn't a word), people were using compulse and compulsed when they should have been using compel and compelled (I'm not certain, but could one of our statistics people go and check how many times that happened, and whether or not BwS did this in tGS, I seem to recall us discussing if he did)(I would check myself, but I have to sleep, just pulled an all-nighter right after a two-hour-of-sleep-nighter).
just my pet peeve of the day. ;-)
Maiane Bakroeva
131. Isilel
Abbumaru @128:

What if Mesaana keeps the real Danelle stashed aways somewhere?

Or what if she grabbed a sister/initiate with some basic similarity of features and the same height, disguised her with OP, like she disguises herself, and Compelled the heck out of her to make her pose as Danelle? Vanishing the poor sod after re-swearing and resuming the role of Danelle?

BTW, somebody somewhere suggested a White named Norine as Mesaana's alias. She also has blue eyes and would have a reason to wear a white dress when the WT divisions were at it's height.


The peoples need to be convinced and inspired to follow as much or more than forced. And it is an ongoing work. Rand never understood that, he tried to bludgeon or trick people into doing what he wanted and thought that Aiel, once won, would stay his tools forever.
132. MasterAlThor

Fortuona-gah, that name still burns my ass.

I just call her Tuon. I refuse to use that other name.

As for this....

I am surprised that no one has begun dissecting the cover art for this puppy here. Not sure if Rand is mimicking a choo choo train or doing the Robot, but whatever, there have been worse.

I have it on good authority that this is the beginning of disco. I could reveal my sources but they wouldn't ever tell me anything again. ::coughFreelancerWetlandernwcough::

Glad to see Wetlandernw is back on her grind. ::waves::

Ahhh also something else for you to think about Sub. I got a letter from the government the other day....
John Massey
133. subwoofer
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
-Albert Einstein

Just sayin' that common sense is not all that common.

@M A T- you infringing on my trade mark? Or did you get approved to take the Super Soldier serum?

134. alreadymadwithforcedruler
Rand was also depending on the Aiel holding to prophecy. He was not forcing only the Aiel he was also forcing himself as hard if not harder than everybody else. It is unfortunately a measure of his instability that he did not think about the possibility that the Aiel would abandon him.

As for forcing other nations/rulers. Rand is a bit of a political cynic. He does accept rulers who come to him willingly, like Berelain and Alliandre, and even Dobraine and the Illian Council of Nine, and he is usually on good terms with those. But the Tairen High Lords? Colavaere's faction? These people are used to holding their own little spheres of influence with a constant eye towards expanding it. He simply does not have time to constantly play games with them, or continually remind them that Tarmon Gai'don is at hand and he needs their help. So he just resorts to force.
Dick Papazian
135. Papas

I am not disagreeing with you, I'm just questioning if it would have worked, especially with the time frame and the Aes Sedai acting as they did. And yes, maybe Rand could have been a bit more diplomatic, but everything hasn't been his fault. Many countries fell into chaos with only the word of his existense and a lot of sh*t has been happening to him that haven't really pushed him in the best of directions.

I actually think this is the best one of DK Sweets covers. If you disregard the choo choo train/powerwalking stance I think it's pretty decent and close to how I imagine Rand.
Captain Hammer
136. Randalator
Amalisa @109

Others blessed with common sense... Gareth Bryne... Marin al'Vere... Setalle Anan... Sebban Balwer...

Bran al'Vere, Abell Cauthon, the Luhans, Bayle Domon...
john mullen
137. johntheirishmongol
I sure am glad the re-read is back. The TGS posts were getting too long. I dropped out of continuing after 1200 or so.

Anyway, I started reading at TEoTW, but because I hate waiting for series, I didnt read again until LOC came out, figuring that it had to be almost done. Silly me.

Prologue comments: Elaida once again has her me-colored glasses on. Egwene's anger probably not so much about bonding the women as she may blame Rand for the attack on the tower. They did fly right over his territories.

Niall, had to die, he was too effective to keep on living. I never thought he was redeemable, just effective.

I will be very disappointed if Danelle turns out to be Mesaana.

Sevanna is really annoying, so is Gawyn. Both about the same to me, but for different reasons. I thought the Shaido story line could have pretty much ended at Dumai Wells, and instead we got that dumb story line about the kidnapping of Faile. Gawyn runs around the country doing nothing at all, and he was desparately needed to help Elayne. Could have completed the series at least 1 or 2 books sooner.
Leigh Butler
138. leighdb
Hey guys,

No one's really broken this rule (the one you don't know about because I haven't told you about it yet) so far, but as an attempt to keep things pretty:

Even though the re-read threads will by necessity now have TGS spoilers in them, let's try to keep actual TGS-specific discussion to the spoiler thread Torie has provided, and try to keep the re-read comments about the topics germane to the re-read.

If that makes sense. I think it does. Kay?
Sara H
139. LadyBelaine

"gah! compel compelled!!! compulse and compulsed aren't even words!!! gah!"

Oh, lighten up :) Compulse, Cumpulsed are used in WOT fandom's parlance to refer to the specfic weave. It's another little in-joke, like Acceptatron or Duopotomia, Randland, Wondergirls, etc...
Tina Murrah
140. Tina.Murrah
Thank the Light you're back, Leigh!
I have nothing significant to say this time, just thought I'd throw in:

ACoS least favorite cover artwork sure (Rand looks like a juice-head)... but my least favorite book is The Dragon Reborn. I usually skip it when I re-read the series.
S Diller
141. CuenDiller
Welcome back leigh!

I hate posting this far in the game! Plus 140 posts is a lot to read at once.

Least-favorite-book theory: I first had to wait for KOD (even though it was only for a day) and I loved it. It's hard for me to have one then since I read its predecessors consecutively as one book.

Mesaana: Got to be Denelle. Masquerading as a novice just doesn't fit, there would have to have been a character set up for us to at least speculate about, and I don't believe there is. I think Mesaana has the real Danelle locked up ala Professor Moody (sorry for the Harry Potter reference).

Elaida: RJ did such a great job with her. She is a character I love to hate, unlike others that I just plain hate..coughSevannacough

I’m really interested why Rand will know the Amerlyns wrath. I love Egwane but it kinda makes me pissed at her even though it hasn't happened yet. Rand gets such a bad rap, and if she makes him go back to the bad place...I will, mad!
142. MasterAlThor
Well Sub....

That would depend on what exactly you think I am refering to.

Since I live in the States one could say that I was up for the Captian America super soldier program.

But actually in reference to the letter....

I opened and read it, it said they were suckers.

You could say that I am infringing on your trade mark. I would say that brothers gotta work it out.
Tricia Irish
143. Tektonica

I'm on the Danelle bandwagon, but one question, anyone......
If Danny is a known quantity, given enough respect to be in on the troop smuggling operation, and Elaida's coup and council, and it's really Mesaana in long has it been Mesaana? If a short time, where is the original Danelle?? Dead? Or does she just take over her body? Or use her to take the Oath Rod, having been fully compelled.
Edit: Abbumaru@128. Thinking along the same line.....


Totally agree with you re: Sevanna and the Shaido....horrid, out of Aiel character, miserably wordy plot line, which just gets worse with Faile's capture.


Rand was a naive sheepherder when he started all this. He knew nothing of politics and was scared of the Aes Sedai (This was long before Moraine became his trusty advisor). So, he used whatever means he knew to rally the countries....force. The Aiel provided the Stone, voila!, he had an army!

He really didn't do too bad a job of it, actually. (I'm sure Elayne would take partial credit here as a royal advisor.) He provided food to starving countries, set up figurehead govt.s, because he didn't want to rule himself, and didn't know how, and BTW, was busy getting ready for TG.

In hindsight alot could've been done differently. The AS, ie: Moraine, could've been more forthcoming. People could've actually talked to each other!! But no, the AS were inscrutable and uninformative, and controlling, thus creating mistrust, and leaving poor Randy on his own.

M-A-L@132 LOL!! Disco indeed. Another embarrassing cover to carry around. At least in hardcover it can be removed.
144. alreadymadwithfeminism
Freelancer @87
Please refrain from referring to other countries when talking about feminism. At least people in the Philippines elect women to the highest position in the land, which is better than Americans can claim so far. Heck, even Pakistan has America beat in that department.

Tektonica @143
Agreed, Rand did well. It's not his fault most nobles he came across were greedy power hungry idiots, and AS were almost as bad.
145. MasterAlThor

Please go back and read what Freelancer was talking about. He was joking with Leigh.

I must have missed the part where he was saying that Americans were better in that department than other countries.

What? Are you trying to start something here?

146. alreadymadwithplaces
MasterAlThor @145
I'm sure he never meant to imply that, but the Philippines is not the right example to mention. Pulling place names out of thin air tends to backfire badly.
Bill Reamy
147. BillinHI
Welcome back indeed, Leigh! We really, really, really missed you.

jcmnyu @55: Really like your thought on Egwene sharing her anger over Rand's boxing and not the Ashaman bonding. As awesome as Egwene has become in TGS, I still have some nits to pick with her on her views of guiding Rand. Maybe Moiraine, Nynaeve and Egwene will all get together in ToM and Moir & Nyn will show Egwene the error of her ways.

MasterAlThor @57: Darth Vader - heh heh indeed! ROFL

sarcastro @71: That picture of Tar Valon is just ..... WOW!!!

Dreamwolf @89: Forsaken in Tel'aran'rhiod: I'm thinking that Ishy, Lanfear and Moghedien are the only ones we have seen manipulating T'A'R. In their meetings, the Forsaken are there in the flesh, are they not? Or I could be completely wrong.

blindillusion @105: It will be said before I can post this, but the AS taken by the Shaido has to be Galina, of course.

Valan @107/108: Might have to add Loial to the ones standing in the common sense marker area. But of course most of his actions are way outside the Ogier norm, so maybe not....

Wetlandernw @111: Thinking inside the box....ROFLMAO!

Isilel @127: re Min: While I agree that she could/should have said something earlier, I believe all the AS around her were only interested in her viewings and totally ignored any other contributions she might have made.
148. alreadymadwithtraveltoTAR
BillinHI @147
Yes most of them Travel their way into TAR. That does not stop them from manipulating TAR though. Rahvin's final trap against Rand for example, involved manipulating TAR.
Barry T
149. blindillusion
RE: What happened to the real Danelle if Mesaana is now occupying her space? Well, along with being painted with the brush strokes of dreamy and friendless Alviarin also comments that she has no friends within her own Ajah. A "solitary", she calls her.

I'd hazard a guess and say Danelle is no more.
150. First Selector
Re Elaida:
I agree w M-o-M re Elaida. She certainly did think she could do a better job than Siuan but her acts were motivated by animosity and selfishness, not for the good of the tower. But Fain did definitely push this farther.

Re 'know her anger':
Pre TGS I'd have said it was about Rand having AS swear fealty and/or A'man bonding AS. I'm intrigued by the idea that Eg's anger could be aimed elsewhere re Rand in a box, especially in light of her thoughts in TGS when she thinks about the similarities between her confinement and Rand's.

Re Book dislike:
I started reading around when Leigh did, TPOD was the first I had to wait for. I don't recall TPOD bothering me much when it came out (although I did miss Mat). But on rereads, I've not enjoyed it. TPOD is definitely my least favorite.

Re Mesaana:
For the reasons others have mentioned, I also lean toward Mesaana=Danelle. I know it's not canon but I came across the following in the BBoBA:
was hardheaded, practical, and intelligent, though often taken for being dreamy because of her introspection.

In light of this, a dreamy brown seems like an excellent fit for Mesaana.

I'm thinking Mesaana replaced Danelle at some point before Elaida's coup. This is around when Ishy disappears and Mesaana can step in to order the BA.

edit: grammar
Jack Diamond
151. violetdancer
I'm a fresh fish here but have posted a few things on the TGS spoiler thread (enough to get lambasted by Freelancer for suggesting that Lanfear had tweaked Egwene and Berelain's dreams to deflect them from attraction to Rand). I posted my Mesaana/Danelle theory @35 on the second TGS Spoiler thread.

I'm so glad to hear from all of you again, especially Leigh.

Not much to add at this point, but I did enjoy reading the Elaida POV. If her Fortelling does refer to House Mantear, it isn't just about Rand. Galad qualifies and also that young boy with Elaine who is head now. I'm also wondering if because Elaida carries the Taint of Aridhol will it be transmitted to Suffa's sul'dam?

Every time I write the correct Compelled, I'm still thinking Compulsed. Maybe because Compulsed sounds worse.

Every time someone comments on Gawyn and Galad, Goofus and Gallant pops into my head.
Jim Crumley
152. crumley

Thanks for coming back.

And stay healthy! We don't want someone else to have come in and finish re-reading the last three books.
Jay Dauro
153. J.Dauro
Violetdancer @151

Oh, curse you. I will never be able to see Galad and Gawyn in the same light again. Way too many Highlights as a kid.
Henry Loose
154. schrodinger

Oh, lighten up :) Compulse, Cumpulsed are used in WOT fandom's parlance to refer to the specfic weave. It's another little in-joke, like Acceptatron or Duopotomia, Randland, Wondergirls, etc...

I thought I was being light... had a second look and realized I forgot to put winking smiley... here it is: ;-)

anyway, whereas I can see where the words above come from cognitive thought and nicknaming, compulse and compulsed come from mistakes... many people on TGS thread used compel, many used compulse and wetlandernw even went back and checked (way back at 1614 of the huge TGS thread) as to what RJ used and how he used it:

"RJ never never ever used the word "compulsed" but he did several times use the word "Compelled" referring to the use of Compulsion. Check IdealSeek for the specific uses thereof. (Interesting note, that he didn't use anything other than "used compulsion" for the first 8 books or so, although he did use "compelled" in a more traditional sense as appropriate. It's only in the last two books that he specifically says someone had/may have/was Compelled.)"

I'm going back to bed (see my last post on TGS thread for explanation).

edit: couldn't sleep... here's the count: 23 uses of compulse/compulsed, 63 uses of compel/compelled in tGSBToA
Peter Nein
155. gimpols1908
This was the first book i had to wait for, and it annoyed me a little, but good stuff happens so all is well.

CoT still annoys me. We make this huge step. Sadin is clean! Biggest thing to happen since, we nobody is selling sliced bred in randland, so the best thing since a really quickly winding crossbow winch - and nobody says a word. They just mention feeling funny and are freaked out by whatever the heck that was. NOTHING HAPPENS. I understand the moving plots so they can all peak near the same time... but this is akin to watching someone set up dominoes.

Drives me batty. Took me a month to reread the book, i had to walk away for a while.

- oh and WELCOME BACK, the dts are gone!
156. Hammerlock
Well, for the Danelle theory...assuming its true:

- She can't have been on Verin's list. Self-explanatory.
- Given the thoroughness of the above list, there's a decent chance that Danelle wasn't/isn't Black.
- Danelle is described as always being a loner. A solitary academic character? Perfect!
- Mesaana is described as wearing dresses either mainly or hemmed in bronze (a shade of brown)
- The moment it was clear what was happening during the Seanchan attack, the smart move would be to Gate the hell out. Why participate in a running OP battle? Let your enemies fight each other and sip mojitos while watching from dragonmount.

Now, she's supposed to be impersonating someone that is a relatively known quantity. This can be problematic, since if someone comes up with an obscure reference or the like (as can happen when meeting someone you've known for years, or when holding scholarly discussions) not knowing it would seem a bit suspicious.

The easiest solution? Danelle is Danelle...most of the time. When Mesaana is looking to be active, she could induce sleep and/or Compel her to stay in her closet. The rest of the time she could be posing as a servant or off doing other things. Really, what is there to do in the tower all day? You are either fomenting distrust (handled by BA and Elaida), issuing disastrous policies to isolate/diminish TV/AS (Elaida), or spying on other sisters' plans--which given the disharmony in the tower would be difficult to do when posing as a Sister.

Danelle, being Danelle, could swear to the truth: she's not Black. Or likewise for Mesaana, though during/after the Seanchan attack she'll probably be laying low or working on corralling the BA from their rats-off-a-ship exodus.

As for why its Danelle--Alviarin enters her rooms and immediately Mesaana makes her appearance. There is no coincidence there; she knew exactly when Alviarin walked in. Warding wouldn't work--what if it was a servant that walked in? Ergo, Mesaana was someone watching Al go back to her rooms.

Its possible that Danelle is a red herring--its a bit blatant whom Mesaana could be in this passage, too blatant really--but the pieces fit, such as they are.
157. MasterAlThor

Again I say go back and read what he actually said.

Here just let me post it for you...

You know, I think you need to keep banging that feminism drum, I'm sure there's a WoT fan on an outer island of the Philippines who still doesn't know. ::duck::

Please explain to me why you think this is wrong. Clearly he is joking with Leigh about her stance on feminism. Sarcasm really. Who here doesn't know about Leigh's stance.

Yes he could have said Outer Mongolia, but really? You are going to take him to task for saying the Phillippines? Really?

I don't know which AMW you are, if your the real one I would think that you know better. If you are in imposter, well that would explain much.
Henry Loose
158. schrodinger
If someone wanted to be really funny, they could use the name: alreadymadwiththealreadymadwiths.

I'm almost caught up to CoS... got to get through LoC.
Ron Garrison
159. Man-0-Manetheran
@102 Valan
"striding far from the marker on which is painted 'common sense.'" GOOD ONE! I think Lini put up the marker in the first place.

@103 insectoid
Last night's NBC evening news used "The Gathering Storm" as the title of their report on the global warming summit.

@105 blindillusion
Yes! Who was that masked AS anyway? I think it was Galina, but I don't recall that being said specifically.

@128 Abbumaru
Excellent theory! (and good expansion, Hammerlock!) I tried finding BWS's quote about Compulsion and the Oath Rod on the spoiler board, but it was just too big and even Find didn't succeed. If anyone can find the exact quote, I'd appreciate seeing it. Free? Thanks.

@152 violetdancer
LOL! I always called Gawyn, "Gone." Just Gone.
160. MasterAlThor

Just went through your post and found an interesting little nugget. Which is to say something that I hadn't thought about.

I'm also wondering if because Elaida carries the Taint of Aridhol will it be transmitted to Suffa's sul'dam?

This would most certainly be a RAFO. I couldn't see BwS answering that one. Maybe he would just not answer because there is no answer and he would want us to just keep talking about it.

I now have to wonder how long the effects of Aridhol last on one who has come in contact with someone carrying the dagger.

::goes off quietly to ponder::
161. Hammerlock
Aridhol's taint leaves one distrustful, paranoid, megalomaniacal--basically a really greedy, not-nice person.

Given time and authority, you could recreate Aridhol--the White Tower was on its way to this if outside factors hadn't intervened.

That being said, Elaida's taint is secondhand. She can germinate the environment if given a chance, but its doubtful that a damane--at best regarded as a dog--can engender the influence necessary to fan the corruption flames. Given the right sul'dam, maybe...but not likely. She'll likely break and become tame before that.

Now, if you were to collar Fain/Ordeith (well, if he was a channeler, anyway. And a woman)...that's another story.

...Bonus points if you just pictured Fain in drag.
162. MasterAlThor

Welcome to the insanity. Your name is new to me so I count you as new. Welcome to the reread.

Elaida's taint is second hand. But I want to know how long it last. If said effects are permenant then even as a damane she would be able to affect/effect others.

A sick dog can still effect its master. The story of Aridhol is one of distrust. That could spread like wildfire among the Seanchan. It did spread like wildfire among the Tower AS.

I still need to do somemore research.
163. Hammerlock
I've been around, just not too prolific in commentary.

Barring an unusually attentive sul'dam, I don't see the corruption spreading too far. Fain's attempts to spread his taint/influence--even going back to Mordeth's days--have always aimed at the top and disseminating downwards. Amyrlin, Lord Captain Commander, King/Queen, etc. These people shape policy and the tenor of their land by fiat.

Working from the bottom up can be a viable strategy, but it takes significantly longer and it needs to be focused and planned. Fain is that type of person; Elaida is not. She'll try to gain as much power and influence and authority as possible, and her innate greed and control-freak nature was darkly grown thanks to Fain...but put her in an utterly powerless position and she'll break, from the fall from power if nothing else. A damane can behave nicely for treats. A damane that tries to bargain or wheedle is disciplined and brought in line. There's nothing approaching equality in that relationship.
Don Barkauskas
164. bad_platypus
Man-o-Manethran @159:
I tried finding BWS's quote about Compulsion and the Oath Rod on the spoiler board, but it was just too big and even Find didn't succeed. If anyone can find the exact quote, I'd appreciate seeing it. Free? Thanks.
It's post 2331 by alreadymadwithBS; s/he says "Then, without any real prompting, he said there is a way to defeat the oath rod: Compulsion."
steve cook
165. scook
This is my least favorite book. It has always felt like Jordan moved to telling a good story in the earlier books to dragging out the series by filling it with meaningless crap.

I've been reading WOT since EOTW was released in paperback. However, it was 18 months between LOC and ACOS; which at the time was the longest wait between books. The longer wait combined with the small amount of real content (combined with the strong suspicion that Sammael was still alive) all made this my least favorite.

A stronger ending (ie more satisfying destruction of another Forsaken) would have gone a long way in salvaging the book. The ending was so vague that Jordan eventually pronounced in plain English that Sammael was dead. (I will always believe that Jordan intended to bring him back into the story and then changed his mind.)
Carolyn Goodwin
166. metacarolyn
Here's a quote from RJ regarding how far the Shadar Logoth evil spreads:

DragonCon 5 September 2005 - Tamyrlin reporting

Isabel: When Mat had the dagger, Moiraine and Verin thought he would contaminate other people with the evil of Shadar Logoth, and they would contaminate other people. Fain does seem to be influencing without contaminating people. Is it as dangerous as it seems? Could also normal people become evil, and would they also contaminate other people?

Jordan: No. Fain can contaminate people because he has the dagger; it is the dagger. What Verin and Moiraine thought was incorrect; they were extending it too far. It is the one of things you may have noted in the books. Aes Sedai often believe they know more than they actually know. In other words, a lot of people believe they know more than they actually know. One of the themes I have running through the books is that whatever you think you know, some of it is almost certainly wrong, and it may even be the most crucial bit that is wrong. But even when you are aware that some of your information may be wrong you still have to go ahead and make a decision. cannot afford the luxury of saying, well I don't know everything and some of what I know may be wrong, so I am not going to do anything, I am just going to sit here and wait and see if I can find out some more, because that only leads to sitting still forever.
Ron Garrison
167. Man-0-Manetheran
@164 bad_platypus
Thank you. A good AS answer. Other than linking the Oath Rod with Compulsion, he left it wide open. While still fond of my patented Ward Against Compulsion theory, I think Abbumaru's theory is pretty darn great. It might even be edging my WACy theory out of my head. Or is it LTT's theory? Just who's talking here?

@166 metacarolyn
Wonderful RJ quote! "One of the themes I have running through the books is that whatever you think you know, some of it is almost certainly wrong, and it may even be the most crucial bit that is wrong. But even when you are aware that some of your information may be wrong you still have to go ahead and make a decision. cannot afford the luxury of saying, well I don't know everything and some of what I know may be wrong, so I am not going to do anything, I am just going to sit here and wait and see if I can find out some more, because that only leads to sitting still forever."
168. Rukaiya
Re: Who is Mesaana? discussion

I'm not quite convinced that Mesaana is Danelle, lacking solid evidence, but it seems to me that Mesaana can't be one of the three names on Egwene's list. Egwene specifically says that all three women on the list are very weak in the power. Just thinking logically, a weak Aes Sedai would be a very poor choice as Mesaana's disguise. The weakest Aes Sedai are known and stand out in a way that the middling ones aren't, but even more importantly, being a weak Aes Sedai basically means you're permanently at the beck and call of the more powerful sisters. In New Spring, Siuan--who is not even that weak in the Power, just not to her full potential--gets run ragged by a more powerful Aes Sedai. It seems like it would be very difficult to do much in the way of nefarious deeds if you've frequently got other sisters wanting you to ring for tea, or help them with their notes. The ideal Aes Sedai to replace would be one of middling power, unremarkable, without many friends and without Warders. This does admittedly seem to point to Danelle. Are we ever told whether she has a Warder?
169. MasterAlThor

Thanks for pointing that out. You are right about Elaida. I was thinking that her secondhand evil would just spread. But top down does seem the most logical way to go.


Thanks for the quote from RJ. I suppose that I was thinking like Verin and Mo. This does answer my question about secondhand evil spreading.
170. Here from the beginning
Leigh - i would consider myself a big WOT fan and have turned many people onto this series. Unfortunatley for me, i was utilizing your re-read summaries to get ready for TGS which is sitting on my book shelf aching to be read. I didn't want to re-read the books b/c i frankly don't have time with a 60 to 70 hour a week job and 6 kids. Soooo, what's the chance of NOT having spoilers for TGS and if there are definitely spoilers, do you know of any summaries that will not spoil TGS for me?
Alice Arneson
171. Wetlandernw
schrodinger @130 - THANK YOU!! Oh, and LadyBelaine, the specific weave is called "Compulsion". The verb form, describing the effect of that weave, is either "use(d) Compulsion on " or "Compell(ed) ".

CuenDiller @141 - Re: Rand "knowing her wrath" I'm really hoping it's a case of her anger being directed at someone else (like the Reds/Elaida who boxed him up?) and he gets to see what happens when the Amyrlin Seat is "righteously angry" and uses her authority to correct things. No evidence for it, but I can hope...! As do many others, from the comments.

violetdancer @151 - Aw, c'mon, Freelancer doesn't lambaste people - he just firmly points out evidence against the proposed theory. ;)

G&G and G&G... Oh no! LOL

Rukaiya @168 - I don't think we know for sure that Danelle does NOT have a warder, but I'm pretty sure we haven't been told that she DOES. I'm basing this primarily on the WoT Encyclopaedia, which does a pretty thorough job of noting details like the existence of warders where known.
Alice Arneson
172. Wetlandernw
Here from the beginning @ 170 - I'm not Leigh, but there are other sites with summaries (written before TGS) of all the books. I believe Dragonmount has some, Encyclopaedia WoT has some (very brief chapter summaries, though), I'm pretty sure 13th Depository has some such, and Brandon Sanderson's website has his version written preparatory to writing AMOL. There are probably others, as well, but those might be some places to start looking. Leigh or others can fill you in on more ideas when they get a chance.
173. Here from the beginning
I'm a dumbass - no spoilers if you don't read the commentary. Summarize on and i appreciate what you are doing.
Alexander Foff
174. Abbumaru
schrodinger @ 130 and @ 154

Thanks for the info (especially the part referencing wetlandernw)! Although I know the word "to compel" I'm not a native English speaker and I never wondered about the use of the words Compulse/Compulsed, like LadyBelaine said @ 139 I just assumed them to be part of the WoT Fandom dictionary. ;-)

Isilel @ 131

I believe that's way too complicated and risky when compared to just storing away Danelle for future use. I mean how much Compulsion is needed to make a person appear as a completely different one? We know Graendal is a master at Compulsion and AFAWK she only makes persons forget certain things or change their feelings, but forcing someone to pose as somebody else is a category entirely on its own. Even if it was just for the reswearing procedure, a chance comment by an AS acquainted with Danelle (as remote a chance as it seems) could pretty much f*** up everything.
Way easier to just Compel Danelle with "everything's fine, just reswear the oaths and come back here".
Also, in my eyes it seems too bothersome to have a sub-AS person swear the oaths and then despose of her, I mean we've all seen what suspicion Halima caused in the camp with her killings, even if at least one of those was an AS (don't have books with me, unable to check).

CuenDiller @ 141

Yeah Professor Moody is pretty much Danelle for me.

Tektonice @ 143, Man-o-Manetheren @ 159 and @ 167
Glad to know that I hit some nerves with my thoughts. From the quote provided at 164 by bad_platypus it seems as if there should be a very direct connection between the Oath Rod and Compulsion. But just like the theories emerging here about "Rand al'Thor shall know the Amyrlin's anger" the information given shouldn't really be taken at face value.

Hammerlock @ 156

I like your thoughts! =) Looking forward to the solution, hopefully in ToM.
Alice Arneson
175. Wetlandernw
Here from the beginning @ 173 - Hey, we don't allow name-calling here. ;) But of course you're right; if you only read the summary, you get the summary and no interpretation, commentary or spoilers... Clever you - I always think of the whole thing as a package deal, but I'm an obsessive type when it comes to reading and tend to read every last word. Enjoy!!

And I just realized that you probably didn't see either of my posts, because you're carefully not reading comments... But I'll leave it just in case!
176. Freelancer
As I predicted, folks are unloading on the newness. Lots to catch up on...


No, I wasn't being sarcastic, in that Egwene really is upset about the bonded Aes Sedai, and holds Rand responsible. She isn't aware that only Rand's direct orders to Taim to not harm Aes Sedai kept them from getting Dumai'd when they showed up to destroy the place. They'll have a chat, and hopefully this reunion will go better than the ones with Hurin or Tam.


I lean more toward your position regarding Gawyn, except that I had never written him off as so many others had. You are right that his scenes in TGS offer much sympathy for how he ended up choosing so poorly. He has indeed been treated like the proverbial mushroom.


Hah! Holmes on homes, my wife loves that show.


Yeah, not exactly SoCal weather these last couple of days. Somewhat cold, ok. Somewhat rainy, ok. Somewhat windy, ok. But a cold downpour in a gale? No thank you! That's why we don't live in the Borderlands here!


Sure, it's Galina. Gawyn goes looking for the sister who had been riding away (he doesn't know who it was) when the Younglings had gotten tangled with some remnant Shaido running away in their direction, then discovers a dress shredded on the ground (evidence of one taken gai'shain).



That's it in my book.


Talmanes? He agreed to ride into a fight with the Shaido just minutes after meeting Mat, but only if Mat commanded the other half. Stone nutso there.


Looking back to the thread from Sheol, you never said anything remotely offensive to me. You think and believe as you choose, and as long as you do so with intellectual integrity, it's all good. I've never once suggested that it was necessary to agree with me, or that it was foolish to disagree with me. I say what I believe as though it's the only right thing to believe, because I believe that. When I'm proven wrong, I change what I believe, but not how I represent my beliefs. I stand firm and don't give ground easily, and I'll never be ashamed of that. Fair enough?


Galina agrees with you, Therava is the far more dangerous. Well, especially true of late, since Sevanna is busy being the Seanchan version of gai'shain, except with lots of toh, and no chance to repay it.


Sevanna was never truly a Wise One. But as the wife of a clan chief, as well as a roofmistress, when she declared herself equal with the Wise Ones, their tradition forced them to accept that declaration. It wasn't that she did so "early", because she was never a Wise One apprentice. She just barged her way in, but did so with the right sense of self for the moment.


Until the event in TGS, the forsaken who was "visiting" Sheriam had been Baltharan'lima. Sheriam's POV does comment on the lack of being able to sense an ability to channel at all during those visits. When Mesaana visited her in TGS and told her to steal all of the dream ter'angreal or lose phalangeal digits, she didn't hide much at all, because Sheriam knew who it was, IIRC. And yes, she's Danelle.


I understand that perspective. But the phrase "make an end" is very precise in it's intent as an act of mercy. It isn't employed nor viewed the same as, say, coup de grace. So for me, the thought doesn't incriminate Valda. Nor does it exonerate him, I grant that.


Disco? After that comment, you should dis-co away. ;-{)>~


My apologies for pushing a button. I wasn't talking about feminism. I was talking about our fearless leader's continual references to it, as though it were germain to this fictional story which is so matriarchal to begin with. I chose the Philippines as a random distant location in reference to the "drum-banging" phrase, nothing more, and there was no national geopolitical intent in my comment whatsoever.


I enjoy your comments, I can't imagine that what I said qualified as a lambasting. I disagreed, based on the extant behavior of the characters involved.

To all the new posters, welcome to our twelve step program! Hi, I'm Freelancer, and I'm verbose. Also opinionated.
Bobby Stubbs
177. Valan
*tentatively stops lurking*

@ Free 176

"Hi, I'm Freelancer, and I'm verbose. Also opinionated."

*jaw drops in utter shock*

*runs away from 1000 word retort*
178. AndrewB
Regarding favorite scenes in aCoS:

My favorite is when Egwene disovers that Myrl & the yellow sister are hiding Lan. She watches Lan practice the forms and goes to talk to him. At this moment, other sisters fear that he will kill her as his sword is whirling. His comment when he answers Egwene's questions if he is listening is priceless.

Their conversation while skimming is classic RJ.

Thanks for reading my musings.
179. alreadymadwithACOS
My fave scene in ACoS was Rand undoing Colavaere's coronation. And his first encounter with Annoura.
Barry T
180. blindillusion
Freelancer@176 RE:

Talmanes? He agreed to ride into a fight with the Shaido just minutes after meeting Mat, but only if Mat commanded the other half. Stone nutso there

I think I would have to disagree. Talmanes agreed to a fight he had no option but to fight, unless he wanted to leave a large number of men to die. I believe Talmanes has shown throughout that he is FAR from that type of man.

As for following Mat?

1 ~ Well, in order to get the Cairhienin to stop their march Mat used the name of the Dragon Reborn.

2 ~ He had just listened to Mat lay out a very reasonable method to surviving the trap ahead of them.

3 ~ Talmanes appears to be a good judge of character throughout.

4 ~ About the only nutso thing Talmanes did in this scene was ask Mat to lead half of his men. But then, when Mat talks battle, he just makes sense. I'd imagine a battle-hardened Talmanes recognized this.

Anyway, just my two bits. I've always liked Talmanes. And a large reason for that is the scene talked about in the above. He saw something in Mat (pretty much one of the first to do so) and just went with it.
181. craigpmiller
Missed your recaps BIGTIME Leigh.

Glad you're back.

Diminished quantity? ... Okay with me, I've a life too ... sort of. :-)

Besides, you never stint on the quality.

Thanks again.

Catch ya Friday!
Alice Arneson
182. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @176 - To all the new posters, welcome to our twelve step program! Hi, I'm Freelancer, and I'm verbose. Also opinionated.


::wipes streaming eyes, trying to recover breath::

Okay, that was priceless.

::breaks into fresh gales of laughter::

Fortunately my husband is at a meeting, kids are in bed, and the dog doesn't really care if I'm laughing like a complete looney. She raises one eyebrow and goes back to sleep. And I chortle on...
Bill Bácsi
183. billbacsi
Hammerlock@156 I really like your Holy-Double-Danelles-Batman notion. Tricksy, but worksy.

I was thinking of a logistical way to circumvent the Oath Rod. Probably overthinking, but here goes. The OR requires physical contact with the channeller, so a buffer of Air between the Rod and the hand would prevent that. A power-wrought surgical glove of sorts. Wearing (or even making) such a glove could also be totally invisible with Mesaana's inverted weaves.

Thoughts out there?
Thomas Keith
184. insectoid
Free @176:
To all the new posters, welcome to our twelve step program! Hi, I'm Freelancer, and I'm verbose. Also opinionated.

::falls on the floor laughing::

Seriously, you've all but named yourself Guru! ;)
Ian Horn
185. IanGH
It's great to have the reread back, Leigh.

Re: Sevana. She may be a clusterf**k of negative stereotypes about women but she is presented as such a loathesome caricature that it hardly counts as a threat to feminism. Leigh, you've met some pretty strange birds if you've come across anyone one-tenth as wacked out as Sevanna.

Re: The coming Egwene vs. Rand confrontation. I don't see this part of the foretelling as saying anything special. When was the last time Egwene and Rand were in the same scene when Egwene didn't walk off in a huff? The two fight like brother and sister with one cookie left in the jar.

Re: Beating the oath rod. We already know how to do it: just speak true words while hiding the truth. As mattyh@124 pointed out, the forsaken don't consider themselves "friends of the dark". They look down on them, in fact. The statement they all made after swearing the oaths was "I am not a Darkfriend."
Bobby Stubbs
186. Valan
@ 183 billbacsi

I like it! Simple, effective, and never would have thought of it.

Question though - We know the channeler must weave spirit into the OR, but does the oath rod weave the OP into the user? (Think the Bowl of the Winds channeling more of the one power after the SG and WF begin to use it.) Because, if thats the case, it wouldn't work as the AS wouldn't see the OR working. I don't recall anything like that being mentioned concerning the OR though, which would make the Invisiglove foolproof.
187. hotchkis6
Why not Monday's & Wednesday's.
188. Planeswalker
Well if you say so that you just came from here and back to Tor, i believe you. Its always nice to have people sticking to their principles. This internet&media age (nowadays) dulls the faith and beliefs of people in their day-to-day lives due to the blinding speed of technological progress. (ergo.. Life is easier today than yesterday.)

Verbose and opinionated indeed! Fair enough then! Just hope amw will still comment here. his name is one funny constant in these posts.

@Egwene's anger
Hmmm, if Cads and Moiraine were with Rand for this meeting... *MOA?*
Lindy Brown
189. lbrown
blindillusion @ 91

Anything else happen in aCoS that could be considered a favorite?

Well, there's that part when Rand Travels to the main square in Illian, in front of the palace, and declaims, "I AM THE DRAGON REBORN!" And then he travels with his ashaman to a tall tower. I thought that part was pretty cool.
190. mattyh
@156 hammerlock

i agree with your comments here, however please note that wards can be 'tuned' to target a specific person - eg, moiraine's warded letter to rand, so we can't rule out alviarin's room being warded specifically for alviarin to trigger. forsaken would know all kinds of nifty tricks.

having said that..yup, mesaana = danelle :)
Birgit F
191. birgit
This prologue only contains "bad" characters. Alviarin and Niall are good at being bad, the rest are just idiots.
Alviarin is a clever villain who actually gets things done and figures out stuff about her superiors.
Niall is good at plotting and thinks he is a good guy, but he uses bad methods to reach his goals. His replacements are much worse than him. Asunawa is the head torturer who uses Valda as a figurehead because he doesn't want to fight his own battles. Valda embodies everything that went wrong with the Whitecloaks.
Gawyn is cool as a warrior, he can fight three Aiel at once, but his reasons for being there are bad. He is an idiot about Rand and continues to follow the AS although he suspects that they want to get him killed.
Sevanna and Elaida show in this chapter what deluded megalomaniacs they are. It fits that Elaida wants her palace built in a place that is too small for such a high building and ignores people who try to tell her that it won't work. I also think that the Asha'man will move into her palace. Could the unraveling of the pattern switch Taim's and Elaida's palaces?
Dick Papazian
192. Papas
About inverting weaves.

I just re-read a chapter in tGS where Cadsuane listens in on Sarene questioning Semirhage. She uses the Power to eavesdrop and she invertes the weaves so the people in the room (don't remember if there were any other than Sarene and Semirhage) can't detect that she is eavesdropping.
I could be wrong here, but I'm fairly sure she mentions that she couldn't hide what she's doing from the other people sitting outside the room. So does that mean that you first have to create the weaves and THEN invert them before you use them? If that's the case then the "surgical glove of Air" wouldn't really work (don't really agree with that theory anyway) and how does then Mesaana hide her weaves with Alviarin?

Maybe, if you hide your ability to channel first, channelers can't see you inverting the weaves either. Any thoughts? Maybe this has been discussed before, I just haven't seen it
193. Freelancer

No, when you prepare an inverted weave, it isn't detectable at all. What Cadsuane couldn't hide from the other sisters in her room were the voices delivered to her end of the weave. Apparently you can't just create an earbud out of Air and Water as the destination of your eavesdropping weave.

"Can you hear me now?"™
Captain Hammer
195. Randalator
Freelancer @193

No, when you prepare an inverted weave, it isn't detectable at all. What Cadsuane couldn't hide from the other sisters in her room were the voices delivered to her end of the weave.

And her power glow.

Apparently you can't just create an earbud out of Air and Water as the destination of your eavesdropping weave.

I would think that you most definitely can but no Aes Sedai has ever thought of it. OK, scratch that...a huge freaking lot of them has thought of and utilized it. They just never told anyone about it and took the knowledge to their graves, secretive little sneaky-pants that they are...

"Can you hear me now?"™

"I'm standing right here."
- "You're comin' through good and loud."
"'Cause I'm standing right here."
Kurt Lorey
196. Shimrod
@176 Freelancer.

Gosh, I think you neglected to add "modest" as well. ;)
Tricia Irish
197. Tektonica
Moraine listened in with that jewel thingy on her head....although it wasn't a "weave", inverted or otherwise. Could everyone around her hear what she heard? Just wonderin'.....
Barry T
198. blindillusion
Tektonica ~

The jeweled pendant on a chain, called the kesiera, is used as a means of concentration by Moiraine, just like the Amazing Disappearing Staff from tEotW. I believe there is a scene where the Wise Ones are gathered around Moiraine while she listens in on Rand. One could assume that they can all hear what's being said, though I don't recall if it's ever mentioned.

Edit ~ I think it might be Imre Stand, Chapter Ten of tSR, but I'm not sure. Don't have to books with me.
199. alreadymadwithmo'sweave
There is a scene in TFoH where the Wise Ones and Egwene cluster around Moiraine as she holds the kesiera. I don't recall the exact scene but it was something Aes Sedai and Wise Ones would love to listen in on.
Jay Dauro
200. J.Dauro
Tektonica @197

As I remember at one point in tSR, when the Aiel are traveling with Rand, he wonders why Moraine and the Wise Ones are not with him during an important conversation. He notices the Wise Ones are all grouped around Moraine. Later we find they know about the conversation, because they were all listening to it through Moraine's eavesdropping weave. (The jewel really had little to do with it, it was just a focus for the weave.)

So yes, I believe if you are there when she uses it, you can hear also.

AMW came up with this also, but I did think it was on the march to Cold Rocks. After the WO start watching Rand's dreams, Moraine stops eavedropping using the weave. Egwene later comments on this.
Maiane Bakroeva
201. Isilel
I am in the distinct minority here since I think that there are legitimate reasons for Egs to be angry at Rand, i.e.:

1. Whatever the heck is going on in the BT. Rand knowingly put a man with evil track record in charge of gathering and training male channelers (which themselves were ticking bombs until the Cleansing and possibly still are) and left said individual to his own devices.
Any negative consequences from this will be Rand's direct responsibility.

2. Forced bonding/Compulsion of the 51 AS.

As an aside, I am relatively certain that Taim was warned of their coming by the DF grapevine and that sending Logain and his people to deal with them was a trap for Logain. Taim expected bloodshed that would have led to Rand's fury at Logain and his supporters, IMHO, as well as precluded any future cooperation with WT.

Anyway, yes, they were coming to kill any man wanting to learn to channel. But then, there were excellent historical reasons to consider such men evil and criminal. And frankly, the BT is still a ticking bomb and was much more so before the Cleansing.

So, yes, Logain could have killed the AS, but it wouldn't have been in his interest.

He could have chased them away by a show of force - but he chose not to do that.

He chose to take them captive and to use Compulsion to keep them so. And while in the short term it was iffy, but somewhat acceptable, it isn't so in the long term.Particularly after the Cleansing. It is quite akin to Graendal's MO, in fact.

And as another aside I really don't see how such a comprehensive and effortless Compulsion wouldn't have been abused, realistically speaking.

3. Rand's treatment of the SAS embassy. They were an embassy _and_ they came to his aid at Dumai's Wells, at the risk to their own lives. Rand had zero justification to force them into fealty, however irritating they may have been, or to make them WO apprentices.
He would have been within his rights to send them away after they disregarded his strictures, but not to subjugate them.

Oh, and re: helping Rand? When Rand was moving in the wrong direction, how could helping him get there been a good idea?
Min was doing nothing but trying to help him and it didn't change much _despite_ Min's privileged position of influence as Rand's lover and an Oracle who is never wrong.
Aiel chiefs, Dobraine and Bashere were obeying Rand without much backtalk, so they were helping also.

So, IMHO Min's quote was both cheap and flat-out wrong.
Philbert de Zwart
202. philbert
People seem to assume that novices and accepted were not forced to swear on the oath rod. Do we actually know that? It seems rather stupid if you ask me. Make sure the 500 (is that number about right?) full Sisters are secure, and just completely let the other 1000 channelers be. It seems kind of obvious to me that there will also be a considerable percentage of darkfriends amongst those right? The new cunning and able Egwene would not overlook that IMHO.

I will check back in the book (TGS) about this later.

Personally, I'm also for the Danelle theory. It may be a bit too obvious, but we lack serious other contenders (Tarna Feir is just too high profile) and RJ did say that we should have figured it out a lont time ago. That rules out the new list of 3.
Rob Munnelly
203. RobMRobM
Wow. Stunned to silence for an hour and a half by lsiel.

I like the thought of focusing in on the potential sources of anger.

One is the compulsion and Rand has an answer which Eg won't like but probably will be forced to accept - namely, that Rand left them to the WOs.

Second is the bonding. Eg will vent and probably vent hard but the facts that there was a self-defense component, Rand didn't order it personnally and he offered the compromise of Ashaman bonding will calm her down. I don't think Eg will go the next step of attacking Rand's entire handling of the BT.

Third is fealty and this is actually the one where her potential anger has the most merit. Rand himself has questioned whether he should have done this as opposed to either imprisoning or banishing the AS and SAS involved. My guess is that Rand will issue a heartfelt apology and Eg will accept it.

Re all three, Eg will vent, Rand will explain, and then they'll move on with a common purpose - this I foretell.

Tess Laird
204. thewindrose
He could have chased them away by a show of force - but he chose not to do that.

I don't think this would have worked, it would have ended in a huge conflagration, which as you point out - Isilel - is what Taim would have wanted, and would have been bad for the Light side.
I think by bonding the AS, Logain sidestepped the inevitable. However, as Saiden is clean, and these AS were forcibly bonded, the right thing to do now would be to let them go. From what I have read, it would seem that some will stay bonded, and other will want their freedom. If Logain is being written as a good guy, he will offer the AS who are bonded their freedom now without prompting by Egwene. All light-siders can work together by linking, they don't need the 'warder' bond.
Mike McD
205. msmcdon
I've been reading since just before PoD came out in hardcover, so the first book I really had to wait for was Winter's Heart. That one still ranks as one of my least favorite, due to the feeling of unevenness. Saidin is cleansed! Other stuff, uh, may have happened?

Ah, thanks Wikipedia. You'd switch from Mat in Ebou Dar to Perrin doing the long (depressing) slog after the Shaido, interspersing moments like the cleansing of saidin and Rand's bonding with periods where... even Wikipedia fails me. Suffice to say, not much. So, count me as a vote in favor of Leigh's theory, my least favorite was the one I had to wait for (though it was still like a 7-8/10 instead of a 10/10, come on!).

Here's a question I can't recall seeing addressed: is it possible to conceal a portion of one's channeling ability? A channeler can hide their ability completely, but can they conceal part of it and make themselves look weaker? I refer, of course, to Mesaana as (allegedly) Danelle.

As a corollary, would it be completely impossible to make yourself appear stronger than you really are? Could come in handy in the current Aes Sedai power structure...
Philbert de Zwart
206. philbert
@183 billbacsi
I doubt that that would work: The oath rod also requires channeling into it to make it work. What's more, it needs to be the person swearing that channels into the oath rod; it doesn't work for non-channelers. Therefore, one could say that you are touching the oath rod, through your channeling, and said channeling is visible for all AS around you.

So a. Mesaana got around it by swearing a legitimate oath and saying 'I am not a darkfriend'
or b. Mesaana somehow didn't swear a legitimate oath at all.

option a. will leave Messy totally neutered, bound by the oath rod. That would be amusing, but also makes that option unlikely. The DO would not be amused and SH would be sent for another whupping.

I'm very curious about this.
207. Freelancer
When Egwene eavesdrops on the Tower Embassy building, a passing stranger hears the multiple voices and looks at her oddly.

Yes, others nearby can hear what you hear when eavesdropping with the Power.


No, what I left out was divisive and polarizing. My verbosity doesn't leave room for any discussion of modesty, and it wouldn't have fit the "12 step" joke. Yes, I do get those, and yes, I can take them. When they are about me. Less so when they are about dead friends.
208. alreadymadwithoaths
Re: the swearing
Fact is, the Aes Sedai could have refused to swear fealty to Rand. They could have joined their sisters and walked away. The Asha'man would have watched them in the meantime, but who knows how hostile Rand would have been to them in the aftermath of the battle when he could sort out who had acted against him and who for him? Case in point, they were allowed to hold the Power while the Asha'man chased off the Shaido. A privilege that was not extended to the White Tower embassy.
Yet Ta'veren twisting made them swear. They all agreed it was ta'veren twisting and they all agreed they were binding anyway. They accepted the necessity of Oaths in order to stay close to Rand. Dumai's wells had shown that Rand now had the resources to fight the Last Battle without Aes Sedai. He had the Wise Ones to channel saidar and Asha'man to channel saidin. This was more than petty oaths it was the survival of the White Tower. If Rand fought and won the Last Battle without Aes Sedai help, the White Tower would fade into obscurity. Irrelevant at the end of the Third Age and into the following one. It will happen slowly, but people will remember it. The Dragon Reborn fought the Dark One without a single ageless Aes Sedai face.

msmcdon @205
Yes you can hide a portion, or all of it. At least this is true for Saidar.
Tess Laird
209. thewindrose
Agreed RobMRobM - this being the last three books, people will start communicating with each other. This is one of the biggies that RJ was trying to get across lack of communication = bad:)
Ron Garrison
210. Man-0-Manetheran
@170 Here from the beginning
The Tar Valon Library ( link ) has book summaries as well as chapter summaries. It's useful for catching up and old enough to not have spoilers for TGS. Just ignore the mispelled words and sometimes awkward grammar. There is a pretty good character summary too if you need to look someone up.
Kurt Lorey
211. Shimrod
@207 Freelancer.

Not quite sure what all of your reply means. But, will refrain from further joking about whatever nerve I struck.
Jay Dauro
212. J.Dauro
philbert @206
What's more, it needs to be the person swearing that channels into the oath rod

No, IIRC, it can be anyone channeling into the Rod. It does have to be a channeler to swear on the Rod. The prime example I believe I remember is when Therava has Galina swear. (tPoD, 11) Galina is shielded and can still swear when Therava channels.

The SAS AS came to Dumais Wells not just to rescue Rand, but to try to get close to him and influence/control him. This is shown by them entering the battlefield when they could have stayed back (there were Sisters in danger, even if the were TAS, so they were allowed by the 3rd Oath to enter the battle.) Rand saw this directly, when he also saw they had brought more than 6.

So they were given a choice. Swear or be treated as prisoners. Egwene gave Myrelle a choice, swear or be exposed and tried. I don't see a huge amount of difference.
Jay Dauro
213. J.Dauro
I know I only clicked once. Removed double-post.
Rob Munnelly
214. RobMRobM
@211. My take is that Free is not mad at you, but that he is saying he could have gone on at even greater length regarding other unspecified posts which made him unhappy. So, no need to refrain. Rob
Ron Garrison
215. Man-0-Manetheran
@212 J.Dauro
I believe you are correct: "it can be anyone channeling into the Rod" For instance, we know the OR was originally used to bind lawbreakers who could channel. I would think that a convicted lawbreaker would be shielded during apprehension and subsequent trial - right up until sentencing. If sentencing required swearing oaths on the Rod, then no one is going to take the shield off the prisoner so they can swear. ::Nelson laugh:: "Ha Ha. I'm so out of here..."
Tom Feltes
216. tomf
Sorry, can't help it. You missed an opportunity:
1 ~ ...
2 ~ ...
3 ~ ...
4 ~ .... I'd imagine a battle-hardened Talmanes recognized this.

5 ~ "The fifth, I give you"

Jack Diamond
218. violetdancer

Perhaps lambasted was too harsh. A slap on the wrist? I hope you know I was joking. Your verbosity and strong opinions are some of my favorite attractions in the reread.
219. MasterAlThor

I want to argue against your points, but.....

I got nothing. Very good. If I can manage to come up with some counterpoints I will give them to you. Right now I just can't, mind is blank.
John Mann
220. jcmnyu
@212 JDauro

Your post got me thinking. If the "anger" conversation doesn't involve Egwene telling Rand how angry she was about how Galina and company treated him, maybe it could go like this:

Egwene: Rand, what the Asha'man did was totally wrong. They captured Aes Sedai and bound them against their will. How dare you allow that to happen?

Rand: You mean the Aes Sedai who were sent by the White Tower to destroy the Black Tower? The ones who would have gentled and killed the Asha'man? They are lucky to be alive and will be released from their bond right after Alanna releases me from hers.

Egwene: Uh, okay. Thank you. But I'm not finished. You forced two dozen Aes Sedai to swear an oath of fealty to serve you until the Last Battle is finished. Defend that, Sheepherder.

Rand: Most of those Aes Sedai kidnapped a head of state, put him in a box, beat him daily, and intended to keep him locked up until Tarmon Gaiden. By the way, it was me, Innkeeper's Daughter. I was sort of put out by how they treated me. And I didn't force them to swear. Each one came to me and swore on their own. And again, they are lucky to be alive.

Egwene: Okay, but what about the nine Aes Sedai from the rebels? They showed up at Dumai's Wells to save you. And yet you forced them to swear to you.

Rand: Well, I gave them a choice. They could have chosen to join the others. But they didn't. Let me ask you something. You Aes Sedai are very public about your oaths. In fact, you've taken them yourself recently. Why so negative about an additional oath?

Egwene: The Three Oaths are to the White Tower. Not to an individual.

Rand: So, Aes Sedai do not make oaths to individuals?

Egwene: Errm...

Rand: Egwene? Cat got your tongue?

Egwene: Damn the first oath. Yes, they do, and I'm beginning to see your point.

End result, anger leads to understanding between Rand and Egwene. They really have handled things in a similar way. Force people who can't lie to state that they will obey you.
221. MasterAlThor
Worry not violetdancer. Freelancer is actually the younger brother of Santa Claus. You should see the pic he took with Insectoid. It really shows how jolly he is.
Galen Brinn
222. GatheringStorm
WoW! Imagine my surprise to log in and check on the progress of the Spoilers thread and find a new Re-read post?!

-kneels and worships at Leigh's feet-

Unlike a lot of people, I liked this book. It definitely had more action in it than the next 2 (or 3, depending on your view point), which were infinitely longer by comparison. The ending was a bit of a letdown (not SEEING Sammael buy it), similar to the demise of another Forsaken in a future book. But I thought it a solid effort, nonetheless.
Maiane Bakroeva
223. Isilel
RobMRobM @203:

Eg will vent and probably vent hard but the facts that there was a self-defense component, Rand didn't order it personnally and he offered the compromise of Ashaman bonding will calm her down.

The self-defense component has expired long since. And bonding of Asha'man is not a compromise, because they aren't Compelled out of their wits by the bonding, so that they have to obey every command of their bonder to the letter. It is evil, like Graendal or Rahvin level of evil.
Nor is it evident that the bonded AS get the customary warder benefits either.

Thewindrose @204:

Well, after the true numbers and abilities of Asha'man became clear, there was no more talk of attacking the BT, not even among the most rabid Reds. So, yes, a show of force _would_ have chased the 51 away.


I don't think Eg will go the next step of attacking Rand's entire handling of the BT.

That depends on whether Taim and his DFs make their move before Rand and Egwene meet. If they do - well Egwene will have very good grounds to attack Rand's handling of BT.

J.Dauro @212:

Almost everybody who came to rescue Rand also had ulterior motives to be there. So what? It still doesn't give him the right to capture the SAS embassy _that came to his aid_ or to demand fealty from them. He could send them away or send the more annoying members away. Threatening them with imprisonment under authority of Taim was completely unjust though.
224. alreadymadwithimprisoning
Isilel @223
Dobraine, Perrin and Havien were there to rescue him. Same with the Wise Ones. The Aes Sedai weren't there to come to his aid. They were there to tie strings to him. He did send them away, but they persisted in pushing him. Perhaps he did threaten them with imprisonment, but being tied by Aes Sedai strings is almost as bad. So you might say they were also threatening him with a different kind of imprisonment.
Tess Laird
225. thewindrose
Alright, if I was Rand, at that moment - having just burst out of a box?? Where I couldn't move, was put in there after being beaten and in the same clothes for how long?? Also seeing that they had one of my loves and not knowing what they might do to my love, but having plenty of time in said box to think about it.
hmmmmmm - Yep I would be MAD, ummmm, VERY MAD. And not thinking coherently. Oh, yes, you're the SAS AS's who came to aid me and even brought some extra sisters! I don't think so. Rand tells the SAS they are on the same level as the TAS, Taim is the one who repeats Rand and adds or you will be knelt. And there is also the bit from the Karaethon Cycle "the unstained tower, broken, bent knee to the forgotten sign."
Rand isn't putting words in their mouths when they swear fealty to him, they just did it(or am I remembering that incorrectly?).
I think Rand shouldn't have made any decisions at that moment, and Min did try to get him to just make a gateway and leave.

Also, for the mass bonding of the TAS lead by Toveine, they had all split into little groups of around 5 AS's and 50 soldiers and converged on the Black Tower around the same time. She is not aware of how many Ashaman are around so a show of force by just Logain and the 4 or 5 male channelers with him wouldn't have frighten of Toveine and CO, but would have resulted in a fight to the death.
226. thepupxpert
I'm curious, has anyone ever researched how many people posting to these blogs are women and how many are men?
227. FellKnight
I agree with the Mesanna = Danelle theory. It just fits. As for tGS and how Mesanna avoids the re-oathing, when we see Egwene take the oaths, she never does the "I forswear all oaths currently holding me" thing.

Which makes me wonder if she made the AS do the same thing that the BA hunters did (we are told that they catch unknown BAs, but that could easily be accounted to panic at being caught not being forced to tell the truth).

If not, then it seems to me that Mesanna (re)taking the oaths might not be able to override the whole sell your soul to the DO deal.
228. Mightymouse1107
thewindrose @225
I agree that we can (temporarily) forgive Rand his complete losing it with all Aes Sedai given his recent torture at the hands of a group of them. (Especially when all tangled up with his feelings about "dead" Moiraine and her advice to trust no Aes Sedai who wears the shawl at the time of the letter.)

However, forcing or permitting the forcing of the Salidar Aes Sedai to swear fealty to him is pretty nasty, even if understandable. It doesn't matter that it was Taim who said "Kneel or you will be knelt" instead of Rand, Rand has pre-empted Taim's actions before. He fails to do so here, and thus tacitly approves.

This is not to say all swearings of fealty or oaths of loyalty are wrong, or even that they are wrong if undertaken in a stressful situation for the oath taker. The difference between Rand's forcing of the SAS to swear fealty, and Egwene's requirement that Myrelle swear fealty is their reasons for doing so.

The SAS are forced to swear fealty as a way to "put them in their place". It is an act of anger, done in a fit rage for no reason other than to satisfy that rage. (The SAS were no threat to Rand right then, Rand and Taim alone could have handled the nine, to say nothing of the other Asha'man present, or the Aiel.)

Myrelle swearing fealty to Egwene is a matter of necessity. Egwene is in a precarious position, and is well aware that her position in Salidar is intended to be either as a puppet or as a scapegoat/bargaining chip. Unlike Rand after the battle of Dumai's Wells she is in immediate, continuous danger, and so is the entire rebel faction (and, frankly, the entire Tower) unless she can find ways to gain allies bring the political situation under her control. Getting the head of the Green Ajah in Salidar to do as she asks is a huge step in that direction.

And yes, it WAS wrong to bind the AS against their will after they attacked the Black Tower, and Egwene has every reason to be angry about it. Would it have been reasonable for the Asha'man to fight and kill the AS in the attack? Absolutely. Its more a gray area, but it MAY have been ok for the Asha'man to permanently ward, still or execute the AS who attacked.

None of those things is the violation of personhood that forced bonding is. Stilling or killing would have be just or equivalent responses to what the attacking AS intended, those responses would have treated the AS like equals, no different than if a group of soldiers had attacked the Black Tower and been defeated.

But the forced bonding is no different than rape (and there is a reason that rape in war is considered a war crime, a crime against humanity.) The AS who attacked the Black Tower were robbed of their personhood, violated in an incredibly intimate way, and reduced to little better than property. The way the Asha'man handled the AS who attacked them is possibly one of the most sickening, anti-feminist moments in WOT (which I actually missed my first time through, because I was too busy with the old *facepalm* because of what a stupid move it was on the part of the White Tower).

Were I Egwene, that alone would put me a hairsbreadth from declaring all out war on the Black Tower (if, you know, the Last Battle weren't looming immediately around the corner.)
229. Mightymouse1107

No idea. But if this turns into a poll, I'm a male.
230. adejaan
Has it ever been mentioned that Danelle has watery eyes? In TGS it's added that Mesaana has watery blue eyes...not that I don't think Danelle is Mesaana but it's an additional bit of information that could be important.
231. FellKnight
@leighdb 138

I understand the idea behind keeping tGS discussion separate, but to be honest, the mega-threads are simply unmanageable. If you were able to have our friends at Tor create a message board where we can post new threads by subject, we could keep things in check. Heck, we might even be able to resurrect the spirit and purpose of rasfwr-j circa 1995.
Alice Arneson
232. Wetlandernw
Isilel @201 - I think you (and many previous posters on this subject) are mis-remembering Min's statement. She did not say they should be helping him - she said:
This is what we all get for assuming we can make him do what we want.
Emphasis is NOT mine - that's the way it's written. She didn't claim that they should all have been dancing to his tune; she pointed out that their methods were drastically wrong given the man they were trying to influence. So I don't find her statement either cheap OR wrong. She was right that they were going the wrong way about helping him, and she made the statement at the moment that they were all finally stunned enough to possibly hear her. And yes, they should be helping him - not necessarily the way he thinks at any given moment, but in the ultimate goal of defeating the DO.

Now I'll find out that in the meantime, six or eight other people have made the same comment...
233. mattyh
@227 fellknight

forswearing all previous oaths would not have any effect on mesaana, as forsaken (to date) aren't bound by an oath rod (no agleless face).any oaths to the dark one that forsaken swear are not done on an oath rod, unlike black ajah oaths.

i agree with your conclusion - one could assume whatever method the dark one uses to bind forsaken to him would still apply after swearing the 3 oaths.
234. MasterAlThor
Ok ok ok. Lets talk about this Rand vs Egwene.

I agree with thewindrose that Rand was out of his mind at the moment of the swearing of fealty. Something that had to be done because of the prophecy.

That should put and end to the that, no matter how we all feel about it.

I don't think that Rand forced anyone to swear fealty to him. I do believe that he was justified in telling the SAS to go sit over there cause you think that you can just do whatever it is you want when it concerns me. You didn't want to listen so go sit with them. The swearing was just something that came after. Taim just wanted to show off.

Now on to the next one.

Egwene being angry with Rand because of the bonding of sisters.

While no one likes bonding men or women against their will, the Asha'man's choices were very limited.

A show of force? No, that would have lead to a kill or be killed fight. What Aes Sedai or their warder would just roll over? Remember the AS are full of themselves. They were sent to kill as many as they could. Leathal force was sanctioned.

Rand had said that under penalty of Taim's death that there was to be no fights with the AS.

If I am Taim, I am telling my men don't get into any fights with AS. If they attack you defend yourself as best as you know how. Now I would have to look up the info on the Compulsion, cause I am not sure if it was something that was taught to all the men or something that Logain came up with. (I seem to remember someone saying that it was a new type of weave that he invented or something)

At any rate. If you put yourself in the place of the Asha'man, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Kill or be killed. There is no middle ground with people who are out for your head.

Now should Egwene be mad at Rand for this? First it was Elaida's orders. That doesn't excuse Rand. I agree that the BT is ultimately his responsiblility. Here is why I don't think that Egwene should be mad at him.

He is the flamin Dragon bloody Reborn.

You don't have to like the methods, you do have to live with them. There is no one to show him what it means to be the DR. He is fighting off insanity and losing. He is trying to unite the world and that ain't going so well either.

Egwene would be wise to realize that and cut him some slack. She won't. Her head is too big for her britches too.

Wait. Don't jump just yet.

I love Egwene in TGS. I said it before and I will say it again. Competency Pornstar. That doesn't mean that her head ain't too big. She doesn't have anyone or anything around her to remind her where she came from. Let's hope that she remembers that when she confronts Rand.
235. MasterAlThor

Were I Egwene, that alone would put me a hairsbreadth from declaring all out war on the Black Tower (if, you know, the Last Battle weren't looming immediately around the corner.)

And you would have gotten thumped too. Asha'man are trained to be weapons. Aes Sedai aren't.

Not to mention that you would never be able to go anywhere near Rand after such a fool stunt.

We all have to remember that the Pattern is at work here. That is why the Asha'man bonded the AS. That was why the AS were sent in the first place. Things have to play out this way. We don't necessarily care for it but there it is.
Sam Mickel
237. Samadai
Does Egwene ever think to herself that what Rand is doing is wrong? or does she just express the outrages to the Aes Sedai sisters? If there is an internal pov that shows her angry at Rand over these things then it is one thing, but if she is just saying these things to show how much of an Aes Sedai she is then we could be wrong about what "knowing her anger" means.
Alice Arneson
238. Wetlandernw
thepupxpert @226 - Nothing recent, but a while back (last June) we did a voluntary and very informal survey: male/female, age, occupation/education; it ended up including marital status, children, and sundry other info people voluteered. At the time, with roughly 100 responders, the average age was 35.5; 64% were male and 36% female. We now have a LOT more people, and I don't have time to conduct another survey to find out, but I'm guessing that the proportions haven't changed all that much. (IIRC, it all started because we got a wild genetics discussion going for a while, and someone expressed curiosity regarding the level of education represented by the group. Along with that, there was curiosity just like yours, about the proportion of male/female posters. And as all things do here, it just... took on a life of its own. We even had a survey once on what Ajah you'd be part of if you were an AS. I think the highest percentage was brown - which pretty much fit the educational stats, too!)
Sam Mickel
239. Samadai
Omg, it is so nice to post something and have it appear right then.
Sam Mickel
240. Samadai
Wetlandernw, since you are here, you probably know if Egwene had an internal pov about Rands behavior.
241. Mightymouse1107
Yes, sure, agreed, it all happens that way because that's how the pattern makes it happen according to the cosmology we've been handed.

BUT... that's just not a good answer to the philosophical points (especially talking about ethics) because EVERY question and EVERY action can be responded to that way. "Well, that's the way the Pattern wanted it, so that's the way it is."

That, of course, is one of the inherent problems with determinism more generally, and flirtation with determinism is perhaps one of the parts of WOT I find most distasteful, so that could be my issue.

As to the rightness of the Asha'man's actions... they had plenty of options other than the One Power equivalent of rape. Execution or stilling, both of which I maintain would have been ethically preferable. Capture until Rand can tell you how to dispose of them, holding them with the OP or forkroot, or handing them over to the Salidar rebels (does Rand know about forkroot at this point? I don't recall.)

I'm not on the White Tower's side in terms of sending sisters to the Black Tower to take the Asha'man, I firmly agree that the Black Tower had every right to defend itself. But justifying bonding of this kind is similar to justifying rape or torture as weapons of war... it is unconscionable REGARDLESS of the circumstances.

As to the "you would get thumped" line... I'm not so sure, I think we're going to find out that a whole and strong White Tower is quite as capable as, or probably more capable than, the Black Tower when it sets itself to the task (though keep in mind I am talking about the White Tower under Egwene, its clear Tower leadership even under Siuan was somewhat lacking.)

But, more to the point... really? A pissing contest is what you're turning this into? I can't help by feel like the "obviously, the Black Tower would win in spite of the White Tower's centuries of experience in handling the power" is a touch on the misogynistic side.
Alice Arneson
242. Wetlandernw
About the anger thing... I'm not convinced that the anger will be necessarily directed at Rand. Then again, I'm not convinced that it won't be. I'm happy to RAFO, but I hope it's nothing as obvious as what's been discussed here. After all the raging back and forth on the subject (today and in past discussions) it would feel anticlimactic. I hope it's a huge surprise. :) I'm guessing we won't actually see it in ToM, but I hope along about Chapter 5 of AMoL, we get totally mind-boggled. Hey, here's one. Rand gets to see Egwene's anger at Taim for the DF use he's made of the BT. :) I dearly would love to see Taim taken down, and I think it would be funny if Egwene did it. So unsymmetrical and out-of-left-field...

Samadai @240 - I don't know right off the top of my head. Haven't had time to memorize TGS yet. Life... ;) I do have an idea that she had some thoughts on various Rand-related things, both in previous books and TGS, but I can't put my hands on it all right now. I'll try to do some checking later tonight, but by then someone else will probably have found it; I have just a few more minutes here, then will be off line until 9:00 or so.
243. Mightymouse1107
Do you recall, have we ever gotten an indication that Logain has caught on to who is responsible for him being permitted to escape? I can imagine Logain becoming the Black Tower equivalent of Amyrlin, and it would seem pretty symbolically appropriate for the two of them to team up to take down Taim once the Black Tower is "rent in fire", and would be a good way to join male and female channelers back into a full scale alliance, if not back into a completely integrated organization.
244. MasterAlThor
Whoa there.

Not turning this into a pissing contest. I'm looking at how the WT faired against a raid and how the BT worked at DW.

I am definitely with you on the force compelled = rape. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth too.

I wasn't trying to justify what the Asha'man did, I was just saying that they had little choice. We can sit here and say that "yeah they could have done something differnt". I won't argue that point.

The Black Tower now has 51 sisters walking the grounds. I don't know what else really they could have done. I don't think that keeping them prisoner would have worked out exactly.

You said that Stilling and Executing would have been preferable, morally ethical if I am not mistaken. The results would have been disasterous. At that point Egwene would have every right to declare war on the BT. We prolly would have cheered.

At any rate, I hope that you understand what I am saying. I am not trying to be misogynistic. I also apologize if that is how I am coming across.
245. Mightymouse1107
Well, it sounded that way at first, but I probably should have waited ten minutes and done a second read. I probably overreacted with the "pissing contest" line and I apologize.

That said... I agree it would have been more of a disaster to still or execute them. This is the tricky part of morality. Something can produce better results, and still be wrong.

I'm not a total utilitarian, so the fact that what the Asha'man did had a better result than execution, imprisonment or stilling would have is only tangentially related to the morality of their actions. The Asha'man violated what I would consider to be a moral imperative. Execution or stilling, at the very least, would have treated the AS as equals, inflicting on them the attacks they had in mind for the Asha'man.

So, in a nutshell, the fact that the Asha'mans' actions produced a better result does not mean it was more ethical than the things that would have produced worse results.

Of course, if you are a utilitarian, you'll disagree. :)
Sam Mickel
246. Samadai
Let us not forget that it was Taim that ordered it, so it could happen 2 ways. if before Taims fall then egwene could blame Rand. If after Taim falls then it could be Rand apologizing for Taim when Egwene questions it.
247. Planeswalker
@Egwene vs Rand because of everything... :)

I do not agree that execution/killing is way better than a "forced warder bond". Life is too important to waste away. Especially when these AS still get to fight for team light.

This topic is basically a clash of beliefs here. On one side, people would just rather die than be raped. On the other, life is too important that they'd rather have them alive and do something important than lose it totally. It is like Seppuku - to live in shame or to die with honor.

[b][i]For me though, there is no honor in dying. There is only honor to living and making good use of it.[/i]

I would like to oppose this logic of "rape". We do not try to justify rape or torture as weapons of war. No. I would rather relate "forced bonding" as "forced slavery". Very wrong, I admit. But for me, better than immediate killing. Oh and by the way, I think these AS didn't totally lose their freedom (when compared to Graendal's compulsion where you have to follow EVERY order). They can still do whatever they want only NOT without permission from their bonded Ashaman. Again very wrong, but better than the slaves' condition in Amistad. :)

I repeat. I may end up taking sides here. BUT! I do believe what happened is for the better. Especially for Team Light.

PS. What is justified is Egwene's anger to Rand of all the things that happened. She can be angry but she has to move on too. And if TGS was any indication, she will. Really do hope Mo and Cads will be there if they ever get to finally confront. MOA to Egs in that scenario. Again. :)
248. Freelancer

You struck no nerve, your comments were fine, the joke was fine. It was a latent reaction to pattack saying I couldn't take a joke, when his "joke" was a response to people who had died from drug use by saying "gotta cull the herd somehow". It was a somewhat pent up thought that just happened to bubble to the top then, my apologies for venting when I did, it wasn't on you at all. I'm fine with someone poking at me personally, and you're welcome to take your shots when they present. I'm not so good with someone viewing people as cattle (or as chattel), and I'm terrible with someone being flippant about friends I have lost. I do hope that clears the air.


Precisely, and thank you.


You have no idea, just at this time, how much I appreciate you saying so. Not about you enjoying my words, though that's nice as well, but that you didn't take my responses as any kind of serious beat down. Clearly some have a much stronger reaction to my "voice", and I became concerned.


Well done. That's very like what I'm expecting to read. Only I'm not sure Rand is going to represent his side of that convo quite so gently. I expect some staring down going on before they get to the same conclusion you present.


::poke:: I've got an older brother, but I absolutely promise you, he ain't jolly, he ain't a elf, and he ain't from North of the Blight. Fat, yes, but that's where the resemblance ends.


Didn't Egwene come and talk to Logain in Salidar, asking what he thought of Rand's amnesty, then pointing out that his "guard" that night would behave differently than normal? Logain knows who let him go, and why. And while I'm not a utilitarian by the commonly understood ideologies that attach with that label, I do submit that most people would prefer being bonded to being executed by those whom you intended to destroy, would see it as the much lesser evil. Nor am I a relativist, and yet what those Asha'man did, while still a violation of those sisters' personal wills, was done with a good motive. They were under direct orders not to harm Aes Sedai physically, yet they were under attack. They took the action most certain to protect themselves, a perfectly acceptable AND moral choice when under attack, as well as avoid violating standing orders. I find much less fault in this than others do. Far, far less than Alanna's bonding of Rand.

In one of your earlier comments you suggest that once the sisters see what the Asha'man are capable of, and how many there are, that they should have been allowed to run away. The 50 reds did not know any such thing. Even when they were first met, they believed that with the aid of their soldiers they could get clear of their shields and then proceed with their attack. They did not intend to depart, only tactically fall back.
249. MasterAlThor

I agree with that. Killing the AS would have been treating them as equals. It was what they were going to do to them.

No apology needed. Just wanted to clear the air and have a good debate. That said....

I also have to agree with Planeswalker. Life is much better than death. And the AS are slaves though not Amistad slaves.

They may end up being freed. Rand's Emancipation Proclamation better be good tho. A proclamation from Egwene would just cheapen their release.

All of this is making me think about things in a different way.


A forced bond is akin to rape because it is described in the book as so or because we have labeled it that way?

Forced bonding takes away a persons will or right to choose. We all agree on this. But where did that right originate from? Was it a Creator given right or a right of Nature? If it was a right deemed by man then man can usurp that right at any given chance. If that line of thinking is followed to its conclusion then forced bonding is perfectly ok.

Tricia Irish
250. Tektonica
Everyone@ Rand vs. Egwene's anger....

Death is better than slavery?? Of course both are bad, but I'll take life, thank you, and hope for release from the slavery.

I don't think the Amen had a choice. Both sides flinging around fireballs and one power deathquakes would have resulted in a total break between the AM and the AS afterwards= bad for team light, and good for the DO. Chaos.

As for Egwene being angry for "all the things that have happened"....I think that could go either way, too. Rand is most certainly justified in his anger at the AS for his treatment, and their condescending attitude towards him, in general, from day one. As Planeswalker@247 states....they both need to talk, make peace, and move on!
251. Planeswalker
Just wanted to tell you guys a story...

I have a good friend. She WAS a rape victim. Not many knows of what happened in her past, because obviously she's ashamed of it. She told me that many times, she wanted to kill herself. And yes, she did try (with drug overdose) but recovered because she was quickly brought to the hospital. It's been less than a decade since the incident. We don't talk about it much when we meet. But I certainly am proud of what she is today. Like most of other rape victims she said she knew. She is now a prosecution lawyer very dedicated to women's and children's rights.

Like I said, not many knows about her past. But she and I definitely remembers it well. She said if she can turn back time. She would still prefer not to have been a victim. She said, "no woman wants that to happen to her. no woman." But she also said, "i'm just like every other person.. you gotta make do with nothing if you're left with nothing. when we were born, we started with nothing except our gift of life. when we die, we lose nothing except again our gift of life. and that is why i am making the best out of my life. no matter the burden i carry along with it. i want people to see me as the person who fought for women and children's rights... not the rape victim."

And so i tell you she moved on. and that she WAS a rape victim.
252. MasterAlThor

You are right. She is one who is no longer. Give your friend the props/love/respect/whatever from all of us for us.
253. Planeswalker
PS. I do have a friend who's a rape victim. And she really is ashamed of what happened. Regardless, whether some parts of my story is real or not. I just want everyone to know the lesson she taught me.

I want to believe human rights are God-given rights. But as history have shown us, and as sub@113 quoted AE... humans are sometimes stupid in their own ways. it never changes. =)
John Massey
254. subwoofer
Crap basket. I posted on the wrong thread. Oki doki, I am gonna cut and past here...

John Massey
255. subwoofer
Whew! Made it! Woulda posted earlier, but sometimes I think it would be an upgrade if I worked with a team of monkeys. At least at some point there is a chance that the monkey's would randomly get something right. I'd take up drinking if I thought it would help.


Anyways, I had stuff to say, but my mind is like a steel sieve and I can't seem to remember anything about these books nowadays. As far as Eggy and Rand, well, from what I have read, Eggy is getting too much credit and Rand, not enough, er except for M A T. IIRC many folks were on the "yeah, AS! Take that for being poopy pants" bandwagon, towards the end of the last thread before Leigh abandoned us to the cold and dark of the tundra...


"You forget who we are. They may have mistreated you, but we-"

"I forget nothing, Aes Sedai," Rand said coldly. "I said six could come, but I count nine. I said you would be on equal footing with the Tower emissaries, and for bringing nine, you will be. They are on their knees, Aes Sedai. Kneel!"

...On a day of fire and blood and the One Power, as prophecy had suggested, the unstained tower, broken, bent knee to the forgotten sign.

The first nine Aes Sedai swore fealty to the Dragon Reborn, and the world was changed forever.

I get the distinct impression that there will be more AS swearing to Rand before this is over. Also, let us not forget that Rand was bonded against his will.

The unstained tower breaks and bends knee to the forgotten sign.
The seas rage, and storm clouds gather unseen.
Beyond the horizon, hidden fires swell, and serpents nestle in the bosom.
What was exalted is cast down; what was cast down is raised up.
Order burns to clear his path.

- The Prophecies of the Dragon

And as this was prophecy, how will Eggy argue that Rand did this on purpose? It was meant to be, if Rand did not do as he did, the Pattern would find a way. Beyond that, at the end of the day, as Moiraine said, AS were so used to having the world dance to it's tune it is time that Rand danced free. A little AS humility would go a long way. Maybe instead of cowing Rand and making him apologize, Eggy could be a true servant of all and help Rand unite the two Towers.

John Massey
256. subwoofer

And Eggy can't really come at Rand for the swearing bit. AS swore to her too, something that hasn't been done, so it would be a pot and kettle thing here.

Am I in the right place? Elvis is that you? What's with the tutu?

Just smile and wave boys, just smile and wave...

Bobby Stubbs
258. Valan
Sub - You're in the right place this time man!


Agreed though, AFAIC the Salidar Aes Sedai chose to swear fealty, wisely at that or Sorilea would have made them Da'Tsang with the rest of th TAS. Which came across on the page as by far the more unpleasant circumstance.
Ian Horn
259. IanGH
@ everyone on Rand vs. Egwene.

OK. So let's settle this thing. Rand and Egwene grew up together. They have argued many times over the course of the series. I say Rand already "knows her anger".

What worries me is that in most of Egwene's recent POVs she has subsumed the typical Aes Sedai attitude towards dealing with Rand and thinks he should be kneeling to her. I can foresee some confrontation on this point, mountaintop or no.
Thomas Keith
260. insectoid
New avatar (sort of)!

jcmnyu @220: Well done!

M A T @221: BAHAHAhahaha!! I'm flattered that you're following me.

thepupxpert @226: I believe someone ::coughsubwoofercough:: inadvertently started a survey early on in the re-read of TFoH. Then Wetlandernw compiled the data @97 of TFoH part 5. There may have been a similar survey earlier in the re-reads, but I don't recall. Perhaps the Lady Guru knows :)
261. Coreyartus
I'm listening to this on audiobook. It's awesome. Never read it/heard it before. Absolutely awesome.

HOWever... I am really really tired of the level of self-righteous anger that whiplashes me back and forth from every character... If there's one thing that bugs me it's that every single character in this entire series has an overwhelming sense of pride!! This series isn't about culture clashing and interpretation of information, but hubris and lack there of!!! It's starting to get really challenging to empathize with any of these characters because they are so incredibly full of themselves it's infuriating! I'm now listening just to hear if any of them get any comeuppance!

That said, it is an incredible experience--I'm losing sleep staying up listening to the narrative, and I have spent UberBucks downloading the series on iTunes because it's now an addiction... I'm saying words out loud now just to hear the musicality of Jordan's fictional titles and names and terms... It's so frickin' awesome...

But please, pleaze, PLEEZ tell me that people start to trust for the sake of trust. Period. There has to be a point when people actually, truly, really start believing in each other, and take the time to share with each other... The only relationship I see that happening is between Elayne and Nynaeve, and it's starting to be a running joke in my head to see which character in each chapter is the first to be offended somehow...

It does get better, doesn't it? I mean, it has to, right?
John Massey
262. subwoofer
@Coreyartus, if you are referring to the WoT addiction, then sadly, no, it doesn't get better. People have started to itch and twitch from withdrawal when Leigh pulls a vanishing act. Freelancer started a 12 step program, but the steps lead off a cliff and served to amp up our addictions, not control them;) I knew something was wonky when they handed out psychedelic lollipops at the door- don't stare at the swirls too long. And don't try the brownies- bad idea, I think they're off.

As far as trust, well, Rand has an about face. Mat has his letters, we will see if he has to choose between the two. Perrin will learn to trust and not push Hopper. Ny is coming about rapidly as a bridge between all. Eggy, we will see if BwS still writes her as so self righteous or if she still hangs onto her youth. Maybe a visit from the WO's will recall her to what it is she is about. That will be the big one. Rand will have another heart to heart with dad, maybe this time on more pleasant terms, depending on how it goes when Rand tells Tam about his three wives...

That's about as cute and cuddly as it will get.

263. Planeswalker
hey Coreyartus,

welcome to the club, my friend. ;p
sub said it well. and you said it well about pride and lack of trust. mostly brought about between characters' misunderstandings, misconceptions, and miscommunications between them.

don't worry. the dark times are ending. the light will shine in the end. and like RJ, the story will be engraved in our memory.
James Jones
264. jamesedjones
261 Coreyartus
It does get better, doesn't it? I mean, it has to, right?
Ummm... No. At least, not so far. Everyone has hopes that the trust will begin in the last two books, but, even when Egwene finishes her goal during the last book, her overwhelming pride causes her to stop trusting her closest advisor.

Edit: My take on the prophecies and dreams about Egwene is that she was prolly saved from one of the Seanchan assassins by the Rebel Rescue. But there's no way to prove it, and it wasn't the way that she wanted to win, so she's pissed.
265. MasterAlThor

I am starting to follow people I find funny and that I respect.

The list is growing and you just happen to be a person who falls into that catagory.
Tess Laird
266. thewindrose
Dang - I need to catch up - I am at a business retreat today, so I will check in later -(for those of you that care;). Looks like some good discussion, I am always up for that.
One comment, to the poster wondering about gender, I believe someone did some research on that(a publisher) and it came back to a about 50/50. I can find the quote later. I believe our commenters fall along the same line. And.... You know, I don't care, I just want thoughtful comments and good back and forth.(Mix in some humor and add some viola music-wink to bad_platypus.)
John Massey
267. subwoofer
@thewindrose- it's not that we don't care, it's just that we are on a quest for sandwiches, and food trumps all.

The nice thing about blogs is they are generally genderless. Unless you put your tag line as "Alice" and are a very husky, heavily bearded Alice, I don't really see gender lines. Aside from curiosity, I do not find it important. Ditto for race or religion. It does influence what you say, but I do not analyze comments on that basis.

Trust is a fickle thing. So is communication. People know how vital it is but all the preconceived notions floating around in the old brain pan prevent healthy communication. That is true in real life and it is reflected well in these books.

Look at the way each boy thinks the other knows more about women, when, in reality, they are all pretty clueless. Including the women. Of all the relationships, I think Ny and Lan have the nicest balance. In the end, I think everybody has to realize what side they are on and start thinking about putting the greater good ahead of the "what's in it for me?" thing and ahead of ego and tweaking other people's noses.

268. MasterAlThor
A Business retreat? Is that like you get to sit around and talk about buisness while sipping alcoholic drinks.

I've been on a few of those.

Bring back towels for everyone. Those hotels have plenty.


Why are you stealing R.Fife's lines???

You are supposed to be Rico, Fife is Skipper, Freelancer is Kalwolski, and Insectoid is Private.

Now if everyone will just keep their lines straight we can get on with show.
269. MasterAlThor
Speaking of Fife.

Where the heck is he?

::looks around::

I bet he is busy constructing that bunker that he says he won't confirm or deny.

What do you think?

I think we should break this one and force everyone to look for the new one.

Are you serious? How would we do that?

Oh Light! Are you real? I know I am. You should work with me.

Shut up if you are not going to help me! I'm in control here.

Oh Light help me there is a madman in my head.
Maiane Bakroeva
270. Isilel
Well, frankly, Logain and Co. already showed Toveine and Co. overwhelming force when they captured them. Logain could have told the AS about the Asha'man numbers equalling those of the WT and thrown them through gateways to somewhere far away, with maybe a couple of sisters deposited not far from TV with a message that next time there would be blood.

That would have been an effective way to deal with the raid without bloodshed.

BTW, we never heard what happened to warders and guards who participated in the "raid", did we? Were they all slaughtered? Are there some multi-link bondings around, with AM, AS and her warder?

But anyway, ever since saidin was cleansed, there has been zero justification for keeping those AS under Compulsion. It was just plain slavery and quite evil.

Or, and another thing about Elaida's POV in the prologue - here, she ardently wishes for the keys to Amyrlin's spy network.
However, by the time the person in charge of it - Leane, gets captured, Elaida seems to have suffered from amnesia and couldn't be bothered with questioning her! A plot hole?
271. topknot

Actually we have had several instances of bonded AS stating that even though they could not feel the taint any more they did not beleive that it had been fully cleansed, and since they are not aware that the WT is under new management and cannot know what their plans are it would be unwise to release the bonded AS at this time.

If you held prisoners of war who had knowledge of your numbers and locations would you release them to go back to your potential enemy before a truce had been negotiated?
272. MasterAlThor

Any channelling around the AS by the Asha'man would have been met with hostility. If Logain caught Toveine and Co. off guard thats one thing. But you can't think that all of the AS would be taken so.

I agree with topknot when he says....

If you held prisoners of war who had knowledge of your numbers and locations would you release them to go back to your potential enemy before a truce had been negotiated?

I believe that we all agree when it comes to the forced bonding that it is a bad thing. I just don't think that the Pattern would have allowed for anything else.

If it did, then maybe this is one of those things that could just be laid at Jordan's feet. Maybe he wanted the story to go this way. We just have to RAFO. Maybe it will make sence once we have additional info.
Sam Mickel
273. Samadai

For that matter, how do we know that they want to be released from their bonding. We have no pov from any of them except Toviene, and that was more a shocked pov than anything. We also had her agreeing with the Brown AS that Logain bonded (?) that they give all authority to the 2 most powerful sisters in the camp. Maybe they decided that their best chance to effect the Ashaman was to stay bonded to them, just like the Red leaders and the rebel Aes Sedai did. If you can't do away with your enemy, you do what you can to help destroy them or make them your ally.
Bill Reamy
274. BillinHI
Various re: BT vs WT: Some have proposed that the WT would not have been "thumped" by the BT but look at what happened in the Seanchan attack on the WT: Wasn't Egwene almost the ONLY AS who fought back effectively, at least at first? We have a Green AS (the Captain-General herself? not sure now) saying her own ajah was woefully unprepared for a battle with the One Power being used on both sides. And why is Egwene so effective? Beacuse she got some battle training at the hands of the Seanchan. I remain firmly convinced that the TAS got way better than they deserved, as they admitted to themselves that they were going to break Tower law and custom by going to the BT with the sole purpose of gentling _and_ killing every male channeler they could find.
Eugenie Delaney
275. EmpressMaude
Isilel@270 -

"BTW, we never heard what happened to warders and guards who participated in the "raid", did we? Were they all slaughtered? Are there some multi-link bondings around, with AM, AS and her warder?"

That is a very, very good question.

"Or, and another thing about Elaida's POV in the prologue - here, she ardently wishes for the keys to Amyrlin's spy network.
However, by the time the person in charge of it - Leane, gets captured, Elaida seems to have suffered from amnesia and couldn't be bothered with questioning her! A plot hole? "

Siuan was the one who had the keys to the Amyrlin's network, not Leane. What you might be thinking of is how Leane managed to fight for her own place at the table in Salidar's power council because she set up a listening network inside of Tar Valon itself - Elaida wouldn't know that.
lin mei
276. twicemarked

The charge of slavery needs to be compared to the baseline case of Randland. It is the feudal era, and most people are oath bound to a minor house, which is oath bound to a major house, which is bound to the king/queen.

There are very few free person as the way we know it. The degree of freedom between an average vassal and a slave is much narrower than a free person and a slave we usually envision.
Ron Garrison
277. Man-0-Manetheran
@240 Samadai and @242 Wetlandernw and ALL re. "Amyrlin Anger"
I'm a few chapters ahead in aCoS, and there is a good bit of Egwene's thoughts about Rand and their relationship. "I'm the only one who can help him..." I'll wait until we get there to comment. Don't forget, they grew up expecting to get married and live happily ever after.

Asha'man/Warder bond: Did I miss something? How does the Warder Bond = slavery? How does it equal Compulsion? Has this discussion gotten a little off the tracks? I think some people are mixing the sisters who went to still and execute the A-men with the ones who kidnapped Rand (along with the SAS too!). As for those who went to attack the BT, I see the defensive option of warding the sisters as an excellent, non-lethal tactic. AS won't kill their own Warders (and vice versa). Plus, the bond can be released. It's not permanent. And like Freelancer, I find it far less objectionable than Alanna's bonding of Rand. Forced bonding bad. Agreed. But...

And while some want to whip that high horse of morality, remember that RJ wrote this for a reason, and the remainder of the storyline has yet to be revealed to us. In truth there is a lot to this story that is yet to come.

As for Rand's kidnappers and the Salidar AS, I have no comment. 'Nuf has been said.
Tricia Irish
278. Tektonica

I agree they got better than they deserved. They were on a mission of murder. Rand told the A'man not to hurt any Aes Sedai, and so the A'man were left with little other defense.

Another thought: Rand sent an emissary to the SAS to bond an equal number of A'man, and the Reds in the tower decided that they would bond A'man. Pevara and her group went to do that, so now we have LOTS of bonded Aes Sedai and A'man.....a good set up for TG cooperation.

This bonding thing certainly didn't start out with that objective, but both camps were so arrogant and self-rightous, I'm not sure it could have happened any other way! Go RJ! How many pairs are there now??
279. alreadymadwithOPwar
BillinHI @274
Agreed. A One Power showdown between the Towers would not go well for Aes Sedai. Even if the White Tower brought its 50,000 strong Tower Guard, Asha'man will barely break a sweat mowing them down. Slight advantage in numbers go to Aes Sedai, but the average Asha'man is also about twice as strong as the average Aes Sedai. Let's face it, the preferred Aes Sedai modus operandi is scheming, bullying and manipulating from behind the scenes. Asha'man would rather kill face to face. Mightymouse1107 suggested before that Rand had been in a rage when he demanded the Aes Sedai kneel. I disagree, if I had been in Rand's place and I'd been in a rage, I'd have taken my two hundred Asha'man to Tar Valon and levelled the White Tower to the ground.

Re: Logain
He knows who set him free. And he is at least friendlier to the rebels than to Elaida's loyalists.
Barry T
280. blindillusion
This may be a dead issue by now, and perhaps some of the points I'm about to address have been covered, but I would like to comment on the whole Rand/Egwene anger issue.

In truth, they both have grounds to be equally angry with each other. Both of them, upon assuming their positions, took command responsibility for their initiates.

Rand has always had the right to be angry at Egwene for his treatment by the SAS Emissaries because she took responsibility for them the moment she became Amyrlin in Exile. But now he also has the right to be angry with her for his treatment by the TAS Emissaries as well. Egwene wanted the position and now she has to take all that goes with it, including being accountable for the mistakes of her predecessor.

Egwene also has the right to be angry with Rand for his neglect. He created the Asha'man. He is ultimately responsible for every act they commit in the name of the Black Tower, and also their actions as individuals. There are also many other instances of neglect Egwene could call Rand to task for, i.e. leaving a whole country to starve.

~ As to the swearing of oaths: Rand is the Dragon Reborn, the Savior of the World. Are oaths necessary? I don't really know. But all sides need to stop trying to control him and start assisting him.

~~ As an aside, though, I have never really seen this instance of forced Bonding as rape. It's all a matter of intent and perception. The AS see forced Bonding as rape because they have up to this point Bonded men who could not channel and had no way to stop such a thing from happening. The Asha'man created the Bond so that their wives would know they were safe and so they could know their wives were well. The Asha'man have no historical perspective with which to judge this action. They saw a threat and, under orders not to engage in battle with the AS, subdued the threat in the only way they saw acceptable.

~~~ Also, the Bond can be retracted. Rape is forever. I don't believe any of the Asha'man forced themselves on their AS Bonded. In fact, the only instance I can recall where sex was involved was when one of the AS Bonded tried to seduce one of the Asha'man, Logain I believe, to gain power over him.
Maiane Bakroeva
281. Isilel
M-0-M @277:

How does the Warder Bond = slavery? How does it equal Compulsion?

The bond used on the AS _is_ Compulsion. The "extra bit", remember? They have to obey every order given to them by their Asha'man. It is something between a broken mindtrap and an oath of absolute obedience on the Oath Rod.

As to the mission of killing Asha'man - well, it was considered evil for men to purposefully try to learn to channel for 3K years. And for a very good reason. You can't just ommit this when condemning them.
282. Hammerlock
That is a good point.

In the Beginning...Cadsuane encourages AS to bond Asha'man (to try and control them, ostensively).

WT sends out 51 sisters on a mission of Muuuurrder. They get rudely disabused of their notion of Power supremacy in a surprise ambush. Disposition of the warders/soldiers is a bit muddy; warder count is probably low since the contingent was mostly Red, however.

Rand finds out, facepalms, has Narishma go to SAS and offer parity bonding. SAS agree, go and do that.

Tower Red Ajah independantly decide to bond AM. Taim conceals the SAS bonding party already in progress.

So now the count is probably something like 75 AM to 51 AS bonded. The primary difference is that the TAS who got bonded had it done involuntarily, however it was likely the only way to contain/prevent channeler deaths. Surprise attacks that don't neutralize/kill outright will likely face immediate reflexive counterattacks; in fencing this is called riposte. So while in theory its nice to think you can overwhelm and then just say "Leave..or else!", in practice there would be some dead Asha'man and (likely sisters as well, despite the prohibition).

The key bit here, I think, is in how the bonds are being used. If the Asha'man bondholders were taking advantage of their control over the AS, then it would absolutely hold to the rape analog and all outrage is due--and validated.

If, however, they are 'merely' using the bond as a means of ensuring incarceration/captivity while they figure out WTH to do with the apparently hostile sisters then I see absolutely nothing wrong with it--its even more humane in a way.

Certainly, its still as oppressive and degrading as being held captive by chains/bars/etc, but short of them staying voluntarily its an unfortunate necessity.
283. J.Dauro
MOM @277

I believe what they are referring to is the "extra bit" component of the bond that the Ashamon have used on the AS. This does force obedience. See the article on Bonding and Compulsion from the FAQ.

This could be seen as a form of slavery, although so could shielding and locking them in a cell for the rest of their life.
Matthew Smith
284. blocksmith
Wow...missed alot in my illness-enforced abscence...

Freelancer@87 and 176

JDauro@126 stated part 1 of my refute quite well...the second is the interaction between Valda and Assunawa (misspelling intentional) where Ass asks when Morgase will be turned over to the Questioners for execution and the exchange becomes tense when, IIRC, Valda believes Ass is hinting that flouting COL law can be hazardous for your health, and I believe he means what happened to Niall.

So yes, I was saying that Valda and Asunawa were responsible for Omerna...the hirers were just as responsible as the murderer.

Mightmouse@228 and 241

I think MAT@235 is 100% correct and that his statement is not misogynistic. As he stated, the Asha'man performance at Dumai's Wells and the lack of Aes Sedai readiness for both the bubble of evil at Salidar and the Seanchan attack at the WT show, at a minimum, a general lack of preparedness for one power this point. This will change.

But for now, declaring war on the Black Tower was not even something Elaida did (yes she sent the 50 sisters to take care of what she thought was few male channelers as part of a covert operation, not outright war)...and she was BatGuano Crazy.


Thought all your comments were pretty much on except...nothing cheap about Min. Wrong perhaps but my favorite of the triumvirate is not cheap.

Relative to the forced bonding...

Clearly it is Wrong. Also, it is the lesser of the viably alternative options. And as Tektonica @278 points out, they were instructed not to kill any AS. Therefore, I offer the following:

Option 1-Letting some or all of them free...not really a viable option. You release enemies without constraint that now have critical intelligence.

Option 2-Wipe them out. You deny yourself the opportunity to learn from your enemy and at the same time you alienate not just the WT and the Salidar AS (while also giving them a chance to unite) but also, possibly, nations/rulers that respect/support AS.

Option 3-Compel them. Far worse than anything else, if the Asha'men knew of this weave.

Option 4-Capture and Imprison. You can interrogate, but you now also have to commit substantial resources to maintaining their imprisonment.

Option 5-Bond. You have the ability to gain some information and you have constrained without dedication of resources to make sure there is no escape. They are not free to leave, but neither are they kept under lock and key.

Based on the few POVs from the force bonded AS, IIRC, there is shock, there is frustration, but I do not recall there being torture, force, or subjected humiliation. Their pride (and maybe standing as AS?) has been negatively impacted.

Edit: Knew
Matthew Smith
285. blocksmith
following up on my last post...please tell me Logain did not "spank" one of the bonded AS...cause if so, I feel the wrath of LB about to descend on me.
John Massey
286. subwoofer
@ M A T- I thought you saw me regurgitate a tray of hoggies just now. Something to go with the case of Keiths I brought up the other day. And why should Skipper get all the glory? He was after my girl at one point;)

@blocksmith- Wow...missed alot in my illness-enforced abscence...let you out of the asylum did they? Wonky to voluntarily check yourself in;)

Here's a question to the group- what the deuce did Niall's note say? He thought it important enough that his last act alive was to crawl to it so it was in his hands. Niall did not want to deal with a second madman- presumably who could channel or something. Who could this be?

Also Balwer was the guy- the controller of the eyes and ears of the Children- big juju there, and his position remained a secret and he escaped and is in Perrin's employ. Shame to let that go to waste. Although he was used to some extent, it would be good to see Balwer meet Rand and Mat and see how that progresses.

I know that the Children are not tops on everyone's list for Christmas, but how could these things effect Galad? The leader of his eyes and ears at large in the Dragon's camp and the knowledge of a second madman running amok that the Children have to deal with.

I dunno.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K. I may have to regurgitate a shiny new Sword of Azeroth.

Ron Garrison
287. Man-0-Manetheran
@281 Isilel and J.Dauro @283
Thanks. I did not remember that. Actually, is this scene even in aCoS? I was trying to find it. As for men channeling to be considered evil for 3000 years. Sure, but not my point. If someone is coming to kill you, don't you have a right to defend yourself?

@282 Hammerlock
Enjoy your very intelligent posts. Welcome to the group!
288. alreadymadwithforcedbonds
blindillusion @280 and Hammerlock @282
Agreed. This equation of forced bonding with rape is actually an Aes Sedai perspective. Because in their history bonds are used to control others, Warders specifically. A bond firmly establishes hierarchy with the Aes Sedai in the dominant position. Forced bonding was last common during the Trolloc Wars. It eventually fell out of favor because an unwilling Warder in wartime eventually ended up with a dead Aes Sedai. This compounded the Aes Sedai revulsion to forced bonding.
For Asha'man however, in their relatively short history, bonding holds the opposite meaning. They bond the ones they love. Their wives and partners. Viewed from this perspective being ordered to bond an Aes Sedai was probably a lot like being told to marry somebody you've met only once. Somebody who actually tried to kill you that one time you met. In any case we have no case of an Asha'man abusing his bond beyond the standard orders. Compare that to Alanna who tried to shield and compel Rand within minutes of bonding him.

subwoofer @286
Probably something regarding the truth of the Seanchan and the impending attack on the Dome of Light.
289. MasterAlThor

How does Skipper get all the glory when you can um...come up with anything that is needed. Explosives, flamethrowers, hoggies....


You may be in trouble
James Jones
290. jamesedjones
Reasons Egwene is “angry” with Rand:

1. Forgot to drop by.
“How dare you come close enough to see TV, and you don’t bother to say ‘Hello’!” (Rooster Joke)

2. Your friend did WHAT!? Level 1
“How dare Perrin collar a few hundred vile, rabid, insane, honorless … never mind.”

3. Your friend did WHAT!? Level 2
“How dare Mat marry that woman that broke my favorite wall!”

4. Your friend did WHAT!? Level 3
“How dare Logain do that to my Aes Sedai!!! …who were at war with me.”

5. Undercut the market on Cuendillar.
“How dare you kill my portfolio!”

6. You did WHAT to my BFF!? Level 1
“How dare you not marry Min!”

7. You did WHAT to my BFF!? Level 2
“How dare you neglect her toes! No, wait, that’s not what I meant.”

8. You did WHAT to my BFF!? Level 3
“TWINS?!?!?!” wtf...?

9. Spring cleaning.
“How dare you go this long without having your ears boxed! Get over here!”

10. any other ideas would be appreciated.
James Jones
291. jamesedjones
282 Hammerlock
The primary difference is that the TAS who got bonded had it done involuntarily, however it was likely the only way to contain/prevent channeler deaths.
Not really. The A'men are given the option, but a Soldier or Dedicated can't refuse. I think this was nothing but a betrayal by Rand. If bond-compulsion works when you're not holding the power - as FS POV's have implied - then these men are unable to defend themselves from Black Ajah atrocities.

Same for the women bonded. But they were there to kill, so the betrayal (again, by Rand for not forcing the A'men to release the bonds of those willing) is a little less.
Julian Augustus
292. Alisonwonderland
Isilel@223 and several other posts with the same theme:
Almost everybody who came to rescue Rand also had ulterior motives to be there. So what? It still doesn't give him the right to capture the SAS embassy _that came to his aid_ or to demand fealty from them. He could send them away or send the more annoying members away. Threatening them with imprisonment under authority of Taim was completely unjust though.

It seems to me that you have fashioned a stick with which to beat Rand out of mostly suppositions and a misremembering of the events at Dumai's Wells. Demanding fealty from the Salidar AS? Here's what Rand actually demanded from the AS (and I'm at work and only quoting from memory so may not be exact, but pretty close):
I promised you I will put you on an equal footing with the Aes Sedai, and for bringing nine sisters you shall. They are on their knees, Aes Sedai. Kneel.

To which Taim added the famous "kneel or you will be knelt." Nobody, but nobody, said "you have to swear fealty to the Dragon Reborn." The one and only demand Rand made of the Aes Sedai was that they address him on their knees. The Tower AS were already on their knees. Did their kneeling mean they had sworn fealty to Rand? Of course not. What Rand demanded of the Salidar AS was for them to kneel just as the Tower AS were kneeling. Yet, the SAS not only knelt, but added oaths of fealty, which he had NOT called for.

Why did the SAS swear fealty? Most probably, because the pattern called for it as essential to the coming battle, and a long-standing prophecy, which has been quoted above ("the unstained Tower ...."), pointed out it must happen. The AS themselves examined their actions in minute detail afterward and decided that their oaths of fealty must have been Taveren induced.

Yet, you have been insistent that Rand was demanding oaths of fealty and threatening the AS with imprisonment if they didn't comply. We can blame Rand for many things, but let us at least be factual in assigning the blame.
John Massey
293. subwoofer
@JEJ-I dunno, I know I am gonna burn for this but Eggy is without her daily spankings... maybe Rand could borrow AMW's umbrella...

::Flees for bunker::

Jack Diamond
294. violetdancer

Welcome to the asylum. I've had a madman in my head ever since some nerdy kid at Barnes&Noble recommended WOT. It does actually get better, but only briefly. Nearly every character has MOAs as well as those that make me want to spit nails


Toviene is so pissed at Elaida for causing all her woes, she may think she has a better chance for revenge with Logain. The enemy of my enemy...

Isilel@ 281 and earlier and all those commenting of the forced-bonding issue

Isn't there an element of Compulsion in the regular warder bond? I'm thinking about Myrelle having Lan come to her (and more). Also Elayne complains that she has trouble making Birgitte obey her and wonders is she didn't miss something in the bonding. (and yes that could just be a same sex thing, I know).


Niall's previous secret messages were rants about the Seanchan from someone he thought was mad. I think the last one was the same but came from another source, one he trusted to write truth. Also warning about the Seanchan.
Ian Horn
295. IanGH
My understanding is that bonding does not equal compulsion but the ability to compel the bonded is typically part of the bond. Lan remarks to Moiraine that she has never had to use the bond to compel him to do anything.

I agree with what appears to be the consensus opinion. Bonding without permission is abominable but in the case of the TAS vs. BT, may have been the least messy option. I'm sure that in the next book Rand and Egwene will sit down like adults and sort everything out amicably. Right? It will happen like that, won't it?

From my point of view, the only thing that Rand can be held accountable for was creating the BT and then leaving it in Taim's hands without ever going back to sort it out. I'm angry at him for this so I certainly would give Egwene permission to be so.

Coreyartus (@261):
HOWever... I am really really tired of the level of self-righteous anger that whiplashes me back and forth from every character... If there's one thing that bugs me it's that every single character in this entire series has an overwhelming sense of pride!!

Aw, c'mon. We're not that bad on this blog. Ask around and I'm sure someone will let you hide in a bunker somewhere. You might even get cookies. ;)

JEJ (@290): Hilarious. I think it was Nynaeve who said that men's ears should be boxed every once in a while on shear principle. It wouldn't surprise me if Egwene picked up this principle as well.
Ron Garrison
296. Man-0-Manetheran
See J.Dauro's post at 283 for a link to more than you will ever remember about BONDING & COMPULSION.
David Scotton
297. Kaxon
I've always liked ACoS more than most, but favorite book in the series? That's saying something! PoD was the first one I had to wait for, and it's also my least favorite in the series... which might support your theory or might just show that PoD was a weak book. OTOH even PoD never bugged me as much as it did some people.
John Massey
298. subwoofer
Things I pondered while in isolation in the bunker:

I am still on a quest to figure out the biggun that BwS hinted at in books 4-6. Was thinking- does Rand have all the remaining seals? And Bashere is sitting on some of them, does he still have them? If Bashere is a baddie then which of the Forsaken will have the seals now?

Thomas Keith
299. insectoid
M A T @265: Glad to hear it.

M A T @268: Er, well... I still don't know anything about that show. Except that it's about penguins ;)

M A T @269: LOL! The voice in my head is telling me I should have waited for comment 300. Not sure why...

JEJ @290: BAHAHAhahaha!! ::falls on floor::

Sub @298: I believe he does; two brought from Rhuidean, and one from Taim. Now, I for one don't believe Bashere is a baddie, but if he was, they would probably end up with, oh, say, Demandred!

John Massey
300. subwoofer

We're at 3 Hunny?

Where did that come from? There is a show on Nick at night called the Penguins of Madagascar. Worth a watch.

WoT related, this Demandred guy- causin' a ruckus. I am still on the match ups with the tripod. We have Mor, Fain, Super Fade, gholam, Demandred, DO- the list goes on here. And there is one Rand with one hand. Methinks he needs friends. perhaps even more than he has currently. Maybe that is where ENEMA comes into play. However, they do seem to be doing a job on annoying the female Forsaken. I guess it is a RAFO.

John Massey
302. subwoofer
Tanks for the post insectoid :) It is a thing when in earlier threads it was a landmark to hit 200. Now... things, they be happenin' and I think people are less shy to comment. Why, if guys like me can give 'er, what is stopping others? Let us be the pioneers to pave the way for the many WoT fans to follow.

Jack Diamond
303. violetdancer
Is the much-disputed prophesy in the front of ACOS the first mention of the land being one with the DR? As Rand gets darker, the land is more ruined. Does that include the wonky weather attributed to the DO, and (here's something to think on for the rest of the re-read) if so how does the Bowl of the Winds affect Rand? Didn't he start getting sick with Saidin after it was used?
Jacy Clark
304. Amalisa

On the nose-y!

One of the reasons I love, love and love these re-reads and their subsequent commentary is that someone will say something that will make bells go off in my head (temporarily drowning out the voices, but that's another discussion for another day. "No, it isn't." "Yes, it is. Now shut up!")

Anyway... you are right! All Rand did was tell them to kneel. The swearing was induced by his ta'veren-ess! End result is the same but he didn't order them to swear fealty.

He did make swearing a condition for the AS who acted on Verin's "suggestion", in APoD. Just like Egwene made Myrelle and Nisao swear to her (unlike Theodrin and Faolain, who previously swore on their own.) Which puts Rand and Egwene on, more or less, equal moral footing in the that particular debate. Which isn't really germane to your post but I thought I'd throw it out there...
Jack Diamond
305. violetdancer

I've been watching shows on HBO and PBS of the 25th anniversary of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Odd to see all these old farts making the great music I grew up with. Oops. So what does that say about me?
Ron Garrison
306. Man-0-Manetheran
violetdancer - Yes. Now that you bring it up, what the heck was the point of so much time spent on the Bowl of the Winds story? It seemed so anti-climatic (pun intended). It would be terrific if it had a greater role to play - or at least I would feel better about it.

And who you calling an "old fart"? Freelancer! Over here! Someone's calling us names!
307. alreadymadwithgreatmusic
You are what you listen to.
Jacy Clark
308. Amalisa

Well, it was and it wasn't - anti-climatic, I mean. Remember when Moridin squeezed the life out of the guy in the Tarasin Palace (providing the gholam with the snack)? He did so because he was so angry that the DO's careful plan involving the weather was in jeopardy. Also, remember Galina's reaction to the snow when it started falling - she wondered if the DO had relented for some reason. The DO had to work really hard to actually touch the world and all that work was undone by the Bowl of Winds.

The unintended consequence was that the abrupt weather change sort of leveled the playing field for everyone. And things still aren't right. Note Tylee's concerns re trees not putting out leaves, plants not growing and the like.

The Bowl may still play a role, likely in the hands of the Atha'an Miere since they know more of it than anyone else. Surely, it's only function isn't to bring about massive changes in the weather.
Ron Garrison
309. Man-0-Manetheran
Yeah. I guess that is what I meant. It didn't "fix" the weather, it just sent everything 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Maybe I'm impatient... I hope you are right. (and you probably are.)
310. Hammerlock
Actually, it did fix the weather. They were supposed to be deep into winter and were still experiencing summer conditions. The bowl just made the transition...abrupt.

Notice since then the seasons have transitioned normally--melts, temperatures, etc. However, an extended summer coupled with an abrupt harsh winter made the crop cycles all screwy. Add the "Dragon is the land" factor and you have sickly vegetation and stunted crops.

Now that Rand's in a better place, it remains to be seen if the land will follow.
311. alreadymadwiththeweather
Didn't RJ point out that the while the Bowl of Winds did remove the Dark One's grip on the weather and free the land from perpetual summer, it would take some time for the weather to actually stabilize back into the recognizable patterns most are familiar with. Not in those exact same words, of course.
312. crazyluck
Whoa. This site is amazing. Leigh, thank you for your wonderful posts. To those who comment. Wow.
Barry T
313. blindillusion

Here's something of a quote from Mr Jordan RE: the Bowl ~
The Bowl: Someone asked him whether, if men had helped the Aes Sedai and Windfinders and Kin channel through the Bowl, the One Power would still have been screwed up. His implicit assumption was that the Bowl screwed things up....He went into a relatively detailed explanation to the effect that the Bowl was stressed far, far beyond its original design parameters because of the advanced knowledge of the Windfinders. It was affecting a global pattern, when it was designed for only a small region. Men helping would not have changed anything, and the effects linger most strongly near Ebou Dar, but also along the "spokes" which radiated from that place.
Tricia Irish
314. Tektonica

Excellent and thank you!


I never put Rand's illness together with the BOtW, but I suppose it could be.....I really don't see how they would be related. Coincidence?
I thought his illness had something to do with crossing streams with Mori in Aridol (and whatever it's new name is). My brain is slipping.....


What has happened to music today? Ours was so good! I mean the crap they listen to now....oops....I sound like my parents did!
Barry T
315. blindillusion

Crap? Really?

Some of the music of today is just...well...completely MOA.
316. Freelancer
Alisonwonderland@292 (&Amalisa@304)

Taim demanded that the TAS swear, not simply kneel:
Taim appeared as close to a smile as Rand had ever seen him. “Kneel and swear to the Lord Dragon,” he said softly, “or you will be knelt.”

The Aes Sedai agree later that only Rand's Ta'veren pull actually caused them to obey. Aes Sedai in such a circumstance normally would have fought tooth and nail to avoid any such thing, perhaps accepting death even. But they knelt. They weren't shielded, so they couldn't claim defenselessness, so they made a choice. All that I agree with. However, Taim did indeed say it.


::raises an eyebrow::

It seems to me, all she was saying was that the musicians who wrote and still perform her favorite music are old farts. Without knowing to whom she refers, I've no call to be connected with the thought. Though I did see Dennis DeYoung recently, and while he can still wail Lady and Babe, he has indeed gotten old. He even has short hair!

With music as a topic, I think it's funny how often these young kids on shows like American Idol choose songs from the '60s and '70s to ensure they advance. Why? Because most newer music hardly deserves the name.
Ron Garrison
317. Man-0-Manetheran
Freelancer: "Because most newer music hardly deserves the name." I agree. That's why some might refer to us as old farts. I was joking - as I'm sure you understood.
318. MasterAlThor
Since we are discussing music...::throws in two coppers::

I straddle the old and new.

I think that some of the older stuff was truly great because it had never been done before.

I think some of the new stuff is great because it speaks to me and I can relate.

I enjoy almost all kinds of music, country is not one of them. Country music is fine for those who like it. But I tend to view it like some of those who view Rap.

You like it or you don't.

I cannot insult anyones choice in music as I listen to just about all kinds and I can find good and bad in all of it.
Jacy Clark
319. Amalisa
Re music

I was curled up on the couch last night, channel surfing. KERA (our most local PBS station) was airing the retrospective of musical acts on the Ed Sullivan show. Which I remember... pretty clearly, actually. Sheesh!

Heh... I remember fighting with my son over Stone Temple Pilots, back in their heyday. Ironically, I just added "Interstate Love Song" to my iPod. Go figure.

Freelancer - yes, you're right about Taim's, ah, instructions to the AS. That's what I get for going from memory rather than actually checking the book.
Thomas Keith
320. insectoid
Well, it looks like sideways time!

Re: music: My taste in music generally falls in the timeframe of 60s-80s classic rock, from the Beatles to Journey. You know, stuff that was recorded before I was even born--my parents' music. The only things that don't fall into that general timeframe are soundtracks (which don't really count), classical, and Enya.

AMW @307: Does that make me a hippie? ;) I sometimes figure I'm the only person my age who likes Fleetwood Mac and the Who and the rest.

M A T @318: I don't care much for country, either; I openly dislike rap.

Amalisa @319: I watched about 15 minutes of that PBS program before I got tired of it (read: I wanted to get back to the TGSRaOST). Pretty neat to see the Beatles and The Mamas and the Papas on Sullivan. (Again, two decades before I was born!)


Tektonica @314: Shadar Logoth. I believe the accepted theory is that Rand's sickness indeed has to do with the crossing of the balefire streams there (which is Bad).

EDIT: ::sigh:: Only 320... and Wetlandernw thought we would get to 500. Oh well.
Tricia Irish
321. Tektonica
MasteralThor@318 Blind@315

I'm with you on music...anything but country for me...and there are just a few of those....maybe a song or two. My kids have kept me up to date (23 and 19) and there is some good stuff out there now. My son is into really cool wild stuff. My daughter, eh, crap.... Some of the misogynist crap rap I just cannot stomach.

I was just being *sarcastic* about my parents who poopooed Dylan as "Can't sing a lick"!
craig thrift
322. gagecreedlives
chin up insectoid we still have all night. We might get there yet.

For the record I cant stand rap music. My music tastes are pretty much along the lines of pub rock.
323. Planeswalker
Music?!?! what the???

go check the URL!


and the post says??

ACOS prologue re-read

oh, okay... just getting sideways... and here i was thinking i got lost in another forum...

music eh? from ABBA/BeeGees to Scorpions/Air Supply to Everly Brothers/Tom Jones/Engelbert Humperdinck to Def Lepard/Metallica to Nirvana/REM to Our Lady Peace/The Offsprings... weird eh? dont blame me with my 60s and 70s... blame my ma and pa... hahaha

WoT related - i kind of agree that i also think in a way that the Bowl of Winds plot seems to have a lower effect to Randland as we expected/wanted it to be... must be the weather thing...
324. Freelancer
The Jester sang for the King and Queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me...

The CW is that the "Jester" to which Don McLean refers is Dylan, with twin meanings about his voice. First, that he represented the cultural revolution movement of the day, and was therefore the voice of that movement. Second, that his raspy, nasally, less modulated vocal style appealed to those who weren't as musically gifted as most singing artists. Not a big fan, but ok.

As for my own preferences, jazz comes first. When George Benson crossed the bridge toward rock it was a good day for me, quickly followed by the likes of Chuck Mangione and others. Give me Lou Rawls or Bobby Short any day. True Oldies, and much of the not-so-hard rock of the 60s and 70s, come next. Chicago, BS&T, EW&F, America, etc. But I won't turn off anything that displays honest musical talent, which to me means that most country and virtually all rap/hiphop gets the curb. And, it's impossible for someone from my decade to discuss this topic and fail to mention Pink Floyd. Just because.
325. Freelancer

subwoofer's your culprit for going OT @300. He's been pushing that Penguins of Madagascar show off and on lately. (Kowalski? PHPHBTBT) So then Violetdancer makes a completely innocuous comment @305 in reply, and off we went on a music tear. This is what happens more than 72 hours after a reread post is fresh. It ferments, and subwoofer starts drifting, maybe even up on the roof. But hey, often enough it's some kind of wonderful, and might even beat Saturday night at the movies.
326. Freelancer

I don't believe you ever got a proper response to this question:
BTW, we never heard what happened to warders and guards who participated in the "raid", did we? Were they all slaughtered? Are there some multi-link bondings around, with AM, AS and her warder?

Were not all of the 50 sisters sent to the Black Tower of the Red Ajah? No warders, so no weird bond chaining. I was going to say that we have an example of that with Rand, but that's not true. He is effectively Warder to three different channelers, Alanna, Elayne and Aviendha, with no telling what the full truth is of the bond between he and Min, but Rand has never bonded anyone in turn. Do we have an example anywhere of someone with an existing Warder being bonded by someone else? I don't think so.
craig thrift
327. gagecreedlives
Yeah Free there were no warders but there were 50 soldiers. I cant recall if we do hear anything about them again. Maybe there were put into the army that Bashere is building with the Black Tower rejects.

Speaking of which what do we know about this army. We know its in training based around Bashere and Mats guidelines but anything else? Could this be the army that Demandred is talking about?

"Do we have an example anywhere of someone with an existing Warder being bonded by someone else? I don't think so."

No I dont think we do either. I think the closest we get is when Rand gets bonded by Elayne/Min/Aviendha and it knocks out Alanna.

I dont imagine that it would be a realistic proposition anyway. Could you imagine the mess if two aes sedai bond one warder and one of the aes sedai dies. I imagine that wouldnt be a pleasant experience for the surviving aes sedai. Plus the poor warder if the two aes sedai have a falling out.
John Massey
328. subwoofer
Wha? Subwoofer's fault? Shenanigans! That's right, I called it- I do try to at least ground some of my stuff with a Hail Mary to a WoT topic.

Okay, okay, t'was me. Do I even get a last cigarette? I don't smoke, but it's never too late to start. Yeah, that's right, I color outside the lines, think outside the box, stick it to the man, play the accordion... me, the rebel without a snickerdoodle.

The question that should be asked is if all the baddies left the building or if there are some sticking around to cause some discord in the White Tower.

As for music, I listen to it all, including and especially country, and rap, no prejudice here. From Willy Nelson to PE, Elvis to Big Sugar to Fuel, U2 to Patsy Cline, if I like it, I'll listen to it. I remember when Nirvana made me sit up and listen. That is all I ask for in a song. But I am simple and uncomplicated.

My dad is an audiophile and a music snob because he was classically trained- and he also plays the organ at our church-and he is old, really old. He always derides everything on the radio, with much eye rolling on my part. At the end of the day, he likes what he likes, I like what I do, and we can agree to disagree. I don't program his seagate, he doesn't program my zune, the rest is duck soup.

Warder bond- I do not think it is a biggie for multiple bonds. It is just multiple weaves placed on top of each other.
Bobby Stubbs
329. Valan
"Could you imagine the mess if two aes sedai bond one warder and one of the aes sedai dies. I imagine that wouldnt be a pleasant experience for the surviving aes sedai."

I wonder what would happen if say an Asha'man bonded an Aes Sedai and that same Aes Sedai bonded the Asha'man? Probably some very strange personality merges... pure speculation of course.

I'm going to have to firmly disagree with whoever said today's music is mostly crap *coughTektonikacough*. I love jazz, funk, the Beatles, Zeppelin and especially Pink Floyd as much as anyone else but there is some phenomenal music out there - but you'll only find about 1% on the radio. There is even some decent hip-hop out there if you look, artists that take their roots in funk and motown and create beats and loop it, and then talk about something that matters. Experimentalism is through the roof if you check out Anathallo, Mars Volta. Brand New's newest is all over the map awesomeness, etc., etc. It's I know.
But they're talking about music!
Shut up! It's
craig thrift
330. gagecreedlives
With all the talk about bonding it brings me to a question(s) I hope the WoT gurus can answer for me. Do we have an example yet of an asha man bonding an aes sedai or one of their wives and dying? If so does it cause the same reaction as the original warder bond? Does the female in question fly into a murderous rampage and stop caring or is something that differs along gender lines?

And thats it for me for another working week :)

I will resume once I have a cold beer in hand
Alice Arneson
331. Wetlandernw
insectoid @320 - Well, I might not be too far off if we count the posts over on TGS II... 331 here, plus 142 over there, we've only got 27 more to go. We'll make it. ;)
Barry T
332. blindillusion
Tek@321 ~easy as CBA~...wait, what? Huh? Where am I again....

I realize you were being sarcastic. I just wanted to see where the music discussion would/could go;)
*devilish laugh*


Not yet. For that matter, though, has there been an *on screen* instance where an AS dies and her Warder goes beserk? The closest I can think of is Lan, but his Bond was passed...and we all know what became of him. Eyes of Death. I still say, "Damn dude," when I read that.
Bobby Stubbs
333. Valan
@ blind 332

Yeah. When Elayne storms the Black Ajah hideout in Caemlyn one of the Aes Sedai get killed and her Warder goes beserk gets himself killed shortly afterwords. Its in KoD I believe.
craig thrift
334. gagecreedlives
Hmmm the only on screen ones I can think of happened when Elayne went Black Ajah hunting in Caemlyn.

And Im sure in the battle of Dumai Wells there was mention of a couple of warders who's aes sedai had died and just started attacking aiel without care.


Valan beat me to it
Barry T
335. blindillusion
Well, there you go. I should really stop skimming over sections during my re-reads. But as I know the gist of Elayne's story in KoD I tend to give it a cursory glance and move on to Mat.

In case anyone's interested...I posted some pics of my family and myself...?....
Thomas Keith
336. insectoid
Free @324: Yes, you're right, I forgot Pink Floyd. Apologies.

Free @325: I thought MasterAlThor was the one plugging the Penguins thing.

Valan @329: I would think "today's" music would refer to the last 20 years?

Wet @331: I didn't know the new spoiler thread counted.
Thomas Keith
338. insectoid
Wet @337: I know you did. But how else are we gonna get there without two-sentence comments like this one? ;)
339. First Selector
Free @ 326:
While I believe you are correct about no warders going with the WT AS to the BT, not all the 50 AS were Red. Gabrelle, for instance, is Brown.

I am a big fan of 60s/70s music, especially Beatles, Joplin, Pink Floyd. But also some great new stuff out there (just as someone said not much on the radio). Such as Iron & Wine. :)
Maiane Bakroeva
340. Isilel
Freelancer @326:

Were not all of the 50 sisters sent to the Black Tower of the Red Ajah?

No. There were Gabrelle the Brown, Aisling Noon the Green - and former adviser to the King of Shienar, IIRC, so it is really difficult to believe that she wouldn't have warders, and others. I don't remember if even majority of the raiding party were Red. It would be strange if they didn't have a single warder among them.

And those poor Tower guards, I wonder what happened to them.
Barry T
341. blindillusion
The AS sent to the Black Tower by Elaida, in a Nut Shell ~ thank you 13thD

- Toveine Gazal (Red); leader of the mission; bonded by Logain.
- Gabrelle (Brown); bonded by Logain.
- Ayako Norsoni (White); bonded by Donalo Sandomere.
- Aisling Noon (Green); bonded by Arel Malevin.
- Jenare (Red); bonded by Welyn Kajima.
- Adrielle (Gray); bonded by Mezar Kurin.
- Akoure Vayet (Gray).
- Carniele (Yellow).
- Desandre (Yellow).
- Lemai (Red).
- Nelavaire Demasiellin (possibly) (Green) bonded by Naeff
- 40 Unnamed (unidentified Ajah, but not Black or White or Blue).
342. Planeswalker

And thus sub admits... :P


Wow, a list... and even with their respective Ashamans!


If my memory serves me well... no, i dont think we have an example of a warder AS gone berserk. Take note, we only have the group of Logain (that we know of individually) that had men channelers bonding women channelers. with a kiss. :)
James Jones
343. jamesedjones
330 gagecreedlives
Does the female in question fly into a murderous rampage and stop caring or is something that differs along gender lines?
No. That's what happens when your wife finds out about all the other women you've bonded.

Completely unrelated: Is anyone else sick of hearing about Tiger in the news? :)
John Massey
344. subwoofer
@insectoid 336- thanks for having my back, but I got this.

@planeswalker- yup, I find the best way to deal with the blame game is to step up, even if it is not your fault and say "yeah, it was my fault, so what?". That usually squashes it and then we can get on to living life.

Slept in. Gotta mush dog sled in the tundra.

Am thinking of making a Bunker of Solitude up here in the Blight. Only those with the special ring and secret knock can enter.

Lannis .
345. Lannis
@ Sub... knockity knock knock... it's tundra over here, too... nothing to do but bake... hmm... didn't you say you were lacking a snickerdoodle?

Um... erm... yeah... I got nothing WoT-related... just killing time waiting for the new post. Though I must say we are a funny bunch this week! Okay, maybe not me per se, but I've been giggling at the comments... particularly Jamesedjones @ 290... ;)

EDIT: for sense... why oh why didn't I proof read?
Tess Laird
346. thewindrose
Well, sub, I have the One Ring, which binds them all... and it's cold enough here in MN, I don't want to go to the tundra...

Music, this reminds me of, dare I say it, tSR10. We were coming up with theme songs for characters.

Also, I have stocked the original bunker(I am not going near the r.fife bunker) with a huge assortment of beverages - alcoholic and not from the retreat - have at it. And I did mention how fun it can be to be involved in a re-read blog, got some blank stares at that one. (And some smirks;)

As to the guards with the now bonded TAS, I don't remember any killing. I think they stood down when it became apparent that the TAS were not fighting, BUT I am not 100% sure so will look into it tonight when I get home.

New reread today!!!
347. Planeswalker

hahaha, i like that! that certainly is the way to live a trouble-free life! :)

but how come there's a new bunker? you're not rickrolling, are you? moreover...why are you wearing a cape?!?


you have that ring?!? waaaaaaaa
348. MasterAlThor
It's Friday people. New post coming your way soon.

Yeah it's Friday gonna do what I say....

Oh sorry about that.

Last thing on music for me.

A lot of the rap/hip hop that people don't like is the midless kind. I agree with that. The sex and violence doesn't do that much for me and so I don't listen to as much as I once did. Thank you God for me getting older.

There are some great rap/hip hop artist who see beyond the bling/babes/drugs/guns. Those people are true artist and if you are open to it you should give them a try.

Be very careful though. You could step into something that is very anti-white/establishment.


Pink Floyd
Krs One
Depche Mode
Beastie Boys
A Tribe Called Quest
Pearl Jam
Foo Fighters
De La Soul
Earth, Wind & Fire
Our Lady Peace

The list could go on and on. Classical music is good. I don't like country but Taylor Swift is one talented girl so is Carrie Underwood.
349. MasterAlThor

I have a Black Lantern ring. Can I get in???

Also I have a ring of power. I am sure that a lot of poeple here have on too.

Look on your left hand, third finger from the right.
Lannis .
350. Lannis
@ M A T: HEY! I gots me one of those! ;)
Sean Banawnie
351. Seanie
I'm interested to see what two scenes that Leigh likes so much...haven't seen much speculation there lately. Also looking forward to the results of all the odd bondings.....which will be critical to Rand at TG, IMHO.

Music,ahhhh. I definitely like lotsa oldies,
but I have teens so I gotta keep an eye out
and guide them......and keep up a little too..whether I want to or not{I mostly want to,they have good taste( again...mostly...)

Pink Floyd , yeah,baby..
Led Zep
Metallica(my son's influence)
Dropkick Murphys
(Irish punk from Boston -MOA IMO)
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Johnny Cash
Stevie Ray Vaughn

Oldies wellll that HOF HBO special was very cool, loved that
Stevie Wonder
Crosby Stills Nash

could go on &on but will spare you all.....

Friday! Post day ! yay, Leigh!
Barry T
352. blindillusion



Hmm, special ring and secret knock? I have a Thunder Cats ring circa 1986.

Secret knock? I know: knockknock na knockknock...knock.knock

Hmm, re-read today. Can't wait.

WoT related? I wonder if the Big Honking Secret Clue we all missed is this, presented by edlihs@31 way back on the LoC re-read post, Part 29.

Did anyone notice that Mats' luck dropped when Rand was kidnapped
James Jones
353. jamesedjones
348 MaT

Music, at least anything worth listing to, is always about emotion and passion.

Love or Hate, when in the hands of a true artist, will always inspire and evoke appreciation and loyalty for generations, regardless of genre.

I just wanted to express thanks for using a warning and not an apology. Great choices in that list.
Rob Munnelly
354. RobMRobM
"Dropkick Murphys
(Irish punk from Boston -MOA IMO)"


You guys and gals are old farts. There's always good stuff around in every era if you're willing to look for it. (The fundamental problem, of course, is it takes too damn long to look for it while we're devoting our attention to WoTmania.)

White Stripes
Foo Fighters
etc. (some overlap with lists above)

I actually like some of the goofy rockers from the 90s and into this decade - They Might Be Giants and Barenaked Ladies in particular.


P.s. *twitch*
Rob Munnelly
355. RobMRobM
Seanie - I predicted earlier Mat's Daughter of the Sands beat down of the Sea Folk or Mat's Swovan Night encounter with Birgitte.
356. Danvril
@Post 349 MasterAlThor - I thought that was known as a dominion band/a'dam
357. Danvril
Re the Big secret clue we missed I have a feeling it is do with a group of 13 'turning' one of the good guys to the dark side. Did anyone get chance to do this to Rand in any kidnap attempt...could explain his behaviour until his 'intervention' and eventual epiphany...Or maybe who killed Herid Fel if it wasn't a gholam...
358. MasterAlThor

Yeah, there is no need to apologize. I like what I like and alot of that was from my younger days when I was just mad. The warning is because now I am older and realize just how mad I was.


I got your old fart and million dollars over here, but you'll find me in Istanbul(not Constantinople).


Ssssshhhhhh. You want to get the rest of us in trouble. Jeesssh.
Jack Diamond
359. violetdancer
Re: the missed clue in Book 4-6;

I took my own advice last night and watched "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai" just for yucks. The scene where Emilio Lazardo (John Lithgow's greatest role ever) goes headfirst through a wall and creatures from the 8th Dimension get into his head! This is exactly what I pictured when Herid Fel got stuck in the ter'angreal. The Finn (Eels, I think) had their way with him.
John Massey
360. subwoofer
Nope, no biggie, apparently some lunk-head(me) promised my brother-in-law, who is 10 a tree house type device and he wants it before Christmas. Gotta cowboy up and do this. And the ring comes from the Ripping Friends.

Speaking of cowboys, will be interesting me chopping down some trees in my front yard.

WoT- the 13x13 thing rears its head again. 'K, what if Fel was not Fel? What if it was just a mask of something else. After all, there is no DNA evidence that it was really him torn limb from limb...

Music- yup, seconding M A T. I like what I like. That is why there is so much music out there and so many different genres. We were not all stamped from the same cookie cutter.

Warning- country music ahead- our wedding song.

John Massey
361. subwoofer
hmmmmmmm- Mat's luck goes sideways when things happen to Rand.

Maybe Perrin gets rabies.

And then Rand rises from the ashes whole and new and fights the DO.

And Mat loses an eye along the way.

Sean Banawnie
362. Seanie
RobMx2 @355

Both were great moments , I agree and strong possibilities for Leigh's fave's for this book.
Can't recall better candidates that have been discussed.....maybe I should turn down the volume
on the tunes. Dirty Glass on full volume....might kill a Gholam or at least stun him......
Tricia Irish
363. Tektonica
Valan@329.....I was being sarcastic!! I like a lot of new stuff, my son keeps me up to date, thank goodness...... Green Day, Amy Winehouse, Beck, Fountains of Wayne, Raconteurs, White Stripes, The Shins, Flogging Molly, and my favorite, Sublime, RIP, to name a few....oh They Might be Giants are great musicians with a wicked/smart sense of humor!
Also classic rock, of course!, world, house, reggae, zydeco, jazz, classical, jazz, even Opera!! I was trained as a classical musician for many years, so my only criteria is that it is GOOD MUSIC!! (Lets out most of country and rap.)

Sub....I have a gumball ring, will that work? Is there an ice bar?

WOT related: Much as been made of the 13 x 13 thing, so perhaps someone does get turned, on screen, but one of our heros? I think not. Ummmm. And the warders of the force-bonded AS never came up, did they? Wonder if they have any tangential contact with the AM?
Rob Munnelly
364. RobMRobM
@358. LOL. "...I'll buy you a monkey (haven't you always wanted a monKEY."
John Massey
365. subwoofer
@tek- put a little birdhouse in your soul.

And thank you for giving a nod to Canadian groups! All you Blight haters out there- OLP, Bare Naked are Canuckle heads.

I heard Garth sing "the Dance" and that was it for me. John Wayne in the video and show was over.

Speaking of monkeys, Canadians eat more mac 'n cheese than anyone. With dijon ketchup.

WoT- not feeling the 13x13. Am thinking it has to do with seals. Why did Fel bite it? What was he onto? I think there is something more than a simple reversal of roles from a 13x13. I think Fel had the Caramel secret.

Tricia Irish
366. Tektonica

I think Fel is a good guess for the Big you think Min will uncover the answer in his books?

I know just what to do, I'll feign amnisia......
367. MasterAlThor
That's right Sub.

It's mac n' cheese not Kraft Dinner.

As an aside, does anyone know the way to the Brine St Theater??? No fruit rollups please.
Lannis .
368. Lannis
Danvril @ 256: BAHAHAhahaa!

Um... yeah no... ;)

Sub @ 360: Used to be a bigger country music fan--I was a pretty tame teen: didn't occur to me to change the radio station my parents had set. I've branched out a bit since then--enjoy pretty much anything except hip hop and rap--but I still enjoy a good country ballad. That's a great song! :)

Oh, and I'm a big BNL fan. This song is currently my favourite, what with all the Christmas carols floating around right now... 'tis the season and all that jazz...

And I agree with Sub @365, that Fel's murder was probably linked to info on the seals... though the 13x13 thing might be a possibility for the Big Clue...

Kraft Dinner all the way!--well, actually, I'll take homemade mac and cheese casserole over KD, but you gotta admit that KD is quick!
369. MasterAlThor

Yep Sarah M is a fav of mine and the wife. And the duet with BNL is always enjoyable.

Check BNL's bruises, they will tell you it's mac n cheese not Kraft Dinner.
370. MasterAlThor
I got my brother turned on to WoT. He is currently finishing TGH.

I told him he has no idea what he is getting into.

371. danvril
Here's one reason I think it has to do with the 13 + 13 method. In a recent Q&A with Brian Sanderson one question was:

17. Question: Have any characters we’ve seen been converted to the Shadow via the 13 Myddraal/13 channelers method? Has this method been used at the BT?

17. Answer: RAFO (wow the first question and I got RAFO’d). But he did go on to say that this is a ‘gun on the mantle’, which refers to an old saying that ‘when you put a gun on the mantle in the first act, it needs to be used by the third’

Also, I saw another interview (need to find the quote) he states that turning someone forcibly to the 'dark side' works by accentuating that persons weaknesses, such as paranoia - a bit like Padan Fain/Mordeth's effect on Elaida and the Whitecloaks he 'taints'... It looks like that has been to at least one person - but who?
372. danvril
Brian Sanderson....what happened there??? You know what I mean
Rob Munnelly
373. RobMRobM
One of my brothers read them all this year. He enjoyed them but is not hooked. He likes George RR better but is stymied there.

Side note - I find I'm really enjoying Robin Hobbs books. I read the Farseer trilogy as recommended by this group; then read the Tawmy Man trilogy, which follows same world and protagonists 15 years later; and now am bactracking to read Liveship Traders, which is set in same world but far to south apparently during the 15 year interval between the two other series. There is an overlap in one significant character and I now realize that some of the Liveship characters play small to medium sized roles in Tawny Man - more overlap than I had anticipated. I'm 1 and 1/2 books into the Liveship trilogy and am hooked.
John Massey
374. subwoofer
@Lannis- thanks:) Here's another Canadian group to put you in the Christmas spirit.

Paranoid candidates are hard to pin down now with the changing of authors... will have to look into this further.

Tess Laird
375. thewindrose
A problem with the 13/13 trick is that it has been discussed a lot here and on other forums, and the big clue has not. Reasons why Fel had to be taken out of action have had some good dicussion on forums as well(My job was to check out what has been discussed on different sites.)
376. thepupxpert
Mightymouse @229
IanGH @259
Wetlander @238

Thank you for responding to my inquiry! I went back to the @97 posting on TFOH and boy that was a lot of information! I'm just wondering how many of us are doing this when we're really supposed to be working (ahem... me!) - but it is keeping my sanity. Just started re-reading POD and ordered NS for the holidays. I've never joined a group before, not even Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, so this has been quite an experience. Don't have anything really to add yet but reading all your postings has been a blast.
Julian Augustus
377. Alisonwonderland
This is exactly what I pictured when Herid Fel got stuck in the ter'angreal. The Finn (Eels, I think) had their way with him.

Herid Fel got stuck in a terangreal? Don't thinks so (or else my memory is even shakier than I thought). Do you perhaps mean one of the wagon-drivers who half-fell into Moiraine's doorway terangreal in tFoH?
Rob Munnelly
378. RobMRobM
377. One of the drivers had the first name of Herid, so VD is assuming it may have been Herid Fel (insofar as this is only case we can think of where there are two people with same name.)
Matthew Smith
379. blocksmith

The worst kind of enforced illness...swine flu passed on by the family...the gift that keeps on giving.

For those looking for more info on the hint in books 4-6, keep checking the second TGS Spoilerific post...should be updates coming in sporadically on the search.

Regarding music...some I didn't see mentioned. Again, this is for the music, not the politics and/or social agendas of some artists.

The Cars
Rage Against the Machine
The Pretenders
The Ramones
U2 (I know mentioned already but they deserve two)
Janes Addiction
380. thepupxpert
Sorry I meant to include @260 insectoid - didn't mean to leave you off the list!
Barry T
381. blindillusion

~ Well, actually two characters are named

List of characters that share a first name? Sure...

Wil al'Seen/al'Caar
Aeldra ?/Najaf
Bili Adarra/al'Dai/Congar/Mandair
Bari ?/?
Brys of Kandor/of Tarabon
Dag Coplin/Coplin
Dorindha Gos Aiel/Tar Aiel

Well, that's up to the D's.

New post?
Tricia Irish
382. Tektonica

Glad to hear you like Robin Hobbs' Farseer and Tawny Man. The Fitz is one of my all time favorite characters. Also glad to hear you like Liveship.....I started the first one of those, but couldn't get into the "liveship" thing. Maybe I should give it a second chance. Which character is in Liveship? The Fool?
Do tell.....pretty please!

As for GRRM....he's waaaay too busy with his HBO movie, and making model character collectibles, and editing his short story anthologies to address his writer's block. Oops, did I say that? Don't tell him......


Violetdancer had a theory awhile back that the wagon driver that fell into the terangreal in tFoH, was also named Herid and was the same Herid (Fel).
Her theory explains how Fel got some answers and info from the Finn and then was killed for it. (FTR, I don't think so.)

RobM@378 Boy you're fast.
Thomas Keith
383. insectoid
Holey Moley... I get up and there's 50 more comments to wade through!

M A T @348: Okay, for starting a music poll you get MY (partial) list:

The Beatles
Buffalo Springfield
The Cars
Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young)
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Fleetwood Mac
Jethro Tull
Joni Mitchell
The Moody Blues
Neil Young
Pink Floyd
The Who

Need I mention I'm only in my early 20's? ;)

Annnd...I've got nothin' else. Where is new post?

Rob Munnelly
384. RobMRobM
Fool. Also one of the Vestrits makes it to the Six Duchies for a cameo.
Rob Munnelly
385. RobMRobM
@383. New theme song for this re-read: "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends...."
Jack Diamond
386. violetdancer
RobM@ 378

LOL. I've been called many things but never a sexually transmitted disease. Actually a violet dancer is a damsel fly (small version of a dragon fly. They're voracious carnivores and predators of other insects.
Tricia Irish
387. Tektonica
RobM@384. Thank you! Love Fools......


LOL....didn't get RobM initials for you until you pointed it out! So used to shortening lengthy awkward names here. Didn't know what a violet dancer was either...thanks for that info. I'll look out for any damsels in distress!
Barry T
388. blindillusion

13 off the top of my head...

The Ramones
The Misfits
Sex Pistols
The Clash
Rise Against
The Offspring
Green Day
Black Flag
Bad Religion
Dropkick Murphys
Rage Against the Machine

Tek ~ What, I have a lengthy awkward...oh, wait, um, yeah.

*whistles* and walks away...
Thomas Keith
389. insectoid
RobM² @385: No kidding!

Violet @386: FWIW:

Rob Munnelly
390. RobMRobM
#388. Yes! With you on more than half of these.
Tricia Irish
391. Tektonica
Twiddling thumbs, waiting for new post....

Can't believe no one has listed:

Elvis Costello
Nick Lowe
Steve Miller Band
Tom Petty
Van Morrison

And more.....
Tess Laird
392. thewindrose
We need Woof™ to take us over 400 huney...
393. thepupxpert
This is the first time I'm waiting for a post - the anticipation is killing me (or it could be that bean and rice cheesy burrito)...
Rob Munnelly
394. RobMRobM
@391. More than half of these as well (Nick Lowe!!!!!). Another theme song for this re-read, especially Free, Woof and Blind Ill - "Every Day I Write the Book."
397. thepupxpert
@395 blindillusion - don't see the new post, I'm on the west coast do I need to wait 3 hours?

BTW - what about the big English bands of the 70's - Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, etc. and of course T-Rex & David Bowie!
Jacy Clark
398. Amalisa
Music survey...

I was raised on church music - from classical to praise. Also came up during the British invasion - Beatles, Stones, Hollies, Moody Blues, the Who, Kinks etc. Took refuge from disco by embracing folk rock - Fogelberg, Van Morrison, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro and the rest. And, what is now, classic rock - Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Eagles, CSNY, Allman Bros, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston, CCR, Tom Petty, Steely Dan. *could go on for hours* Also love Chicago, BS&T, Earth Wind & Fire... Love 60's and 70's R&B - the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Al Green. And spent eight years working part-time as an on-air personality for a country music station in the 90's. So, yeah, I love me some Garth, Alan, Trisha, Travis, Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, Clint Black, Martina McBride. (Not crazy about today's country music.)

Anyway... post up yet??
Thomas Keith
399. insectoid
Amalisa @398: Yes, it's right here.

Time for Woofer!
Charlotte Giurgiu
400. almdoipad
oooOoo YOINK!!

On the pod primarily these days:

Pink Floyd ( Saw Roger Waters from front row in Dublin not too many years past)
Hawksley Workman
Sex Pistols
Skinny Puppy
Aphex Twin
Boards of Canada
Future Sound of London
Ani DiFranco
Dar Williams
Moxy Fruvous
They Might be Giants
Stuart Davis
Beastie Boys
Tori Amos
Bright Eyes
The Clash
The Cure
Daft Punk
Depeche Mode
Lady Gaga
Franz Ferdinand
The Ramones
Barry T
401. blindillusion

I finally found that quote you referenced. Don't know if you'll ever see this, but here it is:

Week 15 Question: When a channeler is forcibly turned to the Dark, is his/her former personality lost to eternity? Are they in a permanent state of mindless Compulsion? Furthermore, can a channeler forcibly turned to the Dark return to the Light unaided?

Robert Jordan Answers: They are not in a mindless state of Compulsion. Their former personality is twisted, the darker elements that everyone has to some degree elevated while what might be called the good elements are largely suppressed. I don't mean things like courage, which is useful even to villains, but they are unlikely to be very charitable, for example, and forget any altruistic impulses. Call it being turned into a mirror image of yourself in many ways. It is very unlikely that a channeler forcibly turned to the Shadow could find a way back to the Light unaided. For one reason, by virtue of the twisting he or she had undergone, it is very unlikely that he or she would have any desire to do so.
John Massey
402. subwoofer
Well, I'll deal with the new post in a second, but while we are listing music, I figure I'll give it a go. In no particular order:

Big Sugar
Bob Marley
Depeche Mode
George Strait
The Cult
Alice in Chains
Dr. Dre
Rascal Flatts
Alison Krauss
Leonard Cohen
Great Big Sea
The Tragically Hip- edit for this, how could I forget!

All over the map, but so is my taste. If it is good, I'll listen without prejudice.

403. Freelancer

Could you just abbreviate that as submits? ::whistle::


Did a wild animal get loose from the zoo? I don't pay attention to pop news, meaning ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/PBS, so I usually miss the animal stories.


I have that ring as well, in spite of being warned that it cuts off circulation. (and of course it does, that's the point!)


You know, some bad movies are still great, and "Buckaroo Bonzai" most definitely qualifies. Yep, John Lithgow acts his butt off, and it was the first time I'd ever seen Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Lloyd. Can you imagine that cast reprising today? Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin...

Amalisa & insectoid

I'm good with most of what you both listed. Insectoid, I don't know anyone else in their 20's who'd have that list. MasterAlThor, it's Blood, Sweat & Tears. I spent far too many hours, days and months far too close to some of the late 70s music scene, got seriously turned off to much of the harder stuff of the time, so I mostly prefer the lighter groups. America, Bread, Fogelberg/Weisberg, Loggins & Messina, Beach Boys, etc. Then again, I'd rather listen to Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Lena Horn, Andy Williams or Robert Goulet than most of what is far more popular.
404. Norry
I don't see how it's possible to debate the worst book in the series: it's Crossroads of Twilight. You can read the Prologue and last two chapters and NOT MISS ANYTHING. Seriously, I've done it on my last two re-reads and haven't missed a beat. An ENTIRE book of nothing and, no, it wasn't the first book I waited for (ACoS).
Pelumi Adefope
405. GenghisCan
I had no idea the entire aCoS was over a period of ten days...Sheesh. Might as well wait for Jack Bauer to show up.
Alice Arneson
406. Wetlandernw
Just for the record, since nothing else seems to be happening just now... Here's the timespan for each book, NOT including prologues, flashbacks or implied events:

TGH.....172 (42 if you leave out the 130 days of nothing.)

This is based on Steven Cooper's Tellings of the Wheel chronology. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should - it's an impressive piece of work!
Barry T
407. blindillusion

Thanks for that.

And it goes along with something I've been wondering since tGS was published. Are all these amazing people going to be updating their sites to include tGS, ToM & aMoL?

I know the 13thD is currently updating, as are the theory sites. I'm curious about Mr Cooper's site and places such as IdealSeek.

Isn't speculation fun?
Alice Arneson
408. Wetlandernw
SC's Chronology is updated to include The Gathering Storm. Can't speak for any of the others just yet.
Andrew Lovsness
409. drewlovs
I'm very happy to see Leigh back, and for once, happy that I'm behind, since there will be few posts between now and 2010.

Leigh's discussion as to when she started reading is a good one for me, because I was working SO much when I started reading WoT, I have no IDEA when I actually started. Everytime I try to place a time/book-that-was-out on my discovery, someone tells me I am wrong (because it couldn't be do to this, this and that... etc).

I DO know I had to wait for PoD, but I might have had to wait for CoS as well; even LoC might not have been out when I started. The one thing I will agree with Leigh is... I HATE PoD. CoS is ok, but LoC is my personal favorite, but only by a smidge... FoH is pretty cool as well. Oh, and EotW...
410. mcrbryant
Just a quick one:

The first book I had to wait for was Winter's Heart and I LOVED it. Path of Daggers I thought sucked hardcore, althugh I warmed to it slightly on my first re-read of it.

The book I detest, simply for the Faile sub-plot (get ON with it!!!!!) is Crossroads. Such a waste of a great book title.

BTW Leigh, speaking as a Brit who has never heard an american use 'wankers' particularly well as a swear word, props to you for nailing it.
411. katgordon
@143 Tektonica re: cover art
ehrm, what are you talking about, "at least in hardcover it can be removed?"
I take my paperback covers off all the time; I thought they used a special glue that would self-destruct within moments of beginning to read in order to make it easier to hide what you're reading!
William McDaniel
412. willmcd
Lots of good stuff in this prologue.

First, from the prophetic epigraph: "Pray that the heart of stone remembers tears". This foreshadows Cadsuane and Sorilea's "laughter and tears" discussion coming in TPoD Ch12.

In Siuan's secret code, Rand was "the shepherd", but for Elaida he is "the bull", a wild animal that must be led by the nose (not that Siuan wasn't intending to lead him in her own way, but not to the same extreme).

Elaida's "taller than the White Tower" palace is a pretty obvious symbol for her perception of her own importance; she seeks to elevate the office of Amyrlin (and by extension, herself), so that it is greater and the Tower as a whole lesser. With Fain's corruption perhaps playing a role, her own glory is now the most important thing to her. She is not significantly different in this regard from Sevanna (whose POV follows immediately), or Niall (who comes shortly thereafter); these three POVs so close together was likely not accidental. All of these people are seeking to use Rand to gain glory for themselves.

I was rather confused by Elaida's thought that Alviarin didn't know "the secret" in her POV, but looking back, I see she references a "secret" 5 or 6 paragraphs earlier as to how her "plans were already at work among the rebels" or some such. This would seem to refer to Beonin being a spy.
413. Hesuchia
I never saw anybody notice that when Asunawa told Balwer the story about Valda being there in time to slay the "traitor", Balwer dry-washed his hands. Previously, Niall established in his POV that Balwer did that whenever he felt insulted. Once he did that it became clear that he didn't believe a word and was offended that they'd think he would buy such a flimsy story. In his mind, Omerna is an idiot who wouldn't be able to think for himself enough to have the initiative to assassinate Niall. Of course he doesn't let on about his knowledge, but it made me laugh to see him dry-washing immediately. He's very smart.

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