Dec 11 2009 4:38pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 2

Greeting, WOTerians!

Welcome back to the Re-read, on this frickin’ freezing Friday, Fo’sho. Seriously, what the hell, weather? New York City winters are supposed to be wussy!

Today’s post covers Chapters 1 and 2 of A Crown of Swords, in which I prove that random tangents are my Waterloo.  I have absolutely no response to where I ended up in the commentary to Chapter 1. You’ll see.

Previous re-read entries are here. The 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, and WOT stuff in general.

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.

And that puts us square with the house, says I, so let us of course foolishly run right back to the craps table, shall we?

Chapter 1: High Chasaline

What Happens
Wheel, Ages, legend, myth, wind. Perrin sits among the burned out wagons in Rand’s camp and thinks of how it is High Chasaline, a day of feasting in the Two Rivers. He listens to the wolves who had not come to Dumai’s Wells scorn those who had; though he feels no blame from those who did come, he is pained for their deaths. As he worries about what to do about Faile, Aram opines disgustedly that the Aiel should make the Shaido prisoners – now gai’shain – put on some clothes. Perrin tries to explain about gai’shain to Aram, but doesn’t really understand it himself. They are interrupted by one of the naked prisoners, a woman, asking if Perrin wants anything, and Perrin notes while avoiding looking at her that the Aiel are finding it hilarious to send the Shaido prisoners to the wetlander men and watch them squirm. He suddenly realizes that unlike the Two Rivers men and the Cairhienin, the Mayeners only seem to find it amusing (and titillating), and haven’t been been sent gai’shain hardly at all. He tries looking directly at the woman and actually giving her a task, which sends her off tight-lipped, and Perrin decides to tell the rest to try the tactic. Then Aram asks what they are going to do with the Aes Sedai prisoners; Perrin answers that is for Rand to decide, noting how the prisoners ignore the three sisters Rand had stilled and their Asha’man guards alike.

It was quite a trick. He could not make himself disregard the Asha’man, and he was not under their guard. They ranged from fuzz-cheeked boys to gray-haired, balding gansers, and it was not their grim, high-collared black coats or the sword each wore at his hip that made them dangerous. Every Asha’man could channel, and somehow they were keeping the Aes Sedai from channeling. Men who could wield the One Power, a thing of nightmares. Rand could, of course, but he was Rand, and the Dragon Reborn besides. These fellows made Perrin’s hackles rise.

Aram believes that the Aes Sedai are too dangerous to keep prisoner for long, to both Rand and Perrin, and suggests, in a roundabout way, that perhaps they should be taken care of permanently. Perrin is aghast at the idea, and orders Aram to shut up; Aram acquiesces immediately, and Perrin thinks the worst part is that Aram didn’t smell angry, even when suggesting murder. He overhears a conversation between two Two Rivers men which seems to echo Aram’s sentiments regarding the Aes Sedai, and wonders uneasily how many of the rest feel the same way. He concludes reluctantly that he will have to protect the Aes Sedai if anyone tried anything – including Rand. He doesn’t think the Cairhienin or the Mayeners will be much of a problem on that front, but the Asha’man and the Aiel are another story; he notes that the Wise Ones smell “grim and purposeful” whenever they look at the Aes Sedai.

A mood hung in the camp, though, a tension that had wound everyone tight. Rand was free now, and temporary alliances were just that, after all; temporary. Aiel hefted their spears when they looked at the Cairhienin, and the Cairhienin grimly fingered their swords. So did the Mayeners; they had no quarrel with the Aiel, had never fought them except for the Aiel War when everybody had, but if it came to a fight, there was little doubt which side they would be on. The Two Rivers men, too, probably.

Perrin also notes that the Asha’man are not at all pleased at the Wise Ones’ presence, only slightly less than the Wise Ones are with the Asha’man’s, and wonders what he is supposed to do about any of it. He wishes he were back home. As he mounts his horse, Loial approaches and tells him (in a very loud whisper) that it is wrong to hold Aes Sedai against their will, and furthermore that it will only take one spark for the whole camp to go up “like a wagonload of fireworks”. He asks if Rand is aware of it, and Perrin knows he can’t put off going to Rand any longer.

An alternate, much shorter way to summarize this chapter might have been: “Perrin looks around, and says to himself, ‘Dude. We are so boned.’”

I have to ponder if, when beginning writing ACOS, Jordan wasn’t a tiny bit appalled at the utter mess he had left himself to write his way out of in LOC. Not that I think the events in LOC were unplanned, by any means; some writers fly by the seat of their pants, narratively, but by all accounts Jordan was much too into excruciatingly thorough background research and detailed note-taking for that. But all the same I wonder if he knew before he wrote it that LOC was going to explode everything quite that – explodedly.

Perhaps that explains why ACOS only covers ten days. I dunno. But it’s interesting to think about.

Whichever the case, this chapter is mostly about re-establishing the extremely precarious state of the Light-side alliances, and not much else. The plot begins in the next chapter.

Other, more random thoughts:

Aram: There’s a certain amount of peril in assigning modern psychology terms to pre- (or non-) post-Freudian characters, because I absolutely believe that merely possessing knowledge of pop pysch buzzwords changes people’s behavior in having those pop psych buzzwords (making Freud/Jung/etc. the Schrödinger’s cat of the brain, whee!), and Aram wouldn’t know the term “sociopath” if it walked up and smacked him upside the head, but as a post-Freudian human my own self, the label is awfully difficult to avoid applying here.

(Yes, I know. The secret is, keep turning right and eventually you’ll get out.)

The wolves: Aw, bye, wolves. Because after Dumai’s Wells, Mr. Emo Trauma Perrin pretty much entirely avoids them, if I recall correctly. I may not, of course, but I am under the impression that from here on, other than faffing about with Hopper a few times in the Dreamworld, the wolves are persona non evidens, mostly. I mean, I think Perrin had some around during the invasion of *mumblenameoftownFailewasheldprisonerin*, but I don’t recall them actually doing very much.

Blah. More wolves, please.

Okay, fine, Perrin has a right to be little upset about basically leading the wolves to their deaths (she says, magnanimously), but one of Perrin’s fundamental problems is that he has yet, even as of TGS, to truly accept that he is a Leader of Men (and Wolves), with all the craptastic consequences thereof. Most significantly, that part of being a leader, especially in your rarefied apocalyptical situations, is being able to handle that your leadership will lead to people’s deaths. Period. It’s not a question of whether or not some (or most, or even all) of your people will die, it’s only a question of whether or not their deaths will mean anything.

That… that pretty much deeply sucks, doesn’t it. Okay, I give Perrin some slack on the Emo Trauma. SOME. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to grouse when he goes Weapons-Grade Emo in a bit here, but that, fortunately, is not yet.

I would like to give Perrin crap about the Shaido gai’shain thing, but I feel I am on shaky ground doing so, because I can’t deny that having a bunch of stark naked people running around all day in front of me would be… a lot. Maybe this makes me a prude, but I think it’s mostly the idea of doing outdoorsy chores in the nude that kind of wigs me. “Here, Mr. Naked Man, go chop us some firewood!” Ouch? Clothes are for modesty AND protection, dontcha know!

And at the risk of sending my more fragile male readers screaming into the night, what happens if one of the gai’shain Maidens is on her period? Does she just… bleed on the ground, or what?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the question of whether Randland has invented tampons has not been addressed – though really, given the Maidens’ lifestyle, at least, it’s impossible to imagine that they hadn’t come up with a way to deal efficiently with menstruation long since. Not that I really care – Jordan hasn’t filled us in on whether Randlanders use toilet paper, either, and all things considered some things are probably best left unexplored – but the thought did occur to me. This is what happens when you allow free association to run amok. Just keep turning right…

(This has now led me to discover that toilet paper was probably invented, like most things, by the Chinese, and has been documented as being in use since at least the sixth century, and tampons were used by the ancient Egyptians, at least according to Wikipedia, so the chances that both products were in use in Randland are actually excellent. I also note that these are topics I never in a million years DREAMED I would end up researching because of the Wheel of Time. Or at all. I’m sure there’s some profound moral to be drawn from this, but I’m too busy giggling at my life to suss it out at the moment.)

And on that note, I declare that the moving on, it will occur now, yes?

Chapter 2: The Butcher’s Yard

What Happens
Perrin feels sickened as he gazes out at the mass graves of the casualties from those who followed him to rescue Rand (including nineteen Two Rivers men), but it’s better than looking at where Rand is, though Aram is grinning at it:

A seething sea of black, vultures and ravens and crows in tens of thousands, swirling up in waves and settling again, concealing the broken earth. For which Perrin was more than grateful. The Asha’man’s methods had been brutal, destroying flesh and ground with equal impartiality. Too many Shaido had died to bury in less than days, even had anyone cared to bury them, so the vultures gorged, and the ravens, and the crows. The dead wolves were down there, too; he had wanted to bury them, but that was not the wolves’ way.

Perrin watches Rand, surrounded by a huge entourage including Taim, Dobraine, and Min, checking the corpses in the killing grounds while Nandera, Sulin, and the Wise Ones argue with him. Kiruna marches up to Perrin, the other eight Aes Sedai from the Caemlyn embassy behind her, and demands to know what Rand is doing. Perrin notes that this is the first time they’ve been out in public since the battle, no doubt trying to figure out what had happened. Perrin also notes Charl Gedwyn and a dozen more Asha’man just happening to be lounging near where Kiruna et al are. Perrin lies to Kiruna that he doesn’t know what Rand is doing, but he’s willing to bet that every corpse Rand is looking at is of a Maiden. He recalls walking away from camp the night before and coming across Rand, wrapped in a ball and rocking himself.

Rand’s face was drawn and twisted, the face of a man who wanted to scream, or maybe weep, and was fighting it down with every scrap of his fiber.

[…] He did not look around, though Perrin’s boots rustled loudly in the dead grass, yet he spoke hoarsely, still rocking. “One hundred and fifty-one, Perrin. One hundred and fifty-one Maidens died today. For me. I promised them, you see. Don’t argue with me! Shut up! Go away!” Despite his sweat, Rand shivered. “Not you, Perrin; not you. I have to keep my promises, you see. Have to, no matter how it hurts. But I have to keep my promise to myself, too. No matter how it hurts.”

Perrin had sat there with him and listened to him recite all one hundred and fifty-one names, hoping that he could manage to stay sane. He thinks now that none of that is Kiruna’s business. Kiruna is displeased, but moves on, pointing out that with the hundreds of crows and ravens around, some are certainly spies, and they should be killing them. Perrin snaps back that there has been more than enough killing, and before any of the Aes Sedai can take him to task for speaking so, lights into Kiruna and the others for disobeying his orders to stay back from the fighting the day before. Infuriated, Kiruna coldly informs him that they had no choice in order to circumvent the strictures of the Third Oath, and furthermore does not appreciate having to explain herself to “farmboys”. Perrin reluctantly concludes that this is reasonable, but still thinks they wanted to get to Rand first as well. Loial interrupts to point out that Rand is coming, and whispers an aside to Perrin (that everyone in his vicinity can hear) to be careful, as the Aes Sedai swore no oaths to him. Kiruna and the other sisters move off to confer, and Perrin’s guess that they are blocking eavesdropping with the Power is confirmed when Gedwyn’s Asha’man all go alert instantly; Gedwyn looks disappointed when the sisters drop their ward with no further incident. Rand strolls up with Min, laughing and talking to her, trailed by Taim (who grimaces when Gedwyn shakes his head at him), Dobraine, Havien Nurelle, Nandera and Sulin and twenty Maidens, and Amys and Sorilea and the other Wise Ones. Kiruna immediately tells Rand that he needs Healing, and should not have refused it the day before, but Taim and the Wise Ones ignore her, each campaigning for the Aes Sedai to be put into his or their charge, while Kiruna opines that Coiren and the others should be put into her care. Sorilea pronounces the Aes Sedai “da’tsang”, which Perrin doesn’t understand, and they keep arguing until Rand yells at them all to shut up. Perrin notes that Taim smells furious, Kiruna afraid, and Amys and Sorilea determined; Min plucks anxiously at Rand’s sleeve, staring at everyone. Rand hesitates, then orders that the Aes Sedai be given into the Wise Ones’ care, and cuts Taim off before he can protest; Perrin is worried to note that Rand smells of hatred and fear when he looks at Taim. Kiruna smells relieved, but nevertheless pronounces the notion of turning over Aes Sedai to the Wise Ones “unthinkable”.

Rand raised a hand, and her words stopped in their tracks. Maybe it was his stare, like blue-gray stone. Or maybe it was what showed clearly through his torn sleeve, one of the red-and-gold Dragons that wound around his forearms. The Dragon glittered in the sunlight. “Did you swear fealty to me?” Kiruna’s eyes popped as though something had struck her in the pit of her stomach.

After a moment, she nodded, however unwillingly. She looked as disbelieving now as she had the day before, when she knelt down there by the wells at battle’s end and swore beneath the Light and by her hope of salvation and rebirth to obey the Dragon Reborn and serve him until the Last Battle had come and gone. Perrin understood her shock. Even without the Three Oaths, had she denied it, he would have doubted his own memories. Nine Aes Sedai on their knees, faces aghast at the words coming out of their mouths, reeking of disbelief.

Rhuarc joins the party and reports that the Shaido are fleeing, and there were men with green coats to the north who had several women with them, but Rhuarc’s forces let them escape as Rand had ordered. Rand replies that he would have had anything to have Galina, but that Rhuarc had done right. He adds, though, that “they are going to pay, everyone of them”, and Perrin is unsure if he means the Shaido or the Aes Sedai who had escaped. Then Rand informs Kiruna et al that he trusts them to do as he says, but they “won’t so much as take a bath” without permission from a Wise One. Bera and Kiruna are astonished, and Perrin notes that the Wise Ones smell of grim satisfaction, while Taim smells amused. Kiruna rallies and wants to know if Rand is still determined to go without Healing, and Min and the Maidens rib him about being stubborn. Rand gives them wry looks, but tells Kiruna, not from her.

Taim’s mouth quirked in a wry almost-smile, and he stepped toward Rand, but without taking his eyes from Kiruna, Rand flung out a hand behind him. “From her. Come here, Alanna.”

Perrin gave a start. Rand had pointed straight to Alanna with never so much as a glance. That prickled something in the back of his head, but he could not make out what.

Perrin notes that Taim is puzzled too. To his shock, when Alanna comes to him Rand cups her chin to look at her, and she blushes. He commands her to Heal him, and as she does she whispers to ask how he can stand the pain, but Rand does not answer, instead giving the Aes Sedai over to Amys and Sorilea, who immediately begin herding them off, and Perrin thinks they have to be better than handing the sisters off to the Asha’man. Rand orders Taim back to the Tower, but Taim argues that Rand needs Asha’man guard around him.

Rand’s head turned toward Taim. His face matched any Aes Sedai for giving nothing away, but his scent made Perrin’s ears try to lie back. Razor-sharp rage abruptly vanished in curiosity and caution, the one thin and probing, the other foglike; then slashing, murderous fury consumed both. Rand shook his head just slightly, and his smell became stony determination. Nobody’s scent changed that fast. Nobody’s.

Rand points at random, and seems as surprised as Taim that he has pointed at Dashiva, an Asha’man who Taim says is powerful but who may already being going mad. Taim’s opposition seems to cement Rand’s decision, and he cuts Taim’s protests off and dismisses him, and Taim leaves. Rand strides off, and Havien and Dobraine immediately accost Perrin about the Lord Dragon’s strange behavior; Perrin replies bluntly, “He’s still sane”, and marches off to the Two Rivers men and orders them to get ready to move out, then goes to find Rand. He tells Rand he hopes Rand knows what he is doing, and runs down a summary of what he had seen (and smelled) this morning, though he doesn’t phrase it like that, about the sentiments toward Kiruna and the rest. Rand asks if he really thinks that would be worse, to Perrin’s shock, but Min jumps in and calls them both woolheads, and says she knows neither of them would contemplate anything like that.

Sulin chuckled, but Perrin wanted to ask Min how certain she was, although that was not a question he could voice here. Rand scrubbed his fingers through his hair, then shook his head, for all the world like a man disagreeing with somebody who was not there. The sort of voice that madmen heard.

“It’s never easy, is it?” Rand said after a time, looking sad. “The bitter truth is, I can’t say which would be worse. I don’t have any good choices. They saw to that themselves.” His face was despondent, but rage boiled in his scent. “Alive or dead, they’re a millstone on my back, and either way, they could break it.”

Rand asks Min in front of the Maidens if she’s seen anything, and she explains to a startled Perrin that the Aiel know about her visions and think nothing of it, which is more than she can say about where she grew up, but continues that other than seeing that Taim “has blood in his past and blood in his future” she hasn’t seen anything of use, as the Asha’man seem to be gathering images like Aes Sedai. Rand tells her not to worry about it, but this does not reassure her. Loial comes up and asks Rand about telling him the details for his book, but Rand tells him, not until they are back in Cairhien. He calls Dashiva over and asks if he can make a gateway. Dashiva replies that “the M’Hael” teaches Traveling as soon as the student shows he is strong enough to learn it. Rand is disconcerted and disapproving to learn of Taim’s self-imposed Old Tongue title (which means “leader”), but dismisses it and orders Dashiva to make a gateway to Cairhien.

“It’s time to see what the world has been up to while I was away, and what I have to do about it.” He laughed then, in a rueful way, but the sound of it made Perrin’s skin prickle.

One thing it’s kind of funny Perrin never really mentions, considering all the odor-detecting he does in this chapter, is what thousands of dead bodies, in sweltering heat, must smell like after two days. Which is to say, about the most horrible, gag-inducing, putrescent stench imaginable.

Well, he does mention it, actually (in the context of watching people in Rand’s entourage vomit while he’s searching the bodies) but what puzzles me is how he could smell anything else through a stink that bad. *shrug* I guess his nose is so good it has selective filters on it?

Anyway. TGS has put an interesting new perspective on this whole List of Rand’s, for me. TGS very strongly implied something which had not really been made that clear in the earlier novels (to me, anyway): that Rand’s long-standing refusal to kill women, and his anguish over those who died following him, was – not exactly an arbitrary hang-up, given his upbringing, but a hang-up that he chose (subconsciously or otherwise) out of several possible hang-ups to represent his own personal Moral Event Horizon.

In other words, in all this becoming harder and more ruthless and etc., he had set this one act – killing women – as the one last line he would refuse to cross; the one deed that was beyond the pale. The implication was that Rand believed that if he could keep from doing that one thing, then he had not slid completely down the slippery slope of expediency into total monster-hood. TGS showed this, of course, by showing what happened once Rand was forced to cross that line, and how it almost did turn him into a monster.

So, this presents an interesting conundrum for me. On the one hand, I do not in the least withdraw my objections to setting up women on a pedestal like that, either from a feminist perspective or a purely practical viewpoint; seriously, whether it was sexist or not pales next to the observation that with female Forsaken around, it was a policy that was guaranteed to blow up in his face – which it did, horribly. In retrospect, what happened with Semirhage was inevitable – in its consequences if not in the exact sequence of events.

However, the acknowledgement that this was an irrational and at least somewhat random thing for Rand to choose as his line in the moral sand has – not reconciled me to it, exactly, but made it more palatable. I’m not sure I can articulate why this is, really, except that in a strange way it makes it less about the value of women’s lives vs. men’s, and more about Rand’s own flawed, slightly loony, but understandable attempts to hang on to his own internal moral equilibrium.

The interesting thing will be to see how, now that his moral event horizon has been rather spectacularly blown out of the water, how Rand will choose to climb back out of the pit in which he almost completely buried himself in TGS. One hopes that he will choose a better soapbox to stand on.

So, all that took forever to figure out how to phrase, so I will finish up this commentary with some quick notes on other matters:

Taim: I continue to mentally berate Rand for refusing to address the practically infinite number of warning bells Taim’s behavior sets off. “M’Hael”, meaning “leader”? Seriously? I understand Rand’s issues with dealing with the Asha’man in general and Taim in particular, but ye gods, man. Leaving Taim in unsupervised charge of an army of male channelers is like hiring a pyromaniac to be the night watchman for your dynamite factory. Good call!

Aram: Screw avoiding modern labels, that guy needs to be in a padded room. Grinning at a giant field of rotting corpses, holy crap. Psycho, thy name is Tinker. Ugh.

Dashiva: Hi, Osan’gar! Nice of you to join us, I guess. This, I always felt, was one of Jordan’s gimmes: EVERYONE was sure he was Evil in Disguise from the moment he appeared, from what I recall.

Kiruna et al: I still contend what I contended before, that their forced oathing was unethical. I don’t have time to get into it more than that right now (go back and read my initial take on it if you want), but as this will come up continually throughout ACOS, don’t worry, it’ll be discussed again.

Aaaaand I ain’t got no more for the nonce. Play nice in the commentses, chirren, and have a lovely weekend. See you Monday!

Barry T
1. blindillusion

Well, to be honest I didn't really expect my post to be number one. I just happened to walk back to my computer after talking with my CO and hit reload, saw the Post and wrote a quick comment, much as I do for every post I've read when I posted in the top 20...before the conversations start.
Richard Fife
2. R.Fife
Rand's personal M.E.H. is a good call, and looking back through the earlier books where he started up with it, I want to say he does explicitly even say as much, that it was the line he refused to cross. Go us for not keying on that sooner.

Aside from that, I really don't have anything. Thanks as always, etc etc and so forth. Back to the Bunker.

"Cool". Seriously? Such a rush for #1 that you can then edit up that you could not even afford a period? Dang.
Francesco Paonessa
3. ErrantKnave

Malden. Not that it matters much.
4. alreadymadwithtaim'sfaves
Whoopsee new post.

There's another warning bell here. Rand is pretty familiar with most of the faces who first came to the Farm before it became the Black Tower. And none of them have earned the Dragon. Taim has obviously been playing favorites.
Rob Munnelly
5. RobMRobM
"Rand’s head turned toward Taim. His face matched any Aes Sedai for giving nothing away, but his scent made Perrin’s ears try to lie back. Razor-sharp rage abruptly vanished in curiosity and caution, the one thin and probing, the other foglike; then slashing, murderous fury consumed both. Rand shook his head just slightly, and his smell became stony determination. Nobody’s scent changed that fast. Nobody’s."

Here is latest nominee for secret clue no one has commented on in books 4-6. But what does it mean that Taim can change smells at hyperspeed like no one else?

Edit - or are we talking about Rand's smells and what does that mean?
6. Alfvaen
No, I was totally blindsided by the Dashiva thing. Perhaps my mind was already glazing over from the plethora of Maidens and Wise Ones and Aes Sedai, the first few times at least, and so I had trouble keeping them straight.

I presume that the random-picking thing was Rand's ta'verenness at work, though whether the Pattern just thought that having the secret Forsaken guy close at hand was just a good idea or what, I don't know. If Rand had been Mat, the dice would have stopped rolling in his head when he did that. (Why is Mat the only one who gets that kind of cue? Was that only ever for the whole Tuon thing? In which case, was it the Finns' fault? Anyway...)
7. Alfvaen

I always thought it was Rand/LTT's scents, which is why they changed so fast. But it is an ambiguous antecedent, hence confusing.
Brandon D
8. Ishmayl
Good recap. And, intentional or not, I like how you seemed to emphasize many of the parts where Perrin acted "wolfishly." "Hackles rising," "ears laying back," "growling," etcetera. I forgot how much, even in the casual descriptions, Perrin really is just as much wolf as man.

As for his smelling, I am a dog-owner (as I'm sure thousands of your readers, and possibly even you, are), but more-so than that, I am a dog-trainer. I'm no Caesar, but I do a bit of dog-training for a living, and thus have a very intimate relationship with the canine family. Dogs do have a very selective smelling ability. You can literally surround them in stinking, rotting fish guts, and put a treat on the other side, and they'll go right to it. Not to mention, even surrounded by those hulking piles of ichthyocarcasses, a dog can still look at his person and tell if the person is mad, upset, sad, happy, etcetera. So, Perrin being able to "filter" is no real surprise to me, I suppose.

Fun post! Is there any sort of RSS feed on this so I can know when you post again, instead of constantly refreshing all day long? :)
F Shelley
9. FSS
And at the risk of sending my more fragile male readers screaming into the night, what happens if one of the gai’shain Maidens is on her period? Does she just… bleed on the ground, or what?

On behalf of all us fragile male readers: ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!
F Shelley
10. FSS
One thing it’s kind of funny Perrin never really mentions, considering all the odor-detecting he does in this chapter, is what thousands of dead bodies, in sweltering heat, must smell like after two days. Which is to say, about the most horrible, gag-inducing, putrescent stench imaginable.

Well, my dog will eat his own poop. Maybe things don't smell so bad to a wolf...
11. Freelancer

Split 10s? Are you nuts? Eights, every day and twice on Sunday, nines, maybe if you are watching close and expect face cards, but tens? Egads...
Matthew Smith
12. blocksmith

I can honestly admit that, and call this inherent male blindness, I never once, for even a millisecond, gave any thought to the feminine hygiene habits of gaishain maidens (or wetlander gaishain or any female WoT characters)prior to this reread. its like a song I can't get out my head.

If we consider that, for Rand's character development, he needed to have a moral event horizon to build towards, then certainly his stance of refusal to kill women (and his clear anguish when a woman dies accidentally because of events around him or defending him) was necessary. Sure it could have been children or puppies, or something, but I think this fit both his situation and background better. And yes, I agree, it was becoming very clear for a while that the moment with a female forsaken was inevitable.

Aram...oh yes, Silence of the Lambs crazy he will be. That fire is lit, stoked, and ready for fuel.

Taim comes across as so suspect in his motivations and allegiances in this chapter that Rand's refusal to do something about him is headdesk worthy.
Richard Boye
13. sarcastro
I always thought Kiruna was supposed to come across as a better, more important Aes Sedai, and I think RJ had intended her to be that, but she kinda really sucks. I do appreciate the fact that we are given a really cool description of her ability to fight last book, which calls into question the general suckage of the Greens in tGS.

I also appreciated the line about how Aes Sedai deliberately throw themselves into danger to get around that Oath. I had been wondering about how effective the Aes Sedai might be without that loophole.

and correct me if I am wrong, but the Shaido were only naked temporarily - they were stripped and disarmed, but I doubt they had thousands of white gasihan robes on hand.
14. dreamwalker
I starting following along with this re-read very late in the game. Finally caught up just before TGS came out. Just wanted to say I've really enjoyed the commentary both by Leigh and all the readers. Always something to make me laugh, and it usually makes me look at something in a new light.

In this section I was thinking Perrin's Super Smell would be a fun ability to have, right up until the point I was reminded about the piles of dead bodies. I'll stick with wishing I could Dream Walk.
Jacy Clark
15. Amalisa
Yay, Leigh!

Aram... Yeah, I'd managed, up until the grinning at the butcher's yard moment, to convince myself that he was a poor, innocent Tinker who had been forced by circumstances to jump into something waaaay over his head but was still somehow child-like.

From the butcher's yard on, he was associated with the word "rabid". As in, pull-an-Atticus-Finch-and-shoot-him-in-the-street rabid. Yikes!

RobMRobM - the next paragraph answers that, I think:
Taim had only his eyes to go by, of course, and all they could tell him was that Rand had shaken his head, if just barely.

Edit for responding to the correct person... heh.
Richard Fife
16. R.Fife
@16 um, huh? I think you meant RobM^2
lin mei
17. twicemarked

Perrin is refering to Rand's smell, the smell of two people changing back and force, LTT's rage followed by Rand's curiosity. This is just another clue about how outsiders think of two persons inside that one physical body.

Evidence for the "Realer", I know, not that we need that debate now.

I should say Aram is used here as the example of what Rand would become in TGS, grinning at a field of corpses. Aram broke his own M.E.H. when joining Perrin, and have not found anything to replace it, and so he becomes like this. Looking back, it is more apparent what Aram is forshadowing.
Lannis .
19. Lannis
Leigh... the strange lines drawn in the commentary of chapter 1 are precisely why I'm here... you're pretty frakking entertaining (and educational, too! TP in the 6th century? Really?!)...

Well, you know, I'm here for your commentary, and the conversation... as well as all the lovely baked goods and stocked bar in the bunker... speaking of, I'd best check our stock of bourbon.... naked gai'shain Maidens and all...

Question of Dobraine: are we absolutely certain he's not a DF? Hmm... I mean, I know Rand trusts him, and we know he was stabbed and Healed... but was it a ruse? I can't recall if it was one of those "convenient timing" things where he was stabbed but there's a gaggle of Aes Sedai down the hall... or was it a fancy timing thing where Rand stepped out of a gateway with Samitsu in tow?

Yeah... brain is fuzzy... the details even more so... checked the WoT wiki and got nothing... the encyclopedia Wot is much the same... any ganders?

Dashiva: When Rand points at Dashiva (basically repeating the feat he'd preformed with Alanna), how does he know that it's Dashiva he's pointing to? Of course he recognizes Alanna and her position through the bond... but Dashiva? How would he randomly know where Dashiva was standing? Or was it truly random, a ta'veren thing that bing hits on the Forsaken hiding in the sheep? Anyone?

RobM @ 5: I always took the speedy-scent change comment to be indicative of Rand not Taim's scent... an external indicator of LTT in Rand's head... though Lord knows I've been wrong before... ;)

EDIT: for clarification
20. Freelancer
First of all, Leigh, thank you for finally getting it. It was never about an unnatural sense of chivalry, never about something guaranteed to poke at a feminist mindset. It was exactly as you summarized, a slightly looney line in the sand, beyond which Rand could not allow himself to budge, in order to feel he hadn't lost it yet. TGS wasn't the first time that the background to this was articulated, not the first time Rand referred to this line being the one he wouldn't cross.

Uhh, R.Fife@2, numerous folks did indeed note that it was put out there by Rand earlier. Not me, I just happened to agree with it.


Absolutely, Rand should have responded to the fact that every BT resident who came before Taim arrived was being held back from promotion. As deft as Rand became at The Game, this should have been a no-brainer. But all astute readers know by now that Rand seemed to completely avoid all of the clear concerns he should have had about the Farm, and continued to do so even after Logain let him know in no uncertain terms that big trouble was brewing.


That was Rand's scent that flickered, and it meant Rand and LTT were having a convo about whether to kill Taim.

Aram - Has been in the cuckoo's nest since Emond's Field, and nothing he did since was terribly surprising, until he tried to kill Perrin. Some folks, when they turn, they turn hard. Like a preacher who gives up on the ministry, runs off with a stewardess, and becomes a drunk, Aram has turned all of his life's past morality on its collective head.
21. Darth Touma
OK.. I suppose no one has noticed this.. so I'll point it out..

Taim's use of the "M'hael" title and later ranks he creates is reminiscent of the rank structures used by Nazi Germany's armed forces during WWII.. the difference being that while in Hitler's rank structure, the common word was "fuhrer"

I daresay this was done on purpose, RJ having been a gradute of the Citadel and a veteran himself and probably well-versed in military history

While this is of course something that can be paralleled with the dark side and evil.. I am wondering if anything else in the storyline or the cycle as a whole points to an implication that the Black Tower will become a force for evil as the Nazi party and their military apparatus was
22. Freelancer
Oh, and here we see that Taim did not get Rand's angreal. He sent his private henchman Asha'man to look for it, because he knew Rand had to have one given the strength he channele with. Gedwyn shakes his head, Taim grimaces, and we know they haven't found the angreal.
John Mann
23. jcmnyu
Re: Rand and the Aes Sedai who swore fealty to him

Since I am on the other side of the argument from Leigh, let me bring up a few things that may not have been raised yet.

The last time Rand saw Kiruna and friends, they had threatened him after the stabbing incident. They had also gone from 11 to 13 in number which scared Rand spitless. He told them, if they want to see him to only bring 6 Aes Sedai. That was his only condition. Now, after he has been rescued from other Aes Sedai, they clearly broke the only restriction he set on them. And one of the Aes Sedai in the group is Alanna who, as we know, bonded him against his will and tried to control him with the bond.

As a result he gives them a choice, join their Aes Sedai sisters who are under guard because they cannot be trusted (and remember, they had not been given to the Wise Ones yet; that happened in this chapter) or swear fealty. He would not trust them again with out the oath. So, their choice was freedom with the oath, or be put under guard. They chose the oath. And how does Rand treat them afterward? He gives them tasks which are important. He sends them as an embassy to the Sea Folk. He let's them be taken in by Cadusane. He gives them a modicum of freedom of movement. I just don't see where the outrage comes from.
24. Alfvaen

As I recall Dobraine's healing, it took place while Rand was absent from Cairhien, just after Samitsu and whatshername-healedfromStilling discovered Loial and Karldin had snuck into the kitchens. Samitsu had been (notionally) in charge of the Cairhien AS for a little while, at least. I wanna say this is in the COT Prologue.
25. joefred
"TGS showed this, of course, by showing what happened once Rand was forced to cross that line, and how it almost did turn him into a monster."

i still think y'all miss it. rand IS a monster, thats been both the dragon's entire journey. its how he (and the Kinslayer) deals with it and how he acts that matters.

if Mazrim Taim simply turns out to be an evil chosen wannabe i will be very disapointed.
Maiane Bakroeva
26. Isilel
Speaking of not-so-logical minutiae of WoT, I was always puzzled by women not wearing underwear (yet riding astride) and "divided" dresses being pulled on over the head, which is impossible.

I still can't forgive Kiruna and other Greens for not offering Perrin a better battle plan than "let's charge as an unformed clump and see what happens", with female channelers staying behind, to be ambushed by the Shaido if they had 2 cells to rub together. Why are the Greens so useless? If they wanted to reach Rand, they could have a plan to that end.

Frankly, I don't buy Perrin as a general - he gets by on ta'verenness and on complicated plans, which iRL wouldn't have survived the first contact with the enemy. Maybe he shouldn't be a leader of men? He really made me tired of the whole "unwilling leader" trope.

Taim (who grimaces when Gedwyn shakes his head at him)

And what was _that_ about?

Generally, from the first it seemed to me in this chapter that Taim (who I always thought was a FS or a DF) was desperate to get his mitts on some female channelers to get the 13x13 conveyor going. He also tried to get some captured damane to the BT in TPoD.
But then, when he had a chance to take Toveine and Co. he left it to Logain and AFAIK didn't try anything nefarious with them. Strange...

And yes, _none_ of the early recruits wear the dragon, but guys who were threatening and obnoxious to Rand in the past do. Rand is, of course, completely oblivious.

Dashiva'gar - huh? Well, he described AoL Healing to Flynn, who managed to re-discover(!) it, but it must have been before the battle.
27. joefred

Split 10s? Are you nuts? Eights, every day and twice on Sunday, nines, maybe if you are watching close and expect face cards, but tens? Egads...

she thinks she's mat on occasion...
TW Grace
28. TWGrace
I loved Dashiva/aginor/osangar's nervous overacting when talking to Rand at the end of chapter 2...

When he is asked if he can make a gateway:

"Of course"...then hand wring, hand wring, lick lips "err M'hael teachs us that...Yeah that's the ticket..."(paraphrased)


"I read alot, yeah that's the ticket...I read everything..." (paraphrased)
29. Lily of the Valley
Re: Dead Bodies and Perrin's Nose

I'm pretty sure wild dogs, and probably wolves although I don't know, roll in dead things. So the carnage itself, and the fact that that rotting pile of meat out there used to be humans, would be more disturbing to Perrin's wolf nose than the smell.
30. joefred
logain was stilled and healed. taim never went crazy? the healing didnt fix past crazy. i just am not sure taim is as simple as he appears. he may not be on anybody's side but his own...

i am just not sure what is up with those two, but logain is still destined for glory. Min is never wrong while the pattern lasts.
Sara H
31. LadyBelaine

"Speaking of not-so-logical minutiae of WoT, I was always puzzled by women not wearing underwear (yet riding astride) and "divided" dresses being pulled on over the head, which is impossible."

Two things - do we know for certain that the women don't wear 'smallclothes' under their shifts? I presumed that, like the whole toilet paper thing, panties exist.

And, regarding the "over the head" thing - not all of the dresses have divided skirts, as far as I can tell.
32. J.Dauro
3rd Oath. Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai

Does anyone not think that the Sisters from the Tower being attacked by the Shaido were not in danger of losing their lives? (Didn't 3 of them die?)

And these are AS, if they can interpret the 1st Oath to allow some of the things they say, they can interpret Oath #3 to allow them to attack the Shaido.

So the SAS party had no need to go into the battlefield from where Perrin placed them. They can attack the Shaido from the hill. And they can defend themselves there in a group just as well, if not better, than moving among the battle.

When Rand is wanting to use the One Power in a battle, he builds a tower so they can see the battlefield and direct their channeling as needed. The AS from the hill would be more effective than in the battle.
Richard Fife
33. R.Fife
@32 true, but the SAS had an ulterior motive in their head-long charge: to get to Rand and manipulate him. They wanted to be there when he was freed so he would know immediately who it was that freed him. Boy, did that backfire.
Ron Garrison
34. Man-0-Manetheran
"Psycho, thy name is Tinker." ::Monty Python voice:: "That's EX-Tinker!" Seriously, could Aram be any more the opposite of the Way of the Leaf? "No zealot like a convert."

Dashiva - I think the oddest thing about that scene was that Rand chose him at random, and Taim wasn't too happy about it.

@5 RobM2
The way I read it is that RJ was speaking of Rand's smells. The "razor-sharp rage" was when LTT went off on his usual "Kill them! Kill all of them!" rant. Then Rand would push him down and the smell changed to "stony determination."

Good catch on the Gedwyn-Taim interaction. I didn't catch that.
35. alreadymadwithdumaiswells
sarcastro @13
NO, the Aes Sedai did not throw themselves into danger to get around the Oath. Check Sevanna's POV. The Tower loyalist sisters were already using the Power as a weapon to defend themselves. Kiruna etal could already use the Oath about using the Power to defend fellow Aes Sedai and Warders from where Perrin left them. They waded in so they could get to Rand ahead of everybody else. Serves them right.

Isilel @24
Perrin's plan was actually the best one that could work with the types of soldiers at his disposal. Cavalry is best at charging in, with Aiel coming a close second, while leaving the Wise Ones and Aes Sedai with the Two Rivers archers allows them to maximize their range advantage.
Oh and women do wear underwear. They call them shifts. I don't really want to imagine what's beneath those.
Barry T
36. blindillusion
Isilel@26 RE: ~

But then, when he had a chance to take Toveine and Co. he left it to Logain and AFAIK didn't try anything nefarious with them. Strange...

I'm not saying Taim is a DF, as I'm 50/50 on the guy, but still, by that time in the series he has an Army of World Destroying Male Channelers under Lock and Key. Taim ~ reads fairly Misogynist Douche to me.

Why go through the trouble of having to deal with Myrddraal when you don't have to? Especially 13.

Just send Logain to make them obsolete and stay within the guidelines of what the Boss said so as to not cause him to start paying attention to what you're doing.

And there's this bit that I finally found:

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.

If Taim is nothing more that a DF with asperations of becoming the next in a new, improved line of Chosen, would he really want that x 50 hanging around?

After all, if you read between the lines of Mr Jordan's descriptions of Taim, you get coward.

yes, I am one of those people...edit to touch things up a bit.
Lannis .
37. Lannis
Alfvaen @ 24... Thanks! Your synopsis rings more bells than the other things I'd read (specifically that Rand wasn't there and Cadsuane had left Samitsu in charge... seems to me she gets rather rankled when another AS--Sashalle? Somerin? Insert S name here--jumps in...)

My money's on Dobraine not being a DF, if for nothing else than saying that "yes, there are trustworthy, decent, reliable, and capable nobles out there."
38. AndrewB
Leigh (and others)

IIRC, Rand has killed at least one woman prior to this point. In TDR, he killed a woman merchent among the group of people who had asked to share his fire (I believe that the woman was a grey woman as Rand did not realize she was with the group until he saw her dead body. However, the book is clear that Rand never deduced that she was one of the Souless -- he thought that she just got mixed in the wrong crowd.)

Also, IIRC, I do not think that this "woman" makes it onto Rand's list.

How does this murder coincide impact your theory about the MEH?

(By my asking this question, I am not attacking your theory. I do not have an opinion as whether his adversion to kill women is ingrained in him as a "proper Two Rivers man" or it is Rand's MEH.)

Thank you for reading my musings.
Sara H
39. LadyBelaine

"NO, the Aes Sedai did not throw themselves into danger to get around the Oath. Check Sevanna's POV. The Tower loyalist sisters were already using the Power as a weapon to defend themselves. Kiruna etal could already use the Oath about using the Power to defend fellow Aes Sedai and Warders from where Perrin left them. They waded in so they could get to Rand ahead of everybody else. Serves them right."

but, but, but, Kiruna pretty much said that they do need to feel in danger when she explained it to Perrin, and she can't lie and she's not a DF, so evidently some of the Aes Sedai *think* they need to endanger themselves.

Also, I am pretty certain we see this same exercise repeated wiith the Aes Sedai who are with Mat(Elayne?) - they make comments a la "My word, I feel sufficiently endangered now. Time to whip out the One Power."

edit: Thanks to the stupdendous Encyclopedia WoT, it happened in KoD, Chapter 37.
Maiane Bakroeva
40. Isilel
J.Dauro @32:

The AS from the hill would be more effective than in the battle.

Not really. First of all, Perrin's posse was too small to be able to hack through the Shaido and, of course, vulnerable to OP attacks. It would have made much more sense to go in a spearhead formation, with some AS at the point, mowing down the Shaido with OP, while others would have defended from OP attacks. This would have given them a chance to actually reach Rand.

Once reached, Rand may have been in acute need of Healing.

_And_ they'd have had to wait there until Rand was well enough to gate them out. Defending the position from the Shaido the whole time.

So, I am sorry, but Perrin's "battle-plan" just plain sucked.

As to SAS being there for ulterior reasons - so were Cahirienin and Mayeners. It doesn't matter. Enemy of my enemy and all that.

LadyBelaine @31:

No, smallclothes are mentioned on men only (and this repeatedly, so it isn't like RJ shied away from mentioning this article of clothing). And Moiraine's test in NS, as well as Egwene's beatings really make it clear that women don't wear them.

And, yes, I was speaking of divided riding dresses being pulled on over the head, of which there are many instances in the saga. Which is a clear impossibility, IMHO.
Richard Fife
41. R.Fife
@38 The merchant was the woman, it was a male Soulless, and actually she is on the list, but as a description, not a name. Her death is more or less what caused his super hang up as he was so appalled at what he'd done. A "never again" attitude.

LadyBelaine@39 I don't have the exact text in front of me, but I seem to recall Kiruna more or less just stating fact about the Oath and leaving a little omission-lie about the defending other AS thing. She was generalizing, and thus speaking true, generally.
42. AndrewB
@35 (alreadymadwwith...)

"Oh and women do wear underwear. They call them shifts. I don't really want to imagine what's beneath those. "

It depends upon the woman. Speaking as a straight living male, I would not mind having to imagine what was under Berelain's shift.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Sara H
43. LadyBelaine

"No, smallclothes are mentioned on men only (and this repeatedly, so it isn't like RJ shied away from mentioning this article of clothing). And Moiraine's test in NS, as well as Egwene's beatings really make it clear that women don't wear them. "


That's a good point. It is weird, then.

"And, yes, I was speaking of divided riding dresses being pulled on over the head, of which there are many instances in the saga. Which is a clear impossibility, IMHO.

No, I know what you mean, I just can't think of any example of a divided skirt being pulled over the head, because that would be really impossible. Unless the skirts sort of snap open along one side of each "leg." Which would be really strange and useless.
Lannis .
44. Lannis
LadyBelaine @ 31 & Isilel @ 40 Re: divided riding dresses... not an impossibility if the buttons run down the back of one "leg" of the dress... or if the so-called dividing indicates not only two leg sections in the skirts but also that the entire dress is in two pieces (divided).

Or, you know, RJ wasn't all that into women's fashions and the designing thereof... meh... ;)
45. Rukaiya
Leigh's interpretation of the reason for Rand's hangup on killing women--or leading them to die--really makes sense to me. I've always wondered, though, to what degree the hangup was influenced by the slow emergence of LTT's memories. Obviously, as discussed here previously, Rand himself was brought up in a culture that views men as protectors of women, and that influences him. More than that, though, what broke LTT is when he killed his wife Ilyena. The LTT voice in Rand's head seems pretty hung up on it, and it seems like it might influence Rand's pathological desire to avoid killing any more women, as a sort of atonement. I doubt he would realize it consciously, but it could certainly play a part in turning a cultural value into a full blown hangup and line in the sand. Perhaps subconsciously, Rand equates killing women with killing Ilyena, and thus utter despair and madness.
46. AndrewB
R.Fife (@41)

Thanks for correcting me re who was the Souless. Do you recall where in the books that Rand described the woman merchant on his list? Thanks.

Thanks for reading my musings.
47. Rukaiya
Just as a quick addendum . . . there's also an interesting (and probably deliberate) parallel between LTT's actions in the prologue of The Eye of the World and Rand's in the Gathering Storm. In both cases, they kill a woman and it sets of a spiral of despair and self-torment, then both of them end up on Dragonmount. But in Rand's case, he has the realization that Ilyena could live again and rather than completing LTT's path by immolating himself, he manages to gain some inner clarity and peace. I wonder if Rand's now broken out of some sort of Dragon life pattern.
48. Hammerlock
Just throwing this out there, totally not related to any hygenic conversations, but algode (cotton) is apparently unknown outside the Aiel Waste. Everyone seems to wear fur, wool, leather, or silk in the wetlands.

Make of that as you will.
TW Grace
49. TWGrace
Being a guy, I just always assumed that the dresses simply had slits up the front and back...
Ron Garrison
50. Man-0-Manetheran
"smallclothes are mentioned on men only" Love these boards. I've gone through 12 books without ever once thinking about underwear. You complete me... XXXOOO
Sara H
51. LadyBelaine
This is what Kiruna actually said:

"Are you finished, farmboy?" "I will tell you something, though the meanest intelligence should be able to reason it out. By the three Oaths, no sister may use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in defense of her life, her warder, or another sister. We could have stood where you would have had us and watched until Tarmon Gai'don without ever being able to do anything effective. Not until we were in danger ourselves."

aCoS, Chapter 2, p. 74

The only way to reconcile that with what was actually going on (the Tower Aes Sedai already being under attack) is a) Kiruna and her clique were unaware of the peril faced by the Tower Aes Sedai or somthing like b) she isn't really thinking of them as her "sisters" anymore.

All of which begs the question - could she just have sent her warders into the fray and thus be liberated from the strictures of that oath?

It really is a stupid policy and written so weirdly it invites numerous ways to squeak around it.
Tricia Irish
52. Tektonica
Leigh, you are hysterical. I was crying I was laughing so hard at your Ch.1 reread....toilet paper and periods....such a tangent. I have often wondered about the lack of food and "personal moments"in books and movies. Not that we need to hear about them, but it's like people are mutants and just don't DO certain things.

jcmnu@23....I'm with you. Whether taverness was working with their choices or not, they got a "punishment" that was actually fairly "honorable". It was the only way they could be near him, because he didn't trust them.

Aram, completely gone. I had hopes for him until this scene. I mean the Tinker's philosophy is wonderful, if everyone felt that way, but not very practical in this particular Age. Therefore, Aram's taking up arms seemed a rather logical thing to do in the Two Rivers, but now....gone baby gone.

Perrin, or should we say, Mr. Emo to you! He is a bit more decisive in this scene than he is usually. I like the way he doesn't tell the AS anything.

Rand really needed to take control of the BT, then. It's really gotten out of hand as of tGS. Missed his chance. I know he's been busy, but that was "his" thing. He knew Taim was bad news, if not a true DF or FS (I know he's not!), and picking Dashiva had to be a Taver'n moment. Good get on Taim's A'man looking for Rand's angreal....I'd missed that little nod thing completely before.

Thanks again! Looking forward to Monday too!
Richard Fife
53. R.Fife
@51 LadyBelaine
Thanks for the quote. I wonder what her definition of "effective" is. She didn't say they wouldn't be able to fight, just "be effective".

@46 AndrewB
TFoH, chapter 52, during the fight with Lanfear, Rand hesitates when he could try and kill Lanfear, and he thinks:
Images darted through the pain. A woman in a dark merchant's dress, toppling from her horse, the fire-red sword light in his hands; she had come to kill him, with a fistful of other Darkfriends. Mat's bleak eyes; I killed her. A golden-haired woman lying in a ruined hallwhere where, it seemed, the very walls had melted and flowed. Ilyena, forgive me! It was a despairing cry.
That, I believe, is the first instance of "the list". Regardless, it shows clearly his remorse over having killed a woman in this life.
Jay Dauro
54. J.Dauro
Smallclothes are mentioned on women. Just once.

tFoh - 6
Some of the Maidens wore no more than smallclothes
Michael Johnson
55. ZshadeZ

Thank you! I was about to say the same thing. I don't think Rand's M.E.H being not killing women is random at all, LTT is a part of Rand (at least in a sense... or in full) and his main insanity is knowing what he did to Ilyena. Rand has even had the mental image of a woman with golden hair when LTT rants about it... with the image of a dead woman mixed with horriblegrief and gibbering insanity in his mind it's no big leap for him to be strongly against killing women.


Wool tampons? I'm sure my girlfriend would love that idea.
56. alreadymadwithdresses
LadyBelaine @39
Ah yes. There's Kiruna's explanation of the Oaths. We already know the Aes Sedai stance on saying one thing to avoid answering an entirely different question. Do it as often as possible.
The thing about talking with Aes Sedai is, you don't pay attention to what they say, it's what they don't say that matters. You can check the prologue again. As I've said, their sisters were already using the Power to defend themselves. Kiruna misled Perrin by implying that her feeling endangered was a huge requirement to using the Power. But we know it's not the only requirement. What's stopping Kiruna from using the Power to defend their fellow Aes Sedai? That is included in the Oaths is it not? Perrin's original impression was right. Kiruna and co. charged in so they could get to Rand ahead of everybody else, and as the senior military commander, he certainly had the right to berate Kiruna for needlessly endangering the Mayeners on some selfish attempt further their schemes. Kiruna even blushed because of how much their plan had backfired.

AndrewB @42
That's if she can even afford to wear one given how... low... her dresses already are.

Re: divided dresses.
I was given to understand the divided part was straight down the middle of the front and back, just between the legs, possibly around knee- or calf-height down. From Elayne and Tylin's POV's the buttons are typically behind. if the buttons stop at about waist level, I can conceive of two ways to put on such a dress. Over the shoulders and pulled down, or stepped into and pulled up.
Sara H
57. LadyBelaine

For reference, here's the other quote, from KoD, Chapter 37, p. 749.

"I think," Joline said slowly. "Yes, I feel in danger now." Teslyn simply drew back her hand and threw a sphere of fire larger than a horse's head."

(By the way, I think that 'horse's head' is very odd item to use as a size comparison.)
Sara H
58. LadyBelaine
AlreadyMad@56 -

Right, but I don't see how you can take what she said ("Not without being danger ourselves") and interpret that any other way. There is wiggle room in there ("doing anything effective"), but on the whole, it's pretty solid and contains truth value.

So, as I said, even if other Aes Sedai were in danger (which despite your scolding tone, no one is disputing), for some reason, Kiruna a) either didn't know of it or b) has worked out her own personal understanding of the oaths to require personal danger.

I don't really see how you can read it any other way.
59. FellKnight
Holy crap.

I have a new theory that just clicked. Most people assume that Taim is a DF, if not for his general ickyness but because he gives orders to DFs to kill Rand later in WH.

BwS as much as said that somebody has had the 13x13 trick used on them.

Liandrin and the other BA knew about Taim AND about the 13x13 trick, and one of their plans was to free Taim from the AS who had captured him after Rand fought at Falme.

Conclusion: The BA got to Taim (they did manage to free him, after all) and gave him a little gift. *He* is the 13x13'd character.

What say you? Looney?

60. alreadymadwithfireballs
LadyBelaine @57
No. It's not an odd item to use as comparison, since they were riding horses at the time, IIRC. And it's simply an illustration of how underpowered your average Aes Sedai is compared to heavyweights like Aviendha or the Asha'man. Rand did see Aviendha weave a fireball once. It was significantly larger. Or it may be simply that being in a battleground, Teslyn had to ration her use of the Power.
And oh yes, she worked out her own personal understanding of it, alright. Must get to Rand ahead of everybody else. It's the simplest reason around.
Thomas Keith
61. insectoid
Great post as always, Leigh!

So, I pop on here, and the commenters are talking about...women's underwear? How unusual. And...not so oddly, I don't have much to say about these chapters.

One could think that Randlanders have TP, because that's what Subwoofer says they could use to seal the Bore ;)

I agree on the Moral Event Horizon thing. Hopefully, with Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount it may--may--return to something closer to normal.

Leaving Taim in unsupervised charge of an army of male channelers is like hiring a pyromaniac to be the night watchman for your dynamite factory.

LOL! Nice analogy.

Free @11: Did I miss something? Is that about the craps reference?

TWGrace @49: That's how I pictured them, but whaddo I know?
Vincent Lane
62. Aegnor
Haven't read all the comments, but I just wanted to say something about the smell issue. Bloodhounds, when given a scent, can track that scent even if the person tries covering themselves in some strong smelling substance, in order to cover up their own scent. Their noses are advanced enough to easily filter out the different scents. I imagine it is something very similar with Perin's nose.

Oh, and I don't remember having a clue Dashiva was evil from the start. The fact that Taim did not want Dashiva to be one of the chosen ( pun intended) threw me off his track for a while. I think eventually I began to question it somewhere in PoD, but I can't remember where exactly.
Sara H
63. LadyBelaine

I think it's an odd item because.... horse's heads aren't round. Presumably fireballs are.

and this...

"And oh yes, she worked out her own personal understanding of it, alright. Must get to Rand ahead of everybody else. It's the simplest reason around. "

Doesn't square with her clear unequivocal statement and her inability to state a falsehood.
64. Seamus1602
I agree that the forced bonding of the SAS was unethical, but the true point made by such a realization is actually a condemnation of the 3 Oaths, not on Rands and Taims unethical actions.

In short, the 1st Oath sets the stage for AS being Compelled by any person with strength sufficient to threaten them (including WOs, Windfinders, damane, wilders, Ashaman, or anyone with forkroot tea).

I've always been disappointed in Egwene for backing down from her 'no more 3 Oaths' plan because of this reason, among others. AS are known around the world as the most skillful liars. The 1st Oath reinforces that
belief, it does not mitigate it (as Siuan seems to believe). All the 1st Oath really does is set the stage for Compulsion of AS. And they do it to themselves. And cut their lives in half in the process.

The 1st Oath (which AS work from day 1 to circumvent) is the unethical action in that it is itself a lie. Without it, none of the forced fealty would be binding, and they would merely be shielded prisoners, as they should be.
Richard Fife
65. R.Fife
FellKnight @59 While I've been a personal proponent of the Taim was 13x13'd, I am curious, where did BwS say that the trick has been used?
66. Noncompositional
I have to say that during this and several other sequences, in which Perrin notes the emotion-scents of tons of characters, I am always reminded Troi from TNG: "Captain...uh, Rand, you're feeling very angry right now."
67. Chapter Dad
Dear Leigh:

We think that it is cold today in California, but no where near as cold as from where you are.

God Bless.
68. FellKnight
@ R.Fife 65

In the previous thread:

371. danvril
Friday December 11, 2009 01:54pm EST
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’

69. alreadymadwithcouldhave
LadyBelaine @63
"We could have stood where you would have had us and watched until Tarmon Gai'don without ever being able to do anything effective. Not until we were in danger ourselves."

That is not unequivocal.
"We could have stood" not "we would have stood". Could is used to express possibility or make suggestions. If it had been a definite certainty the correct form to use would be "would have". The use of the word could was Kiruna's room to wiggle around.
James Jones
70. jamesedjones
57 LadyBelaine & 60 AMWfireballs
"Teslyn simply drew back her hand and threw a sphere of fire larger than a horse's head."(By the way, I think that 'horse's head' is very odd item to use as a size comparison.)
RJ earned his BS in physics, so I guarantee he did that on purpose.
Fake Name
71. ThePendragon
“Anyway. TGS has put an interesting new perspective on this whole List of Rand’s, for me. TGS very strongly implied something which had not really been made that clear in the earlier novels (to me, anyway): that Rand’s long-standing refusal to kill women, and his anguish over those who died following him, was – not exactly an arbitrary hang-up, given his upbringing, but a hang-up that he chose (subconsciously or otherwise) out of several possible hang-ups to represent his own personal Moral Event Horizon.”

See, while this makes you feel better, this is one of the things in TGS that irks the hell out of me. It’s one in a long list of things, that are a result of Jordan not writing it. As you mentioned, this was never made clear in earlier novels, and with the frequency it came up, I find it inconsistent with Jordan’s previous writing for this clear and simple explanation to be expressed. To the degree were it leaves me with doubts as to whether this was in fact Jordan view at all. It scares me that this might simply be Mr. Sanderson’s interpretation of Rand’s issues, and so far, there’s no way to know for certain. I would like to think Sanderson would not have done this, but in the text it seems like a such a small thing, a few sentences maybe he didn’t think about, but are in fact very much a big deal in that they provide an interpretation for something that’s been a major part of Rand’s personality for most of the series. That this might not be Jordan’s interpretation, or that Jordan may even have wanted to leave this open to interpretation is very worrisome to me.

As for Rand and Taim, I don’t see why people keep claiming there were really any pressing concerns for Rand to take action on him short of Logains report in CoT. Before that, I can’t see what Taim has done that would possibly arouse any real suspicion in Rand. True, Rand should definitely not have left him and the BT to their own devices, but nothing Taim has done has really warranted action. Arrogance is to be expected, and is probably necessary in his position. Add to that that Rand is overly careful with Ash’aman due to his predisposition to want to kill them, it’s easy to see why he hasn’t don anything about Taim yet.

And finally regarding Dashiva, I never figured him evil. Maybe I’m blind, but I bought his act hook, line, and sinker.
72. alreadymadwithdashiva
ThePendragon @71
While your concerns are valid, I myself believe it's time to wrap up that particular hang up. We're getting close to the end here. Time for the Dragon Reborn to get his act together. It just so happened that enumerating the details fell to Mr. Sanderson.
And yeah, I bought Dashiva's act too. I don't think even Taim knows who he is.
John Massey
73. subwoofer
It's Ripping Time!

Hi Leigh, because of a little tidbit of yours I went scrambling for the bourbon to keep from running screaming into the night. Thank God Lannis checked the supply! Good thing too, as it is gonna get -40 here in the next couple of days. Funny thing, -40 is the same in Fahrenheit or Celsius.

Ahem, Hi Loial- good to see ya again bud!
"Could you speak a little louder?" Perrin said almost under his breath. "I think somebody in Andor didn't hear. In the west of Andor."

..."I do know how to whisper, you know." This time it was unlikely anyone could hear clearly more than three paces away or so.


Interesting direction you took in the summary of Ch 1. Reminds me of Brody giving Stan Lee the 3rd degree in Mallrats about the packages of various SHs. Things you just don't wanna consider. Ever.

Rand- hmmmmm interesting what Perrin sniffed about him and his interplay with Taim when Rand was pressured to keep more Asha'men about him- as per Leigh's summary.- I wonder why Perrin did not comment more or at least question Rand's sanity. He has every reason, from watching the guy deal with death to the rapid change in scents, which, on the face of it is seemingly impossible.

Breakin' this in two.

John Massey
74. subwoofer

I also like the contrast with AS methods and WOs. The AS channel, even when they should not, for privacy to confer without eavesdroppers, the WOs used Maidens in a circle around themselves to create a white noise. Sometimes you don't have to get fancy to get results.

I am also liking Rhuarc in this chapter. Major stuff is going down with the AS, SAS, WOs and Asha'man and Rhuarc takes in the situation pretty well:
"Is this the right moment, Rand al'Thor?"

Smooth. Why he was ranked in my favs. Also, what is the deal with Aiel songs? They are all pretty grim and fatalistic. Aiel are the country artists in the WoT world;) Their boots broke, an enemy touched them, and they fell in love with a Maiden. Could do a drinkin' song about oosquai...

75. MasterAlThor
I was out spending time with the family, so I am late to the recap. I am here now and I have got something to say.

“Anyway. TGS has put an interesting new perspective on this whole List of Rand’s, for me. TGS very strongly implied something which had not really been made that clear in the earlier novels (to me, anyway): that Rand’s long-standing refusal to kill women, and his anguish over those who died following him, was – not exactly an arbitrary hang-up, given his upbringing, but a hang-up that he chose (subconsciously or otherwise) out of several possible hang-ups to represent his own personal Moral Event Horizon.”

Oh how we are going to have fun with this for the forseeable future.

I try seriously I try to respect the view that men and women should be equal in all things but that just isn't the truth.

Rand does take this a bit overboard. Letting women choose to die for him is something he should get over. That part of it never should have been witnessed.

The taking of a womans life is not something I could even stomach. Even if said woman was coming to kill him.

This actually goes kinda hand in hand with another discussion we were having on the previous reread.

Logain capturing the TAS.

It was suggested by some that showing overwhelming force or shielding and stilling would have been the better choice. To be fair it was also suggested that killing the TAS would have been morally preferable than the current condision they are now in.

Ok so I will use that arguement for Rand and his wnwillingness to kill women. He could fight back, but not use lethal force.

Yes events in TGS prove just how silly that can be. But I would have given Semi to the Aiel from the jump.

All in all who are we to subject our views on someone whos views differ from our own? So some of us think he is stupid, others think he is noble.

I guess that is just the small town speaking in me.

Dashiva was able to be pointed out because Rand could sense his ablility to channel. Atleast that is what I think it is.

Tampons and underwear....
Not even concerned. Not even a little bit.


While I agree that Rand should do something about the BT, I dont think that he has the mental capacity to deal with it right now.

Remember everytime he is near Taim he wants to kill him or rather LTT wants to. Rand believes that if he lets LTT have his way LTT will take over.

I don't know about you but I don't want that battle going on verytime I try to talk to someone.

edit: grammar...really is my spelling that bad?
Emma B
76. EmmaB
Unless the skirts sort of snap open along one side of each "leg." Which would be really strange and useless.

It's also possible that a divided dress with sewn inseams might have a row of buttons at front of the waist. You would pull the bodice over the head, then step into the divided skirt, and button or tie the top front of the skirt to the bottom of the bodice. Without that, you'd have to pull the whole bodice off and basically strip down whenever you had to make a rest stop, which is a major inconvenience. (Still is, for modern-day jumpsuits and bodysuits.)

IIRC, there is a reference to Elayne/Nynaeve converting regular dresses to divided skirts, which implies sewn inseams but doesn't rule out such a front opening.
John Massey
77. subwoofer
Well if we are truly going to analyze the various things that did not occur to us until the Aiel got naked, how about how much fiber the average WoTer gets. From what I have read, the basic diet consists of bread, meat, cheese, um... that's it. I am assuming that it is unrefined flour as it is back in the day so at least there is that. Something to battle the hemorrhoids some must have from sitting in a saddle.

How about scurvy though? Or for that matter, general dental care. I think I saw something about Ny brushing her teeth with salt, but I don't know how effective that is and if the absence of fluoride is hard on the teeth.

Well if we are gonna go there, I might as well get comfortable..
"What is it that a man may call the greatest things in life?"
- "Hot water, good dentishtry and shoft lavatory paper."
-Terry Pratchett, Light Fantastic

Richard Fife
78. R.Fife
Just for you, to the tune "Rehab - Sittin' at a Bar'
(also odd how little I really needed to change the lyrics from the original).

Oosquai, I really did it this time
Broke ji'e'toh just for a good time
When I got home it was just past dawn
I didn't care that the rug was drawn
She was trippin' on my honor
I think she finally saw I was a goner
She threw my shit out of the hold
Said I was da'tsang and left me in the cold
And in my drunkin' stooper
I did what I should of never done
Now I'm sittin' here talking to you
Drunk and on the run

I'm sittin' with a jug on the inside
Waitin' red shields on the outside
She broke my heart in a Shaido hold
So I jacked a fifth of her daddy's gold
Threw it down a pit and then stepped away

You know jug I'll probably get a black robe
So just keep me warm 'til I disrobe
Yeah I know the sun is comin' out
And I can tell from the feel, my booze are running out
But I'm trying to drown my soul
I'm tired of this life in the three fold
And everything that I love is gone
And I'm tired of hangin' on

She got with a jug on the inside
Waitin' red shields on the outside
She broke my heart in a Shaido hold
So I jacked a fifth of her daddy's gold
Threw it down a pit and then stepped away

I guess it's meant to be
A wreath is misery
But life is just a dream
And I washed the spears, looking for a sunny beam
But I'm not afraid
to die, life's now made
I am a danger
I guess I should've done something about my anger
But I'll never learn
Real things I don't concern
I pile dry old dung on everything I love and watch it burn
I know it's my fault
But I wasn't happy to leave the hold
She threw a fit, so into the pit, I dumped the gold

I won't be comin' back this time,
No year and a day for this crime
A Shaido Dog has more honor than me
And now in black I'll be

I've been with a jug on the inside
Waitin' red shields on the outside
She broke my heart in a Shaido hold
So I jacked a fifth of her daddy's gold
Threw it down a pit and then stepped away
79. MasterAlThor
R. Fife


Ok...I think I'm done



john mullen
80. johntheirishmongol
These chapters are all about reinforcing the end of DW. This was the first real example of Rand going thru the list of names, but also a good example of him talking to LTT.

Disagree totally with Pendragon, but this isn't the place for TGS discussions.

As for Dashiva being Osangar, I thought it was all indicative of his taverenness.

BTW the 13x13 thing is way overused as a reason in these discussions. It's too often an excuse for character who have chosen their own dark path for their own reasons.
81. alreadymadwith songs
R. Fife @78
That's way better than a rickroll.

johntheirishmongol @80
82. Lily of the Valley
Well, I've found several examples of "divided riding skirts". One is artwork for a sewing pattern:

They're practically baggy pants. It looks like they were stepped into and then fastened in the back.

The second picture is from an older pattern, and features buttons:

This looks more like a really long skort , but the purpose of the buttons is lost on me. The little article that goes with it doesn't explain it either.

Another example would be the Japanese nagabakama:

Although men wore them as well:

Either way, all of the examples are separate pieces from the shirt or bodice, and I think a single piece would be more impractical to wear, unless the skirt could literally be "divided" and then let out so it was a regular skirt again.

Re: Feminine hygiene

I...don't really think about it. I don't really WANT to think about it. All I can say is, it must have sometimes royally sucked for the Supergirls on their Many Adventures.

@81: DW = Dumai's Wells
83. peachy
@80 - I agree, the 13x13 is an easy crutch for readers, but as far as we're aware Jordan never actually used it. (I believe, anyhow - there might be forcibly converted characters about, but I'm pretty sure we don't know of any. Of course, I'm only a chapter deep in tGS.)

Really, Jordan did a great job with motivations, especially on the dark side. From the despairing Ingtar on, we've met quite a few baddies who went to the Shadow for reasons other than a desire to do evil or worship the DO - hell, two of the second-tier Forsaken are possible fellow-travellers rather than committed minions. (Asmodean claims to have turned for the sake of an eternity of jammin' on the harp, and Graendal thinks it possible that Mesaana turned for the sake of a better research opportunity. They're both thoroughly awful people, but those are perfectly human motivations, rather than the "evil for the sake of evil" background you often get in fantasy.) And that's not even considering the possible male channelers who turned for protection from the taint.
Barry T
84. blindillusion
R.Fife ~

You know, I could see that working.

Kinda makes you wonder...are there any WoT cover bands out there?

johntheirishmongol ~

I don't know that the 13x13 Trick is overused as an excuse. It's just something that Mr Jordan presented and we've never seen in practice. What else are we to do but speculate?

Until we've actually seen it in practice, we don't even truly know how a person who has been shown this particular stairway in the grandfather clock would act.

As Sheriam says in The Price of the Ring, Chapter 22 of tDR:

This is something known to a few child, even in the Tower. You should not learn it now, if ever....
85. coreyartus
Woopdiggadee, this is fun! I am especially enjoying these comments because there's a great balance of those that are figuring things out for the first time, those that are looking back having read it once, and a goodly plenty of honoring the journey without excessively smart-ass spoilers. Ya'll are a good lot, folks--makes me wanna go out and start a social reading group for a year just to discuss these novels! Hmmmm....

Some thoughts to add to (and extend) previous thoughts--

My impression as a first time reader regarding the whole Rand/Ladykilling issue--this is LTT's personality seeping in... Isn't it obvious that as much as they protest to each other "I am not you!" that we're supposed to pick up the fact that they are really getting to be more and more the same person? I mean, LTT isn't just a mad voice--Rand is actually talking to him now. It's inevitable: Rand's crisis and his ultimate victory will come only when he accepts that he is NOT just Rand al'Thor. That's the only way he's gonna win--the harder journey will be if LTT accepts that he can actually change what he feels is his damnation--he has a second chance. That's hard to let yourself believe when you've felt guilt as long as he has, I'm sure... No Lady Killing = Ilyena Guilt, grafted into the entire Two Rivers gene pool by the Wheel through the Weave...

And I think that's how Rand can change sent so quickly... He's two people after all...

And Taim. This man is unbridled ambition. Period. He isn't a darkfriend--he's impatient, self-oriented and a devious manipulator. He is (in my opinion) a miniature version of the Tower, the Wise Ones, the Aiel, the Chosen, Royalty, Nobility... His bridled ambition is held in check only by his inability to achieve an upper hand and *not* slip to the darkside, which is what everyone is trying to do around and through Rand. I think he's written in part to give us perspective: even in one-person packages can come the headache that an entire regime can provide, if they come with enough power within to make themselves as powerful as a regime. And Taim is well on his way, thanks to Rand being too busy to pay proper attention, to being that powerful thanks to the Asha'man.

Just my 2¢. Isn't this fun to hypothesize?? Woohooo!

Leigh, this is so awesome! Kudos!!!
Robert Phelps
86. Seamus1602
@Lady Belaine re: AS needing to feel 'in danger'

I've always had problems with the explanation given by Kiruna here.

First, I get the distinct impression that this is not something that they told Perrin when they were informed of their part in the plan. Perrin tells them, 'Stay back with the Mayeners and do your thing.' The AS nod along, then do their own thing in the battle. Why couldn't they have told Perrin prior to the battle?

Second, any AS can get into battle quickly and easily by merely sending her Warder into battle. I do not remember if the SAS had their Warders with them, but this is just a general complaint I have about the lie of the 2nd Oath.

Third, it is counterintuitive for the SAS to keep pressing further into the mass of Shaido once they already feel in danger. They were clearly pushing towards Rand, when they could have channeled to the same effect once they had merely come within bow range.

Fourth, they could obviously have just wrapped up Shaido in flows of Air and spanked them silly, cause they do that all the time without feeling in danger. (Ok, not a valid reason, but I'm always curious where the AS draw the line in terms of using the Power as a weapon - does it need to draw blood? How is spanking any different from Rand's use of Air to knock out all the TAS? Just in terms of how it is framed internally in each AS's mind? Probably, but still...)

Fifth, they could have merely lit a ball of Fire over the heads of the Shaido WOs, getting their attention (while having a few hold a shield for the incoming lightning/fireballs), and they would then be in danger and able to start attacking. The same applies for the TAS.

Sixth, Rand is Alanna's Warder, meaning that she should have been able to attack with Power from the word 'Go', again getting the attention of nearby channelers, getting them to attack the SAS, making the SAS feel 'in danger', getting them into the fight.

I could go on, but my point - that the SAS could easily have found a way to get involved without pressing the way they did - is clear. The SAS were obviously more interested in getting to Rand first than they were listening to any of the generals/leader of the side of the Light/Dragon. They didn't press forward because they had to to get involved, they pressed forward in their own self-interests.
Robert Phelps
87. Seamus1602
FellKnight@59, R. Fife@65

I've long believed that Taim was a leading possibility for being 13x13'ed.

I brought this up in tGS Review thread, but I've always thought that a lot about Taim's escape and subsequently showing up in Caemlyn at least somewhat unrecognizable to Bashere is still unexplained. In that thread, there were some good reasons presented for why these events are not as curious as I've long thought, but I've always wondered about it.

I also wonder because Taim is clearly associated with or has learned from AoL channelers ('so-called Aes Sedai'), but is also just as clearly not a Forsaken himself (not Dem per RJ, all others IDed). To me, this suggests a Forsaken teacher, not unlike what Bel'al had planned for Nyn, Egs, and Elayne in tDR (a plan which also used the 13x13 trick).

To those who think that the 13x13 trick is overly relied upon to explain away the action of evil characters:

I believe that this is in large part because, thematically, it seems clear that it will be/has been used against someone at some point; it's emphasized too much to not ever use it. It's been sitting out there since tDR, but we're still not sure who it is, and the possibilities are only growing smaller. Of course we keep bringing it up, cause we all want to accurately predict who it has been/will be done to.
j p
88. sps49
Rand is a sharp guy, clever and observant. I am certain that he knows Taim is Bad, and probably thought he was Demandred, too. ; )

He knows his Ashaweapons are leavened with DFs.

And he has some idea of how to solve it, even if it is to bring Far Madding-ness (in the form of Arnolde's Centaur Aisle?) to the Black Tower and kill everyone wearing a dragon (except Logain).

This is one of the few things in this series I don't worry about.


Seamus1602 @86- Very good deconstruction of Kiruna et al. Her "Not until we were in danger ourselves" is technically untrue (the best kind of untrue!), but I take it as a minor authorial glitch rather than evidence that she has replaced the First Oath with... another....
89. Freelancer

The Power still filled him, the flow from saidin sweeter than honey, ranker than rotted meat. Abruptly he channeled - not really understanding what it was he did, or how, only that it seemed right; and it worked, lifting the corpses. He set them in a line, facing him, kneeling, faces in the dirt. For those who had faces left. Kneeling to him.

"If I am the Dragon Reborn," he told them, "that is the way it is supposed to be, isn't it?" Letting go of saidin was hard, but he did it. If I hold it too much, how will I keep the madness away? He laughed bitterly. Or is it too late for that?

Frowning, he peered at the line. He had been sure there were only ten men, but eleven men knelt in that line, one of them without armor of any sort but with a dagger still gripped in his hand.
"You chose the wrong company," Rand told that man.

R.Fife covered the rest.


Well, it was about what Leigh said during the craps reference, though splitting tens is blackjack.

Chapter Dad@67

Your nick, a reference to a young men's organization begun in 1919 in Kansas City? (PMC-MSA, RD, LCC, KT, Chv, BHK)


Dumai's Wells.
Barry T
90. blindillusion

Very good points, especially about Alanna.


Arnolde's Centaur Aisle = LOL. Randland could use a little Xanth.
bryant johnson
91. bryguy

The point you brought up about Alanna being able to attack (because Rand is her warder) made me think all the SAS should be able to do the same. He is the DR and has to be at TG for the Light to have a chance at beating the DO. The AS should be able to use OP as a weapon anytime Rand's life or his ability to reach TG is endanger.
Maiane Bakroeva
92. Isilel
J.Dauro @54:

Some of the Maidens wore no more than smallclothes

Well, duh, the Maidens wear male clothing, don't they?
Check the many descriptions of Avi dressing after she is forced into skirts - no smallclothes there. Ditto the SGs any any other female character who has an opportunity to undress on-screen. Which always seemed incongruous to me, because well, it is inconvenient/cold and many female characters also ride astride, where it would be more than inconvenient.

Lily of the Valley @82:

Yes, that's exactly what I think divided skirts are supposed to be.

Seamus 1602 @86&87 :

I am sorry, but Perrin's plan sucked. It depended on:

reaching Rand - which his small, disorganized troop would have been unable to do without AS clearing the way/protecting them

_and_ on Rand being well enough to make a gateway - which may have required an AS for Healing,

_and_ on being able to hold position until Rand could learn the place enough to make a gateway, which again would have required OP protection.

Perrin's idea to leave all his channelers behind was insanely stupid.

Also, do we know that AS can tactically attack the back rows of the enemy and not the front rows, which actually threaten them? Because that's what they would have had to do, to protect Rand/help Perrin. Also, how could they attack the TAS? The TAS weren't threatening them.

Again, why Kiruna didn't tell all this to Perrin and suggest a better plan of action _before_ the battle, only RJ alone knows. But then, he was on massive AS dumbing-down trip at the time.

Oh, and as to Dashiva'gar, I can truthfully say that I recognized him almost immediately. I.e. when he claimed to be a farmer, but was very uncomfortable around a horse and then let too much knowledge slip and awkwardly lied that it came from his extensive reading :).
TW Grace
93. TWGrace
I am sorry, but Perrin's plan sucked.
Perrin's idea to leave all his channelers behind was insanely stupid.

I dont think so.

I think he was trying to give them a chance to survive.

"The Lord Dragon is down there?" Dobraine asked, looking across Rhuarc. Perrin nodded. "And you mean to go in there and bring him out?" Perrin nodded again, Dobraine sighed. He smelled resigned not afraid. "We will go in, Lord Aybara, but I do not believe we will come out." This time Rhaurc nodded.

Kiruna looked at the men. "You do realize that there are not enough of us. Nine. Even if your Wise Ones can actually channel to any effect, we are not enough to match that."
Tricia Irish
94. Tektonica
Wow....a good night's sleep and look at all this!


I think Rand's MEH was drawn from two personal sources,
his upbringing in the Two Rivers (Tam), and LTT's ranting about killing Iyena,
It seemed from day one, that this was his way of keeping his humanity in the face of the horrible task ahead of him requiring the deaths of many, and much sacrifice on the part of others. IMHO, Leigh's got it right here.


Thanks for the divided skirts! I've been looking for one, seriously, in stores and catalogues for several years. These are exactly what I've been looking for!
(FTR, I don't believe women don't wear underwear! Too uncomfortable! Especially on a horse.)


As for Kiruna, Seamus@1602 said it most clearly. They could've done lots of creative things, but their motivation was getting to Rand asap for their own interests. Remember, AS don't communicate their intentions to others. They don't have to. (Not that many do in these books!) Perrin's plan could've been better had they worked together! Hahahahaha.


I don't know what you do for a living, but you definitely could have a career in comedy! LOL.


i'm with you on Dashiva'gar.....

As for Taim. Got to be a DF....although as someone above mentioned (can't find it now), Taim hasn't really done enough of BAD, yet, for Rand to jump on him. The exception being that the early A'man haven't been promoted, and the new one's have. We see later that Taim is a power mad, evil dude. He did order 3 of his minions to track Rand down and kill him in Far Madding. On whose order was that?!
john mullen
95. johntheirishmongol
I'm pretty sure Perrin knew his plan sucked, he expected to die. They were hugely outnumbered and also fighting AS. They dont have enought bows to make a difference, certainly not to fight odds like that. The only hope he had wasl that of prophecy of the Dragon, and he wasnt big on that.

DW is Dumai Wells

I dont know what anyone expected from Rand to do with the SAS. Making them apprentices to the WO was probably about as good as he could do at the time.

BTW, just because something isn't mentions doesnt mean it doesn't happen, just not might be worth writing about or reading for that matter. I certainly don't need to read about bathroom habits in a fantasy novel. I assume that they happen, just offstage. I don't like it in movies either, with very few exceptions its usually very low humor.

Also, RJ may have avoided discussing womens undies for other reasons. One of his strengths was writing strong (and often annoying) female characters. If he had spent 10 pages writing about the Victorias Secret of Carhein, we probably are adding a whole book to the series just for the sex, etc. (btw, im j/k)
96. scott_swampy
Plus Perrin even thinks at some piont that it was a bad plan and that he didn't think it would work, but he thought that he had to do what he could for rand...

Stupid as it may have been, He was of the opinion that he had no other options.
John Massey
97. subwoofer
@R Fife- sniff, sniff, that was beautiful! No one has ever wrote a song for me before... almost as good as a light-up TOR dingle ball cough, coughtoriecough, cough...

You'd have a career in Nashville. Reminds me of that Gord Bamford song "went for one, but I stayed till two". Quit you're grimy city and go to where the flavor is.

John Massey
98. subwoofer
Question- did Taim know who Dashiva was? Were his protests a front?

John Massey
100. subwoofer
But really, I gotta be me.

I was gonna insert a song here, but Fifester stole my thunder...

Not much in the plan B pile.

Perrin expected to be lightening fodder. He is not a brilliant tactician as witnessed by his scouring of the Two Rivers. He relies on others, like Gaul. On the other hand, he is true to his friends and has the courage of conviction to do what is right, despite what he has to do.

Jack Diamond
101. violetdancer
I am soooo late, everything I wanted to say has been posted already.

Re personal hygene:

Everyone knows that fictional characters don't piss, poop, break wind and in many cases eat, sleep or bathe. It's too hard to stop all action while they dismount and go looking for bush. That said, I nearly blew coffee out my nose reading the part in KOD when Tuon told Mat she was going to the ladies room.

R. Fife@78

Well done!


Perrin's plan sucked because he's still a kid who wanted to rescue his friend. Had he been a general he'd know that all plans are good only until the battle starts. Oh, and Kiruna didn't care to share info with him. She's AS and believes she and Bera know better than anyone. Their goal was to get to Rand.


Thanks for posting that picture of me in the previous thread (ACos, part1). Ain't I stunning!
Lindy Brown
102. lbrown
Alfvaen @ 7 and various:
I always thought it was Rand/LTT's scents, which is why they changed so fast. But it is an ambiguous antecedent, hence confusing.

I never thought of that before. That is really cool. I just assumed that it was due to Rand being so messed up, but the Rand/LTT thing makes sense.

Also, on the tampon note:
I always wondered if the AS had some weave for mananging menstruation. I bet they do. I wish I knew it.
Per-Kristian Buer
103. Celeborn
*Starts reading*
(Near end of chapter one commentary)
*Sees start of period talk*
*Screams like a twelwe year old girl and tires to put head in the ground like an austrige in a cartoon*
(Laying on the ground eyes open, with blood streaming from head)

P.S Other than that, all good:D, and yes im still afraid of cooties(?)

P.P.S Sorry for my horrible spelling
Tricia Irish
104. Tektonica


So funny to see the guys all freaked out by a little blood. You'd think they'd never seen battle......

I'm just saying.....
105. Tialin
@various many posters

I think Perrin had better seriously work on getting his act together before TG comes and he ends up being "lightning fodder" (LOL - thanks, choked on tea!) or just ends up in the Simpsonian for being a Homer one too many times. Grow up, boy! Embrace your destiny! Yeesh. Hit him upside the head for me, Faile, kthx.
Robert Phelps
106. Seamus1602

I don't dispute that Perrin's plan was not great/destined to fail. What I do dispute is that none of the SAS told him of their limitations prior to the battle beginning. That action only served to make the plan worse.

As for the 'dumbing down of the AS', I cannot agree. The AS, as an organization, has been obviously flawed from the beginning of this story. Just think about the premise of the tEotW: Only 1 AS can even know that the Dragon exists because the others would all completely disregard the prophecies to get their hands on him if they knew. From the very beginning, the AS have been a paragon of hubris and illogical decisions. This is nothing new to WoT.

Re: Channelers being held back being 'a bad plan'

Again, I must disagree. Had the AS been willing to state their limitations and work with others, any number of solutions could have presented themselves:

1. Stand right next to or amongst the WOs, get the WOs to attack the TAS. The SAS would then feel threatened as the WOs were threatened (by incoming lightning/fireballs).

2. Make a threatening move against the SAS without actually attacking (i.e. throw a fireball, but cut off the flows before they reach the TAS shields, making the TAS see an oncoming fireball stopped at their shield from a source other than the Shaido WOs. All the SAS need is one TAS to throw a fireball in their direction and they're in the fight.

3. You claim that keeping channelers at the outskirts of the fight is a bad plan. It seems to me that the WOs, Shaido WOs, and every other use of channeling in battle over the next 6 books is able to stand at the edge of a battle and do large amounts of effective channeling. As it was, were the SAS able to do anything against the TAS even pushing forward the way they did? They certainly were able to do less than the WOs, because of the 2nd Oath. But they could have easily gotten around that Oath and attacked the with WOs by following any number of the solutions I've presented. Especially because they could have stood anywhere and had Alanna throwing fireballs at any TAS she pleased. The TAS counter would threaten the SAS, and again, they're in the fight.

There was no tactical reason that the SAS had to be pushing forward the way they did. They've all worked for their entire adult lives on figuring how to not follow the Oaths they've taken. They could have easily come up with any of the solutions that I've presented. That didn't merely because they had their own goal for the battle: get to Rand first.

Kiruna's statement to Perrin was a lie (read: 'dissembling') that she covered with generalities and 'could'. Like most AS throughout the WoT, the SAS had their own goals that had little to do with the goals of the Dragon/side of Light. That they clearly had this alternative goal makes me believe that they truly deserve the fate they got in swearing fealty to Rand.
107. bluecansam
About menstruation and toilet paper, etc, I actually think about it for every fantasy series I read. I can’t remember how many stories I’ve read where high born ladies, or lords, etc have gone on long journeys through the forests, deserts, seas, swamps, so on and so forth and no mention of how they deal with their bodily functions is given any sort of nod. There are obviously more stories about farmers and scullions running away from a evil sorcerer, but I’ve always thought it more amusing to wonder about the squeamishness of a noble having to crap in the woods.

That being said, Trudi Canavan’s ‘Age of the Five’ series was the first I’ve read where bodily emissions are dealt with realistically and relatively tactfully. Hooray for attention to details.
Tess Laird
108. thewindrose
FreeLancer -
Great catch on the Gedwyn / Taim glance. I have no doubt that is what it meant. Just amazing where little bits are saying so much more.
This is like the little line in tDR, chapter 23 Sealed - Egwene has just finished her Aceptatron testing and is with Elaida and Sheriam. She thinks about Elaida - If she isn't Black Ajah, Egwene thought sourly, she's the next thing to it.
I found this little discussion gem on the 13th D, amazing!

Dashiva - "I read a great deal on the farm." *smirk*

And R.Fife - that was a good one!
Jack Diamond
109. violetdancer

I think also there is historical precedent here. Since they began taking the 3 Oaths, AS have sought ways to circumvent them. It may be standard AS policy to "move to the front" into danger whenever they need to go on the attack. I may be misremembering, but didn't Moiraine do that in one of the earlier books? Alanna and Verin were right out there in the Two Rivers battle. Can't buck tradition.
110. bluecansam
"I don't dispute that Perrin's plan was not great/destined to fail. What I do dispute is that none of the SAS told him of their limitations prior to the battle beginning. That action only served to make the plan worse."

I think that was really the point. As Leigh rightly pointed out, not sharing information and poor communication is a constant theme in RJ's books. The fallout of no one trusting anyone is frequently quite devistating.
Bonnie Andrews
111. misfortuona
Hello all. First post at this site after months of watching from the shadows, I’ve decided to jump in.

It isn’t much, but did it bother anyone else that Rand and Min could manage to laugh while walking through the battle gore. Especially given what they had just gone through with the AS. I suppose a relief at having both survived is understandable, but still what could they possibly have found funny.
Tricia Irish
112. Tektonica
I just remembered what divided skirts are called....culottes! They were popular in the 1960's, although they originated in France in the 1835-45 decade. FYI.

Sometime it takes awhile for the brain to kick in......
Birgit F
113. birgit
Dashiva - I think the oddest thing about that scene was that Rand chose him at random, and Taim wasn't too happy about it.

Taim was trying to place some of his favorites close to Rand and was frustrated that he didn't succeed. Taim probably didn't know who Dashiva really was (or if he did and he is a new Chosen he would see him as competition).

From what I have read, the basic diet consists of bread, meat, cheese, um... that's it.

That's travelling rations. When they stay at inns, they also eat different things.
Pelumi Adefope
114. GenghisCan
Thank you for on feminine hygiene, Leigh. Us guys just love talking about that stuff *shrugs uncomfortably*.

While we're somewhat on this topic, has anyone found it weird that we barely see any references to the characters going to the bathroom? I've started reading G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and in the first book, there are more instances of that than there are in the WoT. Just struck me as odd.

Thanks for the lesson on scatological history, Leigh. Toilet paper in the 6th century and tampons in Ancient Egypt? If they did that back then (and the Great Wall and Pyramids respectively), why aren't we driving flying cars now?

To be honest, I didn't have a clue about Dashiva. When I first read the books, I thought the hidden Forsaken would be Taim. I did start to suspect something about Dashiva around tPoD.

Where exactly is Rand's fat man angreal? It's too useful and beneficial to have been forgotten in a wagon. Taim and Rand don't have it; does that mean it's either the Aes Sedai or Wise Ones? Is this the thing Sanderson was talking about in books 4-6?

I have to admit, I was as confused as Perrin and Taim were when they tried to figure out how Rand knew exactly where Alanna was. Slow moment for me.

Finally, is it just me or have the Two Rivers bowmen gone from farmers to completely badass in like two books? They went from hoeing (go ahead and laugh) and planting to going toe-to-toe with Trollocs and Aiel (they two deadliest things in the world. It's like Uma Thurman going from Batman & Robin to Kill Bill.

I know people say it's the "Old Blood," but really? It has to be more than that. Something in the drinking water perhaps?

Sorry for the long post. Boredom is a five letter word. Can't wait until Monday.
Kev Hamm
115. cavynmaicl
Ha! I love this stuff so much! Leigh, I think the whole tampon discussion is rather odd, but going with it for just a moment, I think that acknowledgement of it is so rare in most fiction, scifi/fantasy or otherwise, that it's why it was such a hysterical moment in the movie Buffy The Vampire Slayer when Buffy said "Great, so my secret power is PMS?" that it sealed the movie as a classic for me.

Of course, this is from a person who's mother got him interested in history by asking "How did they go to the bathroom in those tights?" one day. (It was the same question that got her into history, so perhaps it should be asked more often.)

Anyway. Love the reread. Will now go reread the comments.
Robert Phelps
116. Seamus1602

I've always attributed the 2Rivers badass-ness to the relative strength of the 2Rivers longbows.

It's much easier to become a badass when the defensive weapon you've always trained with is more powerful and has greater range than any other weapon currently in use (until Mat and Aludra link up).

I'm not sure why other lands haven't developed longbows, but given that the 2Rivers-ites claim it takes a lifetime to learn, its understandable that it's taken a backseat to the flashier sword fighting.

In short, the 2R longbows are the game changer, and the stolidity of the 2Rivers-ites allows them to use this highly destructive weapon to great effect.
Robert Phelps
117. Seamus1602

Whether it's standard AS policy or not, it was wrong, in this case.

As you state, AS know how to get around the Oaths. In this case, they could have created opportunities to do so. They did not, and as a result, a large amount of Mayeners died.

The tactics of the SAS directly led to unnecessary deaths among the forces of the Dragon.
John Massey
118. subwoofer
There is no glamor in digging latrines.

After a big campaign is when you let your emotions go. Yes there is carnage but the relief and joy of being alive when it could of easily been the other way around can make things seem... 'light'. Course that is just me, others may have more intense emotions.

@Birgit- ya, I remember the Aiel had some peppers and such in their diet, but for the most part, it was meat and cheese based. No quest for mangoes or kiwis. And I believe that in earlier books, Mat made reference to the horrible food served at inns, but they were starving, so beggars can't be choosers.

Richard Fife
119. R.Fife
I am a bad, bad person....
Courtesy of the Fife A Capella Chorus...

The Oosquai Song.

If anyone can find a real Karaoke version of Sittin' at a Bar, let me know. Would sound so much better without my random POS A Capella stuff.
James Jones
120. jamesedjones
119 R.Fife

Oh, dear lord. A real Karaoke version would not have produced the tears. Thanks!
Thomas Keith
121. insectoid
Free @89: I know that, Chief!

Sub @99: "Ain't I a stinker?"

Violet @101: You're welcome! I was curious to see what they looked like, as compared to dragonflies (not much different looking, really).

Misfortuona: Great name!
Tess Laird
122. thewindrose
I think the use of the True Power has finally set R.Fife off the edge.
OMG - that was tooooooo funny......
Barry T
123. blindillusion
FellKnight@68 RE: ~

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’.

I'm no expert on Old Sayings, but does this necessary imply that Taim has been 13x13'd or that it's been used at all? I only ask because wouldn't Sheriam of “put it on the mantle” in the first act simply by mentioning it in tDR? And it will later be used “in the third act” because it needs to be?

Granted, I suppose we could find out Taim was 13x13'd, in which case the thought stands. But Mr Jordan claimed Taim was running when he went to Rand. To me, and I could be wrong, this implies he did it through his own actions, not as a result of suddenly being turned into a “mirror image” of himself. In other words...Had Taim been turned in this way, why was he running?

Isn't speculation fun?
Ron Garrison
124. Man-0-Manetheran
Welcome, coreyartus! Good analysis. And Taim just might be, like Elaida, "self-oriented and a devious manipulator." For a long time there was much speculation that Elaida was Black. She's not, but she still managed to help the DO in sewing chaos, etc. That's one of the many things I like about RJ's creation. There are people who do many evil things, but aren't "servents of the DO" per se. They are just selfish jerks. They don't need no 13/13in' to be disgusting.

@86 Seamus1602
AS just barging in doing whatever they think right without consideration of others? Preposterous! ::wink, wink:: I don't think I've heard anyone mentioning that about Alanna in this scene. You are quite correct.

@ALL re. underwear
Reading ahead a few chapters and paraphrasing: Egwene wakes up in her tent, brushes her teeth with salt, puts on her SHIFT and consents to being dressed. Enough with the underwear controversy already!
Joseph Armao
125. joeyesq
A couple of questions I thought I'd pose. One is do we have any indication that Taim did or didn't know Dashiva's true identity when Rand chose him? My guess is no, but I wonder if I didn't miss something.

Also, I guess Sanderson's response to the question re: the 13x13 trick kind of answers this one but my first thought upon learning Sheriam was Black in TGS was that maybe she lied about the 13x13 trick.
Jacy Clark
126. Amalisa

Oh, my stars and garters...
127. Lily of the Valley
Actually, I remember another mention of, er, bodily functions. When Elayne goes to meet the Borderland army in KOD, and the stench of the latrines is enough to smell the camp from a ways off. Lovely.
Eugenie Delaney
128. EmpressMaude
Well, Basel Gill was on his way to the "jakes" when he and the rest of Morgase's entourage were in Amador and the Seanchan attacked.
129. Freelancer

We have no indication in either direction about what Taim knew regarding Aginshiva'gar. If Taim is a darkfriend prior to Dumai's Wells, you'd think that Osan'gar would make himself known as his superior in service to the dark one, and demand obedience, just as Mesaana treats Alviarin, etc. But without an internal POV from him, there's no evidence one way or another. If Taim was not a darkfriend up to this point (hard for me to imagine, but not implausible), then Dashiva would have taken pains to stay undetected to him.
Scott Kelson
130. scott-swampy
And while we’re on the subject of toiletry habits, how long was Rand in that box? And they brought him out just twice a day to beat him, and then locked him back in you say…

On to more pleasant thought, these re-reads are great. I always just imagined the divided riding dresses to be a dress that had a split in the front and back. Amazing the stuff you miss.
John Massey
131. subwoofer
@Fifester- Good times! I betcha the random wanderer on youtube will come up with a big WTF but all in all, cool beans!

Lynn McDonald
132. meal6225
R. Rife thank you for this years antidote to Christmas Carols! A stage for you must be built in the bunker.

I did not suspect Dashiva was Osengar. I dont recall Min ever having an inkling about this.

Rand wants to leave something lasting for the future
maybe instead of a University he should introduce a
smoothie franchise and salad bar cusine.
133. afterthefallofnight
Rukaiya@45 and 47: I agree. I have always felt that part of Rand's reluctance to kill women was rooted in the trauma suffered by Lewis Therin when Therin killed his wife. The power of the trauma of killing his wife has been emphasized over and over again. I think you are right point out the echoes or parallels between Rand's and Therin's paths. It seems pretty clear Jordan was thinking along similar lines.
134. BenM
I'm new to the official re-read (personally, I tend to reread the series each time myself, book a month or so. I'll be doing TDR in January.) I was just going over comments in previous re-read post. This is in response to a comment there, but I don't know if anyone's reading over there any more. Anywho...

This comment is regarding AS hierarchy. Influence based on strength in the OP. On one hand, it's certainly not a perfect system. But still, there's a certain logic to it. Do you want strong leaders able to provide an effective defense (ahem, Egwene)? Or do you want weaker leaders, who can't? Not to mention, they'd be more easily bullied if the people who are supposed to obey them are much weaker in the power. (A stonger channeller can better enforce her will / the proprieties, if their lessers misbehave.) And quite possibly, a weak channeller would be looked down upon and disrespected by foreign power-wielding groups (Aiel possibly excepted.)
Alice Arneson
135. Wetlandernw
Late to the party. Again.

I always have to laugh when someone goes off on the underwear/hygiene/elimination issues - or rather lack thereof - in books. Until very recently, it was rarely mentioned in any form of literature. If you go back to the old definitions, it's all in that category of things that are considered "obscene" - as in, something that rightly takes place "off scene," because it obviously exists but really has no impact on or relevance to the story. Really, why waste words and pages on underwear and trips to the restroom? Who cares? (Well, some of you obviously do, but I don't! Of course people need to take care of those things. Why should we bother to write/read about it?) Oh, and how about those split shifts?

Re: Perrin's plan, or lack thereof. Not that I'm saying anything new, but here goes. No, Perrin is not a great general. He never claimed to be, he never wanted to be. He took on the role of leader in the TR battles against the Trollocs, but he didn't do that much of the planning - he deliberately relied on those who would know more about fighting than he did. At Dumai's Wells, though, he had something more compelling than a battle plan. He had Min's viewing that Rand would need him, and the knowledge that as ta'veren, they are tied together and the Pattern would use them as needed. So the "battle plan," such as it was, was secondary to the simpler plan for Perrin just to be there and let the Pattern pull the threads to make it work. Call it a cheap plot device if you want, but it's an integral part of the structure of the world RJ created. No, it doesn't work in RL, but if we can't accept the validity of the characters' actions in context of the world he created that's our problem, not his.

Amalisa @ 126 "Oh, my stars and garters" - I haven't heard anyone say that in donkey's years! except my sister and me... LOL

misfortuona - great name, BTW. Welcome. Just read your post over on the TGS thread too. You crack me up. Glad you're here! Grab a drink and a lawn chair... :)
136. bluecansam
I can’t speak for other people, but for me, a lot of the interest for me in how toiletry works in fantasy is that I’m a city boy. The times I’ve been camping, there has been a portapotty nearby, and I’ve never been a boy scout. I mean, I suppose I can go on Wikipedia and read about medieval lavatory technology, or I can read a manual about disposing of waste in the woods, but for the casual reader, it’s a step I might not be willing to take. Also, if I’m building a world, maybe I’d want advanced plumbing, but people to still use swords. Does Randland even have plumbing? Also, if you have plumbing, should you then assume that guns are invented? Maybe writers of fantasy need to be historical anthropologists, too. Now I keep thinking of all the permutations of how technology developed in various cultures, and it’s really quite mind boggling.

In either case, I think if you are going to world build, even if you don’t necessarily cover the subject of lavatories or various other technologies, you should know every small little detail of how your universe works.
Alice Arneson
137. Wetlandernw
bluecansam @136 - Maybe when Maria publishes that encyclopedia we'll get to see what RJ had in mind for sanitary facilities in the various cultures. ;) For myself, I grew up in the country, in an area where there were still houses with minimal or no plumbing (not many, I grant you, but they were there). And where we used to go backpacking, there weren't any portapotties! (LOL - just thinking about the logistics of maintaing said facility at 6000 feet, 15 miles into the back-country, where you can only arrive by your own feet or, possibly, your horse's... Hmm. No.) Taking care of... business... in the woods is just another fact of life, so not of any particular interest in fiction (to me). But I can (dimly) see where it would be a subject of curiosity for others. Who knew that growing up in the sticks would make it easier to comprehend fantasy worlds? :>
Jacy Clark
138. Amalisa

I'm not sure where I picked it up. Maybe from my grandmother, because I always hear it in my head with a north Mississippi accent. :)


My son has a bumper dumper that he puts on the rear bumper of his truck when he goes camping. Not that there's anything to correspond with it in WoT. Just thought I'd put it out there. For me, personally, my idea of "roughing it" means no sani-strip on the toilet and no cable television.

There are other mentions of a "jakes" in the books. Off the top of my head, I remember Egwene being interrupted in a discussion by Siuan who (paraphrasing) had a look on her face like she urgently needed the jakes. Also, Verin told Beldeine that, after being named da'tsang, all of her personal belongings had been buried under a jakes.
Barry T
139. blindillusion

Nothing really to add except that it's perfectly feasible for Randland to have plumbing (at least in the cities)...even if guns have yet to make an appearance. Plumbing, or at least the rudiments of it, has been around for 1000's of years. Guns have been in the world arena for a significantly smaller amount of time.


North Mississippi accent = \m/. I never really had one, but man I still love hearing it when I go home.

Isn't speculation fun?
140. t0kengirl
I always thought divided dresses were like cullotes? So you could pull them over your head?
Richard Fife
141. R.Fife

Ah, but think of post-stilling/healing Siuan in this very case. She has all it takes to be a leader of (wo)men: all the political shrewdness and know-how, but because of her OP strength, she is disregarded. A good leader does not have to be the best one in battle: they just have to know how to direct those who are. Honestly, for as MoA as Egwene's CMoA in book 12 was, it really means nothing about her leadership ability and all about her capibility to make big booms.

IN antiquity, when the king led his troops, yes it was important. Once the general learned to stand back though (which in WoT, the idea is definately there), all he had to have was a good head on his or her shoulders.

Alas, last nights drinking did not erase the memory of making that video. Light, what have I done. *tries to rub the saa out of his eyes, wonders off*
142. somewheresouth
@83 peachy

um, out of left field...

So, Asmo = Robert Johnson?

Sold his soul at the crossroads for the ability to play the *harp* better than anyone alive?

or longer, anyway..

If he got murdered by a jealous lover that would be awesome. But I have no idea what I'm implying here :)
143. FellKnight
BlindIllusion @123

No, it certainly does not say that Taim has been 13x13'ed, but it very strongly implies that a character, and probably a character who has had some decent screen time. The only other character which would make some sense is Sheriam, but with her removal, I don't see the reason for continued secrecy.

Yes, I agree that Sheriam was the one who put the gun on the mantle in the first act, and that it must have been used by now.

144. somewheresouth
also, like the oosquai song.

And, on the tampon thing - just because women don't wear smallclothes all the time doesn't mean they don't when they need to.

I also assumed that they would have had tampons in the AOL, and continued using them.

Or, that they had the equivalent of Keepers, which would make more sense if you're wearing pain-in-the-arse giant gowns all of the time, in which going to the toilet every few hours just sucks. And if you didn't remember to pack your box of algode/sponges/ etc.

Sorry guys. I love to watch you squirm.

seriously, though. 50% of the population, for 3/8ths of it's lifetime, roughly 25% of the time. deal with it.
145. somewheresouth
Sorry for the multiple and not very sensible posts.

As regards 13x13 and Chekov's Gun:

From the reference to Chekov's gun, I feel as if Taim hasn't been turned by force. Chekov's gun is an instrument of plot-thread termination, which is used shockingly and relatively unexpectedly just near the end of the play, when it was only lightly foreshadowed at the start. I think that we may get to see the 13x13 in action in a scene closer to the end, perhaps with it being interrupted by Logain/Pevara (looney theory: Logain rescues Pevara from being 13xd?)

Still, the comment about Liandrin going looking for him with the BA might make sense in the "forcibly turned" context. But I never got the impression that she had the authority to get thirteen Myrddral (sp?) to play with. Liandrin may make sense in light of him being a multiple-FS-toy/baby-dreadlord.
Maiane Bakroeva
146. Isilel
Seamus 1602 @106:

"It seems to me that the WOs, Shaido WOs, and every other use of channeling in battle over the next 6 books is able to stand at the edge of a battle and do large amounts of effective channeling."

It depends on the tactical goals, no? In this case the goal was to rescue somebody who was held in the middle of the battlefield and protect him/hold the ground until he could make a gateway. Healing also may have been required. How on earth could the AS have accomplished _that_ remaining on the outskirts?

You will notice, that Asha'man also didn't stay on the outskirts and for the same reason.

Re: Perrin knowing that it was hopeless, but going in anyway - that's what irritates me. Instead of really trying to rescue Rand, however small the chance, Perrin basically makes a fatalistic gesture.
And I really don't see why Rhuarc, the WOs and the ASs didn't call him on it at once.

Re: Min's viewing - she did say that there was no guarantee that Perrin's presence alone would ensure a good outcome, just that without him the outcome _would_ be bad.

AS wandering into the field of battle was part of the general dumbing down process - because they couldn't have reached Rand by themselves anymore than Perrin could.

And I disagree that in the early books (until TSR or maybe even TFOH) AS were presented as any more flawed than a powerful organization faced with the possible end of the world and certain massive destruction realistically would have been.
Richard Fife
147. R.Fife
@Various I am glad you aren't laughing me off the stage (instead laughing with me?) Perhaps I'll go back and make the other three songs I've done thus far (actually have even decided, finally, what song to put TSR too).

@145 Liandrin was an low-ranking BA, yes (I doubt they would have "sacrificed her" to being known if she was important), but she and her crew were answering to Forsaken, who could very easily roust up 13 Fades. Here is my big reason, I think, for why I think Taim his turned: I don't think any darkfriend in their right (or left or wrong) mind would actually proclaim to be the Dragon. It was somewhat heavy handedly pointed out that the Pattern itself was making False Dragons because it so desperately needed the real one, and soon as he was proclaimed, it more or less became impossible for anyone to proclaim themselves, and those who had were instantly defeated.

Those things considered, I think Taim may have always been ambitious, but I don't think he was a darkfriend. So, my reasoning out of certain oddities about him:

1) Bashere not recognizing him. From personal experience I can say that shaving a full beard down to clean can be as jarring to recognize a person as stilling (hurhur). I sometimes wear a full beard, and when I shave it off down to nothing, people who met me with it walk right past me without a clue. Also, Bashere probably only saw and spoke with Taim person-to-person a very short while. I'm sure the AS that captured him shuffled him away quickly after his defeat, and I doubt they had met face-to-face prior to that.

2) "Taim was always evil! Look at what he did to Bashere's messangers via anecdote!" OK, he was a ruthless general and conquerer, doesn't mean he was completely evil. Perhaps that was a wonderful trait that the 13x13 didn't have to inflate too far.

3) But he knows so much about the Aiel. The entire Minion Taim theory! Could have happened after he was busted free and explains why Bashere never managed to catch up to him until they were in Caemlyn. He was off training and then was Travelled to Caemlyn. Whoever freed him was probably who Bashere tracked to Caemlyn, so is Bashere's presence in Caemlyn also a Darkside plot? Sounds kinda Chaosy, doesn't it? Let a G.C. from the Borderlands get sucked into southlander politics? And speaking of Taim's escape--

4) Who broke him free? That is a big question for me. It wasn't his old followers, else he would have still had them with him. Who would break Taim free just to set him off on his own?

5) I give you.

So, my theory is that Taim was just a prick before, then got busted free, 13x13'd, mentored, then dropped off in Caemlyn. But I guess in the end I'll just RAFO.
Tricia Irish
148. Tektonica

Plumbing's been around for thousands of years. Ephesus, Turkey, had a population of 250,000 in the 1st Century BC, and they had plumbing. The rich peoples homes had private facilities and there were large public "potties" too....all together in one big square room....very weird. No guns.
The Greeks were very big on public bathing, sanitation, etc.

(I'm sure the Chinese had something too, as they were light years ahead of the west in most things.....Gunpowder in the 1st cent. AD, and fireworks in the 12 Cent.)

Camping on the other hand.....dig a hole, use leaves, bury.
Just be careful which leaves you use....I had a friend who used poison ivy, once, and suffered for months!


Culottes are stepped into. Don't know how you could get one over your head, unless you were a Cirque du Soleil performer or some kind of rubber person. I think the "pull the divided skirt over your head" reference everyone is barking about was an error, heaven forfend! Just not humanly possible. IMHO.....
149. MasterAlThor
Man, you guys had a party and I missed it.


What are you trying to make me pee my pants?

And now we find out that you have more!?!


Oh my stars and garters. I know of this quote from a fuzzy blue hairball. Otherwise affectionately refered to as Beast from the X-Men comics. Yes that makes me a geek x10 but so what.
I supposed that the writers could have pulled that from current speech. The X-men where created in the 60's.

Taim being 13x13'd seems like a sure bet. But I am not throwing all my chips in on that just yet.

As for feminine hygine....still not caring.
People having to do their buisness...still not caring.
The presense of underwear or lack of...still not caring. Unless it's Berelain or one of those Saldaean farm girls.

Whoo Hooo!!!
Bonnie Andrews
150. misfortuona
Wet @137 Plumbing (or lack there of) has never bothered me in fantasy worlds. I think having grown up mostly outdoors, and in a house where there was no indoor plumbing until I was about seven, I just simply assumed they did as we did, used the old outhouse or found a convenient bush. Don’t remember anyone making a big deal about requested pit stops when we were riding or hiking then either.
I do have a fascination with bathing. Everyone is always clean, and yet I know from experience that hauling and heating enough water for a bath is not something that anyone without a gaggle of servants wants to do each day.
I can recall trips where an Aiel sweat tent would have been most welcome.

fife @ 147 stupid dialup!!! Won’t load youtube in under an hour can’t wait to get back to work so I can see the show.

I like your evolution of Taim, but I have one problem with it. If he was an evil prick before, why would they have needed to 13x13 him? Seems he’d be easy pickings to just get recruited as DF.

Ah almost everyone re divided skirts. Where exactly is the reference that refers to someone pulling a divided skirt over her head? I don’t recall reading that, and having worn one (once) think that I’d have twigged. Then again I’m usually so caught up in the story that apparently I miss a lot.

Edit for spelling
151. alreadymadwithridingdress
I think there's a variety of riding dress that's one piece with simple slits at front and back running up to around knee or calf-length. You could pull that one over your head. Most of them are buttoned at the back anyway.
152. Lily of the Valley

I've been kind of leery of clicking on any links you posted, but that was downright funny! Good job, man. :)


Just because Taim was a prick doesn't mean he was a -bad guy-. Or, at least bad enough that a DF trying to recruit him wouldn't disgust him. 13x13ing him may have been the only the way the Shadow could have recruited him, and given his channeling power and leadership skills it was a good idea, I say.

I actually have no opinion on whether or not Taim WAS turned. I can't wait to see who was/is, though.

And, 13x13ing requires 13 female channelers weaving the flows through 13 myrrdraal, right? So, is that basically the opposite of the Cleansing that Rand and Nynaeve did?
Bonnie Andrews
153. misfortuona
fife -32C (-27F) in the Blight today. (Canada is where you all decided it was right?) So with nothing better to do it took an hour to download half of the song, then my connection crashed, but what I got was ... inspired. Bring on the rest. I, for one, can't wait.
My kids think I've lost my mind, again, I was laughing so hard. If only I had it on CD so I could play it in the car it would be perfect.

Thank You sir for warming my heart.
Jack Diamond
154. violetdancer
Re: Taim and 13x13

Unless that happened way before he was captured, it doesn't make sense. And even then, I don't buy it. He might have been offered the same deal Rand got from Balzamon and took it (assuming he went to the Shadow). For those who think it happened when he escaped, I can only ask why? He was on his way to be gentled. No more channeling. No more life eventually. He'd jump at a chance to save his life, by Reds or Forsaken, and 13x13 would not be necessary. Am I missing something from this discussion? I don't think the gun on the mantle has been fired yet.
Joseph Blaidd
155. SteelBlaidd

And at the risk of sending my more fragile male readers screaming into the night, what happens if one of the gai’shain Maidens is on her period? Does she just… bleed on the ground, or what?

On behalf of all us fragile male readers: ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!

And in most "primitive" cultures that's just what they did/do, hence skirts.
In the case of Maidens taken I would suspect that, like a lot of female athletes, they have very light or irregular periods, if they have them at all.

As for pads, I suspect that out side the waste women use linen, though the Sea Folk may use sponges. Because of periods and the difficulty of pissing in the layers needed to keep warm women's under garments that are not open at the crotch are a relatively recent invention.


I've always thought it was obvious that Rand's refusal to kill women is a side effect of the stress of becoming a person of mass destruction and LTT guilt over killing his wife. Several people brought it up in previous reread entries. I think its funny that Leigh apparently can articulate this interpretation better than we could. But the Idea is not new.
156. sooner_fan
"I've always thought it was obvious that Rand's refusal to kill women is a side effect of the stress of becoming a person of mass destruction and LTT guilt over killing his wife. Several people brought it up in previous reread entries. I think its funny that Leigh apparently can articulate this interpretation better than we could. But the Idea is not new."

I think this has been quite obvious for a long time. Yeah Rand's problem with hurting women is stupid, but i believe it is quite believable given his history. He murdered his wife for crying out loud. Remember Rand kills the woman in TDR before any hint of Lew Therin appears in the books. He certainly didn't have a problem doing it then. I wonder if this problem only came after the taint caused Rand to gain memories of his previous life. It's not surprising at all that he chose this as his M.E.H. He sees murdering women (e.g. all women being represented by Illyena in his mind) as the point at which he has lost all redemption. (which is how he felt when he committed suicide "that he had damned himself by his own hand").
Alice Arneson
157. Wetlandernw
SteelBlaidd - ROFL!! That first link was priceless. I may have to find this book...

By the way, how's the sleep? Is there any? ;)
Robert Phelps
158. Seamus1602

I cannot agree that self-preservation means that Taim definitely would willingly become a DF. It is definitely possible, but it is just as likely that a man who called himself the Dragon would want to be a force for Light, not the Dark.

I think that the best evidence against Taim being 13x13'd during his escape is his age. Though I've previously argued that he was 13x13'd at that time, his advanced age and apparent lack of madness does to seem to suggest a long-time linkage to the DO.

I started this post as an argument against violetdancer, but now I think I may have at least somewhat convinced myself that Taim was not 13x13'd, because most of my reasons for that hinge on his being turned during or subsequent to his escape.

Oh well, I'll have to keep an eye out for the 13x13'd character. Darn. Can't believe I haven't been factoring in his age. Thought I had it, too.
Tricia Irish
159. Tektonica

Ummmmmm.....a riding dress with buttons up the back.....try sitting a saddle with buttons up the back. Ouch! Almost as painful as a bicycle seat!
160. FellKnight
violetdancer @154

Perhaps he would jump at the chance to channel, perhaps not. If you are the BA and decide to free an uber-strong male channeler, the real question is why would you give Taim the choice? Just turn him and be done with it.

seamus1602 @158

The age question is certainly a factor against it, but hardly conclusive. Besides, what proof have we ever had that male DF channelers automatically get the Handy Dandy Taint-Protector 3000™?

Seems like we've only seen actual Forsaken or Dreadlords who may have that. I find it hard to believe that the DO has a problem with insane male channelers causing mass chaos.

In any case, I think that the age issue probably has another explanation. Hmm, I wonder if the 13x13 process has an effect similar to the Oath Rod, changing your appearance enough to make you difficult to recognize? Or maybe the oath rod has a different effect on men. The possibilities are boundless :)

Richard Fife
161. R.Fife
Taim's Age:
Jordan: "Taim has slowed, but one thing I am not going to reveal it in the books, so I’ll tell you, men slow later than women do. And yes, he has slowed, and he is in his late twenties, yes his late twenties."
Now, as I also recall, sparkers also have a habit of starting later than women, with Rand being an exception, not a rule. So, Taim could have been actively channeling only five or so years, or at most not even a decade. Also given that there are a lot of factors into how long it takes the taint to affect people, he could have just been slightly loony when he was picked up.

ALSO: the effects of the taint can be removed. Ishy did it in the prologue to LTT (presumably with the TP), so it could be that after Taim was 13x13'd the Forsaken overseeing it (likely Ishy) went ahead and cleansed him of the taint, if not gave him taint protection (which for some reason I've always assumed required a "stronger" oath to the DO than standard DF practices, like, going down to the Pit of Doom and swearing there like all the Forsaken did). Regardless, Taim could have been given that as well.

Oh, and on the whole "You'll be stilled and killed or you can live and be with the DO," some people, even major pricks, would rather die than sell thier soul. Ask an Italian Mobster to worship the devil and see what happens. Just saying.
162. gesear
Hi Guys,

Just regarding Taim's age and the whole 13x13d situation - one thing that has been bugging me for a while has been wondering over whether men who channel slow in much the same way as women do - eg Nyn being 26 but looking 22.

So if Taim looks, what, early to mid 30s? How old is he really? Also - and here's the interesting thing - if Logain looks 5 or so years older than Rand, how old is he??

I'd say they would have to slow wouldn't they? Does anyone know how old LTT was when he died? He looked well into his middle years, 40-50yrs or so but if he was around at the beginning of the war of power then he would have to be at least 100...
163. gesear

R. Fife, you answered my question before I knew it. Cheers! :)

Scott Kelson
164. scott-swampy
This is the first reread i have had to wait for as i only started reading them after TGS came out so i am wondering what time Leigh usaly post them? Could you also let me know what time it is where ever you are so i can work out what time it will be in Perth Australia, where i am.


And by the this is the first Post that i have read all the Comments on. And guy's, LMAO, seriously, so funny!
Tess Laird
165. thewindrose
Aussie @ 164 I bet you have some good snake stories -re Amalisa:)
TOR does like to play with us. So, while the new post is today, it may be this morning - it is 8:20am where I am posting from(MN/USA), but it usually later in the afternoon in between 2:30/5pm.

I think they might get significant pleasure in our addiction, as we start to *twitch* for our next post.

Oh and the postings have changed to Monday and Friday, and there will be a brief hiatus after this week I believe, for the Holidays. (This is when we definitely go a bit nuts:)
Barry T
166. blindillusion
thewindrose RE:~ the Twitch.

It's been awhile since I read aCos, but it should be amusing over the next 3 weeks reading all the things we might come up with regarding those Chapter 3-4 & 5-6...if Leigh happens to post in two chapter sets.

Sure, with it being the Holidays I don't see us getting up into the thousands again, but it'll be amusing to see just how far we get.

I'll go on record and say 600 to 700.

Isn't speculation fun?
Scott Kelson
167. scott-swampy
thewindrose @165 Not so much snakes for me, HEAPS of spiders though. I lived in cities most of my life, my mum grew up in a town called Alice so she has a few. And, yes, I kill myself.

Yeah knew about the twice a week thing and the break *wails uncontrollably*, how do I go on, I have only had too wait two days!!!!

Eight twenty... that makes it fourteen hours earlier... witch means I have to wait...too long. I guess I’ll go cry myself to sleep.

Another random question, anyone know why Dragonmount is down?
Scott Kelson
168. scott-swampy
You lied, the next reread just came on!!! yay for me!!!
Joseph Blaidd
169. SteelBlaidd
Sleep, we haz ....some.

Our little princess is pretty easy, especially as we are breast feeding and co-sleeping, but that just means we sleep 2 hrs in 3 rather than 1 in 2.:P

Didn't get to comment last post, but aCoS was the first book I had to wait for, and I had to wait an extra two years because it came out the day I left for my mission to Buenos Aires. Even so it's one of my favorites. And Like Gawyn even if he is being stupid about Rand. And of course telling him Elayne loves Rand is no help. To Gawyn's knowledge they have met once (in Camalyn) when Elida said, strait out, he was dangerous. You would act the same way too if you thought your little sister was crushing on Charles Manson.
Bonnie Andrews
170. misfortuona
Tektonica @ 159 My thoughts exactly, only I kept forgetting when I got around to posting. One of the pictures posted had the buttons on the front. I think that makes way more sense.

How have any of you long timers remained sane waiting for new posts? Oh wait...nevermind. :P
171. Ender988
I guess I don't really get what is so suspect about Taim's actions here. He tries to talk Rand OUT of picking Dashiva. It seems to me that if Taim had known that Dashiva was a Darkfriend / Forsaken in Disguise, then he would have wanted to put him close to Rand. That may even have been a goal of Osan'Gar's to begin with.

Of course, we don't know that Dashiva WAS Osan'Gar at this point in time...or do we? Couldn't he have been just another Asha'man at this point and only later did Osan'Gar kill him and assume his identity? When we first see him, he's mumbling to himself and seems to be rather withdrawn and odd-acting, and later, when he goes after Rand in PoD, he seems pretty much with it and normal.
Richard Fife
172. R.Fife
@171 Well, considering he never changed his appearance away from Dashiva, even for the Battle of Shadar Logath (where Elza killed him, thinking he was just some random DF Asha'man, no one important), I'd say he has been O'gar the entire time. That he has the dragon says he is at least a favorite of Taim's and thus probably believed by Taim to be just a DF. Forsaken do have a habit of not kowtowing to DFs and publically acknowledging it (such as Mesaana in the tower).
Scott Kelson
173. scott-swampy
kowtowing? Edit: Never mind.
Fake Name
174. ThePendragon

Being "obvious" and being explicitly stated are two completely different things. Until I know for certain that this is exactly what RJ intended, it's going to irk the hell out of me. That aside, TGS was a great book, and Mr. Sanderson is a great writer. Don't want anyone thinking I feel otherwise.
Joseph Blaidd
175. SteelBlaidd

Brandon stated several times that RJ spent most of his energy writing character development leaving him(BWS) to do more in the way of plot glue. He also has said that the notes were explicit that whether or not LTT was "real" or a "construct" was to be left ambiguous (RJ knew but he was not going to say) so I would bet his intentions on this were also pretty explicit.
Fake Name
176. ThePendragon
I hope so. And I hope we receive clarification to that effect.
177. HammerVsAx
First, major kudos to Leigh for the recaps, highlight of many a workday for me. I think if you ever decide to go on a roadtrip, you should stop in every city where someone appreciates what you've done, and we could all take turns buying you a dinner.

Anyway, on with the paint-a-target on my back for arguments sake items:

This will possibly get me roasted alive, but hey, guess I'm still going to say it, at least it'd be warm.

On the whole feminism vs chivalry, men vs women thing, independent of the whole MEH aspect:

Not saying this is my stance, and not saying it's not, just saying, in an apocalyptic world, there's things to consider. Like survival (and pizza...)

First, I know many people that say, and I tend to agree with it, for more than just the reason following, "if it came down to it, as one of those horrible life or death choices, I'd save the life of my wife over my own. As sheer taking care of those around you goes, she's better at it than I am, and as such, is of more value to the kids."

Second, it all comes down to numbers for the continuance of society. Lets just say, it's been a baaaaad day, and 99.9 percent (round the numbers so my math works, k?) of the world has been..... squiched. Only people left alive to continue the human race, are: 50 men, and 50 women. Who is more worth protecting? Given motivation, like eating or starving, most people can hunt or gather, etc, men AND women.

Baaaad day number two dawns, and 35 more people are going to the last embrace of the mother. You, as leader, would have to pick who, or the human race would be destined for extinction. Would you split it down the middle, pick who threw gum at you in grade school, etc?
Biologically speaking, few men / many women equates roughly for a better chance for the human race to begin rebuilding the population.

Granted, at that point, the guys would be..... pimped out for the good of mankind, and their wives would hopefully understand..... (or kill them outright for cheating... bad day number 3?)

All that being said.... if I had been born female, I imagine that I'd give my life to save my husband, but that's just a guess. I can be.... frustrating... so maybe my wife would change her mind, who can say?
178. Freelancer

How's life along the Swan? You live in the city, or near it? I'm retired US Navy, had the joy of visiting Fremantle/Perth several times. It's very much like the Southern Hemisphere version of San Diego.

As for time difference, I believe that you are 17 hours "ahead" of Pacific time (16 during Daylight Savings Time in the US).
179. TexasWoTman

First of all, thank you SOOO much for recapping these books. I'm trying to reread everything before I pick up the latest book and this has been an amazing time saver and given alot of new insight to some theories!

Along those lines, I know I'm a few days late to this post and others have already commented, but I am curious how you feel about what Perrin's nose is telling him concerning Rand's duel personality issue. I know you have been an avid believer that Rand is simply recreating Lews in his head as a way of dealing with his insanity, so (unless I missed it somewhere) I was disappointed that this didn't get discussed. Will be following this topic as we get to the point when Min 'confirms' to Rand that he isn't crazy by telling him that she sees him as two people.....

Also - glad others thought the same thing I did re: Rand's 'List'. If there ever was anything that I remembered Lews whining about when I read the books the first time it was Illyena's death. The first glimpses we saw of Rand getting emo/cutter on us with the women death's was after he started sharing his head with Lews so it only stands to reason that this bit of regret/shame carried over to Rand.
180. yasiru89
Again, Kiruna and company were not forced into the oath, they were only persuaded to stand on equal ground with the Tower emissaries. The oath is actually not beyond countenance, seeing as, had they feared the worst for the Tower group and believed they themselves would share the same fate, fear might have led them to imagine actually giving Rand something to guarantee their cooperation would be best. Add in some ta'veren twisting and that becomes an oath of fealty. But apparently no one should undermine Aes Sedai because they are powerful women... in a world where women are at least equal or superior to men in general, and taking a step against them is blatant and unforgivable misogyny. Incidentally, had Egwene been the Dragoness Reborn in this series and a bunch of Asha'man had kidnapped her, put her in a box and beat her, would people who believe gleaning satisfaction from what happened to the Aes Sedai at the end of LoC is misogyny be satisfied by this alternate reality LoC? Would they be outraged if Rand (as the rising M'Hael say) was angered that anyone had made Asha'man kneel and swear (the latter is given even though the swearing was not forced in what actually happened, whatever anyone believes)? An interesting test if you've the stomach for it. In the actual case, I find the Tower party was lucky to have avoided being stilled and Kiruna's party lucky to have not ended up in a prison cell or handed over to Taim.

On the revelations from tGS, I agree that Rand holding on to his resolution to never kill a woman kept him more or less whole, but it doesn't appear to me to be so arbitrary as Leigh believes. It was a more significant manifestation of the madness than Lews Therin's voice in Rand's head. It was a visceral manifestation of Rand's previous self's grief at the death he became aware of before he took his own life. I'd say Rand/Lews Therin came to associate Ilyena with every woman, and in being unable to accept what he had done, came to that resolution in an effort to preserve himself. This also comes of the best evidence that the Lews Therin persona was not a randomly concoted-off-memories personality, but the true Lews Therin- in that Rand is Lews Therin. He walled off what he once was in further denial.
Sometimes people get too caught up in their own causes and spins on things as they relate to a real world situation that they ignore the possibility of a purely personal dilemma. Understandable, but it should never lead to criticism that takes away from a work.
William McDaniel
181. willmcd
So since Taim called himself simply the "Leader" (of which we all know the German translation), does that mean that Egwene didn't need to go toe-to-toe with him in AMoL?

All she had to do was call him for a Godwin's Law violation and she would have won the fight automatically.

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