Dec 14 2009 10:40am
The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 3

Monday, Monday, and time for another Wheel of Time Re-read, crafted by expert marksmen just for you! Poing!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 3 and 4 of A Crown of Swords, in which territory is covered, and, yeah.

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 for WOT-related 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’s all the news that’s fit to print, or blog, or whatever, so without further ado and with obscure cut text, I give you, the post!

Chapter 3: Hill of the Golden Dawn

What Happens
The various parties of Rand’s forces arrive through the gateway on a hill some miles from Cairhien. Perrin comes through in the middle, and after musing for a bit on whether Elayne would take him to task for flying Manetheren’s banner, thinks back on Rand’s behavior before they went through. After searching the wagons from top to bottom twice (Perrin thinks for a coat), he asked Flinn and Grady whether they thought Rand’s enemies had been asleep while he had been away.

One of the Asha’man waiting to go through first, the stocky fellow with a farmer’s face, looked at Rand uncertainly, then at the leathery old man with the limp. Each wore a silver sword pin on his collar, but not the Dragon. “Only a fool thinks his enemies stand still when he isn’t looking, my Lord Dragon,” the old man said in a gruff voice. He sounded like a soldier.

“What about you, Dashiva?”

Dashiva gave a start, surprised to be addressed. “I . . . grew up on a farm.” He tugged his sword belt straight, which it did not need. Supposedly they trained with the swords as much as with the Power, but Dashiva did not seem to know one end from the other. “I don’t know much about having enemies.” Despite his awkwardness, there was a kind of insolence to him. But then, the whole lot seemed weaned on arrogance.

“If you stay near me,” Rand said softly, “you will.”

The small army finishes coming through, and Dashiva takes the gateway down; Perrin notes he appears to be talking to himself, and hopes he is not going mad already. Rand studies the land, and then Perrin; he remarks that he trusts Perrin, and Min, and Loial, but there are so few he can trust like that. He is interrupted by the fourth Asha’man, Narishma, who points out an Aiel woman running toward them from the city, who proves to be a Wise One named Feraighin. Sorilea and the other Wise Ones consult with her when she arrives, and when Rand, Min, Perrin, Rhuarc, Gaul, Aram, Loial, and the Maidens joins them, Sorilea tells Rand Feraighin’s news, that trouble began in the tents when the rumors that Rand had left to submit to the Amrylin Seat started circulating. Rand asks quietly what was the result.

“Many believe you have abandoned the Aiel,” Amys told him just as quietly. “The bleakness has returned. Every day a thousand or more throw down their spears and vanish, unable to face our future, or our past. Some may be going to the Shaido.”

She continues that the clan chiefs have made no move yet, but are bandying about notions of leaving the wetlands or even attacking Tar Valon. Rhuarc is visibly upset, and Perrin protests that it’s bad, yes, but surely it will be fine once they see Rand is back. Rand asks Sorilea to explain what they’re missing.

“You return with Aes Sedai. Some will believe that means you did bend knee. Whatever you say or do, they will believe you wear an Aes Sedai halter. And that is before it is known you were a prisoner. Secrets find crevices a flea could not slip through, and a secret known by so many has wings.”

Perrin tries not to think about what would happen if the Aiel abandoned Rand, but Sorilea interrupts herself to glare daggers at Kiruna, Bera, and Alanna, who have come up to the group. She tells them they eavesdropped with the Power without permission and left the wagons, two things Sorilea specifically told them not to do. The Aes Sedai stare back defiantly. Rand, paying no attention to this, guesses that Colavaere has been crowned queen; Sorilea confirms this uninterestedly, and Perrin is overcome with worry about Faile, who he thinks may be a target for Colavaere’s ire. He comforts himself with the thought that Bain and Chiad would protect her. Kiruna tells Rand that this is a delicate situation, but Rand ignores her and asks Sorilea if Colavaere harmed Berelain; Sorilea answers that she has not. When prompted, Feraighin adds that Colavaere is telling everyone that Rand will return and confirm her on the throne, and is encouraging the Aiel to leave the city, saying it’s on Rand’s orders. Rand wants to know if anything else is happening, and Feraighin says that the rebels Caraline Damodred and Toram Riatin have moved to a camp south of the city and issued a proclamation that Colavaere is a usurper, and were shortly thereafter joined by the Tairen rebels led by Darlin Sisnera, but otherwise have done nothing except drink and feast. As an afterthought, she adds that there are Aes Sedai in the city, and both Rand and Sorilea jump down her throat, demanding more information. Flustered, Feraighin alternates between telling Rand that there are maybe ten of them staying in Arilyn’s house, and trying to placate Sorilea. All the other Aiel find this hilarious, but Perrin breaks in to ask Feraighin if Faile is well. Feraighin thinks so (calling Perrin “Sei’cair”), which Perrin hardly considers sufficient information, but then Kiruna bulls in, telling Rand that the situation is “complex beyond [his] imagining, so fragile a breath could shatter it”, and that she and Bera and Alanna will accompany him to keep him from visiting on Cairhien “the same disaster you gave Tarabon and Arad Doman”.

Perrin winced. The whole speech could not have been better designed to inflame Rand. But Rand simply listened till she was done, then turned to Sorilea. “Take the Aes Sedai to the tents. All of them, for now. Make sure everyone knows they’re Aes Sedai. Let it be seen that they hop when you say toad. Since you hop when the Car’a’carn says it, that should convince everybody I’m not wearing an Aes Sedai leash.”

Kiruna’s face grew bright red; she smelled of outrage and indignation so strongly that Perrin’s nose itched. Bera tried to calm her, without much success, while shooting you-ignorant-young-lout looks at Rand, and Alanna bit her lip in an effort not to smile. Going by the odors drifting from Sorilea and the others, Alanna had no reason to be pleased.

The group breaks up; Perrin tries to get Feraighin alone to pump her for information about Faile, but the Wise Ones take her off. Aram thinks there’s going to be fighting in the city. Gaul is muttering about women, and tells Perrin his woes re: Chiad and Bain; he is indignant that Chiad is willing to take him as a lover (as long as Bain gets to share), but she will not marry him, even though Gaul is willing to marry Bain as well, which Gaul interprets to mean that he’s not good enough to be worth marrying. In the process of this story he mentions that Chiad and Bain are with the Maidens here, and is startled when Perrin roars at him that they were supposed to be protecting Faile. Puzzled, Gaul points out that Faile is “out of short skirts”; Perrin tries to explain his fears about assassination. Loial tries to comfort him that Faile knows how to take care of herself.

“Perrin . . . Perrin, you know you can’t always be there to protect Faile, however much you want to. You are ta’veren; the Pattern spun you out for a purpose, and it will use you for that purpose.”

“Burn the Pattern,” Perrin growled. “It can all burn, if it keeps her safe.” Loial’s ears went rigid with shock, and even Gaul looked taken aback.

What does that make me? Perrin thought. He had been scornful of those who scribbled and scrabbled for their own ends, ignoring the Last Battle and the Dark One’s shadow creeping over the world. How was he different from them? […] He had no answer for his own questions, but he knew one thing. To him, Faile was the world.

Someone pointed out in the comments to the last entry that the whole Gedwyn/Taim nod exchange in the earlier chapter had been about not finding Rand’s fat man angreal, which I think we’re told later is what Rand was having the wagons torn apart looking for here. I don’t know how exactly Taim was supposed to have known about the angreal, but okay.

All the same, I do wonder what happened to it. As far as I can recall, the fat man angreal is never seen again after this point. It probably became something of a moot point after Rand had the Choedan Kal to play with, but still. Oh well: of all the loose ends floating about, this is one I can definitely deal with being left hanging, all things considered.

Flinn: It’s amazing how much projection will do for you. Flinn really doesn’t have that much exposure as a character overall; he only has a few lines here and there, especially at this point, and yet I think he’s awesome. It is to Jordan’s credit that a character can be so easily defined to the reader (well, to this reader, anyway) in so few lines, but I have an extremely clear picture of Flinn and how he behaves already, and I really like him. Insert standard grumble here of how little we get to see of the Asha’man in general over the next books.

I remember, when first reading this, being nearly frantic with worry over the Aiel’s disaffection with Rand. Creating frustration and tension is another thing Jordan was really good at, and I say this with a kind of begrudging admiration, because, well, frustration and tension are not actually fun to experience, but, you know, kudos on achieving what you wanted to achieve, right?

And again we see one of the prevalent themes of WOT, of the malignancy of misinformation, and the corollary that people will interpret what they see the way they want to, and damn is that frustrating. More frustration! And yet, that makes the Wise Ones’ behavior toward the Aes Sedai even more understandable, given that the Wise Ones are, among other things, the PR section of the Aiel in general, in that they are concerned with how things appear as well as how things really are. Anyone who disputes that the two are very different things has not lived in the real world very long, is what I’m saying. And that is also frustrating!

Speaking of the Aes Sedai, someone (else) mentioned in the comments to the last entry that they suspected Kiruna was supposed to come off much cooler than she does, but I don’t know if that’s so, because damn. I cannot think of a single time she is on screen from the moment she appears that I don’t want to smack her upside the head. How could she possibly have thought that Rand would kowtow to her “advice” at this point? Of course, I’m trying to think of a way that she could have changed her behavior without flat-out admitting that she and the other Aes Sedai were Not In Charge, and I’m having a difficult time coming up with one, so maybe it’s not surprising that she decided to take the linebacker method: just put your head down and try to barrel through anything in your way.

It didn’t work, obviously, but when brute strength has always given you everything before, it can be hard to believe that another method is necessary. It’s interesting, in that you don’t generally get to see female characters behave this way, with this faith that bulling through will get you what you want, but in Randland, Aes Sedai really have been the “heavies”, so to speak, so it fits. Until now, of course. It’s got to be a difficult thing to come to terms with, now that I think about it.

As an aside, I give Rand kudos for intuiting the perfect way to defuse her, which is to say, to ignore her entirely. I got quite a chuckle out of that, I have to say.

Also, Perrin obsesses about Faile in this chapter. Shocking! And we set the set-up here for the Plotline That Won’t Die, that Perrin is going to go completely off the Light-side rails when Faile is kidnapped, so thank God for that, really. Sigh.

As a last random note, I think it is much better that I don’t dwell on the Bain/Gaul/Chiad thing, as the logistics of it can get quite brain-melting if you think about it for more than a few minutes. All I’m going to say is, threesomes are logistically problematic enough even when all three parties are enthusiastic about it, but when one of the three is… not so into one of the other three, well, that’s just… a problem. I can’t see how Bain’s going to get any satisfaction out of this regardless of how it’s resolved, is all I’m going to say.

Chapter 4: Into Cairhien

What Happens
The army heads toward Cairhien while Perrin frets about Faile. Her horse, Swallow, is with the Two Rivers men, and Perrin tries to convince himself that if he can manage to get the horse to Cairhien safe, then that will mean Faile will be safe, too. Min tries to reassure him several times, finally growling at him frustratedly that if anyone tries to do anything, Faile will make them “wait out in the hall till she has time for them”. Loial also tries to reassure Perrin:

“I am sure Faile can look after herself, Perrin. She is not like Erith. I can hardly wait for Erith to make me her husband so I can tend her; I think I’d die if she changed her mind.” At the end of that, his mouth remained open, and his huge eyes popped; ears fluttering, he stumbled over his own boots and nearly fell. “I never meant to say that,” he said hoarsely, striding along beside Perrin’s horse once more. His ears still trembled. “I am not sure I want to—I’m too young to get—” Swallowing hard, he gave Perrin an accusing look, and spared one for Rand up ahead, too. “It is hardly safe to open your mouth with two ta’veren about. Anything at all might come out!”

They reach a rise just outside the city, and see that a fourth flag, in Colavaere’s House colors, has been added to Rand’s two banners and the Cairhien rising sun banner, which Dobraine grimly says confirms the Aiel’s report that she has taken the throne. He also points out that a new ruler always gives out lavish gifts to the commoners upon their coronation, and Rand is risking a riot if he unseats her. Rand decides to enter the city with only a token company. There is a brief argument over who is coming into the city with Rand, with Min and Loial insisting on coming along; surprisingly, Dashiva objects to the plan, pointing out that all it takes is one man with a bow Rand doesn’t see in time, and suggesting sending an Asha’man instead to “do what needs doing”.

“I will do this my way.” [Rand’s] voice rose in anger, and he smelled of cold fury. “Nobody dies unless it can’t be avoided, Dashiva. I’ve had a bellyful of death. Do you understand me? Nobody!”

“As my Lord Dragon commands.” The fellow inclined his head, but he sounded sour, and he smelled . . .

Perrin rubbed his nose. The smell . . . skittered, dodging wildly through fear and hate and anger and a dozen more emotions almost too quickly to make out. He no longer doubted the man was mad, however good a face the fellow put on. Perrin no longer really cared, either. This close . . .

Perrin takes off for the city without waiting for anyone else, but the rest soon catch him up. They reach the Foregate, and Perrin notes uneasily that though Rand is fairly anonymous in his plain coat, the Aiel in the crowds know who a wetlander escorted by Maidens must be, and their expressions are “considering”. They head through the city without incident, and when they reach the palace, Asha’man immobilize the guards at the gates, and the party enters the courtyard with no alarm raised; servants take away the horses, and they head into the palace, where they are met by Selande and several others who have started imitating ji’e’toh. They kneel, and one of the women, Camaille Nolaisen, stammers that they did not expect the Lord Dragon to return so soon. Perrin notes that Selande smells terrified.

“Yes,” Rand said softly. “I doubt anyone thought I would return—so soon. None of you has any reason to be afraid of me. None at all. If you believe anything, believe that.” Surprisingly, he looked right at Selande when he said that. Her head whipped up, and as she stared at him, the fear smell faded. Not completely, but down to a tatter. How had Rand known it was there?

Rand asks where Colavaere is, and Selande answers that she is in the throne room, for the “third Sunset Convocation”, and Dobraine mutters that she certainly wasted no time, as that makes this the ninth sunset since her coronation. Selande tells Rand that they are ready to “dance the blades” for him, which makes the Maidens either wince or look murderous, and Perrin demands to know where his wife is. Selande answers slowly that she is in the throne room, too, as one of Colavaere’s attendants; one of the others hisses at her that they swore “water oath” not to tell that. Perrin is astounded, and Min whispers to him that she is sure Faile must have a good reason.

Rand spoke. “Selande, lead the way to the Grand Hall. There will be no blades. I am here to see justice done, to all who deserve it.”

Something in his voice made Perrin’s hackles rise. A hardness grim as a hammer’s face. Faile did have a good reason. She had to.

Loial is still adorable, all “freaking ta’veren!” Heh.

I chuckled at Min’s backhanded compliment to Faile, too, which I have to say would probably be somewhat similar to my own reaction to Faile had I met her in real life; which is to say, she would annoy the hell out of me even as I admired her for her better qualities.

Dashiva: The things Perrin smells were a nicely done red herring; this is one of the passages that threw me off, initially, in deciding that he had to be Osan’gar, but I suppose in retrospect it’s not that surprising that he should be that conflicted, considering that he is tasked (both as his cover identity and by the Dark One) with protecting the very person who is his deadliest enemy. Especially considering that Rand was the one who killed him the first time around, which could hardly be expected to dispose Aginor/Osan’gar/Dashiva favorably toward him. Even I couldn’t blame the guy for holding a grudge on that one, really.

I always enjoy the interactions between the main characters and someone – small, I guess? Is that condescending? – like Selande, and how she loses her fear of Rand here. I guess it’s just nice that with all the large-scale stuff going on, Rand still takes the time to try and reassure her, in his way, and that it works; this is something he rather loses the ability or inclination to do as time goes on, and which I think is one of the main ways in which he becomes less sympathetic as a character. Don’t forget the little people, Rand!

And… that’s about all I have to say about this chapter, as it is mainly a ramp-up to the Big Things a-happening in the next.

Which we will get to next time, Gadget, next time! So have fun as I zoom off in my rocket avec screeching cat-noises, kids, and see you on Friday!

john massey
1. subwoofer
weeee, I can comment on this puppy first thing in the morning. Makes up for the -41 out here. I think Siberia is colder than us. Am curious about global warming too. Would like some here.

Perrin, listen to Gaul, Faile is a grown woman. I can understand P's concern, if my wife was taken I'd do all I could to get to her, but really, the way Perrin's mindset was written was irritating for books to come.

Yay for Loial yet again.

And while we are on such topics, what is with Dashiva? He is a baddie, but I do not get the talking to himself. Theoretically he is protected from the taint by the DO so what is it?

Barry T
2. blindillusion
Subwoofer RE:~ Dash'gar

Poor acting?

Isn't speculation fun?
Scott Kelson
3. scott-swampy
Dashiva gave a start, surprised to be addressed. “I . . . grew up on a farm.” He tugged his sword belt straight, which it did not need. Supposedly they trained with the swords as much as with the Power, but Dashiva did not seem to know one end from the other. “I don’t know much about having enemies.”

Hahahahahaha, RJ makes me laugh so hard my sides hurt!!

subwoofer@1*grumbles about not being first* Good acting? if you think he is nuts from the taint you are less likely to think he is protected from it, how he thought this was going to last i don't know...
4. peachy
I always had the impression that Aginor was kinda nuts anyhow - the other Forsaken tend to think of him as being not altogether there, despite his acknowledged brilliance as a creator of creepy-crawlies. So maybe the muttering is just, you know, Ags being Ags.
Tricia Irish
5. Tektonica
Oh the Perrin angst. Thank you Leigh for not dwelling on it. I can hardly read it! It's so repetitive and obsessive. Arghhhhh....more to come on that!
Richard Fife
6. R.Fife
Also, Agin'gar is the closest to being truely 3000+ years old (along with Balty'gar), as unlike the other forsaken, they did get to dream in the half-hell of a prison they were in. Yeah, perhaps not taint-insane, but maybe honestly so? I mean, only way to be nuttier is to be Ishy, who did get a few hundred years of freedom since the sealing, but who knows how deeply "asleep" he got during his down time.
Scott Kelson
7. scott-swampy
Tektonica@5 Yeah I am not much looking forward to all his Emo crap that is to come either.

I have reread WOT, TGS excluded, Like eight times and I have still to this day only read the "Plotline That Won’t Die", as Leigh so perfectly put it, once in it's entirety. And I am one of the few people I have spoken to that likes both Perrin and Faile, although I will stipulate that I like them as a COUPLE, when they were/are together, whereas while they were on that LITTLE break in the middle…

Which make me wonder if I will hate it so much on the rereads where I don’t have to listen, or read depending on your PoV(or insanity level), to Perrin bitch for like four books. It shall be interesting to see.
Scott Kelson
8. scott-swampy
R.Fife @6 This is a point I had not thought about, he has been trap just outside of the world for a long time. I think if anything would do it...

Plus having lived his own death (???)Would be kinda weird to have to deal with without going just a little insane. And couldn't post on this without mentioning that this is the guy who thought it would be a good idea to cross people with pretty much any animal he could find, indicates type A sociopath if ever I have seen it ;)
Tess Laird
9. thewindrose
scott-swampy - (like the handle by the way) - See, TOR plays with us - ask anyone here how un-common it is for such an early post.

I think we can make some of the never ending plots fun this time through. I too, struggle with the BotW and a walk through Andor to become a Queen, amd Perrin and Faile - uggg. But, I think you all will add something to the mix and help me get through them:)
Scott Kelson
10. scott-swampy
thewindrose @9 I tough it might have been my ta’veren nature recking havoc on the pattern, but you know, what ever...;)

BotW? I am sure it is obvious, but I can’t work it out. Battle of the White Towers? But that would be BotWT, I am lost, you’ll need to help me out on this,.

I am hoping that the comments section will help me through, especially if the weekend discussion of personal hygiene is anything to go by, seriously ROFL.
11. veins of gold

about Bain/Gaul/Chiad:
i take it from your words that you think bain is in love with gaul. whice nevr was my impression.
mybe this plotline is more complicated then i thoght.

S Diller
12. CuenDiller
"Perrin tries to convince himself that if he can manage to get the horse to Cairhien safe, then that will mean Faile will be safe, too."

I always found this amusing because this is the same kind of futile mind game I play myself.
Tess Laird
13. thewindrose
So, what is the time line for this. This was the ninth sunset of Colavaere's coronation, how long was Rand a prisoner? Because, I am just thinking she pulled this of really fast and Elayne could have used some of this knowledge;)
Tess Laird
14. thewindrose
BotW = Bowl of the Winds The voice in my head does wimper when it is mentioned...
Richard Fife
16. R.Fife
Scott@10 She means Bowl of the Winds.

To the Perrin Emo-ness. Here, I don't mind it so much. It is a bit of a legit emoness and well written. Still, what irks me is that he still, to this day, has not figured out that his Falcon's talons are as sharp as his teeth. Psychologically speaking, I think what happened for the worst, aside from plain ol' Duopotamian Chivalry/Chauvanism, was that he had to "Save Her" in TDR. When he did that, he firmly cemented in his mind that he was her protector, her White Knight, and he cannot let go of that, probably because, in part, I think that might be why he thinks their relationship even exists. Above all his anti-lording crap, I'd love to see Perrin have the realization that his wife is his equal and take her off that light-blasted pedastal he has her on in his mind. Gah!

In other news, I finally wrote another parody song, this one for TSR. I posted it here in the last TSR thread. The Fife A Capella Chorus will be forthcoming, although I'll be doing ones for the first three books first.
Scott Kelson
17. scott-swampy
thewindrose @13 Yeah but the AS that took Rand had already been working up support for her before they took him.

thewindrose@14(@15 and 16) you see how thoroughly my brain had removed that whole plot, I had forgotten about it, at least for the last five minutes. Has any one ever done a poll to see which of the two arks was more widely hated BotW or Emo Perrin? I think it would be a close run thing.

R.Fife @16 I couldn't agree with you more on this, especial considering that without Faile Perrin would have completely screwed up all of the Lord of the Two Rivers stuff, which was something he needed to do for himself and the whole world(learning to be a leader of men and all that). Considering that he is going to be a pretty important general to the forces of light come TG.
18. veins of gold
funny, i alweys hated the plot that never ends. but i absoulotly adore the botw plotline.
Scott Kelson
19. scott-swampy
veins of gold@18 I never hated it that much myself, but from my time spent lurking on dragonmount (is it considered heresy to mention them here?) I have found that a lot of people do.
Kurt Lorey
20. Shimrod
I wouldn't click on one of your links for anything, Rickrolla Fife. rofl.
Kerwin Miller
21. tamyrlink
Kiruna never really irritated me like she seems to do everyone else. (im so very pro-AS)
i mean she doesnt really know any other way to act like leigh said. cant hold that against her lol. well you can but its not fair lol.

she's gotta be something of an AS tho cuz the noob Beldeine "admired Kiruna so"

but you gotta remember that in addition to being an AS she's also a princess in her own right, and the favorite sister of her brother the king.

(always wondered if rands making Kiruna swear would give him problems with her brother, the king of arafel)
Richard Fife
22. R.Fife
@20 Oh come on! That's a link to a post! At least reserve your distrust for youtubes *sniffle*

@19 Nah, Jason even blogged a bit on, mainly begging for help before BwS handily wiped the floor with him in a Magic: The Gathering throw-down.

BotW plot: Oddly, it, the first Valan Luca arc, and Tanchico both rank up in my mind as "Oh god, I don't want to read this one, but I will anyway", yet then when I do, I realize they really aren't that long and painful. I am hoping that the next time I reach the Emo-Perrin, I will feel the same way. I am doubtful though (In TPoD right now, where the Queen swore to Perrin, and I'm already kinda irked over it).
Tess Laird
23. thewindrose
but then Kiruna bulls in, telling Rand that the situation is “complex beyond imagining, so fragile a breath could shatter it”, and that she and Bera and Alanna will accompany him to keep him from visiting on Cairhien “the same disaster you gave Tarabon and Arad Doman”.
Ah, yes - Kiruna... Yeah, I don't think she was ever set up as being awesome or cool or what ever was thought. She is someone that surely needs some humble pie. And unfair much? - “the same disaster you gave Tarabon and Arad Doman." Yes, I think her time with the Wise Ones does help her out.
Scott Kelson
24. scott-swampy
R.Fife @22 good to know, but i made the mistake on another fourm, which i belive is gone now, and nearly got hung, drawn and quartered.

Like I say I have never completely read it, other that on my initial read obviously (although ever then he ticked me off a bit). But every reread I would start reading it or read bits and pieces and have to stop so as not to tear the book up into tiny pieces and feed it to my chooks! The saddest part is I don’t even think Faile annoyed me all that much through it, she was just being as awesome as could be expected in her situation. She looked for ways to escape, didn't just rely on one person but had backup plans but Perrin's one eyed obsession just poisoned the whole never ending plot.

Oh and by the way, i did click the link, made of awsome!
25. nalattam
@18 and others. Both plotlines were enough to create a giant void in my memory for their associated books. From the time Mat got a wall dropped on his head to the end of KoD is a complete blank for me.
Scott Kelson
26. scott-swampy
nalattam@25 you sure the wall didn't land on you head then? :)
Bill Reamy
27. BillinHI
BotW: not my favorite plot arc, but to me it's much better than emo Perrin, which continues through TGS even.
Bonnie Andrews
28. misfortuona
Wow I walk away for an hour and not only is there a new post, but 23 comments and I haven't even read it yet.
Damn you Tor. Gasps at self, ducks, hides. "No No really I was just kidding. Amalisa can you let me in the bunker please?"

Perrin. Wow, I'm just glad that it's Mat who has to make a decision somewhere to give up half the light to save the other, cause you gotta know Perrin would protect Faile and leave the rest to rot.
Tricia Irish
29. Tektonica
All of the above:

Perrin saving Faile plot to come, arggggggghhhhhh. How many books do we spend on that??? Please......just...too.....long.....I vote for this as the Worst.

BotW is saved by Mat and the queen in Ebou Dar who has her way with him, oh, my brain, what is her name???? Also saved by Birgit, and the addition of the Seanchan/Tuon/Mat plot. (Anything with Mat is OK by me, except maybe Hinderstap.)

And the whole queen of Andor plotline....yes, windrose, I wish Elayne had some advice from Colavaere on getting it done quickly.

I ask a question: Who would like to hang with Kiruna? ummm? Tell me?? ug.
Tess Laird
30. thewindrose
@ R.Fife - That was pretty good, but you out did yourself with the Shaido song - that was great and will be hard to beat.

scott-swampy - we link to all sorts of WoT related sites, so not a problem at all. And then there are the scary youtube links(will it be a rickroll?) always chancy, but the probability of getting rickrolled is the highest with r.fife - so click with care.
31. alreadymadwithkiruna
The Aes Sedai have been the big fish in Randland for some time. Their main problem is up until now much of their arrogance is founded in their up until now unique and uncontested ability to manipulate the One Power. Now unfortunately, they aren't the most powerful, nor are they even the largest. Dumai's Wells showed that. Rand alone is stronger in the Power than any two or three of them together. Must be a bitter pill to swallow.
I loved the way Rand simply ignored Kiruna. Poor Aes Sedai don't even realize Rand had already been through Cairhien and it was in fact his first appearance that triggered the Civil War. Aside from that they are really one to talk. It was after all their manipulations that encouraged Colavaere to murder her rivals for the throne.
Barry T
32. blindillusion
The BotW arc never really bothered me much for a few reasons. There are actually some very MOA scenes in that arc: Mat and Bir, Nyn's block, Mat and Sea Folk, Mat and the Gholam, etc etc etc. Hmm, Mat+Story Arc=Good Sequence of Events. And Tylin scenes = ROFL. So, it was fun to read...and best of all, it ended in at best a fair amount of time.

It's a toss-up between Perrin's Never-Ending-Plot-Arc and Elayne's What-Dress-Will-I-Wear-This-Scene as to which arc simply annoys me.

Isn't speculation fun?
33. nalattam
Swamp@26 good point. The most exciting part about this re-read for me is going through books 8-10 without actually having to read them. Angst can keep me interested for only so long.
34. nalattam
To clarify last statement. Lots of good stuff in those books. Just one hell of a slog to get to it amidst the waaahhhing about captured annoying falcon.
35. Alfvaen
subwoofer@1: Are you a fellow Edmontonian, then?

As far as Kiruna goes, you have to remember that she is an Aes Sedai whose brother is a king. So she didn't have to learn arrogance when she became an Aes Sedai like Siuan Sanche; she took it in with her mother's milk.

I didn't mind the BotW plotline that much, though I still find the chapter where N&E first encounter the Kin, who completely disregard their claims to be Aes Sedai, to be tooth-grindingly winceworthy. However, I'd consider Elayne's Quest For The Throne to be just as annoying as Perrin vs. The Malden Shaido.
Rob Munnelly
36. RobMRobM
@35. I just spoke on the phone with a work contact today who is visiting Edmonton and didn't bring his hat and mittens. Guess he's not going outside in the record cold temps. 35F below. Yikes. Rob
Matthew Smith
37. blocksmith

Colavaere had the benefit of scheming with the AS that were planning on kidnapping Rand, so she had advanced opportunity to put pieces (assassins, soldiers, etc) in place where Elayne walked into a battle for succession.

One way to clean up the Bain/Chiad/Gaul would be to kill off either Bain or Chiad. If BwS wanted to put a Shakespearean twist on it, he could have a dying Chiad tell Gaul in her last few breaths that Bain would be laying a bridal wreath at his feet. Only thing is, Gaul is, IMHO, MOA, so that would just be a real suck thing to do.
Tricia Irish
38. Tektonica

Good point about the AS being the instigators behind Colavere's throne grab.
Sneaky, sneaky, controlling, sneaky....

And yes, Alfvaen@35, Kiruna took arrogance in her mother's true and then drank some more of it in the WT....but isn't she smart enough to see her bull in a china shop approach isn't working? Hasn't worked? Won't work? Perhaps, a new tack would be in order?

Blind@32: Totally agree. And thank you for Tylin's name. I was having a brain fart. Anything Mat = Fun!
Maiane Bakroeva
39. Isilel
Whatever you say or do, they will believe you wear an Aes Sedai halter.

I have to say that I don't see how and why Aiel in general would have become so anti-AS all of a sudden. It isn't like they had much contact with AS and had opportunities to get disenchanted. And after learning the truth many among the Aiel even mused that they may be destined to serve AS again.
Moiraine's soujourn among them was punctuated with awesomeness and ended on a heroic note, so huh? IIRC previously only the WOs were sceptical and increasingly antagonistic. Even Maidens guarding Rand were easily overawed by Galina, IIRC.

So, this seems to come out of the left field, IMHO. The Aiel in and around Cahirien don't know that Rand was kidnapped, after all.

Kiruna... sigh. Honestly, why was RJ so intent on making the Greens such complete, useless, annoying idiots? I mean, not even in battle did he give them a moment to shine and here is more screaming cretinism.

with this faith that bulling through will get you what you want

I completely disagree with this being standard AS approach. As we have seen previously, AS usually operate incognito and necessarily have a much more varied repertoir than this.
Consider Verin versus the WCs in TDR, for instance and what she tells SGs on the subject. Also, Moiraine when openly AS and even Siuan as Amyrlin were much more subtle and adaptable.

No, Kiruna and Bera (and nearly all Greens we see, really) appear just to be idiots and moreover idiots with no redeeming qualities, since they don't even have military competence, leave alone diplomatic one that they try to arrogate to themselves here. It is all part of dumbing down of AS which RJ (unnecessarily, IMHO) embarked on in later volumes.

Gaul is a prick. Does it not occur to him that it isn't the right time for Chiad to give up the spear, now that such great events are afoot?!

Re: the storylines that never die - I actually liked Tanchico and the 1st Circus Soujourn. No, really. I always loved Nyn, the chapters were funny and enough important stuff was happening there - Moggy, Egeanin, Birgitte, etc.

But TBoTW, Elayne's crawl to the throne, the 2nd Circus Soujourn (if there is a 3rd one, I will scream) and Obduction of Faile? Urgh. IMHO, TBoTW even comes slightly positively in such company. At least it has "Mashiara".

And the worst of it is that they are all so blatantly, transparently dragged out and bloated.
Sean Banawnie
40. Seanie
I knew something was strange about Dashiva but didn't guess he was Forsaken. I thought he was way off and obviously Taim didn't want to have for several possible reasons :unreliable to be a spy,give away too much of the BT news or just not under his thumb enough. He got a pretty lot of mention for an Ashaman (Yeah Leigh, more Flinn!! always liked him...) . So I figured something would happen with him {Dashiva} , somehow....
The neverending drag-on {not Dragon} plots (Falcon and the Emoman{Perrin when thinking about missing Faile- "Nothing else matters"x50 --WE get it ! WE GET IT ! MOVE ON ALREADY...} didn't bother me as much as the writing....As much as I love RJ , I think sometimes the writing went on autopilot---smoothing skirts etc. . Sorry , rant over. Anyways...... these side plots had their place , just got a little frustrating.....
And yes ,you are right Leigh, RJ was a master at building up tension.....He kept us hooked, didn't he ?
Bonnie Andrews
41. misfortuona
So just sat down and read my own post @ 28, I realized that I think I'm being way too hard on Perrin. Must be the whole will you just finish this plot line syndrome.
At this point in the story he actually handles himself pretty well. Of course he was concerned about Faile given the circumstances and it isn't like he actually gallops off ahead and storms the palace to rescue her. He shows good self control that continues through the next chapters. Maybe there is hope for him yet now that post tGS he has some time for introspection.
42. avidmeher
OMG!! how long has this been out? I'd been reading the comments on the previous post.

Isliel @39 - totally agree. Except a few, all AS are bumblng idiots.
Abdel Masdoua
43. TheDarkOne
"Which we will get to next time, Gadget, next time! "

See what you did there...

Also, great recap as usual, and thanks for pointing out (reminding)that fat man angreal business between Taim and Gedwyn, definitely didn't get that one!
44. AndrewB
Leigh (and all others)

“I am sure Faile can look after herself, Perrin. She is not like Erith. I can hardly wait for Erith to make me her husband so I can tend her; I think I’d die if she changed her mind.”

Nice to remember that RJ was an equal opportunist: all races (human & Ogier, alike) have gender stereotypes.

In language that Leigh quoted, it appears that in Ogier society, it is the husband who takes care of his wife. Yet, in KoD wedding scene, IIRC, Liol's Mom & Erith exchange dialogue that states that in Ogier society, it is the wife's roll to tend her husband.

As Leigh has pointed out in various commentaries throughout this year, how men and women view their societal roles vis-a-vis (sp?) the opposite sex is an ongoing theme. And further, each sex has a completely different take.

(by the way, hard to believe that Leigh has been leading us for just about a year)

Thanks for reading my musings.
Captain Hammer
45. Randalator
Why, oh why did Perrin have to become a post-2000 mainstream emo? Couldn't he have been a cool 1980s/90s underground emo? Because they we're cool. Go Smiths!
46. alreadymadwithRandgone
Isilel @39
The Aiel did not know what happened. Beyond the ones that went with Perrin all everyone knew was that Rand disappeared inexplicably at the same time the Aes Sedai left. Then there's Colavaere heavily making hints that the Aes Sedai are on her side and that they should head south. I don't blame them for concluding that the Aes Sedai now pull Rand's strings. Although the reaction was in fact varied. Some assumed (correctly) that Rand had been taken by force.
47. Aye Aye Sedai
@43 - re Fat man - I'm not so sure that the look between Taim and Gedwyn is about the FMA but could also be looking for someone - perhaps a Black Ajah that escaped or died that was known to them?

Not clear is anyone other that the Forsaken know that there are male angreal. Perhaps was looking for something else - not sure what - perhaps some one died - not sure if all the ashaman survived - or perhaps they we hoping to kill off the not so cliquey members.

Perhaps they were looking for Asmo with orders to kill him?

I'd like more proof than conjecture to give this certainty.
Sean Banawnie
48. Seanie
Couladin had accused Rand of being an AS puppet even while back at the waste. IMHO those who were vulnerable to the bleakness saw this as evidence and ran to be Brotherless.
49. rkelly
Nice cut text.
Maiane Bakroeva
50. Isilel
My problem with massively idiotic AS is that I don't see how the WT could have had even as much influence as it did in the beginning of the series, if it was staffed by idiots, who morever were mostly free to act independantly for their own goals.
Also, a run-of-the-mill sister isn't so powerful that a few dozens of soldiers can't take her down. I.e. her effective power is only that of a minor lordling.
Also, all that education should be good for something, too.

I wish that the early, volume 1-5 depiction of AS, who had to act cleverly and circumspectly when out in the world, had been maintained. It was far more plausible, IMHO.
Somebody like Kiruna et al. or Joline should have been murdered by WCs long since.


I don't blame them for concluding that the Aes Sedai now pull Rand's strings.

But why should it make them hostile, when they (apart from WOs) were previously half-convinced that it was a proper way of things that AS should be in charge and rather in awe of them? Absent the knoweldge of gross breach of honor, like abduction, their reaction is rather inexplicable, IMHO.
Bonnie Andrews
51. misfortuona
Aye Aye @ 47

Speculating on Taim/Gedwyn looking for Asmo. I think I like that as a better idea than the angreal. I can't think of any reason that Taim wouldn't still be looking for him, unless I've missed something.
But Asmo hasn't been around for a while. Does it make sense that they'd expect him to be with Rand?

Lannis .
52. Lannis
I'm here, I'm here! ::sloughs off layers of coats and sweaters, heaps them onto a chair in the bunker:: Whew! Is cold outside! Bourbon please! :D

Re: The Greens... I can remember thinking, when first learning the purposes for the Ajahs, that the Battle Ajah would be just so cool! Keen and crafty AS, a buncha Warders, readying for the Last Battle, focused, intent on one purpose: to be the Light's version of Dreadlords (granted, with those tricky Three Oaths hindering them, but whatever...).

Then, you know, you get to experience the Greens and it turns out that your first impression is so wrong... Ugh...

Is it just me, or do they seem like the "dumb jock" stereotype of the WT? All "we're supposed to be the heavy muscle" for TG, so they (stereotypically) don't use their noggins so much? Um... yeah... not cool...

So much wasted potential for Awesome...

EDIT: Added link. So sad: the TV Tropes entry for Dumb Jock looks like this.
53. alreadymadwithlostchief
Isilel @50
Their Chief of Chiefs, their prophesied one, had just disappeared. And the only thing they could connect it to was the simultaneous departure of the Aes Sedai. The rumors and speculations evolved. Perhaps he went with the Aes Sedai. Perhaps he went to bend knee to the Aes Sedai chief. No, he was taken against his will.
James Jones
54. jamesedjones
39 Isilel
I have to say that I don't see how and why Aiel in general would have become so anti-AS all of a sudden.
It was the weekly dream-conferences with the SAS. Moiraine was gone when they started.
Barry T
55. blindillusion
misfortuona@51 Re:~

But Asmo hasn't been around for a while. Does it make sense that they'd expect him to be with Rand?

Well, by this point in the story Asmodean has been MIA for roughly 70 days, so around 7 weeks, +/- a few days on either end. It wouldn't be too terribly difficult to believe Dark Friend Inc. would still be searching for him. And with how much Rand moves around, it's not too terribly difficult to believe he left Asmodean somewhere and sends for him as needed. Though I doubt Taim & Co. would be looking for him the day after Rand exits the box.

As for the Nod Heard Round the World...I always thought it had something to do with the Aes Sedai Geds was set to watch over.

Isn't speculation fun?

edit: Leigh. Just read the cut. Who dat? Loving this season. Go Saints!!
Ron Garrison
56. Man-0-Manetheran
Yes. The Perrin-Faile paso doble begins again. Arggggh. The "Plotline That Won’t Die" Perfect. I think that because it went on and on and on is what bothered me the most. Yeah, RJ. I get it. The BotW story arc left me unsatisfied, but this just got downright annoying.

@32 blindillusion
"Elayne's What-Dress-Will-I-Wear-This-Scene" OMG. ROFL!
Chris Hall
57. bookwormchris
It has been a while since I re-read the whole series (or posted here.) I haven't yet done a New Spring to The Gathering Storm re-read, still trying to decide whether I want to do the 2010 WoT Challenge (basically a book a month during 2010.) Last time I did a full re-read was Summer of 2008, giving myself a week per book. This generally worked out well, but I ended up reading most of the books within a few days during each week. From reading them that quickly, I don't remember any plot lines dragging particularly. My re-read was focused mostly on looking for things I had missed/forgotten and generally enjoying the series. Yes, certain character and plot lines annoy, but the same can be said for people and events IRL. I was reading fast enough to be over most of those in a week or two, except for the ones spanning several books.

One of these days I keep telling myself I will annotate the series as I read so I actually remember what all the nice little details I find were and can use them. This inevitably falls apart after the first few pages of The Eye of The World.

And re: The Greens, I agree. Disappointed in them so far. The half-trained Supergirls could drub most of that lot in a few seconds. I mean, M was more of a Green than most of them will ever be and she hasn't even been around for about half of the books!
Maiane Bakroeva
58. Isilel
Lannis @52:

So much wasted potential for Awesome...

Ditto, sigh. Mind you, the Greens' absence during the Battle of Tarwin's Gap wasn't a hopeful sign, as well as the complete lack of mention in the story of the Fall of Malkier - but I used to think that it was due to the first book syndrome or possibly a DF plot.
Particularly since at the same time we heard often about _warders_ fighting in the Blight and logically their AS shouldn't have been far behind. Sigh. To think that I considered Alanna to be a particularly flighty/bumbling representative of her Ajah...

And something completely different re: whether Taim could have taken Dashiva'gar at the face value, IMHO given the First Weave constraint it would have been very unlikely.
Even if Taim's teacher was an FS, he and Aginor likely would have had some differences in style.

And if Taim truly was a self-taught wilder - which IMHO is impossible, but some do cling to the notion - well the differences between his weaves and Dashiva'gar's would have been very blatant. That besides all the AoL channeling stuff that D-gar described to i.e. Flinn supposedly "from his readings".
Ron Garrison
59. Man-0-Manetheran
re. Greens:
I think that we are shown the obvious deficiencies of the Green "Battle Ajah" as a necessity of plot. The commentary from the head of the Greens during the attack on the WT showed that she realized this was something that needed to be remedied. And it sets up Egwene perfectly so that she can teach them prior to the final battle.
Bridget Sullivan
60. Ellid
re: Kiruna and the Greens

I too suspect that Kiruna was intended to be, I dunno, sort of the Green equivalent or Moiraine or Siuan. She's strong (regarded as "quite strong and capable"), she has an unusually large number of warders, she had admirers within the Green (Beldeine) and an impressive back-story (Arafelin royalty).

I dunno about the rest of you but I initially thought her conduct in the Battle of Dumai's Wells was rousing (a queen of battles, gliding along a path cut by her warders, setting things on fire and all that)...

... but she really disappoints. She takes the opposite position that Moiraine did (guidance through acceptance) and tries to strong arm her way (which has two deep seated bases in her character: MoFo Powerful Aes Sedai and Royal Princess).

I agree that I thought the Greens were supposed to be kick ass cool - they have SWAT teams of gaidin, they fight in battles, they date men and marry their warders! They are admired as dashing and courageous by the Accepted and novices, and even reasonable solid sisters like Seaine equate "Green with bravery." Their Ajah Leader has an awesome title, they express rank internally by a coded system of swords lacquered to their apartment doors!

Plus, Egwene and Elayne want to be Green; Rashima Kinderosa and Caraighan Maiconar are compelling, cool figures. Hell, Cadsuane's mysterious back-story (more warders than other sister's have shoes, her array of hair ter'gizmos, her stirring from retirement like a distaff Cincinnatus!) are all meant to be impressive indicators.

Hell, even Alanna's performance (other than her mysterious purpose) in tSR was cool - she makes exploding catapult stones! she Heals Perrin! she fights trollocs!

But Kiruna and the Greens end up being made of Suck. Seriously bad. Adelorna was a huge, huge disappointment. Kiruna tends to just leap off the page as an embarrassment. Couldn't she once have done something awesome and heroic? Something not offensive?

Looking back from the end of the saga, I will just state that I find RJ's broad, overarching portrayal of the Aes Sedai sisterhood to ultimately be very, very disappointing and borderline insulting. He may have claimed that he wanted to depict an impressive bastion of feminine authority, but by and large, the characters are hackish, bitchy, petty, shallow, selfish and shrill and above all, shortsighted and ineffectual.

Even the original idea that the halves of the One Power are equally divided is actually a ruse - sure there are powerful women and powerful men, but men will most likely overmatch the powerful women, and it takes several women working in tandem to beat a powerful man.

I dunno about you, but I always thought it was a delightful idea that a tiny, petite elegant woman like Moiraine in her blue silks would be able to go toe to toe with her opposite number on the male side (if they still existed, of course). Nope, sure Moiraine is a powerhouse, but only for a woman! As the range of channellers goes (once you include men), she is piddling...and not just from the perspective of the Forsaken.

It's almost as if the whole thing was a colossal joke - "nyuk, nyuk, silly readers. Of course you can't have women in authority! They'll just break down into selfish, catty cliques until a man comes along to set them straight and take them into hand."

Wow, that rant came out of nowhere, but I am not sorry I said it.
Tricia Irish
61. Tektonica
Re: Taim and Dashiva

I"m on the fence about Taim. I'd always just assumed the story line, but you guys are making me rethink this. He is very menacing from his first appearance, with Bashere not even recognizing him. (I know, the beard.) He could've been a DF or 13 x 13ed before or after release from capture too. It certainly explains much of his later behavior, and LTT's reactions in Rand's head everytime he's around.

I do think he knew about Rand's fat man angreal, possibly from seeing Rand channel at the Farm sometime, and I'm pretty sure another poster here had good reasons for Taim/Gedwyn searching for that in the wagons. Does anyone remember that post? Come on, own up! We need help here!

As for Dashiva....I don't think Taim knows who Dashiva is. (Isnt' he undercover for the DO/Ishydin?) I do think Taim wanted his own pet spies with Rand, ie: Gedwyn, Torval,etc., which is why he didn't want Dashiva to go with Rand.
(Although, later, didn't they all come for Rand in the palace?) Now I'm talking to myself......thoughts?

Ellid@60....well put!
Ron Garrison
62. Man-0-Manetheran
Tektonica - It was Freelancer who posted about the Taim/Gedwyn interchange. It was the previous thread - aCoS part 2 - comment 22.
63. Kutulu
misfortuna @51:

I can't think of any reason that Taim wouldn't still be looking for him, unless I've missed something.

Clearly Taim wouldn't be looking for him, since Taim killed him.

64. Kutulu
Tektonica @61

(Although, later, didn't they all come for Rand in the palace?) Now I'm talking to myself......thoughts?

Yes, all 4 came for Rand at the palace, but Taim didn't appear to know that Dashiva was involved. His reaction when Rand adds Dashiva to the list of culprits is seemingly un-feigned anger.

There's a tiny bit of confusion on that point, since at that time Dashiva should have still been under the "don't kill Rand" prohibition. I think the general consensus is that he was just taking the opportunity presented by Taim and the other 3 to get rid of Rand without drawing suspicion to himself. (Alternatively, if Taim is working for the FS, knowing that Taim gave the kill order might mean the prohibition was gone by then and we just didn't know it.)
Jacy Clark
65. Amalisa

Yes, you may certainly enter the bunker. However, you will need to write, fifty times, " is our friend". You may borrow my pen.

I'm kidding. I'm kidding! Come on in! All I need's a cookie and a diet Coke, if you're heading toward the kitchen!

AyeAyeSedai@47 and misfortuona@51

If Taim/Ged are looking for Asmodean, then that sort of blows a hole in the Taim-receiving-orders-from-Demandred theory. The DO told Demandred at the beginning of LoC that Asmodean was dead:
The Chosen dwindle, Demandred. The weak fall away. Who betrays Me shall die the final death. Asmodean, twisted by his weakness. Rahvin dead in his pride. He served well, yet even I cannot save him from balefire. Even I cannot step outside of time.
(I was going to do that in all caps, like the books, but I'm an internet junkie so I find all caps to be annoying. Opted for red, instead.)

So, if Demandred knew (per Wetlandernw's chronology) sixty-six days ago that Asmo was dead, well...

I'm going to come up with a defense for Perrin and the plot-that-will-not-die in a little while... bear with me.
66. FellKnight
isilel @ 58

I was always under the strong impression that Male channelers don't do the whole hand-waving extra crap with their channeling. I'm sure it was somewhere in the series that it says so. Anyone remember?

Bonnie Andrews
67. misfortuona
Ellid @ 60
Well a good rant is cleansing isn’t it? ? And to an extent I agree with you. The AS have been portrayed as rather buffoonish, however I'm not sure I agree with you on a couple of points.
First of all Moraine, and the other powerful female channelers. While they are not as strong as the strongest of the males, they are still stronger than most of the rank and file Ashaman.
We hear of those who are strong enough to make gateways because they are the most useful to the armies and such, but most of the men IIRC can't manage that.
As for RJ treating the WT as a joke, IMHO if he was, it was not on gender basis so much as taking a shot at what happens when a group of people maintain unopposed power for so long. Pulling strings and bullying monarchs has been their MO for what three thousand years. Someone should have told them the rules would change with the DR.
Still the greens HAVE been disappointing, but I think they are waiting for the right woman (Egwene) to set them straight and take them in hand. My opinion is that after a couple weeks of special training at the WT we will see a whole new battle ajah. They’re all looking at the number one SG with a new respect after all.

Amalisa thanks for admittance and the pen! I've finished my lines. Your cookie is on the table next to your battle glass. Don't mind the red spots. They're only ink!

Okay as for Taim/Gedwyn? My guess is we'll never know on that one for sure, too obscure to come out in the books. Direct question to BWS.
Barry T
68. blindillusion
FellKight RE:~ Hand-waving extra crap

Well, the Wise Ones don't wave their hands around when they weave Fire, per the scene where Rand notices Avi can channel.

I think per the Farm scene, when *mumblemublenameofAsha'manmumblemumble* destroys a rock with the Power, his arms stay by his side, but I don't readily recall.

Hmm, just had a flashback to my childhood.

Isn't speculation fun?
Bonnie Andrews
69. misfortuona
MOM @ 59
I forgot to offer a nod to your wisdom in my last post. You beat me to the comment on Egwene taking charge of the greens.
Ron Garrison
70. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks misfortuona! My "wisdom" is often overlooked. Takes one to know one! LOL!

We all get frustrated when characters don't do the right thing - don't live up to their potential, etc. If you are writing an heroic tale, that's great writing. Because when they do succeed, the payoff is terrific. I mean, who didn't give a shout out when Eggy blasted those damane on the to'raken?
71. Rick 1313
All Right!!!
I didn't know Leigh was a fan of the 13-0 COLTS!!!

Just kidding, Leigh!
Bridget Sullivan
72. Ellid
misfortuona@67 (I had a slight typo and addressed you as misfortuna :) - good thing I caught that)

" And to an extent I agree with you. The AS have been portrayed as rather buffoonish, however I'm not sure I agree with you on a couple of points."

Yeah, but Isilel said it well elsewhere upthread - in the beginning of the saga, the sisterhood *and* individual sisters were portrayed as competent, moving out in the world (Verin, Moiraine, etc..) Plus, as Isilel says, how could they be such a mish-mash mess *and* have managed control for three milennia? The proof is in the pudding, or the proof should have been in the pudding :)

"First of all Moraine, and the other powerful female channelers. While they are not as strong as the strongest of the males, they are still stronger than most of the rank and file Ashaman.
We hear of those who are strong enough to make gateways because they are the most useful to the armies and such, but most of the men IIRC can't manage that.

I don't think that's actually true, but I'll have to rummage to confirm or disprove it either way.

Asmodean's conversation with Rand - "some women have stronger arms, but on the whole men have the strong arms" - really was a moment of deflation for me. The whole Egality of Supernatural Whupass just went out the window. The Aes Sedai were, as a force to supposedly be reckoned with, handed their asses at Dumai's Wells, and not ONE of them was able to overpower the Asha'man shielding them. They were humbled, and brutally so. It still leaves a bad-ish taste in me mouth.
Ron Garrison
73. Man-0-Manetheran
The AS may have been a great force at one time and the Queens of Whupass, but like many institutions, they have let their reputation suffice for reality. Remember Rand's visions at Rhuidian: the AS gave the Aiel some tremendous tasks and they were obeyed without question. They were respected and therefore their requests were taken seriously.

At this point in time, they just go harumphing around wondering why everyone doesn't just do as they say. The trouble with thinking that you're always right, is that you are the only one who believes that.

As I said, if they are not portrayed this way at this point in the story, then there is no opportunity for the heroic moment when they do live up to their potential/history.
Bonnie Andrews
74. misfortuona
Ellid @ 72
Alright so maybe I just want to believe the girls are as strong as the boys. So if they aren't, well at least they're smarter.
Ah... I guess they aren't showing much of that at this point either.

M-O-M @73 you did a way better job of stating what I was trying to earlier as well.

Takes off apprentice stripes' slips back into novice white and sulks back to the bunker to write some more lines.

Yes Amalisa I'm bringing cookies, before the... 'ink' from you pen drips on them this time.
Richard Fife
75. R.Fife
M-o-M @70
I can't help myself. An Heroic? (Was going to use Encyc-Dramatic, but figured that is a little NSFW)
Don Barkauskas
76. bad_platypus
FellKnight @66:
I was always under the strong impression that Male channelers don't do the whole hand-waving extra crap with their channeling. I'm sure it was somewhere in the series that it says so. Anyone remember?
Some do, some don't. As an example, in KoD when the Trollocs attack the manor, "LTT" seizes saidin from Rand but can't work certain weaves until Rand lets "LTT" have control of his hands to make a gesture.

Also, one of the AS notes that gestures are not technically part of a weave, but that if a weave had been learned that way, then it became necessary to use the gesture to make the weave. So, it's a product of how you're taught as opposed to anything in the weaves themselves. (Don't remember the exact quote on this and don't have the books handy. Just re-read it recently, though, so it's probably aCoS or tPoD.)
Richard Fife
77. R.Fife
Bad Plat, TPoD, Cads thinks it while she is talking to Sorilea about the AS that are WO apprentices.
Ron Garrison
78. Man-0-Manetheran
Can't help myself, either. It's a function of the way I was taught (thanks platy). "A heroic" just sounds dumb to me. (Your link is blocked on our network, so I can't get your reference.)
Roger Powell
79. forkroot
The proof is in the pudding, or the proof should have been in the pudding :)
Given the season, I suggest the proof (80) be in the rum cake. Yum!

Especially considering that Rand was the one who killed him the first time around, which could hardly be expected to dispose Aginor/Osan’gar/Dashiva favorably toward him.
Not to be picky, but Rand didn't kill him. Aginor immolated himself out drawing too much saidan from the Eye of the World.
80. alreadymadwithhandwaving
bad_platypus @66
Hand-waving discussion is in TPOD. Chapter 12.

As for men waving their hands, save for the occasional weave that required it (Arrows of Fire had filaments coming out of the fingertips, and Taim's bar of flame) they were not depicted as doing anything until BWS took over. Under BWS Naeff raised his hand to channel water, and Rand raised his hand to open a Gateway. This is one of the few complaints I have about TGS.
81. Rukaiya
I have to say, as a woman, I've never been particularly bothered by the fact that female Aes Sedai are on average weaker than their male counterparts. After all, they've had rulers at their beck and call for the last couple thousand years, while the men could only hope to be turned into suicidal wrecks, if they weren't killed outright. Now the pendulum is swinging the other way, with the emergence of the Forsaken and the Asha'man. Turnabout is fair play, say I.

For that matter, as Asmodean reminds Rand at some point, even the strongest male channeler can't get too comfortable, because the thirteen weakest women in the tower could take him down, but he can't link up without a woman's help. I think it really goes along with how RJ depicted saidar and saidin. Saidar is about accepting and moving with the current, so it makes sense that saidar users would be weaker, but more open to linking. Saidin is all brute force and power, which makes men stronger, but with a hard time managing tasks like linking.

I also think that RJ's depiction of the White Tower is not in any way derogatory to women. I think he depicts what would happen to -any- institution that has wielded that sort of power essentially unopposed for so long. Of course they see themselves as the most powerful important people around, because they have been for the last umpty-squat years. Furthermore, because there's not really been anyone to challenge them, the only ones they can hone themselves against is each other. Plus, let me tell you, that many people who don't necessarily like each other living together for so long is a recipe for trouble. I guess what I'm trying to say is that their entire history has propelled them towards arrogance, narrow-mindedness, and an insular outlook. They're getting their first real shake-up since they were challenged by Artur Hawkwing (which, from what little we've heard about it, sounds like it was pretty close to the whole Elaida saga).

Sorry for the mini-novel, by the way.
Alice Arneson
82. Wetlandernw
thewindrose @13
FWIW, Colavaere was crowned 10 days after Rand was taken.

Ellid @ 72 - I'm nitpicking, because I have a WHOLE LOT to say on the general subject of character expectations & disappointment that's been expressed here, but I gotta make this little bitty point: you say "and not ONE of was able to overpower the Asha'man shielding them." Not a terribly good example, imho, since it's never easy to overpower someone who is holding a shield on you, no matter what your (or their) gender or strength. Rand managed, only when he had a way into the shield via the tied-off points, and he's over-the-top strong. As for objecting to Asmodean's comment... well, it's true as far as it goes. Why blame RJ for physiology? Did you think he should change it for WoT so that women are physically as strong as men? :) Yes, I know, you're objecting to the analogy of physical to OP strength, but your quote leaves it a bit open. Fair warning - if you hadn't noticed, there are lots of folks here who love to poke holes in things. (Who, me?) And... that's all I'll say on the subject until I write my essay.

@ several - And just because I'm feeling nitpickity today, the correct proverb is "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" - which is to say, it can look yummy and smell yummy, but you won't know if it's really yummy until you eat it. And if the proof is high enough, you might not really remember afterwards...

Rukaiya @ 81 - well said. Mini-novelists FTW!
Tricia Irish
83. Tektonica
M-O-M@ 62

Thanks for the reference. Of course, it was Freelancer!


Wait! A new theory on Asmo! Taim killed Asmo! Does Asmo know him?Because he says, "You!" just before he bites it....Could be, I suppose......

Ellid@72 & Rukaiya@81

Well said. The WT has been insulated from challenge for thousands of years now. The Men went nuts, the rulers bowed, and many didn't leave the tower. Some exceptions we have seen on screen, are AS who are more engaged in the world, ie: Moraine, Verin, Siuan.....involved in bigger issues than just their own aggrandizement.

Although women are not as strong in the power, the very nature of Saidar is cooperative and linking brings them great power. Saidin is more powerful, but a solitary endeavor, unless women are involved. This seems to reflect the very nature of women and men.
Tasneem Gould
84. Latecomer
I love coming back to the site after a break - multiple posts to enjoy, and lots of great comments as well.

R Fife - funny man! See, you CAN do it yourself - you don't need Rick Astley :)

Re. institutions that last 100s of year MUST get screwed.. RJ was paralleling (is that a word) the Catholic Church with the White Tower. Dominated by one gender, the power heiarchies and the Amrylin/ Pope being the last word, a law unto themselves with the power to raise and destroy kings and kingdoms...
So do you really think the Church is that ineffective/ inward looking? I don't think so - and that is the reason I don't buy the White Tower initiates attitudes.

I just can't believe that the Yellows are not out there dispensing healing, the Greens don't have battle training and strategy as part of their induction process and the Whites/ Browns are not setting up schools teaching math and history or teaching better farming methods or something.

Surely the AS know how distrusted they are by the common folk - why not walk among them and show them that they use their powers for good - not just for their own purposes? Surely there are SOME decent, charitable people - what about all those AS that came from a non-noble background? Don't they remember how much difference a bit of power might have made in a poor year or to a sick child?

I know that someone will pipe up with "Ishmael made them do it" - but if he was influencing a 5th of the tower - what about the rest of the AS?

I understand why this needs to be like this for the books to work and the themes to be clear etc - but GRR!
Ron Garrison
85. Man-0-Manetheran
@81 Rukaiya
Very well stated! And welcome to the board!
86. ZamIt
I expect the fat man angreal to show up again in the next book. It has been too prominent to drop. I expect Taim has it somewhere in the black tower.
87. Rukaiya

Regarding the comparison to the Catholic Church, I would not say that the White Tower bears more than a superficial similarity to the present day Catholic Church. However, I think it is significantly more analogous with the Catholic Church during the Avignon papacy (roughly 1378-1417, during which time there were two popes). At that point, yes, the Church was placing far more significance on its internal problems than it was on its reputation with its flock. My argument is that the Aes Sedai have grown used to being the great power in the world. They don't really have much in the way of challengers, and so many ambitious Aes Sedai appear to have focused their energy on politicking within the tower. They are not accustomed to outside issues bearing more importance than those inside the White Tower.

It seems likely that the Yellows are still dispensing healing and the Greens are still studying tactics, but from the time they were novices, they've had the significance of the White Tower drummed into them. Their outlook on life has been shaped by that. Even assuming the common person on the street would dare tell an Aes Sedai something he thinks she might not want to hear, would an Aes Sedai be convinced by the opinion of someone with far more limited experience and lesser education than she herself has? She knows herself to be superior. And, for the most part, she is.

I think it's evident throughout the novels that many Aes Sedai do think they're trying to help people. They simply do so from a position of overweening arrogance. Those Aes Sedai who spend significant time out in the world, interacting with non-Aes Sedai seem to be much less prone to this trait, although Elaida is a notable exception.
88. Rukaiya
I feel I should caveat these . . . umm . . . long introductory posts by saying that I'm not trying to be too forceful or to push people into thinking the way I do. I apologize if it comes off that way. I just like to argue my opinions. It helps me clarify my thinking as much as anything else. So thank you all for patience!


Thanks for the welcome!
89. Freelancer

Happy Monday indeed. And, I got no push-backs on any of your post today, so cool beans.


Howdy, welcome to the jungle, come on in and embrace the horror. As this isn't itself a fan site, there's never a problem mentioning fan sites, especially Dragonmount, who managed the selection and organization of the Storm Leaders for the TGS release tour. Them and TOR be getting along real cozy lately. But even the other biggies get their due here,, Encyclopaedia-WoT, the Thirteenth Depository, etc...

RE: Perrin and Faile. I've never had a problem with them. Walk a mile, folks, walk a mile. But I'll admit to being unusual, in that after 8 complete read-throughs up to KoD, I've never skipped a single chapter of the story. I read every prologue, every epilogue, and every chapter each time through. This story is an onion, you need to keep peeling layers to see everything.


At this point of the story, I don't think the Aiel's hesitance regarding the Aes Sedai is so much that they have learned contempt for them as a larger group, but that they despise the small group which kidnapped their Car'a'carn, and are concerned that he didn't end up their puppet.


Actually, we have at least one scene where the hand-movements were essential to a male channeler. When LTT stole saidin away from Rand at the manor house in Tear, during the massive Trolloc attack, he kept telling Rand he needed to raise his hands before he could channel certain weaves. Blossoms of Fire, or Arrows of Fire. I don't know if he needed to use his hands for the Deathgates, since he doesn't normally do any hand-waving for Traveling and it's and adjustment of the same weave.


Good thing to avoid NSFW links, but sadly Urban Dictionary is blocked at this office as well.


Right you are, Aginor burnt himself to a crisp on the JOOSE, but he'd still be blaming Rand.


Not to be counter-nitpicky, but I think when Rand waved a hand while making a gateway, it wasn't a channeling necessity, just a casual action to help emphasize that he was doing it. Also, at the manor house in Tear, it was the Blossoms of Fire that LTT channeled first when he needed the hands, and those didn't have the filaments leaving the fingertips.


What was me? I'll never admit a thing, you can't prove it. Wha...oh, that. Ok.


I agree with your sentiments, that the Aes Sedai should have been more community involved. But I have to say, the Ishamael influence does cover all of that pretty well. He wasn't influencing 1/5th of the Tower. He was crafting the leadership during his periods of freedom, who were then influencing the entire Tower. The leadership was guided to become supremacists, settings themselves above normal humans. This sets the tone with the outside world, leading to the distrust. That in turn leads the sisters to become even more insular, focusing more in political influence.
craig thrift
90. gagecreedlives
Ive pictured Dashiva/Osan’gar/Aginor as the mad scientist type. So his walking around muttering to himself fully conforms to my expectations. Plus I kick out of the idea of Aginor doing a Dr Frankenstein with the first Trolloc. Its aliiiiiiiive (this would also work with the scene coming up when Rand almost dies).


Me too


Actually neither of those two are my most hated. That honour goes to Elayne’s rise to power. Aka Bath time with Aviendha.


Excellent points.

Wonder how much different Randland would be if aes sedai did a decent job integrating with society. I don’t think the whitecloaks would exist for starters. Or if they did, be as influential. But their white towers power structure wouldn’t allow it. If you base you hierarchy on your strength in the one power how could you relate to people that cant channel at all.

Plus what a stupid way of organising people. It would be like the army deciding rank an arm wrestling competition. Dumb
91. alreadymadwiththechurch
Latecomer @84
The Catholic Church may not look like that now, but there was a time when it did. And that was the period that RJ was drawing parallels from.

Freelancer @89
Why can't I move my hands? 1 need to raise my hands! Earth, Air and Fire went into a weave Rand did not know, six of them at once. Except that as soon as he saw the spinning, he did know. Blossom of Fire. Six vertical red shafts appeared among the Trollocs, ten feet tall and thinner than Rand's forearm. The nearest Trollocs would be hearing their shrill whine, but unless memories had been passed down from the War of the Shadow, they would not realize they were hearing death. Lews Therin spun the last thread of Air, and fire blossomed. With a roar that shook the manor house, each red shaft expanded in a heartbeat to a disc of flame thirty feet across. Horned heads and snouted heads flew into the air, and pinwheeling arms, booted legs and legs that ended in paws or hooves. Trollocs a hundred paces and more away from the explosions went down, and only some got up again. Even as he was spinning those webs. Lews Therin spun six others, Spirit touched with Fire, the weave for a gateway, but then he added touches of Earth, so, and so.
The familiar silvery-blue vertical streaks appeared, spaced out not far from the manor house, ground Rand knew well, rotating into— not openings, but the misty back of a gateway, four paces by four. Rather than remaining open, they rotated shut again, opening and shutting continuously. And rather than remaining fixed, they sped toward the Trollocs. Gateways and yet not. Deathgates. As soon as the Deathgates began to move, Lews Therin knotted the webs, a loose knotting that would hold only for minutes before allowing the whole weave to dissipate, and began spinning again. More Deathgates, more Blossoms of Fire, rattling the walls of the house, blowing Trollocs apart, flinging them down. The first of the speeding Deathgates struck the Trollocs and carved through them. It was not just the slicing edge of the constantly opening and closing gateways. Where a Deathgate passed. there simply were no Trollocs remaining.
My bands! the madman howled. My hands! Slowly Rand raised his hands, stuck them through the opening. Immediately Lews Therin wove Fire and Earth in intricate combination, and red filaments flashed from Rand's fingertips, ten from each, fanning out. Arrows of Fire. this. He knew.

Blossoms of fire and Deathgates materialized without Rand raising his hands. LTT kept insisting on his hands and when Rand finally did raise them, Arrows of Fire materialized.

Re: Aginor
Agreed, he OD'ed and burned himself out. His aged body probably was not able to take as much of Saidin as it had been able to during the AoL when he had been at his prime.
Hugh Arai
92. HArai

There are likely many AS doing good works. The problem is that the ones we _see_ are the ones interested in power politics. It's the difference between the priest at the local church who helps the needy and supports the community and the power-brokers at the Vatican.

I think it's the same way with the Whitecloaks. We have pretty much only seen the total bastards, but I'm sure there are plenty that joined and stayed because they want to uphold the principles the founder had. Just like oh... Galad.

I believe that the core of the problem with the AS is simply that somewhere in their history they decided that your strength in the One Power actually equates to your worth as a person. Once they believed that, their decline became inevitable.
Rob Trotter
93. shadar
So I think we need to lay off Kiruna/Bera - and the comparisons to the AS in the earlier books.

I've seen three names thrown about. Moiraine - who has been hunted by the Black Ajah for TWENTY YEARS and is considered the second most legendary AS alive. Verin - who is a freaking Black Ajah Double Agent. And siuan, who once she had been arrested, stilled and set to be executed was pretty sneaky. Prior to that she did things like telling off generals in public.

From Merana's POV about running around talking to Rulers about treaties, from the other AS in New Spring, the MO of most AS is pretty standard. They are powerful and they don't really need to hide (Amadicia/Tear being obvious exceptions). And to be blunt - Rand hadn't impressed Kiruna all that much.. What had he done to show he was competent at politics? Attack one of them (via an "Aiel"), send them a letter, be captured by Galina.. She is reasonably in her rights to have the same assumption every other person in the series had - that Rand is a bit of a woolhead. It took Moiraine a *long* time to realise that. (And I'm not sure Egwene has). (Admittedly, Kiruna missed the Aiel politics part - as the WO missed the wetlander issue) - Kiruna's plan *may* have worked for Coulavere, but would have backfired massively for the Aiel.

So in short:
* Comparing AS arrogance to Moiraine/Verin sneakiness really misses the point
* Kiruna hasn't made any mistakes that others didn't (She just came into the scene late and thus we know she's wrong)
94. Aye Aye Sedai
@ 72 The Aes Sedai were, as a force to supposedly be reckoned with, handed their asses at Dumai's Wells, and not ONE of them was able to overpower the Asha'man shielding them

I think of the DW - as the AS being more in shock and awe at the presence of the ashamen as we never see any strength comparisons - they were doing well against the "common" fighter and Shaido -

They just never had the wrasslin that the sea folk did - get one of them in that there shield and i tell you the ashaman will be hanging by his ankles from the yardarm sooner that siuan can make a fishing allusion (pet peeve was that this point in WH was never followed up on- such as Elayne wrasslin' out of her shield)- now if only BS would write that nekkid wrasslin' scene between shielded sisters and some ashaman. hmm then might not need any of them their sheepy rolled up thingys that Leigh was so delightful to reminisce about.

I think what RJ did early on was build up the AS as the myth and legend that we all longed for and then he pulled back the curtain and we were so disappointed to see a normal human with human emotions - and now we'll never get back to Kansas - whoops sorry - wrong never ending series :)

The power in the AS myth was that you were in awe of the myth and the legends and never saw the person. This theme is repeated in many different ways. Yes a few plot point might have been worked a bit differently - but we get what we got and still loved it - Pass me another helping of that their pudding.
john massey
95. subwoofer
@JEJ- also known as the bean burrito bowl from Taco Del Mar...

@Alf- yup, the only one in the city that does not follow hockey.

@RobM- What was he thinking? You may want to ask him about the joys of frost bite. Comfort before fashion. Vain people freeze up here.

@Isilel39 I agree on a few things. Not nec that Gaul is a prick, but I do get that there is no way that he should expect Chiad to give up the spear. Maiden's are wed to it and live for battle as a result. With the big one coming up, Gaul would have to be a very special guy to justify anything. And you know that once the battle begins, he will skip off to join the fighting.

As others have said, the Aiel thing is not exactly unexpected. They have lived for so long with the preconceived notion that they have failed the AS and this in itself warrants much toh and Aiel, toh... well, you can see where I am headed. Some Aiel may feel it nec. to give up their life to atone. Their about face may be a result that the AS are not perfect and the owing of toh may be misplaced. Some Aiel may feel that they only got half the story. Now the veil is lifted and you can see the little guy behind the curtain.

&what Free said.

@Latecomer- good point, but I got nuthin'. It would be a pity to chalk up the AS behavior to ego, but in the end the Tower is very insular. Also they have weeded out and culled themselves into a hole due to their many restrictions. That will change with the introduction of the Kin etc. Opening the Novice book will stand all the previous AS notions on its head. And Eggy will see to the rest- re Sorelia.

96. Aye Aye Sedai
Re forkroot and the Nod that wasn't -

Perhaps Gedwyn and Taim are already plotting some sort of power shift in the tower and the head shake is to signify that this is not the time. - Yes it seems weird to come in and try to save Rand and then be thinking about plotting to depose/off/replace him (13x13 perhaps) and the head desk ^H^H^H^H shake is really just a nod from RJ that their is a collusion among the black coats.

although the Blackcoats at DW were like the invention of the machine gun to the spear wielding Shaido - As as counterpoint to my prior post - Kiruna, Alanna as well as all the other AS did not seem to pick up on the myriad "new" or "lost" weaves that were in evidence during the fight - they should have been focusing on that rather than on the power structures. Stupid Humans
Tasneem Gould
97. Latecomer
Thanks everyone for your comments. Just that I am working in the community at the moment and see so many people - many with little themselvs - try to help as much as possible. Makes me believe in humanity. And then to read something quite opposite - even if its just fiction - frustrating. OK, rant over.

PS - Emo Perrin and and Bath-time Daughter Heir Saga both suck. Together, they made WH and COT my most disliked books. And perhaps they are harder to stomach because both take big chunks of screentime up and both are meandering along when we are craving ACTION!!!!!

Bowl of Winds saga is not so bad, precisely because the saga is puncuated by so many of our Fav. characters - Mat, Nyn, Birgetttttte, Tylin (dare I say Elayne - there must be SOMEONE who loves her out there) ;)

5.00 p.m. in my part of the world - off to cook dinner and plan Christmas day with the family.

See you tomorrow - work willing ....
98. Rukaiya
*raises hand timidly*

I actually like Elayne. She's at least more self-aware than some of the other female characters and tries not to repeat her mistakes.
99. MasterAlThor
Alright, I made it. Done with school for this semester anyway. Now I can try to dedicate myself to this post.


I like your thinking. The AS should have been more involved with their communities. But then Freelancer has to go and point out something that we weren't thinking about. Dammit.

Emo Perrin...
OMG 'ere we go. Sit back folks this may take a minute.

Freelancer says we have to walk in somebodies moccasins before we say anythiing about them. Yeah he is right. Kinda. What Perrin is starting to do is just wrong. He sees it at first, but then when Faile gets taken it just goes off the deep end.

I really wish that RJ would have given Perrin a friend that wasn't afraid to speak his mind when Perrin started going all sideways. Gaul failed. Loail failed and then took off to have his own adventures. And the women, well they have their own way of dealing with stupidity. Which is to say that they don't help, they just continue to call him stupid or some such.

No, what Perrin needed was for someone to grab him by the scruff of the neck and shake the %&*t out of him.

Girls might not understand this but some of the guys will.

This is when you take your friend and thump him to make him see sense. I have gotten into fights with my friends because one of us was just going absolutely bonkers. You have two choices, as I see it, at that point. Fight or let your friend go on being an idiot and hope for the best.

I ain't that patient. Neither are some of my friends. Mind you we don't behave like that now. But fistacuffs were common back in the day. No alcohol necessary.

I am convienced that if Longtooth would have smacked Perrin up a little bit. Or even Rand for that matter. We could have avoid the plotline of doom.

Seriously, if you are willing to let the rest of the world die and everyone else you care about with it, just to save the one person you care about more than any other. That is kinda a twisted love.

I have a huge family. I love my wife more than anyone on this planet. But she would kill me if I saved her and let the whole world die. She would say "that was pointless cause now we are just going to die anyway. So thanks, thanks alot. You are now responsible for killing everyone I ever cared about on this planet." She really likes my family.

Well maybe she wouldn't put it exactly like that, but you get what I am saying.

Perrin was the guy who saw his responsibility and didn't run from it. Take his wife and to hell with the mountain. Everything can burn if she dies.

In Perrin's defense I too would probably go a little nuts if someone took my wife. I always tell her that no one is safe if they take one of my kids. But if something happend to my wife, I have to be there for my boys. And if something happend to my boys, I would have to be there for my wife. No easy thing to do, but I would not let the world burn because of my grief.

I just have a hard time with that.

I have another RW rant but I will post it later.

By the way, what is FTW? For the win? F the world? I got nuttin.
100. MasterAlThor
Man I am getting pretty good at the wall o text thing huh?
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
FTW = For The Win, at least when I use it. You are getting good at the wall... ;) Congrats. Just had to post that 101 thing for the fun. Aren't acronyms a lovely invention? So open to interpretation...
john mullen
103. johntheirishmongol
Just a couple of quick points before I jump into bed.

The AS I always felt like they thought they were just a bit better then everyone else, because they had the power and no one else could really match them. But they treated the rest more like mom with little kids, or novices. Do what I say or else...not really bother expplaining the issues.

As for Perrin, I was 19 once (long ago) and know a bit about obsession with a girl. But if you are in war or battle, the easiest way to get killed is not keeping your mind on your busines at hand. I know a little something about that too. Different service than RJ but same war.

Anyway, of the side stories Perrin/Faile kidnapping is my least fave. I am also pretty annoyed by windfinders but not til after BoTW. I like the Mat/Tuon romance. The circus is occasionally funny but also too long.

As for Bain/Chiad, who knows how that will end.
104. Katiya
Re: the Aes Sedai. The other thing we have to remember is that we're meant to view these events from the eyes of our main cast. They were all sheltered farm boys/girls when we started in EotW, and now two/three years have passed, they've seen a thing or two and grown tremendously more knowledgeable about the world (dare I even say themselves? Maybe.) The early portrayal of AS jibes with the "back country" picture of them, as these almost all-powerful, near-omnipotent super beings. But as our characters experience the reality, then our view of the Aes Sedai change. It's only later that we get really into the inner workings of AS, and naturally, when you're that close, you see all the cracks and shortcomings. Your average person isn't going to be nearly as cognizant of the tremendous bull-in-china-shop AS approach...more than likely in part because even IF an AS was acting all cloak and dagger like, they'd STILL see her as mythically in control because of who she is.

It's also no accident that we typically experience the POV of strong channelers...I'd just bet that it's the added thrill of having all the badasses tell you that you're the SUPER badass that pushes them into very public, very controlling roles. No one of Kiruna's strength and pedigree is going to be ok with hiding behind the scenes and shifting people. Moiraine was an exception because of her Cairhienin upbringing, but was still known in less-friendly circles (and sometimes friendly *coughSiuanendcough*) for her arrogance. And, in some defense of the the AS, the Asha'man are already breaking down with their own struggles (Evil Overlord in not-quite Disguise part aside), and haven't been around long enough to breed the kind of inner crap that the WT has.

One last thing and I'm spent. The relative strength of men to, I don't have a problem with the discrepancy. After all, a world where everything was perfectly equal would suck, and I feel like, if RJ chose to go the opposite way of nature (namely, that men ARE stronger than women, by and large, and women usually ARE more delicate and dexterous), then it would have come off as a thin, crazy-upside-down-world plot device. The whole system would have seemed less, he just did it because it would be fun to have opposite day. Not so cool.
105. Katiya
I lied, but this is quick. On male channelers and hand motions, I'm sure someone already mentioned Flinn wiggling his hands like he was stitching when he was Healing Rand from the SL dagger. Food for thought...;)
106. Freelancer
Mat and Nynaeve are not among my top 5 favorite characters as they are for so many. I prefer Perrin to Mat. I prefer Elayne to Nynaeve. I also have my own guesses about why that's true for me and not for the majority. But the way in which I read a chapter is not in the least determined by the cast of that chapter. I can never recall entering a new chapter of ANY story and going, "Drat, this is the plot thread I hate the most!", and pondering whether to skip it. Book, movie, TV, radio, when I'm engaged by a story, I'm engrossed in the story. I try very hard not to bring what I hope will happen to my reception of the story, because that way can only bring disappointment and reduced enjoyment (for me).

Now just to throw some fatwood on the fire, I don't believe that Perrin did the wrong thing by pursuing the Shaido to recover Faile. He didn't have his head on right, and was a poor leader about it, and he's just now dealing with his guilt over that, as well as his savage wolf nature when in peril. Yet he couldn't have turned away and simply gone back to his original task even if he wanted to. Half of that task was securing the support of Queen Alliandre. Well her support is useless if she's a lifetime gai'shain to Sevanna and Therava. Perrin knows that Arganda would try to rescue Alliandre regardless, so it's as well to hunt them down. The choice is justifiable. Had it been me, I would have sent an asha'man back to Rand immediately, and demanded all of the aid available to recover my wife and the one Queen in the entire westlands willing to openly support the Dragon Reborn.

As for the scene at hand, with Perrin manufacturing a condition whereby "everything must be fine", that being getting Swallow into the city of Cairhien, I find this immensely realistic. I know quite a number of people who, until they were well beyond their teen years, still fabricated such mystical "proofs" of all being well. Things as inane as, "If the next light changes green before we have to stop, then such-and-such will happen" or, "If I make ten free-throws in a row during warmup, we'll win the game". Jordan even carries it a step further; once they are in the city, Perrin realizes that he doesn't feel any less worried, so now what is required is getting Faile's horse to the palace. Surely that will guarantee her safety. Gotta remember, Perrin is barely 21 years old at this time, has been married a very short time, and has spent the last year-plus running from or fighting one nightmare after another. I give him leave to have a hard time with all that. As I said before, walk a mile.
Jacy Clark
107. Amalisa

Welcome, and nice post! I agree with you wholeheartedly.

RE: Perrin, Faile and the Plot That Will Not Die...

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways (in no particular order).

1. Got rid of Sevanna - hopefully for good.

2. Sent the Shaido back to the Three-Fold Land. Thank you very much for playing. Have a nice day.

3. Got rid of Galina - hopefully for good.

4. Got rid of Aram.

5. Got rid of Masema.

6. Enter Tylee (and Mishima).

7. Provided huge stepping stone to future, if not peace, then an understanding with the Seanchan. Specifically, Tylee and her new Low Blood status.

8. Forced Faile to grow up.

9. Forced Berelain to grow up.

10. More Tam, and other good sensible Two Rivers' folk. But especially more Tam. Because I heart him.

11. Brought Morgase (yes, I know she was still disguised at the time) back into friendly hands.

12. Strengthened the possibility that Manetheren will be re-born.

13. Brought Ghealdan under the banner of the Dragon Reborn - which was one of the two reasons Rand sent Perrin there.

14. Ended, or seriously curtailed, the violence and depradation of the Dragonsworn.

15. Fulfilled prophecy in the Karaethon Cycle: When the Wolf King carries the hammer, thus are the final days known.

16. It's a love story, for crying out loud!

I really can't blame Perrin for his actions or his feelings. I mean, remember what he's already lost. His family. Lost them, in his mind, because he couldn't get to the Two Rivers in time to save them, and he can't see himself going through that again with Faile. Not now (at this point in the story) or later (when Faile is kidnapped). The boy has a way overactive responsibility gland - I get that. But that's part of what makes him, in my opinion, so endearing. I believe, as of TGS, he's beginning to understand that the way of life he cherished - Two Rivers blacksmith - is no longer possible. I believe that he will start yelling at Faile on a semi-regular basis. But he will always be the strong, mostly quiet, thoughtful type and I do love that type!
108. Freelancer
Wow, talk about parallel thoughts. Very nicely done, Amalisa. I went micro, you went macro. ::high five::

As for strong, mostly quiet types, it's really very effective. You get peoples' attention much quicker when you speak just above a whisper. My kids knew instantly that they were out of bounds, not when I raised my voice, but lowered it. Works great with the junior church kids too. I admit it is more easily accomplished when you're also 6'4".
Rob Munnelly
109. RobMRobM
Woof@95. My work contact said that when he travelled up from Toronto he didn't bother checking the weather, hence the absence of hat and mittens. Ignorance rather than vanity.

Re all - I don't mind Elayne either. We're getting past her max annoying moment, when she treats Mat like cr&p on the way down to Ebou Dar, and I actually like her thread re becoming Queen. Her problem is that for the next four books she is stuck with both the Kin and the Sea Folk, who are incredibly annoying, and with Nyneave who becomes annoying whenever she interacts with said Kin and Sea Folk.

Ditto re the Perrin plot. The problem there is that nothing much happens during WH and CoT - so both long and boring, and full of emo Perrin and annoying Berelain and annoying AS (and annoying Wise Ones; and annoying Arganda; and annoying Aram; and annoying Masema, etc). KoD's brilliance in introducing Tylee, pulling together the final preparations for the Battle of Malden ("not much to do about it now, Tam") and the awesomeness of its execution doesn't quite make up for the deadly stuff that went before.

Captain Hammer
110. Randalator
Ellid @60

Nope, sure Moiraine is a powerhouse, but only for a woman! As the range of channellers goes (once you include men), she is piddling...and not just from the perspective of the Forsaken.

Actually, no. Moiraine is NOT a powerhouse. Even in the female roster she is only a midcard player. She was only considered a strong female channeler because the Aes Sedai excel at fucking up. All that reclusiveness and snotty "no searching, let the potential channelers com to US" just warped their perception.

It's almost as if the whole thing was a colossal joke - "nyuk, nyuk, silly readers. Of course you can't have women in authority! They'll just break down into selfish, catty cliques until a man comes along to set them straight and take them into hand.

Ooooooookay, now you're jumping from strength to authority. Which I thought we had established as being bad. You know, the whole Aes Sedai-ish you-defer-to-me-because-I-could-pummel-you-with-the-power-if-you-didn't...? I don't like mixing up strength and authority that way.

Also I think that the difference in strength is somewhat misrepresented. Think about physical strength. The average man is stronger than the average woman, true. But the difference isn't that great. The same goes for strength in the power. Women are generally a bit weaker but not by too much.

It's only that we mostly compare strength with the Aes Sedai who, I remind you, did a bang up job of weakening themselves in contrast to the Black Tower where the initiates literally kill themselves to push their limits strength-wise. At the same time there have been real female powerhouses springing up everywhere around us. Forsaken-level strength. But we've never seen them sparring with Asha'man.

And even a male Forsaken doesn't attack other female Forsaken because the difference in strength is so small that it can easily be compensated by skill. So the whole men-stronger-than-women issue is blown out of proportion quite a bit. We just have the wrong reference scale on the female side, comparing male powerhouses with female non-powerhouses most of the time.

As for the "men coming along to set them straight": I think you fail to see that the door swings both ways here.

- The White Tower has been reduced to cat-fighting and reclusive arrogance up until recently. Which is a bit on the not-so-good side. But are the men really up for the straight-setting business?

- The Black Tower is basically an organisation for the creation of lean mean borderline sociopathic killing machines at the cost of losing a considerable percentage in the process. Moral Highground? I think not.

In the end it will all come down to men and women working together to achieve great things and setting each other straight in the process. Which is a theme that might have appeared in this series once or twice by accident...

Woohoo, wall of text...!
Kerwin Miller
111. tamyrlink
as far as the strenght between men and women thing goes:

dont forget RJ was not big on absolute strength. true he said that there are several levels of male strength on top of lanfear(the strongest woman) but he also said that women are much more dexterous and that the strongest possible woman could what the strongest possible man could do, and to the same degree. its not about absolute strength. it also about training and skill.

as far as the AS not being out in public:

maybe after Hawkwing put that price on the head of any AS and had them penned up in Tar Valon, and with the eruption of that hundred year war, they just collectively decided that they needed to stay inside the house? just a thought.

and them not teaching anything:

clearly there is a natural distrust about the OP left over from the breaking. the distrust didnt just get attached to men, but women got their share of it too. and the common opinion that we've seen in these books from the common people is: from men - they dont trust AS and they dont trust the OP, from women - they trust AS because they're women, but they dont trust the OP. ppl dont trust things they dont understand and all that. so perhaps it was attempted, to be out in public, but it didnt work... (besides, except for rands schools, have we seen any kind of evidence of public education systems?)

on the greens:

i agree. i expected so much more of them. especially in TGS. i thought they would really be unveiled then. but....not so much. but they did hold their own so to speak. they were attacked in the night and all...

on Dumai's Wells:

the AS were handling the Shaido Wise Ones pretty well. there are 500 channelling Shaido WO's. versus Galina's 33 AS. if rand hadnt started knocking them out (in what i always thought was an idiotic move on his part), im sure they would have lost eventually but it shows their level of training with saidar compared to all the other female channeling groups.

on kiruna et al:

yea they fumbled with rand. but you cant deny their awesomeness. they walked into the wells. some of them with only one warder. they got to rand intact thru shaido channeling, AS channeling, shaido spears, and ashaman channeling.
you gotta remember they have back stories. dont know what they are but if you look at them on an indivudual level they arent all that bad.
but i agree with whoever it was, that comparing them to Moiraine, Verin, and Suian is not fair.

on the yellows:

most ppl seem to not want to be touched by the power unless they can help it...(draw your own conclusions.)

on the nod/grimace thing:

i always thought that the nod thing between Taim and Gedwyn had to do with the AS being shielded or not shielded (kiruna et al). as in did they try to escape, or try to free the others, giving taim the leverage he would need to get them held at the black tower or killed.

ooh boy thats the longest ive ever posted. i need to do some work lol.
112. alreadymadwithpowerhouses
Randalator @110
Moiraine IS a powerhouse among Aes Sedai. Up until the advent of ENE she was in the second rank of Power right under Cads herself. Her along with Siuan and Suffaida.

tamyrlink @111
Yes Hawkwing sieged Tar Valon, but that was after Bonwhin sent nations and assassins after him. So no, this Aes Sedai supremacist attitude predates him.
Kerwin Miller
113. tamyrlink
alreadymad @ 112

yea thats true but im proposing that there may be another reason they dont go out in public besides the supremacist attitude.

i just meant that maybe subconciously that could be a factor to why they dont move about more openly in the public like they used to. it used to not be a secret that rulers had aes sedai advisors. or that aes sedai were governors of territories, etc. but after hawkwing it stopped being so open and they went more behind the scenes. being open blew up in their faces (along with bonwhins schemes) so they went secretive. and it just got passed along thru the years. so much so that they current AS just assume thats how they should be, how they should operate. they dont think to question why this is so.

and LOL at Suffaida
Matthew Smith
114. blocksmith

When you consider the battle at Dumai's Wells as part of the comparison of Aes Sedai vs. Asha'man strength, don't forget that the Asha'man are being trained as weapons.

Building on Tektonica@83 and Randalator@110, The AS were engaged on one front (Shaido/WOs) when suddenly, their ranks begin to be depleted from an unknown quarter. Add to that the shock of gateways opening with channeling men jumping out...channelling men that annhilate everything in front of them...and they did not stand much of chance. Kiruna/Bera/WOs et al did perform well as they had the advantage of surprise whereas the kidnapping AS did not.

IIRC, female AS are generally stronger with some weaves (air/water) vs. male strength in others (earth/fire), so there is some balance there. And of course, there is linking, as previously stated.

It seems clear that there is a lack of preparedness for battle on the part of the AS. Certainly most seem capable of handling a few trollocs, but as a whole, the AS (both Tower and Salidar before and during the split) appear woefully unprepared for the last battle.
115. dreamwalker
Amalisa @ 107

I have to say it is really refreshing to hear someone focus on the positive in the Perrin/Faile/Shaido storyline, and in well thought out detail. While I think most agree it went on too long and Perrin's single-minded obsessiveness was grating, when you put it this way you realize a lot more was accomplished than rescuing Faile.

I also appreciate the importance for another reason. I think it will ultimately play a major role in Perrin's acceptance of himself as a leader of men, women and wolves (which I think is THE crucial arc for Perrin) and part of that, hopefully, will be realizing that it isn't the right choice to say screw the world, all I care about is one person.

I think it would be awesome to see Perrin have to make the choice to leave Faile in danger in order to serve the larger good. And realize that Faile can take care of herself.
Tricia Irish
116. Tektonica
106 Freelancer & 107 Amalisa

Perhaps when we get to the plot line that never dies, I can keep your 2 posts handy to remind me to be patient and understanding of Perrin. Sigh.
(I still may not re-read those parts of the books myself ,and just rely on Leigh, instead.)

I don't quibble with Perrin's good intentions and his love for Faile, his only family now, but I do think that plot line is seriously overwritten and unnecessarily long, drawn out, and slow.


I never found Elayne herself too annoying....she was raised in a palace, destined to be queen someday, and was trained as such. The only plot line of hers that was a slog was the crawl to the throne. Ebou Dar had many great moments....Mat/Birgit, Nynaeve/Lan/block breaking, Mat/Tylee.

Various: The Aes Sedai have insulated themselves for many reasons, all stated very nicely above, and I suppose that accounts for their (general) arrogance.
I still think that Kiruna, for all her royal backstory and supposed awesomeness, blew it big time by bullying Rand. It seems to me that she might have been better served, ie: gotten what she wanted, if she had been more observant of Rand, used a few more people those she said he needed to negotiate the "delicate situation" in Carhaein.

Edit: Mat and Tylin, not Mat and Tylee. My bad.
Don Barkauskas
117. bad_platypus
Randalator @100:
Also I think that the difference in strength is somewhat misrepresented. Think about physical strength. The average man is stronger than the average woman, true. But the difference isn't that great. The same goes for strength in the power. Women are generally a bit weaker but not by too much.
All right, prepare for a wall-o-text and a quick statistics lesson. :-)

Another thing to keep in mind is the effect of only comparing the number of "strong" channelers of each gender. Let's assume that the strength of channelers is distributed like heights (since that way I can get actual data), and I'll refer to height in inches. From a U.S. survey of body measurements, females over 20 in the U.S. have mean height 63.8 with standard deviation 4.18 and males over 20 in the U.S. have mean height 69.4 with standard deviation 4.68. So men are, on average, 5.6 inches taller than women.

But now, let's look at the ratio of the number of "tall" men compared to "tall" women. Assuming heights are normally distributed in both men and women, then the table below gives the number of men at least that tall for each woman at least that tall in the population:

Minimum Height / Ratio of men to women
69" / 5
72" / 12
75" / 31
78" / 97
81" / 340
84" / 1343

So there a vastly more "tall" men than "tall" women, and the ratio gets larger as we compare taller people. (Similar calculations hold for the ratios of number of short women to number of short men.)

If you want to compare people of the same height (not just "all taller than"), then you get the following approximation:

Exact Height / Ratio of men to women
69" / 2
72" / 5
75" / 16
78" / 53
81" / 197
84" / 810

The point is that comparing the extremes of the distributions tends to magnify any small difference in averages between the two groups. The same effect (to a lesser extent, of course) would be seen if the average heights were closer than 5.6 inches.
118. First Selector
With respect to AS battle-readiness:
(as a mathematician it was very hard for me not to abbreviate with respect to as wrt :P)

I think another thing to keep in mind is that the use of the 3 oaths created an environment in which OP battles were virtually non-existent. In fact, the Reds and others like Cads who have sought out men who can channel would be the only ones who are really used to actually fighting rather than just diplomacy or studies.

Even though the Greens are the Battle Ajah, there would be little motivation to really think about preparing for the Last Battle. We've seen from DF that many joined thinking that the Last Battle would not be in there lifetime. It's probably similar for the AS. Sure the Last Battle will happen, but next generation, right? So it makes sense that over time the Green Ajah would become more focused on other things such as a certain attitude. I was just thinking about Alanna and Egwene talking after Eg's Accepted test. When Eg asks Alanna what it means to be Green, Alanna doesn't initially talk about being ready for the Last Battle. She first thinks about other common characteristics of Greens.

So while I do wish the Greens were more badass, it makes perfect sense to me in the context of the history. Hopefully they'll impress us all in the Last Battle!
Bill Reamy
119. BillinHI
AndrewB @44: Loial & Erith: Regardless of the words at the wedding scene, the meaning is the same as in most (all?) other Randland societies: Erith's role to "tend" her husband actually means she controls him and very thoroughly, as Loial himself points out several times, to the point where Loial may never be able to leave the stedding again. Of course, I remain convinced that Loial's speaking at the Great Stump will result in the Ogier sticking around for TG and not vanishing to another world via the Book of Translation.

Ellid @50: While I tend to agree somewhat with your assessment of RJ's portrayal of AS, IMO he was saying that our world's leaders (whether political or otherwise) can be just as bad, and certainly most of them are male. Common sense and communication are just as sadly lacking in the real world as they are in Randland.

Latecomer @84: Could not agree with you more on what the AS should have been doing for 3,000 years! However, as someone who was raised Catholic (and no longer participates), I do indeed think that the Church is inward looking. This is not the same world that Catholicism was born in. 2,000 years have brought a lot of changes but I don't see the church as really changing that much. Their continuing opposition to birth control, for example: There are already too many people on the planet and a stubborn refusal to acknowledge that doesn't make them outward looking in my eyes.

Amalisa @107: I certainly agree that the chase that wouldn't end brought a lot of needed characters and plot lines on stage, I tend to agree with Freelancer @106 that it could have been done a lot quicker. But my main complaint is that Perrin _never_ thinks of anything but rescuing Faile and states more than once that the whole world can burn while he does that and he doesn't CARE!
Captain Hammer
120. Randalator
alreadymad @112

Moiraine IS a powerhouse among Aes Sedai. Up until the advent of ENE she was in the second rank of Power right under Cads herself. Her along with Siuan and Suffaida.

Right, but that's beside my point.

What I wanted to emphasize was that the Aes Sedai are not an accurate representation of females or female channelers as a whole.

The comparison of strength in power between men and women based on Asha'man and Aes Sedai is bound to fail due to differences other than innate strength. The Black Tower is actively searching for channelers and pushing their limits without any regard to safety. The White Tower has been doing none of that for 3000 years.

To compare them is like comparing male bodybuilders on steroids with female librarians...
121. Rand Al'Todd
Semi-looney theory time.

Folks keep talking about the Perrin/Faile "plot that will not die".

What I am afraid of is that it will all turn out to be foreshadowing of THE BIG BETRAYAL.

The DO (or more properly, one of the Chosen) will grab Faile, and Perrin will cave, joining the Dark. (reluctantly and EMOing all the way, of course.)

Add in the ongoing question of who/how many of the Borderland rulers are actually Darkfriends (possibly including Faile's parents) and it becomes even more plausible that Faile will be captured by a close relative and held hostage at a critical time.

So does Perrin finally grow up enough to do his duty, even if Faile dies (so this turn of the wheel Perrin kills his "Ilyena" instead of Rand)? Or does Faile finally succeed in freeing herself (so that Perrin can accept her as an equal instead of the pedistal dweller mentioned in another post)? Or is Rand forced to kill his childhood friend???(and readers compained that there were no deaths among the main cast!)
122. Rand Al'Todd
In other words, the "plot that will not die" may not be over until the fat lady sings on the last page of AOL.

(Hope that I am wrong on this.)
James Jones
123. jamesedjones
121 Rand AlTodd

I was convinced during the first 2 books that Mat would be the Judas character (Even then, he was one of my favorites).
124. MasterAlThor
Just got back from my kids recital. He sang the loudest and everyone enjoyed it. The wife and I laughed to see such sport and the dish ran away with the yeah.

So anyway.

I promised a RW rant and now you are going to get it. Warning, I have had two days to think about this and it really has nothing to do with WoT. If I see a tie in I will drop it in there.

Last chance to skip to the next post.

I warned you.

So the other day I was thinking about racism. About how much I despise it and how little time I have for it. I don't really have thoughts about it any more, I consider myself too old for that kind of crap.

That is not to say that I won't confront it if faced with it. I just think that racist people are small minded and probably need to be taken to re-education camps.

At any rate, I attend the junior college here in my town. My town is roughly 60 to 70% white. It is a nice town, a lot of retirees.

So I had to right a paper on reverse racism. This was actually last semester. I bring it up because I was wondering about racism. Idle thoughts really.

I, like so many others of my race, when growing up was indoctrinated to think that white people had all the breaks and that I had to work twice as hard, be twice as careful and speak twice as loud to get heard. If none of that worked well it was because the system was set against us. My uncle actually told me once that if I was walking down the street and a white person was coming the other way, I was to make them go around me instead of the other way around.

Another time I was told that I could be friends with white people but I should not trust them. I have watched various family members treat white people one way when they are around and then completely different when they weren't.

I was taught that white people were the racist. Thankfully, my mother and my aunt saw the world enough that they knew what must be done. They made sure that my brother and I were educated and spent time learning about culture instead of running the streets.

I saw the insides of more museums than any kid I went to elementary school with. My family took a trip to Toronto and spent most of the time there in the museum. I went to the Science Museum in Detroit atleast 3 times a year.

All of this brought culture to a little black kid who had none and made him realize that there was much more to the world than the ghetto.

I don't know how you guys deal with or have delt with people of color. Frankly I don't really care. Most of you have treated me with the upmost respect and that is all that matters to me.

What I guess I want to say is that I am beginning to think is that racism is a two way street. Don't believe that because you don't agree with something that you are a racist. My father in law was less than thrilled that his one and only kid was marrying a black man. I imagine that wasn't what he had planned for her.

Some people may think that it is wrong. Good for you. I am telling you that in itself doesn't make you a racist. Racism is more than that. A father or mother is not wrong for thinking that someone isn't good enough for their kid. What would make it racism is thinking that no one person of that race could ever be good enough and they haven't even got to know the person.

You don't wanna know how many times I've gone through that.

I was saying that racism is a two way street. Let me clarify. Black people, Hispanics, Asians, hell just about everyone can be racist too. In the US we have elected a bi-racial president. Most call him the first black president. Not true. To ignore the fact that he is half white is slightly racist in itself.

I'm sorry about this. I just wanted to get somethings off my chest. I have friends here and I know that they understand.

I have never encountered any racism here on and I hope that I never will.
Bonnie Andrews
125. misfortuona
I don't know, I've always had a sinking suspicion that Faile might fall to the DF at some point, leaving Perrin to make that final decision.
Ha maybe that will be our 13 x13. :)
Barry T
126. blindillusion
Ah, but misfortuona, only those who can channel can be turned in such a way.
Sean Banawnie
127. Seanie
Master al @124 :
First off, agree with much of what you said.
I like to think of this as a friendly(mostly) community where we share in common an uncommon obssesion . I look in here to read and write about WOT but sometimes real life works its way in. Music and movies (and assorted pasties and beverages )come to mind . Thats OK with me , adds depth (and laughs and squees ) to my understanding of fellow posters.
Maybe we could relate this to WOT by the causualness of some of the romances (like Mat/{For}Tuon{a} ).
misfortuona@125: If I am understanding you right(I am pretty sure I am) you are talking about Perrin, right? If so 13x13 has nothing to do with him. That is only for Darkhounds ,that is a different story.....
edit: lol, shoulda known Blind beat me to it.
editx2: err.. it should be "pastries" not "pasties".....bunker for one?
Tess Laird
128. thewindrose
misfortuona - only channellers can be turned with the 13/13 trick.
And dangnab-it - I was beaten out by 2 posters on this one!

MasterAlThor - That was very well thought out and I agree. I was raised in a very closed off village on the outskirts of Milwaukee. I was lucky enough to have traveled and find out there is a huge world out there - and hey everyone is not the same. They have different religions, colors of skin, languages, etc. And I found that if you treat someone with respect, it usually is returned. So that is my usual MO(respect), and that has served me well.
Bonnie Andrews
129. misfortuona
blind @ 128, seanie @ 129, and thewindrose @ 129 Thanks. Wasn't really serious, I was just looking for something good (bad) to happen to Faile. I just don't like her much.
I suppose she's destined to end up as either queen of Saldea, or Manetheran. Hope those lessons learned washing Sevanna's back will pay off.
Bouke de Boer
130. Bouke
Hmm, I was hoping that I'd be able to take a stab at defending my top 30 position in the ACOS re-read. However, it's currently extremely busy at the office, so I'll be returning to my lurker status...
I'll check back when able. Sleep well and wake, everyone.

I did start my assignment on the Big Clue, on the Perrin thread. In TSR, nothing much ado. Slayer is introduced, Perrin's connection to the Tower of Ghengej, and things about Tinkers that have been mentioned by others. That's about it...

I'm beginning to lean towards the Tinkers for the Big Clue though, but they've been discussed before TGS right?
131. MasterAlThor

You know the first time I read that, Mat and Tuon, I was like...what? Wait a minute. I had to go and read Tuon's discription again.

The wonderful thing about WoT is that no one seems to be overtly racist. Now they definitely suffer from a strong case of Nationalism which is to be expected.

It just caught me off guard. Most of the fantasy that I read really has no black people in it. When I read about the Sea Folk I thought that we won't be getting a lot from this group. I have no problem with how the Atha'an Miere are portrayed. Or any other "black" characters for that matter.

Tuon is becoming a major character, but she is not one yet AFAIC. (as far as I'm concerned) Just wish that some of the main characters were black.

In the long run it doesn't really bother me.
Tess Laird
132. thewindrose
Bouke - Aram has been discussed quite a bit on other forums, and here with regards to Perrin. But the Tinkers not so much. So the message that was supposed to be told to the DR? Nobody knows and it hasn't had a lot of discussion.
133. Freelancer

Heh, you left out annoying Gallenne. Can't go slighting one of the Captains-General now.


Moiraine was most certainly not "piddling". Yes, there are now more than 20 female channelers to be considered stronger than she, but that is out of well over 2,000 female channelers that major characters have been aware of. I'm including Aes Sedai, Kin, Aiel Wise Ones, Atha'an Miere Windfinders, Seanchan Damane, Egwene's new novices, and the forsaken. At least one character who would note individuals with significant strength and whose POV we've had, has been in close contact with members of these groups, so any others of such strength would have been identified. Don't sell big Mo short.


I have a slightly less theoretical background regarding reverse racism. I lived 5 years of my childhood in an area which was less than 15% white, and went to a school from 2nd through 6th grades where there were only 19 white kids. Very easy to keep track of us, and very hard to hide. The non-white makeup of the school was slightly more than half black, most of the rest hispanic, and they pretty much all had been taught that life's troubles were Whitey's fault. This was the late 60's in LA. The only thing that kept it from staying bad for five solid years was the day the toughest kid in school saw that I could homer a kickball better than kids several years older. After that I was "protected". The biggest benefit being a jock ever got me, to be honest.

On a related note, when I am given the opportunity, I like to say that I reject the concept of race when applied to humans, because we are all one race. I understand that the term is commonly used to denote different feature types, but it isn't an honest use of the word. We're all humans, and I treat people the way that their character and actions dictate that they wish to be treated.

I appreciate the way that Robert Jordan handled the interrelations of different nationalities in WoT. Tairens hate Illianers, have contempt for Cairhienin, and are wary of Andorans, for example. But it isn't anything to do with varying skin colors, features, relative sizes, it is about political and social differences. Being discriminatory on those grounds is perfectly reasonable, because it has a basis in something which can be discussed, argued, and potentially changed, whereas a person's heritage cannot, and has no bearing (or should not) on behavior.

Last bit. If I hadn't seen the photos on your profile page, I'd have never known, nor cared. As far as I'm concerned, you're a brother from another mother.
134. Freelancer

If you accept the idea that the mainland presented in WoT is an analog of Europe, then the distribution of nationality groups is fair (no pun intended). Tairens are darker-skinned than most of the nationalities, as are the Domani (as an aside, I've always wished that Jordan had chosen to refer to them as bronze-skinned, rather than copper). I feel you, but I also think Jordan was being consistent to the future/past of the region as we would know it. And, I could be wrong.
135. MasterAlThor

Thanks brother. I believe that I am human first and black last. There are alot of other adjectives that go in between those two.

I look at everyone else the same way I wish to be looked at.

Jordan did an excellent job with the races. He wrote what he knew. I don't have a problem with it.
Bridget Sullivan
136. Ellid
Thanks to everyone who joined my conversation. Not to beat a dead horse here, but my over all thesis has not changed.

I have two main observations:

The overall arc of this saga has not been a gradual restoration co-equal authority between genders. We were initially presented with what RJ thought would be a clever twist of our Western cultural legacy - in his world, men caused the sundering of paradise (the Breaking), and women came to achieve authority across all societies, with men supposedly relegated to the lesser position (Nevermind, that he later showed it was actually revealed that it was all the fault of one over-ambitious woman, anyway).

The implicit suggestion in that was that if the male half of the One Power was cleansed, men would be restored to their proper places at helm, co-equal to women. Fine, so far.

However, even with men supposedly relegated to "inferior" status, the world was presented was nowhere near the "gynarchy/ies" that some think - many societies, rather than being female governed actually have two distinct figures/bodies, one for men, one for women - The Village Council/Women's Circle, Panarch/King of Tarabon, Clan Chief/Wise Ones - even those societies with a definite female head of government/society, she invariably has a designated man who is her military commander - Queen of Andor/First Prince of the Sword, Mistress oh Ships/Swordmaster, Amyrlin Seat/High Captain, random lady/lance-captain. It seems that war always remain the province of men.

So, it's not as if men in the world of WOT are totally subject to women a la Athenian housewives, they just have to share some of the power with women. There are no truly female dominated cultures in WoT, outside of Far Madding.

When RJ starts tipping the world back towards what he thinks should be its proper balance between men and women, it seems to me that he has been doing it through episodes that smack with submission and subjugation, often brutally imposed (c.f. Dumai's Wells). Female rulers of soaring power and authority are humiliated and reduced (Morgase, Alliandre, Siuan, hell, even Elaida, Tylin and Amathera). The way that the Aes Sedai have been diminished and enervated over the course of the tale is not exactly heart-warming. They get captured and beaten into submission, they get carted away as slaves, they get drugged into impotency. You may argue that they were inept and needed to be knocked off their pedestals, but it seems to me as an avid WOT fan, that RJ doesn't present a single forceful, competent female character (outside of Nynaeve) who arrives at cooperation and points herself towards the goal of surviving the Last Battle, without having been knocked around, often captured numerous times, embarrassed, reduced to drudgery, beaten (and beaten while naked, more often than not), and "broken to the yoke" of Rand's ultimate dominance.

I'm not saying it wasn't a rip-roaring yarn, and an exciting adventure, but after years of reading it, it does begin to speak a good deal regarding our author's mindset and heart of hearts. I dare say, on some level, the preponderance of incompetent, self-glorious shrews and the need to break them down into subservience reeks ever-so-fairly of misogyny.

As symptomatic of that major point, I need to address RJ's magic system.

In the earliest volumes, we were lead to believe that his supernatural magic system is truly egalitarian. Two halves of the same source, working together can do magnificent feats, but each on its own is also pretty damned impressive. A tiny little woman, regardless of her upper body strength would supposedly be the equivalent of a man, regardless of his physical size. It was a novel idea - Strength in the OP is feature of your soul and strength of character.

He basically devolves that down into a single man is more likely to be stronger than a single woman. The idea that women can link and thus match a male channeler is actually rather insulting. In essence, he is saying it takes multiple women to equal one man (a narrative tic that RJ is fond of, i.e. Rand and his wives). He later shows that even with their abilities to link, plus their alleged superior skills in some of the Five Powers, the Aes Sedai were demonstrated as being useless and easily defeated, time and time again.

Taken in part with the gradual diminishment of the feminine over the saga, and there is a perceptible tinge that is not very pleasant, or flattering to our author.

Molotov Cocktail Thrown, I Remain

Sam Mickel
137. Samadai
On a completely different note.

Do any of you remember tha book that was advertised on here in the margin for a while. it was called Lamentation by Ken Scholes.
I know many of us are always looking for new books to read. This book was pretty damn good with a few good twists and turns.
(note to a few) There is a strong female lead, but it is still based off of women being traded for political purposes
Tricia Irish
138. Tektonica
The follow up book to Lamentation is out now, Canticle, by Ken Scholes.
I have it, but haven't read it yet, as I've been distracted by tGS! haha....just a little!
Ron Garrison
139. Man-0-Manetheran
Ellid - I would LOVE to hear Harriet's response to your thesis.
Tasneem Gould
141. Latecomer
Ellid: While I understand a lot of what you are saying about, and have even had similar thoughts myself, there is one thing I will point out. You say:

In essence, he is saying it takes multiple women to equal one man (a narrative tic that RJ is fond of, i.e. Rand and his wives).

However, there are plenty of instances in the text where the opposite is true - namely Greens and their warders. The similarity is enhanced when you consider that Greens take their Warders as lovers - its the same situation. From TGS, we know that Min is thinking of herself as 'the last line of defence' - just like a warder. And Avienhda won't come to him without honour as well. She and Elayne both also wish to protect him and defend his actions to other people.

On a related note, I have often wondered how it worked as the Greens bond their warders (and the warders are always close by so they are more aware of the *ahem* emotions in the bond). Do things like jealousy or rivalry crop up among warders at all - or are they *really* super-human?

Roger Powell
142. forkroot
To compare them is like comparing male bodybuilders on steroids with female librarians...
Well according to Brandon Sanderson that's a mismatch in favor of the female librarians. Check out the Alcatraz series for more info...
Tasneem Gould
144. Latecomer
Bouke @ 130 - you've just kickstarted a thought that has been kicking around in the back of my brain during TGS.

Books 4-6 is where we see the Tinkers being remnants of the Aeil and the significance of the song.

Throughout TGS, there are multiple references to crops no longer growing. Patches of grass/ flowers that started growing but withered, fields that have been planted but crops have not sprouted.

It is bad enough that existing food stores are rapidly going bad - but even if there was no Tarmon Gaidon, no new crops are growing anywhere. What will people eat next season?

I love the theory of the dragon being one with the land and causing this - it follows that now that Rand has had his epiphany and is on the way to be being healed (mentally at least), things should improve. But will they improve that much?

Additionally, we have been pointed to the Tinkers again recently - by Egwene's need walk as well as Mat's encounter with the Tinker 'messengers'. Will TOM be the book where Rand realises that he needs to find the song, Loial will convince the stump and the Tinkers, Ogiers and Rand get together and sing the songs again?
Tasneem Gould
145. Latecomer
MoM @143 - Actually it might be quite fun to experience this - you get all the emotions and excitement without doing any of the 'work' ;)
Ron Garrison
146. Man-0-Manetheran
Latecomer@145 - a voyour's dream... LOL! By the way, do you like gladiator movies?

@144 - I think along these lines too. I think Avienda will return from Rhuidian with knowledge about the Way of the Leaf, the Aiel, the Nym, etc. She will help Rand fulfill his role in that process. Dramatically, I would see this as post-TG, but maybe not. Perhaps defeating the DO is not a matter of power. I quote again Verin's remark to Egwene that the Last Battle will be fought in a way that is different from what Rand (we?) is thinking.
147. Freelancer
Peter Graves@146

I see what you did there.
Barry T
148. blindillusion
MasterAlThor RE:~ 124 & 131

Very nice.


(Nevermind, that he later showed it was actually revealed that it was all the fault of one over-ambitious woman, anyway).

You seem to be presenting a rather Biblical theme here. But where you seem to be seeing Eve, I've always seen Lilith.

Not that I'm saying this is what you meant, but you did mention the Sundering of Paradise, i.e. the Fall.

But Lanfear didn't drill the Bore with her eyes closed, after all:
Week 12 Question: Who was Beidomon, who helped Lanfear with the project that lead to the drilling of the Bore? Did he figure in the later events at the end of the Age of Legends?

Robert Jordan Answers: Beidomon was a male Aes Sedai, and a research genius, who believed that they were onto something great. The drilling of the Bore itself caused great damage, and Beidomon, Lanfear and others involved were blamed for that. Once it became clear what had actually happened, the opprobrium increased, and Beidomon sought obscurity, finally committing suicide when he was unable to achieve it. Everyone knew his name, and what he had done. He had nowhere to hide.

As an aside, for those who think that Lanfear was in some way twisted against her will by being involved in drilling the Bore---I have heard the theory advanced---of all those involved in the project, she was the only major figure to go over to the Shadow. She was ripe for the Shadow's plucking long before the Bore was drilled.

Q: Also, did Mierin intend to create the Bore?
RJ: In part, yes. Not alone.
Rob Munnelly
149. RobMRobM
"Latecomer@145 - a voyour's dream... LOL! By the way, do you like gladiator movies?"

ROFLMAO. Bravo!!
Roger Powell
150. forkroot
Thanks for your thoughts and willingness to put forth ideas on such a difficult subject.

Here's a few rambling thoughts on race and racism:
{None of this pertains to WoT, so anyone not interested in my ramblings is invited to skip the post}

As a White man, I "haven't walked in the moccasins" so to speak of a Black man. I personally have not had some idiot treat me poorly just due to my skin color.

I'll point out that we are all born with an instinctual distrust of the "other". Initially that "other" is anyone we don't know - then we start going to school and the "other" is someone outside of the circle of friends. We watch the news and the "other" are the people in some country far away that we don't know about... whatever.

The interesting thing is: The "other" becomes a somewhat fluid concept. Sometimes the "other" is the high school football team that is your team's big rival (innocuous). Sometimes the "other" is people from another religion that you feel have evil motives (not innocuous). No matter what, the "other" somehow is bad, evil, unworthy, untrustworthy, not human... It's an ugly instinct and part of growing up is learning to rid ourselves of it.

Ah... but what if 12% of the population always bears a recognizable "otherness" because of their skin color? Then for some people, that becomes the line of "otherness" and they don't progress beyond that.

So to be Black in America means sometimes you are the "other" for what is ultimately an irrational reason. Yes, I know for a few Whites there is a chance to experience this too. It's rarer though - the numbers say so.

So back to my point: I haven't walked the walk. You won't find me telling a Black man what he should feel.

I've always been a little suspect of so-called "Identity Politics". For example, it pains me when I hear terms like "the Black vote".

Huh? I have quite a number of friends who happen to be Black. The chances of them all sharing the same view on anything are as remote as all of my friends who happen to be White agreeing on anything.

People are people, each one wonderfully, cussedly unique. I happen to be White, but I would be disgusted with anyone who claimed to "speak for Whites".

I grew up in an overwhelmingly white suburb where it was easy in our little comfortable liberal world to look down on racists and racism of all types (white racism, black racism, etc.). I had a completely pollyanish view on race relations.

Then I went to college.. made black friends... don't even like that phrasing... Better is "made friends, some of whom were black". I also encountered people I didn't like, white, black brown, whatever. Encountered some "in your face" black activism and I didn't feel particularly sympathetic.

Took a job (in Boston) during the time of the busing riots. I was stunned at how many Whites in the company I worked for held noxious racial views. My pollyana world imploded.

I would like to be racially blind. I would like to judge a man "by the content of his character" (thanks MLK!). That's what I aspire to. I don't think I always live up to that.

I remember one time though: Someone asked me about one of my friends they had seen me talking to at church. When I asked which friend they meant, they said "the Black guy". I had to think for a minute before I realized who they were referring to. Oh yeah, my friend Cordell, come to think of it he is Black. Guess I never really thought about it...

So I guess sometimes I am colorblind. I think that's good.

My grandparents were (mildly) racist. It used to make my Mom mad. What was strange was that their racism was fairly abstract. They had Black friends that they treated the same way as their White friends.

So it was sort of a cognitive disconnect. They would hold all sorts of ridiculous notions about "what Blacks want" or whatever, as long as the "Blacks" were some sort of abstract concept out there. When they were someone they knew, that was totally different.

I've encountered that same cognitive disconnect in other older Whites from that generation. How strange.

One final totally ironic note: Growing up in the Boston area, I did pick up one prejudice that I am not proud of... for some time I held a real bias against French Canadians. (No, it wasn't because the Canadians kept beating the Bruins :-) )

In the ultimate irony, I later ended up meeting a French Canadian woman who I fell for (hard!). Didn't marry her, but I did become friends with her entire family - loved em all.

Real people. Real relationships. Still the best way to break down walls of mistrust and misunderstanding.
Tricia Irish
151. Tektonica

This has been an interesting conversation that you started, and I see where you are coming from. Sounds like a but is coming, doesn't it. Well, here it is....

I've always considered myself a feminist. I rail against misogynist music lyrics, the objectification of women as just sex symbols, and inequality in the workplace, when I see it. But, I don't go looking for it. (Much as MasterAlThor does with racism, if I'm reading him correctly.) I kind of do think you are seeing fire where there is only smoke.

Without going through the plot lines in all 12 books, I think most would agree, as it has been discussed here quite a bit, that one of the major themes of the series is cooperation between the sexes. Balance. Cooperation. Respect.

I've always felt that RJ distributed good and bad character traits around pretty evenly. His people are very real. They are not one dimensional, but are flawed and human. Each has strengths and weaknesses as a sex, and each individual has talents and weaknesses, as well.

Women are, for the most part, smaller and not as strong as men, physically.
That their strength in the OP coincides with this physicality, seems most natural to me.

I think it's safe to say that this is a classic hero myth, more than anything, and that is what these books are about. So, in a way, it's not about the battle of the sexes at all, but about the redefinition of the hero and his quest.
Tasneem Gould
152. Latecomer

I'm a GIRL!

PS: All you people are really OLD :) to remember that.

PPS: I was really hoping after reading my post that the conversation didn't drop into the gutter after.. you people are just FAB!
Tasneem Gould
153. Latecomer
Anyway this is turning into a bit of a deep thread.




Teehee *runs away*
Sam Mickel
154. Samadai
Peeks in : "did someone say voyerism" : slowly backs out
Tess Laird
155. thewindrose
Ahem, samadai, I recall a very vivid dream you wrote about - I do believe a punk looking Berelain was in it;)
156. OldWoman
70 is the new 50
158. Planeswalker
egads! such topics. nice. ahahaha
Tasneem Gould
159. Latecomer
Samadai - *Peeks in*? Yes, I am told that IS how it works. :)
Ron Garrison
160. Man-0-Manetheran
Latecomer! I don't think of myself as OLD - just a Classic.

thewindrose/samadai: punk looking Berelain? More, please.
john mullen
161. johntheirishmongol
Puts on my sunglasses...hehe,, no one can tell I am peeking!

Anyway, M A T, we are all Lion's brothers, does't matter what skin color we are, we all suffer equally!
162. alreadymadwithtinkerlife
Latecomer @144
I always figure the time spent with Tinkers (by both Egwene and Rand) as becoming a symbol of a simpler lifestyle with less worries and responsibilities. When Egwene used need it had to point her to a simpler lifestyle so that she could get a handle on her goals and what she needs to protect. The Two Rivers has already changed beyond recognition, so TAR brought her to a tinker camp. Ditto with Rand's ordeal.
Sam Mickel
163. Samadai

thewindrose was referring to a dream I had and posted about on the WoT re-read Lord of Chaos post #23 comments 127, 131, 132 if you want to look at it.
Carolyn Goodwin
164. metacarolyn
@144 & 146, Latecomer & M O M regarding the dragon is one with the land and the last battle being fought differently than Rand expects:

Do you think maybe the last battle has already begun, i.e. Rand's darkness is destroying the world by spoiling food, keeping the crops from growing, etc, and when it gets bad enough everyone starves and the dark one wins?
Ron Garrison
165. Man-0-Manetheran
Oh no. Not at all what I was thinking. Nor can I imagine that would be an ending RJ would consider.

Wow! Great dream. Perhaps you have the Foretelling!
john massey
166. subwoofer
Old?! Why you young whippersnapper! Lemme put in my teeth so I can cuss you out proper! Martha! Where's my walker? I've got me a yung 'un to kick in the ankle.

Race- meh. On the one hand my people make up 20% of the world's population, so I know I am not alone. On the other hand growing up and living in the heart of Red Neck Alberta really grinds sometimes. In a room of thousands you can count ethnic diversity on one hand. Go to a hockey game.

There was a series of McD commercials for the summer olympics with a group of kids that were totally white, I scratched my head and wondered if typical social circles in the States are not diverse. I've had racist slurs thrown at me, mostly based on ignorance, ie. when I am called "Paki" I wonder if it is worth my time to tell them I am not from Pakistan, and typically that country does not have the most positive relations with India.

Meh. For me, it doesn't matter about color. If you are a dink, it doesn't matter what color your skin is. White, brown, green, you'll still and always be a dink. Dumbassness is color blind. I just think that it is a shame that differences are what drive people apart. Celebrating differences and learning from each other should be what brings us all together.

RJ did that well. In one way that is why I like WoT. Taking the European example, some could look on it as hegemony. OTOH, Rand is trying to promote unity and bringing nations together, ending strife and civil wars, and mustering forces to deal with the bigger problem. Some issues are beyond the petty problems of a given society/ region/ country. People as a whole have to step up and deal.

gets off soap box

Sam Mickel
168. Samadai
:steps up on soapbox:

M A T, Free and Sub,

I agree with what you say, and perhaps would take it a little further. We as a race have come up with the very ways we divide ourselves. Latino-american, Asian american, African- american, Native-american, European american, blah blah blah. These are ways we divide ourselves. If only we could get rid of those conceptions and just be human, not African, Asian European, American. There is no difference between any of us. We all want the same thing.

I was raised by parents who I never heard utter one bad word about any others. My grandparents of what I remember and have asked my parents never said anything bad about others. (They never said others) I lived in Oregon all my life and while not surrounded by a majority of minorities(see what I did there) I can't recall ever saying anything about them being "different". It wasn't until about 11 years ago I had a girlfriend who I first heard utter a derogatory word about anyone ( I am not counting television). She was From Fresno, CA and had very strong opinions about "race". Needless to say I haven't talked to her in about 10 1/2 years.
we need to as people forget our differences which are only appearance and start thinking about everything we have in common.
:steps down off of soapbox:
Carolyn Goodwin
169. metacarolyn
M O M @ 165: I didn't put that very well. I was just trying to raise the possibility that the dragon's oneness with the land was the mechanism via which the last battle would be fought. I wasn't trying to imply that the dark one would really win. And of course we're expecting better things of Rand after his moment on dragonmount.

Can you imagine the outrage if that was the end of the series though? BWS would probably have refused to write it.
Thomas Keith
170. insectoid
Whoa. This post went sideways faster than ACoS#1!

::puts on another movie:: I seem to have accidentally volunteered for the position of First Juggler (the head of the Entertainment Ajah) in the bunker; hence, I haven't had time to post. (Actually I've been busy madly decorating; 'tis the season.)

(Mad, because of the voice in my head. Quiet, you!)

Oh, and Free: I finished the Dark Elf Trilogy--thanks for the recommendation, you've got me hooked! :) Unfortunately I, like you, am forbidden to buy any of the other books until Xmas! ::sigh::

Er...the post. Yes.

Monday, Monday: Now you've got that song stuck in my head! Thanks, Leigh! (Gets the holiday music out for awhile!)

Dashiva: Sticks out like a sore thumb. When I first read ACoS I figured something was up with him right away, but didn't hit on the notion that he might be Osan'gar.

Kiruna: Is annoying. But not as annoying as Sevanna.

Loial opening his mouth: Heh.

Which we will get to next time, Gadget, next time! So have fun as I zoom off in my rocket avec screeching cat-noises...


On racism: All I will say is that I tend to judge people by their behavior and character, not by their color or race. 'Nuff said.

M A T, Ellid, Fork: Impressive walls o' text there!

More later maybe.

Alice Arneson
171. Wetlandernw
Hey, here's a tidbit that's completely irrelevant to this section of the reread, but has been discussed here in the past. RJ quote from TOR "questions of the week":
Week 18 Question: Who were the first channelers, and how did they learn? By trial and error? Are there any Ages where channeling does not exist?

Robert Jordan Answers: The first people to discover the ability to channel learned through trial and error, with fairly high casualty rates until they learned enough not to kill themselves accidentally. Their appearance marked the beginning of the previous Age to that of the books, or at least the end of the Age before that one.

Yes, as I have set things up, there are Ages when no one has any idea of how to channel or even that the One Power exists. Our own, for one. (The Wheel of Time turns.)
(Emphasis mine, because that's what I remember discussing here.) There you have it. At this point in time, they've only known about channeling for two Ages. At the moment, I can't even remember the context for the question as it was discussed here; anyone else remember? If not, maybe I'll go find it tomorrow.
j p
172. sps49
Saidin vs. saidar- 13 AS could take 13 men easily, given rudimentary skill. As Egwene demonstrated in tGS. Rapidly conquer the permanently divided.

What I don't understand is why we don't see women using weapons of Air. Air swords would be very effective, also spears, shields, glaive-guisarmes... but all I can recall is bondage games with Air.

I assume it has happened offscreen. A lot.
173. Planeswalker

there are lot of qualified reasons as to why AS aren't as adept in battle or thinking of such "power" weapons:

1st - they aren't into much battles/wars/etc. this is specifically demonstrated during the attack at the White Tower by the Seanchan. See those Greens huddling up forming "defensive" positions as they call it? Only Egwene was hurling lightnings and fireballs at the enemies.

2nd - swords, spears and the like are melee weapons. and the Greens (battle ajah) have their warders for that should enemies come close. with range, fireballs and lightnings are much more effective. there may be other "range weapons through saidar", but those two mentioned above are the basics.

3rd - IMHO, thin slices of air that could through thick and dense materials have to be woven intricately or precise. these slices of air should be razor sharp to cut and super dense to hold together. if this is the case, there may only be a few AS who could do this. with much training and as you say it might have happened offscreen. :)
174. alreadymadwithpowerweapon
True. The AS aren't Rand or Bel'al who were trained to handle swords and thus have weaves to take advantage of such skill.
Much simpler to simply throw a fireball.
Maiane Bakroeva
175. Isilel
Ellid @60:

petite elegant woman like Moiraine in her blue silks would be able to go toe to toe with her opposite number on the male side

To be fair, I never could understand why anybody in WoT would chose to go into battle wearing impractical finery, including LTT and Rand. IMHO, as long as Rand was confiscating stuff after Dumai's Wells, he should have taken a few Warder cloaks and had a camo outfit made out of them, which he should have worn when attacking Sammael et al.
Similarly, I'd have expected the Greens to have some light armor and also wear Warder cloaks when they expect danger.

Re: strength in OP, I largely agree with you. Nor does it seem anymore "natural" to me to tie person's magic to their physical abilities than to tie person's character and talents to the form of their skull.

However, I could see why RJ decided to go that way, since it explains how male wilders and False Dragons could represent a serious danger despite lack of training.
Also, something had to balance linking.

I am much more disturbed, though, by the rules of leadership in a mixed circle - namely that in a circle of one man and one woman a man must lead. This seems a much greater affront to equality, IMHO.

What exacerbates the problem to me is that we never saw skill, cleverness and speed matter in a fight as compared to raw strength, with the questionable exception of Moiraine versus a Forsaken. Ditto, speed of learning also seemed tied to strength until the last few volumes.

Also, RJ showered male channelers with tons of other advantages, such as being able to sense saidar, being vastly better at breaking through shields, learning and gaining strength quicker, etc. as well as completely forgetting that they are supposed to be weak in Water and Air. Oh, and the act of channeling shields them from pain/weariness too, so it is easier for them to keep going.

None of which explains or excuses suckiness of the Greens, though.
They still could have gone to fight in the Blight and enjoyed the glory and respect from the Borderlanders for it, as well as gathered actual experience.
They could and should have sparred against each other, too, as they are supposed to be able to counter Dreadlords.
They should be able to work well with soldiers - aren't they supposed to love men? Hah! As if. They sniff at them with the best, in SAS camp.
They should have knowledge of tactics and strategy and been able to come up with competent battle plans.
Etc., etc.

The 9 SAS walking into the fight didn't impress me at all, because it was just dumb and would have gotten all of them killed if not for the arrival of Asha'man.
Attacking as a part of Perrin's force, and in proper formation, though, they'd have had a real chance to reach and rescue Rand.

Actually, if RJ went that way - i.e. a well executed attack, following a plan suggested by the Greens, that was really close to succeeding when Taim and Co. appeared, then Kiruna's subsequent behavior may have even been somewhat understandable, rather then downright lunatic.
john massey
176. subwoofer
@Is- now that is an excellent point. er about what to wear. I have always felt it ridiculous re- Romancing the Stone, that people go into situation where physical activity is required and they wear dress shoes. WTF? Not to mention the British back in the day, who insisted on wearing bright red and marching in a strait line. Bill Cosby made fun of this very well.

It would make more sense to have clothes that you can er... run in, should the need arise, not to mention perhaps offer some protection and defense. Why choose cotton when you have Gor-tex?

Why choose green silk when you have the tech to make color shifting clothes? The Seanchan figured this out. It lowers a person's standing or something but the people who get stuff done, the commoners, wear armor. Even amongst the nobles. Dobraine vs... all the other High Lords of Tear or any other noble. Worn coat from where the straps of armor cross over. Good man.

Ron Garrison
177. Man-0-Manetheran
Good morning all!

metacarolyn - I think this will all figure significantly in the last two books, but as part of TG or post-TG? I'm still open on that.
178. FellKnight
re: the tuatha'an:

I always kind of assumed after book 4 that the tinkers were going the be "the remnant of the remnant".

Always figured that the post tarmon gaidon world could use some flower power.

Bouke de Boer
179. Bouke
Latecomer @144, re: Tinkers and the Song

True, that's what popped in to my mind as well. However, this has been discussed on the Mother Of All Threads, and I don't know if it qualifies for the Big Clue...

Nevertheless, what with all the crops dying and the general bad state of the world, IMHO the Fisher King analogy has to play a part in either TOM or AMOL (probably the latter, since Rand isn't likely to make much of an appearance in TOM).
180. Freelancer

You refer to Toss of the Coin. I grew up on those albums. By the age of nine I could quote "Go Carts" or ""Tonsils" or "Chicken Heart". Funny was defined by this man.
Maiane Bakroeva
181. Isilel
Subwoofer @176:

IMHO, the British had a much better excuse to wear red than Rand and Co. have to wear finery to battle ;).
At the time when this military tradition came into being, it was advantagious to see at a glance where everybody was and formations + steady fire-rate were much greater concerns than precision fire.

At no point is it helpful for Rand and Co. to be conspicious, since the OP allows for very precise strikes indeed and at long distances, too.


My problem is that the earlier books don't paint the picture of WT being unchallenged at all. On the contrary, WCs are depicted as serious political opponents and certainly having much greater influence and power in the backwater regions.
Channeling is outlawed in Tear, AS are under sentence of death in Amadicia and barely tolerated in Illian (so much so that even having too much Tar Valon coin can get one killed there as per Bayle Domon).
Even in Andor, the tide is turning against them due to Gitara being held responsible for the fall of Mantears and Elaida's winning personality.

Moreover, kings and queens certainly aren't doing whatever the Amyrlin Seat is telling them to do, leave alone some random sister. And IMHO, from what we have been told of Randland history that never has been the case either.

Moiraine and Verin had to travel incognito not just because they were on secret missions, but because to act otherwise would cause riots and/or get assassins on their trail, not to mention endanger their contacts.

I really can't see how Kiruna or Joline (sic!) could have survived in such a world as long as they did and without provoking major upheavals wherever they went.

The notion of AS shutting themselves up in the WT is also incorrect. As per NS, only half of their number reside in the WT at any one time.

And "retired" AS seem to fit into communities where they settle down, again incognito, even in the Borderlands(!), well enough - see the Namelle sisters.
BTW, now when I think about it - why weren't _they_ at Tarwin's Gap? Trés strange.

Anyway, in the first 4 or 5 books, AS seem to be aware how things stand in the world and are able to deal with them with subtlety and circumspection.

They are also much more capable. Even Liandrin is a relatively capable villain when she first appears. Ditto Elaida.

And it isn't the case of "mythic versus human" either, since we certainly see various AS from relatively close on and notice their flaws. But they are still capable individuals for all that, rather than raging, inept morons that appeared in LoC and remained with us ever since.
Ron Garrison
182. Man-0-Manetheran
I came across a short video this morning, and it made me think of you all. I think I can safely assume everyone here has a wonderful imagination and loves the prospect of other worlds or variations on our own world.

Imagine if the Earth had rings like Saturn. What would it look like? Wonder no more. Click HERE.

Solstice Greetings All!
James Jones
183. jamesedjones
175 Isilel
I am much more disturbed, though, by the rules of leadership in a mixed circle - namely that in a circle of one man and one woman a man must lead. This seems a much greater affront to equality, IMHO.
Not exactly. When he was linked with Nyn, Rand's POV mentioned feeling the crazy, wild power in him and not controlling any of it until he siezed control of the circle. It wasn't that a man must lead, it was just that he could (I believe, though, that this was requisite on greater strength).

Could someone provide a link to the BBoBA or 13D with the corresponding info?
Sam Mickel
184. Samadai

That was pretty cool. That would definitely be a sight to see
Tricia Irish
185. Tektonica

Beautiful!! Thank you! The animation of the rings in various places on the earth and at night and day were wonderful!

Oh, please, can we have rings?!
Richard Fife
186. R.Fife
OK, so I have something I want to talk about that kind of ties into what we've been talking about and kinda doesn't. That's how it is, eh?

So, most people will say that ACoS is where the series is slowing down, and TPoD is where it is in full creep. I wondered about this, and as I've been reading TPoD, I think I figured it out.

See, I think there are two things. By TPoD, Jordan had let his descriptive flair got a little overboard in addition to having unnecessarily complex scenes. For an exmaple, I just finished reading the chapter where Rand is preparing to attack the Seanchan. Yes, an entire chapter of preparation. The scene starts in a random field in east Illian, moves to Illian city, then moves to the road to Lugard some ways to the north. While there is a decent amount of dialogue, both inner and outer, more than half of the chapter is strictly dedicated to describing the action of faceless characters (soldiers, etc), or hammering home the already established traits of minor characters (Tarian High Lords, for example). Heck, the entire reason they moved to the Lugard Road is to use it as a staging point, as if Illian would not have done. Yeah, over-complex. And that is only one example.

The other thing I noticed has to do with Plots-That-Never-Die. See, in one of my recent comments, I said how the ones we have gotten past already, Tanchico and The First Circus, I was surprised by how little screen time they actually got. Even the Emo-Perrin scenes thus far in my TPoD re-read have been fairly short and actually each has had a pretty interesting spike to it. Why do I remember them so venomously, then?

The reason, I came to realize while reading "Elayne's Caemlyn Power March", is that Jordan is actually trying to barrel through the scene without really doing it. Allow me to explain. See, the entire scene is in a past tense from Elayne's point of view. It gives small snatches of actual example while mostly just having an Elayne inner-monologue type thing going on over what happened. In short, Jordan was telling, not showing. Think of this in comparison to the first "Caemlyn Power March", that is to say, Rand and Mat from Whitebridge to Caemlyn. That took a quarter of a book, and yet it was really interesting because we got to see what happened instead of just hearing it.

So, why was RJ trying to barrel through the "travelling scene"? Well, he didn't exactly have any content to put in it, I think. Elayne had a legit reason for arriving so far from the city, but aside from needing two paragraphs to explain it (her thoughts on asking about how people felt with respect to the Succession), the rest of the journey really didn't have a point. So he had to fill it in with "the status is still quo". Windfinders are still uppity, Aes Sedai are still nervous over it, the twins still have Ispan, the Kin are still the Kin (although they as a group have a bit of growth in seeing the AS as people). But, for as many words as is used, all in all very little to do. But, I think we all know, RJ can't just rush things, so he had take his time and describe.

And thus, we get a Plot-That-Won't-Die. And then, looking at exactly how much time it takes, we realize, how that wasn't even all that much taken, compared to others at least. It was just over-complexity in scenes that made fluff and then necessary scenes that just didn't have that much to do in them. I would have brought this up when we actually got to TPoD, but, well, I would have forgotten then. So I'm putting it here. Nyah!

*Rubs at his eyes and slinks back down to that other bunker that may or may not exist*
Ron Garrison
187. Man-0-Manetheran
@186 R.Fife
Actually I was hoping for more on the path you took to the bunker, who you met along the way, what you saw, how it made you feel, etc. No, you just rub eyes and slink away. ::argh::

Actually, I pretty much feel the same way you do. Plus there is the reader's desire to know "what happens next," and that sometimes makes the progress seem even slower.

In tGS, BWS did the same thing in my mind with the scene of Mat writing elaborate backstories for numerous people, etc. WTF? Did that serve any purpose whatsoever?
Sam Mickel
188. Samadai
Give it up, we have had you under watch by some maidens of the spear since we first suspected you of having a new bunker. Be prepared were having everyone over there for Christmas
Rob Munnelly
189. RobMRobM
@184 and 185 - you guys know you were rickrolled by M-o-M - don't try to suck others in by saying how beautiful it is.

@186. I have a different take on the last few books, in that the plotlines are fine but (1) they stretch over too many books and become wearing, and (2) they involve incredibly aggravating characters, namely, Kin, Sea Folk, Nyneave as she is hanging out with said Kin and Sea Folk, Birgitte while she's ticked off re paperwork and stress, Elayne's annoying rivals for the throne, Elayne's annoying supporters for the throne (except for Dyelin and the kid from Mantear, both of whom are MOA), etc. Ditto for Jolene and the sul'dams from Mat-Tuon circus trip and a whole cast of thousands from emo-Perrin land. I do believe there is some additional descriptive passages but any additional length there is outweighed by the problems associated with the multi-book plot arcs and the high percentage of annoying people populating them. Putting aside those flaws, the latter books are great.

Don Barkauskas
190. bad_platypus
jamesedjones @ 183:

No, Isilel's right. From tBBoBA:
...but in the case of a circle of seventy-two, a circle of only one man and one woman, or in most circles of up to thirteen which contain more than one man, a man must lead.
IIRC, there's also a quote in the books themselves that confirms this, where a Forsaken asks a female Forsaken if she would be willing to link with a male Forsaken and be forced to let him lead the circle. Don't remember where this is, but I'm sure someone can help with that.

tBBoBA also mentions that strength and skill play a role in what size circles a person can lead, though (which I'd forgotten) so you were right about that part.
Richard Fife
191. R.Fife
A mote drifted through Fife's eye, a single black dot that seemed to consume any light that would have reflected off it. "Would you believe that bunker could stop your heart, if it wanted to? Without lifting a finger, it would bend the pattern just because it wanted to, and you would die? That, simply because of its desire, you would have a heart attack right here and now and fall over dead?" He smiled, a stone expression devoid of both mirth and bitterness. "I'll see you for the party."
Boy I have too much time on my hands right now. That original scene from TGS is actually my favorite in the entire series right now, by the by. Something just so awesomely wrong with it.

@189 And, if the plots were condensed not require so much hammering-over-the-head with the status quo just to keep the speed of pace RJ had set for himself, then they would not have been multi-book plots, or if they had contained more actual meat to them. That was what I was getting at.
Rob Munnelly
192. RobMRobM
I should also note that in KoD all of the plot lines wrapped up and most of the annoying characters either died (thank you anonymous Shaido for taking out Aram) or evolved to become more tolerable (except Jolene) - and the book was awesome. KoD is in my top five for the entire series. R
Rob Munnelly
193. RobMRobM
RF @191 - Agreed but the percentage of annoying people factor weighs heavily in my thinking.
Tricia Irish
194. Tektonica
178Fellknight & 179 Bouke

As you mentioned there was a lively discussion on the MOAT (Mother of all threads) about The Song and the Tinkers. I don't remember the numbers, and the MOAT takes too long to load, so I"ll summarize from what my currently overtaxed brain remembers....

1. The Seanchan Ogier Gardners (gardners!!) hook up with Loial and his crew and reteach them The Song?

2. Perrin learns the song in Tar'A'R.

3. Rand remembers The Song, now that he is integrated with LTT.

4. The Tinkers, Ogier, Perrin and Rand sing.

Things grow again, people stop starving, chaos is dealt a big blow, and nature's order is restored.

The DO thrives on disorder, disharmony, chaos. (choss.....I always see "choss" now when I see the word "chaos", thanks Leigh!), So restoring nature's seasons and restoring food production will help the Light in the LB.

I keep thinking about Verin's prediction that the LB will not be fought the way Rand & Co. thinks it will. Perhaps, restoring order to the natural world, the cooperation of all countries, men and women working together with the OP, will set the stage for some sort of battle/victory.

The Bowl of the Winds is certainly indicated in this scenario, as it was integral to "healing" of The Fisher King in the Arthurian legend.....and we had that long-ass plot thread in Ebou Dar.

I've been reading Beowulf right now and am struck by the darkness of it.....much of which seems similar to what Randland has been going through most recently. In the Norton anthology notations they state that,

Beowulf's three great battles are against "preternatural evil", which inhabits the dangerous and demonic space surrounding human society.

Lately, I've been attached to the idea of the LB taking place in part, at least, in Tel'A'R. This Beowulf reference could've been borrowed by RJ in part. In Beowulf they are describing the world outside the comfort of friends in the Meadhall, but in Randland, it could mean the DO's prison outside of the Pattern.

Tricia Irish
195. Tektonica
RobM and R.Fife

You two make me laugh! You're both right about the Plot threads that just...won't....die....

I'm going to start baking soon, gingerbread men, snickerdoodles, Special K gooeys.....will that get me a pass into the fortress of frozentude?
Don Barkauskas
196. bad_platypus
Isilel @175:
What exacerbates the problem to me is that we never saw skill, cleverness and speed matter in a fight as compared to raw strength, with the questionable exception of Moiraine versus a Forsaken.
How about Cyndane-vs.-Alivia at the Cleansing? Cyndane wins that one despite a big strength deficit and Alivia's defensive ter'angreal which Cyndane had to figure out how to counter on the fly.
Also, RJ showered male channelers with tons of other advantages, such as being able to sense saidar, being vastly better at breaking through shields, learning and gaining strength quicker, etc. as well as completely forgetting that they are supposed to be weak in Water and Air. Oh, and the act of channeling shields them from pain/weariness too, so it is easier for them to keep going.
Some of these are valid, but I have to disagree with you on the "vastly better at breaking shields". There's a quote from RJ on how same-sex shielding is more effective than opposite-sex shielding, and IIRC we've never seen a male shielding (or even attempting to shield) another male. Thus, the only valid comparisons we have are between male-shielding-female and female-shielding-male. Other than AS shielding Rand, Taim, and Logain (all Forsaken-class channelers), I don't think we have strength comparisons between shielder and shield-ee. So it could very easily be a simple strength argument.

Also, the "learning and gaining strength quicker" is once again an unfair comparison, since every Asha'man in the entire series (except Taim and Logain) is the result of forced training, whereas we have exactly one example of forcing on the female side: Egwene. Naturally, the Asha'man are learning and gaining strength faster than the current set of women. They're also dying and burning out at "an acceptable rate" according to Taim; whereas I don't think we've seen a single female channeler die or be burned out from training-related causes.

In summary, while there are definitely differences, I don't think they're as badly unfair as you make them out to be.
Sam Mickel
197. Samadai

Alright, I was just kidding, no need to get your small clothes in a bunch.

:This is invisible to Fife:

Surprise Christmas Party at the new bunker, everyone bring their best treat.
James Jones
198. jamesedjones
190 bad_platypus

Re: Men&Women linking

I know, and I took it as cannon until we got that POV from Rand. I think there is still a lot that could, and should, be clarified with regards to linking.

But, as far as the Chosen are concerned, whoever had the ability to control the circle would. And it doesn't matter who 'could' if all parties were willing. I'm not surprised that no one among them considered the possibility of anyone else leading the link. It wouldn't be in character for any Chosen (any that wanted to last more than 10 mins with their new title).

Go Light!
Bonnie Andrews
199. misfortuona
Isilel @ 175 and others. Everybody’s so quick at getting responses fired off on here.
Anyway. My thought regarding the men having to lead circles has always been that it was simply a matter of expedience. I mean for most women trained to surrender to Saidar, the prospect of wrestling with Saidin would be next to impossible. Of course Semi sort of wrecked that theory when she had Rand in the adam and wove through him. She is FS though.

"removed quote as bad platypus just referenced it"

I don’t think that we can assume that men learn faster or gain strength quicker. The men were forced while the women have been nurtured very carefully in the tower. The damane develop much more quickly. Just look at what Egwene managed in her short time under their care.

Maybe there’s a use for the adam after TG. The tower could use them to train novices and accepted. Dou you think that would fly? Doubt it but they could bring it up at the next meeting.

Also I love the idea of the warder camo for Rand and AS. Wonder why the Aiel haven’t incorporated it yet?

And the greens? Yeah lots of good reasons that they let their battle badness slide, but I think it all comes down to becoming way to comfortable and resting on their rep. IMO

Yeah mostly what bad platypus said.
Sam Mickel
200. Samadai
bad_platypus @196

There is the one Kinswomen (can't remember her name) who shields Nynaeve when Ny and Ela meet them for the first time. she is much weaker than Nynaeve but is still able to maintain the shield even as Ny is trying to draw as much power as she can.
Richard Fife
201. R.Fife
Tektonica@195 Well, I don't know, if you are talking about the first bunker. Some crazy slurred-talking people with a leashed Aes Sedai named Suffladia appeared outta nowhere and took it over from me. But I do like gingerbread men, if you want to come bring them to the True Power wrought bunker that may or may not exist in a place may or may not be.
Bonnie Andrews
202. misfortuona
Oooh yes and M-O-M @ 182 Love the rings.
I wonder one thing though. What would be the effect of being in thier shadow?
Tasneem Gould
203. Latecomer
MoM - Those rings just look... wrong.. around the earth... the colour suits Saturn but the earth looks so different - maybe our rings could be a bit more colourful too? :)

Re. Linking @ Various... agree that we will need to see a lot more of this - I personally think that linking WILL be the key to winning the last battle - at least to lend force to the Light's channellers.

Re. Tinkers, songs & crops - wasn't sure if it has been discussed before - darn page now takes so long to load that I haven't bothered going back to it after the first couple of thousand comments.

And yes, Bouke and others, my point WAS that there will be no future for the race if we win the Last Battle but return home to find no food at all. Sure, Rand's change may (will!) start regrowth/ healing. But he still has some physical wounds so all is not back to full strenght. Also, it takes a while for crops to grow and often if they are started too late in the season etc they won't mature/ yield enough food.

Even if there was just one season without food - worldwide - the cost to human life would be staggering.
Tricia Irish
204. Tektonica
R. Fife@201
Thank you Mr. TP. I'll look for bread crumbs.....

You know, I'm a better cook than I am a baker....any requests for dinner? Does the bunker do dinner?
Roger Powell
205. forkroot
How about Cyndane-vs.-Alivia at the Cleansing? Cyndane wins that one despite a big strength deficit and Alivia's defensive ter'angreal which Cyndane had to figure out how to counter on the fly.
We don't know that Cyndane "wins". IIRC, Alivia took some damage - broken arm, some burns. Maybe Cyndane took more damage? Given that they are both alive, I'd be inclined to call it a draw.
Rob Munnelly
206. RobMRobM
Note that linda of 13th depository site posted at the spoiler discussion and gave hints re navigating her site. Yes, Wetlander, you can ask and ye shall receive.
Tasneem Gould
207. Latecomer
On a totally unrelated topic - I moved to NZ 10 years ago. In the beginning, I think the culture was so different that I stood out - and I also encountered a little bit of unpleasantness.

Things are very different these days other than the odd wierd comment.

Last week, I was having a conversation with my husband about assimiliation. He saw assimilation as taking on the culture but still holding on to your own. I agree that this needs to be done but this isn't assimilation so much as integration. We'd gone to a Korean restaurant for lunch and he was commending the food whilst advocating 'assimilation' whereas my point was that assimilation would destroy the 'ethnic' culture. Every suceessive generation would lose a chunk of language, culture, heritage etc until 2/3 generations later all that remains is a physical resemblance.

It irks me sometimes that people will go nuts over various different types of 'ethnic' food but talk disparagingly of 'ethnic' costume, language and even society & culture - all the things that makes them different as a people.

Sure, arranged marriage may not work for you - but if its worked for a society for hundreds of years, why do you think you have permission to talk it down just because some people have abused the system.

Also I think that sometimes, we make things harder for ourselves.

Sub - you mentioned going to a hockey game and seeing the lack of diversity. One of my complaints is that minorities will not always go out and do the things that make them understand and integrate with the majority culture. That is why we have China town, little Italy, Little India etc.. people who want to live in the bubble of their familiar culture wherever they are in the world. Amazing how many immigrants can barely speak the language of the country they have moved to - even years after they have been there.

Sorry - back to the scheduled programming....
Roger Powell
208. forkroot
Apropos of "taking damage", and nothing else WoT-related (you've been warned)...

True Story

I used to date a surgeon who was an intern at the County Hospital. Being low woman on the totem pole meant that she had to work Friday and Saturday nights, which they called the "patch-em up" nights.

Many a weekend she was called to try to repair knife or gunshot wounds. She heard a lot of "last words".

One Saturday night she was stitching up a fellow who had been cut up in a knife fight. He wasn't too seriously hurt, and all the time she was working on him he was saying: "Listen to me! Next time this week, there's gonna be someone in here named 'Harry' and he's gonna be cut to shreds! Just wait, you'll see that bastard Harry!

OK - A week goes by, she gets called down to the ER and there is the same guy, only this time he is cut up a lot worse. He opened his eyes and recognized her and motioned her close.

She bent down to hear what might be his last words as he rasped.. "Lemme tell you somethin"..
"Don't fuck with Harry"
209. FellKnight
Tektonica @184

I dunno, seems too contrived to me. Not to mention that BwS says that he has read the ending that RJ wrote and that it is REALLY GOOD. I don't see an anticlimactic ending like that being described as such. I would certainly believe that it is not just about the Power, and I could believe that it involves T'A'R somehow, but I do see it as something of a LotR ending complete with GollumImeanFain involved.
Roger Powell
210. forkroot
Oh by the way... the guy made it. I'm betting he steered clear of Harry after that.
Ron Garrison
211. Man-0-Manetheran
@ 203 Latecomer
re. "a bit more colourful"
Were you thinking Peter Max or Andy Warhol?
Don Barkauskas
212. bad_platypus
Samadai @200:
bad_platypus @196

There is the one Kinswomen (can't remember her name) who shields Nynaeve when Ny and Ela meet them for the first time. she is much weaker than Nynaeve but is still able to maintain the shield even as Ny is trying to draw as much power as she can.
True, but it is specifically mentioned that this is "almost a Talent" for Berowin and is pretty clearly an exception to the rule about strength in same-gender shielding.

forkroot @205:
We don't know that Cyndane "wins". IIRC, Alivia took some damage - broken arm, some burns. Maybe Cyndane took more damage? Given that they are both alive, I'd be inclined to call it a draw.
A fair point. I actually debated whether to call it a draw also. In any case, I'd say it's a draw at the very worst for Cyndane, which still proves the essential point.

And, LOL at "bad_echidna". :-)
Charlotte Giurgiu
213. almdoipad
Is convinced the 2nd Bunker is only accessible through the Black Lodge in Glastonbury Grove and is adjacent to the Red Room. Watch out Windom, here I come.
Bonnie Andrews
214. misfortuona
Hey was just re-reading that quote by RJ concerning how the one power works. This is from the 13th depository. I'm not sure which interview.

"The older you are, the faster you reach your full potential. Men reach their full strength faster than women. Forced training makes you learn faster, but it is very dangerous--it can kill you, or burn you out. The Asha'man are being trained that way, and the casualties of the training show this. (X number dead, Y number burned out...) Egwene, and Elayne and Nynaeve have also experienced forced training."

Probably old news for most of you, but I hadn't seen/noted the first two lines. Men tend to spark later than women. I think that is another part of the reason develop thier strength faster than women.
The tower does pick them up as young as possible after all.
Tasneem Gould
215. Latecomer
Mom - I was just thinking more blue in the rings - to reflect the blue in the earth...

Misfortuona - good catch. I guess this is why older novices like Sharina are so strong already - a very little exposure is enough to get them to full strength.
Galen Brinn
216. GatheringStorm
subwoofer @ 1, said
And while we are on such topics, what is with Dashiva? He is a baddie, but I do not get the talking to himself. Theoretically he is protected from the taint by the DO so what is it?

Forgive me, I didn't have time to read all the posts...and so maybe this was already covered, but I remember others of the Forsaken stating how Aginor/Osan'gar/Dashiva was insane long before being sealed in The Bore. So, IIRC, then his insanity predates the Taint.
Matthew Smith
217. blocksmith

I could be wrong but I thought Asmo tried to shield Rand while struggling for control of the ter'angreal in Rhuidean.
218. alreadymadwithdashiva
Aginor was shielded from the Taint. NO indication of such for Osan'gar. Or perhaps he was trying to act mad so as not to draw attention.

Re: Alivia vs Cyndane
Given that there was no sign of Cyndane, she must have been able to Travel out. Which means she walked away on her own power. No such luck for Alivia.

forkroot @208
219. Freelancer

Fortress of Frozentude? Given how R.Fife is behaving about it, I think it's going to be called simply the Fortress of 'Tude.


Careful, you drop names like that and everyone knows your age group.


Thank you for that. It explains what some folks have had a hard time with, specifically a seeming discrepancy about Taim. To Rand he seems to be in his early-to-mid thirties, yet RJ has said that he is in his late twenties. In the same quote, RJ said that Taim has slowed in regards to his appearance. So, the question arises, how can Taim seem older than he is, while having slowed? And the simple answer is that male sparkers start later. Well, maybe they also don't start slowing as soon after they begin channeling, though that isn't speficied anywhere that I'm aware of. Rand makes a presumption about Taim's age, and extends that presumption to include a supposition that he has held off the madness for 15 years. This is clearly inaccurate, though we don't know precisely how long Taim has been channeling.
Ron Garrison
220. Man-0-Manetheran
Of RJ's g-g-generation and DPoI!
Tricia Irish
221. Tektonica

I didn't mean the ending was gonna be peace and flowers.....Yuck! I want one hellova battle! I just think it's going to take place on many the Blight with Lan, in the rest of the world with Mat leading the forces, and perhaps in Tel'A'R with Rand/Egwene/Third? and Perrin running interference with the wolves. This has to be BIG!

The rediscovery of The Song would put things back into more balance, and give the Light a much needed boost before the LB. Chaos seems to be taking over. With Rand on the mend, the bowl could help complete his healing (see the Arthur legend on 13D) and restore some health to the land and the starving people.
This is all per some discussion waaay up above......

As for the Beowulf citing....I thought it was interesting that it mentions the Evil that resides outside of the normal world, like the DO being outside the pattern.
Don Barkauskas
222. bad_platypus
blocksmith @217:

I just re-read that sequence and didn't see any place where Asmo tried to shield Rand.
Tess Laird
223. thewindrose
Tektonica, step slowly away from that bunker, R.Fife has Saa floating in his eyes - bad news. Just trying to save you...
And, yes jamesedjones, we know what side you're on:)---(Chosen)

And, I believe here is where we can say "Hi Cads"
Feraighin - To Rand, her back straightening. "Most of them stay beneath the roof of Arilyn Dhulaine, Car'a'carn, and seldom leave it."
john massey
224. subwoofer
@Free- me too, "Silly idiot, turn off the radio"... kills me:) Not to mention that I still want a car with a speedo that says 200 mph, then "Oh Wow!" Also, the midget jokes. He learned karate, the special move, then gets mugged by a midget-"what are you? Some kind of song and dance man?"

225. AndrewB

You missed my point (see No. 44 above). What I was saying was that at least in the language Leigh referred to in this commentary, Loial speaks as if it is his role to protect Erith.

Other Ogier (e.g. the wedding scene in KoD) act as if it is the female Ogier's role to protect the male Ogier.

My point was simple that as with many of the other characters, males' beliefs re how they interact with women are drastically different than females' beliefs of how they interact with men. For example, each sexes general beliefs of the opposite sexes intellectual capacities as a whole.

Such a gender generalization is not limited to hunman characters. This is my point.

Thanks for reading my musings.
john massey
226. subwoofer
Phase 1 complete- weather broke, bought lumber today.

@Latecomer, yeah, I get you, but I was at the game... and sometimes people group together because that is the only way they can get respect is to talk to people in their own culture... not the venue to get into this.

@Is-what you say is true, but by that same token, some nations do have AS as their advisers. Also, look at the respect the AS get from the Borderland countries. Which really does beg the question, why are the AS not helping them? Doesn't Elayne lay it on thick with Uno about how the Guardians of the Border do not yield a foot or inch without a ton of blood shed? The battle at the Gap happens regular enough that AS should be there to help repel the hoard. Unless they are scared about their diminishing numbers and really do not get how important the role of the Borderland countries are.


227. Freelancer

Yeah, I don't make house calls either for an idiot that runs out in the open.

Oh, and don't forget "Playground"
...when I was a child the grownups were tryin' to murder us, to bump us off...No I have proof! I have definite proof...
Jacy Clark
228. Amalisa
Man, I hate a migraine headache...


Hey, I'm a "big picture" kind of girl! *high five back*

Yes, being 6'4" does provide a distinct advantage! *spoken from the perspective of 5'4"*


I guess it depends on how much wieght you give to the whole Masema story line. Personally, I give it a lot. (Still couldn't stand him.) A "good guy" character who goes so completely off the deep end, stirring up all kinds of trouble, making things harder for the hero while believing that he's doing what the hero wants him to do and while being manipulated by the bad guys...

I don't know. Maybe, in the Plot That Will Not Die, people are looking at it from the wrong angle.

Rand sends Perrin to Ghealdan to a) nail down an alliance with Alliandre and b) jerk a knot in Masema's tail. That's what Perrin is supposed to do. It's important, even necessary to the forces of Light - Masema, really, more than Alliandre because his Dragonsworn are making for some major bad PR for the Dragon Reborn. If Perrin had been able to accomplish those two goals without a hitch, awesome, great. But to do so would not have been the stuff epic fantasy is made of. There had to be a conflict, something that would throw a huge monkey wrench into the whole thing. Enter the wild card Shaido - who had managed to fly pretty much under everyone's radar (thanks to Sammael and his "traveling box"). The kidnapping of Faile (and Alliandre and the incognito Morgase) by the Shaido provides the conflict, the wild card, the monkey wrench.

So, perhaps, the Plot That Will Not Die isn't about Perrin and Faile, but is about Perrin managing to do what Rand wants him to do but in the face of major complications. Because, in the end, what needs to be done is done, and then some. And if he moans (a lot) along the way, big deal!

Something else, which I cannot take any credit for but which really flipped a switch for me: someone at The Thirteenth Depository made the statement that Perrin attracts rulers, ex-rulers, rulers-to-be in the same way that Mat attracts heroes and heroes-to-be - all as part of their ta'veren charm. So we have Faile (probable heir to the throne of Saldaea), Berelain (First of Mayene), Alliandre (swears fealty to Perrin), and Morgase (even though he doesn't know who she is) now in Perrin's orbit. (The Thirteenth Depository blogger also mentioned Gaul, whom the Wise Ones believe will be a clan chief one day, as further evidence of Perrin's ability to draw in leaders.)


Amen, brother. And I'm white. Not that it matters.

RE Circles

Already covered...

Okay. Eyes are starting to ache again. Will try again tomorrow.
Rob Munnelly
229. RobMRobM
Amalisa - I'm not a hater of the Perrin arc. My point to Rfife is that there is really not that much extra dragged out stuff. It's just a looooong plot line (five books worth to date) and an awful lot of people acting in aggravating ways, including all of the various rulers, those who work for the rulers, those who guard the rulers and those who watch the rulers. Too many PITA people acting at cross-purposes that Perrin has to manage. It makes him a better leader but it can be hard to read compared to earlier, funner works such as TDR and TFOH. R
Thomas Keith
230. insectoid
Just scrolling through...

Sub @176: ...Right!

Free @180: As for the comedians of your g-g-generation, I love Bill Cosby and George Carlin. The only newer one that I really like is Bill Engvall.

R.Fife @191: ::shudder::

Sub @224: "Now gimme your dough before I blow your kneecap off!" LOL!

Here I go scrolling through a dark post... Why? Because I'm stupid! But I know The Shout.

Hmm, I wonder if The Shout would help if we wandered too close to R.Fife's TP-made bunker?

Jennifer McBride
231. vegetathalas
"threesomes are logistically problematic enough even when all three parties are enthusiastic about it, but when one of the three is… not so into one of the other three, well..."

Speaking from personal experience, Leigh :P?
232. Aye Aye Sedai
@228 So, perhaps, the Plot That Will Not Die isn't about Perrin and Faile, but is about Perrin managing to do what Rand wants him to do but in the face of major complications.

Although in TGS it appears that Perrin may have lucked out and collected the Girls and defeated the Shaido and the Dragonsworn to no apparent ill effect. However perhaps this allowed more Forsaken mischief to develop.

Re- DO and Rand no kill order - I think the DO realizes he needs the Dragon in order to break seals and escape - no Dragon then no escape - although then another would assume the mantle but then we would need a different set of prophesies.

Also why the argument that the prophesies in Randland and Seanchean are corrupted? Occams razor is that they are both true even if they seem contradictory. Perhaps Rand kneels to the Throne in apology and to seal the alliance. Sometimes you can have it both ways!.

Also in the Perrin story we see a large pack of HellHounds - do we suspect who sent/called them, whom they are hunting and when we will see them again. IIRC we never learn who freed the golem nor why Herid was the first victim - who knew what he was working on and what import it would have??

Can anyone recall any sign of the golem as it traveled to Ebu Dar - or could there be more than one in play?
john massey
233. subwoofer
I am still trying to figure out why a gholam would be created. It is a creature of the Dark, not made by the WC, but its focus is channelers. It would stand to reason that a baddie channeler created it, unless another Super Fade was around back when. Also, it cannot be touched by the One Power, but Mat's trinket seems to burn it. As there were six, I wonder what the plan was to deal with it. Drop it in a pit and set it on fire? Lure it off a cliff? Drown it?

For Wetlandernw :)

234. alreadymadwithgholam
subwoofer @233
IIRC Graendal specifically identifies Aginor as the creator of Gholam as well as other types of Shadowspawn. As for their weakness, LTT says Shadowspawn can't survive passing through a gateway.
Matthew Smith
235. blocksmith

I could be mistaken on this, but I thought that we had a Forsaken viewpoint on the Gholam and that they were another of Aginor's creations?

I just checked Wiki (if its correct than I am too) and confirmed this. In addition, the Gholam can detect saidar, saidin, and the TP.

Interestingly, the same article indicates balefire would work also...not sure if I can buy this unless we have definitive info from one of the Creators.
Tricia Irish
236. Tektonica

IIRC The Gholam was from a stasis box....Sammael? Illian? Didn't he have a hoard of stuff from AoL?

Can a living? Walking being "last" in a stasis box? Aginor isn't making them NOW is he? Yee gads.
Matthew Smith
237. blocksmith

Beat me to the punch...


My guess is that the Gholam were loosely based on vampire myth...immortal unless killed in a specific way. Therefore, they could survive in the stasis box. Only problem is, you would think the other five would be hanging around if they were that tough to kill. Unless the other five were eliminated during the first war in the AOL. I don't believe there is any other info availabe at this point.
Rob Munnelly
238. RobMRobM
@236 - recall that Aginor is toast as of the cleansing (thank you Elza) and we haven't yet seen him reincarnated (again) by the DO.
Sean Banawnie
239. Seanie
RobMx2@238 Aginor reincarnated doesn't impress me all that much unless he does come back to make more creations....he was not too tough or strong..
more Gholams though....that not good....
Here's a guy that should be wearing Mat's hat

edit:can't get the link to post directly aargghh!!
*sniffs* thought I'd be brave and try something new....*kicks grass with sneaker*
240. Freelancer
Tektonica@236 & blocksmith@237

If the context of the name "stasis box" is what I think it is, then anyone or anything would survive indefinitely within one, as they would be in...yeah.


Yes, we have our first case of a baddie wasting a baddie. And in Elza's POV there is where she is revealed to be Black, IIRC, since she almost shows remorse over attacking another servant of the dark one. Hmm, we've called him many different names around here, how about Dashagin'gar? Has kind of a ring to it, dontcha think?
Rob Munnelly
241. RobMRobM
@240 - not first case - don't we have Slayer and Fain taking out respective evil Asha'man in Far Madding prior to cleansing?

For that matter, Fain wasting Fades as early as TGH.
242. Freelancer

I'm going to assume that you have seen how to use the bbCode to create a link. It appears to me that yours would work if you included the http:// in front of the www. Then you'd get this:

A very lucky day

Barry T
243. blindillusion
Well, as for the Gholam, Mr Jordan gave them an expiration date. IIRC he says they eventually decay. I believe the stasis box does precisely what Freelancer thinks it does.

Isn't speculation fun?
Sean Banawnie
244. Seanie
very cool, thank you
now to find the time to try it out.....
Tess Laird
245. thewindrose
subwoofer - Are you looking forward to Boxing Day? I saw it on the calander and was just curious as to what it was:)
246. Dreamwolf
Re: linking

I always believed that when Rand wakened up after being cut by Padan Fain and Cadsuane told him that he should consider himself lucky and that things "not done since the age of legends" had been done.

That it meant that some of the AS had linked with Flinn to give him more juice to work his healing on Rand. I remember being disappointed about it not being elaborated on.

Am I alone in thinking that linking across sexes breaks the stated rules about not being able to sense or manipulate the "other" part of the One Power.
Ron Garrison
247. Man-0-Manetheran
@232 Aye Aye Sedai, et al
Re. Gholam
Your answer is coming up in a few chapters from now. I re-read it last night. Sammael visits Carridine and a female Darkfriend (who's name escapes me now). He promises that he will send something to take care of "those Aes Sedai." When I read it, I assumed he was referring to the gholam. Since Sammael can Travel, he could easily send it via that route.
James Jones
248. jamesedjones
243 blindillusion

Stasis Box: Apparatus useful during the Age of Legends for keeping you beer cool. There have been rumors of some DFs using them for more nefarious purposes. May or may not have any relation to Boxing Day.
Tricia Irish
249. Tektonica

I'm looking at the bbcode box that pops up when you click on it in the Post a Comment section.

I'm still not sure about creating a link. Is it the instruction with Google ?

I'd like to post a link to a page on the 13thD.

Edit: When I preview, it appears in blue, so it looks like I've answered my own question. If there's more, please inform....Thanks!
250. birgit
don't we have Slayer and Fain taking out respective evil Asha'man in Far Madding prior to cleansing?

Fain kills Kisman, but he isn't really serving the DO any more. Slayer is hunting Fain because Fain is a renegade. Slayer kills a man and woman in Far Madding because he thinks they are Rand and Min.
WH ch. 22

Sammael visits Carridine and a female Darkfriend (who's name escapes me now)

Lady Shiaine / Mili Skane
Barry T
251. blindillusion
JEJ RE:~ Super Cooler

You know...I could sure use one of those.

Elaida, put it on the to do list!!
Barry T
252. blindillusion
M-o-M RE:~ Gholam + Gateway

Sammael wouldn't be able to send it via gateway. Shadowspawn cannot pass through gateways, as they're contructs.

Isn't speculation fun?
253. alreadymadwithlinking
Dreamwolf @246
There was no linking done when Flinn healed Rand. As for the "things not done since the AoL" that Cads was referring to, it's just the complicated healing with Saidin.
Ron Garrison
254. Man-0-Manetheran
Go to the page that you want to link to and copy the URL from the bar at the top of your browser. For the page we are on it looks like:

You need to copy the whole string. I tried to demonstrate here, but it got too messy!
Ron Garrison
255. Man-0-Manetheran
@252 blindillusion
Yes. You are quite correct. I forgot that. I'm sure it came from Sammael though.
Matthew Smith
256. blocksmith

I could definitely be wrong on this, but I always pictured the stasis boxes as a large storage locker-type object that kept intact mostly inanimate objects (streith material, a zara board, glowlamps ((I think that was the name)) etc). Kind of like R.Fife's new cuendillar bunker. :)

The storage places that alter time (i.e, that allow a person to be locked away for years but only little time passes or vice versa) for living things, if a gholam could be described as such, are vacuoles. The same thing that Moghedien was trapped in just prior to her becoming cour'souvra.
Tricia Irish
257. Tektonica
Blocksmith@256 and Free@240

Maybe Sammael brought the Gholam in the stasis box? Would that get through a gateway?

Thanks M-O-M!
258. earlgrey
Could not Sam order the gholam back into the stasis box, gate himself and the box to where he wants to release the gholam, and leave?
Tasneem Gould
259. Latecomer
Yay its Friday (at least where I am).

Gholams - I am in Freelancer's camp on this one, I have always thought that he came from the Statis box. Also he is not really a 'living being' so may not be affected? Alternately, maybe the statis boxes work similarly to the effect of the sealing on the Forsaken.. all but 3 of them were entirely unaffected and have 'woken up' in exactly the same state as they were sealed in.

Were the Zomaran (sp?) in a statis box as well - if not, who is contructing them?
Thomas Keith
260. insectoid
Free @240: Dashagin'gar... I like that!

@Several: Fifty Ways to Kill a Gholam

Bonnie Andrews
261. misfortuona
Re Stasis box theory. Has there already been a discussion some where about just what a stasis box is.
WOTwiki defines it thus:
"A stasis box is a piece of technology from the Age of Legends. Few specifics are given, but they appear to be very difficult to damage. The contents of a stasis box are protected from the ravages of time; even living creatures have been found in stasis boxes, such as the gholam active during the time of the books. It is also believed that the container found at the Eye of the World containing the Horn of Valere and the Dragon Banner was a stasis box." (emphasis mine)

Does this ring true to all of you? It seems to me that I remember that box being difficult to move from where it was. Am I making this up?
If I'm not then it seems that it would be unlikely for someone be able to Travel with a stasis box either.

Confused by the stasis box
Ron Garrison
262. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks for the link insectoid! Here is the pertinent poop to what is being discussed:
...they are living things, not some sort of machine. (Mat surmises (actually, Birgitte surmises) that the one they met was "kept alive" since the Breaking in a stasis box.)

Thanks Leigh!
Don Barkauskas
263. bad_platypus
Re: Stasis boxes

There's also a scene where one of the Forsaken comments to another about the possibility of finding a stasis box containing an extremely dangerous beast; don't remember the exact quote but will look it up later. At any rate, both of them talk about it as though it were a possibility. I strongly suspect that "stasis box" means exactly that---stasis.

EDIT: posted the quote (from LoC, Ch 23) @333.
Bonnie Andrews
264. misfortuona
late @259 I'm pretty certain that I recall one of the FS commenting that someone had found a stasis box full of Zomara, but I can't remember exactly when. It was one of the FS tea parties, I seem to remember it as the one where Aran'gar first shows up. Sorry no book available.
Ron Garrison
265. Man-0-Manetheran
Stasis boxes:
If anyone has their books handy, Ideal Seek will point you to the books and chapters where they are mentioned.
Bonnie Andrews
266. misfortuona
M-0-M @265 Wow handy that, still doesn't help me much till I get home, but I'll make good use of it in the future.

Thank you.
Sydo Zandstra
267. Fiddler
On names...

Aginor died. He gets resurrected under the name Osan'gar, then uses the alias Corlan Dashiva. Same with Balthamel. He died, and got back as Aran'gar with the alias of Halima.

Let's just refer to them using the names RJ used in the books, please. We all know who they are/were, and new invented names will probably only be confusing.

Same with Suffaida, btw. Her life as Elaida has ended, so far. She is now Suffa (and I hope she will live up to that name ;) ).

There are enough other things to get witty about in these rereading posts. :)

This is an expression of my views on using names from books in a general way, really. You won't see me referring to Moghedien as Moggy, to Asmodean as Asmo, to Egwene as Eggie or Nynaeve as Nyn. It's probably a weird thing on my part. ;)

So please take it as such. Feel free to call anybody how you like. But let's not make them into standards. :)
Barry T
268. blindillusion
Merry Early X-Mas everyone. I give you a Gholam and a stasis box. Play nice now.... I'd hate to have to take them back. =)
Q: Are gholam immortal?

RJ: No.

Q: Because they were in…a box?

RJ: Stasis box. A stasis box is an artifact of the Age of Legends, and is in effect an artificial vacuole. Time does not move inside a stasis box. It is a thing devised for storing things that are fragile or that might decay in some way.

Q: So the gholam can die by a natural death?

RJ: I don’t know if you’d call it a natural death, but yeah, they can decay. You saw what happened with Mat’s medallion – it just fell on the gholam’s cheek and branded it.

Q: But do they die of old age?

RJ: Yeah, they do, but they live a little longer than you’d like them to, let me tell you (laughter) – not as long as an Aes Sedai, but...not as long as an Aes Sedai that hasn’t sworn the Three Oaths, anyway…not as long as a strong Aes Sedai that hasn’t sworn the Three Oaths.

And, some food for thought.
Q: Could a gholam have drawn Callandor?

RJ: Read And Find Out.

Figure all the above might keep everyone interested in this line of discussion. Lots of good tidbits up there.

Isn't speculation fun?
Tasneem Gould
269. Latecomer
Misfortuna - thanks for the hint - I seem to remember it now too, One of the Chosen (Graendael?) speculates that Ishmael found a stasis box full. Thanks also to MoM for the link - I keep forgetting about it.. will try & remember in future.

Q: Could a gholam have drawn Callandor?

I am wondering what sort of brain would have come up with a question like that. Sounds like something that would make a cool story *looks around for Samadai*
Barry T
270. blindillusion
Ahem. Zomara. & Stasis Box.

That'll be all. Please, no pictures. Tweren't nothing. Oh please. Stop bowing. Sheesh.

Isn't speculation fun?
Sydo Zandstra
271. Fiddler
On the gholam killing Herid Fel. That always was a mystery to me. I figured he was sent by the one who found a stasis box.

But how would Ishamael (or Moridin) know that Fel needed to be taken out? And why by a gholam? Forsaken knowing about Fel's progress is weird, unless there are Darkfriends in the small circle who knew about what he was working on. But even then, a DF could have killed him easily too.

This could also raise a question about a possible DF in Rand's closer circles.

Min? (I doubt that, really, but then again I was surprised at Verin being Black too). OTOH (speculation mode on), maybe in tGS Rand got access to the DO's power because Semirhage was about to make Rand kill the DO's main agent close to Rand...

Call it a quick fix.

Edit: I thought it was Sammael who found the stasis box. Changed that.
272. Lily of the Valley
Re: Gholam:

I thought they were some sort of living ter'angreal, like the Nym, only they were created as assassins? Somehow someone is controlling the gholam*, and it can sense the One Power -and- the True Power**. I don't think pleasant things would happen if a ter'angreal such as a gholam were to try and use a sa'angreal like Callandor, even if it was only as a regular sword and not an amplifier. I'm not sure on what exactly -could- happen, though, only I that I think it wouldn't be pretty.

*"The one who commanded it wanted the man who had wounded it dead perhaps as much as he did the women, but the women were an easier target."

**(Moridin, after observing the Supergirls Travel from Ebou Dar) "Ripping a hole in the fabric of the Pattern, he Traveled with the True Power."

(Gholam, after Moridin left) "And a...feel...of something. Not the One Power, but something that made it...itch, if not quite the same way."

ilu IdealSeek

Also: is it possible that Herid Fel wasn't killed because of his knowledge? I mean, every time rand went to the school he asked after Fel, and the old man was a friend of Min's. Maybe he was killed just as a dig to Rand. A slap in the face, if you will.
Bonnie Andrews
273. misfortuona
Fiddler @ 271
I think half the fans would revolt if it turned out that Min was a DF. But wouldn't that just turn everything on its head though.
Sydo Zandstra
274. Fiddler

Aren't there better candidates worth killing to slap Rand in the face? Rhuarc, for example. And IIRC Min only met Fel once.

And why using a gholam to do it? It seems like killing a fly with a nuclear bomb to me...
Ron Garrison
275. Man-0-Manetheran
"Also: is it possible that Herid Fel wasn't killed because of his knowledge?"

Good question, but my question is WHY A GHOLAM? There are so many less complicated ways to assasinate a non-channeler.
276. Freelancer

I'm with you on not using convenient or silly abbreviations for names, like Moggy. And I do understand your point. Conjuring up conjunctions of the multiple names characters have held over time is not meant to disturb or insult, merely entertain. Some like to refer to the five main young female characters by an acronym of their first initials, ENEMA. I normally prefer to spell names out completely. But don't worry, I'm not lobbying for anything other than the "valid" names to be considered a standard.


Regarding that RAFO at the end of your post, under your heading of food for thought, it might not mean anything. Brandon has let us know that in the case of information that no POV character of the story knows the answer to, his answer would be RAFO whether it is of value or not. Just saying.


Min, a darkfriend. Yeah, Moiraine is closer to being a darkfriend than Min. Heck, Loial is closer to being a darkfriend than Min. Also, nobody killed her. She didn't die. Rand broke free before Min stopped breathing. And if you say that Semirhage being balefired brought her back to life, then it would have also made it so that she had never been choked, and she continues to cough and gasp after that. And finally, Brandon clearly said that Semirhage's balefiring wouldn't have saved Min if she had died, because it was Rand choking her, not Semirhage. Rand's Compulsion would have been nullified, but Min's death would not have been reversed.
277. Lily of the Valley
I honestly have no idea why a gholam. Maybe the thing was getting restless? Maybe whoever controlled him didn't want to risk Gray Men Maybe it was the only way to make his/her point?

And, maybe this mysterious master didn't NEED a reason. Rand was trying to create something that would ensure a better future for the world after the Last Battle, and word of this "amazing school" was spreading pretty quickly. Maybe Fel's death was just a way to try and cripple or even kill those efforts while sowing more personal chaos for Rand. I know I wouldn't go to a school where one of the teachers was dismembered.

It was just a theory I tossed out. :) We'll have to RAFO, I guess.
Ron Garrison
278. Man-0-Manetheran
Well, Lily, I don't think it just happened to be the weapon close at hand. Given our author's style, there had to be a very good reason why a gholam was used. As Fiddler said, a gholam is like using a nuclear warhead to kill a fly.
Sam Mickel
279. Samadai

Can I call him Gollum the Gholam? Might have to give it a try. I'll let you know.

That is exactly what always bothered me about both Herid Fels and Barthanes Murders. why a gholam? How would they even know what Rand and Herid even talked about? Was Herid widely regarded as the ages philosopher? To many things don't make sense about that.

:edited for Latecomer not Longtimefan
James Jones
280. jamesedjones
277 Lily of the Valley

What if they offered scholarships?

Edit: "A full scholarship? That's great! Do you offer Theoretical Philosophy?"

"Um... no. Not this year. The professor for that course is, ah... unavailable."
281. Lily of the Valley

Possibly. I just think sometimes our collective brainpower over thinks things a bit. Just thought if I simplified it it would open up new theories. :)

Here's another one: Could it have been meant to kill Rand? How often did he visit the school? I don't think his visits were announced, but I could be wrong. I mean, gholams were created to kill channelers. It really doesn't make sense to send it after a non-channeler, and as far as I know Rand was the only channeler that visited.


It'd have to be a darn good scholarship.

*sees edit* Lol! Pay no attention to the dismembered body behind the curtain?
Sydo Zandstra
283. Fiddler

Thanks. I didn't think you were lobbying for new namings. I've read your postings long enough to know better. Just wanted to get ahead of mass adaptation, I guess. Or at least put my view on it here before that could happen.

The Min thing was not really serious, just a line of thought I was exploiting. Balefiring Semirhage (and possible balefiring consequences) wasn't even in my mind there.

It was more a picture of Semirhage going badass on Rand's mind by making him kill Min, while not knowing her being to be the DO's gambit. And the DO/Moridin going "WTF! We can't have this! Retreat and sacrifice Semirhage!" *poof* Rand gets access to True Power through the Moridin mind link and takes away the threat.

As for Min, and note I said I wasn't thinking she'd be a DF really in my post, it is still possible that she's desperately in love with Rand and sworn to the DO at the same time. tGS showed us that everybody can be a DF, including some people who'se POV's we have seen before.

I don't want her to be a DF. Because she's one of my favourite characters. But, and this is an example, being young and having the gift she has could have make her desperate at some point. Desperate to turn to, say, the DO. Just to get rid of it.

But we'll see. That's what so great about this story.

And if I am right here, you read it here first (AFAIK). :P ;)
Tasneem Gould
284. Latecomer
@ Various

1. Why Herid Fel?
Herid Fel appears to be the only Philosopher that Rand has any access to/ contact with. Since he was murdered, no other known philosophers have been contacted etc (we'll assume that everyone is discounting Min - a la Beledeine)

Remember that Ishmael was a philosopher in the AOL and studied the Dark Lord before he went over. He may want an end to the pattern - but he may have found a way to prevent it as well - and he knows that this knowledge comes from philisophy. The best way to make sure Rand does not find it is to kill anyone that could possibly find it for him.

2. Why a Gholam?
Perhaps this simply reflects how very important this issue is to Ishmael - Fel could have provided the key to killing the Dark one, and therefore must be stopped - ASAP, with any means necesary.
As Calla Lily ;) said above, Grey men haven't been the most successful and many other types of assasins have also failed in some instances. Until then, the Gholam had never failed - therefore sending him was a virtual guarantee of the death of Herid Fel (even if Rand had left him bodyguards etc).

Finally - I guess this is where Min's going to show her awesome and step up to be on par with Queen / High ranking AS Elayne and Most Powerful Wise one Aviendha. Her part will be THAT crucial.
285. Freelancer
Lily of the Valley@281

It may well have been trying to target Rand, but a gholam's gotta eat. The one which chased after Mat out of Ebou Dar was willing to kill indiscriminately for fresh blood. Then again, wasn't there a comment from the headmistress about the amount of blood where Fel was slain? Hmm. So hunger wasn't the answer.
286. chinbawambi
As far as 13-0 goes - Leigh could also be a Boise State, Alabama or Texas fan. And even Montana if she wrote this before Saturday night (14-0 now). All y'all are making me want to re-read the series again.
Sam Mickel
287. Samadai
Help wanted.

Due to his untimely exit we have need for A philosophy professor for our brand new university. Must have dreamy introspection and a desire to solve real philosophical questions. Occasionally works with the founder of our school for the betterment of mankind. Needs strong stomach and really great awareness of their surroundings. Please contact Idrien Tarsin at the university for more details.
*as per new information must carry a silver dagger at all times and will be outfitted with silver chainmail for protection*
288. Lily of the Valley
If Min turns out to be a DF I will cry. ): IMO, she's the only who actually LOVES Rand. She's been there through the best and the worst. Elayne has the hots for him and Aviendha has no IDEA what she feels for him.

Then again, I've never been in love so I could be totally wrong. :/ Just how it strikes me from the outside looking in.

Free: Yeah, I remember something about all the blood, too, which is why I didn't mention the possibility of Fel being take-out earlier.

Loony Theory: Female gholam have to take out male channelers. Like the male gholam can sense women channeling saidar. I don't know if it can sense saidin, but it'd be cool if that was the reason three male gholam and three female were made.


Jooooin usssss
Barry T
289. blindillusion
Huh? Free, what does Brandon have to do with that quote...just out of curiosity?

I put that there because I thought some amusing things would come of it. I doubt very seriously that there will ever be a point in the story where the possibility of the Gholam pulling Callandor ever comes up.

Oh, as to Latecomer's thought of what type of mind would ask that question. Someone who wanted to know the limits of the Gholam's anti-Source powers.

I realize not every RAFO is going to be answered in canon, even in the Encyclopedia WoTica that shall be pubished after the main sequence books.

"Nobody understands me."

Oh well. **Laughs and rides on up the gorge, whistling happily to himself** Life goes on.

Isn't speculation fun?

Edit: Why a Gholam? Well, several thoughts come to mind. 1) Send a message, 2) Send something no one could have stopped as the one who sent the thing wouldn't of known if Fel would be alone or not, 3) oh, I'm sure there are others but I have to pack/get ready. Going to the 'Sip tomorrow.
craig thrift
290. gagecreedlives
Why a Gholam?

Well Herid Fel was spending a lot of time with the Dragon Reborn. Rand has killed every other sort of shadowspawn maybe they figured this way if Rand did happen to be in the room the Gholam would still be able to kill Fel and not be impeded by Rand. Not sure if Balefire works against a Gholam.

As somebody has stated on an earlier thread whoever sent the Gholam might of thought that Herid Fel was Asmodean in disguise. After all Asmo was teaching Rand and a dreamy loner could be a good disguise.

Also could be a test run. Oooh look what I found in my toy (stasis) box. Lets see if it still works.
Maiane Bakroeva
291. Isilel
Samadai @279:

That is exactly what always bothered me about both Herid Fels and Barthanes Murders. why a gholam?

Personally, I now think that Barthanes was Verin's work. The OP could have torn him apart as easily as a gholam.

@ Various:

If anything living could be put into stasis boxes and survive, surely people would have tried to use them as shelter during the Breaking? Particularly for their children.
Yet so far, the only living things put in the boxes were Shadowspawn. And some of those are only arguably alive...
Tasneem Gould
292. Latecomer
Blind Illusion @ 289

Don't get me wrong - I thought it was a fantastic question - a real 'lateral thinking' demo. Also think it might make a cool fanfic basis.

Samadai - I think Gollum is taken - maybe Ghollum the Gholam :D

GageCreed - Asmo in Disguise = Fab idea!
293. Lily of the Valley

That tickled my fancy, too, but I figure the massive earth-rending upheaval of the Breaking either destroyed most of the stasis boxes containing people or they were buried under mountains/oceans. I mean, we don't know how common stasis boxes were to begin with, how many were filled during the War of Power and the Breaking after that, or how many were destroyed in the intervening time.

It would be an AWESOME fic, though, from the POV of an AoLer who woke up in present day Randland, and the ensuing adventures. :)
294. Shen an Calhar Bannerman
This book is a great one in the series, but it leads into book 8, POD which was probably the dare I say the weakest of the saga. I like the exacting detail in the the series, but between this book and the next i sort of get tired of reading how many times someones cheeks redden or braid gets tugged. If you did a shot per such statement you would have a 1.5 litre bottle done in no time.
craig thrift
295. gagecreedlives
Shen an Calhar Bannerman@294

Interesting idea. Might have to give that a try.

If a stasis box is in effect an artificial vacuole maybe people were to frightened to put themselves or loved ones into them. Doesnt Moghedien just about shit herself when she finds out she was kept in a vacuole as they can break off and be lost forever.
Barry T
296. blindillusion
Isilel RE:~ Children in a stasis box.

As a carry-on to Lily...would a parent of wanted to do that? Imagine if the box had never been found. The parent would have effectively removed their child from the Pattern. No chance of re-birth. As that seems to be the central part of this world's, for lack of a better word, religion, I just couldn't see anyone thinking of the idea.


Latecomer RE:~ Don't take me wrong.

Oh, no offense taken. I simply thought you might really be looking for an answer to the question and that's about all I could think of. As I'm not the person who presented that question to Mr Jordan, there's no telling what kind of mind came up with it. Person could have been completely bonkers. =)

I'm still hoping for some amusing things to come from posting it. A story by Samadai would be most welcome.

And come to think of it...a story of an AoLer stepping out of a stasis box might be an interesting read as well. As long as the person is of the Light. I do believe we've had enough crabby ~This era is savage and these people are ignorant~ talk from the Forsaken.
Sam Mickel
297. Samadai
OK OK OK, fine I will write one about an AoLer stepping out of a Stasis box into this age. :)
Alice Arneson
298. Wetlandernw
subwoofer @233 - LOL. What's this word "sun"? Not familiar with that one...

Re: Herin Fel and the Gholam... Maybe Fel had gotten hold of some of Ishamael's books and found a significant clue.
Elan Morin Tedronai was a noted philosopher and theologian who wrote several influential books, among them Analysis of Perceived Meaning, Reality and the Absence of Meaning and The Disassembly of Reason. Elan Morin was often considered too esoteric for popular appeal. He also believed that the war between the soul of Lews Therin and the Dark One had occured since the beginning of time, recurring in cycles of the Wheel of Time.
I got this from the WoT Wiki; not sure where they got it, but presumably from the BBoBA. In any case, if Herid Fel had found one or more of these books, or some significant portions thereof, maybe there were hints in there about the nature of the conflict and ways to end it.

Or here's a looney theory for you: Herid Fel was the one who actually found the stasis box. One day while he was out fishing, he came across this mostly-buried object that looked old and interesting. He dug it up, figured out how to open it, and right there on top were some of EMT's deep-philosophy books. Being who he is, he promptly forgot about the fishing and the remaining contents of the box, and wandered off home to read them. This particular box had been somehow warded, and sent a signal to Ishamael (?) when it was opened. He Travelled to the spot, retrieved said remaining contents, and then realized that his books were missing. Knowing what was in them, he tracked the "thief", discovered that they were in the possession of an esoteric philosopher, and decided that it was too dangerous to let him live.

Take your pick - a) he sent the gholam to do the killing, then stepped in through a gateway and retrieved his books; b) he went through a gateway, did the killing himself (in a strangely gruesome way meant to make anyone knowledgeable about such things think it was a gholam) and then retrieved the books, or c) make up your own scenario. My fave, in terms of looney theories, is that he Travelled in to Fel's room, had a lovely philosophical conversation which they both enjoyed very much, tried to turn Fel to the DO, failed, decided that it was too dangerous to let him live, killed him with the OP in a way that looks to us (at least) like a gholam did it, and took his books away with him. Unfortunately for him, he overlooked one book which Fel had already shelved, which Min later found and which will, eventually, lead her to the ultimate solution that Rand needs to successfully seal the Bore. ;)

I love theories...
299. Lily of the Valley

I dunno, I'd probably have the same reaction if I fell asleep in 2009 and woke up in 1460.

Samadai: Aww, you beat me to it! I still have one from the POV of Tuon's Bloodknives sitting around somewhere... We need to do a Prompt list or something for all of us fanfic writers!
Barry T
300. blindillusion
Lily of the Valley RE:~ Reaction

"I'm crushed."

I was simply saying that perhaps a person of the Light, while sure, they'd notice the lack of AoL tech., might not be know...evil about it.

Can anyone guess which character I've been quoting recently?

Isn't speculation fun?

edit: What's that...300? **wicked grin**

I win again, Subwoofer.
Sam Mickel
301. Samadai
I love it. it sounds awesome. And I know you saw the sun all last week when we have subfreezing temps. ;)

Lily of the Valley,
Go ahead and take it, I am working on three others right now. :) and where is the one your talking about? :(
Alice Arneson
302. Wetlandernw
Maybe Tor has or would create a place for fanfic? I think there actually are a couple out there (tarvalon, theoryland, dragonmount?) but I'd love to have one here for our creative crew.


(subwoofer - just look what you went and started...)
john massey
303. subwoofer
hmmmmmmmmm I see the fun police are out in force,check my shoe laces yup they're velcro. Propeller working check. Light up TOR dingle ball ummmmm, Torie, we have a problem...

Boxing day, the same as Black Friday. Just a big shopping bonanza, nothing much. I stay home, net shop or hunker down 'till January when the real sales start.

Problems with hiding in a Stasis box, so... chances are you will live, eventually, but supposing the people who were to let you out bite it? Conversely say the area around the Stasis box collapses and you are stuck at the bottom of a chasm or a new ocean floor. That would suck.

Problems with Gholam... they're creepy. That's it. That's all I got.

What the?! I hit refresh and things go all higgly piggly. 5 posts? Hello all:)

Edit- in my stunned amazement, I the'd my the.

craig thrift
304. gagecreedlives

Could you imagine Rands possible reaction if he discovered Min reading a book written by Elan Morin Tedronai.

Something like this or maybe nothing at all.
305. Lily of the Valley

Nope, no idea, but if you keep it up I'll start throwing movie quotes into my posts. :) Quote games ftw!

Samadai: Ya know, I just might. As for the Bloodknives fic, it's lying unfinished in a notebook, somewhere in my room. I can't figure out good Seanchan-y names. ): It's hard to get into the character's head without a proper name.


lol, hi Sub. :D
craig thrift
306. gagecreedlives
Merry Christmas Sub

Its not quite a tor dingle ball but its from a dingle ball that you know from tor.

Sam Mickel
307. Samadai

But are you a light up dingle ball?
john massey
308. subwoofer
Sniff, sniff It's so beautiful! And it accessorizes nicely with my cashmere, yet lighter than the piano I had chained to me earlier:)

Edit- @Wet, if that is your tag line and it makes you happy then let 'er rip I say! This is about fun after all. We are not inventing new Snapple flavors here:)

craig thrift
309. gagecreedlives
I will be in about 3 hours when my weekend starts. Well and truly lit up :)
john massey
310. subwoofer
Is it a sad dingle ball? Designed to chain and harness the power of Santa? Do the elves know about this? Does Mrs. Clause?


Yes, my Friday starts tomorrow. Nothing but Gunga Din for the day, but then after I fend off the hooligans, it is all wavy gravy for a bit. Just me, my dogs and working on the BoS.

I see you Lily of the Valley:D

john massey
311. subwoofer
'K, I'm burned out here... was thinking about Rand tooling around with his dad's sword, especially before he had all the training. People said he wore it as if he knew it. Reminds me of getting used to wearing my framing hammer, back in the day. Also reminds me of carrying my bow. There are guys out there that wear all this paraphernalia and really Rambo up, but at the end of the day, it is how easy you can tote your bow and bring it to bear should the need arise. Noise discipline helps too.

I seem to recall Perrin, with his heightened hearing, commenting about how people stomp around. It is something to be able to move like Aiel and work with your environment rather than battle it 24/7.

craig thrift
312. gagecreedlives
Oh no Sub its not a sad dingle ball. It errr....ummm embraces the power of christmas and ummmm other.... umm happy stuff I guess. Yes that will do. Trust me ;)

And what the Clause family and the elves do with their balls and chain is none of my concern. And now I suppose I can add the 'woofer clan to that list too. Enjoy.

Yep before you ask it is a slow day in the office today
313. Lily of the Valley
h/o guys, I'mma go see if I can find that Bloodknives fic. Maybe fix it up some, get some good and Seanchan-y names, and post it here.

Or not.

I'm not really confident in my writing...

So, you may see it, or I may totally chicken out. C:


Kinda looking forward to Feraighan encounter Rand, Perrin and the WOs get when they reach Cairhien. I laughed through the entire scene.
Barry T
314. blindillusion
Lily RE:~ Character

Ever read David Eddings?

Sub RE:~ sad dingle ball.

You could be right...shorten dingle ball and you get DB.... Poor Santa. =`(

GCL RE:~ Min's reading material...

**Nods** I could see that. But, sadly, when's the last time Rand looked at a book?

HEY!!! I know...

Ron Garrison
315. Man-0-Manetheran
@298 wetlandernw
MOA! Now that’s some theories that I can get behind. Definitely on the level of our author’s imagination!

@306 gagecreedlives
Where did you find that frickin' elf adam?
craig thrift
316. gagecreedlives

Dont be so concerned where I get them from. Be more concerned with what Sub intends to use them for.

ps I have plenty if you want one
Julian Augustus
317. Alisonwonderland
killed him with the OP in a way that looks to us (at least) like a gholam did it

A plausible-sounding theory, except that RJ specifically states the gholam did it. Here's the passage in the Epilogue of LoC.
Sitting in his study, Herid was peering into his pipe and wondering whether he had the means of lighting it at hand when the Gholam squeezed under the door. Of course, even if Herid had been paying attention, he would not have believed, and once the Gholam was inside the room, few men would have stood any chance.

When Idrien came to Fel's study later, she stared at what was piled none too neatly on the floor beside the table. It took her a moment to realize what it was, and when she did, she fainted before she could get a scream out. However many times she heard of someone torn limb from limb, she had never seen it before.

Incidentally, the passage almost certainly shows there was not a drop of blood on the floor when Idrien came in. The Gholam had fed, as usual.
Ron Garrison
318. Man-0-Manetheran
Gage - thanks for the heads up - like I needed another reason to avoid Alberta this time of year!

Alison - good catch! Why a Gholam? Someone wanted him dead in the worst way...
craig thrift
319. gagecreedlives
Yeah from the sounds of it its not the best time of year to be visiting Alberta. I will have to make sure I spare my commonwealth cousins a thought while Im sitting in my pool having some cold beer over the coming hot days during the Christmas break.

If they sent a gholam after Fel for what he could of learnt, wonder if they will send one after Min as well. Cant remember if there were any dark sisters around when Min started talking about how she figured out the prophecy. That could be interesting
Alice Arneson
320. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland @317 - My mind must be slipping. We only read that a few weeks ago, too. Sad, what old age can do. ;)

Okay, so rewrite the penultimate paragraph of #298 to read as follows:

Having tracked down Herid Fel, Ishamael Traveled to Fel's study. They had a lovely philosophical conversation which they both enjoyed very much; realizing what a great philosopher Fel was, Ishamael tried to turn Fel to the DO, but failed. With the knowledge of how much Fel knew, and how much he would deduce from their conversation and what he had read, it was clearly too dangerous to let him live. Whether he retrieved his books before or after he sent the gholam, I leave to your fertile imagination. It's even possible that he simply left the books, believing that there was no one else in this dismal Age who would be able to comprehend them. In either case, he overlooked at least one critical book, or notes made by Fel regarding his reading of those books, which Min later found in her search of Fel's study and which will, eventually, lead her to the ultimate solution that Rand needs to successfully seal the Bore. ;)

Does that fit better? Step right up, folks, looney-theory-target-practice!

"Strange notions? Yeah, I've got your strange notions right here."
321. Freelancer

Old age? Don't go there. You cannot call yourself old, not even close, thankyouverymuch.
322. BenM
I always wondered what had happened to that fat little man angreal. Still do. Speaking of which, it would be cool if Elayne learned to make angreal, and interesting new ter'angreal too.
Alice Arneson
323. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @321 - Thank you. I know, I'm much too young to be having "senior moments" as my aunt used to say. But I really should have remembered that the book actually included the scene with the gholam coming under the door. Poor scholarship, at the very least. *sigh* At least it was only in support of a looney theory! Although I do think it would be hilarious if that turned out to be anywhere close to the truth.

Still, the question goes begging. Why send a gholam to kill Herid Fel?
Rob Munnelly
324. RobMRobM
@323. Probably Sammael. Had to be Sammael. He was battling Rand and was trying to gain advantages. He had Melindha trying to get Mat to weaken Rand. Must have learned from someone that Rand was drawing heavily on Fel's thoughts, and decided to take that crutch away.

I guess next instruction was for it to travel to Ebou Dar and try to find the ter'greal catch that Sammael always coveted. At some point, once Sammael found Mat was there too, changed the order to kill Mat too.
Tricia Irish
325. Tektonica
Alisoninwonderland@317 & wetlandernw@320

I like your scenario wetlander, and I hope it's true for Min as well....she needs her ultimate MOA. She's my fav lady for her common sense, devotion and *reading!*. Would love it if she found the answer!

As for why a know how it slithered under the door....maybe that was the only way in? It could get into anywhere, pretty much, yes? And again, maybe it was a message to Rand.....bugger off. I would think that alone should make Fel's knowledge even more curious. Why off some dotty old scholar in such a spectacular way?

PS Wet: You are not old, you are busy. Didn't you mention having kids? Here's my can only hold so much information in the front, quick recall portion, of your brain. Everything else goes into long term storage, and retrieval can be difficult when distracted by too many things/people/events.
Feel better? That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!
326. alreadymadwithheridsdeath
Considering the importance of what Rand had Herid Fel working, I suppose whoever sent the gholam thought he would be well protected/warded.
Tess Laird
327. thewindrose
@306 gagecreedlives
Where did you find that frickin' elf adam?

Elf adam - I cannot stop laughing. Oh man, I guess I'm a bit twisted.

Back to WoT....
Matthew Smith
328. blocksmith
Freelancer and Blindillusion@268

I was....

1. So wrong about the Gholam being immortal
2. So wrong about the Stasis Boxes not suspending time.
3. Right about vacuoles suspending time.

Hey...that's one for three. To bad I don't play pro baseball.


I am very humbled and glad to have contributed.


A decorative Christmas a'dam! How nice! Thank you so much. (whispering to wife...Honey, anyone we can pawn this thing off to in lieu of fruitcake?)


you are absolutely right...and children increase your level of distraction exponentially (i.e., one child=distracted^2, four children,my situation,=distraction^100).

Just remember you are only as old as you think you are...until you try to play football with the guys on Thanksgiving morning and wake up the next day and even thinking hurts.
329. Lowlandr
@323 Wetlandernw (and the general gholam discussion)

To the question 'why, nr.1', the answer that 'Herid Fel knew too much' seems to be the most logical.
Considering nobody knew what Fel and Rand exactly spoke about, it would suggest a Darkfriend in the university, who had the possibility to overhear the conversation and tell his/her boss, who(or someone up the chain controling a gholam) thought it was dangerous enough to sent a gholam.

My opinion to the second 'why' (asked by Wetlandernw). Fel was too important too let live, and to make sure he would die. A grey man (or another form of Shadowspawn) wasn't a guarantee it would be a succes. I don't think it was to set an example, for this it was to anonymous.

Also, the scene also has me pondering on two more questions...
1. Why didn't anybody hear/see anything, not just of the murdering itselves, but also about the gholam arriving of leaving?
I would think that Rand (or the authorities) would wonder 'who-dunnit'. I don't recall anything about an investigation.

2. Why did the gholam take the time to feed?
The text (see @317 Alisonwonderland) suggest that a certain amount of time was used (a murder, followed by a feeding and pilling of the remains) Considering the setting, I think speed would be a element (hence less chance of being seen/detected, thus a greater chance of succes).
But no, Mr. Gholam decided to have dinner. Why not kill him and be done with it? Feeding could have been done in a lot of less risky surroundings.

Anyway... my 2 cents...

@ 327 thewindrose

lol indeed!!!

We're all a bit twisted... with some it just shows more ;)
Bonnie Andrews
330. misfortuona
lowlandr @ 329

I'm not nearly as concerned that no one saw or heard anything during the attack on Fel. The Gholam has shown himself quite adept at sneaking into and out of places, like the Tarasin palace.
Now as I remember it killed lots of people in Ebu Dar and there were never any witnesses to the killings. I might be wrong, but if not I wouldn't think that the school and Fel's elevated room would have given it much of a challenge.
Also the scene quoted above @317 says Fel wasn't paying attention. He was probably dead before he could make a noise.
And what would have been the rush for him to leave? Who was likely to come in and disturb them? One of the other scholars or a servant. Sounds like just extra lunch for Mr. Gholam to me.
Edit to add location of quote
lin mei
331. twicemarked
As for Fel.

His appearance coincident with the disappearance of Asmodean. Fel seem to meet with Rand in secret, and sees little others. To a Forsaken, Fel looks like an alias for Asmodean. That is the best in-book answer for sending the Gholam to deal with a dangerous channeler.
Don Barkauskas
332. bad_platypus
More and more, I'm really liking the "someone thinks Fel is Asmodean" theory. Where by "someone," I mean Sammael.

The timing of Fel's death works perfectly: in LoC, Ch 6 Sammael tells Graendel, "I would if I could find him...". In LoC, Ch 23 we learn that Sammael has found a stasis box. The Gholam kills Fel at the end of LoC. Finally, in aCoS, Ch 15, we learn that Sammael has command of the Gholam (when he offers Carridin "...someone..." to deal with Aes Sedai).

It all fits together perfectly for Sammael learning about Fel, believing him to be Asmodean in disguise, and sending the Gholam to deal with him.
Don Barkauskas
333. bad_platypus
Found the quote I referred to in 263:

It's in LoC, Ch 23, when Graendel visits Sammael and discovers he has found a stasis box.
"On the other hand," he went on, "think how awful it would have been to open a box and rouse a nest of cafar, say, or a jumara, or one of Aginor's other little creations."
So pretty clearly the Forsaken believe that living things can survive in a stasis box for 3000+ years.
Ron Garrison
335. Man-0-Manetheran
@332 bad_platypus
Nicely presented. I think that is the best explanation so far.

336. J.Dauro
@332 bad_platypus

Although I do like the explanation, I question whether Sammael would think that Fel was Asmodean. If he knows about Rand visiting Fel, I would also expect him to know that Rand has a Gleeman. And knowing Asmodian as he should, I would expect him to figure Asmodean as Jasin Natael rather than a philosopher.

Just a thought.

Tina A
337. Tinaa
You don't suppose Leigh has changed her mind and is having the Friday in the week BEFORE Christmas off too, has she?

please tell me it isn't so...

Leigh Butler
338. leighdb

I would have told y'all if I was going to do that.
339. alreadymadwithmissingbard
J.Dauro @336
Yes, but this is after Jasin Natael had disappeared. If Jasin Natel's death/disappearance was a ruse, who was he likely to masquerade as next?
340. Freelancer
Wow, that was a quick hipshot, Leigh. And thanks.
Tina A
341. Tinaa
*Waves* Hi Leigh

Thank you for telling me it isn't so!
Rob Munnelly
342. RobMRobM
This means that Leigh's work is done and that darned Torie and/or Pablo are the pokey ones. Not that there's anything wrong with that....
Rob Munnelly
344. RobMRobM
@323. "Considering nobody knew what Fel and Rand exactly spoke about, it would suggest a Darkfriend in the university, who had the possibility to overhear the conversation and tell his/her boss, who(or someone up the chain controling a gholam) thought it was dangerous enough to sent a gholam."

Didn't some of the AS who came up from the Tower (to kidnap Rand) begin hanging out in the Library. Query whether some were DFs. Any chance they would have migrated over to visit the school or got dirt on it?
Ron Garrison
345. Man-0-Manetheran
While waiting and twitching, I'm reading:

aCoS, Chapt. 19, Rand: "But why? Why was he killed? What could he have told me?" ~snip~ (Min POV) "He and Rand discussed everything from the meaning of parts of the Prophecies of the Dragon to the nature of the hole into the Dark One's prison."
(emphasis mine)
346. alreadymadwithlibraries
I don't think the University of Cairhien was on the same grounds as the Cairhien Library. The Library was closer to the Palace, AFAIK.
James Jones
348. jamesedjones
Re Herid Fel

The guy didn't even remember that he was talking to the DR. Is any information that he shared with Rand considered confidential, in his mind? It's not unreasonable to assume that he was willing to let anyone know about his conversations with Rand and the "too pretty" girl.
Lloyd Thomas
349. TheBlackShadow
I reckon Elza must have killed him, or rather given the reccommendation that resulted in the order for him to be killed, as the Aes Sedai were wandering around the University, and Elza of course was Black Ajah.
350. MatHornsounder
u know, Team Light would find their job a lot easier if they didnt keep secrets....atleast not from their deepest friends.
if Elayne had told Mat about d male adam, he cud have informed Rand about it.
The same goes for Perrin...if he had told Rand about his wolf smell, then he could have confirmed Rands suspicions about Taim.
Alice Arneson
352. Wetlandernw
Tektonica @325 - Thanks! I don't have a lot of faith in the scenario, but I do think it's plausible. Well, bits of it are, anyway. So maybe some of them will turn out to be true. Unless HF actually did have some of Ishamael's books, I doubt we'll ever learn much more about the backstory. OTOH, I do think Min's reading will turn out to be important; whether she finds contributing pieces or The Key to Everything, what she finds will be necessary.

Thanks also for the memory theory. I like it. Yes, I do have kids, and this has been a crazy couple of weeks getting to the end of school. We had the Christmas assembly and early dismissal today, so now it's on to the decorating, baking and candy-making that's been waiting. Not sure if that will do much to free up memory space, but at least it's a change. ;)

@various, I think the "maybe he's Asmodean" theory might work. Demandred knows Asmodean is dead, along with whoever actually killed him, but since the FS don't share info either, Sammael does NOT know. So, yeah, he might have decided that Fel was a possibility. It certainly has merit.
353. MatHornsounder
Sammael controls the gholam
he sends it to deal with the Aes sedai in Tarasin palace when he learns of them being there while talking to Carridin.
as there's only one gholam seems he took care of Herid first then went 2 ebou dar
john massey
354. subwoofer
Weeeeee! Last one here close the door! Bunker of Solitude half way done!!!!

Tricia Irish
355. Tektonica

Lack of communication is a Major theme in these books! You are so right. TALK to each other, damnit. At least your closest friends! the Bunker of Solitude your bunker? How many bunkers are there? I'm confused. (not new) And are we having a Festivus Party? Will Tor contribute a dingle ball for the dance floor?

These are important questions!
356. MatHornsounder
what is d bunker of solitude

has anyone heard any specific date for the TOM release??

and where is Freelancer?? did the Dark one get him?? or any of the Forsaken

u'l b gr8 if sum1 humbles d followin people :
cadsuane (again)
the Aes sedai
Cadsuane (once more)
Faile (a little)
Lini (cmon lady respect perrin)
Romanda......and finally.....(Drumrolls and trumpets sounding)
Cadsuane (did i mention her??)
Tess Laird
357. thewindrose
Maybe Cadsaune? Just joking:)

I think as she was breaking Semirhage, she had one of those self realizations that this was how someone would break her. She may be getting a large serving of humble pie in ToM or aMoL. I think she will have to learn this before she can teach Rand and the Asha'man what they need to learn. (And I do think they need to tone it down as well.)
Alice Arneson
358. Wetlandernw
MatHornsounder @356 - I can't answer all your questions, but Freelancer is around - probably busy with Christmas stuff - look for him sometime soon over on #4.

Subwoofer's Bunker of Solitude is up near Edmonton, Alberta, where you can freeze in the dark all winter and take a walk in daylight any time of night in the summer. Meaning that at this time of year, you don't get much but solitude...

Towers of Midnight: from Brandon Sanderson's blog dated 12.11.09:
Oh, and a quick note. TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT is going very well. I had a good week of writing on it, and I'm more and more certain it will be in on time. If that's the case, we'll see it October next year.
john massey
359. subwoofer
Ahem... the Bunker of Solitude is something being constructed by yours truly because some lunk head promised his little brother-in-law a tree house. In the winter. Before Christmas. Like for a Christmas present even. Do you have any idea what a pain in the a$$ it is to dig into frozen dirt? This is not one of my better laid plans. We threw the red flag calling for a replay but the head ref was bribed...Jerry's kids never had it so good...#$#%%&**.

As for Fel... well, I dunno. I think the Asmo thread is wailing on the dead horse again. Don't get me wrong. Take Asmo out of the equation and everything else does lead somewhere. Fel had meetings with Rand. In private. Outsiders could just speculate. Select few people knew of these meetings unless we are talking about people constantly spying on Rand, in which case it begs the question of how they got by the Aiel? So who of Rand's friends knew of the meetings and who of Rand's friends or inner circle sold out to the DO and the Forsaken?

Problem I have of the whole Asmo angle is the DO talking about it and not mentioning in the commentary that Sammael mistakenly sent an agent or anything to deal with Asmo. All the DO said was that Asmo was beyond him or something right now... will find the quote.

AS infiltrating the School? Well, maybe, but Rand has an AS detector set to "frag" because of his distrust for all female channelers so I am not comfortable with the idea that Rand would let any AS wonder into his vicinity without him knowing.

Maybe the question is did Fel leave anything behind? It was mentioned on a few occasions that Fel had stacks of stuff everywhere. Maybe Min doesn't get super smart and figure out the philosophy of Fel. Maybe Min just comes across a note left between the pages of a book. Would be more credible to believe. Min did not suddenly become Velma. Jinkies.

If somebody can connect the dots, what did Fel know? How did a baddie know Fel knew anything? How did said baddie slip by Rand's detection? And the link back to the Forsaken? er and how will Torie get me a TOR dingle ball before Christmas... all valid questions...

john massey
360. subwoofer
Alls I can find was a quote about those who betray the DO dying the final death...


It was more likely to have been Slayer or the gholam, because the Shadow uses both of them as assassins and they both have a nasty habit of popping up where not expected to appear. Slayer is the more likely of the two because the gholam has a harder time traversing physical distances and is presently following Mat. The gholam is also ruled out by not appearing until Book 6, failing the 'intuitively obvious' requirement as well as RJ's assertion we had met the killer prior in Book 5 or earlier.

Also on Leigh's Murder Mystery of Doom Slayer gets most of the credit for killing Asmo, so this leaves the Asmo= Fel thing out.

john massey
361. subwoofer
On Leigh's FAQ it seems that Slayer is linked to Demandred. Gholam is linked to Sammael. Fel allegedly died by Gholam. Or his death was made to seem that way. Who knew? Were Fel's dreams warded?

362. birgit
Select few people knew of these meetings unless we are talking about people constantly spying on Rand, in which case it begs the question of how they got by the Aiel?

Maybe there is another Darkfriend Maiden with Rand.
john massey
363. subwoofer
I'm having all sorts of problems finding links and tidbits on the net tonight. Can't even find the right edit of Dragonette...

Would be tough if there is another DF Maiden. It is almost start-swingin'-a-cat time.
“Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit into Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day.”
—Aiel Oath

That in particular bugs me about any Aiel being DFs. We know of at least one but, I guess what bother's me is how the Aiel ji'e'toh is ingrained into every fiber of their being. To break an oath is serious and flaunts everything to be Aiel. Same with being a DF. The only enticement is glory of eternal life or power or something else I am not grasping. When Aiel take toh seriously they hang themselves or do whatever it takes to meet that toh. I suppose that is why it grinds on me when something flys in the face of that.

364. Freelancer

I'm quite well, thank you for your concern. Not under a forsaken's Compulsion, not a puppet on Aes Sedai strings, no sirree.

Year end business at work demanded my undivided attention, and working to get my daughter safely up the east coast has been occupying the rest until now.

Also, @you and thewindrose@357

Q: Will there be reciprocity for Cadsuane's treatment of Semirhage?

A: If I have anything to say about it.

He also answered someone's question that of all the characters who would he most like to give a greusome and painful death with: Cadsuane.


A new post is up? ;-)
365. MatHornsounder
Actually, i think it was mentiones that the gholam was the onw who killed Fel...........gotta find the para.
Good to know that your fine.
Seem's that the Dark one has not infiltrated Tor or got any of us.
i think Cads may die soon, anyways she's at the end of her road, so it seems that she will face the music.I mean, each n every one of Team light going through Tarmon Gai'don unscathed does'nt seem possible.
Also, i want to see a confrontation between Moiraine and Cads when she gets back, as Cads always refers to all d current Aes sedai as girls and children.
Lets see her get a dose of her own medicine.
Also, what about Rand,Gawyn,Elayne and Morgase meeting up
shock for Gawyn
also, it'll be fun when theyfind out Rand's bloodline.
People, join wheel of time groups on facebook, there are some quite good discussions going on.
Jack Diamond
366. violetdancer
Woofster@361 et al.

It's possible that Aran'gar posed as Sammael to order the gholam to kill Herid Fel. She/he may have also done that to order the last bunch of Shadowspawn into the ways.
367. Mathornsounder
Merry christmas........
May the light illuminate you and bring you good fortune and happiness!!
And may Santa give us all the ability to tap into the One Power!!
Alice Arneson
368. Wetlandernw
Mat @ 367 - you did know about the chapter 5&6 (CoS part 4) reread & commentary, didn't you? Just realized it's not on the index, but if you look at the "latest comments" section of the sidebar, you can see comments on it. Merry Christmas - if you hadn't seen it, you've got a whole bunch of new goodness to read! ;)

Edit: rats. That link takes you to the bottom of the page instead of the top. Hit the HOME key...
369. sweetlilflower
To MasterAlThor and all of the other posters concerning racism:

This has long been an issue for me. Race is a scientific catagory, and as Freelancer put it, we are all one race. I have even looked into getting all federally funded surveys to replace the term race with ethnicity. There is absolutely no genotype or phenotype that is particular to any one region of the world. The whole term bothers me. Especially since most of us are mutts. I'm Hungarian, Czech, Irish, and Cherokee; what exactly do I put as my "race"?
I know I don't post enough for any of you to really know me, but perhaps we can start a revolution by refusing to answer the question, "What is your race?"
370. yasiru89
'... not so into one of the other two...'?

It amuses me to no end that Aes Sedai are under the impression that they are extremely subtle creatures, while in truth they generally possess all the finesse of a footpad. Much like Graendal actually, given Rand's remarks about her methods in tGS to Nynaeve.

Also, Perrin always struck me as more chauvinistic from this point on than Rand ever did. He doesn't have as much excuse as Rand in my mind, even though he has indeed married into a family of crazies (who can yet be awesome, as Bashere demonstrates, and even Faile, and no doubt Deira are more than competent) and must put up with Faile's unexplained jealous rages. Also, I like Faile far more than I do, say Egwene or Elayne, even with all her issues when it comes to Perrin. As this move to side with Colavaere demonstrates, she's adaptable (more than can be said of Elayne, who probably still believes Aes Sedai are infallible) and yet loyal (whereas Egwene's loyalties flow with whoever she's trying to butter up and learn from at a given instance). Faile gets too much crap for her weird Saldaean upbringing and subsequent marriage life issues.

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