Jan 29 2010 3:38pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 10

Once upon a midnight freezy, while I wrote comments light & breezy
O’er two chapters of a volume Crowned with Swords galore
As I snark-ed, all protracted, suddenly I was contacted
With some news that made me go, “For reals? Oh wow, oh score!”
For my roommate’s getting married, to a girl she doth adore
Which rocks, you guys, for shore.

But soon I realized my condition, which would soon come to fruition:
Their marriage must be followed by a change in how I lived before!
Because, you see, cohabitation’s typical, post-culmination
Of vows to love and honor your beloved evermore
Ergo, too soon my roommate situation will be shown the door
New options now I must explore.

…aaand that took almost two hours to compose, so rather than further mangle Mr. Poe’s legacy, I will resort to prose to explain that as a result of all the above, I… think we’re going to have to stick with the once-a-week posting schedule for a while, until my situation has settled out, which will hopefully be soon.

Sorry, guys, but the next month or so promises to be a lot, and I’d rather have the re-read be slow than be crappy, so.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, in which you can find many a quaint and curious volume of links to news, reviews, and semi-forgotten lore 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.

So come, fear not tomorrow, let WOT lend you surcease of sorrow! Click and feel your brow unfurrow! Click, just like you have before!

Chapter 15: Insects


What Happens
Carridin is composing a report to Niall, trying to keep the ants crawling around from smudging the ink, when Shiaine enters. He knows that Niall should be pleased at the chaos his bands of “Dragonsworn” have created in Arad Doman and Tarabon, helped along by the rumors of an army of witches marching across the country, but also knows that Niall will keep insisting that he capture Elayne Trakand, which Carridin has no idea how he is supposed to do. He smashes an ant, ruining the report, and snaps at Shiaine that he supposes she wants more money. She smiles lazily and answers that searches are expensive, especially covert ones. Carridin is irritated that she is not intimidated by him, when he knows that her real name is Mili Skane, and she is no lady, but a saddler’s daughter who turned to the Shadow after being sent away from the White Tower. On the other hand, he knows she is a skilled and deadly assassin, and that matters like earthly rank do not matter among Friends of the Dark; Carridin himself would kneel without question to Old Cully, the leader of his circle, even though Old Cully is a toothless beggar. He tells her that many things can be forgiven, even money that was supposed to go for information being used to gamble, but failure will not be. She freezes a moment at his words, and protests that there are difficulties; it is dangerous to ask about objects of Power, especially when Aes Sedai are in the city. She needs more time. Carridin looks out the window at the “trash” crowding the streets below, and briefly considers starting a riot to smoke Elayne and the others out of Tarasin Palace, but decides that might interfere with his other orders, and of the two sets, Niall’s is the one he can ignore. As Shiaine continues her protest behind him, he suddenly catches sight of a young man across the way, fanning himself with his hat and talking to an old white-haired man.

Suddenly he felt as though a knotted rope had been fastened around his head and was being drawn ever tighter. For an instant a face hidden behind a red mask filled his vision. Night-dark eyes stared at him, and then were endless caverns of flame, and still staring. Within his head, the world exploded in fire, cascading images that battered him and swept him beyond screaming. The forms of three young men stood unsupported in air, and one of them began to glow, the form of the man in the street, brighter and brighter till it must have seared any living eyes to ash, brighter still, burning. A curled golden horn sped toward him, its cry pulling his soul, then flashed into a ring of golden light, swallowing him, chilling him until the last fragment of him that recalled his name was sure his bones must splinter. A ruby-tipped dagger hurdled straight at him, curved blade striking him between the eyes and sinking in, in, until gold-wrapped hilt and all was gone, and he knew agony that washed away all thought that what had gone before was pain.

Carridin comes out of it and realizes that Cauthon is gone, and Shiaine has stopped talking. He turns to her angrily, only to see she is frozen in the act of rising from her chair, and Sammael is standing in the room. Carridin drops to his knees and tells Sammael he’s just seen Mat Cauthon. Sammael seems oddly taken aback at this news, but after ruminating on it a bit tells Carridin that his search is more important, and to only kill Cauthon if he interferes in it. Carridin begins to protest, and Sammael describes to him how his favorite sister Vanora just died at the hands of Myrddraal and Trollocs. Carridin hopes she never found out why she had died so horribly, and backs down; Sammael roars at him to find the cache of angreal, ter’angreal, and sa’angreal he knows are here in the city. Carridin stammers that there are Aes Sedai in Ebou Dar, which might prove an obstacle.

Waving him to silence, Sammael paced a few quick steps, three times up and back, hands clasped behind his back. He did not look worried, only . . . considering. Finally he nodded. “I will send you . . . someone . . . to deal with these Aes Sedai.” He barked a short laugh. “I almost wish I could see their faces. Very well. You have a little while longer.”

Daring greatly, Carridin asks about the “favor” he asked of Sammael, and Sammael laughs and tells him Carridin has very little luck, as it seems someone is still carrying out at least some of Ishamael’s commands; only Sammael’s protection will keep the same thing from happening to Carridin as already has to his family, so Carridin had better find what Sammael wants. He creates a gateway (Carridin gapes) and leaves, and Shiaine comes back to life, jumping in startlement as Carridin (from her perspective) suddenly jumps from one side of the room to the other. Carridin tells Shiaine that she will set her circle to finding a man named Mat Cauthon, and is surprised that Shiaine recognizes the name. She tells him that few linked to al’Thor remain unknown for long, and begins to ask what “a seedy farmboy” is doing in Ebou Dar. Carridin grabs her by the throat and slams her face onto the desk.

The dagger, stabbing down just in front of her eyes, froze her. By chance, the blade piercing the paper had caught an ant by the tip of one leg. It struggled as vainly as she had.

“You are an insect, Mili.” The pain in his head made his voice rasp. “It is time you understand that. One insect is much like another, and if one won’t do . . . ” Her eyes followed his thumb down, and when it flattened on the ant, she flinched.

“I live to serve and obey, master,” she breathed. She had said that to Old Cully every time he saw them together, but never before to him.

“And this is how you will obey . . . ” No one survived disobedience. No one.

So, I just went back and checked the Darkfriend Social scene in TGH, where Ishamael showed “Bors,” aka Carridin, Mat’s image (and Rand’s and Perrin’s), and there’s no mention of the Horn or the dagger in association with Mat. Or at all.

Which is fine, I guess, mystical acid flashbacks not generally needing to conform to set rules and all, but with Ishamael dead I’m just kind of puzzled at how this vision “evolved” to include them, so to speak. We can probably file it under Rule of Cool (Imagery) and let it go (warning: do not click that link unless you’re free for the next four hours), but it still bugs, a bit.

And speaking of Ishamael, who is still killing off Carridin’s family, anyway? I don’t think this is ever really mentioned again, so I suppose it’s just some random faithful minion out there who possibly doesn’t even know Ishy bought it four books ago, i.e. not particularly important, but, yeah.

Anyway, this is another “themelet” chapter, with the ants and the smushing and the I See What You Did There. Jordan tends very strongly to go with a theme whenever he does these interim pickup “let’s see what the Dark Side is doing” chapters, I suspect out of an authorial need to smooth them out a tad, make it less jarring to jump away from the main POV characters for a bit. Which, by the way, totally works, so that’s all right.

Although, he did tend to do it a lot for Our Heroes as well; the chapter example that leaps to mind is “A Sense of Humor” in LOC, with Rand. It was a Thing in general with Jordan. Again, not that I’m complaining.

Sammael: I forgot that it was Sammael who sent the gholam to Ebou Dar, not that it really matters. I also don’t know what to make of the fact that he is “taken aback” that Mat is in town; possibly because he thinks Rand may have sent Mat here to look for the same thing Sammael’s looking for, maybe? Oh, the irony, if so. And how did either he or Moghedien learn that the cache of *greal is in Ebou Dar, again?

Also, Sammael’s appearance here reminds me that I still occasionally wonder whether to complain about how little the Forsaken are utilized in WOT in general, or be glad that their relative scarcity of on-screen time maintains at least some of the shadowy mystique they enjoyed in the first few books. ‘Tis a conundrum I invite you to discuss!

(Oh, and minor note: the proof that Old Barrel Guy ≠ Old Cully is in this chapter, since Carridin would presumably recognize the leader of his own Evil Clubhouse, but looks right at the old man talking to Mat and doesn’t recognize him.)

Chapter 16: A Touch on the Cheek

What Happens
Mat had always previously entered Tarasin Palace via the stables (to get a look at the horses), but this time he marches up to the main gates. He tells the head guard that he is here to leave a message for Elayne and Nynaeve Sedai, in person if possible; the guard eyes him uncertainly, but decides at length that Mat can’t be turned away, and leads him inside. The guard hands Mat off to a maidservant, who leads him further in. For once, Mat is too distracted by the dice rolling in his head to appreciate the display of wealth in the Palace.

The dice almost always meant danger, and something else he had not figured out yet. The prospect of having his skull cracked was not enough, and once or twice there had been no possibility of such, yet the upcoming likelihood of Mat Cauthon dead in some spectacular fashion seemed the most usual cause. Unlikely, maybe, in the Tarasin Palace, but unlikely did not make the dice go away. He was going to leave his message, grab Nynaeve and Elayne by the scruff of the neck if he had an opportunity, give them a talking-to that made their ears glow, and then get out.

He is handed off to another servant, who hands him to another, and another; finally he grabs the sixth servant by the arm and asks how two Aes Sedai can be so difficult to find. A voice from behind him says he has found two Aes Sedai, and Mat turns with a slightly uneasy smile to see two sisters, one of whom he thinks very pretty, while the other looks like she “ate brambles for breakfast”. The servant escapes, and Mat tells the sisters he’s looking for Elayne and Nynaeve, and asks if they are friends of theirs. The pretty one answers, “Not exactly”, and introduces herself as Joline and her companion as Teslyn; Mat berates himself that of all the Aes Sedai in the Palace, he has to run into the two who support Elaida. The two women flank him, entreating him to help Elayne and Nynaeve see that they must abandon “this nonsense” before it’s too late; Mat responds by grinning as insolently as he can, and opining that he thinks Elayne and Nynaeve see just fine, and maybe Teslyn and Joline should abandon their nonsense. They go on the offensive, Joline mentioning that they know he is ta’veren, and Mat wonders uneasily if they could possibly know about the medallion, or worse, the Horn. Abruptly, he is grabbed by the scruff of the neck and hauled backwards by either Adeleas or Vandene (Mat can’t tell them apart), and Teslyn quickly grabs him the same way from the other side. Mat growls at them to watch the coat, but they ignore him. Adeleas/Vandene is accompanied by two other sisters, whom Mat identifies as Sareitha Tomares and Merilille, the leader of the rebel embassy. Merilille asks scathingly if Teslyn has stooped to kidnapping men in the halls, and points out that Mat can be of no interest to a Red, as he doesn’t channel. Teslyn snaps back that Cauthon do be “of considerable interest”, and shouldn’t be running loose.

“Don’t fight over me,” he said. Tugging his coat was not making anyone let go. “There’s enough to go around.”

Five sets of eyes made him wish he had kept his mouth shut. Aes Sedai had no sense of humor.

The Aes Sedai continue to fight over him, but Mat doesn’t understand why Merilille almost backs down from Joline until Vandene (he’s decided it’s Vandene) says something dry, and then Merilille looks embarrassed. She tells Joline that she cannot expect to take Mat from them when it is five to two; as an afterthought, she adds that Elayne and Nynaeve make seven. Just as Mat is about to start prying at fingers, the servant reappears and breathlessly begs forgiveness, but the Queen has summoned Lord Cauthon. The Aes Sedai stare at her, then at each other (Mat thinks, to see who can “out-Aes Sedai” the others), and Mat cheerily announces that he can’t keep the Queen waiting, can he? They all sniff at him (even the servant), and Merilille tells Adeleas to release him.

He frowned as the white-haired woman complied. Those two ought to wear little signs with their names, or different-color hair ribbons or something.

He asks Teslyn to let go also, please, and Teslyn finally tells him to watch who he allies with, or even a ta’veren may come to regret a wrong choice. She lets him go, and the five Aes Sedai watch him follow the maid until he turns back, then glide off in different directions; Mat is very relieved to be away from them. He tells the servant that he’s sure the Queen doesn’t really want to see him, and asks again for Elayne and Nynaeve, but the servant is adamant, and Mat gives up and goes along. Upon being presented to Tylin, Mat thinks she is not exactly beautiful, but very impressive; she reminds him of “Isebele of Dal Calain”, who had made an Amyrlin come to her instead of the other way around. He sweeps her a bow and greets her (“Majesty, by your summons do I come”), trying not to ogle her cleavage, as he thinks he would sooner dally with the Darkfriend he saw at the Silver Circuit than with a queen. She walks all the way around him, and then remarks that he speaks the Old Tongue.

Deyeniye, dyu ninte concion ca’lyet ye. That was what he had said. The bloody Old Tongue popping out of his mouth again without him knowing it. He had thought he had that little bother under control. No telling when those bloody dice would stop or for what.

Tylin tells him she has pen and paper for him to leave a message for Elayne and Nynaeve, and Mat thanks her, carefully not in the Old Tongue, and goes to the writing desk. He composes a note, telling them about the Darkfriend he had followed to Carridin’s rented palace.

What else? He added a few more reasonably worded lines. The last thing he wanted was to put their backs up.

Be sensible. If you have to go traipsing around, let me send a few men along to keep you from having your heads split open. Anyway, isn’t it about time I took you back to Egwene? There’s nothing here but heat and flies, and we can find plenty of those in Caemlyn.

There. They could not ask for pleasanter than that.

As he’s sealing the letter with wax, he suddenly remembers that he has a signet ring now, and pulls it out to take a look: “Inside a border of large crescents, a running fox seemed to have startled two birds into flight.” He would preferred a hand, for the Band, but the medallion has made him fond of foxes, so he likes it. He seals the letter and turns around, and almost walks right into Tylin’s cleavage. He stumbles back, trying not to blush, and hastily tries to cover by telling Tylin the same thing about Carridin as he had Elayne and Nynaeve in the note. Tylin frowns, but moves on, saying they should talk “of more pleasant things”, and Mat is aghast at her cavalier dismissal of such news. She asks if he is “Lord” Cauthon, and he tells her, just Mat Cauthon, and tries to take his leave. Tylin ignores this, and goes on that Elayne and Nynaeve Sedai seldom mention him, but Tylin can read between the lines of what they do say. She touches his cheek lightly.

“What they do not say, but I hear, is that you are an untamed rogue, a gambler and chaser after women.” Her eyes held his, expression never altering a hair, and her voice stayed firm and cool, but as she spoke, her fingers stroked his other cheek. “Untamed men are often the most interesting. To talk to.” A finger outlined his lips. “An untamed rogue who travels with Aes Sedai, a ta’veren who, I think, makes them a little afraid. Uneasy, at the least. It takes a man with a strong liver to make Aes Sedai uneasy. How will you bend the Pattern in Ebou Dar, just Mat Cauthon?”

Mat’s mouth drops open, and he tries to back away, thinking that women never behave this way, no matter what his old memories try to suggest. She smiles in a predatory way (Mat’s hair tries to stand up), but then suddenly turns away just as the door opens to admit a young man who is limping slightly, and who greets Tylin as “Mother”. Tylin greets him fondly as “Beslan”, and asks how it went; Beslan tells her regretfully that “Nevin” slipped on the third pass, so Beslan accidentally killed him instead of just wounding him, and now he has to pay condolences to his widow. Tylin beams, and tells him just to be careful if the widow turns out to be the kind who wants “comforting”, for then he will have to either marry her or kill her brothers. Mat is more aghast. She introduces Beslan to Mat, and tells Beslan that Mat is ta’veren, and they should be friends and go to Swovan Night together. Mat jumps, and hastily says he’s more into rough taverns than balls, but Beslan foils this tactic by answering he likes rough taverns better anyway, and Tylin swiftly arranges for them to go to all the upcoming festivals together. Mat laughs weakly, and decides Tylin and her son are both mad.

Oh, right: this is why I love Mat.

I’m sorry, but the whole scene with him and the Aes Sedai (and Mat’s mental commentary thereof) is frickin’ hilarious and that’s all there is to it. Nobody in WOT can out-snark Mat, that’s for damn sure. Or out-bareface him, either; I wish I could sum up my reaction to his brazen insolence to Teslyn et al with something more erudite than “OH SNAP”, but, well. Sometimes, Jerry Springerese is the only way to go. Three snaps in a Z formation, girlfriend!

I always got the sense Jordan had a great deal of fun writing Mat POVs, a sense possibly influenced by how much fun I generally have reading them. Part of the reason I like ACOS so much is that I think it’s where Mat’s snark factor reached a kind of apogee point; in my opinion, he’s never been funnier, before or, sadly, since. We will touch more on this point later.

Something besides themelet chapters that Jordan also does a lot, and well, is letting the more in-clued reader know what is going on with the non-POV characters even when the POV character him- or herself is clueless. As here, when Mat’s observations of the “swirling undercurrents” of the Aes Sedai faceoff let us understand that Merilille is having an Aes Sedai hierarchy crisis re: Joline, even though Mat himself has no idea what’s going on. Nicely done.

Tylin: I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT THING YET. It hasn’t happened yet, we’re not talking about it till it does, everybody hush. Bzzt! No talky!

In the resulting blissful lack of foreknowledge of what’s coming up, therefore, I am free to remember that this entire scene cracked my shit up the first time I read it. As much as I enjoy how much Mat sets everyone else on their ear, it’s even funnier to see the tables turned on him for once. The rake out-raked, as it were. It’s a trope that’s older than the hills (a whole set of them, really), but sometimes if it ain’t broke, you shouldn’t fix it.

(And no, I’m not telling you which tropes they are. I don’t have ten hours to waste on That Site at the moment, thank you.)

The fact that he even can be put so much out of countenance, actually, is what keeps him the proverbial lovable rogue, instead of the arrogant jerk he occasionally threatens to become. This soupçon of vulnerability is an absolutely vital component in the Lovable Rogue formula (cf. Jack Sparrow, Robin Hood, and any character Harrison Ford has ever played). It’s a volatile compound, that formula, which by its very nature is difficult to maintain, and I applaud any writer who can successfully juggle it; keeping that proportion of scoundrel to hero steady can blow up in your face, y’all!

And whatever else you want to say about Tylin, her assessment of Mat’s nature is a hell of a lot more spot-on than just about any other character’s understanding of him, including (I would say, especially including) the people who have known him his whole life. And, uh, I can’t really say I blame her for being attracted to it, either.

(Yes, I know. HASN’T HAPPENED YET. Bzzt!)

Symbolic Ring is Symbolic: I always thought it was just a leetle overly coy of Jordan to fail to identify the “two birds” on the ring as ravens until Tuon shows up, especially since Mat has had “Odin’s Stunt Double” practically tattooed on his forehead since at least TSR. Not to mention the raven imagery he already has, on his spear. Given all that, would it really have been giving that much away to just call a corvid a corvid? C’mon.

Quoth the me, Nevermore! Or, at least NoMore… of this entry. Ba dum dum! Thanks, I’ll be here all week! Well, actually I won’t, but YOU will, so have fun, and be sure to tip your waitress!

Tina Pierce
1. scissorrunner
Happy Friday!!

Yes, this is why we LOVE Mat so much!!!
Don Barkauskas
2. bad_platypus
Mat thinks, to see who can “out-Aes Sedai” the others
I'd forgotten this. This shows that Mat's much-disparaged "saidared" has a basis in RJ's writings.

Now admittedly, the "saidared" is very much an Eddings thing (and BWS liked Eddings), but it's good to see it had some basis in Mat's personality already.
3. JennB
I suppose Carridan would have recognized the old man if it was Cully, so it must have been Noal.
Brett Michie
4. bchurch
Thanks Leigh, awesome Poe-try! And Congrats to your roomie. Agreed that slower is better than crappy, so take the time you need. We'll find ways to entertain ourselves . .
Thomas Keith
5. insectoid
Great post, Leigh.

I suppose we can live with once-a-week, though there will be more twitches. (But will it be on Friday, or Monday? Or Wednesday?) And yes, as bchurch points out, we have ways of keeping it interesting here... ;)

Carridin: *shudder*

Mat: so Awesome. I love the scene with the Aes Sedai too.

Theodor Engström
6. Theodor
Concerning Sammaels reaction at seeing Mat: He thought Mat was commanding Rands army gathered at Illians border...
j p
7. sps49
Huh. I never didn't think the Ringbirds were ravens. My subconscious must be smarter than the rest of me (which isn't saying much, ha-beat-y'all-to-it).

And the august Aes Sedai are reduced to fighting over Mat like he's the last toy on Dec. 24? That's okay, poor Joline will be shivering on his lap soon enough. And she is still with him, right?
Rikka Cordin
8. Rikka
definitely Mat FTW in this chapter. So much Mat love, and from so many women! XD

9. nalattam
It is the quality of your posts, both recap and commentary, that keep us all coming back Leigh. Take as much time as you need. Though I'm sure you would regardless of my saying anything about it. Congratulations to your roommate and her wife to be!
Chris Davis
10. SirSarek
Does anyone else find it ironic how the slow down of the reread is an almost uncanny mirror image of the slow down in pacing of the books themselves? Leigh started out at a frenzied pace... three posts a week, multiple chapters per post... now we're down to a couple chapters, or sometimes one chapter a post and only one post a week! LOL
Not so much complaining... just find some irony there.
Rob Munnelly
11. RobMRobM
This is classic CoS. First chapter is well written but almost painful to read in its exposition of a dry aspect of the story and to move the plot along (ie. explain why everyone keeps trying to kill or capture Mat in next half dozen chapters). Second chapter is awesome. "There's enough to go around" - priceless. Problem with this book is far too many of former, not enough of latter (fewer than 1 in 4 by my informal estimate).
12. junior1234
The note he leaves....

>>Be sensible. If you have to go traipsing around, let me send a few men along to keep you from having your heads split open. Anyway, isn’t it about time I took you back to Egwene?

There. They could not ask for pleasanter than that.
Bonnie Andrews
13. misfortuona
Yeah, a re-read. Thanks Leigh sorry your Puters still on the NFG. Anyway that said.
MAT's back. Yeah!!!

Yes and in all his glory. I love the fact that even though he is the best rogue ever, yes even better than silk, he's still the hay seed.

He had no basis for dealing with Tylin from the get go, and I love this whole story line. (Yes I have some reservations about 'the what shall not be spoken of', but only a few and we'll get to that)

Speaking of said taboo topic. Does she actually think we'll manage to keep that under our hats for a week?

Mis-loving my Mat

Edit Woohoo 13 I beat out the number guys. Of course I didn't notice for two days, but whatever.:)
14. WinespringBrother
It's never shown how Moghedien knew about the *angreal cache in Ebou Dar; however we do know that Ispan and Falion have been searching about 4 months up to this point. So that would preclude Moghedien finding out from somehow overhearing Nynaeve and Elayne discussing their trip there from Salidar.

However, it is possible (though unlikely), timeline wise, that Sammael somehow learned of their trip, since he first mentioned the cache in LOC ch. 23, after Nynaeve and Elayne located it in ch. 13. and mentioned it to Sheriam and co. in ch 15.
15. Lsana
You know, I always found it somewhat out of place that the highest ranked Darkfriend around here is a beggar. If you sell your soul to the Dark One, you ought to at least get some compensation out of it. Clearly, Old Cully isn't getting any sort of financial rewards, so just what does he get? It's one of the many reasons I've never understood how Darkfriends manage to recruit; it seems like a raw deal all around.

On Carridin's vision: remember that we didn't see every aspect of his conversation with Ishmael. Ishy gave him orders that we didn't hear, as well as the whole "orders to secret for even the one carrying them out to know." My assumption was always that seeing Mat triggered some sort of hidden order that Ishy left in his brain, and that's why his vision had so much more detail than the original.

As to who is killing his family, why not Ishy himself? Mordin is already around at this point, since we see him not long after. In fact, given that we're never told exactly when Mordin was brought back, it could be that he never really left--that almost as soon as he was killed, the DO found another body for him and put him back to work.
16. Dubious
Hi all, long time lurker, first time posting. I was so relieved to see these start up again that I had to write something!
I've loved the commentary all along and just wanted to say that Leigh's been doing an incredible job, pointing out things that I never noticed before.

Also wanted to get my name out so I can start talking about the taboo topic... next week, of course.
17. topknot

What does Old Cully get? Well to date, as far as I can remember, he is the most powerful non-channeling darkfriend we've met.

That would be worth a lot to some people.
18. tearl
From Leigh's cap, re Mat entering the Tarasin palace

He is handed off to another servant, who hands him to another, and another; finally he grabs the sixth servant by the arm....

One of the servants he is handed off to is a man Madic, who we see again briefly later in POD and find out he's a DF. (POD, end of Ch.1, To Keep the Bargain) We see him briefly because Sammy goes over the top in his anger at the unweaving and squeezes him to death with the power.
Brian Vrolyk
19. vyskol
That's coincidence, not irony. Just sayin'.... :)

I loved this chapter. Mat's note is awesome, as his handling of the Aes Sedai. This is why we love Mat.

What were we supposed to discuss again?

Oh yeah. The scarcity of the forsaken making them more mysterious, darker, and... scarier.

To a degree I think that is true. Unfortunately, it also makes their threat less imminent.

Yeah, that's all I got for now. Cheers all! Have a great weekend.
John Massey
20. subwoofer
What the deuce?

Leigh? Is this some kinda wonky 12 step program? Did we make a collective resolution to ween ourselves off the WoT re-read? Does this mean we made a collective revelation that we spend wayyyy too much time here? I musta missed that memo. 3 times a week and hardcore chapters to twice a week to no weeks to maybe once a week...methinks someone needs an assistant. Two birds with one stone- aka Mat's ring- you could get an assistant to help you in the world and they could be your new roommate. Problem solved.

I see we will also be skirting the Tylin/Mat/Tylin cleavage issue for another day. Fine. pout

I am really starting to actually pay attention to the Baddie's chapters. RJ seems to drop massive nuggets of news that many blog masters pick up and then they drop these bombs and I am like "huh? Where'd they read that?". Sneakery.

Aes Sedai- grrrrrrrrrr. Honking me off big time here. The way they are so imperious and demanding to the point where Mat is not a rational cognizant person in charge of his own destiny but a piece of chattel to them. Mat's got the power, whenever he sees an AS coming, start swinging his staff thingy and hold them off. If they question his hostility, merely say that in this day and age, it is hard to tell friend from foe...

21. Freelancer
As I pondered, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping,
as my boss was sharply rapping
on my cubicle wall (no door)

Leigh, the scene, it's completely hollow without that bust of Pallas over the door. Bring on the bust!


You might as well ask how any of the forces of the shadow knew that there was an item in Tanchico which could control a male channeler. We learn of that from the captured Black sisters in Tear at the start of TSR, but nary a word of how this information got to Liandrin & Co. We can always just suppose it's Ishamael's work, since the Blacks haven't yet met Moghedien or Lanfear, but we just don't know.

While we're asking questions for which we still don't have answers, what is Noal Charin doing staking out Mili Skane? He can't be working for someone, or he couldn't just up and move into the Tarasin Palace with Mat. Dude's a freelancer (eggregious self-promotion unintentional but unretracted), so why shadow a darkfriend? How did he find out? What's going on here! Obviously the CRS (Can't Remember Stuff) weave that Ishy put on him has some tiny leaks, so is he following up on bleed-through memories here? I would really hate to think that the first historical hero mentioned in the series is nothing but an old, gnarled, plot device.

At least we're done with folks thinking he's Old Cully.
22. tearl
Re: myself@18

I was close. It's ch.2, Unweaving and Moridin not Sammy.
Rob Munnelly
23. RobMRobM
Free -

Re Tanchico: Egeanin to Suroth (DF) to Liandrin, no doubt.

Re Noal: is he staking out Carridin or Skane? I had assumed the former but why is a good question in either event, as they are not public DFs.

Note that I had never realized Skane was in the WT at one point. Wow.
Barry T
24. blindillusion
RE:~ Old Cully

Doesn't he also run the Beggar’s Guild in Ebou Dar?

Also, I'm sorry, but in some instances "beggar’s" make more than you and I make. I knew one in Phoenix who drove his new Ford F150 to a parking garage about 3 miles from where he "worked". He'd then set up shop, pull anywhere between $50-$250 a day and then head home. I think he told me he averaged about $50-to-60 thousand a year. I called the cops on him about three seconds after I left our conversation. He was claiming to be a Veteran. I could have cared less how he made his money…but claiming to be that? Don’t think so. Oh, it helps to look at their shoes.

And it seems Ebou Dar is the place to be a beggar. The Guild. Wise Women for Healing. Old Cully and his Dark Friend associates keeping the riff-raff beggars out.
25. JennB
Just finished the today's re-read after many interuptions. Mat is pretty awesome in this chapter. I like how he always defends his friends to outsiders even though he constantly gripes about them in private. I again put forth that he and Nynaeve are very, very similar characters.
Kurt Lorey
26. Shimrod
First off, congrats and all the best to your roomate!

Second, your prologue was totally worth the two hours you put into it.

Finally, with your revised schedule, just think of all the "in depth" discussions that we will have to look forward to.
Rob Munnelly
27. RobMRobM
@24. There was a Sherlock Holmes story about that concept, as I recall....
John Massey
28. subwoofer
But Leigh, I've been good. Feels like kicking poor Sub when he's down. Maybe 1and 2/3 posts per week?

And see? I think Noal is the key. Him and Mistress Anan. I think she is the missing link for much... ie how does She know so much about the Tower. Seems to me being former AS herself, if Setalle could remember stuff, the same way Noal seems to have holes in his memories, collectively they may play some serious roles beyond being strong secondary characters.

29. J.Dauro

What about Citizen of the Galaxy?

With just a quick look you can find the prosperous beggar in a number of places.
Leigh Butler
30. leighdb
insectoid @5:

For now, the post stays on Fridays. I'll let you guys know if there's going to be a change.

Theodor @6:

Ohhhh yeah. Makes sense, thanks.

Lsana @15:

This is true, and also makes perfect sense! Apparently I have the Dumb today.

RobMRobM @27:

"The Man With the Twisted Lip."
Barry T
31. blindillusion
Leigh and RobM RE:~ Holmes...

Perhaps I should brush up. I don't recall that story at all. I think the last time I read those stories was Middle School. High School/College in Mississippi. Phsst.

Perhaps something to read whilst waiting for the next cup in Leigh's Teahouse of Cracked Pots.

John Massey
32. subwoofer
Here you go blind...

I am a Jeremy Brett fan myself, or I lean towards old skool Hardy Boys, Sean Cassidy and Parker Stevenson.

Tricia Irish
33. Tektonica
Congrats to your room mate, Leigh. Now find a new apt/room mate PDQ...we need you! Maybe you could find a room mate/asst., like Sub suggested.....Loved the Poe.

I *heart* Mat. Love what Mis@13 said...better than silk and still the hayseed. The best Rogue ever, and for those of us that are suckers for those guys, this story line is a treat! Just love his fluster over Tylins advances. Turn about is fair play.....I know, later on that one.

Glad the Old Cully debate is over. Long live Noel. Now will someone please explain to me what happened to him with Ishy? Where is that? I have missed that backstory totally.

I was pretty confused by Carridan "vision" when he saw Mat, too. Something implanted and "triggered" by seeing him? Where did that come from?, creepola. Happy to do the DO's bidding, while his family is routinely knocked off one by one. What a guy.

Wonder what trouble we can get into with just one post per week? Should be good. Let's get the Bunker cleaned and settle in....Suffa!! Where is that damane? Fife?
34. Pattingale
Re Forsaken screen time:

Shine enough light into the darkness, and you start to see the dust-bunnies in the corners. I think Jordan strikes a nice balance. The first time Semirhage tortures someone it's nasty; the tenth time would probably lack some luster.
Thomas Keith
35. insectoid
My mom has the complete book of Sherlock Holmes stories. Haven't read them yet.

Leigh @30: Thanks for the confirm!

Tek @33: Hmm... I think Ishy told Rand about that in TEotW, chapter... ::goes flipping through:: ...51.

36. JennB
According to

the reference to Ishy and Jain is here:

TEotW,Ch51 - Ba'alzamon brags that he painted Jain Fastrider as a fool and sent him to the Ogier.
craig thrift
37. gagecreedlives
I thought Sammael himself had decided to keep the culling of Carridin’s family going. Just a little way of keeping him inline without constant monitoring. And being a forsaken probably just for the shits and giggles.


Well Old Cully is a begger under the light’s regime maybe he figures any change is bound to be a good one. Or he could just get off on telling fancy pants people what to do.
Lannis .
38. Lannis
Oh, I heart Mat! And this chapter is delicious! From one thing to the next, it's all Mat fun!

Carridin... meh. I don't have a lot of sympathy for him, though I remember thinking that Ishy truly had him by the balls for the whole Imma-Gonna-Kill-Your-Family thing... thought it was devious and well-executed (pardon the pun), and completely Forsaken-y... and yes, the more we see of them, the less scary they be. I like my evil in the shadows (so to speak)... the more we see of them, the more crackpot they seem... our lady Lanfear anyone? :|

Mind you, the whole Scary Psychobitch thing kind of worked for her...

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! I'm good with quality over quantity. Thanks! :)
John Massey
39. subwoofer
So okay... I admit it, I'm a WoT junkie * reaches for his Big League Chew and Jolt Cola* now I'm gonna have to go hardcore on my other hobbies- like firing up my sled and freezing my butt off... or I could build another bunker. The excuses for my daunting "honey-do" list are dwindling fast...

Le sigh.

Right then... got that sniveling out of my system onwards. Carridin- interesting study there, multiple character names, and it is a clear cut case of Sam I Am kicking him and him kicking Shiaine. I don't know where the flashes of the Horn or Dagger cam from but I am wondering if Carridin's soul is as dark as Fain's. The description of Carridin's sister dying I could of done without but it lends to how desperate Carridin is to avoid the same fate.

Susan Brownhill
40. SusanB
First Leigh thanks for continuing the reread. Once a week is better than none a week.

Second, does Carridin's flash bother anyone else. I always thought is was counter productive. He sees Matt & is consumed by this vision, thus giving Matt a chance to get away. If instead of this detailed vision he just had a sudden desire to kill Matt & made the attempt; he might have actually got him. I do understand that it allows the reader to realize that Carridin is Bors, but it just seems like more incompetence on behalf of the dark friends.
Jay Dauro
41. J.Dauro
The Sherlock Holmes story with the prosperous beggar is
The Man with the Twisted Lip

And for the word from Cecil.
Tricia Irish
42. Tektonica

Thanks for the heads up on Ch.51. I'll check that out.
john mullen
43. johntheirishmongol
Fun chapter..I can only picture the aghast look on the AS face as Mat made a dirty comment. Priceless.

As for Carridin, one of the few effective times he has in the entire series.

Tylin is hysterical, just looking at Mat as a piece of fruit shes considering plucking off a tree.
Julian Augustus
44. Alisonwonderland
I am a Jeremy Brett fan myself

I never liked Brett as Holmes. Thought he was constantly overacting and not a patch on Basil Rathbone.
Birgit F
45. birgit
And speaking of Ishamael, who is still killing off Carridin’s family, anyway?

I always thought it was the Fade Carridin met in his room. RJ said it was a first try to create SH. Ishy worked with this Fade, and Moridin works with SH. They are both the "next model" of the former ones.
46. FellKnight
About how the FS knew about the *greal stash in Ebou Dar, here is the way I like to look at it:

The FS are really not stupid. They are not supposed to be redshirts who show up and get killed while doing nothing valuable for their side. Maybe when they try to take on The Chosen One, they get spanked, ok, but outside of that, they should be pretty damn competent.

Add on to that the fact that Sammael was a General in the AoL. It is made abundantly clear that RJ knows his military tactics, and the key prerequisite for victory for any General is intelligence (knowing your battlefield, planning and preparation, not IQ). Sammael would understand that while he may have to take on Rand eventually, he is going to want to win the battle before it is fought. Hence, the intel gathering.

Moggy also works in the shadows. We are told there is no-one better at it than her. This would be her specialty, ferreting out the little secrets of the world, going and finding things to help her out and strike from the shadows.

So I thought it was entirely plausible that the FS knew about the stash, and I also agree with RJ's use of limited bad guy POVs, just doling them out enough to remind us that they are working against the light, not enough to make them tiresome.

47. Maclir

I think Robert Jordan's "inspiration" for the character of Mat would have been the Australians he would have met while serving in Vietnam. Mat shows many of the stereotypical Aussie attributes - loyalty to your mates, disdain for authority, love of gambling... the Aussie word to describe him is "larrikin".
Sheila McEvoy
48. SuffatheDamane


I think Robert Jordan's "inspiration" for the character of Mat would have been the Australians he would have met while serving in Vietnam. Mat shows many of the stereotypical Aussie attributes - loyalty to your mates, disdain for authority, love of gambling... the Aussie word to describe him is "larrikin".

:picks up her snark-stick:

Yes, because it is a uniquely Australian trait to love one's friends, as opposed those French who hate them, and everyone knows that Americans are prone to bow and scrape to those in authority and revere those in power, and heck, those Canadians simply abhor games of chance.

:puts down said stick:

More to the point, Mat is an archetypal character found across all cultures, the rogue/trickster/reluctant hero (i,e, I dunno, Han Solo or someone with a little more historical heft like say, Odysseos!).

I'm quite sure that RJ didn't need exposure to Australians to be able to conjure the character of Mat Cauthon.
Bill Reamy
49. BillinHI
Old Cully: Beggars can be great intel gatherers as nobody wants to notice them. They could probably be effective in the search for the *angreal stash.
John Massey
50. subwoofer
mmmmmmmm? Canadians don't love games of chance? Wanna bet? Ask my wife- she took a huge chance with me, said she'll see how it plays out.

@Alice- cool beans:) Each to their own. Basil is ancient though. OG Sherlock. I think he was around before Sherlock was even written. Almost a classic chicken vs. egg scenario.

Well, Mat as a trickster- like Loki? Hmmmmmm. Well, Mat's totem as it were is a raven, instead of a clown or comedy/tragedy motif. Maybe somebody like Mal or Peter Pan. The last thing Mat does it want to be in a position of authority- hence the "I'm not a lord" battle cry. When you assume that mantle then all the trappings come with it. Like responsibility and work and stuff, which is what Mat avoids at all costs. Unless a woman is involved, then Mat will do whatever. Which is why I love him. He's here for a good time, not a long time.

Lindy Brown
51. lbrown
The dice almost always meant danger, and something else he had not figured out yet. The prospect of having his skull cracked was not enough, and once or twice there had been no possibility of such, yet the upcoming likelihood of Mat Cauthon dead in some spectacular fashion seemed the most usual cause.

The bolded part is a perfect example of what I love about Mat POVs. He is so funny!
Sara H
52. LadyBelaine

mmmmmmmm? Canadians don't love games of chance? Wanna bet? Ask my wife- she took a huge chance with me, said she'll see how it plays out.

It seems to me that Suffa was being facetious - she wasn't saying that Canadians don't gamble any more than she was suggesting that the French dislike their friends or that Americans tend to grovel before authority.

Her point, imho (and which you missed), was it was mildly insulting on the part of Mclar to suggest that independence, fondness for one's friends and enjoyment of risk-taking are uniquely Australian attributes.
Maggie M
53. Eswana
I can't add anything substantial to this commentary, other than.... *happy sigh.* Leigh, I adore your snark and you bring so much glee to my week. The other people in this coffeeshop think I'm having a conniption, since I'm practically choking myself in order to not laugh/snort too loudly.

Cheers, all.
John Massey
54. subwoofer
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh... Suffa didn't hold up her sarcasm sign high enough. Tough to see up here in the blight;)

...thought the rest was pretty much bang on:P Suffa! Outta the way! Shut the door! Shut the door!

Tricia Irish
55. Tektonica

THAT was FUNNY! I want a sarcasm sign. ROFLOL. Thanks. I needed that.
Bonnie Andrews
56. misfortuona
Thank you for that momentary interlude from the mundane.

Tricia Irish
57. Tektonica
A few random thoughts on Ch. 14:

OK, I admit it, I was behind on my own reread. My bad. So today I got into these two chapters. It's amazing how different it seems when you're not in a hurry to find out what happens, and are leisurely reading for content and hints. The writing in the first three paragraphs of Ch. 14 is so evocative. RJ creates such a sense of place. Beautiful. Just had to mention that.

Loved "The Book is Open" line when Mat was betting. Lightbulb moment for me. Never connected the line with "bookies" or the person reads like "an open book". I suppose racing is the origin for both of those things. I love word etymology.

A few rereads back or maybe on tGS thread there was a discussion of Mat's competence, questioning whether he had any real skills of his own. Here's a bit of proof....The Dun is showy, but he has a bad angle to his fetlocks. He may have won some in the country, but he'll finish last today. Horses were one thing he knew on his own; his father had taught him, and Abell Cauthon had a sharp eye for horseflesh.
So there is that.....

A one line mention of illuminators setting up for the evening. Can't remember if there is a Mat/Aludra meeting in this book?

A one line description of Juilin's hat....flat-topped, conical red hat. Do the Taraboners were Fez's? Just curious....

Loved this Mat thought line, "A woman would do a thing until you were sure she always would, then do something else just to fuddle you." So Mat.

I have a timeline question here, guru's.....Did Dumai's Wells occur about the same time as this story line? I ask because of an odd kind of foreshadowing/foretelling/synchronicity or something in this paragraph....

"I'll see them safe if I have to stuff them into barrels and haul them to Caemlyn in a cart. He might be the only man in the world who could say that about Aes Sedai without looking over his shoulder, maybe even including Rand and those fellows he was gathering."

Seems kind of referential, accidentally on purpose....

More later....don't want this to get too huge....Wall 'o Text....
58. prw2732
Nynaeve and Elayne's "mission" to Ebou Dar was certainly known to several people in Salidar before they "broke camp". And we know that the SAS were thoroughly infiltrated by the Black Ajah, and certainly other DarkFriends. So Sammael's knowledge of the stash seems a pretty trivial issue.

According to the Wheel of Time Timeline, Dumai's Wells occurs on January 1, 1000 NE, the same day that Pedron Niall is assassinated. On January 3rd, Herid Fel is killed by a gholam, and Moghedien is released by Aran'gar. On January 4th, Mat recognizes Mili Skaine and follows her to Carridin's palace. And then meets Tylin in her palace. Of course, it wasn't News Day in their calendar, but Swovan Night, or Swovan Eve, as we would say, corresponds to January 4th.
Tricia Irish
59. Tektonica
Thank you for the timeline prw2732@58:

Given that no one talks to each other via Traveling, I can now assume that Mat has no knowledge of Dumai Wells....maybe his thought about carting people in barrels and being the only one who could say/do that to an AS, not even Rand, is intuition, on his part.

Another Noel/Jain question:

I always assumed that the old man who told Mat who lived in the Chelsaine Palace was Noel/Jain, and the next chapter seems to confirm that, when Carridan doesn’t recognize the old guy across the street with Mat. (And presumably he would if it were Old Cully.) But…..

Mat sees the old man at the race track, near Lady Shaine, and then realizes its the same guy, just after he disappears from the barrel across the street from Carridan’s manse.

And the question is: Why is Noel/Jain following her? Or is he following Mat? And why and how does he know who lives there? Is this relevant to who Noel is? Who he’s serving? What’s up with this guy? Is he more significant that I (we?) thought?

I always thought he was basically just a good colorful secondary character, but now I’m thinking he might be a “tool” of the FS in some way. That would be sad. I like this old guy.
Alice Arneson
60. Wetlandernw
Tektonica @59 - Good! Then RJ has done his job! ;)

Seriously, I think that's exactly where we're supposed to be with Noal. (BTW, all, it's spelled with an a, not an e.) We don't really know what's up with him. We've got enough clues to know that: he knows a lot about DFs; he used to be known as Jain Farstrider (okay, that's not confirmed yet); he's been through a lot that he can't or won't talk about. There's a lot that we don't know; there's still plenty of mystery hanging about the guy, so we know there's Something Significant still hidden. Whether the SS is good or bad... RAFO. (Whenever TofM comes out.... we'll be RAFOing like mad!! I wonder if Tor could use a proofreader for it. I'm good at that sort of thing...)
John Massey
61. subwoofer
Sorry Wet, I started the trend- Meant to call him Noal, rhymes with coal, not Noel, like the carols. Every site seems to confirm Noal's identity as Jain, with the exception of Noal himself, who says he's Jain's cousin. His guilt shows him for his true identity.

crap, guests have arrived... will rant more later folks!


Tricia Irish
62. Tektonica
I see everyone is out having a fun Saturday night, date night. I'm having my own private book fest tonight! A night alone! Here's the last I have on Ch.15..just a small rant....

Carridin swallowed in spite of himself and quelled a pang for Vanora, with her ready laugh and her skill with horses, daring to gallop where others feared to walk. She had been his favorite sister, yet she was dead and he was not. If there were any mercies in the world, she had not learned why.

Oh, what a cold hearted b*stard. Thank the Dark One HE’S not dead. And hopefully she never learned that he, Carridan, was the cause her demise. Wouldn’t want her feeling badly towards him there at the end, now would we. It’s all about him! Mr. Nice Guy. How did he fail Ishmael? (Which is why his family died.) By not finding the three Ta’Verin guys, RPM?

Carridin tells Sammy that Mat Cauthon is in town and after some contemplation, Sammy says, just find me the ‘Angreals. Carridin grovels. Then when Sammael is gone, he orders Mili Skaine to find Mat Cauthon and set all the circles to doing that.

Seems like he is disobeying Sammael, but is following his initial orders at the DF confab, right? Was that from Ishmael? He keeps going on about how “no one survived disobedience to the Chosen, but isn’t he disobeying one of them? Seems like somebody has one too many “bosses” and could have a wee problem.

Oh yeah, Sammael tells him he'll send him "someone" to help deal with the AS in town. Does he mean the gholem? Is a gholem a "someone"?
63. AndrewB
FellKnight @46 stole some of my thunder regarding how the FS know about the stash.

IIRC, one of the FS noted that altough the world they woke up to was different from that world they went to sleep in (i.e. sealed in the Bore), there are little golden nuggets if the searcher knows where to look. I believe this was Moggy when she and Nyn were having their fight at the end of TGH. (If not her, then maybe Lanfear.)

Further, in TFoH, Moggy sent the two Black Sisters to Ebou Dar to specifically search for the stash. That is why she was startled when Nyn let slip in LoC that she was going to Ebou Dar.

With respect to Noal, I do not think he is a sleeper Darkfriend (like some of the Cylons in the SyFY Battlestar Galactica series). His comments seem to indicate that he morally walks in the light. His comments about Jaim not doing anything good in KoD seems too genuine to me. Noal may not know why he is watching Mat, but I do not thikn it is because he is a Darkfriend.

(I think Noal was watching Mat and not Shianne (sp?). Remember, Shianne is not in the city when Noal "rescues" Mat in (Cot or WH -- I get these two titles mixed up -- whichever is the book where Mat steps on the ghoalam (sp?).)

Thanks for reading my musings,

edit: correct spelling is gholem.

edit: Tektonica @62 -- I think it is apparent that "the someone to help" is certainly the gholem
Alice Arneson
64. Wetlandernw
Hi, Tek! ::waves across the country:: From Seattle to Florida, greetings! You and I seem to be here on our own, since Sub's got company. Or was it a squirrel!?

This was one scene that always made me feel strange... On one hand, you can almost pity the guy - too many bosses, conflicting orders, you dare not fail to fulfill any set of orders. But... nah. No pity. He's got none, except for himself. I've got none for him. At this point, I wanted SOOOOO badly to see him come to a really really really bad end, in front of as many people as possible!

And I'd never thought about it until I was reading Leigh's post, but yes, I think Sammael's "help" is the gholam.

Edit: Hey, Andrew's here too!

Edit 2: Actually, the correct spelling is gholam. ;)
Barry T
65. blindillusion

It's a Myrddraal that orders Carridin to do a dastardly deed. It orders him to kill Rand in the Prologue to tDR. And for every month he fails, the Myddraal will kill a member of his family.

And hmm, I pulled this information from here in the Encyclopaedia WoT. And there are some interesting little tidbits at the bottom of this page that I have never noticed before, probably as I never cared enough to do any research on Carridin.

But, it would seem, based on this page, that we've seen Shaidar Haran (or earlier versions) more than I realized.
Jaichim Carridin POV - Carridin returns to his quarters looking for his servant, Sharbon. There is a Fade in his room. It smiles and laughs at him.7 In a mirror, the Fade is an indistinct blur. The Fade reminds him of his real priorities, roughs him up a bit and orders Carridin to kill Rand. Each month of delay will cost Carridin a relative. The Fade disappears.

Footnote 7 has this entry:
7. Robert Jordan has confirmed that this Fade is, indeed, an early incarnation of Shaidar Haran. Is it the same one that we have seen earlier? (TeotW,Ch17 (1), TGH,Prologue (2), TGH,Ch6(3))

Seems the hint would entail looking for a Fade that smiles:

1.The Fade that confront Rand at the Stag and Lion
2.The Face that introduces Ba'alzamon at the Dark Friend Social
3.The Fade Rand almost confronts in Fal Dara, but Ingtar claims he'll confront...and later tells Rand go away.

Seems the Dark One's earlier version(s) moved around quite a bit. Of course, this is all old hat as we now have Shaidar Haran, but it's interesting none the less. Especically as Rand finds himself face to face with it twice.

Oh, here are some relevant qoutes:
Week 23 Question: Was the Fade who visited Jaichim Carridin in the Prologue of The Dragon Reborn an early version of Shaidar Haran? Its response that it likes to keep an eye on 'all who serve me' and its apparent sense of humor are behavior atypical of a Fade.

Robert Jordan Answers: I was wondering who would spot that. Shadar Haran Version 0.5! The Dark One doesn't get it spot on the first time every time.


WinespringBrother: Is Shaidar Haran an avatar to the world beyond the Bore?

Jordan: I am not certain you can really call him an avatar because I generally think of an avatar as having exactly the same powers as, and it is not, Shaidar Haran does not have nearly as much power as the Dark One. It's as though the Dark One is able to project a shadowy form of himself into this creature - it is the Dark One in shadowy form.

WinespringBrother: Is it twenty-four/seven, or just part time.

Jordan: Twenty-four/seven.

Of course, this has probably been discussed ad nauseum before in the Re-read, but as I just found it, I thought I'd share it again.... But, the above does raise an interesting thought - with the earlier versions being able to run around all willy-nilly, it somewhat shines an interesting light on Shaidar Haran's thoughts regarding becoming free of Shayol Ghul and this quote:
Q: You mention that Shaidar Haran has quite a few limitations on his power. Can you give us a few concrete examples of these limitations?

A: Shaidar Haran needs a minion to most of his work for him. Elza was essential to Shaidar Haran in getting things done.

And, as this is the Re-read post, and there are some who might not know what Elza did, I'll leave that quote like it is with no explanation.
Ben Frey
66. BenPatient
So what does Leigh do living? Because surely 1 blog post a week isn't it.

When it was 3 a week I though maybe, but even then...I this all pro bono?
Tricia Irish
67. Tektonica
Wet, Blind, Andrew, Ben:: waves back:: Had to fade, couldn't focus, but Good Morning!

Isn't technology great! I'm still amazed at the internet...we can just chat away, exchanging ideas with "strangers" across the country/planet. You young whippersnappers don't know a world without this ability, of course, but I'm still amazed and I love it, both the" interweb", and the ability to be amazed at my jaded, eh, later age.

Anyway....thanks for all the good info Blind! You've been busy researching...So the Fade is an early version of Shaidar Haran, and he orders Carridin to kill Rand at the DO's orders or he offs the family one by one. It seems like in the "vision" that Carridin has in Ch.15 that something has else has been implanted at the DF Convention. (What book was convention? I can't find it! Anyone know off the top of their head?)

Good to remember that SH needs minions to do his bidding in the world....

As far as Jain/Noal goes......I'm hoping he's just had his memories scrambled, but isn't a DF/FS agent, and I hope some dasterdly deed hasn't been implanted that will be triggered at some point. I like him too much.

Sorry Ben...I have no idea how these blog-post/publisher things work, but I like 'em! Maybe some guru can shed some light on your question.
Birgit F
68. birgit
It seems like in the "vision" that Carridin has in Ch.15 that something has else has been implanted at the DF Convention. (What book was convention? I can't find it! Anyone know off the top of their head?)

It's the Prologue of TGH.
Tricia Irish
69. Tektonica
Thanks again, Birgit! OK, Prologue of TGH:

Re: Explanation of Carridin's "vision" when he sees Mat in the street:

The host at the DF confab is Ba'alzmon. He shows the three lads to all, then issues private orders to each participant though telepathy or something like it.... "So each of us hears his own instructions, and none hears another's,"thinks Bors.

There follows a wild and long description of what Ba'alzamon shows Bors/ in roughly follows Carridin's "vision" when he sees Mat in the street and ends with this statement by Ba'al.....Some commands are too important to be known even by he who carries them out."

And then Bors thought: The last remnant flickered out, and suddenly he was wondering what it was that he was trying to recall. I know there was something, but what?

Which explains why he sets Mili and her circles on Mat, instead of hunting for 'Angreal like Sammy wanted him too. Sounds a bit like compulsion to me.....
Ron Garrison
70. Man-0-Manetheran
Hi all! Late to the party I am. No need to repeat, but I absolutely love Mat from this point forward. Definitely some of the funniest stuff in the series, and always funny when the gander gets “goosed.”

Re. Tylin: I recently saw a current photo of Racquel Welch. She’s in her 60s but still a total knockout. She’d make a great Tylin!

Re. Old Cully’s station: Well, going to the darkside is sort of like heroin. Once you’re in, you’re in. There’s no “this isn’t exactly what I was looking for; I think I’ll be going now...” And there will be no asking for a First Class upgrade either! “Do what I say or die a horrible slow death.” Old Cully might go home at night to a palace, but...

Re. Foresaken: The more we see of them, the less scary they get. RJ’s use of them was measured out perfectly. In the beginning they seemed almost supernatural beings, now they seem more like powerful humans with some serious weak spots, not the least of which is their self-centered blindspots.

Tek @ 57: Yes Taraboners (ha! funny word) wear fez’s. And they drive around in tiny clown cars. :-)
and @ 62: “Seems like somebody has one too many “bosses” and could have a wee problem.” Yes. Like Team Light, what we have here is a ‘faliure to communicate.’

Wetlander @ 64: “Actually, the correct spelling is gholam” Here’s a thought: Maybe our dear friends at (not Leigh of course) could edit the dictionary to add those uniquely WoT words and characters like gholam, Moghedian, ta’veren, etc. That would be so helpful.

Re. Once a week posts: Sorry to hear that, Leigh. I’ve been so hoping we could get back on a quicker schedule. I worry that once a week might cause a fall off in readership. But que sera, sera. In any case, I’d much prefer the post on a Monday instead of a Friday. That way I can read it at work! (Hence the wallotex. See how long it takes me to catch up on a weekend?)
Tricia Irish
71. Tektonica

Nice to hear, er, read your dulcet tones again. Forgot about the tiny clown cars...LOL. Always loved the "Mummers" parade on TV on Thanksgiving, I think, when I was a kid, just to see those crazy guys in Fez's and clown cars, driving around all willy-nilly like, well, kids.

Yeah, more "communication breakdown".... in the Team Dark ranks this time.

I too am sorry for the slowdown in rereads, and hope it's just temporary. I do think reader fallout may result, as shown by this thread. I feel like I"m wandering alone in the wilderness here......hello??
Ron Garrison
72. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks Tek! I have to honestly say that without regular additions to the re-reads, the only thing that keeps me coming back is you, Sub, Wetlander, Windrose, Insectoid and the rest of the gang. Yeah for all of you!

Tai'Shar Manetheren
Tricia Irish
73. Tektonica
It is fun to go off on tangents and have time to do some in depth exploring too. So don't abandon us, MOM!

I found and started the rereads in prep for tGS. The depth of knowledge represented here, and brilliance of all the guru insights have reignited interest in this series for me, and hopefully for others. I'd hate to see that just fade away.
74. Rukaiya
I did the same thing, Tektonica, and it inspired me to re-read the entire series on my own. I'm really glad I did, too, because I've enjoyed it so much. It's strange how what I've gotten out of it has changed since the last time I did a full re-read several years ago. I've been struck by how I enjoy different events and characters than I did the first time, and how my perspectives on events have changed. I've also enjoyed coming across all the little details I never noticed before and simply savoring the writing.
Kate Smith
75. Rukaiya
And I've finally gotten an account, yay!
John Massey
76. subwoofer
Whew! AGM at church... whomever designed pews needs to have their heads examined- and then be soundly beaten about the head. Not build for comfort or any kind of lumbar support.

@Rukaiya- good on you:) Sign of commitment or willingness to be committed;)

@M O M- Thanks, I keep coming back 'cause I'm a glutton for punishment. And the cookies. And the liquor. Well heck, why do I ever leave? Readership falling off... I dunno, sometimes it feels like Leigh crams. Does the post at the last min and let's er rip. Was thinking that maybe Leigh could do a bunch of posts in advance then get somebody at TOR to post them at regular scheduled intervals and Leigh can go about things at her own pace.

That being said, I get "busy". Story of my life. Or maybe I should say, I get "guilt", or "obligation" and "duty". Story of my life. Any way you slice it, sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to get what we need to do, done. It is nice to just let life flow, but sometimes I feel that if I need to accomplish something, I have to be disciplined and regimented with my time and that does not leave much room for the random things that life often throws at me at the least opportune times.

So maybe we could have a compromise, we only have one reading a week, but we cover 3-4 chapters? Just throwing it out there and seeing what sticks. No pressure. OTOH the faster we wail through this, the faster all this ends and the "then what?" bomb drops.

Noal. Why would he deny being Jain? And is Noal a spy glass for the Forsaken similar to the way Mat is a spy glass for the 'Finn?

Bors. Is it the DO's wish that Carridin kills Rand, then by proxy Mat and Perrin? Is this another type of random baddie like Slayer? It seems to me that the DO must be involved or one of the Forsaken have access to Carridin's mind and memories to implant such a powerful image of the Horn and the Dagger so when Bors sees Mat, those images are instantly triggered. And the DO knows that Mat is the Hornsounder. What does this mean for Mat's life expectancy?

Tricia Irish
77. Tektonica
Glad you finally got both feet on board, Rukaiya! Too late now......

Sub: We all get busy and fade in and long as we come back!

See my post @69 and the prologue of TGH for the implant vision that Bors has. I"m confused about the instructions to kill our superboys though, as later it's stated many places and times, that the DO and Mori don't want Rand killed.?? Too bad for Mat and Perrin, though...they're still targets. Yikes.

I don't know why Noal would deny being Jain unless he's either been brain-scrambled by the FS, or deluded, or he's a DF, which I hope is not true. He might be some kind of unknowing spyglass or lodestone for the FS glued to Mat, as the gholam seems to have no trouble tracking him.
John Massey
78. subwoofer
@Tek-you threw me for a loop when you referred to your post #...then I read it.-edit- could the number 69 be similar to the Dragon Fang, or the old AS symbol?- Not sure if Bors was compelled. Different Forsaken, but the end result is that some people have to die and the awareness of the orders, not necessarily the reason's why, have to be there. I am thinking that the orders to kill Rand et al. came before Moridin was linked to Rand. Now that has to change as what happens to one happens to the other, maybe to a lesser extent. Does Moridin feel all of Rand's owies?

Let us not forget that this Mili girl is looking for a mysterious store of angreal. Mat is just an offer of appeasement so they collective dark friends do not all get killed for offering up bupkis. Sammael tells Carridin that Mat is a distraction from the true cause of what everyone is searching for in Ebou Dar. And as I have said on the other thread,('K, I lied, I am dropping this here) what angreal are the Forsaken searching for? I don't think it can the be the Bowl. Gotta be something big that the forces of Light are overlooking. And the baddies did make off with a bunch of trinkets when Mat was fighting the gholam.

edit more-if the 69 is significant to the old AS symbol, then the 6 would be like the Dragon Fang scrawled on everything and then maybe the Beast mark may translate into WoT lore. Rand does have various messiah parallels, why not the DO?

79. JennB
Twenty years ago, at the end of the Aiel war, Ishamael found out that the Dragon was on scene. He mistakenly thought he was full grown, so he captured Noal, fed him some misinformation about the DO blinding the EOTW and dumped him in a stedding. The whole point was to lure the DR to the EOTW. I thing that Noal suffered torture and felt defeated and cowardly. He ran away from the stedding and went into hiding. Now that he has had time to recover himself mentally, he is helping Mat as a way to redeem himself.

I guess that means I pretty much take him at face value. I don't think he is a DF or a sleeper agent.

(Of course I take pretty much everything at face value, which is why I need to come here to find out about all the stuff I missed.)
Tricia Irish
80. Tektonica

I like your thinking. I hope you're right. Do you "know" that Ishy took Noal 20 years ago, or is this your personal theory? I like it! It explains why Noal is not admiting he's Jain, out of humiliation at his having been captured and tortured, and having passed on the info about the EoTW. Helping Mat would be good redemption.

Good catch, Sub on the number 69as AS symbol...never thought of that before...depending on the typeface that would work. I do think Mori feels all of Rand's owies, LOL. But does he also feel the "good stuff"? Ummmmm.....
And I think you're right, the plans have changed with Mori on the scene.

I'm not sure the FS know exactly what they're looking for, except that there's a big stash of 'Angreal there someplace. I guess the girls know that too, from their "need"walking in T'A'R when they found the Bowl.
Barry T
81. blindillusion
In regards to Jain going by Noal, I think JennB has it right, though not too sure about Ishamael thinking Rand was a full grown target. He knew enough to set the Black Ajah on a killing spree...taking out the Aes Sedai who were to hunt for a baby...though wasn't this also the reason for the Vileness perpetrated by the Red (Black) Ajah as well? Was that caused by Ishamael, or did the BA just go above and beyond...cannot recall.

Anyway, back to Jain. I think what's mentioned is probably the truth. He lost his faith after the death of his wife, probably as a result of not being there, and decided being "Jain Farstrider" hurt too much.

As for his mental state, perhaps Ishamael had nothing to do with it. The man is pushing 70 (or beyond) and has lost everyone he cared about. Maybe it all just became too hard for him and he's keeping his memories blocked by his own initiative. Sure, I mentioned that perhaps “painted as a fool” could be translated into “mind*ucked”, but after reading through other comments, perhaps I'm wrong.

As for staying the course? I'll be here until Leigh posts her final Re-read breaking down the final pages of A Memory of Light and beyond, if anyone would like to stick around. After all, there's still the possibility of an Encyclopedia. Maybe Mrs Jordan will decide to let the Outrigger Novels be written. Perhaps Brandon and the team can do the wrap on those, or maybe even let some new blood handle them. So, yes, I'll be here for a few more years. As some of the gang has stated, this Re-read has pretty much reintroduced me to the series.... I'd fallen off the wagon for quite a few years, and if it wasn't for this site, and all you guys, The Gathering Storm would of just been another novel on my bookshelf.
82. whoami
Why would Shaidar Haran need minions?

Is this simply because he can't channel (using Elza, a channeler, to accomplish her task in tGS), or is it a 'rules' thing...some kind of agreement with the Creator that the Dark One can't directly take action in the world, but must convince others to do so for him, at least until he breaks free and destroys the world, probably remaking it using the True Power instead of the One Power?

You know, if the Dark One actually remade the world, he might actually accomplish Lanfear's goal. In the Dark One's Pattern, men and women can use the same power and truly cooperate, rather than using separate powers, as in the current world. Kind of like the Shadows' and Vorlons' cooperation and struggle ethoi (plural of ethos, google it!) in Babylon 5, where the Dark One is actually promoting cooperation and the Creator actually promotes male/female struggles. That would be a weird reversal.
Barry T
83. blindillusion

RE:~ 20 Years Ago.

Yes, JennB has the right of it. Loial mentions a man coming to Stedding Shangtai some 20 years ago with a warning that the Dark One means to "blind the Eye of the World."

This is in Remembrance of Dreams, Chapter 42 of tEotW.

~Whoami RE:~ Minions

You can read through here, which stems from here, to find the small amount of information Mr Sanderson has provided in this area. Just do a Ctrl-F and search for Shaidar Haran.
Tasneem Gould
84. Latecomer

Sad to read that the re-read is slowing down - I do hope it is a termporary hiccup, and we will be back to 2 episodes per week soon! I do feel like it has been getting quieter in the comments, and quite a few 'occasionals' have dropped out etc.

The storyline we are not talking about yet - I love it! Looking forward to it :D. Mat's is fine form here, this book is one of the best ones for him.
Subwoofer, Tylin isn't anywhere close to 60, is she? Somehow I think 40ish when I think of her.. Demi Moore fits the part perfectly :P

Is Old Cully really the Beggar Guild leader? Isn't there a scene later in the book (whilst leaving the Kin/ Storeroom) when the good guys get attacked by a number of persons dressed as beggars, and the 'real' beggars join in and start fighting them because they are not guild members? It makes me think Cully isn't really high up in the Guild otherwise he'd have used the guild members or else at least known the consequences and tried to keep other beggars away.
BTW, that scene is hilarious, and Mat has no idea why the beggars are attacking them or being attacked by other beggars.

Jain Fartstrider/ Noal : In one of his scenes, he quite clearly hates the person Jain Farstrider had become, wandering the world with no regard to the effect on his family and he is clearly regretting it. I can see why he wants to be someone else! I think this is also where he says that he became a tool of one of the baddies? "He let himself be made into a tool by.." and then stops - memory wipe? Sorry I don't have the books handy so hard to write out the whole sequence.

In any case my memory says that he regrets placing the travelling over his family, he is ashamed of being used by the shadow and he is keen to help Mat because he thinks it will atone in some part for his 'sins'.
85. JennB
The black ajah was killing men and boys who were considered lucky. They could have been acting on their own, but if Ishamael was active at that time (and we know he was because of his comments) it is likely he was directing them. The black ajah is his creation and it doesn't make sense that he would let them do their own thing when the event he has been preparing for for 3000 years has finally occured.
Tasneem Gould
86. Latecomer
Oooooh... just found this on the WOT enclyclopedia re. Jain

From :

Ba'alzamon, to Rand: "'Jain Farstrider, a hero... whom I painted like a fool and sent to the Ogier thinking he was free of me.'"

Hmm.... that last part sounds omnious. Does that mean simply that the information about 'blinding the eye of the world' was a plant, or does it mean that some other mindtrap has been laid and is yet to spring.

On that note, if Jain has been done over by - and has the taint of - the shadow on him, what effect will that have on the 'Finns? 'Questions touching the shadow can have unexpected results', so what would happen if a man touched by the shadow entered the 'Finn-Lands ?
Tricia Irish
87. Tektonica

Oh my god....I never realized that the reason the Red (mostly black) Ajah was going after men and "gentling" them without trial was because they were looking for the Dragon Reborn. I feel like such a dunce. duh. That 'splains much, Lucy. Thank you Blind!

And I do hope Jain/Noal is a good guy. He seems so warm towards Olver and Mat. Wise and calm. I look forward to his help at the ToG. I feel like my faith in him has been restored. Thanksto JennB too.

Glad you are committed to the long term re-read. I had read the series twice, abandoned it for several years, and discovered the re-read before tGS. (I think I'm repeating myself.) I love the idea exchange. It adds so much depth. Thank you for your help and contributions, Blind! You've given me lots of great ideas and links.

Whoami@82: Hopefully, Team Light will figure out "cooperation" by TG and achieve integration without the DO winning! I mean, we can't have an outrigger books, if the DO wins, can we?
Tasneem Gould
88. Latecomer
JennB - Not so. Ishmael was NOT the one who initiated the vileness. From the WOT Wiki:

Ishamael's Reaction
Upon gaining liberty from Shayol Ghul in 983 NE, Ishamael demanded a report from Jarna on her activities. Ishamael was furious with Jarna's work, since he wanted the Dragon Reborn found alive and turned to the Shadow, not killed outright. He executed Jarna in a spectacular and painful fashion and appointed Alviarin Freidhen as her successor. On Ishamael's orders, Alviarin terminated the search-and-destroy mission, and Black sister Chesmal Emry manipulated several Red sisters into murdering Sierin Vayu in 984 NE to cover their tracks.

See this link for more information:
Tricia Irish
89. Tektonica
So who did initiate the purging of men who could channel?
And Alviarin stopped it. Interesting......

ishy/Mori still wants him alive for several reasons now.....
91. AndrewB
Tektonica @71:

"Always loved the "Mummers" parade on TV on Thanksgiving, I think, when I was a kid, just to see those crazy guys in Fez's and clown cars, driving around all willy-nilly like, well, kids."

Not quite sure what you were referring to above, but here in the Philly area, the Mummers parade is on New Year's Day. (I have never gone as I have only lived in the Philly area since 2003. As I understand it, the Mummers dress, play certain types of insturments while wearing costumes. Each section of the city has its own Mummers troop.) Hopefully somebody who has actually seen the parade can give you a better idea.

That said, I do know for a fact that the Mummers sometimes visit other cities for parades and such.

BenPatient @66 (and some others):

I will echo blindillusion @81. I am here for as long as Tor provides a forum for a re-read, irrespective of how frequently a re-read is posted. I, for one, am grateful of Leigh's efforts with the recap. (Truth be told, I am also a bit jealous of Leigh: that not only can Leigh come up with insightful comments and observations of a story that we all love , but writes in such an entertaining manner. In my opinion, a great deal of the success of the re-read stems from the manner in which the recaps are presented -- and that starts with Leigh's excellent writings)

When I first started reading the re-reads, I had no idea what to expect. Except that I did remember Leigh as an observant poster back form the days of the google user net thingy. (I can not remember the exact name -- suffice to say I was lurking at that sight occassionally since back when Verin was a member of the Purple Ajah and that she, Mat and Artur Heartwing were somehow related because of the "time to toss the dice" phrase Mat uses).

But I digress. The point being, anything is better than nothing and I appreciate the efforts that Leigh takes with adventure. So for all those complaining about Leigh now only positing once a week: get over yourselves. If you take yourselves that seriously, I suggest you reevaluate your priorities. (I do not mean to include those of you who are complaining with tongue-in-cheek).

Sorry for this soapbox, but I believe the above needed to be said. Well, only the part about not complaining about how often Leigh posts her re-reads. The rest is just the ramblings of a fustrated Celtics fan who about two hours ago watched them blow a game against the Lakers.

Thanks for reading my musings.
92. JennB
re Latecomer...

Ok, so Ishamael was not behind the murders of lucky men, but he still thought the DR could have been an adult at the time or he wouldn't have been upset about Jarna's actions.

Also, from the quote you provided, it sounds like Jain has some lingering effects from his encounter with Ishamael. I still think he is good. Guess we'll see what happens.
Tricia Irish
93. Tektonica

Thanks for the headsup on the Mummer's parade. New Years, OK. I remember switching from an early parade to the later Mummer's, but couldn't remember if it was the Macy's TDay parade or the Rose Bowl that came first. Haven't seen the Mummer's in years now.

Yeah, there was grumbling, but only because we LOVE Leigh's reread and want MORE! She is truly one of the funniest writers I've ever read....she brings stuff out of left field and just throws me for a loop. Very few people make me LOL. She is one of them. The best. And it's intelligent and insightful at the same time. Can't beat it. We just miss her ;-(

As long as we all stick around, there will be plenty of tangents to explore.....

Edit: Sorry about your Celtics.
Ron Garrison
94. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. Mummers
I remember the parades on TV from my youth, but never quite "got" it. Thanks to Tek and Andrew, I had to Google it.
"Mummers tradition dates back to 400 BC and the Roman Festival of Saturnalias where Latin laborers marched in masks throughout the day of satire and gift exchange. This included Celtic variations of “trick-or-treat” and Druidic noise-making to drive away demons for the new year. Reports of rowdy groups “parading” on New Years day in Philadelphia date back before the revolution. The Mummers parade is a celebration of the New Year but is serious business in Philadelphia. Clubs work on the costumes and practice all year for their one day in the sun (…wind, rain or snow).
"Comic clubs tradition from ancient Greek god Momus who was the personification of mockery, blame, ridicule, scorn, raillery and stinging criticism. Momus was expelled from heaven for his/her criticisms and ridicule of the gods. The comic clubs continue to raise controversy over these themes they use in the parade that make fun of current issues and news stories such as issues involving religion, ethnicity, and feminism."

Wow. I love satire - esp. ridicule of the gods! Look at what I've been missing all these years. Might have to put Philly on my New Years to-do list.
Tricia Irish
95. Tektonica
Thanks MOM@94:

NO WONDER I always loved the Mummers as a kid. Ridicule and sarcasm, criticism and mockery, comic relief! The dye was cast early......

Thanks for the background! Didn't even think of googling it....I'm just not quite 21century yet....

Edit: I think it's "die", not dye....oops.
John Massey
96. subwoofer
Well, things to think about. Jain captured 20 years ago... so the guy has been shattered and broken for that long? Surprised he hasn't gone on a bender. Thinking of that also makes me try to recall if any of the characters, secondary or otherwise, have any bouts with addictions. In the vastness of WoT there must be one alcoholic/village drunk.

Jain being messed up for so long also speaks volumes for his character if he is pulling himself together now and righting past wrongs and exacting revenge.

Re "vileness". Is this the same vileness that Cadsuane was referring to when she first came on the scene? And having talked about the Red's witch hunt for the DR and all male channelers, is the intent widely known in the Tower?

IIRC Siuan talked about Gitara foretelling of the Dragon's birth. This may have been kept under wraps, but a bomb shell like this is bound to leak out. How could such an earth shaking vision be held in secret from the Forsaken and why would Ishamael's spies not pick up on this? I am sure the DO rolled over in his grave- so to speak- when Rand was born. The Pattern spun him out so all linked and in tune with the Pattern must of felt the earth shake.

Ron Garrison
97. Man-0-Manetheran
Sub: It's in "New Spring" and only Siuan, Moiraine and the Amyrlin heard Gitara's foretelling. Supposedly they told no one. Apparantly there was no Faux News at the time...
Tess Laird
98. thewindrose
I have a difficult time reconciling Queen Tylin's writ 'A man riding fresh horses could reach the end of my writ in one day's hard ride.' With ~ Upon being presented to Tylin, Mat thinks she is not exactly beautiful, but very impressive; she reminds him of “Isebele of Dal Calain”, who had made an Amyrlin come to her instead of the other way around.
She is very intelligent and perceptive, and with these qualities I would think she would have had a better grasp on her country, and not have so little real power. Oh well:)

I agree with many others - Mat is great - 'nuff said:)

On Noal - I have a small comment about him on the tGS#2 thread;)

About the slower pace for time being. I will be sticking around. To stir the pot and get more comments, perhaps Leigh could join more in the comment section?

John Massey
99. subwoofer
Lurk... Kidding, just wanted get the magic number. Anyways, Tylin. Did I say she was a geezer? Well, if her son is around Mat's age and she had him young and stuff, that would put here in, I dunno, Terri Hatcher's age range. Old, but not petrified. Mind you, these days those numbers seem to shift and with surgery 40 is the new 20. By that same token, in WoT people age faster and the stress of a kingdom may weigh heavy on some.

@MOM, just saying that I am surprised the DO did not know of Rand's birth, then by rights all the Forsaken must of known. Heck, the DO mighta had a lackey standing on a pillar like the town crier telling everybody bad about being on the look out for a red-headed baby born on the side of a mountain.

Carridin- Tuon said it herself- pay attention to people with more than one name.

Alice Arneson
100. Wetlandernw
JennB @79 (Of course I take pretty much everything at face value, which is why I need to come here to find out about all the stuff I missed.) Hear, hear!! Until I hooked into this thing about a year ago now (!!!) I hadn't really seen a lot of the little things that make it so complex and well-crafted a world & story. Some of them I realized were there, but just didn't have the time and interest to chase them down and figure out what the connections were. Finding the WoTFAQ was SO cool, partly for the great info that's been collected, and partly because it gave me the link to this re-read. I had pretty much done a complete re-read with each new book since tDR came out, but I had no one to discuss it with, so I knew I was missing a lot. I just had no idea how much! Like blindillusion, I expect to be here until we finish the reread of AMoL. Cheers!!

Tektonica @89 (and various) - It pretty much looks like overzealousness on the part of the BA; none of the other FS were "out" at that time, and Ishamael was furious about it. Most likely they just figured that if the DR was the Champion of the Light, the DO would want him dead, so they should try to find and kill him. More or less logical, except that they didn't have all the relevant info; unfortunately for them, "natural mistakes" aren't readily forgiven by either Ishamael or the DO, and lack of information is no excuse when Ishy is mad. (Which is all the time, in another sense of the word. Bummer of a time to be BA, really. The big boss is completely nuts, so anything you do is playing Russian roulette. Even doing nothing. Best you can hope for is relatively clear instructions and a lot of luck to accomplish the task the way he meant it... or the way he chooses to have meant it next time you see him. Good times. Not.)


EDIT: Whoops! A lot of comments since I refreshed... Sorry if I repeated anyone. Now I'll go back and check.

and.... #100! I think that's the first time I've snagged it. ;)
John Massey
101. subwoofer
And for the record, I appreciate Leigh's humor, but that is not what keeps me coming back. The way Leigh tackles sensitive topics, sometimes with kid gloves, sometimes with a bulldozer and *headdesking*, but always with aplomb, hooks me. Gender roles, slavery, polygamy, class structure, are all dealt with in a manner that I could not. I am wayyyy to blunt and would be balefired if I tried the same stuff, Leigh has the ability to call a person an a$$ and have the person not be offended. That is a skill.

The missing pieces are also an integral part for me. If I did not learn something new after each visit, not only from Leigh, but also from each and every contributor here, I would not bother. I do take the time to read each and every post as there is always something that I overlook, always a nugget of gold, piece of knowledge that I glean that makes the books and the WoT world that much better. RJ really created a fascinating world. I am here for good. I have my chip. Can't quit. This is my rehab.

Heh- WoT 101.

Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
"Coach... I weigh 160."

Wow. Not sure what it had to do with this ;) but that was a great link.
Roberto Burtoni
103. MadCardigan
Given that we have some words to burn before the next post - it's Office Space tangent time!

I like the "chain of command issues" brought up by the Bors chapter regarding the multitude of 'bosses' high level DF have to deal with. Alviarin mentions something similar when she receives multiple instructions from different forsaken which are contradictory.

So , we need to talk about your TPS reports!

I like the forsaken as a group as the bosses (lundbergh et al). They really like to make you work on the weekends. And if you sleep in - boom another relative goes poof. Maybe demandred as Lundbergh? I could see him enjoying a good cup of Kaf. And so svete in his suspenders (an inch shorter than LTT would wear...)

Ishy/SH as the Bobs. Not really in it for the same reasons as everyone else, playfully promoting the Dragon when he really has other ideas and more than excited to cut the fat. Carra-, carra-, Ca...n't be working here any more anyway.

Lets see, the fax machine would be the red door ter'angreal - Mat: "Memory load letter, WTF does that mean?"

Liandrin as Orlando Jones, reformed crack addict/magazine salesman?

Anyway, happy sunday!
sandi vogel
104. sinfulcashew
"74. Rukaiya
Sunday January 31, 2010 01:34pm EST
I did the same thing, Tektonica, and it inspired me to re-read the entire series on my own. I'm really glad I did, too, because I've enjoyed it so much. It's strange how what I've gotten out of it has changed since the last time I did a full re-read several years ago. I've been struck by how I enjoy different events and characters than I did the first time, and how my perspectives on events have changed. I've also enjoyed coming across all the little details I never noticed before and simply savoring the writing."

Ditto, ditto and again ditto!

I'm into 'Path of Daggers' now and will be continuing on to ANOther reread of TGS.
Love it!!!!!

Can't wait to see the reaction to one of the incidents in this book, dealing with the

Tricia Irish
106. Tektonica
Sub@101: I completely agree. Leigh has a way of saying things that does not offend but still provokes discussion. I don't have that much tact either. Glad she's doing it!

Welandernw@100: I don't know anyone else that reads Fantasy/SciFi down here in SoFla. I was wandering in the forest alone until I found this blog. This makes the books so much more interesting and fun. Thank you all!

There are plenty of book clubs around here that read lots of, ummmm, how to say it, "slice of life" kind of books, but I just don't get it. Just watch the news.
Glad to know there are others like me out there and a place like this to meet.
Rob Munnelly
107. RobMRobM
Really good new article at 13th Dep regarding Elaida-Alviarin discussions in COT prologue. Hilarious listing of all of Elaida's errors - pretty much everything she says in the discussion is wildly incorrect. Kudos to Linda as always. Rob
Marcus W
108. toryx
I'm really late to the party but I just wanted to say that I totally think Leigh should have a bust of Pallas o'er the door.

But that's just me.

Mat's "pleasant" letter to the girls cracks me up every time.
109. JennB
Sub @96 Thom has an alchohic binge after the king of Carhien kills his lover. He seems to be able to shake it off pretty easily when he meets up with Mat though.

M-o-M @97 Only Siuan, Moraine and the Amyrlin know, but the Amyrlin is tortured by the BA and gives up some info. The BA learns the Dragon has been reborn and sisters have been sent to search for him. She is able to keep back when he was born and that Siuan and Moraine know.
Ron Garrison
110. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks JennB. I didn't remember that. Is that also in New Spring?
111. alreadymadwith69symbol
subwoofer @78
If you want to relate the Ancient Aes Sedai symbol to the number 69, 6 would be the flame of Tar Valon while 9 would be the Dragon fang. Although I am given to understand that the symbol would actually be a mirror image, with the 6 and the 9's facing the other way.
Vincent Lane
112. Aegnor

"I'd forgotten this. This shows that Mat's much-disparaged "saidared" has a basis in RJ's writings."

I've never understood the objection some have to "saidared". I laughed out loud when I first read that. I thought it was hilarious and perfectly in character.
Barry T
113. blindillusion
I agree with Aegnor and badplaytpus. Never had any problem with "saidared". Very LOL moment. And it seemed completely in character.

For that matter, I've never had a problem with Mat's entire plot-line in tGS. It all seemed like Mat, though a Mat in a crisis of faith. =)

Sure, it doesn't belong on this thread, but eh. No spoilers. No real talk about tGS. So, hope no one minds ;)
114. JennB
M-o-M @110 As far as I can remeber its all from NS, but I will look it up on

Here it is, the chapter references are at the bottom:

Jarna Malari and the Black Ajah question Tamra about the Dragon Reborn and then murder her. Galina Casban and Chesmal Emry participate in the questioning. Tamra reveals that the Dragon is reborn and the names of the Aes Sedai searchers, but not that he is still a babe. (NS,Ch14, NS,Epilogue, ACoS,Prologue, ACoS,Ch40, WH,Ch10)

I totally agree with you except for the chapter where he is writing elaborate backstories for his team. This is completely out of character. Mat wings it most of the time, isn't interested in reading, and has childish and unpracticed handwriting. He is also fairly practical. Extremely long handwritten, cumbersom backstories go against all of this. I actually thought something (mentally, like someone had taken him over) had happened to Mat in this chapter.

Other than the long and pointless farmer scene in the prologue, this was the only point in the book where I became perplexed and thought "what the heck".
Jeff Weston
115. JWezy
Leigh - "(especially including) those that have known him his entire life".

Isn't this one of the realities of growing up? We all (those of us who achieve even a modicum of maturity) are measurably different from the children/youths we were. I have lost count of the times it has been pointed out that people (ok, Nynaeve, but it also applies to Rand and Egwene) have trouble taking anyone seriously when they when they were young.

In fact, it always struck me as a sub-theme, that as we grow, we do not give those around us credit for undergoing similar growth. Somehow, the Emond's Fielders are going to have to come to see their peers in the same light they would wish to be viewed.
116. JennB
Leigh has a warning against spoilers though TGS at the top so I think its all good as long as it ties in to the discussion of this chapter.
117. ecthelion
I hate to make my first post ever to be a
b!tch session. Been following the re-read for a while now, but its starting to resemble the frequency of the LOTR re-read, which is pretty irregular. I think I would be best served just visiting once a month going forward. That way, I can avoid the disappointment when their isn't a post on a given week. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the hell out of LB's posts, but its a real bummer when their's one missing!!!
118. JennB
Does anyone here watch Castle? Last week, the title character referred to one of his books and I am pretty sure the title was The Gathering Storm. (He is supposed to have a whole series of mystery novels that all have the word Storm in the title.)

Just thought it was funny an I'm bored.
Tasneem Gould
119. Latecomer
Ecthlion @117

See, the trick here is to treat each post as a gift. That way when you DO get one, its a fantastic, unexpected bonus. And if you don't, there is no way you can be disappointed.

I should also point out that although Leigh may not post every week, or twice a week at times, there is always something to read on the site. There are links to other interesting WOT sites, fantastic analysis of various events and characters from the commenters and of course the chit-chat and links to other interesting (time-swalowing) sites. In fact as an extra bonus, there are 2 posts to follow comments on ATM - the latest re-read and the TGS part 2.

For someone who comes here occasionally, and barely has time to read it all before the next instalment, the slow pace has actually been a bonus. I can actually comment on a 'live' thread for a change :)

So I guess its all about your perspective is WOT I am saying.

TGS 2 cents: Saidared is fine, but Mat writing - lots? Nu-uh! I think its well established that he is NOT a reader/ writer.
Tasneem Gould
120. Latecomer
188 JennB - Good Morning!

When The Gathering Storm was announced, I went to check for details online. I was astounded at how many books there were out there with the same title - ranging from Fantasy to Thriller to Christian literature.

Hmm, I wonder how many other titles are shared by other books.. probbaly not TOO many as so many of them are so specific to the series. After all, how many other books called TEOTW could posibly be out there :D
Maiane Bakroeva
121. Isilel
Concerning Jain Farstrider, I had a somewhat mad theory about him that he had been a DF at some point. And that he somehow framed the "hero" Cowin Gemallen (?) whom he subsequently killed in a duel.
But that the fall of Malkier - Jain is a Malkieri, right? Or at least he was very much involved in that country's fortunes made him repent and change his opinion. That maybe his travels were also a way to escape punishment for his defection from Shadow's ranks.

But when Ishy returned to the world, or maybe even became able again to touch TAR, he was able to find Jain, as according to Jordan, one gives up some very essential protections when joining the Shadow.

Which, going on a tangent, explains how proto-SH was very ineffective when faced with OUR Heroes, but so very deadly whith Carridin and other DFs. Also, it would explain why Fades can't just "ride shadows" everywhere they want. I assume that they need some kind of "invitation" or "permission", because people just can't keep light everywhere at night, not even in the Borderlands.
It would also explain Verin's suicide when she merely couldn't find the OR... she knew that even if she could remove the Oaths, the Shadow would have still had a way to find her, that it was a matter of weeks either way, rather than real chance at survival. IMHO.

Anyway, current Noal/Jain is very much Compelled, IMHO. He is fighting against it though and Ishy either isn't an accomplished compeller or he didn't want to turn Jain's brain to mush.
In any case, IMHO his volonteering to accompany Mat will probably culminate in an attempt to kill Mat and also possibly Moiraine (Ishydin is a Dreamer, if Aiel WOs knew that she might be crucial, so could he) or to strand them forever in Eelfinnland.
However, Jain's struggle against the Compulsion will make him hesitate when it all comes to the head an allow Mat, Moiraine and Thom to escape. Ditto if he never had been a DF and only a compelled victim and unwilling tool of Ishy.
Charlotte Giurgiu
122. almdoipad
Jenn B @118

I totally caught that too! I posted on one of the FB fan pages about that in my giddy excitement I didn't even think of mentioning it over here! But yes! I am with you. I giggled maniacally at the reference regardless if it had anything to do with our beloved series.
Barry T
123. blindillusion

RE:~ Permissions

An intriguing theory, but I have a question. If Fade’s need either “permission” or an “invitation” to travel to a place via shadows, how did Pre-Shaidar Haran #1 arrive at the Stag and Lion?

Sure, Ara and Mutch are questionable characters, but neither is ever called Dark Friend. And Master Fitch is the first in a long line of decent inn-keepers (notice list does not start with Master al’Vere as he means a little more to the story than just his role as inn-keeper).
Leigh Butler
124. leighdb
BenPatient @66:

That would be telling.

To multiple posters re: schedule:

Aw, y'all flatter me outrageously. Which is TOTALLY FINE, heh, but I'm afraid the schedule stays as it is for now. You rush a miracle, you know what you get? Rotten miracles.

subwoofer @101:

Leigh has the ability to call a person an a$$ and have the person not be offended. That is a skill.

Really? Sweet! Imma try that on the subway this evening!

Tricia Irish
125. Tektonica

Loved your comment on Jain, but there were some tGS spoiler stuff in there. Don't mean to be the Thread Police here, but wouldn't want to ruin someone's surprise. There is a discussion on the tGS spoiler thread on Jain currently too, so maybe some of this comment would be better there? I'm just saying.....


Very astute observation. Nynaeve seems to have trouble seeing Egs as a grown up and Egs has trouble seeing Rand that way. We all sure do grow and change, thank goodness!
Maiane Bakroeva
126. Isilel
Blindillusion @123:

Not only did the inn sport some very dubious characters, but Mat babbled their location to Padan Fain too. Proto-SH could have arrived wherever Fain was and just walked into the inn. Even so, he was unable to just grab Rand and take him to SG, wasn't he? Or to do anything effective, really. Compare that with his roughing up Carridin and clawing his super-hard table later.

Incidentally, that would make all the Borderlander precautions re: people entering their towns not totally stupid too.
And limitations on the range of normal Fade shadow-riding would explain why the Horn wasn't brought to SG immediately after it was stolen from Fal Dara, as well as why it is such a big deal to bring Fades south of the Blightborder, and why they never have had a Myrdraal commando-raid hit Borderlands from the back.

Speaking of DFs generally, Old Cully may be a beggar, but he holds power of life and death over lots of people, including very important ones. That is a potent drug indeed. As to DFs from higher walks of life - they may have to bow to beggars, but at least some of them enjoyed career boosts, too.
Would Carridin have come so far without the DF backing and possibly discreetly removing obstacles to his career? Would Galldrian Riatin have become king? Not to speak of all the Black Keepers of the Chronicles, MoNs, Sitters, etc.
Until Ishy's sudden return and suddenly impending End of the World, being a DF was likely just a variation of "old boys network", admittedly with sinister cast, to many DFs.

Speaking of Ishydin and the DO/SH, why did they want Rand dead for the brief time in TDR and why did they continue to push Carridin to (impossibly) kill him to the end? Even when they themselves have switched tracks to actively protecting Rand's life?
If, as seems increasingly likely, Rand is the only one who can free the DO, all this flip-flopping just doesn't make sense and needs some explanation.
127. Hari Coplin
Oh but those things in the flashbacks like the dagger and horn came from Bors being compelled by Ishy later on, when receiving his private instructions. In the part the recipient was not to know until the time came.
128. JennB
Just a note...
As far as we know, Galldrian Riatin was not a darkfriend. He just was an unscrupulous and ambitious man. His main competition Lord Barthanes was a DF though.
Maiane Bakroeva
129. Isilel
JennB @128:

Galldrian was after the Seal that was in Bayle Domon's possession and ordered Bayle killed over it. That makes him a DF in my book.

Tectonica @125:

By all means, we can further discuss it on the other thread. However, my theory had to do with Noal, who made his appearance in this chapter _and_ TGS spoilers are allowed here too.
130. Hari Coplin
I thought Sammael's surprise at seeing Mat in Ebou Dar confirmed that he actually bought it that Rand agreed to the truce with him. (Rands first words to the emissary had been, "Take this message back to Sammael," that is, before the messenger began dying, he understood Rand agreed with Sammael, this message referring to what the emissary said with Sammael's voice). So Mat's presence in Ebou Dar would break the truce, Rand sending people to his territories. Sammael did not want to draw attention to the fact that he knew Mat was there, unless it became clear he was after the same cache.

Moghedien probably discovered the cache with need already back in FoH, and around the same time Sammael would have discovered it too, since Graendal commented him searching for one back then. No doubt Graendal found out about the same thing as well, I think Noal was originally her tool to locate it for her by watching Sammael and Moghedien's searchers.
Tricia Irish
131. Tektonica

My apologies....I forgot we said it was OK here. My bad. Have at it!
Kate Smith
132. Rukaiya

We never find out why the Dark One seemed to support killing Rand (or if he did at all), but we do find out about Ishamael in TPoD. Moridin is playing a game of sha'rah, which is pretty clearly equated to the current battle between the Shadow and the Light with Rand as the Fisher, the most important piece. He thinks about the different ways to win the game, namely: 1) get the fisher onto one of your squares, 2) force the enemy to get the Fisher onto one of your squares, or 3) annihilate your opponent's forces completely. He notes that he's already tried number 3, and it ended very badly indeed, presumably referring to his attempt to kill Rand. That's how I read it, anyway.
Jennifer B
133. JennB

I had to look up and reread the scene you are referring to. An interesting little tidbit that is easy to overlook.

The letter could be a forgery. After all, Domon receives offers from several different groups, each of a different nationality. Each group wanted him to go to Tear (this was the first to try to get him to go to Mayene instead) and if he had accepted, each group would have given him a letter to deliver denouncing him as a theif and demanding his death and the confiscation of his possesions. For all we know there could have been an Andoran group bearing a letter with Morgase's signature.

But if it is a forgery, someone would have to impersonate the king or his representative to claim the seal. Why not have Barthanes write the letter unless Galldrian really is a DF? He is nearly as powerful as Galldrian.

I guess we will never know for sure. It is interseting that his possible DF status is not mentioned on,, or in the WOT FAQ.
Tasneem Gould
134. Latecomer
1332 - Rukaiya

Thanks for the interesting tidbit..

He thinks about the different ways to win the game, namely: 1) get the fisher onto one of your squares, 2) force the enemy to get the Fisher onto one of your squares, or 3) annihilate your opponent's forces completely.

So one of the tactics he could be trying would be 2. to make the people around Rand so aggravating that Rand would be tipped over to doing things that help the Shadow. Hmm... will Caddy turn out to be a DF after all??
Kate Smith
135. Rukaiya
Well, it seems like he's trying both 1 and 2 at once. He gets furious at the memory of his failure, then all of a sudden he calms down and thinks "It did not matter. He realized he was laughing and made no effort to stop. On the board, the Fisher stood waiting, but in the greater game, al'Thor moved already to his wishes. And soon, now . . . It was very hard to lose a game when you played both sides of the board. Moridin laughed so hard that tears rolled down his face, but he was not aware of them." So as of TPoD, at least, Moridin's pretty sure he's working both sides.
136. Freelancer
Oh sure. Leigh slips in and lobs a Princess Bride reference, then disappears back into the Fire Swamp like she was never here. Time to lurk, but no time to post? I shall have to lodge a complaint. And call the waahhmbulance. Or maybe just someone who can get your computer functional prior to the next ice age. (checks the East Coast weather) Oops, too late.

RobMRobM@23 (Yeah, a late catch, sorry)

Noal/Jain is first noted by Mat watching Mili at the Silver Circuit:
Mat gazes over the crowd, noting a white-haired old man and a “fox-faced” noblewoman with excessive plumes on her hat, among others...

And then again after following Mili to the Chelsaine Palace:
Mat asks if he means the Whitecloak ambassador, and the old man confirms it, adding that Carridin is also an Inquisitor, and not someone to mess with. Mat hums to himself, thinking about a Whitecloak who had a Darkfriend visitor, and turns to thank the old man for the information, but is startled to see the man has disappeared. He suddenly remembers that he had also seen the old man before, too: at the Silver Circuit, not far from the Darkfriend woman.

So back to my original query, what has happened behind the scenes to place Noal Farstrider in a position to be following an assassin who is working with a Whitecloak Inquisitor? There is no way he wasn't following Mili. Mat had to work to keep her in sight, and when he catches up to her heading into Carridin's place, there's Noal sitting on a barrel. Slippery, spry old dude.

While he's under discussion, I cannot conceive of him ever being a darkfriend. Yes, he was abused and used by Ishamael, but that's a treatment you tend to reserve for your opposition, not your own team. As for the idea of him having embedded triggers that will cause him to attack Mat, also not a realistic scenario to me. First because my takeaway about him is that Ishamael last had his hands on Noal 20 years ago, when he sent him to the Ogier. Second, if I were a powerful darkfriend channeler, and I wanted someone like Mat dead, and had the ability to plant something like such a "trigger" on a third party, I'd use it point me at Mat so I could zip him myself. Third, Noal helps Mat fight the gholam, or at least offers his support. Why have an old used up man try to kill Mat when you've sent one of history's most efficient killers after him? The math doesn't quite work for me.
Rob Munnelly
137. RobMRobM
Free - agree that Noal is on Team Light; I never thought the contrary theories made any sense. Agree that he must have been following Mili rather than Carridin but how/why are important questions that aren't answered in the text. One of those little WoT mysteries to ponder.

Rus/Late - the reference to the Fisher game always made me think about Verin's subsequent reference in TGS to that Rand doesn't know how TG is being played. I've just never figured out how Moridin playing both sides of board could work in practice - at least until he got Rand to do the TP channeling in TGS.

Kate Smith
138. Rukaiya
RobM - I kind of figured that the "both sides of the board" comment meant that Moridin is manipulating team light into pushing Rand into one of his squares, so to speak. In other words, trying to get Rand to either change sides or make it so Rand may as well have changed sides . . . and we know that's going pretty well for him.
Ron Garrison
139. Man-0-Manetheran
Rob 'n' Ruk:
I think you are both right on the money!
Sam Mickel
140. Samadai
I hope you all enjoy my story,

Jaric walked into the Hall of Servants earlier than he normally would have. Lews Therin had mentioned that he had been in contact with Elan Morin Tedronai, and that he had been invited to address the hall. The Nine Rods of Dominion would be in attendance along with all the leaders of the hall. Jaric had been looking forward to this hour for days.
I hope Lews will introduce me to Elan Tedronai, Jaric thought with giddiness; I have wanted to meet him ever since I read his last book.
Jaric sat down in the second row right in front of the High Seat. He was happy that Lews had risen to that post, as there was no one better to lead the Servants during these troubled times. Violence and murder were rising faster than the Hall could counter. It seemed like for every person they caught and punished five more would cause trouble. He had even heard a report just last night that the celebrated Restorer, Nemene Damendar Boann, had been caught torturing her patients and was due to be tried for her crimes. Jaric shivered, to be bound by a binder or to be severed from the source, he thought. "Die fast or die slow," he said out loud.
"Jaric, are you talking to yourself"
He turned around as Lews Therin clapped him on the back. "Lews, it is good to see you, it's been too long." "Last time I saw you Jaric, you were at my wedding." "Ah yes, the whole Mierin fiasco," he ribbed Lews. "Jaric did anyone ever tell you that you talk too much." They both laughed.
"We'll catch up later; I have to get things started. Jaric nodded, "hopefully we will get some answers to our problems."
He sat back down as Lews climbed the dais to the High Seat. He felt him embrace the source and channel air. "We servants of all gather here to continue our tasks. We serve, we protect, and our duty is our solemn oath. The first shall be last and the last first. I call this meeting of the Hall of Servants to order.
Jaric glanced over at the Nine Rods. All had been governors for over a hundred years, except Sanai, who had taken over after Jasain who died in the explosion of the Sharom. He turned back to Lews as he began speaking. "You all know why we are gathered here today. Violence is rising faster than we can control. Murders, crime, and other insanities are on the rise. I have brought my old friend Elan Morin Tedronai here to speak on this matter. As many of you know he is widely considered to be the world’s leading philosopher. My fellow Servants I present to you, Elan Morin Tedronai."
Jaric watches as a man in his prime enters, he is handsome, a little shorter than Lews Therin and looks very arrogant. As the applause dies down he walks up to Lews and they hug and shake hands. Elan turns back to the crowd and says. "Thank you for the welcome, today I will talk about the problems that plague us."
"As most of you know the team of researchers who were searching for a new power both men and women could use instead discovered a weakness in the pattern. As a result of their investigation the Sharom was destroyed. After years of investigation I have come to some conclusions that will set our world on a new course, a better course.
What we need to know is this, at the beginning of time before there was anything created, two vast beings existed. The Creator and his opposite. As you can imagine the Creator wanted to create, but everything he made his opposite destroyed. I will tell you more about him later."
So the Creator made a trap for his opposite with the power of destruction being the key to closing the trap. When he was done creating it the other gleefully began to destroy it. The trap was sprung and the other was cast outside the pattern, trapped for all time. Finally the creator could create without restraint. He created the Wheel of Time so things could exist; he made the universe and everything we know. As time turned we went from the infancy of our world to the near death of it. It was the resurrection of the world, under the first channeler, Tamyrlin. To the great heights of the civilization we have now.
“Then the researchers drilled the bore looking for a new power.”
“What they discovered was the prison of the Creators opposite. It was a backlash from his power that destroyed the Sharom. Now his awareness has been growing and his will is affecting the people of the world. Society is breaking down because he wants free of his prison and he is looking for followers to help free him.” “ His goal is to remake the universe in his image, which will lead to the destruction of everything."
There was a collective gasp from the Hall, Lews Therin looked troubled, but not Elan, Jaric thought, He looks ecstatic.
"So this is what I propose,” Elan said, “we break this prison open, and we serve this great being." "His name is Shai'tan." Jaric felt the world tilt like something powerful brushed across it. "You will all serve him one way or another."
"Elan embraced the one power and began weaving fire.” I will destroy anyone who doesn't embrace my new master." Darkness rolled from him as fire engulfed the Nine Rods, followed by bolts of lightning. Screams erupted from the hall as people ran. Jaric was stunned, his hero was crazy and just murdered the Nine Rods. Lews Therin jumped from the High Seat, embracing Saidin. "Elan, What madness is this? What have you done?"
"Would you pit your meager powers against the power of my master? or would you rather serve him with glory forever?" Elan shouted with ecstasy.
Jaric ran up next to Lews embracing the source, trying to force a shield on Elan, as he could feel Lews doing the same. The darkness seemed to push back against Saidin as he and Lews battled on. "If you will not serve Shai'tan you are all dead." He screamed. Jaric could feel the weave coming towards him and knew he was dead if it touched him. As it was about to touch him he felt goose bumps and the weaves around Elan disappeared. Jaric glanced at Latra Posae as she walked up leading a circle of women.
"What you have done is an abomination Elan" Lews Therin said. “No, you are Elan Morin Tedronai, no more. Three names are too good for you. I name you Ishamael, you are the true betrayer of hope. Latra, sever him now and let him rot."
"Elan began laughing, "you still know nothing Lews, already my allies are attempting to open our masters prison, soon everything you love will be dead or dying." "Shai'tan aid me." he screamed as Latra attempted to sever him. The darkness surrounded the betrayer as Latra and the other women fell back, their flows dissolving. "I have the power of Shai'tan to aid me, what power will aid you worms." The darkness emanated out from him. Jaric prepared to die as he wove one final weave hoping to kill the betrayer. His weave crashed into a barrier of something, it wasn't Saidin, and he was pretty sure it wasn't Saidar.
"Fools you will all suffer for eternity for opposing my master" Jaric suddenly felt the immense power as Lews Therin drew more power through his Tamyrlin ring angreal. The amount of power he held now dwarfed every other channeler in the room. Lews created a weave for death and pushed it at the Betrayer. The betrayer flinched and Jaric felt the pattern tear. "It isn't over yet Lews Therin, it will never be over between us." as he jumped through the tear he had created.
"Summon everyone, we must act quickly," Lews said to Latra, as the glow faded around him. "Walk with me Jaric."
Jaric walked quickly to keep up with him. "Jaric I have a mission for you if you will do it." "Anything that you ask of me is done, you know that." "Okay, I need you to go to the Halls Angreal storage and weave a trap on everything there. Make it deadly, invert it and make it reset automatically upon trigger.” "Should you not consult the Hall Lews?" "Who can I trust but you my brother?" “I will do it immediately. Have faith brother; with you to lead us, we can't fail.” “Ah, Jaric your faith is touching, but I feel a sense of doom upon me that is disquieting. Go fast and take care of this task for me please.” "Consider it done." Jaric said as he and Lews embraced. "Hurry Jaric, everyone we love is in danger now." Jaric felt the words settle in his head like the doom his brother spoke of, as he ran to secure the Angreal stash.
John Massey
141. subwoofer
Go time!- First off - welcome to the club JennB- I see you've gone grey! Good times:)

& Does anyone watch Castle? Oh you didn't know?! Nathan Fillion- Home town boy(Edmonton- Represent! Wooooo!) makes good. And he starred on Firefly... Can do no wrong. Repeat on tonight...

Free- nice turn on Noal Farstrider. Guy is regaining his edge. I said he was the man. Mat was working like a champion just to keep up with Foxy Lady- Noal had it figured out ahead of time. He knew where the main baddies were already. One way to stay ahead of the pack- skip the race, stake out the finish line.

Leigh- hola! she does exist. Shucks, now if only I could get a dingle ball...

Galldrian Riatin- DF or great thumping doof? I mean what kind of would dig up the male CK as a tribute? Honestly. Sadin was not cleansed and that thing was buried for a reason. Monument to an ego or doing as a Forsaken asked? Either way, not very well thought out.

@AMW- glad you are still around. Symbol reversed eh? Durned Jordan, being difficult. Betchya he did that on purpose so those connections are harder to make.

DO seeming contradictory. Not so much. Sending his minions scurrying in various directions. Sowing chaos. Working against each other. Seems to be par for the course for Team Shadow. Don't think ability to work with others is on the list for being a baddie. Or sharing toys. Or snickerdoodles...

John Massey
142. subwoofer
Epic Post! Torie is gonna have to make a new 10 after that one!

John Massey
143. subwoofer
Makes up for the lack of a Monday posting! Thanks Sam:)

Roger Powell
144. forkroot
Sam - Once again I am totally impressed. Your imagination is terrific and you've made very plausible sequences in all of your WoT "shorts". (By plausible, I mean that your stories seem like they could be part of the actual WoT history.)
And, oh yeah, the stories are fun to read.

Bravo my friend!
Alice Arneson
145. Wetlandernw
Sam - Well done!! Again!!

JennB @114 and various others...

One, I just got done rereading (in the process of searching for something else) the bit in CoT where Mat & Tuon are meeting for the first time in that book. Tuon lights into Mat for the backstory he created for her with the menagerie... Let's just say Mat has a record of coming up with fairly elaborate backstories when he tries! In that case he didn't write them out, but they weren't just quick sketches. If you can drag yourself back through CoT, it might surprise you. I would say the only "out of character" part might be the actual pen-and-paper part of it; the thorough background for someone incognito is not out of character at all.

Also... regarding the "long and pointless farmer scene in the prologue"... That was written by Robert Jordan. Those who were privileged to attend JordanCon 2009 heard RJ tell it, in a recording made just a few weeks before he died. Like it or don't, you can't rag at BWS for it. It's pure Jordan. I'm betting that Leigh can't read that scene without at least tearing up a little. (Am I right?)
Roger Powell
146. forkroot
The farmer scene is not pointless. It would be rather anticlimactic if AMoL does not include a rip-snorting mega-battle even if the resolution undoubtedly involves Rand.

If you are going to have a mega-battle, you need a mega-cast (so to speak.) The whole point of the scene is to show how the Borderlanders have their duty ingrained in their very soul (Jahar Narishma has spoken of this too.)

When Lan shows up at Tarwin's Gap with hundred of thousands of armed men and their supporting team of farriers, cooks, etc. you will understand how such a team could be assembled.
Roger Powell
147. forkroot
Hmmm - I suppose the last post should have been over on the open spoiler thread; however I haven't been on that thread for a long time.

Furthermore, the comment that I was responding to occurred on this thread.

At this point, is there really a point to having two threads, vs just posting on the current re-read thread? TGS has been out for three months now.
Thomas Keith
148. insectoid
Sam @140: ...Wow. Great story!!

Sub @141: LOL! Um... what's with the doorknob? ;)

Fork @147: Are you badmouthing the Great Second TGS Open-Spoiler Thread of Doom? I mean, I know today was the first day in the last 14 weeks that there wasn't a single comment, but still...

(Now you're probably all wondering how I know that...)

Barry T
149. blindillusion
Various RE:~ Mat's creativity

Wetlander, as usual, has the right of it in spades. In fact, when you think about it, Mat has been creating cover stories throughout the entire series...or at least since his awakening in The Dragon Reborn.

Let us not forget the story he made up on the fly to Morgase and Rahvin..err...Gaebril...all the while knowing this man intends to kill the Queen's daughter.

As for the writing that now goes with it...we must remember that Mat now has the collective thoughts of many, many men rattling around in his head. Most of the one's we've been privy to seem at least extremely competent and at most very intelligent.

We also know that these memories are now ingrained so much in his mind that sometimes he cannot tell where his memories leave off and their's begin.

And to put a cap...or hat in this case...on the whole deal, Mat has just had a rather unique event take place in his life.

So, yes, perhaps the back-story and script hate will continue...but I don't really see why. Mr Jordan set it in and, IMHO, Mr Sanderson knocked it out with perfection.

edit: Well, since Insectoid took the easy one.... (1*4)+9=13. =)

And oh why not....

150. Lowlandr
@ Mat's character discussion

a lot of people are having trouble with the change of Mat's character, I personally don't have. Yes, do notice he has changed. Partly this is possible due BWS writing style.

Mat has had the memories of other in his head for a while now, which will rub off. He feel in love and got married. I can relate to the part that he is done with improvising on the spot and wants to prepare for certain encounters. Maybe BWS has overdone it with is 5 pages of notes per person, but a change in personality is a bit of inevitable.

Realising while I type this post, all 3 'woolheads' had a change in their personality in the new book: Mat being more mature (though refusing to acknowledge most of it (being husbandly :)), Perrin accepting being a Lord with responsibility and Rand changing from steel into Cuendillar and then changing again on the Dragonmount (remembering to laugh and cry again??)
Bonnie Andrews
151. misfortuona
Good Morning everyone :)
I see there has been another busy night.

Yeah, I'm not alone.

As I have said before, I never had a problem with Mat's backstories. They made sense to me, and I don't see any reason why he wouldn't have written them down.

Yes as Lowlandr said, maybe, 5 pages is too much, but the man has the imagination of a Gleeman, or a fantasy author. It makes sense to me that he would eventually get around to making these things more permanent. The backstories did tend to unravel a bit at the traveling show after all, and it’s far easier to hand someone a set of ‘lines’ than have them memorize a script.

Yep, I see Mat penning his own books eventually; maybe that's where those Randland Fantasy novels someone was asking about earlier come in. ;D

Mis- thinking Sam made up for the lack of a new post. Thanx
Tricia Irish
152. Tektonica
Thank you Samadai@140: Brilliant! Again. Loved the way you interwove fact and story and I love this idea:

So the Creator made a trap for his opposite with the power of destruction being the key to closing the trap. When he was done creating it the other gleefully began to destroy it. The trap was sprung and the other was cast outside the pattern, trapped for all time.

Maybe Rand will use it too!

And I vote for a continuation of tGS spoiler has gone quiet, but it's a good place for big discussions that might not be immediately relevant over here. More action last night.....
Tricia Irish
153. Tektonica
This was an attempt to delete a duplicate??? Help??
Barry T
154. blindillusion
Hmm, help? Well, to delete your comment you're going to have to Edit, Highlight the page, Ctrl-9, backspace backspace, Type the name of your favorite pundit, Sing the opening lines to "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" and Tap three times on the screen.

Oh, wait, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah, I agree with Tek. The Spoiler thread (though the next time Torie breaks it, I suppose it could be called a Discussion thread) should not fall by the way side. Still lots to talk about.

Though I do question the use of the word "ghostwriter" by phoenixsorcerer. Mr Sanderson isn't ghostwriting for Mr Jordan....

For all the juicy gossip, tune in here.

Hi Tek *wave* =)
155. Joanne
happy one year anniversary of the re-read! (bit late but with good intentions)

I don't mind the slowing down. I have seen my productivity going up in the last weeks. Maybe I will actually get to postng a bit more.

re: Mat, the backstory scene did not bother me. Maybe it was a bit overdone, but very funny.
As I read the chapter above, I can understand why the ladies don't respect Mat as much as they should. We know his mind, but they don't. Just imagine receiving a letter like the one he sent to Elayne and Nynaeve...

Question: can someone point me to the thread in which book suggestions to pass the time until the next WOT book were discussed?
Tess Laird
156. thewindrose
Joanne - When I saw the phrase productivity going up, I thought you were going to say at work! Mine certainly has(which may be a good thing, with the economy and all).

Samadai - Great story! Love how you have all the AoL names in there:)

Tek - (fwiw)I don't think it is possible to delete a duplicate posting with out the help from Torie or Pablo - but you can edit it and put something else there.

157. Joanne
LOL, I meant at work, but one has to compensate of coarse... (at university I am hardly going to affect the economy)

besides, I have run out of things to do in my break. I have already read everything in the WOTFAQ and the 13th depository. Tor gained another customer and WOT a new fan due to this re-read.
Ron Garrison
158. Man-0-Manetheran
blindillusion @ 154:
"Well, to delete your comment you're going to have to Edit, Highlight the page, Ctrl-9, backspace backspace, Type the name of your favorite pundit, Sing the opening lines to "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" and Tap three times on the screen."

Or, if you're blond, you can just use White-Out™
Sam Mickel
159. Samadai
subwoofer, forkroot, wetlandernw, insectoid, misfortuona, tektonica, and thewindrose,

Thank you for the kind words. Just doing my part to keep it fun, since I really have nothing to say on these chapters. even though I like them both.
I will keep making stories as long as no one objects.
Tricia Irish
161. Tektonica
Samadai: Absolutely, keep it up! Very entertaining and well done! Thank you!

Blind@154 and MOM@158: Thanks for your really informative solutions! I'll get right on that.....still looking for my old white out.....LOL. You two......

Wind@156: Thanks for the straight up poop. I'll just leave it alone. (Puts white out back in drawer.)

I thought I was the only one that didn't mind Mat doing the backstories. They were hysterical. Even though he hadn't been much of a writer up to that point, there are always new and interesting facets to our much beloved rogue, Mat.
His whole childhood was probably good practice for making up stories. He seemed rather frantic in the scene in tGS where he did these, and it kind of seemed a perfect outlet for his frenzy.

I second the motion for tGS thread, when closed and reopened to be a general discussion thread....which would really be the same......
Barry T
162. blindillusion
M-o-M ~ Agreed. And LOL as well.

RobM ~ Agreed. Sam, keep the stories coming. Nice vision.

Tek ~ Agreed. Call it what it Spoiler thread might keep people away.

Also, that's a good way to put it.... Mat needed an outlet for his frantic he stayed up all night writing.

He could have spent that whole time running around bugging the hell out of people...and as we all know someone like that...I'm glad it didn't happen. THAT would have been OoC for Mat, IMHO.
Bonnie Andrews
163. misfortuona
@ Separate tGS/WOT discussion thread. Oh yes please. The 2nd is already becoming cumbersome for my poor dial up to handle. In not much longer I'll have to go back to lurking there only from home. It just takes too long to post.

Tek and Blind
Absolutly how else was he supposed to keep it all organized if he didn't write it down?

April Vrugtman
164. dwndrgn
Ahem. Tap. Tap. Is this thing on?

Well, I'm mostly a lurker with a post here and there but I wanted to drop my puny 2 cents into the bucket - whether the re-read posts come infrequently or frequently they are a boon to WoT fans and should continue no matter what. Leigh does a fabulous job and the regular group of commenters are wonderful as well - teaching those of us who are oblivious (had no idea the old man was Noal/Jain, didn't even figure Noal as Jain...duh) the little things that make it all that much more fascinating. Entertaining us with your poetry and fanfiction, even turning us on to time sinks like TV is ALL good.

When I began reading these posts and comments, I had already begun my own re-read (for the umpteenth time and still missing details!) and it made my own re-read that much more interesting and fun.

So in short (oops, too late!), keep it all coming!

Ahem. Thank you. How do you turn this thing off?
Ron Garrison
165. Man-0-Manetheran
Welcome dwndrgn! The only way to turn this thing off is for everyone to stop posting. Hopefully that will never happen!
Ron Garrison
166. Man-0-Manetheran
OK, so I'm totally clueless about the bust of Pallas reference! Leigh: ""

Clickin' to Wiki, I hunted down Pallas. Seems there are quite a few, so I picked the female one, daughter of Triton:
"In Greek mythology, Pallas (??????) was the daughter of Triton. Acting as a foster parent to Zeus’ daughter Athena, Triton raised her alongside his own daughter Pallas. During a fight between the two goddesses, Athena was protected from harm by Zeus, however she mortally wounded Pallas. Out of sadness and regret, she created the palladium, a statue in the likeness of Pallas. This story inspired a yearly festival in Libya dedicated to Athena. Girls from the Machlyans and Auseans tribes would fight each other, and those who died were labeled false virgins."

False virgins?!? Yipes, that's harsh.
April Vrugtman
167. dwndrgn
At M.o.M 165 - lol! That was a humor thing - I was making like I was talking on a microphone and obviously I don't use them often (don't post here too much) so don't know how to work them. I wounldn't want to turn off the WoT Re-Read! That would be sacrilege!

(I have no idea about Pallas either, just so everyone else who doesn't know doesn't think they are all alone.)
Barry T
168. blindillusion
The Raven in Poe's "The Raven" is perched on a bust of Pallas.

Open here i flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door--
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just a bove my chamber door--
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

One of my all time favorite poems from one of my all time favorite writers.
Roger Powell
169. forkroot
The Raven in Poe's "The Raven" is perched on a bust of Pallus.
Ouch! That's gotta hurt!

(At least that's what my wife says when the cat digs his claws in and her shirt isn't thick enough.)
Roger Powell
170. forkroot
Since we are on the subject of Raven parodies, my particular favorite has always been: Abort, Retry, Ignore? There are several variations floating around; however the one I linked to seems to be the closest to the version that I first saw some 20+ years ago.
Ron Garrison
171. Man-0-Manetheran
forkroot @ 170:

A witty poem I do adore,
And that one certainly has wit galore.
Computer horror is a genre of its own,
And this certainly is a classic tome.
Of op sys crises there is no lack,
And Tek would advise to "get a Mac."
Windows and Unix fans would jump to defend,
And were this not a friendly group t'would never end.
So before I make a joke that's not PC,
I'll end this little joie de vivre.
Roger Powell
172. forkroot

You da man! Well... actually, I guess you da Man-o-Manethran!

Well done regardless.
Tricia Irish
173. Tektonica
Fork and MOM:

LOL! Great old poem and oh so true.
Command Z is my favorite key, and yes,
Get a Mac!
Thomas Keith
174. insectoid
Blind @154 & M-0-M @158: LOL!!

Fork @170 & M-0-M @171: ::rolling on the floor laughing::

Or for Tek, Command-Option-Bzzz™. ;)
Rob Munnelly
175. RobMRobM
Joanne @155 - Welcome.

"Question: can someone point me to the thread in which book suggestions to pass the time until the next WOT book were discussed?"

TFOH 23, starting at (my) comment @264. This was during one of Leigh's gaps and I asked for recommendations in SF and fantasy arenas. Based on the thread and subsequent recommendations, I have read Bujold Vorkosigan books (loved), Donaldson's Gap Series (loved), Hobbs Farseer Books (loved), Feist's Riftwar (liked), Salvatore's Dark Elf and Icewind Dale books (liked), various works of Connie Willis (loved Doomsday Book; very much liked To Say Nothing of the Dog; and liked the Firewatch stories); and am now working my way through the Steven Brust Taltos books (very fun). I still have to read Weis/Hickman's Dragonlance - not at the library and I need to order them.

Note of course that I had some SF/Fantasy before undertaking the above list, including George RR Martin, various Ender books by Card, and lots and lots of classic SF and Fantasy (especially the original Dune, which remains my favorite).

Tricia Irish
176. Tektonica

Thanks for the recommendations....think I'll take advantage of them as well, since I've read half of what you listed and feel the same way about most of them. The rest must be good too!

Which one of these would you recommend first?


I'm a bit bored with The Dark Elf series....nice characters, tired plot. Seems simple. Maybe I"m missing something since I know nothing about D & D.
Loved GRRM, Ender, Dune!, Hobbs, and Feist.

Did you read Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind? Very good. And need to mention BWS's Mistborn series..Loved.
177. Freelancer
There is a late '70s movie about drag racing called Hot Rod. In the movie a girl is asking the protagonist why he's into cars so much, and he says he loves making them faster and faster. She asks him, "Then what?", to which he replies, then they become automatics, and that's boring.

I think of that line everytime someone says "Get a Mac".

But you can get what you want, as long as you get something new this year, hopefully with lots and lots of flash memory. Think of it as doing your part to keep Freelancer employed. (No, that's not my company, just one of our leading edge customers)
178. AndrewB
Samadai @140: Great story and well written. One question. Is Sanai (the newest of the Nine) a real WoT character? If so, who.

Thanks to any who can answer.

Freelancer @136. You said:
"While he's under discussion, I cannot conceive of him ever being a darkfriend. Yes, he was abused and used by Ishamael, but that's a treatment you tend to reserve for your opposition, not your own team."

How about Fain? He was a long standing DF and he was put through the wringer by the Dark One.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Tricia Irish
179. Tektonica

LOL. It's not's freeing! You get to stop thinking about the machine because it thinks with you! It becomes an extension. Intuitive. It's a creative palette. (It may not work as well for linear functions, I don't know, but for creative purposes, it's hard to beat.)
Rob Munnelly
180. RobMRobM
Tek @176. Vorkosigan!!!!!! Tremendously fun stories about a future world of wars and intrigue between planets/systems centered around a crippled, hyperactive genius Miles Vorkosigan -- the product of his father's militaristic, traditional culture and his mother's free loving, scientifically advanced culture. I recommend trying to read in chrono order, which does not equate to publication order.

Try to start with Cordelia's Honor compilation, which contains Shards of Honor and Barrayar (Hugo winner) - which tell the story of the protagonist's parents, who play a big role in the books. The start in with the Miles books - Warrior's Apprentice is the first one, where he has big problems at military school and falls into an alternative career that requires him to be very quick on his feet. Then the Vor Game (Hugo Winner) and you're off and running. Mirror Dance also won Hugo, some shorter works in the Miles verse won Hugo and Nebula, and several others have been nominated. They are relatively short and lots of fun.

Donaldson is very very dark and violent (i.e., the female main character is brutalized throughout most of the first book, so be forewarned) but is brilliantly plotted about life way in the future with nasty people at the edge of the galaxy.

Willis is mostly comic time travel stories, centered on the time travel program at one of the Oxford colleges in the near future. Doomsday is the great one - the first student sent back to the Dark Ages, and things go horribly wrong. To Say Nothing of the Dog is the fun one - a time paradox occurs with overtired students in Victorian England.

Brust is kind of a darker Vorkosigan - Taltos is a crime lord/assassin/sorcerer/witchcraft user in a work ruled by giant human like beings that fight, use sorcery and have a very complicated social structure (i.e., they are organized in 17 houses, all named after animals on this world and all books are 17 chapters long). Very playful and Zelazny-like (one of Brust's heroes).

Hope that helps. (I have not read Rothfuss.)
Kate Smith
181. Rukaiya
Tektonica, since you liked Jordan, Martin, and Rothfuss, I'd recommend Michelle West's Sun Sword series. It's not as well known, but it's one of my favorite series. I've read it over and over, and every time I enjoy it as much as the first time. She creates magnificent characters--including one of my favorite villains of all time--and her world-building is very good.
Sam Mickel
182. Samadai

I just made him up along with the person he replaced. I was just trying to put a face on the Nine Rods as many people don't know that they were just regional governors, while sticking to the little I know about the Age of Legends. I was reading tEotW prologue Dragonmount, and the part where Ishamael is talking to Lews Therin about who he was. About sitting in the High Seat, summoning the Nine Rods of Dominion and wearing the Ring of Tamyrlin. How Lews humbled Ishamael in the Hall of Servants, and Defeated him at the gates of Paaran Disen. I thought given that info I could attempt to fill in that story with stuff I just made up. Whats that old saying; Two parts truth, one part bulls*&t and your story is set. ;)
183. Freelancer

Fain indeed. There is no question he is a special case. Due to the objectives for which he was "prepared", it can be understood that only a (previously) devoted darkfriend would suffice. There is also no question that the side of evil will always be more willing to mistreat their own than the side of good, a condition which always makes the quest more difficult for the good guys. For all of this, I refer you to the word "tend" in my original comment @136. It was never a statement of absolutes.


I'm with you on Hobbs, Card, and Feist. George R. R. Martin is almost like Feist-lite to my thinking. Good, not quite excellent. On Herbert, the first three Dune books were phenomenal, then the series nose-dived into a place so low one would have to look up to see bottom. I feel the same about Heinlein, except that for most of his stories that descent occurs at the midpoint of each book. A side note on the Ender books. Did you know that Card's editor for those was none other than Harriet McDougal?


I like you (and everyone else here) far too much to pull the cork on my anti-Mac rant, which makes the strongest known FBLR seem like an offhand aside. Consider yourself spared. However, I will point out that the graphic arts machined employed by the majority of high-end game designers are PC-based. ;-{)>
Alice Arneson
184. Wetlandernw
...which makes the strongest known FBLR seem like an offhand aside. LOL! Not sure if I'd like to see it or not. Must be quite something! :>
185. BenM
Donaldson: I've read the first and second Covenant trilogies. The first time was in high school, too long ago. I enjoyed it. But the last time I tried to get through the first trilogy, I just couldn't.

It's been a while, I'm trying to remember what the issue was. I think I found Covenant to be too whiny, rambling, and self absorbed. Don't get me wrong, not like I wouldn't have sympathy for someone who got stuck with leprosy, and I understand to an extent, that he kind of has no choice BUT to be self absorbed, just to survive. I don't know, I just couldn't get through it. I don't think I'd have as much problem with the second trilogy. More action, less rambling and whining, on the land parts in the first and third books, anyway.
Thomas Keith
186. insectoid
Free @183:
...which makes the strongest known FBLR seem like an offhand aside.

Rob Munnelly
187. RobMRobM
185 - I read the Chronicles as well, way back in the day, and liked them rather than loved them for exactly the same reasons as you stated. But the Gap books are special - again, content warning: very violent and wrenching - but wonderfully done and leaving a special impact afterwards. (by the way, "Gap" is what they call their faster than light drive.)
188. Joanne
@ RobMRobM
Thank you! That will keep me occupied until ToM comes out.

I really liked the Mistborn series, especially the first book.
Tricia Irish
189. Tektonica

Totally agree with you about the Dune series. First three were magic. The rest, meh, and the outrigger novels by his son, horrible. Didn't know Harriet was Card's editor! Nice fun fact. Liked much of Ender. Gosh, I read Heinlein soooooo long ago, it's hard to remember more than Stranger.

And thanks RobM and Rukaiya for your recommendations! Those should keep me busy for awhile. Nice reviews!

Glad I'm in your good graces! I hope I'm not completely alone here when I say I'm not a technical person. Not like you couldn't tell.... I have no clue what FBLR is? And I don't mean to put down the any kind of computer. People need/use what they do because it works for them. My background is in the Arts, and I really don't want to know how the machine works, just that it works, always, and let's me do what's in my head.....But let's not be belittling my fast little baby as automatic and boring, ala your movie hotrod. Thinking about the 27 keystrokes I need on my husbands PC to make something happen is certainly not automatic, but most certainly me.

Whatever floats your boat! To each his own. Whichever and whatever.....;-))
Marcus W
190. toryx
A lot of good book recommendations going on (and some of RobM's are those that I recommended way back when).

But I'm going to go ahead and offer the best series I read in 2009, since no one mentioned it:

Daniel Abraham's The Long Price Quartet. It's only four books, all published, and absolutely brilliant.

Just be warned that I'm a shades-of-gray guy (don't believe in absolute goods and evils) and this series appeals to that nature. If you like your conflict in good ol' black and whites, you might not enjoy this as much. But Abraham is incredibly talented and I'm recommending him to everyone.

My second favorite series for 2009 was the Company novels by Kage Baker, who we sadly just lost last weekend. The Company series itself is finished. Very good reads about time-travel, immortality and history. Some people weren't so fond of the ending but I loved them throughout.
191. Rand Al'Todd
RE the reading list@175 and 180:

I also vote for VorKosigan. Great series.


Anne McCaffrey: Any but I reccomend
Pern series (especially the original trilogy)
the Dinosaur Planet/Planet Pirates series which segued into Eliz Moon's Hero series.

Modesitt's Recluce series
Ron Garrison
192. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. book recommendations:
My other love is historical fiction - esp. big thick ones! If this is your interest too, give me a shout and I'll share my short list of favorites.
Marcus W
193. toryx
I like historical fiction too. What're your favorites, @192?
April Vrugtman
194. dwndrgn
toryx you are asking for trouble! If everyone here reading this thread brings out their 'personal favorites' list you may end up having a personal 'to read' list like mine (over 250 titles long). Though I know we won't be able to help it! For example, my favorite historical fiction of recent years has to be Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death which is a sort of historical Bones in a way. Good stuff.

(see I couldn't help myself and I'm just a lurker!)
Tricia Irish
195. Tektonica

OK, give 'em up....list please! I've been eyeing Cromwell....have you read him?
Kathy Keith
196. Babokathy
Tek @195

I've read Cornwell, he's really good. So many different directions his novels go. The "Sharpe" series keeps growing; Napoleonic era (made into a British TV series). It's quite different than "Stonehenge". I like his detail. If you "Wiki" Bernard Cornwell, you'll see his books in chronological publication. And divided into series. I thought his short bio fascinating too.

So much diversity in historical fiction; it can be as intellectual as Michener, which can be a bore.

Or fanciful with Time Travel and romance as in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Set in 1743-1778 Scotland/U.S.

I liked some of Philippa Gregory's England-history stories (Wideacre Trilogy), but some of the ones about Queens, etc. are too romancy for me.

I also read recently a book called Thunderhead, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, that deals with American archaeology and the mysteries about the Anastasi Indians of New Mexico.

Their book Mount Dragon was a lot of fun. New Mexico thriller/mystery.

Rule of Thumb: Give a book 100-150 pages of your time; if it grabs you, finish it. If not; set it aside.

I'm still struggling with Michener's Alaska. He's got almost too much information to absorb.

Ron Garrison
197. Man-0-Manetheran
Doh! I went to reply to this thread and ended up in the other one, hence the following cross post.

Since everyone is excited about recommending books, I think I'll just do a few for now. I love to pick up big fat used books at sales. I picked up one once titled "The Teutonic Knights: a Historical Novel" by Henryk Sienkiewicz, a Polish author who wrote the most popular novel of the 1800's, "Quo Vadis" the story of the emperor Nero.

While I enjoyed "Quo Vadis", I found "The Teutonic Knights" thrilling! It is set in Poland in the Middle Ages and has multiple characters and storylines. I loved it so much that I hunted for more of his work and quickly came upon what is considered his masterpiece. It's a tryptich set in Poland. The three novels are:
"With Fire and Sword"
"The Deluge"
"Fire in the Steppe"

First published in 1887, the books were only completely translated into English in the 1990s.

"The Polish people's struggle against Cossacks, Tartars and Turks in the 1670s...a rousing epic of love, war, adventure and madness. Basia, the gutsy, bright, determined heroine, who chases bandits on horseback, riding a man's saddle, almost steals the show from her Hamlet-like husband, Col. Pan Vol od yov ski. A master of robust, old-fashioned realism, Sienkiewicz mixes fictional characters, like his boisterous villain, the shrewd old knight Pan Zagloba, with historical figures like Jan Sobieski, the careworn Grand Hetman of Poland, nemesis of the Turks and savior of Christendom at Vienna. Sienkiewicz's fierce, larger-than-life characters unself-consciously stride across the stage of history. His portrayal of the Polish Commonwealth averting anarchy and pulling together holds a timeless message of hope."
Tricia Irish
198. Tektonica

Thanks for the heads up on Cornwell....Cromwell? Where did i get that? Got thru Michener's Hawaii years ago, but haven't been able to handle anything else of his. I'm of the 100-150 page test too. If I'm bored then, it's adios. There's just too much good stuff to read. The only Philippa Gregory that I was aware of were the Queen things.....someone gave me one and oh ick...."romancy" is the right word. I was embarrassed.

The Anasazi books sound interesting....Preston & Child have done a lot of things, haven't they? Egypt? Was that them?

MOM: I responded on the other thread...
Rob Munnelly
199. RobMRobM
Tek - I'm a fan of the Patrick O'Brien naval adventures, of Master and Commander fame. Very WoT in the sense of how Captain Aubrey and surgeon/spy Maturin develop through the course of 20-plus novels, from young men to being in the later years. I have even done a re-read of the first four or five books to pick up on the subtleties I missed the first time. While the books are great (much better than the movie, which bastardizes a couple of plots scattered over several of the books), the author in real life apparently was a major first class a**hole. Guess you can't have everything. Rob
Bobby Stubbs
200. Valan
@ 197 M o M

I have a friend that is really into historical novels (and a huge history buff in general) and he would absolutely not shut up about With Fire and Sword. Apparently, he had a very old edition and was not sure that it was still being published, and as I look on Amazon I see collectors editions ranging from $43 bucks and up, with no straight retail (which I guess could be from that whole Amazon vs. Macmillin debacle, which they BETTER get fixed because I bought a Kindle so I could have the WoT at my fingertips and for no other real reason, its not hard to carry most series in your backpack/suitcase/whatever - but the WoT stretches the limit.)

Anyway, really that good? Know a good place I can get it from that's a bit cheaper?

edit: 200? After 5 days? What the hell?
201. papertiger
Wow...Leigh got stuck at ACOS. What a surprise! There's something poetic about the fact that she has to slow her posts on the Re-Read at the exact point when the plots to this series became hopelessly distended. Art and Life, right?
Debbie Solomon
202. dsolo
I miss Leigh's rereads, but there's a lotta lotta comments to get through (which I love).

I'm not going to scroll back up to see who asked about alcoholics in WOT, but don't forget Dain Bornhalt (I hope that name is right, the Whitecloak who thinks Perrin killed his father).

I'm going to have to check out some of these book recommendations. I started reading George RR Martin, before I discovered WOT, and he is definitely not afraid to kill off the heroes or who you think are the heroes. Unfortunately, he writes at a snail's pace. I love the Outlander novels by Diane Gabaldon, lots of history mixed with her fantasy.

re: Noal/Jain, I don't think he's a DF. I think Ishy was manipulating him, like Alviarin did Elaida.

re: Ishydin and Rand. I think that after their balefire streams crossed that there is a physical connection between them. Ishy didn't want Rand hurt, and that's why he betrays Semirrhage. Remember when Ishy is acting like his hand is hurting (feeling Rand's pain). Also, the reference to playing both sides of the board is due to Rand's behavior, IMHO. His growing distrust of everyone, especially Aes Sedai who could help him, and shutting down his emotions are making him easier to manipulate by the Dark side. This is not a new concept (Come to the Dark Side, Luke). That is why Cadsuane (who is definitely not Black) needs him to learn to laugh again. Also, it seems that the prophecies indicate that the land is tied to the DR, so all the food spoilage, bad weather, etc is more likely related to Rand's negativity.
Marcus W
203. toryx
dwndrgn @ 194:

Hey, I'm always looking for more books to read. I've got tons of books I haven't read sitting on bookshelves at home but I still like to try new things. When/where is Mistress of the Art Death set?

BaboKathy @ 196:

I know I've read one of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's books, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. I may have to go look it up later today.

I try to follow that rule of thumb about 100 pages (no more than that) but I've found that sometimes that doesn't work as well. If I'd followed it with BS I would have never finished the Mistborn series. All three of those books didn't do anything for me until 2/3rds of the way through.

Valan @ 200:

Now you've got me curious about Fire and Sword. I'm going to have to look into that.
April Vrugtman
204. dwndrgn
toryx @ 193: Mistress of the Art of Death is set in the 12th century. The protagonist is a woman who was trained as a medico in Italy and who is asked to solve mysteries and murders and such by Henry II because of her expertise with bones and anatomy and such. She runs into lots of problems though because they are set mostly in England and at that time women didn't do that kind of thing and the church frowned upon messing with bones and dead bodies too. It is the first of a series in which there are currently three books (The Serpent's Tale and Grave Goods are the next two).
John Massey
205. subwoofer
@Valen- sorry, woulda taken 'er to 5 hunny but the work/life balance is a bit out of kilter at the moment.

Ummmm... wasn't the rule of thumb originated to limit the amount of thickness of the stick a man may use to beat his wife? I tend to avoid this rule. If people kept to it, Steinbeck would be in deep trouble.

Many incredible books out there, some not so much... have sped through a few suggestions, have slogged through some others. Up to the individual and what they like.

Ron Garrison
206. Man-0-Manetheran
Valan @ 200 & Toryx @ 203:

As I told Tek on the other page, I borrowed my copies from the local library. I haven't found any copies for sale, and knowing that they are always there at the library, I haven't spent a lot of time searching.

Another interesting note is that Michener wrote the forward to the English translations. After reading the books, I can see that he was very inspired by Sienkiewicz. Alas, he can't approach the talent of Sienkiewicz. I'll never pick up another Michener novel after reading Centennial. It was supposed to be about Colorado, and I was constantly finding things that I knew to be false.

Pronunciation: Sienkiewicz = sin-KAY-vitch

EDIT: Be sure to only get the translation by W. S. Kuniczak. There is a horribly butchered translation published in the 1800s, and you don't want that one!
Rob Munnelly
207. RobMRobM
TFOH E-Book cover is up at main Tor page - Moiraine!
Scott Terrio
209. Renegade248
Hi-Res of Moiraine is up at Dragonmount. One of the best covers yet. Loving it.
Thomas Keith
210. insectoid
Great cover... Squee, indeed! ;)

Kate Smith
211. Rukaiya
I'm very impressed that they went ahead and did Moiraine, as the Aes Sedai ageless look has to be one of the hardest things to visualize or depict. However, I think the artist did a very good job capturing it.
Bobby Stubbs
212. Valan
@ 211

Agreed on the Ageless face, I think that's as good as it can get.

@ M o M

The library huh? Man I don't even know where a library is in Fort Worth. I should prolly look that up... hmmmm free books.
John Massey
213. subwoofer
Wife wants me to explore other options for my books. At some point here I am going to have to buy or build enough shelving to house them all. Guess that is why they are still in boxes. Maybe E-books, but I am old school at heart so not sure if I would go for that. Just something about the written word on paper. It speaks to me. I think it is ingrained into my generation and older. Yungun's now would not know the difference. It is tough to get them to put down the PS3 long enough to crack a book. Shame. The world changes and blurbs and sound bites replace prose. Books have to compete with gadgets, but there will always be a market for a good story. As long as Oprah does not kill it for me by giving it her seal of approval.

Bobby Stubbs
214. Valan
Hey now Sub, the Road by Cormac McCarthy got it and it is an amazing novel. I can't speak for anything else as I don't actually know any other books she put on her list, because I don't care. ;)
Sandy Brewer
215. ShaggyBella
A few of my favorite reads...
The Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula K. Le Guin...A short novel about a dreamer who changes reality.
Robert Heinlein...A Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Moon colonists revolt against the Earth. its different and kind of a fun ride)
The 3 Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. I haven't read it for a long time, but had lots of intrigue & action.

Now I am more into the audio books where I don't know how the character names are actually spelled (like Bela!)
I have a 20 mile drive to work like to listen to the books. I would love to have Lord of the Rings as audio books, but not available yet. They were hard to read with all that Elvish.
But hey, its almost Friday and a new WOT post wil be here soon.
Thomas Keith
216. insectoid
ShaggyBella @215: I have a copy of Heinlein's Moon on my shelf, intend to read it someday. (My dad likes Heinlein and Asimov and that sort of "deep" SF; he thought I should read it.)

217. Joanne
wow, what did I start here...?
Great discussion you all!

I can't offer much myself as I am a relative beginner in the Fantasy genre. I absolutely love Pratchett and can recommend the discworld series to anyone who is into social satire on a light note meeting fantasy, good stories and great characters.

You convinced me and I finally bought the first book of GRRM's series and The Name of the Wind yesterday.
On the way home I got stuck in public transport for 3 hours trying to cover a distance of 30 km. So I had the opportunity to dive into the Name of the Wind immediately and I love it so far. Lucky me, I suppose...
Bonnie Andrews
218. misfortuona
Good Friday all. Post today? **Twitch

Someone, Sub I think, commented on the books in boxes situation. I can totally relate. We've moved a few times in the past decade, and I was constantly in a state of anoyance because I couldn't find my favorites. Lists and lables somehow never helped. We finally took up building rough shelves in the garage/basement of each place we went and filling a wall.
The best part of this is that it never happens right away, so I'm several months without my old friends and then unpacking the boxes becomes like Christmas.

Anyway totally non WOT related, but it is Friday.

219. Pattingale
If you have tons of books in boxes and the amount of books you own annoys your spouse, then raise your hand (or take a shot if you're playing the drinking game version).
April Vrugtman
220. dwndrgn
--> Raises Hand
At least regarding the number of books. I have a relatively tiny library compared to many booklovers (about 100+ titles) but husband still thinks it is too many.

In re books in boxes and moving: I have my books in wooden wine boxes, move them like that stacked on top of each other and then set them up as bookshelves wherever I move to. Works for me.
Bonnie Andrews
221. misfortuona
You're looking for a lot of hands.
My husband loves books as much as I do, happily, though he hasn't read anything but textbooks in years now.

Books number well over a thousand now. Need actual shelves.

Marcus W
222. toryx
I've got 7 large bookshelves, 3 small ones and still several filled boxes of books in the basement.

Given that my partner buys books as often as I, if not more so, this isn't a matter of friction between us. But man, moving time is a drag.

Oh, and then there's the number of e-books clogging up various electronic devices.
Ron Garrison
223. Man-0-Manetheran
Save the Libraries!

Even though I have a library room in my house (doubles as a dining room on special occasions) there is nothing like having a good public library. First of all, everyone can borrow and read regardless of income level. It's a place to find those hard-to-find older books (esp. with Interlibrary Loan programs). It helps control the boxes of books problem. And yeah, the interwebs have encroached a lot into this temple of knowledge, but a good book printed on paper doesn't trash your eyes like a monitor!

From many comments, I gather that what I have in Denver is becoming rarer - a great public library system. I can pull up the catalog from my home computer; find the book I want; place a hold on the book and select the branch library where I want to pick it up. When the book arrives at the branch, an automatic email or phone call is generated to notify me. I swing by the branch; swipe my library card; take the book home. Curl up. Bliss. Easier than Amazon! Definitely cheaper! LOL.

Although with the recession, it has been necessary to reduce the hours, at least Denver has a citizenry that values keeping the libraries. Some suburban cities have just closed them without so much as a peep from their populace. Too busy texting, perhaps.

Which reminds me why I like this group so much. You can all write complete sentences with punctuation! ::exits soapbox::
Ron Garrison
224. Man-0-Manetheran
Ha! I see Leigh has posted while I composed my speech. Well, it probably will go unnoticed now. No matter. ON TO PART 11!
Steven Pattingale
225. Pattingale
Shelves are good! :) I remember sketching out a dream house once and the massive library it contained was a key feature! :)
Kathy Keith
226. Babokathy
OH GREAT! The new POST! Hurrah!

Subwoofer @205, 213

M-O-M got to it before me, but yes, you can donate your used books to your local public library. It might be a tax deduction?

Or, sometimes it's okay to donate them to someone who will pick them up FOR YOU, like AMVETS, GOODWILL, SALVATION ARMY, ETC. THEIR thrift stores love books, and charities get money that way.

I have donated thousands of books I read. If they're not "classics" or "signed" they're dust collectors. I was feeling buried in books.

Ron Garrison
227. Man-0-Manetheran
And I've picked up some of my favorite books at thrift stores! What goes around, goes around! Thanks for reminding us Bobokathy.
Cynthia Ahmar
228. tenkuu
Dean of the "Supernatural" TV series is much like Mat. I always did prefer Sam myself though. Did you hear, btw, that Supernatural is getting another season, unexpectedly? The entire series was supposed to end on this one.
229. katgordon
:raises hand:
Luckily the mate is just as much a book-nerd as I (if not quiiiite as rabid re: wot; he's only on his first re-read- so adorable).
Our place has two bedrooms and guess who lives in the master bedroom... That's right. The books.
Sad yet wonderful. :)
John Massey
230. subwoofer
Actually, my local library sells books off for a buck or two and I buy them. Heh. Most of the books are from the era I was doing the bulk of my reading in so I relate. I have managed to stop buying as many as I do not have time to read as much as before, but there is always retirement.

As I have said, I was considering an E-reader or something, but the sucky part is the the power aspect. When I go fishing, I passively fish, which means I cast my line and sit back sometimes with a beverage and a book and pass the time out on the lake. Being plugged in gives me two worries. Firstly, what is the battery life on one of those things and the chances of me getting it wet are highly likely. Books, a little water is nothing new, and as long as there is sun, book is readable.

Jerry Bennett
231. Isvarden
props to sub, books will always win out in the end, they need only your sight.
David Schaich
234. daschaich
Two years late to the party, but I timed my own re-read for AMoL as opposed to TGS, so that's the price I pay. (On the other hand, I haven't yet had to wait for a re-read post, so ha.) Since this is my first comment on any re-read post, let me begin by thanking Leigh for all the effort and awesomeness she's putting into this. These posts have really made my own re-read a whole lot more fun in every way.

The reason I'm commenting is to share two thoughts about Carridin and Sammael that don't seem to have been aired in the previous comments. (At least, I don't see them, but I only skimmed, so apologies if anybody else pointed this out a couple of years ago.)

First, I consider the resumption of Myrddraal killing off Carridin's family to be foreshadowing that Ishydin is ba-a-ack. To add to what Lsana wrote @15, if I recall correctly, a Carridin viewpoint we got in TSR indicated that the killings stopped when Ishamael died in the Stone of Tear. Of course, Carridin didn't know what had happened, which is why he initially thought Liandrin had finally come to kill him in Tanchico. Now that Moridin is in play, he has reactivated at least some of his former incarnation's commands, however pointless they may be at this point.

Second, I believe Sammael is "taken aback" by Mat's presence because it lets him realize that the huge army Rand built to attack Illian (cf. Theodor @6) is actually a diversion:
"Great Master, I saw Mat Cauthon."
"Here?" Oddly, for a moment, Sammael seemed taken aback. He murmured something under his breath, and the blood drained from Carridin's face at one caught word.
"Great Lord, you know I would never betray--"
"You? Fool! You haven't the stomach."
Emphasis added. I bet that the one word Carridin caught was something like "trick" or "trap". Sammael knows that Mat is a gifted general, and that Mat was on his way to lead said huge army against Illian. By being both militarily competent and super-suspicious, Sammael immediately groks that Mat's sudden reassignment implies that the army is actually unimportant -- except as a distraction. I was actually glad to see Sammael display this level of competence, so he should get some recognition for that before he kicks it. Of course, I recall Mat raising exactly this concern when Rand sent him to Salidar in the first place, and it fits with the general theme of making all of Our Heroes' plans go to hell in a handbasket, so perhaps I shouldn't be so impressed by apparent evil perpicuity.
235. Meadowmeal
Many thanks for your excellent summaries and commentary, Leigh!

I was just thinking: wouldn't it be irrealistic to have the presumably tiny birds on a signet ring be easily identifiable to Mat as ravens?

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