Jan 4 2010 10:29am

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 5

Happy new decade, chirren! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read, right here on your friendly neighborhood

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season. I myself passed a trés bien time with family and friends, and have gotten some lovely new warm winter boots, just in time for the rest of me to freeze to death, because really, New York.

Winter is stupid.

Anyway! Today’s entry covers Chapter 7 of A Crown of Swords. Today’s a short one, because (a) I’m still recovering from holiday hangover (I leave it to you to decide whether or not I mean that literally) and (b) the next few chapters all go together better anyway.

Previous re-read entries are here. The Wheel of Time Master Index is here, in which you can find links to news, reviews, and all manner of yummy tidbits regarding the newest release, The Gathering Storm, and for WOT-related stuff in general.

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

And now, the post!

Chapter 7: Pitfalls and Tripwires

What Happens
Rand fights with saidin while thinking about the different factions and problems in Cairhien. He notes to himself that Faile’s nature is as fierce as her namesake, and that her loyalty is to her husband Perrin, not him; he knows that if she considers it necessary to defend Perrin from the Dragon Reborn, she will. He wonders why Perrin is so vehement about the Aes Sedai, and if Kiruna and the others really could have exerted some undue influence on him. Lews Therin begins raving about killing the Asha’man again, and Rand asks him why shouldn’t he, Rand, be killed as well.

Are you real? the voice said at last, wonderingly. That denial of Rand’s existence was as usual as refusing to answer. Am I? I spoke to someone. I think I did. Inside a box. A chest. Wheezing laughter, soft. Am I dead, or mad, or both? No matter. I am surely damned. I am damned, and this is the Pit of Doom, I am . . . d-damned, wild, that laughing, now, and t-this—is the P-Pit of—

Rand muted the voice to an insect’s buzz, something he had learned while cramped into that chest. Alone, in the dark. Just him, and the pain, and the thirst, and the voice of a long-dead madman. The voice had been a comfort sometimes, his only companion. His friend. Something flashed in his mind. Not images, just flickers of color and motion. For some reason they made him think of Mat, and Perrin. The flashes had begun inside the chest, them and a thousand more hallucinations.

He tells the Maidens and the Asha’man with him to get ready. Ignoring Enaila and Somara’s comments, he creates a gateway to the Palace stables in Caemlyn, noting each Asha’man’s strength as he goes through, and deciding to have the wagons from Dumai’s Wells searched again for the fat man angreal. Lews Therin tries to take saidin away from Rand again and fails, and Rand worries about what would happen if the madman ever managed to seize it before he could. Lews Therin is relieved once they step through to be far away from Alanna, but Rand likes to be reminded of it, as it makes him remember not to trust Aes Sedai. Rand puts his sword and scepter in a bag and has Sulin tie his hands together; she mutters angrily that Rand’s plan is nonsense.

When Sulin stepped around in front of Rand, she took one look at his face, and her breath caught. “They did this to you,” she said softly, and reached for her heavy-bladed belt knife. A foot or more of steel, it was almost a short-sword, though none but a fool would say that to an Aiel.

“Pull up the hood,” Rand told her roughly. “The whole point of this is that no one recognize me before I reach Bael and Bashere.” She hesitated, peering into his eyes. “I said, pull it up,” he growled. Sulin could kill most men with her bare hands, but her fingers were gentle settling the hood around his face.

They lead him through the Palace to Bael and Bashere, and when they take his hood off Rand sees that Melaine, Dorindha, and Deira are there as well. Bashere asks why he comes to them as a prisoner, but Deira interrupts to ask if the Aes Sedai are coming down on them for what Rand did with the sisters at Dumai’s Wells. Melaine answers sharply that they will be dealt with if they do. Dorindha wants to know what is being done about Colavaere, and Rand growls that Colavaere has taken up farming, which confuses everyone. He continues that the Sun Throne is empty again and waiting for Elayne, and comments that he didn’t know this was to be “a family gathering”. Bael and Bashere both make jokes about the wisdom of keeping things from your wife (or wives), and Bael earns a minor stabwound from Melaine in response.

“What woman could I hate enough to marry her to the Dragon Reborn?” Rand said coldly. That caused a silence solid enough to touch.

He forces himself to be calm, and asks if Elayne has arrived; the “prisoner” disguise had been in case she was already in the Palace, so he could leave without alerting her to his presence. Bashere answers, not yet, but there are rumors of an army with Aes Sedai somewhere in Murandy or Altara, which could be “young Mat” and his Band with Elayne and the other sisters who escaped from Tar Valon after the Tower coup. Deira asks icily if he means to make those sisters swear oaths to him too, and Rand mentally notes that like her daughter, Deira’s loyalty is to her husband, and also that she really doesn’t like Rand. Rand answers her blandly that he’ll accept their oaths if they choose to swear, but if they want to go their own way, they may, unless they put themselves against him. Bael opines that the White Tower already has put itself against him, and “an enemy who comes once, will come again. Unless they are stopped.”

“Don’t you think I’ve enough on my plate without a war against the White Tower? Elaida grabbed my throat and was slapped down.” The ground erupting in fire and torn flesh. Ravens and vultures gorging. How many dead? Slapped down. “If she has sense enough to stop there, I will too.” So long as they did not ask him to trust. The chest.

Rand goes to look at the maps while the others argue over whether Elaida does have the sense to stop, and half-listens to their discussion about various states of affairs as he wonders where Mat is, and why he appears to be moving so slowly. He thinks that he needs Mat for the plan against Sammael, since Perrin is “being stubborn”. Then he overhears something about Dyelin (and Aes Sedai) and demands that they repeat it. Melaine tells him that there are nine Aes Sedai at an inn in Caemlyn, and a few more Melaine is sure are Reds coming in and out of the city periodically to ask about the Black Tower. Rand waves all that away and wants to know about Dyelin, saying if she thinks she can take the throne he can “find a farm for her, too”, but Bashere explains it is quite the opposite: when some nobles proclaimed for her in Aringill, Dyelin had two of them hanged and the rest flogged for treason against Elayne, and since then has had Naean Arawn and Elenia Sarand imprisoned for declaring for themselves. Pelivar and Luan then declared Dyelin Elayne’s regent in Andor until she returns.

“Most of the Houses of Andor have declared support for Dyelin. I think some would like her to take the throne herself, but Aringill keeps even the most powerful careful of their tongues.” Closing one eye, Bashere pointed at Rand. “You, they do not mention at all. Whether that is good or bad, it will take a wiser head than mine to say.”

Rand moves on and introduces them to Fedwin Morr, who he will be leaving with Bael and Bashere, and instructs them to keep his status as an Asha’man secret. He adds that he will be taking other Asha’man to Weiramon, and Bael infers from this that the Illian invasion is at last about to begin. Bashere is gleeful, and Rand promises Bael that the Aiel will have the fifth in Illian.

Bring Elayne quickly, Mat. It ran wild in his head, across Lews Therin’s cackling. Bring her quickly, before Andor and Cairhien both erupt in my face.

You will forgive me if I find the last line of this chapter highly ironic.

This chapter is our re-introduction to being inside Rand’s head, which as we all know is just a superfun place to be, for Rand as well as the rest of us. I really don’t remember feeling this sorry for our hero the first time I read the series, but every subsequent time through it’s just more deeply impressed upon me how thoroughly shitty his life really is.

Which is why I made a point of calling attention to the small moment with Sulin where she ties his hands. Plotwise it wasn’t technically worth a quote, but it is so relatively rare to have anyone (besides maybe Min) really gain a sympathetic understanding of what Rand’s going through that I feel the need to, I don’t know, reward it or something.

The other thing that jumped out at me about this chapter is actually what I left out of the summary, which is the number of times Rand manages to unnerve people just by looking at them, including Sulin. I’m undecided if this is supposed to indicate he looks bad-ass, or just crazy. Possibly both. Either way, it’s kind of perversely cool to imagine you can intimidate even extremely assertive characters (which in WOT is just about everyone) just with a look.

This chapter also contains the (I think) first fleeting mention of the “colors” that will eventually develop into Ta’veren Telepathy in Technicolor, tee em. I never noticed that until just now, either. Still not sure what the purpose of it is; I mean, theoretically it could prove to be useful at some point, but to date the only result I’ve noticed is that it annoys the hell out of all three of Our Heroes. This is because it’s more like clairvoyance than telepathy, of course, but then the joke wouldn’t work. And we can’t have that.

The Caemlyn Coterie: I suppose Deira’s dislike of Rand is understandable, given that she thinks he’s going to get her husband killed, but that doesn’t make me like her any better. Bael and Bashere, on the other hand, are an awesome buddy team even in the brief glimpses of them working together we get. Hell, even the names sound like a duo. Just like Hall and Oates!

Perhaps after Armageddon they will go on tour together, and that’s how Perrin and Faile get to be King and Queen of Saldaea. Okay, no, but I will be really sad when Bashere dies, because he is awesome. I wonder if Bael will survive. I give it fifty-fifty odds, myself. Melaine, on the other hand, should be a shoo-in, mainly because I don’t peg WOT as being dark enough to kill off a pregnant character.

“What woman could I hate enough to marry her to the Dragon Reborn?” Two things about this. First, damn: nobody can kill a mood like Rand al’Thor, you guys. Second, poll: will Rand actually marry any or all of his three wimmin, or will it be fun fornication to the end? Discuss!

Other than that, this is mostly a State of the WOT catch-up infodump, which at this point is mostly about the theoretically imminent Illian invasion, and the real beginning of the Andoran Succession storyline, which the benefit of hindsight makes me (and, I gather, most readers) go Ah, crap, this thing.

I will say that when I first read this I was rather intrigued by it all, as I do generally enjoy a nice tangled political machination plot; it was just how frickin’ long the Andoran thing got stretched out that made it so irritating, and of course I didn’t know that at the time. Elayne had better be grateful that Dyelin is a downright anomaly among nobles/politicians in her integrity and loyalty. Of course, that initially only made me wonder what her angle was, but as things turned out it seems that Dyelin really was exactly what she portrayed herself to be. Freaky.

And I think that’s about the size of things this go-round, kiddies. Tune in next time for some fun Aes Sedai schemeage – everyone’s favorite! See you Friday!

Hugh Arai
1. HArai
Elayne definitely should be grateful to Dyelin. Given her track record so far though, I don't think she understands just how grateful she ought to be.

Edit: And thanks to you Leigh for continuing this re-read.
Tina A
2. Tinaa
*twitching subsides*

Happy New Year Leigh, welcome back, we missed you!

I agree that Sulin needs a shout-out for caring when Rand's hands were tied. I remember going a bit dewy-eyed when I first read this, especially when Rand realises she is stroking his arm to comfort him...
Joseph Armao
3. joeyesq
I didn't realize it at the time, but the way its portrayed here, the Andoran Succession seems like it should have taken all of 10 minutes. Bashere makes it sound like Dyelin's support means Elaine taking the throne is a foregone conclusion.
Joseph Armao
4. joeyesq
Also given that I am now firmly in the "Lews Therin is NOT a seperate entity but a Rand-created coping mechanism" camp, I too wonder what would have happened if "Lews Therin" seized saidin.
Lannis .
5. Lannis
The POST! Yay!

I believe I've said it before: I heart Sulin.

Yes, I am totally one of the readers who was intrigued by the Andoran political plotline at first, and on subsequent readings went "ugh... this again?" Now mind you, the part that seems to stretch in my mind is where Elayne gallivants through the Camlyn suburbs and beyond in order to gain support... which, IIRC, actually wasn't as drawn out as it is in my mind... perhaps because so much happened in other plot arcs and then we returned to: Elayne in a different dress, at basically the same manor house, but this time ready to (finally!) enter Camlyn and find out what the situation is firsthand... GAH!

Thanks Leigh, great recap as usual! Hope the holidays treated you well... literal hangover or no... ;)

EDIT: My heart symbol was turned into a question mark... ugh...
Sean Banawnie
6. Seanie
Holidays are over and Leigh is BACK!! Wooo-hoo!!
Yeah, I think the swirly colors will be very important. Good rare....have to think on that one. I just assumed that would be used to coordinate the three at TG and bring them together at just the right moment, rescues anyone ....? And some moral support for Rand when he faces the DO directly (along with the warder bond with the girls)...Alanna gonna be around for that one ?...I'm doubting fact I think she buys it and the girls have to help him hold onto his precarious sanity.
Edit: gotta love Sulin.{just don't tell her ,you might get a belt knife in your ribs for it.}
Marcus W
7. toryx
Happy New Year!

I have to admit, I do like the whole weird swirly colors thing, though it seems awfully odd and incongruous. It seems like it could be really useful once everyone comes back together again.

So I got TGS for Christmas as hoped. Now I just need to get around to reading it so I can read these re-reads again without watching warily for little spoilers. I miss the conversation!
John Massey
9. subwoofer

We missed ya Leigh! The Huns were breaking down the door.

Sulin is classic. One of the Aiel that I love. Heck, I like them all, with the exception of the Shaido. Rand is about to enter his pouty phase, which I could do without. Have to plow through several chapters of that before the good stuff begins. Don't get the Aiel Cheifs needing to be persuaded that Rand is still Rand...

More later

Pritesh Patil
10. MatHornsounder gotta love her!!!!

The Tavere'n swirly colors-that could be related to the 3 becoming 1!!
Might be so

or may be that (looney theory coming up)
Rand, Mat and Perrin merge to defeat the DO, who merges with SH and Moridin!!

Perhaps the 3 becoming one means a lot of things together:
-Moiraine's 3 gifts
-Rand linking with Avi and Elayne and using Callandor
-Rand,LTT and Moridin merging
-the TP,saidin and saidar merging

(i know i am using the word MERGING a lot!!)
11. SteveC
the real beginning of the __________, which the benefit of hindsight makes me (and, I gather, most readers) go Ah, crap, this thing.

Fill in the blank as necessary:

Andoran succession
Bowl of the Winds
Faile's rescue
paul Hend
12. tugthis
First thoughts are old thoughts in this chapter. Why is Rand fixated on Elayne as ruler of a united Andor and Caihern? Any number of characters already introduced would seem to be better suited. . . even appointing a decent steward would be preferable-- politicaly and miltarily to Elayne. . . . so there is that.

The marriage thing seems to depend on Rand's conception of post Final battle. Obviously if he is not going to survive no need to marry. . . If he does survive and the world survives unbroken or only chipped. What role does he play? He is essentially God at that point. Would settling in a King of Caihern/Andor, clan leader of some Aiel, or a shepherd with his wife in some backwater work out. . .

Personally I think not. . . The varied ambitions of the women in Rand Land make a Big Love style post story unlikely. But that is just me.
Tricia Irish
13. Tektonica
Welcome back Leigh! Hope the holidays weren't too hangover producing, whether the actual or *headdesking* kind. I do hope R & R was enjoyed.

We're glad you're back....we had deteriorated into cocktail recipes and horse/longbow carrying discussions.

A am glad you are doing the rereads of the Succession plot line, so I don't have to! But I must say, Dyelin is a standup character.

I love Sulin here out of her usual badass character, but so nice. Shows understanding and compassion and depth of care and commitment.

I agree with Seanie@6 about the uses of the flashy color thingys. Could be very helpful at TG as a silent, personal communication system.

As for marrying.....Maybe Min can be made a near sister too, and they can lay a bridal wreath at his feet in an Aiel multi-wedding menage. I don't think he'll pick just one, and in Randland you can't marry more than one, correct? Frankly, I don't see him having time for marriage at all. He's gonna be a little busy. This may just be an area where the author(s) just leave well enough alone, as this moral issue may be a lightening rod for many.
Lannis .
14. Lannis
SteveC @ 11: BAHAhahaha! Insert one, two, or all three for a complete ::headdesk!::
Sydo Zandstra
15. Fiddler
very small spoiler inside... (not plotwise though, since we all know it's going to happen. warning anyway)

Happy New Year, Leigh!

Leigh in Commentary:

This chapter also contains the (I think) first fleeting mention of the “colors” that will eventually develop into Ta’veren Telepathy in Technicolor, tee em. I never noticed that until just now, either. Still not sure what the purpose of it is; I mean, theoretically it could prove to be useful at some point, but to date the only result I’ve noticed is that it annoys the hell out of all three of Our Heroes.

I think RJ is also using these moments to keep the reader informed, on plot development. This is where the story's starting to slug for real after all. So that (e.g.) when we see Rand thinking about Mat doing something somewhere, we get a trigger in Mat's plotline saying 'oh, that was in Rand's vision there and then.

Latest example would be Rand seeing Perrin+Galad in TGS.

The various female POV's during the Cleansing in CoT do the same (although I seem to recall it was meant to highlight the Big Moment as well).
Jay Dauro
16. J.Dauro
Welcome back Leigh. We missed you, but tried to play nice (just ignore that pile of bottles behind the bunker door. ;^)

I really love the scene with Sulin, but you did not quote my favorite line from after Jalani pulls the hood completely over his eyes. (I know you can't quote everything, but still...)
Sulin's hand moved. It took him a moment to realize she was stroking his arm.
She can't pull the hood back without shaming him, but she does what she can.

Bashere is always cool.
Water and shade may be all very well, ... but myself I would settle for chilled wine.
To be able to say that in front of Aiel takes balls of steel.
Pritesh Patil
17. MatHornsounder
Faile's rescue

no no.the andoran succession.........

changed my mind.......
Bowl of winds.......

no wait..

can i fill in all 3??
Tricia Irish
18. Tektonica
Tugthis@12: Love your name!!

More thoughts on the marriage issue. Post TG: Maybe all his young lovelies won't survive? We still don't know if the OP will survive either, in which case, Rand will just be a normal guy, if alive. Will they still love him then? (Probably) He'll still be a royal Andoran, thanks to Tigraine, so could hold some office, but you know, he might be really tired.

Perhaps, whether he retains the OP or not, he might retreat to Rhuiden....he's put in a lake, fountains, it's remote and quiet. Maybe he takes the ladies and a small entourage and leaves the world to sort itself out post TG....

Mat and Tuon with the Seanchan
Perrin in the Borderlands
Nynaeve and Lan in the Blight
Loial and the Tinkers singing the land back to health
Berelain and Galad in ??? maybe Carhein/Andor??

So many story lines to resolve!!
Pritesh Patil
19. MatHornsounder
If the OP doesnt survive, it'll be a sad ending to the WOT series!

it is a possibility, but a sad one!!

and yes, Rand should live to marry

if he does, then he might retire to a quite hamlet with all 3 women

(if they are agreeable to it)

though after all that he has suffered,they might agree to everything.

But remember, all 3(atleast 2 ) of them have duties.

and remember...
Duty is heavier than a mountain,death lighter than a feather!
20. alreadymadwithdyelin
joeyesq @4
Bashere with his political acumen simply identified Dyelin as the "queenmaker". The one who can make or break Elayne's bid to be queen. With Dyelin and her supporters' help, Elayne could get enough votes. Though of course he did not count on Dyelin's supporters not being fond of Trakand. Myself, I'm more concerned with the separate bargain between Dyelin and Rand. That when Elayne became queen, she would put her own retainers at Rand's disposal.
As for LTT, gaining control of Saidin, that part of Rand is more preoccupied with guilt and grief over having slaughtered his family. So that one could conceivably commit suicide, as it tried to do in KoD. This early in the game though, I suspect Rand was just paranoid about going mad so soon. I always thought the LTT reaching for Saidin was just the LTT part of Rand's memories being vastly more familiar with holding Saidin and channeling than Rand himself. Rand could tell the difference but didn't really understand it.

subwoofer @9
Aiel chiefs just need to be reassured that Rand is still an independent entity rather than being controlled by Aes Sedai. He's supposed to be Chief of Chiefs, so if he's under Aes Sedai control, he will lose their respect.

stevec @11
LOL. Major headdesk moment deciding which one is most headdesk worthy. My desk will not survive.
Roger Powell
21. forkroot
I too wonder what would have happened if "Lews Therin" seized saidin.
I think we find out in KoD when Algarin's manor is attacked by the Trolloc hordes. LTT gets saidan before Rand can, and proceeds to toss out Deathgates, Blossoms of Fire, and so forth. Impressive stuff.

Bashere is always cool.
Water and shade may be all very well, ... but myself I would settle for chilled wine.
To be able to say that in front of Aiel takes balls of steel.
True that. But then anyone who flings a dagger at the DR just to make a point has pretty much demonstrated ferric cojones already.
Jack Diamond
22. violetdancer
Leigh, welcome back. I just jumped in commenting and never thanked you for taking on this incredible task, not to mention keeping all us "kids" in line. It's been truly awesome, and I look forward to your words of wisdom in the coming year.

There's one thread we haven't hit much on that creeps back in here and tickles my brain cells.

Way back in TGH (I think) when Perrin was trying to save Moiraine's E and E, Leah the Tinker woman. We had some small tidbits of what I assumed was from Perrin's past life. The woman he loved, she betrayed him, etc. Given his strong effort in trying to save Leah's life, I made the assumption that his love had been a Tinker, or perhaps he too had been a Tinker. Perhaps her betrayal was leaving him to become AS?

That might also explain why he's so protective of the AS here, enough for Rand to wonder about it. I didn't make this connection until KOD, when Aisling Noon was described as coming from the Traveling People, which not many AS do.
Ron Garrison
23. Man-0-Manetheran
Welcome back Leigh! As J.Dauro said, we missed you but we played nice.

I loved that it was the LTT voice that asked this time, "Are you real?" I remember being shocked the first time I read it.

Some thoughts that have been rolling around in my head since the end of TGS: OK, Rand is The Dragon (LTT) Reborn, but because of the taint, this is the first time he can remember his former life. Yes, it's "maddening" for him for quite some time, and not until the moment on Dragonmount does he thoroughly realize this is a good thing. Now he can get it right! It's like the expression: "Oh to be young again - and knowing then what I know now." So, it turns out that the DO's taint on saidin sewed the seeds of his defeat!
Jay Dauro
24. J.Dauro
forkroot @21

True. Got to admire the man.
25. alreadymadwithhurtwomen
violetdancer @22
I don't think Perrin's preoccupation with protecting women needs to be attributed to a past life. It's needlessly complicating things. That trait is actually common among the three ta'veren. Even Mat makes a big deal of it, and Tuon has a POV about it.
Bonnie Andrews
26. misfortuona
Yeah Leighs back. Happy New Year, and I'll speak as softly as I can for now in light of your head:)

New post, new chapter, and everything I might have said has already been.
Love Sulin here. I think I suffered my own little fit of claustrophobia when that hood went up.
Bashere shows his metal, (balls J.Dauro? Grammar police pun intended), and more of that crazy Aiel humour. Funny enough I get it, couldn't live it, but I get it.

Rand, married? All of them or none, I think.
All three intend to marry him, but Min's the only one who isn't so caught up with other things that she'll have time. Only some sad little thought in my mind doesn't think she's going to live past the last battle. Light I hope I'm wrong.

Mis-happy the twitching has stopped again
Bill Reamy
27. BillinHI
Leigh: Welcome back indeed! I shouldn't mention our weather at the moment (72 degrees, cloudy, at 7 AM local time) but had to call our best friends in Maryland before Christmas when they were in the middle of a 20+ inch snowstorm!

Poll: Can't decide if Rand and the girls will all get married officially, but I would like to see them travelling Randland together with Aiel, Ogier and Tinkers to restore the land. Perhaps if Rand winds up in Moridin's body somehow after TG, they could all live in obscurity, which I think Rand and Min would prefer (and maybe even Aviendha) but Elayne throws a big monkey wrench into that scenario. ::sigh:: I guess we will have to RAFO.
29. Lsana
I think Rand will marry his three. Too many of the pieces have been put in place (the Aiel multiple marriage custom, Elayne and Aviendha becoming first-sisters) for this particular Chekhov's Gun not to be fired. However, I don't think they should. Between Elayne being Queen of someplace that doesn't allow multiple marriages and Aviendha and Min having no relationship at all, it doesn't seem like it would really work. My guess is it will happen, and then be swept under then rug as quickly as possible; we'll be told that they marry and live happily ever after, but we won't see much if anything of the 4-way relationship.

@26 misfortuona,

I wouldn't worry about Min. She had that vision of 3 women mourning for Rand. I'm almost certain that she's 1 of the 3, the scene takes place post TG, and therefore, she's as close to a guaranteed survival as you can get.
30. AndrewB

Hope you had a healthy & happy holiday season.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Bonnie Andrews
31. misfortuona
I hope you're right, but IIRC Min's visions never involve her. If it is her mourning for Rand than her power has gone slightly awry.


PS. I love new posts.
Pritesh Patil
32. MatHornsounder
Misfortuona @ 31

Actually, Min cant look at herself and hence cant have visions about herself directly.
She can have visions about herself linked with other people.

Remember, she has a vision about 3 women falling in love with Rand and she's one of them!!
33. douglasm
Min's viewings have involved herself multiple times. For example, she saw around Rand that three women would love him and she recognized herself among the three, all long before she actually started falling in love. She can't see visions around herself, but she can be involved in the visions she sees around other people. When she is, it's usually (always? I don't remember a counterexample) because of her being one of Rand's three.
Birgit F
34. birgit
Rand felt the Dragon Scepter in his hand, felt every line of the carved Dragons against his heron-branded palm as clearly as if he were running his fingers over them, yet it seemed someone else's hand. If a blade cut it off, he would feel the pain - and keep going. It would be another's pain.

Very accurate foreshadowing, he is even holding the scepter.

Min thinks later that the vision about the 3 women at Rand's grave is the first time she saw herself in a vision.

When Avi comes back from Rhuidean, she will get together with Min. Then they will fetch El and marry Rand whether he wants it or not.
Bonnie Andrews
35. misfortuona
Yes I was thinking about this as I was doing other things, and recalled the visions involving Rand's three, but it also got me wondering why she can't recognize the three women standing over Rand.
Surely she knows what the three of them look like by now, or was this one of those vaguer (what an odd word) instances where she doesn’t see things exactly but knows what they mean anyway?

You are probably correct. He doesn't really seem to stand much of a chance when the women unite. Honestly I've pretty much thought of them as his wives since they bonded him.


edit: I didn't remember the thought that Birgit mentions. So ignore most of the above.

D.I. Rock
36. FeatherDancer
Re: Min's viewing of the 3 women mourning for Rand, marriage, & other stuff.

I was of the impression that the viewing of 3 women falling in love with Rand was the only viewing she ever had that definitely involved her & the only viewing she ever had that she believed involved her. Because of that I believed the 3 women in mourning were Avihenda, Elayne, and Egwene.

I also think he marries Elayne and Avihenda because he will father children with them. He will see it as the right thing to do. Married or not, I think he stays with Min - maybe in Manetheren away from AS, Wise Ones, Ashamen, and all the Great Games.

My thoughts are "that to live you must die" means Rand lives with out the "life" of the power. He loses his ability to channel and loses his importance in Randland - no more Dragon abilities. And, I think Rand is OK with that.
Kate Collura
37. dreamwalker
For me, I'm not sure if it matters whether Rand marries his women or not. They are already tied to him by the bond more than a marriage ceremony could do. I think if they all survive TG and nothing else major changes in their dynamic (not sure what this could be, but maybe one of the more out there theories like Rand changing bodies - do the bonds go with the body or the soul?) then marrying all three be the only thing that makes sense. Of course, I think all four of them surviving TG is a big IF.

Min's vision of the three women mourning him on a boat I have a feeling will happen before TG. But it is definitely open to debate! :)
Pritesh Patil
38. MatHornsounder

the letter which Verin gave to Mat, it could be about dealing with SLAYER, since she knows about the dark prophecy in TGH.

could be information about him and his deed/upcoming targets!!
39. Freelancer
Happy New Year to all. Condolences to Steeler fans, and what were the Redskins thinking going soft zone in the last three minutes when they had held the Chargers up all game long playing it straight! The "Prevent Defense" only prevents one thing; Victory. Bye Jim.

Ahem, on to the Post...

Rand really needs an advocate among this crowd. Allow myself to nominate. . .myself.

Much commenting occurs regarding how far Rand has gone down the path of losing his mind at each stage of the story. At the same time, very significant little details which prove otherwise get ignored or dismissed. In this chapter, the clarity of thought and discernment required for Rand to perfectly judge both Faile's and Deira's attitude, loyalty to their husbands first and the Dragon Reborn last or not at all, this is not someone losing their mind.

In TGS he shows to Min and Nynaeve that his reasoning skills are excellent and intact, wondering why they all think he's half-witted, and I think the lesson learned there is meant for the readers as well. Rand has suffered intense trauma, had to deal with political and social intrigues well beyond his experience, and he has handled himself just about as well as any human could be expected to. His counter-manipulations of the situations he faces are deft, clever, and creative.

Ever since the Stone, one of his objectives has been to do what nobody expects, but still the Tower embassy got the best of him when he let his guard down. Any behavior on his part which appears paranoid cannot really be called so, since his concerns are justified, not irrational. They really ARE after him.

He bears this mountain as well as he can, and admirably so. Yet much more effort is focused on him seeming to go batty. Rand deserves better.
Brian Kaul
40. bkaul
If the OP doesn't disappear, remember that distance isn't much of a barrier for these characters: Elayne could reside in Caemlyn as queen, while Rand, Avi, and/or Min were anywhere else - Rhuidean, some hamlet, wherever, and any of them except Min could instantly Travel to where another is with no trouble. A home in Rhuidean and the Royal Palace in Caemlyn might as well be in the next room as far as they're concerned. There's no logistical barrier to a polygamous marriage in the afterstory provided the OP remains.

I'm not sure we won't see something more like the death/Resurrection/Ascension of Christ in what happens to Rand, wherein he leaves the real world and joins the heroes in TAR or something, but there's no reason a happily-ever-after love story couldn't be made to work.
Thomas Keith
41. insectoid
Happy New Year, Leigh! Welcome back! We missed you.

Re: the Jets: I agree, especially since the Bengals forgot to show up!

Sulin: How cool is she?;)

On Rand marrying his harem: I have this image of him marrying Elayne only (and by extension Avi). Though it could just as easily remain a secret, or something. Enh.

Free @39: Go Chargers!

Kate Collura
42. dreamwalker
Freelancer @39

Excellent points about Rand maintaining sanity.

On that point, I see the Lews Therin voice as a way in which Rand maintains his sanity. I think revelations at the end of TGS support this idea. If LTT in Rand's head was never a separate person, then I see LTT's voice as the part of himself where Rand funnels all of the crazy. As such, it makes sense that the Rand "personality" (himself) is able to stay pretty sane and maintain rational thought as you have pointed out.

If you think about it, LTT really first shows up as a "person" Rand can talk to and interact with while Rand is in the box. This is definitely a defining moment for him and an event most likely to push him over the edge. It is the most traumatic thing I think he has experienced up to this point. He even thinks to himself that the voice was a comfort and a friend.

I'm not sure if my words accurately explain what I mean, but hopefully this makes some sense at least!
Ron Garrison
43. Man-0-Manetheran
Another great quote from this chapter is right before the paragraphs Leigh quoted:
He was Lews Therin reborn, the Dragon Reborn, no denying that, but everybody was someone reborn, a hundred sometimes, a thousand, more. That was how the Pattern worked, everyone died and was reborn, again and again as the Wheel turned, forever without end. But nobody else talked with who they used to be.

The "to live he must die" is likely no more than this.
44. JennB
The succession plotline didn't bother me at all during my last reread and I always liked The Bowl of Winds plotline. What I hate is Windfinder's interacting with main characters and Tylin raping Mat. While these elements are parts of the two plotlines in question, there are good parts as well.
The only plotline I had issues with on my last reread was Perrin's rescue of Faile.
Luke M
45. lmelior
@SteveC #11
Exactly! This is the book that stalled my only re-read attempt, which began a few months after devouring all the books through KoD followed by New Spring. The Andoran succession is bearable, but as I said several books ago, the Bowl of the Winds and rescuing Faile sagas were too much for me. I'm sure glad to have Leigh here to do all the grunt work!

For the poll: Rand won't marry them until after TG. They will all survive based on Min's viewing of Aviendha having four children with Rand plus Nicola's Foretelling that the three are with him after the "Great Battle" is done.

@insectoid #41
Even as a Jets fan that was painful to watch! They benched Benson but I expected Palmer and Chad Johnson (I doubt he'll change his name back even though he said he would if Revis shut him down) to at least do something! I wouldn't mind if their upcoming rematch went the exact same way though. :)
46. Red9
Thank God! Another Leigh post! And with hangover (literal or otherwise). Respect to Leigh.

Anyway, for what it's worth, Rand won't survive TG, so assuming they don't gang up on him before TG (and remembering Avi's due some fun to get some babies soon), no they won't marry.

Why won't he survive? c'mon people! That image of Rand, the boat, the 3 women - Arthurian or what!- and what happened to King Arthur at his last battle? Yup! Put away until he's needed again. Very Dragonish. Hey, even shares part of a name - Pendragon (which I'm sure every person and their dog has noted).

Interesting views that the OP won't survive. Maybe, since how does the Wheel of Time get ages where there is no OP otherwise?

In any case, we'll have to RAFO! At least Brandon's getting through the work at a goodly rate of knots (unlike certain other authors who seem never to make any progress and who we've all given up on getting a completed series, let alone a completed Dance with Dragons. Oops. That gave their id away)
Jay Dauro
47. J.Dauro
Red9 @46
Pendragon. That's not Rand that's Artur Paendrag Tanreall, also known as Artur Hawkwing.

Although RJ pulled from many sources, no single character is a direct parallel of a single source. And you cannot say that any character will do/behave/end up the same as any of their sources.

Linda gives some 30 sources just for Rand in her essay at Thirteenth Depository

So yes, he may die. But some of his other sources did not.
Pritesh Patil
48. MatHornsounder
I'm a Rand-suppoertes all the way.
Loved your elowuent defense of him!!

I've said it begore and i'll say it again
Anyone who thinks they can be a better DR than Rand is deluded!
Pritesh Patil
49. MatHornsounder
Die and live again has yet to occur, since Egs had a dream in ACOS, regarding 3 women by a funeral bier and a man dying somewhere inside, and it was necessary that he not die!!

Seem's to me that we will just have to wait for it1
Pritesh Patil
50. MatHornsounder
Yeaah.Post no 50


Sleep well and wake people!!
Ron Garrison
51. Man-0-Manetheran
Mat - Didn't mean to imply it was all over and done with, but that once again he will die to be reborn when the Pattern needs him.

Tips Hat™
Maiane Bakroeva
52. Isilel
I will say that when I first read this I was rather intrigued by it all, as I do generally enjoy a nice tangled political machination plot

I _love_ political machination plots, but this one was particularly lackluster in implementation, IMHO. Also, it seemed so unnecessary and forced from the beginning.
I mean, it would have made so much more sense for Morgase to have gone to her loyalist troops that were being exiled to the border with Cahirien by Rahvin, instead of to Amador, and just return at this point.
Or, if for some (still mysterious, BTW) reason it absolutely had to be Elayne - it really seems in this chapter that the throne is hers for the taking - so why stretch it out? With implausible floundering in the snow, baths and other silly stuff, no less?
There were enough much more interesting things that needed a detailed resolution to create and stretch this out for 4 or 5 volumes.

Ditto impending "waiting for Masema, with obstacles", "SAS snail hobble to Tar Valon" and a couple of volumes later "Mat watching the canvas bleach".
For the first time in the series it seemed to me that things were drawn out and padded for no reason. After LOC finale's promises of speedy resolutions of these issues, too. And of course it only got worse. Sigh...
53. Lsana
@39 Freelancer

In my mind, the prevent defense has nothing on the "prevent offense." A team that has been moving up and down the field at will all game suddenly forgets how to do anything but run into the back of the pile of guys three times. And inevitably gives the ball back to the other team with plenty of time for the defense to blow it.

Just one of my football pet-peeves.

End offtopic

@40 bkaul,

It's less the fact that Elayne needs to be at a given location than the fact that her being queen leads to certain expectations about her. I'm not sure Andor is going to accept their queen following Aiel ways. And Queen Elayne's husband is not going to be allowed to live in obscurity. There are possible solutions to that, but they aren't necessarily happy ones.

I am of the camp, though, that believes Rand will die. Ever since WH, I've believed that Rand, Mat, Perrin, and Egwene will all die and be re-incarnated as Aviendha's children.
Captain Hammer
54. Randalator
Way to go, Rand. You're about the only person who could manage to be thrown out of an EMO gathering on the grounds of being to depressing to be around...

Also: Yay, no more twitching!
Alice Arneson
55. Wetlandernw
MatHornsounder @38 - that comment belongs on the spoiler thread, if you please. It has nothing to do with Crown of Swords, chapter 7. That's the purpose of having two threads here: while the reread comments will inevitably contain spoilers for TGS, they should only occur when it's brought up by the content of what's being read and discussed. Comments which are only TGS-related should be kept to the one provided for that purpose.

Possible other comments later, but all my immediate responses have been made by others.
56. alreadymadwithlttsgrief
dreamwalker @42
Actually, my own theory is close. LTT is that part of him to which he can ascribe impressions and reactions that are not a result of his own life experience. Those impressions that can be ascribed to LTT's own vastly more experienced worldview. Eventually it also became that part where he can dump those parts of him he did not like. Both the caring sensitive side of him and the side he can label as mad. To differentiate from his sane self. The problem of course is that LTT was actually sane at the time of his death, just grief- and guilt-ridden but Rand does not know that.
57. Rukaiya

I agree completely. Rand displays some impressive insight and political acumen. It's so interesting to see his evolution from clueless shepherd to Moiraine's protege to ruthless player of Daes Dae'mar. I also don't think Rand is being overly whiny. He's been through hell already and he knows it isn't likely to be better. Seems only fair that the guy could be a little depressed in the confines of his own head. I have to admit, though, I'm biased. Rand's been my favorite character throughout the whole story and his issues have never bothered me.

I definitely love Sulin here. In fact, I love Sulin most places. I think it's great how she regards Rand as her brother and tries to take care of him, but stands up to him when necessary as well.
Tricia Irish
58. Tektonica
Free@39::waves:: Nice to hear your dulcet tones again! We've missed you!
I'm A Rand fan too and what a trial he's been through! I think initially Rand found it very invasive to have someone else's thoughts in his head, assumed he was going nuts, and created the LTT as a separate person idea to hang on to his own personality/sanity.

As of tGS, he's figured out that he is Rand this go round, but was also LTT, and god knows who else, and he's OK with all memories/history/input. He has also matured and been through the proverbial wringer! But at this juncture, he's still figuring that out.
59. Freelancer

Bah. Chargers lose to Indy, and lose HUGE.


If "to live he must die" means nothing more than the normal pattern of the Pattern, then there's no point to it being said, or it being a significant plot thread. While we don't yet know the mechanism or the circumstances, the interpretation of this is certainly more than "Eh, the usual". Remember that this is an answer to the question of how Rand can defeat the dark one at the Last Battle and survive. If the answer had been "Only through death can victory come" or some such, then perhaps I'd buy your theory. But to answer that particular question with "To live, you must die", must mean something more paranormal than the standard death/rebirth cycle of the Wheel.


Yes, nearly as infuriating to me as well. Basically, any formula for trying to close out a game which includes "Let's not do what got us the lead and kept the other team out of the end zone for all this time, let's do something else", is really, truly STUPID. Just ask yourself what WWJUD? (What would Johny U. do?)

About four of our heroes ending up as babies of another of them, eww. Just eww. And you'd have Rand be his own biological father? Double eww.


To follow up on what Wetlandernw@55 suggested, now that you've registered you could edit your comment @38 to remove the spoiler, and replace it with anything else you'd like to say regarding ACoS. Just saying.
60. smcyc
"Ta’veren Telepathy in Technicolor" was, it seems, a intregral part of the plot line for TGS. TTT allowed Rand to give Nynaeve enough info as to Perrins where abouts (by some descriptive old statue) which in turn allowed the Aes Sedei to travel to there and fetch Tam, which lead to Rand's big breakdown at the end.
Kate Collura
61. dreamwalker
alreadymad @ 56

Interesting, yes! I like the additional idea that LTT is where Rand sends his caring/sensitive side. LTT weeping over Ilyena when Rand can not weep, and LTT taking over repetition of The List when Rand stops caring.
Sam Mickel
62. Samadai
I am with you. I don't know where all these people are coming up with this "Lews Therin construct" idea. I think the Taint has affected their minds. :>)
63. Freelancer

Oh, I understand the theory of Lews Therin as Rand's coping mechanism. I just don't agree. One of the first things Cadsuane asks of Rand is if he has begun hearing voices. Now, does this suggest that fabricating a second personality is a common behavior of male channelers? I hardly believe so.

Does it mean that a side-effect of the taint on saidin is a bleed-through of past-life memories? Perhaps not, but marginally more plausible than the above, and Cadsuane got that question from some experience she has had with other male channelers. In either case, Rand is a sample of one, his situation is unique. Semirhage gives us the last evidence of this when she says his condition is worse because the voice he hears is real, followed by Lews Therin's later confirmation that Semirhage rarely lies. Taken together, I find little reason to shift from my original position that LTT is/was real in Rand's head, and that Rand has managed the integration which was supposed to be nearly impossible. This too is plausible, since doing the nearly impossible isn't a new experience for Rand.
Sara H
64. LadyBelaine

I will say that when I first read this I was rather intrigued by it all, as I do generally enjoy a nice tangled political machination plot

Yes, and if the political tangle makes sense - i.e. the power grab vacuum after Barthanes is assassinated.

I _love_ political machination plots, but this one was particularly lackluster in implementation, IMHO. Also, it seemed so unnecessary and forced from the beginning.
I mean, it would have made so much more sense for Morgase to have gone to her loyalist troops that were being exiled to the border with Cahirien by Rahvin, instead of to Amador, and just return at this point.

Like word.

I have no idea why Morgase would flee to a hostile power where she could possibly be hanged just for being her.

It would have been better to have some internal schism of the country centered on Aringil. RJ did do a nice job of establishing plausible blocs of houses, though - this faction is Trakandian, these/this factions are those who tried to scramble when Mantear fell. Lady Naean and Lady Elenia made perfect foils - I still have no idea where the hell Lady Arymilla came from or how she managed to co-opt those two vulpine, cunning women.

There were enough much more interesting things that needed a detailed resolution to create and stretch this out for 4 or 5 volumes.

Particularly since the reasons for the delay were so nonsensical. Okay fine, so Lady Ellorien is done with House Trakand. Why no simply throw her own name in the ring? Why play this exaggerated and artificial waiting game? Or, as Elayne's kinswomen, couldn't Dyelin just accepted their homage and fealty as Princess Regent until Elayne was done with her silly and authorial imposed make-work quests?

"SAS snail hobble to Tar Valon"

This was a tad more sensical, and the way that BWS handled was brilliant. One wonders how much better the story would have been in RJ had been able to impose such disciplined structure earlier in the story. Like the one third faction that had been sitting it out returned en masse to the Tower and tilted the Tower in favor of reconciliation or something. I dunno. The Seanchan made themselves more of a threat earlier and Egwene was captured earlier (or something).

that things were drawn out and padded for no reason. After LOC finale's promises of speedy resolutions of these issues, too. And of course it only got worse. Sigh...

Me too!
Sam Mickel
65. Samadai

I agree with you, and understand it as well. I was just having a lame attempt at humor. I have always believed that Rand is sane and that he was able to integrate with Lews Therin, because like you say, Rand is great with the impossible.
craig thrift
66. gagecreedlives
Wonder if the integration was one of the 9 impossible things that Rand had to achieve
Thomas Keith
67. insectoid
Free @59: Your pessimism is astounding. I think they have enough to get to the Bowl, be it Toilet or Super. ;D

smcyc @60: Now, I think in the TGS OST the possibilities of the Technicolor Ta'veren-o-Vision were discussed, but I'm just gonna go out on a limb here anyway and wonder: can the TTV be used as a sort of basic communication between RPM?

EDIT: 6 + 7 = 13 ::chuckles foolishly::
I'm as bad as Blind, I know. ;)

Ron Garrison
69. Man-0-Manetheran
One of the first things Cadsuane asks of Rand is if he has begun hearing voices. Now, does this suggest that fabricating a second personality is a common behavior of male channelers?

Well, she has had more encounters with male channelers than any other living person. Why would it be the first thing she asks if it were not a common thing with male channelers? It seem entirely plausible to me that "hearing voices" is a manifestation of their encounter with the previous life's memories, or as you put it, "a side-effect of the taint on saidin is a bleed-through of past-life memories." No doubt that is extremely disconcerting! Why, some might even call it "madness." (Perhaps we are both saying the same thing?)

From this chapter we know that Rand knows he is LTT reborn. Yes, the voice he hears is "real" it's LTT's memories, but they are also his memories. And it sets us up perfectly in tGS for him to have a do-over and get it right this time.
craig thrift
70. gagecreedlives

“and yes, Rand should live to marry”

Hasn’t he suffered enough *ducks and runs back to bunker cackling*

violetdancer @22

I think AMW@25 hit the nail on the head with that one.



The flash of colours started with Rand while he was in peril. Im getting a feeling that they may culminate in the same way. With Rand facing defeat at the last battle the other 2 Ta’veren get a vision and hot foot it to wherever to save him.

For Leigh’s poll I will go with yes but I don’t think it will be happily ever after. Personally Im hoping Elayne gets to put the dutiful mountain down and picks up the feather.
Fake Name
71. ThePendragon
As of KoD I have been 100% convinced that Dyelin should have taken the throne. Not only would it have avoided the whole issue of the succession, but she was clearly endorsed by all the best Andoran houses. She is intelligent, a woman of integrity, fair, honest and what’s more, far more mature and experienced than Elayne. Add to that, she’s not power hungry and so, unlikely to abuse of the position. Finally, and most importantly, I believe her to be a far better person than Elayne. Had Elayne truly been a good person she’d have avoided all the strife and bloodshed and simply ceded to Dyelin, whom most folks wanted as queen anyways. That’s not the only reason I think Elayne is a horrible person, just one amongst many. I would love for Elayne to die at the end, and have Dyelin take the throne, but alas, that will never happen. Andor is SO screwed.
John Massey
72. subwoofer
Well, maybe Avi, but wasn't there a quote about free cows for milk or something?

Best line left out-"Wives are a great comfort," Bael laughed, " if a man does not tell them too much." Right before Rand's killjoy line.

Randster also seems to have issues about the population of AS that seem to crop up at inopportune times. I would feel suspicious too.

@AMW- I can't find the quote right now but at a gathering of chiefs where Rand makes a couple of the AS wait on him hand and foot...
Some say an Aes Sedai will do anything to have what she wants."
-Mandelain clan chief of the Daryne Aiel.

@matHS- dude, keep the spoilers to the spoiler thread, that is what it is there for, leave this puppy for the young and innocent. Don't rip the band-aid off.

Tricia Irish
73. Tektonica
GCL@70: Interesting thought based on your wish for Elayne to drop the mountain and pick up the feather.......

Remember Min's vision that Avi would have 4 babies, but there was something odd about it? Maybe, two of the babies are Elaynes. She lives to deliver her babies healthy,as per the prophecy, then bites it later in TG or something. Ummmmm......

MOM@69: You said it better than I did, but that's what I meant...
Rand knows he is LTT reborn. Yes, the voice he hears is "real" it's LTT's memories, but they are also his memories.
Alice Arneson
74. Wetlandernw
Did it ever occur to anyone that Dyelin doesn't WANT the bloody throne? She would take it if she thought it was best for Andor, but she also knows that without a Daughter-Heir of her own, she'd set the country up for another Succession at her death. She firmly believes that Elayne will be a good Queen, partly based on knowing how she was taught, partly from knowing the person, and partly from watching her handle the political situation she faces when she arrives in Caemlyn. You may or may not agree, but that's Dyelin's stated position.

The funny thing is, Dyelin is a patriot. She wants what she believes is best for her country for the long term. Okay, we know that the long term may be irrelevant, or at least may be very different than she expects. But she doesn't know that, and if she did she'd still do what she thought would be best for her country, to see it survive the Last Battle and to come out as nearly whole and stable as possible. She's not interested in personal power; she wants good government for her people and stability for her country. Dyelin chooses the lawful position that the Daughter-Heir is the rightful Queen, no matter what her mother's mistakes may have been. EVERYONE besides Dyelin and Elayne are focused on either their own personal benefit, or their own personal grievance against Morgase Trakand, neither of which is a good basis for wise political decisions.
Tess Laird
75. thewindrose
Heh - Say hi to the doomed sisters that Elaida sent to gentle and kill Asha'man on the spot:
(Bashere)A few Red sisters have come into the city, as well; twice. Those at The Silver Swan all have Warders, but these never do. I'm sure they are Reds. Two or three appear, asking after men heading for the Black Tower, and after a day or so, they leave.

So Rand thought to warn Taim, He would have to warn Taim. Not about the Aes Sedai at The Siver Swan - Taim certainly knew already; why had he not mentioned it? - about staying away from them, keeping the Asha'man away.

It sounds like he talks with Taim off screen--(why had he not mentioned it)--, so does he warn Taim?

Ron Garrison
76. Man-0-Manetheran
Yes, Wet, Dyelin made it abundantly clear she didn't want to be queen. She said so in no uncertain terms and actions.
Bonnie Andrews
77. misfortuona
Wet et al. re Elayne and Dyelin.

Yes Dyelin emphatically states she doesn't want the crown, and that's a good reason to not take it. And I mostly agree that every other Andoran noble was out for herself, but I don't know that Dyelin not taking the crown was better for Andor.

Dyelin doesn't have a daughter, but she would still have Elayne as heir. An heir that she can expect to be around for a hundred years at least, if she doesn't die at TG. Something that could still happen.
She could have taken the throne, settled Andor quickly, with less loss of life and coin, and in a decade or two turned it over to Aes Sedai Elayne Trakand (or Al thor) of the green ajah without any conflict.
This would have left the succession just as secure, the kingdom in better shape, and Elayne available to concentrate on helping prepare for TG.

Mis-noble watcher
Rob Munnelly
78. RobMRobM
This is definitely the s^cks to be be Rand chapter, but it is filled with high quality one liners from Rand and numerous others. We've heard lots about Sulin and Bashere but I like the one where the Maidens are making fun of the Ashaman and he tells them that if he has to put up with the Maidens' foolishness, they can too. And the Ashaman step up and make fun of the Maidens back. One of the early signs they are not just one-track killing machines.

Re the Dyelin taking over as Queen discussion above- please stop the madness. Dyelin's position in KoD was crystal clear - if the Daughter Heir knows what she is doing, she should get the throne, no if ands or buts. This makes perfect sense - otherwise, there is a good risk of a succession battle every time a Queen dies.
As is clear in KoD and the books leading up to it, Elayne knows what she's doing. She may annoy us on occasion (especially in the latter half of Load of Choss, where I was ready to wring her neck with her mistreatment of Mat) but she is whip smart, brave and decisive. I actually liked the succession plot line - the reason we don't like it is that Elayne is stuck with the incredibly annoying Kin and Sea Folk and annoying Nyneave (when she is interacting with said Kin and Sea Folk) and annoying Birgitte (when she is bitching about being head of the Royal Guard) for several books. If you discount the annoying characters that are dumped on Elayne, the plot is actually pretty good.


p.s. Welcome back Leigh. How bout them Saints? (evil chuckle).
lin mei
80. twicemarked
I will say this about the Andor succession story line.

Elayne does NOT want to be handed the Rose Crown of Andor. Not from Rand, and definitely NOT from Dyelin. She wants to earn it. And she should, otherwise she would run to Dyelin for advice everytime something small happens, and she would be a puppet queen.

The story line is much more than Elayne sitting on the Lion Throne. It is about how she matures, make mistakes, and learn the responibility of the Crown. Also, it shows why Dyelin does NOT want the Lion throne, because it is indeed a lot of work. So when Dyelin said she had enough just running her own house, we can actually believe her, due to how much work Elayne has to do.

I remember a number of reread posts back, there is a saying that "we hate the process of growing up, but we love the result." The part about hating the process of growing up definetively applies here.

As to the LTT construct theory. I don't buy it, even if you say LTT is that part of him to which he can ascribe impressions and reactions that are not a result of his own life experience.

Let us look at the end of DW. Why would Rand choose to ascribe the knowledge to break the shield to a "LTT" voice? Does that mean Rand really wants to be captured by the AS and taken to the WT? When Rand confronts Lanfear at the docks, how come the "LTT" voice knows the waves to use to defeat Lanfear? At the end of KOD, why did LTT knows the killer waves against the shadowspawns?

Rand has a strange habit to "construct" a voice knowing important channeling skills. But Rand does not construct any special military or political knowledge to that voice, he keep those to himself, plus good drawing skills. Construct theory just does not work for me in explaining this.
Rob Munnelly
81. RobMRobM
@80. Well done re the Andor succession. Nicely stated. R
Kate Collura
82. dreamwalker
@80 As to the LTT "construct" and why Rand would ascribe knowledge and weaves to LTT.

I can't speak for others, but the way it makes sense to me is that the memories and knowledge that Rand gets from LTT are genuinely from his past incarnation. These start to show up even before the voice does. I believe the voice, however, can be seen as something separate. And it is this voice or personality that Rand "constructs" to funnel his insanity or feelings he does not want to express in his own consciousness. I would NOT say that Rand ascribes weaves he himself figures out to LTT. I think these do come from his surfacing memories.

This sounds complicated even to me as I'm trying to describe it, but I think there's good evidence for this idea: Rand coming to the belief at the end of TGS that LTT in his mind was never a separate person, the timing of LTT's appearances and disappearances, the madness of the LTT personality, and I could go on.

But like many other theories about WOT, there are certainly other ways to interpret LTT that have basis as well. This one just happens to make the most sense to me. Hopefully, this clarifies the idea of ascribing weaves and memories vs. feeling and madness to LTT, but again others who have brought this up might not see it this exact way.
83. alreadymadwithLTT'sskills
Rand simply attaches a huge stigma to LTT and channeling abilities. That is why he has problems accepting them as his own wholesale. Note that he does not make a similar fuss with drawing, swordfighting or battle planning skills. All of these can be ascribed to LTT's experience, and yet he does not stop himself from accepting them. But the One Power? Rand believes accepting LTT's "tainted" One Power abilities will accelerate his own descent into insanity. And while he's at it, he can dump LTT's active memories and impressions to that voice as well. Because those are in his mind, just signs of his impending insanity. Rand's ultimate vision of going insane has always been to be taken over by the Dragon personality. His own personality discarded in favor of a man already mad, intent on destroying everything and everyone around him and breaking the world all over again. And not necessarily in that order.
lin mei
85. twicemarked
Re LTT construct.

I am sorry but I don't buy it. Rand has no problem receiving the weave of Traveling, or creating a complex ward from his past memory.

He can create the shadowspawn-seeking missles in Stones of Tear, but is afraid of the weave of deathgate? He can spin an absolute cocoon of defense on instint but can not bear to stand the technique to burst open a shield?

The skills he choose to accept willingly and the skills he "surrender" to LTT makes no sense. If the voice is real, it is easy to explain. LTT has whatever skills he has, and any and all can leak through. The construct theory however, has a hard time to explain WHY rand would choose to give those specific skills and ideas to LTT.

Worse yet, if Rand constructed LTT, that means HE really wants to kill ALL the Ashaman, and HE is moaning about the death of Ilyean. What are the implications of that?
86. sweetlilflower
Okay, so...really? No one is going to mention the fat man angreal? I thought at one point we thought this was the BIG MYSTERY Brandon kept talking about from this book?

And, I have loved all of the story lines...but then, I enjoy the psychology and growth of the characters the most. Even the Faile rescue plotline has never really annoyed me, and I have been reading these books for 15 years, which is half my life, interestingly enough.
Alice Arneson
87. Wetlandernw
On the twelfth day of Christmas,
tordotcom gave to me
Twelve looney theories
Eleven headdesk comments
Ten thousand twitches
Nine gender battles
Eight trademarked taglines
Seven silly surveys
Six carol parodies
Five spanking wars ;) ;)
Four bunker parties
Three rickrolls
Two fiction fictions
And a light-up dingle ball on the screen.

Happy Twelfth Night, y'all.
88. sweetlilflower
Since noone else is going to post, I guess I have the board all to myself, MWAHHH-AHH-AHH. (jk)

I guess I never really thought of LTT as a simple anything. He is a complex conglomeration of many things Rand can't explain to himself. Rand needs certain info and weaves, and, poof! they appear in his head. Plus, he distrusts everyone (of course he wnats to kill Ashaman, think of how he was raised!), feels he is always reacting to others' actions, and is probably afraid of his own power. It's not really until the battle with the Seanchan and his use of Callandor that he really begins to glory in his power.
So, we have this young, relatively unexperienced farmboy who needs a way to cope with all of the new information his brain is receiving, and his internal answer to all of these problems is to create a separate identity. Add to all of this that he really thinks he is going to go insane at any moment, and something in this kid's head had to crack.
Just my opinion, but there you go.

Someone else better post, or I will start rambling on other matters as well.
Heidi Byrd
89. sweetlilflower
I think we need the 400 days of Christmas to get all of the loony theories...
Thomas Keith
90. insectoid
Wet @87: ::clapping:: Bravo! Well done.

91. Tenesmus
After reading TGS, following these re-reads, and doing my own re-read, I think I figured out where Demandred is...

In TGS he says his rule is secure and he gathers for war. I have come to the conclusion that Demandred is in Rhuidian. That's right, Rhuidian. In TFOH Rand leaves Rhuidian quickly to chase the Shaido. When he left, he left Rhuidian as an unprotected flank, and I don't think RJ's military mind would let that tactical error go unpunished later on in the series.

In TFOH there is a mention that only merchants, craftsman, and the bare minimum a clan needed to defend the Holds is all that remained behind. Add to that the Aiel prophecy of only a fraction of fraction of Aiel will remain after TG, means a LOT more Aiel need to be wiped out, and soon. Rhuidian has been off screen for a half dozen books, and given the above, I don't think there are any WO Dream walkers left in Rhuidian.

This scenario also allows for an easier introduction of Shara'ns into the story. I believe that Demadred is in Rhuidian with a signifcant Shara'n force "gathering for war".

I also believe that Aviendha will somehow gunk up Demandred's plans. When she shows up, she may have to battle her way into and out of the Ring/Column thingy.

Oh yeah, there are also the Shaido heading home. We may see them again, as the first caualties of fighting the Shara'ns in Rhuidian
92. Macarius
The whole Andoran civil war always bothered me. Isn't the point of having a clear heir to the throne to avoid bloody civil wars? What the Andorans seem to be doing is some kind of warped democracy where the nobles get the commoners to kill each other until the nobles figure out who they're gonna vote for.

The whole thing started making dred the moments when Elayne pops up in the books.

The only thing about the whole Bowl of Winds storyline that bothers me is the Atha'an Miere windfinders. They have got to be the most arrogant narrowminded group of people I've ever had the misfortune of learning about. It irritates me practically every time that they show up.
They seem almost compleatly ignorant of other cultural parctices and yet seem to expect every person of any other culture to be an expert on Atha'an Miere cultural practices.

Though whether or not they will actually be able to keep the bowl after the Aes Sedai get reunited under one amyrlin remains to be seen and ought to be interesting when the "Bargain" with the Atha'an Miere comes to light.

I'm also looking foward to when Faile finds out that her handmaiden is actually Morgase, the former queen of Andor. Ought to be a lot of chuckles when that occurs.
Kurt Lorey
94. Shimrod
@87 Wetlandernw.

Very entertaining.

I'll have to nominate you for site Bard sometime soon. ;)
Maiane Bakroeva
96. Isilel
Re: succession storyline as an opportunity for Elayne to grow up - IMHO she did have and could yet have enough chances for that while usefully participating in important events. There was no reason to create a whole storyline just for that. Particularly since there was still so much ground to cover to get to TG.
Ditto Perrin's Masema/Shaido storyline. Ditto Mat's crawl out of Ebu Dar. Etc.

As to SAS - at the end of LoC Egs got them moving and rediscovered Travelling. It was logical to assume that she'd reach Tar Valon in the next volume, rather than 4 volumes down the line (sic!).

Re: how Dyelin would have been a better Queen - really, if an older non-love interest, non bosom buddy ruler of Andor would have done, RJ should have just stuck with Morgase, IMHO. Incidentally, I think that it would have been a much more interesting situation, but YMMV.

I could see how having a strong channeler at the helm during TG could be helpful, mind you, what with all the Dreadlords running around. As it is, I always thought that Elayne's security was awfully lax and that she really needed some channeling bodyguards too. It is almost incredible that no Forsaken got at hear/her ter'angreal collection yet.

Now, regarding Rand/LTT and the construct theory, my view is that:

1. LTT's memories are not result of the taint, but of the Eye of the World use. That is why Rand is the Dragon _Reborn_ - the prophecized man, who remembers his past life. And why creation of the Eye was worth dying for.

The Eye blew open his channeling potential and the barrier between these 2 existences.
Before that, Rand was doing normal wilder stuff with OP, after that he got up to some really intricate things, at least in the times of crisis.

Also, the moment when he has trouble to remember his name and where he looks at his companions with the eyes of a stranger and barely recalls their identities is IMHO the first sign of LTT.

2. Rand has been afraid of LTT's memories and resisted them as hard as he could. Not surprising, given the enormous amount of pain and guilt that they carried.

3. Which is why, when these memories became too frequent and unsettling to ignore, Rand gave them separate personality, IMHO. Not only did it allow him to still believe in his own sanity and compartmentalize all inconvenient feelings, but it also provided attractive and hopeful solutions to such predictions as "to live you must die", "2 people merging", etc.

So, my opinion is that LTT's memories are very real, but LTT's "voice" was not. LTT died sane, for one thing - something that Rand managed to successfully repress until TGS.
97. alreadymadwiththevoice
twicemarked @85
Rand distrusts his own channeling abilities much less that of other Asha'man. Yes instinctively, he doesn't really trust them and knows they are liable to blow up in his face. And yes, a huge part of his old memories contain grief and guilt over Ilyena. There's a pattern to the channeling abilities Rand has displayed that he agonizes over and those that he doesn't. He first created the Gateway for skimming in EoTW against Ishamael. He created the shadowspawn-seeking missiles in the battle in the stone. He created the cocoon and Arrows of Fire in Cairhien while under attack by Asha'man. These skills came out in extreme emergencies when he had no time to worry about going mad over using them. By contrast breaking through the shield took several days to ponder over.

Isilel @96
About the Eye of The World causing all of it, that's wild. I agree about the other stuff though.
Rob Munnelly
98. RobMRobM
@87. Bravo. Applause. But...where is your trademarked tagline? R
99. MasterAlThor
Appearantly, I missed the show.


Great job. That's why those who know know.


Welcome back. Glad to here that your leave of abscence went well. Daddy got a shiny new PS3.

Free, Insct....

I normally don't disagree with Free too much but the Chargers have owned the Colts in the playoffs.
Chargers win 33-26

Lsana and others....

Prevent defense or offense should get coaches fired on the spot. I understand not wanting to get beat deep and trying to kill the clock, but c'mon man!!!!

You don't want to get beat deep, put more pressure on the quarterback. You want to kill the clock run the running plays that have worked all game.

I support Rand. But I have never thought about it the way that Freelancer put it. I doubt that many ohters have either. I guess that just means that I need to read deeper. I just lose myself in the story. I come here to see what I missed.

Never noticed the swirling colors started here.
Rob Munnelly
100. RobMRobM
Free, insect, MAT - issue is whether Chargers will survive the Patriots to get to Colts (assuming Pats beat Ravens at home, of course). Even with Welker hurt, SD at home and coming off a bye, and Pats playing cruddy on the road this year, no better than 60/40 and perhaps not better than 50/50. Just saying. R
Don Barkauskas
102. bad_platypus
Tektonica @73:

It's unlikely that two of the babies are Elayne's, since Min's specific quote is "Four of them at once!". According to Steven Cooper's WoT chronology, 84 days pass between the conception of Elayne's twins and Aviendha's trip to Rhuidean. So even if Aviendha came right back and immediately got pregnant, she would be at best 12 (real-world) weeks behind Elayne. Assuming Elayne went to full term, that would put Aviendha giving birth at 28 (real-world) weeks---likely too premature to be considered "healthy" in the WoT world. A similar argument makes the theory of Aviendha having quadruplets unlikely (IMO).

I think a more likely interpretation (and I mentioned this with more detail in a much earlier thread on the re-read) is that Aviendha and Min will each have twins at the same time and that the odd thing that Min detects is the fact that she is actually seeing something about herself without realizing it. It seems reasonable to me that so soon after the bonding that her viewings could be tangled, plus I read her comment right before that that she never sees anything about herself as typical RJ snark. Also, I like the symmetry of each of Rand's three having twins.
Rob Munnelly
103. RobMRobM
@102. I'm convinced the "odd" fact will be that Rand fathers Avi's kids using another person's body (i.e., Moridin's).
Tricia Irish
104. Tektonica
Wet@87: Take a bow! Very fun and oh so true Well done.

I loved Free's description of Rand's psyche@39. I think he deserves a lot of credit for handling what has been dumped on him, rather abruptly! Mother dead, father injured when he's ripped away from his rural life, and told he's everybody's nightmare. Of course he's going to have fears that he'll be crazy and break the world again. I think his constuct of LTT is a coping mechanism, as stated by several above. He is remarkably bright and adaptable and stoic in these new situations.

That he finally understands in tGS that he can be Rand, even though he was LTT and others, provides integration, control, and peace! Now he knows that the end can be different, and he is not destined to kill those he loves, the taint is clean and he won't go mad, and the end result this time around is of his choosing/doing. So, yeah, onward!

I like being inside Rand's brain. Perhaps the reason some people aren't big Rand fans, is that we lose the mental connection with him for many books. tGS brought us back inside his thoughts.

BadPlat@102: Good math! I hadn't gotten technical, just throwing around ideas willy nilly. It would be nigh near impossible, you're right.

I like the symmetry idea too....I just hope Min survives TG...she's my definite fave of the Fab3. And why isn't she pregnant? Do we know if she is or isn't? Hey, it only took once with Elayne!
105. Tenesmus
Birgette will die heroically and be reborn as....

One of Elayne's Babies!!!
Bonnie Andrews
106. misfortuona
Don't know why exactly, but OOOO, ICK.

Badplat's idea is much better, and it explains why Min's not pregnant yet, well you know storyline speaking anyway. We don't need to go into the other issues.

Rob Munnelly
107. RobMRobM
@105. Not to be difficult, but Birgitte and Gaidal are supposed to remain linked - so I'm expecting G to be one of the babies and B to help raise, train and eventually love him as he gets older. B as a baby doesn't work as well. Rob
James Jones
108. jamesedjones
66 gagecreedlives

9 Impossible tasks of the DR:

9-Integration Assimilation
8-Cure feminine nasal drip
7-Remember every “wife’s” anniversary
6-Cure the weather (by proxy, no less)
5-Turn ultimate slums into lake-front property
4-TTT musical number
3-Stop the Twitching!
2-Explain the birds and the bees to Galad
1-(Ideas please)

67 Insectoid

Dude, 6*7=42 (it’s THE answer)
109. Tenesmus
@107 G is ALWAYS older than B. Which means that G is already out there, and B will be reborn as one of Elayne's babes
Rob Munnelly
110. RobMRobM
@108 - How bout - Pull pigtails of several thousand little sisters? Turn off world's biggest nightlight? Get rid of a dozen (and more) 3,000 year old whiners?
Rob Munnelly
111. RobMRobM
Ten @109. I don't believe that's correct - but I would accept textual support to the contrary. I do believe there is always an age difference between them. Having G be one of Elayne's kids makes too much sense to me - but, of course, just one man's opinion. R
Pritesh Patil
112. MatHornsounder
@Ten and @Rob
G has already been reborn and is no older than a toddler.
so it might be a bit difficult for him to be Elayne's child.;-) ;-) ;-)
just sayin.
Birgitte dying and being reborn has more chances.......but in most of their births, G is older than B as b has already explained to Elayne.

@Wet and @Free
Sorry for the spoiler post..but as you might know, we teenagers have quite little patience.
Blame it on the hormones...!!
so i could not wait to let the theory out!!
My net's slow, so hate the time needed to skip from here to the spoiler thread.

But thanks for the reminder Nynaeve......err..i mean Wet.

And Free, Thanks for the Edit thing.......did'nt know about it.

Oh and BTW,

Rand Rocks!!
113. alreadymadwithrebornhero
Tenesmus @107
Yes, G is typically older than B, except that pattern was disrupted when Moghedien ripped B out of TAR. Min has a viewing that she will then be involved with a younger man. Presumably G about to be reborn(if not already).

RobMRobM @111
G is typically ugly, B's taste in men generally run to the ugly. That said, I don't see how a child of Rand and Elayne will turn out ugly, short of a horribly disfiguring childhood injury. Also, B stopped seeing G in TAR (implying he might have been spun out) before she was ripped out. This was a substantial amount of time before Elayne conceived. So he most likely went to be born someplace else.
Julian Augustus
114. Alisonwonderland
Dyelin doesn't have a daughter, but she would still have Elayne as heir.

How? Unless you are suggesting that Dyelin has secretly adopted Elayne as her daughter, Dyelin on the throne means Elayne becomes just the High Seat of Trakand, and will contend with all the other Houses for the throne if Dyelin dies without a daughter-heir. That is the way the Andoran succession works... several major Houses each believeing they have a right to the throne based on their connections to Ishara. Just as the throne passed from Mantear to Trakand when Rand's Grandma died, the throne could go to any House strong enough to win it, if Dyelin took the throne and died without a daughter. It is the potentially bloody wars that might ensue that Dyelin is, most honourably, trying to avoid by supporting the current daughter-heir.
Rob Munnelly
115. RobMRobM
Already - we don't know the mechanics of how heroes get taken out of TAR for rebirth purposes. They may need some pre-conception time to get ready for all we know. Apart from the how can Gaidal possibly be ugly with parents like that point, which is well taken, having Gaidal be part of the Camelyn household with Birgitte watching him makes a ton of sense. R
Bonnie Andrews
116. misfortuona
Alisonwonderland @114
I wasn't expecting Dyelin to adopt Elayne, but Elayne, as heir to house Trakand would still have the/one of the, strongest claims to the throne, with Dyein's continuing support, and with the full support of a united WT, not to mention (of course she wouldn't) her connection to the DR she would simply be the strongest contender for the throne.
I accept more the argument made above by ?? someone (sorry) that Elayne would not want to feel that she was handed the throne, but had earned it.
IMO, she would have shown much more discretion, and maturity, by leaving Andor in Dyelin's capable hands and turning her own attention to preparing for TG.

Yes I understand that Dyelin doesn't want the job, and that RJ obviously wanted Elayne on the throne. Otherwise the whole Morgase on the run thing doesn't make any sense.
I just wish that this particular plot line made more sense to me.

Mis-Dyelin for Queen ;)
Kurt Lorey
117. Shimrod
I wouldn't be surprised if Dyelin turned out to be a Darkfriend.
Thomas Keith
118. insectoid
RobM² @100: I think they can make it.

Subho @101: ::sigh:: Where is Amalisa? She's supposed to be guarding the bunker door...

JEJ @108: LOL at list. Uh, THE what?

Pritesh Patil
119. MatHornsounder
anything is possible,but it doesnt seem probable

i am going to hate it if Bashere or Ituralde dies!
James Jones
120. jamesedjones
118 insectoid

Exactly. Douglas Adams was a genius.
Tricia Irish
121. Tektonica
RobM@103: Rand fathering Avi's babies with a new body, ie: Moridans....I agree with MisFortune@106....ICK. And if it's Rand's "soul" in Mori's "body", won't it be Mori's genes that are, er, passed on??? Double ICK!

IMO, Gaidal is already spun out....he disappeared from TAR before Birgitte was flung out by Moggy. Birgitte dying heroically, and being one of Elayne's or Avi's kids makes sense, and could be the "odd" thing Min saw. Then B. would be younger than G. again, and back in "rotation".
Bonnie Andrews
122. misfortuona
Exactly and thanks for the fish. LOL

Rob Munnelly
123. RobMRobM
The problem is that 42 is not a 13 reference in Douglas Adams land, being the answer to the life, the universe and everything question of what do you get when you multiply 6 times 9.

I don't see what's ick about Moridin's body - no doubt it's a good, very handsome, borderlander's body before it was taken over a Forsaken. Only issue is the saa - if it goes away, Rand can party for years in that body without scars in side, etc. The alternative is that Rand dies, becomes a hero for the horn, and then is ripped out a la Birgitte - so same body but no scars or pain. That could be odd too.

Re Gaidal and Birgitte, having him be two years older than Birgitte doesn't qualify as an age difference IMO. I'm still sticking with my theory that there is a pre-conception preparation period for someone coming out of TAR to be reborn and an inchoate Gaidal is sitting inside of Elayne waiting to be trained in two handled goodness by Birgitte and Dad.

BTW - if Dyelin, Bashere or Iteralde turn out to be darkfriends, I will be deeply disappointed in Messrs Jordan and Sanderson. Really now. Next, someone will suggest Tam or Sulin....
124. Rukaiya

Well, it isn't like the genes are Moridin/Ishamael's in the first place. He stole the body from some other poor nameless schmuck, after all. Wonder if it was someone important or if we'll ever find out.
125. alreadymadwithgaidal
Re: Gaidal
Dual-wielding appears to be an Arafellin preference. So I'm thinking Gaidal will end up somewhere close. No other people are described as carrying and simultaneously wielding two swords.
Barry T
126. blindillusion
RE:~ The question of babies:
Q: Mr. Jordan, since Gaidal Cain has been born only recently in the Wheel of Time universe, how is it that he will grow old enough to fight in the upcoming battle (Tarmon Gai'don)? It will take at least 15 years for him to grow big enough to fight. And what about the other Heroes? Will they also be reborn, or will they remain to be recalled only by the Horn?
RJ: Who says that what Gaidal has been reborn to do is to fight the Last Battle? There is more to do to keep the Pattern on course than the Last Battle.

Seems Gaidal Cain is already in the Real and as such cannot be Reborn as one of Elayne's babies.

And if Birgitte does die in the Last Battle, it would seem plausible for her to do so in such a manner that the Horn would offer her the Invite again, leaving her the opportunity to be Reborn to help Cain with whatever he'll be up to after the Last Battle is complete.

Because there is this as well:
Q: Aside from the Heroes of the Horn waiting around in the World of Dreams, is there any kind of afterlife in Wheel of Time? Do the Heroes get a choice when they are linked to the Horn; can they retire, or take 'ordinary life' sabbaticals?
RJ: In answer to the first question, yes, there is an ordinary afterlife. In answer to the second, no. You cannot decide not to be a Hero linked to the Wheel.

Sure, she won't necessarily be a child of one of the Fab3, but that's not what matters. She has to be born to keep Cain in line. Perhaps what Moghedien did is exactly what the Pattern wanted to happen: an adult Birgitte Silverbow in the Real, with all her memories, to help Elayne&Co (+ Mat!!) in the Last Battle. And then she’ll die to be Reborn as she’s supposed to be in order to move on with her destiny post-Last Battle.

RE:~ Everyone saying ICK to Rand’s soul in Moridin’s body impregnating Aviendha

I still fail to see why this causes this reaction. The body Moridin presently inhabits in an Innocent, a Boderlander caught in a raid and mutilated in one of the worst ways I can really think possible. I suppose it comes down to the question of whether it is the fault of the body what atrocities the soul commits.

RE:~ Rand’s Mental Problems

I still believe LTT’s voice was a coping mechanism. LTT’s memories were there, along with Rand’s growing paranoia, plus several large dabs of the Taint. And I think (evidence provided at the end of tGS) that Rand al’Thor had been absent for some time and that the character we saw for the last several novels was a combination of everything going on in that poor man’s head.

But towards the end of tGS we see what became of Rand al’Thor: he is the Calm Voice we hear from (quote a few times as tGS progesses)…the one that almost dies just before “Rand” goes to Dragonmount.

What evidence do I see for this? Well, at the very end on DM, just as the novel is about to end, Rand opens his eyes for the first time in a long time. I think this sentence is being overlooked. I think we finally have the real Rand back, the one we started with, and that he’s come to except everything else that’s in his head. I think the Rand we meet at Midnight is going to surprise us all.

RE:~ TTT (I still like calling it the Ta’veren Kaleidoswirl)

I cannot help but wonder if Mat will drop out of the TTT upon entry into the ToG, thus setting off the beginning stages of the Last Battle. (I’ll let you guys speculate on why I’d ask such a question…if you want to.)

RE:~ Marriage

If Rand has any option in it? I think he’ll marry Min. The other two just don’t seem like they’re in love with Rand al’Thor.

Sorry for the Rambling WOT. Most of you know where those quotes came from. And as I don't have my books, I don't know if that mention of Rand opening his eyes is the exact wording from the books.


edit: 1+(2*6)=13 *wicked grin*
Bonnie Andrews
127. misfortuona
I doubt that Gaidal gets much of a choice. The pattern spins out the hero's where it needs them. Is there some particular need in Arafellin?

Bonnie Andrews
128. misfortuona
I've been trying to figure out why the initial gut wretching ICK reaction.
I think it's because it feels too much like Moridin's body, (I know it isn't his in the first place) would be possessed by Rand's soul. Something about the whole thing just feels off. Maybe the transfering of bodies will have the same effect on one, or all three of his wives, and the problem of who will marry him will be solved.

129. Freelancer

Yeah, I'm not sure that you're safe, even 9,000 miles away. I'd definitely want at least two continents between me and Wetlandernw before calling her Nynaeve.


Life, the Universe, and Everything. Though I've received a hint that an even more profound answer could be gotten from a particular bowl of petunias, if only it weren't for that whale.

Normal probability restored. Oh, you still have some yarn in your mouth.
Tricia Irish
130. Tektonica

I think the ICK is just that it's not Rand. I mean it is, but it's not his genes. Does that matter? Or is it the soul? Since the soul can be put into any body, maybe the body doesn't matter. I'd like to see him get a shiny new body with no holes in it and all it's parts, should he live again past TG. I guess it's not as Icky when I think of Mori's body as some poor guy who had his body stolen.

And yes, Min does seem like the only one who really knows/loves "Rand" and not the DR. Elayne hasn't been around much, and although Avi spent alot of time with him initially, she has been MIA with him for many books now...
Sam Mickel
131. Samadai
Here is another thought about Rands soul inhabiting another body. The DO is the one who puts his servants souls in new bodies. So how could it be a good thing for Rands soul to inhabit another body?

Edit for: Do you think the creator is going to lend a hand?
Ron Garrison
132. Man-0-Manetheran
MatHS: Listen to Free's advice @ 129!
Free: ROFLMAO!!!
Jack Diamond
133. violetdancer
One last comment Re: Rand/Moridin and the ICK factor before I close up shop in California and head back to the frozen land of Wyoming.

Rand and Moridin are changing on a cellular level. Moridin's hand hurts. One of the Forsaken (Mesaana?) thinks he looks more like al'Thor. If there is a body exchange and the fathering of Min's children, there will be little difference between the two bodies, except that Moridin's won't be trashed and in constant pain. I don't think Rand would say ICK!


Verbosity is not a bad trait when one has important and thoughtful stuff to convey, as you usually do. ;D
Thomas Keith
134. insectoid
Free @129: Your comments are sailing waaayyy over my head! Is this some sort of Hitchhiker's Guide reference? 'Cause I'm not getting it... 8|

EDIT: 1 + (3 * 4) = 13. HA!

Alice Arneson
135. Wetlandernw
Macarius @92 - Yes, the Andoran civil war is totally wrong. The Succession was clear, and they were completely out of line to go declaring for the throne and squabbling over it. You could almost excuse it when they didn't know where Elayne was, but once she showed up it should have been over. A few of them have an excuse for a grudge against House Trakand on the basis of how Morgase treated them; they don't have any way of knowing that she was Compelled by a disguised Forsaken, after all. Still, as you say, the point of having a clear heir to the throne is to avoid civil war, and they totally blew it. (As a plot device, though, it serves as a means for Elayne to "earn her stripes" as a ruler, not just as Aes Sedai.)

Shimrod @94 - You honor me too much. I had fun with the 12 Days, but if you haven't seen it yet, you really need to read forkroot's "Twas the Night Before Beltine". There are several really well-done carol parodies back on that thread, mostly within 50 posts or so either direction from that one.

RobM @98 - Oops. I'm not used to using it, so I keep forgetting. ;)


MHS @112 and Freelancer @129 - I tug my braid in your general direction. And I sniff.


Seriously, I probably came across more harshly than I intended, but there really is a reason to have two threads going at the same time. There's already too much to deal with on the TGS thread, since it's open to the whole almost-800 pages of that book and its ties to the rest of the series. The reread threads need to be limited to the chapter-at-hand and its ties to the rest of the series whenever possible. IMHO, of course.
Captain Hammer
136. Randalator
re: Birgitte being reborn as one of Elayne's babies

Not that I want to start a discussion about when human life actually begins (Holy Zarquon, no!) but since Elayne's little bundles of joy have already been conceived, I'd say that they no longer qualify as "soul containers" for Birgitte or any other Tarmon Gai'don death candidate.

I don't know why, but to me the idea that a child can be assigned the soul of a person who was still alive when it was conceived and growing cranks the creepy up to eleven... *shudders*
Alice Arneson
137. Wetlandernw
@all re: HGttG - ROFL!!! What a classic. I think I've only read the whole thing once (maybe twice), but somehow the best bits keep popping back out at the most convenient moments...

insectoid, yes, it's all related. But for it all to make sense, you have to read at least three, maybe four books. The Guide, of course, Life, the Universe and Everything, and So Long and Thanks for All the Fish; also, possibly, Restaurant at the End of the Universe. (Can't remember if anything significant comes from that one or not.) In any case, you really should read them sometime. It's a pretty easy read, although it may make your head go sideways...
Thomas Keith
138. insectoid
Wet @137: I figured. Err... I think I'll wait to read those until I finish reading every Salvatore book in this series I can get my pincers on. ;)

Alice Arneson
139. Wetlandernw
Randalator @136 (and others) - RJ was asked once "When a soul is reborn, at what point does it enter the body?" His answer was "Hmm… I’d have to say as a fetus. When the body becomes capable of sustaining life." So Birgitte can't possibly be reborn as one of Elayne's current twins. I don't think it very probable that Cain is either, FWIW.

140. Freelancer

Phew. Braid, sniff, those I can handle. Just not the GLARE! Anything but the glare. Or the chin. ::shudder::

For insectoid, yes, it's all Hitchhiker scampness there. The Trilogy is composed of:

Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe and Everything
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
Mostly Harmless

And Another Thing* (By Eoin Coffer & Artemis Fowl)

And in accordance with the Late Douglas Adams' specifications, it must continue to be referred to as a Trilogy, in spite of being 5 (now 6) books.

And now all the diodes down my left side hurt, and it's time to leave work. If only I didn't have to use that insipidly joyful door!
Tess Laird
141. thewindrose
Since we are talking about Elayne's babes, I thought I would mention who I think they are(seeing as TG would be an Age ending battle - Right?:)

Dragon Con3 -Emma(on the middle of the page)
Q: Are Calian and Shiva are born at the end of every Age?
RJ: Yes, and RAFO.

Tess Laird
142. thewindrose
Wetlandernw - Nice job on the 12 days of tordotcom!!! Bravo!!!
(Now you can let your kids go back to doing their homework - just kidding:)

John Massey
143. subwoofer
Where to wade in? Hmmmmm- oh, there's Wetlander, splash;)

Anyways, the old biddy, Dyelin. I don't know if we are reading too much into this. I think that Dye is just a female counterpart to many of the strong male secondary characters. We have Bashere, Rhuarc, Bael, Dobraine, Rodel, Bryne, Gaul etc. Female side we have Siuan, Birgette, -brace yourselves- Berelain, the odd AS(but it depends on how awesome they get as some could be considered primary), some WO's. I'd just lump Dyelin in with the ladies. She is just not destined for the spotlight, strong support and that is all she wrote.

Still didn't get my flippin' dingle ball...

Tricia Irish
144. Tektonica
We've got a spammer listed on the top left margin....ed hardy online ....on the reread part 21?? Who do we report this stuff to?
John Massey
145. subwoofer
Just flag it. Already have. Bound to happen. These things come up with plots for world dominance.

Roger Powell
146. forkroot
Many thanks for the praises. ::blushing:: I had a lot of fun with that one. For those that want to go back to read it, here's a fixed link:
'Twas the Night before Bel Tine
Roger Powell
147. forkroot
And by the way, Wetlandernw, props to you on the Twelve Days as you made them topical ("Five Spanking Wars"? .. Genius!) Plus it was fun waiting for each one. Well done!
Barry T
148. blindillusion
I'll throw my hat in there and agree with Wind RE:~ the future of the Wonder Twins....

Thought it's not likely we'll ever find out for certain. And also, I don't believe it's ever mentioned wether or not Calian and Shiva are twins. Though I suppose it doesn't matter in the long run.

Eh well...and he's off to put the little tyke to bed....


edit: 1+4+8=13 **evil chuckle**
Alice Arneson
149. Wetlandernw
forkroot @146 - Rats. I meant to check and make sure the link actually worked before I posted it. *sigh* Well, the praise is none the less sincere for the incompetence of the contributor. I was TOTALLY impressed with your poem. Thanks for providing a real link - it's so well worth the read!
Alice Arneson
150. Wetlandernw
forkroot @ 147 -Yeah, the 12 Days was fun. I had a load of ideas, but decided to stick with stuff from the reread as opposed to stuff from the books. It would have been easy to go either way, but the light-up dingle ball won the day.
Thomas Keith
151. insectoid
Sub @145: Good, good! Use your agressive feelings! ;)

Blind @148: LOL at Blink!

Tricia Irish
152. Tektonica
Totally off topic:

Go Hawkeyes!
Just won the Orange Bowl 24-14 in decisive fashion!
11-2 on the year! Ferris is Big 10 coach of the year.
Good offense and Great defense.
Sigh, and good night.
Pritesh Patil
153. MatHornsounder

This is Mat and yanking on braids and sniffing does'nt work..... ;-) :-)

BTW,it was just a light joke....
hope i did'nt hurt your feelings or anything
(Dont want an AS like Nynaeve against it with the medallion or without!)

Just joking here..

I think that for Rand to get Moridin's body,should not Moridin'd soul leaves that body..........
How is that going to happen then?
A fight between them is possibly going to end up with one of them (Moridin) being Balefired

or perhaps he kills Rand,and Rand gets his body
Alice Arneson
154. Wetlandernw
It's Epiphany today. No more carol parodies until December! May you all be granted what the magi were given, to know the real meaning of Christmas. Hope you all had a looney-theory-filled Twelfth Night, and the coming year is full of great things and Towers of Midnight.
Pritesh Patil
155. MatHornsounder
ahh.........Towers of Midnight....................waithing for it!!

Hope its well above 1000 pages!!
Hugh Arai
156. HArai

Why did you find Birgitte annoying? She is sincerely concerned since she knows she has no training or experience for the job. Personally I found that refreshing, considering how many characters we run across that insist on taking on positions they aren't qualified for.

Re: the Andoran succession, I'm waiting to see the ramifications hit home for Elayne being Aes Sedai and Queen. I recall that fact that Moiraine, the other woman we've seen who could have been in that position, was horrified by the idea.
Birgit F
157. birgit
I think that for Rand to get Moridin's body,should not Moridin'd soul leaves that body..........
How is that going to happen then?

If Rand kills Moridin in TAR and Moridin is not there in the flesh, will that leave an empty body? How could Rand get into it? Maybe if Rand's body is killed while he is in TAR, but he usually goes there in the flesh. Or they meet in a dream again and return to the wrong body.
Dorothy Johnston
158. CloudMist
Leigh, there are a group of young men in Tarpon Springs, FL who are about to prove they are even crazier than those who attended the Jets game. Every Epiphany Day in Tarpon Springs, there's a tradition that the local Catholic bishop tosses a jeweled cross into a local bayou and enthusiastic young men (usually 10-20) dive in. The one who retrieves the cross is supposed to have luck all year long. This morning the temperature is in the high 20's to (maybe) low 30's.
Rob Munnelly
159. RobMRobM
Harai @156. I love Birgitte. But it has to be said that she spent most of the Andoran succession story line in a bad mood. The point of my original post was that Birgitte's grumpiness, in combination with the many other grumpy characters in Camelyn (Kin, Sea Folk, Nyneave, Elayne's competition), has caused a lot of readers to dislike what is actually a well plotted, well constructed story line.

John Massey
160. subwoofer
@Wet, yes this is the Epiphany today. Also my birthday :) Happy Birthday to me!!! Yes I do feel like the Chosen -in a good way- sometimes.

My aggressive feelings?

Tess Laird
161. thewindrose
Party at subwoofer's bunker tonight!!!

Awwww, happy B-Day you big ol' wolf:)
May you fly in your dreams, not to sure about the world dominance though;)

john mullen
163. johntheirishmongol
WB Leigh. Not a lot to say here so just poking my head in
Bonnie Andrews
164. misfortuona
Happy B-Day Subwoofer. Will there be bagpipes at the party tonight?
Sam Mickel
165. Samadai
Happy Birthday Subwoofer.

S A M ™
Captain Hammer
166. Randalator
Happy Birthday, Subwoofer. So when were you given the sword exactely...?
Tricia Irish
167. Tektonica
Happy Birthday Subwoofer! Paaaaarty tonight!
Thanks for the trip down Star Wars lane.....Was that you in the flesh or dreaming?

RobM@159: In general I agree, a very cranky plot line. The Sea Folk alone are enough to make you grind your teeth. As for Birgitte.....remember, she's suffering through Elayne's pregnancy as well, mood swings, fatigue, everyone bossing her around like she was the infant......Besides being asked a to do a job for which she has no training, and she's understaffed/army-ed. I'd be cranky too.
Roger Powell
168. forkroot
Hey subwoofer: another ~365.25 days and another digit changes on life's odometer.

Have a very Happy Birthday!
170. Freelancer
Happy Birthday, Subwoofer. I'd send you some of my Clear, Sunny, 73F weather if I could. ::ducks::

Wetlandernw, you're my heroine. It takes guts to come into Leigh's pad here and throw down
5 Spanking Wars ;) ;)

Hurray for corporeal discipline!


My father-in-law is a Hawkeye, and my mother is from DesMoines. The year his daughter and I got engaged saw the Hawkeye's first trip to the Rose Bowl, and the only one I didn't have to pay for. (they got clobbered, BTW) Yes, they had a great season this year, and capped it with an impressive Bowl victory. Go Ioway!
Pritesh Patil
171. MatHornsounder
Happy Birthday Subwoofer!!!!

May the light illuminate you and May you shelter in the Palm of the Creator!!!
Matthew Smith
172. blocksmith

Happy Birthday! Have a dram on me. And get that dog of yours to fetch your deserve it.
Thomas Keith
173. insectoid
Sub @160: Happy Birthday Woofer! I've seen that scene before;)

Alice Arneson
174. Wetlandernw
HArai @156 - I always had the impression that Moiraine's problem with being Queen was that a) she just didn't want it and b) she had just been tagged (with really only one other person) to find, protect, guide and aid the Dragon Reborn. Being stuck playing politics in Cairhein would play bloody hell with her secret mission. Elayne's situation is completely different, in several obvious ways.

subwoofer - Happy birthday!! And what an auspicious day for it, too. Hope it's a GREAT day for you, and that there are great blessings in the year to come.
Roger Powell
175. forkroot
Happy Birthday, Subwoofer. I'd send you some of my Clear, Sunny, 73F weather if I could. ::ducks::
While you are at it, how about sending some here to St Louis? I forgot to pack some when I left Arizona yesterday :-(
Tricia Irish
176. Tektonica

I knew I liked you....good stock! Salt of the earth people, the Iowans! (I'm actually from Illinois....just across the river. I really mean just..I could see Iowa from my front porch.....not Russia.) Did both under and grad school at U. of Iowa and adopted Iowa City as my home. When I was there, the Hawks were in the basement of the Big 10. Ouch. Hayden Frye made a huge difference. Nice to see Ferris carrying on. A good day/year to be a Hawkeye!

Birgit@157 & Anyone: How do souls transmogrify? Is that the right word? Or is it migrate? How do they get from one body to another? Anyone think the Creator might lend a hand? Didn't someone just ask that? Any clues, anyone?
177. Rukaiya
Alright, feeling ignorant here, but could someone tell me who Calian and Shiva are?
Ron Garrison
178. Man-0-Manetheran
If you haven't been to the front page of today, do so now. There is the new The Shadow Rising ebook cover by Sam Weber. It's a drawing of Mat that is absolutely stunning. Although it's not how I pictured him, I'm willing to revise the image in my head!
Don Barkauskas
179. bad_platypus
Rukaiya @177:

They are brother-and-sister Heroes of the Horn, who are said to herald the end of an Age. They're referenced in aCoS, Swovan Night, when Mat meets Birgitte and has a flashback to Falme after he blew the Horn.

It's a fairly common theory that Elayne's children will be Shivan and Calian reborn, since the Last Battle is likely to mark a new Age.
Bobby Stubbs
181. Valan
@ MHS 155 re: 1000 pages

I'll raise a glass to that one buddy, cheers!

If ya'll haven't checked out the new Shadow Rising E-book Cover, you need to ASAP. MoA
Bobby Stubbs
182. Valan
Damn, I see MoM beat me to it, ah well great minds think alike ;).

reminder to self: hit F5 every once in a while
183. Freelancer

St Louis? Was there for a week in early August, which wasn't half as humid as normal up against the Mighty Muddy. However, I was treated rather poorly by several locals who took exception to my Dodgers ballcap. Be certain that I laughed long and hard in early October. Now why couldn't they shut down Howard just like they did Pujols? All that to say St. Louis can find its own Winter warmth.


The San Diego Spitoon err, Tribune dropped Calvin & Hobbes years ago for a totally insipid strip I won't even dignify by mention. Just like the bums who can't hit my driveway with that rag most days, no sense of delivery.
Thomas Keith
184. insectoid
Free @183: There's only about a dozen comics I read in the paper anymore, including Prince Valiant on Sundays in the NCT.

On the other hand, I have every book collection of C&H on my bookshelf. Shows how much I loved that strip. ;)

EDIT: Heh. 1 + 8 + 4 = 13. ::feeling foolish::

John Massey
185. subwoofer
Aaaawwwwwwww!Shucks! Thank you everyone for your warm wishes:)

John Massey
186. subwoofer
Me woofer fetched me slippers, but ate one on the way over. Gonna have to think that one through again on my part.

Comics- Love Pickles. My geriatric parents are spitting images. They are convinced that Brian Crane hides under their bed and takes notes.

On this auspicious day...reflect,
be grateful,
hoist a dram and celebrate. Good times!

Edit- note the accordion;)

Tricia Irish
187. Tektonica

LOL. I looked it up in the big ol' dictionary too....not as funny as C & H....and although Rand might "transform" into Mori, we wouldn't want him to get "grotesque" on us. No frogs please. Thanks!

And yes everyone...go see the ebook cover....beautiful drawing, simple, elegant. It says so much, so simply.
craig thrift
188. gagecreedlives
Happy Birthday Subwoofer. May the beer be plentiful and cold and the times good.
Hugh Arai
189. HArai

From the end of Chapter 6 in New Spring:

Thus she gained another nightmare to join the babe in the snow and the faceless man. She sat on the Sun Throne wearing the shawl of an Aes Sedai, and in the streets outside, the mobs were destroying the city. No Aes Sedai had been a queen in over a thousand years, and even before that, the few who admitted it openly had fared badly."

That strikes me as a bit stronger than simply not wanting to be queen the way Dyelin doesn't but that's just my reading. I'll point out however that the strongest proponent of Elayne as an Aes Sedai Queen appears to have been Elaida and we all know how the Elaida Effect works...
190. Mrdangam
27. BillinHI
VIEW ALL BY · Monday January 04, 2010 12:06pm EST
Leigh: Welcome back indeed! I shouldn't mention our weather at the moment (72 degrees, cloudy, at 7 AM local time)

72 degrees? Centigrade? Talk about global warming!
Bonnie Andrews
191. misfortuona
I think I need to re-read New Spring.

So maybe having the WT behind you if you’re a queen is not such a great thing. I wonder what went wrong with the reigns of those other Aes Sedai queens? Were they seen as puppets of the WT? Were they puppets in reality, and are they the reasons that Aes Sedai advisors have fallen out of favour? Perhaps they might have even played a part in cementing the importance of the 3 oaths in the minds of the WT. That last seems to be far more important to the tower itself than to the general populace.

It is funny how a single passage can so alter ones perspective on things. Why if these women were such a failure in the past, is it so important to the present WT that they place a tower trained woman on the throne of Andor? Maybe it is an attempt to regain some of the power that has been lost in the declining tower.

Oooh wayward thought! I’ve just seen a parallel between the decline of the tower and that of the numbers of Dragons before the return of the thread in Pern. Huh! I know, but really threads/ patterns. Okay it’s before 6am in my world and I’m rattling, but I’m going to run with errant thoughts for the moment.

We have heard our Aes Sedai heroines lament the sorry state of the tower, ‘now of all times.’ Maybe it was necessary for the tower to be in decline so that it could be 'purged by fire', so to speak, and rebuilt stronger. If that is the case, then Elaida has actually played her part in the pattern perfectly.

On re-reading that last bit, my epiphany seems more of a Duh to me, but I think I’ll leave it stand anyway. One can hope that it will spark more intelligent thought from other sources.

I now find myself reconsidering Elayne's trip through the Andoran succession, but I think I'll save those thoughts for more thorough consideration before subjecting you all to them.

James Jones
192. jamesedjones
191 misfortuona

Re: Aes Sedai Royal Failures

Probably all of the above, but you forgot that people want to see in their ruler the best possible strategic leader. Heriditary rule gets by this requirement through intensive training for the heir from birth.

But what if the ruler were one of the only thousand people in the known world that can work magic?

Then you have the question of what really put them on the throne and keeps them there. Are they in that position because they can bully anyone who doesn't agree with them?

And there's all the mis-conceptions (I know, ;))associated with Aes Sedai. The ability to channel is a genetic trait, which allows you to quite easily claim that all Aes Sedai are mutants. And don't forget the dogma of the whitecloaks that indicates that the use of the one power is something of the DO.

All in all, the clear support of the WT might be a minor issue for any openly Aes Sedai ruler with savvy political opponents.
193. alreadymadwithASqueen
Re: Aes Sedai Royal failures
HArai's example is from Moiraine's POV, but being queen of Cairhien is different from being Queen of Andor. The potential problems Moiraine saw might have been unique to Cairhien. Cairhienin, after all, are well known for their addiction to Daes Dae'mar, and may not bear up well to long term rule by a single House, let alone a single individual. Andoran queens, by contrast often stay on the throne as much for being loved by the populace as being supported by the other major houses. The latter support itself often coming as a consequence of popular opinion.
194. J.Dauro
And IIRC, Moraine would have been following a much despised ruler (her uncle?) which would already be a strike against her for much of the populace.
Bonnie Andrews
195. misfortuona
Is Professor Xavier around? Someone needs to save the Aes Sedai. Yeah I know;)) I think it might be the cold this morning -32C this morning (-24F for those who don’t want to convert). At any rate, not to quibble, the number of people who can channel is quite a lot higher than a thousand; though I guess at this point in the story not many people actually realize this. Other than my little nit-picking I liked your response.

I keep forgetting that Moiraine is Cairhienian. I guess this might explain the different attitude in Andor. They do send their daughter-heirs to the tower after all.

Still I wonder if part of the reason that there havn’t been Any Aes Sedai queens in so long is because of the opposition from the other houses. I mean from a public standpoint, having a strong continuous leader throughout a few generations would be a good thing, but a bad Aes Sedai leader would last just as long. And if you are one of the competing houses, well you can forget about one of your own on the throne until your great-great-etc.- grandchild.

In Elayne’s case she was being groomed for the job from long before ‘the spark’ appeared.
Elayne, unlike either Moiraine or Dyelin has been expecting to take the throne one day since she was born. The other’s would have been trained in case, but this has been her purpose since long before she ever realized that she had the spark. Sooo, this sort of makes it better for me to think of the effort that she’s put into achieving the crown while the world strides toward TG.

I guess it’s a lot like Lan’s decision to leave for Malkier. That one I applauded. My personal logic doesn’t always make sense to me either.

Mis-contented with the succession
Jamie Watkins
196. Treesinger
To Bad-Plat @102:
Thanks for the link to Steven Cooper's WOT Chronolgy -- I just spent a day-and-a-half there. Way cool. Some people just have too much time on their hands. Don't any of you have jobs or something?
Sam Mickel
197. Samadai
Treesinger@ 196

Welcome aboard

Of course we do, we are all at work now. Don't tell the boss. It is a secret
Tess Laird
198. thewindrose
Heh - Do any of us work - that's funny;)

Looks like Elayne is getting short shrift again. I remember Mo thinking about how AS queens not working out to well from New Spring, however was never able to decide if that was just for Cairhien of everywhere...
She did tell that wonderful story we all love about Manetheran, and they had a beloved AS queen.

You all know that RJ wrote Elayne to be a great queen - at least that is my take on it. How she learns from her mistakes, her concern for the common people, one of Rands love interests -the list actually goes on, however I am at work and I have to get something done - yikes!!
199. ValMar
@thewindrose: here in the UK about 5 inches of snow fell this week and the country ground to a halt, so few people ain't working...

Re: AS Queens:
One point, besides those already made, of why AS don't end well as queens came to me when Manetheren was mentioned just above.

A strong, successful Queen, at the head of a powerful nation for decades or centuries may eclipse the Amyrlin and, maybe, the White Tower. An AS will become a queen rather young whilst Amyrlins usually were very experienced when they got the stole, nearer the end of their lifespan. Like the Popes/Patriarchs etc.

One of the reasons for Manetheren's fall was the Amyrlin's envy towards the Queen, IIRC.
Also, an AS so obviously involved in world afairs will reduce the "mystery/larger than life" effect which the WT cultivated for 3K years. And worse, the Obama effect- people may expect miracles of their AS ruler and will be disillusioned and this will rub on to AS in general.

In summary, the White Tower itself may not be too keen on AS ruler.
Alice Arneson
200. Wetlandernw
misfortuona @191 - On re-reading that last bit, my epiphany seems more of a Duh to me, but I think I’ll leave it stand anyway. LOL! Isn't it funny how many times that happens? Still, if it hasn't been talked about lately, it might mean that everyone is done with it, or it might mean that no one (here anyway) has thought about it yet. I, for one, hadn't really thought of it in that way. Elaida is such an arrogant and misguided annoyance that I tend to just see that an forget that she also has a designated part to play.

alreadymad @193 - Wow. Good thoughts! You're so right - the attitude of the ruled toward the ruler is very different in the two countries.

Treesinger @196 - LOL!! Yeah, these sites can be real time-burners. Have you done the WoTFAQ yet? Or the theoryland interview database? Killers.

Jobs? What jobs? ;) Speaking only for myself, I'm sort of free today, because I'm staying home with a small boy with a cracked collarbone. :( Playground accident. Most days I'm at school with him all day.
Tricia Irish
201. Tektonica
Re: AS Queens:

One more reason there may not have been too many AS Queens in the last 3.000 years is that there are less AS. They have been culling the male genes and not recruiting, so the likelihood of a Royal having the spark has been reduced, as well.
Maiane Bakroeva
202. Isilel
AMW @97:

About the Eye of The World causing all of it, that's wild.

Why is it wild? It makes sense to me - give the DR the Horn and the banner _after_ you made sure that he recalls his previous life. Lots of people died to create the Eye - it must have been meant for something big.
And again, after he used the Eye Rand suddenly did some very intricate channeling, while before that he was only coming up with typical wilder stuff.

Also, after using the Eye, Rand was briefly unsure of his own identity for the first time (and that of his companions).

There is no evidence that the "voices" that some of the mad male channelers heard according to Cadsuane, had anything to do with their previous lives, anymore than it was the case for the vast majority of other madmen in Randland ;).

As to Moiraine's reaction to the offer of the throne, it was really a bad deal to her because:

Her House was responsible for the Aiel War that devastated Cahirien and a good chunk of Randland.

It also broke the foundation of Cahirien's prosperity - exclusive overland trade with Shara across the Waste.
It would have been an impossible task trying to re-build without it and with agriculture in total disarray due to peasants being afraid to return.

Whitecloaks and other AS-haters would have done their worst to thwart Moiraine, while AS-supporters would have expected miracles which she couldn't deliver.

Relationships with WT and the Amyrlin were also bound to be pretty complex.

So, yes, it would have been a terrible deal for Moiraine and would have completely gone against her expectations of life of adventure, too. Leave alone the whole TDR thing.

With Elayne situation is very different - for one thing, her ASness was initially supposed to be a secret. Not even her brothers knew that she was supposed to gain the shawl and traditional soujourn of Daughter-Heir in the Tower would have covered her training.

For another, even under Rahvin's thumb Morgase didn't do a fraction of the harm to Andor that Laman did to Cahirien. Without the whole End of Days and Forsaken, Elayne would have taken over from a successful and respected predessor.

Ironically, now that she is openly known to be AS and Andor had been in some disorder due to Rahvin, the apocalyptic events work _for_ her - there is so much going around that her ASness has become rather immaterial.
203. ValMar
Yes, statisticaly there is small chance for an AS ruler, besides all other reasons.

Also, major turning point in terms of AS political involvement was the confrontation with Arthur 1000 years ago. And their numbers have been dwindling.
Actually, the Arthur thing might be the key regarding the lack lack of overt AS political involvement.
Now is time to twitch
Jamie Watkins
204. Treesinger
WetNW @ 199
I have wasted some time at some of those sites but I have to do it between breaks of "Real Life." For instance, my boss is thinking that I am working on that big estimate that is due tomorrow. :)
Speaking of having an AS as a queen, I never thought of it but she could rule for two hundred years. If her twins don't channel, she could outlive them. That is assuming that the Dragon doesn't break the world agian.
paul Hend
205. tugthis
More of a housekeeping question here. Any chance we get three chapters Friday to get back (somewhat)on track?
April Vrugtman
206. dwndrgn
Oooh, I'm late - hippo birdies Subwoofer!
James Jones
207. jamesedjones
202 & 204
Well.... maybe not. If it weren't for Rahvin, then Morgase would still be on the throne - and unbound by the oath rod.

Since Sorilea is only one power scale level above Morgase, and Cadsuane thought Sorilea might be older than herself, it isn't unreasonable to assume Morgase might have outlived a bound Elayne (unless she timed the switch to the Kin right, and Eggy succeeded in convincing almost all of the WT to change their minds about the oath rod).
Alice Arneson
208. Wetlandernw
Isilel @202 - Excellently well said. And good point about how the apocalyptic scenario is actually in her favor now. Hadn't thought of that before.

It is also interesting to compare the damage done by Morgase vs. that done by Laman. You know, I just don't like Cairhien, or most Cairhienin, very much. Morgase was a good ruler, and ruled for the good of her people; as near as I can tell, this was fairly typical of Andoran Queens, though I'm sure there would have been exceptions. (Some of the contenders this time around certainly don't show much inclination in that direction!) OTOH, Laman was far more concerned with making a big show of his own "greatness," with no thought for the cost of his activities, much less concern for the effect on his people or nation. This seems to be true of most of the Cairhienin and Tairen royals/nobles; it's probably true of several other countries as well, though we haven't seen as much of them. No wonder they've always irritated me. Laman did more damage just motivated by his own pride than Morgase did while under Forsaken Compulsion. Hmmmm... quite a comparison.
Roger Powell
209. forkroot
Isilel: I like your theory about the Eye a lot. One of the things that has always bugged me about TEoTW is the somewhat arbitrary way that Moiraine insisted on dragging only the Edmonds Fielders (mainly the three ta'veren) to the Eye ASAP.

This would make far more sense if the Eye was indeed supposed to "activate" the DR, especially if Moiraine had some hint of that from her research. Given what was found there, plus your point about the extreme measures taken to create and protect the Eye, this all seems to fit.

It makes further sense if the Forsaken knew about the Eye and were planning to "blind" it. Then Moiraine would be racing against time to get the boys there.

There's a twist though. Ishamael would have had plenty of chances to blind the Eye if such a thing was possible for a Forsaken to do. Not only did he not do that, he compelled Jain Farstrider to report (via the Ogier) that there would be an attempt on the Eye, to make sure that the forces of Light would get the DR there. So Ishy clearly wanted the "Dragon Reborn" to appear and seize his birthright.

I guess this all fits with the general pattern: Ishy does not want to kill Rand (except when he thinks Rand is going to kill him at the ends of TGH and TDR.) The other Forsaken do want to kill him.
Roger Powell
210. forkroot
Thinking about the above some more....

Moiraine gets more and more mysterious. I think we had best realize that the young Moiraine we know from New Spring has grown and learned much by the time we see her at Edmonds Field. And I suspect she has accumulated some interesting secrets.

She may not be as sneaky as Verin, but I think there will be some interesting reveals from her when she makes it back from Finnland.

Among other things ... recall that she is the only person to ever visit the Eye more than once. Someshta was astonished to see her. Now perhaps that is the pattern pulling Rand there (I'm sure it is), but then the pattern could have separated her from Rand too.

RJ doesn't really give her in-depth POVs in the main books, so it would be easy to hold back some astonishing stuff, much like he did with Verin.
Tricia Irish
211. Tektonica
Did Moraine know that the DR was Rand when she took the Emond Fielder's there? She had 3 T'averen boys with her....Did she know which one it was?
I just can't recall. Gurus?

Very interesting theory Isilel!
Hugh Arai
212. HArai
Wetlandernw@208 and others:

A lot of good points. You are certainly correct that Elayne's situation is different than Moiraine's was. I do have a few things that make me take Moiraine's worries seriously, even transfered to Andor.

First of all, I think it's clear that at the point each entered the Tower, Moiraine was more familiar with the Great Game, especially as it applied to her personally. Our appreciation of Cairhienin political instability comes from Moiraine's realistic appraisal. Sitters in the Tower asked her opinion. I read Moiraine's POV to also take into account all the varied historical situations with Aes Sedai rulers that she knows, not just her own and I think it's clear she doesn't think it ever went well. Elayne at the same point is still having trouble figuring out that just because the Two Rivers is in Andor on her map doesn't mean they're all loyal subjects of her mother. She's basically taken Elaida's word for it that Elayne ruling as Aes Sedai is a good idea. I know some people think Elaida had to be such a disaster to provide the right situation for overall success but I'm betting this is one of the times a lot of people get hurt first.

My second point: A lot of people have mentioned Elayne would have an easier time because the common people love Morgase/House Trakand. I don't think the Andoran people are really as supportive of Aes Sedai involvement . Remember the "Red or White?" riots Rand got tangled up in?
Those were stirred up over Morgase's mere support for the Tower/Elaida. How much could the same people stir up over the Queen being Aes Sedai?

Third: Aes Sedai are used to using the authority of the Tower to order kings and queens around. I will be shocked if Elayne does not run into strong conflicts between what she wants as Queen of Andor and what she gets told to do as an Aes Sedai tied to Egwene. I had the impression Elayne was already starting to dance around this at the end of KoD.
213. Rukaiya

I'm not a guru, but I recently re-read TEOTW, so I'll jump in. I'm pretty sure that Rand doesn't think Moiraine knows until what happens at the Eye itself, but I don't think we actually get enough from Moiraine herself to make it clear. Personally, I think she knew, or at least guessed. Mat and Perrin were both too clearly born in Emond's Field, but she probably felt she had to make sure.
Jay Dauro
214. J.Dauro
211. Tektonica

Hard to say for sure. In tGH she meets with Rand and Suian at Fal Dara, and at that time she knows of Rand's birth circumstances. So at that time she is reasonably sure he is the DR (in fact, they push Rand to help force him into the path for the prophecies.)

But she has been gone from Fal Dara some, so she may have acquired that knowledge after she confirmed that Rand could channel. But she had some hints that he could channel before (Bela), although she did not see the first bouts of Channeling sickness.

I believe she was reasonably sure at tEoTW. But I can't prove it.

HArai @212
I always thought that Rahvin helped push the riots, so that he could put them down to get close to Morgase
215. ValMar
HArai, nice quip about Elayne re Two Rivers.
It always annoys me how the Trakand royals keep insisting with total conviction how TR is a part of Andor; practically not just in theory.

All day today I've been thinking it's Friday (just for the WOT re-read)and was waiting for a new post and "twiching"... My mind is following Rand's, and I don't have any excuse, except idleness...
Tess Laird
216. thewindrose
HArai(Good to hear from you again!)

Third: Aes Sedai are used to using the authority of the Tower to order kings and queens around. I will be shocked if Elayne does not run into strong conflicts between what she wants as Queen of Andor and what she gets told to do as an Aes Sedai tied to Egwene. I had the impression Elayne was already starting to dance around this at the end of KoD.

Rulers, as a rule, need to know how to dance to that tune. Actually, Elayne has for some time been play quite a game with most of the Aes Sedai, and she will to Egwene as well if she needs to. She is on Rands side of any conflict, as are Aviendha and Min. In Load of Choss, when Min is sent off with the embassy to Rand: "Siuan didn't tell me until this morning. I've been trying to work up the courage to tell you ever since. She wants me to spy on him, Elayne. For the embassy, and she gave me names in Caemlyn, people who can send messages back to her."
"You won't do it, of course," Elayne said, without a hint of question, and Min gave her a grateful look.

Elayne has also spent a lot of time with Nyn, and I think she (Nyn) is definetly pro Rand, and does the same sort of maneuvering with Cads and others to help out Rand.

Has anyone thought that Elayne might not want to be a queen for 300 years? I think she would happily give the throne to a daughter-heir who was competent. After all, she does have the Talent to make *angreal, and if Rand survives he will live as long as her, so I can see her giving the throne to her daughter as soon as she can.

Tricia Irish
217. Tektonica

I totally agree with you...Elayne is firmly in Rand's camp. She didn't want him "handing" her the throne, but she supports him fully....bonded, having his kids, etc. She's learning to dance around the AS, and I feel she will always put Andor first. That was her training from day one.

I also think Rahvin had alot to do with the riots. Made Morgase "need" him. (Like a hole in the head.) Having a powerful, pretty fearless, competant AS magic user as ruler during TG could be a real boon for Andor. History aside, I think Elayne will be accepted and be a good ruler. She won't want the job for 300 years either....she's got other things to do, as above.
Hugh Arai
218. HArai
thewindrose@216: Thanks! For the most part I agree with you. Elayne is definitely on Rand's side, as is Nynaeve. I also don't see Elayne bowing to pressure from Aes Sedai other than Egwene any more. I'm looking forward to seeing how she deals with Egwene. Egwene to me has fallen for the Aes Sedai mental pitfall of insisting the White Tower must be in charge because they're the White Tower. It will be interesting to see what Elayne does if Egwene starts issuing orders that are at odds with Rand's plans or what Elayne believes is best for Andor.We know Rand will "know the Amyrlin's anger", will Elayne?
James Jones
219. jamesedjones
216 thewindrose
Has anyone thought that Elayne might not want to be a queen for 300 years? I think she would happily give the throne to a daughter-heir who was competent.
Absolutely. After all, who could make a better Aes Sedai advisor to the queen of Andor than a former queen of Andor? Elayne will probably have her mom advise her, too. And after a few decade (much less centuries) of having your mom second guess you, I don't think anyone would want to hang on to the position for too long. :P
Roger Powell
220. forkroot
HArai @212
I always thought that Rahvin helped push the riots, so that he could put them down to get close to Morgase
I don't think the timing works. Rand is in Camelyn and sees the whole Red/White thing going on (with the implication that it has been going on for a little while.) This happens earlier in TEoTW.

Later in the book, we see Aginor and Balthamel, who are the first Forsaken to be unbound (other than Ishy) and who apparently headed straight for the Eye.

Admittedly the text is not 100% conclusive, but it seems like Rahvin would not have been released until around the time of the events at the Eye -- a little late to be the origin of the trouble in Andor. He certainly could have made use of that trouble once he got there though.
221. alreadymadwithforsaken
That's actually a valid theory, having Rahvin secretly pushing the riots as early as TEOTW. The fact is we know little of when the Forsaken were released exactly. We only know that Aginor and Balthamel were the first to appear. But even by then they had already been around long enough to learn the current Tongue. A few months later the other Forsaken have already managed to be influential in their chosen nations. It would make sense for them to act from the shadows for a few months as they familiarised themselves with the modern Tongue and political landscape, then move into the open as their disguises were fleshed out.
Maiane Bakroeva
222. Isilel
Wetlandernw, Forkroot et al. - thanks! Speaking of why Ishamael didn't "blind the Eye" himself - wasn't it hinted in TEoTW that Aginor and Balthalamel couldn't find the Eye by themselves, that they had to follow the emanations of Mat's dagger?
I imagine that's why Ishy left around all these tidbits - he couldn't get at the Eye.
As to whether he'd want to prevent the DR's "activation", I guess that it would have been a toss-up between his ego (what's the fun in defeating a peasant bumpkin, rather than LTT?) and practicality.

To speculate a bit more, IMHO the Eye had the same "soul recognition" wards on it as Callandor did, which dissipated once Rand reached it.

Harai @212:

Remember the "Red or White?" riots Rand got tangled up in?
Those were stirred up over Morgase's mere support for the Tower/Elaida.

Weren't they rather stirred by Elayne and her brothers going to WT and people fearing that something bad might come out of it, like the last time with Luc and Tigraine?
Not to defend Elaida, but this was more due to the impact of Gitara's actions on Andor, rather than her own failures. Also, while other FS were still imprisoned, Ishy has been actively directing DFs for some time and _he_ was probably behind the disorders, to some degree.

IMHO, once Elayne returned back safe and sound there wouldn't have been much opposition - except for the whole Tarmon Gaidon and FS coming out to play.

Re: ruling for centuries - it would make sense for an AS queen to abdicate after a few decades. Historically, people got tired even of great rulers who remained in power for far too long. Maybe those AS queens who came to sticky ends merely overstayed their welcome.
John Massey
223. subwoofer
Well usually kings and queens die after a certain period of time. If not from old age, then from strife. Hawkwing was the man. I still stick to the adage only the good die young. Elayne is okay, but I think if Birgette lives past the LB, Elayne will leave power when Birgette dies.

lin mei
224. twicemarked
The "Red or White" riot thing is basically over the long winter. A lot of people having nothing to do, and they stir up trouble. While Rahvin did have a lot to do with it, once the Eye is used, and the spring come, everyone went back to their farm/mine, and the trouble is gone.

On this point, the Cairhienin at least provided entertainment for the people in the foregates. If Morgase did the same, it would not be as bad.

As to Elayne ruling over a long time. Queen Eldrene was an AS queen, and I don't think people get tired of her rule. Her sad endding was due to Trollocs and the envy of the Amrylin Seat, not her subjects.


Historically, I am not aware of people getting tired of great rulers who remained in power for very long. Nobles and other kings, yes, since a new ruler may give them better chances to replace the existing set of folks in power, but seldom the subjects. You have any actual examples to back this up? I am aware of a few rulers staying in power for 50+ years, and none caused rebellions at the end, at least no more than at any other time.
Matthew Smith
225. blocksmith
Regarding Rahvin's entrance and the riots. I believe that is was Basel Gil that told Mat "Gaebril" showed up just in time to help end the riots.

However, Gaebril/Rahvin did not recognize Mat when he delivered the letter from Elayne and (I believe) bought his concocted back-story hook, line and sinker. This means he had not been made privy to his appearance by Ishamael as yet. If he had, wouldn't Mat have been rendered a pile of ash then and there? Or at least heavily compelled?
Sam Mickel
226. Samadai
I wonder if Ishmael wanted them to go to the Eye of the World because he knew that the release of that much power would lead to the release of the other Forsaken. And another thing, how did one of the seals end up there? Why only one? Did the White Tower truly know the location of all the seals up until the Trolloc Wars?
Don Barkauskas
227. bad_platypus

Actually, with Egwene's plan to have AS retire into the Kin, Elayne could have a 600+ year rule if she wanted. :-)
Marcus W
228. toryx
Now that I've read TGS and can catch up, I thought I'd stick in my answer for the poll Leigh prompted:

I don't think Rand will marry anyone but Min, and that only after TG. Mostly that's just hopeful thinking, though.
230. VuKaDr
I'm not certain, but I think Rand will get married, because of a dream he has in tEotW of Thom juggling and saying that "the Queen is married to the land, but the Dragon is one with the land." While this is a Fisher King reference, I think it also implies that Rand will marry Elayne.

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