Fri
Jan 8 2010 12:04pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 6

Top of the Friday to yeh, boyseth and girlseth! Welcome to Yet Another Wheel of Time Re-read post!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 8-9 of A Crown of Swords, in which a cipher cops a ’tude, and it’s about damn time, really.

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 – not to mention for WOT stuff in general.

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

Ergo, a posteth doth follow. Check it!

Chapter 8: The Figurehead

What Happens
Egwene sits in her tent with Sheriam, Siuan, and Chesa, thinking of how anyone would far more readily believe that Sheriam was Amyrlin than her, and says to Sheriam that the army must rest where they are tomorrow. Sheriam thinks they should stop for longer than a day, but Egwene doesn’t need Siuan’s surreptitious headshake to know not to allow that.

“One day.” She might be just eighteen and well short of a true Amyrlin’s grandeur, but she was no fool. Too many of the sisters seized on any excuse for a halt—too many of the Sitters, as well—and if they stopped too long, it might be impossible to start them moving again.

Sheriam is about to protest, but Egwene points out that they will strip the countryside bare and turn the locals against them, and Siuan backs her up diffidently. Sheriam gives Siuan a hard look, and Egwene thinks that the Aes Sedai seem divided between those who welcomed Siuan back warmly as proof that their worst fear was no longer true, and those who condescended to her and blamed her for the whole situation. Sheriam acquiesces grudgingly, and Egwene is glad for Siuan’s advice to her to not let Sheriam take over all the small details of running the camp, as otherwise she might never have known about any problems until they were already dealt with. Chesa murmurs a comment about low light being bad for the eyes, making it seem she’s talking about herself; Egwene appreciates her for the comfortable relationship they have, but even more because Chesa’s presence puts Sheriam off balance, letting Egwene maneuver around her more easily. Egwene thinks she may be right about the light, though, as she has a headache. Egwene moves on to the matter of the army’s pay; Lelaine and Romanda, in a rare show of unity, are suggesting that the soldiers’ wages be cut, and Egwene tells Sheriam that that won’t happen.

“As you command, Mother.” Sheriam’s eyes sparkled with pleasure. The difficulties must be clear to her—anyone who thought her less than very intelligent was in deep trouble—but she did have a blind spot. If Romanda or Lelaine said the sun was coming up, Sheriam most likely would claim it was going down; she had had almost as much sway with the Hall as they did now, perhaps more, until they put a halt to it between them. The opposite was true, as well; those two would speak against anything Sheriam wanted before they stopped to think. Which had its uses, all in all.

Chesa murmurs again about Egwene’s new maid, and thinking of the absurdity that Sheriam, Lelaine and Romanda had each given her a maid makes Egwene recall “Marigan”, and that she should wear the bracelet that holds the Forsaken prisoner more often. She pulls it out and puts it on, and reflects that Moghedien feels fear even while asleep, which is why she hates wearing the a’dam so much. She thinks about the rarity of Siuan’s election to Amyrlin so young, after three Amyrlins before her had died after only a few years in the position.

And Egwene al’Vere, who in many eyes should still have been a novice? A figurehead, easily directed, a child who had grown up in the same village with Rand al’Thor. That last definitely had its part in the decision.

Sheriam notices the bracelet and comments that she thinks she saw Elayne and Nynaeve wearing one just like it, and Egwene hastily improvises that they gave it to her as a parting gift. To distract her from thinking about it, Egwene decides to play one of her trumps, and asks Sheriam about the ten sisters who left Salidar a few days after Siuan and Leane arrived. Surprised, Sheriam tries to weasel out of answering the question, but Egwene confronts her directly, thinking that Sheriam may not subconsciously grant her the true authority of the Amyrlin Seat, but she would still not dare defy a direct demand. Finally, Sheriam explains that after learning about Logain’s “sponsorship” as a false Dragon by the Red Ajah, the Salidar Six decided to send ten sisters back to the Tower to spread the information around there and try to sow dissension against Elaida. Egwene thinks it wasn’t actually that bad a plan, except that it would take forever. She asks Sheriam why the plan to send back these sisters (whom Egwene mentally dubs as “ferrets”) wasn’t shared with the Hall, and Siuan interrupts Sheriam’s evasive half-answer.

“The Black Ajah,” Siuan cut in quietly. “That’s what chills your blood like a silverpike up your skirts. Who can say for sure who is Black, and who can say what a Black sister might do?”

Sheriam darted another hard look at Siuan, but after a moment the force went out of her. Or rather, one sort of tension replaced another. She glanced at Egwene, then nodded, reluctantly.

Siuan innocently wonders aloud what the Hall will do when they find out the secrets Sheriam and the others were keeping from them, and Sheriam pales. Egwene is about to drive home her advantage when she feels pain and then hope coming from the a’dam, and then nothing. Egwene realizes the necklace is off, and that the pain had come from a man who could channel touching the link. She excuses herself lamely, tells Siuan to get Sheriam to tell her everything about the ferrets sisters, and grabs a lantern and runs to Marigan’s tent, to find it empty. Only then does it occur to Egwene that the Forsaken was loose, and Egwene had just stormed right up to her tent.

Shivering, she withdrew slowly. Moghedien had good reason to dislike her, very personally, and the only sister who could match one of the Forsaken alone, when she could channel at all, was in Ebou Dar. Moghedien could have killed Egwene without anyone noticing; even had a sister felt her channel, there would be nothing remarkable in that.

Egwene is startled to realize Chesa had followed her, and tells Chesa that she thinks Marigan ran away. As she heads back to her own tent, she first considers the idea that Logain might have freed Moghedien, but concludes that makes no sense, and that it must have been one of the male Forsaken still alive (Asmodean, Demandred or Sammael, she believes). She sends Chesa to fetch Siuan and Leane.

Commentary
Wow, but this scene plays COMPLETELY differently now that we know for sure Sheriam is Black Ajah.

This is one of the reasons I decided I couldn’t avoid TGS spoilers in the Re-read, too, because there’s simply no way I can read a scene like this and comment on it without bringing in that essential bit of knowledge.

Knowledge which tells us, for instance, that Sheriam is not, in fact, blinded by a self-serving rivalry with Lelaine and Romanda – or at least not entirely – and her continued three-way struggle with them is actually all about sowing yet more dissension and chaos among the rebel Aes Sedai, and ensuring that as little as possible gets done in any constructive manner. Sneaky!

It also seems reasonable to assume that the “ferrets” plan was more of the same; even though I believe that of the Salidar Six, only Sheriam turned out to be Black (Beonin is a traitor, and an idiot, but not Black as far as I recall), Sheriam was clearly the ringleader of the group, and no doubt the one who suggested the idea in the first place. You can clearly see, if you think about it, how clever it is (from an evil point of view) to spread the same dissension and lies in two places at once.

In short, it means Sheriam is a hell of a lot more competent and cunning as a Black sister than she would have been as a plain old Lightside Aes Sedai. Which is kind of ironic when you think about it.

I know that a lot of people believed from the start that Sheriam was Black, but personally I was rather bemused at the revelation in TGS that she was; it all just seemed too obvious to me, what with the business about the Gray Man in Sheriam’s bed and the beatings and all. But, I guess sometimes a red herring is actually a… uh, whatever the opposite of a red herring is. A smoking gun? A grey herring? Or a Black herring, heh.

I did like the notion that she had been 13x13’d (or, forcibly turned to the Shadow), since there would be a certain amount of poetic symmetry there considering she was the one who introduced us to the concept, but I don’t think I ever really believed it was true. And, apparently, it wasn’t. Shame.

It’s kind of funny to me now that the thing many people chose to focus on in this chapter was Chesa, and whether or not her following Egwene to Moghedien’s tent meant she was a Darkfriend. I’m happy to say that at least I was right to disbelieve that theory, at least. Sometimes a distaff Alfred is just an awesome lady’s maid. Neener neener!

Anyway. The chapter title pretty accurately sums up what conflict Egwene’s character arc is going to be dealing with for… well, a while, and Siuan continues to earn awesome points for being Egwene’s unassailable ally in her fight to win real authority. It must be quite the comfort in such a frustrating situation to know that there are at least a couple of people who have your back no matter what. We should all be so lucky.

On the opposite side, I have to say it really doesn’t take much for me to lose respect for a character, and I distinctly remember that making Lelaine and Romanda favor cutting the soldiers’ pay (!!!) gave them both a virtually instantaneous downward swoop on my Clueful Character Graphical Measurement Thingy. I mean, seriously. I’ve never in my life commanded anything bigger than a student film crew, so how is it I know perfectly well that that’s about the stupidest idea in the history of ever, and they don’t?

Sheesh. Do not fuck with the pay of the people you want to die for you, kids. If you only learn one military lesson ever, anywhere, learn that one.

Oh, and also, Moghedien escapes, which tells us that Egwene’s storyline is still catching up to all the others by a little bit. And also that Egwene’s sense of self-preservation rivals Rand’s in its nonexistence. Yikes.

This is also (I think) the first mention of Egwene’s headaches. I’m not sure, though, whether they can be attributed to Halima/Aran’gar at this point, since I was under the impression that Halima needed to be physically kneading Egwene (yeek) to give them to her. God knows dealing with Aes Sedai is enough to give anyone completely non-magically-sourced headaches. But, I could be wrong, I suppose.

 

 

Chapter 9: A Pair of Silverpike

What Happens
Neither Siuan nor Leane are happy to be summoned to Egwene – Leane because she doesn’t want herself and Siuan seen together, and Siuan because Sheriam was right where they wanted her, but after Egwene left she brushed Siuan right off. Egwene cuts them both off with the news that Moghedien has escaped, with the aid of a man who can channel. The other two sit down abruptly, appalled, and Egwene notes irrelevantly that Siuan has taken to embroidering her dresses. Siuan growls that they should have had “Marigan” watched, and Egwene wants to know by whom, and why it would have done any good, since it was almost certainly a Forsaken who freed her. Siuan grunts, and Egwene orders them both to find out if anyone saw a man around Moghedien’s tent.

Siuan snorted, louder than the first time. “Why bother?” she growled. “Do you mean to go chasing after like some fool hero in a gleeman’s fool story and bring her back? Maybe tie up all the Forsaken at one go? Win the Last Battle while you’re at it? Even if we get a description head to toe, nobody knows one Forsaken from another. Nobody here, anyway. It’s the most bloody useless barrel of fish guts I ever—!”

“Siuan!” Egwene said sharply, sitting up straighter. Latitude was one thing, but there were limits. She did not put up with this even from Romanda.

Color bloomed slowly in Siuan’s cheeks. Struggling to master herself, she kneaded her skirts and avoided Egwene’s eyes. “Forgive me, Mother,” she said finally. She almost sounded as if she meant it.

Leane tries to take the heat off Siuan with a joke about how she’d be in a better temper if she could keep from throwing things at Gareth Bryne, but Egwene cuts her off acidly, and both Leane and Siuan grow genuinely penitent; Siuan, reddening, offers a sincere apology. Egwene lets the moment set itself before accepting, and Siuan observes (respectfully) that she has taught Egwene well. She suggests one of them bring the order to Faolain or Theodrin, pretending to be very sulky about it, as that will occasion much less comment than Siuan or Leane doing it. Egwene approves, thinking she’s not thinking straight with this headache. Leane leaves, and Siuan assures Egwene that she was in the right to dress her down, which Egwene acknowledges. She asks again whether Siuan would let her do something about Siuan’s situation with Bryne.

“I thank you, Mother, but no. I won’t have him saying I break my word, and I swore to work the debt off.” Abruptly, Siuan’s stiffness dissolved in laughter, rare when she spoke about Lord Bryne. Scowls were much more common. “If you need to worry about somebody, worry about him, not me. I need no help handling Gareth Bryne.”

Egwene thinks the whole situation is very strange, but lets it go and sends Siuan off. She decides to go for a walk to try to clear her head. Various servants and workers who see her make courtesies or ask for her blessing, and Egwene is comforted that at least some people do not seem to see her as a cipher. Her mood is soured somewhat when a group of sisters Traveling back from a message-gathering trip to Salidar do not acknowledge her at all, though their Warders do. Egwene reflects on the usefulness of the Skimming weave she had wrenched out of Moghedien: a way to journey from a place you did not know well to one you did, where Traveling is the opposite, which allowed them to easily retrieve messages from the dovecotes in Salidar even though the army was in a new place almost every day. This leads her to recall the letter Sheriam had (finally) shown her from Merana, which said in cryptic manner that they were settled in Caemlyn and had met “the wool merchant” (Rand) and that he had treated them with courtesy and a little fear, and that they were avoiding the men with “the fellow from Saldaea” (Taim).

Verin and Alanna are here, with a number of young women from the same region as the wool merchant. I will try to send them on to you for training. Alanna has formed an attachment to the wool merchant which may prove useful, though it is troubling too. All will go well, I am sure.

Merana

Sheriam thought it was all wonderful news; Egwene thinks it is “a bucket of horse sweat”. She doesn’t buy that Rand was either courteous or fearful, and if he was the latter, it was a very bad sign. She also doesn’t trust Alanna, and wonders what “attachment” Merana could be referring to, but the worst is that there had been no word from Merana since then. Egwene knows from the Wise Ones that Rand has gone to Cairhien, and thinks Merana should at least have written to say they were following him there. She thinks it even stranger that Coiren and the rest of the Tower embassy have apparently given up and left for Tar Valon.

“I have to go to him,” she muttered. One hour, and she could straighten everything out. Underneath, he was still Rand. “That’s all there is to it. I have to go to him.”

“That isn’t possible, and you know it.”

Egwene jumps a mile before recognizing Leane. They walk together, and Leane reports that Theodrin and Faolain are about their task. Egwene brings up her worries about Merana’s silence to Leane, but Leane agrees with Sheriam (and Siuan) that Merana knows what she is doing and Egwene is overreacting.

Egwene sniffed and folded her arms. “Leane, that man could strike sparks from a damp cloth, if it wore the shawl. I don’t know Merana, but I’ve never seen an Aes Sedai who qualified as a damp cloth.”

“I’ve met one or two,” Leane chuckled. This time her sigh was plain. “But not Merana, true.”

Leane asks if Rand really has a letter from Alviarin, deeming it out of character for the White, and Egwene confirms it, remembering Rand “gloating” over the letters from both Alviarin and Elaida in Cairhien. She frets aloud that sooner or later Rand is going to precipitate a confrontation with an Aes Sedai and ruin everything, and she is the only one who can handle him. Leane begins quoting, “ ‘The Amyrlin Seat being valued with the White Tower itself . . . ’ ”, and Egwene angrily recalls the rest of the extremely inconvenient law Leane was referring to, that the Amrylin Seat not be allowed to deliberately place herself in danger without the lesser consensus of the Hall, unless the Tower is in a state of war.

What rash incident by an Amyrlin had inspired that, Egwene did not know, but it had been law for something over two thousand years. To most Aes Sedai, any law that old attained an aura of holiness; changing it was unthinkable.

Romanda had quoted that . . . that bloody law as though lecturing a half-wit. If the Daughter-Heir of Andor could not be allowed within a hundred miles of the Dragon Reborn, how much more they must preserve the Amyrlin Seat. Lelaine sounded almost regretful, most likely because she was agreeing with Romanda. That had nearly curdled both their tongues. Without them, both of them, the lesser consensus lay as far out of reach as the greater. Light, even that declaration of war only required the lesser consensus! So if she could not obtain permission . . .

Perhaps guessing what Egwene is considering, Leane points out that she would lose what little authority she has if she went to Rand in secret and was found out, which she inevitably would be; she opines that Egwene must let al’Thor go his own way for the moment, and “pluck the goose that’s in front of you”. Egwene agrees grumpily, and heads back to her tent while Leane cheerfully heads off to meet with a prospective Warder. On her way back Egwene is waylaid by Nicola and Areina. Nicola (whose Foretelling Talent and great strength potential Egwene considers to be the main reason why the Aes Sedai agreed to test women over eighteen to be novices) asks Egwene to intervene with her teachers and let her progress more quickly, as she heard Egwene did. Egwene explains that what was done to her was called “forcing” and is very dangerous, and Nicola will have to abide by her teachers’ pace. Areina suddenly mentions that she and Nicola came to Salidar on the same riverboat as Elayne and Nynaeve (and Birgitte). Egwene feels uneasy, as Moeghedien had also been on that boat, but then Nicola goes on that they had overheard Thom Merrilin and Juilin Sandar talking about how if the Aes Sedai in the village found out Elayne and Nynaeve had been pretending to be Aes Sedai they would be in big trouble.

“I know they’re both Aes Sedai now, Mother, but wouldn’t they still be in trouble if anyone found out? The sisters, I mean? Anybody who pretends to be a sister is in trouble if they find out, even years later.” Nicola’s face did not change, but her gaze suddenly seemed to be trying to fix Egwene’s. She leaned a little forward, intent. “Anybody at all. Isn’t that so?”

Egwene is enraged at this attempt to blackmail her on top of everything else, and lights into Nicola and Areina in a cold fury which soon has both of them backpedalling and apologizing frantically. Egwene considers punishing them publically, but realizes it would be too dangerous to herself and Nynaeve and Elayne, and threatens the two with dire and unspecified consequences if they breathe a word of it to anyone. Nicola and Areina agree breathlessly and run off. Egwene wishes she could run too, but she can’t.

Commentary
I really like Leane. I think she would make an awesome drinking buddy. Unless you were trying to land a date, of course. Then she would be a distinct liability.

Siuan: is still awesome… except:

[Bryne’s] methods of dealing with her temper—once she threw plates and boots, anyway—outraged her and provoked threats of dire consequences, yet though she could have wrapped him up unable to stir a finger, Siuan never touched saidar around him, not to do his chores and not even when it meant being turned over his knee.

*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

That is all, good day. I said good day, sir!

This chapter is a little bit of a turning point in Egwene and Siuan’s relationship, in that Siuan was always supportive of Egwene’s bid for Real Amyrlinship (after Egwene faced her down in LOC, anyway), but this is the first time she’s really made to walk the walk as well as talk the talk, at least as far as I can recall.

The whole chapter, really, is about how much Egwene’s changed as a character, and how she’s slowly coming to embrace both being Aes Sedai, and coming to the belief that she really should be the Amyrlin. I left this bit out in the summary, but it is illustrative:

Schemes and deceptions on every side. The camp was like some fetid swamp where strange growths sprouted unseen in mists. Maybe anywhere Aes Sedai gathered was like that. After three thousand years of plotting, however necessary, it was hardly surprising that scheming had become second nature to most sisters and only a breath away for the rest. The truly horrible thing was that she found herself beginning to enjoy all the machinations. Not for their own sake, but as puzzles, though no twisted bits of iron could intrigue her a quarter so much. What that said about her, she did not want to know. Well, she was Aes Sedai, whatever anyone thought, and she had to take the bad of it with the good.

Where this change is most strongly evidenced, though, (in my opinion) is in the way Egwene reacts to the “pair of silverpike” of the chapter title – namely, Nicola and Areina.

I don’t think, two or three books ago, that Egwene would have responded to their blackmail attempt at all the same way. She wouldn’t have capitulated or kowtowed or anything like that before, that’s not what I’m saying, but I don’t think her instant reaction would have been fury, either. And it’s significant that the main source of her outrage is that they would dare try that shit – not on her, Egwene, but on the Amyrlin. If you see the distinction.

Possibly I’m reading too much into it in light of later events, but nevertheless I think it’s a pretty fair step forward in Egwene’s character development.

This chapter is also the set-up for how Egwene will ultimately do an end-run around the Hall and gain more or less complete control of the Rebel Aes Sedai, and I have to say that though the casual mention here of the war vote needing only the lesser consensus jumps out at me like a house on fire now, I totally missed it the first time around. Clever, very clever!

The Merana stuff is catch-up, and not worth getting into, except for how I’m trying to decide if I’m being unfair to think that Egwene’s failure to realize that Alanna’s “attachment” to Rand must mean “bonding” is Plot Induced Stupidity, or if it’s a reasonable clue for her to have missed. What say you?


And that’s all, folks! Have a spectabular weekend. I’ll be spending mine trying not to freeze to death, because WHAT THE HELL, WINTER SEASON, but, you know. See you Monday!

175 comments
Kathy Keith
1. Babokathy
Wow I may be #1. Thanks for the post, Leigh. Always love it. Long time reader, infrequent commenter. We're having a balmy 72 dry spell here in San Diego. Wish you were here?
Lsana
2. Lsana
I have a question for someone who has done a full re-read more recently than I have: how many times does the 13x13 thing get mentioned in the text? I can only remember twice: once when Sheriam tells Egwene at her testing and once in the Stone of Tear when the Black Sisters mention that they have 13 fades on the way.

The reason I ask is because the revelation that Sheriam is Black makes me wonder if 13x13 is real at all. If the only people who have ever mentioned it are Black Ajah, it makes me suspect that it might be some plot of theirs to distract the supergirls from the real threat.
Ron Garrison
3. Man-0-Manetheran
"Wow, but this scene plays COMPLETELY differently now that we know for sure Sheriam is Black Ajah." That was what I was going to say as well. And I love noticing how RJ also included "Too many of the sisters seized on any excuse for a halt." This did a pretty good job of hiding Sheriam's reasons.
Sean Banawnie
4. Seanie
I don't think Egwene should assume that Alanna bonded him here but she should be A) wondering if that is what the connection is and B)wondering what
the "troubling" connection is ,if its not that. She should be following up regardless, she knows how arrogant some AS are. But in Rand's mood , how would he react to her?
Maiane Bakroeva
5. Isilel
Hm... I actually always thought that Sheriam was rather bumbling, and reference to her "intelligence" was a joke, but Leigh's comment made me realise that as a BA Sheriam was really very effective * - until the idiot Aran'gar started to push her around.

* well, apart from that assassination attempt on Egwene and Nyn back in TDR, at least.

Re: Siuan, wasn't Sheriam the one who staged her Healing and welcomed her back warmly? And shouldn't she have been aware of Siuan's involvement with Egwene and her undiminished political abilities and will after this scene? Why didn't she get rid of Siuan? Was it the conflict between genuine friendship and BA obligations (like we saw from Delana's POV?). I wish that Sheriam's confessions and death had gotten a little more spotlight.

Also, Chesa is totally a Darkfriend, IMHO. She was supplied by Sheriam and she was the only one left alive by Aran'gar. The math is inescapable here.

Yes, Leane is great. I hope that she gets enough to do in the remaining books, but fear that she will be one of the Bloodknife victims, for the sake emotional impact.

So, why doesn't it occur to Egwene to send somebody to Merana, now that they have Travelling? Really, now. Also, the requirement of "knowing" your starting point really wells seems to have been quietly diminished into insignificance by now. I guess the Skimming wasn't sexy enough...
Lsana
6. alreadymadwithrandsfear
Funny how Aes Sedai automatically assumed that meeting in numbers with a man who can channel would automatically cause fear in the man. That's how I read Merana's letter.
Kathy Keith
7. Babokathy
I agree that it seems to go unthought of, the little idea of Alanna getting "attached" to Rand. Kinds of goes by the wayside, and no one pursues that until much later. In fact, I don't think anyone knows of Alanna's bond, except Rand, all the way through TGS. (?)

I do wonder, though, hearing that Rand had a "nice" letter from Alviarin, which was swaying him somewhat. I don't recall Rand ever making a firm decision later that he should realise it was a lie and disregard it totally. After he's had his time in the box and knowing who arranged it.

Did Rand ever realise Alviarin was Black; or did he just sign off on her, since she hasn't been seen since then?
James Jones
8. jamesedjones
Dang. You must really love this chapter. You quoted, what felt like, about 2/3 of it, Leigh.

Edit: Chapt 9, not 8. Admittedly, chapt 9 has several bucketloads of foreshadowing.
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
Eg knew that Rand wouldn't agree to a bond and had no idea that Alana would do so involuntarily, so her (realistic) fear was that Alana seduced him - which might be good for the SAS team and might cause them untold stress and problems. Eg is correct to be worried and it is somehwat understandable that she didn't figure out that bonding was involved.

Bo - Rand always thought Alviarin letter was in good faith - he never renounced that thought through the books as far as I know.

ls - where did Chesa go? Is she still serving Eg?
Dave Ciskowski
10. dcisko
Through the later Middle Ages, armies were usually motivated more by the prospect of loot than by pay. Even afterwards, pay was irregular, and armies often had to choose whether to stay in service when pay was missing, in the hopes that they'd get paid later. I think Jordan has typically described Randland armies as working mostly in this transitional model, where pay is irregular and loot a big additional incentive. Which is all to say that what Lelaine and Romanda are proposing is probably just Section 12.5 out of the Army Owner's Handbook.

Now, this army is supposed to attack Tar Valon -- so it's not like they can expect the Aes Sedai to let them sack the city! But it's pretty clear that L&R are at best equivocal in their desire to actually attack White Tower, so having a demotivated army might be a feature of their plan, rather than a bug.
James Jones
11. jamesedjones
9 RobMRobM
ls - where did Chesa go? Is she still serving Eg?
Unless she's been killed and replaced by Moeghedien. Ya know, the spider that hides until it's close enough to bite. hmmm...

I gots to agree with Isilel, here. Chesa has always been a big, flashing red fishy. Too much evidence indicates that she's a bad guy to just dismiss it. Communist herring or not.
Lynn McDonald
12. meal6225
Suppose Eg had not walked with Leanne and taken that solo trip to visit Rand and "straighten things out".
Eg suddenly popping in on Rand post box? Dont think this would have gone well for anyone.
Ron Garrison
13. Man-0-Manetheran
Lsana @ 2:
"how many times does the 13x13 thing get mentioned in the text?"
Not as many times as it does in the discussion groups! That's for sure!!

Using Ideal Seek for "13" doesn't get much, but "thirteen" returns 174 hits. Except for the BBBA, I only see the 13x13 reference once (TFOH, Chapter 9): "arrange a circle of thirteen Black sisters and thirteen Myrddraal"

I don't have the books here at the office, so someone else will have to pull up the context. Interesting theory.

P.S. These chapters are where my opinion of Egwene started to turn to "awesome." She is one smart cookie, and I love watching her brain work.

EDIT: Comment 13! Ooooooooo. Accident and creepy.
Bill Reamy
14. BillinHI
Lsana @2: re: 13x13: In TDR, chap 22, Sheriam tells Egwene of the 13x13 trick after Egwene's second trip through the Acceptatron. And she faces 13 AS and 13 Myrddraal in her third trip through the Acceptatron. In Chapter 51, Liandrin threatens Nynaeve and Elayne with the 13x13 trick, when she traps them in Tear. In Chapter 54, Nynaeve and Elayne tell Egwene of Liandrin's threat also. In TFOH, chapter 9, Nynaeve thinks about the 13x13 trick.

So, yeah, the only ones who bring it up are Black (Sheriam and Liandrin) but Sheriam did it during Egwene's test for Accepted with many other AS around, so I think somebody would have denied it if they thought it was not true. Anyway, I think it's a real threat and I'm kind of surprised we haven't seen it used yet. Maybe in one of the next two books?
Lsana
15. MattJ
Notice also that Sheriam's reaction of "tension" changes meaning knowing she is black. On first read, you would think that tension is just because sisters do not like to openly admit to a black ajah. Now, it looks like she is tense because she may for a moment construe Siuan's comment of "who can say for sure who is black" as Siuan being on to Sheriam's allegiance.
Lannis .
16. Lannis
One thing I have to say about WOT is the fact that things aren't (always) sugar coated... I'm sure there's some exceptions that aren't coming to mind immediately, but overall, the characters struggle... with the world, their place in it, and internally (just look at Rand or Nynaeve). I like that Siuan, once Healed, is not embraced back into the Aes Sedai fold as if nothing ever happened. I like that some AS are warm, some condescend, and some frankly have no idea what to do with her... it's real. That, and the fact that Siuan obviously is struggling to fit in to her new role... not an easy feat, I'd think.


Gawd, NO! Not the Headaches!?! Sounds like they were actual headaches at first, then a device for Halima to step in and sow some choss...


Nice recap, Leigh! Thanks! Have a great weekend!
Don Barkauskas
17. bad_platypus
Babokathy @7:

Rand tells Elayne, Aviendha, and Min before they bond him.

Cadsuane knows, as well (from Min, IIRC).

RobM^2 @9 beat me to the analysis of how Egwene not thinking of the Warder bond is completely reasonable.
Lsana
18. vyskol
Woot! Gotta love a good spankin'! Go Gareth! ;)
Birgit
19. birgit
This is also (I think) the first mention of Egwene’s headaches.

Eg first had headaches because she went to TAR after Lanfear's attack before the Wise Ones allowed her back.

So, why doesn't it occur to Egwene to send somebody to Merana, now that they have Travelling?

She would have to know where Merana is now.

The redness spread to cover nearly Siuan's whole face; with her fair skin, it made her look like a sunset.

Siuan is from Tear. Shouldn't she have darker skin?
Ben Goodman
20. goodben
To add to the list of who knew of Alanna's bonding: Verin.

@14 BillinHI

I get the impression that Egwene's comments with Sheriam between Acceptatron stages were mostly private--set off a little bit in quiet tones, but I don't really know if that jives with the reality of the ceremony. Maybe that's mostly a feeling that _I_ would never say the things Egwene did in front of someone like Elaida.
Sam Mickel
21. Samadai
Adding to the list. all of Meranas embassy and Bera and Kiruna, Amys, Bair, Sorilea.
Stacy Berger
22. anIceFan
I can't believe that I am going to say this. I know I didn't realize it on the first read, but in light of TGS, I can see that this is the point where Egwene begins ro rock. She was by far my favorite character in TGS and the seeds of what she did in that book are sown right here.
Lsana
23. Narg Smart
Hi! First comment as I actually just caught up to the re-read. Now I'll actually have to wait, that's gonna be new... Great work, though, thanks so much!

Re: the headaches.

No, I don't think Halima has to touch her to cause them. I always understood that she makes a small weaves in Eg's head that gradually builds the pain, similarly to what we see Semirhage (I think?) doing to torture an AS and her warder later on. "Halima" then removes or lessens them during the massages to make it seem like it's the kneading that relieves the pain.
Tony Zbaraschuk
24. tonyz
One thing I like is the point that the letter from Caemlyn isn't fully deciphered. This business of cloaking everything in allusions has its drawbacks (most notably skewered in Doon, the National Lampoon parody of Dune, where two people are conducted a completely different conversation and finally agree just to speak plainly...).

And, yes, it's glorious fun watching Egwene grow into her role. More! More!
Captain Hammer
25. Randalator
BillinHI @14

yeah, the only ones who bring it up are Black (Sheriam and Liandrin) but Sheriam did it during Egwene's test for Accepted with many other AS around, so I think somebody would have denied it if they thought it was not true.

There is a slight problem with this...

Sheriam sighed, glanced at the other Aes Sedai again, then dropped her voice to a whisper and spoke swiftly. "This is something known only to a few, child, even in the Tower. You should not learn it now, if ever, but I will tell you. There is — a weakness in being able to channel. That we learn to open ourselves to the True Source means that we can be opened to other things." Egwene shuddered. "Calm yourself, child. It is not so easily done. It is a thing not done, so far as I know — Light send it has not been done! — since the Trolloc Wars. It took thirteen Dreadlords — Darkfriends who could channel — weaving the flows through thirteen Myrddraal. You see? Not easily done. There are no Dreadlords today. This is a secret of the Tower, child. If others knew, we could never convince them they were safe. Only one who can channel can be turned in this way. The weakness of our strength. Everyone else is as safe as a fortress; only their own deeds and will can turn them to the Shadow."
(TDR, ch. 22)

She very deliberately lowered her voice so that no one but Egwene could hear her. Which means we're stuck with the question if she whispered because

- custom forbids to speak about Acceptatron visions,
- she didn't want to be caught telling a well guarded secret of the WT to a 15-second-Accepted or
- she didn't want to be caught in a lie.

At least we should be very sceptical about the 13x13-Switcheroo post TGS...


birgit @19

Siuan is from Tear. Shouldn't she have darker skin?

Tairen tend to have darker skin but that doesn't mean they all have to have dark skin. ;)

Thankfully RJ introduced variations to the general characteristics of Randland nations. Toram Riatin, for example, is 6'-6'1" despite being Cairhienin.
Bill Reamy
26. BillinHI
Randalator @25: 13x13: Yet another RAFO I guess. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we have to wait until after AMOL and the official Encyclopedia is published to find out for sure if it's real or not.

Of course, technically Sheriam lied when she said there are no Dreadlords today, if Dreadlords are just Darkfriends who can channel. There are certainly enough Black Ajah AS to qualify and later some of the Asha'man will also qualify.
Lsana
27. alreadymadwithdreadlords
Few Tairens are explicitly described as having dark skin. If they are the analogous to current day Spaniards, those people tend to vary as well, from darker to lighter skin.

Dreadlords IMHO, aren't just simple darkfriends who can channel. These are the channelers who actually go out at the head of Trolloc armies. At the moment we know of none, though we have several prospective Dreadlords fleeing the White Tower and presumably heading north.
Tricia Irish
28. Tektonica
Boy, it does put a new twist on Sheriam now that we all know she's BA. I always thought she was a bumbler, but obviously that was an act. She certainly got herself into a powerful, useful position for Team Dark. Why did Halima/Arangar start messing with her?

Siuan starts becoming a real friend to Egwene here. I think she was committed to making her a good Amyrlin for the sake of the Tower before this, but I think it states somewhere that she didn't really like her. It seems like she's growing to respect her at least, here. Leane is very cool and I hope she doesn't get it from the Blood Knives, after all she's been through in the dungeon, etc.


Wasn't Verin with Alanna when she bonded Rand in the Inn?

JEJ & RobM:

Where did Chesa go? I totally thought she was a DF!! Always. She's always with Egs, just minding her own business, following her, etc. Plus, as was pointed out, she was placed by Sheriam!! Gotta pursue this.....

And yeah, why doesn't Egs send someone, Leane for instance, to talk to Merana? Get some clarity about what's going on with the embassy. Why don't they use Travelling/Skimming much more for good communication? It's a real gift...almost as good as the internet or telephone! Maybe better, as it's face to face. All through the books it is under used. Odd.
craig thrift
29. gagecreedlives
Pretty sure Halima has to be touching her to stop the headaches but only close by to start them. Isnt there an upcoming scene where Egwene kicks Halima out of her tent and the headaches immediately kick in.

Pretty sure theres and RJ quote saying the 13x13 is very valid. Something about how it twists the persons personality and emphasises the darker points. Any quote masters wanna help a brother out.

Thank god for the reread. At least I can find one positive thing about being at work at 6am on a Saturday morning.
Rob Munnelly
30. RobMRobM
I frankly never understood the Chesa is a DF theory until lsiel kicked serious butt with her terse explanation. Still not sure it works but it is a lot more plausible to me now. Presumably, she should have been across the river with the rebel army and now should be in TV. Query whether she will get re-attached to Eg in TOM upcoming and cause trouble - or will fall out of sight never to be heard from again....
Hugh Arai
31. HArai
RobMRobM@9:

Re Alviarin's letter: Do we know if Rand is aware that the Black Ajah are able to lie? We know as readers, the Aes Sedai know, but who else? I mean, it's not the sort of thing you bring up to a justifiably hostile paranoid like Rand. "By the way... that having to speak the truth? Not so much..." Does anyone remember for sure?
Ron Garrison
32. Man-0-Manetheran
kneading - needing:
Other than just causing Egwene discomfort, the headaches, I think, were Halima's way of staying close to Egwene. SHe secretly caused the pain, but conveniently knew just the right touch to make those horrible headaches go away.
Maiane Bakroeva
33. Isilel
Chesa is still Egwene's maid, dum-dum-dum! I expect her to play a role in the coming about of "Egwene on the block and an axe descending" vision.

As to Halima, IIRC she needed to be close to Egwene to mess with her T'AR abilities and maybe make some use of them, not to cause or take away headaches. She just made it seem that she had to be close to take them away, so that she could be around sleeping Egs.

And yes, Halima totally sucks as a leader of undercover operations. Her direction of Delana was also rather counter-productive. Team Shadow should have just left the BAs to do their thing.

BTW, I realised that this is the second time when Siuan should have felt something walking on her grave - the first time being when she wanted to include Sheriam in their search for DR back in the New Spring!

Hm... rather chilling how Sheriam was so supportive to Egwene in her test, shortly after sending an assassin after her. Definitely creepy.

I now also wonder if she did something to try to sabotage Nynaeve's test. There seemed to be some strange stuff going on there, that Nyn was only able to escape by extraordinary means.

But really, I miss a final scene between Sheriam and Siuan, where the former tearfully begs the latter to pray for her and points out how she really should have killed Siuan, but refrained out of friendship. Given that Sheriam wasn't a true believer _and_ didn't show any stoicism in the face of death.

Re: Merana not being in Caemlyn - well at least Egwene would have known that something was afoot!

Also, did I miss it or did Egwene never learn about the spearing of Demira and subsequent confrontation with Rand?! Odd, to say the least.
j p
34. sps49
Rand isn't yet aware of the Black Ajah purge, is he? He shouldn't know the truth about Alviarin yet.

13>13 results suggest, to me, that a person would be unable to masquerade as "good" anymore. Like the Mirror, Mirror analogues from Star Trek. Maybe it's just me.

Nynaeve's Acceptatron- didn't she channel in there? and wasn't supposed to?
Sara H
35. LadyBelaine
birgit@19

Siuan is from Tear. Shouldn't she have darker skin?

Some Tairens are dark, some are as "dark as the Sea Folk," but there appears to be another common phenotype - fair skinned and blue eyed (Like Siuan) with an even rarer type with flaxen pale blond hair (which I am sure Cabriana Mercandes was supposed to be, but somewhere along the lines in one of the extrinsic sources, she got mislabeled a Cairhienin - which doesn't match at all, not with that name or her blonde hair and blue eyes!)

This is also the chapter where Siuan starts turning into a bit of a simp, IMHO. I do like how she is resolutely fighting to help Egwene achieve sfik, power, a real Amyrlin's authority (shall we call it "Amyrlinity?"), but although she seems genuinely interested in that, she also realizes that Egwene's success is a means to an end, a tool to achieve Siuan's ultimate goal of helping the DR survive Tarmon Gaidon.

RJ did have this somewhat annoying narrative tic that brusque, business-minded women start getting all girly and frilly when they have an interest in a man. Siuan was noted, even when she was Amyrlin, as dressing in plain, austere gowns - now that she is smitten by Gareth Bryne, she starts embroidering her dresses and daring to show cleavage, etc. Heck, Min had a personal makeover for Rand, wearing make-up and lacy blouses and brocaded clothing, when she used just dress in boy's clothing. Aviendha starts enjoying wearing 'wetlander' clothes and to a lesser extent Nynaeve starts wearing more elaborate clothing too.


And like, DUH. Chesa is totally a Darkfriend.
Ron Garrison
36. Man-0-Manetheran
Isilel @ 33:
"And yes, Halima totally sucks as a leader of undercover operations." Indeed. Moridin commented at some point that "selfishness" was the main motivator of the Foresaken and was how the DO controlled them. Selfishness: not a characteristic found in good team players.

"Team Shadow" - love that.
Rob Munnelly
37. RobMRobM
@35 - "to a lesser extent" re Nyneave? Are you kidding - she is Captain of the I-love-a-guy-time-to-get-a-makeover team. LOL. Read the upcoming CoS chapter when Nyn and Elayne leave the Kin and she can't focus on Elayne's discussion of serious matters because she is paying too much attention to the dress shop behind Elayne's head. R
Jamie Watkins
39. Treesinger
I don't remember the letter from Alv really saying anything difinite. Just sort of vague "there is help if you need it."
Sara H
40. LadyBelaine
RobM,

Yeah, but she starts getting used to dressing in silks and lacy underthings anyway, and getting to like it - after she marries Lan, she starts going for the cleavage and "letting the girls out." :)
Rob Munnelly
41. RobMRobM
40. That's what I mean. She got a taste for lacy things quickly in the series and turned into a fashion plate by mid-books, despite her talk throughout about the benefits of good Two Rivers woolen dresses. No lesser extent at all - far from it. Min and Avi, maybe; Nyn, no.

Very good general point about RJ's writing in this area though.

R
Lsana
42. Lsana
@38. guslaura,

According to Sheriam, 13 Black Sisters channeling through 13 Myrddraal can turn a channeler to the Dark against her/his will.
Leigh Butler
43. leighdb
RobM @40:

That's a tiny bit unfair, though - Nynaeve was also being exposed, for the very first time, to a whole wide world of Non-Backwoods Village Haute Couture. I don't find it surprising that she went a little hogwild with the fashion, any more than any of the other girls did - even Elayne, who had had more exposure to that sort of thing as a youngster.

The excitement of new shiny things, and all that. Travel changes people, not least in the way they dress.
Ron Garrison
44. Man-0-Manetheran
Anyone have a handy copy of The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time?
Ideal Seek shows Chapter 6 - Page 66 (Hardcover):
“It was Semirhage who discovered that a circle of thirteen”
“using thirteen Myrddraal as a sort of filter”

This might be helpful to the 13x13 discussion.
Rob Munnelly
45. RobMRobM
Leigh - I don't find it unfair, just amusing. And, you are correct, they all changed. I thought Belaine had a good point though - RJ wrote it in a way that made their interest in clothes seem almost a character failing. This is especially true compared to the guys, who dressed better but never talked about it (except when Mat got his special, short-short outfits from Tylin - very much looking forward to your take on those chapters, Leigh). R
Julian Augustus
46. Alisonwonderland
Leigh, Chapter 9 Commentary:
Siuan snorted, louder than the first time. “Why bother?” she growled. “Do you mean to go chasing after like some fool hero in a gleeman’s fool story and bring her back? Maybe tie up all the Forsaken at one go? Win the Last Battle while you’re at it? Even if we get a description head to toe, nobody knows one Forsaken from another. Nobody here, anyway. It’s the most bloody useless barrel of fish guts I ever—!”

This is also one of my favorite passages, and one the many many reasons I love Siuan.
T C
47. Freelancer
Distaff Alfred. Doubly obscure references, FTW!

Yes, Leigh, you are dead on for slashing Lelaine and Romanda's style points over wanting to cut soldier pay. Stupid on ice. These are sisters who have had warders over their tenure as Aes Sedai, they couldn't possibly be that disconnected from reality. Yet as a plot item, it was helpful to solidify the Siuan-as-mentor issue.

On Egwene's headaches, I thought we saw an earlier reference to them, though I could easily be wrong. What I'm sure about is that Halima doesn't need to knead for them to appear. One occasion where Egwene cuts her short and sends her out sees Egwene's head beginning to pound as soon as Halima is outside the tent, clearly in a fit of forsaken spite.

Siuan throws things, Bryne spanks her. What's to headdesk about?


Babokathy@1

Hiya Kathy! Yes, harsh times, slogging through the warm sunshine on my daily commute here in SoCal.


Lsana@2

It's real, insofar as the author has subsequently described details of the impact on a channeler which the 13x13 process causes. This description is outside of the story text, in interviews or other Q&A sessions, but it's his own words.


Isilel@5

That a Black sister provided Chesa doesn't demand that she be a darkfriend. Having Halima kill the two maids who were such obvious spies of Lelaine and Romanda was just common sense, from a Black POV. Sheriam didn't need a spying maid, she had regular direct access to Egwene, and thought she had Egwene's confidence as well.


Babokathy@7

Verin knew right away. Cadsuane certainly learned of it, as she used Alanna to find Rand in Far Madding.


birgit@19

Though Tairens are often referred to as having darker complexions, Siuan is far from the only native of there who is described as fair. All that can be said is that the population of Tear is diverse in at least one attribute.


PS - Between beginning to compose my comments and being able to complete and post them, work intervened, and lots of you got to certain issues ahead of me, leaving mine looking redundant. Good on you!
craig thrift
48. gagecreedlives
RobMRobM@45

The only time Ive read it as some sort of character failing is when we get one of the girls in questions PoVs and they themselves are lamenting over the fact that they are getting all girly.

Plus I think for most of our girls its the first time they have ever been in love and are coming to terms with it.

Also with Nynaeve I wonder how much of the willingness to display the wares is from Birgitte's little talk (back with the circus when Nynaeve had to wear that red dress) about being a woman and being proud of it.
Bonnie Andrews
49. misfortuona
Free
"Siuan throws things, Bryne spanks her. What's to headdesk about?" -ROTFL Nice. Very Nice.

I'm pretty sure that Cads learned about Alanna's bonding Rand from Alanna. Someone, I can't remember who, wondered if the elder green hadn't planned the same thing herself.
Wouldn't that have been the sight? Though perhaps had she been able to Feel what was going on with Rand Cadsuane might have messed with his head less.

Mis-happy not to be twitching anymore.
Thomas Keith
50. insectoid
Great post Leigh, as always.

Totally agree about the change in perception here with what we now know about Sheriam.

Siuan and Leane: are still Awesome.

This would indeed be the first mention of Eg's headaches while with the SAS. (The headaches she had after the encounter with Lanfear in Cairhien don't count, I think.)

RobM² @9: Good point re: Alanna. Re: Chesa, she's still with the SAS as of TGS ch. 43, but is not mentioned afterward AFAIK.

Free @47:
Siuan throws things, Bryne spanks her. What's to headdesk about?
LOL!

Bzzz™.
Rob Munnelly
51. RobMRobM
@47 - really, it's not like Bryne is some big strong guy (like Perrin) and Siuan is some smaller but sharp-tempered younger woman (like Faile)....
Kathy Keith
52. Babokathy
Rob @ 51
Ch. 40 of TGS Siuan is describing a rather astounding image of a really muscle bound Gareth in his undies as she exits the dream world and the raken are making their entrance over the Tower. Guess Bryne looks pretty good out of uniform! Tee Hee. But you're right, comparing him with Perrin, who'd be a candidate for the WWE.
Tricia Irish
53. Tektonica
Isilel@33:

All good points! So Chesa is still her maid! It will be interesting to see which faction is correct here....she seems pretty DF to me. She's always back there lurking. Sheriam is in a good position with Egs, but why not have other eyes and ears with Egs, when she can't be with her?

How do you think Chesa will participate in the Head on the Chopping Block scenario with Egwene? Rescue or cause?

Halima is a terrible player for the DFs/BAs here. Really messes things up. I guess that's good! I think the main purpose of the headaches was just to get to be near Egs, as stated above, so she could mess with her in T'A'R and maybe access her dream meetings?? Sneaky Halima.

And Sneaky Sheriam.....I see her so differently now. Must re-evaluate every action of hers. And I do miss a confrontation with Egs/Siuan before she's axed. She was a pretty major character for awhile, and just kind of exits stage left, quickly. Some sort of resolution would've been nice.
Ron Garrison
54. Man-0-Manetheran
Tek - One of the things that is so very enjoyable about these books is the depth of the narrative. Everytime I re-read, I find something new - especially in light of subsequent books. The first chapter of tEotW, for instance, never made a tenth as much sense the first time as it does now!
Maiane Bakroeva
55. Isilel
Freelancer @47:

Sheriam didn't need a spying maid, she had regular direct access to Egwene

Still, it would have been useful to have another DF watching Egwene when she herself couldn't. And _Halima_ definitely needed somebody to watch Egwene when Sheriam couldn't deliver, ergo Chesa's survival is very damning.

Sps49 @34:

Nynaeve's Acceptatron- didn't she channel in there?

Indeed, and it should have led to her being burnt out. Sheriam was also the one placing that preparatory weave on her - could she have modified it in some way, hoping to unobtrusively remove Nyn before she became a threat?

Tektonica:

Sheriam had a confrontation with Egwene before the Hall, but one with Siuan would have been much more visceral, given that they have been friends for so long and that Siuan trusted her so much. More than Leane, until TSR. And that Sheriam set up her Healing and didn't murder Siuan when she had every reason to, after this scene and later when Halima put her under such pressure.
Tricia Irish
56. Tektonica
Isilel@55: I remember Egs confrontation with Sheriam in front of the hall, but I thought something more personal from Sheriam might have been nice. And yes, one with Siuan, given their history, would definitely have been appropriate, and it wouldn't have had to have been long, just a completion. A plea for Siuan's forgiveness, perhaps.

I'm with you....Chessa's baaaaad.
Sara H
57. LadyBelaine
Leigh, RobM, et al

re: Nynaeve and the "Make-Over for a Man" Thing

As others have noted, Nynaeve was starting to really enjoy dressing in other than homespun linens and wools - IIRC, she and Egwene disagreed with Elayne that they should have to dress in silk when travelling as Faux Sedai in tGH and tDR (Aes Sedai wear wool too, sez they!), but she soon started to like the fancy Tairen dresses they wore in the Stone and her dresses grew increasingly more decorated (that lovely sounding number with it's wide collar of Merada lace she wore in the Tarasin Palace) - BUT...


... but only after Lan was firmly back in the picture did she go ga-ga over girly garments!(Ha! Alliteration!) After that, she was all about low necklines, fancy embroidery, satin undergarments, etc.

And yes, RJ does seem to make it a bit of a personal weakeness, IMHO.
john mullen
58. johntheirishmongol
Some comments on these chapters

Egwene - just dives right in there and sees the politics very fast. Reminds me very much of office meetings and then at the end you wonder how much you actually got accomplished.

Siuan - needs to put a governor on her mouth. lol

Sheriam - gets pulled to many places by too many players. I think thats what eventually gets her to almost have a nervous breakdown.

Halima - ok, here you are, a badass Forsaken and all you can do is give headaches? Not impressed at all.

Moghedian - you were probably safer where you were

Leanne - I am asking her for a date. I think the annual AS Ball would be fun. Or maybe a costume party cuz I would love to see what she would wear.

Leigh - I am sending you a spongy headband so you dont get any big lumps on your forehead, cuz I forsee more spankings in your future.

13x13 - As I have mentioned before, a device used more for excuses than in actual fact. First you have to get 13 BA to agree on something and you know that will never happen lol.

Nicola and Ariena - This pair steps in it a lot, til Nicola redeems herself but jeez, it takes forever.

Anyway, one thing occurs to me. If Rand had showed up at SAS, the AS would have been totally undone by having the DR show up on their doorstop and really bad things could have happened. Now, that they have some of the male channelers bound to them, they won't be so panicked when Rand finally shows up.
Scott Terrio
59. Renegade248
Just a lurker, but been following this re-read from the beginning with a few comments here and there by me.

Anyway, just a note about the headaches.

I am a bit further ahead in my read, but I believe Egwene states in her POV from one of the upcoming chapters that the headaches started right after she had met Halima. Good proof that Halima is the cause of her headaches at this point.

I want to thank you Leigh for this blog and the enjoyment you bring to all of us WOT fanatics. Keep it up.
Tess Laird
60. thewindrose
johntheirishmongol-
You would prolly want to take Leanne to one of the Ebou Dari festivals - maybe the Festival of Birds?

Hamila - Yup watch out for that Forsaken if you left the house with out your tylenol - LOL.

Heh - sounds like survey time(I am not tallying:)
Chesa is a simple maid, period.


tempest™
john massey
61. subwoofer
@57- wasn't there a stretch where the girls had to flee the circus and Ny regretted leaving some dresses behind? You are right though. Once Lan was back in the picture Ny really worked it. The dream sequences earlier on speak what was really in Ny's mind for apparel because then she was wearing what she wanted. 'K, that's more than I ever wanted to say about female fashion.

I am feeling rather remorseful here as I was one of the people who called MatHS out for leaking spoilers on the current thread and then Leigh goes and drops the BA Bomb from the word jump. I am not sure how I feel about TGS and all it entailed being general fodder here, but you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube now...

Hamila- why do the hotties always have to be bad? Alviarin is BA thug 1, Elaida is well... Elaida, Lanfear- Megan Fox personified, list goes on. Does this mean that Berelain is next up for the fall? Yeah, yeah, Eggs, and Ny, and Elayne weren't all whacked with the ugly stick, but maybe they are just cute like the girl next door and not sha-wing like Lanfear etc.

Rest of this pretty much dragged until Egwene has a MoA when she finds Lan...rubs hands can't wait for that bit to come around soon.

Edit- woulda jumped on this thread earlier, but today was national "Work like a heathen" day around the office, and like I said these chapters elicited a "meh" from me so here we are.

Woof™.
Jay Dauro
62. J.Dauro
Leigh has given fair warning in each introduction.

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

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

So I have felt all along that we need to expect spoilers. If I was still reading KoD, I would have found spoilers from it in all of the previous Re-reads.

But I do feel that discussions of points from tGS that are not connected to a point in the current book should be discussed there.
john massey
63. subwoofer
@J, no question there, Leigh was posting spoilers from day 1. Before TGS came out, if you were a WoT noob, Leigh was doin' stuff from many books in the series.
Edit- Exhibit A
Hi, all. Welcome to the first (official) post of the Wheel of Time Re-read. Today’s post will cover Chapters 1-9 of The Eye of the World, the first book in the Wheel of Time series.

A couple of notes before we get started:

* This and all other posts will be rife with spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time series, up to and including the most recent installment, Knife of Dreams. In other words, in the unlikely case that you are reading the series for the first time, you really, really want to wait till you’ve finished them all before reading these posts.
I am just feeling bad myself for giving MatHS a hard time. I like to treat everyone the same, so I am being consistent. Nothing to do with right or wrong on Leigh's part, it is about how I feel about a particular situation.

Woof™.
Alice Arneson
64. Wetlandernw
Not much to add at the moment, just a couple of comments:

Tektonica @ 53 She was a pretty major character for awhile, and just kind of exits stage left, quickly. Well, at least her head exits stage left... The rest wasn't going anywhere fast. ;)

johntheirishmongol @58 (and others, but you said it so well...) Halima - ok, here you are, a badass Forsaken and all you can do is give headaches? Not impressed at all. Well, except that during Halima's tenure as chief interferer, Egwene's Dreaming was pretty much stifled, depriving Team Light (or at least Egwene herself) of what could have been helpful info.

Moghedian - you were probably safer where you were LOL!! How very true...
Barry T
65. blindillusion
Just for some more confirmation about the trip Through the 13x13 Looking Glass of Horrors, here are some words from Mr Jordan:
Week 15 Question: When a channeler is forcibly turned to the Dark (13x13'd), is his/her former personality lost to eternity? Are they in a permanent state of mindless Compulsion? Furthermore, can a channeler forcibly turned to the Dark return to the Light unaided?

Robert Jordan Answers: They are not in a mindless state of Compulsion. Their former personality is twisted, the darker elements that everyone has to some degree elevated while what might be called the good elements are largely suppressed. I don't mean things like courage, which is useful even to villains, but they are unlikely to be very charitable, for example, and forget any altruistic impulses. Call it being turned into a mirror image of yourself in many ways. It is very unlikely that a channeler forcibly turned to the Shadow could find a way back to the Light unaided. For one reason, by virtue of the twisting he or she had undergone, it is very unlikely that he or she would have any desire to do so.

Now, I’m sure many of you will disagree with me, but I think once everything is said and done, we’ll find the character subjected to this torture was none other than…wait for it….Liandrin. I have my reasons for saying that, and perhaps some of you can think of them as well.

But, let’s take a look at those words from Mr Jordan for a moment and perhaps you’ll see why we don’t have too many characters running around who have fallen prey to this rather disgusting mental rape. What Mr Jordan is describing above is pretty much the creation of Pure Evil, a descriptive term not even the Forsaken completely deserve. The Forsaken, for the most part, are completely selfish and crave eternity in order to fulfill their earthly desires and power-lust. These characters could perhaps be redeemed and brought back to the Light.

A character 13x13, as mentioned by Mr Jordan, not only would be unlikely to ever find the Light again, but also would have no want to do so. As I’ve asked before on previous posts dealing with the 13x13 Mirror of Fuckedom…who in their right mind would WANT something like this around? It would remember walking in the Light. It would remember having been, if anything, a human being at least trying to do good things in the World. And then BOOM!!! 13 Blacks and 13 Fades later and all It can do is remember…. In essence, this…procedure?…takes away choice…which pretty much puts the kibosh on being human…something all the Forsaken…with the possible exception of Elan/Ishamael/Moridin…can still claim…though some of them would probably avoid that distinction.

Also, as mentioned by others in different sections of the Re-Read and the Spoiler Posts, the question of how easy it would be to get 13 Blacks and 13 Fades in the same location at the same time has to be taken into account.

Oh, Leigh, completely agree with your words regarding military pay.

Ohx2...I just noticed while reading through her site that Terez is from the 'Sip. Very cool.

Ohx3...Wind, I completely agree. Chesa is only what she appears to be...a simple maid devoted to her charge.

**grin** I used 13 Thirteen times in this post. =)
Sean Banawnie
66. Seanie
Wets@64
head exits stage left...


ROFLAMAO!!!!
Thomas Keith
67. insectoid
Wet @64:
Well, at least her head exits stage left... The rest wasn't going anywhere fast. ;)
BAHAHAhahaha!!

Blind @65: That's very evil of you. ;)

EDIT: 6 + 7 = 13 ::grins sheepishly::

Bzzz™.
Pritesh Patil
68. MatHornsounder
Sub @ 63
hey, its all fine by me.......no hard feelings....
i mean, you stated your mind thats all
better than lying ai'nt it!

;-) ;-0 ;-)

Chesa is probably just Chesa........a maid

but then, who knows!!
Lsana
69. Machinery
I think the thing with the girls slowly becoming more girly isn't so much a failing in their character as it is their characters developing out of their 'we don't need mens because we'sa strong womens' shells.

Plus, it's not really superficial for any of them - they're each really in love with their respective dudes, and want to make them all randy. And it works.

And their personalities don't really change all -that- much. Siuan is still a rock wall of a woman around everybody but Gareth, and Nynaeve is still trying to tear her own scalp off.
Birgit
70. birgit
Anyone have a handy copy of The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time? Ideal Seek shows Chapter 6 - Page 66 (Hardcover): “It was Semirhage who discovered that a circle of thirteen” “using thirteen Myrddraal as a sort of filter”

Yes, the quote exists. I have the book in German, but even the page number is correct.

I'm pretty sure that Cads learned about Alanna's bonding Rand from Alanna. Someone, I can't remember who, wondered if the elder green hadn't planned the same thing herself.

Cads herself thought that what Alanna did is bad, but she might have tried it herself, only Alanna's experience shows that it does her no good for controlling Rand.
Tricia Irish
71. Tektonica
Wet@64: LOL... head exits stage left.... Touche!

Various: Re: Girly Girls....

Hey, they're young! (Except Siuan and she is kind of "newly young".) I seem to remember when I was 19 or so, and single, Men were very important!
They are still figuring out who they are in the world, now that they've seen Paree. They're getting more sophisticated, falling in love for the first time, growing up.

And as Machinery@69 points out, it doesn't seem to alter their personalities.... Nynaeve is still trying to tear her own scalp off. LOL.
Jay Dauro
72. J.Dauro
tPoD - 12
Unshed tears glistened in Alanna's eyes. "In my place, you would have done the same!"
Cadsuane scowled over the cup at her. She might have, had she believed it would help her reach her goal. Now, she no longer considered even making Alanna pass the bond to her. Alanna had proved how useless that was in controlling him.

So by tPoD Cadsuane knows of the bonding. This is before Verin decides she can trust Cadsuane, so I don't think that Verin would have told her. Of course many of the AS who swore fealty to Rand also know of it, but we do not see them telling Cadsuane either.

WH - 25, Alanna to Rand

"I even asked Cadsuane to let me pass the bond to her. A sign of how desperate I was, to ask such a thing. But if anyone can handle you, Cadsuane can. But she refused. She was furious that I suggested it without asking you, outraged, but even if you agreed, she won't."
...
Just the possibility that Cadsuane might have received his bond sent icicles down Rand's spine. Alanna had never been able to control him with the bond, and he did not think that any sister could, but he would never risk it with that one. Light!

OK, that doesn't really add much, but I like Rand's thoughts here.
R B
73. MasterAlThor
Hello all, top of the morn to ya Leigh!

Great job, by the way.

And now the kicking of the dead horse no?

Siuan: is still awesome… except:

methods of dealing with her temper—once she threw plates and boots, anyway—outraged her and provoked threats of dire consequences, yet though she could have wrapped him up unable to stir a finger, Siuan never touched saidar around him, not to do his chores and not even when it meant being turned over his knee.

*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

That is all, good day. I said good day, sir!


First, why does this reflect badly on Siuan? You don't like spankings, she was the spankee not the spanker. I would think that you would have an issue with Bryne.

Second, no one has answered this to my satisfaction yet. So I will ask yet again. What would be the correct/proper way to handle that situation. If you act like a child you should get treated like one. My mother always told me a hard head makes for a soft behind. So I pass that nugget to my kids. Corporal punishment, when applied correctly, works wonders in correcting petulant behavior.

Third, loving the pop culture refrences. Give us more. You know that we are all nerds here.

:waves to:
Babo, Insect, Isilel, Lannis, JEJ, Free, Tek, Lsana, Sub, Samadai, Wind, Wet, Blind, MOM and Rob

What's up peoples.

:nods to:
J. Dauro, Seanie, already, Billin, bad, birgit, Randal, gage, HArai, sps, Alison, mis and john

Respect.

So now I am off to battle the elements that some foo' from the Blight decided to send my way. ::glares at Canadians:: Which one of you was it???

And one more thing, cutting soilders pay. No, no. Big NO, NO. You may not like war, but you can't cut the pay of people who do it in your place, name, or whatever.

:grumbles: damnsnowgottagoshovelwhycantFreesendsomesunshine
john massey
74. subwoofer
M A T- got a little snow? Awwwww... lemme see what I can do
"Get tough nancy boy, jump in"
-Chris Farley, Black Sheep.

I decided to pass on a snow blower this year. I figured I was young and beautiful, I can handle this- now that we are on course for record snow fall, I am reconsidering. Maybe we will get a chinook and things will go away. No worries, after 20 or so seasons, you get used to it;)

@MatHS, thanks, if I am wrong, I try to admit it:)

I question what is the end game for Nicola and Areina. They are mentioned several times, Nicola for her power with Saidar, Areina for her Hunterness. I was just thinking that when somebody is mentioned more than once, something big is going to happen for them. Or they could be like the red shirts from Star Trek. Who knows?

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
75. Tektonica
MasteralThor......where have you been? Busy, eh? Shoveling?

It was 41 degrees in SoFla at 7AM this morning with rain, and we had already seen our high for the day! South Florida! "They" said we might see a snow flurry or two this evening! Snow!! Low around 30. All I can say is, buy Orange Juice Futures. And get your strawberries now, 'cause they'll all be dead tomorrow.

Having grown up in northern Illinois and Iowa, all you shovelers have my sincere sympathy.

Sub.....Nicola has come up many times, usually as a difficult person. She did seem to change her tune with Egs in the WT this time around tho. She was always a mystery to me. Could the BA's have gotten to her? Maybe she was considering it, but has seen the light with Egwene being so commanding.
Is Areina still hanging around? I see nothing but trouble from her. She always seemed so arrogant (fearful) and angry (bad self esteem). (Of course now that Egs is the Amrylin of the WT, Ariena might give her some respect.) Ariena just seems like a loose cannon. Maybe she'll redeem herself and kill a Blood knife? What's your take on her? Them?
Bonnie Andrews
76. misfortuona
Waves to Sub & M A T -

- got a little snow? Awwwww... lemme see what I can do
"Get tough nancy boy, jump in"
-Chris Farley, Black Sheep.


ROFLMAO - sorry MAT, but well... Chuckles.

It's a balmy -25C here today, -13F the temperatures up 8 degrees from the last three. At least is doesn't snow at this temperature. :)

Re Siuan and Gareth
Hey the old/young woman hasn't had the opportunity to fall in love before, being as busy as she was. Give her a break this is as new to her as the others and as to the spankings.
Well IMHO if a woman is going to hit/throw things at a man she should expect some sort of response. Considering the alternatives, spanking is a pretty reasonable response.

Mis-thawing nicely
Eugenie Delaney
77. EmpressMaude
subwoofer@74

I question what is the end game for Nicola and Areina. They are mentioned several times, Nicola for her power with Saidar, Areina for her Hunterness. I was just thinking that when somebody is mentioned more than once, something big is going to happen for them. Or they could be like the red shirts from Star Trek. Who knows?

I have seen a theory here or elseboard that I have come to like - it is that Areina and her bow and braid will mistakenly be remembered as Birgitte's incarnation in this Cycle of the Wheel. You know the whole part that Thom said that you can always spot Birgitte in the tales because they always mention the braid? You get it? The braid?

Love it.

Let me also chime in - I find it a little... I dunno if sexist is the right word, but it definitely is something that RJ does only to women that they get a little more frivolous with respect to their wardrobes as they "fall in wuv."

Hell, they get a lot more vain as their stations and power increase. Egwene, on the other hand, recognizes that she has to "look the part," but I don't know if she really enjoys decking herself out.

edit: spelling
Bonnie Andrews
78. misfortuona
Tek
I have often thought that Ariena, at least, might be a dark friend. I think that your assesment that Nicola has been considering her options, but has 'seen the light' so to speak makes sense of her actions.
If this is the case though, does that mean that Areina, or one of the other BA is going to be gunning for her now?
I've always sort of liked them despite themselves, so if they turned out to have a big play at the end, it would make me happy. My gut feeling is though that they are likely Red Shirts.

Mis-relates to the bad girls
john massey
79. subwoofer
Wardrobe *sigh* Well... the thing of it is the ladies of TR get out into the big world and they actively put on the "big girl" dresses to gain respect and look the part of other AS, as everyone seems to doubt that they were properly raised. In the real world it is similar to dropping the jeans and t-shirt for the suit to uphold an image of professionalism.

Contrast that with the boys who are made to wear fancy duds as they do not see any problem with the clothes they have on. My small clothes are good for another fifty consecutive wearings. Guys sometimes wear things until they naturally fall off. It is a guy thing. I don't see Perrin dressing up or putting on airs.

Take the NFL, there are some players that look quite the dandy, coats, hats, scarves etc. They make millions of bucks to play a game so at least add some level of professionalism to it. Farve on the other hand goes in jeans and sweats because he is the man and lets his playing speak for him on the field. Nothing wrong with either.

Woof™.
john massey
80. subwoofer
@Tek, both girls are a handful, hence the chapter "A Pair of Silverpike". I actually liked Siuan for considering to make it seem like both girls meet with "accidents". Oops I slipped and stabbed myself with this sword here. Both girls did however take an oath of fealty to Egwene so they are in on the ground floor of what Elaida was making people do. Swear to the Amrylin. As to how far they rise, or if their trouble making leads to a grand fall, well, I am not sure as they are now strong secondary characters and BwS has his own way of writing now.

Woof™.
Jay Dauro
81. J.Dauro
OK, I am probably going to get flamed here...

In my observation the fact that women tend to get more concerned with their wardrobe when they fall in "wuv", and men do not, is pretty much what I see IRL. Some men do get more concerned about their clothes, but most do not.

We do see Rand worrying more about his clothes to impress people. And Mat wants to look good, but I do not see that as a reaction to Tuon (in fact when she calls him about messing up his clothes, he does it more.)

In my case, if it's clean and decent, that's usually good enough.

So in the words of Setalle Anan, "She might have said men are pigs." Pretty much sums it up.
Tricia Irish
82. Tektonica
J.Dauro@81:

Can't get flamed for stating the obvious! Women are just more into fashion than most men I know. My husband, for instance, could care less what he has on if it's reasonable for the situation and clean. His stuff lasts for years...kind of a uniform, in a way.....doesn't go in and out of style....classic, whether it's jeans or suits.

Now I'm going for the flame......I think men are simpler in their needs and women are just more complex or have more diverse roles to play....professional at the office, mom, nurse, sexpot, etc. Oh, you know what I mean. We wear more hats......at least that's the truth of it at my house!

::Ducks behind rock::
Eugenie Delaney
83. EmpressMaude
J.Dauro -

In my observation the fact that women tend to get more concerned with their wardrobe when they fall in "wuv", and men do not, is pretty much what I see IRL. Some men do get more concerned about their clothes, but most do not.

It's not that, really. It's that many of the female characters have marked personality shifts once a man comes into the picture. If Siuan was confortable keeping a clean, modest, tailored appearance about her wardobe, then it's a bit weird that she starts dressing more provocatively.

If Nynaeve, who was previously driven and all business (as Leigh once said, when girlfriend is on, she gets shit done), and is perfectly content with her clean, tasteful woolen dresses, starts becoming distracted by frills and laces and fripperies, then that's a problem.

Aviendha was an forceful, athletic, trim warrior woman - when she had to wear Randlandian dresses, she did so to blend in, but then she started to like silk and jewelry after she admits her love for Rand?

Min, the less said the better - the girl altered her entire persona for a man.

Elayne, on the other hand, was always concerned with looking regal and stylish, so she didn't change her personality for a man. Egwene didn't start wearing red because she knows that it's Gawyn's favorite color - she wears it as a political statement. Faile, who arguably goes insane all the time for a whole host of reasons revolving around her man, didn't start dressing like a grande dame noblewoman because she was in love - she keeps to her sporty, tailored riding dresses even when she is actually holding court back in Duopotamia.

Not all the female characters warp their personal sense of self for their lover, but of those characters that do warp their sense of self, they are all female.
Tricia Irish
84. Tektonica
Empressmaude@83


These girls are young....Min, Avi, Nynaeve...even Siuan, since she never really got to be young. And I haven't seen their personalities change, as much as I've seen another dimension added.

As for Avi and Min changing their ways....Aviendha had never even seen beautiful dresses before, and she also wants to make her near sister proud of her. I think she Dons the Duds more for Elayne than Rand. I'm not sure Rand ever even sees her in the fancy stuff.

As for Min, well, yeah.....she needed to get his attention and she was a bit of a mess in the wardrobe department. I like that she stepped it up a notch, but kept the pants, because they WORK.....starting a whole fashion movement!
Bill Reamy
85. BillinHI
Re: dressing up: I certainly agree with the idea that Egwene and Nynaeve (and Min, to a slightly lesser degree) are reacting as much to being in the big wide world as opposed to their prior isolated experience in their home village(s). Nynaeve also has issues, I think, in that she always thought she was too young to be the Wisdom of Emond's Field (even if she would never admit it to herself) and one of her ways of compensating was dressing the part (not to mention carrying - and using! - a big stick).

But it mostly comes down to: men and women are different, especially in how they react to certain things. And Vive la difference!!

Oh, and Perrin: I seem to recall that he does indeed dress the part during some (if not all) of the never-ending pursuit of Faile. Of course, it was at her insistence (nagging) that he did so, even earlier on in the Two Rivers.

Chesa: Hadn't really thought about her as a DF, but there are certainly good arguments for it. Personally, I doubt it, but I won't be at all surprised to find out later that she is.
James Jones
86. jamesedjones
73 MasterAlThor

Dang, MaT. After spending six years in Ky and two in Id, I hate to hear about anybody shoveling snow. You might want to try these (it's an ad from amazon, so don't click unless your extremities are chilly). According to the reviewers, you can stuff them in your gloves, too.
Ron Garrison
87. Man-0-Manetheran
Re. Chesa
As I recall, I considered her a possible darkfriend and then later discounted my suspicions. Stage magic employs a technique called misdirection. The magician focuses our attention to somewhere other than where the big switcheroo is happening. Clever magician that he is, I think our author used Chesa as a misdirection to divert suspicion away from Sheriam. To paraphrase Freud, "sometimes a Chesa is just a Chesa."

Tai'Shar Manetheren
James Jones
88. jamesedjones
80 subwoofer
Both girls did however take an oath of fealty to Egwene so they are in on the ground floor of what Elaida was making people do. Swear to the Amrylin.
Hmmm... I can't remember that. I thought it was Fellow and Theo (I can't for the life of me remember how to spell those names), the two promoted Accepted, who swore to Egghead. But Nicola and her buddy were just threatened with a bunch of stuff.
R B
89. MasterAlThor
::yelling to Subwoofer::

And when you get done with the porch, make sure you get the driveway

Oh, right well here we go...

Tek...

Yeah, I've been lurking around. Subs misadventure with the iced tea still gets chuckles. And daddy got a new PS3 for Christmas. Busy breaking it in.

Also, your view about men being simple in their dress and women having more hats is completely accurate. Yes you guys have to be mom, sexpot, nurse, sexpot, professional, sexpot. Sometimes you have to be sexpot nurse, sexpot professional and sexpot mom.

Did I mention sexpot???

Mis....

No apologies needed. It was funny.

Sub....

Should have got the snowblower. And if you have alot of property then you can get a riding one and keep your "iced tea" in a flask in your coat.
Bridget Sullivan
90. Ellid
subwoofer@80 -
re: Areina and Nicola

Both girls did however take an oath of fealty to Egwene so they are in on the ground floor of what Elaida was making people do. Swear to the Amrylin.

Ya but....

Fealty and obedience are not the same thing. Egwene also made the whole Salidar council swear fealty to her, but not obedience.
Jack Diamond
91. violetdancer
When I left SoCal it was a balmy 72F, but by the time I reached Wyoming guess what? -17 with a -30 windchill, a foot of snow on the ground, and an unshovelable glacier in my driveway. There are pluses to coming home to that: sun is shining like crazy, clear clean air and beautiful blue skies. I think I'll tackle the mountain of laundry first then see if my local rental place has flamethrowers for the driveway.

Glad to see you all carried on without me on WOT. Happy New Year, Happy Birthdays, Happy Baby to all who had them.

Maude@83.

That's pretty close to a ditto for girls and clothes with one big addition. I have to add my personal theory regarding a major difference between men and women, especially young men and women. And let the flames begin. ;D

Men think about sex as often as women think about how they look. Ducking now, and a mad dash for cover as I stick my foot farther down my throat.

In love or not, women tend worry about their appearance when they are exposed to other women, especially women who dress for power. It's a competition thing. (you all remember peer pressure from middle school, don't you?) and the prize is usually a man (or men), who is usually oblivious to women's outfits and hairdos. The Two Rivers girls have suddenly been exposed to a lot of AS who dress the part (mostly), the first of which was Moiraine. She's the more likely reason Nynaeve is obsessing over clothes to show herself off to Lan. She must defeat Moiraine at all cost.

Siuan I understand. She's never been this pretty before or been in love before and doesn't know the feelings are mutual. She's trying to get Bryne's attention.

The only one of the lot that bugs me is Min. I like her as a character, even though she taxed me during her addled-over-Rand phase. I get the Elmindreda time was not her idea, but she has stepped over the line after that, wearing pale red coats and trousers. Any way you slice that it's still girly pink!

I have something also on Nicola, but since it's pretty spoilerish I'll post it on the other thread.
craig thrift
92. gagecreedlives
Not really much to add so will throw out a loony theory on Areina. Reckon she might be the one that will teach a reborn Birgitte the bow and be the inspiration for the braid.

Tektonica@84

Pretty sure Aviendha first donned the duds to please Elayne but soon enough discovered the joys of wearing silk and all the talk about doing it for her near sister is just boulderdash. And yeah dont think Rand has seen her all dolled up.

*edit*

Oh and Sub just in case your still thinking of that country swap. Its gonna be a temperate 100 degrees fahrenheit in my neck of the woods today :)
john massey
93. subwoofer
@JEJ- why, I believe you are correct, it was Nisao and Myrelle. They had balls flying at them in the same chapter so I got the two pairs confused. Incidentally, I happen to use the heat packs all the time. When I hunt they are handy up the tree stands after long stretches and working outside. Go through them by the box.

Wasn't saying the girls are good or bad, just to make them seem more mature in the geriatric Aes Sedai eyes, they have to dress the part of mature proper women. Can't do that wearing woolens. Same for the guys, except that Mat sleeps in his finery and bleeds all over it, Perrin wears his clothes to peer under wagons, Rand, well, he's the Dragon, buggering about with swords at the wrong time.

@M A T- still cryin' about a widdle bit of snow. Heh. Sorry, no love from the Canadian contingent. We're hardcore. 1000 buck snow blower vs. a 10 buck snow shovel and 60 cases of beer. No contest. Beer wins out.

Woof™.
R B
94. MasterAlThor
Sub....

While the snow is bothersome it is the cold....let me rephrase that. IT IS THE FLAMING BLOODY COLD that bothers me. We live off the lake the house was built in the 50's and witches body parts don't even enter into it.

Agreed beer wins out. Glad to see you laid off the iced tea.

Yeah, I'm not letting that one go. Sorry.

Edit: spelling
Barry T
95. blindillusion
RE:~ Clothing ~ Here's something I posted about Nynaeve:
As for Nynaeve...well, that's just the way Nynaeve thinks. She always talks about Two Rivers woolens while really loving her new silk dresses. And she talks about missing Bela while in truth she's probably flying 7 different kinds of high for riding such a beautiful horse.

It's just her. She's always claims the Two Rivers is better than the rest of the world because she cannot admit to herself that she's moved on.

Now, why do I think the rest of them - and to a large degree Nynaeve as well - are suddenly wearing the Nice Clothes? Well, availability, of course. Egwene, Min and Nynaeve had wool to work with...with perhaps a nice silk scarf...if they were lucky...to wear at Festival. Aviendha had cotton and no desire for feminine attire.

As for Min's clothing in particular. True, her "I have to get Rand's attention at ALL COSTS" was rather annoying, but now that that is past I think she's realized that she no longer has to pose as a boy to protect herself and enjoys dressing in pretty colors. Our little Min grew up and realized it's OK to be a girl.... How cute.

GCL RE:~ This Thought:
Not really much to add so will throw out a loony theory on Areina. Reckon she might be the one that will teach a reborn Birgitte the bow and be the inspiration for the braid.

I like the thought you have here. Though I'm not exactly a fan of Areina, I can see her coming around as time passes. After all, it's fairly clear the woman has been pretty severely beaten~beaten down~ by a man/men, which is why she clings to women she sees as friends/protectors/teachers.

Once she is healed of her past, which could take awhile, she'll probably be a good instructor to a young Birgitte in the finer arts of Herodom. And this also ties in nicely with my thoughts at 126 in the aCoS Re-Read, Part 5.
john massey
96. subwoofer
meh. BTDT. No love telling a Canadian about cold. Beer for breakfast, but bourbon to get me through;)

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
97. Tektonica
MOM@87: LOL, Sometimes a Chesa is just a Chesa....
Like your thoughts on misdirection, but still.....DF.

MAT@89: LOL, indeed. And thanks for not throwing flames....

Violet@91:

Geez....Glacier in the driveway! Do they rent Flamethrowers? LOL. Poor thing. Don't hurt yourself. At least you got some sun for a couple of weeks, but nice to have you back. I'm with you on the girls.

But must add this.....
I totally believe in equal rights, no matter your sex, color, creed, country, whatever, but it's OK to be a Girl. We are different, thank goodness! Makes things interesting, and as RJ keeps pointing out throughout all the books, it takes both sides working together, but not necessarily in the same way. Vive la differance!
James Jones
98. jamesedjones
96 subwoofer

Woah... If only RJ could have been around to see the vision of the steam on that river (no possible chance of getting the spelling right). Can you imagine the prose he could have put together for it?
Lsana
99. alreadymadwithavisdresses
I thought Aviendha started wearing dresses so as to fit in with Elayne and Nynaeve in the Tarasin Palace. It would fit her Far Dareis Mai sensibilities to put on camouflage, so to speak.
Thomas Keith
100. insectoid
Zzzzzzzzzzzz... One Hunny!! ...zzzzzzzzzzzz...

Bzzzzzzzzzzzz™.
Maiane Bakroeva
101. Isilel
@Various:

Re: WoT women's obsession with clothing. Yes, they all seem to go completely ga-ga other clothes as soon as they fall in love at the latest. And while it may seem "realistic", you guys have to remember that there were eras when men spent as much money and attention on their appearance as women. So, it is largely (though not completely) a social thing.

Dress criteria for what is "acceptable" as being well dressed for men and women are also very different. See, for instance the shitstorms over certain female politicians dress sense ;). In which the guys gleefully or even predominantly participate(d), so it is not quite true that they are oblivious/don't care.

Anyway, I found Min's switch highly irritating, not because she started to dress more colorfully/elegantly, but because she started to wear high heels and ultra-tight pants, i.e. gave up the very reason she chose to wear male clothing - convenience. She changed herself to get her man indeed.

Which, of course, segues into the question of why women in WoT, despite the supposed equality and lack of religious prohibitions are swathed in, for the most part, very long skirts, and don't habitually wear trousers when convenient. Which makes zero sense.

I particularly remember that scene in TSR Aiel memory sequence where the yet-pacifistic Aiel women flounder through the snow in their "bulky skirts". If they have to walk all the time and running away from enemies was their only defense, why on earth would they wear skirts instead of cadin'sor in the first place?

But well, "ladylike" women seemed to have been RJ's literary obsession ;).
Joseph Blaidd
102. SteelBlaidd
Women wore skirts because, in in an era without internal plumbing, they were much easier to piss and bleed in and keep clean.

Re:Min's wardrobe. She was just doing silk and some embroidery up until Berilain shows up, and she's not nearly as wild as the noble women who start copying her.
Maiane Bakroeva
104. Isilel
SteelBlaidd @102:

Not true at all. There were enough cultures IRL where women did wear trousers (though usually under some kind of gown too), i.e. in the East, in parts of Asia, hunter-gatherers of the sub-polar regions, etc. And trousers are far more convenient for everything except pissing in public ;). Keeping the parts warm in winter is also vastly better for one's health.
So, yea, it makes zero sense that Randlandian women (who have been supposedly enjoying equality for 2 Ages) don't wear them when it is convenient, with the exception of Kandori and Maidens of the Spear.

MAT @73:

If you act like a child you should get treated like one.

Except that it is a classical "might makes right" situation, as only a physically or magically stronger individual can deliver the appropriate punishment. It doesn't matter how childishly and deserving of spanking Perrin behaves, Faile would never be in position to act on it ;). So, basically, it is a one-sided situation that infantilizes the weaker person.

Which is, incidentally, why this particular spanking incident doesn't bother me at all, as Siuan chooses to allow it and has the power to put a stop to it at any time.

I do find the whole Bryne-Siuan romance pretty stupid and Bryne's insistence on Siuan serving him rather unworthy. I mean, Siuan may be totally inexperienced in romantic relationships, but Bryne isn't and has no excuse to behave like a grade/high schooler. The awesome Siuan opening up chapter in TGS kinda sorta makes sense of it, but not wholly to my satisfaction.

Also, waiting until the world is saved? So that Siuan can devote herself exclusively to Bryne, presumably? DUH. They are fairly unlikely to survive Tarmon Gaidon and if the prophecies are correct, the world will need some saving for a few centuries after that, too. Why not accept Siuan for who she is and go on saving the world together for as long as it takes?
john massey
105. subwoofer
@Is, my response is on TGS Spoiler thread...

Woof™.
Captain Hammer
106. Randalator
re: girly girls

I wouldn't read too much into that. Elaborate dresses are pretty much a (High) Fantasy staple. That's an easy way to create a sort of medieval, not-our-own-world feel. Even BWS makes use of this in Mistborn which is most certainly not your average knights and dragons fantasy world. Vin who started off as a tomboy begins to like wearing ball gowns but in no way does that take away her total badassery.

And I don't think that Min has lost hers by becoming more feminine. True, she started wearing more elaborate clothes to get into Rand's pants but as matter of fact that just singles her out among the supergirls. Nyaneve got a taste for dresses while posing as Aes Sedai (and had quite an internal struggle with her coming to like fancy clothing), Egwene got a taste for it long before she met Gawyn (and was never disinclined to nice dresses to begin with; she just lacked opportunity), Elayne as daughter-heir was girly by default and Aviendha came to wearing dresses pretty much the same way Nynaeve did. Only Nynaeve developped it into something of a flaw after she married Lan. And being an overachiever in every possible way is kind of a theme with her. She just takes everything to extremes...self-confidence, self-deprecation, wisdom-ness, honeymoon-y-ness...you name it, she turns it up to eleven.

So that leaves only Min to specifically change for a man. But all the silks and embroidery aside, she still doesn't bury her old personality in a ditch somewhere. She just took what she learned during her stint as Elmindreda and from Leane interacting with guys and made it a new aspect of herself. If love had simply made her throw her old self over board, she'd remained Elmindreda. But she didn't...she's just Min with a level in sexy.
john massey
107. subwoofer
And later in the story, Min's practicality with wearing pants pays off dividends. When the other lady is falling ass over tea cup in her skirts and, while Min still falls, it is not nearly as much.

Woof™.
Sheila McEvoy
108. SuffatheDamane
re: clothes, girls, men

I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but I think that the general point was that RJ tends to have his "serious/practical" women drift towards softer, more typically feminine affectations once they get attached to a man. Min (Min's more "practical than "serious" though) is the most glaring (and disturbing) example but Nynaeve is the one where it actually slightly occluded her functionality (at first).

I myself don't necessarily see this as a bad thing per se; it can be chalked up to character development. All's well and good.

However, there is no corollary little insight on the part of say, Mat, keeping his hair neatly barbered because Tuon likes him with short hair. (Lord knows, I dropped enough hints to my husband that he needs a haircut every five weeks that after a while, he picked up the hint ;) )

Although, someone help me out - does Perrin keep the beard because Faile likes it?

It is something he does only with his female characters, as far as I can remember.

With regards to why the women encumber themselves with skirts despite a few ages of authority - that's not 100% accurate.

First of all, the ubiquity of riding dresses and habits is clearly a concession to practicality. In an age where horseback riding is the only way to go, well, in a larger society that tends to be somewhat prudish about exposure of skin, you can't get very far in a full skirt on a horse. And, I don't think there is very much mention of women riding side.

However, as we can see from those lovely little episodes wrought by the unravelling of the Age Lace, in past eras, Aes Sedai wore some pretty varied outfits - including the very practical sounding wide trousers under a detailed tabard. (The bare-breasted Aes Sedai, though, is clearly a little strange and seems to be RJ showing off. He's obviously thinking of the Minoans)

Hey everyone - I finally took the plunge and went for a profile on Tor!
Captain Hammer
109. Randalator
SuffatheDamane @108

Although, someone help me out - does Perrin keep the beard because Faile likes it?

You betcha!

[quote][i]He scratched his two-week growth of beard irritably. It was even curlier than the hair on his head. It was also hot. For the hundredth time he thought of shaving.

"It suits you," Faile said suddenly, stopping in her tracks.

Uncomfortably, he shrugged shoulders heavy from long hours working at a forge. She did that sometimes, seemed to know what he was thinking. "It itches," he muttered, and wished he had spoken more forcefully. It was his beard; he could shave it off any time he wanted.

She studied him, her head tilted to one side. Her bold nose and high cheekbones made it seem a fierce study, a contrast to the soft voice in which she said, "It looks right on you."

Perrin sighed, and shrugged again. She had not asked him to keep the beard, and she would not. Yet he knew he was going to put off shaving again.[i] (TSR, ch. 2)
john massey
110. subwoofer
Seems to me there is also a rite of passage thing here too. When Egwene became an "adult" she was allowed to braid her hair. When Aiel get old enough they are allowed to wear skirts that cover their legs and let their hair down. Sometimes clothes are just clothes, sometimes clothes are culture related, sometimes clothes reflect a person's station in life.

I wear overalls when the need arises and I don't want to ratch up whatever I happen to have on. Sometimes I wear a suit at meetings or church. Sometimes I wear more relaxed clothing when I work out. It depends on what is going on at that particular point in my life. Ny spends a fair chunk of time getting other AS to take her serious and not view her as a "wilder". Eggy is the Amrylin. Min, well, she's got Rand on the brain, no explanation there. Elayne is the Daughter Heir, fancy dress was the mode from the crib. Avi constantly waffled between WO skirts and cadin'sor even veiling herself with her shawl at times.

The boys- well, at some point they had to make the transition from blacksmith, rascal and sheepherder to er... Lord, Prince, and DR. Sometimes clothes come with the position. These clothes are just another type of uniform to wear.

Suffa? Is that you? Welcome on board:)

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
111. Tektonica
Gotta do a little Min defending here....I think we've about covered all the reasons women change fashions....culture, maturity, job/needs, for the hell of it....So yeah, Min......

Yeah, she's got Rand on the brain. Someone has to! Avi is busy with Elayne and the WO's, Elayne is busy winning her throne. Mat and Perrin are off on various errands. Moraine is MIA in the TOG....who else is left from the "early days" when Rand was just Rand.....who knew him when???? Who can he trust? Min!

I'm glad someone is devoted to him. So what if she dresses up in her "fancy pants". Why shouldn't she want to be sexy for him? She's not sacrificing her functionality (except the high heels....but they make her legs look good!) It takes Rand's mind off all his worries. And she's smart and is working to help him with the whole TG dilemma! Good on you, Min! Wear whatever you want, I say. Her clothes haven't changed her braininess or her support for her man, Rand. That's her role in this drama.
D.I. Rock
112. FeatherDancer
One comment re Min and clothes. While I think she does wear some things (heeled boots) because she thinks Rand likes them and certainly wanted to attract his attention I can see other reasons for her change to wardrobe, just like the other girls.

When she worked in a stable and presumably when she ran about the mines she dressed like any boy that would work in a stable - hard to do stable work in dresses and dark brown does not show as much muck as pale rose. In Falme she wore simple dresses common to a working class woman in that region - to fit in. In Salidar where she for the most part worked as a laundry woman she resorts to simple coat & trousers. Then she goes to the Sun Palace - one of the grandest in all of Randland - and becomes the constant companion of the Dragon Reborn. She is now in a very uppercrust environment surrounded by women and men who place great stock in how a person is dressed and how they present themself. Rand makes it a point to dress the part for evry occasion so he can make a regal impression. If I'm Min there is no way I want to be slummin around in my old coat & breeches from the stable. She wants to be taken seriously as one of Rand's advisors and I'm sure she doesn't want Berelain, or Faile, or Lady Caraline, assorted AS, or whoever to take her for a backriver bumpkin. I see her stepping up her wardrobe as a way to fit in and be taken seriously the same way the other girls and Rand have. The extra embroidery I can attribute to a desire to be percieved as more feminine. The type and quality of fabric, the diversity of color, the quality of cut and constrction I attribute to a desire to present a mature refined presence - to everyone.
D.I. Rock
113. FeatherDancer
111. Tektonica

Looks like we both felt a need to defend Min. You were quicker than I.
Hugh Arai
114. HArai
Isilel@104:

I do find the whole Bryne-Siuan romance pretty stupid and Bryne's insistence on Siuan serving him rather unworthy. I mean, Siuan may be totally inexperienced in romantic relationships, but Bryne isn't and has no excuse to behave like a grade/high schooler. The awesome Siuan opening up chapter in TGS kinda sorta makes sense of it, but not wholly to my satisfaction.


The point isn't having Siuan serve him at all. The point is for her to fulfil her oath, which just happened to be to work off the barn incident. To do that she _has to work for him_. Bryne isn't being inexperienced or childish at all. He's wise enough to know that two people as dedicated to meeting and exceeding their duty as he and Siuan are can't have a relationship start with one of them breaking/buying off an oath. He knows it's important to Siuan, why else would she refuse everyone's offers to get her out of it?

Similar situation: Lan offers to go with Nynaeve to Ebou Dar. She refuses even though she desperately wants to separate him from Moiraine. Why does she refuse? Because she knows it would break him. One of the times the Wisdom shows she earned the title.
Julian Augustus
115. Alisonwonderland
Thank you, FeatherDancer. All the dumping on Min (and by implication RJ) in this thread was getting me somewhat irritated (as if the posters criticizing Min on this thread, both male and female, would not dress better or differently to attract or keep the interest of the opposite sex if they had the means) and, in the interest of thread harmony, was biting my tongue, as it were. I just don't understand the desire to hold fantasy characters to some mythical ideal that does not in any way reflect real life.
Tricia Irish
116. Tektonica
Thank you, FeatherDancer, for helping me out there with Min. IMHO, she's the most down to earth and "normal" of any of the WOT characters, and I thought she needed to be appreciated! Obviously, you did too!

Alisonwonderland@115: Let her rip....don't bite holes in your tongue!
Alice Arneson
117. Wetlandernw
SuffatheDamane - LOVE the profile!!!!! ROFL!! Welcome to the world of grey. :)

HArai @114 - Well said!! He's wise enough to know that two people as dedicated to meeting and exceeding their duty as he and Siuan are can't have a relationship start with one of them breaking/buying off an oath. Exactly so. The oath was her choice, and the fulfillment of it is her choice, and the only way he can truly respect her integrity is to let her do it.

BTW... on the spanking... I was going to wax eloquent, but I find that we've had this discussion so many times I'm bored with it. Or at least, I can't muster up the effort to do more than express my complete indifference to it as an Issue. Meh.

Alisonwonderland @115 I just don't understand the desire to hold fantasy characters to some mythical ideal that does not in any way reflect real life. LOL - it's a fantasy, why not expect the fantastic? ;) Seriously, one of the things I've found absolutely fascinating on here is the varying expectations of the readers. Pick an aspect of the world or story: you'll find some who think it's too realistic and some who think it's not realistic enough. IMHO, anyway. This particular discussion of the girls and their clothes strikes me that way - from my experience, the girls have behaved very consistently with RL. Each has responded to her particular situation in her particular way, and I don't have to look very far to find RL parallels for each one. Whether, or which, responses particularly irritate me is more a matter of my personality and ideals than anything else.

It seems to me that when we read fantasy, we want the author to design a world that generally reflects reality, but with our particular "hot issues" with our world corrected - in the way we want, of course. In a fantasy this complex and well-constructed we each (obviously) see things we like, or we wouldn't be here. It's the things we find "wrong" with the fantasy world that bring out the varied perspectives of the readers. I'm all for harmony; a solo melody is very nice, but harmony requires differences. :) Dischord, now.... not so pleasant, but even that can modulate to something quite beautiful!

I like this group. Can you tell?
Alice Arneson
118. Wetlandernw
Meant to post this last night...

Tektonica @75 - You just gave me a wonderful little idea. Ariena can have a blaze-of-glory end - she can die taking out a Bloodknife that's going for Egwene. (Or anyone else, for that matter - she gets on my nerves and I'd love to see the end of her.) I know BWS said that every character's "end" is already defined, but somebody has to deal with those Bloodknives, and I'm betting we see it near the beginning of TofM. Maybe, just maybe, RJ set Ariena up for this one... ;)

And for what it's worth, I just started (or at least attempted to start) a Bloodknives survey/discussion over on the spoiler thread. Y'all go on over there and get something interesting going. It's gotten a bit... stale... lately.
Lsana
119. AndrewB
Allow me to add a vote for Chesa just being a maid. I never thought of her as a Darkfriend.

All this talk of freezing cold weather and nobody has pointed out the irony that as Leigh is trying not to freeze while she re-reads ACoS, the characters in WoT are melting in a Great Lord enduced heat wave.

Leigh (and everybody else who does not live in San Diego or the Southern Hemisphere ), stay warm. By the way, best way to keep warm: put one self in front of a roaring wood-fire lit in a fireplace.

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
john massey
120. subwoofer
@Andrew- we're here for you and are always glad at other perspectives:)- good note of Irony. I'm dealing with brass balls and monkeys and in Randland folks are down to their wife beaters...

Now, somebody... er me, said stuff about Min and I stick by it. Earlier, somebody- me, said stuff about Min too, re my post at 107. I get pants. I like that Min is one of the few females in Randland to have the good sense to wear stuff to move around in. Maidens rank up there as well. I am getting a feeling of déjà vu here too. I have never been a fan of women dressing impractically when serious stuff is going down. I gave the Romancing the Stone analogy where Kathleen Turner was in the Amazon Jungle in high heels and a skirt and down coat. What a disaster that was. Jeans and runners would of served her well. Maybe a gore-tex jacket to boot.

Anyways, my thing is and has always been why Min is head over high booted heels for Rand. They meet briefly in the first book, then the boys bugger off to the Blight. Then BAM! At the end of tGH Min is all "I am in love with him and I can't help how I feel" on Rand. Elayne has time to grow to like Rand. She meets him and has a Florence Nightingale moment with him. Avi is assigned to the guy forever to teach him ways about the Aiel culture. It is like falling in love on set or at work. Min, well, she is grounded and a 'normal' person as compared to the rest, for an Oracle, but the love felt a little forced to me.

But it is probably just me. Peace all.

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
121. Tektonica
Sub@120:

I don't have any hard facts here.....but as for Min falling ass over teacups for big, handsome, charismatic Rand....ummmmm....

Have you ever had an eyes across the crowded room moment with anyone? It does happen. Has happened....some years ago. Who knows what that is? Pheromones? Eye contact? Body language? It seems superficial, but I assure you, it wasn't.....lasted a long time....So, sometimes that just happens.

I'm just sayin'.......
john massey
122. subwoofer
Yes, I did have an eyes across the crowded room moment. I busted a girl sneaking at my beer. Put an end to that right quick! Sad day when you have to get friend to guard your drinks.

But Gawyn and Galad were about. They are pretty personified;) What mere sheepherder stands a chance against that?

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
123. Tektonica
Sub: It's not logical!! It's not all about pretty. Who knows what love is all about?? It's a mystery! Wrapped in an enigma, etc., etc.

Sorry about your nearly purloined beer. Stick with women.
john mullen
124. johntheirishmongol
Love isn't logical, it just is. Sometimes across a crowded room, sometimes that new girl who just started working with you. A chance conversation, a shared laugh, a book you both have read...There are loves that build up over a period of time and loves that hit you like a brick. No one knows how or why, but it happens. The real trick is to keep it going.
Alice Arneson
125. Wetlandernw
john... I didn't know you were a poet! Nice. :)
john massey
126. subwoofer
Hit with a brick eh? Yeah, love is not logical, it just is. Heck I lucked out so I have first hand experience. My wife deals with special ol' me on a daily basis. I am the cause of her grey hair:) She will be like Sorilea soon.

Woof™.
Tess Laird
127. thewindrose
um... sub - your wife doesn't read WoT does she? Or this blog??

tempest™
Ron Garrison
128. Man-0-Manetheran
SUB@122
"But Gawyn and Galad were about. They are pretty personified ;) What mere sheepherder stands a chance against that?"

ROFL - You're killin' me!

Tai'Shar Manetheren
john massey
129. subwoofer
No worries! If it is not related to the field of veterinary medicine or admin, she can't be bothered. More fun for me:)

Woof™.
Ron Garrison
130. Man-0-Manetheran
Tek @ 121
My "eyes across the crowded room moment" was really more an "eyes across a crowded laundromat moment", but I know what you mean. ::waves::

Tai'Shar Manetheren
Lsana
132. BenM
Hi all,

Re: Alanna's "attachment": I always thought that it should be fairly obvious that the warder bond was at least a possibility.

Chesa: I've always liked her. And she's SUPPOSED to be hanging around and serving Eg. That's only her JOB after all. Nothing mentioned as a point against her proves anything, or is terribly convincing in my opinion. Could she be a DF? I suppose, but I really doubt it.

13x13: Maybe Sheriam saw it done to somebody else. Maybe it was even done to her, who knows?
R B
133. MasterAlThor
Isilel....

Except that it is a classical "might makes right" situation, as only a physically or magically stronger individual can deliver the appropriate punishment. It doesn't matter how childishly and deserving of spanking Perrin behaves, Faile would never be in position to act on it ;). So, basically, it is a one-sided situation that infantilizes the weaker person.


Good points. Here's my rebuttal.

Perrin doesn't act childish around Faile because Faile is the child in that relationship. That is my opinion. Faile physically abuses Perrin in which he rightly spanks her to show her you cannot just put your hands on someone cause you are angry. Bryne spanks Siuan cause she is throwing stuff at him. Again not acceptable behavior.

When spankings are administered in WOT it is to a person who has crossed a line. I don't remember any cases where someone got one and didn't deserve it.

Remember for all the power that Rand holds the Maidens beat him down for being stupid.

People in power usually get it the worst cause they should know better.
T C
134. Freelancer
She clipped me when I was about to overtake her best friend. She had no chance to win, but she was set on interfering with mine.


Go cart races. Among the traits I admire are loyalty and determination. Crystal blue eyes and reddish-gold hair don't hurt. She had me at first contact.
R B
135. MasterAlThor
FeatherDancer and SuffatheDamane

Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games
R B
136. MasterAlThor
My crowded room moment was outside my Bus 185 class. Green eyes and a killer smile.

It hurt to hear that she had someone. But patience won the wife.

And yeah I saw her standing there.
Alice Arneson
137. Wetlandernw
BenM @132 - 13x13: Maybe Sheriam saw it done to somebody else. Maybe it was even done to her, who knows. Never thought about this one before: maybe she helped do it to someone... Can't come up with a likely candidate just now, but its a possibility. That would give me the shivers, I think. I used to like Sheriam.
Lsana
138. Rukaiya
I think that, for Min, it wasn't even an eyes across the room moment. It seems like it might be the sort of thing where you meet someone, and even if you didn't have that much interaction, you can't stop thinking about them. Assuming this was one of those cases, Min would have had most of TEOTW and TGH to stew over Rand, building him up in her mind. And to be fair, Rand is described as almost pretty enough for Graendal's collection, so he's not bad looking. He can probably at least compete with Galad and Gawyn, though by the time Min meets them, she's already gone on Rand.
Bonnie Andrews
139. misfortuona
mumblemumblecursedcomputerdon'tknowwhyIbothertryingtopostmumble

Hey I think it might work this time.

Hello all - waves

Seems all I have to do to post is do it at 5am and all is well. I've got to tell you twitching is bad enough but when you're muffled by your own computer it gets horrible.

Anyway... WOT

I know Min's visions are supposed to be infallible, but in this case it almost felt like self-fullfilling prophesy. I can't say for certain when she had the vision that said she'd fall in love with Rand, but wasn't it back in Baerlon? How could she help but fall for the guy she'd seen herself fall for.
I don't doubt the girls devotion. Oh no that girl has it bad, but she was in love with him, in her head, long before she had the opportunity to fall for the man himself.

Mis-matchmaker
john massey
140. subwoofer
Durn North Face back at it again. #$#@@$@%**! Well, I think that is what grinds on me about Min's attraction to Rand. As I have said, we see Avi's gradual shift from loathing to loving Rand. We see Elayne plotting with Eggy to do the bait and switch with Rand. As Mis and Rukaiya mention, Min's romance happens off-page and we just put the pieces together after the fact. I kinda feel like Min's "moment" was short changed. I will have to go back and check out some chapters to be sure.

My wife knew I was crazy from the get-go and still manages to put up with me. Hasta be lightening in a bottle love.

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
141. Tektonica
John@124: Beautifully put!

MOM@130: LOL! Wherever....you just never know! Ain't life fun!

Sub@131: Thanks for the musical interlude! Obviously, your wife has a good sense of humor, and appreciates yours. Essential.

Free@134: Awwwww! I'm glad you're a romantic at heart.

MasterAlThor@135: ooooh! That kind of patience is very attractive and flattering! (Wait for the shmuck to screw up!)

FTR....Mine was at the Met. Museum in NY, evening, College Art Assoc. party....we wandered for hours, bonded over paintings, found many corners...alas, only lasted 4 years, but we're still friends.

We cerainly got all romantic here for the evening. Sorry I went to sleep! You guys are great.

Min....yes, she had a vision of what was to be, so did Avi in Rhuidean and she was pissed about it! Could be a self-fulling thing....but aren't visions insights to what has happened in a way? Is it what's supposed to happen, because it's needed by the Wheel, or because it's the natural, right thing? This is making my head hurt again......which came first???
Lsana
142. ValMar
Hi all.
ABout Min & Rand, for all it's worth the first thought that comes to my mind is "self-fullfilling prophecy".
Yes, misfortuona, I'm pretty sure that it was very early on in Baerlon that Min saw the vision about falling in love with Rand.
So whether or not she would have fallen for him without her vision, we will never know. Of course, I don't think that the vision itself is why she is bessoted with Rand. Apparently he's quite fit.
john massey
143. subwoofer
Seems we are all hanging around for Leigh to put something up and then fall on it...

@Val, hmmmmmm, yes, I too, subscribe to the "if you build it they will come" aspect of mutual attraction.

@Insectoid- hah! 4*3+1

Woof™.
Rob Munnelly
144. RobMRobM
142. And she likes "comforting" him, as discussed in chapters coming up. LOL
D.I. Rock
145. FeatherDancer
Rand and min did spend constant time together from Flame to when he bolts the mountain hideout. I think the time covered several months. She became good friends with Loial & Perrin in that time.

Somethin was workin for Rand too because in his trip into and out of the waste he thinks of her several times. I think at one point he wishes she were there because she makes him feel better. And, as I recall, she was in his water dreams with Elayne and Avi.
Lsana
146. ValMar
144. Yeah, and Rand's "guilt on steroids" reaction. Don't remember if he asked Min to marry him afterwards, too... I think not, by this stage.

Yes, we seem to be coasting towards the new post. But still, it's early there and you guys across the ocean are up and posting. Anything that requires much thinking I tend to postopone aftet 10am.

145. I don't think that Rand & Min came together because of her vision, just that it made it inevitable.
Jack Diamond
147. violetdancer
Doesn't absence make the heart grow fonder? Seems like Min didn't get all ga-ga until she and Rand were separated in TGH. Or perhaps we just didn't get her POVs till then.

While we're waiting, I'd like to pose a question. I got behind in re-reading and yesterday only reached Chapter 7. Do we ever learn what's up with the AS staying at the Silver Swan in Caemlyn? Were they the ones Dylin was having conversations with? I assume the Red sisters are Toviene's group stalking the Black Tower, but the others have me stumped unless they are just fence sitters waiting for the Tower split to resolve. They keep being mentioned so RJ must have more purpose for them than that, which I can't puzzle out.
Tess Laird
148. thewindrose
hmmmmmm, yes, I too, subscribe to the "if you build it they will come" aspect of mutual attraction.

::Glares:: at subwoofer - I am at work you know, and ROFL, well not actually on the floor....

Ah yes, the 'comforting'. Well, I am going to leave that one until it comes up.

tempest™
Jamie Watkins
149. Treesinger
MaT @ 133
Regards to Spanking in WOT, remember that Sorilea had Min spanked to get additianal iformation about Rand. In that situation it was a case of might makes right.
Bonnie Andrews
150. misfortuona
Treesinger@149
What? When?

Mis-sing stuff again
nolan
151. topknot
Sub@140

I think that the reason that Avi "hated" rand was because she fell in love with him at first sight. She hated him for the feelings that she had whenever she was around him, and then she was forced to be around him all the time.

Especially considering that all she really ever wanted to do was be a maiden of the spear and the wise ones were forcing her to give up that dream.

IMO I think that all 3 of Rands ladies fell in love at first sight. I think that there relationship was required by the pattern.
Joseph Blaidd
152. SteelBlaidd
My across the room moment took place in a meeting of the university anime club,she was just coming of a real slime of a boy friend so it took some convincing. We were married year and a half latter with a renasance theamed party, beat that.(ha)

On the subject of flash romances I say this: You MUST read Tom Beland's auto-biographical comic True Story Swear to God. Tom met his Puerto Rican radio personality wife on the last night of the grand opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom which he was atending for his small town California news paper. He was subing for another reporter who coulden't go and they met at a bus stop on the way to a concert he almost decided not to go too because he was depresed aboutbeing the only single person in the whole Majic Kingdom. I dare you to not go "Awwwwwww"
Jamie Watkins
153. Treesinger
Mis @ 150
Unfortunately, I don't have my copy with me but later on in CoS, Sorilea uses corpeal punishment
on Min to force her to reval information on Rand.
Bonnie Andrews
154. misfortuona
Gosh darn golly gee.
I never finished the last re-read of CoS. My son has it. I'll have to go looking now.

A good spanking is fine if it's deserved, but darn it no one gets to spank Min.

Mis-avenger
Barry T
155. blindillusion
RE:~ Min's fashion part 2.

I've always liked her particular style. Says Punk, which is always good to have.

For your gander, I give good evidence:



As for my across the room moment.... Mine involved my wife seeing me across a crowded club in Korea where she tended bar. There is just something awesome about a woman sitting down next to you and saying she's seen you about 3 or 4 times in her club. The rest, as they say...Is Happening.
D.I. Rock
156. FeatherDancer
I don't believe Min gets Wise One Handled by Sorilea until the next book. Sorilea bends her over a table and switches her until Min tells her everything she wants to know about Rand including details of Rand and Min's relationship.

Poor Min. Being close to Rand isn't often too pleasant for her. Beaten on the way to Duman Wells, Beaten by Sorilea, pushed around by Cadsuane, dissed by various Aes Sedai, and then the soldiers that just figure her for Rand's pet. The kid gets no respect.
Lsana
157. BenM
I seem to recall Min being very teasing/flirtatious with Rand from the first time they met. I think it probably was love at first sight. Her vision didn't hurt either, I'm sure.
Pritesh Patil
158. MatHornsounder
Featherdancer @ 156
I think Cadsuane and the other AS are in for a spanking..........

Grrrrrrrrrrr
how i hate thee Cadsuane!!

And the AS need to be brought a notch down....

bloody flaming ashes, i hope Mat gets to have a crack at Cadsuane,.......... or even better, TUON!!
Thomas Keith
159. insectoid
No new post before noon? *twitch*

Bzzz™.
T C
160. Freelancer
MasterAlThor@136

And yeah I saw her standing there.


Bus Stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows, under my umbrella...
Karen Fox
161. thepupxpert
Hi I'm just coming into the whole girly dressup discussion after a hiatus over the weekend and wanted to add my two cents worth, which is that no one (except Elayne) had any money until the whole DR thing got going. So I think these women were under a great deal of pressure to impress the women they are now meeting, most of which are royalty or high ladies from influential houses. I think if I had to start rubbing shoulders with these types of people, I'd hightail it to the tailor with as much $$ as I could get my hands on! It was never an option for them pre-DR but now with all the money flying around, it's hard to stop! Trust me on this, I know!
Julian Augustus
162. Alisonwonderland
Subwoofer:

You find Min's falling for Rand too quick, but accept Elayne's? Let's backtrack.

Min first met Rand in Baerlon; she was working at the inn where the TR group stayed for a few days. She had the opportunity to watch Rand from afar and occasionally talk to him for a number of days. He was tall and handsome. Even if she hadn't had the vision concerning him, falling in love with him under those circumstances is not entirely unbelievable.

Now consider Elayne. She first met Rand when she was the royal princess and he a common hayseed who fell into her garden. Yet, almost immediately, she developed such a strong affinity for Rand right there that she was willing to step in front of an arrow to keep her guards from doing him any harm, was willing to incur her mother's wrath in order to protect him, and Rand was the first thing she brought up when she learned Egwene was from the TR. Now tell me Min falling in love is forced and Elayne's is perfectly natural.

I find it odd that Min gets no respect from many posters (most of whom I assume were brought up in the western tradition and so presumably should value self-worth at least as much as noble birth or grand titles) because she was a simple serving girl with no super-powers whose main function in the series has been to serve as an oracle and, through her love, keep her man sane and focused enough to do an impossible job.

Most right-thinking people would be up in arms if someone suggested that a woman who chose to stay home to take care of her man and her children is not as "important" as another woman who chose to be a corporate president. Yet, some of these same people, on this board, sneer at Min for doing nothing but loving her man and seeking to make sure he does the job he has to do and survives. It baffles me.

It baffles me because I happen to think that, ironically, simple put-upon Min has probably the most important job of all the girls. Without her to keep Rand grounded, without her to keep reminding him of his humanity and to make him feel loved and a good person, Rand would have gone apeshit long ago and probably destroyed the world. I say that the world could survive a different person on the throne of Andor, or another AS as amyrlin, or without another apprentice wise one, but it cannot survive a Rand gone crazy or turned over to the dark side due to loneliness and paranoia.

So, to the Min-bashers, re-consider your position, please? Cut the girl some slack and give off on the sneers about her sole use being to love a man. Be thankful she is there.

Rant over.
Lsana
163. Joruus
For those waiting for the new re-read post, one again it wasn't posted on the main page.

It can be found at http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=58608
Lsana
164. evinfuilt
I always felt the headaches couple be accomplished at a distance, after all they didn't start till Logain actually left, and that's key.

The massaging replaced headaches with a subtle deep version of compulsion.
Karen Fox
165. thepupxpert
Alice @ 162 - thank you for standing up for Min. She seems to be the scapegoat in many things but I anticipate great things from her in the next two books. I'm sure she will have her MOA and be central to the end story.

Joruus @ 163 - thanks for the heads up, I kept waiting for over an hour thinking "where has everyone gone, I don't see any post, I'm on the west coast maybe I have to wait until 3pm or something..."

Evinfruilt @ 164 - I disagree with the headaches being tied to Logain, I think it was Halima the whole time, either through minor compulsion or using some inverted weave of saidin to make Eggs feel horrible, so she would keep her around to relieve the headaches.
Bonnie Andrews
166. misfortuona
Pupxpert
I find the best place to watch for the Latest Posts section at the top left of this or any other Tor post page.

That way you can feed your twitch by keeping up with what everybody is saying and just keep an eye open when you refresh.

Mis-hoping this helps
Lsana
167. thepupxpert
Mis - thanks for the tip!
Lsana
168. Lilyan
Spoilers...How I loathe thee. I cant read TGS without reading the re-reads becuz i forgto everything. and reading the actual books is taking forever. So im stuck with spoilers :(
Lsana
169. skydyr
Blindillusion @65:

As regards the person who has been 13x13'd, wouldn't it be interesting if it were Ishy who was turned, in the AoL? He is the only one of the forsaken who doesn't have the selfish streak, and the turning could have caused his philosophical twisting. It would also explain why the DO appears so certain that he is the only proper Nae'blis.

While I'm tossing out crazy theories, wouldn't it be fun if the DO didn't actually exist as a separate entity, but WAS Ishy (whom the other forsaken describe as crazy enough to think he is the DO), and the True Power were just another power that corrupts (or even doesn't) but to which access is severely limited and tough to find? I'm certainly skeptical of the DO being anything like the characters think, though I imagine a great deal of his true nature will remain shrouded in mystery.
Tricia Irish
170. Tektonica
Hey skydyr@169:

Why don't you post this on the Open Prediction thread? You have some interesting new view points and you might get more conversation over there.
Lsana
171. yasiru89
I wish Sheriam had managed to escape. Between her and Alviarin, the recently relocated Black Ajah would not seem so stunted as they now do to me.
On Egwene, yes, she just melds into whatever role is set before her. It's rather like her presence in the space between the Tel'aran'rhiod and the waking world- she's a shapeless sort of entity and only gains substance in committing herself to some pre-established position, whether it be apprentice Wisdom, Aes Sedai in training, apprentice Wise One or struggling Amyrlin.
Lsana
172. yasiru89
On Min, I didn't realise she needed to be defended. She's of use further even, than keeping Rand grounded (and not in the way Elayne for one, might approach that, which is likely to be on the course of Aes Sedai-like guidance); she's the only one actively pursuing any hint as to how the Dark One's prison may be resealed. Even if it is the Pattern demanding them, most other characters are intent on their ambitions with little regard for this minor snag. Egwene has access to libraries second to none, and yet we've seen her do nothing to research this problem for all her talk about guiding Rand so that the Light will come out victorious in the Last Battle.
I'd say Min's visions are the least important thing about her in so much as it matters what her contributions to the struggle are.
john massey
173. subwoofer
Wow, I just noticed Aliceinwonderland's comment addressed to me...

Anyways, no I don't have any issues with Min's attraction to Rand, all I said was that most of it happened off page and I wish it happened on page like Aviendha's. With Avi, we know that something is up, we can see her struggle and her inner turmoil and we see what happens at the end when she said "no more running".

With Min, we know that through omission with Elayne that she sees herself as Rand's third lover... what we don't get to see is the relationship build. We do see Elayne do the bait and switch with Egwene, we get the impression of sneeking off into corners for canoodling with Elayne, but we are not treated to much with Min and that was what I was lamenting about. What we do see is that Min has her heart set on Rand and is honked that Rand does not look at her the same way... he doesn't see her femanine side.... and Min makes him pay for that. I guess what I was looking for is a more traditional courtship... maybe like the er.... "traditional" courtship that Mat had with Tuon. This smacks of the courtship that Mat had with Tylin, that's all I am saying, and that is my regret that Min didn't get her fairytail romance.

Wowza... I am beside myself with sap. Must be cause my anniversary was yesterday. Enjoy that fwiw.


Woof™.
Lsana
174. emmyloo03
Leigh,
I know how much you hate the spanking bits throughout the series, but IMHO they are a necessary evil. I certainly wouldn't read a book that had its male heroes (or badies) hitting a female character in any other way.

The Maidens give as good as they get so I suppose that might be a different situation, but the majority of the ladies in WOT are not fighters, even Faile to a certain extent, so its not resonable to see them locked in hand to hand combat with the guys, ala Angelina Jolie in like every movie since Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

That being said, in my experience, when a woman "thinks" she is safe from retribution in the form of a smack from a bigger, stronger dude, said woman can get a little mouthy and even violent herself towards the dude, which is just as bad, IMHO.

Spanking, while headdesky, is a resonable form of corporal punishment that carries more of a stigma of shame than actual physical trauma. Yes, you may be like Egwene and need a few pillows to sit on for a while, but you also haven't lost a tooth or cracked an orbit or busted a rib, etc...

And while I will admit it is a little (a lot) patriarchal in nature, it is definitley a reasonable alternative when the "little lady gets out of line", though I do like Perrin's "pick you up and shout in your face about love and then crush you in a bear hug" approach. Immoblization and sheer volume can work wonders, as long as there aren't any knives hidden about the person.

(Faile and Perrin's relationship always seems to remind me of my sister and her myriad boyfriends, and their DRAMA. She's one who will smack a dude first then, then look suprised when said dude doesn't take kindly to the smackage)
I mean, if a chick is going to throw a BOOT at your head, you need some way of retaliating that is not going to result in just a beat down. Maybe a time out?

Anywho, I appear to be as long-winded as you can be on occasion - not that I'm complaining by any means ;)

Thanks and keep up the good work! I love following along during my own series re-read.

Emily
William McDaniel
175. willmcd
I noted that chapter 8 begins with Egwene sitting in a chair that has "a tendency to fold on its own". This is apparently where she sits in the Amyrlin's study, so the "Amyrlin's seat" is not very stable at all, and might collapse under her at any time.

Chapter 9, by contrast, begins with her sitting in "one of the few real chairs in the camp" in her own tent. With two chapters in a row beginning with contrasting description's of Egwene's chair, I had to wonder if RJ wasn't dropping some symbolism; i.e., that by digging out Sheriam's secret about the 10 sisters sent back to the Tower, Egwene has stabilized her position as Amyrlin.

It's interesting to me that she thinks of the 10 sisters as "ferrets"; we would call them "moles". It is Egwene herself who is the ferret, getting Sheriam to admit what she doesn't want to admit.

I also noted that Egwene compares the election of an Amyrlin Seat to the election of a Mayor in Emond's Field. This ties into the idea (first pointed out to my attention by Dominic at the 13th Depository) that RJ frequently uses the Two Rivers as a microcosm for events in the larger world.

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