Jan 22 2010 1:48pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 9

Greetings and salutations, Readers of the Re-read! Welcome back.

Home computer status update: Still prostrate under evil virus onslaught. I’m having a computer-savvy friend of mine come look at it Saturday, but until that happens, I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to get a post up Monday again. I will keep y’all updated in the comments. Sorry guys, I’m doing the best I can. As a side note, people who write computer viruses need to have hot wires applied to their unmentionables, and no, I am not even slightly kidding.

Anyhoo, today’s post covers Chapters 13-14 of A Crown of Swords, in which everyone gets more than they bargained for.

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

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

And now, a post!

Chapter 13: The Bowl of the Winds



What Happens
Aviendha perches on a bench in the tiny boat cabin with Elayne, Nynaeve, and Birgitte, and tries not to think of the fact that they are surrounded on all sides by water. She can’t get over how there could be so much water, and yet none of it is fit to drink. She thinks the worst part is that she was the one who suggested this trip in the first place, and tries to distract herself by thinking of the strange but enjoyable clothes she now wore. None of the others look like they want to talk, and Aviendha notes that Elayne seems preoccupied and worried.

Two duties confronted her, and if one lay nearer her heart, she had chosen the one she considered more important, more honorable. It was her right and duty to become the chief, the queen, of Andor, but she had chosen to continue hunting. In a way, however important their search, that was like putting something before clan or society, yet Aviendha felt pride. Elayne’s view of honor was as peculiar at times as the notion of a woman being a chief, or her becoming chief just because her mother had been, but she followed it admirably.

Aviendha finds Nynaeve baffling; though brave “to the point of madness”, she moans about being a coward, and clearly displays her shame for all to see about her discomfort at being on the water. Aviendha jumps when Elayne begins to talk, and Elayne almost asks her what’s wrong before seeming to realize it would shame Aviendha. Hastily, she asks if they think Nicola and Areina could really cause Egwene any trouble, referring to the message Egwene had left them in their dreams. Aviendha opines that Egwene should get rid of them. Elayne looks shocked, but Birgitte agrees it might be a good idea; she admonishes Elayne for going all “prim and indignant in her head”, and Aviendha muses that Birgitte often slips back and forth between behaving like a Warder and like a bossy older sister. Birgitte continues that she would think the news about “Marigan” would concern them more. Nynaeve says firmly that if she comes after them, they will “settle for her” again, but then trails off unconvincingly. After more silence, Aviendha finally asks why, if their search is so important, aren’t they using every weapon at their command?

“Mat Cauthon is ta’veren, yet we work to avoid him. Why not take him with us? With him, we might find the bowl at last.”

Nynaeve exclaims that she would rather “stuff her shift full of nettles”, but Elayne tells her to be quiet, and berates herself for not thinking of that before; Birgitte suggests maybe she was too busy seeing Mat as nothing but a scoundrel, which Elayne acknowledges reluctantly. Nynaeve pleads earnestly against the notion, saying Mat will be nothing but a torment to them, trying to take charge; she thinks he would be ten times worse than Vandene, Adeleas, and Merilille combined. Birgitte is amused, and Elayne points out that he alters chance just by being there, and they could use some ta’veren luck at this point.

“Besides, we can snare two birds at once. We should not have been letting him run loose all this time, no matter how busy we were. That’s done no one any good, him least of all. He needs to be made fit for decent company. We will put him on a short rein from the start.”

Nynaeve mutters and glowers, but at length gives in tacitly by declaring that under no circumstances will she be the one to ask him. Elayne answers that Birgitte will ask him, and Birgitte jerks upright in startlement; Aviendha is surprised to note that she even looks a little afraid. Elayne assures Birgitte that he can’t possibly have recognized her, or he would have said something by now, which Aviendha does not understand. Birgitte smirks and answers that she should have known Elayne would get her back for the remark about her bottom (which Aviendha also doesn’t get), and then wonders what it is about Elayne and Nynaeve that puts Mat’s back up the way they do. She doesn’t think it’s the Aes Sedai thing, because he treated Egwene with more respect than most of the sisters do. Nynaeve only mutters that he was “born to be a trial”, and then the ship lurches to a halt and Nynaeve dashes above with a hand clapped to her mouth. As they head up to the deck behind her, Elayne pauses and suggests that Aviendha only look at the ship and not the water, but makes it sound like she’s talking about herself, and Aviendha is grateful for her near-sister’s delicacy. On deck, however, she forces herself to turn and look out at the vast bay anyway, and is almost sick herself. She mutters to Elayne that she is a fool for not listening to advice, but Elayne answers that Aviendha is braver than she; Elayne then steels herself and adds that tonight they will talk about Rand. Aviendha doesn’t quite see the connection there, but agrees, thinking that sister-wives must discuss the husband in detail if they are to manage him, after all. Nynaeve meanwhile has finished throwing up and is arguing with the sailor on the deck of the Sea Folk vessel they’ve pulled up next to, yelling that they aren’t after the gift of passage, so she doesn’t care if they refuse it to Aes Sedai. Elayne sighs and steps in, introducing herself and telling the man they must speak to the Windfinder on a matter of urgency, and they already know about Windfinders. The sailor frowns and disappears, and Nynaeve tells Elayne the woman will probably think Elayne means to tell on her; she adds that “only a ninny” thinks she can threaten people and get anywhere.

Aviendha burst out laughing. By the startled look Nynaeve gave her, she did not see the joke she had made on herself. Elayne’s lips quivered, though, however she tried to hold them. You could never be sure about wetlander humor; they found strange things funny and missed the best.

At length a rope swing of sorts is lowered down for them to be pulled up on, and Birgitte punches one of the rowers for trying to look up Elayne’s skirts as she is hoisted up. Aviendha solves this problem by hurling her belt knife over their heads; they hit the deck, and definitely do not look up, and Aviendha congratulates herself on figuring out wetlander customs more every day. Up on deck, she gapes at the Sea Folk’s appearance, particularly their jewelry. A woman with more jewelry and silk than most comes up and introduces herself as Malin din Toral Breaking Wave, Wavemistress of Clan Somarin and Sailmistress of Windrunner, and asks them resignedly to the cabin; Aviendha comes to near panic at the unbroken vista of open water the cabin windows show. An old man with a sword is in the cabin, along with a woman who Aviendha senses can channel, and infers must be the Windfinder, and another older woman with twice as much jewelry as anyone else, whom Aviendha immediately pegs as the one in charge. The old woman rises and inspects Nynaeve and Elayne rudely, and then Birgitte. She says to Birgitte that she is not Aes Sedai; Birgitte replies she is not, “by the nine winds and Stormbringer’s beard”, which makes the woman jump and stare before she turns to Aviendha and makes the same observation. Aviendha introduces herself by sept and clan, which surprises the woman even more; she comments that Aviendha is not dressed as she would expect before introducing herself as Nesta din Reas Two Moons, Mistress of the Ships to the Atha’an Miere, and demanding to know how they know about the Windfinders.

Nynaeve had been working on a scowl since the woman first looked at her, and now she snapped, “Aes Sedai know what they know. And we expect more in the way of manners than I’ve seen so far! I certainly saw more the last time I was on a Sea Folk ship. Maybe we should find another, where the people don’t all have sore teeth.”

Elayne again steps in, greeting Nesta politely and asking forgiveness for any offense, and then introduces them all, seeming taken aback at the sniffs from the Sea Folk on learning their Ajahs. Elayne continues that they have come for two reasons: one, to learn how the Sea Folk intend to help Rand al’Thor, who they call the Coramoor, and two, to request help from the Windfinder, whose name she doesn’t know. The Windfinder blushes and introduces herself as Dorile din Eiran Long Feather, and Malin also looks embarrassed and welcomes them formally to her ship. Nesta, on the other hand, is not embarrassed at all, but informs them curtly that the Coramoor is their business, and none of the shorebound’s. Then she demands of Nynaeve (calling her “girl”) to tell which ship gave them the gift of passage; Nynaeve grips her braid and replies with false lightness that she cannot recall. Then the old man (Baroc) speaks up, telling Nesta that “a split sail is split”, and that perhaps it would be of use to know why Aes Sedai ask their aid, if they are truly Aes Sedai; Aviendha notes he speaks to Nesta as an equal. The Windfinder answers him that Elayne and Nynaeve can channel, as well as Aviendha, and that all three are stronger than anyone she’s ever seen. She thinks they must be what they say they are, but Nesta counters that Aes Sedai never ask aid of anyone. She asks Elayne what they want, but addresses her as “Daughter-Heir of Andor”, rejecting the Aes Sedai titles. Nynaeve gathers herself to explode, but Elayne stops her with a hand on her arm, although Aviendha can tell Elayne is furious herself, mostly because of Birgitte’s reaction. Aviendha decides she will kill the Windfinder first if it comes to fighting, but then Elayne tells them that they are seeking a ter’angreal that they think can fix the weather, but they believe that in order to use it, they will need a number of channelers, maybe a full circle of thirteen. As no living Aes Sedai knows as much about working weather as the Windfinders, Elayne thinks Windfinders should be in this number. After a moment of silence, Dorile asks her to describe the ter’angreal, and when she does so, excitedly tells Nesta that it must be the Bowl of the Winds; she and Malin grow very excited, saying it must be because of the Coramoor’s coming that it would be found after two thousand years, until Nesta calls them to order sharply. She sends Baroc to summon the other Wavemistresses in port, as well as the First Twelve, and to send down tea, as she thinks working out the terms of this bargain will be “thirsty” work. The Sea Folk quickly split them up; Nesta sits down with Elayne and Nynaeve, Malin pins down Birgitte, and the Windfinder Dorile begins interrogating Aviendha:

“I have read of the Aiel. If it pleases you, tell me, if an Aiel woman must kill a man every day, how are there any men left among you?”

Aviendha did her best not to stare. How could the woman believe such nonsense?

Birgitte looks like she wants to run from Malin, and Aviendha overhears snatches of Nesta’s bulldozing; Elayne and Nynaeve came to them, not the other way around, she says, and that sets the basis for the bargain. Baroc soon rejoins them, saying that the boat they had arrived on has left but there are plenty of rowboats on board which can take them back. Joining Nesta, he opines in disbelief that of course the bargain will favor the Sea Folk, as “Who asks must of course pay highest.” Aviendha goes pale as she realizes that not only was it her suggestion that landed them in this predicament, but that now she would have to recross seven miles of water in an open boat.

“Do you have a bucket?” she asked the Windfinder faintly.

Haggling, I think, is something of a lost art in the U.S., at least in terms of direct seller-to-buyer transactions. It survives here and there in non-corporate situations (especially in New York, city of a million sidewalk bilkers hawkers), but you’re just never going to see anyone trying to talk five dollars off a pair of Gap jeans, if you see what I’m saying. Well, you might see it, but you won’t see it succeeding, is what I’m saying.

I’m overgeneralizing, and I’m sure the commenters can come up with a million examples of how I’m wrong (hell, I can come up with contradictory anecdotes my own self), but I’m not trying to say that no one haggles anymore in America; I’m more trying to say the sense of it, as an expected and legitimate way of conducting business, is gone.

The Art of The Deal is the exception nowadays, rather than the rule, and as a result most people don’t have the first clue how to haggle. This is why buying a car–one of the last bastions of corporate-endorsed retail haggling–is a traumatic experience for so many people.

(I know for a damn fact, for example, that I suck at haggling. This vaguely worries me, in the same self-consciously absurd way that it worries me that I’m near-blind without contacts. Because, you know, should the inevitable zombie apocalypse/collapse of civilization/trapped in a sunken submarine/sucked into a parallel medievalish dimension event ever occur, these are just a few of the many factors that will guarantee my total screwage re: survival.

(Okay, my lack of haggle-fu would probably not apply to the submarine thing – but the contacts definitely would. (As a point of interest, it is not possible to swim underwater with your eyes open while wearing contacts – at least not if you want to keep them. This is the sort of thing that is obvious in retrospect, but not when you are, say, a newly-contacted eleven-year-old who just wants to get in the damn pool already. See?! (No, actually. Which is the POINT: Me + contacts + sunken submarine = SCREWED, is what I’m saying. (Nested parentheses FTW!)))))

And, um, yeah. This is what comes of reading too much sf, y’all. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED–oh, wait, you’re reading this blog. YOU HAVE BEEN ASSIMILATED. RESISTANCE WAS FUTILE, SUCKA.

(God, I’m such a geek sometimes.)

I sense I may have digressed. What was I talking about? Oh yes, haggling. And I should probably mention the Wheel of Time at some point!

Like I was saying, haggling is something your average present-day person (in the United States, I don’t presume to assume for other nationalities) finds rather unorthodox and even off-putting, which I suppose is part of why this whole Sea Folk Bargain Thing left such a bad taste in my mouth.

Another part of it is simple partisanship; these are MY Supergirls, how dare you thwart them! Or worse, make them look like fools; my dislike of the latter being rather amplified by the knowledge that I and my lack of bargaining know-how would look just as foolish in the same situation. Nobody likes to be made to feel stupid, even by proxy.

But the biggest “blech”-inducing factor in this is what the Sea Folk are actually haggling about. I’m not sure if Jordan actually intended for them to come off as the biggest assholes ever, but bargaining for political gain over the matter of making sure the world doesn’t starve to death strikes me as being a perfect way to convey the impression. Seriously, Machievelli’s ghost is over here being all, “Damn, y’all, that is cold.”

And hence was born my opinion of the Sea Folk as being the least likeable culture in all of WOT–an opinion which to date has had basically zero incentive to change, either. I do not like them, Sam I Am!

It doesn’t help that also to date, other than the Bowl of the Winds thing (and maybe blowing up some Seanchan ships in Ebou Dar), the Sea Folk have been essentially useless to anyone. Rand was still arguing with them in TGS over why they haven’t done anything he asked them to, and we won’t even speak of the obstacle course-imitation retardedness they’ve been pulling in Caemlyn over the last few books. Useless, I say! Gah.

Besides initiating my hate-on for the Sea Folk, this chapter is also notable for being (to my knowledge) the first time we get a POV from Aviendha. I think it’s rather curious that we had to wait this long for one, actually, seeing as she’s been a central character since TSR.

I seem to recall, in fact, that I had a small looney theory prior to reading ACOS that Aviendha’s lack of POVs meant that she was actually going to get killed off at some point. And though I have bemoaned before (and will again) the dearth of major character deaths in WOT, I do have to say I’m rather glad that that turned out not to be the case (at least thus far), because I like Aviendha a lot.

Her POV here highlighted her amusing and pleasingly believable blend of cultural naivete with sharply observant deductions about her companions. Her thoughts about Nynaeve in particular were rather hilariously on point. Plus, I am always a sucker for POVs of Our Heroes from alternate/outsider points of view; that Aviendha manages to simultaneously fill the role of Hero AND outsider is one of the most interesting aspects of her character.

Not to mention, she gets points for being the only one of the Supergirls thus far to even attempt to view Mat objectively. Speaking of which, let’s go see Mat!

Chapter 14: White Plumes

What Happens
Mat thinks that the Silver Circuit is rather grandly named for being a grimy racetrack, though nobles are in just as heavy attendance as commoners for all they are separated by ropes and guards; he knows, though, that fortunes change hands regularly here, and even lives. Mat raises his hand and a booker comes over, murmuring a ritual phrase that Mat thinks he is probably the only one who remembers the origin of. He notes that Wind, Olver’s mount, is only listed as the third favorite in the odds, and tells Nalesean to put it all on Wind. Nalesean is hesitant at the risk, opining that two other horses in the race look very good, but Mat dismisses them out of hand, thinking that knowledge of horses is at least one thing he learned on his own, from his father. The booker is taken aback at the large sum Nalesean produces, but takes the bet, before casually slapping her assistant for making eyes at Mat and leaving. Nalesean hopes Mat’s luck is in, as the seamstress he’s got his eye on won’t be “friendly” if he can’t afford to make her smile. Mat tells him absently that he’ll make her “laugh till she can’t stand up”, thinking that gold is never his worry; Olver is, since if the boy gets hurt he’ll never hear the end of it from Elayne, Nynaeve, Setalle, and especially Birgitte and Aviendha, as the latter two had already tried to move Olver out of the inn to the Palace behind his back. Mat curses Nalesean again mentally for getting Olver involved in racing in the first place. Nalesean sneers as he notices Juilin approaching; they are both Tairen, but Mat knows there is little love lost between noble and commoner in Tear.

“Well?” Mat said sourly, tugging his hat low, once the thief-catcher reached him. “No, let me tell you. They slipped out of the palace again. No one saw them go, again. Nobody has any bloody idea where they are, again.”

Juilin, however, tells him that the four women took a boat from the river landing, and Thom hired another to see where they are going. Mat thinks of his promises, and of Elayne et al’s failure to even tell him why they are here in Ebou Dar, and growls aloud that he will see them safe if he has to “stuff them into barrels and haul them to Caemlyn in a cart”. Apropos of nothing, Juilin comments that Tarabon must be a terrible place for a woman not used to taking care of herself right now; Mat tells him they have plenty enough problems with women right here, and sends him back to the docks to wait for Thom, as Mat wants to know what those “fool bloody women” are up to. Juilin gives him a sardonic look and leaves. Mat gazes over the crowd, noting a white-haired old man and a “fox-faced” noblewoman with excessive plumes on her hat, among others, as he thinks about the women. He thinks Rand had “jumped into a bear pit” letting Aviendha and Elayne come together, with them both mooning over Rand the way they do; Mat cannot figure out why that hasn’t blown up already. For some reason he notes the fox-faced woman again, and wonders why she makes him think of straw. He thinks that Birgitte and Aviendha can take care of themselves, and normally he would say the same of Elayne and Nynaeve, but the fact that they’ve been sneaking out the way they’ve been doing means that even they think whatever they’re doing is dangerous, which to Mat indicates that it’s really dangerous. He sees the noblewoman again, and thinks, not straw, a stable. And a knife, and fire. He shakes his head.

Other men’s memories, of battles and courts and lands vanished centuries ago, filled holes in his own, places where his own life suddenly went thin or was not there at all. He could remember fleeing the Two Rivers with Moiraine and Lan quite clearly for example, but almost nothing more until reaching Caemlyn, and there were gaps before and after, as well. If whole years of his own growing up lay beyond recall, why should he expect to recollect every woman he had met? Maybe she reminded him of some woman dead a thousand years or more; the Light knew that happened often enough. Even Birgitte sometimes tickled his memory.

Nalesean observes, fretting, that the race is beginning, and Mat tells him to relax. Wind breaks early from the pack, but Mat is distracted from the race as he catches sight of the plumed hat again, and suddenly remembers where he had seen the woman: she was the Darkfriend who had tried to kill Mat and Rand in a stable on the way to Caemlyn, with a knife that charred wood and boiled water; Mat had almost slit her throat with the Shadar Logoth dagger. He shivers, and puts no odds on her just happening to be in Ebou Dar at the same time as he. Nalesean pounds his back in excitement, breaking his reverie, as Olver wins the race by four lengths. Mat, eyes on the Darkfriend, tells Nalesean to collect their winnings and Olver and meet him back at the inn.

“Where are you going?”

“I saw a woman who tried to kill me,” Mat said over his shoulder.

“Give her a trinket next time,” Nalesean shouted after him.

Mat follows the plumed hat back into the city and the throng of refugees crowding the streets, to one of the many canal bridges, this one large enough to support shops along the sides. The Darkfriend stops at one, and Mat hastily turns aside to the shop next to him to avoid being seen. The proprietor asks if my Lord wishes to see a signet ring, and Mat, his attention on the woman, points to one at random. He slips it on, only noting it is a dark oval, and tries to decide if it would be worth it to denounce the woman to the Civil Guard, but thinks the Guard is too corrupt to do him much good. A Whitecloak walks by, the crowd making way for him, and Mat notes that the Darkfriend smiles at him before turning to go. Mat tries to take off the ring, but suddenly it won’t budge; in his haste not to lose the woman, he snaps at the shopkeeper that he’ll take it, and throws far too much money on the table before hurrying off. Once away from the shop, the ring comes off easily, and Mat stuffs it in his pocket. He continues following the woman, losing her periodically and picking her up again in the crowd, and finally sees her entering a small palace where she is clearly known to the doorman. He stares at the place for a while, and wonders aloud to himself who lives there.

Someone said, “Carridin.” It was a scrawny, white-haired fellow lounging nearby in the shade. Mat looked at him questioningly, and he grinned, showing gaps in his teeth. His stooped shoulders and sad weathered face did not fit his fine gray coat. Despite a bit of lace at his neck, he was the very picture of hard times. “You asked who lived there. The Chelsaine Palace is let to Jaichim Carridin.”

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

Turning his hat in his hands, he frowned uneasily at the palace. The Mire never held a bog like this one. He could feel the dice tumbling in his head suddenly, and that was always a bad sign.

These two chapters are actually something of a piece, in that they both involve bargaining–or the lack thereof, as the case may be. I don’t know, they’re both very much about business transactions. (And I definitely include playing the ponies in that category; it doesn’t have to be smart business to still be business.) I don't really have any deep observation to draw from that, it was just something I noticed. Hey, I can't be profound all the time.

I’d really hate to think time can corrupt one’s pleasure in a thing, but, well, sometimes it does. At the time I first read ACOS, Mat was by far and away my favorite character in the series, and I just grinned and snickered my way through his every POV. As this is the first of his POV chapters in the book, I remember mentally cheering when I arrived at it, all Yay, Mat!

And now, well. I still snicker (the exchange between Mat and Nalesean as he heads off to follow Shiaine proves that sometimes old jokes are still the funniest ones), and I still enjoy him as a character, but I dunno, it’s just not the same as it used to be. I’m having a hard time pinpointing exactly why.

Maybe I’ve just read the series too many times. Maybe I’m getting old and decrepit and cynical. Or maybe I’m just having an off day, who knows. Now get off my lawn!

I do remember being a lot more firmly on Mat’s side in the Mat vs. Supergirls showdown in ACOS the first time around, and that is… no longer quite so much the case. Which is to say, I still think Nynaeve and Elayne are still being prejudiced and unreasonable about him, but this time around I’m seeing a lot more of the ways in which Mat is guilty of the exact same thing. The problem on both sides, of course, is that they are all just enough right about each other to make it possible for everyone to ignore the parts where they are dead wrong, and stalemate ensues. At least until one party member switches sides…

Anyway. Lots of new stuff introduced in this chapter, most notably Mat’s Fateful Ring of Impending Princeliness, and Old Barrel Guy, aka Noal Charin, aka Jain Farstrider. Though of course we don’t find out about the “aka”s for a while, and in fact the last one has still not been 100% confirmed in the text, though it’s completely bleeding obvious by inference.

And now I’m having a little moment of fond nostalgia, remembering the endless arguments on the newsgroup over whether Old Barrel Guy was (a) Jain Farstrider, (b) Graendal’s Old Man (who Sammael glimpses in her palace in TFOH), (c) Geofram Bornhald (of all people), or (d) some combination of the above. (It’s (a), by the way; Graendal’s old man is almost certainly Alsalam, the former king of Arad Doman, and supposing this guy is Geofram was just silly even before we found out more about him.)

I do give us fans props for all immediately leaping on both the Jain Farstrider thing and on the Fatefulness of the signet ring (even though we didn’t of course yet know what it was Fateful for). I mean, okay, maybe the ring thing is a gimme, but at least it shows we’ve all done our Fantasy Tropes homework!

We also have some old stuff reintroduced as new, like Plumed Darkfriend Woman, aka Shiaine, in a classic demonstration of the Law of Character Conservation, as she’s the second (or maybe third) Random Speaking Role Darkfriend from TEOTW to pop up again later. And one of the few, if not only, RSRDFs still alive and kicking as of TGS, at least as far as we have been told. .So... yay, I guess?

And… that’s all I have to say about that. Thbbt! Have a lovely weekend, chillen. I will keep you in the loop on the next post. Mwah!

Jeff Weston
1. JWezy
As a professional computer programmer, I could not agree with you more, Leigh. Balefire's too good for people who have nothing better to do with their talents than mess up other people's lives.

Edit: Can I just say this is the first time I have been first?

"No, I'm sorry, I'm afraid there isn't time."
Bonnie Andrews
2. misfortuona
Yeah Patience has paid off!!!
Thanks Leigh. Now to read it.

3. J.Dauro

As always entertaining and thought-provoking. You are not the only one who has no haggle-fu chops.

And I will be glad to sit on them while you apply the red hot wires.

"Give her a trinket next time." cracks me up every time. There are just some bits of RJ's dialog that I would love to emulate in RL.
Marcus W
4. toryx
I think it's true that repeated re-reads can color or taint the enjoyment of the first time. My opinion of Mat hasn't changed but my feeling for the women certainly has. I find all the back and forth, "I'm a coward," "No you're the bravest woman I've ever known," to be so tedius that I just want to dump the whole lot of them out of the boat.

I also was thinking as I was reading this post that as hard as I try to comprehend the terror that Aviendha feels at being surrounded by water, I just can't. For whatever reason, I've never been so insulated from an experience that being exposed to it is terrifying for me.

This bothers me because it leaves me wondering if Aviendha's reaction is really that honest or overdone. Which is another aspect of re-reading this series so much. The more books I read and the more authors I discover and respect, the more critical I become of some of those I've enjoyed and respected in the past.

Which, in the end, makes this comment much ado about nothing.
Brett Michie
5. bchurch
Thanks Leigh! And I also agree that torture, painful torture, for all virus programmers is desperately needed.

I love the haggling in WoT. The scene when Mat buys Akein for Tuon in KoD is one of my favorites for some reason. Dunno why, but it ranks up there along side Perrin's smithy work from TDR as a cool example of our heroes' slice of life.
6. J.Dauro

You should be glad that you cannot understand Avi's terror. That is a good thing.

But I would not say it is overdone. I would have to say I have a similar feeling for heights. Exposure to a specific situation can acclimate me to that instance, but the terror/fear is there anytime I start a new situation. I have seen similar reactions in others.
7. Joebuu
Aviendha did have a small POV tacked onto the end of a chapter in Lord of Chaos but this was her first dedicated chapter I think.

Good luck on the computer repairs.
James Jones
8. jamesedjones
I always thought the old guy on the barrel was Cully (I think), the old DF that Shiaine mentions with Carridin.

Edit: Old Cully, not Scully. Sorry.
Bonnie Andrews
9. misfortuona
Any chapter with Mat is a good chapter:D

Okay I have to agree with Leigh that Mat's awesomeness deteriorated a little after the first couple of reads. I think is a combination between the growing competence of the SG and exposure to Mat's own endearingly annoying habits.

Yes I said it, Mat has some problems. The biggest one in my book is that the man is absolutely oblivious to his own faults. He knows he’s a womanizer, but he doesn’t seem to notice that he’s ALWAYS on. I’ve actually groaned a time or two when he’s mused over which Uncle is having a bad influence on Olver this time.

He also likes to whine about his mistreatment at the hands of women, and yet when all is said and done he doesn’t care at all. “Oh that, it was nothing.” And not a clue what it’s cost the woman to thank him or apologize.

And yet these very annoyances are part of the reason that I still heart Mat. Totally illogical? Probably, but what can I say. I love the rogue.

I agree with JDauro. Phobia's are absolutly real, and paralyzing. I have seen men and women who otherwise seem absolutly fearless, Jump out of a perfectly good airplane kind of fearless, and yet the thought of being over deep water or the sight of a snake will turn them into a terrified sweating mess.

Avi's fear is more a matter of insulation, but I think it's fair to compare that emotion to phobias. The only difference is that she has a greater chance of overcoming it.

Jeff Weston
10. JWezy
misfortuona@9: I think the reason Mat "dismisses" the thanks is because of his long-standing denial of his essential goodness. He is actually embarrassed by the thanks, because accepting it would force him to acknowledge that he had done something awesome.

Who among us hasn't said "it was nothing" to someone's thanks? It really isn't meant to dismiss the speaker, it is more in the sense of "you have no toh toward me". Which we accept as a wonderful thing for someone to say. I'm not sure what the difference is, frankly.

And don't call me Frank.
James Jones
10. jamesedjones
9 misfortuona
He also likes to whine about his mistreatment at the hands of women, and yet when all is said and done he doesn’t care at all. “Oh that, it was nothing.” And not a clue what it’s cost the woman to thank him or apologize.
It's a typical guy response. Any other guy will realize that the meaning behind it is that the apology has been acknowledged and accepted, and the offense is thereby removed. It in no way is intended to imply that the apology was nothing or not appreciated.

It's just a respectful response to the humility of the other individual. Another example is when someone asks you to forget that they said or did something, and you respond, "Forget what?" to recognize that the request has been received and processed.
Jeff Weston
11. JWezy
jej@10: What it comes to is exactly what MJ was driving at - that men and women process the same scene differently.

Presuming, of course, that I interpret the "miss" and "-a" to indicate the female. If not, then let's assume that I didn't post anything here at all.
Roger Powell
12. forkroot
Fully granting that the Sea Folk are annoying, it should be noted that the Windfinders were essential in Elayne's rescue after the botched BA raid in Camelyn. So they proved useful for more than just the use of the Bowl.
13. mazza3
personally, i still do not think the barrel man is noal; mat would've recognized him when he saved his life later. i think it was old sully, the ringleader of the darkfriends in the city. he was watching shiaine for his own reasons and may have tried to slip suspicion onto carridin for his own reasons as well. why would noal try to identify carridin to mat? also, iirc, noal is described as having grey hair, not white. he is also not described as being scrawny or havign gapped teeth.
Sean Banawnie
14. Seanie
Sea Folk. Annoying.
(although they do give Lan a little marriage help...)
And they do set up Mat's MOA when he makes the Windfinders follow the SG to the Kin farm.
Antihero role...I like the contrast between the SG's clueless haggling versus Mat's sharpness.
Give your hard drive hugs and kisses from the faithful. Good stuff Leigh . Even if a little wandering...aftereffect of compulsion ,probably.

Peace favor your mouse.
Richard Boye
15. sarcastro

Sea Folk - Selfishness Ahoy!

Indeed, I concur that the Sea Folk are pretty much a huge gaggle of annoyances and obstructionists.

I initially liked how they were cool and exotic and mysterious. The idea that they had been, for centuries(!) purposefully sending a few weaklings off to Tar Valon as away of of a) reserving their strongest channelers for themselves and b) thwarting Aes Sedai curiosity, was definitely among RJ most clever ideas.

Jorin and Coine, were, as far as I can tell, the most decent SF we ever meet. Well, maybe Talaan, but only because she is being used like a tool and our sympathies are drawn to her.

However, as a culture they suck. There is this incident where they haggle for political plot tokens against Global Death and Drought. Later on, they balk the idea of being used for purely humanitarian purposes (feeding Arad Doman, IIRC) and exact territorial and trade concessions.

I know, people are saying (or will say) that they aren't as aggressive as the Seachan and certainly they lack their shall we say, less than enlightened views of human rights, nor as they as arbitrarily arcane and culturally fatalistic as the Aiel, but they are selfish, selfish, selfish. They are a loathesome society.

They are also rude, narrow-minded and self-centered, as well as disrepectful of others in ways that are so bad they actually set them apart IN THIS SERIES, and that's really saying something.

And, while we are here, this is going to come of as slightly rambling, but I think that around this point, RJ was scraping the bottom of the barrel with ideas on how to structure these new and exciting cultures with weird little attributes. Okay fine, they have really regimented gender roles - that kinda defy *our* cultural expectations; with one humongo exception, the military aspect is still solidly a male province (as a an authorial constant on the part of RJ), and sure, I get the whole rank as signified by piercings, jewelry and the style of knot on your obi, but the actual governing organs seem (too put a kindly) obviously invented and not all something that would be feasible or organically developed over time. I get that it is arguably a seniority based democratic system, but it is a little silly. And I wish that he had simply invented terms (using the Old Tongue) for their ranks and offices. Mistress of the Ships is a clumsy title. Something like A'miere Cor'rien or something would have seemed more, I dunno natural.

Aviendha's POV

They other thing that I enjoyed about this chapter is seeing - yet again- the Nynaeve and Elayne Show: Featuring The Queen's Honey and the Ox-Driver's Stick. It was neat to see them both from an outside perspective. In previous episodes we see it from Elayne's POV, exasperated and slightly mortified at how rude and brash Nynaeve is, and from Nynaeve's POV, scoffing at how dainty, spendthrift and wishy-washy Elayne can be. Seeing them both through a neutral perspective is cool - they are all of those things, but less cartoonishly as they seem to each other.

And as always, Birgitte rules.

More on Mat's segment later, but suffice to say for now, I totally want a Fateful Ring of Impending Princeliness.(I want a FROIP of my very own!)
16. Lost in my own mind
I have to agree about the sea folk, I can't stand them. I groan every time I come to one of their sections in the books.
James Jones
17. jamesedjones
11 JWezy

I'd have to agree... I think. Who is MJ, again?
Bonnie Andrews
18. misfortuona
Oh yeah the Sea Folk. Do you suppose they will ever get a MOA? I can't see it personally, because you can bet that if they do something amazing they'll spoil the whole thing by trying to weazle out a proper reward.
Do you suppose RJ was playing with the idea of what might happen if pirates formed thier own society. You know more than just a 'set of guidlines'

19. Freelancer
Hey Leigh! Sorry your 'pooter is still on the fritz. Isn't it great though to have a friend who can deal with such things?

I grew up as most Americans, with no sense of "the art of the deal". Navy port visits to places like Mombasa, Olongapo, Seoul, Pusan, Hong Kong, and Signapore provide a master's course in haggling which everyone should experience. When it gets down to whether you are paying 2 or 3 pairs of white crew socks for a set of carved onyx giraffes, you know you're starting to get the hang of the game.

Yet you definitely captured my feeling during the Sea Folk "bargain" sessions, our heroines are badly outmatched and unprepared. Here is a place where I blame Moiraine. She first sent them to the Sea Folk, mostly just to confirm her own theory that they had channelers, and didn't provide them the background to deal with them on a reasonably level playing field. For all I love Moiraine, she was a master manipulator, and the primary source of information non-sharage whining on my part.

TGIF, and the end of a very good week in general. The Teddy Kennedy dynasty has come to a close; Free Speech was restored; Air America was taken off life-support.


I see what you did there. Stick to the code.
Lannis .
20. Lannis
Sitting right beside you in the "Sea Folk as being the least likable culture in all of WOT" camp, Leigh.

I appreciate Aviendha's POV for chapter 14, as I think it would be extremely dull if dictated through anyone else... as it stands, it kind of reads like a bad comedy sketch... picturing the Supergirls' reactions to the Sea Folk and the Sea Folk's reactions in turn make me think that the Supergirls have NO poker face to speak of, and are behaving like true amateurs, when they're trying to pass themselves off as Aes Sedai. Nice Fail, ladies...

Oh, and I have to admit, that despite Aviendha's seasickness, on first read I totally read it all as first trimester pregnancy ugly...

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Hope to see you Monday... keep us posted! Ha!
Bill Stusser
21. billiam
If the sea folk do end up having a MOA, I hope it will have something to do with the windfinders that Matt helps escape from the seanchan later.
Hopefully something good will come from that at least.
22. Adam E.
Hell yes, the Sea Folk are far and away the most annoying people in the whole series! I cannot stand them. In the Shadow Rising, they were neat and all but, ever since their "bargain" with Elayne and Nynaeve, I have utterly despised them. Can never remember their names, either.
Ron Garrison
23. Man-0-Manetheran
OK, best haggling anecdote: I was in Bali and there was this 7 year old American kid traveling with his single mom. He spoke fluent Balinese after only a few months, and he haggled for us in a marketplace. He did the overly dramatic “you’re killin’ me here” routine, and had the whole marketplace in fits of laughter. It was theatre, commerce and a great joy. And, of course, it worked. If you invest in the process instead of the outcome, you will discover that it not only works but it's a great game.

WOT (ain’t digression great?): One of the most satisfying things for me in these chapters is Elayne beginning to understand toh. But the most satisfying thing is that they finally begin to appreciate Mat. Yea, Avienda! BUT just when I’m about to say “you go girls!”, they backtrack (in the spirit of contemporary "bipartisanship") and agree to also “put him on a short rein from the start.” Grrrrrrr.

On the other hand, here begins some of the funniest stuff in all the WOT!
Birgit F
24. birgit
At first I found it funny how the Sea Folk treated the AS, who thought they were superior to everybody, but later it was overdone and now I hate them too.
Why do we never see Sea Folk children? They should be living on the ships. In this chapter they might simply be out of sight, but when the girls travel with the Sea Folk for several days, they should have noticed some children.
25. Cadsuwallop
Don't give up on the Sea Folk having their own personal MOA. After all, Han Solo demanded a reward for rescuing a certain princess from the clutches of the big evil. He came around so maybe there is trope-hope for the SF as well.
Richard Boye
26. sarcastro

"Why do we never see Sea Folk children?

They probably sell them at a good mark-up over in Shara.
Brian Vrolyk
27. vyskol
My wife eagerly awaits the beginning of spring so she can resume her bargain-hunting forays through the local garage sales. What she ends up buying matters so much less than the deal she can haggle out of the former owner. Every single weekend she comes home with a van full of "stuff" and regales me with tales of how much she was able to talk down the seller.

Whenever we go on vacation to the Dominican Republic, I'm always sure to take her along on any shopping forays as I will inevitably end up paying at least 3 times as much as her for any given item.

Birgitte is as awesome as ever, and becomes more so after she befriends Matt. Aviendha started as almost awesome, become awesome, but is a little less so by TGS. Hopefully she regains her full awesomeness after her vision quest/walkabout.

And yes, unfortunately, Mat's roguish charms do slightly thin through rereads, but he does remain.. awesome. :)

Took me forever to realize the old man was Jain Farstrider. In fact, I think I had to be told point blank by some other person before the light bulb over my head finally turned on.
Tricia Irish
29. Tektonica
Hi leigh! Thanks for posting under adverse circumstances. We could've really gone off the rails, if you hadn't rescued us....major props and good luck!

I can't haggle either...makes me squirm. Just give me the bottom line. I've traveled to a few cultures where it is expected, and I'm useless. So embarrassing, as I think I'm pretty competent at most things.

I have only experienced "terror" like what Aviendha must feel in one circumstance in my life. (Lucky me.) My husband took me skiing on our honeymoon, and I, being a flatlander, had never skied. Of course I wanted to love it, because he did, but when I got to the top of the mountain, I was convinced I was going to fly right over the edge and die. I had absolutely no control over those sticks. I did make it down, obviously, but even my knees were sweating. Awful. Terror. So, yeah, I get it. It does exist. (Luckily, my husband is a kind, patient man....and we were newlyweds....)
True confessions day.

Ah, to WOT.......The Sea Folk are a true trial. Yes, they were good with the Bowl and they helped with gateways in Camaelyn, but not happily or even readily. They are bullies.

And Mat! Still love Mat. I'm with you Misfortuona....join the Band of the Red Hand Fan club, headed by M-O-M. I still think the girls treat him far worse than he deserves. Yes, he is always on and a rogue, but he is a respectful rogue and never pushes himself on anyone. Well, you know, I love him.

Thought the Nyn/Elayne, bad cop/good cop thing was very funny. I really didn't like Nynaeve at this point, but now I think she's funny. You guys have definitely helped me understand her better. Thank you.
Richard Fife
30. R.Fife
The Old Man:
I use to be with JEJ@8 and Mazza3@13, and think it was the near toothless beggar DF that lead the local DFs. But,
"Not many survive a visit there," the old man said, peering at him. His weathered face looked familiar, somehow, but Mat could not place him.
The old man shrugged. "I'm not certain anyone out there understood what I was shouting. It's hard enough understanding them. ANyway, I thought it might scare off the fellow. Seeing that, thought . . . " Gesturing toward the hole in the wall, he laughed mirthlessly, showing gaps in his teeth. "I think maybe you and I both have the Dark One's own luck."
. Both are from Winter Heart, Chaper 16. I guess I'll just say "d'oh, didn't catch it". Kinda like it took me a couple rereads to actually notice Breane from TGH as Lamgwin's gal.

On "It was nothing":
Also remember the girls appear out of nowhere, are kinda pulling their own teeth to say this, and Mat is nursing one heck of a hangover at the time. Honestly, I don't think he really had a clear idea of what was going on, and the "it was nothing" was him just trying to get them to go away so he could go back to nursing his head.

Sea Folk: The Sea Folk are quite the stereotypical penny-pinchers, but I fully agree they are the worst lot of the "I refuse to see your side of things." But, to the haggling, I really fault Nynaeve et al on getting the short end of the stick there. They Sea Folk very clearly saw that no matter what, they were going to be fixing the weather with the bowl, they just wanted to sweeten the deal. If the Supergirls would have just let them stew and held onto the concept of Aes Sedai mysticism in the "Oh, we just thought you'd like to help, but if not, fine, we'll make due," perhaps that hideous deal wouldn't have come off. What bugs me the most about the SF is how of all the cultures so far, I think they are the ones that are the most rude when in the other culture's home ground. Aiel, while disparaging of wetlanders, still try to be polite (cept to treekillers, but with good reason there). The Seanchan used to tie with the Sea Folk on that, but Tuon has shown that she can bend her neck a little and accept foreign requirements thanks to her time with Setalle Anan and Mat.

And Birgit@24: I think the kids for the most part stick with the clan in daycare/forced labor building ships on the Islands.
31. Alfvaen
Lannis@20: How could Aviendha _possibly_ have been pregnant in this chapter? I mean, she only spent one night with Rand, and even in books _nobody_ ever conceives after only one night, do they? (Hmmm...though there'd be a TV Trope for this one, but nothing seems to quite fit.)
Tricia Irish
32. Tektonica

::waves:: Where've you been. Time to Strike up the BotRH!

Invest in the process instead of the outcome. Brilliant! Thank you!
That will definitely help me.
Jeff Weston
33. JWezy
jamesedjones@17 - Why, MJ is Mobert Jordan, of course!

That is, for those of us who are unable to proofread our writing...
34. Dholton
@15 and Sea Folk in general

While I agree that the Sea Folk are truly obnoxious in their arrogance, and I just really don't like them, I have to disagree with you saying theirs is not a logically derived culture.

The Sea Folk are a maritime culture, living on their ships. This requires strict discipline from all on the ships, that orders be followed, and there be a clear chain of command, as life on the sea is dangerous. This explains the extreme rank conciousnous and rigidity of their culture. On the flip side, it seems that within those limits they are a true meritocracy, with anyone able to rise to the level of his/her (in)competance. What drives their arrogance, and drives me nuts is their complete inability to recognize and accomodate other cultures' laws and customs, an odd thing for a trader culture.

Compare this say, to the Free Traders in Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy. They also are an insular "maritime" culture, and arrogant to outsiders, but also study and honor the customs of their trading partners, as being polite is good business.

re haggling

As someone who worked in customer service a lot, I often found myself getting in a lot of wrangling matches with Indian, Arabic, or other Eastern or MidEastern customers. I even found myself wondering if I were prejudiced in some way, it seemed to happen so consistently. Then I realized that they were all from cultures where haggling is an artform. Rather than accepting the word "no", they merely took it as a beginning bargaining position. Which made it no less annoying from a Western perspective, but at least I understood where they were coming from.

We're coming up on one of my favorite scenes in all of WOTdom, when the SG's try to apolog...apol...gaah! to Mat. I can hardly wait.:-)
Ron Garrison
35. Man-0-Manetheran
Atha'an Miere - In the ancient tongue: "All about ME."
- like any organization with a near-monopoly.

Hey Tek! ::wave back:: It's just a rewrite of Ghandi: "There are no Ends, only Means."

Tai'Shar Manetheren
36. Lsana
On haggling:

I'm like most Americans and avoid it like the plague. However, I have read that in cultures where haggling is common, not haggling is considered not just stupid but rude: by not haggling, you are saying to the shopkeeper, "I will pay twice what this is worth in order to avoid having to talk to you." If you look at it that way, the Sea Folk haggling becomes a bit more excusable; they aren't really threatening to let the world burn if they don't get their way, they are just continuing the social ritual.

Oh, and the Sea Folk are definitely not the worst culture in Randland; that honor definitely belongs to the Seanchan. The Sea Folk are obnoxious, but not actively evil. I'll grant, however, that the Sea Folk are the worst to read about.
Lannis .
37. Lannis
Alfvaen @ 31: re: Aviendha pregnant...

I don't think there's anything in my original comment (@ 20) to garner your response... hmm... well... let's see... let's look at the comment again: on first read I totally read it all as first trimester pregnancy ugly...

Well, seeing how my first read was in 1996, and I was all of 17, and having actually listened in Sex-Ed (yes, we had that back then), I knew that it was possible for someone to conceive after having sex only one time... just because it doesn't happen often in books doesn't mean it isn't possible--in books or in RL.

Besides, it wouldn't be the first time that RJ had showed us a cat and told us it was a mouse... and you can't blame me for thinking that the first time Rand (bloody ta'veren) gets laid he'll be a sure bet.

Obviously I soon realized that Aviendha's not pregnant. It's called an observation.

I think we need a fresh batch of cookies in the bunker... ;)
Lannis .
38. Lannis
BAH! Now I'm stuck thinking about how, in slasher movies, sex = dead. Ha!

Trolling Tv Tropes to find the link...
Maiane Bakroeva
39. Isilel
Ah, yes, the hideous transformation of the Seafolk from another cool and exotic culture into an extremely annoying universal roadblock. I hated it all the more because it was all part and parcel of unnecessarily dragging things out that started in ACOS.
Also, how can Elayne not be better at haggling on this level? Isn't it part and parcel of diplomacy?

And yes, there definitely should have been kids on board from 10 or so onwards _and_ an odd infant born when the ship was away from the SF Islands for extended time.
IIRC, they generally drop their young kids with retired relatives and/or with somebody who has also had a kid and opted to stay ashore for a few years to raise it. With large extended families/clans it would work well enough.
BTW, I can't help thinking that a nose chain with stuff hanging on it would be really impractical on a sailing ship and result in a lot of torn nostrils, LOL.

Aviendha solves this problem by hurling her belt knife over their heads; they hit the deck, and definitely do not look up

The joke here is that when Avi goes to retrieve her knife she hikes up the skirts really high to climb over the benches and they see almost everything anyway ;). IIRC she never really gets what the SGs were in huff about.

And umm, SF haggling? If that's how they trade, it is a wonder that anybody would want anything to do with them a second time. That's just wholly implausible.
Not to mention, that, like, the world is ending and the drastic climate change couldn't be doing them any favors either.

Mat versus the SGs? Honestly, I always saw Mat's abrasiveness and his lack of gratitude to those who have saved _his_ life, so for me it was always pot, kettle, black.
Lannis .
40. Lannis
Okay for some reason Tor dot isn't letting me edit my previous post...

Meh... for anyone interested, I found Death by Sex link. :)
41. Lost in my own mind
I don't mind the haggling from the sea folk in general, it's just I can't believe the way they haggle over the bowl of the winds. The existence of human kind is at stake, Tarmin Gai'don is coming, and they are most interested in getting the best deal they can find? I know Leigh already made this point, but I think it is worth pointing out again in terms of this discussion.

I also find the attitudes of the sea folk in camlyean (sp?) and Carhein extremely rude and annoying. I honestly think the series would be better without them, they add nothing. Even the bowl of the winds storyline could have been done without them, just have the SG's use it with the kin. Plus having Rand being the savior of a third group of people in the story (i.e. after Randland proper and the Aiel) always seemed redundent.
Pritesh Patil
42. MatHornsounder
Mat is the greatest...................the women owed him an apology and he deserved it!!
Anyways, i loved the way Aviendha dealt with Elayne and Nynaeve...Totally ignoring the former wisdom!

Birgitte is awesome, and i just loved it when she and Mat became pals!!

Sea Folk : were good in TSR, ok in their dealings with AS, but grew worse later!!!!

ok, nuff said,


Sleep well and wake people!!
Roberto Burtoni
43. MadCardigan
So excited there was a post!

I think there is a good parallel based on the comments here between Aviendha's fear of water/new things and the SF position that has not been given its fair weight.

The societal anathema that the SF have toward exposing their channelers to AS. The 'deal' being discussed includes exposing officially the SF channelers to AS, and thus runs counter to some very basic tenets of SF society. I think that this, coupled with the extreme youth of the SG coupled with the breaking of this tradition of secrecy COMPLETELY warrants careful and specific negotiations on the terms of the agreement (this statement is not meant to justify the eventual terms, but merely that this negotiation is completely understandable). The SF are offering away a secret that has been held close for thousands of years. Can you imagine what would be done to the SF captains/mistresses if they take this huge step without covering their asses? I certainly would not want to be in their position, and would take advantage of any opportunity to mitigate the potential fall out.

However, commenters in general (which I agree with) can relate and empathize with Aviendha confronting her own (and in the scope of the story, very insignificant) issue with water. Her struggle is realistic and I like to see her pass through this trial by fire in a way that I would hope to do so if it were me.

So, we have two people, Avi and the SF, both confronting something that is either completely foreign physically or completely taboo within their societies and making the best of it. As I cannot dislike Avi on a personal level for her fears, I dont think I can dislike the SF for making the incredibly tough decision to betray a tenet of their society.

Also, as far as haggling goes, from an economic standpoint, a buyer should take into account their like or dislike of negotiations in addition to the value of the object being negotiated for, then base their final price on the value they derive from whatever they are purchasing as well as the avoidance of negative value they associate with continued negotiations.

A good deal is not neccesarily the lowest possible final price but instead a balance of what the item is worth to that specific person, taking into account all the positives and negatives for them associated with negotiating that price down further.

Wow, probably my longest post ever. must be a case of the fridays.
Thomas Keith
44. insectoid
::twitches subside::

Great post, Leigh. Love your sense of humor. Agree totally about the hot wires!

On your computer:
In addition to all the good advice Freelancer gave us, please forgive me for suggesting backing up your data and starting over? (By which I mean backup/format/reinstall. ...Okay, that's not as easy as it sounds, but I've done it so many times it seems easy to me.) Just requires the original OS install disc, or Recovery CD, or whatever the case may be. Dun! (Okay, not quite done. You'd also have to reinstall all of your extra software. Then Dun!) Just a lil' suggestion.

*cough* Yes. The post.

Aviendha: is still Awesome.

The Sea Folk: are Irritating. And yes, cold. I mean, this Bowl thing is important... I think they just like making Bargains out of everything because they're selfish!

Mat: so Totally Awesome. I love his line you quoted him answering Juilin. Yay Mat! :)

Shiaine/Mili: Ah yes, the LoCC at work, as usual!

Old Guy: Hi, Jain--I mean Noal!

Annnnd... maybe I'll have more to say later. Until then...

Mis @19 & Free @20: But why is the rum gone? ;)

JWezy @33: LOL

noble thayer
45. joetheman
while i find the sea folk annoying
i think we the readers or giving the SF in these scenes a hard time as we KNOW that the Last Days are hear but the SF dont what they see is a bucnch of noobs AS who like anybody in Randland they dont trust, whiling to give away the store and remeber what the SF ask and get from the SG which is the independence of the SF and their windfinders from the Tower hell think of the AS with Rand they dont just throw up there hands and yell " the Chosen One is here, lead us!!" and people think the SF should just role over to the AS and the SG
46. Mike G.
Has anyone found a good reason yet why Rand wants to send bulk food *by ship*????

Hell, 1 windfinder could open a gateway straight from the Tear grain storehouses to the distribution points. You can make the gateway almost arbitrarily small and STILL get more grain to the destination faster than ships could just by moving it thru with shovels, wheelbarrows, etc...

If you REALLY wanted to get clever, you could make a gateway beside the spout of a grain silo, and have it open on the other side at the top of another silo.

Open the gateway, open the spout, and just close the gateway when the destination silo is full....
Birgit F
47. birgit
I mean, she only spent one night with Rand, and even in books _nobody_ ever conceives after only one night, do they?

El does.
48. boquaz
How can the SF be the most annoying people in WOT? They're federated, meaning the central authority is weak. Everyone else seems happy to live in a near dictatorship. Of all the cultures in WOT, I think they give the most opportunity to someone to advance beyond the class they are born in.

This is also why they can't help Rand as quickly as he would like. It's like Woodrow Wilson failing to get the US to join the League of Nations. It's all just so much cat-herding!

Having come from a political family, haggling, bargaining, "beating the system," or whatever you want to call it is something which has been ingrained in me from childhood.

I assumed that, like me, Elayne thought she was good at it and came out of her deal with the SF having learned a lesson coming up against real professionals.

Haggling isn't dead in the US, it's just moved from commerce to politics.
Brian Vrolyk
49. vyskol
It is sad and somewhat eerie how the SF haggling over climate change while the fate of the world hangs in the balance mirrors what's happening in our own world.

Maybe they've chosen to believe that the drastic heat wave and drought are merely normal cycles of climate activity. :P
Brian Vrolyk
50. vyskol
Coming in Towers of Midnight: The SF infiltrate the WT and steal missives indicating that the Aes Sedai have been massaging facts about the Dark One.

Is he really such a danger? Maybe we're all overreacting. Maybe this is all a conspiracy to garner more power and gold for the White Tower!!
Bonnie Andrews
51. misfortuona


I would agree withyou about the comparison between the SF reveal and Avi's water phobia except that the cat's already out of the bag for the SF.
Yes it was someone else who opened it, but the AS obviously know about the windfinders.

Either way, there's something fundamentally wrong with a people who's first thought when presented with a world saving situation is "cover your own butt." I know it's a common response, but it just isn't right.

Sub hid it in the icetea bottle beside the video shelves. ;P

Excellent observation, even to the massive profit that many corporations are making through greening thier products. Maybe RJ had a bit of the Fortelling as well.

Mis-passing the blame
Rikka Cordin
52. Rikka
I really wish we got more Matt and Birgitte interaction. I love them both and they are so perfect hilarious together. They are perhaps the one example of a male and a female character who are actually able to sit down and have a good time together, as well as hold each other's secrets and defend each other against their friends.

in short, screw MattXTuon, I wanted MattXBirgitte :(

stupid Seanchan....

*stuffs her hands in her pockets sullenly and kicks a rock*
Bonnie Andrews
53. misfortuona
Mat's just too pretty for it to work. But you know leader of the evil empire aside, Tuon has some of the same traits Mat likes in Brigitte.
She doesn't mind him looking at other women. She also pointed them out to him as well.
She's capable of taking care of herself, and she keeps her word once given.
Once Fortuona gets past trying to make him call her by that ridiculous name, and starts calling him Mat.... I think they'll do just fine.


edit: I forgot the most important thing about Tuon and Mat. She encourages him to gamble;)
Tess Laird
54. thewindrose
One thing I thought of when reviewing Chapter 13 was that Elayne and Nynaeve where screwed from the get go with the "Bargin". Look who it is they have to deal with - Nesta din Reas Two Moons -Mistress of the Ships to the Atha'an Miere.
A bit like sending off a 16 year old with a friend to a 30 year accomplished used car salesperson:)

And the ring: Mat wondered by just how much he had overpaid. Hah!!

Roberto Burtoni
55. MadCardigan
@Misfortuna 41: two things: that the 'Cat out of the bag' is a relative statement depending on your point of view. your statement was:

I would agree withyou about the comparison between the SF reveal and Avi's water phobia except that the cat's already out of the bag for the SF.
Yes it was someone else who opened it, but the AS obviously know about the windfinders.

This would be accurate EXCEPT that the SF society does not know or acknowledge any break with tradition. Especially given the WOT world ability to disseminate info, I strongly disagree that the cat is out of the bag. Only the SG know that the windfinders can travel (caveat: I do not remember if there was a reveal that the tower has 'always known about the windfinders' a la the reveal about the Kin, but either way, from the SF perspective it is a treasured and supremely protected secret).

The Windfinder ability to harness the winds effectively provides the SF with the economic advantage at sea. They can travel faster, farther and longer than any other potential rival (ex seanchan). This is what created their dominance of the ocean and thus is a key support for their very society and societal norms.

Not something you just hand away lightly.

Secondly, the SF have no reason to trust the SG here. The bowl of winds is obviously a relic mentioned in their histories and (i assume) prophecies. The first response of anyone who has intricate knowledge of something (ie SF and the bowl of winds) when approached by four young, inexperienced, impertinent and haughty people who say we are working for the same goal is to take charge.

And they are correct to do so!
56. alreadymadwithseafolk
Reading about both the Seafolk and the Girls in one chapter makes for very painful reading. That said, I don't exactly fault the Seafolk for their behavior. The Girls rank much higher on painfulness. Aviendha's observations on Nynaeve's hypocrisy only makes it slightly bearable.

SeaFolk obviously hold the Bowl of the Winds in high regard, and here, they have two too young girls openly claiming to be hunting it down. Given the Aes Sedai's universal reputation for shafting anyone just for the principle of it, I can understand why they had to be very specific with the terms. As I understand it they were very careful to stipulate that the ter'angreal revert to SeaFolk hands once the weather has been set right. Whatever else they exacted was rightfully due Nynaeve and Elayne for coming on board and ordering everyone about.

MadCardigan @55
Tricia Irish
57. Tektonica

Ah, yes, the hideous transformation of the Seafolk from another cool and exotic culture into an extremely annoying universal roadblock. I hated it all the more because it was all part and parcel of unnecessarily dragging things out that started in ACOS.

Here here...well said. I can't find it now, but somebody up above said that the SF were a really unnecessary plot addition, and it did make the story slow to a crawl. What did they accomplish that couldn't have been done by the Kin? Grrrrr.....maybe we'll see something later.....grrrrr.

Hi Mat@42....where have You been?


Has anyone found a good reason yet why Rand wants to send bulk food *by ship*????

You are so right. It's so very odd that they have discovered all these amazing ways of moving from place to place in a step, and they don't use them. Several Ashamen could open a major gateway and the grain could just roll through. But no, we have the stupid SF plot to deal with.
Richard Fife
58. R.Fife
Why use SeaFolk instead of Gateways to move food:
1) Rand is using the loyal Asha'man for keeping the peace, patrolling the blight, skirmishing with Seanchan in Arad Doman. In short, they are a wee bit busy.

2) He has the Sea Folk, whom he doesn't really have any other use for. I mean, he has a mega-massive fleet of super-fast ships. Might as well get some use out of them.

3) It isn't super dire to get the food there instantly, just needs to be there in a decent time. His prissy snapping at the SF in TGS over why it wasn't there yet was just his temper getting to him, not him being rational about it.

As to having the Windfinders make the gateways for the hauling, do remember that holding a gateway open for extended periods his stressful, and I am guessing they are typically hard to tie off and apt to unravel (never stated, but would make sense considering there have yet to be perma-gateways set up). In the long run, the Sea Folk would probably get more grain where it needed to go faster with the boats than with circles making gateways. I mean, yes, Elayne managed to feed Caemlyn with gateways, Rand wants to feed an entire nation. Also, Rand wants to make it last for a while, I'd think, as opposed to Elayne who was just trying to wait out the siege.
craig thrift
59. gagecreedlives
I wonder if the sea folks rudeness and arrogance is how they bargain when they have to from a perceived position of weakness. They are bargaining with aes sedai after all. And as readers we know that they aren’t all that they should be but the average randlander isn’t gonna know. So get ‘em distracted with the insults and they wont think as hard about the bargain. Same sort of principle that the domani women use but with less t&a.

Or they could just be pricks.




Part of the reason I love the Mat and Birgitte scenes is the fact that there is no sexual or romantic chemistry between them. Just 2 like minded people that genuinely enjoy each others company that happen to be from the opposite sex. Makes a nice change of pace from every other gender dynamic in the WoT world.

Just a stupid question but how large a gateway do you think Rand could make with the choedan kal? A possible blight sized one by chance
Sam Mickel
60. Samadai

I don't think he could make any size gateway at all with the Choedan Kal. ;)
David Platt
61. The Not So Dark One
I always read the old man as Old Cully - but can see how it can be Noal - maybe someone could ask Brandon one day.

haggling + death by sex = shaggling. My new word of the day

Lsana @36 - are the Seanchean evil? I know they collar channellers but apart from that they bring peace and order. Lot better than some rulers - Amadicia is one place I can think of.

What would the UN/ NATO/ Superpowers do today if people could suddenly start channeling? (Heroes storyline I think?) Quite possibly lock them up/ kill them for everyones safety.

R. Fife @58 - I think its more the busy Ash'a'man/ Aes Sedai thing than the tying off thing - everything else can be tied of why not this? But I also think the reason is that Rand wants to keep travelling to his team only and if you go around tying off gates willy and indeed nilly someone is eventually going to copy it.
David Platt
62. The Not So Dark One
Size of gateway - Is there a clue in one of the earlier books when he discusses/ thinks about skimming.

Seems that no matter how strong you are you can only go to a certain size before it starts to lose itself.

Maybe its the same maybe its not but I did think gateways were cousins to skimming - just you had to know the place.
63. JennB
Yay! I love finally having an Aviendha POV. Of course she is my favoritist character. Though I do agree with Toryx @4 about her reaction to open water. Way overdone. I think RJ does this alot though to try to emphasise that his characters come from such different backgrounds.

As far as haggling goes, I am the typical American who has never been exposed to a situation where I needed to bargin for something. What really bugs me about the bargain is that the SG had a great barginning chip. The SF make it very clear how important the bowl is to them. I think they should have said we get your help, you get the bowl. End of story. I think they wanted it bad enough to agree eventually. Not to mention the added benefit of saving the world. Leigh, you are so right about the SF being the "biggest assholes ever" in WOT.

Jamesjones @8 I always thought it could be Cully too. I think Carridan has him watching Shiaine.

Lsana @36 I don't think evil is the correct word for the Seanchan. Though I do agree that their use of slavery and caste systems is abonimable. I can never figure out why so many people love Tuon. I find her fairly despicable even though she is clever and formidable. Egeanin is the only Seanchan we have met so far who has been able to rise above her cultural biases and see people as people. She even freed and married a slave.

As far as everyone souring a little on Mat after several rereads, I never had that problem because I have always been more lukewarm towards him that other readers. I like him, but he is way down on my list of favorites.
64. AndrewB

Great post as always. As a non-techy computer user, I can relate to your fustration when avirus strikes and makes your computer unusable.

Question (for you or any of the other astute posters): In your commentary, you mentioned that Shiaine was the 2nd or 3rd random speaking Darkfriend from TEotW to pop up later in the series? Who was the first?

I believe that Shiaine was the best use of the Law of Character of Conservation in all of the WoT books. After reading TEotW, who would have ever guessed that we would see the "hay assassin" 6 books later and that from book 7-11, she would be an important villan with a good deal of screen time? Anybody (other than RJ himself and possibly Harriet) who says they saw that coming is full of it.

I defy you all to come up with a better use of the law of Character of Conservation than Shiaine.

I will repeat a part of a posting that I wrote last night in the previous recap because (1) many of you probably did not get to read it; and (2) it is appropriate for the SG/SF chapter.

"I am a card carrying member of the Nyn haters club. (Nyn is my least favorite WoT character in the entire world. I even like the lizards in the Aiel Waste better than I do Nyn). If she were real, I would have nothing positive to say about her. I have to give credit to RJ -- the ideal major literary character is one that the reader has a strong opinion about (be it positive or negative). I realize that there are a lot of you who love Nyn. All I have to say to that is to each their own (I guess some people just love their hypocritical, braid-tugging, bossy, abrasive (sp?) characters.)"

Thanks for reading my musings,
craig thrift
65. gagecreedlives

There was Paitr who Rand and Mat met in Andor and reappeared in Amador with Morgase

Cant think of any others


Samadai I must be having a seniors moment. Did something happen to the Choedan Kal in tGS that Ive forgotten or have I (again) missed something completely?
Barry T
66. blindillusion
And, um, yeah. This is what comes of reading too much sf, y’all. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED–oh, wait, you’re reading this blog. YOU HAVE BEEN ASSIMILATED. RESISTANCE WAS FUTILE, SUCKA.

Leigh, one of your best lines yet!! I was rolling at work. My CO actually walked out of his office to see why I was laughing so hard.

As for the Sea Folk. Meh. They're the Aes Sedai on the open seas. I'm sure a Grey would seem much the same way if we were ever privy to seeing her in action. It's just that every Bargain we've seen thus far dealing with the Sea Folk happened to involve the Good Guys going to the Sea Folk asking for help.

Elayne and Nynaeve thought they could walk in, wave their rings around and have everyone dancing to their tune in no time (because this is, for some reason, how they seem to think people operate when dealing with Aes Sedai. You'd think they'd of learned better by now). They were wrong and got snubbed for it. It's not the Sea Folk's fault.

And later...

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say the Sea Folk see the Coramoor much the say way the Aiel see He Who Comes With The Dawn, i.e. not a wetlander king.

Rand gets boned on his deal because he, as the instigator of the Bargain, steps out of the negotiations, leaving them in the hands of a mediator. Bad juju when dealing with a society built on the haggle. And I'm sure the lack of his ta'veren-ness had a lot to do with it as well.

That being said...I don't like the Sea Folk any more than the next person. I think they're arrogant to the point of stupidity. They're treating some of the most powerful people in the World like dirt.

Not exactly the smartest move...especially as a good portion of their society has been subjugated by the Seanchan, they're not exactly the largest military force in the land and as for the one man you do not want to piss off...well, they seem to be doing everything in their power to piss him off.

I hope he takes his Sea Folk "ambassador" and her entire “entourage” and stuffs them in the nearest sandbox.

RE:~ Mat

Well, he'll always be my favorite character. And I always look forward to his sections while reading the novels. I've just always liked the rogue.
Ron Garrison
67. Man-0-Manetheran
During the long Xmas hiatus I re-read all of aCoS and still had lots of time on my hands. Not wanting to get too far ahead, I remembered some of RJ's earlier works: the six short novels of Conan the Cimmarian. There's quite a bit of Conan in Mat, and I don't mean the muscle. It's the humor and his interaction with women that jumps out at me from the page. "For someone who just saved your life...(fill in the blanks)."
If you haven't read any of these, you might want to check them out at your local library. They were originally in paperback and then published by Tor in two volumes. Did I say library? Oh yeah, check out your local bookseller.
Tricia Irish
68. Tektonica

Time for the sign up sheet for the Band of the Red Hand Fan Club. Mat is coming into most awesome scenes from here on in.

Never read any Conan, though I think my husband did. Good?

And who was it on this blog that was reading the Drizzt sagas? Please raise your hand....I'm into it now. Took awhile, but, yeah, I'm hooked. Certainly a much simpler style of writing/story, but likeable characters......

and since we seem to be anticipating a loooooong wait for ToM......
Thomas Keith
69. insectoid
Tek @68: Re: Drizzt, 'tis me who's reading them. Freelancer recommended them to me. Glad to hear you're hooked, they're good books. ;)

70. ZamIt
The Sea Folk are basically a waste of time, except for their interactions with Mat. I'm holding out hope that the Windfinders Mat freed at the end of Winter's Heart show up in the last two books.
Alice Arneson
71. Wetlandernw
Leigh, I'm with you on the consequences appropriate to those who write computer viruses. LOL! If only we could make it happen... While J.Dauro sits on them, I'd be happy to maintain a supply of hot wires for you.

toryx @4 - No, Avienda's reaction to being surrounded by that much water is quite realistic. From personal experience, I can be on a large boat/ship in lots of water just fine, but being out in a canoe in a small lake gives me much the same feeling she describes. And I've been around water all my life. I can't swim, I sink like a rock, and it terrifies me.

Lost in my own mind @ 41 - FWIW, I always thought it was kind of cool how every time another insular culture came along, they turned out to have their own set of prophecies in which Rand, by whatever name, was to be their savior. RJ got it right, if you ask me - Rand is critical to the survival of the whole world, every last culture and society in it. It stands to reason that if the Pattern is in the habit of giving out prophecy so that people recognize him when he comes, every culture would have their own version, reflecting their priorities and way of life.

MadCardigan @ 43 - Excellent! Well said.

Okay, now I'll catch up on the rest of the comments that were made while I was making dinner...
Alice Arneson
72. Wetlandernw
gagecreedlives@65 - Rand destroyed the male Choedan Kal at the end of TGS. The female one was destroyed in the Cleansing.

EDIT to add:
The Power within him reached a crescendo, and he turned it upon itself, drove it through the access key. The ter'angreal was connected to a much greater force, a massive sa'angreal to the south, built to stop the Dark One. Too powerful, some had said. Too powerful ever to use. Too frightening.

Rand used its own power upon it, crushing the distant globe, shattering it as if in the grip of a giant's hands.

The Choedan Kal exploded.

The Power winked out.

The tempest ended.
73. PRW
Hey, Leigh, have you considered getting a Mac ? I haven't worried about a virus - computer type, anyway - for 5 years now.
Bonnie Andrews
74. misfortuona
So wanting to be fair, I’ve been trying to come up with reasons to like the SF. So far I got nothing.

Maybe an argument could be made that Rand was the first to treat them with disrespect. I don’t recall now if we see the SG aboard the raker before or after Rand gets around to meeting with them, but I don’t recall that the SF the girls dealt with first were nearly as rude as the ones we meet later.

So we could blame it on the DR’s poor treatment of them at the beginning, but given that all of the others have been so unpleasant, it’s more likely that that first group were just acting out of character. Hey everyone has an off day ;)

I’m with Blind@66
I hope he takes his Sea Folk "ambassador" and her entire “entourage” and stuffs them in the nearest sandbox.

Ah yes the one's Mat saved... maybe something good will come of that yet. There has to be some reason RJ included them.

Mis-looking for good in the Sea Folk
john mullen
76. johntheirishmongol
Joebuu - nice name..need some rum and a cigar??

Nynaeve - whats her problem? She acts like Mat is the worst person in the world. It's a total overreaction and one of the few things that I thought was ridiculous.

Avienda and Elayne are working things out Elayne is beginning to start thinking again.

Mat - foolhardy as always and he wonders why he is always in trouble but its pretty endearing.

Sea Folk - I hve trouble telling one from another as well. So far they have been a waste of prophecy.


Drizzt books are enjoyable, especially for those of us who spent so many years rolling a d20. Probably the best of the D&D books.

Conan books to me were never really fantasy, as much as barbarian adventure stories. Kinda fun in the right mood but if it takes you more than an hr to read one you are spending too much time.
Tess Laird
77. thewindrose
FWIW, I always thought it was kind of cool how every time another insular culture came along, they turned out to have their own set of prophecies in which Rand, by whatever name, was to be their savior. RJ got it right, if you ask me - Rand is critical to the survival of the whole world, every last culture and society in it.

From the way it looks, I believe that even the DO would need Rand to win;)

Ron Garrison
78. Man-0-Manetheran
John tIM:
I did say I had lots of time to waste! Still, they are enjoyable and interesting to see RJ's unique style slip through: "his smile never touching his eyes", etc.
sandi vogel
79. sinfulcashew
It's not wise to state that someones reaction to any thing is over the top!
I read a book once that was reg. man and wife on boat sailing the Tropics. It wound up with her falling over board one night and him turning back to look for her.
The cover was an under water shot with her body floating haphazardly in the deep.
Needless to say for a LOOOOng time I wouldn't ride the ferry to my sisters.....
I got better!
There is such a fear that disables one~!~

I liked the part where Mat and B. are drinking and El is getting giddy. Just strikes me as funny and kind of real life. (somehow)
Alice Arneson
80. Wetlandernw
Been meaning to say this... sinfulcashew, welcome back!! It was funny - the first day you posted this week, I'd just been thinking about you and wondering if life had been just that crazy, or if you got sick of us, or.... what. And that night when I got on, there you were! :) Glad you're with us again.
Joseph Blaidd
81. SteelBlaidd
So I was reading the the Post today after reading a couple of articles on bank bailouts and other financial type stuff and I had an epiphany.

First, its not Sea Folk culture that is so off putting, it's the leadership. General when we have delt with anyone below the level of Wave Mistress they have been pretty cool.

Second SF culture is a mercantile-meritocracy which means that the people that rise to the top are those who are the best at one thing making money which means that they are led by the WoT equivalents of Wall Street Bankers and Corporate CEOs. Just exactly the kind of people who would insist on 20 man-years of instruction+ for 8 hours worth of expertise that helps save their own asses.

Re Mat. Its fun to watch him here as we see how much gambling is like War. He makes money on the horses by skill and strategy not luck.

This chapter is also a good example of how individual humor can be. I have chuckled my way through most of the situational humor throughout the books, my mom commented after giving up on WoT that book seven was really late for the first "funny line" (by her some trinkets next time).

(P.S. Apparently the SGs getting on the boat is where my wife decided she didn't like anybody in the Books and stopped reading.)
Henry Loose
82. schrodinger
just realized something:
seafolk: selfish
forsaken: selfish
hatred for them...=
I just hate selfish bas****s
Rob Munnelly
83. RobMRobM
I'd like to pause for a moment and provide an status update on Leigh's claim in the first post that TCOS is one of her favorites and, perhaps, her favorite. My answer was: too much undirected filler/plot background and not enough awesome.

So, to date:
- Prologue - everyone we hate gets a PoV. Painful.
- Chapters 1-3. Post Dumai Wells character griping. Painful.
- Chapters 4-5. Awesome set piece of going into Carhein and taking down Colavere. Wonderfully done.
- Chapters 6-7. Perrin and Rand being emo. Painful.
- Chapters 8-9. Very interesting background on Egwene - not painful but not much happens.
- Chapters 10-13. Two great set pieces - one with the Wise Ones, one with Gareth Brynne and Myrelle, wrapped around an interesting but dry Egwene moving the plot chapter.
Chapters 14-15. First one is funny for Avi's observations and Elayne's calming down of Nyn but long and not exciting; second is Mat following a darkfriend - not exciting.

So, we're almost halfway through the book and we get the nice into Carhein set piece and Eg's two fascinating visits to the Wise Ones and with Byrnne/Myrelle. Rest is plot development, some painful to read. Not to discount the writing, as RJ always has interesting and readable riffs and lines, but I recently reread the book so it is fresh and found there are too many chapters I'd skip through in looking for the "good parts." (Side note - recall that the book the Princess Bride is claimed (with tongue in cheek) to be the "good parts" version of the much longer S. Morganstern classic. Guess my point is that a "good parts" version of ACOS might be unfortunately short.)

There are very strong chapters upcoming (Swovan Night; Mashiara; Six Stories, etc) but I have trouble seeing how anyone could have this book as their favorite. Second half of the pack for me. Looking forward to Leigh's explanation because I'm not seeing it yet.

craig thrift
84. gagecreedlives
Wetlander thankyou very much. Ive had that tickling the back of my mind all night.


Without them we wouldn’t of had Mats excellent daughter of the sands moment


And btw to my northern hemisphere peeps, keep an eye out as there may be a gagecreed coming to a store near you soon
Tricia Irish
85. Tektonica

What does that cryptic message mean? A book? A visit?
86. Tenesmus
Things really did tend to slow down with this book, but I still liked it bunches. It was only after I read POD that I went, "Really?...that's it?" WH was good, but then COT, WTF?!?! It's not that the information/story in POD and COT was bad, per se, it was just unsatisfying and bloated.

I have thought, ever since I read KOD, that POD, WH, and COT should have been a single book. Think about it, the first third of the book is the events of POD, the second third are the events from the POV's in COT when everyone senses the cleansing. Think of how you would have reacted as a reader to everyone in Randland sensing the massive channeling, WITHOUT knowing what had actually happened yourself. The final third of the book would be the major events of WH.

I absolutley believe that if the character/plot arcs in those three books would have been made into a single book, it would have been just about THE BEST BOOK IN THE SERIES!! Think about it...POD, COT and WH, in that order, in under 1000 pages! Total Awesomeness. If I ever get a some free time, I'll even "create" it myself. How? Easy... (relative term) Start by making a powerpoint from the chapter summaries of the three books found on encyclopedia-wot (one slide per chapter), then using the slide sorter function, re-arrange the chapters so that we see reactions to the cleansing, before we see the cleansing itself, once everything is in order, then pull the text of each chapter (from another website I can't rememeber), and start editing things down until you get to 1000 pages. I don't think any of the story would get lost. I would then post the finished product online, where it would get such a tremendous reaction, that TOR would then publish it... oh well, a guy can dream, right?
87. Tenesmus
Case in point... Imagine how satisfying it would have been to have Egwene's arc from those three books in a single book; she gets her War Powers, gateways to TV, lays siege, and gets captured... ALL IN ONE BOOK!!
Tricia Irish
88. Tektonica
I'm not sure what you suggest is Legal, but it would be a good book!
Better talk to Tor first! And Harriet.

I think fewer readers would've quit the series if those three books had been consolidated. That was the number one complaint of friends of mine that quit reading WOT....those three books going nowhere, slow. You may have the answer, but I'm not holding my breath for it to happen.;-(
John Massey
89. subwoofer
Go Time!

@Ten- crazy talk.

Leigh! MWahahahaha- t'was me. Naw... couldn't do it. In most cases for me there can be a claim of "equipment smarter than operator" from can openers to Access etc. I'm up to my nipples at work here so I will make a random comment and then bugger off. Was gonna say something about Mac's vs PC(what I got) but then I came to my senses. People will do something that will affect the most. Bloody Sods.

@GCL- you being published or something? Is this a case of "to beat the man, you have to be the man?"

Haggling- my wife is the champion. Hardcore Polish. I think it is in her blood. Me, I make enough that I feel guilty. My wife has no reservations.

Mat rocks. My type of haggling. Will have more to say about the Bargain and Mat later.

Edited for trade mark. Grrrrrrrr.

90. MasterAlThor
Hey guys.

Sorry I haven't read all the comments. Just the last few. We all seem to be pretty split over the Sea Folk. So I decided when I was reading the recap to start a possible flame war.

Asbestos suit. Check
Clear path to bunker. Check

Ok here we go.....

And hence was born my opinion of the Sea Folk as being the least likeable culture in all of WOT–an opinion which to date has had basically zero incentive to change, either. I do not like them, Sam I Am!

Now, there have been a lot of post that I personally have disagreed with EVERYONE about. I am just going to focus on something here. How one can read something and internalize it and make it something it was never intended to be.

Leigh's comment was that she doesn't like the Sea Folk culture. Many of you know that I am of the dark skinned persuasion. Sea Folk are dark skinned. Could I infer that Leigh doesn't like dark skinned people because of their culture?

Yes I could. I would also be an idiot for doing so. Let me make this clear. I DON'T HAVE AN ISSUE HERE. LEIGH IS NOT BEING RACISIT. That's for those who skim.

I have a dissagreement about which culture is worse, but I will get to that in a minute.

What I am really talking about is the "oh this is sexist" thing. You can find and pull just about anything out of these books to disagree with. I could say that Jordan being a southerner living in the home state of the Klan could be just slightly racisit. I WOULD BE NINE KINDS OF FOOL FOR DOING SO.

I guess I'm just saying that if sexism is going to be put on his work. Then why not all the other isms too. If that becomes the case....I will offically tender my resignation from this group.

We should all be a little less PC but just still repectful of others.

You have the right to say that you believe that something is sexist, but unless it is blatant, I will point out how we as readers should just enjoy the story.

Soapbox rant ends here....

Now I said that I dissagreed with Leigh about worst culture. That should go to the slaveers the Seanchan. You will forgive me if I have a slight issue with slavery. Yes historically, many nations have built their power on the backs of slaves. Greek, Roman, Eygptian, etc. etc. The Seanchan just strike me as the worst because of their structure and worldview. Which makes them the center of everything and oh yeah by the way, if you can channel you belong in the dog pens over there.

Bargaining for everything you get involved with is not a big hang up for me.

And so in closing, I apologize if I managed to offend anyone with my rant. If you feel like you deserve a personal one please see me after class.

I may not see the necessity of certain topics, but I do respect your right to bring it up.

stephanie keenan
91. adriel_moonstar
I finally decide to take the plunge and join in the posting and I find myself defending people that I will eventually hate as much as the next person...go figure.

Hatred of haggling is a really ingrained western (or at least American)prejudice. But for a large part of the world it is a way of life. I lived in the middle east for a few years, courtesy of the US navy, and believe me I had to force myself to do even the minimal amount of haggling required to not seem rude. But when you are playing in someone else's sandbox you have to play by their rules. And the Supergirls don't do a very good job of it.

1. The Mistress of Ships is a powerful ruler. If four snot nosed kids (Because let's face the SF don't know who they are) forced their way into a palace with rudeness, threats- and knives- they would expect a lot worse than a rude reception.

2. Someone should have reminded the girls of the old adage of "be careful what you wish for". They insist on being treated like "real" Aes Sedai and they are. Except it's not all kissing of the feet and bowing and scraping, those rings come with three thousand years of baggage. (And let's face it if a "real", Tower indoctrinated, sister had been in charge of these talks the world would have burnt to crisp before they got past the windfinder issue.)

The Bargain is not a big issue, until the SF try to weasel out of fulfilling their end once the bowl has been used. (And although I don't remember the specifics, I gotta think that the SAS had a hand in screwing up the deal.)

BTW- much as I like the hot wire idea, it's too time consuming for the avenger- I vote for a microchip in the brain that will cause excruciating pain at random intervals.
92. Mike G.
RE: Gateways vs ships

Even if a windfinder can only keep a gateway open for, let's say, an hour, the size of gateways we've seen demonstrated could pour through a VAST amount of grain in that time. Much more than ships could carry from one end of randland to another....

Maybe there's a "total mass transferred" limit on gateways. But it's all guessing - right now, Rand and his advisors look like logistical idiots.
Birgit F
93. birgit
Maybe its the same maybe its not but I did think gateways were cousins to skimming - just you had to know the place.

Gateways are used for Travelling and Skimming (and entering TAR in the flesh). For Skimming you need to know the destination, for Travelling the starting point.

If we cannot bind the virus programmers with the Oath Rod because they cannot channel the Chair of Remorse should work.
Lannis .
94. Lannis
Oh, birgit, I forgot to say thanks for #47. :)
95. MasterAlThor

Welcome to the club. Drinks and snickerdoodles are over there, comfy chairs and books are over here.

Suffa is in charge of clean up so don't worry.
Bill Reamy
96. BillinHI
Various: I certainly agree that the SF are the worst of the character groups, with the possible exception of the Seanchan and their institutionalized slavery. And the SF selling their kids to Shara! ROFL!!

I do still fault the Aiel for their contempt for all "treekillers" - after all, Laman was the only one who killed the tree. If all the rest of the Cairhienen had been against it, it still would have happened. Of course, the Aiel don't really understand hereditary rulers, so they probably think the rest of Laman's people approved of his actions.

Also have to agree that Travelling is not used nearly as well or as often as it should be.
Tricia Irish
97. Tektonica
Master Al Thor@90: ::waves::No need to hide in the Bunker with Suffa. Haven't seen too much of you lately. Your rants are OK by me....lord knows there are plenty of other rants around. Have a cookie.

You're right of course. The Seanchan culture is nasty. Wouldn't want anything to do with it. We really don't know that much about the SF....just the sailors.
There has to be more of them somewhere with the kids. I just don't like their bluntness and their behavior in later books. They seem very self-serving and crabby. The whole plot line bores me. I think the Kin could've served all of the purposes of the SF in the books and shortened up the plot quite a bit.

Welcome Adriel @ 91: We mostly play nice.

(And let's face it if a "real", Tower indoctrinated, sister had been in charge of these talks, the world would have burnt to crisp before they got past the windfinder issue.)

Amen. You got that right!
Kurt Lorey
98. Shimrod
The Sea Folk are hardly the least likable society in the WoT world. I'm somewhat surprised by the vehement expressions of distaste about them.

First off, what other WoT society protects a neighboring pacifistic society (the Amayar)?

Perhaps, their aggressive political bargaining is to show that they feel they wouldn't be respected if they didn't bargain strenuously? I think there is some parallel to this, but I just can't bring it to mind right now.

Not surprising that the Supergirls got handed their hats. They were simply out of their league.
99. JennB
I like the Sea Folk society and culture, they are cool. I just think the SF characters that we have met are jerks. Their interactions with other characters are very annoying and painful to read. We see very few examples of likable SF characters.

This is completely different from the Seanchan. As individuals, the characters come off as much more varied in their temperments. Their society on the other hand is not likeable in any way, shape, or form. Like I said above, their use of slavey and their rigid caste system is horrible.

The people who are saying the Seanchan are the worst culture are not talking about the same thing as the people saying the Sea Folk are the most annoying. Both are true.
craig thrift
100. gagecreedlives

Unfortunately mate no book. The Tor Night Before Christmas is the career peak for my writing.

What it does mean is that I got my leave approved yesterday for a 9 week leave of absence and got a little excited while out celebrating and decided it was a good idea to share the info with my Tor buddies when I got home.

It also seems I used the word soon the same way RJ used to use the word obvious. Not coming until September

Will put an itinerary in my shout out box so if any of you wonderful people out in the Tor universe live where I am going and want to catch up for a beer just let me know.

Tenesmus I don’t know if it could have been crammed into one book without it feeling like events were being rushed. Two books however might have been better though. I actually didn’t mind CoT. After I had finished reading it I had a feeling it might be the calm before the storm. However if I hadn’t of enjoyed KoD so much it probably would of dropped my appreciation for it a lot.

Although would love to read what you would come up with.


I prefer to think that I am the best there is, the best there was and the best that ever will be.

If you smell what I am cooking.

I cant haggle to save myself. I either want something enough to pay the sales price or not. However I do research the shit out of everything to make sure I get the best price.


Welcome adriel_moonstar. Not sure what a snickerdoodle is. Sounds like a circumcision gone wrong to me so afraid to google it but there is plenty of vegemite too.

Dont the sea folk have a bunch of islands to live in. Maybe thats where the kiddies are kept. Or are those islands only occupied by the amayar?
Maiane Bakroeva
101. Isilel
I don't look down on the SF for haggling. But the way they haggle and how they drive in that they have pwned you, I don't see why anybody would want to deal with them again.
Isn't the point of the fine art of haggling to convince the customer that they got a bargain and have them feel good about the deal and predisposed to come back for more?

Oh, and as a culture that lives on international trade, they should be much more clued in and outwardly respectful of the customs of the landbound, at least those who are rich and powerful... just like iRL.

So, not only is their onboxiousmess unpleasant, it is also wholly implausible. _And_ used as a roadblock. Sigh.

Also, isn't this type of political horse-trading exactly something that Morgase reputedly excelled in pre-brainwashing and that is an essential skill for a ruler?
So why exactly was Elayne suddenly so unprepared? Wouldn't she have been drilled on it at home and didn't Thom put finishing touches on her political education? This sudden incompetence doesn't make her prospects as a queen look bright, IMHO.

Re: Seanchan, they have more serious problems than their treatment of channelers.

No society riddled with informers and terrible secret police is really as orderly, prosperous and well-organized as it pretends to be. It is a moral cancer that affects all aspects of it.

Also, they have slavery of non-channelers too and not just for criminals, but hereditary. And we shouldn't be fooled by the few priviliged slaves that we have seen. They existed IRL too, in all slave/serf holding societies and their situation didn't reflect the plight of the majority in the least.

And of course, caste system maintained through threat of brutal punishment.

So yes, their society is much worse than that of SF, but at least not all Seanchan characters have been as uniformely obnoxious, irritating and close-minded as the SFs post-TSR.
Ron Garrison
102. Man-0-Manetheran
gagecreedlives @ 100: "snickerdoodle: Sounds like a circumcision gone wrong"


If you make it to Denver, we definitely need to have a beer!
craig thrift
103. gagecreedlives

Good point about Elayne and her lack of bargaining skills. I still feel at this stage she is very much the princess and is used to having her every whim granted. Also this could be a case of showing the difference between being taught something and trying to put it into practice.

Then again they were bargaining on the sea folks home turf. Wonder how much difference it would have made if they were doing the bargaining in the Caemlyn throne room.


The only thing I know about Colorado is what I have learnt from South Park. Not sure if Im ready for that sort of craziness :) But maybe. Still have a few days in my schedule to fill and still trying to figure out the best place to be for halloween. I'll keep you posted
Barry T
104. blindillusion

Either New York City or New Orleans.

Seen two in New Orleans and both were MOA. (Though both were before Katrina. I've only been to NO three times since Katrina, and each time was just a normal weekend, but I had fun each time.)

Only spent one Halloween in NYC and it was freaking crazy.


Isilel ~ I couldn't agree with you more. The SF society doesn't bother me. It's the characters we've seen (for the most part) and their attitude towards pretty much every Mainlander they deal with.

One can only hope that most of the dealings with the SF happen with those of less rank, who deal for financial purposes, not political.
105. Tenesmus
OK... I even came up with a title for @86 :

"The Twilight Crossroads of Winter's Dagger Heart Path"
Ron Garrison
106. Man-0-Manetheran
Add my vote for NYC. The Halloween Parade through Greenwich Village is totally unique!
craig thrift
107. gagecreedlives
blindillusion and MoM

Thanks for the suggestions. New York would be cool but will be on the other side of the country by then. I have been to New Orleans post Katrina no idea what it was like before but I still had a wicked good time. Unfortunately couldnt find King Creole though.


No offence dude but I cringe whenever I hear something starting with the word Twilight. Sure it will be fine though as long as there are no glittering douchebags sitting in a tree
Barry T
108. blindillusion
How about Crossroads of Winter's Twilight Path to Dagger Heart?
Richard Boye
109. sarcastro
Isilel, et al.

re: Sea Folk

Don't misconstrue me. I am not saying that they are the worst culture in WoT. They're not.

That prize goes to the Seanchan, hands down! They are head and shoulders below the next closest (which, imho, would be the women's worker's paradise of Far Madding, FYI);

The Seanchan Imperium is an abysmal society, for a thousand reasons - chattel slavery, inherited criminal guilt, a caste system, systemic, industrialization of channelers, secret police, plus, let's not forget a sense of cultural superiority coupled with territorial aggressions.

The only things that they don't have which would make them the most despicable culture ever are human sacrifice and notions of racial purity.

I'd say that Mat has his work cut out for him.

(I’m guessing RJ's larger idea was to have Tuon set up shop over here in the New Seanchan Empire, stabilize it, modernize it etc... and then do another reverse conquest back over there, amid the nightmare patchwork of independent regions and provinces that would result from the collapse of Seanchan imperium.)

However, as others have noted, we have met a rather wider cross-section of Seanchan now, and they are capable (kinda) or self-awareness and alteration (but they still suck, though). The Sea Folk we have met are uniformly (with the noted exception of Jorin and Coine) jerks. Even Nestelle botched Mat's rescue and escape efforts!
Tricia Irish
110. Tektonica

Too bad about missing the Village Halloween parade in NYC....really amazing. Hope you make to the south swampland...will check you itinerary!

SeaFolk=most annoying and uneccessary.

How is Mat going to help sort out the mess that is Seanchan society? So much needs changing! A complete 180 on their control issue for a start. Then you can start abolishing the secret police, caste system, slavery, leashing, etc. It will be complete chaos, if done quickly. Basically their entire order system needs a redo.

That's why Russia slipped into such a miasma when suddenly, overnight, they were a "democracy". People didn't have a clue what to do. Money for food stopped coming. Jobs were no more. The state just stopped taking care of them. Everything they had known and counted on for their whole lives was just gone. It was very hard for the older generation to grasp.

Think Tuon/Fortuona could get with a whole new program that might put her job security in jeopardy? It's all she's ever known too. Just how deep is her character?
Bill Reamy
111. BillinHI
Tektonica @110: Great call on the comparison of Russia post-collapse and the Seanchan. Back in 2006 wife and I did a cruise in the Baltic, stopping in Estonia first, then St. Petersburg (with a flight to Moscow thrown in), and one of our guides in Tallinn related that the Estonians had a history of being free, whereas the Russians have not been free for who knows how long. Russia today is still run by the same people but now they are called oligarchs and entrepreneurs instead of Communist Party bosses (which most, if not all, of them were pre-1989). Putin was head of the KGB for pete's sake and he is still the one running the country, regardless of his official title.

Also have to agree with your characterization of Seanchan=worst society, while Sea Folk=most annoying (regardless of my earlier comment).
Leigh Butler
112. leighdb
Hey kids,

No post Monday.

My long-suffering (and awesome) friend and I spent about twelve hours yesterday trying to clean the virus off my computer. This thing was frickin' evil, you guys - specifically designed to get around Spybot and other antivirus software. Everything we did, it struck back. My computer was so clogged it barely ran.

Eventually, we said "screw this", backed up my data, and wiped the hard drive. Sometimes, it's just better to nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!

So needless to say, today is going to be nothing but reinstalling software and updating registries and setting up, um, settings.

In conclusion, no post tomorrow.

And now to get more coffee.
113. AndrewB

That sounds like a painful weekend. At least you are free of the virus (hopefully). I am also glad that the virus did not affect your ability to back everything up. I have heard that with some viruses, once you get infected, backing up the software on the computer does no good as the virus becomes embedded in that software.

Subwoofer@89 and Gagecreedlives@100:

I did not know we were allowed to use wrestling tag lines.

"Oh Yea!" (says in a raspy voice and wearing sunglasses)

waives my hand (palm facing my face) in front of my face.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Tricia Irish
114. Tektonica
So sorry Leigh! How awful. If you back up, isn't the virus in that too? I don't understand computerese at all. Get a Mac. With Parallels, you can run any windows program.


I think we were on the same cruise, only ours was a couple of years earlier. Tallinn was so interesting. Loved The Hermitage in St. Petersberg, and was completely blown away by Moscow and the Kremlin. All I could picture was Kruschev (sp) pounding his shoe on the lectern and tanks rolling through Red Square. I had no idea the Kremlin was full of Palaces and Museums! It was our guide there that clued me into the chaos after the "fall" of the CP. Harrowing stories. And you're right...not much has changed. Old ladies in babushkas selling a few cabbages on a box, just down the street from the Rolls Royce/ Ferrari dealership.

The Seanchan leadership is what needs to be changed. The people themselves are mostly service oriented, merchants or farmers and they will probably be OK, if lawlessness doesn't destroy everything without their large police force.
I don't know if that can happen. It will depend on the depth of Tuon's understanding and whatever "awakening" she gets, via the Adam as Blind has fantasized, or through Mat, Tylee, Egwene or Rand. This will be veeeeery interesting.....
Leigh Butler
115. leighdb
Tektonica @114:

It depends on the virus. This one seemed to primarily infect the browsers. In any case, the only data I saved was Word documents and music files, and those aren't generally too susceptible to virus infection, from what I understand.

If I'm wrong I'm sure I'll find out soon enough. Oy.
Lynn McDonald
116. meal6225
This question digresses from the current SF thread but without a post coming Monday maybe it'll help prevent a little twitching?

How many charaters know Mat blew the horn? Avi's confusion over Bridgettes concern about Mat shows she is unaware.
In the know;Rand, Perrin, Nyn, Eg, Mor, Verrin, ??

Snickerdoodles are a sugar cookie dough rolled in cinnamon/sugar and baked.Very tasty!
craig thrift
117. gagecreedlives

Maybe I will write a letter to Mr Bloomberg and see if he will be kind enough to move it forward a month.

As for the worst culture in the WoT Im gonna throw the Sharans out there. From the little we know of them they practice slavery, forced breeding and ritual sacrifice. Not cool

Also cant imagine living in a trolloc society would be a barrel of laughs either.

I wonder if Mat ends up leading the Seanchan forces and blows the Horn of Valere with Tuon nearby how she would react seeing Artur Hawkwing, how Hawkwing would view the damane and what ramifications that could have to Seanchan society.


Pretty sure Rhuarc knows. And maybe Elayne as well

And are we not allowed to post links anymore? Whenever I try it tells be thats its been flagged as spam
Alice Arneson
118. Wetlandernw
meal6225 @116 - Add Siuan, for sure. Probably Elayne & Min. Also the Sheinarans who were with them at the time, IIRC.

Fine. Now I'm going to have to go upstairs and get the book just to see who all was there at the time! :)
Tricia Irish
119. Tektonica
Good luck Leigh!

meal 6225@116:

I think Siuan knows too..I think Verin told her when they brought Mat in for "Shadar Logoth knife healing" after Falme. Lanfear probably knows too. Yikes.

GCL: Good luck moving Halloween, but I hope you do! There's never enough time between Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It would make the Fall season much calmer. Thanks, and get right on that!

WOT related: Maybe Artur Hawkwing could knock some sense into Tuon....he might be impressive enough. Would he disapprove of what the Seanchan have done with their society? Ishy is the one that skewed things, isn't he? Messed with the prophecies and encouraged leashing?
craig thrift
120. gagecreedlives
Plus there was whoever was in the meeting at the end of tDR. 99% sure thats when Rhuarc found out.

Ishy was advising Hawkwing when he declared war on Tar Valon and claims to have sent his followers across the ocean. But not if its ever been confirmed how much he was involved in Seanchan society. I got a feeling though he was surprised by the leashes. When we got a PoV from him and he is getting all shirty about the surprises that this age keeps throwing up. Isnt forced linking one of the examples he uses?
John Massey
121. subwoofer
@GCL- Wha? You went there? Really? hmmmmmmmm. I think like Andrew, back in the day, I was down for that. Now it is what it is.

@Leigh, I back up like a champion with a couple of external hard drives and I have a ghost as well. Use Carbonite too. Cheap and easy.

Mat+Horn. I think everyone knows except for Tuon. Can't wait for that revelation. Gonna get AMW's umbrella to use for protection from the fall out.

M A T- dude, no worries. Racism exists. WoT, meh, not feeling it. I prefer to rise above. I think the worse culture is in the Blight. The REAL one. Haven't really heard two words about the Blasted Lands though. There are highs and lows about TEAR too. People are okay but I am not impressed with the sycophant nobles. I think that argument could be made for most nobles in all the lands.

Maybe that was what RJ was getting at. People are people, but sometimes folks who inherit titles cannot live up to them. Hence why Mat does not like Lords or being called one. I also agree with what Bashere had to say to Perrin about it.

The down side of the Seanchan is that they take the caste system to the next level. It is like blue bloods and newly rich. Not in the same class. Le sigh. Not gonna Le rant. I think Tuon is going to be in on the forefront of a cultural awakening for the Seanchan.

Captain Hammer
122. Randalator
re: Sea Folk

Aaaaaaaargh! Stupid, selfish /%)§$)($"%"=)"§'s! Say what you want about the Seanchan...there's wrong in all colors of the rainbow with that culture but at least they are genuinely trying to do good. And they're actually succeeding in some ways.

But the Sea Folk don't give a flying file under cussing, 'kay? about anything but their personal gain and Tarmon Gai'don be damned. They'll probably have lots of fun with their land and their Bowl of the Winds and all the other crap WHEN THE DARK ONE BREAKS THE WHEEL! Stupid bunch of idiots...!

re: Mat vs. Supergirls

I agree with you, Leigh, Mat is guilty of the same faults as the Supergirls. Still, I ? Mat. I ? him to itty bitty little pieces. But his faults are also the reason that I'm pretty firmly in the I-don't-hate-on-the-Supergirls-(much) camp...
John Garcia
123. nojillys
Wow awesome. I have been recommended to join this community and it just amazes me the type of helpful interesting information there is.

Thank you for your post.
Rob Munnelly
124. RobMRobM
To all - I survived most of my week, now going into homestretch (big deal work thing in New Hampshire on Wed and then pick up my uncle at airport and entertain him; RI for wake then north of Boston (with my uncle) for bachelor party on Thurs; funeral in Western Mass and wedding north of Boston on Friday; bar mitzvah in southern CT and party in Boston area on Saturday; taking it easy today; then in NYC for meetings tomorrow (catching the 5:24 a.m. train to get there) and Tuesday). Whew.

Poor Leigh - although I'm secretly sure she has no puter problems at all, just anticipating a big Saints related hangover (whether they win or lose).

I must be losing my touch - I did two substantive posts over last 24 hours (post 83 above and one over on the Spoiler thread) and no one commented or responded to either. (On the spoiler thread I did my pyramid of WoT quality and put CoS in the bottom tier - take that, Leigh.) Damn you all to heck. I guess I'll have to tee one up about spanking or start insulting Freelancer or Tenku - or do a 12 days of Groundhog Day post. Or, alternatively, now you'll feel guity and comment while I'm in NYC without my laptop and unable to respond....

Debbie Solomon
125. dsolo
I'm glad you got your computer back, Leigh. So sorry no post tomorrow.

#101 hit the nail on the head with regard to the Seanchan. I was going to give them props for maintaining order, but I wasn't thinking about the secret police. They seem to be a kind of combination of Imperial China and Nazi Germany. My mother-in-law is German, and she said that Germans are very law abiding, which is one of the things the Nazi party took advantage of. It gave them a chance to entrench power before any opposition started. She also says that the Germans aren't unique, and that it can happen anywhere, once people start giving up freedom for security. Seems that's what the Seanchan offer. Also, the Chrystal Throne is supposed to be some kind of massive ter'angreal which ensures loyalty. Maybe it's like a humongous oath rod. Another thing that's really creepy about the Empress and High Blood is there idea that having a large family, so that the strongest one survives to rule. Talk about sibling rivalry.

The Sharans are another example of society gone wrong. I wonder what role they will play in the last battle.

There is a continual mention of the DR breaking the bonds of society. I wonder if that might mean that he's causing various societies to reexamine their treasured "traditions". The Seanchan definitely need a big change. However, perhaps the reason that society puts up with it is because of their chance for advancement to the Blood for merit. Discontent from the masses is generally from loss of hope of a better life.

Initially, I found Mat to be one of the most annoying characters. He reminds me of Loki or Coyote. More interested in pranks than doing the right thing. However, he has demonstrated that he is a hero, even if he doesn't think so. When he bowed to Egwene to show his support of her as Amrylin, I changed my opinion of him.

The secrecy that everyone practices is the most annoying part, but I guess it would have been only a trilogy if everyone had been upfront from the beginning.

Love all the discussion and insightful comments. It really helps my understanding of the series.
Alice Arneson
126. Wetlandernw
RobM - LOL! Yeah, it's been quiet here today. Speaking only for myself, I've got a headache and can't drum up the whatsit to say anything thoughtful. But my headache sounds like nothing to the week you've got ahead. Talk about extremes! Hope the weather at least stays decent for all your jaunterings about, and the family time turns out to be good for all.
Barry T
127. blindillusion
Just wanted to say...hey 'bout them SAINTS!!!!!
Bobby Stubbs
128. Valan
@ Rob 124

C'mon man can't get responses all the time, I barely ever get any! I don't post anywhere near as much as I'd like, though. Damn work gets in the way of me catching up...

Anyway for your convenience:

@ Rob 83

'- Prologue - everyone we hate gets a PoV. Painful."

Ah, but don't you sometimes love to hate them? I do. Except Sevannah I just hate to hate her.

"- Chapters 1-3. Post Dumai Wells character griping. Painful. "

This reminds me of something... Oh yeah its the entire concept of CoT

"- Chapters 4-5. Awesome set piece of going into Carhein and taking down Colavere. Wonderfully done. "

I love that set of chapters too

"- Chapters 6-7. Perrin and Rand being emo. Painful. "

Disagree. I rather liked the way RJ wrote the dissension between two old friends. They aren't the same people as they were and it needs to reflect their reaction to each other. Though I'm with Rand all the way, throw the AS to the sharks.

"- Chapters 8-9. Very interesting background on Egwene - not painful but not much happens.
- Chapters 10-13. Two great set pieces - one with the Wise Ones, one with Gareth Brynne and Myrelle, wrapped around an interesting but dry Egwene moving the plot chapter."


"Chapters 14-15. First one is funny for Avi's observations and Elayne's calming down of Nyn but long and not exciting; second is Mat following a darkfriend - not exciting."

Avi's my 2nd favorite supergirl. To agree with others, I don't think her fear of water is overdone at all. I mean, a year ago she'd never seen any water she couldn't freakin step across! Lock me in a box like Rand and I'd be feeling the same.

I love the Mat chapter, if not too exciting, its still fun and very interesting to get his side of things and see his interactions with his crew.

Can't wait for Swoven Night.
Alice Arneson
129. Wetlandernw
Valan @ 128 - Except Sevannah. I just hate to hate her. LOL!! You got it. Some characters are fun to hate, some are just... hateful. And she's one. Not even a shred of humor to redeem her.
Thomas Keith
130. insectoid
Blind @108: LOL!!

Leigh @112: Sorry to hear you had to settle for the last resort. We (meaning I) promise to be patient. Though we may be twitching till Friday... get to PARTY for your New Orleans Saints!! God, what a great game that was! Congrats Saints!

RobM² @124: I believe her.


131. saintsfan4life
dsolo @125
The secrecy that everyone practices is the most annoying part, but I guess it would have been only a trilogy if everyone had been upfront from the beginning.

The funny thing is, I thought it was a trilogy at first because I saw TDR in the library and it said book three of the series. I then had to wait so long for the first two to be available that it took close to a year for me to get around to reading TDR. I was kind of disappointed that it wasn't a trilogy but I'm totally into it now. (possibly a little obsessed)

RE: Aviendha's discomfort with water

I know it's already been discussed to death, but since there will be no post tomorrow (sad) I'll just toss in my two cents. Being from New Orleans, I'm used to all kinds of water, but when my little brother (he was 5 or 6 at the time) visited from Las Vegas and we got our daily 3:00 rain storm, he ran into the house screaming "It's burning, it's burning" because he had never seen significant rain. So yeah, I get that she'd be extremely uncomfortable.

RE: Seanchan

It's a dangerous thing to think that societal stability is a good trade off for institutionalized slavery. Being decended from slaves myself, perhaps I'm a little biased, but once you start making concessions for your personal security, you can never go back. Does the PATRIOT Act sound familiar.


And I'm spent *whew*
craig thrift
132. gagecreedlives
So I am guessing there was some sort of sporting event on today.
Alice Arneson
133. Wetlandernw
I've been thinking about the Seanchan, so now I have to play DA for a little.

I'm sure RJ expected us to hate them for certain of their... cultural distinctives, shall we say? OTOH, I have to point out that for a significant portion of the population, life in the Empire was probably relatively good. We love to hate the a'dam, the Seekers, the Listeners, the rivalry among the Blood, the keeping of so'jhin and da'covale, and they are all hateful. For your average Joe'chan, though, those things didn't concern him. If he was a farmer, and content to be a farmer, neither the "secret police" nor the Blood would bother to notice him. He could get on with farming, make a living for himself and his family, and life would be fine. Same for most of the merchants and craftsmen, and those three make up a large segment of any society. Even those east of the Aryth Ocean, as long as they weren't in positions of authority, found life under the Seanchan to be pretty similar to what it was before, except that under Seanchan rules, the nobles weren't allowed to take as much advantage of them and they were more likely to get fair prices. The Tinkers found it rather nice to be in Seanchan territory, because for the first time in 3000 years, they could truly feel safe from the cruelty of those who hated them without reason or took advantage of their beliefs to rob and abuse them. Those things just weren't allowed to happen.

Okay, now I have to admit (how many hands do I get tonight?) that I have a problem with people who go around exacting oaths from other people who clearly have no idea what the oath is supposed to mean. Around Falme, for example, lots of people were required to "obey, await and serve" but had no real idea what might be required of them in any practical sense.

And, of course, no matter what your station in life, if you can channel, the Light help you because nothing else will.

::stirring, stirring, stirring the pot::
134. Sir *twitch*alot
Just finished my re read of EOTW And i have lent my copy of TGH to a friend, now no re read till friday, how will i go on...

*twitch*,*twitch*,*twitch's then dies*
Bonnie Andrews
135. misfortuona
We love to hate the a'dam, the Seekers, the Listeners, the rivalry among the Blood, the keeping of so'jhin and da'covale, and they are all hateful.

Just to add a little seasoning to your pot. I can't come up with RL comparisons to the a'dam, or the so'jin and da'covale, but it occurs to me that we have Seekers, and Listeners in our society (North American).

Security cameras (everywhere), plain clothed police/ security people, and anonymous tip lines just to get started.
All of these things are for our own good, and welcomed by most people, but how are these things any different than their Seanchan counterparts?
Yes these are not the really bad parts of Seanchan society, but still pot/kettle?

Mis-instigator ;P
Maiane Bakroeva
136. Isilel
Wetlandernw @133:

For your average Joe'chan, though, those things didn't concern him.

This is a mistake that has been fatal for many RL societies :). Of course these things _do_ concern them too, however much they'd like to believe otherwise.

Once you have a culture of informing and secret police that can come for anybody in the night, it pervades the society from top to bottom. And is used extensively both by fanatically loyal who see a threat everywhere and by others for selfish reasons, as it provides a very convenient tool for getting what one wants. All of which substantially hurts performance on all levels.

I have been recently reading memoirs about Stalinist years in the USSR and it is all very fresh in my mind.

Anyway, there is also a substantial population of slaves who are not so'jinn/da'covale. What do they do? Work in mines or on big government construction projects?
In any case, their life has very little in common with that of Selucia or Furyk Karede, just as in ancient Rome life of a tutor/secretary to some powerful family had very little to do with those of agricultural/mine slaves - who were worked so hard that they didn't even manage to breed at replacement level and tended to die after a few years.

Let's not forget all these huge rebellions too, which happen on a relatively regular basis. There needs to be some discontent to fuel them, no?

There is also brutally enforced caste system, that yes allows for some mobility via the military. Which is nice, but what if you aren't cut out to be a soldier?

Finally, don't forget that we see Randland during the collapse and chaos caused by the (imminent) arrival of tDR. My impression was that normally in many countries commoners have nearly as much security and much more freedom than among the Seanchan.

Dsolo @ 125 -

How could I have forgotten "survival of the strongest"! Sounds exactly like the DFs operate, no? Yet another relic from Seanchan having been a Shadow-controlled territory during the War of the Power, I bet.

Re: Shara, ugh. Another horrid society from the little we know.

Re: Far Madding. The one good thing about it is that IIRC, if you don't like it you can leave, which is vastly better than both of the above, IMHO.
Tricia Irish
137. Tektonica

What a week! Sounds like an emotional rollercoaster and lots of driving and being "on". You need some R & R from your life! May I suggest
And don't feel bad about your excellent posts.....we were just off on a different tangent. It's been quiet. We'll get right on 83 and the Spoiler.....OK!

The Seanchan leadership is what needs to be changed. The people themselves are mostly service oriented, merchants or farmers and they will probably be OK, if lawlessness doesn't destroy everything without their large police force.

Like in the Soviet Union, who I mentioned in 114, if change comes too quickly, chaos ensues. But change must come to the leadership of Seanchan society. That is where the terrible caste, slavery, leashing systems come from. Average Joe-chan (LOL Wet@133) will be OK, if chaos doesn't break out. And I don't see any other way Seanchan society can be integrated in Randland. There has to be an "awakening" on Tuon's part. Then she'll have to convince the powers that support her to go along with the change.
Maybe Mat's and The Band can help with that.

I totally missed the "throne as ter'angreal"(sp)...where is that first mentioned? That sounds like a biggie! Damn! That changes everything! Prophecy has new meaning.


The biggest difference between their secret police etc., and our FBI/CIA, is that we have a judicial system. Their citizens have no recourse.....if the SP don't believe them/like their answers/don't cooperate....then adios.

And congrats to Saints fans and good luck. I fear you'll need it.
I thought the game was awful. The Vikings played a much better game than the Saints.....twice the offense, better defense..... and then beat themselves with fumbles and interceptions. The Vikes lost, the Saints didn't win. Grumble, grumble, whine, whine. I so want the Colts to lose......C'mon Saints!
Barry T
138. blindillusion
Well, the biggest point with discussing a radical change in Seanchan politics is that the country is already in turmoil. Let’s not forget a civil war is currently happening there. If Tuon is to change her stance on, well, everything, then she needs to do so now and then bring these new ideologies back to Seanchan.

After all, upon her Return =) to Seanchan, I’d imagine she’s going to have to wade into two possibilities: 1) an ongoing civil war 2) a system that does not recognize her as the Empress.

Should she either a) win the civil war, or b) cast down the newly placed system, presenting her new beliefs in regards to channeling (and hopefully the caste system) might be seen in a favorable light.

Lots of “shoulds” and “mights” in there, but Tuon’s a competent person (sure, not level headed, but hey, everyone has their faults). And if she has Mat by her side…well…conclusion, she if foregone.
139. ValMar

Yeah, the Australian Open is on ;)

Those American football games last night were probably the reason of the low activity then. Congrats to the winners. It was a good sports day for me too (Federer, Avalanche, and most important Man City all won).

With Leigh's pc down and New Orleans playing todays post was really doomed.
Tricia Irish
140. Tektonica

Maybe Tuon doesn't go back? Just lets them fight it out over there, and makes her bed here in Randland with Mat by her side. Then what? Does she try to rule it all? She'll have to make some, if she does. Or does she settle for a country of her own here with new rules? Same rules as SC?

Or maybe, she goes back to fight with Karyde an the Gardners, and her army at her side, and leaves Mat here in charge!! Then we'd see some changes!

At least here in Randland, there are other governments in place to govern, and the Seanchan that are here could easily be assimilated.
James Jones
141. jamesedjones
140 Tektonica

RJ committed to Tor that he would provide 3 novels telling the story of Mat and Tuon returning to Seanchan to deal with the chaos there. Whether these stories are ever written, it is accepted canon that both Mat and Tuon will return to Seanchan after TG.
Barry T
142. blindillusion
Hmm? Interesting thoughts Tek.

But I was simply going off what we know about the post-WoT story involving Mat and Tuon going back to Seanchan.

Granted, we don't know much about that plotline, and we're not sure if it'll ever be written, but I'd imagine it'll get at least a mention in Maria's Encyclopedia de WoT.

edit: Hmm, JEJ beats me to the punch. Eh well. Information out there, check.
Tess Laird
143. thewindrose
gagecreedlives - I live close to St Paul MN - is that the St Paul on your 'tour' list? If so it would be great to have one(mine will be wine though - and maybe more than one). Maybe we could get some of the MN lurkers to join as well - mini WoTCon in Minnesota;)

There are a lot of sore Viking fans today, I am working with some of them:(
144. ValMar
On Seanchan politics and the debate about safety and order vs freedom.

Some have already made both Western and Communist RL comparisons. I come from a country formerly behind the Iron Curtain and I'm very familiar with the impact large "security apparatus" has on society, unfortunately. It is very pervasive and has very deep impact on society. You have to live it to know how bad it is.
But there are a number of differences between the Seanchan and the former GDR, USSR, etc.
In, say, USSR as a communist state everyone is supposed to be equal (achieved by wiping out the middle classes to a different degree depending on the country). So the activities of the secret police involved everyone. In the strictly divided Seanchan society it was the noble classes who were a challenge to imperial power and it was for them who the secret police were of any consideration, IMO. Seanchan society doesn't seem to be like the Cairhienin to me.

Also, the Seanchan secret police are all slaves, gov. property, whose only motivation is to do the job they've been given. In the former Eastern Block, and elsewhere I'm sure, this most emphaticly wasn't and isn't the case. From top to bottom. So the efforts/activities of the security apparatus spread to many/all different areas of life than one would expect. Including organised crime.

Mind you, there are many similarities between the Seanchan and USSR/GDR/NKor. Totalitarian regime supported by large central apparatus. Worship of the leadership (we had a pantheon of commy saints to worship- Marx, Engels, Stalin, many regional ones). Paranoia with self-preservation. I guess RJ took some inspiration from the Eastern Block.

In summary, I believe that the subjects of the Seanchan Empress are better off than the free comrades from the People's Republuc of X/Y/Z. By a large margin.

But the comparison between Western democracies and the Seanchan re: civil liberties vs security is much more interesting. Especially after 09/11/01 for most of you folks and 07/07/05 for the UK.

Sorry for the rambling.
Tricia Irish
145. Tektonica

Thanks for putting all that into perspective. It sounds like you are from the GDR? I was there for a day in 1970, and it scared the cr*p out of me. It's really hard to imagine. I appreciate your input here.

Sounds like the Seanchan have alot in common with the "ruling class" in X, Y and Z. But, as you pointed out, the people in Seanchan seem largely unaffected, since it's just the Nobles jockeying for position, and thus, are better off than the residents of X,Y,Z.

As for Tuon and Mat....I am aware they are supposed to go back to Seanchan. I was just having fun with possibilities...... I wonder if those books will ever see the light of day? I think Brandon has talked about this....wanting to get back to his own work, but not ruling it out, if Harriet wants to go there.

Wind@143: My condolences. I was rooting for the Vikes all the way. Darn.
Matthew Smith
146. blocksmith

Jumped ahead in the comments to post this just in case you were not aware...I apologize if someone already said this.

When you backup your them to a flash drive. After you wipe your computer and reload your operating systems, restart in "safe" mode, connect your flash drive and then scan it with most up-to-date anti-virus software you can. It should catch anything embedded and clean that also. Then you can restart in normal mode and load up your "clean" files.

Full disclosure: I am not an IT geek...just someone who suffered a similar occurrence and the solution worked very well.
147. ValMar
Hi Tek. No, I'm from the Balkans, South-East Europe. Our regimes were pretty bad but KGB and GDR are more notorious (Stasi were particularly thorough). Better examples.

What you have in Seanchan is state agents who expect everyones full co-operation. But their activities involve directly the upper classes, ruling and military, who are clearly segragated from the rest of the population.
Behind the Iron Curtain was different. Large proportion of the population, maybe 5%/10%/20%, were expected to report on the others and each other.
This was the lowest level of involvement but also the most insidious, IMO. People become involved with others just to be in better position to snoop. For this rewards varied. You could be doing it for a pair of "western" stockings, place at prestigious uni, a right to settle in the capital (yep, you couldn't just move in), a rise up the ladder, etc.
In my country almost anyone who became someone during these times was involved with the security apparatus (excluding sports persons, artists and the like). I'm sure it is similar in the other Soviet Block countries.

From what I remember of this creepy fellow with the badge, with the Seanchan this is not the case, as I wrote in my previous post. If they come and ask you a question (which probably never happens to most average Seanchan Joes) you answer. But you don't report on you wife's brother on a regular basis.

The problem with the Seanchan style of law and order was shown when central authority ceased and everything dessented into chaos straight away.

And the comparisons which people made between Roman slaves and Seanchan slaves were very apt, IMO.

Another long one, sorry.
Matthew Smith
148. blocksmith
And now back to the reread/comments...


And I thought I had a tough week past...that is a BOATLOAD of driving. Condolences on the funeral, enjoy the BP. Don't lock up any naked asian men in your trunk...only bad things happen.


Throw Eamon Valda in their glad he is dun.

On the Sea Folk redeeming qualities...

1. (for those interested in scantily clad, graceful sea legs-walking women) their open-water attire.
2. An interesting/somewhat equal gender-role power sharing form of shipboard government.
3. Fight the Seanchan.
4. Sail really really fast.

Beyond that, I got nothing.

On haggling...

I am not the master, but I have watched one in action. There are four basic, simple rules that can help anyone.

1. Know the product/service you are looking to purchase...value, cost and market price, availability, etc. Most common haggling items in general US society are automobiles and jewelry. Know them insided and out before you step foot in a showroom/store. As an aside to this, stay focused on the product you researched. Don't get sidetracked into alternatives...down that road lies death...or at least loss of bargaining leverage.

2. Know how much you can spend. If you are trying to buy something below the cost price above, chances are no matter how hard you haggle, you won't get it. Not too many salesman last long when they sell for below cost.

3. Be prepared to walk away if you can't get the price you want. Simplest, most effective tool in the consumer's kit. In my best Lord Humongous "Just Walk Away". Leave a phone number though...they may have a change of heart.

4. Don't fall in love. If you are with your significant other and they say in hearing of the seller "oh, I just love that _____!" or "I absolutely have to have that!" you are screwed. Time to walk away. See number 3 above. And leave that person at home next time.

So, comparing these to the SGs with the Sea Folk...they fail miserably. First, they outright state there not sure what they want. Second, they say everything depends on it (a salesman would call that demand market price adjustment). Third, they really don't know how much is too much.

They walked into that bear trap.
Birgit F
149. birgit
I totally missed the "throne as ter'angreal"(sp)...where is that first mentioned?

In the World of WoT (p. 160 in the German edition).
Fake Name
150. ThePendragon
I am a professional anti-malware dude. It's my job, all day every day. Welcome to my world leigh.
Alice Arneson
151. Wetlandernw
ValMar @several - Thank you for the great input! I can only base my opinions on what I read - you base yours on experience that I've never had. (For which, I am extremely grateful!) My "read" of the Seanchan society is much like your excellent summation: What you have in Seanchan is state agents who expect everyones full co-operation. But their activities involve directly the upper classes, ruling and military, who are clearly segragated from the rest of the population. (Among others.) That's what I was after. Despite RL comparisons, few of which are really all that similar to Seanchan, from everything in the books it seems like the farmers/merchants/craftsmen are pretty contented.

In my previous post, I was obviously referring to the more-or-less stable condition of the Empire as it was before Semirhage started having all her fun. Now that she has murdered the entire Imperial family except Tuon, who knows what kind of effect that will have on the homeland. There is a certain "omen value" to that destruction, and the superstitious nature of the culture might send even the lowliest peasant into shock; not sure how much the lowly buy into all that. Aside from that, though, if those maneuvering for power do it mostly through politics and/or assassination, the average Joe'chan should be more or less okay. If they do it through pitched battles and all-out (or all-in!) warfare with damane and everything, life will obviously get pretty miserable for anyone who happens to be in the way.

Tricia Irish
152. Tektonica

Thanks for sharing those insights. You are correct, it is hard to imagine without having lived it. Everyone ratting on everyone else to get ahead....expected to, by the government. What a very paranoid society. I hope that is past. (I have a feeling the KGB still rules Russia.)

Your parallels with Seanchan Nobility are certainly apt. Joe-chan should be OK though, unless fired upon. Which makes me wonder what started the chaos in SC? Other Nobles must be vying with the military for control? Thoughts, anyone?

What will Tuon do? Think she'll leave Mat here for TG, in charge of her forces, and go back to salvage her throne? Sounds like a suicide mission to me. Guess she can't go back until after TG, as she'll need the troops.....should any be left.

So yeah, Wet, you stirred the pot! Well done.;-)
153. ValMar
Fortunately I was less than 10 yrs old by the time things changed. My parents and grandparents told me stories though. It was really ugly when the communist party was consolidating its power around 1944-48. Now this is past because the function to control the population is no more. But those who ruled before 1989 continue, along with their descendants. Now capitalist and first in the church for Easter and Christmas.

On the Seanchan colapse. There are currently about 50 armies in the field. I can't remember whether their leader are trying to carve out territory for themselves or take the Imperial crown itself. Perhaps Semi, before beheading the Empire, arranged for the Chaos to follow. Given how massive the Seanchan lands are it is rather unlikely for such quick reaction to the vacuum in Seandar to develop without help.
And excellent point re: Omens, Wet. Given how indoctrinated they are about their mighty Empress, and how superstitious they are, this could have had major effect on the events there.
As to when Fortuona will go back, it would be after book 14, I'm sure. With Mat. Whether we will see it or not who knows.

Where's everyone? Now that football is over there's no excuse.
154. JkKecv3OT4mbMDJ0
Why is the master index not updated any more?
Roger Powell
155. forkroot
Question (for you or any of the other astute posters): In your commentary, you mentioned that Shiaine was the 2nd or 3rd random speaking Darkfriend from TEotW to pop up later in the series? Who was the first?
I think it might be Howal Gode. He was a darkfriend who followed Rand from Whitebridge. He shows up again dealing with Eaganin in Tanchico.
Fake Name
156. ThePendragon
You're thinking of Floran Gelb, who is not a DF by the way. He was the jerk who was on Domon's ship and was later kicked off for sleeping while on watch when Rand, Mat and Thom get on while being followed by Trollocs. I'm pretty sure Gode gets fried by Rand in EotW. (Is it sad that I didn't have to look any of this up?)

Also, I always assumed old barrely guy was Old Cully as well. I don't buy it being Noal, I figure mat would've remembered this encounter when he meets him later.
Heidi Byrd
157. sweetlilflower
So, with all this discussion on societies, I have a survey for everyone to get us through to Friday...If you could transport yourself, as you actually are, into Randland, which society would you most want to live in?

If you could be the ultimate ruler, which society would you choose?

And, finally, if you could channel the OP, which society would you choose?

I am going to guess that not many pick the Sea Folk :)
158. drothgery
Lsana @36 - I've had a long-standing theory that when it comes to exotic cutlures in WoT, annoying is invesely proportional to evil. There's really nothing that jumps out at you as being appallingly evil in Sea Folk society, but with the exception of Jorin back in TSR and the dude that started betting on Mat when he went gambling back in TDR, they're just not nice people. On the other had, the Seanchan practice widespread slavery, have deeply intrusive secret police, and have barbic criminal punishments. Most individual Seanchan we meet -- at least when they aren't Darkfriends -- are quite nice people. The Aiel stand squarely in the middle on this. More evil than the Sea Folk, less so than the Seanchan. More annoying than the Seanchan, less annoying than the Sea Folk.
Barry T
159. blindillusion
Hmm, drothgery, I'd be weary talking bad about the Aiel....

There be wolves. ;)

I'd have to say the most annoying character trait of the Aiel, as many people have mentioned before, is their complete hatred of the "Treekillers". I'm sorry, but it's time to let it go.

The most annoying trait of the Sea Folk, as many people have mentioned, is their, at least at the leadership level, complete disregard for the people with whom they Bargain.

The most annoying trait(s) of the Seanchan, as many people have mentioned, is/are not so much annoying as gut-wrenching, go-to-war-worthy atrocities.

All three have their faults, but hands-down, the one society that needs to change is the Seanchan. If not, I'm not seeing happy times for them after the Last Battle.
The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade.
160. MasterAlThor
::waves to::
Tek, GCL, Sub

Yeah I haven't been around much. Just lurking. This semester of school is different. And with Leigh's change in schedule and the virus outbreak, I needed some time to recharge.

Someone already told GCL what a snickerdoodle is, that's good.




The gods be praised. You served one up on a platter for me. You pot stirrer woman!

For your average Joe'chan, though, those things didn't concern him. If he was a farmer, and content to be a farmer, neither the "secret police" nor the Blood would bother to notice him. He could get on with farming, make a living for himself and his family, and life would be fine. Same for most of the merchants and craftsmen, and those three make up a large segment of any society.

Joe'chan doesn't have anything to worry about until one of the nobles decides to use him as a pawn. Remember that the children of the Emperess are actively trying to kill each other off.

And what about freedom vs security? I see that Isilel and ValMar have gotten there before me. But really, you don't have the freedom that we as citizens of the US know and love. (well some of us at least)

I think that we get a lot of glimpses of the Seanchan culture but we aren't totally clear on the whole thing. The Seanchan are just a people who think that security will equate freedom. That is wrong. Freedom won't equate security either, but freedom is worth more than security.

Large government work great for small countries. But for an empire like the Seanchan, their whole society is one rebellion away from falling. And if the news about Tuon gets out....
John Massey
161. subwoofer
And... the Sea folk keep their end of their bargains. Look at the gift of whatever they gave to those Amayar people- not sure of spelling- that lasted since the breaking of the world. I am thinking that these folks (Am) sound awful passive. Maybe true Jenn Aiel? Anyways, I also don't think the SF are all that bad. Just different. In a good way.

Edit- Morning- M A T- waves back gotta run- make it a gooder:)

163. ValMar
M A T@160
My impression of the Seanchan is that nobles there don't mix with commoners (unless military or maybe very rich merchants or high level beurocrats) and therefore don't use them "as pawns" in the way that Randland nobles do. The Seanchan have their slaves.

About the Amayar and SF. One group supplies the other with what they need. SF can't stand the land and the Amayar don't like the sea. They will find it very difficult to exist without each other. So the SF are not simply being charitable.
Debbie Solomon
164. dsolo
subwoofer - interesting comment about the Amayar being Jenn Aiel. They talk about the "Time of Illusions" being finished, and the Aiel refer to death as "waking from the dream". I think the SF really do care about the Amayar. Their alliance goes back to the Breaking. The SF fled in ships, but were not sailors, that came later. They helped the Amayar at that time, so they could have been Aiel.

re: Seanchan society - they spent most of their time on Seandar conquering the various groups already there. That's why they are the Ever Victorious Army. Remember Furyk's aide with the skull drinking cup? Semi offered the throne to Suroth, so I get the impression that the throne is up for grabs for whichever of the High Blood is strong enough to claim it (remember the policy of advancement through assassination).

re: which country? I love the Two Rivers people. I'm a nurse, so I could see myself as a Wisdom. One of my favorite scenes was the Two Rivers folk preparing to hold off Trollocs (like their Manetheran forebears). Even the Congars and the Coplins came through.
Henry Loose
165. schrodinger
@ M A T@160

here you go:

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

-Benjamin Franklin

the Seanchan do not have the essential liberty of choosing their own leaders (at least not without a butt-load of them dying), and they have temporary safety (until the next rebellion or changing of the leadership... although the throne does look more favorably on those who use cunning, rather than brute force, it seems).

The best that I can say for the seanchan system is that it is a good starting point. A few reforms into a post TG world, and who knows, it might be a democratic utopia... mostly because I don't think that Mat is going to take any of this bowing crap. (also, Mat Cauthon, leader-of-the-not-quite-free-as-it-could-be-world doesn't really work now does it?)

edit: If I were an asha'man, I would: 1) go to the borderlands 2) kick. some. ass.
D.I. Rock
166. FeatherDancer
@ 157. sweetlilflower - To kill time till Friday

I'm with dsolo - The Three Rivers / Edmonds Field would be my society of choice. Even though they are technically part of Andor they truly govern and depend on themselves. I thinks it's the only example of a Democracy in the WOT I recall. I like Democracy and it is small enough and contained enough to function.

I never wanted to be ultimate ruler of anything.

If I could channel I would put some effort into learning healing and make myself useful in Shienar or one of the Borderlands that has a need.
Ron Garrison
167. Man-0-Manetheran
Hi all. Haven't looked at the board for a few days, but now caught up.

ValMar - Interesting to hear your experiences (or rather your parent and grandparent's experiences). Thanks. I was reminded of an excellent film by Bernardo Bertolucci: The Conformist. Highly recommended.

Leigh, ThePendragon and others interested: I was reading this morning that Symantec reports that "cyber-theft is now a more lucrative business than drug trafficking." So, keep your anti-virus, anti-malware programs up to date!

Re. poll: I think that if I could pick, I would be a Brown Asha'man in the New Tower - probably a Sitter.
Ron Garrison
168. Man-0-Manetheran
Gee. Something I said? "Brown Sitter" was not meant as a defecating reference. ;-)
Tricia Irish
169. Tektonica
Sub, M-O-M, MAT: ::waving:: Nice to see more people on ye olde blog. Welcome to names I don't recognize. More the merrier, I say!

Re Poll: This is odd to think about.....
Not Seanchan, not ever.
Kin are nice, but no men....that's a no!
Like the Aiel, but I like my creature comforts these days.
The Two Rivers seems the most normal, most like the midwest, where I grew up, but I'm a big city girl at heart.

So what city? Caemlyn sounds nice. Couldn't handle the political intrigue of Carhein. Tar'Valon sounds beautiful....

Are we assuming we could channel? If so, let's say, Tar'Valon.
So what Ajah?

Red, no, obvious re: above rejection of Kin.
White, no, too cerebral 24/7.
Brown, no, too isolated and detail oriented. (But Verin wasn't.)
Yellow, I'm good with bandaids and neosporin, but ummm, no.
Gray, no patience, don't think I'd make a good negotiator.
Blue, politics,not my thing. Good travel opportunities, that's a plus for me.
Green, marry, good. Battle, not so much.

Have I forgotten any? So probably Blue or Brown Ajah. Not a sitter. A wanderer. A collector of cultures.

Wouldn't want to ever be the ultimate ruler of anything, or a sitter, as I don't like committee meetings and all the dithering.
Marcus W
170. toryx
Man, it's going to be a long wait until Friday, isn't it? Stupid viruses.

Re: sweetlilflower's poll -

Live In: I'd probably pick the Two Rivers myself. I like mountains, places where there aren't a lot of people. Tam's got the right idea...staying out of town so he doesn't have to deal with the Women's Circle too much.

Rule: Nope, not going to rule anyone. That's a job I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Channeling Society: Given that I'm male, there aren't really a lot of options there. If I came in after Rand's cleansed Saidin, I'd still wouldn't want to be a part of any Tower. Can't I be that odd hermit in the Mountains of Mists that people occasionally visit to get their fortunes read, or beg for Healing?

My second choice to the Two Rivers would be Shienar. I dig the whole "Peace favor your sword," bit, not to mention the communal baths. :)
Ron Garrison
171. Man-0-Manetheran
Ah, Tek. Always love your comments. Browns don't have to be isolated. It's the love of knowledge that's important. I'm definitely of the go-out-and-get-it variety, although I know my way around a library extremely well! As for a Sitter, I too hate committees and meetings, (esp. committee meetings!) but I also hate letting someone else make all the decisions. Maybe head of the Brown Ajah... What is that called again? The Nose? No. That can't be right...
Rikka Cordin
172. Rikka
I'd be a Tinker. pacifism comes easily to kids raised Quaker ;) :P plus the wandering! and the dancing! and the singing. I'd leave after a bit but it would be a great place to hang out for a while.

Otherwise I'd say probably Fal Dara or one of the Borderlands. I do like Kandori excessively for how little screen time they get...

As for channelers if I had to be Aes Sedai, I'd be a greeny brown or a brownish green. Probably a brownish green. I like men. A lot. But I'd want to be on the level of wandering with Cadsuane. I'm horrible at staying in one place and no one needs to know if I'm alive or not.

I'd want to rule.... hrm. Ebou Dar, pre-Seanchan. Very earthy and fun people, plus heat, I shrivel in the cold. I hate ruling though. Hello Prince Consort.
Ron Garrison
173. Man-0-Manetheran
Rikka - How about Arafellin? You could wear bells in your hair.
David Platt
174. The Not So Dark One
The Pendragon @ 150 and Leigh -

beware professional Mal ware fixers - who do you think started the virus' in the first place -

Its like in Terry Prachett - they disbanded the fire fighters guild when they realised it was a bad idea to pay people by the amount of fires they put out!

;-) Sorry Pendrag
Thomas Keith
175. insectoid
A survey, huh? 'Bout time we had another of those.

Sweetlilflower @157:
Live: Probably somewhere in Andor, maybe Caemlyn.

Rule: Don't really fancy myself a ruler of anything, but... Emperor of Seanchan? (Insectoid the First!)

Channeling Society: Asha'man. Bonded to a Green sister. 'Nuff said. ;)

M-0-M @168: LOL.

EDIT: 175... no, still too easy. ;)

Tricia Irish
176. Tektonica
M-O-M@171: aka, The Nose.....

I'm so glad someone gets my humor. Thanks.

Let's house is full of books, and I do go through creative hermit phases......but travel, and history, and popular culture (if you can call it culture), is most interesting to me. OK, you've convinced me...Brown, but do I have to wear it?

I'll get out my Verin microscope and practice tilting my head and examining people.
Fake Name
177. ThePendragon
@174The Not So Dark One

It's called Job security. ;)
Tess Laird
178. thewindrose
I would be a Blue sister in the new co-ed non-oath taking Tower. However, I would rarely be there. I would Travel all over the world. Would like to have residences in all of the large cities, and of course dress like a native, except for out at sea with the Sea Folk.
I would like to help out the Seanchan continent. That is going to be a tough job. How ever Mat will be heading that way, so that will be a plus. Would want a Lan type Warder, but also have a relationship with said Warder;)

Tricia Irish
179. Tektonica

If you need a Brown/Blue assistant, I'm up for it. Love to travel, love Mat, and I'm a city girl.

PS: Warders are good!
180. AndrewB
Place where I would want to live: Kandor (Rikka beat me to the punch). Why Kandor? As I remember they are good traders. Further (and more importantly):
a) Saldea -- too high stung and over dramatic (see Faile & Tenobia (sp?); I could never marry a Saldean women
b) Arafellian -- too emotional (see Alanna); besides, I could never where bells on my head.
c) Shinear -- was not too crazy about what we saw of that society from TEotW and TGH.

As to which Ajah I would be (if I were a woman): Gray. I am an attorney by profession (quickly ducks from thrown objects). I enjoy the art of negotiating (in my case transactional agreements). I would problably prefer to travel more than reside in the White Tower (like Elenia's Gray pillow friend -- the ferret whose name I cannot remember. In TGS, this sister's room was way cool.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Sandy Brewer
181. ShaggyBella
I have been following the discussions for a while now, so I might as well join in.
I guess I would join a Traveling Show as an Illuminator or working with horses. Sounds like an interesting way to see the countries.
To be the leader of a kingdom I would pick Illian. They seem like regular people, without all the intrigue. They also have a port and seem to be doing will financially.
As a channeler, I am a Brown Ajah type of person, into science, reading and research. Maybe visit the Tower once in a while, But mostly stay away. (I don't like know-it-all snobs)

Brett Michie
182. bchurch
For the poll, I think I would have a permanent residence in Arad Domon, near the coast. I'm in Oregon now, and love it here. Arad Domon always reminded me of our own Pacific Northwest. I would also want to travel frequently to all regions, especially the Aiel Waste. I grew up in Southern Utah, of which the Waste reminded me a great deal.

I wouldn't really want to rule anything, but would love to own several hundred hides of land (it's hides, not acres, in Randland, is it not?).

As for channeling affiliation, I'd be asha'man. But if there was some sort of ajah system set up there, I'd choose whichever lent itself to a music/philosophy career. Kind of a cross between Asmodean and Ishamael before they went over to the darkside and without all the arrogance.

Or else I'd just be a hermit and brew my own ale and wine.
Alice Arneson
183. Wetlandernw
Or else I'd just be a hermit and brew my own ale and wine. Would you mind the occasional visitor? ;)
Thomas Keith
184. insectoid
Is there anybody... out there? ;)

Brett Michie
185. bchurch
Visitors always welcome. I got my brown ale recipe from Bran al'Vere, and may try my hand at Tam's apple brandy. And I'll have to get some good cuttings from the best Tairen and Cairhienen vinyards, so I can start my own.
Barry T
186. blindillusion
Ah, a Survey:

If you could transport yourself, as you actually are, into Randland, which society would you most want to live in?

As I actually am? A bottom tier officer? Married, with kids? Well, I'm going to have to say Andor. Family living safely in a nice, manor-type house a few leagues from the city (after all, if I'm an officer, most likely I'm from a fairly well-to-do family). As for where my loyalties would have gone since the events in the novels kicked off...I would have thrown my lot in with the Band of the Red Hand.

If you could be the ultimate ruler, which society would you choose?

Eh, I'm not fit to rule.

And, finally, if you could channel the OP, which society would you choose?

Well, hopefully the ability came about post-Cleansing, but, either way, do I have to be a part of either Tower? I do? Oh...shit. OK, aligned Tower.... I'm going to say Brown Ajah (after all, I still consider myself a “Student of it All” before all else), with the family and myself living in a nice house-type deal in Tar Valon. I'd eventually take up traveling, though. Sigh.
craig thrift
187. gagecreedlives

Yeah they told me what a snickerdoodle is. Still makes me giggle though. Im such a child. I still laugh whenever I hear about yankee-doodle riding a pony.

And for the country that I would rule with an iron glove. Well I will take the Blight. Kill off the forsaken and theres nobody to contest my rule. Trollocs to dumb and fades don’t seem interested in politics. Sure theres some dark lord wanting to destroy the world but he only turns up once in a blue moon and he hasn’t managed it so probably wont.

I can already hear the chants. Gagecreedlives long live gagecreed.
Maiane Bakroeva
188. Isilel
ValMar @144:

But their activities involve directly the upper classes, ruling and military, who are clearly segragated from the rest of the population.

But isn't it how the Terrible Secret Police stuff always starts? By watching people who supposedly have reason to be dissatisfied with the regime or have enough clout to be dangerous?
And invariably, in all societies where informing on a large scale was encouraged (from post-Sulla's Rome to whatever modern example you'd care to name), as among the Seanchan, it also spread into the population at large relatively quickly.

Also, the fact that Seekers are slaves hardly makes them as superior as suggested. This also has been tried IRL, by many societies, on the theory that a slave who comes in without attachments would be particularly devoted to the regime as a government official.
Needless to say that even when those slaves were castrated to focus their mind on their duties even more, the usual human fallacies of ambition, pettiness, vengefulness, etc. came into play and they were hardly any more reliable than a normal kind of official.

And really, we see that the Seeekers aren't any better than your normal Secret Police, because we witness how one of them builds a completely bogus case. Now, Suroth was guilty as sin, but not of the things that the Seeker tried to saddle her with.
And he also dragged 2 middle-class people (that we saw, there were likely others too) into it, who had nothing to do with it and really haven't done much wrong otherwise, but who knew immediately that they were in extreme danger/doomed regardless of their guilt or innocence, once he tried to rope them into his investigation. And who eventually were driven into real treason _by the actions of the Seeker_.
So, it seems to me that the Seekers are very much a threat to "normal" people too and that their MO is very much in line with KGB et al.

As to farmers or merchants, those rebellions that happened on a relatively regular basis in Seanchan couldn't have happened without some sort of popular support, so Seekers do have a reason to keep an eye on the non-military populace too.

Really, the perniciousness of this system can't be overestimated.
189. Joanne
Oh fun, a survey!

I would like to live in Caemlyn, seems like a nice city with relatively normal people.

If I could channel I would most like to be some anonymous wilder and secretly use Traveling to start a newspaper service. That is definitely a hole in the market in Randland.

not interested in ruling, maybe as the wisdom of a small village or something
190. ValMar
Isilel @188

Firstly, I'm not trying to defend or excuse the Seekers. The two middle class people you refer are I guess Egeanin and Domon. In other words Egeanin and her chattels. She is in the military and then was enobled as well. She had dealings with Suroth and AS. By Seanchan law her activities were very illegal (aiding marath-damane -sp?).

I agree about your point on how organisations like Stasi and KGB spread quickly into all levels and aspects of society, that's what I wrote too. But communist societies and Seanchan society are very different as are the percieved threats to them (I'm not familiar with post-Sulla's example unfortunatelly).
Given the Seekers almost mythical reputation and the lack of mass media, internet, telegraph, it can be assumed that they've been around for a few centuries at least.

From the books we don't have real evidence for what you say about the Seekers activities and spread. But from the Ugly Art Guide one can see your view more justified. Most important, it says there that the Seekers are to root out darkfriends too. I believe that's where they affect most often ordinary people (i.e. persons not of political or military imprtance and their agents).

As a summary, I'll concede (for what it's worth) that the Seekers have more pervasive influence in Seanchan society than I originally thought. Especially due to their anti-darkfriend (thought police) activities, and lack of checks on their power.
But not to the effect that is being argued. Simply because the Seekers expect obedience and co-operation from everyone but after centuries of existence they haven't developed a centralised infrastructure where milions of Seanchan citizens were to report regularly.
Seanchan is a medieval society which lacks the infrastructure and ideology to develop a secret police paralel to what we know in RL.
Ha, what a "summary" that is.
Well done for the intrepid readers who have reached this point.

I'll post separately for the survey.
Rob Munnelly
191. RobMRobM
Survey - I'll take island living on prosperous Mayene with an outside shot at a hot "First" date.

Re power, I'd be a Gray and get some travel time in mediating the frequent Ilian-Tear-Mayene disputes.
James Jones
192. jamesedjones

Where would I live? Land of Madmen, post-cleansing. I'm all for opportunity and potential. Sure, the risk is insane, but the upside is unbelievable.

Ajah relation? Black. They have more fun. ;)

Unconditional rule? Seanchan, of course. Power-wielding military trumps all. I'd feel guilty, sure. But I'd get over it.

Edit: Umm... Go Light!
Matthew Smith
193. blocksmith
Ah...forbidden surveys!

Society/Place: Shienar...a little less metropolitan than Andor but still generally good people. Plus, with those winters and the steam baths, the skiing (and apres ski) must be fantastic.

Ruler/Power: Not so much, though a position like Gareth Bryne/Rodel Ituralde/Davram Bashere appeals to my sense of service and dedication with permission to think outside the box.

AS Ajah: Blue...gotta love a cause worth fighting for. And because, based on Moiraine, they seem to embody a little bit of most of the Ajahs specialties...some healing, some history knowledge, some fighting skill, some ability at *cough* diplomacy.
Tess Laird
194. thewindrose
@ Tektonica - Yes - but make it a colleague and sometimes an accomplice;)

@ insectoid -
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there any one at home?

@ShaggyBella - Welcome, we all love Bela(well the DO may not...)!

@bchurch - Tek and I will be visiting:)
195. alreadymadwithwotcitizens
Darn, RobM beat me to the "First" date. I'd be a liberal Mayener too. Formerly of the Winged Guards, now an Asha'man.
Jack Diamond
196. violetdancer
I'm shocked! Shocked! Nobody wants to be Aiel and live in the Waste? OK, I'll take it. I love deserts and wide open spaces. I can start a library/university in Rhuidean. Put out a call for serious students who like oosqai (sp?).

Anyone want to venture a guess on what place channeling males will have in that society post-clensing and TG? I don't see them becoming Wise Ones. Perhaps they can be the new clan chiefs with a little more clout.
Marcus W
197. toryx
Nobody wants to be Aiel and live in the Waste?

Hell no! I've lived in the desert more than once and beautiful though it is, it's not remotely comfortable even with air conditioning. There's no way that I'd ever want to live there without AC and a car.

Not to mention, y'know, the difficulty in finding water.

Anyone want to venture a guess on what place channeling males will have in that society post-clensing and TG?

Given what sticklers they are for tradition, I'll bet it takes a few years before men stop going off into the Blight to face Sightkiller. It'll be even longer before they're accepted but I wouldn't be surprised if they created a Society, or became as revered as, say, blacksmiths. Particularly if they take up Healing.
Tess Laird
198. thewindrose
violetdancer - That depends on what happens with the Aiel after TG. Do the remaining Aiel remain a warrior society, or do they go back to how they were in the AoL?
If it is the second, then I think anyone who could channel could chose to become part of the Aes Sedai or not - prolly something like graduating as an Aes Sedai or learning enough to not hurt yourself or others and going your own way.
If the Aiel remain a warrior society, I would imagine that the men could become Wise Ones or maybe there will be a new society for warrior channelers - maybe this one could be male/female.

And of course Rhuidean being a great city and all,
Tek and I will be visiting every now and then.
Ron Garrison
199. Man-0-Manetheran
blindillusion @ 186: "Eh, I'm not fit to rule."
Just what I look for in a ruler: humility.

RobMRobM @ 191" "'First' date"

violetdancer @ 196
I forgot about New Rhuidean. That does sound appealing. I'd have to time a visit when Tek and Windrose are visiting so we can all raise several glasses of oosquai.
200. Speradigm
Ah, a Survey:

If you could transport yourself, as you actually are, into Randland, which society would you most want to live in?

The society I'd rather live in is with the Aiel-- but I hate the brown and the desert-- so perhaps after the breaking be with Aiel that stay in the wetlands.

I'd rather wear greens anyway.

If you could be the ultimate ruler, which society would you choose?

A wise one of the Aiel would suffice there.

And, finally, if you could channel the OP, which society would you choose?

Wise One it is ;)
201. dwndrgn
for M O M: I believe the head of the Browns is the Librarian. But I'm not positive.
Ron Garrison
202. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks dwndrgn! I since found it is the Head Librarian. Also somewhat suggestive. ...or am I reading too much into it?
Bonnie Andrews
203. misfortuona
Hello all

Survey time

Well as much as I like to visit cities, I'm more a country girl at heart, maybe some nice country estate in the borderlands. Yep put me in the thick of it I say.

Rule. NOPE, noway, nohow. Thanks for asking.

Channeler, hmm. I'm not one for following rules and such. I sort of like the hermit wilder idea. You know the crazy lady with the herbs and such.

I don't really see the Aiel warrior society remaining in tact. Maybe the male channelers will team up with the ogier and go back to singing to plants.

Mis-count me in

Oh yeah Rhuidean. With water in the waste now, maybe I could set up house just outside of the city. I'm due for some heat. Brrrr.
James Jones
204. jamesedjones
202 Man-0-Manetheran


Jeeze. I can't drink anything when reading these things.
Marcus W
205. toryx
Boy, we sure are an unambitious bunch of people. A lot of people are absolutely uninteresting in ruling so far!
206. MorIshmael

I have a nice Black castle in the blight that I just love, It is far enough away from all my subjects that they won't annoy me on a constant basis and with the true power I can tear a whole in the pattern and travel anywhere.

As ruler of the known world I would treat everyone fairly(The trollocs have to eat also)

I would choose to be a part of the greatest organization there is, that is a Chosen One.( of course I would be the only one left)
Brett Michie
207. bchurch
Since we're all setting up in different locations, and it looks like most of us will be channelers with the ability to travel, perhaps we could set up a weekly reading circle. We'll have to do something like this to curb our withdrawal from the intarwebs and fine forums like this one. We could set up a rotating schedule and meet every ten days or so at a new host's residence and discuss books like The Travels of Jain Farstrider and The Flame, The Sword and The Heart. We may have to ease our way into Master Fel's books though . .

Which makes me wonder, what would people in Randland consider Fantasy Literature?
Matthew Smith
208. blocksmith

Men are from Mars Women are from Venus
209. Freelancer
Boy, we sure are an unambitious bunch of people. A lot of people are absolutely uninteresting in ruling so far!

Presuming you mean uninterested in ruling, here's how I see that: The regulars here have a better than average self-awareness, know their own strengths and weaknesses and, to be blunt, very few people are truly wired for large scale leadership. Haven't we had enough evidence of that over the last twenty years? Then there is how much of a look we get behind the scenes of the ruler's position in these books, thanks to RJ's brilliance, and the job just isn't worth the pay. Really, when you analyze why Mat is so popular, the single most significant attribute is his roguish independence. You just can't have that and a position of national dominance at the same time.

So you are all welcome to be roguishly independent, I'll bite the bullet and take on the mantle of the ruler. But I have an ultimatum for the Aiel. If they don't bring me the First, then I will take the Fifth. I'm calling that tree in the middle of Rhuidean "the Fifth", it should make a suitable throne. Oh, relax, all they have to do is deliver Berelain, and it won't come to that.

My first and only act as universal ruler would be a single law:
All people, of any and every culture, are guaranteed individual liberty in their persons and effects. Any past laws restricting such liberty due to a person's physical attributes, including ability to channel, are abolished. Any past laws generically criminalizing the use of the One Power are abolished. Any past customs, regulations, traditions, laws, or other official guidelines of an organization, which imposed a hindrance to the liberty guaranteed herein, are null and void. This fiat directive in no way abolishes nor restricts past laws designed to promote the reasonable operation and governance of society.

And the first lawyer to try splitting words over the meaning of "reasonable" gets to practice forms with Tam. (Aren't you all dying to see the first Blademaster named in the series in action? If that isn't Chekov's gun...)
Thomas Keith
210. insectoid
RobM² @191, JEJ @192: LOL!

Wind @194: Exactly! ;)

All new commenters: Funny how a survey brings in new faces to the bunker. Welcome! Buffet is thataway.

::realizes the buffet has moved:: What the... Suffa!!

211. MasterAlThor
Jumps in.....

So where to live???? Oh, I know Saldaea. What are those farm girls up to nowawaydays.

Rule? Arad Doman. Hot chicks to barter with all day.

One Power Affiliate? Black Tower. So I can Travel to Saldaea to check up on those farmgirls during the day and um....negotiate with the Domani at night.



Agreed. Ben Franklin was a smart cookie.
Tasneem Gould
212. Latecomer
*Pokes head in*

Hi everyone - long time no see - where HAVE you been :D

ooh a survey! Can I play too?

Where to live: Ebou Dar - Cosmopolitan, casual, and exciting - Festival of feathers, whee. And gender equality, knife fights and the chance to get my own toy-boy... why not!

Rule: Far Madding. Set them straight - they are MESSED UP! ;)

Channeller: Love to be Brown! Reading lots, uncovering old histories, investigating new ideas, travelling the world for knowledge and adventure... visiting all the great libraries in the land.. Sounds like the life for me!
Tasneem Gould
213. Latecomer
And on that note...

*Heads to the Buffet*

Oh yes, I brought wine....
Tess Laird
214. thewindrose
::Perks head up after long day at the office::
Latecomer brought some wine to the Buffet, I am leaving right now:)
215. Speradigm
I don't think the Browns would like the library I work in when you have to ban people for having sex in the study rooms...
Tricia Irish
216. Tektonica
This is a really fun tangent. Do you think these choices are revealing, much.....where's Sub?


Re: Yes - but make it a colleague and sometimes an accomplice;)
@bchurch - Tek and I will be visiting:)
Yes and Yes! Thank you.

I'm assuming we can both Travel, so long dirty riding or coaches won't be necessary. We'll just ride for fun. Oh, the places we'll see.....the wanderers life for me....(cue music).

To all: Windrose and I are planning an itinerary to visit everyone, spread out all over as you are. Please let us know when your guest rooms are available......

Violet@196: Win and I will be looking forward to the promised oosquai, oh, and a tour of the library too, yeah, of course. Perhaps a small soiree, so MOM can join us too.

blindillusion @ 186: "Eh, I'm not fit to rule." As MOM states, Just what I like in a ruler, humility. And to paraphrase Plato, "Those who don't wish to rule, should. And those who want to rule, shouldn't." (Free@209 being the exception.)

MOM@202: Head Librarian, reading? or wishing? My, my, (acts scandalized.)

bchurch@207: Which makes me wonder, what would people in Randland consider Fantasy Literature?

A Book Club, perfect! Maybe History Textbooks or Biographies?....haha, not a chance.

Speradigm@215: Now that is a Library! Where did you say you were?.......

And Free for Ruler with his One Law Decree! It's all we need. See 209.

And why don't the Aiel have any channelling men? They haven't weeded out their gene pool. After TG, I think they might form their own Warrior society or merge with the Women into one Society with two branches, kind of like the NFC and the AFC being part of the NFL. Oh, you know what I mean. I'm sure there will still be Trollocs and things to fight in the Waste and Blight.

But if they are all gone and the remnant of a remnant return to their Jenn-Aiel ways, they may be the Singers of the Songs with the Ogier....didn't someone up above say that already? Geez. I need a cocktail.....Oh, latecomer brought wine! Bunker parteeeeeeee....
Bonnie Andrews
217. misfortuona
Me, Me, it was me that sugested the singing Aiel, and also the cocktail sounds good. Suffa where is the oosquai?

Mis-needs a drink

Oh Yeah, Free for Supreme Ruler of Randland!
Sam Mickel
218. Samadai

I am afraid we are a bunch of hypocrites. Here we are talking about how the Seanchan are a corrupted culture with ingrained slavery, where channelers are kept against their will like dogs. Yet here we are sitting around our bunker. "Suffa bring me a drink", "Suffa clean the bunker", "Suffa quit moving the buffet", "Suffa Get out of the hot tub with R.Fife", "bad Suffa".

When will the hypocrisy end. ;p
Tess Laird
219. thewindrose
Ah, but Samadai...the Bunker is not in Seanchan territory. We are trying our best to reaclimate her to freedom, but she just won't let herself;)

"Suffa Get out of the hot tub with R.Fife"
I am chortling!!!
Tricia Irish
220. Tektonica

Of course it was you! You get all the bright insights! You do!
So let's have a cocktail....Suffa.....where is that damane?


Suffa doesn't count. Period. Tell Free to make her an exception to the rule. We obviously can't take care of ourselves here.
Barry T
221. blindillusion
*Nods* Welcome back Freelancer. Nice hearing your words again.
Really, when you analyze why Mat is so popular, the single most significant attribute is his roguish independence.

Yep, this would be one of the reasons I'm such a fan of Mat. He spends most of the story with no ties, but still does his part when called upon, and most of the time without being called upon. Reminds me of another character I'm a fan of.... Ah, Silk, you're still the reason I laugh so much when reading Eddings. And if I could have one ability of the Ta'veren Three, I'd want Mat's Luck/Spidey sense.

Also, your One Law. Very nice. It's just a pity that one would actually have to have Ultimate Rule to make that work. But you have my vote for President.

RE:~ My humility? Hmm, I don't know about that. I'm not fit to rule because I enjoy a live and let live stance on life. I don't really care what you do, as long as you're not hurting other people. That statement reminds me of a blog I wrote...back when I used to write blogs. =)

And count me in on the Traveler's Itinerary. I'll be moving around as well, picking up those lost bits of information, but Meetings of the Mind are always fun. Sitting around drinking + telling tales = awesome. =)

Wind, Tek RE:~ Suffa. LOL

And seriously, its not our fault. Bela and Narg want to keep her in the a'dam. You trying arguing with those two.
222. Speradigm
@Tek -- well if you engaged in such acts you too would be banned from the library-- which being in Arizona, isn't far removed from the Aiel Waste... Damn deserts...
223. alreadymadwiththefirst
No! No! The First is mine!!!

And no, I'm no fan of the extreme cold(Borderlands) nor the extreme heat(Waste) despite the badassness of the residents therein. I can't imagine the beards and strange sentence construction(Illian) nor the half-veils(Tarabon). I have no patience for political maneuvering and Andor is... well.. tame. Being a tropical native myself, I've heard Mayene is the closest to it.

Yes.. Suffa, come right over....
224. Rukaiya
Love the survey!

1. This would depend on when I was getting plunked down into Randland. There're a lot of unpleasant places there right now. Nowhere near the Seanchan, that's for sure. I'm thinking southern Saldaea might suit me.

2. I think I'd rather be an Aes Sedai sister than rule. They get a lot of the perks of rank without actually having to rule anything. Lazy, I know! And keep me away from the scheming Sitters!

3. I would definitely be a Brown Ajah Aes Sedai. Keeping my nose in books sounds nice to me and it seems like Browns are often underestimated.
225. Speradigm
@ 4 toryx

I managed to make it through high school with my only expiriences with drinking involving watching DARE videos. Then going to college I was terrified of being anywhere near where people were drinking. Now a 'tini is a 'tini but then it seemed like drinking death. I still am uncomfortable around people talking about drinking to get drunk and avoid those circumstances. I know people don't all get enraged and posoned and crash cars but It's this perception that doesn't go away.
Tasneem Gould
226. Latecomer
Random - Actual comment on WOT

Just read Mitch Wagner's article about Star Trek, and how authors who have seen war usually have their characters be more merciful - i.e. they turn more pacifist. It occurs to me that this might also apply to some extent in RJ's writing.

The collective of fans has often wrung their hands over the good guys besting, and then not killing the bad guys.

Also, various people have bemoaned that WOT is unrealistic because characters don't die very often (considering the amount of warfare going on).

It could well be that the reason for this is that, seeing actual warfare and its effects, and deaths of people close to him, it might have been that much harder for RJ to kill off his characters. In much the same way, it seems to me that he writes mass warfare scenes to horrify rather than to glorify.

Exception: Sword fighting - which is more one on one and almost an art-form in itself.
Tricia Irish
227. Tektonica

Just kidding!! I would never debase such a revered hall! You must be on a college campus.....We never did anything like that in Iowa! No no no.....there weren't any study rooms, but there were a few dark corners.....big library. Better for just scoping out the available stock, if you know what I mean.


RE:~ My humility? Hmm, I don't know about that. I'm not fit to rule because I enjoy a live and let live stance on life. I don't really care what you do, as long as you're not hurting other people.

Sounds perfect! You and Free for Rulers! Now if that only worked in RL.
228. Speradigm
@ tek I wish I was working in a college library again- much tamer and the custom wasn't mostly DVD's and internet use.
Elizabeth Gingles
229. Spera
No wonder Spera was taken I had already registered it...
Tricia Irish
230. Tektonica

Sounds like those DARE videos scared you to death. Maybe a good thing? I grew up in a very abstemious household. So when I got away at school, suddenly alcohol was everywhere, and I was lost. Took about a semester to figure out what worked for me and what didn't. My son went through that last year....probably with more experience going into it though!

IMHO,I think we make such a "big cool adult thing" out of drinking, that kids can't wait to use it to rebel, thus the abuse. If kids saw adults drinking responsibly, enjoying wine with good food, and not driving, and generally being obnoxious, it wouldn't hold such allure. It would just be another thing you did in a social setting.....not a goal.
Elizabeth Gingles
231. Spera
@ tek My family didn't drink primarily becasue my grandfather had been an alcholic and we were taught that that could happen to us.

I decided to rebel by playing with religion.
Barry T
232. blindillusion
Tek RE:~ Drinking.


You have my vote for writing the Responsible Drinking Clause for the New Government.

The Revolution will be televised. And written about. And Thom is going to proclaim it in High Chant. =)
Tasneem Gould
233. Latecomer
What is DARE?
Something about Drink Driving?

*confuzzled look*
Ron Garrison
234. Man-0-Manetheran
Latecomer @ 226
Excellent observation and quite a correct one I would think. Probably the greatest general of the modern age, Dwight Eisenhower had a lot to say about those who make war:
"Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.
"Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield."
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
– Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address

(Google it and read the whole thing. You won't regret it!)
Thomas Keith
236. insectoid
Sam @218:
[quote][i]"Suffa Get out of the hot tub with R.Fife"[i] ROFL!!

Re: drinking: I am one of those young persons who, though I'm of legal age, does not drink/do drugs at all, by choice. If I need to get away for awhile, I open up a good fantasy novel. Seems a more practical (and healthy) solution to me.

Late @233: DARE.

Tricia Irish
237. Tektonica

Wow....DDE....beautiful words. I wish everyone would read them. Daily.


D.A.R.E.= Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Google it. It pre-dated our "Just Say No" program. We grew up with it. I'm not sure it did alot of good.

Edit: Insectoid put in a link to DARE. Glad to hear you've found a productive escape, Insectoid....I''m with you these days!
Jay Dauro
238. J.Dauro
Raised in a good Italian family. Wine was part of our world growing up. Grandad made the wine that he drank at meals. Kids started with small glasses at Holidays. By the time I was old enough (or even before I was legal) I had no big need to try/abuse alcohol. I drink when I feel like it, and have never felt a need to get drunk. I enjoy good beer and wine, and an occasional taste of something stronger.

I think that if our culture did more to de-mystify alcohol we see less abuse by teens and twenties.

As to the survey, where to live? I guess I might choose to be an Illuminator. Have worked in entertainment for years, and done pyro some. Being able to travel would be nice, and there is nothing like the "Ahhhh!" of a fireworks audience.

Forget ruling. I am not to be trusted with that kind of power.

If I was to channel, I'd probably try to stay hidden from the groups. I don't take orders well. Maybe something loose like the Kin would work, but...
Tricia Irish
239. Tektonica

What I mean exactly about alcohol! Thanks. You prove the point.
Tasneem Gould
240. Latecomer
Read up on the whole speech. Pretty good to see that even long ago people - ex milatary republicans, no less - were cautioning the 'might is right' mindset. Also - that dude did a LOT in his life, didn't he. Wow.

DARE - thanks for the Info/ Links to Tek and Buzz. Yes, I did note that Wikipedia said that its efficiacy was less than desired, but again I sympathise with the guys who wanted a sustained effort.

I, like J Dauro grew up in a family where drinking was social and with food, and we were introduced to little drinks at a youngish age etc. All good, and right upto Uni etc there was no abuse at all.

I moved to NZ when I was about 24, and there is a culture of drinking here that was huge. After work drinks, parties etc. No food - there is a saying here 'Eatin' is cheatin'. Well guess what - I was participating right along with everyone else after a year or so. Now that I am married with kids, that is in the past. But for 3/4 years, lots of drinking was the norm on my weekends too.

In sumary - individual expereinces with good habits will last only so long in the face of peer pressure. Of maybe I am just weak- willed, there is always that!
Tasneem Gould
241. Latecomer
*Futile attempt to stay on WOT topics*

So anyway, sounds like Mat, lots of his friends, Birgit etc could stand to do some DARE classes, then?

Is Drunk Riding dangerous?
242. alreadymadwithdrinking
I drink. Not very often, but when I do, I can take a lot. More than my 5'6" 160lbs frame should be able to take. I don't drive though. And even if I did, I'm not likely to try it when I can't even stand straight.
Incidentally, although I was raised in a family that always has friends over for a bottle or two (usually more), I didn't really take it up until college.

Latecomer @241
Is that riding while you're drunk or riding while the horse is drunk?
Roger Powell
243. forkroot
Hmmm ... yesterday's post never made it out of the spam bin. WTH?

I tipped a rhetorical cap to ThePendragon@156 who corrected my faulty memory. Yes indeed, I was thinking of Floran Gelb. My bad.

For the survey: I'd choose to live in Cairhien, mainly so that I could work with Idrien Tarsin. Engineer to the core I am.

Like most respondents, I'm not particularly interested in being a ruler, but if I had to be, then I might try leading the Children(!) and see if I could clean the organization up (perhaps Galad will take of that for me.)

As a channeler, I'd be an Asha'man and would try to establish an equal bond with a suitably hot Brown. Why not two-way bonding? Of course if Leane is available, forget the Brown!
John Massey
244. subwoofer
Sub was wading nipple deep in work. On the bright side, lots of work= job security. Was gonna post earlier tonight but some lame dns garbage rendered most of my province useless for internet. Grrrrrrrrrr! Snap! Lose it!

Survey? Well a nice little kingdom surrounded by some lakes would do me fine. Channeling? Nope, can't be bothered. I am who I am and never fancied super powers, even in fantasy, gotta like the underdog that gets it done with his own two hands and nothing else.

WoT-awwwwwwwww, I'll save it for the TGS post...

Drinking? Well... works for some, doesn't work for others. No biggie. Up here in the Blight, there is a whole lotta "hold my beer and watch this" going on. Gets us through the long winters. That and singin'... and repeat as needed:P

Bonnie Andrews
245. misfortuona
I really have to start ditching my family again at night and checking out the posts. You all have just way too much fun without me ;(

Anyway late@241 and AMW@242
Yes I'm taking the horsey questions. I Have ridden while under the influence, and have ridden with people whose horses liked the taste of beer.

It may be a little less dangerous to drink and ride since the horse will usually just go home, or follow the mount of your less intoxicated freinds. The exception is that horses have brains and will sometimes respond badly to certain situations (a quail flying up from the side of the trail, dropped items, off key singing, you know the sort of thing)and an intoxicated rider is seldom up to the task of remaining in the saddle or calming said mount. One person in a group is usually not a big deal, the others watch over him/her, but when you have a whole group of them, someone usually gets hurt. Unfortunatly it's usually the horse!!!

As for the fools who fed alcohol to thier horses. Grrr. The horses usually just carried on in a more mellow than normal manner, it takes a lot of booze to effect an animal that size.

I personally have no problem keeping Suffa in the bunker. The woman has nothing else to do now anyway, and really look at her she likes it here.

"Oh, Suffa you forgot to clean up the wine bottles, and throw a blanket over Latecomer, he looks cold."

Mis-wishing it was Friday:(
Rob Munnelly
246. RobMRobM
Mis - I may be wrong but I believe Latecomer is a she....
Tricia Irish
247. Tektonica

Is Riding while you're drunk dangerous?


Edit: See MisFortuona above for details, I'm not giving any out.
Matthew Smith
248. blocksmith
After having attended a military school with that Finklestein *hit kid, I can honestly say doing anything drunk is inherently dangerous (bunk beds+drunk=trip to infirmary).
Marcus W
249. toryx
Latecomer @ 212:

And gender equality, knife fights and the chance to get my own toy-boy... why not!

Um, it seems like gender equality and "toy-boy" don't really belong in the same sentence.

Speradigm @ 225:

It's interesting, because I never did any drinking in high school either, or even for a couple of years afterwards. But I didn't do it out of fear but because the whole notion of drinking and being inebriated made no sense to me.

I'm glad that you and others have responded to my general question about the phobia issue because I really couldn't tell how true to life the writing was. It sounds as though a lot of people feel that Aviendha's fear was pretty effectively demonstrated, which is nice to know.

Latecomer @ 226:

It's an interesting thought and I'm not sure that I agree. I'll have to think about it. But what's particularly interesting is that if you look at aSoIaF where people die all the time the writer wasn't in war at all. GRRM was a conscientious objector. What is further interesting about that is that the battles and warfare in aSoIaF are, in my opinion, far more unpleasant (and therefore more realistic) than those in WoT.

So a follow-up question is, does a writer who was intimately involved in a war, soften battle scenes because he or she doesn't want to return too closely to it?

I have a feeling I'm going to have gone and pissed a lot of people off by this particular part of my comment.

@ those who think that Freelancer should be a ruler. You people scare me. :)
Bonnie Andrews
250. misfortuona
OOH, my bad, not thinking. Sorry Latecomer.

Of course all I could see was lump in the corner ;)

Ron Garrison
251. Man-0-Manetheran
Subwoofer @ 244: "Well a nice little kingdom surrounded by some lakes would do me fine."
Sub, there's some newly vacant land near the lake in Arad Domon. Might be a little balefire residue around, but it's harmless. At least that's what the Realtor said...
Bonnie Andrews
252. misfortuona

People are looking at me funny now. Some of us are trying not to work here!

Mis-trying to hide behind my desk.
Alice Arneson
253. Wetlandernw
Y'all are cracking me up this morning. I really shouldn't be reading this while giving my daughter a spelling test... She keeps wondering why I'm laughing - tests aren't usually that funny, even in kindergarten!
Tess Laird
254. thewindrose
I think sub wants to live in Malkier.
So does anyone think that is where Moridins hang out is at present? I will actually ask this on the other thread as it belongs there more.

Wetlandernw - You should see some of the words my 3rd grader misspells. Hard to keep a strait face sometimes.

Also, just a thought, but what if Suian had a glass of wine or two before attemping to ride? She may become a better rider.

Elizabeth Gingles
255. Spera
I am strongly of the opinion that Demondred is in Shara- it's mentioned too much to not look like a smoking gun.

Maybe Shara would be nice...
Brett Michie
256. bchurch
On the drinking issue, I grew up in a community/culture where drinking is heavily frowned upon for religious reasons. So, naturally, that's all we wanted to do as youths. High school was full of binge drinking.

As an adult, I still enjoy my beer and wine, but the point for me now is to enjoy it and not drink it to get drunk and stupid--that's just a happy fringe benefit:).

Seriously though, I agree with J.Dauro and Tek that de-mystifying alcohol is the better approach, rather than the demonization and prohibition I experienced.
257. OldWoman
For the survey...
I want to live in a stedding or near one and own an inn. As the senior woman of this reread I am ready to retire and watch the Ogiers sing the land back to health. I will book the musicians and storytellers and cook nourishing stews and soups to feel everyone. I will have a majorly extensive library for travelers. There will be a warm welcome for all at my inn.
Stop by and say 'Hello'.
Elizabeth Gingles
258. Spera
How can you say that the wars are softened if peoples heads are blowing up like rotten melons?
Marcus W
259. toryx
Spera @ 258:

How can you say that the wars are softened if peoples heads are blowing up like rotten melons?

Because we're told that's happening without "seeing" it. There's no real emotional connection; it doesn't happen to anyone we know, it happens at a distance with the power. The only real insight we have into the horror of it is the reactions of people who see it.

Not to mention that those very words, "like rotten melons" are desensitizing because they're taking away the destruction to humanity and replacing them with a far more pleasant image.

I'm not saying it's better one way or another, but I don't particularly consider RJ's battle scenes to be anywhere near as vivid or horrific as many other novelists. I'm sure that's something that most readers would consider to be a good thing about the WoT.
Tricia Irish
260. Tektonica


Wind and I will definitely stop by for tea and soup on our Travels. We'll bring dessert. Just let us know which stedding.....Thanks!
261. Freelancer
As long as there are people of conscience and intelligence who are willing to say "I would never want that much power, nor should I be trusted with it", as many of you have, there remains hope for society.

The only proper government headed by humans is one where the power comes, not from the leaders, but from those governed. This is how the U.S. Constitution was written and intended. That it is natural for those who desire power to be attracted to high political office, should in no way diminish the goals and values of the original intent. Far more words of the Constitution are devoted to protections granted individual citizens from the Federal Government, than to powers granted to that Government.

However, the governed bear a responsibility as well. When the government presumes to take upon itself powers not permitted by the Constitution, it is necessary for the citizenry to speak out in opposition. President Eisenhower's words as quoted by Blindillusion are an outstanding example of this. He declares that the military-industrial complex cannot be allowed to grow beyond its reasonable boundaries of influence and power. But who is to ensure that this doesn't occur? The politicians are all too often happy to discard their integrity, as well as the best interests of their constituency, in favor of influence benefits, and call it good politics. A properly engaged citizenry would end that politician's career at the voting booth the next possible opportunity, or recall them immediately if the local laws permit.

Sadly, this simply does not happen, and the power of incumbency draws, not citizens of good conscience and integrity to political office, but the worst of the looters and leaches our society has to offer.

Wake up and be involved, your country needs you.
Thomas Keith
262. insectoid
M-0-M @251: LOL!!

Wind @254: Re: Siuan, or at least she'll complain about the horse less. :)

Free @261: Well said!


Ron Garrison
263. Man-0-Manetheran
Freelancer @ 261
Agreed! For a democracy to function properly, the populace must keep themselves informed, educated and aware.
Sadly we now depend on a media that is more interested in marketshare than journalism, and we are simultaneously assaulted by professional agitators (talk show hosts) who will stop at nothing to generate a listener base.
I grew up with an awareness of "common good," but I feel like a great many people have abandoned that idea like an old 8-track tape.
264. Freelancer

Earache My Eye, FTW! I hadn't noticed it on the first pass...

Wetlandernw - You should see some of the words my 3rd grader misspells. Hard to keep a strait face sometimes.

Hmm, is your 3rd grader ghost-writing for you? ::flees::
Sam Mickel
265. Samadai

Know knead two flea, knot awl uv the peapol hear khan reed.
Barry T
266. blindillusion
Freelancer, thanks for the credit there, but I'm afraid M-o-M provided the quote by President Eisenhower.

Me, I tend to provide anti-establishment rhetoric. I know. I know. But I'm that variety of punk that believes it's best to change the establishment from within. It should never be, “Down with the government,” but “How can it made better.”

I've always laughed at those who wish for Anarchy...or a Utopia for that matter. Either would inevitably lead to a Dictatorship.

I'm doing my part, hopefully, in the military. I got a few AIT Soldiers (students) to watch the State of the Union last night as opposed to playing X-Box. Felt they should at least be informed about how their boss feels the country is doing.

The government? I'm afraid I like myself too much to want to venture into that realm...of...well, I'll leave that statement unfinished.
Thomas Keith
267. insectoid
Sam @265: But most of the people here can read misspelled sentences... ::ducks back into bunker::


268. Lsana
I think of all the societies in Randland, I would most like to live in the Two Rivers pre-Winternight. Beautiful, peaceful country. Lots of mountains, and you are generally free to do your own thing without any hereditary rulers to tell you what to do.

If I had to be absolute ruler of someplace, I think I'd take the White Tower, mostly since "absolute ruler" or the Aes Sedai was more or less a symbolic title anyway. I'd do my best to guide everyone, but I know that most Sisters will do their own thing anyway, and I'd be okay with that.

As a channeler, it would depend on how much power I had. If I was SG or at least Moiraine/Suian strong, I'd want to be in the White Tower, probably White Ajah but possibly Brown. On the other hand, if I wasn't strong enough to be considered near the top of the AS, I'd go Wise Ones.
Tricia Irish
269. Tektonica
Free@261 & MOM@263:

Beautifully said, Free, and oh so true, MOM. Thank you for your thoughts.

I despair at the lack of interest in the workings of our government displayed by the average citizen of this country. Even students, though drilled in the mechanics of the system, take little interest in reading newspapers and books, or forming opinions and arguing positions. Most of the people of this incredible country seem to take their considerable freedom for granted. Apathy and Pop culture dominate.

And then there's the World situation.......We, here in the US, have such a myopic view of world affairs, both political and economic, provided by our ratings driven media. There is so little in depth reporting on a daily basis. Superficial murder and mayhem are flashed across our vision, with little historical understanding and perspective. I highly recommend The Week, The Economist and the BBC for a wider view of the world.

Seems like people used to discuss issues with each other, not just defending positions, but exchanging ideas, and listening, and paying attention.

You get the government you deserve, I suppose. Weeps.

Gets off soapbox, shuffles away, head down.
Rob Munnelly
270. RobMRobM
free -
"Earache my eye" - isn't that from a Cheech and Chong skit?

"I can't go to school, I have an earache.

Earache my eye - how about a butt ache. .

That didn't even hurt {whack]. What are you going to do, tickle me?

Tickle you? How about another tickle . Laugh it up, funny boy.... " etc.

Tek - I heard Angelina Jolie is getting a divorce from Brad Pitt and Hugh Hefner broke up with his blond twin girlfriends. Thought you'd want to know....
Tess Laird
271. thewindrose
Freelancer - My mom could tell you, I am a terrible speller. I was more laughing at how he spelt 'sheet' the other day...:)

Tek, am I missing something with RobMRobM's comment about Hefner? (Pitt I think I understand:)

Bobby Stubbs
272. Valan
@ Tek 269

I despair at the lack of interest in the workings of our government displayed by the average citizen of this country. Even students, though drilled in the mechanics of the system, take little interest in reading newspapers and books, or forming opinions and arguing positions.

Well I, for one, was far too busy reading this Wheel of Time thing to care about government... ducks

OW! re-ducks
Sam Mickel
273. Samadai

you and I sure think a lot alike. I am no longer surprised when I read one of your posts about anything and realize I am agreeing with what you are saying. Politics and religion anyways. :)
274. Nate42
Unless I'm nuts, looks like the past few entries aren't listed on the index.

Now, read faster!
Tricia Irish
275. Tektonica

Thanks! But I don't think they were ever married....unless my tabloids in the check out lines have been inaccurate....could they be???? Hefner became obsolete many years ago.

Wind: I don't know why Rob would bother to tell us about the "girls"? Sounds like something the "boys" would be interested in.....

Valan@272: Indeed, escapist Fantasy is a MUST in today's day and back to WOT....
John Massey
276. subwoofer
Spelling- I gave that up when people started text messaging like Wang the Dyslexic Guy. It's like a bunch of vanity plates strung together.

Drinking- still am. Knob that I am I didn't catch the earlier posts about the dry counties. Reminds me of the time I got arrested for transporting beer across a dry county. Which is weird considering how cheap liquor is State side. Flat of beer for less than what a case costs up here. Bonzai! If you don't drink, fine, just don't get all preachy about it, if you do drink, fine, be responsible about it... and share...

@Wind- Moridin- again? That guy really chaps my a$$. Now he's squatting on my real estate! Well I was thinking, we know the ter'angreal in Far Madding can block both halves of the One Power, how is it with the True Source? Maybe Moridin is setting up shop where everyone least expects.

And yes... If I can't figure it out with two hands and a flash light then it wasn't meant to be.

Maybe Rob was getting at rich codgers with money to burn on their death beds... or he was paying a compliment by saying only hotties need apply ... or... I'll shut up now.

Tricia Irish
277. Tektonica

We're not preaching against drinking. Heavens no! We're advocating decriminalizing it.

If kids weren't "forbidden" from drinking until they were 21 and it wasn't a big right of passage thing...."oooh, yeah, now I can drink!" wouldn't be abused as much. It would just be one more thing we all did. And we do! And we like it....
Rob Munnelly
278. RobMRobM
All - you are correct that Brangelina were never married, but they appear to be breaking up. And the reference that Hef and two of hot blond girlfriends on the show "The Girls Next Door" are breaking up is as frothy a pop culture reference as I could pull together on short notice to tweak Tek. (I refuse to watch the Kardassians show - I do have some standards.) And, yes, I watch E Entertainment Television and read People Magazine more than I read the Economist - so sue me! (My Economist, New Republic and Atlantic Monthy reading days are in the past but I do read the Wall Street Journal most days and I love the BBC show Coupling, if that counts.)

John Massey
280. subwoofer
Well that age is a moving target... up here the legal age is 18, next province over in British Columbia it is 19. Doesn't matter because like in the movies, kids will still get some old foggy to boot for them. Get the Wizard out from behind the curtain. Explain about hang overs, really stupid decisions, and being responsible and concerned about human life. Too many binge drinkers out there and people who equate a good time= getting hammered.

Not to mention people getting fat. Much empty calories in liquor. Good times when you see a bar star come of age and have their metabolism slow down and still keep up with their boozing ways.

Kids are dim. They take any good advice and ignore it if it comes from an authoritative figure. They have to make mistakes for themselves to truly learn the facts of life.

And let us not forget people not sharing the liquor...ahem

How old is Noel? If the Travels of whatshisnuts is in print and everyone and their dog has read it- when were the books put to print? When did the adventures happen? And is Noel biblical old?

Brett Michie
281. bchurch
sub @ 280

Can't give you an exact age as I'm at work and don't have it in front of me, but Jain Charin was involved with the capture of Cowin Gemallen who betrayed Lan's dad around the the time of the fall of Malkier. So Noal is roughly a generation older than Lan.
John Massey
282. subwoofer
Well Lan is geezerly, but he has his Warder bond and a serious grudge to keep him going... What kind of Kool Aid is Noel drinking these days hmmmmmmmmm

Barry T
283. blindillusion
From the 13thD

Jain Charin Farstrider – b. 925-933 NE, 67-75
Was “a young man” when Malkier fell in 953 NE (The Eye of the World, More Tales of the Wheel), so was 20-28 at that time. This fits with the descriptions of Noal Charin in Winter’s Heart and Crossroads of Twilight.


Lan Mandragoran - b. 953 NE, 47 (Lord of Chaos, Glossary).
Brett Michie
284. bchurch
Is there anythin in the 13thD about the publish date of The Travels of Jain Farstrider? That is something that I've wondered about several times as it is so widely read.
Scott Kelson
285. scott-swampy
Just thought i should let you know leigh, whom i am led to belive reads all of this, That the Re-read index dosent have like the last four post's updated.
Barry T
286. blindillusion
bchurch RE:~ Widespread reading
Q: Why is it that the Chosen and Lews Therin speak a language that Rand and everyone else can understand?

RJ: Because it is a very simple language to learn. When they Chosen are among themselves they are not speaking the language of the current time, they are speaking the Old Tongue, which I happily translate for you, so you don't have to struggle through it. But it is very much the same as Graendal thinking how easy it is to forge things in this time. The lettering script is simplified. But things managed to hang on for a certain extent. Printing presses for example were one of the things that managed never quite to be wiped out completely. Printing started up again, even a few times during the Breaking people managed to get printing presses going, and once the Breaking was over, printing was one of the first trades to get going. You might call it the first higher trade to get going.

TToJF is probably being massed produced. Throughout the story we only really hear about books from groups of people separated from the rest of the world. Hence the reason they're such a valued commodity. Not many of them pass through Emond's Field or the Waste.

And Aes Sedai, of course. But they really only talk about the rarity of some manuscripts...pretty much because what they're talking about was partially destroyed during the Breaking..
Brett Michie
287. bchurch

Thanks for that. I am aware that printing presses are still widely used and that TToJF is most likely being mass produced. Loial speaks of the fine printing done in Caemlyn when he asks Faile to carry his notes there.

What I'm wondering is when it was initially published, and how long it took to grow in popularity to where it was so widely published. Or was it a mass production from the get go, and if so, who was the author's agent?
Barry T
288. blindillusion to that

From Encyclopaedia WOT:

Jain Farstrider publishes his exploits in The Travels of Jain Farstrider in 968 NE. (TDR, Glossary)


I'm starting to think there might be loads of good information in those Glossaries. Perhaps I should read them. I pretty much stopped after tGH.
Brett Michie
289. bchurch
Ahhh, thank you! That gives it some depth and time for distribution and growth in popularity.
Scott Kelson
290. scott-swampy
any one have any idea if we are getting a new post today? or tommorow depending on time zones and stuff?
John Massey
291. subwoofer
I'm at the point where I will buy Leigh a computer if she needs one. At the very least, I'll pony up(nods to Bela) for an authentic techy, geek squad type person to fix Leigh's comp. And then wag a finger at her and tell her to stop surfing the er... "chat" sites.

@Blind- cool beans about the publish date!! It was chapping my hide trying to figure out the time line for Noel. He is this figure of legend, will probably be bound to the Horn... I wonder what secrets he knows or is keeping that he picked up on his adventures. Did he find a stasis box? Did Noel open said stasis box? Has Noel already been to the ToG? In his travels, did Noel find another way into Finn Land? I'm going to go and look up all the bits of the books he was in...

And I haven't given up on the D'oh! prize. I know we'll stumble on the biggin' from books 4-6. Durn secrets. Whadda we have to do here? Learn a funny walk and a hand shake?

Barry T
292. blindillusion
Sub RE:~ The Secrets Rattling 'Round in Jai...err Noal's head....

As Mr Sanderson would be want to say....You're assuming Noal is Jai...err...Noal remembers his adventures while under the moniker Jain Farstrider.

Let's not forget, Jain had the unfortunate experience of Ishamael playing doctor with his mind.
John Massey
293. subwoofer
Well... mind is boggled. And it isn't even 8 my time. Hmmmmmmmm... and according to 13D Noel is under compulsion and did a bunch of things... So where has he led Mat astray? He also seems to of taken a back seat in TGS, wonder if that plot line went to queer street? And... don't know if I want to lend this over to the TGS spoiler thread but it seems that Noel is also linked to Isam. I'm forming a theory here but things may come together.

Incidentally, in my bio I did mention that I wanted to make beer drinking an official Olympic sport...

Just sayin'

Edit- and since I have some time to read some of the comments and not just do the "bold print" approach, I think the SG's were really doofs when it came to the bargain. RJ seems to of taken certain stereotypes and stood them on their respective heads. Matriarchal society. Women doing the haggling. Women being bad at haggling.

In my world, my wife is the queen of haggling. Even when we are not in a country like Mexico or some place where you are expected to haggle my wife cleans up. Need a TV? Car? Fridge? Ice cream? My wife haggles down every one on everything. Must be a descendant of the Sea Folk... If I could only persuade her to go topless... what?... Oh yeah, anyways the Super girls do really bad at the Deal. Even Aviendha sucked and the Aiel barter in their culture. Mind you, the Grey Ajah, which are negotiators, got worked when whatsherpickle bargained for Rand and his ship deal.

Tricia Irish
294. Tektonica

I know you were tweaking me, silly! I'm not above a few mindless hours spent in Fanland either. After all, I live just down the road from The Enquirer headquarters, and this is Florida! Land of beaches, swimming pools and golf courses. You can be anesthetized just walking around down here. Got to fight it! Anyway, if Brad ever shaves off that scraggly varmint he's grown on his chin, I'll track him down. That's one baaaaad beard.

(Didn't mean to sound all self-rightous....Free just got me all inspired.)

And yeah, The Economist takes about a week to read....and then there's another one! I'm rarely as involved as I would like to be.....and the WOT and other Fantasy is essential for sanity.

Blind & bchurch@various:

Thanks for the good info on Jain/Noel. I've always wondered about his age, as well, because his book was so widely read. But it all seems plausible.

Captain Hammer
295. Randalator
EncyclopediaWoT says the following about Noal:

Disillusioned after the death of his beloved wife and his misuse at the hands of Ishamael, Jain Charin ends his life of adventure and uses the name Noal Charin.

Does anybody know where that information comes from? Is it from a glossary?
Tess Laird
296. thewindrose
Tektonica -



Wind and I will definitely stop by for tea and soup on our Travels. We'll bring dessert. Just let us know which stedding.....Thanks!

This sounds like a good hideout for us;)
Or a good place to recuperate!

scott-swampy - There should be a new post today...


Tricia Irish
297. Tektonica
Wind@296 & OldWoman@257:

Definitely need an occasional hideout, other than the Bunker....but what are we recuperating from? Is there a Spa?

**twitchy twitch twitch**
Bonnie Andrews
298. misfortuona
Good Friday Everyone

Just a thought on Jain Farstrider. He was said to have travelled extensivly in Shara. He is also supposed to have been influenced by Ishy, and maybe Gren. Is it possible that he also got caught up by Demandred, who some believe is in Shara.
It sounds like the poor guy is like a forsaken cocktail.

John Massey
301. subwoofer
Incidentally, interesting avatar Mis... like the dice:)

My other hang out.

D.I. Rock
302. FeatherDancer
298. misfortuna

I have also seen lots of comments from people speculating on Demandred being in Shara. However.... I got ahead in my rereading and just finished up Winter's Heart. There is a scene where a number of the Forsaken meet and are waiting on Moridin. They are talking about Rand and Aran'gar chastises Osan'gar saying, "You were responsible for wathcing him, Osan'gar. You and Demandred." It left me with the impression Demandred was in close proximity to Rand on a regular basis and not in Shara.
Bonnie Andrews
303. misfortuona
Thanks, and I watched your link. I feel warmer already.

Mis-Still twitching
Matthew Smith
304. blocksmith

A majority of the voting populace here in the Bay State finally shed their lemming persona in the recent Senatorial election. I know it was big news across the country, but here they are going so far as to call the vote a "revolution". A media-driven term to be sure, but hopefully a wake up call nonetheless.

Here's to raising one for the Founding Fathers.:clink:
Bill Reamy
305. BillinHI
subwoofer @31: Beautiful place, but I've never been big on the Caribbean. Of course, living in Hawaii, I would second the one comment to the video. (Caveat: we also have centipedes which are not actually poisonous, but you can get a nasty reaction to their bite if you are at all allergic to them.)
Bill Reamy
306. BillinHI
blocksmith @304: Hear, hear! I only wish we could get a similar revolution here in Hawaii, which has been run (into the ground in many ways, IMO) by the Democrats since statehood.
Tricia Irish
307. Tektonica

Like your new avatar! Looks like home to me.....but you have mountains.
308. Jordo
I clicked on your profile to get a closer look at your avatar and noticed you're in SK. Howdy, neighbor :-) I'm in Regina.
Bonnie Andrews
309. misfortuona
Well hello back. It's good to see more Canucks on site.

Mis-Still twitching - twitch - twitch - twitching
Cynthia Ahmar
310. tenkuu
Assimilated, eh? You should watch Soukyuu no Fafner. ;)

Aside from that, are you sure you don't want to revise that statement about the Sea Folk being the least likeable people in WoT? I can think of at least one other, ie the Seanchan. Seems to me as if anyone is more cold and arrogant than the Sea Folk, it's them.
311. katgordon
Agree that the Seanchan def need an overhaul even worse than the SF, but lordy those SF do win the prize for "most obnoxious".
I was all set to eat crow (eyes of the dark and all) later in CoS when Mat frees the windfinders, fully expecting the windfinders to have their MOA moment... but they couldn't even get that right and botched it up by shooting their load (pardon the expression) early and screwing everyone over in the process. They have some serious catching up to do in the awesome dept. Argh.
312. yasiru89
I didn't particularly hate the Sea Folk till that Zaida woman came along and we got to see far more of them than anyone really cared for (was that her name? Perhaps I should go with 'Not-Harine'?). In fact, here they teaches our protagonists a valuable lesson (one that neither they nor their fans are at all keen on learning, but an important lesson nonetheless)- never assume anything, except maybe that everyone you have to deal with an arsehole. Egwene was coming to see this when we last saw her, but Elayne and Nynaeve seem to believe the seas should part before them, never mind Sea Folk bowing before their splendour. These people live in the bloody ocean and live off bloody trade- of course they'd capitalise if a drought comes along! Given their reputation, even if it was the world's survival at stake, if those coming to them would commit to something anyway, why wouldn't they try to take the deal that favoured them most?
313. Dorianin
Just wanted to send props for your re-read...started up where i left of when i found out Memory of Light would'nt be out til 2013(!!!!) far as the nested paranthesis FTW, it made me want to humbly suggest my uncyclopedia article, ...btw, Matt`s always been my fav character, and the supergirls were totally out of line. one of my fav scenes is when birgitte reams them out for it....

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