Fri
Feb 5 2010 1:12pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 11

Hello! Fancy meeting you here. Wheel of Time Re-read? Why, I thought you’d never ask. I live but to serve!

Today’s post covers Chapters 17 and 18 of A Crown of Swords, in which we spin complex psychological rationales, temporarily lose an old friend, and gain a dreaded frenemy.

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 without further ado, dig in, old chap!


Chapter 17: The Triumph of Logic

 

What Happens
Mat escapes from the palace as soon as he can, thinking that he now knows what rabbits feel like with an eagle’s eyes on them, and stomps back to The Wandering Woman, the dice still rolling in his head.

Had Nynaeve and Elayne been cavorting with Jaichim Carridin and Elaida in the fountain beneath that statue of some long-dead queen, two spans or more tall and pointing to the sea, he would have passed by without a second look.

In the common room, he finds Vanin bandaging up one of the Redarms, Corevin, while Harnan harangues him about accepting challenges until he catches sight of Mat, and tries to act innocent. Mat lets it go, and asks if Thom or Juilin are back yet. Vanin tells him no, but that Nalesean was there, and left a chest in Mat’s room before heading back out; Olver’s reading in the stable, and got spanked for pinching the bottom of one of Setalle’s daughters. Mat does not understand why Vanin gives him an accusing look at the latter news. Corevin adds that “the poor little mite” was sniveling over it.

“He’ll live,” Mat said dryly. The boy was probably picking up these habits from his “uncles.” Next, they would give him a tattoo.

He tells Vanin to head over to Chelsaine Palace to see what he can hear, and in a low voice tells them about Carridin consorting with Darkfriends; they all look grim, and Mat warns Vanin to be careful. Harnan tells him that there was a “fog” in the Rahad yesterday that ate people. Mat knows what it must have been, a bubble of evil, but tells Harnan not to worry about it. He heads upstairs, where he’s intercepted by Caira, one of the serving women, who tells him (smokily) that a man claiming to be an Illuminator had come by to see Mat, but left when Setalle wouldn’t comp him a meal.

“Next time, pigeon, give the meal,” he told her, slipping a silver mark into the plunging neck of her dress. “I’ll speak to Mistress Anan.” He did want to find an Illuminator—a real one, not some fellow selling fireworks full of sawdust—but it hardly mattered now. Not with the gold lying unguarded. And fogs in the Rahad, and Darkfriends, and Aes Sedai, and bloody Tylin taking leave of her senses, and . . .

Caira giggled and twisted like a stroked cat. “Would you like me to bring some punch to your room, my Lord? Or anything?” She smiled hopefully, invitingly.

“Maybe later,” he said, tapping her nose with a fingertip.

He continues up, musing that Olver was going to get in trouble if he kept treating women the way he did, and resolving to keep the boy away from Harnan and the others from now on. He is almost to his room when a chance squeak in the floorboard behind him makes him turn just in time to avoid having his skull crushed by a truncheon. He and the other man struggle; his attacker almost chokes him to death, but Mat manages to pull a knife and kill him before he loses consciousness. They’ve stumbled into a different room during the fight, and Mat tries to apologize to the man inside (who has a large empty chest in front of him), but the second man attacks him too, and Mat kills him with a knife-throw to the throat.

“It’s good to be lucky,” Mat croaked.

He has time to note that both attackers are awfully well-dressed to be common cutthroats before Nerim shows up with a large frying pan in his hand, which he then tries to hide. Nerim notes mournfully that my Lord has gotten blood on his coat again, and Nerim wishes he wouldn’t, as bloodstains are so difficult to get out. Setalle Anan shows up next, followed by her husband Jasfer; Setalle is unfazed by the corpses, and Mat tries to figure out why it is so difficult to think of doing anything that might offend her. Mat explains what happened, and supposes the chest was for loot; Setalle tells Mat that the men insisted on this particular room, next to Mat’s, even though it was too small. Mat doesn’t attribute much importance to this, but Setalle is less sanguine. Jasfer suggests she hire guards, but quickly backs away from any suggestion that he’s telling Setalle how to run her inn; while this is going on, Mat realizes he has a note tucked in his coat:

The few lines on it were printed in square letters like those Olver might use. Or an adult who did not want the hand recognized.

ELAYNE AND NYNAEVE ARE PUSHING TOO FAR. REMIND THEM THEY ARE STILL IN DANGER FROM THE TOWER. WARN THEM TO BE CAREFUL, OR THEY WILL BE KNEELING TO ASK ELAIDA’S PARDON YET.

Mat tries to figure out what is meant by “still” in danger; he also thinks that the only people who could have had an opportunity to slip him the note were either Joline or Teslyn, which makes no sense to him at all. Mat asks Setalle if any man ever gets to understand women, and Jasfer starts cracking up laughing; Setalle opines serenely that it’s men who are impossible to understand, which makes Jasfer laugh harder, and doesn’t stop even when Setalle punches him in the gut.

“There is a saying in Ebou Dar, my Lord,” she said to Mat over her shoulder. “ ‘A man is a maze of brambles in darkness, and even he does not know the way.’ ”

Mat snorted. Fat lot of help she was.

He tries to figure out what to do next, and wishes the bloody dice would stop rolling in his head.

Joline enters the suite she shares with Teslyn, annoyed that Teslyn won’t let her Warders use the extra room, and looks out at the dying garden below, which frightens her.

The Dark One was touching the world, and their only hope a boy who was running wild.

“Bread and water?” Teslyn said suddenly. “Send the Cauthon boy off to the Tower? If there do be changes in what we did plan, you will please inform me before telling others.”

Joline blushes a bit, and answers that Merilille needed to be “set down,” and describes the humiliating way Merilille had taught classes in the Tower. Teslyn is incredulous that she still remembers that after all this time, or that she still attaches importance to it, and adds casually that maybe Elaida was right in what she said of Joline. Joline is still on Merilille, thinking that she despises all the rebels for what they’ve done (even though she admits to herself that Elaida had blundered horribly in handling them), but then wants to know what Elaida said about her. Teslyn sighs, and answers that Elaida thinks Joline is a child who has never grown up.

Joline tossed her head angrily, unwilling to let herself speak. To have that said by someone whose mother had been a child when she herself gained the shawl! Elaida had been petted too much as a novice, made over too much for her strength and the remarkable speed of her learning. Joline suspected that was why she was in such a fury about Elayne and Egwene and the wilder Nynaeve; because they were stronger than she, because they had spent far less time as novices, no matter that they had been pushed ahead too fast. Why, Nynaeve had never been a novice at all, and that was completely unheard of.

Teslyn goes on that maybe, though, they should think of taking advantage of the situation; returning Elayne and Nynaeve to Elaida, with Cauthon and the wilder Aviendha as an added bonus, would be sure to get them back into Elaida’s good graces. Joline reminds Teslyn that Elaida exiled them to this “fly-ridden hole” for no more reason than because she could, and wants to know why they would want to get back into Elaida’s good graces. Teslyn answers that remaining silent for a while was good, to show Elaida that they were not cowed, but too long could be viewed as treason. Joline thinks this is ridiculous, opining that the girls would just be punished as runaways, and surely it doesn’t matter when they start their penances; to herself, she thinks it might be better to make sure Elayne secures the Andoran throne first in any case. She thinks they should wait until Elaida contacts them first (or, she thinks to herself, until Elaida gets deposed in turn). Teslyn is reluctantly persuaded.

Still a child, was she? If she had her way, Elaida would not get so much as a word out of Ebou Dar until she begged for it.

The convulsing woman on the table screams and dies, and Falion wishes she had Temaile with her instead of Ispan, as Temaile is much better at making sure prisoners don’t die before they talk. Falion piles the woman’s clothes, which include a red belt, on top of the body and instructs their two thick-witted hirelings (Arnin and Nad) to toss the body in the alley and make it look like she was robbed. Arnin tries to tell her that no one will believe that, but she slams him against the wall with Air, and the men rush to obey. After they leave, Ispan opines that Moghedien won’t like this, and Falion (wishing she were working with Rianna, the other White, instead of a flighty Blue) disdainfully retorts that Moghedien has forgotten them, and furthermore she is convinced this cache does not exist. Ispan disagrees, starry-eyed at the notion of having an angreal or even a sa’angreal of her own.

“Moghedien was wrong.” Falion watched shock widen the other woman’s eyes. The Chosen were only people.

Learning that lesson had stunned Falion too, but some refused to learn. The Chosen were vastly stronger, infinitely more knowledgeable, and quite possibly they had already received the reward of immortality, but by all evidence they schemed and fought each other as hard as two Murandians with one blanket.

Ispan still demurs, pointing out the other Friends of the Dark in town also searching for the cache, surely sent by other Chosen, and adds that at any rate she is not interested in reporting failure to Moghedien; their punishment might rival Liandrin’s if they do. Falion repeats there is no cache, and lays out her logic: the Wise Women are mostly wilders, and everyone knows that wilders stay far away from objects of Power for fear of attracting the wrath of the Tower, but by contrast, women who are put out of the Tower often try to steal such objects and take them with them, just as the Wise Woman they had just questioned (Callie), had tried when she was put out. Surely such a woman would have located a cache of angreal if there had been one to be found. Falion has a much better idea instead:

“What would please Moghedien as greatly as the cache?” Ispan simply stared at her, tapping her foot. “Nynaeve al’Meara, Ispan. Moghedien abandoned us to go chasing after her, but obviously she escaped somehow. If we give Nynaeve—and the Trakand girl, for that matter—to Moghedien, she would forgive us a hundred sa’angreal.”

Ispan thinks this is a terrible idea, declaring that where those two girls appear, “disaster follows.” She thinks if they’re not going to kill them, they should stay as far away from Elayne and Nynaeve as possible, but Falion is confident that eventually her logic will prevail.

He sits on a barrel and studies the house across the street; his head feels strange, when he thinks of “what he cannot remember.” The house is a goldsmith’s who is supposedly being visited by two friends from the country, but he’s discovered the two “friends” are Aes Sedai. A street tough walking by pauses and assesses him, and he grips his knives under his coat, but the tough thinks better of it and walks on. He is puzzled to see the two hired men, Arnin and Nad, hauling a wheelbarrow full of refuse out of the goldsmith’s stable, and decides to stay until dark, then try to find “Carridin’s pretty little killer” again.

Sooner or later, he would remember. He did not have much time left, but it was all he did have. He remembered that much.

Commentary
Oh, Mat, you adorable little manslut.

Heh. Okay, not really. But still.

While I think most people, myself included, find Mat’s obliviousness re: Olver’s true behavioral role model to be very amusing, I remember a few fans being of the opinion that it stretched credibility that Mat could have no clue of what an incorrigible flirt he is. I tend not to agree, myself.

On the one hand, I see their point, but on the other, flirting is a funny thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people be shocked or indignant when informed that they were flirting, even when–especially when–they were not only flirting, but flirting outrageously. Sure, some of these people are being disingenuous when they deny the flirtage (or they’re, you know, drunk), but not all of them. Some people really don’t know they’re doing it!

It’s like certain parts of your brain just switch off when you see that yummy guy or gal you want to go for—and this is an observation that is not just mine, but backed up by psychological research, which notes that people in “flirt mode” show a similar kind of detachment from rational thought to that observed in the “fight or flight” response to danger. Limbic system SMASH neocortex when it comes to sex, is what I’m saying—or to survival, which from an evolutionary point of view is actually the same thing. Biological imperative and all that.

Given that, and combined with Mat’s terminal allergy to self-introspection, it’s not impossible to suppose that Mat could genuinely have no idea that he behaves the way he does when he’s around women he’s attracted to (i.e. women who indicate they are attracted to him). You’ll note he behaves completely differently around women he’s mentally marked as, for whatever reason, Not An Option for “snuggling.”

(This is a group that includes Tylin, by the way. But We’re Not Talking About That Yet.)

Joline and Teslyn: I don’t think I really understood what was going on here the first time I read this scene. In fact, I’m sure I didn’t, mostly because I totally bought Jordan’s character misdirection re: Teslyn hook, line, and sinker. She’s Red! She’s ugly! She must suck, right? Ah-hah! Book, judge, cover, etc.! Shame on me, you guys. Shame!

Although perhaps I can be allowed a little leeway, because really: I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I think that in seven books, Teslyn may be the very first Red sister we meet who not only turns out not to suck, but is… actually kind of awesome. After seven books. I’m just saying.

And she is, you guys. Kind of awesome, I mean. She’s not full-bore, firesale, four-hundred-dollar-leather-jacket-marked-down-to-seventy-five awesome, maybe, but she’s definitely at least a nice sweater in just your color at 20% off. Which ain’t gonna be the dramatic shopping coup adventure you tell over cocktails or anything, but it’s a cool sort of thing to brighten your day, you know?

(That jacket story? Trufax. If we’re ever having a martini together I’ll tell you about it.)

Matters become much clearer, of course, once you have the hindsight of knowing that Teslyn was the one who passed Mat the note telling him to warn Elayne and Nynaeve. Once you know that, it’s pretty clear that Teslyn, far from being in real favor of getting back in Elaida’s good graces by hauling the Supergirls back to the Tower, was actually using Joline’s petulance to manipulate her into doing the exact opposite.

To be sure, I suspect this was less altruism on Teslyn’s part toward Our Heroes, as it was a determination to spike Elaida’s plans just because they were Elaida’s plans; in fact she may state this outright later on, I can’t remember. But hey, the enemy of my enemy, and alla that.

The age thing among Aes Sedai occasionally throws me when one of them makes observations like Joline does here, about her age relative to Merilille’s and Elaida’s. Logically I know perfectly well that with such long life spans the age ranges among Aes Sedai must vary wildly, but with the exceptions of those sisters who are obviously much older, like Vandene, Adeleas, Verin, etc., I tend to unconsciously group Aes Sedai into one narrow “normal” adult age range that makes them all roughly contemporaries of each other (say, 30 to maybe 45 years of age). So it’s always rather jarring to me when one of them casually observes that she’s a hundred years older than another sister, when (I presume) they look like they could have been in college together.

Or something like that. You know what I mean. Maybe. Hopefully. I’m going to shut up now.

Well, except to note that Falion’s name (like the extremely sarcastic chapter title) is very thematically appropriate, since she Fails logic with extreme Failination.

(“Fail,” “Falion,” geddit? “Fail”? “Falion”? Joke? Funny? …Okay, really shutting up now.)

*slinks off*

*slinks back long enough to note that Barrel Guy = Noal = Jain = neener, and slinks off again*


Chapter 18: As the Plow Breaks the Earth

What Happens
Rand sits in his anteroom with the Aiel chiefs in Cairhien, and commands Merana to pour more tea. The Aiel watch expressionlessly as she obeys in a manner that “shouts Aes Sedai,” and Rand wonders if that’s to his advantage or not. She shows perfect self-possession except for whenever she sees Dashiva and Narishma; Rand notes that Dashiva appears to be talking to himself again. Rand comments to the chiefs that he does not let the Aes Sedai channel without permission, but the chiefs make no response. Lews Therin comments that only a fool thinks “a lion or a woman” can ever be tamed, and Rand mutes him irritably before replacing the ward that blocks Merana from hearing.

My sisters do not all realize how very much we need you, she had told him this morning in this very room, but all of us who swore will do whatever you ask that would not violate the Three Oaths. […] I have more than a little skill in negotiation and mediation. My sisters have other skills. Let us serve you, as we pledged. Let me serve you. We need you, but you have some need of us, too.

Alanna had screamed the same thing at him before literally running in tears, though Rand thinks this probably wasn’t what either of them had had in mind. He also wonders why Alanna has always seemed grieved and weepy since the moment she bonded him. He tells the chiefs that the Wise Ones have said the Aes Sedai serve him too; does Rand need to make them dance a jig to prove it? Mandelain finally comments that it’s said an Aes Sedai will do anything to get what she wants, but Indirian and Janwin have decided they want to drop the matter in favor of discussing the Shaido dogs. Rand asks about the Wise Ones, and Indirian reluctantly answers that Sarinde has told him the Wise Ones will run with the spears to take care of the Shaido Wise Ones. Janwin remarks sadly that all things change, and Mandelain wonders if any of them will ever see the Three-fold Land again.

“I hope so,” Rand said slowly. As the plow breaks the earth shall he break the lives of men, and all that was shall be consumed in the fire of his eyes. The trumpets of war shall sound at his footsteps, the ravens feed at his voice, and he shall wear a crown of swords. The Prophecies of the Dragon gave little hope for anything except victory over the Dark One, and only a chance of that. The Prophecy of Rhuidean, the Aiel Prophecy, said he would destroy them. The bleakness swept through the clans because of him and ancient customs were ripped apart. Even without the Aes Sedai, small wonder if some chiefs pondered whether they were right to follow Rand al’Thor, Dragons on his arms or no. “I hope so.”

The Aiel leave, and Rand asks Narishma and Dashiva if they think the chiefs believe he is an Aes Sedai puppet. Dashiva doesn’t see why it matters, so long as they obey, and Narishma doesn’t really get it either. Rand muses on the problems he’s juggling, while Lews Therin moans and mutters, and Alanna stops weeping to be angry about something, and Rand tries to remember what it was like to be alone in his own head. Then Berelain storms in, trailed by Annoura; she waves his letter in his face and demands to know why she is to be sent back to Mayene without so much as an in-person dismissal from Rand. Lews Therin starts humming as soon as she appears, and Rand reluctantly admits to himself that the reason for the letter was because he liked looking at her too much, and abruptly realizes he’s thumbing his ear, which he knows is a habit of Lews Therin’s as well.

Burn you, this is my body! The thought was a snarl. Mine! Lews Therin’s hum stopped in surprise, and confusion; without a sound, the dead man fled, back into the deepest shadows of Rand’s brain.

Focusing on her eyes, Rand tells her she knows very well why, after the incident with the man with the knife on the docks. Berelain tries to laugh this off as a common mugging attempt, but Rand tells her not to play the fool; those who supported Colavaere might not be able to get to Rand, but they can get to Berelain. She is going back to Mayene, and Dobraine will take her place until Elayne can be crowned. Berelain is about to explode, but Annoura touches her arm; Berelain calms herself, and switches tactics, pointing out in honeyed tones that she is in a much better position to negotiate with the Sea Folk on his behalf than anyone. Rand wonders why she’s trying to hold on so hard to such a dangerous and thankless job, and tries to reassure her that Mayene’s sovereignty is guaranteed, but Berelain is sure that the memory of her services will fade in the face of new ones. Rand asks if she will serve if it still means leaving, but before she can answer, Riallin (a Maiden) opens the door to announce that an Aes Sedai named Cadsuane Melaidhrin has come to see the Car’a’carn, and a handsome woman, her gray hair in a bun “decorated with dangling gold ornaments” sweeps in right behind her. Annoura gasps that she thought Cadsuane was dead, and Merana runs through the ward, screaming for Cadsuane not to harm him. Someone embraces saidar, and Rand jumps clear of Berelain, seizing saidin, as do the Asha’man; Riallin veils herself and shouts for reinforcements.

For someone who had caused all that, this Cadsuane seemed remarkably unaffected. She looked at the Maidens and shook her head, golden stars and moons and birds swaying gently. “Trying to grow decent roses in northern Ghealdan may be near to death, Annoura,” she said dryly, “but it is not quite the grave. Oh, do calm down, Merana, before you frighten someone. One would think you would have grown a little less excitable since putting off novice white.”

Merana looks embarrassed, and the tingle of saidar vanishes, but Rand does not release the Source. He demands to know what Ajah Cadsuane is, and what she wants, but Cadsuane ignores him, instead gliding over to inspect Narishma and Dashiva. She compliments Narishma on his eyes; Narishma looks confused and Dashiva grins nastily. Rand snaps at them to do nothing, and again demands to know what Cadsuane wants. Cadsuane finally answers by saying that she would have thought even a “child” like Moiraine would have taught him manners. Then she turns to Berelain, and politely but unequivocally dismisses her; Berelain takes it smoothly, curtsying to Rand and pointedly asking his permission to leave, which he also gives with pointed courtesy. Berelain leaves, and Cadsuane comments it’s always nice to see “children play.” Annoura and Merana still look poleaxed, and Rand realizes she’s deliberately trying to provoke him. He doesn’t know why, but is determined not to rise to the bait. He sits down, and Cadsuane comments that she would like some tea. Rand channels and floats the tea tray over to her and pours tea for all three Aes Sedai, watching to see what they do. Merana looks queasy, but accepts, while Annoura refuses outright, but Cadsuane takes the tea and sips it with pleasure, and tells him he’s a “good boy.” Rand quivers, but controls himself, and asks coldly one more time for her to explain her purpose, or leave —by a window, if necessary.

“To see you,” she said calmly. “I am Green Ajah, not Red, but I have worn the shawl longer than any other sister living, and I have faced more men who could channel than any four Reds, maybe than any ten. Not that I hunted them, you understand, but I seem to have a nose.” Calmly, a woman saying she had been to market once or twice in her life. “Some fought to the bitter end, kicking and screaming even after they were shielded and bound. Some wept and begged, offering gold, anything, their very souls, not to be taken to Tar Valon. Still others wept from relief, meek as lambs, thankful finally to be done with it. Light’s truth, they all weep, at the end. There is nothing left for them but tears at the end.”

Rand explodes in rage, hurling the tea set into a mirror, which shatters, scaring everyone in the room except Cadsuane. He jumps up and asks, snarling, if that’s supposed to scare him. He could crush her instantly, and “Merana knows” why he should. Cadsuane answers calmly that she knows his future, and while some believe the Light abandons men who can channel, she does not. Then she asks if he’s begun to hear voices yet.

“What do you mean?” he asked slowly. He could feel Lews Therin listening.

The tingle returned to his skin, and he very nearly channeled, but all that happened was that the teapot rose and floated to Cadsuane, turning slowly in the air for her to examine. “Some men who can channel begin to hear voices.” She spoke almost absently, frowning at the flattened sphere of silver and gold. “It is a part of the madness. Voices conversing with them, telling them what to do.” The teapot drifted gently to the floor by her feet. “Have you heard any?”

Dashiva laughs suddenly, and Narishma licks his lips. Rand answers that he will ask the questions, but inside his head he calls out to Lews Therin, who doesn’t answer. Cadsuane sighs, and comments that he seems “overwrought,” and suggests they speak later before asking to “borrow” Merana and Annoura for a while. Rand gapes at her a moment, and then shouts at everyone to get out. Once alone, Rand hurls the Dragon Scepter into a wall.

“I am not mad,” he said to the empty room. Lews Therin had told him things; he would never have escaped Galina’s chest without the dead man’s voice. But he had used the Power before he ever heard the voice; he had figured out how to call lightning and hurl fire and form a construct that had killed hundreds of Trollocs. But then, maybe that had been Lews Therin, like those memories of climbing trees in a plum orchard, and entering the Hall of the Servants, and a dozen more that crept up on him unawares. And maybe those memories were all fancies, mad dreams of a mad mind, just like the voice.

He paces until Riallin enters again, supporting a weeping Idrien Tarsin. Rand forces himself to ask gently what is the matter, and when he learns, wants to weep himself.

Commentary
Enter: Cadsuane.

 

DUN.

 

No, like really.

I’ve gotta say, Cadsuane royally pissed me off from the moment she appeared, both on first reading and now. What’s more, she basically never stopped pissing me off, even when she clearly was the one who had saved the day (which has happened annoyingly often), or did something that would have earned a rating of Awesome from me had she been ANY other character.

But she’s Cadsuane, and I just can’t bloody stand her.

I just don’t get her. Her method of “handling” Rand, which seems to consist, in its entirety, of constantly keeping him on the bleeding edge of homicidal rage, makes absolutely NO SENSE to me.

Well, no. That’s not true, precisely. I can, if I squint, see the rationale in there, as long as you favor the mindset that believes the best defense is a good offense —literally, as the case may be.

But we’re going to discuss this more in the next chapter, as that’s where Cadsuane herself thinks about her motives in behaving the way she does, so I’ll leave it for now except to note that her demeanor in this chapter could scarcely have been better calculated to make me instantly despise her, regardless of her motives. Maybe it’s the Southerner in me, but I sincerely cannot abide people who are deliberately offensive as a default stance. Sometimes rudeness is called for, I definitely won’t argue with that, but employing it from the word “Go” is just… just… rude.

Argh.

So instead, let’s discuss the other big thing that happened in this chapter, which is the disappearance of Lews Therin. Though of course we don’t know yet, narratively, that his silence is going to be extended, this is where it starts, and as a result this scene spawned a proverbial horde of wild-ass theories among the readers as to why it happened, and what it meant for the He’s Real camp vs. He Ain’t faction.

Of course, we all know which pony I’m behind here. Quoth the FAQ:

As soon as Cadsuane mentions hearing voices, in [ACOS: 18, As the Plow Breaks the Earth, 331] “LTT” stops talking to Rand. One thing to note is that Cadsuane channeled while making that statement. The obvious thing she did was fetching the teapot to her, but it is possible that she used the channeling of the teapot to disguise something else she did. Furthermore, the voice reappeared in TPOD. So, we’re left with the questions of why did LTT go away? Was it something Cadsuane did? Did he go away of his own volition (was he in hiding)? Did Rand subconsciously suppress him? Why did he come back? Also, what do his disappearance and reappearance signify?

It is interesting to note that this scene marks one of the few times since LTT appeared that Rand truly loses his temper. If Jean’s theory is correct, and the LTT personality is an outlet for Rand’s emotions, Rand’s outburst could have been the cause of LTT’s disappearance, rather than anything Cadsuane did. Once he started expressing his own feelings, rather than feeding them into LTT, the LTT personality retreated. However, after that episode Rand went back to suppressing everything, and LTT eventually reappeared.

Perhaps once Cadsuane teaches Rand “laughter and tears” again, the LTT personality, having lost its purpose, will disappear entirely.

“Jean’s theory” is further up the page, but is basically the same one I’ve been a proponent of, the “Lews Therin is an alternate personality” theory. I don’t know that I completely buy the “losing his temper” part of it, as it strikes me as being a tad pat, but I do believe that Rand himself suppressed Lews Therin the moment Cadsuane raised the specter (heh) of hearing voices as a common sign of taint madness.

(Also, this FAQ entry was obviously written long before TGS came out —it was written before KOD came out, for that matter —but that last bit is rather interesting in light of what happens, eh?)

The other big theory noted there, that Cadsuane’s examination of the teapot was a cover for her doing something with the Power that suppressed Lews Therin temporarily, had a lot of fans as I recall, but I personally never bought this idea for a second. Regardless of whether you suppose Lews Therin is real or an alternate personality, there’s never been the slightest evidence before or since that the One Power can affect something so nebulous and ephemeral as a voice in another person’s head, especially in such a short time. The only things that might come close to being able to do something like it is either Compulsion, which Cadsuane obviously could not have used here even if modern Aes Sedai knew how to do it, which they don’t, or Healing, which also obviously did not happen here. So boo on this theory, sez moi.

And now, having no doubt once again infuriated half the commenters with my dastardly partisanship re: head voices, I cheerfully leave the topic for a couple of final notes:

First, a rather bizarre quote from earlier in the chapter, when Rand is talking to Berelain:

“Berelain, I don’t know what else I can do to guarantee Mayene for you, but I will write out any—” Colors swirled so strongly in his head that his tongue froze. Lews Therin cackled. A woman who knows the danger and isn’t afraid is a treasure only a madman would spurn.

This probably is just a chance turn of phrase, or maybe even an error, but the reference to “swirls of color,” given what happens later with the Superboys, definitely made me blink a little. There doesn’t seem to be any relation between this and the later manifestations of Ta’veren Technicolor Telepathy, tee em, but, uh, I dunno. Thoughts?

Last but not least, this quote:

As the plow breaks the earth shall he break the lives of men, and all that was shall be consumed in the fire of his eyes. The trumpets of war shall sound at his footsteps, the ravens feed at his voice, and he shall wear a crown of swords.

I… really don’t have a lot to say to that, except what I’ve said before: damn does it suck to be Rand.


And we out! Have a jauntily jolly weekend, my pigeons, and see you next time!

458 comments
Kate Smith
2. Rukaiya
I'm with Leigh 100% on this one. My main reaction to these two chapters is primarily HATE CADSUANE! ARGH! I too detested her the moment she appeared and to date she remains the only WoT character that I've had such a visceral reaction to. My loathing has definitely not declined in the following books either. Every time she appears in a chapter, I have to start deep breathing exercises and force myself to read through the chapter (I'm exaggerating a little here, but not very much). I give Rand major points for self control for not killing her in some horribly gruesome manner. I understand that she's from Far Madding and they have a different cultural outlook, but I still think that doesn't even begin to cover her horrible behavior. For someone who goes on about manners constantly, she seems to have very few.
nor3
3. nor3
Damn, so close...

Cadsuane... ARGH! I am going to hate her so much for so long... I am personally of the oppinion that her 'teaching rand to laugh and cry' was only nessecary because she handled him so badly. If moraine had been on hand i doubt he would have gone all psycho at the end of TGS (not to the same extent, at the very least).
Sam Mickel
4. Samadai
Did we ever find out who the people that tried to kill Mat were? I don't remember. I always liked Teslyn and thought she would become a prime supporter of Mat. Falion and Ispan, I am glad they are dead soon.

Leigh those of us on the correct side of the theory don't care if you are biased, we know the truth. ;)

Because that is what the voices tell us.:D
Ron Garrison
5. Man-0-Manetheran
Hi Leigh!

Yeah! Caddy arrives! (OK, I know I'm probably alone here, but I have a soft spot for curmudgeons. "Oh, do calm down, Merana, before you frighten someone.") Rand's little temper tantrums always bothered me more. So for Caddy to provoke them did not seem to me to be a bad thing. I saw it as a teaching thing long before Min's vision. And it is also a way of getting a quick look into the truth of a person. Think Patrick Jane of The Mentalist, if you watch it.

Rand/LTT: I'm firmly in the camp of LTT being Rand's memories of his former life, albiet hyper-real. And LTT did a lot of shameful things, not the least of which was killing his wife and family. So, why wouldn't there be conflict? The silencing: Rand is very afraid of going mad, and to have Caddy hit him spot-on with her question had to be a shock. "Does it show?" "How did you know?" Naturally he is going to suppress any contact with that personality. It's just a natural defense. "Do you always bite your nails?" "Why, no. Not usually."

I definitely think there is no evidence for Caddy channeling LTT into hiding. None.

"It’s good to be lucky."™
nor3
6. Baravius
5: I'm totally with you on the Caddy thing. She is just getting Rand to excercise his emotions instead of bottling them up which is a good thing. I don't always agree with her methods especially later on with Nyneave and other Aes Sedai, but I think she has good intentions. She's probably the Aes Sedai qualified to deal with male channelers and she has a great grasp of how the world is changing. I just wish she would give up on the manipulation, especially in TGS. I think BS's biase in hating her showed through a little in TGS though.

It took me awhile to be convinced of Teslyn too. I am glad there was finally a good red though.

I've always been on the voice is an alternate personality band wagon. Before I started looking at message boards, I thought everybody knew that.

I'm still not convinced barrel guy is Noal, I don't think he is old cully but Mat doesn't recognize Noal later when they formally meet.
nor3
7. Gentleman Farmer
I also dislike Cadsuane, but this scene ties into why I dislike CoS in general. I acknowledge Leigh indicating she's going to justify why this book ranks highly for her, but for me it's just about the lowest on my list.

The reason for that is first shown in this scene. I don't buy how the characters are acting. We know Rand by this point, we know what he's been through and what he's like. So at this stage, he has just returned from being bound in a box by a bunch of Aes Sedai who, I believe, were staying at Lady Arilyn's palace.

Rand learns there are more Aes Sedai in Cairhien, staying in the same place and does nothing about it. Not sure if I accept that, but okay.

Then Cadsuane comes in, basically unannounced, and Merana acts as though she's a threat. Rand does nothing.

Someone (likely Merana) seizes Saidar and Rand does nothing. Also, none of the Ashaman present do anything.

Then Cadsuane channels, and not only does Rand do nothing, but he prevents anyone else from doing anything.

Prior to Rand being put in a box he didn't allow Aes Sedai to channel around him (Merana included).

His first encounter with Aes Sedai after returning from the box was with Annoura, and he had her shielded as a precaution. His words to her (in response to her saying she could have channelled before he knew she was there) were that if she had tried, she would very likely have been dead.

I can't see this scene occurring without the Ashaman slamming shields into place on all Aes Sedai present as soon as they feel Saidar, and possibly killing Cadsuane. I think RJ wants Cadsuane to be able to touch Saidar to throw Rand off balance, but I can't see Rand permitting it.

Recall as well that LTT had counselled Rand (back in LoC) to kill the Aes Sedai. I can't imagine LTT has calmed this instict post-box either.

I also can't see Rand failing to find out who's with her, how many Aes Sedai are in Cairhien with her and imposing the standard restrictions (no channelling, no access to palace without permission, max of three etc.)

Finally, I have difficulty believing (post Dumai's Wells) that the Aiel would allow an unidentified, unaffiliated Aes Sedai into Rand's presence without a whole troop of Wise One's who can channel following and shielding her.

The whole Cadsuane scene just doesn't seem to involve consistent or rational behaviour based on what we know of the characters, and I think that contributes a great deal to my dislike of the scene and the Cadsuane character.
Marcus W
8. toryx
I'm not southern and I like curmudgeons yet Cadsuane still makes my blood boil no matter how many times I read this chapter. Just reading the quote was enough to get it started. Argh! The rudeness! The flippant superiority!

Actually, that last is what I can't abide. I understand that there are people who know more than others, and there are certainly times when I think certain other people are outright idiots who waste the air they're breathing but I could never be so openly arrogant about it. And Cadsuane wears arrogance and superiority like a flaming cloak.

I do agree with Man-o @ 5 that she's doing all that to get as complete a reading of Rand as she can be (very much ala Patrick Jane of The Mentalist) but it still strikes me as unnecessarily rude and inappropriate.

Oh well.

My thoughts on LTT's realness is so well documented that I'm not even going to speak to it other than to say that as usual, I agree with Leigh's comments regarding it 100%.

Edit: Very embarrassing typo.
Jeff Weston
9. JWezy
Two observations about Cadsuane:

1) As the oldest Aes Sedai, she really is the Aes-Sedai's Aes Sedia, permanently infused with "Ever-So-Much-More-So". It's not just Rand; she treats everyone she meets like dirt. I think the reason she doesn't have a warder is because that would force RJ to show a different side of her. Which leads to:

2) Cadsuane is a character in a book (surprise!). She was created for a literary purpose, and she must be doing it fairly well, because we are treated to her sweet-as-honey personality in spades through the succeeding books. The only thing I could ever figure out that made much sense was that Rand, being Rand, would not be brought back from the brink he has forced himself to by anyone else. He is so stubborn, he has to do it himself, and the only way that will happen is if he goes so close to the brink that even he sees it. Seems a mischancy game, pushing someone with access to that sort of power that far, but circumstances being what they are, she seems to center on that as her only hope.

So, if that is so, how does she know him so well before ever meeting him? Clearly a different personality would respond to different treatment (I learned that in a week of worthless brain-mapping training at work!). Where did her plan come from? Who has she been in contact with to learn this? Thoughts?

One more thing, for upcoming readings. When Noal helps Mat by scaring the gholam away in WH, why does Mat not betray any sense of recognition? He has already realized that barrel man is the same as racetrack man, so what gives? The FAQ notes that the description is strikingly similar, but surely the face itself would be even more so (after all, we are genetically hard-wired to recognize faces). Probably means nothing but that time has passed and he has been clocked on the head with a building, but still.
sandi vogel
10. sinfulcashew
I still think that LTT is a ~second~ personality.
The 'clues' point to a separate person, I think.
The clues pointing to a construct are slightly different.
I know I am wrong, but it was written wrong!(?????)
OOOOOh, I know I am dissing RJ's style, but only, I repeat, only this once!!!!!

As for Cadsuane, I reserved my opinion for later and found that I really liked her. Even with her questionable behaviors. He needs a balancer(?) and she definitely is it.
Rob Munnelly
12. RobMRobM
Leigh - thanks for including the bit about the fountain at the start of the first chapter - one of the funniest throw away lines in the whole series. Other random thoughts:

You did miss the funniest bit in the discussion with Setalle Anan -- the bit about not understanding women and Mat says "and I'm not just talking about Aes Sedai - any women." Hilarious, especially in the context of talking with a former AS.

Am I right that the empty chest was to take Mat's body to Mili and Carridin?

Funny that Elaida is finally right about something - Joline is a child who has never grown up. What a piece of work through the series. But Teslyn is cool.

Didn't realize that Noal saw the henchmen take the body away to be dumped.

I actually liked Cads up until TGS. She is a pain in the butt but it is the correct stategy - she has intrigued Rand enough that he will keep her around and, eventually, be guided by her. If she were sweet, he'd have ignored her (as he is with the rest of them.) I thought Brandon or RJ lost their way with her in TGS - she was being illogically and nonstrategically mean, which is not Cadsuane's MO. In KOD she was thoughtfully mean - he was treating people poorly and she switched him for it; he was ready to browbeat one of the AS and she said "why don't you listen, I smell good news coming." The overkill with Cads browbeating Tam in TGS was nice from a fresh meat "yeah, now she's going to get a beat down" sense but it was illogical. She should have had a strong, thoughtful gameplan that didn't work and blew up in her face rather than acting like a thoughtless #hole - which she very much is not.

Rob
nor3
13. junior1234
I have to agree with the hate of Cadsuane. And to be honest I never thought anything she did in any of the books, including the latest one, was particularly awesome.

She is one character that the series would have just been better off without.
Ron Garrison
14. Man-0-Manetheran
JWezy @ 9:
"So, if that is so, how does she know him so well before ever meeting him?"
The answer in a nutshell: she's really friggin' old! By that I mean, we can't even imagine the thousands upon thousands of people she has met. This sampling provides an enormous amount of EXPERIENCE. Looking back over my own life I can see enormous change due to my experiences. And the older I get, the more I can synthesize those experiences into the present, i.e. what is known as wisdom. Now, magnify that tenfold and you get Cadsuane. I can certainly identify with her "cut through the crap" manner. She gets right down to it! We know that TG is immanent, but if you were 700 years old, how much more immanent would it seem? Time's a-wastin' ya young whippersnappers!
Ron Garrison
15. Man-0-Manetheran
RobMRobM @ 12:
"I thought Brandon or RJ lost their way with her in TGS - she was being illogically and nonstrategically mean, which is not Cadsuane's MO."

Yes. It disturbs me that BWS has stated how much he hates Cadsuane. WTF? That sounded to me like a really bad attitude for an author. I've heard authors say that they really love all their characters, even the villains. How could you do any character justice if you hated them?

Before TGS, I always felt that someday, someday all the Cadsuane haters would eat their words. She would have her MOA, and everyone would go, "Damn! I get it! You go girl!!" I cross my fingers that he stays true to RJ's intentions and doesn't sabotage her moment due to personal dislike.
Lannis .
16. Lannis
GAH! Life's too busy! :/


I know I'm in the minority here, but I heart Cadsuane... I think I was just so glad to see someone, anyone come in and shake some of the Aes Sedai by the scruff of the neck...


And yes, it does suck to be Rand...


Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Hope your weekend is great! :)
Birgit
17. birgit
Did we ever find out who the people that tried to kill Mat were?

Carridin ordered Mili to send Darkfriends after Mat.
nor3
18. boquaz
I see people like Cadsuane all the time... they've been around for so long and had their behind kissed so much they:
1) really don't believe they can fail
2) don't adequately plan ahead
3) assume problems are due to other people

I was very disappointed she didn't turn out to be on the other side. Her behavior (not intention) is borderline sociopathic. However... VERY realistic. Like I said, I know many (infuriating) people like her.

LTT is the same person as Rand. It's been that way the whole time. Go back to Eye of the World. Ishy explained it then.

(haven't posted in a long... long time, just caught back up!)
Henry Loose
19. schrodinger
sorry M-o-M, even if Cads died in a selfless sacrifice of her life to save Rand, my reaction would still be: at least she made up for all the crap she put everyone through. That is the best I will ever feel about cads. I hope that BWS does do her forthcoming MOA justice, because I really hate hating her, and would like to move on to ambivalence.
nor3
20. MuradinLives
All feelings towards Cadsuane aside, i still feel like this is one of the best scenes re: Rand's manner as a ruler, as an important (i should say "key") figure in the world, but also as a young man (he's like 20 or something right? That's how old I am....) with a lot of shit on his plate, and a lot of older women who say they know better (and you know they're probably right, which pisses you off even more) but you cant let THEM know that or you lose what power you have. He's in the middle of a very awkward conversation with an important ruler (who, by the way, is sooooooooo smokin hot you cant even look at her without even the crazy guy in your head goin', "DAAAAAAAAAMMNN!") when this monster of a woman comes storming into YOUR HALL with the complete and dissuadable intention of throwing your shit outta whack. I'd say, with what little recuperation he's had in Caemlyn, he's got his behaviour pretty well under lock and key. I mean, i think he knows how unhealthy it would have been to keep his rage in check that whole time. I really enjoyed his entire performance of that scene. Barring the obstacle of channeling, that would be a really cool scene to see on stage.
Joseph Blaidd
21. SteelBlaidd
Chap 18 is, too me, one of Jordon's Great uses of the 3rd person limited narator.

I remember that a lot of people back when this first came out complained that Cadsuane was an obvious quick fix to make up for Moraine's disaperance because she had never been mentioned before. The reason that this encounter is the first time we hear of her is so that our reaction is Rand's reaction, I.E. "Who the Hell, is this pushy bitch?" We are suposed to see her as a threat as our first reaction.

As to her behavior toward Rand, I've never seen her as being at all rude in this instance, just rather brisk. She reminds me of a bit of some of the old women from Anne Of Green Gables(TV Version), especialy Aunt Josephine. Remember that in cultures that value age over youth she is the party that gets automatic respect. Rand resents her not because she is rude but because she imposes boundries on his actions and behavior.

She also remainds me of my experiances in the USAF Officers Training School. The staff pushed us in much the same way Cadsuane pushes Rand, And for the same reason To see how we react to stress and then teach us to deal with it. We were tasked to push our lower classmen in the same way and one of my best friends from that experiance was in the class behind mine, and told me that when we first met he thought I was the bigest asshole.
Charlotte Giurgiu
22. almdoipad
I'm with M-o-M. I think Cads is great. Her snarkiness and abilty to put other high n mighty AS in their places always gave me great giggles. I liked her from the beginning and still enjoy her scenes. It's not the usual Aes Sedai arrogance. It's feels to me more like an "I'm done putting up with bull-poo and none of us have time for this tom-foolery considering the end draws nigh." A very no nonsense, let's get things done approach. She reminds me of me. And I am only 28! I don't see her as a curmudgeon or arrogant. Just done with it.
j p
23. sps49
Boo Cadsuane. She is so rude, it takes a Min viewing for Rand to tolerate her crap- and even that isn't enough by TGS.

I laugh at Mat stuffing money down a girl's bodice, yet not connecting that with Olver. But why do I have a clear mental picture of Caira?

This book is rolling now! Swovan Night/Small Sacrifices are coming, and I can't wait for the awesome Six Stories.
Captain Hammer
24. Randalator
Leigh

I’ve gotta say, Cadsuane royally pissed me off from the moment she appeared, both on first reading and now. What’s more, she basically never stopped pissing me off, even when she clearly was the one who had saved the day (which has happened annoyingly often), or did something that would have earned a rating of Awesome from me had she been ANY other character.

But she’s Cadsuane, and I just can’t bloody stand her.


Stop. Reading. My. Mind. Because that's word for word where I stand re: Cadsuane. Yes, it is.

God, Cads pisses me off so much!
Kathy Keith
25. Babokathy
Love Cadsuane.

She's good, very good, suave, cool as a cucumber, unshakable, determined, like a well-seasoned actress on stage. No fear. Yet.

I find her intriguing.

There is much more to Cadsuane than meets the eye, even up through TGS. I'm anxious to find out what it is about her. It's not just those pretty gold dangling ornaments (stars, moons, birds) in her hair. (No one seems to wonder what they are for many books). Although she wears many more kinds during the tangle in KOD.

I'm thinking she must have been doing something more than growing roses, while disappearing for 70+ years? Gathering info from libraries all over Randland? (She's a Green?) She's smart and knows more than she lets on as of TGS. Maybe she was a recipient of one of Moiraine's "letters" before Mo fell?

Perhaps her ornaments not only are ter'angreal, or angreal, but offer a moment of hypnosis for her to seize saidar amidst a room full of Asha'man and Aes Sedai, not to mention a befuddled Berelain and a spitting-mad Rand, who seems powerless. Cadsuane dismisses Berelain without so much as a "sniff" or "squee" from the latter!

After all, there are unanswered questions about Cadsuane after 5 more books from now. She's there for a darned good reason. Someone needed to pick up the slack left by Moiraine's sudden absense.

Will she stick around for the Battle? She knows the secrets of Callandor. Will she be one of the "2" women then? I don't know where she stands on the Power Scale of Aes Sedai strengths.

>Babo
Jamie Watkins
26. Treesinger
You gotta hand it to RJ. He really created one of the most awesomely infuriating characters in Cadsuane. The thing that pissed me off the most was the fact that she was almost always right. I hate that!
nor3
27. Seamus1602
Count me in the 'Hate Cadsuane' crowd.

But, I'll also say that I've always hated how Rand dealt with her. He immediately recognizes that she's trying to make him angry, but then flies into a rage anyway. This happens continually in their interactions. For this reason, I can see her necessity as a character, but also makes me LOVE her showdown with Tam in tGS.

Cads is the exact model of much of what is wrong with the AS. She's utterly convinced that only she knows the way (badmouthing Moiraine to herself) and she engages in all the acts she will not tolerate from others (bullying, lack of manners).

I completely diasgree with those who believe she somehow changed in tGS. The event of tGS were the inevitable conclusion of her ongoing battle of wills with Rand. In fact, I would go as far as saying that Semi's intervention in that battle, and Rand's subsequent changes were just as necessary to accomplish the laughter and tears as any of Cad's direct actions. For Cad's plan to work, Rand needed to reach that boiling point. In short, without the Semi capture, all Cads is able to accomplish toward her laughter/tears goal over the next few books is sadly lacking in comparison to the inroads Moiraine made in her 5 books. Because of their positions relative to Rand, the M v Cads comparison is inevitable, and Cads always comes off looking rather stupid and self-centered.

As always with AS, I must ask myself how things might have gone differently if they actually employed honesty. I.e. Cads comes in, introduces herself, and asks to speak with Rand alone. She then details her experience with male chanelers and tells him how she has seen them go mad. Her knowledge alone would make a huge impression on Rand. Instead of being all attitudinal, she could have actually showed Rand an AS with knowledge he can use that she's willing to give. It seems to me that trust is a far easier way to attain laughter and tears than making him so angry that he either has yo destroy the world or come to grips with himself. Perhaps slightly less risky, as well.
K F
28. TAmyrlinring1
Cadsuane is just very sure of herself. She clearly knows she's pushing "the boy" and is doing it deliberately to test his mettle (which we see in her internal dialogue in later chapters). I think she gets on all of our nerves because we all have run into some form of a Cadsuane out there--although very rarely is it someone who is so incredibly smart! (Or, at least I think so;-) RJ wrote her as extremely experienced and as manipulating Rand very carefully, but always with a true plan. I wonder how much treatment of Cadsuane RJ did in his outlines that BS was working from because the totally "sunk" Cadsuane in TGS didn't seem to me to resemble this one, except for showing continued tenacity.

As for her being one of the two helping Rand with Callandor---hmm. I always thought it would be Elayne & Aviendha, but maybe it will be Cadsuane & Moiraine, since Min had a viewing that Moiraine had to be there or Rand would fail . . .
Ron Garrison
29. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks Babokathy @25:
"like a well-seasoned actress" Your phrase made me think of Kathryn Hepburn in her advanced years - Eleanor of Acquitane in Lion in Winter. And thanks for pointing out her calm "amidst a room full of Asha'man and Aes Sedai...and a spitting-mad Rand."

and almdoipad @22
"A very no nonsense, let's get things done approach. She reminds me of me. And I am only 28!" LOL! Yeah, that's what I was getting at.

The first time Cadsuane was brought up in a discussion group, there was this huge outpouring of "Argh! I hate, hate, HATE her!" My reaction was, "You're kidding? Really?" I was totally surprised that so many felt that way because I really enjoy her character.
Bonnie Andrews
30. misfortuona
So welcome to the I hate/love Cadsuane post.
Thank you again Leigh. You can certainly make a Friday interesting.

So I fall into the I love to hate Caddy section. She is such an utterly anoying bitch so much of the time, but I do think she brings something needed to the story.

Yep she could have found an easier way to deal with Rand, and probably a better one, but she has provided him with a role model. A how not to treat your friends/allies if you don't want them to put poisonous snakes in your bed model, but a model none the less.

Babo@25
Can't really see Mo having sent a letter to Cads, since IIRC she wasn't sure the old broad wasn't BA. (NS I think)

Mis-looking for snakes
Marcus W
31. toryx
Treesinger @ 26:

He really created one of the most awesomely infuriating characters in Cadsuane.

I just realized as I read your comment that this is when I started liking Nynaeve (on my first reading of the book years ago). After reading about Cadsuane, all of a sudden Nynaeve was just that much easier to tolerate. And then of course, one of her cool moments is about to come up and that doesn't hurt.

Huh.
John Pigott
32. AbEnd
The "geezer on the barrel" always reminds me of Clive Cussler writing himself into his own novels. Too well described and too much focus on a seemingly bit player. I hope the geezer (or Jain or ?) has a bigger role in the last two books.
Jeff Weston
33. JWezy
Ah, but trust is the color of death...
K F
34. TAmyrlinring1
And, just to stir it up because Leigh went there a bit, while I had really wished that Rand and LTT weren't just different personalities of the same guy so that LTT could "die" and then that would satisfy Min's viewing . . . we now know, for sure, they are the same person, so that happy ending doesn't work. But what about the link between Rand and Moridin--are those the two men that Min saw in her viewing, and so Moridin dies, but not Rand? Or does Rand die but live on in TAR? Oh the waiting for the story to continue! And in the meantime Cadsuane will continue to annoy all of Rand's personalities up until the point where she achieves her goal.

Oh, and silly, I know, I actually feel somewhat sorry for Cadsuane. She does this knowing that he can obliterate her, and she, in her self-appointed omniscient position, doesn't feel that there is anyone she can even confide in--until Sorilea. Tough job!
Steven Pattingale
35. Pattingale
I enjoyed the recap, and the comments thus far. Gentleman Farmer @ 7 has an interesting take on things. Perhaps Rand was so lenient because she was alone.

I've enjoyed the Cadsuane character over the years and novels, but she is far from my top five faves, or even top ten ... she might make the top 20. :)
Jamie Watkins
36. Treesinger
Toryx @ 31

Nyn has the same "I know everything, you stupid male" attitude that Cads has but somehow she never bothered me as much. The fact that a secondary character can evoke so much passion --either for or against - is the reason that we love the WOT so much.
Ron Garrison
37. Man-0-Manetheran
misfortuana @30
Yes, it was in New Spring where Moiraine speculated about maybe Cadusane was Black Ajah. While checking I also came upon this quote: "Supposedly even Amyrlins had stepped warily around Cadsuane over the years."
Now how can't you like someone who strikes awe in Amyrlins?

EDIT: for Treesinger and Toryx
Cadsuane = Nynaeve + a couple hundred years! LOL
nor3
38. Gentleman Farmer
In response to a number of comments that Cadsuane just wants to test Rand's mettle by seeing how he reacts under stress, I think this is a ridiculous argument. It is, perhaps, how Cadsuane justifies herself to herself, but is entirely inappropriate in the circumstances.

Recall that Rand has been the subject of numerous assassination attempts, has had his homeland ravaged by trollocs and Rahvin, has been on the run for two years, has no one around him who has known him more than two years, and has just survived being kidnapped (by Aes Sedai), trapped in a box and beaten regularly.

It seems to me that even a mildly intelligent Aes Sedai might recognize that just meeting him will afford the opportunity to see how he is reacting under stress.

@27 raises an excellent point. How often has Rand had the opportunity to meet someone who is honest, trustworthy and prepared to be a friend and confidante, not merely trying to force his steps towards the last battle. I think if Rand had a friend he could trust it would go a lot farther towards humanizing him than trying to convince him that he may be insane.

And ultimately, leaving aside most of the foregoing, how could it be helpful to shake Rand's confidence, belief in himself and faith in his channelling that he may be being guided by someone (LTT) who does know what they're doing?

Cadsuane's accusation of madness does more to undermine Rand's ability to successfully fight the Last Battle than anyone thus far, and if we are to credit her with any intelligence, she'd realize it.

(Besides which, then, as now, I'm convinced she's stating an untruth in a typical Aes Sedai way).
Marcus W
39. toryx
Gentleman Farmer @ 38:

Cadsuane's accusation of madness does more to undermine Rand's ability to successfully fight the Last Battle than anyone thus far, and if we are to credit her with any intelligence, she'd realize it.


You've made a strong point. I think her effort was in showing Rand that she knows things worth knowing and that he would do well to try and get that knowledge from her. She underlines that point later on when she talks about Callandor.

Unfortunately, that just wasn't the right approach to make with Rand and I do think that her talk of voices actually made the situation worse for him rather than better.

I've always wondered what might have happened if a knowledgable person (such as an Aes Sedai) had approached Rand and suggested that hearing a voice in his head might not be true madness? Rather than trying to use that sort of knowledge to use him, they'd approached in the effort to offer him help.

Well, we'll never know.
K F
40. TAmyrlinring1
Gentleman Farmer @38: Except that if I recall correctly, Cadsuane doesn't know about the kidnapping and probably most of all the other business going on, so the idea that she is anything other than (up until the Super Girls) one of the most powerful Aes Sedai in the world who has just walked in on the Dragon Reborn whom she maybe doesn't know much more about than that he is the Dragon Reborn and YOUNG . . . not to categorize all people by age, but quite often more experienced, and yes, older, people who are meeting other powerful people for the first time who are also younger and therefore less experienced, will often "feel them out"--push them, to try to get an idea of "what they're made of". I've been on the receiving end of that a number of times myself (of course, not to this degree, but similar). So, yes, I respectfully disagree with you, I think she is "testing his mettle". There may be some additional things going on (maybe the asking about voices was her fear talking that it is already happening?), but I think that his mettle is very important to Cadsuane.
nor3
41. Gentleman Farmer
@38 (me) (edit)

"ridiculous argument" I mean to say Cadsuane is being ridiculous if she's making that argument to herself.

I intend no offence to anyone suggesting that's what she's doing, in fact I agree with you that she is.

Sorry, don't know how to edit better.
Marcus W
42. toryx
TAmyrlinring1 @ 40:

Except that if I recall correctly, Cadsuane doesn't know about the kidnapping and probably most of all the other business going on...

The fact that Cadsuane doesn't know what's been going on with Rand or what he's suffered is exactly why her actions strike me as so irrational. You don't walk into a room with a ticking time bomb (which any man who can channel is) without knowing these kinds of things and then just start poking at it (him) to see what happens.

Unfortunately, Aes Sedai are so convinced of their knowledge and skill that they rarely take the time to actually question anything that might change their viewpoint. And Cadsuane is as guilty of that as anyone.
K F
43. TAmyrlinring1
Toryx @39 Interesting interpretation of Gentleman Farmer's point. I like it. I think that the fact that Rand is unusual--not motivated by the typical desire for power and truly trying to do the right thing--has made it really hard for the jaded Aes Sedai crew. Their default position becomes the worst possible one. I don't think though that any AS could approach him as you suggest though--that the voices might not be a bad thing--because they don't know that, and again, the default would be that hearing voices is a bad thing. Interesting angle.
Jamie Watkins
44. Treesinger
Now that I think about it, those ornaments in Cad's hair are really Ter that prevent anyone from channeling at her. She has a male one too. Even if Ran had wanted to harm her -- he wouldn't have been able to. She was provoking him so that she could prove to him that he couldn't hurt her. Even in tGS he never really channeled at her.
K F
45. TAmyrlinring1
Toryx@42 Exactly! You and I can say that, but Cadsuane has been "tops" in the AS pool for a loooooooooong time (what with the Amyrlins stepping lightly around her and all). It is certainly not the best thing for her to do, but I think it is understandable that she would do it because of those reasons. She, as we see from her thoughts much later on, has been living on, in her mind, to see "this boy" through the last battle. She is very sure of her own power, skill, knowledge, etc., and has been handling people for a long time. And, yes, I mean handling, not helping. So, she's going to be dealing with this youngster because he is the DR. She finds out he's got Callandor, leaves the roses and seeks him out. Walks in, and unbeknownst to her, all sorts of people have done all sorts of things to him, and frankly, he should disassemble her to the cobblestones on sight. But he doesn't. She needs to assess him to find out what she needs to do to make sure he gets to and is victorious at TG. So, she does what has always worked for a cranky older extremely powerful AS with a towering reputation. She pushes. Not the right handling for Rand, but an understandable (if annoying) tactic for Cadsuane. It works for her (just see how all the other AS defer to her). And, Cadsuane has handled at least as many channeling men as any four, no maybe any ten, red AS, so she probably hasn't run into any men that have changed her opinion on her tactics (since she hasn't adjusted them), so her irritation at dealing with him later on makes sense to me too. He's frustrating since he doesn't fall in line with her preconceived notions.

Oh and Gentleman Farmer@41--it's okay :-) Sometimes my arguments can get ridiculous as can everyone's. I think I understood that Cadsuane was the main irritant ;-)
Bonnie Andrews
46. misfortuona
Tree@44
Do Cad's angreal stop channeling. I thought they just told her when a man was using the power?

TAmyrlinring1@46

Of course her tactics up until now ended with gentling the male channeler. She probably should have taken that into consideration this time round.

Mis-confused
K F
47. TAmyrlinring1
Treesinger @44 I forgot that! Setalle said something to Mat when she looked at his ter'angreal about Cadsuane being rumored to have one that disrupted weaves. Ahhh--have to go find that now and see if she said anything about saidar versus saidin or anything. Does anyone remember if anyone has channeled saidin at Mat yet? I don't think so . . . and that would leave it still an open question of whether he's still vulnerable to saidin. I had never even thought of that being a possibility as to why Cadsuane was so daring with Rand.
K F
48. TAmyrlinring1
Mis @46 That probably would have been a good thing to consider. Of course, she wouldn't have been so memorable a character had she done so ;-)
Maggie M
49. Eswana
I go back and forth about Cadsuane. She's annoying as hell. She's arrogant and conceited. She's disrespectful and disdainful of EVERYONE.

and yet..... she's kind of awesome. And right A LOT. And though her bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired, she is right about Rand, as we'll discover in tGS.

I'm also intrigued by how everyone seems to be so divided over her. That's the mark of good character development. She's complex. Not universally loved or hated. Just like real life. Well done!
Birgit
50. birgit
I don't know where she stands on the Power Scale of Aes Sedai strengths.

She is very strong.

A voice Moiraine had heard only once, two years ago, and would never forget. A number of women were stronger than she, but only one could be as much stronger as this one. "Meilyn is considerably older. When she and I are gone, that leaves Kerene the strongest." From Kerene, it's a sharp drop to the next five. Five once this child and the Sanche girl reach their potential. And one of those is as old as I am and in retirement to boot."

NS, ch. 17

At the cleaning of saidin Alivia has a ter'angreal that melts Lanfear's flows. It is probably Cadsuane's.
nor3
51. earlgrey
re TA @47 Does anyone remember if anyone has channeled saidin at Mat yet?
Halima at the dance.
Sam Mickel
52. Samadai
Birgit
I am pretty sure that Alivia got those ter'angreal from Nynaeve
Steven Pattingale
53. Pattingale
@ 50 and 51 The folks who post on this thread are on the ball. *hats off*
Bonnie Andrews
54. misfortuona
Sam@52
Hi Waves
Yep and Nyn was quite ticked at giving them up IIRC

Mis-2Cents
Ron Garrison
55. Man-0-Manetheran
Light! I love this Cadsuane discussion! Wonderful thinking going on here! ::hugs all::

Over at Tar Valon Library, the Character Profile of Cadsuane is very thorough. Here are a few tidbits I love:
"Verin is a mystery for Cadsuane; neither knows the other's full intentions, but Verin is sure that Rand can trust Cadsuane and Cadsuane thinks that Verin gives good advice." Ahah!
"She refused being a Sitter twice and head of Ajah once."
"She vanished from the Tower for over ten years when it was decided to raise her to the Amyrlin Seat."
"Once, every new novice was measured by Cadsuane's standard."
"Cadsuane has spanked two ruling kings and three queens." (OK, now I see why Leigh hates her!)

Hair Ornaments:
"Cadsuane has a number of objects of the One Power in her hair, with a variety of purposes. Her golden moons, stars, birds and fish hair ornaments are in fact angreal and ter'angreal with varying effects. She earned them from Norla in the Black Hills, though she does not know what three of their number do (TPoD, Ch. 12). She also has an angreal in the form of a shrike (WH, Ch. 35 and a Well in the form of a little golden hummingbird (WH, Ch. 34). Setalle Anan remembers that Cadsuane supposedly had a ter'angreal that can disrupt the flows of the Power (KoD, Ch. 7)."
Thomas Keith
56. insectoid
Great post as usual, Leigh!

Mat: still Awesomely Awesome. And such a flirt. ;)

Dashiva and LTT: crack me up. The former for so obviously pretending madness, and the latter for... well, being LTT;)

Cadsuane: is rather nasty for provoking Rand. GRRR. I don't hate Cads--she's sort of "awesomely infuriating", you might say--but I don't particularly like her, either. Though I have to agree with Babo about her being cuke as a coolcumber around Rand.

Speaking of which: Bye Bye, Lews Therin--see you next book!

Unexplained TTT: Very peculiar, indeed! Not sure what Mat or Perrin would have to do with either Berelain or Mayene at this point, but Perrin is nearby...

M-0-M @5: LOL at new tagline.

Babo @25: You might be interested in the saidar strength ranking discussion, if I can find it... ah. Here.

Bzzz™.
Karen Fox
57. thepupxpert
Will someone please tell me what D.U.N. is - I'm embarrased to say I've seen it all through these threds for months now and don't know whatit means!
Sandy Brewer
58. ShaggyBella
@ 20 MuradinLives
re: "I still feel like this is one of the best scenes re: Rand's manner as a ruler, as an important (i should say "key") figure in the world, but also as a young man (he's like 20 or something right? That's how old I am....) with a lot of shit on his plate, and a lot of older women who say they know better (and you know they're probably right, which pisses you off even more) but you cant let THEM know that or you lose what power you have."

I really enjoyed your point of view, especially about the bossy older women. As the Mom of a 20yr old son, I would not take much attitude from him. (or disrespect) I am probably pushy and yes, a know-it-all, too. I am glad he isn't the DR :-)
Ron Garrison
59. Man-0-Manetheran
DUN = done (usually accompanied by a large pipe organ chord)
nor3
60. Adam Epp
Yuck, Cadsuane. What an incredibly irritating character. To her credit, she's one of the few Aes Sedai post-Tower split that captures the mystique of Aes Sedai the way Moiraine used to so well, but damn. Just about everything she does is annoying. I'm going to need to re-read that part in TGS where Tam calls her out on being nothing more than a bully (Tam more than deserves some reconciliation with Rand for that scene alone). I can respect Cadsuane, but I'll never like her.
nor3
61. Gentleman Farmer
@55 M-o-M

Speaking of Verin and Cadsuane, do we know if there's any relationship between Verin's last big mistake of 70 years ago and Cadsuane's retirement 70 years ago? Seems 70 years is a number that comes up a few times, but I don't recall the resolution.
Bonnie Andrews
62. misfortuona
MOM@59
LOL
@Pupexpert
I think DUN means finished. Like the games over. Nuff said.
At least that's how I read it.

Mis-maybe mistaken
Ron Garrison
63. Man-0-Manetheran
Gentleman Farmer @ 61
Hmmm. I don't know. Interesting observation.

misfortuona @ 62
Like I said: "Done"
Bonnie Andrews
64. misfortuona
MOM@263
I guess I was a little reDUNdant there wasn't I.

Mis-chuckling
Thomas Keith
65. insectoid
Mis @64: LOL

EDIT: Heh... 65 = mirror of 56 (my previous post). Take that Blind! ;)

Bzzz™.
Kurt Lorey
66. Shimrod
As the oldest Aes Sedai around, why shouldn't Cadsuane be the epitome of everything uppity about Aes Sedai as a group? Should be little surprise that she treats most everyone else as nothing more than errant children, because to her, they are.

As for Teslyn. We should remember that she was exiled nearly 20 years for being part of the "vile" business after the Aiel War. And, she was one of Elaida's original little group who helped depose Suian. The jury (for me) is still out in her case.
craig thrift
67. gagecreedlives
junior1234@13

She did organise Rand and Nyn’s defence at the cleansing. They would have been easy pickings for the forsaken if Rand had gone with his original plan.

Gentleman Farmer

“How often has Rand had the opportunity to meet someone who is honest, trustworthy and prepared to be a friend and confidante, not merely trying to force his steps towards the last battle. I think if Rand had a friend he could trust it would go a lot farther towards humanizing him than trying to convince him that he may be insane.”

Isnt that what Min’s job is?

Besides do you really think Rand at this stage is going to trust any stranger enough to become friends with. Especially an aes sedai that commands such awe from other aes sedai. I think the direct challenging approach was probably the smartest way she could get Rands attention.

“And ultimately, leaving aside most of the foregoing, how could it be helpful to shake Rand's confidence, belief in himself and faith in his channelling that he may be being guided by someone (LTT) who does know what they're doing?”

Because he is getting to much belief in himself. He is becoming so hard and untrusting that if matters had of kept going he would of ended up trying to fight the last battle alone and failing. He needs to learn that he isn’t infallible. And honestly at the moment who is there to do that? Lan could of fit the bill but he is gone. The aiel might complain and question but in the end they obey readily enough.

Good pick up on the 70 year thing though. Was it 70 years ago that Verin became black?

And just a reminder Cads doent know about Rand being bound in a box. Its not until after the fog of evil that Min tells her. Would have been interesting to know if her strategy would of remained the same with that knowledge.

misfortuona@46

Well she had something that interrupted Semi’s Tuon disguise.
craig thrift
68. gagecreedlives
Oh and Shimrod I think you got a couple of the characters mixed up. It was Tsutama and Toveine that where exiled. Teslyn was never exiled but yeah did participate in the coup.
nor3
69. alreadymadwithcads
Treesinger @44
Errr, provoking Rand will inevitably bring LTT into play. While I can see the ter'angreal(maybe including one like Mat's) holding off an enraged Rand, they won't stop LTT for long.
TAmyrlinring1
Halima once channeled Saidin at Mat. Same effect. Nothing happened.
Gentleman Farmer @61
I was under the impression that Verin's last big mistake was attracting the attention of the Black. As for Cads, she was just plain getting old.


Overall, Cads is just in the enviable position of being the oldest Aes Sedai around, and of the misguided opinion that that entitles her to any special leeway. She is rude, arrogant and condescending, and is strong enough that none of her contemporaries have been able to beat it out of her.
TW Grace
70. TWGrace
Am I the only one that "heard" this at the DUN?
Asger Grunnet
73. asgerix
So, who is the man coming by to see Mat and claiming to be an Illuminator?
john massey
74. subwoofer
'K Go time!

First off, Cads coming on the scene reminds me of that old John Wayne joke where he walks out of the mens room soaking wet and his friend asks him what happened and John Wayne goes- "happens all the time, I walk in the room and everyone goes "is that John Wayne?" while still peeing and gets him wet... just sayin'.

I of course have another name for Cads when she makes her grand entrance...

Cads- embodiment of all that grinds on me about Aes Sedai. How about treating the Dragon Reborn with the respect he deserves. As for testing his mettle, every other Aiel and every other woman does that to Rand. The Maidens bust his hump repeatedly. The Wise Ones. Egwene. Ny. Elayne. Aviendha did it for a whole book. So what we need is Cads to come along and put Rand in his place? Sure, that's it. That is what is needed. Why not just send him to the Tower and let Elaida's plan come to fruition while we are at it?

Gonna go with boquaz on this. Cad's has spent too long being treated like a somebody. Time she realized she puts on her small clothes one leg at a time like everyone else. Rand doesn't help though. When Cads- heck, when anybody pulls stuff- CALL THEM ON IT! Hold them accountable! Don't go buggering around and telling your guards to do nothing. Heck, was I in Rand's shoes Cads would be a turnip right now and visions be damned. I would gladly suffer the consequences to get rid of that constant nattering and undermining that Cads does.

Edit- and hell yeah! With all that happened at the end of Load of Choss I am surprised Cads wasn't shielded, bound and knelt like all the other AS. #7 gf has it nailed.



Woof™.
James Jones
75. jamesedjones
7 Gentleman Farmer

ABSOLUTELY! Very cogent and precise analysis. You really brought into perspective one of the issues that had always seemed fuzzy to me - like I was missing something. It turns out, I was missing a lot. Thank you for helping to reveal one of my major issues with Cadsuane's story.
john massey
76. subwoofer
Loved how dense Mat is. He really makes this bearable. And yes, he is a douche and doesn't realize it. And yes, it was perfect how he just throws it out there "does a man understand women? Any women?" or words to that effect... perfect and cathartic.

The AS focus was good too. Strong hints at what should of happened- the whole waiting till Elaida comes to them or gets deposed, stilled, spanked etc. Loved it.

Woof™.
craig thrift
77. gagecreedlives
asgerix@73

I used to always think it was Aludra but it turns out it was a dude. If it was legit the law of character conservation would say it was Tammuz come down low. However it was probably just some darkfriend checking if Mat was home.
Tricia Irish
78. Tektonica
Wow, what a day. I tried catching up three times today, but got dragged away. Whew. So...Cadsuane. I think you all have her covered!

Gent. Farmer@7: Very good observations on erratic character actions. And @38...excellent! I agree with all you said.

Seamus@27:
Cads is the exact model of much of what is wrong with the AS. She's utterly convinced that only she knows the way (badmouthing Moiraine to herself) and she engages in all the acts she will not tolerate from others (bullying, lack of manners). Totally agree!! You're whole post is insightful. Imagine the help Rand might have had if Cads had come in as a potential friend and advisor, without all the 'tude.

MOM@29:
Thanks Babokathy @25:"like a well-seasoned actress"
Diva, maybe?

OK, I don't like Cads. I can hardly stand to read her chapters. She makes Nynaeve look positively calm and meek. I don't care what her age and strength are, she is rude and dismissive. When you have that much knowledge and power, you can afford to be generous and "mentor" your lessors. And she should have done some homework on Rand before she just barged in and mentally slapped him upside the head. It was her job to know a bit about his history (Dragon in a box, etc.) if she wants to be successful. It's about being successful and she approaches Rand in all the wrong ways and almost fails in her stated mission in tGS. (In fact, she kind of does fail....Rand figures it out on his own with LTT.)

That said, I don't know why Rand didn't confront her about her rudeness either, unless he was just stunned. He continues to put up with her because of Min's vision, but he still could've demanded a nicer demeanor from her too. Reciprocate. Be forthcoming. Communicate! Here we go again......

But.....she is a very good character. RJ was a master....look at this whole post so far. There's lots of good stuff in these chapters and we're going on for 70+ entries on Cads. She sure stirred things up!

Muradinlives@20: Like Shaggybella@58, I too loved your viewpoint....and I too have a 20 year old son. You gave me pause......do I do these things? Nah......

Love Mat!! The reason to love this book!
T C
79. Freelancer
LTT is real, Cadsuane is less than completely horrid, Rand should have sent Berelain home rather than listen to the (real) voice of LTT, who just wanted additional ogling opportunities, and DUN does NOT mean "done". Imagine it as the sound following a portentious moment in your favorite play or movie. For example, when the shark is about to appear in Jaws, it's dun-DUN, dun-DUN...
j p
80. sps49
The musical cue for Mat's dice stopping-
Dun dun dunnnnnn!

Rand rarely loses control, but one guaranteed prompt is when he is reminded that he will go mad (pre-Cleansing, and that could be too late) and point out possible symptoms he already has. This happens here, at the beginning of TGS (where he slips and talks back aloud) and when Semirhage psyops him.
craig thrift
81. gagecreedlives
This is the best example of Dun!!!

Yes I realise that link has been posted before. By Leigh herself IIRC. But its a good one.

Hope you dont mind me stealing your links Leigh :)
nor3
82. Lost in my own mind
I have always hated cadsuane, but on this re-read (I am currently finishing Winter's Heart) I have found her somewhat more sympathetic. Don't get me wrong, I still can't stand her. I just don't hate her quite as much. I have also thought from my first read that this character felt stuck into the series. Another uber powerful channeler who comes out of the wood work. I am also not convinced another character couldn't have fullfilled her role in the series. She just feels unneeded. Plus there was no build up to her, she had never been mentioned. I think Jordan decided he needed a character here in part to replace Moriane and put her in.
john massey
83. subwoofer
Sorry- had to break for Smallville.

'K, enough ranting about cranky pants... onto other topics.

Joline-
She did not say that she was prepared to wait until Elaida found herself deposed as Siuan had been. The Hall surely would not put up withe the bullying and bungling forever, but Teslyn was Red, after all, and would not appreciate hearing that.


Well- RJ dropping a bomb about things that would come to fruition 5 big honkingly long books later. Knowing what we know, Egwene calls out the Hall of the Sitters for the exact same thing in TGS. Dang, RJ is good.

One thing I did want to talk about is Aes Sedai. From the very beginning, AS are set up as these sentient beings watching over the dealings of Man and are holy and have the answers to ALL things. As the story unfolds we find the opposite to be true.

The Tower numbers are dwindling.

Aes Sedai are loosing their abilities and can only do a fraction of what was in the AoL.

Petty Squabbling has limited the co-operation of the Ajahs.

The world is in turmoil and AS are ineffective at healing the world that they are supposed to be "Servants of All" for.

The AS have withdrawn from the world to the point that some places treat them as legends... like the Jedi in A New Hope.

All these things point to AS at their worst, even thought, for the most part, WoT is a matriarchal world. Egwene spends much of TGS reflecting on this while being spanked- yes, I will re-post this on the spoiler thread- and really lays into the Sisters in her speech at the end. For me, this is Egwene's Moment of Awesome. Egg's is the Amrylin and has set a real agenda. Aes Sedai need to be Aes Sedai- the women of legend, not the mere shadows that they are now. Hopefully now the AS as a whole will step up and do what needs doing. Tarmon Gai'don is coming.

One thing I am pondering... during the AoL all the great stuff was done with cooperation of both sides of the Source. In the 3000 years since, why have the AS not been trying to cleanse Saidin? Fix things? And don't hand me the how can women deal with the male half of the Source. If men can Heal women, and vice versa, Saidin could of been cleansed long before Rand came along. An Ajah should of been formed to do just that. Heck, that is what the Reds should of been about.

Just sayin'.

Woof™.
Bonnie Andrews
84. misfortuona
Free@79
Good heavens man are you all right. I can't remember seeing such a short post from you.
Still straight forward, insightful, and I guess you covered what needed saying.

I'm not sure I agree that Cad's was meant to replace Moraine, so much as to give us a counter to her. The advisor so caught up in her own power/knowledge, and so intent on forcing people to do what she sees as necessary that she's lost track of the fact that they have their own personalities and maybe a better handle on what needs to be done as well. She’s like having one of the bad guys on your own team.

Hope this posts, I'm having issues again. Think I've said stuff and then find out later it didn't go. Grrr. Oh well, everything I meant to say got said by someone else later anyway.

Mis-crossing fingers and clicking
john massey
85. subwoofer
The bit with Falion- creepy. That is how BA are supposed to act. That is what the bad guy is supposed to do. One Ajah living up to their billing. Much of the reading makes the Forsaken seem like more than they are and then we see them make mistakes, act rash and altogether human. The way the Trollocs get sliced up and Fades die, and Forsaken drop like flies, I start to feel like there is a chance for Team Light. Then I read a chapter like this, and I think Woa! If Team Shadow actually worked with each other, the good guys would be in a world of hurt.

Edit-What? Am I the only one D&P-in' out there? When I start, they all stop. I brushed my teeth yesterday. I took a bath in January. I don't stink. I think. Guys? Guys?

Don't make me sing here folks. It could be bad...


Woof™.
john massey
87. subwoofer
This is how I felt when Cads came on the scene...

Woof™.
Bonnie Andrews
88. misfortuona
Hey Sub
Ah pass the ice tea, you're having way to much fun on your own. :)
About the AS and the male channelers. IIRC we hear somewhere that for the first few hundred years there were a lot of attempts to heal the men/cleanse the taint, but nothing that they tried worked. I suppose that after a while of being told there is no way to do this everyone just stopped trying. As a group the AS don't seem to be much for self starters.

As for the men themselves. Well they had been told, "Man, unless your're the DR, you're going to go mad and the AS are going to come for you." So seems the 'get what you can out of life' approach would make the most sense to them.

Now some of those guys really believed they were the DR. I can't help but think that some of them would have tried something. My guess is that they did, but without the proper medicine this disease just couldn't be cured.

Now for important stuff. Is there bag-pipe or accordion music in your bunker tonight? I'm up for a game of pool and if I have to I'll sing with you.

Mis-thirsty

edit here hear ;D chuckling
Julian Augustus
89. Alisonwonderland
Tamyrlinring@34:
Oh, and silly, I know, I actually feel somewhat sorry for Cadsuane. She does this knowing that he can obliterate her, and she, in her self-appointed omniscient position, doesn't feel that there is anyone she can even confide in--until Sorilea. Tough job!

Actually, at this point in the story Cadsuane is absolutely certain that he can't do anything to her with the op. And why? Because one of the terangreal in her hair acts kind of like Mat's op repellant! That is the reason she has been able to capture so many male channelers. Perhaps she was trying to egg Rand on to try and attack her so she can demonstrate that his channeling can't touch her. Of course, in TGS Rand knew he could hit her with the True Source if he had to, so his threat had real menace behind it. Fortunately, Cadsuane realized from his manner (and the darkness around him) that the equation had changed and backed down.
Julian Augustus
90. Alisonwonderland
Drat! Reading down further I notice that Treesinger @44 beat me to it. Salute, Treesinger.
john massey
91. subwoofer
Perfect- singing:) We'll start with this...

Doing strawberry wine tonight... Friend made a batch and sent some down. Sweet with a kick at the end, you don't see sneaking up on you. Kinda like Setalle's husband getting punched in the short ribs. As long as you don't mind drinking from a mason jar, pull up a stump and light and set:)

Perhaps we will wander down to the local pub in a bit...
-Edit- note the accordion.

Bugs me that AS are a bunch of quitters.

At the risk of repeating myself, AS brought this era upon themselves.They are supposed to be great but we find them to be less than that. Things hit the fan, disaster happened. Did the AS rebuild and try to recapture old glory? To me, it seems like they went in the opposite direction, to the point where it is notable when a Sister comes along with any kind of Power. It is notable when the Tower is attacked and the only people doing something are a Brown and a prisoner of the Tower. Greens? Too busy screaming like little girls...poopy. Need to refresh my drink here...


Woof™.
john massey
92. subwoofer
Cad's magic Ter can't protect her from flaming poo raining down from the heavens...

Woof™.
john massey
93. subwoofer
And in TGS Rand didn't have to channel. HE did say something to the effect as he was hitting critical mass that,if he wished it, the Pattern itself would kill her. His tav'ereness would end her.

Woof™.
Bonnie Andrews
94. misfortuona
Sub@92

Flaming Poo? LOL
Picturesque but it is a good point. Like Mat, the OP may not be able to touch the old bitty, but she must realize that being cracked over the head with his chair wouldn't do her much good.
Of course maybe she's so sure of herself, and her affect that she doesn't believe he'd try it. Maybe she's right. It works after all.

BTW, isn't this exactly the sort of thing AS have warders for?

I'll try to check your links, but youtube is soooo slow on dial up that it'll be morning before we're singing the same song.
Doesn't matter though, as long as there's wine, I'll stick to ice wine though thanks, we can sing differnt songs.

Mis-mellow
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
Hmm. Two chapters of good stuff, and the stuff We're Not Talking About Yet, and all anyone can find to talk about is Cadsuane? Oy.

So. I like reading Falion's "revelation," not least because the truth of it still seems to bug so many readers. "The Chosen were only people." Stronger and more knowledgeable, but still stuck with human nature - and the worst of it, at that. Nope. Not Grand Villains of Pure Evil (is there such a thing as "pure evil"? It seems a bit contradictory...), just ordinary ol' nasty people with too much power. I find it one of the great delights of RJ's world: There is real evil, and there is real good. (No relativism here, folks!) At the same time, I find the characters to be very human and believable. The Heroes have flaws and faults and blind spots along with their good points, just like everyone I know - and really, they aren't caricatured any more than real life. The Villains are pretty much the same thing, with their strengths and weaknesses and blind spots too. The big difference is that the Villains are motivated by selfishness to the point of choosing their own advancement over everything else, while the Heroes are willing to put the needs of others before their own needs/wants. Anyway. Funny to have this pointed out by a DF... Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the first time a character has specifically made this statement? Might be the second.

Incidentally, I loved the little "I'm AS so I'm right and you grunts know nothing" moment earlier in this scene.
Falion piles the woman’s clothes, which include a red belt, on top of the body and instructs their two thick-witted hirelings (Arnin and Nad) to toss the body in the alley and make it look like she was robbed. Arnin tries to tell her that no one will believe that, but she slams him against the wall with Air, and the men rush to obey.
Too bad they disguised the body instead of leaving F&I to the natural consequences.

And I'm beginning to think Noal/Jain did have some form of Complusion used on him; a "you will forget we had this conversation" sort of thing. Hmmm. One of many things I look forward to learning in TofM.

And... that was Chapter 17. Regarding Chapter 18, I don't think I'll go there just yet. Suffice it to say that I feel sorry for Rand, not least because of his own flaws and faults and blind spots.

Oh, and welcome back TAmyrlinring1!! Been a while, there... I was wondering if you were coming back.

And I see some others have posted while I was composing this. Maybe something besides Cadsuane? I'll go see, now.
john massey
96. subwoofer
@Mis- sorry about the dial up...I'm just starting to find my groove.

Heck- Rand should be able to think outside the box- ummm, figuratively and literally. I'm talking Vader and the Force here. Caddy likes tea and punch, perhaps the tray and the contents upside the head... the possibilities are endless.

Somehow Rand has regained his "I cannot bring myself to harm women" montra after Dumai's Wells. Of all the times he has to feel fickle. It does set up Cads for a massive fall. I was dearly longing for a "kneel or be knelt" scene with her. When something finally came around in TGS it was not as I expected. And to give Caddy her due, she is still game, trying to do her version of helping Rand, even though he can't be bothered with her anymore.

Woof™.
john massey
97. subwoofer
I wonder if they had dentures back then? Rand could channel a pair and bite Caddy on the back side...

Woof™.
Bonnie Andrews
98. misfortuona
Oh you pretty Chitty Bang Bang ;)

Ok so the FS are human, sorry Wet, but I just don't see the big revelation here. Maybe it's just because of hind sight. Is this really the first time we see someone thinking that? Didn't Nynaeve have thoughts like that when dealing with Moggy?

It seems to me that the people who do the most damage in these books are the ones who try to do good, but end up messing things up. Cads, Elaida, even the WCs.

Tips her glass. IMHO
john massey
99. subwoofer
@Mis- And our Chitty chitty bang bang loves us too:)

AS and Warders... reminds me of reading this-referring to #13.

-Dang it-
13) Professional, disciplined and long-experienced soldiers and trained generals are incompetent compared to Aiel and warders, yet a few younglings can dispatch warders, Aiel, you name it without any of the skills of the other armies. He doesn't even offer any "taver'en" explainations for this.

- random post on theoryland- just made me think that if Warders are all that and a slice of toast- what are a few kids with barely a hair on their chinny chin chin supposed to do? I guess that is why Gawyn's supposed awesomeness with a sword doesn't bring him around for me. Still a goon.

Edit- Whoot! the Great One! Score!

Woof™.
Barry T
100. blindillusion
OK, so I haven't had time to read through all the posts...I know I know...shame on me and all that jazz.

I have read through enough to see that at least a few people/or maybe one don't/doesn't like Noal as the Barrel Guy...so, I'm here to offer an alternative. Yes, I'm awesome, I know. So, without further ado, I offer the suggestion that Old Man on Barrel is none other than...wait for it...wait for it...King Alsalam of Arad Doman. Now, some may wonder why I put forth this theory. Well, I don't do so without reason:

1.We know Graendal has a disconsolate lean old man in her entourage per Rahvin's POV in The First Sparks Fall, the Prologue of tFoH. (There is some speculation that this old man is none other than King Alsalam, the Absent King of Arad Doman.)

2.We know that Graendal has quite a few of Alsalam's family in her Court. We know Alsalam doesn't quite meet Graendal's standards for “pethood”. But that doesn't mean he doesn't meet her standards for spy. After all, she has to find some use for him. She can't just let him run around and be King, after all. And we also know through several of Sammael's POVs that this old man is not present in Graendal's Court throughout LoC and aCoS.

So, where could our Missing King be? Perhaps sitting on a barrel in Ebou Dar.

3. We know from To Understand a Message, Chapter 23 of LoC that Sammael was foolish enough to tell Graendal he all but had a cache of angreal and sa'angreal in his back pocket. We also know from this chapter that Sammael believes he's manipulated Graendal. (Sammael isn't the sharpest knife running 'round the Westlands now, is he?)

4.We know that Barrel Guy is keeping an eye on both Dark Friend factions searching for the Big Cache of Awesomeness. We know Graendal doesn't walk boldly through where others have staked claim, though she has no problem tiptoeing through, especially when she can send a lackey to do her tiptoeing for her.

5.We know Barrel Guy feels he's running out of time. Why? (This is also a good question to pose towards those who believe Barrel Guy is Noal, as well. Why would Noal feel he's running out of time? It's been 20 years since his encounter with Ishamael.) Err, why does Barrel Guy feel he's running out of time? Well, if he is King Alsalam, and he was sent by Graendal, then she's got to be feeling the pinch. After all, the two Aes Sedai questioning the Kin are searching for the Big Cache of Awesomeness for Moghedien. And as we leave Barrel Guy he's off to check on Carridin's “pretty little killer”, who is also in on the search, but for Sammael.

6.We also know there is evidence that Graendal knew Sammael had found the Cache. After all, she knew to head to Illian after Sammael's demise. (She does do her own tiptoeing on occasion.)

So, not the most well written theory. And I'm sure it's full of holes. For one thing, we don't know if Alsalam is old in appearance. But it does give a reason for Mat not recognizing Noal when he shows up. It gives a role to Graendal's “old man”, whom we only saw that one time. It also gives Graendal an active component in the Search, which just seems like something she'd do.

Anyway, I think I'll leave this WOT for your judgment. Perhaps some will like it. Perhaps you'll hate it. Perhaps you'll find it amusing that I tend to think Barrel Guy is Noal/Jain.

edit: To fix up a few things. Wanted a quick post to claim that 100. Now I'm off to read through the rest of the posts.
Julian Augustus
101. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander@95:
Hmm. Two chapters of good stuff, and the stuff We're Not Talking About Yet, and all anyone can find to talk about is Cadsuane? Oy.

Not to worry, Wet. There's a whole week to explore other stuff!
john massey
102. subwoofer
@Wet, I thought I ranted for a bit beyond Cads. There are other things to discuss...

I'm with RobM- best bit was Mat musing out loud... and we hear about a fog killing people... and Mat may be a rogue, but he respects Mistress Anan enough to keep clear of the serving women that Setalle views as daughters.

Woof™.
john massey
103. subwoofer
And does Cads have a Warder? I thought she was too old and on her way out so she has not bothered to bond another man.

Okay, I'm back to discussing Cads. If RJ didn't mean for her to be such a big deal, he would of actually made her likable and not such a curmudgeon. Reminds me of Oscar from Corner Gas.

Edit- I feel a Garth song comin' on... time to make myself scarce before I get out of hand here...

Woof™.
Bonnie Andrews
104. misfortuona
Sub
Love the Marley. So if I just let it take long enough to find out where you're sending us, I can often just pull up the songs on my media-player and pretend we're on the same page.

Edit. Just removed the whole paragraph. You made perfect sense.

Cad's doesn't have a warder, I was just thinking that with her tude she should

Blind
I don't think I quite buy your theory, but I like it. It does fill in the wherabouts of the missing king, and gives a plausible option for barrel guy.
Hmmm. Wouldn't it be grand if your 'not so looney theory,' turned out right.

Mis-tipsy

Edit: Yeah I know don't drink and post. Finally got around to reading the dog's breakfast I wrote here Friday night. Ouch. Still it was Sub's fault. He started it and there was an accordian involved. :->
Bonnie Andrews
107. misfortuona
Midnight approaches, my glass is dry
To bed I must go, for tomorow I fly
To watch teams of K9s race through the snow
Good night WOTers for now I must go

Ehh, not exactly Poe, but it's the best I got tonight.

Sleep well and wake all.

Mis-sleepy
Barry T
108. blindillusion
Ah, but Mis, you don't have to buy it. It's quite free.

I don't really go for it either, but people like alternatives, so I presented them with one.

If it turns out to be correct...well then...you heard it here first! Actually, that's not true. It was thought of here too. =)

~

Hmm, Cadsuane. I've talked about her before and the fact that I don't care much for her. But there's a reason: I don't LIKE authority figures.

Sure, somewhat odd coming from someone in the military, especially as I'm something of an authority figure myself now ::blah::. But let me explain:

I don't like authority figures that wear their "supposed authority" like a suit of armor that leaves them to believe they're free to say/do whatever they like.

I also don't like authority figures that use their "supposed authority" like a sledgehammer.

In other words, I don't like authority figures that scream, "RESPECT ME!!!"

Cadsuane clanks her way through the door swinging, and swinging hard, at a man who already has a little too much on his plate. She may be around 300 years old, but that gives her absolutely no rights to any type of authority. For someone who's been absent for 70 years, she's still just a little too Aes Sedai...a society I have little patience with.

She also seems like one of those “respect your elders” types. Gah. The ability to survive into old age is not a precursor to respect.
nor3
109. afterthefallofnight
My problem with Cadsuane is not so much that she is annoying (though the character is sometimes quite annoying). My problem is that she is a bully AND wrong. She is not about everything, but it seems clear that she mishandled her relationship with Rand.

For someone who is supposed to be very experienced and wise, she shows a remarkable lack of insight into Rand's situation or his character or flexibility in her strategy for dealing with him.

Moraine learned that she was much more effective once she gained his trust. Cadsuane never seems to learn that lesson. Very few (none?) of the Aes Sedai ever learn this lesson. Which weird when you consider how many Aes Sedai have the experience of partnering with a Warder.

Aes Sedai act as if trust is automatically due to them OR trust is not needed (bullying or more subtle manipulation can be used to achieve the same goals).

On the other hand, I find the Cadsuane character, even with the typical flaws and strengths of Aes Sedai considerably magnified, completely plausible. Jordan's comfort with flawed characters is a big part of what I like about his writing.
Sandy Brewer
110. ShaggyBella
A little question from a few chapters ago. When Alanna bonded Rand, was there any of the Warder changes in him? The trademarked grace, extra stamina and extended sensing ability. No other characters noticed any changes in him at all.
Just wondering on a non-Cads topic.
nor3
111. Mndrew
You just don't make blind promises to someone like little miss Mayne. I don't doubt that if Rand had proceeded to offer her a blank check in his Mayne gaurentee she would have insisted on a bond of matrimony to "one of his closest allies" (3 guesses) to seal the deal. Hence, the colors. This has been my theory since my second reading so mamy years ago, and I stick to it today.
john massey
112. subwoofer
I see you ShaggyBela:)

Rand does rise above, but he is also the Dragon Reborn. A male channeler. Similar attributes happen to Rand when he embraces the Source... er... after he gets over the morning sickness. He sees and hears everything and can go on for days. Look what happens to Rand in tFOH- he embraces the Source and it keeps him going way past the point where a normal man would quit. It keeps him going when he is exhausted. When Rand lets go of the Source- fall down go boom.

And upon bonding Rand, Alanna says as much, she helped Rand.
"Like you, Rand, I mean no harm. Nothing I do here will cause you any injury."
Alanna does help Rand from feeling so run-down. Rand was just too er... worked up/ Hulk smash mode... to notice.

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
113. Tektonica
Good morning Peeps....

Free@79: Thank you for clearing up DUN! You are correct, as usual, sir.
GCL@81: and Leigh, previously...ROFLOL. Perfect illustration of Free's definition.

Sub @ 87 & 91: How do you find this stuff?? So damn funny! Nice way to start the day. Love that group! Never heard of them before.

Seems like you and Mis were having a fine old time last night. Wish I could've been there for strawberry wine and singing....but then I'd have a headache today and I needed my "beauty" sleep. Ha.

Wet@95: Cogent as always! It did seem like Noel/Jain was having definite difficulty "remembering". Mind erasure? Hopefully nothing bad has been implanted. I do like him.

Blind@100::waves:: Very logical and well presented, but like you, I don't buy it. Don't know why Mat doesn't recognize Noel/Jain later, but I don't think barrel guy is Alsalam or we'd have heard more about it, maybe.
@108: I completely agree with your assessment of "authority figures."

Mis@107: Nice poem. Hope you had a good nights sleep and woke!

Afterthefallofnight@109: I agree. Cads is not going to achieve her objectives on her current path, and her success in humanizing Rand is paramount. For her to not do a background check on him and what's happening around him before barging in, is just bad tactics. Her unthinking disregard for him as a person, his office as DR, and his circumstances, so reeks of Aes Sedai arrogance, it makes it very hard for me to respect her age and supposed "wisdom". Doesn't seem very wise to me. And it certainly proves to NOT be very effective.

Question: Why is Alannah crying all the time? Does she feel Rand's pain? Is she hurt at being ignored? What's up with her?
Marita Maskulin
114. Marita
I was going to wait with my question until Leigh reached the right chapter, but since the Warder Thing has been brought up already, I'll post it here.

So, does the being bonded by more than one person give Rand the Warder benefits multiple times? Or is it just something you only get once no matter how many times you are being bonded? Theories please, this has been bothering me for a while.
Bonnie Andrews
115. misfortuona
Good Morning all
Yes Wet I woke :)

Shaggy Bella re Rand's warderness
I wish I could come up with the exact places, but a couple of people coment how he has changed. I remember one spot, the Guru's will recognize I'm sure, where he's going over battle plans/maps and we are seeing it from another POV. The point out that he reminds them of Lan, always looking up to check on each new arrival, assertain the threat, and then goes back to what he was doing.
There are also places where people speak of his grace of movement, but I think most people write that off to the physical training.

Tek@113
Cad's handling of Rand. Grrrr. Anyway Alannah, I would guess that it is partially both. Judging by the three wives response to his pain later it must be pretty noticable, especially when close. The fact that the bond doesn't work well with Rand can't help I suppose, but didn't she loose a warder shortly before bonding him or have I got another AS confused with her.
Anyway I've always figured that the crying was from the pain.

And Blind thanks. Free is always my favorite price.

Mis-got my WOT fix now I'm off to the races

Marita@114
Good question, one that bugged me too, but...I'm sure RJ said somewhere (gurus?) that he only gets the benefits once.

edit: Crap wrong shout out. Sorry Tek, Hi Wet. Heads not working quite right this morning.
Susan Brownhill
116. SusanB
I personally like Cads. I don't love her, but I like her. I think that she behaved the only way possible to get Rand's attention & to have some influence with him. He already has a bunch of AS sworn to him & ready to do his bidding. Annura has been "nice" to him & he completely ignores her. He completely ignores or avoids his female friends (Nyn, Egs, Avi, Elayne) with the exception of Min. He did listen to Elayne's advice for a short time in the stone, but now he has NO contact with her. Not even letters. So, the nice, kind approach doesn't lead to a relationship in which one can offer Rand advice.
Bonnie Andrews
117. misfortuona
Voice in head Just walk away. You have places to be."
"No, just one more response, and then I'll go really."


SusanB@116
I agree that Rand was ignoring all the other AS, but Cadsuane isn't just any other AS. She's like the ubberAS. Even without Min's viewing, Rand would have had to be a total moron, or far more power hungry than he's shown himself to be, to ignore her given the input of all of the other AS.
Rand turned hard, yes, but he still had his instinctive Two Rivers respect for women/authority/age/wisdom thing going for him and he'd have listened to her if she'd given him the chance to do so without alienating him first.
No Cads didn't stop to figure out the right way to deal with the DR. She just dealt with him the way she deals with everyone else. She bullies him!
She's the ultimate bad good-guy. Love to hate her.

Voice in head On the other hand he was on a I'm the DR and you are going to obey me or else trip at the time.

Mis-going to listen to the voices in my head now and leave
Brandon D
118. Ishmayl
This chapter makes me long for some sort of confrontation/meeting between Cadsuane and Moraine. That is all.
john massey
119. subwoofer
Cads needed to be that way to get Rand's attention? Crazy talk. That is like saying that it is better to be a bully than to be nice, you get more flies with vinegar than honey. Treat people as you wish to be treated. Respect is a two way street.

And Rand and his girls. He isn't avoiding them because he can't be bothered. Rand is racked with guilt for being a lecher and he wants to give the girls space. Rand did send Mat out to help Eggs and watch over Elayne.

I don't get why Rand did not use his tav'ereness and Travel and pull all his group around him to have a conference but there you have it, the whole series is about wrong assumptions and bad communication skills.

@Tek- Well, lemme see... First off, I'm Canadian. Secondly, I drink. At some point, liquor and music meld together. And I am a child of pop-culture. As much as I try to rise above, I get sucked back in constantly. And I love Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang;)

Edit- my youtube account would be staggering if it wasn't for the fun police constantly doing raids about illegal use of songs for background music or random sharing of video clips. Le sigh. Le purr.


Woof™.
Bill Reamy
120. BillinHI
From previous post:

MoM @223: While I wholeheartedly agree that we need good library systems, I wouldn't necessarily tout lower cost as one of the pluses, since all taxpayers have to pay the bill, even if they don't use the library. That said, if you have a good system that's run reasonably efficiently (this is government we're talking about), it's worth the cost.

I came from a state (Maryland) that had a very good library system (don't know what it's like now, as I've been gone 20 years) and came to a state (Hawaii) with a very poor system, one run by the Department of Education. If you haven't heard about our furlough Fridays (schools closed on Fridays for the rest of this school year and the next one), consider yourself lucky. Not to mention that I believe we are in the top 5 when it comes to dollars spent per pupil, but in the bottom 5 when it comes to results. If our kids had been in school when we moved out here, I would have done whatever was needed to get them into private school.

Oh, and I think I'm up to 7 1/2 bookshelves now (one shared hutch in the computer room) and they are all overflowing. I'm trying to migrate my collection to e-books but with Amazon and Tor's parent company getting into a pissing contest, I will undoubtedly be spending more than I had counted on to complete that project.

Now I'll try to read the rest of this post before I have to go play with visiting friends again ;)
Tricia Irish
121. Tektonica
Mis@115:
edit: Crap wrong shout out. Sorry Tek, Hi Wet. Heads not working quite right this morning.

Must've been all the strawberry wine Sub was shoving your way.....or the accordian music.

Cads didn't have to be rude to get his attention. In fact, if she had been as self-possessed, but kind and open, he would've been shocked! Merana, etal, could've filled him in on her reputation in the Tower. Min told him he needed her. IMHO, she could've made a lot more progress on her stated mission if she had approached Rand with respect and curiousity, not the mental spanking she gave him.
Bill Reamy
122. BillinHI
Re: Cadsuane: Despise doesn't begin to describe what I feel for her. She is the worst of the Aes Sedai thinking personified: she is the oldest living AS so she, and ONLY she, knows the best and only way to handle Rand. I too am hoping for a big-time smackdown for her when Moiraine comes back on the scene (and I LOVE her cover for the new e-book!).

Yes, Cadsuane is a necessary plot device (and Rand is certainly not handling things in the best manner possible, although given where he just came from, he's not doing too badly), but I still think the way she goes about it is possibly the worst way. But once again, it comes back to communication and trust: if all the characters in WoT acted the way WE ALL know they should, RJ would have finished the series himself 10 years ago. And what would we all be doing now?

subwoofer @74: Thanks a lot! ... Not! Now there's another movie I have to re-watch! Not enough time for all this nonsense.

And yeah, gotta love Mat and his huge blind spot re his effect on Olver.

gcl @81: Perfect DUN!!!

Off to play with visitors. Back later.
nor3
123. Brad21088
RE: Rand's swirling colors. I always read it as, she slaps the hell out of Rand. LTT's comment at the end of the passage you quoted backs that up, I think.
Jack Diamond
124. violetdancer
Coming out of a great big lurk for just a quick comment ::waves to all:: I've been reading all the comments even though I have no time to read the book.

Cadsuane; I can pretty much ditto Babokathy@25. I hate C becauses she's being so AS and rude, but I love her because she is a puzzle I can't quite figure out. I may be Mis-remembering, but isn't Cadsuane and her entourage staying at the palace where Galina et al. were keeping Rand prisoner before the big fiasco at Dumai's Wells? If so, I'll bet she had her folks grilling the servants and maybe the lady of the house too for info on the previous guests. Servants especially know everything (albeit not why). Cadsuane may have gone to see Rand knowing that he had been shielded, caught, and held prisoner for several days before being carted off to the Tower. She couldn't know what happened later.

Sub@92: What a great visualization I got from that. I can still see poor old Cadsuane dodging a rain of flaming poo! LOL

Fog in the Rahad: is this just a foreshadowing of the people eating fog that Rand and Min were in? Or does it imply that whoever was in Ebou Dar making that fog was also in Cairhien?

I don't recall who asked but Alanna was weeping for her warder, who was killed in the Two Rivers. She was crying all the time before she bonded Rand. I think she's taking it a bit too hard unless her warder was also her husband or at least a lover. All that emotion seems to better fit a grieving widow.

Have to go back to studying. Exam on Monday. But I'll also go back to lurking.
Alice Arneson
125. Wetlandernw
misfortuona @98 - Oddly enough, that was one time I didn't explain my train of thought ad nauseum... ;)

No, by this time its not much of a revelation for us, but for Randlanders it's pretty mindboggling. The reason I pointed it out (yet again) is that I keep coming across comments about how unimpressive the FS are, and how disappointed the commenting reader is that the Villains aren't All That. There's a lot of fantasy (and other genres) out there where the evil forces are not only extremely evil, but extremely powerful, virtually omniscient, etc. That's the way Randlanders see the FS at the beginning of the series, and some readers are really disappointed when they don't live up to that billing. I just like the way RJ wrote it so that they turn out to be somewhat less than their legends - as so many legends do IRL as well.

I'm not really sure when the POV characters actually start consciously realizing this; it's all jumbled up in my mind at the moment, because I've been reading too many books and too many comment threads and different sites all at the same time, for about the last three months. I noticed it again here, partly because "logical" Falion, who has finally figured it out, notes how hard it is for Ispan to accept such a revolutionary concept, and even how it had stunned her too. It's just a thing I like to point out, and it was better than rehashing all the Cadsuane reactions.

@Various, a couple of other notes.

The Warder bond is much more than a contract. Remember they can feel each others emotions, attitudes, and pain. Alanna's Warder was killed by Whitecloaks near Watch Hill, shortly before Perrin returned to the TR. She no doubt felt him die, knowing he was dying because of his relationship to her. Whitecloaks hate anything to do with AS, so a Warder is a great target for them; he was probably defending her, as well. And there's at least a chance that she was married to him; she's Green, after all. In any case, the loss of a Warder is extremely traumatic; Leane mentions (in LoC, Ch 37) that the loss of her Warder 15 years ago was so painful that she had never bonded another. Given all that and more, I don't think Alanna's weeping was particularly out of line. In addition, she undoubtedly feels the pain of Rand's wounds, as well as a certain amount of his emotions, which can't be much fun.

Eventually I'll get around to my comments on Cadsuane, but not just now.
Ron Garrison
126. Man-0-Manetheran
Love the Cadsuane discussion. I'd like to think I could sway people to seeing her as I do, but I know that's not possible. Love/hate are emotions and therefore cannot be swayed by any amount of evidence.

Like so many characters in WoT, there are those who love them and those who hate them. "Mat is the greatest." "I can't stand Mat." etc., etc. It's at those times I think: If our characters communicated effectively, were kind and considerate, said "please" and "thank you" and "by your leave", what we would have is a boring one volume novel that never left the publisher's desk. Thank God for Robert Jordan, and thank God that WE didn't write the books!
Leigh Butler
127. leighdb
gagecreedlives @81:

Yes, that is exactly what the "Dun" is.

The music from that clip is from Young Frankenstein, which of course was making fun of that whole 70's soap opera dramatic organ chord thing - the original "Dun".

And this concludes today's lesson in useless cheesy music trivia.
Kurt Lorey
128. Shimrod
@68 gagecreedlives

Why, you are absolutely correct. Once again, I have fallen for the Curse of the Many Similar Names!
nor3
129. msjanc
At the risk of upsetting some folks, especially as I am a newbie, I gotta tell ya I feel for Alanna. I'm not inclined to believe that her bonding Rand was easy for her to do. I think she felt it was something that needed to be done and she had the "courage" to do it. All it got her is grief, on top on the pain of just losing a warder. Some AS' so grieved thier warders death they didn't bond another.
On a more positive note..I don't much like Cadsuane.
Michael McCarthy
130. KilMichaelMcC
I strongly suspect that Cadsuane would have been much more positively received had she not simply showed up out of nowhere the way she did.

Jordan was not at all shy about name-dropping characters who would not appear on-stage for some time, but with Cads he just has her randomly walk in the door.

Even a single reference prior to this, say Egwene or Elayne musing about the sort of "legendary" Aes Sedai they admire and hope to be like one day when they were still in training, would have made her presence so much more palatable.
Ron Garrison
131. Man-0-Manetheran
I really like the high drama of Cadsuane just dropping in from out of nowhere - with the subsequent dropping of jaws. "Oh, do calm down, Merana, before you frighten someone," makes me laugh out loud. Perhaps I appreciate her because I've always pictured her as a Bea Arthur character - this self-actualized, fully empowered, capable woman who just doesn't have to take sh** from nobody. The woman is 270+ years old! Give her some props, people! She knows what she is about! RJ wrote her some very funny stuff, and I'm sad that more people don't see it.
stephanie keenan
132. adriel_moonstar
Since Cadsuane seems to be the topic du jour, I will throw in my two cents.

She reminds me of the XO's of several commands I was attached to. (In other words a brass-plated B****) I hated those women with the fire of a thousand suns. And I can't say that I thought they were especially good leaders. However, I'm fairly sure that they thought they were doing the right thing. A lot of people think that demanding respect is actually the way to get it. And when those people are in a rigid hierarchy like the the White Tower, hapless j.o.'s -I mean sisters- have to fake that respect even if they don't really have it.

After three hundred years, Cads probably thinks that she actually deserves the rank and privilege she has enjoyed for centuries. However, Rand is not part of her organization and has no reason to play along. So she just pisses him off. (And the rest of us as well.)

I suspect that one of the reasons she annoys so many readers is that she reminds them of some authority figure whose position required respect that the person did not merit. (Teacher, nun, coach, boss.. we've all had them in our lives.)

I agree that she is powerful, and knowledgeable. (I love the scene in TGS where she verifies Min's theories about Callandor.) It's her expectation that everyone will kiss her feet because of who she is that grates on me.
Bonnie Andrews
133. misfortuona
M-O-M@131
Yes Cads has some funny moments, and she does come through with some worthwhile info/insights a time or two, but it's really hard to laugh when the comedien is kicking puppies at the same time.

I'm just saying

Mis-still glad Cadsuane is in the story
Ron Garrison
134. Man-0-Manetheran
So glad RJ didn't have her kick any puppies, mis. That would be hard to defend. But would it be OK if she said "please" first? :-)

I guess I'm just the kind of guy that thinks this joke is hilarious:
"Some people are like Slinkys. They're not really good for anything, but you can't help but smile when you see them fall down the stairs."

But I still don't get Aiel humor...
john massey
135. subwoofer
Whew! Went to the Reno show here abouts and broke the collective will of many a pitch man. Good times.

Cads- M O M- I know where you're coming from. Yes Cads is a very polarizing character- you either love her or hate her, no middle of the road. I think I have said enough about my particular feelings about her so I will leave it at that... except for the dentures biting her in the backside. It could happen. I'm just sayin'.

Ahem, and where are my manners? Welcome all our newcomers to our discussion. We have our rabies shots but it's okay because we don't bite. Mostly. Except on some occasions.

As for baddies being not so perfect, well that is par for the course. With the exception of Sauron, whose achilles' heel was a flippin' ring, many baddies depend on overwhelming numbers to crush their enemies as opposed to superior powers/weapons/mojo/x-factor. Dr. Evil anyone? Vader?

What I do notice being a constant theme is that Evil always seems to reach out to Good and tries to convert, like door-to-door religion salesmen. The champion of light seems to always have to be converted. Kill them? Even though they could, it is always a pass. Nope, it is always some kind of "come join us" scenario where if Rand signs up he gets 100 000 airmiles and a low introductory rate for interest. I don't get that. Rand could of been killed 10 times over and yet here he is, damaged, but still alive.

Woof™.
Ron Garrison
136. Man-0-Manetheran
Sub - Yep. You have identified the classic struggle. I don't remember which book it was in, but there was a scene where the Foresaken were chatting about what would happen to their "careers" if the DO took Rand and made him Naeblis. Killing him would not be a victory for the DO. The pattern would just spin out another. No... Much better to bring him over to the dark side with all that skill and power. DUN!
Alice Arneson
137. Wetlandernw
All right, here's a starting point. One of you Cadsuane-haters out there, please explain to me just how she was supposed to find out "what Rand has been through lately." The TAS who put him in a box (etc.) are currently residing in the Aiel camp in black robes doing meaningless labor. Rand hasn't exactly been forthcoming about his adventures to anyone, once he blew the box apart. The SAS didn't arrive on the scene quickly enough to know what was happening, other than whatever Alanna was able/willing to tell them about his mental/emotional state. Min is respecting Rand's right to tell only what he chooses about his ordeal.

Face it. Cadsuane can't go out and buy books 1-6 and do a speed-read to catch up on what's been happening. Theoryland, WoTFAQ, Encyclopaedia WoT, and Leigh Butler are not readily accessible; the Thirteenth Depository in her world is in Tar Valon and isn't exactly up on current events. Tarmon Gai'don is coming, and no one knows how much time is left. She hasn't got the luxury of pussyfooting around doing research. Later she'll get to know the Wise Ones, sort out the AS and their loyalties, figure out who/what Min is and all that. For starters, she has to get straight to Rand and find out who and what he is, how much the taint has affected him, what his plans are, etc.

No, I don't like her approach much either (more on that later), but you can't change your personality just because some kid is suffering from a) madness, b) delusions of grandeur, c) testosterone poisoning, d) other unknown trauma, e) some or all of the above.
nor3
138. Other Alias 2
Cadsuane is aggravating and offensive. Tam nailed it when he called her on her bullying, because that's what she does.

I agree totally with #7 as well about how jarring that scene was to me. I always thought Rand would have shielded and trussed her up as soon as he felt saidar, especially given Merana's reaction.

Can't wait to see Moiraine meet her again. But after TGS, I also really want to see what happens when she meets Egwene. It will be interesting to see if she tries to manipulate Egwene or accepts her authority as Amyrlin. (Somehow, I don't see Egwene stepping carefully around Cadsuane at all.) Ooo, can't wait till the next book now ...
Barry T
139. blindillusion
Wetlander, ouch.... But let's get started.

At this point in the story, Cadsuane's personality really doesn't mean much...either to Rand or the reader. All we see is yet another uppity Aes Sedai come on the scene spewing rudeness to all around her. As for the multiple choice...that's a little unfair to Rand, isn't it? He cannot help the madness, he's not suffering from delusions of grandeur because his grandeur was thrown in his face, and suppressing his “testosterone poisoning” actually ends badly for everyone around him.

But these are things Cadsuane expects to see so she walks in armed for such. Tact would have been acceptable. Hell, maybe even a reference point to announce she's someone who should be listened to. But no, she walks in on the strength of her “legend”...which is unknown to pretty much every one except other Aes Sedai...most of whom believe her dead. (Now, who else lives on the strength of Legend? Oh yeah...the Forsaken.) And the fact that it continues, even after she gets to know Rand, only makes her worse.

The fact that, in the beginning, Cadsuane has no way of knowing anything about Rand is a moot point. It doesn't matter that she knew nothing about him other than he can channel and is the Dragon Reborn. What does matter is that she goes in full-bore on another person and treats him, and everyone around him, like shit...and she bases that attitude off her age, her “experience" with other male channelers and her “legend”. She actually seems to believe she should have the right to act this way and that everyone around her should follow suit.

I could have cared less if she'd cured Rand of all his problems three paragraphs after showing up. No one has the right to treat other people that way. Her having no way of knowing anything doesn't matter one iota. And that's why I cannot stand her.

Maybe it's just that I'm young, I don't know. But nowhere have I seen that this woman deserves any sympathy or understanding. She has no empathy whatsoever and as such deserves none in return. She bases what she gives of herself on her “legend”. And while she may eventually prove that she is worth the hype she gives herself, her unquestionable belief that only she knows best, that will never give her the right to act like a complete and utter bitch.

edit: Oh, and to head it off at the pass, just in case it happens to come up...I happen to enjoy people, be they women or men, with strong personalities. Cadsuane, though, does not have a strong personality. She has an abrasive one. She might be strong willed, and I can respect that, but her personality has the grit of P12 sandpaper.

Moiraine comes to mind when I think of someone from WoT with a strong personality.
Alice Arneson
140. Wetlandernw
Oh, I haven't gotten started yet on Cadsuane's approach to Rand, or his response to her. I'm just irritated when people say she ought to be more sensitive considering what he's been through. When he won't tell anyone anything about what he's been through or is going through, I want to know how they expect Cadsuane to be able to take that into consideration. Last I knew, there was no Talent for reading minds or knowing someone's life story just from looking at them. And from everything she could learn about him, my multiple-choice list would cover everything generally known.

It's just a pet peeve of mine. We get to be in the "demi-god" position of knowing what's going on, what various people are thinking, why they are all doing what they do, etc. Characters in the story don't have that vantage point; they have to get by on what they see and hear, which is always limited and often wrong. It's no wonder they screw up so much. Just like RL...
Thomas Keith
141. insectoid
Sub @119: LOL

Leigh @127: DUN! :)

Wet @137: Well said!

All new commenters: (cross-posted) Welcome! Counting down to Super Bowl snack buffet in the bunker.

Bzzz™.
Jonah Feldman
142. relogical
I admit, during after TGS, I felt really bad for Cadsuane and sympathized with her. I mean, she screwed up, bad. She thought what she was doing was right, and then she let Semirhage escape, and then blew it again with Tam. She's not perfect, but after 200 years of being top dog and effortlessly dealing with male channellers, she thought Rand wouldn't be too hard.

She looked at the situation and decided that Rand needed a new Moiraine, someone to guide him and stand up to him, but she forgot the fact that her personality is incompatible with Moiraine's and underestimated Two Rivers stubbornness. Not her fault, I mean, who doesn't?

But in TGS she finally realized that she's not always right, and paid a price for it. Her overall personality is not going to change, but her behavior will.
Barry T
143. blindillusion
I realize that Wetlander, but the thing is, even if she had known, she would have acted the same way.

But I guess I jumped before taking the time to fully understand what you'd written. I thought you were trying to defend the way she acted in this scene.

Of course she shouldn't be more sensitive as a result of knowing what Rand has been through, because she really doesn't know...very few people do.

There's no real need for her to be sensitive at all. What she really needs, though, are some lessons in decorum. =)
nor3
144. afterthefallofnight
I really don't have a problem with Cadsuane. I don't *like* her, but the character makes sense. The AS tend to have good qualities like confidence, intelligence and strength of character and less good qualities like arrogance, etc.

I even think Jordan is wise to make that part of the Aes Sedai character - power corrupts and all that. However, it would have been nice if one or two of the AS reminded me of Gareth Byrne or Tam. You know, men who are heroic, smart, wise, strong, honorable, respectful ... and not a, ahem, jerks.

Actually, the super girls have become my favorite AS. Egwene, in particular, has become pretty darn awesome.

Re: Alanna crying - I always thought this was due to the bond with Rand. In fact, I have always expected the bond to turn out to be a good thing for Rand. Consider: "The bonded party (the Warder) gains greater stamina and physical prowess, a greater capacity to resist evil, and greater resistance to injury...".

With Rands wounds and burdens, he needs all the help he can get. I keep hoping Jordan or BS will prove my hunch right...
Maiane Bakroeva
145. Isilel
Wetlandernw @125:

The reason I pointed it out (yet again) is that I keep coming across comments about how unimpressive the FS are, and how disappointed the commenting reader is that the Villains aren't All That.

But Wet, it is just that when comparing the FS with RL tyrants and villains, of whom the previous century alone provided a very generous supply, well...
Any one of those iRL figures could have beaten all the FS put together silly, was far more dangerous, accomplished incomparably more in the pursuit of their nefarious goals.
And yes, these _RL_ figures did have human weaknesses, but certainly weren't bumbling ineffective stooges like the FS.
I mean, imagine a bloody dictator of your choice with access to OP. Incomparably scarier than the FS, right?

Anyway, we are all Jordan fans here, let's just accept that every writer has weaknesses and creating compelling and genuinely threatening villains was RJ's. There are glimpses of truly frightening individuals among the DFs, like Kadere. But major villains? No.

Re: Cadsuane, I hated her appearance. Not so much for her personality (though it didn't endear her to me either), but for her role in the story.

I mean, LoC hinted at Moiraine's return, but Cads appearance told me that it will be drawn out for a loong time.
Also, Cads felt shoved in, since we never heard of this supposedly legendary figure before. Compare and contrast with Jain Farstrider, whose entrance into the story was properly foreshadowed.

All this heightened my perception, starting in ACOS and ever increasing until TGS, that the series was becoming annoyingly drawn out, to the detriment of quality.

Also, Cads bears all the earmarks of Jordan's difficulties with depiction of genuinely powerful women, confident in their position and having real authority. They all tend to end up overwrought, rude and pushy and everybody questions and resists them far more than their male counterparts, too.

Anyway, IMHO Cadsuane had a point with her flashy entrance. And I find the notion that Asha'man would have totally owned her funny. She has ter'angreal that protect her from direct weaves and that allow her to disrupt indirect weaves too (as she did Semi's disguise), as well as those that indicate channeling of saidin. IMHO, she was pretty safe.
Also, let's not forget that it is DFs and FS's in disguise that usually advocate application of force. When cheering "kneel or you will be knelt", consider the source...

So, the entrance was OK, IMHO, but not the subsequent MO.

Oh, and re: spank-fests - didn't Cadsuane also "assault an Amyrlin"? We probably can safely add her to the list of rulers spanked by Cads :).
Barry T
146. blindillusion
Regarding Cadsuane vs Rand & Asha'man.

Some people have mentioned a disbelief in Rand/the Asha'man not at least attempting to shield Cadsuane once she touched the Source, not to mention channeled. Well, there's a pretty good reason for this. Mr Jordan wasn't ready to unveil Cadsuane's hat-trick, i.e. her multiple angreal, sa'angreal(?), and ter'angreal. And I don't even think the unveiling happens until WH.

After all, above all else, this is her (unknown?) claim to fame. She's so good because of a toothless wilder named Norla.

Cadsuane = Placeholder for Moiraine. I hope her comeuppance comes swiftly and painfully.

So, the entrance was weak. Two big thumbs down.

edit: GO SAINTS!!!
Birgit
147. birgit
Even a single reference prior to this, say Egwene or Elayne musing about the sort of "legendary" Aes Sedai they admire and hope to be like one day when they were still in training, would have made her presence so much more palatable.

I think the scene works better if the reader like Rand doesn't know who she is.
I used to hate Cadsuane, too, especially the way she uses her legendary status to bully the other AS. But on my last rearead before TGS I didn't hate her, and this time I found this chapter funny.

And now there was Semirhage, continuing to defy her. Cadsuane itched to go in and confront the woman, but Merise had asked the very questions Cadsuane would have, and she had failed. How long would Cadsuane's image remain intact if she proved herself as impotent as the others?
Again, she was struck by the similarities between herself and Semirhage - and again, those similarities made her insides itch.
They weren't deferential, but they did treat Semirhage with a measure of respect. How could they not? She was a legend. One did not enter the presence of such a creature - one of the most evil beings ever to live - and not feel at least a measure of awe.
Measure of awe...
"That's our mistake," Cadsuane whispered.
How would Cadsuane break herself? The solution was easy, now that it occurred to her.
She didn't fight back. Cadsuane wouldn't have either; that would only hurt her image. Semirhage's power as a captive came from the fear and respect that the Aes Sedai gave her. Cadsuane needed to change that.


TGS ch. 17

Maybe Cadsuane has to be like that to figure out how to break someone who resembles her.

"Berelain, I don't know what else I can do to guarantee Mayene for you, but I will write out any -" Colors swirled so strongly in his head that his tongue froze.


ACoS ch. 18

I wondered about this, too. It might be ta'veren pull making Rand send Berelain to Perrin. That way the colors make sense, and after this he does change his mind about sending her home and offers her a different job (which turns out to be with Perrin's party).
Tricia Irish
148. Tektonica
Wet@137:

For starters, she has to get straight to Rand and find out who and what he is, how much the taint has affected him, what his plans are, etc.

Exactly! Now, having NO background info, is barging in and bullying Rand and being rude to everyone the best way to take the measure of someone? Does she win his trust, so he will talk about his mental state and his plans to her?
uh, no.

I know, I know....it's not who she is. Her tactics are not effective with Rand and yet she continues to employ them. I think Rand exhibits "normal" bully reactions.

I wonder what her purpose was in this story too....chief irritant? IMHO,she definitely slows down the story line. I also wonder about her meeting with Moraine.....Will Mo defer to her too? Will a new, humbled Cads emerge after Semi's escape, Rand's revelation on DM, and Tam's confrontation with her?
If so, perhaps she can be helpful with all her accrued knowledge and could be guided by Moraine! Ha. Boy, I'd love to see that!

Birgit@147: Good idea about the "swirling colors" when he is talking to Berelain.....I forgot he soon sent her to Perrin. Excellent explanation....the pattern was perhaps telling Rand what to do.
Bonnie Andrews
149. misfortuona
Blind@146
Cad's 'hat trick' LOL.

You know over the books I've sort of decided that what we have in Cadsuane is a woman whose 'legend' has grown bigger than her own self confidence and she's compensating by being a bitch.

Maybe she just needs a big hug, :>

Mis-psycoanalyzing

Oh MoM, please might not have helped much but maybe an excuse me?
Kate Smith
150. Rukaiya
Isilel@145

I think maybe the problem with the Foresaken is that we as readers assume that they should be entertaining us. In other words, we know that the Foresaken are villains, therefore they should be out being villainous, causing mass devastation and destruction, and conquering the world. However, that's not the priority of the Foresaken themselves. They are all focusing on competing with each other, so that being generally villainous becomes a byproduct, something they only do when they thing it'll get them ahead (I know this's sort of been said before, but I wanted to re-frame it in the way that makes sense to me).

All that said, I think Moridin/Ishamael is a genuinely scary villain, perhaps because he isn't as concerned with competition as the others. He's out there to do the dark work. I was disappointed at first when he got killed off so early in the series, but it was really exciting when he came back, villainous as ever, and with newer subtler plans. It was especially frightening to find out that his previous actions throughout the series--which almost got Rand killed--were only Evil Plan v1, and he's got new plots in the works.
Tess Laird
151. thewindrose
Well, I did have a post at 71, 72 however when I tried to post it said spam - arggggg. And silly me didn't save it elsewhere and try again. So I will try to redo:)

I love how Ispan has a very prophetic moment here:
"We should have killed her as I wanted, when she first appeared," she spat. Waving her hands, she stalked up and down, grime crunching loudly beneath her slippers. "Yes, yes, I know. Our sisters in the palace, they might have become suspicious. We do not wish to draw their eyes. But have you forgotten Tanchico? And Tear? Where those two girls appear, disaster follows. Me, I think if we cannot kill them, we should remain as far from Nynaeve al'Meara and Elayne Trakand as we can. As far as we can!"

How about this cluebat re Setalle Anan:
The other reason for caution was Setalle Anan herself. Mat had never before let himeself be turned off a girl because of her mother, even if that mother owned the inn where he was staying, but Mistess Anan had a way about her. {...}She was pretty despite a touch of grey in her hair, and her marriage knife nesled in roundness that normally would have drawn his eyes like moths to a candle, yet looking at her that way would have been like looking at....Not his mother. At an Aes Sedai, maybe-though he had done that, of course, just to look-or at Queen Tylin, the Light help him there. Putting a finger on why was not easy. She simply had a way about her. It was just difficult to think of doing anything that would offend Setalle Anan.
{...}"Bad news, my Lord?" Mistress Anan asked.
Mat stuffed the note into his pocket. "Does any man ever get to understand woman? I don't mean just Aes Sedai. Any woman."
Jasfer roared, and when his wife directed a meaning gaze his way, he only laughed harder. The look she gave Mat would have shamed an Aes Sedai for its perfect serenity.


And, yep, Mat is a slut puppy.

tempest™
Birgit
152. birgit
Well, I did have a post at 71, 72 however when I tried to post it said spam - arggggg.

On the last thread I also had a post that was eaten by the spam filter. Maybe Tor should check the filters.
nor3
153. johntheirishmongol
I tried to post last night too but it threw me out. My point last night was that Cadsuane did everything wrong to try to earn Rand's trust. All she did was get his back up, and make him less emotionally available. Even her vaunted lesson seems only to have been caused by her own screwup, not by any of her vaunted plans.

As for Mat, I do love this sequence where he wonders how Olver gets it, when he doesn't realize he does it himself. There are just people who flirt as naturally as breathing.
Tricia Irish
154. Tektonica
OK, I posted a few minutes ago and it's not here either....what's going on?
Try try again....

Wind@151:

ROFLOL: Never heard the term "slut puppy" before, and I thought my kids brought everything home! Very funny. And yes, that is Mat!

Also loved "Cluebat". Very descriptive!

Too busy to think today........Go Saints!
Tina Pierce
155. scissorrunner
afterthefallofnight @144

I always believed that Alanna's crying was due to the death of her warder Owein in TSR. from all that we've learned about that bond we know that the death of a warder hits hard and for a long time.
nor3
156. alreadymadwiththecads
johntheirishmongol @153
Indeed, despite Cads' assertion that Rand has been resistant to her "lessons", implying that she has been giving them all along, I don't actually recognize any of the instances in which she was supposedly giving one out. And the last part when Rand actually did laugh and cry was more due to her blundering than any of her plans bearing fruit. For the most part she has acted as the aged and cranky spinster aunt unable to deal with the generation gap between her and her supposed charge.

scissorrunner @155
It's probably that combined with Rand's semi-hostile attitude towards her and his various pains.
stephanie keenan
157. adriel_moonstar
alreadymadwiththecads@156 et.al.

I think that you've got it. My own re-read is somewhat behind this one, and by happenstance yesterday I was reading a scene in LOC where she was moaning about his wound from the Shaddar Logoth dagger.

I think that Alanna's purpose in the story is to show us how bad Rand's pain actually is. We know that AS feel their warder's injuries, but that this is not supposed to disrupt their composure. The fact that Alanna, who seemed pretty tough when she first came on the scene, can't control her reaction to Rand's pain and anger should indicate how deep they really are.

Isn't the whole point of the test for the shawl to ensure that a sister is supposed to be able to fake calm and get on with business no matter what happens? So for her to be so upset all the time should be a big CLUE to the other sisters about the magnitude of what Rand is dealing with. (But, you know, god forbid that they should actually be looking for clues...)

So football today, huh? In our house there's only one game, and my team won this year. (Beat Army!)
Bonnie Andrews
158. misfortuona
@Alanna's bonding and weeping

Okay so does the fact that Alanna bonded Rand first somehow dull the impression that the 'wives' get from thier bonding?

Yes they mention the pain, but none of them are brought to tears unless it's out of compassion. So either they don't feel it as acutly, or they are just tougher than Alanna.

Seems to me that most of what Alanna is emotional about has got to be the loss of her warder, otherwise it just doesn't make sense.

I also wonder if Min somehow got messed up. Maybe its Cads that was supposed to learn something from Rand. Like manners and humility. Just a thought.

Mis-considering
Julian Augustus
159. Alisonwonderland
Isilel@145:
She has ter'angreal that protect her from direct weaves and that allow her to disrupt indirect weaves too (as she did Semi's disguise), as well as those that indicate channeling of saidin. IMHO, she was pretty safe.

But that is precisely why I and most others find her entrance and behaviour since so objectionable. She knew she was safe from the one-power being used against her, while she could use the one-power against anybody she chose. So she came in all arrogant and pushy even with the DR, and had no compunction hitting him with a one-power switch whenever she felt like it and asking him to mind his manners, because she knew he couldn't retaliate. Isn't that the classic definition of a bully, someone who knows they are stronger than you and can use that strength to make you do whatever they want?
nor3
160. alreadymadwithchallenges
I'd actually debate Cads being completely safe. Even with a magical set of ter'angreal and angreal, we know that a Third Age channeler can still lose to someone trained in the AoL. If it really comes down to it, she might give Rand enough trouble that he'll start calling on LTT's Power duelling skills subconsciously. Then it'll start going downhill for Cads. She's just lucky she didn't provoke Rand enough.
Thomas Keith
161. insectoid
Okay, boys/girls/horses! Super Bowl Snack Bunker Buffet is ready! ::waits for stampede::

Birgit @147: Good point about Perrin! Had forgotten about that. (Shame on me!)

Go Saintzzz™!
Alice Arneson
162. Wetlandernw
Tek @148 and Various - But how is Cadsuane supposed to go about "winning his trust"? He doesn't trust AS, has no reason to do so, and every reason not to (though she doesn't know all about that). The only AS he could possibly trust at this point are Moiraine, Nynaeve, Egwene and Elayne. Moiraine is, apparently, dead; the other three are only Accepted. There is just NO WAY Cadsuane could go in and actually win his trust, especially given the time constraints. If she did, it would be the most jarring, hey-where-did-that-come-from, she-must-have-used-Compulsion event in the series, WAY more jarring than the issues about Rand taking her entrance with relative calm and not shielding her. I understand the frustration with her approach - and I'll comment on that later - but I honestly don't see how anyone could imagine ANY Aes Sedai winning Rand's trust at this point. He has to be given some reason to at least accept her presence and consider her advice (yes, I know, I'll get there), and the best tool she has at hand is her considerable experience and legendary status. Cadsuane is a complete pragmatist; she will use any tool she can lay her hands on to achieve her goal of defeating the DO. If the best tool she has at the moment is the awe of the other AS, she'll use it. Finesse takes too much time.
Debbie Solomon
163. dsolo
I haven't had a chance to read all the posts due to working this weekend, so forgive me if I repeat someone else's thought.

re:Cadsuane - I never hated her. She reminds me of a much older version of Nynaeve. Absolutely sure she's right, and proceeding as if everyone else knows it. Throughout the series, many people have gotten their comeuppance from unexpected sources (Mat's staff vs Galad and Gawain, Cads reference to a toothless wilder, etc). Cads is nearly 300 years old, and she's been preparing for TG for a lot of that. That's probably why she's seen so many false dragons, she was watching for the real one. Unlike Reds, who just want to gentle every channeling male. She's old, she's powerful and she knows how cocky that can make you. Rand is young, and he's already made several mistakes by assuming that he can handle whatever comes at him. Rand runs the danger of becoming like Elaida, so sure that his way is right, that he ignores anything that doesn't fit in his understanding. He thinks that by shutting off his emotions, it will make him stronger. It will only make him more like a Forsaken. Cad's timing is bad, because she comes right after Dumai Wells, but she does adjust to the information after Min tells her. Rand is like a child playing with matches in Cadsuane's eyes. She has to make sure that he learns to do it safely. The Rand of Two Rivers is the anchor with humanity for the Dragon Reborn. Cads wants him to hold onto that. Part of Cadsuane's prestige, is tied to her image, so she can't kowtow to Rand, if she wants him to listen to her. I actually found the scene with her kind of funny. All the AS going crazy when they see Cadsuane, and she keeps her cool.

There's a whole lot of arrogance throughout the various cultures, not just the AS, and I think some of the SuperGirl's experiences are going to help with some cross cultural integration. In fact, Mat and Perrin are also building alliances and all those should help break down some prejudices in the end. Unless the Light side starts working together, the Age Lace is going to unravel.
Jennifer B
164. JennB
Wow. Somehow I lost my entire post from yesterday. I can't remember all of it. :(
Here is a short summary of what I can remember:

Cadsuane: Don't like her. Her methods only drive Rand to become more angry and alienated from Aes Sedai. The ONLY reason he keeps her around is because he trusts Min and her visions.

LTT: Humming and ear thumbing...Yuck, yuck, yuck. How did he ever get as far as he did in the AOL without breaking this icky habit? Perhaps he did break it and it came back as a product of his madness.

Settalle and her husband: I understand that RJ was reversing gender roles in WOT and in some cultures such as Far Madding spousal abuse may be prevalent, but even so I find it odd that someone like Settalle would punch her husband because she didn't like what he said. (Not to mention the time when Melaine (I think it was her) stabs her husband for saying something she didn't like.)

Sanderson's dislike of Cadsuane: I think it is great that the author that Harriet picked was also a fan. He was intimate with the characters before he even got the job. You can't expect a fan to not have strong preformed opinions on all aspects of the books, including characters.

On another note, not related to these two chapters:
I finished Mistborn Saturday morning at around 3:00. Couldn't put it down. Great book!

That's all I can remember from yesterday. I'll double check to make sure it actually posts today.
Bonnie Andrews
165. misfortuona
Wet@162
I look forward to hearing your commentary on Cads. You make good points on Cad's options, or lack there of, only... well she's just too much for most people to take.

Also, my son, who finally returned my copy of CoS and who was reading over my shoulder, has pointed out that the SG are AS by this point. I assume you are refering to Cads, and most other AS, point of view.

He (my son) really wants to read the posts here, but I've convinced him that he should wait until he's made it through all 12 books before he does. It's difficult enough to keep myself from spitting out spoilers and I don't want to wreck the first trip through experience for him.
Plus I'd have to give up some of my own WOT time and I'm not sure I'm that generous


Mis-sing the superbowl, but willing to enjoy the buffet
Bonnie Andrews
166. misfortuona
JennB@
I finished Hero of Ages on Thursday. Loved the series.

Mis-BwS fan
nor3
167. Rand Al'Todd
Repeat of my Loony Theory post from LOC Part 27 discussion. A little more appropo now since we are in chapters discussing Caddy.

We know Caddy has a bunch of ter’angreals, and we are led to suspect she got them during or after an encounter with "Norla, a toothless wilder in the Black Hills" who "taught a humbling lesson shortly after Caddy attained the shawl. (WH,Ch34, CoT,Ch23)

When we think about what we know from the appearance and ages of the Kin, we realize that it would take a LONG, LONG time for a channeler to age enough to be described at "old and toothless."

Then we check "the Strike at Shayol Ghul." Latra Posae Decume was the female Aes Sedai who opposed Lews Therin and single handedly prevented any woman from helping make a circle during the strike. From a footnote:

"Before her death during the Breaking (which cannot be specified from the evidence of the manuscript, unfortunately either as to time or place), Latra Posae apparently rose to a prominence which rivaled that of Lews Therin before her. During the fighting against the Shadowsworn... she gained the name Shadar Nor, best translated as "Cutter of the Shadow" or perhaps "Slicer of the Shadow"..."

So Loony Theory:

Norla, the toothless wilder was really Latra, aka Shadar Nor, Aes Sedai from before the Breaking, whose death was undocumented. She obviously had a stash of sophisticated ter’angreals and a tremendous knowledge of the plans to seal the bore. Knowledge which we will discover has been passed on to Caddy, presumably for her to share with the Dragon Reborn.

Also, we know Norla hid out in the Black Hills, site of a spire from the Age of Legends (seen in passing by the rulers of the Borderlands in the KoD Prologue). Interesting to see if it contains Latra/Norla's superweapon.

Frankly, I would not be surprised if Norla is not still alive in the Black Hills. (Possibly she went to the 'Finn after the breaking - her 'gift' being to live until the Dragon Reborn fixes "her mistake" by properly sealing the bore - no doubt using seven new seals and a full circle, this time with both male and female channelers working together.)
Barry T
168. blindillusion
Rand al'Todd RE: Latra Posae Decume

Latra Posae opposed Lews Therin's plan to seal the Bore with the 7 Seals. She promoted the construction of the Choedan Kal, with the access keys, and their eventual use to destroy the Shadow's forces. Then they would have sought a safe way to seal the Bore. Where was her mistake? Had she followed Lew Therin and committed to helping him seal the Bore in his way, the Backlash would have Tainted both sides of the Source.

Also:

[quote]"A pity she herself had not come to the shawl fifty years later than she had... But fifty years would have meant that Norla died in her little house in the Black Hills before Cadsuane Melaidhrin ever went to the White Tower. That would have altered a great deal of history. For one thing, it would have been unlikely that she would be in anything approaching her present circumstances." Ornaments, 534]
Not definitive, but this would imply that Cadsuane either witnessed Norla's death or knows she has passed.

edit: Let's go SAINTS!!!

edit, the second: Why do some people seem to want a Hero of Legend to make an appearance to save the day? I'm liking that the Present Day Heroes have to go at it alone.

Not that I'm saying this is what Rand al'Todd wants. I'm just curious because I've seen it before. People wanted Verin to be from the Age of Legends as well.
Julian Augustus
169. Alisonwonderland
Rand@167

Surely you can't mean that you think Norla was about THREE THOUSAND YEARS old! Because that is the approximate length of time between the breaking and the current age, in case you've forgotten.
nor3
172. alreadymadwithnorla
blindillusion @168
There's also the fact that Cads herself does not know the exact function of some of the ter'angreal she wears. Meaning Norla the toothless wilder died before she could explain all of them to Cadsuane.
Barry T
173. blindillusion
Yes, I'd forgotten about that, AMW. I really need to give a better re-read to some of the...slower...books.

As for bringing in some Hero of Legend...I say nay.

Rand needs to bring in this guy.

Take his bag and away we go. Last Battle in the...umm...bag. =)
Bobby Stubbs
174. Valan
@ blind

Well, my friend, if you're not for bringing in a Hero of Legend to save the day, you're reading the wrong series. The Dragon is Reborn man. Rand is Lews Therin Telamon, greatest Aes Sedai of the end of an Age. Oh yeah, and Birgitte still has a chance to save the day if LTT f**ks up. ;)
Alice Arneson
175. Wetlandernw
JennB @164 - FWIW, Setalle didn't punch Jasfer for what he said - she punched him for laughing so hard at Mat's question. Note that he didn't stop laughing when she punched him - it couldn't have hurt too much. Given Ebou Dar customs, she could have stabbed him instead and no one would have faulted her. Well, Mat would, but he's not Ebou Dari.

misfortuona @165 - Actually, I was referring to Rand's POV - as far as he knows, the girls are Accepted and probably in trouble as well. We know they are declared AS (and Amyrlin) and that Moiraine is just trapped in *Finnland, but he doesn't.

(BTW... remember the "big clue" discussion? Somewhere it was indicated that there was a similar "big clue" in the Mistborn series - if you picked up on that little hint in Mistborn you had a big clue as to the outcome of Hero of Ages. I'm wondering if anyone knows what that refers to in Mistborn - I've only read it once - and if that would give us a hint as to what kind of thing we're looking for.)

Rand Al'Todd @167 - I think I said this before... :) I like the theory, but I don't think it's likely. However, if she spent some time with the *Finn, as you suggested this time, who knows what could happen. Another possibility would be that as she approached 500 or so years, she acquired an "apprentice" to receive all her knowledge, *angreals, etc. That woman would then find another apprentice, and so on. That would make Norla about the 5th down the line and Cadsuane the 6th. Nothing in the text or "canon" to indicate any such thing, but we don't know everything yet. Barring the *Finn idea or some really strange TAR shenanigans, though, I don't see how she could live 3000 years. Even unbound channelers show signs of old age by 500 or so, and the oldest ever mentioned even in the AoL is "seven hundred years or more."
Bobby Stubbs
176. Valan
re: Cadsuane

I too was jarred by this scene, but the one thing I can say for her is that in the end she means well. Even if she's a nasty *censor*censor*censor* that means well. ;)

Mat is hilarious, and a badass, and an unknowing prophet, in one chapter. It must be good to be lucky.

Yeah-ya Saints Win!
Barry T
177. blindillusion
Valan,

That's just it. It's not Lews Therin walking around the Westlands. It's Rand al'Thor. The soul may have been present in the Age of Legends, but that soul is now part of a different body.

Rand's coping issues aside, let's not forget that reborn souls don't know who they used to be.
RJ: Sammael is dead. He is dead. He may be reborn again, but then he will not remember he was Sammael....

Latra Posae living into the Present Day, and having information necessary to Save The Day, creates the situation of a person from the Age of Legends, and not just their soul, being crucial to victory for the Light. I'm not a fan of that situation.

As for Birgitte...she's good, but she's not likely to step in as the Hero if Rand slips...especially as she's slowly losing the memories of her past lives.

And even Birgitte isn't the same person she was in the Age of Legends. Her name was Teadra in the AoL. She's not a Hero of the Age of Legends who now walks the Westlands. She's a Hero of the Horn who now walks the Westlands.
Bonnie Andrews
178. misfortuona
Wet@175
Of course you meant Rand's POV. I keep forgeting that he knows so much less than we do.

Clue in Mistborn? Hmm. Also only read it once, but though I figured a lot of things out before they were revealed, I was still surprised at the final outcome. Maybe catch it on second re-read, but I like to wait at least a couple of weeks before I do the second read of a book.
Should have time to get to them before my son finishes WOT, since and my daughter just started a third, or maybe forth, read of the Twilight series so I should be okay.

On Rand Al'Todd's theory
I agree that it might be possible, maybe even likely, that Norla has had the 'greal' passed down to her from a previous wilder, I doubt that any great wisdom has come with them or I think we'd have seen/heard something about it by now.
Why? Well just because it's Cads, and while she's been spooning out the 'advice' somehow I think she'd have said something about it. Of course that's just my opinion and the light knows I've been proven wrong before.

Mis-tborn detective

Edit: Blind@173
see now there's a reason I should have watched the superbowl. :)
Thomas Keith
179. insectoid
Blind @173: That one was funny ;D

EDIT: Oopsie, forgot bbCode;)

Bzzz™.
Barry T
180. blindillusion
Just wish it had been the whole thing. Sigh. Oh well....

Blink™?

edit: So, as I never read through all the posts (I'll get around to it, I promise), did anyone ever figure out Leigh's Dolly Parton reference? I'd try, but I know next to nothing about Dolly Parton other than I thought she was funny in 9 to 5...but I haven't watched that movie since the 80's.
nor3
181. alreadymadwithcadslessons
misfortuona @178
Cads does periodically mention in her POV's having had to "earn" the ter'angreal set, of the White Tower training being inadequate compared to what she learned from Norla's chores. Most likely it involved much of the traits she seems to deplore in current generation AEs Sedai, being reckless, unable to deal with the realities around them, lack of control.
Adam Bodestyne
182. thanners
Hi all,

I'd been doing my own re-read (again, as I'm sure we all do) of the books, and just finished The Fires of Heaven. I'd noticed something in that book that I'd wanted to mention, but since it was so long ago in Leigh's re-read, I couldn't find a relevant place to insert it during the current comment threads.

Regarding Lews Therin, specifically times that his voice has vanished, I thought of "Chapter 55: The Threads Burn" from TFOH. It was skimmed over in Leigh's summary, but I recall a part where, after he is attacked with balefire and he throws out his own balefire, he then makes a gateway to a strange place (Tel'aran'rhiod), and after a short while makes the observation that Lews Therin had been quiet since he channeled balefire. However, I wonder whether it really had something to do with him entering T'A'R. After all, he entered the T'A'R shortly after the balefire.

Wait, but why would I think that T'A'R has any relevance to this at all? Because in The Gathering Storm, there is the scene where he dreams he meets with Moridin, and he realises that in his dream, Lews Therin's voice was always absent. So I wonder whether somehow the personalities integrate better while in T'A'R.

This gets tangled a bit in TFOH Ch55, though, where Rahvin tries to make Rand fade away, and Lews Therin tries to assert himself, but then the only reason Lews Therin suddenly seemed to emerge then was an automatic response to the threat to Rand/Lews Therin's existence.

Whew. I did do a quick bit of searching to see if this has been covered, so I apologise if it has been, and I'd would appreciate any pointers to other discussion on it, if so. (c:

Hm. I really should comment more often to try to learn to be more concise.
nor3
183. alreadymadwithabsentltt
Overall, LTT makes his presence known less when Rand is in an emergency and does not have time to question where the weaves he is throwing came from. LTT's voice is absent during his duels with Rahvin(save for the attempted devolution in TAR), with Sammael, and during the attack at the Cairhien palace by renegade Asha'man.
nor3
184. Planeswalker
Re Cads:
I don't like her. Never did. But we can justify her acts. And I can. And I agree with what Wet mostly said. I would cut her some slack. It is not just her fault. But still, like all other books/stories. There are certain good guys wherein you just don't like their character. Even if you have to accept that that character is necessarily important for the whole story. Especially meeting for Rand for the first time. And threatening him about male channelers going mad. That is not necessarily a mature way of greeting for the first time with the DR. So, I guess, thats it. Sorry Wetlandernw. Im in the bandwagon- gotta love to hate her. =)

Brandon, thru Tam, said it wisely. A bully will always be a bully. She uses her age, strength in Saidar, experience, and Legendary status to suit her needs...

Re Saints:
Damn... and I was rooting for Peyton Manning. Brees totally owned him in Superbowl. and that INTERCEPT! ahahaha

Re Mat:
Obliviousness to his being a flirt. Some people with charisma (and nowadays, people call it 'sex appeal') usually do not realize they were flirting to the opposite sex. Especially since they grew up having people physically attracted to them all their life. So yea, maybe Mat may know if he internalized it really, given time.
Rob Munnelly
185. RobMRobM
Wet @175. I could make a couple of guesses regarding big clues from Mistborn series but that is probably too spoilerific for a series that a high percentage of folk on this thread are likely to want to read to the extent they haven't done so already. Not sure how to get around that problem....

Wet@162 - well said, and I made the same basic point earlier. Her goal was to throw him off his game and get him interested in hearing what she had to say, so she could guide him towards a good outcome at TG. I don't see how he would have listened to her if she came and just offered to help, even with the endorsements of the AS around her. I don't even have a problem with most of what she does - for example, she requires him to be courteous and not lash out at people - a worthwhile goal. She strongly opposes use of balefire, which makes sense on one level (i.e., she is educated as to the world breaking problems associated with its use back in AoL) but she doesn't understand the Foresaken reborn problem that requires its use in certain cases. She also uses her intimidation tactics as a tool to get information, which she does successfully with everyone she sees - and to test Rand and the AS to see if they have the fortitude to stand up to her tactics like grown ups - not pouting but telling her firmly what she is and is not allowed to do and what lines cannot be crossed. All of these points are to the good. One doesn't have to like her to respect her. My problem is that Brandon, RJ or both in TGS lost the fact that her bullying was done with a purpose, and just made her an out and out bully. It made her a cartoon villain and limited her effectiveness as a character to the detriment of the overall story.

Thanners - welcome to the Jungle, we have fun and games.... I'm not a big LTT theorizer (I was firmly in the LTT is real camp and look where that got me in TGS) so I'll pass on your question.

Leigh - congrats on the Saints win. As a Pats fan, I very much appareciate your team's ability to kick the Colts' pony litte butts. Now stop celebrating and get us some more posts.

Rob
Marcus W
186. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 137:

One of you Cadsuane-haters out there, please explain to me just how she was supposed to find out "what Rand has been through lately."

Seriously?

What's the second thing that Cadsuane does after going and pissing Rand off? She gathers a bunch of Aes Sedai who gave the oath and grills them for any and all information about what Rand is doing, what's happened to him, and everything else they know. It takes her about two minutes to find out that Alanna bonded him without his permission and couldn't haven taken any time at all to hear the whole Dumai's Wells story. Maybe they don't know exactly what Rand went through with the box but Alanna knew quite well just what physical condition Rand was in even before she healed him. It doesn't take the so-called Aes Sedai vaunted intelligence to figure out he was pretty badly treated by the AS who captured him.

Yet she decided to confront Rand first, without bothering to take an hour to learn anything about him. Not because she had no other methods, but because she wanted to test him and see how he'd react to her. First impressions and all that. It would have taken her all of 15 minutes to find an AS wandering around the palace, corner her, drill her and walk in with at least a hint of Rand's state of mind. She simply chose not to.

Personally, I think if she'd taken that time before confronting Rand and asked around she might have gotten, oh maybe a wee little hint, that Rand responds badly to being manipulated. I don't think she could have gotten him to trust her in the first meeting (or first month) but things would have been totally different if she'd approached him without going all Aes Sedai on him from the get go.
Bonnie Andrews
187. misfortuona
Planeswalker@184
Shuffles over on the seat a little
Come on aboard. There's plenty of room for everyone in this wagon.

I've been avoiding discussing the next chapter directly, but since toryx has already gone there. I love what Cad's does with the other AS. I know, she’s still a bully, and it's just more of what she did to Rand, but they deserve it more, and can take it better than he can.

Still you know she is at least a little responsible for necessitating the comforting to come so that’s one point on her side. (Go on with you. I know it was in response to the deaths, not Cads, but I’m trying here.)

Mis-siding with Cads, sort of ;-)

Oh Torax
Given Cads character, and vast experience, what she does make sense in a way. She doesn't trust anyone's opinion as much as she does her own, so by going to Rand first she avoids any kind of preconceived idea of what he's all about. Sort of makes sense in a, 'wow are you ever full of yourself' sort of way.
Ron Garrison
188. Man-0-Manetheran
Sorry. Long Catch-Up Post re. Cads:

Wetlandernw @ 162:
Well said, and I agree completely: "she will use any tool she can lay her hands on to achieve her goal of defeating the DO." And, the need is URGENT!

dsolo @163:
Yes! She has accumulated 300 years of knowledge. Of course she is certain. Your summation of Rand at this point is also right on the money. I don't care what he had been through, he was acting like an ass most of the time. Several times I thought he needed a good slap, and Cads gave him a good one.

JennB @164
re. BWS dislike of Cadsuane: I'm ok that as a fan he dislikes Cadsuane. But to do RJ justice, he simply HAS to put that dislike aside. My fingers are crossed that RJ already wrote her MOA.

Rand Al'Todd @167
I like your theory about Norla and Cads. I've had that rolling in the back of my head for a long time now. Don't know that I'd buy she is alive still, but she wouldn't need to be for your main theory to work. I think she passed on knowledge that originally resided with Shadar Nor. Ah! Blind: Thanks for that quote, and amwn and Wetlandernw for the followups.

Planeswalker @184
I think "threatening him about male channelers going mad" is inaccurate. She did not threaten. She bluntly dropped the "Voices" bomb to see his reaction. Asking a blunt question will usually elicit a response that is revealing of the truth even if the response is a lie. (I give as an example again the Patrick Jane character from The Mentalist.) RobMRobM @ 185: You expressed it very well: "Her goal was to throw him off his game and get him interested in hearing what she had to say."

And lastly, for all those who hate, hate, hate her: What harm has she actually done at this point? And please don't use the R word as your example. I get that you don't like her personality, but just what has she done that is so bad? Kanye West is rude. Cadsuane is BLUNT. ::ducks::

PPS: Go SAINTS! Laissez les bons temps rouler!
K F
189. TAmyrlinring1
Wetlandernw@95 Hey, thanks for the shout out :-) I had to wait for the local library to get TGS and for me to read it 3 times before I could get back on here. Will get my own copy when it gets to paperback and is therefore in the correct price range for supporting my addiction ;-)

Blindillusion & Toryx: Totally understand where you're coming from as a "I wouldn't want to have to deal with the cranky old bat myself" kind of thing, but I also totally understand why RJ wrote the Cadsuane character that way--it is totally beliveable. As mentioned above I've met many, many milder versions of Cadsuane out there . . . someone older who has reached the "pinnacle" in their field and is frankly impatient with everyone else and completely sure of themselves . . . someone who has used their m.o. thousands of times to good result--she exudes confidence, she bullies, it works! So, while I don't want to invite Cadsuane to become my best friend, I don't think that her approach was, on its face, illogical. Just like people everywhere, everyday, she didn't have the full story and because of that it wasn't the best approach. However, Toryx mentions the next chapter where Cadsuane gets some of the story---but certainly not all of it, so even with the "new" information, she still can't get the full picture of Rand's mindset. That's made all the more true because since he now totally distrusts AS, he certainly won't be sharing! Not saying she's best friend material, but frankly, I don't think she's all that bad either. She was certainly handy in Far Madding and at Shadar Logoth when he cleansed the source.

Almost on my own in the "Cadsuane's okay" group . . . I say give her just a little respect . . . a little.
Barry T
190. blindillusion
edit: Opps, this first part is in reference to Toryx @ 186

Agreed. Intelligence is key. Cadsuane went into a battle thinking she knew the rules and how it should be fought. She was wrong and she has continued to be wrong every since.

You'd think, with her vaulted "knowledge", she'd of realized this is not just another man who can channel. This is not just another ruler. This is not just some kid. He's the Dragon Reborn. She chose to see him as less and treated him as such.

As far as Min's viewing goes, about all Cadsuane has taught Rand...along with the Asha'man...so far is to not trust any Aes Sedai. I mean really, what has she done in the last six books that even remotely justifies her attitude of superiority...not her presence, as we don't yet know what her full impact will be...but her narcissistic, unshakable certainty that she, and she alone, knows how things should play out and how Rand should proceed.

Q. Has Cadsuane met Min's vision regarding the lesson she must teach Rand and the Asha'man, which they won't like one bit?

A. Part of it.

But then, as far as Min goes, she's still the one person in quite some time who's shown the slightest inclination towards intelligence in regards to Rand. Should Rand be allowed to march towards the Last Battle without guidance...umm...no. Should he be led there by the nose...umm...no. Seems to me Prophecy has his steps pretty well in hand.

~

Mis RE:~ Vast Experience

Vast experience in what? She knows how to fight, capture and bring to the White Tower for gentling men who can channel. She knows about cases where men who can channel hear voices. She learned about Callandor through research in the Tower Library, something any Brown could have done with the right inclination.

Well, Rand isn't a man who needs to be fought and captured, and he certainly doesn't need to be gentled. And I guess the thought never entered her mind that this one man, alone amongst the others who channel towards madness, might need any voice in his head? (Granted, that the voice in his head is just him talking to himself as means of coping kinda negates this discussion anyway. =)) And her knowledge of the Sword that Ain't is something he could have found out on his own...that he never thought to look really doesn't say much. Prophecy is dictating his steps. Prophecy gave him that Sword. Stands to reason it should have been what he'd need...and in all likelihood...it is what he needs...if he learns to trust again...which Cadsuane has gone a long way towards ensuring will never happen.
R B
191. MasterAlThor
Ok, uuuuggggghhhh. Man last night was a killer.

First, Leigh, you probably won't even see this. But is there anymore room on that bandwagon.

If your head is feeling anything like mine, I feel bad for ya. Victory parties are the greatest.

Congrats Saints.

Second I agree with everyone and disagree with you all. There, I managed to make no one mad.....today.

Head hurting, can't imagine what it is like in New Orleans.

Maybe I'll be back later.
Marcus W
192. toryx
Misfortuona @ 187:

Oh, I think that there's something to be said for forming one's own opinion without being influenced by the opinions of others. And if she'd gone into that room to get knowledge of Rand's state of mind without trying to shake him up at the same time I probably wouldn't have had a problem with it. But she deliberately provoked him to get a reaction and in so doing (I would argue) she actually made her task more difficult for herself.

Man-O @ 188:

And lastly, for all those who hate, hate, hate her: What harm has she actually done at this point?

Well this is so subject to opinion and perspective that I think it'd be difficult to point out a "harm" that you'd agree is actually harming. My opinion on the matter, though, is that she made Rand considerably more likely to hold her at a distance than to trust or take anything she might say as anything more than an attempt at emotional manipulation. An argument could be made that without that, he might have come to listen to her advice or at least consider her suggestions far more quickly.

I also think that if she'd approached it better (or at the very least taken the time to figure out how he reacts to AS goading him) he might not have ended up in a small room in Far Madding in the first place. That very event actually had the opposite result of what she wanted, and if she'd successfully put herself in a position where he could tolerate having her in a room, maybe he'd have been willing to consider any advice she'd have had about Far Madding before actually going there.

This is all if's and maybe's though, and they wouldn't have contributed to the story so they're kind of irrelevant. But you did ask.

Ultimately, it's absolutely true that Rand needs (or needed) Cadsuane. But if it hadn't been for Min outright telling him that, after that first encounter he wouldn't have ever consented to be in her presence. Doesn't that give the impression that she handled him exactly in the wrong way? And why? Out of unnecessary ignorance.
Rob Munnelly
193. RobMRobM
Toryx (and others) - but Cads was in great shape with Rand leading up to TGS. He was listening and learning and she was coordinating well with the Wise Ones. Her going in hard strategy, while risky, actually worked. He got to see her mettle in action in the Blades chapter and thereafter, which no doubt helped him figure out there was substance behind her prickly style.

My problem is that in TGS she was written in a way that her strategy rode off the rails and I for one thought that RJ/Brandon unnecessarily turned her into a cartoon. I have no problem with her ticking off Rand and forcing her to try to influence him indirectly but TGS failed to show her usual strong strategic sense behind her actions. She may be many things but she is not an idiot and her actions lead her to be portrayed that way. It was off, just as Mat's character was off in TGS. I hope Brandon/RJ can do better in ToM.

Rob
nor3
194. Rand Al'Todd
Re me @167
Please recall that I did label this a Loony Theory. And I think the most logical portion of the theory is that Norla passed important information on to Caddy, not just the ornaments. But I think that there is a small potential that Norla is still around.

And we know that the Tower of Genji seems to be one physical manifestation of ‘Finn land. Also, the Aelfinn and Eelfinn had separate doors. Perhaps they have separate buildings and the Spire from KOD preface is the counterpart of the ToG. At the least, if Mat and party enter the ToG, I think they will exit from the Spire.

Blindillusion@168
You said: “She promoted the construction of the Choedan Kal, with the access keys, and their eventual use to destroy the Shadow's forces. Then they would have sought a safe way to seal the Bore. Where was her mistake? Had she followed Lew Therin and committed to helping him seal the Bore in his way, the Backlash would have Tainted both sides of the Source.”

As of TGS, I’m not sure we know for sure that the backlash would have tainted both sides of the source. But as of TGS, Rand has rejected use of the Choedan Kal to reseal, so Latra Posae’s insistence on its use must have been a mistake. And IIRC the info from Strike says she realized that she had made a mistake.

You quoted from COT: 23, Ornaments, 534, but could that wording not also support that Caddy did something to save Norla’s life so that she didn’t die in her cabin?

And no, I don’t necessarily want an AOL hero to save the day. I just know that, to date, Rand has no earthly idea HOW to seal the DO. Someone has to come up with a plan. I’m just trying to figure out how RJ intended to get a plan into Rand’s head. The only other choices seem to be an LTT flashback or Moraine (based on info from the ‘Finn, and how did they get the info? Maybe they got it from Latra Posae???)

And so far, we know Caddy has something else to teach - and the idea that Rand and the Ashamen must trust and cooperate with female Aes Sedai would definitely be a “lesson they won’t like.”

Alisonwonderland @ 169 - Yes, 3000 years is quite a stretch. That’s why I think it is only possible if it was the result of a wish or gift from a ‘Finn visit.

ARM@172 Re: Caddy doesn’t know what all her ornaments do, therefore Norla must have died before explaining them to her.

Good point. May be. But we are told that Caddy had to EARN them. May also be that Caddy still hasn’t earned enough to learn all about all of them. (I know that is weak. - Maybe Caddy had to help Norla get back to ‘Finnland for a rejuvenation to save her life, and Norla didn’t have time to explain them all. How deep can I dig this theory trench before it becomes a grave?;-))

Wet@175, Thanks for your kind words. I agree that an alternative theory would be people passing down info. It is pretty obvious that AT THE LEAST, Norla was part of a line of guardians of a stash similar to the one in Ebou Dar where the SGs found the Bowl. Wonder what else she had besides just the ornaments?

And, by the way, at the time she faced Norla, Caddy was the strongest Aes Sedai in her generation. And apparently “toothless old Norla” was strong enough to defeat her - either by brute strength or by skill. To me, that is more evidence that she was not really a wilder. But equally it is apparent that she was not of the WT. Overall, IMHO RJ’s hints are just a little too strong about her and about the Spire for them not to become more significant in the upcoming two books.
R B
195. MasterAlThor
Yeah. So I got some more water in me. Feeling a little better.

Cads...

Yeah she is just a pain in the arse. What has she done that's so bad. How about pushed someone who doesnt need to be pushed. Let's look at it this way. When the savior of the world is busy trying to save the world, you don't come in and demand to be part of the process. You sure as hell don't come in demanding to be respected.

She can go away now.

LTT...

Eh, so we are still doing this? He is real. Sticking to my guns until definitive proof proves me wrong.

Sub...

Hey brother. Where did you come up with that at 91. I watched that whole thing just to find out what the old man was pushing.

Ok, I'm out.

Yea Yeahhhh
Barry T
196. blindillusion
Various RE:~ Rand’s lashing out VS Cadsuane’s attitude = No Basis For Comparison.

Does what Rand has been through give him the right to be an ass and lash out at everyone around him? Well, no. But is it surprising that he acts this way? Well, again, no. He’s acting human, which is exactly what Mr Jordan, apparently, wanted him to be…a person with weaknesses and emotions. In the end, though, I’d argue that Rand’s temperament is a direct result of what has happened to him over the past two years.

Cadsuane, on the other hand, acts the way she does because it’s the way she chooses. IMHO, though, her problem is the same affliction pretty much all Aes Sedai suffer from. She does not know how to deal with people in any other fashion than in her capacity as an Aes Sedai. In other words, she does not know how to deal with someone on a personal level, which is pretty much the White Tower’s biggest failing. It’s held itself aloof for so long that it no longer knows how to deal with people, and this is the time when there are just too many individuals running around …each of whom needs to be dealt with on their terms…not the White Tower’s.

The only exceptions to this are who? Moiraine, but because she was lucky enough to be away from the Tower for most of her tenure…and only after she realized she has to deal with Rand on a personal level. And the newbies…but even Egwene is starting to pull away from this thought because she has been indoctrinated.

But let’s go back to Rand’s attitude for awhile. Why do people go so up in arms about the way he acts? Ask yourself…would you act any differently? I mean, let’s break down Rand for a moment:
1) He was a simple farmer pulled from his simple life.
2) He was told he’s the savior of the World, that he’s going to go insane, that he’s going to die and that most people will sigh in relief at his passing.
3) He found out the above was all true.
4) Everyone around him, with very, very few exceptions: fear him, hate him, want him dead, want to manipulate him, want to control him, want to personally kill him, question his every move, doubt his every move, worship his title, die in the name of the Dragon Reborn, die for him, want him to save them alone, want to follow him, want him to follow them, want him to follow their unknown cultures, want him to be something other than himself, want him to be himself, etc, etc, etc….
5) Oh, let’s not forget…as Leigh likes to say…he has the Head Honcho of Evil leaking into his brain! (Yes, hasn’t happened yet, but people still get all flustered even after this comes about.)
6) He’s been: branded, stabbed (causing a wound that fails to heal), cut (causing a wound that fails to heal), beaten, boxed, put through psychological torture, put in a cell.
7) He’s lost: parts of his sanity, his innocence, his purity, his humanity…for the most part, his hand, his ability to interact with others on a personal level (for the most part) because he no longer feels he can trust anyone…so, a big one…he’s lost his trust.
8) Since this entire ordeal began he has had, what, a handful of good experiences?
And people are surprised he’s a little pissed and has no qualms about expressing it? Yeah, I sometimes think Rand needs to reel it in a bit…but I never lack understanding that damn…Leigh’s right…it really freaking sucks to be Rand al’Thor…especially as pretty much only Min even sees him as himself anymore.

So, let’s put it in perspective. You’re a civilian. Someone taps you on the shoulder and tells you you’re now in the military. But not only that, you’re deploying tomorrow. And not only are you deploying but you’re going to the worst pit imaginable. And not only that, but you’re the leader…no, not only of your country’s forces, but the entire world coalition. And not only that, but everyone on the face of the Earth (and all those to come after) is depending on YOU for their survival. Oh, but they hate you. Oh, those who are supposed to be your allies are also going to waterboard you for a few weeks. Oh, you’re also going to go insane. Oh yeah…you’re also going to die.

Hmm..now..how would you act? Like a Saint? Or a Human?
Marcus W
197. toryx
blindillusion @ 196:

I agree largely with you but especially on two points:

1. Cadsuane ultimately just acts like any Aes Sedai, but even more so. That, evidently, is what an extra long life as an Aes Sedai gets you.

2. And not only that, but you’re the leader…no, not only of your country’s forces, but the entire world coalition.

With the caveat, "Oh but you need to do it the way we tell you to. Even when we're wrong and don't know what we're talking about."

TAmyrlinring1 @ 189:

I absolutely agree that Cadsuane is well written. I too have met people just like her. But that doesn't mean I have to like her or agree with the way she handled Rand.

RobM @ 193:

I'd have to re-read TGS to get a better handle on how I feel about how Cadsuane was portrayed (and I'm not going to do that any time soon). At my first reading, however, I didn't get the impression that she was acting contrary to her nature. Rather it seemed to me that her long list of mistakes in dealing with Rand had finally piled up to the point where the horse had taken the bit in its teeth and dumped her on her ass, so to speak.

I really think that Rand's progression all the way up to his explosion with Tam was pretty well done and Cadsuane obviously (IMHO) played a large role in that progression. She always struck me as the epitomy of someone whose good intentions was paving the road to hell, so I wasn't at all surprised by either Rand's explosion or Cadsuane finally losing her cool. I saw that coming pretty much as soon as he got locked away in Far Madding.

So ultimately, I guess I'd have to say I disagree that Cadsuane was doing great with Rand. She just had some mild successes to go along with the massive failures. That's how I see it, anyway.
Barry T
198. blindillusion
Rand al'Todd RE:~ Backlash
Q: Why saidin, why not saidar, was tainted?

RJ: Because there were only men in the party that made up the party that made up the Strike at Shayol Ghul, that were setting the seals. In the act of setting the seals, there was a backblast that affected the people doing this. As I pointed out in something…I wrote a piece called The Strike at Shayol Ghul…there was a great division at the time – I don’t know if all of you have read it…or have none of you read it?

Q: Yes, yes.

RJ: Okay, then you know about the political struggles that were going on, and the different plans to try and end the War of the Shadow, and seal up the….and why various groups thought that one plan or the other was the best way to go. And in the end, what resulted was the so-called “Fatal Covenant” , which had the female Aes Sedai swearing not to go along with Lews Therin’s plan, that they would not support it. The result of this was that Lews Therin carried out his plan with only male Aes Sedai, so there were only male Aes Sedai channeling there, which was a lucky thing, because if there’d been women as well, then both saidin and saidar would have been tainted. And his plan worked, except for that one side effect of the backblast which tainted saidin and caused him and the men there with him to go mad there and then, and other male Aes Sedai to go mad slowly as they touched the Source and began to absorb bits of the taint. But that’s why saidar was not tainted, because there were only men there channeling during this act of sealing up the Dark One’s prison.

As for Latra's mistake. I'm not sure. It's been awhile since I read tSaSG. I'll check.

As for present day someone figuring out how to Win...well, that's the point, right? And there are several characters from the Now looking into it: Min*, Cadsuane, Moiraine might have something, and Rand has already asked the 'Finn.

* My money is on her.

edit:
As of TGS, I’m not sure we know for sure that the backlash would have tainted both sides of the source. But as of TGS, Rand has rejected use of the Choedan Kal to reseal, so Latra Posae’s insistence on its use must have been a mistake. And IIRC the info from Strike says she realized that she had made a mistake.

Just read through tSaSG. Latra never mentions a mistake. She kept to the Fateful Concord throughout.

As for Rand rejecting the Choedan Kal...he did so because he realized they were too powerful. Latra was never given this option as she was never able to use them. Here is a breakdown of everything we know of Latra Posae Decume.
nor3
199. Gentleman Farmer
@RobMRobM 185, @MasterAlThor 195

Re LTT. Like you, I still cling to the idea that LTT is real, in the sense described below... then again, I held onto the Taim is Taim theory long after there seemed to be a lot of evidence he was Demandred. (Worse though, I continued to make excuses to myself as to how he might not be a darkfriend)

In defence of LTT as a real person, I offer the following:

1. We accept that real memories of past lives can be carried forward in Randland. See, for example, Mat who clearly has memories not his own (and is clearly not just making them up since Birgitte recognizes his references).

2. LTT has provided some (or many) of these memories to Rand. He has knowledge of things done by the various Forsaken prior to the sealing of the bore (referenced in talking to Sammael's messanger and in LoC making Taim's misdeeds seem comparatively less evil). He has specific knoweldge that seemed to shock Asmodean, such as the reference to Sammael taking the name Destroyer of Hope and that he will be buried in the Can Breat.

3. He has memories spanning LTT's entire life, from the plum orchards, to his time with Mierin (evidenced by his discussions with Lanfear, which she seemed to accept as accurate) and Ilyena, as well as his eventual death.

4. Those memories have emotions attached to or arising out of them (all the weeping over Ilyena, his despair at killing his kin and his anger at Sammael and Demandred hating him despite all of the honours he gave them).

5. He can and does apply those memories and emotions to current situations (in channelling the lightning ball he creates to seek out Trollocs in the Stone of Tear it is likely the same weave as he used to kill all his kin prior to TEotW prologues, and his cocoon when Dashiva attacks in PoD), as well as his recommendations regarding how many "half trained girls" Rand can handle in Caemlyn when the Aes Sedai arrive, and how to deal with Taim and other Asha'man (kill them because they'll turn out like Be'lal and Sammael).

So, there are a complete set of memories, emotion attached to the memories, experience and knowledge retained from the memories capable of being applied to relevant current situations, and experience capable of being applied to suggest a course of action in a new and unfamiliar situation. Except for the presence of a physical body, isn't that all one needs to describe a person? I still can't see how a mere construct by Rand could encompass the knowledge, experience, emotion and application to a relevant current situation without having a full fledged, real, past person wholly present in his head.

But as I say, I'm capable of beating a dead horse long after most others would lay it to rest.
Kurt Sickinger
200. sizzlerspack33
MAT -
I love the difference in how Mat reacts (non-chalance) to his little fracas here and his first fight when trying to leave Tar Valon (Fear/anxiety).

CADSUANE -
Never bothered me in the beginning. I could at least appreciate her attempts to corral Rand as attempts to "help" him. I may not have agreed with them but that's just life. She even had some minor MOA with the whole situation when Rand is cut by Fain. Where I fell off the wagon was when the "super experienced" Aes Sedai didn't figure out that what she was doing wasn't WORKING!!! Einstein said, Insanity/Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I don't think she's stupid or insane and she figured out Semirhage pretty quick. Why so slow/stubborn on the uptake??? Maybe this ends up being a RAFO why she was such a B&*$% the whole time.
Don Barkauskas
201. bad_platypus
Rand Al'Todd @194:
And, by the way, at the time she faced Norla, Caddy was the strongest Aes Sedai in her generation. And apparently “toothless old Norla” was strong enough to defeat her - either by brute strength or by skill.
Or it means that Norla was using the ter'angreal set against her! Unless Cadsuane figured out the loophole during the battle, that would pretty much decide it.

BTW, can someone with a weave-melting ter'angreal be shielded? Would that count as a direct weave against them? I don't think we see any One Power battles involving them except for the very beginning of the Lanfear/Alivia battle, so I don't think there's a direct answer. Opinions? (Or a direct answer, it one exists---I'm not picky.)

Gentleman Farmer @199:

Re: your point 1; the memories Birgitte recognizes are from the 'Finns; and those memories are not (per RJ) from Mat's past lives. IIRC, there's no real evidence (aside from Semirhage's speech at her capture) that anyone other than Rand (and Birgitte, who's obviously a special case) is having memories from past lives.
I still can't see how a mere construct by Rand could encompass the knowledge, experience, emotion and application to a relevant current situation without having a full fledged, real, past person wholly present in his head.
But we don't know if the LTT voice actually has LTT's original personality. The construct theory basically says that Rand has created the personality to "explain" the supressed memories he has of his past life because he doesn't want to face the fact that he has the memories. I don't think anyone is arguing that the memories aren't real; it's just that the personality is Rand's subconscious attempt to explain the memories he can't otherwise explain.
Ron Garrison
202. Man-0-Manetheran
toryx @192:
I don't disagree she could have done it differently, but until we see the final outcome, we'll never know for sure whether it would have been as effective. But even if I completely agreed, I could still not HATE her with the vehemence shown by so many. I'm not asking anyone to like her, even though I do. I just don't feel that Hate is the opposite of Like.

Rob @193
That's my impression too. Rand's kept her around and not just because of Min. The first "disaster" was in TGS, and that's why I'm so concerned about BWS (as author) and his attitude toward her character. How can any good author not LOVE their characters? Without that, they become two dimensional caricatures - not fully realized characters.

Rand Al'Todd @194
I like the way you think. I'm sure Norla's knowledge imparted to Cads is vital to TG.

various
How about we say LTT is "real memories" and be done with it? :-)
Karen Fox
203. thepupxpert
Free @79 thank you! I KNEW there had to be something witty or acronym-ius about the use of DUN - I kept coming up with Don't U No but that just didn't make sense.
nor3
204. Gentleman Farmer
@ bad_platypus 201

Part of what Birgitte says is that Mat's use of the Old Tongue is accent and idiom perfect. In TEoTW (before Shadar Logoth and before the Finns), Mat calls out "Carai en Caldazar", being both the text and substance of Manetheren's battlecry. Birgitte describes people with the Old Blood talking as being a mere word here or there without understanding.

Post acquisition of the dagger, Mat tells the Aes Sedai trying to heal him in TDR that he is a free man, and is no Aes Sedai meat. Mat's idioms post finn time also seem to emphasize the reference to being a free man, indicating that these are idiomatically correct references. Also, given that the Queen of Manetheren was an Aes Sedai, these seem like odd expressions for Mat if he is only referencing the Old Blood in the Two Rivers.

Unlike Rand and Moiraine, Mat also has ability to speak the Old Tongue easily with the snakefinn in the doorway in Tear, before being given the memories in the second doorway. He is also addressed by them as "Son of Battles", indicating he has a number of life memories relating to battles (I recognize, given the bending of the pattern in Finnland, that this isn't conclusive).

Due respect to RJ, but I think that the evidence of the books themselves overall indicates that Mat had these memories prior to going to the foxfinns, and they provided him with more complete access to the memories.

In terms of LTT's personality, Rand's reaction to Taim in LoC is irrational based on his knowledge at that time. It may be that he's mad (and I think RJ is giving us a bit of the flexibility to go either way on the argument, ala Hamlet), but I think it's much more easily explained that LTT has retained his rage at Demandred and Sammael, and applies it to Taim. Rand, in his rational mind, wanted to declare an amnesty and bring Taim to him. The only reason to react so strongly as far as I can see is that he has emotion flooding over from LTT.

Again, my view is emotions + memory + knowledge and experience + application to present circumstances = full and real person.
Rob Munnelly
205. RobMRobM
Toryx and many, many others- no doubt the debate over Cads will continue as we hit relevant chapters. Looking forward to it. R
nor3
206. alreadymadwithmorecads
RobMRobM @193
Err no... Relations between Rand and Cads weren't great in the runup to TGS. Cads latched onto Rand in Far Madding like a leech and never let go. Plus of course, the only time she was ever useful, in the runup to and during the Cleansing of Saidin. After that she went back to being a pain, which Rand tolerated simply at Min's behest. However, an association where one is slapped in public by the other party, where one continually insists on being the superior party for no other reason than she is Aes Sedai (and Far Madding raised to boot), is hardly one I'd consider great.
As I've noted before, Cads is in the enviable position of being the oldest Aes Sedai around, and being strong and skilled enough that no one has been able to beat her arrogance and rudeness out of her. Norla probably came close, but something tells me the lessons weren't completed. As it is, she has exactly two ways of dealing with other people. She can make accommodations with Sorilea or, as with everybody else, simply lord it over them. Such an approach is designed to fail with the DR. Catastrophically, as we can see. Aes Sedai just can't get it into their heads that the DR has to wear the pants.

bad_platypus @201
I think you have to remove the weave melting ter'angreal to shield them. That said, it's not particularly hard. Aes Sedai are dependent on their hand waving. Just bind their hands.
Rob Munnelly
207. RobMRobM
@204 - the Mat issues as you laid them out are one of biggest mysteries in WoT, and I too have been unhappy with RJ answers. How can Mat talk to Finns without a translator after going through the Tear passageway if he didn't get holes in memories filled until Rhuidean? Answer must be that had lots of his own memories from his own past lives that he couldn't access easily but were available somehow during first Finns' talk and had them supplemented by the memorories of adventurers going into the Tower of Ghenjie - compared to RJ answer that the memories come from the adventurers only. It's a puzzle.
Marcus W
208. toryx
Gentleman Farmer @ 204:

I must say, I admire your tenacity in saying,
Due respect to RJ, but I think that the evidence of the books themselves overall indicates that Mat had these memories prior to going to the foxfinns, and they provided him with more complete access to the memories.

I don't actually agree but anyone who has the guts to say that to this group earns my admiration.

Along those lines I'm actually one of those people who has the gall to think that RJ changed his mind about Demandred being Taim.

Anyway, I do think that Mat's memories and the way he produced them are a little shaky at times and not easily explained, but I think that's more because the writer hadn't fully decided what he was going to do with them until TSR. Otherwise, I don't think they have any true relevance to the Rand/ LTT argument as the two cases aren't at all similar.
Rob Munnelly
209. RobMRobM
Already - Rand kept Cads close, formally asked her for help as his advisor, listened to her advice through KoD - not sure how much better the relationship could be?
nor3
211. alreadymadwithadvice
RobMRobM @209
Yes, Rand asked Cads to be his advisor but this is just an extension of granting Min's request not to drive her away. As for advice, he asked her for advice, but she did not even know what advice to give him since he apparently had all the pieces together. Cads even pondered on how to advise him, rather than simply accepting that Rand's chosen course was already well thought out. As she would eventually concede in TGS, most of Rand's decisions do actually make sense.
Marcus W
212. toryx
Man-O @ 202:

I don't think I really hate Cadsuane myself. I just hate the way she treats Rand throughout. And I do blame her for a lot of what ultimately happens to Rand's spirit. That's an opinion that'll never be validated one way or another, though.

RobM @ 205: I agree, it'll be interesting to discuss Cadsuane more in future chapters.

@ 209: I'm inclined to agree with Alreadymad: I think Min is more responsible for Rand's attitude with Cadsuane than Cadsuane is. That's one of the things we'll be able to re-examine more closely in future chapters.

In general: Man, it's been a long day.
Ron Garrison
213. Man-0-Manetheran
toryx @ 208:
"Along those lines I'm actually one of those people who has the gall to think that RJ changed his mind about Demandred being Taim."

You too? I never expressed it either, but it was all "walks like a duck, talks like a duck" and then RJ up and says "nope." Suspicious.

I have a similar theory on "who killed Asmodean?" Storywise, Asmo had served his purpose and there was no point in keeping him around much longer. I think RJ killed him off for no other reason and left it a mystery just to have fun with us. His comments when asked were always something like, "well it's so obvious, I'm surprised you haven't figured it out." Ah. No. Not obvious.
Bonnie Andrews
214. misfortuona
This thread exemplifies the reason that I love WOT. The dialogue produced by the arrival of this one character is awesome. People hate her, find her annoying but like the twist she brings to the book, or love her (Well just MOM falls in this category but he’s someone too ;P).
Maybe some people are indifferent. There are voices missing from this thread, but I can’t imagine there are many who don’t find themselves having a reaction to her special way of dealing with people.

RJ wrote such amazing characters that we find ourselves feeling their pain, and defending them like they are our best friends.

Personally I think that Cads introduction was brilliant. She comes out of nowhere, bursts onto the scene, messes with the hero, takes a few shots at the snooty AS, while epitomizing what we dislike most about them, and then sets herself up to stay on the scene indefinitely. Grrrr. She’s a good guy that makes most of us want to scream, or throw books when she’s on screen. What could be better?

I also don’t think it’s an accident that she turns out to be much like Semi. She could easily have been one of the FS herself except that she wants to do what’s right for the world, not for herself. I’m not saying cut her a break, or that we shouldn’t hate her either. I’m saying she’s portrayed as a real person, one who's been right for so long that she doesn’t believe she can be wrong. That makes her human, three hundred years old, crotchety, powerful, bossy, but human, and a wonderful character.

I know there are people who feel she could/should have been left out of the book completely. But I for one love that she’s here.

@ Cads 'hat trick'
It occurred to me that maybe one of the ‘greal’ on her hair net, might be countering the effects of the oath rod. Not making it so she can break the oaths, but keeping her alive longer than her normal half-life.

Mis-loving to hate Cads

RobM@205 I'm with you. Bring on the discussion

PS. Sorry about the wall of post, but several posts have failed to find their way to screen today, and I figured I better get it all out while I can.
Ron Garrison
215. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks Mis!
Perhaps I defend Cads so much because if I were 300 years old (and had a gender change) I could be her. And I probably would do things just the same. ::dodging thrown books::
XX
Karen Fox
216. thepupxpert
blind@198 - is there a place online where I can read The Strike at Shayol Ghul?
Karen Fox
217. thepupxpert
Well I've read most of all this thread (I stopped at 200 to reply). My feeling about Cads was exactly the same as I felt about Horcruxes in Harry Potter - where the H***L did that come from? However in HP there was evidence of horcruxes throughout the entire series but it didn't tie together until the sixth book, and with Cads she just shows up - ta da! - here I am! I find her manner abrasive, but I would fall into the "neither HATE nor LIKE" category. It's going to take a lot for her to come around to her MOA and perhaps that will never happen. Not everyone can get their MOA... can they?
Karen Fox
218. thepupxpert
I always post when everyone else is gone...
Tricia Irish
220. Tektonica
Randal'Todd@194:

I like your Norla theories. I'd forgotten all about her and that other tower. Very interesting......

And no, I don’t necessarily want an AOL hero to save the day. I just know that, to date, Rand has no earthly idea HOW to seal the DO. Someone has to come up with a plan. I’m just trying to figure out how RJ intended to get a plan into Rand’s head.

You're right, he doesn' t know, yet, how to seal the Bore. Cads might have some info. Mo might bring something back from Finnland too. And then there's Min, who needs her MOA, besides being the only person Rand can really count on. She's reading all of Herid Fels stuff and may just come up with The Big Clue there. I'm hoping.

And, BTW, Rand is an AoL hero, albeit in the new (getting older quickly) body of Rand Al'Thor. Hopefully he and LTT will be all integrated now, with more info available!

Blind@196: Boy, you and I are on the same page......All that you said, ditto.
Cads let her ego get in the way of the success of her "mission". Blunder from day one. It sucks to be Rand al'Thor.

I thought that Cads was different in tGS in that we got to see more of her thought process and internal self-doubts and questions. It made me much more interested in her as a character.

I just hope the Tam smackdown humbles her enough to apologize to Tam and Rand. Could that possibly happen? Might go a long way to helping her cause....humanize her to him. Rand might actually understand her urgency, now that's he been to the mountain, so to speak.

RobM@193: I think Cads strategy was different because she was getting desperate. Rand was getting so hard, dark, scary.....sending for Tam was a gamble.....probably a good one, if she hadn't given him that dumb script and he hadn't followed it. But why did it come to this? Perhaps because of the very beginning of their relationship? If it had started off better, real trust could've developed between them and her "guidance" might have been heeded. I'm just sayin........

BTW, she is a great character! Engenders all sorts of controversy!
Ron Garrison
221. Man-0-Manetheran
Pup: Not everyone can get their MOA, but considering how long RJ kept her around, I think Cads has one coming up.
Steven Pattingale
222. Pattingale
@196 Blind

Hell yeah! :D Nice one! If it weren't for that legendary Two Rivers stubbornness Rand would have long ago said "screw this, I'm going a.)home b.) to jump off a bridge c.)sit down and cry

@199 Gent

I concur. Die dead horse, die!
T C
223. Freelancer
mis-concerned@84

Fine thanks. Busy with visitors from British West Indies, overworked at work, priorities demanding time, etc.


Wetlandernw@95

I've never questioned that something was done to Noal's mind. Trying to remember what he can't remember? Yeah, can't say it's a form of Compulsion, the conventional basket-diagnosis for unexpected/unexplainable behavior, but definitely something. The very cool part of how that is written is that it's clear that the memories are still in there, and not even buried very deeply. This maximizes our anticipation of how Noal clears the "blockage", and remembers some critical details which help save the day.


blindillusion@100

Have fun making a 13 out of that one without straining the rational!


subwoofer@103

Cadsuane hasn't had a Warder in decades. Recall her mixed responses to learning that Alanna had bonded Rand. Disgust at the virtually criminal act itself, pondering why Alanna hadn't used it to steer Rand, and consideration that she would have possibly taken the same action. Somewhere during all that some POV of Cadsuane's mentions how she hadn't had a warder in a while and wasn't really looking for one now, especially given her age and likelihood of falling over dead sometime soon.


Tektonica@113

RE: Noal, reference my comment to Wet above. Not erasure, I believe, but some kind of block preventing him from accessing certain memories. When his thoughts comes too close, some trigger is tripped, and he can't go any further along that path.


mis-warded@115

Alanna's crying jags are remnants of the suffering from Owein being murdered by Whitecloaks back in the Two Rivers. It's not out of proportion, consider how long Siuan continues to have crying fits over Aldric, and we can be quite sure she and he weren't lovers.


M-o-M@131

Cadsuane as Bea Arthur? Really? I just threw up in my mouth a little.


subwoofer@135

Hey easy there, I go door-to-door now and then. Not selling anything, of course. Just offering the Greatest Gift Ever to anyone ready and willing to accept it.


mis-bonding@158

Alanna bonded Rand via the normal Aes Sedai/Warder bond. What the Asha'man do with their wives is a different weave. No text handy, so sorry for no reference, but I'm fairly certain of this point.


Was there some kind of American sporting event on yesterday? I was busy watching an Australia/West Indies limited-overs Cricket match...


Wetlandernw@175

Yes, I know what the Mistborn "clue" was early on, and while it wasn't "obvious", there was something amiss between it and the apparent path the story was taking, such that I was always looking for a sudden change of direction in that regard. No, I don't believe it offers any insight into Brandon's "big clue" from WoT volumes 4-6, as I've been through those three books twice since he first commented upon it, and there is nothing which is "obvious".


There is more than enough being said about Ms. Melaidhrin here, that my input would have no added value. (Presumptuously asserting that it ever does)

PS: Misfortuona, does the length of this post ease your mind re: my condition?
Barry T
224. blindillusion
Pupxpert RE:~ The Strike

Best I've been able to find.

~

More to come later. I need to read through some posts.
Karen Fox
225. thepupxpert
Personally I see Cads more like the little old lady in Madagascar 2. "Bad kitty!"
Thomas Keith
226. insectoid
Are we having fun yet? ::looks at all the Cads discussion I guess so.

Hope you all didn't party too much last night... ::looks at the disaster area in the bunker:: Hokay, maybe you did. ;)

Blind @196: Well said!

thepupxpert @216: I know I'm not Blind, but... oh. ::whistles::

Blind @224: Ah ha... there it is! You beat me to it ;) Didn't know where to look.

Bzzz™.
Karen Fox
227. thepupxpert
Blind - thanks! I've pdf'd it and will read tonight.

Insectoid - ok it took me a while but now I got it!

Man-O - you called me Pup, I'm liking that!
nor3
228. Rand Al'Todd
Re Blind@198

You are right - it does NOT say that Latra considered her stand an error or mistake. My bad.

Also, thanks for putting up the link so I didn't have to.

But as far as her being dead this is what it does say, and IMHO the wording seems peculiar if she really is dead.

From the Strike "End Notes":

4. Before her death during the Breaking (which cannot be specified from the evidence of the manuscript, unfortunately either as to time or place), Latra Posae apparently rose to a prominence which rivaled that of Lews Therin before her. During the fighting aginst the Shadowsworn before the Breaking put an end to what by that time seemed inconsequential by comparison, she gained the name Shadar Nor, best translated as "Cutter of the Shadow" or perhaps "Slicer of the Shadow" (the difficulties of precise translation from the Old Tongue, with all its multiple meanings, will always remain with us). It is thus ironic that no other document yet discovered so much as mentions her name or acomplishments. Perhaps this will serve to restore Latra Posae Decume to her proper place in history.
Barry T
229. blindillusion
Rand, if you're interested, I put a continuation of this discussion (you@228) on the Spoiler Thread. I would of put it here, but as I quoted directly from tGS, I felt it should go over there.
Bonnie Andrews
230. misfortuona
Free@223
Oh wow what a relief. I was truly worried my friend, and yes my mind is put at ease now. Thanks

Re me @158
I was referring to Rand's wives here. Sorry that’s how I think of Elayne, Aviendha (sp?) and Min. What I meant was that since Rand's pain didn't put any of them into a weeping fit, 1) Alannah's bonding somehow dulled their connection to him so they didn't feel his pain as much as she did (Don't think so) 2) Alannah's weeping was in response to Owein's death, or 3)A combination of 2 and Rand's lack of response to her supposed control of him.

Mis-clarifying
Kate Smith
231. Rukaiya
Blind@196

That really summarizes how I feel about Rand's situation as well. I simply cannot imagine being under that sort of pressure and knowing that it simply will not end until you die (and you really can't even suicide). I feel that Rand's reactions have been relatively mild, in fact. It's probably one of the reasons that Cadsuane's behavior has always so outraged me. I think some of her tactics are necessary to get his attention, yes, but once she has it, she doesn't have to be unremittingly rude and condescending. She knows the sort of pressure he's under and--at least after she's been around a little while--she knows what he's already gone through. I simply cannot understand why she can't be understanding once in a while. I don't think it would harm her overall cause.
Tricia Irish
232. Tektonica
Free@223:

::waves:: So nice to see/hear/read you again! Enjoy your guests and come back and see us all soon. We'll get the Superbowl bunker cleaned up tomorrow.

Blind@224:

Thanks for the link to The Strike. I'll read it later, as we have guests....the famous Florida Snowbirds have arrived for the season.
Barry T
233. blindillusion
Freelancer RE:~ Opinion

Actually, I'd like to see your opinion on Cadsuane. You always add a nice level of insight to a discussion. And it could perahps build up the discussion as it moves towards Friday.

As for getting 13 out of 100...in a rational way.... Well, let's just say I found a way to get 1.3, but as that's a pretty half-assed 13 I decided not to post it. And getting there wasn't in any way rational.

Though if you look at my post time, it was 0013....

Oh, to those who commented on my comment at 196...I'd like to say thanks. It's always irked me the way (some, not all) people talk about Rand. Nice to see others feel that way as well.

edit:
.3
-2=1=13 » Irrational
Maiane Bakroeva
234. Isilel
MAT @195.

When the savior of the world is busy trying to save the world, you don't come in and demand to be part of the process. You sure as hell don't come in demanding to be respected.

Why not? A brief look at history shows that even a savior doesn't know it all and could easily screw things up to greater or lesser degree.
If one actually possesses a level of competence and reputation to qualify you to be part of it, isn't it a civil duty to try?

And of course, that's the problem with Cadsuane and her "legend". Cultivating the "legend" among the AS only, for instance, was stupid, if she was purposefully preparing for the advent of the DR. And what is her previous claim to fame, really? Some allusions to RJ's spanking fetish?

I hated what Cadsuane represented for the story and how she, out of all similar characters, entered it with zero foreshadowing, but the author also has done her no favors trying to depict why she is supposed to be awesome.

Having said that, I completely disagree that her entrance was a mistake. Or are you guys forgetting that Galina et al. trapped Rand via pretend respectfulness? Seriously, that track just wouldn't have worked. By being in-his face Cadsuane actually somewhat reassured him, IMHO.

But her subsequent interactions with Rand did little to demonstrate her greatness.

I disagree that she was the source of his problems - in fact she helped to mitigate consequences of his mistakes, but she certainly wasn't what he truly needed.

AMW @206:

Aes Sedai just can't get it into their heads that the DR has to wear the pants.

Has he? It was the (other) AS disagreement with the original Dragon that saved the world, after all...

Many lauded Moiraine for her accommodation with Rand in the end. For me it was the last-ditch attempt to save something from huge mutual failure and only happened because her time was so very short.
Moiraine's failure was in not starting to teach Rand earlier and in rejection of his offer of mutual honesty.
Rand's... to be honest in the end it seemed just like general petulance and desire to lash out at somebody for all the terrible and terrifying changes that were happening in his life.

Because if his fear of Moiraine and her supposedly nefarious manipulations had been genuine, why would a flimsy oath, with tons of wriggle room, and a little grovelling, have really changed anything?

I always thought that Rand's behavior prior to this incident was unworthy of him and really highlighted his immaturity.

I mean, he didn't have to share his plans with Mo, as she had rejected mutual honesty.

But listening to what she had to say, considering it and arguing like an adult why he disagreed with her would have been far more sensible than his "la-la-la, I can't hear you" shenanigans. He may have even picked some points that way and avoided some oversights.

IMHO, after TGS it is clear that Rand making all decisions himself and being dictatorial isn't the way to success. YMMV.
nor3
235. J.Dauro
I have to agree that Moiraine originally tried to control Rand. And even in the face of the fact that this would not work, she continued to try until time started running short. She knows that she only has until the news comes about Morgaese, so she changes tactics. She is trying to teach, but there is an element of control there also.

I do not like Cadsuane's approach. I would have loved to see Rand send a message to her when she refuses to see him after his is cut by the dagger. He should say that she should make herself at home, and he will see her in a month or two, after he returns to the Sun Palace. She would have seen been in the throne room in a hot minute.

But she does treat him (at least at times) as he deserves. He acts like a rude, spoiled child, and deserves to be swatted (have to avoid certain words here.) I understand why he acts this way, he is human, and it does suck to be him. But he does need to learn, and she does help him to learn. Even Rand does admit that her advice is often very good.


Once again I believe RJ has pulled off a character that is real. We don't have to like her, but I can understand her, and decide she is not completely right, but also not completely wrong. She could have done things better, but heck, if everyone in this story did things right the first time, it would have been a pamphlet.
R B
236. MasterAlThor
Isilel,

I conceed to your point. If you have the moxie you have a civic duty to make yourself useful.

But I take umbrage with this.

Having said that, I completely disagree that her entrance was a mistake. Or are you guys forgetting that Galina et al. trapped Rand via pretend respectfulness? Seriously, that track just wouldn't have worked. By being in-his face Cadsuane actually somewhat reassured him, IMHO.


Though Cads knowledge of current events is weird, there was no explanation on how she gathered such knowledge, I believe that she didn't know about Galina's horrid mistake.

The only other problem I have with Cadsuane is her superior attitude. Aes Sedai have this problem, Cads has it in spades. Blind said it best, old age is not a prerequisite for respect.

The carrot may not have worked with Rand, but the stick sure as hell wasn't going to work either. I don't envy Cadsuane position.
nor3
237. Gentleman Farmer
@213 Man-o-Manetheren, @208 toryx

I'll look forward to the discussion on Taimandred when the reveal comes... I think I agree that RJ changed his mind though. I had Taim characterized as being either a poor, misunderstood guy who just wanted to help and get due acknowledgement for his service or one of the Forsaken.

Splitting the difference and being just a darkfriend wasn't likely to make anybody happy who was playing along at home.
Barry T
238. blindillusion
MAT RE:~ prerequisite

But, but...I didn't say that. I said:

Gah. The ability to survive into old age is not a precursor to respect. Just seems more...poetic. =(

Oh well...I did say it best though.

Gent RE:~ Taim

Most days, I still think Taim is nothing more than a guy building his own power base...but building it with Darkfriends. I'm seeing him being awfully upset when he finds out he's Randland's biggest patsy.

Reason? The way Mr Jordan describes the guy in direct quotes just doesn't read top-level (or even bargain basement level) evil guy.
R B
239. MasterAlThor
Blind,

Thanks for the clear up brother. Good looking out.
Barry T
240. blindillusion
MAT,

Just doing the part. I'm always a little surprised everyone sees Taim as this über-devious villain.
;)
Ron Garrison
241. Man-0-Manetheran
J.Dauro @ 235:
Well said - all of it. ::tips hat::
Debbie Solomon
242. dsolo
Since we still have a few days until the next post, I'll get off of Cads, and address the comments LB made about Teslyn.

I keep forgetting that Teslyn is Red, because she does seem more reasonable than Joline. Part of her reasoning might have just been to spike Elaida's plans, but after Mat rescues her from being collared, she's much more reasonable. There are a few "good" Reds coming up (Pevara and Silviana), but for right now Teslyn is it. However, Joline seems to be another of the "overwrought" Greens.

One final thought on Cads (just couldn't leave it alone). RJ has given us some hints about his thoughts on this. Remember when Elayne was getting Mat's men used to taking orders from her, and later in KoD when one of the AS, I think it's Merise, is asking Cads about giving the Dragon pin back to her Warder. She mentions that she still doesn't want him accepting anything, except from her. With that mindset, it makes sense for Cads to immediately establish her bonafides (I'm a legend to AS, they defer to me, channeling men don't scare me and you better respect me). Part of her success through the centuries of her life is to appear more knowledgeable than she is, and use that to unsettle people. She did offer some reassurance to Rand, even while provoking him, when she commented that she didn't believe that channeling men were evil. That's also why she went and examined the Asha'men and made innocuous comments about them (see, I'm so calm that I can notice his pretty eyes). She definitely doesn't want Rand to see her as a supplicant or someone he can control. Also, Rand's first reaction, after everyone goes berserk, is to start yelling at Cadsuane. She has to appear unruffled, and not respond to his rudeness. This is right after Rand has made the AS swear oaths, and he's parading them around to show they are not influencing him. In Cad's opinion, this is disasterous. Part of AS influence since the Breaking is their mystique (witness the initial Aiel and Kin reaction). The Two Rivers folk are certainly changing that.

re: LTT. I still haven't completely made up my mind, but another post (sorry, can't remember who to credit) made me start thinking a little differently. I am now leaning towards the fact that all the people stuffed in Mat's heads are his past lives, rather than random memories the Finn had laying around. His memory has holes in it, so old memories are peeking through. Which means that the Finn aren't able to monitor him. It could also indicate that Rand is interacting with his old memories as LTT. Kind of like multiple personality disorder, but without the blackouts when a different personality is in charge.

Love all the comments. They help me look at the series from different angles.
Barry T
243. blindillusion
RE:~ Mat.

I'm not a fan of playing devil's advocate...wait, actually it can be fun =)...but are people stating Mr Jordan didn't know his own characters or his story?
Q: Are all of Mat's memories from his past lives?

RJ: No, Mat's "old" memories are not from his past lives at all. The "sickness" he got from the Shadar Logoth dagger resulted in holes in his memory. He found whole stretches of his life that seemed to be missing. When he passed through the "doorframe" ter'angreal in Rhuidean, one of the things he said - not knowing that the rules here were different than in the other ter'angreal he had used - was that he wanted the holes in his memory filled up, meaning that he wanted to recover his own memories. In this place, however, it was not a matter of asking questions and receiving answers, but of striking bargains for what you want. What he received for that particular demand was memories gathered by the people on that side of the ter'angreal, memories from many men, all long dead, from many cultures. And since not everyone passing by has the nerve to journey through a ter'angreal to some other world, the memories he received were those of adventurers and soldiers and men of daring.
~
RJ: Mat's memories are not from his ancestors. He said to have the holes in his head filled but he did not specify exactly what he wanted them filled with and so he received scraps and bits and pieces of memories stolen from other men.
~
Week 12 Question: You stated in another interview that Mat's memories came from adventurers who traveled through the ter'angreal. However several of Mat's memories end with the adventurer dying. Since adventurers probably didn't go through the ter'angreal after they died, how could the 'Finns have obtained these memories?

Robert Jordan Answers: A good question. I was wondering when someone would ask that. I expected it as soon as Mat started revealing those old memories. At least a partial answer will be coming up in the next main sequence book, so I guess you could say this is a RAFO. But I will say that if I said those adventurers all entered through the two ter'angreal, I misspoke. A good many entered through the Tower of Ghenjei, which was more widely known in earlier years, if never exactly a household name.
~
Sarah-Kayan: Does the ashandarei come from the Age of Legends?
RJ: Yes the ashandarei comes from the Age of Legends.
Sarah-Kayan: If Mat only has memories from around the Trolloc Wars, how does he know how to use it?
RJ: Mat does not have memories only from the Trolloc Wars. Mats memories extend all the way into the time of Artur Hawkwing 1000 years later.3
Note 3: Also, his earliest memories predate the Trolloc Wars by about 4-500 years.

Where did Mat's knowledge of the Old Tongue before entering 'Finnland come from? We don't know. Perhaps racial/genetic memory. After all, Mat is a man selected by the Pattern to be ta'veren. Maybe the Wheel spun him out with this knowledge.

I mean, no one questions Perrin's Wolfbrother abilities, but it took a catalyst for him to become one...though perhaps if he'd grown up interacting with wolves on a daily bases, he would have developed the ability pre-Elyas. Noam]

But people want to throw a stone at Mat for pretty much the same thing. Yes, the Wheel designed him to be a Battle Leader, thus Manetheren's battle cry...after all, he does descend from those people. But the true catalyst was his first encounter with the 'Finn...where he HAD to speak the Old Tongue.

Perrin is accepted for having a truly remarkable skill...that could be considered racial/genetic memory. Why not Mat?

edit:
So, Mat needed 4 catalyst:
1) Moiraine telling the story of Manetheren
2) An actual "battle", i.e. the fight with the Trollocs.
3) Waking up in a room full of Aes Sedai while strapped down. (Gentleman Farmer called shenanigans on this because Manetheren's Queen was Aes Sedai...but there's a difference between love for one's Queen and one's feelings towards a collective such as the Aes Sedai.)
4) Finding himself in a situation where it was either speak the Old Tongue or be a non-player in the conversation...and Mat likes to talk.

Face it, I love Mat, but the guy does sometimes need to be hit over the head with something for it to sink in.

But even Rand notices that it's only after Mat comes back from his second trip that he's completely fluent in the Old Tongue.

nor3
244. Chuckchuck
I think Cadsuane is a very real character...sure she's a pain, but that's human
Rob Munnelly
245. RobMRobM
Blind - I'm not saying RJ didn't know his characters, but I am saying that what he's saying doesn't make any logical sense. Bitgitte in CoS says Old Blood is scattered phrases not really understood. That is consistent the experience of Mat (and Eg for that matter) in EoTW.

But in WT during surgery Mat speaks in idiomatic Old Tongue from a Manetheren perspective (advance the Heart Guard) - this is not Old Blood, this is some type of ancestral memory or special ability in Mat. He then is able to go into Finnland and speak Old Tongue without benefit of a translator and without benefit of adventurer memories. Again, this is something special in Mat pre-adventurer memories. Then come the adventurer memories and (as birgitte notes) the ability to speak in idioms from Eharon and other ancient lands. Agree that Mat has holes in his memory from dagger but saying that Mat got his old memories from the adventurers during the second Finn trip leaves hanging an explanation for Mat's fluency -- despite the holes -- in TGH and the early part of TSR.

Rob
R B
246. MasterAlThor
blind,

That was a good wall o text there at 243.
Maiane Bakroeva
247. Isilel
J.Dauro @235:

I have to agree that Moiraine originally tried to control Rand.

And as Rand himself discovered, sometimes you have to control people who won't listen to reason. As early Rand himself wouldn't.
I understand why he would want to be in denial despite all the myriad proofs that he was TDR, but it didn't change the fact that survival of the world depended on this inexperienced, ineducated youth who tried very hard to bury his head in the sand.

Yes, by TSR, he had abruptly changed into a more mature Rand, who could and should have been worked with cooperatively.
Moiraine's mistake was in not recognizing this in time, not in her previous dealings with Rand. Well, with the exception of her not starting his education when they sat in the mountains between TGH and TDR. But then, Rand was still partly in denial then and probably resisted any such attempts.

I mean, I empathize with Rand, it really sucks to be him... but the world is more important and when he is in conflict with somebody, he isn't automatically always right.

BTW, by TSR he kept secrets and pushed people around as much as Moiraine ever did and should have gained some understanding of why she acted the way she did.
But he chose to deal with her in a very immature way , incidentally strengthening her impression that he still needed to be controlled. And yes, it was disappointing and unworthy to me.

Returning to Cadsuane, IMHO, a chance of an AS gaining his trust by being amicable was destroyed by Alanna's ambush bonding, and his abduction sealed the deal.
Cadsuane's shock appearance had a much better chance to work.

But her subsequent tenure as an advisor... not so much. IMHO, Bashere was much better at dealing with Rand's tantrums than Cadsuane was, except that of course he wouldn't stand up to Rand as often as necessary and Rand didn't wholly trust him.

That is what so disappointing about Cadsuane - where is her wisdom and her humor? Where is genuine leadership?
But that's RJ's general problem with female characters - they are pretty humorless and lack natural leadership. As a result they have to be pushy and demanding. Moiraine actually was the closest to having natural authority and wit, but not quite.
P.S. Oh, and Verin, of course! Though she didn't try to lead per say.
It is OK for SGs to be insecure and compensate - they are young and inexperienced, after all, but everybody else? No.

Also, Cadsuane's prominence would have felt much more "earned" if she wasn't the strongest living AS before the advent of the SGs. There is not much merit in being a top dog due to something that you had zero control over.
Thomas Keith
248. insectoid
Blind @243: Another nice wall o' RJ there:)

Bzzz™.
Marcus W
249. toryx
RobM @ 245:

I think Blind is right on the money with his argument regarding Mat. I'd only add that the catalyst Blind is talking about was largely the Healing of Mat's bond with the dagger. Once that was done, Mat's ability to speak/ understand the Old Tongue was pretty much activated. Whether it's just the Old Blood overpowered by his healing of the dagger or some sort of connection with a Manetheren past life is kinda irrelevant. Suffice it to say that extraordinary events produced an extraordinary result.

You could say that Mat received a super power by nature of his association with Shadar Logoth and the subsequent severing of that connection. Only later, after he returns from the second Ter'angreal is his Super Power raised to another level entirely. I actually think it's more in the nature of him getting a second, somewhat similar Super Power.
Rob Munnelly
250. RobMRobM
Toryx. I actually agree with Blind's creative theory that Mat has a unique power of some sort that manifests but I was pointing out the absence of any acknowledgement from RJ. RJ keeps saying "it's the adventurers' memories" and it can't be that alone without ignoring the WT and the Tear gateway experiences.
Marcus W
251. toryx
RobM:

I'd not be surprised if the reason RJ never addressed it in more detail is because it seemed so bloody obvious to him.
Rob Munnelly
252. RobMRobM
toryx - but his statements appear so unequivocal that it is all due to the adventurers:

RJ: Mat's memories are not from his ancestors. He said to have the holes in his head filled but he did not specify exactly what he wanted them filled with and so he received scraps and bits and pieces of memories stolen from other men.
Kurt Lorey
253. Shimrod
I think, I wish it were Friday. Sigh.
Marcus W
254. toryx
RobM:

I know. But my point is that as far as RJ was concerned, the mystery had nothing to do with Mat's ability to speak the Old Tongue; he felt that was already explained. He understood the mystery behind the memories because he took a few books to get around to explaining them in much detail. Heck, the final reveal probably wasn't to happen until he went into the Tower and confronted the 'Finns.
Barry T
255. blindillusion
Hmm...I just wrote up some long winded response to Rob's comment...and in turns out he actually agrees with me? Darn.

I'll admit that Mr Jordan didn't explain it as well as he could have, but Toryx does have a point. Also...it's not exactly the author's job to explain every detail of his story...if he'd done that...we wouldn't be sitting here talking about it. And he probably never would have gotten anything written down on paper.

And oh well, while it's pointless now...here's what I wrote. I didn't take the time to edit it, so it's something of a stream of consciousness:

But in WT during surgery Mat speaks in idiomatic Old Tongue from a Manetheren perspective (advance the Heart Guard) - this is not Old Blood, this is some type of ancestral memory or special ability in Mat.

Going by the second part of this, aren’t you validating my argument that Mat, Pre-‘Finn Adventures, is speaking through racial/genetic memory, though you’re calling it “ancestral memory”? Or perhaps it’s nothing more than a special ability the Wheel provided to Mat? I do get what you’re saying, I believe, in regards to idioms. But it also somewhat stands-up my argument that the Wheel provided for Mat a ready-made package which included: the ability to speak the Old Tongue and knowledge of battle lore, but the only way the Wheel could provide this package was with a Manetheren theme because that’s where Mat was born. I.E. these are not exactly the ancestral memories of Mat’s direct forbearers, but more a collection of men (Soldiers) from the time of Manetheren’s glory.

Before the trips into ‘Finnland Mat’s abilities centered on Manetheren. But his collective memories stem from various locations. Some of his memories, while they don’t necessarily overlap, do exist in such a way that there seems to be no possible way progression could take place. I don’t have my books, so cannot provide quotes, but he remembers seeing a man in youth and then later seeing that same man, but older.

I’m just having a hard time following the logistics of the stance Gentleman Farmer and you are trying to advance. You are stating that Mat’s ancestors were all men (and perhaps women?) of extreme note, i.e. soldiers, adventures, poets, authors, world travelers, etc. You’re also stating that at some point one of these great men settled in the Two Rivers, where is seems pretty conclusive from character discussion that the Cauthon family, along with the rest, has been there since the back end of forever.

That’s a direct line of descent that began 4-500 years before the Trolloc Wars and continued for several thousand years.
Rob Munnelly
256. RobMRobM
Blind - sorry to disappoint you, LOL. Rob

P.s. It's a great theory, and probably right as a matter of logic, but RJ seems to be implicitly shooting down any explanation other than the Rhudien gateway/Tower of Ghenjie adventurers view. Le sigh.
Barry T
257. blindillusion
Oh no Rob...it's not that you agree with me. It's pretty cool someone thinks my theory is feasible, considering I thought it up as I wrote it this afternoon.

The "Darn" was for writing 310 words when I could have been eating lunch.
nor3
258. Gentleman Farmer
@255 Blindillusion

Good comment, and fair enough given my reference to "Old Blood", which is the reference used in the books.

However, my original use of Mat as an example was to support my contention that memories could to be carried through when individuals (such as LTT) were reborn through the Wheel.

I don't claim that these memories came from Mat's ancestors, or ancestral memory but that these memories came from past lives lived by Mat's soul. (I acknowledge that there appear to be some progression problems where Mat sees the same man through different soldiers' eyes, such as Hawkwing and others, but it's difficult to say if those are logically insurmountable).

Much like Birgitte, when the Wheel needs a great captain in the last 2500 years, it's been spinning out Mat. Just as Birgitte's first incarnation probably wouldn't have tied her to the Horn of Valere, or even her 100th, eventually her roles became consistent, she kept getting spun out for the same reasons (a simple woman who could do what needed doing) and her lives began following certain patterns (never use a sword, always fall in love with an ugly dude).

I think what the foxfinns gave Mat was access to his soul's memories just at the time his soul was crystallizing into the next type of hero that may be bound to the horn. In almost circular fashion, access to his past lives may itself be what makes him sufficiently great in this life that his character is recognizably bound to the horn.

At any rate, I acknowledge that's not at all what RJ said was the case, but I still like my theory. I prefer to make my own logical (or illogical as the case may be) extrapolations from the primary text of the books, without overt reference to secondary sources.

(Besides which, Rhuidean hasn't been accessed in 3000 years, the Tear gateway has been in Mayene which is further from the action than even the Two Rivers and just as improbable as an access point for all of these generals. Mat also seems to have lots of memories of dying, which would indicate that all of those memories people not only entered but then escaped from the Tower of Ghenji (which according to Birgitte was almost impossible), yet none of those memories recall a visit or escape from the Tower either. I'm not sure that solution works perfectly with each of these great captains needing to find the Tower, enter and escape in the course of, for example, fighting the Trolloc Wars).
Barry T
259. blindillusion
Gent,

I'm guessing here, but are you calling Mat a Hero of the Horn? I only ask because you placed him in the same category as Birgitte. If so, there's this:
Joey from Arizona: Mr. Jordan, my favorite character is Mat, and I was wondering, do you find it ironic that a Hero of the Wheel, who does not know that he is a Hero of the Wheel, blew the Horn of Valere? Also, were did you get the idea for Mat?

RJ: Oh, Mat is a lot of guys. Mat is Coyote and Trickster and a lot of other characters out of myth and legend. He's the reluctant hero, he's a lot of things. He's the bad boy on the Harley. He's a lot of legends.4

Note 4: Note that RJ's answer should not necessarily be seen as confirmation of the questioner's assumption that Mat is a Hero of the Horn. We must still contend with the fact that Mat's soul was not recognized at Falme, and when Mat is incredulous at the small number of Heroes, Hawkwing mentions that Rand could explain it to him, if he could remember. (2.47) It may be that they can only recognize the Dragon soul in the flesh, or that they can only recognize Rand because this is the Age where he is the Dragon reborn (Lews Therin, for example, was not, and it seems likely that the Dragon is only reborn once in a Turning). In any case, whether or not Mat and Perrin were Heroes before, it seems likely that they will be after this life.
Granted, the above note is speculation, but it is an interesting point that Mat is not recognized at Falme.

And Birgitte's words were: [quote]"Once entered, the Tower of Ghenjei is hard enough to leave in the world of men. it is all but impossible." from [color=red]To The Tower of Ghenjei, chapter 28 of tSR. And as the Tower of Ghenjei was more widely known in days past, perhaps the ins/outs of the place were known as well.

I'm not saying your wrong. You take your thoughts from the text of the novels. I was taught to look at every source. Different ways of thinking. It's what makes this site so grand. If everyone took my theories and made them their own...there'd be nothing to discuss.

In the end, though, as Mat is my favorite character, I devote more time and energy into posts related to him. I think it's a blast.

- Blind ~ making statements, not stating facts. =)
nor3
260. alreadymadwithmat'stongue
Isilel @234
Has he? It was the (other) AS disagreement with the original Dragon that saved the world, after all...
This is true, however in LTT's time, the other Aes Sedai could claim to know as much as LTT did. The current generation don't know half as much as LTT did and they should really get into their thick skulls that this is LTT's second coming they are dealing with.

Re: Mat
I'd agree that the memories from adventurers was from bits and pieces of memories from other men, but it is also true that he had been speaking the Old Tongue long before gaining those memories. He was already screaming Manetheren battlecries just a few short days out of the Two Rivers. This was even before he got the dagger. The dagger may have exacerbated it, but we can't really tell since he doesn't speak Old Tongue while he has it. The next time was in screaming while being Healed of the Dagger's influence. And then there's carrying on a meaningful conversation with the Finns without requiring a translator. It isn't just the Old Blood. Rand had as much claim to Old Blood as Mat did and in Rand's case, the Old Tongue is still very much alive among the Aiel. I suspect what Mat has is actually something of a Talent. A special and rare Talent to access ancestral memories and skills.
Chin Bawambi
261. bawambi
I don't want to get too much into Cads but I don't agree with the concept that she is all that in terms of tactics. As a matter of fact, I find the light-side AS very tactically inflexible or outright poor with a few major exceptions(Moiraine,Verin,Siuan/Leane and perhaps Annoura) and if the current Blacks/Demandred/Semi/Messana actually start cooperating then I hope Rand/Mat/Perrin start comparing notes or at least start listening to the voices - but what fun would actual communication be in WoT?
john massey
262. subwoofer
Dah- Bok ER Tick... we be quoting text like champions on this here one. Le sigh- M O M? Am I gonna have ta read it all? Awwwwww...

@Free- I knew it! You sell encyclopedias don't you! Admit it! Or is it Kirby vacuums?

Here's the deal with All AS- Not just Cads...

Time and again we see them try to hone there way in where they have no bounds... Look at Dumai's Wells. Perrin had things relatively in hand and happened to meet his TR guys on the way, and they happened to be accompanied buy some AS. Now did the AS parley and offer to join up with Perrin? No, instead they wanted to bull in and take charge of everything.
Seems to me something similar happened with Rand. He was planning stuff and a couple of AS blunder up and begin to "advise" him unsolicited. I believe they were later smacked down by the Wise Ones but still, no tact, just bossy the cow personified. Caddy. She commandeered the AS in Rands company after the fact, but there was nothing really stopping her from meeting with them before hand, asking questions and getting a lay of the land. Does that happen? Nope. Blunder in, shoot first, shoot some more, kill everyone, question the corpses. Heee Haw.

All I am saying is that perhaps assessing current tactics and making adjustments may be a plan. I believe there is a quote out there to the effect of- insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Sounds like any Tower of ladies we know?

Woof™.
Barry T
263. blindillusion
Here you go Sub ~

Courtesy of sizzlerspack33 @ 200

Einstein said, Insanity/Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Oh, LOL again RE vacuums and Free selling them.
john massey
264. subwoofer
What? Free did say
offering the Greatest Gift Ever to anyone ready and willing to accept it.


Never pegged him for a part time vacuum salesman.

Einstein. Yup. That's the one. Wish the AS heard of him.
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."


Maybe if the AS focused in on that- world could change instead of this constant cyclical spinning of the Pattern.

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
265. Tektonica
Great discussion on Mat and his abilities, Blind, RobM, toryx, The Gent, etc.!

Thank you! I have no time with to really comment, as we have house guests, but I do appreciate the read! Yeah, Mat has Talent! Even maybe a special one. (I think RJ might have made a wee mistake when he stated that all Mat's battle memories come from the info the Finn's filled his holes with.....because he remembers dying. Ummmm. How do you remember that if you don't die in the ToG? And they didn't. )

Oh wait! When Mat and Tuon are racing the horses...what book is that?....doesnt' Mat say something about the Finn's being "in his head" right then, reading his memories? Maybe that is what the Finn's do! Looney Theory alert:
The Finns put some sort of "tracker" on Mat (or whomever in the past) and "record" his memories!

Ok...enough...got to get back to the guests....thanks again and don't laugh too hard at my looney theory.
Julian Augustus
266. Alisonwonderland
Rand@194:
And, by the way, at the time she faced Norla, Caddy was the strongest Aes Sedai in her generation. And apparently “toothless old Norla” was strong enough to defeat her - either by brute strength or by skill. To me, that is more evidence that she was not really a wilder.

Actually, Norla didn't need either brute strength or skill against Cadsuane. She could have been as weak as Daigian and still won in a confrontation with Cadsuane. Why? You seem to forget that she was the original owner of all Cadsuane's hair ornaments, which means Cadsuane's channeling would have been useless against her. As for her not even being a wilder, no disrespect intended but you appear to be really really stretching to try and fit an untenable theory to the facts.
nor3
267. alreadymadwithmatstalent
Tektonica @265
That's Mat's theory, actually. That the Finns still have an active link to him and are experiencing his experiences real time.
Alice Arneson
268. Wetlandernw
WallOText Warning! I'll try to keep it concise, but... well, at least I'll promise to stick to a MSR instead of a FBLR. ;) Maybe no ranting at all. We'll see.

First off, on the subject of Mat and his memories: I just propounded a theory on the spoiler thread (this is getting to be a bit much!!) about the *Finn and their access to information. They seem to have an... odd... relationship with time. Perhaps, when you enter their world, they are able to see your entire life, a bit like the ring ter'angreal in Rhuidean. This would give them the ability to answer questions about the future (Mat in Tear) and would have given them all those memories (including deaths) to stuff into Mat in Rhuidean. Mat's concern about them "looking through his eyes" might be too little too late - they might have gotten it all at once, up to and including his own death. FWIW on the above debate, I go with the idea that the Old Tongue and certain memories brought more to the surface partly by ta'veren effect and partly (or along with) the catalyzing effects of some of his experiences. The distinct memories of other men's lives are clearly a result of the Finn bargain - which is probably also ta'veren related.

Okay, Cadsuane. wall upcoming...

I went back and reread this section several times, trying to exclude later impressions and other people's ideas and just stick with what's here. Know what? She isn't really all that rude. She doesn't answer his questions right away, and when he shouts at her she makes a back-handed comment on his manners, but her biggest offense is in remaining calm and not treating him like The Grand Pooh-bah. Oh, and then bluntly stating facts and asking (rhetorically, since she clearly doesn't expect answers) questions. The idea that she's threatening or trying to frighten him is, as near as I can see, primarily a result of his own fears and the shock of hearing someone speak calmly (clinically?) about the things he is so terrified will happen to him. (How many times in these books, so far, has he worried about whether he could hold on to his sanity long enough to fulfill his duty?) As has been said several times in several ways here, her approach was probably the only chance she realistically had to intrigue him enough to even consider her input. And really, how long is it before she offers him any advice other than to mind his manners? Does she ever tell him what to do, other than stop shouting and be polite?

As a slight aside here, I do understand the frustration with this. I have never been very gracious about accepting criticism, particularly when the source of unsolicited criticism has no apparent authority over me. So yeah, it's obnoxious and irritating. When I first read this, I was closer to Rand's age than my current age, and I sympathized with him completely. From the vantage of a few years, a couple of cocky interns, and a couple of kids of my own, I sympathize with Cadsuane a lot more. Just because someone has no particular authority, or hasn't yet done anything specifically to earn your respect, basic courtesy is still in order. Since I absolutely loathe shouting matches (and have all my life) I also appreciate her absolute requirement to use a reasonable speaking voice. And really, when you're 20 years old and talking to someone about fourteen times your age, is it so much to expect that you refrain from shouting at them? Rand's manners really were awful. More on that note another time, probably on the other thread.

Now, I have a whole lot more to say on Cadsuane over the course of the books, but I wanted to toss in the "simple reading" comments tonight. Not sure if I'll get to the rest of it this week or not; to do adequate back-up research will take some time that I might not have just now. So on that rather abrupt note, I'm going to stop for tonight. Hope it makes sense so far. Sorry about not responding to individual comments; just don't have it in me tonight. (Oh, RobM, I really DO understand what you're saying about BWS's treatment of Cadsuane. I hope to say more on that later too. Just 'way too much going on right now.) Please forgive any typos or glaring disconnects in the above text; I didn't proof it very well.
Barry T
270. blindillusion
Double checks: Yep, it's there in 139...the Wait, Maybe It's Because I'm Young Clause. It's also in the Military Clause. Get it on both ends there. The (Think They) Know it all 17YOs and the Very Opinionated (and only their opinion matters)...umm...Older Soldiers? Shouldn't of joined at 23...just crazy of me.

I can see where you're coming from Wetlander, just as I can see where all the other people who discuss in Cadsuane's favor are coming from. But, I guess the Great Cadsuane Debate can pretty much be put down to where one's sympathies lie. The abused Hero or the unknown Legend. I'd say Rand has earned the right to this outburst. Because your argument seems to be saying that Cadsuane has earned the right to be spoken to in a civil manner by someone who's pretty much had his ass handed to him for a few thousand pages...especially after eliciting the response.

But then, as I live by certain tenants...I am smart enough to know I do not everything. I am also smart enough to know I should not be treated like a fool just because I do not know everything...my sympathies will always lie with the provoked, not the provoker.

Are there things Rand could stand to learn from Cadsuane, yes. Are there things Rand should learn from Cadsuane, yes, that's obvious because of Min. Does Cadsuane have the right to speak in any way she pleases just because she has information to provide, no. Would Rand of been intrigued by Cadsuane if she'd used tact as opposed to dismissiveness, we'll never know. And as to her not treating him like the Grand Pooh-bah...that's just it...she treated him like a child...a willful child at that...and not as...if anything...someone at least the smallest bit worthy of a small iota of respect.

She only saw someone who's about 14 times younger than her...not a person. So, Cadsuane = Fail.

And while some people may look at the above and say, "Wait, didn't you also say in 139 that no one has the right to treat anyone like shit?" Well, yes, I did...and I stick by that. But in this scene Rand is reacting.... Defence is something of an exception.
nor3
271. alreadymadwithcourtesies
Wetlandernw @268
Lessons in courtesy are always welcome. That said, Cadsuane isn't actually in any position to demand such courtesy. She barged into what amounts to a private meeting between the unquestioned ruler of three nations and his close retainers. AS chutzpah or not, that is just plain rude. I don't even remember if she was holding the Power then, but if she was, that's another black mark against her.
Also, there's her choice of words. She tells him he might already be going mad and that she can help him. I don't know about you but the thing with Aes Sedai speak is that it always requires subtitles. And in this case the subtitle I see is "I can help you, do what I say" which is pretty much the same bollocks that Rand gets from all the AS he comes across, about 40 of whom put him in a box. So nothing real special except the others have at least given him the courtesy of waiting to be announced.
Barry T
272. blindillusion
Hmm, that's odd. What happened to 269?

Poor 269...completely abolished. Kinda sad really. So, I'll take it.

269. blindillusion
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2010 10:09AM EST
FLAG | BOOKMARK | EDIT

From Leigh:
"gain a dreaded frenemy"
Frenemy. Now that's a word I can get behind.

Still not Friday...oh. Drat.

Hmm, Insectoid is right...it is Wednesday. Opps. But this weekend is a four day...was "foward thinking.
Tricia Irish
273. Tektonica
Wet@268: Your explication of Cads behavior is very cogent. But I still tend to side with Blind....depends on where your loyalties lie, as he said. Also, see the below:

As has been said several times in several ways here, her approach was probably the only chance she realistically had to intrigue him enough to even consider her input. And really, how long is it before she offers him any advice other than to mind his manners? Does she ever tell him what to do, other than stop shouting and be polite?

Well, really, no. I don't remember reading ANY great advice, suggestions, or discussions between Rand and Cads. Is that on purpose on her part? Or is Rand's lack of communication with her based on lack of trust? Her obtuseness with him, her lack of input and constructive conversation, even casual dialogue, keeps him at arms length, doesn't afford the opportunity to "teach" him anything about laughter and tears or anything else, and thus fails. She doesn't help him and she doesn't learn much from him either.

I know she talks to the WOs, the AS about him and she "observes" him, but wouldn't she rather know his thoughts directly from him, and be a real advisor? That takes some interaction, other than demanding politeness and watching him with a microscope. Communication.....again!

*Feeling more sympathy for Cads, but still think she's ineffective. And I don't like her.*
Ron Garrison
274. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks for the detailed re-read Wet! "Does she ever tell him what to do, other than stop shouting and be polite?" No. That's why I was so amazed at how many people professed a giant wall-o-hate upon her first appearance. I guess it's as blind says, it "can pretty much be put down to where one's sympathies lie."

Here's the thing, and I hope I can express myself well. For me, I really can't take sides. Rand certainly is no angel in this chapter, but I don't hate him. In fact there is no character in WoT that I dislike. Sure Elayne used to have "princess" moments that were annoying, but I can't hate her for them. That was how she was raised and all she knew. She has grown since then - tremendously. Same with Nynaeve. I cheered out loud when Semi got balefired. We were supposed to. She was one of the bad guys, but she wasn't written badly. She was deliciously wicked. Moridin remains one of my favorite characters. He is complex and mysterious, and I always look forward to seeing what he is up to. I guess I can't figure out how you can love an author's work and not love his characters? We can certainly applaud/criticise their actions, but "hate" a character? I just don't get it.
Joseph Blaidd
275. SteelBlaidd
I have to Agree with Wetlandernw@269 the worst she does is enter very close on the heels of the Maiden who anounces her and remark that Rand needs to work on his maners. At no time does she threaten him, she asks his permission to take off with Anoura nad Merna, and she answers his questions in a very straitforward manner. As I was re-reading this chapter I started hearing her as a much older version of Marry Poppins(as played by Julie Andrews) in 'boring' governess mode;). She does treat him with respect, just not defference.

As to why she went in to see him before grilling the other AS is because if she had she had no way of ensuring that someone wouldn't warn Rand, and as every good seargent knows, the value of a suprise inspection is that it is a suprise.
Marcus W
276. toryx
Oh, I get it. Cadsuane is Mary Poppins. No wonder she irritates the bejesus out of me.
Barry T
277. blindillusion
Hmm, Steel...in your scenario, is Rand the Soldier to be inspected? If so, what gives Cadsuane the right to hold this surprise inspection? The fact that she's Aes Sedai? "Experienced" i.e. 280+ years old?

As I used to be Enlisted, and was under the purview of Sergeant's Inspections, I didn't really care when they showed up..barring of course that they were in my Unit, i.e. Chain of Command.

If a 1ST Sergeant from another Unit, or any Sergeant from another Unit for that matter, had shown up to inspect my quarters, or myself, I would have raised the Bull Shit Flag. And I would have been listened to.

Spot inspections to make small corrections are one thing, but Cadsuane didn't just notice Rand walking around outside without his cover.
Bonnie Andrews
278. misfortuona
This is just great now every time Cads is on screen I'm going to picture her singing and carying an umbrella.

Mis-sing the spoon full of sugar
Ron Garrison
279. Man-0-Manetheran
Good thing this isn't a military unit we're discussing, because Cads would definitely be WAY out of line. However...

LOL @ "Mis-sing the spoonful of sugar."
Barry T
280. blindillusion
Well, he did put it in that scenario...just saying.

Hmm and now I'm seeing Rand tap dancing with penguins.

wonder how far this'll go....
Ron Garrison
281. Man-0-Manetheran
"Hmm and now I'm seeing Rand tap dancing with penguins."
Well, that would be hard to do without laughing and smiling.
I think we might have stumbled on to Cads ultimate plan...
Bonnie Andrews
282. misfortuona
Blind
Sort of depends on who shows up to the party.
By the way found it here

Mis-giving her tuppence

edit to fix link
Kathy Keith
283. Babokathy
And Julie Andrews won an OSCAR (Academy Award) for her performance in Mary Poppins, Best Actress 1964. Perfect comparison to Cadsuane.

Maybe Cadsuane will get a "Thanks" after Tarmon Gaidon? She will have to do something really special to turn Rand's opinion of her.

Chimney Sweeps, anyone (luck will rub off......)!

>Babo
Marcus W
284. toryx
Babokathy @ 283:

She will have to do something really special to turn Rand's opinion of her.

More importantly, she'd have to do something really special to turn MY opinion of her.

I kind of hope she doesn't get a moment of awesome. If the writers keep handing them out to everyone, it won't be so special anymore.
Joseph Blaidd
285. SteelBlaidd
The point isn't that as an AS she has the 'right' to inspect him but that showing up un-anounced allows you to observe how someone reacts and see things they might have hidden if they had warning. In other words she is trying to figure out where he is mentaly and how to deal with him, and this is one of the tools shes useing to gather the needed information.

Part of her problem is that, outside of Grendal's head, there realy isn't a lot of in world knowlidge about mental illness. There is no concept of 'phobia' as a class of mental problems so it makes recognizeing that Rand has developed claustrophobia much harder. In order to recognize that there are two different personalities driving the Dragon Reborn it helps to know that such a thing is posable. Everybody is so Focused on Rand starting to see spiders crawling under his skin that they have missed that he is allready seriously mentaly disturbed(Claustrophobia, Parinoa, OCD, MPD, and probably other problems.
Karen Fox
286. thepupxpert
toryx @ 284 - that's what I thought also, how can everyone get an MOA? Well, we'll have to wait and see.

Did no one think Cadsuane reminded them of the little old lady in Madagascar 2? I can't be the only one with a child under the age of 10! I think Mary Poppins is way too nice and not at all devious enough to be Cads.
Rob Munnelly
287. RobMRobM
Cadsuane as MP who is "practically perfect in every way." Sounds good to me, LOL.
Marcus W
288. toryx
thepupxpert @ 286:

I think Mary Poppins is way too nice and not at all devious enough to be Cads.

Well yeah, because Poppins was WAY smarter than Cadsuane. She certainly had better people skills.
Barry T
289. blindillusion
Toryx@284

I know. Cadsuane can take out Katerine. But by accident. And she loses her hand in the process. Yet she still looks down her nose at Rand. MOA-ish.

Steel@285

"Deal with him." ~ Yep. Sounds about right. This would be one of the biggest problems with Cadsuane. She wants to deal with him. One of the other big problems...she feels she has the right to do so. She doesn't.
Thomas Keith
290. insectoid
Blind @272: Umm... today is Wednesday. What planet are you on? ;)

Steel @275/Toryx @276 et al: BAHAHAhahaha!! (we just watched that movie last night.)

Babo @283: If she's going to sing and tap-dance maybe she should be Court-bard.

My tuppence, ladies and gents.

Bzzz™.
Joseph Blaidd
291. SteelBlaidd
I was useing deal more in the sense of "Lets make a Deal" rather than " deal with the issue" (or deal a hand of poker for that matter :P) in any case dealing with a problem is generaly a matter of responsability rather than rights, and as an AS she certainly has the responsibility of "dealing with" the walking bomb that a male chaneler is.
Barry T
292. blindillusion
Yes, but I'm one who doesn't think the Aes Sedai are the stewards of the world they'd like to think they are.

And it's not her responsibility to deal with the problem at hand...that would belong to Rand.

Does she have the responsibility to use her powers to help the world survive. Yes. Does she have a responsibility to give her knowledge freely in order to aid humanity. Yes. Does she have the right to fight? Yes. Does she have the right to "lord" it over her fellow Aes Sedai. Yes, as based on their power structure.

Does she have a responsibility to council/assist the Dragon Reborn? Sure, if she has the desire to do so. Does she have a responsibility to take the Dragon Reborn and lead him by the hand, i.e. guide him? No. But she thinks she does...doesn't make her right.

And really? "Let's Make a Deal"? What deal does she offer him?

This whole Cadsuane discussion is getting fun. =)
Bonnie Andrews
293. misfortuona
Blind
Speak respectfully to me and I'll give you what information I think you need. No not what you want, or think you need, but what I'm willing to dish out.
Or you can take what's behind 'door number two'.
That would be manipulating the people around you when you stop listening to me.

Mis-stoking the fires

Edit Wrong url
Tess Laird
294. thewindrose
Still on Ms Cadsuane Melaidhrin? I thought it was a very gutsy move on her part when I first read this, when she swept into the throne room and rattled all the occupants. Good way to get noticed! However, when I found out she had all those protections, I was a bit dissapointed in her.

And - I did not like this at all: aCoS Chapter 36 Blades - And Cadsuane...Cadsuane touched Rand's pale face, brushed strands of hair from his forehead. "Do not be afraid, boy," she said softly. "They made my task harder, and yours,but I will not hurt you more than I must." Min turned to ice inside.

She did well at the Cleansing, and she is great at handling other AS's. But I disagree with not doing your homework ahead of time. She should of learned a bit more about Rand before confronting him. And there is no excuse for not learning more afterwards, changing startegies so to speak. Also, while it is fun to watch her with the other Aes Sedai that play her same game, it gets tiring that they don't see how moronic it is when the world about them is in need of some competence instead.

I nominate Setalle Anan as being the best Aes Sedai we have met. Do you think she learned how to deal with people better because of her stilling and marriage? She is one of the most competent people we have met in all of the books. I hope that she can be Healed, she would be a good role model to aspire to.

tempest™
Barry T
295. blindillusion
Mis
And what does he do Ladies and Gentleman...why, he takes what's behind door number three!!! What's his prize?

Why, it's both of the above! Ding, Ding, Ding.
Tricia Irish
296. Tektonica
Thank you Wind@294: I completely agree. She needed to change strategies!
Bonnie Andrews
297. misfortuona
Blind
Yep sucks to be Rand

Mis-compassionate
R B
298. MasterAlThor
Pup

You are not the only one. There are several of us around here that have chillin undeer 3.

The little old lady from Mad 2 is a New Yorker, that is not Cadsuane at all. She kinda makes New Yorkers seem nice.

The main issue with Cadsuane is that she gave no respect to someone who deserves it. You cannot just waltz into someones home/workplace/whatever and just push them around.

Now alot of you say that Cads wasn't being disrespectful, but in the very next chapter she says that she had to push him from a "direction he didn't expcet". Why does she need to push at all?

You must give respect to earn respect. That simple.
Barry T
299. blindillusion
Mis ~ Agree.

And the worst thing of all...it's all only going to keep getting worse for Rand. Sure, he still has some of his few good moments coming...but...he also has some of the worst...including The Worst to Date.

MAT ~ *claps*
Alice Arneson
300. Wetlandernw
Hmmmm. It's kinda fun to do a late-night post, and come back the next night to see what bubbled up... But I really miss being part of the discussion as it happens. This way it's too hard to respond to individual comments. And on top of that, right now I don't have time to do much - it'll still have to wait a couple of hours.

I'll say this - my point about "how much does she tell Rand what to do" was that she actually doesn't try to push him in any particular direction. She does provide cogent advice in a few places, and helps him realize that the Cleansing might need a little protective force. Really, though, it's not like she's trying to manipulate him into following a particular plan she already has set up. She's trying to keep him functional enough to avoid blowing up the planet and making TG irrelevant, at least. She's trying to keep him alive and human, so that Team Light doesn't end up with a pyrrhic victory.

I think she's looking to get him to realize that she's got a couple hundred years research tucked in her head that he could make use of, if he'd only realize that maybe his two years worth is just not enough. Since he doesn't tell anyone about the LTT voice, it's hardly any wonder she can't just sit back and say "Oh well, he's getting advice from The Supreme Leader Of Team Light AOL, so I can go back to my roses." For that matter, even if she did know, The Supreme Leader Of Team Light AOL didn't do such a fantastic job the first time around, did he? And Rand is NOT doing a fantastic job; he's losing it left, right and center. Her approach may not be the best one, but you do what you can.

Okay, seriously, I have to go wash the dishes and get ready for school tomorrow. I'll get back to the rest of this soon. I promise.
Barry T
301. blindillusion
But Wetlander, there's this, presented by Wind @ 294:
And - I did not like this at all: aCoS Chapter 36 Blades - And Cadsuane...Cadsuane touched Rand's pale face, brushed strands of hair from his forehead. "Do not be afraid, boy," she said softly. "They made my task harder, and yours,but I will not hurt you more than I must." Min turned to ice inside.

Sounds like someone has an Agenda.

And while it's Disney, this ain't Marry Poppins.

I would like to add that this would be a wry attempt at humor. I actually...kinda, not much really, but sorta...agree with Wetlander. But my mindset just doesn't allow me to do anything but look at a character such as Cadsuane with anything but misgivings, distrust and, particularly, dislike. I don't hate her, but I cannot ever see myself in a situation where I'd want anything to do with her either...thus the reason I keep going to bat on Rand's side. People like Cadsuane get under my skin...especially because they are intelligent, capable people with worthwhile knowledge to impart...after all, you don't live to 280+ without your head on straight...but the problem is that they don't know how to interact with others without some holier-than-thou air of superiority. I think Mr Jordan wanted us to feel this way about this character because he knew from the beginning he was going to throw her MOA out there in such a way that we'd all sit back and say, “Holy shit.”

Also, again, that link = humor. I DO NOT see Cadsuane as channeling perhaps one of the most evil character's to ever slough her way onto the screen.


edit: Opps, forgot the quote codes. Also, drop the zero, move the one = 13.
Alice Arneson
302. Wetlandernw
Wall - O - Text Warning: This is a doozy, even for me.

Okay, I have to admit that a lot of this is me having fun playing devil's advocate; when too many people are jumping on a bandwagon, I just have to find the other wagon to jump on for the fun of throwing stones. ;)

That said, though, one of the very interesting things about participating in this reread and the ensuing discussion is the way my perspective has changed on some of the characters. Part of it is the love of playing DA - once you start defending someone, or at least finding rationale for their behavior, you tend to think more charitably of them. RJ was known to say that his favorite character tended to be the one he was writing at the moment (or something like that), and I think this may be related.

Warning: TGS spoilerificness ahead, just in case anyone needs the warning.

Cadsuane is probably the single character undergoing the greatest revision in my attitude/opinion. She used to grate on me no end, and my sympathy was ALL with Rand. (She does have some great one-liners, though, which were always fun as long as they were aimed at one of the AS - which they mostly were. Witness her first words in this chapter...!) As I mentioned before, I don't take kindly to being told what to do, especially when I don't see any valid claim to authority for the other person. So, yeah, I always got mad at her. But....

Talk about needing to do her homework? She's spent the last 200+ years studying men who could channel. Not in the Red Ajah sense, where they searched for such men for the sole purpose of taking them to the Tower (if they bothered) and gentling them. I'm sure she did gentle them, after assuring herself that they weren't the DR, but there's none of the Red vindictiveness about it. If she was to be of any help to the DR when he came, it might be good to know as much as possible about men who could channel and what they go through; not like a Brown, examining specimens, but with a practical eye to what the DR will have to cope with and how he can hope to do so.

Talk about the Green Ajah being useless in battle? Cadsuane has spent her time, not messing around with battles between petty nobles or kingdoms, but preparing for the Last Battle, the one that really matters, which (as we now know) will not be fought as Rand expects. Who knows how it will be fought? If anyone Lightside is likely to have a clue at this point, it's Cadsuane - she's been studying it from every angle she could find for the last 200+ years.

She's been doing her reading, too. As Min pores over those books she acquired from Herin Fel's shelves, we find that Cadsuane has not only read them, but studied them in depth. As a cluebat for the reader, we have a fair amount of confidence that Min's studies will prove crucial to Rand; otherwise it's a waste of paper to have her do all that studying. (We all have our opinions about RJ "wasting paper" in the series, but I haven't yet heard anyone say that he wrote a major aspect of a major character just to throw it away as a red herring.) So if Min's studies are critical, and Cadsuane has already come to some of the same conclusions she's reaching (contrary to the usual interpretations) about those same books, I have to think she's been doing her homework.

All that, to say that I think the cry of "incompetent" is leveled a little too quickly at a character with an abrasive personality. (BTW, blindillusion, while I agree that abrasive doesn't necessarily equal strong, I would argue that it doesn't necessarily preclude it either. Just saying.) Her lack of tolerance for Rand's temper tantrums, while annoying to those of us who have seen his POV and sympathize with him, is really pretty understandable even from the superficial perspective of the age difference. I suspect it goes much deeper than that, however. Quite possibly, over her years of finding men who channel, she has learned that maintaining sanity has a great deal to do with self-discipline, humor, and keeping in touch with humanity - one's own humanity, and that of loved ones. Giving him a reason, however inadequate, some reason to control his temper may be more important than we realize.

Rand's mistake may be that he only seeks advice (if you can call it that) for dealing with "affairs of state" things - nations, treaties, bargains, and such top-level things. He never recognizes that what he really needs is to learn from her what she knows about dealing with the "essence of the DO." What she has learned in 200+ years of interacting with men who had to cope with the taint on saidin could be critical not only to those affected by the taint before saidin was cleansed, but also to Rand as he has touched (or been touched by) the True Power.

Obviously, there are a lot of aspects of the interaction between Cadsuane, Rand, and various other characters that I haven't even mentioned, and I know a lot of that is where the "hate mail" comes from. I'd like to talk about her rights and responsibilities as Aes Sedai, her bedside manner, the differences in the TGS portrayal, and loads of other things. But this is already long, and it's late, and I have to be functional tomorrow. Just want you to know I'm not oblivious to those questions, but can't do it tonight. Fear not, my friends, Cadsuane will be with us for many posts to come... ;)

Well, that's enough essay for tonight. More food for thought, discussion, stone-throwing, pie-throwing (make mine chocolate!), bird-feeding or whatever rings your bell tomorrow.

BTW, I can't believe nobody was even willing to touch the Dolly Parton question...

Splash!™
Thomas Keith
303. insectoid
Wet @302: Does that mean you know the answer? ;)

EDIT: Oopsie... forgot bbCode again. Ain't I silly!

Feed the Bzzz™.
nor3
304. FellKnight
@ various Re: Mary Poppins:

I love it. However, for those looking for a curent reference, how about the Supernannies. You have kids acting like total (insert profanity here), kinda like Rand, and the way they deal with it on the show, the "effective" way, is to barge in, take control, and put up with nothing from nobody.

I always found Cadsuane entirely believable. I certainly don't hate her. I think she has made some mistakes, as have all of RJ's "next-step-to-the-Creator" characters, but that she has always had the best interests of the world in view (i.e. not of the Tower, like so many other Aes Sedai).

Perhaps those here that hate Caddy so much are, for the most part, the ones who first read her character as teenagers who really resented that whole style of parenting/control ;)

Just a thought.

Fell

p.s. @ wetlandernw 302, nice wall of text. I have to agree. Excellent analysis.
Marcus W
305. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 302:

I understand the perspective you're speaking of here, and I agree in part. I do think that Cadsuane handles Rand's temper pretty well, in general. I don't think it was wise of her to provoke him to revealing his temper quite so quickly.

I agree that she's done more than most (perhaps even any) to study the coming battles and prepare. What I don't think she's doing well, however, is actually sharing her knowledge. Not just with Rand, but with anyone who might be able to use it. This comes again to the oft discussed lack of communication between all parties in these novels. Cadsuane seems (to me) to enjoy holding herself in all her vaunted wisdom apart and above everyone else so much that she is rarely willing to share unless it's to dribble choice bits to the others like feeding morsels to a dog.

I don't think she's as wise as a lot of other people do. She is too busy viewing things from the Aes Sedai perspective, keeping herself apart and above. I'd have thought that her experience would have taught her that such lofty pretensions don't really do much service to anyone. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Finally, I seriously doubt that Cadsuane knows much more about what the coming battle with the DO will really entail than anyone. I'd be shocked if she's ever even heard of the True Power, much less have much knowledge with which to guide Rand in his exposure to it.

Finally, if all her experience with men who can channel amounts to treating them like children (like AS do with everyone) then I'm not sure it's particularly helpful.

But that's just one guy's opinion.
Barry T
306. blindillusion
Wetlander ~ Yep. Playing Devil's advocate is fun, isn't it? I mentioned on the Spoiler thread I'd lost my passion for this series somewhere between Crossroads of Twilight and Knife of Dreams...well, it's been this site, and the discussions, and the opposing viewpoints that have brought me home in a way. I mean, if everyone had the same thoughts about all the characters, and plot-lines, this re-read would have died a long time ago…and Mr Jordan would have stopped writing this series around the Dragon Reborn. So, bring it on =). While it may seem I threw in the towel at 301…I’m sure I can still come up with ways to defend everything Rand does.

Also, yes…abrasive does not necessarily preclude strong…but it does render it impotent. I mean…what’s the point, really?

And Fell's right, in a way. I was a teenager when I first read Cadsuane. But as I didn't have controlling parents, my dislike of her really had nothing to do with "parenting", though as a young teenager I'd already started forming my complete hatred of “control” and my distrust in the establishment…which eventually lead me to my anti-establishment views.

And finally…Wetlander…do you have an answer to the Dolly Parton question? I mentioned it at 180, but I don’t know much about Dolly Parton. I liked 9 to 5 well enough, but I haven’t seen it in years…and I don’t really listen to her brand of music.

Last minute add-on…I spoke to Cadsuane’s knowledge about men who can channel, among other things, in 190. Toryx reminded me I wanted to add it somewhere…but I’m not rewriting this thing.
nor3
307. Gentleman Farmer
@304 FellKnight

My initial reaction is to be defensive and insist that I wasn't a teenager when I first read CoS, but then again I think my mindset may still be teenager-like, so I suppose I can't argue the point too much.

However, in regards to the reason I dislike Cadsuane, I think it's twofold. One within the context of the text of the books, and the other how she is written.

Within the context of the series, I disagree that she has the best interests of the world at heart. I agree with Toryx @305, that she's more interested in hoarding wisdom and power to herself than in sharing it or being helpful with it.

I see a lot of what she does as being for her own glorification and puffing up her own sense of self importance. She may want to decrease Rand's swelled head and may for some reason think that's useful, but while doing it she's constantly trying to increase her own sense of her importance. As an example, continually indicating that crowns don't impress her, and how high she has stood above kings and queens in the past. She's also not prepared to acknowledge how much Rand has accomplished, and how much higher he stands than anyone she's ever met.

My bigger problem though, was one of my first comments on this thread, which is that I don't buy how she's written in. I don't buy that the Aiel would let her in to see Rand, or that Rand and the Asha'man wouldn't strike out and probably kill her. As the series continues, I don't really buy that Rand would have anything to do with her. To my mind, that's the greatest fault a character can have - jarring me out of my sense that the story is believable or making me wake up and see that characters "wouldn't really act like that, but I guess they have to for the purposes of the story".

I'll talk about it in more detail when we get to a discussion of Min's viewing of Cadsuane, but it seems to me a slightly jarring plot device. It strikes me as being inserted as an excuse for Cadsuane to be around when there is no valid character reason Rand would keep her around. My issue is, annoying, obnoxious or detestable characters are fine, but we need to understand why other characters would put up with them in the context of the story. In that regard, I find the excuses to keep Cadusane around to generally be difficult to justify, and rely on other characters acting inconsistently or illogically based on their knowledge and previous experience. Thus far, Cadsuane is one of the few characters in the series that requires this suspension of disbelief (Tuon perhaps being the other) and a simple acceptance that characters are acting this way because the story requires them to do so, so (perhaps illogically) I dislike her for it.
April Vrugtman
308. dwndrgn
All this discussion about Cadsuane is fascinating (truly) but all I really want to know right now is what is with the Dolly Parton mention? Anyone?
Bonnie Andrews
309. misfortuona
Good Morning
Well I see everyone was busy last night, some more than others. I see you Wetlander ;)

I love the wall of text defending Cads, excellent job, and you've converted me. NOT.
Sorry I'm good with the 200 years of experience and yep she MAYBE knows stuff that's going to help in the final battle, but still you don't come into someone's house and threaten them and then expect them to listen to your advice. A lesson that if she hasn't learned in her 280 years, makes me question what she has learned.

“Some fought to the bitter end, kicking and screaming even after they were shielded and bound. Some wept and begged, offering gold, anything, their very souls, not to be taken to Tar Valon. Still others wept from relief, meek as lambs, thankful finally to be done with it. Light’s truth, they all weep, at the end. There is nothing left for them but tears at the end.”


Don't know about anyone else but that sounds like a threat to me, and I'm not a twenty year old with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Sorry good try, but still Love the character, Hate what she does.

Mis-sticking to my guns
Barry T
310. blindillusion
Mis-

You're always fun to read.

And I'm going to agree with dwndrgn.

I'm going on a writer's strike until the Dolly Parton issue is addressed. Well, no, not really. But still....
Ron Garrison
311. Man-0-Manetheran
FellKnight @ 304:
Supernannies! Excellent reference.

Wetlandernw @ 302:
Superb essay.

misfortuana @ 309
That may sound like a threat to you, but it does not sound like a threat to my ears. Sorry.

Dolly Parton
OK, I can't find the Dolly Parton reference. I've gone back over Leigh's synopsis and commentary, and I haven't found it. However, I wouldn't be surprised if it has to do with Joline. I can't help but hear Dolly whenever Joline comes on the scene.
Bonnie Andrews
312. misfortuona
Blind
Thanks.
Now on DP. Since you were the first to mention that southern bell, could you at least let us know where this reference comes from? I'm really glad to hear that other people are as clueless as I am.

MOM
Read the quote again, maybe threat isn't exactly the right word, but she certainly doesn't make it sound like he can expect anything positive from an association with her.

Mis-heading for Dollywood
Barry T
313. blindillusion
Hmm, Suppernannies. Not a very good reference, IMHO. Kinda saying Rand is nothing more than a spoiled child in the middle of a temper tantrum. And intro Cadsuane to teach him to to mind his manners, listen to his elders and be a good boy. Phsst.

Rand was given a soup sandwich and a knife and told to eat up. All this really goes back to an earlier discussion about Rand not having an Alfred. He doesn't need someone else in his life telling him to button his shirt and clean behind his ears. He needs a confidant. Could Cadsuane of been this confidant? Yes. Did she go in to be such, no.

M-o-M, again IMHO, the passage Mis provided doesn't read as a threat to me either, but it does go a long way towards showing that Cadsuane has a vast amount of experience in the wrong arena. No, her treat is shown in the passage Wind mentioned at 294.
Bonnie Andrews
314. misfortuona
Re DP

Re-read the post and comments again. MOM might have it with Joline, but maybe it's her calling us Pigeons in the sign off.

Dollywood is in Pigeon Forge Tennessee

Mis-checked here first

edit Yep Wind's quote is far better
Ron Garrison
315. Man-0-Manetheran
Blind/Mis - so where is this Dolly reference?
Sam Mickel
316. Samadai
Dolly reference,

How about the plunging neck of the dress of the maid, Caira
Barry T
317. blindillusion
And we out! Have a jauntily jolly weekend, my pigeons(?), and see you next time!


It's in Leigh's Outro under her commentaries.
Bonnie Andrews
318. misfortuona
MOM
I didn't find anything specific in the text. The best I could do is when she says
And we out! Have a jauntily jolly weekend, my pigeons, and see you next time!

First I knew was Blind mentioning it at 180. I've been trying to figure out what he was talking about ever since.

Mis-sing something, well lots of somethings but...

[i]Thanks Blind, but what does this mean? [i]
Ron Garrison
319. Man-0-Manetheran
Hmmm. OK, major disconnect. I don't get a Dolly Parton hit from "pigeons."
Bonnie Andrews
320. misfortuona
Hey MOM, I was reaching. Pigeon Forge - pigeons. I don't know. I'm still not sure Blind didn't start this whole thing just to mess with us.

Mis-confused
Barry T
321. blindillusion
What, calling us pigeons? Well, DP is about as Southern as one can get. And I can't count the number of times I was called "pigeon" by a few of my extremely Southern aunts, typically the older ones. It seems like something I've heard DP say before...but I could be wrong.

Note: Not that I'm saying Leigh reminds me of my older aunts...as they'd probably "have a case of the vapors" if they read Leigh's comments.

Hi Leigh. **waves** How bout them Saints?

edit: I didn't start it to mess with you guys. Leigh issued the challenge:
Hello! Fancy meeting you here. Wheel of Time Re-read? Why, I thought you’d never ask. I live but to serve!

Today’s post covers Chapters 17 and 18 of A Crown of Swords, in which we spin complex psychological rationales, temporarily lose an old friend, and gain a dreaded frenemy.

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 without further ado, dig in, old chap!

Marcus W
322. toryx
I'm just imagining Leigh being highly amused by everyone's attempt to get the Dolly reference. I haven't been able to find it myself, but then, I'm not that knowledgeable about Dolly.
Bonnie Andrews
323. misfortuona
Hey, I'm not sure who started this whole Dolly thing, but... we've managed to fill the latest comment list with WOT for the first time in days.

Mis-still wondering why we know there is a Dolly reference
Ron Garrison
324. Man-0-Manetheran
"And I can't count the number of times I was called 'pigeon' by a few of my extremely Southern aunts"

Ooo. I just had a Mat/Tylin flash. Scary. Especially since I associate "pigeon" with being the victim of a con game.
Bonnie Andrews
325. misfortuona
Hmm. She might call him pigeon somewhere. I know she calls him duckling.
I'm not sure I'd call what she's doing to Mat conning him, but that's just me.

I am so going to enjoy those chapters, but still nothing better on the DP thing.

Mis
Tricia Irish
326. Tektonica
Wet@302:

Your thoughts are always insightful and gives me a more rounded view of Cads, but like Mis, I still gotta go with, Yuck. I think her methods leave MUCH to be desired, like the below:

He never recognizes that what he really needs is to learn from her what she knows about dealing with the "essence of the DO." What she has learned in 200+ years of interacting with men who had to cope with the taint on saidin could be critical not only to those affected by the taint before saidin was cleansed, but also to Rand as he has touched (or been touched by) the True Power.

OK, so why doesn't she INPART that information to him? He doesn't know what questions to ask! Does she really tell him anything helpful? OK, she was uselful at the cleansing, but she's not giving out any information. I agree with Blind and toryx and Mis and The Gent...she is self-aggrandizing. She does alot of just hanging around, observing and makes no real efforts to get to know Rand.

And she does just seem "dropped" into the plot. I do enjoy her as a provocative character...just look at this thread....but I sure don't like her, and I don't think she has been successful with Rand......and it's her own damn fault.

Wish I had time to compose something better, but I'm in a hurry. Guests leaving TODAY. It's been fun, but life will be calmer soon! Thanks all for providing great bedtime reading!
Barry T
327. blindillusion
Edited my post to reflect Leigh's challenge? Just want to put it out there...Not messing with you guys. =)

Umm...maybe next time I'll just keep quiet. So...does anyone think Merana may have overreacted just a tad?

Umm, I got nothing.
Marcus W
328. toryx
Yep, the reason you guys are having trouble finding the Dolly challenge is because it was on the jump text to the entry on the main Tor.com page, not in the text of the post itself.

If that makes any sense to you whatever. It'd probably make more sense to people who use livejournal, since it does the same exact thing.
Marcus W
329. toryx
Incidentally, my knowledge of Dolly Parton extends to Steel Magnolias, 9 to 5 and her duet with Kenny Rogers, Islands in the Stream.

Now while just seeing the title of that song is enough to get it stuck in MY head for days, I'd have thought chapters that did that to Leigh would have something to do with Tar Valon or something like that.
Ron Garrison
330. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks toryx (and blind. I see you have edited)!
""

OK, my money is on "Joline" (see my post at 311 for the link) because it's one of those songs you can't get out of your head, and Leigh being a southern gal and all...

Spill it Leigh! What do I win????
Steven Pattingale
331. Pattingale
Perhaps the evil plan was to make this thread be the on the search engine results list when some searched for Dolly? :)
nor3
332. LeighDB-B-messin-W/ya
M-O-M,

You win a no expense paid trip to your hometown.



this is not really Leigh, just a regular messing w/ you
Bonnie Andrews
333. misfortuona
Okay thank you Torax and Blind
Now I understand. Apparently we don't get the jump text in Canada that you do. My guess is that it shows up where the Gov of Can anti drug program stuff shows up here.

MOM's probably got it. There's a spot where Leigh ends one sentence and then starts the next with Joline. If all the other references to her aren't enough to get the song going, certainly reading that would.

Mis-content till we hear different

WOT stuff. During my multiple re-reads I got to thinking about the scene with Rand and the Aiel and the difference between how the clan chiefs deal with Rand and ‘she who has monopolized this thread even more than Dolly’. They have conversations with the man. What a concept.

LeighDB-B-messin-W/ya 'Whoever you are' ROFLMAO
Alice Arneson
335. Wetlandernw
I'm ducking in quickly to make a comment that occurred to me after I went to bed last night. I almost got up and did it then, but... nah.

So I was thinking about those of you who were disappointed when you discovered the secret of Cadsuane's ter'angreals. I have exactly the opposite reaction. See, I think it takes a special kind of stupid to walk in and tweak the nose of someone who can tie you up like a pretzel and stuff you in a hole to nowhere. (The fact that Rand didn't try is some testimony to his not having completely lost it yet.) Now I grant you that the WT has very nearly trademarked that special kind of stupid; we've seen quite a few AS take that approach. I found it a bit of a relief that this "legendary" AS is actually smarter than that; she tweaked his nose a lot harder, so she was either being stupider than most, or (as we now know) she had a valid reason to be that confident. I prefer the latter. Then again, I'm not committed to hating her, so I prefer finding her smart-and-crafty instead of arrogant-and-stupid. ;)

Okay, so she is arrogant. At least she's not stupid, or at least not in that way. And since I'm here this early, I'm going to comment on a couple of other comments.

At one time I'd have agreed about "hoarding knowledge" but I'm not so sure now. I'm thinking especially of the scene in TGS with Cadsuane, Min and Beldeine, when Min thinks out loud that the commentary she's reading is wrong. Beldeine dismisses her very condescendingly, sort of "Oh, doesn't she think she's cute, trying to pretend she's studying like the big kids." Cadsuane essentially tells Beldeine that she's being blinded by the fact that Min is not AS, and that she agrees with Min. There could be several interpretations to this. One, as many of you firmly believe, she's been withholding information until someone else "outs" it. Two, she could be unsure that her view makes any sense and was waiting for someone else to reach the same conclusion to see if it's valid. (Kind of like those times when, if you say a word enough times, it doesn't even sound like a word any more... when you've done too many rounds with a particular concept, you're not sure you can even see it straight any more.) Three, she could be allowing people to come to their own independent conclusions instead of doing the "I'm AS, so I'm right; stop trying to think and just take it from me." She may still call Min "child," but from her it's more a statement of fact than the overweening condescension of so many AS. And I'm betting Min got a lot more encouragement from hearing her independent conclusion confirmed by Cadsuane than almost anything else would have given her.

Oh, and FellKnight @304 - I think you're right about her view of the world vs. the White Tower. The WT is useful and all, but I've never really seen her paying more than lip service to it. Not that she'd let anyone else get away with being disrespectful, but I think she has a lot more accurate view than most.

toryx @305 - I'm not saying she does know all about how TG will be fought, or how to help Rand. I'm saying she's got a better chance than anyone else of knowing, because she's had a couple hundred years devoted to researching it and she's learned to think outside the box (or the tower, more accurately). She's gone off and done some very non-traditional study, so she has some "decidedly odd" ideas that may be much more accurate than the traditional assumptions. No, I'm not sure she knows, but she might. Nobody else seems to, that's for sure.

GentlemanFarmer @306 and various... Sorry, can't help you there. If you feel she's an awkward plot device, I don't think there's much anyone can do for you. Sucks to be you - you've got a lot of Cadsuane to live with upcoming. ;)

Dolly - Since I'm not a huge fan or anything, I admit my knowledge is limited. However, my immediate reaction was to think of these two passages:
She was pretty despite a touch of gray inher hair, and her marriage knife nestled in roundness that normally would have drawn his eyes like moths to a candle, yet looking at her that way...
and
Today she wore shimmering sliver silk, thin and clinging and more suited to entertaining a lover in private. In fact, had the neckline been a hair lower, she would not have been able to wear the dress in public. As it was, he was not sure she should.... Looking only at her eyes was not easy...
Not sure that's what Leigh was thinking, but that's what popped into my head.

Sorry for another wall...
Marcus W
336. toryx
So basically, when most people think of Dolly, they think of cleavage.

Interesting. :)
Tess Laird
336. thewindrose
blind - Umm...maybe next time I'll just keep quiet. So...does anyone think Merana may have overreacted just a tad?

Yes, I do think she was overreacting - on purpose!
She was 'stuck' behind the wall of silence created by Rand, and Rand wasn't let her do anything but serve drinks. So in comes Cadsuane - a legend to Aes Sedai -and she was not about to miss this. So the dramatic 'don't hurt him' which gets her out of the 'silence box' and into action, and she can justify this to herself, both the 3 oaths and her oath to Rand, because she knows of the legends and manner of Cadsuane.

And, I can't help with Dolly, don't know much about her. But, the Ebou Dari love to call their pretties pigeons.

tempest™
Ron Garrison
337. Man-0-Manetheran
Wetlandernw @ 335 - re. "hoarding knowledge"
There is a pretty common story trope of "had I told you then, you wouldn't have believed me." Glinda to Dororthy at the end of WoOz, for instance. We might actually see something like this in the upcoming books.

and Cads vs. White Tower:
Yes, she is more of an independent studies person. She turned down being named ajah head twice and when they started talking about making her Amyrlin, she up and disappeared.
Bonnie Andrews
338. misfortuona
Wet
I love your wall's of text. They always get me thinking; well I'm always thinking it's just that mostly I'm thinking wrong. Anyway this time I actually liked Cads during the instance that you quote with Min and the book. One of several where I forgot I was supposed to hate her.

Honestly it doesn't surprise me that it's difficult to get Cads to share knowledge.
She's spent forever hiding her thoughts from pretty much everyone and old habits are hard to break.
The reasons that she does are simple, first of all she's AS, and it seems to come with the package. We don't tell anyone, not even other AS, what we know. It's in the manual.

Secondly there's that old adage, "It's better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt," Well in Cad's case her silence hasn't left people thinking her a fool, but a legend. Wouldn't want to raise the curtain on that would we.
So yeah, she holds back her thoughts until someone else says something, then go all "Of course that's it. So glad you finally worked it out." And the idea and the legend remain hers.

Seems like a good idea actually. Of course the time for building legend and protecting secrets has passed. TG approaches start sharing some of that wisdom before its needed.
Dang it. I almost did a whole pro-Cadsuane post.

I'm trying Wet, really I am.

Mis-devil's advocate almost
Marcus W
339. toryx
Blindillusion @ 327 & thewindrose @ 336:

Actually, I don't think Merana was faking it. She's had a lot of severe shocks to her system lately; the way everything went bad in Andor, the whole business of giving her oath, trying to accept her new position of servitude to the Dragon Reborn...

Then in comes Cadsuane who is not only a legend, but partially legendary for finding men who can channel and gentling them. Given that Merana's nerves are already fried, seeing the Lofty One Herself walk through the door as though she owns the place, I'll bet the first thing she feared was that Cadsuane had come to gentle Rand.

The very notion of someone that powerful (Cadsuane) gentling the Dragon Reborn was just too much for her, so she freaked. Perfectly reasonable, when you get right down to it.

This also gives me the impression that Cadsuane was sort of known for stepping into the middle of things and doing her own thing without much regard for the consequences.
Bonnie Andrews
340. misfortuona
OH Gosh Darn Golly Gee I forgot.
The nature of the information that Cad's has.

Most of what she knows isn't the kind of thing that she could share even if she was inclined. Not exactly tea chat.

The AS (most at least) didn't want to hear about the BA or about men who could channel, other than the reds. (Actually did Cad's know anything about the Blacks?)

The stuff she learned from the legendary Norla apparently wasn't meant for general knowledge, and since she spent so much time away from the tower who was she going to share most of this with anyway.

Ha, short but I did it. Now let the flaming poo fly

Mis-improving

Torax@339 absolutly agree.
Marcus W
341. toryx
misfortuona @ 338:

The reasons that she does are simple, first of all she's AS, and it seems to come with the package. We don't tell anyone, not even other AS, what we know. It's in the manual.

That's part of what irritates me so freaking much. I don't know about the rest of you, but part of what growing older and gaining wisdom means to me is re-examining all the stupid things I used to think were true and realizing that my younger self wasn't so bright after all.

If Cadsuane has been spending so much time out of the world, learning things and preparing for the Last Battle, why is she more an Aes Sedai rather than less a one?

To put it another way: Does the consensus of the WoT readers on this forum think that the Aes Sedai way of doing things -- i.e., keeping secrets, manipulating and pushing people around, etc. -- are smart, wise things to be doing?

If so then it stands to reason that Cadsuane in all her years of experience and increasing wisdom only led her to be more withdrawn and all high-and-mighty. On the other hand, if you're like me and you think that the Aes Sedai way of putting themsevles on a pedestal above everyone else and manipulating the world like it's a puppet show is actually pretty foolish (and even childish to a degree) then wouldn't it make more sense for someone who has gone out into the world and experienced it in a way no other Aes Sedai has would have learned other ways to deal with people?

In my mind, it's very simple. Cadsuane's experience and knowledge should lead her to knowing better ways of doing things, not the typical, standard, "Aes Sedai" way. She should have broken free of the package, not become the ideal of the AS package.

On the other hand, maybe my viewpoint is flawed. I'm far more an individualist than a "Let's not rock the boat" kinda guy. That's what experience taught me and I'm probably in the minority there.
Barry T
342. blindillusion
Toryx ~ ::claps:: Nicely put.

And rock the boat? *wicked grin* Let's not only rock it...let's capsize it...or maybe even scuttle it.
Ron Garrison
343. Man-0-Manetheran
Hmmm. Now I would definitely put Cadsuane in the "Boat Rocker" category...
Bonnie Andrews
344. misfortuona
Blind
Now I see why you aren't a navy man. LOL
Tess Laird
345. thewindrose
Fish guts! There do be siverpike swimming in your brain.(I don't know where that came from - I am just being silly)
I think a lot of us like rocking the boat:)

tempest™
Barry T
346. blindillusion
Mis
Yep. Army. And I know lots of Warrant Officers. Rescue by helicopter. Anyone want a lift?
Bonnie Andrews
347. misfortuona
Blind
I'll keep you in mind next time I'm sinking, or maybe you could keep an eye out, cause sometimes I don't realize just how far I'm in over my head.

Mis-sputtering

Gads it's a good thing tomorow's Friday at this rate the lot of us will need rescue
Marcus W
348. toryx
I realize that when I used the whole "boat rocking" term that Cadsuane does tend to do her own thing. Yet she's as Aes Sedai as they come.

But that only made me think of something else. If she has dedicated her entire life to preparing for the last battle and that was truly her purpose in life...why not allow herself to be chosen Amyrlin? If she's as brilliant as she seems, wouldn't it have been better for the whole world if she'd been in charge at the Tower than either Siuane or Elaida?

I wonder if she got a Foretelling at some point. Hmm.
Barry T
349. blindillusion
Maybe she wanted to/felt the need to shirk her responsibility?
=)
Bonnie Andrews
350. misfortuona
Toryx
The Amyrlin is forced to stay in Tar Valan. Yes she could have been in charge, but then she would have had to let someone else go out into the world and deal with the male channelers.
More and more I'm begining to hope that Norla isn't just a red herring and something is to come of Cad's time with the wilder.

mis-serious for just a moment
Ron Garrison
351. Man-0-Manetheran
"why not allow herself to be chosen Amyrlin?"

Good question toryx. When she shows up, we know she has been gone so long most AS think her dead. In New Spring, she is featured, and Siuan and Moiraine are just new to the shawl, so all in all, it probably was a long time ago. Certainly pre-Siuan and Elaida.

"when Cadsuane was about twenty-five, she begins earning her hair ornaments" from Norla. We also know that she hadn't learned everything about her hair ornaments even yet. Being Amyrlin would definitely keep her in the Tower and away from the Black Hills.
Jack Diamond
352. violetdancer
Since everyone ignored my comment at 124, I'll restate.

All Cadsuane's experience and knowledge may have led her to believe that a forceful entry was the only way to get Rand's attention. She didn't come covered in road dust from a long journey and most likely went first to her lodgings to clean up. At Arilyn's palace she learned he'd been kidnapped and held prisoner for a while before being carted to the Tower. She deduced that he escaped somehow, but also that he'd likely not trust any AS without some good reason.

I can compare her entry to that of The Cleaner (Harvey Keitel) in Pulp Fiction, which had a better outcome. Both came in like a whirlwind with a "Don't mess with me. I'm a legend!" attitude, but Harv gave out just enough info and possible consequences to ignoring his advice to get the desired compliance.

Cadsuane is one of my favorite characters because I still can't figure her out.
Marcus W
353. toryx
Man-O @ 351:

Well the problem is, there's at least a century and a half between her getting her experience from Norla and the present day. I seriously doubt that she was anywhere near to being considered for Amyrlin that young.

Far more likely the Tower started talking about her becoming Amyrlin many years later after she was already a legend. I can't imagine she wouldn't have already been out in the world for decades before talk of her becoming Amyrlin came up. So I don't see how her becoming the legend she is and being Amyrlin are in any way a conflict.

violetdancer @ 352:

Sorry, I originally saw your comment. I just didn't have much to offer in disagreement or agreement with it. I think there was plenty of opportunity for Cadsuane to learn a great deal before confronting Rand. If she did learn a lot and still pushed Rand the way she did then it makes me question her wisdom. If she approached Rand without getting info on him I still question her wisdom.

The entire scene essentially makes me question her wisdom. But I've already discussed that at length.
Thomas Keith
354. insectoid
Well, we have been busy... 50 posts since I last looked! At this rate we'll reach 400 before the new post;)

Annnnnnd... I've got nothing else to say that hasn't been said yet. Except to note that Sub and Free haven't been around for awhile. (Selling vacuums?)

Bzzz™.
Bonnie Andrews
355. misfortuona
Violetdancer@352
Just because I can't seem to stop today.
The only thing I really have to add is that it occured to me that Alannah going from weepy to angry during Rand's earlier meeting, might well have been in response to Cadsuane's arrival.
It aint much but that's all I got. Sorry.

Insectoid
(Selling vacuums?)LOL
To each other maybe? Or a new team?

Mis-this is great therapy much better than twitching
Tricia Irish
356. Tektonica
You all are certainly giving me a more "well rounded" view of Cads, and for that, I thank you. It should make the rest of her scenes in the books more enjoyable.

Toryx, well put. She should know better, but then that's what I've thought all along.

On the way back from the airport today, I got some peace and quiet to think and it occurred to me to ask this question:

How would you, personally, react if someone burst into your home without ringing the bell, ignored the questions you asked about who they were and what they wanted, called you "boy or child", intimated that you were going nuts or would soon, and allowed that they knew just how to deal with the craziness (channelling) by causing a killing depression? Then they ordered your family to leave, and some others to accompany them out?

To the various defenders of Cads here; Are we to assume that you would be "intrigued" by these actions? I found Cads behavior outrageous and totally rude! Remember we, and Rand knew nothing about who she was or her vaunted AS reputation at this point in the books. Frankly, I am amazed he didn't balefire her....especially after Merana's blurt.

(And by the by, I think Merana was genuinely concerned for Rand's well being, but also, she didn't want to be caught standing in a "cone of silence" in the corner!)

All the justification of "why" Cads did what she did is just that, justification.
That she never really made much headway with her stated purpose of keeping Rand human, never really gained his trust as his advisor, and nearly totally blew it with him losing control in tGS, I'd say her tactics weren't great.

We also still don't have a clue what she knows and doesn't know, in spite of the Norla connection. I hope she knows something useful, because god knows, Rand needs all the help he can get.

And don't forget Verin! She's been studying and wandering a bit too...hopefully, she'll leave some letters of wisdom around too. Gee, a good conversation with Cads and Verin would've been nice, had they ever really gained each other's trust.

This has been a very fun discussion and I've sure learned a lot, thank you! I'm looking forward to more Mat! And another can of worms!! I love you guys!
April Vrugtman
357. dwndrgn
My money is on 'Jolene'

Just look at the opening lines:

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I'm begging of you please don't take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene


Reading and writing about Joline from the book would have put this little nugget in her brain. The song is very catchy too and would easily continue repeating ad nauseum, though I prefer Mindy Smith's version (she has Dolly singing some background on it too).
Ron Garrison
358. Man-0-Manetheran
Tek: "I'm looking forward to more Mat! And another can of worms!!"
And then the "R" word will be "rape" instead of "rude". Fun. Fun. Fun.
Barry T
359. blindillusion
Hmm..."well rounded" view of Cadsuane.... I'd like a "well rounded" view of Cadsuane...through the scope of a high-powered rifle!! Mwahahahhaha.

Just Kidding! Sorry, I’m feeling a little giddy today. Get to go pick up the family in Mississippi. I’m really looking forward to it.

And ahh, love you too Tek. This discussion has been loads of fun, hasn't it.... Goes a long way towards showing the quality of posters here that this whole thing hasn’t exploded into a flame-ing war.
Ron Garrison
360. Man-0-Manetheran
dwndrgn @ 357:
I believe that's
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jo-le-e-ene

And I called it first! :-)
Tricia Irish
361. Tektonica
Blind: Good luck getting the family! Hope it's not snowing where you are! Don't be gone tooooo long now.....lots of new fun to come here!

Safe travels!
Joseph Blaidd
362. SteelBlaidd
M-o-M@337
There is a pretty common story trope of "had I told you then, you wouldn't have believed me." Glinda to Dororthy at the end of WoOz, for instance. We might actually see something like this in the upcoming books.
In Cadsuane's upcoming confrence with Sorela we get Sorela sharein the Wise Ones' observation that Rand would be very mistrustful of anything offered up freey, so Cadsuane waiting for him to ask before she gives council is entirely consistant with the best way to get him to listen to it.

Misfortuna@309: I hear no threat in her recitation of her experiance with male chanelers. A she says herself, she tells him what she has seen so he knows that she has an idea of what he is going through.
Bonnie Andrews
363. misfortuona
Steelblaidd@362
As I said on a later re-read the quote didn't seem so much threatening on its own. But it certainly wouldn't make me feel trusting toward someone if the first thing they did was explain to me how they had left everyone like me broken and crying.

Now see what you've done you've made me complain about her again.

Mis-back off the wagon
Tricia Irish
364. Tektonica
Are you guys all too young to get the "cone of silence" reference....or was it just not funny?

Mis@363: Now don't you go abandoning us. Just because you can see both sides of the argument......
Karen Fox
365. thepupxpert
Tek @ 364 - I'm not too young but where was the reference? I must have missed that.
Ron Garrison
366. Man-0-Manetheran
As Thursday draws this thread to a (very slow) close, I offer for your enjoyment:

The New and Improved Polite Cadsuane Melaidhrin

"Good afternoon, Mr. Al'Thor. I understand you're the new Dragon Reborn. Congratulations! Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Cadsuane Melaidhrin, and I'm nearly 300 years old. Oh, thanks for saying it doesn't show. ::shy blush:: Some of the girls here thought I was dead for at least the last 50 years.
"I do hope you'll forgive me for barging in. I just couldn't wait to meet you! So how are things? Are you enjoying being in charge of saving the world? Such responsibility for one so very young. I do hope you are not hearing disturbing voices. I've known that to happen to men who channel. How dreadful that must be.
"By the way, I have had a lot of contact with male channelers over these many years...such a pity...I felt so sorry for them in the end. If there's anything you would like to know about them, please feel free to ask. I do have a wealth of experience that I'd love to share. And I see you have a couple here with you. I hope they're not causing you any trouble.
"Well, sir, I can see that you're busy, so I'll be getting out of your hair. I hope you don't mind if I take some of the girls here with me. We have a lot of catching up to do. Oh, and by the way, I do have some important information for you about defeating the Dark One, so we really need to sit down some day and chat. Call me when you have a moment! Ta-Ta."

Now wasn't that refreshing?
Bonnie Andrews
367. misfortuona
Tek
Absolutly get the reference. I guess I just haven't thought about old max in a while. Ahh, yes now see they could have used a good shoe phone in Randland. :)

And heaven forbid I leave you all. I've been bitten and I start foaming at the mouth if I don't get my daily medicine.

Nope you're all stuck with me now.

Mis-hopeless
Tricia Irish
368. Tektonica
Pup:

#356: (And by the by, I think Merana was genuinely concerned for Rand's well being, but also, she didn't want to be caught standing in a "cone of silence" in the corner!)

Glad to know I'm not the only old fart around here!

-Emma P.
Jack Diamond
369. violetdancer
OK, I finally did my reading. Boo-hoo. My paperback copy of ACoS just decided to come apart right in this chapter, spewing loose pages across my desk, but here's my two cents.

Rand just spent time trying to convince the clan chiefs that he was not on an AS string; he's not sure how successful he's been, i.e., he's feeling insecure.

Berelain comes in after that to make demands and try to convince him he's wrong to send her home. Again he's questioning himself because he made the decision not for the reasons he's giving her.

Lews Therin is making comments in his head that he has to suppress. Once more Rand's insecurity comes out.

On top of all this, here comes Cadsuane. I have to also think on the chapter title: "As the Plow Breaks the Earth". Ground has to be tilled before she can plant any seeds. Sure she comes in guns blazing, but it is Rand who makes the first rude remarks, demandin to know who she is and what ajah. At least he has the calm and foresight to tell the Ash'aman and maidens to do nothing.

I don't have any trouble with the way Cadsuane came swooping in to take everyone by surprise. It really was a "Patrick Jain moment" aimed to provoke a response. The the seeds she sows are seeds of doubt re: his sanity and the voice in his head. Presumably this was done to get him to ask her for help in dealing with LTT. The problem I have is that she never altered her tactics after this. Like beating a dead horse that still doesn't do what you want it to.
Tricia Irish
370. Tektonica
MOM@366: LOL

I know you are being sarcastic, but if I were Rand, theDR who had just been beaten up by some other AS, and you approached me that way, I would be stunned to silence! Why, he's never met any AS like that!! How refreshing!

Yes, let's talk!! Finally......someone willing to communicate!

Oh yeah, I forgot, it's the WOT and people don't talk. :-((
But a shoe phone would've been handy.

-Agent 99
Sam Mickel
371. Samadai
For the last couple of days I have been looking up and finding old Quotes from Robert Jordan. I came across this one that gives some information about the Wilder Norla.

From the November,21st, 2003 Spanish magazine, Te Estoy Diciendo Mentiras.

Santiago Domingo. Who was the wilder Norla that Cadsuane met?


Robert Jordan. You are assuming that Cadsuane is right about her being a wilder.


; well who is she then?


RJ; OK, since this doesn't impact the story any; uhm lets see. Norla was the last descendant of one of the Aes Sedai who did not want to join The White Tower when it was founded. Her ancestor had the foretelling and foretold that she and her children had to remain apart from the tower so the Last Battle would not be lost. She had many ter'angreal, and angreal that she had found through out her life that helped her stay undetected by the tower. Her children and on down the line trained in the power at home by there mothers. Norla never had children but finally found someone in who she could entrust her items and knowledge, Cadsuane.


edit for: this is a total fabrication that I made up, do not believe it.
Tricia Irish
372. Tektonica
Sam@371: Good find! So Cads may actually have some info to impart re: the last battle. Excellent. I hope she gets a MOA and can finally actually HELP Rand. Thanks!
Alice Arneson
373. Wetlandernw
Just a thought here... I found this a very telling exchange, although I suspect that what it tells you depends on your prejudices.
"I will ask the questions," Rand said firmly. "You seem to forget. I am the Dragon Reborn." ....

Cadsuane sighed. "You are a young man who has little idea where he is going or why, or what lies ahead...."
Rand is demanding respect for no more valid reason than Cadsuane's really; he can't even claim to have earned his "legend" status, where she at least had to work for it (yes, more than just staying alive long enough to be the oldest AS!). No, I'm not saying Rand is undeserving of respect, but be fair. She's right - DR or not, he is a young man with little idea where he is going, or why, or what lies ahead. She actually gave him a lot of information in this chapter; without insulting his intelligence in front of the whole crowd, she basically told him that she has a lot of experience with channeling men, and not just squishing them like bugs, either. If he hadn't been so busy being paranoid and reading everything as a threat, he could have instead seen an offer of help - or at least information - from someone who, as she says, "knows his future, and his present." If it had occurred to him, he had a golden opportunity handed to him, to ask any questions he might have about what he was experiencing. He might have learned whether the LTT voice was similar to what other men experienced, or whether it was very different. He might have learned that his experience was so different that his concerns about madness were completely unfounded. He might have learned that he was in "classic stage 3 taint-induced madness" or something. We may never know what he might have learned, because he didn't think about her words as an offer, but as a threat. (Of course, Merana's screeching might have had some effect on that view, too. Silly child.)

Having said all that, I also have to point out something that might seem like contradicting what I just said. Someone said that she could have been his confidant if she had approached him differently. I don't see it. Alfred was with the family for a long time; Cadsuane doesn't have that option. Rand doesn't confide in his friends, his "wives", even those he is absolutely sure he can trust. He doesn't trust himself, and he will not confide in anyone, particularly about LTT. I don't see how Cadsuane using a different approach would have changed that. Frankly, the ONLY person I can see becoming Rand's confidant is Tam. He's the only person that Rand knows he can trust to love him unconditionally, to want the best for him, and to help him fulfill his responsibilities manfully. It almost happened in Tear, at the end of TGS, and there's still hope that it might happen fully in another book or two.

By the way, RobM, I was just rereading that scene, and I think you're right. I think Brandon's own perception of Cadsuane came through rather strongly, and differently than I think RJ would have written it. The scene may have been roughly the same, but the specifics of the wording twist the perspective just enough to make her seem more petty and less self-disciplined than I'd have expected.

Oh, and Tektonica, I don't think it's quite the same as bursting into your home and telling your family to leave. It's a palace belonging to the nation of Cairhien, not Rand's personal residence. He's not even in his own rooms; it's more an audience chamber or small throne room setting - remember, the one where
Carved chairs heavy with gilt stood in paired lines to either side of a golden Rising Sun, two paces wide, set into the polished stone floor, and another tall chair so gilded it seemed entirely gold topped a small dais that was just as elaborate...
Cadsuane even allowed the Maidens to announce her, though she didn't wait for his permission to enter, of course. And the only person she "dismissed" was Berelain.

BTW, up there - good call on "Jolene" - I expect you're right. Haven't heard that song in ages; not sure I'd have remembered it was Dolly Parton's if I did hear it. But I'm betting you're right.
Bonnie Andrews
374. misfortuona
MOM@366
Perfect, well written but... not nearly as much fun. IMHO

SAM@371
**Clapping wildly. Excellent find.** But now to wring the knowledge out of Caddy

Mis- doing my part, and Free's and Sub's to get us to 400
Ron Garrison
375. Man-0-Manetheran
Wow! Great find Sam. That's some good intel.

Tek - refreshing perhaps, but crappy character development and novel writing - and as Mis points out: boring

Wet @ 373: "classic stage 3 taint-induced madness" LOL!

also:
"Frankly, the ONLY person I can see becoming Rand's confidant is Tam." And just who's idea was it to bring Tam to Rand? Yup. It didn't go according to plan, but in the end it got him to Dragonmount.
Alice Arneson
376. Wetlandernw
Man-o-Manetheran @366 - ROFL!! Yup, no doubt Rand would have been so pleased, he'd have arranged tea-for-two as soon as he possibly could. Such a pleasant person couldn't possibly be anything other than completely trustworthy, right? ;) Oh, wait, last time anyone came in and flattered him "all over the where" they ended up stuffing him in a box...

violetdancer @369 - bummer about the spewing pages! I hate it when that happens. I think you're right about the level of insecurity present before Cadsuane even walks in the door. Not sure that changing tactics like a weathervane would have gotten her much further along, though, unless keeping him constantly off balance would have helped somehow.

Samadai @371 - Wow, you really had to dig! I'm impressed! It reads a little like he made it up on the spot, but if so he clearly knew exactly what role he was planning for Cadsuane. Given the current discussion, he may have underestimated the impact on the story though. Good find.
Bonnie Andrews
377. misfortuona
MOM
And just who's idea was it to bring Tam to Rand? Yup. It didn't go according to plan, but in the end it got him to Dragonmount.

I vote "Didn't go according to plan" as the understatement of the post.
Can you imagine what would have happened to well everything if what almost happened between them, had?

Wet
Not exactly like bursting into your home, I don't know. It was a private meeting in the palace. And if I'm not mis-taken, Rand was the ruler there at the time. Doesn't that make it his house?

Mis
Barry T
378. blindillusion
Hmm, I guess Dante's Inferno will just have to wait....

I'd have to say Rand is justified in his stance that he is the Dragon Reborn. And no, it's not because he is the Dragon Reborn, but more along the line that he's a scared farmer who's been given a title about a thousand times heavier than what he was raised to handle and he's scared to death. It's really his only defense...and he was put on the defense by Cadsune.

I'm going to get off the Bash Cadsuane wagon for a moment and simply say this...Rand deserves better than what Cadsuane, what everyone, is giving him. Because yes, he is a kid playing with a loaded gun, and not because he just found it in a drawer, but because his elders (and Destiny) handed him that gun and are forcing him to play with it.

And I'm the one that said Cadsuane could have been a confidant. And perhaps if she'd tried a different stance she could have been. I'm also the one who said Tam is the confidant he needs, but a few threads ago when we were on a complete tear about him needing such a figure because Perrin has one. And it doesn't take time to be a confidant...it takes understanding.

M-o-M @ 366 ~ Very cool. And reading it like that...I could see Rand reacting very badly. But what you wrote is simply another extreme...just the polar opposite of what Cadsuane actually did. There's a middle ground there somewhere...and no one in the story wants to look for it.

Tek ~ I'll be careful, and I'll try to post tomorrow. And yep...got the "cone of silence"...just couldn't think of a way to reference it back.

Sam ~ And just where did you find that quote? I looked all over Terez's Theoryland page and didn't see anything like that. Especially because somewhere back in all the re-read posts someone listed a very nice History of the World...but I think the link is on my computer at work. But in that history it gives that names of the Aes Sedai who wanted nothing to do with the Tower, with one name in particular. It started with a "J" I believe. Gah...why couldn't you of posted that before I left the office? But I know that list of names is over there somewhere....

edit: To fix some typos...hope I found them all. Now I'm off to play in hell.
Karen Fox
379. thepupxpert
Tek @368 - yes I think I would fall into the "old fart" category. I remember watching the old series, not the new movie.

Sam @ 371 - that was a great piece of information, it really give weight to the possibility of a Cad-induced MOA.

Wet @ 373 - It was great to hear the description of the room they were in when Cads showed up because I couldn't get how she could have just walked in the door knowing there were maidens everywhere and how many assassination attempts on Rand there have been. It makes more sense when I play that scene out in my head now. But I still have a really hard time figuring out how Cads could walk into the room and totally take it over, even dismissing Berelain. Why would she just nod her head and walk out? Very puzzling.
Tricia Irish
380. Tektonica
MOM@375: referencing the post @366:
refreshing perhaps, but crappy character development and novel writing - and as Mis points out: boring

True enough, but it could've shortened the next three books!
Less boring!
Thomas Keith
381. insectoid
Tek @356: Heh... Cone of Silence. "Just a minute, Chief... isn't this top-secret?"

M-0-M @366: LMAO!!

Mis-99 @367: Wasn't there some sort of ter'angre-phone in the Ebou Dar stash?

Sam @371: Nice find!

Bzzz™.
Alice Arneson
382. Wetlandernw
And just because I noticed it, here's something for you to chew on from RJ's blog:
Cadsuane? She’s the tough maiden aunt a lot of us have had. Not the one who tries to keep you a child your whole life. She’s the one who began expecting at least some adult responses out of you at about age six, the one who was willing to hand you responsibilities that everyone else thought you were too young for. You probably had a more nerve-wracking time, and more excitement and adventure, with her than you did with any three or four other adults in your life.
Sam Mickel
383. Samadai
You know, I thought for certain that someone on this post knew Spanish. Te estoy diciendo mentiras= I am telling lies.

Gotcha ;)

Slinks into bunker, locks door.
Kathy Keith
386. Babokathy
Hey, lurking in the wings, enjoying the side-story-plots.

Yes, Joline could impersonate a decent Dolly (all she needs is a guitar (pron. gheetar), twangy voice, big blonde wig and nice legs to go with)! Dolly, in interviews, makes no bones about how much plastic surgery she's had; "costs a lot to look this cheap!" She's bought her "ageless" look for sure.

Tek @368

"Cone of Silence"--ha ha ha ha ha. Good one.

M-O-M @366

As the door slams on Cadsuane's exit, Rand observes, "Who WAS that masked woman?!" And no one would have read the next book! Nice syrupy abridged version for children.

Sam @371

Norla maybe not a "wilder" eh? Wowzers--hint hint. Great info find indeed. How special do you think she was? And how did Cadsuane "luck-out" to be the one to carry Norla's torch? Doing pennance? Norla must have sought her out. It was probably common AS knowledge way back when, that young Cads had "the Power".

I see you, Insectoid @381 stealing my thoughts!

~~Future Books Alert~~
You know, if Rand DID "confide" in someone in his ever-shrinking world, wouldn't "mind-lurker" Moridin be able to overhear his plans at any time? Doesn't Moridin soon become Rand's "alter-ego"?

Rand doesn't want any special women in his life knowing what he's going to do, nor be anywhere near when he does whatever. So he doesn't confide in them now.

And after sitting on top of the Mountain, does the New and Improved Rand emerge and figure out how to get that "Shoe Phone with a Party-Line" invented back at his school, so he can start communicating plans with Mat, Perrin, Elayne, Nynaeve, Lan and Egwene? Or will he have to Travel to each for reports?

>Babo
Alice Arneson
387. Wetlandernw
No, Sam, no hablo espanol... more than about exactly that much. *sigh* snookered again.

You stinker. :)
Kathy Keith
388. Babokathy
IN FUTURE BOOKS:::

About Moridin:

If LTT has disappeared from Rand's thoughts after the Dragonmount scene, (cuz 3's a crowd) that leaves more room for Moridin to climb into Rand's brain anytime he wants, doesn't it?

And how does Moridin get into Rand's dreams anyway? I thought Rand shielded his dreams at all times?! Yeah, yeah, Nae'blis Schme'blis, how's Big M sneak in? And wouldn't Min sense something "bad" from her Bond to Rand?

>Babo
K F
389. TAmyrlinring1
M-O-M@330 & dwndrgn@357: Darn it! I hadn't caught the "challenge" early on, but was reading through the posts and the discussion about it, and actually knew the answer, but noooooooo . . . you two went and beat me to it! Oh well, at least I kept reading posts long enough to find out I'm not an original!

Oh, and Toryx@336: Apt, but I think maybe it would be the other way around, you think of cleavage and it makes you think of Dolly.
Leigh Butler
390. leighdb
Man-0-Manetheran:

Ding ding ding!

Congratulations, you win a shiny new Internet.

Heh. I never thought I was posing quite that much a stumper for you guys...
K F
391. TAmyrlinring1
leighdb@390: Not saying anything, but you might have "outed" some of us on age. I think someone more "current" recently redid that song (and I'm so current that I have no clue who it was), but a reference to them might have got a faster answer, maybe.
K F
392. TAmyrlinring1
Ah the wonders of Google--some singer named Mindy Smith redid it, apparently with Dolly's blessing since she's in the video.
Bonnie Andrews
393. misfortuona
Sam
You, you... grrr.
Okay actually that was pretty funny. Four semesters of spanish though and I didn't bother to read it. That's what I get for being lazy.

Bad Sam. Bad Mis.

Mis-estoy ruborizando

Edit. What the. That was right when I hit post. I swear it.
Rob Munnelly
394. RobMRobM
Leigh and others - note that Jolene also was redone by an American Idol contestant last season on the week she was voted out (the little blond one who colored her hair pink). I hadn't heard the song until then. (I was watching it with my kids, mind you; not by myself.) It does stick in your brain upon receipt.

Of course, the Dolly reference also could have been refering to Setalle Anan's big bosum or the longstanding relationship between Cads and Norla (and "I....will always, love you.....") or to the two BAs ("Here you come again") or .....etc.
Rob Munnelly
395. RobMRobM
Hey Toryx - I was in Vermont today - in Montpelier for work. Likely be a story in the Free Press tomorrow on what I was there to watch. I loved every minute of it. Rob

Edit-- I'll give kudos to anyone who can figure out what event I was attending in Montpelier this afternoon. Toryx probably knows....
john massey
396. subwoofer
Great googly moogly! I get the distinct impression that I am the only one here that 'works' at work. Ummmm... except for Freelancer when he is hucking encyclopedia's door to door.

I have really being trying to rise above the Cads debate as I have said my piece, and still there are people who still champion her cause. Baffling. Caddy is as rude as the day is long and has the nerve to call Rand out for the same thing. My main problem with Cads, well, my main problem beyond the fact that Cads is Cads, is that she has the typical AS about her. She knows better than anyone else.

Well... Shenanigans. Yeah, that's right. I called it.

Using that same logic, then the Forsaken must hold a vast amount of knowledge in their 3000 yr old noggins. Even counting the time they were sealed away in the Bore, they have still been around the longest. We find the opposite to be true. The Chosen are a bunch of knobs, same as anybody else, just really old and petty. It is like Bill Murray said in Groundhog day, maybe it is a case where being all knowing and all seeing is just being alive for a really, really long time.

Just because a person has been around for ages does not make them right. Some geriatrics repeat the same mistakes over and over. Why should Cadsuane be any different? Alanna was not square with Rand, she used deception. AS deception. Cads is using AS superiority and rudeness. meh. I still think that if Cads had done some intel before meeting Rand and possibly requesting an audience and then doing something unheard of, maybe swearing to be upfront and honest with Rand and not twist words around, that may of got Rand's attention. In a good way.

And I cannot support her just for her going to hunt down and gentle male channelers. Grinds on me. To no end.

Rand does not and should not trust AS. They have yet to prove that they can say "the sky is blue" and mean just that. I believe Moiraine said it best when she said
Trust no woman fully who is now Aes Sedai. I don speak simply of the Black Ajah(note Mo admits their existence) , though you must always be watchful for them. Be as suspicious of Verin as you are of Alviarin. We have always mad the world dance as we sang for three thousand years. That is a difficult habit to break, as I have learned while dancing to your song. You must dance free, and even the best intentioned of my sisters may well try to guide your steps as I once did.


Mo knew. All of it. And she was right. Verin, Alviarin, the Black Ajah, letting Rand do his thing. Rand has advice from LTT, I don't think any AS can come close to matching that. Rand is also guided by the Pattern. I don't think any AS can touch that.

Give the Dragon Reborn his due. He is not just some 20 year old wet-behind-the-ears kid. He's the man.

Respect.

Still wanting a pair of wooden dentures to have a close encounter with Caddy's back side.

Woof™.

Er... Edit, when I think of Dolly, I think of Large Tracts of Land and um... the bosom/marriage knife connection.

The big O is right around the corner. Go Canada!

Woof™. some more.
K F
397. TAmyrlinring1
RobMRobM@394: If you somehow work the Coat of Many Colors in there, I'm going to have to demand you go to the bunker . . . of course, if you managed to make it through American Idol, that (the bunker) shouldn't be too much punishment.
Ron Garrison
398. Man-0-Manetheran
All re. Dolly:
Many have covered it, but Dolly wrote it! Thanks Leigh. In truth that song always pops into my head whenever Joline appears in the books. It’s craaaazy!
Rob Munnelly
399. RobMRobM
"The big O is right around the corner. Go Canada!" Woof, I didn't know they had orgasms up north. (ducks)
Rob Munnelly
400. RobMRobM
Tam - I am hardly a Dolly-ficianado. If I can name four of her songs, I'm happy (the three I mentioned above plus 9 to 5 should do it.)

EDIT - 400!
Tricia Irish
401. Tektonica
Sub!! Waves!! Nice to see you back!! And of course, I agree with you completely.

Hope you get some more snow for the Big O just around the corner. Wish we could send you all the frosting Washington DC got...they need it like a hole in the head. Damn government just stops. Well, maybe that's a good thing.....
Just sayin'......
K F
402. TAmyrlinring1
RobMRobM@400: Enough said ;-) Just knowing the good ones is all you need.

Sub@396: From the "give Cadsuane a little respect" crowd---few love her (I don't think I fall into that crowd, but I'm willing to give her a chance), but I think we might be able to agree that RJ wrote her "infuriatingly" well. I still want to know what lesson she has to teach Rand AND the Asha'man. I wonder if SHE knows what the lesson is ;-)
Rob Munnelly
403. RobMRobM
Violet (above)

"I can compare her entry to that of The Cleaner (Harvey Keitel) in Pulp Fiction, which had a better outcome."

Slight clarification/correction: In PF Keitel was The Wolf, who did not have a title. Keitel was reasonably Cads like, except for his love of Jimmy's coffee and lack of magic ter'angreals. In Point of No Return (with Bridget Fonda), Keitel was The Cleaner. Nasty bit of work there (I mean Keitel not Bridget.)
nor3
404. alreadymadwithcadslessons
Samadai @371
Norla was the last descendant of one of the Aes Sedai who did not want to join The White Tower when it was founded. Her ancestor had the foretelling and foretold that she and her children had to remain apart from the tower so the Last Battle would not be lost.

Not that I doubt the veracity of this, but it only raises more questions. If they had stayed apart from the Tower then their lives would not have been shortened by the Oath Rod. Meaning they would have reached into their third, fourth and possibly even fifth centuries, and still be in their middle years(and I assume, still fertile). Their full lifespans could easily be double and possibly more. How does a line with such lifespans die out in only 7 or 8 generations?

Subwoofer @396
Cads had done some intel before meeting Rand and possibly requesting an audience and then doing something unheard of, maybe swearing to be upfront and honest with Rand and not twist words around

You may be on to something.

TAmyrlinring1 @402
I have this crazy idea that what Rand and the Asha'man learn more from Cadsuane's mistakes than those lessons she actively tries to impart. Somewhere along the lines of how NOT to ....
Rob Munnelly
405. RobMRobM
While I'm posting so much (catching up on Woof, Free and Wet in one fell swoop), folks should take a look at Linda's latest article on Thirteenth Dep - brilliant "Forced Attentions" article re serious sexual issues in CoS, including forced transfer of Lan's bond (akin to rape), Morgase's tortured yes to Valda, and Mat-Tylin. Fascinating. Rob
nor3
406. Isilel
Subwoofer @396:

You dismiss Forsaken skills/knowledge and in the same breath exalt LTT's? Didn't they survive everything that he could bring against them for 10 years? Weren't quite a
few of them in fact promoted by him? His personnel management skills were certainly abyssmal - tons of his subordinates changed sides because they had personal problems with him. The Hall broke under his tenure and luckily so because his Sealing plan had significant problems. All in spite of his ta'verenness, Btw. So, I guess that I just don't see why LTT's advice would be so superior, even if his "voice" hadn't been as mad as a hatter.
And I am a bit perplexed that you hold gentling male channelers against Cads. I mean would you just sacrifice anybody who'd be in danger from them instead?

And IMHO TGS demonstrated that Rand was wrong to go about things as he did and that his role in TG is not going to be that of a supreme Poobah.
Joseph Blaidd
407. SteelBlaidd
misfoutuna@363
But it certainly wouldn't make me feel trusting toward someone if the first thing they did was explain to me how they had left everyone like me broken and crying.


It seems to me she is speaking more in the vien of a doctor being honest about the progresion of a disease.

M-o-M@366
*snicker*

Remembering of course that Rand is, effectively, King of Cairhien so for an AS, coming in all simpering and trying to be non-threatening is probably the fastest way to ensure he will never trust you.
Alice Arneson
408. Wetlandernw
Isilel - hear, hear! On a couple of things...

LTT did okay against Team Dark in the AOL, but not great. The most you can really say is that he didn't lose. Value of advice? Meh. Moderate at best. Cool new battle weaves, though.

About Cadsuane gentling male channelers. It wasn't her main goal in life, like the Red Ajah, but she found a lot of them, presumably via her ter'angreal. What was she to do? Let them go mad, slowly or quickly? Let them rot? Let them kill their families and their neighbors? Certainly she "made use" of them, learned what she could to prepare for the DR, but it would have been cruel and irresponsible to just leave them to the taint.

Last Battle, and Rand not Poobah-ing it. Yeah. He's assumed that he has to literally fight a war and lead the nations into battle against Forsaken, Dreadlords and Shadowspawn, but he may very well be very, very wrong.
Alice Arneson
409. Wetlandernw
Oh, my. I just saw some pictures of Brandon's new son (born January 19). He looks JUST LIKE HIS DAD. It's almost frightening. ;) Wow.
nor3
410. alreadymadwithgentling
Cadsuane did not "gentle" male channelers. She just found them using her ter'angreal. Gentling men is not within the authority of a single sister to perform. And is probably beyond the strength of the average Aes Sedai, anyway. Besides White Tower law is quite clear. The men are investigated, then brought to Tar Valon where they are tried, then gentled. Cadsuane earned distinction not only by finding more than any other sisters but also because most of those she found first, lived longer than those found by others.
Thomas Keith
411. insectoid
Sam @383: That's terribly rotten of you! ;)

Leigh @390: Heh.

AMW @410: Now, there's something to talk about till the next post... WHY do the men Cads brings in live longer? Anyone?

Bzzz™.
nor3
412. Planeswalker
@382

Wet, I'm not sure about others. But IMHO, I wouldn't want an aunt like that. I wouldn't be that kind of parent either. Forcing my way of things to my children. I'd rather have them enjoy life as it is. Normally. As a child at their age. And as a mature adult at the right age. Sure, one treated that way would grow into a responsible, mature, and independent person. But I'll pretty much bet that that person would want to repeat his life all over again and rather enjoy his missing childhood...

@396
Sub, well said. The qualities of Cads: legendary status, age and experience doesn't always make you perfect. Right most of the time. But not perfect. After all, what is the sense of being mortal(human)?

@407
SteelBlaidd, at least a doctor says that to you in private (and with a sympathetic voice). What did Cads do? She talked about it casually in front of everyone.

Alright, I give. Cads wasn't threatening Rand. But surely, coming over...in front of everyone...speaking bad things of what will happen to people that are like Rand (male channelers)...and saying that she have handled (seen) these men...that some of them weeping, crying, bounded, while some meek as lambs...and take note of these words as Cads said it: "bitter end"; "thankful finally to be done with it"; "weep at the end"; "tears at the end"...I mean, if you were in Rand's position.
Cad's defenders: Please think about it. Please. If you were in Rand's position. Really. Being said those harsh words...
Man, being Rand really sucks.

Lastly, I don't really really hate Cads. Same as Brandon maybe. I just don't like how she treats Rand. What Brandon said in TGS is a fact. He may be biased in not liking Cads. And it may make Cads into a bad person. But still the fact is Cads is a bully. =)
Bonnie Andrews
413. misfortuona
Well nice bit of posting since I was here last.

Good job snatching 400 RobM. By the way @399 8 months of winter, we own the big O in Canada.

Sub **wave**
Sorry you had to work today. We had a little fun.

Sam
You may have to put a disclaimer on your Nora piece. It's being quoted already, if it shows up on one of the other forums you're going to throw half the fanbase for a loop.

SteelBlaidd@407
Did somebody call a doctor? I must have missed that part of the story. ;-)
I can see how you could read it like that, I might have in another context, just not from a stranger barging into my house.

Mis-should be sleeping
Bonnie Andrews
414. misfortuona
Yeah I know I just won't stop

Planeswalker@412
Yeah like Planes said. Hey great minds :) (Sorry for the comparison)

AMW & Planes
Re Cads guys lasting longer
That is a good question. My gut response is, as bad as the old girl appears here, she's probably FAR better than the Reds that collected the others.
Someone earlier did comment, unless I dreamt it, that it could be that her forcing men to face thier humanity might actually be benificial.

Mis-will ponder behind shut eyes.

Hey everybody ITS FRIDAY let the twitching begin
nor3
415. FellKnight
@ 413 misfortuona re: samadai

I would have to laugh if somehow it got included in canon, it would kind of be like Mat's self-fulfilling prophecy to marry Tuon.

Fell
nor3
416. ValMar
Enough lurking for now. Fascinating discussion on Cads. Like her or not, for me it made the latter books a little bit more interesting.
But she could have achieved with Rand much more than she actually did. We'll see how it pans out.

Insect@411 & Mis@414
Maybe Myrelle took a leaf out of her legendary green sister's book? Anyway...
We know that Reds attitude towards men and especially channelling men is likely to be mean, at best. I suspect on average gentled men last longer in the care of any non-Red than Red.
john massey
417. subwoofer
Crack of dawn posting. At least the dogs have been walked. Durn animals woke me up an hour early and I was too unconscious to notice. Staggering around like the village drunk at 4:30 for no apparent reason with two demented dogs. Yay Team Light?!

@Isilel- lost your log in thingy?:)
You dismiss Forsaken skills/knowledge and in the same breath exalt LTT's?


Why yes, yes I did do that. I do believe I held up the OG Dragon and called the forces of evil a bunch of boobs. No relation to Dolly.

Ahem.

Lews Therin provides memories to Rand that Rand had never actually experienced, granting him first hand knowledge of all the Forsaken, including traits about Lanfear and Sammael in particular. Lews Therin's voice has also taught Rand many powerful weavings that he has used in a variety of situations, such as the shield he erected against Asmodean when they fight. Lews Therin also aided Rand in breaking the shield around him when he was kidnapped by the Aes Sedai sent by Elaida.
-WoTwiki

Caddy-
Cadsuane hissed. "I told you never to use that weave, boy! You will never do so again. Do you hear me! This is not-"
"That is the weave we must use when fighting Forsaken, Narishma," al'Thor said, his quiet voice cutting straight through Cadsuane's. "If we kill them with anything else, the can be reborn. It is a dangerous tool, but still just a tool Like any other."
"It is forbidden," Cadsuane said.
"I have decided that it is not," al'Thor said calmly.
"You don't have any idea what that weave can do! You're a child playing with-"
"I have seen balefire destroy cities,"al'Thor said eyes growing haunted. "I have seen thousands burned from the Pattern by its purifying flames.If you call me a child Cadsuane, then what are those of you who are thousands of years my juniors?"...
-TGS A Warp in the Air.

And here is another topic for debate- was LTT mad in Rand's head? Or just coming to grips at being in another person's head without a body of his own. Grief as he had, enough to pull in power to built a pyre a mountain high, can be daunting/ all consuming/ and lasting.

Fact of the matter is- LTT is healed of his madness by Ishamael- that is how he was devastated by the result of killing his family and his wife. LTT was not bonkers in the end. He was wracked by grief.

Me dismissing the Forsaken. Well, for me, I haven't seen anything beyond Demandred and Moridin that impresses. Moggy has met her equal in a wilder named Nynaeve. Lanfear- well... The rest- seem more focused on back stabbing and infighting rather than dealing with Rand. I do not dismiss them. I have in the past said that from the word jump Rand could of been dead. I heard me say that... er saw me say that... but the Forsaken seem to be playing games. Wanting to convert rather than destroy. Focused on who will be Nae'blis.

The thing about the Forsaken is, they were hot stuff. Brilliant minds in their respective fields, capable of great things. Until petty reasons, jealousy, envy, lust, greed, had them turn to the Dark. After that, all bets are off. I will never hold up the forces of Evil as examples of brilliance when the Champion of Light is still around. Rand, and LTT are killing them off. With their combined intelligence and power, the Forsaken could end Rand. But the things that made them turn to Darkness drive them to fail. Epically.

Right. Caddy captured and brought male channelers in to "justice". What could she have done? Well, how about curing them? Ishamael did it- and yes, I am citing a Forsaken doing something as an example- why can't Caddy, in all her infinite knowledge and wisdom do the same. Too busy with roses perhaps?


Rand not being grand poohbah? What? Is this Frodo time? Rand is still the Champion of Light, how he goes about things may be different, but he still marshals the forces of Good.

And I note that no one said anything about what Moiraine told Rand in her letter that I quoted. Mo was right.

Edited to cite quotes.

Woof™.
Birgit
418. birgit
In New Spring, she is featured, and Siuan and Moiraine are just new to the shawl, so all in all, it probably was a long time ago.

It was 20 years ago, after Rand's birth and the end of the Aiel war.

And how does Moridin get into Rand's dreams anyway? I thought Rand shielded his dreams at all times?!

Moridin says it was Rand who invaded his dream. Maybe Moridin doesn't shield his dreams or the connection between them gets around shielding that is against intrusion from outside because the link between them is "inside".
Marcus W
419. toryx
misfortuona @ 363:

For the record, I think your quoted passage of Cadsuane's speech about the many male channeler's she'd taken was pretty threatening. It certainly wasn't the type of thing I'd consider telling to a male channeler on first meeting.

Samadai @ 371:

That's a fantastic find. Thanks for sharing. I dig the idea of Aes Sedai who did not join the Tower standing ready elsewhere.

TAmyrlinring1 @ 389:

Really? I have to confess, I rarely think of Dolly at all these days, and NEVER when cleavage is brought up. Frankly, my mind tends to stop on the cleavage.

RobM @ 395:

Oh yeah? Did you drive up I-91? If so, you'd have passed me on the way.
Tess Laird
420. thewindrose
Did I miss some fun last night? That was very naughty of you Samadai;) Honors truth that I thought you made it up to be funny, and was laughing when I saw your admission.

Wetlander, I hope Cadsuane is paying you well for all the time you have spent on her:)

subwoofer - My daughter is in Daisy's(1st grader girl scouts) - and her group is doing a World Thinking Day display on...Canada! So we will be watching the opening ceremonies tonight(Olympics that is). Canada is a great place for winter fun!

And a toast to the new post! May it show up soon!!

tempest™
Lannis .
421. Lannis
Sounds like I missed quite the party this week... or at least last night... sorry folks, life happens...


Samadai! Shenanigans! Sub's right! Be careful, or we'll have to send Cadsuane to straighten you out! ;)


I grew up listening to Dolly, but I know that The White Stripes covered Jolene not too long ago... interesting gender twist having a man sing the lyrics... ha!


Yay: Olypmics! Yay: post day! Yay: long weekend!
Rob Munnelly
422. RobMRobM
Toryx - Nope - from Boston area up to I-89, then west to Montpelier - and then returning the same way midafternoon. Had a nice lunch with clients, went over to our event (which went beautfully from our perspective - just love it when #ssholes get put on the spot), then had the long ride home. Very nice coverage in the Burlington papers. Rob
Tricia Irish
424. Tektonica
Good morning peeps.....It's Friday!!
Read the next two chapters last night and I must say, meh. MORE Cadsuane.....and then, Sevanna....arghhhhh. This is not my favorite book, except for the Mat parts and the Nynaeve/Lan MOA. (Swoven night is next!!)

I have a thought here: (I do occasionally have one...)

I am no 13th D. guru, so I have a question for those of you who are.....

I know LTT's method of sealing the bore was less than perfect, and the blow back tainted the male half of the source and thus, male channelers.....my question is this:

If the Aes Sedai had gone along with his plan and worked together in a circle with the men, could it have been fully successful? I know it is said that it's a good thing they didn't, as then the female half of the Power would've been tainted too. But, together, perhaps, they would've had enough Power/Balance to seal it properly, and there wouldn't have been blow back.

Anyone know if this scenario has been discussed by RJ or anyone?

It just seems that with all the "lack of communication" in WOT, and the ongoing message that men and women must work together, that in fact, men and women, with Calandor, in a circle, might be the way to seal the Bore successfully and permanently. Thoughts?
Lannis .
425. Lannis
RobM @421: Touché. ;)
nor3
426. J.Dauro
419 toryx et al

Folks, please read 383. Samdai was pulling our leg, this was not from RJ. (Very good though, I did like it.)

Samdai, please do as Misfortuona asks in 413, and add a disclaimer now that you have had your fun. We really don't need this spreading.

Sub, anyone who pulls enough of the One Power to both kill himself and create the largest volcano in the world does not meet my definition of sane. It seems to me that although Ishy may have cured him, he went back downhill very quickly.
Bonnie Andrews
427. misfortuona
Sub@417
Good morning. For me it was a cat landing on my head at about the same time. Hubby dealt with the cat. I went back to sleep.
Caddy captured and brought male channelers in to "justice". What could she have done? Well, how about curing them? Ishamael did it- and yes, I am citing a Forsaken doing something as an example- why can't Caddy, in all her infinite knowledge and wisdom do the same. Too busy with roses perhaps?

Well I would think that Ishamael probably used the TP. Cads has a lot of tricks up her sleeve, but I don’t think that was one of them.

J.Dauro@426
Well of course he went downhill quickly. Can you imagine the impact of learning what he had done. I don't think it necessarily proves that the insanity returned, at least not in the way it had manifested before. Besides if stilling doesn't last from one life to the next then why would we expect the taint to come along with the memories, or whatever LTT is?

Mis-Twichin, Twichin, Twichin the day away
Bonnie Andrews
428. misfortuona
So I remembered that I promised to think about something I wrote last night, but I forgot what it was this morning.
Me@414
First of all I can't believe nobody called me on that opening line.
Anyway I think that Cads way of dealing with the men who could channel kept them alive longer because whatever she did to them always ended up with them weeping. Sound familiar.
"He must learn to laugh and cry again"
I think the thing is, yes she beat the poo out of them emotionally, but the thing is she taught them how to feel again. Tears are a sign of many emotions after all.

Sooo, maybe the bossy old broad does know what she's doing. It hasn't worked on Rand, at least not the way she's intended, but... Yeah I'm good with it. One point to the bully.

Mis-back on Wet's wagon
Tess Laird
429. thewindrose
Tektonica~
If the Aes Sedai had gone along with his plan and worked together in a circle with the men, could it have been fully successful?

I think there is a quote from RJ stating it may have affected both halves? We have a new Internet policy at work that denies access to a lot of places - even YouTube:( (sub would have a coronary)
Anyways, I think RJ was giving an Aes Sedai answer to that, so we don't know for sure either way. There are definitely people who have drawn lines in the sand on the matter.
The best answer I have is that a big part of this series is about the lack of males and females working together. However this series ends, it will be accomplished with both halves working together.

tempest™
Jamie Watkins
430. Treesinger
Wow, over 400 comments and almost all of them about Cads. Believe it or not, I have read through them all (What else do you have to do when you're trapped in two different blizzards?) and I still haven't changed my mind about her. She really fascinates me but she really gets my blood boiling. She reminds of a stand up comic, as long as she is busting someone else, she is hilarious, but as soon as she turns her attention towards you -- not so funny. I think everyone is too hard on Rand --He seems to know what he is doing only everyone seems to think he is going crazy.

Samadai: Wow, I think the gurus are going to gang up on you and administer a spanking! (Sorry Leigh)
nor3
431. J.Dauro
Mis,

I did not mean to imply that I expected him to deal with it. But no, I do not think I would call him sane when he died. It is not the same insanity he had before Ishy "cured" him, but he is insane again.

( I have short flashes of sanity like that. Thank goodness they are not so painful to start as his.)
Bonnie Andrews
432. misfortuona
J.Dauro@ LOL
I hear you, and a half a dozen other voices in my head.

Mis-may need medication
nor3
433. J.Dauro
Also folks, although we often say that LTT's sealing of the bore was a failure, since we got the backblast and the Breaking of the World, can we really assume it was not an improvement on what would have happened without it?

IIRC by the time LTT led the 100 Companions to attempt the Seal, the other plan using the CK was already in deep doo-doo, since the access key creation site was in control of the shadow. This pretty much rendered the CK a liability instead of an asset. And Team Shadow knew about them, and was actively trying to gain control of them.

If LTT had not sealed the bore and trapped the FS, would the DO have taken over the world? Would the Wheel already be stopped?

It seems to me that even the Breaking is preferable to a complete loss.
nor3
434. OldWoman
I think the men that Cads found lasted longer because she didn't KILL them. That's what the Reds were doing. They didn't bother to take then to the WT.

BTW, early in the 70's I worked on an assembly line and they had the radio on a C&W station. I heard Joline every day multiple times and every time I read her name it replays in my mind. Not pretty.
Rob Munnelly
435. RobMRobM
@433 - JDauro - absolutely correct analysis. Second best solution but that's all they had available. R
Marcus W
436. toryx
J.Dauro @ 426:

Fine, ruin my fun. I was looking forward to the learned and wise voices of the blog making that statement Samadai created, never knowing that it was utterly false.

It would have been amusing to see how fast and far the rumors ran until people started nailing down that it was all a hoax.
Rob Munnelly
437. RobMRobM
"It would have been amusing to see how fast and far the rumors ran until people started nailing down that it was all a hoax."

I'm betting we'll still have our amusement.

*twitch*
nor3
438. alreadymadwithdeadmen
insectoid @411
The clue is in what Cads said to Rand "You are a young man who has little idea where he is going or why, or what lies ahead...."
, and in Siuan and Leane's discussion shortly after being stilled. It is also roughly similar to the Warder death syndrome. Simply put without the One Power these men and women must find something else to keep them alive. Something else to be their reason for living. It is not unlike dealing with drug addiction withdrawal and the depression that accompanies it. Obviously, the Reds don't care much if the men eventually kill themselves so long as they can wash their hands clean.

Planeswalker @412
Indeed, I don't have the actual text of what Cads said, but she was deliberately trying to provoke him and she says so as much. After what Rand has been through, being told to his face that he will go mad and he will break down and cry is the last thing he needs. Not when that sounds awfully like failing in his duty. Despite the backhanded expression of sympathy in the end, Cads really did not do him any favors.


Subwoofer @417
I don't believe Cads being mentioned as being particularly good with healing or mental illnesses.

OldWoman @434
The men that didn't last as long as those Cads found were those that were stilled at, observed at, and died shortly after leaving Tar Valon.
Kathy Keith
439. Babokathy
Leigh:

Would you like one of us to send you a Saint Bernard Dog with Collar Barrel of Brandy to revive you? Or do you just need the Mounties to come dig you out of your snowbound home?! Get stoking those home hearths and thaw out, please. I will gladly ~~beam~~ you some of our SoCal Sunshine. 70 degrees in San Diego and clear.

Posts Everyone! Everyone stick you head out your window and yell words of encouragement to LEIGH ;)

>Babo
Marcus W
440. toryx
I'm tired of hearing about everyone getting snow while we (in my little area of New England) get nothing. It's messing with my skiing plans!

I think the DO's touch is on Vermont.
Leigh Butler
441. leighdb
Babokathy:

*sigh*

I don't know why no one believes me when I tell them I have no control over when the posts go up.

Cause I don't, you guys. It's not up to me, I swear.
Ron Garrison
442. Man-0-Manetheran
Leigh:
My money says it's the Marketing Department's call. And there is no use trying to make sense of ANY marketing department's decisions! We all just lope along...
nor3
443. J.Dauro
Leigh,

We do believe you. But you know how us addicts get when we need a fix.

** twitch **

We still love you.
Julian Augustus
444. Alisonwonderland
RobM@405:

Is it just me or is 13th D one of the worst organized web sites ever? I have gone to the site before to look for articles you've referenced here, and couldn't find them. Do you mind showing how to get to the article in question?
Kathy Keith
445. Babokathy
Leigh:

Of course I believe you. I mean no harm or distrust. Just playin' around. Really. Sorry.

Suppose I could send the St. Bernard, Brandy & Mounties and Sunshine to your Post Master General. Are they in NY, DC or MD?

Spring bulbs already coming up here in S.D.

~~twitch~~

>Babo
nor3
446. featherdancer
Here you go reread junkies

http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=58763
Julian Augustus
447. Alisonwonderland
Toryx@419:
Samadai @ 371:

That's a fantastic find. Thanks for sharing. I dig the idea of Aes Sedai who did not join the Tower standing ready elsewhere.

You probably haven't read all the threads. Samadai has admitted that he was lying through his teeth! Says a lot about his powers of invention that he made up something that sounds so plausible that even experienced WoT people on this thread were taken in. But it is all made up.
Rob Munnelly
448. RobMRobM
Alison - right on cover page-second article down.
Alice Arneson
449. Wetlandernw
Planeswalker @412 - Not my words. Robert Jordan's blog. Take it how you wish.
T C
450. Freelancer
Howdy everyone. My turn. And that serves as your only warning...


@everyone

Yes, I have been avoiding entering the fray regarding Cadsuane, and for many reasons. I wish we had as clear an idea of Mr. Jordan's opinion of Cadsuane as we do of Mr. Sanderson's. In fact, in spite of being a full-court-press supporter of his as the successor to finish the story, it actually bothered me a bit to have him publicly express distinct loathing of a character on Team Light, no matter how abrasive she is. What bothers me isn't whether I agree or disagree with said opinion, but if it causes her character's presentation to be steered to a different course than the original author set for her. I hope not, but her representation in TGS does nothing to assuage those worries. As though my worries are worth dirt...


Now, I would normally pick up my commentary with any posts which followed my most previous comments, but lucky you, I'm not going back that far...


Wetlandernw@302

I'm with you, except that Cadsuane did not "grate" on me as much. Without question, she is supercilious, high-handed, intractible, and downright unpleasant towards Rand, and by extension, others of his retinue. Certainly she demands of him what she does not offer herself; respect and courtesy. I agree that she presumes her way is superior to any other, without seeming to have acquired much background with which to make such a judgement. At the same time, It has seemed to me from the first reading of her, that she was following a pattern of interaction which had proven effective and profitable to her over a long stretch of time. Beginning from that assumption, her actions are a method; keep the male channeler off-balance while you assess next steps. So, while I absolutely do wish she had been more transparent and forthright in her initial dealings with Rand, I can understand her taking a tactical approach.


Tektonica@368

Well I must say I loved you in The Avengers
(How's that for an old reference?)


Samadai@383

Habla un poquito Espanol. Not enough to have caught your easter egg. But I'm pretty sure I've read very nearly all the Jordan quotes that are out there, and I knew without a doubt I hadn't seen that one before. Besides, in accordance with Brandon's method of answering questions today, RJ wouldn't offer information from the story which no available POV character could possibly know. So based on that, the "it won't impact" bit didn't pass the smell test as something Jordan would ever, or did ever say prefacing an answer. I wish I'd been available to throw the flag when you first posted it. And yeah, you better keep that door locked, the mob does NOT have good intentions after having its collective leg yanked half off like that.


subwoofer@396

Well, only if I call it the single volume AV1611 King James encyclopedia. It might as well have 42 printed on the cover. But you see, you keep referring to selling, and I don't sell anything. It is now, and always has been, completely free to all us piles of dirt in meat sacks. But you just go on, better you poke fun at me than someone who can't take it.


RE: The Cone of Silence sub-thread. I missed it by that much.
john massey
451. subwoofer
@Free- awwww- you said the magic words, you know how I love freebies:) Um... but I shower... semi-annually, so I am really not that dirty.

And I was out the window, shouting, but the neighbors called the cops. On the list of epic plans-not so good. Perhaps next time we do a blog poll... wait, what is this thing we're on?...

Woof™.
john massey
452. subwoofer
Perhaps if Caddy met my trunk monkey?

Yup, Sub is bored... goes in search of Cocoa Puffs...

Woof™.
Tricia Irish
453. Tektonica
Free@450:

Aw, you caught me! I got my missions confused, but corrected later. It was Agent 99 with the shoe phone in the cone of silence.

Nice to have you back.

Sub: You are hilarious. Where is the Suburban Auto Group? I need a monkey.
Marcus W
454. toryx
Alisonwonderland @ 447:

I know. I commented on how it'd been my hope to further the hoax @ 436. I thought it would be amusing to see how many people fell for it. As it happens, I know a little Spanish. I also didn't think it sounded at all like RJ but I was sufficiently amused to keep it going despite Samadai's later disclaimer. Only J.Dauro had to go and ruin it for me!

Ah well, so it goes.
M G
455. nalattam
After reading the Fires of Heaven eBook review, my guess for Leigh's favorite moment of the series is the Old Tongue recognizing scene with Mat and Birgette. Got my fingers crossed.
Michael Maxwell
456. pike747
Cadsuane: I do not love her or hate her. The whole battle of the sexes thing both in the story and in real life is one of my least favorite aspects of life. I certainly acknowledge that it exists and that I have been a combatant. I would prefer a world and a story in which men and women complement each other rather than battle each other. The fact that RJ and his wife appear to have had a wonderful relationship and yet this tension is so prevalent in these stories is testament to how far we have to go as people.
The way the women in this story and many in real life seem to think that men are incapable of rational, mature thought or controlling our emotions, that we need to be guided by them is what really sticks in my craw. Just about all of them. Cadsuane may be the prototypical example. Berelain, of all women seems to understand men best. WTF! I don’t just mean the part where we are all led around by our…. but a lot of other things about us also.
BTW I have posted that my favorite characters in this series and in many books are women. I love, respect and admire women. It would be nice if they could be aware of the simple fact that they command more respect than they can ever demand.
Respect given is respect earned, respect taken is respect learned.
Michael Maxwell
457. pike747
27. Seamus1602
As always with AS, I must ask myself how things might have gone differently if they actually employed honesty. I.e. Cads comes in, introduces herself, and asks to speak with Rand alone. She then details her experience with male chanelers and tells him how she has seen them go mad. Her knowledge alone would make a huge impression on Rand. Instead of being all attitudinal, she could have actually showed Rand an AS with knowledge he can use that she's willing to give. It seems to me that trust is a far easier way to attain laughter and tears than making him so angry that he either has yo destroy the world or come to grips with himself. Perhaps slightly less risky, as well.

I could not agree more and what about more of the people who did grow up with him treating him like a friend. Just because he is the bloody Dragon Reborn…. I was just reading the scene in TSR where Elayne and Egwene actually try to help Rand. Yes he handled it VERY badly at first but then he became a nice young man again for at least a paragraph or two.
Michael Maxwell
458. pike747
28. TAmyrlinring1
I wonder how much treatment of Cadsuane RJ did in his outlines that BS was working from because the totally "sunk" Cadsuane in TGS didn't seem to me to resemble this one, except for showing continued tenacity.


I thought that Cadsuane and Mat were the most different in TGS compared to the novels released when RJ was alive.
Michael Maxwell
459. pike747
LTT: Hard to comment or counteract such well-researched and thought out opinions on this one. My gut always told me that he was in some sense real and separate from Rand. How else could he teach Rand things forgotten since the AOL? Ditto on the abilities to draw or play a tune from that era.
nor3
460. katgordon
been gone for months (due to not getting enough RL work done) but sick at home, so whoooooo catch up time!
Anyhoo... I am split over Cads. I can't stand her but kind of reluctantly like her too. I agree with Leigh on the rude thing- it just immediately set me off.
I understand her point of view though; I mean, posters keep saying "respect the DR deserves", but isn't this like saying "respect reality tv stars deserve"? I mean, as far as she knows, this guy is some jumped up hillbilly, just fortune's fool, and he obviously needs her aged experience.
On the other hand there's Rand's POV (perfectly modernized by MuradinLives above) of Cads.
Obviously the two personalities will ignite... and yield some awesome friction, er, fiction.
But yeah, rudeness... meh.
nor3
461. katgordon
ps. probably most annoying thing about her is inability to recognize that someone young/younger MAY (and probably does) have knowledge and valuable input.
If I made that mistake with employees who are my juniors, I probably wouldn't have a business left to run. Just sayin'.
Edward Phippen
462. Grimwanderer
For me, Cadsuane represents the worst aspects of the Aes Sedai. Namely the "I know everything, I'm better than you, and I'm going to treat you like bantha fodder" mind set. I mean: "Good boy"?? (ie: I will let you be my little pet while you wait to potentially die during that upcoming big battle, you can serve me tea and I will pat you on your head).

I cringe evey time she appears "on screen" ... I don't find her character fun to read and there are other existing characters (better written characters) who could have filled her role in the story. For that matter, what was the point of writing out Moiraine only to bring in another Aes Sedai counselor to fill the same role? Did RJ decide he had made Moi too sympathetic?

I don't "hate" any characters in the book (they are, after all, fictional characters)... But if Cadsuane were to be stilled and run through with a sword with page after page of description of her painful and meaningless death,, it would bring a smile to my lips. Maybe a beheading also... But I don't hate her. No, really. I pinky-swear!!!

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