Mar 5 2010 2:07pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 15

Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Wheel of Time Re-read, and the winter of my discontent - to say the LEAST.

I apologize in advance for the lameness of this entry. It turns out that root canal surgery (a) sucks, (b) is extremely non-conducive to wittiness in writing, and (c) SUCKS. Basically I have spent most of this week either in pain,  feeling very sorry for myself, or some combination of the two. A laugh riot, I am currently not.


Fortunately, nothing terribly wit-worthy happens in Chapters 24 and 25 of A Crown of Swords, in my opinion, anyway, so at least there’s… that? This may be a rather strange use of the word “fortunately”, admittedly.

(The BEST part was how I got to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege of being put in extreme pain! That was the BEST. REALLY, YAY FOR THAT. Ow.)

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 information 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 with that scintillating intro I’m sure you’re just dying to read the rest of this, so…


Chapter 24: The Kin



What Happens
Reanne watches the two strange girls disappear into the city with consternation. Berowin whispers that they did not perspire, and Reanne feels the same panic that had caused her to refuse to finish her Accepted test in the Tower. She thinks they would have to use precautions that hadn’t been used in years.

“Eldest, could it be possible that the older of the two really is . . . ? We channeled, and . . . ”

Berowin trailed off miserably, but Reanne did not need to consider, not even setting aside the younger girl. Why would any Aes Sedai pretend to be less, so much less? Besides, any real Aes Sedai would have put them all on their knees begging mercy, not stood there so submissively.

“We did not channel in front of an Aes Sedai,” she said firmly. “We broke no rule.”

Berowin brings up the rumors about a girl Amyrlin with the rebels, and Garenia the ones about Logain and the Reds, but Reanne squashes both trains of thought. Garenia then moves on to Setalle Anan, opining that she must have told the girls about the Circle, and that she should be “taught to hold her tongue”, which makes Berowin gasp in shock. Reanne retorts sharply for Garenia to remember who Setalle is, and that they would all be crawling back to the Tower now if Setalle had betrayed them, but to herself wishes there was a way she could ask Setalle to be more circumspect. An Arafellin Wise Woman named Sarainya enters to tell them that Callie is dead, and though it was made to look like she was robbed, Sumeko is sure that the One Power was used to kill her. Berowin says it is impossible that a Wise Woman would do such a thing, and Garenia hesitantly suggests an Aes Sedai, though she can’t see how that’s possible, with the Three Oaths.

No Aes Sedai could have done this, obviously, and no Kinswoman would have, but . . . Those girls, so insistent, knowing what they should not. The Circle had lasted too long, offered succor to too many women, to be destroyed now.

“This is what must be done,” she told them. That flutter of fear began again, but for once she hardly noticed.

Nynaeve stalks away from the house in a fury, trying to convince herself that she could have been as meek as necessary to find out what they knew about the Bowl, but knows that given the opportunity she would have “given them Aes Sedai till they squeaked”, and shaken the secret out of them. Elayne is silent, seeming lost in thought, and Nynaeve dreads having to apologize to her for this debacle. Elayne continues to stay quiet as they wend through the city, making Nynaeve jumpier and angrier the longer she delays, until suddenly Elayne asks how old Reanne looked to Nynaeve. Nynaeve supposes she was maybe fifty or sixty, and doesn’t see why it matters, and bursts out that she is sure they are a guild, and do know where the Bowl is. Elayne answers absently that she supposes so, and wonders how they could be so aged. Nynaeve stops dead in indignation, and demands to know why, if Elayne believed, she announced who she was to them “like Rhiannon at the Tower”. Elayne answers that the women weren’t going to tell them anything no matter what they did, and goes back to Reanne, saying she must have slowed like everyone else, so how old is she, to look the age she does? Nynaeve has no idea what she’s talking about; Elayne observes dryly that Nynaeve never listened in class, and asks her who the oldest Accepted in the Tower is. Nynaeve thinks she had too listened, sometimes, and answers Elin Warrel, who Nynaeve thinks is about her own age. Elayne laughs and tells her that she saw Elin’s younger sister come to visit before Nynaeve arrived in Tar Valon, and the younger sister had to have been over forty.

“We slow, Nynaeve. Somewhere between twenty and twenty-five, we begin aging more slowly. How much depends on how strong we are, but when doesn’t. Any woman who can channel does it. Takima said she thought it was the beginning of achieving the ageless look, though I don’t think anyone has ever reached that until they’ve worn the shawl at least a year or two, sometimes five or more. Think. You know any sister with gray hair is old, even if you aren’t supposed to mention it. So if Reanne slowed, and she must have, how old is she?”

Nynaeve wants to cry, understanding now why no one ever believes her to be her true age, and wonders how long now she would have to wait before achieving her gray hairs. Then she feels a blow on her head, and turns groggily to see Elayne crumpled in a heap on the ground. A crowd gathers, and a “long-nosed” woman and a tall man offer to help them to a waiting carriage, and begin moving them over Nynaeve’s (polite) protests. Then Nynaeve sees an arrow with a blunted head on the street, obviously what had struck them, which makes her angry enough even through her dizziness to embrace saidar and start flinging people around. The woman and man flee in the carriage and the crowd disperses in a hurry.

“Thank you, but we don’t need any help,” Nynaeve shouted. Politely.

She’s too dizzy to use her special Healing weaves, but the traditional version works to Heal Elayne’s head wound; Elayne gasps and shakes, and comes to. A seamstress appears and offers Elayne water, but Nynaeve refuses, again very politely, and the seamstress shrugs and leaves. Elayne asks what that was about, and Nynaeve shows her the arrow. Elayne embraces saidar, and asks grimly, Teslyn and Joline? Nynaeve doesn’t think they would stoop to something like this, but wonders if Reanne, or more especially Garenia, might. Elayne promises they will settle for them eventually, but in the meantime, Nynaeve knows there’s only one way to find the Bowl now, right?

Nynaeve nodded slowly, though she would rather have eaten a handful of dirt. Today had seemed so bright for a time, but then it had spiraled into darkness, from Reanne to . . . Oh, Light, how long before she had her gray hair?

“Don’t cry, Nynaeve. Mat can’t possibly be that bad. He’ll find it for us in a few days, I know.”

Nynaeve only cried harder.

Nynaeve al’Meara, ladies and gentlemen: the only woman in the history of the world to actually be devastated to learn she’s going to stay young and beautiful for multiple decades. Lordy.

Also, the fact that the only thing that turns her into Miss Manners is head trauma is damn amusing.

Regarding the attack, I know we’re supposed to assume that the Kin sent the thugs after Nynaeve and Elayne, but I also know that that’s just a red herring. However, for some reason I’m not very sure who actually did send the kidnappers. I’m assuming Shiaine/Carridin, but then I remembered that Falion was trying to convince Ispan to capture the Supergirls as well, so really it could be either one. Doesn’t matter that much, I suppose, since the attempt failed.

The Kin: I was going to get all into this, but the fact is that at this late stage it’s pretty clear what the Kin are, and their relationship to the Tower/Setalle Anan, which the commenters have covered very nicely in the comments to the previous couple of entries. The FAQ entry on Setalle sums up the case for her to be Martine Jenata pretty well too, I think.

Though I have to say, all this was mostly clear as mud to me as a reader initially. It wasn’t until I stumbled onto the online fandom for WOT that most of this started making sense. Possibly because I didn’t care that much, true, but even so the whole Kin thing has always struck me as one of Jordan’s murkier backstory tangles, and one I’ve never really understood the need for, to boot.

As far as the “seventy years” thing goes: some people have been suggesting a connection between Garenia/Zarya, Setalle Anan/Martine Jenata, and Verin’s Seventy Year Plan (the nature of which we finally learned about in TGS), because of the fact that Garenia ran away from the Tower seventy years ago.

First of all, assuming Setalle is Martine (which I do), Setalle should not be included in this theory at all, since according to Vandene’s info in TPOD Martine was burned out a mere twenty-five years ago. So her only connection to the seventy years’ thing is that she happened to be in the Tower (and happened to meet the novice Zarya) seventy years ago – which is to say, no connection at all.

As for Garenia/Zarya, I may be missing something, but for my money it is a total coincidence that she ran away at the same time that Verin was embarking on her grand scheme. Certainly I can’t recall anything from either her or Verin to suggest a connection between them, and now that the mystery of who killed Adeleas and Ispan in TPOD has been (finally) cleared up, there’s no reason to suspect Zarya is a Darkfriend, or anything other than exactly what she says she is.

So there’s all that. The only other Kin-related thing worth mentioning at this point is the Wise Ones’ dream in LOC about the Bowl, which I’ll quote again here for convenience’s sake:

“Rain, coming from a bowl. There are snares and pitfalls around the bowl. If the right hands pick it up, they will find a treasure perhaps as great as the bowl. If the wrong hands, the world is doomed. The key to finding the bowl is to find the one who is no longer."

“The one who is no longer” = former Aes Sedai Setalle, of course. I’ve always liked Rich Boye’s theory that it is the Kin, and not the *greal stash, that is the “treasure” referred to here, since if the Kin hadn’t gotten out of Ebou Dar when they did, they would have been captured and made damane by the Seanchan. And though the Forsaken getting hold of the stash would not exactly have been a wonderful development either, in my opinion a thousand extra channelers in the hands of the Seanchan would have been even worse.

As a last note, Reanne’s thought about how Elayne and Nynaeve could not have been Aes Sedai because, basically, they didn’t bulldoze everyone in sight into the ground and then jump up and down on the mangled corpses of everyone’s dignity, is reflective of something that tends to get lost in observations about the Supergirls, which is that they are actually the newer, kinder, gentler version of Aes Sedai. In all the back and forth over whether they are high-handed/running roughshod over this or that person, it’s worth remembering that as a general rule all of the Supergirls, including Nynaeve, treat non-Aes Sedai with about ten times the respect that any other Aes Sedai would give.

Granted, this may qualify as damning with faint praise, but it’s something worth thinking about.

Chapter 25: Mindtrap

What Happens
Moghedien does not want to dream the dream again, but cannot wake up. She relives the memory of the woman Halima aka Aran’gar coming to her tent in the Rebel camp and freeing her from the a’dam, using what Moghedien concluded must be saidin, since only the Chosen can tap the True Power. She remembers Skimming to Shayol Ghul and meeting the strange Myrddraal, Shaidar Haran, who ordered her to follow it into the Pit of Doom. She remembers following it, terrified that for the first time her failures were out in the open for the Great Lord to see. The spikey ceiling of the tunnel cleared Shaidar Haran’s head easily, but Moghedien soon had to move her head around the spikes, then duck down.

She bent lower, scurrying crouched in the Myrddraal’s wake, trying to get closer. Its stride never changed, but no matter how quickly she scuttled, the interval between them did not lessen. The ceiling descending, the Great Lord’s fangs to rend traitors and fools, and Moghedien dropped to hands and knees, crawling, then flattened to elbows and knees. Light flared and flickered in the tunnel, cast from the entrance to the Pit itself, just ahead, and Moghedien slithered on her belly, pulled herself along with her hands, pushed with her feet. Stone points dug at her flesh, caught at her dress. Panting, she wriggled the last distance to the sound of ripping wool.

Staring back over her shoulder, she shivered convulsively. Where the tunnel mouth should have been stood a smooth stone wall. Perhaps the Great Lord had timed it all exactly, and perhaps, had she been slower . . .

She tried to get up, but Shaidar Haran planted a foot on her back, keeping her prone; she demanded to know if it knows who she is.

MOGHEDIEN. That voice inside her head flushed away all thought of the Myrddraal; it nearly flushed away all thought. Beside this, any human lover’s deepest embrace was a drop of water beside the ocean. HOW DEEP IS YOUR FAILURE, MOGHEDIEN? THE CHOSEN ARE ALWAYS THE STRONGEST, BUT YOU LET YOURSELF BE CAPTURED. YOU TAUGHT THOSE WHO WOULD OPPOSE ME, MOGHEDIEN.

Moghedien defended herself that she only taught them small things, and taught them a false way to sense a man’s channeling that only gives headaches, and reminded the Great Lord that her way has always been to serve from the shadows, trying to imply that she had allowed herself to be captured. The Great Lord answered “MY CHOSEN ARE ALWAYS THE STRONGEST. MY HAND MOVES”, and the Fade grabbed her and took out a knife. In desperation Moghedien tried to channel, but to her horror could not reach saidar, and Shaidar Haran scraped the blade along her tongue and nicked her ear, and Moghedien knew what was going to happen. As the Fade took out a small cage made of wire and crystal, she began screaming for mercy. The cage was a cour’souvra, a mindtrap, and Shaidar Haran scraped her saliva and blood onto it, activating it, and she howled in agony and ecstasy both. Then the dream starts over again, but this time Shaidar Haran wakes her. She quickly prostrates herself before it, calling it “Mia’cova”, Old Tongue for “One Who Owns Me”. She doesn’t understand how the Fade could shield her from the One Power, but knows channeling too near one’s own mindtrap is agonizing and possibly fatal anyway. Shaidar Haran laughs, which no other Fade does, and Moghedien considers herself lucky to only have bruises thus far. It asks if she is eager to obey, and she assures it that she is; it hauls her up by her hair and commands her to close her eyes and keep them shut until told to open them. She obeys instantly, and it shoves her forward; she screams, thinking it means to slam her into the wall of her cell, but then stumbles forward far further than the width of the cell would have allowed, and a different voice tells her she can open her eyes. She finds herself in a luxuriously appointed room that she can tell is still near Shayol Ghul, with a handsome young man with “startlingly blue” eyes; the Fade is gone. The young man asks if she enjoyed her time in the vacuole, and Moghedien shivers in fear to learn where she had been; vacuoles are “bubbles in the Pattern” which sometimes broke off and drifted away, and whatever was inside them when they did is lost forever. She asks how long, and to her relief the man answers only two days; time flows differently in vacuoles.

She would not have been entirely surprised to learn that the Great Lord had really imprisoned her for a hundred years, or a thousand, to emerge into a world already his, to make her way feeding among carrion while the other Chosen stood at the pinnacle. She was still one of the Chosen, in her own mind, at least. Until the Great Lord himself said she was not. She had never heard of anyone being released once a mindtrap was set, but she would find a way.

She realizes this young man knows an awful lot for a modern-day Darkfriend, and dislikes the insolent way he regards her. She demands his name, and if he knows who she is. The man smiles, calling her Moghedien, and says she may call him Moridin.

Moghedien gasped. Not for the name; any fool could call himself Death. But a tiny black fleck, just large enough to see, floated straight across one of those blue eyes and then across the other in the same line. This Moridin had tapped into the True Power, and more than once. Much more. She knew that some men who could channel survived in this time aside from al’Thor—this fellow was much of a size with al’Thor—but she had not expected the Great Lord to allow one that particular honor. An honor with a bite, as any of the Chosen knew. In the long run, the True Power was far more addictive than the One Power; a strong will could hold down the desire to draw more saidar or saidin, but she herself did not believe the will existed strong enough to resist the True Power, not once the saa appeared in your eyes. The final price was different, but no less terrible.

She tells him he has been given a great honor, and commands him to bring her some wine, and he laughs and tells her she misunderstands her position; if she hadn’t managed to do some good by accident, she would be dead now. She retorts angrily that he’d better watch his tongue when speaking to one of the Chosen, but cuts off when he reaches into his shirt and pulls out her mindtrap. She thinks she sees another around his neck, but only pays attention to her own, feeling it when he caresses the trap. She knows if he were to break it, she would be trapped inside her own body, able to see and hear but unable to do anything but her owner’s will. Moridin asks if she understands now, and she answers flatly that she does, Mia’cova. He laughs and tells her to call him Moridin, but Moghedien knows that changes nothing.

I made a decision a while back that I would summarize flashbacks in past tense, and I’m sticking with it for stylistic symmetrical whatever, but I’ve got to say it reads really weirdly to me. Oh well.

The lowering ceiling thing here has always been one of the more vivid images in all of WOT, to me. Probably because I would LOSE MY MIND if it happened to me. I’m not claustrophobic as a rule, but for that situation I would make an exception. Yeesh.

Jordan really does have an ability to make me feel sorry for characters who totally do not deserve my sympathy, like Moghedien. Still, the crap that happens to her here is – well, it’s pretty bad. And that’s not even including what happened off-screen. Which is all I’m going to say about that.

Also, hi, Official Moridin! We met him earlier in Skulk Mode, of course, when he was proving how evil he is by failing to kill Sevanna, but this is his first time on screen with proper billing, so to speak. Interesting that Moghedien almost immediately notes his resemblance to Rand, which means that the “mirroring” of the two characters is established right from the very start. Foresight in plotting, Jordan has it. This will come up again, duh.

I had a thought about the way Jordan describes the effect of the Dark One’s voice on his minions, which I will share with you, because you’re just that lucky: the sensations they experience seem to me to be very similar to what I imagine addicts feel when they get a hit of their super-bad drug of choice.

I say “imagine” because I’ve never personally experienced what being on heroin or crack or so forth actually feels like, and I’m pretty damn sure at this point that I’m never going to; if I’m having trouble making myself take doctor-prescribed pain medication (really. Yes, I’m lame), then I’m fairly certain shooting up heroin is Right Out. And I’m… really perfectly okay with that, all things considered.

However, it does mean that in order to get even an inkling of what that kind of addiction is like, I am forced to rely on third party descriptions and/or depictions in popular culture, which needless to say is a path fraught with truthiness issues. Some of them do seem to get it right, though – or at least they strike me that way, which again, blah blah blah caveatcakes, and the one which stuck most distinctly in my mind is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Trainspotting.

First of all, I will NEVER EVER forget that baby thing. EVER. Holy God. But more importantly, Trainspotting (as I recall, and it has been a while, so forgive me if this is just completely wrong) depicted the drug addiction of its characters to be an intensely contradictory experience, in that it was the most wonderful feeling in the world, at the exact time that it was the most horrifying experience ever. Kind of like heaven and hell smushed together and jammed directly up your nose – or injected directly into your veins, as the case may be.

This feels, to my lack-of-personal-knowledge self, to be an intuitively accurate way to portray drug addiction and why it is so, well, addictive, in spite of all the horribly bad crap that comes along with it. Which kind of makes me understand better why the Forsaken keep crawling back for more abuse from their Great Lord. Because yeah, they get hell – but they also get heaven. Or the WOT Age of Legends equivalent of heaven, anyway. If there is one. I believe the relevant phrase is “Hurts so good”, yeah? Yeah.

Exploring metaphorical analogies of the all-too-easy way people can become enslaved to their own craving for sensation has a long and illustrious history in fantasy literature, of course, and WOT is no exception. Jordan also for the first time gives us some knowledge in this chapter of the even more explicit drug analogy of the True Power, which as of the end of TGS has me really really worried. That’s going to get worse before it gets better, is all I’m saying. As these things usually do.

And, yeah. I would get more into this but, uh, I have to go take more Vicodin now.


Yeah, well, ow. Ow ow ow ow OW. So there. And that’s our lame-ass show, guys. Ow. Teeth suck and I hate them, ow, me go lie down now, ow, see you next week. Ch-OW.

Bonnie Andrews
1. misfortuona
Yeah Re-read. Thanks Leigh. Now I'll go read it.
D.I. Rock
2. FeatherDancer
Excellent! I'm so glad for the new re-read. There were all these dead horses lying around on the last one and it was getting really tricky to navigate around them ;)
3. earlgrey
Leigh, Sorry for your pain.
Charlotte Giurgiu
4. almdoipad
Woot! i love Friday! Yah... should read this.
5. Mat = bestest ever
I just started reading these entries a couple of weeks ago and I genuinely appreciate the insight and effort you are putting forth. Many of my lunch breaks are spent reading your thoughts and the thoughts of the other Wheel of time lovers on this site. I hope you are feeling as well as possible and have a great day.
6. Denari6
First post for me on this forum although I have been lurking for a time. This is an awesome reread.

I have one question to pose.

We have read that the dark lord:
a.) wants the world in chaos
b.) enjoys the conflict and rivalry that plaques the "chosen" to the point where every meeting is a near battle

My question is why would he give Moridin slave master like control over Moggy and later we see him with Lanfear 2.0?

I understand they both failed him in their own ways. However, it would not be farfetched that the Chaos and back stabbing would continue to a greater heights with the spider and pscyho lady back on the prowl. By demanding and hence controlling the ebil girl childs and to a lesser extent the 'gars, they have become limited in what they can do. Or does anyone else thing mogy would have stopped with one shot of BF at Nyn while she was on the river.

It would almost appear that the duotopian boys have the "great lord" concerned. Shrugz


btw~ I have come to the conclusion that Matt would have said "saidared" and not be out of character.


Does anyone have their copy of TGS with BWS signing the book with the quote "time to toss the dice..."
7. Ryan K. Yingling
The worst experience of my life was a root canal that turned into an absess, it nearly killed me. Thanks for bucking up and doing this review! Stay strong!
Matthew B
8. MatthewB
In all the back and forth over whether they are high-handed/running roughshod over this or that person, it’s worth remembering that as a general rule all of the Supergirls, including Nynaeve, treat non-Aes Sedai with about ten times the respect that any other Aes Sedai would give.

And that is why so many readers have such a deep and abiding dislike for Aes Sedai in general. It's not always about misogyny (though sometimes it is).
Kyle Day
9. gato
Denari6 @ 6

I got the feeling that the DO wanted to sow chaos in order soften up the world for TG. Now that his endgame is approaching, it's time to make sure all his subordinates are on the same page.
Maiane Bakroeva
10. Isilel
the Supergirls, including Nynaeve, treat non-Aes Sedai with about ten times the respect that any other Aes Sedai would give.

I remember Moiraine and Verin being quite respectful and friendly to wide variety of people. Not all AS bulldoze all the time - not that the Kin would know it.
And of course, maintaining an incognito kind of enforces humbler behavior.

Re: a thousand of the Kin, I don't actually think that there was much more than a hundred of them in and around Ebu Dar? IIRC, the whole roster is about 2 thousands and they are distributed across Randland.

Of course, getting hold of the Knitting Circle also potentially give them access to all these trained and experienced channelers, and their highly honed skills and interesting talents, overall lack of strength non-withstanding. Also, they all have in-depth training in traditional Randland medicine too, so I guess that they'll provide the medical corps for all those armies at TG, among other things.

Nyn weeping over her lack of aging - priceless. LOL. Of course, young women do seem to have a tough time getting themselves taken seriously, even in supposedly equal Randland...
11. Denari6
Gato 6

I agree, from a strategic point of view. Yet why would he only control a portion of the chosen. Anyways, I always imagined a more of a last man standing concept when it came to end game forsaken.

Further, where does Shadar Harran (sp?) fit in this? I mean if Moridin is Naeblis and all.
Steven Pattingale
12. Pattingale
Ouch... root canal. Get well soon.

Good re-read despite your pain. Thank you!
Barry T
13. blindillusion
In real quick to add:

Fiery Toilet.

That is all.

Except, also:
As a last note, Reanne’s thought about how Elayne and Nynaeve could not have been Aes Sedai because, basically, they didn’t bulldoze everyone in sight into the ground and then jump up and down on the mangled corpses of everyone’s dignity.

Yes! This would be the reason I read and enjoy every last post by you Leigh. While this Thread is perhaps a little tamer than some, it is in no way lame.

edit: Look what an abundant use of the F5 button gets you. And yes, I'll own it. 13, she is a mine. =)

edit2: Isilel:
Nyn weeping over her lack of aging - priceless. LOL. Of course, young women do seem to have a tough time getting themselves taken seriously, even in supposedly equal Randland...

Hmm, except Nynaeve isn't looking to be taken seriously by men. She wants to be taken seriously by women: Her inferiors, her peers and her superiors.

Sure, in Emonds Field she wanted men to see her as The Wisdom…and not her age. But that has changed. Now it’s women who fail to respect her because they see her as too young…. Just sayin’.
Genevieve Williams
14. welltemperedwriter
Leigh said:

The lowering ceiling thing here has always been one of the more vivid images in all of WOT, to me. Probably because I would LOSE MY MIND if it happened to me. I’m not claustrophobic as a rule, but for that situation I would make an exception. Yeesh.

I AM mildly claustrophobic, and worse yet, this scene reminds me of an unfortunate spelunking incident when I was about 12. Hyperventilating in a tunnel that was MAYBE three feet by two is not an experience I'd ever care to repeat.

Isilel said:

Nyn weeping over her lack of aging - priceless. LOL. Of course, young women do seem to have a tough time getting themselves taken seriously, even in supposedly equal Randland...

Very true. I look younger than my age, and getting a few gray hairs and making a few calculated clothing choices has made a huge difference in how students respond to me (I work at a university). And fellow faculty too, for that matter. I really don't think most of them do it on purpose, but I have been in Nynaeve's position a time or two.
Kyle Day
15. gato
Denari6 @ 11

It seems to me that he is controlling all the chosen, he just has a firmer grip on Moghedien and Lanfear/Cyndane since they screwed up the most.

And when Mesaana screws up (not showing up at the cleansing) she gets a "special visit" from S.H. to show her how to obey.

Halima already had her warning when she was reborn, and Semirhage and Demandred seem to understand how to follow orders.

From the POV of the chosen, it seems like most of them regard Shaidar Haran as the DO incarnate, so that would put him higher than Nae'blis.
Richard Fife
16. R.Fife
Gray hairs are useful, even for men. I look fairly old for my age, so I typically get taken more seriously than I might otherwise, but lord knows it would come double if I even a few gray hairs to boot. It's that whole respect your elders thing, yo, and Nyn had assumed the position of an "elder" much sooner than she should have. Oh, it is still funny, just saying.

@11 Denari6 As to Shadar Haran's pecking order placement? Just above Moridin, I'd imagine, as Shadar is the avatar of the Dark One, I guess kind of like Brad Pitt was in Meet Joe Black (only with death, not the devil). Not the whole of his sentience and being, but enough to represent. Although, I have a feeling that Moridin still kind of does his own thing, long as it isn't in direct opposition to Shadar and thus the DO.

@10 Isilel Oh, I'd say there are a goodly number of at least respectfully crafty AS, but remember the Kin are all ex initiates, and AS make sure that novices and Accepted view them as the Light embodied, much as many teachers do (especially in boarding schools, I'm sure). Add in that the Kin avoid being anywhere near real AS to see if they behave at least marginally better "as needed" and you get the exaggerated view of "what, they aren't turning into fire and destroying us? Can't be AS."

As to the Kin and the "uselessness." I agree that they were an "added complication" to the plot that wasn't really needed, but the Kin do provide for the following things:
1) female channelers for TG that are sort of under the White Tower so it can at least properly represent compared to the Aiel, Seanchan, and Sea Folk.
2) a growth tool for Nyneave, Aviendah, and Elayne. Not all things are strictly for plot, and while it would have been nice, perhaps, if RJ had found ways to grow his characters without having to create another group of obstinate, pig-headed, misandristic women, I think in the end it adds to the his "sow chaos" feeling. At this point in the books, remember, the Light is getting it's behind handed to it, if not in a super-obvious way.

S'all for now, back to Bunker.v2
17. Gentleman Farmer
Following Leigh's description of the last chapter summary as one of her reasons why ACoS is one of her favourite books, these chapters illustrate another reason why it is definitely not mine.

One of the issued I noted before (in the course of the lengthy discussion on Cadsuane) was that I thought some of the characters were acting out of character in this book, and as a result it was difficult to accept their actions.

The second issue I have ACoS, highlighted with these two chapters would probably be described as "retconning". I think RJ is taking liberties with his world that he did not envision at the start of the series, and when it happens I find it a bit jarring, it hurts the suspension of disbelief.

The two things identified in these chapters are:

1. The ages of the kin. The story would probably have worked perfectly well if AS lived to be 100 or so, without showing any signs of age, and the kin could have lived to 140, 150 and looked very old. That would give effectively a double life span to channelers, and reduce by half the extended life span with the binding rod.

A group of people living to 300+ is much more problematic for how the series has played out to this point, from treating Ogier as rare and long lived and having better generational memory than anyone else (because they live to 300), to the loss of knowledge in each of the major thousand year events (Breaking, Trolloc Wars, Hawkwing). After all, some of the current damane would have interacted with damane who served Luthair Hawkwing. A channelling wisdom's grandmother could have served in Manetheren. The loss of knowledge and decay of civilization just works less well when there are people alive who can carry these memories.

I know there are rationales and explanations that have been built around this longevity, but I think overall it just doesn't seem consistent with what has happened before. After the revelation of the ages of the kin, my initial response was skepticism... not that such was their age as they believed it, but that RJ had revisited his initial vision of the series, and contradicted some of what had been said before (e.g. Moiraine looking to the Ogier for their memories of Be'lal).

2. The revelation of the true power. Although TP was perhaps foreshadowed by the prologue of TEotW, RJ is backpedalling as fast as he can in this scene to try to explain why Moghedien thought "saidin" rather than TP when she was freed. When she's talking with Moridin, it's clear that not only the chosen have access to the TP (my recollection of the quote is "you are one of only 28 to be granted that privilege"). Since at this stage it doesn't appear that Mordin is Nae'blis (or at least Moghedien isn't so informed), her initial reaction to Halima should have been "Ah. The True Power. Who are you anyway?" There is, in fact, much less precedent for it to have been saidin, whereas TP was something both men and women could access.

But the freeing of Moghedien came at the end of the last book, not the beginning of this one. The True Power wasn't really introduced until this book, and although I would like to think it was part of RJ's plan from the beginning, it really doesn't come across that way in the freeing of Moghedien.

This series is an awful lot for an author to keep together, and RJ does a remarkable job, but these two instances strike me as discontinous and jarring based on what has gone before. They make me think this book was either stretched, or rushed or changed in some way from the original vision, and it took some time for me to just try to accept it and move on (which perhaps is why I'm more accepting of TPoD than Leigh or some others, I had just made my peace with the fact that (difficult as it is to accept) RJ may not have been perfect.
Tricia Irish
18. Tektonica

Thanks for the reread in spite of your pain. We get it. Just glad you soldiered on!

Was Ishy/Mori always acknowledged as Naeblis? Seems like I remember from early books there was lots of vying for the spot. This is the first time I remember him really acting like it, having been given the cour'souvra and all.

Nynaeve continues to do her standup routine...LOL...wishing to look older....LOL......fool! She'll a couple hundred years, then she'll look back on these days and wish......

Feel better, Leigh!
Marcus W
19. toryx
Man, words cannot express the sympathy I feel at your root canal, Leigh. That's some true hurting right there. And I wouldn't want to take the Vicodin either.

I like how almost scientific the mind trap is. Collecting DNA and depositing it in a fancy little doohickey. That's just nifty. Evil, but nifty.

mrburack @ 8:

You sure nailed it. That's exactly why I have such a deep and abiding dislike for Aes Sedai. Though it's true that some of them are a little more gentle, preferring honey rather than the lash, that's only so long as it serves there ends.

As for the girls, they may be a lot gentler so far, but they don't hesitate to make up for it when they think of it. Egwene in particular's guilty of that.

Anyway, I also wanted to add that I'm one of those who is thus far cursed with eternal youth. Were it not for facial hair, I would look a good 25 years younger than I am. And it definitely was something that had been used against me until I finally managed to get a good beard going.

Poor Nynaeve can't even do that!
Maiane Bakroeva
20. Isilel
BTW, speaking of slowing, I always wondered about the true wilders. I mean, how do they exist? At some point they would be unable to deny that they aren't aging like normal people, then what?
Just moving from place to place, able to stay only a few years here, a few there, like that boy who could never grow up from the Bradbury's story? Always alone, letting nobody in on their secret? The Kin despise and reject them too (how charming).

Another thought - what happens to DF channelers who go to the WT and end up kicked out before they reach the shawl, for whatever reason?
Surely, the Kin would seem like a meaningless dead end to them, so where do they end up and why aren't they causing more trouble?

Gentelman Farmer @17:

Moiraine also knew that she couldn't trust institutional memory of the WT because of the BA infiltration and possible corruption of data, so this doesn't bother me at all.
Also, very long ages of channelers were actually first shown in TSR in the Columns of Rhuidean chapter, so it is nothing new.

As to Moggy's escape, I never understood why she jumped to the conclusion that Halima was using saidin, when inverted weaves + masked ability would make vastly more sense. Both of which have already been introduced at that point.
21. Lsana
Deepest sympathies on the root canal and best wishes for a speedy recovery. I also understand the reluctance to take the pain medication. I remember deciding that pain was better than morphine, and it amazes me that people actually inject that stuff of their own free will.

Absolutely agree that the lowering ceiling is one of the most terrifying images of the entire series. I'm mildly claustrophobic, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, even one of the Forsaken.

Also, what was the good that Moggy did by accident? I've never been quite clear on that.

@10 Isilel,

Moiraine has more than a bit of the Aes Sedai arrogance, especially in New Spring. She pretty much tortures Lan because he refuses to fall down and worship her. She's much better by the time the main series starts, though there is still that part in Dragon Reborn when she expects everyone else in the party to act like her servants.

I'll agree about Verin, though...she does tend to be pretty respectful.

@10 Isilel, 14 welltemperedwriter,

I'm not surprised either by Nynaeve being upset about her lack of aging. As I said in an earlier post, I think Nynaeve still thinks of herself as the village Wisdom, and as the Wisdom, she was considered too young. I imagine she was always looking forward to ten or fifteen years down the road when she would be old enough to look the part of Wisdom, and it makes sense that she is upset that it isn't going to happen, at least not soon.

I will say that while I don't like Nynaeve, I do feel for her sometimes. She wasn't really accepted as Wisdom because she was too young. She's not really accepted as Aes Sedai because of the unconventional path that she took to the shawl. I hope at some point she gets some real acceptance, both from others and from herself.

Though this brings up something that has always bugged me about the "slowing": we know that many, if not all, of the Wisdoms of the Two Rivers can channel. So why is it that no one in the TR has ever commented on this? One would think that most Wisdoms would look like Nynaeve, kind of stuck at 25, even after 20 years or so. It shouldn't come as a great surprise to Nynaeve; she should be well aware that she would stay young for a long while.
Ron Garrison
22. Man-0-Manetheran
Like you Leigh, my take on it is that 70 is just a number that RJ pulled up, and it really has no special significance. Now, if he had said “73 years” or some such specific number, then yeah: CLUE!

You have my greatest sympathy Leigh. Short of the stuff used during the root canal, I’ve never found dental pain killers to be that effective. Maybe teeth are just too close to the brain! All in all, maybe you’re not denying yourself that much. This too will pass.

Re. the Forsaken getting some hell with their heaven. Bottom line, there is no freeing themselves from this addiction. Their “rewards,” when you think about it, aren’t so freakin’ great either. They keep crawling back, but what alternative do they have?

Birgit F
23. birgit
How do you enter / leave a vacuole? If you Travel there it should not matter "where" the vacuole is. Or can you only Travel there if it has a "connection" to the Pattern?
Heidi Byrd
24. sweetlilflower
@21 perhaps previous wisdoms were not that strong? Elayne explains that the strength of the channeller affects the slowing process.
Steven Pattingale
25. Pattingale
Fascinating comments thus far. Gent good questions, we may never know, but the speculation is an interesting mental exercise. Might be fun to do a re-read of the earlier books looking for mention of the TP. Re age and the passing down of knowledge I don't think there are very many oldsters, that'd make it more difficult, and who knows how well the human memory works after 300 years!
26. Lsana
I don't know if I buy that slowing would necessarily mean that they would have no knowledge of the past. Those who aren't Aes Sedai try to hide their channeling and presumably their long lives, so I doubt there would be too many bragging about "Back when grandma was a healer with Hawkwing's army..." As for the Aes Sedai themselves, well, yes they live 300 years, but the Breaking was 3000 years ago. So if we say modern humans have a lifespan of 100 years (overestimating to simplify the math), that means that the Breaking was the equivalent of about year 1000, sort of in the middle of Mideval times. There's a lot we don't know about 1000 AD, and there hasn't been a major cataclysm in the intervening years.

@24 sweetlilflower,

Strength affects slowing, certainly, but it still doesn't explain Nynaeve having not noticed it. If the oldest Accepted (who presumably isn't all that strong if she's been kept Accepted so long) hasn't aged pretty much at all in the 20+ years since she's been slowing, the only way Nynaeve wouldn't have noticed anything is if every previous Wisdom in every village was so weak that she wouldn't have made Aes Sedai at all. And given that a single generation in a single village managed to produce 3 of the most powerful channelers the Aes Sedai had ever seen (Nynaeve, Egwene, and Mat's sister whose name escapes me)...I'm not buying it.
27. topknot
I thought that slowing was also affected by how often the OP is used.

Therefore an accepted in the tower who uses the power every day slows fairly quickly, while a wilder, who does not know she is using the power and maybe only uses it a few times a year, would not really show any visable signs or live that much longer than everyone else.
Richard Fife
28. R.Fife
Also, true wilders typically don't actively know what they are doing when they channel. Not fully embracing Saidar might have something to do with true wilders not slowing (as much).

To the TP comments from Moggy: There were more than 13 Chosen in the AoL. Only the 13 top ones were sealed at Shayol Ghul. The others were hunted down or at least eventually died during the breaking. I think this info is from the BBoBA.

To Hali'gar and saidin, maybe it was just what her scattered brain thought of first. Masking is something held closely by the supergirls, so she instinctively thinks that no one else in the camp can do it, and TP is for Chosen only, and she assumes that she knows all of the Chosen's faces, so that Hali'gar would use it is out. The then pain of Hali'gar touching the a'dam verifies that at least saidar is not being used, as any man who can channel touching the a'dam would cause the pain, whether or not he is holding saidin.

And theory on what "accidental good" she did: probably sending the Black Ajah out on this or that mission cause it has sewn chaos and given other Chosen useful tools, even if it was sent out for her own projects and goals. Thus the accident.
Marcus W
29. toryx
Re: Slowing:

I think it's depends largely on how often a Wilder channels. But I also agree with Gentleman Farmer that a lot of the time, RJ just hadn't worked some things out at the time of writing so the ret-con answers don't always quite work.

In thinking about the issue, it also occurred to me that it's assumed far too often that people can easily tell how old a person is by their appearance. But some people simply look younger than they are in practice, without any sort of mystical effect going on. If you don't know anything about Aes Sedai and slowing, I'd expect that most people just think Wisdoms have the tendency to look youthful, just as farmers who spend their time out in the elements tend to age faster from the effects of wind and sun.
30. nor3
@21 : ''...we know that many, if not all, of the Wisdoms of the Two Rivers can channel.''

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Two Rivers have a grand total of four Wisdoms? Three, now that Ny left, and had to get yer one from Devon Ride to cover for her.
31. Evan Thomas
Since chapter 24 discussing slowing, this is something I never figured out. We know that it is the Oath Rod that causes the ageless look, I think it takes time to take effect. We also know that stilling removes the Oath Rod binding and removes the ageless look, making sisters appear much younger. Why doesn't forswearing all oaths on the Oath Rod remove the ageless look? Or does it? It would seem that if it did, the Black Ajah should be easy to detect, they no longer have the ageless look. Or does re-swearing an oath of any sort restore the Ageless look? What effect (if any) does either method of oath removal (forswearing and/or stilling) have on the aging process? Did Robert Jordan ever answer these questions, or is it a big RAFO?
Thomas Keith
32. insectoid
Leigh: Sorry to hear about your root canal. Great post, and I hope you feel better soon.

Firstly: Blind @13:, congrats on the number, and THANK YOU for reminding us of the Giant Fiery Toilet! That really makes my day. ;D

Nynaeve: Oh the poor thing! I tend to agree with the people who say she's a, whatchacallit... oh yeah, CMHB!

The attack: My money's on Carridin and Shiaine.

Moghedien: Yes, well, despite going through all that stuff, I still don't sympathize. Sorry.

M-0-M @22: What does IRtRI mean??

Bonnie Andrews
33. misfortuona
Lsana and Sweetlilflower
Not all wisdoms could channel. I got the feeling that those that could were very rare.
Still as I do understand it, once you start channeling, even if it is rarely, you slow. This should have resulted in some very old wisdoms and someone would certainly have noticed.
One other thought on this chapter,
Nynaeve wants to cry, understanding now why no one ever believes her to be her true age, and wonders how long now she would have to wait before achieving her gray hairs. Then she feels a blow on her head, and turns groggily to see Elayne crumpled in a heap on the ground.

This seems very much like the scenes with Mat, narrowly missing being captured/killed by a chance of fate. Then there is the upcoming scene on the river where she just happens to have “someone” to save her. Is it possible that Nyn is Ta’veran?
Someone, Nicola isn’t it, that can see Taveran’s should have noted this if it was true, but it just always struck me as too coincidental.

Kathy Keith
34. Babokathy
@6 Denari6

BWS signed a different quote for most at the book signings, to the best of my knowledge. And it shocked me that he didn't actually SIGN my book, just circled his name!

Barry T
35. blindillusion
I'll agree about Verin, though...she does tend to be pretty respectful.

I’ll also agree that Verin treats others with respect. But there’s also the aspect of her personality that seems to be treating everything around her like a science experiment…one involving volatile materials…volatile materials that could explode in her face with even the tiniest of missteps. In being a Light Factor playing a Dark Friend portraying herself as a Light Factor she somewhat has to treat everyone with kid gloves.

Also, she has to fade into the background in order to continue her search for all things Shadow. What better way to hide in plain sight than to not stir emotions?
Marcus W
36. toryx
Why is it that whenever something weird happens, people think it must be related to someone being ta'veran?

Luck happens every day to people on a regular basis. It doesn't have to be mystical or the Pattern swirling around somebody. It just happens, for better or worse.

It happens even more often if you're a character in a novel, movie, or TV show.

Sorry, I don't mean to be rude about it but it seems like it's a theory that crops up all the freaking time to the point of becoming a pet peeve of mine. If Nynaeve was ta'veren, Siuan would have known and it would have been mentioned.

We should also remember that it's so rare that having three ta'veren at the same time strikes people who know as near impossible. I think it's incredibly unlikely that there are any other ta'veren than the three boys.

Also, let's not forget that being a ta'veren doesn't mean that one is protected all the time. It tends to be very non-specific and even if Nynaeve were ta'veren (which she's not) there'd be a lot more going on around her than a bunch of narrow escapes.
Matthew Smith
37. blocksmith
Not much to add to the discussion...

Leigh-Get well soon. Not a fan of pain meds myself, but never had a root canal so follow those doctor's orders. All that said, I thought it was a damn fine reread.

You nailed the collapsing cave ride to Shayol Ghul (don't expect to see that one a Disney anytime soon).

Relative to Moghedien...I felt no sympathy for her until RJ confirmed what she went through. She has done horrible things in her existence and deserves to be executed...but not what she went through.


My understanding is that any oath on an oath rod or "binder" creates the ageless look while shortening the life span.

I would agree that Verin is mostly respectful, but point to the compelling of other AS at their weakest moments as something not quite, ah, respectful.


Another example of how a warder could have helped them out (or other support) but all in all, Nyn handled this well. And to an extent, I think the breakdown afterwards perhaps marks her lowpoint...after this, Nyn starts to turn things around (IIRC).
Chin Bawambi
38. bawambi
My take on SH/Moradin rank:
SH - Mara Jade
Moradin - Darth Vader

And from Star Trek:
Sea Folk = Ferengi
Sammael = Khan
Chin Bawambi
39. bawambi
I'm not sure why the Kin are as reviled as a society on the boards as we seem to have FAR worse people in this saga

1) Seanchan empire - repulsive in almost every way
2) Sea Folk - the ferengi of randland
3) Whitecloaks - Spanish Inquisitors(sp?) to the tenth power
4) Aes Sedai - Most remind me of politicians/lawyers/doctors in their Napoleanic complexes

So they are a little annoying and a bit meek - they at least try to make the world a better place
I hope they are charged with helping the Ogier heal the Blight after TG.
Bonnie Andrews
40. misfortuona

I apologize if my musings struck a sore spot with you. Perhaps I missed the multiple times that this was brought up, or maybe it just never struck me as notable before now.

I also thought that since I stated that someone would have noted her ta'veranness before that it would be obvious that I didn't concider it a likely theory, but apparently I was mistaken.

I certainly didn't intend to lessen your enjoyment of the thread with my thoughts. I'll try to do better in the future.

James Jones
41. jamesedjones
39 bawambi

Monty Python as Whitecloaks?

They're going to be my favorite characters, now.
Barry T
42. blindillusion
RE:~ Nynaeve as ta'veren,

Well, I won't say Nynaeve is ta'veren simply because it's evident in the text that she is not. Yet, I also see where Mis was going with her musing.

She is not ta'veren because she does not affect the Pattern around her. But she does seem to be under the protective blanket of the Pattern...for the most part. The Pattern seems to need Nynaeve, and as such she finds herself getting out of circumstances where she might have died otherwise.

If you think about, Nynaeve...along with the rest of the Principles...are something like ta'veren. They do not affect the Pattern, but the Pattern seems to be going out of Its way to ensure they survive to a certain point... which is most likely Tarmon Gaidon.

Blind - ly supporting Mis.

Sorry if this makes no sense. I'm in a rush to get out of the office and get home.
Tricia Irish
43. Tektonica
JEJ@41: new favorite characters! That will help me tolerate their chapters.


Either the Pattern is keeping them alive for a reason...TG....or RJ just doesn't off any principles....yet.
Steven Pattingale
44. Pattingale
Aren't most characters (other than GRRM ones) protected by the Pattern by their Creator?
Debbie Solomon
45. dsolo
Thanks for the reread, Leigh, in spite of your pain. Hope you feel better soon. Don't be afraid of Vicodin. As long as you're taking it short term for pain relief, you'll be ok. Fear of addiction has caused many people to be undermedicated for pain, and the stress of pain delays healing. You can release endorpins on your own, but the best ways are exercise, laughter, chocolate and sex and some of those may not be appealing after dental surgery.

Back to the WoT - interesting question about the wilders. I think what happened to them depended on if it was inborn or developed later. It seems to be more fatal if it was inborn and uncontrolled.
Most wilders seemed to develop some kind of block. Wilders must have been able to live a long time, if they controlled their gift, since a toothless wilder bested Cadsuane nearly 300 years ago. Also, not all TR Wisdoms could channel, but they all claimed to be able to listen to the wind (a gift of channelers), but Ny thinks that she is really able to do it. It's either mentioned or implied in the series that many Wisdoms/Wise Women/Healers, etc have some ability, but it could be weak, like Morgase's.

re: the kidnapping attempt - the sharp faced woman must be Shiaine, as she is described like that every time she is onscreen (fox-faced, sharp featured, etc)

Have to give props to Ny - knock her in the head, and she can still heal. Yes, she can be annoying, but she's brave and loyal and smart. Not being taken seriously must have really rankled.
Julian Augustus
46. Alisonwonderland
Leigh @ 0:
I’ve always liked Rich Boye’s theory that it is the Kin, and not the *greal stash, that is the “treasure” referred to here

I liked the theory too when Rich first proposed it on the newsgroup. Now I'm not so sure, mainly because the Kin show very little sign of being useful to anybody, much less a treasure. The angreal stash, on the other hand, has already proven to be of great use, in Far Madding during the Rand rescue and also during the Cleansing. And we still don't know what many of the pieces in Caemlyn do; we could yet find a treasure among them. The Kin being the great treasure is not too believable at the moment.

Incidentally, Rich Boye occasionally posts here under the name Sarcastro, so we could yet hear from him if his views about that prophecy remain the same.
47. Evan Thomas

I understand that the Ageless effect is due to the oath rod/binder (or any oath rod/binder, for that matter), but for newly sworn Aes Sedai, I was under the impression that the ageless look had not yet formed, and it took time to occur (that's why the young Aes Sedai as part of the 13 that took Rand prisoner might not have been noticed). If that is the case, does unswearing oaths remove the ageless look, or does it require stilling. If unswearing oaths removes the ageless look, then Black Ajah when they remove the 3 oaths will lose their ageless look, which would identify them much more easily. Also is the life shortening removed if the oaths are removed/and or stilling occurs? (I'm not sure if these answers are known)
48. Alfvaen
My one question I got to ask RJ when he came through Edmonton (to sign CoT) was about female ta'veren. He said that there certainly have been some in the past, but there weren't any at the present time, three of them at one time being quite enough for the Pattern. Therefore Nynaeve was not a ta'veren.

Nonetheless I always thought of it when I was reading Min's plotline in FoH, because the chain of events that leads to Gareth Bryne being in Salidar is just as bizarre as anything a ta'veren could come up with. But maybe it's just second-order effect of Rand on Min, and for that matter on Bryne...or maybe even Elaida and Siuan.

Also, in the prologue for LoC (which I'm reading to my son right now), it establishes that there are definitely four Wisdoms in the Two Rivers by that point, even a young one for the newly repopulated Taren Ferry, with Daise Congar having assumed the role for Emond's Field.

I agree that slow-aging wilders would be a bit conspicuous. I can't remember, is there some kind of lingering channeling sickness that could kill them at any time? That might mitigate their aging as well.

The DO bringing back Ishamael as Moridin might be considered an answer to Demandred's question at the end of LoC. "Yeah, Dem, you made a pretty sucky Nae'blis, so I'm going to have to dip into the retired talent pool."
Steven Pattingale
49. Pattingale
You got to meet the Creator? :) Cool. I think we can chalk Nyn's survival up to Plot Armour. I blame this thread for taking me back to TV Tropes, I thought I'd gotten free, but I got sucked back in!
Jennifer B
50. JennB
re Wisdoms in TR
I may be remebering wrong but when Faile is talking to the Wisdoms they admit that none of them can listen to the wind. I have always assumed that none of them can channel.

It seemed to me that wilders were actually quite rare in TR and even rarer outside TR. I can't remember the exact stats but only a small percentage survive their first time channeling. I was under the impression that the majority of wisdoms could not channel. (I believe that the high number of sparkers in Egwene's generation may be due to the pattern kicking things up for TG.)

As for life spans, Doral Barran was white haired and frail, meaning she must have been very old indeed. It is a good point that no one in the TR questions how she could have lived so long. It doesn't bother me though. RJ is so good at foreshadowing that some readers may expect every detail to be hinted at before it is discovered, but I think that he should have some leeway to add in new things or change up things that have not been written in stone yet. It is quite possible, considering all of our POV characters were very young when she died, that they just didn't know that she was ancient so it never came into the narrative.
Agnes Kormendi
51. tapsi
Get well, Leigh!

"If unswearing oaths removes the ageless look, then Black Ajah when they remove the 3 oaths will lose their ageless look, which would identify them much more easily."

But they replace them with other oaths immediately.
Roger Powell
52. forkroot
The DO bringing back Ishamael as Moridin might be considered an answer to Demandred's question at the end of LoC. "Yeah, Dem, you made a pretty sucky Nae'blis, so I'm going to have to dip into the retired talent pool."
I think from previous DO musings, he has to grab the soul at the time of death. (That's why he can't grab balefired souls, because they are erased back in time a bit.) So he grabbed Ishy right away (as he did Balthamel and Aginor) regardless of whatever else was happening.

(Personally, I think Ishy/Moridin has always been the DO's choice for Nae'blis as he is really the only one who is totally on-board with what a victory by the DO entails. The DO just dangles the possibility to other Chosen to motivate them.)

Going back to grabbing souls, it took this re-read for me to pay attention to the fact that Moggy was not the first mindtrapped Chosen, even though we don't find out who the other one is until later books. So Lanfear/Cyndane has been back for a little while, eh?

We find out later (from her POV in WH) that she was "held" by the Finns, which means that she survived the trip through the ter'angreal. It appears she died at some point though, since she's obviously in a new body now.

What happened? I wonder if we'll get any information on this, perhaps from a rescued Moiraine?
53. Rand Al'Todd
Sympathy on the dental work, Leigh. My wife had a root canal today and goes back next week for an implant to replace a dead tooth.

Re the scene with Reanne in this chapter.

Seems Reanne, and the Kin in general, have learned their AS lessons well: Jump to conclusions first, ignore all evidence to the contrary, never consider the possible consequences of error until it is too late (or,at best, almost too late).

In other words: Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead! OOPS!

Interesting that, at least metaphorically, when "Berowin whispers that they did not perspire", Reanne's sweat pumps start, just for a moment, until she can, once again, convince herself that she has to be right.

Obviously, the one lesson Reanne missed was the the lesson Faile had about the lengths to which sisters would go in order to carry out orders or a plan. (Thus all her reasoning/logic arguments are totally unjustified.)

Probably Isshy's greatest achievement, better than creating the BA, was teaching the AS to be so damn haughty and cocksure. IMHO that attitude has probably done more for the Dark than all the BA sisters' plots and schemes over the centuries combined.
54. mattyh
re: wisdoms aging

wayyyy back in book 1, we had a quote from nynaeve that not all wisdoms can 'listen to the wind'. i guess it follows that not all wisdoms can could channel.
Tina Pierce
55. scissorrunner
Leigh - root canal=ouch. (and you still manage to sound coherent!!!) Heal quickly,and take one of those pain meds to sleep tonight!!!!

bawambi @38 - Sea Folk Ferengie!! now I'm seeing all those nose rings, chains & charms dangling over pointy teeth and hanging from freakishly huge ears! LOL

blindillusion @42 - the idea that the pattern is somehow protecting Nynaeve makes ton of sense. love the thought! (and she can have the gray hairs that have NO business popping out all over my head!!)
Jennifer B
56. JennB
the ta'veren thing
I have often tried to figure out the difference between the ta'veren and the other main characters. With a force (??can't think of a better word) like the pattern weaving events toward TG, I get the impression that the pattern is supposed to be constantly twitching threads to keep things on track. This twitching, seen as luck, coincidance, etc. will center around the biggest players. I guess this would be the pattern acting on them.

Part of me thinks this is all wrong though. All the characters are supposed to have free will and their decisions are supposed to be the driving force to make the pattern, not some external force.

Ta'veren are supposed to act on the pattern. I think that implies that a ta'veren can actually change events so that they occur in a way that is favorable to the ta'veren. If Ishamael could have turned Rand, his motivations would be different so his ta'vereness would work toward evil instead of good.

BUT All the ta'veren complain of the pattern tugging them one way or another which sends us right back to the pattern as an unseen force that is constantly twitching threads (or pulling in the case of ta'veren) to achieve some preordained outcome.

It seems to me that fate and free will are completely muddled in the WOT mythology. RJ tried to have it both ways.
Jennifer B
57. JennB
Re Gentleman Farmer @17 point #2

I think that Moghedian knows Aran'gar can channel saidin from the pain she feels when Aran'gar touches the a'dam. Egwene immediately knows that a man who can channel touched the link for the same reason. Aran'gar does not channel to open the clasp so there is no reason to think the True Power would be involved at all. The pain is something that happens when a saidin channler physically touches the link.

When Rand touches a linked damane's collar he feels a painful surge of saidin. It leaves his hand numb.

A saidar channel who can channel the True Power would have no effect on the link if she touched it.
58. OwMasha
Ooh, the Kin. The poor, neglected Kin, who apparently seem so useless to all of you ...
...about whom I more or less completely forgot until TGS, actually, so I shouldn't judge.

BUT, didn't anyone else go a little crazy over the Seanchan attack on the Tower, thinking this is how the Oaths could seriously kill you ALL? And have a moment of pure confusion when Seaine (I think) marveled at how well the novices and Accepted fought compared to Aes Sedai (and especially the poor, reputation-ruined Greens)?

Aes Sedai can only fight non-Shadowpawn (human or *raken!) when their lives are in immediate danger - in other words, their hands were tied during that raid. Lower-level initiates didn't have that problem - and neither do the Kin.

So, yeah, I think Leigh's point about the Kin escaping the Seanchan invasion is mucho correcto plus 50. They'll be back, and I would bet (well, maybe $5) that they'll be important in settling the Westlands/Seanchan conflict somehow.

soo... wrong?
John Massey
59. subwoofer
@Leigh, your folks shoulda named you Calamity, cause stuff just seems to happen to you. You are the chosen one. Been having fun house hunting:)?

I'm not buying the whole SG's are not as bad as reg AS. To me that is like comparing ass-weasels to butt-monkeys, equally ridiculous and will mess you up if given the chance.

For me it seems that the difference is the SG interaction with everybody else vs. the people that they have an established dynamic with. An example for me is that I fall into the same pattern in dealing with my family as compared to the rest of the world at large because we have a long established history and rapport. My parents and siblings view me as I was some... um, time ago and the rest of the galaxy sees me as I am today without all the history and baggage.

Similar comparisons could be made for the SG's, especially Nynaeve. For a Wisdom that summarily handed out corporal punishment on the boys not so long ago to current day where they are grown men and established in their own right, Ny is having a tough time making the transition in her head. Eggy? The jury is still out. Elayne is not so familiar with them, but her views are tainted by hearsay.

In a way that is both good and bad. For instance, Min views Rand as a sheepherder and that endears her to Rand because she still sees Rand for Rand as opposed to the Dragon Reborn. But she is an Oracle so the basis for comparison is a bit slanted. Still waiting to see how Egwene vis-a-vis Rand will end as there is a prophecy linked to it and the two have an deep rooted relationship. At the end of the day, they were still childhood sweethearts.

The only other thing I got is how dense Ny is in regards to Slowing. All the AS around her have the ageless look. Ny knows about said look and it just dawns on her now that this is going on? Get with the program girl. Too bad they could not bottle this stuff and sell it. A fortune could be made.

Ta'veren. I liken it to the lucky rabbit's foot.

Edited for better quality clip:)

John Massey
60. subwoofer
Wilders channeling. Look no further than the Aiel Wise Ones.

And Leigh, I use a Sponge Bob tooth brush. Makes me happy and encourages brushing;) I feel for you though, mind you, if you have any pain killers left over, send them my way. Strictly medicinal use only.

Edit- Welcome to our family Denari & Mat=. Good times.
Welcome back Fifester. Been awhile:)

Ron Garrison
61. Man-0-Manetheran
Sub: "At the end of the day, they were still childhood sweethearts." And IIRC, both had a very hard time figuring out how to tell the other that they didn't want to get married. They both afraid of hurting the other one.

"The only other thing I got is how dense Ny is in regards to Slowing." Technically what we have here is a creative info dump. RJ is informing us about slowing in a round-about, but entertaining way. Beats a glossary entry!

Janet Hopkins
62. JanDSedai
Earlier in this thread, people were wondering where Shadar Haran stood in the Forsaken/Chosen hierachy. Shadar Haran is a construct of the power, but Moridin is fully human, so he would outrank SH, unless SH was speaking for the Dark Lord.

When I first read about Trollocs, I was under the impression that they were human/animal hybrids. But from other readings, I guess they are made into hybrids by the Power. Which is why they can't go through Gates, or they would be unmade.

But Fades are described as throw-backs (do Tollocs breed?), and no one knows what causes them or when they will be produced. Yet, evidently someone is expirementing with Super Fades, as witness the Fade that comes to Rand in Baerlon "thin, bloodless lips curved in a cruel smile"). Normally, Fades cannot smile or laugh. And then the Fade at the Darkfriend Social, and now
Shadar Haran--Super Fade!

Aginor created the Trollocs, and by extension, the Fades, but he is not really in a position to be conductiong any expriements (i.e. in the Bore or almost dead), and he doesn't know very much about them any way. So who created him?
Janet Hopkins
63. JanDSedai
Or did we talk about all this when SH first appeared?
Barry T
64. blindillusion
The Dark One has been in the process of making Shaidar Haran for quite some time. Those Fades earlier in the story were SH's predecessors. There were actually several throughout the books:

~A Myrddraal confronts Rand at the Stag and Lion, smiling as it approaches him. (TEotW,Ch17)
~As Bors and the other Darkfriends wait, two Trollocs open the doors and admit a Myrddraal that smiles and announces that their Master comes. (TGH,Prologue)
~In the Fal Dara keep a Fade approaches Rand, smiling as it comes. (TGH,Ch6)
~An early version of Shaidar Haran confronts Jaichim Carridin in the Fortress of the Light and orders him to kill Rand. (TDR,Prologue)
Week 23 Question: Was the Fade who visited Jaichim Carridin in the Prologue of The Dragon Reborn an early version of Shaidar Haran? Its response that it likes to keep an eye on 'all who serve me' and its apparent sense of humor are behavior atypical of a Fade.
Robert Jordan Answers: I was wondering who would spot that. Shadar Haran Version 0.5! The Dark One doesn't get it spot on the first time every time.

WinespringBrother: Is Shaidar Haran an avatar to the world beyond the Bore?
Jordan: I am not certain you can really call him an avatar because I generally think of an avatar as having exactly the same powers as, and it is not, Shaidar Haran does not have nearly as much power as the Dark One. It's as though the Dark One is able to project a shadowy form of himself into this creature - it is the Dark One in shadowy form.
65. AndrewB
Blocksmith @37. You said:

"Relative to Moghedien...I felt no sympathy for her until RJ confirmed what she went through."

What did RJ confirm that Moggy went through? I can hazard some guesses, but I do not recall ever hearing/reading what those particulars were. (By your quote, I gather these things happened off screen after she had her scolding from the Dark One.

This chapter, although not relevant to the overall progression/resolution of the story, is one of the best written chapters in all of WoT. I rank this up there with the chapter when Rand and Co journeyed through the Portal Stones and ended up ~ 4 months later on Toman Head. For me, what stands out more than anything was 1) the start of the chapter where Moggy is reliving everything that happended to her; and 2) the part of the chapter where RJ is about to have her relive that story. I do not think it would be as memorable if we, as readers, were reading this chapter from Moggy's point of view in the present (i.e. it was not a recap of the scene).

Is there anyhing in this chapter that RJ had to have in his story? The answer is no. That Leigh spent so much time quoting what amounts to a filler chapter is a tribute to RJ's skill as a writer (as opposed to a storyteller).

The way I view things, the storyteller portion of RJ is what he did (or did not due in some of his books) to advance the overall plot of the WoT saga. The writer portion was the descriptions, imagery and vocabulary he used to take us on the journey of the advancement of the plot.

(In my opinion, the most vivid example of RJ's writing style was the beginnig of each book with the language of the turning of the wheel.)

Blocksmith (and some others), I have to disagree with you. I do not have any sympathy for Moggy (or any of the other Forsaken, for that matter). They made their choice a long time ago to side with the DO. They knew what they were getting into. Throughout the course of the War of Shadows and after waking up, the Forsaken have done many evil deeds. To quote the expression, "they made their bed and now they have to sleep in it."

That said, I cannot say with that if I was a channeler in the Age of Legends who was not happy with my lot and life and I had to the opportunity to achieve power and wealth and all that other stuff that the Forsaken thought that they would get, I might have willingly joined the DO. What can I say, I have a Machavelian streak in me.

I have rambled enough this morning (as I live on the East Coast and it is close to 1:00 am). Thanks for reading my musings.

Alice Arneson
66. Wetlandernw
Whew! finally caught up tonight.

First off - Leigh, you have all my sympathy. I've had boatloads of dental work, fillings to root canals to implants to jaw surgery, and not a single bit of it has been fun. Still, better than the teeth rotting out. *sigh* Me, I'm a fan of pain meds for the first 24 hours - mostly because I'm so NOT a fan of pain. Anyway, hope it all heals quickly and you can revert to the basic OTCs. (BTW, my dentist recommends alternating acetaminophen and ibuprofen every 3-4 hours; he says they deal with pain along different pathways, so they don't interfere with each other and you get the maximum relief for the minimum drug build-up. Or something like that.)

I never noticed before how totally funny Reanne is in her assessment of the situation. "There is none so blind as he who will not see." Or she. But then you could use that line for a fair few situations in this series, like every other page or so. Then again, she does go ahead and set the Kin evacuation in motion, so I guess she's not completely blind.

Nynaeve al’Meara, ladies and gentlemen: the only woman in the history of the world to actually be devastated to learn she’s going to stay young and beautiful for multiple decades. Lordy. ROFL!! She's so funny here. And then to add insult to injury, she finally has to admit that they need Mat to help them find the Bowl. Poor girl. :>’s worth remembering that as a general rule all of the Supergirls, including Nynaeve, treat non-Aes Sedai with about ten times the respect that any other Aes Sedai would give. It's a good point. The exceptions people have named are notably those who might want to be incognito at times; more significantly, I think, they are those who have Causes which they consider to be of greater importance than their own dignity or image. Moiraine would literally do anything she had good reason to believe would help her find and aid the Dragon Reborn. (Her perceptions weren't always correct, but she did the best she could with what she knew, and in spite of her mistakes, her goal was never self-centered.) Verin, as we now know, cultivated a specific image for the incredible purpose of, as blindillusion says, being a Light Factor playing a Dark Friend portraying herself as a Light Factor. She very much needed to be overlooked and dismissed much of the time, in order to fulfill her mission. The rest of the AS we see are mostly in the WT all the time, or out hobnobbing with the nobility as advisors, mediators, or such-like. And whoever made it, it's a very good point that the Kin, being all failed/runaway novices or Accepted, fully expect all AS to be All That; while you wear white in the WT, full sisters are absolute authority and you are never allowed to forget it. Most of them would have had no chance to see a full sister in any other venue.

Mindtrap: creeps me out. The whole thing with Moghedien and Shaidar Haran was utterly spine-crawling nightmarish. Pretty bad when a conversation with Moridin is actually a relief from what came before. But the whole idea of the mindtrap, aside from all the other horror, is truly sickening. Eeeewwwww. Which doesn't really express my reaction to it on every re-read, but it's about as close as I can get with words. Or letters attempting to depict sounds. Or whatever. (Is it getting late? Or just the end of a long week?)

Comments on the comments...

FWIW, if the Kin were taken as damane they would be much more useful than AS. The Oaths still restrict a full sister, even when she's leashed; since the Kin have not taken the Oaths, they could be made to do whatever they have the strength to do. Since many are weaker, it might not be as much potential, but as weapons, the stronger ones would be incredibly valuable.

blindillusion makes an excellent point that "gender equality" doesn't figure into Nynaeve's wail here; she couldn't care much less how the men see her (except Lan), it's the women whose respect she wanted.

I have to confess to mild surprise (mild only because I've been reading this stuff for a year now and am becoming slightly accustomed) over people being bothered at something coming up in Book 7 that doesn't jibe with their understanding of things based on the previous six books. J.R.R.Tolkein didn't have to worry about internal consistency in Lord of the Rings, because he wrote the whole thing prior to publication of any of it. In fact, he rewrote large sections of it, multiple times, because he had friends like C.S.Lewis, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield etc. reading and critiquing as he wrote. With that kind of editorial help, inconsistencies were pretty much not gonna happen. Robert Jordan didn't have that luxury; as we know all too well, many years passed between publication of the first book and the last. It's simply not physically possible to work out the level of detail necessary to every single factor that will arise in a series of this magnitude prior to publication of the first book.

That said, I don't seem to have the problems some do with certain details. In some cases, I guess I don't find that it interferes with my enjoyment of the story; in others, I don't find it as inconsistent as others do. Oh well. I'd certainly never hold up Robert Jordan as the perfect author, but I don't see a problem with leaving the development of a concept for someplace down the line a bit.

Evan Thomas @31 - Removal of the Oaths doesn't immediately destroy the ageless look. Siuan & Leane, for example, had a very traumatic time with shock, stilling & torture, which destroyed their ageless look and made them appear much younger within a couple of days. Simply removing the Oaths (as the BA do) isn't terribly traumatic, although it's moderately painful, so the agelessness isn't affected right away. The BA swear their new oaths pretty promptly, as well, so there's not much time for the look to go away. Forswearing all Oaths on the Oath Rod would indeed remove the ageless look, but it would dissipate over time. RJ made it pretty clear (can't give you a quote right now, but I'll look it up if you want) that it's not the specifics of the oath that cause the ageless look, but simply the number of oaths sworn on the Oath Rod. Does that make any sense?

On ta'veren, and Nynaeve in particular, RJ said:
...of course women can be ta’veren. None of the major female characters in the books is ta’veren, though. The Wheel doesn’t cast ta’veren around indiscriminately. There has to be a specific reason or need. (I tossed in the “major” just to leave you something to argue about.)
About ta'veren in general, it's been described in the books in several ways. Sometimes it's said that the Pattern shapes itself around them; sometimes it's said that the Pattern weaves them more tightly than others. In either case, a ta'veren affects the lives of others around them, pulling and twisting them as needed. So it's certainly well within the described effect of ta'veren for Nynaeve's "luck" to be affected by Mat's or Rand's purpose in the Pattern, without Nynaeve being ta'veren herself. And of course, RJ doesn't go around killing Our Heroes halfway through the series just to make it more "realistic". (Y'all have thoroughly convinced me never to read GRRM.)

JennB @56 - It's just that you can't wrap your head around the apparent paradox of predestination and freewill. It's not really something you can logic out. Fortunately, RJ was able to accept it - and write it in - without feeling a need to be able to fully explain it.

JanDSedai @62 - We don't really know much about the mechanics of SH's production. We do know that Trollocs breed; apparently we don't really want to know much of the detail. (To which I say, AMEN!!) SH is apparently more directly a result of the DO's manipulation than the average Fade, but detail is lacking at this point. I guess while I was writing, blindillusion did a pretty good run-down on what we know @64.

AndrewB @ 65 - click on Leigh's link to get a little more detail about "what Moggy went through".

Sorry for the wall, everyone!
67. Freelancer
Leigh, I can empathize wholeheartedly. Six weeks before entering active duty I popped a filling out. A big one. Since I was utterly broke, the decision to wait until the Navy would do the work for free was easy. Easy and painful. And the root canal which followed was a horrorshow of its own. I feel you. Think of Egwene, and drink in the pain.


Mine says, "Peace favor your sword." As I'm a much bigger fan of Rand, or even Lan, than of Mat, I was very pleased that Brandon chose that phrase.

As to Moggy's escape, I never understood why she jumped to the conclusion that Halima was using saidin, when inverted weaves + masked ability would make vastly more sense. Both of which have already been introduced at that point.

Because she felt a stab of pain through the a'dam when Halima unclasped it, something that would only happen from someone channeling saidin.

Evan Thomas@31

Brandon revealed that the ageless look is acquired via the application of three oaths using the Oath Rod. One or two, and the result isn't the same. The Black Ajah replaces the Tower's three oaths with a different set of three, thus sustaining the ageless look.

Why is it that whenever something weird happens, people think it must be related to someone being ta'veran?
Or that they are under Compulsion. ::eyeroll::

Rand Al'Todd@53

Or, in other words, "Ready, fire, aim!"
Birgit F
68. birgit
You see, the Wheel of Time weaves the Pattern of the Ages, and the threads it uses are lives. It is not fixed, the Pattern, not always. If a man tries to change the direction of his life and the Pattern has room for it, the Wheel just weaves on and takes it in. There is always room for small changes, but sometimes the Pattern simply won't accept a big change, no matter how hard you try. You understand?"
Rand nodded. "I could live on the farm or in Emond's Field, and that would be a small change. If I wanted to be a king, though ..." He laughed, and Loial gave a grin that almost split his face in two. His teeth were white, and as broad as chisels.
"Yes, that's it. But sometimes the change chooses you, or the Wheel chooses you. And sometimes the Wheel bends a life-thread, or several threads, in such a way that all the surrounding threads are forced to swirl around it, and those force other threads, and those still others, and on and on. That first bending to make the Web, that is ta'veren, and there is nothing you can do to change it, not until the Pattern itself changes.

EotW ch. 36

The girls are not ta'veren, but they are threads close to the 3 ta'veren and that makes them more important than more distant threads.

Wilders channeling. Look no further than the Aiel Wise Ones.

The AS call them Wilders, but they aren't really because they have teachers to learn channeling.
Rob Munnelly
69. RobMRobM
Leigh - sorry about the teeth and the hundreds of dollars to expended to fix them. I have a great idea - perhaps you should consider making some additional money to pay for them. I have it- perhaps you could double or (dare I say) triple your output on Perhaps you might be able to have enough for a down payment or deposit on a new place to live. Yes! There's an idea for you - honor's tooth!

We know you heart ACOS but the two chapter a week pace is killing us. I tried to pace my latest re-read with yours but having now read and re-read to death both ACOS and TPOD, I may have to leave you in the dust. *sigh* Can't we get out of first gear and at least get us back to second or third?

70. Azrael
Is it just me, or does the master index no longer update, stuck showing part 12 was the last update?
john mullen
71. johntheirishmongol
Once again Ny is totally over the top. Just wait a few years and those who are happy they look more mature will be wishing they look younger.

Take a lesson from Egwene, Leigh, and accept the pain, or eat a lot of pain pills. I just went thru the same thing and I am still waiting of my new cap, and had another filling fall out so I do empathize.

As for Moggy, I don't feel sorry at all for her. She made her bed, and thats what happens when you belong to the DO
April Moore
72. aprildmoore
@Azrael: Nope, same here. I have to search through the most recent comments list to find the most recent WoT Re-Read post. Luckily, thanks to you guys, there is almost always one there to find!

*re-engaging lurk engine*
73. Azrael
@aprildmoore Glad to know it's not just me, thanks!
74. GoldsteinLives
I speculate that the pattern works something like fate vs. free will is explained in "A Wrinkle in Time". It's a sonnet, and there is a strict form that you are forced into. However, "You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you."

That's the analogy that I think best represents what RJ is going for with his descriptions of the Pattern Ta'varen.

Re: Feeling sorry for Moggy.

I agree that she deserves horrible punishments. That said, there's a point where if you condone some punishments (i.e., the idea Moggy deserves what she's getting here) it becomes harder to separate the good from the bad. This is the problem with the Questioners, for instance. Sure, they want to find and kill Darkfriends, but they use very Darkfriend like methods in doing so.

That's my paragraph way of getting around to the following point: Moggy's evil. She definitely deserves eternal imprisonment in a none too nice cell, or execution. It is not just, however, for her to be subjected to the infinitely creepy slavery that is the mindtrap. And saying she "deserves what she gets" as a victim of sexual violence... I don't even know how to respond to that in a level-headed way, so I won't make an effort to do so.
Alice Arneson
75. Wetlandernw
GoldsteinLives @74 - I realize this wasn't your main point, but I'm putting off housework. ;)

Part of the problem with the Questioners is the methods they use, but that's only part. The other problem is that they generally decide on the "truth" in advance, and then use their methods to "prove" whatever they want to prove about the questionee. So... they decide you're a Darkfriend, then use whatever torture it takes to get you to "admit" it. They aren't looking for the truth of a question, they're going for a confession and execution. I think the two go hand-in-hand, in many cases; when you are more interested in a conviction than in the truth, you aren't likely to have many qualms about what methods you use to get it.

As for Moghedien... it's hard to draw a clear line for ourselves between "she deserves a horrible fate" and "she deserves that particular horrible fate." I can't feel any sympathy for her, but I'm not exactly qualified to determine what someone else "deserves" as punishment for their crimes. (Okay, she definitely deserves more than a spanking.) If I had to determine her punishment, I think I'd go for permanent imprisonment with the DO. I certainly wouldn't opt for turning someone over to a Fade for its pleasure... partly because I can't see giving pleasure to a Fade as a good idea in any situation! I can see why the DO would use it, though; makes perfect sense from his POV. Which, in a twisted sort of way, makes it "appropriate" for Moghedien; she made a personal choice to serve the DO and make him her Great Lord, so she's given him the right to do anything he wants to/with her. If she doesn't serve well, he can punish her as he sees fit. Still... if anyone claimed to be on Team Light and meted out that particular punishment, you'd really have to question their discernment. I guess that's where Shadar Logoth came from.
Janet Hopkins
76. JanDSedai
The question is whether Moggy saw the sexual violation as anything unusual. Mere physical sensation pales compared to the psychological violation of the mind-trap. Moggy doesn't even think about directly in her "terrible things were done to me" POV.

Of course, suffering the sexual attentions of a Fade is condered a "fate worse that death"...

ps wetlandernw-- also avoiding housework!
John Massey
77. subwoofer
@birgit- was responding to the Slowing/crusty look the women get. Wise Ones do not look the same, have the same Ageless/stretched plastic look the AS have.

As for Cucamonga- nope, I think she got off easy. She made her deal with the devil and now has to pay for it. Shoulda picked the good guys side. Questioning that is like questioning the justice system. Bad people get punished through due process. IMHO things are easy now, at least up here in the Borderlands. Back in these times, Moggy, er Cucamonga, deserves everything a person who wears a black hat gets. Especially one that chose sides before the War of the Shadow and is essentially a mass murderer. Throw the book at her. Let it bounce back and hit her again.

Janet Hopkins
78. JanDSedai
re: Aiel Wise Ones and slowing
This is seen throughout the book, it just is not stated in so many words. For instance, Egwene thinks Melaine is young enough to have young children, but finds out that she is a grandmother. And the WO are mostly older than they look. That was established early on in the series.

Re: Moggy
Done to death. which is what she deserves!
79. GoldsteinLives
So, wait a minute... I want to be clear here...

We have people on this board justifying the sort of psychological violation of the mindtrap, and the physical, psychological, and personal violation that is sexual assault.

Because that's what a character, an admittedly extremely evil character, "deserves." O...k.

Here's the thing. Moggy signed up for the bad guys side. She deserves punishment for that. The good guys are absolutely free and justified to toss her back into the DO prison and throw away the key, kill her in battle, or even find a way to assassinate her if they think that will help them win. But...

That's not the conversation here. The conversation here seems to be heading in the direction of "well, of course we don't want the good guys to use rape as a weapon of war, that's disgusting. But the fact that Moggy got raped, well, she deserved it. She put herself in that situation."

That sounds... well, horrifyingly glib about sexual assault, but also oddly familiar to me. You see, I'm an attorney. This is the kind of thing people say about prostitutes or strippers who get raped. Hell, its the kind of thing people say about co-eds who had a few too many at a party. And its a disgusting attitude I hoped we as a people had grown beyond.

But Moggy's not the same as any of those people, I'm sure is a response. Where shall we draw the line?

No one. No one deserves to be sexually assaulted, no matter how evil or depraved. (Yes, I know we're talking about a fictional character here, but this is an attitude with real world consequences.) So the fact that we all agree that it would be wrong for the good guys to punish her in this way isn't what this is about. Its about the fact that there's a belief out there that she "deserved" this kind of violation either because she's evil or because she put herself in this position.

She doesn't deserve it. No one does. Period. It is such a fundamental violation of human dignity that we don't get to cheer, even when it happens to a truly, almost incomprehensibly evil person.
Ron Garrison
80. Man-0-Manetheran
Moggy's Punishment:
She deserves to have 26 root canals and NO pain medication before, during or after.

Debbie Solomon
81. dsolo
goldsteinlives @ 79 - I don't think people are being glib about sexual assault, but the fact that Moghedien was punished by the DO. Rape is an act of violence and violation, so, of course, it would be in the playbook of the ultimate evil. Leigh's sympathy seemed to be more toward the gradually lowering ceiling and I took the responses to indicate she deserved that and her subsequent humiliation/punishment. Like the snake said, "You knew what I was when you picked me up."

bawambi @ 39 - "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

re: AS and COL - Both of them have used somewhat shady methods to achieve what they think is right for Team Light. That's what makes them so easy to infiltrate by Darkfriends - Pigheaded Arrogance.
Tina Pierce
82. scissorrunner
re: punishing the spider

squish it like a bug!!

to GoldsteinLives @79
As for our "favorite" spider, I for one, didn't catch that assault had happened until this reread. It happened "off-screen" and I don't connect those kinds of dots well(or maybe it’s a self defense mechanism).
Seriously though, I believe that no-one posting here actually thinks that a sexual assault is "deserved". Any assault that attacks the dignity & soul is reprehensible. Those that attack that way are sub-human, those that prosecute attackers & defend the attacked are hard working angels. We get that.
Spider Lady deserved the shredding of dignity that came with the ever-decreasing ceiling and the final knowledge that she - who loves to control others, is no longer in control of even herself.
John Massey
83. subwoofer
Fine, were she here, Cucamonga would get her day in court. And when she does, and is found guilt for her crimes, I hope her trial is in a state that gives the needle. I wasn't talking about rape. Never said it once. Let me be clear. For her actions Cucamonga deserves death. Old Testament style.

And what running-with-scissors said.

Alice Arneson
84. Wetlandernw
GoldsteinLives - Whatever a person may or may not deserve, it is blind and foolish to refuse to recognize that our decisions have logical consequences. When Moghedien placed herself in the service of the Great Lord of the Dark, she was hoping for immortality and power. She (may have) neglected to consider the price of failure. Did she deserve what she got? I can't say. Should she have expected it? Definitely. Before it happened, she already knew this:
She had never noticed that the Great Lord of the Dark possessed any mercy, but had she been bound in a cell with rabid wolves or with a darath in moult, she would have begged the same. In the right circumstances, you begged even for the impossible.
She just never thought it could happen to her. The point is, she put herself in a position where the consequence of failure was truly awful; she failed; she suffered the consequences. Considering the things she was perfectly happy to do to others, you can't defend her too heartily. Or at least I can't. And it does seem to have been a not uncommon DF consequence for failure; at least she's not the only one we see being "punished" by that method. Okay, Falion wasn't given to a Fade, just a bestial man. Even so. Awful? You bet. Expected? Should have been, if they weren't too arrogant to believe they could possibly fail.
Jennifer B
85. JennB
Luckily while I see the contridiction between fate and free will in the series, it has never bothered me. I enjoy the mythology of WOT. I just felt that the contridiction could not be left out of a discussion of ta'veren.
86. FellKnight
wetlandernw @66

wetlandernw building a wall of text with him(?) on one side and the rest of on the other, subwoofer and misfortuona and others she could not make out. "It has to be done," he was saying as he piled up stones. "I'll not let you stop me now."

Nice wall ;)

Ron Garrison
87. Man-0-Manetheran
Forgive me if I am misunderstanding your post, but if you see a wall between Wetlandernw and "the rest of" you are quite mistaken. I, for one, will be on Wetlander's side of the "wall." She is one of the most knowledgable, considerate and thoughtful posters on this board.
Barry T
88. blindillusion
Ah yes.

Agreed. I'll place myself on that side of the "wall" as well.
Sam Mickel
89. Samadai
I also would be on Wetlanders side, But I read it as that FellKnight is on Wets side also.
90. SethN
Does anybody else kind of think that Moghedien will actually get out of her mindtrap? I know the chances are REALLY unlikely (especially since the Forsaken seem to be dropping like flies these days), but from the moment she swore that to herself, I never really doubted it. I really believed that the next time we saw her after she was being sucked into the vortex of doom at the end of Winter's Heart she would be all changed and badass because of the way she thought to herself that she would never be scared again. It's hard to take her seriously as a villain, I keep trying to view her as a good guy with character arcs and growth I suppose. Still, it'd be nice if she surprised the hell outta Moridin and managed to break free.
Alice Arneson
91. Wetlandernw
SethN'd be nice if she surprised the hell outta Moridin and managed to break free. Hey, I'd like to see anyone knock Moridin completely out of his stride! He creeps me out and I'd love to see him gone sideways. Except, of course, for the possible effect that could have on Rand...

JennB @85 - Less a contradiction than a paradox, the way I read it. (ymmv) Whatever. A ta'veren's decisions have more impact on those around him than most, and he is free to make those decisions. However, since he's been made ta'veren for a purpose, the Pattern will turn those decisions in certain directions. Sometimes this results in a decision producing a very different outcome than what he had anticipated, but it's never an "impossible" outcome. Sometimes it's one of those "one in a thousand against" chances, and sometimes it's totally obvious.

One of the things I think is pretty apparent is that the Pattern doesn't randomly hit someone with the ta'veren whammy and then force them into a radically different personality. It takes a person with certain traits, the kind of person it needs for the job that needs doing, and sets them on the required path. In one sense, Our Boys are "woven more tightly" because they are ta'veren; in another very real sense, they do what they do just because of who they are. As I see it, the Pattern pulls events around them to set scenarios in which they will make the choices it needs; they aren't forced against their nature to make those choices, but rather are forced by their innate character to make those choices given the scenario created by the Pattern. (Did that make any sense?)

Take Mat, for everyone's favorite controversial example. If he'd stayed in the Two Rivers, he'd never have been a "great captain" and led the Band of the Red Hand. He would, however, have always been the guy who said "I'm no hero" but would risk his life to get the kids out of the burning house; the guy who's reluctant to make promises but always keeps them once made; the guy who loves to make sure his friends don't get swelled heads, but would defend them against an outsider in whatever (usually dramatic) way seemed appropriate. (And he'd have a good eye for horses, targets, and pretty women.) As ta'veren the Pattern stuffs him into situations he'd rather avoid, but once there he acts true to his character. In the battle of Cairhien, the "tight weaving" was primarily in his earlier "inability" to leave, and in the way the battle moved around him. His actions once there, though, were totally consistent with his personality as established back in book 1 and developed throughout the series. He could have tried to find a place to hide, but those dumb soldiers were going to get slaughtered if they kept going the way they were, and it would be inconvenient for him, and... with a handful of excuses for not actually running away, he uses "other men's memories" to not only save them, but win repeatedly. It's a bit late and my head's too stuffy to do a protracted analysis of this, much less other events, or to go into a similar analysis of Perrin. But seriously, I don't think the fate/freewill aspects of ta'verenity are as contradictory as it appears on the surface. JMO.

FellKnight @86 - Who knew you were a Dreamer? :) And Wetlandernw is definitely "her", thankyouverymuch.

Sure is a good thing I found that ta'veren thing to talk about. Might have let the wall get too low. That would never do.
Alice Arneson
92. Wetlandernw
P.S. Man-o-Manetheran, blindillusion, Samadai - Thanks! I never take you guys for granted, but the encouragement was particularly welcome tonight.
Barry T
93. blindillusion

*tips hat*

Always. Hope all is well.
Thomas Keith
94. insectoid
All in all, it's just another brick in the wall...

Ah, I'm sure I'd be on Wet's side of the wall, too. :)

Scissor @82: Hey, watch who you're squishing now... ;)

Leigh Butler
95. leighdb
dsolo @81:

Actually I have no sympathy for that ceiling whatsoever. It never returns my phone calls. Stupid ceiling.
Thomas Keith
96. insectoid
Leigh @95: LOL. Hope you're feeling better.

Rob Munnelly
97. RobMRobM
Leigh - up at 2:57? Hope it's coming home from a good party and not the tooth, the whole tooth....
98. FellKnight
@all, it was a joke ;) I quite enjoyed reading the wall-o-text, even if halfway through I already though it was an epic-sized wall.

@ wetlandernw, glad you got it! I thought you might be female, hence the (?), but sometimes it is hard to keep everyone straight on here.

Tricia Irish
99. Tektonica

Excellent thoughts on "Ta'vereness". You are incredibly clear. I think I actually have a much better understanding of it now. Thank you. And put me on your side of that wall, please. I always get a thrill when I see a Wall'O'Text from you!
Bill Reamy
100. BillinHI
For Azrael and aprildmoore above re index not updating: On's main page, click on Leigh Butler under the bloggers section and bookmark that. As I understand it, that section is automatically updated and since Leigh rarely puts anything up other than her (wonderful) re-reads, you can always get the latest post.

And for Leigh: Hang in there. I can sympathize even though I have been wearing full dentures for almost 30 years as a result of poor choices in dental DNA (and a lack of flouride when I was growing up in the 50's.).

Edit: YAY for one hunny!
Tina Pierce
101. scissorrunner
Wetlandernw - love your ta'veren analysis through Mat's POV. He is truly why so many girls love to love the "bad" boys. I'll be on your side of the wall anytime!
insectoid - never thought of you as the kind of bug that needed squishing......
102. GoldsteinLives
My apologies if I come on a bit strong, or as one of those crusader types who show up on boards. Like most of my law school friends, I have exactly three speeds in both work and play: All out, reading, sleeping. That's it. So I was not meaning to attack anyone's character here, if that's how I came across.

I get the distinction that's being made here, and I can get on board with that. Moggy should have known what she was getting into by putting herself in service to the ultimate evil. That's what's so frustrating about nasty, selfish people working for even nastier people. It never seems to occur to them that their bosses are capable of doing those horrifying things to them as well. At least, it doesn't occur until it's too late.

And yes, Sub, executing Moggy is something I'm perfectly fine with. Or sending someone capable to simply take her out if capturing and trying her is too difficult. :)

Re: Free will vs. Determinism. I think the portal stones give us a big clue on the cosmology of this. I'm not at a place where I can go citation searching, but I'm pretty sure Lanfear says at some point that the "fadedness" or some such of each reality increases or decreases based on how probable it is.

So it seems that Randland works in a probabalistic way. The pattern influences things by influencing probability. And Ta'varen puts you in a place that we've all seen where probability goes wacky. So you have a finite number of possible choices in the pattern, and the pattern makes some more or less likely. A ta'veren has even fewer possible choices, but the choices they do make exert a bigger drag on the probability of everyone elses' choices, causing one choice to approach 100% probability.
Thomas Keith
103. insectoid
Only a half dozen comments today? Hmm.
ECHO! ECHO...ECHO...Echo...Echo...echo... ;)

Scissor @101: I was kidding, of course. But I couldn't help throwing that out there.

Or, from the bug's perspective: "Hey, watch the foot, watch the foot... Ow!"

Tina Pierce
104. scissorrunner
:) some bugs (spiders & other creepy crawlers) need squishing.
most bugs that bzzz pollinate my garden(everyone else's too)
I think of you as the kind that pollinates, not gardens, but ideas.
guess which ones I'd rather squish??
and you're right- its too quite around here today....
Tasneem Gould
105. Latecomer
Morning all! Long time no see.

Catching up to the posts, if not actually re-reading alongside. As usual lots of great comments.

I've always thought that ageless look = oath rod effects, slowing = channelling effect. Therefore if you don't channel, you don't slow. Even if you have channelled before.

Moggy's punishment - Mindtrapping I understand. I know what you are saying - you walk home drunk through a dark park at 3.00 a.m., you can expect bad things to happen to you. But it doesn't mean you deserve it. But by the same token - fitting punishments - if you asked Moggy if she would want to be killed or just 'punished' and allowed to live, even if only as a servant, what do you think she would choose? Heck, what would ANYONE choose?

Wetlander - totally with you re. events are influenced by the Pattern to shape 'destiny'. But response to events are all coming from the characters themselves. So no contradication there for me. BUT BUT BUT - please don't dismiss GRRM's writing based on number of deaths! Read the first book and then decide. He is a fantastic writer and you might just be surprised....

Last but not least - a special shout out to Sub for all the laughs - not least the Bowl of Winds :)
Tasneem Gould
106. Latecomer
Speculating re Moggy's comments in these chapters:

"In the long run, the True Power was far more addictive than the One Power; a strong will could hold down the desire to draw more saidar or saidin, but she herself did not believe the will existed strong enough to resist the True Power, not once the saa appeared in your eyes. The final price was different, but no less terrible."

The final price for drawing too much of the One Power is Burning out - so that you could never touch the source again.

So what might be the price for drawing too much of the True Power? A constant link that cannot be broken - one that sucks the life force out of you? Or does it overtake your mind and body and you are just a shell/ another extension of the DO?

Any other guesses?
107. AndrewB
Above I said that Moggy got what she deserved. After I posted that comment, I read Leigh's link to the FAQ in her commentary (re RJ's answer to the question of what SH did to Moggy). .

I want to amend my statement. Moggy did not deserve to be raped. No female (even a fictional character) deserves to be raped as a means of punishment.

(Note I said "female." I do not have a problem with a male rapist being raped himself as a form of punishment.)

OTOH, I have no problem with Moggy being mindtrapped. She pledged her soul to the DO. The mindtrap is an extension of the loss of her soul.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Barry T
108. blindillusion
Mr Jordan addressed that it is possible to burn out with the True Power, though he didn't really make it seem like there was a difference between burning out with the True Power and doing so with the One Power.

Or at least he didn't go into it. But as the True Power is infinitely more addictive than the One Power...I'd imagine it's a lot like a full blown heroine addict being forced to quit cold turkey...and then thrown in an inescapable prison.
Thomas Keith
109. insectoid
Scissor @104: Thanks! There's at least one Spider I know that definitely needs squishing (at video games) occasionally. (My older brother is nicknamed Arachnoid, to my Insectoid.)

Blind @108: Hmm... I figured that the True Power would just simply burn the channeler to a crisp.

John Massey
110. subwoofer
Whew! Quick post while the paint drys.

@AndrewB- ! No problem with male rape? Perhaps you have not seen Deliverance?- er, not for the squeamish.

@Latecomer- shucks:) I spend all day thinking, I think. The last thing I want to do when I get home is plug in and wrack my brain remembering things and then do some interpretation and analysis. Besides, there are resident guru's here that I could not hold a candle to. Nope, I'm just here to be pretty. Maybe wear some pink ribbons. Tell witty stories. Juggle a few bowling balls.

Off the top of my head didn't LTT draw in a whole whack load of power? Seems to me that was how Dragonmount was created. Would that be option 'B' as to what happens when pulling in too much power?

True Power- not entirely sure what the negative effect is of the constant use- why even the Forsaken are afraid to use it constantly- beyond addiction. I am thinking that it either robs your mind or makes you and automaton to the DO. Or maybe it kills you as the Saa replaces your blood with black icky stuff. Just thinkin'. Wait stop that.

Don't forget, Cucamonga is a pansy. Afraid of many things and strikes from shadows. Everyone wants to be the N'ablis but to be truly tied to the DO beyond the black thread... Maybe they hear the big voice in their heads constantly with over use of the True Power. And there is no mute button. DO in 5.1. Gotta suck.

Barry T
111. blindillusion
HA!. Sub, I was hoping someone would give me a reason to post this:

Q: What about the saa? You wrote in a chapter, that there is a black hole before Moridin's eyes.
RJ: No, no, in the eyes. It is not before. In the eyes, inside the eyes.
Q: And can see through? (-?- unsure about this sentence. -?-)
RJ: It depends. When you are using the True Power. At first, when you begin using the True Power, there's nothing there. Nothing in the eyes. After you've used it for a while, you begin to have a black speck floating across your eyes, when you're using it.
Q: And then you see, other observers can see it.
RJ: No, you don't see it. You don't actually see it.
Q: I think it was the chapter when Moridin was observing with a cloak of fancloth. His vision was blurred by a rain of black spots.
H: But it didn't affect his vision.
RJ: It didn't affect his vision. You're aware of it, but it's not like there is blackness between you, because it gets thicker and thicker and thicker and you get to a point where if you've used it long enough you get a steady stream even if you're not connected. And you are then on the road, at that point, inevitably, to becoming what Ishamael was. Because these are stigmata, if you will. These saa are stigmata caused by a linkage to the Dark One. And eventually the effect is to become all fire eyes. You no longer have eyes visible to other people. If they're looking into your eyes, they seem to be looking into caverns of flame that stretch to infinity. And when you open your mouth they see another cavern of flame that stretches to infinity. Because you've reached at that point the ultimate level of this usage and quite possibly, if you've at this point not been granted immortality, you're on your way to death. Not madness, but you're on your way to death. So it's sort of a race. The Dark One has given you this boon, but if you use it very much, then you'd better hope he is willing to give you another boon, because if he doesn't give you the second boon then you're dead. Some of the Forsaken have expressed discomfort with the fact that Ishamael and Moridin are so free with using the True Power.
Tony Zbaraschuk
112. tonyz
As Nynaeve points out to Egwene when she rescues her from the Seanchan at the end of tGH, there are things that maybe villains should receive, but that it would be wrong to give. "It's all right to hate them. They deserve. But it's not all right to make you like them."

Moggy took people to the Bore to get fitted with a mindtrap; getting one herself is only just deserts. I don't know what else she might have done (there's probably a really long list there). She probably shouldn't be shocked at whatever happens to her; she's probably done and planned and arranged worse for people. All of the Forsaken have. This does not mean that SH in raping her was an avatar of justice, or anything like that, or that the good guys should model themselves on him.
Julian Augustus
113. Alisonwonderland
Y'all have thoroughly convinced me never to read GRRM.

I want to echo Latecomer@ 105:
. BUT BUT BUT - please don't dismiss GRRM's writing based on number of deaths! Read the first book and then decide. He is a fantastic writer and you might just be surprised....

Martin's epic is completely different from Jordan's, but in its own way just as powerful. I happen to prefer and am much more deeply engaged in tWoT, but Martin's series, a Song of Ice and Fire is a close second to tWoT on my list of the greatest fantasy epics.

GRRM's series focuses on a power struggle, a game of thrones (which is also the title of Book 1 in the series), where six different kings are shooting for the ultimate prize, to be the one king. As would be expected in such a conflict, the contenders kill each other off. What shocks readers is that some of the readers' favourite characters turn out to be bad players in the "game" (too honourable, read not conniving and sly enough) and pay with their lives, to their complete shock. But the series is not the gratuitous kill for kill's sake that his detractors make it out to be.

I can almost guarantee that someone with your outstanding mind would be fascinated by the interplay among the contenders and what makes one survive and another die.

The only problem I have with the series so far is the length of time between books. GRRM has made the inter-relationships and the situations the characters find themselves in so complex that he is having trouble untangling the "knot" in the fifth book, as he calls it. The last I heard, he has figured out a way to untangle the knot and the fifth book is due out this year.

In short, I believe you will have a great time with that series. Give it a chance; you might love it.
Tricia Irish
114. Tektonica

Wow...good get! Extrapolating from that last paragraph there......
Does that mean that the other FS are afraid that Ishy/Moridan has been granted that second boon, because he is so "loose" with his use of TP?

Or is just pure aesthetics? I mean, it's hard to look at those fiery eyes and the bad dragon kissing an ashtray!

Ewwwww...just the thought of that......
Tricia Irish
115. Tektonica
Alisonwonderland@113 and Wetlander:

I totally concur. I bad mouth GRRM because I am frustrated with his pace, as we all are.....but....he is a wonderful writer. He has very complex characters, some of whom you loathe, and some you love, and some of both die...a lot. Damn. But there are lots of fine characters and incredible detail. He got himself a bit tangled up in the last book and I'm happy to hear you think he's worked it out. I got tired of checking his website for updates that never appeared.

It's definitely worth a read.
Alice Arneson
116. Wetlandernw
Well, the reputation GRRM seems to have is for "gritty, realistic" fantasy and killing major characters for the purpose of keeping the reader from being complacent about the survival of the heroes. I read fiction, and particularly fantasy, for enjoyment and entertainment. I tend to dislike "dark" fantasy; melancholy or gloomy worlds just don't do much for me. Granted that there has to be a certain amount of darkness in order for the light to be a contrast, a story without redemption is too depressing for me.
Tasneem Gould
117. Latecomer
Wetlander - I think Erikson or Fiest books have a far more dark and gloomy aspect/ setting.

GRRM is not really like that. And for me at least, the expectation of coming happiness/ magic/ dragons is reason to continue through the not so good times. Note that his writing doesn't feel dark or gloomy, rather, it is the everyday struggle that we usually don;t read about that makes them 'gritty'.

Not to spoil anything but -Imagine if one of our WOT main characters was one of those refugees scattered around randland - wandering, starving, with bandits all around. Yeah. Like that. But... its all character growth, innit? :)
Janet Hopkins
118. JanDSedai
My son got me to read ASoIaF just before the 4th one came out, so that would have been about 2005. I was under the impression that the fifth one was written and submitted to the publishers because we only got half of the viewpoints in bk 4, and that the publishers just decided to split it, and bk 5 would follow along in about a year. How wrong I was! At least, I hear he is working on it again.
Alice Arneson
119. Wetlandernw
Haven't read Erikson. FWIW, I enjoyed the Feist's Riftwar Saga, and the two Krondor books (based on the games he wrote) but finally dumped the Serpentwar and following because he just kept going places I wasn't interested in going. Bummer. Does that clarify my taste? I've read the Thomas Covenant books, but only once; I simply don't get much enjoyment out of the anti-hero motif. Also threw out Tad Williams halfway through the second book.
Barry T
120. blindillusion
Which series by Tad Williams did you throw out?
Janet Hopkins
122. JanDSedai
Hey, wet,
I agree, the second Tad Williams book was the pits. But I soldiered on thru Green Angel Tower, but I don't remember any thing about it. I thought it was very derivative.

But I suffered from depression for many years, and when I go back and re-read some of the books on my shelves (I keep them all!), it's like a new book, sometimes. I don't even rememember reading them! But some I remember enough to Not read them again...
Alice Arneson
123. Wetlandernw
blindillusion - IIRC, it was Memory, Sorrow & Thorn. I had more or less enjoyed the first book, but not enough to put up with the garbage he put in the second one. (Keep in mind, with that visual memory and vivid imagination, when I get an image in my mind I can be stuck with it for life. Some things I just prefer not to grant entry in the first place - or to stop before it gets any more foothold.)
Barry T
124. blindillusion
I read MS&T in High School. And I suppose it says quite a bit that it's the only time I ever read it. I liked his Otherland series, but it wasn't much better than slightly average. I tried to read his Shadowmarch series but stalled on the second book.
Roger Powell
125. forkroot
I've read the Thomas Covenant books, but only once; I simply don't get much enjoyment out of the anti-hero motif.
What's so compelling about the Covenant series though, is the incredible tapestry of noble and lovable characters that Covenant is played against. Who doesn't love Mhoram or Saltheart Foamfollower .. or Pitchwife in the second chronicles? Plus Donaldson is such a damn fine writer (ok, he does stretch one's vocabulary.)
Tasneem Gould
126. Latecomer
I only read my first Tad Williams recently - someone at work (also a fantasy enthusiast) lent me the 2 Shadowmarch books. I read them because I wanted to read his work, and I like the 'other' characters, but both protagonists drove me a bit nuts. I just wanted to slap some sense into them! :)

I will read #3 out now - cos I like finishing series.

Just finished Traitors' Gate last week. Loved book 1, was OK with book 2 and 3. Well developed settings, and she writes romantic interactions brilliantly.
Rob Munnelly
127. RobMRobM
Wet - GRRM is a must. The books are outstanding. You just have to go into it with a couple of thing understood.

First, the language is salty- very. had a bit last year where some writer created covers that looked like famous books but changed the titles to include zingers that made fun of the books. The GRRM was "Knights who say f*ck."

Second, the series is pretty but not universally sexual and adult in content. Lots of fooling around, as you'd expect in a warlike world where people need kids to inherit their titles. Some of it is of the good, romantic kind - some of the twisted kind from some twisted characters. The HBO version of Game of Thrones is being billed as a combination of War of the Roses and the Sopranos - pretty accurate.

Third, it is violent and a good deal of killing goes on. As noted above, the kingdom of Westeros comes into play and many contenders press their claims with the support of armies, treachery, and (in one case) use of magical beasts. Some (many) also seek gain and advancement short of the throne and are willing to bump off people to get there. Also lots of battle scenes, which (by nature) are violent.

Fourth, a lot of heroism goes on. There are plenty of praiseworthy, enjoyable characters, struggling in the above difficult circumstances. In particular, the Stark family at the center of the books have a bunch of very different heroic arcs - including some who are clueless in early books and start to understand and act on things in later books. Some of the heroism is of the gray variety - where some not nice characters end up doing more good than you would have anticipated from what they do earlier in the books. One person in particular - a member of the family that causes most of the trouble in the story - has an compelling, enjoyable story that ranks of one of my favorites anywhere. That story will get a good play in the HBO series, a very strong actor is playing this complicated character, and I can't wait. I get Leigh like squees thinking about it.

Fifth, there are a bunch of WoT like puzzles and mysteries buried into the text. Like RJ, GRRM doesn't explain much either. I had to go into the world of online resources to figure out who is the mother of one of the main characters, who is a bastard. (And, yes, there are Wot-like supporting websites.) Jo Walton wrote an article about who is the likely killer of another important character who dies systeriously in the first book. It is tightly plotted and complex - which makes it interesting. Repeated re-reads are a feature of GRRM land too.

Sixth, and similarly to WoT, it is very complex. Lots of characters, lots of cultures, lots of conflicting agendas. Very detailed world building going on.

Finally, there is a fantasy element. It is not as strong as I expected going in as the plot focuses on royal machinations rather than dealing with magical creatures - the fantasy elements are mostly limited to three plot lines (up in the north, across the ocean and a person helping one of the contenders for the throne) - but they promise to play an increasingly important role in the final books.

So, please don't be afraid to read them. They are worth your attention.

Rob Munnelly
128. RobMRobM
Speaking of combination of well written but salty books and Stephen Donaldson, I loved his Gap series of SF stories - far more than the Covenant books, which just were good but moved to slowly for my taste. (The "Gap" refers to his form of faster than light travel.) Incredibly compelling but incredibly brutal. Cleverly plotted with themes and plot elements apparently inspired by Wagner's Ring Cycle. The immedately above GRRM warning is fully applicable and, in some respects, Donaldson is even more so. In particular, one of the main characters is abused for most of the first book and isn't treated all that well afterwards. But you get pulled into his world, characters who seem evil at the outset turn shades of gray by doing heroic things, etc. I loved them.

Maiane Bakroeva
129. Isilel
Well, IMHO Martin's willingness to kill characters is strongly overstated and more indicative of how the readership has gotten used to certain tropes and general predictability in fantasy ;).

The major characters have been fairly safe so far. For the most part. It is just that:

If characters have dug themselves into dangerous-looking holes, it can't be expected as a matter of course that they will somehow escape. Mostly, major characters do. But not every time.

Martin writes capable, believable villains and is not afraid to let them flex their abilities on-screen. None of that, "not living up to the legend". Even if they don't, at least it is clear from observation how the legend came about.

Some readers have fallen in love with/pinned their hopes on minor characters, mis-estimating their importance in the larger scheme of things. Minor characters are fair game, however, even though they can sometimes get unexpected breaks too.

BTW, fellow Martin fans, "The Warriors" anthology with the third Dunk and Egg novella comes out on 16th! I hope that it is set in the North, personally...
Tricia Irish
130. Tektonica

Like you, I am a very visual person...I can not watch certain movies because they get stuck in my brain and replay endlessly, preventing my 7-8 hours of good REM sleep!

I did not find this a problem with GRRM. While his world is beautifully realized and detailed, it's his characters that take center stage. There certainly is tons of violence, war, conflict, some domestic, it is not gratuitous. There are a few great humorous characters too and some subtle heros in the making with great character arcs. He is an amazing wordsmith. Don't miss it.

RobM: Wonderful description of the books! Makes me want to pick them up again in the long wait for ToM and forgo the new pile next to the bed.
131. ValMar
On GRRM. I was going to make more or less the same point that Isilel made just above. Rob analysis was also great.

For people who are reading the series, by now the characters who will be key by the climax of the series are known, more or less. So there's no point saying that main characters were killed off. Getting yourself out of the story early disqualifies you from being "main".

Given the plot, it is rather dificult to establish with certainty just how important people are in SoIaF.

It is a testament to G RR Martin's ability the anguish many fans felt at some of the deaths.
Matthew Smith
132. blocksmith
Getting caught up...

Evan Thomas@37

Tapsi@51 and, more completely as usual, Freelancer@67, nailed it. The more oaths, the more ageless and the shorter life. And the BA replaces the AS oaths with their own immediately.


While a little unrelated, your post made me think of Ishy/Moridin's motivations for the role he plays and come up with the loony theory below. This was likely covered on other posts in other threads...but when I consider his position and his situation, my thoughts lead me down this road.

The cycle of the Dragon vs. DO has been repeating countless times. Ishy is always the DO lead man, Rand/LTT is always the Creator's hero. In all these cycles, the DO has never broken free. But this most recent cycle was different. Set aside the flawed seal on the DO's prison and the backlash that led to LTT's insanity/Dragonmount. Consider just that Ishy was not trapped behind the seal and had 3000 years to consider/research/manipulate things. Could it be that for the first time in these endless cycles, he understands that the only way for him to stop being in the constant groundhog day loop is to let the DO succeed? And that maybe in cycles past, the reason why (if Ishy's statements to Rand at various times)Rand turned or died but the DO still did not break free was because he prevented it?


When I first read the scene with Moggy mindtrapped, I got an ominous feeling that Moggy did not just get roughed up a bit. I think this is likely due to earlier descriptions that women do not fare well (understatement of the year) in the clutches of Myrdraal. I didn't want to feel sorry for her, so I firmed that thought up, i.e., she just got ah...spanked...for her failure. Later, RJ confirmed that offscreen her punishment was physical and sexual violation. Call me chivalrous, call me old fashioned (and I'm not saying you condone this in any way shape or form...your statements are quite the contrary), but the thought that a woman should be/can be treated like this makes me sick to my stomach.


I understand yours and other positions; the Forsaken sold their souls to the DO...likely they have sent men, woman, and children to Myrdraal for similar punishments in ages past (and this one). That said, I felt sorry for her in this situation. If she was outright executed (like Sheriam for example), I would have cheered it.

Regarding GRRM...I enjoy the books greatly. I don't like seeing characters killed off (the hardest one for me, was the flamboyant swordsman fighting that revolting knight for all the right reasons) but taht is part of GRRM's style that definitely keeps you on your toes. All in all, I find them very well done.

Sorry for the wall of text.
Marcus W
133. toryx
I'm going to step in on the GRRM discussion here:

I'm a huge, huge fan of GRRM. In fact, I prefer aSoIaF to WoT. I like it so much that, as far as I'm concerned, GRRM can take as much time as he'd like to finish the next book. The quality is entirely worth waiting for.

Now having said that, and from having read Wetlandernw's comments for the last 8 months or so, I would be reluctant to recommend it to her. In large part because the gritty realism of the series that I personally love about it is exactly the kind of thing that I've noticed Wetlandernw and I can disagree on when it comes to Jordan's work.

For one: I don't think GRRM kills too many characters. I've never even thought of it in that sense until I saw people complaining about that all the time. But he doesn't pull his punches and there are often cases where death might have been better. Not just for the characters I love, but those I hate as well.

For another: This is not a series of Light Versus Shadow. It's shades of gray all the way. Monsters can be heroes and heroes can be monsters. Comparing the tv series on HBO to Sopranos would be apt; Deadwood would also be an appropriate comparison.

Life is harsh in Westeros. Randland is Candyland in comparison. I'd far rather worry about Fades, Trollocs, and Forsaken than the humans that you can regularly encounter in GRRM's work. Now that makes the writing more engrossing for me because it's more realistic. But if people are reading fantasy to escape the hard truths of reality, aSoIaF might not be the escape you're looking for.

In the end I'd say that GRRM is one of my two favorite writers of all time, and aSoIaF is absolutely my favorite series. I'd recommend them to anyone who wants a thrilling, character driven, gripping fantasy epic. The characters are continually growing and changing and seem more real to me than any other fantasy characters I've ever encountered. But because of that, the harshness of their reality is a particularly powerful one, and if you don't want to see hard times and desperate struggles without guarantee of success and triumph in the end, maybe you'd be better off not reading.
Marcus W
134. toryx
GoldsteinLives @ 79:

For what it's worth, I completely agree with you. For all the evil that Moghedian has committed I think she's earned death several times over. And I'd completely support her execution. But I do not believe that anyone, male or female, should be the recipent of the torment they tend to get when they piss the Dark side off. There's a reason they're the evil guys over there, and an evil act on an evil person does not add up to good. It might be somewhat poetic, and she might have earned such treatment due to her choices but I can't glorify or find satisfaction in that punishment.

One more note on GRRM: By the way, it's not like he kills characters willy nilly. Characters die because of choices they have made. It's not like he's going around with a glutton of gleeful bloodbaths. The difference between his books and a lot of other fantasy is that his characters don't tend to miraculously survive against all odds. When that does happen, it's literally shocking because so often "reality" steps in and metes out it's consequences.

The reason I like this is that it raises the suspense. When I'm reading one of his books for the first time and I see a character doing something stupid I'm not just shaking my head with annoyance. I get right on the edge of my seat because by golly, acts of stupidity end in serious freaking consequences.
Tina Pierce
135. scissorrunner
OK - you've convinced me to dig out GRRM & give it another try. Never made it through A Game of Thrones.I set it aside when CoT or maybe KoD came out & never picked it up again. I'll give me something "new" to read until ToM comes out.

Thanks to all for the recommendations!
Sam Mickel
136. Samadai
Not that my opinion counts for anything, but I never made it past the second chapter of A Game of Thrones. I ended up taking the book back and trading it for something else. That was the first and only time I have ever done that. Not that they aren't good (or great) books for some people, just could not get into it at all.
Tess Laird
138. thewindrose
Hey all - I am still here. Been] lurking to keep up. Many things going on in hmmm, my outside life;)

Re Moggy: I was a bit surprised when people were all surprised at what happened to her 'behind' curtain #2. We have had many encounters with dark friends who think about what Myrddraal do with humans(I would imagine both female and male). So while we don't have a lot of main character deaths, isn't it realistic that things like this would happen?

Remember our good 'ole friend Carridan, who laments the treatment of his favorite sister Vanora, but is glad that he has been spared - read total scumbag!!

While I have read the confirmation from RJ about what happened behind the scenes to Moggy, I am relieved that I didn't have actually read it in the book. Do I think that any sexual assault is defensible. Nope. However, in this series it is well known what happens to people who get into Myrddrall hands. Do you think that Moggy was surprised at what happened to her. I don't think so.
One of the reasons I find it so hard that anyone would want to go bad, but I guess I don't have a huge desire to dominate the world. (Wasn't there someone on this thread who has that wish???**Double wink woofer**)

Samadai - great fan fiction on the last thread!! Yes, please do Verin - with knowledge that we have now from tGS.

And...Last but not least, I am going to pretend that Leigh was giving me a shout out -
Also, hi, Official Moridin! We met him earlier in Skulk Mode, of course, when he was proving how evil he is by failing to kill Sevanna, but this is his first time on screen with proper billing, so to speak.
Because I suggested just that a couple threads ago(big smiley face:)

140. Rand Al'Todd
From GRRM's "latest update" on his website:

My last formal update on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS was dated February 15, 2007.
If that seems like a long time ago to you, join the queue. It seems like forever and a day to me. When I wrote that update, I was sick of writing updates. So I tried to make that last update the final update, and ended it by saying, "The next update will be the one that announces that the DANCE is done."

George R.R. Martin, January 1, 2008

Relative to character death: Fire and Ice is (intentionally) somewhat like reading a history book. True History (versus propaganda) doesn't care who really are the good guys and bad guys. It just records who did what, when, and that includes dieing. Many good leaders die too young and many evil-doers live to over-ripe old age. Martin's story reflects that.

Once you get very far into motivations, you get bogged down into propaganda, speculation, and subjective interpretation (i.e. viewpoint/politics/religion) rather than facts. At that point historical documents/"facts" seldom can be trusted to tell the entire truth.
Tricia Irish
141. Tektonica
Wind@138: Nice to see you back! Yes, real life is, er, messy...busy.....etc. Glad you're keeping up!

GRRM: He doesn't kill off characters willy nilly, you are absolutely right. However, he does make you really really like some of them, and then they do something dumb, or miss something important, and bam....outta there. Sigh.
It does keep you on the edge of your seat and it is much more "real life" like.(I still miss some of them though, and think the story could possibly be better with them still on screen. Some of them did achieve a fate worse than death as well.) I am most interested in the bad guys that are becoming anti-heros....very interesting character development.

I checked his blog seems he is working on the book, but no pub date yet.....
Tasneem Gould
142. Latecomer
Sam - your comment re. Game of Thrones...

*prepares to be lynched*

I had exactly the same reaction to LOTR. When I first started reading, I thought it was too dense, wierdly written and could not get into the story or identify with any characters at all. I gave up about 30 pages in. This is HUGE for me - I can usually read most things. I could *not* understand what the fuss was about.

Then I watched the first LOTR movie, with my SO who is a big fan. That movie really opened up the world to me. So I then read The Hobbit and then moved on to the LOTR trilogy - and this time I had NO problems whatsoever. I even re-read it when the 3rd movie came out so we could do a 3 movie marathon.

The other big thing that happened between attempt 1 and 2 was that I moved away from reading Crime/ Thriller/ Western type stories into almost exclusively Sci/fi and Fantasy. Perhaps it opened my mind a bit more?

So in my long rambling way I think I am saying:

1. Give it a go if it has been a few years ago you first tried it.

2. If not, wait for the HBO series and see if that pushes you to reading the books.
Julian Augustus
143. Alisonwonderland
The difference between his books and a lot of other fantasy is that his characters don't tend to miraculously survive against all odds.

Except for one character, that is. A certain 9-10 year old girl is my favourite character in the series. But what that girl has survived in the series so far (and her without Mat Cauthon's ta'veren luck!!) stretches the bounds of all credulity. I still love her, though, and can't wait to see how she turns out.
Marcus W
144. toryx
Tektonica @ 141:

There's no pub date because he's not finished. When he's finished, one will be provided.

I can understand how difficult it is for people to wait, but I'd still rather he took whatever time is necessary to turn in a quality product than rushed it out half ass (like a lot of authors sometimes do). It's easier for me then most, though, since I've already been waiting 20 years for WoT to get resolved, a decade and a half for Stephen King's Dark Tower series, and several other books along the way.

Anyway, I get what you mean about the deaths but that loss of a character I care for actually increases my reading satisfaction. Not because I like them to be dead, but because I do miss them just as other characters do. It also makes me cherish the ones who are still alive all the more. I'm a lot more involved when I think there's a possibility that my favorite character will get killed in aSoIaF than with WoT where I know that no matter how bad things get, Rand, Mat and Perrin are going to make it to the Last Battle.

Latecomer @ 142: You won't get any bashing from me. I managed to get through the whole series in my teens but it was a hard read. It took me almost a year to get through "Return of the King." Those books were not, for me, at all immersive.
Marcus W
145. toryx
Alisoninwonderland @ 143:

Yeah, she's one of my favorite characters too. She's definitely been a lucky one and I could go into all kinds of detail as to why I think she's so lucky (and for as good a reason as ta'verenship) but...yeah, I've already talked about this too much here.

I'd like to point out, however, that even though she's survived it's been at great cost. Her experiences have changed her dramatically. So much so that she's virtually unrecognizable as the girl she was at the start of the series. And for good reason. You don't see that pulled off as effectively in most other books.
Steven Pattingale
146. Pattingale
@ 142
Another try may do the trick. I too found the first book of ASoIaF tough to get into, but it's a fascinating series, totally worth reading imho.
147. Lsana

He's a butcher when it comes to characters in prologues and epilogues (the closest we've had to a survivor is one whose death wasn't described until the chapter afterwards). As far as other major characters, though, there is just enough that you can't be certain that the heroes will survive. Most likely they will, most likely that chapter-ending cliffhanger was just a fake-out, but it's possible it wasn't.

I would read Game of Thrones up until the point when Lord Stark arrives in King's Landing. If you aren't hooked by then, it probably isn't your cup of tea. But I think you need to read that far in order to get the flavor of it.

Also, a warning: book 5 has been a long time coming. I have my doubts whether it will come out or not, and I'm almost certain we will never see the end of this series. So if an unfinished series will bother you, don't start.
148. Lsana
On Moggy:

She doesn't deserve what happened to her, but in many ways it's a predictable consequence of her own behavior. I might compare her to someone who drunk an entire bottle of tequila, got behind the wheel, then drove the car off the cliff. I wouldn't say our drunk deserved to die, and if I could do anything to help him I would, but it was a predictable consequence of his actions.

As far as whether the Light side would/should do the same thing as punishment: what's the practical difference between a mindtrap and an a'dam? As far as I can tell, while the mechanism may be different, the result is pretty much the same: you are owned completely by the one who holds the mindtrap/other end of the leash. You can't do anything without their permission, and channeling in particular is forbidden. So while the heroes certainly wouldn't resort to rape, they don't seem to have much of a problem with psychological imprisonment.
Julian Augustus
149. Alisonwonderland
Rand@140 and Tek@141:

You will find fans' updates on how Martin is getting along on a different site. Here are some updates that explain my earlier optimism that the book will be out this year.

23 June 2009 Update:
GRRM has posted an optimistic update on his blog stating that the last few weeks have been extremely positive for the book, with several new chapters completed and that he can see the light at the end of the tunnel. He indicates his major remaining problem is to overcome a tangle of plot threads relating to Meereen (and presumably Daenerys). How long this will take is unknown.

4 September 2009 Update:
On his Not-a-Blog, GRRM has confirmed he is re-ordering and re-structuring the 'Meereenese Knot', a part of ADWD that has proven problematic over the years. Based on the previously-released information, it is certain that this 'knot' is part of the process of completing the final 20% of the book (based on the informal 1,200 MS page target mentioned by his editor) before it is finalised and despatched to the publishers. How long the process of finalising this section will take is unknown.

07 January 2010 Update:
GRRM has made progress resolving the problematic 'Meereenese Knot' section of ADWD, bringing at least one of the reported four chapters involved in the section to a successful conclusion. It is unknown if the other three chapters remain unresolved or if work has progressed on them as well. It also remains unclear how many chapters remain incomplete beyond the knot.

03 February 2010 Update:
In a flurry of progress reports, GRRM confirms bringing another 'Meereeenese Knot' chapter to a successful conclusion, finishing a Jon Snow chapter and, in the most recent report, confirming that additional parts of the book will take place in the vicinity of the Isle of Cedars (the long island separating Slaver's Bay from the Gulf of Grief, near Meereen) and in Dorne.

16 February 2010 Update:
In another burst of progress reports, GRRM has stated that ADWD is now 1,260 manuscript pages in length. Roughly 800 MS pages of this material, about two-thirds of the book so far, runs parallel to the events of AFFC. The remainder of the book takes place after AFFC, and involves the reappearance of some AFFC characters to address their cliffhanger endings in the earlier book (it is unclear if this is a reference to the already-known-to-be-appearing Asha Greyjoy and Arya Stark, or is a hint that other AFFC characters like Jaime and Brienne may also briefly reappear). GRRM also states in this report that the section set on or near the Isle of Cedars has been completed.
Rob Munnelly
150. RobMRobM
Good GRRM talk. The frustrating part for fans is that there is an afterwards to the last published book in 2005 that anticipates the next book coming out in 2006. And then commencethed the waiting process....

And, yes, the very young lady mentioned above is the favorite of many readers for obvious reasons. (She's in my top 3.) I for one was not unusually troubled by the amount of luck she has benefitted from so far. I was expecting a very different character arc from what we have seen so far. Very curious to see where she ends up - as much or more than any character in the series (apart from the cliffhanger with B that ends the book.)

I'm looking forward to the direction several characters will take, that headed off into directions I hadn't expected. That's one of the great things about GRRM's writing - hard to predict things in advance.

Tricia Irish
151. Tektonica

Would you care to share your other fan sites? I read back through some of GRRM's blog, but didn't get the goodies you did! Thank you!

Yes, Arya and Jon = faves. Jaime and Tyrion = very interesting changes.
Danaeryes = meh. I miss Lord Stark....and his wife...yikes!

All this yaking is making me drool to the pace this reread is going, doing both should be easy!
152. Freelancer

One more evidence for those who believe that Wetlandernw and I were separated at birth. People use the term "gritty", where I would find "coarse" to be a more apt descriptor. I enjoy a great range of different novel genre, though I have most strongly favored SF/F for the past dozen years or so. When I dive into a story, I want to engross myself in the POV of the onscreen character and not bring a critical attitude to what's happening. I attempt to experience the story exactly as the author would want it experienced.

I cannot do this with Martin's works. His talent as an author is unquestioned, I can certainly appreciate his skill. Yet there is a consistently jarring nature to the narratives for me that prevents any chance at enjoyment. I'll gladly accept that the problem is mine, but that won't bring me any closer to wishing to try again.

And that aside, the language and behavior of the characters goes far beyond what I would prefer to read about. I don't choose SF/F as a source of soft-core, and don't want to find any therein. In today's world of libertine political correctness, I suspect that soon the only activity which will prompt a "pan to fireplace" will be the cigarette after.

So, under the banner of Your mileage may vary, I don't choose GRRM.
Sam Mickel
153. Samadai
and I hate to do this to you guys again but here is another fiction fiction.

Perrin moved in closer to Rand and Verin as they prepared to do whatever they were going to. He was nervous, but no more so than during any of the other things that have happened to him in the past months. He glanced over at Mat and noticed how sunken in his cheeks were again. I hope this works for his sake, Perrin thought to himself.
Perrin felt something take a hold of him.
Perrin had just left visiting his Family when the trollocs came running into town. He stared at them for a second not believing what was before his eyes. As two of them turned his way and ran for him, he came to himself and took off towards the forge. He was almost there when the man in black stepped in front of him with his sword drawn. Perrin felt afraid to his soul.
“Boy you are one of those I seek, you will come with me now alive and unharmed or damaged and alive, your choice.” Perrin let out a roar and ducked down the alley between the two buildings. Just as he cleared the other side a trolloc spear took him in the back. As he lay there dying, the Man in black turned him over. “Fool you could have served the Dark One forever in life. I guess you can now serve him in death.” The last thing Perrin saw was the eyeless face of the monster.
“Something is wrong.”
Perrin worked in the smith for years after Rand and Mat ran off. His work was the best in the Two Rivers. He finally claimed a spot on the village council when old Cenn Buie died. They were in a meeting one day when his youngest son, Haral, walked in and told him there were soldiers entering the Green. “Their leader wants to speak to the Village council.” Perrin and the rest of the council went to meet with him. As they got closer to the soldiers Perrin gave a huge start as Rand stepped forward. At least it looked like Rand. Half his face looked like something had been eating at it. His left hand hung limply at his side and walked with a limp. He announced that in two days time a huge Seanchan army would be coming over the mountains. The people of the Two Rivers will be given a choice. They can serve the Seanchan or they can die. Those are the only options. He announced that any that wanted to join the Caemlyn army and fight the invaders would be welcome. They would make a stand in the Sand hills. Even though Rand did not seem to want to talk to anyone from the Two Rivers it seemed he still thought of them as home. He spent all his time looking at the house where Egwene died. After two days of training, Perrin was standing with the army when the Seanchan invaders came into sight. He had managed to get off three or four arrows when the lightning bolts struck him and his men. He watched Rand scream and throw fire from his hands as he lay there dying.
“Something is happening”
He was young Bull, he remembered running with the two legs at one time, even being one of them, though it was more like a dream. He had discovered a new pack to run with, even though they only tolerated his presence. He loved chasing the prey through the forest and the taste of warm wet blood on his tongue. He was traveling through the great grasslands when word came to his pack of many twisted ones led by neverborns. He never hesitated as he ran for the kills. He was in the middle of the biggest hunt his and every other pack had ever been in when a twisted ones club broke his neck. As he lay there dying he remembered the last day of his human life. As Egwene and he were about to be attacked by the ravens, he remembered how the fox died and to spare her the pain he killed her himself. The look of surprise on her face was the last thing he remembered until now.
He lived again and again, sometimes a man, sometimes a wolf. There were children and lovers, life led in the peace of the Two Rivers, lives following Rand as he proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn, and brought war and destruction to all. He was a brilliant leader and brought old nations back to life in time to fight the Last Battle. It never mattered, it always ended with him dead.
Janet Hopkins
154. JanDSedai
Yeah Sam! this was good! Hit all the high spots and all. Keep 'em coming!
Rob Munnelly
155. RobMRobM
Back to GRRM - at the official website, news section, it links to a fan you tube film that shows the actors playing the major characters in the HBO series. Tres cool.
Steven Pattingale
156. Pattingale
Thanks Samadai! :) Perrin! Perrin! Yay! I love Perrin. In a totally manly kind of way. :D
Sydo Zandstra
157. Fiddler
Based on what I read, I don't think Wetlandernw would enjoy GRRM much.

I'm a huge fan of the series myself, but not everybody can have the same tastes. For example, a lot of people are big fans of Robin Hobb, while I consider her first books to be among the most boring books I ever read.

That doesn't mean they aren't good. I just cannot connect to the story.

@Wet: If haven't read any of his stuff yet, I think you will enjoy reading Guy Gavriel Kay, even if he lives in the Blight...
Thomas Keith
158. insectoid
Gone off on a tangent, have we? :) It's beginning to look around here like we now need a "General SF/Fantasy Thread" as well!

Haven't tried GRRM, but I have the opportunity to do so. Not sure I'd like it as much as what I've been reading, from what I've read about it from you guys/gals...

Sam @153: Bravo! Now all we're missing is a Verin POV... ;)

Tricia Irish
159. Tektonica
Sam....wonderful again! Thank you! More More! Bravo! Confetti! Nice to get the others' points of view through the portal stones.

RobM: Thanks for the link....think I'll go there.....

As for Hobb....I don't know what her first things were, but I loved the Assassins Apprentice and the Tawny Man trilogies. Her other stuff left me totally cold. It seemed oddly pieces were missing? And the Soldier Son, meh....big obvious agenda.
Tricia Irish
160. Tektonica
insectoid@158: Our tangent is a good argument for more than one posting per week. We like being here, but need more food for thought! Like RobM said the other day....Leigh....we *heart*you! Hope you're feeling better and have found a new place to live!
Karen Fox
161. thepupxpert
Just getting caught up on all the comments and I read through numerous wall o'texts on GRRM so please would someone fill me in? Author, titles, etc, I'm looking for something new to dive into!
Karen Fox
162. thepupxpert
Rand @ 140 - I guess I didn't read down far enough, thanks I'll check it out.
Tasneem Gould
163. Latecomer
Sam - great piece of fanfic! Love the different POVs you are giving to the same event. I second insectoid - would be awesome to get one from sneaky sneaky Verin :)

thepupxpert - there were several recomendations on a thread long ago from various people. RobM might be able to give you the details - it was in response to his query if I remember rightly...

Soooooooooo... who is going to JordonCon?
Janet Hopkins
164. JanDSedai
I wanna go! But I got to talk my husband into it; he doesn't read WOT. We live north of Nashville, so it is only (!) six hours away. The problem is we are taking half a dozen teen-age girls to an anime convention in Nashville the following weekend. (MTAC) But I wanna go!
Karen Fox
166. thepupxpert
I also wanted to comment that I was turned on to WOT by a friend of mine who couldn't say enough good things about the series, so I went out and bought the first 3 books. I read through about the first 30 pages of TEOTW and put it down, I just couldn't get into it. I finally went back about 4 months later because I had spent all this money on the 3 books and I had nothing else to read, and I forced myself to read it. I have to say I was hooked by the end of the book, but very confused. It has helped tremendously to be a part of this group, and after all the talk about New Spring, I went back and re-read that. Now I'm back on TEOTW again and enjoying it even more now. I picked up on one thing from Rand's POV when Moiraine was at one point using the One Power, that his arms got goosebumps or got tingly (sorry don't have the book in front of me to be more precise), and that was a "whoa" moment for me, that even back then he could feel saidar being channeled. It's always great to go back and re-read, I pick up on things I never get the first - or even the fifth - time around.
Barry T
167. blindillusion
If the wife gives the OK. I'll be there for Saturday. Only about 2.5 hours away...or 3...depending on traffic.
Sam Mickel
168. Samadai
It is in the card house I built to go to JordanCon, if only it doesn't get blown down.
Tina Pierce
169. scissorrunner
Sam @153
cheers, confetti, fireworks!!

JordonCon - oh how I wish, but I do have a super-pal in Atlanta (double reason for the visit).....

edit: cuz I can't spell
170. Freelancer
I, for one, will not be available to attend JordanCon, as much as I'd wish to. With two seniors graduating on the other side of the country 3 days apart (one college, one high school), other less pleasant family-related expenses, and an ever increasing taskload on my desk at work, time and money are both at a premium. The last thing I would do is indulge in what would have to be considered a luxury for me, in which the rest of my family has no interest nor involvement. They must come first.

So, I will depend on the reportage of others to vicariously enjoy the proceedings. R.Fife must wear his shawl. I hope that nice lady who edited the Ender's series will be attending.
Ron Garrison
171. Man-0-Manetheran
Leigh! Hope you are feeling better. It’s looking pretty obvious that we need to go back to twice a week. Here it is Monday, and very little in the last 100+ posts has been WoT related. While everyone here is great to chat with, I feel the energy beginning to dissipate.

Tek - beat me to it! See, I don’t even check in regularly anymore...

Sub@110: “Nope, I'm just here to be pretty. Maybe wear some pink ribbons. Tell witty stories. Juggle a few bowling balls. “ Sub, you shur do have a purdy mouth. ;p

Sam - Thanks for creating more new stories!
Tricia Irish
172. Tektonica
I'll find out this week if I'll be in the country in April....if I am, I might come up. There are cheap flights from SoFla to maybe....would sure love to! Oh please, people...come!!
Jennifer B
173. JennB
blindillusion @111
Thanks for the quote. I had never read that one before. I didn't know there was a connection between the saa and the caverns of flame. I had always thought that Ishamael altered his image when appearing in Rand's dreams using his mastery of Tel'Aran'Rhiod.

GRRM's books are very gritty. I had to get used to it, but I did enjoy them. I am looking forward to his next book and the DVD release of the HBO series. (I have even considered looking into getting HBO, but I have a hard time justifying it for one show.)
Jay Dauro
174. J.Dauro
I will be at JordanCon. Missed it last year, and made my reservation as soon as it was announced.
Tess Laird
175. thewindrose
Ok, I am using my phone to say ::hi::
I am now going to watch my daughter at gymnastics. She is prolly good enough to kick a fades a$$!! And she just looked up at me and I better start paying attention to her or I will be the one black &blue!

Bonnie Andrews
176. misfortuona
I heart your stories. You covered everything I expected from the Perrin POV and more. Thank you very much for sharing them with us, and keep them coming.


Edit. JordanCon is out of the question this year, but I may start planning for next year now.
Julian Augustus
178. Alisonwonderland
I didn't post the link because there is a good chance Torie or Pablo would zap it as spam. Try a google search for "asoiaf forum". The first two hits will take you to arguably the premier asoiaf board on the net.
Alice Arneson
179. Wetlandernw
@ All - Thanks for your insights on George R. R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire. (Just for you, thepupxpert. :) Your input is much appreciated. I won't try to speak to individuals, in the interests of keeping this to just a wall-o-text, and not a complete doctoral dissertation. ;P Let me say up front that the following comments apply to me personally, and are based on my beliefs, the way my mind & memory work, and my priorities. I am not telling anyone that they should have the same beliefs and priorities, and I certainly wouldn't assume that anyone else's mind/memory quirks are the same as mine! That said...

While I wouldn't say I read fantasy, or anything else, to "escape the harsh realities of life" I certainly don't read to find it, either. Harsh reality? I can watch the news, exchange texts with friends in Haiti, talk with my cousin about his time behind enemy lines in Iraq, or ask my friend about his experiences as a Green Beret sniper. (Actually, I wouldn't do that last one. He's finally got the nightmares quieted; he doesn't need someone prying it all loose again.) Still, there's plenty of grim, dark, harsh reality to be had. I don't find much entertainment in it.

More importantly, I've found that it really does matter what I read. The kind of things I put into my mind are the things that occupy my thoughts, the things I muse about, and the things that color my outlook and attitude in daily life. We're teaching our children to both seek and strive for truth, goodness and beauty in all aspects of their lives; it's led me to think harder about how to do it myself. I can't reflect on beauty if I'm stuck with an image of rape or abuse from what I was reading last night. I can't reflect on goodness if I'm buried in a book where the main character is justifying his brutality by whining about the unfairness of his life. I can't reflect on truth if I'm soaking up a worldview of shades-of-gray "moral relativity". And I, personally, can't readily set aside those images and mentalities when I lay the book down.

One of my favorite quotations is from G.K. Chesterton:
The perplexity of life arises from there being too many interesting things in it for us to be interested properly in any of them.
With so many good things to be interested in, I choose to be picky about what I read. There are so many good things out there to read, things that reflect the conflict between good and evil, where the protagonist, however fallible, is actually the hero, not just the main character. What good is there for me in a book, or an entire series, where the conflict is only a matter of self-centered, power-hungry people doing their level best to grab the biggest throne around? (I can see that by looking at Washington D.C.; why read a fantasy about it?) What enjoyment can I find in scenes of rape, incest, and murder? I'm convinced that Mr. Martin is a very good writer; this is even greater reason for me not to read his books. The better-written such scenes are, the more they will play visually in my memory, and the more difficult it will be to get them out of my mind.

One of the reasons I like the Wheel of Time is what RJ talks about in this blog entry:
...Increasingly in books and films, including science fiction but also in everything from mysteries to so-called “main stream literary” novels, the lines between right and wrong have become blurred. Good and evil are more and more portrayed as two sides of the same coin... In fantasy, you can talk about good and evil, right and wrong, with a straight face and no need to elbow anybody in the ribs to let them know you’re just kidding, you don’t really believe in this childish, simplistic baloney...

Does that mean fantasy all has to be goody-goody on the side of right and black-as-the-pit on the side of evil. No. In my own work telling right from wrong is often difficult. Sometimes my characters make the wrong choice there. Sometimes they do things are quite horrific. But they try to find the right choice... Right and wrong are not simply different shades of gray. Good and evil are not simply a matter of how you look at them...(Dec 19, 2005)
I excerpted for my purposes; by all means go read the whole thing here. The point is, the Wheel of Time is all about the conflict of good and evil, carried out through fallible, often mis-informed, frequently weak, and sometimes foolish people. Very well-written, believable, annoying people.

My ideal book is one where the story, the story-telling and the writing are all suberb. Unfortunately, such books are few and far between, so I settle for compromises in one or more of those. Oddly enough, maybe because it's so rare these days anyway, I can most easily compromise on the quality of writing. If the story-telling is marginal, I get bored and don't finish, or at least don't re-read. But if the story itself is just not worth the telling, I don't see the point of reading it at all, fantasy elements notwithstanding. I can handle killing off major characters if it's key to the story; bloody battles, maybe. But when you take a story that's essentially nothing more than a bunch of people fighting for personal power, and combine it with foul language and soft-core disguised as "grit"? Even good writing and storytelling can't make up for that. I just don't want it in my head.

By the way, this is from an interview with GRRM, via Wiki:
Martin has described his penchant for killing off important characters as being necessary for the story's depth: "...when my characters are in danger, I want you to be afraid to turn the page, (so) you need to show right from the beginning that you're playing for keeps."
So you know my earlier comment about "killing major characters for the purpose of keeping the reader from being complacent about the survival of the heroes" is his own take on it, not mine, except that I'm beginning to realize that the term "heroes" was probably a misnomer.

So, thanks, but no thanks. I think it's not for me.
180. Freelancer

Nice read on Perrin's POV. But, ummm, ditto? Meaning my take on GRRM?
Alice Arneson
181. Wetlandernw
BTW - Fiddler, I've read one of Guy Gavriel Kay's books; I'm still not sure what I think. He's a very good writer and storyteller, but... I don't know if the one I read is typical; while they weren't too awful, the sex scenes irritated me. I didn't see how they added anything to the story or storytelling, and they distracted me from an otherwise fine story. Might have to try another one sometime and see if it's any different.
Adam Bodestyne
182. thanners
@70, 72, 177 regarding the master index:

I've always used a bookmarked search-by-tag to find the list of re-read posts. I find it to be a fairly clean listing that remains up-to-date.

I tried writing this message yesterday with the url, but apparently my post was considered "spam", so I'll just describe it:

At the bottom of this current post, find the "Tags:" listing. Click on the "Wheel of time re-reads" tag. It'll give you an up-to-date full listing of all the re-read posts so long as Leigh continues to be the only one to use this tag, and uses it for all her posts. :P

Of course, if you're only ever interested in the most recent one, then BillinHI@100 's tip is probably better.
Janet Hopkins
183. JanDSedai
Re: the Master Index
I think that people are pointing out the lack of updates so that somebody could fix it. Obviously, these people have navigated their way here, somehow. HELLO...FIX IT! But I don't think anybody that could fix it is reading this stuff. Is there any place else we could report the problem. TOR doesn't want people to get mad and leave, do they?
Sam Mickel
184. Samadai

Yes, the ditto was for your take on Martin.
Thomas Keith
185. insectoid
Wet @179:
While I wouldn't say I read fantasy, or anything else, to "escape the harsh realities of life" I certainly don't read to find it, either.
Since I read SFF primarily as an escape, that harsh reality might be a little jarring. But like my mom says, I should give even GRRM 100 pages before I make up my mind... Excellent wall o' text, BTW.

Rob Munnelly
186. RobMRobM
Wet -

"I can't reflect on beauty if I'm stuck with an image of rape or abuse from what I was reading last night."

If that's the case, Martin just won't work for you. It is a significant step up in grittiness from RJ. It may well be a wise decision not to read them - the books should be considered R rated for sex, violence and adult themes.

"I can't reflect on goodness if I'm buried in a book where the main character is justifying his brutality by whining about the unfairness of his life. I can't reflect on truth if I'm soaking up a worldview of shades-of-gray "moral relativity". And I, personally, can't readily set aside those images and mentalities when I lay the book down."

This is where you are wrong. Unknowingly (since you haven't read the books) you are being unfair to Martin. He is very moral. Many characters who seek to do wrong for personal gain eventually come to bad ends and often due to a consequence of their unethical choices. That is one of the reasons for the high body count. Conversely, some of the characters who are good and are brought down by the wrongdoers survive and progress due to their strong moral characters - much of the fun in the next books will see how these arcs progress on the upward climb in the face of hardship. The complexity comes in when some of these who have done bad things come to understand the nature of their "sins" and, over time, begin to do good. There are also those who have always been in the middle - in particular, a central character from the protagonist evil family has remained somewhat apart from the activities of his family and has done substantial good along the way, even though virtually everyone assumes he is evil due to his family associations. He is my favorite character in the series and I am dying to see him played on HBO series because the actor is great and worthy of the character. Another central good character is forced to become essentially a spy but through circumstances becomes close to the people he is spying on, and the resulting disclosures - while good for the forces of good - cause him tremendous personal anguish. And finally, some who have been good have reacted to the bad events by acting in ways that can be characterized as questionable, if not out and out evil. And that's not even the end of the discussion - there are those who are essentially good but foolish and end up being a tool of those who are out for evil ends but eventually, as a matter of "pathei mathos" (knowledge through suffering) begin developing and may surprise the evil ones before long. And many who are not choosing sides at all but are personally loyal to their friends and will support them in whatever they do.

"What good is there for me in a book, or an entire series, where the conflict is only a matter of self-centered, power-hungry people doing their level best to grab the biggest throne around?"

Because that is not the "only" conflict in the books. The chess match among families and nations in only one piece of the puzzle. GRRM has WoT level complexity and there are many characters we are following from the protagonist families and nations and the separate activities in a continent across the ocean. Most of the characters are not central to the power grabs but are affected by it, and need to make choices and try to survive. Indeed, many if not most of the characters that have survived through book 4 fall into the category of peripheral players with the strength and survival instincts to continue living. Ironically, they are becoming central characters as the more aggressive protagonists fall by the wayside. Many are heroic in what they have accomplished to date and have the potential to accomplish in the final three books. Many of these arcs are truly enjoyable characters to read and the GRRM addiction to see how they do as the series progresses can be as strong or stronger than the WoT one.

In sum, feel free not to read GRRM or see the movies when they come out but keep in mind you are missing extraordinary writing and compelling stories.

187. ValMar
Just on the point of SoIaF being only about bunch of power hungry and greedy individuals fighting for a throne.
As Rob said above, this is not the case. The name "A Song of Ice and Fire" is not just pretty, it describes the true conflict in the series. Ultimate evil (a word we use too often to detach ourselves from some aspects of humanity) vs Humanity. Winter is coming. (cue in dramatic music)

PS The main heroes, who look like being the true main protagonists by the climax of the series, are genuinely good people who try to make the best decisions.
188. FellKnight
Sam @153

Awesome! I particularly loved the idea that Perrin killing Egwene caused him to snap and lose his humanity forever. MoA.

Tricia Irish
190. Tektonica

That was the very best description of why GRRM is a great and compelling writer. You even helped me understand why I liked his characters so much intrinsically. Thank you for stating that so clearly!
Tess Laird
191. thewindrose
Samadai - Another interesting perspective!

RobMRobM and others -I don't think Wetlandernw is trying to turn anyone off GRRM. She's just saying it's not for her. That she is eloquent and a major player(heh) on this board seems to rattle some cages so to speak. One reason I wish for immortality at times is that there are so many books and interesting places to go that I will never get to in this life time:(

So am I in a minority here? I was laugh out loud amazed by Moggy's actions after her most abhorrent treatment with SH. How fast she pushes that to the back of her mind when she encounters Moridin:

She tells him he has been given a great honor, and commands him to bring her some wine, and he laughs and tells her she misunderstands her position; if she hadn’t managed to do some good by accident, she would be dead now. She retorts angrily that he’d better watch his tongue when speaking to one of the Chosen, but cuts off when he reaches into his shirt and pulls out her mindtrap.

Of course she sees her mindtrap ::shudder:: but resolves to find some way to get out of that condition.

Marcus W
192. toryx
Just a quick note on all these comments about Leigh returning to two posts a week:

While I certainly appreciate (and miss) the more than once weekly re-read posts, I think that we should give Leigh a break about it. I don't know about any of you, but as much as I'm capable of posting long diatribes of comments multiple times a day, there's no way on earth that I could have kept up with the demands of posting as thorough and thoughtful a re-read as Leigh has consistantly maintained.

It's miraculous, really, that she was able to keep up as demanding a schedule as she had for as long as she did without the quality of the work degrading.

And let's face it: Locating an apartment (in NYC of all places!) and moving, making all the arrangements that are therefore involved while at the same time remaining consistant in one's work AND dealing with a remarkable amount of pain as the result of a freaking root canal and STILL posting once a week is going above and beyond the call of duty as it is.

I've lived in NYC and had the misfortune* of moving while there and I'd like to point out that finding an apartment and moving in NYC is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. I'd rather move from coast to coast (which I've also done) than have to do that again. Rand thought cleansing the taint was difficult? He oughta try getting an apartment in New York.

So I'm just saying, we ought to give her a little slack. She'll get done when she gets done, and if she can actually muster the energy to go back to a twice a week posting schedule after that (which would be impressive as all hell to me) then more power to her. But for now, we're damned lucky we get a post a week and I for one, am grateful for that.

* Man, it took forever for me to remember how to spell misfortune correctly. Misfortune, Misfortuona, it's all starting to look the same to me. :)
Rob Munnelly
193. RobMRobM
@191 - Wind - I agree that Wet has good motives. But she had a couple of prongs of concern; I acknowledged one and sought to correct others. She can make the call whether to dive in or not. R
Tricia Irish
194. Tektonica

I completely sympathize with Leigh's plight.....having lived and moved in NYC many times myself...awful. Just finding the damn place is a major challenge, at least finding one you can afford.

We just want her to know we miss her lively input! Keeps us playing nice in the sandbox and not off on tangents....see above....but hey, they're fun too.
Barry T
195. blindillusion
RobM, you’ve helped me reach the decision to go ahead and give GRRM another read…and to pick up the 4th book.

I’m not the most religious/spiritual person in the world, but I do believe that Peace comes after Death. To me, a part of that Peace will be a Library with every book ever written contained within. I figure I can spend at least half of Eternity combing through a few hundred thousand books or so.

edit: And for S&Gs, I suppose one could say Hell would be an Enternity of burning books...without being able to read a single page. All those words...gone. After all, the family motto I chose for my family is, "All Knowledge is Worth Having."
James Jones
196. jamesedjones
195 blindillusion
To me, a part of that Peace will be a Library with every book ever written contained within.
You need to check out Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz series. Very peaceful. ;)
Tess Laird
197. thewindrose
blindillusion - Or even better, we will be able to corner authors... Or would that be mean?

As to JordanCon - I really want to go. However, my family thinks I already spend too much time on this. So they laughed when I broached the subject with them. I am thinking about bribery and blackmail - we shall see...(I will have to come up with something fast though.)

Barry T
198. blindillusion
Why would we want to corner authors? I'd hope they're still writing....

Maybe they'll do 'Cons every now and again. =)
Marcus W
199. toryx
If an "Afterwards" library existed, I'd be more interested in reading what authors might have written since they got there.
I'd love to read Shakespeares's Collected Afterlife Works, Jordan's colossal and uncut "A Memory of Light" and whatever Charles Dickens might have come up with.

It's the Neverwas that intrigue me the most.
Sydo Zandstra
200. Fiddler

It was the Assassin's Aprentice series. IIRC, the main characters weren't that bad, but I found the world too uninteresting to keep bother reading on. Could very well be my loss, but that's personal tastes.


Re: Kay
Sex scenes aren't Kay's thing, and I tend to skim past them myself, now I think of it. It's the social-political element in some of his work that is appealing to me.
Marcus W
201. toryx
Fiddler @ 200:

The social-political element in Kay's work is what I like about it as well. I can think of at least one rather graphic sexual incident in Kay's work that might have been distasteful to wetlandernw but I do think that's relatively rare in his work.

As far as Hobb goes, I've liked all of her work including the Soldier's Son series (although I admit there wasn't anything even remotely admirable about the main character in that one) but I can certainly see how it'd be a slow read for some.
Sydo Zandstra
202. Fiddler

Re: Kay
I took what Wetlandernw said as that the scenes irritated her because of how they were written by Kay, and not because they were too graphic. My personal favourite here is the 2-book story based on Byzantium, btw.
Julian Augustus
203. Alisonwonderland
Wet @ 179:
Excellent explanation of your viewpoint and I fully agree it is your choice what you want to let into your head. What some of us are suggesting is that you let yourself be the judge of whether or not the series is suitable for you, and NOT decide based on other people's impressions, tastes, likes and dislikes.

Edited to add the "NOT"
Steven Pattingale
204. Pattingale
Toryx @ 199

The Neverwas eh? Sounds a bit like the Library of Dream in The Sandman. :)
Elizabeth Gingles
207. Spera
I thought the slowing was more dependent on how much OP potential you have hence Nyn slowing already. OP potential has been dwindling in this population so less people would slow drastically, they would just look really good for their age. Also, most wilders end up killing themselves with the power which doesn't lend itself to long living.

The kin have delibrately always been on the move and have been unknown to most of the tower so going to them for history's sake doesn't seem like something someone would do.
Roger Powell
208. forkroot
LOL! You ... are ... a ... FIEND!
To me, a part of that Peace will be a Library with every book ever written contained within.
You need to check out Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz series. Very peaceful. ;)

Specifically Alcatraz versus the Scrivener's Bones. Yes, you are a fiend!
::cackles insanely::
209. Freelancer

Heh, sure, every written word in the history of the world at your disposal. But the price...
210. Freelancer
BTW, for anyone who believes that Brandon wrote the Alcatraz books for kids, think again. You don't want to miss them.

He can keep up with Leigh Butler in terms of tossing about pop references, non-sequitor segways, and seeming gibberish that matters intensely, in a screwy foreshadowing way.

You'll never want to read fantasy (geography, history, etc) again once you've experienced this brand of non-fiction.
stephanie keenan
211. adriel_moonstar
On the topic of slowing and wilders...

It was always my understanding that the speed and extent of the slowing was dependent on both strength in and frequency of use of the OP.

It is pretty clear that the trained female channelers outside the tower tradition (Wise Ones, Windfinders, damane, and Kin) do slow, and it is accepted as part of their roles in their respective societies. (Examples are given in the books which I could dredge up if I must...) The AS refer to these women as "wilders" but they really are not.

True wilders (who survive the onset of the OP)can be divided into two groups, those who are sent to the tower and those who remain in the general population. It can be inferred that those who go to the tower either know what is happening or are detected at a young enough age for the tower to want to train them.

Those who remain on the outside are usually not aware of what they are doing, and have a psychological block against using the power except under very specific circumstances. This would severely limit the frequency of any channeling or touching the source.

Take Nyn for an example. She unconsciously did a very complex form of Healing when she was upset that a patient was going to die. How often would that actually happen? A few times a year...maybe once a month in a bad year. She began to slow because of her great strength in the power, but probably would never have slowed to the extent she would after going to the tower.

A less strong wilder might easily slow only enough to look very good for her age.

On the other hand even the weakest novice or accepted practices every day with the power, so that lack of strength would be outweighed by frequency of use. Slowing would occur and it would be years before her strength would make a difference in the extent. (I would guess that the taboos against speaking about a sister's age or strength in the power comes from the fact that the two are so closely related.)

(I had a whole real-life analogy about higher math-but when I started typing I realized that I was constructing a very strange wall of text that could better be torn down and used to build an addition to the bunker...summer is coming and we'll need space to chill the beer. So have at it...)
Leigh Butler
212. leighdb
thewindrose @138:

Yes, I read that in the comments, didn't I? I should have said so in the post, but it wasn't until you said something that I realized. Consider yourself shouted out to, dear.

toryx @192:

Thank you.
Alice Arneson
213. Wetlandernw
JanDSedai @519 - ... a "centerpiece" is what you put on the table when you're trying to sell your house. I can't imagine what anyone would do with one otherwise; either you use you table(s) for food or stacks of books and papers, right?! LOL!! So very true!

RobMRobM @186 - FWIW, not all my comments were directly aimed at GRRM, since I (obviously!) have not read his work. However, I know what has turned me off of books/series before, and much of what people have said about ASoIaF reminded me of various things I've disliked before. Probably the greatest factor, for me, is the "R rated for sex, violence and adult themes" business. I just don't have enough time in my life to spend reading books (or lengthy series) that have too much of what I specifically don't want in my head.

I realize that I may be turning my back on some very good writing. I'm quite sure it is true with some other books I won't read, as well. The thing is, there is plenty of extraordinarily good writing out there that I still haven't read, that doesn't need an R rating. Until I've gotten through all the good stuff I want in my head, I won't spend my time on this one. I haven't got around all of G.K.Chesterton, or Charles Williams, or Alexandre Dumas, or.... the list goes on. And it's been many years since I've gone through all the Shakespeare on my shelves, to say nothing of John Donne.

blocksmith @189 - kids do make you think about it, don't they? They take a look a the interesting cover on your book and ask if you can read it to them tonight... or as they get older, if they can have it when you're done. If I'm reading something I don't want my kids to read, I prefer to have a better explanation than "Ummmm.... well, I, uhhhh.... " :)

thewindrose @191 - Thanks!! That's exactly what I meant. I can understand the "wish for all my friends to love what I love" but sometimes it doesn't work that way, and we're such a diverse group here that we're bound to have different tastes. Of course, posting several walls of text on a subject could certainly seem to have the intent to persuade... ;)

Moghedien... don't know that I necessarily LOLed, but like you, I noticed that oddity in her attitude. She obviously didn't enjoy her time with Shaidar Haran, but she sure got past it in a hurry! She seems to be an expert at self-deception, or willful blindness, or something on that order. She can be all begging for mercy one minute, and high-handed arrogance the next, with apparently no consideration that she might want to make sure she doesn't end up in the same hole again. I just couldn't decide whether RJ had to edit out all the shuddering reaction, or if he intentionally wrote her with an ability to forget her failures that quickly.

toryx @192 - I had a nightmare the other night, that someone asked me to fill in for Leigh. (Not that anyone would - yikes!!) It was one of those where you wake up and it takes a bit to realize it was just a dream... and I was in an absolute panic over how on earth I was going to get through my normal life AND get all that reading and summarizing and commenting done. You can only imagine the rush of relief I felt when I realized it wasn't true.

Like many, I miss the days of two or three posts a week; frankly, I've gotten used to coming here for my entertainment, but we run out of relevant discussion after a few days. Still, I'd rather have one post that's up to standard than two that are dull. (Not sure Leigh could ever really be dull, but let's not find out by pushing too hard, eh?) And I sure know the feeling that life just has too much in it sometimes, and something has to give. So, yeah, while we all hope things work out quickly for Leigh, let's give her the time and space she needs to get things together.

Meanwhile, we'll twitch around a few more topics... Cadsuane? ready for Cadsuane yet? I have more to say!

::ducks into bunker::

::ducks back out to ask...::

Fiddler & toryx - The one of Kay's I read was Tigana. Do you have any comment on that one by comparison to other of his works?

::ducks back into bunker::
Rob Munnelly
214. RobMRobM
Leigh - we love you and want the best for you always ...but we're dyyyyiiinggg here.

We are addicts with only a limited supply of what our minds and bodies so desperately crave. Think of all these poor souls, scattered all over the globe ... from the wilds of the Blight, to Starbucks country, to Freelancer and Insectoid land in sunny San Diego, crossing over to Merrye Olde England, across the Channel to Holland and Germany, across the world to the Aussies and Kiwi's, and back to the good old FREEZING East Coast of the USA ... yearning for that 2500 words or so of liquid sunshine coming not just once a week but twice. Think about them - noses buried in dog eared paperbacks with ugly Sweet covers or eyes straining to read godawful graphics at Brandon's site or 13th D, looking for those golden nuggets of insight that give that extra frisson of excitement beyond mere enjoyment of a well loved series. Do it for the little people. Do it for all the lovers of fine SF/F literature yearning for transcendence. Do it for the children, present and future, who deserve to share illuminations gained by the contributions of hundreds, nay, thousands, poring over the artful text of our own Mistress of Mayene, our Chairwoman of Carhien, our Ambassador of Amadecia, our Seniorita of Seanchan, our Khan of Kandor. Fight through the pain, the housing troubles, the stresses of life in the Magnificent Seven, and bring back our twice a week happiness fix and our lives will be least until the next flame war over what Tylin's about to do to Mat three chapters from now.

Yours in fandom, profound respect and excessive desperation, Rob
Rob Munnelly
215. RobMRobM
@213 - Wet, it's obviously ok. The sex and violence factor is uncomfortably high and if one can't or doesn't want to get past it, that's fine. GRRM is not for everyone. Rob
Tricia Irish
220. Tektonica
LOL Rob! Well said.
Leigh, we do sympathize and we do love you and your work!

And why didn't 217 get Balefired? Something is out of whack here....

Where's 218 and 219?
Joseph Blaidd
221. SteelBlaidd
I'm in agreement with Wetlandernw@179 and RobM@186
aSoIaF is a brilliant exploration of heroism and the importance of making moral choices. Tyrone Lanister is one the great Anti-villains of all time. I stopped reading in book three because I just was not comfortable with Martin's presentations style. I don't read Steven King for the same reason.
Marcus W
222. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 213:

I've read almost all of Kay's novels (excepting The Last Light of the Sun which I couldn't get into for some reason). I think he has a talent for particularly beautiful writing and some really complex ideas that definitely stand apart from mainstream fantasy. In fact, Sanderson's skills in crafting a coherent magic system are reminiscent, to me, of Kay's skills in detailing the ethical and political elements of his societies.

The one that I was thinking of with the rather high level of sex content was A Song for Arbonne which is, incidentally, also one of the most beautifully written of his works. That's the thing about Kay; he's a beautiful writer with a lot of great ideas but in trying to show us the character failings in villains (and lesser villains) the crudeness stands out more. At least, it does to me.

One thing that's really interesting about Kay's writings is that with each book, his work becomes less fantastical and more grounded in reality. Tigana was the first stand alone novel after his fantasy series, The Fionavar Tapestry. Each novel after that is less fantastical and more closely connected to the real world until his latest, Ysabel which was actually set in France. But at the same time, it was kind of lightly linked to his first, most fantastical work. Weird. Incidentally, I really liked it, at least in part because I've spent time in the part of France that he was writing about and his descriptions were spot on.

I think I'm going to agree with Fiddler and say that The Sarantine Mosaic is my favorite of his work. It's a duology that begins with Sailing to Sarantium and it's essentially a fantasy retelling of Justinian I of Constanstinople. Beautifully written, skillfully told and fascinating because it's half fantasy and half history.

I don't remember if it was particularly rated "R"ish, but I do think that most of Kay's writing is beautiful enough to completely transcend the bits that may not be so appealing.

I also had the opportunity to meet Kay several years ago and found him to be a soft spoken but brilliant man, very modest and rather shy. Definitely a nice guy.
James Jones
223. jamesedjones
214 RobMRobM

"Kahn of Kandor" ROFL

You, sir, are my hero. :P

208 & 209

Seriously, though, didn't everyone who read that think, "Sweet. I just need to find a way around that contract."
Tess Laird
224. thewindrose
Hi Leigh ::Waves:: You made my day:)

Wetlandernw - Yes I was being a bit cheeky,I was more like huh...and you said it better:

Moghedien... don't know that I necessarily LOLed, but like you, I noticed that oddity in her attitude. She obviously didn't enjoy her time with Shaidar Haran, but she sure got past it in a hurry! She seems to be an expert at self-deception, or willful blindness, or something on that order. She can be all begging for mercy one minute, and high-handed arrogance the next, with apparently no consideration that she might want to make sure she doesn't end up in the same hole again. I just couldn't decide whether RJ had to edit out all the shuddering reaction, or if he intentionally wrote her with an ability to forget her failures that quickly.

I think most of the baddies in this series have this particular talent. Verin mentions something quite close to this in tGS. I would quote it here, however the book is at home and I am at work -yada yada. So what is the deal - if you can get your work done... oh never mind:)

Matthew Smith
225. blocksmith

The unequivocal thanks to toryx@192 would indicate you are in the midst of navigating that tortuous route described. I hope you are nearing your safe harbor. May your rum never be gone.

Regarding Moghedien's quick persona change...

My impression was that as a Forsaken, she always understood/accepted that she would, at best, be second to the DO. She knows she screwed up, was mind-trapped then horribly punished, and left to relive her ordeal in the groundhog day dream.

Suddenly she is freed which likely triggers thoughts, to some extent, that her "punishment" in the eyes of the DO is over. Her expectation, even with the mind-trap, is that she will resume her place and stature among the Chosen; thus her reaction to the, as then unknown, person (Moridin/Ishy) greeting her. And then her equally abrupt reversal upon seeing her (and the other) cour'souvra and being told in no uncertain terms where she stands.
Sydo Zandstra
226. Fiddler

Re: Kay's sex scenes.

I think you are particularly referring to the sex scene where the young woman is hiding in a closet with the male protagonist, and starts having sex with him in order to prevent him from overhearing a conversation in the room where the closet is in. That one was badly written.


The one that I was thinking of with the rather high level of sex content was A Song for Arbonne which is, incidentally, also one of the most beautifully written of his works.

I like A Song for Arbonne a lot too. I didn't mind the sex scenes in that book; they were written from a more romantic pov, since the story has a very high chivalrous element (duh), and Arbonne has a matriarchic structure, meaning it's the women who call the shots in a non-agressive way (here). For both men and women it's more of a dance/game where the steps/rules are set in culture. As opposed to that other country which is ruled by men only.

(There's also the religious element of Goddess vs. God; I forgot the details, but the theme isn't new).

again@Wetlandernw, there are probably enough non-spoiler reviews available on the net.

To get more off topic, I read a few of the Percy Jackson books by Riordan. Certainly better than the movie, and although they are meant for children, his style reminds me of Zelazny. Stay away from the movie though...
Rob Munnelly
227. RobMRobM
Ah, the Percy Jackson movie is not so bad - not as good as the books, but not bad. Pretty good special effects, decent acting. The irritating part is the unnecessary deviations from the book but that is always my complaint in these types of adapations (see Return of the King). An eight year old nailed it on the head walking out - "Where was Clarisse?" Making Annabeth be an amalgam of herself and Clarisse only went so far.

The best part of the books (and I've read them all, as I have pre-teen kids) is the wry humor and the movie captures some of it. For example, the first chapter of Lightning Thief is called something like "How I Vaporized my Pre-Algebra Teacher" - have to like that. I never placed it in the Zelazny family tree but I guess I can see that now.

Sydo Zandstra
228. Fiddler

I saw the movie first, and got interested in the books. Having read the first books left me with a feeling like 'This movie could have been so much more...' ;)

In any case, a good way to introduce kids into Classic mythology :)
Rob Munnelly
229. RobMRobM
Fid - yes, it could have. Hope they get to make the second movie and work towards an improved job next time.
Thomas Keith
230. insectoid
Tek @220: 217 was balefired, because a certain six-legged creature flagged it for the moderator. ;) (I was a bit irked that it didn't get flagged immediately by the spam filter--isn't that what the filter is supposed to do?) Just doing my bit for king and country.

Tricia Irish
231. Tektonica
Thank you Insectoid! It got through at first though, while our legitimate links get balefired. ??? Thanks for taking action!
Janet Hopkins
232. JanDSedai
No posts in 8 hours?! Isn't anybody else getting antsy for Fri.? What, are we just gonna live real life for a whole day! Leigh-- ya gotta save us!
233. Divil The Bother
Longtime lurker - just caught up with the reread - a bit OC so had to try and read every post of every previous entry! Only cheated on some of the entries with ***tloads of posts.

Am primed and ready to go as soon as the next installment goes up! Hope I'll have something decent to contribute...
Rob Munnelly
234. RobMRobM
Further to the GRRM discussion above-my brother, the true GRRM fan in the family, advises he now has a November 2010 shipping date from Amazon for the next book. Hmmmnn.
Marcus W
235. toryx
RobM @ 234:

Amazon is utterly unreliable in this particular case. They've been offering arbitrary ship dates for GRRM (and RJ for that matter) for years.
Rob Munnelly
236. RobMRobM
True, but the point is that they just adjusted the date to November, indicating some fond hope of getting it done and out by then. Unreliable but at least something.
Maiane Bakroeva
237. Isilel
I have heard some really good things about "The Mystery Knight", the third Dunk and Egg novella by George Martin in The Warriors anthology. It should be coming out in 5 days, but it looks like some booksellers broke the date. The rest of the authors in that anthology look pretty good, too. Can't wait! Not ADwD, of course, but very nice all the same.
Marcus W
238. toryx
Isilel @ 237:

I'm a big fan of the Dunk and Egg stories and I've been looking forward to this one for quite some time. I'm not sure when I'll get around to buying Warriors but I do look forward to reading it.
Sydo Zandstra
239. Fiddler

True, but the point is that they just adjusted the date to November, indicating some fond hope of getting it done and out by then. Unreliable but at least something.

Here's a quote from a message I got from Amazon on September 19 2009:

Dear Customer,

Greetings from

Unfortunately, the release date for the item(s) listed below was changed by the supplier, and we need to provide you with a new estimated delivery date based on the new release date:

George R.R. Martin "A Dance with Dragons: Book 5 of a Song of Ice and Fire"
Estimated arrival date: October 05 2010 - October 06 2010

That was when I cancelled my order right away. A year's delay is too long for me.

But let's hope they'll be able deliver this time. :)
Tess Laird
242. thewindrose
Samadai - @241 - That is an amazing Verin pov;)
Sam Mickel
243. Samadai

thanks I worked really hard on it. I hope everyone enjoys
246. Freelancer
Well, it's funnier than some comments, drier than some, much more sensible than many others...

And almost as revealing about the story as an original RJ interview.

Thomas Keith
247. insectoid
Why is Sam @241 empty?? Did eat it? Or is Verin really that sneaky? ;)

Sam Mickel
248. Samadai
I was just trying to let you all have a status report on how the story was coming along.
Alice Arneson
249. Wetlandernw
thewindrose @242 et al - ROFL!! Nice one.
Sydo Zandstra
250. Fiddler
@Samadai, next time just settle for 'RAFO'... ;)
Bonnie Andrews
251. misfortuona
Gabbly Ghosts followed him to Tor.

Jennifer B
252. JennB
Would people be happier if each two chapter post was divided into two one chapter posts? One could be posted Monday and one Friday (or whatever days Leigh would like). The weekly content would be the same, so no extra work for Leigh.

I think it might help the discussions become more focussed and people could get their fix twice a week instead of once.
Thomas Keith
253. insectoid
Mis @251: So that's why there's no one on Gabbly! ;)

JennB @252: Either way, we'll still be in WH or CoT by the time ToM comes out. But it's an interesting idea. Let's see what Leigh thinks.

Barry T
254. blindillusion
Well...if we're in WH or CoT when ToM comes out...perhaps we'd just be wrapping up ToM when AMoL comes out...wrap everything up in a nice little bow and send it on its way....

But what would we do then? ={

And Sam,
Regarding 241. I tried to read between the lines...but I must admit...I got nothing. =|
Thomas Keith
255. insectoid
Blind @254: Well, yes, that would certainly be convenient. :)

What would we do then?? Talk incessantly about the the new book, of course, on the inevitable A Memory of Light Review and Open-Spoiler Thread... ;)

Thomas Keith
256. insectoid
Hex 1 hunny FTW!! ;P ::foolish grin::

Oh, and Blind, I think Sam's empty post was supposed to be just that. :|

Tricia Irish
257. Tektonica
Hey! It's Friday!! I'm twitching all over!!
Jeff Weston
259. JWezy
JennB - Don't forget, Leigh still has to write the funny bit at the beginning and the close, that effort would be doubled.

And a lot of the time, the chapters seem to relate to each other, so the discussion flows one to the next.

Now, if we simply left out all the sections that contain material that Leight definitely isn't talking about...

Actually, I'm in no hurry, ToM is just a way-station on the route to aMoL - we should scale the re-read to fill the available time. ;-)
Tess Laird
260. thewindrose
F5 twitch F5 twitch F5 twitch refresh click

Just checking:)

So it is so gloomy here in MN, it is raining, snow is melting, and no sun.

My daughter made me watch Twilight on cable the other night. Someone please tell me the books are better. I asked her why she likes the movie so much - and she said she liked the soft music. She is already deflecting my questions!

Duncan Macdonald
261. DJMacdonald
thewindrose @ 260

According to my Daughter, the books are infinitely superior.

I can, of course, not make any comments on my own accord, not having read the book(s).

-- Duncan
Tina Pierce
262. scissorrunner
ugh - if you didn't read the book, the Twilight movie was a lot of drivel *ducks quickly*
They left out SO much of the story that the movie felt lame.....
Tina Pierce
263. scissorrunner
I did read the books (self defense, I work w/teens a lot). the story line makes more sense w/ all the extra info
Tess Laird
264. thewindrose
Thanks for the info - I had a feeling that was the case. We are reading LotR right now(my 2 kids and I), and it is something I look forward to each night. It is interesting to hear what they think when I ask them about something that is a bit more complex, and we have great discussions. Also, they saw the movies first, so there are all the questions about why did they change this, leave out that etc. (Oh, and it is great fun reading the elvish out loud, I have no idea how badly I am mangling it.)

So we have a battle for the next series(it won't be WoT;). Twilight or Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
I used to gobble up Greek/Roman mythology when I was young so my vote goes for the second. But I am remaining silent and having Noelle and Noah decide.(Should be entertaining.)

Sam Mickel
265. Samadai

you might try the Chronicles of Narnia, they are excellent childrens books, even for us grown up children
Tina Pierce
266. scissorrunner
windrose - that sounds like a blast!
my little ones are still into Dr Seuss at bedtime

[i]still twitching
Marcus W
267. toryx
thewindrose @ 260:

I haven't read them and I'm not going to but according to at least one person I trust the story might be slightly better in the books than the movie but the writing is supposed to be terrible.

So if you do end up reading it to your kids, just be warned.
Alice Arneson
268. Wetlandernw
thewindrose @264 - Not to beat a dead horse, but I'll happily put in another plug for 100 Cupboards. ;)
Tess Laird
269. thewindrose
Samadai - Already did the Chronicles of Narnia. That was our first foray into 'chapter' books. And of course I have a fondness for certain types of books:) BTW - they both loved Narnia, and it is great fun to hear them role playing together, urrr when they are not at each others throats that is;)

(I am totally pulling for Percy Jackson - I thought the movie a bit better than Twilight(but that might just be my fondness of mythology) and Noah assures me that the movie didn't do justice to the actual book. He has read The Lighting Thief.)

darcie ramp
270. darciedeann
Oh, Leigh... My college boyfriend's favorite movie was Trainspotting, so I said I'd watch it with him. We got to the baby part, and I turned the vcr off, laid on the floor, and bawled. I couldn't watch the rest.
Joseph Blaidd
271. SteelBlaidd

The books are definetly better than the movies. The movies get Bella's personality compleaty wrong.

As to the writting, remember this was the authors first attempt at writing anything, and in comparison to all the other vampires in Highschool stories I've tried(and failed) to read they're Shakespere.
272. avehonduras
Wait what happened offscreen to Moggy? I hate reading these in non-real time because some of the links don't work anymore!!
Alice Arneson
273. Wetlandernw
avehonduras @272 - Part of Moghedien's punishment for her failure was to be given to Shaidar Haran for... amusement... before being mindtrapped. Here's the quote from the link that no longer works:

Quick question, quick answer: Chris Mullins writes: "I asked RJ, at the Palo Alto signing, if Moggy was raped by Shaidar Haran in ACOS. His reply was, 'Yes. Amongst other things.'"

274. Dorianin
I had my first root canal at 13, so i know how you felt...trainspotting is absolutely a perfect metaphor for the true power. I never went that far, but i have dealt with a few demons in my day. as far as post dental goes...1000 mg of vit c a day cuts recovery time by a third. not a huge gain....unless you`ve been there.
275. Surmiser
@28 R. Fife Re: accidental good by Moghedien - i just wanted to float a theory that when she channeled Birgitte out of T'a'r into the real world, she actually screwed up the workings of a certain horn of valere that calls Heroes from the dead. My guess is that the Horn will now summon Villains from the dead (refer to Bors/Carridin POV in TGH Prologue).
Terry McNamee
276. macster
A very belated thought, but I happened to be browsing back through old re-read posts (*nostalgic sighs*) and noticed nobody commented on one point Leigh raised that never really got explained, the bit with Zarya/Garenia. While it is true she clearly wasn't a Darkfriend and thus wasn't involved with what Verin was doing (as we learned about in TGS), the fact she knew Careane, who was a Darkfriend, had me wondering if there might be some other connection. She obviously couldn't have known Careane was Black, or she'd have been killed as soon as Careane encountered her again seventy years later, and even if she only suspected and Careane never found this out, you'd think she'd have told Vandene or Adeleas her suspicions. (Unless she did, and that was another reason Careane killed Adeleas, because the latter confronted her and/or confirmed Careane's DF status via Ispan?)

But what could still be the case is that seventy years ago, there was obviously Black activity going on, for Verin to learn of it and end up being forcibly inducted. So what if Zarya witnessed something that scared her, something Shadow-related in the Tower (but not connected to Careane or Verin or anyone else in the party), and this caused her to run away, conveniently before the Blacks could find out and silence her? That would give another reason for her changing her identity and her fear of being found out and taken back to the Tower.

If so, then once it came out that Careane was Black, this added to Zarya having fled the Blacks in the Tower seventy years ago could have been more foreshadowing to help us guess the truth about Verin's background and plans, for anyone who put the pieces together.

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