Mar 12 2010 2:34pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 16

What ho, WOTians! I bring you a Wheel of Time Re-read, in which we re-read the Wheel of Time.

Today’s entry covers Chapters 26 and 27 of A Crown of Swords, in which the 26th and 27th chapters of A Crown of Swords are covered.

(It’s tautolarious!)

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.

Please insert witty statement here, and then a backwards reiteration of said witty statement, in keeping with the theme that I randomly made up for this intro, because I am nothing if not symmetrical.

Chapter 26: The Irrevocable Words


What Happens
Morgase lies in bed, trying to not think about what had happened to her, and hoping Elayne and Gawyn and Galad were safe. She wishes she could see them again.

She had always thought she was brave enough to do whatever needed doing, to face whatever came; she had always believed she could pick herself up and continue to fight. In one endless hour, without leaving more than a few bruises that were already fading, Rhadam Asunawa had begun teaching her differently. Eamon Valda had completed her education with one question. The bruise her answer had left on her heart had not faded. She should have gone back to Asunawa herself and told him to do his worst.

Breane enters, scaring Morgase, and offers her something to drink; Morgase knocks it away and snaps at her to wait until she’s summoned. Breane, furious, tells Morgase she “moans like a sheep”; others have endured far worse than her, and she should let the past go. Morgase flushes, but grabs Breane and asks anxiously if the men know, thinking that they would try and avenge her, and die doing it. Breane sneers that she and Lini have kept them in the dark, but makes it clear that she would reveal Morgase for the coward she is if it wouldn’t have put her Lamgwin in danger. Morgase is outraged, but doesn’t answer.

However she had screamed under Asunawa’s ministrations, Valda was the one who had showed her the true borders of her courage, so far short of where she had believed. Valda’s touch, his bed, could be forgotten, with time, but she would never be able to wash the shame of that “yes” from her lips. Breane hurled the truth in her face, and she did not know how to reply.

Tallanvor enters, scaring Morgase again (Breane squeezes her hand in comfort, to her surprise), and says something is happening; Gill and Lamgwin follow him in, and Gill tells them about how he saw a “big bird” land on the south barracks. Lini enters and harangues him for a fool, asking why a bird is worth waking Morgase for, but Gill explains that men climbed off its back, and then another one landed and did the same. At the window, Tallanvor exclaims that he sees another one landing on the north barracks. Morgase wishes they would all go away, but gets up and goes to the window; after a long moment, she sees the creature too, and her jaw drops. Then there is a boom and a flash of light, followed by screams and shouts. Morgase realizes saidar is being used, and says it must be Aes Sedai. Tallanvor is skeptical of this, pointing out that Aes Sedai aren’t supposed to be able to use the Power against people, and as she turns to confront him, misses being skewered by an errant arrow by inches.

She did not move, but Tallanvor pulled her away from the window with an oath. Even by moonlight, she could see his frown as he studied her. For a moment she thought he might touch her face; if he did, she did not know whether she would weep or scream or order him to leave her forever or . . .

Tallanvor thinks it’s more likely that the attackers are “these Shamin or whatever they call themselves,” and thinks this is a perfect opportunity to make their escape. Lini thinks this is insane, and points out that Morgase would know if channeling is occurring. Tallanvor wishes for his sword, and then says he can at least go see what is happening; Morgase blurts out that he must stay, please, and then tries to sound more nonchalant. Tallanvor is angry, but acquiesces, and goes to wait in the anteroom; eventually they all end up there, listening to the battle/siege rage outside, and Morgase feels the saidar being wielded all through it. After an hour, the fighting dies down, and they continue to wait. Sometime after dawn, someone pounds on the door, which opens to reveal a squad of men in strange insectlike armor. The officer in charge asks if she is Morgase, Queen of Andor, in a harsh slurring accent, and orders her to come with him without waiting for a reply. She goes with them alone, and the officer ignores her attempts to talk to him. They approach the Lord Captain Commander’s quarters, and Morgase is befuddled to see Taraboner soldiers on guard outside; then she sees a damane and sul’dam (though she does not know what they are), and is sickened by the way the sul’dam pets the other like a dog, and the damane’s grateful reaction.

Morgase made the necessary effort to keep walking, to keep her knees from folding, to keep her stomach from emptying itself. The sheer servility was bad enough, but she was certain the woman being patted on the head could channel. Impossible! She walked in a daze, wondering whether this could be a dream, a nightmare. Praying that it was.

Inside, a woman with one side of her head shaved announces that she is in the presence of the High Lady Suroth, “who leads Those Who Come Before, and succors The Return.” The officer forces Morgase to prostrate herself, and Suroth immediately chastises him for treating the Queen of Andor like that, and sends him to be punished. He obeys, but Morgase sees his considering look and realizes the whole thing was staged. Suroth asks with false solicitousness if Morgase is harmed, but Morgase is distracted by two more pairs of sul’dam and damane in the room, and then by the huge creature lounging on the floor, which Suroth tells her is a lopar, and had saved her from her first assassination attempt, but that of course a lopar cannot compare to her damane, Pura and Jinjin. The two gray-clad women prostrate themselves.

“We have many more damane since returning than before. This is a rich hunting ground for marath’damane. Pura,” she added casually, “was once a . . . woman of the White Tower.”

Morgase’s knees wobble, but she refuses to believe it. The shaved-headed woman (Alwhin) barks at one of the servants crouched on the floor to bring kaf for the High Lady and her guest, calling her “Thera,” and Thera leaps to obey. Morgase asks where Suroth comes from, and Suroth explains that they come to reclaim what was stolen from the heirs of the High King, Artur Paendrag Tanreall. She says she’s already begun in Tarabon, where their king died for opposing her, and now a new King and Panarch loyal to the Crystal Throne rule there. It will soon be the same everywhere, she assures Morgase. Morgase answers that while all honor Artur’s memory, his time is long past; she points out that Tarabon had been a war-torn and troubled land, and that Suroth will not find other nations such easy conquests. She advises Suroth make peace. Suroth smiles and makes a gesture, and Alwhin barks for Thera to perform Poses of the Swan (which was the wrong thing, but Suroth lets it go). Thera immediately begins a stylized dance which Morgase thinks her sheer robe makes absolutely scandalous, and Suroth remarks casually that Thera is new and not fully trained yet, but that it is pleasant to own such beautiful things. Morgase is confused, wondering how a person can be owned, and Suroth goes on to mention that the Panarch of Tarabon refused to take the oath before returning to the subject of Thera, managing to repeat her name several times. Morgase makes the connection, and gasps that she doesn’t believe it.

“Thera,” Suroth said, “what was your name before you became my property? What title did you hold?”

Thera froze in her up-stretched posture, quivering, shooting a look half panic, half terror at sharp-faced Alwhin, a look of pure terror at Suroth. “Thera was called Amathera, if it pleases the High Lady,” she said breathily. “Thera was the Panarch of Tarabon, if it pleases the High Lady.”

Morgase drops her cup in shock, and Suroth steps close and says all must make choices. She’s heard that Morgase spent time in the White Tower, but promises that she will not suffer the eventual fate of all marath’damane, if Morgase makes the right choice. Then she dismisses Morgase, and Morgase is escorted back to her rooms, where Lini and Breane are waiting alone, the men having gone out to scout around. Morgase goes to the window, wondering what to do. She thinks that every decision she had made for months has seemed to lead only to disaster, and looks down at the courtyard below.

A twenty-foot fall, and Suroth lost her lever. Maybe it was the coward’s way out, but she had already proved herself that. Still, the Queen of Andor should not die so.

Under her breath, she spoke the irrevocable words that had been used only twice before in the thousand-year history of Andor. “Under the Light, I relinquish the High Seat of House Trakand to Elayne Trakand. Under the Light, I renounce the Rose Crown and abdicate the Lion Throne to Elayne, High Seat of House Trakand. Under the Light, I submit myself to the will of Elayne of Andor, her obedient subject.” None of that made Elayne Queen, true, but it cleared the way.

Lini asks what she’s smiling at; Morgase answers that she was thinking of Elayne, and Lini hisses and yanks her away from the window. Morgase tells her that what she does is for the best, and Breane angrily wants to know what will happen if these Seanchan decide they killed Morgase; Lini yells at Breane to shut up. They are still shouting at each other when Tallanvor and the others reenter, shutting both women up immediately as they pretend all is well. Morgase notices that all three of the men are armed again, and then Sebban Balwer follows them in. Tallanvor tells Morgase that Balwer has a plan to get them out of here, and informs her that they are accepting his offer. Morgase wants to know why Balwer would risk helping them, and Balwer answers that he had already planned to get them away from Valda, and it turns out to be even easier to do now that the Seanchan are in charge, since they grant considerable freedom to anyone willing to swear their Oath. Balwer has a pass for himself and ten others to leave Amador as wine merchants. Tallanvor moves close and murmurs to Morgase that they are going with Balwer if he has to tie and gag her.

She met him stare for stare. The window or . . . a chance. If Tallanvor had only held his tongue it would have been much easier to say, “I accept with gratitude, Master Balwer,” but she said it. She stepped away as if to see Balwer without having to crane past Tallanvor. It was always disturbing being so near to him. He was too young.

Morgase can’t believe it is so easy, but after dispatching the guards on the suite’s doors, she soon finds them all leaving Amador. She supposes Balwer is hoping for a big reward for rescuing a queen, but thinks no one else needs to know what she had done, and now she would see what kind of life she could find without a throne, and far away from Tallanvor. Lini asks why her smile is so sad, and Morgase answers that there is a long road ahead of them yet.

See, this is the thing. I love the Wheel of Time. Duh. But obviously I do not love every last word/thing/character/plotline in WOT. Also duh. And the bits I do not love can be attributed to a number of things, boredom and/or irritation with them usually being a frontrunner cause.

However, I think the Morgase thing holds a special place in the annals of WOT Things I Do Not Like, because Morgase is essentially the closest thing to a Morn Hyland character the Wheel of Time series possesses, and that makes it extremely hard to read about her with anything approaching objectivity on my part.

And look, I am not knocking Stephen Donaldson’s writing ability at all. Quite the contrary, actually; the fact that I actually finished the Gap books is more than proof enough the man can write, because his stuff makes The Red Pony look like Happy Sparkle Rainbow Hour at a Care Bear convention.

“Depressing” doesn’t even begin to cover it, is what I’m saying. I read the Gap Cycle at least twelve years ago, so the details of the plot have mostly faded, but what I do remember is thinking, Jesus Christ, man, is it really necessary to put your heroine through basically every form of torture ever invented? And then, you don’t even get a happy ending to make up for it! At least not that I recall, and I think I’m pretty safe in thinking happy endings are in general just not Donaldson’s bag, so.

Morgase’s plight is not nearly so graphically portrayed, Jordan being Jordan, but you know, you don’t have to get all the gory details of what’s been done to her to be horrified by it. For all the jokes I make about WOT being FCC-compliant, there’s no getting around the fact that Morgase’s journey as a character has consisted of her being brainwashed, repeatedly raped, exiled, held hostage, politically coerced, physically tortured, raped AGAIN, threatened some more, made a penniless fugitive, held hostage again, and, yeah.

And the WORST part is how hardly anyone knows what she’s been through. Even Morgase herself doesn’t really know about some of it. It’s like her storyline has been tailor-made to fill me with frustrated rage. Gargh.

Actually, that’s not the worst part. The worst part is how often I am, as a reader, impatient and irritated with her, mostly for things which are not, in the end, her fault at all. Like that thing with her continually insisting Tallanvor is too young? Yeah, that has nothing to do with Tallanvor’s age, perceived or actual. That’s an excuse so that Morgase does not have to face what being attracted to Tallanvor means, or may bring as a consequence. I’m sure there’s a psychological term for it; “displacement” is close but not quite correct. Whatever it is, we can for sure include “suicidally depressed” in there, with a healthy (or unhealthy, as the case may be) dollop of post-traumatic stress disorder to boot.

Anyway, my point is that I think the reason why I so dislike reading about Morgase is because doing so reminds me of how distressingly easy it can be to blame the victim.

And which may also be why I would like Breane to be real and in front of me for a moment so I can KICK HER BITCHY, BLAME-Y ASS UP BETWEEN HER EARS. God.

Chapter 27: To Be Alone

What Happens
Perrin leaves his rooms in the Sun Palace, and watches as the servants scurry off in fear at the sight of him; he thinks no one wants to be near a man who had the Dragon Reborn furious at him. He remembers pushing himself up on the column Rand had hurled him against as terrified nobles look on. Rand shouted at him that he will deal with the Aes Sedai as he chooses; Perrin retorted that he has no idea what the Wise Ones are doing with them, and told Rand that he was not the Creator.

With a snarl of rage, Rand threw his head back. “I am the Dragon Reborn!” he cried. “I don’t care how they’re treated! They deserve a dungeon!” Perrin’s hackles stirred as Rand’s eyes lowered from the vaulted ceiling. Blue ice would have been warm and soft beside them, the more so because they stared from a face twisted with pain. “Get out of my sight, Perrin. Do you hear me? Get out of Cairhien! Today! Now! I never want to see you again!” Pivoting on his heel, he strode away with nobles all but throwing themselves to the floor as he passed.

Perrin thumbed a trickle of blood from the corner of his mouth. For one moment there, he had been sure Rand was going to kill him.

In the corridor, he runs into Loial, who tells him sadly that Rand should not have done that, but Loial is sure he will reconsider. Perrin tells him it’s all right; Cairhien is “too polished” for him anyway. Loial suggests that Perrin come with him and Karldin to visit all the steddings with Waygates in them; Perrin recognizes the young man with him as an Asha’man though he is not dressed as one. Karldin glares at Perrin and tells Loial they have to go, and Perrin wonders if he’s holding the Power. Loial tells Perrin that he doesn’t like how Rand is sending all of them off, and is now even avoiding Min.

“He’ll be alone, then, Perrin. ‘It’s terrible to be alone.’ That’s what he said to me. He is planning to send all of his friends away.”

“The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills,” Perrin said. Loial blinked at that echo of Moiraine. Perrin had been thinking of her a lot recently; she had been a restraining influence on Rand.

He bids Loial farewell, wishing he didn’t have to lie to him, and heads to the stables, which instantly clears of grooms at his approach. He saddles Stepper and rides out of Cairhien, until he is out of sight of the city. Faile, mounted on Swallow, meets him there and greets him coolly, but Perrin smells her anger and jealousy. Aram is with Faile, as are Bain and Chiad, but to his surprise so is Sulin and a dozen more Maidens; Perrin thinks of Gaul saying he’d wanted to get Bain and Chiad alone. Then he sees Selande and several more of her “society,” and asks what they are doing here. Suddenly cautious, Faile answers that she took Selande and “a few” of her friends into her service, just to keep them out of trouble, and promises to keep them out of Perrin’s way; Perrin sighs and thinks a wise man doesn’t tell his wife he knows she’s lying, and lets it go. He says he’d like to leave before some fool decides to curry favor with Rand by taking Perrin’s head.

“No one is going to take your head, husband.” Faile showed white teeth, and went on in a whisper she knew he would catch. “Except perhaps me.”

They go to where the Two Rivers men are lined up, and Perrin sighs again at the eagle and wolf banners; they are accompanied by a dozen more Maidens, a rather sullen-looking Gaul, and two Asha’man, Jur Grady and Fager Neald. Grady tells him they are ready, but Neald wants to know if it’s really necessary to take “those women” with him. He’s referring not to the six Wise Ones standing off to the side, but the two Aes Sedai with them, Seonid Traighan (Green) and Masuri Sokawa (Brown). Perrin thinks they worry him too, not least about whether their oath to Rand really means they will obey him as well, but only answers that everyone comes. Grady and Neald salute, and one of them creates a gateway in the open field. Grady and the Maidens dash through immediately, and Perrin, Faile and Aram follow, but Faile swings away from him on the other side (Aram goes with her). As the Two Rivers men start coming through, Gaul stalks over to Perrin and opines that women are “beyond belief.” Perrin asks Grady if he’s married; Grady says yes, and muses to himself that Sora is missing him, and her knee hurts.

“Her knee hurts,” Perrin said flatly. “Right this minute, it hurts.”

Grady seemed to realize he was staring, and Gaul was too. […] “It’s something a fellow named Canler worked out. The M’Hael doesn’t like us trying to figure out things on our own, but once it was done . . . ” His slight grimace said perhaps Taim had not been all that easy about it even then. “We think maybe it’s something like the bond between Warders and Aes Sedai. Maybe one in three of us is married; anyway, that’s how many wives stayed instead of running off when they learned what their husbands were. This way, when you’re apart from her, you know she’s all right, and she knows you are. A man likes to know his wife’s safe.”

“That he does,” Perrin said. What was Faile up to with those fools?

The Aes Sedai and Wise Ones come through, followed by a very long train of supply carts (since neither Grady nor Neald can make a gateway big enough to accommodate wagons). Perrin considers ordering Neald to close the gateway then, but it’s too late, and Berelain emerges, followed by Nurelle, Gallenne and nine hundred Winged Guards. Perrin groans as she places herself where she can stare at Faile, who stares right back. Neald comes through and closes the gateway, and Perrin rides to a rise to address the company.

“As far as anyone’s eyes-and-ears back in Cairhien know,” he said loudly, “I’ve been banished, the First of Mayene is on her way back home, and the rest of you have just disappeared like fog in the sun.”

To his surprise, they laughed. A cry of “Perrin Goldeneyes” went up, and not just from the Two Rivers folk. He waited for it to quiet; that took a while. Faile neither laughed nor shouted, nor did Berelain. Each woman shook her head; neither believed he should tell as much as he intended to. Then they saw each other, and those shaking heads froze as if trapped in amber.

Perrin tells the company that they are in Ghealdan, fifteen hundred miles from Cairhien, and once they have assured Queen Alliandre that they are not here to invade, they’re going to find a fellow who calls himself the Prophet of the Lord Dragon and explain to him that Rand doesn’t like having people scared into following him. The company all shouts and cheers, and Perrin prays that this goes quickly, so he can get himself and Faile as far away from Berelain as possible.

Oh, Perrin. We wish that too. AND YET.

Do I have to explain how I feel about this, the commencement of That Plotline? Will a simple *headdesk* suffice? Ah, thank you.


Well, at least we don’t have to deal with it until the next book.

The “Wife” Bond: this is one of those things I would really (nerdily) like some explication on. Like, okay, fine, it’s sort of like the Warder bond, but how much alike is it? How is it different? Are the wives all gliding around with deadly grace now? Do they get the endurance and stamina thing, or the sensing Shadowspawn thing? Are there other benefits (or disadvantages) they get that Warders don’t?

I mean, the list goes on. Do they go nuts if their husband dies? Would they even know if they would at this point? Has any Asha’man who’s bonded his wife died thus far?

Rrr, so annoying. My geekiness on this matter has still not been appeased! More Input!

We sort of get an answer to the “compelling” aspect of the bond, anyway, once Toveine’s whole debacle goes down and we’re told about the “extra bit,” which I always rather assumed meant that for Asha’man, the “compelling” part was less an inherent component of the bond thing (like it is for the Warder bond) and more an… an add-on. Or something that doesn’t make me sound like I’m talking about a web browser.

(Plug-n-Play? Okay, I’ll shut up now.)

Whatever. On reflection, the “extra bit” probably raised more questions than it answered, really, but more on that whole can of worms as we come to it. But let me take this opportunity to reiterate my standard grumble about how little we have gotten to see of the Asha’man as a whole, compared to the Aes Sedai. I mean, they were introduced in Book 6, and we’re now up to Book 13; the “Johnny come lately” excuse has long since passed its expiration date, is all I’m saying. Innnnnput, we wants it, preciouss.

(I am rather surprised to note that “Canler,” the Asha’man who Grady says invented the Wife Bond, appears in person later on, in WH. Law of Conservation of Characters in full effect, y’all!)

Loial: Law of Loial Adorableness is also still in full effect. Just in time for him to disappear for three books.


Karldin: He’s only on screen for a hot second, and yet I kind of liked him, for no other reason than that his dislike of Perrin here suggests to me that he might be genuinely loyal to Rand. Something, by the way, which I am not at all convinced is a common attitude among the Asha’man in general, even discounting Taim’s special pets. NOT THAT WE WOULD KNOW. Of course, Rand has no one to blame but himself for that.

Speaking of Rand, yikes.

…But that’s really all I have to say about him, since we will be dealing with his massive issues in future episodes.

So here endeth the post! Go forth in peace, to comment and serve the Tor. As the Pope would say, Ciao. (Because he’s Italian, you see.)

1. earlgrey
Thank you Leigh. I've been waiting all day!
2. sweetlilflower
Awwww.....I wanted to be first!
Thanks for the new re-read!
3. SethN
Yeah, I totally agree that Morgase gets the short end of the stick almost more than anyone else in WoT and it's very frustrating. I actually liked reading her plotline, however, and was more than a little disappointed to watch into disintegrate and fold into Perrin's. I really don't think Faile is a stronger character than Morgase and I dislike seeing her take charge of her. It was really interesting to watch the whole Three Queens Imprisoned dynamic they had going on with the Shaido though.

Breane sucks most of the time.

Perrin... eh. I've always just sort of been apathetic. Who cares? He's so bland. His personality has all the moving, engaging qualities of a wet washrag, not to mention his shrew of a wife (who has her reasons and isn't as bad as people say but still is incredibly unlikeable). Mostly I just skip over his parts. My response to his name is like Pavlovian now in that as soon as I see it I start skimming for Berelain's name and move on.
4. peachy
Totally with you on Morgase. On the one hand, few characters - perhaps none - get screwed over so relentlessly and thoroughly. On the other, I can't stand her... the way she consistently puts down the loyal and devoted Tallanvor, of course, but even more the staggeringly idiotic decision to go to the Whitecloaks for aid. It's telling that when Elayne hears the rumours, she flatly refuses to believe her mother would do something that utterly brainless. And Morgase knows it's brainless and against every policy of Andor for the last thousand years, which makes the whole thing even more baffling. She might be Exhibit One in the gallery of characters who we're told are hot stuff but are pretty unimpressive upon examination. (Exhibits Two through Five Hundred are assorted Aes Sedai.)
Steven Pattingale
5. Pattingale
Huzzah! Thank you Leigh! :)

And indeed poor Morgase. But I love Perrin until around here, and always was most excited when he'd get some screen time.
Bonnie Andrews
6. misfortuona
Thank you Leigh for the timely arrival of the Post. You stopped what was looking like a full on seisure.

Ah Morgase, yes she suffers about as much as anyone in the story, and in the end she can expect possibly a happy ending. Though given the likely tenor of family meetings for the next little while I think happy might be too optimistic a word.

Mis-happy the twitching can end and the lurking begin.
Marcus W
7. toryx
She thinks that every decision she had made for months has seemed to lead only to disaster, and looks down at the courtyard below.

Now that's the understatement of the year!

The company all shouts and cheers, and Perrin prays that this goes quickly, so he can get himself and Faile as far away from Berelain as possible.

Light, were it so. Perrin's always been my favorite but the damned plot that's starting up here was almost enough to make me lose my appreciation for him. Not so much because of the crazy "The world can burn!" business he's about to go into, since I can at least understand that. But just because it never freaking ends.

Except when it did, but not nearly soon enough for me.
Tina Pierce
8. scissorrunner
stops twitching
starts reading

thanks Leigh!!
Richard Fife
9. R.Fife
I think you hammered it pretty solid with the mix of Breane and Morgase. Both are upper crust brought low, but only one of them is a victim. From the get go after Rahvin turned her into his sex slave, she has continued to have a victim's mentality over it, which I think is what is the worst of it. In short, she went emo. Not that I'm saying her victim-attitude lessons the horridness of what happened to her, mind, but I have very close and intimate dealings with "perma-victims" and after a while, you just stop caring about the crap that is happening to them. They are just too emotionally taxing. So yeah, initially, I felt sorry for Morgase, but as the series progressed and I read the books more times, she just continued to irritate me.

She only ever shines a little bit in the Shaido camp, where she at least doesn't go into hysterics like the other Queen (Allendre? dang it, too lazy to look it up). And even then, her "I will escape and never give up" attitude is still kind of debbie-downer.

To the wife-bond, I agree. I want to know more of what it does, cause right now, it almost feels like a slightly amped up "First Sister" bond with optional tweaks.

Oh, to the Perrin Story, this re-read through, I found it less painful, and part of that is realizing that it really doesn't take up all that much page-space all things considered, and it was broken up decently well. Just annoying with some of the "busy work" stuff, like getting the grain at the one city and getting the Forkroot at the other.
Rob S
10. RobSS

Enjoyed the post.

"Back into waiting till next..."
Lannis .
11. Lannis
And which may also be why I would like Breane to be real and in front of me for a moment so I can KICK HER BITCHY, BLAME-Y ASS UP BETWEEN HER EARS. God.

Leigh: we come for the reread, we stay for the commentary's hilarity and visuals. ;)

Thanks again! :)
Richard Fife
12. R.Fife
in regards to @9. Oops, read to fast and thought she was praising Breane's bitchy kick-you-in-the-ass attitude towards Morgase. yes, Breane is a little annoying, but I do actually like her. Maybe she blames Morgase, rightly so, for certain problems, but she has more or less stopped blaming herself, which Morgase needs to learn to do.
13. Denari6
Leigh, Glad to see you have not fallen into despair since your operation. Remember you are > a root canal~

I agree with your single *headdesk* involving the plotline that will not end sequence. Bleh -enough said.

I have always wondered about the Morgase plotline post the fall of Rahvin. Whats the purpose of illustrating the horrors and trials the former Queen of Andor face? Why take a couple of 3rd tier characters and build a plotline unless their is some significance? I can see how she may be a point of reconcilliation for Gawyn and Rand - hey look the Dragon didn't murder me. She may facilitate a truce between Perrin and white cloaks through Galad. These points seem rather insignificant to me unless the key to Tarmon G. is Peace and Harmony between Dragon Sworn and lessor members of House Trakand. The budding but largely overshadowed romance between her and her guardsman seems to be out of place as all plotlines seem to be heading to a finale. Though, I wouldn't be surprised if Faile just has them married and is done with it.

Just my thoughts

**wants to go to Jordancon**

14. jefff
Rand is scary crazy in that Perrin scene! A precursor of more scariness to come...
Sean Banawnie
15. Seanie
gotta go to work but thanks for the gumball,Leigh!
Noneo Yourbusiness
16. Longtimefan
What struck me during this recap of Chapter 27 is how many "Irrevocable Words" are in this chapter.

It is an interesting study in crafted writing to have the flashback reveal of the forced choice to say "yes" to the unwanted attentions of Valda. Then to have the loyalty of the Andorans to their Queen shown as they wait during the conflict which reflects the strength of the oaths they hold in thier hearts to Andor and the Queen (or in Breane's case, to Lamgwin) Then there is the Seanchan Oaths both shown by the Taraboner soldiers and by the actions of Amethera. (she obeys her new "irrevocable words". As property it is not her place to go against her word forced upon her as it may have been.)
Then Morgase goes to the window and has her momement that the Chapter title reflects. Finally Balwer appears and mentions the escape by Oath which shows that not all words are irrevocable.

Balwer also shows how someone once loyal to a social group and its ideals can change with a change in leadership.

Pura is an oblique reference to the Oaths that bind Aes Sedai and also the control the Seanchan have placed over those Oaths. The words have not been revoked but superceded and yet cannot be broken. This is not stated in the chapter but reminds the reader of previous information written about Pura.

A very crafted chapter.

As for Perrin. Hi Perrin, Bye Perrin!

Don't let the waygate hit you in the ass on the way out.

I like early Perrin. After this book however it is more difficult to like Perrin. Many people blame Faile and I can see some of where they are coming from but in some ways Berelian is not helping. Ultimately however Perrin's actions are Perrin's fault. Fictional and annoying as they may be.

Oh well, that was my two cents on the chapter.
Duncan Macdonald
17. DJMacdonald

About the wife-bond.

To my mind, we see the reciprocal of it with Rand's three-way Elayne-Avienda-Min triangle. Elayne didn't include any 'extra-bit' with that, or with her bond with Birgitte.

I shall remain silent on other bond issues (grumble grumble retconning author grumble)
18. Branwhin
These chapters are full of *ow*.

That said, Leigh, you and your commentary are full of win! Hope you're much better.

Poor Morgase. So screwed up, she doesn't even know it. And I both long for and dread her learning just *what* was screwing her in Caemlyn. A choice for squick between slimy bastard Valda and one of the slimiest bastards in WoT history? Ewwww.

And the scene between Perrin and Rand makes me very sad. Though Perrin annoys me less than Mat often did talking about Rand - Perrin is sad too, that his friend is suffering. Even as he's really worried about madness, which for anyone in WoT would be right at the front of the mind.

And more in PoD, but I always got the "Extra Bit" as the Compelling aspect also. And, yes, there's been a lot of geeky, curious thinking over here too.


James Jones
19. jamesedjones
9 R.Fife

Perma-victims just need more Vitamin D3 - every day forever. :)

It's definitely Perrin's and Morgase's emo attitudes that make their stories so miserable.

Re: The Morn Hyland-Morgase comparison: Morn is much more sympathetic and much more heroic. The ending was not just happy, but MOA. It's wild watching the reflection of Morn in the invalid mother of the uber-villan. Both of them are left with so little, but take whatever tools are available to destroy one of the most evil characters in the story's history.
Tricia Irish
20. Tektonica
Thanks leigh...always good to get your input and levity into even sad and dull chapters. These had their moving moments, but were mostly argh, with more to come. (I am so dreading the endless plot line.) I totally agree with SethN@3 about Perrin...meh. I used to like him too. Now he just bores me.

Also agree with several above about how unnecessary much of the Morgase plotline is. Seems like she suffers an incredibly needless amount to abdicate to Elayne and perhaps set the stage for Rand/Gawyn reconciliation. She is a true Victim which makes me sad for her, but geez, the relentlessness of it makes me want to just tune her out. (Like what R.Fife said about how you stop caring.)

This heralds the merging of several irritating plotlines into one massively annoying one: Perrin/Faile/Berelain, Morgase/Talanvor, Seanchan invasion, Shaido dogs. Oh Groan.

Keep the humor coming Leigh, we'll need it!

PS: Rand is very scary. I still can't tell if that scene with Perrin was totally staged or a real window into his fear/madness to come.
Thomas Keith
21. insectoid
Yay, new post! Thanks Leigh!
And which may also be why I would like Breane to be real and in front of me for a moment so I can KICK HER BITCHY, BLAME-Y ASS UP BETWEEN HER EARS. God.
She sure is annoying, all right!

As for the rest of that chapter: blah. Next!

Ah yes, the commencement of the Kidnapping Plotline of Doom! *headdesk* (Ow. They oughta make softer desks!)

Not much else to say, except to look forward to the next two chapters, in which we get more Mat-ty awesomeness. Really ;)

22. Freelancer
Symmetrical randomness and loose tautologies. As Jack Benny would have said, "Well...!"
Tony Zbaraschuk
23. tonyz
It's partly not Morgase's fault; Rahvin went through her brain with a Roto-Rooter and what we've been seeing ever since is the wreckage of the proud and good Queen of the first book (remember Rand's meeting with her?)

But, yeah, it's annoying to experience. And Breane has a point: are you going to let this experience define you henceforth, or are you going to be yourself?
Kurt Lorey
23. Shimrod
Despite being blithely ignored in the chapter summary, who do we see in Amador doing Suroth's dirty work, but Elbar? I had forgotten that he came to Morgase's quarters dressed as a banner general. Plus, when Morgase meets Suroth she puts on an elaborate charade for Morgase rather than just giving her a simple ultimatum. And, Elbar shows a "speculative" look, ruining the charade for Morgase. Interesting. In fact, I find him to be as, or more interesting than "Lady Shiaine" as a Friend of the Dark.

We saw him first when Liandrin brought the SGs out of the Waygate, and he showed surprise at the Waygate, which I find fairly uncharacteristic for the Seanchan, especially for a subordinate. Plus, he had his helmet off. Not something a soldier usually does whilst waiting upon an important VIP.

Now, we see him for the second time, described as a banner general of some sort, after the Seanchan have captured the Fortress of the Light. I find that interesting in that he seems to be a senior commander during a fight with some of the most disciplined opposition yet faced by the Correnne.

We'll see him again, one more time, facing the Band of the Red Hand while attempting to chase down Tuon. Also interesting. If he were really just a "doer" of dirty deeds, I would think that it would prove easier to do so with fewer minions. If he were truly a Seanchan general, he should have had at least one regiment of Seanchan troops along. He didn't.

So, what is his "place" exactly? Suroth's assassin or military leader? Both, or neither? We, as readers, may never know, but the mystery of it keeps me very interested.
Birgit F
24. birgit
PS: Rand is very scary. I still can't tell if that scene with Perrin was totally staged or a real window into his fear/madness to come.

A hundred times he hurled Perrin across the Grand Hall of the Sun, and a hundred times he was overwhelmed by blazing fear and rage. A hundred times, he killed Perrin in his dreams and woke to his own screams. Why had the man chosen the Aes Sedai prisoners to use for their argument?

ACoS ch. 33

They staged an argument, but Rand lost his temper because of the topic Perrin chose.

Why don't the Asha'man link with the AS or Wise Ones to make a larger gateway? Do they not know that they can link if they use women in the circle? The Wise Ones might refuse to link with a man, but the AS are prisoners, and the Wise Ones can probably make them follow an order they don't like.
Bryan Cogswell
25. shmoo
Ohhhh Morgase AND Perin????

i'm just gonna pretend that Leigh is on vacation this week and these two chapters just didn't happen. Nope. Nothing here - otherwise there will be a dent in my desk...
Steven Pattingale
26. Pattingale
@16 Longtimefan Well said. Keen observation. Jordan was full of that kind of thing, writing on so many levels, BS has such huge shoes to fill. I wouldn't want his job of finishing WoT for all the money this series has ever made, or will make.

@19 jamesedjones lol at the vitamin D.

@ 20 Tektonica I took Rand's rage at Perrin as staged initially but devolving into the real angry deal as the moment played out for them.

@23a tonyz Good point, if vividly described!

@23b Shimrod Good questions, I hadn't even connected those dots!
27. Branwhin

Breane does have a point, yes. But at this point one gets the impression that Valda's rape has *just* occurred. That's more than a bit cold.

Now, aside from griping about Tallanvor, Morgase seems to be more *indignant* than spooked when Rolan pinches her bottom. A very brief moment, but indicative perhaps of returning spirit?
Gabrielle Rashad
28. neverearth
The one thing that really jumped out at me as a difference between the wife-bond and the Warder-bond is how specific Grady is. Throughout the entire series it's made clear that if a Warder and Aes Sedai are any distance apart, the bond goes vague, allowing them to only know what particular direction they're bondmate is in.

Grady, however, knows exactly what's wrong with his wife, despite the fact that they're two countries apart (assuming his wife is with the other wives in the Black Tower. If not, then I'm talking crap. Yay). Even when Rand got his hand vaporized, Elayne didn't know specifically what was wrong with him, despite the fact that he was closer to her than Grady was to his wife.
Marcus W
29. toryx
Tektonica @ 20:

Also agree with several above about how unnecessary much of the Morgase plotline is.

I've been thinking about this on and off for quite a while now. Given how the Morgase plot eventually ties into the Perrin plot and both of them seem...unnecessarily drawn out...solely for positioning people in particular places for the overall plot, I have to wonder how unncessary the plotline is.

When you break it down the Morgase plot seems to exist for several reasons:

1. Get Morgase out of Caemlyn so that Rand can be blamed for her murder.
2. Provide us with a witness to the fall of the Fortress of the Light.
3. Give Galad a reason to kill Valda and take over the Whitecloaks.
4. Place Morgase with Perrin and his wife. This seems to be in part so that Galad and Morgase can meet again later.

Just looking at it from that sort of perspective, I'm inclined to think that those are appropriate purposes and the Morgase thing isn't really so necessary. So the question that haunts me is, could it have been written in another way that would have been less...tedious while achieving at least 3 of the 4 goals?

The dreaded kidnap plot, too, seems to exist solely to meet certain ends:

1. Keep Perrin (and the Prophet) away from Rand.
2. Provide resolution to the Shaido situation.
3. Impress Morgase (former Queen and now mother of a Queen) with both Faile's tenacity and Perrin's skill at leading an army.
4. Provide a second less-than-negative viewpoint of the Seanchan.
5. Bring Tam al'Thor back into play.
6. Fulfill some of Morgase's plot demands.
7. Kill Maesema.

The last was almost an afterthought (and I thought was pretty poorly accomplished). The fifth seems like the most important of the lot. But man, it's an awful long haul to accomplish one or two truly significant events.

But whenever I think of it, I can't really come up with a better, less agonizingly slow, method of accomplishing these things. Except, perhaps, for some tighter editing (like excising the busywork R.Fife mentioned @ 9).

Edit: To clean up my lists which got kind of confusing.
j p
30. sps49
What use is Morgase mumbling her abdication to herself? If nobody knows, it isn't in effect AT ALL. Maybe to salve her feelings, but if she, say, signed a treaty with the WC after torture, the real world effect of her thinking she has her fingers crossed is zero. Divided by zero!

Agree with the Gap series. Donaldson can write (I remember many scenes very clearly, but few are fun like the Punisher vs. Calm Horizons fight), but his books are also wrenching.
Tina A
31. Tinaa
And which may also be why I would like Breane to be real and in front of me for a moment so I can KICK HER BITCHY, BLAME-Y ASS UP BETWEEN HER EARS. God.

Please excuse me for a moment while I fetch some cleaning products, to remove the beer I just sprayed on the computer screen.
Maiane Bakroeva
32. Isilel
Peachy @4:

IMHO, you guys are far too hard on Morgase. While I dislike her storyline, it was always clear to me (and TGS surely vindicated this POV) that she didn't wholly shake Rahvin's Compulsion and that throwing it off to the extent she has, also temporarily hurt her cognitive ability.

Notice what happens to folks from whom it is removed. Doing it herself was probably preferable, but still not without cost. And to throw it off completely Morgase needs to learn what truly happened, IMHO.
When Niall told her that Gaebril was dead, Morgase suddenly felt longing for him and thought that it was mad. His compulsion is not wholly gone.

And also, Morgase just can't understand how she could have failed so completely, both in her duty and in herself. Her confidence is pretty much destroyed - it is her Waterloo.
Together with remains of compulsion and trauma of it's removal, it produces a miserable cocktail indeed, not the least where yet another romantic interest is involved. But let's be realistic - it couldn't have been otherwise.

Having said that and having the greatest sympathy for Morgase, I don't understand why she is still with us.

In fact, I briefly had a hope when she got captured, that it would help her overcome her issues and we'll see the brilliant Morgase we have heard so much about and have seen a very brief glimpse of in TEoTW. After all, she hit the rock bottom. There was nothing left to lose.
I expected that she'd use her considerable talent for intrigue to engineer conflicts between Shaido WOs and Sevanna, destroying them from within. That she'd show Faile what true leadership is about. Etc.

Instead we got a very unconvincing attempt to depict Faile as a capable leader. Well, she did learn her lessons as a noble heir, it was noticeable even in TSR.
But after this interminable debacle, her claim on leadership was still rooted in Perrin and his army, not in herself. And Morgase as her sidekick was unnecessary and painful.

Gawyn versus Rand could have been resolved by Galad even if Morgase did jump in this chapter. Galad knew that Morgase had been alive in Amador for several months after the fall of Gaebril.

Perrin and Galad confrontation needn't have happened at all - roll out some ta'verenness, don't bring in Bornhald junior and Byar, etc. If _that_ is justification for Morgase lingering - microscopically thin.

I can't help but imagine a blissful alternative where the less damaged Morgase goes to her loyalist troops at the Cahirienin border after escaping Rahvin, returns just after Rand has been captured by the TAS and (quickly and off-screen) retakes her throne. Imagine how much we would have been spared!
And the protagonists could have concentrated on important things.
Tricia Irish
33. Tektonica
Birgit@24: Thank you for clearing that up. It was both staged and he lost control!


I agree with much of what you said. Why did all those various plot threads need to happen? I know it is sacrilege to criticize our fearless leader, but I really think a good red pencil would've helped a lot. There's so much repetition and detail coming up that just

A few things on your list could've been excised from the plot as well:
Much of the first list of plot points seems, um, unnecessary.
1. Why do we need a witness to the fall of the Fortress? Confusion could've been accomplished in many ways... putting Morgase there in the first place strains credulity. Perrin could've just found her wandering around the forest somewhere.
2. The Whitecloaks had their own brand of evil going on already, they were offing each other for political gain and sowing chaos for the DO.
3. There could've been numerous reasons for Galad to kill Valda...disillusionment? Evil deeds?
4. Galad and the WC's could've met up with Perrin anywhere.

And on your second list:

1. Why does Perrin have to stay away from Rand? Fear on Rand's part?
2. I would've loved to have seen Rand confront Masema. That guy was nuts. What would he have said when he met Rand again as the Lord Dragon? Could've been very interesting, since his Raison d'etre really wasn't about The Lord Dragon, IMHO, but about his own "sainthood".
3. Perhaps the Seanchan needed an image upgrade, from our mostly "the Blood" pov in Ebou Dar and Amadicia.
4. Tam definitely needed a return, but it seemed so forced here and he didnt' do that much.

I know it doesn't help to wish it had been done a different way, and I'm just sour grapes about the whole thing, so I should probably clam up. I love these books, but it was a real struggle to stay with them when this plot convergence took place. I hope Leigh can make this either insightful or funny, to get us through.

Ron Garrison
34. Man-0-Manetheran
AS/Asha'man bonds - The other day while looking for something in KoD (Ch.27), I came upon something completely unrelated that, oddly enough, relates to a topic here. It concerned the AS/AM bond. Just in passing it was mentioned that a circle of two (AS/AM) could make a larger gateway than even Rand could make alone.

Morgase - still suffering from lasting effects of Rahvin's brainwashing, et al We can't fault her for her disfunctionality, but I also wish we didn't have to watch it.

Tallanvor - my nominee for most under-appreciated character by those around him

Perrin - like many, he started out exciting for me and has gone dull and predictable from here on. I do hope his storyline turns around.
Janet Hopkins
35. JanDSedai
About the "Plot-line that would not die"; I think it is important to remember that things are happening much faster in the books than we remember from our years of waiting for the books.

For instance, the events of ACOS all take place inside of a (ten-day) week. TPOD takes a little longer: about 37 days; and WH covers about 21 days, with KOD covers another 21 days.

So that would mean that if High Chauselaine is Jan. 2, (the beginning of ACOS), then the last POV we get of Rand in KOD (losing his hand) is April 9, with Faile's rescue on April 10, and Matt's marriage on April 22. Nobody talks to each other because they don't have time!
36. md9dme65
Actually, the current Pope is German. But my mirth watching Eddie Izzard makes up for the slip.
37. Gentleman Farmer
@29 toryx

Wow. Very well reasoned lists. I love lists like this.

As I mentioned before, I like Perrin, and I think at least part of the reason for this plotline (in addition to those mentioned) was to give Perrin something to do besides hanging out being Lord of the Two Rivers.

That being said, I think some of those elements on your list could have been cut short, and I believe that it's part of the reason people began to suspect RJ may have been padding rather than moving things along.

The following are my thoughts on how even those goals seem to be unnecessary:

1. Keeping Perrin and Prophet away from Rand.

This was pretty highly contrived, especially with Masema's "I won't Travel, won't use the power, okay I changed my mind, but I still don't want to be zipped to see Rand for a minute I'd rather hang out with you Perrin".

2. Resolution to the Shaido situation.

Realistically speaking, the whole Shaido situation could have been resolved off-screen. Sammael sent them in front of an army and a bunch of them died. Maybe all of them? Maybe those that weren't were in bands too small to matter? Maybe some just started sneaking home. We didn't really need the xxx hundred thousand who happened to be all gathered in one place while everywhere else seemed to be groups of 1-5 thousand. Again, seemed to be setting up a straw man just to knock down without advancing the plot.

3. Impress Morgase.

Not that it matters post-irrevocable words.

4. Non-negative view of Seanchan

I actually really enjoyed this aspect of the Perrin narrative. I hope this relationship does hold or bear fruit if Rand can ally with the Seanchan.

5. Bring back Tam al'Thor

Yes, though this could have been accomplished with him and Abell Cauthon striking out for Caemlyn, or in many less drawn out scenarios.

6. Meet Morgase plot demands
(again good analysis). I agree, though most of this could have been satisfied by hanging out with Morgase and retinue in the tent scenes, without the kidnapping of Faile.

7. Kill Masema (the afterthought)

Here I differ slightly on the plot demands, since I think it was less to eliminate Masema, and more intended to show Perrin's ruthlessness, that he could do what needed to be done in a way few other characters in the series could manage. I agree I thought Masema's death was too quick and not well accomplished.

But consider the intended method of assassination.

Perrin stood Masema's followers (thousands of them) along the intended retreat route of the Shaido. Unarmoured, unskilled peasants, dispossessed from their homes because of their belief in Rand, set up to die by the thousands just so Masema would likely have been killed. When Perrin sees Masema's not with that group he's disappointed, but largely uncaring, and doesn't spare a thought for the rest of the dragonsworn to be killed.

Other than Fain, I can't think of another character in the series that would have used allies like that... despite their suspicions, Rand didn't even really do that with the Tairen and Cairhienen, they had the same chance of success as Bashere.

At any rate, I think it may be setting Perrin up for some kind of moment where he steps up and makes a hard decision or gives the tough order in the Last Battle that Rand or Mat wouldn't be able to give.
38. wawwen
@33 Tektonica

1. Why do we need a witness to the fall of the Fortress? Confusion could've been accomplished in many ways... putting Morgase there in the first place strains credulity. Perrin could've just found her wandering around the forest somewhere.

Removing Morgase from the story before Gaebril/Rahvin dies in FoH and then having her pop up randomly in a forest 2 books later in TPoD when she meets up with Perrin is more plausible? I definitely don't agree with that. Law of conservation of characters aside, there are no 2nd string characters of the same status of Morgase that just disappear and reappear back in the story in a significant way. We have Mili Skane running around doing various darkfriend things, we have Amathera/Thera barely a plot point and then just a hanger on.

Unfortunately since we don't get to see Morgase reappear in the story just wandering around in the forest we get to see her take an irritating turn for the worse and end up in the never ending plot land.

3. There could've been numerous reasons for Galad to kill Valda...disillusionment? Evil deeds?

That wouldn't be like Galad, he keeps his word, he doesn't go and decide "hey you're better off dead because I don't like the organization I joined." Offing Valda for the treatment of his mother is more plausible.

The thing is why Morgase though. RJ kept saying something about low put on high and high cast down low as the reason for the fall of Morgase, but that seems too simplistic. It made me think about Elaida's Foretelling again: The royal house of Andor will be critical to Tarmon'Gaidon. Most of us just laugh and say "oh that referred to Tigraine and Rand" but now we have Morgase in a position doing the following:

1. Getting Galad into leadership of the Whitecloaks. This pulls a significant force away from being the spanish inquisition and back into working for the light.
2. Getting a reconciliation between Gawyn et all on the "Rand killed my mother" trip he's on. This places the Younglings (if they're still his) on the side of the light, ends friction between light side players, and maybe gets Egwene and Rand onto the same time.
3. Elayne brings light side channeller groups Kin and Windfinders into the light side. Maybe the rescue of Morgase finally ends her "Galad is evil and now is an evil Whitecloak" stops as he proves blood is thicker than dogma with Whitecloak law.

Maybe Elaida's foretelling is general to "the royal house of Andor" because it doesn't specifically mention House Mantear or Trakand by name since BOTH are important to Tarmon'Gaidon.

Seriously, let's completely take Morgase out of the picture and see if Galad would have taken out Valda and become Whitecloak leader and if Gawyn would continue to just be chaotic good and kill Rand at the first chance available. Instead we have horrible things happening to Morgase that eventually cause the fragmented light side forces to start working together and (start) to become a cohesive unit.
39. wawwen
And by "Offing Valda for the treatment of his mother is more plausible." I mean "Offing Valda for the treatment of Morgase, his stepmother."

You get sloppy when you type too fast. :(
Charlotte Giurgiu
40. almdoipad
md9dme65 @ 36

Can't remove image of Benedict on scooter from my head now. Laughing so hard.

-"so my choice is 'or death?' "
41. Isambard Morgenstern
It's also essential for Perrin to end up with the Whitecloaks for his growth arc to have circuity. His problems with violence began when he killed a Whitecloak, therefore he has to come to terms with the Whitecloaks on some level to be at peace.

This part of the series is definitely a low point, but comfort yourselves by thinking of the pay off in significant meetings in the next two books.
-Galad meets Rand
-Morgase meets with Galad
-Gawyn meets with Morgase (and comes to terms with Rand)
-Perrin meets with Rand
-Perrin meets with Galad, Whitecloak Leader

It's gonna be sooo good.
Alice Arneson
42. Wetlandernw
Chapter 26 commentary - Everything you said. Yes. Wholeheartedly. Me too. Except I never read the Gap series - Thomas Covenant was depressing enough, thankyouverymuch.

It took me a long time to realize why I hated the Morgase storyline so much; once I figured it out, I hated it less as a storyline, but I still hate reading it, for all those reasons.

Chapter 27. As far away from Berelain as possible. Yes, this would be good. Because here starts the part where I want to slap Berelain virtually every time she shows up, for the next five books. Honestly, I think that was the thing I hated most about this story line. Berelain. Gah!

The Wife bond. Yeah, what she said.

The comments:

R.Fife - IIRC, Morgase doesn't yet know she was Compelled by Rahvin, or even all she did under his Compulsion. She only knows that she "fell hard" for "Lord Gaebril" and did some dumb stuff. She had sufficiently strong character to shake it off at least enough to get away, if only just, but we don't really know whether there are lingering effects. Breane is more or less a victim of circumstance; Morgase is a direct victim of long-term Forsaken Compulsion. Not really much of a comparison of experience.

Gah. I'm going to post this before I read the rest of the comments, or I won't post until midnight, from the look of the upcoming parts of my day...

EDIT - apologies to anyone who already made those points, since I didn't have time to read everything yet. I will, I promise. Sometime tonight, and before I post again. Really.
Roger Powell
43. forkroot
the man can write, because his stuff makes The Red Pony look like Happy Sparkle Rainbow Hour at a Care Bear convention.
At your best once again, Leigh! ::chortles::

Oh my, I hadn't thought about The Red Pony in 4 decades! Probably suppressed those memories.

FWIW, I think that the Gap series had a decent ending for Morn. I do recall physically crying when I read Warden Dios' letter to Morn near the end of the last book; I've never done that for any other book before or since.
44. marcamante
Am I alone in thinking that, given that (IIRC) the Asha'man bonding weave was associated with a kiss, and then Toveine feeling "as though her body were vibrating like a harpstrig" building tension up until it burst and she cried out, and then Logain saying that HE could have done without the "extra bit", the extra bit is actually the induction of orgasm in the woman receiving the "wife-bond" (and maybe in the man as well, or at least he feel's the woman's response)?

maybe i am just naughty-minded, but that is what the imagery suggested to me
45. peachy
It's easy to be too harsh on Morgase, and perhaps I was - getting out from under Compulsion is difficult, and it does tend to leave the brain scrambled. But I can't excuse a scheme of action that goes like so :

Plan A - find and reconcile with Gareth Bryne

Plan B - if Bryne's unavailable, sign over Andor to the Whitecloaks

Now, Plan A is very sensible, though it's quite likely that Bryne would have refused to deal. (Though who knows? A lifetime of loyalty - spiced with love - might not have been so easy to discard.) So clearly she can think with her accustomed clarity at least some of the time.

The simplest explanation - alas! - for the glaring gap between Plan A and Plan B is that Jordan needed various things to happen in the master plot (as explicated clearly by others above), and the simplest way to make them all fall into place was to move Morgase from Caemlyn to Amador via Kore Springs.

(I will say that I quite liked the 'trying to be rescued' scene in Malden - hopefully it marks the beginning of a resurgence in her fortunes.)
Jay Dauro
46. J.Dauro
Peachy @45

Plan B? Yes, with our point of view we may see it that way. But as a person who is still under the influence of compulsion, trying to decide the best choice, and doesn't know everything, it seemed her best bet to try to get help from the King of Amadicia. We know he is a complete figurehead, but in her state, she does not know that.

It was a bad choice. But from what she could see, it may have been her only choice.

Many Others

I am also constantly amazed at how many folks seem to think they already know exactly what is or is not crucial to the final plot line. Probably the only folks I would believe on this are Team Jordan.

I am reminded of the screenwriter for the Harry Potter movies, who had to submit every cut to J K Rowling, and often be told, no, you cannot cut that, it is important.

Unless you know exactly where the story is going, you don't know which of the signposts are needed.

That being said, even if the entire Morgase and kidnapping plot arcs were to turn out to be unneeded (which I do not expect), I would not cut any of them. There is no WOT book that I do not find gems in, and little that I do not enjoy reading. Part of the beauty of RJ's writing to me is the sheer way it can pull me in. And I don't want to give up one word.
Tess Laird
47. thewindrose
So many things spring from this one paragraph at the end of chapter 27:
They cheered. They whooped and shouted that they would march this Prophet back to Cairhienfor the Lord Dragon till Perrin hoped this spot was even farther from any village than it was suppose to be. Even the cart drivers and horse handlers joined in. More than that,he prayed that everything went smoothly, and quickly. The sooner he could put as much distance as possible between Berelain and himself and Faile, the better. No surprises, that is what he wanted once they rode south. It was about time his being ta'veren showed itself good for something. Dun Dun Dun...

Masema won't Travel back to Rand - they would have had to march him back, yet he would Travel to chase after Faile. (Instructions from the person playing Rand in his dreams??)

The distance he hopes for turns topsy turvy and he is with Berelain for most of this arc.

Suprise! Hi Shaido dogs! Let's make a deal with the Seanchan.

And , yep the ta'veren is in action.

Rob Munnelly
48. RobMRobM
Hello all - was on a business trip all day, followed by hanging out with family and friends - so I get to jump in now, belatedly.

1. Morgase as Morn Hyland. I had never made that connection before and it is an interesting one. This is why the re-reads are so fun. Thanks, Leigh.

First names both start with Mor, last names both end with and, both are gorgeous, both are redheads, both get treated really, really badly, both keep their sh*t together through all the abuse and act heroically in the second half of the story arc - the last one is TBA on the Morgase side.

As some of you know, I've been reading classic relatively recent SF and F over the past year and Donaldson's Gap series is one I read and loved. I noted in several posts that the story is incredibly powerful and well written but many characters are nasty and one character in particular suffers horrible, gut wrenching abuse - that would be Morn. Wetlander - based on your standards as covered in the GRRM discussion over the past week, you need to stay far away from this series - as far as you possibly can. But...the books are remarkable and, for what it's worth, despite some serious personal flaws of her own, Morn is a walking MoA through most of the books and especially in the latter books in the five book cycle.

Returning to WoT, my working assumption is that Morgase has been kept alive by RJ for a reason, and I'm willing to suspend disbelief and wait for the payoff. In some ways, her arc mirrors that of the White Tower in general - both lost their way due to influence of the dark, made bad choices, suffered personal pain, but have now rid themselves of the evil influences and begun showing again the fortitude, smarts and guts that once made them great. Morgase to me actually was one of the highlights of the thread of doom as we was able to show off her brains and guts on several occasions with the Shaido - certainly, far more than Alliandre and pretty much on par with Faile. I am looking forward to the upcoming discovery and what it entails for Elayne, Rand, Galad, Gawyn and herself - as well as for her husband to be.

2. I have a lot more sympathy for Breane than Leigh does. She goes in to do something nice for Morgase and Morgase pulls the "I'm a Queen and you're not treating me with proper formal respect" gig. Breane is understandably hurt and ticked off, and let's Morgase have it with some cause. Breane is an interesting character and I also wonder where she'll end up - she is part of Lord Dobraine's family in Carhien (how precisely we are not told) and query whether she'll be back in the nobility by the end of the series. (Also, query whether Rand will remember her attempts to seduce him in TGH).

3. Morgase ia actually pretty darned MoA in the interactions with Suroth. Good sign that the royal steel is still in her.

4. Someone above in the comments said that Morgase's private renunciation of the throne meant nothing. Not true in WoT. For whatever reason, strong oaths have meaning and are kept. Private or not, she gave a strong oath and it is irrevocable.

Edit 4A - Leigh, the correct psychological term is not "displacement" - it is "paradigm shift." LOL.

5. I love the irony in the chapter title "To Be Alone" and then have the chapter being about Perrin being placed in charge of such a disparate, internally feuding group of people. Alone? Right.

6. Re the extra bit, I always assumed it did not refer to the compelling nature of the Asha'man bond (as Leigh surmises) but, rather, to the means of delivery through a kiss - "Sorry sister, that is how we learn to do it."

Antoni Ivanov
49. tonka
I've always loved following Morgase. It so said in places.I remember the first time we saw her (at the Eye of the World). The powerful, graceful Queen of Andor, wise and benevolent. At this chapter when Rand met her she seemed to be everything that was told about her. And then the next time is when she is under Rahvin's thumb. 180 turn almost.
I am sorry for her,and what happens to her. She cannot trust the Aes Sedai (an aftermath of Rahvin's compulsion if you ask me), yet she hopes they protect her daughter. She becames irrational and foolish at times. But there is some inkling of the old Morgase sometimes.
50. Denari6
tonka 49: I was wondering about potential side effects of Rahvins compulsion and it occurred to me as well that her journey to Amador was partly because of the compulsion anti-aes sedai residue. Further, I wonder if problems coming to understand her feelings for Tallanvor are related to the residue of the I love the R-Man compulsion and not just the consequence of a woman of her situation.

Breane = bitter bitter lost little pigeon.
Tricia Irish
51. Tektonica
I have a lot of sympathy for Morgase, as well. I hadn't thought of the "compulsion brain scramble" until many here pointed that out, and it definitely makes sense that it would effect her decision making skills. That's a good example of information in the later books informing the earlier ones. Seeing the effects on the boy in tGS and what's left when the compulsion is removed, helps us understand what Morgase was put through.

She has an interesting arc, from regal benevolent queen, to disappointed in herself and her own decisions in Amador, to being a "servant" to Faile, and then a captive of the Shaido. She's gained much new perspective on the world and she seems to be coming back into her own toward the end of this plot line. I hope she figures out that Tallanvor is a good thing! I hope RJ has a good strong purpose for Morgase in the future.

It will be interesting to see the reactions from Faile, Alliandre, Perrin, etc. when Galad comes riding in and finds Mom. And his future wife.

J.Dauro@46: You are right, of course. We are not privy to what RJ has in mind to wrap up these various plot lines. I still wish someone had taken a red pencil to some of the explication. Even though not a lot of time passes in Randland, much passes reading the plot of doom. IMHO, there is much too much detail here and not enough movement forward plot wise.
Tina Pierce
52. scissorrunner
the fall & not-so-rise of Morgase has been painful to read (to put it mildly).however after reading the amazing logic of wawwen @ 38-
*bows deeply*
thank you
53. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
Another reason to hate Morgase: her tangential connection to the OTHER Never-Ending Plotline of DOOM, the Andoran secession.

But I think it's funny that everyone projects their hatred of this or that storyline onto RJ and uses it as justification for why he *had* to keep Morgase alive. I seriously doubt if as he was writing this thread, he was saying to himself "man, I hate this crap, but I've GOT to do it this way." For instance, people who say she's still alive as a reason for Gawyn and Rand to reconcile -- RJ could have used Elayne for the same thing, or, amazingly, he could have just not had Gawyn believe the rumors anyway! You all know he makes this shit up, right?
54. Denari6

Its all true...just happened a long long time ago in a place far far away~
Bonnie Andrews
55. misfortuona
HeWhoComes with bad news@53
We can, and will, be as delusional as we like here.

Not far far away, here and a long time ago, far into the future. The wheel turns after all. ;)

Mis-happily deluded
Ron Garrison
56. Man-0-Manetheran
"Do I have to explain how I feel about this, the commencement of That Plotline? Will a simple *headdesk* suffice?"

Caught on video! *headdesk*

"Ah, thank you."

Disclaimer: Not Leigh. Not "simple" headdesk.
Birgit F
57. birgit
I love the irony in the chapter title "To Be Alone" and then have the chapter being about Perrin being placed in charge of such a disparate, internally feuding group of people. Alone? Right.

Rand is alone because he sends all his friends away, not Perrin.

"I do not like this, Perrin. Rand chases you away. He sends me off. How I'm to finish my book ..." His ears twitched, and he coughed. "Well, that's neither here nor there. But you, me, and the Light only knows where Mat is. He'll send Min away next. He hid from her, this morning. He sent me out to tell her he wasn't there. I think she knew I was lying. He'll be alone, then, Perrin. 'It's terrible to be alone.' That's what he said to me. He is planning to send all of his friends away."
Tricia Irish
58. Tektonica
MOM@56: ROFLOL How do you find this stuff?
Lynn McDonald
59. meal6225
It is "March Madness" season. Maybe she is a Michigan fan.
John Massey
60. subwoofer
Dang! It is quiet around here! What? Was Suffa droppin' bombs again and forgetting to turn on the fan?

IMHO these are a few dry chapters so I do not fault the post counter for being what it is. I echo Leigh's sentiments. We could talk about something refreshing, like diverticulitis. I dunno.

Morgase- about the only exciting thing about all this is the Tallanvor tie in. A little May-November action going on there. Well, maybe Morgase isn't that old... but definitely warrants a "meow"!

Perrin- I got nuthin'. This is a painful story arc for me with the one lone light being Balwer, the White Cloaks spymaster hanging out with Morgase, then Perrin, then who knows?


Tricia Irish
61. Tektonica

YOU are criticizing the "quietness"!! Where have you been when we needed mayhem? You deserted us! Glad you are back....and now a little levity, please!
John Massey
62. subwoofer

Will do my best...

So a guy walks into a bar...

Bonnie Andrews
63. misfortuona

Mis-straight gal
Maiane Bakroeva
64. Isilel
Denari6 @50:

her journey to Amador was partly because of the compulsion anti-aes sedai residue.

Exactly how I rationalize this too. Both Bryne and Elayne knew very well that King of Amadicia was a Whitecloak puppet - no chance that pre-Rahvin Morgase _wouldn't_ have known.

My feeling is that Rahvin's compulsions worked strongest and lingered where they aligned with Morgase's existing pre-dispositions.
I.e.: she was mad at and suspicious of the AS immediately before Rahvin got close to her and the anti-AS conditioning stuck.
She was afraid of the DR, as everybody was, and Elaida's dire Fortellings strengthened that - and it stuck too.

So, when she escaped, she was like a wolf during a hunt, hemmed by all the red flags, and couldn't go in logical directions due to compulsion. From what remained, Amadicia was the only place that had any possibilities at all.

Further, I wonder if problems coming to understand her feelings for Tallanvor are related to the residue of the I love the R-Man compulsion and not just the consequence of a woman of her situation.

Indeed, and her perception that her previous romantic engagement led to such a disaster isn't helping either. Plus subconsious feelings of violation, I bet.

I also agree that she held up pretty well with Suroth and immediately noticed and deduced quite a lot.
But then, why wasn't Morgase given a true MoA as a Shaido prisoner, instead of being shackled to Faile's stupid escape plans and ineffective attempts to portray Faile as a worthy leader? I mean, who cares? It will still come down to Perrin, after all.
Debbie Solomon
65. dsolo
These rereads would not be as much fun without all the insights that I gather.

re: Morgase - in addition to the residual brain scramble affecting her, she is still strongly attracted to Rahvin. She finds herself longing for him, and has to force herself to not go to him. In light of that, she's probably even more spooked about letting Tallanvor close. I think she's just deluding herself with the too young excuse.

re: Morgase was pretty young when she became Queen, and it seems like she always had a bit of a temper. Looks like Lini couldn't tame it completely. Letting her temper get the best of her led to Thom's exile and her break with the WT. Which, in turn, made her vulnerable to Rahvin. On the other hand, that temper is what enabled her to break the compulsion. Does it ever seem that everyone in Randland needs Anger Management therapy?

re Breane - she has made it clear that she's there for Lamgin (sp?) and she's definitely not a loyal Andoran. Not that I blame her, it's not her country. Interesting how RJ has two noble/royal women find themselves saved by commoners (hang on, Thera, your time is coming). More if you add in Elayne and Faile.
John Massey
66. subwoofer
Anger issues run in the family. Elayne used the anger and heat she felt in reading the letter from Carridin to fuel her to call the other AS to account. She used her queenly VOICE THAT MUST BE OBEYED thing. That was a fairly epic moment. Too bad there was no slipper action;)

Ron Garrison
67. Man-0-Manetheran
I don't know. I don't go looking for it. It seems to come to me. Maybe I'm ta'veren?

Why does a chicken coup have two doors?
Alice Arneson
68. Wetlandernw
RobM @ 48 - I had reached the same conclusion regarding the Gap series; having read Thomas Covenant for a second time recently, I've concluded that there's not time in my little life for reading Stephen Donaldson. He's just too depressing for me right now!

I was going to comment on the Morgase thing, but all the relevant stuff has already been said by now. So... I'll just say that after hating it the first 5 times through, the last time I concluded that RJ really is going somewhere with this and it's not just padding out a few extra books. (True confessions: for a while there I was really feeling like he was adding in lame arcs & characters just because he either didn't know where to go next or wanted to stretch it out. I still think that some more rigorous editing could have been beneficial, but I don't mind it as much any more.)

toryx @29 - you left out two important purposes: make Elayne queen and hook Morgase up with Tam. ;> Okay, the first could have happened by just killing Morgase, but Rob won't be happy without the second.

Man-o-Manetheren @67... Do I really want to know?
John Massey
69. subwoofer
Heh- M O M has some car action going on there;)

Yeah, for a while there I figured RJ was just trying to trump LRH for his long series that went no where. All these random plot lines kept on flying at me and I thought that there would be no end in sight or a heck of a lot of dangling lines left without closure. Like Asmo. Just because RJ says it is obvious, does not make it so. That is like my friend likes balloons and balls but doesn't like marbles. Clear as mud sometimes.

Whom else was Tam supposed to hook up with?

70. Denari6
Isilel 64

"My feeling is that Rahvin's compulsions worked strongest and lingered where they aligned with Morgase's existing pre-dispositions."

If I recall correctly this is how a power user is turned to the dark lord. Existing pre-dispositions that align darkly are given control. We also see this when Moggy tortures Liandran (sp?) simply by telling her to "live" Also remember that Rahvin has trouble maintaining total control of Morgase, (considering he was not turning em into Graendalesk fembots). It would make sense that Compulsion would take this route into the mind of a strong willed queen. BTW that brings up a question. Could Morgase have been turned into a dark friend? I do not think she was. Could someone with so little ability be turned?

"I also agree that she held up pretty well with Suroth and immediately noticed and deduced quite a lot.But then, why wasn't Morgase given a true MoA as a Shaido prisoner, instead of being shackled to Faile's stupid escape plans and ineffective attempts to portray Faile as a worthy leader? I mean, who cares? It will still come down to Perrin, after all."

Remember she was still "queen" when she met Suroth and although she had been tortured she was probably looking for hope with this new power. By the time she was made wetlander Gaishan, she had embraced the ladies maid concept. It does make one wonder how quickly she took to her position. Afterall the trauma, torture, and diappointment she experienced, she saw this new role as a way to forget the past. A coping mechanism.

Jay Dauro
71. J.Dauro
Subwoofer @69

It's obvious. Tam will hook up with SWMNBN. Of course he'll have to do the thing that must not be named first. Couldn't you tell from their "bully" scene in TGS.
Jacy Clark
74. Amalisa
Leigh... "plug-n-play". Aaannnd there's merlot all over the laptop.

...the way she consistently puts down the loyal and devoted Tallanvor but even more the staggeringly idiotic decision to go to the Whitecloaks for aid...

Let's see... Morgase's first marriage was political, not exactly a love match. In fact, Taringail plotted to become the first King of Andor, and might have succeeded if not for Thom's occasional regi-(and wannabe regi-)cidal tendencies. Then Thom goes all sulky over Aes Sedai gentling his nephew, and they mutually kick one another to the curb. (Yes, Owyn's treatment at the hands of the Red Ajah was tragic, and Thom was justified in his anger. But I've had a few glasses of wine, and I'm feeling somewhat cheeky.) Gareth Bryne is knocked out of contention by Gaebril/Rahvin's Compulsion on Morgase. Which, of course, leads us to Rahvin and his - well, what he did to her goes beyond rape.

I don't know what "father issues" Morgase may have but clearly the woman has absolutely no built in governor/safeguards to help her make wise relationship decisions. Four prior relationships with men who are older, sophisticated and/or accomplished and (in Rahvin's case) EVIL. Along comes Tallanvar who is younger, relatively low ranking and with nothing to recommend him but the fact that he's loyal to the death and, apparently, a hottie. Plus, he's in her face a lot.

As for the Whitecloak thing... Thanks to Rahvin's Compulsion, she's not hitting on all eight cylinders right off the bat. I feel like she's more reactive than proactive, really, until she and the others meet up with Perrin et al. So what does she do in the interim? She does go looking for Gareth Bryne first but he's off on new adventures. She then does what other displaced kings and queens have done - approaches a neighboring ruler whom she considers an ally. It was King Ailron who pretty much handed her to the Whitecloaks before he went and got himself killed by the Seanchan. She did resist the idea of a treaty with Pedron Niall but, after learning that Rand had control of Caemlyn (with Pedron Niall's particular spin on the information), I can see how she might have felt like she had no choice.


Leigh: we come for the reread, we stay for the commentary's hilarity and visuals. ;) Amen!

R. Fife@9

I don't really see Morgase as a perma-victim. Like Leigh said, post-Rahvin life for her is one disaster after another. We don't see it but I can imagine that she had her hopes pinned on finding Gareth Bryne at Kore Springs only to have them dashed. Obviously, if he'd been there, he could have raised an army for her. Absent Gareth - and needing military might to reclaim Andor, she had to look at other quickly accessible options. Yes, Ailron was a poor second choice - but, considering where she was, he was as good as any. I mean, Ghealdan had gone through Johanin, Ellizelle and Teresia just in the time that Masema and the Dragonsworn had taken over the country. Alliandre was holding on to her throne by kissing Masema's blindcheeks when called upon to do so - she would have been no help at all! Altara? By Tylin's own assessment, she held very little beyond the city of Ebou Dar, really. Arad Doman and Tarabon were busy trying to slice and dice each other. Historically, Murandy was nothing but chaos. It was Amadicia or nothing, if you think about it. And we know, as more-or-less omniscient observers, that Illian, Tear, or Carhien would have been disasters. Not to mention that the Borderland armies were already on the move.

Sorry... didn't mean to wander down the geo-political trail...

Perma-victim... right... um... Morgase' brief moments of relative respite from her travails have probably occurred when the group was riding from Caemlyn to Kore Springs, Kore Springs to Amador, then Amador to where she and the rest meet up with Perrin & Co. In between, well, Leigh has already catalogued what happened so I won't list them again. That she isn't curled up in the fetal position, crying for her mommy, is pretty good, considering.

I'll even go one step further and say that she was right in considering suicide as a viable option - for the purpose of not giving the Seanchan political leverage in Andor. She was trapped in the middle of the Fortress of the Light, where she had been tortured and raped, now surrounded by an army that had swept the Children aside as if they were children, an army that used leashed Aes Sedai, with no escape in sight (until Sebban Balwer - a most unlikely looking hero. Seriously.). It wouldn't have been an act of surrender if she'd jumped from the window; it would have been an act of war. Yes, Tallanvor, Lini and the rest probably would have died for it, but there are casualties in war. She was thinking like a queen, not a woman. Fortunately, it didn't come to that.


You're right. Interesting review of the "irrevocable words" theme.


Remember ACOS, Part 3, items 106 and 107. You said you would need to remember them when thinking about the Plot That Will Not Die. Plus what toryx@29 said, below. (And why the bloody hell can't I imbed anything?? Everytime I've tried for the last two weeks, it's been marked as possible spam and left for moderator review. Very annoying!)




Excellent points!

md9dme65@36 and almdoipad@40

I will not go down the Eddie Izzard tangent. I will not. I... will... not... Oh, hell...
John Massey
75. subwoofer
Thanks JD- am now going to go bleach my eye-balls at that visual image. The horror! What did Tam ever do to you?

Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
Amalisa - Nice wall! I nearly ended up with riesling on the laptop. Would have been a shame... Dr. Loosen...

Denari6 @70 - As I understand it, Morgase - even with her limited ability - could have been turned by the 13x13 trick, but clearly she wasn't. I hadn't thought of it; I wonder why Rahvin didn't do it. Maybe because he didn't plan to keep her around long enough to be worth it? Didn't have the 13s handy? Didn't know she could channel? Just didn't bother?

I hadn't really considered the lady's maid role as a coping mechanism. Interesting fuel for further musing.
Richard Fife
77. R.Fife
Oh, I fully agree that Morgase is nothing being a crybaby, per se. But I always say that just cause you were the target of a crime doesn't mean you have to be the victim. Yes, she has full right to be upset after what happens to her, but she takes it too far and always seems to view herself as a tragic heroine instead of a woman getting knocked around and needing to take care of herself. Maybe I'm projecting a bit. All of this is regardless of her brain frazzle. After all, her friends don't know she was brain frazzled either. In fact, I'd imagine the only person who does is Rand, and he thinks (until recently) that Morgase is dead, so not that it matters. But, yeah, no one knows, and even if they did, I'd hope they'd help her overcome the frazzle instead of playing to victim attitude. Which, you identified as reactive instead of proactive. Victims let things happen to them. Not-Victims (whatever the word is supposed to be) go out and do things and occasionally have to deal with obstacles.

Actually, I am most definitely projecting right now. So perhaps I'm being harsh, but I stand by my initial statements @9.
Richard Fife
78. R.Fife
Oh, and just to let people eat hearts out, I just reserved my room for JordanCon.
Richard Fife
79. R.Fife
Wait... no! Not my heart! *flees to a bunker*
Tricia Irish
80. Tektonica

You are very funny tonight....and fun to read....and thank you for remembering those two posts and that I said that....I just reread your and Free's posts and they were excellent. I might have to reread them throughout this plot thread to keep from going bats. I still feel the way I stated on that thread, as well:

I don't quibble with Perrin's good intentions and his love for Faile, his only family now, but I do think that plot line is seriously overwritten and unnecessarily long, drawn out, and slow.
John Massey
81. subwoofer
@FifesterThey named a road after you...

Ron Garrison
82. Man-0-Manetheran
Points to the funny one in the bunch, Subwoofer!

"Why does a chicken coup have two doors?"

If it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan.
Tricia Irish
83. Tektonica

God, I love stupid jokes. I just sent that to everyone I know...thanks!
Thomas Keith
84. insectoid
Sorry I missed the party—was out window shopping for hardwood flooring with my mom, and then watching my SDSU Aztecs tear UNLV a new one. Oh, and because these chapters were boring;) Next!

Sub @62: Did it hurt much? ;)

R.Sedai @78: AARRGGH. *headdesk*

Sub @81: LOL!! Really!

M-0-M @82: Oh of course... I saw that one in my joke book.

And I'm supposing that's the direction this thread is going, so... How many Aes Sedai does it take to change a glowbulb (assuming they could find one)?

I don't actually have an answer, but I'm open to any bright ideas. ::ducks::

EDIT: Not sure if anyone else has, but I just noticed that the Encyclopaedia WoT has (as of Tuesday) been updated for TGS. Check it out!

Maiane Bakroeva
85. Isilel
Amalisa @74:

Absent Gareth - and needing military might to reclaim Andor, she had to look at other quickly accessible options.

And she couldn't have raised an army herself because? I mean if Bryne was really such a great general, he should have had some capable subordinates too, who'd have done in a pinch. At least, that's how it worked iRL - great generals also promoted talent.

No, IMHO the _logical_ thing for Morgase to do was to go to the loyalists whom Rahvin sent to fight on Cahirienin border and win them over. Getting foreign help, leave alone from Amadicia, should have been the very last resort for a capable and patriotic ruler. I blame Rahvin's compulsion for this, because I'd prefer not to blame poor plotting and characterization ;).

Re: Ashaman wife-bond, yes indeed. IMHO it was an insanely dangerous thing to experiment with and I really would like to know the details - like what the bondee gets out of it and what happens to them when the bonder dies/goes insane/burns out.

Also, Compulsion is not the intrinsic part of AS bond. They have to actively do it and it is cumbersome and tiring. Also, dangerous given that AS and Warder depend on each other for safety and if the control slips in an upportune moment, it is curtains.
I personally find the modified compulsive Ashaman bond far scarier, because compulsion has to be done only once and the bondee has no choice but to obey every command after that. Also, the situation of Ashaman wives is even more unequal than that of warders. The opportunities for misuse are mind-boggling. Too bad that they won't ever be explored, most likely.
Jacy Clark
86. Amalisa

Heh... I suppose I should've issued a wall-o-text warning... :)

R.Fife@77 and 78

'S all good! I do understand where you're coming from. I think we've all encountered people in our lives who let circumstances defeat them - over and over and over again!

I still don't consider Morgase as one of those people, though. In TFoH, while siphoning information from Elaida's spy in Caemlyn, Rahvin is thinking about Compulsion presenting or not presenting difficulties, and Morgase:
A few - a very few - had a strength of will so firm that their minds searched, even if unaware for crevices through which to slide away. It was his bad luck that he still had some small need for one such. She could be handled, but she kept trying to find escape without knowing she was trapped.

In my experience, strong-willed people aren't perma-victims. They can be beaten down, victimized, but they will find a way to get back up. It may take a while - it may take baby steps. They may fall down again, some. But they'll get there - eventually. Just like Morgase...

And now I'm projecting... :)

Oh, and JordanCon... First: Thhhpppppttttt! Second: We expect pictures, videos, detailed transcripts of all meetings, discussions, chance encounters with the powers-that-be. You know - everything!! Oh, and have fun!! :D (*is soooo jealous*)


Thanks! And I understand your point, really. In the early years of my WoT-addiction, the story arc I struggled with the most was the whole "Elayne and Nynaeve with the menagerie" thing. It wasn't until they were way beyond Salidar - beyond Ebou Dar, really - that I began to appreciate just how all these different dramas were going to work together. Now, the menagerie arc is one of my favorite parts. Go figure...


I really wish that RJ had invested a little more time in the Morgase-fleeing-Caemlyn story. (I'll wait for the collective groans to die down...) From Tallanvor's very limited exposition:
If you wish to find loyal men, you must look to the outlying garrisons, perhaps as far as Whitebridge. Some who were in Caemlyn were sent to Cairhien with the levies...
Then, when the question of where to go is raised, it's Tallanvor who says:
It must be to Gareth Bryne. There is hard feeling against you among the great houses, my Queen, but with Bryne following you, they will reswear allegiance, if only becuase they know he will win every battle.
Yes, we as the readers know more, but Morgase does not. And she's the one making the decision. Sort of...

If they'd gone toward Carhien, they would have been going toward the greater conflict, don't you think? Carhien was embroiled in a civil war. Refugees (like Breane) were fleeing the country. Carhien was the current home base for the Dragon Reborn - and no monarch in his or her right mind wanted to voluntarily go there. And would the commanders of the loyal troops really welcome her? If they were among the ones, or connected to the ones, she'd banished, wouldn't that be a significant risk? Remember, we know from the Succession arc later that Andorans were fond of keeping each other as "guests" when the throne was up for grabs. It isn't a far stretch to consider that Morgase' actions might have made some of the "loyal" Houses consider the Lion Throne as fair game. If she'd gone to the Carhienien border, she might have found herself such a "guest", rather than riding at the head of an army to reclaim Caemlyn. Some of those "subordinates" you mentioned might have put loyalty to Bryne over loyalty to other of the great Houses. On the other hand, they might not. Tallanvor trusts Bryne. Morgase, deep in the bedrock of her own will, trusts Bryne - in spite of Rahvin frazzling her brain.

No, west toward Gareth Bryne was the logical decision, IMHO. It just didn't work out.

Edit for spelling.
Richard Fife
87. R.Fife
@86 Amalisa, just cause I'm beating a dead horse:

I am not speaking of Morgase like she's a, well, dead horse, taking a beating and never getting up. No, she gets up alright, as does the projected-from-permavictim I'm thinking of. Gets up, overcomes in some less than spectacular way, and thinks of herself as the winner for having done it. Now, Morgase isn't so daft as to think people should be falling down in praise of her victory, but she does, I think, still hold enough pride to think that she is doing the best she can and no one has any right to say otherwise.

Where my concept of perma-victim comes, though, is that the P.V. defines themselves from the victimization. Just as soon as they have overcome one victimizing situation where they played the role of victim and overcame, they are in another. Now, crap happens, duh, and she is not asking for the horrible things to happen over and over again, but I'd be far more impressed with her if she managed to just stop caring that shit happened and knuckled down. Instead, her PoVs and observations of her show a petulant child trying to pretend she isn't (even Faile noticed how she would get into screaming matches with Lini). OK, it was the brain scramble, doesn't mean I have to like her or encourage the behavior.
88. Freelancer

Not a chance. Unless you're just tweaking Leigh with two of her most favoritest topics of all WoT-dom. Consider who and what Tam was before he came home with a wife and foundling son. If ever there was a Warder-in-waiting, it was him. We know his disposition to Aes Sedai in general, his feelings about bullying in specific, and his ability to remain calm and rational no matter what. How could that ever lead to a relationship with the oldest, most overbearing, and reaction-inducing Aes Sedai in the entire world? Forrest Gump wouldn't be able to catch up with Tam al'Thor if she expressed any interest in him.


Aww, thanks for the love. I don't know how to do sub's brand of "out there", or Samadai's fanciful fanfic, so subtle pun-ditry is the best I got in the humor dept., that or cynical irony, and neither grabs the room all that much.
89. J.Dauro
Freelancer @88

(Shhh! Not Leigh, Sub. No I don't really think Tam will hook up with SWMNBN. But don't tell him)
Tricia Irish
90. Tektonica
No one home here either? Heeeelllloooooooo......

Bunker is echoing.....
Thomas Keith
91. insectoid
Tek @90: They must not have liked my Aes Sedai/glowbulb joke idea @84. :|

Lynn McDonald
92. meal6225
R. Rife dont forget the yellow shawl.
Julian Augustus
93. Alisonwonderland

Impressive walls of text and very persuasive arguments. I like it.
Barry T
94. blindillusion
*Stops by the Bunker*

Oh, Mat's not in yet? Alright, I'll be back later then.


I think you may have taken the Thread.

I really have nothing to of yet...except my two month old daughter already has a tooth coming in....
Two kids teething at the same time = I want to curl up and cry right beside them.
Oh, and we had an excellent weekend, all said and done.

See you guys in the week.
Hurin Smells
95. HurinSmells
@44 - I always read the "extra bit" as an orgasm as well.

I don't think it relates to the Compelling aspect of the Bond. We know the Aes Sedai bond carries a degree of Compelling also, but it doesn't work on Rand because he can channel.
Sandy Brewer
98. ShaggyBella
Leane is now of the Green Ajah. She doesn't have a warder yet, maybe Tam? He deserves a nice Domani gal.
j p
99. sps49
RobMRobM @48-

What I meant back @30 wasn't that Morgase will try to take "backsies" on her abdication, but that it doesn't protect Andor at all. If she is afraid of what she will do after torture, or taken as damane (lotsa luck for any suldam trying to use her), or as da'covale, or whatever, everyone will still perceive her as Queen of Andor. I just don't get it.

IF someone wants to 'splain it to me, I would appreciate it.
Antoni Ivanov
100. tonka
Yes they perceive her as Queen, but she is not, even if she is the only one who knows that. Therefore any promises she makes are not binding. She did it not to protect herself but Andor. And as a side note if someone has decided to torture her, she probably would have confessed that she is no longer queen.

I always imagined that the extra bit Logain refers to is the kissing (not compulsion, not orgasm, or whatever thing occur to some).
Jay Dauro
102. J.Dauro
I have always viewed the "extra bit" as being the obedience part, but that the kiss and "orgasm" were required to induce it. This also appears to be how the FAQ sees it.

Dorothy Johnston
103. CloudMist
As a big believer in the Verin Is The Root Cause Of Everything In WOT theory, I remember these chapters fondly because it was here that we learned that Verin was the AS who apparently had the most contact with Morgase during her time in the Tower, and that it was in fact Verin who told Morgase that she'd never be strong enough to become AS. Not I'm not saying that Morgase would ever reach SG-rank but I think that with encouragement and practice she might reach Daigian(sp?)'s rank. In fact, my view of her ultimate fate (now that Egwene's opened the novice book) is that as Maighdin Sedai, Morgase, and her warder Tallanvor, will become the AS advisor to King Galad of Cairhien.
Rob Munnelly
104. RobMRobM
@98. Leane is my second favorite choice for Tam (red haired, smart, cute, brave, looking for a warder) but I can't figure out how they get together. Eg would have to send her to meet up with Perrin's crowd when they get to Camelyn, perhaps.

@99, 100. Appreciate the clarification, but Tonka shares my perspective on how this would play out.

@100. Another vote for the "extra bit as kiss" school. Nice to have you in the club.

@103. I see Morgase ending up hanging out near Elayne and her kids, rather than around Galad (and Berelain).
Tricia Irish
105. Tektonica

I don't think it was anything you said.....just no bright ideas......


Interetsing theory....hadn't heard that one before....
Marcus W
106. toryx
I'm afraid I'm a little too busy this week (surprising, I know) to contribute much. But I wanted to thank all of you who commented on my thoughts re: @29. I've read the responses and appreciated each of them. I'm sorry I haven't had time to contribute more.

And I still think Tam deserves better than Morgase or an Aes Sedai.
Rob Munnelly
107. RobMRobM
OK, Toryx - I'll bite. Who is your pick for Tam?

Marcus W
108. toryx
RobM @ 107:

I don't really have one. I think Tam does fine without a wife. Not everyone has to end up with someone. Besides, he's had his love and lost her. Maybe he genuinely doesn't want anyone else.
There's nothing wrong with that, no matter how much our society says that people (especially men) have to be in a relationship to be complete.
j p
109. sps49
toryx, RobMRobM-

But if she signs, say, a treaty giving the Children extraterritorial rights in Andor, nobody in Andor knows that she had'nt had the authority to sign that treaty, therefore they would be more likely to accept it. If it was more widely known that Morgase had abdicated, she would be less useful as a prisoner.
John Massey
110. subwoofer
Come now, what is wrong with a nice Domani girl? Everyone deserves to have at least one in their life...

And society doesn't say that we need to be in a relationship to be complete. Society has no place to tell us what is right or wrong with us. That is our wives' job. Heck, on a daily basis my wife lets me know what I am doing wrong :P

Rob Munnelly
111. RobMRobM
Toryx - Tam lived far out in the Westwoods with his wife and son, and then only his son. Given that Rand isn't coming home, I have trouble seeing how it can be a happy ending for Tam to return to the Two Rivers and live as a virtual hermit alone on his farm - or as a mere tag along to Rand's life post TG. Finding a worthy partner seems a reasonable step for one of the worthiest characters in WoT. It also fits with the foreshadowing - the discussion of Tam as the most eligible bachelor in the Two Rivers at the start of EoTW. It would make story sense to complete that by the end of the series.

More fundamentally, Tam seems like a builder - he left his battlefield successes and associated horrors to be one who invested in a farm to build a future for his family. He doesn't seem the type who would enjoy work for work itself; or enjoy work to accumulate money and achieve financial security; or one who works for money in order to enjoy the fruits of money - all of which could weigh against him desiring to get back into the romance/marriage business. Just my two cents.

Antoni Ivanov
112. tonka
@ sps49
It's not that simple. If that was enough, Nial could have killed her as soon as she signed the treaty (in exchange for help from the Whitecloaks they got way too much things).
If she is not alive to confirm the treaty and honor it, the Andorians may claim that it is false, or it was forcefully taken and illegal or some other pretext so they don't have to abide by it. That's was why Nial and Valda and later even Suroth needed her alive.
113. Alfvaen
Whoa, I hadn't twigged to that before. That Morgase only went to Amadicia because Gareth Bryne had left Kore Springs... Admittedly, I'm not sure how much impact Morgase had in the Shaido thread, but still, that's more changes yet from that chance(?) encounter. Who do you blame for Bryne's absence, Logain or Siuan? Probably Siuan, for the oath and those haunting blue eyes... I still think it's the strangest plot twist to not have a ta'veren within a day's ride of it.
114. Freelancer

Well, now we know what keeps your wife busy. ::duck::

Tam. Let's see. I would associate Tam more closely with Gareth Bryne than any other male character in the story. Gareth now has his love life settled, and I have a hard time imagining that Tam won't find someone new. Not an Aes Sedai, certainly. Not likely any woman who thinks she can push a man around (although Bryne did get one of those, didn't he?). Morgase is everyone's favorite choice, but there is no doubt in my mind that she is already in love. She knows it, but is terrified to acknowledge it. If Tallanvor were to fall protecting her, she would never consider love again, after all she's been through. Such an event wouldn't open the way for Tam, it would close off her heart forever.

Maybe one of the Kin. Ladies who can channel, but have learned to remain humble and unobtrusive, and who try to live common lives out of the public eye. Now that they know they are known to the Tower, the prohibition against marriage will dissolve, since its purpose was leave them free to move periodically, so folks wouldn't realize that they don't age normally. Sharina might be a good match for Tam, if she wasn't going to become Nynaeve's nanny. ::shrug::

Then again, when asked if Tam had a future romantic interest, and if he'd encountered the target of that interest yet, Brandon RAFO'd instantly. Could mean nothing. Could mean everything. Gotta hate RAFOs
John Massey
115. subwoofer
@Free-Gee thanks- I think I would be insulted if it were not true:) Gotta keep her outta the kitchen somehow. I'm just trying to do my part in the name of fire prevention week... provided that week lasts all year long.

Tam... I'll get back to him in a sec but what is the deal with the RAFO's. Is so much stuff up in the air, or is the author trying to be a cock tease? What is the harm in saying-"you know, pairing everyone off was not part of the grand plan, soooo...SOL for buddy". I feel that there is a profound fear of commitment in the literary world. Mind you, on the face of that it can't be entirely true as the level of commitment to write several books longer than War and Peace make this a love affair with a greater duration than most Hollywood marriages.

Tamster- here's the thing- I think the guy got rocked in the beginning. Young dashing guy, kicked some ass, took some names, met a nice girl, maybe with a cranky kid, wanted to settle down. Girl doesn't make it, leaving Tam holding the bag with the kid, so what does Tam do? He steps up and does the right thing, grabs the kid, finds a nice quiet place, and raises the boy. From what I can remember, as I have still not picked up another copy of book 1, Tam had no end of opportunities to hook up with some buxom lass in the Two Rivers as the Woman's Circle seemed to play match maker every time he wandered into town. I believe that may have been a founding reason that Tam did not come out to often. Some may think that this casts a shadow on Tam's er... persuasion. Mind you, IMHO, Tam's... gayness is just a happy disposition and a sunny outlook on life.

As for potential suitor/tesses for our humblest of Blademasters I think we should be looking at the Aiel. Beyond the obvious being one of Rand's three wives being Aiel, what would really bolster the Car'a'carn's stock with his people than Pops marrying into the blood. For me that would make the most sense. Tam needs something like that in his life. A fiery woman that will keep Tam on his toes. On the face of it, it makes sense. Rand is grown up. Tam has done his job. What is he gonna do, grow tabac until he is older and greyer? Pass on that. Retirement is supposed to be fun. What could be more fun than a woman who will keep you hopping and has lots of passion. Aiel woman baffle the hell outta most Wetlanders, imagine Tam shacked up with one of Rand's minders? Heh. The fun would never stop.

Or Tam could settle down with a nice Domani girl...

It could happen. I just have to slip Min a few coin and it will be so.

Marcus W
116. toryx
RobM @ 111:

Well one of my points is that Tam doesn't have to find a wife/ partner to have a happy ending. I think the only true happy ending he could appreciate is having Rand survive TG and come home with his wife and family. Given that this isn't particularly likely to happen, the only other happy ending that seems to fit would be for Tam to end up surrounded by some of his grandchildren.

But let's go back to your points about him living out in the Westwoods. He'd been alone with Rand on the farm for more than a decade and a guy who lives that kind of life tends to get set in his way. And this is Randland we're talking about; there's not a woman alive in that world who doesn't believe it's her duty to reshape her husband. I see Tam to be a little too set in his ways for that.

I think your argument about the foreshadowing with Tam as the most eligible bachelor would have more value if there was something more than that one note 11 books before. But there hasn't been any more build up on that. There's just a brief mention 20 years ago in one of the first few chapters. If there'd been more on it, particularly after Tam joined up with Perrin, I'd be more inclined to think that something is in Tam's future.

I agree that Tam's a builder. So if Perrin ends up as a King of some other country like some people believe, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Tam ended up as the Lord of the Two Rivers, even if it's under Elayne's rule. It's debatable as to whether or not he'd want that but he's got the common sense and strong foundations in his personality to be a good one. Maybe he'd meet someone in one of the newcomers that settles there. Maybe not.

But I haven't seen anything recent (in the last three or four books) that suggests that there's anyone for him or that he has any interest whatsoever in a romance. And it's getting pretty late in the game to head in that direction unless Sanderson decides to do the writer's version of snapping his fingers and saying, "Let Tam have a love interest!" But that's not particularly effective writing, IMHO.
Rob Munnelly
117. RobMRobM
Toryx - we disagree on this, and it's ok. My strong suspicion is that Tam is either fated for a heroic death or a quiet post TG life with a partner either in the TR or hanging out in the vicinity of his son, daughters in law and grandkids. I don't see a middle ground (such as Lord of the TR). I'm betting on the latter and betting that he is the third TR person to partner up with someone in the Andoran royal family but I've been wrong before - at least once or twice.

Free - With TG upcoming, it would not surprise me at all to have him decide to be a Warder to an AS, especially one from the Green.

Woof - I actually like your idea as one of the Aiel as a candidate for the Tam Love Connection contest. There are plenty of them around Perrin, both Wise Ones and Maidens, and many also have that red hair thing going. Not betting it will happen but it could.

Tricia Irish
118. Tektonica
I think we are all "hoping" Tam gets a happy life after TG. He did the world a great service by raising the Dragon Reborn in a normal place with good values.
And he deserves happiness.

It seems he had a very exciting life away from the TR before he met his wife and found his baby. He was/is a Blademaster. Maybe now that he's finished doing the child raising, and he's out of the TR again, he will be energized and make another life with someone somewhere else? Maybe he will stay around Rand and advise him? Maybe he won't make it past TG? :-(

No one should need someone to complete their lives, but being loved does feel awfully good, especially if you've been without it for quite awhile. It kind of seems from the last bit in tGS that the author(s) think it is the Raison d'Etre. Perhaps a budding relationship will be hinted at for Tam, but left to our imaginations, which might be more satisfying writing.
119. Divil The Bother
While I may sympathise with the position Morgase finds herself in and what she goes through I think I'd have to differ with many in that I don't think there's any evidence that she was ever a particularly good ruler.

The only specifics we're ever given from what I can recall involve her issuing death warrants for people who have annoyed her (Thom) or pet reminiscences by Elayne of titbits her mother had told her about not annoying the first maid and first clerk and similar patronising rubbish.

Something else that must call into question her wisdom and behaviour as a leader must be the lack of any evidence of general revolt against her behaviour when under Rahvins control. Even Lini, who has known her her whole life, while disapproving of her actions, doesn't seem to believe that they are hugely out of character. Loyal Captains (Bryne) and supporters for her in the succession were banished and birched and there doesn't seem to have been any evidence that this was way off beam for Morgase.

Doesn't suggest a particularly good ruler to me...

Sorry for the wall - I've a lot of pent up posting desire accumulated while getting up to date with this reread. I've more to come on the plotline that won't die..
120. Goading SOB
The pope is German.
Auf Wiedersehen

P.S. Oddly enough, according to the Internal Spider Web of deciet, Ciao works for the Germans also, so "You are co-rect", and now back to my troll cave.
Steven Pattingale
121. Pattingale
Friday seems like a long was away. *le sigh*

So ...

Ever read Marvel's "What if?" comic books? They were full of stuff like What if the Punisher killed the Marvel Universe. Well here's a What if? for you ....
What if Rand had killed Perrin in chapter 27? How would things be different?
122. Alfvaen
If Rand had killed Perrin by accident, then he would have gone mad, tried to use the Choeden Kal to Heal him back to life, and whether that worked or not, would probably have re-Broken the world, toasting the seal on the bore in the process, and everybody would have died horribly. Or possibly Faile would have killed him while he was still dithering about whether or not he could harm a woman, assuming of course that she could get past the Maidens...

I'm suddenly picturing Rand getting really loony and using the Choeden Kal to kill every man on the planet (not excepting himself), but sparing all the women. Halima'gar's fate? Unknown. The channelers now have a deadline to try to figure out how to continue the species. Maybe they bring a few men back from a Portal Stone world?
Matthew Smith
123. blocksmith
Finally caught up in the reread and comments...overall, some very funny stuff.

Regarding Morgase and Breane. First, appalled and angry at what happened to Morgase (I never like Valda and this put him squarely in the "despised" category) and at first shocked that Breane could be so insensitive. On re-examination, I think RJ wanted to show through Breane and her relationship with Lamgwin, that bigger things to worry about were out there. Figuratively speaking, they are in the middle of battle and don't have time to sit and mourn a fallen comrade. They need to move on. I don't think I could have done it, though.

One more reason why the Kidnapping Arc of Doom may have started is to prove to Morgase Perrin's worth as a leader and for her to support the re-establishment of Manetheren as a separate kingdom. Could even be a reward to Perrin from Elayne for rescuing her mother. That said, not sure it's critical to the plot line.
124. ZinaLu
How many AS would it take to screw in a glow bulb? none. If there were *more* than one AS they would be busy arguing about the ramifications to the Pattern that screwing it in would cause. If they finally decided it should be done they'd spend the rest of the week arguing about *how* to do it.

Then a kinswoman would come along and take care of it.
Sam Mickel
125. Samadai

Don't forget the Aiel wise ones. They would have an apprentice wise one screw it in and out until she felt the shame in her bones. The Sea folk windfinders would bargain for the right to all future glow bulb screwing ins and give up in trade the air that could be squeezed out of their tightly closed fists.
John Massey
126. subwoofer
And you forgot the rankings- should a Sitter do it? The head of an ajah? Which ajah? The logic of doing it? Who takes precedent? Does a committee need to be formed. Maybe discuss this over tea... Who makes the tea? Who sits or stands? Who pours the tea? Who gets theirs poured first? Maybe committee notes should be taken... Does a sister have to do this? Can novices be trusted? Accepted? Whom among the Accepted? No? A sister? Well, which ajah? Does this need to be sealed to the Flame? Hmmmmmmmm

Rob Munnelly
127. RobMRobM
Wet - relative to our GRRM discussion earlier in this thread, I have good news. I finally hunted down and read Martin's two so-called "Dunk and Egg" novellas - The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword. They take place about 100 years or so before the events of the Song of Ice and Fire and they tell of the adventures of a young, poor, very tall (almost 7 ft) knight, who names himself Ser Duncan the Tall (i.e., Dunk) and his ten year old, squire Egg. A third Dunk and Egg story was published today in the new Warriors anthology.

Dunk is very Perrin-like - slow moving in some respects and a target for teasing and insults but has strong morals and courage. Martin plans ultimately to create as many as 9 or 10 Dunk and Egg stories that show how the two of them develop over the years - without undue spoilers, a careful reading of a Song of Ice and Fire reveals that both eventually become historical figures in Westeros.

The first two stories are delightful and have minimal to no adult content. They give you a chance to explore GRRM's skills as a writer without the disadvantages outlined earlier in the thread.

The first two can be found in the collections Legends I and II edited by Robert Silverberg. As a bonus, Legends I has the original RJ New Spring novella, which differs in interesting ways from the New Spring novel, as well as other stories by Feist, LeGuin, Stephen King and other notables. I have an order in at my library for Warriors (which also has stories by Robin Hobb and several others) and am looking forward to digging in.

Thomas Keith
128. insectoid
ZinaLu, Sam, Sub: LOL! Thanks, guys, you've brightened my day! Bright ideas, all! ;)

EDIT: 2^7 = 128 ::foolish grin::

Sydo Zandstra
129. Fiddler

Legends 1 also introduced me to Terry Pratchett... ;) That one had a very good line-up for an antholgy!

I've asked Warriors as a birthday present (in 2 weeks). There are a couple more authors in it that I've been curious about when I saw their books, but never got around to checking out... Thanks for pointing out it has been released.

As for the light bulbs riddle, the answer should be 'none', because channelers don't need light bulbs in order to get some light, so they would even start thinking about it. ;)

Re: Tam...
Put me in the camp that says he will not enter a relationship with any woman in the last 2 books. And certainly not with Morgase (I also don't believe in the theory that says Tam and Morgase are former sweethearts, so there... ;) )

Leane isn't a redhead btw (I saw somebody mentioning this); IIRC she has black hair. Sheriam was the redhaired one.
John Massey
130. subwoofer
Well... then that leaves Suffa. I am sure after being smacked around by the Seanchan for a goodly bit, she will be a bit less head strong and a little more er... agreeable. Well... somebody said she was attractive... if she learns to park the attitude... and she does have red hair...

Edit@insectoid-glad to oblige:)

Sydo Zandstra
131. Fiddler
I thought Suffa is a blonde...
John Massey
132. subwoofer
Nice-'n-Easy- that's her style...

Thomas Keith
134. insectoid
Sub @130, Fiddler@131: I can't recall her hair color being identified in the text at all—maybe one of our Gurus can confirm this? However, in the NS comics she's depicted as a brunette; not sure if that's the case or not.

John Massey
135. subwoofer
DARK RED! She used the wrong # hair color. It killed it for her so she had to let it grow out then dyed it again. Blondes are real? Heh! Can't find a legit stat but there are wayyy too many blondes in the WoT world. Hot sun beating down... most hot places have darker people. Maybe up north, Blightwards there is the odd blondie... It's all about the hair dye, organic of course.

Jay Dauro
136. J.Dauro
The Encyclopedia does not list a hair color for Elaida (it does say dark eyes, TDR 17) so I would guess it is not specified.
Richard Fife
137. R.Fife
Hmm, funny. I always envisioned Suffa with dark-brown-almost-black hair. Somehow, picturing has a blond just seems wrong. I might be able to go for dark red, but iunno.
138. Freelancer
I'm with R.Fife. My mind cannot conjure an image of Elaida with light colored hair. It's Disney's fault, you know. The wicked step-mother, the evil witch, etc. all had coal-black hair. Not glossy pure-black hair like Snow White, or golden blonde like Cinderella (or Buttercup).
Tricia Irish
139. Tektonica
I always pictured her with fiery red hair to go with her temper. I can't believe we're talking about Elaida's hair! Tam will never go for such a nut job.
John Massey
140. subwoofer
So how about this- new rule- from now on, all sister's have to dye their hair to match the color of the ajah they chose. No mix-ups after that I bet.

I pictured close cropped hair and a choker, harsh, penetrating stare.

John Massey
141. subwoofer

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's not Elaida. I just wanted to um... give us some perspective.

142. alreadymadwithelaidashair
I always thought Suffaida had dark hair. Let's face it, RJ does not suffer for lack of detail in describing people. If she was a blonde or a redhead he'd have mentioned it. As it stands, the only non-Aiel being described as either tend to be of Andoran descent.
Rob Munnelly
143. RobMRobM
Fiddler - there is no record of Leane's hair color (per the Enc WoT) but, given her copper skin, I assumed her hair must be some shade of red. Don't mess with my dreams, man!
Tina Pierce
144. scissorrunner
WOT encyclopedia has a sketch of Elaida and Alviarin. E is shown as having blond hair while A's is long flowing black.

E is holding a strip of blue that she's torn off the Amrylin's shawl. She looks angry & A is looking on with a nasty little smirk on her face.

I'd embed the pix here, but I'd mess it up real bad.
copy that to your browser.
Alice Arneson
146. Wetlandernw
DivilTheBother @119 - The primary reason we have for believing Morgase was a good ruler in general, is that the author said so by means of her people's opinions of her in earlier books. Like many others characters, we don't get to spend a lot of time watching her over a course of years - can you imagine how many books that would take, for every character? It happens a lot, in WoT and in any other book, that minor characters are described by other characters as "wise" or "good" or "clever" or... whatever, and you're supposed to generally accept their reputation as deserved because the book doesn't have room to show you all the nitpicking detail to prove it to you.
Thomas Keith
147. insectoid
Sub @141: ::wolf-whistles at "perspective":: ;)

Scissor @144: You could ask Sarcastro to post it, I suppose. But that's not really how I imagine Elaida (no offense, Rich). BTW Scissor, love your avatar. :)

::starts practicing Irish accent::

Linda Taglieri
148. Linda
A description of Elaida:

An unyielding stern-faced woman, handsome rather than beautiful, and dark of hair and
eye, Elaida wore a blood-red dress, with the striped stole of the Amyrlin Seat about her shoulders.

LOC, A Matter of Thought.


The tall chairback held the Flame of Tar Valon picked out in moonstones above her dark head as she sat.

ACOS Prologue

With her oracular talent, Elaida's a lunar figure and they usually have dark hair and eyes. Min and Egwene are also lunar.
John Massey
149. subwoofer
Yay! Hi Linda:) Despite what other folks say, we all love you over here:D Thanks for the info.

um... the Elaida...

@sr-eyecandy?! What? Me? No!... Just some examples of the mode of dress and er... hairstyles of that era. And I can't do fabric swatches online. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

-edit, sorry for the link- only way I could do the exact page...

Is it me or are the Aes Sedai sisters not far removed from Sisters? Er... in the get thee to a nunnery sense of the word. There is some individualism, but the surrendering and the servants of all thing(theoretically, if the sisters are not self-absorbed, power mongering, and actually concerned for others like back in the day) and floor to ceiling fully clothed bit could be construed as religious.

Tess Laird
150. thewindrose
Not to be nit-picky, but shouldn't Elaida be pictured wearing gray now;)

I also pictured her with dark brown hair, and very stern of face.

The Rand // Perrin show down. I know we hashed this out in a thread from a different age, the third age, or a age yet to come, but Perrin knows about the list! So where does he get the idea that Rand would let the AS ladies come to any real harm?? Now, even the new Rand, who can balefire forsaken ladies, I think he still will have a hard time with letting the Maidens come to harm, or the other women near him. What do you all think? I think he has had his epiphany on the mountain top, but still doesn't like women to be in harms way.


ps -Happy St. Patricks Day!!
John Massey
151. subwoofer
What? Oh yeah...I'm about as far removed from Irish as you can get, and there are not many snakes in Canada, but whatever, it's only one day a year. I'll eventually get forever when my world domination plan comes through...

Tess Laird
152. thewindrose
World domination via cute Siberian Husky puppies?

Rob Munnelly
153. RobMRobM
Wind - Perrin's concern is Rand handed them off to the Aiel Wise Women and he knew, from his olfactory sense, that they despised the AS for capturing Rand through stealth. He was not worried Rand would kill them but was that he wouldn't control what the WWs would do to them.

Tricia Irish
154. Tektonica
Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! I'm not Irish, but name is, and well, we all are today, right! Let the Guinness-ing begin!

Between *twitches*....and it's only Wednesday. Sigh.

*Need the Guinness* (Sorry, Sub)
Bonnie Andrews
155. misfortuona
Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Watch out for the leprechauns, and if anyone finds a pot-o-gold in the bunker it’s mine. Lost it last week. ;D

Mis-feeling Irish
Tina Pierce
156. scissorrunner
Pattingale @121
what if Rand killed Perrin?
oops - messes up a TON of stuff.

Mat is already skittish around Rand. He would disappear completely!! no more best buddies

Min's viewings re Rand needing both Mat & Perrin

might lose the support of the entire Two Rivers - Lord Perrin Goldeneyes is the current hometown favorite.

might lose the (?)support of the Borderlanders. killing the hubby of the queen's niece(?no book to check) can't be good for PR.

not to mention that Rand would probably go completely off the deep end & the DO would have a win-win.


Happy St Patty's all

thanks Insectoid, took forever to get those scissors right.....
Thomas Keith
157. insectoid
Top o' the mornin' to ya'll! 'Tis a fine day to be talkin' 'bout WoT!

Linda @148: Thanks for the info! I knew it must have been mentioned somewhere.

Sub @149: That's more like it! :)

Sub @151: LOL

Mis @155: L-l-l-l-leprechauns. Right. ;)

Linda Taglieri
158. Linda
@149 :) Thanks sub. Other folks?!

Yes, the Aes Sedai are based on Catholic convents at about the time of the 15th to 16th centuries, but also the Roman Catholic Church in general. Obvious ones are the Amyrlin being similar to the Pope in some respects, and the Great Schism.

These links are discussed as asides in the Aes Sedai Laws and Customs Admin and Society and Aes Sedai History articles on the 13th Depository.

The articles are long, BTW. I know you guys object to Walls o'Text, but these are topless towers by comparison! :D
Jennifer B
159. JennB
Morgase chapter: Her chapters are hard to read. I don't like how she treats her friends. I don't like the stupid decisions she makes and I don't like the horrible stuff that happens to her. I do think they are a necessary part of the plot. Unfortunatly, I have a hard time liking her because of the way she acts.

It is odd how she is intelligent and calculating when she is with Niall, but throws tantrums and sulks when she is with her friends. Once Niall is dead, intelligent and calculating Morgase is gone and all we see is tantrum throwing Morgase.

Perrin Chapter: Yuck. I love these books, but I dread this plotline. It's the only one I have issues with. There are good things in it, but you have to muck through so much crap to get to them. I think my main gripe is the Berelain/Perrin thing. If RJ had resolved the Berelain/Perrin thing sooner, I don't think it would be so unbearable. I agree with everyone who commented that this plotline needed some serious editing.

RobMRobM@48 I agree with you about Breane. I kind of always liked how she refused to take Morgase's crap. She is unsympathetic with Morgase's plight, but she probably only has a vague idea about the torture and rape. (I am sure that Morgase did not come in and announce what happened.) She has no idea Morgase was/is under compulsion and she has also watched her destroy the country she ruled and then willingly walk into enemy hands (dragging Lamgwin with her).

Amalisa@75 Wow, I wish I could remember details like that

Wetlandernw@76 Deari6@70
Rahvin wasn't interested in adding to his ranks of evil coconspirators. His main interest was claiming her throne. An evil Morgase would have opposed this ambition. He also wanted a beautiful sex toy, something that is much easier to gain through compulsion.

I totally agree about Perrin knowing Rand well enough to know he wouldn't hurt the Aes Sedai prisoners. This has always kind of bugged me, but since the arguement was staged its possible that Perrin was feigning concern.

That makes sense too.
160. ValMar

I find your attempt at subliminally attracting readers by the inclusion of words such as "topless" disgraceful...
The articles were very informative though, as usual. ;-)
Linda Taglieri
161. Linda
@160 Thanks Valmar

Funny you should say that. Somebody on wotmania once asked what was at the top of the topless towers of Cairhien. I suggested topless bathers.

There had to have been a really good reason to hike all the way up those really high towers!
Antoni Ivanov
162. tonka
@ 158 JennB and @thewindrose

I totally agree about Perrin knowing Rand well enough to know he wouldn't hurt the Aes Sedai prisoners. This has always kind of bugged me, but since the arguement was staged its possible that Perrin was feigning concern.

I don't know why it bugs you. That's a recurring theme in Wheel of Time. About how much the main characters (and especially Rand) change and how they don't know each other anymore (again especially Rand). In the beginning of the book Perrin is thinking about that and is unsure what he(Rand) will do with the Aes Sedai. Perrin says something like that he will protect them even from Rand.
Rob Munnelly
163. RobMRobM
@161. I like how Linda limits her posts here to the bare essentials. Sheer brilliance.
Tricia Irish
164. Tektonica

"bare essentials"....this thread is full of R rated innuendo! LOL.
Jack Diamond
165. violetdancer
Re: Morgase and Breane

I wonder if Breane's harshness is not because she doesn't sympathize but that she does. She too was a high-ranking noble in Cairhien and fell a long way. We aren't specifically told what happened to her before Lamgwin, but she behaves like a survivor. I think she knows exactly what happened to Morgase. Servants talk, even in Amador. And her If-I-can-get-over-it-so-can-you attitude seems to confirm that. Possibly by making her angry, Breane helps keep her sane and alive.
Matthew Smith
166. blocksmith
Robm^2 spooned two ah, lack of clothing references in one 14 word post. You are staying abreast of the subject matter in fine form.
Rob Munnelly
167. RobMRobM
Block - Like you, I prefer to stick to the unadorned truth at all times.
168. Divil The Bother
@146 Wetlandernw

Normally I'd agree with you but this is WoT where we're encouraged to question the assertions of the various Characters. How many times have people "known" things that turn out to be false?

Perhaps in randland a ruler who isn't corrupt, doesn't start unnecessary wars etc is viewed by the populace as a good ruler but that doesn't prove any particular competence or wisdom.

I think you do need to look past what characters think and say about someone and examine the objective evidence. On this basis there's very little to suggest a ruler of any great competence imho.
Rob Munnelly
169. RobMRobM
@165 - we can guess what happened to her. Fled Carhien before Shaido invasion. Headed to Andor and became a refugee. Ended up a Queen's Blessing and the rest is history.
Marcus W
170. toryx
violetdancer @ 165:

That's exactly what I think too. Breane has had to deal with a lot of the harsh reality that Morgase is only just encountering (and doesn't know about the things that Rahvin did to her mind). A part of it is that she understands exactly what is going on and is disgusted with Morgase for being so slow to realize how much her world has changed. Morgase still thinks she's a queen with all the honors and respect accorded to the station and it irks Breane to see it. Probably because part of it reminds her of how hard a time she had adjusting to the changes and part of it exactly as you say. "If-I-can-get-over-it-so-can-you."
Tess Laird
171. thewindrose
I have thought of a new game to while away the time until the new post arrives. I thought of this when I was looking for something else in one of the books.
Relate a sequence in any of the books that made you think - hells yes or all right. Doesn't have to be a significant plot point either.
From aCoS, The Butcher's Yard:
"The Wise Ones will take charge of the prisoners," Rand said at last and Sorilea suddenly smelled so satisfied that Perrin knuckled his nose vigorously.{...}Kiruna smelled of relief, but with one last glance at Bera, she drew herself up in stubborn certainty. "These Aiel women are quite worthy - some might have done well, had they come to the Tower - but you cannot simply hand Aes Sedai over to them. It is unthinkable! Bera Sedai and I will-"
{...}"Did you swear fealty to me?" Kiruna's eyes popped as though something had struck her in the pit of her stomach.{...}Bera moved her head uneasily, and he turned his attention back to her and Kiruna. "You swore fealty, and I trust that." He held up his hand, thumb and forefinger nearly touching to show how far. "Aes Sedai always know better than anyboy else, or so they think. So I trust you will do what I say, but you won't so much as take a bath without my permission. Or a Wise One's."

I do like this whole scene. And how the Wise Ones handle this. Remember as we go along further into the story, Kiruna does learn a great many things from the Wise Ones, lessons that she needed to learn - and she herself realizes this. In tPoD, chapter 12:
Stiffly, Kiruna set her burden down, avoiding Cadsuane's eyes. As she turned to go, Sorilea caught her chin in sinewy fingers. "You have begun to make a true effort, girl," the Wise One told her firmly. "If you continue, you will do very well. Very well. Now, go. Chaelin is not as patient as I."
Sorilea waved toward the corridor, but Kiruna stood staring at her for a long moment, a strange expression on her face. If Cadsuane had had to wager, she would have called Kiruna pleased at the praise and surprised at being pleased.{..}Sorilea shrugged. "Perhaps. Learning a second way is hard enough without all the hand-waving you Aes Sedai do. The main thing Kiruna Nachiman must learn is that she owns her pride; it does not own her. She will be a very strong woman once she learns that,"

First off, I like the smack down that high handed Kiruna gets. But it only gets better. So, yes she gets knocked off her high horse, and I do find that enjoyable(many people in RL need that). But RJ doesn't stop there. He goes on to correct this behavior, which I just love. Great secondary character development.

James Jones
172. jamesedjones
171 thewindrose

Re: New Game

My moment would be when Logain shares his story about seeing Rand in Caemlyn, after Nyneave Heals him. I had to put the book down, and go find my beat-up copy of tEotW. It was awesome to get another character's perspective of a very powerful event.

The first time through, I simply thought of him as a very arrogant and dangerous man showing that he still had pride and spirit in defeat. This new revelation truly opened the window to a new view of the character; one that had been shuttered save for a few offered glimpses and peeks during their journey from Tar Valon to Salidar.

Before this, though, I had simply thought that RJ was taking him down the road of change and growth through trials and hardship. It never occurred to me that there might be a good guy behind the history until this point.
Rob Munnelly
173. RobMRobM
Mine is Tuon's Lion on the high plains internal monologue about Mat during the As if the World Were Fog chapter of KoD. She thought back to when Mat was Tylin's Toy but realized that while a lion confined in a horse staff would look ridiculous, putting that same lion out in the open plains would be fearsome. She began to understand that she hadn't quite realized what was going on with the man to whom she had attached herself. Beautiful piece of writing by RJ.
John Massey
174. subwoofer
Mine is Berelain and Faile's almost cat fight scene in the halls of Tear. Pity that Rhuarc had to break that up.

The other scene was when Perrin was frothing at the mouth to get Faile back and was all worked up and he tells this to Gaul and Gaul scratches his head and tells Perrin that Faile is out of diapers... priceless.

175. Denari6
Rand to Taim and his Ashaman:

"break them"

2 parts of the ending of Knife of Dreams

Matrim Cauthon is my Husband
Matrim Cauthon is my Husband
Bloody Matrim Cauthon is my Husband
Mat looked like a man with arrow coming right for his head and unable to move
Blood and bloody Asshes

(paraphrased of course I am at work)
At the end of the cavalry charge on the Band where Musenge informs Mat that he is now prince of the ravens...


boat scene where nynaeve is reunited with Lan and breaks her block. I remember saying outloud during my first reading, "about friggin time"

(there is a hopeless romantic that I have to mute to a mild buzz in my head...kinda like Rand and LT)

I am sane I swear~
Alice Arneson
176. Wetlandernw
DivilTheBother @168 - Yes, it's been pointed out many times that what a character believes to be true "ain't necessarily so." It's been proven so many times, especially in regard to history. I would submit that this is a different case; Morgase has been ruling for about 25 years, give or take a few, and she has a reputation before the world in general of being a good queen. A ruler's reputation among her people is more than hearsay or possibly-mistaken facts; these people have lived under her rule and they, in general, love her and are loyal to her. I don't see how that can be "false assertions." I grant that by comparison to, say, the last few Cairhienin kings, almost anyone would be "good," but these people are NOT Cairhienin and have never lived under that kind of rule.

I think you need to look past the limited "screen time" Morgase has had, in which we only see her mistakes, and look at the reputation she has before her people. She is seen as a strong woman with a fiery temper who loves and cares for her people well. The Andoran people, as I see them, are not so subservient that they would be fiercely loyal to "anyone who isn't corrupt..." We're told about a couple of episodes scattered over that 25-year reign, and then we see her under strong Compulsion by Rahvin. I don't think those events can reasonably outweigh the loyalty of her people and her reputation among them in determining her competence and wisdom. I also don't think that you can use as argument the attitude of those who were a) abused by her at Rahvin's orders or b) those nobles who have always been envious since she won the Succession all those years ago - especially when their attitudes have recently been amplified by Rahvin's manipulation.
James Jones
177. jamesedjones
176 Wetlandernw

Still... we don't see many brilliant leaders in Randland - military genius notwithstanding, aside from our intrepid, young heroes (and, yes, I'm including Elayne in that pile). Having a sitting monarch, with a glowing reputation from the very beginning of the series, be displayed as she makes one bad decision after another, kinda dulls that initial perception.

My own very humble opinion is leaning towards the idea that the leaders that are most loved during their time, are the one's that don't do much. History looks back on their achievements with a, "meh". But the people love them for staying out of their lives when the fan is free of waste deposits. Morgase earned her reputation by winning the throne and providing an heir (both with the help of Thom. lol).
Thomas Keith
178. insectoid
ValMar @160, RobM² @163, et al: LOL!

179. ValMar
Yeah, all these towers in WOT... Whether White, Black, Topless, or otherwise, they are many and huge! Ahem, this is turning into a Carry on!

I think you are spot on! Mind you, I am not saying that Morgase was a bad queen. I think she did especially well early in her reign to get things stable. She was helped by Thom at the time.
In fact, Wet, if you are looking for a proof that Morgase was a good queen, you need not look further than Thom's opinion of her, IIRC.
Marcus W
180. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 176:

I'm of mixed feelings on the topic of Morgase's abilities as ruler. I agree that with her, it's a different case from the standard unreliable narrators. We have a much larger consensus, and it's often voiced by people we trust: Gareth Bryne, Thom, even Moiraine may have said something along those lines in the past.

On the other hand, our first introduction to Morgase and her "popularity" is when the city is near to an uprising against her. It was only by the luck of the draw that Rand grabbed the cord that supported her and he almost regretted buying it because it put him among the minority.

Later on when the uprising did occur, Rahvin took advantage of it to ingratiate himself with Morgase by being one of the first to act in support of her. It could be argued that Rahvin actually initiated the uprising in the first place but that doesn't explain the large crowds against her in tEotW.

My honest opinion on this is to suspect that Morgase isn't so much a good ruler as much as fortunate to have had really good advisors. I suspect that Elaida's advice (particularly as part of advice coming from the Tower as a whole) was probably pretty valuable, and there's no question that Thom and Gareth Bryne aided her effectively as well. The problem is (and the reason I'm inclined to feel this way) that she is so quick to act with anger that leads to irrational actions. The way she drove off Thom is a perfect example of this, though I know that some people don't agree with me there.

Ultimately, we're told repeatedly that Morgase is a good, respected Queen and her people love her. But the example of her rule often seems flightly, irresponsible and rash. I can't help but think that her natural inclination to act that way was usually tempered by those around her.

And that irritates the heck out of me. Morgase shouldn't need the stabilizing effect of men to keep her from losing her cool. Maybe that isn't the way RJ intended it to be read, but that's the way it's come across to me from my very first reads. So ultimately, I really dislike the way in which RJ developed and illustrated her character. Which leads me and perhaps others, I think, to transfer our dislike to Morgase herself which is pretty unfair.

Anyway, that's how I see it.
181. Denari6
Toryx 176

Isn't it strange that with Rand it is the women ie wise ones, aes sedai etc that try so hard to calm Rands temper while the majority of the men proclaim "just say as you command my lord dragon," (notable exception to Bashere imo),and drive on. The comparason might be just in my head but there does seem to be an irony that Morgase needed men and Rands needs women to give them an even keel and maintain temper control.

my 2 bits
Sydo Zandstra
182. Fiddler
Re: Elaida's hair colour

I probably got stuck with the idea of Elaida being blonde, because I found a Movie casting of Glenn Close playing her from Way Back Then so fitting (Fatal Attraction, anyone?) Light brown indeed. Oh well... :)

I found several online references on Leane: 'Coppery skin and short, dark hair'. No books available atm though.

Sorry about your dreams :(
Marcus W
183. toryx
Denari6 @ 181:

This is one of the larger themes of the books, I think. Men need women and women need men. It crops up over and over again.

It's actually a philosophy of the novels that bothers me. I don't believe that a woman is half a person without a man, or vice versa. I prefer the concept that men and women can be whole people unto themselves and that when strong relationships form they form two complete personages in union rather than one whole.

But that's not really to do with the books. Sorry 'bout that. Next thing I know, I'll get into an argument akin to nor3's evil discussion on the Open Thread. Yikes! Angels and ministers of grace, defend us.
Alice Arneson
184. Wetlandernw
I'm not trying to say that Morgase is the greatest ruler ever; I'm just saying that the limited screen time she got pre-Rahvin is not enough to define her full character when weighed against her reputation among her people. If that reputation was earned by following the wise counsel of her advisors, is that not wisdom in itself? OTOH, the first time we met her, she listened to her advisors, then made her own decision based on their input and her own experience. (Good thing, too, or the Dragon Reborn would probably have died or been made Elaida's prisoner in Caemlyn half-way through the first book.)

No, a wise ruler - especially one who comes to the throne at 18 - surrounds herself with good advisors, and she had some very good ones. (Well, as long as the advice in question didn't have anything to do with Elaida's Foretellings, which she notoriously misinterprets...) I don't think that makes her incompetent.
Antoni Ivanov
185. tonka
Regarding Morgase you seemed to forget (or chose to ignore) that the first time we meet Morgase is when she pardons Rand in the first book. Some nobles would behead him (especially some from Tear or Cairhien) what is one commoner more or less. Most would throw him in the dungeon. But she chose to be just and release him. I was very much impressed by Morgase in this scene. Actually that is one of my favourite scenes in the books (which is also an answer to the poll/question about monent that make me most impression. )
Marcus W
186. toryx
wetlandernw @ 184:

No, a wise ruler - especially one who comes to the throne at 18 - surrounds herself with good advisors, and she had some very good ones.

I completely agree. That's actually the crux of my indecision when it comes to Morgase. I think it's brilliant for any ruler to find brilliant advisors and listen to them. So I think that's very much a point in her favor.

What bothers me are the occasional comments about how she can get when she isn't listening to her advisors. The dependency on them to be rational (my own personal take on it that might not be at all valid) is what bothers me, both on a personal and subjective level.

tonka @ 185:

Yeah, but she also had her daughter and son right there and you KNOW Elayne would have thrown a holy fit if Morgase had arrested Rand on the spot. I kind of wonder how often Morgase kinda sighs inwardly when Elayne is involved and makes a decision in her daughter's favor to avoid the drama.

I also think that this was an example of Rand's ta'veren-ness at work, but that's purely my opinion.

I admit that I'm highly biased: The Trakand family as a whole irritate me more than anyone (Morgase, Elayne and Gawyn).
James Jones
187. jamesedjones
184 Wetlandernw
OTOH, the first time we met her, she listened to her advisors, then made her own decision based on their input and her own experience.
Nah. That was just taveren twisting of the pattern. :P

Edit: toryx got there first. Gotta read these other posts before I comment. :)
Karen Fox
189. thepupxpert
jamesjones@172 new game - in the interim between posts I decided to go back and re-read TEOTW and I found a scene where Rand and Mat are outside in the shadows watching the innkeeper talking to the farmer that gave them a lift to Camelyn. This was after the innkeeper had spoken to the fade and the farmer saw that. The farmer makes a comment about the type of company the innkeeper keeps, and the innkeeper starts to respond to the farmer and and suddenly his mouth just clicked shut, and he shook his read and walked back into the inn.

That was an "ooh" moment for me because I thought Darkfriends are bound by oaths like the AS "I will tell no lie" oath - and even if they wanted to speak about something or confess something, they wouldn't be able to, they were physically barred from making the admission. Didn't catch that the first three times around! Not until after reading all these posts.
Sydo Zandstra
190. Fiddler
@188: I disagree. :P

Berelain is not somebody who I think gets benefit (or needs to get benefit) from the size of her boobs. She's hot as of Randland standards. I think most of her charming effect in the story comes from her figure as a whole, and her wit applied to charming men (although that last may depend on the eye of the beholder/reader). (that pic seems more like a juvenile or nerd artist's dream of her)

Put blonde hair (or red for subwoofer) on that pic, along with a load of necklaces, and you have Sevannah...

(I do appreciate you putting up that pic though, sub. ;) :D )
Jennifer B
191. JennB
I don't really have an opinion on Morgase's ability as a ruler, but I just wanted to point out (and I hope I am remembering correctly) that the white cord people were against Morgase because of her support of the white tower and having Elaida as an advisor.

Also I believe that Rand's choice of the red cord (because it was the less expensive of the two) was ta'veren luck. Otherwise he would have been kicked out of the Queen's Blessing, possibly violently...not to mention what could have happened when he fell into the palace garden.

"you KNOW Elayne would have thrown a holy fit if Morgase had arrested Rand on the spot"

Good for Elayne to fight for what she knows is right.
Karen Fox
192. thepupxpert
Fiddler @ 188 - I respectfully disagree, every time we have a description of Berelain, she is jiggling one way or another, wearing dresses that are so tight she might not have bothered, etc. etc. I think it was a very good likeness! The girl in the picture looks like she could kick Faile's a$$. It isn't always about the boobs.
193. Tamcat
This is only my second time posting. I enjoy the re-reads and the comments, but I'm usually too late to post my own comments. Today is a different story though, because I'm at work and I recently found out that many of the folks I work with will be laid off. While I normally work at work, today I feel like who cares.

So,the scene I'm waiting for is when Elayne and Faile meet after Elayne finds out her mother has been Faile's servant. I'm not so sure that Elayne will feel like Faile helped save her, actually I'm hoping for a cat fight and someone to take Faile down a few pegs because I can't stand her, what was Perrin thinking.
Steven Pattingale
194. Pattingale
@ 190, 192

Is a discussion of Berelain's assets a sign that it's Thursday? *twitch*

Not that I mind, mind you... Jordan never hesitated to describe bosom size.
John Massey
195. subwoofer
Wow, I can't believe we're going here... to where I live, but oki doki, let 'er rip. That's the way the flames are going soooo. Conversation reminds me of a clip I shared with Blind a bit ago...

Incidentally, thank you Linda, for those links, wall-O text was an understatement. Several hours of continuous reading more like. Good stuff. Notice you did not include the Black Ajah in any of the founding of the Tower. After reading what was there I think I am more and more leaning towards the Jedi ajah. More my color and style.

Interesting that there is no ajah dedicated towards the preachings and teachings of the Creator. For me, in a Nunnery/Sisterhood thingy, it is all about the word of God and serving those in need. For the ajahs, servants of all, there is no ajah dedicated to the worship of the Creator. Perhaps a pink ajah is called for. I dunno, just sayin'.

196. Freelancer

The same thought bothered me for some time when initially reading the books. Everyone talks about the Light, but there are no churches, no designated places of worship, no specified times for testimonials of faith, and mostly, no Aes Sedai declaring the Creator's will. They don't mind telling others what to do, but they never preach anything related to The Great Unseen? Hard to believe.

The anwer to all of that is that within the WoT world, there are certain realities which are universally understood, including the existence and historical activity of the Creator. If nobody questions the dogma, there is no need for a church.

I have mixed feelings about this, myself. As a literary device to evade religion as a topic naturally fraught with contention, it is clever, smart, and leaves the author free to proceed with the story he cares about. On the other hand, suspension of disbelief clashes strongly against knowing that there is nothing under the sun about which ALL people will share their assent.

Mat and Tuon are perfect examples. The things Mat knows from personal experience or acquired memory are treated as fairy stories by Tuon, while she lives her life bound to inane interpretations of "omens" as mystical indicators of future events.

In WoT, everybody, including darkfriends, believes that the Creator bound the dark one in prison at the moment of creation. The upshot is, there's nothing comparable in real life experience, where absolutely universal agreement exists about a fact, much less a faith. And I use that term loosely, for while the people accept that the things taught to them are true, they have no basis on which to hang that belief other than the word of another human.

And, I'll check myself before Sunday School mode engages...
Sandy Brewer
197. ShaggyBella
I think Morgase passed on a very good political education to Elayne. When Elayne visited the small manor houses with Aviendha, explaining how it did not make any difference in Caemlyn, but it "may make all the difference after I win. Most Queens in our history spent the first years of their rule gathering the people solidly behind them...and some never did, but harder times than these are coming. I may not have one year before I need every Andoran to stand behind me." Also Elayne gratefully accepted the pitiful soldiers that returned with her, and when Birgitte complained about them, she said "They aren't here to fight" (but to show the House's support for Trakand.)

Elayne knows what the people need and that appearances are very important. She did not offend the small houses by offering them rewards for support. (the smaller the house, the larger the pride) She must have watched how her mother dealt with her better days.
James Jones
198. jamesedjones
193 Tamcat

Sorry to hear that. I hope, and I'm sure everyone will agree, that you were not one of the ones laid off.
Sam Mickel
199. Samadai
So here is another attempt at fiction fiction.

as he stepped back through the gateway
Jay Dauro
200. J.Dauro
Samadai @199

I like it, hinting like that. Not too much action, a thinking man's story. ;^)
craig thrift
201. gagecreedlives
Gee Sam how many loony theories are there gonna be now about who stepped through the gateway. Or is it suppose to be "intuitively obvious" even to the casual reader
Tina Pierce
202. scissorrunner
jamesjones@172 new game(love the idea BTW)
I just finished tGH. Best moment in that book for me is when Mat blows the Horn…….

….Mat had lowered the Horn, eyes wise with awe, but the sound of it still rang in Rand’s ears…….Down the billowing fog, as if it were the side of a mountain, rode shapes on horses. At first the dense mists hid more than that, but slowly they came closer, and it was Rand’s turn to gasp. He knew them Men, not all in armor, and women. Their clothes and their weapons came from every Age, but he knew them all…… He knew the man who rode at their head, too. Tall and hook-nosed, with dark, deep-set eyes, his great sword Justice at his side. Artur Hawkwing……..Rand shook his head….. “Invaders have come, men who call themselves Seanchan, who use chained Aes Sedai in battle. They must be driven back into the sea. Ans-and there is a girl. Egwene al’Vere. A novice from the White Tower. The Seanchan have her prisoner. You must help me free her.”
To his surprise, several of the small host behind Artur Hawkwing chuckled, and Birgitte, testing her bowstring, laughed. “You always choose women who cause you trouble, Lews Therin.” It had a fond sound, as between old friends.

still makes me feel "wow", and the humor gives a bit of breathing room in the middle of all the pre-battle tension.
Alice Arneson
203. Wetlandernw
Of course it's obvious. It was somebody who could make a gateway, or had a friend who could make a gateway, or stumbled across someone who could make a gateway, or was able to coerce someone into making them a gateway, or had a ter'angreal that makes gateways, or found a gateway that was always open. Or he just went through the gateway from the farmyard to the meadow.. Q.E.D. The big question is what really happened on the other side of the gateway.
Tina Pierce
204. scissorrunner
Tamcat - just saw your post.
hope you are still working Monday.....
craig thrift
205. gagecreedlives

Oh I see. It is obvious once you explain it like that. I figured once they saw what was on the other side of the gateway they went home. Curiosity satisfied.

Like the time I climbed a glass wall
Linda Taglieri
206. Linda
@195 subwoofer

I do mention in the Trolloc Wars section of Aes Sedai history that it was supposedly founded at that time by Ishamael. That's why it's not described in the really early sections.

(The Black Ajah also has its own article since it's an important and large subject in its own right.)
Tina Pierce
207. scissorrunner
Linda - LOVE the 13th D!!! what a treasure!

regarding the Black Ajah's hand gesture:

The woman held her hands at her sides, but with thumbs thrust hard between the first two fingers.
- Lord of Chaos, To Heal Again

in American Sign Language, that is the sign for the letter "T".
when the hand in this shape is shaken it represents "t for toilet", as in "I gotta go"

does this mean that the BA was founded in, or meets in, or just belongs in the toilet????

of course, you know I intend no offense to those who use ASL in any way :)
Linda Taglieri
208. Linda
@207 scissorperson ;) Thanks!


I looked at all the hand gestures for and against evil here.

The BA gesture seems to be the 'fig' gesture, which is usually regarded as rude. The Seanchan definitely use the 'horn' or 'corna' gesture to ward off evil.
Thomas Keith
209. insectoid
Sub @195: ::watches clip:: BAHAHAhahaha!!

Sam @199: You're so bad. ;)

Wet @203: LOL

Scissor @207:
does this mean that the BA was founded in, or meets in, or just belongs in the toilet????
If by that you mean the Giant Fiery Toilet, then YES! ;D

Linda @208: Very informative! Makes complete sense now.

And yes, it's Thursday. *twitch*

Janet Hopkins
210. JanDSedai
Well, it is Friday on the east coast, so we only have about 12 hours to wait...

Sam- loved the story!

211. spacechampion
"Innnnnput, we wants it, preciouss."

Johnny 5 is Gollum? You know, that kind of makes sense.
John Massey
212. subwoofer
Alrighty then... its the 11th hour and I am sitting here at ground zero. Once again, thank you Linda:) You managed to spark another hours long reading session. Holy schnike! The price of failure in the BA is really not pleasant. A person has to have a real fear of death to join the Shadow. And why on God's green earth would anybody want to honk off Ishy? Such a bad idea. So we didn't find out what happens to Falion yet?

@Free, yes I'll call it a sidestep too. Great everybody is on the same page in Randland, but I would think that the odd person would be so happy about the Creator that they want to shout it from the roof tops and maybe share with others. Meh. It is what it is. I was just thinking that on an organizational level where sisters are comparable with Sisters IRL, then why isn't a part there for the Light alone?

And on another note, some Whites have to be using flawed logic to become BA. I just don't see the transition to "at some point the DO will win". And the DO must win within their lifetime. Do these BA have a tip off or am I missing something?

213. Divil The Bother
Wetlandernw, valmer, Jamesdjones, Toryx, Tonka, Shaggybella

Re Morgase: I enjoyed reading all your views on Morgase's abilities as a ruler. Some great points and all articulated a lot better than my original post.

I agree, though, that the one thing that makes me doubt my views on this is the opinions that Thom, Bryne etc have about her. I'm not sure of the specifics but a man like Bryne would be fiercely loyal to the throne in a patriotic sense but this doesn't necessarily mean that he views the ruler as anything out of the ordinary. Could Thom's views be based on the fact that, as wetlandernw said, she took his advice and that of others on most occasions and perhaps be clouded a little by love?

What does seem to come across aswell is that when she falls out with these advisors, the consequences for them seem to be extreme - which surely can't be conducive to getting the best people to fill the vacancies!

I just think there's something about her accepted status as a great queen that doesn't sit well with me. Jordan has encouraged questionning the accepted beliefs all the way through the series and that's why I've enjoyed reading all the posts to date and now feel privelidged to be part of the discussions.

Anyway roll on the next post.
214. alreadymadwithblacks
sub, by associating with the Dark One they are helping his goals along and making sure he wins in their lifetime. Then they get rewarded. I'm sure they are led to believe that even if they get killed in the service of the Dark One, the Lord of the Grave will still have the power to reward them when his victory is complete.
215. ValMar
The sign with the thumb between the first two fingers means something altogether different in some European countries... If the middle finger is saidin, the thumb b/w fingers is saidar. Aaanyway.

Good point on how Thom, Bryne, might be a bit biased. On the whole I think Morgase was a good (not great) ruler. She was blessed with uneventful reign (most of it), strong and content nation, and excellent advisors.
We may only be able to judge if she is capable of being great if she was appropriately tested. I think she hasn't been.
John Massey
216. subwoofer
Hmmmmmm-then there must be a disconnect between logic and towering egos. Those Whites are making the leap that with their help as opposed to all the Forsaken and everyone else, the DO will succeed. Meh.

Anyways... just lying here... waiting for Leigh to come along with a new post and maybe say we are going back to two a week... Perhaps I will take up howling...

Marcus W
217. toryx
JennB @ 191:

Also I believe that Rand's choice of the red cord (because it was the less expensive of the two) was ta'veren luck.

Agreed. The only reason I brought up the cord was because the more expensive one was also the more commonly worn, showing that for all the talk of how much the people loved Morgase, there sure were a lot of them protesting against her. You're right too, though, that it was due to her relationship with the White Tower. Which is interesting when you consider how her opinion shifted on the AS as well.

Good for Elayne to fight for what she knows is right.

Also agreed. I really liked Elayne when we first met her.

Freelancer @ 196:

I've felt the same way about the odd lack of organized religion. On the one hand it's very handy both for the writer and the reader not to have to deal with issues of religious doctrine all the time. But at the same time, when so many other elements of Randland are clearly borrowed from historical and factual societies, the absense of worship kind of stands out.

I think that ultimately the books are probably better for it. But the absense does sometimes catch my attention.
Rob Munnelly
218. RobMRobM
Hold on everyone. Keep in mind that the troubles faced by Morgase in EoTW were caused by an all out, Whitecloak insurgency that involved both a public Whitecloak presence and a lot of undercover Whitecloaks causing trouble. That would have caused trouble for any Randland ruler, irrespective of how competent.

Beyond that we have no data whatsoever to suggest that Morgase was anything but the highly competent ruler everyone says she was throughout the series. Conversely, we know virtually all the 19 houses were strong supporters, up until the point that Rahvin compelled her to punish her longtime supporters and drive them away. We also know from the books she is very good at stones, which we are told correlates with ruler abilities. We see how well Elayne was trained by her mother, which again shows strong understanding of her craft. And the Queen's Guards that finally make it back to Camelyn from service in the hinterlands are all fanatically loyal to Morgase's daughter and highly competent, again suggesting a ruler who knew what she was about. Her only flaw I can see from the books during her time as Queen is temper against those she loves when she feels betrayed by them.

I'm open to other arguments but the suggestions that she is a barely competent ruler propped up by competent folk around her is unsupported by text as far as I can see. Rob
Barry T
219. blindillusion
While it's true that Morgase was pretty pissed at the Aes Sedai when she went to see Elayne, only to find her absent (pissed enough to leave Elaida), her true turn occurred as a result of "Gaebril".

Even in the midst of - one of the worst series of tortures/rapes it's ever been my horror to read - being under Rahvin's control, she still thought fondly of Aes Sedai...well, individuals.

I cannot recall her current feelings towards Aes Sedai though. It's painful to be witness to that woman’s thoughts.

edit: Wonder if it was a mistake to post this at 219...when I stopped reading all the posts at 109 - sorry guys...busy week - ? Oh well, I'll get called on it if it was a mistake. Happy posting Ladies and Gents. New Post today. Whoop. Whoop.

Heh, only my second post on this Thread. Inconceivable! =)
craig thrift
220. gagecreedlives
Also I believe that Rand's choice of the red cord (because it was the less expensive of the two) was ta'veren luck.

I read that and got a sudden vision of Laurence Fishburne working a stall in Camelyn.

As for the lack of organised worship in Randland there is a distinct lack for the creator but isnt Paitr and his mate arrested in Amador whilst performing a darkfriend ceremony?

And on more news completely unrelated to WoT or Tor, I just found out Platinum Dunes is remaking the Monster Squad. Sigh another part of my childhood just died.
Barry T
221. blindillusion're kidding right? That's sacrilege.
craig thrift
222. gagecreedlives
No my friend I am not.

The producers are still apparently looking for writers so hopefully there is still time for this to fall through.
John Massey
223. subwoofer
Well- "Wolfman has nards!" will never be the same. Paramount and Micheal Bay have a hold of this now and will not let go. Apparently the same team is doing Fright Night and another Ghostbusters. Bill Murray is rolling over in his grave.

craig thrift
225. gagecreedlives
I swear Mr Bay has a checklist of my treasured childhood TV/movies and is working his way through it on a mission to destroy my soul.

Sub I vote for you as the man to stop this. So go forth and start with the stoppage. Please

What time does the post normally appear? Its getting late and Im talking even more rubbish then normal
226. Divil The Bother
218 Rob

I think I have to disagree with you that there is no evidence that she wasn't a great leader. My problem with her is that the only examples we have of her suggest that she has significant flaws that would mitigate against her being a good queen. These are referred to in previous posts.

Other than the support of the likes of Bryne, Thom etc who have walked the walk and so earned our respect (and who's views should not I agree be taken lightly) there's no real evidence of any great competence or strength.

As to how she trained Elayne - uurrggghh. My view on all that was it was just a series of patronising and fairly obvious platitudes - don't annoy the housekeeper, give the first clerk his power, smaller the house bigger the pride yada yada yada.... Sorry I'm not a big Elayne fan either so those smug and patronising povs really bug me.

Good at stones - yes. I'm not saying she doesn't have the intellect or political sophistication to be a good ruler, just that her behaviour at times is too rash, reckless and personally motivated to allow her to be classed as a great queen.
James Jones
227. jamesedjones
226 & 218

Good at Stones translates to being a good ruler in Randland. That's pretty much gospel according to the Creator.

Of course, IRL nothing from his history indicates that Bobby Fischer would be a good ruler, or even tactician. But he will own you in chess. ;)
Karen Fox
228. thepupxpert
Sam @199 your story disappeared before I had a chance to read it, there are a few "holes" there...
Karen Jacobs
229. KJacobs
I don't know how many will read this given all the activity on post 17, but it really relates to this thread more than the other, so here goes....

I was re-reading Moiraine's farewell letter to Rand, and she has this to say about Morgase:

"...she was willful and stubborn, with the temper of a lioness at times, but for all that a true, good and gracious queen..."

There really isn't any reason for Moiraine to have made Morgase seem a better ruler than she was, and in fact, she couldn't have written it if she didn't believe it due to the three oaths (I know, just because she believes it, doesn't make it true, but even so...). So, even if Thom's or Gareth's opinions of her were colored by their personal feelings for her, I think Moiraine's opinion can be trusted as objective (I really don't think relationship with Taringail would have any influence on Moiraine one way or another).

Anyway, that's all I've got --- it is a beautiful sunny Saturday, so I'm going out to enjoy it while it lasts! :)
230. TonyGiacomo
This may be really dumb and I please tell me if this is explained somewhere...
When did Rand get Blue Eyes? I thought he had gray eyes, but this is the second post where he is described with cold blue eyes (the other being when Perrin says he won't let Rand hurt the AS captured at Dumai's Wells). Is this an LTT leak-thru or did I just miss something?

(Yes I know this thread is a year old, but I'm just catching up before ToM)
Antoni Ivanov
231. tonka
Rand has gray or blue (interchanging) eyes. You can say that from some angle they seem blue from other gray. But he is often described as having blue-gray eyes.
Tricia Irish
232. Tektonica
tonka@231 to Tony@230:

I concur. I have blue/gray eyes. Depending on what color I'm wearing and the light outside, they can appear either gray or quite blue. (Weird, I know.) So I think either could probably describe Rand's eyes. When he's in one of his red jackets in the sunlight, his eyes are probably quite blue.
James Hogan
233. Sonofthunder
Just have to echo Tek here, because I have blue/grey eyes as well! I always wished my eyes were more blue...but alas, they usually look a muddled mess of greyish-blue.

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