Mar 19 2010 12:53pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 17

Hey, kids. Welcome to another Wheel of Time Re-read post.

Today’s entry covers Chapters 28 and 29 of A Crown of Swords, in which A Thing happens, and we Talk About It.


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.

Also, please note: this post is going to be discussing a sensitive and controversial topic which tends to get people riled up and emotional. Given that, I ask that everyone exercise your usual respect and restraint in the comments. There are some subjects I will tolerate people being jerks about; this is not one of them.

So, having been duly warned, click on if you dare. Buckle your seatbelts, kids; it’s going to be a bumpy post.

Chapter 28: Bread and Cheese


What Happens
Mat knows he is in trouble from the moment he moves into the Tarasin Palace, but he wanted to know why the dice had stopped; it is not long before he regrets his curiosity. After Nynaeve and Elayne leave his rooms, Mat goes to tell his men the news that they are moving (after he recovers from his hangover). To his disgust, all the others are enthusiastic about the notion, even Vanin, who mutters about nobles but thinks it will be good to see “the Lady Elayne” again; Mat sourly reflects that Elayne had ruined a good man. Vanin asks if Mat wants him to keep watching Carridin, and Mat tells him he might as well. Mistress Anan is gone when Mat goes to settle the bill, but the cook, Enid, warns him darkly about “squeezing too many melons”, lest he find a rotten one; Mat has no idea what she’s talking about, but agrees so she won’t hit him with her spoon. When they all move in, Mat is momentarily distracted by how luxurious his rooms are, but soon goes back to worrying about why the dice had stopped.

Curiosity. He had heard a saying on several women’s lips back home, usually when he had done something that looked fun at the time. “Men teach cats curiosity, but cats keep sense for themselves.”

“I’m no bloody cat,” he muttered, stalking out of the bedchamber into the sitting room. He just had to know; that was all.

“Of course you’re not a cat,” Tylin said. “You’re a succulent little duckling, is what you are.”

Mat jumps, and sweeps her a bow and tries to leave, but she advances on him, pushes him down into a chair, and sits on his lap. Mat tries to fend her off without actually dumping her on the floor, but she just laughs and keeps kissing and groping him until Thom and Juilin knock on the door, whereupon she jumps up and steps away. Thom enters and, seeing Tylin, begins to make excuses to leave, but Mat hurriedly entreats them both to stay; he starts to stand until he realizes that Tylin had somehow undone his breeches. Tylin says she looks forward to having a ta’veren where she can “reach out and touch him at will”, and leaves. Thom is amused, commenting that Mat is lucky to be welcomed “with open arms” by the Queen herself, but then goes on to tell him that Elayne and Nynaeve are still not back. Mat curses that they are already going back on their agreement, and explains about the promises they had made to him; Juilin and Thom in turn explain to him about the Power-wrought disguises the girls have been using, which explains a great deal to Mat. After they leave, Mat goes to check on Olver, who is being fawned over by three serving women (Mat disgustedly notes there are no serving women fawning over him), and worries until Elayne and Nynaeve finally show up. He asks flatly where they’ve been, and they brightly tell him they were visiting with some friends of his former innkeeper’s. Mat thinks this is obviously a complete lie, and informs them that he has his men on a rotating schedule to guard them at all times, expecting them to bargain him down.

“Why, bodyguards are a wonderful idea, Mat,” Elayne exclaimed, her cheek dimpling in a smile. “I suppose you were right about that. It’s very smart of you to have your men already to a schedule.”

“It is a wonderful notion,” Nynaeve said, nodding enthusiastically, “Very smart of you, Mat.”

Thom dropped the knife with a muffled curse and sat sucking on a nicked finger, staring at the women.

Mat sighed. Trouble; he had known it.

They tell him to forget about the Rahad for now, which is how Mat ends up drinking horrible tea with Nalesean, Thom and Juilin in a cheap tavern across from a dilapidated house. Nalesean wants to know why they’re here again, and Mat informs him irritably that he, Mat, is “being ta’veren”. He reflects that Elayne and Nynaeve may have made it sound like they were asking, but he had been ordered here, and wonders aloud why he’s on this side of the river if the “pig-kissing” Bowl is in the Rahad. Thom is more interested in why the women asked so many questions about Setalle Anan, and what she and these women in the house have to do with the Bowl. Mat has noted that quite a lot of women go in and out of the house, some with the red belt of a Wise Woman; he’d considered following some of them, but decided it felt too planned.

He did not know how ta’veren worked—he had never really seen any sign of it in himself—but his luck was always best when everything was random. Like with dice. Most of those little iron tavern puzzles eluded him, however lucky he felt.

He tries going over the garden wall of the house, but nothing happens. At length they return to the palace, where Mat finds a note from Tylin saying that she expects her “little rabbit” for dinner in her apartments. Mat locks his door, and tosses and turns with an empty stomach all night; at one point someone rattles the lock, and laughs before leaving. The next morning, he goes to bribe a manservant into moving Olver’s bed into the outer room of his apartments, and grimaces at the man’s knowing smile, but reflects that at least Elayne and Nynaeve did not seem to know. They entreat him politely to be more gracious toward the Queen (Nynaeve choking down insults to do so), and meekly show him the disguises they intend to use to watch Carridin that day. They make no objection to Vanin coming along, either, and generally make Mat so nervous that he’s glad to see them go. Vanin had noted a white-haired old man watching Carridin’s palace the day before too, and Mat sends Thom and Juilin to find out what they can about him. He spends two more days in the horrible tavern watching the house; to his surprise, Birgitte accompanies them. Even more to his surprise, she is becoming a friend.

Normally, to him, women were to admire and smile at, to dance with and kiss if they would allow, to snuggle with if he was lucky. Deciding which women to chase was almost as much fun as chasing them, if not nearly so much as catching them. Some women were just friends, of course. A few. Egwene, for one, though he was not sure how that friendship would survive her becoming Amyrlin. Nynaeve was sort of a friend, in a way; if she could forget for one hour that she had switched his bottom more than once and remember he was not a boy anymore. But a woman friend was different from a man; you always knew her mind ran along other paths than yours, that she saw the world with different eyes.

[…] By the end of the second day on that bench, he realized he had sat all that time with his hip pressed against Birgitte’s and never once thought of trying to kiss her. He was sure she did not want to be kissed by him—frankly, considering the dog-ugly men she seemed to enjoy looking at, he might have been insulted if she had—and she was a hero out of legend whom he still half-expected to leap over a house and grab a couple of the Forsaken by the neck on the way. But that was not it: He would as soon have thought of kissing Nalesean. The same as the Tairen, just exactly the same as, he liked Birgitte.

Mat tries three times to follow one of the Wise Women at random, but nothing comes of it. Elayne and Nynaeve are not having any more luck with Carridin, and will not tell Mat who it is they are looking for; Mat is puzzled by one incident where Elayne snapped at him, and Aviendha whispered something to her, whereupon Elayne blushed and humbly begged his forgiveness, offering to do so on her knees.

“No need for that,” he said faintly, trying not to goggle. “You’re forgiven; it was nothing.” The oddest thing, though; Elayne looked at Aviendha the whole time she spoke to him and did not twitch an eyelid when he replied, but she heaved a great sigh of relief when Aviendha nodded. Women were just strange.

Matters in the palace are no better. Mat tries on the first night to go down to the kitchens for a meal instead of responding to Tylin’s note, but none of the kitchen staff allows him to get any food, and their knowing smiles drive him back to his rooms, where a second note is slipped under the door:

I have been told it is more sporting to take a pigeon on the wing, to watch it flutter, but sooner or later, a hungry bird will fly to the hand.

On the third night, he buys bread and cheese and olives on the way home and eats in his rooms; no one rattles the lock that night and there are no more notes, and Mat begins to think maybe things are looking up. He wakes the next morning with the dice rolling in his head.

As usual, Mat cracks my shit up. Again, if you’re only reading the summaries you’re missing out on some great Mat snarkage. I’m just saying.

Also in that vein, I mostly skipped over the whole “Mat and Co. move their crap into the Palace” stuff in the summary, not because it wasn’t fun to read (it was) but because the details are really not all that important. However, I did want to single out this one bit:

One thing and another, it was a relief when Nerim and Lopin got into a shouting match over whose master’s baggage would be carried over first. Smoothing their feathers required a good half an hour from him and Nalesean both. A manservant with his dander ruffled could make your life miserable.

Mat can protest all he wants that (a) he hasn’t changed as much as the rest of the Emond’s Fielders, and (b) he hates nobles and would never be one, but, um, yeah.

“Pig-kissing”: By far and away my favorite fake obscenity in WOT. I burst out laughing the first time I read it. Pigs make everything funny!

Also, I can’t decide if we’re supposed to think Mat is being genuinely dense in his persistent failure to connect his luck with his ta’veren-hood, or if we are supposed to infer that it’s due to sheer bloody-minded stubbornness. Maybe both.

The Supergirls are kind of featured only in passing in this chapter, but they are hilarious every time they are mentioned. Thom cutting himself in shock at their complaisance about the bodyguards was especially chuckle-worthy. Evidently being attacked on the street can have a beneficial effect, in some ways. Who knew.

Birgitte: Her awesome continues to maintain its steady high since Swovan Night.

I was initially semi-inclined to be irritated at Mat’s shock and amazement that women can be good for something besides smoochies, but I think that might be overly-judgmental on my part. Cross-gender friendships (or “cross-sexual friendships”, maybe, so I’m not overly heteronormative about it) are kind of odd things, and whether they work or even occur seems to vary greatly from person to person. I know people who simply can’t have platonic relationships with people of the gender to which they are attracted, and I know other people who find it difficult to make friends with anyone BUT people of the opposite sex-or-whatever. So there’s that.

That said, it does play a lot into the default so-called wisdom in modern Western society, which is that straight men are inherently always at least a little uncomfortable in the company of any other group besides themselves, and therefore that they can only develop true friendships with other straight men.

I am not a straight man, nor do I play one on TV, so take it for what it’s worth, but I tend to feel that this is more a culturally-reinforced self-fulfilling prophecy than a genuine measure of a rational adult’s capability to make friends with whomever he damn well chooses. When Harry Met Sally was a brilliantly funny movie, but I’ve been amazed (and relieved) at how often my adult life has provided examples of how wrong its central premise was.

Or hey, maybe I’m kidding myself. I’d be sad to think it, if so.

Tylin: At the tone, please turn to the following commentary.


Chapter 29: The Festival of Birds

What Happens
Mat considers going back to bed until the dice go away, but gets up and gets Olver ready to go out for the festival, and walks out into the sitting room to find Tylin sitting there, with the door unlocked and open. Mat tries to get out of the room using Olver as a shield, but Tylin calls in a maid named Riselle (who has “ the most spectacular bosom [Mat] had ever seen”) to take Olver out, which Olver accepts ecstatically. He and Riselle leave. Tylin pulls out Mat’s key and another just like it, and comments that no one ever thinks that there might be more than one set of keys for a door, before locking it from the inside.

“Now, lambkin.” She smiled.

It was too much. The woman hounded him, tried to starve him; now she locked them in together like . . . like he did not know what. Lambkin! Those bloody dice were bouncing around in his skull. Besides, he had important business to see to. The dice had never had anything to do with finding something, but . . . He reached her in two long strides, seized her arm, and began fumbling in her belt for the keys. “I don’t have bloody time for—” His breath froze as the sharp point of her dagger beneath his chin shut his mouth and drove him right up onto his toes.

“Remove your hand,” she said coldly. He managed to look down his nose at her face. She was not smiling now. He let go of her arm carefully. She did not lessen the pressure of her blade, though. She shook her head. “Tsk, tsk. I do try to make allowances for you being an outlander, gosling, but since you wish to play roughly . . . Hands at your sides. Move.” The knifepoint gave a direction. He shuffled backward on tiptoe rather than have his neck sliced.

He asks what she intends to do, debating whether or not he’s quick enough to disarm her before she can kill him, but she doesn’t answer, backing him up until he bumps up against something, which he then realizes is the bed.

Why would she bring him . . . ? His face was suddenly as crimson as the bedpost. No. She could not mean to . . . It was not decent! It was not possible!

“You can’t do this to me,” he mumbled at her, and if his voice was a touch breathy and shrill, he surely had cause.

“Watch and learn, my kitten,” Tylin said, and drew her marriage knife.

Much later, Mat smokes in bed, frowning, and Tylin tells him not to pout, and asks what the matter is. She says she knows he enjoyed himself as much as she did, and comments that if that is part of being ta’veren, Mat must be “very popular”. Mat bursts out that it’s unnatural; he’s the one who does the chasing. Tylin is astonished, than laughs and tells him that he is in Ebou Dar now. She says she’s left a present for him in the sitting room and chides him to eat well as he will “need his strength”, and leaves. Mat gets up and hides the sliced up remains of his coat in the wardrobe (half-expecting to find Tylin hiding inside), and goes out to find that she has left him an eagle mask, a purse of coins, and a note addressed to “Piglet”, instructing him to get his ear pierced so she can buy him an earring.

He nearly wept again. He gave women presents. The world was standing on its head! Piglet? Oh, Light! After a minute, he did take the mask; she owed him that much, for his coat alone.

He goes out to the courtyard to join Nalesean and Birgitte, the latter clad in a rather scandalously revealing dress. When he comments, Birgitte grins and tells him that sometimes “it’s nice to be looked at”. Then they are interrupted by Beslan and five of his friends, to Mat’s extreme displeasure, but he concludes that Beslan must not know what had happened, as otherwise he would be trying to kill Mat already. Nalesean and Mat try to convince Beslan of how deadly boring it would be to accompany them, until Beslan starts to get angry, at which point they give up and head out, Beslan and his cronies eyeing Birgitte appreciatively. As they walk, Mat asks Birgitte what’s with all the “twisting around” when Beslan et al looked at her; she answers that just because they’re all “too pretty” doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy that they look.

“Oh, you’ll want to look at her,” she added, pointing to a slender woman who went running by in a blue owl mask and rather fewer feathers than Riselle had worn.

That was one of the things about Birgitte; she would nudge him in the ribs and point out a pretty girl for his eye as readily as any man he had ever known, and expect him to point out in turn what she liked to see, which was generally the ugliest man in sight. Whether or not she chose to go half-naked today—a quarter, anyway—she was . . . well, a friend. A strange world, it was turning out to be. One woman he was beginning to think of as a drinking companion, and another after him as intently as he had ever pursued any pretty woman, in those old memories or his own. More intently; he had never chased any woman who let him know she did not want to be chased. A very strange world.

The festival is in full outrageous swing, and they walk through the streets people-watching and occasionally tossing coins to beggars, until Beslan stops Nalesean from giving to one particular beggar because he has no brass ring on his finger, meaning he’s not “in the guild”. The fake beggar then goes for Mat’s throat; Mat flings him into the crowd and sees Birgitte stab another beggar trying to take Mat from behind; he throws a knife into the throat of a third behind her. It quickly turns into a full-scale melee, and Mat ends up back-to-back with Birgitte, facing two cutthroats. One of them growls “Old Cully won’t like this, Spar,” and they attack, but Mat is suddenly rescued by a second set of beggars attacking the first group. Beslan advises Mat to let “the Fellowship of Alms” take care of their own business from here, and they head to the horrible tavern across from the Wise Women’s house again, where Mat and Birgitte share a silent toast of thanks. At length Beslan’s cronies get bored and leave, but Beslan sticks around, and when Nalesean and Birgitte head off on separate errands, leans over and tells Mat that he thinks Mat will be good for his mother. Mat does a spit-take, and asks hoarsely what Beslan is talking about.

“Why, her choosing you for her pretty, of course. Why is your face so red? Are you angry? Why—?” Suddenly he slapped his forehead and laughed. “You think I will be angry. Forgive me, I forget you’re an outlander. Mat, she’s my mother, not my wife. Father died ten years ago, and she has always claimed to be too busy. I am just glad she chose someone I like. Where are you going?”

He did not realize he was on his feet until Beslan spoke. “I just . . . need to clear my head.”

“But you’re drinking tea, Mat.”

Mat absently notices a woman leaving the house and falls in behind her, still dazed. Nalesean shouts after him to ask where he’s going, and Mat calls back to tell “them” that if he’s not back by tomorrow, they’ll have to find it themselves.

From a window, Reanne watches Solain head off and notes without concern that a fellow in a bronze coat is following her.

Reanne was not sure why the urge had grown so strong today. For days it had come on almost with the morning and faded with the sun, and for days she had fought—by the strict rules they did not quite dare call laws, that order was given at the half moon, still six nights off—but today . . . She had spoken the order before she thought and been unable to make herself retract until the proper time.

She reassures herself that it will be fine; there had been no sign of those “two young fools” Elayne and Nynaeve, and their secrets would be kept safe without resorting to extreme measures. She turns back to twelve other Elders and suggests they consider moving everyone not wearing the belt to “the farm” for a while, even so. She knows they will listen to her because she is the Eldest.

In that, at least, there was no harm in behaving as Aes Sedai did.

*stares at blinking cursor on the screen*

*writes “So,”*

*deletes it*

*goes away and gets some tea*

*drinks tea*

*stares at cursor some more*

*goes away and gets some vodka*

*stares at cursor some more*

Crap. Okay, I’m just going to write this and hope it comes out even halfway coherent.

As I’ve said before, I didn’t enter WOT fandom (or, indeed, any kind of fandom) until after I plowed through the seven WOT books available at the time, and realized after finishing ACOS that the eighth one wasn’t coming out for frickin’ months. Which led me to stumble my newbie way into Usenet and the rec.arts Robert Jordan group. I’ve told you all this before.

What I may not have mentioned is the amount of culture shock I experienced as a result of the timing of my entrance into fandom, and one of the major factors in that shock is because of this chapter.

Because here’s my big confession, or admission, or whatever: when I first read ACOS, I thought the Tylin thing was hilarious.

I laughed, I giggled, I thought it was great. Though I was somewhat indignant on Mat’s behalf, seeing that he was at the time my absolute favorite character in the series, in general I reacted exactly the way most of the other characters in the narrative did when they found out, which was that I found it all a very karmically amusing turn of the tables on Mr. Ladies’ Man Mat Cauthon. Which is, I am virtually certain, precisely the way Robert Jordan intended this whole thing to play.

So imagine my astonishment when I subsequently bumbled my way onto Usenet and found the still-flaring remnants of a massive flamewar over whether Tylin had raped Mat.

I was astounded, you guys. The notion had literally never occurred to me.

I wasn’t just astounded, either, I was angry. I mean, what? That was clearly ridiculous! Men can’t be raped by women! And even if they can, the author never even remotely intended to suggest such a thing, you can tell! How dare these mean killjoy Internet people tell me I just laughed at something horrible? Why are you telling me I’m a terrible person? Why are you telling me Robert Jordan is a terrible person? This Cannot Be!

This just goes to show, slamming headfirst into a wall you didn’t even realize was there until you hit it is only slightly more fun to experience intellectually than it is physically, especially the first time it happens. Which is what this was, for me. And by all evidence (i.e. the intensity of the flameage), it was the first time for a bunch of other people as well. It is a truism that while most people are more than willing to believe (and point out, vigorously) that others suffer from culturally induced blindness/privilege/prejudices, no one takes well to the idea that “others” includes, well, you.

I am in no way an exception to this rule. To say that flamewar was an eye-opening experience would be a vast understatement. (For more reasons than just the topic under discussion, too, but that’s a different subject.)

Even so, I resisted the notion that Tylin raped Mat for a very long time. Even in the face of all the evidence presented, the fact that I was sure that this was in no way Jordan’s purpose when he wrote it prevented me from conceding. Because I am a fan, and no fan likes to see the subject of their fandom proven wrong, or lacking, or something. Because as a fan, if I accept the premise that Tylin raped Mat, I have to feel guilty not only on my own behalf, but on that of the author, for failing to realize the distinctly Not Funny implications of a scene intended to be funny.

And that… that sucks.

But here are the facts of the matter: Men can be raped, and they can be (and have been) raped by women. It’s rare, but that does not mean it doesn’t happen, and that does not mean it isn’t a violation. Sexual arousal or even orgasm does not equal consent, for either men or women. “No” means “No”, whether you are a man or a woman.

I will not Google these facts for you, nor will I debate their veracity. Either you’ve gotten beyond this wall already, like I had to, or you haven’t, in which case you’re not ready to accept it anyway, so I might as well save my breath. Or fingers, as the case may be.

So given these facts, and the fact that Tylin forced Mat into bed literally at knifepoint, after he made it more than abundantly obvious that he was not interested in having sex with her, well, it becomes pretty clear. If you do my standard gender-swapping exercise of the scene and replay it, it becomes damn clear.

And the fact that we are going by the modern definition of rape (which, logically, the characters of WOT would not be) unfortunately doesn’t really mitigate anything in my mind. That Tylin did not consider it rape is irrelevant. The fact that Mat doesn’t really consider it in those terms is also not relevant, because it is the 20th/21st century author’s intent that is the problem here. In fact the whole thing would have gotten a pass from me if I could make myself believe that Jordan was making another of his gender-flipped points about this much darker aspect of male-female relations by having a female character rape a male character, and have how all the characters involved write it off be part of that point.

The problem is, I don’t believe that is what happened here. I think Jordan was making a gender-flipped point with the Mat/Tylin thing, yes, but it was, frankly, the wrong one. The jocular, wink-wink-nudge-nudge way the situation is written, here and onwards, leads me to reluctantly conclude that the distinctly unpleasant implications of Tylin’s behavior was something that, for whatever reason, Jordan missed entirely.

But here’s the thing: this does not make Robert Jordan a terrible person and/or author, any more than not initially seeing my own cultural blind spots (and I know I’ve got more out there, lurking) makes me a terrible person. Nor, in my opinion, does the revelation that Jordan’s writing is not in fact perfect in every way negate the value of his work as a whole. If you want absolute perfection in a series, or an author, or anything in this world, well, you’re going to be waiting a while, is all I’m saying. The trick is not to condemn on the basis of non-perfection, but to weigh the good against the bad, and see which one tips the scale.

And I should hope that it is obvious which side of the scale has my personal vote. Others may disagree, and that is perfectly okay. (Though I kind of doubt anyone who does disagree – i.e. thinks the bad outweighs the good in WOT – would actually be reading this, so.)

And you know, even the bad has its value – sometimes more than the good, even. Having this particular wall knocked down in my brain was not exactly fun, but I cannot regret the lessons I learned from having it happen, and I think it made me a better person in the long run – or at least a more thoughtful person. Certainly a much more aware person. As someone once said, all knowledge is worth having. And with that I (and you) shall have to be satisfied on this score.

Okay, there is probably much more I’m not thinking of, but I am Done, and hitting post, because wow. Anything I missed will be covered in the comments, I’m sure, and I’ll probably have to revisit the general topic in the future anyway.

Again I reiterate: Play nice. Debate and argue to your heart’s content, but do it with respect and courtesy. I know I can count on you guys in this respect.

Bye, y’all! See you next week!

Kathy Keith
1. Babokathy
Good Morning, Leigh! Thanks for the new post, gotta love an early post. More time to comment before others wake up!

More later. Gotta catch some coffee!

Trisha Norris
2. Maarin417
First of all, I'm ticked that I wasn't first comment because I forgot my stupid PASSWORD and had to go through all the rigamarole of getting a new one.

Second of all, LOVED the nod to Anafiel Delauney at the end. All Knowledge is indeed worth having. :-)

Third of all (err... you get my meaning) your reread has, on a number of occasions, revealed to me EARTH SHATTERING ideas, theories and/or facts about all things WOTian. Seriously, ask Jason. He's gotten a number of shocked texts from me after I've read your commentaries. All of that to say the whole Tylin raped Mat most DEFINITELY falls into that category. And I'm not really sure how I feel about having that bouncing around in my head now. Darn personal growth!!!! *shakes fist*
3. rsmillard
Leigh, I think you're exactly right on this one - and in reading it for the first time I had exactly the reaction that you did. It's very clear that RJ intended this to be played and humor, and yes, on reflection, that is disturbing.

Does it ruin the book for me? No. ACOS is still one of the better books in the series.

Keep up the good work.
4. JPBruin
Great job (as always) Leigh. Your posts are definitely the best part of Fridays!

I've always thought that one sign of great writing (or great art of any kind) is its ability to resonate in ways beyond what was intended by the author. With that in mind, I think whether or not Jordan intended the Tylin/Mat encounter to be viewed as rape isn't actually that relevant to the quality of WOT or Jordan as an author. I think Jordan was probably pleased to see his work pushing people (like yourself) to change their world-view (even if just in a discrete area) as opposed to just affecting their WOT-view. I'll let everyone else debate whether this really was rape or not....

On a completely separate note, I've always liked how Mat's "being ta’veren" IS what leads to the bowl, but not in the way he or the Supergirls thought it would. It's not his random luck at work, it's the Pattern pulling at Reanne while Mat is sipping tea.
5. Lsana
It's been a long time since I read this chapter, and I had forgotten that Tylin literally forced Mat into bed at knife point; I thought she had merely starved him into coming to her. That would have been bad enough, and I was prepared to argue sexual assult on those grounds alone. The fact that it was "have sex with me or get your throat slit" makes it absolutely rape.

I find it hard to know what to do about authors who condone what I see as rape. There was another book I read where a male character was forced into sex while saying "No, no, stop, I don't want this." Later, I was at a talk by the author where she made it clear that she approved of the actions of the rapist. I decided then and there that I would never read another book by her. If I were being consistant, I should probably do the same thing with Jordan here, but Jordan just has more credit with me because all the wonderful scenes he has written. Still, this part is hugely uncomfortable, and I try to skip over it when re-reading ACOS.

On a totally unrelated note, male/female friendships: I have heard that wives don't like their husbands to have female friends, not because they believe husband is going to cheat, but because they don't want him spending time with other women when he could be spending time with her. I've experienced a bit of that; I don't mind my boyfriend having female friends, but I definitely don't like to be excluded when he does something with them. I feel a bit upset when he goes out with them and doesn't tell me, much more so than I do when he's doing something with his guy friends.
Holger Marx
6. DreamHealer
Thanks for the Post, Leigh. I always enjoy reading witty and funny stuff after work (I'm German and it's 5.30 pm here). Although it was not really funny today but rather disturbing. I know my reaction to this chapter was somewhat similar to yours when I read it (I have read the whole series only once, but I am planning a reread before ToM comes out), i. e. amused, and now I really have something to think about for the weekend.Hmm. I didn't know these posts could be so dangerous.

Jennifer B
8. JennB
I always perceived this situation as rape. It made me uncomfortable, but it did not ruin the book for me. I actually thought RJ did it on purpose because the whole basis of the books is to show a world where gender roles are flipped. The making a joke of it was just showing how the characters react. I may be wrong. Considering Leigh's story about not seeing it as rape at first it is quite possible that I am wrong.

I always wondered if it was even possible. I remember asking my husband if it was even possible for a man to have an erection at knifepoint. He shrugged and said he wasn't sure. It sounds like Leigh has found proof of this happening in RL, so I guess it is possible.
9. Dolphineus
Wow, you went way overboard here. If you replay the scene in your head with the roles reversed, nobody would say it was anything other than rape.

The problem I have with the entire rape argument is that Mat is attracted to Tylin and wants to have sex with her. Had it been the fox-faced darkfriend(Shaine?)pulling a knife and forcing Mat into bed, I have no doubt Mat would have reacted violently. With Tylin he didn't.

Mat's reluctance here has nothing to do with sex. It has to do with Tylin being a queen and Mat not liking nobles. It has to do with Mat enjoying chasing women and his discomfort at finding the tables turned on him.

Notice that Mat's complaints were all about the tables being turned. Mat is not outraged that she forced him to have sex basically at knife-point. Mat is outraged that he is the one being chased. Mat is also a little outraged that Beslan not only knows, but approved. Then again, I'd be right there with him if it were me instead of Mat.

Stop being overly serious and enjoy the book. Debates like this take the fun out it.
10. Ryan K. Yingling
Thanks for the post. Sooooo appreciate your perspective on things. The scene with Mat and Tylin has always made me uncomfortable and I never thought it was amusing. Until someone has been stalked, and I mean really had your life turned upside down by another human who thinks you should "love" them or whatever goes through their head, others can't really understand your lose of control in your own life. I have read the series a dozen (or more?) times and I have just gotten to the point where I quickly skim or skip anything having to do with Tylin and her "duckling." You handled this issue perfectly. Thanks!
Jennifer B
11. JennB
Lsana @5
I don't think RJ condones Mat's rape by Tylin. That is why we see the whole thing from Mat's POV. He is confused and outraged. He is also very embarrassed.

I think if RJ condoned the behavior, we would be seeing a different reaction. In RL there are or have been cultures that accept rape of a woman the same way Ebou Dari characters accept Mat's rape. Notice that Elayne and Nynaeve who are not from Ebou Dar are outraged when they finally find out.
Rob Munnelly
12. RobMRobM
Quick thoughts.

I'm in the yes, it's rape, camp. It is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Mat is attacted to her and would have been pleased to have a tumble if she didn't happen to be the Queen, but not excused - especially not with the knifework involved. (13D's article on Forced Attentions during its ACOS re-read is well worth reading, as it points out exactly how many sketchy relationships are scattered throughout ACOS (Morgase-Valda, Lan's forced bonding and "healing" with Myrelle, etc. Linda strikes again.)

The Mat back to back fighting scene with Birgitte in her costume would make a great e-book cover, probably even better than the Swovan night one (Sorry, Leigh). I have noted that to Irene in the relevant threads.

The Birgitte as friend writing is really good and important for Mat's development as a character. I have no doubt it helps him in his "courting" of Tuon - he enjoys the fun parts of his interactions with her (such as battling at stones and riding horses) and can hold back on the need to lay on the charm to seduce her.

Beslan is a good minor character. Just when you think he is Johnny one note troublemaker, he pops out with the "I never knew a Warder could dress like that" line - showing how perceptive he is.

And, maybe I'm dense, but what exactly is Reanne's order six nights hence?

13. Dr Hoo
I still don't think of this as rape, even after several re-readings and taking the discussion points raised into consideration. I don't think Matt minds at all having the sex, he is reluctant to engage in the role of the hunted because it doesn't mesh with his image of himself and would like to avoid the complications of being closely entwined with a royal personage. If you want to expand your definitions of rape to include being put into uncomfortable positions and being forced to do things that don't match your self-concept, then OK. But if you are using the sex as the fulcrum to make this point then I disagree. Now, I am not saying that Tylin's actions were appropriate. I am saying that Matt would have felt the same way if no sex occurred but he was perceived by others to be her consort and had to put up with her subjugation of his will on other points.
Tim Cottrell
14. Wolfbrother87
first comment here from me.

just a quick thing to add to the whole mat/tylin thing.

'More intently; he had never chased any woman who let him know she did not want to be chased'

in my opinion this makes what tylin does stronger than merely a comical role reversal. i'm not sure how i felt when i first read this, but this is whaer i am now.

Wolfbrother Out!
Tony Zbaraschuk
15. tonyz
Reanne's order is for them to check the storehouse with the ter'angreal; Mat ends up following the woman who does the checking.
Tim FItches
16. El Fitcho
Interesting one this. While it's easy for the reader to see this as rape, I don't think Matt thinks of it as such. His reaction afterwards is to have a cigarette (of whatever the equivalent is in the WoT), and feel indignant at being the chasee rather than the chaser. He doesn't seem to feel aggrieved at anything done explicitly against his will.

Anyhow, I'm sure others have a different viewpoint or understanding of it, and I certainly respect these views as much as my own.

Ultimately I was with Leigh - a great read, and a very funny scene, but with disturbing overtones which only really come out with deeper analysis.

This was my favourite book on my first re-read. I'd always thought I enjoyed TSR or LOC the most, but this one had loads going for it.
17. Denari6
I work with US Veterans and their families and one of the darkest types of cases that I can see are those for post traumatic stress disorder due to personal assault (rape). Most of these cases are very hard to prove because like in the civilian world many cases are not reported and there is very little evidence to support claims. In many instances the victims are simply not believed, are transfered, just ignored and/or threatened. Hence many do not report anything.

I bring this up because of all the personal trauma cases I have seen a very very tiny fraction of those cases involve men being assaulted. Although it is widely to believed there are more in existance.

There is so much societal, cultural and outright testosterone based emotions for a male to be the fighter, protector, the physically strong one, the caveman. The idea that man can be violated and traumatized in such a way is so repugnant that many would until they die deny anything such happen. They might even attempt to whitewash it or accept it as a good as opposed to living with and accepting the violation. I am not in any way saying that a female victim suffers any less at the hands of another man or even woman. I am saying that the way society defines what it is to be a man is different than a woman causing their culturally biased reactions to be different. Hence the fractional reporting of male assaults.

The majority of male cases I have seen involves assaults by other men, I have personally never seen a case where a female has assaulted a man but I am sure where ever there power to control there is the temptation to take advantage.

Enter in Tylin. She is intrigued with this concept of taveren ,(sp). Otherwise, why would she choose an otherwise unremarkable outlander to thrust her attentions on, (I am not sure if she knows of his being rands friend or not). Tylin has the all the powers and authority of the queen, (to include the army). She basically takes the knife and forces herself on a man who clearly does not want her attentions. Just because the characterization is comical does not whitewash the assault. As we will see later on, Mat is again victimized again and again, (I recall his being gang tackled by serving ladies and dragged to bed). He is demoralized a bit and deeply humiliated by the later "toy" designation.

Now I see a few themes we can take from this in my mind.
1.) Absolute power corrupts absolutely male or female. As we have seen with various nobles and feudal societies in randland, (notably Tear and Cairhien).

2.) Next we have seen men assault women and now we have seen the opposite. Reiterating that both genders can and have committed the crime.

Reality check:

Leigh you were not the only one who chuckled when reading this. Mat is a self proclaimed manwhore and finally kinda sorta had the tables turned on him. He even comes to appreciate, (if thats the phrase) her and mourns her death. I would prefer to look at the lighter side of the humor here while keeping the darker themes in my mind.

Enough rambling from me.

Thanks for the post Leigh and I can't wait till next week.


Note: If we apply the gender switching scenario, I would not have seen this as the least bit funny. Even if the female was a complete replica of Mat and is promiscuous. Then again I am Southerner myself and somethings are just hardwired.
17. FellKnight
@ 8 JennB

It absolutely is possible for a man to get an erection at knife-point. It is simply the increase in blood flow due to stimulus. The stimulus is usually sexual in nature, but it is not uncommon to get an erection in other situations which "make your blood pump". such as a fight, a high intensity sporting event, etc. I cannot imagine that knife-point would be different.

As to the original topic, I felt the same as Leigh on my first reading, not that it was impossible for a man to be raped, but that it was hilarious because he was getting his comeuppance and having the tables reversed. This is a common theme of RJ's which almost always works very well (another Mat example would be Betsy the waitress getting Mat all flustered).

While I can certainly see it from the other perspective, I do not think that the sex was non-consensual. Mat objected strongly to being the one who was pursued, objected to the methods of courtship, but in the end agreed (it's not like Tylin was actually holding the knife to his neck during the act). Had Mat been truly adamant about not sleeping with Tylin, I do not believe that it would have happened.

Just my opinion of course.

18. MasterAlThor

Wow. Good job see you next week.


I couldn't disagree with you more, see you next week

Mat and Birgitte....

I have spoken about this before, but I want to say some other things about it. My best female friend, Tracy, was in my wedding party. I almost made her a groomsman. The only reason she wasn't is because my wife does not have nearly as many friends as I do.

Tracy, was such a huge part of my youth and young adulthood. She was a better friend to me than some of the guys. That intimidated a lot of my girlfriends, but I told them to get over it because Tracy was no threat to them. Tracy had no interest in black males. Friendships were fine, but dating was not on the menu.

Tracy is an attractive woman, but she was not what I was looking for and one day after having a serious conversation about who we thought we were and what we thought we wanted out of life, we realized that we liked each other as much as family, but not anything else. We had never wanted to be anything else.

I immediately adopted her as my little sis, and became her older brother. It has been sunshine and lollipops ever since.

Men and women can have non sexual friendships. I have some of those here (Mis, Wind, Wet, Tek, etc, etc) Now to be fair our friendships are nothing like Mat and Birgitte, but that is exactly how my friendship with Tracy is.

I treasure that friendship like gold and while I won't put her before my wife, some of my male friends feel threatend. Silly boys.

Anyway, that is enough and I will see you all next week

Kathy Keith
19. Babokathy
I also originally felt that the Tylin/Mat sequence in the Palace was almost comically played out; and I do also think Mr Jordan was looking just to "turn the tables" on Mat as Leigh mentioned.

I have definitely read worse direct/indirect renditions in stories of sexual encounters, most of them poorly written, so as to want to skip a chapter or two. I never felt RJ was trying to shock us as readers or people.

After all, he did have a nearly invisible sexual innuendo for Shadar Haran and Moghedien once upon a time. I do prefer to use my own imagination on these scenes, like drawing a curtain.

We can do all the reading between the lines we want, but my take on Mat's encounters with Tylin are that he dealt with the abuse the best he could, albeit that he wanted to run away from the start. And we're in on his thoughts that he doesn't care for this. So his personal character does not really seem permanently harmed or moved into shadow from this.
Ron Garrison
20. Man-0-Manetheran
*stares at blinking cursor on the screen*

*writes “So,”*

*deletes it*

*goes away and gets some tea*

*drinks tea*

*stares at cursor some more*

*goes away and gets some vodka*

*stares at cursor some more*

Good job, Leigh. That made me laugh. Writing comedy is perhaps the most difficult writing there is. Mostly because what one person finds funny can be offensive to another. Why do we make jokes about tragic situations? Is it a coping mechanism? I think that’s all I got. See you all next week.
Janet Hopkins
21. JanDSedai
Re the Mat /Tylin thing:
I didn't hear anywhere that Mat said no. Instead of expressing disinterest, he engages in "game play", challenging Tylin to up her game. By hiding, he encourages her seeking. And the "game" was on a personal level; if Mat was out for all he could take Tylin for, it would have been no fun for her.

So, I think Liegh's first take on this is the correct one. Mat exhibits compulsive flirting behavior, whether from "chaser" or "chasee."
Ian Jackson
22. porus
Meh, I have never felt that Mat was raped by Tylin. His reluctance to engage in sexual relations with Tylin was a result of his outlander POV and his unwillingness to be the prey instead of predator. I have no doubt that Mat could have disarmed Tylin with ease if he felt truly threatened/violated. Remember that Mat's view of sex is one of the most casual in the series. For Mat, sex is sport, but up until Tylin he has always been the one on top. His opposite would be Moraine (read: New Spring), who is possibly the most conservative character with regards to sex. (Or all Cairheniens)

What Semirhage did to that warder with the 'death by brain pleasure' is what I think of when I consider female on male rape. Alanna bonding Rand would be next. Tylin and Mat is grey-area.
Rob Munnelly
23. RobMRobM
JanD - I'm not following you. Do you mean locking the door and moving a 10 year old into your room isn't the equivalent of a non-verbal no but is merely foreplay? R
25. Denari6
...and he attempts to take the key from her so he can leave. He gets a knife at his neck~

I guess he must have had it coming or was asking for it~
Marcus W
26. toryx
Thom dropped the knife with a muffled curse and sat sucking on a nicked finger, staring at the women.

That never fails to crack me up. In fact, when I first started reading this post I was in a pretty irritated mood due to work issues and it all dissipated when I read that line and laughed out loud in my office. Awesome. Thanks, Thom.

The relationship that Birgitte and Mat are forming in these chapters is fantastic. I have had a number of relationships just like that myself and I'm very fond of them. As it happens, I'm one of those straight guys who has more friends of the opposite sex than the same. So it amuses and delights me when Mat finally starts to form that sort of bond and reflects upon it. Good stuff.

As far as the situation with Tylin goes...well, I'm able to see it both ways. I absolutely agree with the consensus that Tylin raped Mat. It's unpleasant in many ways and the continued progression of the relationship is definitely...warped for me.

My way of dealing with it has always been to step back from my real world point of view and look at it from the admittedly flawed, though more pleasant, perspective that I think RJ was shooting for. So I see the intended humor in a detached sort of way and don't think about the underlying reality any more than I have to.

It's not a perfect perspective but it's one that works for me. Mileages vary, naturally.

Note: I'm posting this before reading other reactions/ comments so that I can get my personal thoughts out, undiluted by opinion.
Antoni Ivanov
27. tonka
I've always thought that was what Jordan intended. That is something Jordan was using a lot in this book - reversing the roles of women and men. Men are gossip in Wot World while it's assumed that women are the gossip in ours. Women are mostly ruling mostly in WoT world and so on.
I always thought that Jordan intended to plays us. Describe one reprehensible act in such tones that people (in Randland) don't realize what it is. But we were. It was obviously to me that Tylin raped Mat from the first time.I thought Jordan wanted to provoke us to make us think , to shock us. After all one of the greatest piece of arts are those that are most controversial.
Karen Fox
28. thepupxpert
wow it's only 10:47am pacific time and we're already at 28! I have to get caught up!
29. alreadymadwiththerape
First off, I don't believe Riselle was a simple maid. IIRC she was one of Tylin's ladies in waiting and her name is often prefixed with a Lady. As I understand it, her role was much the same as the one Colavaere had both Berelain and Faile play. My point is she was most likely a noble herself. A rather liberated one at that.

And as for the Mat man-rape. The wheel turns.
F Shelley
30. FSS
On the rape issue: can you imagine being in front of a judge and jury explaining:

Well, Your Honor, I could just tell she's attracted to me. I tried to corner her and starve her for a few days, but she just wouldn't admit that she wanted me, so yeah, I threatened her into bed with my knife. That's OK, though, right? I mean, I could just tell she totally wanted me. I mean, come on, she's a total whore...

My sentence is how long?
Greg Bloom
31. MuleHeadedLummox
First on the Mat/Tylin thing: Yes, it's rape. Just because Mat would have been willing to sleep with her under other circumstances doesn't make it not rape. He did not want to have sex with her at that time and under those circumstances. He went to a lot of trouble trying to stay away from her, he moved Olver into his room to prevet it, he tried to leave the his bedroom as soon as he saw her there, and he told her "you can't do this to me."

I also didn't think about this the first few times I read the book, but I'd always been a bit uncomfortable with Mat and Tylin's "relationship" even if i couldn't put my finger on why. And while RJ mostly played it for laughs as a turning of the tables thing, it doesn't change what happened.

On a different subject, Leigh's comments about how Mat doesn't connect his luck to his being ta'veren got me thinking about Mat's luck in general. We know that part of Rand's ta'verenness is that weird things happen around him, both good and bad in equal balance. I was wondering if Mat's good luck is balanced in any way by bad luck. He seems to get in a lot of life threatening situations, and minor fights, more than either Rand or Perrin. For example, after his gambling luck first manifests in TDR he is immediately set upon by the 'robber'. Also, the dice in his head could be in a way considered a counterbalance. After all, many of the things that the Pattern has him set up to do seem to be things he considers bad luck. Perhaps his good luck is the counterbalance to the bad luck of the dice in his head.

By the same token, a part of Perrin's ta'veren ability seems to be collecting powerful women/queens under his protection, but following him has also led those women to be put in danger from the Shaido. Is this balance in the pattern as well?
Captain Hammer
32. Randalator
So there it is, the Tylin thing. Yeah...



Leigh, there isn't by any chance some of that vodka left, is there?




Ooooooooooooooooooookay. I've always been in the dude-that's-rape-camp, right from the first time I read it. And it was a big WTF moment. Really big.

I agree with you, Leigh, that RJ didn't want to open that particular bag of not funny. But he did, unfortunately, which is quite a challenge to overcome once you become aware of what happened there.

Interestingly, this whole scene doesn't completely put me off. As in "I won't continue reading that crap". The reason probably is the way it plays out on Mat's side. He doesn't consider it rape, he is only concerned with the role reversal and the whole "she's a queen" thing. He isn't psychologically damaged by the event.

Now, as was already stated that doesn't make any less rape. And my moral outrage over Tylin's actions is the same as for any other rapist. But at the same time I consider it somewhat of a "lesser case" due to Mat's own opinion of what happened.

I'm kinda completely outraged and only mildly annoyed both at the same time, depending on what side of the whole mess I'm looking at. Which I guess makes sense and no sense at

Great, now I broke my brain...
34. Branwhin
Well, thoughtfully, and humourously done, Leigh, as usual.

I'm with you on perception. Wait, what? Oh. Yeah. Umm...

Anyhow, I also have platonic male friends, so the Mat/Birgitte thing is adorable. MAT, I also have a 'little brother!' Though I didn't meet him until I was an adult, the relationship is very close.

I also love, love, *love* Birgitte's dress. And must agree that the fight scene would make a great e-cover. You have a Tairen lord, Beslan, and Mat, all with distinctive clothing, and then Birgitte, kicking butt while dressed like *that*. Fanservice? Naaah.
35. Lsana
Here's the problem with most of the "but he really wanted it, only he was put off by her being a queen, didn't like the one being chased, and didn't want to become a toy" argument: all of these are perfectly legitimate reasons for not getting in a relationship.

Suppose I'm attracted to politician, only I know if I end up with him my life will be turned upside down and I don't want that. Does that make it okay for Mr. Politico to force me into a relationship?

Suppose I'm attracted to a guy, but I think he's too pushy and don't like the PDAs he wants to give me. Is it okay if he forces himself on me anyway?

Suppose I'm attracted to Hugh Hefner but have no interest in being one of his "bunnies." Can he force me at knife into the playboy mansion?

Mat may be attracted to Tylin, but ultimately the choice of whether or not to act on that attraction should be his as much as hers, and it clearly wasn't here. She forced him at knife point, and that makes it rape no matter what sort of attraction he might have felt.
Tina Pierce
36. scissorrunner
FSS @ 30


having been involved w/courts & men vs women issues, I KNOW that your description is absolutely correct,

on to nicer issues....
"watching" Elayne look to Aviendha for approval during the apology thing with Mat was the BEST! Elayne is trying so hard to make Aviendha proud of her and Mat's confusion is priceless.

thanks Leigh! these posts always make me
1. laugh
2. think
3. wonder HOW I could have read these book so many times & still not see some (now obvious) points!!
Thomas Keith
37. insectoid
Good, good... everything is going as planned. (insert fake evil laugh here)

Ahem. Great post as always, Leigh. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Nope.

Mat: Is still hilarious. And Awesome.

Supergirls: Agree that they're pretty hilarious in passing.

Birgitte: Still awesome.

And... uh... ::cough::

Tylin: Was In These Chapters. ;)

Karen Fox
38. thepupxpert
I've read these posts for months now and one thing that has become perfectly clear to me is that people react in very different ways to what is written in these books. There have been times when someone has posted about how a scene in one of the books was so hilariously funny and my reaction was completely opposite to that, and vice versa.

I personally think there is no doubt that we have a rape scene in this chapter. But I also think that the way it was written, basically flat, leads it to be open to interpretation. I don't think RJ intentionally wrote it to be funny. But sometimes when you say things with a straight face it just comes out as being funny, for whatever reason.

However saying that, I felt very incomfortable reading this chapter the first time, certainly because this shouldn't happen to anyone, not even Mat the Ladies' Man, but mostly because I felt Tylin's use of those pet names was disrespectful and demeaning. I didn't really delve into the actual rape portion because it was so obvious to me what it was, and it didn't deserve any more attention in my mind.

Not until may re-reads later did I feel I was far enough removed from that scene to really appreciate just how horrible an experience that must have been for Mat. And even now just reading Leigh's post, what irritates and flames me to no end is the name-calling. I think more than anything that show how condescending and trashy she was.

RJ certainly wrote her character well; out of all the characters in the book I have to say that I hate Tylin. Regardless of her culture and status, I really hate that she did that to Mat.
Jennifer B
39. JennB
duplicate post
Jennifer B
40. JennB
I never thought about how RJ put the chapter where Morgase has been forced into bed by Valda as an alternative to continuing her being tortured right before the chapter where Tylin forces Mat into bed at knifepoint. Thanks for pointing that out.

He had to have done that on purpose.
Tricia Irish
41. Tektonica
Leigh: Thank you. Tactfully said.

I love the Mat/Birgitte budding friendship and look forward to their working together in Caemlyn and on to TG. I hope.

As for men and women having real non-sexual friendships, Absolutely! I grew up in a neighborhood of all boys, and me. I always related better to boys than girls growing up...never ever got the flirty bat your eye-lashes kind of thing....and consequently I have had many wonderful male friends. I'm still friends with men from serious past relationships...just friends....which tells me those relationships were based on a deep friendship and respect. Yes, absolutely. Men and women can be friends and can help each other understand the opposite sex!

MasterAlThor@18: I am honored to be on your female friend list! Thank you

I loved the way Mat's Ta'varen-ness worked by just sitting across the street and bingo, he follows the right woman!
42. Hopper
To step away from the rape thing and go back to something that was discussed a few posts back...

Elayne staring at Aviendha while shes apologizing, then not reacting when Mat forgives her, and only being relieved when Aviendha nods just annoys the crap out of me as a Mat fan. It really reinforces (for me) my opinion that her apology had nothing to do with Mat and she doesn't really feel too bad about wronging him, but is just doing it for her own selfish reasons. I generally don't mind Elayne, but I just hate it when good characters don't get the respect they deserve.

I also hate it when good characters get raped. Was Jordan ever asked directly about this scene at a signing or anything?
John Pigott
43. AbEnd
Of course it was a rape. Google your state's statute on rape and it'll probably look like the following:

Statutory Definitions
Rape is an act of sexual intercourse carried out:

1:- against a person's will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another.
2:- where the victim is unable to resist because of an intoxicating, narcotic, or anesthetic substance that the accused has responsibility for administering.
3:- where the victim is unconscious of the nature of the act and the perpetrator knows it.
4:- where the victim believes, due to the perpetrator's intentional deceptive acts, that the perpetrator is her spouse.
5:- where the perpetrator threatens to retaliate against the victim or any other person, and there is a reasonable possibility the perpetrator will execute the threat -- "threatens to retaliate" means threatens to kidnap, imprison, inflict extreme pain, serious bodily injury, or death.
6:- where the victim is incapable of giving consent, and the perpetrator reasonably should know this.
7:- where the perpetrator threatens to use public authority to imprison, arrest, or deport the victim or another, and the victim reasonably believes the perpetrator is a public official.

Looks like Tylin guilty of sections 1, 5 & 7. Rape laws do not specify genders just references perpetrators and victims.
44. matthew1215
When I first read this scene, I recognized it as rape. It bugged me, but not to the extent it has reportedly bugged others. I too was a bit surprised at the kerfluffle in fandom about it, even though I was already involved in the community when the book came out.

I figured Jordan did intend it to be funny, but was also making a definite point about flipping gender roles. He loses points for handling it poorly. For me, he went off the rails about when Mat was complaining about how he never chased a woman who made it clear she did not want to be chased; Tylin went so far beyond that the symmetry is lost.

It could have been funny and light-hearted and gender-flipping, had Tylin stuck to persistently courting Mat rather than forcing him.

For people who are confused by Mat's response not being outrage, as a man I don't find that response unrealistic at all. Mat himself is confused and ashamed. I don't think shame and confusion are at all unrealistic responses to what is, after all, closer to date rape or acquaintance rape than dark alley stranger rape. For those who question why "rape" when Mat wasn't traumatized... I suspect later chapters will make it quite clear that he was in fact traumatized, if I remember the evidence from the discussions correctly.

Also, the fact that the symptoms of Mat's emotional trauma are present later does redeem Jordan a little, by making it clear to a close reading that All Is Not OK.

I sort of find myself wondering what was intended by the relative proximity of Mat's experience here and Morgase's recent experience at the hands of the Whitecloaks, as well as Moggy's experience with Shaidar Haran. It seems like a previously unmentioned topic suddenly leaps into the foreground with multiple characters all at once.
j p
45. sps49
I loved Thom's accident with the knife, but had forgotten this was right after Nynaeve and Elayne were attacked.

T&M- I'm not calling everybody wrong, but interpreting art is always inside one's head, and I am processing this chapter differently.

Mat was reluctant, not unwilling. He didn't move back to the inn, which he could have once he saw where things were going (maybe subconsciously).

Tylin drew the knife when Mat tried to use physical force on a ruling Queen. And I don't know when she put it away, but I am sure it wasn't needed by the time Mat's coat was removed.

The situation just can't be judged by reversing the genders, either. Yes, Mat was pressured, but that happens in normal, real world relationships, too (to a lesser extent, usually). What, nobody has been part of an interaction where hands get pushed away a few -> several times, and then both parties agree to continue? Yes, Tylin and Mat are different from this in the degree of persuasion, but it is the same context.

Look at afterward. Doesn't rape devastate the victim? Does Mat feel violated? No, he is just la-de-da, lets dress up and go Bowl-huntin'. Does he EVER act like a rape victim? Not to me, and this tells me that what went on when we weren't watching was consensual.

I'm going to leave my (probably) more controversial thought unsaid.
Caroline Kierstead
46. ctkierst
Sorry, but I'm with Leigh on this one. I laughed when I read it until someone pointed out what was going on. Now, I don't feel comfortable with this section any more. Sure, Mat is attracted to Tylin, but the point is still that he said "no".

I was never totally sure why he didn't just leave at first (Tylin prevented further departures, at least with his goods, later on). Was it to protect Elayne and Nynaeve? Probably...
Rob Munnelly
47. RobMRobM
@35. Lsana-I was thinking of analogues as well. How about this one.

Twenty-something single woman with a good job and independent means is attacted to the ultra rich, widowed father of one of her good friends who she sees regularly. She won't act on it because she is afraid of what such a relationship would be like and afraid it would affect her friend's and peoples' attitudes towards her in their circle of friends and in the small town in which they live. He corners her in the pool house on a day she is visiting her friend, makes clear he is not going to take no for an answer, ravishes her -- which she certainly enjoys, once past the out of my hands point - and then he lets all of the friends and neighbors know they are having a relationship. They are now a couple but she still feels awkward, everyone in town knows it and she has to put up with lots of sly looks and chuckles and even more behind her back talk that she is his midlife crisis fling or even his "little bunny." Even though she's having fun, it is increasingly clear to her that she is going to have to move out of the town in the near future.

Bonnie Andrews
48. misfortuona
Well written classy commentary. Thank you.
I got nothing to say this time around, except thank you MAT for adding me to your list of re-read gal-friends, especially considering the company I’m in.
Hugs and waves

Mis-staying out of this particular discussion
Marcus W
49. toryx
Hopper @ 42:

That was exactly the reaction I had to that scene with Elayne apologizing. It doesn't mean a thing when she's only doing it to satisfy Aviendha.
50. matthew1215
sps49: You're blaming the victim for not expecting to be raped. Tylin does not get to excuse her actions as self-defense when she initiated the use of force by locking the doors and hiding the key on her person.

Jordan has the gift of writing about uncomfortable topics while glossing over a lot of the traumatic details. It's easy to overlook what happens here, just as it's easy to overlook what happens to Morgase and Moggy, because all of them happen with the details offscreen. The reader can fill in details that make them feel comfortable about the situation or choose to ignore what was implied because it is only an implication.

You say you're sure the knife wasn't needed once Mat's coat was removed. Think about how that applies in reverse. Would you make the same statement? Even if you would, I don't think you have any evidence to indicate it. In future scenes-by-implication, we find that Mat's been tied up, held captive by a gang of Tylin's maids, and that Tylin uses a knife in her abuse of Mat often enough that "stabbing the bedpost" has become a euphemism for the palace staff. That doesn't sound consensual to me, given how the whole thing started.
Richard Fife
51. R.Fife
Oddly enough, I am in the "yeah it is rape," camp, but I never felt all that angry at the comical way RJ presented it. Yes, I full well acknowledge that rape is a horrible thing, and the treatment of it for comedic effect is in poor taste, but on the other hand, I do see the inherent humor in the table-turning on Mat, so it's like, I can laugh at some of it, and sigh at others.

Also, I have to say I first always did think of it as "Mat was angry at the courtship, but not at the prospect of actually sleeping with Tylin," and I can still see where the people saying that are coming from. While I can see the implication that Tylin might have had the knife at Mat's throat the entire time, the fact that everything is implied leaves some wiggle room for interpretation. Perhaps off-scene, Mat did get into the kinky BDSM, and that is what Tylin meant about him enjoying himself, not just his climax. The following discomfort at following times came from the genderrole turnabout on him, and not on continual rape.

Am I saying that is what happened? no, but I'm not saying it isn't. I think Jordan left enough wiggle room that if we wanted to ignore this, though, we could.
Karen Fox
52. thepupxpert
matt@50 I agree with you 100% about the details being offscreen. I didn't even carch that Morgase had been raped in multiple re-reads of the book, only because of this post. As for Moggy, I think I knew at one point and just thought "ick" and went on, but because it wasn't written in a way that jumped out at me, I kind of glossed over it. The T&M scene is so in your face, regardless of how you think of it.
j p
54. sps49
matthew1215 @50-

I never overlooked Morgase. Totally different.

I never realized about Moghedien until reading a signing report (or somesuch) on the WoT-FAQ where someone asked about it. I knew she had been punished by Evil, but didn't wonder about particulars.

3rd para- what do you mean by "applies in reverse"?

R.Fife @51- You are being entirely too reasonable.

Edited for link.
Michael McCarthy
55. KilMichaelMcC
Look at afterward. Doesn't rape devastate the victim? Does Mat feel violated? No, he is just la-de-da, lets dress up and go Bowl-huntin'. Does he EVER act like a rape victim? Not to me, and this tells me that what went on when we weren't watching was consensual.

What kind of logic is this? If the victim isn't sufficiently traumatized, then it must not have been rape? Seriously?
Ben Goodman
56. goodben
First of all, I found the Tylin/Mat scene in just about equal parts amusing and disturbing and probably still do.

Second of all, it was rape by any modern consideration. "I could tell he wanted it and he clearly enjoyed it" is practically an admission of guilt.

But this is escapist fiction. I don't think Jordan was condoning it in any way, but I do think he intended it to be humorous (in a disturbing way). This kind of thing doesn't always work in that some things are too touchy/heinous to be joked about and I'll admit that rape is one of those, but I don't think a playboy getting the tables turned on him goes there--at least not as presented in this chapter.

What is totally alien to me is attributing to the author the deads of his character. Just because Jordan wrote this episode this way didn't mean that he thought it was okay--even if he did write it in an amusing matter. I mean, does anyone who enjoys South Park get upset with the writers when Kenny dies horribly?

So, it was wrong and Mat didn't deserve it, but it was still amusing (in a disturbing way). I can't really fault Jordan for writing it that way. I also think Jordan was pleased with the amount of thought and talk this scene generated.

But if this happened to one of my friends in real life? I'd be seriously mad.
57. boquaz
There are a ton of examples of this kind of thing in WOT. It's a power thing, virtually the whole series is about it.

Morgase provides the example of the psychological trauma that can come with rape. Matt is left largely unaffected. He's comic relief and she's the tragic figure.
j p
58. sps49
KilMichaelMcC @55-

This isn't real life.

We are discussing a book. There is no victim making a complaint, there are no witnesses to interview, there is no scene to investigate where and when a knife was used. There is only what the book has on the page.

Edie: mostly ninja'ed by goodben.
59. Corkryn17
I was going to weigh in on the whole Mat/Tylin discussion when it struck me:

The first time we see Beslan, he nonchalantly admits to his mother, the holder of the highest government office in the city if not the country, that he recently murdered a man, albeit accidentally. She appears neither shocked nor particularly angry, and she even makes a joke about it. It's implied that such things are taken as a matter of course in Ebou Dari culture.

So why does no one seem at all affronted by this casual depiction of murder when so many readers are outraged by the casual depiction of rape?

If cultural relativism can rationalize murder for a reader, why can it not do the same for rape?
60. alreadymadwithmanrape
On the plus side, his tenure as Tylin's Toy made it absolutely certain that every single one of the Seanchan would dismiss his true abilities. So in hindsight it might not have been such a bad thing. The Wheel turns.
61. matthew1215
sps49: The gender-reversed version of your statement would basically be a man saying "Hey, she enjoyed it once her clothes were off." I don't think you'd sign on to that statement as justifying a rape, even if true, so why would you sign on to one with the gender reversed?

Also, for the record, I didn't mean you specifically overlooked Morgase and Moggy, just that the scenes were written to allow them to be overlooked. In the same way, the scene with Mat was written to allow the reader to easily overlook the scene as humorous table-turning. However, a more discerning reader (and I admit that was not me the first time through!) can easily read the signs that, really, there's nothing funny here at all. Because Jordan's trying hard to keep the PG13 rating and he knows there are some seriously intense adult readers, he tries to have it both ways with the T&M thing. He doesn't succeed, instead offending people who read closely and encouraging those who don't to overlook the whole issue.

boquaz@57: Read closer, and you'll see the signs of Mat's emotional trauma. It's not spelled out to the degree that Morgase's is, sure... but it's there.
F Shelley
62. FSS
@59 - the difference is: in many countries until the 18th or 19th centuries, there was a tradition of honorable dueling. And in those countries there was a difference between a duel and a murder. A fair fight vs being stabbed or shot in the back. And I think we fantasy readers accept that. Accepting Tylin's rape of Mat as anything other than rape smacks not only of accepting rape as OK or the victim's fault, but also brings up an issue that is talked about fairly often in modern society when a woman is raped or sexually harassed and the man gets away with it because "she dressed slutty" or acted like she liked it or wanted it.

The dueling reference is largely gone in our society; the rape thing is very topical. Thus the debate...
Rob Munnelly
63. RobMRobM
@59. To clarify, the Beslan situation is not murder as we understand it - need an intent to kill and Beslan lacked that intent. Even at that level, given a duel-oriented culture, participants understand and expect that accidents will happen and people will be seriously hurt or die. Both duelists accepted the risk going in and it can be justified on that level, even though it would bring jail time in US (as negligent homicide).

Here, unquestioned intent to rape with use of a weapon, which is militated but not excused by fact that Mat found it enjoyable to some extent. Different facts, IMO.

64. Tamcat
The whole Mat/Tylin thing, I can see both sides of the debate, but in the end I still fall on the side thinking it was intended to be comical ( I never thought is was really funny though). I say this because Mat is very casual afterwards since he's having a smoke. In real life, if the roles were reversed, I don't think a female rape victim would be feeling so casual. Another reason I think it's supposed to be humorous is because Elayne and Nyn keep telling Mat to be more accomodating to Tylin and to show some respect. Personally I never cared much for the Tylin character. She reminded me of Mrs. Robinson, bah.

Anyway, from last week's post, I wanted to say thanks to those who were concerned about the pending layoffs at my work. I think I'll be ok, but it will be devastating for many. What's really awful is that it's all political and didn't need to happen.
James Jones
65. jamesedjones
58 sps49
This isn't real life.
True. But, while I have recommended BWS's Alcatraz books to the daughter of a new friend of mine, I absolutely will not recommend WOT. You see, this little girl has an older brother she may or may not know about. And, while she enjoys Harry Potter and Alcatraz, I don't want her to experience any issues from reading a book (no matter how great the book may be).

Movies and music have appropriate warnings on them, but there is nothing available for a book. A great author wants to draw you in, and share with you laughter and tears. But you don't recommend Stephen R Donaldson or GRRM to anyone under 12 (if then). So, please be aware that this, and Egwene's nightmare that she forced on Nyneave to protect her own lie, are sensitive subjects.
66. OwMasha
FSS @ 69 - Many countries indeed, including parts of the United States.

That said, the way we see rape is (as Leigh pointed out) still pretty new, and definitely loaded up with shades of grey that some of us see black, some white. I don't want to say I like this controversy, or the differences of opinion showing up here, but they're definitely reflective. (FSS, again, set that up pretty well in 30 - except, unfortunately, the bit about how 'she's a total whore' would still carry weight with quite a few people, and the sentence might be light or nonexistent.)

But back in the day, would we really see any meaningful response to, say, a commoner's complaint against royalty (who had, mind, put them up in residence on their property)? There are a thousand ways to try to draw the line between seduction and rape now - but a lot of recorded history shows people only did so when they could be bothered/needed an excuse to start a fight.

And the discussion about perceptions is right to the heart of the matter, too - plenty of real-world discussions end up the same way, with a back-and-forth of 'it was obvious that wanted it/made bad choices and regrets them now' against ' expressed serious reservations/was forced in or unable to consent meaningfully'. Rape is much, much more about a conflict of perceptions than, say, murder - presumably because we don't really believe anyone would consent to having a knife shoved through their ribs (for instance), but sex ...

(Now, to check the twenty-odd comments that have probably been posted in the time rambling took...)
j p
67. sps49
matthew1215 @61-

Ugh, I didn't want to say this.

You cannot just reverse the genders. In general (repeat: in general), if a male threatened a woman with a knife, then put it aside, the threat is still there. The victim would have very little chance of taking control of the knife and, even if she had the knife, still doesn't have much of a chance against someone sufficiently stronger.

Also, in my opinion, it really really is different for a man who has an attractive woman be very aggressive sexually toward him than the other way around. Female on male just isn't the same! The situation described and discussed here requires the man to become sexually aroused, and that just isn't the same as male on female, where no compliance or acquiesence is ultimately required.

This is getting too distasteful for me to discuss. I may recuse myself from anything further on this topic, but I will close with stating that I feel that calling this situation "rape" minimizes the real thing.

And I'll agrtee to disagree.

At leat my favorite scene (Six Stories) is coming up.
68. NobleHunter
I have a problem with the arguments that it wasn't rape 'cause Mat didn't fight. The instant the knife comes out, Tylin is in complete control. Just because the knife is later put away doesn't mean that the idea of it isn't still present. There is always the implicit threat of violence even if none is actually employed.

Mat also has issues with directing violence towards women (though not as bad as Rand). Even so, he does debate trying to disarm her and concludes he can't. After the knife was put away, Mat would have to overcome some pretty strong conditioning to initiate violence with a woman. Not to mention she was a Queen and could always come back with a knife later. So saying that his lack of a violent response indicates consent is a pretty dubious statement.

Nor does Mat's enjoyment of the situation indicate consent. Consent is an emotional/mental declaration while pleasure is a physical response. The two are not necessarily related. Even his immediate reaction afterward does not indicate consent, there is such a thing as making the best of a bad situation.

I think the key question to evaluate the event is: would Mat have slept with her - at that moment - if she had not drawn a knife on him? I see no evidence that he would have. Therefore, it was rape.
jeffrey denzel
69. md9dme65
@ 35 Lsana (and many others)

Just curious, where does Min and Rand's comforting after Herid Fel's death fall on the spectrum of relationships?

I think that is very close to Rand would have been interested in Min in other circumstances definitely, but not at that particular moment. Min even thinks of pulling a knife or some such if he had stopped.

Has Min raped Rand?
j p
70. sps49
Tylin's knife- I have the impression she is skilled, similar to Berelain, in personal defense; trying to take the knife is a bad idea. But Mat could have called her on it- just fold his arms and stand still. Trying to lay hands on the Royal Person is one thing; I can see Tylin slicing Mat if he had persisted in going after the key; but would Tylin really perforate his throat because he didn't want to play along?
Rob Munnelly
71. RobMRobM
@69. No, they had been playing kissing games since Camelyn. Fact that both chose to act on it under emotional stress following Fel death is fine. Very mutual by that point.

@70. I'd bet the house that Mat would have been poked and prodded painfully until he gave in. Kill, no - hurt, yes.
Alex Johns
72. almuric
I don't think it matters, overall, whether any of us are outraged at what happened between Tylin and Mat. The question we should be asking, is: "Mat, do you think you were raped?"

Our evidence points to him saying, "No." Perhaps there would be a few caveats about him wishing he'd initiated it and such, but if you think it wasn't consensual then you're forgetting the whole part about Mat being pretty much the biggest bad-ass in the series. Perhaps Lan or super-Gawyn could take him, but Tylin? Please. At some point she removed the dagger from his throat and then Mat could have taken it from her and made his refusal more clear. RJ didn't write it that way because, in the end, Mat was more than willing to bed this woman.

Look at the scene where Mat says good-bye. He intimates that the next time around he'll chase her. That doesn't jibe with the actions of a rape victim. You can get all outraged about the dagger and everything but Tylin read Mat to his core, knew he was a player, knew he was attracted to her, and knew that the only reason he was against the idea was that she was a Queen. So she took the bull by the horns. A woman who knows what she wants. How awful.

And you cannot do the gender reversal thing here. Men and women think about sex differently. Tylin knew Mat was ok with casual sex. She would not have done the same to a married man or someone who was more puritanical in their outlook. She played a player.

I sure hope all you people who hate Tylin also hate Berelain. Because, of the two, she's much more despicable. Going after a guy who's got a girl and makes it clear he doesn't want anything to do with you is way more reprehensible than this. As a guy who likes girls, if a woman I was attracted to did something similar to me I'd be ok with it. (Assuming I was single and available.) Hell, I'd probably applaud it. A woman who wants to get in bed with me this bad? I'd be so frikkin' flattered I'd probably forget what to do between the sheets.
Gabrielle Rashad
73. neverearth
@ 70 sps49
Perhaps you may not believe she would have cut/killed him for not playing along, but Mat certainly did. And that's part of the definition of rape: "where the perpetrator threatens to retaliate against the victim or any other person, and there is a reasonable possibility the perpetrator will execute the threat." Mat didn't know if she would do it, but he reasonably believed that she would retaliate against him. Thus, forced consent.
j p
74. sps49
Thanks, almuric, I was feeling mighty lonely.
Rob Munnelly
75. RobMRobM
@72. Won't comment on rest of post but, yes, I dislike Berelain more than Tylin. Nastier, more reprehensible and far more harmful to the success of a dangerous mission. I don't hate either, just dislike some of their actions. R
John Massey
76. subwoofer
Why can't JordanConn be moved to Vegas?

It's wayyy more central. Flights and hotels are cheaper. And shorter. Direct flights from everywhere...

Just sayin'.

John Riggs
77. jmvreality
There is a well-developed precedent for people already in relationships to rape each other.

Rape is not a complicated matter: if one person does not want to have sex, and communicates that (either verbally or by any other means), but the other person continues with the sexual act, that is rape.

Men can get aroused even if they don't want to. Have you ever heard of 5th grade class photos and unfortunate erections in sweatpants? Point proven.
Karen Fox
78. thepupxpert
almuric @ 72 - Berelain never held a knife to Perrin's throat. She's a spoiled girl who is more in to flirting and probably wouldn't know what to do if Perrin responded to her attentions anyway. The one night she actually had him in her bed, she didn't even try anything. Tylin is a mature queen who definitely played a player (great line!). No comparison!
Karen Fox
79. thepupxpert
sorry that should have been a response to @75 RobM
j p
80. sps49

5th grade? 10 years old?

During boot camp, while marching opposite the parade ground where friends & family of that week's graduating class were in the reviewing stands, the breeze brought the scent of female perfume from 150- 200 yards/ meters away, resulting in excitement and a surprise erection. Unwanted? Kind of, but not really.

The possibility (possibility!) of arousal in a potentially embarassing situation does not prove any point to me. I've been attacked and under stress, and for me that particular problem has never occurred.

It is still different.
81. Corkryn17

Is the problem then that Tylin does not take on a more antagonistic role in the storyline? I mean Valda can rape Morgase and there's no debate raging about that one.

It's not as if Tylin is otherwise depicted as being at all noble or heroic.

I'm just trying to understand the position that this is somehow a poor reflection on Jordan's writing.
Daniel Holm
82. dholm
Tylin might not have realized just what she was doing. This does not exonerate her, of course, but it is a more or less mitigating detail.

What does exonerate her, however, is that Mat... enjoyed himself. He didn't want it, but he didn't mind when it happened, either. This changes the situation completely.

Can it be rape if the victim ... doesn't mind? In my opinion, no. It shares a similarity, but in my opinion, the word should be reserved for situations where it actually applies.
Daniel Holm
83. dholm
Just to add something more: I mean truly doesn't mind. Someone who has deluded themselves into thinking they don't mind are not what I am talking about.
84. Dholton
I'm definitely in the "it's rape" camp. But I confess I'm more disturbed by the relationship between Mat and Tylin as a whole, then just this first incident. Not to mention, as nearly everyone else, quite ambivalent about it.

There are the elements that I truly cherish, which are the role reversal, and the way it's played for humor (Especially when Elayne finds out, and how that furthers her growth and their relationship). Then there are the other parts already mentioned by others, the starving, kidnapping etc, which are not so good.

This really is something of an abusive relationship. This first incident wasn't all that humiliating to Mat (still rape though), but her later actions are deeply humiliating to Mat, especially the incident of the Pink Ribbons. So much so, he burns them and every other pink piece of clothing she gives him. The only time Tuon really hurt him, was when she revealed she knew of the incident. Even the first time I read it, I was disturbed by it, and even more so when I read some comments by RJ that he considered it one of the comedic highlights of that book.

Even other Ebou Dari, such as Setalle Anan, look somewhat askance at the relationship. saying Tylin's carrying it too far.

Frankly, it reminds me of another abusive relationship from New Spring, between Lan and what's-her-name, his First (or whatever they call it). She wraps Lan in cultural bonds of what amounts to sexual slavery (admittedly an abuse of Malkieri cultural norms). The difference here being that RJ doesn't play it for humor, but for what it actually is.

And I guess that's what I find most disturbing about the whole thing. Not that RJ was blind to the implications to this first incident, but that he continued be blind to it, as evidenced by his view on the whole Pink Ribbons thing.
Noneo Yourbusiness
85. Longtimefan
Well this thread is going to go on for a while.

The clever way the scene with Mat and Tylin was written (if clever is the correct word) was how it used socially reinforced stereotypes of how people in Western or even just American culture percive "Men" and "Women".

"People" are not enlightened. Individuals can be. Many individuals on this thread are as enlightened as they want to be weather or not other people agree with them.

Why the scene can be "rape" and why it can be "forgiven" even if it makes people uncomfortable or amused is how the end result is written. Mat is put out but not emotionally devistated. And had he been he would not have been "Hero" or even "Man" material. The sexist stereotype ingrained in current society would not have permitted the general readership to accept emotional behavior from Mat.

A True reversal of the genders would have resulted in a woman being flustered about having had relations with someone but not devistated by it. She would have enjoyed it but it would not have been "proper". How would a general readership have accepted that if Morgase was not weepy about Valda but instead just wished it happened under different circumstances? She had already had a marriage to a man she did not love but had two children by him. She has had relationships with other men willingly (Not counting Rahvin). She could have been written in a very similar way. Would that change how people see the character? Would it make most readers dislike her further or would they suddenly find a renewed respect for how "strong" she could be?

I have never liked Mat as a character but I still do not think it is funny to have someone force their attenions on him as a reversal of his "playful" behavior. There is an interesting hint in the tavern maid's behavior when he is leaving that what he thought was happening was not what she thought was happening not because he was too aggressive but because she did not understand the "game" he was playing. Why, well like every situation in this interesting and engaging series there was a lack of communication. By lack I mean NONE AT ALL. For all the speaking people do in these books they do not really do much talking.

Someone earlier mentioned the "comforting" that Min and Rand engaged in after Herid Fel had be killed. That will be approached later in this book and Rand's reaction is going to cause some commentary. This book is full of alledged rape, hinted rape, dissmissed rape and not rape but questionably close. At least there is no Spanking.

When we get to it Rand's reaction also makes me wonder about his upbringing because he has such a severe reaction where as Mat grew up in the same village and chances are he would not consider himself in the same harsh light Rand uses.

As for people being friends if they are of a gender they generally find attractive that really depends on the person and it is nice that Mat as a fictional character is developing past such primitive thinking.

Oh those Ebou Dari, So culturally shocking! And then they get taken over by the Seanchan. More shocking or less? Do they become better when someone worse takes over?
Karen Fox
86. thepupxpert
dholm@82 - Tylin is a product of her culture, all the women wear their marriage knives and have no inhibitions about using them on their husbands, or in this case, her potential lover. It's reprehensible to us but in her culture it seems like the norm for the women to bully the men, and since she is a Queen she is used to getting what she wants.

I think where the tables got turned was when Mat grabbed her arm. Had she pocketed the key and they played keep-away for a while and somehow found themselves falling on the bed, well then we probably wouldn't be talking about it like it was a rape. But when she pulled out the knife everything changed. And since it seems the women wear their marriage knives around their necks 24/7, it's unlikely she would have taken it off.

All these different viewpoints have really got me thinking. I still dislike Tylin, even more so because she obviously didn't think what she was doing was wrong and she probably couldn't figure out why Mat was not responding to her intentions when it seemed perfectly clear to her that she wanted him as her "pet". I guess my hangup on all of it is that she does treat him like her pet and that goes more towards debasing him in my mind than the actual physical act.
Jeff Soules
87. DeepThought
Still reading -- dreading the Tylin part of course. But re: Mat's luck being related to his being ta'veren -- I actually think it's something different. Mat's luck is good. It's great. And it almost universally helps him. We've seen Rand (who is more strongly ta'veren than Mat) nearly get himself blown up and cause all kinds of chaos around him. That's not the effect that Mat has; instead, the world just seems to like him, so he always throws the right throw (even when that's losing) and always seems to glance over his shoulder at the right time to miss the knife.

So I don't think it's stubbornness; I think it's actually a separate effect, part of his own magic speshulness, over and above ta'veren.
88. matthew1215
sps49: I was leaving it alone, but since you've kept posting on it, I just want to note that your protests that it's "different" are going to really embarrass you when you stop and think about them.
89. Speradigm
Re: 9 -- So if you're dating someone who you find sexually attractive and they force you to have sex with them, it isn't rape becasue you're attracted to them? Really? That totally wasn't how I felt about my expirience.
90. Hopper
@82 I agree that the word 'rape' should be used with caution and never thrown around lightly... which may be why this particular scene (which may be seen by some as not deserving the extremely powerful label of 'rape') causes debate, while Morgase's rape does not.

So how about we just come up with a new word, lets say, tylinated, that means a male player had the tables turned on him in an attempted comedic fashion that is full of dark overtones upon further examination because he didn't express consent and was instead forced into bed and stripped naked at knife point at which point he may or may not have enjoyed himself yet afterwards did not exhibit the full psychological trauma that could have been expected. And then I think we can all agree that Mat was tylinated.

tl;dr- If we communicated like wolves, I don't think we'd be debating this.
j p
91. sps49
Deep Thought-

I don't think of Mat's luck as having to do with ta'veren, but it is his supernatural attribute. Perrin has the wolves, Rand the OP, Mat the luck.

I don't see luck working for Rand and Perrin nearly the same.

And where did the dice start rolling for him again? (goes to look)
92. Hari Coplin
Personally, I think RJ intention was exactly that the reader must notice what actually happened for themselves. It is not so uncommon that terrible things happen to people but others do not take them seriously at all. People do laugh at accidents, figuratively speaking; not all people, but many, especially when they are not informed by an 'authority' that the situation is grave. So, I think RJ was targeting exactly cultural blindness and the like: he is not saying, lets laugh at mat being raped, he is saying, you did laugh, didn't you, because you were not paying attention, were too busy to think, had the next work project in mind, and that this will happen also in real life; did it occur to you that Mat might appreciate some help at some point. This, I think, is what is written about here, and probably it worked only because Mat is male.
93. Jormengrund
Ok, ok.. I know I don't post on here often, but usually it's because many others know more and are actually more knowledgable about WoT matters than myself. I consider myself a fan, and I read and re-read these books often. Save one..

Because of the treatment of Mat at the hands of Tylin, I have to keep myself from being outraged. Yes, the intent was to turn the tables on Mat, and have the pursuer suddenly be pursued. The hunter become the hunted.. Add whatever euphamisim here you like.

However, when it boils down to it, Mat was taken and raped, and made into a basic sex slave for Tylin. He does have enough free will that he could've run at any time. Yet the premise here is that even with that choice, he's honor-bound to stay because of his deal and word of keeping close to Elayne and Nyn. So he's basically trapped at the palace, and being used as another person's toy with no real regard for his opinion or feelings.

Call it what you will. It's rape.

Mentally picturing it, I'm sure that he stopped arguing once he realized what was happening, but I'm sure that doesn't salve any of the ego wounds he's gotten because of it. I mean, how many women have carried these scars because of the treatment they've recieved at the hands of their respective rapists?

Sure, there are folks out there who are STILL of the mindset that if you dress a certain way, or act a certain way, then you get what's coming to you, and deserve it. It doesn't matter if you say "no" or not, your actions outweigh the words.

This is going to be another sticking point. Because there are folks out there who find the humor in the situation, they are quick to point out that he wasn't REALLY all that upset about it, and that he could have left whenever he wanted..

But the fact of the matter is that he did struggle. It was against his will. He wasn't willing.

Rape is rape. There's no "gray" area here. He fought, he was repressed, and he was taken against his will.

Argue how you want to, the facts are still there.

Great post Leigh!
Jason Deshaies
94. darxbane
There is definitely some serious coersion going on here, but I just can't bring myself to call it rape, even if it does technically fit real-world statutes. As for whether or not he could get away; yes, he definitely could have. I'm sorry, but someone capable of defeating half a dozen Trollocs at once, defeating multiple AIEL at once, will have no real problem disarming a 50 year-old pampered monarch if he really, really wanted to. Lastly, and I think most importantly, Mat complains about his situation constantly, which, as any real Mat fan knows, is a sign that he is not really upset about it. When Mat is truly injured and/or upset, he gets very quiet. He could have left at any time. When he finally does stand up and directly tell her he was leaving, she let him go.
Lannis .
95. Lannis
Excellent job, Leigh! And I echo your sentiments.

On my first read, I found the Tylin-Mat incident ballsy but hilarious. It wasn't until a subsequent read (and a job where part of my position was keeping residents safe and being the first response to incidents--including rape) that the scene read as a woman raping a man. And I agree, Jordan didn't intend to make the statement inadvertently said... but we all make mistakes sometimes.

Insightful comments from everyone so far... hope it continues to be civil.

Thanks again, Leigh! Have a great weekend.
Roger Powell
96. forkroot
Yes it's rape, by 21st century western moral standards. And that has made for some interesting discussions as we have examined the behavior of the characters using the framework of 21st century western moral standards. Personally though, I'm burned out on that type of discussion, as it seems most of the salient points have now been made.

The reactions of the characters in the book are, of course, based on the moral standards of the culture (actually cultures) that RJ designed for his WoT world. Whether you consider it humorous, offensive, or whatever, much of the tension in the whole Mat-Tylin story revolves around his Two-Rivers upbringing and his moral framework in contrast to hers.

Had Mat been an Ebou-Dari, he would have known "how the game was played" and been less surprised at the situation. Instead, it is very interesting (and many of us do think it is humorous) to see Mat's preconceptions of male and female roles in the pursuit of a sexual relationship get turned completely around.

A lot of humor is based on other people's minor misfortune. Joe gets a pie in the face, that's funny. Joe dies from cancer, that's not funny. I think a lot of people see the humor in the turnabout only because Mat was not seriously hurt (other than his pride.)

Most of us enjoy seeing pride lanced and incorrect pre-conceived notions burst, especially when the lesson is not permanently damaging to the burstee.

If people want to argue about Tylin's behavior, I think the interesting arguments revolve around whether what she did was consist with the moral standards of Ebou Dar as presented by RJ. It's not 100% clear, as some have already pointed out in earlier posts. She had a lot of power, more so than any other woman in Ebou Dar, and she went to fairly involved lengths to corner Mat.

Lastly, consider the other character's reactions. Beslan thinks that everything is highly appropriate (although he may not have understood all that his mother did.) Elayne is outraged when she thinks that Mat pursued Tylin, but becomes positively sympathetic to him when she learns the truth.
Jennifer B
97. JennB

Mat didn't move back to the inn because he gave his word to Elayne and Nynaeve that he would move into the palace. Mat always keeps his word and he is too embarrassed to ask to be released from the promise because he would have to admit that Tylin is taking advantage of him.

I think this is realistic because victims often keep abuse secret out of embarrassment.

While I often wondered my Mat didn't just up and leave, I also have wondered that about real life abuse victims. If victims in real life often choose to stay with their abuser, it seems realistic that Mat might.

As to Mat's reaction, outwardly he may act like there is no problem, but his inner monologue and his continuing efforts to avoid Tylin show that he is not comfortable with the situation.

He eventually grows fond of Tylin. He even misses her when she is dead, but even then he expresses that he disliked the relationship she had forced on him. I could see that happening, it makes me think of a very mild version of Stockholm syndrome.

While I disagree about the rape, I do agree that Berelain is very bad but in a completely different way. I don't think that spreading rumors about someone can be compared to rape at knifepoint.
98. Freelancer
Everybody grab onto something...

My position on this matches that of R.Fife@51. (Yeah, I know, who'd have expected to find me in bed with the relativist on anything controversial.)

I laughed (just like Leigh) when I read it the first time, and I laugh exactly the same way when I re-read it. It is an engagingly written scene, and retroactively deciding that it must be considered un-funny because you've discovered what you believe is an unpleasant aspect of it is erecting a barrier, not breaking one down. I choose not to be seduced by an unwarranted bout of political correctness for Mat's sake. I consider exactly why Jordan chose to join these two characters in this manner, and I find no nefarious underpinning.

The thrust of R.Fife's argument can be augmented by considering that Mat really could leave anytime he wanted to (after the initial encounter, granted), and the fact that he does not provides the pregnant truth that his resistance isn't a true refusal.

Is Tylin a naughty woman? Without question. Do people in authority over others take advantage of them throughout a variety of milieu within this type of world setting? Absolutely. Is it ever prosecuted? Not in a million years, because these are monarchial or oligarchial nations, they have no Magna Carta or Constitution, and the rulers are subject only to their own conscience, or appetites, whichever is more aroused at a given time.

Does that make it right? Well, there R.Fife and I might break congress, since I'm an absolutist and say of course not. It the situation still funny? To me, yes, because after all, it's still fiction, no actual farmboys were abused in the making of this scene, so I can't screw up the level of indignation which would be apropos to a real life equivalent.

Wow, I didn't realize all that was pent up in there. Now that it's been released, I feel somehow satisfied.
99. Allchaos
I don't know for sure if Mat was raped, per say, as he would have been if the gender roles were reversed, but I still feel, as a guy, that its different having a female you are attracted to "rape" you when you are single, unattached, and used to chasing around women. Mat just feels disgruntled that he was the one chased into bed, rather than the one who did the chasing. He doesn't feel emotional about being bedded against his will, nor does he feel any of the common rape victim symptoms. He's angry that he wasn't the one to start the encounter. Even when I reread the series before ToM, I don't think my laughter when I read this chapter will be any less after reading about the rape theory, because the fact that he enjoyed it, that he didn't seriously struggle against it, and the fact that he's completely calm afterwards makes it seem to me that he didn't have that bad a time, even if he was threatened into it. I guess the threatening itself does constitute the encounter as rape, but Mat is in no way a victim of anything other than his own pride being damaged.

The fact that RJ wrote the chapter like this, as a role-reversal and a humorous table-turning for Mat, doesn't show to me that he was going for some dark, psychological ramifications. Compared to Graendal, who actively beds her "slaves" against their will (because they don't have wills), I think this was meant to just be a funny event in the life of Mat, where he finds a woman in a city ruled by women who forces him to sleep with her. I seriously can't read this chapter as anything but that, no matter the knife-point issue or the fact that Mat vocally says no; the guy is a military genius and, according to Thom in one of the books, has some of the quickest hands he's seen - I think if he had really wanted to, he could have stopped her at any time during, but he got into it himself.
100. Ellie Angel
I thought your discussion was very even-handed, Leigh.

Also, what Dholton said -- it's a disturbing relationship.

Forgive me if others pointed it out above, but the relationship crosses age lines, too -- if Tylin was an older man and Matt was a young woman, it would be creepy. Imagine Thom and Elayne in the same circumstances, and everyone laughing about it. The way the older serving women are also complicit in Tylin's tactics is also off-putting.

I think Matt's resilience as a character is one of the things that saves this sequence from being a total downer.
Tess Laird
101. thewindrose
I remember seeing something about the writing of the 'first or actual act' for the Mat and Tylin scene being discussed. I couldn't find what I had actually read from that time, but this comes close:

A Crown of Swords book tour 21 June 1996, Charleston - Brian Ritchie reporting

RJ wrote the Mat/Tylin scenario as a humorous role-reversal thing. His editor, and wife, thought it was a good discussion of sexual harassment and rape with comic undertones. She liked it because it dealt with very serious issues in a humorous way. She seemed to think it would be a good way to explain to men/boys what this can be like for women/girls, showing the fear, etc.

Robert Jordan brought up many different idea's in his writing. A big one was gender, and reversing roles. This had to be a tough one to try and deal with, yet necessary to keep in line with the ideas he wanted to touch on. He choose to do it this way. To leave it out would not have been in keeping with what he was trying to get across. He and his editor/wife decided this was the best way. It is a hard topic to do, however I think it does belong in the book, hard as it can be to think about or read.

Jennifer B
102. JennB
Thanks for the quote.
103. matthew1215
The people saying that Mat could have stopped it, had he chose to fight, are missing the point. Sure, he probably could have fought Tylin. And then what? She's the queen; he's in her palace, none of her guards are going to do anything about the situation. He's trapped, embarrassed, confused, and has *no* ideal how to handle the situation. Blaming Mat for not finding a way out of a complex situation is absurd, and it doesn't excuse Tylin's actions.

To Allchaos@99: Read more closely in the upcoming chapters. All the emotional impact you are looking for is there.

To everyone who keeps saying "It's different for a man"... your cultural bias and biological ignorance is showing. Seriously.

dholm@82-83: Mat "doesn't mind" because he's in emotional shock. He doesn't have to admit that that is what happened, whether publicly or to himself. With the benefit of the third-person POV we can tell what happens the first time, and make a pretty good guess what happens the following times. Real-world rape victims often don't admit to it either, even after substantial time has passed.

I think trying prosecute this as rape would be difficult, because Mat would be reluctant to testify due to his conflicting feelings about it. But that's common in real-world rape cases (think date rape) too.

On the whole... if we hadn't had prominent mentions of Tylin's knife in this scene and repeatedly emphasized in later scenes, we could credibly write this off as a somewhat awkward table-turning sequence. Since the knife was mentioned so prominently and emphasized again later, we don't have the easy out.

I do sort of wonder if this is the Pattern's way of setting Mat up to stop womanizing and settle down with Tuon. I'll have to watch for Mat's "chasing" behavior on my next reread, and see if it is reduced or changed after this sequence.
104. prometheus
Could Mat have fought Tylin off? Sure, becoming Ebou Dar's most wanted in the process. What happens to his men, then. How about the mission? There are things other than his own personal safety that could be threatened.

Was it a cultural norm? Perhaps, but cruelty and abuse have been cultural norms in every civilization in history. Does that make the abuse okay, or acceptable? Not to me.

At the end of the day, though, if consent is not given -- or is withdrawn, it is rape. Period. The act is no longer one of intimacy, but one of abusive domination and control.
Jay Dauro
105. J.Dauro
Subwoofer @76
Because the folks that run JordanCon live in Atlanta, and trying to run one of these long distance is a real pain.

Anyone who cares to do another one in Las Vegas will find me willing to attend.

darxbane @94
This is not a 50 year old pampered monarch. This is a 50 year old monarch who has fought duels. And as others have said, Tylin has shown that she has her entire staff and army working to aid her in this.

Forkroot @96
Good job. And we are told later (by Setalle I believe), that Tylin did go beyond what was proper by Ebou Dar standards.

AI do not agree with the idea that this is "turning the tables on Mat", although it is a role reversal. We are specifically told that Mat never forces himself on anyone. If they are not interested, he is not interested. Yes, Nyneave, Elayne and others do not like his womanizing. And Nyneave may think he forces himself on women. But we are shown that Nyneave reads the barmaid's response as Mat forcing, while in reality it is more because Mat is not paying more attention to her.

Another thing that interests me in how RJ viewed it, is Tylin's death. I do not like the circumstances of her death (and of course neither does Mat.) But we have seen that in general most folks who do bad things in WOT do not do well.

I really believe RJ would have loved to read this thread. It has caused a lot of readers to think about what has happened, and consider other viewpoints.
D.I. Rock
106. FeatherDancer
In my mind this was definately forced sex. You can name it whatever you want. Tylin took advantage of her position & authority. Physically Matt could have stopped her but it would have ended badly for him one way or another if he had.

Something else that stikes me about this scene is more fuel for Matt disliking nobles. They expect and demand to have privledge far in excess of most people even to the extent that Rand changed the laws in Tear so that a noble could not kill a peasant without bearing punishment. I assume prior to that it was plenty OK to off a peasant, take his property, have sex with him/her or his family members and not fear for retribution.

This was not a relationship Matt wanted. There is humor to be seen in a turning of tables - he being the chasee instead of the chaser. It was fun to see the dance of attraction and Matt's uneasiness of Tylin's attentions and even his shock at having Tylin pawing at him but it crossed the line when she drew the knife. Matt is loved as a rogue and Tylin is disliked by many readers. Maybe because as Matt said he would not continue chasing a woman who let it be known she didn't want chased. I'm sure he would find some comical way to assure her he was heart broken by the rejection or imply she was making a terrible mistake by letting him get away but he would not force his attentions where they were clearly not wanted. Tylin on the other would absolutely not tolerate rejection. She was entirely capable of subjugating a man who refused her and that is exactly what she did to Matt.
Rob Munnelly
107. RobMRobM
Getting pretty darn close to move it along, nothing to see here, time on the principal topic of this post ....

What else do we have to talk about here?

"Elayne and Nynaeve are not having any more luck with Carridin, and will not tell Mat who it is they are looking for...." Who are they looking for - the BA? Someone else? Not getting it.

"Evidently being attacked on the street can have a beneficial effect, in some ways. Who knew." I didn't think the attack led to the agreement to accept "minders," but rather that they want to keep Mat quiet and trouble free while they are playing the ta'veren on a leash game.

"When Harry Met Sally was a brilliantly funny movie, but I’ve been amazed (and relieved) at how often my adult life has provided examples of how wrong its central premise was. Or hey, maybe I’m kidding myself. I’d be sad to think it, if so." Don't worry Leigh, we'll be your platonic friends, really we will.

And I'm still puzzled by the six nights reference in Reanne's final monologue. Are they going to do something with the ter'angreal stash six nights from then? If so, why and in particular why in six nights from then? If not the ter'angreal stash, what is she talking about?

stephanie keenan
108. adriel_moonstar
One of the things that I think we forget in these discussions is that the first book in this series was published twenty years ago-and it wasn't plotted, written, or edited, overnight.

A lot of the social issues that seem so clear now were only starting to come into focus in the 80's and what was a progressive, even radical, treatment of those issues at that time may seem half-hearted or off-base now.

If you can stand it, look at a few romance novels from the eighties. The plot device of the "hero" forcing his attentions on an unwilling woman who eventually comes to love him...was unfortunately all too common. In that context, I can accept this incident as one of Jordan's many gender reversal plots.

Our understanding of rape has changed a lot in the last twenty or thirty years. Prosecution of date-rape, laws protecting the victims from being blamed in court...these things are relatively new.

(By the same token Leigh's outrage over Galina's sexual orientation seemed to me to have missed the context of the time at which the book was written. She was after all one of the more competent villains of the piece. If anyone needs a reminder about how much society's views on homosexuality have come in the last twenty years, I highly recommend the HBO movie "And the Band Played On". I was in college in the eighties, and I thought I remembered, but watching the movie again recently with my daughter was still an eye-opener.)

Is Jordan's treatment of gender and sexual issues issues perfect-no. But in my view he gets points for starting out well ahead of the curve.
Ian Jackson
109. porus
It has occurred to me that the reason this issue is so controversial is not a result of gender reversal, but rather the improbable notion that non-consensual sex is not necessarily rape. (still trying to wrap my brain around that one, but I think in WOT-land it's possible, hence this huge, decade-long debate)

Consider Morgase and Eamon Valda. Technically, that sex was consensual, but I doubt anyone would argue that Valda did not rape Morgase in the truest sense of the word.

Mat and Tylin, on the other hand, is an example of non-consensual sex that may or may not qualify as rape. It truly is gray-area, and to argue that the issue is black-and-white is to put this issue on the same level as the acts of rape perpetrated by Semirhage, Valda, and Shaidar Haran.

I am open to convincing on the rape/notrape/kinky? verdict, but I will never be willing to black vs. white this scene. To do that would, as I wrote, open a comparison between Tylin/Mat and Shaidar Haran/Moggy. Not a valid comparison at all.
Bill Reamy
110. BillinHI
Was it rape? Yes.....but..... While I generally dislike our current legal system's attempts to classify all crimes by degrees, I agree it is necessary. Actually my biggest problem is the charging of an individual with multiple crimes when really only one crime was committed. The prosecutors feel like they must charge a person with multiple degrees of the same crime so they can get a conviction on at least one of them.

Leaving that rant alone, I would say that Tylin's actions would be considered sexual assault in the 2nd or 3rd degree...assuming she would ever be charged in her world with anything. I certainly don't enough of the Ebou Dari culture to say if she overstepped the bounds of her society, but it definitely feels that way to me.

On a lighter note, Mat & Birgitte's friendship is awesome!
111. Andronicus
Rape is a form of assault involving the non-consensual use of the sexual organs of another person's body. The assailant can be of either sex, as can their target.-New world Encyclopedia

I would tend to agree with the fact that it was indeed by definition rape. However, female raping male is not the same thing as the other way around and that is why everyone (or most people) laughed when they first read it.

Now the situation would be entirely different if Tylin had been a King and forced Mat into the same situation. Without being too graphic I am sure that everyone understands the difference. I am saying that the physical act itself is very different and not the same morally.

An analogy would be theft (not a perfect analogy by any means). There is a big difference between walking out of your house and finding your car has been stolen and walking into your house to find your family tied up and a thug threatening to break your sons fingers unless you open the safe.

Tylin's violation of Mat was small, where Rahvin violation of Morgase or Graendal's violation of her pets is devastatingly large. Both are by definition rape, but there is a huge difference.

Trust me I don't feel comfortable with it, because rape is horrible. In all real cases of rape it is always bad. But if this ever happened to me I could not see me reacting in the same way as women or men I know that have been molested or raped.
john mullen
112. johntheirishmongol
I have read this numerous times and I still don't buy the idea that it is rape. While I can see the argument, I see a couple of holes in the argument. When Tylin pulls the knife on Mat, it isn't because she is going to force him, it is because he touched her without permission. She might be playing with the knife a bit, but it is put away long before any sex, and Mat was not in fear of his life. What this feels like is, as I have said before, a BDSM scene with Mat as the subbie.

It also reminds me a lot of something that happened to me when I was younger. I was working late one night with these two girls and they decided they were going to strip me (there wasn't anyone else there but we were open and someone could have walked in) and although I am not ticklish, I was fighting to keep my clothes on, but not able to protect myself cuz you just cant fight girls. I was also laughing which made me feel somewhat helpless. But at no point did it feel like rape. Embarassing yes, funny yes, sexy yes, but not rape...just sex games. A little turnabout, which I probably deserved. I relate to Mat very well.
Barry T
113. blindillusion
Wow, already at 113, huh? Maybe I should step in. After all, Mat's back. Just let me go read the last 112 posts. Be back. =)
Thomas Keith
114. insectoid
Only 113? Someone must be slacking ;)

Free @98: Thanks Free! I thought Whatever-It-Was was funny, too.

115. matthew1215
john@112: You may not have noticed that, after drawing the knife, Tylin immediately proceeded to force him. She doesn't put away the knife until after the deed is done and Mat is smoking/pouting.

"Watch and learn, my kitten," Tylin said, and drew her marriage knife.

Afterwards, a considerable time later...

"You should not flounce, duckling, and you shouldn't pout." She yanked her dagger from where it was driven into a bedpost beside her marriage knife, examining the point before sheathing it.

In case you're not counting, that's a second dagger she drew off screen, too. Presumably she used one at his throat and the other cutting off his clothes.

For those who keep saying Mat isn't traumatized, this is less than a page after the act:

Mat put a hand over his eyes and tried very hard not to weep. When he uncovered them, she was gone.

Climbing out of the bed, he tucked the sheet around him; for some reason, the notion of walking around bare felt uncomfortable. The bloody woman might leap out of the wardrobe. The garments he had been wearing lay on the floor. Why bother with laces, he thought sourly,
when you can just cut somebody's clothes off?

...Too many people already knew entirely too much of what was going on between him and Tylin; there was no way he could face anybody knowing this.

...There was also a red silk purse holding twenty gold crowns and a note that smelled of flowers... he nearly wept again.

She cut his clothes off with two knives, that stayed out of their sheath during the whole act. And to complete the insult she pays him.

There are lots of hints that Mat is psychologically damaged by this episode immediately afterwards and continuing while the abuse continues.

It's possible to make the case that what Tylin does to Mat is less evil than what happens to Morgase or Moggy... but it's still very clearly in the category of evil.
116. Qtip the Sixth
To me, the situation between Matrim and Tylin reminded me of Nynaeve's flirtation with Luca. Especially when they are sitting at the fire eating, and Nynaeve keeps moving her chair a bit, and Valan follows close on her heels. It also shows how a gentleman has more control of himself than the lady exhibits in this scene.
In Ebou Dar, it was obvious fore play to play hard to get, especially as Mat's actions were known throughout the palace, (except to Elayne and Nynaeve) and related to other maxims obviously well known in the city.
john mullen
117. johntheirishmongol
@115 That all looks like bdsm scening to me. It's as much about messing with your head as the sex, but it is totally consentual. The whole pink ribbons thing is definately d/s.
118. matthew1215
@117: "Safe, Sane, and Consensual" that isn't.
Ian Horn
119. IanGH
Wow! I'm finally caught up on the reread (lots of work - I guess I should be grateful to have it) and I picked a doozy.

I agree with you, Leigh, and the many others: Mat was unquestionably raped. And like many (but not all) of you, I also didn't notice it at first due to the gender roles and the joky nature in which it was presented.

For those of you who just can't see this as rape, there are two aggravating factors, either of which would classify this as outright first degree rape. First, there was clearly physical force involved and, since we saw it from Mat's POV, he clearly felt it was credible. Second, Tylin was the queen and clearly had the power to cause severe harm to Mat at her whim or at the very least hinder the job he was supposed to do. Rape is about power. Tylin had it and used it force Mat into bed. Enough said.

It is an interesting contrast between Valda's rape of Morgase, which we see very little of, and Tylin's rape of Mat, which is front and center. I think the reason I recognized the first one right away and didn't chuckle it off is because the psychological consequences were so much more worse. Had this happened to Morgase when she was young and still coming into her own like Mat is, it may not have been as serious to her psychologically as it was after a string of poor decisions and failures.

All that being said, what Tylin did was not (too far) outside the norms of Ebou Dari culture. And the denizens of Randland (or, at least, many of them) don't have the same notions about personal rights as most of us do. Most elements of the Seanchan culture make me cringe and yet we have some Seanchan as protagonists.

So while it was definitely rape and I do think RJ wanted it to be seen that way, that is not the point of the book so I don't fault him for not turning this into a deep psychological study of what happens to someone who is victimized this way.

Anyway. Thanks for the great post, Leigh. And thanks to everyone for the level-headedness of the comments so far.
Heidi Byrd
120. sweetlilflower
I have to respond to those who have argued that its not rape b/c Mat was so calm and did not seem traumatized. I will tell you, that when you see yourself as a strong and resilient person, and someone you are attracted to forces you to have sex; you find a way to rationalize it to yourself. There is that immediate moment of shock and b/c you think "this can't happen to me", your brain finds a way to deal with it. Mat tricks himself into believing that he really cares for Tylin and that they have a "relationship". He is continually shamed, used, and dehumanized by a person of power. THAT IS RAPE!

And, yes, there is a differnece b/t a man raping a woman and a woman raping man. It is all a matter of penetration. They are both horrid, but there is a difference. The theft analogy was actually a very good one (can't remeber whom I should credit)
Sean Banawnie
121. Seanie
*puts on blindfold*
*fumbles for cigarette*


Agree wholeheartedly that there are rape actions here.


that was not my initial reaction here.
I looked at it that Mat foolishly manhandled(grabbing at her) a woman In Ebou Dar.....and not any woman but a widow......and not any widow but a Ebou Dari mores , I dunno can she kill him ?....not her husband but.... anyways, she
drops her "pursuit" and ....takes out her agression in her own select way. Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it Ok either. Don't get me wrong I find rape repulsive, two of my sisters were raped. I had thought of it as her defending herself but then escalating, I dunno the more I think about it.... ....Mat gets himself into trouble in all sorts of creative ways. Can't fight the pattern. While still comical at points, I guess it is a kind of guilty comedy.
The irony and Mat's cluelessness and whining still make me smile......but yes, it does have a darker side. Mat is easily corrupted. I don't think he is scarred by this. He's too slippery.....And the 'toy' label works in his favor(or should I say he makes it work for him), when those who could stop him don't take him serious as a threat but also know he is a favorite , so don't check him too closely....wheel weaves....anyways, its late and I babble.....thanks for the thought provocation Leigh.
Sandy Brewer
122. ShaggyBella
So what was Tylin's attraction to Mat? his being Ta'veren, his reputation or that she thought he was playing hard to get? Probably all three reasons...
his reputation, according to Tylin:
"an untamed rogue, a gambler, a chaser of untamed rogue who travels with Aes Sedai, a ta'veren who, I think, makes them a little afraid. Uneasy, at the least. It takes a man with a strong liver to make Aes Sadai uneasy.

Mat is probably very different from other men she has known. He greeted her in the Old Tongue when they first met. He has interesting scars. He has the Two Rivers morality and is easily embarrassed. She was impressed with the sex, after being a widow for 10 years. Also being a "Pretty" is normal in Ebu Dar, (except usually by mutual consent) and nobility seems to have the right to take whomever they want..even Elayne advised Mat to practice his smile, like young women who had caught a King's eye.

No excuse for the rape, but maybe RJ was projecting a personal bondage type fantasy, since he supposedly identified with Mat's character.
Sean Banawnie
123. Seanie
yes tylinated.

wolf dreamthought--"luck of the Chancebender,to be stabbed by a silk blade pinned with sighs savaged with downy feathers chased down by a pack of bosoms
brought to his knees with exhaustion and then left for dead."
I think I should stop already.
Errr maybe I should have stopped at "yes tylinated." Thanx for sharing thoughts.....
Rob Munnelly
124. RobMRobM
OK, for the sake of beating the issue into the ground even more, looks like it's time for the Mat secion of Linda's thoughtful Thirteeth Dep. post entitled "Forced Attentions" - Enjoy (or not as the case may be)....



Another who was coerced into sex is Mat Cauthon, a twenty year old farm boy who caught the eye of the forty-something Queen of Altara. Not a little of her interest in him was due to the exoticness or cachet of bedding a ta’veren.

Such an unequal relationship did not interest Mat but Tylin ignored his refusal:

More intently; he had never chased any woman who let him know she did not want to be chased.

- A Crown of Swords, The Festival of Birds

Tylin made a tacit admission that she forced her attentions on Mat with the small red flowers woven on the handle of his breakfast basket:

"Mistress Corly," she said in the icy voice of a queen pronouncing judgment, "explained to Nynaeve and me the significance of those red flowers on the basket... I will not keep any promise to a man who could force his attentions on a woman, on any woman”

- A Crown of Swords, Six Stories

Tacit, yet embarrassingly public for Mat made worse for being misinterpreted by all and sundry.

Mat found Tylin's harassment so upsetting that

Of the two , he would rather confront Moghedien. He touched the foxhead hanging in the open neck of his shirt. At least he had some protection against Moghedien. Against Tylin, he had no more than he did against the Daughter of the bloody Nine Moons, whoever she was.

- A Crown of Swords, A Note from the Palace

At least twice he felt like weeping from the humiliation and powerlessness of his position, once even in public. He definitely refused her attentions:

That woman won't take no for an answer; I say no, and she laughs at me. She's starved me, bullied me, chased me down like a stag!

- A Crown of Swords, Six Stories

Rape is sex with forced consent or without consent; whether the wronged party has an orgasm during the act, or eventually develops an acceptance of the situation, or even fondness for the rapist is immaterial.

So why did Mat stay and not run?

Mat felt a responsibility to keep Nynaeve and Elayne safe since he had promised to do so. He knew what a dangerous situation they were in. If he left the palace, they might think he broke his promises:

He would not put it past Nynaeve and Elayne to claim he had broken some agreement and put an end to their promises.

- A Crown of Swords, The Festival of Birds

The girls’ promises were conditions that enabled Mat to watch over them. In fact, when Elayne mistakenly thought that Mat had forced himself upon Tylin she immediately said all her promises to him were abolished.

Mat was trapped. He needed to stay in the palace to keep Nynaeve and Elayne safe, yet Tylin being Queen and much older than he, and the Ebou Dari law that a woman killing a man was considered justified unless it was proven differently all intimidated him into complying.

Mat was panicking when he made this decision to stay and comply. Not surprisingly, since Tylin pulled a knife on him.

When the situation was made plain to Elayne, she didn’t take the crime and Mat’s feelings seriously. Mat being sexually experienced (though not of this type of situation) she thought he ‘asked for it’ or deserved it. Unfortunately this happens often in the real world too.
Rob Munnelly
125. RobMRobM
Entirely off the point (thank goodness) but interesting nugget from 13th D - the guy who took Mat's bribe to put Olver in his room was a Darkfriend:


Scene of Operations: Ebou Dar

Major Deeds: - Accepted Mat’s bribe to move Olver into Mat’s room to help Mat avoid Tylin (A Crown of Swords, Bread and Cheese).
- Informed Moridin that a weather ter’angreal was among the items of the Power from the cache Elayne and Nynaeve took through the gateway (The Path of Daggers, Unweaving).

Current Status: Was killed accidentally by Moridin.
Jacy Clark
126. Amalisa

I'd forgotten about the scene with Semirhage and Cabriana's Warder. That was brutal. And heart-breaking.

R.Fife @ 51 and Freelancer@ 98

I'm inclined to agree - especially with you, Free. (And may I say that, intended or not, your sly wit throughout your post had me chuckling. Which also sort of made your point...)

Of course, I have to play the Dark One's advocate... (insert obligatory wall o' text warning here.)

I remember from New Spring, when Lan and Bukama arrived at the inn in Canluum. A serving girl took a shine to Lan, importuning him - loudly - in the common room. Lan thinks to himself that, in Kandor, a woman decides when she will enter a man's bed and when she will leave. Nothing is said about what would happen if the man didn't want her there. (Lan didn't seem all that thrilled with the idea, come to think of it. But he did think that she would not find him to be so retiring once they were in bed together.) To get what she wanted, would she use a knife? Plead? Bargain? Threaten? What? And would Lan have expected her to use whatever means necessary to get what she wanted? Is it really as cut and dried as that? If it is, how is it so different from what Tylin did to Mat? Disgusting, by our 21st century morality, but the culture established in Ebou Dar (and Kandor, apparently. And don't get me started on Far Madding!) is that women say "toad" and men hop. Perhaps even into bed... (Something that Lan knew from the culture, and that Mat obviously didn't.)

Speaking of Lan... thanks to the Sea Folk and their marriage vows, we know that Lan has exercised some, um, "control" in the bedroom. Winter's Heart, "Ideas of Importance", Nynaeve reminds Lan:
"Do you remember how you kept me in our rooms yesterday morning?" she murmured, looking up in time to catch a grin replacing concern on his face. Of course he remembered. ... "Well I want you to take me back there right now and keep me from putting on clothes for about a year!" She had been quite furious about that, at first. But he had ways to make her forget to be furious.
(Emphasis mine.) So Lan "forced" Nynaeve? Was that marital rape? (I love Lan. So it wasn't. But playing the DO advocate, I have to ask.)

Yes, yes... I know that the biggest, glaring difference in the second example and the Tylin/Mat situation is that Lan and Nynaeve have a loving relationship. Tylin has nothing more than a sense of droit de seigneur and a couple of knives to back it up. (And to quickly address the inference that she kept a knife at his throat throughout...
She yanked her dagger from where it was driven into a bedpost beside her marriage knife, examining the point before sheathing it.
At some point during the, ah, activities she did rid herself of both knives.) Oh, and a lot has been said about Tylin's "power" over Mat if he had become forceful in extricating himself from this situation. Let's examine that. Tylin knew that Mat was important to Elayne Sedai and Nynaeve Sedai. A queen who is walking - well, maybe not small, but cautiously around two hostile (to each other) Aes Sedai embassies, not to mention the White Cloaks. The two Aes Sedai who treat her with respect, taking her into their confidence regarding the Black Ajah and the Bowl - she's going to piss them off by raping (by our definition) the man they consider important enough to have in the palace with them? Really?

Mat's issues - set forth abundantly in all of the foreshadowing that preceded and the internal monologue that followed this part of the Ebou Dar story line - are that a) he does the chasing and b) he doesn't like nobles. Mat doesn't have a problem with a "willing lass to cuddle". If Tylin had been a barmaid instead of a queen...
Had Tylin been a tavern maid who smiled the right way, he might have tried his luck - well, if the tavern maid lacked a son who liked poking holes in people - but he was the one who chased. He had just never thought of it that way before. He had never had the need to, before.
(Emphasis mine)
In his inner musings, Mat thinks about "exchanged kisses". He thinks, "[s]urely she had not decided to toss all decency over the barn just to bed a ta'veren." ("Bed", not rape.) Yes, there are a couple of references to him feeling like he was going to cry after the fact but was it over the trauma of an unwanted sexual encounter or was it embarrassment because she was on top, so to speak? In the first encounter, when Thom and Julien interrupted, I thought it was pretty obvious that they knew what was going on. Mat "eyed them warily, daring them to say one word - just one word". The servants in the palace clearly knew what was on the queen's mind and made no attempt to hide their foreknowledge from Mat - adding to his embarrassment. (I have to wonder why Thom - who has certainly been around the block a few million times - didn't take the avuncular approach and give Mat some words of advice. Perhaps even he thought Mat was a willing participant?)

Yes, Mat considers that he had never pursued a woman who made it clear that she wasn't interested.
Whether or not she (Birgitte) chose to go half-naked today - a quarter, anyway - she was... well, a friend. A strange world, it was turning out to be. One woman he was beginning to hink of as a drinking companion, and another after him as intently as he had ever pursued any pretty woman, in those old memories or his own. More intently; he had never chased any woman who let him know she did not want to be chased. A very strange world.
Isn't it possible that that paragraph in the book sums up what this part of the Ebou Dar plotline has been about? That our Mat had to learn two very pointed (no pun intended) object lessons regarding women. The first from Tylin - that a woman can take the initiative when it comes to pursuing a man. The second from Birgitte - that a man and a woman can have a non-adversarial, non-sexual relationship. Mat's world had been turned upside down, and he wasn't particularly happy about it.

*takes off the funny looking wig and steps down from the bar*

(By the by... was no one else bothered by the fact that Tylin was old enough to be his mother? And, if a movie is ever made, I can so see Demi Moore as Tylin. I'm just sayin'...)

Edit for speeling, er, speli- eh, whatever...
Andrew Lovsness
127. drewlovs
After trying to write it a few times and realizing I still have a hard time talking about it, I will say that I have been in Mat's shoes, though I got out of the end game. No physical weapons were involve, but emotional ones were. Ridicule and humiliation are two of the worst things in life for a teenager, ESPECIALLY when done very publically. That I was a boy being persued by a girl made it 10 times worst. The aftermath of it all was the only time in my teenage years that I considered hurting myself... and it was made very clear to me before hand that I would face just this situation if I refused the girl's interest.

So obviously, my reaction to this chapter, and Tylin there after, was markedly different from most others. I felt sympathy for Mat, anger at his friends who (like mine) laughed at him, and in a way I was forced to deal with a lot of emotion from earlier in my life. It made me really, really respect Jordan even more as a writer. I knew from the boards at the time that many had Leigh's reaction, and watched the firestorm unfold. But let me assure you, if you didn't find it funny, the way Jordan wrote it supports your feelings as well.

I really though everyone would be outraged at Tylin; Leigh really thought everyone would find it funny. We were both right, if only in respect to our points of view...and what that says is Jordan is a master storyteller.
Tina Pierce
128. scissorrunner
By the by... was no one else bothered by the fact that Tylin was old enough to be his mother?

ewwwwww - was trying NOT to think of that aspect.

and in case anyone is wondering, if the guy is old enough to be the gal's daddy - it is still ewwwwww
I am so not into the whole Oedipus thing.
Antoni Ivanov
129. tonka
I don't have problem with the age difference at all. I mean if both are mature individuals(grown-ups), if they love each other, and both agree with their relationship, I say bless them and wish them a lot of happiness. I have a problem when one of the couple does not want to be in relationship (as Mat didn't). What Tylin did was sad :(
Kurt Lorey
130. Shimrod
I think the majority of postings (starting with Leigh) says it all for me about Tylin.

On another note, a question about a completely different subject. The tavern across from Jaichim Carridin's palace in Ebou Dar was called Rose of the Elbar, IIRC. Elbar was the name of Suroth's "fixer" as well. Is this one of those "conservation of names" things, or does anybody know what an "Elbar" is supposed to be in WoT land?

Offhand, I can't think of very many occurrences where names dove-tailed like that. If anyone can think of any others, please bring them up.
131. ValMar
Are you sure it's Elbar? "Eldar" is the name of the river that runs through Ebou Dar.
132. MasterAlThor
I so want to, but I am not going to......yet.

I am enjoying reading everyone's thoughts though.

When the lid comes off this one, ahhh who am I kidding I probably won't be saying anything different than anyone else.


By the way, that was not a complete list of female re-read friends. If you didn't see your name up there it is not because I forgot about you. I just wanted to get a point across. Where you at TexasSedai???
133. nor3
Personally, I got the impression of 'kinky sex', not rape.

I don't have time to read all the comments (there's a lot of 'em), but I thought I'd just pitch my two cents in.
Tess Laird
134. thewindrose
The tavern is 'The Rose of the Elbar'. And indeed, Zaired Elbar is Suroth's darkfriend.
I do not recall any connections between the two.
Oh and I had to do this - ta'veren sat at the tavern:)

I found this sequence humorous:
"I never expected to see a Warder garbed like that," Beslan said, changing his boots around.
Mat blinked. The fellow had sharp eyes. She had not removed her mask once. Well, as long as he did not know about-

I think you will be good for my Mother, Mat."

Another intesting thing is happeneing with Mat at this time of becoming a pretty for the Queen. Notice how his thoughts about women are changing??

"What was all that twisting around while he was spilling his eyes all over you?"

Whether or not she chose to go half-naked today-a quarter, anyway-

Staring at a tall slender woman gliding along through the crowd in mask and feathered cloak and beyond that, six or seven feathers, Mat wondered what inhibitions some of these folk had left to shed. He almost shouted at her to cover herself with that cloak. She was pretty, but out in the street, before the Light and everybody?

"The Wheel weaves," Mat began, and choked on a crumb of cheese. Blood and ashes, he was starting to sound like Freelancer resting his aching joints in front of the fireplace. Worring about taking the women into a rough inn. A year ago, a half a year, he would have taken them, and laughed when their eyes popped, laughed at every prim sniff.(aCoS Chapter 38 six Stories)


ps I see you MasterAlThor - winter, spring summer or fall..:)
Tricia Irish
135. Tektonica
Ummmmm. Mat and Tylin…..
Very cogent and mannerly thoughts all around.

I certainly laughed the first time I read this and still find aspects of this situation very humorous. It will never read in the same way for me now, though. This discussion has certainly expanded the depth of this plot arc for me. For that, I thank you Leigh, and all the posters. I so love the rereads!

I’m not getting into whether this is rape or not, or degrees of evilness. That has been discussed very completely here.

That said, I’m in the same camp with Free@98 and R.Fife@51. It’s a very funny turning of the tables on Mat and I think most of his distress is from humiliation, rather than any real regret about the encounter. I suspect that for Mat, having a woman “take him”, so to speak is somewhat emasculating and certainly NOT the norm for a Two Rivers guy. Not this guy, anyway.

I prefer to deal with this as a literary work, set in an imaginary world, in a country with different mores from many in the same world, as well as in the 21st century. RJ moves Mat’s character far forward through this particular plot arc alone. We get to spend a lot of time in his head during stressful situations, getting to know him well. It was a very useful and complex arc.

I have a lot of respect for Mat. He doesn’t force his attentions on women who don’t want it. He knows Tylin is the Power Person in this situation, because she is the Queen, she is older, he’s in her palace, and he can’t mess things up for Elayne and Nynaeve. He does indicate, through internal dialogue, that he finds her attractive on their first encounter, and that he would be interested if she weren’t the Queen. He wants to be the pursuer. She has way too much power for him. He is being circumspect.

As a plot devise, RJ puts him in an incongruous situation ….Mat becomes her "Pretty", dressed in gaudy pink jackets. He is called “Toy” and is not taken seriously by any in the palace, including Tuon and the conquering Seanchan. Without this twist, the scene in Knife of Dreams, Ch. 26, As If the World Was Fog would not carry the power that it does:

Tuon looked at him, squatting there by the map, moving his fingers over it’s surface, and suddenly she saw him in a new light. A buffoon? No. A lion stuffed into a horse-stall might look like a peculiar joke, but a lion on the high plains was something very different. Toy was loose on the high plains, now. She felt a chill. What sort of man had she entangled herself with? After all this time, she realized, she had hardly a clue.

(My favorite scene in perhaps all the books.)
Jack Diamond
137. violetdancer
I'll not add another stroke to this poor dead horse other to say that RJ certainly knew how to rile folks up in so many different ways. But I'm surprised that no one mentioned the foreshadowing of Mat's situation. There are definite overtones of sex at spear-point in the game Maiden's Kiss (which Mat seemed to enjoy in Tear), and when he did take a lover it was not a shy untainted flower of a Maiden. Melindrha (sp?) had some fairly forceful attitudes IIRC, and it was she who approached him not the other way around.

I loved the way Reanne reacted to Mat's ta'vernness. She felt her anxiety during the day when Mat & Co. were right across the street but relaxed after he went home. And she didn't have a clue why.
Delos Rifenburgh
138. KaijuGamer
CoS has never been my favorite book in the series. As a matter of fact, in spite of some truly awesome scenes (Birgitte and Mat as friends being one of them), it ranks pretty low for me, and the whole thing with Tylin is the main reason for it. It was clearly rape, whether or not Mat enjoyed the act of sex or not. Rape is not about sex, it's about power. Tylin had it, Mat did not. Mat even stated that he never pursued someone who did not want to be pursued. Ignoring all Mat's protestations (humorous or not) is the same as ignoring the word 'no'. We'll never know how Jordan felt about it for sure, but whether or not he meant it for what it was, it sure has gotten people to think and talk! And that is exactly what any writer looks for.

As for Mat and Birgitte, that is my favorite friendship bond in the whole series.
139. Freelancer

Nice w-o-t there. And yes, I meant every word for your . . . enjoyment. Something I didn't bother to say before, is that clearly Jordan's editor didn't feel the need to excise or alter this portion of the text due to the "barbaric" treatment of Mat by Tylin. Seeing that said editor was also his wife, it should give one pause before expressing great outrage over the content.

I think that Mat's take on Tylin's advances are less that they are undesired than that they are incompatible with his paradigm of the normal "courtship" procedure. We are all resistant to a paradigm shift, Mat almost as much as anyone (clearly Nynaeve wins this award). I agree with your arguments before the bar wholeheartedly.


Yes indeed. The objective of this sequence is to put Mat on display as a laughingstock, a fool with no function other that the pleasures of the Queen, and therefore not to be taken seriously. How else to set up the bizarre developments between he and Tuon? His continued consternation over being the one not in control of the situation, his desire to be unseen rather than seen as a lace-frilled dandy, are the true sources of his bitterness.

Maybe someday somebody will write a story where nobody mistreats anybody, and everybody will buy it. Or not.
140. MasterAlThor


whew. I saw what you did and that was hilarious. Suprised the old man didn't catch it.



Thanks by the way for the James Taylor.
141. lokiian
I don't think it's so much as Jordan wanted to make fun of rape but he was using the feeling of his readers to mask the delusion that most people feel when it is involved. When a woman is raped she will feel violated, a man will feel this too, but a man like Mat will cover this up with humor and swagger. these sections after all are mostly written in his perspective, so with his own personality you don't expect him to crawl into the closet an cry, he'll curse Tylin and pronounce his own innocence then strut on as an actor on stage. Any view we get this from Tylin's head would have the same feel to it as she is very much the cat playing with the mouse. So we need to realize that this is a first person narrative not a third person.
Also the bit about the friendship with Birgitte actually makes sense. Most people have problems with relationships with the gender they are attracted to since that is the very problem, they are attracted to that gender. I am a man so I can't speak to the way women feel, but a guy can be worried about whether he will be attracted to the friend, they will be attracted to him, or how can they talk freely about their thoughts with that individual without offending them. There has been so many problems since the 70's and women's lib because men are unable to talk as freely as they once were able to in the workplace with the presence of women around who can become offended with their talks of conquest or who's hot/who's not. Women may talk about this too but I'm guessing mostly to other women. If you doubt this concept remember the problems between Kevin and Winnie Cooper didn't start happening until Kevin realized Winnie was a girl and not a regular old tom boy/Man Friday. So my point is that of course it is natural that Mat is unsure of his relationship with Birgitte. She's attractive, acts like a guy more often that not, and he doesn't know where he can step without offending her. A comment that would get him slapped by any other women may get a pat on the back and a rousing gaffaw from Birgitte.
Sandy Brewer
142. ShaggyBella
@135. Tektonica
More of Tylin's Toy, KOD Ch 36. Under An Oak (one of My Favorite Scenes :-)

When Furyk Karide entered Mat's camp looking for Tuon:

"She has us shielded, Mat" Joline said, and the young man snatched off his hat and strode to Melitene's horse as if he intended to seize the bridle. He was long-limbed, though he could not be called tall, and he wore a black silk scarf tied around his neck....That made him the one everyone called Tylin's Toy, as if being the queen's plaything were the most important feature of him. Likely it was. Playthings seldom had another side to them. Strange, but he hardly seemed handsome enough for that. He did look fit, though.

"Release the shield" he told her as if he expected obedience. Karede's eyebrows rose. This was the plaything?.....Maybe he was an Ahsa'man? Perhaps Asha'man could detect a damane's channeling somehow. That hardly seemed likely, but it was all Karede could think of. Yet that hardly squared with how Tylin reportedly had treated the young man.

Then Karede talks to Thom as if he is the general...Tom says "You have mistaken me Banner-General...The man you want is Lord Matrim Cauthon." He made a small bow toward the young man, who was settling his flat topped hat back on his head. Karede frowned. Tylin's Toy was the general? were they playing a joke on him?
Thomas Keith
143. insectoid
Oh, Light! Bela, forgive us!

Wind @134: BAHAHAhahaha!!

144. Freelancer
What? HEY!

Ok, thebreezelifts, it's on...

PS Hey insectoid, 2^2^2 x 3^2
Janet Hopkins
145. JanDSedai
re: Mat's flirting
Mat thinks to himself that he has never forced his attentions on a woman, but that may not be absolutely true. Apparently, his normal behaviors with women can be interpreted many different ways. For instance, the barmaid at the inn in Ebou Dar thinks that she has a special relationship with Mat, which is part of why Setalle Anan has a fond space in heart for Mat; he may become her son-in-law! The jealousy she displays because of Birgitte and then the WG breaks her heart, as she leaves the inn and her older sister is forced to fill in. The cook and the other staff treat Mat like a cad after this, and Mat vaguely wonders why; the inn used to be such a friendly place! Mat has no clue.

Mat is a game player. His compulsive (and apparently unconscious) flirting behaviors trigger responses from the women around him. When he first met Tylin, he reacts to her, not as a Queen, but as a woman. His reluctance to engage with nobility is seen as shyness. Locking his door and moving Olver into his room were attempts to deal with the situation from a position of strength, not tries to avoid the situation. Which in turn, escalated Tylin's game.

But however much Mat plays the game, he wants to be valued on his on merits. Karede's opinion of "Tylin's Toy" is exactly what he fears-- that he has nothing to offer except his relationship with another. That is why he fights his inevitable marriage so hard.
146. Freelancer

Mat thinks to himself that he has never forced his attentions on a woman, but that may not be absolutely true.

Your example actually disproves your contention. Mat does NOT force his attentions on Caira, she welcomes them. In fact, what Caira thinks she is welcoming isn't what Mat thinks it is. He's just being himself, not actually trying to attract her. Yes, Mat's awareness is lacking in this regard, but it's that he doesn't see the potential relationship that she does. That may be insensitive, but it is in the opposite direction from making unwanted advances or demands on someone. Beyond that, I agree with your comments entirely.
Thomas Keith
147. insectoid
Free @0x90: Do you need a referee? Look out, Wind. ;)

Janet Hopkins
148. JanDSedai
Well, yes, I meant to point out that Mat is so totally clueless, that in the past he may misread somebody else's reluctance as "shyness", although I don't recall any one from the story. As Violetdancer pointed out, he has run with some pretty high-power women in the past.

Hey, Wind! Taking the Word of Jordan in vain!
Tricia Irish
149. Tektonica

Yeah, I got trapped in KOD for quite awhile this morning. I love it when Mat comes into his own again and shocks Tuon, Karade, the AS, etc. etc.
'bout time! My favorite moments....
Kim B
150. Amaranthine
@ 27:
I agree. In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck describes the way that his dad abuses him in such a way that it's quite funny for the reader. It's not until the third or fourth reading that it dawns on the reader that Huck is describing terrible abuse that has been inflicted upon him. Because of this, the scene becomes twice as shocking as it would have been without the humor.
I always assumed that Jordan was doing the same thing here- trying to make the scene more shocking through the humorous way that it is told. It's definitely rape, and he wants us to know it.
Janet Hopkins
151. JanDSedai
re: Huckleberry Finn
I guess that's why they had an abridged version in the grade school library. I just assumed the original version was too long to keep younger readers interested.
152. AndyT
A couple things:

I'm not entirely convinced that the situation was 100% rape. Does Mat ever -really- say No? I think most of the dancing about he does to avoid her is more because she is Queen than it is that he does not want to have sex with her, and that always seemed pretty clear to me. Also I think he is mostly perturbed and shocked at her behavior because she is doing the persuing, not himself, and more aggressively than he would have assumed possible of a woman. I've never thought of Mat looking at Tylin and thinking "rapist," to me his point of view has always been "persistent." Anyway the only REAL evidence we have that Mat might be violated is that he says "You can't do this to me," which to me has always seemed to express more shock that she is being so aggressive than that he himself is being coerced.

And another thing: If this is rape, which after everything I will admit is dodgily possible, I will have to say that Robert Jordan knew exactly what he was writing. Look at the sheer placement of this chapter, not two chapters after Morgase's horrifying revelations. The placement of these chapters nearly back to back REEKS of comparison. Morgase, in her own words, said "Yes" and we all jump up and cry out violation at Valda's actions, wheras Mat seems to have said "No," was presumably violated, but the writing was so quick, clever, and ironic that a lot of us just found it funny at first instead of red flag worthy. So I will have to say this: for all of these chapters' darkness, I have to hand it to Jordan for some really thought and response provoking material.
Maggie M
153. Eswana
Full disclosure: I spent a semester doing sexual assault awareness seminars at my campus woman's center, giving presentations to frat boys and sorority girls about Consent. How we love it. Because we're into free will, yo. And what you do and with whom you do it is your business, just so long as everyone is actually, truly okay with it. As in, wasn't coerced. Wasn't uncomfortable. And since Mat + Tylin violates those conditions... so yeah.

I had the same reactions as Leigh. Funny scene at first. Karmic justice for Mat. Chortle chortle. But really? Leigh's right. Even orgasm(s) or retrospective okay-ness with what goes down (ahem) doesn't make things okay. I'm not going to rant, because I don't think it's really necessary (these are *fictional* characters, after all). But sexual assault isn't something that I find particularly funny.

I still love ACoS. My favorite chapter is coming up (Mashiara! Yay!) But for a few moments after I read this section, I was sort of like... "Well. Um, so that happened. Huh."

But now It has happened and we're off to some pretty cool things coming up! Hurrah!
Chin Bawambi
154. bawambi
Myth: Getting an erection or ejaculation during sexual assault means you "really wanted it" or consented to it.

Reality: This is one of the things that can cause male rape survivors a lot of confusion and guilt when they do not know how things work. For a start I can honestly say that getting an erection shows nothing other than your body responds how it is suppose to do. It is a totally normal thing to happen and has nothing to do with desire. Have you never been on a bus, or sat in an office meeting, and it has gone hard all by it's self for no reason ?

Basically, unless you have some medical condition that stops you then you will get an erection when it is manipulated. It is a result of stimulation, and it does not matter if you do not want it to happen or not. There is little you can do to stop it most of the time.

Sadly, some males become confused and think an erection equals arousal equals them wanting it. In reality all it means is that part of the body has nerve endings that respond to touch and that touch can be wanted or not wanted, pleasant or non pleasant. With lubricant you will have even less choice as to how it responds to touch. It is the same as the body will respond to someone tickling you and you will probably laugh, but if it is done at a time or by a person you do not want to tickle you it will still respond.

If you were penetrated, the pressure in the prostate gland (see diagram below) also will cause an erection. Anyone who has ever had a DRE (short for Digital Rectal Exam) of the prostate at their doctors will know that getting an erection often happens during the examination.

Now as far as ejaculation goes, again this is a very normal thing to have happened. In fact, the rapist will very often go out of their way to make sure that you do ejaculate, in order to try to make you more ashamed, (adds to their dominate feeling of power) and also they know it will likely reduce your chances of reporting the crime. First off, it is because it is a normal reaction to stimulation. Second, the pressure on the prostate will, by it's self, release some fluid, making the penis more sensitive to that stimulation. In fact, it is possible for a doctor to obtain a semen sample during a DRE. Pressure on the seminal vesicle will likewise release a lot of fluid, and could resemble ejaculation to some extent, although may feel different.

One other thing to remember, is that ejaculation against your will, and an orgasm when having a wanted sexual encounter are, two totally different things.

From a much larger link

Sorry about the wall o text but there is no argument including the BDSM one which holds any water with me and the Elayne reaction to the rape is one of the many reasons she is my least favorite character (light or dark) in all of WoT.

However, that being said the duality of the Tylin scenes being incredibly revolting/funny simultaneously prove what an amazing author Jordan was.
155. MasterAlThor
Warming up, I will post later. You guys are doing good so far.

You got the old man after you huh?
Good luck with that.

Take it easy on Wind ok.

Tess Laird
156. thewindrose
Ok - So I survived last night! My son had a sleep over B-day party with 9 of his friends(9 year olds). So, one of the things they did was watched Transformers 2 - and they all love Megan Fox. Try asking about girls from their school though and its all ewwwwww. Very funny!!

Hi Freelancer:) Do you like cute dimples or the Chin?

I was thinking about the Sisters who swore Oath to Rand. How do you think Egwene will treat them when they are all together again?

The sisters who swore decided that it meant exactally what they said - no wiggle room:
(From aCoS Diamonds and Stars)Merana felt ill. She and the others had spent half the night arguing over what their oath meant before deciding it meant exactly what they had said, with no loopholes to wriggle through. At last even Kiruna conceded that they must defend and support al'Thor as well as obey, that standing aside in the slightest was not permitted. What that might mean when it came to Elaida and the sisters loyal to her really concerned no one. At least, no one admitted any concern. The mere fact of what they had decided was stunner enough. But Merana wondered whether Bera or Kiruna had yet realized what she had. They might just find themselves opposing a legend, not to mention whatever sisters besides Corele and Daigian had chosen to follow her. Worse....Cadsuane's eyes rested on her for a moment, giving away nothing, demanding everything. Worse, Merana was sure that wetlandernw knew that very well.

Sam Mickel
157. Samadai

wetlandernw is going to get you for that.
John Massey
158. subwoofer
Whew! Seems we have run outta breath... I could put an incendiary comment here, I'm still on the fence. And I have other stuff I do want to talk about soo...

@Wind- run... and maybe hide. Under something solid. And if it has a door type device, close it, and lock it.

Debbie Solomon
159. dsolo
Wall o'post warning

I'm not going to comment on the was it or wasn't it, because that has been adequately discussed. My own personal view of this when I first read it was dislike for Tylin, not because of THE scene with the knife and the bedroom, but because of the whole pursuit in the first place. Hey, here's a ta'averen who's friends with some powerful Aes Sedai, and is probably dangerous. I think I'll humiliate him in front of everyone and see what happens. From a plot point, it had to happen because Mat had to be dismissed by the Seanchan, but I didn't really feel too bad for Tylin when she was killed. If Tylin had done this properly, getting to know Mat and seducing him through mutual attraction, he would not have been in a position to rescue the captive Aes Sedai and meet Tuon, and the flamewars over this particular scene would not have happened.

Another point to be made, and I kind of think this was where RJ was going, is that Mat needed some character growth. Adversity has a way of testing and strenghening some people, and Mat is one. He is caught in a no-win scenario, if he is to keep his promise re: Elayne and he really has no one to discuss it with. I get the impression that it's the demeaning aspect of being controlled by Tylin's whims rather than the actual sex that bothers him. RJ is also very cleverly showing us how women are usually treated - dismissed as sexual objects and not considered a threat. Mat is not stupid, and he is able to plan his escape quite effectively, when it is the right time. RJ actually did an amazing job of writing on 2 levels - hey, the player is getting played, lol... wait a minute, that's just not right.

RobMRobM@125 - thanks for pointing out the conservation of characters with the Darkfriend. I love those sneaky little moments that RJ slips in, and I usually discover them in the comment sections of the reread.
Tricia Irish
161. Tektonica
So Sub.....what are you gonna say?? We are all waiting with bated breath!

dsolo@159: I agree with you completely. Necessary plot device for Mat growth and done on many levels. RJ is so good.
Debbie Solomon
162. dsolo

Only you can stop this loooong discussion before Friday. No pressure, just whenever you have a little free time, throw us a bonus reread. I'm looking forward to Mashiara. Plus, Mat will be going all ta'averen on us. Pretty please?
Jack Diamond
163. violetdancer
I finally got around to actually reading the Mat-Tylin part and found something I'd never noticed before (after umpteen rereads).

In the rooms Mat is given in the palace, the bed has columns entwined with flowers and is painted red. From what Elayne tells him later, the red flowers have a specific meaning. If red flowers on the bed mean the same as those on the basket, Tylin must have planned on forcing her attentions on him from the start.
Tricia Irish
164. Tektonica

There are lots of OTHER plot points to discuss.....

Birgitte/Mat.....Beslan....Swoven night.... the Knitting Circle.....let's move this thing along!
165. Freelancer

I think this segment, and the thinking of the Rigneys, is given short shrift if considered nothing more than a hammered-together plot device for setting up Mat to be dismissed by the Seanchan. That could have been acccomplished in myriad ways. I think that such as assessment is understandable, however, in light of the unpleasant reaction so many are declaring for the events themselves. But no, this was done for its own sake as well as interleaving other plot threads, and must be dealt with as such.

A notion which Leigh brings to us from time to time, and which I in some cases reject, is that Jordan fully intends for us to examine and judge events like these from the basis of present-day sensibilities, mores, and laws. While that is unavoidable on some levels, it is not possible to do with true justice to the text. Ebou Dar is not a setting which could exist in current cultural constructs. Tylin's status and entitlement are presumed from within her culture, and we do her and the story a disservice to sweep that away and pretend that our own judgements should more properly be substituted.

Let me be clear that when I say her entitlement, it is quite common, and almost universally accepted among the subjects of a monarch, that what they want is what they get. If you don't believe that, then you believe that every single member of the palace household, with full knowledge of what is happening, is an approving party to the grave offense many of us are assigning to Tylin's actions. Not a single one of them is offended or horrified. Not one is interested in helping Mat to evade his pursuer. Even loyalty to one's leige ends at the boundary of moral conviction, so it says something that there is universal assent and participation by the palace staff. I don't mean that this justifies Tylin's behavior as truly proper, but that it is understood to be acceptable in that time, in that place, in that cultlre. To have no sorrow for Tylins' later murder because of a judgement based entirely outside of the story construct seems rather harsh.
John Massey
166. subwoofer
What I have to say about this particular topic? Kaboom?

167. normalphil

That's what makes it palatable to me; it was a lengthy trial that Mat endured. It paid off; the Seanchan simply couldn't regard somebody that gorged on humiliation day-in-day-out as anyone of consequence. Then they have to retroactively assess him as one of Rand al'Thor's top men who trashed Ebou Dar, freed the Sea Folk and Aes Sedai, kidnapped the Daughter of the Nine Moons, and smashed his way out of Altara. Crazy like a fox.
Janet Hopkins
168. JanDSedai
re: the red flowers
I don't think the red flowers mean forced attentions. They are indicative of a consummated relationship, which would have gotten the same reaction from Elayne et al.

And as to who the WG were looking for at Carridin's palace, where better to find Moghedien that at a known darkfriend's place?
Hurin Smells
169. HurinSmells
Ok, I'm a bit late on this one, but I feel the need to add my 2c.

Can anyone really tell me they believe Mat was truly helpless in this scenario? I can point to any number of sequences in the series to indicate Mat is badass enough to have been able to get out of this situation if he felt he had to.

If you simply cannot be convinced that this was anything other than rape, you must also accept the Pattern indended for him to be raped, because every other time he's faced any serious danger Mat's ta'veren kicks in and saves him (or at least the thundering dice gives him warning).

And even if it was rape... so what? It's a fantasy novel, that kind of thing happens. Why does this scene disturb you more than any of the countless other scenes where something horrific happens to someone?
Tina Pierce
170. scissorrunner
If you truly don't understand why rape is so emotionally charged, you're lucky. It means you or someone you really care about has never gone through it.
it it probably one of the worst things that can happen to a person. can take years to heal. if ever.
definitely not a "so what" even if it is a fantasy novel
Hurin Smells
171. HurinSmells
I apologize for sounding flippant. My intention was not to try and downplay the emotional impact. But why is this scene any worse than other scenes in WOT? Perrin's entire family was butchered because someone was looking for him. Rand was held captive in a wooden box and beaten repeatedly for days. Everyone generally acknowledges that these things are really horrible, but we go along with them because they're critical experiences for our main characters.
172. alreadymadwithrapingmat
Indeed. Mat's issues compared to these other things his friends experienced is trivial. His main issue is that the player got played. His friends were emotionally traumatized by what they experienced. Not to say that he wasn't emotionally traumatized as well. I do understand how difficult it is for a player to have the tables turned on him.
Maiane Bakroeva
173. Isilel
OK, belatedly jumping into the fray - I have disliked the whole Tylin - Mat from the beginning and saw it as rape. It has already been pointed out, that while Mat probably could have physically overpowered Tylin, he is very aware of her power as a Queen and sees it as a threat, too.
I thought that RJ didn't realize what it looked like, though, because of his general approach to gender and particularly manhood in the novels.

Now that I know that he wrote it intentionally, with full understanding of implications, I still think that the humorous approach was in poor taste.

Oh, and turning tables? IIRC Melindhra was quite pro-active too, so that alone shouldn't have been a novel experience. Also, the Maiden's Kiss, which had somewhat disturbing overtones as well. Mat certainly had some varied experiences there - IMHO his thoughts about turning tables are merely rationalization.

Nor do I think that it is plausible that Seanchan would disregard Mat on these grounds. "Toy" or not, he was still very closely associated with the group of AS, who, apparently, used a WMD in Altara and screwed up saidar in the region for months. Mat and his entourage should have been investigated very closely indeed. Not to mention that Suroth as a DF should have had orders about him as well.
174. SamJ
Not wading into the whether Mat got raped debate - but always find it amusing that Mat continulally states that his preference is for easy accomodating girls but that every single relationship he has is with a strong/dominant woman from Melindre (sp?), through Tylin right up to Tuon (which isn't to imply that all three behave in the same way). Classic case of Mat saying he wants things one way but when it comes down to it behaving in another way.
Marcus W
175. toryx
HurinSmells @ 171:

But why is this scene any worse than other scenes in WOT?

A couple of things come immediately to mind:

1. Because it appears as though this scene was written to amuse, not horrify. Some people (including myself) find it abhorrent to make a laughing matter out of rape.

2. The ambiguousness of it all. Everyone agrees that the murder of Perrin's family was awful and everyone pretty much felt empathy for him. The same is true for many other horrific events in the novel. This is the opposite. What one person is finding horrifying, another is finding trivial. That is cause for conflict.


I'm trying to think of another point of conversation to discuss for the rest of the week but I've got to admit that I've got nothing.
176. hrothgordo
Was it rape? Yeah. But everything here is about context, not only in the story arc itself but also in regards to the culture involved and the characters own interpretation of what is happening.

I think you are absolutely correct that Jordan did not mean this to be an explicit rape scene. It comes across to me as if Jordan tried to write a “Pepe La Pew” cartoon.

From Beslan we know for a fact that Tylin has not done this sort of thing regularly. So this seems to be more than simply the “prima nocte” type mentality we see from some of the other nobility in Jordan’s world (seen most explicitly in Tear).

Add this to Tylin’s own spoken assessment of Mat when they first meet describing him as not only ta’veren, but one is powerful enough to scare Aes Sedai. In a society that is dominated by women I think Mat represents a very exotic creature, one worthy of the hunt for Tylin.

Although over-the-top, Tylin’s goal was never intended to be a rape. She doesn’t imprison him. She doesn’t truly aim to starve him; just that in order to eat from her kitchens that he must eat with her.

And Mat actually only encourages this, most notable in his silence on the situation to others. And the fact that his normal “ogling man-slut” vibe is still trucking along all while he puts up obstructions easy to deal with (most notably Olver).

Only when Mat tries to take the key from Tylin do things happen that can truly be called rape. But again look at the context: Mat physically assaulted a queen (not to mention it’s a no-no to even do so to a woman in Ebou Dar). In Tylin’s eyes Mat had raised the stakes of the game to include “forceful” tactics as otherwise she would have just had him killed/imprisoned.

I think Jordan was reinforcing the difference between freedom and “doing whatever the heck you please” which Mat struggles against continually in the books.

I mean, heck, I might really dislike Dick Cheney’s stance on torture. But I get a number of avenues to voice my concerns in this society. If I decided instead that I wanted to give him a little smack to the back of the head to smarten him up, I can’t really be that amazed when the Secret Service decide to shoot me with a tazer.
Jacy Clark
177. Amalisa

I mean, heck, I might really dislike Dick Cheney’s stance on torture. But I get a number of avenues to voice my concerns in this society. If I decided instead that I wanted to give him a little smack to the back of the head to smarten him up, I can’t really be that amazed when the Secret Service decide to shoot me with a tazer.

Well said. Very well said. *lol*
Debbie Solomon
178. dsolo
Freelancer@165 I'm not judging Tylin by her culture. I'm questioning her judgment. She was interested in Mat because he was ta'averen. She never mentions his great personality or his good looks. She knows that he is involved with the AS (which, by the way, she did not reveal to the Seanchan, so kudos to her for that), but she doesn't take the danger seriously.

wall o'text warning

The last known powerful ta'averen is Hawkwing. Mat is a personal friend of the Dragon Reborn, and what does she do - she calls him her plump duckling and dresses him in pink ribbons. She deliberately trivializes and humiliates him for her amusement. Tuon finally recognizes Mat for a lion, Tylin never did. She was a queen, with very little real power, and she should have been more aware of what a dangerous game she was playing. She had more than her own neck to worry about, she had the welfare of her people to be concerned with.
The Dark One's prison is weakening, the Forsaken are loose, the Seanchan are invading and the Last Battle is looming - it's time to make a ta'avern my boy toy! That's what irritated me about Tylin, not her cultural standards.

Although, if you think about it, it's kind of a recurring theme with RJ about underestimating dangerous men. In NS, Lan's first love has all her plans undone when she tries to manipulate him and Sevanna's plans for Rand don't pan out. The men involved don't even have to do anything directly. The message is that they are dangerous to be around, bad things are after them.

I do have one thought that justifies Tylin's behavior - ta'averen effect. The pattern needed Mat in place and considered unimportant when the Seanchen arrived, so perhaps Tylin had no choice.
Debbie Solomon
179. dsolo

How about that Beslan? Actually, I have mixed feelings about Beslan. He has my sympathy because he's kind of like Mat, not taking things seriously. Of course, his idea of a good time is a bit different from mine (and the Emond's Fielders), but he's still at the "adventures are fun" stage.

The knitting circle - I didn't realize that Mat's ta'averenity (is that a word?) caused Reanne to send the woman out, until I read it in the wot-encyclopedia. That's why I love the rereads and comments, it enhances my understanding.

Mat and Birgitte - I love their dynamic. I hope we see them reunited in Caemlyn in the next book.

One thing that has become abundantly clear on reading these posts is that RJ was a very clever writer. Like Gulliver's Travels, he's using fantasy to comment on many different aspects of our culture. On one level, it's straight fantasy/adventure, but on another it's commentary on good/evil, men/women, cultural bias, prejudice, courage, war, etc. Thanks RJ.
Tricia Irish
180. Tektonica
Carolyn Heilbrun, a well known academic and feminist who wrote mystery novels under the pen name, Amanda Cross, had this to say about literature:

There are two basic kinds of literature:

1 Literary Criticism, "that which still speaks to us and our particular anguishes of today."
2 Literary History, "that which spoke to it's contemporary audience and can only have a scholarly interest for us as we try to discover what the work meant to those for whom it was written."

Extrapolating from the above:
We can project our own 21st century moral codes onto the story, and certainly learn from each other in that discussion.

And we can understand the story in the context of the World, Culture, and Morals of the specific time and place given.

I think we've done both.
Noneo Yourbusiness
181. Longtimefan
So Swovan Night seems a lot like Mardi Gras or Carnival which is the celebration of excess before Lent which conversely is a month long time of abstaining from personally chosen pleasurable things.

Apparently Swovan Night does not have the same requirements. I wonder what kind of things Ebou Dari people would chose to abstain from for any period of time to balance the excesses?

If they had beads to throw would people have to take off feathers or just flash open a cape or jacket?

There were parade floats and flashy costumes and people casting aside inhibitions.

Would that make Ebou Dar more of a New Orleans or Venice? Maybe a combination.

If it is a New Orleans kind of place would the Football team be as great as the Saints? Probably.

Apparently they would have to be in the ancient and vernerable guild of competative atheletes.

Would they be called the Saints? Would the team from Cameyln be the Lions? Would Tear put forward the Stallions? Should I be talking about football in basketball season?

Once Rand founds colleges in the major cities will he have to found college sports?

these are some topics that are off the subject above but hopefully encourage some creative ideas.
Tricia Irish
182. Tektonica

ROFLOL. Thank you!!

I think Rio might qualify for Ebou Dar.

What would the League be called?
Would the Seanchan get a team? The Raken?
Marcus W
183. toryx
Cairhien has their time of ribaldry as well, though I can't remember the name of their festival. That one seemed more along the line of the Mardi Gras tradition though; stern and sober the rest of the year, wild that one night.

Ebou Dar does sound more fun on a regular basis, so I think Tektonica is right in referring to Rio. Of course, I doubt that continues once the Seanchan land, damn them.
Tess Laird
184. thewindrose
How would the Seanchan team be clothed - if they're property than I think we can all have a fairly good idea how they would be clothed.

The Vikings and Packers would need to be hosted out of the borderland countries. If there was a Saldean team, would their wives come along with knives? And take up after the husband was injured? Would the Far Madding team just suck?
(I just wanted to point out that I did try to change topics this weekend...)

Matthew Smith
185. blocksmith
Finally caught up...

This will sound like a survey, but...

Being honest, I fall in the camp that read it as humorous first time 'round and then picked up the negative vibe of the coercive elements upon future rereads/re-examination. To me, based on the description of the events, it is rape. period.

The argument that Tylin used the knife after Mat assaulted her only floats if she used the knife to get Mat to let go and then left herself. Instead she cut his clothes off with it. This scene can absolutely be gender-flipped and then it screams rape.

I will admit that most of the following scenes involving Mat with Tylin indicate mutual appreciation, but that does not change the initial act. I would throw Beslan's tacit approval in that category also. even though he may not know that the consummation of Tylin and Mat's "relationship" was done at knifepoint (literally and figuratively).

Also, I have seen the attempt to compare this to what happens to Morgase and some commenters are throwing out her "Yes" to Valda as some sort of...consent. Remember her yes came after an hour under torture by Asunawa with more threatened if she did not consent. That is not consent in any way, shape, or form.

I will agree with alot of the commenters here in that the scene was very well done and based on the information posted by Robm^2 (I believe) that it was written as a gender-flip scene, it's purpose was soundly achieved.

And then I post just in time to see the discussion has evolved into comparing WOT festivals to RL and attempting to compare the lame football teams like Green Bay and Minnesota to the badassery of the Borderlands. Clearly you meant the Patriots.*ducking*
Tess Laird
186. thewindrose
blocksmith -
As the meteorologist you think I am, I predict a storm of flaming poo to be falling on you just about now:)

Also, I did post a quote from our main man RJ on the Mat/Tylin senerio up at 101.

Matthew Smith
187. blocksmith

Sorry...mis-attributed your info to Robm^2.

And the meteorologist thing comes from a graph called a wind rose which plots wind speed on a NSEW graph over time. Plots look a little like flowers.

Edit: to add I hope I ducked in time!!!
188. Alfvaen
I can't help but think... What would James Bond do in this situation? In the movies, at least, he's an inveterate woman-chaser. I don't think they ever had a tylination scene in the movies, but if they did... Mat and Bond have similar reputations, at least. (On the other hand, I remember the scene in "Thunderball" where Bond blackmails the poor helpless nurse, simply because she left him unattended and a bad guy tried to kill him...)

There's also a scene in the movie "The Hot Spot", with Don Johnson and Virginia Madsen, where he comes to visit her, on an implicit invitation, and then she pulls a gun on him and then gives him a blowjob. That's always struck me as fairly borderline, too.

Does one get the impression that any native-born Ebou Dari man would have taken Tylin's attentions in stride? If so, then Tylin's fault is a refusal of one person to acknowledge another's cultural mores. It's not that's ever happened before in the Wheel of Time, is it?
189. Seamus1602
From a literal POV - Tylin did rape Mat.

But I just can't see it that way, and not because RJ seemed to intend it as a more lighthearted commentary.

I can't see it that way because Mat has consistently become engaged in relationships in which the woman wears the pants. In short, he likes chasing girls, but, for him, a lasting relationship means he needs to be chased a bit.

Think about it. We've seen him with 3 long-term women in the books: Melindha (the Shaido maiden), Tylin, and Tuon. In each case, the woman is clearly the more powerful person in the relationship.

Does that make it okay for Tylin to 'take him' at knife point? No, but it's also hard for me not think that Mat could've gotten out of it, if he really wanted to. Plus, he never states that he doesn't want Tylin, just that he wants to chase her.

I, like Leigh, do the gender-reversal in my mind, and this is what I get: sex at knifepoint = rape; only complaint afterwards is 'I should be chasing you!' = not really rape.

To me, Mat really gets off on powerful women in a way that all the willing serving girls in the world can't touch, so it's hard for me to call it rape when he only complains about how it happened, not that it did.
190. alreadymadwithtylin
dsolo @178
Tylin doesn't exactly equate Mat with a lion, she did liken him to a fox. When it was clear that it was time for Mat to leave Ebou Dar, she doesn't stop him. She says, The trouble with having a pet fox is that sooner or later it remembers it is a fox.
Also, Mat's ta'verenness is most likely what attracted her in the first place. As I read it, I've always interpreted her motives as What sort of upheaval could he bring, Will I be able to turn it to my advantage. Selfish, I know, but it has been pointed out very often she holds very little power despite her title. Caging Mat, might well have been her version of tossing the dice. Aside from the other fringe benefits.
Lynn McDonald
191. meal6225
Watching UNI(14th seed) beat Kansas(1 seed) definitely felt like I was cheering team Light over team Dark.

Far Madding would be the Golden(insert WOT rodent).

Tar Valon team probably the perenial #1 seed in every bracket.
192. ecthelion
Y'ALL ARE FRICKIN INSANE!!!! The Tylin-Mat thing was awesome. And lets beat this dead horse to a bloody pulp!!!
193. Freelancer

I think Mat really doesn't want to be connected to "powerful" women. When he says he prefers a certain kind of woman, I don't think he's lying. But the Wheel weaves as the Wheel will. He is more tightly bound, and has less freedom in his life than most. He gets what the Pattern wants for him, regardless of what he wants for himself.

It's a consistent theme for all of our major and even second-tier characters, that at least in the romance department, they get someone (or several someones) completely different than they'd have wished for themselves.

Rand intended to be perfectly content with a farmwife (ignoring for the moment that Egwene couldn't have ended up as one), and instead he gets a ruler, a warrior, and an oracle.

We never get much internal background of Perrin's ideas for future romance, but his nature sure doesn't suggest he wanted a Saldaean princess-tomboy-daughter of one of the Great Captains.

And Mat, he and Cyndi Lauper just want to have fun. Oh, and no nobles. A bit older, a bit wiggly, a bit playful. A perfect description of Tuon, yes?

I don't believe he secretly craves powerful women. He just has no choice in the matter.
Karen Jacobs
194. KJacobs
Shame on you Free! Now I have MTV 80's videos running through my head :)
Steven Pattingale
195. Pattingale
In a previous post Leigh has mentioned making a WoT movie in her head based around a scene. In Chapter 29 The Festival of Birds we have a fake beggar vs. real beggar fight in the middle of colourful festival. It'd be chaos on screen ... a real cast of thousands type thing. If the WoT comics ever get that far they'll need someone like George Perez to draw it to do the amazingly detailed crowds. Like this link...

Thinking a bit about Beslan too, I'm almost as surprised as Mat that he's happy about Mat and his mom. It's not unusual for a child to be jealous of a new person in their parent's life, Beslan seems quite the opposite, he thinks its cool that his mom is with a guy, and he likes buddying around with that guy too... like a brother maybe.

Do we need the knitting circle POVs? I don't enjoy them much. Could that info about them waiting, then going been provided to the reader in some other way?

Edited for link.
196. MasterAlThor

Remember you said this....

Would the Far Madding team just suck?

I'm just saying....



First that and then the comment at 188.
Some bad mojo going around.
James Jones
197. jamesedjones
195 Pattingale
Beslan seems quite the opposite, he thinks its cool that his mom is with a guy, and he likes buddying around with that guy too... like a brother maybe.
Janet Hopkins
198. JanDSedai
And it's only Monday...

Actually, I'm pretty impressed that we have discussed such a sensitive topic for almost 200 posts without anybody flaming or getting mad with each other! How many other boards could say that?
200. MasterAlThor

That would be because the usual suspects haven't chimed in.

You know who they would be.....


Lovin that numbering system
Tess Laird
201. thewindrose
MasterAlThor - I think Tor is trying to make quota?

So subwoofer said I should run and hide somewhere, where I could lock myself in. Wouldn't that be the bunker? Well, I guess Freelancer and Wetlandernw hang out there as well. Maybe I could come to the bunker of solitude that you made sub? So do you have the tor dingle ball hanging up in there yet?

Leigh wrote:On the third night, he buys bread and cheese and olives on the way home and eats in his rooms; no one rattles the lock that night and there are no more notes, and Mat begins to think maybe things are looking up. He wakes the next morning with the dice rolling in his head.

Have we ever discussed what make the dice start rolling in his head. His encounter with Tylin does not stop this one. They stop when the wall falls on him. So maybe they start when the fleet of Seanchen ships decide to go to Ebou Dar?

Tony Zbaraschuk
202. tonyz
One thing to note is that nobody but Mat and Tylin know about the knife part of it. As far as it looks to everyone else, Tylin has been chasing Mat and (eventually) catches him, but it doesn't look like force to anyone outside the bedroom.
Greg Bloom
203. MuleHeadedLummox

I believe it's only about a week from the point the dice start to when the Seanchan arrive, so the ships would already be on their way from Ebou Dar. Maybe this is the day that Tuon has her future told and finds out about her husband-to-be. Or maybe the dice start because being Tylin's Toy puts him in the position he needs to be in for the pattern when the Seanchan arrive.

Also, I find it interesting that the Mat/Tylin relationship also has a huge impact on how Mat's relationship with Tuon develops. Once Mar realizes that Tuon is the Daughter of the Nine Moons, his future wife, he constantly tries to put himself in control of his relationship with her. A major facet of their relationship is their battle for control against each other. Mat tries to be the one in control as he doesn't want to be her toy, the way he was Tylin's. Tuon tries to take control as she sees herself as superior due to he position.
Brandon Wood
204. brad21088
I agree with you completely. When I was younger and first read the whole Tylin-Mat thing, I thought it was really funny. I'm older now and recently re-read ACoS and... yeah. Wasn't so funny now. The worst part is, Mat has no one to talk to. The few people he does tell laugh, or think it's scandalous, but never think it's rape and never think Mat might be hurting over the event.

It's odd, because in the same book we get a haunting account of Morgase's rape. It's just odd to me that Jordan could portray a female being raped in such an artistic, moving (not in a positive sense, obviously) way while at the same time treating Mat's rape as comedy. It's just really, really not funny at all to me now.

And to those who think arousal does equal consent: if you're a man, remember in mid/high school when you'd get random, awkward boners in class? You were aroused, but didn't really want to be at the moment. What your head says and what, well, your other head wants don't always match up.
Vincent Lane
205. Aegnor
I'm coming into the conversation late, and haven't had a chance to read all the comments, but here it goes anyway.

I don't believe it is rape for one reason. Rape is about power, and I don't believe Tylin ever had the power to force him. Matt was completely unnerved by her pursuit, but there is no way that Tylin could have forced him to have sex with her, short of having a dozen guards hold him down. If he didn't want to have sex with her, then it would have been trivial for him to disarm her, get the key, and leave.

The key thing that makes this not rape, is the fact that she had no real power over him. The knife was no more a threat, than fuzzy handcuffs would be.
F Shelley
206. FSS
My position has not changed. Here's my post from #30 above...

On the rape issue: can you imagine being in front of a judge and jury explaining:

Well, Your Honor, I could just tell she's attracted to me. I tried to corner her and starve her for a few days, but she just wouldn't admit that she wanted me, so yeah, I threatened her into bed with my knife. That's OK, though, right? I mean, I could just tell she totally wanted me. I mean, come on, she's a total whore...

My sentence is how long?
Tina Pierce
207. scissorrunner
sentence for the above crime = not long enough
208. hrothgordo
I should also point out that Jordan also seemed to foreshadow this chapter to some degree with Leanne. She says something to the effect of how her aunt told her that if you are flirting and you overplay your hand sometimes you have to pay the price.

That may disgust many people, but I think that is pretty accurate assessment of the real world. There is often a very large difference between not wanting to have sex with someone and being forced to do so.

And if you think that this isn’t the case I say talk to your long-term married friends or any of your gay friends (as most homosexuals in fact have straight sex during adolescence trying to conform to cultural or familial standards). Bad or unfulfilling sex isn’t the same as being violated.

Generally it’s being truly rendered powerless that is the crime.

Mat is never rendered powerless. Does anyone doubt that he could have disarmed Tylin?

Mat found Tylin attractive, he honestly admitted that to himself in their first meeting. His issues for not pursuing her were based around her being a noble, having a son who looked for reasons to put a dagger in people and the SGs (not only their moral stance but political footing as well). Tactically he decided to withdraw.

Instead he was forced to move into the palace and tries playing the game with Tylin. And he lost.

The moment that knife came out, the situation changed. The complications of denying Tylin simply outweighed those of accepting her. Disarming the queen would have just messed up everything with Beslan, the Bowl, the SGs . . .all of it.

So Mat accepted it. He may have been flabbergasted at the situation, and I doubt the submissive role is his particular cup of tea but he had options.
Don Barkauskas
209. bad_platypus
hrothgordo @208:
Does anyone doubt that he could have disarmed Tylin?
Aside from Mat himself?
Roger Powell
210. forkroot
Whether Mat could have disarmed her is quite beside the point. She was the queen, with command over the entire city (admittedly not the entire country.) In that situation, does Mat seriously want to cross her? Even if he doesn't fear for his own safety, surely the safety of the SG's along with the success of their mission might be jeopardized?

Opinions vary on how much he enjoyed it, but for all practical purposes he was indeed forced into it.
Vincent Lane
211. Aegnor
FSS@206 "On the rape issue: can you imagine being in front of a judge and jury explaining..."

I'm not really addressing the question from a legal perspective. There is no way for the courts to determine those types of things, so in a modern court of law Tylin would be in trouble.

But we, the reader, have more thorough knowledge. We know he could easily disarm Tylin (and yes bad_platypus, Mat knew it too). Does anyone seriously believe that Tylin could have forced Mat to have sex with her if he didn't want to?
Tess Laird
212. thewindrose
The Seanchen Armada firsts land at Tanchico:
WH chapter 14 What a Veil Hides-
Through the tall stern windows she(Tuon) could see other greatships crashing through the gray-green swells in sprays of white, hundreds of them row on row, stretching to the horizon. Four times as many had been left at Tanchico. The Rhyagelle, Those Who Come Home. The Corenne, the Return, had begun.{...}Ahead of the ship she could make out the mouth of a great harbor. Ebou Dar, from where the Corenne would spread, as it was spreading from Tanchico.

I was thinking that the dice started up in Mats head when the decision was made to head for Ebou Dar from Tanchico. And of course stopped when the Seanchen had taken Ebou Dar/wall fell on Mat.

Andrew Blackburn
213. ajbcool
I personally don't think it matters on whether or not he liked it, or wanted to do it at some time perhaps in the future, but he came to her for a reason, and that reason was not sex. And she forced him into it, thus, rape. That's my opinion, anyways.
Marcus W
214. toryx
Aegnor @ 211:

Does anyone seriously believe that Tylin could have forced Mat to have sex with her if he didn't want to?

Yes. And if you look at the rest of the comments on this post, you'll see that the majority do, in fact, believe that.

I think the fact that she's a queen is actually more significant than the dagger. If she wanted to call for her guards and have him executed, that was well within her power. Once she'd caught him with his hand on her and held him off with the dagger, he was pretty much completely subject to her whims. His ability to disarm her (which is also somewhat debatable) is irrelevent.

thewindrose @ 212:
I was thinking that the dice started up in Mats head when the decision was made to head for Ebou Dar from Tanchico. And of course stopped when the Seanchen had taken Ebou Dar/wall fell on Mat.

I've always thought it was Mat's decisions that were the impetus for the dice tumbling in his head rather than outside forces around him. Every time they start up it's immediately after he's made a decision, whether large or small. They're in his head and they're tied to his fate. Why would they be driven by outside forces?

In the passage you quoted @ 201, I judged it was his relaxing and to some degree accepting that he was in the palace that started it. I could be wrong, though.
Antoni Ivanov
215. tonka
I don't know if Mat could have overpowered Tylin or not. She seems pretty handy with that knife and knows how to use it. And if you take into account Mat's reluctance to hurt women. Who knows? I certainly don't. But Mat didn't try and that's certain. And something else that is certain is that Tylin would have never dared kill Mat. In a small, divided country she has not managed to keep her powers by being stupid. If she really hurt Mat both Elaida's and rebels Aes Sedai would have had her hide. Not mentioning the Dragon Reborn (if she knows Mat is acquainted with him). Nor she is darkfriend as I don't see her making favours to the Shadow. But the great irony and what is funny is that Mat does not realize that.He doesn't grasp how important he is.
216. hrothgordo
I don’t know Forkroot, I still have to fall down on the side of rape by technicality.

This was not a trauma inducing situation for the character, it was a decision to have sex. People have sex for lots of different reasons and not all of them are as pure as love. I mean birth rates spike 9 months after major power outages, not because people saw each other in romantic candlelight, but because they were bored.

Mat has made it abundantly clear that he is always up for a romp. His reasons for not taking Tylin up in the first place are basically that it would complicate things too much. However, with his assault on the queen he basically made things way more complicated for himself if he didn’t do the deed. So he gave in.

Giving in happens all the time. It’s kind of a sad reason to have relations, but I think legitimate one.

He always had options, even at knifepoint.
Vincent Lane
218. Aegnor
"Yes. And if you look at the rest of the comments on this post, you'll see that the majority do, in fact, believe that."

Then I respectfully disagree. Not only do I not believe that Tylin could have forced Mat to have sex, there is no way that Tylin would have killed him, with the knife or otherwise. Tylin pressured him to have sex, which is not the same thing as force. The knife makes things questionable, but we, as the reader, know that Mat is very effective at combat, having taken down multiple trollocs and fades. And Mat absolutely knew he wasn't in any real danger. He was just unnerved by being relentlessly pursued.

And what's more, we don't know what happened after the viewpoint cut out, and without that knowledge it can definitely not be conclusively determined if it was rape or not. She used the knife to keep him from searching her person for the key, and then to guide him to the bed. That is all we know.
Tina Pierce
219. scissorrunner
? 6.persuasive power; power to convince: They felt the force of his arguments.

? 7.a constraining or compelling force or influence: the social pressures of city life; financial pressure.

so the difference between pressure & force is what?
Or does only PHYSICAL force or pressure count, not MENTAL force or pressure?

either way - it is an unjust control of someone else

and the sliced up clothing afterward wasn't an indication that she USED the knife???
Vincent Lane
220. Aegnor
Great...a syntax battle. The definition you use for pressure vs force depends on context. The context for my statement should have been obvious. Some jerk boyfriend telling his girlfriend that he will break up with her if she doesn't have sex with him, while unconscionable, is not rape.

"and the sliced up clothing afterward wasn't an indication that she USED the knife???"

It indicates that she used the knife to take off his clothes. That would likely be enough to get you an assault charge in a modern court of law, if the matter were pressed.
j p
221. sps49
This passage should not be considered in the context of a court of law. It is words written on paper; as such, it is subject to contradictions and apparent paradox. The real world doesn't have this problem; here, some facts can preclude or disprove suppositions. This is not the case.

This chapter is subject to each reader's interpretation, as I already said earlier. There are no facts, just the way we understand what is written. Often someone here will notice bits that I didn't, or think of possible or likely implications that I missed, but so far I feel confident that I am picking up the author's intent in these books. The scene may be more gray-shaded than at my first reading, but I have not had the 180-degree epiphany.

I don't think either side will convince anyone else that hasn't changed their mind by now. And no, it isn't because we are bad people.

The next post can't come soon enough.
Bonnie Andrews
222. misfortuona
Cross posted from the GD thread
Hey for those of you are following the Suvudu cage matches.
They implemented a new anti-spam softwhere program. Apparently people were stuffing the ballot boxes (None of us I'm sure) They have reset everything and so if you voted earlier on Round 3 you will have to do it again.

Tricia Irish
223. Tektonica
As per 222:

Rand needs your vote! It's getting close!!! So does Drizzt and Kvothe...hie thee to Suvudu (briefly).
Debbie Solomon
224. dsolo


Would the Cairhienen be the Treekillers?
Cheer - "We'll cut you down to size!"

I'm not sure without looking it up, but is Ilian the 9 bees? So they could be The Yellowjackets or Hornets.
Cheer - "We'll sting you!"

The Sea Folk - Athan Miere (sp?) Cutthroats
Cheer is obvious

The Two Rivers Ta'averens!
No need for a cheer - as soon as both teams take the field, the other team's kicker will miss the ball and fall on his back, they will sack their own quarterback and tackle each other while the Ta'averens just keep running touchdowns.

I'm stumped for Amadicia. I would have to call them the Wimps.
John Massey
225. subwoofer
Heh. Seems like March Madness has gripped the other thread. I was staying out of this as opinions are just that- opinions. Express them but do not expect to convert others. It is a fool's errand.

Grudge match and order- are we ranking from an ass kicking standard and the top gets paired off with the bottom or are their divisions? M vs F? Or F vs F and M vs M until the end?

For rankings in my head I have to put:

1- Birgitte. She's a hero of the horn for Pete's sake. The only one on this list.
2- Lan.
3- Loial- big, and can use and axe or a staff. And can run down a horse.
4-Rhuarc- Aiel over Wetlanders any day of the week.
5-Fain- can kill with his smell.
6-Berelain-distracts opponent with a strap "accidentally" slipping off, then WHAM! No more family jewels.
7-Sulin-Shout out to the Maidens.
8-Furyk Karede- General of the Deathwatch Guards. Easy pic.
9-Bryne- one of the 5 Great Captains and a blademaster?
10-Mat-guy is good, but get's riddled like Swiss cheese on too many occasions. His luck is the only thing that keeps him going.
11-Galad- less annoying than his brother- who will never make my list, the douche.
12-Tam-humble, but I betcha he can still whoop a$$.
13-Tylee Khirgan- Seanchan and hardcore.
14-Perrin- my Swiss cheese analogy. Needs to learn to fight with his head, not his heart.
15-Uno-crusty, but still alive. Go Borderlanders!
16-Edit- Woman's circle- all of them. Can browbeat any opponent into submission.

Sam Mickel
226. Samadai
cross posted from the cage fight discussion on the open thread

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you round 1 of your cage matches featuring your NO. 1 seed Lan Al'Mandragoran, last lord of the Seven Towers, Diademed Battle lord and uncrowned king of Malkier. He will Face your no. 16 seed Faile Bashere ti' Aybara, daughter of Davram Bashere, heir to the throne of Saldea, mistress of Tyr and Sidona, and Lady of the Two Rivers.
Lan and Faile enter the cage as the fans scream.
"Hold my cloak Mashiara" Lan says to Nynaeve.
In the other corner Faile is talking to Perrin. " I am capable of taking care of myself Perrin Aybara and don't forget it." "If he hurts you I will kill him." Perrin retorts.
Lan advances across the floor with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and executes Blossom falling from the Stem. Faile expecting such a maneuver, twirls her fan in such a manner as to say "you are too slow, I was gone before you got there.
Faile screams. " Cha Faile attack"
Her warriors rush into the cage and start attacking Lan. Lan is being forced back by the sheer numbers of attackers, but his training comes to the fore and a Charging Boar takes out three of the fighters, followed by the River Undercuts the Bank, which takes out the Remaing ones. Faile who has been making Calfs-eyes at Lord Luc, turns back to the fight.
Lan arrogantly Crosses the Courtyard as Faile pulls her knives . She starts throwing them at Lan as fast as she can. Lan twirls his sword in Whirlwind in Motion and knocks them all down. Faile grabbing her last knife steps inside his guard and begins to stab home. Lan realizing he has only one chance Sheathes the Sword in Failes body as she rams her knife into his heart.
Perrin and Nynaeve run into the cage and as Perrin bows his head in grief, Nynaeve yells, "No, I will not lose him"
Though only the women channelers could see she was doing something, even they had no idea what she was doing. Everyone gasped in shock as Lan came back to life before their eyes. Perrin glanced at Nynaeve with hope in his eyes. "Please Nynaeve, please bring her back." Nynaeve stares at Faile with hatred in her eyes, but they soften as she looks at Perrins face. "Ok" she says. "I will do it." "Stand back."
everyone backs off and Nynaeve pulls in all the one power she can through her an'greal. The lights in the hall go out and it is totally black. after a few moments the lights come back on and Faile is alive again. Perrin scoops her up and rushes from the room. Nynaeve helps Lan up and as she is leaving hears Someone yell Berelain is dead. She smiles and walks out of the room. I love those Illusion weaves, she thinks to herself.
Tricia Irish
227. Tektonica
Randland Cage Match

At RobM's request I have moved the proposed lists over from the GD thread, so we don't use up valuable real estate over there. This gets refreshed

Herewith are the currently proposed Cage Fight lists:
All subject to input.

Rand 1
Moridin 2
Demandred 3
Cyndane 4
Alivia 5
Nynaeave 6
Cadsuane 7
Moggy 8
Mesanaa 9
Taim 10
Logain 11
Egwene 12
Aviendha 13
Elayne 14
Talaan 15
Therava 16

An All Girl Smackdown:

So girls:

01 Avienda
02 Elayne
03 Min
04 Fortuona
05 Faile
06 Berelain
07 Tylee
08 Sevanna

Proposed new list of Non-Channelers:

01 Lan
02 Mat
03 Birgitte
04 Fain/Mordeth
05 Rhuarc
06 Luc/Isam/Slayer
07 Byrne
08 Perrin
09 Tam
10 Loial
11 Galad
12 Gawyn
13 Thom
14 Selucia
15 Egeanin
16 Sulin
228. FellKnight

Rand 1
Moridin 4
Demandred 3
Cyndane 6
Alivia 2 (um, she's had 400 years of being nothing but a living weapon!)
Nynaeave 5
Cadsuane 8
Moggy 15 (Can't fight her way out of a wet paper bag)
Mesanaa 9
Taim 7
Logain 10
Egwene 11
Aviendha 12
Elayne 14
Talaan 13
Therava 16

An All Girl Smackdown:

So girls: (am assuming that the OP counts, so)

01 Aviendha
02 Elayne
04 Min
03 Fortuona
05 Faile
07 Berelain
06 Tylee
08 Sevanna

Proposed new list of Non-Channelers:

03 Lan (Ultimate badass swordsman)
05 Mat (hard to fight luck)
02 Birgitte (Hero of the frickin Horn)
01 Fain/Mordeth (Ultimate corruption, and instant-death in even nicked? Win.)
06 Rhuarc
04 Luc/Isam/Slayer (popping from anywhere, surprise!)
13 Bryne
10 Perrin (Face, meet hammer)
08 Tam
11 Loial
07 Galad (second only to Lan in sword badassery)
14 Gawyn
09 Thom (tons of tricks up his sleeve)
15 Selucia
16 Egeanin
12 Sulin
Rob Munnelly
229. RobMRobM
As cagemaster, I will make final line ups and get things rolling later this evening. R
Janet Hopkins
230. JanDSedai
Looking forward the the Cage matches! A welcome diversion until Friday. Maybe we can do the first two rounds on this thread, and the rest on the part 18 thread.

As sps49 said, the rape/ notrape question is not going to be resolved by more discussion. Was that roadkill a dead hippopatamus or a horse...?!
Rob Munnelly
231. RobMRobM
Are you ready to rumble....

WoT Cage Fights - One vote per customer - best to copy the matches and indicate winner to the right. Highest number of votes by the deadline wins. Funny commentary, justifications for your votes or out and out campaigning for your favorites below the voting line are, of course, encouraged. Seedings are at the discretion of the Cagemaster, so dem's the breaks if your favorite is screwed with a low seed or tough match up or omitted.

Seedings and First Round Matches are as follows. Round 1 Closes on Thursday (tomorrow) at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

I. Channeler Division

01 Rand
02 Moridin
03 Demandred
04 Cyndane
05 Alivia
06 Nynaeave
07 Cadsuane
08 Taim
09 Logain
10 Moggy
11 Someryn
12 Talaan
13 Egwene
14 Aviendha
15 Therava
16 Mesanaa

Rand v. Mesanaa

Moridin v. Therava

Demandred v. Aviendha

Cyndane v. Egwene

Alivia v. Talaan

Nynaeve v. Someryn

Cadsuane v. Moggy

Taim v. Logain

Misc notes
- Elayne left out due to her condition
- Include the impact of ter'angreal at your discretion.
- White Tower channelers have had the Oaths removed for duration of matches.

II. Unpowered but Powerful Division

01 Lan
02 Mat
03 Birgitte
04 Fain/Mordeth
05 Rhuarc
06 Tam
07 Toram Riatin
08 Perrin
09 Luc/Isam/Slayer
10 Galad
11 Gawyn
12 Loial
13 Thom
14 Deni (Elayne's Guard)
15 Egeanin
16 Sulin

Lan v. Sulin

Mat v. Egeanin

Birgitte v. Deni

Fain v. Thom

Rhuarc v. Loial

Tam v. Gawyn

Riatin v. Galad

Perrin v. Slayer

Misc Notes
- Had Selucia here originally but she is more fun in the battle of the busoms division.
- We are making believe that Riatin survived Far Madding - always can use a Darkfriend blademaster jerk to add spice to the event
- Many of the first round matches have epic potential - Perrin v. Slayer II; Tam v. the jerk who wants his son dead for no reason; Mr. Tainted Blade v. Mr. Knife Thrower; Tough Boss v. Ambitious Employee; Two Captains facing off...

III. Unpowered but Fun Girlfight Division

01 Selucia
02 Lady Shiane/Mili Skane
03 Fortuona
04 Faile
05 Berelain
06 Min
07 Tylee
08 Sevanna

Selucia v. Sevanna

Shiane v. Tylee

Fortuona v. Min

Faile v. Berelain

Misc Notes
- All are cool match ups. Nuff said.

Rob aka the Cagemaster
Rob Munnelly
232. RobMRobM
Rand v. Mesanaa - Rand in a walkover

Moridin v. Therava - Moridin in a close one

Demandred v. Aviendha - Avi in an upset, helped by the turtle ter'angreal

Cyndane v. Egwene - Cyndane following an epic battle across both Randland and TAR.

Alivia v. Talaan - Alivia in a battle of wilders

Nynaeve v. Someryn - Nyneave thanks to more modern weaves and ter'angreal

Cadsuane v. Moggy - Moggy in an upset, despite Cads' special hair pieces.

Taim v. Logain - Logain - the halo of glory never lies.

Lan v. Sulin - Lan in a walkover

Mat v. Egeanin - Mat knows her out with butt of ashenderari and Fortuana steps in to finish her off.

Birgitte v. Deni - arrows beat cudgels

Fain v. Thom - best match of night - both using illusions against each other and knives are a flashing but Thom had a leg cramp, got cut and got melted.

Rhuarc v. Loial - Rhuarc - too seasoned for the big rookie fighter.

Tam v. Gawyn - Tam - arrow beats sword - didn't even have to show off his old blademaster skills

Riatin v. Galad - Galad in a surprising walkover as his competition for throne of Carhien (at least, competition outside of his family)

Perrin v. Slayer - Perrin, after chasing him all over TAR.

Selucia v. Sevanna - Selucia in a walkover

Shiane v. Tylee - Shiane by cheating (throwing dust into Tylee's eyes and stabbing her in a vital spot under the armor

Fortuona v. Min - Fortuona - bigger commitment to victory (and more energy due to sexual frustration).

Faile v. Berelain - Faile - sweet revenge. Ogier's oath indeed.
233. MasterAlThor

Let's get ready to ruuuuummmmmmmbbbbllleeee

Division I

Rand v. Mesanaa: You're kidding right? Rand hands down

Moridin v. Therava: Moridin, only because he knows stuff

Demandred v. Aviendha: If only Avi was ta'veren, Demandred wins

Cyndane v. Egwene: Well now things get interesting. Cyndane, by a hair, knowledge ya'll Cyndane's got it.

Alivia v. Talaan: Here is were raw power wins out. Alivia

Nynaeve v. Someryn: I hate Nynaeve, but she wins cause of her toys

Cadsuane v. Moggy: Get real, if you can't beat Nynaeve without her toys, you got no chance against SWMNBN

Taim v. Logain: Toss up, but I'm picking Logain, which means that Taim will win.

Division II

Lan v. Sulin: Ok, this is unfair. If Lan is top seed in this division, how is Sulin the lowest seed? I call BS. Lan wins, but I ain't happy about it.

Mat v. Egeanin: Mat

Birgitte v. Deni: Birgitte. Wait a fricken minute. Deni is a higher ranked seed than Sulin? I feel a bout of headdesk coming on.

Fain v. Thom: Whooooo, good one. I am going with Fain here, Thom is too old to be dodging that dagger forever.

Rhuarc v. Loial: Rhuarc

Tam v. Gawyn: I don't have an issue with Gawyn, I think Tam could win, but go with youth here.

Riatin v. Galad: Hey Galad, would you do us a favor and kill one of your relatives please?

Perrin v. Slayer: Round 3. Fight! Perrin wins.

Division III

Selucia v. Sevanna: Ok, by common sense, Selucia should just win this bracket

Shiane v. Tylee: Tylee is a trained warrior

Fortuona v. Min: Not fair one of them can channel, but I don't like either of them anyway. Tuon

Faile v. Berelain: Berelain SPANKS Faile.

Kudos to whoever found Suvudu Cage Match website. That is the whip.


Overall, I think that the brackets are good with one exception....headdeskheaddeskheaddesk.

I would have put Sulin vs Sslucia. That's a fight you would sell family members to see and you know it. Think Bruce Lee vs Jet Li. You know I'm right.
Janet Hopkins
234. JanDSedai
Can we start voting?


Selucia trained assassin vs big boobs?
Tylee warrior vs poison knife
Fortuona all-round bad-ass vs knives
Faile justice
Thomas Keith
235. insectoid
CageM² @231: My votes:

Channeler Division
- Rand v. Mesaana: Total pushover.
- Moridin v. Therava: Ditto.
- Demandred v. Aviendha: Because Avi is awesome. And has the turtle angreal.
- Cyndane v. Egwene: C'mon, Egwene is badass. ;)
- Alivia v. Talaan: Just because she's a stronger channeler.
- Nynaeve v. Someryn: Please.
- Cadsuane v. Moggy: Because Nyn needs someone to beat up later!
- Taim v. Logain: Taim is going DOWN!

Unpowered Division
- Lan v. Sulin: Please.
- Mat v. Egeanin: Mat is badass in a can.
- Birgitte v. Deni: Who? ;)
- Fain v. Thom: Because Thom is totally awesome.
- Rhuarc v. Loial: Had to pick one...
- Tam v. Gawyn: Gawyn is a doofus.
- Riatin v. Galad: Galad FTW!
- Perrin v. Slayer: One crushed skull coming up...

Girlfight Division
- Selucia v. Sevanna: Sevanna is a wimp. And has a cube. The End!
- Shiane v. Tylee: 'Cause Tylee's got skills.
- Fortuona v. Min: Min's been reading too much.
- Faile v. Berelain: Because Faile is awesome.

Lookit all the walls o' votes...

Antoni Ivanov
236. tonka
Channeler Division
- Rand v. Mesaana: Rand. There is a reason one is first , the other 16 seed
- Moridin v. Therava: Moridin. Well...
- Demandred v. Aviendha: Demandred, just because he managed to hide for 12 books now
- Cyndane v. Egwene: Egwene. She is the Amyrlin, she has all kinds of sa'angreal and stuff.
- Alivia v. Talaan: Alivia. She is a trained weapon.
- Nynaeve v. Someryn: Nynaeve.
- Cadsuane v. Moggy:Cadsuane. Moggy has no chance here.
- Taim v. Logain: Logain. Because I like him better

Unpowered Division
- Lan v. Sulin: Lan. It's not going to be so easy for Lan as most think but still it's Lan.
- Mat v. Egeanin: Mat. The only part Egeanin can hit is the medallion or some other tiny place on Mat's body that is protected
- Birgitte v. Deni: Birgitte
- Fain v. Thom: Thom.
- Rhuarc v. Loial: Rhuarc . Hard choice
- Tam v. Gawyn: Gawyn. Young vs Old .I picked the young.
- Riatin v. Galad: Galad. He is badass.
- Perrin v. Slayer: Perrin. The pattern wills it

Girlfight Division
- Selucia v. Sevanna: Selucia.
- Shiane v. Tylee: Tylee. Who is Shiane ? JK.
- Fortuona v. Min: Fortuona. The only practice Min has had lately is in the bed with Rand. Not that it is little but still she falls short
- Faile v. Berelain: Faile. She won Perrin , why not the fight.
Thomas Keith
237. insectoid
Tonka @236: Hey... my formatting! ::pouts::

No, s'okay, a good idea goes a long way. Funny how we don't differ on many points, though... ;)

238. Denari6
Rand v. Mesanaa - Rand goes back to school but this time teaches the teacher!

Moridin v. Therava - Moridin, true power ftw

Demandred v. Aviendha - Demandred because Aviendha decided to charge with dagger instead of channel

Cyndane v. Egwene - Egwene owns Cyndane after the battle heads to TR

Alivia v. Talaan - Alivia melts Talaan

Nynaeve v. Someryn - Braid yanking fury ftw go Nyn

Cadsuane v. Moggy - Moggy in a close close battle

Taim v. Logain - Logain just because

II. Unpowered but Powerful Division

Lan v. Sulin Taishar Malkier Lan in the 8th round

Mat v. Egeanin Never fight a taveren, Egs, Mat winner by a hat

Birgitte v. Deni - Birgitte owns Deni in a fast but tough battle

Fain v. Thom - Fain wins after nicking Tom on the knee. Boos all around

Rhuarc v. Loial - Rhuarc wins after bruising battle that shook the earth

Tam v. Gawyn - Tam wins with a simple quarter staff

Riatin v. Galad - Galad with no emotions chops a raging riatin into pieces

Perrin v. Slayer - In wolf form, Perrin tears slayer's throat out in the dream

Selucia v. Sevanna - Sevanna is made Gaishan forever to a new master

Shiane v. Tylee Tylee owns shiane with hard corps discipline and tactics

Fortuona v. Min Fortuona wins this cat fight

Faile v. Berelain They both die? erm I guess if I had to choose one...Berelain was the first to expire.
239. MasterAlThor
I looked through some of you guys picks and I am disappointed.

Not necessarily cause of the picks, well ok some of them.

Yeah Woof I know I am not supposed to be trying to convince anyone to change their mind, but I can't help it. If I can't stump for the victors I like then what's the point?

Anyway, is everyone good with Sulin(name a maiden better than her) being the lowest seed in her bracket?

I think RobM knew this but then was just going for first round matchup potential.

I mean come on what you are saying is that Deni is a better fighter than Sulin. For that matter you are saying that Perrin is a better fighter than Sulin.

And some of you are picking Faile over Berelain??? Do you remember the first fight?
Check out TSR chp 14, where an unarmed Berelain throws a knife wielding Faile to the ground.

Anyway I don't really have beef with anyones choices, just arguing to have fun.

I know that it is an emotional thing for us to pick the winners and losers.

Jacy Clark
240. Amalisa

Check out TSR chp 14, where an unarmed Berelain throws a knife wielding Faile to the ground.

Ah, but the first time she was fighting for what she wanted. This time she would be fighting for what she has. That would make a big difference! :D
Matthew Smith
241. blocksmith

Let's get ready to RRRRUU...damn...copyrighted by MAT@233!!!!

Rand v. Mesanaa- Rand, but a close one as he takes too long to decide to kill her

Moridin v. Therava- Moridin...A true power stomping

Demandred v. Aviendha- If it was Rahvin, I would say a wardrobe malfunction distracted him and Avi wins...but not against Demandred.

Cyndane v. Egwene- Egs in a close. After losing Moggy she takes no chances with Forsaken.

Alivia v. Talaan- contest

Nynaeve v. Someryn- Nynaeve

Cadsuane v. Moggy- Cads' scowl takes Moggy by surprise

Taim v. Logain- Logain...cause Taim sucks.

Second Bracket

Lan v. Sulin- Lan...'nough said.

Mat v. Egeanin- Mat...he decapitated Couladin!!!

Birgitte v. Deni- Birgitte's sends an arrow in the eye at the starting bell. Deni done before lifting...a cudgel? Really? I cry foul on this one, also.

Fain v. Thom- Sorry Thom...Mr. Merrilin, he dead.

Rhuarc v. Loial- Rhuarc can't bring himself to fight an Ogier so Loial bores him to death.

Tam v. Gawyn- Gawyn...youth&exp vs. age&exp

Riatin v. Galad- Seriously? Galad.

Perrin v. Slayer- Perrin...almost beat him once already.

NCAAW bracket

Selucia v. Sevanna- No amount of bosom saves Sevanna...Selucia all the way.

Shiane v. Tylee- Tylee, with the sword, in the barn.

Fortuona v. Min- Min foresees Fortuona's death...just not right now. Fortuona prevails.

Faile v. Berelain- The grudge match...clothes flying off, hair being pulled, much slapping and throwing...then hugging and...wait, um, sorry about that. Berelain by a pinch.

Leigh- do you see what you have reduced us to? Imaginary cage matches? I really hope the home hunting is progressing.
Marcus W
242. toryx
Assuming I understand how this works, here's my votes:

I. Channeler Division

Rand v. Mesanaa
Rand - Seriously, no contest.

Moridin v. Therava

Demandred v. Aviendha
Aviendha - Demandred would seriously underestimate her.

Cyndane v. Egwene
Cyndane - Egwene's good but not that good.

Alivia v. Talaan

Nynaeve v. Someryn

Cadsuane v. Moggy
Moghedian - Cadsuane's got an advantage with her toys but Moghedian is too insidious to give her a chance.

Taim v. Logain
Logain - He's too cool to school.

II. Unpowered but Powerful Division

Lan v. Sulin
Lan - Boy, that'd be a good fight!

Mat v. Egeanin
Mat - He'd take quite a beating but I think he'd win out in the end, as long as Domon isn't there.

Birgitte v. Deni

Fain v. Thom
Fain - Poor Thom.

Rhuarc v. Loial
Rhuarc - Loial would be too slow, methinks.

Tam v. Gawyn
Tie - I'd like to think Tam would win but Gawyn's got youth on his side and he's not rusty. In the end, they'd both be too battered to stand.

Riatin v. Galad

Perrin v. Slayer
Perrin - Another good fight.

III. Unpowered but Fun Girlfight Division

Selucia v. Sevanna
Selucia - Only because I can't stand Sevanna. And she'd be wearing all that jewelry.

Shiane v. Tylee

Fortuona v. Min
Min - Popular choice. Besides, her love is more true than Fortuona's and hell, I'm a romantic.

Faile v. Berelain
Faile - Honestly, this is a fight I wouldn't want to see. It'd get ugly.
craig thrift
243. gagecreedlives
Channeler Division

Rand v. Mesanaa - Puhlease. This would be like Fiji invading Russia. Rand to win and not break a sweat

Moridin v. Therava - See above but with even less chance for Therava. Moridin

Demandred v. Aviendha - Whilst in the middle of explaining to Demandred that no blood can be spilt of someone travelling to Rhuidean, Demandred rips her head off

Cyndane v. Egwene - Rands past collides in heaving bosoms and sniffs. Egwene wins but Cyndane left still healthy enough to eye off the Girlfight division.

Alivia v. Talaan - Alivia as I cant be bothered trying to remember who Talaan is. Which makes me think she is a windfinder

Nynaeve v. Someryn - Nynaeve wipes the floor so hard with Someryn even the aiel say Damn!!!

Cadsuane v. Moggy - Moggy disguises herself as a young aes sedai. Cads tries to bully, the spider bites.

Taim v. Logain - I like Logain. Logain wins

Unpowered but Powerful Division

Lan v. Sulin - The Chuck Norris of Randland is not going out in Round 1. Lan wins

Mat v. Egeanin - While Mat tries to avoid hurting Egeanin and convice Domon to fight him instead, Egeanin trips and impales herself on Mat's ashandarei

Birgitte v. Deni - Birgitte puts an arrow through her eye before Deni even can enter the ring.

Fain v. Thom - In the match of the day so far. Thom is holding his own until a slight scratch from the ruby dagger ruins everything.

Rhuarc v. Loial - Match ends up as a 15 hour marathon as Rhuarc cant imagine the toh he would incur attacking an ogier. So he just stands there. It takes 14.5 hours for Loial to talk Rhuarc to sleep and win with a 10 count.

Tam v. Gawyn - Tam gets into Gawyn's head telling him all sorts of stories about what Egwene and Rand used to get up to in the hayloft. Gawyn broods, Tam runs a sword through him.

Riatin v. Galad - The sexiest man in the WoT cosmos continues his winning form and is to good for Riatin.

Perrin v. Slayer - Slayer has the upper hand jumping in and out of the world of dreams at will and is toying with Perrin. That is until Hopper appears behind Slayer with a steel chair. Ref distracted. Perrin 1-2-3 picks up the win.

Unpowered but Fun Girlfight Division

Selucia v. Sevanna - Fun goes out the window as Selucia disembowels Sevanna

Shiane v. Tylee - Tylee. Hey for a seanchan shes alright

Fortuona v. Min - Fortuona gets the best of Min in a sneaky ambush Min never saw coming

Faile v. Berelain - Berelain gives Faile a spanking. Why? Because there just has to be a spanking and Faile seems to enjoy it


Looks like me and blocksmith were on the same wavelength re Rhuarc vs Loial. And for those that were interested its an ogier 10 count which is why it takes .1 of an hour
244. MasterAlThor

Ah, but the first time she was fighting for what she wanted. This time she would be fighting for what she has. That would make a big difference! :D

I still see Berelain taking her down without a problem. The fact theat she is fighting not to lose something, would cause her to lose. IMHO. Not only that Berelain is trained in combact. I am still paying to see this match regardless of the outcome.

Marcus W
245. toryx
gagecreedlives @ 243:

Man, I disagree with a lot of your choices, but this one is priceless:

Mat v. Egeanin - While Mat tries to avoid hurting Egeanin and convice Domon to fight him instead, Egeanin trips and impales herself on Mat's ashandarei

I'm also fond of your account of the battle between Cadsuane and Moghedian. Well said, sir.
246. MasterAlThor

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!!!

247. MasterAlThor
Man RobM you got your work cut out for you. Good luck brother.

Maybe next time we can get a Darkfriend Division.

I am also looking forward to your blurbs/reasoning for the battles victors.

*Getting popcorn ready* "Suffa! Get my recliner cleaned and ready! And where is my drink woman?"

248. alreadymadwithcatfight.
Berelain utterly pwns Faile's ass. Has anyone noticed that Hawkwing's descendants seem to have this weird jujitsu thing going? They're quite the accomplished martial artists. Which makes me interested in how a Berelain/Tuon brawl would turn out.

mmm ... Suffa make that a double on the popcorn!
James Jones
249. jamesedjones
Re: Randland March Madness

Everyone's picking their favorites with little or no reason behind the picks. You're not writing a story or choosing how you'd like it to happen, people.

Now, do your research and start using your brains!


Yes, Rand and Moridin would kick a**

Edit: Doing research was how I responded when I heard a co-workers picks (and I have never even watched college basketball). Now, everyone in the office is coming to me for advice. lol
John Massey
250. subwoofer
Gonna wade into this one later when I have time but boyyyy I want to say that we have the pairings wrong or the matches are rigged. And I kept the channeling outta this one. Somebody just has to read Green Lantern comics and channel a giant feather or mallet. Match over.

Tricia Irish
252. Tektonica
Channelers Division I:

Rand v. Mesanaa---Duh. Can you say hero? Rand.

Moridin v. Therava--TP knock out. Moridan

Demandred v. Aviendha--Avi cuts, she channels, she surprises herself.

Cyndane v. Egwene--Egs blows up the earth under her feet.

Alivia v. Talaan--Alivia, No Contest

Nynaeve v. Someryn--Nynaeve with 'Agreal and sniffing.

Cadsuane v. Moggy-- Moggy. SWMNBN has to go down, because.

Taim v. Logain--Logain, because Taim is hideous.

Unpowered but Powerful Division II

Lan v. Sulin--Lan wins by a hadori...good match!

Mat v. Egeanin--Mat, duh. Removes her head and that silly wig with his quarterstaff.

Birgitte v. Deni--Birgitte, Ms. Hero.

Fain v. Thom--Thom!! He's got training, skills. Fain's a peddler for heaven's sake. He's nuts, and has one deadly blade. Thom skewers him in the throat before he takes 2 steps. Have you all forgotten how awesome Thom is with his knives???

Rhuarc v. Loial--Tough one. Rhuarc, trained warrior. Loial's just too nice.

Tam v. Gawyn--Tam, because Gawyn is an idiot.

Riatin v. Galad--Galad cooly cuts Riatin into little bitty pieces.

Perrin v. Slayer--Perrin!! Slayer's got to go down.

Unpowered Girl Fight Division III

Selucia v. Sevanna--Sevanna gets her arms caught in her jewerly and can't pull Selucia's wig off. Or get close enough to bite her. Selucia calmly breaks her neck. Long round of applause!

Shiane v. Tylee--Tylee. Shiane has no skills.

Fortuona v. Min--Fortuona can't bring herself to channel and while trying her judo holds, Min slips a knife between her ribs. One of about 6 she has secreted on her body. Min!!! And because she's my favorite girl and Rand would go ballistic if she died.

Faile v. Berelain--Tough one. Can they both die? Berelain, by a hand full of hair. Perrin goes all Emo, but is secretly pleased and is happy to have Faile replaced with the beauty.

This is a riot! Thanks RobM...good time waster!
Tess Laird
253. thewindrose
Rand v. Mesanaa - Rand --Maesanaa gets schooled!

Moridin v. Therava - Moridin --he has saa

Demandred v. Aviendha - Demandred - he has managed to fool all of us, sorry spear sister:(

Cyndane v. Egwene - Egwene wins in a surprise upset - she can take the pain!

Alivia v. Talaan - Alivia (she is a trained killing machine)

Nynaeve v. Someryn - Nyneave - way more powerful and she has the braid!

Cadsuane v. Moggy - Moggy - She has managed to survive this long in the book, Cads depends on her legendary status which fais her.

Taim v. Logain - Logain - there is some reason he is still around.

Lan v. Sulin - Lan - though he is unhappy with this match up!

Mat v. Egeanin - Eaeagin is one tough lady, but thems the breaks!

Birgitte v. Deni - Birgitte - very short match of the time it takes an arrow to fly true to its mark

Fain v. Thom - Fain, much to the dimay of the audience, who have to watch Thom rot before their eyes

Rhuarc v. Loial - Rhuarc though he is really getting pissed at Rand for breaking the Aiel

Tam v. Gawyn - Tam - he is the man

Riatin v. Galad - Galad, Riatin is dead already! And he is the better swordsman.

Perrin v. Slayer - Perrin - he is the man when he isn't being all emo over Faile

Selucia v. Sevanna - Selucia -Sevanna is becoming a soft wetlander

Shiane v. Tylee - Tylee wins, however needs healing from a slash she received from the illegal posion that was on Shiane's knife

Fortuona v. Min - Fortuona - she has been trained to kill from the crib, and isn't distracted by visions

Faile v. Berelain - Berelain, 4 out of 5 Wise Ones agree:)

Tricia Irish
254. Tektonica

Alivia v. Talaan - Alivia as I cant be bothered trying to remember who Talaan is. Which makes me think she is a windfinder.

ROFLOL....Those boring Windfinder's indeed!! Well said.

Come on, JEJ, this is all ridiculous....we don't need good reasons...just opinions, prejudice and preconceived notions.....and favorites.
Tricia Irish
255. Tektonica
Wind@253: Hi Wind....*winks*

Demandred v. Aviendha - Demandred - he has managed to fool all of us, sorry spear sister:(

The reason Dem has fooled all of us for so long, is because he's hiding! He's a closet coward! Go Avi!!
256. MasterAlThor
Best one liner so far

Berelain, 4 out of 5 Wise Ones agree:)


Way to go Tempest™.

257. MasterAlThor

Where are your picks? While I see your point, I could argue against it.

If you want detailed explanations for my picks, I will give them to you, if you ask.

Marcus W
258. toryx

Fortuona v. Min--Fortuona can't bring herself to channel and while trying her judo holds, Min slips a knife between her ribs. One of about 6 she has secreted on her body. Min!!! And because she's my favorite girl and Rand would go ballistic if she died.

Hear hear! Min's been getting a bum rap, so far. :)
Jack Diamond
259. violetdancer
All these match-ups made me think of a question that is actually ABOUT WOT!

Sorry for the shout, but I believe I've posed this before and no one has come back with a good answer.

What is up with Berelain?

Up to the big move to Ghealdan in ACoS she seems to be flirting/chasing Perrin for no apparent reason other than she wants him (after failing to bed Rand). This seems so unreasonable to me. She (like Tylin) won't accept Perrin's NO, which is much clearer than Mat's. She doesn't really recognize that he's married. I don't get what Berelain is after (i.e., what she expects to gain). Perrin keeps pushing her away, and she keeps after him.

This has to be more than her just being a spoiled young beautiful woman who is used to getting her way with any man she sets her sights on. RJ doesn't write such important characters that way.

So I beg you...
Please give over on the cage matches and help me out.
Tricia Irish
260. Tektonica

I have nothing but an opinion about Berelain....I think she just hates Faile, after their encounter in the Stone of Tear.

She's just being a b*tch to screw with Faile's head. After all, she didn't lay a hand on Perrin in her tent, although she managed to make everyone in camp THINK she did, just to aggravate Faile's followers. It certainly didn't endear her to Perrin. She seems to be a decent diplomat and does give over towards the end of the Long Painful Plot, but I just always wrote her off as an insufferable B**ch. ?? Hope someone else has something deeper on her character. Sorry.
Rob Munnelly
261. RobMRobM
@259. She gave an "Ogier's Oath" while in the Stone of Tear to Faile that she would bed Perrin, and I guess she considers that more important than the fact that he is now married and now is on a dangerous mission that is critical to the success of the DR. +headdesk, headdesk+
Matthew Smith
262. blocksmith

The only thought I had, and one that Berelain somewhat obliquely references when discussing being pushed away from Rand, is that she believes Perrin would be a worthy co-ruler with her that would protect Mayene's interests from opposing nations (based on his association with TDR). Also, she is genuinely attracted to him. In TSR, she rejects Mat's advances and comments he is too similar to her. This leaves Perrin as her sole focal point. I'm not saying I agree with her...absolutely she should have left Perrin alone after finding out he was married...but that's what I think motivates her.
Antoni Ivanov
263. tonka
She is chasing after Perrin because of Faile. Their rivalry began in the Stone of Tear when they has a short cat fight (which Rhuarc stopped). And Berelain promised that she is going to take Perrin from Faile.She is just trying to keep her promise, you cannot blame her. You can see that since Faile was captured (short of the rumour about Berelain and Perrin sleeping together) she has not "attacked" Perrin this way anymore. I don't know what will happen now that Faile is back but I think she is done with this.
Marcus W
264. toryx
violetdancer @ 259:

I think that Berelain loves the chase. Ironically, if she were actually to succeed with Perrin, she'd probably lose all interest in him. It doesn't really matter to her that Perrin would lose everything in that because she'd win. Ultimately, IMHO, Berelain really is that superficial.

As a character, it provides a certain amount of extra friction to the story as it pertains to Perrin. Unfortunately, I think it rubs most readers (including myself) the wrong way. But I totally buy Berelain as a character. I've known too many women who are just like her. Men too, for that matter.
Barry T
265. blindillusion
And besides, now that certain people are roaming 'round the world together...odds are, Berelain is about to catch a glimpse of someone in white.

I'm thinking that Ogier Oath may just be forgotten about.
Tina Pierce
266. scissorrunner
I. Channeler Division

Rand v. Mesanaa – Mesanaa should never have messed with a guy who has his own coach inside his head

Moridin v. Therava – Moridin wins, proving that no-one escapes Death

Demandred v. Aviendha – after her return from Rhuidean Aviendha has new insights, giving her just the edge needed to take Demandred out

Cyndane v. Egwene – the grudge match of the night. Egwene remembers her earlier defeat by Lanfear and uses the weaves she learned as a damane to blow Cyndane off the mat

Alivia v. Talaan – in an unexpected upset, the young Windfinder caught her breath and puts the gray-haired former damane down

Nynaeve v. Someryn – wisdom v. wise one. tough match. Nynaeve yanked a braid she thought was her own pulling her opponent down. Someryn will never copy another’s hairstyle again

Cadsuane v. Moggy – the spider got caught up in the webs in SWWNBM’s hair. One less bug to worry about (sorry, Insectoid)

Taim v. Logain – yes, the golden halo did not lie. Logain takes the match

II. Unpowered but Powerful Division

Lan v. Sulin – Lan wins with stone faced silence despite the roaring cheers of the crowd

Mat v. Egeanin – with her loss of name and rank, Egeanin barely puts up a struggle against the Prince of the Ravens. Mat wins soundly

Birgitte v. Deni – Birgitte with the silver arrow from across the room, sorry Deni, you never had a chance

Fain v. Thom – as Fain snarls “you’re not al’Thor, I should be matched against al’Thor!!” Thom deftly tosses a small blade underhand and Fain goes down clutching his now silent throat

Rhuarc v. Loial – in what became the most unusual match of the night, Loial began to sing a quarterstaff from a nearby tree causing Rhuarc to throw his head back in surprise recognizing the song from his time in Rhuidean. The two walk off, arm in arm, singing.

Tam v. Gawyn – cool-headed vet v. hot-headed upstart. No contest. Vet wins

Riatin v. Galad – Galad, without breaking a sweat.

Perrin v. Slayer – Perrin of course! the hammer wins!!!!!!!!

III. Unpowered but Fun Girlfight Division

Selucia v. Sevanna - Selucia slid in sidewise while Sevanna was admiring her jewelry in a mirror and choked her w/her necklaces

Shiane v. Tylee – proving she received her battle scars honorably, Tylee wiped the mat with Shiane’s face.

Fortuona v. Min - Min with a surprise viewing saw Fortuona’s next move, ducked under and snapped an a’dam on her neck ending the match before it started

Faile v. Berelain – as the hawk was blowing kisses to the stalking wolf, the falcon dove in from above and feathers began to fly. after several tense rounds the judges declared the falcon as winner due to devastating amount of cuts & slashes delivered to the hawk
Rob Munnelly
267. RobMRobM
15 minute warning - vote now or forever be barred (at least until the next round).

Matthew Smith
268. blocksmith

In the event of even you as Cagemaster make the ultimate decision?
Rob Munnelly
269. RobMRobM
Time - Round 1 is closed. Cagemaster will tabulate as promptly as he can (probably over lunch) and tee up Round 2.


P.s. 268 - yes, based on entertainment value and drama in next pairing or other arbitrary factors.
Barry T
270. blindillusion
Tsk. Missed the vote. Silly work. Blah.

I'll hopefully be able to make the next round. And just think.... Why don't we cage match some of these characters against characters from other books/other forms of media. Think of the possibilites.... Batman vs Bode. Jack Sparrow VS Mat. RAND VS NORMAN BATES!!!!
Barry T
270. blindillusion
Ah. I twined myself. Opps.

And both are 270.... Ah, I cloned myself. *wicked grin*

Rob Munnelly
271. RobMRobM
Results of Round 1 - WoT Cagematch


Rand v. Mesanaa - Unanimous Rand. No surprise there.

Moridin v. Therava - Unanimous Moridin. Ditto.

Demandred v. Aviendha - Avi pulls a surprising number of votes but loses by a whisker 7-5.

Cyndane v. Egwene - first upset of the day - Tai'shar Amyrlin 7-5.

Alivia v. Talaan - All but one for Alivia.

Nynaeve v. Someryn - Unanimous for Nyn.

Cadsuane v. Moggy - second upset of the day - the skank takes out the crank 8-4.

Taim v. Logain - the golden halo rules unanimously or, to say it another way, let the Lord of Chaos lose.


Lan v. Sulin - unanimous for Lan. No surprise there (although Sulin put up a good fight).

Mat v. Egeanin - ditto although some creativity in comments regarding how Mat can win without killing a woman.

Birgitte v. Deni - ditto except without creativity.

Fain v. Thom - emotional heartbreaker, as Fain in the Butt wins 8-4. Boo

Rhuarc v. Loial - experience beat size and heart 7-4 with a tie.

Tam v. Gawyn - Poor Egwene. Tam wins solidly 8-3 with a tie. (Morgase surprisingly conflicted)

Riatin v. Galad - no contest - the Man in white is unanimous and Riatin goes back to being dead.

Perrin v. Slayer - Perrin-Slayer II is a unanimous win for the wolfman. Bad match up for Slayer


Selucia v. Sevanna - Seanchan bosoms crush Shaido busoms unanimously.

Shiane v. Tylee - Except for first vote to Shiane (mine as it turns out), all for Tylee. I'm surprised by this result.

Fortuona v. Min - despite a late comeback, the Seanchan slammer takes the match 9-3

Faile v. Berelain - the most anticipated battle of the entire ring card, the Falcon outpoints the Hawk 7-5. Never fight with a Saldaen when death in on the line....

Round 2 matches to be announced later today. Thanks for participating....

Rob (the Cagemaster)
Bonnie Andrews
272. misfortuona
I call foul!!

The time limit didn't give us westerners a fair chance to get in on this. :(

Sam Mickel
273. Samadai
Um, hello, some of us are on the west coast and didn't get a chance to vote, why don't you change the time to 12 pacific time
Rob Munnelly
274. RobMRobM
@272, 273. Mea culpa. Why don't we give it until 3 p.m. EST (12 PST) for those who haven't gotten their licks in yet. You are obliged, however, to be extra witty in the commentary. R
Debbie Solomon
275. dsolo
Loved the cagefight, but I didn't get a chance to vote. I think Therava might have taken Moridin. She's a tough old biddy, and he would have been thinking about AoL Aiel, and underestimated her. Just my humble opinion.

Scissorrunner - love your fight descriptions. LOL
Sam Mickel
276. Samadai
Well, thats good, except you already closed it and put up the winners. (glares and sniffs in RobMs direction) (Yanks nonexistent hair braid while doing nonexistent cross armed breast push-ups.)

edit for. I don't care how ridiculous that statement is ;)-
277. MasterAlThor
That would make it 4o'clock EST. I agree it is not fair to you westcoaster, but I guess you have to get up earlier.

I'm just joking....we need to have that fixed. I really would have liked to see your picks.

And now on to the commentary....

Cyndane vs Egwene: Yep first upset of the day....due to the emotional pick of Egwene. It can be justified and I could see it being done, but really. Egwene should be sitting out. That is why it is called March Madness.

Moggy vs SWMNBN: Come on, how is she gonna get past the latters toys? Really? Explain it to me so I can understand it.

Faile vs Berelain: Disappointment all around here. Berelain has more combat experience than Faile. Berelain should have won, but people don't like Berelain so she lost. Ah well.

And in the biggest travesty, miscarriage of justice and all around bad planning. Sulin had to face Lan in the first round. Lan won as he should but he shouldn't have been facing Sulin. Sulin should get a second shot against a fair seed.

I have yet had anyone explain to me how Sulin rates lower than Deni, or how she rates lower than Perrin. Do you honestly believe that Perrin could beat Rand if he didn't use the power?

So then you have to logically conclude that Sulin could beat Perrin cause she has more combat training than Perrin and that would negate Perrin's strength.

Sulin has ninja like skills, Perrin has brute strength. Who? Tell me, who honestly believes that Sulin deserves her low ranking?

Now don't get all mad. I am doing this all in fun.

Matthew Smith
278. blocksmith
wait a second...Insectoid is on the west coast and he got his votes in on time...what is this, the conspiracy of absentee ballots?
Matthew Smith
279. blocksmith
And yes, Berelain got ROBBED!!! Or maybe it was ROBMed.
280. Speradigm
I don't understand why there is a womens bracket when there are women in the other bracket as well.
Rob Munnelly
281. RobMRobM
@277 - to reiterate, 3 pm EST (which is the same as 12 p.m. PST). Apologies Sam (and Mis) that you missed the original cutoff and preliminary final results were announced but we are now in bonus time - go wild and feel free to try to flip some of the close battles.
Rob Munnelly
282. RobMRobM
@280. Most of the final bracket wouldn't have made the unpowered top 16 but we wanted to give them a chance to play.
Marcus W
283. toryx
RobM @ 271:

Cadsuane v. Moggy - second upset of the day - the skank takes out the crank 8-4.

Wait...which one's the skank?

Good call on moving it to 12 noon PST. Hear that, west coasters? You've got less than an hour and a half left! Stop your complain'n and get with your rank'n!

--Edited to add bbCode--
Marcus W
284. toryx
MAT @ 277:

I'm not going to agree with you on the Faile versus Berelain argument but I do think you're right about Sulin. I'm not positive that she'd beat Perrin but it'd be a nasty damned fight. I'd have to really think that one through before making a vote either way.
James Jones
285. jamesedjones
Hoooookay. Since it's extended.

-Rand and Moridin, duh.
-Demandred. He'd have a proxy slip a knife in Avi before the fight started. Otherwise, he'd just blow her away.
-Cyndane. Again, duh.
-Alivia. 600 years of repression.
-Nyneave. 26-27 years of repression.
-Cads. Channeler with weapons vs. channeler without.
-Logain. Ashaman don't have any clear cut advantages for darkfriend channelers.
-Lan. Nuf said.
-Mat. Unless this is a naval battle... Even Domon beat Egeanin.
-Birgitte. Duh to the third power.
-Fain. Scary sh**.
-Loial. I'm thinking if he really tried.
-Tam. Age before stupid.
-Galad. Cunning and crafty for a zealot.
-Perrin. Slayer has no advantage over him.
-Sevanna. Not a maiden, but still Aiel.
-Tylee. We're not talking about a knife in the dark, here.
-Fortuona. Min doesn't stand a chance against someone who can match up with an injured Mat.
-Faile. See result for Cads.
Tina Pierce
286. scissorrunner
thank you, thank you
twas fun to watch the fights & an honor to record my viewings
Bonnie Andrews
287. misfortuona
I. Channeler Division

Rand v. – Rand, opponents name removed by balefire

Moridin v. Therava – Death takes the Shaido b@#ch

Demandred v. Aviendha – Avi opens a small gateway beneath Demandred’s feet and he disappears into oblivion yelling “That isn’t possible”

Cyndane v. Egwene – Egwene pauses as she enters the ring, gives her opponent a look and then speaks. “I can’t fight her. Look at her! They’ve made her plain.” Cyndane turns red with anger and self destructs.

Alivia v. Talaan – Alivia held her ground against the gale force winds that would have forced her from the ring, centered her attention on their source and Talaan exploded along with half the ring.

Nynaeve v. Someryn – Nynaeve uses her trinkets to flail the Wise one.

Cadsuane v. Moghedian - Moggy's best attacks are turned by Cad's trinkets.

Taim v. Logain – Taim disappeared unexpectedly during Aviendha’s match so it was a forfeit. ;P

II. Unpowered but Powerful Division

Lan v. Sulin – Though he did require healing after the battle

Mat v. Egeanin – Egeanin steps into the ring and falls to her knees before the Prince of Ravins. Mat taps her on the shoulder and Fortuona declares him the winner.

Birgitte v. Deni – Please

Fain v. Thom – Fain laughs maniacally as he steps into the ring and then falls as a brace of knives spring like flowers from his body

Rhuarc v. Loial – Rhuarc can’t bring himself to attack the ogier. The match ends when Lolial puts a hand on Rhuarc’s arm and the Aiel declares himself Gaishan.

Tam v. Gawyn – Tough match but Gawyn notices his sister sitting with Rand, becomes distracted for a moment and Tam takes him out.

Riatin v. Galad – Of course

Perrin v. Slayer – Slayer can’t run forever

III. Unpowered but Fun Girlfight Division

Selucia v. Sevanna – Nija woman wins over she who must be bathed.

Shiane v. Tylee – Shiane couldn’t take out two innocent, sick, farm boys. Come on.

Fortuona v. Min – I really like both of these women. Tuon would win if she got close, but I have to go with Min and her daggers of death from a distance.

Faile v. Berelain – Fail tells a story about a Saldean Farm girl. Berlain is so busy trying to memorize what story she doesn’t notice the knife until it’s too late.

Mis-decided to post anyway.

Thanks for the extenstion RobM :D

[i] Edit Spelling and bad bolding
Richard Fife
288. R.Fife
Rand, he can kill da womens now.

Moridin, He's the big bad, Therava is annoying, but hardly a match

Demandred, Yes Avi is a strongish channeler, but I think confronting a "shadow souled" would still be a bit much for her.

Cyndane, She held her own against Alivia, who knows far more destructive means than Egwene, and I expect her to have better TAR control too, considering her "claim" to TAR as hers (even if Moggy was better).

Alivia, Talaan may be powerful, but Alivia is heartless and powerful.

Nynaeve, she'd remember to use physical combat in addition to Power.

Moggy, she wouldn't use a direct attack that wouldn't trigger Cads's traps. I could see her just breaking Cads's dream ward and dragging her into TAR to kill her.

Logain, I think he's less crazy, thus more stable in a fight.

Lan, whom as I recall Jordan saying, is the hands down best swordsman in the world.

Mat, As said above, Egeanin would just bow and take it from the PotRs.

Birgitte, aside from being Deni's boss, has range. Neither use swords well, and I think even if it was a bludgeon match, Birgitte would have the upper hand.

Fain, yes Thom can throw daggers fast, but Fain is almost Fade-like in dodging stuff. Also, he only needs to get a single nick on Thom, and Thom does have that stiff leg.

Loial, this was a close thought. First I was thinking Loial would only be a badass if he was protecting someone defenseless, but then I was also thinking that Rhuarc, while a badass, is older, and while still mean, is more of a general than a warrior. Loial held his own against plenty of Aiel before at Dumai's Wells, so I'm going to say Loial in a bit of an upset and a close fight.

Gawyn, I hate to say it, but going for the young hothead who is by technicality a Blademaster and one of the best, according to tGS. We have never seen Tam actually using his sword, and while he might be able to do the Two-River's arrow thing, money is still on Gawyn in a fight.

Galad, but only cause Raitin has been so eaten by Fain's evil. If this fight was to take place earlier, money would have been Raitin.

Perrin, he already knows what a slick cheater Slayer is, so he's ready for it.


Selucia, she is a bodyguard before a nursemaid. Sevanna is a soft pain in the butt.

Tylee, who was able to keep her cool when facing her own nightmares, more or less, in tGS.

Min, she was able to make Semi bleed with her knives. Fortuona was regularly beaten by Semi and accepted it.

Berelain, only cause she has already proven she knows how to cat-fight rather well. Faile, as much as I love her, is far more puff.
Bonnie Andrews
289. misfortuona
But Bug didn't have to get kids to school and then get to work before he could post.

I'm just sayin.

Thankyou again Rob.

Mis-happier now
j p
290. sps49
Oooh, just in time! (SF bay reporting in!)

Rand- which we see in tGS.
Moridin- Therava is toast w/o her lez BDSM
Demandred- sad, but he's too much for her
Cyndane by a, uh, nose- she went toe-to toe wiht the Dragon Reborn
Alivia- Instant Death to a foe
Nynaeve- experienced in OP fighting
Cadsuan- probably wears hair-thingies in the bath
Logain- if MT isn't Dem, then he ain't much of anything

Lan- too much badassery for Sulin
Mat, easy
Birgitte- who is this Deni, anyway?
Thom- survived a Fade solo, nible enough to daggerdodge
Rhuarc- experienced, savvy, combat skilled
Gawyn- as much as I h8 the character, as he is written currently Tam is a goner
Perrin- Slayer runs from Perrin, not vice versa

Seleucia- Sevanna has no one to do her work for her
Tylee- backstabber vs. soldier, in the open
Fortuona- had to survive fratricide
Berelain- has the experience edge
Matthew Smith
291. blocksmith

I definitely would not want anyone to feel disenfranchised by the voting process.
Alice Arneson
292. Wetlandernw
Division I
Rand v. Mesanaa
Rand Need you ask? She's too terrified to put up a good fight anyway.

Moridin v. Therava
Moridin - Even her Aiel calm can't stand up to facing one of the Forsaken.

Demandred v. Aviendha
Aviendha - Demandred with his superiority complex fails to realize that some of these "untrained wilders" are tougher than he thought. Aviendha weaves a dome of air over him, and while he's laughing at her she unweaves it. There's a moment of stunned realization; "You can't do -" Boom. Boom-boom. BOOM.

Cyndane v. Egwene
Egwene - The child has grown up since Lanfear knocked her out on the docks, and she's acquired a few *greal of her own.

Alivia v. Talaan
Alivia - I like Talaan, but against an equal strength walking weapon? Nah.

Nynaeve v. Someryn
Nynaeve - Two Rivers fire melts the Aiel ice.

Cadsuane v. Moggy
Cadsuane - Moghedien, frustrated and angry over yet another of these so-called Aes Sedai who has neither fear nor respect for the Forsaken, gets backhanded right out of the ring by Cadsuane, who can't really be bothered to waste any more time on this when she needs to do a sanity check on Rand. After all, he's just killed another woman.

Taim v. Logain
Logain - Remember those Deathgates? Taim never saw those before...

Division II

Lan v. Sulin

Mat v. Egeanin

Birgitte v. Deni

Fain v. Thom
Thom - just because I want someone to take out Fain so I don't have to smell him anymore

Rhuarc v. Loial
??? - no call

Tam v. Gawyn
Tam - calm, fit, wise... wins the day.

Riatin v. Galad
Galad - Well, yeah.

Perrin v. Slayer
Perrin - He's knows too much about Slayer and his tricks to be taken in by the jumping around. Enter the Dream and Perrin smashes Slayer forever.

Division III

Selucia v. Sevanna

Shiane v. Tylee

Fortuona v. Min
Fortuona - Love Min, but she's out of her league against Tuon.

Faile v. Berelain
Faile - she's a whole lot tougher and smarter than she used to be, while Berelain hasn't really been working out or practicing. Life as gai'shain can have some interesting effects.
293. MasterAlThor
Hey, I like R.Fife's picks but he had plenty of time to vote, he's an eastcoster. Unless we had a Breaking that I slept through, South Carolina is still on the east coast.

Not saying his votes shouldn't count. I'm just saying....

James Jones
294. jamesedjones
292 Wetlandernw

Yes, but she's still a child. And Cyndane held her own, with a decrease in power, against Alivia with a 'greal. Based on the evidence from the books, and the power scale on the 13D, anyone who thinks Egghead wins this is just wishing and dreaming (which Cyndane is also better at). lol
Holly Finnen-Stewart
295. Branwhin
I. Channeler Division

Rand v. Mesanaa – As several have said, the teacher who swore to 'teach them all' has been taught. Rand, easily.

Moridin v. Therava – I really, *really* hate Ishydin, but Therava is just as despicable in her own way. And no match for Death incarnate.

Demandred v. Aviendha – Err, sorry Rand, but if Demandred is only a hair back of the Dragon Power-wise, and singed a mixed circle, Avi's toast.

Cyndane v. Egwene – Depends whether Egwene knows Cyndane for Lanfear. If not she *might* allow it to go to the Dream, where she might be in trouble. I'm going to pick Egwene for sheer Two Rivers stubbornness, and her ability to deal with pain.

Alivia v. Talaan – Alivia. Over four centuries as a living weapon? Yikes.

Nynaeve v. Someryn – Nynaeve is too stubborn to quit, and would *not* be fooled if Someryn decided to throw a knife, or something.

Cadsuane v. Moggy – Cadsuane by her hair. Or rather, the ornaments in it. Closer than she'd like to admit, though.

Taim v. Logain – Logain, but not unscathed. Taim's a nasty piece of work.

II. Unpowered but Powerful Division

Lan v. Sulin – Harder fought than some would have it - Sulin's tough as an old boot - but Lan, in the end.

Mat v. Egeanin – Mat, despite his reluctance to harm a woman, and one he respects, besides.

Birgitte v. Deni – Birgitte, whether with her bow or a long dagger. Several lifetimes of experience and Warder fu, however tough Deni might be.

Fain v. Thom – Thom - canny old bard, much too smart to let Fain get anywhere near him with that thing.

Rhuarc v. Loial – Ow! Whoever wins, poor other one! Err. Rhuarc, but others comments are hilarious. I have to say I *wish* they'd both walk off singing. Good one there!

Tam v. Gawyn – Oof. Gawyn's bloody good with a blade, and younger besides. Still, Tam might confound him with a quarterstaff, or shoot him. I'm with Tam on this one. Gawyn's far too hot-headed.

Riatin v. Galad – Galad, decidedly.

Perrin v. Slayer – Perrin, after an awe-inspiring fight in both the waking world and the Dream.

III. Unpowered but Fun Girlfight Division

Selucia v. Sevanna - Selucia - Sevanna's no Maiden.

Shiane v. Tylee – Tylee, with her armour and soldier's discipline. Shiaine the assassin would need darkness, or sneakiness.

Fortuona v. Min - We've never seen Fortuona throw anything other than household implements. Min, but she'd better not let the Empress get close.

Faile v. Berelain – Oh, this one's ugly. Hair-pulling, scratching, shrieking. Very nasty. And both ladies are trained at least somewhat in self-defense. Berelain seems to have grown out of her obsession for Perrin, though. Faile, but close.
296. nor3
Wait.... Whats 12 PST in GMT?

Crap... thats in 5 mins, isn't it....
297. nor3

Rand v. Mesanaa -Duh, the big R.

Moridin v. Therava - Mori. Hands down.

Demandred v. Aviendha - Hate to say it but demandred takes it.

Cyndane v. Egwene - Again, want Eggy to win but Cyn has experience and crazyness on her side.

Alivia v. Talaan - Alivia. 400 Year old weapon. Easy.

Nynaeve v. Someryn - Nynaeve. No contest.

Cadsuane v. Moggy - Moggy. Even if she does suck.

Taim v. Logain - Ohh.... Hard one... I'll go with Taim.


Lan v. Sulin - Lan. Duh.

Mat v. Egeanin - Mat. Not really sure if Egeanin would bother turning up, TBH.

Birgitte v. Deni - Birgitte, with a walkover.

Fain v. Thom - Fain :(

Rhuarc v. Loial - Rhuarc. Even a Ogier goes down with a spear in his face.

Tam v. Gawyn - Gawyn. :( Both blademasters, but Gawyn has the advantage of youth and speed, while Tam's out of practice.

Riatin v. Galad - Galad. NEXT....

Perrin v. Slayer - Wolfman, with his berserker rage of DHOOM.

The Girls

Selucia v. Sevanna - Selucia

Shiane v. Tylee - Tylee

Fortuona v. Min - Fourtuona

Faile v. Berelain - Fai... No, Ber... No, wait, wait Fai.... GODDAMMIT. Ok, flipping a coin... Faile wins.

Hope I made the deadline.... Time Zones confuse me... :(
Alice Arneson
298. Wetlandernw
misfortuona @287 - "she who must be bathed".... ROFL!!

jamesedjones@294 - But Egwene is a full-fledged Dreamer and Dreamwallker now, and she's got Vora's sa'angreal (the white fluted wand) as well. Still young, but with her new-found ability to embrace the pain and Cyndane underestimating her, I think she takes it.

nor3 @297 - Technically 10 minutes late (see the time flag on your post) but I vote we count yours anyway - even if you do counterbalance some of my favorites.
Bonnie Andrews
299. misfortuona
Oh yes I'm with Wet, anyone who manages before Rob pulls the carpet again.
We wan't to know what everyone thinks.

Rob Munnelly
300. RobMRobM
Gave you some additional time - will close ten minutes from now at 3:30 p.m. EST. Get cracking.
James Jones
301. jamesedjones
298 Wetlandernw

The fact that she can embrace pain just means she won't be tapping out (and does anyone really believe Cyndane would allow that, anyway?). It has nothin' to do with her fighting ability.

And the vorsa 'greal is not part of her character (like Cads' lucky charms, or Fain's dagger). You've got her power level, her dreaming ability, and training by the Seanchan. Cyndane beats her in all categories.

Admittedly, I'm a sucker for crazy women. But I'm certain even without that.
302. Hopper
Rand v. Mesanaa - Rand of course

Moridin v. Therava - Moridin... TP

Demandred v. Aviendha - Aviendha b/c I haven't seen Dem do anything

Cyndane v. Egwene - Egwene, showed off her badassness in tGS

Alivia v. Talaan - Alivia... old as death, and brings it

Nynaeve v. Someryn - Nyn, although she trys to Heal someryn afterwards

Cadsuane v. Moggy - Cadsuane, Moggy has been extremely underwhelming so far

Taim v. Logain - Logain, He just seems awesome

Lan v. Sulin - Lan, but Sulin > 16 :)

Mat v. Egeanin - Mat, they decide to play russian roulette b/c he doesn't want to kill her... oops

Birgitte v. Deni - Birgitte, agree with the whos? (although I'd pick Birgitte over Sulin too, so theres that MaT)

Fain v. Thom - Awesome matchup, but yes Thom b/c he beat a fade

Rhuarc v. Loial - Rhuarc, just cuz

Tam v. Gawyn - Tam, I just love him

Riatin v. Galad - Galad, and the ladies go nuts

Perrin v. Slayer - Perrin, calls on the wolves (and I go in for the kill!)

Selucia v. Sevanna - Selucia, yup

Shiane v. Tylee - Tylee, my favorite Seanchan

Fortuona v. Min - ELMINDREDA FTW!!!!!!!!!

Faile v. Berelain - Faile, but only because Berelain is slightly more of a bitch...

edit: sp
303. Hopper
BTW @300, los angeles (and MIN!!!) thank you for the extension
Marcus W
305. toryx
Was there some revision of EotW that I never read? People keep saying that Thom beat a Fade. As I read it, Thom slowed a Fade down for a couple of minutes until it tossed him aside and continued after the boys.

If Thom wins that fight against Fain it's due to an improper technicality.
Sam Mickel
306. Samadai
wait for me, busy at work. almost done.
Tess Laird
307. thewindrose
Wow RobMRobM - You are right on the button with the 3:30!

308. Hopper

Maybe he didn't kill the Fade, but IMHO simply not dying counts! Plus I have other reasons for picking Thom... range w/ throwing knives, awesome mustache, tumbling ability, and hes not insane.
Sam Mickel
309. Samadai
Div. 1

Rand v. Mesanna... Rand wins by severing Messy and transporting her to the real world, where she teaches to a bunch of ADD children off their medicines

Moridin v. Therava.... Moridin wins

Demandred v. Aviendha.... Aviendha pulls the upset by pretending she likes Demi better than Rand, He buys it because everyone knows he's better than Lews Therin, He lets her get close and a knife to the heart for Demi.

Cyndane v. Egwene.... Egwene continues her moments of awesome with Voras Sa'angreal, severs Cyndane and Weaves an illusion of the ugliest women around Cyndane that can't be cut.

Alivia v. Talaan.... meh, I guess Alivia

Nynaeve v. Someryn.... Nynaeve by a braid

Cadsuane v. Moghedian.... Cadsuane

Taim v. Logain.... Logain wins as Taim is a stick figure planted when Too many people figured out that Taim really was suppose to be Demandred.

Div. 2

Lan v. Sulin..... Lan in a Boulder Runs Down The Mountain

Mat v. Egeanin..... Mat, though he is upset about it clubs Egeanin upside the head with his Ashandarei, and spanks her til she submits.

Birgette v. Deni.... Birgitte- Duh

Fain v. Thom..... Thom wins when Fain is distracted by Rands "scent" as he walks by

Rhuarc v. Loial..... Loial declares Rhuarc the winner and sings Rhuarcs victory song.

Tam v. Gawyn..... Tam

Riatin v. Galad...... Galad kills Riatin, discovers he just killed his cousin, and kills himself because it is the right thing to do.

Perrin v. Slayer..... Perrin wins after Slayer kidnaps Faile and thus begins a really long chase scene with Perrin becoming Emo all over again. It finaaly ends in the World of Dreams, where Perrin goes all wolfy and rips out Slayers throat.

Div. 3

Selucia v. Sevanna...... Selucia wins When Sevanna turns to speak to the rediculousness of the battle, her an Aiel women and this a petty servant, Selucia attacks from behind so fast that even those who saw it, "didn't see anything"

Shiane v. Tylee..... Tylee in one whip quick sword thrust.

Fortuona v. Min...... Min forsees Tuon standing over a body gloating, so she forfeits the match to parade around in front of the stands to make Rand jealous.

Faile v. Berelain..... Faile wins... As Berelain swoops in for the attack Galad stands up and stretches, Berelain after finally finding someone as gorgeous as herself is distracted long enough for Faile to drive her knife home.
Holly Finnen-Stewart
310. Branwhin
Selucia vs Sevanna ... good one Sam! I don't think I'd be willing to admit I'd seen anything either.
311. MasterAlThor

Birgitte vs Sulin would be an awesome matchup. I wouldn't be upset if Sulin faced her and went out in the first round. But Sulin is a way higher seed.

That was my rant about that.

Rob Munnelly
312. RobMRobM


Rand v. Mesanaa - Unanimous Rand. No surprise there.

Moridin v. Therava - Unanimous Moridin. Ditto.

Demandred v. Aviendha - Avi pulls a surprising number of votes but loses by a whisker 11-8.

Cyndane v. Egwene - first upset of the day - Tai'shar Amyrlin 10-9.

Alivia v. Talaan - All but one for Alivia.

Nynaeve v. Someryn - Unanimous for Nyn.

Cadsuane v. Moggy - second upset of the day - the skank takes out the crank 8-4. EDIT - reversed by the left coasters - the Crank (Cads) for the win 10-9.

Taim v. Logain - the golden halo rules unanimously (EXCEPT FOR ONE INDEPENDENT THINKER) or, to say it another way, let the Lord of Chaos lose.


Lan v. Sulin - unanimous for Lan. No surprise there (although Sulin put up a good fight).

Mat v. Egeanin - ditto although some creativity in comments regarding how Mat can win without killing a woman.

Birgitte v. Deni - ditto except without creativity.

Fain v. Thom - emotional heartbreaker, as Fain in the Butt wins 11-8. Boo

Rhuarc v. Loial - experience beat size and heart 11-7 with TWO TIES.

Tam v. Gawyn - Poor Egwene. Tam wins solidly 12-6 with a tie. (Morgase surprisingly conflicted)

Riatin v. Galad - no contest - the Man in white is unanimous and Riatin goes back to being dead.

Perrin v. Slayer - Perrin-Slayer II is a unanimous win for the wolfman. Bad match up for Slayer


Selucia v. Sevanna - Seanchan bosoms crush Shaido busoms unanimously (EXCEPT FOR ONE SMITTED VOTER).

Shiane v. Tylee - Except for first vote to Shiane (mine as it turns out), all for Tylee. I'm surprised by this result.

Fortuona v. Min - despite a late comeback, the Seanchan slammer takes the match 12-6

Faile v. Berelain - the most anticipated battle of the entire ring card, the Falcon outpoints the Hawk 11-7. Never fight with a Saldaen when death in on the line....

Round 2 matches to be announced later today. Thanks for participating....

Rob (the Cagemaster)
313. Hopper

Agree 100% about the higher seed. And after thinking about it more I would have loved to see Sulin v Birgitte as well. Even though my vote would have gone to Birgitte I think the overall tally would have been very close, as both are MOA female characters.

But other then that I think the match-ups were excellent.
314. MasterAlThor
*munching popcorn* Oooohhhhhh boy that was a good first round.

*sips drink* Damn! Suffa! Get me a refill, round two is coming up!

Marcus W
315. toryx
Cadsuane v. Moggy - second upset of the day - the skank takes out the crank 8-4. EDIT - reversed by the left coasters - the Crank (Cads) for the win 10-9.

It was rigged! Rigged, I tell you! I doth protest, verily.

Fortuona v. Min - despite a late comeback, the Seanchan slammer takes the match 12-6

Poor Min. I swear, just because she gives Rand a lot of loving she gets a bum rap. Just wait, her moment of high awesomeness is going to come and then you'll regret casting your votes the way you did!

I'm upset about Egwene's win too, but I'm sure she cheated by stealing the sa'angreal again, so it's only to be expected. Without that, it'd have been over for her.

Edit to Add: The fight I'd have loved to see is Sulin against both Berelain and Faile. She'd have been able to kick both their asses and it would have been satisfying to see.
Matthew Smith
316. blocksmith

Well done...although I still think Berelain was ROBmed.

Looking forward to round 2...and more pithy comments.

Edit to add: man, you type to fast and end up missing half a word and looking stoopid.
James Jones
317. jamesedjones
315 toryx

Ya gotta wonder why all the romantic voters in the bunch believe Cyndane would fight fair. It's the only way Egghead would stand a chance (and she would still lose).

I'm also conflicted about adding Sulin to the fight. Too paraphrase the words of Inigo Montoya, "If I use my 'Aiel', over too quickly."
318. Freelancer
All this and only three Princess Bride references so far? I'm disappointed, but I'm smiling. Why? Because I know something that you do not.

Well, I don't think I have any serious complaints about the outcomes, but how in the world did Loial get seeded against Rhuarc?
Sam Mickel
319. Samadai

I don't know how many we can fit in here. For it to work, it would take a miracle.
Bonnie Andrews
320. misfortuona
SWMNBN WINS Muhahahaha.

Well hey something had to change or us slowpokes would have provided nothing more than amusing banter. ;P

How, how could Thom be out so early. He is so badass, and Fain, well he's just so... not.

Rob, really Shiane? I mean really? Even by cheating I just don't see it.

Mis-bring on round 2
Sam Mickel
321. Samadai
I think RobM was just cobbling characters together. ;D

Loial would never fight a friend, and Rhuarc would become gai'shain before harming Loial.
Richard Fife
322. R.Fife
OK, I missed something somewhere. Where did SWMNBN come from as a name for Cads? I am sure it is right out hilarious, just can't piece together what the acronym is.
Sam Mickel
324. Samadai
SWMNBN, came about after the part12 or 13 where we discussed her for the whole week. So she is now she who must not be named
Tricia Irish
325. Tektonica
Mis: Nothing wrong with great banter!

I'm totally disappointed that Thom got knocked out. Even tho he did not DEFEAT the Fade in tEotW...he survived him!! His knife skills are so badass, Fain would never have gotten near him with that puny poison knife. Tsk Tsk. He will be missed in the next round, you wait and see.

Sorry to see Min go too. That was a tough matchup. She's got knife skills too! The other toughie was Tam/Loial. :-(
Both good guys.

Would it have screwed up the Cage if both Faile and Berelain were taken out?
Too bad about that not happening!
326. nor3
"... the golden halo rules unanimously (EXCEPT FOR ONE INDEPENDENT THINKER) ..."

Hey, that was me!

"...the Man in white is unanimous and Riatin goes back to being dead."

Maybe he's only mostly dead.
327. nor3
Also, I think you mean the Man in Black.
Thomas Keith
328. insectoid
Scissor @266:
One less bug to worry about (sorry, Insectoid)
Hee hee... you should worry! ;}

Blind @270: It was a slip of the keyboard, I swear! ;}

CageM² @271: Well played!

Block @278: Kudos for remembering! :) I happen to be a night owl like Freelancer.

Mis @289: Well, that's as may be, but I have to see the dentist at 4. :(

CageM² @312: Well played (again)!

Free @318: What're you hiding? Spill! ;)

Rob Munnelly
329. RobMRobM
Round Two - Votes due by Friday (tomorrow) by 3 PM (EST)

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - servant and secret assasin v. Lady and secret killer (hello Masema!) and spymistress.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - tough matchup for Tylee - would it lower her eyes to kill the Empress?

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Who da big Asha'man? My Arrow of Fire is bigger than yours.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - WT's most experienced channeler handler v. best channeler (dark side division). Also beauty v. beast?

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Ultimate smackdown between old school and new school channelers. Also stylistic differences - lurking in the shadows v. loud and proud.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Ultimate Seanchan v. Tower, Age v. Youth, Property v. Amrylin smackdown.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - student has to battle the teacher and may have to use allies or shift the terrain to have a chance.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. Battle of Warder's Field II, but this time one on one.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Maybe they should shoot apples off each others' heads - but watch out for Tam's blademaster skills if he can get close.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - the ultimate Shadar Logoth v. Rhuidean smackdown.

Wow - great matches.

Rob (the Cagemaster)
James Jones
330. jamesedjones
328 insectoid
What're you hiding? Spill! ;)
He'd never spill so cheaply. Except once! And that was for a very noble cause.
Bonnie Andrews
331. misfortuona
Thanks for Round 2. Entertaining set up, and no excuses for being late this time. ;)

Mis-serious consideration time
332. ewells
Regarding Randland and the NFL.

Late to the comments. One year when I picked up the latest Madden game (06?) I used the Franchise and Fantasy modes to create an entire league with all 32 teams located in Randland, uniforms, stadia and all. It was a blast. I tried to make the names relevant,though some were hard. Some of the teams were a little contrived, as it was tough to come up with 32. For the uniforms I tried to use the nations flag colors. It was cool making the Divisions as well, such as the NFC North compsed of the 4 Borderland nations; also made sure that natural rivals like Illian and Tear were in the same divisions. Very nerdy...
Rob Munnelly
333. RobMRobM
328/330 - The answer is - "I'm not left handed either."
Richard Fife
334. R.Fife
Faile: she's heartless enough to not let Selucia's biggest advantage, being under-estimated and allowed to get close, to matter.

Fortuona: she can probably just say "die" and Tylee will keel over, not a mark on her body.

Rand: Golden Halo got used up on Taim, and now Logain's reward for overstetching his reach is a nice big smack in the face with balefire.

Moridin: I have a feeling the Toilet Paper isn't stopped by Cads little trinkets.

Nyneave: Advantage from Demandred probably not expecting the ter'angreal Nynaeve wears, and she learned to be sure to be more lethal on the first blow after Rahvin.

Egwene: Point was made that Egwene cheats. She'll have 12 sisters linked all with angreal/sa'angreal. (by the way, they always talk about the fluted wand as though the tower has more than one sa'angreal. I want to see the others!)

Lan: Perrin calls in the wolves, and we find out the wolves' name for Lan: Chuck Norris.

Mat: Favor to the battle-luck, which would have Galad trip on his own cape or something silly. Mat would soundly beat Galad black and blue for being too damn pretty and stealing all the womens, too.

Tam: They are probably equivalent archers, but Tam has the edge up close and he has the old age and field commander experience to know that treachery wins in the end.

Again, I say Fain. Rhuarc may be skilled and mean, but Fain just has the ability to not be hit, even when a blademaster is lunging for him.
335. nor3
Getting my vote in early so i dont miss the deadline again :S

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - Faile, I think.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - Fortuona.

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Well, I went with Taim over Logain, so obviously I'm gonna say Rand will beat him too.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - Mori. :)

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Demi. :(

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Alivia :|

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - Lan. Berserker Rage is no match for Apple Blossoms in the Wind.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. Mat won the first round, even though Gawyn was helping Galad, and Mat was in ridiculously weak state. So, clearly Galad will walk this one.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Birgitte wins the archer-off before Tam has a chance to get close.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - Fain's good, but i think Rhuarc is fast enough to dodge the dagger.
336. nor3
RFife@334 : "Tam: They are probably equivalent archers"

Em, what? Did you just say Tam and Birgitte are equivalent archers? Yes, Tam's good. He's the best archer in Emond's Field. But that's still just tiny villiage in a backwater scrap of land in the west of Andor. Wheras Birgitte was such a good archer that her soul was bound to the Wheel itself, so that she could live an infinite number of lives, being an unparalleled archer in each one... So yeah, I think Birgitte wins the archery contest.
337. MasterAlThor
Let's get the NIT outta the way....

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - servant and secret assasin v. Lady and secret killer (hello Masema!) and spymistress.

Selucia, Faile cuts her and tries to have Che'Faile entervene. Selucia has already scouted her opponent and taken out the hangers on. Perrin weeps for his lost love.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - tough matchup for Tylee - would it lower her eyes to kill the Empress?

Tylee has armor and if Tuon doesn't use the power, it's bye bye Empress May She Live....oopps

Alright it's time for the real tourney to begin

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Who da big Asha'man? My Arrow of Fire is bigger than yours.

Rand has more power than Logain, plus he is still deadly without the power and missing one hand

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - WT's most experienced channeler handler v. best channeler (dark side division). Also beauty v. beast?

I could actually see Moridin taking the dirt nap here. But I would think that he may have a trick or two up his sleeve. Moridin wins.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Ultimate smackdown between old school and new school channelers. Also stylistic differences - lurking in the shadows v. loud and proud.

After fighting and barely beating Avi, Demandred goes all out and burns Nynaeve and her hair pulling to a crisp....yeah right like you guys will ever let that happen....Nynaeve wins but only because you guys love her so much. I still say she would be toast vs Demandred.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Ultimate Seanchan v. Tower, Age v. Youth, Property v. Amrylin smackdown

What do you get when you put a 400yr old weapon up against an young upstart? You get a whole bunch of people who will change their opinion about youth vs experience. That's what. Alivia wins.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - student has to battle the teacher and may have to use allies or shift the terrain to have a chance.

Perrin still upset at his wife being killed off in spectacular fashion, dies at the hands of Lan in a cake walk

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. Battle of Warder's Field II, but this time one on one.

In the most anticipated battle of the day. Mat and Galad square off. Fanboys and girls cry foul whenever one of them manages to land a blow. In the most exciting battle so far Mat wins

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Maybe they should shoot apples off each others' heads - but watch out for Tam's blademaster skills if he can get close.

How do you beat a Hero of the Horn? You can't in this round. Tam goes down.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - the ultimate Shadar Logoth v. Rhuidean smackdown.

Another good match up, but Fain your luck has run out. Rhuarc wins cause he isn't as old as Thom.

Ron Garrison
338. Man-0-Manetheran
I. >Faile - too mean to lose.
>>Tylee lowers her eyes and doesn't see it coming. Empress wins again.

II. >Rand/Logain: Moridin balefires Logain in the back. Can't let the Dragon lose!
>>Moridin/Cads: Mo underestimates the fight in the old girl and is unprepared for her P-Net. Mo wins (dammit) - but barely.
>>>Demi/Nyn: Nyn balesfires the forsaken while he is preoccupied being sneaky and hidden.
>>>>Alivia/Egwene: Al is strong, but not strong enough for Eg's angreal-packin' circle.

III. >Lan/Perrin: Thundering Buffalo Herd tramples the Wolf Brother.
>>Mat/Galad: Luckily Galad was preening in the mirror when Mat offed him.
>>>Birgette/Tam: Sorry Tam, but arrow reaches further than sword.
>>>>Fain/Rhuarc: Same answer: Sorry Fain, but spear reaches further than dagger.
339. Freelancer

What're you hiding? Spill! ;)

As you wish. But only after I've answered RobM^2


Actually, I am left-handed, and while that was the response in the Princess Bride, it wasn't mine. The "secret", what I knew that you did not, was that there had only been two Princess Bride references at that point, until the instant I used that line.


Not bad. A recognizable reference, for sure, and moderately subtle in application.


Better. From the same scene as Sam's, but applied a bit more subtly.


Again with the same scene. Still, well played.

You see folks, it can be done, if we have a true love for the written word. As long as we don't let chaos cloak our thinking, which of course in this crowd would be. . .


No, the man in white is Galadedrid Damodred.
Lannis .
340. Lannis
Ooooh! Cage match! Fun! Sorry I missed the first round. Must rustle up some popcorn to share! Suffa! Go find some lawn chairs! There's a passel of them stuffed in a corner of the bunker...

I. Girlfight Semis

Selucia vs. Faile - Faile'll fight dirty for sure.

Fortuona vs. Tylee - Tylee'll be paralysed by awe.

II. Powered Quarters

Rand vs. Logain - Logain doesn't exactly have a stash of AoL Power skills to tap into...

Moridin vs. SWMNBN - Erm... the lady's toast.

Demandred vs. Nynaeve - Sheer determination (and she kicks him in the nads when he's not looking...)

Alivia vs. Egwene - She just will. And she'll glow while she does it.

III. Unpowered Quarters

Lan vs. Perrin - Just because he's Teh Bestest.

Mat vs. Galad - If Mat could beat him (and Gawyn) when he was barely out of a sickbed...

Birgitte vs. Tam - She's a Hero tied to the Horn, for Chrissakes...

Fain vs. Rhuarc - Rhuarc holds out impressively, but teeny dagger slice = gob o' clan chief.

(How did we not think of this time-waster sooner?!)
Janet Hopkins
341. JanDSedai
Wow! These are some tuffies!
1. Rand--Logain learns fast, but Lews Therin overcomes
2. Moridin--SWMNBN cant' stop the TP
3. Nyneave--has the most experience battling Forsaken
4. Egwene--her talent for new weaves wins the day

1. Perrin--major character trumps sword
does anyone else think we're gonna get Mat vs Perrin in the finals?
2. Mat--'nuff said
3. Birgitte--just because she doesn't depend on the sword doesn't mean she can't use it
4. Fain--gotta keep one bad guy in the line-up!

T&A division
Selucia--trained assassin vs wanna-be Aiel? Come on!
Tuon--ninja-like skills will beat traditional soldier
342. nor3
Of course they're from the same scene! It was an awesome scene!

And, yes, I know who the man in white is. Apparantly my 'man in black' reference was too subtle.
Alice Arneson
343. Wetlandernw
nor3 - just misapplied. Use it for Moridin instead of Galad, and you're good.
Richard Fife
344. R.Fife
To qualify my statement:
Ok, Birgitte is /the/ awesome archer who is bound to the wheel, but she isn't bound just for her arching. She is bound because she is a brave soul who does what needs doing when it needs doing. And, for all we know, Tam is too. Is not raising the Dragon a heroic thing? (being sarcastic on that bit).

As to Tam's skill, we have seen Good-But-Not-Tam Two River's men impress the snot out of Seanchan (Perrin throwing up the small piece of wood and it getting thwacked by arrows from several hundred yards away, out of what Seanchan think is useable arrow distance). So, we know that while Duopotamia might be the boondocks, they probably breed the best archers around. Not saying it makes sense, just saying what has been indicated in the writing. That being said, if Tam is /the/ best archer in Duopotamia, then I think it isn't a jump to say he could at least rival Birgitte. Again, also saying that Tam wouldn't even let it get to a straight archer dual. He's too crafty, and he knows how to kill someone who needs killin'.
345. MasterAlThor

Faile can beat Selucia and Egwene can beat Alivia.

You guys crack me up

346. nor3
Yes, but i hadn't just quoted a piece about Moridin that used the words "man in ".

Re ; Tam/Birgitte. Yes, the Duopotamians are skilled, and yes Tam is the best, so that makes him probably the best archer (or one of the best) in the world at the time. But Birgitte is the best archer in eternity. She is the archer reputed to *never miss*. I doubt anyone's made a similar claim about Tam. He could out archer anyone else on the list, but Birgitte's in a league of her own.

Also, the whole shooting from beyond "useable arrow distance" is only to do with the fact that the Duopotamians use longbows. That was mostly why the Seanchan were so impressed - they didn't think arrows could physically go that far. Presumably the Seanchan archers are just as skilled - there were quite a few TR men who could make shots like that, and they're farmers, while the Seanchan have full time professional archers. It's just that they don't have the same technology.
Tricia Irish
347. Tektonica
Round Two

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - I think Selucia is the best there is in Seanchan, or she wouldn't be serving the Empress. Faile's a pretenda, not a contenda.....

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - Tylee falls down, head to the floor and Tuon has Selucia do the dirty deed for her.

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - The Real Dragon v. the False Dragon, no contest.
Edit: Rand goes ballistic when he realized both Avi and Min are dead!

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - she had no defenses for the TP. End of match! End of SWMNBN!!! **confetti** balloons**

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Since I have NO IDEA what Dem is capable of, because he's hiding in the Far Madding closet, I'm going with Nyneave, because she's brave, true, loyal, very powerful, and has armloads of angreal.....and a braid.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Egs is perhaps not quite as powerful as Alivia, but she HAS been trained as a weapon by the Seanchan, has a big ol' angreal thingy, is more worldly, and can be sneaky crafty....

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - Perrin is crying because Selucia offed the Falcon, .... whaa whaa whaa....Lan gives him a quick death. Please!

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. I hate to see the Pretty Boy go, eye candy is always appreciated, but hey, we're talking about Mr. Awesome here. Mat... again.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. :-( Love Tam, but hey, she's a Hero of the Horn for a reason.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - Why does everyone think Fain is so awesomely talented? He's got a nasty daggar. So? Rhuarc is a trained warrior!!
Please. Fain can't get near him!
348. Denari6
I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - Faile is caught off guard by the supposed servant and gets a knife in her ribs...Selucia by a cup size

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - Tylee looks at Fortuona and drops to her face in submission. Fortuona yawns and awaits her next fight

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Rand ftw....true power and logain never sees it coming

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - Moridin awaits Cads in the cage but she does not show....someone shouts that she has been torn apart from limb to limb. Moridin simple smiles, and mutters Golam FTW

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Demandred wins...bye Nyn! but while you were debating if Demandred should go to trial he balefires you into the next age

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - although Alivia has the strength and power, Egwene cheats and uses compulsion. Alivia burns herself out.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - Perrin calls his wolf brothers but even they will not fight the last king of Malkier. Perrin fights bravely but...Lan uses skin the wolk attack and wins!

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. This battle is epic with the warriors fighting expertly. But Mat's battle luck is with him and Galad burst into a horde of raging I guess the DO ftw

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. You know you hate to see when a warrior plays way past his prime and in this case Birgitte falls victim to the young Tam (comparatively) mastery of the sword.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - Fain tries and tries again to slash at Rhuarc but never is able. Rhuarc disarms him and promptly breaks fains neck. However Fains head just turns around and around and he falls thrashing on the ground until the next day.
349. Branwhin
Round Two - Votes due by Friday (tomorrow) by 3 PM (EST)

Wow, great matches indeed!

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - servant and secret assasin v. Lady and secret killer (hello Masema!) and spymistress.

Hmm. Assuming one-on-one, I'll have to say Selucia on this one. More consistently rigorous training. After all, if we started including Cha Faile, might we not need to stick a Gardener or two in there? That could get messy.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - tough matchup for Tylee - would it lower her eyes to kill the Empress?

Ooh. In-character? Tylee wouldn't even think about it. For the sheer silliness of tournaments like this? If Fortuona didn't channel and Tylee had her armour, I place my bet on Tylee, though not by much!

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Who da big Asha'man? My Arrow of Fire is bigger than yours.

Rand is stronger than Logain, and as someone noted in the first round, it's hardly fair if you've got your own coach in your head (or perhaps just your coach's memories and so on, now). Our lad's in rough shape, but I still think *Rand* would win out.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - WT's most experienced channeler handler v. best channeler (dark side division). Also beauty v. beast?

Moridin would have this one, I think, not that Cadsuane wouldn't give him an unpleasant shock or two on the way out!

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Ultimate smackdown between old school and new school channelers. Also stylistic differences - lurking in the shadows v. loud and proud.

Each of them has learned a lesson about messing with the opposition, via Damer's circle and Rahvin. Nynaeve's defensive ter'angreal, though, and that angreal, make her a legitimate contender. Tough choice. *Nynaeve* by a whisker, because of her success in other battles, vs Demandred's being driven off (presumably in a huff).

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Ultimate Seanchan v. Tower, Age v. Youth, Property v. Amrylin smackdown.

If Nynaeve gets all her fancy doodads, must Egwene? Because if she does, I can't see it ending well for Alivia, living weapon or no. That said, though, I'm going to say no sa'angreal, and unless Egwene manages to pull it into the Dream, *Alivia* wins this round.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - student has to battle the teacher and may have to use allies or shift the terrain to have a chance.

Well, Perrin wouldn't have much of a surprise advantage with the wolves; Lan has known about them almost from the beginning. Besides - the wolves probably like Lan for the sheer amount of Shadowspawn ownage! So *Lan* wins my vote.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. Battle of Warder's Field II, but this time one on one.

Mat, once again.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Maybe they should shoot apples off each others' heads - but watch out for Tam's blademaster skills if he can get close.

Archer battle! I wouldn't want to look in either case; both characters rock. But *Birgitte,* unless her bowstring snapped!

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - the ultimate Shadar Logoth v. Rhuidean smackdown.

Interesting. Thom knew as much as anybody does about the dagger and so on, which is why I picked him. Rhuarc might allow a scratch if it meant he could go in for the kill. He has danced with the Eyeless before, though, and won. Double-kill.
craig thrift
350. gagecreedlives
I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - Gonna go with Selucia on this one

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - Fortuona states that she can channel. Tylee falls over dead in shock.

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Rands experience in super large one power duels comes to the fore as he edges out Logain.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - Worlds oldest aes sedai finally meets death. Moridin balefires Cads out of existence so the Lord of the Grave cant send her back after he meets her.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Demandred continues showing bad guy competence and cleans the floor with Nynaeve.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - After a good crying session together over how it sucks being a damane, Alivia uses her secret seanchan mass powers of destruction weave

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - Perrin needing some serious help summons all the wolves in Randland to aid him. Perrin gets up in the end but at the price of a mass extinction.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. After hearing Nerim complain about all the sowing he had to do after Mats last duel Galad decides the right thing to do would be to kill himself. Mat wins

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. In the battle of the archers Tam wins with his Two Rivers bow while Birgitte is still trying to get close enough.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - Fain all cocky about his last start victory over Thom starts bragging about scaring fades and all he has to do is scratch Rhuarc. Rhuarc veils, Fain dies.
Thomas Keith
351. insectoid
Okay, second-round vote:
I. Girlfight Semis
- 1. Selucia v. 4. Faile: Selucia has more skill, but Faile can be mean...
- 3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee: I don't think Tylee has the guts to strike down the Empress (may she live forever).

II. Powered Quarters
- 1. Rand v. 9. Logain: So sorry Logain!
- 2. Moridin v. 7. Cadsuane: Sorry Cads, don't think you stack up against the True Power.
- 3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave: Nynaeve in a walkover.
- 5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene: Egwene's more badass. And she could use Vora's sa'angreal.

III. Unpowered Quarters
- 1. Lan v. 8. Perrin: Lan, hands-down.
- 2. Mat v. 10. Galad: He's got the Dark One's own luck.
- 3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam: Can't beat someone who can outline Nyn with arrows.
- 4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc: Spear is longer than dagger.

Free @339, et al: Okay, I really need to see that movie now...

Jay Dauro
352. J.Dauro

If you have not seen Princess Bride you should run (not walk) to the nearest location that sells DVDs and purchase it. Period.

One of the best movies of all time.

If you don't, you won't know to watch out for the ROUS if you ever get trapped in the Fire Swamp.

Seriously, great cast, great direction, great music, and fantastic script. How can you go wrong? Inconceivable.
353. MasterAlThor
J. Dauro,

You keep using that word. I don't not think it menas what you think it means.


And you forgot to tell him what else to watch out for in the Fire Swamp
354. Branwhin
Insectoid - yes, you must see that movie! One of my favourites.

Oh, and we actually had ROUS's at my family's cabin ... not mean ones, but it did take us a while to figure out they're muskrats. We still call them ROUS's.
355. Freelancer
Not going to address the catfights, after getting no love for the ones I suggested.

II. One Power Quarter Finals

1. Rand. Logain is a great second for Rand, which makes him second TO Rand.

2. Can a paralis net block weaves of the True Power? I think not. Buh-bye, ms. Melaidhrin.

3. Nynaeve will suddenly realize that she can do the opposite of what she did with Logain/Siuan/Leanne, and severs Demandred on the spot.

4. Raw power and centuries of training as a weapon leave Egwene as nothing more than dust on the breeze.

III. Mundane Quarter Finals

1. Who said Chuck Norris? Dude, Chuck Norris wears Aan'Allein Underalls. Go fly with Hopper, Young Bull.

2. Mat sets aside his Ashandarei and beats Galad to a pulp with the Ugly Stick. Women everywhere decide they hate Mat Cauthon.

3. Tam isn't ugly enough, Birgitte doesn't miss

4. Fain beat Thom in round 1. Thomdril Merrilin. The Gray Fox. Kingslayer Thom. The guy who saved a kingdom, evaded Gareth Bryne, and chose to help some hayseed kids because an Aes Sedai was involved. If Fain beats him, Rhuarc is just a very tall corpse.
Tricia Irish
356. Tektonica

Well said about Thom. He shoulda' won....everyone underestimates him. He's awesome. How quickly they forget......just wait for the TOG...ha! They'll see!

Who said Chuck Norris? Dude, Chuck Norris wears Aan'Allein Underalls.

357. Freelancer

If you have Cox cable, you can probably get Princess Bride in the On Demand area, but if not, it shows up at least three times a month somewhere in the channel lineup.

My son watched it for the first time about four months ago, and now he quotes significant parts like a veteran. Like a veteran with a wheelbarrow.
James Jones
358. jamesedjones
Round 2

-Selucia: After really, really wanting to kill Mat for about 3 books, she's on a roll. Another one bites the dust.

-Fortuona: No fighting involved. But Tylee forgot to cross her fingers and wiggle her left big toe when she bowed before the empress. Fortuona has her executed, personally, to counter the bad luck that would have caused.

-Rand: Everyone say it with me, "Duh."

-Moridin: "That's why you play the game." Uh, Nope. SWMNBN is all kinds of dead.

-Nyneave: She remembers her testing vision with Aeginor, and remembers how to do it. Demandred dies with a rather dumb look on his face. Still no smile.

-Alivia: makes Egwene D-E-D dead. There's really only one thing you can do; go through her clothes and look for loose change.

-Lan: a part of Perrin dies when Fail loses. Then the rest of him dies when Lan pokes him with a deadly weapon (his stare).

-Mat: Galad takes him seriously this time. A potentially killing strike across the chest glances off of Mat's medalion. Mat then throws a firework at him, and pokes him with the ashandarei while he's distracted.

-Birgitte: We're all getting tired of saying it, but DUH.

-Rhuarc: I'm not sure of the exact wording, but Perrin's observation in Book 4 kinda leaves little doubt that he could kill a Fain.
Rob Munnelly
359. RobMRobM
Guess I should weigh in too. Hey, who came up with this silly idea anyway....

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - servant and secret assasin v. Lady and secret killer (hello Masema!) and spymistress.

Faile is tough and resourceful, but anyone whose battle skils can make Thom go mute isn't going to be beaten by a talented amateur.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - tough matchup for Tylee - would it lower her eyes to kill the Empress?

Fortuona for the above-cited reason - Tylee is no Elbar.

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Who da big Asha'man? My Arrow of Fire is bigger than yours.

Rand's is bigger.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - WT's most experienced channeler handler v. best channeler (dark side division). Also beauty v. beast?

Surprisingly close fight, as Cads picks up that Mori's hand is hurting and is otherwise not in top shape - and confuses him by asking if he has strange voices in his head - but Mori brings the TP and wins.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Ultimate smackdown between old school and new school channelers. Also stylistic differences - lurking in the shadows v. loud and proud.

Sorry Nyn (and Lan) - advances in healing weaves are just not good enough to topple a top tier 'Saken.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Ultimate Seanchan v. Tower, Age v. Youth, Property v. Amrylin smackdown.

Eg - she's pull Amyrlin rank and bring Vora's rod to the party.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - student has to battle the teacher and may have to use allies or shift the terrain to have a chance.

Perrin in an upset, at the cost of lots of dead wolves. Dumai's Wells II.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. Battle of Warder's Field II, but this time one on one.

Ashenderari used as a staff, which beats sword--even blademaster sword.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Maybe they should shoot apples off each others' heads - but watch out for Tam's blademaster skills if he can get close.

Most fascinating match of the round. Birgitte wins the quick draw by a hair but requires Sumeko healing to save her life from the arrow that cut through her side, missing her heart by two inches. NOTE - Tam is the best archer in Randland, bar none. In early books, all those who saw Rand commenting on Rand's great skill withthe bow and Rand pointed out in response that Dad left him in the dust. The actions scenes in the TR show exactly how quick and accurate Tam was. Just can't quite beat a Horny Hero at her own game.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - the ultimate Shadar Logoth v. Rhuidean smackdown.

If Fain can nail a fade to a wall, he can find a way to beat Rhuarc. Boo.
John Massey
360. subwoofer
Wha? Apparently I am the only person on this whole entire thread who actually um... works, when they are at work- what a novel idea, so I missed out on all the festivities- gee thanks Rob, couldn't do an evening draw or something... we beat the Tylin/Mat horse for days and days... this barely lasted 18hrs. No, no, I'm not bitter:P

I'm just sayin'.

I'll just give my highlight reel of upsets and my natural difference of opinion.

Therava wins. Buddy may have the True Power or whatever, but Therava is a cranky Aiel channeler.

Eggy bites it. She may be the stuff, but old age and treachery always trumps youth and enthusiasm.

Don't even get me started on SWSNBN...

Lan and Sulin. Who picked that one? I demand a recount that puts a Maiden- and one who has enough battle skill to grow old at it- at the bottom. Aiel over Wetlanders any day of the week. But if this is the way it is, then Lan touches Sulin while she is armed and she dons the white for a year and a day.

Thom wins. He lived past a fight with a Fade. He's going to the ToG and coming out again. Fain is the WoT equivalent of Gollum. Thom won't have the same issues nasty hobbits would.

Mat bites it. Can't bring himself to harm a woman and his wife is in a match with Min so can't bail his butt out again. I don't like it, but dems the facts folks.

Loial wins. Again I have a bone to pick with the rankings. Not just because Loial is 8ft tall, hundreds of pounds heavier than his next opponent, but c'mon- Loial has been through stuff, and is still alive, just humble. And he would not touch Rhuarc. Just scarf down some 7-layer dip the night before and let 'er rip with some Ogier sized pyrotechnics. Rhuarc down.

Tam spanks Gawyn. How did that douche get in this anyways? He's too busy hunting for Rand or waiting outside Eggy's tent. Guess security is not as tight as I thought.

Selucia and her spectacular er... friends win out. Sevanna gets the mohawk of shame.

Berelain wins. Can't stand Faile. Ever. And Berelain already mopped the floor with her in the Stone. Don't see things changing now.

Tuon and Min- not sure and very ambivalent. Both are too skinny for this to live up to any kind of billing. Unless you like boyish figures. Going with Free on this one. And what the deuce is Faile doing here?

Onto the quarter finals, seeing as my protests fall on deaf ears.

Selucia wins. My protest at this is we will not have a true girl fight of er... spectacular proportions.

Tylee. Tuon tries all sorts of fancy stuff, then breaks a hand and foot on the Seanchan armor.

Logain wins. LTT has issues, tries to seize control of the Power from Rand, and as Rand deals with that, Logain gives the smack down.

Moridin? Well, if SWSNBN is still around, it ends here.

Nynaeve wins. Demandred is so choked that Rand bit it, he forfeits.

Alvia takes it. C'mon, she's got the juice. Unless Egg's cheats with some Angreal.

Lan wins. Perrin too broken up over wife's death.

Galad. Has learned a thing or three since round one. Despite his prettiness.

Birgitte. She's a frickin' HERO OF THE HORN folks. Like there is any question.

Rhuarc. Aiel. 'Nuff said.

And Insectoid, Wha? Not seen Princess Bride. Tsk Get thee to the internet. Go on the Pirate Bay, if you dare, download the torrent. Watch. Now. Geeeeeze!

Marcus W
361. toryx
I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - The thing is, Faile would totally underestimate Selucia. So when she studies Selucia with disdain and turns to say something to Perrin, she'd open her mouth only to choke on the blood when Selucia slides a blade into her back.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - In actual combat, I think Fortuona would lose in a heart beat, trained in hand to hand combat or no. But as soon as Tylee realized that she's supposed to fight her, she'd pull out her sword, lower it to the ground, and fall on it. All for the glory of the Empress, may she live forever.

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Logain would be so dead. In fact, why is Rand even in these cage fights? He ought to be like the king, watching the battles from his box in the stands and raising his hand regally to the victors. It's like choosing between a cat and a light saber.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - Moridin would grimace, wave his hand lazily at Cadusane's hairnet and dissolves the whole thing, hair and all. Then with the sound of the earth shrieking in protest, he'd rip open a gateway and drop her into some hellish vacuole and let one of his minions take care of her. All the while, Cadsuane would still be trying to figure out why none of her ter'angreal worked.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Assuming that Nynaeve actually knows who he is, she'd be sure to take care of him in moments with hardly a tug of the braid. Honestly, Demandred hasn't actually done anything but laugh evilly and make grandiose statements.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Alivia would gaze at Egwene with contempt. "You thought a few weeks was rough? Try several centuries, bitch." Egwene probably wouldn't even hear the end of the sentence under the roar of earth, flame and splattering body parts.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - This would be the best battle so far, but ultimately Lan's iron control would totally win over Perrin's blood rage.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. - Another good fight, but Mat's not only in much better shape now, he's got centuries of battle knowledge to draw on. Galad would soldier on, however, until his cloak trips him up and he falls on his own blade.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. - I think people forget just how old Tam is. He's old, worn, and tired and I doubt he's ever fully recovered from the Trolloc attack. He's skilled, sure, but as much so as Birgitte? Not a chance, and she's still in the prime of her second life.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - Fain wouldn't know honor if it stabbed him in the face. Rhuarc would be dancing the spears all over the place only to have Fain go all Neo on him and casually reach out with his hand and slice the clans chief on the elbow.


For the record, I don't think the ROUS exist.

Edit: Fixed bbCode.
362. FellKnight
I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - servant and secret assasin v. Lady and secret killer (hello Masema!) and spymistress.

Faile in an upset.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - tough matchup for Tylee - would it lower her eyes to kill the Empress?

Fortuona. Tylee is made da'covale for looking into the Empress' eyes.

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Who da big Asha'man? My Arrow of Fire is bigger than yours.

Rand underestimates Logain, eats deathgate.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - WT's most experienced channeler handler v. best channeler (dark side division). Also beauty v. beast?

Cads in an upset. Moridin underestimates the hair-net ter'angreal. As he dies, he says "I will win on the next turning of the Wheel!!!!"

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Ultimate smackdown between old school and new school channelers. Also stylistic differences - lurking in the shadows v. loud and proud.

Nynaeve pulls her braid at Demandred. He laughs, and is distracted while Nynaeve attempts to shield him. He slices the shield. Demandred unleashes the Balefire in the Great Lord's service.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Ultimate Seanchan v. Tower, Age v. Youth, Property v. Amrylin smackdown.

Alivia weaves death and destruction down on Egwene, but Egwene blocks it all with a shield using the fluted rod sa'angreal. In a sheer rage, the true Amyrlin sees Alivia as what she is, Seanchan, and loses her shit. Observers do not even see what happens, but when the dust settles, the woman simply Was. Not. There. All hail Egwene!

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - student has to battle the teacher and may have to use allies or shift the terrain to have a chance.

Perrin goes emo. Lan kills him in cold blood.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. Battle of Warder's Field II, but this time one on one.

Galad does not underestimate Mat this time, and he is better, but as he is about to deliver the killing blow, he slips on a banana peel and Mat kills him.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Maybe they should shoot apples off each others' heads - but watch out for Tam's blademaster skills if he can get close.

Both die horribly with 3 arrows feathering their corpses, all in a tiny circle around the heart.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - the ultimate Shadar Logoth v. Rhuidean smackdown.

Rhuarc is too good to let a wetlander get in close enough to touch him with the corrupted knife. Spear through the heart for Fain.

Sandy Brewer
363. ShaggyBella
As you wish......

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - Bada$$ body guard takes out Crazy Knife Girl. While Faile is rolling knives around her fingers, (does she do this too or is it just Min?)Selucia has already struck with ninja skills.
3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee Fortuona attacks while Tylee is prostrate before her. Tylee would become Property and get some new sheer clothes.

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Rand might have a bigger fire, but who can actually use his first?. Logain strikes while Rand is writhing on the ground 'sicking up' while trying to sieze saidin.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - Moridin is a more powerful channeler and has the True Power. Although if it was just egos it would be a draw.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Nyneave has the heart of a fighter (and Lan to back her) and strong spirit. Demandred is rather overrated and laughing at the red dot on Nyn's forehead.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Ultimate Seanchan - Alivia has the moves & power and will to use them.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - Perrin still upset over Faile's loss, is overcome by Lan's speed & lethal moves. The Sword is quicker than the Hammer

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. After Mat throws his knives, it is all over for the swordsman

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Brigette can barely out-shoot Tam with a bow. But in hand to hand combat, if Brigittte has her knives and Bird Festival dress, Tam won't know what hit him.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - the ultimate Shadar Logoth v. Rhuidean smackdown. Rhuarc can send a spear thru Fain before the crazy little guy is finished with his taunts and talking to himself.
Thomas Keith
364. insectoid
R.Fife @334:
I have a feeling the Toilet Paper isn't stopped by Cads little trinkets.

J.Dauro @352 et al: Re: Princess Bride... Thanks, guys! Just another excuse to go out tomorrow. ;) Actually, the good DVD places aren't very near (they are fewer and far between nowadays).

Free @355:
Who said Chuck Norris? Dude, Chuck Norris wears Aan'Allein Underalls.

Sub @360:
Unless Egg's cheats with some Angreal.
Who said using an angreal was cheating? :)
Go on the Pirate Bay, if you dare, download the torrent.
Pirate? Naaaah...

Tess Laird
365. thewindrose
I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - servant and secret assasin v. Lady and secret killer (hello Masema!) and spymistress.

Selucia, who is now not only a secret assasin but now is Fortuona's Soe'feia, who is required to tell the stark truth, tells Faile that her jealous and voilent behavior causes Perrin much emo damage. During the second that Faile considers this and dismisses it, Selucia goes in for the kill. Don't worry Faile, Perrin will soon join you.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - tough matchup for Tylee - would it lower her eyes to kill the Empress?

Fortuona and Tylee advance to center stage, but just as they start to fight Selucia gets inbetween them and takes Tylee down. Selucia then bows to her soon to be next opponent and says you are no longer fit to be the Empress - it's on!

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Who da big Asha'man? My Arrow of Fire is bigger than yours.

Logain, on a high now that he finally got rid of Taim, faces Rand. He recalls the first time he saw Rand and knew Rand would cause much more trouble then he ever did. Rand nods as if in agreement and balefires him with enough power to bring back Taim, and then kills him too, because he should have done so long ago, right LTT;)

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - WT's most experienced channeler handler v. best channeler (dark side division). Also beauty v. beast?

Cads sweeps into the arena and tells Moridin that the black and red he always wears do not suit his eye color. He blinks in confusion, and then anger takes over and he balefires her with the TP. Cads last thought - "What the //erased from time.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Ultimate smackdown between old school and new school channelers. Also stylistic differences - lurking in the shadows v. loud and proud.

Nyneave demands Damandred to tell her if he has ever been Taim, and whose army he has controll over. She is angered by his silence and lack of smiling and balefires him. We will never know;O

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Ultimate Seanchan v. Tower, Age v. Youth, Property v. Amrylin smackdown.

Alivia prepares numerous weaves of destruction, however Egwene already knows what the seanchen is going to do and drags her into TAR, and we finally learn why it is evil to go there in the flesh. When they return, Alivia is in novice white and saying yes Mother I will report to the MON.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - student has to battle the teacher and may have to use allies or shift the terrain to have a chance.

Perrin knows he needs to call the wolves, but finds out that Lan is called shadowslayer and all honor him. Lan does him in, and Perrin gets to join his wife.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. Battle of Warder's Field II, but this time one on one.

Mat looks around for Galad, but Galad is not there. We find out later that a bunch of Green Aes Sedai have taken him hostage. Was it the pattern or being a ta'avern?

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Maybe they should shoot apples off each others' heads - but watch out for Tam's blademaster skills if he can get close.

Birgitte draws and fires her arrow faster, because TR men really don't like fighting women.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - the ultimate Shadar Logoth v. Rhuidean smackdown.

Rhuarc veils and starts singing "Wash the spears, while the sun climbs high" and spears Fain straight through the heart. Mat comes over and grabs the dagger from Fains dead hand, he stokes the red ruby and says "My precioussss..."

j p
366. sps49
I. Girlfight Semis

Seleucia- Faile is too soft hearted and relatively inexperienced

Fortuona- Tylee takes a dive

II. Powered Quarters

Rand- Especially since he has powered up as the full Dragon

Moridin- Har ornaments may be ineffective vs. the TP- although SWMNBN might brefly discover what her unknown ter's do

Demandred- although Ny can handle Moggy(+), Dem is still a big helping more

Egwene- should have enough all-around edge to take Alivia

III. Unpowered Quarters

Lan- because it's Lan

Mat- either staff or ashanderai

Tam- Birgitte has the advantage in middle distances, but long and short range is Tam. Except for the Warder bennies....

Rhuarc- Has reach over Fain
Antoni Ivanov
367. tonka
I don't know about Thom. But he managed to survive Fade, while Fain nailed a Fade to a door or something (TGH)

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - Selucia easily wins. Sorry Faile. I am one of the few who liked you but you lack skills :(

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - Tuon prepares to fight but then Tylee says "I can give you some tips about Mat and you know... bed" - That calls Tuon's attention - "you just need to forfeit the match because won't have time". "Who cares about this. I am listening" says Tuon ...

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Logain links with his two Aes Sedai. "Now I am stronger than you, Al'Thor" and attacks.Rand calmly stops every one of his attack. "Huh, how do you do that" asks Logain. "I don't know"-says Rand - "I am waiting for book 13 to find out"

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - BAM .Cads dead. Next.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Demandred is much stronger, much better and much more skilled. He sees Al'Thor and he seeths with anger in the same time Nyneave channel, throws some liquid white fire, "Oh No! what did I just do?" then looks around and sees that Demandred is gone. "Where did he disappeared?"

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Alivia face off against Egwene. "Hey! Can you teach me something. Please , please!" asks Alivia, "Sure" says Egwene, "this is called ball of fire." BOOM.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - Lan easily disarms and disables Perrin. Oh boy you have so much to learn . But then Hopper pops and tears Lan's throat , Oh yeah we are in the World of Dreams. Sorry about that.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. Galad remembers his last match with the man and this time is prepared. No more surprises, staff touches sword, sword touches staff, but the flesh is not touched. Until in a stroke of bad luck (or is it good luck for the other side) Galad trips and Mat cracks his head. Mat wins. Yeah... you cannot fight luck.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. They began shooting at each other shooting and shooting, 1 hour later the first to miss is Tam who hits Birgitte eye. Then he begin pulling all the arrows from around almost touching his body. Tam wins. Unfair, you say, well that's life.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - Rhuarc is careful he knows about the dagger. Fain creates an illusion of Couladine which Rhuarc attacks as soon as he sees it.Fain nicks him with the dagger.
Matthew Smith
368. blocksmith
Haven't read the votes yet...trying to not be swayed by any funny comments, so if I repeat, I apologize most sinseriously.

Powered Division-2nd Round

Rand vs. Logain- Rand. Logain saw greatness and it was over his own dead body.

Moridin vs. Cads- Cads tries to browbeat Moridin with teaching him manners. Moridin listens for about .2 seconds and, realizing he doesn't care about manners, cuts her into a million pieces. Slowly.

Demandred vs. Nyn- Upset. Demandred, puffed up over his first round victory, doesn't take the braid pulling seriously and Nyn wins in a surprising walkover.

Alivia vs. Egs- Alivia is the weapon, but Egs has anger on her side. Egs wins.

Unpowered Division- Round 2

Lan vs. Perrin- When Jack Bauer dreams, he is Lan. Lan.

Mat vs. Galad- Handsome is as Handsome does. Mat beat you once and he does it again.

Birgitte vs. Tam- Still going with Robin Hood. I mean the one in tight breeches...Birgitte.

Fain vs. Rhuarc- I think Rhuarc still has it going. He can spear Fain without being touched.

NCAAW Division- Round 2

Selucia vs. Faile- contest.

Fortuona vs. Tylee- I'm sure its been said. Tylee won't lift her eyes. Tuon wins and then takes the championship when Selucia immediately slits her wrists at the thought of killing her Empress.

Now I will read and laugh.
James M
369. Otoahhastis
Hi guys! First time post but have been lurking for a while now reading all the comments and being highly amused. You guys are great.

Here’s my take on the cagematches (missed the last round as didn’t get that far through the posts in time. :)

Round Two - Votes due by Friday (tomorrow) by 3 PM (EST)

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile –
Selucia – ninja bodyguard type would wipe the floor with Faile despite her daggers (Berelain should have beaten her too imo)

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee –
Fortuona – she gave Mat quite a fight plus Tylee would be hard pressed just to bring herself to lay hands on her Empress…

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain -
Have to give this one to Rand though I like Logain – Rand on experience with the power and pulling extra tricks he wasn’t aware he knew.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cadsuane
Moridin – most badass guy on Dark Side, force chokes Cads after she refuses when Moridin says "Join me". Oh wait...

3. Demandred v. 6. Nynaeve -
Nynaeve – Demandred will underestimate her (which on its own would infuriate her).

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene
Alivia – way more battle experience. Also she has to get through to ‘help Rand die’ after all. :D

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin -
Lan. Perrin may be strong but doesn’t stand a chance against Lan's Blademaster skills.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad.
Mat – he’s already beaten Galad once when he had help. Also. Mat. Is. Awesome.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam -
Tam. If it’s a cagematch, he’s going to be starting out close anyway so no time for Birgittes fancy arrow-work and up close she has no chance.

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc –
Rhuarc. Fain only needs to get lucky once but Rhuarc was hanging out with Mat pre-match and some of his luck rubbed off on him. Fain trips on his first attack and stabs himself in the head with his dagger.

Lannis .
370. Lannis
Otoahhastis @ 369: Welcome! Glad we've been amusing someone other than just ourselves... ha! ;)

Speaking of which, these cage matches are hilarious! I just snorted tea all over myself... XD
Matthew Smith
371. blocksmith

What do you get when you put a 400yr old weapon up against an young upstart? You get a whole bunch of people who will change their opinion about youth vs experience. That's what. Alivia wins.

Too funny...and absolutely right in my case.


1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - Faile is caught off guard by the supposed servant and gets a knife in her ribs...Selucia by a cup size

First time someone has one with a bigger tea cup...ohh wait now I get it.
Lannis .
373. Lannis
@ blocksmith: BAHAHhahahaha! *snort*

Hmm... my first balefired post... should I be honoured? (Pablo, Torie, what've I done? Eeep!)
374. alreadymadwithteacups
Faile vs. Selucia.
Are you nuts? Faile's underage frame is no match for Selucia's mature form.
375. Toothless
Selucia vs Faile: Faile whips out her daggers, and Selucia whips out Faile's spleen. Selucia.

Tuon vs Tylee: Tylee has very few scars, but Tuon has zero successful assasination attempts on her life. Edge, Tuon.

Rand vs Logain: Rand's forgotten more than Logain's ever known. Rand.

Moridin vs Cadsuane: After Moridin uses the TP to defeat her, he has Shaidar Haran create another box for his neck. Moridin.

Demandred vs Nyneave: I think Demandred will pull the upset. Nyneave should be the favorite since she's beaten Moghedien *sp twice, and helped beat Rhavin. But Nyneave is caught off guard when she sees that Demandred's secret identity is Mistress Harfor. Demandred.

Alivia vs Egwene: Egwene spins brilliantly fast weaves that cause novices to cry, accepted to cower in shame, and Aes Sedai to straiten their skirts and change the subject. During this awe-inspiring display, Alivia blasts her out of Randland. Alivia.

Lan vs Perrin: Taveren can only do so much. Lan.

Mat vs Galad: One of the things taveren are really good at is beating pretty-boys. Mat

Tam vs Birgitte: Lan is going to be Birgitte's only real test. Birgitte.

Fain vs Rhuarc: Clan chiefs are usually wise, and Rhuarc is wise enough to spear Fain before he can be touched. Rhuarc.

Enjoying this, and all the comments.
376. MasterAlThor

You should post warnings about your comments, I now have to clean my monitor.

Do you have any idea what it takes to get coffee off a monitor???

I still can't believe that people think that Alivia would lose to Egwene. Something about power rankings on some website comes to mind.

And Faile only has a chance against Selucia casue people are still ticked off at Berelain. Otherwise they would be thinking straight.

Oh well, this is the most fun I have had in awhile on this site. Keep it coming.

Matthew Smith
377. blocksmith
Hey Robm^2

Will the final fours show up on this re-read or number 18? (my) Inquiring minds want to know.
378. Trevayne
Off topic, but did anyone else notice that post 18 was up briefly around 10 am and now can't be reached, at least I can't reach it. Aggravating, because it looked like I could have had first comment, but it disappeared when I refreshed. I know it wasn't this one, because it dealt with chapters 30 and 31.
Bonnie Andrews
379. misfortuona
Okay I have to post these now because I can’t wait to see what everyone else had to say.

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - servant and secret assasin v. Lady and secret killer (hello Masema!) and spymistress.

Just have to go with Selucia here. The woman has mad skills, and yeah Faile knows some moves, but Selucia has the bosom thing going for her as well.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - tough matchup for Tylee - would it lower her eyes to kill the Empress?

Fortuona – See MAT @ 337

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Who da big Asha'man? My Arrow of Fire is bigger than yours.

It just kills me that this match-up is here. Almost wish I’d have voted for Taim in Round 1. Rand wins and learns a bunch of cool new weaves in the process, so Logain is still working for team-light.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - WT's most experienced channeler handler v. best channeler (dark side division). Also beauty v. beast?

Moridin, learning of the P net through his connection to Rand, blasts the ground out from under Cads, she drops into the hole and he buries her beneath a ton of rock, His weaves never touch her.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - Ultimate smackdown between old school and new school channelers. Also stylistic differences - lurking in the shadows v. loud and proud.

Despite what appeared to be his defeat in round one, Demandred is back. Avi should have balefired him. Anyway Nyn puts up a great fight, offers two braid pulls and a breast push-up to go along with her greals, but everything she throws at him he counters. Finally in a fit of temper she picks up the bucket from her corner and throws it at him. Demandred screams “I’m melting,” And disappears.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Ultimate Seanchan v. Tower, Age v. Youth, Property v. Amrylin smackdown.

This will be one of the hardest fought matches of the day. Alivia is prepared for every attack made by the young Amrylin, reading the weaves almost before they are cast. Seeing that his beloved is being worn down, Gawyn steps to the side of the ring to offer his aid. Alivia is so enchanted by the puppy eyes he’s flashing at Eggy she drops her guard and Eggy severs the ex-damane and wraps her in air.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - student has to battle the teacher and may have to use allies or shift the terrain to have a chance.

“Tai’shar Manetheran” Lan speaks as he enters the ring and salutes his opponent.
“Tai’shar Malkier” Perrin returns the salute. “I don’t really want to fight you.”
“Nor I you Blacksmith, but the Wheel and the Cagemaster decries that we must.”
Perrin nods “And then there is the pride of our wives to consider. Mine will cut a hole in me while I sleep if I lose.” He steps in and Lan’s sword meets his Axe with 'Bull munches the grass.'
“I am lost no matter what. Nynaeve will be angry if I harm you, and angry if I lose. And you know what she’s like when she’s angry.” 'Cat tramples the dahlias' forced Perrin back several steps.
Blade and Axe cross, and Perrin leans closer. “Why couldn’t we have chosen nice biddable wives?”
“The pattern chose for us Perrin. We were meant to have the wives that we have.” Lan steps back and spins away from the blacksmith allowing the axe to swing down and strike the ground where he was standing.
“The pattern has made a mess of my life and yours” Perrin growls as he spins around to meet the blademaster’s 'Buffalo kisses the kitten.'
“It isn’t all bad you know. One day, if we don’t die at the final battle, you and I will be neighbouring kings. I in Malkier and you in Saldea.”
“King!” Perrin glanced toward his hawk.
“Yes and our children and yours will play together in the re-born borderlands.”
“Children!” Perrin drops his axe and ‘Duckling wears pink’, passes through his chest.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. Battle of Warder's Field II, but this time one on one.

Galad struts into the ring to the combined sighs of the women in the crowd. Mat nods, laughs and pulls his hat a little firmer onto his head.
“So you’re Elayne’s half-brother? The one she says is too perfect, and who all the women love.”
“I am not perfect. I just look that way.” Gallad answers. “And you are the man who loves all the women.”
“What? Me? What ever gave you that idea?”
“I read the books.” Gallad announces simply. “I also know that you are the luckiest man alive.”
“Well that’s true, except when it comes to women, and that whole Ae Sedai keep showing up and making my life miserable thing.”
“I also know that it is imperative that you survive until the final battle.” Galad announces as he steps forward to meet Mat’s first swing with the Ashendarei. “Therefore it is my duty to lose this match and allow you to advance.” His blade drops.
Mat halts his swing a hair’s width from his opponent’s throat. “You can’t let me win.”
“Why not, it is the right thing to do.”
“But it isn’t sporting if you just stand there and let me hit you.”
“This isn’t about sport, Cauthon. It’s about what is best.”
“Well I won’t do it. I won’t just kill you.” Mat throws the Ashandarei to the ground. Galad takes a step forward and trips on his cloak, falling on the spear.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Maybe they should shoot apples off each others' heads - but watch out for Tam's blademaster skills if he can get close.

This one ends early and easily. Tam Al’thor steps onto the field and throws down his hat. You think if the young fellows from the TR are averse to fighting women Tam’s going to fight one on his side?

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc - the ultimate Shadar Logoth v. Rhuidean smackdown.

Give me a break. I didn’t think Fain could beat Thom. Rhuarc knowing about the dagger, doesn’t everyone by now, avoids Fain’s attempts to get in close easily and bides his time until Fain’s anger takes hold of him and he throws the dagger. Rhuarc easily knocks the blade aside and within moments Fain has a spear in his side.

Mis-making her choices
Bill Reamy
380. BillinHI
Round 2 vote (missed Round 1 due to stupid double whammy cold (local and mainland germs))

Girlfight semis

Selucia way more combat training than Fail.

Fortuona - Tylee more of a general now and ForTuona has always had to protect herself.

Powered Quarters

Gotta be Rand although I don't want to lose Logain.

Moridin - True Power defeats hair ornaments. (BTW, who is beauty and who is beast in this matchup?)

Nynaeve - Loud and proud wins the day (we've never seen Demandred's abilities with the OP)

Alivia - way more experience than Egwene

Unpowered Quarters

Lan - good as Perrin is, Lan in a close one

Mat - Took him before with his brother by his side.

Brigitte - Don't think she'll let Tam get close enough to use blademaster skills

Rhuarc - Somebody _has_ to get rid of Fain and Rhuarc with his spears and shield, not to mention skills, does the job.
Sam Mickel
381. Samadai
Selucia v. Faile...... Faile overconfident from her win over Berelain, steps into the ring all smiles as she sees this little maid bent over in supplication. As she advances she draws her favorite knife. when she is standing in frony of Selucia she reaches for her. Selucia says "Do what you want just please don't hurt my mistress. Faile turns away in disgust, and Selucia reaches from around behind and snaps her neck.

Tuon v. Tylee...... Tylee bends knees in supplication to her empress, Tuon knowing she has won grabs Tylee by the hair to expose her throat to Tuons knife. As Tuon pulls her knife, Tylee yanks her sword and plunges it deep into Tuons Chest, screaming, "there can be only one."

Rand v. Logain......Logain, knowing he can't beat the Dragon Reborn or the world would die, Balefires himself, knowing that the Black Tower was free of Taims taint.

Moridin v. Cadsuane....... Cadsuane spanks Moridin for his arrogant ways, Moridin calls 13 myrdrral and 13 black ajah and they turn Cads to the dark side. Moridin kills Cads, and asks the dark one to bring her back to life over and over so he can kill her for eternity.

Demandred v. Nynaeve....... A huge one power battle erupts as First Nynaeve then Demandred go on the offensive, each barely slicing the others weaves. Nynaeve opens a gateway and flees. Demandred quickly opens his own to follow. Demandred dies as 3 razors of air he didn't see slice him into pieces.

Alivia v. Egwene....... Egwene pulls in every bit of Saidar she can handle through Vora's Sa'angreal and stills Alivia and all the Damane watching the matches.

Lan v. Perrin..... Perrin darts in for the crushing blow with his hammer, Lan can't block, Perrin drops his hammer and Impales himself on Lans sword. "my falcon" he breathes at the last....

Mat v. Galad...... Galad takes this fight serious and there is a long exchange of blows, the fight lasts ten, twenty, thirty minutes and in a lucky break Mat gets under Galads guard and kills him.

Tam v. Birgitte..... Tam wins in an upset as her bow is mysteriously broken just before the match. Rand smiles to himself.

Fain v. Rhuarc...... Rhuarc disarms Fain and takes his dagger away. Rand steps down from the stands and balefires Fain.
Jacy Clark
382. Amalisa

"Bull munches on grass"... *giggles*

"Cat tramples dahlias"... *hoots*

"Buffalo kisses the kitten"... *snortles*

"Duckling wears pink"... *lies down and kicks*

Girl, that was priceless!!
383. Hopper
I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile – Selucia wins. Faile took the first round b/c I like her slightly better then Berelain... but come on

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee – Tylee in an upset! Fortuona commands her as the empress to forfeit, but Tylee never goes down without a fight and runs her sword through an unsuspecting Fortuona's heart.

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain - Rand, Logain might have had a chance when Rand was full crazy, but now hes only "mostly" crazy and was brought back by true love (or perhaps to bluff???)

2. Moridin v. 7. Cadsuane- Moridin. He's Moridin.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nynaeve - Nyn in an upset again, b/c Dem didn't show up for the fight.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - Alivia. This one was very difficult, but she has the strength and Egwene's *angreal were taken from her after she cheated with them in the first round.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin - Lan, Another very difficult match, but Perrin used the wolves in the first round and now feels too guilty to call on them again. Lan wins.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad - Mat. Afterwards he was heard saying, "I wanted to destroy something beautiful..."

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam - Tam in a startling upset. They both draw and fire at the start of the match, but since you can only be so good at archery, their arrows collide in mid air. While Birgitte wonders what to do, Tam busts out his blademaster skills and takes her out. (I mean, hes possibly second in archery only to Birgitte, and also a blademaster! Dudes freakin awesome)

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc – Fain. I had him losing to Thom, but I think Thom's style and knowledge was better suited to a match with Fain. Rhuarc doesn't know about the dagger, and his Aiel style doesn't stack up.
Tina A
384. Tinaa
Just had to get involved with this one, I missed round 1 due to being asleep - damn time zones...

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile

Gotta go for Selucia even though she is Seanchan, I just don’t like Faile much.

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee

Much as I’d like to see Tylee take this one, I think she would freeze under the Imperial hauteur. Besides, with eyes downcast, she wouldn’t see it coming…

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain

It’s been said already. Dragon v falsie. Duh.

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN
SWMNBN attempts to spank Mori. It all goes horribly wrong. Cads gets a hairbrush up the back of the head, then gets balefired out of existence.

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave

Sniffs, bosom heaving and braid-pulling aside, I think Nyn has got the One Power muscle to take this one. If Demandred even comes out of hiding for the match.

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene
Bad-ass Amrylin with righteous anger on her side. And a whole towerful of ‘greal. ‘Nuff said.

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin
Tough one to watch. Would have been closer if Wolf-boy wasn’t already miffed about her indoors getting smacked-down earlier.

2. Mat v. 10. Galad.
Pretty boy in White could maybe pull this off, but hey, Mat is awesome personified, so he takes it as far as I’m concerned.

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam.
Tam takes an arrow in the ribs before even drawing his sword. She is a Hero of the Horn for a reason…

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc
Kick-Ass Clan Chief vs Evil Shadar Logath tainted Hound of the Dark One. Hmmm. If Fain threw the dagger, maybe. But I’m betting he won’t let it out of his hand, so the spear wins it.
Rob Munnelly
385. RobMRobM
20 minute warning re the Cage matches.
Ron Garrison
386. Man-0-Manetheran
Misfortuona@379: That was awesome funny! Sam, you have a fan fiction challenger.
Rob Munnelly
387. RobMRobM
Time - voting closed.

I unfortuntately have a busy afternoon so results may not come until this eve or early Sat.
Tina Pierce
388. scissorrunner
I actually had to work today!!!!!!!!!

oh well, Ihad fun writing, so here it is anyway...

I. Girlfight Semis

1. Selucia v. 4. Faile - as Faile flashes her fan to her fans, Selucia spins with a powerful roundhouse kick to drop the falcon fast. Bye Bye birdie

3. Fortuona v. 7. Tylee - Tylee prostrates herself in abject humiliation at being placed in a position of fighting the Empress (long may she live). Fortuona sighs at missing the chance to do some thumpin’ and orders Selucia to “remove my newest da’covale”

II. Powered Quarters

1. Rand v. 9. Logain – Hey Logain, did ys think that Rand actually TRUSTED you? HAH!! – you’re a gonner

2. Moridin v. 7. Cads/SWMNBN - in a frightening turn of events, the beauty realizes that true love with a beast CAN come true and the two of them slink away to ponder the eternal ramifications of their newfound devotion. hmmm, will they play for Team Light or Team Dark? tune in next week for the answer to this riddle

3. Demandred v. 6. Nyneave - They don’t call it old school for nothing. but wait, yes ladies & gents, the braid pulling champ once again pulls out a hair ter’angreal and thumps ole Dem while he was gloating in his supposed victory!!!!!!!!!

5. Alivia v. 13. Egwene - the old damane knows her stuff! in a stunning show of “I don’t care WHO you are” she thumps the Amrylin hard & collars her again. sorry Eggs….

III. Unpowered Quarters

1. Lan v. 8. Perrin – the wolfman howled his last

2. Mat v. 10. Galad. No contest. Mat whomped him once before, and whomped him harder this time

3. Birgitte v. 6. Tam. Silver arrows v good Two Rivers maple. Maple tastes better. Maple wins!!

4. Fain v. 5. Rhuarc – the Pen is mightier than the sword, but a spear is longer than a dagger. Wait, no , the dagger is still in the White Tower, bye Fain

edit: cuz I typed too fast & spelled Rand wrong!!!!!
Tricia Irish
389. Tektonica
Mis......very very funny! Loved your dialogues! Thank you!

Sam: Thank you for this.....

Moridin v. Cadsuane....... Cadsuane spanks Moridin for his arrogant ways, Moridin calls 13 myrdrral and 13 black ajah and they turn Cads to the dark side. Moridin kills Cads, and asks the dark one to bring her back to life over and over so he can kill her for eternity.

Good fun all!
Thomas Keith
390. insectoid
Mis @379 and others: ::laughing out loud:: Bravo!

391. Freelancer

Fain has the dagger. When he sneaks into the White Tower storeroom where it had been kept, a ward is trigger, an Accepted who was supposed to sound an alarm instead comes to investigate, and Fain kills her with the dagger. Alviarin cleans up the mess. Fain later uses the dagger in Far Madding to kill Raefer Kisman.
Sam Mickel
392. Samadai
Freelancer, and scissor,

He also uses the dagger on Rand at the end of this book.
Antoni Ivanov
393. tonka
I think Misfortuona@379 should get some speacial award or something.Veryyyyyyyy Good!

And Samadai(@381) I like it a lot. Especially about Rand intruding with Tam and Fain.

Really everybody was impressive.

I have a question at 379. Except for "Duckling wears pink" which obviously refers to Mat, do the others refer to something or someone in the books because I cannot make the connection - "Bull munches on grass", "Cat tramples dahlias", "Buffalo kisses the kitten"
Bonnie Andrews
394. misfortuona
Nope, just the musings of my overimaginative mind.

Mis-your enjoyment is reward enough, but I do really love chocolate
Janet Hopkins
395. JanDSedai
I'm not RobM2, but I couldn't wait to see results, so I tabulated them myself. So here ensue approximate results:

Selucia vs Faile-- 23-6
Fortuona vs Tylee-- 21-7

Rand vs Logain-- 27-3
Moridin vs Cadsuane-- 28-1 w/ 1 tie
Nyneave vs Demandred-- 22-7
Egwene vs Alivia-- 16-14

Lan vs Perrin-- 26-4
Mat vs Galad-- 29-1
Birgitte vs Tam-- 20-9 w/ 1 tie
Rhuarc vs Fain-- 21-8 w/ 1 tie

So who does Rand go up against next? Egwene or Nyneave?!
396. ewells
In a traditional bracket the 1 seed faces the winner from the 4 seed bracket and the winner from the 2nd and 3rd seed brackets face each other so Rand faces Egwene. (the other way of doing it would be to reseed after each round to make it easier for the 1 seed; Rand would still face Egwene.)
Janet Hopkins
397. JanDSedai
Either way, I think that Rand and Moridin will take out the women, and meet in the Finals, as should Mat and Birgitte. But I'm not sure that's the way it's gonna work out.
398. MasterAlThor
Loving it Mis.

I think I peed my pants laughing so hard. I called friends and told them about the site and told them to read this thread in particular.

Way to go guys

Tina Pierce
399. scissorrunner
Free & Sam
forgot about Fain getting the dagger back........

(that's what I get for trying to to be witty without using any gray matter)
James Jones
400. jamesedjones
395 JanDSedai

That looks like ALL of the votes, so far. What were the results from just the second round?
Rob Munnelly
401. RobMRobM
Cagefight results. Read em and weep (or not) -


Selucia in a walkover over Faile 24 v. 6

Fort overwhelmingly over Tylee, sometimes without a blow being stricken 23 v. 7


Rand bf's Logain into yesteryear, 27 v. 3

Mori trumps Cads, 28 v. 1 and 1 tie (with the two walking arm and arm into sunset - my eyes!!)

Nyn is a surprising upset whomping of Demandred, 22 v. 8.

In the best match of the night, Egs in a squeaker over Alivia, 16 v. 14.

Unpowered but Cool

Lan cuts down the Wolfman, 26 v. 4

Mat stomps Galad's pretty little blademaster butt, 29 v. 1.

Birgitte wins an emotionally wrenching battle with Tam, 20 v. 9 and a one tie

The dedicated spear in a mild upset over the diseased knife, Rhurarc over Fain 20 v. 9 and one tie.

Semi finals to be moved over to CoS 18.

403. Croaker
1. Tylin can hold a knife to my throat and push me into bed anytime.

2. If it was rape she paid for it in the end didn't she? (killed and blood consumed)
404. RichR
When I first read ACoS, I saw this scene as rape. As a result, I've always been uncomfortable re-approaching it in re-reads, and felt the SGs' reactions to be manifestly unfair. I do however retain a sliver of hesitancy to condemn Tylin. Mat's POV's are simply not trustworthy. His expressions don't always match up with the thoughts we see. It could well be that he was giving her "go" signals that he wasn't consciously 'fessing up to.
405. billyn
I read this for the first time right around the same time as you Leigh. My initial reaction was a little different though. Very uncharacteristically, I did not find this Mat scene funny, but I didn't jump to anger or rape either. The whole thing just kind of left me feel ikky, if thats a word a dude can use hahaha. I guess because of the gender bias I just didn't jump to rape. But the first time it was asked to flip genders for this scene this huge light came on and I got it. No way around it, it's rape. Like you, I don't think RJ meant it, but it is what it is.
406. Joshua Simpson
Thank you for this reread Leigh your attention to detail and considerable personality make it rival the books sometimes! (Yes, I said it ! )
Ok, About the rape thing. I don't know about all states , but in Pa. "No" on it's own is not enough to be convicted of rape and it shouldn't be. The reason being that if you are saying no ,but all of your other actions are condusive with consent then it can very easily be construed as "play" or "purposefull coyness" meant to encourage . In order to constitute rape Mat's words and actions must have said no. Does this make Tylin's cohersion moral or even remotly acceptable ? No, ofcourse not ,but it is not rape. There was a moment when Mat had the ability and chance to overpower her and escape. She is the queen you say?? Yes, she is and could do all sort of stuff to him , but his willingness to go alonge takes the rape right out of it. Does a boss that uses his influence and power commit rape when he seduces his secretary? No! It is wrong and sexual harassment(which is what Tylin IS guilty of) , but not rape. We ought not to throw the word rape around especially when possibly saying the author condones it without being very strict about what makes it rape or not . I am the father of four daughters and the idea of them being forces chills me to the bone , so please don't think I approve of rape or anything like it. Tylin knew what type of man she was dealing with and her doing this was a reflection of that. Had Mat given a firm response to her and been serious she would have backed right off, but he didn't he wanted her but was near apoplexy over how it was to go down , that is him being pursued and bedded. He wanted the sex and by not resisting and being clear that his "No" was genuine made any case for rape groundless. Hope noone is to offended. Thanks (i cant figure out the spell check on this sorry guys and to be honest i was being lazy and didnt even try to spell well. Hope my english teachers of old arent watching lol)
407. JimF
Yawn! When one of you guys or gals commenting above ever screws someone, think about it, and then come back and tell me how Mat "was raped". Yes, he had the tables turned on him, and that was uncomfortable, but there is no way under Heaven that Tylin could have physically forced this little contretemps through to anything without Mat joining in (this is so far from male on female or male on male or adult on child sexual assault that the whole discussion is insulting). Grow up; quit being PC; stand up for your points of view. Gag.
David Guenther
408. stoonbora
This is my first comment on here, and I'll admit that I haven't read all of the 407 comments before mine, but I've read enough to get the idea of the two main camps. First off, my initial reaction to the scene was to find it hilarious, right up to the point where Mat and Tylin actually have sex. In my opinion, had the whole back-and-forth, trying to escape thing ended with Tylin allowing Mat to get out of there it would have funny and an excellent turning of the tables on Mat. The fact that they do end up having sex under the threat of Tylin's knife absolutely makes it rape. It doesn't matter that Mat is a player, it doesn't matter that he's attracted to her. If a promiscuous girl is attracted to me that doesn't give me the right to rape her at knifepoint. The fact that this isn't a onetime thing, but ends with Mat becoming Tylin's "toy" takes it far past the point of a single rape, even if he eventually starts to care for her. And as for those who say that Mat obviously wanted to have sex with her because he didn't physically overpower her, a) he tried and was threatened with a knife, and b) she's a frickin' queen. If he had actually disarmed and restrained her she would have been able to have him executed on the spot, and he knows that. Using threats (even if they're unsaid) of future violence in order to force someone to have sex with you is just as much rape as tying someone down and threatening them with a knife.
Sydo Zandstra
409. Fiddler
I fully agree, stoonbora.

And welcome! :)
410. Rob Kerr
Not rape.
Even reversing genders here won't make it rape. Why? Because reversing genders requires reversing physical prowess, which changes the power dynamic markedly.

Does anyone really believe that Tylin could have _forced_ Mat in the way she did without his compliance? Utter nonsense, and I say that as someone who has an excellent knowledge of grappling, knifework, and mock-rape scenes. There is simply no way in the scene _as written_ that Mat's protestations were genuine. Rape requires a no. Mat, despite perhaps being complicit in Tylin's view of him as leading her own, never says no to the _act_: he says no to the perception of the roles involved, that place him as the chaser, and the woman as the chased. To me, that's the most objectionable thing about the scene (and not that objectionable, when it comes down to it).
411. yasiru89
Judging authorial intent is a slippery slope if ever there was one. I try to ignore it and take away what I will, unless explicit detailing is shoved in my face, which, not being the mark of a good writer, would probably lead me to abandon their work.

On that note, I don't set myself to read, especially fiction, with a 20th/21st century mindset (and actually think doing so would be a tad pompous). A blank slate is not possible of course, but resisting a tirade from that part of your mind shaped by upbringing, culture and modern world state of affairs is oft ultimately rewarding (or not, as one who has endured eleven novels from another three letter acronym series can attest).

In this particular case, all parties involved have the exact same mindset- one of hilarity over what happens. Even Mat, though he'd probably be crying as he laughs, it would be far more likely to be over confusion than hurt from violation. We do well to note Mat's original objection to Tylin- that she's royalty (going by Elayne, I'd say he has the right idea, but that's just me). He definitely finds her attractive, and is put off by this one snag. When she makes her move, of course Mat protests and is silenced. But did he really put up much of a fight? Could Tylin have been armed with a knife and resolutely kept it against his skin through the entire encounter? I doubt it. At least beyond the coat slicing bit... We are in Mat's head and there's not a shred of unwillingness there- just incredulity. He also recovers immediately and heads out for the festival without missing a beat, beyond some head-shaking perhaps.

On Mat's 'attempt to disarm' Tylin- he did that before he realised what her intent was. Of course your first instinct would be to try and disarm someone who holds a blade against you, just the uncertainty makes it so. Did he even contemplate the thing after her intention became clear?

I'd try and refrain from resolving to victimise Mat here simply for the sake of wanting to be politically correct.
412. emmyloo03
Enjoying your re-read as always.
It is cracking me up though that I am commenting TWO YEARS after you posted this. Where the HELL was I that it took me this long? ;)

I had the same reaction to the Tylin/Mat stuff that you did, ie. I thought it was fricken' hilarious, the first time I read it (and 2nd, and 3rd, etc) In fact I still kind of giggled this time, even after reading how the WOTfans took the whole situation to begin with.

I also try not to read stuff, especially that set in a different time period, with a "21st century mindset" (in fact I go in without any mindset, that way I can flippin' learn something new) because while I know that my own beliefs are going to crop up here and there, its fun and interesting to see if you can relate to another author's ideas and/or beliefs. I especially enjoy reading books like A Room With A View or Mansfield Park since they were actually WRITTEN in a different time, not just set there by 21st Cent. authors.

All that being said, I still don't see what all the fuss is about with the Mat/Tylin thing. I hold firmly to the idea that if Mat had flat out said, NO WAY BIOTCH, she would not have forced him. He repeatedly asks her what she's going to do (duh dude, like what do you think?) and even expressed incredulity at her actions (uh, is this even possible?) Remember that for all the time they've been out of Duopotamia (does anyone else think of Doo-wop-otamians instead of duo-potamians? hee hee) they are still very ignorant of the way the world works (a by-product of dial-up I suppose) and have very prejudiced ideas of how people are supposed to act. Sometimes that results in humor, other times in bloodshed, and still more times in headdesking. (Ps Leigh, you should totally trademark that.)
I also read cheesy romance novels and those are fraught with scenes like this, usually reversing the gender roles, but I read ALOT of weird sh*t and I've read a romance novel where the dude was totally raped by the chick while tied to a bed and he got back at her by totally doing the same thing and they lived happily ever after? Thank you Joanna Lindsey... I think. I've also read Pride/Prejudice which explores the supposed sexual relationships between Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingly and between Elizabeth and Charlotte (pillow friends indead). That was one of those books I picked up going, what is this / nonsense and OMG WHAT ARE THEY DOING and *chants: open mind, open mind*

But I digress.

Mat, being a rather Notorious Rake in the eyes of all the other women in WOT, has met his match in Tylin and I thought it was cute and meant to challenge him to reevaluate his opinions and judgmenty-ness when it came to other women. Brigitte does that too, by just being his friend, but with Tylin he gets to be manhandled by a sexy, experienced older lady and hang out with her son, so there's that too. ;)
K, guess I've said all I'm gonna say, especially since I have to get back to work now
413. Faile
I'm SO late to this party. First post here! Re-reading the books for a ... 3rd or 4th time? Confession: I didn't read through every single comment.

I'm a bit back and forth on the Mat/Tylin thing - all of you make really good points. Surely Mat is strong enough to force Tylin away (she had to move that knife from his throat eventually)? Right? Probably.
Does that make things ok? No. So at this point, I'm still not 100% certain where I stand. HOWEVER, I do agree with the folks that have pointed out that Mat's issue was more over the Tylin's station and her chasing him, vs he chasing her. He didn't like being on the other side and felt that it was backward.

A lot of comments regarding Jordan here too. I like yasiru89 @411 comment. We never really know what the Author's intent is. I'm curious if any of you though that perhaps Jordan's intent was to make us re-consider our societies preconceived notions. I always felt that Jordan made a bit of commentary about how our society views gender roles and how we are not yet at the place where everything is thought of equally. It's so much easier for our society to acknowledge a female being raped vs a male being raped. Male rape is not talked about much (but it does happen!). Just a thought....
Furthermore - these books are set in a different world - different society, different rules, different ideas, different cultures etc... So it can be tricky when we try and put OUR cultural ideas and what we consider acceptable onto that.

Who knows. Maybe on my next re-read I'll change my opinion (or develop a solid one! lol).
414. Brian Shousey
The book is not set in our time or our place. The woman has a marriage knife for chrissakes! In her culture you get your knife out & do things & everyone else in her culture knows it.

Would you do it here and now? Of course not, it's not even worth asking that question.

Do they do it where Mat's from? No, and that's the only point where you could suggest it's maybe a little wrong. But when in Rome...

It's not wrong and it's half of Mat learning that not every woman is for dandling, the other half being Birgitte.

First post! In 2012 anyways.
Edward Phippen
415. Grimwanderer
Dr Hoo @ 13...(among others)

>> "If you want to expand your definitions of rape to include being put into uncomfortable positions and being forced to do things that don't match your self-concept, then OK.". image, or whatever... he said no. Tylin forces him to do what he wants. There is no difference in her justification ("well you enjoyed it so it's ok") and the same excuse being thrown out by a man ("you know you wanted it"). Would we not be outraged if Jordan had a king force himself on Nynaeve and then claimed it was ok because she clearly had a good time?

In fact, Tylin's rationalization is part of what makes me wonder if Jordan didnt want to make a point here. Is he trying, as he often does in the books, to turn gender roles on their heads? Did he want us to laugh and then question ourselves for finding humor because it was a man who as violated? Did he want us to feel uncomfortable for finding humor in the situation?

There are other hints that this may be the case. Look at Matt's behavior after Tylin leaves. While still played for laughs, his behavior is odd and he is somewhat changed. If I remember correctly, he wraps himself up because he is suddenly uncomfortable naked.

Then there is the question of timing. Matt's rape happens just a chapter or two after we learn that Valda has raped Morgase. It seems to me that Jordan is trying to make us challenge our initial interpretation of what happens to Matt. It is uncomfortable... But, if I'm correct, it is very clever writing.

I could be wrong. Jordan may have had a huge blind spot on the subject (kind of like when a female teacher has sex with her male student and some men laugh about the "lucky kid").

I prefer, in this case, to give Jordan the benefit of the doubt.

- Grim
Edward Phippen
416. Grimwanderer
Ok... Toe seems to have devoured part of my post.

The section after I quoted Dr Hoo (first long paragraph as displayed on Tor) should read:

"The bottom line is that no means no. Regardless of whether the character of Matt was attracted to Tylin, regardless of whether he was put off by her forwardness, or her actions violated his self image, or whatever... He said no"

(then a paragraph break and continues as above)

I'm on an iPad and don't see how to edit / correct the original post... So adding this for clarification.
Charles Gaston
417. parrothead
Yeah. So, this one. Following along in my final reread pre-AMoL, and up to this part.

Sometimes the internet can be a real killjoy.

When I first read this back in 1998, like Ms. Butler and many other people, I thought the whole thing, not just this scene but later as well, was hilarious! Unlike Ms. Butler, however, I didn't dive into the online fandom, so I missed out on this whole thing. And even if I had, well, I was a 15-year-old boy with virtually no romantic (to say nothing of sexual) experience; I'd have probably scoffed at the idea that a man could be raped by a woman, especially an attractive one. Mat's a player, and Tylin went all Mrs. Robinson. Way to go, Mat. Even after my attitudes changed, I still never connected it to this sequence. Subsequent rereads didn't clue me in, nothing.

About two years ago I discovered the massive time sink known as TVTropes, and of course found my way to the pages (s) for my favorite series. There it was pointed out directly what happened. Queue my immediate horrified reaction. I was like "oh GOD they're exactly right and I have been chuckling at this for over a decade I am a horrible person!"

Many of the attempted justifications have hinged on the assumption that Mat found the experience in some way pleasurable. First, that is a physical reaction that has nothing to do with consent. Second, that sounds a lot like "it's not rape if you enjoyed it"; that holds no water if the victim is a woman, so it should be equally dismissed if the victim is a man. Indeed, Slajov Žižek argues that experiencing pleasure is actually worse for the victim, as they are further degraded with this exacerbation of the fact that they are no longer in control over their own body but rather that this unwanted stimulation is something that is done to them. It can increase feelings of shame and alienation.

A few chapters ago we got an internal monologue from Morgase about how Asunawa and Valda had taught her the limits of her courage. Mat was just "taught" a lesson as well: a lesson in power. And he will have plenty more in the months to come as he is humiliated by someone who sees him as little more than a walking sex toy that occasionally mutters in the Old Tongue. Tylin never really sees him as a man; she sees a ta'veren. As much as I hate to give credit to Tuon, considering how much I loathe her character, she at least comes to see Mat for who he is.
418. Dominiquex
Another late reader to the post... I'm just getting through my first read of the books, but since I've always been a fairly spoiler-friendly person (and I read the wikipedia articles on all books some tiem ago trying to avoid jumping into another unfinished epic fantasy series) I'm reading Leigh's commentary as I go.

And sadly the Mat-Tylin thing is just too much not to comment on. Even though it's been commented on ad-nauseum here alone. Granted, I knew it was coming (spoiled). But even so, I really can't see how it's played for "humor" as so many readers first encoutnered it. For me, it was a really disturbing depiction of female-male rape. And far from "brushing it off," it really seems to me that Mat is traumatized by the event. Evidence (forgive me, on an electronic reader, so no pages):
1. Why would she bring him...? His face was suddenly as crimson as the bedpost. No. She could no mean to.... It was not decent! It was not possible! "You can't do this to me," he mumbled at her, and if his voice was a touch breathy and shrill, he surely had cause.
I read as the really terrible realization by a young, cocky, ladiesman loveable rogue that he was about to be forced to have sex by a woman. His decency and acculturation from the Two Rivers at first didn't even let him contemplate that a woman would be interested in doing this to him. And it never occured to him that a woman could force a man to have sex. He reacts with painful disbelief, which he verbalizes.
2. Mat put a hand over his eyes and tried very hard not to weep. When he uncovered them, she was gone.
3. I would have bought you an earring, piglet, but I noticed your ear is nto pierced. Have it done, and buy yourself something nice. He nearly wept again.
Granted, I will admit that the only verbalized internal reactions Mat has to the event are general 'No, I chase women, I give them gifts, this isn't natural' kinds of remarks, but I don't really find that to indicate that he was unbothered by the encounter. Actually, I read it as a completely in-character reaction for a young man who doesn't know how to process that men can be raped by women. There is no indication that, as difficult as it is for his readers in a society where we at least acknowledge that these things can happen to agree that Mat was raped, a young guy from a peaceful, stiff-upper lip, chivalrous, proper little agrarian backwater is able to really process that he was just raped. So he defines it the terms his mind does know (the gender roles - chasing, gifts) and wants to break down in tears. Doesn't seem like brushing it off to me.
Shortly after, he does contemplate leaving the palace -
4. Light, what was he going to do? Move back to the inn? ... Only, he would not put it past Tylin to bribe Mistress Ana and Enid, or the innkeepers whereever he went. He would not put it past Nynaece and Elayne to claim he had broken some agreement and put an end to their promises.
So he does contemplate leaving, but feels trapped by Tylin's power and aggression in pursuing him, and by his desire and promise to protect N&E, which he feels he can only do if they obey their promises to let him know where they are and accept guards, etc. He's stuck in the house of his abuser and has just realized she took the key to his room so he can't even lock it anymore (even though she proved that she could get around the lock).
5. A strange world, it was turning out to be. One woman he was beginning to think of as a drinking companion, and another after him as intently as he had ever pursued any pretty woman, in those old memories or his own. More intently; he had never chased any woman who let him know she did not want to be chased.
So as much as a ladies' man as Mat is, in none of his memories has he ever probably sexually harassed a woman, much less assualted one. But his lack of interest in Tylin's "chase" is still in his conscious mind, with the implication that (not that he would use the same words) she has crossed that line to harassing and assualting him.
Granted, I haven't gotten further than this in my read, so I can't say how much other commenters' assertations that he and other characters brush off the encounter are substantiated. But it clearly seems to be an unwanted, forced, disturbing sexual encounter for a young man who doesn't really know how to process it. It's not as though he was being kinky and thought/said 'ooh, a knife, that'll be interesting.' He had reason to believe himself in danger, he did not want the attention, had spent days literally hiding from his pursuer and giving up food to avoid her, and I believe the evidence shows he was traumatized afterwards. I'm not writing off that the whole episode could be read as humorous, since so many readers have found it so on their first pass at least, but I as a first-time reader haven't been able to find it. Nor do I really see that RJ failed to include information about the darkness and wrongness of the encounter - I mean, he didn't handle it perfectly, but I imagine many men of his culture would have a difficult time doing so.
419. JustSheley
Forgive me, I'm new to the Re-read, and don't want to go through all 400 previous posts to see if someone else has already mentioned this. Please bear me. (Thanks, she says with a sheepish grin.) Despite having read the series several times, I only just realized that Reanne's thought about having the Eldest lead the Kin strongly implies that 350 yrs or so ago, the Tower hierarchy was not based on strength in the One Power. Which might also explain why the Wise Ones also base their system on attributes other than OP strength, allowing that their ancestors might have passed that down from Age of Legends. I'd love to learn more about the the long-term effect on the hierarchy of the Tower. And while I know there won't be "time" in the final book, I would love for a Brown to sit Rand down and make a study of his newly integrated memories (to learn the use of some +angreal, for instance).
420. Freelancer
JustSheley @419

Keep in mind that none of the Kin ever attained the shawl. It is only upon being raised to Aes Sedai (reference Moiraine in New Spring) that they learn about the heirarchy being based upon channeling strength. Novices and Accepted are kept in the dark on that point, so the Kin has fashioned its own heirarchy, especially since the reason many of them were dismissed by the Tower, if not because they ran away, was for lack of potential.

On your other point, it would be quite possible for the various objects of Power which have been accumulated by the different groups to be quickly brought to the Field of Merrilor for Rand Sedai to identify. I've been wishing for the use of many of these things to finally come down off the mantle and be fired. Let's hope.
nir first
421. Galorian
I belatedly realized that there was still commentor activity in the old re-read posts, so this is a copy of what I wrote in a comment on Leigh Butler's Profile page:

I agree with the with the general sentiment regarding Mat's treatment by Tylin- I had thought it was rape the first time reading it but it didn't quite set in until my second read through. After my 5th read through (Yes, you read that correctly) and on further consideration (brought upon by your re-read) I'm even beginning to think Mat might have developed a kind of a Stockholm syndrome during the Tylin story arc (though it might be a bit of a stretch). However, I do not agree with the notion that RJ didn't realize that's exactly what he was writing.

For another author it would've been fairly plausible, but RJ puts FAR too much consideration to just about every aspect of his work to miss or even underplay the ramifications of this story element. I believe that RJ was deliberately making a point here, and in typical RJ style he gave us readers an "out" by camouflaging it with humor- the average reader who's not looking for anything more than a good read could miss it entirely or at the least be able to gloss it over thanks to Mat's, for lack of a better term, sporting response to the situation, but a more serious consideration reveals just how plain wrong this situation really is.

RJ's main point here is to show through his standard issue gender reversal schtick (TM) how skewed our society's perception is on this matter really is- if the genders were reversed this would've been one of the most horrifying occurrences in the entire series, possibly equaling or even eclipsing Morgase's rape at the hands of Valda or even her physical rape by Rhavin- Rhavin was a monster and viewed as such by the world at large, and Valda, while not quite on the same scale, was also largely reviled and his actions vilified and both eventually faced vengeance. Tylin on the other hand was largely viewed by most characters as a good person and suffered no negative interpersonal ramifications for the deed let alone justice or vengeance nor did she have any real motivation for her deed beyond her sexual drive (both Valda and Rhavin had ulterior political motives for forcing themselves on Morgase, Tylin had none and could very well be viewed has acting against her political position by threatening her relations with both Andor via offending Elayne and the Dragon Reborn by raping his close friend who is also one of his top generals and publicly slated to take command of the largest army assembled since Arthur Hawkwing's time). I also think it's no coincidence that this chapter follows so closely after Morgase's rape by Valda (separated by but a single chapter). This is further driven home quite a few character responses- Mat's own words that he would never try to force his attention on an unwilling woman and the supergirl's reaction to finding out being to most glaring examples. The latter particularly strikes me as a rather strong criticism of society on the matter, not the least bit because of how true it rings- When Elayne believed he was the one forcing his attention on Tylin she was outraged and disgusted with him and even went as far as to rescind her promises to him (which, considering Elayne's character and the weight she puts on being true to her word is no small thing), but once he explains what really happened (including at least some of the abuse he's suffered in the process, if not the knifepoint thing) and even though he's obviously extremely uncomfortable with the whole situation Elayne's response was to practically laugh at him, make a rather tasteless joke and then turn to the other women where they proceeded to talk about his having DESERVED IT. Now I don't know about you, but to me this sounds like a rather harsh criticism of society's double standards on these matters.


moving on to another point from earlier in the re-read, I remember you having mentioned you are somewhat unsure of why the maidens of the spear attach such a heavy emotional significance to Rand. This has got me thinking on the matter which in turn led me to realize just how deeply and thoroughly thought out RJ's writing is- Just think for a moment about the Aiel's sciety and their costumes regarding the Maidens in particular.

Any maiden who comes with child is faced with a terrible choice- either give up her baby (just about the most terrible thing you can demand of a mother) or abandon her entire life as she knows it. Those that give up the spear are gone from the maiden's roof, quite possibly avoiding the maidens henceforth to put the pain of that choice behind her, while those that give up their baby HAVE GIVEN UP THEIR BABY. They don't even get the comfort of knowing he's well in another's care since the Wise Ones handle the adoption in secret, and in a society as warlike as the Aiel that means the children of the maidens are swallowed up in a veritable ocean of orphans which means it'll be impossible to discover their identities (even the adopting parents aren't told they're adopting the child of a maiden).

Given how sexually liberated Aiel society is (not to mention the Maiden's own reputation in the matter) this probably isn't a rare occurrence either.

Now just imagine how it must be for those maidens that haven't suffered though that particular nightmarish choice- over the course of the years they must've lost friends to this choice, women who couldn't bear to abandon their child and thus left the maidens forever, and even more painful, they must've known friends who chose the other way and gave up their child to stay with their spear sisters. A lifetime of hearing your friends cry themselves to sleep over a lost child is no easy thing to bear.

Then Rand came along- the first child of a maiden to be known as such in the whole of Aiel history. Should it be any surprise that so many of the maidens project onto him the image of the child they've had taken away or feared to have, or the brother they never knew?

Breaks my heart just to think about it...

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