Apr 6 2010 2:12pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 20

Hark! Before you lies the entrance to the Wheel of Time Re-read. Abandon all free time, ye who enter here.

Today’s entry covers Chapters 33 and 34 of A Crown of Swords, in which we study the negative effects of emo upon personal hygiene, and the positive effects of being a walking plot device on haggling. Whee!

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

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

And now, the post!

Chapter 33: A Bath

What Happens
For days after Perrin’s departure, Rand holes himself up in his rooms, telling the Maidens to allow no one to enter, and ignoring their disapproval. He tries to distract himself with books, but can’t concentrate. At least once a day, he checks the hiding place behind the wardrobe, where he has hidden the two access key ter’angreal.

His hand would stretch toward the bearded man, the only one of the pair a man could use, stretch out and stop, shaking. One finger touching, and more of the One Power than he could imagine could be his. With that, no one could defeat him, no one stand against him. With that, Lanfear had said once, he could challenge the Creator.

“It is mine by right,” he muttered each time, with his hand trembling just short of the figure. “Mine! I am the Dragon Reborn!”

And each time he made himself draw back, reweaving the Mask of Mirrors, reweaving the invisible traps that would burn anyone to a cinder who tried to pass them without the key. The huge wardrobe wafted back into place like a feather. He was the Dragon Reborn. But was that enough? It would have to be.

He rages, silently and aloud, against those who oppose him, but knows that he is just avoiding thinking of something else. He tries to sleep, but his dreams are filled with nightmares: of Colavaere, and all the other women who have died because of him, of killing Perrin instead of just throwing him, of being locked inside the chest again, of attacking the White Tower with the Asha’man and seeing everyone, even Egwene and Nynaeve and Elayne, arrayed against him, of Cadsuane talking about madmen hearing voices. He screams, awake and asleep, for Lews Therin to talk to him, but there is no answer. On the fourth day, he wakes and goes into the anteroom to find Min there, reading a book. She says brightly that there is a feast in a few days, and wants to know if he will dance with her. Rand stammers something, and Min tells him he looks like “what the dogs fought over,” and now she understands why Alanna was so frantic, if not how she knew. She adds that she had to do a little begging to get in here, and he owes her.

Rand flinched. Images of himself flashed in his head; him tearing at her clothes, forcing himself on her like a mindless beast. He owed her more than he could ever pay. […] “Min, there’s no excuse for what I did. If there was any justice I’d go to the gallows. If I could, I’d put the rope around my neck myself. On oath, I would.”

Slowly, she asks what he’s talking about, and he answers, what he did to her, and that he never imagined he was such a monster; the only excuse he has is madness, and that Cadsuane was right, he had heard voices. Min stares at him a moment.

“So that’s why you’ve been keeping me away,” she said finally. “You listen to me, you wooden-headed numbskull. I was ready to cry myself to dust because I’d seen one death too many, and you, you were about to do the same for the same reason. What we did, my innocent lamb, was comfort one another. Friends comfort one another at times like that. Close your mouth, you Two Rivers hay-hair.”

Rand splutters, and Min angrily wants to know if he thinks she’s incapable of letting him know if she didn’t want to be touched; she recalls ripping his clothes off, not the other way around.

“I did with you what I’ve never done with any man—and don’t you think I was never tempted!—and you say it was all you! As if I wasn’t even there!”

She shoves him into a chair and threatens to thump him till he “squeals for mercy” if he tries to say different, and informs him he needs a bath. Rand envies Perrin’s “serene” marriage for a moment, and tells Min in any case there’s only one thing he can do: send her away. Anyone close to him is in danger, from the Forsaken, but also from Rand himself. He tells her he nearly killed Perrin, and Cadsuane was right, that he is going mad. Min wants to know who this Cadsuane everyone is freaking out over might be, but then decides she doesn’t care, and dismisses out of hand the notion that Perrin was ever in any danger from Rand; she also doesn’t think Rand can be all that crazy, if he’s worrying about it so much.

She bent until those very big, very dark eyes were level with his, not a great distance away, and suddenly there was such a light glaring in them that he seized saidin, ready to defend himself. “Send me away to be safe?” she growled. “How dare you? What right do you think you have to send me anywhere? You need me, Rand al’Thor! If I told you half the viewings I’ve had about you, half your hair would curl and the rest fall out! You dare! You let the Maidens face any risk they want, and you want to send me away like a child?”

“I don’t love the Maidens.” Floating deep in the emotionless Void, he heard those words spring from his tongue, and shock shattered the emptiness and sent saidin flying.

“Well,” Min said, straightening. A small smile added more curve to her lips. “That’s out of the way.” And she sat down on his lap.

Harshly, Rand adds that he also loves Elayne, and Aviendha, too, but Min is unfazed, and points out that Rhuarc and Bael both love more than one woman, and she hasn’t noticed Trolloc horns on either. She continues that she loves him, and will not go away; reluctantly, she adds that Elayne and Aviendha both love him too. Incredulously, Rand demands to know how she can know that, and wants to know what viewings she is talking about.

“You dare take that tone? Like you don’t believe it?” Suddenly her voice began to rise by the word, and she augured a finger against his chest as though she meant to drive it through him. “Do you think I’d go to bed with a man I did not love? Do you? Or maybe you think you aren’t worth loving? Is that it?” She made a sound like a stepped-on cat. “So I’m some little bit of fluff without a brain in her head, falling in love with a worthless lout, am I? You sit there gaping like a sick ox and slander my wits, my taste, my—”

“If you don’t quiet down and talk sense,” he growled, “I swear, I’ll smack your bottom!” That leaped out of nowhere, out of sleepless nights and confusion, but before he could begin to form an apology, she smiled. The woman smiled!

She congratulates him on not sulking anymore, and reiterates that she will not go; Rand wonders aloud how she makes his troubles shrink even while discombobulating him. Min asks if there’s any chance “this Aviendha” is bony and scarred, like Nandera, and Rand laughs.

Light, how long since he had laughed with pleasure? “Min, I’d say she is as pretty as you, but how can you compare two sunrises?”

For a moment she stared at him with a small smile, as if she could not decide whether to be surprised or delighted. “You are a very dangerous man, Rand al’Thor,” she murmured, leaning toward him slowly. He thought he might fall into her eyes and be lost.

He puts her away from him, though, and asks again about the viewings. Min grumbles, and tells him Berelain left her a letter asking Min to make sure Rand doesn’t neglect the Sea Folk, which he has been doing, as Berelain thinks he is the fulfillment of some prophecy of theirs. Rand thinks that he had wanted to leave the Sea Folk out of it if possible, and then realizes that Min had won; he couldn’t send her away. He tells her, fine, he’ll go see the Sea Folk that day, and they can “kneel to the Dragon Reborn in all his splendor”; he supposes it has to be, that either they are his, or his enemy. He asks again about the viewings; Min hesitates, and then tells him she was exaggerating, there was only one she hadn’t told him:

“I saw you and another man. I couldn’t make out either face, but I knew one was you. You touched, and seemed to merge into one another, and... ” Her mouth tightened worriedly, and she went on in a very small voice. “I don’t know what it means, Rand, except that one of you dies, and one doesn’t. I—Why are you grinning? This isn’t a joke, Rand. I do not know which of you dies.”

He tells her she’s given him good news, and thinks to himself triumphantly that this must mean Lews Therin is real, and he wasn’t insane after all, or at least not too insane. Min tells him he’ll need a bath if they’re going to see the Sea Folk. The Maidens are delighted when informed, and lug in the tub and water themselves, and then insist on undressing and bathing Rand as well. He’s more or less used to this behavior from the Maidens, but not to Min watching the whole thing in fascination, and openly discussing his “beauty” with them while they’re washing him. Then she makes him get out of the tub and come to her for a towel, while all the Maidens watch gleefully.

He had never been so relieved to pull on clothes in his life.

By that time, all his orders had been carried out, and everything was in readiness. Rand al’Thor might have been routed in a bathtub, but the Dragon Reborn was going to the Sea Folk in a style that would send them plummeting to their knees with awe.

Yay, Rand and Min! *applause*

Other than the bit with Rand seizing saidin to “defend himself” (which is eye-rollingly over the top), this scene never fails to crack me up, featuring as it does some of the most inside-out and backwards logic ever to confuse a poor guy. But, you know, it does actually make a (hilarious) kind of sense, that Min would take Rand’s harsh self-criticism as an insult to her good taste.

Speaking of which, wow, self-flagellation much? I know everyone is their own worst critic, but there is such a thing as taking it too far. Of course, this would be a vastly different series if Rand wasn’t always ready to beat himself up at the slightest provocation, so there’s… that, I guess? I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say here.

Anyway! The Maidens and the bath was also very funny, albeit in an eyebrows-rasied, “ooookay” kind of way, maybe. You have to kind of wonder at Rand’s inconsistency here: he completely freaks out over having non-married sex with Min, yet is just kind of resigned to an entire horde of women undressing and washing him. I mean, really? That doesn’t seem sort of backwards to anyone else?

Though okay, I’m being at least a little disingenuous here, because I do get why making love to Min was such a big deal to Rand – and it wasn’t because of what the Women’s Circle would think of it. Nor do I think it was because Rand really believed he had forced Min; maybe he had a little bit of genuine delusion on that score, but I tend to think that was just camouflage for the real issue.

Which is, coming to terms with being in love with more than one person. When your entire culture and upbringing tell you very firmly that this makes you a Bad Person, having to recognize this about yourself is probably even less fun than I imagine it to be.

There’s a whole discussion to be had here concerning the ramifications and moral quandaries presented by polyamory vs. monogamy that I don’t know I really have the emotional fortitude to get into at the moment. I’ll simply state that for me personally, I don’t have a problem with polyamory from a purely moral/ethical standpoint – I figure, as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult, who am I to judge? – but I do acknowledge that from a larger societal outlook, it presents… issues (legal and logistical ones, if nothing else), and there are some fairly unpleasant historical consequences of the practice that do not thrill me, either. Let’s just say, harems are not exactly a phenomenon that shouts Yay feminism in my mind. Still, modern polyamory is quite a lot more egalitarian in this regard, at least in theory, so there’s that.

All that being said, however, this does not seem to be the case in WOT. Even though there are societies in Randland, like the Aiel, which allow for non-monogamous setups (as Min points out to Rand in this chapter, in fact), I continue to be vaguely bothered that they are all still of the one-man-multiple-women variety, as far as I am aware. If it were portrayed as being even occasionally the other way around I would be happy to shut up about it, but I can’t think of any, myself. If anyone can point out an example that proves me wrong I would be most grateful.

This is leaving aside, of course, the whole Rand-specific issue of whether you’re off the hook ethically when your polyamory is apparently mandated by prophecy. Heh.

Lews Therin: well, you guys already know what I think about what Min’s viewing means; at this point I don’t see much reason to rehash it. But feel free to go to town on it yourselves, of course.

Chapter 34: Ta’veren

What Happens
The huge cavalcade of armsmen, drummers, trumpeters, Maidens, and other Aiel are assembled in the Sun Palace courtyard as Rand had ordered, along with Dashiva, Flinn, and Narishma. People cheer Rand from the balconies when he appears. Merana, Rafela (Blue), Bera, Faeldrin (both Green), and Alanna come to meet him, and Rand demands to know where Kiruna and Verin are. Bera curtsies, to Rand’s surprise, and answers that Verin is off questioning the… prisoners (Bera stumbles over the term), and Kiruna is “consulting” with Sorilea over “a matter of protocol.” Rand doesn’t know what that means, but dismisses it. He notes that Alanna and Min are off talking about something that’s making Min blush, and also that Alanna’s presence in his head seems calmer than he ever remembers her being. He also sees that the Aes Sedai have arranged themselves with Bera in the lead, and tells them from now on Merana will speak for them. He doesn’t understand why this shocks all of them, even Merana; she had been the ambassador for their original party, after all. Rand and Min mount up and the procession heads out to a thundering roar from the crowd gathered in the streets to watch.

Now and then a few flowers were hurled at him. Maybe they did not hate him. Maybe they only feared. It had to do.

“A train worthy of any king,” Merana said loudly, to be heard.

“Then it’s enough for the Dragon Reborn,” he replied sharply. “Will you stay back? And you, too, Min.” Other rooftops had held assassins. The arrow or crossbow bolt meant for him would not find its target in a woman today.

Min and Merana brief him as they ride on the Sea Folk and the Jendai Prophecy, and Rand notes that the Aes Sedai are obeying his orders not to embrace saidar, and then reflects it would be a fine irony if that order got them killed by assassins. Merana doesn’t think his laughter is appropriate for the occasion, but Min laughs with him. They reach the docks, where the captain of the longboat who is to carry him out to the Sea Folk ship (Elver Shaene) bows and scrapes and murmurs about the honor he’s being given; Rand thinks the man would clearly rather have had his ship “brim full of live vipers.” Rand, Min, the Aes Sedai, the Asha’man, and forty Aiel board the boat, and they head out to the White Spray. On the way, he gives out his orders, which do not make the Aiel happy, but the Aes Sedai again surprise him by accepting without a quibble, and he wonders if he can actually begin to trust them.

“They will keep their word,” Min murmured abruptly, just as if she had read his thoughts. With an arm wrapped around his and both hands holding his sleeve, she kept her voice for his ears alone. “I just saw these five in your hand,” she added in case he did not understand. He was not sure he could fix his mind around that, even if she had seen it in a viewing.

They reach the Sea Folk ship, and Rand makes a bridge of Air and Fire from his boat to the other, and walks across with Min on his arm. He is momentarily shocked by the Sea Folk’s appearance, but then announces himself:

“I am the Dragon Reborn. I am the Coramoor.”

The woman with the most jewelry introduces herself as Harine din Togara Two Winds, Wavemistress to Clan Shodein, and says that she speaks for the Mistress of the Ships, and invites the Coramoor aboard, then starts in surprise for some reason. Wishing he had not waited for permission, Rand steps aboard, and the Asha’man and Aes Sedai soon join him; at the sight of the Aes Sedai, the four Sea Folk women go into a huddle to confer. In the meantime, Merana whispers to Rand that the Sea Folk are great bargainers, but she thinks Harine gave away something when she called Rand the Coramoor. The Sea Folk break, and the other three women introduce themselves. Harine invites Rand below to discuss matters, but Merana again whispers that the two Windfinders can channel, and he should not go alone lest they feel they’ve gained the upper hand. Rand tells Harine he’s happy to go below with her, but Min, Dashiva, Merana and Rafela go with him. Harine doesn’t look pleased, but agrees, and they go below. Rand quickly discovers the cabin is too small for him to stand upright, and begins to have flashbacks to being locked in the chest, which makes him edgy; as soon as they sit, he gets to the point, saying that all the aspects of their prophecy have come to pass, he is the Coramoor. Harine demurs.

“What is it that you don’t believe, Wavemistress? That Aes Sedai serve me? Rafela, Merana.” He gestured sharply.

All he wanted was for them to come to him and be seen to come, but they set down their cups and rose gracefully, glided to either side of him—and knelt. Each took one of his hands in both of hers and pressed her lips to the back of it, right on the shining golden-maned head of the Dragon that wound around his forearm. He just managed to conceal his shock, not taking his eyes from Harine. Her face went a little gray.

Harine recovers, and says there is the matter of the Bargain; the Jendai Prophecy says Rand will bring the Sea Folk glory, but if she does not make the Bargain well, she will be “hung naked in the rigging by [her] ankles” and replaced as Wavemistress. As she speaks, a look of horror comes over her face, and the other Sea Folk try their best not to gawk.

And suddenly, Rand understood. Ta’veren. He had seen the effects, the sudden moments when the least likely thing happened because he was near, but he had never known what was going on before until it was finished. Easing his legs as best he could, he leaned his arms on the table. “The Atha’an Miere will serve me, Harine. That is given.”

“Yes, we will serve you, but—” Harine half-reared out her chair, spilling her tea. “What are you doing to me, Aes Sedai?” she cried, trembling. “This is not fair bargaining!”

Merana replies calmly that they do nothing; Rafela reminds her that she is in the presence of the Dragon Reborn, and inquires blandly if Harine’s word is binding on all the Sea Folk. Harine confirms it hoarsely, and Min tells her that she will be punished for what happens here today, but not as bad as she might be; one day she will be Mistress of the Ships. Rafela asks Min if she is the girl she heard of who can “see things,” and Min nods reluctantly; Rafela remarks to Harine that from what she’s heard, what Min sees always come true, and therefore must mean that Harine will agree to what the Coramoor wants. Rand tells her he doesn’t require anything “onerous”: he wants the Sea Folk to provide transportation when he needs it for men and supplies, and to keep him informed of happenings in other lands. In particular, he wants them to keep watch for a people called the Seanchan who may be coming across the Aryth Ocean some day, and warn him when they come. Harine replies bitterly that he asks for more than he knows; no ship that has sailed west has returned from there in months. Rand feels a chill, wondering if the Seanchan could really be returning this quickly after the trouncing they received at Falme, and suddenly cannot bear being inside the small cabin any longer. He breaks his chair when he cannot get it to unlatch quickly enough, and tells Harine that Merana and Rafela will finish the Bargain in his stead. Merana tries to convince him to stay, pointing out what an effect he’s already had, but Rand brushes her off roughly and goes above, finding relief in the open air. Min joins him, and he apologizes for leaving her behind; she laughs and tells him she thinks Merana and Rafela will do well.

Rand nodded. The Sea Folk were his, or as good as. What matter whether the Horn of Valere was in the White Tower? He was ta’veren. He was the Dragon Reborn, and the Coramoor. The golden sun still burned well short of its noon peak. “The day is young yet, Min.” He could do anything. “Would you like to see me settle the rebels? A thousand crowns to a kiss, they’re mine before sunset.”

This is simultaneously a very cool and extremely frustrating chapter.

Very cool, in that watching Rand’s ta’veren-ness go full bore in his favor for once is very gratifying, at least in the short term; not to mention the pleasure of watching everyone (well, mostly everyone) on Rand’s side work together for a change. But extremely frustrating, in that we have to watch Rand’s psychological problems derail that advantage.

Not that I am blaming him in the slightest for having PTSD claustrophobia issues after his adventures with The Box – it would far more upsetting if Jordan hadn’t had Rand react in a realistic way to the trauma he’s been through. But that doesn’t change what happens as a result, and even the first time I read this I knew it was going nowhere good.

And that’s leaving aside his whole attack of How You Like Me Now Ta’veren Pride. Cause we all know what goeth before a fall, don’t we? Why, yes, yes we do. Too bad someone didn’t get the memo to Mr. Dragon Reborn. Blargh.

Harine: Also blargh. Not so much for what she does at this point, but oh, the annoying on the horizon. It would help if the Sea Folk do anything else besides be annoying for the next five books, but nooooo!

Grumble, grump, etc. (This is the other reason this chapter is frustrating, but only in retrospect; at the time, I thought making the bargain with the Sea Folk was actually getting us somewhere. Silly me!)

Aes Sedai: Now New And Improved! It is frickin’ astonishing, the difference it makes once the Aes Sedai (well, these particular Aes Sedai, anyway) stop working against Rand and start working with him. Or maybe “for him,” considering the nature of their relationship, but either way the contrast is like night and day. As Vandene pointed out to Elayne, one admirable thing about Aes Sedai is, once they’ve decided to do (or be) a thing, they commit to it, by George.

Of course, the kneeling and kissing the hands thing was a little much (or a lot much), but fortunately for my opinion of him, Rand completely agrees on that count. I was amused at his reaction even as I was mildly appalled at the excessive subservience thing.

Though apparently the Pattern doesn’t think it’s too outré at all. WTF, Pattern? I thought we were buds!

And heh – so very convenient that Verin happened to not be there for Min’s viewing, eh? On the other hand, I actually have no idea what happens to Kiruna in the long run (was she even in TGS? I can’t remember), but I don’t think anything comes of the fact that she wasn’t there either. Of course, as of this post we still have two books to go, so…

Alanna: It is one of my disposable WOT wishes (“disposable” in that I would like to see it happen but I won’t cry me a river if it doesn’t, because ultimately the story has larger fish to fry) that we get a POV from Alanna at some point, because I would really like to know what her Deal is. Her reactions and motivations as a character are some of the most obscure of all the WOT cast, in my opinion.

Like for instance, I would have predicted from her previous possessive behavior (however unjustified, but that’s a different rant) that she would go up in flames when Rand and Min slept together, but clearly, that is not the case. And I suppose one can reason she’s just thrilled that the sexing made Rand less of a giant ball of stress (well, until he started stressing about the sexing, anyway, sheesh, but then Min calmed him down again, so), but I would really like to hear firsthand what her logic is. Because I gotta say, thus far I can’t really detect any. Logic, I mean. Maybe that’s the point?

And… that’s all I got on this one. Join me Friday, when things go straight to hell for Rand. Whoo?

Richard Fife
1. R.Fife
It has been mentioned before, I'll mention it again: the Green Ajah in general. Yeah, it isn't marriage, but have we ever heard of a married warder outside of Lan and Rand? And what closer bond could a man and woman have besides the bond? It is one woman, many men, and at least in the Myrelle example, and possibly in others, it is intimate beyond the natural bond sharing.

As to psychosis of Rand, I have always been torn on if Jordan took the "Passion of the Dragon" a little far. I mean, seriously, how many psychological and physical problems does a guy need to beat him onto the "right" path. I know that an author should not be afraid of punishing their characters into doing the right thing, but Rand is a singularly exceptional, I think, in the sheer amount of crap he has to deal with. Perhaps it is because not all of his punishment is forward moving, meaning that a good amount kicks him off his straight and narrow path to salvation (Semirhage anyone?).

So yeah, when got the never-healing wound in book two, I was like "cool, not afraid to mangle up his hero". When he got the second wound, the box-psychosis, the voices, the List, and the missing hand, I was starting to think "a wee bit much." When he went off the deep end of the slide-rule of moral compassion and starting balefiring castles... yeah. That is a trope that I cannot find but needs to be there: Awful Moment of Awesome. When a character has a Crowning Moment of Awesome that either plays into a Xanatos Gambit, or actually is a hidden Dethroning Moment of Suck.

I mean, what would you call it when the hero is being a badass, but at the same time is making everything go horribly, horribly wrong? I guess maybe this: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NiceJobBreakingItHero
3. Kadere
Kiruna disappears after WH and we never hear from her, or about her, again.
4. peachy
@1 - Yeah, no discussion of potential polyandry can skip past the Green; frankly, to this point, that has been the Ajah's most distinctive feature.
Captain Hammer
5. Randalator
re: male harems

We have all heard about Myrelles fluffy entourage of warders and all the supposed marrying and not very much at all supposed but all the more real sex having that is going on there.

So, yay equality!
Ron Garrison
6. Man-0-Manetheran
"the Dragon Reborn was going to the Sea Folk in a style that would send them plummeting to their knees with awe."

Yeah, right.
Hugh Arai
7. HArai
R.Fife@1: Really, after the initial "You are the Dragon Reborn" everything else is relatively trivial. I mean, if you're a person like Rand who strongly believes in doing your duty, what can be worse than "You got picked as the person responsible for the fate of all existence"? It's no wonder even something like losing a hand barely registers anymore...
Richard Fife
8. R.Fife
@7 HArai To Rand's credit, he had to learn to be an anti-hero to some point. He was trying to be the Dragon Reborn that everyone would love, and he had some hard lessons in reality to learn.

I recall hearing somewhere, and I can't remember where, that Jordan's initial concept for this story was along the lines of "What would it be like to be told: the salvation of mankind rests on your shoulders, it is not a guarantee, and by the way, the only way for you to win is to die. Have fun with that."
J Lip
9. Cadsuwallop
"He tells her she’s given him good news, and thinks to himself triumphantly that this must mean Lews Therin is real, and he wasn’t insane after all, or at least not too insane."

Up until this point in the story, I bought into the theory that LTT and Rand were two entities in one body. For it to be written so plainly that Rand believes it to be so made me think that there is no way it's gonna happen that way!
Lannis .
10. Lannis
Yes, a POV from Alanna would be enlightening, to say the least. She's um, a little bizarre, yes. Though I know a few people IRL who are a bit on the odd side when it comes to figuring out their motivations... if there are any... :|

Thanks for the post, Leigh! Love the twice a week goodness! :)
Andrew Belmont
11. rosetintdworld
Thanks, Leigh. Good post, although I don't particularly love these chapters. Rand's plot in CoS always felt very much like checking boxes to me. The hero disappears for such long stretches, so Jordan tries to see what miscellaneous danglers he can knock down in his few, scattered chapters. (Min romance, check. Sea Folk, check. Random rebels, check. Sammael, check.)

On the Lews Therin thing: I can't remember what Leigh thinks about the viewing, so sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here, but isn't this definitely a Moridin viewing, and Rand's LTT explanation just a hubristic logic fail? I mean, two merging into one, one dies and one lives, yeah?
Kev Hamm
12. cavynmaicl
There’s a whole discussion to be had here concerning the ramifications and moral quandaries presented by polyamory…

I'm sorry, I cannot stress this enough, POLYAMORY IS WRONG!!

It's either MULTIAMORY or POLYPHILIA because mixing your Greek and Latin roots is just flat out absolutely wrong! HA!

As for the act, meh, couldn't really care less. It works in Randland because women have the one power, which gives the sex a power advantage over the fact that, the average man is bigger and stronger than the average women. With the unknown of "could she white-bar my behind to shiney sparkly?" men had to learn to be more polite, although in some cases they took that a bit too far.

For modern reality, tho, the problem isn't that people can't love more than one person, it's that poly relationships tend to be the byproduct of coercion and paternal manipulation, rather than a sharing amongst equals. We outlaw it because it's been a historical tool of human trafficking, and the slope that allows poly is impossible to keep free of the fall that creates human trafficking.

Oh, happy thoughts!
13. SethN
Yeah, I really want a PoV of Alanna as well. I don't really know that her losing her warder accounts for her odd behavior. I've always felt that we were going to get something from her. She's kind of been a Person of Interest ever since Egwene's testing for Accepted. I don't know if it was just that she was used to highlight how any of the Aes Sedai could be Black Ajah and they never knew for sure and then was just recycled with Verin or... what really, but I'd kind of like to know.

Also, honestly, the whole exchange with Min and Rand over their doing the dirty always just made me roll my eyes. I've never really liked Min and Rand doesn't do much for me either and his apologies for being a "monster" coupled with her feeling insulted just really are kind of nauseatingly cutesy for me.

I've always liked Merana too, and love how she and every other of the Aes Sedai were so shocked when she was put in charge. She's one of the select group of Cool Aes Sedai, I think. Also, I love in Path of Daggers when Rand's ta'veren-ness make her yell at him for blaming her for something that was his fault. The Aes Sedai needed to be taken down a few pegs, but he was getting to the point where so did he, with them.
Sean Banawnie
14. Seanie
Thanx for the twofers here, Leigh!
And I agree with the polywardery point here too...
their most distinctive feature along with sucking at their purpose(Battle?).....and I thought it a relief to be rid of Kiruna....don't look a gift plotline in the mouth.
Dan Herbert
15. Ordeith
First of all, thanks Leigh for the post, and going back to twice a week WOT fixes for us junkies!

The problem with most of our opinions of polygamous relationships is based on a history of religious or cultural beliefs forcing woman into a polyamorious relationship with little or no say. Whenever either gender loses control over the direction of their own destiny it is depriving them of their basic right of free will. That being said arranged marriages are just as bad and go on yet today, and I do not agree with some guy being "assigned" additional wives because of his status in a religious organization or to gain entrance to an afterlife.

The difference with WOT is that any of the poly relationships are all with everyone's consent, and in the case of the Aiel the woman have more say than the men in the arrangement. This is what makes it work in the book and in a real life healthy poly relationships, where it just happens to be more than 2 people that are in love and want to be together regardless of logistic or morality law challenges.

I am in a poly relationship, so I speaking from experience not from theory, and for all the additional challenges it can work if all involved or open minded and honest. For those that are jealous or more reserved, it is not a recommended lifestyle choice.
Marcus W
16. toryx
One of the things that strikes me about Rand in Chapter 33 is how much he has the "nice guy" syndrome. I'm not going to go into it here because most of you probably are well aware of just what the "nice guy" syndrome is, and if you don't...well, I'm too lazy to explain it. I'm not particularly versed in the whole "emo" thing that people are always talking about, so for all I know it's really just that.

At any rate, at the time that I was first reading WoT I was a victim of that same sort of thinking. By the time CoS was published, I'd finally shaken it off but I have to admit that the previous books probably had a lot to do with my realization of what a dork I was being. Especially the constant "Mat/ Perrin/ Rand always knows how to deal with girls," bit. So I guess I kind of owe RJ for that.

It's scenes like this one and the previous chapter where Min and Rand finally got it on that makes me love Min the best out of Rand's loves. I just really admire the way she treats him; open and honest and with genuine acceptance for who and what he is.

I'm not going to talk about the polyamorous issues for the moment. Maybe later.

I have a great deal of sympathy for Rand and his claustrophobia in Chapter 34 but man! What a mess that left when he abandoned the Bargain. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it weren't for the resultant suffering we've had to experience on Rand's behalf that results. The Sea Folk as a whole are just too damned annoying for me to have to put up with as much as we have.

Ha. I wrote this before reading Leigh's commentary, only to realize that she said pretty much the same thing as I did. Great minds think alike!
Rikka Cordin
17. Rikka
man, I wish MY polyamory was mandated by prophecy... ;)
18. OwMasha
Regarding Alanna, and her deal:

She's from Arafel.
Borderlanders are crazy.

Seriously, I'm willing to bet that her reasoning all comes down to defending the world/general maintenance of the DR/a lot of other things that boil down to 'honour, blah blah..' I'd like to see a bit from her POV, I guess, but even more than that I'd like to see her do or mean something to the plot.

(Is there a trope for Chekhov's Spear-carrier or the like?)

Oh, and I've been looking into acquiring some manners lately, so lemme join the choir: Leigh, thanks for pushing on AND increasing the frequency of posts. (Re-increasing? But more than one re-read a week is new to me.) And congratulations on the new digs. May you settle in long and happy.
Dan Maus
19. UncleDan
I've always seen the Aes Sedai jealousy over their warders to be something like a CEO and personal assistant relationship. "I don't care who he sleeps with, but heaven help anyone else who tries to order him around."
Marcus W
20. toryx
Rikka @ 17:

*laugh* That'd make things easier sometimes, wouldn't it?
21. Speradigm
Myrelle has married all of her warders(save for Lan).
j p
22. sps49
C'mon, as of TGS the LTT bit is solved.

The Sea Folk aren't too bad here, and I thought Elayne (?) was clever in implementing the Bargain, but what is their motivation for being so obstructive and mean to everyone? Yeah, I don't like them.
23. Tailspinner
Leigh, I am so happy to have the posts back up to two a week. Thank you for giving me more things to do other than write my thesis.

The poly thing has always been interesting to me. I think that in Randland there is a similar trope to what female comediennes always make jokes about in our world. That no woman in her right mind would want two husbands because they are too much work.

I am surprised the spanking thing didn't get mentioned, I guess that horse has been sufficiently flogged.
Ron Garrison
24. Man-0-Manetheran
Tailspinner: "I am surprised the spanking thing didn't get mentioned, I guess that horse has been sufficiently flogged."

I, for one, am quite happy to not spank a dead horse.
Alice Arneson
25. Wetlandernw
Odd note on something Leigh didn't mention in the recap - when Rand makes his bridge from boat to boat, he notes in passing that women can make much longer bridges than men. So... there's that. For whatever.

Loved watching Harine wig out over all the stuff she gave away. I love it more on the rereads than I did the first time, because she proved herself to be such a pain sometimes.

cavynmaicl @12 - LOL! Good chain-yank.;) Also, good on the Latin/Greek roots. Thx.
Jeff Weston
26. JWezy
He is momentarily shocked by the Sea Folk’s appearance...

Any thoughts on why Rand is shocked? Is it something I don't recall from LTT's memories?
Tess Laird
27. thewindrose
JWezy - This is the first time Rand actually is in contact with the Sea Folk. So the whole ear/nose rings colorful clothing etc...

Kurt Lorey
28. Shimrod
Hmm. Green Ajah, like everybody else said.

I have always thought that it was Rand's tavereness that made him suddenly claustrophobic during the meeting with Harine. Something like the Pattern saying, OK the Sea Folk have given up the BIG thing (being the Cooramoor), now work for the rest.
Joseph Blaidd
29. SteelBlaidd
I've always had a lot of sympathy for Min's reaction(Slander my wits, my taste...), I feel much the same when my wife starts putting herself down.

I think the source of some of Rand's self-loathing is fear of the thought that Min will never want to come near him again.

A couple ofinteresting call backs to these chapters in tGS. First Min thinks to herself after Simerhage's attack that Rand was right about her not beingable to keep him, or herself, safe and that her presense became a weapon against him.

Also the good events here seams to mirror the moments in tGS when Rand activly threatens people with death by Ta'veren. In both casses he is fully accepting of his role as the Dragon Reborn but his Mood and Orientation(for lack of a better term) are coompleatly oposite.
Marcus W
30. toryx
cavynmaicl @ 12:

Pretty much all of the English language is wrong in some way. "Polyamory" is no exception to the general rule of tossing out the rules.

Tailspinner @ 23: That no woman in her right mind would want two husbands because they are too much work.

That's actually the reason I left poly myself. It's way too much work, regardless of the sex (um, male or female I mean). My sympathy for Rand has no boundaries.

I don't think we're ever going to see an Alanna perspective but it would be pretty interesting to see her thought processes. I still expect that she's going to die at some point.
Leigh Butler
31. leighdb
Re: Green Ajah in general and Myrelle in particular as examples of polyandry in WOT:

...Emhh. I'm not sure I accept it. For one thing, Myrelle has been pointed out in the text as being in violation of both law and custom in marrying all her Warders, which is hardly an argument for acceptance of the practice, either in Randland in general or among Aes Sedai.

Secondly, I've never really worked out how much of the Greens' reputation is real and how much is just salacious supposition, but I got the distinct impression from various places (I think TGS most recently) that sleeping with their Warders is actually not all that common even among Greens. And even if I'm wrong, there's nothing to say that a Green with more than one Warder would necessarily choose to have a physical relationship with more than one of them.
32. Alfvaen
cavynmaicl @ 12: If you throw out "polyamory" you have to throw out "homosexual" too. And probably many more. Just sayin'.

It occurs to me, with the Alanna thing, to wonder if she was possibly bonding Rand as a Warder simply as an attempt to give him the Warderly advantages of stamina etc. Because I'm sure that would help a lot. On the other hand, adding the disadvantage of vulnerability in case Alanna was killed may outweight that. (So if toryx@30 is correct and she does die, what will that do to Rand? Or is his other triple bond likely to shield him from those effects?)

Perhaps it was the fact that Alanna was spending so much time with Verin the Sekrit Black Ajah Compulsioneer? It may not have been Alanna's decision, but something that Verin snuck into her brain when it was vulnerable from mourning.
Tess Laird
33. thewindrose
How about the Seanchen Empress? Tuon has a different father than her sisters and brothers. I think there are several men involved. Of course, there isn't a lot of detail on this, so we don't know if it is one at a time? Does she marry these men, or are they her property?

But, aside from the Myrelle example(which is also hearsay), we do not have the reverse of 1 man numerous women.

I enjoyed these chapters. I always enjoy how this 'Bargain' starts out. Rand makes a statement and Harine is all 'this may be so, but' always gets a good chuckle on rereads:)
We get to see Rand stating out to have a good day, for once! After Min gets him straightened out, and he realizes he isn't a monster. His ta'vereness gets to him though, and so it must get pricked - by a tainted dagger -no less:(

Thomas Keith
34. insectoid
It's nice to have two posts a week again! Great post as always, Leigh.

Annnnnd... I can't think of much to say, except to point out that the Aes Sedais' subservience here (at least, the down-on-the-knees thing) could possibly have been caused by Rand's ta'veren-ness, if not just their dedication to him.

I might have more to say later; I'm a bit scatterbrained at the moment. ::tells voice in head to be quiet::

Rich Bennett
35. Neuralnet
"Rand envies Perrin’s “serene” marriage for a moment" - LOL... I cant help it, I always get a laugh out of those rand/perrin/mat comparisons

thanks for going back to two rereads a week leigh
Barry T
36. blindillusion
Free will abandoned...and twice a week...sweet....

Looking forward to Friday. Get some of that classic Cadsuane, (opps? still not saying that name??) "I'm going to brow-beat you into submission" Modus Op. Blah. Oh well, perhaps I'll just start to look at her as a scene chewer...maybe I can live with her then.

AND FAIN'S BACK!!! Mwahahahahahaha. Oh..wait.... Blah.

~ As you may have noticed...I got nothing about these two chapters. Here's to the start of Rand being mostly dead for the next 5 books...yay! =|
37. FellKnight
@22 sps49

I believe that RJ was drawing a parallel with many of the middle-eastern cultures and their loving of haggling. To them, the art of the haggle is paramount. They will actually be more satisfied by a deal if they get less money but haggle for hours rather than if you simply agree to pay the asked upon price at the start.

Diff'rent strokes and all that. I don't think that the Atha'an Miere were ever meant to be portrayed as a heartless people (as can be seen vividly by RJ's strong feelings about his portrayal of the mass suicide of the Amayar in Book 11).

Jason German
38. illian
I could swear there was a single line earlier on in the series when the Aiel marriage customs were first being discussed when someone mentioned a woman with two husbands. (That rule about first brothers or whatever the term was when two people adopt one another as kin and you have to marry both or neither; speaking of which they never mention a man and a woman adopting one another as first brother/sister, do they?)
Tricia Irish
39. Tektonica
Yeah Leigh! So nice to be back to two per week. *Bows*
Thank you!

Love Min. She is honest, open, brave true and loyal. One of the only characters that isn't at least a bit of a mystery to me. I love the way she gives it to Rand that he isn't the only person that was involved in the sexing! ie: It's not all about you!

And, the Atha'an Miere....argh. The torture begins. What is their plot point? Why? To irritate the Aes Sedai? To irritate Rand? To irritate us? OK, they have ships and reluctantly agree to move some grain, much later. Ug. They are a sea-anchor in the books.

Alanah is another cypher to me. I like the idea someone mentioned above that she might have been compelled subtly by Verin into bonding him in the first place, but not much has come of the bonding. She doesn't seem to have any control over him, Inflicts her weepiness on him, and hasn't done much of anything, really. ???

I keep searching through various Legends for some justification of Rand's three women. There has to be a reference. I know I mentioned the "Shiva erotica lover" thing in the Bhagavad Gita, but I think there must be something more specific. Anybody have any ideas? I mean really, if you put all three together you might just have the perfect woman; wise queen, fierce warrior, honest lover, but that doesn't seem to be the point. Where is it part of the prophecy?
Hugh Arai
40. HArai
leighdb@31: With respect to Greens marrying/sleeping with their Warders, I got the impression that played a significant part in Elayne and Egwene wanting to be Greens. The two of them seemed to think bonding their lovers as Warders would be most acceptable to the Greens,so I don't think it's rare behavior for the Green Ajah.

What I find interesting about the poly relationships in WoT is that they are all initiated by the women. Aiel women do the proposing, and of course the Aes Sedai initiates the bond.
41. Quantumeve
Great post, Leigh, and I am also very happy you're able to post twice weekly again!

I've always wondered what exactly Alana was saying to Min that made her blush. At first reading I assumed it was that she could tell they had sex because of the bond a la Myrelle and Lan, but Min doesn't find out until later (I forget which book) that Alana bonded Rand. So what would make her blush?
Hilde Sørensen
42. edlihs
About more the one wives vs. more then one husband. I believe Egwene was "afraid to ask" at one point.

Tektonica@39 I keep searching through various Legends for some justification of Rand's three women.

Maiden, mother, crone/wise women. Fates from both Greek and Norse (and Roman?) mythology. Spinners of treads of life.
Jennifer B
43. JennB
Chapter 33
I always thought Rand was such a dork to think he forced himself on Min. I like Leigh's interpetation that his real issue is being in love with more than one person. This makes more sense. Still, wallowing in self pity is never a good thing. This is where Min's big role of providing balance to Rand as he goes further and further over the edge really kicks into gear.

Oh and Min's logic makes perfect sense to me. What does that say about me?

As to the bath thing, I think it is cruel of the maidens when they know how uncomfortable it makes him, but that fits right into the Aiel sense of humor.

I vote that Moridin is the one that dies in Min's viewing, otherwise it would be a crappy ending to the series.

Chapter 34
I feel so bad for Rand and his trauma. :(

It is cool to finally have an obvious example of how a Ta'veren can change the outcome of a negotiation. All the stories about Hawkwing hint at it, but this is the first really good example.

The excessive subservience thing is IMO fained to manipulate the SF. Since I always thought it was an act, it never bothered me.

I think that Alanna was possessive at first, but then she realized she was in over her head. She can't handle Rand's pain and she can't control him. She will not mask the bond. She tries to give the bond away, but her offer is rejected. Min eases Rand's pain, which makes the bond easier for Alanna to bear.

They are definately not her property. Remember Egeanin's hangup on the idea of marrying property, even manumitted??? (sorry if I got that word wrong, the only time I've ever seen it is in reference to Doman).

Thanks Leigh for the re-read.
craig thrift
44. gagecreedlives

Yeah but I think Elayne/Egwene are just basing that on the stories not necessarily the truth. After all in WoT how often have we seen peoples assumptions actually be accurate?


I cant remember Egeanins flipout but could it be that the reason she flipped out was because the only person who it was acceptable to marry property was the Empress?

Alanna is possessive over Rand and wont pass the bond but that doesn’t mean she expects him to be a monk. Rand is what her third warder by now? She probably has some idea of what to expect with men and their needs/urges/emotions.
45. Lsana
Greens do seem to marry their warders more often than any other Ajah, but I don't seem to recall hearing about any other than Myrelle who did it with more than one. Most of the Greens I remember might have one warder who is a lover or husband; the rest are just warders.

Actually, the idea of Green sisters keeping a "harem" of warders is pretty creepy when you factor in the fact that the bond allows compulsion. Just sort of by the nature of who's involved, these can never be equal relationships. The same is true to a certain extent of all AS/warder relationships, but it just feels creepier in the poly-amorous version.

I don't really have a problem with the Aiel sister-wives concept, but I also feel that it is ridiculously idealized. I'm skeptical that something like that could work in a RL society.
Jennifer B
46. JennB
That is a possibility I had never considered. We know so little of the Seanchan, it may be true. I got the distict impression that marrying property was taboo because they were a lower caste though. I get the impression that even property in a highly respected position like the guys from the Tower of Ravens is considered almost less than human to a free Seanchan.

On a side note, throughout the WOT, I always thought it was interesting that RJ never used the words slave or slavery, even though slavery is a large part of Seanchan culture. It was something I had always noticed. I had always figured it was a conscious decision on his part. When I read TGS, I was very surprised to see the word used there. While not at all important, this was actually the biggest "Whoa, RJ didn't write that!" moment for me.
Alice Arneson
47. Wetlandernw
JennB - Technically, RJ does use the term "slavery" - once, in Lord of Chaos, from Moghedien to Nynaeve: "Slavery there is better than death here." (Referring to herself, attempting to get Nynaeve and Elayne to go to Caemlyn and take her along.) He also uses it in the glossary of every book from PoD on. That said, he clearly didn't write it as either a term or a concept familiar to Randlanders.
John Massey
54. subwoofer
@Leighmiester- you were serious about the two post a week thingy. I was gonna ask you to pull my other leg but this is a much appreciated and happy surprise. Yay!

So anyways, polyamory- there is a double standard going on there or something. I asked my wife if it is okay if I have a few more lovers- "No biggie", she said,"but I will have to kill you". So what is going on in the world where it is not okay to have more than one wife but it is perfectly fine to kill your husband. Honestly! I ask you.

Rand taking a bath. Hmmmmmmm. I saw that in a movie somewhere. Thought it was odd then, think it is odd now. At least he didn't have to pay for it though. The Maiden's comments about his blushing was cake too. We seem to have strayed from Egwene's whole naked-in-the-sweat-tents bit. This brings all that back in a hurry. Great he is clean, but maybe he should of just asked for a loofah and taken a rain-check on the rest.

Rand's ta'vereness. Well, as cool as it is too see the force in action, the burn about Rand's special pull is that it balances itself out. For all the good stuff he does, things hit the fan elsewhere. Like his shiny new knife wound later on in the day.

Just sayin'.

John Massey
56. subwoofer
Did I mention about the spam-bots!

Tor folks assemble! I can't post a good clip!

noble thayer
57. joetheman
On the whole Rand Min thing there was a site (wish i could remember the name) where she be a psychiatrist in training had it that what real freak-out Rand was that it was too adult i.e too Lewis Therin which plays into Rand's drive to keep Lewis Therin as a separate person in his mind
58. AndrewB
"Perhaps it was the fact that Alanna was spending so much time with Verin the Sekrit Black Ajah Compulsioneer? It may not have been Alanna's decision, but something that Verin snuck into her brain when it was vulnerable from mourning. " -- Alfvaen @32

Like Tektonica @39 said -- I think that is an interesting theory. I would not mind it being true.

That said, I think that occum's razor applies here -- Alanna bonded Rand because she was an emotional wreck from the loss of her warder in Two Rivers and also was threatened by Faile.

Thanks for reading my musings,
john mullen
59. johntheirishmongol
I do enjoy Min's bits of awesomeness. She certainly puts Rand in his place in a hurry. As for the idea of polyamory, my wife has often said she wished she had a wife. It's certainly one way to solve the servant problem.

I think that Alanna had to be teasing her about the sex. There is no other reason for her to blush.
Marcus W
60. toryx
Tektonica @ 39:

I like edlihs comment about Maiden/ Matron/ Crone @ 42.

I'm not entirely sure about this, but I think that the three women thing is from Arthurian lore as well. Guinevere, the lady of the lake and Morgause were all sort of associated with Arthur in ways that changed with the times. It's definitely a very different triangle of relationships but RJ was fond of making a lot of Arthurian connections.
j p
61. sps49
JennB @43-

ALanna does not try to give the bond away, she sets conditions. I don't think she has any call to set conditions to end something she shouldn't've started.


Alanna also had in mind how all the other Aes Sedai would be sooo jealous over how cool she would be with the Dragon Reborn as Warder.

I don't think Verin had anything to do with it, she was Black Ajah In Name Only.
Tricia Irish
62. Tektonica
OK, these are the three Greek Fates and their Roman equivalents. There were also three Northern European fates, the Norns, and the three witches mentioned in Shakespeare....all similar.

Clotho – "spinner" spun the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle. Her Roman equivalent was Nona, (the 'Ninth'), who was originally a goddess called upon in the ninth month of pregnancy. (Elayne?)

Lachesis – "allotter" or drawer of lots, measured the thread of life allotted to each person with her measuring rod. Her Roman equivalent was Decima (the 'Tenth'). (Min?)

Atropos– "inexorable" or "inevitable", literally "unturning", sometimes called Aisa, was the cutter of the thread of life. She chose the manner of each person's death; and when their time was come, she cut their life-thread with "her abhorred shears". Her Roman equivalent was Morta ('Death'). (Avienda?)

I don't really get a direct correlation here in terms of "function", between the legendary Fates and our girls, but if RJ was creating his own Fates, three would be the number. So we would have:

Elayne- ruler, wise one?
Avienda- warrior?
Min- counselor, lover?

They are all lovers, but really not so much...once apiece for Avi and Elayne, so far. I'd definitely have to put Min in as the real lover. I don't see them as Maiden/Matron/Crone.....who's who?
Jay Dauro
63. J.Dauro
sps49 @61

I believe what JennB is referring to is Alanna trying to pass Rand's bond to Cadsuane. We don't know exactly when she tried, but Alanna speaks of it in WH Chapter 25.
"I've thought of being free of you," she said finally. "I have dreamed of it." She gave a small rueful laugh. "I even asked Cadsuane to let me pass the bond to her. A sign of how desperate I was, to ask such a thing. But if anyone can handle you, Cadsuane can. Only she refused. She was furious that I suggested it without asking you, outraged, but even if you agree she won't."
We know that Cadsuanne learned of the bond in ACOS 19 on Jan 4, and this is Jan 9, 5 days later. With Cadsuane's direct questioning, I believe that Alanna would have asked by now.
64. Freelancer

Who will I abandoned? What?


Remember that "unto thee only, until death do us part", bit? Well, your wife clearly accepted it as a binding contract, and will only let you out of it when death do you part. At least she's offering to accomodate your wishes. Sorta.




Perhaps Alanna's impulsive decision to bond Rand on the spot was born of her continuing lack of self-control due to Oweyn's murder, but her reason was well known. She immediately attempted to Compell him through the bond. She expected that once he was her warder, she could march him around all obedient like as an Aes Sedai prize. It's pretty much the same thing every other Aes Sedai has been thinking since they realized he was alive and declared, except that Alanna took it to the extreme.


Most definitely agree, there is neither matron nor crone among the triumvirate of Minaviyne. All are lovely young ladies who simply love their man, and aren't trying to change him, just keep him alive or sane as long as they can.
Jennifer B
65. JennB
Wow, I had never noticed that. I wonder if he meant it as a AOL term. I would think that slavery would be unknown in the AOL. Perhaps it was only in use in historical terms back then.

Thanks. I was searching for that reference on encyclopaedia-wot.org, but I couldn't find it.
Julian Augustus
66. Alisonwonderland
Alanna's motivation in bonding Rand is no mystery, I don't think. She believed strongly, and she was not the only AS who thought as much, that it was a crime that Rand, Mat and Perrin were walking around without an AS to "guide" them. She was sure bonding will give her (and the Tower) control over the three ta'veren, and wondered why none of the sisters who had been in contact with the three hadn't tried it earlier. She said as much to Verin, and I don't doubt that she would have tried to bond Perrin if Faile hadn't threatened that she (Alanna) will not leave the TR alive if she did. When she had Rand in front of her in Caemlyn, all trusting and unsuspecting, the temptation was too great to resist. Even Verin was taken completely by surprise, which makes me think she didn't plant the idea in Alanna's head.
Alice Arneson
67. Wetlandernw
JennB - IdealSeek is a wonderful thing. :) Sometimes it finds all you're looking for, sometimes it just gets you started, but either way it sure is handy.
Janet Hopkins
68. JanDSedai
Hey Sub!
Which bath scene were you trying to link? The one with Jackie Chan & Owen Wilson in Shanghai Noon, or the one from Blazing Saddles?
69. JamesHardaway
This is kind of getting pushed by the wayside in favor of the polygamy thing (understandably I guess), but with regards to Min's two-people-one-live-one-die viewing, isn't this in direct reference to Moridin, specifically with what happens at the end of this book with the killer balefire cross of doom? We've seen a lot of connections between the two, especially in TGS with Moridin's hand and even his mannerisms.
70. nalattam
@34, 35, 36, etc. regarding two a weeks. Leigh, we appreciate the post and wit as always but... until we get the Friday post we've still only received one post this week. Not that I'm complaining. For me the quality, as compared to the frequency, has always been more important. And at this pace my listening to the audiobooks has a chance of catching up to the reread. (I started Fires of Heaven at work today)
craig thrift
71. gagecreedlives

"I don't think Verin had anything to do with it, she was Black Ajah In Name Only."

Ahhhh but she was so very sneaky. Maybe she figured someone would try to bond Rand so she organises Alanna a non black member and one that she can manipulate as well to do it.

Just a thought
Noneo Yourbusiness
72. Longtimefan
Just a thought on the Aes Sedai showing how they "serve" Rand by kissing the back of his hand.

When I read this it made me think of how priests kiss a bishop's ring. Also I thought that somewhere in the books there is an Aes Sedai kissing the hand of the Amrylin. If this is a true recollection then I would see it as a show from the Aes Seadai from their perspective of how deeply they serve based on the actions in the White Tower.

It may seem over the top but the White Tower has some very elaborate behaviors and actions towards people who stand higher. I do not think of it as women acting towards a man but as Aes Sedai acting towards the one person they serve. Previously this would have been the Amrylin. Which brings up an interesting point. Now that they serve Rand where does Egwene (or Elaida at this point for some) sit in the personal hierarchy of these sisters?

Oh Egwene, how much wrath will Rand feel from you over this?
Birgit F
75. birgit
When I read this it made me think of how priests kiss a bishop's ring. Also I thought that somewhere in the books there is an Aes Sedai kissing the hand of the Amrylin.

Aes Sedai kiss the Amyrlin's serpent ring. When the AS kissed Rand's hands they seemed surprised, so it was ta'veren pull.

I saw you and another man. I couldn't make out either face, but I knew one was you. You touched, and seemed to merge into one another, and..." Her mouth tightened worriedly, and she went on in a very small voice. "I don't know what it means, Rand, except that one of you dies, and one doesn't. I - Why are you grinning? This isn't a joke, Rand. I do not know which of you dies."

Maybe Min cannot tell who dies because Rand ends up in Moridin's body and Rand's body and Moridin's mind die.
Hilde Sørensen
76. edlihs

I'm not entirely sure about this, but I think that the three women thing is from Arthurian lore as well. Guinevere, the lady of the lake and Morgause were all sort of associated with Arthur in ways that changed with the times. It's definitely a very different triangle of relationships but RJ was fond of making a lot of Arthurian connections.

yes there was. Look at this if you have time: http://13depository.blogspot.com/2002/03/matter-of-britain-and-wheel-of-time.html

I don't really get a direct correlation here in terms of "function", between the legendary Fates and our girls, but if RJ was creating his own Fates, three would be the number. So we would have:

Elayne- ruler, wise one?
Avienda- warrior?
Min- counselor, lover?

They are all lovers, but really not so much...once apiece for Avi and Elayne, so far. I'd definitely have to put Min in as the real lover. I don't see them as Maiden/Matron/Crone.....who's who?

Elayne is the Mother. Min is the wise woman and Aviendha is the Maiden. I think there was a discussion on The Thirteenth Depository on Rand spending time with Aviendha when he learned about his past (Rhuidean), Min when he wondered about what he should do in the future (his task) and Elayne= the present(?) in Tear.

The three are to some degree considered to represent the 3 times in life: Childhood and early adulthood and the past (Maiden), parenthood/maturity and the present(Mother), last stages of life, wisdom of the elders/future (Crone/Wise Woman). It echos the Fisher being tied to the land and its health, and him being tied to life (future health/continuation).
Linda Taglieri
77. Linda

Aviendha is the Maiden (of the Spear).

Elayne is the pregnant mother and mother of her country.

Min is the crone - she is a seeress who will age long before the others two women or Rand.

@76 The 3 women motif is from the Arthur. There is the tradition that King Arthur may have had 3 wives (not concurrently) all named Guinevere.

There is an article on Arthurian myth parallels on the blog, and as I posted on Monday, I am also posting an Arthurian Who's Who tonight.
Tricia Irish
78. Tektonica
Thanks to Linda, Edlihs, Free, et al:

I think the Arthurian Three makes more sense than the ancient Greek/Roman Fates do. I like the three stages of life interpretation too. Knowing these ancient references keeps me from being bothered by Rand having three wives.
It's obviously from legend and used as a metaphor.

As to Min's viewing of Two Men and one of them dies.....I assumed that was Rand/Moridan, as Rand /LTT are really the same person/soul. Rand doesn't know this at this point, of course, so he is mistaken when he thinks it means that LTT isn't real, and he, Rand lives. Thus, the grin.
Rob Munnelly
79. RobMRobM
birgit @75.

"Maybe Min cannot tell who dies because Rand ends up in Moridin's body and Rand's body and Moridin's mind die."

This is my current theory of choice, as it would explain the "something funny" about Rand's children with Aviendha (i.e., fathered by a different body) - as that would not be the case if Rand is a hero of the horn and reborn by being dragged out of TAR (a la Birgitte), which is my alternative re-birth approach. I just can't figure out the mechanics under which the Moridin transfer takes place. Perhaps Moiraine will know, which is why Rand will die unless she is around to help him (per Min's vision). My related supposition is that "A Memory of Light" in the longstanding title for the finale refers to Moridin's memory and not to Rand, as Moridin sacrifices himself in a rejection of the Dark One.

P.s. Nice to see the European (birgit) and Australian (Linda) gurus weigh in on the thread.
Barry T
80. blindillusion
Leigh said,
Hark! Before you lies the entrance to the Wheel of Time Re-read. Abandon all free time, ye who enter here.
Suppose I should have looked at that a little closer.... She said "time" and I said "will".

Eh, oh well. As Leigh throws compelling sentences around, I suppose Compulsion is in her Bag o' Tricks.

Blind-ly compelled to come here every day and read every word.... =)

Hi Leigh.

- Tek
As to Min's viewing of Two Men and one of them dies.....I assumed that was Rand/Moridin, as Rand /LTT are really the same person/soul. Rand doesn't know this at this point, of course, so he is mistaken when he thinks it means that LTT isn't real, and he, Rand lives. Thus, the grin.
I'm in agreement with RobM that the outcome of the Rand/Moirdin conundrum will be Rand's soul placed in Moirdin's body.

But that's beside the point. Your interpretation of Min's viewing is fairly spot on AFAIC, especially when you take into account that this is most likely a new viewing. And the catalysis event happens 8 Chapters later...The Crossing of the Streams. (Which is perhaps Number 2 on the Big List of Agonizing Shit Our Hero has to Endure. It was Number 1, but then he had to go and channel the True Power.) This will be a new, up-and-coming experience for Rand. He has been dealing with his coping mechanism (LTT) for months now.

Of course, the above depends on whether or not you think Min sees Character Defining “sights” all the time. And it’s only when significant events are about to take place that she has new viewings. That’s to say…LTT being an actual separate being rattling around in Rand’s head would, to me at least, be one major Character Defining sight viewable since the beginning.
Tricia Irish
81. Tektonica

I think we are in agreement.....if you mean that had there been two people warring over Rand from the beginning, Min would've already seen that. yes.
The new viewing, of two men, one living/one dying, should be Rand/Moridan.

I sure hope you are right about Rand getting Mori's body for his own soul. (Mori's is pretty new and shiny, without holes in it, after all.) After their streams cross in a few chapters, they are joined more and more closely, as we see throughout the books. I can't help but think that's for a very good reason.
Also, the phrase, "No one has been lost to the Light for so long, that they can't come back" (or something like that) has recurred enough, that it might be a "big ol' hint" as to Moridan's end.

As RobM states@79:
My related supposition is that "A Memory of Light" in the longstanding title for the finale refers to Moridin's memory and not to Rand, as Moridin sacrifices himself in a rejection of the Dark One.

As several have mentioned, RJ doesn't like to kill off his characters, but I can't imagine it's all going to be sweetness and light at the end....some sacrifice has to be made. Much must be lost to save the World, as it has in the past Breakings. Maybe all Ages don't end in a Bang, but this one is headed that way and I, for one, am a bit leery.

I know there have been other discussions of what various heros will do post TG....Perrin in Saldea or Two Rivers....Mat sailing off to Seanchan with Tuon, but what about Rand? What's he going to do? Be another Artur Hawkwing?
Rule Andor with Elayne? Unite Randland? Be a shepherd in the Two Rivers again and find some peace? Got to Rhuidean with the Remnants of the Aiel? Ideas?
James Jones
82. jamesedjones
81 Tektonica

Dead. D-E-D dead.

If you plan for the worst, all surprises are pleasant.
Marcus W
83. toryx
The last time I saw Jordan, way back in 2001, he said that there would definitely be deaths in the end. Some would make it, and some would not. Naturally, any and all questions as to who would be on which list were answered with RAFOs.

I still don't think that the central characters are actually going to bite it (including and especially Rand) but I think there will be a few significant losses.

Still hating the "Rand gets Moridin's body" theory but I wouldn't be all that surprised if that actually happened.
Ron Garrison
84. Man-0-Manetheran
"I even asked Cadsuane to let me pass the bond to her. A sign of how desperate I was, to ask such a thing. But if anyone can handle you, Cadsuane can. Only she refused. She was furious that I suggested it without asking you, outraged, but even if you agree she won't."

OK, Cadsuane bashers, explain to me again how horrible, rude, mean, etc. she is. No, don't bother.

"My related supposition is that 'A Memory of Light' in the longstanding title for the finale refers to Moridin's memory and not to Rand, as Moridin sacrifices himself in a rejection of the Dark One. "

I've thought for some time there were several clues dropped that Moridin is beginning to realize that he had little to gain serving the DO, and that something in the resolution of the story will bring him to the Light - or at least betray the DO. But I never thought of the title "A Memory of Light" as such a huge clue! So big I missed it! Thanks Rob!

Polyamory: My neighbor loves to brag that she has a gay husband and a straight husband - "the best of both worlds."
Tricia Irish
85. Tektonica
JEJ@82: An optimist! LOL. Yeah....in reading the Illiad the other night, there was not a lot of optimism about The End. I put that book down.

toryx@83: Other than the fact that basically the DO has been occupying Mori and thus his bod, why don't you like that theory? Just curious....
It's not my favorite either, but I think the link is there for a reason....exchange? conversion to the Light ??

If Mori did turn to the Light, betray the DO, that would go a long way towards keeping the DO imprisoned quite awhile this sealing, as he wouldn't have any earthly champions to help him out.
Barry T
86. blindillusion
The only problem with the Moridin Betrays the DO Theory is that...Moridin isn't looking for what the other Forsaken/Dark Friends are looking for. They want immortality. Moridin wants the destruction of the Pattern/Wheel.

Moridin knows the DO's Endgame. He knows that "in the DO's image" translates to...well...a Reverse Big Bang. The others are under the delusion that "in the DO's image" means under the DO's reign.

I don't see why he would turn against his philosophy. But then...I'm of the opinion that the Moridin/Elan soul needs to be completely eradicated from the Pattern in order for this to be the True Last Battle, i.e. no chance of rebirth = no Champion for the DO.

edit: After all, it seems Moridin mind/thoughts are leaking into Rand's head. But the other side to that coin is that Rand's physical body/ailments are following the link into Moridin...so, IMHO that somewhat puts paid to Moirdin suddenly starting to think like Rand.

=) Of course, I could be completely back-asswards.
Tricia Irish
87. Tektonica
So how does Rand get Mori's body and eradicate Mori's soul? Ummmm...put it in his old beat up bod first? Can't balefire him, or zap, no body to be in. It's gotta be his/Rands blood on Shyol Ghul....will just his body's blood do? Not his soul?

Why does Moridan want the End Game? Is he just tired of it all? I know he's said this, but why?

Edit: I agree with your edit: I think Rand is leaking into Mori too, thus his possible conversion to the Light? Or at least sacrificing himself in the end.
J Lip
88. Cadsuwallop
Moridin just wants it all to end and he sees the only way for that to happen is for the DO to break the Wheel. (Kevin Smith fans - think Bartelby & Loki in Dogma)

If Rand has regained compassion and an appreciation for life, there is a chance this will bleed into Moridin through their link. If that happens, Mori may be willing to sacrifice himself and turn from the DO provided he is utterly destroyed in the process. He gets the "end" he is looking for, the world gets to live - a happy ending for all.

Except for those killed along the way of course.
Marcus W
89. toryx
blindillusion @ 86 & Tektonica @ 87:

I think Moridin's desire to have it all end is pretty valid and completely understandable. There's got to be a part of him that realizes that nothing good can come out of the continual struggle with the DO. If he's somehow become aware of just how many time he's been the DO's champion, how many lives he's suffered and lost and wasted only to die again (and face another battle when the Wheel turns) it's no wonder he wants oblivion. The end of the Wheel means the end of Time and presumably the end of Rebirth. After so many Ages the possibility of the end of it all must be incredibly appealing.

As for why I hate the notion of Rand taking Moridin's body? My reasons are many, but essentially come down to one thing:

Moving a soul from one body to another is a tactic of the Dark One. It's unnatural, evil and in the end, two wrongs don't make a right.

The whole point of the Wheel of Time, the endless cycle of lives lived, lost, and reborn is that everyone eventually has another chance. There IS no death when you're going to be reborn again. When the DO subverts this process, returns a soul to a body that is already born and grown he's subverting the natural order of things and the Pattern itself.

To have the hero of the Light, the guardian of the Wheel and the Pattern step out of the natural cycle is...repugnant to me. It's a repeat of what happened in Aridhol when the people used the tactics of the Shadow to fight the Shadow. Look what it did to them, to Fain?

Would Rand's death be tragic, not only for himself but for those he loves? Yes. But that's a natural part of the Wheel, the Pattern, everything he's fighting for. For him to escape death by using a tactic of the Dark One would, in my mind, undermine everything that's come before. I've not spent 20 years of my life immersed in this story for that sort of betrayal.

As it happens, I don't think he's going to die. I think his blood spilt on Shayol Ghul is another of those misunderstandings of the Prophecy like the truth about the People of the Dragon. I also think that Min is misunderstanding the things she sees because she's so afraid of losing Rand. I think Rand is going to be like one of the versions of the Arthurian legends. At least one version (probably several) states that he was never killed, but driven almost to death, left in an endless comatose state to be guarded by the Lady of the Lake until he is ready to rise and fight for Britain again.

In Rand's case, maybe Nynaeve will be able to Heal him and awaken him from the coma. Or maybe he really will die to wait until the Wheel spins him out again. Either possibility is far more attractive to me than cheating death by stealing another man's body.
Janet Hopkins
90. JanDSedai
I will posit a theory that the Moridin/Rand link will not result in a straight body-swap, but one being, more like Slayer. The mechanics of the Luc/Isam bond have not been explained, but perhaps one or both of them was/is able to channel. Or channeling may not even be necessary, but is the result of the DO's actions. The Slayer entity may not be an end result, but one step in an on-going process.

At any rate, there is a chance that Rand and Moridin will share/alternate control of one being.
Rob Munnelly
91. RobMRobM
@89. Per Min, Alivia will help him die. Ditto re prophecy from Finns - to live must die. Hard to get around those, which is why I have been brainstorming possible mechanisms for rebirth. Either take over Mori, take over a third person (that would truly be horrifying) or get pulled out of TAR, your choice. R
92. Lsana
@82 jamesedjones,

If you actually believe that Rand dies in the end, then you are I think the only fan I've ever run across who believes that. With one small exception, I've always been convinced that Rand will find some way to cheat the prophesy and end up alive at the end; pretty much everyone I've talked to feels the same way.

Perhaps that would make an interesting survey question: how many people here think Rand will die at the end? Not just do a body swap, but actually be dead and gone?
Marcus W
93. toryx
RobM @ 91:

I'm not particularly concerned about the dying prophecy. Mat died and came back. People die and come back to life all the time. And since it's prophecy, dying itself could be a metaphor for something else.

By the way, I'm not saying that the Moridin theory is groundless. It does resolve a lot of issues, particularly regarding the prophecy thing. I wouldn't even be surprised anymore if it actually happened that way given some other very disappointing events.

I'm just saying that it'd piss me off. Very, very much. My post @89 is my explanation for why I'd be throw-the-book-across-the-room livid if it actually happens.
94. Rand Al'Todd
Re Rand and Min about the sexing:

Thank you, Lois. You were very Vorgiving.

Will the sofa ever be pulled back out of the attic?
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
JanDSedai@90 - Ewwww!! I think that would be even worse than Rand just moving into Moridin's body! I'm with toryx on this, if I might not have worded my objections the same way. The only satisfactory thing to do with Moridin's body is return it to the soul who originally inhabited it; if that's not possible (presumably he's dead) his body should be allowed to die as well.

As for Rand, as much as I want him to live, I don't want to see him in someone else's body. I'm hoping for the "died and pulled bodily out of TAR" or "anything short of death can be healed - oh, why not - death too" thing. Actually, what I think more likely is for him to be very near death (with Alivia's help), with everyone thinking he's dead, and Nynaeve (maybe linked with Damer Flynn?) brings him back and heals him completely. The never-healing wounds can be healed when a) the DO is firmly sealed away and b) the Shadar Logoth dagger is destroyed, and Fain with it.
Ron Garrison
96. Man-0-Manetheran
Yes, Moridin is despondent and has said that he wants it all to end. Yeah, right. He says that. He's no dummy, and I think like Cadsuwallop, he might recognize there is an alternative.

I don't go along with the body swap theory, but I do think he is likely to betray the DO.

Rand? Why should this time be different? He has always died and been reborn when needed by the Wheel. I know people like everything wrapped up in neat packages, but the underlying concept of RJ's cosmos is that the Wheel turns. "This was not the beginning, but it was a beginning." (tEotW, page 1)

Sorry, Lsana, but "cheat the prophecy"? Not our hero. No way. Rand will die, but the Dragon will always be there for the Wheel and the Creator when needed. C'mon, it's poetic people!
Tricia Irish
97. Tektonica

Thanks for that very cogent explanation. I must say I'm grasping at straws here. I'd really like our hero to find peace and live happily ever after, but that seems so trite, I just can't imagine it. To Live You Must Die, originally meant crucifixion to me. Dying to save the World so that he can be resurrected again to fight the DO when needed. Or perhaps, Nynaeve does heal Death...we've had plenty of mention of that goal too.

If Moridan, the DO's agent on earth,is obliterated forever, and Fain/Mordeth is also killed (he'd better be!), perhaps when/if Nynaeve heals Rand from Death, those wounds will be healed as well. Will he still be able to channel the OP? It would be tragic to lose a man that had learned and grown so much. Oh....what about his hand?

We may be misinterpreting Min's viewings. We certainly don't have all the pieces of the Luc/Isam puzzle and why that is even important to perhaps both Lan and Rand. In the next book, the Finns (through Moraine) may help us along in our understanding of just what the Last Battle will actually be, as might Verin's revelations. There is much we don't know yet.

Rand certainly deserves some peace and happiness, maybe even relative obscurity with family back in the Two Rivers. I just think that if he does live, some price must be paid for the ending not to seem, well, saccharin.
Triumphant would be nice, but mitigated by necessary loss.
Barry T
98. blindillusion
Moridin and knowledge of the Endgame.

Moirdin in general.

And perhaps my favorite.

Just adds to the fire of "What is Taim?"

Yep...I'm on the 13thD's payroll....=)

Hi Linda!

(It's the triskaidekaphile in me, I swear.)

edit: Well, color me shocked...it posted.
Tricia Irish
99. Tektonica
Mano-O and JEJ:

I fear you may be right. It would fit right in with the Iiliad too....
Roger Powell
100. forkroot
With Master's week upon us, I suppose it's time to explain:

Why there is no golf in WoT

Perrin, Mat, and Rand walked up to the first tee. It was a longish par 5, 572 yards from the tips where Perrin teed up first.

The sun shone down and a slight amount of perspiration made Perrin's muscular back shine. He was no musclebound freak though - that extreme strength was paired with smooth reflexes. As the club descended in a perfect arc, the acceleration caught the ball in a slight upswing with tremendous force. For an instant, the ball was compressed to near half its size and as it rebounded off the face of the driver it soared far away.

The mammoth tee shot finally landed and rolled to a point 420 yards down the fairway, leaving Perrin with an easy iron shot to the green.

"Nice shot" Mat acknowledged as he teed up next. Mat's drive was neither long nor straight, in fact the ball headed toward the out-of-bounds stakes on the right. As luck would have it, the ball hit one of the stakes and bounced onto the cart path. The ball then continued to bounce and roll down along the cart path for a long distance where a second lucky bounce then diverted the ball back into the fairway.

Mat was also left with a short iron to the green.

Rand then teed up his ball. His drive was hit rather high and as the ball approached its zenith, a vertical slash of light opened into a gateway in the sky. The ball disappeared into the now-closing gateway.

A moment later, another gateway appeared just above the first green. As that gateway started to close, the ball popped out and trickled up near the cup.

Perrin rolled his eyes and turned away.

Mat turned to Rand and said:

"Are you going to play golf, or are you just going to screw around?"
a a-p
101. lostinshadow
Perhaps one of the reasons why so many are trying to come up with theories on how Rand can live is because at some level many of us fear that Rand will actually die and well, most people who read fantasy tend to like happy endings. I mean after all that's one of the reasons we read it isn't it? Good triumphs over evil but not at the cost of our hero!

I've always disliked the bodyswap theory and toyrx has explained why much better than I myself could.

For those who want a happy ending for Rand (me included) and I'm sure others have mentioned this at some point but the 'to live you must die' could be a Harry Potteresque solution in that Rand must be willing to die and essentially die but is then rewarded for his willing sacrifice and brought back to life. Come to think of it my religious education is very lacking but isn't this the idea behind the crucifiction and resurrection of Christ? (sorry if there is a misinterpretation of anyone's religious beliefs, this is a complete outsider's perception and not meant to offend)
F Shelley
102. FSS
@79 - I've long felt the "something funny" about Avi's kids is that her kids will adopt Elayne's kids as first sisters/brothers, so Avi will be all 4 kids' mother, and according to the Aeil sibling adoption ceremony, they will be born in the same hour of the same day.

I still vote that Rand will die and Nynaeve will throw him out of T'A'R after TG. (well, I think I started that Loony Theory)...

My new theory on the last battle is that Rand will use the True Power to seal the DO's prison, or at least throw him "back" so he can't re-taint Saidin or Saidar (have a feeling both will be used to sew up the torn Pattern)...
Ron Garrison
103. Man-0-Manetheran
blind @ 98: "Just adds to the fire of 'What is Taim?'"

O.M.G.! Linda is more than Guru. I am convinced. Why has Taim always seemed like a Forsaken but is not Demandred? Duh!

Twice in one day you guys have laid down an awesome CLUE! Amazing! I loves this place!
Matthew Smith
104. blocksmith

Very well done...but I thought for sure a wolf picking up Perrins ball and dropping it at the edge of the green was what helped him the most.
Jennifer B
105. JennB
I don't like the idea of Rand in another body either. It is just wrong.
It seems to me that RJ has been hinting at it for quite a while though.
Rob Munnelly
106. RobMRobM
Here is Brandon's post re the suvudu.com cagematch finale. Very well done.


All right, since George Martin has been such a terribly good sport about the cage match, I figured I should step up and do likewise.

Before I start, though, I should say that don’t feel right writing in Rand’s viewpoint. I feel only Mr. Jordan could have done that in this situation. To write from Rand’s viewpoint would be to take one step toward appropriating Mr. Jordan’s characters as my own, which is a line I do not want to cross. I realize it probably sounds like a foolish distinction, but I do not want to begin thinking that I can do anything I want with these characters.

Perhaps later I will decide to do some kind of write-up from one of my own characters, but for now, we’ll go with this.

Now, it looks like Jaime and Tyrion tricked Rand into coming onto THEIR turf, without help, to face them. Um. Okay. That’s why I get for going away to a convention over the weekend and not paying attention. But really, Rand? On THEIR turf? Blast.

That makes things more difficult. Or does it? Arguments for Rand winning are below.

POINT ONE: Rand bends fate.

Mythology in the Wheel of Time universe indicates that all worlds are part of a potential multiverse, with infinite possibilities existing as shadows of one another. That means it’s credible to assume that ASoIaF and WoT take place within the realm of the same multiverse. (Okay, that’s probably a given, since if Rand and Jaime are going to fight in the first place.)

So why make a point of it? Because of this: Rand’s ta’veren nature should STILL WORK. After all, Jaime himself implies that Rand will still have balefire–which means he can draw upon the One Power while in the AsoIaF world. So this is all part of the Pattern.

Rand being ta’veren means that fate bends around him. The fabric of the universe wants him to survive this battle, otherwise the world (in fact, the multiverse itself) might end.

Now, Jaime (with Tyrion helping him) is clever, devious, and even brilliant. But if fate itself wants Rand to win, he’s going to have real trouble.

POINT TWO: Rand is virtually a demigod.

At this point in the Wheel of Time chronology, Rand has grown in skill, power, and ability to the point that he could be considered akin to a deity. In the last book he quite held enough power in his hands that, by his estimation, he could have destroyed an entire world, and maybe creation itself.

GRRM’s characters–Jaime and Tyrion included–have a lot of things going for them, but in the end they’re mere mortals. Rand will go into this battle wrapped in weaves of the One Power. He’ll be able to kill at the blink of an eye. Assuming George doesn’t reach into the Wild Cards universe or something like that for Jaime’s helpers (which he might do) his characters will be left without much in the way of super powers.

Rand begins by opening a gateway, ducking through to a safe location, then turns and lets loose with enough firepower to level New York.

POINT THREE: All of Rand’s friends will come anyway.

Yes, Rand said he’ll do this on his own. But really, he’s been doing that sort of thing for twelve books now, and when has anyone ever listened? I figure that all of his friends will do what they usually do and ignore him.

Mat will sneak through a gateway early and get Tyrion raving drunk so that he can’t help out. (And he’ll try his best to do the same for Jaime.)

Nynaeve and Elayne will come to help, ready to use the One Power to protect Rand from his own wool-headedness. Perrin will come to fight, as will Aviendha, ready to fight at Rand’s side whether he wants it or not. And we’ll throw Logain into the mix to facilitate a circle.

I figure that at some point–maybe even from the get-go–Rand will be set up in a Circle with Nynaeve, Avi, Elayne, and Logain. There will be enough energy level an army or twenty.

And finally, since I’m allowed, I’ll bring Hoid along. He’ll be watching from the crowd. And he’s not likely to let Rand lose.

POINT FOUR: Who’s more fragile?

My final point is probably the most important here. Rand and Jaime actually have a surprising number of things in common, down to their missing hands. But one thing is very different. Jaime is in the hands of George R. R. Martin–a genius writer known for making you fall in love with his characters, then killing them in brutal ways.

That’s right, I’m playing my ace in the hole, also known as “the meta-game card.”

People started out hating Jaime, but now he’s grown strikingly sympathetic. That means he’s toast. Tell me, you GRRM fans. Do you REALLY think Jaime is going to survive the next few ASoIaF books? Ask yourselves, deep in your hearts, who is more fragile?

Let’s look at the next books in the respective series. Things seem good for Rand. He’s got to get to the Last Battle–where, admittedly, his life will be in real danger. But chances are low that he’ll die in the penultimate book without facing his destiny at Tarmon Gai’don. (No promises, of course, about TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT. I’m just speaking from the general momentum of the previous books.)

What about Jaime? Any ultimate destiny there? How many times have you been reading a GRRM book, thinking, “There’s no way HE will die,” only to find his blood splattered on the walls in the very next chapter?

Jaime lives in a brutal, brutal world. I think Rand’s got to win this one by default. Heck, it’s really more of a compliment to Mr. Martin to make sure that Jaime is killed in a wickedly cool, gut-wrenching, horrible way.

- Brandon Sanderson
Marcus W
107. toryx
One of the things that came to mind after I read wetlandernw's comment @95 is that maybe the world needs to believe that the Dragon Reborn died to save the world. It'd certainly be the only way to give Rand any peace.

So when Alivia helps him die, maybe it's more a matter of helping him to "die" in the eyes of the world. I could see her doing something that makes him somehow appear dead (negligible heartbeat, no breathing, etc.) and sending him off with the three weeping women only to awaken again later.

I don't think Nynaeve's going to cure death, no matter how much "foreshadowing" there is to suggest it. Being able to heal death would again be circumventing the Wheel and the Pattern. It also strikes me as "wrong" in the same manner as stealing someone's body.

Aw heck, I don't know. But I really don't think he's going to die at the end, unless it's as a very old man.
J Lip
108. Cadsuwallop
I think Rand will die. This used to upset me greatly as I am definitely a want-a-happy person. I've had enough time to think about it and come to terms with the fact that sacrificing yourself so that others may live can be better than continuing to live on yourself.

So how to reconcile the "to live you must die" part?

Since the Breaking, people have feared the Dragon and dreaded his coming. Even as he fights for the Light, people still wet themselves when they hear about him. If the Dragon sacrifices himself for others (as opposed to saving himself from the misery of knowing he had become Kinslayer) he lives on. Instead of fearing the Dragon, all will rejoice in what the Dragon Reborn had done to save them. Until such a time when even myth fades.
Tina Pierce
109. scissorrunner
yup - the "body snatching" creeps me out for a lot of reasons, the main one being stated very eloquently by Toryx @ 89

Moving a soul from one body to another is a tactic of the Dark One. It's unnatural, evil and in the end, two wrongs don't make a right.
(emphasis mine)

plus, I know that there has been a lot of chatter about RJ hinting at the switch, but I just don't see it. (OK, I may be severely myopic, but....)
Ron Garrison
110. Man-0-Manetheran
Thanks for the BWS quote Rob (@106)! I definitely had to "bookmark" that. A real wall-o-text, and when you read between the lines it gets even taller.
Marcus W
111. toryx
RobM @ 106:

Sanderson's arguments for Point 1 and Point 2 are the same I used when I voted for Rand. No arguments there.

I do think, however, that Point 3 actually puts Rand in greater danger. The presence of his friends exposes his weakness, particularly if Tyrion and Jaime have been especially clever in who they choose to fight. All you need is for one female friend of Rand's to get in danger and he's distracted and could well lose.

Ultimately though, Rand simply has to survive to face TG and the pattern's going to be on his side for that.
112. Lsana
@96 Man-0-Manetheran,

My question wasn't about whether people want Rand to die; it was about whether or not they believe he will. I personally think it would be better for the story if he did, though obviously quite sad for both the characters and the readers. I just don't think that Jordan ever had any intention of killing him permanently; we may get a body swap, we may get Nynaeve healing death, but at the end of the book, not just the "Dragon" but Rand al'Thor will be alive and kicking.

Although I see that there are 3 people who at least claim to believe it, which I think is 3 more than I've ever seen in any other discussion of the subject.
Tricia Irish
113. Tektonica
toryx@107: Remember someone's viewing/fortelling? about Someone stepping over Rand's body? I seem to remember thinking that might fortell the Faking of Rand's Death, like you said, so people think he's died for them and can stop being afraid. Rand can go off peacefully obscure and have a happy life with his kids. Ha.

Blind@98: Wow! You obviously get around the 13thD better than I do! Those were great. I could spend all day/night over there. Loved the Taim theories!
Yes, Linda is THE guru of gurus. That's gonna be some battle! Will Logain get his glory crown there?

Forkroot@100: Very cool....my husband might even appreciate that, since golf is involved.

And thanks RobM for the Brandon write-up. Better go check how Rand's doing over there.

Love this discussion...thanks all...keep going.....
Tricia Irish
114. Tektonica

Rand's barely squeaking ahead.....please vote all....suvudu.com

And Kvothe is beating Drizzt soundly....who woulda thunk it? Not I.
James Jones
115. jamesedjones
112 Lsana

Anyone ever see the He-Man episode where He-Man has to destroy a crystal that shoots people into another dimension? He's busy trying to crush the crystal when he fades into the void. Everyone thinks he's dead, but he's still working on grinding the crystal to dust. Once it is destroyed, the hero appears unharmed in the real world.

This is along the same lines of what I think could happen, ever since we heard the prophecy from the Snakes, "To live, you must die." I think Rand has to face the DO on 'his turf'. He's got to die. And only then will he be able to battle the DO.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope RJ has something a lot more creative in store. But it will always be a possibility in the back of my head up until the very end.

Of course, with all of the references to the book of Revelations in WOT, I also believe that it's a possibility that 6 and 66 is the maximum number of channelers in a circle because 666 is the number of the beast (dragon). So, take it with a grain of salt. :P
Rob Munnelly
116. RobMRobM
@114 - the Dragonmount folk are going crazy on their twitter feed - they fear all the stuff they'll face from the GRRM fanboys/girls if Jaime is able to pull off the upset.
Tina Pierce
117. scissorrunner
current score
Rand 5930
Jamie 5632
vote now & vote often
Tricia Irish
118. Tektonica

If Rand dies to fight the DO on his own turf, will he still have power in the DO's realm? Does he enter the Bore and seal it from within? If Moridan turned coat, through Rand's influence, he could do that! But Rand's blood still has to be spilled....ummmm
James Jones
119. jamesedjones
116 RobMRobM

How is it an upset? Suvudu wrote the story that Rand loses. Rand's the underdog. lol

They also thought that Steven King's fanbase was bigger, but that's beside the point. :D

118 Tektonica

Hang on, where does it say his blood has to be spilled? I thought it was just "his blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul." On the other hand, in this crazy scenario, he would have to die somehow.
Hugh Arai
120. HArai
OK, Cadsuane bashers, explain to me again how horrible, rude, mean, etc. she is. No, don't bother.

Explain to me how the fact she's smart enough to know what Rand's reaction to Alanna passing her the bond would be stops her from being "horrible, rude, mean, etc". She's both of those things, not one or the other. Tam's a wise man and he calls it correctly: She's a bully. But that's not even remotely all she is.
Tricia Irish
121. Tektonica

Well, I suppose he could just prick his finger or something to fulfill the prophecy.....
Ron Garrison
122. Man-0-Manetheran
Well, I see how you have interpreted: "She was furious that I suggested it without asking you, outraged, but even if you agree she won't."

For me, it says that Cadsuane has the kind of ethics that causes her to be outraged that Alanna would even consider passing a warder's bond without their permission.

Interesting how people can read the exact same thing in opposite ways.
Marcus W
124. toryx
Man-o-Manetherean @ 122:

Alanna perceived Cadsuane to be outraged by that. It may have been feigned since Cadsuane isn't the type to show her hand. And appearing to be outraged suited her pretty well, particularly since she might have suspected that Alanna would tell Rand about the offer and her refusal could alter his opinion of her somewhat.

We do know that she considered having the bond passed when she first learned that it existed. When it gets right down to it, I think Cadsuane's ethics are quite flexible when it comes to achieving her designs.

Edited for clarification.
Thomas Keith
125. insectoid
::surfing the Web:: Nothing... nothing... nothing... fifty comments... nothing... !!
Hokey Smoke, 50 comments since I went to bed! You guys/gals have been busy! :)

Blind @80:
Suppose I should have looked at that a little closer.... She said "time" and I said "will".
Yeah, that's about the size of it... ;)

Blind @98: Nice wall o' links! Linda is quite a Guru indeed!

Fork @100: BAHAHAhahaha!!

RobM² @106: I'd say that's a pretty good argument for Rand winning!

126. Lsana
@122 Man-0-Manetheran,

Even if we accept your interpretation that Cadsuane's anger at Alanna was due to ethics, that still doesn't let Cadsuane off the hook for everything else. One ethical moment doesn't mean that she isn't a bully.
Alice Arneson
127. Wetlandernw
I'll save my next big Cadsuane comment for the next time she's actually in the chapter, but let me say this: Her ethics quite probably are fairly flexible, since she views her ultimate goal as worth sacrificing her own pride and anything else necessary in order to achieve. Next time she's on screen I'll make a few more comments on what her ultimate goal is.
Hugh Arai
128. HArai

Well, my interpretation is strongly influenced by the fact that none of the Aes Sedai, including Cadsuane (who Alanna apparently feels has command authority), is "outraged" enough to order/insist that Alanna actually release Rand from this involuntary bonding. It's not as if releasing a warder is impossible or has no precedent. Elayne worries about it with respect to Birgitte. It seems clear to me that however they may wag their fingers at Alanna, none of them are willing to give up the tie to Rand now that it's in place.

Also: what Lsana@126 said.
Ron Garrison
130. Man-0-Manetheran
As I said once, long ago, the first time Cads was mentioned here, I was astounded at the level of vitriol she raised in some readers - the kind of righteous indignation that not even Elaida or Sevanna seem to bring forth! Gee, we've even made Elaida our pet damane in the bunker, fer-cryin'-out-loud!

From the get-go I found her an interesting, well drawn character and even amusing in her old curmudgeonly manner. She's not a villain. She's not done anything evil, but many HATE, HATE, HATE her personality to the Nth degree. I guess I just don't see it. For me, she adds an interesting dimension to the story and has many excellent moments, IMHO. It is a work of fiction after all, and I enjoy reading her scenes. I'm not expecting everyone to like her, but the moaning, groaning hatred stuff really bothers me.
Hugh Arai
131. HArai
Man-O-Manetheren@130: I don't hate her. I don't think she's evil. I think she's well written and often interesting. She's still a bully. Does it help if I say I consider Nynaeve a bully for most of the story so far? Our dearly beloved, definitely on Team Light Nynaeve is also a bully. That's what I call people who chase people around with sticks.

Edit: I'll add Elaida is a bully who is a willful idiot but not evil. And Therava is a bully who is evil and frankly creeps me the hell out. And I'll stop there since everyone else seems to want to wait :)
Rob Munnelly
132. RobMRobM
I'm in the Wet-Man camp (sounds kinky, no?) on Cads but will happily await discussion until next time she appears - on Friday, by my count.
Bonnie Andrews
133. misfortuona
LOL Almost as intriguing as Free and Wet.

Ron Garrison
135. Man-0-Manetheran
HArai, that is perfectly fine. It is a thoughtful considered opinion and I respect that. We can disagree and that's fine. What I object to is so many people's demonification of Cadsuane. Thinking about my reaction, I realize that some of it comes from my sense of fairness. But mostly it comes from RL. Presently there is an abundance of professional agitators on the airwaves and the internet. They make their living through the demonization of people and groups whom they dislike or disagree with politically. This angers me greatly, and I find it profoundly disturbing.

Our little group here is a unique and wonderful bunch of thoughtful, intelligent, considerate human beings. The posts are nearly always well thought out and reasonable. And frequently hilarous! I enjoy my time here. But when Cadsuane is mentioned, there is this piling-on which I think is disproportionate to what she deserves. It feels too much like RL. Result? I jump to defend the old gal. ...and even though I think I've said all I have to say on the subject, ha! We know that won't happen!

Suffa! I think we all need a drink! Where's that oosquai?
Roger Powell
136. forkroot
Edit: I'll add Elaida is a bully who is a willful idiot but not evil
She orders Gawyn murdered and you don't think she's evil? Heck, Gawyn supported her side during the Tower coup, and now, because she finds him inconvenient, she orders his death. In my book, that is evil.
Rob Munnelly
137. RobMRobM
@136 Feeling good about the old Wet-Man-Forkadai.
Alice Arneson
138. Wetlandernw
You know, sometimes I wonder if I should have thought longer and harder about my username here... :P
139. Hari Coplin
Well, answering a the question on sex and washing, I think nudity is a non-issue and sex private, at least as a Finnish person. Deprived of the American cultural paradigm, it is not surprising Rand would consider them on a separate level. For me, nudity is natural, and I am no nudist. Another issue is Rand's many issues: his having been promised to Egwene so long, and then not having been allowed any normal relationships thereafter.
Rob Munnelly
140. RobMRobM
@138. Wet, longer and harder???? LOL!!!!!!
Hugh Arai
141. HArai
Forkroot@136: For most people, I would say evil without question. With Elaida though, it's like there isn't even a thought process. Information goes in the eyes and ears, the old Elaida "magic 8-ball" goes into action, and totally random orders come out of her mouth.

Gawyn supported me and is our best military commander *(8ball) = have him killed

The Dragon Reborn is the only hope to defeat the Dark One *(8ball) = torture him in a box till he snaps

It's like she's too divorced from reality to be evil. She's so bad I keep expecting Alviarin to smack her and have "Sentience uncertain. Come back later" show in her eyes.
Sam Mickel
142. Samadai
I always wondered if the (8ball) was this ages foretelling.

edit for. HArai, very funny, LOL
Thomas Keith
143. insectoid
RobM² @140: ::paramedics rush in and revive Insectoid:: Oh, you guys... ;D

HArai @141: LOL at 8ball. Elaida was corrupted by Fain, though...

Sam Mickel
144. Samadai
I know now why we never had Rands pov with the aelfin

Rand. How can I cleanse Saidin?
Aelfin. Ask again later
Rand. Can I survive the last battle?
Aelfin. My sources say no, Ask again later, Concentrate and ask again, Signs point to yes.
Marcus W
146. toryx
Wetlandernw @138:

There's a reason I'm always careful to use your full name. :) And people always think I'm so insensitive.

HArai @141:

I'm inclined to agree. Elaida isn't evil, she's just very misguided and amazingly arrogant. And as you say, completely disconnected from reality.

She's actually one of my favorite characters just because she's always SO wrong. Her chapters always delighted me with the ranting and the raving and the sheer disbelief at how things kept going wrong.
Alice Arneson
147. Wetlandernw
toryx @146 - I truly appreciate it! On the bright side, it's made me much more careful to use full names as well.
Barry T
148. blindillusion
Well, Wetlander...I always shorten your name...


Hmm...discussions of Cadsuane and Elaida in the same section of Thread...meh...maybe I'll start looking at both of them as Scene Chewers.... Though I suppose we don't have to worry about Elai...err...Suffa anymore. I think (hope) she's now been fitted with an Everlast muzzle.

I'm evil, sure...but still.... *wicked grin*
149. Freelancer

I called Drizzt losing to Kvothe, for the same reason I called him losing to Rand. Drizzt, while he is one of the most beloved, noble, and interesting characters in popular fantasy literature, has been around quite a long time in our world. Kvothe and Rand are both relatively fresh and new, and therefore popular. Also, Drizzt's struggles are mostly "in the past", and while he still finds new foes to contend with, each is due to his own life's continuing adventure, and none are as singularly daunting as Rand's incipient contest against the embodiment of pure concentrated evil. That garners a measure of respect, I'd imagine.


Yes, Stephen King's fanbase is larger than RJ's, but King's fans encompass a very broad spectrum, since he writes so many different styles of stories. Many of his fans, therefore, with focused tastes, only read those novels of his which fall within their preferred sub-genre. The horror readers might be much less inclined to follow Roland through his angst-riddle saga. The same could be said of anyone who is happy with single-volume stories, as they wouldn't even think of engaging the Dark Tower series.


I beg your pardon? Please don't do that to poor Wetlandernw, I'm certain nobody here wants to be identified as in my camp.


No, no, no. Your username was the first one I encountered here which caused me to go, "Now there's a WoT fan."


Not cool, man.
Lannis .
150. Lannis
K, boys and girls, I know I've been mostly lurking lately, and I apologize... but frankly, I haven't had much of merit to add.

Not that that's going to stop me at this minute...

I simply must give a shout out to HArai @ 141:

Gawyn supported me and is our best military commander *(8ball) = have him killed

The Dragon Reborn is the only hope to defeat the Dark One *(8ball) = torture him in a box till he snaps

Holy Crappit, suddenly it's all clear! And all this time I've been confused by Elaida's motivations...


(Oh, that just tickled me...)

EDIT: *waves to the gentleman* Hi Free! :)
Rob Munnelly
151. RobMRobM
@149. My apologies to Wetlander and the rest for being somewhat off color by implication over the past few hours. It's been a long day and I'm somewhat punchy. But...in my defense, the combination of the quasi-off color phrasing going on the thread (again, my apologies) coupled with Wetlander's priceless choice of phrasing in response in @138 was too amazing to pass up. R
153. Freelancer
Yes, I cringed when I read Wetlandernw's comment@138, because I knew someone would run with it. Here's a morality question for you. What does it say about me that I noted the potential available from those words? Very thin line between opportunity and execution, admittedly. However, there remains the old stand-by Bugs Bunny line:
"I get a whoopin' if I dood it."

The moment of truth is just before you say:
"I dood it!"

I'm a little like Rand. When it comes to ladies and even remotely questionable commentary, I never dood it.


So I'm not just a throwback chauvinist, attempting to hold females down by treating them disproprtionately nice? I'm so relieved.
Mikey Bennett
154. EvilMonkey
Ok I am sorry people but who exactly is Kvothe and what book is he/she from? I think I'm pretty well read but I don't have a patch on some of you guys. Probably because I'm more on the Honor and Ender side as far as my reading preference. One of my army buddies led me to Drizzt, otherwise I'd be asking about him too.
Rob Munnelly
155. RobMRobM
@154. Patrick Rothfuss, Name of the Wind. Haven't read them myself but others here are big fans.
Jay Dauro
156. J.Dauro

Name of the Wind is the first of a trilogy, The Kingkiller Chronicles. Second is supposedly due out this year. First book was very good (IMHO), and was received well.

Patrick's website

I will recommend reading it, but if you are a WOT fan, you may want to wait until all three are out. Waiting on two conclusions is a bit much
Mikey Bennett
157. EvilMonkey
Thanx Rob and J. And as far as waiting for conclusions, I'm already waiting for Honor Harrington, Ice and Fire songs, Brandon's new Stormlight Archives, and more 16's in Eric Flint's Grantville while anticipating ToM. I can wait for one more. Waiting is life.

Rob Munnelly
158. RobMRobM
I'm also now hooked on Martin's Dunk and Egg novellas. The first two (The Hedge Knight and the Sworn Sword) were published in Robert Silverberg edited Legends I and II collections. The third one (the Mystery Knight) just came out in the Warriors anthology, and Martin plans for another five or six before they're through. Very enjoyable tales of the young, low born but very brave knight Sir Duncan the Tall and his feisty noble squire Egg about 80-100 years before events of Song of Ice and Fire. (A careful reading of ASoIAF reveals that both eventually become historical figures in Westeros.)

Also waiting on the next Vorkosigan story Cryoburn, due out this year, and the final book in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, due out in the US in late May.
Marcus W
159. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 147:

I'm a scoundrel in many ways but I don't mess with people's names!

jej @ 119 & Freelancer @ 149:

Re: Stephen King fanbase. I echo what Freelancer said. I'd also add that due to King's fanbase being so broad and varied a large number of them are probably a lot less likely to get involved with online Cage Matches using fantasy characters.

Myself, I've only voted on the matches involving Jaime Lannister and only because GRRM was having so much fun with it. Ordinarily I'd never have gone to Suvudu at all, and I'm sure that by and large the King fan community had no real interest in it.

It also doesn't help that there isn't really a King community that matches that found here or at Dragonmount.com or even the GRRM Brotherhood Without Banners community (of which I'm a proud, albeit lapsed, member myself).

Re: Patrick Rothfuss and Name of the Wind. I've seen the book a number of times at the bookstore, read the first couple of pages and put it down. I know who Kvothe is but I'm not really that interested, myself. I did enjoy the write-up's that Rothfuss and Martin did for the Jaime vs. Kvothe camp, however.
Tricia Irish
160. Tektonica
As of now.....Rand is beating Jaime 52% to 48%. A close match. We must be vigilant!

And you're probably right Free. Drizzt is old news. Sigh. I do like Kvothe, but I'm sorry, I still think Drizzt could cut him to ribbons, very quickly. The Suvudu write up is pretty funny though. Kvothe is still an "undeveloped" character to me. I like him, but what did he really do? Good writing! I do recommend it as a read, Evil Monkey. Waiting......

BTW, RobM...I did get the first Legends book, thanks to your and Linda's advice....haven't started it though. Looking forward to Duncan Egg and the other version of New Spring, etc.....
Antoni Ivanov
161. tonka
@135 Man-0-Manetheran

I completely agree with you. Cadsuane is not perfect. No one in the books is but she has many positive sides which people choose to ignore because they want to hate her. I agree it's very close to real life when we let our own preconception or stereotypes to blind us about people.
Marcus W
162. toryx
Tektonica @ 160:

I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of The Hedge Knight. It's definitely one of my favorite stories. I haven't gotten around to reading the latest story in the Dunk & Egg series but I'm certainly eager to do so.
163. Lsana
@141 HArai,

There's something to the 8-Ball theory, but I notice that Elaida's 8-Ball seems to have a limited number of responses. "Kill" comes up a lot. So does "Torture." I've yet to see it come back with "Pet the white bunny" or "Give everyone a hug." So even if Elaida isn't totally sentient and is giving mostly random responses, she's an evil non-sentience.

It's not entirely Elaida's fault: Padan Fain got to her pretty early on. None the less, no matter who programmed her admittedly faulty AI, she's still evil.

Though that brings up an interesting question: do you think Elaida could pass the Turing test?
164. Freelancer

Nobody can know another's taste with certainty, but I would suggest that if you are a fan of Jordan and GRRM, you will enjoy The Name of the Wind. I admit that it opens somewhat slowly, and doesn't go anywhere at all how it seems it might within the first couple of chapters. It's clear after having finished the book (twice) that Rothfuss considered the whole in designing the first volume. He is patient, and unwilling to spill too much too soon. I will be happily waiting.


I agree that Kvothe is yet undeveloped. Some of the write-ups for him on suvudu are presumptive of where his character will get to in later parts of the story, which did bother me a bit, as those things simply haven't happened until they've been published.

Turning to Brandon, for anyone who was waiting on paperback to buy Warbreaker, that's out now. And it includes a preview of The Way of Kings. Lightsong rocks as the reluctant hero, and Vasher could wipe the floor with Jaime Lannister.
Ron Garrison
165. Man-0-Manetheran
HArai: I'm lovin' the Magic 8-Ball Theory! It helps explain a lot about how deluded the woman can be. I've found one online, and it's fun to ask such questions as:
Are Min's visions always true?
Can prophets be trusted?
Is Graendal really truely dead?
Is Suffa a good damane?

P.S. - Wiki has a thorough history of the Magic 8-Ball for those who love trivia.
Barry T
166. blindillusion
The artwork for aCoS is up on the main page. After the Mat cover for tSR, this one is my new favorite.

It's just too MOA for words.
Hugh Arai
167. HArai

Well there was:

The Last Battle is Coming*(8ball)= Build a big shiny tower!

The Aes Sedai are breaking into paranoid factions*(8ball)= Have dinner dates with an ex-girl friend.

But no, no bunnies. Fain seems to have "bent" the 8-ball quite a bit it's true. You came up against my main point though: I feel it takes sentience to qualify as evil, and well Elaida isn't really all that sentient. No way she'd pass a Turing test.

"How do we make sure the Dragon Reborn wins the Last Battle?"
"Stick him in a box and beat his lover"
"Stick him in a... *sigh* Verin, you hooked up that weird ter'angreal again didn't you..."
168. J.Dauro
The new cover is gorgeous. Nyneave and Lan.
Lannis .
169. Lannis
Freelancer @ 153:

So I'm not just a throwback chauvinist, attempting to hold females down by treating them disproprtionately nice? I'm so relieved.

Hardly, Free! Besides, from what I've seen, I don't think it's being disproportionately nice to females in particular so much as it's respecting all. ;)

HArai @ 167:

The Last Battle is Coming*(8ball)= Build a big shiny tower!

The Aes Sedai are breaking into paranoid factions*(8ball)= Have dinner dates with an ex-girl friend.

Aaaand now there's tea all over the laptop again... XD
Steven Pattingale
170. Pattingale
Lannis @ 169:

At least it's not wine! :D
172. Lsana
@167 HArai,

Okay, so there was some hugging involved. I'm not sure if that one quiet counts, though, since "Have dinner date with ex-girlfriend" wasn't her reaction to "Aes Sedai are breaking into paranoid factions" so much as something else she just happened to be doing at the same time. The 8-Ball's reaction to "Aes Sedai are breaking into paranoid factions" was more the "Reply hazy, try again later" response.

So if Elaida can't be evil due to a lack of sentience, can we say that she is some kind of rogue WMD? Highly dangerous, can be aimed assuming you have some sort of skill, but quite likely to blow up and destroy at random?

Although, thinking of Elaida as a magic-8 ball has got me picturing her looking like Kyle Orton in the "throwback" Broncos uniform, and it's kind of a disturbing picture...
Matthew Smith
173. blocksmith
On Elaida...

Ok, she does inform Galina that it would be convenient if Gawyn were to suffer some tragic accident. She also indicates that it's ok to...tenderize...the Dragon Reborn if he resists being taken to the WT. Understanding that Colavere betrayed Rand, is this substantially different than Rand's supporters suggesting that Colavere meet with an accident?

My point being Elaida is politically ambitious to the extreme, she is mis-guided, and she is the definition of a dysfunctional leader. But evil? I don't believe so. Yes she is likely corrupted by her brief proximity to Fain but does it completely subvert her personality or just magnify the, uh, darker side of it?.


And I always envisioned Elaida more as Jay Cutler.

Edit: to add of course this is all only up to this point in the re-read. Future acts are spoilers!
Mikey Bennett
174. EvilMonkey
I am a Bears fan and Elaida as Jay Cutler? OMG I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. Say it aint so!

Hugh Arai
175. HArai
I have this fond little fantasy where Elaida gets turned with a circle of 13 and while trying to free the Dark One ensures the final victory of the Light. She's just that bad.

Lsana,blocksmith,EvilMonkey: You guys like the NFL right? You need to stop picturing Elaida as a player _RIGHT NOW_.
Hugh Arai
176. HArai
Re: the new cover art

Can I convince someone, anyone to sell me _hardcovers_ with this art? I really would buy them all again for the chance to have these covers instead of the current ones.
Ron Garrison
177. Man-0-Manetheran
HArai, et al:
I'm lobbying for them formatted as new dust jackets for the hardcovers - buy, download, print perhaps. Several others have chimed in saying they would buy them too.

There is also a plea for issuing them as a calendar. If either idea appeals, I encourage everyone to go to Irene's post and lend your support!
Bonnie Andrews
178. misfortuona
You are not alone. Many people have expressed the same sentiment regarding the ebook covers. As I understand it we can not have new releases of the books until the Sweet contract is finised.
I'm hoping for a calendar myself, or even prints.

Mis-loving the e-book covers
179. Freelancer
Lsana,blocksmith,EvilMonkey: You guys like the NFL right? You need to stop picturing Elaida as a player _RIGHT NOW_.

So, what you're saying is that Elaida is Norv Turner. Now everything makes sense!

RE: Cover Art

I will stipulate up front that I absolutely love the e-book covers which Tor has commissioned thus far. They are outstanding, every one, including the newest.

That said, realize that we re-read followers represent the most rabid 1% of WoT fans, and are capable of being critical in the extreme of the most insignificant minutiae. The Darrell Sweet covers aren't 100% faithful to the scenes they purport to represent. Yeah, so? Most fantasy, and certainly almost all sci-fi covers don't faithfully represent the stories within either. Yes, there are examples which do, but they are the minority by far.

I just don't hate the Sweet cover art as much as many others here, that's all.

For the record, I've commented in other e-book cover threads my desire for a calendar of the new cover art, as well as a calendar of the Sweet cover art.
Marcus W
180. toryx
Freelancer @ 179:
I just don't hate the Sweet cover art as much as many others here, that's all.

Ditto. For me, since I've been with this series since the beginning, the Sweet cover art actually has a certain value of nostalgia going for it. Besides, RJ (supposedly) liked them and wanted them for the whole series and it's his books. I'm glad that Tor is honoring that to the end.

As far as future releases of the cover art for reprintings, or for downloads, or for calendars, the contracts are probably very much an issue. It can be extremely complicated to get different artists for such a long series the way Tor has with WoT's e-pubs and I imagine the payments are at a totally different scale for ebooks compared to physical copies. If they haven't negotiated those rights from the very beginning, it may not be possible to get them for all the covers. Or it may be cost prohibitive.

It's also altogether possible that a calendar is already planned but they're keeping it under wraps until the series is done and no amount of begging or pleading will budge them on admitting it.

There's nothing wrong with stating your preference where they can see them, but repetition probably won't have an impact, especially if the rights simply aren't available.
Hugh Arai
181. HArai
Freelancer,Toryx: It's not that I hate the Sweet covers, it's more that I like the new ones a lot. I read stories in ebook form solely for ease on commutes or while traveling. For curling up with a cherished story I'm still dead tree all the way. So for me a fantastic set of ebook covers for one of my favorite series just feels like a shame you know?

I realize there are bound to be all sorts of issues, but I can still wish. And I would definitely buy a calendar or dustjackets if anyone is listening :)
182. ValMar
Totally agree about Elaida.

About the covers, the American covers are nostalgic indeed. Books 2-8 I got from the American bookstore in Geneva, Swiss. I connect them covers with the sense of wonder as I read the books for the 1st time. Especially EOTW. Now in the UK the covers are "simpler".
183. Tamcat
I think the Sweet covers, as far as the scenery goes, are really nice. I just don't care for the characters, especially Rand. I mean how does that guy get 3 beautiful women.
Marcus W
184. toryx
ValMar @ 182:

Couldn't agree more about EoTW. The cover for EoTW is what got me to pick up the book in the first place and that almost never happens. (I'm a big believer in never judging a book by it's cover...I don't even read the plot synopsis on the jacket flaps)

First time I saw the cover for EoTW I only had enough money for two paperbacks or 1 hardcover. I agonized over the decision for about 45 minutes before deciding two books had to be better than one. But then the memory of (light) that cover haunted me until I couldn't stand it any longer and went back a few weeks later to buy it.

And oh, the wonders it held within...
Barry T
185. blindillusion
Just out of curiosity...what two books did you buy instead of tEotW?
Alice Arneson
186. Wetlandernw
We must be keeping several computer manufacturers in business, the amount of liquid that goes all over the laptops around this place. Shame to waste all that good tea, coffee, wine... Better cut back on the humor here, people. We're just too funny.

This coming from the klutz who has replaced one laptop for "a severe allergic reaction to tomato soup" and has some non-functioning bits on the current one, due to non-fatal but nevertheless negative reaction to coffee... *sigh* I'm gonna invest in the company that makes those skin things to go over the keyboard.

And WoT-related... well, I don't actually have anything today, but just wait until tomorrow! Actually, a bit of foreshadowing from the current chapter:
Rand nodded. The Sea Folk were his, or as good as. What matter whether the Horn of Valere was in the White Tower? He was ta’veren. He was the Dragon Reborn, and the Coramoor. The golden sun still burned well short of its noon peak. “The day is young yet, Min.” He could do anything. “Would you like to see me settle the rebels? A thousand crowns to a kiss, they’re mine before sunset.”
Just how many times have we been told about the balance in the strange effects caused by the proximity of a ta'veren? *sigh* I think Rand forgot to listen to that part of the lecture.
Thomas Keith
187. insectoid
Blind @166: Totally agree; it's way MoA.

Blocksmith @173: Elaida as a football player?? GAH!! I'm not listening, I'm not listening, la la la!

WetNW @186: Re: keyboard skins... I know of a company that does that: Viziflex Seels. They make covers for both laptop and full-size keyboards, and for mice.

188. alreadymadwithrand
He was on a roll. And probably on an adrenalin high.
189. ValMar
Actually, I like the tEOTW cover. I'm sure there's more to it than the art itself, but the picture itself with the characters travelling in the dusk. Sigh, good ol' times.
Sydo Zandstra
190. Fiddler

He was on a roll. And probably on an adrenalin high.

Maybe Rand was lucky for the bubble of evil to show up then. Else he would have gone for the DO next...

Just another way of saying "IT IS NOT HERE"...

Re: Cadsuane...

I wasn't able to discuss the Cadsuane stuff earlier, but I read most of it. Count me in the camp that doesn't hate her.

Actually, ISTR that back when ACoS came out the general reaction in rasfw-rj was like 'Finally, we meet a competent AS who's name is not Moiraine'. Of course that was when later books were in the future...

But count me in the camp that thinks most people are being too harsh on her.
(to be continued... ;) )
Tricia Irish
191. Tektonica
I find the original cover art really odd. Nostalgic, yes. Out of proportion, definitely! Sometimes heads are too big, arms and legs too short, weird stuff in the background that has Zero to do with the books. But really it's the strange body stuff that bugs me. They seem so kind of "teenagery" to me.
I wish for plain brown wrappers when I carry them around.

The new ebook art is superb by comparison! I would definitely buy them again for those covers...or just the covers...or a calendar...or..or...or...Please someone! Whatever terms you can negotiate.

I can't believe Tor just bought rights for one time use, with all the pomp and dignity they are showing the artists by way of introduction. Usually artists sign their life away when someone commissions them. Often they don't even get royalties. They would probably get paid when the art was used in a different format. (My first job out of college was negotiating rights for picture reproduction and cover art for books in NYC, before the internet and ebooks!)

Yes....there was a time when there was no internet.....and no computers! Eeegads! And Rights may have changed significantly since my time......but artists usually get the short end of the stick.
Charlie McMurchie
192. FromtheLangToun
Re' AS & their Warders as husbands/lovers, I can't recollect any mention of any AS becoming pregnant apart from Elayne. Is there any reference at any point of an AS ever giving birth?
193. AndrewB
I do not know of a specific example. However, it is possible that Eldrene, the Queen of Manetheren during the Trolloc Wars. She is the Queen, who upon the death of her husband, King Aemon, at the present site of Emonds Field destroyred the Trollocs with the One Power along with herself and Manetheren.

WoT does not state if she had children. However, as a queen she would have most likely had to give birth so there would be a successor.

Thanks for reading my musings.
194. AndrewB
My post at 193 was in response to FromtheLangTuon's question in 192. Sorry for any confusion.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Rob Munnelly
195. RobMRobM
@192 - Well there is always Morgase....
Alice Arneson
196. Wetlandernw
Plenty of channelers give birth, the Aiel Wise Ones and Sea Folk Windfinders especially; IIRC, we've never seen it among the Third Age Aes Sedai, the Kin or the damane. (Morgase never reached the rank of Aes Sedai.) AOL Aes Sedai obviously had families.
Jordan Devenport
197. FellKnight
@174 EvilMonkey

No, don't worry. Elaida never made nearly as many errors as Cutler!

198. alreadymadwithbloodyfog
Fiddler @190
We've already enumerated the number of ways the bubble of evil showing up at that place was a mixed blessing for Rand.
It gave Fain the chance to give Rand his second unhealable wound. Which, coupled with his older wound was a vital clue in cleansing Saidin.
It gave Cadsuane a chance to "save" Rand's life. In truth she did nothing and her original plan to bring him to her hideaway would have probably killed him. Of course she conveniently glosses over these minor details and shamelessly takes advantage of the credit for his rescue in her dealings with the Aiel. Never mind the fact that Aes Sedai healing was completely ineffective and only the Asha'man could have saved his life.
It gave Rand an opportunity to evaluate the future King of Tear up close. It also set same future king up to be abducted and imprisoned by Cadsuane, which would lead to their rescue by way of Dobraine's men. Cementing his loyalty to the Dragon Reborn as opposed to some meddling Aes Sedai.
craig thrift
199. gagecreedlives
I dont suppose the lovely people at Tor are up and atom early this morning and are in a posting mood
200. ValMar
Yeah, what's the point in posting it at 6pm Friday.
I end up reading the re-read on Sat afternoon, and it takes me another 2-3 days to catch up with the comments...

Ve vant it now!
Tricia Irish
201. Tektonica
In response to someone's question, waaaay back up near the top:

I found this last night in The Great Hunt, ch.39, "Flight from the White Tower",
This is Elayne speaking to Egwene about Rand.

No doubt you will choose the Green Ajah, and make him one of your Warders. The only Greens I know with only one Warder are married to them."

It seems to indicate that more than Myrelle married their warders. It also seems to say that most that do marry their Warders have only one, and thus marry only one. Myrelle does seem to be flouting custom and perhaps law?
a a-p
202. lostinshadow
About the suvudu cage match:

as of friday morning Eastern time, Rand is ahead by less than 400 votes...

the gap is closing people! keep voting (uh for Rand of course)
Marcus W
203. toryx
blindillusion @ 185:

Y'know, I can't even remember. It was 20 years ago! Obviously they didn't leave the same kind of impression on me that EotW did.

Tektonica @ 191:

Not long ago I was working in the contracts department for one of the big NYC pubs as they were first making their way to full PoDs and ebooks. All I can say is that a LOT has changed since the times before the internet. I sadly missed the glory days of publishing.

It's possible that Tor got plenty of coverage in the contracts but these days you just never know. I do agree, though, that then and now artists usually get the short end of the stick. On the other hand, they're getting really top-notch artists so maybe not.

All I'm really saying is that without insight into the contracts, we have no way of knowing what they can or cannot do. Now that I've had personal insight into that world I'm a lot more understanding of some of the more questionable decisions publishing companies sometimes make.
Tricia Irish
204. Tektonica

Well, I don't know that you missed much....high prestige, low pay....but it sure was a fascinating place to be!

I do hope that writers' and artists' rights have been protected and enhanced since the "old glory days". Lots of new questions and possibilities with the advent of electronic media.
James Jones
205. jamesedjones
198 alreadymadwithbloodyfog

...and it got rid of the rebellion (in a fairly gruesome way). Glad to see you again, AMW.
Matthew Smith
206. blocksmith

Sorry, Norv makes Elaida appear competent.


I didn't start it...but it was fun to play along.

And covers for mice...look out, you just made PETA's most wanted list.

On the covers...like most, it's not that I hate the Sweet covers, it's that the e-book covers are so well done, dynamic, and appear much more thoughtful that you can't help but feel the hard cover dust-jackets are second string material.
207. headlesssamurai
I don't want to rehash something that has been discussed already, but has anyone else noticed that the Index only goes up to Part 18, while there actually ARE 20 (or 21, counting the one from today)?
What's up with that?
Lannis .
208. Lannis
headlesssamurai @ 207: Yeah, it happens sometimes. Tor dot's a busy place.

If you notice it, the best thing is to leave a message in the shout box of our lovely hardworking moderators Pablo and Torie ::waves:: or Management Services (basically the same thing...). :)
Rob Munnelly
209. RobMRobM
Re the Sweet covers, I've told the story before and will tell it again. One of my friends was a WoT junkie from the outset and told me I needed to read the books. I looked at the covers, decided they looked stupid and over-fantasyish (in a bad way) and blew him off repeatedly over a near 20 year period. Nuff said. Not a Sweet fan. R
210. MasterAlThor
h it's the start of the Birhtday Weekend. *singing* "It's my birthday, gonna do what I say"

Anyway, I had to take a roadtrip yesterday to pick up the daughter and grandson. Yipee!!! Love them.

So there I was when it hit me. The song for our fearless leader.

the Maestro, by the Beastie Boys
Key Lyric:
Yeah you ......... I'm all that.
I see you lookin at me sayin,
how can she be so skinny and live so phat.

They don't actually say she, but it looks good that way. And she is the maestro.

Also while sitting at work I was struck by the muse and came up with something for Insectoid.

Bugs by Pearl Jam.
Key Lyric:
And now the question:
Do I kill thm?
Become their friend?
Do I eat them?
Raw or well done?
Do I trick them?
I don't think they're that dumb.
Do I join them?
Looks like that's the one.

More to come as the muse strikes


"cuz it's my birthday, b-b-bb-birthday"
Barry T
211. blindillusion
and a Very Merry Non-Unbirthday to you MAT.


A very merry unbirthday
To me
To who?
To me
Oh, you

A very merry unbirthday
To you
Who, me?
To you
Oh, me

Let's all congratulate us with another cup of tea
A very merry unbirthday to you

Now statistics prove
Prove that you've one birthday
Imagine just one birthday every year
Ah, but there are 364 unbirthdays
Precisely why we're gathered here to cheer

A very merry unbirthday
To me?
To you
A very merry unbirthday
For me?
For you
Now blow the candle out, my dear
And make your wish come true
A very merry unbirthday to you
Marcus W
212. toryx
Tektonica @ 204:

Actually, one of the reasons I left the industry was because I couldn't bear to see how much authors were getting screwed by the electronic rights.

Disclaimer: I was not, nor have I ever been, employed by Tor (though I wanted to be!) and have no idea how their contracts work. So my criticism is not toward them or Macmillian in any way, shape or form.
And no, I'm not saying who I worked for either.

But I did love the industry and the free books even though the pay still sucks.

MasterAlThor @ 210:

Happy birthday, dude!
Lannis .
213. Lannis
M A T: Happy happy day! Have a great weekend with the daughter and grandson (birthdays are always better with good company)! :)
Sam Mickel
214. Samadai

I hope you have a great birthday weekend. Happy birthday.
215. MasterAlThor
A very merry un-birhday to you all.

My bday is actually Sun. but thank you all for the wishes

Tess Laird
216. thewindrose
To MasterAlThor(it is not in fact my Birthday:)


They say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Come on
Come on

Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party

I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Dance yeah

Come on

I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Oh dance! Dance

They say it's your birthday
Well it's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Have a wonderful Birthday! Enjoy!!

217. Freelancer

Enjoy your day, it's one fewer that you have left.

Then again, there can be only one.

There's no time for us
There's no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams yet slips away from us

Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever....?

There's no chance for us
It's all decided for us
This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us

Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?

Who dares to love forever?
When love must die

But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today
Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?
Forever is our today

Who waits forever anyway?

~ Brian May
Matthew Smith
218. blocksmith

Anything from the one Highlander movie made is MOA...

But having your birthday and being reminded that you are one year older isn't enough? I know we should live every day like it might be our last but do you have to remind us? You Spanish Peacock!!!
219. MasterAlThor
Whooo Hoooooo

I got a Beatles song and my favorite Queen song from fellow geezers.

Love you guys.

Tricia Irish
220. Tektonica
Hey MAT:

Happy Birthday! Birthday Weekend! Hey, Birthday Week!
Have a wonderful time with friends and Fam and don't forget about us...haha!

Windrose already stole my favorite birthday song, so cue Stevie Wonder and play it over and over!

Toryx@212: Sorry to hear things haven't gotten any better in publishing land. I think there's a lot of fear of the future there and in the music biz too.
Rob Munnelly
221. RobMRobM
On a more offbeat note, especially given your birthday is not today:

(They Might be Giants)

Well the rain falls down without my help I'm afraid
And my lawn gets wet though I've withheld my consent
When this grey world crumbles like a cake
I'll be hanging from the hope
That I'll never see that recipe again

As I walk, I think about a new way to walk
As I think, I'm using up the time left to think
And this train keep rolling off the track
Trying to act like something else
Trying to go where it's been uninvited

It's not my birthday
It's not today
It's not my birthday, so why do you lunge out at me?
When the word comes down, "Never more will be around"
Though I'll wish you were there, I was less than we could bear
And I'm not the only dust my mother raised

So, I'm rattling the bars around this drink tank
Discreetly I should pour through the keyhole or evaporate completely
But there'd be no percentage, and there'd be no proof
And the sound upon the roof is only water

And the rain falls down without my help I'm afraid
And my lawn gets wet though I've withheld my consent
When this grey world crumbles like a cake
I'll be hanging from the hope
That I'll never see that recipe again

It's not my birthday
It's not today
It's not my birthday, so why do you lunge out at me?
When the word comes down, "Never more will be around"
Though I'll wish you were there, I was less than we could bear
And I'm not the only dust my mother raised
I am not the only dust my mother raised

Happy b'day in advance. R
Ron Garrison
222. Man-0-Manetheran
Did I miss the party? Happy Birthday MAT! Happy Unbirthday Blind!
Karen Jacobs
223. KJacobs
MAT: Happy Early Birthday! Enjoy your weekend!
Thomas Keith
224. insectoid
MAT @210: LOL... I'll have to look for that one. ;) And, happy early birthday!

225. mityorkie
Polyandry is practiced in Nepal - common even. The detail, though, is that the multiple husbands are always brothers.
226. RichR
Leighdb @31: The problem with that logic is that polygomy is not widely practiced among the Aiel, so polyamory not being common among Greens doesn't defeat the parallel. Moreover, there are fewer than 200 Greens, so if only a few have polyamorous relationships, that's still relatively common. Also, Myrelle's going to the extreme of marrying being unheard of, and possibly just rumour, does not mean contemporaneous shacking-up is unusual in the Green Ajah.
227. Faeleone
Thanks to all for makeing this simply clear as mud! I though I had parts of this cleared up for my self and now I have a monkey wrench thrown into my brain! So have a good Laborday! I am now returning to my book!
228. yasiru89
Not sure if the kneeling and kissing bit from the Aes Sedai was their commitment to present circumstances or a matter of ta'veren twisting. Considering it's the same sort of ritual the Tairen and Cairhienin nobles got on to back in FoH, I don't see why it would be regarded as particularly 'outré', especially coming from those sworn to Rand (not that he expected it).

We all know the Sea Folk are yet another torture visited upon Rand (and likely helped, in no small part, in turning him into Dark Rand from tGS), so we can at least be grateful to Cadsuane for dealing with them so often and so... eloquently.

I don't know if polygamy is legal in known Randland (Seanchan and Shara excluded), but something that was mentioned about Myrelle leads me to suspect it is not. However, this may be another post-Breaking effect, in that women had to be more cohesive to maintain order and that naturally led on to cultural phenomena like sister wives while the other side of things had no natural inlet.
Edward Phippen
229. Grimwanderer
Steelblaidd @ 19:

"I've always had a lot of sympathy for Min's reaction (Slander my wits, my taste...), I feel much the same when my wife starts putting herself down. "

Having been on both sides of this in a relationship, I feel conflicted.

My last partner suffered from guilt over things in his past that really messed up his self-confidence. Even knowing this, I would get frustrated - even angry at times - when he would put himself down or otherwise sell himself short.

On the other hand, in all honesty, I do the same thing ... And it drives my current partner (my husband) crazy.

Sometimes I do it as a joke, sometimes I'm fishing for a compliment or comfort / reassurance, sometimes in a flawed attempt at humility or to avoid seeming arrogant, but sometimes it is because I perceive some weakness in myself that makes me somehow "unworthy" of an offered compliment or just the good things I have in my life. I'm working on it ... But the feeling is still there.

All I can recommend is patience and gently try to help your partner see his or her worth. Push too hard and they will reject it; never push at all and they will never grow beyond it.

So what does this have to do with WoT? Probably not much... But I know this is a common trait in human beings so I thought I would throw my 2 cents out there.

Ok... Armchair self-analysis /off.

- Grim
William McDaniel
230. willmcd
Oops, double post.
William McDaniel
231. willmcd
I must've been feeling pretty reflective when I read these chapters, because I noticed all sorts of symbolism and subtle stuff (which is what I love most about WoT, I think) that delighted me. Chapter 33:

The chapter title "A Bath" has meaning beyond the obvious and visible one; just as dirt is being removed from Rand's body, so too is the languor being removed from his mind. He overcomes the trauma of being in the box and returning to Cairhien to find Colavaere crowned, and goes into a near-manic state.
On the fourth morning, he woke groggily from a dream of the White Tower, flinging up a hand to shield grainy eyes from what he thought was a flare of saidar-wrought fire. Dust motes sparkled in the sunlight streaming through the window to reach his bed, with its great square black-wood bedposts inlaid with ivory wedges. Every piece of furnishing in the room was polished blackwood and ivory.
Rand wakes from troubling dreams, almost all of which center on male and female channelers in conflict with each other, to the illuminating sunlight showing black and white together in the furnishings of the room. This evokes the ancient AS symbol of male and female union; it has the potential to be an epiphany-like moment as we see the conflict fade into unity, but Rand in his mentally distressed state can't appreciate it.

But it points toward what happens later in the chapter, as Rand and Min's acknowledgement of their love for each other is the thing that pulls him out of his lethargy. Men and women united accomplish great things; when divided they destroy.

I know we're all tired of the "those other two guys sure know how to deal with women" thing, but Rand's thought that "Perrin had such a serene marriage, with a smiling, gentle wife" got a big HA! out of me.

Also, Rand's thought on the Sea Folk, "Either they're mine, or they're my enemies", echoes the words of Christ in Matthew 12:30, "He who is not with me is against me".
Terry McNamee
232. macster
Obviously this was already covered by Leigh herself during the AMoL re-read, but Kiruna finally does reappear during the Last Battle, only to be killed by Graendal. I can only guess that she was left behind with the rest of Rand's Aes Sedai in Cairhien when his group and Cadsuane's went to Far Madding; was brought to Merrilor, then Shayol Ghul by either Rand gathering all his allies or Elayne after she won the Sun Throne; and after that she was put in Cadsuane's coterie once again. Since she wasn't one of those to "serve Rand in her fashion" she got shuffled off to the side, forgotten, and was not used until the Last Battle, probably a deliberate choice by Rand and Cadsuane in-story thanks to their dismissal of her rather than Jordan forgetting about her.

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