Apr 9 2010 2:12pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 21

Heeeeyyyy, girlfriends! Do not be jealous of my boogie, for I have a brand new Wheel of Time Re-read just for you!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 35 and 36 of A Crown of Swords, in which we receive good prophetic news, and Our Hero ends a rebellion, but probably not in the way he would prefer.

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 34: Into the Woods



What Happens
Min watches (and admires) Rand as he roots through his wardrobe, and wonders how the negotiations with the Sea Folk are going. She sees again the viewing of fireflies being swallowed by darkness, and knows that it represents his battle with the Shadow, and also that it always seems like the Shadow is winning.

A tiny stab of guilt made her shift her seat on the coverlet. She had not really lied when he asked what viewings she had kept back. Not really. What good to tell him he would almost certainly fail without a woman who was dead and gone?

She tell him that she doesn’t think this is a very good idea, but he disagrees, saying that his ta’veren-ness is finally working in his favor for once. She asks if he wouldn’t rather comfort her again, and blushes when he stops dead and stares at her. Finally, he mutters that he wants to keep moving while he is “sure it is still working,” and exclaims in triumph to find a plain green coat; Min sees him tremble as he remembers it is the one he wore after Dumai’s Wells, and goes over to hug him and whisper that she loves him. He hugs her back, but then moves her away, and she tells him he can’t be sure it will work just because it did on Harine. He replies haughtily that he is the Dragon Reborn, and today he can do anything; “they” won’t know until it is too late. Min reminds him that one arrow can kill him no matter who he is, but Rand says they’re going alone, just him and her, if she wants to come. Min comments that Nandera won’t like this, but Rand is gleeful at the prospect of escaping the Maidens, and Min sighs and gives in. Rand makes a gateway to a wooded area, and almost immediately a Cairhienin noblewoman on horseback comes upon them. Min gasps, thinking for a moment that it is Moiraine, but it isn’t. The noblewoman points a crossbow at them, and says she doesn’t recall seeing them in the camp; Rand answers that he thought he’d like to take a look at it, and asks if she is the Lady Caraline Damodred, which she confirms.

Min sighed regretfully, but it was not as if she had really expected Moiraine to turn up alive. Moiraine was the only viewing of hers that had ever failed. But Caraline Damodred herself, one of the leaders of the rebellion against Rand here in Cairhien, and a claimant to the Sun Throne… He really was pulling all the threads of the Pattern around him, to have her appear.

Caraline stares at him, then looses the crossbow bolt into the air, remarking that she doubts it would do him any harm anyway, and she would not want him to think she was threatening him. She says she can think of only one gray-eyed man with his height who might appear out of nowhere, and Rand confirms arrogantly that he is the Dragon Reborn. Caraline repeats the usual rumors, and Rand replies sharply that he submits to no one, and Elayne is on her way to Caemlyn to take the Lion Throne, after which she will have Cairhien as well; Min winces and wishes he didn’t sound so much like “a pillow stuffed with haughty.” Caraline answers that she doesn’t have an objection as such to her cousin (Elayne) being on the throne, but she has an issue with Rand being in Cairhien at all. She points out all the bizarre accidents that happen around him, and opines that he will tear Cairhien apart just by being there.

“Balance,” Min broke in hastily. Rand’s face was so dark, he looked ready to burst. Maybe he had been right to come after all. Certainly there was no point letting him throw this meeting away in a tantrum. She gave no one a chance to speak. “There is always a balance of good against bad. That’s how the Pattern works. Even he doesn’t change that. As night balances day, good balances harm. […] Name the evil, and you can point to the good. The turning of the Wheel requires balance, and he only increases the chances of what might have happened anyway in nature.”

Min blushes when she sees Rand is staring at her, and mumbles that she’s been reading some of Herid Fel’s books. Suddenly they are interrupted by a horseman in Tairen attire who proves to be High Lord Darlin Sisnera himself, followed by a dozen or so retainers; he sees Rand and Min, and asks Caraline if these are “strays,” or spies from the city. Caraline doesn’t miss a beat, and introduces Rand to Darlin as her cousin Tomas Trakand from Andor, and his wife Jaisi. Darlin bows slightly and welcomes “Tomas” to their camp, congratulating him on his bravery, as al’Thor might “loose the savages” on them at any moment. He frowns to note Rand’s return bow is as shallow as his. Rand comments coolly that he’d heard Darlin was in Haddon Mirk, and Caraline throws Rand a warning look, but Darlin tells her he doesn’t mind, and tells Rand that he came from Tear after he was approached by Aes Sedai who suggested that al’Thor might soon go to the Tower, and he’d thought to help put Caraline on the throne before Colavaere beat them to it.

“Well, al’Thor is no fool; never believe he is. Myself, I think he played the Tower like a harp. Colavaere is hanged, he sits secure behind Cairhien’s walls—without an Aes Sedai halter, I’ll wager, no matter what rumor says—and until we find some way to extricate ourselves, we sit in his hand, waiting for him to make a fist.”

Rand points out that if a ship brought him, a ship could take him away, and Darlin laughs and says yes, but he’s asked Caraline to marry him, and therefore he can’t go anywhere unless she agrees. Caraline looks cold, but Min sees auras around them, and knows that they will marry (after Caraline has led Darlin “a merry chase”). She also sees a crown with a curved sword on it on Darlin’s head, and knows he will be a king someday, though not of what country. Darlin invites them back to the camp, which Rand accepts over Min’s whispered protests. Caraline has Min ride with her, saying she wants to “see what he does,” though Min isn’t sure whether she means Rand or Darlin. As they ride, Min overhears Darlin tell “Tomas” that he would have let al’Thor take Callandor, but not bring Aiel invaders into the Stone; Rand points out that the Prophecies say the Stone had to fall. Darlin shakes his head, and says perhaps he could have followed, but it is too late now; he is a traitor in al’Thor’s eyes. They arrive at the rebel camp, most of the inhabitants looking grim and trapped. They go inside the biggest tent Min’s ever seen, which has quite few people inside, and Rand stiffens; Min sees that there are four Aes Sedai among the crowd, one of them Red. Rand pats Min’s arm and tells her not to worry. Caraline rejoins them after shaking off a man in a red Andoran coat, and Min gasps and blurts out to her not to trust the man, as he will kill anyone in his way, or for a whim. Caraline answers that she can believe it of Daved Hanlon and his “White Lions”; apparently Toram Riatin has offered him much gold. Rand says coldly that he’s heard of them, and has no doubt they harbor Darkfriends in their ranks; then he asks about a Cairhienin man across the tent, standing next to a “skinny little fellow” with a strange curved dagger at his waist, both of whom are staring at Rand. Caraline answers with distaste that that is Lord Toram and his constant companion these days, Jeraal Mordeth, and that they both make her feel unclean. She adds that Rand should be careful; maybe his ta’veren thing worked on her and even on Darlin, but Toram hates Rand al’Thor with a passion, and it’s gotten worse since Mordeth joined them.

“Mordeth,” Rand said. His eyes were locked to Toram Riatin and the skinny fellow. “His name is Padan Fain, and there are one hundred thousand golden crowns on his head.”

Caraline nearly dropped her goblet. “Queens have been ransomed for less. What did he do?”

“He ravaged my home because it was my home.” Rand’s face was frozen, his voice ice. “He brought Trollocs to kill my friends because they were my friends. He is a Darkfriend, and a dead man.” Those last words came through clenched teeth. Punch splashed to the carpet as the silver goblet bent in his gloved fist.

Min is trying to calm him when a voice asks to be introduced to Caraline’s “tall young friend,” and Min turns to see a gray-haired Aes Sedai with a green shawl and an unpleasant smile behind them. Caraline stammers a bit, but recovers and introduces her “cousin” to Cadsuane, telling her that they are taking Caraline’s advice and “returning to Andor.”

Tiny golden birds and moons and stars swayed as she shook her head. “Most boys learn not to stick their fingers into the pretty fire the first time they are burned, Tomas. Others need to be spanked, to learn. Better a tender bottom than a seared hand.”

Rand tells her sharply that he is no child, and Cadsuane answers that they’ll see whether he needs spanking or not before drifting off. Caraline puts a hand on Rand’s chest and warns him to be careful of Cadsuane, and that she thinks it is time for him to go. They are interrupted by Toram, who looks at Caraline’s hand and asks if “Tomas” knows that Caraline is to be his wife. Caraline answers angrily that she has already told him that she will not marry him, and Toram comments with a smile to Rand that women “never know their minds until you show them.” He notices Rand’s sword, and asks if he would care for a little sport. Caraline tries to head this idea off at the pass, but Rand abruptly agrees.

So there’s a lot of stuff happening in this chapter, but the first time I read it I was all Blah blah blah OMG Moiraine! Squee!

Because, of course, while we were all pretty sure that Moiraine was far too awesome to stay dead, this is the first in-text indication in quite a while that we were right. And a pretty big indicator, at that, since according to The Rules, Min’s viewings are never wrong, whatever Min herself might think. Ergo, OMG Moiraine! Squee!

(I have to wonder, after this much buildup, if any scene featuring Moiraine’s return will possibly be able to live up to our collective expectations. Maybe not; but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see it. Because, OMG! Moiraine! Squee!)

Oh, and other stuff. Lessee.

Caraline: Perhaps the least rebellious rebel I ever did see. Both Rand and Caraline herself attribute it to Rand’s ta’veren-ness (Ta’verenishness? Ta’verenosity?), but it seems to me like even so, she would never have come along so quietly unless her heart was never really in it in the first place.

Future King of Tear Darlin, too. I quite like them both. Of course, I may be giving them too much credit, just because they treat Rand like a human being (both before and after they know who he really is), but then again it says something, how strongly their display of common decency jumps out at me. I’m pretty sure the “something” it says is fairly unflattering to the WOT cast at large, but hey.

Or maybe it’s just the contrast with Toram, who clearly never even had a nodding acquaintance with the notion of decency, common or otherwise. And, of course, he’s gotten Fain-grease all over him, which apparently not only makes you the Diet Coke of evil, but also imbues you with the irresistible urge to chew all the scenery regionally available. See Elaida, the. Fun!

Hanlon: The Hey, It’s That Guy! of Darkfriends, in that every time he randomly pops up somewhere I’m always like, wait, do I know this person? Am I supposed to care about him?

If so, well, sorry, because I really, really don’t. Fortunately he only has the briefest of cameos here; I don’t have to get seriously annoyed that he exists until he shows up in Caemlyn. Small favors…

Cadsuane: *headdesk*

To be continued.

This won’t be the last time Rand tries this little incognito infiltration trick, and I seem to recall it didn’t end too well the other time, either. I do see the appeal it must have for him, even as I want to slap him upside the head for doing it. I spent this entire chapter the first time cringing in anticipation of the way this whole thing would backfire on him horribly. Sometimes I just hate being right.

Chapter 36: Blades

What Happens
Min and Caraline are appalled; Toram laughs and shouts for everyone to clear a space. Min informs Rand that he is brainless, and Caraline strongly suggests that he leave now, pointing out that there are four Red sisters in the tent. As the crowd gathers to watch (Cadsuane and her companions with disapproval), Rand tells Caraline that he won’t use any “tricks,” but she tells him that Toram is a blademaster, and will hurt “Tomas” deliberately, as punishment for touching what he considers his property (meaning herself). Rand just smiles and answers that he is who he is, and heads out to the cleared area.

“Why must they be so stubborn when you least wish it?” Caraline whispered in tones of frustration. Min could only nod in agreement.

Toram gives Rand a practice blade, and critiques his attire, but Rand doesn’t answer, and Toram laughs and instantly goes for a head strike.

With a loud clack, bundled lathes met bundled lathes. Rand had moved nothing except his sword. For a moment, Toram stared at him, and Rand looked back calmly. Then they began to dance.

Min is amazed at the grace and skill involved, and Caraline breathes in awe that Rand is also a blademaster. Toram is growing furious, but as he presses the attack, a scream comes from outside the tent, and suddenly the whole thing whips away to show they are surrounded by an unnatural fog. Toram takes advantage of Rand’s distraction to strike him in the side; Rand doubles over, and Toram sneers, but before he can strike again, a tentacle of fog snatches one of the Red sisters into the air. Cadsuane shoots balls of fire at the tentacle, but the Red sister is dead before she hits the ground. The crowd breaks into pandemonium as Min and, surprisingly, Caraline shove their way to Rand and help him up. He shows Min that the wound in his side had not broken open, and opines that they should get away from here. Darlin agrees, but wonders which way to go; Toram spits that this is al’Thor’s work, and starts yelling for Mordeth/Fain, who does not answer. Everyone else has fled except Cadsuane and her two companions; Cadsuane tells Toram to “stop that caterwauling,” and decides that north is the best way.

“We three will take care of anything your steel can’t handle.” She looked straight at Rand when she said that, and he gave a whisker of a nod before buckling his sword belt and drawing his blade. Trying not to goggle, Min exchanged glances with Caraline; the other woman’s eyes looked as large as teacups. The Aes Sedai knew who he was, and she was going to keep anyone else from knowing.

The other two sisters, Niande (Gray) and Samitsu (Yellow) ask Cadsuane if they should link, but Cadsuane rejects the notion. Darlin, seeing the heron mark on Rand’s blade, gives him a nod of respect (Toram sneers). Neither of the two men are very happy as Cadsuane takes charge, but she’s having none of it; Min is surprised that Rand doesn’t protest her orders, though he does stare at her arrogantly. They move out in a defensive star formation with Caraline and Min in the protected center. Shrieks and screams come from the fog, and the Aes Sedai hurl fire at any part of it which seems about to attack. They see dismembered parts of horses and people as they go, and a man still alive with half his face torn off. Samitsu tries to get to him, but he dies before she can do anything, and they move on. Then a woman runs toward them, crying thank yous, and the fog rears up behind her. Min thinks Rand would have waited if it had been a man, but he balefires the fog before Cadsuane does anything. The woman runs off shrieking, and Toram, recognizing who Rand must be, yells that al’Thor will not trap him, and runs off into the fog as well. Darlin stares at Rand, but doesn’t run. Cadsuane calmly walks over to Rand and slaps his face, and tells him he will never use balefire again. Rand only rubs his cheek, and tells her that she was wrong; “he” is real. Min realizes with sympathy that he must be talking about the voices he mentioned earlier.

She opened her mouth—and Padan Fain seemed to leap out of the mists behind Rand, steel gleaming in his fist.

“Behind you!” Min screamed, pointing with the knife in her outstretched right hand as she threw the one in her left. Everything seemed to happen at once, half-seen in wintery fog.

Rand began to turn; twisting aside, and Fain also twisted, to lunge for him. For that twist, her knife missed, but Fain’s dagger scored along Rand’s left side. It hardly seemed to more than slice his coat, yet he screamed. He screamed, a sound to make Min’s heart clench, and clutching his side, he fell against Cadsuane, catching at her to hold himself up, pulling both of them down.

Samitsu shoves Min and Caraline out of her way to get to Rand as Darlin lunges for Fain, but Fain dodges him and scampers off into the fog, cackling. Min cries out and pushes Cadsuane away to take Rand’s head in her lap, but Cadsuane lays a hand on her head and tells her that she has no intention of letting “the boy” die when she hasn’t “taught him manners yet”; strangely, this comforts Min enough to move away and let Samitsu do her work. The Healing makes Rand thrash so hard he knocks the Yellow over, but Samitsu says something isn’t right; she checks the wound, and Min sees that the slash from Fain’s dagger runs right across Rand’s unhealing scar from Ishamael, and already looks infected.

“This,” Samitsu said in a lecturing tone, lightly touching the scar, “seems like a cyst, but full of evil instead of pus. And this . . . ” She drew the finger down the gash. “ . . . seems full of a different evil.”

She also thinks that if she had been a moment slower, Rand would already be dead, but thinks that he will die anyway. Min is reduced to tears, and Caraline is aghast; Darlin watches with a frown. Cadsuane scowls at Rand and tells him she will not allow him to die, and commands Min to stop pretending to be a “milksop,” and tells Darlin to carry Rand. Darlin hesitates, then obeys, and they move into the fog again, which is still killing people horribly just out of sight. Finally they emerge from the fog bank, and see that others are also escaping and running in every direction. Caraline sighs to see her army go foom; Darlin points out that there is another in Tear, if she wants it.

[Caraline] glanced at Rand, hanging like a sack. “Perhaps,” she said. Darlin turned his head toward Rand’s face with a troubled frown.

They trip and stumble their way down the hill to the road, and commandeer a turnip cart drawn by mules to take them back to the Sun Palace. Cadsuane wants to go back to Arilyn’s manor house, but Min tells her she doesn’t know what will happen if Rand wakes up in a strange place surrounded by Aes Sedai “again”; Cadsuane stares at her a moment, then acquiesces. In the cart, she wants to know just what happened the last time Rand woke up surrounded by strange Aes Sedai; Min knows that Rand doesn’t want it told, but he is dying, and she thinks it might help them to know, so she explains the whole thing. Darlin and Caraline are stunned, and Samitsu and Niande are horrified – though it turns out that they are aghast at the part where Rand stilled three sisters; both of them vomit over the side of the cart at the news.

And Cadsuane… Cadsuane touched Rand’s pale face, brushed strands of hair from his forehead. “Do not be afraid, boy,” she said softly. “They made my task harder, and yours, but I will not hurt you more than I must.” Min turned to ice inside.

Everyone at the Palace goes into a frenzy at the sight of Rand, and in short order he is brought up to his rooms (Darlin and Caraline disappear at some point). When Nandera sees him, she sets up a wail of dismay, and the other Maidens keen with her until Cadsuane sends them running to guard the room; Min can’t wait to see the inevitable confrontation between her and Sorilea. Then Bera and Kiruna barge in and stop short in shock at the sight of Cadsuane, to Min’s astonishment. Min yells at them all to do something, and Amys walks in and agrees. Amys kicks Bera and Kiruna out (which Cadsuane pronounces “interesting”) and she and Amys have a staring contest; Amys wants to know if they have done all they can to Heal Rand, and Cadsuane thinks so. Dashiva enters with Flinn and Narishma, and begs to differ; Niande and Samitsu are horror-struck at the sight of the Asha’man. Dashiva barks at Flinn, who goes to Rand and starts moving his hands above Rand’s body. Samitsu demands to know what he is doing, but Narishma blocks her way to Flinn; Cadsuane murmurs “Another boy with no manners,” and Narishma flushes, but does not move. Flinn pulls the sheet down to look at the wound.

Flinn traced his finger along the puffy gash in Rand’s side and across the old scar. That did seem more tender. “These are alike, but different, as if there’s two kinds of infection at work. Only it isn’t infection; it’s… darkness. I can’t think of a better word.” He shrugged, eyeing Samitsu’s yellow-fringed shawl as she frowned at him, but it was a considering look she gave him now.

“Get on with it, Flinn,” Dashiva muttered. “If he dies…” Nose wrinkled as though at a bad smell, he seemed unable to look away from Rand. His lips moved as he talked to himself, and once he made a sound, half sob, half bitter laugh, without his face changing one line.

Flinn goes to work, talking absently as he does about how Healing was the reason he went to the Black Tower, and then one day Dashiva made a suggestion about it, and… but he cuts off there, and Min sees that the wound looks a little better, as does Rand. Samitsu checks him, and is astounded, and demands to know what Flinn did. Flinn explains that he couldn’t fix what was wrong with either wound, but managed to seal them off from Rand for a while, so they are fighting each other instead of him; he doesn’t know if it will work forever, but it’s a chance.

To Flinn’s evident surprise, Samitsu rounded the bed to help him rise. “You will tell me what you did,” she said, regal tone at strong odds with the way her quick fingers straightened the old man’s collar and smoothed his lapels. “If only there was some way you could show me! But you will describe it. You must! I will give you all the gold I possess, bear your child, whatever you wish, but you will tell me all that you can.” Apparently not sure herself whether she was commanding or begging, she led a very bemused Flinn over by the windows. He opened his mouth more than once, but she was too busy trying to make him talk to see it.

Min climbs up to lay beside Rand and cradle him. She watches Cadsuane and Dashiva and Amys, all looking at Rand, and vows to protect him from all of them if necessary. Somehow.

Freakin’ long-ass chapter, sheesh.

So, we had the pride, and now we had the Bad Shit that comes of it. Yay, not. At least now we have the hindsighted benefit of knowing that this whole episode has a plot-related payoff – and a bloody huge one, at that, since this whole “Evil 1 fighting Evil 2” thing is what inspires Rand to figure out how to cleanse saidin a couple of books down the line.

Which is good, because at the time I first read this I was like OH COME ON. How much more damage can you do to one savior, for the love of Mike?

…Yeah, of course hindsight also tells me that as damage to our hero goes, this ain’t nothin’. Sigh. I just can’t win!

Goddamn freakin’ Fain, I swear. ANNOYANCE. Well, at least he doesn’t get any lines here.

Cadsuane: speaking of annoyance. Although, the thing about her is, the reason she’s so annoying is because nine times out of ten she is absolutely right about whatever she says or does, and most of her actions (as I’ve said before) would be accounted awesome had they been performed by any other character. You’ll note that she was the one to react instantly when the Red sister was attacked, for example. It’s just the WAY she says or does things that makes me want to gnash my teeth.

And actually, now that I look at it, my annoyance with her behavior is pretty much specifically limited to the way she treats Rand. Her telling Toram to shut up was actually really funny (“caterwauling,” heh), and in her own irascible way she treats most of the people around her with a rough kind of respect (those she feels deserves it, at any rate). Like reassuring Samitsu that she is one of the best Healers around (something I left out of the recap), or saying that she can tell Min is no milksop, and comforting her when she’s distraught about Rand. And you can tell she likes Amys’s style at the end. Even Flinn, evidenced by the fact that she doesn’t attempt to interfere with him.

But Rand, Rand is a whole different ball of wax, and I’ve never understood why she takes the tack of treating him like a five-year-old. I’ve noted before that the function of most of the women in Rand’s life is to remind him that he is human and flawed, and not a god, but there is quite a big difference between telling him to wash his ears, and smacking him across the face. The former might bring him down to earth, but how is the latter going to do anything but piss him off?

I just don’t get it. Showing no fear of Rand is good; fear generally only induces either compassion or sadness in him, but of course only we know that, and even Rand can’t help feeling contempt for those who fear him as well, sometimes. And no one can respect or be expected to listen to someone they find worthy of contempt, however subliminally.

And from an outside perspective, showing fear (which is to say, weakness) to someone as powerful as Rand can be actually dangerous; at some point it becomes about a pack mentality thing, if that makes any sense. The wolves of Randland are a bit more honorable (and sentient) than real wolves, but in the real world, wolves who are too different and/or weak are generally driven out of the pack or even killed. And anyone who’s seen schoolground bullying in action (i.e. everyone) knows that in a lot of ways we are still not all that far evolved from the same mentality.

Woo, tangent.

Anyway, back to Cadsuane: so, not showing fear = good, but there’s no way she can be not fearful of him AND show respect at the same time? Like, say, Bashere, or Lan, or even Berelain? I mean, I’m not asking for a lot here – just, you know, NOT slapping the savior of the world in the face!


Dashiva and Flinn: This interlude between them emphasizes once again how little we get on the Asha’man in general from a first- or even secondhand perspective, and annoys me afresh. Grumble. I wonder if Dashiva/Osan’gar/Aginor really does suck at Healing, or if he’s just trying to camouflage his Forsakenness by going through Flinn. Either way, it does not make Flinn any less awesome. What little we see of him! Grumble!

Samitsu: Another example of a character who is likable simply because they do their thing and (generally) do not let outside considerations get in the way of Their Thing. It is obvious that Samitsu’s purpose in life is Healing, and whether her patient is some random guy or the Dragon Reborn is of no importance whatsoever, which is just cool. And also, if she can learn something about Healing from a man who can channel (which is to say, one step up from a demon from hell, in her view), then she’s going to do that too, by gum. People with such singleminded focus can be rather annoying in real life, but in doctors (or Healers, as the case may be) I say the more singlemindedness the better. (Also, that whole thing with Flinn was hilarious.)

And I have no more to say! At least for the nonce. Have a spiffy and low-cholesterol weekend, kiddies, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

Janet Hopkins
1. JanDSedai
Yea! In time for everyone to comment on! This is a favorite scene for me, so much going on!
James Hogan
2. Sonofthunder
Yayy Leigh!! Thanks for posting this so early - gives me time to read it while I'm still on lunch!!!
Barry T
3. blindillusion

But Leigh....

edit: Ah...there I am. Girls shouldn't be jealous of the boogie...and the guys should go crank their cars...gotcha....
Sean Banawnie
4. Seanie
MOA , Leigh. I luuv these chapters. All kinds of colness.Does suck for Rand to get hurt yet again but it do have a big payoff. And Cads does not bother me as much as some people. She is very competent but yes arrogant and too smackey. But she has nerve.....
Sean Banawnie
5. Seanie
OTOH whats with the hey girlfriends intro!!! Like, YO, not are exposing your feminist -fu. You owe your male gendered fans some love......
Lannis .
6. Lannis
Can't. Wait. For. The. Tower. Of. Ghenjei! XD

I must say I appreciate the instant wary-trust (oxymoron much?) that we see in Caraline Damodred. She's obviously politically savvy and knows exactly what she's doing here, ta'verenity or not... And I like her. (Maybe I just miss Moiraine too much?)

Fain. ::shudder::

Am I the only one surprised that Fain didn't instantly go all batshit on us and fly across the tent to stab Rand blindly? I get that Fain's morphed into Evil Most Horrid, but at one point, he was really quite animalistic about tracking down Rand. It strikes me as surprising (on every reread) that Fain doesn't switch to Instinct Only Mode and go ballistic immediately in Rand's presence... it seems odd that Fain has the will to resist until the Bubble of Ebil occurs...

It's hard to blame Rand for being drawn to the "incognito infiltration" tactic... the guy has a hard time going anywhere unnoticed... can you blame him for trying?

Thanks for the post, Leigh! Have a great weekend!
Richard Fife
7. R.Fife
@5 Seanie and @3 Blind:
Grab a shawl and give in. We all have a fem-side.
Bonnie Andrews
8. misfortuona
Excellent job, as usual Leigh, Thank you.

I love two posts a week, and with the cage matches and new ebook cover there wasn't even time to think about twitching.

Of all the bubbles of evil that make thier appearance to this point in the series, this fog has always creeped me out the most. Probably because I've always imagined 'monsters' in the fog anyway.

Andrew Belmont
9. rosetintdworld
Nice post, Leigh. I have to confess I was wondering today what you would come up with; none of these chapters ever struck me as terribly memorable. I'm always impressed what you manage to comment on.

Samitsu is another one of those Aes Sedai, like Teslyn, Nisao, and Annoura, who are not exactly super cool but nonetheless have always managed to impress me, even if I never realized it until this re-read. Samitsu just tries to do some good and doesn't have a huge ego about it, which is so, so rare in Aes Sedai.

Do we have any idea who made up the group of Reds here? (Don't have my book handy, so apologies if this is evident.) I only ask because it randomly occurs to me that this might have something to do with the Silver Swan mystery in Caemlyn. I may have no basis for thinking that.

Also, I think there is an Osan'gar POV in WH in which he thinks about sucking at Healing. I only remember because some fans found this odd at the time--that a renowned biologist/gene-splicer shouldn't be able to Heal. I think RJ answered at a Q&A that the two abilities were unrelated when it came to the OP.
Mikey Bennett
10. EvilMonkey
I was just about to wonder why this page wasn't filled to bursting with comments yet, then I realized that it's only Friday. Great analysis as always Leigh. Must be Brown Ajah or something. As far as Cad's treatment of The Man, much of that I feel is posturing. She has to project a legendary image in order to be most effective with the people she is gathering to help and protect Rand. She has to be seen as effective, fearless, and most of all indispensable. Sorilea would have never proposed a Wise One alliance with her (especially considering their changing attitude toward all Aes Sedai) if she did not see all 3 qualities in Cads. I admit that some of it is just a lil over the top but with Rand's continued hardening it sometimes takes more effort to break through. A slap to the face to keep someone from going to sleep, as it were. But this can also be considered her blindspot. As we see in later books that slap in the face becomes less and less effective yet she doesn't change her tactics until Rand as Darkness Incarnate forces her to.

James Hogan
11. Sonofthunder
I also like Caraline and Darlin a lot...probably mostly because I was expecting them to be jerks. And then they were...real, decent people! *shock*

And you know, Fain's death is going to be one of the BEST MOMENTS OVER. I despise him mightily.

Thanks again, Leigh!!!!! Having two re-reads/week again is just awesomeness! We love you!!
12. Lsana
BTW, does anyone remember what the deal was with Darlin? Why did Rand exile him in the first place?
Mikey Bennett
13. EvilMonkey
One other thing, a question. Everyone seems to think that the unnatural fog was a bubble o' evil. It was my impression that the fog was a Fain creation since it acted similar to Mashadar in Shadar Logoth. I just thought it was one of the many dagger tricks Fain is able to use the longer he holds said dagger. Did anybody ask RJ or BS about this or am I just crazee?

14. Jelsel

two posts in one week!!!!

keep up the good stuff, Leigh!!!!
James Jones
15. jamesedjones
12 Lsana

Cause he was a little peeved after Mat had to conk him on the head with a stick when the Stone fell. Yes, Darlin's come a long way from his sneering, arrogant self in Book 3.

...well, a little way at least.
16. Lsana
@15 jamesedjones,

Sean Banawnie
17. Seanie
*in best popeye voice* I yam what I yam .

Yeah I am always surprised that they don't blow like a match and my mowers gascan. esp Fain. Rand won't risk hurting bystanders but Fain...... and I always thought those bubbles were attracted to Fain....maybe he felt them coming on; attacted to him and Rand being together --drawing the DO, like Saurons eye....they ended up being a great distaction for him , Fain is sly......
Andrew Belmont
18. rosetintdworld
Lsana @12: IIRC, Darlin left as soon as the Stone fell, declaring himself in rebellion. Rand never exiled him. As much as I like Darlin, and appreciate how RJ toyed with our assumptions and made him a generally nice guy, I feel there was some rather sloppy retconning going on here. Darlin was the guy in TDR who faced Mat in the raid on the Stone, boasting about how brutally he would torture Mat for disturbing his beauty sleep.

(Or, ya know, maybe Darlin sees no inconsistency in torturing farmboys but being generally decent to the high-ranking Dragon Reborn. Which, ehhh.)

EDIT: jamesdjones has beaten me to this, I see.
Matthew Smith
19. blocksmith
I would like to say I am gender confused due to the opening address as a girlfriend and the closing address as a gentleman, but I'm not.

Any tediousness of these chapters is overwhelmed by the Stuff Happening. Plus there are things we know that the characters do not. Example; Fain and Mashadar are short lost buddies.

Only thing that bothered me was how Rand handled Fain. I understand that Fain needs to make it to near the end of the epic, but if you just saw someone that was responsible for the death of your best friends family and you had the power to...rectify...the situation, wouldn't you do it? Like immediately? No discussion, no explanation...just a hammer of air turning his head into a manhole cover? Even considering 7 unlinked AS present?

Generally, I agree with Leigh...Caraline and Darlin quickly come across as rational, grounded nobles versus the oozing arrogance of others which=likable. And their actions following Rand's injury were pretty solid too.

On the wound...

I did not predict, from this moment, that Rand would use Shadar Logoth as the focus for removing the taint from Saidin, but it did get me thinking along the lines that the evil of Fain/Mordeth would be directly used against the DO. Not this was a difficult leap, mind you.

Edit to correct wrong there
Ron Garrison
20. Man-0-Manetheran
First of all, THANKS Leigh for your excellent and really insightful look at Cadsuane. You (and many others) find her annoying or worse, but you do see the bigger picture.
"Although, the thing about her is, the reason she’s so annoying is because nine times out of ten she is absolutely right about whatever she says or does, and most of her actions (as I’ve said before) would be accounted awesome had they been performed by any other character. You’ll note that she was the one to react instantly when the Red sister was attacked, for example. It’s just the WAY she says or does things that makes me want to gnash my teeth.
"And actually, now that I look at it, my annoyance with her behavior is pretty much specifically limited to the way she treats Rand.

I'm totally OK that many find her annoying. It's her personality and also, I believe, a considered technique. In the end what harm does it really do? ---Well, other than pissing off some readers to the point that they just skip over her scenes. Yes, Rand doesn't like it. You're right, he has little respect for suckups. The result is that he sees she is someone who can't be ignored. Some may not like it, but it works.

EvilMonkey @10: Excellent commentary, and again @13: I too think the fog was Fain's creation - especially as he uses it to conceal his surprise attack. Had Rand seen him coming, the outcome would likely have been quite different.
Tricia Irish
21. Tektonica
Evil Monkey@13: I'm with you....I always thought the fog was a Fain
creation. It was just toooooo convenient that it appeared right then, so Fain could get to Rand.

Love Caroline D. and Darlin is coming around. I just loved her matter of fact coolness and she knows who Rand is immediately. Sharp lady. Toram = Yuck.

Cads, ah Cads....just not cool. Your intentions are good, your methodology stinks. She wants him to learn manners, so she slaps him? What? Lead by example? I understand she doesn't want to appear fearful to him, but the real leaders and outstanding teachers I have known are encouragers, who make you better than you thought you could be. They do not constantly try to cut you down to size and humiliate you. Her methods have a decidedly negative effect.

Leigh, thank you! The two posts per week are just squeeeeee! Have a good low cholesterol weekend yourself! LOL. You are too funny.
Birgit F
22. birgit
it seems odd that Fain has the will to resist until the Bubble of Ebil occurs...

Maybe it was because he was in Mordeth mode. I also think that the fog might be a Mashadar-like trick from Fain. Fain left Toram when he saw Rand, then the fog appeared, then Fain jumped out of the mist to attack Rand.

It is strange that a Forsaken helped safe Rand's life. Why does he want to keep Rand alive?
Brandon Wood
23. brad21088
@rosetintdworld, I thought it was the opposite? Wasn't it Osan'gar who said that not even he could heal the taint on Saidin (implying that if anyone in the world could do it, he could)? Of course, Rand admits a few different times that he sucks at healing people but he was able to heal the taint so... I don't know anymore. haha
Brandon Wood
24. brad21088
Oh, and about the whole Cadsuane thing: she's one of my favorite characters and I think I understand exactly why she treats Rand in such a brusque manner. She herself says it's because by controlling someone's emotions (their anger, specifically), you can control them. And I think she's right. Pushing away all of your emotions (as Rand eventually does) is pretty dangerous and not the greatest for your mental health. By constantly trying to get a rise out of Rand, she can get him 1. to listen to her and 2. get him to at least feel something, even if it anger at being slapped, treated as a 5 yr old, etc.
Ron Garrison
25. Man-0-Manetheran
birgit@22: "It is strange that a Forsaken helped safe Rand's life. Why does he want to keep Rand alive?"

It's the DO's orders via Moridin.
26. Alfvaen
Another mention of Rand being vulnerable to arrows. I confess that I've had problems with that, especially considering Mazrim Taim and the others shielding themselves when they were blowing up rocks in LoC. Is it that they can't shield themselves against arrows or similar-type missiles, but can against some other objects, or is it that they just can't maintain a shield enough of the time? Or is it that shielding against physical objects would make a somewhat obvious, if invisible, bubble of untouchability that would obviate the incognito?
Barry T
27. blindillusion
Fain-grease -

That is perhaps one of the nastiest...while at the same time funniest...ways I've ever seen Fain's influence put.

Thanks Leigh!!!

Two posts a week FTW!

And ah, 'tis nice to see you see Elaida as a scene chewer as well.... But I've also decided to see Cadsuane in this light from here on out...perhaps it'll help me to...tolerate(?) her somewhat better.
Tricia Irish
28. Tektonica

I know I shouldn't bite, but you keep trying to make us like Cads, so I have to say my piece, just once, mind....and then I'm out of this....

Re: Cads@20:

In the end what harm does it really do? ---Well, other than pissing off some readers to the point that they just skip over her scenes. Yes, Rand doesn't like it. You're right, he has little respect for suckups. The result is that he sees she is someone who can't be ignored. Some may not like it, but it works.

I do not dislike her intentions, to help Rand, to make him see his humanity. Her heart is in the right place.

I do dislike her methodology. Not only do I find it insulting, to him, to anyone really, but it's not effective! If she had found a way to win his respect without chastising him all the time, several books of Rand's angst might have been eliminated! He needs her teaching and wisdom and help, but he doesn't get it because the way she treats him drives him away.

It just seems to me that if your usual method doesn't work, you might want to try a different tact. Moraine realized that and she won his trust. That's why Cads is so frustrating to me....she's myopic and set in her ways. It may have worked for 300 years, but it ain't working here. Others must change for her, but by gum, she's not moving!

Rant over. Can we still be friends?
29. Branwhin
rosetindworld@18: Maybe Darlin's not so darlin' when you wake him up? Needs a strong cup of tea before he's presentable? Don't know. It took a reread before I twigged that it was him in the Stone fighting Mat.

That said, people do grow up. Darlin is no toady, which is a good thing all around. Seems a decent person, too. And strong! Rand's a big boy.

And I must agree I like Samitsu ... she even has self-confidence issues, which makes her a bit more real. I wonder how she'll take to the new Healing? Romanda doesn't have much Talent for it, though it might be that she joined the Yellow because she felt it important, more than for Talent.

Samitsu/Sumeko ... anybody else get confused occasionally by two gifted Healers with similar names? I don't anymore, but the first few reads, I sure did.

And the exchange between Samitsu and Flinn is hilarious! I like Flinn a lot. Old soldier, nothing to prove anymore new Talent or not, unlike some of the lads trying to act all noble.

Also, Dashiva. What do you want to bet he was laughing because he had the Dragon Reborn laying there passed out, helpless, and not only orders not to kill him, but too many witnesses to do it cleanly? He's strong in the Power, yes, and likely pretty quick in his weaving. But there are two men and several women who can channel here. One frustrated Forsaken! Very funny, on rereads.

Okay ... enough tangents. Awesome return to two per week! Thanks Leigh!
Janet Hopkins
30. JanDSedai
Can't help but compare the Red Shirts in ST with the Red Ajah in this scene...
Ben Frey
31. BenPatient
My theory Re: Cadsuanne goes like this:

She is trying to push him so far towards the crazy that he finally realizes the crazy isn't normal, but that it is CRAZY and he can recognize it.

I think she's probably doing something she's done before with another male channeler, and that we will probably meet him soon if we haven't already (Logain, maybe?)
Jeff Weston
32. JWezy

Yes, I believe they are still operating under the "Let the Lord of Chaos" Rules as well. And, of course, letting him die while on your watch would be as bad as killing him yourself. Remember how little slack Semirhage got just for winging him.
James Hogan
33. Sonofthunder
And I have to say, the first time I read the series, it took me quite a while to figure out what was going on with was so much fun my second time through, actually realizing that he was a Forsaken! It actually makes his scenes all the more creepy.

As for Cads, don't have time for a long post, but I agree with Tek...while her methodology annoys me, if it *worked*, I'd maybe be slightly more sympathetic towards her. As it really just *doesn't*...well, I groan every time I see her on the page with Rand. As remarked, she's much more even-handed with everyone else not called "The Dragon Reborn."
James Jones
34. jamesedjones
29 Branwhin
What do you want to bet he was laughing because he had the Dragon Reborn laying there passed out, helpless, and not only orders not to kill him, but too many witnesses to do it cleanly?
My looney theory is that he has direct communication with either SH or Moridin, and his laugh/sob is a reaction to knowing he will die in a spectacularly painful way if Rand doesn't make it. All this happens while he really, really wants to kill him, but is no where close to sure that Flinn could actually save Rand.
Daniel Goss
35. Beren
Re: Fain-fog?

The Glossary entry for Daved Hanlon in later books indicates that the his White Lions were destroyed by a 'bubble of evil' so it seems pretty clear that this was just the pattern making up for all of the good stuff it just gave to Rand such as the Sea Folk, good relations (heh) with Caroline Damodred, etc. with a heaping helping of negative-experience balance.

And that idea just occurred to me as I was writing it. Really should have earlier, with all of Min's comments in the previous chapter about how every bad thing that happens due to Rand's Ta'Veren nature is balanced with a good. I suppose we should have been on the lookout for the Pattern balancing all of that "Being Ta'veren is finally working in my favor" with some "Pattern, you really suck right now."
Roger Powell
36. forkroot
Evil Monkey@13, et al

The bubble of evil was not caused by Fain. Bubbles of Evil come from the DO, whereas Fain's powers come from Mordeth/Shadar Logoth (a different evil.)

We pretty much beat this to death some time ago (how funny that we chewed this scene over a lot before we actually reached it in the reread.)

According to the Encyclopedia WoT, this was settled by the glossary entry in WH on Daved Hanlon where RJ explicitly states that the fog was indeed a "bubble of evil".

Lannis .
37. Lannis
@ forkroot: re: beating the bubble to death...

That's probably why it's stuck in my head as a bubble of evil... cause really, I had nothing concrete there... XD

Edit: clarification.
a a-p
38. lostinshadow
I actually liked Cads in my first read through. While I wasn't too enamored of her abrasive personality, like Leigh mentions I actually found it funny with others, just wanted her to treat Rand a bit better. But I still thought that she would play a huge role in helping Rand step back from the path of doom he seemed to be on.

However, after multiple rereads and quite a few books later I don't like her anymore because as Tek and some others have mentioned, in my view her methods are not working, I think she contributed to Rand's angst rather than helping him.

While the whole show no fear and get his attention with the abrasive approach is all well and good in theory and like I said, the first time I encountered it I thought it would work, looking back it seems to me that the only reason Rand kept her around for so long was Min's viewing (which Cads obviously could not have planned for) and had it not been for Min, Cads would just be another AS Rand tried to avoid as much as possible.
Tricia Irish
39. Tektonica
Odd that the "bubble of evil" took on the shape and actions of Mashadar??

Lost@38: was Min's viewing that kept her around...or she would've been gone from his sight.
Barry T
40. blindillusion
Odd that "Cadsuane" was the first one to take action??
Hugh Arai
41. HArai
Man-O-Manetheren@20: But it _doesn't_ work. Oh, she briefly distinguishes herself from the other Aes Sedai, but it wears off fast. Frankly if she wanted to distinguish herself, her sheer competence compared to the others would have done it. The slapping and belittling? I think that has to be considered a grade a fail considering Min tells him he _has_ to learn from her and he still ends up banishing her face from his sight on pain of death. Compare that with his other "competent advisor" Moiraine whose loss he regrets every single day. Fail.
Marcus W
42. toryx
On Moiraine:

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I'm one of the few people who has not been pleased about Moiraine's prophesied return. For one thing, I've never particularly cared for her. For another, I loved that she'd sacrificed her life to take out Lanfear. That sacrifice, for me, loses meaning when it turns out that she's not actually dead.

That's never been a plot device I liked, even when it happened with Gandalf. I more than half expect her to return with her hair turned all or partly white. Which is just too damned obvious but that's how it goes.

Anyway, I know it'll happen and it's gotta happen for Rand to win, and I kind of want it to just get over with already...but I'm glad in a way that it hasn't, because this means we only have two more books maximum with Moiraine in it. Yay.

...a tentacle of fog snatches one of the Red sisters into the air.

Is it wrong for me to have kind of cheered when that happened? Well I know it's wrong but I did it anyway the first time I read this.

Man @ 20: Some may not like it, but it works.

This is really the crux of my argument with you, re: Cadsuane. I don't agree that it works. I think it only barely suffices to give her an opportunity to influence him, and the reality was that it misfired more often than not, messed up Rand considerably in the long run and it's only by sheer luck and the weaving of the Wheel that the world wasn't destroyed by Rand in the end.

More to the point, I think that Cadsuane could have and should have handled it better. The only purpose that she serves, in my mind, is to increase and delay the drama of Rand's descent into madness until we have the pivotal moment in TGS.

But I don't hate Cadsuane. I think she could have been a great character. Unfortunately, as written, she never fails to annoy the freaking hell out of me. It's like that damned slap when he used baelfire. When I read that...the f... it... flame... flames... flames on the side of my face...

Gotta remember my breathing exercises!

So, yeah.

On a more pleasant note is it just me, or would anyone else have really liked to have seen more of that fight between Rand and Toram? Darned fog of evil, coming to get in the way of a cool scene!

Edit: Crap, everyone beat me to it with the whole "Cadsuane's method doesn't work" argument. Sorry to be repetitive.
Ron Garrison
43. Man-0-Manetheran
Always friends, Tek (and Toryx, et al)! We do have a date for beer or coffee when you're in Denver, right?

Yeah, I like her. She makes me laugh out loud sometimes. I read her "manners" comments in a much different way than many -- and it makes me laugh. (Flinn, by the way, gets her humor, but that's for later in aPoD.) And Rand's a big boy. He can take it. (See brad21088 @ 24.)

In the end what's important is that we talk about her character and not just toss out unsupported invectives. And it seems that we are beginning to do that. Thanks.

Some see her manner as ineffective. I don't, but let's RAFO. ::hugs::

OAN: Darlin. The cowboy in me can't help but read darlin' (you too Branwhin?). And of course with that comes a chorus of "Joline." Do they ever have a scene together?
44. Jonathan Levy

An idea struck me a while back, and I'd love to hear what people have to say about it. For all I know, it may have been confirmed or disproven twice over, but I missed it in my re-reads, so please don't be hard on me if you think it's silly.

Theory M1: Moridin can't channel saidin.
- or -
Theory M2: Moridin can just barely channel saidin, but no more than, say, Morgase can channel saidar.

(The only reason I mention M2 is against the objection that one must be able to channel at all in order to access the True Power.)

There are a couple of things which fit very well with M1:

1) Moridin has lots of saa, even the first time we see him. But from Moggy's POV we know that it takes the saa a while to appear.

2) Each time we see Moridin channel, it's always the TP. When he's the watcher, he uses the TP to tear a hole in the pattern. In Shadar Logoth, it's the TP. When he meets the other forsaken and kills a rat to scare them it's the TP. When he watches Aviendha unravel the gateway, he seizes the TP and accidentally destroys the iron railing and kills a DF with whom he was speaking.

3) The Dark One has a sense of humor, and tends to punish his Chosen who have failed him - Moggy & Lanfear get a mindtrap, Balthamel and Aginor get disappointing bodies. Well, Ishamael failed him a couple of times as well, didn't he? Being put in a body which can't channel would fit the pattern nicely, plus it would bind Ishamael closer to the DO, since he's helpless without him.

4) Channeling the TP is addictive and dangerous. Why would Moridin do it unless he had no choice? Some of the forsaken attribute it to his madness, but maybe there's another explanation?

The main objection I anticipate is the expectation that the ability to channel is connected to the soul, not the body, so it couldn't be changed by a reincarnation. This seems to me a valid point, to a certain extent, but I would counter it by saying:
(A) Cyndane is weaker than Lanfear was, and she was reincarnated.
(B) A woman who has been stilled and healed is weaker than she was.
So it seems to me that there is some connection to the body, not just the soul. In any case, the rules here are not so clear-cut as to make a conclusive counter-argument.

Anyway, please tell me what you think.
Roger Powell
45. forkroot
On a more pleasant note is it just me, or would anyone else have really liked to have seen more of that fight between Rand and Toram? Darned fog of evil, coming to get in the way of a cool scene!
Well it certainly goes on long enough to establish Toram as one of the top blademasters this side of the Aryth ocean. We know at this point that Rand is good ... real good, and apparently Toram was matching him.

If anything, it makes me want to have seen more of the fight between Lan and Toram "on screen" in WH.

Hmmm ... RobMRobM: how about a "Blademaster's Tournament" (no channeling allowed) with: Toram, Gawyn, 2-handed Rand, Lan, Galad, Valda, High-lord Turak, Tam, Ryne (from New Spring) and Hammar? Make it a round-robin (includes healing and/or resurrection as required) as we know some of the results already. Call it the WoT Invitational.

All contestants must sign the entry form acknowledging that:

1) They are a Blademaster
2) No channeling permitted (this means you Rand)
3) They acknowledge that Mat would still kick their ass with his ashandarei
Hugh Arai
46. HArai
Toryx@42: Big thumbs up on the Rand/Toram fight. Actually, I'm a sucker for all the duels/battles where people who really know what they're doing run into each other.
Rob Munnelly
47. RobMRobM
Remember that Rand was fighting Toram without taking off his jacket and was matching him. Rand for the win. Note that Lan slices and dices Toram in a minute in Far Madding later.

Tournament idea is an intriguing one but I'm retired as Cagemaster. Can add Bryne and Ituralde in place of a couple of the dead guys. Isn't Sleete one too?
Rob Munnelly
48. RobMRobM
Duplicate - short answer to the Cads discussion - I agree with pretty much every thing she does in these chapters except when she slaps Rand. Someone needs a sp@nking....
Rob Munnelly
49. RobMRobM
Duplicate - loved the Caraline-Min by play. "You are his lover?" (and Min, somewhat pridefully, says "Yes"); and "Why won't they speak of something important?" (when talking about how gorgeous the women are).

Rob Munnelly
50. RobMRobM
Duplicate - hit a hissy while I was trying to post.

I love Min's comment - do you want to comfort me again? ROFLMAO to the ninth degree. R
Hugh Arai
51. HArai

I think the problem with that suggestion is that at that level of skill, the context and the stakes make a difference. You mention Ryne from New Spring: Look at what happened between Ryne and Lan, especially the conclusion Moiraine makes and Lan's response (one of my favorite lines in the series).

Jonathan Levy@44: That's certainly the first time I've seen that theory :) I'll have to think about it to see if I can come up with anything to support/weaken it.

Man-O-Manetheren@43: Rand's a big boy and he can take it... but why should he have to? It goes both ways after all, if he's a big boy treat him like one. My biggest disagreement with you seems to be that you think she's doing it as a planned approach and I think she's doing it because she's an instinctive bully. She appears to overrule that instinct fairly often, but it seems to be her first instinct. I say that because she does it to pretty much everyone who disagrees with her from New Spring to the The Gathering Storm. If it was just Rand I could buy your argument, but it's not just him.
a a-p
52. lostinshadow
Toryx@42: I was enjoying that fight until the silly fog rolled in though ::grinning sheepishly:: I think I might have enjoyed the Red being snatched a bit more.

Interesting thoughts on Moiraine. I admit I didn't like Moiraine much until she had her epiphany about how to deal with Rand. And after that, the main reason I liked her was that she seemed to be one of the few from the old guard who was willing to adapt and change to what the world was throwing at her. Her knowledge of and willingness to walk into her sacrifice was awesome and I can see how you view it as cheapening the act. Perhaps there will be some kind of twist to the return, that will make it a bit more palatable for you. (Gandalf the White really didn't work for me so maybe that's why I'm hoping for some kind of twist). At the very least she shouldn't be all knowing because that would really be a cheap trick.

@44Jonathan Levy: while I'm still of the opinion that Moridin's continual use of the TP is due to his insanity, I still like your theory. It's definitely believable.

The main reason that I prefer the Moridin is insane interpretation is that for me at least, part of why Moridin is such an excellent bad guy is the fact that he is one of those insane people whose insanity is not obvious. I means he's not foaming at the mouth raving mad, he seems perfectly rational but he is deeply insane and that to me is a great bad guy.

If the DO has played the trick you are proposing that lessens Moridin's level of awesome and actually kind of makes him this pathetic guy dependent on the DO for all. in that scenario he's just a junkie and the DO is his evil pusher so that makes me sorry for Moridin not scared of him. At least that's my knee jerk reaction anyways.
Bonnie Andrews
53. misfortuona
You're being just a little redundant here, don't you think.


If you really wanted 50 that much we'd have just let you have it.
Barry T
54. blindillusion
It is kinda funny that his 1st 3 (47-49) posted at 4:07, but 50 posted at 4:13....

55. Freelancer
Darlin as Rebel is to me a great piece in this story. He is loyal to Tear above all else. He isn't against Rand because he is the Dragon Reborn. He is aainst whoeve thinks they can take over rule of his country simply by force. So, when he begins to get a personal view to who Rand is in himself, and what his final goals are (meaning not as a usurper, but a "savior"), Darlin turns out to be not so much a rebel at all.

Caraline - So, the Damodreds seem divided along gender lines. Men==devious fools; Women==quick-thinking tactical geniuses. Then again, we have only Moiraine and Caraline to go by.

Cadsuane. Let me shout it, CADSUANE! See, I named her and didn't turn to stone, or anything of the like. Ahh, how do you mix gentle kindness and sublime arrogance into the same concoction?
“Do not be afraid, boy,” she said softly. “They made my task harder, and yours, but I will not hurt you more than I must.”
That's how.
Poor Min. Quite the rollercoaster of a day, but at the end of it, she's determined to protect Rand from Wise Ones, Asha'man, Maidens, Aes Sedai, and CADSUANE! herself.

Now, I don't often step back and comment on the good or bad of the construction of the text, but here I feeel I must. Some have referred to these chapters as tedious. I suppose because Rand doesn't progress his agenda in any real way, and he gets knocked to the dirt again, and oh look, there's CADSUANE! But I think the writing here is phenomenal. It might seem that the incidents recorded here are, well, incidental, but I beg to differ.

~ The first peer-wise interaction between Asha'man and Aes Sedai. Glad it was Samitsu and Flinn, and yes, she's so singleminded about healing she's willing to toss out the line that she'd bear his children. Remember that she must believe those words to say them, so don't take them as merely flippant hyperbole.

~ The first openly political opposition Rand found he had to deal with, Darlin and his army in Haddon Mirk, are now on the way to being defused, along with all the subplot points of interest regarding Tear, Cairhien, and the Caraline-Darlin connection.

~ The most destructive, if not the most disturbing, bubble of evil in the story to date.

~ Rand's second wound, the preparation for the cleansing, and Fain's continued appearance where you least expect him.

~ We never get to learn why CADSUANE! is visiting with people who have openly declared opposition to the Dragon Reborn, and we never get another word if she was trying to persuade them, trying to gather intel, or if she was a sympathizer. (I doubt the last, but how must it look to Rand?) All this adds to the uncertainty regarding her overarching agenda.

There is a bit which makes me curious. Now, perhaps it was done as a reminder of past events, sort of an info-refresher-dump, but it always seems out of character for Rand. When he explains to Caraline the reason for the price on Fain's head, he's giving away information he has worked very hard to hide, namely that he still cares about his home village and the people therein. Did he determine he could trust Caraline this much, this quickly? Hmm. Maybe she just looks so much like Moiraine that he can't help but confide in her. Or not.
Rob Munnelly
56. RobMRobM
Free - agree strongly that I like these chapters very much. Among my favorites in the book. Fascinating point in your final paragraph - hadn't thought about it before but your theory makes sense. R
57. Jonathan Levy
Harai@51, lostinshadow@52 - thanks for the feedback.

lostinshadow@52: It's very interesting for me to read your interpretation of Ishamael, especially since it's so different from how I saw him. Until he came back as Moridin, I did not see him as a very effective bad guy. In TEOTW he was more or less masquerading as the Dark One, in TGH and TDR all he pretty much did was show up at the end to get almost-killed and killed. It's not exactly a rounded character. But as Moridin, he's quite different. I don't see him as a helpless junkie - let me try to describe an alternative interpretation:

Elan Morin walked in the light, but as a philosopher he saw more clearly the cyclical nature of the conflict and lost hope. As Ishamael, he fought for the Dark One, and suffered the horrors of death. Now he has a new body. He is Nae'blis, but has a horrible weakness he's hiding from the other Chosen. This weakness means he will die again soon. Furthermore, there is this Shaidar Haran which just might mean the Dark One doesn't really need him any more. Plus he's got the crossed-balefire link with Rand, which means each time seizes the source he sees Rand's face, gets dizzy and nauseous. Plus he had a few really unpleasant moments when Rand lost his hand, and probably also when Semirhage was torturing Rand.

In short - he's still at the top, but can't channel, doomed to die again soon, the Dark One might not need him any more, and feels whatever pains his worst enemy suffers. What's Moridin going to do when he has to kill Rand?

Maybe he's about to lose hope again?
a a-p
58. lostinshadow
@55 Freelancer: I always thought that Rand spilled the beans on Fain because he was surprised to see him there and just lost control of all that 'anger' and just blurted it all out, not that he trusted Caraline, he just couldn't help himself.

@Jonathan Levy: I really liked how Ishmael confused all three boys and really instilled fear in them throughout TEOTW. And Rand did some silly things thinking he had killed the DO, which really annoyed Moirane. So to me, even as Ishmael he was pretty effective. Also remember that Ishmael wasn't trapped like the other forsaken, he had plenty of time to wreck havoc against the Light off screen.

While I too wonder about what Moridin will do when confronted with Rand since they seem to be 'merging' or at least sharing experiences, I'm not sure why his ability to channel saidin would come into play here. Do you mean that because he is sane and fully aware of his dependency on the TP, he is more of a maverick and likely to turn?
Hugh Arai
59. HArai
Freelancer@55: Ta'veren twisting sometimes works on the ta'veren too: we often see Mat say just the right thing. I think it worked here too: Rand told Caraline what she needed to hear to accept him and since Darlin is strongly influenced by her...
Tricia Irish
60. Tektonica
I also like these chapters very much. Lot's of stuff gets resolved and foreshadowed. Action too!

Jonathan@57: Some very interesting Moridan observations....I like a lot of your theories and kind of think like lostinshadow@58 that the merging with Rand could effect his resolve to aid the DO in the end. I doubt that he would actually "turn", but I could see him letting Rand BF him and end it forever /or possibly seal in the DO by entering the Bore and sacrificing himself to seal it from within. A looney theory, I know, and it doesn't paint Rand as the savior then...unless....there's the switcheroo...whom several here don't like...including me, FWIW. What does channeling Saidan or not channeling have to do with Moridan's fate?

Free@55: I too would like to know what Cads was doing at the Rebel picnic. Ummmmmm.....I can see how that might sow distrust.....especially with her line to Min about "not hurting you any more than I have to...." We think we know what that means now, but Min doesn't.

Man-O: Definitely on for a Beer of the Red Hand when next in Denver...that would be this summer, probably. A trip west is in the works....

Is anyone else having trouble logging into Tor today? I've gotten numerous error messages and had to change browsers. What' up? Is it my internet only?
Tricia Irish
61. Tektonica

I think Rand talked openly to Caroline, because she was open and accepting of him, immediately. She even covered for him. Now, that's a way to earn some trust!
Daniel Goss
62. Beren
The only problem I have with this theory is that we've already seen that the ability to channel is not tied to the body you're put in (see Halimangar) so the ability appears to be tied to the soul. Thus, I don't know that putting him into a different body would make a difference. Of course, that's not to say that the DO couldn't just sever him the moment his soul slips behind the body's eyes, but that's another argument altogether. I have always personally attributed Isydin's reliance on the TP to be less indicative of a dependance and more of a flaunting of his own favor with the DO combined with a dash of "I've thrown my hat into this ring so completely that I won't use anything else."
Sam Mickel
63. Samadai
And she apparently looks enough like Moiraine to cause people to frequently do double takes.
64. Gentleman Farmer
This is one of those chapters (x2) that really make me roll my eyes.

Partly because I'm not sure I'm convinced Rand would run off on his own (after the consequences of last time... probably the only time I agree with Cadsuane if that's what she's referring to) but the whole series of coincidences, and most of all, this one instance, in almost the entire WoT, is where we suddenly have absolutely perfect and instantaneous communication amongst all parties.

Controversial statement?

Cadsuane appears in the Sun Palace. Rand gets upset, smashes things, doesn't come out of his room for several days. No one blames Cadsuane. Then Rand seems to be doing well, laughing with the maidens in the bath, goes down to see the sea folk, returns in reasonably good humour, then disappears from the palace.

Time passes, Rand comes back, injured to the point of death. Cadsuane and more of these unknown Aes Sedai return with him at death's door, him about to die, in a situation where none of the known Aes Sedai or Wise Ones can help, and:

1. All the Maidens of the Spear and Siswai'aman understand Cadsuane didn't kidnap him, didn't cause his injuries, is a saviour.

2. All the Wise Ones understand the Aes Sedai must have done all they could to help him, and that he owes them a great debt. No one ever suspects Cadsuane of causing the injury and bringing him back to die.

3. All the Asha'man understand that Cadsuane and these Aes Sedai are not a threat, not to be harmed and had nothing to do with Rand leaving the palace and getting injured.

All of this communication happens off stage, presumably while there is a great deal of excitement trying to keep Rand alive. More than a little bit lucky for Cadusane.

So much of Cadsuane I see as somewhat ham-handed deus ex machina. RJ wants her around and to be useful, so he manipulates the characters in a way that is often out of character and inconsistent with what people would know and how they would react so that she can stay around.

But more on that when we get to the one and only time Rand alters his actions to try to fulfill one of Min's prophecies.
Ron Garrison
65. Man-0-Manetheran
Tek - It's not you. It happened about the time Rob's hiccup posts. I got an SQL error which frequently means the server crashed - or the database software.
Ron Garrison
66. Man-0-Manetheran
Yipes! Tor's got the hiccups today. Try standing on your head while holding your breath and drinking a glass of water. That always works.
Jacy Clark
67. Amalisa
A low cholesterol weekend? Where's the fun in that??

The rebels in the woods... Several things... First, when Rand balefired the fog and Cadsuane slapped him (I'll get back to that one in a minute.), his reaction wasn't anger. It was an earnest plea that she believe in his sanity. That struck me way harder than any of his other interactions with anyone else in these chapters. It was like a glimpse of the old, open, young'n'innocent Rand who just needed someone older and (dare I say it?) parental to tell him it was all going to be okay. My heart just went out to him...

That said...

Second - Cadsuane... I admit it. I love her "in character" brass ones for scolding him, obliquely, right there in front of everyone. Pretty flames, tender bottoms, and all that. I know, I know... we aren't supposed to like her for her heavy-handed treatment of our hero, but I feel a sense of awe that she - knowing full well who and what he is - will treat him like a nephew with a penchant for getting into trouble instead of the Dragon bloody Reborn. I mean, c'mon, how many of us have wanted to smack him from time to time? Be honest! *raises hand* As for the slapping... Balefire is bad. Moiraine said she could be stilled just for knowing how to do it. The Forsaken are terrified of it. Even the Dark One challenged Demandred with "would you unleash the balefire in my service?" Something that, to me, meant that even the DO knew what a bad, bad, BAD thing balefire is. So is it really so unreasonable that, for using this thing, Cadsuane might merely slap him? From her perspective, he is playing with unimaginable power that can do god-awful, irreversible damage. She wants to get his attention, make sure he gets her point. She could have done worse, I think. In this instance, anyway. (Subsequent slaps were over the top. Someone please remind me that I said this when we get there. I also admit to trying to justify Cadsuane's actions when in the moment.)

Third - Caraline aka Moiraine Light - and Darlin. I guess having the Moiraine lookalike made it easier for Rand to trust them both a little? I guess? So that eventually Rand would be a wee bit more comfortable with making Darlin the King of Tear? There aren't many characters in this series that I would shrug off as "gilding the lily", but Caraline is one of them. To this point, anyway...

Fourth - Min... Love this girl! On another board, there was a discussion about Min being clingy and annoying and weak, and I was like "n'unh unh"! She is the only one who loves Rand unconditionally, who has made it her mission in this turn of the Wheel to give him every advantage she can in this maybe unwinnable battle he faces. Plus, people in the story like her. She provides a veneer of humanity to him in others' eyes, bridging the gap between his demi-god-self and mere mortals. The Rand/Caraline/Darlin interlude is as much evidence of that as it is of ta'veren-ness, I think.

Fifth - Toram and Fain and Hanlon... geez louise. I'll be so very glad when Fain finally gets his comeuppence. He's like Gríma Wormtongue and Saruman all rolled into one, and I hates him, my precious. I remember when I read "Return of the King" the first time - the almost visceral pleasure I got when Gríma killed Saruman and the hobbits killed Gríma. Likewise, the payoff for Fain's demise had better be huge. I'm just sayin'...

Toram. Blech. Hanlon. Blech. Blech.

Last - Samitsu and Flinn... Even though they are not and will not be Bonded to each other, they have a bond as Healers. First, do no harm. Second, to learn. I remember reading this and feeling a sense of hope that, maybe, the terrible post-Dumai Wells breach between the Aes Sedai and the Asha'man could be overcome. There was something in common, something that was good and worthwhile. They were like "doctors without borders", metaphorically speaking.

Thanks, Leigh, for the two-a-week! You are much appreciated!

(And, reading this over, I realize that my freshman English professor must be spinning in her grave. The woman hated hyphens and ellipses. Also, beginning sentences with "and" or "but". Also, sentence fragments. Ah, well...)
68. Freelancer
While it's almost as easy to just chalk up out-of-character behavior to Ta'verenness as it is to blame Compulsion, I prefer to give a longer look. Yes, it's quite possible that his rage toward Fain overtook his common sense and he spoke out of school. It's also possible that he was impressed with Caraline for instantly deducing who he was, and still being hospitable, respectful, accomodating, and seemingly fearless. In fact, she treated him with precisely the manner he wishes everyone would, and I know that's why Rand feels comfortable with her so quickly. Still, what he spoke of openly there is information he went to great lengths and pains to keep secret, and it always strikes me as off-kilter.

To stay on the topic of Darlin and Caraline, I want to reiterate that though they opposed Rand initially, and strongly, they did so with honorable hearts, serving what they believed was right. Darlin himself says that he could have followed Rand, but once he was named a traitor he accepted that he was "on the outs". Lucky for him he chose to say those things to Rand face-to-face unawares. Rand can respect anyone who takes a stand for the right kind of reason. Which is preferred, and honest opponent or a slimy follower? I present Tedosian as a prime example.
Hugh Arai
69. HArai
Amalisa@67: I wanted to slap a co-worker this week. I didn't do it because a) I have to work with them in the future to further our mutual goals and b) since they are an adult, a pointed and clear explanation was sufficient to get my feelings across and prevent future episodes of the behavior that generated my wish to slap them.

Shorter form: Slapping someone is rarely the best way to "get a point across".

It also occurs to me Moiraine raised the same idea Cadsuane did without belting Rand.
Roger Powell
70. forkroot
Tournament idea is an intriguing one but I'm retired as Cagemaster. Can add Bryne and Ituralde in place of a couple of the dead guys. Isn't Sleete one too?
Sleete might make the cut (no pun intended). Ituralde and Bryne are just accounted as good swordsman (very good in Bryne's case as Siuan will gratefully attest) - they are, however, acknowledged as two of the five Great Captains.
Roger Powell
71. forkroot
Here's the unfortunate side effect of RobMRobM's retirement as Cagemaster ...

The cage door slams shut, as both participants first look bewildered and then resigned as they are informed of their situation and what they must do.

Someshta the Nym sighs deeply and sadly and advances to the center of the cage. Harid Fel also sighs, and picks up his only weapons: a small blackboard and a piece of chalk.

The crowd gasps as the Green Man suddenly charges and seizes Fel as if to crush him. Green tendrils begin to invade Fel's body and it is clear that he is just a few seconds from death. The Nym has not pinned his arms though, and rather than scratch or claw at the Green Man, Fel scribbles furiously on the blackboard.

Someshta looks over and realizes that Fel has scribbled out a complete proof of the logical impossibility of the existence of Nym. The Green Man vanishes in a puff of logic.
j p
72. sps49
Huh. Everything I thought about saying already has been; all that's left is agreeing or disagreeing.

Ah, well. Thanks, Leigh and everyone.

Oh, wait. Let me just state for the record that there is no way Rand would beat Lan with a sword alone. Maybe post- TGS with the LTT memories assimilation.
Jacy Clark
73. Amalisa

Was your co-worker using balefire? If so, I'd give you a pass if you'd resorted to the slap. :)
Roger Powell
74. forkroot
Balefire has a long and honorable history in our world, but it also suffers from the tendency to redact itself from the written word. Grab your Bible and check out Acts 8:37 as proof.
Jacy Clark
75. Amalisa

I'm confused. What does Philip leading the Ethiopian to salvation have to do with balefire?
Roger Powell
76. forkroot
Check out a more modern translation ;-)
77. Kalika
Yay for spring break...I can actually write something instead of just reading everyone else’s (wonderfully insightful) responses! OK, first of all, thank you Leigh for this incredible re-read! There is soooo much more to this series than I had ever imagined, even after numerous, numerous rereads of my own!
OK, so I jump in to comment on Cadsuane…When I first started this series I was in high school, knee-deep in the ignorant-teen-who-knows-everything mindset. I always connected with the younger main characters and never really got warm fuzzy feelings about the parental ones. I cheered Rand, Egwene, (dare I admit it?) Elayne, and all the other teenaged characters who were running around saving the world. I tolerated Nynaeve, loathed Moiraine (at least until the Shadow Rising, when it morphed into grudging respect) … but I hated hated HATED Cadsuane. Everything about her from the moment she arrived just irritated me to no end! Just knowing that she was going to be in a chapter made me want to throw things.
That was over a decade ago. Now, I find that the characters I so loved when I was younger are now the ones that irritate me and the characters I wanted to smack are the ones I’m nodding my head to. I understand Moiraine’s “shut up and do what I tell you” attitude, Rhuarc’s “you’re like a five year old child” mentality about Egwene, and all the Aes Sedai’s initial “you’re just a child” attitude towards the Supergirls. And, to an extent, I understand Cadsuane.
A little.
(Very little).
BUT, I find that now I actually kinda agree with her about the importance of manners and I can kinda see her point about her demands for respect. The older I get, the less patience I have for rude teenagers or the twenty-somethings that think a few years of school and a shiny diploma instantly accords them all the respect they want from nurses who’ve been doing the job longer since said-children have been alive (I work in an ER, BTW). There’s something to be said for experience, which Cadsuane has in spades. I also agree that she needs to teach Rand that when someone controls his emotions, they control him—something else I see at work everyday. I agree that SOMEONE has to treat Rand like the twenty-something that he still is, regardless of how far he has come, if only to deflate his whole “I am the Savior, obey me now!” kick he’s on (which, as a teenager, I cheered, but now it just makes me want to sp@nk him). I’m not saying he hasn’t learned a thing or two, but just because he HAS, doesn’t mean he gets a free pass in running roughshod over the same people who taught him those things—something he seems to be doing more and more. I still don’t agree with her methods, nor do I think that refusing to change her tactics was particularly smart…however, how many 70-somethings do YOU know that aren’t dead-set in their ways? I think Jordan wrote her character VERY realistically in that aspect.
Note: I still don’t LIKE her. She needed a taste of her own medicine and if Tam was real, I would KISS the man for calling her out on it! But, instead of hating everything about her and dismissing every word she says as pure unfiltered evil, I now at least stop and think “old gal’s got a point.” Followed immediately by “but I still want to slap her!”
Jacy Clark
78. Amalisa

New American Standard is the most modern I have. Can you provide the appropriate text? I do apologize... :)
Alice Arneson
79. Wetlandernw
Warning: Massive wall of text upcoming. Sorry.

Comments on the chapter/recap:

Hmmm. The power of words... "a gray-haired Aes Sedai with a green shawl and an unpleasant smile" conjures up a whole different picture than "The Aes Sedai's smile, as she adjusted her green-fringed shawl, was not nearly so pleasant as her voice." Technically, they can mean the same thing, but they don't, really. Maybe because the first (Leigh's paraphrase) leaves out the (relatively) pleasant voice; more likely because the second (from the book) leaves open a whole lot of possible variations which are other than pleasant without specifying exactly how. Or maybe its just me.

Toram. Grrr. Now there's a guy who irritates me with every word and action, or very nearly. But he provides this fun little sketch:
The only others still there were Cadsuane and her two companions, faces calm but hands running nervously over their shawls. Cadsuane herself might have been setting out for a stroll. "I should think north," she said. "The slope lies closer that way, and climbing may take us above this. Stop that caterwauling, Toram! Either your man's dead, or he can't hear." Toram glared at her, but he did stop shouting. Cadsuane did not appear to notice or care, so long as he was silent.

Leigh, thank you for acknowledging Cadsuane's basic awesomeness. You are very correct when you say that, had her deeds been done by anyone else, they would be universally considered awesome, and in fact she treats most people quite well. It's just her treatment of Rand that grates. Thanks.

And... while I've always been rather supportive of Rand's desire to protect women, particularly the truly helpless ones, I wanted to smack him for this one. As if the AS couldn't have taken care of it, without him using the OP, and balefire at that. Grr. (BTW, my estimation of Darlin went way up on here, though. He had become likable already, and his refusal to run was just cool.) But this whole distraction with the balefire left the opening for Fain and his dagger. Gah.

So back at the palace... I almost *squee* at Samitsu's progression. Back in the turnip-cart she was losing her lunch over the thought of Rand stilling the AS; she gets all white-faced just because the Asha'man walk in; she goes defensive when they start messing with "her patient;" then, in rapid succession: insistent, considering, incredulous, and eager. She's a true healer - when she realizes that Flinn has Healing methods unfamiliar to her, she completely forgets that he's "a man who can channel" and just wants to learn anything she can of it. I like Samitsu. :-)

Comments on the comments:
rosetintdworld @9 - As far as I know, we never learn any more about those particular Reds. Can't prove it, though.

brad21088 @24 - Very good point!

Alfvaen @26 - I would think the last, combined with the effort of maintaining that kind of shield all the time. Battle is one thing, but to have to maintain a shield against various missiles every time you walk out the door would get exhausting.

Okay, and... I almost just threw up my hands in disgust and didn't touch this one. But I will, because I promised I would.

Many of you are complaining about Cadsuane's treatment of Rand, and in particular, in this scene and a few other places, where she slaps him. (And be honest, how many of you have made a comment about wanting to slap someone upside the head, either here about a character or in RL? No, don't answer out loud. Just think about it.)

First: do you have a better idea, in this particular scene, how she could get his attention enough that he'd actually hear her words? Kick him in the shins, maybe? In the middle of the fog et al, I don't think shaking her finger at him would have much effect.

Second: You say it's ineffective; more, you (generically) say it has a negative effect. Ah, yes, so much so that in the next book he'll ask her (ASK, mind you!) to be his advisor. Granted that he does it mostly because Min makes it quite clear that he (and all the Asha'man) need her, still, he goes to her to make the request.

Third: He keeps her with him for a long time, and the banishment only happens after he has used the True Power and started that particular downward plunge. (Incidentally, his "reason" for banishing her is her failure to keep the sad bracelets safe. As if anyone could have, given the... special effects... Shadar Haran used on Elza to retrieve them.)

As a side note, last time we had this debate someone was claiming that she served only the White Tower, based on her snip at Merana & co. that "there was a time when Aes Sedai reached their decisions... with the good of the Tower always in the front of their thoughts." (At the time, I pointed out that it was a very Aes Sedai answer - it didn't really say anything about her own motivation, while putting them on the defensive regarding theirs.) By contrast, I give you her words when Rand asks her to be his advisor, promising that she would not have to swear any oaths:
You sound...uneasy. I don't like to tell a man he's afraid even when he has reason to be. Uneasy over a sister you haven't turned into a tame lapdog snaring you in some fashion? Let me see. I can make you a few promises; perhaps they will set your mind at rest. I expect you to listen, of course - make me waste my breath, and you'll yelp for it - but I won't make you do what I want. I won't tolerate anyone lying to me, certainly - that's another thing you'll find decidedly uncomfortable - but I don't expect you to tell me the deepest yearnings of your heart, either. Oh, yes. Whatever I do, it will be for your own good; not mine, not the good of the White Tower, yours. Now, does that ease your fears? Pardon me. Your unease."

Just to build the wall-o-text a little higher... I'd like to point out again that Cadsuane has more experience with channeling men (other than the Forsaken, who don't exactly count) than anyone else alive. She has spent a fair few years doing exactly what many readers complain that the White Tower should have done but didn't: working with those men, figuring out how to help them (other than immediate gentling), learning what can be done to minimize the effect of the taint. (Of course they all were gentled in the end; what else is there to do when a man goes mad? It would be insanely cruel to him and everyone in his vicinity to leave him with that kind of power, when the madness can no longer be held off. It's either gentling or killing; which do you think would be worse?)

It's been noted that she generally treats people with courtesy except when they act like fools. (Toram, anyone?) Even with the other Aes Sedai, she only does the "I'm the strongest so you have to obey" act with those who act that way themselves. Her treatment of Samitsu and Daigian vs. Kiruna and Bera is, I think, fairly revealing. The only significant exception is Rand and the Asha'man, and even that isn't all that far removed. The only times she treats Rand like a child is when he acts like it, really. When he starts getting all up in his "I'm the Dragon Reborn and you can't tell me what to do" she smacks him down, although usually only verbally. Generally speaking, she only cuts him down when his arrogance gets too bloated. Because of her experience, I think it makes a certain amount of sense to assume that her treatment of Rand and the Asha'man is based on what best enables a male channeler to maintain his sanity - remembering that he is a man, not a god, and he is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. I would also suggest that we don't yet know nearly all she has learned about the subject!

Amalisa - Yay!!! :)

It took me something like six hours from start to finish on this post. *sigh* Life keeps interrupting my fantasy...
Roger Powell
80. forkroot
OK, I was trying to be clever ... didn't work. Most modern translations skip Acts 8:37. They just go from verse 36 right to verse 38. So the (weak) joke was that it was supposed to have been balefired.

Since I've ruined the joke by explaining it, I will add for the curious: What was considered verse 37 does not appear in the most reliable ancient manuscripts. It was added by some misguided copyist at some later point.

Verse numbers are a fairly recent addition (around the 1500s I think). So whoever first put in the verse numbers used a translation that had that addition in it. Modern re-translations have used better documents and more rigorous cross-checking of sources in an attempt to get to the most accurate translation possible of the original texts, but they certainly wouldn't want to renumber the familiar verses.

So I guess they just dropped Acts 8:37. And now that I've beaten that to death, any shred of humor has fled.
Alice Arneson
81. Wetlandernw
Kalika @ 77 The older I get, the less patience I have for rude teenagers or the twenty-somethings that think a few years of school and a shiny diploma instantly accords them all the respect they want... Oh, yeah!!! I think that's what got me started thinking about Cadsuane in a much different way. When I started reading these books, I was still in my 20s and all on the "youth rules" kick; in more recent years I've developed much more sympathy for the older characters. Which is really kind of cool when you think about it - the very same books, and as you grow you see the characters from a different perspective. Which tells me that they are very realistic characters, to be so understandable across so many years of change.

The real change for me came when, after I had developed a certain sympathy for her position, she came on the scene of the re-read and I found myself defending her. In my search for ammunition (:P) I realized there was a lot more to her than I'd realized before. I have a whole 'nother wall-o-text on that subject, but I'll wait a day or so to post it, when the initial wave of comments have died down and somebody's looking for a fight. :>
Jacy Clark
82. Amalisa

Thank you! You have just - admirably! - summed up why I am firmly in the pro-Cadsuane camp! That and the fact that she reminds me of a couple of my aunts. Who likewise do (or did) not suffer fools lightly!


*lol* No, it's still funny! I'll have to remember that, in case it comes up in Bible Trivia!
Barry T
83. blindillusion
Wetlander, you're MOA, as always.

But still, while I can appreciate where Cadsuane is coming from (and believe me, anyone who has had Airmen/Soldiers under their lead would) she still reads Fail to me.

She's a one trick pony and she gets called on it by one of the more mature characters in the story. That she's decent to those who remain calm/levelheaded is all well and good, but that's reactive, not proactive. Every action she takes of her own accord, especially in dealing with Rand, is that of a bully.

Do I hate the woman, no. Do I dislike her, yes. Do I think she's necessary? Only because Min said she is. In the end, Rand deserves better and it's just another blow to him that she is all he has.
And Cadsuane… Cadsuane touched Rand’s pale face, brushed strands of hair from his forehead. “Do not be afraid, boy,” she said softly. “They made my task harder, and yours, but I will not hurt you more than I must.” Min turned to ice inside.
She says this right after the man takes a wound that should have killed him, and would have if not for (ding, ding, cue the cluebat – Men and Women worked together using the One Power) Samitsu and Flinn. And's right on top of yet another wound that perhaps should have killed him.

I'm sorry my argument couldn't be better...but Rand deserves better. Deflating Rand's ego...good thing. Just not the way in which Cadsuane does it. So, Fail.
Tess Laird
84. thewindrose
These chapters are chalk full of good carbs:)

More, to her eyes a crown suddenly appeared on Darlin's head, a simple golden circlet with a slightly curved sword lying on its side above his brows. The king's crown he would wear one day, though of what country, she could not say. Tear had High Lords instead of a king.

Darlin snorted. "They cringe and lick his boots! I could have followed, if that was what he wanted, if...." With a sigh, he shook his head. Too many ifs, Thomas. There is a saying in Tear. 'Any quarrel can be forgiven, but kings never forget.' Tear has not been under a king since Artur Hawkwing, but I think the Dragon Reborn is very much like a king. No, he has attainted me with treason, as he calls it, and I must go on as I began. The Light willing, I may see Tear sovereign on its own land once more before I die."

= swing cluebat ow! king = Darlin

"I love you" was all she said. Through his shirt she could feel the round, half-healed scar on his left side. She could recall when he got it as if it were yesterday. That had been the first time she had ever held him in her arms, while he lay unconscious and near death.

With a cry, Min threw herself forward. Aes Sedai or no, she pushed the woman away from Rand and cradled his head in her arms. His eyes were closed, his breating ragged. His face felt hot.

Cadsuane's gaze met Min's for a moment, and Min shivered. Somehow, she would protect him while he could not protect himself, from Amys, snd Dashiva, and Cadsuane. Somehow. Unconsciously, she began to hum a lullaby, rocking Rand gently. Somehow.

Finally, she put his head on her arm. His eyes were still closed, his breathing ragged, but she thought he would be dead by the time she came back with Nynaeve.{...}"Who are you?" Min demanded. The woman(Lanfear) looked at her, only looked, but she found herself shrinking back into the pillows, clutching Rand to her fiercely.{...}Min dicovered she was hugging Rand's unconscious form tightly.
(from tGH Chapter 48 First Claiming)

Min = the one who is always there.

Alice Arneson
85. Wetlandernw
Amalisa @82 - Thank you! :-) There's more later, too. I'll call it "dessert" if I can get to it tonight.

blindillusion @83 - Rats. I meant to address that particular passage today and forgot. Will do it later - tonight or tomorrow - because it's definitely worth the reverse perspective. (imho, of course)

Edit to add: We will each call it as we see it, of course, but I for one will not concede the "Fail" until I learn a) exactly what she was trying to do and b) what Rand and the Asha'man need to learn from her.
Rob Munnelly
86. RobMRobM
@70. Byrne and Ituralde are both blademasters, per TGS.

from the WoT Wiki


Current Age

The High Lord Turak Aladon - killed by Rand al'Thor
Lord Captain Commander Eamon Valda - killed by Galad Damodred
Toram Riatin - killed by Lan
Galad Damodred, Prince of Andor, Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light
Lan Mandragoran, Dai'shan of Malkier, Lord of the Seven Towers
Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn
Tam al'Thor, of the Two Rivers, former Second Captain of the Companions of Illian
Rodel Ituralde
Turan, Lieutenant-General of the Seanchan Ever-Victorious Army - Killed by Rodel Ituralde
Hammar, of the White Tower- killed by Gawyn Trakand
Gawyn Trakand, First Prince of the Sword of Andor
Sleete, Warder to Hattori Sedai of the Green Ajah
Gareth Bryne, Warder to Siuan Sanche, Former Captain-General of the Queen's Guards
craig thrift
87. gagecreedlives
I do want to like Darlin but and he comes across well here talking with others of the nobility but have we seem interact with any people of much lesser status. Tear high lords werent exactly renowned for their love of the common people

As for Cads I do like her but I also dont mind Fain so there you go.

Yeah that bothered me too but I justified it with Rand wrapping himself in the void so Fain couldnt feel his presence and just plain didnt see him stranding there. And when Cads slaps him he loses control of the void and Fain was unfortunately close enough to react.

I absolutely refuse to grab a shawl. They just never seem to match my heels

Jonathan Levy@44
Besides being evil and wanting to use the most evil thing in the world because of his evilness I think the reason Moridin isn’t using saidin is that he is also suffering from channelling sickness like Rand but has the true power as an alternative source.

Has the price of channelling the true power ever been really explained?

I would love to see that invitational and my cheesy, corny side (which takes up about 90% of my mass) would love to see the former warder trainer drop the line “Its Hammar time” (That joke may have been recycled if so I dont care)

That ending really reminds me of a cartoon I saw when I was a kid involving dragons (Flight of the Dragons maybe). Pretty sure thats how the hero beats the big bad at the end. Although no chalkboard
Barry T
88. blindillusion
GCL - From Mr Jordan in a discussion about the saa:
RJ: It didn't affect his vision. You're aware of it, but it's not like there is blackness between you, because it gets thicker and thicker and thicker and you get to a point where if you've used it long enough you get a steady stream even if you're not connected. And you are then on the road, at that point, inevitably, to becoming what Ishamael was. Because these are stigmata, if you will. These saa are stigmata caused by a linkage to the Dark One. And eventually the effect is to become all fire eyes. You no longer have eyes visible to other people. If they're looking into your eyes, they seem to be looking into caverns of flame that stretch to infinity. And when you open your mouth they see another cavern of flame that stretches to infinity. Because you've reached at that point the ultimate level of this usage and quite possibly, if you've at this point not been granted immortality, you're on your way to death. Not madness, but you're on your way to death. So it's sort of a race. The Dark One has given you this boon, but if you use it very much, then you'd better hope he is willing to give you another boon, because if he doesn't give you the second boon then you're dead. Some of the Forsaken have expressed discomfort with the fact that Ishamael and Moridin are so free with using the True Power.
So, the price is death...if you're not in the DO's pocket....

This, of course, as always, comes from the wonderful compilation that is Terez's Theoryland Page.
Ron Garrison
89. Man-0-Manetheran
WetNW: 6 hours very well spent! ::bows deeply::

Blind: As a military man, take a look at this chapter from a military point of view. The Fog. Everyone is in a panic. The King is down, not out, but on his back. Without any fuss or if-you-please, Cadsuane takes charge and begins doing what needs to be done. She picks a direction and tells the why she thinks it best. She arranges her group in an effective battle formation with herself at point (probably the most dangerous spot), the two sisters to her left and right and the "three fine swords" at the sides and rear. Through it all she keeps Rand's identity a secret ("We three will take care of anything your steel can't handle." She looked straight at Rand when she said that, and he gave a whisker of a nod...) Everyone is moving forward up out of the fog until Rand panics and balefires a hunk of it - firing off a nuclear weapon at a roadside bomb. I'm not surprised Cadsuane slapped him. Once was bad enough, but don't do it again! Not only did he reveal himself unnecessarily, he used a weapon of mass destruction that even the DO warns against (see Amalisa@67 for the list).

On the first read and ever since, I see Cadsuane taking the role of Commander because it was absolutely necessary. Under fire with no pre-arranged chain of command, true leaders step up and take charge. Not for glory, not for some ego fulfilment, but because it is the only way to survive. And she doesn't stop until she has him safely at the palace.
Alice Arneson
91. Wetlandernw
Man-o-Manetheran @89 - Well said!! I was thinking something along those lines, but without the military knowledge to phrase it right. I loved the way she just did what needed doing - and it was so clearly the right thing that those who might have had some tactical expertise (Darlin & Toram) went along without arguing.
Julian Augustus
92. Alisonwonderland
Gentleman Farmer @ 64:
The answer to your question, why the maidens didn't instantly assume that Cadsuane was responsible for Rand's injury, is simple, I think.

The presence of Min.

They could see at once from the way Min was cradling Rand and the general comportment of Min towards the rest of the party that the "enemy" was not a member of the party accompanying her. So they started wailing instead of attacking a perceived enemy.
Ron Garrison
93. Man-0-Manetheran
Min - Now that is one character we can all agree upon! She is like this constant by which we can measure the other characters around her. Her motivation is transparent and honest, and she seems to inspire trust from the people she meets. And she's smart!
Barry T
94. blindillusion
M-o-M - I did and do. But:

There are ways to take Command and there are ways to take Command. She starts off well, very well in fact. (Of course, when she does take Command, the King is still very much on his feet.) But in your analogy, if Rand is the King, then Cadsuane is a General (knowledgeable, direct, take-charge...great). But, well, you don't slap the King.

And to Rand, balefire is simply a weapon in his arsenal, not a nuke. He fears the Choedan Kal, which would be his nuke, just as Callandor is about to be. And he doesn't use it against a person. He uses it against the Fog. (And let's remember what he told Moiraine...“I can’t promise not to use it again, Moiraine. You yourself said there are times when it’s necessary to do what’s forbidden.”) Is it a bad thing that he uses it as a hip-shot, well...yes...because one tends to use what they're used to. But still...looking at it from a military perspective...a 4-Star would never slap the President, especially in an open environment.

But the above does not go towards what I dislike about Cadsuane. I like that she is take charge. I like that she has an ability to get people to follow her...without being a bully in most regards. There are some aspects of her character that I do like. But those things in no way take away from the things I truly dislike about her:

- She pushes forward on a path she has to know is going nowhere.
- She runs roughshod over anyone who doesn't fall into the niche in which she believes they belong.
- She's a bit of a hypocrite.
- She's just another person who thinks Rand needs to be controlled...not guided. (Min still has one of the smartest lines in this entire story.) Sure, Cadsuane gives the appearance of the whole “Spoon full of sugar” (unless you're bad, then it's salt), but that's just the appearance.
- And worst of all...she does all of this based purely on her past. Rand is not her past. He's her present and future. She needs to get past her Legend (which I think Semirhage may have started, while Tam and Min added to it).

So, yes. Rand still deserves better. He deserves what Cadsuane could be...if she'd just get over herself for a moment and work with him as opposed to at him.

Also, I completely don't buy the “she needs to be direct/blut/abrasive/abusive/rude to get that shock value in order to get his attention” argument. The first time they met, sure, why not shock him to his toes. The only thing...HE KNOWS WHO SHE IS NOW!!! (Sorry to yell =).) She should try talking to him now, instead of shocking him. I mean holy hell, the man has had nothing but shocks since Winternight. Maybe it's time for some calm, rational discussion. Sadly, I don't think we'll see that from Cadsuane because she went in with a preconceived notion of what to expect and she has done nothing but continue to place Rand in that notion. So, Fail.

Even when she teaches Rand/the Asha'man what she needs to teach them...she's still a Fail in that everything she could be she refuses to be.
95. AndrewB
After these two chapters, what ever happened to Niande?

Thanks for reading my musings,
Ron Garrison
96. Man-0-Manetheran
Blind - Thanks for your perspective. You are correct in the General/King thing. I didn't choose a good analogy. Kinda made Cads an Alexander Haig! Argh. The point I wanted to make was that Rand was not ready to lead at that moment.

The more we all discuss this, the more it seems to come down to slapping. Perhaps, like spanking, it's an RJ thing. It's his little quirk and he just goes back to it time and again. ;-)
97. JimmyC
I'm a little disappointed by the commentary on the Blades chapter. Maybe it's just a guy thing, but I thought the sparring scene had one of the most striking descriptions in the entire series, right up there with the forge scene in TDR. I think it warrants at least a MENTION in the commentary.
Alice Arneson
98. Wetlandernw
blindillusion @94 - Okay, now ya went an' did it...
She pushes forward on a path she has to know is going nowhere.

This assumes you know what path she's trying to take any why she's taking it. You may be wrong - it may be accomplishing exactly what she intends.

She runs roughshod over anyone who doesn't fall into the niche in which she believes they belong.

Give a few examples, please, since you make this sound like something that happens repeatedly.

She's a bit of a hypocrite.

Give an example, please. In what regard is she a person who professes beliefs and opinions that she does not hold in order to conceal her real feelings or motives?

She's just another person who thinks Rand needs to be controlled...not guided.

You assume she's trying make him do things her way. I assume she's trying to keep him alive. If you're right, then she's wrong. If I'm right, she and Rand are going for the same thing - for him to remain functional enough to have a prayer of winning Tarmon Gai'don and keeping the Wheel turning for the good of all humanity. (Even Rand knows that much - he thinks at one point about how Nynaeve still cares about him as a person, while Cadsuane cares that he is able to fight the Last Battle. Paraphrased.)

And worst of all...she does all of this based purely on her past. Rand is not her past. He's her present and future.

I go back to what I said before - she has more experience than anyone living with men who can channel and have been affected by the taint on saidin. While it's certainly true that the Dragon Reborn might be an exception to some of the "rules" she's developed, he also might not. In any case, you don't throw all of it away just because it "might not" fully apply.

As for "calm, rational discussion" - can you honestly blame that on Cadsuane? Okay, obviously you do, but it's Rand who continually loses his temper, throws things around, shouts at people, bounces around the planet like a pinball and generally fails completely in the "calm, rational" department. Does she need to be direct and blunt all the time? Hey, come on, everyone moans about how nobody is direct and honest - now when someone is, she's labeled rude. "Abrasive" is a function of personality and perception. "Abusive" is, arguably in this setting, a very cultural perception. (See Man-o-Manetheran's comment on spanking and slapping.) We finally have someone who doesn't pull her punches with Rand, and she's vilified for it. *sigh*
Barry T
99. blindillusion

Out of curiosity, why wasn't he ready to lead? He'd taken a strike to the head, but within moments he was conscious enough to realize that Cadsuane was the logical choice to lead them out because: A) He's playing incognito and B) She's the lead Aes Sedai on the scene.

He had the wherewithal to know Cadsuane's subtle hint not to channel was directed at him and that it made since, hence the nod. (This also goes a long way towards showing Rand is willing to take guidance from Cadsuane, but her continuance of browbeating negates it...Fail.)

Apparently he's able enough for Cadsuane to want him in a defensive position at a point of the star.

So, he knew going all Dragon Reborn at that point would be foolish. He saw the hint and followed it because he knew it was the way to go. He took a point position without squabble (that would have been Toram).

Yep. No position to lead. =)

(Oh, and your Military scenario worked, to a point. Cadsuane is capable, which I've never denied. She's strong, a leader and she takes action when others are content to run around like fools. She just thinks she knows what she's doing when she's in a position where nothing that has gone before has prepared her for the situation in which she now finds herself. She's with the Dragon Reborn...not a man who can channel. But more importantly, she's dealing with a person named Rand al'Thor, not the Dragon Reborn.)
Alice Arneson
100. Wetlandernw
Well, he's not in a position to lead. He's supposed to be Caraline's young cousin from Andor. Being a blademaster doesn't qualify Tomas Trakand to take the lead in this situation.

Edit - hey, I scored the century! Woot!

Edit 2... blindillusion, I call shenanigans upon thee. First you say she's wrong to apply her experience with "men who can channel" since he's the Dragon Reborn. Then you say she can't deal with him as the Dragon Reborn because he's a man. Who can channel.
john mullen
101. johntheirishmongol
I do enjoy Darlin and Caraline here, they seem like real people, Caraline particularly. It's nice to know in advance that it will end well for them. In fact, one of the the great things about having Min around is she does answer a lot of the questions we usually don't get answered until the denouement.

Now for my rant: I am probably one of the older readers here and I detest Cadsuane, because she is unalterably rude. Rudeness is not a right of the elderly, its a terrible example for those younger than you and it doesn't make them want to listen to you or respect their opinions. Had it not been for Min, I expect Rand would have left Cadsuane behind almost as soon as he met her. And frankly, I disagree with Leigh that she has shown much competence in anything but bullying people. Leadership is a skill that must be developed and I don't see her providing any leadership or helping Rand in developing his.

At least Rand does find a mentor who helps him develop those skills in Davram Bashere. And Bashere is polite, quiet, humorous and a leader of men. And with him, Rand returns that politeness and listens to him, most of the time. The truth is that you get what you give, act like a jerk and people will treat you that way.
Barry T
102. blindillusion
To Be Continued.

Wetlander, I'd love to write up responses to your words, but I'm afraid tonight won't be the night for it.

I'm taking the Family to an amusement park tomorrow and we're leaving early. Sigh. I hope no one takes all the good answers to what your wrote. I'd really like a chance to respond.

As always, it's been wonderful reading your words. And hey, this time I'm not going to pull the "I'm still young card." =)

But just for a bit of one of my responses, I'd like to direct you here. All in all, I'll always stick with the same line: Rand deserves better than Cadsuane.
a a-p
103. lostinshadow
@blind in various: I agree, but I'm sure you can argue your point against Wetlandernw much better so I doubt I'll be taking away your opportunity to respond.

I would like to say that in my earlier posts saying that I didn't think Cads was effective, I was not talking about this particular incident, be it her taking charge or slapping Rand. It was more of a general comment.

Within this chapter I think she did very well minus the slapping. The slapping seemed pointless to me, I mean why would you slap anyone in the middle of a tactical retreat unless they were having a panic attack and you need them to keep their head. Her point about balefire might be valid but shouldn't she have waited until they were all safe before she berated him for it?

Like I said, I had actually really liked her in the beginning (which I think makes me a bit of a minority in that I was barely twenty when I first read the post Cads WoT books so unlike a lot of people I began to dislike Cads as I got older) but I don't think her approach with Rand is working, quite the opposite I think she is pushing him deeper into his anger and hardness.

And she's a hypocrite because despite all her talk of manners, she is one of the rudest people in Randland. ie. she fails to display whatever manners she might have (slapping people is rude, belittling them in public is rude, even if she is trying to teach him something, it's rude and damaging to the psyche and about as necessary to Rand as another unhealing scar)

Unrelated note: I really don't get why people think Rand is generally arrogant. He is kind of in this particular instance yes, but to me that's because he's on an adrenaline high because for once he's having a good day but otherwise I think he's just a natural leader. in addition to being a prophesied one.

ok sorry for wall o text, and my husband has got annoyed with me now, so signing off.
104. Freelancer
Yes, we can all agree about Min. She is the Samwise Gamgee of this story. Ever present, ever concerned with the status and fate of the hero, willing and able to suggest advice not for their own ends, but to aid the hero in completing the assigned task.


Douglas Adams references now? And without so much as a Babel fish.


You meant to say a more recent corruption. The verse in question does indeed appear in the Textus Receptus, which has been validated by the available text of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as other greek and latin sources of substantial antiquity. The historical truth is that many of the Latin Vulgate readings specifically and intentionally omitted the passage to preclude contradictions with the period practice of delaying baptism. Also, the Westcott and Hort manuscripts which you call the "more reliable ancient manuscripts" have been shown as far more flawed in myriad respects. Now, I know this topic will draw flames from every side, but your statements presented as established fact required a response.
Thomas Keith
105. insectoid
Ho boy, looks like Cadsanity in here...

I know I'm late to the party and all, but I was working on some code and didn't have an opportunity to comment till now. So it's probably gonna be a Wall.

First: great post as always, Leigh! So glad we're back to twice a week!

OMG Moiraine! Squee!: I totally had the same reaction when I first read it— "All right! Moiraine's not dead, because Min's viewings are never wrong!!" Or something like that. ;)

Caraline & Darlin: are actually nice people, after all! Darlin has indeed come a long way.

...Fain-grease all over him, which apparently not only makes you the Diet Coke of evil...

Hanlon: ::shudder::

Cadsuane: Was in these chapters. DUN!

Fain: Is often one of the characters I'd like to reach into the book and strangle, ya know? Grrr.

Flinn: Is awesome. And that scene with Samitsu was hilarious.

Dashiva: Nervous much, Dashivan'gar? ;)

::tries to catch up on comments:: Hokey Smoke, there've been 60 comments since I last looked. But I'll try...

R.Fife @7: LOL

Toryx @42: Re: Moiraine... ::gasp::

Fork @45: Hmm... a WoT Tourney! That's not a bad idea.

RobM² @50: Oh yeah... I'd forgotten that quote. LOL!!

Free @55: Agree with you re: CADSUANE! ;)

Fork @71: BAHAHAhahaha!!

WetNW @79 & 81: Nice thoughts on the Cadsuane debate!

RobM² @86: Thanks for the list! What do the 's mean?

Free @104:
Yes, we can all agree about Min. She is the Samwise Gamgee of this story.
I like that analogy! Well said sir!

106. Jonathan Levy
@58 lostinshadow & 60. Tektonica
I did not mean to imply that Moridin's plight and his problems in confronting Rand are directly dependent on his being unable to channel Saidin. These problems are well established even without my
theory. Being unable to channel saidin just makes it a little bit worse.

@62 Beren - Reincarnating Ishy and immediately severing him is a possibility. I would rather not have to recourse to this option, but it may be that the unknown rules governing channeling &
reincarnating leave no other option.

Also, keep in mind that we're all assuming that all that happened with Halima was that the DO simply reincarnated a male soul in a female body, and that therefore it gives us a look at how the
rules of the universe behave in this situation. This is the simplest explanation, but it may also be that the Dark One had to do some very complicated rewiring behind the scenes to get it to work.
Birgit F
107. birgit
Caraline - So, the Damodreds seem divided along gender lines. Men==devious fools; Women==quick-thinking tactical geniuses. Then again, we have only Moiraine and Caraline to go by.

Moiraine describes some of her family in New Spring ch 6:

Her father had been alone among his generation in lacking a dark character, men and women alike. The preceding generations had been nearly as bad, when not worse. The deeds done by House Damodred had blackened the name.
What of your elder sisters? Are they not well thought of? The .. taint ... seems largely to have skipped your generation."
"Well, thought of, but not for the throne," Moiraine replied. "Anavaere cares for nothing except horses and hawking." And no one would trust her temper, far worse than Moiraine's had ever been, on the Sun Throne. But that was something she would say only to Siuan. "And if Innloine gained the throne, everyone knows affairs of state would come a poor second, at best, to playing with her children." Likely because in playing with her children, she had forgotten all about the affairs of state. Innloine was a warm and loving mother, but the truth was, she was not terribly bright, although very stubborn. A dangerous combination in a ruler.
Mikey Bennett
108. EvilMonkey
I got a question for all the Cads haters on here. What Aes Sedai to this point that we have seen in the stories could have done any better??? Moraine obviously but now she's drinking tea with the Foxes until Mat comes to pick her up. Egwene or Elaine might be better except they are kinda unavailable. Eggy has to grab a bunch of stubborn women who think they run the world by the scruff of the neck and drag 'em to the Last Battle, Elaine had to resolve the never ending Andor plotline. Nanaeve is a good choice but until she gets a little seasoning from Lan as well as the hated Cadsuane she wasn't ready for Rand in Cuenllidar mode. In fact, I think even during TGS she works best as a compliment to the big Caddie. So who's left? Verin? On a secret mission. Alanna? Too unstable. Merana? Bera and Kiruna? Teslyn and Joline? Adelorna (Capt. General of the Green Ajah)? Name me anyone else with the experience, courage, and competence that Cadsuane shows dealing with Rand as he gets harder who is also an Aes Sedai. Judging from some of the silly things even the good witches get into it seems to me that the Black Ajah really did a number on their sisters. How else do you explain how there are so few really competent sisters out there. Many sisters seem to have forgotten that they have a battle with the Dark One to conduct, that their petty squabbles with each other are somehow more important than THE ENTIRE REASON FOR THEIR EXISTENCE!!

I cannot say I hate Cads nor can I say she's my favorite. I can say that until Moraine comes back she's the best woman for the job, flaws in all. As for examples of her effectiveness I can give you 2 of them. The first one, there was one scene in the later books, I can't remember which one, where he goes to make the weave for balefire, remembers the Cads slapdown, and changes his weave. Apparently a slap was the best way to get through to the boss man. The second moment comes in TGS, the part where he is regretful that he banished his favorite aunt, yet his pride keeps him from retracting the order. Even with Rand going ultra dark he still thinks the lady should be around, wishes he didn't push her away. She is a bully, no doubt. Her ploys, tricks and games were getting less and less effective as the books go on. But she has broken a nation for him, and serves a similar purpose in regard to Rand's wetlander allies as the Wise Ones do for his Aiel, namely keeping them from leaving him even though he is losing his grip on sanity. I for one cannot name a better woman for the difficult task of herding the DR. Now if she could just take Min's advice and just help him do what he must instead of tryin to force him where she wants him to go she would be perfect.


P.S. Somewhat Massive Wall o' Text Complete
Jacy Clark
109. Amalisa
To expand on what EvilMonkey/Shadowkiller said re the ongoing Cadsuane discussion...

His hands rose, and he wove balefire. Began to weave it. Someone else's cheek stung from a remembered slap, and Cadsuane's voice hissed and crackled in his head like the holes the red filaments had made. Never again, boy; you will never do that again. It seemed that he heard Lews Therin whimpering in distant fear of what he was about to loose, what had almost destroyed the world once. Every flow but Fire and Air fell away, and he wove as he had seen. A thousand fine hairs of red blossomed betwwen his hands; fanning out slightly, they shot upward. A circle of the ceiling two feet across fell in stone chips and plaster dust.

Only after he had done it did he think that there might be someone between him and Sammael. He intended to see Sammael dead this day, but if he could do it without killing anyone else...
A Crown of Swords, Chapter 41

In the midst of the fight, in the heat of the moment when Rand was wounded, and so deep in the Void that he wasn't even thinking of himself as himself, were words alone going to get through to him? A finger shaken under his nose? As has been pointed out, Moiraine had also told him not to use balefire. Did he remember that? No. It was Cadsuane's warning, delivered in Cadsuane-style, that got through the red haze of battle and, maybe, saved someone's life.

Before Cadsuane's admonition, Rand's use of balefire - which, quite honestly, wasn't all that often - had been purely reactionary. After, it was far more deliberate and thought out. With the exception of when he killed Semirhage and Elza, after he and Min were attacked. And, even then, the knowledge that only balefire could permanently remove a Forsaken from the Pattern (courtesy of Moridin/Ishy) lends itself to some premeditation.
110. eurorandlander
I usually like Cadsuane, but she reminds me of the senior citizens in The Simpsons -- she's old, and dammit, she knows best. Period. Not that this is unreasonable, since she's been at the top of the Aes Sedai hierarchy for centuries, and mere humans all but kneel before any AS. She's been around, what, 20 times as long as Rand, so it's understandable (and annoying!) that she'd treat him like a 60-year-old treats a 3-yr-old.

I look forward to the day she calls one of the main characters a whippersnapper, or calls out to Matlock to save her at Tarmon Gai'don.

@44 - Great theory! I love the idea of the Dark One screwing with his minions, especially if the

If this repeats any comments to previous posts, I apologize! I'm a loyal rereadian, but rarely read all the comments.
Tyler Durden
111. Balance
I don't usually post because by the time I get here most of the good stuff has been said. Now I admit to skimming a few of the walls out there, but I can't believe noone has mentioned the humor in these chapters.

Who here didn't get a perfect, movie, mental picture of ol' Cads proudly striding into the road, flinging up her hand, stopping the first mode of transportation.......and it's a turnip truck. And that little driver is mad. He ain't going nowhere. The Dragon Reborn eats people, forget that, I got some turnips to sell. I fell out to that.

I know everyone chuckled when later, as they pulled up to the palace at full speed, every soldier went nuts. Little man started squealing at the top of his lungs that the AS made him do it. That's almost Mat chapter funny.
Rob Munnelly
112. RobMRobM
insectoid @105 - the brackets were footnote references in the original Wiki text.
Rob Munnelly
113. RobMRobM
One enjoyable (to me) note re the enjoyable Flinn is that he gets bonded by Corele, who is not only one of the best Yellow healers but also is very pretty - and I believe I recall that people believe they are bedding each other. Yeah for Damer.

@111. Agree that these chapters are funny. I cited two of the lines involving Min above. The Rand-Cadsuane discussion in the tent is funny. Damer and the follow up from Samitsu is hilarious. Rob
Captain Hammer
114. Randalator
Alfvaen @26

Another mention of Rand being vulnerable to arrows. I confess that I've had problems with that, especially considering Mazrim Taim and the others shielding themselves when they were blowing up rocks in LoC. Is it that they can't shield themselves against arrows or similar-type missiles, but can against some other objects, or is it that they just can't maintain a shield enough of the time? Or is it that shielding against physical objects would make a somewhat obvious, if invisible, bubble of untouchability that would obviate the incognito?

Several reasons:

1. Unlike a shield against only a specific element (like water or fire) shields against physical objects in general are completely unpenetrable.

2. As a result of this, the shielded person is, as you speculated, untouchable which makes it not very useful if you're posing as Guy Incognito.

3. By far the biggest problem with that kind of shield, though, is the fact that they are unpenetrable in the most literal sense of the word. They keep out air as much as anything else. So you can only keep them up for so long before your air runs out and you either suffocate or release the shield.

The only warning he had was the sudden snarl that contorted Dashiva's face. Dashiva channeled, and with no time to think, Rand wove — as so often, he did not know what; something dredged from Lews Therin's memories; he was not even sure he created the weave entirely himself, or whether Lews Therin snatched at saidin — Air and Fire and Earth woven around himself just so. The fire that leaped from Dashiva erupted, shattering marble, flinging Rand back down the hallway, bounding and rolling in his cocoon.

That barrier would keep out anything short of balefire. Including air to breathe. Rand released it panting, scraping along the floor, with the crash of the explosions still ringing in the air, dust still hanging and bits of broken marble tumbling.
(TPoD, ch. 29)

So personal shields of that kind are only useful as protection against an immediate threat (like exploding rocks, exploding Aiel or Dashiva throwing fiery destruction at you) and not as an all purpose 24/7 ballistic armor.
115. Fromthe LangToun
Was Cadsuane aware of how Moraine had dealt with Rand & how this changed as he developed from a callow youth to a more mature, complex & knowledgeable character? Did she try to find out? How much has she explained to Rand rather than dictated to him. How much has she held back from him? Does she recognise at any point that perhaps a different approach might be more helpful, not just to Rand personally, but also in terms of him "completing his mission"?

Rand has little trust in most AS stemming from his treatment at their hands, their attempts to manipulate him, to bully him & to abuse him & it's more of the same from Cadsuane. What the ultimate price of that will be remains to be seen, but by the end of TGS the best I'd givr is D- & that's being generous.
a a-p
116. lostinshadow
@108Evil Monkey

Don't know if you're counting me as one of the Cadsuane haters (since I don't see myself as one though it could come across that way), but I will have to say that I think a lot of people's 'hate' towards Cads is retrospective. She's pretty cool (minus the slap in the face, which in my mind was strategically inappropriate since they were supposed to be running away at the time) in these scenes, but she really starts to wear on a persons nerves in later books. And that gets reflected back onto her initial moments of cool in subsequent rereads.

I actually also don't disagree (bleh double negative, my English teacher would be screaming now) with your whole first paragraph. There is no real alternative since a substantial majority of AS seem to be pretty useless for anything other than looking down on their noses at people. But to me that still doesn't justify the rudeness with which Cads approaches Rand, I get that it works as an attention grabber initially but it gets real old real fast.

As others have mentioned, it seems to me that she's unwilling to bend her attitude, which often seems like an exaggerated version of what most other AS seem to dish out to the world. The fact that there may be more competence behind her arrogance only softens that marginally.

Ahhh enough Cads! there was some great humor in the chapters particularly with Samitsu and Damer. Despite Rand's pain, one of my most favorite scenes in the book.
Tricia Irish
117. Tektonica
Blind@94 & 99:

Thank you. Wonderful. Please all, read his link back to his very good recap on a former reread.

Johntheirishmongrel, FromtheLangToun, et al: Well said. Thank you.

I just want to say to all your Cads lovers, that those of us who really don't like her, have pointed out ways that she does have skills and a few MOA, and we give her grudging respect for her age and knowledge. You don't seem to hear us say that. I feel like I need a shield. We need to find some common ground here and stop all the ranting or the next few books are going to be miserable here on the thread. None of us are wrong about fact, we're both right! Our two factions just focus on different aspects of her character.

My point is not that she's not a bad person, but that she is a very mysterious character, with two distinct sides: She is old and knowledgeable, but she is also Aes Sedai myopic. Her actions quite often are at odds with her goals. She's arrogant and she's a bully. That is the character that RJ created! You sound as if she's "perfect". She's NOT, thank goodness, that would be boring. Do you think she could've been more effective? If so, just please say you agree with that so we can find SOME common ground here.

I for one think she's contributed greatly to Rand's descent into hardness and darkness. He is more isolated than ever. Cads is there because Min said she had to be. Period. I can't remember one piece of history, some perspective, an idea that she has given him. She just watches him like a science experiment and admonishes him when he's rude or loud. She has built no trust by being silent. She is an unknown to Rand in many ways.

This woman had much "wisdom" to give and she does not. If she's trying to soften him up by letting him descend so far he's desperate, she's doing a good job. I just don't like her tactics.

So I don't like her as a person. But she's a good character. What her point is exactly, I don't know yet. Maybe she'll help to bring all the AS around to Rand later in the books? Perhaps when he returns from Dragonmount, a wiser young man, she will open up to him? Maybe she'll teach Egs a thing or two later about being Amyrlin? Maybe she'll be significant in TG? Or with the Seanchan? I hope she gets a MOA. Mostly, I hope she and Rand actually develop a relationship! Wouldn't that be refreshing! But right now, they really don't have one.

And Rand reacts to people by the way he is treated. When treated with respect and dignity, regardless of his youth and position, he responds in kind....think of Bashere, Caraline and Darlin, the Wise Ones, for example. He gets his hackles up when he is treated like an ignorant kid....which he may be in many ways....but who wants to be reminded of that? Treating someone that way does not make for good leadership.

I'm just asking that we stop trying to convince each other that Cads is Great! No, Cad's is Awful! Let's talk about her function as a character, OK? Some will like her and some won't, so be it! I fear each faction here is digging in and won't give over and it could get ugly. Heaven forfend!
118. somewheresouth
@Freelancer (105)
Haven't posted for a while, so perhaps not entirely worthy of responding to you :)

I do feel that equating Min to Samwise Gamgee almost does her a disservice: Sam is one of the slow-burning characters in LOTR, and often underappreciated, but I think Min has a slightly more special role - not only is she there to make sure the person she loves and respects survives, but hopefully she'll be the reason that they live a semi-normal life after the enormous crisis that winds up the story arc.

At least, I live in hope that Rand ends up a flawed but human survivor, in whatever shape or form. Too many fantasy sagas end up with quasi-"Judeo-Christian"-resurrection style endings in which the main protagonist is left a martyr of their former selves... This is entirely likely to happen to Rand, if he survives, but I hope that we get a wrap up other than "then they all pissed off to the Grey Havens".

Basically, I think Min is one of the few characters in the story with a "normal-ish" relationship with the person they love. Perrin's and Mat's partners both have somewhat special relationships with them, but Min always struck me as being more true to life.

Samwise was brilliant, but i always felt he was more one-dimensional in that he's trying to look after Frodo, and fulfill the task. Whereas Min has time to do normal, human things like obsess over how her pants are cut, read philosophy, and try and keep her partner not just sane but enjoying at least part of his life.

I'm sure several people would disagree with me, particularly because the LOTR chapter "of herbs and stewed rabbit" is one of the nicest examples of friendship in fiction, but I think Min is someone special and centred. And I respect the fact that she's a female character with a large amount of sense.

So, my thesis against your point seems to confirm it really :) And I shouldn't drink pinot noir and write essays on WOT :) But it's easier than my phd. And I really wanted to say something, because everything you guys write is so insightful, interesting and awesome. And if you're ever in Tasmania, drop in for a glass and some wasabi cheese :)
119. ValMar

Very well put. Duscussion on Cads has been civil and interesting to read, but sometimes people trying to argue one side of Cad, ignore the other side.

If there is anyone here with Polish blood, have my condolenses for yet another tragedy in the Katyn woods.
Tricia Irish
120. Tektonica

I haven't seen your post Welcome from me. Love your piece on Min. She's my fave lady. Rand needs a rock and she is that.

Nice to hear from Tasmania. I love the internet! I'll take you up on that glass of Pinot and wasabi cheese...yum....hope I make it to there some day! Dying to see that part of the world.
Ron Garrison
121. Man-0-Manetheran
OK: This post is not about the merits of Cadsuane. Amalisa@109 and EvilMonkey pulled up a quote on Rand’s memory of The Slap. I’d like to examine an idea here. Perhaps it can move the general discussion along a more positive route. I think we can all agree that RJ put her in the story for a reason. Isn’t it more productive and pleasant to try and figure out “why?”
“It seemed that he heard Lews Therin whimpering in distant fear of what he was about to loose, what had almost destroyed the world once.”
(By the way, it’s loose as in set free, let loose. It’s easy to misread as lose.)
This sentence made me wonder if this sharp, physical action on Cads part might be a technique to make a deeper connection to LTT. We know she has had lots of experience with male channelers. She has told us that is common for them to hear voices. It would be logical that the voices they hear are also their past lives. By the end of TGS, Rand has embraced his life as LTT and realizes that he can learn from it and “get it right this time.” Perhaps it has worked for her with other channelers.

Without going into the merits or failings of Cad’s actions, does anyone think this might be what she is trying to accomplish - this reintegration? When it happens to Rand, he realizes that he is not mad.
other thoughts:

Balance (great name) @ 111: Turnip Truck. Yes, I laughed too. The whole trip to the palace had a wacky humor.

Tek@117: Well stated. This is probably the only character where you and I disagree, but I do agree that all is cool if we just discuss her and not rant. And that’s why I jumped to her defense in the first place. I’d love to go forward to a place where when Cadsuane is mentioned we don’t just start headdesking and wretching and “she’s so rude.” I think we can all agree that RJ created a helluva character here to inspire such different and intense reactions - and so many walls o' text!

Now, dammit, it’s a beautiful spring day out there. I’m posting this and going out to enjoy it. There will be more Cadsuane to come - love it or hate it! :-)
Henry Loose
122. schrodinger
Hey everyone, Rand's lead in the suvudu cage match is starting to slip a little, its down to around 450 votes. If you haven't voted yet, now would be the time to show your support for Rand.

here's the html:
Tricia Irish
123. Tektonica

You are a gentleman and a scholar. Thank you. I like your idea about "the slap" being a reintegration technique. That would be interesting......hope we find out. Now go enjoy that beautiful spring day in the mountains!

Update on Suvudu Cage Match:

Jaime is getting closer. If you haven't voted, DO SO!!
GRRM has written a really fun piece about the match. Lots of nods to RJ and Tor and WOT. Enjoy!
124. alreadymadwithwallotext
Lsana @12
Darlin was one of those Tairen High Lords who purportedly rebelled against him and camped out in Haddon Mirk or some similar place.

jamesedjones @15
Well, we can also read it as Darlin being the first of the Tairen High Lords to be identified. Aside from Bel'al, that is. When I think about it, the fact that he went out in a sword and wearing little more than sleeping clothes to defend the Stone, it's actually kind of cool.

Branwhin @29
Yep. The irony of having Rand right there helpless and near death, and he has to be the one to save him, must be what's been having him laugh like mad. I know I'd have the same reaction if I were in his place.

jamesedjones @34
I can already imagine Shaidar Haran "punishing" him like he did Moghedien and Mesaana.

Freelancer @55
I was under the impression that Cadsuane was simply taking in the lay of the land by being there. Taking a good look at the major players in the rebellion and more likely, planning how they can be used in her campaign to attract Rand's notice. I now wonder at her initial hostility:
“Most boys learn not to stick their fingers into the pretty fire the first time they are burned, Tomas. Others need to be spanked, to learn. Better a tender bottom than a seared hand.”
Did she intend for him to be intimidated at the sight of four Aes Sedai? Surely she should know that four Aes Sedai are no challenge at all to a top-level male channeler such as what the Dragon Reborn must be. Is that the kind of Dragon Reborn she wants? Easily intimidated at the sight of Aes Sedai? For Rand's part I think he just thought she was being Aes Sedai-y in poking her nose everywhere. And for Caraline, I don't think he was necessarily divulging the fact that he still cares for his home. He was simply explaining that Fain hates him and that the sentiment was returned. Something a seasoned politician should understand.

Tektonica @61
Good point.

forkroot @70
Bryne and Ituralde are revealed in TGS to bear heron-marked swords as well. Though a bit over the hill, both are seasoned warriors easily stronger than most men half their age.

Wetlandernw @79
Failing to keep the sad bracelets safe was just an excuse. The real reason Rand banished her was that she was becoming too confining. He compared her to the box, limiting him and forcing him to acknowledge that somebody other than him had the final say on what should be done. That somebody had some right to dictate to him and bully him.

She runs roughshod over anyone who doesn't fall into the niche in which she believes they belong.
Tam, Logain, Moiraine, Rand, the Dragonsworn Aes Sedai
She's a bit of a hypocrite.

She says so herself, when learning of the bonded Aes Sedai. She doesn't like playing fair. She continually abrades people around her for their lack of courtesy when she herself always talks down to them.
And worst of all...she does all of this based purely on her past. Rand is not her past. He's her present and future.
I think the idea is to come up with a new approach. Because obviously becoming an object of hate for Rand is not going anywhere except being balefired out of existence.

Randalator @114
I was under the impression that Rand's cocoon was a special weave. Nobody else's shields are described like it.
Tess Laird
125. thewindrose
So the cage match is going hot between our two contestents, and I want to share what GRRM wrote - as we have what BwS wrote above:((Huge but entertaining wallotext following:)

ps Seems like no one like killing of WOT Characters:) -tempest™

A cold wind was gusting from the north, but the tourney grounds beside the river were crowded nonetheless. The smallfolk had begun streaming out the city gates in the early morning, to claim the best places in the great wooden grandstands that had been thrown up beneath the massive walls of King’s Landing.

The battle to be fought today would be one to tell their grandchildren about; a champion was coming from another world, a sorcerer of terrible power, to face Ser Jaime Lannister in a Trial of Seven. Hardly a man there had been alive the last time a Trial of Seven had been fought in Westeros, and none had ever seen one like today’s. The talk around the city was that this wizard Rand al’Thor meant to fight alone, against the Kingslayer and six companions. Some of them would be from distant realms as well, with powers and skills that made them legends in their own right. “There will be songs sung about today’s battle,” the old men told themselves, as they settled onto their benches, eager for the fray.

Ser Jaime’s pavilion stood at the west end of the lists. All of crimson silk, it was, with a golden lion’s head adorning its center pole. Within, Jaime Lannister sipped at a cup of Arbor red while his squires armored him from head to heel in gilded steel. “Does this Rand have a title?” he asked his brother. “How shall I address him? Ser Rand? Lord Rand?”

“He’s not a knight,” said Tyrion. “Nor a lord. He started as a farm boy, but he’s risen high.”

“Is he a king?” Jaime had killed a king before. Royal blood did not daunt him.

“Kings and queens and princes do his bidding,” said Tyrion. “He’s become something close to a god in his own world. Which seems to be called Randland, by the way.”

“Randland?” Jaime laughed. “That’s modest.”

“And the crow calls the raven black. Remember Lannisport?”

“Just a city,” said Jaime. “Even father wouldn’t presume to name the whole world after us. What was this land called before it was called Randland?”

“The books do not say. Or if they do, I missed it.” The dwarf shrugged. “What can I say?They’re thick tomes. And I had to do a lot of other reading to find six champions to fight beside you. I can tell you that Rand’s a blademaster as well as a sorcerer. He believes he is destined to save his world from someone called the Dark One. Oh, and he has three women.” He grinned. “Must be nice to be the destined savior of the world.”

Jaime briefly considered what his own life might be like if he’d had three sisters instead of just one. He almost felt sorry for this Rand al’Thor. One Cersei was more than any man should need to deal with. “So where are these six stalwarts of yours?”

“Oh, they’re here. Would you like to meet them?”

“My life depends on them, according to you. Yes. Show them in.”

Tyrion hopped down from the camp stool. “As you command, brother.”

He brought them in one by one; three men and three women. A one-eyed man, tall and fair, with straight blond hair falling almost to his shoulders. An older man, round-shouldered, plump, and past sixty, whose eyes peered out from behind a pair of glass lenses. A non-descript fellow, brown haired and brown eyed, with a commoner’s face and a nose that had been broken more than once. A pregnant priestess all in red, with a ruby glowing at her throat and two red eyes that matched its hue. A girl skinny as a stick, scowling, with a vermilion streak in her stringy brown hair. And a pale young woman, slim, lovely, her hair a coal black waterfall with half-seen hints of red, held in place by a circle of dark metal that cast strange shadows in her deep-set eyes.

Tyrion named them each in turn: Klaus, Tom, Jay, Melisandre, Joey, Sharra.

Jaime Lannister greeted each one courteously, but after the last of them was gone, he turned on his little brother and said, “Tyrion, have you taken leave of your bloody wits? The red priestess, aye, she may be of use, but the others… old men, cripples, and children, and soft, soft, soft. I might have had the Mountain and the Hound, Jon Snow, Brienne, Barristan Selmy… I might have had a dragon or three.”

“You killed a dragon round before last,” Tyrion reminded him. “Do you imagine Rand couldn’t do the same? No seven knights could hope to stand against Rand al’Thor for more than a moment.”

“And this lot can?”

“Watch and find out,” said Tyrion. “And now you must excuse me. Our guests will be arriving soon, and I should be there to welcome them to Westeros.”


Rand al’Thor stepped through the gate, into the teeth of a cold north wind that set his cloak to flapping. The women came behind him: Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne garbed as ladies, Birgitte with her bow and Avienda with her spears, Min in her men’s clothes.

A roar greeted their appearance, as the crowded stands around the tourney grounds erupted in shouts and cheers and whistles. On the walls of the great city behind them guards began to beat their spears against their shields. Avienda slid into a fighting crouch and Birgitte nocked an arrow to her bowstring. Nynaeve eyed the throngs and sniffed in disdain. Egwene frowned and smoothed her skirts. Min shook her head. “We should not have come,” she said. “I saw all this in my vision. Rand, we should leave now.”

“Soon,” replied the Dragon Reborn. “This will not take long. My foe this time is only a swordsman. A swordsman without his sword hand.” He glanced about, looking for this knight called Jaime Lannister. To the south was a wide, swift river, and behind them a great walled city. It was not at all what he had expected. He had thought to face this last foe on some desolate moor or blood-soaked battleground, in a forest glade or mountain meadow, perhaps a castle yard… not on a festival ground, with thousands looking on.

“Destroy them all,” Avienda urged. “Let the ground open up and swallow them, Rand, your foe and all these others too. The sooner we leave this place the better.”

Rand frowned at her. “There are children here,” he pointed out. “Half the crowd is women. Young boys, old men, the poor and lame and halt.” He could hear the cries of peddlers selling roasted meat and hot pies to the people in the stands, the shouts of gamblers proclaiming odds (if Mat had come, he would be taking bets already, Rand did not doubt). They have made a carnival of this, he thought with disapproval. With the One Power, he could destroy all this in the blink of an eye… but to kill so many innocents just to bring down one feeble foe would be an act worthy of the Dark One.

“If you will not end this now, allow us to fight beside you,” said Birgitte.

“I have given my word to face these foes alone. This Jaime Lannister has no weapon but a sword. He is no threat to me.”

The women exchanged looks. Elayne sighed. “Men,” said Nynaeve, sniffing.

Rand had never intended to bring the women with him. He did not know what dangers this strange world might present, and he did not like the idea of exposing them to peril. Even when his latest foe had challenged him to a fight of seven against seven, he had insisted that he would fight alone. There was no keeping the women away, however. They would not listen. They never did. Though he seemed to accumulate more women everywhere he went, he still did not know how to talk to them. Perhaps if Mat had been here… or Perrin… his friends had always had an easy way with girls.

A dwarf was waddling toward them, leading a big black horse. The little man was richly garbed, but scarred, with only half a nose, and a pair of mismatched eyes, one green and one black. “Welcome to Westeros,” he announced. “I am Tyrion of House Lannister. I see you brought six companions after all. Will they be fighting with you?”

“Yes,” said Min. “Yes,” said Avienda. “Yes,” said Egwene. Nynaeve sniffed.

“No,” Rand al’Thor said firmly. “I fight alone.”

“Our gods here may not like that,” the dwarf warned. “We have seven of them here. A trial of seven does them honor. Fight alone, and you insult them.”

“The Creator is the only true god, and there is but one of him,” said Rand.

“I would not be so sure of that.” Tyrion Lannister patted the big black stallion. “It is customary to begin this sort of fight ahorse. I have brought a mount for you. If he does not suit, we have others.”

“I will not require a horse,” said Rand.

“Do you wish Jaime to dismount?”

Rand shrugged. “Ride or walk, it makes no difference.”

“He’ll ride, then. And he will be armored. I see you wear neither mail nor plate”

“I am armored in the One Power,” said Rand. “And my patience is wearing thin. A war awaits me on my own world.”

“The Last Battle, yes,” the dwarf said. “I’ve read of it. Well, I shan’t keep you any longer.” He turned to Rand’s women with a lascivious smile. “My ladies, if you will be so good as to come with you, we have places reserved for you in the royal box.”


Tyrion had expected three women, but the royal box was large, and it was easy enough to find places for six. The dwarf let the Dragon Reborn cool his tail in the middle of the tourney ground whilst he introduced his entourage to his own sweet sister and her son, the little king. Several of Rand’s women were “channellers” who commanded the same sort of sorcerous powers that he did, and Tyrion was half hoping that Cersei would say something especially snotty to one of them and get turned into some sort of reptile, or perhaps just flamed into a cinder, but unfortunately the queen decided to be on her best behavior this morning and was all grace and warmth and smiles.

And Tommen charmed the women, as the dwarf had expected he would. Cersei had brought some documents for him to sign and seal, and the boy king was soon happily showing how the Randlanders how he melted the wax and pressed the seal down into it to make an impression. Thankfully, none of Rand’s ladies read the Common Tongue of Westeros, so they did not notice that the documents Tommen was signing were all death warrants. After a few moments, all of them but Min were cooing happily over him.

Min worried him, if truth be told. The archer and the spear maiden were dangerous, he did not doubt, and the channelers doubly so with their sorcerer’s skills, but only Min truly seemed to sense the peril their lord was in. “Keep an eye on that one,” he whispered to Jay and Joey, as he settled down between them, just behind Rand’s women.

Jay nodded. Joey scowled. “If I fucking feel like it, I will. Where are my real clothes? I feel like a fucking idiot dressed up in this shit. You didn’t tell me we were going to a RenFaire.”


Jaime Lannister trotted onto the field on a chestnut courser with a tawny mane, clad in golden armor that flashed and glittered in the sun. His helm was wrought in the shape of a lion’s head, maned and roaring. His mount was caparisoned in flowing crimson silks emblazoned with the golden lion of House Lannister, and the white cloak of a Kingsguard knight flowed from his shoulders. A heavy oaken shield was on his right arm, a steel-pointed lance clasped in his left hand.

The wrong hand.

His right, the golden hand, could no more hold a lance than it could a sword. There was a time, not long ago, when Jaime was as good a jouster as any in the Seven Kingdoms, with a good chance to win any tourney that he entered. That time was gone.

The crowd grew hushed for a moment. Then a sound swelled up, a mix of cheers and curses. King’s Landing had no reason to love the Lannisters, though Jaime himself had always been a favorite of the smallfolk… if only because the cleverer ones had won a deal of coin wagering on him. He wondered how the betting was going today.

His foe stood waiting at the far end of the lists, his cloak flapping in the wind. Young, Jaime thought, looking at him. Hardly more than a boy. Rand wore no armor. He had refused both horse and lance, just as Tyrion had said he would. It ought to be a simple thing to ride him down and drive a lance point through his chest, but Jaime knew better.

“Do not try to take him by yourself,” Tyrion had warned him. “He has a dozen ways to kill you before you get within ten yards of him. This is a Trial of Seven. You cannot win it by yourself. Use the help I’ve brought you.”

The idea rankled. Jaime pulled up and raised the visor of his helm. “Al’Thor,” he shouted, “I am told you are a swordsman. So am I. Swear that you will not use your wizard’s tricks, here before the eyes of gods and men, and I will not call upon my six companions. We can settle the matter as men should, just the two of us, sword to sword.”

Rand smiled. “You will not gull me so easily, Lannister. What you call my ‘wizard’s tricks’ are as much s part of me as my arms and legs. I will not cripple myself for your convenience. Bring on your companions. I fear them no more than I fear you. But come, let us be done with this. I am the Dragon Reborn, and the Last Battle awaits me.”

Well, I gave him a chance. “This is your last battle, farm boy,” Jaime replied. He put two fingers in his mouth and gave a whistle.

Klaus was the first to appear. Tall as Jaime and even blonder, with broad shoulders and long legs, a patch covering one eye. He was clad in wool and leather, unarmed. Next came Sharra, cloaked and hooded, a crossbow in her hands, a quiver of bolts on one hip. Around her brows, half hidden by her hood, was the dark crown. Then Melisandre stepped forward, great with child, her red robes blowing about her swollen belly. Flames danced around her fingers, and the ruby at her throat pulsed red. And from behind Jaime’s pavilion, a grim grey shape floated up into the air; something like a bowl turned upside down and armored all in heavy plate, but as large as the tent that concealed it. Up and up and up it rose, though it had no more business floating in the sky than an anvil might have.

Rand al’Thor studied each in turn. “Five,” he said. “I was told there would be seven.”

“The farm boy can count.” Jaime dropped his visor, and gave his horse the spur.

Rand al’Thor watched them come, waiting, channeling, drawing deep of the One Power. Lannister was charging at a gallop, his lance point lowered. The closest threat and the most obvious, but the one that he feared least. He knew Jaime and all that he was capable of; these others were unknown, and therefore dangerous.

The hooded woman had loaded her crossbow and lifted it to her shoulder. She was walking forward too, slowly and deliberately, but quarrels were another known quantity, and posed no real danger to a channeler. The giant iron tortoise shell was more of a mystery, but it was ponderously slow. He would have time to deal with it, he did not doubt.

The last two troubled him the most. The big blond man appeared to be unarmed, and the woman… Rand had always been reluctant to harm woman, and to send a pregnant woman against him… that was a clever stroke, almost worthy of a Forsaken. Do they think that if they make me kill an unarmed man and a pregnant woman in front of thousands of witnesses, that somehow that will break me?

Perhaps it would have, once. But Rand was no longer the boy that he had been. Jaime Lannister and his friends were about to learn that hard lesson.

The hooded woman loosed her quarrel. Rand could feel it flying toward him, the cold morning air rushing past its vanes. A heartbeat later, the red-robed woman cried out the name, “R’hllor,” and loosed a fireball toward him with a snap of her wrist. Rand could hear it crackling as it sped across the field. He could hear the hooftbeats of Jaime Lannister’s warhorse too, coming closer and closer, tearing up the ground with every stride.

Rand reached out with the One Power. A sudden gust of air seized the crossbolt bolt and sent it at the one-eyed man with the straight blond hair. Rand grasped the fireball in mid-flight as well, and flung it upwards toward the huge steel tortoise. By then Lannister was almost upon him, the point of his lance leveled at Rand’s throat. Rand let it get within a yard of him, then opened a gate, stepped through it, and reappeared at the far end of the field, beside Jaime’s tent. The crowd gasped, and began to roar and shout.

Across the field the Kingslayer reined up suddenly and wheeled his horse about, searching for his foe. The red-robed woman was closer, though, and she was the first to find him. No more than five yards separated them. The ruby at her throat blazed as she flung another ball of fire at him. Rand shunted its aside, and smiled as Lannister’s tent began to burn, the flames licking up its sides. “For your sake and the sake of your child, leave this field, my lady,” he called out to her. “You cannot hope to defeat the Dragon with fire.”

Before the red woman could reply, Rand sensed another crossbolt bolt flying at him. He made another gate, stepped through, and let it pass through the place where he had been. This time he reappeared beside the hooded woman, just as she was reaching for another quarrel. He channeled, and the crossbow flew to pieces in her hands. Jagged shards of wood glanced harmlessly off the One Power in which Rand had encased himself. The girl cursed and reached for a knife. A knife? Does she truly think she can harm me with a knife? Rand made the earth beneath her feet rise up, knocking her aside… then turned just in time to confront a new foe. Another knight. Where did he come from?

This knight was all in white from head to heel. Wings sprouted from the temples of his warhelm. On his breastplate was engraved a chalice. And all his armor glowed, suffused with a soft and ghostly radiance. One instant he was unarmed. The next a sword was in his hand, white, shining, alive with radiance. Callandor, Rand thought, for just an instant… but no, that was impossible, no man but the Dragon Reborn could safely wield Callandor.

The white knight was right on top of him. He did not have time to draw his own blade, but Rand was unafraid. So long as he was armored in the One Power, no blade could—

The slash came down like lightning, and met his protective aura where with a blinding flash of light and a sound like a doomed soul shrieking from the pits of Shayol Ghul. Then the pain hit, and Rand al’Thor realized that it was own scream he was hearing. Reeling, he opened a gate and staggered through.


Tyrion Lannister smiled a crooked smile as he watched Rand vanish again, only to reappear a few feet from the royal box. The farm boy’s face was pale with pain, and in his eyes the dwarf saw just a hint of doubt, as if he had realized for the first time that he might be in real peril here. No blood, though. He had been hoping for blood. Rand’s invisible armor had been strong enough to stop Lohengrin’s ghost steel blade, else the cut would have taken off his arm clean at the shoulder… but not quite strong enough to blunt the shock of the blow entirely. Klaus had hurt him.

Rand’s women saw it too. The two who had been talking quietly to each other suddenly fell silent, and the one who had been pulling on her braid this whole time gave a gasp. It was the short-haired girl who worried him most, though, Min in her men’s clothes. The way her eyes narrowed. She will not let him die, the dwarf realized. Not without taking a hand.

He gave Jay a nudge in the side with his elbow and nodded at her. “I know,” said Jay.

The fight almost ended then and there. Rand was hurting, half-dazed by the unexpected blow, and his foes were closing in for the kill. Lohengrin raced toward the Dragon from one direction, Jaime on his destrier from the other. Forty feet above, the Turtle’s shell was drifting nearer. And halfway across the field, bathed in the light of the burning pavilion, Melisandre of Asshai had shrugged off her robes to stand naked in the heat of the fires, her pale skin glistening, her thighs trembling, giving birth. The crowd was screaming for blood, and for half a heartbeat even Tyrion dared to hope the end was near.

Then, all at once, Rand seemed to recover himself. Perhaps he had used his channeling to heal himself, or perhaps one of these women in the royal box had done it for him; some of them were channelers as well. Go on, the dwarf thought, channel all you want. Healing especially. Maybe if he asked very nice they would even heal him. Close his scar, grow him a new nose, make him strong and tall. If they could do that, I might even go back to Randland with them and fight in the Last Battle. The notion of a last battle appealed to him. In Westeros, there was never a last battle. Nor would there be, so long as men played the game of thrones. Maybe Rand would give me one of his women if I went over to his side, the dwarf mused. It’s not as if he doesn’t have enough of them.

Down on the field, the ground beneath Jaime’s charging horse exploded upwards in a rain of dirt and stone, sending his brother and the poor horse spinning through the air like leafs in a storm. Half a heartbeat later, Lohengrin slowed and staggered, then went down to one knee. His sword winked out, and then his armor as he gasped and clutched at his throat in a way that reminded the dwarf grotesquely of his nephew Joffrey’s death. Air, Tyrion realized. Rand has shut off his air. Klaus cannot breathe. Stones began to fall from the sky, chunks of rock as big as a man’s head, rained down by the Turtle up above, but every one of them burst before they got to Rand, shattered by the One Power.

But the greatest danger remained. Melisandre had given birth, and the twisted shadow that had emerged from her womb was flying toward the farm boy, swift as thought. The sight of it made even Tyrion afraid. In the stands grown men began to shriek like little girls, their cries and shouts mingling with the screams of Jaime’s dying horse. Rand threw up a wall of earth to block its path. The shadow flew through it. He summoned a whirlwind, but winds cannot touch a thing that has no substance.

It was almost on him when he used his balefire.

The beam was so bright that it seared the eyes, and Tyrion had to throw up his arm across his face. The shadow was so black it seemed like a hole in the world, impossibly dark, twisted, deformed. They came together in a silence so profound that the dwarf could hear the world groan and feel it shudder underneath his feet. For a moment he was half afraid the stands were going to collapse, and kill the lot of them.

When he could see again, the shadow was gone and Melisandre of Asshai as well. My son, Tyrion thought. Somehow he did not mourn him. On the field, Rand was using the balefire once more, against the Turtle’s shell… but this time the beam was feeble, red, like the last light of the sun as it fades in the west. The shell’s thick armor smoked, but elsewise took no harm. After a moment Rand realized it too, and reached instead for the earthy blaze that had consumed Jaime’s pavilion, shaping it into a fiery dragon and sending it flying skyward… only to break apart against Tom’s armor.

Then the feet went out from under Rand, and he was jerking into the air and shaken violently. For one instant Tyrion thought the boy was flying, but if so, it was not of his own volition. Struggling against the invisible hands that had seized him, the Dragon Reborn writhed and kicked and twisted. The Turtle lifted him about twenty feet, dropped him on his head, lifted him again, smashed him down once more.

Melisandre was gone, not even a pile of burned bones remaining to show where she had died, and Lohengrin was down and maybe dead as well, but Sharra was advancing knife in hand, the Turtle floated ominously above, and Jaime himself was rising once again.

Rand’s women saw his peril too. All at once three of them were moving. The archer stood and pulled an arrow from her quiver, the spearwoman nimbly leaped from the box down onto the field, and one of the ladies got a look of concentration on her face that made him certain she was channeling. Trying to channel, at least, the dwarf thought, when the look of concentration gave way to one of dismay and confusion.

Still, no sense taking chance. The dwarf gave Jay Ackroyd another poke in the ribs. “Time to do your little trick.”

Jay shrugged. “Might as well. Can’t dance.” He raised a hand, lifted his thumb, pointed with his forefinger. The archer vanished with a little pop as she drew back her arrow to her ear. Another pop, and the spearwoman was gone as well, caught in mid-stride. Pop, pop, pop, and the three ladies blinked out one after the other.

Tyrion caught hold of Jay’s hand and pushed it down just as his finger was moving toward Min. “Not yet. I want to talk with this one.”

The girl’s face was dark with fury. “What did you do to them?” Her knife was in her hand.

Jay shrugged. “They’re all fine. They’re just not here.”

“Bring them back,” the girl demanded.

“Wish I could,” said Popinjay, “but my trick only works one way.” He nodded at Sharra, down below. “She’s the one you want. Better hope your boyfriend doesn’t kill her.”

“Who is she?”

“Sharra, she’s called,” said Tyrion. “The girl who goes between the worlds.” Where do you think I got all these books I’ve been consulting, since this madness began?


Rand’s wounds had opened again, the old wounds that would not heal. When he got to his feet he could feel the throbbing in his side, the agony stabbing through him like a dull knife. His head was pounding as well, and enemies were all around him. When he looked about for his women, hoping one of them might be able to heal him, only Min remained. The rest were gone, though where he could not say.

And worse of all, he could not channel. When he reached for the One Power, there was nothing there.

“Step away,” he heard Jaime Lannister say. “Al’Thor is mine.”

Jaime looked as bad as Rand felt. He had lost his golden hand, so his right arm ended in a stump. He was limping visibly, favoring his left leg. Blood spatters covered his chest and arm, from cutting the throat of his dying horse. Yet Lannister’s sword was in his hand.

He was Rand al’Thor. He was the Dragon Reborn. He would not die meekly. It cannot end this way. Not here, in this world even the Creator has forsaken. I am ta’veren. I must fight in the Last Battle. He drew his own sword, with its Heron Mark blade. “Sword to sword, then,” said Rand.

“That was all I ever asked for,” said Jaime Lannister, from behind the lion’s head helm that hid his face.


It did not take Jaime long to realize that Rand was better than he was.

If he had not lost his sword hand, they might have been well matched, but having to learn to fight all over again with his off hand had robbed him of half his skill. Every cut he made was a beat slower, every parry came a half a heartbeat too late. Against an ordinary opponent, none of that would have mattered… and battered and bruised as he was, in obvious pain, Rand al’Thor was still as quick as any man that Jaime Lannister had ever faced. If Rand had not been so badly hurt — blood was seeping through his clothing all along his side — his skill at swordplay would have been a match for even Barristan the Bold. Ser Arthur Dayne would have proved his master, Jaime did not doubt, but only with Dawn in his hand.

How does a farm boy get so good with a sword? Jaime wondered, as he stepped back from a slashing attack so quick that Rand seemed to have three blades. In Westeros, a boy of noble birth began training almost as soon as he could walk. He served years as a page and then a squire, training every day for long hours, first with wooden swords and then with blunted tourney steel, practicing until his hands were hard with callous and every move and cut and stance became second nature to him, and fighting came as easily as breathing. Few farm boys could ever hope to equal that, no matter how big or strong or fast they might be. It was not something a man could master between plowing fields and milking cows. And yet here he stands. Jaime gave more ground. He did not know what a ta’veren was, but plainly, Rand al’Thor was exceptional.

His sword was special as well. A curved blade, and light, yet somehow it stood up to Widow’s Wail, which no common steel could ever hope to do. Nor could Jaime doubt its edge. Had he been unarmored, as Rand was, the farm boy would have killed him half a dozen times by now, slicing through cloth and flesh and bone as if it were cheese.

But Jaime’s gilded armor was well-forged and heavy, a full suit of plate and mail, and no blade, no matter how sharp or swift or well-balanced, was going to cut through it. Rand’s only hope was to find a weak spot. Weak spots there were, of course… but even with his sword hand gone, Jaime Lannister was still skilled enough to protect them.

And so they fought. Rand slid from one form to another, always graceful, always balanced, as swift on the parry as on the attack. Jaime let him lead, the better to get the measure of him. Widow’s Wail caught and turned most of his attacks, and those that slipped through glanced harmlessly off his plate. Rand’s strokes grew ever more ornate and elaborate, complex combinations of cuts and thrusts and feints, designed to make a foe open himself up for a killing stroke. Swordplay was a dance with him, and every step had its own name. Tyrion had warned him of that. The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain. The Arc of the Moon. The Courtier Taps His Fan. The Dove Takes Flight. Chips of gilding flew from Jaime’s armor, and chunks of mane from his helm.

And then the Lightning Struck the Oak. That one almost did for him. An intricate blend of attack and parry, somehow it allowed Rand to slide a leg behind his own. If Jaime had tried to backpedal, he would have ended on the ground.

Instead he shoved forward, slamming his full weight into Rand, their blades still locked together. He was the bigger man, taller, stronger, and his armor made him much heavier. It was Rand who went down. Jaime kicked her sword from his hand, then pinned his wrist to the ground with his heel. “I call that one, ‘the Lion Knocks the Dragon on his Tail,’” he said as he laid the point of Widow’s Wail against the apple of Rand’s throat. “Now yield, Dragon. Unless you care to be reborn again, and do the whole thing over.”


Even when it was all done, the girl named Min did not understand how her man had lost.

The tourney ground were deserted by then. The dead had been carted off by the silent sisters, the peddlers had closed their stalls, the winners had collected on their wagers, the losers had paid up or run off. Jaime’s pavilion had burned down to the ground, so the Lannisters and their remaining entourage had adjourned to the Red Keep. Tyrion had invited Min to accompany them, while the maesters tended to the Dragon Reborn.

Jay and Joey had already taken their leave — and Joey was an angry as she’d been when she arrived, complaining that he’d dragged her off to some fucking RenFaire world for nothing when she should been partying at Mardi Gras. Jaime sat quietly in the corner, nursing a cup of wine and a healthy collection of fresh bruises.

As Tyrion poured cups of Arbor gold for Min and Sharra, the dwarf explained as best he could. “This is Westeros, not Randland,” he said.

“That should not matter,” Min insisted stubbornly. “All worlds are but spokes on the great wheel of time.”

“No,” said the girl called Sharra, with the dark crown and the shadows in her eyes. “There are more worlds than there are stars in the sky, more than all the grains of sand on all the beaches on every earth there is… and on every one of them men tell themselves that theirs is the true world, their gods the true gods, that what is true on their world is true everywhere. It never is. I have walked a thousand worlds, Min. This I know.”

Tyrion nodded. “The One Power that Rand al’Thor and these Aes Sedai of yours employ in their channeling… well, think of it like water. On your world, it is a great invisible ocean, deep and inexhaustible, flowing everywhere but for a few desert islands you call steddings. Here on Westeros, though… this world is bone dry by comparison to your own. Oh, we have a few deep wells, to be sure…. here a river, there a lake… but oft as not, what looks to be a lake is really just a puddle. That is what Rand found here, in King’s Landing. There are magical places in this world, but this is not one of them. When Rand came through the gate and began to channel, he drew upon the power to be found here, and soon exhausted it. Your… lover, is it? husband? paramour?… whatever you call him, he is VERY powerful, as I knew from reading the books Sharra was so kind to bring me, so he drained that puddle very quickly, especially when he made use of his balefire. A few short moments, and he had made a desert. Once that happened, he could no longer channel.”

“Even if what you say is true,” said Min, “Rand… he is ta’veren.”

“There,” said Sharra. “Not here.”

“No one is ta’veren in Westeros,” said Tyrion. “Our gods are fickler than yours. They have no favorites.” Though there a few they like to piss on, now that I reflect on it.

“Your gods are false,” Min insisted. “The Creator— ”

“I knew your Creator,” the dwarf broke in. “Lord Jordayne, he was called here.” He took a sip of wine and smiled sadly. “A good fellow, warm-hearted and generous, with a rare fine humor. He lived down south, at the Tor, and was famous for his hospitality. Lord Jordayne has been much missed by all who knew him. The tales he told will be fondly remembered by all those who heard them. But he did not create Westeros, my lady, no more than Lord Costayne or Lord Vance or Lord Peake. We have our own Creator here… a crueler one than yours, I fear. In his domain the only pattern is the one men make themselves, There are no ta’veren. No man is ever safe.”

Sharra rose. “If you would like to go home now, I will take you,” she told Min. “We will go by way of another world I know. You may find it of interest. The princes there are sorcerers of great power and warriors without peer. They insist that their world is the only true one, and all the other worlds but shadows of their own. A colorful lot, but quarrelsome.”

“What of Rand?” asked Min, as she rose. “Will he be able to open a gate?”

“No,” said Tyrion, “but Sharra will return for him, when the maesters have finished bandaging his wounds. She can only take one person at a time.”

“And Nynaeve and Egwene and the others?”

The dwarf made a face. “That will take a bit more time. Jay can only pop his targets to places he knows. As it happens, he only knows two worlds. One is a dismal place called Earth. The other’s worse. But we’ll return them to you, never fear. You have my word as a Lannister. Rand may need them for this Last Battle of his.” He grinned. “Can’t have this Dark One winning, after all. He might turn up outside our own walls next.”

When they were gone, Tyrion turned back to his brother. “Well, that’s the end of that.”

“I suppose.” Jaime sounded weary. “A pity we don’t have a Dark Lord here. At least in Randland a man knows who his enemies are. ” He studied Tyrion. “One question, brother. When we parted in the dungeons, certain things were said… ”

“I have not forgotten,” Tyrion said softly.

“Nor forgiven?”

“A Lannister always pays his debts, brother,” said the dwarf.

“Why help me, then? I would never have survived any of these contests, but for you.”

Tyrion Lannister grinned a savage grin. “Why, Jaime,” he said, swirling the wine in his cup, “we are one blood, you and I. No one gets to kill my brother… but me.”
John Massey
126. subwoofer
Well- I guess Lent is over- first off- thank you to all that observed it by not talking about the one who really pisses me off. Believe me when I say that it was much appreciated:) Now that Lent is over I see we are all plowing ahead and rambling on, one way or another.

Let 'er rip. I have beer.

I also see the er... elderly folks on the blog are closing ranks with the Old One:P For me it is still a toss up as to my nick name for her, so far I have Cranky Pants, or just Cranky, or the previously mentioned "Old One". I am still deciding.

You know, for me, I do have moments like Amalisa, where I really want to bitch slap Rand for being a knob. Some of the stuff he does really grinds, and it is like-"damn it man, snap out of it and focus on the Real World!" So in that instance, I can relate. Heck, I work with a guy who has me constantly wishing I had a frying pan handy to bean him upside the head with. But reality check- I am an adult- I don't do stuff like that, as much as I want to. Great RJ lives out some fantasies in his world.

In many ways Cranky Pants reminds me of a Master Corporal I had back when. Interesting guy. I went into battle with him and as a fighting man, he was all right. Out in the world though, I did not want to spend time with him because he rubbed everyone the wrong way. He was much like Jack in "As Good as it Gets". Just a douche. There were times I recall, that if we were on the street, his rank was not protecting him, and I didn't mind so much having a criminal record, I would have gladly given him a beat down. But this is real life, not fantasy, there are consequences to my actions. I hit a person, I pay the price.

Caddy does stuff. For whatever reason RJ made her an important part of the story line. But I don't have to like her. And that is my opinion. Take it with a grain or a bag of salt. It is not going to change.

Rand- well, the guy spends too much time in his own head chasing ghosts and traces of thoughts. Pity that. As Blocksmith says- he had the guy right in front of him. There is a warrant on Fain's head. No time for subtlety, kill him and move on. That could have saved him from a second wound, and the constant harrying at his heels from a yappy dog. I do appreciate the symbolism, two wounds, signifying two different but harmful evils in the world. Yeah, great, kill him already.

Somebody explain to me all these random clouds of evil floating everywhere. In the Rahad, in the Ways, in Aridhol. Has nobody heard of Febreeze? Perhaps a can of Lysol? Honestly, I think I prefer the Trollocs dropping in, uninvited. Much more tangible fun.

Flinn. Crusty old guy I think doesn't get enough credit for being awesome. Just loved his demonstration of power. In later books, no matter how much grief he gets, he still rises to the task. Perfect example of a grisly old soldier that gets stuff done. No fan fare, no ticker tape parade, but he saves Rand's butt. MOA. Loved it. Can't wait for him to meet Nynaeve.

And what happened with the cuddly cage match? Did the bunny wunny win?

127. mityorkie
This scene has always bothered me. I still cannot understand why Rand didn't burn Fain to a crisp where he stood as soon as he saw him in the tent. Wouldn't being handed his most visceral enemy count as ta'veren victory and call it a day?
Mikey Bennett
128. EvilMonkey
Rand is not stupid. He didn't burn Fain to a cinder because he was still in disguise and saw the bigger picture. Breaking character at that time might have ruined all the stuff he was trying to accomplish regarding the rebels. He prob would have still smoked Fain except Toram the dirtbag distracted him.

Georgie wrote an awesome piece, almost makes me want to vote for Jaime (ducking all the thrown tomatoes and refuge coming from the gallery). Still think Rand would win, even with very convincing arguments to the contrary. Hey, maybe if Rand would have brought the Lord Ruler (before his timely demise) then he could have won the day even in George's write-up. If anything he would have depressed his opponents to death. And since Allomancers and Feruchemists get their power from metal and not magic Ty's lil Westeros trick would not have worked.

John Massey
129. subwoofer
I dunno- killing Fain vs. a bunch of nobles putzing around in the woods. I'd off Fain and call it a win.

John Massey
130. subwoofer
@Wind- Wha-?!

Perhaps the Cliffsnotes the next goabout. I just burned out the battery on my new mouse;)

Tess Laird
131. thewindrose
Sub - I think my word count was down, I had to pad it up a bit;)

I just like how GRRM paid special respect to RJ and a brief mention to Amber. (And he didn't kill everyone off!:)

The killing of Fain - perhaps ta'veren works on ones self as well. Pain has more to do ere the end..

Jamie Watkins
132. Treesinger
I will apologize to all of you Guru's because I haven't taken the time to read all the posts. Forgive me is you already answered my question but I just don't have an hour or four to spare. The question I have is why is this the last time we see that we see Padam Fain? He was so important in the tGH and then he appears with the White Cloaks and then he tries to destroy the Two Rivers. Now in this book he is advising the rebels, stabs Rand and disappears. Where is he in all the other books? This is the first time in my reading that I realized that they get caught in a bubble of evil. I thought that Padam Fain had somehow caused the fog, that is related to the Mish fog from Arodol. (Forgive my misspellings)
133. alreadymadwithfain
Padan Fain reappears with Toram in Far Madding.
Janet Hopkins
134. JanDSedai
re: Padan Fain
We see him again in Far Madding; he kills some of the people trying to kill Rand, because he wants the kill for himself. But, yes, his whereabouts have been a mystery for the last 2 1/2 mo of the story.
Thomas Keith
135. insectoid
Wind @125: Holy Moley that's long. But entertaining! Nice tip of the hat to RJ in there.

Sub @130: LOL!

Alice Arneson
136. Wetlandernw
Treesinger @ 132 - Fain shows up again in Winter's Heart. Oh what joy and what surprise...

alreadymadwhensaidinwascleansedorwhateveryouaretoday@124 - I found it interesting that you interpreted Cadsuane's "Better a tender bottom than a seared hand" as hostility. It sounds like something I'd say to one of my kids, and I'm not hostile toward them.

I need to be done with this Cadsuane debate; it seems to be going from bad to worse and getting no better fast. Let me make a couple of personal points, please.

1) I spent most of my WoT career thinking of Cadsuane in the negative. In my recent reading, I have begun to realize that she's really very cool in herself, and I'd love for other people to be able to make a similar shift. If I've been too forceful, maybe its my inner Cadsuane coming out. I apologize.

2) I firmly disagree on the idea that she is undeniably ineffective; in my opinion, her methods have been effective (at least) as often as not, and we simply haven't seen the long run yet. So I won't concede the point until AMoL has been read; then, we'll see. It may be another thing like the "is LTT real" that will be left to the individual reader's opinion.

3) I quite understand that in our culture, her behavior would not be acceptable, and it sets people's teeth on edge to think of anyone slapping someone else in public. It's just not on, in our 21st-century-western-culture perspective. But Rand doesn't live in 21st century Europe or America (or Australia, New Zealand, and wherever else we all are from). He lives in Third-Age Randland, where the various cultures and customs are not only different from one another, but very different from our own. Offensive as they may be to our delicate sensibilities, spanking and slapping are not that huge a deal in that setting.

4) In spite of the scene in TGS, I will NOT concede that she is an habitual bully. We have a scene or two when her frustration gets the better of her - who doesn't experience that sometimes? But a bully is someone who enjoys pushing weaker people around for the sheer power rush. A bully is all about personal power over anyone he perceives as weaker than himself.
4.1) Can anyone honestly claim that Rand is weaker than Cadsuane? Less experienced, less self-disciplined, less self-controlled, and with less of a plan? I'll give you those. Weaker? I wouldn't say that.
4.2) Has Cadsuane ever expressed an enjoyment of her personal power over others? I will grant a certain satisfaction in putting someone in their place, when they've been acting like a compete git, but power over others just because its fun? Not that I can find.
4.3) Cadsuane's expressed purpose in all that she does (wrt: Rand) is that it's for "[b][i]his own good, not hers, and not the White Tower's." That is not the motivation of a bully. If I find a nine-year-old playing with a gun, I'm going to make use of my greater strength and experience to take it away from him, and I'll let him know in no uncertain terms that he should never do that again. Does that make me a bully? Even if he's not my kid? Do I not have a responsibility to do what I can to keep him and others around him safe from something he doesn't understand? The parallel should be obvious.

I do not claim that Cadsuane knows everything and has a perfect plan for Rand. As everyone learns in TGS (we already knew, but they didn't) it's a good thing Rand knew about balefire, because it's the only reason Be'lal, Rahvin, etc. aren't back in the game with an even more personal vendetta. So Moiraine and Cadsuane were wrong in telling him never to use it. At the same time, I totally understand the slap - I mean, really, balefire? Against something that the AS were apparently doing a perfectly good job on? That was stupid and proved that he hadn't really been listening when Moiraine told him how dangerous it was. Or he didn't believe her. Or whatever. NOT the weapon of first resort, dude!::shudder::

Okay, I'm done. I had this fun little essay drawn up on what we actually know about Cadsuane aside from the redflag behavior issues, but I don't think I'll bother to post it.
John Massey
137. subwoofer
@Wet- uhuh, yup. Still don't like her.

Julian Augustus
138. Alisonwonderland
Schrodinger @ 122:
Hey everyone, Rand's lead in the suvudu cage match is starting to slip a little, its down to around 450 votes. If you haven't voted yet, now would be the time to show your support for Rand.

I've been to that site a few times, but all I find is one humongous wall of text - but no button that says "vote here" or otherwise leads one to the actual vote. I don't want to read 24 hours of text, I just want to vote! So how does one vote on that blasted page, anyway?
Alice Arneson
139. Wetlandernw
subwoofer @137 - 'SOkay. I'll probably never like Berelain, for all her competence. Just don't ever call Cadsuane a bully, or I'll come thump you. Edmonton isn't all that far away.

That was a joke, people!!! Lighten up already!
John Massey
140. subwoofer
Fine, does that mean I get to spank Berelain?

Alice Arneson
141. Wetlandernw
By all means, have at it! I'd offer to hand you a servicable slipper, but I'm guessing you prefer the unassisted format.
John Massey
142. subwoofer
Ahem, unassisted? I believe it calls for an umbrella.

143. Freelancer

I don't disagree with anything that you said (that is an acceptable double-negative, by the way). My slightly over-simplified point was that there is a heroic figure who never leaves the side of the "chosen one", and who does everything in their power to get the chosen one to the end of the task. To me, Sam is the true hero of the LOTR story. He never fails, even when Frodo does.

I had the pleasure of two visits to Hobart during my Navy days, and would return to The South Island in an instant given the chance. One of the loveliest and friendliest places I've ever seen. Just have a dart board ready when I get there...


Agreed that Cadsuane's real purpose in the rebel camp was her own intel-gathering. I was just pointing up how it had to look to Rand, makes her seem like too much of a free agent playing every side.

I'll get to the other walls-o later, have to be off for now (as if I'm not always off a little)
Tricia Irish
144. Tektonica

I'm afraid we're just going to have to let some like her and some not. I don't. I might respect certain aspects of her, but like her? No. Why? Mostly, because I think she's ineffective, and could be so much more useful/helpful for Rand if she had a personality transplant....or changed tactics.

One very small quibble with your point #3. We certainly let our 21st century mores and morals drive the discussion of Mat and Tylin...yikes...I don't see this as any different. If not here, then not there.

So let's just agree to disagree ;-)

And Sub....not all the "oldsters" are in the Cads camp, thank you!
Tricia Irish
145. Tektonica
Edit: Double post. Tor is still being weird. Sorry.
John Massey
146. subwoofer
@Tek- I thought you were under 100? :P

Roger Powell
147. forkroot
Actually Be'lal is history because Moiraine knew the weave for balefire. OTOH, Rand also needed balefire to deal with Darkhounds (as did Moiraine). There doesn't seem to be any other way to kill them.

With all that said, I appreciate your spirited and eloquent defense of Cadsuane.

I haven't weighed in on the old biddy yet, so I guess it's my turn: Has anyone considered the fact that even as old as she is, she too might actually learn and change?

We've seen tremendous character growth in Nynaeve, Elayne, Egwene, and even our favorite rogue Mat. We've seen Moiraine's character grow. BWS has two books left for Cads to "get it" on some issues.

Most commenters have conceded her basic competence in a number of practical matters. She did a good job in the bubble, pulled Rand's chestnuts out of the fire in Far Madding, and was essential in the cleansing.

The criticism centers around her mishandling of her relationship with Rand. I think it's entirely possible that she could follow in Moiraine's footsteps and re-think her approach.

In some way, Cadsuane's awakening may be a mirror of the awakening of the overall Aes Sedai. They've been the unchallenged "top dog" for hundreds of years, casually manipulating the fates of countries and so forth, with a sense of divine entitlement.

It's no accident that the oldest and most powerful one would tend to be a bit brusque in her mannerisms and somewhat hypocritical in her demands for "manners".

We started to see a little bit of introspection with Cadsuane after Rand banished her. I would not be surprised that Tam's direct "I know a bully" challenge may also be the catalyst for some more introspection.

So lets find out. There's still time in the game as it were. Would anyone want to have passed final judgment on, say, Saul of Tarsus before the end of the story?
Tricia Irish
148. Tektonica

Sorry...forgot to respond....go to the left side of the Suvudu page where the cage matches are listed. Click on Rand..the wall o text should appear, just scroll down and just before the comments start there is a big box where you vote. Click on Rand and hit Vote. then you get to see the results.

Thanks for voiting!
Tricia Irish
149. Tektonica
This was post number 2
Tricia Irish
150. Tektonica
Post number 3
Tricia Irish
150. Tektonica
Post number 4. What's going on?????
John Massey
151. subwoofer
@Fork-uhuh, yup. Still don't like her.

John Massey
152. subwoofer
And what the deuce is going on with TOR?

Did somebody drop a virus here? Does TOR have a bug?

Insectoid?! Is this you?

One of Fife's rolls gone wonky?

153. AndrewB
RobMRobM @87:

On your list of contemporary age blademasters you forgot Turak, High Lord of the Seanchan Empire.

Also, Be'lal was a blademaster. I do not know if you would consider him a contemporary age character.

Question for everyone: who do you think is the greatest fictional swordsman? I would be interested in hearing answers.
For what it is worth, I will pick Mace Wandu (sp?) from Star Wars universe (the character that Samuel Jackson played)

That said, I can be persuaded otherwise.

What I can not be persuaded on is my favorite fictional sword: the lightsaber, which for all intensive purposes is a sword.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Alice Arneson
154. Wetlandernw
Tektonica @144 - We certainly let our 21st century mores and morals drive the discussion of Mat and Tylin...yikes...I don't see this as any different. If not here, then not there. - There was a reason I didn't enter that discussion. Actually there were a lot of reasons; that was one.

forkroot @147 - While I don't necessarily concede the "mishandling" I agree with your points overall. There's a general notion that because we don't like her methods (and neither does Rand) that they are necessarily wrong and ineffective; I think we've got a ways to go (as you say, two books) before we can call that "conclusively proven." That said, even before the banishment she had a few introspective moments - how to break Semirhage, for example. (BTW, while I agree with some that it all happened too fast and seemed a bit facile on the surface, I think the basics of the "how to" were totally sound and ought to lead somewhere interesting in the next couple of books.) I don't think she's done yet; in fact, I just had a "light-bulb" moment on something that could be used for a real MOA in the next book or two... I'll muse on it for a while and post my idea. If I were Samadai, I might write it up as ficfic, but since it could actually happen, I'll just do a rough sketch. If it's done right (which of course requires that it actually fits the story...!) everyone could love it.

For now, RL calls in the voice of a 6-year-old....
Tricia Irish
155. Tektonica
Hey people....the GRRM folks are out in force! Rand is only ahead by 76 votes now....yes....76!!

This is outrageous. They wait until Saturday, when it's pretty quiet here and bam...hit it hard.

Vote people!! Tell your aunties and uncles to vote too! Lannister must go down.
John Massey
156. subwoofer
I was voting for Rincewind...

Captain Hammer
157. Randalator
alreadymad @124

Well, how else would you create a shield that effectively protects you against any projectile fired at you from any given position?
Bonnie Andrews
158. misfortuona
Hey Tek et al.
The gap is 132 now, still not enough room for comfort.

Marcus W
161. toryx
Hey look! I'm posting on a Saturday! That almost never happens. Actually, I'm staying home today for the most part because next week I'm heading back to NYC. This means I need to save my money while I have it. Going online is one way to do that.

By the way, who all is in NYC besides Leigh? I don't know if I'll have any time, but if I can make some would anyone be interested in getting together for lunch/ drinks/ hanging out? Just curious. If you want, you can feel free to drop a note on my Shoutbox thingy.

Man-O and Tektonica @ 60:

I'm hoping to take a trip out west this summer myself. Ideally, I'd head out to the general Colorado area and drive on down to California and maybe up the coast. Not sure if I'm going to manage the funds and vacation time for that though.

Amalisa @ 109:

That's the best argument supporting Cadsuane's use of the slap that I've yet seen. I still believe that 9 out of 10 of Cadsuane's methods could have been better, particularly considering her experience and wisdom, but I grant that in this case it's effective (though still infuriating).

Tektonica @ 117:
We need to find some common ground here and stop all the ranting or the next few books are going to be miserable here on the thread.

I'd like to take a second to address this comment. How many people are made miserable by these discussions? I know that it can get old but at the same time, I appreciate the discussion that arises from disagreement. We've had these kinds of back and forths on topics of all kinds over the re-read and sometimes it can get old and a bit beaten into the ground but as long as someone is enjoying it, those who don't enjoy it can skip past (like I always do when football comes up). And it's kind of up to each of us individually to decide when we've had enough. When I'm done with the Cadsuane discussion (which I almost am) I'll just stop responding.

I'm just saying that there's nothing wrong with disagreement on a topic. So long as we remain civil (which in my view we have) everything should be cool.

By the way, Tektonica, I want you to know that I always appreciate what you have to say and how you go about saying it. I hope it doesn't come across that I'm picking on's just that I respond most to those who make me think and when I disagree (or wish to offer counter opinions) it's because I respect your opinion, not to criticize.

I'm also a Libra, and have to do my best to maintain balance at all times. That sometimes means offering a different outlook whether I believe it or not. I can be pretty annoying that way.

forkroot @ 147:
Would anyone want to have passed final judgment on, say, Saul of Tarsus before the end of the story?

Oh man. I don't think we want to go there. Actually, I know for a fact that no one wants to hear me talk about him.
162. jadelollipop
The voting box is below the write up and before the comments although sometimes you have to leave and come back to see it :)
I am enjoying the re-reads and commentary. Started my own re-read for this year. Just finished EOTW. I did not realize that Ishy/B had sent Jain F to the Ogier. No wonder everyone else but me has doubted Noal LOL
Alice Arneson
163. Wetlandernw
AndrewB @153 -Turak was first on the list @86:
The High Lord Turak Aladon - killed by Rand al'Thor

subwoofer @156 - ROFLOL! Rincewind FTW!

toryx @161 - That sometimes means offering a different outlook whether I believe it or not. I can be pretty annoying that way. Careful - that's what started me on defending Cadsuane, and look where that got me.

Amalisa - Meant to say it earlier, got sidetracked... You've made some excellent points here. Thank you!!
Alice Arneson
164. Wetlandernw
Re: suvudu - When it says "Thanks, we have already counted your vote" does that mean it has counted this vote, or that it thinks you have already voted in the past and won't let you vote again? I didn't notice what it said when I voted, but that's what it says when my husband tries to vote. Anyone?
165. alreadymadwithshields
Wetlandernw @136
I don't see how else threatening to spank somebody, or implying he might need it, could be interpreted. She simply did not want him there. This was before any agreement they made and already she automatically assumes ascendancy over him, criticizing and second-guessing his methods.

Freelancer @143
I don't really think Rand would be surprised to see an Aes Sedai play both sides of the field.

forkroot @147
Interesting insight on how Cadsuane's paradigm shift may be a microcosm of how the White Tower will be reevaluating their methods.

Randalator @157
I was under the impression that Rand's cocoon (notice the difference in description) was different from the usual shield. Typical shields are woven of Air. This is what Cadsuane used to protect their position during the Cleansing. A dome of Air is how it was described, and so far as any other users are concerned it did not block off breathable air. Rand's cocoon, however, had the added feature of cushioning his fall. This leads me to suspect it was a very special weave. Rand was also familiar with the garden variety shield.
Tess Laird
166. thewindrose
Wetlandernw - The suvudu site is tracking voters by ip address to insure people are not repetively voting. I woud imagine that you both have the same ip address.

Alice Arneson
167. Wetlandernw
alreadymad @165 - I don't follow your reasoning; how do you get to "she simply did not want him there" as the sole possible interpretation?
Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
thewindrose @166 - that was what I thought, but it's not even supposed to be a stable IP. I should have a different IP address every time I turn on my computer, the way I understand our setup. *sigh* Either I don't understand it as well as I thought or something is keeping the whole system stuck on a single IP. Either way, I can do no more.
169. alrreadymadwithnicefires
Wetlandernw @167
Most boys learn not to stick their fingers into the pretty fire the first time they are burned, Tomas.
This is a warning to stay away. To handle with care and, by implication, that he did not know what he was doing and it could blow up in his face. In her eyes he should not be there. At a guess I'd say she thinks only an Aes Sedai could properly defuse the rebellion. Never mind that they were the ones who encouraged the Cairhienin factions in the first place.

Also, I used to work with an ISP which shall remain unnamed, aside from the fact that it is one of the largest in the US. Depending on how you are setup, IP's usually bind to a specific MAC address(usually the modem) and are typically refreshed at specific intervals. 2 hrs for the one I used to work for. And that does not necessarily mean it would change.
Marcus W
170. toryx
Wetlandernw @ 168:

I believe it's set to the IP address assigned by your ISP, not the individual computer. I'm real rusty on the whole networking thing though, so I could be wrong.

I do know that it doesn't matter which computer I use at home (and I have several), once I vote, that's it. I'd have to use another internet access point to vote again, such as work, the library, or something else.
Alice Arneson
171. Wetlandernw
alreadymadewithnicefires @169 - It was clearly a warning, on that we are agreed. I'm just not convinced it was the rebellion she was referring to. Not convinced it wasn't, mind you, but I'm not sure it was. The wording makes it sound like she's referring to something he's messed with once before, and burned his fingers; I'm not sure how the precedent would logically have been the rebellion.

By the way, speaking of a "seared hand"... I couldn't help thinking about a future event where he walks in thinking he knows what he's facing, and ends up with a fireball searing his hand right off. Anyone else?

Thanks for the info on the IP; maybe it refreshes but doesn't actually change very often. I voted on Friday morning, but now can't vote as either my husband or my mother-in-law because apparently we're all on the same IP address and it hasn't changed. Bummer. They're happy to vote for me, just can't. *sigh* Is there any way to force it to change? ;)
Thomas Keith
172. insectoid
The Cadsanity continues... (Cadsanity? Cadsuanity?)

Sub @152:
Did somebody drop a virus here? Does TOR have a bug?

Insectoid?! Is this you?
Not I! I do believe there's a ghost in the machine, though! ;)

173. AndrewB
RobMRobM @86 & Wetlandernw @163

Oops. Nevermind (see my first comment @153)

Thanks for reading my musings,
174. Freelancer

Hmm. I'd be very pleased if you would show me a comment of mine where I displayed frustration with Rand. I'm sure you are thinking of another commentor here with that reference. I have said repeatedly that Rand is wiser, cleverer, and smarter than most give him credit for. While it is true that Mat never does run away, he wanted to, many times. Rand never considers running away once he accepted his role. The only time he seemed to have run away, he was running toward Tear, the Stone, Callandor, and his fate.


Your ISP renews your connection on a lease basis with a set time-frame, from 1hr to 1 month depending on the type of service and the provider. It is common for the refresh to reissue the same IP address each time, using a database which tracks which IP is assigned to which NIC MAC. Funny thing is, most ISPs will tell you your dynamic IP can change anytime unless you pay an extra subscription fee for a static IP address. If you really want to change your IP address, you can call your provider during business hours, suffer through the third degree of questions assuming you don't know what you're doing, get put on hold through three levels of script-reading "techs" before you get to someone who can really deal with your request, and voila, a new IP will be issued.
Alice Arneson
175. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @174 - Okay, never mind. I don't want to vote again that badly!
John Massey
176. subwoofer
@Free- humblest of apologies- I saw the symbol and thought it was you- it was your twin, Amalisa at post 67, just before you. Oops. But both of you have been around for awhile- maybe picking colors to show your ajah? I dunno.

But sometimes I do feel that Rand deserves beats. Kinda reminds me of this movie that would have been a non-starter if the "hero" would just say what he has to at the beginning. Instead, he freezes up and has to move heaven and earth to right the wrongs a few words could have fixed. Much ado about nothing. It is not that Rand doesn't accept who he is, more to the point, he has horrible communication skills in relaying what he wants. Half the time he seems off in la la land. Er... no offense. Sometimes being blunt about your thoughts helps. Rand could give that a go. After all, he is the Dragon Reborn.

Julian Augustus
177. Alisonwonderland
This is just too frustrating. I get to the suvudu page and before I can even begin to look for the vote button the page changes to one telling me to sign in. What the h*&%! I don't want to sign in to some unknown website, I just want to vote! Sorry, Tek and others, I tried.
Jacy Clark
179. Amalisa

I'm Free's twin? Wow! Thanks! I really appreciate that! (Yes, I know you meant the symbol, but I'll take what I can get!)

And, yes, I did acknowledge that I've wanted to smack Rand from time to time. I've wanted to smack most of the "youngsters" from time to time. Doesn't mean I don't think they're pretty awesome in their own right a lot of the time. 'Cause I do. I'm just at the age where I get to play the "get off my lawn, you whippersnapper!" card... ;)

re the suvudu cage match... I think I've voted twice. Here's hopin'...

...firing off a nuclear weapon at a roadside bomb...

I like it! *lol*

toryx@161 - Thanks! :)

@Wetlandernw - thank you!!


@Tektonica - It isn't often that you and I are on opposite sides, and I apologize if I've come across as overbearing in my arguments.

I think it's kind of funny that we, as a forum, can safely navigate real world, hot button issues and barely break a sweat, but throw Cads (or Egwene or Nynaeve or Elayne. Hmmmm... all strong women. Go figure.) into play and people come out swinging... *lol* I've been guilty of it, and I'll try to be more moderate in the future.

And while we're on the subject of things that could send us running for the bunker, I saw this and thought it was...hmmm... interesting... *lol*

*wants to balefire the spam filter*
Tess Laird
180. thewindrose

If you click on this link, it will take you to the page where the voting box is. The voting box is after a preview on how the cagemaster thinks the battle will go, you will need to scroll or page down to it, it is a gray box and it has two selections to pick Rand or Jaime and a big yellow vote button. At this point they are about 150 points apart - Rand in lead with the total site at a whopping 22,725 votes recorded. So they are at both at 50% and Florida may decide the outcome;)
(Also, there is no need to register to vote.)

Julian Augustus
181. Alisonwonderland
I have really enjoyed the Cadsuane debate and Wetlander's spirited defence of the crusty one. Despite myself, I occasionally find myself nodding at some of her points. But for me the whole issue with Cadsuane boils down to one single factor: Rand can't stand her. There is no doubt that Rand would have avoided her like the plague if he had his own way, and he only tolerated her around him because Min insisted that she would teach him something important. Yet, despite Min's insistence on her importance to him, Rand came to dislike her so much that he banished her from his sight on pain of death.

The extent of Rand's animosity towards Cadsuane is clearly illustrated in the fact that he nearly went off the deep end and killed his own father when Cadsuane's name was mentioned, because he thought Cadsuane was trying to manipulate him through his father.

I take Wetlander's point that we don't know what Cadsuane is supposed to teach Rand, so we can't say for now that she has failed in her mission. But it seems to me that, regardless of what her mission is, Rand is not going to accept anything from her in his present state of mind, unless she modifies her methods (which I expect in the next book).

Judged purely on her relationship with Rand, then, we can say that her usual way of dealing with people has ended in calamitous failure, with Rand banishing her from his sight and threatening to kill her if he ever saw her face again. She needs to change her methods drastically, and quickly, if she is to teach him whatever it is she is supposed to teach. As things stand now, I suspect Rand will reject outright any idea put to him, no matter how sensible, if he thinks it originated with Cadsuane. If that is not failure, then I don't know what is.

I predict that somewhere in the next two books Min will somehow persuade Rand that Cadsuane absolutely has to speak to him on a matter of extreme importance, that Cadsuane will come to see him wearing her hood, that she will swear fealty and promise to never try to manipulate him (note: she made that promise to him earlier, but her abrasive personality has so grated on him that he doesn't set much store by that promise), and remembering how useful Moiraine was to him once she swore to help and not manipulate, Rand will allow Cadsuane back to advice him. I think that whole scene would be a MoA for Cadsuane. We can then begin to see how very much more effective she can be as an aide and not as an authority figure to Rand.

At least that is my wish.
Julian Augustus
182. Alisonwonderland
thewindrose @ 180:

I have no idea why it keeps happening to me but I clicked on your "vote" link, it took me to the usual page, and as soon as I started to scroll down the page changed to a blank one saying:

Sign in to comment
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This is the url of the page it automatically boots me to:
Jacy Clark
183. Amalisa

Rand is not going to accept anything from her in his present state of mind, unless she modifies her methods (which I expect in the next book).

The operative words there are "his present state of mind". I don't think there is any question in anyone's mind that Rand, after Semirhage's attack and his retaliation with the True Power, wasn't in his right mind.

Would Rand in his right mind have banished Cadsuane - even considering that they seriously rubbed one another the wrong way? Given Min's insistence that he needed her, I don't think so.

Would Rand in his right mind have attacked his father - regardless of how peeved he was at, well, anyone? Absolutely not.

I've re-read Cadsuane's inner monologue from The Gathering Storm, Chapter 31:
Al'Thor. She had to face the truth: she had bungled her handling of him. The poor, foolish boy. He should never have had to suffer collaring at the hands of one of the Forsaken; that would only remind him of the times he had been beaten and caged by Aes Sedai. Was he beyond saving? Was it too late to change him? And if it was, what - if anything - could she do? The Dragon Reborn had to meet the Dark One at Shayol Ghul. If he did not, all was lost. But what if allowing him to meet the Dark One would be equally disastrous? Al'Thor hadn't reacted like most peasants suddenly granted power; he hadn't grown selfish or petty. Indeed, there had actually been a wisdom to many of his decisions - the ones that didn't involve gallivanting into danger.

(She sees Rand on the street.)

As before, when she turned away from him, she thought she saw... from the corner of her eye... darkness around him, like too much shade from the clouds above. It only appeared when she saw him indirectly and by happenstance. To see it around the Dragon Reborn terrified her. This had grown bigger than her pride, much larger than her failures. No. It had always been larger than she was. He didn't trust Aes Sedai, and with good reason.

This was, of course, immediately prior to her going to the Wise Ones and admitting her failure to them - to Sorilea, especially. (It is worth noting that they accepted her statement, told her it wasn't her fault, and waived any toh. Personally speaking, I respect their stamp of approval.)

The point of all that was to illustrate that this was a woman who wasn't only feeling her failure regarding the Dragon Reborn but her failure with the "boy", Rand. (I say "boy" as a reflection of her perception of his age from her viewpoint.) I read a lot of concern for Rand in that. Yes, her greatest worry - as it should be! - is for the big picture aka Tarmon Gaidon. But she is sympathetic toward Rand.

I do buy - readily! - that Min will "make peace in the water feud" that exists between Rand and Cadsuane. I think it will involve both of their stubborn necks to bend some. I think the "new" Rand, post-Dragonmount, will see a lot of things with new eyes. At least, I hope so.

Edit for "wasn't" instead of "was"
Tess Laird
184. thewindrose
Sorry I can't be of more help Alisonwonderland:(

With Moiraine coming back, I don't see Cadsuane resuming her role as Rand's advisor. I am very interested in seeing two different meetings. One would be between Moiraine and Cadsuane. The other one would be between Egwene and Cadsuane. What I think is happening is Cadsuane is realizing just how badly she has handled this. She has perhaps sensed things, but came face to face with some of her hangups when confronting Semirhague. She got a second 'slap' with Tam. I think Moiraine and Egwene are her final lessons.
Indeed, a lot of us have been questioning the abilties of the Green Ajah(or should I say short comings). Cads has shown competence in how she deals with others, how she can arrange a good defence, but until tGS she has not shown she can adapt //learn//and change.

Here is a good thought for you all to ponder. Why doesn't Sorilea get the same reaction from the fan base? I know a big one will be that she doesn't have as much screen time as Cadsuane. But, please think about it. She is pretty much a legend to the Aiel Wise Ones. Yet more people think of her out of respect. I think one thing she does is she listens, and doesn't just flat out tell everyone what to do. She actually thinks of Rand as a leader, even though his coming is going to destroy most of her people. So what do you all think? Just wondering, because the two do have a lot in common. (I should put this out there - I respect Sorilea much more than Cadsuane, so that may color my thoughts on this.)

Alice Arneson
185. Wetlandernw
Amalisa - ::wild applause:: Well done!! I hadn't gotten that far in my "research" - I'm really glad you did, in time for this thread. Rand in his right mind is notably lacking for a goodly chunk for TGS.

In light of the above quotation, however, I was wrong about the overall effectiveness of her method; while it worked well in some situations, it had not been entirely up to the task. Like some of you, Cadsuane feels that her methods had failed, at least to the extent that she can see.

I've got some musings in work over on my notepad; hopefully I can get them sorted out to be worth posting here this evening. Meanwhile, kudos to you again, Amalisa!
Julian Augustus
186. Alisonwonderland
Amalisa: let me echo Wetlander; that was excellent. I think you've neatly drawn a line under the whole Cadsuane debate and both sides can now move on. Kudos.
Julian Augustus
187. Alisonwonderland
I finally managed to vote in the suvudu match, Yay! Shows the value of persistence. The problem must have been with my browser (Fifefox). Anyway, I changed to IE, went back to the site, and this time it didn't automatically kick me to the sign-in page.

The result after my vote was: Rand, 11563; Jaime, 11351. It shouldn't be this close. I'll see if I can trick the site into letting me vote again.
Jacy Clark
188. Amalisa
@Wetlandernw... Lord, I wish there were some way to do this for a living! *lol* Thanks, again!

@Alisonwonderland... I'm all for moving on!! Thank you! :)
Thomas Keith
189. insectoid
Amalisa @183, Wind @184, WetNW @185: Well though out! I agree that we should move on.

AlisonWL @187: Despite knowing that "Fifefox" is a misspelling, I immediately thought of R.Fife and laughed out loud. ;D
Or... IS it a misspelling? (dramatic sound)

Mikey Bennett
190. EvilMonkey
So what to comment on next? I can't put my 2 cents in unless I know what we are talkin about! C'mon people! Put your thinking caps on! I have faith in the old guard. Not that you guys are old (unless you really are old or some junk). I realize that I am a newbie to this message board, though not a newbie to the series that we all love. Just wanna see what the Legends come up with.

BTW, loved the idea of the all blademaster (no channelling shenanigans pweese) cage match. Rob is unavailable so hows about someone else volunteer to be dungeon master?

191. deck896
I think there is a telling quote while Flinn is talking out loud while working his healing powers.

"So I went, and the M'hael taught me Healing. And other things. A rough sort of Healing; I was healed by an Aes Sedai once - oh, nigh on thirty years back now - and this hurts - compared to that. Works as well, though."

The only other time we have ever heard of pain being involved in the healing process was when Ishmael healed Lews Therin.

And I find it interesting that the healing of the Dark One is something that Taim apparently uses and teaches.
192. alreadymadwithbanishment
Wetlandernw @171
I don't see what else she could be referring to. The next series of events clearly point out that her research of his recent history has been lacking. As far as I can tell, it was either the rebellion or a situation in which Aes Sedai had clearly taken notice.
As for your IP, the only way to force it to change is to have your ISP reset it manually.

Amalisa @183
In his right mind, I suspect Rand would still have banished her. He was, by this time, probably peeved that Cadsuane had taken his most valuable weapons, the Callandor and the Choedan Kal. Yes, they were probably overkill, but up until that point, he had shown restraint in using them. To suddenly have an Aes Sedai force the issue by depriving him of it (and by extension, gaining the power to decide when their use was warranted), would grate on my nerves if I was in his place. That demonstrates a clear lack of trust in his abilities. Threatening her with death was probably stepping too far, though I don't see how a lesser punishment could have restrained her.

thewindrose @184
I suspect it is because Sorilea generally stays out of the limelight. As is the traditional role for a Wise One, she leaves the overt leadership roles to the Clan chiefs. Aes Sedai by comparison can't stand being out of the limelight. They thrive on people knowing they are doing something.

deck896 @191
The healing of the Dark One such as what Ishamael used with Lews Therin involved the use of the True Power. That's obviously something Flinn does not have access to.
Captain Hammer
193. Randalator
I was under the impression that Rand's cocoon (notice the difference in description) was different from the usual shield. Typical shields are woven of Air. This is what Cadsuane used to protect their position during the Cleansing. A dome of Air is how it was described, and so far as any other users are concerned it did not block off breathable air.

A cocoon is just a very tight fitting egg-like shell, whereas a dome is a fairly large structure. Said dome could easily have blocked off air, it simply wouldn't matter for those inside it because it contains enough oxygen and carbon dioxide would aggregate at the top.

Even a fairly large group could spend days in the dome without any danger of suffocation. In a small cocoon, on the other hand, there is only oxygen for 10 Minutes at best.

I agree that Rand's cocoon is a ramped up version of a shield but I don't think that it differs from the common Aes Sedai shield of Air regarding oxygen permeability. Compare with the dome of Air created at Dumai's Wells:

A dome of Air suddenly covered the entire camp, smoke from the fires sliding up to a hole left in the top.
(LoC, ch. 55)

The Asha'man leave a hole in the dome to allow the smoke to escape. If a run of the mill shield is enough to keep the smoke in, it won't allow enough air in (if any at all) to keep you alive when used as a personal cocoon-shaped shield.

But personally, I think that both weaves completely block off air, anyway.
Tricia Irish
194. Tektonica

Thanks for the kind and conciliatory words. I also appreciate your always thoughtful and well stated point of view.

I suggested we find common ground, not so that discussion would cease, but so that the Cads lovers might stop what I saw as" hell-bent-conversion" mode. Many of us who don't like Cads tactics and attitude also acknowledge her good points. But we're never going to like her!

So, my suggestion is let's cool it with the "win me over to your side" bit and just enjoy the character. I probably didn't state that clearly and maybe I didn't again, but I do not mean to squelch discussion and commentary. Cads is a very intriguing character.....her mystery remains to be unravelled, IMHO.

Wetlandernw@171: I went all cold when I read the "seared the hand" reference Cads made to Rand hindsight.

Alisonwonderland@181: **wild applause** total agreement** Well said**

Amalisa@179: I don't like being on the opposite side of the isle from you! But sometimes that happens.;-) We'll live!

@181: Brilliant. I'd forgotten that we got to see more of her insights in tGS and wow...I'm heartened to see that she feels her failures with Rand. There is hope now that he has had his revelation on Dragonmount and yeegads, I hope we don't have to wait another year plus to see some outcome of that...
Min yes, the peacemaker.

Oh the Moraine/Cads meeting should be interesting. Moraine may be quite changed too....hard to tell what we will see. Cads has been too important in the these books to just fade away though....I think she'll learn a few "new communication methods" and become invaluable to either Rand or Egwene. I'd love to see her have a great character arc and a true MOA.

And....having read through all the comments now, I can see we ARE all on the same page now....or have at least found common ground. ;-))

FWIW: It's mid-morning Sunday and Rand is only ahead on suvudu by 44 votes. This is a disaster. I'm going to Starbucks to change my ISP. Sorry, but I have to. My husband tried to vote, but we obviously share this ISP, so no go....maybe I'll take him with me....Get out the your friends!
John Massey
195. subwoofer
First off- on this beautiful day-not-(been up since 0600 with the dogs...) in response to Andrews question of my opinion for the greatest fictional swordsman, I have to go with Groo. The guy is an idiot, but can wield his swords like a Cuisinart.

&Amalisa, yes I was referring to your avatar. In no means was I comparing you to Free's bearded lovable image;)

All my opinions in regards to er...___, I have my biased opinion, so I am keeping on with moving on. As to what Rand should have done, ask yourself- WWJWD?

A couple of things struck me as I was re-reading this chapter. Min seems way more attractive than I gave her credit for.

I like the exchange between Rand and Lord Darlin as they were moving along on horseback. Of all the things in the galaxy they may have been discussing
"If I may say so, Tomas... and under the Light, I offer no disrespect, you are fortunate in having a beautiful wife. The Light willing, I will have one as beautiful myself."

"Why do they not speak of something important?" Caraline muttered.

Min turned her head to hide a small smile. The Lady Caraline did not look half as displeased as she sounded. She herself had never cared whether anyone thought her pretty or not. Well until she met Rand, anyway. Maybe Darlin's nose was not all that long.

I got a kick out of that. It was right up there with Fel's "Don't bring the girl. She is too pretty" or words to that effect comment.

On the topic of Min and swordsmen, the image on the tapestry of the lone swordsman surrounded by enemies and about to be overwhelmed- well that says it all for me. Rand had that in his rooms on purpose. The imagery must have spoken to him as it does to me. Rand has to realize that he is not in this alone. Yes he is the Champion of Light, but that does not mean he must do his task unassisted. Going off into the woods without anyone beyond Min. He paid the price for that.

I know I have spurned Aes Sedai and I am not the current version's biggest advocate, but they are much like ambassadors in that they seemingly can move everywhere with immunity. Use that to your advantage Rand. Most of the quests I have read always benefit from the strength of unity and numbers. Like my other favorite dog, Scooby, nothing but disaster befalls characters when they utter the phrase "let's split up"...

Marcus W
196. toryx
Alisonwonderland @ 187:
The result after my vote was: Rand, 11563; Jaime, 11351. It shouldn't be this close. I'll see if I can trick the site into letting me vote again.
Tektonica @ 194:
I'm going to Starbucks to change my ISP. Sorry, but I have to.

How very like a Lannister! :)

Also @ 194:
Many of us who don't like Cads tactics and attitude also acknowledge her good points. But we're never going to like her!

Agreed. I also think you've got a point that we (who do not like her or do not approve of her methods) are always careful to point out areas where we agree even though we won't accept the entirety of the argument.
197. ValMar
Good morning citizens of the New World. Good afternoon to the rest.

I personally have rather mixed feelings towards Cadsuane. You folks ain't helping! Both sides are very persuasive. The reason for this, I suspect, is that most of the points put forward are true.

We have to see what happens in the next book, since at the end of TGS both Rand, and maybe Cads had kind of transfiguration. Or Cadsuane rather had a paradigm shift (IIRC the term), hopefully.
Tricia Irish
198. Tektonica
Sub@195: Who is that beautiful young lady? What riveting eyes! She would make a good Min...shortish hair and all.

Toryx@196: As long as I'm not Cersei! All's fair in love and war......

I think we're all on common ground now. I'd forgotten all about Cads isights and revelations in tGS, as pointed out by Amalisa@183....there is hope for a relationship between them now.....RAFO.

*grabs kleenex, heads to bunker for a nap*
Pritesh Patil
199. MatHornsounder
Randhas fallen behind in the Suvuducagematch.

lacks by 20 votes and voting closes at 8..!!

Marcus W
200. toryx
And all over the country Jaime and Rand fans are filling libraries, coffee shops and bakeries logging in and trying to push their favored champion just one more vote closer to success!
Tyler Durden
201. Balance
As of my "friend's" vote, on a different network, Rand is only down by 5 votes. Please don't let that blonde prettyboy beat him. :/
Ron Garrison
202. Man-0-Manetheran
Amalisa@183: ::joins Wetlandernw in wild applause:: Thanks for the research. Having only read TGS twice, I forgot how much introspection she had there.

the windrose@184: Interesting thoughts about Sorilea. The Wise Ones as a group have their act together much more than the Aes Sedai - OR - we haven’t seen their weaknesses as frequently as with AS. Maybe Sorilea gets a pass from fans simply because she’s a WO, and we accept their culture as being superior.

Cage Match: I’ve managed to vote only twice. Thanks for the hints everyone, but none of the regular tricks seem to work. I think we have until 8 p.m. EST to figure a way to help the Lord of the Morning. If I had a laptop, I’d be on my way to Starbucks too... LOL. And damn that BBoBA! That portrait of Rand really sucks and we all know there are some shallow-minded voters who go for looks alone! Even the Sweet portraits are better, and that’s not saying much!
Marcus W
203. toryx
I have a feeling that in the last ten or fifteen minutes before 8 there will be a final surge of votes for each side. It'll all depend on who can get those last votes in.
Barry T
204. blindillusion
Darn, I make it back only to find out my responses aren't really needed...unless someone would actually like me to write something up...but then it might be nothing more than going after that poor horse....

So. Peace and Merriment.

- And you know, it's kinda funny to compare Min and Samwise. I wrote a paper in college in which I argued Samwise was the True Hero of the The Lord of the Rings.

I'm of the opinion that Min is going to find the answer which Saves the Day.
Tricia Irish
205. Tektonica
Hey people....Rand is LOSING by 73 votes as of right now. :-((
Sandy Brewer
206. ShaggyBella
Just voted Suduvu using my cell phone...the web access is different than my home ISP.

Rand is 6 votes down with 13787 to 13793.

"The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills."

Edit: Just to be sure, I just asked the Magic 8 Ball if Rand will win the cage match. The answer: YES!
207. FellKnight
gogogogogogo people!!! :) Vote for Rand!


Thomas Keith
208. insectoid
Have cast my vote for Rand—he's only up by 10 votes, people!

Tricia Irish
209. Tektonica
This is unbelievably close! He's up, he's your friends and neighbors....that's legal, isn't it Toryx?

Looks like the most exciting characters made it to the final after all. Certainly the ones with large fan bases.....almost 30,000 votes. So silly and fun.
Barry T
210. blindillusion
Just put a request on Facebook for all my friends to vote for Rand...that's cool, right?

I mean...BwS did it...but then, there are probably quite a few people who are friends with him because of hopefully they voted for Rand....
211. FellKnight


James Jones
212. jamesedjones
I posted a plea on my FaceBook page for my friends to vote for Rand.

We may be putting too much into this... lol
213. alreadymadwithvotingtwice
Already voted twice and Rand was down 26 votes my second time.

Funny how BWS reacted more like a WOT fangeek than the one who actually writes it these days. He should have written out a good yarn of how he envisions the match to turn out.
Mikey Bennett
214. EvilMonkey
I gotta say I like both series but seems to me those Jaime fans are like complete dicks. On the whole, us Randlanders are much classier.

James Jones
215. jamesedjones
214 EvilMonkey

It seems to be coming down to morals and ethics. In GRRM's books the guy who wins is the one who hired someone to stab his opponent in the back. Jordan's characters have a much more fulfilling sense of honor and decency. With the huge uptick in numbers in the final hours, there's an incredible amount of multiple votes on both sides. But GRRM's fans seem to be doing so in acceptence of the tactics and morals of their hero.

Edit: Last check, Rand was up by 150. Woo Hoo!
Richard Fife
216. R.Fife
8pm by my clock, ending poll: Rand 15086, Jaime 14846 GO TEAM LIGHT!
Barry T
217. blindillusion
Well, that sucks. It's 8:10 EST and the vote is now 15,112 to 14,880. Which would mean the Poll is still open. Suppose those guys should really check their site.


Now...anything to talk about?
John Massey
218. subwoofer
Heh... I have an old brute force program that lets me crack people's wifi signal. So from the comfort of my own home I managed to cast six votes piggy backing other home's signals. Flippin' pretty boy killed my dragon!

Richard Fife
219. R.Fife
@217 The website is probably just not overly good at keeping the poll up-to-date, which is why it didn't auto-finalize too, I'd imagine. My money is still on Rand with that healthy last minute lead.
Tricia Irish
220. Tektonica
Rand is 15,167 and my daughter just voted at 8:32PM. What's up with that?

Rand is 200 votes ahead after a very roller coaster day.

I took my laptop to the mall, since I had to go there anyway, and voted at the Apple store on a new ipad I was playing with and on my computer! ipad = Very Cool. Called a few friends, who thought I was completely nuts, but voted because I asked nicely and told them he was the Savior of his World. Sent a few emails.....I may have a lot of 'splainin' to do. I'm OK, really.....
Alice Arneson
221. Wetlandernw
Tektonica - not beating the horse, but I have to say this. The whole thing that got me started to even think maybe Cadsuane was okay was the fact that everyone, the first time she showed up, was down on her like a ton of bricks. Whenever that happens, I'm forced by my "defend the underdog" personality to play devil's advocate. When I did, I started to realize that there wa a lot to this character that I, and apparently everyone else, had simply not caught on the way by. This thread, after Leigh pointed it out, people have been more willing to acknowledge her good points, but there's always this big "BUT BUT BUT - I still hate her - she's an awful person - she's a bully - she's mean" attitude from the majority. I can't speak for everyone else, but my purpose, once I began to see her in a different light, was always to get people to acknowledge the faint possibility that maybe she knew what she was doing. She's not just another arrogant Aes Sedai who spent her life in the White Tower, coming out to push people around again. She's an adventurer who spent as little time in the Tower as possible, preferring virtual exile (rather snarkily referred to as "retirement") to returning to the Tower where she could have had all the political power anyone could want. She just didn't want it. I think that's kind of cool, especially in contrast to the other AS we've been seeing lately, and I thought other people might enjoy the concept as well. Obviously, I was wrong.

By the way, for those who complained that Cadsuane "hadn't done her research" in not knowing about Dumai's Wells... those who could have told her were constantly relieved that they had managed to keep it hidden, since they had promised Rand to do so. It was Min who made the decision that, for Rand's good, it would be better if Cadsuane knew about it. I found her response actually very poignant, though I know it makes most of you cringe along with Min:
Cadsuane touched Rand’s pale face, brushed strands of hair from his forehead. “Do not be afraid, boy,” she said softly. “They made my task harder, and yours, but I will not hurt you more than I must.”
I read that as her knowing that Rand has a very hard job ahead, and that he will need to learn some very painful things, and being sad for both of them, that the TAS had made the job harder and the learning more painful for him.

I begin to suspect that, in spite of my recent understanding and subsequent guesses as to her purpose, I may never get to find out if I was right. Maybe it'll be in the Encyclopedia.
James Jones
222. jamesedjones
220 Tektonica

Nice strategy. Dang, I wish I'd thought of it. I stop by computer stores just to browse at least once a month.
Alice Arneson
223. Wetlandernw
Wow, those suvudu guys are seriously behind on the shut-down.

Rand 15243
Jaime 15022

And votes are still adding. Unless they have a way of going back to "the status as of 8 pm", it's still open. FWIW, Team Light seems to be pulling away - if you refresh every 5 seconds or so, Rand has one or two more votes each time, and Jaime gets one every 3rd refresh or so. :>
John Massey
224. subwoofer
@Wet- way to pummel Bela;)


Alice Arneson
225. Wetlandernw
You see? It's like I've always said: "You can get more with a kind word and a two-by-four than you can with just a kind word." :P
226. Freelancer
Poll closed. Quite late, but it closed.




By a flimsy, measly 180 votes...

Lannister earns the title of...

The Final Victim.

The Car'a'carn, the Coramoor, the Lord of the Morning, the Dragon Reborn, Rand al'Thor reigns.
Thomas Keith
227. insectoid
WetNW @225:
It's like I've always said: "You can get more with a kind word and a two-by-four than you can with just a kind word."

Free @226: Well, then: we're mostly done with Cadsanity, done with suvudu... Anything else to talk about?

Oh heck with it... RAND WINS!!

BTW... anyone else notice Tor acting rather slow lately?

Barry T
228. blindillusion
Been acting more than slow.

Error messages. Double Posts. Quadruple posts.

Seems you guys may have finally found your wish granted...Cracked Tor. =|

Way to go.
Jacy Clark
229. Amalisa

I blame balefire.

Or the Jaime Lannister people trying to sabotage the "Go Rand! Get the vote out!" campaign.

Take your pick. :D


I also have a very overactive, "pull for the underdog" gland. Over the years, it has gotten me into a lot of trouble. But I wouldn't change it for the world! :D
Thomas Keith
230. insectoid
Blind @228, Amalisa @229: I've got it! It must be...

THE FIFEFOX! (see me @189) ;)

Tricia Irish
231. Tektonica
First: Tor went seriously [i][b] loubots[/b] last night....all sorts of error messages and refusals to load pages. I had a nice thank you to Wet written, but it wouldn't post. So I went to bed. I hope this gets fixed today!

Second: Congratulations Rand and team Light! Good work here on the thread, on Brandon's FB site, etc. What silly fun. I guess they finally closed about 10:30 PM? I think they were hoping the Jaime contingent would come back and dominate, but they finally gave up. Ha!

And now, redux: Wet@221:

I hope you don't think I was angry or irritated with you. Quite the contrary! You are my guru! We don't differ often on viewpoints or characters, so when you speak, I do listen. You are always eloquent, thoughtful and considerate. You have indeed given me new appreciation for a character I had a knee-jerk negative reaction to. (Probably due to some old teacher or boss or some other similarly cranky and arrogant authority figure.)

I now acknowledge Cads considerable age and wisdom, and I do think her motivation is for the Light and possibly for Rand the person, not just The Dragon Reborn and his necessity of being at TG. That's a long way for me to have come and it is largely due to persistant coaxing by you and Man-O. (I did think I detected a few moments of perhaps, ummm, over-zealousness and full on conversion mode, but it was probably just frustration with all of us Cads "haters" refusal to consider her more than an arrogant bully.) That said, I still say she has gruff and arrogant tendencies and bad communication skills.

I thank Amalisa too for posting the quotes from tGS @183, which I had forgotten about. I'm glad Cads had her insights and saw the failure of her tactics to have worked, and I truly hope she rethinks her methods of dealing with Rand. Hopefully Rand will now have a better attitude as well, and they can actually forge a ideas and information and strengthen Team Light. I'd love to see her have a MOA and really contribute to either Rand or Egs. Cads has been around for too many books for her not to have a good Arc and a real MOA. RJ had her in there for some reason.

So thank you! This is such an incredible forum and idea exchange. I do hope we all get to meet someday at a Jorndoncon or somewhere.

OK, it's really early and I need caffine....
Birgit F
232. birgit
OTOH, Rand also needed balefire to deal with Darkhounds (as did Moiraine). There doesn't seem to be any other way to kill them.

Perrin killed one Darkhound with 3 arrows before Moiraine balefired the rest (TDR ch.44).

Maybe Moiraine has to teach Cads how to deal with Rand before Cads can help him properly.
Charlie McMurchie
233. FromtheLangToun
I agree with those who say that time will tell how effective Cadsuane has been in "helping" Rand. What has annoyed me about her is that there is no apparent rationale to the way she deals with Rand & there is no indication of what success might look like. I go back to the contrast between Moirane & Cadsuane; Moirane changes, Cadsuane doesn't, which is a poor reflection on the most legendary AS alive. In TGS she admits to the WO that she has failed, but she has a plan. If I've understood the plan correctly (there's no guarantee of that) it culminates in Rand's meeting with Tam & we know how well that went.

Cadsuane reminds me of certain politicians whose approach is that you must agree with them, not because what they say is obviously correct but rather because it is them who are saying it.
Jay Dauro
234. J.Dauro
birgit 232

Yes, Perrin did kill one with arrows. And Rand did with a power wrought sword. But we saw that after Rand chopped them to bits, they re-formed. It is possible that this would have happened with Perrin's kill also, but Moraine didn't give them time.

OTOH Lan does say they can be killed, but it's not easy.
John Massey
235. subwoofer
There is eye rolling going on but it does not translate well onto the blog. *sigh*

FromtheLT- second post? Welcome to the bunker. Beer fridge is over yonder. Join us in a discussion over all things WoT and is not going to get bogged down over one character;)

Charlie McMurchie
236. FromtheLangToun
Thanks Sub. 3rd post, first wasn't about Cads, but she is an interesting character.
Lannis .
237. Lannis
Is it bad that I feel so elated that Rand won the cage match? We did a Top Signs You're a WoT Addict poll somewhere around TSR #10, didn't we? My memory's hazy...
Tricia Irish
238. Tektonica
Thought I'd write something here since this thread disappeared from the "recent post" section on the main page and got hard to find. Sigh. Let down after the big Fight.

We need a new topic, I guess.....

Hey, new post tomorrow! wheeeeeee!
Ron Garrison
239. Man-0-Manetheran
I started to post something earlier and it crashed on me. Something is definitely happening with the server. I got an email from a customer today, and her signature reminded me of a certain character who has been discussed extensively:

"I can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. It's all how you look at it!"
- J. Kenfield Morley

I look at the old gal as a thorn bush with roses.
Hugh Arai
240. HArai
BlindIllusion@204: I thought "Sam is the true hero" was the generally accepted perspective. Frodo was much more the willing sacrifice.

ShaggyBella@206: I asked your Magic 8-ball a few more questions. It made me laugh so I thought I'd share.

Is Elaida sentient? Maybe.
Is Elaida evil? Maybe.
Is Elaida an 8-ball? Maybe.
Is Suffa a good damane? Maybe.
Do you say anything other than Maybe? No Way!

Wetlandernw@221: I've always tried to give Cadsuane credit for her good points. When I first read this part of the series, I had high hopes for her and I was initially relieved to see an Aes Sedai other than Verin getting things done. But honestly, can you deny she bullies people? And importantly - do you really think it helps that she does? To me it's just lazy thinking. She's always been the strongest Aes Sedai and nothing much challenges her so she must always be right. And since she's always right it doesn't matter how she treats people as long as they do what she says.

And if she's willing to admit her approach fails with Rand (like she does in the TGS passages Amalisa quoted above) then it seems clear she didn't have some overarching master plan, she actually thought bullying Rand would work. Because she's always right you see?

Full marks to her for admitting it didn't work by the way, although some people might have stopped before Rand threatened to kill them with the pattern :) Unfortunately she then fell right into the stock female channeler approach of "treat Rand like a puppet", that only Moiraine has been able to really break out of so far. And then she bullies Tam when he calls her on that.

We'll have to RAFO and see where she goes from there. Like others have said it would be great if she actually goes for a two-way relationship with Rand. If not, well, I'll be waiting even more eagerly for Moiraine to return to show everyone else how it's done.
Roger Powell
241. forkroot
Yes a Douglas Adams reference, but hacked in by way of something else (he implied roguishly.)

Regarding Acts 8:36 - I expressly disclaim any standing as a Bible Scholar. I do note that most recent translations omit Acts 8:37 and thus by implication the balance of scholarship believes that it was an interpolation.

My (admittedly lay) understanding of contemporary scholarship is that the Textus Receptus is not defended by any scholar of standing within the community of NT scholarship. This includes evangelicals, BTW.

With all that said, your point that the issue is not settled to the satisfaction of all parties is conceded. I also express my profound regrets for using this as a humorous example of balefire. It occurs to me that a certain 18 1/2 minute gap on a noted recording would have been a far better choice!

Would anyone want to have passed final judgment on, say, Saul of Tarsus before the end of the story?
Oh man. I don't think we want to go there. Actually, I know for a fact that no one wants to hear me talk about him.
The point was that Saul changed (a lot) during the course of his story. How you feel about that change is another matter. I might infer that your opinion of Saul/Paul may have changed based on the totality of his actions, which just emphasizes my point about Cadsuane.

Let's see what she does in the next two books as I have a strong suspicion that there will be major changes from her.

242. MasterAlThor
Ok, folks I am back from a wonderful weekend. Where are we now? I see that Rand won, GO TEAM LIGHT!!!!

Ah, I also see that there has been a spirited defense of SWMNBN. Hey, you like some and you hate others. So be it.

New post comming up tomorrow, Whooo Hooo!!!

So again, I ask what's new besides my age.

Hugh Arai
243. HArai
Extra special super duper deadhorse beating appeal to irrelevant authority

I just asked the magic 8-ball if Cadsuane is a bully and it said... YES.

So there. Neener neener. Ok, I'm done. Looking forward to the RAFO on her, and for Leigh's next post for something else to discuss :)
Rob Munnelly
244. RobMRobM
@239 - not sure you should be talking about Tek that way. :ducks:
Barry T
245. blindillusion
And on another note:

Moridin, if he were just a bit kinder, a tad more gentle....

This brought to you by,

Just Smile Already,

A subsidiary of:

Blind Inc.
246. rsmillard
"- So, the Damodreds seem divided along gender lines. Men==devious fools; Women==quick-thinking tactical geniuses. Then again, we have only Moiraine and Caraline to go by."

Don't forget about the 3 other Damodreds we know: Elayne, Gawyn and Galad. I can see Elayne as a quick-thinking tactical genius (consider her immediate decision to attack from the rear in KOD), but what about Galad and Gawyn as devious fools? Fools, yes, but devious? I'm not sure they're that smart.
Rob Munnelly
247. RobMRobM
From one of Brandon's sites, re the Cagematch. Enjoy!!

Suvudu Cage Match: How It REALLY Went Down

So, from what I’ve heard, Rand won the Suvudu cage match.

This leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand, I am pleased and proud. On the other hand, George R. R. Martin’s write-up of how he thought things would go was simply epic. In his version, the fight went as it should have in many ways, particularly near the end. Rand and Jamie, sword to sword, man to man. A win without a kill, respect given on both sides.

Robert Jordan is smiling somewhere, Mr. Martin.

If we take an infinite multiverse view of things (as is suggested in the Wheel of Time world) then what Mr. Martin wrote did indeed happen. And it didn’t. And everything in between happened as well.

However, in the version imagined by Brandon Sanderson, here’s how the fight goes down.

Mr. Martin’s narrative is more or less dead on until the end. Rand and Jamie struggle and fight, and it comes down to man against man. However, neither man can gain advantage over the other.

Then something flickers in Rand’s vision. Perhaps it’s a trick of the light. Perhaps it’s an assassin’s bolt, dipped in the poison of an asp and fired toward Rand in a moment of weakness. Perhaps it’s Rand’s madness asserting itself. Regardless of the cause, he thinks he’s being attacked by someone other than Jamie and his allies. Treachery, a violation of the trial of seven.

It may be real. It may not be.

Rand, in desperation, somehow forms weaves of power. Reckless weaves, fueled by anger, perhaps delusion (or perhaps when the One Power pool surrounding King's Landing was used up, some started trickling in from surrounding areas through One Power drainage ditches and has just come close enough for Rand to tap). He creates a gateway through which to escape, but also lets loose a brilliant bolt of balefire, firing it at shadows moving on the other side of that gateway.

A column of liquid light springs forth, passes through the gateway, and hits Suvudu itself.

Now, it’s hard to say what effect this should have. Balefire, for those unaware, has the power to burn threads from the pattern and rework time itself. Kill someone with balefire, and things they did prior to being killed will be reversed.

Perhaps this should mean that the battle never happened. Perhaps it should wipe the entire experience from our minds. But balefire is an odd thing, as is a contest such as this one. And so, Rand’s actions remove the previous fights from existence, but don’t change what is happening between him and Jamie.

Through accident, Rand’s balefire brings back each and every fighter who participated in this tournament. Everyone appears on the battlefield at once.

Rand and Jamie stare in wonder at the chaos that follows.

Aragorn, Garet, and Hiro have a conversation about who is really the greatest swordsman in the world. It involves much stabbing, some pizza, and very little coding.

Kahlan exclaims that she was never part of a “fantasy” novel in the first place, and so disappears in a puff of hypocrisy.

Arthur Dent says, “Oh no, not again.”

Dumbledore tries to send Lyra on a quest to find some random magical object that is going to save the world, really, and is terribly important. So important that he can’t go himself. Honestly.

Roland ponders for twenty-two years before telling you what he does.

Harry Dresden decides this is really all too much work, and wanders off to get himself something to drink. He gets beaten up seventeen times on his way, but saves two orphanages.

Ender writes a poem about the Shrike, entitled “It Might Be a Demonic, Sadistic, Terrible Monster Made of Blades, Thorns, and Terror—but It’s Really Just Misunderstood.”

Kvothe flies in, riding Temeraire, Hermione at his side, and— (I’ve written the second two thirds of this sentence, but I’m not giving them to you yet.)

The Wee Free Men start chatting about this interesting fellow they met WHO SPEAKS IN ALL CAPS and wonders if this is all going to create a great big paradoxical mess he will have to fix.

Edward broods.

Ged, Vlad, and Conan give Eragon a wedgie.

Polgara throws something breakable at somebody, then goes to find Belgarath, who is most likely drinking with Mat, Tyrion, and Harry at this point.

Haplo and Raistlin get into an argument about how to pronounce Drizzt’s name.

Elric tries to decide just who among these people he likes the most, so that he can be forced to feed them to Stormbringer at a terribly dramatic moment, causing much personal angst.

Anita takes out Edward for good measure.

Gandalf and Aslan eye everyone mysteriously, then have a discussion over tea about whose resurrection was more meaningful.

Locke steals Gandalf's staff and sells it on eBay as an authentic prop from the film trilogy. He then does the same thing with Hermione's wand.

And at that point, the great Cthulhu himself awakens, and his terrible, alien nature drives everyone irrevocably insane.

Rand wins by default, since he was already insane, and Cthulhu showing up doesn’t really change him at all.

Ladies and gentlemen, we just got Cthulhu’d.
Hugh Arai
248. HArai
RobMRobM@247: That's awesome. I have to say I thought the cagematch concept itself is pretty silly, but I love the pieces the various authors wrote, especially the ones like this where the author's own love for the genre is obvious.

Elric tries to decide just who among these people he likes the most, so that he can be forced to feed them to Stormbringer at a terribly dramatic moment, causing much personal angst.

That is just so perfect! It's so snarky and yet so... Elric :)
Ron Garrison
249. Man-0-Manetheran
Rob @ 244: NEVER TEK. NEVER!

BWS: Rand won. Now get back to writing TofM!
Barry T
250. blindillusion
Speaking of TofM...

BWS's website says it's 85%...of draft...which means no revisions thus far...I'm assuming.



Still hoping though.

edit: After all...he says if he gets it done by should be slated for a "late fall release"....

Fingers Crossed.

I have faith!!! Really, I do.
Rob Munnelly
251. RobMRobM
It has been at 85% for a month or so, after being at 82% since November, during which several months of time he did lots of rewrites and clean up. He has said that the 85% is an imperfect number, as the scope has changed somewhat since he set up the number last year. As of his explanatory note last month BWS was confident he could get the draft in this summer, which would provide for the November release. Note that he was been busy with line edits for WoK over the past two weeks through Friday, so I'd expect progress to start happening again in the near future.
252. Freelancer
Martin's write-up was quite impressive. Clearly if he hasn't read all of WoT himself, he has excellent researchers at his disposal. The level of WoT-specific nuance and commentary was excellent. His reluctance to finish off Rand, though, that's not his style. I'm forced to chalk it up to posthumous respect for Robert Jordan.

Heh, seems Brandon went for full-snark on the whole thing. Balefire suvudu itself...

Part of me believes that Brandon prepared that entire business just to be able to include:
Arthur Dent says, “Oh no, not again.”

I do believe, however, that those words were not Arthur's, but the last which passed through the mind of the bowl of petunias prior to hitting the ground, and subsequently being landed upon by the whale.


Yes, his Facebook page has been including updates for the WoK edit showing how many words per chapter (and the percentage impacted) he has reduced in "final revision". I think he intended to have the last chapters submitted to Tor before the end of the weekend. If so, then he's done with his part of WoK, and ToM can get more of his attention now.
Rob Munnelly
253. RobMRobM
Free - keep in mind that Martin attributes a good portion of the success of ASoIF to RJ's rave given to Game of Thrones published on the book jacket, which gave him instant credibility among fantasy fans. I'd bet huge dollars he is a big fan of WoT without the need for support staff.
Sam Mickel
254. Samadai
Was Verin a sparker or just a learner?
Hugh Arai
255. HArai
Samadai@254: Wasn't she exiled from Far Madding (and a fiance) for using the One Power? That would imply she was a sparker.
Sam Mickel
257. Samadai
I know it says she left her fiance, Eadwin, but am not sure she was exiled for the same reason.

Funny enough she uses a variation of his name when she visits there, Eadwina
Tess Laird
259. thewindrose
Also, Verin and Cadsuane both hail from Far Madding.

260. Freelancer
In Verin's POV during the chapter that describes the Guardian, she ponders if the arrest warrant against her is still in effect. So she did something that was considered criminal while a citizen. Chances that this crime didn't include channeling something, somehow?

We're not aboard the Heart of Gold.
John Massey
261. subwoofer
@Free-I wouldn't mind tooling about in a giant white running shoe;)

I see we are still beating the Caddy drum so I figure- why should I be left out.

Heck, all this positive ranting about Crabby pants has totally changed my perception of her. I was wayyyy off on how she treats people and is a ornery dob. Upon reading all the testimonials I now realize how wonderful she really is. Reading between the lines I now see that Caddy is the chosen one. She has remarkable powers and if Rand could only see that.

Maybe if he witnessed an event or something. I hear she eats unicorns and farts rainbows. Maybe if Rand stopped to check he would realize that Caddy has been blowing sunshine up his keister, that wasn't a slap, it was a tickle. Caddy would just have to dip her finger in his tea to make it sugary sweet. Yeah, that's it. And the classic fairy tale, where the nice old Caddy has a gingerbread house and invites children over to play...

Uhuh, yup. Still don't like her.

Bring on the next post.

Alice Arneson
262. Wetlandernw
HArai @240 - Do you really want me to answer that? Short answer, yes, I can and do deny that she is an habitual bully. (See @ 136, #4). Nothing challenges her? She goes out of her way to find challenges. The fact that "she's willing to admit her approach fails with Rand" does not in any way make it "clear she didn't have some overarching master plan" - it just makes it clear that she was willing to admit that her plan didn't work as well as expected. And I still say she didn't bully him. (See @136, #4.1). I give you that the Dragon Reborn is not quite like everyone else, and that things might be expected to change after saidin was cleansed, but aren't you going to be cautious about throwing out the results of a couple hundred years research, when you've got no other basis on which to proceed? This is unprecedented; there's no way of knowing what the differences will be.

She was indeed wrong in trying to dictate to Tam how he should go about meeting with Rand - just as he was wrong in agreeing to try to follow her plan. (She was never a mother, and it's been roughly 250 years since she last saw her own parents. Family dynamics are not a strong suit here.) He should have said "Just get me to him, and I'll deal with my son in whatever way I see fit when I have a chance to talk to him." Then she should have said "Well, as long as you understand how important it is, go ahead, but be careful. He's on the edge of losing it." Then he could have approached Rand openly, giving Nynaeve and Cadsuane credit for the opportunity without popping her name out at the most horrible moment possible. But then the last four chapters wouldn't have been... there.

Am I going to get lynched for suggesting that Tam has some responsibility on this occasion? He said himself that he should have known better than to let an Aes Sedai write the script for him. He was right, you know. He should have known better. Oh, and that's the one instance of "bullying" that I concede, since Cadsuane has the Power and Tam doesn't, and in that one instance she used it out of sheer frustration and anger. And stopped the instant it was pointed out as such.
Thomas Keith
263. insectoid
Sub @261:
I hear she eats unicorns and farts rainbows.
::falls on floor laughing hysterically::

James Jones
264. jamesedjones
261 subwoofer

Well put. Thank goodness you didn't post that while I was at work. I would have been written up and stuffed in a straight-jacket. Absolutely brilliant!
John Massey
265. subwoofer
Uhuh, yup, still don't like her.

Ron Garrison
266. Man-0-Manetheran
(retracted pointless comment)
Julian Augustus
267. Alisonwonderland
Birgit@232 and J.Dauro@234:

Jordan clearly changed his mind about Darkhounds right in the middle of tDR. The first and second times he talked about the DH he made it sound as if they could be killed in the ordinary way. In ch 34, right after Moiraine comes back from her lone excursion into the town while they were in Ilian, she is asking the party to blow out of town right away:
"I have no time for this bickering," Moiraine broke in. "Any moment, Lord Brend may learn that one of his Darkhounds is dead. You can be sure he will know that means a warder, and he will come looking for the Gaidin's Aes Sedai.

Clearly, when Jordan was writing this part he intended for Darkhounds to be killed in the ordinary way, and in the next encounter he had Perrin kill one with arrows. Then he later decided he needed to ratchet up Moiraine's awesomeness level a quantum leap (to deal with Be'lal later?), so he made the Darkhounds unkillable by anything except balefire, but forgot to change the sentence quoted above.
268. Freelancer

The darkhound Perrin shot with three arrows was very likely to get back up again, given that the ones Rand dismembered in Rhuidean reformed ala Terminator 2000s.


That is what I have always taught my kids, that Samwise was the true hero. Not putting down Frodo one bit, he carried a mountain for sure, but he failed in the end, while Sam never budged from his task.


Never fear, you neither upset nor offended me. I'm actually gratified when an opportunity arises to defend the Word. I wish to add one more comment, aimed at this paragraph of yours:
My (admittedly lay) understanding of contemporary scholarship is that the Textus Receptus is not defended by any scholar of standing within the community of NT scholarship. This includes evangelicals, BTW.

I'm glad for your use of the word contemporary there, though I would add to it "liberal". However, I assure you that there are an exceptional number of outstanding and respected biblical scolars who consider anything other than a 1611-based KJV to be not a version, but a perversion. Though it proves nothing in and of itself, it is true that local congregations which primarily preach from the KJV witness a far greater number of conversions than those employing the RSV, ASV, NIV, NAS, and NKJ combined, even though the latter named texts can be found in far more places of worship.
Mikey Bennett
269. EvilMonkey
Just wondering, Did RJ know how controversial the old lady would be for his fans when he introduced her character? I know that before I found this message board I never expected the type of reactions, both positive and negative, regarding the Big Bad Caddie. I thought she was a solid character with a few awesome moments as well as some moments where I wanted to slap her. Overall, I saw a character that Rand desperately needed, a competent Aes Sedai to take the place of Moraine. Different in style yet there is more than one way to skin a cat. I don't believe personally that there would be so much Cad angst had Moraine not been so awesome. One other thing to keep in mind is that Moraine started off much like Cadsuane and it took about 4 books before she figured out the grand strategy on how to deal with the DR. And, just a thought, isn't it telling that both of Rand's advisors as well as sooper sneeky Verin spent very little time in the tower. The supergirls don't get much Tower time either. Is that b/c the tower is a corrupting cesspit or just that the most effective characters can only be effective outside the tower?

James Jones
270. jamesedjones
269 EvilMonkey

Add one vote to the "Corrupting cesspit" side.

Of course, IRL corrupting cesspits are a lot more fun. :D
Jacy Clark
271. Amalisa

However, I assure you that there are an exceptional number of outstanding and respected biblical scolars who consider anything other than a 1611-based KJV to be not a version, but a perversion.

My father received his Divinity degree from Duke University, way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. He did his "practice preaching" as part of a circuit (in the old Methodist tradition) of small churches in and around Durham. This was not long after the RSV was published - within a few years, anyway.

At one small country church, he used it to deliver the Scripture as well as in his sermon. After church, he was standing at the door, greeting the congregation members as they left. One dear little old lady stopped to give him her critique of the day's message, and she took issue with his use of the "newer" Bible. When he asked why, she replied "if the King James Version was good enough for Paul, then it's good enough for me." :)

I don't know if that really happened. It was one of his favorite stories, and I'm going on the assumption that my father wouldn't lie about it.

I will say this (and it's the same I answer I give when in the "is the Bible the inspired Word of God?" debate): I don't have access to ancient scrolls, and if I did, I don't read ancient Hebrew or Aramaic or Greek. So I don't know if the scholars appointed by King James accurately translated whatever resources were available to them at that time.

I do, however, read the Bible in the prayerful expectation that what I need to "hear", read, know will be revealed to me, and in that sense, it is Divinely inspired - regardless of what version I'm reading. And that's good enough for me... :)
John Massey
272. subwoofer
@266 M-O-M- agreed!:) At somewhere around posts 183-184 and 189 I was under the impression that we on this thread had agreed to move on and let this one go. Horses were beaten and it was killing me to sit idly by and get the continual barrage after everything was put to bed. So if we want to keep on opening Pandora's box to take a peek-see, if we want to go down this path, then hey, let 'er rip. But let it be said that it really grinds on me and I'm also going to say what is on my mind. Sometimes I enjoy fool's errands;)

Barry T
273. blindillusion

I'll stand with Sub on this. Crabby Pants is now in the rear-view.

I'll discuss her in the context in which upcoming chapters present her. No more offshoot digressions into character traits.

But I will continue to say that as long as he's no longer balefiring palaces, Rand has earned the right to scream from just about any rooftop he wants, at anyone he wants, at any time he wants. =}
Roger Powell
274. forkroot
Another thought on Darlin: He comes off better and better with each re-read. Among other things, the man is seriously physically strong. Don't forget that Rand is a pretty big dude, 6'6" and solidly muscled. That's no easy man to carry very far, especially uphill as Cadsuane led them out of the fog by going uphill.
Alice Arneson
275. Wetlandernw
forkroot @274 - I noticed stuff like that a lot more this time through, and I was thinking the same thing. Carrying Rand??? Uphill out of the fog, then over all that rough ground to the road? Even with the AS making sure he didn't fall, that was serious work!! And even more than before, I really enjoyed Min's noticing the laugh... "A woman could forgive any amount of nose for that laugh." Awwww.

EvilMonkey @ 269 - Funny you should say that, I'd been noticing a fair few similarities between Moiraine & Cadsuane, starting primarily with that exact aversion to spending time in the Tower. Seems like the very best ones are those who, for one reason or another, prefer to be out in the world rather than in the Tower most of the time. On the other hand, look at Siuan and Leane; they spent almost all their time in the Tower, and they're pretty cool beans. I think maybe the really competent ones either stay in the Tower for a specific purpose, or they get out of Dodge and into the world where they won't be required to play the Tower-politics game. I'm not sure which I admire more - those who essentially flaunt the Tower and go their own way, or those who are strong enough to stay and put up with it for a greater good. The real losers, in my view, are the ones who stay simply because they think the Tower is the "greater good" in itself. Those seem to be the ones we most love to hate, especially when they leave the Tower and expect the rest of the world to think the same thing.

subwoofer @265 - I didn't say I thought it could have happened, but that it should have. And for all that, Tam isn't bound by the stinking Oaths - he could have nodded and smiled and let her think whatever, and then done it his own way when he got there. How would she know? and if she was eavesdropping, what could she do? Aside from the narrative necessity, why on earth did Tam follow her instructions? (And I didn't say she was frustrated and angry with Tam - he was just the messenger who got the backlash.)

Oh, and I still reserve my right to speak freely of whatever WoT-related stuff is on my mind - particularly, my right to respond when people address specific questions to me. If you feel something has been "put to bed" and you don't want to read about it any more, skip the posts on that subject.
Tricia Irish
276. Tektonica
RobM@244: I think my roseness or thorniness has been impugned.
*slaps cheeks with mouth in an Munchian oval*

Man-O@249: Thank you for your defense, oh errant knight.

Sub@161: You are still hysterical. @265: And right.
Noneo Yourbusiness
277. Longtimefan
@ WetlanderNW

so well said.

"Oh, and I still reserve my right to speak freely of whatever WoT-related stuff is on my mind - particularly, my right to respond when people address specific questions to me. If you feel something has been "put to bed" and you don't want to read about it any more, skip the posts on that subject."

unfortunately I do not have anything to say about Cadsuane. I never liked her or disliked her, the character just was there for me. She was an Aes Sedai who had been in self imposed exile for years two different times and had been "trained" by a fairly abusive person to gain her hair ornaments.

She has a literary purpose and until that is fulfilled it is difficult to say if the character could have been written differently. As pointed out earlier Fain could have been balefired right as Rand saw him instead of going into the blah blah blah of anger but then the two wounds would not have been shown to "fight" each other leading to the cleansing of Sadin. There are long term plans for such things that can be annoying in the short sights.

There is no point in liking or disliking a fictional character (even Faile) since they have a purpose for being as the story needs them to be not as the reader would prefer them to be.

That being said I will admit I get caught up in the characters sometimes too. Well written character development does that.
Alice Arneson
278. Wetlandernw
Longtimefan @277 - Thanks. :)

That being said I will admit I get caught up in the characters sometimes too. Well written character development does that. That's what I love about these books and, in particular, about this reread. I've developed new perspectives on several characters, and come to appreciate the depth of their development and the complexity of RJ's writing. The discussions on here have led me to see and consider facets of characters I probably never would have noticed otherwise, even though I've read the books so many times on my own. It's quite probably all subwoofer's fault (or maybe Tektonica's) that I like Cadsuane now, when two months ago I couldn't have cared less one way or the other. ;)
Hugh Arai
279. HArai
I give you that the Dragon Reborn is not quite like everyone else, and that things might be expected to change after saidin was cleansed, but aren't you going to be cautious about throwing out the results of a couple hundred years research, when you've got no other basis on which to proceed? This is unprecedented; there's no way of knowing what the differences will be.

You're going to be cautious and you have no other basis if Rand is male channeler specimen #123. If Rand is a human being doing his best in a craptastic situation, you have (or at least should have) a vast basis for working cooperatively with other human beings.
280. Freelancer

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

The earnest heart is always answered. There is but one thing in the universe that God cannot create.

Regarding "strong" Aes Sedai. There's no question that these tend to either freelance for their chosen causes outside of the Tower, or they take leadership within it. Our first hint that such is the way of Aes Sedai is Moiraine's comment about Egwene's initiative in trying hiding to Rand from the Amyrlin in Fal Dara, thinking that she could end up as Amyrlin with that level of, shall we say, chutzbah.

All of a sister's training as novice and accepted is aimed at obedience and regulation. But behind that it seems clear that the sisters are watching for who possesses that extra self-assurance and willingness to take risks, to stand apart, to even contravene convention if they feel the cause is right. These are destined to be leaders of reknown, if they can be guided to maturity with a proper sense of balance instilled in them.
Rob Munnelly
281. RobMRobM
Tek@276 - took me a few minutes to figure out what you meant by a Munchian oval. Got it now. Just like a Culkinian oval when all alone in his home. Of course I wasn't directly implying that you had SWCBN traits, just that it was too obvious an opportunity to make a joke suggesting you had. My humble (more or less) apologies. R
John Massey
282. subwoofer
@Evilmonkey- well, the thing is, I can relate to Caddy. I'll get to that in a moment. The thing about her is that I think the character pushed some buttons in BwS- a young author. It struck a chord and I am not sure of RJ's ultimate intent with Caddy but I do feel that it took a different tack than what RJ may have intended for the old biddy. I do find a different flavor for her in the last book which makes it tough to use as a basis for comparison with current text.

As far as relating- well, I am not as old as some of the geriatrics here but I do have my moments with "kids" that really drive me up the wall.My wife has a younger brother-who I will refer to as Rasputin- she loves him to pieces but I have other plans in mind. Pre-teen=trouble. I also have a bunch of 20 year olds working for me. Bunch of ham-fisted tools that have an overinflated concept of themselves in a very irritating self-righteous manner.Young kids make a ton of money and think they own the world. I look at them and I pray that I was not that annoying and ignorant when I was their age. Mind you, I was serving when I was 17 and there is something about being in a forward position in an theater of war,er... "peace keeping" that tends to make people grow up real fast.

By that same token, I have a bunch of 50 year olds that work for me, make a ton of money and are very entrenched in their ways. I am not saying that their ways are right, but they think so. These are the same guys with the mentality for questioning equal rights for all. Heck, a woman belongs in the... ah- you all know where I am going. Age does not equal wisdom. Sometimes it just equals entrenched ignorance to the point of dogma instead of just plain ignorance.

I also see that there is nothing better than a protracted, heated discussion to have everyone do the "Gee the sky is blue/nope, I'm not getting involved in that one" commenting. Thank you:)

And yay for me for saying things that make others think. I will gladly take credit for having Wet inflamed(er... not sure if those two words belong together) enough that she hops the fence to the other side. Makes things fun and actually means somebody reads my meanderings and takes them to heart. I am grateful and flattered:)

For me, the "uhuh, yups" were my way of biting my tongue. And I have a very dog-like/ Gene Simmons tongue- so it hurts. Ouch. Yesterday I ran out of popsicles. So anyways, it is good that we can get this passionate about a character in a book, but for the love of Light, when people say enough-already, can we leave it at that and move on?

Barry T
283. blindillusion
Hmm. Five chapters left...

Wonder if Leigh will do some magic and Post a Thread with 3 Chapters...

It's getting exciting...

Grabs popcorn/soda and sits back in anticipation….

But thinks in the back of his mind that Chapter 41 is more than worthy of a Thread all of its own…and that Chapter 40 isn’t really all the necessary because…BLAH…look who’s in it…but then, it is part of the book…so, a cursory recap, perhaps?...yet is really curious if it would be possible to finish up aCoS this week…because that has MOA potential…AND ‘lo Chapters 37, 38 & 39 all involve Mat in some of his best MOA scenes (not to include his introduction to that Wall)…so how cool would it be if today’s Thread contained all three of those Chapters….

And The Sound and the Fury, eat your heart out. =)
Captain Hammer
284. Randalator
subwoofer @282

These are the same guys with the mentality for questioning equal rights for all. Heck, a woman belongs in the... ah- you all know where I am going.


Tricia Irish
285. Tektonica
Wetlandernw@278: My apologies to all.;-)

RobM@281: Smart guy....I wasn't sure that was at all clear! Yes indeed like a Culkian Oval when home alone...LOL....;-O


286. Freelancer
Well, I believe I've held out long enough. It's time for me to really speak my mind regarding everyone's favorite rogue Aes Sedai...

Yep, I was right, can hear sub groaning all the way from here.
Ron Garrison
287. Man-0-Manetheran
"A woman could forgive any amount of nose for that laugh." - As the owner of a big nose (and I do love to laugh), I appreciated that comment from Min too!

Wetlandernw@275: Siuan also spent quite a bit of time outside the Tower with Moiraine in New Spring.

Tektonica@276: You're welcome! I jump to the defense of anyone whom I feel is maligned - even if it means that you and Cadsuane now have something in common. LOL!

subwoofer@282: I too wonder how BWS's opinion of Cads affected his writing in TGS. I guess we have to take his word that when he says he will be faithful to RJ's extensive writings and notes, he will be. We will never know, though, until Tor issues the red print edition.
& "when people say enough-already, can we leave it at that and move on?" Hmmm, I thought we had moved on. Silly me.

As we move on... What do we have today? Oh, Tylin & Mat. ...& the Grey Man. Let's talk about the Grey Man... :-)
Rob Munnelly
288. RobMRobM
"As we move on... What do we have today? Oh, Tylin & Mat. ...& the Grey Man. Let's talk about the Grey Man... :-) "

Don't talk about Lan that way. LOL

I think you mean the gholam....
Ron Garrison
289. Man-0-Manetheran
Ahh, Lan. There is a great line in these next chapters from Mat's POV. He said Lan was probably enough protection for two dozen teenage girls carrying sacks of gold.
Birgit F
290. birgit
Seems like the very best ones are those who, for one reason or another, prefer to be out in the world rather than in the Tower most of the time. On the other hand, look at Siuan and Leane; they spent almost all their time in the Tower, and they're pretty cool beans.

Siuan wanted to go adventuring, but she couldn't because first she was recruited for the Blue Eyes and Ears network and then she became Amyrlin.
292. cawdor

I have not read all the post, so I apologize if this is repeated. I had looked up this link to see what everyone thought "the attack was" I was suprised to see it considered a bubble of evil. I had always assumed it was linked to "Fain" given his leaving and the similarity it had to the evil in "Shadar Logoth".
293. yasiru89
Ooh, ooh! Cadsuane! She'll spank adults- regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation, I'm sure- given she can get her hands on them. Too bad Toram escaped it here, might even have been the cure to Fain taint (or 'Faint').

On Fain. I can't say I 'like' him (and if anyone does, they require psychiatric help), but he keeps things interesting for me. Truly.

And finally, great work Cadsuane- deep-ingrained Aes Sedai prohibitions really deserve being held on to as the world is ending and reality literally goes pop all around you. Well, more balefire will come soon enough...
294. Herb717
Re-reading the last chapter in a post-Skyrim world, I couldn't help but notice hipster Flinn was suffering career-ending injuries before it was cool: "I was a soldier, till I took a lance in my thigh."
William McDaniel
295. willmcd
I noted this in chapter 35, as Rand embraces Min:
His hands pressed against her back, squeezing her tight, squeezing the breath out of her.
A foreshadow of events in TGS?

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