Apr 13 2010 1:46pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 22

Heigh-ho, WOTters! Welcome to another Wheel of Time Re-read! Because I know y’all can resist everything except temptation.

Today’s entry covers Chapters 37 and 38 of A Crown of Swords, in which we learn the importance of (a) being earnest, and (b) bringing the right fashion accessory to a knife fight.

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.

Now that that’s all out of the way, don your coat and gloves, say something appropriately Victorian, and Bunbury off to read the post!

Chapter 37: A Note from the Palace


What Happens
Mat hurries through the Palace to where the carriages are assembling, trying not to start every time a serving woman smiles knowingly at him, or admit to himself that Tylin is making him feel helpless. Vanin, Nalesean and most of the Redarms are by the carriages, as is Elayne, Reanne Corly, and seven more women from the meeting he had interrupted, all but Reanne wearing a red belt. Elayne is reassuring Reanne et al that the other Aes Sedai’s faces will only attract attention in the Rahad, which is why they are not coming; Mat eyes her gold-embroidered silk dress and finds this rather ironic. Reanne asks diffidently why the other Aes Sedai think they are lying, and one of the red belts (Tamarla) adds that Sareitha Sedai called her a liar to her face before Reanne shuts her up. Mat is distracted, thinking of how Tylin had had her serving women grab him in the hall and drag him to her apartments.

The bloody woman treated him like a toy! He was not going to put up with it anymore. He was not. Light, who was he trying to fool? If they did not grab this Bowl of the Winds and get out of Ebou Dar, Tylin would be pinching his bottom and calling him her little pigeon again tonight.

Elayne explains to Reanne that it’s about their ages; with some hesitation, she tells Reanne that no Aes Sedai since the Breaking has lived as long as the Knitting Circle (the Kin’s ruling council) claim—in Reanne’s case by over a hundred years. Reanne is astounded, and Mat decides the conversation is idiotic and interrupts, asking where everyone is and when they can get going. Elayne glances at Reanne, and Mat thinks with satisfaction that she is trying to figure out how to save face in front of the Kin without breaking her promise to him. She tells him Thom, Juilin, Aviendha and Birgitte are watching Carridin, and Nynaeve will be there shortly, and Mat notes she’s decided to go with “snooty Daughter-Heir.” She adds that he really doesn’t need to come along, and could “enjoy himself in the Palace” instead; horrified at the notion, Mat demands to know what the point of watching Carridin is, since they aren’t staying long enough to settle him; they are getting the Bowl and leaving. Reanne and Co. frown balefully at him, and Elayne struggles with herself before answering that they cannot leave Ebou Dar until they have used the Bowl, and it might take half a week or more to figure out how to use it. Mat is aghast, and argues that surely the Bowl can be used anywhere, and don’t they need to get back to Egwene? And also, doesn’t she want to get back to Caemlyn so Rand can give her the Lion Throne? Elayne’s face darkens and she seems about to explode, but they are interrupted at that point by a maid, Laren (one of those who had accosted him the night before), with a basket for Mat, which has red flowers woven around the handle and breakfast for Mat, who “must maintain his strength.” Mat flushes.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather remain here?” Elayne asked. “I’m sure Tylin would enjoy your company for breakfast. The Queen said she finds you wonderfully entertaining and courteously compliant,” she added in a doubtful tone.

Mat fled for the coaches with the basket in one hand and his ashandarei in the other.

“Are all northern men so shy?” Laren said.

Over by the Redarms, Mat is appalled to find Beslan sitting there, who thinks that Mat is going to “find more fun” for him in the Rahad, and therefore is coming along. Nalesean complains about getting dragged off just when Sea Folk women show up, and Mat asks what he means. Beslan tells him that Nynaeve had brought back a dozen or so of them, and Mat remembers that Elayne had told him (reluctantly) about Nynaeve’s errand, if not why. He also wonders where the two Redarms he had sent with her have gotten to, but is derailed from this thought when he sees Nynaeve walking toward them arm in arm with none other than Lan. Mat’s jaw drops, and he thinks that if it were anyone but Nynaeve he would call her expression “moon-eyed and dreaming.” Then Nynaeve gives a start, and tells Lan to go join the other men peremptorily; he bows and obeys, and she marches off yelling at everyone to get moving. Mat pounces on Lan, telling him that Mat and Rand thought he was dead, and asking where he’s been and what happened and why is he letting Nynaeve order him around.

The stone-faced Warder seemed to consider which question to answer. “Nynaeve and I were married last night by the Mistress of the Ships,” he said finally. “The Atha’an Miere have several… unusual… marriage customs. There were surprises for both of us.” A small smile touched his mouth, if nothing else. He shrugged slightly; seemingly that was all the answer he intended to give.

Nalesean and Mat are flabbergasted by this news, and Mat thinks he would have rather “stuffed a rabid fox down his shirt” than marry anyone, least of all Nynaeve. Lan then tells him that more importantly, Mat’s men are dead, balefired when Moghedien attempted to kill Nynaeve; Nynaeve didn’t want him told, but Lan decided it would be best that Mat know what might be facing them in the Rahad, though Nynaeve believes Moghedien must be long gone. Nalesean is appalled, Beslan enthralled, and Mat just mutters “Those bloody flaming women.” Lan hopes coldly that Mat is not including his wife in that, and Mat hastily backtracks, and thinks it’s just like Nynaeve to almost get him killed by her husband while failing to mention a Forsaken is in town. Beslan asks if he’s going to read his mother’s note, which Mat does reluctantly:

Mat, my sweet,

I am having your things moved to my apartments. So much more convenient. By the time you return, Riselle will be in your old rooms to look after young Olver. He seems to enjoy her company.

I have seamstresses coming to measure you. I will enjoy watching that. You must wear shorter coats. And new breeches, of course. You have a delightful bottom. Duckling, who is this Daughter of the Nine Moons I made you think of? I have thought of several delicious ways to make you tell me.


Mat realizes this means that unless he manages to get Elayne and Nynaeve to leave today, everyone in the Palace will know about him and Tylin by tonight. He tells the others that the Queen thinks he needs new clothes, and pulls his hat over his eyes in case he starts crying.

Argh, the dissonance, it burns.

Yes, I’m talking about the Mat/Tylin thing, what else. Again, this is so clearly being played for comedy, and I so would love to be able to turn my brain off and enjoy it as such, and I just can’t. Having Mat “kidnapped” and dragged to Tylin’s rooms would be a fine sexy game to play if both participants were actually playing, but, well.

There was a lot of back and forth in the comments last time this was discussed about exactly to what extent Mat is an “unwilling” partner in Tylin’s “seduction” games, with several people pointing out that a badass fighter such as Mat could certainly have defended himself if he’d really wanted to. And I am not contesting that, actually; I just think (and other commenters have pointed out) that this is completely missing the point.

Sure, if Mat had been absolutely determined to keep Tylin from him at any cost, he could have done it. He would have had to hurt Tylin to do it, of course—at the very least, he would have had to wrestle her down to disarm her, and given Tylin’s personality I doubt she would have gone down very easily. And this is to say nothing of what such an episode would do to her pride and her temper—which, as we have seen, is considerable.

Still, he could have done that, yeah. And then he would get to watch his entire mission fall down around his ears, and see all his promises broken, since the only three scenarios Mat would logically be able to suppose would result from manhandling and/or injuring a ruling sovereign would be Mat either fleeing Ebou Dar as a fugitive, thrown in prison, or executed. Some of these, obviously, are worse outcomes than the others, but none of them allow him to do what he’d sworn to do—namely, safeguard Elayne and get her to Caemlyn. And we know how Mat is about promises—and about his sense of self-preservation.

And, not to mention, his Two Rivers hang-ups about hurting women. Mat is not quite as self-destructive about this as Rand is, but up to this point, the only woman he’s ever hurt (killed) deliberately is Melindhra—and that was only in the last extreme of self-defense, against a Darkfriend who was about to kill him. And even so, he still beats himself up about it.

So yeah, technically Mat could have defended himself, physically, from Tylin. But you are a fool if you think physical force is the only effective form of coercion out there. In all other ways—politically, strategically, and ethically—Mat had no choice in the matter.

So, in conclusion, blagh.

Other than that I don’t have a lot to say about this chapter, so let’s move on to something more awesome, shall we?

Chapter 38: Six Stories

What Happens
Mat is in a fury of impatience as the carriages wend their way to the river, but eventually they reach it, and Mat gets out of his carriage and marches over to Nynaeve and Elayne to give them a piece of his mind about keeping secrets about Forsaken; Lan follows, and Mat amends his plan to leave Nynaeve out of it.

Nynaeve was standing on the landing, tying on her blue-plumed hat and talking back up into the coach when he reached it. “ . . . Will work out, of course, but who would think the Sea Folk, of all people, would demand such a thing, even just in private?”

“But, Nynaeve,” Elayne said as she stepped down with her green-plumed hat in her hand, “if last night was as glorious as you say, how can you complain about—?”

The women see Mat and Lan, and Nynaeve goes bug-eyed and bright red; Lan looks at her with no expression, while Elayne directs a frown at Mat for some reason. Wringing her hands, Nynaeve begins to stutter an explanation, but Lan interrupts to point out that they are in public, and she can say whatever she wants in public. Nynaeve nods vigorously and tows Lan off to the boats, and Mat prepares to light into Elayne, but she pokes him in the chest, scowling, and tells him that Reanne has explained to her and Nynaeve the significance of the red flowers on the basket Tylin gave him. Mat flushes even redder than Nynaeve, and Elayne hisses that it’s true then, and informs him that all her promises to him are abolished, to a man who would force his attentions on any woman, much less a Queen.

Me force my attentions on her!” he shouted. Or rather, he tried to shout; choking made it come out in a wheeze.

Seizing Elayne’s shoulders, he pulled her away from the carriages a little distance. […] “You listen to me! That woman won’t take no for an answer; I say no, and she laughs at me. She’s starved me, bullied me, chased me down like a stag! She has more hands than any six women I ever met. She threatened to have the serving women undress me if I didn’t let her—” Abruptly, what he was saying hit him. And who he was saying it to. He managed to close his mouth before he swallowed a fly. He became very interested in one of the dark metal ravens inlaid in the haft of the ashandarei, so he would not have to meet her eyes. “What I mean to say is, you don’t understand,” he muttered. “You have it all backwards.”

Elayne flushes a little herself, and says solemnly that that is very bad of Tylin. Then her lips twitch, and she asks Mat if he’s ever tried practicing smiles in the mirror, as she’s heard women who attract the attention of kings do. Then she starts giggling and walks off, saying something about “a taste of his own medicine.” Mat considers throwing a tantrum, but remembers he has made promises, and that one of the Forsaken might be out there. He catches up to Elayne, who is still giggling, and pulls off his medallion and holds it out to her, telling her she and Nynaeve will have to decide which of them wears it, but he wants it back once they leave Ebou Dar. Elayne stops dead and stares at him, and he tells her he knows all about Moghedien (a dockworker falls into the river in surprise at his words), and he doesn’t think much of the fact that she and Nynaeve kept it from him even after it got two of his Redarms killed, but if the Forsaken shows up she’ll go for one of them, so they should take the medallion. Elayne shakes her head slowly and takes the medallion, examining it, and asks if he knew what she would give to study it. She goes on that he troubles her, and then puts the medallion back on him, saying that she will not carry it while Nynaeve and Aviendha don’t have one, and neither will they.

That faint blush returned to her cheeks. “I am sorry I laughed at you.” She cleared her throat, looking away. “Sometimes I forget my duty to my subjects. You are a worthy subject, Matrim Cauthon. I will see that Nynaeve understands the right of… of you and Tylin. Perhaps we can help.”

“No,” he spluttered. “I mean, yes. I mean… That is… Oh, kiss a flaming goat if I know what I mean. I almost wish you didn’t know the truth.” Nynaeve and Elayne sitting down to discuss him with Tylin over tea. Could he ever live that down? Could he ever again look any of them in the eye afterward? But if they did not… He was between the wolf and the bear with nowhere to run. “Oh, sheep swallop! Sheep swallop and bloody buttered onions!” He nearly wished she would call him down for his language the way Nynaeve would, just to change the subject.

Her lips moved silently, and for an instant he had the strange impression that she was repeating what he had just said. Of course not. He was seeing things; that was all. Aloud, she said, “I understand.” Sounding just as if she did. “Come along, now, Mat. We can’t waste time standing in one spot.”

He gapes as she walks off, and decides he will never understand women in general and noblewomen in particular. They get on the boats (Nynaeve quickly begins throwing up), and Beslan is mournful that he won’t get his fun; with seven Wise Women in tow, he opines that even in the Rahad no one will try anything, and “what’s the fun of kissing a woman without the risk she’ll decide to stick a knife in you?” Mat is dismayed that he is apparently getting so “sober” that Beslan’s idea of fun doesn’t even remotely appeal to him, and Nalesean sighs in anticipation of boredom. They reach the Rahad, and Beslan’s prediction is soon proved right: even murderous cutthroats are falling all over themselves to be courteous to the Wise Women. Nalesean makes a pointed remark about how little sleep he’s gotten, and Mat asks irritably if he wants to die in bed. They reach one particular building, and Elayne is very satisfied and Nynaeve very disgruntled, for some reason, that the building has six stories. Mat sends half the Redarms around the back to guard, though Nynaeve tells him there’s no need, and Mat comments that maybe Moghedien likes back doors. Nynaeve is furious at Lan for telling Mat, though she tries to deny it; Elayne is done with their drama and darts upstairs impatiently, followed by Vanin and all but two of the Kin (Sumeko and Ieine). Nynaeve and Lan have a fight about whether Nynaeve is angry at him as Mat tries to get past them, until they are interrupted by two Aes Sedai Mat doesn’t recognize, who have at least two dozen hired thugs with them. Sumeko and Ieine curtsy, but Mat knows trouble when he sees it; Nynaeve says faintly that they are Black Ajah, and have her shielded. Falion smiles and declares this nonsense, and tells Nynaeve there is someone who will be “overjoyed” to see her, as she thinks Nynaeve is dead. Lan abruptly flings himself bodily at the Black sisters, knocking them down, and all hell breaks loose as Mat, Beslan, Nalesean and the remaining Redarms battle the Darkfriend thugs in the narrow quarters while Nynaeve faces Falion and Ispan; Mat can tell from the medallion that they are channeling even though they don’t move. Nynaeve snaps at the Kin to fight, but they just look horrified; then a woman screams upstairs, and Nynaeve tells Mat there’s trouble upstairs. Mat hesitates, and Nynaeve begs him please, and Mat curses and pulls himself out of the fight to run up to the top story. He bursts into a nightmare scene, with women sprawled everywhere, including Elayne, and Vanin down and bleeding. One of the Wise Women, Janira, runs toward him, screaming, and an ordinary-looking man in a gray coat grabs her from behind and snaps her neck.

[Mat’s] eyes went from Janira’s crumpled corpse to Elayne. He had promised to keep her safe for Rand. He had promised. With a cry, he launched himself at the killer, ashandarei extended.

Mat had seen Myrddraal move, but this fellow was quicker, hard as that was to believe. He just seemed to flow from in front of the spear, and, seizing the haft, he pivoted, flinging Mat past him five paces down the hall.

Mat rallies and goes for the man again just Nalesean enters and attacks from the other side, but the man rips Nalesean’s throat out as if it were nothing. Mourning Nalesean, Mat crashes into the man, knocking all three of them down, and stabs him under the arm three times, but the man flips over somehow and grabs Mat.

The man smiled at him. With a knife sticking out of his side, he smiled! “He wants you dead as much as he wants her,” he said softly. And as if Mat was not holding him at all, his hands moved toward Mat’s head, driving Mat’s arms back.

Mat pushed frantically, threw all of his weight against the fellow’s arms to no avail. Light, he might as well have been a child fighting a grown man. The fellow was making a game of it, taking his bloody time. Hands touched his head. Where was his flaming luck? He gave a heave with what seemed his last strength—and the medallion fell against the man’s cheek. The man screamed. Smoke rose around the edges of the foxhead, and a sizzle like bacon frying. Convulsively, he hurled Mat away with hands and feet both. This time, Mat flew ten paces and slid.

Mat doesn’t understand what happened, but knows the man can’t be human, and decides it’s not worth the risk to avenge Elayne and Nalesean, and plans to escape. The “man” pulls Mat’s knife out of his side and hurls it at Mat; Mat catches it and notes with dismay that there is no blood on the blade. Then he sees that Elayne is moving, and so does the creature; it smiles and turns toward her.

Sighing, Mat tucked the useless knife into its scabbard. “You can’t have her,” he said loudly. Promises. One jerk broke the leather cord around his neck; the silver foxhead dangled a foot below his fist. It made a low hum as he whirled it in a double loop. “You can’t bloody have her.” He started forward, keeping the medallion spinning. The first step was the hardest, but he had a promise to keep.

The thing backs away from the medallion warily, then runs into another room; Mat follows, and sees the thing has disappeared even though there is no other exit. Elayne calls out to him weakly and he goes back to her. She is hurt, but not badly, and tells him they were like “chickens in a box with a weasel”; channeling just melted off the man. She adds that she saw what Mat did.

“Thank you, Mat. I apologize for everything I ever did or thought.” She sounded as though she really meant it. “I keep building up toh toward you,” she smiled ruefully, “but I am not going to let you beat me. You are going to have to let me save you at least once to balance matters.”

“I’ll see what I can arrange,” he said dryly, stuffing the medallion into a coat pocket. Toh? Beat her? Light! The woman was definitely spending too much time with Aviendha.

Elayne sees all the wounded, and yells for Nynaeve; Nynaeve appears and tells her “no need to shriek like a cat” before shrieking (like a cat, Mat thinks) down the stairs to “hold her tight” and not let her get away like the other one. Then she sees the bodies and hurries to begin Healing Tamarla. Lan and Sumeko enter, and Sumeko dashes to Reanne and begins doing something that seems to astound Nynaeve, though she tries to be casual about it. Elayne goes into the next room to look for the Bowl, and a terrified Ieine enters, frogmarching Ispan before her; Ispan is sobbing in terror. Beslan and the surviving Redarms follow, and Harnan tells Mat that the rear guard was attacked by a man who “moved like a snake” and killed six Redarms altogether. Mat sees that all the women are up and Healed except Janira and Melore, who are dead. Elayne bursts back in excitedly with a large bundle, exclaiming that they have the Bowl of the Winds.

“In that case,” Mat announced, “we are bloody well getting out of here now.”

The FDA would like you to know that this chapter contains 150% of your recommended daily value of Awesome.

Also, it is relatively high in protein for a WOT scene—as long as we define “protein” to be “bloody gore and guts,” of course. We haven’t had this much red meat since Dumai’s Wells!

Okay, yes. I am gross. AND PROUD OF IT.

Anyway. Let’s all give a cheer for Master Matrim I’m So Badass I Catch Knives In Midair, Thankyouverymuch Cauthon, shall we? Well, you don’t have to, but I’m gonna.

Part of the Awesome, no doubt, was the relief of getting to see Mat back in his element—namely, kicking ass and snarking about it – after such a long stretch of humiliation and belittlement. But a far larger part of it, for me anyway, was getting to see Elayne see it—and acknowledge it, in no uncertain terms.

One of the larger frustrations WOT engenders in me is how often the various Lightside characters fail (or are not allowed) to see the awesomeness of each other, and the misunderstandings and lack of appreciation that results. It is Very Frustrating. Of course, this is deliberate, and makes these rare moments of honesty, whether expressed verbally or through action, all the more satisfying as a result.

At least, this is what I continue to tell myself. Personally I wouldn’t mind a wee bit more payoff in this way than we have gotten to date, but then that’s just not the series I’m reading, is it? Ah well.

That being said, this chapter is doubly satisfying on that score, in that we see Mat’s (eventual) reward for his unguarded moment of honesty to Elayne re: Tylin, and then later for his unqualified acts of heroism in fighting the gholam. You have to give it to Elayne: she may be snooty and overly quick to judge, but when she’s proven wrong, she owns up to it—and she doesn’t get all bitter or resentful over it, either. That’s a rarer talent than you might think.

In short, I flat-out rejoiced to see this détente between them, and am only sorry that we have never gotten to see any potential fruits from it, since they are shortly to be separated and (to date) not seen each other since. I hope someone somewhere keeps a tally of how many characters never get to see each other again before the series ends, because wow there are a lot of reunions I’m wishing for. Elayne and Mat are not the highest on the list, by any means, but they’re up there.

Also, her memorizing his profanity was hilarious.

(Although, “bloody buttered onions”? Really? And what the hell is “sheep swallop,” anyway? Never mind, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know.)

So, in conclusion (sorta), yay Mat awesome.

Gholam: one of the scarier monsters ever introduced in WOT, and perhaps for that very reason, also one of the most under-utilized. Convenient that it got fixated on the one character who actually has a defense against it, eh? Presumably it and Mat are due for one last mano a mano before the series ends. (Or, mano a… cosa. Whatever.) At least in the meantime the fans can have some geeky fun with the concept.

Oh, and bye, Nalesean! I never liked your name, but that didn’t mean you deserved to die like that. Sorry, man.

Last note. Lan and Nynaeve: HA!

I had no idea, the first time around, what all that business about being “in public” meant (for the very good reason that Jordan hadn’t explained it yet), but still, that was hilarious, even if the full significance of her exchange with Elayne is not clear until later. “Glorious,” eh? I snicker semi-pruriently in your direction!

Heh. This is something I will discuss in more detail later, but I had to get the chuckle in here.

Oh, that is nonsense! But nevertheless, true, for here we end our post. Or something; Oscar Wilde quotes are harder to work into this sort of thing than one might think. But at least I’ll be thinking in a British accent for a while! See you Friday!

Richard Fife
1. R.Fife
These are one of the few chapters that I can like Elayne. It is that moment of self-realization that WoT is so rife with, and the humble-pie ones are amazingly done because they aren't revenge fantasies of the person who is on the "giving" end, but more just a final seeing of eye-to-eye. Now that I've mangled the English language, I'll be going.
Brett Michie
2. bchurch
Oh the Awesomeness of Mat. Truly one of his finer moments.

Thanks, Leigh for sharing your mad recap skizzles and thoughts with us.

I am fairly certain we shall see a Mat/Elayne reunion early on in the next book as they were in the same city at the end of tGS.
Ron Garrison
3. Man-0-Manetheran
Welcome to Tuesday! Thanks Leigh!

And YES! "a cheer for Master Matrim I’m So Badass I Catch Knives In Midair!"

And Lan who's enough protection for two dozen teenage girls carrying sacks of gold.
Steven Pattingale
4. Pattingale
Huzzah, Tuesday post! :D

I totally agree about the awesome reunions to come in the next two books.
Kyle Day
5. gato
Just had a thought (well a few, in rapid succession I suppose):

-The only thing (thus far) that can harm a gholam is Mat's medallion

-There is only one such known *angreal in existence.

-Elayne wants to study it.

-Elayne can make *angreal.

-Mat and Elayne are in the same city at the end of the last book.

Anyone else see where I'm going with this? It certainly would be satisfying to see Mat fight the gholam with a weapon made of the same stuff as his medallion.

ETA: I have no idea if this theory has come up before, being rather new to the whole WOT online community.
Hugh Arai
6. HArai
I liked the addition of the Gholam. By this point Trollocs and Fades have lost some of their terror and I've never really found Draghkar that scary for some reason. A Gholam seems like a real terror for everyone.

Yay for Mat and keeping his promises. I was happy Elayne saw and acknowledged it, though it made it quite disappointing for me when I realized Elayne wasn't going to keep the other women from treating him like a mushroom.
Marcus W
7. toryx
Ah, Mat truly rocks. And though I still really strongly dislike Elayne, that's one scene where she was at least genuinely gracious. Too bad there are so many more scenes with her in the upcoming books.

The Gholam are definitely the true horror show of the series. The very notion of them freak me the hell out and my only regret is that the first time we actually see one in action also happens to be the time when they're fighting the one person on the planet who can handle him.

Which is, of course, the one huge problem with the creatures. They're too damned powerful with too selective a weakness. They are, in RPG palance, unbalanced as all hell. And you know, if at any given moment any Forsaken who knew where the Gholam was at and could get in touch with him/ it actually wanted Rand dead, Rand would be. It's just fortunate that those circumstances haven't come into play.

I don't like those kinds of scenarios in fiction. Though it's too bad Tyrion hadn't thought of it and made adequate provisions; there's no way Rand would have had a chance if a Gholam had been one of Jaime's seven.
Rob Munnelly
8. RobMRobM
I would bet you could harm or delay a gholam using channeling in the same way as you can harm Mat - i.e., indirectly. In other words, drop 30 boulders on its head and create a cairn.
8. CraigVal
My first read through I had said finally at last now we can move on with the story. I appreciated so much your read thru as I got to savor some of the little bits so much better. Thanks.
Hugh Arai
8. HArai
Toryx@7: I don't know, people like Rand who can Travel are pretty hard to pin down. I don't think we've seen a Gholam prevent a weave from affecting someone else and I'd be amazed if a Gholam could use a Gate, so it wouldn't be that hard for Rand to simply stay alive. Now, trying to keep _someone else_ from being killed by a Gholam attack would be pretty stressful.
Kurt Lorey
9. Shimrod
I always wondered who was strong enough (in the AoL) to make a gholam climb into a stasis box (voluntarily or not).

Well, at least Leigh hasn't succumbed to "displaying signs of triviality".
a a-p
10. lostinshadow
Elayne is (despite the which dress should we wear for our attempt to take the throne while Brigit drinks more wine plotline) one of my favorite characters in the whole of WoT because she is perhaps the most flexible character of the lot. She is willing to listen, willing to admit she may have been wrong and willing to change.

I'm not sure I can think of any character who is as willing to change thoughtfully as Elayne is. Egwene for instance may wholeheartedly embrace whatever culture she happens to be in but to me every time that seems like an instantenous and absolute conversion with very little thought behind it.

Love Mat. Squeee for mad fighting skills
Tony Zbaraschuk
11. tonyz
Is it the medallion's anti-Power properties, or its silver content, that does nasty things to the gholam? If the latter, handling it will be a bit easier. (More Jordanian mix-and-match mythology, by the way, having a non-werewolf be the one vulnerable to silver.)

I just love Nynaeve and Lan all through these chapters, and I am so glad they finally got married... even if there were surprises.
Matthew Smith
12. blocksmith
Robm^2@the first #8 post...what's up with 3? Did they really all hit at the same time?

Only problem with Gholam...no bones to crush and able to escape through a mouse-hole? I'm thinking it would have to be like a 5-foot thick concrete slab.

The scene with Mat and the Gholam is truly MOA...neither Chuck nor Jack could have done better. The other aspect of that scene is that Mat is given that rare glimpse into Elayne's mind during her apology and toh speech. They both get something very important out of the interaction.

I still think the funniest part was Mat backtracking on including Nyn in the bloody women description. Cage match aside, Mat wants no part of Lan.
Lannis .
13. Lannis
And I think we all know by now that Leigh is never alone in the Mat Is Awesomesauce cheering section... :)

I love that particular FAQ on the gholam...

R.Fife @ 1: re: humble pie. Yes, I agree. There's something nice about characters connecting without the gloat factor... too bad we have that communication issue, or we'd see more of it...

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Fun, fun!
Hugh Arai
14. HArai
RobMRobM@8: Delay seems reasonable. The way they don't bleed and appear to have flexible forms makes it seem harder to harm them, they don't appear to have any normal physical weakness.

Tonyz@11: Last time I checked the FAQ we didn't have a definitive answer there. I have to say the anti-Power theory makes more sense. Gholams would seem to be almost trivial if they're vulnerable to pocket change.
Steven Pattingale
15. Pattingale
LB's how to kill a Gholam link provided some good thoughts and RobMRobM's boulders would be a good tactic as well. A channeller strong in earth might be able to create a deep pit to drop it in (well pummel it in with boulders) and seal the top with solid rock. And although weaves may slip off a Gholam could it walk through a wall/dome of air? What about balefire? Deathgates? Pick up the ground it's standing on with air, lift high up, drop, repeat? What about trapping it in a metal box with no openings?

16. BenM
re Mat: I think it’s more than just a promise. Deep down, Elayne, and even Nynaeve, are kind of like family or friends to him. You may fight like cats and dogs in private, may not always even LIKE each other, but ultimately, when the chips are down, you have each others’ backs. In any case, his valor in defending Elayne was definitely a CMoA.

Oh, I thought of an interesting fight matchup. Take Kelsier vs. the Inquisitor in Final Empire, and substitute the gholam for the Inquisitor. Given the vulnerabilities of Mat’s medallion and probably the gholam, Kelsier would totally kick its butt, in a manner of speaking. He can pretty much fly, and can totally bombard it with metal bars and such besides, and it would have a hard time avoiding them all. You might not even be able to kill it, but he could beat the tar out of it, so to speak, or at least drive it off.
Hugh Arai
17. HArai
Shimrod@9: Built-in compulsions. Which makes sense since they sure seem to be Power-created and a channeler would have to be really really stupid to make one without a "fail-safe".
Tricia Irish
18. Tektonica
Leigh...wonderful! Thank you for Tuesdays, too...squeeeee!

My Man Mat! Do love him. What a great great scene with his MOA. And I agree with Lostinshadow@10....Elayne is flexible and learns and is open to new ways of looking at things. She can be a snoot, but she is a Princess out in the world for the first time on her own and she's young and she does slowly come around. She has a pretty good Arc, I think. She certainly doesn't fight reality as hard as Nynaeve does.

.....You are going to have to let me save you at least once to balance matters.”........“I’ll see what I can arrange,” he said dryly,

Cluebat: I predict a scene in one of the next two books, where Elayne does save him.

Gholam....makes me feel all squirmy bad....very creepy. Great addition to the evil character list. So innoculous looking and so effectively deadly.

So excited for Nynaeve and Lan! He has a reason to live now, and she has.... Lan! Love her blabbing about their wedding night to Elayne and getting caught at it.
19. Landro Gaidin
The obvious payout for Mat saving Elaine will be when Mat arrives in Caemlyn and wants to cast cannons
Andrew Belmont
20. rosetintdworld
Thanks for brightening a rainy Tuesday, Leigh. Love this scene. The Nalesean thing has always really grossed me out though. I can't picture what that would look like and it makes me really squeamish. I guess I'm a big wimp.

ANYWAY, (and this is really off topic,) since people are speculating on Elayne in ToM, am I the only one who thinks that she will be the main POV for the Black Tower plotline? This probably strikes everyone as really odd, but think about it: we have never in the series had a major plotline told primarily (ie. more than 50% of page time) from a POV outside the Big 6, so suddenly introducing Logain as a major protagonist would be totally unprecendented, and weird, this close to the end. Elayne and the BT are both in Andor, and have had interactions in WH that have since dropped from the plot. Most importantly, I can't think of what on earth Elayne is supposed to do until TG except lie around with her midwives, and that seems such a small payoff for a character who took up massive numbers of pages in Books 8-11.

...Or not, since this could be Rand's thing. But Elayne does have to have something big left to do, right?

(I just re-read this, and it is probably the most irrelevant posting I've ever made. Thoughts on throats being ripped out and Elayne five books from now. Yikes. Sorry.)
21. alreadymadwithmoghedien
I don't see the logic in Mat not needing to know a Forsaken was in town and potentially gunning for his charges. Really, Nynaeve's concept of logic is baffling.
Jennifer B
22. JennB
Ugg. I forgot about Elayne's reaction to Mat's situation. So not cool. I am pretty sure Nynaeve is satisfyingly outraged when she finds out. I hope I am not wrong about that one too.

I agree that Mat is awesome in this chapter, but you have to admit that he would be so dead if he didn't have a special ter'angreal. Elayne's gratitude almost makes up for her laughing at him.
John Mann
23. jcmnyu

"I hope someone somewhere keeps a tally of how many characters never get to see each other again before the series ends, because wow there are a lot of reunions I’m wishing for."

I had the same thought going into TGS and came up with a list of 24 which I was looking forward to. I added 10 more during my reread Mat-Elayne didn't make my list, but does now. Four and a half happened in book 12. Here a repost of my list from last July and the others I added.

Rand-Tam (Obviously) HAPPENED
Rand-Mat-Perrin (Rainbow Connection resolution)
Rand-Galad (Bromance?)
Galad-Berelain (Wouldn't it be funny if they had ugly kids?) HAPPENED OFF SCREEN
Rand-Fain (Just end it once and for all)
Lan-Slayer (You've been a bad boy)
Moiraine-Thom (Missed ya)
Rand-Moridin (You've got something in your eyes) HAPPENED
Siuan-Elaida (Miss me?)
Egwene-Alviarin (You have toh)
Rand-Gawyn (For the last time, I didn't kill your Mom)
Elayne-Morgaise (Wait, you did what?)
Rand-Demandred (Where have you been? I've been looking all over for you.)
Mat-Abell (So, a general and a prince, huh?)
Rand-Moiraine (Have I done well?)
Shadar Haran-Mat (Badass Death Match)
Egwene-Bran/Marin (You're grounded)
Mat-Bode (Mother's milk in a cup, I have a big head? You are Aes Sedai.)
Nynaeve-Dalmer Flynn (No, that is not how you heal someone who has been stilled.)
Dalmer Flynn-Siuan/Leane (Look, I'll show you.)
Verin-Moiraine-Cadusane (The Battle of Wills)
Rand-Tuon (You swear fealty. No you swear fealty.) HAPPENED
Faile-Elayne (What the hell have you been doing in the West of my country?)
Rand-Taim (You got a minute?)
Setale Anan-Flynn (No Longer no more)
Mat-Tuon (Honey, I'm home)
Alivia-Tuon (May you live forever, I don't like you)
Sorelia-Sevanna (Go over there and dig a hole with your fingers. Then fill it up again. Repeat infinity.)
Birgitte-Gaidal (Come here little boy and sit on my lap)
Egwene-Gawyn (Dear Emo Boy, be my warder) HAPPENED
Mat-Gholem (You've got something on your face)
Nynaeve-Moghidein (Round 3)
Moiraine-Lan (Moiraine of the Blue Ajah, you look great in white)
Lan-Myrelle-Nynaeve (This threesome becomes a twosome right freaking now)
Mat-Elayne (Your Majesty. Your Highness)
Daniel Goss
24. Beren
re: Gholam hunting

Other than Matt's medalion, I would say that the only 'sure-fire' way we know of is a deathgate, as per Rand/LTT "Shadowspawn cannot survive a trip through a gateway." So unless Gholam follow a different set of rules than other shadowspawn, that -should- work. Of course, getting one to stand still while you throw a deathgate at it is another issue . . . good luck with that one.
Ron Garrison
25. Man-0-Manetheran
RobM2@8: You could drop 30 boulders on a gholum, but from what I understand, he would just squirt out through a crack.

HArai@14: "Gholams would seem to be almost trivial if they're vulnerable to pocket change." LOL!

Pattingale@15: I vote for deathgates. As a power-wrought entity, the gholum shouldn't be able to survive that.

amw@21: Nynaeve's concept of logic is baffling - until you remember that hiding her weakness/failure is an over-arching requirement. Moggy nearly killed her again! "Musn't tell Mat. He'd be insufferable."
Tina Pierce
26. scissorrunner
Hey AMW @ 21 - Using Nynaeve and logic in the same sentence simply does not work!!!
Don't get me wrong, I LIKE her, but I feel that she is a huge bundle of contradicting emotions. She thinks with her heart and gut, not always her mind. That's one of the things that make her such a great healer.
BenM @ 16 describes Mat as a the type to think "I'm the only one who can fight/challenge/spank/whatever *insert name here*. I'm protecting them from everyone else". Nynaeve is much the same. Maybe it's a two Rivers thing??

on a completely different note.....
I was looking in my desk drawer and found a gift box with a large embossed "TR" on the lid. My first thought was "Who sent me a box from the Two Rivers?"
27. Hrothgordo
Definitely enjoying the two-a-week deal make a comeback. Even better since it is about the same time the book actually has a bit of a payoff.

The interaction between Mat and Elayne is obviously the point of the chapters, culminating in the full witnessing of a fully-fledged Cauthon MoA. It also fulfills the second part of the Mat’s quest as a knight. The first being the rescue of the kidnapped princess at the Stone, this being the defeat of a dragon to save the princess. According to the 13thD his final act should be the defeat of a siege against the princess’ castle.

For some reason everytime I read the battle between Mat and the Gholam all I can think about the scene in “Tombstone” when Kurt Russel just marches across the river blowing people away with his shotgun. I just picture Mat doing the “You can’t have her” in slow-motion like Wyatt’s “Noooo!”

All that being said, this still isn’t my favorite Mat moment in this book, as I just love his smackdown of the Sea Folk.

There is also a little bit of frustration that Lan doesn’t step up at some point and just tell Nynaeve how ludicrously she is underestimating Mat. I mean Lan, more than any other character including Birgette, has seen all aspects of Mat from general, commander, hornsounder and warrior.

Sadly the closest thing we will get is Brigette and Lan’s pledge to Mat when he orders them to take care of the girls.
28. hrothgordo
Oh, as to killing a Gholam . . . my guess is they will trick it (or throw it) into a Stedding.
Roger Powell
29. forkroot
Well hello Mr Gholam and welcome to the main event. Yes, we've seen you briefly before (much to the ill-fortune of Mr Harid Fel), but for the first time we get an idea of just how dangerous you are.

BTW, I know some have suggested that there is more than one gholam running around, but since it must have come out of a stasis box, Occam's razor suggests that there is just the one (under Sammael's control).

The interesting question is how Sammael deploys the creature. If gholam cannot pass through gateways (assumed, since they are shadowspawn) then Sammy would have had to have the gholam travel by ordinary means to Cairhien (to kill Fel) and then trudge back to Ebou Dar. There seems to be enough time in the storyline for that.

Maybe the journey was shortened by using the Ways? Seems risky to me - it's one thing to risk a few fists of Trollocs, quite another to risk your only pet gholam.

Ron Garrison
30. Man-0-Manetheran
Hrothgordo@27: "According to the 13thD his final act should be the defeat of a siege against the princess’ castle." And cannon would do that beautifully!

forkroot@29: I don't think we know how fast a gholum can move, but he did disappear down that rat hole pretty quickly. The Ways make sense, but I agree that they are probably too risky for your only Gholum.
31. Lsana
@23 jcmnyu,

I'm hoping that we see the meet-up between Perrin's group and Galad's group in the next book. If the Galad/Berelain and Galad/Morgase meetings really happen off screen, I'm going to be ticked.

One more meeting I would add to that list is Galad/Amys (Your mother loved you, and she wouldn't have left you if anything less than the fate of the world was at stake).
Birgit F
32. birgit
Before long, Nynaeve was draped over the railing, losing her breakfast while Lan held her. That reminded Mat of his own belly; tucking his hat under his arm so it could not blow away, he pulled out the wedge of cheese.

That is a strange reaction to watching someone throw up.

Could Fain's dagger hurt the gholam?
Marcus W
33. toryx
Pattingale @ 15 & Man-O @ 25:

I suspect that a gate would not open in a position that a Gholam happens to be inhabiting. It'd automatically move aside a few inches or feet or whatever is required for it to open instead of being cancelled out.

As others have pointed out, slamming a bunch of boulders on a Gholam likely wouldn't work. For one thing, it's not like a Gholam is going to just stand there and wait for the boulder to hit him. For another, when the boulders land they'll likely crack and the Gholam can just slip out through the cracks. Or bash their way out with their unnatural strength.

And I seriously doubt there's any hole that could be created that a Gholam wouldn't be able to climb out of.

We haven't gotten to this part yet, but there's a passage later on that mentions that the incident with Mat was the first time in it's long life that it had ever experienced pain. There's got to be a really good reason for that, especially when you consider that it comes from the Age of Legends (when people were a lot more equipped to deal with Ungodly Powerful Creatures).
34. Dholton
These two moments between Mat and Elayne were always among of my favorites, for exactly the reasons Leigh states. In fact, if I'd my druthers, I would have liked the ebook cover for this book to have been the scene between Mat and the Gholam. (Nynaeve's breaking of her block, and meeting with Lan was a relief, but never a squee! moment for me as it is for others.) I know Mat already got his cover and all, but I've always wanted to see a (well done) portrayal of the scene.

And finally! Someone besideds me scratches their head at "bloody buttered onions"! I always wanted to ask RJ if that was truly the worst language in the WOT.
Tess Laird
35. thewindrose
forkroot @29 - The reason why some think there may be two Gholams, or the Gholam is reporting to more than one Forsaken is Herid Fel. Ishmael/Moridin is the philosopher, and really would be the only one to realize what Herid Fel has figured out.

This also is a intriguing line of thought, because how does Moridin know what Herid Fel has figured out. Is one of his personas Taim like Linda from the Thirteenth Depository has theorized?

Ron Garrison
36. Man-0-Manetheran
Good point toryx. Well, there is always the "Elayne could make a weapon once she studies Mat's medallion." But someone would have to tell Mat that Elayne can make ter'angreal, and of course how often does anyone in the WoT tell anyone else something important?
Brian Vrolyk
37. vyskol
I find the entire Mat/Tylin thing to be hilarious.

I guess I'm just not as enlightened as some of the rest of you.

Edit: Bah! Excuse my snarky passive aggressiveness. But I'm gonna leave it. :P I just have one thing to add: "Oh, kiss a flaming goat!" :)
Jeff Weston
38. JWezy
Sorry, but I have to do this. Mano a mano means "hand to hand", not "man to man". OK, I'm done being grammar police now.

Landro Gaidin@19 - Cannons that shoot *angreal cannonballs? Coolness!
39. Lsana
@36 Man-0-Manetheran,

Here's a revolutionary idea: maybe Elayne could tell him herself.

"That is a really nifty and really useful medallion you have there, Mat. I've been studying ter'angreal and even figured out how to make them. If you would be willing to lend your medallion to me for just a little bit, I might be able to figure out how to make more. I promise I'll return it whenever I'm not studying it, and I'll make sure no one channels at you while I have it."

If she had said that back in LOC, we might already have a magic-killing medallion for everyone on the light side...
Daniel Goss
40. Beren
I'm sorry, but this has always bothered me. Elayne wants to study the ter'angreal. How in the bloody sheep swallop with buttered onions flaming with light-blinded mother's milk in a cup is she going to study it if flows of the power melt when they touch it? "Ok, I'll try delving it with air. Hmm . . . that one melted. Now to try with spirit. That one melted too. Maybe if I tried earth. Waddya know, it melted. I'll have to just sit here and stare at it and call it studying, 'cause Matt would definitely ask for it back if I told him that it can't be studied, and we cant have a non-channeling man owning a ter'angreal."
Ron Garrison
41. Man-0-Manetheran
---OR---"I'll give you the money to build your cannons if you let me study your medallion for a bit."

Awww, Beren. Now you spoiled everything. I think you're right. How could she delve it?
Marcus W
42. toryx
Beren @ 40:

Thanks for pointing that out. I've always thought the same thing; it's one of the reasons I keep wanting to strangle Elayne whenever she whines about studying it.
Tess Laird
43. thewindrose
But the medallion was made somehow, so I don't think it is impossible to figure out. Probably would need to study Nynaeve's jewelry, Cadsuane's hair net and the guard on Far Madding. If it was made, it can be made again is what I think.

Hugh Arai
44. HArai
Beren,M-o-M,toryx@40-42: We know it breaks up weaves _while it's against someone's skin_. Do we know what it does sitting by itself on a table?
45. Lsana
@41 Man-0-Manetheran,

Either way. As long as she acknowledges that it is his as opposed to the Rightful Property of the Aes Sedai, and that he is doing a favor by allowing her to have it even for a little while rather than her doing him the favor by not trying to take it by force. Whether she simply asks nicely or offers him something in exchange isn't as important.

I will say that her first demand for the medallion was the moment when I stopped liking her, and I've never quite been able to forgive her since. It might help if we tried the "may I look at your nifty necklace" bit again.

@40 Beren,

Elayne may have other ways of studying it besides just tossing the power into it. She could do experiments similar to what she and the other Aes Sedai did with Mat. She could try wearing it herself and see how it affects her own ability to channel. She could study the design and see if she can interpret it.

I'd let her try at any rate. As long as...well, see my response above.
Roger Powell
46. forkroot
Do we know what it does sitting by itself on a table?
Rand noticed a foxhead medallion sitting on a table on the other side of the room. It reminded him of Mat's medallion. With his curiosity piqued, he channeled flows of air to lift the table to him. To his shock, the flows vanished as they touched the table!
Ron Garrison
47. Man-0-Manetheran
forkroot: Where is that quote from? I don't remember it! Or more importantly, where was Rand and when was it?
Roger Powell
48. forkroot
The "quote" was from my twisted sense of humor.
49. Hrothgordo

When studying electrons scientists discovered that it was easier to figure out where an electron was not rather then where it was. This is how many theories on electron shells and spins were proven correct.

Studying Mat’s angreal could work the same way. Noting where the flows and how are the field extends (say if you put it on a kid, a fat guy a tall guy, etc . . .
James Jones
50. jamesedjones
48 forkroot

And Rand didn't even ask the table if he could study it!
Hugh Arai
51. HArai
Forkroot@46: Nice :) If that is indeed what happens then Elayne is going to have real trouble. If it needs to be touching a person's skin to "complete the circuit" or some such, she might not have any trouble at all.
Matthew Smith
52. blocksmith
I think we are all avoiding the elephant in the room...

This chapter marks the beginning of the plotline of Lopin looking for a new noble to serve.
Barry T
53. blindillusion
Well, it's not touching Mat's skin when it strikes the Gholam....

Of course, this could be an instance of likes counter-acting against each other (a la the Taint and the Shadar Logoth Evil), with nothing to do with the fact that each were created with the One Power. Suppose I’m just saying that I don’t think the ter’angreal will lack function simply because it’s not touching skin.

Also, it’s not only Shadowspawn that cannot pass through a gateway. Any construct which passes through a gateway would be destroyed. I.e., a Nym would not be able to pass through a gateway any more than a Trolloc. And while I cannot give a definite, I’d have to say a Gholam is beyond doubt a construct.

Eh, just my .02 for the nonce.

Not to be a killjoy...but meh. =)
Thomas Keith
54. insectoid
Yay new post! Great as always, Leigh.

Ch. 37: Umm... meh.

Ch. 38: Totally Awesome and Badass. Yay Mat!

Nynaeve and Lan: ::snicker::

Elayne: The profanity memorization is pretty hilarious, all right.

Gholam: Yeah... 50 Ways to Kill a Gholam! One of my favorite bits of the FAQ.

Gato @5: Hey, that's not a bad theory! Imagine what Mat could do with a set of knives made of the stuff! ;) Though, at the moment Elayne can't do much channeling because of her pregnancy, but afterward...

RobM² @8: Makes me think of various Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote scenarios... Drop a few anvils on the gholam and see how much it likes that! ;) Annnnd... you seem to be sharing comment #8... silly Tor ghosts.

Lostinshadow @10: Agree about Elayne.

Jcmnyu @23: LOL.

Fork @29: Well, we don't really know if a gholam can survive in a stedding long enough to enter the Ways.

Birgit @32:
Could Fain's dagger hurt the gholam?
That'd be nice. :)

Beren @40: LOL!

Fork @46: How inventive! ;)

Daniel Goss
55. Beren
Now watch me get proven wrong in the next book.

"Elayne carefully channeled flows of all five powers at the medallion. She reflected briefly on the morality of trading Matt the use of all of the bellfounders in Caemlyn for an hour with the ter'angreal every day, but soon was lost in study. Yes, the flows melted when they touched the silver, but she thought she had felt . . . there. Right there. Just before touching the metal there was a . . . the only word she could think of was "radiance" that bent the flows back slightly before they melted away. The radiance seemed to be emanating from the stone set into the fox's eye, and when she concentrated her flows there, she found that they could slip around the stone. A few more minutes of careful, delicate work, and she could feel a slow smile spreading across her face. She was sure. Whirling to her makeshift workbench she siezed a bar of silver and one of the uncut emeralds that she had told her servants never to touch. She deftly wove the five powers, sinking flows of earth, fire and spirit into the metal while razor-sharp chisels of air and water worked on the stone in a flurry of flying shards. Minutes later, she gazed in wonder at the perfectly-worked golden lily lying on the table. She had done it. The stone center of the lily glistened at her as she reached a finger out to touch it, and with a shock she realized that the Source had disappeared! She pulled her hand back, flinching as if burned, and the familiar just-out-of sight warmth returned. She heaved a sigh of relief. With all of the warnings she had given to her friends about not touching anything, it would have been quite embarrassing to still herself with her own creation!"
56. yoyome
I am quite certain that had Matt stood his ground (literally and figuratively) and said in no uncertain terms that he was there to aid and guard Elayne and Nynaeve, etc. and that any distractions from that purpose would be considered to be a threat to his chosen charges...well then, she might have still wanted him (and maybe even more) but oversexed or not she was never considered a bad queen so would have realized that her overtures were inappropriate (in the least). If that didn't work there are quite a few other outs, though not as good (like grabbing Nyn and Elayne et al and moving to the local inn).

Just sayin'

*edit - my word verification was 'he gallant' *snicker*
Marcus W
57. toryx
insectoid @ 54:
Well, we don't really know if a gholam can survive in a stedding long enough to enter the Ways.

It doesn't matter. The Way Gates are all just outside the steddings, not actually within them.

I'd be curious to see if steddings actually had any impact on a gholam. But I doubt it.
Ron Garrison
58. Man-0-Manetheran
Beren! Excellent! Sam has some competition in the fanfic department.
Jason Deshaies
61. darxbane
Maybe Elayne will notice that Olver is a poorly disguised Eelfinn, which will help in the Moiraine rescue attempt.

As for the Gholam, I can't imagine it without some sort of control mechanism, but I have no idea what it could be, or what happens after it's master (who I believe is Sammael) dies.
62. Freelancer
Hi Leigh. So much more happened in the first chapter of this segment than "Mat continues to be abused". You know it's there, you know it's not finished, you've made your case, which was excellently delivered. But now that it's a "known", it ought to be background to your commentary, not the exclusionary full dump of it.

We have:

~ The Kin being dismissed and disbelieved by the "real" channelers. I submit that if it hadn't been about their claims of great age (and show me a woman who would lie to add 100+ years to her age!), it would have been about something else. The Aes Sedai are so unnerved about the Kin that they feel the need to put them down on every level available.

~ The preview of the Sea Folk marriage arrangement. The general sense of which may be fairly well deduced from these chapters alone, first by Nynaeve's "out of school" comments to Elayne, next by Lan's comments about customs and surprises which Leigh quoted, finally by the express and distinct usages of the terms "public" and "private" between Lan and Nynaeve. Not too hard to reach the Aha! on that issue.

~ Mat taking full advantage of Elayne's position relative to the Kin in their presence, where she knows she can't play "ruler vs subject" toward Mat, and has to adjust each thing she says to him.

~ Mat's thoughtless candor in commenting pejoratively about a woman to her brand new husband who is, oh yeah, one of the most dangerous men alive. Hello, McFly!

~ The first mention of Mat as toy is his own POV. Irony. FTW!

~ Beslan continues to exist as someone against whom Mat seems more mature by comparison. A difficult task, requiring a young man who finds deadly violence to be fun, and who is glad that his widowed mother the Queen is bedding a farmboy.

~ A reminder of Moghedien's presence in or about town, and that she tried to kill Nynaeve in the wide open public, indicating that her hatred now exceeds her discretion.

New topic. Elayne. ::sigh:: Can we take it as given that every significant character in this series has their own vision of how things should go, and that every one of them uses all methods at their disposal to bring about those ends? Good, I knew that we could. Nynaeve's method is bullying, Moiraine's was manipulation/information management/appeal to experience and knowledge, Rand's is political maneuvering/direct confrontation/deft scheming (depending upon the object and the opponent), and Mat's is pure dumb luck/strategic genius.

Ok, Elayne's method is applying her established status and appeals to reason. Actually, those belong in the reverse order regarding volume of utilization. She has goals, she wants to get things done, things nobody on Team Light would argue with as valid and worthwhile objectives. In my estimation, the "worst" thing she has done so far was the partially successful co-opting of the Band on the way to Ebou Dar. Remember that up to that point she was still operating under the provided judgement of Mat as shiftless and unreliable, with little help from Mat at the time to correct that judgement. While she did have selfish motives for getting the men to see her as the superior to their official leader, the actions she took along the way did serve the men well.

In spite of this, she is still one of the least liked characters in the story. A momentary nod of approval at her humble comments to Mat here, and right back to wish she'd go away forever status. Just precisely when is it that she isn't genuinely gracious?


Oh man. I'm reading through your list of reunions, and I get to this one:
Siuan-Elaida (Miss me?)
And it conjures up an image of a certain freeway billboard:
~ http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/missmeyet.asp
A disturbingly close analogy.


A gholam has no soul, I can't imagine that Machin Shin would even realize there's an entity there. And if it could, would they view each other as opponents? I have long suspected that the gholam traveled the Ways to reach Ebou Dar from Cairhien, and it always seemed reasonable to think that it wouldn't be at risk there at all.


Now there's a good question. Fain seems to have become immune to the Shadar Logoth dagger, so my first impression is that the gholam would not fear it.


No way that Taim is Moridin. Taim being Moridin's understudy makes plenty of sense, and I've been in that camp since Winter's Heart. But the question of Moridin (or anyone else) discovering what Herid Fel was up to remains unanswered.


Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner. There has to be a way, using the Power, to make Mat's medallion, so it follows that there has to be a way to study it. Setalle/Martine knew what it was immediately, without even seeing what it did, just by deduction of everyone's reaction. Even she wished she could have studied it. If she's smart enough to realize that it blocked flows of the Power, she would also be smart enough to surmise that normal methods wouldn't work to study it. Yet she wished she could have, meaning she possibly knows a way. (Meaning she has already studied Cadsuane's paralis-net, duh)


Elayne reverses on that score very quickly, and promises Mat she'll make no demands about it. Once again, Elayne realizes an earlier mistake in judgement, corrects it, and gets little to no credit.

And blocksmith@52 wins the thread!
Per Beltoft Madsen
63. Herr_Flick
I would like to see the Gholam follow Mat into the tower of Ghenjei.
If the *finns made the medallion, they might have a way to get rid of the thing.
64. chaplainchris
What happened to part 21, on chs 35-36 I presume? I can't find a link off the re-read index.
65. AndrewB
Leigh, as always, great recap and commentary.

In my opinion, these chapters have special signifcance for two additional reasons that have not yet been mentioned.

The first significance is that Nyn becomes what she started out saving the Two River younglings from: Aes Sedai. If you recall, Nyn initial goal in TEotW was to protect Rand, Egwene, Mat & Perrin from the evils of the outside world, especially Moiraine and any other Aes Sedai. However, once she broke her block, Nyn has become as arogant and obnoxious as 90% of all Aes Sedai. These are the sisters who think that everyone, from the Dragon Reborn to kings and queens to the lowliest of peasants should listen and obey the sister because she is an Aes Sedai. They forget that with few minor exception (e.g. the command structure in militaries), respect is earned, not required.

Aes Sedai all too often do not realize that non powerful people do not respect Aes Sedai; rather they fear them.

Those with power (both channelers and non-channelers) either ignore such sisters or at best tolerate them.

Nyn is now this fully arrogant personality who almost without fail thinks that only she knows what is best for any non-sister and those sisters below her in authority.

(As I have stated before, I dispise Nyn character. My dislike of her, however, does not mean that RJ did not do a very good job of creating her. The mark of a good fictional character is one that the reader/viewer has an opinion about, regardless of whether that opinion is positive or negative).

The second significane of these chapters is that post TGS, Nyn has replaced Faile as my most despised WoT character. Before TGS, I did not beleive that Nyn or Faile had any redeeming qualities. Yet I disliked Faile more because I found her to be more immature. However, the realizations that she came to in her TGS POV showed me that she has grown up.

Nyn has not. For all her power, she is nothing more than an arrogant bully.

Thanks for reading my musings. I am sorry that this was such a long musing.
Thomas Keith
66. insectoid
Beren @55: Bravo!! Very creative.

Toryx @57: Whoops! I'd forgotten—silly me! Even Jr. Gurus can make mistakes. From time to time. :)

Free @62:
And it conjures up an image of a certain freeway billboard...
You're right; that's a pretty disturbing analogy!

Nathan Martin
67. lerris
There seems to be an assumption going around that the medallion was made using the One Power.
The medallion is of 'finn origin, not Aes Sedai origin. I don't believe we know enough about the 'finns at this point to make that assumption.

And the "Taimandred" theory was put to rest by Robert Jordan. Demandred is not posing as Taim, nor as anyone we had seen up to that point ( I forget exactly when ).
Hugh Arai
68. HArai
Just precisely when is it that she isn't genuinely gracious?
Her part in the treatment of Mat next chapter would be the nearest example. For what it's worth I like Elayne the most out of the three SGs. But more gracious than Nynaeve is not exactly setting the bar high :)

lerris@67: Mat obtained the medallion from the 'finn. It doesn't necessarily follow that it originated with the 'finn. When you add the fact that every single AS who sees it calls it a ter'angreal, it becomes probable it was created with the One Power.
Steven Aitkin
69. saitkin
I was always under the impression that the gholam was related to the snake 'finns. It moves like a snake and is harmed by the fox medallion. Maybe Aginor created the gholam from the finn?
Hugh Arai
70. HArai
Freelancer@62: It's not surprising the AS find the Kin unnerving. It's a direct result of the three Idiot Rules of the Aes Sedai running into each other. After all, by Idiot Rules #2 and 3 (Strongest in power is always right, and Oldest is always right) most of the Aes Sedai there should be deferring to the Kin. The conflict of course comes when you set that against Idiot Rule #1: The Aes Sedai is always right,just because.
Barry T
71. blindillusion
Tsk. The Gholam in the stedding question was give a big ole RAFO by Mr Jordan.

Oh well.

But I do love my job:

Q: First off thanks for joining us on the chat. To settle a dispute on our mailing list I would like to know if the gholam works the same way as Mat's medallion? Can it be killed by lightning or any such thing?

RJ: Read and find out. The principle is the same, but it doesn't work in the same way as Mat's medallion.
StuuuBush asks: Was Mat right about the "snakelike" guy being a gholam, and if so, are we to assume that the bad guys are going to have as much trouble stopping one as the good guys?

RJ: Yes, he was right. Because after all, his source for the information was Birgitte, who has some memories of the War of the Power. And yes, if a gholam decided to turn against one of the Forsaken, the Forsaken would certainly have as much difficulty in stopping the attack as any other person would. They were, after all, created for the sole purpose of assassinating Aes Sedai.
Week 6 Question: How were the gholams made? Were they created or bred like the Trollocs? How exactly are they controlled if they are immune to the One Power?

Robert Jordan Answers: The gholam---singular and plural are the same---were created, not bred. Supposedly their creation involved making them so that they would be obedient to the Chosen, whoever they might be at any given time. This was an attempt at copying something that had turned up in Myrddraal, which seem incapable of disobeying one of the Chosen, possibly because of the use of the True Power in creation of the Trollocs, the parent stock of the Myrddraal. Even Aginor, who created the Trollocs, and thus indirectly the Myrddraal, was uncertain about the actual cause. (Becoming one of the Forsaken involves receiving a mark from the Dark One in return for your oaths; this mark is invisible and cannot be sensed by another human being, even another of the Forsaken, but it can be by certain non-human creatures, including Myrddraal and draghkar among others. This may play a part in the Myrddraal's obedience but doesn't explain it completely.) This element in gholam has some flaws, however, as we have seen in a small measure. In any case, if I were you, I wouldn't try giving orders to a gholam unless I were one of the Forsaken.
j p
72. sps49
Y'all can have "Mashiara", this is my favorite part.

Lan is kind of a dick, here. He is covering for his wife's trying to hide the deaths of two of Mat's men from him, plus at least one Forsaken around, and when Mat briefly expostulates about it he give him a thinly veiled threat! WTF, Lan?

I'm not starting again about M/T. But I am disappointed that Elayne would consider that a valid excuse to abrogate her promises.

But Six Stories is loads of Mat (and others) being Awesome. He starts by offering his medallion of his own free will to Elayne, who at least is impressed by the offer. Then he goes upstairs to obvious trouble alone to help Elayne against possibly Moghedien, but really a gholam.

Oh, and goddam Wise Women can't defend themselves? Pfft.

Then he changes his excellent plan to Get The Heck Out Of Here to put himself between Elayne and her attacker.

The fight is described very well; better than any other author I can come up with.

Elayne's apology is nice, but will she treat it like the Tear apology?

Poor Nalesean, but dead is dead and there are more Redarms gone.

And where is that gholam?
Daniel Goss
73. Beren
The Aes Sedai call it a ter'angreal because that is the only thing that they can think that it might be. I imagine the only reason we don't have someone say "That must be an otherworldly object created in another dimension specifically to negate the One Power in this plane of existence" is because there's nobody running around with that frame of reference.

Arguments for Finn make:
-Definitely going to be difficult/impossible to make something that negates the ability of the Power to touch it at all by using that very power. That'd be like trying to use Jell-O to create a dessert-free environment.
-Nothing exactly like it exists that we have seen. Yes, the paralys-net(sp?) disrupts flows of the power, but it doesn't completely negate them for the person wearing it.

Against Finn make:
-Well, the paralys-net does seem to have a remarkably similar effect. Even if it's not the same, it could be built on a similar principle.
-Just because we haven't seen another one doesn't mean there isn't another out there. Yeah, that's pretty weak. Moving on.

I'm sure someone else will come up with better reasons than I can.

Joe Terrenzio
74. Terren
Hello All!

I've been lurking in the shadows since day one and have finally decided to chime in. As always, an excellent re-read.

I want to share one theory I've recently developed on killing the gholam. Other than Mat's medallion or a weapon made of the same material based on possible future study of said medallion, what other incredibly powerful and destructive non-One Power thing does Mat have that none of our other heroes has? Gunpower. As much like the T-1000 as the gholam may be, there is no indication that it could survive being blown apart. Obviously things can be blown apart very efficiently through channeling, but if I were an Aes Sedai faced with a gholam and directly channeling at it failed, I doubt I'd have time to think of creative ways to try to indirectly blow it up with the Power before it effortlessly dispatched me.

We know the gholam is from the Age of Legends and that there were some pretty fancy things to kill people with back then like shocklances, but we don't really have any idea what those were. The gholam notes that nothing it had ever encountered before could harm it, so we know even if a shocklance is found, it is very unlikely such a weapon would be effective against the gholam. Somehow I've never pictured a shocklance as a blackpoweder or other chemical explosive based weapon though, its always been more like a laser or electrocution prod in my mind.

Mat knows the gholam is after him. Mat has seen how devastatingly effective the new gunpowder based weapons can be, and Mat and Aludra continue to develop bigger and better ones. So what happens when in ToM, Mat somehow lures the gholam into a trapped building filled with explosives? I'd like to see the gholam try to slither away from that.
j p
75. sps49
AndrewB @65-

I don't think Nynaeve thinks she is right because she is Aes Sedai, I think it is because she is Nynaeve. She's always been like that.

Me, I like the character. I can understand not liking others' actions while being completely oblivious to your own inentical actions (see Mat).
Linda Taglieri
76. Linda
Mundane way for Elayne to study the ter'angreal:

Elayne is very eager to study the ter’angreal but does not know how, because it stops direct weaves. However both Cadsuane's and Nynaeve’s jewellery includes a ter’angreal that stops direct weaves yet does not interfere in any way with the wearer's channelling (Winter’s Heart, With the Choedan Kal). Therefore if Elayne held the ter’angreal in her hands she would probably be able to channel into it.

And regarding its effect on the gholam: the medallion burned the gholam badly when it touched him, but was unaffected itself. Weaves also melt when they touch a gholam, as though it has abilities like the medallion (A Crown of Swords, Six Stories). Perhaps the gholam was injured by resonance or interference from the medallion, in the same way that a ter’angreal being actively used melts if there is another ter’angreal with a common function nearby. This implies the gholam is effectively at least in part a living ter'angreal.
craig thrift
77. gagecreedlives
To kill the gholam I would just open a gateway underneath it. And for a bonus take Elayne with you. Although her learning swears from Mat is funny.

And I know Ive said it before but I really want to see Fain stab the Gholam with his dagger to see what happens. Even if the dagger doesn’t affect the gholam Im sure it wont be too happy about being stabbed.


I might just be a big softie but I as well would love to see the Galad/Amys meeting


A Gholam has no soul but trollocs do? They were both created so I don’t see why the Gholam wouldn’t be detected when the trollocs were. Whether Machin Shin could hurt it is a different matter of course.


“Lan is kind of a dick, here. He is covering for his wife's trying to hide the deaths of two of Mat's men from him, plus at least one Forsaken around, and when Mat briefly expostulates about it he give him a thinly veiled threat! WTF, Lan?”

I actually read that as Lan having a little twisted sense of humour. He knows what an intimidating man he is and this time he is using it to have a little chuckle to himself.
Jennifer B
78. JennB
I thought Lan was being funny too.
John Massey
79. subwoofer
Hi Leigh-"Argh, the dissonance, it burns." I use to sooth my burning, give it a try:P

Ahem- six stories. Bar none, my favorite chapter in this book. Worth slogging through the various other ones to get here. What a pay off!

I am agreeing with sps49 about Lan keeping the death of Mat's soldier's a secret. He's a fighting man. There is a code. Bros before... so anyways, wasn't too happy about it, but Lan redeems himself. So does Ny, although I am not sure of the logic of keeping that Mat's men died to one of the Forsaken a secret. And of all the times to have a "quarrel", "Lan, I am not angry with you" they pick now? They have to learn the dreaded, "we will talk about this later" bomb.

I do love the way Lan gives Ny a fighting chance. The "they are Black Ajah... and they have me shielded". That took the wind right outta my sails. Lan knowing he can do nothing else throws himself at them. Sacrifice for his wife. MOA. And Ny, I really became a fan of her here. She is standing toe to toe with two BA linked and holding her own. Give 'er! This also makes me throw my hands up at the Kin standing on the sidelines. I get that they are being humble in the presence of their "superiors", but for the love of Light, know the side you are fighting on!
"Please Mat," Nynaeve said tightly. She never begged. She would cut her own throat first. "Please".
I loved that Mat got the sense of urgency in Ny's voice. No questions, no hesitation, just pure hero time.

Mat-knife-Gholam. This scene alone is making me reconsider my personal rankings in the cage match. Mat is all kinds of cool as he cracks open a barrel of whoop ass. Stepping up to fight a baddie that cannot be hurt, no "if it bleeds" here. The man has much ji keeping his promise no matter what. I just about cried... and Elayne finally shows a glimmering of actually understanding him.

How to kill a Gholam...accident with power tools? Use dynamite? Mat has the technology. Make a gun. Silver bullet. I dunno.

John Massey
80. subwoofer
Mat just sat there swaying with the coach's motion and staring. Nynaeve married. Lan married to Nynaeve? The man was mad. No wonder his eyes looked so bleak. Mat would as soon have stuffed a rabid fox down his own shirt. Only a fool married, and only a madman would marry Nynaeve.


"Those bloody flaming women," Mat muttered.
"I hope you don't include my wife," Lan said coldy, one hand gripping the hilt of his sword, Mat quickly raised his own hands.
"Of course not. Just Elayne, and...and the Kin."

Priceless. ROFLMAO:)

Richard Chapling
81. Chappers
Peoples, surely we're missing a really easy way to kill (or at least incapacitate for the rest of the relevant time) a gholam: (somehow) put it in a cuendillar box, then dump the box in a stedding for good measure.

There is the DO's effect on cuendillar to consider, but that seems to only be the Seals, probably due to either the tainted saidin that made them, or that they're "touching" the DO in some direct way.

This does raise another interesting question, though: what happens to all this cuendillar as the Ages pass? Wouldn't there be a load of it lying around on the ground from previous cycles? Or does it just sink into the Earth every time there's a Breaking?
Tricia Irish
82. Tektonica
jcmnyu@23: Loved your list and commentary!

Berren@55: Interesting theory and could prove right.


A momentary nod of approval at her humble comments to Mat here, and right back to wish she'd go away forever status. Just precisely when is it that she isn't genuinely gracious?

Elayne started out pretty snooty and out of touch with normal people, but she's growing and changing, and she admits it when she's wrong, unlike Nynaeve who is never wrong. I also find her the least irritating of the 3 supergirls.

I must say, I do think the contrast between Tylin reducing Mat to a helpless "toy," provides a huge contrast to his MOA with the gholam, where he defends Elayne and the others under pain of death and kicks major ass.
Barry T
83. blindillusion
Sub, I agree with youtube. Perhaps the best scene in film history.

Great movie.

Two thumbs way, way up.

Oh. Wait. Mat. He is, of course, the epitome of MOA. And he still gets to deal with the Sea Folk.

Good times...

And so few in the days ahead....

Fake Name
84. ThePendragon
Freelancer@62 THANK YOU!

I've found the Leigh does this constantly and it frustrates the hell out of me. She obsesses over these single points, the same type of stuff, OVER AND OVER. Always with the sexism, and the man/woman relationships yadda yadda yadda, and then proceeds to ignore everything else in the chapter. I mean, she completely glosses of over the Matt/Lan reunion. *sigh*
85. MasterAlThor
Mat vs Gholom....10 gold marks

Elayne seeing how BA Mat is....3 gold marks

Nynaeve having to choke down retorts.....priceless

Ok, now I'm gonna kinda get serious here.

One of the larger frustrations WOT engenders in me is how often the various Lightside characters fail (or are not allowed) to see the awesomeness of each other, and the misunderstandings and lack of appreciation that results.

I think, like you Leigh, that this was done intentionally, cause if you are BA and everyone has seen it, then they kinda expect you to be BA all the time. Then they don't come through on there end and you start to resent them for not being BA and expecting you to save the day with your BA self.

You get all of that.

So, again like you Leigh, I am happy that it is this way.


She goes down the respect meter and then shoots up. Nynaeve needs lessons.

The only real problem I have with "Six Stories" is that one of the baddest men on the planet, Lan, does not get to show just how bad he is. I love the action pack sequence, but it needed to have more Lan.

j p
87. sps49
gagecreedlives, JennB @76-77

I recall Lan's POVs in New Spring too well to think that he would joke with Mat over talking smack about his wife.

Re: subwoofer- We could rename this chapter to "Big Trouble in Little Ebou Dar". Do I hear a second?
88. Freelancer
While there is no extant proof, it seems the more plausible assumption that Mat's medallion is indeed a ter'angreal. It is noted within the story that his ashandarei's blade is a match for the AoL Power-wrought weapons such as Lan's sword. Now, either the 'finn have the capacity to mimic even Power-based creations, an ability I most sincerely hope they do not have, or they are finders of lost items, which are then available in their inventory "for just such an emergency". And if weapons, why not ter'angreal? You say that the design is too coincidental, the foxhead with the ancient Aes Sedai symbol in place of one eye? Well, we are talking about Mat Cauthon, #1 luckiest man in the world, and currently #2 in ta'veren power (though Perrin might be a tie, there has been much less direct evidence).

I will continue on the presumption that the foxhead is a ter'angreal. There's no way that the reason it burns the gholam is simply due to its silver content. Both repel weaves of the Power, and I suspect by means as unlike as the two evils of Rand's wounds (Not to say that Mat's medallion is evil). So the contact between the two produces a profound electrochemical reaction, being very dissimilar objects with similar properties.

Deathgates cannot work against a gholam, since they are formed entirely of channeled weaves, and would dissipate before they could envelope it.


You are clearly mis-characterizing Elayne's position regarding Mat's ter'angreal. Yes, she initially tried that gambit to get him to hand it over, but long since has understood that it's his, and no Aes Sedai has standing to make a claim about it. (Recall that Rand told Moiraine straight up that he paid for it, and nobody can take it from him) If Elayne could study it without leaving Mat defenseless against a creature that otherwise would have surely killed her, she might have asked. But now she won't, and it's for honor's sake that she won't. So suggesting that she'd keep it from him just to keep it from him isn't honest to the story or Elayne's character.

Also, welcome to the bunker. Yes, I'm always that argumentative, ask anyone.


I agree completely about your reasons why the AS are less than thrilled about the Kin. I only brought the issue up because the re-read commentary did not.


Trollocs are bred, not manufactured. They have a human component to them, which is why the occasional "throwback" spawn is a Fade. No comparison at all with a gholam. Now, for what constitutes shadowspawn in that regard, and how similar trollocs, fades, draghkar, etc. might be to a gholam, anybody's guess.


Out of touch, yes. Snooty? No. Elayne started out being who she was born and raised to be. It is taken as snooty by those around her who don't know her. The very first time we encounter Elayne is with Egwene in the Tower, and she is absolutely anything but snooty. People just don't like her because she is part of the reason for Mat being sent on a seemingly worthless journey, which causes him innumerable griefs. (But also showcases his better abilities as well)
Sandy Brewer
89. ShaggyBella
never mind..I am reading a different book..my mind wandered
Sandy Brewer
90. ShaggyBella
Mat's POV makes me smile

on Elaynes changing moods;
"Was there any woman in the world that was ever just one person?"

Walking the Rahad:
A few of the men growled at Beslan and Nalesean whenever they gazed too long at a woman's deep neckline. Some growled at Mat, though he could not understand why; unlike those two, he was never in danger of his eyeballs falling down the front of a woman's dress. He knew how to look discreetly.

With Elayne right after the fight with the gholam:
"I saw what you did Mat. With him. We might have been chickens in a box with a weasel. channeling wouldn't touch him; the flows melted the way they do with your ...." Glancing at the medallion still hanging from his fist, she drew in a breath that did interesting things to that oval cut-out.

I mean after a battle for his life, he is still looking down a neckline.
Barry T
91. blindillusion
Is anyone reading these little jewels I'm throwing out there...?

Chalked full of good, relevant information they are...:

Matt: Ok, so that being said there are some theories out there that in the Age of Legends, at one point, Lanfear might have…
Brandon: ...let’s just say I have not said that Lanfear and Cyndane are the same person.
Matt: Oh, absolutely, I’m jumping to this other Forsaken that we are talking about…
Brandon: …this other completely different person…Uh huh…
Matt: …so Lanfear, the theory goes, that maybe she was accentuated from a beauty and/or Power perspective by going to the 'Finnland previously.
Brandon: Okay.
Matt: Would the 'Finns have the ability to accentuate someone’s beauty and/or quantity or access to the One Power through their own capabilities and talents?
Brandon: Yes, but it might involve third party ter’angreal, angreal, this sort of thing.
Matt: So, they don’t have power to affect the soul’s capability of increasing its total channeling?
Brandon: Certainly not permanently; as far I understand, that is outside the realm of their ability.
Matt: From a beauty perspective can they affect the outer body of some individual?
Brandon: I would say that, yes they can, but they may have to be using some type of ter’angreal or…
Matt: …some item of Power?
Brandon: Some item of Power, something like that…of which they have great stores

Matt: Really?  Heh, so the obvious question, where did the 'Finns get great stores of ter’angreal, angreal, and is that part of the Pact they made?
Brandon: RAFO…but if you just think about it, we don’t even have to go to the notes for this if you think about it logically, we know of them providing certain items of Power to certain individuals that they were able to match very nicely with certain requests very easily. If you run the statistics on that, it's either a huge coincidence or they have very many to choose from.

So, seems if the White Tower wants its 'greal back, it's going to have to go visit its sister Tower.

**tear** So many of my posts today covered so much of the discussions above. =|

Meh. I still say Terez is a godsend. =))) Happy Hunting all. The information is out there. Questions have been asked...and answered...and on occasion, with something other than a RAFO.... Mwahahahahahahahaahhha
Heh. Hem.

Yay Mat!!?
craig thrift
92. gagecreedlives

I still think he was making a funny. Even if it was just for himself. However if Mat had made some unwise words afterwards......


I know the trollocs are now bred but I don’t think that gives them a soul. Now Im no theologian nor am I Dr Aginorstein that knows how to create abominations but I would say that none of the dark ones creatures would have a soul. Otherwise wouldn’t they all be part of WoT rebirth cycle.

Hmmmmm if they do have a soul, no matter how corrupted would that mean they are capable of redemption? What would this mean for after the last battle when the inevitable wiping out of all the shadowspawn happens
Linda Taglieri
93. Linda
@91 blindillusion

Well I have. And added that in a few posts including the saidar strength article and my Winter's Heart post on cleansing the taint.

As to why Lan made Mat back down in his criticism of Nynaeve: Lan has never had a special relationship with Mat the way he has with Rand. And Rand returns his regard. One of my favourite moments is when Rand refuses to let Lan fall off the roof in Far Madding when Lan tells him.
Jennifer B
94. JennB
Machin Shin sings about eating the trollocs tiny twisted souls.

I don't know how that fits into the rebirth cycle.
Barry T
95. blindillusion
Machin Shin:

- You can say it's a parasite that grew in the Ways because of the taint and the One Power that was used to initially create the Ways, and the Talisman of Growing that was used to extend the Ways.
So it's not a servant of the Dark One, but its definitely on the evil side.
Q: Would it be cleaned with the cleansing of saidin?
RJ: No. It's like a bacteria breed. Just by cleaning up the chemicals that caused the bacteria to come into existence, unless its feeding on that, those chemicals, you are not going to destroy the bacteria. You simply cut off what helped to create it.

Q: In tGH, when Rand, Mat and Perrin are trying to enter the Ways, Machin Shin is waiting there for them. It seems like Padan Fain has it waiting there for them. Is Machin Shin in any way related to the evil of Shadar Logoth?
RJ: In some ways. Machin Shin is linked, or you might say drawn, to that. It's not a matter of linked, but more attracted by, in much the same ways as I spoke about the evils being attracted to one another due to opposite polarities. (Shadar Logoth and the taint)
In the same way there is an attraction because Machin Shin was created in effect by the taint. It grew out. You can see it as a fungus that was constructed with the wrong type of materials. If you think about it as that way you get a better idea about its true nature.

- Machin Shin eats the souls and memories of the people it catches.

So, I'm curious as to where the thought that Machin Shin is only attracted to beings which possess a soul? Machin Shin seems to be, per Mr Jordan, a mindless parasite that is attracted to consciousness, whether it be an Ogier, a human or a construct.

Would the Black Wind seek out a Gholam should said Gholam enter the Ways? Well, going by the above, I would have to say yes.

~ Linda, your site is beyond MOA, of course. Thank you for it.
Adam Bodestyne
96. thanners
Love this chapter. Another one that just makes me all tingly. Leigh even quoted all the parts that I would have quoted myself. Actually, I'm gonna requote one part myself, anyway.
Promises. One jerk broke the leather cord around his neck; the silver foxhead dangled a foot below his fist. It made a low hum as he whirled it in a double loop. “You can’t bloody have her.” He started forward, keeping the medallion spinning. The first step was the hardest, but he had a promise to keep.

Then he even chases the gholam, and kicks down a door when trying to follow.

And Elayne's recognition of the moment just added even more awesome to it.
Daniel Goss
97. Beren
re: Deathgates not working on a Gholam

Not sure about deathgates being entirely formed of the Power. Are they entirely formed of power weaves, or is it just the edges? Because we're assuming here that Matt's Medallion (yeah, I capitalized it) and the Gholam work on the same principles, and Matt has definitely stepped through a gateway or two since getting the Medallion with no ill effects.

To clarify -- My understanding of deathgates is that they only differ from regular Gateways in that they move and that they open at random spots each time they open.

And as far as Elayne's opinion of Matt goes...

Eh, I don't think she's 'given up' on trying to study it. Remember, the reason she gave was not "this is yours and I have no right to it" but that "I won't take it while all three of us SuperGirl friends are still in danger and don't have one." The point to note here is that she does not say that she doesn't want to study it, she is simply refusing to take it as an offer of protection. I have no trouble at all believing that she'd try to wheedle him out of it and keep it as long as she could to try to study it. Oh, and the thing I wrote about her staring at it and calling it studying just so she could keep it? Yeah, that was just me being snarky.

Oh, and I know all about argumentative. I've been lurking since pretty close to day one. :)

john mullen
98. johntheirishmongol
It seems like most all of the commentary is about the 2nd chapter today, which I quite understand. After all, Mat has tons of awesomeness and Elayne truly understands about Mat now...and realizes how poorly she treated Mat and gives him heartfelt apology. The other earlier apology was well meant but not heartfelt. The thing I don't understand is why she doesn't even try to convince Ny that she is totally wrong about Mat.

So, how else can you kill a gholam? I imagine there are nto a lot of ways to do it, but one might be if someone used the TP on it. I don't think in the Dragon's previous lives he has used the TP, so this might be the edge he needs to save himslef if the gholam came after him.

Also would it hurt the fox medallion if you chipped off a bit of it to put a tip on a dagger or Mat's spear? It's an experiment worth trying cuz otherwise how do you hold the gholam down while you apply the medallion?
Heidi Byrd
99. sweetlilflower
I finally got a chance to sit down and read all of the comments, and I gotta ask, "What's with the Leigh bashing"?

I was offended by the above remarks, and a little surprised since usually everyone tends to at least try to be polite and sensitive. Not sure if offended is the right word; taken aback? affronted? Just wanted to pass along my feelings. Not sure if anyone else feels the same way.

This blog is HER re-read, ie; she can say anything she wants to and discuss whatever parts of the chapters she feels the most strongly about. We then make comments about the parts that we feel strongly about and everyhting eventually gets discussed.

Wow...that's a big wall 'o text just to defend someone else's writing...sorry for the vehemency (is that a real word?)
Barry T
100. blindillusion
sweetlilflower -


It's Leigh's Teahouse. She gets dibs on the initial conversation.
Jacy Clark
101. Amalisa
sweetlilflower and blindillusion...

I agree.

(More later.)
Thomas Keith
102. insectoid
Sweetlilflower et al: Re: Leigh... Couldn't agree more—it's her party.

Alice Arneson
103. Wetlandernw
blindillusion - I've finally caught up on the thread tonight, and must say I appreciate you doing the legwork to bring the relevant authorial authority to bear. Terez's compilation is indeed a wonderful source of enlightenment on these discussions.

Freelancer - Just wanted to say I enjoyed your thoughts on here tonight. I guess the good thing about getting on so late is that all the necessary responses have been made. :)

General observation on Mat: I finally decided he's all about control. Not what we usually mean when we say "control freak" because that implies wanting to control other people's lives. Mat wants to have control over his own life, no matter what - which is really kind of funny, considering the bit about how ta'veren are woven more tightly than other men. I just noticed it in these chapters particularly: he'll do things he really doesn't want to do, things that might even kill him, and he'll do it willingly when it's his choice. On the other hand, he'll complain from here to Bel Tine about doing something he enjoys, if he's not the one in control of the situation.
Tricia Irish
104. Tektonica
It's her party and she'll write what she wants to, etc.

She's always insightful and humorous.

We can, and usually do, go off on tangents anyway.....
Alice Arneson
105. Wetlandernw
sweetlilflower et al - I'm not sure what you mean by "all the Leigh-bashing." A couple of people note that she did a monotone on the first chapter's commentary, and that she tends to go on the rampage about her particular hot-buttons. All true - how is it "bashing" per se? Sure, it's her party, and she can cry, or laugh, or rant, or whatever she wants. And we can comment on it - that's what this little box at the bottom is all about. We're not required to bow down and worship and agree with all things said by the great Leigh. (I'm pretty sure if we all sat here and complacently agreed with everything she says, she'd start coming up with major craziness just to get a reaction. Can you imagine how boring it would get in the meantime?) No one has been rude about it, so where's the problem?
Barry T
106. blindillusion
Mmm. Tangents.

....... .
. ...

And on that note, I'm going to bed. See you guys in the Threads tomorrow.

~ Wetlander. *tips hat* Always happy to do so. =)
107. Jonathan Levy
Re: Killing a Gholam

A lot of people have expressed doubts about being able to trap a Gholam in any way - e.g. under a huge pile of rocks, under a concrete slab, in a channeled hole with a strong cover, etc.

So here's an idea - what if you got him in a large iron box, and then transformed it into cuendillar? You could even move the iron box by channeling at it, and the gholam wouldn't be able to disrupt those flows, because they wouldn't be touching him.

I'm imagining a large iron pac-man chasing a gholam ghost, swallowing him, and then bringing him back to the channeler, and then poof! Cuendillar cage. Bye-bye gholam!
Janet Hopkins
108. JanDSedai
Not feeling very creative--salient points have been made, and relevant research has been done.Not much to add, but want to post anyway...isn't that the reason everybody else posts?!

re: Terren @74
Welcome to the bunker! Help yourself to the buffet!You've earned it with your theory about using gunpowder on the gholam! That's one I haven't thought of.

Oh, somebody was looking for re-read posts that weren't updated. The easiest way would be to click on someone's icon that you know posted in that thread, and then follow the links.

I've noticed most of these plans to destroy the gholam start with "get the g to stand still" or "get the g to go where you want it"... Like that's gonna happen...
Adam Bodestyne
109. thanners
Jonathan@107 well, that conjured up a rather amusing image in my head.

blindillusion thanks for posting those various relevant Q&A bits. I usually like to think I keep up with these extra bits of information, but it seems it's pretty easy for me to forget them, too. Or that some escape me.
a a-p
110. lostinshadow
@97Beren: re Elayne and Mat
It's definitely true that she refused Mat's temporary loan of the medalion because the other SGs didn't have one. Her thoughts also clearly show that she would love to study the medallion.

But I think the whole point of the exchange between them is to illustrate a clear and definite shift of Elayne's opinion of Mat.

She had previuosly looked at him as a scoundrel largely due to other people's opinions, which led to one of her least shining moments of trying to coopt the Band away from him.

But since then, as she interacts with him and initially boosted by Avi and Brigit's promptings begins to see that there might be more to him than meets the eye.

And finally in these two chapters she sees that first he too can be a victim and that he is pretty awesome and self sacrificing when he wants to be.

So, to me at least, the point of this scene was to show that Elayne has changed her mind about Mat, apologizes to him in a heartfelt manner (unlike the initial forced apology) and would as of that moment will no longer try to trick him into studying the medallion. She might still ask though. But presumably the communication lines between them can finally be open and honest. (and hopefully we will be getting the payoff of that scene in the upcoming book)

Elayne might even go as far as protecting Mat from the grasping hands and demands of other AS, since she does view him as her good and loyal subject and a good queen always protects her subjects.

@20: I like your idea that Elayne will somehow be integral to the Black Tower plotline, I agree to get only Logain's PoV for such a big issue would be a bit strange.

But how exactly is she going to convince anyone to let the pregnant queen go haring off to fight black tower ashaman? perhaps this can be where Mat comes in, (before he goes off on his save Moirane adventture) since he himself is immune to male and female chanelling?

or of course it could be Perin and co who are also heading in that direction I think? Following the Morgase, Elayne and Galad reunion perhaps Perin, Galad, the Ashaman with Perin and perhaps Logain (whereever he is) as well as some wise ones and AS sworn to Rand and various female chanellers cluttering up the Andoran throne plotline can be useful and sort things out for Rand at the Black Tower?

come to think of it Perin vs Taim's Black Tower might be more logical since Mat clearly has the Moirane rescue to wrap up. Plus that could be a way for Perin to be there for Rand for the second time?

sorry for Wall o Text everyone.
Birgit F
111. birgit
The very first time we encounter Elayne is with Egwene in the Tower

That's the second time. The first is when Rand falls into her garden.
112. Stone Dog
Mat and Lan. What a combination. Hope we see these 2 come together again soon.
Marcus W
115. toryx
Freelancer @ 62:

I don't see anything wrong at all with Leigh's commentary being pretty limited to the issue of Mat's abuse. It's actually a pretty effective way of making the point that the Mat/ Tylin issue is distracting and abhorrent enough to her as a reader to overshadow the other elements of the chapter. In a sense, that makes her focus in the commentary a pretty effective critique of the effect of that story line.

As it happens, I agree with her. And I'm sure there are others who do so as well. Naturally, we are all free to discuss the other elements of the chapter that appeal to us as you did.

When it comes to Elayne...well, I think that it's a basic element of human nature to be rubbed the wrong way by a certain type of personality. Your points might well be valid in a lot of ways. My own perspective is such that the offenses that Elayne makes overshadows the good elements of her personality. But I admit that it may just be that the type of character that Elayne is presented to be happens to be the type that is abhorrent to my own personality type. At any rate, Wetlandernw has a far better chance of converting me to her way of thinking on Cadsuane than anyone has of making me like Elayne. She irritates me that much.

I'll even go so far as to say that I dread ToM because I fear she's going to be one of the main characters in the book.

Irrational, perhaps, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

I do agree with you about the gholam traveling through the Ways. I don't think Machin Shin would notice it at all.

Jonathan Levy @ 107 and others re: trapping a Gholam:

I think the real question is, how are you going to get a Gholam trapped in any kind of box, iron, cuendillar or other? These things are fast, agile, and absolutely unaffected by small spaces. So far we've only seen one, relatively small, item that gives it any hesitation whatsoever. I just don't see how anyone could trap it in anything using the knowledge Mat and the others happen to have available to them.
Matthew Smith
116. blocksmith

Regarding Deathgates that open at random locations...

That explains the Trolloc from the Chip'munk clan I found in my driveway this weekend. Well, actually, my wife found it and her screams brought me to defend her with my trusty snow-shovel and a bio-degradable plastic bag.
Daniel Goss
117. Beren
That's still better than the three that somehow survived their trip through the deathgate and decided to take up singing. My kids dragged me to that movie three months ago. I may one day recover.

118. ValMar
Whilst all the SG have brought me their fair share of frustration, fist waving, teeth gnashing etc, Elayne has done so less than the others.
I really do not get it why Elayne is so disliked, while Nyn is so loooved (and her bad character traits are considered endearing, and El's are abhorrent).

Maybe it is because El's annoying behaviour stems from her being a royal heir. Hence, the parts of her character that rub readers the wrong way are based on her being a stalwart of monarchy, a high ranking aristocrat- "snooty". For US readers this can be additionally aggravating due to your republican ideals, subconciously or not?

I wonder if I'm anywhere near the truth? If not, why is Elayne, the one trying the most to be reasonable, so disliked then?
Rob Munnelly
119. RobMRobM
@115. What he said (mostly).

Elayne disappoints me as a character more than angers me - at least at this part of the story. She does many awesome things in CoS and then blows it (for me) by her repeated and unnecessary mistreatment of Mat. I've vented enough previously about the trip down to Ebou Dar, etc., but even focusing on recent chapters when her cool quotient is on the upswing she falls far short of the optimal, specifically,
- her apology to Mat is plainly insincere and motivated by the need to avoid shame to Avi;
- her shot at Mat taking sole credit for finding the Bowl was corrected only by her desire to avoid Birgit's approbation;
- he pours his heart out to her regarding Tylin at the docks and she turns it into a jape;
- and even after he saves her from the gholam, and after she and Nyn put him without prior warning into what should have been an imposssible situtation with the Sea Folk that he salvages at physcial risk to himself and risk that he'd be the one saddled with personal debt to the Sea Folk, her response is to make yet another joke about him being a very observant servant.

I will note that, having just re-read books 8-11, I actually like the Andoran succession plot line and she has MoAs to spare there. Moreover, she actually treats people thoughtfully and with respect, showing great personal growth - in contrast to this book, unfortunately.

Tess Laird
120. thewindrose
Beren - I thought that's what grandparents were for - my parents had the pleasure of taking my two to that movie:)

toryx - My mom reads WoT and was the kind lady who introduced me to the series. She was quite happy with tGS. The very first comment she made to me upon finishing it was ' I didn't miss Elayne a bit'.
I actually like Elayne - so yeah everyone has their favorites and some have characters they just kind of skip over. (But as we all on this reread know, you can miss a lot by skipping over character arcs. Good tidbits are hidden everywhere.)
Tricia Irish
121. Tektonica
Blind@91, etc:

I see you Blind....and thanks for all the good Q & A and research.

I don't understand the dislike of Elayne either. She's really trying to learn, to grow up, to be a good ruler. As ValMar@118 states, Americans may not like the whole monarchy idea, but that is the way Randland is run...it's a given here....and Elayne has been raised to be one and is trying to grow into a good one. She is certainly willing to admit when she is wrong, ala Mat in this chapter, and changes her attitude.

Nynaeve peeves me much more. I'm beginning to find her self-dilusion somewhat amusing, and I like her bravado and her loyality to the TR folks. So she's both good and irritating to me. I do think many of her "quirks" were meant to be humorous by RJ.

Egwene I find a to be a chameleon. As she discovers the world and her strengths, she tries on new ideas. She learns from the Wise Ones and takes on Aiel traits, then she meets the Kin and questions the oath rod and why it is necessary. When she is made Amyrlin by the SAS with Siuan as her "advisor", she gets reindoctrinated to AS ways about the oath rod, and most disturbingly to me, about "guiding" Rand. She has some interesting ideas about integrating the Kin and WO's with the Tower, but how far she goes remains to be seen. In other words, she isn't fully revealed to me yet.
She could go several ways. It's to her credit that she embraces new ideas, has traveled widely and has been more open that most AS to expanding the role(s) of the Tower, but she's just not fully formed for me yet.

Isn't that great! Another aspects of the remaining books to look forward to!

As for the gholam....I like the idea of Mat killing it with a cannon in Caemlyn.....or maybe Fain taking it out with the dagger, since it's not the made with the OP and seems to turn whatever it touches into black soup. I don't think it can be trapped though. Wicked evil.
122. alreadymadwithasincaemlyn
I doubt Elayne will contribute much to the brewing Black Tower conflict. If that is needed is Aes Sedai input there are already plenty at ground zero. From both sides of the previously divided White Tower.
Chin Bawambi
123. bawambi
I don't post often because by the time I read through all the posts someone usually answers my with my POV - however, it is an extremely slow work day...

toryx put my Elayne argument better than I could put it myself but I have one point to add - while Nyn would be just as annoying IRL to me she is real while I have always from the moment Rand dropped into the garden found Elayne to be phony.

@ free much earlier - matt's dumb luck is quite frequently the residue of his design and your comment about the Kin is why I actually like them in spite of their shortcomings to date - they are the polar opposite of the Aes Sedai

insectoid - Empire Strikes Back reference FTW!
Daniel Goss
124. Beren
I wonder if I'm anywhere near the truth? If not, why is Elayne, the one trying the most to be reasonable, so disliked then?

Elayne is that girl from high school who was both pretty and smart, and her parents had everything so she never had to work a day in her life, but she was sweet and kind so nobody could stay mad at her. All the boys wanted her and all the girls wanted to be her. She's too perfect. Channelling comes easy, making ter'angreal comes naturally, she's drop-dead gorgeous, she's the peacemaker, she's a bloody princess . . . yeah, I'm starting to feel a little resentful just typing this up.

Jennifer B
125. JennB
I like Elayne, but I really don't see how much of a role she can play in the series climax. I understand the twins need to be born in time for the end of the age, but RJ effectively took Elayne out of the action for the Last Battle.

I also think it is interesting that RJ has taken so many of the heroes of the horn out of play for the Last Battle. There are four less than in TGH. Birgitte is still around, but her arrows won't be turning back entire armadas.
Tina Murrah
126. Tina.Murrah
@ 23. jcmnyu

Can you add Elyas and Perrin. I need more Goldeneyes!
Andrew Belmont
127. rosetintdworld

Four? Sorry if I'm being dense, but who besides Birgitte and Gaidal?
Jennifer B
128. JennB
The twins, Calian and Shivan, are Elayne and Rand's babies. They are born at the end of every age. I don't know how exact the timing is, but either way since Elayne is already pregnant I assume that they are already out of play as heroes of the horn.
a a-p
129. lostinshadow

Ever since Min had that viewing of Avi with the 4 kids but something weird about it (sorry it's very hard to get WoT in English here in Istanbul and I've lent my copies to a friend so I have a hard time looking up actual quotes) I always thought that Elayne's main contribution to the series climax would be to die either during or shortly after childbirth which would then trigger insanity on Rand's part and begin the path to his fight with the DO.
Marcus W
130. toryx
thewinderose @ 120:

Yeah, that's exactly what I said too. :)

Maybe that's my problem. I don't skip over any character, no matter how much they annoy me. I just can't see myself doing that even though I was almost tempted to when I was listening to the audiobooks.

Tektonica @ 121 & ValMar @ 118:

I don't think it's an issue with the monarchy, at least, not for me. Aside from her treatment of Mat, I have no problems whatsoever with Tylin. The Seanchan rule doesn't bother me either. And if I could, I'd move to the UK in a heartbeat and have no problem at all living in that particular political system. Though admittedly, it's not the same kind of Monarchy as Elayne comes from.

Nynaeve used to bother me a lot. When I first read the books I couldn't stand her. In the re-readings, however, she's grown on me while my distaste for Elayne increases. As for Egwene, I liked her a little the first few times I read the books, but from The Shadow Rising up until she gets taken prisoner in the White Tower I tend to really dislike her. I start liking her again once she's in the Tower dealing with her situation with such admirable grace.

But each successive book that is released makes me dislike Elayne more. I can't explain it any better than I have in all the other conversations about her for the last 8 months or so.
Marcus W
131. toryx
lostinshadow @ 129:
I always thought that Elayne's main contribution to the series climax would be to die either during or shortly after childbirth which would then trigger insanity on Rand's part and begin the path to his fight with the DO.

That'd be awesome, particularly considering Elayne's nonchalance about her safety due to Min's vision. But I don't think that Elayne will die, no matter how poetic that'd be.

If Gawyn somehow dies, I'll just do my best to find enough pleasure in that. I dislike him every bit as much as Elayne.
132. ValMar
Well, my point about Elayne was that relative to Nyn and Egwene she is not that bad. E.g her nonchalance about her safety caused numerous deaths, and it was pure chance that it shortened the siege and saved other lifes. Elayne ain't perfect, certainly.
For me personally, I like people who try to find a balance (like El) and really dislike willful hypocrisy (like Nyn's). So these are positive and negative factors which affect my opinion on these 2 characters. Many folks here regard Nyn's hypocritical side of her character funny and endearing. Me, it pisses off.

After her union with Lan, Nyn has many of her rough edges polished. Golden Crane and all that. Good stuff.
John Mann
133. jcmnyu
@126 Tina.Murrah

"Can you add Elyas and Perrin. I need more Goldeneyes!"

I could be wrong, but aren't Perrin and Elyas together right now? Honestly, I'm not positive, but I thought they met up around Book 10 and are still together.
Sam Mickel
134. Samadai
It is in the Path of Daggers chapter 10 where Elyas and Perrin meet up again and they are still together now.
Daniel Goss
135. Beren
Toryx @131
If Gawyn somehow dies, I'll just do my best to find enough pleasure in that. I dislike him every bit as much as Elayne.

Characters that I would like to see die by the end of the series.

So, to live you must die means that if I die I'll get resurrected, right?
Yeah, that's the ticket!

Finally, I'm the Amyrlin seat for realz. Hey, who are you, why are you in my study, and why are you Mesaana?

My name is Gawyn Trakand. You killed my mother. Prepare to die
Rand: I'm going to make it so you never said that.

Perrin: NOOOOOOoooooooaawwwwwOOOOOOOOO!!!

I've finally decided to stop courting death

There are others, but this is just off the top of my head.
Marcus W
136. toryx
Beren @ 135:
My name is Gawyn Trakand. You killed my mother. Prepare to die
Rand: I'm going to make it so you never said that.

You've earned my endless admiration for that one alone. Well done!
Jennifer B
137. JennB
Funny and endearing to read about, but if I was in the same room as her, it would piss me off too.
a a-p
138. lostinshadow
@132 yeah, I dislike Nyn more with every reread, she may be funny to laugh at but even the best joke gets old after a while. I really like her loyalty to her fellow Duopotamians but other than that the hypocritical behavior has gotten very old. And in that vein, I am actually quite curious as to why some people like Nyn but not Cads. Nyn is just Cads in training, particularly in the latter books. Her only minor saving grace being that she treats Rand a bit better.
Bonnie Andrews
139. misfortuona
Wow late to the party, and you all have been busy.
First of all, another great Mat MOA, squee!!!
Now that's out of the way, comments. Anything I might have had to say about the re-read has already been said and argued. Go team.

@ Blind Guru excellent Q&A's. If I didn't know you have all these things memorized and at your fingertips, I'd think you had too much time on your hands. ;D

@Beren I am very much enjoying your POVs on the past two posts. Well written, and some very good points that I hadn't thought about before.

@ Many regarding characters we hate and love. I am one of those people who seldom truey hate a character. Yes there are some who would not find themselves on my guest list if I threw a party, but I don't find any that actually detract from the story.

Diversity among the characters is part of what makes the story interesting enough to deserve a second, or fifteenth re-read. I suppose it helps that we don't know how it's going to end, but I don't see filing all my books away once I've read MoL.

Many people have commented how their opinions of characters changed during subsequent re-reads and after joining the forums. I think that part of this is because of changes in ourselves over the past couple of decades, but also because at different points in our lives we meet people who come to mind when we read these characters.
We may never get past how Elayne reminds us of the girl who made our lives a living hell in high school, but then again with an open mind perhaps on the next re-read she may call to mind someone who took that extra moment to offer a word of encouragement or a smile when we needed it most.
And maybe on bad days we might find ourselves falling into Cadsuane like behavior, and in so doing take note of and avoiding a mistake before we make it.

And that's all I got for today. Happy commenting everyone.

Mis-promoting free thinking and open minds

Sorry for the Wall-O-Text
Chin Bawambi
140. bawambi
Top 5 Annoying Light-siders (while reading)
5) Berelain (Put some clothes on already)
4) Gawyn (emo Perrin without the wolves)
3) Aram (isn't he dead yet)
2) Elayne (couldn't care less if she turns out to be best Andor queen of all time)
1) Cads (only thing more annoying than someone with a sense of entitlement is a pompous ass - I always picture the late William Buckley when she's on screen)

Top 5 Annoying Light-siders if you actually met them in person
5) Nyn
4) Gawyn
3) Egwene
2) Cads
1) Berelain
Tina Pierce
141. scissorrunner
hmmmm - everyone (misfortuona & lostinshadow to name two) needs to stop apologizing for the walls-of-text.
lots of good info & opinions, not to mention just plain fun.
keep 'em coming!!
Ron Garrison
142. Man-0-Manetheran
Agree, scissorrunner. Never understood the apologies for walls-o-text. We are all readers here. And we do appreciate everyone's contributions. Usually the W-o-T for WoT are chock full of good stuff. Ditto. "keep 'em coming!!"
Roger Powell
145. forkroot
Yeah, yeah it's easy to dislike Nynaeve .. all that braid tugging and whatnot. And it's not like she does much to help the light, just a couple of minor things like:

1) Helping Lan&Moiraine rescue Perrin and Egwene.
2) Rescuing Egwene in Falme (with Elayne)
3) Defeating a Forsaken 1:1 in Tanchico
4) Capturing that same Forsaken in T'AR
5) Saving Rand from Rahvin
6) Helping Cads bail Rand out of Far Madding
7) Helping Rand cleanse the Taint on saidan
8) The Golden Crane
9) Figuring out where Graendal is hiding

So maybe when she does something really important for the Light we'll like her more.
Daniel Goss
146. Beren
I seem to remember someone else saying 'The victory of the Light is all.' I can't put my finger on it. Ardol? Aridland?

I kid, I kid. Honestly, I've never really had any strong feelings about Nynaeve one way or the other. She has her occasional MOA, but she is so stuck in her past that she rarely learns anything from them. Then again, I feel the exact same ambivalence for Cadsuane. She's another one that occasionally does something good, but it almost seems like her plans work in spite of her methods, rather than because of careful planning on her part.

Marcus W
147. toryx
scissorrunner @ 141:

Agreed. Hell, walls-of-text are pretty much my modus operandi and you'll never see me apologize for it. My favorite posts by others are those that are wordy and well thought out.

Man-O @ 142:
We are all readers here.

Aye. Anyone who complains about long posts on a RJ forum obviously hasn't paid much attention to how long the books are. If we could make it through all of those, long comments aren't going to phase us.

forkroot @ 145:

That's pretty much my thought about Nynaeve. She may be annoying and way too loud for my tastes but the woman gets things done. More to the point, she's had a lot of character development that led to her achievements.

Then you have Elayne who whines whines whines until suddenly, "I think I can make a ter'angreal!" and then, "I'm special because I make ter'angreals so give me that! And don't forget to bow and fetch me my tea while you're at it!" with very little progression in between.

Oops, I'm letting my prejudice out again. I will apologize for that.

Beren @ 146:
...but it almost seems like her plans work in spite of her methods, rather than because of careful planning on her part.

Exactly. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case for a rather large percentage of the characters on either side of the Light.
Thomas Keith
148. insectoid
Great opinions, all—though I'm shaking my head at all the Elayne- and Nynaeve-bashing. After all, as Forkroot @145 pointed out, Nyn has done 9 kinds of awesome things so far. And Elayne... um... well, she's not that bad.

Bawambi @123: Finally! Someone noticed ;) Nice catch!

Beren @135: Princess Bride ref FTW!

149. ValMar
I don't dislike (much) any of the protagonists, let alone hate. The fact is even our favourite WOTians have caused us some frustration at times.

The fact that Nyn is hypocritical is a bad part of her character, IMO, and I was wondering how come it can be so funny and cute to some and annoying to others. In general she is a good person and has done many good things in the novels, as already mentioned.
Also, if Elayne is bad for mistreating Mat (due to Nyn and less Eg) then what of Nyneave? I know, I know, for instance Moiraine is my favourite character and I'm more willing to excuse some of her indiscretions, than those of others.

JennB and lostinshadow @137, 138
Totally agree.

Sorry for the wall of text.
149. Freelancer
RE: Gholam, souls, and whether Machin Shin would be a threat to the Gholam. I didn't intend to suggest that I was speaking at all authoritatively, just surmising that the Gholam could travel the Ways unmolested. Again, who's to say for certain given what is available to us?


You have a good question in there. One has to wonder how much RJ might later have regretted the character of Narg, for all the unanswerable questions he raises. If he is able to be clever, reasonable, and communicative, what prevents him from being redeemable should he make a conscious decision to turn from the shadow? Tough call.


Point taken on the deathgates. One has to wonder how large the "null" zone is around a gholam. Obviously Mat can be right next to weaves of the Power which his medallion doesn't influence, while those directed at him vanish. If the gholam, being an entire entity with a similar property, has any kind of aura-like envelope around it, then what I suggest about the failure of deathgates might still be valid, as the anti-Power influence would assert once any weave entered that envelope.

I didn't suggest that Elayne had given up on wanting to study Mat's medallion. No chance of that. I suggest that she no longer believes anyone has a right to own it except Mat. She would love to have it for study, but Mat offered it as protection against Moghedien, as well as the gholam, and that is what Elayne refused.


If you could look back easily, you would find numerous occasions on this site where I state quite plainly that this is Leigh's place, and she can do as she sees fit. You would also find her saying quite clearly that she hopes for, even expects, comments which differ from hers, and is much more pleased with open discussion than she ever would be with vanilla agreement. I took her to task on this segment, not for restating her disgust with an event which troubles her, but for doing so and then saying she had nothing more to say about the chapter, when there was much more involved in said chapter. If that was bashing, you ain't seen n-n-nothing yet, you just ain't been around.


Gah! How right you are, thank you. And what is she toward Rand in that scene? Gracious, instructive, ameliorative, and even protective against Galad, her own mother the Queen, and Elaida the Red. The only hint of snooty was her challenge to Tallanvor where she asserted her "established status" as I referred to it in my previous comment on the issue.


The only thing I can say is I'm glad the feminists here are equal-opportunity, expressing outrage when a man is the victim, even if the whole role-reversal thingie partially negates it's value. That was RJ's purpose, right?
Hugh Arai
150. HArai
forkroot@145: Nynaeve has done all those good things and many more. She has also often been less gracious and open-minded than your average brick. She's often effective for the Light and often not likeable at all. I dislike the way Nynaeve treats Thom and Juilin and Mat as much as I dislike the way Cadsuane treats Rand, for much the same reasons. I liked Mashiara and the Golden Crane, and the way she cares about Rand even after Rand stops caring about himself. Since Jordan generally gave us characters and not caricatures, there's a lot to like and dislike about pretty much everyone. Where that averages out for each of them depends on us. For me so far: Nyn = like, Cadsuane = dislike.
Rob Munnelly
151. RobMRobM
@149. "Also, if Elayne is bad for mistreating Mat (due to Nyn and less Eg) then what of Nyneave?"

Nyneave is even worse, in this book anyway, potentially due to being afraid of Mat dating back to the LoC scene with Eg, Elayne and Nyn. But she is plainly irrational towards Mat in this book. I come down harder on Elayne because she "gets" that Mat is doing great things but is unwilling to give him the recognition he merits and, conversely, inappropriately makes jabs at him. I expected more from her in this book.
Ron Garrison
152. Man-0-Manetheran
Free@149 & Beren@97 re. deathgates:
Assuming that the Gholum doesn't have a large proximity shield to weaves, how about opening a horizontal deathgate underneath him? Drops through. Gate closes. Bye Bye.

I've never really hated any of the characters, but reading the comments of others has been illuminating. Not necessarily illuminating about the poster, but about myself. I just realized in that great-movie-casting-couch in my head, I always cast Nynaeve and Cadsuane with comediennes.
Roger Powell
153. forkroot
While granting that Nyn often behaves poorly toward Mat while they are in Ebou Dar, there is no doubt that she understands his fighting prowess.

There she is in an intense battle with the BA, with Lan and other armsmen also involved ... suddenly she hears Elayne's terrified scream. Who does she beg to leave that battle to go help Elayne?

Don't forget, she could have ordered Lan to go help Elayne. And she is certainly not keeping Lan in the fight for her own safety - even Nyn's most ardent detractors will admit she is very brave and would not do that.

No ... she understands at the deepest personal level that Mat is the most capable of all of those with her. And she makes the right choice too - Lan would not have backed down from the gholam, but he would have died.
154. ValMar
Good point Rob@151. But I feel it is more of an explanation and less of an excuse. But again, what it comes down to is just how much each of us is prepared to give a character the benefit of the doubt.
Ultimately, this is a good thing. The characters crafted by Mr Jordan are very well crafted and we care. For all my bleating about Nyn (and I've been rather restrained) I wish her all the best in the novels and when she's in peril and pulls through, I am happy.
Hugh Arai
155. HArai
Freelancer@149: With regard to Elayne what gets me everytime I re-read the series is that as soon as she arrives at the Tower she appears to totally forget any duties she may have as the Daughter-Heir of Andor. Gawyn and Galad are almost as bad. I don't know if it's just because Jordan felt he had to use them in the various story lines but.. just wow. Elayne ignores Andor for an entire year after Rand takes out Rahvin. It's just bizarre. She acts like no one expects or needs her back.
156. Freelancer

We haven't got an example of any type of gateway opening horizontally. Since we aren't explicitly shown the rules of how such a weave works and behaves, we're limited to what's been shown to us.


Whereas Mat unequivocally treats Elayne with all of the conscientious regard she deserves. NOT. So, there is a double standard to viewing Elayne, and that has always been my point. If we can all approve that equal treatment rules should exist for forcing someone into a bed, then equal treatment rules should apply to each of the characters in their lack of proper regard/respect/treatment of others. Elayne is very far from the worst offender in this list, but is given the most grief over it.


I agree that it would seem more reasonable for Elayen to want to be back in Andor as soon as possible after hearing about her Mother. That becomes a writing issue, not a character one. We are given her reasons for thinking that the task she and Nynaeve are about is more important to the world than her acquisition of the throne. Oh wait, that would make her more, not less, selfish, wouldn't it?
kevin smith
157. WoTaBoOk
@ HArai 155

I wouldn't say she nesessarily forgets her duty to Andor. As Daughter-Heir when she first gets to the Tower it IS her duty to assimilate herself into the Tower and learn. As her story line progresses and she begins to understand the consequences of her friends failing in their missions, she feels compelled to do all she can to help. At first her mother has Andor well in hand and then Rand does. When she truly feels she is needed on the throne she immediatly returns, at times taking great personal danger, she succeeds in claiming the Lion throne.
I agree that Galad and more so Gawyn are at fault for not checking at least on the truth of their mothers death.
All I can chalk that up to is what Teen will willingly go undertake a scarry and daunting task when they would rather be with their friends? Not saying it is right... but definetly not bizarre. IMHO

Not at all sorry for this wall of text either. The bigger the better IMHO
Sharon E.
158. Sulin
This is my first comment on here, folks. I only discovered this blog two weeks ago while doing some research for my own re-read through the series. I must say I sure wish I'd discovered it back when you started it, Leigh. What a huge undertaking, you've done a marvelous job. :)

"Master Matrim I’m So Badass I Catch Knives In Midair, Thankyouverymuch Cauthon"
-lol, I love Mat in that part!
Rob Munnelly
159. RobMRobM
free @ 156. "Whereas Mat unequivocally treats Elayne with all of the conscientious regard she deserves. NOT. So, there is a double standard to viewing Elayne, and that has always been my point."

I'm not recalling Mat doing the types of things to Elayne that she does to him. Clear that he thinks they need protection more than they believe they need it, which angers her and Nyn. Clear that Mat doesn't understand the particular stresses and pressures they are facing - how could he, as they are newbie AS and keep everything to themselves? (Of course, they didn't fully understand the pressures he was facing, as he didn't tell them much of that either, so fair is fair.) And maybe I have selective memory but I don't recall him insulting or sniping at her anywhere in CoS. When she interfered with the Redarms he didn't blow up at her. He didn't blow up at her when they refused to let his troops guard them - which was the purpose they were sent to Ebou Dar in the first place. Respectfully, not seeing a reciprocity issue here at all.

Bonnie Andrews
160. misfortuona
I see you Sulin. Welcome and grab a drink or a choice of desert. There is also bacon, unless someone ate it all again.

kevin smith
161. WoTaBoOk
Maybe Brandon can write a storyline for Mat kicking my allergy's butt all over Randland and back. Well here's to hoping. *Cheers*
Roger Powell
162. forkroot
Freelancer, M-o-M

I'm at work (heh, heh) and don't have the text of KoD with me. For some reason, I had always visualized the Deathgates that LTT/Rand sent against the Trollocs as horizontal. Gotta go re-read that section.

{Confidential to readers in Winnipeg: I'm wearing all white today, and going to the arena. Thanks for a re-awakened tradition.}
Hugh Arai
163. HArai

We are given her reasons for thinking that the task she and Nynaeve are about is more important to the world than her acquisition of the throne. Oh wait, that would make her more, not less, selfish, wouldn't it?

So, abdicate in favor of Dyelin. Meet with Dyelin and ask her to be your regent until you can return. Do something to ease the transition for the nation you claim. Not vanish without even telling your brothers, who then go berserk. Not that Gawyn and Galad didn't start making piss poor choices as well, but the trigger was Elayne.

And for that matter, the _first_ time she left the Tower was because she wasn't willing to "miss out" when Liandrin went somewhere with Egwene and Nynaeve. Self indulgence. Morgase was furious at the time and rightfully so.

It's bizzare because otherwise she's politically savvy. She just has this weird blind spot that the location, condition and safety of the Heir/Candidate for the Throne/Queen is totally unimportant if she's the person in question.
kevin smith
164. WoTaBoOk
@ Free, M-O-M, and Forkroot

I have always visioned the Deathgates as vertical. They were likened to normal Gateways with no mention of any being opened horizontally. Even reading some of the afore mentioned comments regarding opening Deathgates beneath the Gholam I had a hard time not just dismissing the ideas.

As they say in the US: Vertical until proven horisontal.
Jay Dauro
165. J.Dauro

Mat was sent to Salidar by Rand to drag Elayne back to Andor. Not to ask her to return, but to bring her whether she wanted to go or not. Mat discovered he couldn't force that. And this is part of what free is saying, both Rand and Mat treat the girls as if they are children. See LOC 38 where Mat assumes that the girls are playing tricks, and has to be forced to see Egwene as Amrilyn, and Elayne and Nyneave as AS.

Then in LOC 39 he says to Elayne
"You, my fine Lady, I am taking back to Camelyn, if I have to tie you up in a package to hand to Rand, burn me if I don't"
Oh, yes, lots of respect there.

Mat was sent to Ebou Dar by Egwene to protect him, keep him out of trouble, and teach him. They specifically say they do not need him for protection. Nyneave
"No, if we could survive Tanchico, ... we will do very well in Ebou Dar without Mat Cauthon or any soliders either."
"but if we can teach him enough that he doesn't make a complete fool of himself where there is nobody to rescue him, we will be doing Rand a large favor. Besides, I need time if I am to study that ter'angreal.
They told Mat it was to protect the girls, but that's not why they actually did it. This is not fair to Mat, but that is why he was sent with the girls. Oh, and yes, there is a lot of respect here also.

There is fault on both sides. And we all wait and hope to see the "light" dawn, as any one of our heroes realizes that they are underestimating most of the others. Which is one reason Elayne in this chapter pleases us.

When Elayne says
"a most observant subject."
she is not being snarky. She does see Mat as a subject, and she is surprised that he saw through to why they did it. Yes, I would have liked it better if they had explained what they wanted. But I guess, trusting him with the fact that they really screwed it up the last time was still a bit too much.
Tess Laird
166. thewindrose
So I have a question for you all;)
We have all read how Nynaeve is on boats, with the sea-sickness and all.

How wonderful could have Lan and Nynaeve's first wedded night have been?

This was interesting I thoughtUsually when a woman was in the wrong, she would find so many things to blame on the nearest man that he wound up thinking maybe he really was at fault.

"You'll sit there and stare at the table and begin to wonder, just maybe, if those dice didn't read twos after all. If only to preserve what's left of your sanity. That's what it's like to reason with a woman, I tell you."
(tGS On a Broken Road.)

John Massey
167. subwoofer

Well for me I think Gawyne is a doof. His splinky blade in the last book did nothing for me as far as erasing past wrongs and his towering ignorance.

Elayne on the other hand has an uphill battle. For all intents and purposes I am a blue collar guy somewhat stuck in a white collar job. But I really do not like celebrity. People that don't work for a living or have a disproportionate amount of income compared to how they help/better the world. Elayne is the worse kind- royalty. So from the word jump she has an uphill battle, because by reckoning, she should know better as she has training all her life.

I think Elayne does an admirable job going along with the rest on adventures. On the whole, she is very down to earth- overlooking the occasional imperiousness and lifting of the chin. Elayne does put herself in harms way, when she could be sitting on a throne. She does go out and do what is needed for team light- whether it is going through the hoops for becoming AS to being on the front lines in skirmishes, being on the lam from the Tower, to going on a crusade on the ass end of the universe. Along the way she makes friends, one of which is Aiel, who Elayne takes to heart and adopts the very rigid Aiel system of Ji'e'toh.

I am not the biggest Elayne fan, but she isn't all bad. Yes, she does rub on Mat, but no more than Ny, and that is all in the context of the girl's always taking the guys down a peg and the guys always putzing around the girls. Meh.

Sulin- welcome:)

Blind- we always read you, we may not get you, but we always read you.

Jennifer B
168. JennB
This discussion seems familiar.
Alice Arneson
169. Wetlandernw
HArai @155 - From the time Rand kills Rahvin until Elayne Travels from the Kin's farm to the manor in Andor is slightly less than 4 months. She arrives in Caemlyn about a month later. "An entire year" is maybe just a little bit of an exaggeration, don't you think?
Sam Mickel
170. Samadai
It just seems like it lasts foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Jay Dauro
171. J.Dauro
sub @167

We see from Morgase's teaching of Elayne that ruling is not just a plum job. To do it well takes lots of knowledge.

With the succession arc, we see that Royalty does work hard, and their work is vital to the health of the kingdom. Even while pregnant, Elayne is rarely sitting around, and always has jobs to do that are needed. I would wager she works a lot harder than many of her subjects.

Now, I would admit that in RL, there are many rulers that are probably superfluous. And we see some in Randland. But I would give the rulers of Andor a bit more credit.

And, as opposed to some, I would also give a lot of credit to Berelain. She uses what tools she has to keep her small city-state independant.
Sam Mickel
172. Samadai
Kidding of course. I love the whole Bowl of Winds and Elayne getting the throne arcs. but then I also love the Faile kidnapping arc. I also like root canals and prostate exams
Thomas Keith
175. insectoid
JennB @168: It's the semi-annual [b][i]Bash-a-Thon[/i]! Nynaeve-bashers, Elayne-bashers, and plotline-bashers unite! There were even some Leigh-bashers (you know who you are; shame on you!)

There definitely need to be more gholam-bashers! As in, repeatedly, with sledgehammers and anvils and boulders. ;)

Barry T
176. blindillusion
Ahem. Insectoid...



- I think Bela should go ahead and send Narg after the gholam.

Narg might enjoy some sport.
Thomas Keith
177. insectoid
Blind @176: Yes, and Cadsuane-bashers. But that's been done to death already.

Sam Mickel
178. Samadai
whoa-whoa, I bash nothing, I was kidding I swear
Jennifer B
179. JennB
gholam are immune to bashing
kevin smith
181. WoTaBoOk
Just bash him on his big toe. Team light+toe bashing hammer=FTW
Tess Laird
182. thewindrose
There's a bash at the bunker!! I'll bring the margeritas and nachos.

kevin smith
183. WoTaBoOk
Sweet! I call dibs on ice bashing for the margeritas. Don't forget though, you can't have margeritas and appetizers without patron... :)
Rob Munnelly
184. RobMRobM
@168. Way too familiar.

JD @165. The facts that there had never been an Amrylin under 100 years old until Siuan, who got tapped at the ridiculously young age of late 30s, and that Novices and Accepteds generally went through years of training before being elevated to full AS should excuse Mat's initial disbelief that Eg and the girls were what they said they were. They've been in training for less than two years. Moraine, Verin, Siuan and Elaida were all considered stars because they finished within five years. Mat also shouldn't be blamed for Rand's ignorance of the facts.

Putting that aside, I'm still waiting for someone to point out anything that Mat did that was intentionally mean or even teasing to Elayne and Nyn. Conversely, as you acknowledge, Eg and the girls sent him hundreds of miles away from his army on a pretext and, on top of that, instead of feeling guilty or compensating for the wrong, they still treated Mat like cr@p. The thought of it (and I had blacked it out during discussion of the last 20 chapters of the books) still grates and diminishes my enjoyment of the many good things that Elayne did in this book. And re the "most obedient servant" line -- they put him in a position where they expected Mat personally to make a deal with the Sea Folk and pay the consequences himself; and he was forced into making statements that almost got him knifed; and he is able to give them everything they wanted without cost -- and Nyn and Elayne can't even give him a straight thank you and Elayne just gives him a backhanded compliment on his perspicacity....Arrgh.

Let's move on before I burst a blood vessel.

Adam Bodestyne
185. thanners
forkroot@145: Yay for that short list of awesome Nynaeve stuff. I was surprised that you didn't list healing Logain/Siuan/Leane as one of your minor things, though.

Since the like or dislike is mostly based on opinion, most citations of awesomeness, or lists of reasons that a character deserves our disdain forever, probably won't sway anyone who's already determined they want to dislike or like a character.

That said, I tend to like everyone, if not equally. The bad needs to vastly overwhelm the good for me to so strongly dislike a character, so while certain characters are definitely less-favourites, I've never quite managed to work up the same strong feeling of hate as some people have.
John Massey
186. subwoofer
@Sam- you left out colonoscopies:P

John Massey
187. subwoofer
@JD- oh yeah- thanks for reminding me about B- and to the person that suggests Berelain put on clothes- crazy talk! She is fine just the way she is...unclothed, er...semi-clothed, er...clothingly challenged.

Eric Hughes
188. CireNaes
@ forkroot, Freelancer, and Beren.

I always saw the deathgates as behaving much the same way in movement as the Phantom Zone that General Zod, Ursa, and Non were imprisoned in by Jor-El in Superman II. The only difference being that it would vary in size as it went about its merry way.
John Massey
189. subwoofer
And to clarify- my Monster Squad clip was due to the discussion of how to kill a gholam. In the movie there was a huge discussion on how to kill a werewolf. Accident with power tools, pushing him out a high window, using dynamite... in the movie wolfman gets dynamite shoved down his pants and pushed out a window. He is blown to pieces but comes back together after. Trippy. I dunno, get the guy on a boat, drift it out to the middle of the ocean and sink it. Lure him into the woods and cover him with honey in sight of a bear and whack a hive of hornets. Try fire. That always works. Have Mat lure buddy to a volcano and push the precious in. I think I saw that somewhere before...

John Massey
191. subwoofer
I thought the volcano spat them out in that show?;)

193. Freelancer
The deathgates which Lews Therin wove while defending the manor house in Tear opened and closed, they didn't really spin. They gave the appearance of spinning, which descriptions of normal gateways often do as well.

The prison dimension thingy in the Superman II movie, being unanchored to any particular object in the physical universe, is displayed as slowly tumbling on every axis. Gateways in WoT, for whatever reason it's true, are always locked to a vertical orientation with the local ground. The oddest ones which have been presented in the books are those Sammael used to disperse the Shaido, which had a drop off at the destination end, but were still vertically aligned.

Since deathgates are described as normal gateways which move across the ground and repeatedly open and close, I can't find any reason to think that they wouldn't also be vertically oriented. All of which remains moot in regards killing a gholam with one, dependent upon the extent of its Power-neutralizing influence.

A Bash? Like a graveyard bash, a monster mash? Tell them Boris sent you.
Jay Dauro
194. J.Dauro
KOD 19
The familiar silvery-blue vertical streaks appeared, spaced out not far from the manor house, ground Rand knew well, rotating into - not openings, but the misty back of a gateway, four paces by four. Rather than remaining open, they rotated shut again, opening and shutting continuously. And rather than remaining fixed, they sped toward the Trollocs.
This seems to say they open as always, as a vertical line, and then rotate open just like others (as Free has said.) The differences are expicitly stated, open and close, move across the ground. If they went horizontal, I think it would say so.
Noneo Yourbusiness
195. Longtimefan
@172 Samadai

While I get the whole hyperbole thing I am going to be a bit of a kill joy and point out that a root canal is nothing like a prostate exam unless you have a really bad doctor.

There is a phobia of prostate exams already and they are an important part of modern health examinations.

Being afraid of a root canal just encourages better dental hygiene (one would hope).

Being afraid of a prostate exam keeps people from detecting cancer until it is too late.

Just a perspective to balance the reinforcement of an unhelpful stereotype even if it is common humor.
Heidi Byrd
196. sweetlilflower
@freelancer 62 and 149

I tried to send this as a personal message, but I didn’t see a place to do so on your profile. I really didn’t want to make a big deal out of this, just let you know that I found your tone to be rude.

And your comment was not the one that jumped out at me. It was ThePendragon @84. Since it is the whole comment that was in bad taste, I won’t bother to re-quote it.

In my comment @99, I specifically made note that we do not have to agree on everything, and if fact it is better that we don’t. I have enjoyed this board since I heard about it at Dragon*Con last year mostly because of all the different view-points and how thought provoking they can be. When everyone argues over how awesome each character is, it brings more life and vitality to the world as a whole. I apologize if you were offended by my remarks.

I do not hate any of the characters, but if I had to choose one to off in a spectacular and meaningful manner, it would be Nyneave.
Sharon E.
197. Sulin
I see you, Misfortuona. May you always find water and shade, or bacon. Mmmmmmmm bacon..... :D

Thanks for the welcome!
Barry T
198. blindillusion
Hey everyone, Narg stopped by. You know...say hello...let us know not to worry, he's got the gholam.

- This would come from here. This guy is pretty damn good and draws the best Perrin I've seen yet.

[i]To see more of his WoT work, I'd recommend scrolling down to the bottom of that second link and checking out Older Posts, namely Thursday, July 5, 2007.
199. Freelancer

I might not meet subwoofer's rhinoceros-like state of thick skinnedness, but it takes a fair bit to actually offend me, and you weren't even in the same zip code. No worries, I'm almost always much more motivated by the felt need to defend others, than myself. So, I'll say it a different way. Leigh brought us two chapters. In her commentary on the first of those, she referred only to that subplot element which raised her ire, which she discussed extensively in association with the previous chapters, and ignored the rest. I said so, with examples of the other plot-significant events of the chapter which could have been presented for discussion. My aim is clearly off, as I was targeting a neutral tone with those words. There's a very large gap between comments which tweak for effect, and those which are actually rude. I'll try to do better next time.

And just FYI, I hate none of the good-guy characters either, though the one who I believe is over-credited and under-criticized is...

Alice Arneson
200. Wetlandernw
RobMRobM @ 184 - I understand your frustration, but Elayne did not call him "most obedient servant" - she called him a "most observant subject." Which I suppose you can read as a backhanded compliment, but it could also be read as a straightforward compliment.

@ many many many... As for the characters, who you like, dislike or hate, someone has already pointed out that much of it is personality types - particularly if the character in question reminds you of someone IRL that you loathed. I would also suggest that some of it depends on how much you naturally relate to the character. Since the SuperGirls seem to be the current topic of debate, I'm going to throw in my two bits worth. (Apparently no one wants to read my thoughts on Cadsuane anymore. I'm hurt. :{ Oh, woops. I'm not either. I love poking hornets nests - virtual ones, anyway.)

So about the girls: I like all of them. Lots.

That doesn't mean I wouldn't occasionally like to smack one or another of them and tell her how badly she's behaving. Then again, that's true of almost everyone I like IRL as well, so... there you go. We all have our blind spots, but theirs are so much easier to see and point out. (After all, we can't hurt their feelings by being blunt!) I could be wrong, but I've always thought that one of the reasons I like them in spite of their faults is that I've been them. Not exactly, and certainly not in their circumstances, but in many respects I can relate to them so thoroughly that I can understand why they did those incredibly stupid things. (What I can't understand is how RJ managed to write such realistic young women! He's never been one!)

In this thread (well, especially in the discussion of "why I hate _____") Nynaeve has frequently been accused of being a hypocrite. While it may be true by one definition, by the most accurate definition it is not. She does not feign or pretend to be what she is not; in fact, she's rarely capable of pretending much of anything. She's just... what she is. (Actually, there is an exception to that. Many times when she feels terrified right down to her toenails, she behaves with great courage anyway.) She's just stone cold BLIND about her shortcomings, which is where all the humor comes from. If she were really aware of her own faults as faults, and only pretended to care about controlling them in certain company, that would be hypocrisy. It's just hilariously funny that she totally misses what's under her hat, while being able to see it so clearly when it's in front of her. I know, it's not all that funny to be around someone like that IRL, unless you can get away with laughing at them. Still, I'm one who sees the humor. Maybe it's because I'm really quite fond of the few RL people I know who are like that, so I have a soft spot for the type? Anyway, I think she's funny, even if she should be smacked occasionally. (Spanking FTW!) I could, of course, write a mega-wall giving examples of how I relate to or appreciate each of the girls, but... nah.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again and again... and again....... and again............ I really do like all the "good" characters, and loathe the "evil" ones, with the notable exception of Berelain. That one, I can't stand and would love to send back to relative obscurity in Mayene. GO AWAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!
202. alreadymadwithgateways
forkroot @162 & J.Dauro @194
Actually, it only specifies Gateways as opening by starting out as lines/streaks and then rotating open. Of all descriptions of Gateways opening I don't remember it being ever specified whether the lines/streaks are horizontal or vertical, or whether the rotation is clockwise or counterclockwise.
Adam Bodestyne
203. thanners
Wetlandernw@200, RobMRobM:
Elayne did not call him "most obedient servant" - she called him a "most observant subject." Which I suppose you can read as a backhanded compliment, but it could also be read as a straightforward compliment.

Yeah, I read it as a.. reminder to herself. "You know, I need to keep reminding myself that Mat is more than the utterly useless layabout I fixed in my head before." You can of course read it however you wish, that was just the way that it came to me when I'd read it.
Mikey Bennett
204. EvilMonkey
Mat, super awesome. The SuperGirls? Well sometimes. The best thing about Team Light is that they never stay the same. Their experiences constantly change them, and not just in one direction. The SG's in particular do a lot of growing up throughout. It isn't always pleasant watching their growing pains but you always seem to get a MOA payoff to tide you over and keep you from punching walls reading through their Moments of WTFareyoudoingyousillysoandso's?!?!?!?!? The characters that really annoy me are the Wolf Couple. Faile teaches Perrin some things he had to know but it seems to me that after Shadow Rising she really starts sapping the awesomeness from most promising of the ta'veren trio, at least at the start. After that it's MOA (sort of) at Dumai Wells and the emo plotline that never ends, ever. Personally I think Berelain would have made a much cooler wife for our Wolf King. Just think, he has the suckiest wife of the trio.

My Perrin and Faile bashing is done. Now unfortunately I have to take an unwanted vacation until Sunday. Save me a piece of pie at the coffee table.

Barry T
205. blindillusion
Hmm. Favorite Characters/Least Favorite Characters.
On the side of the Light only?
OK, Top 5: Mat, Thom, Nynaeve, Talmanes & Egwene
&Bottom 5: Gawyn, Cadsuane....

Yep. I pretty much like all the characters. I dislike very few. Hate none.

And of the two characters I'd really, really, REALLY love to see fed to ants...well:

Galina- Already suffering in a pretty damn horrible situation that's going to last for a very, very long time. But she is still getting better than she deserves.

Katerine- Feed her to ants until she's almost dead, throw her in a salt pit, beat her with switches, still her and then (after a few years of suffering through being stilled) throw her to the mercies of a Trolloc cook pot.

Don't know why I hate these two out of all the others, but they just make me want to bite into a brick every time they come on scene.
Hugh Arai
206. HArai
Wetlander@169: You're quite correct. In my defense I was looking at the WoT Encyclopedia timeline which has Rand taking out Rahvin in "Late Fall 999" and Elayne reaching Caemlyn in "Late Winter 1000". I didn't notice Fall 999 is immediately followed by Winter 1000 on their timeline, I was thinking Fall 999, Winter 999,Spring 1000 and so on. I guess it _seems_ like longer than 4 months to me. What can I say, if I was the heir to a throne and my parent vanished I'd go sort things out right away. YMMV.
Birgit F
207. birgit
Crossroads of Twilight Book Tour,Waterford, CT - 17 January 2003

Q: Can a gateway be opened horizontally?
RJ: (paused for 3 or 4 seconds in thought) I don't see why not.

AOL chat #1 1996 ("The Two AOL chats after ACOS")

JJVORSmith asks: Can gateways be created at non-right angles to the ground? If not, why not? If yes, why haven't we seen them?
RJ: They can be, and you haven't seen it because there's been no need to do it. And also some of the people who can make gateways don't know how to do it.

We have all read how Nynaeve is on boats, with the sea-sickness and all.
How wonderful could have Lan and Nynaeve's first wedded night have been?

They were probably married on the ship and then returned to Tylin's palace.
Hilde Sørensen
208. edlihs
We have all read how Nynaeve is on boats, with the sea-sickness and all.
How wonderful could have Lan and Nynaeve's first wedded night have been?

They were probably married on the ship and then returned to Tylin's palace.

They arrived the night before with sea folk Windfinders.
Nalesean complains about getting dragged off just when Sea Folk women show up, and Mat asks what he means. Beslan tells him that Nynaeve had brought back a dozen or so of them, and Mat remembers that Elayne had told him (reluctantly) about Nynaeve’s errand, if not why.
Rob Munnelly
209. RobMRobM
Wet@200 (still can't help calling you that, LOL - and congrats for hitting the 200 mark; you don't look a day over 150).

I did mean observant, but no doubt Mr. Freud helped me slip up. "Observant" is of course the compliment; "subject" - as directed to one who is not a fan of royalty and who lives in the Two Rivers where they do not consider themselves subjects of the Queen of Andor and from one who is not yet the Queen of Andor and has no subjects at this point in the story - is the backhanded part.

@various - whether on land or at sea on the Sea Folk mother ship, which is presumably very large and as stable as a big ship can get, Nyn was not likely in the seasickness mode she gets when traveling in small craft through choppy water. I see no reason her marriage night was not as glorious as she informed Elayne and the Kin.
James Jones
210. jamesedjones
186 subwoofer
@Sam- you left out colonoscopies:P
I think you found the gholam's only non-terangreal weakness.

Edit: I'm not sure I want to RAFO how to kill it.
Jay Dauro
211. J.Dauro
Longtimefan @195

I have had both. And I will take the prostate exam every time. (And at my age, every year.) But when I first read
While I get the whole hyperbole thing I am going to be a bit of a kill joy and point out that a root canal is nothing like a prostate exam unless you have a really bad doctor.
I wasn't reading that as a comparison of the two procedures. ;^)


Although we know Mat might see that as a backhanded compliment, I do not think she means it that way. She does see Mat as a subject, and now as a pretty damn BA subject.
Marcus W
212. toryx
Freelancer @ 149:

Your comment to me re: feminists reminds me of something else. My experience with WoT has been that it's better to not recommend it to feminists who are particularly passionate about their gender politics. A number of them in my past have been quite...enthusiastic...about their distaste for the way RJ characterizes the women.

Obviously it's not a blanket statement but nine times out of ten when I recommend this series to someone who doesn't like it, the reason they give is the female characters.

As I count myself to be a feminist, I'm also one of the fans of RJ who really doesn't much like how he portrays women. It's taken me years to set my objections aside and develop an appreciation for some of them (especially Nynaeve). I realize I'm in the minority in that on this forum but I'm okay with that. The opinions that are contrary to mine help me to appreciate those characters more in the long run.

RobM @ 159 & 168:

Thanks for your comments about not seeing the reciprocity. I agree completely and you've saved me from having to try and write the same post. Seriously, man, you're saving me a whole lot of aggravation!

Wetlandernw @ 200:
...someone has already pointed out that much of it is personality types - particularly if the character in question reminds you of someone IRL that you loathed.

That would, in part, be me. :)
Tess Laird
213. thewindrose
Great, Freelancer - I have the Monster Mash going through my head, I would link you all to youtube, but can't at work:(

Freelancer again - I see what you did there with LTT:)

birgit and edlihs - Thanks for the refresher on when Nynaeve got back, my memory was thinking of Nalesean complaining about the sea folk women just arriving when they had to leave to get the BotW.

blindillusion - Thanks for finding the quotes. I did link to the Lanfear/Cyndane quote I think on the general discussion thread. Because I wanted to discuss the possibility that Cyndane was what Lanfear looked like before her wish enhancements. My thoughts being that Lanfear didn't die in finnland, but she did lose her power upgrade and most beautiful woman ever enhancements.

Wesley Parish
214. Aladdin_Sane
And what the hell is “sheep swallop,” anyway?

In my weak and miserable youth, we had an expression - actually we had several, such as "Whacko!" and "Roll on the day!", but that's beside the point - "codswallop".

Given the context of bloody buttered onions, I'd say that RJ intended sheep's swallop to be understood in the sense of offal, probably from the lower intestines ...

Whacko! Roll on the day!
John Massey
215. subwoofer
Not sure how we got on this but... I suppose the discomfort after a prostate exam does not equal the pain post-procedure root canal... but I dunno, both remind me of having sex in an uncomfortable place... like the back seat of a Volkswagen;)

@Free, not to jump on any band wagons, but personally, I appreciate your diplomacy and patience on this thread. I saw that you still found a way to be insightful, without getting involved in the back and forth that is the world of Cranky Pants. I always see the thoughtfulness you put into your posts and choosing your words so I am never going to complain about where you are coming from.

Has anybody considered that maybe the gholam has a natural inborn fear of clowns? Or maybe even carny folk? Hmmmmmmm, things to consider.
Chin Bawambi
216. bawambi
ooh looney gholam theory time...carny folk remind me of the Traveling People which means the gholam will be killed by the song

seriously though guys if your over 40 get your prostate exam each and every year - i lost my uncle that way. And root canals are a special hell for me as they usually cant give me enough drugs so I feel some of the pain - thats some instant karma for my wayward college days but TMI from me...

characters aside the reason Nyn/Egs aren't on my top 5 (while reading) is their blind spots have always been comic relief for me and they are incredible heroines BUT in RL I can't stand to be in the same room with that particular kind of beauty - triply so with Berelain. I love most women of all shapes sizes and hues but beautiful young women with tudes are a big no-no with me. I need to move out of NYC - LOL!
217. earlgrey
free@149 lol Go BTO!

Please excuse my curb of text.
Tricia Irish
218. Tektonica

Send in Austin Powers with his judo chop!
Does anyone like clowns? They creep me out.

Mostly lurking this week guys, as I'm on a mini vacation and loving it. So carry on....I'm enjoying your back and forth....always enlightening.

I know I"m late to this discussion but FWIW:

Fave Five Lightside Characters:
1 Mat
2 Rand
3 Min
4 Thom
5 Moraine

Five Most Irritation producing:
1 Cads
2 Faille
3 Elaida
4 Gwayn
5 Nynaeve
Barry T
219. blindillusion
Clowns are Awesome. =)

And isn't it funny how often Tim Curry pops up around here....
Marcus W
220. toryx
subwoofer @ 215:

... but I dunno, both remind me of having sex in an uncomfortable place... like the back seat of a Volkswagen;)

Dude, I hate to say this but if that's the case, you must really be doing something wrong. :)
Tricia Irish
221. Tektonica
Blind: ROFLOL. So creepy!

Someone gave me a large clown doll when I was a kid and it had to be removed from my room....too bad it wasn't Tim Curry!
Sharon E.
222. Sulin

KoD- Within the Stone, p. 450 HB- "He channeled, Spirit touched with Fire, and the familiar vertical silvery slash appeared at the foot of the bed, seeming to rotate into a dim view of massive columns of darkness."

@blindillusion- clowns are just crrreeeepppyy
223. MasterAlThor
So far it is me and lostinshadow vs Nynaeve. I suggest, just as a lark, that we start the first offical.....

G.R.O.A.N. Club






This is my ode to Calvin and Hobbes.

Anyone wanting to join just post to GROAN Club c/o MAT.


224. MasterAlThor

Welcome to the show


You scare me sometimes, you know that right?


Didn't know you were a MallRat


Travel safe, and return home safely.

Sharon E.
225. Sulin
@Master- Thanks for the welcome! I'm glad to have found others that share my obsession, lol.

Count me in on the G.R.O.A.N. club! :D
Barry T
226. blindillusion
Tsk. But MAT. I'm amusing.

And I'll stick with the Band:
John Massey
227. subwoofer
@M A T Mallrats FTW!

Good times!

My tailor checks my prostate on a yearly basis when he does my inseam on new trousers.

Turn and cough.

Matthew Smith
228. blocksmith
With regards to annoying characters, sexism, etc.

Certainly everyone develops their own individual interpretation of information they are provided with...be this information written, spoken, etc.

This same applies to how we, as readers and commenters, interpret and relate our interpretations/opinions on the content of the books RJ has provided us with.

It is a credit to the author that RJ was that we like/dislike, love/hate, cheer/boo, enjoy/be annoyed by the characters and the respective behaviors/personalities RJ has provided us with.

So, with that preface in mind, I respect that most of the commenters here have invested so much of themselves in reading and interpreting these books to develop such intense feelings about the characters...as I, myself, have. Where I take umbrage, and this in my own male opinion, is that the female characters were intended to be portrayed in anything but a gender equal light. Both female and male characters have been written with equal insecurities and flaws. And, because of this, the characters are easier to identify with.

Can Rand be viewed as an old school, keep the women in the kitchen type through his desire to protect woman from harm? In a way, I could see that comparison. But then give credit to the character of say, Rhuarc, that completely accepts the role that any woman chooses for herself and effectively gives up his power upon entering his wife's home. In fact, RJ has included female characters as leaders/rulers in a good portion of his established cultures/nations (Andor, Ebou Dar, Mayene, Saldea, Seanchan, Aes Sedai). In doing so, he also identified male and female rulers that failed to live up to their responsibility. I would go so far as to say, for example, that at least Morgase and Amathera lost their positions as a direct result of BA and Forsaken intervention whereas Pedron Niall lost his (died) because his focus was to often away from the politics within the Fortress of Light. Even Berelain's behavior (though I find her character perhaps the most difficult to relate to along with Galad...coincidence? I think not) and Elaida's incompetence are understandable based on their motivations and personalities.

Further, both male and female characters have been represented with equal propensity for good and evil. In my opinion, more than almost any author I have ever read, RJ has taken equal opportunity to next level.

Is it perfect...no. Nor is real life. All that said...er, written...My goal here wasn't to cause friction. It is more to point out that the world RJ created is not perfect because we all have different ideas as to what perfection is and thus our different interpretations. But with regards to equality between the sexes...I think he did a pretty good job.

For the record, I like Nynaeve. Anyone that could track you down, bundle you into a sack, then heal the bruises, and all while having a "glorious" honeymoon night is ok in my book.

On clowns...now that's something I can hate...never liked 'em. Same with Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage. Small hands.
Matthew Smith
229. blocksmith
Oh, and that whole prostate exam thing...not looking forward to that. Not one bit.
a a-p
230. lostinshadow
::waves at MAT::

hi Sulin, welcome to our craziness

pull up a chair in the bunker - I heard rumors of margaritas in the making.

though MAT in all honesty there are some other characters I'd rather get rid of before Nyn. For now in her case I'd like to hear about her awesome achievements off screen rather than read them quite so often, she's definitely wearing on me. Unlike others, I don't think she's had any personal growth at all, actually I think she's regressing from the initial awesomeness that had her follow the teenage brigade to save them from Moirane.

hi Tek, that would pretty much be my list as well. I think I would revers Rand and Mat because well Mat is all kinds of awesome and I love a good rogue but it's just that I really feel for Rand, he's really got such a raw deal.

oh and enjoy your vacation.

I need a vacation. I need the beach!!! hopefully one more month to go.

And clowns really really really creep me out, I don't understand why they're supposed to be funny.
Alice Arneson
231. Wetlandernw
blocksmith @228 - Well said!! I agree with everything except the last paragraph. Gotta be contrary about something. :P

I was going to set myself up as target practice with some further observations on the way RJ has portrayed both roles and characters, but I realize that it would take far more time than I have this morning. :( Well, I stirred up enough controversy last weekend, so I guess I can refrain this time. After all, we get a new post tomorrow.

Hey, you know, I'm loving this two-a-week thing. We get a new post before we've beaten every last shred of interest out of the last one. Ahhhhh. :) Thanks, Leigh!
James Jones
232. jamesedjones
227 subwoofer

Been a long time since I was involved in organized sports, but I'm fairly certain that's not a prostate exam.

And clowns creep me out. Not sure who I'd want to win in a fight, clown or gholam.
Ron Garrison
233. Man-0-Manetheran
I've always seen gateways as vertical, and certainly the text specifies that several places. I just tossed out the horizontal gateway as a "what if". Who knew it would spark such discussion? But especially, I'm awed that Birgit (@207) came up with an RJ quote on it! You go girl! Thanks.

blocksmith@228: Five Stars!
Sam Mickel
233. Samadai
We all have our lists of likes and dislikes of main characters. I propose a list of minor characters to like. Ingtar, Lini, Olver, Verin, Easar, Pevara, Romanda, Owein, Setalle, Takima, Abell, Tylee, Estean, Elyas, the letter X, Amathera, Melaine, and Sorilea.
I propose that we make this a group of people and we will call it.


Let me know what you think.
Barry T
234. blindillusion
Sam, you just had to bring up the letter X, didn't you? That's just Evil....

Top Minor Charaters:

Pevara, Noal and Leane.
Alice Arneson
235. Wetlandernw
Okay, do you suppose Leigh would give us the next one a day early? This is going from bad to worse and getting no better fast! ;)
Sharon E.
236. Sulin
blocksmith (@228) Very nicely done!

@lostinshadow- thank you! A margarita would be great right about now.

Regarding character hating, I guess honestly there's not really any on the side of the Light that I hate, just some that annoy me, like Nyn. IMO, she's had the least character progression. I really enjoy the parts where Lan brings her down a notch or three.

Re the whole prostate exam thing, I can't really relate to that...but considering the various exams us females endure, I can't conjure up too much sympathy (sorry guys). >:-D
Tricia Irish
237. Tektonica
Blind@226: Strike up The Band!

Blocksmith@228: Well said. Bravo. Thank you.

lostinshadow@230: It was a toss up between Mat and Rand. I've always really liked Rand and my heart bleeds for him, but Mat is just such fun! My kinda guy. *shrugs*

Who was it back in the dark ages that decided clowns were funny? Totally creepola. I'm going to google it...be back later on that.....

Welcome Sulin, sorry I was slow in welcoming you.....I see that others have shown you around the bunker and seen to your bacon and margarita needs.

PS: Who above who said they were from Istanbul? Can't find it now.

MAT: Thanks for your well wishes....last day in the desert :-( Gotta go enjoy!
a a-p
238. lostinshadow
no offense guys but gotta go with Sulin on this one.

yeah not hating so much as grating on nerves more so than others.

some favorite minor characters in no particular order of preference...Lini, Elyas, Sorilea, Birgitte, Fortuona (assuming she is a minor character, if she's a major character I'll have to replace my Thom preference), Berelain (ok I don't like how she chases after Perrin but I think she's a great ruler and quite smart and besides she does it really to annoy Faile, and well who wouldn't)
Sharon E.
239. Sulin
@Tektonica- np, I'm good... bacon in one hand, margarita in the other.

@lost(230) Rand would have to go in my numero uno spot, then Mat. I just love dark, conflicted anti-hero types...sigh...

Some fave minor characters: Sorilea, Sulin (duh), Nandera (bathtub scene!), Birgitte, Thom, Balwer, Berelain-same reasons as lost(238)
Steven Pattingale
240. Pattingale
@198 Blind I gotta say...


Pardon the shouting, but that guy rocks.

As you say his Perrin is so awesome. So grim, so ... I must kill you Egwene to save you from the bad bad birdies.

And his carrot-top, I mean Rand...
So young, and taaalllll! I like the Two Rivers longbow as well.

IMO he really gets the characters and illustrates them to look like what I've imagined they might look like as I read the books. Creepy in some ways, is he spying on my brain? lol

@ Bacon

You're making me hungry! :)
Rob Munnelly
241. RobMRobM
Note that 13D has a WoT quiz. I got most but not all off the top of my head. Have at em.
Chin Bawambi
242. bawambi
Hopefully, last comment on exams but guys MAN up - 30 secs of discomfort a year vs years of painful cancer suffering is a no-brainer and Sulin you hit the nail on the head compared to what all y'all have to go through we've got it easy.

Anyway - Fave minor characters: Thom, Balwer, Shaidar Haran, Domon, Tam, and any Maiden. I actually would like to see a little more of the Chosen - it makes the payoffs better for me if I can believe the baddies are pure evil.
Marcus W
243. toryx
Where's Isilel been? I've been acutely aware of her absence lately and I suspect I'm compensating as a result.

blocksmith @ 228:

I get what you're saying and I agree with it to a degree. But I think there's another perspective to consider. Let's take a look at the Aiel a minute. There's only one group of women who can fight, the maidens. If a woman is not going to be a maiden then it's expected that they manage the Roofs. They're given a degree of power there, true, but it's still a standard level of domestic responsibility. Then you have the Wise Ones, of course, but women still aren't allowed to be Clan Chiefs.

Nevertheless, at first glance it seems to be a lot of give and take.

But I'd like to get back to the maidens for a second. They're the one true exception to the rule, the women who sort of defy the traditional pattern. As a result, they're forbidden to marry and raise their children. Because, after all, those are women's roles and they've rejected them, right? The cost is that they have to give up their femininity.

Now let's look at the flipside. A man can be chief. He can be blacksmith, warrior, basket weaver, so on and on and on. Not only can he be a warrior and have a family, but he can actually have more than one wife so he can have even more children. Has there ever been any example of a role that a man may play that requires him to give up a part of his masculinity?

I don't think so. I can see the argument that a man cannot own his own roof and cannot be a wise one and that evens things out a bit. But nowhere is there a role where a man has to deny an aspect of his gender in the same way that a maiden is required to.

Some would call that kind of grossly uneven.

Okay, now let's step outside of the Aiel culture. It's not the best example because of it's strangeness, after all.

Since everyone has been talking about Nynaeve a little bit here, let's take a look at her. She was Wisdom, which meant that she had a great deal of responsibility and power. She also had to compensate a lot due to her youth. Because she's a young woman, she's not taken quite as seriously as a Wisdom usually is.

Have we ever seen a corresponding situation with a young man? Perrin and Mat and Rand were young men who were expected to complete their chores and such but it was also assumed that they'd goof off as young men do. In the meantime, Egwene is running around looking after children, apprenticing to Nynaeve, and helping out at the inn. There doesn't seem to be much goofing off allowed for the girls.

When Perrin returned to the Two Rivers, he was accepted as a man grown and people listened to him. He's still younger than Nynaeve, however, and he doesn't even have a position that gives him any power (until later) that automatically comes with respect and authority. They just give it to him because he took charge when he needed to. Whereas Nynaeve had to work for years to garner the small amount of respect she had.

When the men are kicking back and smoking their pipes and drinking their brandies and talking town business, what are the women doing? Baking honey cakes and bringing them their brandies. Do we ever see them relaxing? Not that I can recall.

And that's not to even go into the whole business of women keeping their hair unbraided until they're deemed old enough (aka, marriageable). Is there any corresponding male limitation? Not that we've seen.

Regardless of which Randland culture we look at, it's always the woman who is expected to maintain the house, do the cooking and the sewing and the child-rearing. The women in Randland take it a little further though...they actually want it that way. No sense in allowing a man to stick his clumsy fingers in the cooking pot! That's women's work! And it has to be because men can't be trusted to do it right.

Does this make RJ a bad writer? No. Does it eliminate some of the virtues the series does have (a female monarchy, maidens who fight, an empire with an empress, an exclusive magic order limited to women etc.)? I wouldn't say so. But I can't really call it balanced; for every advance in gender equality, there's an awful lot of the old status quo.

And let's face it. What male character receives as much passionate discourse (read: hatred) as Nynaeve, Faile, Elayne and Cadsuane? Gawyn maybe, but he's also a relatively minor character next to the rest. There are definitely people who don't like Mat for his womanizing and eagerness to avoid responsibility. But I don't think he gets quite the same level of vitriol as the women do either.

I kind of think that says something about the difference between the female and male characters in the book. But that's just me, crazy with the wall-of-text!
Roger Powell
244. forkroot
Re the subject of favorite (and most disliked) major and minor characters: We pretty much beat this into the ground in discussions several books ago. That was quite a while ago, of course, and many current posters were not with us then. We've also lost some regular posters (some missed, some not missed).

Just for fun, let me toss out a question in that vein, but with a new twist:

Q: What is your favorite "one-book" character, and what one-book character do you hate the most?

Note that a "one-book" character can only appear "on-screen" in one book. It's OK if a reference to him/her occurs in another book.

Hurin would have been a good choice until TGS, but now he is ineligible. Ingtar is not eligible as he appears on screen in TEoTW and TGH.

My picks are:
   Like: Herid Fel (surprisingly he is only on screen in LOC)
   Dislike: Mutch (the stablehand in Baerlon)

I know, I know, "Mutch" borders on the obscure. But long-time readers of these commentaries know that I have an irrational desire to punch his lights out.
245. Speradigm
Fav 5


Least 5

Sharon E.
246. Sulin
@Speradigm(245) Rand is in your least favorite list?

**recovering over from shock** It's time to dance the spears! ;-)
Rob Munnelly
247. RobMRobM
Tuon too? Seluccia - go get him/her....
Bonnie Andrews
248. misfortuona
Okay so I was trying to put together a favorite/least favorite list and I honestly can't because the darn list keeps changing on me.

I tried to use the idea of which would I least like to spend a day with. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but the idea of having any of them, even Cadsuane, maybe especially Cadsuane, around to chat with just appeals to me. The things she could tell you if she'd agree to answer questions.

Maybe I'm just in too good a mood today. ;)
That might be due to the inordinate amount of laughter in response to the today's posts.

Mis-everything is good
James Jones
249. jamesedjones
Fav 5:


Least 5:

Whoever Alliandre's main captain was

Wow. All of my least fav are, technically, on the light side. Heh.
Jordan Devenport
250. FellKnight
@244 forkroot

Hurin was in tDR too, albeit only for one short scene

Given the law of character conservation, is there such a thing as a 1 book character? :)

tbh though I'd have to say my 2 fav one-book characters are bukama and Lord Barthanes.

Hugh Arai
251. HArai
forkroot@244: One book only makes it tough. New Spring is valid I hope?

Like: Bukama
Dislike: Merean

Edit: Or if New Spring doesn't count,

Like: Sleete
Dislike: Saml Hake
a a-p
252. lostinshadow
I heart Herid Fel

and I could never warm to Turak

I think one of the reasons why the strong female characters engender so much vitriol is the fact they are so realistic. What I mean by that is that they each have their strengths and weaknesses, they change over the course of the story and they pretty much remind most of us of at least one person that we know.

And perhaps what bothers many feminists is that none of these women, particularly the more powerful ones, are unequivocally nice and lovable. Min is perhaps the most liked of all the girls but she is also the one who does not occupy a position of power in any Randland society and is in effect engaged in the very traditional role of supporting her man through some seriously hard times. So not exactly what your typical feminist might want to see in terms of feminine empowerment.

And in contrast the men seem simpler, less deep, more archetypal. So they are less believable and therefore less familiar.

While I get very annoyed with many of the characters from time to time, one of my favorite things about this story is that women in power do have negative aspects, make mistakes and can be disliked. Because to me one of the biggest mistakes that any kind of minority fighting for rights and recognition can make is to assume that they are actually better than their "oppressors". history shows us that we are not that different really and it's about power. those in power are less likeable.

Your point about all the cultures of Randland having women as the cook and caretaker reminded me of a comment my anthropology professor made many moons ago. She claimed that according to anthropological research, both into historic cultures and existing cultures, all cultures in the world have home/childcare/cooking as the purview of women. It is one of the three absolute universals in all cultures, the other two being a division between public and private and existence of rites to mark certain events (in particular death and adolescence).

and on a completeley unrelated note, just a few minutes after posts were going up on how creepy clowns are, I turn on the tv and there's a repeat episode of season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance and the opening number is 6 kids dressed as clowns dancing to the song "where are the clowns" see creepy


*slinks off to bunker to hide under the table*
253. ValMar
lostinshadow & sulin @ 238 & 239

I'm glad to see someone else mirrors my view on Berelain here. If she's good enough for the Wise Ones, she's good enough for me.
And without her Faile would have long ago stabbed poor Perrin, 'cause they've got nothing to argue about.
James Jones
254. jamesedjones
252 lostinshadow

Huh. Food for thought.

...the WoT stuff. I'd hurt my head if I thought about anthropology too much.
Tess Laird
255. thewindrose
All this talk of carnies has reminded me of Valan Luca and his Grand Traveling Show and Magnificent Display of Marvels and Wonders.

Will we see the circus again?

Wow. All of my least fav are, technically, on the light side. Heh.

I for one am not surprised:)

Chin Bawambi
256. bawambi
toryx - while I agree with you on the inequality of Randland I disagree with you on at least one point.
Aiel society is NOT imbalanced (pre Rand who starts the breaking of the Aiel)- the women are the only ones who can own property and they are the only ones who can lay the bridal wreath as well. Even Rhuarc needs permission to enter the hold.
Consider the case of Gaul - since he does not care for Bain and Bain/Chiad are first sisters he will not be able to marry Chiad until Chiad decides that Bain will be ok with it and that Gaul is worth giving up the spear for (although post Rand she could be the first Maiden to join the brotherless) - its either both or none which Gaul is ok with but he isn't the one with the power. The Maidens have to give up their children not because its a feminine/masculine task but because it would make them an ineffective fighting force.
Sharon E.
257. Sulin
@lost(252) Turak gets my vote too. I'm glad you mentioned him. I've been wracking my brain trying to come up w/ a one-booker. I also like Fel. :)

And without her Faile would have long ago stabbed poor Perrin, 'cause they've got nothing to argue about.
Heck, I would've stabbed him long ago too, Berelain or no! ;)
Alice Arneson
258. Wetlandernw
lostinshadow @252 - Listen here, young lady, we'll have no slinking and hiding from you! That was an excellent post, and you may not apologize for it. In fact, you said many of the things I was thinking, but probably more concisely than I would have. :)
259. ValMar
Yes, and to think Perin was my favourite of the 3 ta'veren early on.
Now were I to want to get depressed, forget Nine Inch Nails or J Cash. Just open any Perrin chapter, post LOC. Well, at least Berelain is there too ;)
Rob Munnelly
260. RobMRobM
Kari Al'Thor - EOTW

Mother Guenna - TDR

The girl who dances with Mat in LoC.

Does Mandevwin appear in books other than KoD?

Golden Crane merchant guys in KoD.
Rob Munnelly
261. RobMRobM
@259 - and Gawyn was my favorite non ta'veren character in EoTW....
James Jones
262. jamesedjones
260 RobMRobM

Dang! I forgot Mother Guenna. Definitely my favorite one-hit wonder (barely topping Fel).

Worst: Has to be the captain that Mat sails with on the way to Caemlyn. I can't stand folks who think that everything you say is a lie. They either had a big influence from a terrible person, or they're projecting themselves onto you.
Jay Dauro
263. J.Dauro
ValMar 259

I'm sorry to hear you equate John with depressing. Yes, he did some depressing songs, more at the end, but that was a small part of him. Then again, I rarely find Perrin depressing either. Aggravating but not depressing.
Barry T
264. blindillusion
Hmm. Wetlander, I cannot be sure, but I think Lost was hiding from the clowns....

Tricia Irish
265. Tektonica
What was the name of the "merchant" DF that Lanfear was traveling with in the Waste? Was he a one hit wonder? He would be on my least fave list (if he's a one-hitter) just for his smarmy sweatyness and treatment of the DF girl...oh, geez, my memory is toast....too much vacation.

Love Fel too....eccentric philosophers=good

Agree with Bawambi@256: maidens have to give up the spear and kids when they wed because they would have too much emotional attachment (to the kids, at least) to be an effective fighting force. I know from experience that I lost a lot of my "danger-driver" tendencies when I had kids.
266. ValMar
J.Dauro @263
Don't read too much into that. I just didn't think enough to find a better and non-controvercial mainstream example.
And I've been thinking now for 5 min and still can't think of one. Well, maybe watch the news for a bit and half of it will be depressing.

As for Perrin, my poorly articulated point was that he was being depressed/emo. He's thoughts were mostly rather morose (with good cause). I certainly wasn't depressed while reading.
Alice Arneson
267. Wetlandernw
Mandevwin - Knife of Dreams only.

Hadnan Kadere - Disqualified, he's in both The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven.
Rob Munnelly
268. RobMRobM
Madevwin is very cool - he's high on my personal list of one hit wonders.
Roger Powell
269. forkroot
Yes, New Spring is valid. Bukama was actually going to be my fave until I realized that Herid Fel was eligible.

Props to those who picked Mother Guenna, another excellent choice.
270. jadelollipop
@262 The captain on the trip to Caemlyn (actually Whitebridge) was Bayle Domon and he is a re-ocurring character.

I am only on Book 2 on my re-reading. Have noticed a lot of new things this go around but have to agree that Perrin's arc to greatness came and went fast and then he has been marking time waiting for a reunion with Mat and Rand.


Least Favorites

Favorite Minors
Thomas Keith
271. insectoid
This discussion is beginning to look very familiar... The Bash-a-Thon has morphed into the Favorite-Character-a-Thon! ;)

Also: my Profile page is acting very weird. Durn Ghosts!!

Blind @198: Oh yeah... Seamus draws some pretty awesome stuff.

Blind @205: Wow, no mercy for Katerine! As for inducing a taste in bricks... Elaida and Fain are like that for me. Even Berelain and Cads are more tolerable!

Earlgrey @217:
Please excuse my curb of text.
I like that!

Blind @226: Nice shield!

Alice Arneson
272. Wetlandernw
jadelollipop @270 - Yay! Another who puts Berelain at the bottom of the list!

jamesedjones @262 - Were you thinking of the guy he sailed with from Tar Valon to Caemlyn to deliver Elayne's letter? That was Huan Mallia of the Gray Gull. He was rather a loser - especially to Mat's gambling-fu.

Edit to add: and yes, he's a one-book wonder. Grand total of two chapters. :)
273. Fellknight
@270 jadelollipop

I think @262 was talking about the captain in book 3.

John Massey
274. subwoofer
Well, I notice some glaring exceptions so here is my list:



There was a point a few years ago where I had a Grand Caravan and the warranty just expired and the tranny blew up on me-long story- anyways, it was essentially worthless to me unless I set it on fire and pushed it over a cliff and claimed fire and theft. At this point I began to compile a short list of everyone in the universe that honked me off and only the very special had their names listed on van seats for that special trip.

Not so much
Cranky Pants- driver's seat
Gawyn- shotgun
Wieramon- doof, but throw him in the child seat.

Linda Taglieri
275. Linda
@265 tektonica

The DF was Hadnan Kadere and got flayed by Lanfear in TFOH for telling her bad news.
276. alreadymadwithmandevwin
Mandevwin is back in TGS. Not surprising since he is effectively the third most senior ranking officer in the Band with Mat. So.. not a one hit wonder any more.
John Massey
277. subwoofer
And... ahem, since nobody clued in... my tailor.

Rob Munnelly
280. RobMRobM
By the way, here is the quiz posted on 13th dep, including the intro para. Enjoy - I'm not sure about 2 but think I have the rest. R


Old Salt was a Stormleader at the NY book signing and devised this quiz for that celebrated occasion. Since there's only a bit over a week to JordanCon I thought I'd post it here to get us in the mood. I'll post the answers on Friday.

1) Elyas Manchera is a Warder. Who holds his bond?
a) Kaylin Yokata b) Marith Jaen c) Rina Hafden d) Jala Bandevin e) Kera Harella

2) Min had a vision about Sarene Nemdahl, what was it?
a) raven tattoo b) a dark aura c) found a library d) love affair e) rays of silver and blue

3) Who was the first Queen of Andor?
a) Seta Zarby b) Ishara Maravaile c) Cemaile Sorenthane d) Esmara Getares e) Geritte Mayel

4) What is the largest Sea Folk Island?
a) Dantora b) Somera c) Cantorin d) Jafar e) Tremalking

5) Marin al’Vere is a good cook. What is she especially famous for?
a) Hot Cakes b) Bread c) Stew d) Roast Lamb e) Barley and mutton soup

6) Mandarb is the name of Lan’s horse. What does his name mean?
a) Lance b) Faithful friend c) Blade d) Swift flyer e) Warrior

7) Who was the founder of the White Cloaks?
a) Lothair Mantelar b) Balwen Yulener c) Jaric Monderan d) Narasin Bhuran e) Tevan Aerwin

8) What was the name of the Wave Dancer’s Windfinder?
a) Sanine din Ryal b) Dorile din Eiran c) Nestelle din Sakura d) Jorin din Jubai e) Malin din Toral

9) According to Rand’s travel through the glass column ter’angreal, who was the first Maiden of the Spear?
a) Rhea b) Kirin c) Morin d) Norla e) Maigran

10) Setalle Anan is an ex Aes Sedai. What was her name as an Aes Sedai?
a) Turanna Norill b) Martine Janata c) Aeldra Najaf d) Marith Riven
e) Ferane Neheran
281. Speradigm
Rand is whiney.

Tuon is more entitled and femaledoggy than Elayne. I still enjoyed the story line but her treatement of Mat is more abnoxious to me than Elayne and Nynaeve's.

Rob Munnelly
282. RobMRobM
@281. Rand has reason to by far whinier than he is, IMO. Tuon is also a serious bad@ss, as shown on multiple occasions. She's one of my favorite characters.

Re quiz - Good effort, but I see a couple I know are not correct, either on my own or post-quiz research.
283. Speradigm
I knew some woudln't be correct but I wanted to take it just based on what I could remember without looking up anything.

I don't say Rand doesn't have reasons to be how he is, I just don't like him. I don't like how he treats people, and don't find him interesting in the slightest.

I agree that Tuon is Bad@ss, I just don't like her. She's not a favourite. I only tolerate her when Mat's onscreen.
284. Speradigm
Part of it is the Seanchan culture in general. It makes my hackles rise.
James Jones
285. jamesedjones
272 Wetlandernw

That was the one. Thanks! Couldn't look up Mallia at work. lol
Jay Dauro
286. J.Dauro
I knew all but two.

1 TPOD 10
2 TPOD 29
3 LOC 26, TPOD 28
4 BBoBA pg 173 & COT 21
5 TSR 40
6 TDR 35
7 TSR 17
8 TSR 19 (Name is incomplete in the answers.)
9 TSR 25
10 KOD 7, 9 (Although there have been indications, this has not been said right out.)
287. Freelancer

I was on that one. But I didn't want to admit having watched enough Friends to recognize the tailor-proctologist connection.
288. MasterAlThor
toryx and blocksmith,

Bring your shootin irons, I'm callin you out...

Not really, you know that I started G.R.O.A.N. as a joke right?

Ok, good now that that is out of the way, lets get down to business.

A couple of others, Sulin and lostinshadow, expressed my feelings toward Nynaeve. But let me take it a little further.

Men bashing will get you instant dislike. If there was a character who treated women like Nynaeve treats men, I sincerely doubt Jordan would have sold as many books.

It has very little to do with feminism, you don't gain true power by being disrespectful, you build resentment.

In RL, I respect women who stand up for themselves and others, but don't expect me to take you seriously when you emasculate men. I'm a man, I willing share power with my wife and repect those women who have authority over me, but I do not like men bashing. Again I say if the shoe was on the other foot, someone would call foul.

Nynaeve, Setalle, the Women's Circle, Wise Ones, Faile, the Aes Sedai and others all participate in this. Nynaeve just gets the most screen time.

I truly understand her motivations. Disrespected herself because of her age, and her looks. But she has overcompensated beyond the pale.

Alice Arneson
289. Wetlandernw
Off the top of my head:


Now I'll go figure out how many I got right.

Speaking of which... show of hands: Who's going to JordanCon?

EDIT: I missed two for sure. There's one I can't look up at the moment but I'm pretty sure is right.
Rob Munnelly
290. RobMRobM
@289 - see at least one that's wrong but you look to have the two I flunked.
Jacy Clark
291. Amalisa

*waits to be corrected* 'cause I purely guessed on two of them!
Rob Munnelly
292. RobMRobM
Ama - see a few that ain't quite right....
Jay Dauro
293. J.Dauro
Wetlandernw - I think you missed two.
Amalisa - I think three
Alice Arneson
294. Wetlandernw
J. @293 - I agree on both counts.

Also: Speradigm @281 - you missed 3
Barry T
295. blindillusion
Wetlander -

Raises hand. I should be there on Saturday.

I'll take pictures, though they'll be on my iPhone.
Jay Dauro
296. J.Dauro
I am also planning to be there. Have a room for Friday.
Jacy Clark
298. Amalisa
Bleh... I missed four.

I should've known better re the Sea Folk island...
Rob Munnelly
299. RobMRobM
I fell short on first Maiden and largest SF island. Proudest of getting the Wave Dancer windfinder. Yes!
Alice Arneson
301. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @297/J.Dauro @300 - I thought 2, but it depends on the answer to this question:

Where did anyone find a definitive answer for #5?
Alice Arneson
303. Wetlandernw
If the quiz had said honeycakes, I'd probably have taken it, but it said hot cakes, and as near as I can see it makes a bigger deal in general about her bread than the cakes, that I can find. Just wondered if anyone had found a place where the books specifically said "Mistress Al'Vere was widely known for her_______".
Janet Hopkins
304. JanDSedai
re: Marin's bread
Lord Luc recommends fresh, hot bread and fresh-churned butter. I loaned out my last copy of TEOTW or I would check that volume, but there's mention of bread in that one,too.
Noneo Yourbusiness
305. Longtimefan
So the Westlands have both Bread and Circuses. The masses must be happy.
Jacy Clark
306. Amalisa
Yeah, I went with "bread" for honeycakes, too. A hotcake is a pancake, to my Southern way of looking at things. A honeycake would be more like a muffin or loaf of some kind of sweet bread. (Not to be confused with sweetbread. *full body shiver*)
Jacy Clark
307. Amalisa
By the by...

Big week for Team Light! Per Audible.com, The Gathering Storm is the winner of the 3rd Annual Tournament of Audiobooks...
Thomas Keith
308. insectoid
A Quiz-a-Thon now? Things certainly have gone sideways! ;)

Many: Re: Marin... Bread (and honeycakes in particular) is the only thing I can recall Marin al'Vere being specifically noted for. However, I will check our copy of TEotW later and confirm this.

EDIT: I see Blind just did. Well done!

Okay, the quiz... C, D, B, E, B (=honeycakes), C, A, D, C (just a wild guess, don't really remember), B.

Barry T
309. blindillusion
Chapter Two. tEotW:

“It’s old Luhhan,” Mat said, peering past Rand’s shoulder into the common room. “I think he suspects I was the one who—” He cut off abruptly as Mistress al’Vere bustled out of the kitchen, the aroma of fresh-baked bread wafting ahead of her.

The tray in her hands carried some of the crusty loaves for which she was famous around Emond’s Field, as well as plates of pickles and cheese. The food reminded Rand abruptly that he had eaten only an end of bread before leaving the farm that morning. His stomach gave an embarrassing rumble.

A slender woman, with her thick braid of graying hair pulled over one shoulder, Mistress al’Vere smiled in a motherly fashion that took in both of them. “There is more of this in the kitchen, if you two are hungry, and I never knew boys your age who weren’t. Or any other age, for that matter. If you prefer, I’m baking honeycakes this morning.”

I love having the books in digital format. So much quicker looking up things. Good hunting all.
Rob Munnelly
310. RobMRobM
Linda has posted the answers, and no. 5 is bread, so I had three wrong. Linda also has posted the hard quiz - which is very hard. I'm only confident of three right answers and have to guess at most of the others (only some educated guesses).
a a-p
311. lostinshadow
@258 Wet, thanks for the defense and I'm honored you enjoyed the post but like Blind pointed out at 268, I was actually hiding from the clowns... creepy things clowns...

hi Blind, which digital format would you suggest? it's very difficult to find fantasy novels in English here in Istanbul and with the new weight limitations on luggage, I'm not able to stock up the way I used to so I think I need to switch to some kind of e-reader.
a a-p
312. lostinshadow
I wanna go to JordanCon...wahhhh

can we have one somewhere in Europe?
Matthew Smith
313. blocksmith

First off, I apologize for replying so late...a bit under the weather yesterday, DR. appointment, medicine, and then not listening to my...Wisdom...and spending a couple of hours splitting wood. Suffice to say, I realized I may be a mule-headed sheepherder.

I can't completely disagree...as I said no world real or otherwise is perfect.

A couple of points...and Bawambi, thanks for your input on this also...

Of the three major characters, only Mat really goofs off, per se. Perrin is apprenticed just like Eg and Rand spends most of his free time farming, etc.

Also, it is the Maiden society that decided if a Maiden became pregnant, she had a choice. Either give up the spear or give up the baby. It is still a choice. Not saying I like the choice though. And adding to Bawambi, the multiple wives thing is almost out of the male Aiel control. If the bridal wreath is laid, the first wife has already accepted the second.

And hair braiding is a Rite Of Passage in the Two Rivers. Something to be celebrated (like Jewish Rites of Passage) and an important recognition among the culture. It is not a means by which a female in the Two Rivers is controlled or oppressed.

I generally agree on your point about the male characters. I would say though that I was just as frustrated with Perrin's character (throw Faile in there too for good measure) during the "Save Faile At All Costs" plotline as I have been with Cads.
Barry T
314. blindillusion
Hi Lost...it's not exactly on an e-reader. =/

And where's your message box?
Matthew Smith
315. blocksmith


Not sure where that puts me...have to check.
Barry T
316. blindillusion
Oh, yeah....


This would be for the second quiz...

And for S&Gs...I pretty sure I got 9 of 10, but not sure about the fish one...

Oh, and fish...I don't like fish....
Tina Pierce
317. scissorrunner
got 2 wrong on the first quiz- the 2nd is almost scary. I THINK I may have 2 correct.(no books to check at work)
I will be a Jordancon on Saturday unless I get bumped off the flight :(
(flying standby)
Captain Hammer
318. Randalator
re: 'Goldilocks'-Quiz

1) C
2) D
3) B
4) E
5) B
6) C
7) A
8) D
9) A

Not sure on 3), 4) and 9) though...3) and 9) are completely wild guesses, with 4) I'm at least cautiously optimistic that I'm right.

re: Difficult Quiz

Oh boy...

1) E
2) B
3) A
4) D
5) E
6) B
7) B
8) A
9) B

1), 3), 8) and 9): no clue
4) and 10): unsure but cautiously optimistic
Joseph Blaidd
319. SteelBlaidd

Finally have my Computer back from repairs.

Returning to the subject of the chapter. I think one of the things that gets missed in discussing Elayne's amusement at Mat's situation vis a vi Tylan is the half heard “a taste of his own medicine.” Remember that back when they show up to "apologize" both Nynaeve and Elayne assume Cara is impolite to them because they are there to see the jerk who has been hitting on her, not that Cara sees them (and Birgitte from the night before) as "the COMPETITION." They have never watched Mat in action and I suspect that Elayne thinks his technique is more like that of the Mercenary Captains she threatened to throw out of the city for pinching her maids in KoD. Her response indicates that she really doesn't understand whats happening. I suspect she thinks he made a pass and got more that he bargained for. Especially as she doesn't know (and probably wouldn't believe if told) that for Mat Noblewomen =RUN AWAY.

I think were supposed to laugh at Mat's situation AND be very uncomfortable with it at the same time.
Matthew Smith
320. blocksmith
Sweet...nine out of ten on the first.

Second I am likely way off on.


Edit:Changed my mind on the first...that's not cheating, right?
Jacy Clark
321. Amalisa
On the second test, I'm pretty confident on six out of the ten - and that many only because I am involved in a site that focuses on the Trolloc Wars, and my "rank" there was (at one time) Head of the Yellow.


1. a
2. b
3. c (I know it was a woman, which lets out b and maybe d.)
4. d
5. e (They were the police, right? That's the only reason they stand out for me.)
6. b
7. b
8. d (I really think of it as a flounder.)
9. e
10. d
Jay Dauro
322. J.Dauro
OK, I got 5 right.

Quiz 2
1 LOC 52
2 NS 12, TEOTW 53
3 WH Prologue
4 BBOBA 19
5 TDR 54
6 NS 1
7 COT 21
8 WH 19
9 TEOTW 18
10 BBOBA 10

Edit for better location
a a-p
323. lostinshadow
so I'm actually clueless on most of them but

324. Freelancer
Guessing on a few:


It's odd to see a quiz where there isn't at least one answer which is A, and I looked hard, but for the life of me, I can't apply A to any of them. I would have considered the fish one, except that I remember something about Mat's description of the gilded fish, and A says "stripped bass", instead of "striped bass".
326. Hrothgordo

In regards to Maidens and pregnancy you are correct in your presentation of their choice. And I think there are very specific reasons that this point is emphasized by Jordan; as it probably reflected his viewpoint on the subject.

Jordan was obviously a feminist or at least an equalist. I think he understood that many of the reasons given for keeping women out of combat were unmerited if not asinine. But one reason does make sense from a strictly rational standpoint.

Women are a person first and foremost, but biologically also represent an extremely limited resource for procreation. A resource society needs to survive. Given that fact Jordan is totally on board for a person to make decision on how to live their life as long as it doesn’t risk the society.

The Maidens acknowledge this in their decision. By taking themselves off the procreation market the truly become the same value as a man biologically (which is to say relatively expendable). But once they are actively procreating their value changes and some of their freedoms are curtailed. In the books the same thing happens when you become a channeller, you now represent an even more valuable/rare resource and simply cannot be in combat . . . ever.
Jay Dauro
327. J.Dauro
There are a couple more A answers there besides 3.
Tess Laird
328. thewindrose
1st quiz:
c d b e b c a d c b

2nd quiz:
c b a d e b b d a d

Birgit F
329. birgit
By taking themselves off the procreation market the truly become the same value as a man biologically (which is to say relatively expendable).

Maidens can have children, they just may not raise them themselves.
330. Hrothgordo
Yes and no.

Obviously Maidens aren't expected to be celibate. So you are correct that they can have children.

But Maidens aren't supposed to carry the spear while pregnant. The Shadow Rising states this explicitly, including that it was a breaking of custom that Janduin commtted in allowing Shaiel/Tigraine to fight.
Chin Bawambi
331. bawambi
Beyond the biologic reason for pregnant Maidens not carrying the spear they would also automatically violate Ji'e'toh because they would be fighting in a way that would prevent them from being Gai'shain while being able to take others in this way.
A. P.
332. chewynewyork
I agree that the situation between Tylin and Mat is very funny, but I can't get over how crazy it is to think this is a bad thing.

Very likely, even as such a "woman chaser" Mat is, I am super sure he is getting a run for his money with that Queen o' his. This cougar is probably teaching Mat a thing or two about a thing or two.

He should be grateful, by Jove!!
333. Joshua Simpson
One more time. No matter how much pressure the queen brings to bear on Matt cohersion falls well short of rape. The fact that he has not even fully stood up for himself verbally and said "really Tylin I'm not being coy I don't want this" says it all. Rape is forcefully taken sex. She is not forcing and he is not resisting. She is pushing and he dragging his feet. Relax folks Mat could stop all this if he really wanted too.lol
334. JimF
@23 jcmnyu:

No more tWoT for you, you've overdosed. Those "reunions" are a scream, but you've taken in FAR too much of the One Power!

David Guenther
335. stoonbora
Lan then tells him that more importantly, Mat’s men are dead, balefired when Moghedien attempted to kill Nynaeve; Nynaeve didn’t want him told

This is one of the prime reasons I don't like Nynaeve. I don't loathe her the way I did after my first reading of the series, but she's still right down on the bottom of my list of favourite characters. It has very little to do with the way she treats men, since after my initial reading of the first 8 or so books (which was done at the age of 15) I realized what Jordan was trying to do with the whole gender-reversal thing. No, my dislike for her has to do with the way her pride makes her act towards everyone around her. How dare she not tell Mat that two of his men are dead just because she was embarrassed about the circumstances of their death? They died for no reason other than that they were with her, and she decides that Mat doesn't need to know? Not only does she not tell him, she seems to feel absolutely no remorse whatsoever. I realize that this is a very minor plot point in the overall book (let alone the series), but it remains my number one reason for disliking Nynaeve.
336. skydyr
JennB @128:

I'm of the opinion that the 'his blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul' bit of prophecies refers to those two being born at Shayol Ghul, during TG. It seems a fitting parallel to the birth of the DR, and would be a twist on the word blood (to mean kin rather than literally) that seems to be a favourite of RJ.
Alice Arneson
337. Wetlandernw
skydyr - The big problem with your theory is that, as of the end of ToM, Elayne is still a good four months from her due date. Do you really think Tarmon Gai'don is going to wait that long?
339. Helen12
Great read, where can I get a copy of the book?
341. MariellaC
I almost forgot to mention my friend's page on reparacion de pc check it out if you like

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment