Apr 16 2010 1:03pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: A Crown of Swords, Part 23

Hello, WOT Campers! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry is, I am startled to discover, the penultimate post for A Crown of Swords, covering Chapters 39 and 40, in which I lose one of my favorite things for a good long while, and sulk about it.

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

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

And now, click on for my dazzling display of maturity!

Chapter 39: Promises to Keep


What Happens
Back in the Palace, Mat has been arguing with everyone for the last hour, trying to get them to leave Ebou Dar, and demands to know if they are all blind or deaf or what. Tylin is in the room, along with Elayne, Nynaeve, Birgitte, Aviendha, the rest of the rebel Aes Sedai embassy, Reanne and the five surviving Wise Women, Renaile din Calon Blue Star, whose jewelry indicates (as Mat knows from his memories) that she is Windfinder to the Mistress of the Ships, and almost twenty more Sea Folk women, all of whom can channel. He suspects but is not sure whether Elayne and Nynaeve have spoken to Tylin, who is watching him with a small smile. Merilille tells him she’s never heard of a Shadowspawn called a gholam, and Mat snaps back that he saw it, and so did Elayne and the Wise Women. He doesn’t understand why Elayne and Nynaeve are keeping so silent, refusing to back up his story, and the Wise Women are no help, as they are terrified in the presence of Aes Sedai (except Sumeko, who Nynaeve had had a long talk with on the way back and is now frowning at the Aes Sedai thoughtfully). Renaile interjects that no one doubts Elayne Sedai’s word; it is the danger they question, as the Sea Folk are not happy about leaving the water. Mat thinks the Sea Folk group is very odd, as they range from Renaile all the way down to two lowly deckhand Windfinders still in training, and the Sea Folk are normally extreme sticklers for rank. Also, he’s never seen anyone look at Aes Sedai smugly before. Merilille, who has also noticed this, says something snippy to Renaile. Mat tries to explain the danger to them:

Gholam were created in the middle of the War of the Power, during the Age of Legends,” he began from the beginning. Almost from the beginning of what Birgitte had told him. He turned, facing each group of women as he spoke. Burn him if he was going to let one bunch think they were more important. Or that he was bloody pleading with them. Especially since he was. “They were made to assassinate Aes Sedai. No other reason. To kill people who could channel. The One Power won’t help you; the Power won’t touch a gholam. In fact, they can sense the ability to channel, if they’re within, say, fifty paces of you. They can feel the power in you, too. You won’t know the gholam until it’s too late. They look just like anybody else. On the outside. Inside... Gholam have no bones; they can squeeze themselves under a door. And they’re strong enough to rip a door off steel hinges with one hand.” Or rip out a throat. Light, he should have let Nalesean stay in bed.

He continues that there were only six made, as apparently even the Forsaken were a little uneasy about them, and he assumes this one was kept alive in a stasis box. He reasons that it had to have been sent by a Forsaken, probably to get the Bowl, and from what it said to Mat, has orders to kill Elayne and/or Nynaeve specifically. (He gives them a sympathetic look, which puzzles Elayne and irritates Nynaeve.) He says that it has to know the Bowl is in the Palace now, and that’s on top of the Black Ajah (he ignores the Aes Sedai’s indignation), so do they see why they have to get out and take the Bowl somewhere the gholam and the Black Ajah don’t know about? Renaile sniffs and points out that Merilille Sedai says she’s never heard of this “gholam,” and Elayne Sedai will not confirm it either, and she’s never heard of a “stasis box” either, and why should they take his word for any of it? Mat is careful not to look at Birgitte, who is where all this information has come from, and starts to say he read a book about it, but Renaile sneers that she will not “leave the salt” for a book. It suddenly occurs to Mat that he is the only man present, and thinks this whole thing makes no sense, particularly Elayne and Nynaeve’s silence. Then he notes their twitchy behavior, as well as that of the Aes Sedai and the Kin.

A dark suspicion bloomed in his mind. Hands moving on skirts. Reanne’s blush. Birgitte’s ready quiver. A murky suspicion. He did not really know of what. Just that he had been going about this the wrong way. He gave Nynaeve a stern look, and Elayne a sterner. Butter would not have melted on their bloody tongues.

He walks slowly toward the Sea Folk, divining that somehow they are the “fly in the cream pitcher,” and tries to guess what he’s supposed to do; he hates being used, and decides if Elayne and Nynaeve don’t like the way he does it, they should have taken him into their confidence in the first place. He gets up in Renaile’s personal space, which she does not care for at all, and tells them they might all be able to channel, but he doesn’t really care. Renaile looks past him and tells Nynaeve that she doesn’t recall anything in their bargain about having to listen to this “young oakum picker.”

“I don’t bloody care about your bargains with anybody else, you daughter of the sands,” Mat snapped. So his irritation was not that well under control. A man could only take so much.

The Sea Folk all gasp, as this is one of the worst insults in their culture, and Renaile pulls a knife on him, but Mat grabs it from her and growls that Elayne and Nynaeve need her, otherwise he’d be happy to leave them for the gholam to kill.

“Well, as far as you’re concerned, I’m the Master of the Blades, and my blades are bare.” What that meant exactly, he had no idea, except for having once heard, “When the blades are bare, even the Mistress of the Ships bows to the Master of the Blades.” “This is the bargain between you and me. You go where Nynaeve and Elayne want, and in return, I won’t tie the lot of you across horses like packsaddles and haul you there!”

That was no way to go on, not with the Windfinder to the Mistress of the Ships. Not with a bilgeboy off a broken-backed darter, for that matter. Renaile quivered with the effort of not going for him with her bare hands, and never mind her dagger in his hand. “It is agreed, under the Light!” she growled. Her eyes nearly started out of her head. Her mouth worked, confusion and disbelief suddenly chasing one another across her face. This time, the gasps sounded as if the wind had ripped the curtains down.

“It is agreed,” Mat said quickly, and touching fingers to his lips, he pressed them to hers.

After a moment, she did the same, fingers trembling against his mouth.

He gives her back the knife; Renaile regains her cool quickly, and observes that she thinks she has just made a bargain with a ta’veren, but hopes that one day Mat will “walk a rope” for her. Mat’s sure that probably isn’t something pleasant, but bows and murmurs that anything’s possible. Then they all discuss where to go, the Sea Folk getting glummer the further away the possible locale is from the sea, but it’s screamingly obvious to Mat that this is all just a set-up for Reanne’s timid suggestion of the Kin’s farm a few miles north of Ebou Dar, and he rolls his eyes as everyone agrees enthusiastically. Everyone starts leaving, but Mat beckons to Elayne and Nynaeve, and to his surprise they actually come over to him. Elayne immediately apologizes for using him, but assures him they had their reasons, and Nynaeve wants to know what on earth made him try bullying them. Shooting blind, Mat suggests that next time they make a bargain with the Sea Folk, to talk with him first; then maybe it won’t get screwed up so badly. Nynaeve flushes, and Elayne murmurs ruefully that he is a “very observant subject” before they head out, but both they and Aviendha and Birgitte see it when Tylin sneaks up on him and pinches his bottom.

Elayne put on a face of commiseration, Nynaeve of glowering disapproval. Aviendha fought laughter none too successfully, while Birgitte wore her grin openly. They all bloody knew.

“Nynaeve thinks you are a little boy needing protection,” Tylin breathed up at him. “I know you are a grown man.” Her smoky chuckle made that the dirtiest comment he had ever heard.

She compliments him on his “masterful” performance, and tells him she will miss him; he replies he’ll miss her, too, and is shocked to realize it’s true. He tells her that next time he’ll do the chasing, and she answers that she likes masterful men, but not when they are with her, and yanks his head down for an extended kiss. Mat walks out unsteadily, and runs into Thom, Juilin, Nerim, and Lopin (Nalesean’s manservant), who are toting his belongings; Thom amusedly returns his signet ring, assuming it was a parting gift from Tylin, and Mat snaps back that it’s his, and he paid for it. He hopes irritably that they’re ready to go, and Lopin asks mournfully if he could stay to see Nalesean buried; Mat tells him no, regretfully, and offers to take Lopin on as his own manservant once Nerim goes back to Talmanes, which Lopin accepts gratefully. They go to collect Olver, but Riselle tells them (bosom heaving dramatically) that she let him go off to play. Mat runs back to Nynaeve and Elayne and explains that he has to go look for the boy; they all agree that of course he does, and all offer to help. Mat is tempted to accept, but remembers his promise, and tells them getting the Bowl (and themselves) out of the city is more important. He charges Lan and Birgitte to take care of the others until he can get back, which earns him glowers from Elayne and Nynaeve; Aviendha just assumes he’s talking to her as well, and promises they will.

“Nynaeve is my life,” Lan said simply, putting a hand on her shoulder. The odd thing was, she suddenly looked very sad, and then just as suddenly, her jaw set as though she was preparing to walk through a stone wall and make a large hole.

Birgitte gave Elayne a fond look, but it was to Mat she spoke. “I will,” she said. “Honor’s truth.”

Mat tugged at his coat uncomfortably. He still was not sure how much he had told her while drunk. Light, but the woman could soak it up like dry sand. Even so, he gave the proper response for a Barashandan lord, accepting her pledge. “The honor of blood; the truth of blood.” Birgitte nodded, and from the startled looks he received from Nynaeve and Elayne, she still kept his secrets close.

Nynaeve warns him that a storm is still on the way, and to take care of himself; he nods and leaves, dice drumming in his head, to return to where Thom and the others are gathered and instruct them how they’re going to search for Olver. They all nod, and Mat is amazed anew that they all follow him so willingly.

Some of them followed Mat Cauthon because they thought he was lucky, because his luck might keep them alive when the swords were out, and some for reasons he was not really sure of, but they followed. Not even Thom had ever more than protested an order of his. Maybe Renaile had been more than luck. Maybe his being ta’veren did more than dump him in the-middle of trouble. Suddenly he felt… responsible… for these men. It was an uncomfortable feeling. Mat Cauthon and responsibility did not go together. It was unnatural.

They head out into the streets. Mat seeks out every merchant selling sweets and every pretty woman he sees, but none of them have seen Olver, and all of them give him snatches of ridiculous rumors about riots and even a battle happening somewhere in the city, which Mat dismisses as nonsense. Then he begins hearing what he assumes is thunder from the direction of the sea, and wonders if Nynaeve’s storm really is coming. He reaches the quay, and notices everyone is staring out into the bay; he pushes to the front and sees half the ships in the harbor are either on fire and sinking, or trying desperately to beat out to sea. Then one blows up in front of him, and he sees scores of ships sweeping in that he recognizes.

“Blood and bloody ashes,” he muttered in shock. “It’s the flaming Seanchan!”

Mat runs back into the city shouting frantically for Olver, and almost runs into a column of Seanchan cavalry on scaled catlike creatures. The city is under attack, and people are running and screaming everywhere; Mat pushes through the din, searching for Olver desperately, and in spite of himself pauses to watch a confrontation between a company of Ebou Dari soldiers and a sul’dam and damane. The damane blows up the soldiers, taking down a good bit of the surrounding buildings as well, and Mat is knocked down by the concussion from the blast. He gets up and tries to run.

The sul’dam apparently was not satisfied. The foxhead went cool again, and from behind another roar hammered him to the pavement, pavement that jumped up to meet him. Through the ringing in his ears, he heard masonry groan. Above him, the white-plastered brick wall began leaning outward.

“What happened to my bloody luck?” he shouted. He had time for that. And just time to realize, as brick and timbers crashed down on him, that the dice in his head had just stopped dead.


Excuse me, I have to sulk for a minute.



Man, if I had known when I first read it that this was the last time we’d see Mat for four years (in reader time), I would have… I don’t know. Read this chapter more slowly? Something. Je suis trés désolée, you guys.

Well, at least we kind of get a nice State of the Mat before he goes and gets smushed. His reflections on why his men follow him was nicely done, and showcase his newfound ability for self-introspection—even if he is still only semi-sporadic about it. I love passages like these, mostly because it reminds you that sometimes other characters see the Awesome of Our Heroes much more clearly than Our Heroes themselves often do. Which is awful nice.

I also really liked Mat’s exchange with Birgitte, mostly because it revealed a tiny bit more of Mat’s Awesome to the Supergirls as well.

Speaking of which, I wonder if Mat’s memories are ever going to become common knowledge among Our Heroes? I’m pretty sure that to date, other than Birgitte no one except Lan and Rand knows about them, and even Lan and Rand don’t really know anything specific—they know Mat is suddenly a military genius, but not how or why. I don’t think it’s actually necessary to the plot that anyone ever find out where all his tactical prowess comes from, but it would be cool to see the reaction, in my opinion. I wonder what Tuon would make of it? (Again, she knows he “remembers Hawkwing’s face” but nothing more specific than that, at least as far as I can recall.)

For that matter, does anyone besides Elyas and Faile know about Perrin’s wolves? Well, besides Moiraine. And Lan. And Slayer, I suppose. And Ishy, I think. And Verin. And Aram, maybe? Did he know? Raen and Ilya knew (I think), so it’s reasonable to suppose Aram did, too, I guess. Okay, so actually a fair number of people know about Perrin, and a number more could have guessed by now, but still, my point stands! Sort of!

(Also, I have to be amused that one of the least talkative characters in WOT—namely, Lan—is the one who knows more of everyone else’s secrets than any other character!)

Bilge stone: (Heh) I’ve always loved this bit where Mat ta’verens Renaile (yes, now it’s a verb!), but I must confess I’ve never quite understood it, either. Maybe I’m just not connecting the dots, but what exactly was Elayne and Nynaeve’s scheme here? Just throw Mat into a room with the Sea Folk and hope he’d annoy them into doing what the Supergirls wanted—even though he didn’t know what that was? Nynaeve was surprised that he bullied them, but what precisely did the girls suppose he would do? And why not tell him beforehand what result they were hoping for? How did Mat being clueless help their position? It just makes no sense to me!

Though, I guess it constitutes proof that you can enjoy an effect even if you don’t understand the cause, but this is hardly news.

I do have to note something here that Tylin said, which is that it was apparently Nynaeve who gave Tylin a “talking to” about her treatment of Mat. I mean, I’m sure it was her and Elayne together, but the fact that Tylin mentions Nynaeve and not Elayne indicates to me that Nynaeve took significant part in the conversation, possibly the lead in it. I’m just… tossing that out there.

Other than that I at least can be happy that this is the last time I have to think about Tylin for a whole book. Every thorn has its rose! Bye, Tylin! I’ve got a special finger just for you!

And bye, Supergirls! Looking… forward, I guess, to headdesking at you in TPOD!

The Seanchan: Are back. Whoo.

And… yeah.

So, bye, Mat! See you in Winter’s Heart! We’ll miss you! *blows kisses*

Chapter 40: Spears

What Happens
Galina Casban stumbles barefoot through mountain terrain, and thinks of her exalted positions in the Tower—as head of the Red Ajah, and also as Alviarin’s second in command on the Black Council, one of only three Black sisters who knows who Alviarin is.

She could speak any name in those meetings—a king’s—and know that name belonged to the dead. It had happened, with a king and with a queen. She had helped to break two Amyrlins, twice helped turn the most powerful woman in the world into a squealing wretch eager to tell all she knew, had helped make it seem that one of those had died in her sleep and had seen the other deposed and stilled. Such things were a duty, like the need to exterminate men with the ability to channel, not actions she took pleasure in beyond that of tasks well done, but she had enjoyed leading the circle that stilled Siuan Sanche. Surely all those things meant that Galina Casban was herself among the mightiest of the world, among the most powerful. Surely they did. They must.

Exhausted, she falls on her face, and begins to weep, wondering aloud how this can have happened to her, and after a moment realizes that no one had yanked her to her feet like usual. She looks around for Therava, but doesn’t see her right away among the seventy or so Wise Ones on the ridge, all looking at something. She sees that they’ve chosen the weakest to shield her today, as a sign of contempt, but Galina remembers her last escape attempt, and tells herself that she will not try again unless she is 100% sure of success. Then Therava strides over and seizes Galina’s hair and examines her, and Galina thinks that where all the abuse and hardship she’s had has not made her beg, Therava’s eyes make her want to beg. Therava comments that she is fading, and orders that she be “watered,” and drops Galina and moves off. Some Shaido Maidens “water” Galina, and she is careful not to spill any of it.

Spilling water was cause for another beating; they had thrashed her in sight of a creek six paces wide for spilling a mouthful over her chin.

The party moves out again at a lope, and the Maidens switch Galina to make her run. She tries to convince herself that Elaida or Alviarin will surely arrange to rescue her soon.

She would promise anything for that deliverance. She would even keep those promises. She had been broken free of the Three Oaths on joining the Black Ajah, replacing them with a new trinity, but at that moment she truly believed she would keep her word, if it brought rescue. Any promise, to anyone who would free her. Even a man.

Eventually they reach a camp, and Galina is dumped on the ground, semi-conscious. She comes to to a voice telling Therava she took her time, and to bring Galina in; Galina is shocked to learn that she’s only been held captive for nine days. She is brought inside the tent and flung down in front of Sevanna, fourteen Wise Ones, and twelve Aiel men (to Galina’s horror, as she is only wearing a torn shift). Sevanna comments that it seems Aes Sedai can lie after all, and asks if Galina really thinks she can murder a Wise One and get away with it. Galina thinks that she means Wise Ones who died in the battle, and answers that Sevanna should be grateful it wasn’t all of them, and there is time for Sevanna to correct her mistakes; Galina will remember those who assist her when she gets back to the Tower. To herself, she prays to figure out a way to get Sevanna to take her from Therava; Sevanna is vain and ambitious, and possibly could be bought, but Therava is like “a force of nature.”

“You are da’tsang,” Sevanna said. Galina blinked. She was a despised one? Certainly they had displayed their contempt plainly, but why—?

“You are da’tsang,” a round-faced Wise One she did not know intoned, and a woman a hand taller than Therava repeated, “You are da’tsang.”

Therava’s hawklike face might have been carved from wood, yet her eyes, fixed on Galina, glittered accusingly. Galina felt nailed to the spot where she knelt, unable to move a muscle. A hypnotized bird watching a serpent slither nearer. No one had ever made her feel that way. No one.

Smugly, Sevanna says that three Wise Ones have said it; Galina isn’t sure what just happened, but observes hopefully that Therava doesn’t like it. She is grateful at first when they stuff her into an itchy black cloak, but it doesn’t take long for that feeling to end.

Sevanna watches the Aes Sedai da’tsang labor at the useless task of hauling rocks, and Rhiale comments that she never thought the woman would make it so easy for the others to believe she murdered Desaine. Therava complains that she had intended to put Galina in gai’shain robes of silk, and asks what Sevanna means by all this. Rhiale answers that Sevanna wants a tame Aes Sedai of her own, and intends to break Galina for that purpose; Sevanna is irritated that Rhiale knows she wants this as a substitute for her own lack of channeling ability. Therava thinks she is broken already, but Sevanna counters with Galina’s behavior in the tent, and thinks it will take a while, but eventually she will beg to obey.

“If you want to make an Aes Sedai obey you,” a man’s voice said behind her, “this might help.”

Sevanna whirls to find Caddar and Maisia there; each are carrying a large sack, and Caddar is holding out a short white rod. Sevanna demands to know what they are doing here, and snatches the rod, asking what it is; she notes that the rod has strange symbols inscribed on one end. Caddar answers that she could call it an Oath Rod; knowing what the Oath Rod does, Sevanna hurriedly sticks it in her belt so she doesn’t have to touch it anymore. Therava and Rhiale glare at the rod and then her, and Sevanna knows there isn’t a chance they will ever touch it, but reminds herself of Galina. (Maisia notes this byplay and is amused by it.) Caddar explains to her how to use it as they walk to her tent for tea, and that it can only be used on women who channel; she will have to wait till she has al’Thor before Caddar will give her what will control him. They sit down (Sevanna is very irritated that Maisia seems even more beautiful than she did before), and Caddar mentions that if she meant just any man, there is something called a binding chair, but he doesn’t know if any survived the Breaking. Sevanna plots how to get him and Maisia both into black robes, and asks about the traveling boxes. Caddar answers that he brought as many “nar’baha” as he could find, and he advises them to hurry and use them, as four of al’Thor’s clans are maneuvering to trap the Shaido between them. Therava thinks that is reason to move, but not to panic.

“Didn’t I say?” Caddar’s smile was not at all pleasant. “It seems al’Thor has bound some Aes Sedai to him, too, and they have taught the Wise Ones how to Travel without a nar’baha, over short distances, at least. Twenty or thirty miles. A recent rediscovery, it seems. They could be here—well, today. All four clans.”

Sevanna imagines being in Sorilea’s clutches, and sends Rhiale to inform the other Wise Ones. Caddar explains how the nar’baha works, but Sevanna barely listens, wondering if she can trust Caddar’s greed as much as she thought.

Maeric frowns at the “hole” that had appeared when he pressed the red spot on the box the wetlander had given him. Sevanna is going through another hole, and Maeric notes that she has taken most of the Wise Ones with her, leaving few to the other groups. He goes through the hole and almost falls, since the hole is a foot above the ground on this side. He yells back to his wife (Dyrele) to watch the drop, and watches as she and the rest of the Moshaine Shaido come through, including a large group who call themselves the Mera’din, which means “Brotherless,” as they had abandoned sept and clan because they did not believe Rand al’Thor was the Car’a’carn. Maeric does not trust them, even if he might agree. Then the hole snaps shut, slicing several of the Mera’din to pieces, and Maeric knows that his son and daughter both had still been on the other side. He pushes the red spot again and again, but the wetlander had said it would take three days to reset itself. He tells Dyrele they can wait, but then three different scouts come up to tell him that spears and/or cavalry are approaching from three different directions. Calmly, Maeric calls Hamal the blacksmith over, and tells him to keep pressing the red spot, as it is the only chance the non-fighters have to get out. Then he touches Dyrele’s cheek and tells her she must prepare to put on white.

Raising his veil, Maeric shoved one spear high above his head. “Moshaine!” he roared. “We dance!”

They move to engage, and Maeric reflects that the world has become a very strange place since Rand al’Thor appeared in it. The Moshaine Shaido start to sing.

Graendal watches as the last gateway closes behind the Shaido, and Sammael laughs.

“One of these days,” she said dryly, “you will be too smart for your own good. A fool box, Sammael? Suppose one of them had understood?”

Sammael counters that they didn’t, though, and she supposes he sent them somewhere ahead of al’Thor’s army; Sammael says, some, but the rest are scattered from Illian to Ghealdan, and no one will suspect that he had anything to do with it. Graendal realizes he doesn’t know that Sevanna took every Shaido woman who could channel with her group, and wonders if the time has come to abandon him. He comments that she will rise and fall with him, and she agrees aloud, but thinks something will have to be worked out. They open separate gateways to their strongholds, and Graendal asks Sammael, what if al’Thor comes after him himself?

“Al’Thor isn’t going after anyone,” Sammael laughed. “All I have to do is wait.” Still laughing, he stepped into his gateway and let it close.

Shaidar Haran steps out of the shadows, and looks at the residue the gateways had left; it can smell the difference between saidar and saidin, something no other Fade could do. It goes over and examines the discarded sack Sammael had left behind, stirring it with a spear it had picked up.

Much was happening outside the plan. Would these events churn chaos, or...

Angry black flames raced down the spear haft from Shaidar Haran’s hand, the hand of the Hand of the Shadow. In an instant the wooden haft was charred and twisted; the spearhead dropped off. The Myrddraal let the blackened stick fall and dusted soot from its palm. If Sammael served chaos, then all was well. If not...

A sudden ache climbed the back of its neck; a faint weakness washed along its limbs. Too long away from Shayol Ghul. That tie had to be severed somehow. With a snarl, it turned to find the edge of shadow that it needed. The day was coming. It would come.

Sevanna: is annoying. And finally uses her cube. The End.

What? Okay, FINE.

Well, if we ever needed proof that Sammael was evil, spreading the Shaido all over hell and gone (and thus ensuring the drawn-outedness of That Damn Plotline) should be evidence enough for anyone. That was cold, Sammy. What did we ever do to you?

I’m guessing the purpose here is only nominally to spread chaos, and more to create a giant widespread clusterfuck to distract Rand’s attention from getting up in Sammael’s bidness in Illian. Which isn’t the worst plan I’ve ever heard, I guess. Except for how it completely doesn’t work, of course. It’s always the details that get you, man.

Galina: Wow. I hate her and she deserves everything that’s happening to her, but the description of her treatment almost makes me feel sorry for her.

Also, the “watering” thing kind of killed me, especially the bit about how they beat up Galina for spilling water in sight of a river. Talk about sticking to your cultural guns, right?

We find out from Verin that one of the “new trinity” of Oaths Black sisters take is not to betray the Shadow until the hour of their death (heh, sneaky Verin), but I don’t think we’ve ever found out what the other two are. Have we?

Therava: I am really unclear, both from their interaction here and from what I recall of all their future scenes, whether Therava’s interest in Galina is sexual or not. There is unquestionably some kind of subtext there – certainly in a weird creepy way Therava can be seen as actually taking care of Galina here— but I get the impression that this was deliberately left ambiguous. Which, okay, but I again have to assert my irritation that up to this point, the only even subtextual hint of same-sex relationships we get in WOT is… this.

I mean, ew? That’s not just upholding a stereotype, that’s damn near parody. But in a bad way. Urk.

Anyway. Sevanna’s plan to use Galina as a channeling proxy is actually one of the few non-dumb schemes she’s come up with. What puzzles me is why we didn’t see more come of it once she did make Galina swear on the Oath Rod. Or maybe she did, and I’m just not remembering. Well, we’ll get to it. Unfortunately.

Maeric: Raw deal, man. It’s too bad; for a Shaido you were pretty cool.

Superfade! Am I the only one who hears that in a Molly Shannon voice/pose? Just me? Okay.

Look, I really don’t know what his/its drama is. You’d think the Dark One would be satisfied that after like umpty-trillion years or whatever he can finally go proxy-ishly larking about some non-Shayol Ghul locales, but nooo, he has to be all pissy because his avatar’s batteries run down too quick. There’s just no pleasing some evil deities!

Okay, more seriously, there’s actually been a lot of contention among fans as to whether the line “That tie had to be severed somehow” is coming from the Dark One, as in “get me out of this crappy patched-up celestial prison already,” or from Shaidar Haran itself, as in “get this crazy archfiend off me!”

That… wasn’t actually more serious, was it. Oh well!

Of the theories floating around to explain what Mr. Superfade’s Deal is, I personally like the “avatar” theory. (And no, that’s not the theory where Shaidar Haran is a giant blue Smurf.)

That said, though, I’ve never gotten a good sense of how or even if SH really fits into the overall story. He’s always struck me as… not “extraneous,” exactly, because I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough information to make that judgment, but just, I don’t know, square-peg-in-round-hole-ish. Out of place, somehow. Like pickle juice in your coffee, or something. I have no rational basis for this feeling, but I have it nonetheless, and so I share it.

In any case, the relevant part is that it seems like SH/the DO is a bit doubtful of Sammael’s commitment to Evil Motion, which sets us up for what happens in the Big Ass Ending.

Which is coming up Next! Have a lovely springlike weekend, chirren, and we polish this puppy off Tuesday!

j p
1. sps49
Yeah, I think I've mentioned before that PoD was a slog because of the no Mat (I got to the end and was, like, wtf? Mat's still under that wall?)and, to me, the excess page count. So no chastisement from me.

Although I recall getting smacked down by you, once (mumble grr natter grommish).

But shouldn't Sammy and SH be a little more useful? I started getting less impressed with the abilities of Team Evil around this time.
Rob Munnelly
2. RobMRobM
On the Therava-Galina connection - definitely implied sexual and in a very not nice, uncool creepy way. Argh. No doubt more to follow in future chapters but this becomes something straight out of a BDSM lesbian fantasy.

Nyn and Elayne's plan, to the extent they had one, is that Mat would be the one to bargain with the Sea Folk and presumably be the one bound (as they couldn't possibly incur any more obligations or Eg would have their heads). Very uncool and unfair to put Mat in that position. Anger forms towards Nyn in particular for trying to justify keeping Mat in the dark when his life and obligations were put on the line without him knowing it. Argh.

As noted on last thread, while quite funny, Elayne's "very observant servant" line remains an unnice, backhanded compliment, especially given what he's done for her, what she and Nyn just put him through, and his shocking success. Mat dislikes royalty, so being called a subject is not welcome, he's from the freakin TR that doesn't acknowledge being subject to the Andoran Queen and Elayne isn't the freakin Queen yet, and so she doesn't have any subjects. (The parody summaries of WoT books back from usenet days make lots of sport about this last point.) Argh.
Andrew Belmont
3. rosetintdworld
Awesome, new post!

I always thought that PoD and WH would be 999 times better if they had been combined into one book. Their relatively low word counts make publishing the combination possible, Mat and Egwene in the same book would make it so no one gets left out, and the climax would be much more satisfying. I didn't hate PoD, but I did think there was no payoff at the end--the Osan'gar fight was an awfully underwhelming ending.

Therava: I remember commenting on the homosexuality discussion in LoC that Therava was my example of most egregious Evil Lesbian, and the one that bothered me most, since her sadism was explicitly sexual in nature. A number of people were incredulous, and commented that Therava wasn't a lesbian at all. This surprised me at the time, since I had always thought that Galina's punishment was obviously sexual. Re-reading those passages, I see it is more ambiguous than I'd remembered, and appreciate the pushback I got from commenters. Maybe my mind was just in the gutter. (At the same time, references to "little Lina" and the "long, terrible nights of howling" is pretty suggestive...)

The ending to the Bowl plotline: I got nothing useful. I always assumed that after recognizing the pay-off of keeping a ta'veren around, Elayne decided that Mat should do *something,* and given that the mojo of ta'veren (and Mat in particular) is rooted in randomness, she decided not to prep him beforehand. I still find it a little irritating, though.

Sammael: I was also irritated, on this read through, to recognize how little he actually accomplishes. So much set-up in this chapter, only for Rand to wake up and decide on a whim to finish things neatly one chapter later! I assume RJ was making a point about hubris, as he does with most Forsaken, but after so many scenes of Sammael and Graendal arguing obliquely over who is Most Evil, I can't help but be grumpy over the payoff. (For Graendal, too, five books down the line...)
James Jones
4. jamesedjones
Never really got the image of a sexual relationship between Therava and Galina. Putting gai'shain in robes of silk would just be that much more shaming. Therava always just seemed like the type that obsesses over mental torture and control. She broke Galina with terror, and seemed to really take pride in it.

As for That Damn Plotline (TDP), we just have to keep our chins up. *sigh*

...and try to think up a few creative surveys during those chapters.
Lost in my own mind
5. Lost in my own mind
I think something more is going on with Sammeal and his plans. Brandon Sanderson has talked about some big thing all the fans have missed, and I think it has something to do with Sam's plan. I believe this for two reasons, we get more info about Sam's actions here than we have gotten from any other forsaken plot, but the pay off has been weak at best. Second, when fans asked RJ if Sam was really dead at the end of POD he said something like yes, but sometimes the most straight forward answers are the trickiest (does anyone know the exact quote I am refferring to?). Something is going on here, thoughts anyone?
John Pigott
6. AbEnd
"the only even subtextual hint of same-sex relationships we get in WOT is… this"

What about pillow-friends?
Lost in my own mind
7. junior1234
I would have much rather seen the "talk" between Nyn and Tylin than that ludicrous scene with Mat's attempt at being manly and awesome. Just laughable. Also, the "Bargain" between the Sea Folk and Aes Sed is one of my least favorite things in the entire series.

On the other hand, the Seanchen attack was pretty great. I really liked that scene; it had a very frantic and dangerous feel to it.
Nathan Martin
8. lerris
No, SH doesn't fit.
And that works for me, far better than Lovecraft's method of stating that the ancient horror is undescribable and alien.

Whether RJ did this deliberately or not, I couldn't say. I'd like to believe he did.
Jay Dauro
9. J.Dauro
The actual line is
"A most observant subject"
Elayne does not say this as a backhand compliment, more in surprise that Mat was able to deduce that they had goofed so badly on the original bargain. And she does see Mat as a subject. He may not think so, but she will never admit that the Two Rivers is not part of Andor.

I have always speculated that Mat will have to bargain the Sea Folk to change the girl's bargain with the Aes Sedai. And as we see in the future, he puts the Sea Folk into a position of owing him much, when he frees the Windfinders in Ebou Dar.

As I remember, RJ's comment was something to the effect "Sammeal is toast."
Matthew Smith
10. blocksmith
Happy Friday before the Long Patriots Day Weekend in MA...and a re-read to enjoy.

Leigh, my comments can wait, but I thought I could provide you with my favorite alternative phrase to your use of the cluster**** word. Charlie Foxtrot. Means the same and rolls of the tongue almost as easily.
Brett Michie
11. bchurch
Egwene also knows about Perrin's affinity with wolves. But, yeah, I think a lot of people have probably guessed at it.
Brett Michie
12. bchurch
Now I'm thinking that it would be cool to have a reunion of Perrin and Egwene in T'A'R where they could compare notes on what they know of the place. I know it's not likely, but it would be cool.
Jennifer B
13. JennB
I never saw references to a sexual relationship between Therava and Galina. Even in my rereads after it was mentioned online.
Lannis .
14. Lannis
I love that Mat and Birgitte have a mutual appreciation for the other's ability to drink. It's just one of those off-hand details that make me grin every time I read it.

I did so miss Mat the first go-round... it was excruciating! But I appreciated Jordan's reasoning (which I heard somewhere in my travels and can't remember where--sorry guys):Mat was convalescing and was not pertinent to the story, so I get it. But yeah, the 4-years-reader-time thing was hell...

Galina: ugh.

Therava: ugh.

Galina + Therava = Sevanna gets less screen time, which I can handle, thankyouverymuch!

Thanks once again for the reread, Leigh! Have a great weekend!
Ron Garrison
15. Man-0-Manetheran
Yippee! Friday!

[i][b]"she thinks she has just made a bargain with a ta’veren"[/b] Booya! You are so bloody well right, Renaile! Oh if all of our gang could dispatch the Sea Folk with the aplomb of Fast Hands Mat! "After a moment, she did the same, fingers trembling against his mouth." - Ah, RJ, you are a master.

There was a line a bit later in this first chapter that puzzles me. Right before Mat heads out to look for Olver, Nyn tells him that there is a storm coming. The line is:
"Something tugged at this thoughts, something about the weather, and Elayne, which made no sense, but he shrugged it off."

Anyone know or have ideas about what this "something" is?

Leigh: "Maybe I’m just not connecting the dots, but what exactly was Elayne and Nynaeve’s scheme here?" Ditto. It's very vague. Maybe they realized that they couldn't get any agreement with the SF and true to form they weren't about to admit it to anyone - least of all Mat! Clueless leading the clueless.

I agree it was probably Nynaeve who gave Tylin a talking-to. 1-It's just her style, especially when defending the Two Rivers' boys. 2-Elayne's royal training probably wouldn't allow her to chastize another queen's personal actions.

Galina. How the mighty have fallen. I confess. I enjoy all her punishments. Does that make me a lesbian sadist???

Seanchen invasion: Masterfully written, strongly visual. Mat looking for Olver in a red coat - sees short red coat through crowd - not Olver but a young girl. Very cinematic.
Leigh Butler
16. leighdb
AbEnd @6:

I said "up to this point." The pillow friends thing wasn't introduced until later.
Lost in my own mind
17. RafoMofo
Thanks for the awesome reread posts - they never fail to make my day (at least my workday) great.

I wanted to note that it's not too surprising that Lan, as quiet as he is, knows everyone's secrets. It's amazing what you hear when you shut up and listen, and people are far more likely to talk to someone they know doesn't go blabbing everything he hears. Certainly Lan isn't the type to go bragging about how "glorious" his wedding night was.

Also, I had never noticed that Nynaeve had such a hand in the talk with Tylin. It makes her defense of Mat to Tuon in TGS seem more in character.

Finally, I thought that perhaps Mat had to do the negotiating with the Sea Folk without Nynaeve and Elayne explaining because their previous deal with the Sea Folk was already established. If they had told him what to do, they might have felt they were violating or altering the terms of their own deal. Nynaeve has been on the "we keep our word as if we've held the oath rod" kick recently.

Notice how all those comments relate to Chapter 39? The fallout from Chapter 40 is just too exhausting to discuss.

a a-p
18. lostinshadow
My assumption on the reasoning behind keeping Mat clueless was twofold

The first being that they actually paid attention to his earlier point that his ta'veren luck worked best in random situations so they figured any knowledge on his part as to a specific goal would taint that luck and they needed a lot of it

The second being that they were leery of asking him any more favors, they knew he wanted them to leave quickly and were also too embarrassed to admit to the bad bargain they had made.

But perhaps giving them more credit than they deserve, I mainly thing that they figured his ta'verenness would work better if he walked in blind.

on the lesbian thing:
that pretty much passed me by.
Lost in my own mind
19. Rand Al'Todd
Leigh comentary said:

"Therava’s eyes make her want to beg. Therava comments that she is fading, and orders that she be “watered,” and drops Galina and moves off. Some Shaido Maidens “water” Galina, and she is careful not to spill any of it.

"Spilling water was cause for another beating; they had thrashed her in sight of a creek six paces wide for spilling a mouthful over her chin."

For those looking for kink and BDSM issues, am I the only one who thinks that the Maidens "watered" her with the principle ingredient of "Yellow Snow"???

With all the emphasis on Aei Sedai honor and the pride Galina had in her position as #2 BA, how degrading would it be for her to only be allowed to drink "used water" straight from the source???

Man-o @15 - If I'm right, would you still "enjoy all her punishments"?????
a a-p
20. lostinshadow
@1 yeah, I agree team evil lost a lot of its dazzle around this time.
Matthew Smith
21. blocksmith
OK Tor just at three attempted posts...I swear there was no spam!!!

So, trying this again…

I interpreted the Nyn-Tylin conversation as going something like this…
Nyn: I practically raised that boy…your old enough to be his mother…you should be ashamed of yourself!
Tylin: Trust me…he’s no boy. He’s all man and a bag of chips!

On Elayne using Mat…

I think she was trying to use Mat’s t’averen-ness to her advantage in forcing the Sea Folk to follow them. Like using a tool instead of manipulating a person. If you see what I mean. Clear as mud, right?

On Galina and Thereva…

I never read anything sexual (although the comments have me thinking now). I had always thought that Thereva realized Sevanna wanted a pet AS as her proxy channeler and Thereva knew that to maintain an advantage over Sevanna she needed to break Galina on her own, thus maintaining a measure of control over Galina.

Regarding Shaidar Haran…

I agree he seems out of place right now, but I think future events help establish his substance as a character in the story.

Welcome Back Seanchan! Hello Tuon! Meet your future husband. In about 30+ chapters.
Tony Zbaraschuk
22. tonyz
This is actually a Moment of Awesome for Sammael. He manages to get the Shaido, who have been a Very Nasty Problem for four books now, to effectively destroy themselves, with no more than a couple bags of rocks and a few tied-off weaves. Subtle, sneaky, not what you would expect of Sammael (it doesn't feel like Graendal had as much to do with the plan).

True, it takes four more books to finish off the Shaido, but just think every time you see That Damn Plotline again that you're watching Sammael's hand on the Pattern, and think again of just how evil the Forsaken are, and why people have been using their names to scare children for more than thirty centuries.

And think of how the Dark One is laughing behind the scenes.
Ron Garrison
23. Man-0-Manetheran
In answer to your question RA'T: No. That's just gross.
Jeff Weston
24. JWezy
Well, Sammael's plan may not have helped him ultimately, but it certainly hurt Rand, as the widespread plague of Aiel made everyone distrust Rand's Aiel.

An odd thing that always troubled me. Yes, Mat remember's Hawkwing's face. But so does Rand. And Perrin. And Hurin. And Birgitte. And anybody else who was at Falme. I'm pretty sure that this was not meant to count, and is really a bit of a slip on RJ's part, but there it is.
Lost in my own mind
25. Rand Al'Todd
Re me @ 19.
Now I am going to have to do my own re-read of that chapter to see if I am reading too much into Leigh's choice of words for her comentary rather than what is actually in the text.

It would be gross, but it would also be an evil, sadistic, and probably EFFECTIVE way to help break someone who was as full of self pride as Galina.

If it was meant, I'm glad of the fact that it was the evil Shaido doing it. We would not be happy if that were the way SWHNBM broke Semi in tGS. Similar intentions, similar, but significantly different, methods!!!

Go Light!!!
Tina Pierce
26. scissorrunner
I think the girls left Mat in the dark as to their motives w/ the Sea Folk due to their previously gone-wrong-bargain & their own general habit of not sharing information (grrrrrr)MAYBE they were trying to use his luck, but I'm not sure Nynaeve thinks of him as much more than an troublesome boy.

Rand Al'Todd - aside from the complete "ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" factor, the Aiel are a desert people and any spot of water big enough to step over is likely to cause a skirmish if not a war. Any waste of drinking water would be punnishable, and waste of water by one they see as worthless would be punished harshly.

also - g'bye Mat - I'll will miss you
Lost in my own mind
27. Silvertip
@3 rosetintdworld:

I've wondered for a while if PoD and WH actually weren't originally intended to be a single book, but got split at some point for publishing purposes. The cleansing just feels like more of a chapter-end moment than the attack in Cairhien. I suspect even more strongly about CoT and KoD, for the same reason times three.

Even further out on a limb ... I wonder if, at some early point, the events of LoC and Cos weren't thought of as a single book. LoC ends with a spectacular bang, true, but there's a tremendous amount of buildup for the confrontation with Sammael throughout book 6, quite a bit more forward-referencing than we've seen thus far. Many folks have noticed how compressed CoS is in time -- it really feels like the climax to the events of LoC to me. LoC is also the only book of the first seven that doesn't end with the defeat and death (or apparent death/severe scorching) of one of the Forsaken.

Am I nuts? Anybody buy it?

Lost in my own mind
28. Silvertip
Should clarify: I don't mean the completed books were simply snipped in half (RJ obviously had far too much pride in the craft of writing for that), but that the plan changed at some point during writing, rather like happened to AMoL.

Lost in my own mind
29. jadelollipop
I too am saddened that Mat wound up under the wall and thereby stuck in Ebou Dar. I was able to handle the Mat/Tylin plot part one because Mat almost got to leave. I abhor the Mat as Toy plotline part two because Tylin takes advantage of Mat's broken leg to keep him trapped. I had more respect for her when she did not stop him from leaving in COS. I know that Mat is saddened to hear of her death (I think Mat felt responsible for her death since he left her helpless for the gholam.)
I know that it eventually leads to his meeting with Tuon but still....very sad.

Maeric is the one who would have been the true Shaido chief if Couladin and Sevanna had been removed,I think anyway. He mentioned Rhuidean if I recall (book in another room). I was saddened to see the end of his portion of Shaido and the Brotherless in this scene
Birgit F
30. birgit
For that matter, does anyone besides Elyas and Faile know about Perrin’s wolves?

Eg knows, too (and Bela).

Caddar mentions that if she meant just any man, there is something called a binding chair, but he doesn’t know if any survived the Breaking.

Is the Chair of Remorse a binding chair, or the Seanchan throne?

I always assumed that after recognizing the pay-off of keeping a ta'veren around, Elayne decided that Mat should do *something,* and given that the mojo of ta'veren (and Mat in particular) is rooted in randomness, she decided not to prep him beforehand.

Do the girls know how Mat's ta'veren works?

"Something tugged at this thoughts, something about the weather, and Elayne, which made no sense, but he shrugged it off."
Anyone know or have ideas about what this "something" is?

You must be careful, though. Nynaeve says there's a storm coming, and she doesn't mean the wind.

ACoS ch. 38
Hugh Arai
31. HArai
I find Therava to be one of the nastiest if not _the_ nastiest character we come across. I don't know if she's an Evil Lesbian so much as a plain sexual sadist. I suspect she would treat anyone male or female that fell into her power the same way. Galina just attracts the most attention because she's a bigshot Aes Sedai and is therefore more fun to degrade and punish.

Sad wave goodbye to the Moshaine Shaido. Their destruction really does seem to be the end of any Shaido that aren't evil corrupted dregs. Life is a dream, all dreams must end Maeric.
Ron Garrison
32. Man-0-Manetheran
Birgit - I don't have the book handy, but right before this Nyn tells Mat there is a storm coming and it's not weather. So I don't think the "something" refers to that.
Andrew Belmont
33. rosetintdworld
@27,28 Silvertip

I agree with you, although I think that if 6&7 were ever intended to be one book it was very early in the writing. I'd buy it though, especially as Book 6 was the first in the series where one of the threads ends "mid-plot." Every thread up to that point had at least a nominal climax (and often much more); Mat and the Supergirls vanished from LoC with no indication that the narrative was wrapping up.

(I'd also like to be clear that I'm talking about well thought out decisions made necessary by deadlines and publishing schedules, and not that RJ was slacking on his craft and putting out half-finished work.)

On the Windfinder's agreement with Mat: can someone refresh my memory as to how Renaile justifies up and leaving Elayne in COT, after making the "I will go where she says" agreement here? Or how the Sea Folk manage to be so generally obstinate about making gateways for her? Maybe I'm thinking of them too much like Aes Sedai, but the terms of the agreement seem pretty clear here.
Lost in my own mind
34. Silvertip
@33, "well thought out decisions": very much agree, with the addition that sheer amount of material may well have played a role (I know there's some word count mavens out there -- how far above or below realistic single-book length would, say, LoC plus CoS minus some reiteration be?).

Sharon E.
35. Sulin
Hmmmm, I never thought of Galina and Therava's relationship as sexual either.

I hate Sevanna, Galina and Therava equally. But, having just finished KoD last night, it was very fulfilling seeing Sev and Gal get their comeuppance. :D

I missed reading about Mat in PoD but figured he was just convalescing after getting a freakin' building dropped on him.

I loved the Seanchan attack on Ebou Dar, it really had a sense of danger/menace. Masterfully written!

The whole Bowl of the Winds/Seafolk Bargain plot is my least favorite. UGH- didn't enjoy reading through that so much. But, I loved the scene with Mat telling the uppity Renaile How Things Are Going to Be. That was just 100% Pure Matrim Ta'Veren Awesomeness! :D
Lost in my own mind
36. Seamus1602
Re: people knowing about Mat's memories

When Leigh says 'up to this point', I'm never quite sure if she means up to bk 12 or up to the currently recapped chapters, but I'll point out that by the end of KoD, Thom, Noal, and, I believe Domon know about Mat's memories because he tells them when planning the Moiraine escape.
Barry T
37. blindillusion
Meh. I’ll throw some stuff out there.

I agree with Lost. I think Nynaeve and Elayne were trying to capitalize on the Randomness of Mat’s Luck. It wasn’t meant to be devious. They were probably also banking on his ta’veren-ness. So, sure, I’ll admit that it was wrong, but it wasn’t malicious. I don’t in any way believe Nynaeve and Elayne threw Mat into the possibility of a raw deal because they themselves had blundered so bad, or out of fear of Egwene.

Mat taking Renaile down a peg is one of my Top 10 favorite scenes…if only she’d stayed on that peg. Blah.

I believe it was around here that I started to sigh whenever the Kin were mentioned. I hope they find that potential again.
He nods and leaves, dice drumming in his head, to return to where Thom and the others are gathered and instruct them how they’re going to search for Olver. They all nod, and Mat is amazed anew that they all follow him so willingly.
It’d be because you’re MOA, Mat.

Ah, yes. The Wall…. And isn’t it funny that that’s how the Pattern decided to keep Mat in Ebou Dar to meet Tuon…by dropping a wall on him…. Stupid wall…YOU SUCK!!!! Gonna miss you Mat.

The Shaido. Get dispersed. I recall thinking that was one hell of a way to serve Chaos the first time I read it…but I never thought it’d be one of the reasons I wanted pull my hair out…. And now we have the two main players in the Plot-Thread Most Foul moving inexorably towards one another. Boo.

Therava/Galina – (Where’s that brick.) Hmm’k. I’ll just say that I always read this relationship as a sexually abusive one, especially when we get to KoD. For one thing, I believe it’s fairly obvious from LoC that Galina is definitely a lesbian, i.e. the whole scene with Erian. And when it comes to Therava…well…it just always seemed plausible. Anywho, Galina still gets off light if you ask me.

Eh, I’d starting questioning the Ebildubers (heh, type that word in and use spell check and it actually recommends “evildoers”…amusing) long before this scene with Sammael (blame Lanfear). And after actually seeing what Mr Jordan had to say about the Forsaken, and reading about it in tGS, I’m starting the think Shaidar Haran, Fain and Moridin are the actual Bad Guys (I’ll put Alviarin in there as well, as she’s actually managed to pull off some pretty nefarious shit) and all the others are pretty much just flunkies and/or cannon fodder.

Alright, that’d be enough for now.
Lost in my own mind
38. AndrewB
Leigh @ recap/commentary:
"Speaking of which, I wonder if Mat’s memories are ever going to become common knowledge among Our Heroes? ... I wonder what Tuon would make of it? ..."

IIRC, Mat told Tuon about his source of memories in KoD (after she completed the marriage ceremony).
Also, Mat explained to Thom, Oliver, and Noal all about the source of his memories. In your commentary, you mention "to date." I am unclear if this phrase meant up to chapters 39 & 40 in ACoS or through the end of TGS. If the latter, then please disregard this paragraph.

Querry: in chapter 40, Galina notes that she is "one of only three Black sisters who knows who Alviarin is." If Alviarin is the 2nd Black, any thoughts on who the third Black sister is?

Thanks for reading my musings?

Edit: Seamus1602 @36: You beat me to the punch re Mat telling Thom, Oliver & Noal. (For what it's, IIRC, Domon had already left Mat's tent at that point.)
Tina Pierce
39. scissorrunner
rolf - thinking of Lanfear as cannon fodder has some appeal.
Captain Hammer
40. Randalator
re: Supergirls' plan with Mat

I read it as them relying on his luck, which works best when circumstances are completely random. So him not working towards a certain goal, actually not even KNOWING that he is or should be working towards a certain goal would really put the pedal to the luck-metal. And so by sheer dumb luck he actually manages to do the right thing without knowing the what, why and how.

But now that I think of it, do they even know the rules to Mat's luck? I can't remember that there has ever been a mention on screen. Thom might know or at least suspect something from his Tear-y adventure with Mat. Maybe he gave the girls a few pointers?

re: evil lesbian Therava

Okay, never noticed any sexual subtext here, at least not an evil lesbian subtext. There's a hint of sadistic sexual subtext as in a Semirhage-ish "I get off on torturing and breaking people"-fetish. But I thought Galina is her center of attention because of the whole Aes Sedai business with the former reverence and the recent screwing over and all, not her gender per se.

"Galina: Wow. I hate her and she deserves everything that’s happening to her, but the description of her treatment almost makes me feel sorry for her."

For what it's worth, I DO feel sorry for her. Yes, she's a horrible, despicable human being. But so is Therava. Two wrongs don't make a right, y'all. I can't blame Galina for all the things she's done and then go "Now she's at the receiving end, woohoo!"...if what she did to others was wrong, it's still wrong when done to her.

Yeah, I know, the irony, instant karma, taste of her own medicine. But that's just who I am. If it's wrong, it's wrong. I'm not exactely cursing the gods over it, but I still don't like it.

Rand al'Todd @19

Eeeeeeew! You need Brain Bleach and so do I now. Yuck!
Lost in my own mind
41. FellKnight
Yeah, I never ever was able to make myself see the idea that Therava/Galina was anything but the sheer hatred that the Shaido Wise Ones would naturally have for Aes Sedai after Dumai's Wells... and I have a *really* sexual mind.

So yeah.

@leighdb 16

I do not know where every reference to pillow-friends in the series is, but even if it was not explicitly stated before this in the series, it was quite strongly implied. That's my dirty mind again.

Also, bye Matt! "You daughter of the sands!". Always made me laugh out loud whenever I read that line.

Lost in my own mind
42. Chaplainchris
"Well, at least we kind of get a nice State of the Mat before he goes and gets smushed." a really funny sentence. Heh heh heh.

Excellent as always, Leigh!

Egwene knows about Perrin's wolves, btw, having been there when he first meets Elyas. She doesn't know everything, but I think knows about some connection with him and dreams, too? Don't know for sure, but it sure would be handy if she and Perrin could talk about that and realize they could keep in touch through dreams, too, along with the Wise Ones and the Supergirls.

The least talkative people often learn secrets, if they pay attention. People either don't notice 'em, or confide in 'em. Granted, I don't think Lan's the type that people feel safe enough with to confide in! But he's quiet and hears a lot.

I think, given the randomness of Mat's luck, it maybe makes sense to not give him a heads up. Not that the Supergirls know about his luck, exactly, but all taveren are lucky sorta, and it's pretty much what they did by having him wander around the city at random looking for the BotW (SuperBowl?).

I like your pointing out that Nynaeve took the lead in the conversation with Tylin. It's part of the whole dynamic that Brandon uses when Nynaeve defends Mat in front of Tuon, I think. Nynaeve would probably give Mat more grief over his relationship with Tylin than *any*body - but she's in the lead in telling Tylin to cut it out. Interesting that Tylin perceives it as protecting a little boy, since that's pretty much how Nynaeve sees her role re: all the Emond's Fielders.

RobMRobM - too harsh in judgement of Elayne. Yes, you see it well from Mat's point of view; but from Elayne's viewpoint, she's not intentionally needling him, she is intentionally complimenting him. And most everyone she's dealt with in her whole life would be delighted with such a compliment. Her viewpoint is certainly wrong-headed and limited, but so is everyone's - this is WOT! Point being, in her conception of the world, Mat *is* her subject as a citizen of Andor; that's not even a question for her.

Sammael - yeah, I don't know what he thought he was waiting for. However, he did accomplish a *LOT* for chaos with this one move. Scattering marauding Aiel everywhere caused chaos everywhere...chaos that Rand was blamed for. In addition to launching the Plotline of Doom with Faile's kidnapping, it (along with the Dragonsworn, esp. Masema) really poisoned the (Salidar& Tower) Aes Sedai's view of Rand, for example. Well, poisoned it further. Certainly a lot of Egwene's time as a prisoner in the Tower is spent hearing horrifying reports of what "Rand's Aiel" and "Rand's Dragonsworn" are up to.

Re: Therava and Galina. I don't know if it's happening yet, but it's clear in Knife of Dreams that Therava's doing sadomasochistic sexual stuff to Galina - including having her sleep naked in Therava's tent, for example.

And I will have to agree with Leigh - Galina's evil to the core, but I'm hard-pressed to think that even she deserves to be carried off to the Waste by Therava to be tortured for a couple hundred years while deprived of her free will. Well...maybe she deserves it; but sometimes too _much_ justice can be really disturbing. And Therava never does get brought to justice, which bugs me. If ever somebody needed to be brought down a peg...
Ron Garrison
43. Man-0-Manetheran
Galina notes that she is "one of only three Black sisters who knows who Alviarin is." If Alviarin is the 2nd Black, any thoughts on who the third Black sister is?

I'm tempted to say Verin. Now if the BA sisters only know three (two?) others as their security measure, it must have been an extraordinarily slow process for Verin to one-by-one move from heart to heart and gain the knowledge of one more sister each time. But ultimately she would have to do that to get to Alviarin. No?
44. Ouroboros
Long time lurker, first time poster. So, hello from the back. *Waves at Leigh*

This bargain scene is one of those mixed bag affairs. I grind my teeth at the girls in this one because - well, grr. It's hard to take Elayne's apology in the last chapter seriously when she turns round and treats Mat like a foot stool again.
I don't object too much to them using him, but I do mind that there seems to be very little guilt.

"I am very sorry to have used you," Elayne said before he could get a word out. Her smile flashed that dimple at him. "We did have reasons, Mat; you must believe that."

I'm not sure what they were, though. Why do they think his Ta'verocity will be more effective if he doesn't know what's going on? Maybe they've found out that random luck plays it's part, but who told them and how did they know. Birgitte? In any case, they should be more humble in there apologies. Elayne is smiling. OK, I understand that she is very unaware of how she comes across to other people, especially where the chin is concerned, but really.

"Which you do not need to know," Nynaeve put in firmly, flipping her braid back over her shoulder with a practiced toss of her head that made the gold ring bounce on her bosom. Lan must be insane. "I must say, I never expected you to do what you did. Whatever in the world made you think of trying to bully them? You could have ruined everything."

Oh, Nynaeve, why can't you be nice after you've just used the man. You might as well kick him again, or pick him up with the power again, or sit back and watch the others throw mud at him again, or ignore him again, or not tell him that two of his men died again, or ... And speaking of ruining bargains...

"Next time you have to make a bargain with the Sea Folk, let me make it for you. Maybe that way, it won’t turn out as badly as the last one." Spots of color blooming in Nynaeve’s cheeks told him he had hit the mark squarely. Not bad shooting blindfolded.


Elayne, though, just murmured "A most observant subject" in tones of rueful amusement.

Hello Little Ms. Snooty Panse. This really isn't funny. You just used the man again and the best you can do is smile and make ruefully amused observations. OK, I might not be expecting a hand ringing apology... no... that's what I want. On your knees. Grovel.

They swept toward the door without letting him say more. Well, he had not really thought they would explain anything. Both were Aes Sedai to the bone. A man learned to live with what he had to.

Can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em! Still...

As for the Sea Folk. Who cares! What was this one called? Random din Topless Two Boobs?
Sam Mickel
45. Samadai
Going off of the Gathering Storm, I would say that it was Galina, Verin, and Sheriam who were the three under Alviarin.
Rob Munnelly
46. RobMRobM
I'd guess Katarine rather than Verin.
Sam Mickel
47. Samadai
I don't think so( not that I am sure), but Katerine thinks in one of her pov's that she found out Galina was black on the Kidnap Rand trip.

edit for. I think if she was in the top three she would know her, although tht isn't conclusive.
Lost in my own mind
48. FellKnight

Sleeping in Therava's tent naked is hardly S&M. The Aiel have always been portrayed as seeing nudity as no big deal, and I for one accept this.

j p
49. sps49
J.Dauro @9-

Mat's Sea Folk rescue points up the flip sode of the annoying waterworlders. They won't help SAVE THE WORLD with the Bowl without bargaining, even though they live in the same world. But Mat will risk his life and freedom to save the Windfinders AND give them a fighting chance at rescuing their ships and crews without any Bargain. (I think he askd them to wait until midnight; if the WIndfinders see that as a Bargain then I think the Sea Folk are great- for me to poop on!)

The "Sammael is toast" was too vague for me- it didn't preclude reincarnation, for one- but I did finally see a report of that being put to rest last year. I thought someone in the beginning of tGS was getting significant mention and may have been the Return of Sammy; someone put up a better denial.


Mat's Wall- notice the medallion went cold just before it? Once more, he would be dead if not for going to Rhuidean.

MoM @43-

"Hearts" are a structure analogous to revolutionary "cells" whose purpose is to allow (slow) communication so that no one person knows too many others, the idea being if one member is captured, only the other cell members will have their covers blown. If steps are taken to ensure the rest of the cell is not captured, the damage is contained. Cells are not a heirarchy aside from early members being higher in the pyramid; and allowing Alviarin to know everyone is a weakness.

How the Council works, I have no clue.

Ouroborous @44-

Haha! @ your last sentence.
Lannis .
50. Lannis

And the Gross Factor award for today's post goes to...

Rand Al'Todd @ 19: re: watering... ;)

Um. Ew. And now I'm thinking too much about how the Maidens would even attempt to "water" Galina that way... strategically, I mean. Ew.

Ouroboros @ 44: Welcome! :)
Lost in my own mind
51. wawwen
"Galina notes that she is "one of only three Black sisters who knows who Alviarin is." If Alviarin is the 2nd Black, any thoughts on who the third Black sister is?"

There is a problem in here of counting Alviarin as knowing that she (Alviarin) is BA.

Black Ajah Hearts are set up this way: "Each heart consists of three sisters, with each sister knowing one other sister in another heart."

It would be silly to include Alviarin knowing herself as one of "the three black sisters who know who Alviarin is. Galina was either in the heart with Alviarin or was the one member of an outside heart that knew Alviarin was also a member of the black ajah, and also happened to know her rank.

We know this:

1. Alviarin is known by the 2 other BA in her heart.
2. Alviarin is known by 1 other BA in a different heart.

At this point we know that Alviarin is known to 2 other BA members in addition to Galina. Whether or not Verin knows is unimportant since Verin as BA mole would know far more members of the BA, making her a possible 4rd person to know who Alviarin is.

3. Galina knows Alviarin is first in command, and she (Galina) is second in command.

This is only important if the 1st and 2nd in command knowing who the other is exists outside of the heart structure. At this point we run into loony land and bring the total who know about Alviarin being BA to 5 possible members: Galina, Verin (in secret) and 2 unnamed BA who are either members of Alviarin's heart or the additional known member from outside her heart.

Taking Verin out since she is a wildcard, there are 3 total people who know Alviarin is BA and one is Galina. Unless another BA (other than Verin) has been named as specifially knowing Alviarin there are 2 more unnamed BA running around that know who Alviarin is and her affliation.

It's interesting to me just from this little bit with Galina and Alviarin that we had just a bit more information we could actually make a case for how Verin unraveled the BA heart structure.
Ron Garrison
52. Man-0-Manetheran
sps49@49 ( ! )
Yes, I understand how their cells work. What I'm saying is for Verin to know that Alviarin was black ajah it would take some time. And we know from TGS that Verin knows about Alviarin. Ergo, she is the "third."
Hugh Arai
53. HArai
Randalator@40, ChaplainChris@42: Re: Galina deserving Therava - I don't know where to attribute the original quotation but it goes something like "we'd all be wise to pray for mercy, not justice". Galina is certainly evil but it's still a horrible fate.
Andrew Belmont
54. rosetintdworld
What about Duhara? She is the bossy Red who bothers Elayne in KoD, and who we find out is Black in TGS. She was formerly Keeper to Sierin Vayu, and thus probably high-ranking and intimately involved in the "vileness after the Aiel War" (when Alviarin got her promotion.)

Circumstantial, maybe, but it certainly seems like she'd be a higher-up along with Galina.
Roger Powell
55. forkroot
I would guess that Verin would have tried to keep a very low profile inside the BA. If she had risen to be in the same "heart" as Alviarin, she would undoubtedly have had to participate in a lot of nastiness as a member of that inner circle.

Given that she was still "light-minded", I'm sure she did the minimum amount of evil required to maintain her cover. Here's where the old "absent-minded Brown" bit would really help. If she can keep the other BA looking down on her, they won't be dispatching her to do murders, etc.

So my inclination is to side with wawwen@51 and assume that Verin had found out Alviarin by other means. Thus Galina would not know that Alviarin "knew".

On the subject of how many would "know" an identity: If there are 3 sisters to a heart, there would be two others in the heart plus one other sister in another heart (a "link"). Without that link, it would be tough for the hearts to communicate.
56. Ouroboros
RE: Galina

I forgot that she led the circle that stilled Siuan Sanche. Just one more reason to hate her. I don't have any sympathy for her, she deserves everything she gets. I just hope that Therava gets a little something in the kneck as well. Maybe Aviendha will meet them in the Waste? Oh please say she will!

Also, what gives with these Shaido anyway. We're told about a hundred times how much the Aiel care about ji'e'toh and yet most of the clan turns a blind eye to everything that Sevanna is doing. I know this has been gone over before, but... WOW! And as for the other Wise Ones? The bad news is that we might have to see them again now that half of them have been collared.

RE: Therava + Galina = sexual

Not going there. No. Really not going there. I'm planning on eating this weekend. I'm also still trying to get Wicked, I mean the book, out of my mind.

I don't think it is anyway. In fact, it never really occurred to me. I think Therava is just one of those people with a really scary stare. It's also a pitty that the first obviously gay character turns out to be Galina. I mean, of all the ladies to pick. Clearly evil. Not good parity. I'm sure it was not deliberate, just an unfortunate happenstance. There are one or two same sex relationships later on which seem to be between nice people.

@19: Yellow snow! Eeeeeewwwww!

@22: Still not sure what Sammael's plan is though. I think I'm with the majority in that it's just another one of those seeds of chaos that is supposed to distract team light. That said, Graendal doesn't get it either.

I definitely agree that it's a pitty the Shaido got scattered about, since this is what brings on the plot of doom.
Ron Garrison
57. Man-0-Manetheran
OK, fork@55 (& wawen@51), I'm good with that, but somebody explain by what "other means" Verin learned what she did. Seriously. The more you think about it...
Don Barkauskas
58. bad_platypus
Man-0-Manetheran @52:
And we know from TGS that Verin knows about Alviarin. Ergo, she is the "third."
But almost surely Galina doesn't know that Verin knows (I know something you don't know...). Therefore, the three Galina refers to wouldn't include Verin.

Given the "heart" structure, it might seem logical that the three are the two members of Alviarin's heart and the other one she knew, but the only way that makes sense is if once Alviarin was promoted to head of the Black Ajah, her heart-plus-one-other were also promoted to the Council (otherwise it seems unlikely that the #1 and #2 people would have known each other previously).

And now, having reasoned it out by probablility, I take the logical step of locating an actual quote (from the Prologue to KoD) where Alviarin thinks that the members of her heart don't know her role as the Head of the Black Ajah.

Thus, it seems the most likely explanation is that three other members of the Supreme Council (possibly the #2,3,4-ranked members?) know who the head is. As noted above by sps49, this decreases the security of the heart system but at that level the trade-off is probably worth it.

Man-0-Manetheran @57:

As for how Verin learned it, one way would be how the BA Hunters got their first clue: by comparing what was written and said to what was actually done by people. This would probably be made easier by being inside the BA at the time. Verin has had 70 years of inside access to the BA, so she could get a lot of information that way.
Captain Hammer
59. Randalator
M-o-M @57

Well, she's Brown after all. She has an amazing memory and is very good with extensive notes, cross referencing and so on.

She basically worked like a profiler, just not on a single case but on a multitude of cases and with psychological profiles of every Aes Sedai alive. She must have been constantly keeping an eye on events in the Tower, on everything ever said and done, always observing, cross referencing, filing away.

Once she knew what was supposed to happen or had already happened, she was able to reverse engineer the scheme and possible culprits. When it happened, who had the means, who fit the modus operandi, etc. Her inside infos probably didn't hurt either. She might have learned of a failure and that the Black sister responsible had been punished. So she might have cross referenced that information with sudden absences, unusual behaviour and so on.

A bit like what we did, ourselves, but for a much longer period of time and with much more effort. It's a slow and onerous task, but I imagine that someone like Verin could very far with this in several decades.

Also there might have been a careful "capture - poison - torture - question - kill"-routine once or twice.
Thomas Keith
60. insectoid
Great post as always Leigh!

Ch. 39: I always thought the scene with Mat ta'verening Renaile was hilarious. (Nice verb, by the way!)

Mat: Bye bye awesome Mat! See you in two books! ::sniff::

Tylin: Was in this chapter.

Ch. 40:
Sevanna: is annoying. And finally uses her cube. The End.
LOL!! I still think it's funny, Leigh.

Galina: Meh.

Sammael: "Al’Thor isn’t going after anyone"... Sammy, you have no idea. ;)

Shaidar Haran: ::shudder:: Gives me the creeps.

More later.

Charlie McMurchie
61. FromtheLangToun
Has it got to the point where "sneaky Verin" should now be "Sneaky Verin". She's brilliant all the way through.
Ron Garrison
62. Man-0-Manetheran
Good homework, class! Now don't your brains feel well exercised? Let's go to the bunker and have a beer!
Jason German
63. illian
I always thought that Nynaeve and Elayne couldn't bring any pressure to bear due to the bargain they already had in place and had to be seen as not arranging things around it so as not to break the terms.

I figured that Tylin mentioned Nynaeve because of the two, she is the most like a typical Ebou Dari woman.
Jay Dauro
64. J.Dauro
rosetintdworld and silvertip

I would believe that as originally envisoned they were one book (each pair). Remember that Harriet has said that RJ thought it would be finished in 6. I think he soon found that the story, as he desired to tell it, would not fit. And that is when these plot arcs became multi-volume. There are other plot arcs that I believe were always intended to be multi-volume.

blindillusion @37
I still have to think that part of the reason they did not try to bargain themselves was the fact they goofed so badly the first time. So they decided to let Mat take a swing. In searching for the Bowl, they did comment on "using" his ta'veren nature, and they figured it would work here. And they were right. In spades.

And when Elayne says "a most obvservant subject", she mummers it. I do not really think Mat was intended to heear this, I think it was more Elayne expressing her surprise that he saw through their ruse.

Chaplinchris @42
Bravo. My thoughts about Galina exactly. I would not object to execution, but this is a bit too much. And I sincerely hope it is Therava is not brought to justice yet. She also needs to be taken down for the murder of Desaine, along with other Wise Ones.

Man-0-Manetheran @52 and 57
Verin had 70 years to discover Alviarin, time enough. I doubt that she was in Alviarin's heart or was her connection to another heart.

In Verin's list she outs over two hundred Black sisters, twenty-one Blue, twenty-eight Brown, thirty Gray, thirty-eight Green, seventeen White, twenty-one Yellow and forty-eight Red. Since I doubt Verins heart was that large, she had to do it by meticulous observation. She doesn't know all (Egwene notes that they found some black sisters not on the list), which she would if she had penetrated to get the names from Alviarin or the Supreme Council. She doesn't know that Alviarin is the head, just that she is near the head, and probably the highest of the ones Egwene knows is in the tower.

Just finished a reread of TSR, and am listening to TGS now. In the Wolf Dream, Perrin, when he deals with Slayer, has the problem of blurring movement, which can be followed. But we see Egwene in Tel'aran'rhiod able to move by thought. Can Perrin accomplish this? Will he need it to fight Slayer in the books to come?
Tricia Irish
65. Tektonica
Leigh: Awesome post. And I'm so glad you are doing the next book reread, so we can find some humor. Sigh. Seafolk+Shaido= ARGH!!! And NO MAT. I'm going to start weeping.....

BChurch@12: I think we're very likely to see Egwene and Perrin working together in TAR at the Last Battle. I see that as their particular forte in TG, and it will be nice to see the TR's folks working together at the end of days.

JEJ@4: Agree. I didn't think about anything sexual between Therava and Galina and, like you, assumed it was mental and sadistic torture. Nice! But really, couldn't happen to a nicer girl. I just hope Therava gets some too, sometime. And I still don't understand why everyone does what Sevanna wants??? She's not a WO, hasn't been through Rhuidean. Why are they following her? Are all the Shaido that lame? OK......

Blocksmith@21: LOL! Very funny!

I interpreted the Nyn-Tylin conversation as going something like this…
Nyn: I practically raised that boy…your old enough to be his mother…you should be ashamed of yourself!
Tylin: Trust me…he’s no boy. He’s all man and a bag of chips!

On Shadar Haran: I thought the passage quoted here indicated that he wanted to break out on his own, without being tethered to the DO. In other words, he's growing a personality of his own...oh oh....could be bad for Team Light and the DO.

Mat and the SeaFolk: I think Elayne and Nynaeve left Mat in the dark out of embarrassment for their own lousy bargain. They weren't thinking or communicating. (what a surprise!) Nynaeve at least still thinks of him as a she likes in a sisterly/brothery kind of way, but one she loves to hate. I don't think they know how his particular Ta'Vereness works.

"Something tugged at this thoughts, something about the weather, and Elayne, which made no sense, but he shrugged it off."
Anyone know or have ideas about what this "something" is?

I assumed the above was about Elayne using the BotW....but that seems kind of duh....but what else has happened with Elayne? Besides, Rand.

@33:On the Windfinder's agreement with Mat: can someone refresh my memory as to how Renaile justifies up and leaving Elayne in COT, after making the "I will go where she says" agreement here?

Min had told her she would be the Top Sea Folk person ( can't remember the title...obviously) and the Seanchan kill the current Head, so Renaile has to go to a big confab to elect the next one....I think that's the reason she leaves.....gurus, have I got this straight?

Ouroboros; Welcome! Bunker is this way...Wetlandernw has Margaritas!

I'm so sad we're moving on without Mat.:-(( Loved this chapter and his MOA.
Roger Powell
66. forkroot
Min had told her she would be the Top Sea Folk person
It wasn't Renaile. Min told Harine din Togara Two Winds that she would be Mistress of Ships. I admit that keeping Sea Folk characters straight is an unpleasant chore as they are all annoying.
Tess Laird
67. thewindrose
I think that Mat and Elayne have gotten far past how the each used to regard each other.

Why did they not say something? Were they trying to get back at him? Was it just a case of "Mat wants to be in charge so much, let him see how well he can do with us"? He might have believed it of Nynaeve, any time but this anyway, but not of Elayne, not anymore. So why?

Chapter 39 Promises to Keep is one of my favorite chapters. This is prime Mat material, made so much dearer because of the long absence of Mat that is forth coming(even more so if you are one who had to wait for the books!) He starts out trying to explain why they need to leave 'like yesterday'. Then he realizes that he is being used:
A dark suspicion bloomed in his mind.

Then bam!! Deducts it is the Atha'an Miere that are the problem.
Well, as far as you're concerned, I'm the Master of the Blades, and my blades are bare."..."When the blades are bare, even the Mistress of the Ships bows to the Master of the Blades." "This is a bargain between you and me."

Then comes the shot from the hip guess about Nynaeve and Elayne's terrible bargain.

All around great chapter - love it:)

Jay Dauro
68. J.Dauro
Tektonica @65

In TGS, we see that Sevanna is a Wise One, at least in that the Wise Ones say they accepted her.
(Aviendha) "What do you do if an apprentice declares herself ready to be a Wise One during her first few months of training?"
"Strap her a few times and set her to digging holes, I suspect," Amys said. "I don't know of that ever happening. The closest was Sevanna."
Aviendha had wondered why the Wise Ones had accepted the Shaido woman without complaint. Her declaration had been enough: and so Amys and the others had been forced to accept her.
Tricia Irish
69. Tektonica
Forkroot@66: Thank you for filling in my blanks....I tell you, my memory is really going, not helped by my total frustration/disinterest in the Seafolk!
You, of course, are absoluetly correct. So, cancel that explanation for why Renaille leaves....

J.Dauro@68: So all an apprentice has to do is say, "OK, I'm a Wise One now." and poof, she is?? It's hard to believe the WO's would put up with that? I do believe just seems, well, lame and cowardly on their part. Any of the other WO's could take her out like they did Desaine....I can't imagine there would be much gnashing of teeth over it. She certainly makes a hash of things and gets hers in the end, at least.
Sharon E.
70. Sulin
Is it beer time yet? :D

I know I'm probably going to smack myself in the head here once I realize what a dope I'm being for not remembering this, but what is this Plot of Doom everyone keeps going on about?
Tricia Irish
71. Tektonica
Sulin@70:'s the Neverending Perrin V. Shaido Emo Plot, where he rescues his lovely wife from the arms of one of the Brotherless and many Shaido WO's in a long drawn out display of thinking carefully and emotionally, while Berelain irritates everyone, Aliandre is introduced, Morgase finds a refuge, and the Seanchan agree to help, all in the woods around the camp fire. Wha-de-doo-da.

And hey...I apologize for remembering this VERY late in the day....I'm pleading jetlag with very little sleep....but today is a very special day, if I remember correctly...

72. Ouroboros
@42: I wonder if Egwene remembers who Perin is? But seriously, do we have any real indication that she realised Perin was actually in T'A'R for real? She's seen him there afew times, but has she figured out that he is contious of where he is and can use the dream? - well, after a fashion.

43: I don't know if it would be possible to drift between hearts like that. They're used as a security measure, like terrorist cells. I'm not really sure how Verin did it, but it may have involved that compulsion weave she uses in the prologue of TPoD. She's also extremely observant, so it may have been by deduction as well.

@47: From the prologue to LoC.
Galina’s voice was cold, her plump mouth tight. “The Amyrlin Seat will not be pleased to have her plans disrupted. And you and I will have days to scream in the dark before we die.” ... It would not be Elaida’s rage that killed them ... For seventeen years Katerine had been Aes Sedai, but not until the morning before they departed Tar Valon had she learned that she shared more than the Red Ajah with Galina. Twelve years she had been a member of the Black Ajah, never knowing that Galina had too, for far longer. Of necessity Black sisters kept themselves hidden ... Before Galina, Katerine had known only two to recognize... There might be Black sisters among those following a day behind, but she had no way of knowing.

This proves that Galina and Katerine are not in the same heart.

This raises another point. Galina says that only three people know who the head of the black is. This is not the same as saying that three people know that Alviarin is a member of the black. It may be that three sisters know her to be black, and another three know her to be the head. In other words, the heart structure may have nothing to do with this. There's no way to get a definitive answer on this.

There's no way to know who the rest of her heart is. As for those who know her to be the boss? It would not be unreasonable to assume that they are all sisters of influence. If this is so, then we're looking for sisters who held offices or are very strong channellers. The list could be huge, but some possibilities are:
Galina (definite)
Katerine (no office but obviously influential)
Sheriam (mistress of novices)
Liandrin (no office but led the 13 thieves)
, Duhara (former keeper and now Red sitter)
Velina Behar (white sitter)
Sedore Dajenna (yellow sitter)
Delana Mosalaine (gray sitter)
Talene Minly (green sitter)
Moria Karentanis (blue sitter)

I have doubts about Javindhra, the red sitter who went with Pavara to the BT. In the scene with Tsutama, when they are talking about bonding, she is acting very strangely. She seems to be very much opposed to the plan, but smiles once it is approved. So, I'm including her in my list.

@51: Do we know for certain that Galina is the BAs 2IC?

@55: We don't know how Verin was viewed by the other members of the black. It could be that she didn't use the vague persona around them. That said, it does seem to be her M.O, so I'm inclined to agree. We do know that she did some nasty things though.

Verin laughed. "Redemption? I should think that wouldn't be so easily earned. Light knows I've done enough to require a very special kind of redemption. But it was worth the cost. Worth it indeed. Or perhaps that is simply what I must tell myself."

BTW, Verin is definitely one of my favourite Ais Sedai. I reread TGH around Christmas time and she does such a good job of gently nudging Rand where she wants him to go that it makes Mo, Fish Guts, Egghead, and Cads look remarkably - well... I could go on all day about her.
Lost in my own mind
73. Lurking Canadian
Count me as one more who is uncomfortable with Galina's fate. I don't like what happens to Liandrin, either. They are evil, despicable people, but centuries of slavery, humiliation and torture is not something I want to see inflicted on anybody. Find a gruesome way to kill them off and have done, says I.

Regarding Leigh's comment about Sevanna and why she didn't use Galina as her pet channeler, I think it's because Galina was also bound to obey any Wise One. Sevanna couldn't use her against the Wise Ones, so there wasn't much point to the scheme.

One question...people are talking about Maeric and the Moshaine like we know them. Should I remember this guy from a previous incident?
Tricia Irish
74. Tektonica
Correction: Oops....Sam's Birthday is tomorrow.....April 17th.....

Sharon E.
77. Sulin
@Tektonica- Thank you for clearing that up for me. I just read the culmination of that Plot last night- Perrin's Bravely Bold Rescue at Malden. DUH! *smacks self on the head*
78. Ouroboros
@50: much obliged.

@58: It seems a little silly to promote an entire heart at once. It seems more likely that people will be appointed to the council whenever a place becomes available. I also wonder how that affects their recruting process. I'm assuming that there can't be an incomplete heart, so they either have to wait until they have three newbies to bring in at once, or only let someone in if an existing member dies. Either way, I still think that Alviarin's heart doesn't know she's the boss.

@65: Cheers. I'll bring the scotch.

RE: the Sea Folk bargains, and I can't believe I'm actually doing this... deep breath.

Nesta din Important Loose Blous makes the disasterous bargain with Nyn the Brade and El the Chin. She's the mistress of the chips and lookin' good because of it.
Harina din Togar Flaps Open makes the bargain with Rand (well, Merana after he bails) and she's the one that Cadsuane drags around like a suitcase. (Go Cadsuane!)
Renaile din Pungent Blue Chees is Nesta's wind finder, who accompanies Brade and Chin on the yellow brick road to the never ending succession.
Nesta gets it when the Seanchan - is it just me or does that sound like a Chinese takeway meal - when the Seachan special fried army invades. In accordance with rules of rank, which are almost as rediculous as the White Towers, Renaile is busted back down to petty officer. I'd be happy about this but someone else else replaces her.
Zaida din Pirana Slackwind comes to the High Chin and says she has to leave. The High Chin negotiates another bargain in which some of the Wind Breakers will help with the supply gates and Zaida gets a square mile of Andor in return.
Zelda, sorry, Zaida leaves for a meeting of the Sea Folk supreme council. I don't know who the other members of her heart are, but I'm guessing it includes Margaret Thatcher and Zelda (from Terror Hawks).
Chanelle din Saidin White Sauce is left in charge of the wind finders in Caemlyn. (Yes, her first name is really Chanelle, the sweet smelling Wind Breaker)
Harina din Togar Flaps Open (remember her) goes to the Supreme Council as well, and gets spanked for making a crappy bargain, whilst Zelda, sorry, Zaida gets promoted to mistress of the chips. Let's see how she does with it.
When the High Chin of House Trackand gets captured (again), Birgitte cons Chanelle #5 and the other Wind Breakers into opening gate ways for the army.
Meanwhile, Harina din Sore But Cheeks goes back to Rand, because he's just so much fun to be around at the moment.

That's it, I'm done. Besides, there's only so many dreadful Sea Folk names I can come up with without making them really rude.
79. Freelancer
Then they all discuss where to go, the Sea Folk getting glummer the further away the possible locale is from the sea, but it’s screamingly obvious to Mat that this is all just a set-up for Reanne’s timid suggestion of the Kin’s farm a few miles north of Ebou Dar, and he rolls his eyes as everyone agrees enthusiastically.

Very observant, Mat.

Shooting blind, Mat suggests that next time they make a bargain with the Sea Folk, to talk with him first; then maybe it won’t get screwed up so badly.

Not so very blindly. Mat is observant, and his skill in this regard is at its best when recognizing a scheme in progress. Why? Because he's a schemer. Anybody prone to double-talk, misdirection, or other forms of manipulation can spot it when someone else is doing it, so while the Sea Folk totally miss how they were being used to agree to go to the Farm, Mat rolls his eyes. Well, when Renaile spoke past him to Nynaeve about having to deal with this "young oakum picker", she said it was no part of their bargain, and said it with an attitude which suggested she held the better cards in that hand. Consciously or not, Mat would have figured this tidbit into his "murky suspicion", and arrived at a valid sum. Elayne and Nynaeve were on the defensive, but needed to get things to go "their way". Since they could make no demands upon the Sea Folk, who held the better end of their bargain, they had to depend upon random ta'verenness and luck.

My read on why they didn't tell Mat supposes that they felt telling him would have one of three undesirable results:

~ Cause Mat to refuse to be part of their scheme
~ Interfere with the Ta'veren nature if they introduce known values (their goals)
~ Mat would indavertently give away that they were trying to manipulate the Sea Folk in spite of the status of their bargain, which would further weaken their standing.

While Mat was, due to being in the dark, dealing with the Sea Folk in good faith, Elayne and Nynaeve are left with plausible deniability. Yes, they used him as a tool, but as I always say, the right tool for the job gets it done best, and he did.

To answer Leigh's question, the Supergirls believe that their quest for the Bowl is of grail-like proportions (Cue the "bring out your dead" scene), and is therefore sanctioned by the Pattern itself. So, when you can't get things to go your way through the normal methods of bullying or bellyaching (or braid-pulling, arm-crossing, dimple-flashing, skirt-smoothing, chin-lifting, or even glaring), resort to your very own Pattern-bound, Old-tongue gibbering, Horn-sounding, lucky Ta'veren! Q.E.D.


Never took any sexual context from Therava's treatment of Galina. I saw evil, hateful Aiel punishing obstinate, formerly powerful prisoner, nothing more.


Umm, no. Apart from being something Jordan would never have written in this story, any punishment decreed by a Wise One is delivered by the Wise One. They would never ask other Aiel, such as the Maidens, to take part in a punishment. That just isn't how they work. Any punishment they issue is also understandable in relation to the reason for punishment, and there would be no understanding what you suggest.


Agreed that Egwene and Perrin and Rand each refuse to believe that they really did see one another in T'a'R, so of course they haven't considered speaking to each other about it. Egwene is a Dreamer, Perrin is a Wolfbrother, and Rand is the Dragon Reborn (which makes him, if not a Hero of the Horn, something similar), each with their own personal access to T'a'R. When the three of them figure this connection out, some things will start to happen. Just like when RPM get back together and this swirly-flashy-colory things comes to a conclusion.

And no, I didn't ever flashy-thingy you. That you could recall.
Sharon E.
80. Sulin
@Ouroboros (78)- ROTFL Oh man my sides hurt from laughing!

the Seanchan - is it just me or does that sound like a Chinese takeway meal
I've always thought so!
Tess Laird
81. thewindrose
Samadai - Have a wonderful Birthday!

Try not to look like this on the other side of your b-day:)

Tricia Irish
82. Tektonica
Ouroboros@78: ROFLOL!! Very very good. And I even understood it! No wonder I can't keep them all straight....Mistress of or chocolate?

Free@79: This must be good humor night!
Ron Garrison
83. Man-0-Manetheran
"Chanelle, the sweet smelling Wind Breaker"

Ouroboros! OMG! ROFLMFAO!!! The whole thing was hysterical. High Chin of House Trakand! But you forgot Charmin din Whipple the Windblocker (aka "Squeezable")
Roger Powell
84. forkroot
You Worm! You had me laughing for sure.
Roger Powell
85. forkroot
Not to be ungrateful or anything (after all, it's free), but has got to have the buggiest Web Content Server I've ever seen.

I just tried to go over to check the Open Spoiler page and got:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 75497472 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 6867352 bytes) in /www/sites/ on line 143

This is just the latest in a series of incidents. Who remembers the fun we had with TSR (heh, heh)?

Oh well, I guess we get what we pay for :-)

EDIT: Or more accurately ... what we don't pay for!
Barry T
86. blindillusion
Sam, Happy Birthday!!!

...As for the card...I don't's just about the most disturbing thing I've ever seen...thought I'd share. =)

All the good things wrapped up nice....

edit: And sure, I know it's early...but still...that card...Wow....
Ron Garrison
87. Man-0-Manetheran
Multiple Choice:

2-Shayol Ghul
3-the server
Barry T
88. blindillusion
M-o-M, that's a trick question:

The answer is 4-Both 2 & 3

The server is Shayol Ghul.
Sam Mickel
89. Samadai

Great picture. I will say Iceland.

Thewindrose, Blindillusion,

Thanks for the happy birthdays!!!
Alice Arneson
90. Wetlandernw
Loved Mat's "bargain" - do what you're told and you won't get hurt. Some bargain! :) I actually think that, while frustrating for Mat, it was rather good that he didn't know what they wanted. If he tries "ta'verening" with a plan or intent, it doesn't tend to work all that well. It's most effective when he's not even sure what he needs or isn't paying attention. So... yeah. No Aes Sedai script, just Mat.

Now, anyone going to argue that last point?? :>

I actually rather enjoyed this particular exchange between Mat & Tylin. But that's all I'll say about it.

Moving on...
“Nynaeve is my life,” Lan said simply, putting a hand on her shoulder. The odd thing was, she suddenly looked very sad, and then just as suddenly, her jaw set as though she was preparing to walk through a stone wall and make a large hole.
It's little moments like this that make me love Nynaeve. Most of the time I like her and she makes me laugh at her blind spots, and occasionally I want to smack her with her own stick. But that one... sad, and then so determined, and both on behalf of someone else... It just tugs on me. I love Nynaeve at times like this.

Also love the confirmation (for Mat - we already knew) that Birgitte is too honorable to tell his secrets to anyone.

And it was so cruel: brick and timbers crashing down, the dice stop, and... ... ... ... huh??? We get no clue whether he's alive or dead, much less free or conscripted, for a whole book! Cruel, I say.

Now I'll go read everyone's comments, and comment on them later. RobM - I've got comments just for you.
Jay Dauro
91. J.Dauro
Freelancer @79

Jay: Hey, when do I get my own memory-messer-upper thang?
Free: When you grow up.


(And yes, my name is Jay)
John Massey
94. subwoofer
Hello all:)

ahem...@Free- waddaya mean thick-skinned? Slow maybe, but I prefer dense.

Speaking of which, Galina+ Therava? That totally flew over my head. Or maybe it is because I am a pillar of goodness and purity and my mind does not go down those paths. I'm just sayin'. I thought that Galina was having her a$$ handed to, maybe I should rephrase that. Sometimes karma gets it right.

Mat- barrel of awesome here. It is not so much that the two girls used him, it is more so the fact that they did not show any respect to him for that. Give over already and admit the man has skills. Would it kill you to give credit where it is due? My dog would pee on their skirts for that.

More to say later, but for some of the red-lettered folks, may I suggest joining up so you all do not share the same fate as R A T- putting something down that will be forever etched into everyone's subconsciousness from here to eternity. Going gray lets you edit. And it really doesn't hurt. Much.

@ Ouroboros - welcome:) Keep the good posts coming.

@Sam- S'up-Let your day be great!:)

There was more but the spam-bots ate it:(

John Massey
95. subwoofer
@TOR- your spam filter is set to "frag". I seem to be getting garbage companies leaving me messages to buy their garbage but when honest folk can't even put up a link these days steps should be taken.

john mullen
96. johntheirishmongol
First chapter great..second chapter not so great...

Mat and the windfinders are falling down funny. I don't get the Elayne hate, I never did. Elayne is very cool, just comes from a different place and it's harder for us to relate to nobility, since we never really had nobility in this country.

What happened to the other 5 gholams? I don't imagine they wear out or die of old age either.

Thereava and Galina..I don't get a lesbian vibe out of the scene at all.

Bye Mat..til another book..but then we get a little DOTNM
Ron Garrison
97. Man-0-Manetheran
Volcano, right.
Hemisphere, wrong.

Have a great birthday!
Tony Zbaraschuk
98. tonyz
rosetintdworld @33:
>On the Windfinder's agreement with Mat: can someone refresh my memory as to how Renaile justifies up and leaving Elayne in COT, after making the "I will go where she says" agreement here?

I think it's fairly straightforward: she regards it not as a promise for eternity, but as an agreement for the course of this mission for using the Bowl of the Winds. Once the Bowl's been used, all bets are off (and Mat is no longer there to bend her thread in the Pattern back to the course he needs).
Alice Arneson
99. Wetlandernw
Wall-o-comments ahead!! These were written as I was reading through, so some are possibly a bit redundant...

RobMRobM @2 - Your prejudice is showing. You just can't get "servant" out of your head - and it has a very different meaning than "subject" so you really should differentiate them for yourself. I've gotta say it: from Mat's perspective, he's nobody's subject. From Elayne's perspective, he's a subject of the realm of Andor, even if she isn't crowned yet. I suspect RJ put this in to help us remember that we all have our own views, and we don't necessarily change them just because the other person in the conversation has different views. I'm not sure why you find it so demeaning for Elayne to fail to change her lifelong thinking just because Mat doesn't think the same way. Why not be upset with Mat for not changing his ideas? It would be just as reasonable to expect.

And he was being observant. Very observant, and maybe a bit lucky, to put things together as he did and guess that last time they'd made a bargain with the Sea Folk it had turned out... badly.

rosetintdworld @3 (and others since) - Have to say that until I heard it on here, it never really occured to me that either Galina or Therava were lesbian. My mind just doesn't work that way, so I didn't find it "suggestive" at all. Personally, I'm grateful that RJ left it open to interpretation instead of forcing it down your throat. Then again, if he'd been that kind of writer I wouldn't still be reading WoT.

Rand Al'Todd @19 - Well, I certainly hope you're the only one who thinks that, given that we have plenty of other instances in which gaishain are given water in much the same manner, and it's clearly WATER. No reason in the world to think otherwise.

Ouroboros @44 - Welcome! Is that a Red Dwarf reference, by any chance? Other than that, I pretty much disagree with everything you said in this post. :)

sps49 @49 - (Hey, looka that!) I thought Mat's medallion went cold because the damane were channeling boom-booms at the Ebou Dari soldiery, and Mat happened to get caught in the falling-masonry side effect. Not sure how going to Rhuidean affected his survival... unless you want to elaborate.

wawwen @51 - Yup. That's what I was going to say. Yup. ;) Except for one question: Given that each BA knows the other two in her heart, plus one other, is it necessarily the case that each is known by her heart and only one other? Could it not be that one sister happens to be the "one outside her heart" for several others? Not that it matters in the least, but it's a logic query... Dunno.

@Several up there in the 60's - For whatever reason, the Shaido Wise Ones accepted Sevanna as a Wise One; therefore, the Wise Ones of the other clans were forced to accept her as such. Why even the Shaido WOs were willing to accept her when they neither like nor respect her, I have no idea, but that's why Amys, Sorilea, etc. accepted her.

Ouroboros @72 - "Her place on the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah was next to that of Alviarin herself..." from the beginning of this chapter.

Lurking Canadian @73 - Hey, no lurking! Get out here and get involved! ..... Oh.... you just did.... ummm... Hi! ;) We met Maeric, briefly, in the prologue of this book, and then in this chapter. He just seems like an honorable guy, but he's stuck with the whole "we obey the clan chief, and the widow of the last chief speaks as chief until another survives the trip through Rhuidean" cultural imperative.

Ouroboros @78 - As bad_platypus said @58, in the prologue to Knife of Dreams, Alviarin thinks
Even the sisters in her own heart believed her no more than they. Only three on the Supreme Council knew who she was, and she would have avoided that had it been possible.
100. Freelancer

Wait, how is that my fault? I don't work here!



Chile. I remember those pics. I've been in the "neighborhood" of two volcanic eruptions. Pinatubo in the Philippines, my carrier group was in Subic Bay, and beat feet to blue water after the first explosion. The following year in Anchorage, Alaska, our airwing had to hightail it out of Elmendorf Air Force Base ahead of the wind-blown ash plume of Mt Spurr's June eruption. Sulphuric micro-pumace is bad juju for jet engines.


I said thick-skinned, not thick-headed. Rhino-skin is supposed to be the thickest, toughest there is. It was a compliment, it really was. Nobody could call your brand of hit-and-run commentary slow-witted, least of all me.


Agreed there. Mat's "bargain" that the Sea Folk do what Nynaeve and Elayne tell them to isn't meant like an oath of fealty, and everyone there would rightly presume that it extended only to getting out of town and dealing with the Bowl, at which time other conditions of other bargains go into effect.

Everyone knows this line:
Ohh, what's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?

Well, would Mat still have gotten in the Sea Folk's face if he'd been briefed on the intended result ahead of time? It couldn't have worked out the same. What had Mat in a mood to be rude was the realization that he was being used in some way, and wasn't up to speed on exactly why.


Back-to-back walls!

And 100
Alice Arneson
101. Wetlandernw
Hi, Freelancer! ::waves:: Walls FTW!

I finally caught up and went over to 13D for The Difficult Quiz. Off the top of my head... got my answers, then went researching to find out if I was right. Took me a while to research out the right answer to #8...! Anyway, 6 of 10 if anyone cares. (And they spelled one of the answers wrong. Oops.)
Noneo Yourbusiness
102. Longtimefan
About Thevera and Galina. I never read the interactions between them as having a subtext of attraction. I read the subtext as and allusion to Thevera possibly being a darkfriend.

Galina finds Thevera more powerful and terrifying than herself who is an admitted darkfriend who had powerful people assassinated and worked to break two Amyrlins.

This was never confirmed in any of the books but as I read the series it just worked for me to believe that if one of the Forsaken was spreading Chaos by having the Shaido reject Rand outright (it is possible they did this on their own but with the Forsaken loose and two of them with Rand when he did the big reveal it is possible that Lanfear may have had some influence with Shaido darkfriends and then forgot about them.)

If Melindra was a darkfriend working for Sammuel would he be the only Forsaken working with the Aiel? Lanfear is known not to care who is using a group of people if she wants to further her own ends. If Sammuel is working Sevanna who is to say that Lanfear is not influencing Thevera. The battle for control over the Shaido between them may be more than just a battle of wills over a clan but a conflict of plans between the Forsaken. Sammuel does have more influence over the Shaido while he is alive but with his connection gone they rally from the dispersal by building a new clan holding in the Wetlands which works with Sevanna's greed but seems to grate against Thevera's ideas.

It is never said she is a darkfriend but that is how I read her character. More evil than Galina but seeking a way to take charge of the Shaido from Sevanna for some reason...

I never saw any of the interactions between them as sexual.
Sandy Brewer
103. ShaggyBella
“What happened to my bloody luck?” he shouted. He had time for that. And just time to realize, as brick and timbers crashed down on him, that the dice in his head had just stopped dead.

I think Mat's Bloody Luck actually saved his life. Only a broken leg when a whole building falls on him. Plus he is in town when his future wife comes to call.

My contribution to the bunker tonight is a nice bottle of Huckleberry Mead. You won't be chugging this packs a punch, but is good!
It's the middle of the night, because I worked a late shift, came home & then had to read ALL these posts....G'Night!
Thomas Keith
104. insectoid
Playing catch-up after going and seeing My Padres walk off with a big win.

Firstly: have a happy birthday Samadai!

Therava & Galina: I never saw anything risqué in the subtext there. But maybe my mind just doesn't often go in that direction when I'm reading.

Ouroboros @78: BAHAHAhahaha!! Welcome to the bunker, we have fun and games!

Wind @81: Yay Bill! :)

M-0-M @83: ::falls out of chair laughing::

Fork @85: It's been getting progressively worse all week—no, wait. Progressively worse all year. A lunatic spam filter (set to frag, indeed, Sub!), random errors, and slowdowns, amongst other things!

M-0-M @87, Blind @88: LOL!!

Free @100:
Wait, how is that my fault? I don't work here!
::finally gets it and bursts out laughing again::
Oh my spleen...

a a-p
105. lostinshadow
Ouroboros and Lurking Canadian welcome to the bunker. I think we've run out of margharitas by now but no worries, long island ice tea on the way.

and Sam, happy birthday!!!!

regarding the Galina and Therva sexual thing... so like I said that totally passed me by, but to me it seems like people may be confusing two separate issues a bit.

one or both may or may not be lesbians, but that is a separate issue as to whether some kind of sexual humiliation and/or rape was used to break Galina.

Rape and/or sexual humiliation is a common tool used in torture and to break people because it affects a fundamental aspect of their nature and as such the torturer need not be a lesbian just because she makes use of this tool in breaking someone down.

So what I'm trying to say is that even if there is a sexual element to Galina's torture (and since some people seem to have seen it, an argument could be made that it is there, even if it is ambigious), this need not automatically make Therva a lesbian.

As to the question of whether Galina, despite clearly being evil, deserves what she gets at the hands of the Wise Ones...

In another series (I think it was a scene in Lackey's Valdemar serieis) there was a scene when one of the older good guys was explaining to one of the younger good guys that you should always kill the bad guy cleanly, not matter what the crime because to do otherwise stains your own soul.

Now, Therva is not necessarily a good guy but then again other than Sevena the other Shaido Wise Ones did not seem to be bad per se, at least to me, (yes I know they killed one of their own but I had attributed that to Sevena's influence) until I started seeing how they were torturing Galina.

And by the end of the plot so despised by many, I'm actually more scared of Therva than most of the Forsaken.
Rob Munnelly
106. RobMRobM
Wet@99. Mini-WOText in return. I'm not sure what prejudice you mean. I like Elayne, she just disappoints me at this point in the story.

As I've noted earlier, Elayne ticked me off royally (pun intended) relative to Mat in late LOC and early CoS; did very good things in mid CoS but had a deficiency of having her apologies be insincere relative to Mat; and moved to a very good place re understanding and appreciating Mat in the last few chapters of CoS...but she still can't get it quite right. She and Nyn put him in a very difficult position, one that could have easily led to him having to take on a bargain obligation to the Sea Folk (which he would have done, to fulfill his promise to keep them safe), and she still can't give him an unambiguous thanks. Doesn't have to be a Samitsu level thanks, but she absolutely incurred toh by sending him in to treat with the Sea Folk biind and she didn't meet it. I will note she is very appreciative of others from here on in and I for one enjoyed her Andoran royalty thread - the reason people complain about it are the annoying people around Elayne (notably Kin, Sea Folk, Nyn under stress and Birgitte under stress) rather than Elayne herself.

One more point re reciprocity: lsiel and others complained Mat didn't say thanks for being saved back in TDR. I checked those chapters again. He didn't have a good chance to say thanks but he does say, while in his rooms and planning to figure out an escape plan, that he has to make sure to say goodbye to Nyn, Eg and Elayne before he goes. He understood that he owed them something and wouldn't just leave on them. Later, it is clear he takes on the letter because they are asking him to as well as because it gets him out of Tar Valon.

107. MasterAlThor

Sorry for being late to the party, but Happy Birthday brother. Go celebrate, make merry and all that.

Galina + Therva,

Is this really important that there is a sexual subtext here? I didn't see it. If it is there and it is important could someone please explain it to me. I feel like it's an inside joke and I didn't get it.

SGs plan with Mat,

A lot of you have already said what needed to be said. I agree that Mat couldn't know because one of the SGs, with a possible assist from Birgitte, figured out that Mat is lucky and ta'vern and that it would just work better that way.

Don't get it twisted, I am not saying that Birgitte told Mat's secret. I am saying that she may have pointed out something that was already known.

Ouroboros and Lurking Canadian,

Seanchan will never be looked at the same. I now hear Chicken Seanchan or Seanchan Pork and it makes me hungry. Thanks, thanks alot.

Welcome to the bunker. You have been warned. Life will not be the same, it is kinda like letting go of the One Power when you aren't here.

Well it is off to do some homework folks. Got two essays and a test on Monday. So, I will peek in every now and then.


Free @ 100,

Not getting it. Inside joke again.

Edit: Brother Robm2....thanks
Rob Munnelly
108. RobMRobM
MAT - "make marry"?? Interesting slip. Note that the girls knew Mat was ta'veren - recall the "if you wanted a tame ta'veren on a leash" bit from the girls' visit back at the Inn.

Sam - Happy B'day.

Ouro - very clever. Well done!
Lost in my own mind
109. J.Dauro
Wet @99

Mat, lucky?

Who would have thought it? ;^)
Ron Garrison
110. Man-0-Manetheran
Free@100: Correcto! It’s the Chaiten (shaitan???) Volcano in Chile. THIS is Iceland. This photo looks like the first chapter of The Gathering Storm - all silver and black:

Barry T
111. blindillusion
M-o-M, you made me want to go picture hunting. Here's a pretty good picture of what that final scene in tGS may have looked like:
Roger Powell
112. forkroot
Props for an awesome picture!


Err, um this is why I never shorten your handle when addressing you :-) (Same goes for Wetlander and a few others).

Nobody caught the reference yet. BTW, Welcome!

Happy Birthday! (And many more!) Celebrate with a Bacon Maple Bar - I've heard that they don't have any calories on your birthday.
Tricia Irish
113. Tektonica
Blind: your picture is a question mark on my page....what format is it in? I can see the others??
John Massey
114. subwoofer
@Sam-'tis the big day-if you are reading this, for shame- go out and set the town on fire... and tell them I said you could cause it's your birthday:)

@Free- no worries:) Twas a joke- thought you would appreciate me cluing in mistakenly a whole post later...very Groo like.

karma gets it right.

Let's see if--Let your day be great!:)

These are the little tidbits I was not allowed to post yesterday as they were controversial.

Thomas Keith
116. insectoid
Blind @111: Hmm... Doesn't show up here, but shows up fine if I copy and paste the URL. Just another in the series of things that are wrong with

117. Ouroboros
Free @79

Are you sure you didn't flashy-thingy me? Oh, hang on... I got the wrong bottle again.

I'm not sure what Rand's connection to T'A'R really is. How did he get there in the fireside scene in TDR? He uses a "gateway", if we can call it that, later on, but at this stage all we know is that he is in the dream. Can he enter without a gate? He was also fighting people off. Were they real or just T'A'R constructs conjured up by Ba'alzamon.

Oh, I hereby request that Ba'alzamon / Ishamael / Moridin / Elan be hence forth known as HWTMN (He With Too Many Names).


I see you Sulin. May you always find water and prawn balls with sweet and sour sauce.

Tek @82

I was thinking of potato chips. I've just had this crazy vision of a huge Nesta din Hut sitting on a divan, staring at Elayne and Nynaeve, muching away. "Your mind tricks will not work on me, young Sedai."

M-0-M @83: shnarf, shnarf, shnarf.

J @ 91

Ba'alzamon: Let's put it on.
Verin: What?
Ba'alzamon: The last shawl you'll ever wear.

johntheirishmongol @96: The other five gholum got bit parts in Star Trek DS9 as Odo's stunt doubles.

Seriously, I don't know. Were all six found, or just the one Sammael used?

Wetlandernw @99

Re. Red dwarf reference? If it was then I didn't intend it. In fact, you'll have to point it out.

Re. "I pretty much disagree with everything you said in this post."

As is your right. And well argued. FWIW, it's a question of cumulative toh. Elayne might have offset some of that with her post-gholum apology, which was sincere and she acknowledges that she owes him a debt, but then she uses him... again, and he gives her something she wanted. It doesn't matter whether the using was justified, she still owes him a debt. Elayne apologises, and although it may also have been sincere, it was not very humble. Nynaeve, however, far from apologising, chastises him, which she has no write to do. And neither of them thank him.

A better thing to say would have been: "Mat, I'm very sorry for using you like that. The last time we made a bargain with the Sea Folk it went horribly wrong and we couldn't afford for it to happen again. We would have told you, but your luck works best when things were random and so we had no choice. And thankyou, Mat. You made a much better bargain than we could have." (Except in italics.)

That may sound a bit over the top, but that's what you do when you're trying to make up for mistreating someone, and Elayne is supposed to be the great peace maker. You don't smile at them, flashing your dimple, and say "we had our reasons, you must believe that". An explanation and at least some thanks were in order. And when you put it together with Nynaeve's response, it sounds a lot like "we can use you if we want, and of course we don't need to explain ourselves".

And then Elayne makes the observant subject remark. I know you don't see this as a problem, but Elayne must have figured out by now that Mat has a big problem with this. So it's really not good diplomacy to say this. Even if she thought it, she should not have spoken it. This is my problem with Elayne. She has been trained by polititians, sorry, politicking persons, and is heralded as a peace maker. She certainly used that skill well enough when usurping Mats authority in LoC, and yet she does a pretty bad job of smoothing Mat's feathers, which they have clearly ruffled.

@99 re. "Her place on the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah was next to that of Alviarin herself."

I don't know why I never picked that one up. And I should have from Leigh's summary. I'll admit I reread this book about amonth ago and I just skipped straight to the commentary.

"Even the sisters in her own heart believed her no more than they."

Well, that settles that one.

bad_platypus @58: sorry, you found proof. At least I can take a little comfort from jumping to the right conclusion, all be it tainted comfort.

Rob @106

Agreed, Elayne is not all bad and the people around her make the succession plot less enjoyable than it could have been.

About Mat thanking them in TDR. I wasn't sure what you meant at first, and then I was just puzzled. If he needs to thank them it is for being with him whilst he was ill, but only in the same way as you would thank someone for visiting you in hospital. As for them giving him a way out? Well, they were really just using him as a messenger. Would they have helped him get away if Elayne didn't need the note delivering? Even so, as you say, he does determine to find them and thank them.

The one thing he doesn't need to thank them for is "escorting" him to Tarvalan. They were going there anyway to carry on training. It was Verin that was leading the party and they were just accepted being taken home. In fact, they didn't do a very good job of helping Verin get home quietly.


Does anyone around here no of a good cement supplier?
John Massey
118. subwoofer
I know of a few- maybe you need a bricklayer- go union. If it is not too severe I do recommend simple dry-wall compound. Sand liberally.

The next book has a bunch of tidbits in the prologue I am interested in seeing Leigh dissect.

And I am far from perfect. When I do something wrong the biggest thing is to admit that I am wrong, then say sorry. I think it is like pulling teeth for the ladies. Mind you, Mat does have a way of phrasing things that may really burn certain folks... strictly unintentionally of course. Take his letter, saying the ladies needed "minders" must have really rankled. I am not saying that he was wrong about the situation, he just needs to practice tact in his word choices. But then again, RJ did that on purpose in keeping with the Mat-like character of disliking nobles, and thumbing his nose at them although he does eventually rise to the class of Emperor.

119. Freelancer

My quip @100 was directed at this:
Not to be ungrateful or anything (after all, it's free), but has got to have the buggiest Web Content Server I've ever seen.


No, but Bela's been turned into glue by now.
Alice Arneson
120. Wetlandernw
forkroot @112 - Caught it two ways, but was hoping for a Red Dwarf link. Hadn't figured out a witty way to note the other. Gotta be a good non-disclosure loopy thingy.

Ouroboros @117 - In the early scenes, Rand really is just dreaming in TAR, I think. He does enter in the flesh at later times, but it's a bit dangerous. Also, in the earlier dreams, he's there and stays there because Ishamael has pulled him in. And "Odo's stunt doubles" - ROFLOL!! Took a second... Good one!

Re: Red Dwarf... your "name" is the name of an epsisode in the British TV series "Red Dwarf." However, since it's also singularly appropriate to the Wheel of Time, I'll let you get away with not being a Dwarf fan. :)

Our disagreement... Had to chuckle at "A better thing to say would have been..." Of course, it would have been a good thing to say, but come on. If people actually talked to each other like that, no one would need to go chasing all over Randland on redundant pursuits, and the books would have been over years ago. And we wouldn't be having this conversation, because there wouldn't be anything to disagree about. :>

And umm... not to be nitpicky, but you might check your spelling on one word... Elayne as piece-maker might be appropriate, all things considered, but it has a very different meaning than peace-maker, which is what you meant. Just... 'cause it made me laugh, in context.
121. Ouroboros

Hmm, I'm not using Bella as a fixative. But speaking of creatures great and small... Shaidar Haran.

I'm just not getting the Molly Shannon thing. Maybe you have to be a Yankee. If I was going to give him a voice it would be Ethel Merman, because it would just be too funny. "There's no shadow like my shadow like THE shadow I know..." Or possibly Noel Coward. “Mad dogs and Halfmen go out in the mid day sun.”

Couple that with the smurf business and we might as well just start taking drugs.

It always struck me as odd that SH was so powerful and yet rarely used. I suppose it all boils back down to the DO having his own plans which aren't obvious, again. In fact, he only ever seems to turn up when there's some FS business to take care of. At least, that's what I'm telling myself, or else I'd have to think that RJ had fallen to the problem of having a BFG, or BFF in this case, that makes it too easy for the bad guys to win.

Also, I'm guessing that he's channeling TP, or is that really channeling the DO? That's the only way I can see Rand surviving any confrontation with him. I'm assuming that both the DO and Moridin are aware that Rand is sneaking into the larder. If the TP is the essence of the DO then it would be hard not to notice.

"Someone's pinching my backside again" said the Big DoDo, floating in his big fiery toilet.
Captain Hammer
122. Randalator
Ouroboros @121

Also, I'm guessing that he's channeling TP, or is that really channeling the DO? That's the only way I can see Rand surviving any confrontation with him. I'm assuming that both the DO and Moridin are aware that Rand is sneaking into the larder. If the TP is the essence of the DO then it would be hard not to notice.

Well, as far as I remember the TP really is the DO's essence. So I guess it's really not important if SH channels the TP or the DO because same difference.

As for the BFF issue: The Forsaken have access to the TP, too. That doesn't make them invincible or anything. In a way it's just channeling with inverted weaves against someone who doesn't know about this special trick or someone unsuspecting. It certainly gives you an edge over your opponent, but probably not as much as one would initially think. Also there's the thing with SH being bound to Shayol Ghul. It's not like he can just hop about as he wants.

AFAIK we only get one POV from SH and it basically boils down to "Oh, those wee little Chosen. What crazy antics are they up to now with these so-called Aiel? Oops, getting weak. Need to recharge. Curses! Shadow-hand away!"

I don't think that SH in his current state would do much good in a serious OP/TP battle unless he virtually lucked out with the very first strike.
Lost in my own mind
123. jadelollipop
Re: SH I always had read his comments as a wish to be free of the DO although it was only today that I noted the "channeling" of the True Power. I guess it is because I read (interpreted) SH as an unexpected ally of the light from the description in the Worlds of Robert Jordan encylopedia before we saw him in the actual books. I suppose it is similar to the discussion (at Dragonmount?) re: whether Trollocs have souls and can be converted to the light....
j p
124. sps49
MoM @52

Sorry for the Captain Obvious impersonation, then; I had the impression the Hearts were thought of as a hierarchy to be promoted into/ through.

Verin learned most of the identities by watching mail drops, didn't she? Must re-read that Awesome chapter.

wetlander @99-

Because of the "Go to Rhuidean, trickster! Go!" sequence in the Stone Basement of Tear, leading to his acquisition of the medallion. Which has saved his life twice in three chapters, here.

And the "one other" should be a member of another cell; else communication between cells is even more difficult and less secure. Which just now makes me think- Red is associated with (communist) revolutionary movements; the Reds are overrepresented in the Black Ajah, which wants to overthrow Light (good) for the Dark (evil)- they're Commies!

Freelancer @100-

I missed Pinatubo by about a year, but my first "real world" job would become involved in verifying whether Pinatubo ash could be confirmes as the culprit in a ruined boiler.

MoM @110-

Cool pic!

Ouroboros @117-

Getting more and more funny, keep it up!
Rob Munnelly
125. RobMRobM
Answers are up on the difficult quiz at 13th dep. I got 6 of ten as well (missed hang gliding, Aethen Dor and the last two). The one with Kathy Lee Gifford's kid was the easiest....
Thomas Keith
126. insectoid
Ouroboros @121:
"Someone's pinching my backside again" said the Big DoDo, floating in his big fiery toilet.
LOL!! Ah yes, the ol' Big Fiery Toilet... Might as well be, since the essence of the DO is TP! ;)

Alice Arneson
127. Wetlandernw
sps49 @124 - I'm just not sure how you get the medallion saving his life wrt the wall falling down. Certainly he felt the medallion go cold twice, but he was already aware of the damane and what they could do. As near as I can tell from rereading that section, knowing when this one was channeling didn't affect his actions, didn't give him warning of a specific action, or otherwise enable him to do anything that saved his life.
Julian Augustus
128. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander @ 99:
Have to say that until I heard it on here, it never really occured to me that either Galina or Therava were lesbian.

The comments by some posters that Therava's torture of Galina had sexual overtones reminded me of an old joke.

A psychiatrist is working with a new patient, and he decides to do the inkblot test (this is the one where the patient is shown a series of inkblot patterns on a sheet of paper and he/she is supposed to say the first thing that comes into his/her head after a brief glance at the pattern). Anyway, the doc shows the guy the first inkblot and the guy says "sex". So the doc shows him another one, and he says, "sex". After a while when the guy says "sex" to every inkblot, the doc becomes exasperated. "Look here", he says, "don't you have any other thoughts in your head than sex?" And the guy replies, "but doc, you are the one who keeps showing me all those sexy pictures!"

Back to WoT, we have some very broad hints while the AS kidnappers were conveying Rand to TV that Galina is a lesbian. But I haven't seen even the remotest hint that Therava might be, until someone (Leigh?) suggested right in this re-read that there might be a sexual subtext about Therava's torture of Galina. Most other posters, including you, have commented that they didn't see any such subtexts in the situations presented. Which makes me wonder, could a very faint echo of the inkblot syndrome be occurring here?
a a-p
130. lostinshadow
noted this before but I'll say it again

regarding Galina and Therava: it seems like people may be confusing two separate issues a bit.

one or both may or may not be lesbians, but that is a separate issue as to whether some kind of sexual humiliation and/or rape was used to break Galina.

Rape and/or sexual humiliation is a common tool used in torture and to break people because it affects a fundamental aspect of their nature and as such the torturer need not be a lesbian just because she makes use of this tool in breaking someone down.

So what I'm trying to say is that even if there is a sexual element to Galina's torture (and since some people seem to have seen it, an argument could be made that it is there, even if it is ambiguous), this need not automatically make Therava a lesbian.

As to the question of whether Galina, despite clearly being evil, deserves what she gets at the hands of the Wise Ones...

In another series (I think it was a scene in Lackey's Valdemar series) there was a scene when one of the older good guys was explaining to one of the younger good guys that you should always kill the bad guy cleanly, not matter what the crime because to do otherwise stains your own soul.

Now, Therava is not necessarily a good guy but then again other than Sevena the other Shaido Wise Ones did not seem to be bad per se, at least to me, (yes I know they killed one of their own but I had attributed that to Sevena's influence) until I started seeing how they were torturing Galina.

And by the end of the plot so despised by many, I'm actually more scared of Therava than most of the Forsaken.
Don Barkauskas
131. bad_platypus
Wetlandernw @99:

Well, assuming that "knowing" is a symmetric relation (i.e., A knows B means B knows A), then if someone were the "one other" for multiple people then she would know more than one outside her own heart.

It's implied (but not explicitly stated AFAIK) that it is symmetric, but it certainly doesn't need to be. (E.g., Person A could be told "In case of emergency, contact Person B", and person B wouldn't know until Person A contacted her. I don't think it works that way, but it could.)
Sydo Zandstra
132. Fiddler

Back to WoT, we have some very broad hints while the AS kidnappers were conveying Rand to TV that Galina is a lesbian. But I haven't seen even the remotest hint that Therava might be, until someone (Leigh?) suggested right in this re-read that there might be a sexual subtext about Therava's torture of Galina. Most other posters, including you, have commented that they didn't see any such subtexts in the situations presented. Which makes me wonder, could a very faint echo of the inkblot syndrome be occurring here?

I think that is the case here. A lot of people see what they expect or want to see. Ask any so-called magician.

Sometimes torture doesn't have to involve sexual aspects. ;) And in Galina's case for it to work, there probably would have to be a man involved in it anyway, considering her taste for doll-like women (Erian).
Captain Hammer
133. Randalator
Fiddler @132

"Sometimes torture doesn't have to involve sexual aspects. ;) And in Galina's case for it to work, there probably would have to be a man involved in it anyway, considering her taste for doll-like women (Erian)."

So...what? Sexual torture is only possible when the tormentor is not of the victim's preferred gender? I don't think that's how it works...
Lost in my own mind
134. jadelollipop
RE: Therava and Galina I never saw any sexual subtext but it was not until I read the commentary that I thought anything about Galina re: Erian either.
135. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @120

Following the Perrin & Egwene in T'A'R discussion, Freelancer and I said that we didn't think they realized what was going on. Freelancer also said, "Egwene is a Dreamer, Perrin is a Wolfbrother, and Rand is the Dragon Reborn (which makes him, if not a Hero of the Horn, something similar), each with their own personal access to T'a'R."

I was really questioning what his connection was, if he has one beyond being able to get there by gateway (dreamgate?). The ambiguous scene I was thinking of was when Rand confronts Egwene. Rand knows he's in a dream of some kind and that the phantoms he's seeing aren't real. He can also channel against Egwene, using the fiery sword and cutting her weaves.

As far as I can tell, either Egwene's in his dream, or they're both in T'A'R, in which case, how did Rand get there? And is he there in the flesh? Rand being able to channel against her implies T'A'R. In fact, is it even possible to channel when you're in another's dream? It could also be that Ba'alzamon pulled him into T'A'R.

I think the fight at the end of TEotW takes place in T'A'R. It looks exactly the same as the place Rand, Mat, and Perrin go to in their dreams, and Rand can see the black cord connecting Ba'alzamon to the DO, which isn't visible in the real world. Not conclusive, but still. The strange thing is that Rand gets there by skimming, although I seem to remember Egwene commenting that she felt some similarity between the void and the dream. Does this mean that you could skim from the waking world to T'A'R.

The next time I know of for certain when Rand goes to the dream in the flesh is at the end of TDR, when he follows Ba'alzamon.

The other problem in trying to work out what is where, is that Ba'alzamon could be creating a dreamscape that mirrors some place in the real world. The stone walled room with the fire place could be a real location near Shayol Ghul. But it could equally be an artificial place made in T'A'R. Of course, this leads to the question of where Rand went in TGS. It could have been the place in T'A'R, drawn there because Moridin was there too. However, it could also just have been straight into Moridin's dream. Though why Moridin would dream of such a pleasant place is anyone's guess. Surely, Tahiti?

Cue music: Moridin and Rand lounging in deck chairs, sipping Margaritas, while a Myrddraal in a Hawaiian shirt flips prawns on a barbecue.
Tricia Irish
136. Tektonica
Ouroboros@121: What an image! LOL!

I'm just not getting the Molly Shannon thing. Maybe you have to be a Yankee. If I was going to give him a voice it would be Ethel Merman, because it would just be too funny. "There's no shadow like my shadow like THE shadow I know..." Or possibly Noel Coward. “Mad dogs and Halfmen go out in the mid day sun.”

You guys have been awfully busy for a weekend! Good stuff.

FWIW: I didn't "get" any sexual vibe between Galina and Therava either. Just not looking for that, I guess. I do think Therava is one of the scariest of characters in WOT. So cold, and meaner than a junk yard dog. She scares me more than most FS.
John Massey
137. subwoofer
Ahhhh yes, sexual torture subject on a Sunday. I see we are beating Mandarb now. I could be throttling puffins this morning

I think what it boils down to is what is the Aiel intent. Everything in their culture is based around ji'e'toh and meeting that. In that respect- and what I say will be proven out in the prologue of the next book- what the Aiel want to do is make Galina feel the shame of her actions. So I think the sexual torture doesn't even enter the picture. I don't even know if it is on the Aiel radar.

To wit, the Aiel have no problem prancing around nude in sweat tents with both genders present. They are very baffled by Wetlander( hey, s'up?) attitudes about being properly clothed. It is an alien concept to them. Hence, also why when they are taken gai'shain the Aiel have no problems going about their tasks naked as it would be more shaming for them to wear clothes that no longer reflect their loss of honor.

That being said, the question that the Aiel WO's do ask is what is the most shaming thing to a Wetlander. First off they have them doing meaningless tasks because wasting another one's time is very shaming to an Aiel. The second thing they do is the beatings because they have discovered how weak wetlanders are when it comes to taking pain.

And none of that makes the leap to sexual torture. Personally, I feel that act would be too shaming for the Aiel to do and they would incur toh doing it, and the whole purpose is to make the captive feel shamed. Even to the point of Galina who wears a black robe because she is the lowest form of life to Aiel.

I just don't see that the Aiel code allows for sexual torture. Inflicting pain, yes. As wonky as it sounds, I think they even do that honorably.

Sydo Zandstra
139. Fiddler

subwoofer said it better than I did. Aiel (including Shaido) don't need that stuff in order to break somebody. That shows you shouldn't post right before starting to watch a football stream on your pc. ;) Thanks, sub :D

What I meant was, that even IF Therava would use sex in torturing/breaking Galina, she would have been more successful in bringing in a man to do it. Not only because Galina prefers women for pillowing, but also because she is of the Red Ajah (and in the man-hating part of it). This is purely hypothetical though, since Therava doesn't know any of this, and there wasn't sex involved in her dealings with Galina.
Lost in my own mind
140. Silvertip
I think subwoofer@137 and lostinshadow@130 have the right of it. The hints that Galina is a gay woman are pretty strong. We don't learn anything explicit IIRC about Therava's preferences, but you don't really need that, or even actual rape, for torture to take advantage of sexual degradation. Therava's treatment of Galina reminded me most of the worst aspects of the abuse at Abu Ghraib -- I'm not aware there were any accusations of anything like sexual assualt in that case, and the orientation of the perpetrators is really irrelevant, but the perps very much took advantage of knowing what would be most shaming -- shaming with severe sexual overtones -- to those they were abusing. Elsewhere in this troubled world, actual rape by armed men of victims of either gender is used as a tool of degradation, destruction, and control, again almost without reference to the sexuality of the offender. I think it's barking up the wrong tree to wonder what Therava's own preferences are. What's true is that she has a very strong (if not totally complete) idea of what makes Galina tick, and plays on that knowledge very skillfully to degrade and control her. As of the end of KoD, it worked.

I also agree with some earlier commenters (too lazy to scroll up and find the reference) in despising Galina yet taking no joy in what happens to her. What anybody else "deserves" is a decision well above my pay grade.

Tricia Irish
141. Tektonica
I see you was pretty obvious, but a goodie....thanks for retrieving Jim for me!

And Sub@137: Very well said....and correct, IMHO. Thank you.
142. Freelancer
Funny, I drove past Croce's laser night. (It's a bar and grill in the GasLamp district here) Can't go anywhere near that place without hearing Leroy Brown in my head. Or Time in a Bottle.


Agreed, there is great ambiguity about the extent and method of Rand's ability to enter T'a'R. But there is no question that he has been there without the use of device or channeling. So the most reasonable presumption left to me was Lews Therin's status as Hero of the Horn. And if he isn't one of those, then due to his unique nature as Champion of the Light, he shares some of the benefits with those other Heroes, such as a conscious existence in T'a'R between worldly lives.

Regardless, I believe that he, Egwene, and Perrin will eventually meet there with purpose, and discover some significant thing that will serve team Light.
Barry T
143. blindillusion
And by the end of the plot so despised by many, I'm actually more scared of Therava than most of the Forsaken.

I'm of the opinion that this is intentional on Mr Jordan's part (of course, I doubt he did anything unintentionally). With the exception of HWTMN (nod to Ouroboros) none of the Forsaken impress me much. That's one group built up by Legend...and that's being torn down by a serious lack of respect for its enemy.

On the other hand, there are quite a few present day Randlanders that have taken great lengths to scare the crap out of me:

Therava – Kinda obvious. Half this thread discussed her.
Pedron Niall – A narcissistic genius with an army of fanatics. Kinda like Grandpa...with a knife hidden behind his back...wanting a hug.
Eamon Valda – This guy really doesn't need an explanation. He was not only scum...but scary scum.
Rhadam Asunawa – You know those stories were the Devil walks around posing as a human...I'd imagine he'd report to Asunawa ready to take notes on how to be demonic. Granted, we've never seen Asunawa in action, but it doesn't take a great leap of the imagination to realize what he's capable of...and what's he's more than likely done in his pursuit of the “truth”.
(...I guess you could say that just about every Child of the Light who has had any amount of screen time has made me shudder to one degree of another...and that they're supposed to exist for the Light only makes them worse. Talk about the perfect group for the “abusive cop” scenario to play out....)

Tsk. While I'm sure there are plenty of others characters that are scarier than the Forsaken, I don't have time to think of them. Sunday outing with the Fam. Have a pleasant one all.
a a-p
144. lostinshadow
I seem to remember from the survey a number of threads ago that there are some from the UK and Dutch lurkers/participants out there.

Hope you guys, and anyone else particularly in northern Europe and Scandinavia - and obviously Iceland - are ok and not having ash rained on them or stuck in some random airport somewhere.

Edited: to correct unacceptable slip of using "some from the UK".
a a-p
145. lostinshadow
@143 blind - yeah the Child of Light crew doing so much bad in the name of 'Light' is very disturbing, probably because it reflects many RL instances so closely.
146. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @120

RE: your "name" is the name of an epsisode in the British TV series "Red Dwarf." However, since it's also singularly appropriate to the Wheel of Time, I'll let you get away with not being a Dwarf fan. :)

Nope, definitely a coincidence. I suppose I should show some national spirit and defend it but I can’t quite bring myself to do it.

Nice to see a few people picking up on the “name”. I have an interest in where things come from and new about the old snake long before I found the WoT.

RE: "If people actually talked to each other like that, no one would need to go chasing all over Randland on redundant pursuits, and the books would have been over years ago."

Well yes. I was forgetting the first rule of Randland: "You do not talk about Randland." At least, not when it's important to communicate. Still, I suppose I should be glad because, as you say, the books would have been over years ago. Though it's a pity an exception couldn't have been made between Perrin and Faiel.

RE: the spelling mistake.

We don't have that expression over here. I tried looking it up and got nowhere. I'm afraid to ask. I wimped out and changed the post. In defence of my terrible spelling: itypetoofast. I will be more careful. I’ve also started a new dictionary in Word, might help with all the silly names.

Randalator @122

RE: “Well, as far as I remember the TP really is the DO's essence. So I guess it's really not important if SH channels the TP or the DO because same difference.”

I was being cautious in not stating outright that the TP is the DO’s essence. I’ve done some digging though, and I’m happy saying that the TP is some aspect of the DO which can be used like the OP.

RE: “The Forsaken have access to the TP, too. That doesn't make them invincible or anything. In a way it's just channeling with inverted weaves against someone who doesn't know about this special trick or someone unsuspecting.”

Well, technically, only Moridin now. But SH also has the powers of a Myrddraal. Travelling between shadows, very fast, extremely strong, knife like claws, etc. Take the ability to channel away from one of the FS and a Myrddraal would gut them in a second, unless the FS was a very good fighter. Give a Myrddraal and a man the same gift of channeling and the scales are definitely tipped in the Myrddraal’s favour. Also, SH is bigger than the average fade, and most probably smarter.

There’s also that shielding trick he does which seems more like temporary severing. Is that just a TP weave that any FS could do if shown how? Or is it some special trick that only SH can do? And what about the big voice? Is that just more TP? Or is that really the DO’s voice coming down a tunnel?

RE: “Also there's the thing with SH being bound to Shayol Ghul. It's not like he can just hop about as he wants.”

Only a problem if the battle last a long time. If things are planned out properly, SH can be in and out before anyone worked out what happened. Think what would happen if the DO really wanted Rand dead. SH rides in on a shadow in the middle of the night, shields Rand, binds him with flows, and then slits his throat. Done! That’s what I meant about him not really being used. IMO, he’s not being used because the DO doesn’t need to use him in this way… yet.

Also, how long can he stay away from Shayol Ghul? AFAIK we’re only told that he’s been away for “too long”. This might have been the end of a three day trek. IMO, it is this “link” that SH is griping about. In other words “I want to break free of this limitation”, not “I want to break free from the DO”.

RE: “I don't think that SH in his current state would do much good in a serious OP/TP battle unless he virtually lucked out with the very first strike.”

Is there such a thing as relative strength in the TP? If so, SH could be right up there in the clouds, Or swimming around with the pond life. That said, I get the impression that the TP is much stronger than the OP so he’d probably only have to worry about TP channelers. This brings us back to not knowing how much of what he does is pure TP channelling or DO’s avatar powers.

About the whole “is SH the DO’s avatar, or just a super fade” debate. Well, if he is then he’ll be very impressive to look at, and especially in 3D, but containing no new plot devices. That’s the trouble with big budget fades.

Sps @124

“the Reds are overrepresented in the Black Ajah, which wants to overthrow Light (good) for the Dark (evil)- they're Commies!”

The Red is the largest Ajah, followed by the Green, and the Blue is the smallest Ajah, save the White. I don’t know how the Brown, Yellow and Gray fall out but the list of black numbers seems to reflect the size of the other Ajahs.

48 Red (24%)
38 green (19%)
30 Gray (15%)
28 Brown (14%)
21 Yellow (10%)
21 Blue (10%)
17 White (8%)
Total 203

If we assume, for the moment, that the number of blacks is always the same percentile within each Ajah, then this means that the red is 2.5 times larger than the blue, and I can’t think of any evidence to counter this. I’m pretty sure that we’re told that the red is much larger than the blue. You could argue that each Ajah attracts a different type of personality, and that some personality types are more likely to produce dark friends than others, but we’ve seen that the reasons for joining are not always the same.

Blues are the most manipulative and so you’d expect a high proportion there, and yet the White, which is the smallest Ajah, is not far behind, and serving the DO is hardly logical. Unless you see it as the most logical way to obtain power. Reds seem to be aggressive and vengeful, but not all of them joined because they hate men. Some joined because they genuinely believe that male channelers are a danger that must be curtailed.

It seems to me that the distribution of blacks is fairly consistent across the board. And if there is a slight bias in some Ajahs, then it is not that big. Do we know what the relative sizes of all the Ajahs are? I can’t find a list anywhere.
Lost in my own mind
147. ValMar
The Red is the biggest Ajah. The Blue is the smallest, IIRC, if not then the 2nd smallest behind the White. Anyway, I'm sure there are at least twice as many Reds than blue.

As for the ash falling on us here in the UK and North Europe, don't worry about us. The problem is thousands of meters in the sky, the ash cloud being a problem for the plane engines. Well, if you have some lung condition or asthma or whatever.
And it's a bummer if you need to fly, or are stuck somewhere sunny...
Sharon E.
148. Sulin
@M-o-M (110) WOW! That's an amazing picture!

@blind(111)This pic gave me the shivers! I imagine Dragonmount looked a lot like that at the end of tGS. Wow.
Lost in my own mind
149. ValMar
We only know the ajahs size in relation to each other:
1- Red; 2- Green; 3- Gray; 4- Brown; 5- Yellow; 6- Blue; 7- White;
According to WOT Wiki. Given there are about 1000 AS, the mathematically minded could give us an approximation to the numbers of each colour.

As to why is there roughly similar proportion of Blacks across the board, maybe the Blacks did it intentionally so that they have strong influence in all ajahs.
Sydo Zandstra
150. Fiddler

Thanks for the concern. I live in the Netherlands but honestly my skies haven't been darkened by it. Actually, today was a nice warm sunny day.

Air traffic is still down, though. Hope that will change soon.
Sharon E.
151. Sulin
@Ouroboros (117) "Odo's stunt doubles" bwahahahaha!
Lost in my own mind
152. Boudica
Stuck somewhere sunny? ... yes, "stuck" in Sicily, not exactly terrible (though actually less sunny than northern Europe at the moment) waiting to be able to fly back to the UK. Fortunately brought my laptop, so have kept up with all the comments - been following you all for months now, you're beginning to seem like old friends! Thank you all, both for your thoughts about the volcanic situation - ironic that I'm in a villa on the slopes of Mount Etna, yet that's not the volcano giving problems - and for the many discussions both stimulating and enlightening (and fun)- and thank you, Leigh, don't know how I'd have remembered enough to enjoy TGS without the re-reads. All my books have been in store since last September, so can't re-read them myself at present.
Rob Munnelly
153. RobMRobM
Hi all
- Two sets of our friends in Europe (Ireland and England) can't get home due to volcano ash. Bummer for them.
- I'm a believer in the Galina-Therava love connection, although it's subtle. Therava's disappointment that Galina is treated as destaing by Sevanna, and can't be put in silk, is the first subtle hint. Even though Therava is a traditionalist (at least compared to the excesses of Sevanna), instead of putting Galina in a plain white gai'shin robe, Galina is dressed in silk and with beautiful jewlery. Then they sleep in the same tent; and she calls Galina her little Lini; and Galina refers to herself as Therava's plaything....All of these points add up to things happening behind tent walls. Might be just a power imbalance but I doubt it.
- Very good T'AR discussion. After learning the rules in later books, have to figure out what was really up with Rand in TDR. Good questions to ask.
- I'll take Masema as one who scares the cr+p out of me.
- Re who knows about Alviarin, my guess is it would date back to the gang that tortured the Amrylin before Siuan. Someone had to make decisions for that group so the key folk needed to know each other. Galina was definitely involved in that per her own POV.
-agree with Wet @127 - medallion didn't save Mat's life during invasion. Ta'veren luck if anything.
- Ora @117. I do think Mat owed something to all the AS who brought him back to TV. They at least had to feed and care for him when he couldn't do it himself. Thanks for agreeing with my thought that Mat understood he owed something to the three SGs and was planning to say so before leaving.

154. Freelancer
RE: Shaidar Haran

Ok, I don't know how anyone reaches a different conclusion, but this guy is the DO's representation in the physical world. When he marked Alviarin, he marked her as a "chosen". No simple halfman can block the Source from a channeler. No ordinary fetch can cause a black fire to turn a staff of wood to a cinder.

The presentation as a myrddraal is interesting, with many potential secondary purposes, but is still a choice. When Shaidar Haran pines to be free of Shayol Ghul, he is not wishing to be free of the dark one's influence, because he is the dark one's creation. Instead, his expressed desire is the dark one wishing to be free from his prison. His partial freedom extends to projecting this manifestation for direct contact with other beings, but with limitations.
Eric Hughes
155. CireNaes
Randalator@122 and Ouroboros@146

Randalator. I think you're right about their being a rather tight time limit on Shadar Haran for the moment (SH acting along side a proxy in TGS to get the Sad Bracelets is a good indicator of this in that SH doesn't want to use up his batteries doing it himself/itself), but likely wrong in your assessment of the TP.

I agree more with Ouroboros about the TP. It seems to offer an immediate strength advantage and I have often wondered if it is 'easier' to use. Less complicated or formulaic in its deployment. If my memory serves me only a person with a serious boost of their own has ever prevailed against a TP user (that sounds funny) such as Rand in the Stone with Callandor. Now I just sound like I'm playing Clue. I believe that Ishy, when he called on the DO for aid, was asking permission to use the TP and thought that he had a shot against Callandor when he was granted permission. That says something about the stuff.

Also, the ability for it to 'heal' LTT's madness is pretty amazing too. Like it has the ability to undo the pattern or something to that effect (which would make sense if it were made up of some part of the DO's essence). An example being when Ishy travels with it and he rips a hole in the pattern rather than working with it to get where he wants to go.

I wish I had time to read along with the commentary so my comments were based on more than my memory of the last time I read the series 6 years ago, but I'm just too swamped and this is one of the few enjoyable things I do as a stress reliever. I guess there has been a pleasant side effect. When I did eventually get to read TGS, the switch in the 'voice/feel' of the book wasn't so jarring. Back to work.

Edit: In looking at a few of the other posts, I had forgotten that it was emphasized the SH could only exert effortless control those who had given themselves over to the DO. However, we do have SH interacting with the physical world by burning the spear with what is presumably the TP. This makes it possible, but likely taxing to SH, which could in turn manifest the consequence of a limited projection of this 'shadow' self. Likely the big limiter being that their are still a few seals left on the hole in the DO's prison.

It is also interesting to note that only one who can utilize the OP has the physical and/or spiritual makeup (the right plumbing so to speak) to use the TP. I suppose one could say this gives more credence to the theory that the OP is the Creator's gift to a few to utilize a portion of its (I'm guessing RJ was going for gender neutral here) essence for the benefit of creation and the DO in turn offering its power in order to perpetuate the unraveling of creation. Since the OP is an limitlessness source of power it might naturally stem directly from a portion of a limitless being. I like how the DO is effectively using the Creator's gift to a few (and to the whole by giving the energy to drive the pattern itself) as a means of destruction/exerting its influence on its prison.
Sharon E.
156. Sulin
@Rob(153)I'll take Masema as one who scares the cr+p out of me. DITTO!

RE T'A'R', I need to get out TDR and refresh my memory for the scene with Rand/Egwene y'all are talking about. I've read so much lately, it's all kinda pureed in my head....o_O
Charlie McMurchie
157. FromtheLangToun
@Lostinshadow (144) "English" isn't the same as "British" or, in my case, "Scottish". This may seem like a small issue but, to many of we Scots, it isn't. Not meant as a rant, just something that matters a lot to a lot of us.
Re' lesbianism, I've never been clear that AS pillow friends necessarily had a physical relationship; is there any evidence that,other than implied, they did It's at the back of my mind Moiraine & Siuan were pillow friends in New Spring, has my memory played me false, especially as we now know of Siuan's feelings towards/relationship with Gareth Bryne.
Lost in my own mind
158. ValMar

I went to uni in NW Wales and I know how much the folks there like to be called English ;-)
I was very well received just by virtue of not being English...

As for pillow friends, maybe some weren't trully sexual but many certainly were. Including Moiraine&Siuan, confirmed by RJ: "they ruffled the sheets something fierce" was the quote from him, more or less.
diane heath
159. jadelollipop
Once again I expose my ignorance/innocence. I always interpreted "pillow friends" as gossip buddies (like Elayne and Egwene who share news via the hole in the wall between their rooms in the Tower.
re: SH yes I do recognize that he is the DO representative now but I misinterpreted the description in the Wheel of Time background book where he was mentioned prior to his introduction in the books.
Barry T
160. blindillusion
Brandon Sanderson
- Q: You mention that Shaidar Haran has quite a few limitations on his power. Can you give us a few concrete examples of these limitations?
- A: Shaidar Haran needs a minion to most of his work for him. Elza was essential to Shaidar Haran in getting things done.

- Q. How did Elza defeat the wards on Cadsuane's plain wooden box?
- A. Elza had been given knowledge of several rarely known weaves, and in other ways made into a tool of Shaidar Haran. Not all of it was pleasant for her.

Robert Jordan
- Week 2 Question: Is the mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran the same as that the Forsaken received from the Dark One? If so, is she now a Forsaken, or some sort of lesser Chosen?
- Robert Jordan Answers: The mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran was not the same as that given to the Forsaken, though it shares one function: Shadowspawn will recognize her as belonging to the Dark One. They will not obey her as they will the Forsaken, however, but she doesn't have to worry about one trying to kill her, either. She is not any sort of lesser Chosen. You might think of it more like the tattoo some people get put inside the ear of their dog, an identification so others will know who the dog belongs to as soon as they see it.

- WinespringBrother: Is Shaidar Haran an avatar to the world beyond the Bore?
- Jordan: I am not certain you can really call him an avatar because I generally think of an avatar as having exactly the same powers as, and it is not, Shaidar Haran does not have nearly as much power as the Dark One. It's as though the Dark One is able to project a shadowy form of himself into this creature - it is the Dark One in shadowy form.

Julian Augustus
161. Alisonwonderland
Only a problem if the battle last a long time. If things are planned out properly, SH can be in and out before anyone worked out what happened. Think what would happen if the DO really wanted Rand dead. SH rides in on a shadow in the middle of the night, shields Rand, binds him with flows, and then slits his throat. Done! That’s what I meant about him not really being used. IMO, he’s not being used because the DO doesn’t need to use him in this way… yet.

I'm not sure SH can slit Rand's, or for that matter anyone's, throat. I remember BWS explaining at one of the TGS signings that SH does not exist physically in this dimension, so cannot perform physical tasks like opening a box, etc. That is why he had to get Elza to open Cadsuane's jewelry box (after he had neutralized the wards) and to take the male adam to Semirhage.

Actually, now I think more about it I suppose he could fashion a knife out of air with the TP and move the knife with air to slash someone's throat, though I wonder why he would go to all that trouble when he has much simpler (to him) means of killing someone.
Jay Dauro
162. J.Dauro
Ouroboros @146

From the BBoBA Chapter 24
Witha membership encompassing nearly one in five of Aes Sedai at the time of writing ... the Red Ajah is certainly the largest.
So the Reds are less than 20% of the total.

And from the 13th Depository
The breakdown by Ajah of the two hundred or so Black Sisters that Verin identified is: 48 Red, 38 Green, 30 Grey, 28 Brown, 21 Yellow (perhaps slightly less than would be expected), 21 Blue and 17 White. Verin identified 48 Black sisters from the Red Ajah, representing about 24% of the 203 Black sisters she identified, which is about 25% higher than would be expected, considering that Reds represent about 19% of the total Aes Sedai population.


BTW, if you're interested in the breakdown of the BA, this post is where to start. As usual, the 13th Depository article is wonderful.
Linda Taglieri
163. Linda
@162 Thank you J. Dauro! :)

@157 The pillowfriends relationship is usually sexual, including that of Siuan and Moiraine. RJ confirmed it. There is an article on the 13th Depository written by Marcia about pillowfriends here.
Alice Arneson
164. Wetlandernw
Hey, subwoofer! ::waves:: Just enjoying the sunshine today! Yeah, I agree; people should be properly clothed. :) And... well said, on all of it. Yup.

Freelancer @142 - Regardless, I believe that he, Egwene, and Perrin will eventually meet there with purpose, and discover some significant thing that will serve team Light. I haven't gone back to examine it carefuly, so my comments on the kids in TAR are off the top of my head. In any case, I certainly hope you are correct in this statement. It makes so much sense; they three are masters of TAR, each in their own way, and it would be so fitting to have major TARaction in the end. Do you have any specific thing in mind? Object? Information? Or...??
165. Freelancer

No, I do not. I have no problem with making plot predictions based on known movements, trends, and other useful information thrown in, such as declaring on WoTMania just after Winter's Heart was written that Galad's whitecloaks would run into Perrin, where Morgase would finally be revealed. To me, that was less a prediction than a deduction. Too many pieces fit.

~ Perrin, the Builder, has now worked with (and gained the respect of) every distinctly definable portion of society available to him, why not the Whitecloaks?
~ It's inconceivable that Morgase would continue to play Maighdin for another extended period, so a reveal is pretty much demanded.
~ Galad & Berelain.

I also had Gawyn finally giving up on his fool's errand of staying under the Tower's thumb and running into Egwene before her group reached Tar Valon. Well, that didn't turn out as I'd supposed, since it required him to abandon his Younglings, but still. (BTW, for the Gawyn-haters, it's those guys who are the reason he stayed as long as he did. They were blind to the fact that the Tower wanted rid of them, and remained loyal to Elaida.)

But when it comes to how I think certain things will happen which, to this point have only been lightly suggested at, or for which a connection is deducible but not explicity claimed in the text, that's all new territory. I'm perfectly happy to RAFO, without trying to decide how I'd prefer it happen. Really, I'm always shocked when people get upset about events in a story not going as they'd wished. I never bring a pre-supposition into the story world with me, because I just couldn't enjoy the ride the same way. Sure, there're stories which end poorly, or in a way which isn't satisfying, but that's not what I mean.
Tricia Irish
166. Tektonica
Wetlander@164, Free@142 etal:

Relevent to the TAR discussion....I'm rereading the Dragon Reborn now (Sam got me hooked with his EotW bait.) and I read this tonight: This is from Verin, when she gives Egwene the Dream Ter'angreal in her study before her Accepted test: Ch.21, World of Dreams....

Verin, "There is one Creator, who exists everywhere at once for all of these worlds. In the same way, there is only one Dark One, who also exists in all of these worlds at once. If he is freed from the prison the Creator made in one world, he is freed on all. As long as he is kept prisoner in one, he remains imprisoned on all"

Egwene, "What does this have to do with being a Dreamer?"

Verin, "Why, nothing, child. Except that we must all confront the Dark One in one way or another."
(Probably according to each persons' particular "talents")

Egwene, "Then why are you telling me about it?"

Verin, "Of course it has something to do with it, child. The point is that there is a world that lies within each of these others, inside all of them at the same time. Or perhaps surrounding them....the World of Dreams....A true Dreamer can enter the World of Dreams."

This seems in retrospect like a big Cluebat. Egwene, Perrin and Rand all have the ability to BE in the world of dreams, and to control it now. It exists around or within all worlds, so would be an efficient place to confront the DO. They could also use a few of the Wise One Dreamers on their Team as well! It's my hunch that TAR will be battle ground zero in TG.

That's not to say the trollacs and myrdrall, Dark Friends, etc. won't be battling on the ground with Mat and Lan, etc. But I think the Mano a Mano confrontation between Rand the DO will be in TAR.

What do you guys think?
Lost in my own mind
167. ValMar

Thanks for the link. I've read the article before, I think. But it appears I have a very selective memory regarding anything to do with the Shaido. So here is another vote for Therava/Galina being sexual/sado etc.
If 13D and Leigh both say so (whilst I don't have personal opinion) than I'll assume that Therava is very naughty girl indeed. Not that it matters that much, really.
Alice Arneson
168. Wetlandernw
ValMar@167 - I don't particularly care how any individual reader, or any group of readers, interpret an aspect of a book; unless the author specifically said so, I retain my freedom to interpret it as I think fit. Since I prefer not to find the most sexual possible connotation of everything I read (unlike some people I know!), I shall maintain my own view.
Thomas Keith
169. insectoid
Linda @163: Holey Moley that was long! But very thoughtful and well written...thanks Linda!

j p
170. sps49
Wetlandernw @127-

I just thought they channeled at him directly, the medallion protected him from the direct weave(s), but there was enough spillover to bring down the wall. Similar to the ingrate Aes Sedai using Air to throw things at him.
171. Freelancer

Funny, you belong here so thoroughly, that it feels as if you've been with us for the entire year plus. Yes, this topic has come up before, and many believe that the true Last Battle will occur in T'a'R. I can't say if I believe that or not (as with my previous comments, I'll RAFO), but I have always had a tug at the back of my brain about those events in the early books where Perrin is discovering his wolf nature, and Rand is struggling with Ba'alzamon, and Egwene is learning about being a Dreamer, where each sees the others in T'a'R, then upon waking/stepping out question whether it really truly was their friend they saw (and in several cases for Rand, attacked).

Add to this that I believe something said regarding T'a'R is the BFC to which Brandon refers. I just don't know what. But T'a'R plays a much larger role in the future than has seemed to be the case in recent volumes. I wonder if that was intentional, to take it off the front burner, so to speak, so that returning to it in a powerful way is a surprise.


Prurience avoidence, FTW! I don't go looking for Compulsion that isn't there, and I don't go looking for "naughtiness" that isn't there, either. And that goes for any flavor of personal behavior. As I've said before, I don't read SF/F as a source of smut, and the less extra-romantic personal activity there is to read about, the better. I think Jordan does rather well on this score, given the vast cast of characters, number of relationships, and authenticity of scene which he portrays. However, I could do with fewer scenes where women need to be bare-chested for one reason or another. It prevents me from recommending a great story to those friends of mine with more conservative views than my own, as well as children under about 15. But, as with anything else, YMMV.
Alice Arneson
172. Wetlandernw
Freelancer - I'm with you!! Yeah, I have several friends to whom I can't wholeheartedly recommend WoT, for exactly the reasons you give. *sigh*

Also with you on the TAR thing. I hope to be rereading the whole series on my own again this summer, so maybe I can find something I hadn't noticed before. Even just in book 1, I've noticed a lot of thing that now have a slightly different significance than before, so maybe I'll spot something. :)

sps49 - The way I read it, the damane was channeling at the soldiers, and the resultant shocks were knocking down buildings along the way. After the first one, Mat watched as the front of an inn across the street collapsed; on the second, it was the wall on his side. The way I read it, she was still channeling at the soldiers and Mat just got caught in the side effects. JMHO.
j p
173. sps49
I just reread the passage, and either he was in the target area twice in succession or the medallion also cools for channeling nearby. I cannot recall whether it cools for any channeling except directly at him.
j p
174. sps49
t'a'r as the secret secret? Could be....

Edited to fix double post.
Antoni Ivanov
175. tonka

Only a problem if the battle last a long time. If things are planned out properly, SH can be in and out before anyone worked out what happened. Think what would happen if the DO really wanted Rand dead. SH rides in on a shadow in the middle of the night, shields Rand, binds him with flows, and then slits his throat. Done! That’s what I meant about him not really being used. IMO, he’s not being used because the DO doesn’t need to use him in this way… yet.

Another thing is that I think Shaidar Haran has not power over those who are not sworn to the shadow , so far everyone who he had "shielded" had been either Forsaken or Black Ajah, and it was told that it was Elsa who dealt with the 3 Aes Sedai guarding Semirhage. He has many limitation we don't know.
As for Rand it's pretty clear that the TDO does not want him dead. Actually we all should listen to what Verin said about TDO, whatever his purpose is it is not what we think it is.He doesn't care if his Forsaken live or die, but they are just tools for him and not that important even, the only more important forsaken for him is probably Ishamael and only that much.
a a-p
176. lostinshadow
@157 apologies for the slip, I actually went to law school in London and my brother in law's wife is English (or Devonian actually) and I normally wouldn't make that mistake.

So sorry again, I plead the excuse of being distracted by the fact that Besiktas played like shite, lost to Fenerbahce and has pretty much scuppered its chances for defending the title this year.
a a-p
177. lostinshadow
yikes double post!!!
Birgit F
178. birgit
I cannot recall whether it cools for any channeling except directly at him.

It does when someone channels near him:

Mat shifted his grip on the ashandarei; he knew trouble when he saw it, and the foxhead on his chest was cool, almost cold against his skin. Somebody was holding the One Power.
Obviously Nynaeve was no longer shielded, and if the chilly silver foxhead sliding around Mat's chest as he fought was not enough indication that she and the Black sisters were in some sort of struggle, the way they glared at her and she at them, ignoring the battle around them, shouted the fact.

ACoS ch. 38

Here in Germany no planes are flying although we had a cloudless sunny weekend.
Charlie McMurchie
179. FromtheLangToun
Lostinshadow - thanks, no offence taken, for some this is a political issue, for others like me it's much more of a cultural matter. Sorry about your football, I'm more of a cricket follower with my support in Test Matches going to England as Scotland don't play at that level.
Rob Munnelly
180. RobMRobM
Tek - I've held a longtime theory that the final battle will be Mat fighting on land, Perrin fighting in T'AR and Rand fighting some type of battle using the One Power. Interesting twist of having Mat handle the land war and Perrin, Rand and Egwene fighting in T'AR....
Captain Hammer
181. Randalator
birgit @178

Here in Germany no planes are flying although we had a cloudless sunny weekend.

Yup, three days of perfect blue sky with not a single cloud to be seen. And no contrails...which still feels kinda strange.
Lost in my own mind
182. ValMar
About Therava/Galina my point is that I truly have no opinion and don't care (an unfortunate phrase) just how the WO breaks Galina. IMO the minute details of it are not important. So, if two reputable persons say it one way, I am willing to take their word for it.
If I have made my mind up on an issue, then Leigh and the other gurus would have to try much harder to persuade me otherwise...


At least you can hope Bursa don't let your rivals take the title. I feel your pain, Manchester City lost to Man Utd this weekend... Let's hope Besiktas and City meet in the Champs League in the autumn, or in February :-)

And finally, it's been as sunny as it could get here in London.
a a-p
183. lostinshadow
ValMar@182 - totally ok with Bursa winning, they are a real underdog and some new blood up at top would be nice.

yeah they keep telling us the volcanic ash is going to come down in the form of acidic rain here on Tuesday but so far skies are looking sunny and beautiful.
Rob Munnelly
184. RobMRobM
One follow up to the "most observant subject" line. I checked back in TDR and in trying to convince Mat that he should take her letter to Camelyn she asked whether he considered himself to be a loyal subject of Andor. Mat's response was to snicker. After a bit more back and forth, everybody dropped the snarkfest and Mat agreed to do it for them.
Tricia Irish
185. Tektonica

Wish I had been here from the beginning.....I'd sure know more! I've gained such insights on the threads and a renewed interest in the whole series. (Not to mention great new cyber friends and an education in blog symbolism.) Can't remember when I first popped in....I certainly lurked for awhile, working up my courage to post....must have been in the early fall.

Anyway, glad you don't think I'm in left field with the TAR theories... you and RobM.....
Alice Arneson
186. Wetlandernw
sps49 - The first time, Mat was standing in the mouth of an alley watching it go down. When the soldiers picked themselves up and started running, as did everyone else, Mat realized it might be a good idea to hoof it out of there. He looked back down his alleyway, but it was choked with rubble so he ran down the street like everyone else, "ahead of the fleeing Ebou Dari soldiers." The damane decided it wasn't enough and fired again, which is when Mat got rubbled.
Sharon E.
187. Sulin
Add to this that I believe something said regarding T'a'R is the BFC to which Brandon refers.

BFC? Please enlighten.
Barry T
188. blindillusion
I'd imagine BFC refers to the Big ("F"?) Clue we all missed in the earlier novels (I believe books 4-6). There was pretty large clue hunt back on one of the Spoiler Threads.

edit: My pet theory dealt with the destroyed Tinker camp Vanin found with the message, "Tell the Dragon Reborn...." in Chapter 22 of LoC.

Mat wondered what the Traveling People could possibly want to tell Rand. I've always wondered the same thing. And it's something that hasn't come up since.
Rob Munnelly
190. RobMRobM
@188. Nice concept. Would tie to Egwene's unexplained "need" visit to a Tinker camp in TGS. Thus, fresh in BWS's mind when talking about where WoT is going...
Captain Hammer
191. Randalator
Sulin @187

The Big Funkin' Clue in Books 4-6 Brandon Sanderson mentioned that we supposedly missed.
Sharon E.
192. Sulin
@188, 191- Thanks! I just read books 4-6 not too long ago, and I remember wondering about the Tinker's leaving the DR that message.... I guess I better go back and re-re-read them.

"Spoiler Threads?" I'm new here, so I missed those.
Barry T
193. blindillusion
There was The Gathering Storm Open Spoiler Thread! (Which is where the Big Clue was first discussed... and tapped out at 3000+ comments)

Which lead to The Wheel of Time: The Gathering Storm Open Spoiler Thread, Part the Second!

Which eventually led to The Open Thread.

Sorry no link to the First Spoiler Thread, but it wouldn't even load on my computer. It is linked on Part the Second though.
a a-p
194. lostinshadow
The spoiler threads would be the discussion thread Tor kindly opened for us to discuss the Gathering Storm so that we would not spoil the party for those who had not yet had a chance to read tGS.

I see that Blind got there ahead of me. After much pleading we also got the general discussion thread with which to have fun. The Open Thread

The links to the first two spoiler threads can also be found there although the first one doesn't load on my computer any more.
195. Freelancer

Fat, blind. FAT. Big Fat Clue. You know I don't use that kind of language.


Sorry, I'm used to most folks knowing our own internal acronyms here. Brandon made a comment during or just after TGS release tour that there was something appearing in the earlier books (somewhere among volumes 4-6, he wouldn't be more specific), that he was surprised hadn't gotten more theory and speculative attention. So of course many of us went batty trying to isolate what we'd missed. It wasn't completely unlike many people's reaction to being told that Asmodean's murderer could be easily deduced from information in the books up to that point.

And the official comment count on Leigh's original TGS Spoilerific Thread was 3428. In spite of it not loading properly (a link typo it seems to me), its ghost appears to be having a continuing impact on TorDot's smooth functioning.
Sam Mickel
196. Samadai
I just wanted to say thank you for all the happy Birthdays from everyone. It was a great weekend. Lots of beach, sun, and seafood.
Barry T
197. blindillusion
Free. I know. Just couldn't think of what you might put for the "F", hence my use of the?.

Freaking has too much of a connotation with its rather negative brother, as does friggen.

Sigh. I do kinda miss going batty during those days of the Spoiler Threads. So much new information to process into past theories. Really looking forward to ToM…

Yet, I’m thinking ToM is going to answer a lot of unanswered RAFOs. Less theories, perhaps, but I’d imagine, if true, the “Ha, I was right!” posts are going to abound….
Sharon E.
198. Sulin
@ Lost and Blind- Thanks for the links, I will definitely go read them. Man I soooo wish I'd been here when TGS came out, it sounds like I missed a lot of great discussion!

@ Free- no problem! Soooo has anyone figured out the BFC/s?

Can't wait for ToM!

Wow, there's entirely too many !!!s in this post.
Sam Mickel
200. Samadai
And just because and why not. 200!!!!
Barry T
201. blindillusion
Sulin, as to the BFC...

Well, do to a lack of more information from BWS, it's somewhat up in the air.

Someone could have found the answer, but...well...until BWS decides to mention it again...meh.

I'm going to stick with the Tinkers, though.

[i]Keep it my, "HA! I was right" just in case.
Tricia Irish
202. Tektonica
BFC options:

1 Battle in TAR

2 Tinkers message

3 Finding the Song heals all

Any other possibilities?
Lost in my own mind
203. alreadymadwiththebirthday
Samadai @196
Happy birthday. Looks like you got everything one could ask for. Oh yeah right, TOM could come out early just for you.
Sam Mickel
204. Samadai

That would be a perfect present! sign me up.

and thank you
205. Ouroboros
Insectoid @126 RE: LOL!! Ah yes, the ol' Big Fiery Toilet... Might as well be, since the essence of the DO is TP! ;)

Hmm. I refuse to make any jokes that involve the Hand of the Dark, toilet paper, and big fiery toilets. Those kinds of joke are a wipe out. Maybe that’s the ultimate punishment for screwing up?

Freelancer @154

But that’s the point isn’t it. SH isn’t just another Myrddraal. I always took it that SH was a modified Fade constructed to hold a personality, and given powers to make him a better tool. There’s evidence to back this up, since RJ said that the Fade that visits Carridin was a kind of Shaidar Haran beta release. The Fade that finds Rand in TEotW could have been the alpha (SH Vista?).

From the only POV we get, it’s unclear whether this personality is just a fragment / reduction of the DO, or a personality which is totally loyal to him. The DO certainly feels anger, hatred, and possibly humour (all be it a rather abstract one), but the DO is, at least as far as we can tell, a non-corporeal entity that is as much a Universal concept, as life form. He also loves capital letters. This doesn’t seem that consistent with the POV we get in this chapter.

As for SH talking as though he is the DO, this could just be a smoke screen. Another possibility is that there is some kind of telepathic connection, so that the DO can talk through SH if the need arises, and then return control to SH when he’s done. A kind of SH remote.

CireNaes @155

Agreed, Ishy was asking for the TP taps to be turned on full.

There are usually shadows around Ishy when we see him the earlier books. The question, is, are those shadows just him putting on a show? Or are they a side affect that cannot be controlled. It always seems that the shadows grow darker and more substantial when ever Ishy starts to do something big. IMO, this is the physical manifestation of the TP, and it is an early version of this that people keep seeing around Rand. (This probably isn’t a new theory.)

RE: I had forgotten that it was emphasized the SH could only exert effortless control those who had given themselves over to the DO.

Not disagreeing, but I can’t remember him trying to control anyone who isn’t shadow sworn. Of course, that may be because he knows he can’t and so doesn’t try.

Blindillusion @160

You say that RJ said: “Shaidar Haran does not have nearly as much power as the Dark One. It's as though the Dark One is able to project a shadowy form of himself into this creature”

This certainly implies that SH is really some kind of receptacle that the DO is controlling. The personality is still a bit of a problem though. It could support the notion that SH has his own persona but that the DO can act through him. I should add that I still think that that persona is loyal to the DO. I don’t think we’re going to see a turn coat SH.

Alisonwonderland @161

RE: I remember BWS explaining at one of the TGS signings that SH does not exist physically in this dimension, so cannot perform physical tasks like opening a box, etc.

And yet we see him picking up a spear in this chapter. There are also other things he does, although those may have been close enough to Shayol Ghul for the thinning of reality to let him touch the world. Still seems inconsistent to me though.
206. Freelancer

Quite a number of other options.

Something to do with:

~ Warder bonding
~ Aiel History (the Song and the Tinkers can fit within this)
~ The Ogier
~ Tel'aran'Rhiod
~ Ter'angreal
~ Saidin vs saidar (or saidan plus saidar)
~ Manetheren
~ Ta'veren
~ etc.

It wasn't necessarily about a prime component to a climactic plot point, or I suspect it would have been sussed out by now. Something which has managed to remain just below the radar for 7-9 volumes, in spite of the enormous aggregate brain-power involved in plot dissection and theory consideration.

If it has been narrowed down to any few options, I'm unaware of it.


I'm going to stick with Occam on this one, and with the author. He said that Shaidar Haran was somewhat of a projection of the Dark One into the physical world. I can't imagine that being a turn-it-on, turn-it-off scenario while the "real" Shaidar Haran has use of himself the rest of the time. When he marks Alviarin, she has zero doubt that she'd been face to face with a manifestation of the big bad himself. Of course she could be wrong, but a fade, even one with extra evil juice, wouldn't scramble her mind that much. She was in THE PRESENCE, and nobody can convince her otherwise. Fades don't channel, and what else would a fade have used to burn a rod to ash with black fire from its fingers? The possessive nature Shaidar Haran expresses towards Moghedien when preparing her for the Mindtrap was not that of a delegated underling, but of a liege lord who was displeased with his servant. Beyond that, there's nothing for it but RAFO.
Alice Arneson
207. Wetlandernw
ValMar @182 (I'm only aiming this at you because you and I have been having this conversation, not because I'm arguing a point.;) I tried to post this earlier, but something vile ate my post and I didn't have time to try again.)

I have a tremendous appreciation for all the work done at 13th Depository, theoryland, Dragonmount, and other fan sites. They are great sources of ideas and information. However, they are fan sites only, and not authoritative. Brandon gives out RAFOs and MAFOs, but I've not yet seen him do a LAFO (Linda or Leigh) or a TAFO (Terez) or a JAFO (Jason). And the MAFOs mean Maria, not Matt. These wonderful folks may be viewed as gurus, and they have certainly spent a great deal of time and effort on their sites, but they are not Team Jordan; they speak only with the voice of their own opinions and interpretations of the information available to us all.

Because of that, I see no reason to sully my enjoyment of the books by accepting the filthiest possible interpretation of a situation. Their ideas may indeed have been in RJs mind when he was writing - or they might be so far out in left field that no one's seen a baseball there in years. Since RJ left the details of Galina's torture unspecified, I refuse to allow anyone else to dictate (to me) details he chose not to include. I don't recall that he spent any time as a POW, but given his time in Vietnam, I'm pretty sure he was aware of many methods of torture. He has proven several times that he understands the psychological as well as the physical means to effect terror and torture; I am personally grateful that he chose not to include the graphic and brutal details more than was necessary. That said, I see no reason to assume that sexual abuse was a part of Galina's treatment; the few details we've been given make it quite clear that she found it extremely painful, and that she was absolutely terrified of Therava. Why work so hard to "prove" anything else?
Tricia Irish
208. Tektonica
Free@ 206:

My three "very general" topics included (in my head) many of these below...perhaps, I should explain better! What, you can't read my mind?

Something to do with:

~ Warder bonding...? Women V. Men and vice versa?

~ Aiel History (the Song and the Tinkers can fit within this.)
~ The Ogier
I would put these 2 of yours in with:
Seanchan Gardners
and call it Finding the Song....maybe....quelling the chaos..more Light in the world again...Balance.

Of course the Tinkers message could be something completely different, a clue, a warning...something NEW. But what..wasn't it mostly erased?
~ Tel'aran'Rhiod....mentioned that for the Last Battle

~ Ter'angreal...Elayne figuring out what they do? Making them?

~ Saidin vs saidar (or saidan plus saidar)...this is kind of what the whole epic is about, isn't it, working together.....ying/yang....balance again?

~ per Mat, his history and knowledge?.....BTW....I'm amazed in the Great Hunt and especially in The Dragon Reborn (which I'm in now) how much Mat already knows of Manetheren, the old tongue and battles. He doesn't get it all from the Finns. I'd forgotten that.

~ Ta'veren...?

More thoughts or just RAFO?
Steven Pattingale
209. Pattingale
Reading and by the time I read the comments and make some comments I have been logged out. Thanks Tor Servers!

@78 Ourobos

OMG that was funny. Good thing I know better than to drink and read this thread or I'd join the legion who've sprayed their screens and keyboards.

@82 Tek

@117 Beaten to the punch on the potato chips, and more lol.

@128 Alice more laughs. Good comments everybody. :)

@135 Prawns to go with the chips! mmmm

@146 and 149 Or what if the even distribution is no coincidence at all, as the SG wonder about the BA they're chasing. Is it too neatly distributed? Perhaps hiding that a whole ajah (white maybe?) is actually black. I guess it's unlikely that Sneaky Verin would have missed that.

@200 and others Re BFC: Yeah how would we know if we've stumbled upon the BFC, cannot imagine Brandon having time to read thousands of comments to check and see...

@205 SH Vista, more funny! :) Once they patched SH Vista they relaunched him as SH 7 eh? Lets hope Rand can find a security exploit.
Thomas Keith
210. insectoid
You know, given all the wackiness going on here at, I'm wondering... why is it I (and many others) haven't been bitten by the double-post or spam-filter bugs? (No pun intended!) Is it really just a random occurrence? Should I feel left out? ;)

Ouroboros @205: What? B-but that was my best joke all day... :(
Also, "SH Vista" makes me shudder even more than just SH! ;)

Don't have much else to say except... *twitch*

Steven Pattingale
211. Pattingale
I hope there's something on the shelves of the Bunker that can soothe the *twitch*es. :)
Lost in my own mind
212. ValMar

I see and agree with your point completely.
My point was that if you have a strong opinion on a subject then that is it. If not, then one can be swayed much easier. Which is what happened with me and the infamous Therava/Galina affair. I had no opinion, I tend to skim/skip over these chapters.

RJ's approach and skill make it possible one to read what one is comfortable with in such situations. It never had occured to me that there was anything sexual in the mistreatment of Galina. And since I didn't think it important I didn't participate in the discussion about it.

Btw, you really shouldn't touch GRRM's SoIaF.
Barry T
213. blindillusion
But Pat, I wasn't saying BWS should put out more information...I was saying he hasn't as of yet.
Lost in my own mind
214. thepupxpert
Just back after a long hiatus, work got really busy again, good for me. Still trying to get caught up on all the comments but I had one for

I just finished re-reading TDR again and the scene in the Stone where Balzamon (sp?) tries to rip out Rand's soul, Rand feels something being torn away from him and he screams and fights back with Callandor, then Balzamon twists and disappears and Rand also twists while not knowing what he was doing, to find himself in TAR so I'm pretty sure he was there in body. It was definitely not like creating a doorway.
Alice Arneson
215. Wetlandernw
ValMar @212 - Yeah, it's cool. Like I said, I only "aimed" my comment at you because you and I were the ones actually talking about it; the purpose was more to remind everyone that, good as those gurus are, they don't really know the contents of The Grand Database(s) held by Team Jordan. Just saying. And re: GRRM's SoIaF - yup. I'd pretty much come to that conclusion. Not saying no one else should read it, but I don't want it in my head. Thanks for the confirmation. :)

Re: the BFC... I'm betting we won't be told ahead of time, even if we hit on it. (And if anyone on Team Jordan has the time to read all our meanderings!!) My expectation is that when TofM (or AMoL, if it doesn't become apparent until then) comes out, we'll all do our variations on "Looka that - I was right" or "I can't believe it - I never thought that would be it" as appropriate. Which actually makes it more fun, I think; I'd rather not be told. It would be really fun if they made a point of saying that they had now seen it discussed (here on tordot, preferably!) but without telling what it was. Two other possibilities: they could have a fun reveal and "announce the winner" (for the first place they saw it discussed) at JordanCon, or it could be one of those things that will take major dissection, and we'll all be just as confused two years from now, with the gurus at all sites disagreeing on what the BFC was!

Speaking of which, for all you ratbags who actually get to go to JordanCon... have a fantastic time! Try to find each other, have a drink together, take a picture or two, and tell us how much fun it was! Wish I could join you, but it ain't gonna happen.
Lost in my own mind
216. wawwen
wetlandernw @99 - "Yup. That's what I was going to say. Yup. ;) Except for one question: Given that each BA knows the other two in her heart, plus one other, is it necessarily the case that each is known by her heart and only one other? Could it not be that one sister happens to be the "one outside her heart" for several others? Not that it matters in the least, but it's a logic query... Dunno."

It's not outside the realm of possibility, but I think it compromises their security. I think you have to accept some things at face value: All run of the mill BA only know the 2 members of their heart and one other. Since a general theme of BA sisters meeting another is the constant comment on how they didn't know that so-and-so sister was BA it's a safe fact to start from.

Even better- pretend for a moment that Alviarin is known to EVERYONE as the member outside of EVERY BA heart. As soon as one BA member pulls a Verin or is found by Pevara the whole org is exposed. It's the equivalent of using "password" as the password for your login. Of course you can replace Alviarin with "random BA sister" and you get the same effect: Pevara uncovers the connected BA sister or the BA sister betrays the org and spills her guts to avoid stilling.

I would think it is safe to assume that one BA sister being the sole out of heart contact (or even if 3 or 4 instead of 1) for all BA sisters would be the equivalent of wearing a black shawl in the heart of the tower. ;)

On the other hand it's highly likely the BA Supreme Council knows a great deal more than the average BA sister. They probably have typical AS blinders on and think that the members of the Supreme Council knowing more BA members than the average BA sister won't compromise BA secrecy. However since we have no information on how the Supreme Council is structured other than knowing Galina and Alviarin are at the top of it there isn't much to go on.

MoM@57 "OK, fork@55 (& wawen@51), I'm good with that, but somebody explain by what "other means" Verin learned what she did. Seriously. The more you think about it... "

Verin played a logic grid game and then some old fashioned espionage. She started out knowing the 2 members of her heart and one other. She knows that the 2 members of her heart have their outside contacts, and she knows her contact is connected to 2 additional BA members.

She starts like this:
Verin's 2 heart members (VH1 and VH2, for lack of better monikers) + outside contact (VOH1) = 3 known BA

She does some sneaking around and follows VOH1, her outside BA contact. Since the hearts have to meet at least semi-regularly otherwise how else do they even know eachother, she winds up discovering VOH1's heart members. She now knows an additional 2 BA members.

This brings Verin's total known BA count to 5.

Verin isn't satisfied, so she cultivates her absent personality, wanders around with inkstains, and follows VH1 and VH2 to locate their out of heart contacts. She finds both.

This brings Verin's total known BA count to 7.

Now the real fun begins. She follows those contacts back to their hearts, upping her total by 2 each time they meet. Let's say she finds both.

This brings Verin's total known BA count up to 11.

For a while the list only grows larger, but eventually the web starts folding back in on itself... it isn't an infinite sized org and eventually some sisters go back to being contacts for hearts she has already uncovered.

The hearts are only loosely disconnected, nothing really stops the other BA members from figuring out the same things Verin did other than what's probably normal AS blinders: they just don't think anyone will interfere with another sister's business.
217. Ouroboros
J.Dauro @162.

I've only just been able to get at the 13D. My browser's been playing up and kept crashing every time I tried to go there. I've taken the plunge and started using Firefox now. Much nicer.

There's a lot of research here. (Nice work Linda).

The number of Reds in the Black is still not massively higher than I'd expect. Verin found 48 out of 203. The Reds making up 19% of the Ais Sedai population would lead you to expect 39. You can say that this is 25% more than expected, which sounds like a lot, but given the small population size, it's a little misleading . It's only 9 out of nearly 200. In fact, if you turn the numbers around, you can say that the percentage of Red sisters in the Black is only 5 percentiles higher than that expected.

There's no point in trying to do anything else with these numbers because they're too vague. Either way, saying the number of Reds is "stunning" is something of an exaggeration.

It's also worth noting that the number of greens must also be higher than expected, since they only fall short of the number you'd expect from the Red by one, and the Green is a smaller Ajah.
Barry T
218. blindillusion

Well, while my wife finally gave me the OK to go, I'm sure she's thinking of me much along those lines as well.

I'll be there on Saturday. I'll take all the pictures I can...though they'll be with an iPhone, so hope they turn out alright.

I'm just hoping to get my copy of tGS signed.

Oh, and it seems Linda of the 13thD will be there. I think it'd be cool to meet her. And Leigh if she makes it. And I suppose meeting members of Team Jordan would be pretty cool as well....

And for anyone else that gets to go...look for a guy wearing a black backpack with a button that has my icon/avatar/image/triskaidekaphile taijitu (take your pick =)) on it and the chances are pretty good that you'll of found me.
John Massey
219. subwoofer
Fart- the "F" stands for fart is my vote. Speaking of which, could you imagine if Ogier's farted? Horses are bad enough to make your eyes water, but Loial after a bout with a bag of Tostitos and some 7-layer dip. Could blow the door off the Bunker...

Just a random thought:)

John Massey
220. subwoofer
As far as the actual BFC- have we ever discussed if it was a good idea for Rand to start the School and allow men to congregate and channel? Do the pros and cons thing?

Roger Powell
221. forkroot
Nice analysis. Verin probably supplemented that line of research by watching carefully for lies. Since the BA sisters were not bound by the oath rod, they could state a casual lie without the effect of the oath rod bringing them up short.

Of course they would be careful to avoid lying to make it seem like they were bound, but if someone watched carefully for 70 years, there would be inadvertent slips.

The BA was never discussed, and many sisters didn't believe in its existence. It would be easy for a false sense of security on the part of the Black sisters, as they would not realize that there was a sister that knew (for sure!) that the BA existed and was carefully scrutinizing everyone's words and actions for decades.
222. Ouroboros

I keep coming back to the battle at the end of TGH (probably my favourite book). Mat blows the horn and everything goes hinky. They're surrounded by fog, the heroes turn up, and reality is definitely on the blink. Once they've sorted out the banner, they ride down towards Falme, except that Rand rides up into the clouds to meet Ishy. As they fight, it gets broadcast far and wide (the two false dragons in Saldaea and Tear both see it). More importantly, the battle between Rand and Ishy is linked to the battle on the ground. Each parry and thrust between them is somehow reflected in the troop movements below.

So the question is, where is this battle really being fought? I can't get away from the idea that it might be T'A'R. And if it is, was the horn what made it possible? It may act like a key opening the way into T'A'R so that the heroes can come out and others go in. Of course it could just be the biggest Ta'veren moment we've seen. This brings up another thought. Are "THE THREE" the three Ta’veren? They seemed to be connected during the battle of Falme, we've known for ages that there's a connection, and it’s getting stronger. What happens when they're all together, in the most important battle of them all, and after the horn has been sounded?

thepupxpert @214

No, it definitely was like creating a doorway.

"For a moment Rand stared, frowning. There had been a sense of—folding—as Ba’alzamon left. A twisting, as if Ba’alzamon had in some way bent what was. Ignoring the men staring at him, ignoring Moiraine crumpled at the column base, Rand reached out, through Callandor, and twisted reality to make a door to somewhere else. He did not know to where, except that it was where Ba’alzamon had gone."
Lost in my own mind
223. ValMar
Wetlander@215- No worries. I was just lazyly conforming to others' view. It is important to keep it in mind that there is only one true source of knowledge on WOT.
As for GRRM, I remember the discussion. I'll say just one more thing- I'll only re-read aSoIaF after the last book has been published and I'm sure the end will be worth the terrific ride.

Re: the BFC. The more we get worked up about it, the less likely we'll be told in advance. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this was RJ's or Harriet's idea: "OK Brian, let this one slip, casually, and watch'em go!".
Personally, I'll be happy to wait it out.

Good point on the Black Ajah's lack of persecution. Since they weren't really challenged it is very hard to believe that they didn't become somewhat complacent. We see this happening in RL, in any type of situation. That's how humans are wired. Plus many of the Black AS are arrogant even by normal AS standards.
Jay Dauro
224. J.Dauro
blindillusion @218

I will hunt for you. I will be there. Other than Ogier, there shouldn't be many 6'5, 300lbs folk running around.

I do hope Leigh makes it, as I owe her a drink or two for her re-reads. Linda also. Between the two of them they have done more for my enjoyment of the series than I would have thought possible. (Actually, most of the folks on really should be entitled also.)

I am supposed to get there Friday, and will stay through Sunday afternoon.

ValMar @223
Alice Arneson
225. Wetlandernw
blindillusion @218 - Yeah, ratbag. You know, literally meaningless term whose sound nevertheless carries the appropriate connotation of I-want-you-to-think-I'm-scornful-but-really-I'm-insanely-envious with it. :P

subwoofer - By all means keep the Bowl of the Winds away from any Ogier! Talk about a blight on the land...
Barry T
226. blindillusion
Would you like anything Wetlander? Besides copious notes and a slew of pictures?

Oh, I don't know if JordanCon is the anything like a signing, but should the opportunity arise, are there any questions anyone would like me to try to find answers to?

Remember, though, I'll only be there Saturday...from the time the doors open to around 4PM.
227. Freelancer

Long quote ahead. I'll leave out superfluous text describing Aes Sedai behavior and Beldeine's humiliation at Cadsuane's hands:

[quote]She had to find the answers. Rand needed them.
With that thought in mind, Min leaned back on her cushioned bench and reopened her current book: a work by Sajius that was simply titled Commentary on the Dragon. One line in it teased at her, a sentence mostly ignored by those who had written commentary. [i][b]He shall hold a blade of light in his hands, and the three shall be one.[/b]


"Cadsuane," Min said, holding up the book. "I think the interpretation of this phrase is wrong."


"And why," cadsuane said, "is it that you think you know more than a respected scholar of the prophecies?"
"Because," Min said, bristling, "the theory doesn't make sense. Rand only really holds one crown. there might have been a good argument here if he hadn't given away Tear to Darlin. But the theory doesn't hold any longer. I think the passage refers to some way he has to use Callandor."
"I see," Cadsuane said, turning yet another page in her own book. "That is a very unconventional interpretation." Beldeine smiled thinly, turning back to her embroidery. "Of course," Cadsuane added, "you are quite right."
Min looked up.
"It was that very passage that led me to investigate Callandor," Cadsuane continued. "Through a great deal of searching I discovered that the sword could only be used properly in a circle of three. That is likely the ultimate meaning of the passage."
I it is most probably that the "other two" are channelers. They could be both female, or one of them male, by the rules of linked circles.

BTW, a tidbit from this same segment which I don't recall being raised before:
And . . . what was that vision that was suddenly hovering above Nynaeve's head? She was kneeling over someone's corpse in a posture of grief. The viewing was gone a moment later.
Min shook her head. that' hadn't been a viewing she could interpret, so she let it pass. she couldn't waste her time trying to unravel all of those. For instance, the black knife that spun around Beldeine's head recently could mean anything.

Does this mark Beldeine as a Seanchan bloodknife victim? Any actual knives they possess are never described, though the ring ter'angreal they use is indeed black. Fain's blade turns a body black with it's evil, but isn't black itself. Will Beldeine be assassinated by the Black Ajah? I doubt they would use mundane weapons. I guess we RAFO.

This all reminds me, during a recent thread, someone commented that Laras provided Verin with poisoned tea. This is inaccurate.
"It takes a very special tea to make asping rot gow down sweetly," verin said, taking another sip. "As I said, please thank Laras for me."
Laras provided a certain type of tea, nothing more. Verin would not put someone else in the situation of being partly responsible for her death, and Laras wouldn't assist in poisoning someone without knowing the reason.


See, this is why you register, and turn your name grey. You can EDIT.
Alice Arneson
228. Wetlandernw
blindillusion @226 - Would I like anything? Lots of things! Mostly, though, for you to have fun on all our behalf. And kick Jason in the shins unless he promises to sign up some of us tordotcom commenters for the TofM version of Storm Leaders, if they do it again. ;) If you get the chance, you could ask my question from CoS #19 - "Is the One Power the essence of the Creator, as the True Power is the essence of the Dark One?" Brandon RAFOd Matt Hatch's questions relating to the subject, so it might not be worth wasting the opportunity; I suspect it would just be RAFOd again, since the whole TP/OP thing is obviously going to be significant in AMoL. Alternatively, you could toss in a question about how TAR touches all possible worlds (that thing Verin was explaining to Egwene back in TDR or so) and if that is significant in how the Last Battle will be fought. (Hmm. That was Verin explaining to Egwene in TGS that it will not be what Rand assumes it to be...) Seriously, any questions I can think of at this stage are likely to be RAFOd, because my big questions now come too close to things that will happen in the next two books.

I know - ask him if they've seen The Big Clue discussed in the last few months. :)

Freelancer @227 - As far as I know, you're right - we all got off wondering whose body Nynaeve was grieving over, and skimmed right over Beldeine and the black knife. I like the bloodknives idea, but that's only going to happen if they head back to the White Tower in the near future (book-wise). The assassins only have, at most, a few weeks, IIRC. I couldn't find any reference to a black knife using IdealSeek, so we're only guessing. I actually think your BA idea is more feasible, but it's also possible that she will be the one wielding the knife instead of being killed by it. Maybe it's a ter'angreal we haven't met yet. Maybe someone can ask Brandon or Maria at JordanCon.

You reminded me of a looney theory I posted (I think) a while back. The major point (not so looney) is that Min through her researches will find something that's a real key to the Last Battle. The looney part was that maybe Herid Fel was killed by the gholam because he'd gotten some of Elan Morin Tedronai's philosophy books which gave away some part of his plan, but the gholam didn't destroy the books themselves. Min carried them away with her, and in her searching will find, not a weapon, but a key to Ishamael himself, a way to "shut him down" and take the Dark One's most trusted and powerful Chosen out of the battle. Yeah, I still like it. Still looney, but not impossible. :)
229. Ouroboros
RE: Galina's treatment.

I've been thinking this through, as well as my first comment on it.

"I forgot that she led the circle that stilled Siuan Sanche. Just one more reason to hate her. I don't have any sympathy for her, she deserves everything she gets. I just hope that Therava gets a little something in the knack as well."

I'm quite prepared to admit that that was a flippant remark. Sorry, I make them sometimes. Well, quite a lot actually. I'm also prepared to admit that I really don't get that worked up about Galina at all. She's a repugnant character, but not important, or interesting enough to attract a vast amount of my attention. I'll save that for the three dimensional characters. Maybe it’s just that RJ went a bit too far in making Galina out to be a BA poster girl. "Want to be an evil, power hungry, greedy, hedonistic pig? Join the Black Ajah". Alviarin is much more interesting.

Either way, my lack of interest in the character made it easy for me to be off-handed when discussing her treatment. Even so, other's comments did make me go back and re-examine it. Clearly, her treatment is cruel and unusual. But then that's entirely the point. The Shaido are a bit of a lost cause by this point. They seem determined to dig themselves into the biggest ji'e'toh shaped whole they can. Therava is an evil witch, but the Shaido leadership itself is the real problem here.

As an aside, I agree that the Shaido may be bad, but they're not a patch on the White Cloaks. I also wonder whether the High Lords of Tear or the Questioners had the bigger collection of torture devices? Still, you know what they say . . . "No one expects the Children of the Light!"

But back to Galina. Whether there is any sexual subtext here? Well, I didn't see one, and if there is one, it won't be voluntary on Galina's behalf. Her views on Therava are made very clear in the later books. I have no intension of looking for it, however. This pairing is bad enough as it is without adding that kind of unpleasantness to the mix. Besides, I read these for fun

Also, I wish that the phrase "little Lini" doesn't make me think of My Little Pony. (It's purely a linguistic thing.) And if anyone makes any jokes about riding ponies I'll slap them. Hard! Or just flush there heads down the Big Fiery Toilet, because that's clearly where there minds will be going anyway.

FWIW, I don't have a problem with the way in which the Ais Sedai in Cairhienare are being treated. It may be harsh, but they are guilty of serious crimes, whatever Deep Thought Perrin thinks. I should add that I don't include compulsion in that, but that's not the Wise Ones' fault. But I suppose we'll get to that soon enough. On Friday, in fact.
Birgit F
230. birgit
There are usually shadows around Ishy when we see him the earlier books. The question, is, are those shadows just him putting on a show?

It's probably a version of the black ropes that protected male forsaken from the taint. Ishy channeled for 3000 years and collected a lot of "dirt" in his filter.
Charlie McMurchie
231. FromtheLangToun
Freelancer@227 I'm pretty sure that Cadsuane tells Rand at some point that the only safe way for him to use Callandor is for him to link with 2 women, one of whom must control the flows. I wonder why he didn't tell this to Min.

Wetlandernw@228 The Bloodknives wear a ter'angreal which enhances their abilities but which kills them within days of being activated.
Valentin M
232. ValMar
There, I registered. That should teach me not to post at 2.30am. Brian?! And, actually, I did pause to think on his 1st name.
a a-p
233. lostinshadow
Those of you lucky enough to attent JordanCon this weekend, have fun for all of us.

Seriously, could we have a European version? I might be able to make that one.

Have a huge project and a medium sized project I need to finish up in double time so I am likely to dial down to lurk mode for the next few weeks.
Rob Munnelly
234. RobMRobM
@231 and 227. From is correct.

Wet @228. Pretty sure we've discussed Beldeine's fate and whether it means Bloodknives on the spoiler fora. She's currently ticked off at Cads so having her bailing out and going to the WT is not unlikely. I'm in the camp that Bloodknives will kill some sisters before being caught or dying, and Beldeine will be one of them.

Wet @207. Speaking as one who believes, based on text, there is a sexual component to the Therava-Galina interaction, I want to make clear that I don't claim to be speaking ex cathedra or that my view is necessarily correct based on an article at 13D or that you even have to think about the issue if you choose not to do so. I just found the article persuasive and consistent with my own reading of the text. To me, it is indicative that the corruption of the Shaido goes far deeper than just Sevanna and allowing Sevanna violate longstanding principles without substantial opposition -- that even the supposedly moral Wise Ones are taking the opportunity, in spite of the massive violation of honor involved, to use gai'shin for their own selfish pleasures.

235. MasterAlThor

You said that Galina's treatment was cruel and unusual.

By who's standards?

Certainly the Shiado don't have an issue with the orders. Yes they are a bit of a abnormality, but all the same. Even by Aiel standards they would be hard on their captives. By Wetlander (wink wink) standards it is cruel and unusual.


If I have this correctly you aren't basing your thoughts off just this chapter, right? There is an article at the 13thD and that, plus your own reading, leads you to believe that.

Ok, cause I really didn't see any subtext in this chapter. Maybe I missed it. If it was during the prononcement of da'tsang(sp?) the look that Therava gave Sevanna was based on the fact that Sevanna was speaking as a Wise One.

Rob Munnelly
236. RobMRobM
MAT - Not just this chapter, correct. But it starts here with Therava's disappointment that Galina is not put in gai'shin silk immediately.
237. MasterAlThor
Robm2 and others I suppose,

After the pronouncement of da'tsang (I did spell it right the first time) here is Therava's reaction. I only point this out because of the belief that the sexual subtext starts here.

"Three Wise Ones have spoken." Sevanna's satisfied smile was almost welcoming. Therava's face was stark. The woman did not like whatever had just happened. Something had happened, even if Galina did not know what. Except that it appeared to have delivered her from Therava. That was more than enough for the moment. More than enough.

This is pretty clear to me. Therava isn't happy because Sevanna is not truly a Wise One.

I am also including this:

"She is mine, Sevanna." Therava's jaw tightened. She might have taken the woman, but da'tsang belong to no one. "I intended to dress her in gai'shain robes of silk," she muttered. "What is the purpose of this, Sevanna? I expected to have to argue against cutting her throat, not this."

To me, Therava is upset because she wanted to have Galina for herself. Not for sexual reasons, but for owning an Aes Sedai. The Shiado have gone so far off the rails they are twisting everything. Therava is a beast. She is also somewhat a traditionalist.

I believe that she would want Galina cause she captured her and because Galina is an Aes Sedai. What better way to cement your own power base to an Aiel.


Edit: I added some more thoughts
238. Ouroboros
MasterAlThor @235. RE: by whose standards?

By the Aiel's, and Wetlander's.

(KoD: Prologue)

Sevanna sometimes made her channel to perform menial tasks, or just to demonstrate that she could command it, but that occurred so seldom that she hungered for even that chance to embrace saidar. Therava refused to let her so much as touch the Power unless she begged and groveled, but then refused her permission to channel a thread. And she had groveled, abased herself completely, just to be granted that scrap. ...
Oh, Galina could touch that wrist-thick white rod, stroke its smooth surface, yet however hard she strained, she could not make her hand close on it. Not unless someone handed it to her. At least, she hoped that would not count as picking the thing up. It had to be so. Just the thought that it might not be filled her with bleakness. The yearning in her eyes when she gazed at the rod brought Therava’s rare smiles.

Does my little Lina want to be free of her oath? she would say mockingly. Then Lina must be a very good pet, because the only way I will consider freeing you is for you to convince me that you will remain my pet even then.

A lifetime of being Therava’s plaything and the target for her temper? A surrogate to be beaten whenever Therava raged against Sevanna? Bleakness was not strong enough to describe her feelings on that. Horror was more like it. She feared she might go mad if that happened. And equally, she feared there might be no escape into madness. ...
The Wise One enjoyed finding ways to enforce obedience without direct commands. A thousand ways to make her crawl. For safety, the woman’s slightest suggestion must be taken as a command. Being a few minutes late brought punishments that made Galina cringe at the memories.

... ... ...

when the man produced a vertical silver-blue slash that widened into a view of steeply climbing land, she did not think of tainted saidin at all as she heeled Swift through the opening. Never a thought except of Therava. She almost howled when she realized she was on the opposite side of the ridge from the encampment. Frantically she raced the sinking sun. And lost. She had been right, unfortunately. Therava did not accept excuses. She was particularly upset over the bruises. She herself never marred Galina’s face. What followed easily equaled her nightmares. And it lasted much longer. At times, when she was screaming her loudest, she almost forgot her desperate need to get the rod.

(KoD Ch.5)

"How long are you going to keep punishing Galina Sedai, Therava?" Sevanna demanded, frowning at the Aes Sedai. Therava was seated cross-legged in front of her on a tasseled blue cushion, straight-backed and stern. "Last night, she made my bath water too hot, and she is so welted, I had to order the soles of her feet beaten. That is not very effective when she must be left able to walk." ...
Galina was kneeling erect halfway between the two Aiel women and slightly to one side, mottled brown bruises on her cheeks, her skin damp and slick from the heavy rain she had been walked through to get there, her feet and ankles muddy. She wore only her firedrop-studded golden collar and belt, and seemed more naked than naked. Just a stubble remained of her hair and eyebrows. Every hair from head to toe had been singed from her with the One Power. Faile had heard it described, along with how the Aes Sedai had been hung from her ankles for her first beating. ... why would an Aes Sedai let Therava treat her so? ... Whatever her reasons for tolerating such abuse. Galina's eyes were wide and frightened, now, and fixed on Therava. She was panting so hard that her breasts heaved. She had reason for fear. Anyone passing Therava's tent was likely to hear Galina howling for mercy inside. For more than half a week Faile had gotten glimpses of the Aes Sedai on some errand, hairless and garbed as she was now and running as hard as she could with panic painting her face, and every day Therava added to the bands of welts that striped Galina from her shoulders to the backs of her knees. Whenever one band began to heal, Therava refreshed it. Faile had heard Shaido mutter that Galina was being treated too harshly, but no one was about to interfere with a Wise One.
Therava, nearly as tall as most Aiel men, adjusted her dark shawl in a rattle of gold and ivory bracelets and regarded Galina like a blue-eyed eagle regarding a mouse. ... "So long as the faintest bruise remains on her face, the rest of her will be bruised as well. I have left the front of her unmarked so she can be punished for other misdeeds." Galina began trembling. Silent tears leaked down her cheeks.
Faile averted her gaze. It was painful to watch.

(KoD Ch.30)

"Stop sniveling, Lina. And put on your necklace and collar. I will have to punish you for taking them off." Galina flinched. Even Therava's command could not shut off her tears, and she knew she would be punished for that, too. Golden necklace and collar came out of the saddlebags and went onto her. She stood there wearing only her pale woolen stockings and soft laced white boots, and the weight of the firedrop-studded collar and belt seemed enough to bear her to the ground. Her eyes fastened themselves to the white rod in Therava's hands. "Your horse will do for a pack animal, Lina. As for you, you are forbidden to ride ever again." There had to be some way to get that rod again. There had to be! Therava turned the thing over and over in her hands, taunting her.
"Stop playing with your pet, Therava. What are we going to do?" Belinde, a slender Wise One with hair bleached almost white by the sun, strode up to glare at Therava with pale blue eyes.

It speaks for itself. But note that other Shaido thought this excessive, even Wise Ones. As said before, the whole leadership is rotting now. There is resistance to Sevana, but they could have stopped her long before now. And don't forget that Therava was in on the killing of another Wise One, which they tried to blame the Ais Sedai for. This is the perfect example of a people being ruined by there leaders.
diane heath
239. jadelollipop
@212 and 215 I agree re: ASOIF as I only made it partway through Game of Thrones. I am currently reading Book 3 and the only thing I noted was that Beldeine was Egwene's keeper during her accepted test. She had been stilled in that scenario but I can't recall if she was stilled and healed?
Lost in my own mind
240. Dolphineus
Mat's dice and Nyn's "storm coming."

Forecasting the same event?
Don Barkauskas
241. bad_platypus
Ouroboros @217 (and others discussing the number of Blacks in each Ajah):

Just to put some persepctive on this, if you assume that the Red Ajah has exactly 20% of all Aes Sedai, then the p-value (by the chi-square test) for having 48 Reds among the 203 Blacks is 0.1941.

In non-statistical terms: if it really were the case that Reds became Black at the same rate as in the other Ajahs, then you would expect to be as far away or farther from the expected number (of 40.6) 19.41% of the time. So it's really not that unlikely that you would see that many or more even if there were no association.
Matthew Smith
242. blocksmith

Belated welcome...and oh yes, we have Scotch. What's your preference? Highland, Islay, Speyside?

MOM@87 and 110

Incredible pictures. Exactly how I imagined Shayol Ghul.
Jennifer B
243. JennB
Okay, I got through at least the first 200 comments, but my brain is melting and I have stuff to do.

I just have one comment that has been knocking around in my head since Friday. I still do not believe there is anything sexual between Therava and Galina, but if there is, Galina's sexuality has absolutely no bearing on the situation. Yeah she is a lesbian. So what. She is being tortured. She does not enjoy it or take any sexual pleasure in it whatsoever. She is the victim.

Even if Therava is a sexual sadist, this is not a same sex relationship as Leigh and others imply. It is a torturer/ unwilling victim relationship.

If Galina was heterosexual the situation would be exactly the same. EXACTLY THE SAME.

(By the way, Therava dominates Galina because she sees her as a person of power, not because of physical attraction.)
244. Ouroboros
Freelancer @227

I was reading this just the other day so it's fresh in my mind, as well as my thoughts on it.

Before going on, I should say that I’m the kind of person that always looks for buts and loopholes. I also have a tendency to play the Dark One’s advocate. In short, I’m the type who will shake a tree just to see if I can get an apple to fall on my head.

RE: Nynaeve grieving.

There's no way to know who it is so I'm prepared to RAFO. It's most likely someone Nynaeve is close to, but that's still a fair list. Most likely Lan or one of the TR folk.

RE: Beldeine's knife.

She might be BA - A knife in the dark? Or she could be killed herself. Likely choices for killer would be a grey man (knife held by shadow spawn), Fain (as you said), or a blood knife (ditto).

RE: blade of light + three become one.

We don't know if this is the whole foretelling or just a line from it. If it's just a "one-liner" then Cads and Min may just be assuming it's Callandor. It would be nice to know why they think it is. Cads certainly knows more than she's letting on about the prophecies and matters of philosophy, including something about breaking the seals.

"The major image on her piece of embroidery was finished, a man’s hand clutching the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai. Cracks ran across the black-and-white disc, and there was no telling whether the hand was trying to hold it together or crush it. She knew what she intended, but time would tell what was truth." (PoD Ch.12)

Reasons for assuming its Callandor are:
1. Physical description. (Callandor is in part a blade and shines with light when used.) Not conclusive because there are other objects (or concepts) which could be described as such.
2. Callandor is mention elsewhere in the prophecies. This is weak because there has never been any proof that foretellings reference each other to this extent. They're just abstract observations that a particular thing will happen.

3. The foretelling says that three become one, which could describe three people linking. Cads tells Rand in TPoD that Callandor needs to be used with a woman guiding the flows.

"It is flawed," she replied curtly, "lacking the buffer that makes other sa’angreal safe to use. And it apparently magnifies the taint, inducing wildness of the mind. So long as a man is using it, anyway. The only safe way for you to use The Sword That Is Not a Sword, the only way to use it without the risk of killing yourself, or trying to do the Light alone knows what insanity, is linked with two women, and one of them guiding the flows."

This is all fairly compelling, but not conclusive. It assumes two things, that Callandor is the "blade of light" and that the three must be the channelers using it. Also, if this is what it means, then it’s rather obvious, since we already know that it has to be used in a circle. It might be that we're supposed to enjoy the characters scratching around to confirm what they already know, but why waste time on it at this late stage. For this reason, I don't think that this is the right interpretation.

I have no particular preference for one theory over another, and there must be hundreds by now. I do have one not so wild theory myself, but it's nothing more than the kind of thing you come up with in the bath. It's also probably been suggested before, but I don't have the time to trawl through thousands of posts on dozens of boards looking for it. So, apologies if it looks like I'm pinching someone elses idea.

The blade of light is the sword Rand has taken to carrying around in TGS.

Rand recognises it from his own memories and Falme makes him think of it again. The best fit is Justice, since it's the only sword that was really brought to our attention that wasn't heron marked. This seems likely since Hawkwing was Ta'veren, and a hero of the horn, so it may be that the sword itself is significant, being passed from one prominent Ta'veren to another.

There's also an argument to make for it being LTD's at some point. We don't know if LTD recognised it, which stands against the notion, and yet we're not told if he did either. It may be that BWS deliberately kept LTD's thoughts on the sword out of the frame. It has a Dragon on the hilt, and it being LTD's also supports the notion that the sword is found by important Ta'veren (LTD, Hawkwing, and Rand).

But why put it in a prophecy? The real question is, does this sword has some significance beyond its history, or is its history what makes it so important? It could be part of making peace with the Seanchan, or it could be that the sword is needed to lead the heroes in TG. We're told that they follow the banner; will they do something else for the sword? Also, what happens when Rand and the T'A'R Hawkwing both turn up holding the same sword.

Also, the sword and the prophecy came up in the same book. This maybe nothing, but then...

The Three Become One

There could be any number of possibilities since there are plenty of threes hanging around. I personally like the three Ta'veren with there connection making them come together as one. It will be very useful for the three of them to follow each other through TG. We also don't know how far that connection will go once things really kick-off. This interpretation also sits well with the Justice idea, since Rand will probably be holding it in TG whilst also working with Mat and Perrin.

One that I've definitely seen around is the three sources (Saidin, Saidar, and the True Power). If this is it, then Callandor comes back into the frame, since it may be able to work all three powers. If I were to go out on a limb I'd suggest that it might allow Rand to channel the TP safely, the other two in the ring being a man and a woman channeling the Source. This would allow Rand to seal the prison without suffering the side affects of TPOD (True Power Over Dose)

Sorry if this is just rehashing stuff that’s already been beaten to death.
Alice Arneson
245. Wetlandernw
Not important, just a clarification...

FromtheLangToun @231 - The Bloodknives wear a ter'angreal which enhances their abilities but which kills them within days of being activated. True. However, BWS indicated that they could extend that limit by removing the rings. The implication, at least, is that while not wearing the ring, they would forfeit its protections, but if they could find a safe place to hide for a time, they could stretch their effective lifespan, up to a few weeks. If you want, I can go find the quotation.
Lost in my own mind
246. FromtheLangToun
Wetlander@245- you're correct, I'm assuming that they wouldn't remove their rings as that would mean they lost their enhanced abilities, but perhaps this wouldn't happen thus giving them weeks rather than days.
Janet Hopkins
247. JanDSedai
This might explain some of the missing Aes Sedai, those listed by Egwene at the end of TGS as being present after the attack, but missing at the Cleansing of the Black. I am particularly concerned about the Sitter for the Grey, Evanellin. Is she Mesaana, or a victim of the bloodknives?
Lost in my own mind
248. lokiian
Actually Galina/Therava isn't the only same sex relationship. There is implied relationships between accepted/novices and some Sedai, i.e. the reference toward pillow friends I think was used. Also Sevanna was stopped in taking Galina as completely her own by the other wise ones.
Alice Arneson
250. Wetlandernw
Hi, Terez! You know, of course, that my comment wasn't intended as a slam in any sense!! Glad you got a chuckle out of it, anyway. :) Considering how much I rely on you for info, I might just try something, though - next time someone asks a question that I don't have time to look up, I'll give them a TAFO and they can go look it up themselves. :) Hey, I like it...
Spencer Fancy
252. UnknownSoldier
Not sure if this has been suggested before, but I just had one of those "shower moments" (the ones where, while taking a shower, you realize something important).

I know a number of chapters ago it was mentioned that the dice in Matt's head stopped rolling when he decided to move into the Tarasin Palace, but there was never a definite answer as to why, unlike other times. Could it have been for the exact reason Matt himself states in chapter 39?

Glaring across the square at The Wandering Woman, Mat headed toward the river. Olver had not gone off with the street urchins half as often while they were staying at the inn; he had been too content ogling the serving girls and Setalle Anan's daughters. So much for the dice telling him he had to move into the palace. Anything he had done since leaving - anything he wanted to do, he amended, thinking of Tylin and her eyes; and her hands - any of it could have been done just as well from there.

Seems to me if they had not moved into the palace, Olver may have not run off at that time, meaning Matt never would have had the wall fall on him and the events that eventually follow in WH.

On that note, I've almost caught up to the recap. Started doing a reread from scratch back in September because I couldn't remember a damned thing about the series (haven't touched it in years). Soon gonna have to decide whether to go ahead by myself or continue following right up through the newest book =P
Lost in my own mind
253. emmyloo03
This might have been mentioned in the other comments, but Egwene knows about Perrin and the wolves too. I am hoping that they'll have more discussion about T'AR and possibly use it together, you know the men and women working together thing ;)
Terry McNamee
257. macster
I may have mentioned this before, but I can't recall when or where, and this thread made me think of it again: so I just wanted to add that I'm pretty sure the BFC from books 4-6 had to do with Mat's ashandarei and his third request from the Finn--in all of those books he would think about it a lot, and even wonder why he was given the spear, but no one picked up on the fact it might be the fulfillment of his third request as a way to get out. Since that was very important in the rescue of Moiraine in ToM, that would be why Sanderson directed us to look at those books for a clue we missed.

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