Apr 27 2010 2:21pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Path of Daggers, Part 2

I would like the readers of Tor.com to know that this spring is officially fired, with its icky pollen and its icky rain and its icky warming-up-just-enough-to-fool-you-into-not-wearing-enough-layersness. Faugh, I say!

Oh, and also, I would like you to know that this is a Wheel of Time Re-read post. Hi!

Today’s soggy, sneezing entry covers Chapters 1 and 2 of The Path of Daggers, in which we experiment with potentially explosive methods of travel, actually explosive interpersonal dynamics, and diets high in iron(y).

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.

So, please pop a Claritin, curl up with a mug of herbal tea, and read on!

Chapter 1: To Keep the Bargain


What Happens
Wheel, time, Ages, legend, wind. The wind blows across the island of Tremalking, where a giant stone hand holding a crystal sphere sticks out of the earth, and across the Sea of Storms and a huge fleet of ships, sporting banners showing a golden hawk clutching lightning, to Ebou Dar and the Tarasin Palace. Aviendha walks through the halls of the palace with Lan, Nynaeve, Elayne and Birgitte, trying to tell herself that the unease she feels is just her imagination. She wonders why she keeps worrying about Olver, who is a treekiller after all, and tries to distract herself by listening to her companions. Nynaeve informs Lan that he had no business promising Mat that he would “take care” of her, as she is not a porcelain figurine; Lan counters that taking care of her is a Warder’s job.

“Besides, caring for you is my heart’s desire, Nynaeve. You can ask or demand anything of me, but never to let you die without trying to save you. The day you die, I die.”

Nynaeve reacts to this like she’s been punched; even though she recovers quickly, Aviendha suspects that Nynaeve doesn’t really know anything more about dealing with men in a romantic sense than she does, judging from her behavior since she’s gotten married, and decides Nynaeve will be of no use to her in learning how to manage it herself. Meanwhile Elayne is telling Birgitte that they aren’t married, and Elayne expects Birgitte to guard her back, not to make promises behind it. Birgitte points out that the promise was made to her face, actually, speaking as if to a young girl, and Elayne flushes. Aviendha is tempted to laugh, but out of loyalty to Elayne gives Birgitte a firm look, which only makes Birgitte murmur something amused about “kittens”. Humiliated, Avienda then almost runs into Teslyn Baradon. Teslyn stares daggers at Elayne and Nynaeve (ignoring everyone else), but informs them, to their surprise, that whatever they’re up to, she and Joline do not intend to interfere; they will pay for their sins at some point, but not now. Elayne answers coldly that Teslyn has no right to interfere in their business in any case.

“So pull your nose out of our coats, you summer ham, and be glad we do not choose to take issue with you supporting a usurper on the Amyrlin Seat.”

Perplexed, Aviendha glanced sideways at her near-sister. Pull her nose out of their coats? She and Elayne, at least, were not wearing coats. A summer ham? What did that mean? Wetlanders often said peculiar things, but the other women all looked as puzzled as she. Only Lan, staring at Elayne askance, appeared to understand, and he seemed… startled. And perhaps amused.

Teslyn sniffs and goes to leave with a cutting remark, but Nynaeve stops her. Reluctantly, she tells Teslyn about Moghedien, and the gholam, and the Black Ajah, and her weather sense telling her about a storm coming. Teslyn considers all of this nonsense, and answers that once Nynaeve’s back in novice white she’ll soon learn the folly of telling tales, and marches off. Briefly furious, Nynaeve then huffs that she tried, and Elayne agrees it was more than the woman deserved. Nynaeve comments that it almost sounded like Teslyn and Joline are ready to break with Elaida, and she and Elayne discuss it until Lan reminds them of the Forsaken and/or gholam currently presumably headed for them, and Birgitte murmurs something about Windfinders and a lack of patience. Nynaeve and Elayne give the Warders baleful stares; Birgitte grins at Lan and he shrugs at Birgitte, and Nynaeve and Elayne swiftly pretend nothing happened and march off, chatting with Aviendha of frivolous subjects all the way to the stables. Elayne asks why Aviendha is frowning, but Aviendha cannot explain to her that she is ashamed of how she was actually enjoying talking about dresses and such; she despairs that she is growing soft. They reach the stableyards, where the tension is thick enough to cut between the three groups of women waiting there. Renaile gives them a glare of extreme impatience, and Nynaeve and Elayne quickly split up, Nynaeve going to the Knitting Circle and Elayne the Aes Sedai, while Aviendha contemplates yanking Renaile’s nose ring out. Meanwhile the Aes Sedai are dividing their stares between the Windfinders and the Kin; with the exception of Sumeko, the Kin are deeply uneasy at this, and very relieved to see Nynaeve.

The Knitting Circle found it strange, to say the least, that women as young as Elayne and Nynaeve gave orders to the other Aes Sedai and were obeyed. Aviendha herself found it peculiar; how could strength in the Power, something you were born with as surely as your eyes, weigh more heavily than the honor that years could bring? Yet the older Aes Sedai did obey, and for the Kinswomen, that was enough.

Nynaeve examines their prisoner, Ispan Shefar, who is bound, gagged, drugged up, and shielded with the Power to boot (by Kirstian), and Reanne timidly suggests again that perhaps the Aes Sedai should take over holding her. Nynaeve tells them firmly that they are doing fine, ignoring their horror at holding an Aes Sedai, even an evil one. Merilille, however, agrees with Reanne, and tells Elayne that it is not right; if these women are truly to be connected to the Tower, they must have “a clear picture of their places”. Elayne cuts her off and reiterates that Egwene intends all women who can channel to have a place with the Tower; Aviendha thinks that she doesn’t particularly want to be part of the Tower, and she’s pretty sure none of the Wise Ones want it either. Elayne tells Merilille that they have the Bowl of the Winds to guard, and that’s enough. The Windfinders clearly want to have the Bowl themselves, and the Aes Sedai clearly strongly disagree. Renaile announces loudly that time is wasting, and hopes Elayne and Nynaeve do not think to get out of their bargain by delaying. Reanne snaps at her for speaking to Aes Sedai so, and Renaile smirks back about jellyfish gaining tongues, and this quickly turns into a shouting match between the Windfinders and the Kin, both ignoring the Aes Sedai’s efforts to placate them. When it gets to the point where women start embracing saidar, Nynaeve finally shrieks at them to stop behaving like children; even the Windfinders look a little abashed, and the fight ends. Elayne quietly suggests to Aviendha that maybe they should go before anything else happens, and Aviendha agrees. The Windfinders, Sumeko, and (surprisingly) Reanne all watch avidly as Aviendha creates a gateway to a clearing north of the city. Aviendha is dissatisfied with the gateway, berating herself that it takes almost all of her strength to create while Elayne can make one with only a fraction of hers, though she knows this is taking shame too far and the Wise Ones would tell her so. Everyone springs into motion as soon as the gateway is up, and as they start filing through (the Windfinders with some trepidation), Aviendha feels uneasy again. She looks up and sees the silhouette of a man watching them from a high tower above the yard. She stops one of the Windfinders and tells her to tell Elayne to be wary; the Windfinder nods impatiently and goes through. When Aviendha looks up again, the figure is gone, but Aviendha feels no relief.

So, let’s see: it took the Supergirls (*checks*) 10 pages to walk from the Palace to the stables, another 10 to weave a gateway and walk through it, and… that’s about what happened in this chapter. Yep, now starting to remember why I didn’t like TPOD.

Although, to be fair, I suppose, this chapter was also an intro-like chapter, and intended more than anything else to reestablish the state of affairs with the Supergirls and their party. Which can be likened to what would happen if Cold-War-era Russia and America were forced to go on a picnic together. The fun, it has not started. (Though Aviendha’s desire to rearrange Renaile’s facial jewelry was pretty amusing.)

But, at least Lan and Birgitte are here to be awesome. Though I have to say if I were Elayne, I would find suddenly acquiring a bossy older sister (however much I might need one) to be pretty annoying by turns. As a bossy older sister myself, I can speak to this with authority. We are annoying, but that’s because we are right!

(Cue “O RLY” phone call from younger sisters in five… four… three…)

“Summer ham”: Um. What?

I mean, I’m laughing, it was funny, especially Lan’s reaction, but… what? I’m… I’m just boggled, with the nonsensicalness of this profanity. I mean, at least “pig-kissing” makes sense as an insult! I’m going to wander away from this topic while shaking my head in bemusement now.

Teslyn: She shoulda oughta listened, eh? Though Nynaeve’s piling all that on her at once was, admittedly, probably not the most ideal method of getting her to believe in any of it. Oh, well. Bye, Teslyn! See you in the next book, I think!

The only other thing to note here, other than a bunch of grown women acting like toddlers (oy), is Aviendha’s thought re: not understanding why strength as opposed to age is the ranking determinate for Aes Sedai. Which is notable mostly because it at least shows that the readers aren’t the only ones pointing out the fundamental dumbness of such a system. Which is… good, I guess?

Aviendha’s dubiousness about Egwene’s declaration that all women who can channel will have a place in the Tower is a good point, as well. From the Kin’s point of view (at least for the moment), it is an offer of great magnanimousness, implying an egalitarianism that is, frankly, a huge step forward in Aes Sedai policy, but Aviendha’s concerns are well taken that other groups may not view it that way. Particularly the Wise Ones, for whom Aes Sedai are not exactly their favorite group of people at the moment, but the Windfinders are clearly not going to be overly thrilled about it either.

It will be interesting to see whether Egwene actually tries to force that alliance whether the channelers in question want it or not; I kind of doubt that that is her real intention, of course, but this is WOT, so who knows. I don’t think it will go well if she tries, though.

Chapter 2: Unweaving

What Happens
As Elayne steps through the gateway, she senses Birgitte somewhere off to the southwest, feeling content, which means there is no danger; Careane is concentrating on the southeast, which means Lan must have gone north, and Elayne notices that Nynaeve has chosen that direction to watch even though she has no bond with Lan to tell her his location.

Perhaps being married had created some sense of him in her. More likely, she had noticed a track that escaped Elayne. Nynaeve was as skilled at woodscraft as she was with herbs.

Elayne sees Aviendha through the gateway studying the rooftops, and smiles at her bravery, but worries that she should have stayed with her. The Windfinders file through, and Elayne is grateful that there are only twenty; with their bargain that the Windfinders get to learn any weave the Aes Sedai can teach, she’s surprised Renaile didn’t try to bring every Windfinder in Ebou Dar. She evaluates each woman’s strength in the Power as they pass her; at first she is a bit smug, noting that not even Renaile would stand particularly high among Aes Sedai, but then starts in surprise as the three lowest-ranked Windfinders pass her.

Rainyn was easily as strong as Lelaine or Romanda, and Metarra on a level with Elayne herself, while Talaan…Talaan, so meek in her red linen blouse, with eyes that seemed permanently downcast, came very close to Nynaeve. Very close. More, Elayne knew she herself had not yet reached her full potential, and neither had Nynaeve. How close were Metarra and Talaan?

Elayne laughs at herself for her complacency and goes to herd the Knitting Circle out of the way, who are acting like deer caught in headlights; Famelle keeps apologizing to a semi-conscious Ispan even as she hauls her around. Everyone is glaring at everyone else, and Elayne wants to shake them all, including Nynaeve, who is staring after Lan instead of getting people organized, but instead goes over to the packhorse carrying the stash from the Rahad and starts going through it, discarding the rubbish and putting aside anything she feels has a resonance with saidar. She finds a blue stone carving, an ivory box, a flexible black rod, a crystal vial with red liquid inside, and a brass figurine of a man with a book before Nynaeve comes over and asks if this is really the time to do this. She touches the black rod and jerks away, muttering that it “feels like pain”. Elayne makes a note of her reaction but doesn’t stop sorting, explaining to Nynaeve that if there is an angreal in here she’d like to find it before Moghedien finds them, and Nynaeve concedes this with a grunt. Elayne is briefly distracted by the rather hilarious attempts of the Windfinders to mount their horses, but then finds a small brooch in the shape of a turtle and knows instantly it is an angreal, if not a very strong one. Pleased, she continues until Vandene comes over and warns her she may want to wait until they are in the Tower to examine those items. Taking this as a slight, Elayne answers curtly that she knows what she is doing, and as the only living Aes Sedai whose ever made ter’angreal herself, is better qualified than anyone in the Tower anyway. Vandene notes casually that Martine Jenata was experienced with working with ter’angreal too, studying them for forty years, until one day she was found on the floor of her study, burned out; her Warder died from the shock of it.

“When Martine came to, three days later, she couldn’t recall what she had been working with. She couldn’t remember the preceding week at all. That was more than twenty-five years ago, and no one since has had the nerve to touch any of the ter’angreal that were in her rooms. Her notes mentioned every last one, and everything she had discovered was innocuous, innocent, even frivolous, but . . . ” Vandene shrugged. “She found something she wasn’t expecting.”

Elayne and Birgitte glance at each other, worried, but Elayne thinks that they need to find whatever they can. Nynaeve asks Vandene what happened to Martine after, and Vandene answers that she vanished, but the point is that she was as cautious as possible, and yet it did her no good. They are interrupted by a shriek of horror from Merilille, and Elayne spins to see Aviendha on this side of the gateway, and gapes in shock.

The gateway trembled as Aviendha carefully picked apart the weave that had made it. It shivered and flexed, the edges wavering. The last flows came loose, and instead of winking out, the opening shimmered, the view through it of the courtyard fading away until it evaporated like mist in the sun.

Renaile gasps that that’s impossible, and Elayne remembers that as novices they were taught that picking apart a weave like that should never ever be done. Vandene storms at Aviendha that if she had made one mistake she could have destroyed everything within a hundred paces, or burned herself out, or done Light knows what. The other Aes Sedai join in chastising her; Elayne jumps in before Aviendha starts stabbing people, and asks her why she did it. Aviendha explains that this way, the weave leaves no residue to be read; Merilille snorts and says that reading residues is a very rare Talent, but Aviendha replies that she can do it (which startles Elayne), and if she can, who’s to say the Forsaken can’t?

“Are you such fools that you leave tracks for your enemies to follow? Any who could read the residues could make a gateway to this spot.”

This silences the Aes Sedai, but then Aviendha mutters that perhaps she shouldn’t have done it, but with that man watching her… Nynaeve wants to know what man; the other sisters are dismissive, especially Careane, who opines that it was likely just a servant, but Nynaeve defends Aviendha automatically before shooing everyone off to get going. Elayne takes a moment to pull Aviendha aside and gently suggest that she speak to Vandene or Adeleas about her difficulties with gateways, but Aviendha confesses almost tearfully that it is nothing they can help with.

“They think I panicked at a servant. If I ask for help, it must all come out. That I Traveled once to run from a man, a man I hoped in my soul would catch me. To run like a rabbit. To run, wanting to be caught. How could I let them know such shame? Even if they really could help, how could I?”

Elayne firmly stomps on the jealousy this revelation produces, and promises to try and help Aviendha herself. Aviendha nods, and then tells Elayne that the man she saw was no servant, and he frightened her. Elayne answers that whoever he was, they are safe from him now.

Moridin watches as the last of the horses and women pass through the gateway in the courtyard below, and decides the stash they carry probably doesn’t have anything worth his time; he thinks Sammael was a fool for risking so much to obtain it, and that the man wasn’t nearly as clever as he’d thought himself to be. Then he watches in amazement as the outline of the gateway flexes, trembles and finally melts away.

These barbarous rustics offered too many surprises. A way to Heal being severed, however imperfectly. That was impossible! Except that they had done it. Involuntary rings. Those Warders and the bond they shared with their Aes Sedai. He had known of that for a long, long time, but whenever he thought he had the measure of them, these primitives revealed some new skill, did something that no one in his own Age had dreamed of. Something the pinnacle of civilization had not known! What had the girl done?

A servant in the Palace (and Darkfriend) named Madic enters and tells Moridin that the word is that one of the treasures the Aes Sedai found is called the Bowl of the Winds, and is supposed to be able to control the weather; no one knows where they have gone. Moridin is still considering the melting gateway, and wonders if he had actually been within eyeshot of an unraveling web (and, therefore, almost just died), then catches what Madic said about the Bowl; the name means nothing to him, but if it can actually fix the weather Moridin knows that the Great Lord will be most displeased. In cold fury he seizes the True Power as he tries to think furiously of where the women could have gone, then realizes he’s accidentally squeezed all the blood out of Madic. Unconcerned, he Travels, determined to find them and make them pay for meddling with his plans.

The gholam enters the room cautiously, still feeling the pain of the burn on its cheek; it had never encountered anything that could harm it until “that man with the medallion”. The itch it feels is from something like the One Power, yet not; it’s familiar to it, but it cannot recall from where. It remembers war, but now the world has changed. But, it thinks, the gholam is still the most dangerous weapon of all. It also detects that the One Power has been used below, and miles to the north, and debates whether to follow the trail.

The one who commanded it wanted the man who had wounded it dead perhaps as much as he did the women, but the women were an easier target. The women had been named, too, and for the time being, it was constrained. For its entire existence it had been compelled to obey one or another human, but its mind held the concept of not being constrained.

It decides it wants to follow the women, but is in no hurry, and settles down by the corpse in the room to feed.

And this chapter is 18 pages of everyone standing around, but some fairly interesting things happened here, so I’ll shut up.

Mostly, of course, Aviendha’s stunt with the gateway, but also Vandene’s discussion of Martine Jenata, which might be old hat to me now but was pretty interesting at the time, especially since it retroactively filled in a lot of the blanks on Setalle Anan. The dates were way too prominently mentioned to be missed, so really, it’s a done deal.

It’s interesting that the three Windfinders whose strength Elayne is shocked by are the lowest-ranked – not because of why Elayne’s shocked, which only indicates how much she’s buying into the silly Aes Sedai ranking system, but because it means that those three are (most likely) the youngest of the Windfinders as well. Which is to say, right around the same age range as the Supergirls themselves.

(Though of course it’s possible for an older person to lose rank, or never gain it – Elayne notes one of the former among the Windfinders, in fact – but most of the time low rank and youth go together. Unless you’re Aes Sedai, of course.)

But anyway! My point in bringing this up is that it is a reminder that the Creator and/or the Pattern has actually, in a subtle way, been preparing for the upcoming Last Battle just as much as the Shadow has. There’s no other reason, after all, for all these super-powerful channelers to just be happening to come of age now, all at roughly the same time as the Dragon Reborn, across so many nations and cultures. Or for so many of them to suddenly have so many long-lost innate Talents, either.

Relatedly, I still think one of Jordan’s more ingenious moves as a writer was engineering his cosmology so that “the plot needed it to happen” has an in-story justification. Clever Author.

(As a side note, the revelation here that reading residues is an extremely rare Talent is interesting in light of the fact that Rand can do it, and has been able to all along – he last used it in ACOS to follow Sammael to Shadar Logoth, but I’m pretty certain that wasn’t the first time. The best part, of course, is that Rand doesn’t even know it’s unusual. Of course, for all we know it’s not unusual for men, but I don’t think that’s the case.)

It’s kind of interesting that Moridin doesn’t consider this notion about Light-side battle prep when griping about the newbie barbarians’ innovativeness, considering how much he’s into philosophy and such. Everyone has their blind side, it seems.

(By the way, “involuntary rings” refers to a’dam. I mention this because I know from experience that at least one person will be confused by it. You’re welcome.)

Also, I kind of had to enjoy the irony of Moridin being all “How will I find those stupid stupid girls now??” and stomping out, only for the gholam to stroll in two minutes later all “I totally know where those girls are—ooh, look, lunch.” Although it seems the gholam changed its mind about actually following them, since Mat runs into it again in Ebou Dar later. Them fickle bloodsucking fiends, I swear. So unreliable.

As a random note, for some reason I liked the reminder of Nynaeve’s skill at tracking, even though I don’t think she’s had any reason to use it since TEOTW. It was nice to be reminded that she had skillz even before she got all stupid-powerful.

And that’s all I got for this one. Thanks to everyone who said I was missed at JordanCon; I was sorry I couldn’t be there, but I’m glad it seems like it was a good time for those of you who did go. Y’all enjoy your week, and I’ll see you Friday!

2. birgit
ch 1: Some people who don't like each other go through a gateway.
ch 2: Moridin watches Avi unweave the gateway and accidentally provides a free meal for the gholam when he hears about the Bowl.
4. Kadere
"Although it seems the gholam changed its mind about actually following them, since Mat runs into it again in Ebou Dar later. Them fickle bloodsucking fiends, I swear. So unreliable."

After the super girls and their party Travel all the way to Andor it becomes very difficult for him to go after them, so he turns his sights on his other target, Mat.
Kurt Lorey
5. Shimrod
Speaking of "Clever author", I wonder if RJ was ever tempted to fill out certain chapters with prose that most readers would likely zone out on, then insert one or two golden nuggets, cluewise, like the Martine Janata thingy (which I totally missed, btw)?
April Moore
6. aprildmoore
Thanks for the post, Leigh - we missed you at JordanCon. I was dressed up as your two favorite characters: Lanfear and Cadsuane. :-)
Jennifer B
7. JennB
I always thought that the Windfinders brought their strogest channelers in Ebou Dar. The apprentices were only included in the group because of their strength. Of course it is telling that of all the strongest channelers are young.
Rob Munnelly
8. RobMRobM
Good intro to TPOD - wordy and with irritating events from Windfinders, Kin and AS (especially Nyneave), mixed with some cool stuff.

Summer ham? Never picked that one up before but wow. Wonder if she learned that one in the Palace from Lini or from Mat. Is it calling her a pig?

Love that Madic is the guy that took the bribe from Mat to move his bedroom to avoid Tylin in the last book. Takes bribe, is a DF. Gets squished.

Love the Lan and Birgit coolness.

Wouldn't it have been funny if gholam went after Mori - or would that have been blocked somehow? Doesn't sound like it from the smell test.

9. Lsana
The Pattern may be creating stronger channelers to help with the Last Battle, but I don't think that even registers with Moridin. What impresses Moridin isn't the strength of the channelers, it's what they can do. I don't think a'dam's, warder bonds, or the fact that Aiel can undo their weaves has anything to do with the Pattern; it's just human ingenuity having the ability to surprise even people who think they've seen it all.
Andrew Belmont
10. rosetintdworld
Does anyone else feel like the Moridin cameo in these chapters was a rather forced way to make the Bowl plotline seem more consequential than it wound up being?

Especially after what happens in TGS, I can't help but feel that the DO never really cared that the Bowl was used; he replaced "drought" with "decay" all too easily.

Meh. I cannot wait for the Egwene chapters.

(Not a reflection of Leigh's commentary, by the way. Thanks for staying positive and engaging as you slog through, Leigh...)
Dorothy Johnston
11. CloudMist
I like the interlude with the gholam and the slight hint that he might have an agenda of his own, i.e., not being constrained. It was such a nice, creepy note on which to end the chapter.

Anyway, I think I've just partially figured out the "summer ham" curse. While I'm not a farmer, I do know that pigs were traditionally slaughtered, and the meat cured, in the fall so that people would have a steady supply of meat thru the winter. A ham prepared in the heat of summer would probably be inferior to one smoke and prepared in the cool of fall. At the very least, Elayne's just told Teslyn that she's a nasty-tasting baby.
12. Qtip the Sixth
I always saw TPOD as a book written for the purpose of repositioning the pieces on the board top where they are needed for the next volume. Of course, this doesn't make it LESS annoying to read, but rather more so, but indulge the Creator anyway, because, well, he's the Creator!
This was when I finally realized Moridin was Ishamael reborn btw. (I know, I'm slow)
Brandon Wood
13. brad21088
Thanks for the "involuntary rings = a'dam" bit. I sat for five minutes trying to puzzle it out, but couldn't. I knew "rings = circle," but got caught up on the whole "you can't force someone into a circle." Although, is that last bit actually true? I think in the next chapter or so when they actually use the Bowl, the head Windfinder (can't recall her name) yanks control of the circle pretty suddenly from Elayne, and it seemed to me that it was a foreshadowing of someone forcing another into a circle? I don't know though; I haven't read TPOD in a while...

Am I alone in hoping that Anan is Healed? I really, really, really want that to happen. And healed by a man so she's at full strength. I don't know why, but she's one of my favorite minor characters and I think that scene would be awesome.

Everyone seems to comment on how odd Nynaeve is acting now that she's married to Lan, but no one mentions how equally odd Lan is acting. Well, odd for him, in any event. Public displays of affection, verbalizing his feelings, etc., it's all very different for him. I think Jordan does a good job of showing that when two people are madly in love with one another, it's a new experience and can be... befuddling (for lack of a better word) at first.
a a-p
14. lostinshadow
Avi's uneasiness about how the Wise Ones wouldn't really want to be a part of the White Tower reminds me of why I never could (and despite tGS still haven't) warm up to Egwene. Leigh might be giving Eggs too much credit, I think she does want every singe channelling woman tied to the White Tower somehow or another.

perhaps the fact that the DO could so easily replace "draught" with "decay" is not indicative that Moridin's frustation with losing the girls is forced but to illustrate how futile fighting the dark one must feel to team light. you do one thing and out comes another that is just as bad if not worse.

it's really about the inevitability...you have to keep fighting but unless Rand does what he has to do, it's pointless... but you still have to fight, to gain the time to keep up hope..
Barry T
15. blindillusion
Well Brad, you're not alone in hoping SA gets Healed. The only question is, "Can someone who was burned out, not stilled, be Healed?"

We can hope. I'd imagine, though, it's going to have to be one of those things where men and women work together. So...

Cue the Super Healing Aes Sedai/Asha'man Team founded in aCoS!
Lannis .
16. Lannis
Love when Elayne gets a chance to flex those language muscles!

"Summer ham" makes me think "fat cow." But sunnier!

The more I think about the "strength in the Power = rank" thing, the more I want someone really young and foolish (like younger and more foolish than our Supergirls, because truthfully, they're kind of lucky in how their screw-ups work, and we all know the Tower is lucky to have Egwene, now that she's grown up a bit... digress much?)... Aaaanyhow... someone young and foolish to be really powerful and show the Aes Sedai just how ridiculous the whole set up is... I mean, what was the thought process behind it? "Oh, she can thump me good with the power, I'd better listen sharp to her!"?

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, it's a decent analogy to how the AS have always loved to manipulate (read: bully) people... perhaps it's just ingrained?

I do enjoy the whole "those primitives can do what?!' thoughts from the Forsaken... neener neener!

...then realizes he’s accidentally squeezed all the blood out of Madic. Whoopsie!

Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Awesome, as always! :)
Marcus W
17. toryx
Okay. So PoD begins with a little rewind that was completely unnecessary (in my mind). Women arguing with their warders, Aviendha (who I liked a lot more before she became so affectionate with Elayne) musing at strange wetlander (not nw) ways and women squabbling at each other like a crowd of hens.

Personally, I don't think I gained anything new here. And what's with Nynaeve and Elayne insisting on everyone taking responsibility for things that irritated everyone else so much? I kind of understand what they're trying to do by spreading things out a little but it seems like giving the Wise Women responsibility over the BA makes no sense. Were they trying to irritate everyone for the sake of showing them whose boss? How does that do them any good at all?

Then we have Chapter 2, which is more irritation with a bit of interesting mixed in. I mean, I'm interested in the ter'angreal but I kind of agree that sitting right there in the middle of everyone isn't the best place to sort it out, even though getting ahold of the angreal as soon as possible makes sense.

And as interesting as the little side note about Martine Jenata is, and useful in a later context, it's sort of oddly thrown in there. "Hey, here's some useful information that you can't get any use of at all until the next book is published." Just thrown in there next to the rubbish like the pile of ter'angreal.

On the other hand, now that we've got the benefit of knowing so much more from other books, I'm definitely convinced that Martine wasn't burned out by a ter'angreal but attacked by the BA somehow.

I dig all the Moridin POVs including this one, and I like the bit about the gholam too. Particularly about the bit that it had never been harmed before.

And I don't know about the rest of you, but the idea of a gholam not constrained is a rather frightening one.

Anyway, I continue to largely be unimpressed by this book.
Lucas Vollmer
18. aspeo
Is the gholam not being controlled by Moridin? I had always thought it was, but maybe I misunderstood.

Otherwise fairly uneventful chapters filled with lots of talking and standing around. Although, I did like the part with Moridin watching them go through the gateway and being surprised when the weave was unraveled.
James Jones
19. jamesedjones
5 Shimrod
Speaking of "Clever author", I wonder if RJ was ever tempted to fill out certain chapters with prose that most readers would likely zone out on, then insert one or two golden nuggets, cluewise, like the Martine Janata thingy (which I totally missed, btw)?
I loved every time he did this. He goes into detail about the meal the group is eating in Illian. Perrins busy thinking about the food, and how funny it is that Faile hates fish, when BAM!!! grey men attack. Or Rand is pouring over the letter from Alliandre, and considering what messages he might have missed, when BAM!!! a gray man att... well, that one got toasted. But it's still one of my favorite skills of RJ's writing. You start to zone out while he describes the embroidery, and you miss the little clues.
20. Darren A. Jones
The part about the White Tower wanting everyone who could channel connected to it reminded me strongly of Benedict XVI's offer last year to allow the conservative Anglicans to join up. Made some conservatives happy, ticked off a lot of other people. I think Egwene's offer had much the same effect.
j p
21. sps49
Teslyn, see you & Mat laters!

-"except Careane"

Did holding the TP alone kill Madic, or was there absent-minded killingness?

And who is controlling the gholam? Pretty good range on his sensing skillz, too. Still wondering if the TP woud kill it.
Barry T
22. blindillusion
Elayne's "Summer ham"

It's also somewhat amusing that she's probably using this curse/insult(?) with no idea of the context in which it's supposed to be used.
Lucas Vollmer
23. aspeo
Lannis @16
I think you could maybe make a case for Elaida being this way. She is fairly young, extremely foolish, and one of the stronger channelers in the tower. It seems like she used her status with the others to worm her way into being selected Amyrlin after she pretty much instigates the coup against Siuan.
(I know there are other factors, but saidar strength seems to be part of it to me.)

I think this could have been a wake up call to the other Aes Sedai if the supergirls weren’t so super. lol

So now its probably mostly up to Egwene to sort everything out from the chaos Elaida helped sow.
24. the gingerbread monster
As always an excellent review from Leigh!

But I must admit that I've always been somewhat annoyed by the sudden appearance of Talaan and Metarra. I don't have the book in front of me but I recall that in ACoS Ch 13, a Windfinder tells Nesta din Reas that the Supergirls are stronger than anyone she's ever seen. And look what appears in the first chapter of the next book. That Windfinder was either incompetent (from not noticing the two überstrong Windfinders) or simply lied to the the Mistress of the ships.

Well I suppose that some explanation could be found (maybe the Windfinder didn't want to reveal to the Supergirls that there are strong Windfinders) but Taalan and Metarra has always bugged me off.
Roger Powell
25. forkroot
Wouldn't it have been funny if gholam went after Mori - or would that have been blocked somehow? Doesn't sound like it from the smell test.
The Forsaken all have a mark that is detectable by Shadowspawn that prevents the Shadowspawn from attacking them. Alviarin received a similar (but not identical) mark from Shaidar Haran.
Ron Garrison
26. Man-0-Manetheran
Why is Avienda concerned about Olver?

Love that Elayne cussing up a blue streak, you summer ham!!! Maybe they didn't cure hams in Randland, and by summer they might be really spoiled and stinky??? Actually, I think RJ was just having fun with Elayne's determination to cuss like a sailor. And being so lame at it.

Gholum: I think the text makes it pretty clear that the gholum was not Moridin's. I've always thought it was Sammael's. He's hunting for stuff from the AoL, and it makes sense he would be the one to find it.
27. junior1234
"Can someone who was burned out, not stilled, be Healed?"

Just have someone explain to Nynaeve in a very contemptuous, condescending manner, the various reasons why it is impossible.

Speaking of Nyn, her dumping the entire last book on Teslyn all at once was probably not the best way of doing things. In fact, Nynaeve doing it in any possible manner was probably not going to work. But, is there anyone else who would have even tried? The other Aes Sedei certainly didn't.
Karen Jacobs
28. KJacobs
I had never picked up before now that the 'itch' the Gholam is feeling refers to Moridin's use of the TP. An already amazing story is just that much richer for all of the layers that this re-read has peeled back for me. Thanks Leigh!
Andrew Belmont
29. rosetintdworld
M-o-M @26:

ACOS showed both Avi and Birgitte getting really maternal over Olver, but it started as far back as LOC, when Olver confronted Avi for killing his parents, and made her confused and uncomfortable. (And probably guilty, although she denied that to Mat and herself immediately.)

Agreed--The gholam was Sammael's. He found it in the same stasis box as the angreal that later winds up with Graendal.
Lannis .
30. Lannis
aspeo @ 23: Re: Elaida as young, foolish and powerful.

True, true, she fits the bill, though I don't see her as young enough.

I was thinking more along the lines of a 15 year old with megapower who wants to use it only for Compulsion on the Warders or something... something obviously ridiculous and wrong, that would point out the flaws of the hierarchy. But that would mean the 15 year old would be AS in order for the other AS to consider her part of the hierarchy...

I just want that paradigm shift of "We've been doing what for how long?!"

Meh, that's enough lazy pondering for now... gotta pick some kidlets up from school.
31. Darth Touma
@rosetint and lostinshadow

I have been speculating about the whole "decay" thing. I ask because I noticed that the decay started being mentioned not after the bowl was used, but after Saidin was cleansed in WH. My question is.. is the decay necessarily the direct effect of the DO acting on the world or a nasty side effect of cleansing Saidin?

I mean, I understand that the two types of evil (Shadar Logoth v the Dark One's taint) are supposed to cancel each other out, but like in any chemical reaction, there is also a release of energy when two elements are joined (in the form of heat in the real world, normally). Would it not stand to reason that there was a similar release of "energy" when such a massive reaction occurred?

Just asking.. anyone have thoughts on that? Inquiring minds want to know..

32. Lsana
@16 Lannis,

I believe the "I must defer to her because she could beat me up" is exactly what's going on with the Aes Sedai. There's definitely an irony in the fact that the women love to complain about the men "settling everything with muscle" when the most significant society of women does things exactly the same way.

@17 toryx,

I agree on Elayne and Nynaeve insisting that the Kin keep Ispan. Why? It would be one thing if the other AS were demanding to have charge of her, the Kin didn't want to give her up, and Elayne defended the rights of the Kin to have some control over their own territory. But forcing the Kin to keep charge of her against their own wishes just annoys everyone and makes some sort of catastrophic screw-up that much more likely.

You may be right about the BA being responsible for what happened to Martine, but I actually kind of prefer the idea that it was some random ter'angreal. I kind of like the idea that even those aspects of the OP that appear to be entirely harmless can do something you don't expect. I feel it gives the OP a bit more of a sense of wonder.
j p
33. sps49
rosetintedworld @29 et al-

But why would the gholam be targeted at Mat? It's designed to kill channelers, right?

Placement at the stash does suggest correlation with Sammael's search, though.
Andrew Belmont
34. rosetintdworld

Sammael sends the gholam after Elayne after Jaichim Carridin proves too incompetent to kill her. In the same scene, JC tells Sammael that Mat is in town, prompting him throw Mat into the hit as a bonus. Hence the gholam's line: "He wants you almost as much as he wants her." It's in COS, Insects (can't check the chapter number right now.)

And remember that the gholam killed Barthanes Damodred and Herid Fel, so it's useful for channelers but by no means reserved for them.
35. peachy
@34 - Beat me to it. I couldn't recall the reference, but I was pretty sure it was established earlier that Sammael had found the gholam in a stasis box, and was using it as part of the his 'angreal acquisition scheme.
j p
36. sps49
All that is suggestive, yes.

I remember poor Herid Fel, but had forgotten Barthanes, dying in the shadow of Galldrian.
37. Iamnotspam
“So pull your nose out of our coats, you summer ham
You know those long round loafs of sausage meat that you cut cold to mix with crackers and cheese. I think that is a summer ham. Basically I think she is saying get your big fat long nose out of our business. Just the picture I got when I read it.
38. birgit
Did holding the TP alone kill Madic, or was there absent-minded killingness?

He seized the True Power without thought, the saa billowing black across his sight. His fingers tightened in the wrought-iron grille across the window; the metal groaned, twisting, not from his grip but from the tendrils of the True Power, drawn from the Great Lord himself, that wreathed around the grillework, flexing as he flexed his hand in anger. [...]
Abruptly he heard something other than the thundering drumbeat of his own fury. A bubbling sound. He looked at Madic curiously, and stepped back from the spreading puddle on the floor. It seemed that in his anger he had seized at more than the wrought-iron screen with the True Power. Remarkable how much blood could be squeezed from a human body.

The wind section mentions the Amayar prophecy that is later fulfilled.
39. iamnotspam
Another thought the gholam was given last orders by Sammael. When and if he finishes those orders will he be free to do what he wants or is he going to have to find someone to give him more commands. Is he on his own now or is he waiting to report to a dead man?

40. Lsana
@34 rosetintdworld,

The only issue with Sammael as the one who ordered the gholam is that Sammael's comments don't quite match up to what the gholam does. It's a bit of a stretch from "Cauthon's death would be convenient, but it isn't worth risking the mission for" to "he wants [Mat] dead almost as much as he wants her."
41. birgit
EDIT: double post
Matthew Smith
42. blocksmith
Generally have to agree...these two chapters are a lot of boring mixed with just enough interesting (call it poorly seasoned chicken) to make you hope it gets better in the next chapters. Which, in some ways it does...and then doesn't.


Count me in for wanting the "Healing of Satelle" scene...I think it might even be better than the healing of Logain/Siuan/Leane.


The use of Primitives further underscores the repeated under-estimating that the Forsaken apply to present day channelers. Even after being surprised so many times. This even with Moridin, likely more than other Forsaken, being privy to how Be'lal, Lanfear, etc., have died.

And I really want to see the Gholam unconstrained (which should be happening as soon as the present novel catches up to recent events in Shadar Logoth..3..2..1...). I would love a little poetic justice.

Moridin, sitting in his chair in the den of his mountain hideaway a short gateway trip away from Shayol Ghul, is busy bending rats in half, when a figure squeezes beneath the door. Death never saw death coming.

Sps49 @21+

Others have stated it but yes...Gholam from Sammael, hence the potential unconstraining once the Gholam realizes (if this is possible) that Sammael is no longer among the living.
Ron Garrison
43. Man-0-Manetheran
"long round loafs of sausage meat that you cut cold to mix with crackers and cheese" = summer sausage. That needn't spoil your image though, Iamnotspam. Imagine a big ham shaped nose!

re. gholam - on his own now waiting to report to a dead man - interesting...
44. Looking Glass
Re: Ranking by strength: does anybody else in the series who hears about it think it’s a good idea? Though I guess I can see how that system might develop in a War of Power-type scenario, where any decision-makers who couldn’t defend themselves would be primo targets for Shadow assassination, compulsion, and what have you.

Re: Younger, Stronger Channelers: Partly, sure, it’s the pattern revving up for the last battle. But even if that weren’t so, the distribution among the Sea Folk crowd would still make sense. Their delegation sensibly brings a bunch of senior, very experienced windfinders, plus a handful of the most powerful apprentices they’ve got. Sort of the optimal mix of political talent, channeling skill, and raw power.

Also, for all the powerful young channelers around, there are some older ones around too. Alivia’s several hundred years old. I don’t have my book on hand to check, but isn’t Sharina Nyn-level too?

Rosetintedworld@10: That’s the way it worked out, yes. Though had Aviendha not undone that gateway, Moridin would have known exactly where they went. And then he could’ve dropped a half-dozen Forsaken on them like he did at that other taint removal process.

Brad21088@13: Lan is acting somewhat different, yes, but I doubt anyone there but Nynaeve actually knows him that well. The other Aes Sedai have probably at least heard of him, and Elayne must have met him in Falme or Tear, but Nynaeve’s the only one there he’s traveled with.

Plus Moiraine kinda just died on him. Everyone else may be surprised enough just to see him alive.

lostinshadow@14: Yeah, Egwene gets gratingly tower-centric. This here isn’t so bad, really; her plan for the kin is pretty liberal, and we know she respects the wise ones. More annoying is how in later books, she seems to really hate the idea of Asha’man bonding Aes Sedai but have no problem with the reverse. Especially since by that point even the idiots she left behind in camp have somewhat adjusted to the idea.

Sps49@21: Moridin got mad and scrunched the balcony screen. And, unintentionally, other things nearby.

Aspeo@23: Elaida is a good example, though I’ve always been of the feeling she was rather less idiotic before she got a) Randland’s penultimate high-stress job, and b) some quality time with Fain. Before that, what little we see of her seems unpleasant, but perceptive even by tower standards.

I wonder if the Gholam will follow Mat into Finnland. I doubt it'll happen, really, but wouldn't it be awesome if.
Janet Hopkins
45. JanDSedai
re: summer hams
I agree with Cloud @11. The moisture in the air in summer would interfere with the curing process, whether it be smoking or salting. So the moisture would cause some spoiling. Of course, sometimes you would have to butcher hogs in summer, depending on various factors-- no feed or pasturage, lack of water, wild animal attacks, etc.
So the necessity for making a summer ham would be a catastrophe in itself as much as the ham.

But I had not thought of the connection of "summer ham" and "summer sausage". That might be true, too.

The real point is that Elayne did not know what it meant, just that it was a derogatory remark, and Lan is smiling because she used it right (wrong?).
Hugh Arai
46. HArai
Toryx@17,Lsana@32: One motive could be forcing the Kin to grow spines. It's harder to go "oh dear I couldn't possibly stand up to an Black Ajah Aes Sedai" when you've been dragging one around all day. It's a good idea, since many of the Kin are still doing the "poor defenceless us" at the end of KoD.

Re: Summer ham. I suspect it's a Borderlander insult Elayne picked up without getting the full context. That would explain why it would startle and amuse Lan, but just puzzle the others.
47. WinespringBrother
I think the involuntary ring comment refers to the questioning methods used by the Black Ajah, that were tortured out of Talene by Seaine and co. in KOD (Prologue).

As for the ham, that could be referring to Tessi's grandstanding, which only gets worse unfortunately :)
Thomas Keith
48. insectoid
Great post as always... thanks Leigh!

"Summer ham": Er... I'm going to agree with Blind @22... I'm not sure Elayne knows what she's talking about! ;) I do enjoy her (sometimes lame) attempts at cursing like a sailor, though.

Teslyn: Is going to go be a good damane for a while. Sorry, Tessi.

The unweaving stunt: Was one of my favorite scenes in this book, for some reason.

"Involuntary rings" = a'dam: Oh yeah... that makes total sense now. Yup.

Also, I kind of had to enjoy the irony of Moridin being all “How will I find those stupid stupid girls now??” and stomping out, only for the gholam to stroll in two minutes later all “I totally know where those girls are—ooh, look, lunch.”

Lucas Vollmer
49. aspeo
I wonder how the strength ranking system came about anyway. It obviously wasn’t from the AoL because they seemed to work harmoniously together for the most part, and linked with each other to do a lot of things.

During the war with the shadow and after the breaking the strongest channelers would obviously been seen as a great benefit. Afterward when the remaining women were trying to set up the Tower, and contending with other splinter groups of channelers who wanted to do things a different way, the women who were the strongest and most talented probably rose to the top in leadership roles. This would promote the view that stronger = better. This would be similar to a RL ancient army where a warrior who was stronger and a better fighter would rise up the ranks more quickly.

It could certainly be seen as an intimidation factor during negotiations or interactions between divergent groups if one leader and their top followers were much stronger than the opposing side.

If the white tower was founded on these principles and has stood mostly unopposed in its actions for around 3000 years this would ingrain a tradition of letting the strongest have their way no matter their age, because in the tower might makes right.

I seem to have given myself a possible answer to my own question, but what do any of the rest of you think?

Looking Glass@44 I agree with you in that I don't think Elaida was an idiot before her time with Fain. I do think she was impetuous, power-hungry, and self-centered though. Pretty much the kind of traits that would be exacerbated by Fain's corruption, and ultimately lead to the damane we know today :)
Matthew Smith
50. blocksmith

I don't think Moridin could have read the residues...it was Saidar, not saidin. He was watching the gateway and could tell something very different had happened instead of the normal ending of the weave based on how it disappeared.

Also, the Forsaken jumping on the cleansing scene was not, IIRC, due to reading the residues of the weaves, but from Moridin sending them to the MASSIVE amounts of Saidin and Saidar being channeled which was like the 1x10^6 x Mount Everest on fire to channelers.
Marcus W
51. toryx
Lsana @ 32:
I've always thought it was pure luck (or the blessings of the author) that the Kin didn't screw it up. Along with all the other things they were dealing with, that's just too much pressure.

That's interesting that you prefer the idea of a ter'angreal burning Martine out. I can kind of see what you mean, but I feel exactly the opposite. I like the idea of most ter'angreal being fairly harmless and the AS being so wary of something for all the wrong reasons. It seems like ter'angreal accidents would be perfect scapegoats for the BA over the centuries.

blocksmith @ 42:

I have to admit it'd be satisfying seeing a Gholam attacking one of the Forsaken. But not Moridin; he needs to be taken care of by Rand. I'd enjoy seeing a Gholam take out Halima or Demandred far more.

But I don't like the idea of this gholam going around killing all the channelers he can get his hands on like some sort of supernatural Jack the Ripper.

HArai @ 46:

I'm sure that part of the purpose of the whole thing was to force the Kin to grow spines. But it still strikes me as an awfully risky way to go about it, particularly considering Nynaeve's success at helping people build up their backbone just by being near them. And I can't agree that it's a good idea since so much could have gone wrong.

It is pretty funny how much Elayne and Nynaeve come to regret reinforcing the Kin so much later on.
James Jones
52. jamesedjones
Re: Tower focus on strength in the Power

Seems pretty clear when you examine the POVs that consider Morgase and Sorilea. The rationalization that, these individuals can't handle enough of the power to protect themselves, falls short when you're dealing with competent and strong willed individuals. So, you have to rely on the ivory tower mentality that the ability to handle certain weaves should be a test, and that strength in the Power should dictate ranking.

I don't think this was something that began with the start of the WT. It seems like something that would grow out of a handy excuse to exclude others.
53. Looking Glass
blocksmith@50: ...Ok, I feel a little silly for forgetting he couldn't see the residue. Though I suppose he could've gone and found Moghedien or someone to do it.

And no, the forsaken didn't find the saidin cleansing via gateway residue; I only brought that up because in both cases Moridin got upset enough about the respective untaintings to want to take action. It's just that for the weather one, he couldn't do much about it; for all he knew they could've gone halfway across the continent.
Tricia Irish
54. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh. Sooooo glad you are doing the reread with all your good humor, because, well.....YAWN.

You guys have already said it all.....

Finished the Dragon Reborn last night...again.... and have a few relevent tidbits, but, later....
Ron Garrison
55. Man-0-Manetheran
Whether or not Elaida has always been a self-absorbed idiot, according to New Spring she has always been a PitA!
Julian Augustus
56. Alisonwonderland
She finds a blue stone carving, an ivory box, a flexible black rod, a crystal vial with red liquid inside, and a brass figurine of a man with a book before Nynaeve comes over and asks if this is really the time to do this. She touches the black rod and jerks away, muttering that it “feels like pain”.

I wonder what those objects may be.

A blue stone carving ... perhaps a ter'angreal that has effect on the sea or storms at sea?

An ivory box ... could that be a stasis box, kind of like a tardis? For those not up on their Dr Who lore, a tardis is a device which opens into another dimension. For example, the outside might look like a telephone booth, but when you enter it the inside is the size of a house with many different rooms. Perhaps if they are able to "open" the box they might find all kinds of wonderful stuff (or a jumara!)

A flexible black rod ... something used to bind criminals in the AoL, or some kind of torture device invented during the War of the Power?

A crystal vial with red liquid inside ... most likely a coursouvra! I wonder whose it is and whether it would play an important part later in the book?

A brass figurine of a man with a book... I am thinking this is probably an angreal for a man, but since the objects being put aside have a kind of "resonance" with saidar, I suppose it depends on what is meant by resonance. Or is this the object that would be revealed in the later books to contain an entire library?
Hugh Arai
57. HArai
Toryx@51: I think you exaggerate the risk. The Kin had no trouble holding Nynaeve and Elayne after all. They did just fine while they thought they were runaways. It was only after they discovered that Nynaeve and Elayne were "gasp! Aes Sedai! gasp!", that the Kin fell to pieces. They have the capability. Anything else is in their head. Witness the one that out-nynaeves Nynaeve :) Really, the "poor little us" attitude of the Kin is the worst part of their plot line for me. The isolationist/bigoted Sea Folk are really annoying, but since none of the other nations/peoples have done much better without huge applications of Rand that's pretty much par for the course.

As for the gholam, I don't see him taking out any of the Forsaken. I just can't see them allowing Aginor to create something like that without ensuring they all had the control codes. No hard evidence for that, just observation of the way they interact.
James Jones
58. jamesedjones
56 Alisonwonderland

I thought the brass figurine of a man with a book was the OP e-book reader that Aviendha reveals in CoT.

Edit: a p-book reader, if you will.
Noneo Yourbusiness
58. Longtimefan
I know it is a bit late to get in on the noses in coats and hams made in summer but I had not seen this idea in the previous comments (53 posted when I came in today).

Teslyn is very much an Illianer as her speech indicates. My thought had always been that Elayne was not just flying out a few new metaphors but using specific insults that she may have been told were pertinent to the Ilianaer mentality. Granted I just thought that she would have known this from trying to overhear the retainers of outlanders or from her time spent with the worldly Thom and his never ending tales of wonder and amazement.

Teslyn not responding may be typical Aes Seadi not letting such things ruffle them or it may indicate that my little theory is a bit off.

I cannot remember what kind of coats Illianers wear but being a southernmost territory that is surrounded by swamps I canont imagine that ham in the summer would be particularly desirable.

Just my two cents for now. I have to get back to court for the wonders of Tri-met Tuesday. Wheee.
59. Alfvaen
Wasn't there something about how the CSI Aes Sedai reading the residues on Halima's victims could tell that they were killed by saidin, not saidar? Admittedly this doesn't mean that they could also tell what was being woven with the saidin, but it is possible to find traces of the other half of the OP.

Maybe the reason that the AS revere power and swiftness of training is because the Creator decreed that they would, so that the SuperGirls would end up at the top of the heap.
Chin Bawambi
60. bawambi
internet summer ham references:
"..breath as fresh as a summer ham" - 1999 episode of futurama (wonder if anyone who wrote for that show was a friend of WoT) since PoD came out in late 1998?
Also, interesting that a southern usage of summer ham can also mean watermelon
In doing this research I have heard a very very crude reference in some parts of the blogosphere to a woman being as fresh as a summer ham
None of these three make any sense to me - its just what I could come up with (maybe Mat made a ham reference in another insult that Elayne messed up??) in the limited time I had left in the office...
Julian Augustus
61. Alisonwonderland
JEJ @ 58:

Yes, that is what I was referring to ... I seem to remember that the object was said to be capable of carrying the contents of an entire library .... or were they two different objects, one to carry a music catalogue and another to read stored books?
Roger Powell
62. forkroot
Alisonwonderland, JEJ
It's in KoD that Avienda discovers her talent for discerning the purpose of ter'angreals.

The blue-stone carving has been hinted at as possibly a talisman of growing (e.g. as was done for the Ways).

The flexible black rod is some sort of punishment device as it can be used to administer pain (and is adjustable.)

The ivory box is an AOL iPod™.

The statue is indeed an AOL Kindle™.
63. Freelancer
RE: Replacing drought with decay

The decay is emblematic, not of direct dark one activity, but the connection between the Dragon and the land. This is a macro version of the fight scene at Falme. As Rand waxes in power and spirit, the land improves; as he wanes, decay advances


When Caire din Gelyn Running Wave takes control of the circle from Elayne, it isn't in any way an involuntary circle. First, everyone who joined had to put themselves at a point of surrender to be included. Then Elayne, while controlling the circle, had to do likewise to allow it to be passed. That Caire lacked any deftness, and the transfer was harsh on Elayne, is beside the point.

I too want to see Martine Janata restored, though much speculation has brought about a near consensus that while stilling can be Healed, someone who has been burnt out most likely cannot.

(Soapbox time) The thing the author was doing with all of the words which receive the most complaints, is carefully describing the slow, almost imperceptible, growth of the characters and events. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha are each different in these chapters than they were in the preceding weeks. Lessons learned, whether pleasant or harsh (and we know for Nynaeve it isn't learned until it's very harsh), information acquired, facts faced, have all served to mature and guide them, to shift their behavior and style of leadership. To say that nothing happens is to miss much. New information is brought into the open on virtually every page. The Moridin POV, the gholam POV, each tell us things we either didn't otherwise know, or didn't gauge the significance of. That Martine Janata is brought up here is not strange. That Elayne chose this time of local chaos to inspect the cache for goodies might seem to be strange, but her rationale when asked that exact question is valid, and proven profitable. Also, the Martine Janata bit as foreshadowing is closer to the reveal than many other examples where the seed is planted four or more books before fruit is borne. I mean, we are still waiting for Min to discover that her visions are NEVER wrong, as opposed to her present belief that one of them failed, a belief first established well before this point of the story.


No, the gholam was sent by Sammael. It apparently doesn't yet realize that in a sense, it isn't currently constrained, unless it has some embedded Compulsion to complete an ordered task.

Darren A. Jones@20

I have never believed that Egwene planned to drag, kicking and screaming, every channeler on the planet to come join the Tower in one way or another. Her desire is somewhat less Elaida-esque than that. She wants to break down the current barriers which the Aes Sedai use to separate themselves from the rest of the world's channelers. The Kin are those who ran away from or were kicked out of the Tower. Aiel and Sea Folk channelers have been hiding their ability from Aes Sedai for centuries. Egwene wants that to end. She has no plan to "enslave" anyone, you can be sure of that since she was a victim of an a'dam herself.

RE: Having the Kin hold Ispan. This is a no-brainer for me. The Aes Sedai would want to hide her pretend she doesn't exist, in an attempt to help everyone forget that the Black Ajah is real, and that the Tower is not infallible. Having her kept in the open, and controlled by non-Tower folks, is purposeful and a good decision.


Moridin squeezed the metal railing he was standing at, out of frustration. Then he realized that wasn't the only thing he squoze.


I disagree. Elayne has been practicing. Lan's reaction suggests that she got it right.

RE: White Tower heirarchy mechanism by strength in the Power. There has long been speculation that some connection has been made in the White Tower between one's natural strength in saidar and their intelligence, leadership, and initiative. If it is indeed true that traditionally the most powerful channelers were also among the best leaders, it would be more logical. It apparently doesn't consider common sense or psychosis, though. Elaida is intelligent, and has leadership abilities, or she wouldn't have set records attaining the shawl and acquired her position among the Red.


When Sammael reveals that he has "something" to deal with the Aes Sedai, he's talking to Jaichim Carridin, who has just informed him that Mat Cauthon is in Ebou Dar. So, Sammael told it to kill Mat as well as the SGs.

Gah, rose has that one already @34.

Oh, Leigh, almost forgot. Believe it or not, Alfalfa is an outstanding anti-allergen, with absolutely no side-effects except improved digestive and organ function. It saved my wife immense amounts of suffering while we were stationed at the edge of thousands of acres of agriculture on one side, a mountain range on another, and ocean-borne breezes blowing all of the pollen in the county against the hillside, which meant over our heads.
64. Freelancer

The flexible black rod is a ter'angreal for SPANKING. By channeling into it correctly, you can make a single blow deliver the pain of multiple blows, adjustable by the user/channeler.

The crystal vial is not a cour'souvra, those are described as wire cage & crystal contructions. Also, I would presume (with no evidence), that the blod and saliva used to set the mindtrap must be used very quickly after taking them from the body in order to work properly. This is suggested by the rapid motions Shaidar Haran is described as using when preparing Moghedien's.

The statuette of a man holding a book is indeed the "library" ter'angreal. Though it is described as being of age-darkened bronze, rather than brass.
Thomas Keith
65. insectoid
Free @64:
The flexible black rod is a ter'angreal for SPANKING.
That's so bad of you. ;D

Ron Garrison
66. Man-0-Manetheran
"The flexible black rod is a ter'angreal for SPANKING."
Does that mean we are going to call it the L-Rod?
Jennifer B
67. JennB
Greetings from the other side of the mountains. We went to the zoo and Kooza a few weeks ago. Spent alot of time riding MAX. My 2 year old loved it. He is obsessed with trains.
Roger Powell
68. forkroot
Another excellent post. Since it seems like all I ever do is pick nits, it's probably past time to acknowledge to the world that I usually agree with everything you write ::gasp!!:: In particular, I appreciate your spirited use of Occam's razor on such matters as Rand and the TP.

Back to picking nits though: There is the matter of whether or not alfalfa has side effects. My late grandfather used to take it but he complained that it made him fart worse than a barn full of cows.
69. Lily of the Valley
Re: Summer hams

I always assumed summer hams would be skinny and tough, since they haven't lived long enough to get fat yet. Considering Teslyn is described as bony and painfully thin, it makes sense in my head. x)
Noneo Yourbusiness
70. Longtimefan
JennB@67 Hope all is well in the East. Trains are great. The MAX is a big draw for kids here: the zoo stop doubly so because it is in a cool tunnel with big elevators.

On General Path of Daggersness, in general when I read this book I had waited and liked it as I was reading it but was perplexed that a wall fell on someone in the previous book and was not adressed at all in this one. AT ALL. Not that Mat interestes me as a character as I find him occasionaly more annoying than awesome. (sacrilage I know) Still someone under a wall should at least get a passing mention about being tended to.

I did like some of the small reveals that these chapters bring to the storyline.
71. peachy
The gholam discussion actually brings up something I've always wondered. So let's say Joe Myrddraal is wandering about the Blight with his fist of merry trollocs under Be'lal's orders. And then zap, Be'lal meets Moiraine.

Now, where does this leave Joe? Does he continue carrying out his last set of orders? Is he a free agent until the next passing Forsaken scoops him up? Does he report to a Myrddraal Re-Assignment Centre at Shayol Gul? Inquiring minds want to know...

(From the way other Forsaken discuss the gholam as a type, I think there's at least a possibility that those critters can act as free agents; they wouldn't be worried about them if they were guaranteed to not snack on Forsaken.)
72. Freelancer

First, my gratitude for the kind words, but now there are many folks here who are questioning your sanity (even more?).

I fear that the flatulence to which you refer as a side-effect of ingesting alfalfa isn't the alfalfa's fault, per se. It is the normal result of the digestive improvements I spoke of, for someone whose diet has left much "extraneous" material in the lower intestines/colon. The enhanced bacterial behavior which results from alfalfa consumption will indeed serve as a detoxifying/cleansing agent.

So I thank you for bringing this up, as usually, when recommending alfalfa in large doses for strictly digestive issues, I also warn about the need to remain within sprinting distance of a commode for one or two days. However, as an anti-allergen, it isn't necessary to consume quite so much as would induce that reaction. As with all things, YMMV
Vincent Lane
73. Aegnor
Urban dictionary mentions summer ham = watermelon. Never heard that one, and don't think it has anything to do with this instance, but...*shrug*.
craig thrift
74. gagecreedlives
Well as I dont think Elayne has the slightest clue what a summer ham is either let me give to you what I think Elayne thinks is a summer ham

John Massey
75. subwoofer
But, but, I like summer ham... sorry, have no idea, I am just happy we are beating this to death rather than some other fiery topics that I am not going into.

Power rankings- to me it boils down to "does might make right?" Reason I ask is because if you take a male system like the military, with all sorts of splinky soldiers and stuff, does the strongest one get to be leader? If so then Goliath was the man. Reality is that the strong ones are often cannon fodder and the smart generals, leaders, Mat type guys are the ones thinking their way out of situations. And they have their command and lead out of respect, not fear. Not saying that AS lead from a place of bullying... entirely, but Elaida did set a precedent on how not to use your strength.

Ispan-soooo... why isn't she dead yet? In this instance I am all for the scorched-earth policy of Egwene's. Kill them all, be done with it, nothing good can come out of letting them live.

BA oaths- see? This is where I was going on the last thread with making other members eat poo. Verin could have had so much fun.

And is anyone else still reeling from the reveal that Bela is a baddie? Harriet just shattered my faith in goodness there. Wah!

Yay for Piglet!

Tricia Irish
76. Tektonica
I just put some thoughts on TAR from the "Dragon Reborn" on the Open Thread, FWIW....trying to keep it alive!
Roger Powell
77. forkroot
Alas, many have (and do) question my sanity. Oh, on the other issue, wouldn't that be "YFMV"?

Um, I have a bumper sticker from last Fall's TGS signing tour that reads "Bela is a Darkfriend". Sorry to be the bearer of such bad tidings.

Lily of the Valley@69
Hey welcome back! Good to hear from you again.

Make new friends
Keep the old
The one is silver
The other gold
78. Freelancer
Yeah, I refused to take a "Bela is a darkfriend" bumper sticker. I asked for two of the "I killed Asmodean" instead.
79. MasterAlThor
"peeks in"

Hmmm, new post. AS power rankings. Free likes alfalfa and Sub likes pigs.

Ok, nothing to see here people....move along.

I said move along!!!

Jay Dauro
80. J.Dauro
subwoofer @75

Actually the girls are doing exactly what Egwene would want. They are not allowed to execute Ispan without bringing her to trial before the Hall first. From TGS refering to the BA execution in the camp
The law was known, the Hall had made it's judgment, and it had not been done in secret.

Although I would say it should be done quickly. If it weren't for the fact that they not want to be in touch with the Hall because of some bargaining, they should take Ispan right to the Hall for execution. That is, if the Hall would believe, which might be a problem.
John Massey
81. subwoofer
I dunno- I think an oops is called for here. As in "oops I seemed to of accidentally sheathed my sworn in Ispan". If the Tower really wants to take them to task about it make a show of a bunch of Warders and soldiers dropping swords all over the place- "see? We can't make this stuff up".

Why not keep rabid weasels warm in your pants while we are about it. The only good BA is a dead BA.

Sharon E.
85. Sulin
Feh, I'm late to the discussion. :grumblestupidinternetgrumble:

A couple of things-
I didn't catch on that Martine Janata = Setalle Anan. (I know, Duh!) or that involuntary rings = a'dam.

Elayne's cussing- I've always found her pathetic attempts hilarious.

Darth@31-Freelancer beat me to it (@63)


EDIT for: Thanks for a great job as usual, Leigh.
M-A-T- good luck on exams. Soooo glad that's behind me. :)
Jennifer B
86. JennB
Re Subwoofer@84

Except Verin.
89. Subbak
My point in bringing this up is that it is a reminder that the Creator and/or the Pattern has actually, in a subtle way, been preparing for the upcoming Last Battle just as much as the Shadow has. There’s no other reason, after all, for all these super-powerful channelers to just be happening to come of age now, all at roughly the same time as the Dragon Reborn, across so many nations and cultures.

Apparently,there has been some über-powerful channelers showing up before. Cadsuane of course, but also that 400-year old damane whose name I can never remember and who is supposed to help Rand die.
So maybe the Creator and the Pattern had been counting on the last Battle for some time.
Barry T
91. blindillusion
Someone else might have placed this opinion out there but:
Only Lan, staring at Elayne askance, appeared to understand, and he seemed . . . startled. And perhaps amused.
Lan's reaction to Elayne's curse. Startled that she'd know it...amused because she used it without knowing it's meaning.

Meh. To each their own.
92. Lurking Canadian
mean, what was the thought process behind it? "Oh, she can thump me good with the power, I'd better listen sharp to her!"?

Yes, this was the thought process. The Aes Sedai, both internally and externally in their interactions with the wider world, are Might Makes Right writ large. These are people who genuinely believe that "I can kick your ass" is a winning argument in a debate. As Tam recently pointed out, they are all bullies to one degree or another. It's so strange that Jordan would come up with such a scheme, being a military man. It's like, each spring, permanent ranks were assigned to the new graduating class at West Point based on their height at commencement. It's lunacy.

On involuntary rings: yes, it refers to the a'dam, but I'm 90% certain that in somebody's musings about the Black Ajah (either Egwene's after the visit from Verin, or one of the BA hunters') it is revealed that the BA force sisters into a link against their will when interrogating them, so I think there are two kinds of involuntary rings.
Chin Bawambi
93. bawambi
Thank you Lily - I will now accept your explanation of the summer ham comment as canon. Much better than hours of internet searching for no reason because there really is nothing to see here...
94. Vadim2
I think the whole thing with the "take your head out of your coat you summer ham" translates to "get your head out of your ass you piece of shit"
Alice Arneson
95. Wetlandernw
As usual, most of the obvious stuff has been said already... But I wrote this in Notepad as I read, so I'll post it as it stands, with maybe a few notes added.

That bit with noses, coats and summer hams... Was that Elayne trying some "colorful metaphors" or was it an Illianer insult? Lan being startled and amused makes me think either she got it just slightly wrong, or it was like Mat's thought - she knew "the sounds of the words but not their meaning." No one but Elayne, Teslyn (?) and Lan seemed to have caught it, so I'm thinking maybe Illianer insult, but... Yeah. What? (After reading all the comments, I'm leaning toward the idea that it may have been a Borderland insult, maybe picked up from Uno or one of his men, and she did that bit where she got the sounds right but clearly didn't really understand the meaning of the insult.) Edit to add... it's also possible that Lan's amusement might have something to do with the two halves of the insult being a very odd combination. :)

After some of the discussion here in the past, I was highly amused by Aviendha's thought that it seems silly to have hierarchy determined by strength in the power (something you're born with) rather than age. Not sure why age is necessarily more honorable, but oh well. At least there's a possibility of gaining wisdom that way... (And in response to some of the comments, I doubt that it was quite so ridiculous-looking in its origin. As some have said, there was probably a time that strength in the Power was fairly critical. Keep in mind also that it's not based purely on strength, but also on how fast you learn and how old you are. Strength is the easiest to judge, but, especially if two are fairly close in strength, the length of time you spent as Accepted and as a novice come into consideration, as does your age if it comes to that. If you think back through the books, the ones who are strongest in the Power are also, generally, the ones who spent the least time in training, while those noted as significantly weaker spent the longest time. How much of that is ease due to strength in the Power, how much to intelligence and how much to strength of will, we haven't been given any insights; it seems to me it would have to be a combination of those and perhaps other factors. Anyway, I think there may be something more to it than the obvious silliness of "if you're really strong you get to boss everyone else around" that it comes down to in this passage.)

And "Kirstian looks about 10 years older than Nynaeve" - who, by the way, looks at least 6 years younger than she is. And... Kirstian is about 300 years old. Whoooo!! For some reason I got a huge chuckle out of that.

RE: Egwene having all women who can channel be part of the White Tower... I don't think she really intended to make it a forced thing. Believe it or not, I don't think it has ever occurred to her that anyone might not want to be part of it, at least at this stage of the story. I think this, because it looks to me like she's thinking in terms of what the WT should be rather than what it is; in that idealized version, there's no reason for any woman not to want to be part of an association that brings together the best of all societies where they can share knowledge and all that good stuff. Of course, in the reality-style version, there's no reason any of the other women would want to be part of it, especially the Windfinders and Wise Ones. They have a perfectly functional situation within their own societies, and no reason in the world to put themselves under some other authority that's most likely to treat them as subordinate. And the Kin only want it because its the only way they know that the OP can be used freely; if it weren't so strictly enforced in Randland that the AS are the only legitimate channelling society, they probably wouldn't care either. Well, if she can pull the Aes Sedai's heads out of their collective hiding places and make them see reality a little more clearly, maybe she can create some form of alliance or association with the other societies. Only, of course, if she doesn't insist that the Amyrlin is over all of them... But I don't really think she will. She might have to get pretty clever in her manipulation of the Hall to keep them from setting the Tower up as the be-all end-all authority in the equation, but I really think she's too intelligent to think she could bring the Wise Ones and the Windfinders under the WT. Into (an association), yes, but not under.

Leigh - I still think one of Jordan’s more ingenious moves as a writer was engineering his cosmology so that “the plot needed it to happen” has an in-story justification. Clever Author. So very true! I get a kick out of this every time it comes along. You need it for the story, so, the Pattern needs it for the events, so, it happens. Very handy, that. Not even deus ex machina - just deus. I'm not sure which I find funnier - the clever ways he makes use of it, or the way it makes some people gnash their teeth over how "convenient" the solution is.

Leigh - ooh, look, lunch. Eewwww!

sps49 @21 - I thought Sammael had found/sent the gholam? From that stasis box he found, and Graendal wished the one she'd found had something more useful than streith in it... Or I could be misremembering. Wonder what happens to the gholam when it finds out its master is dead? Does it just have to hang around waiting for another Forsaken to find and command it? or is it free? It obviously isn't actually linked to its master; once it's been given a mission (especially with names named) it seems to be free to fulfill that mission however seems best to it, but if it accomplished the mission... then what? Or what if it happens to find out that the one who gave it the mission is dead? Or if another Forsaken comes along and sends it on a different mission? Pretzel time again. (I see others have gone down this path as well. Pretzel, anyone?)

the gingerbread monster @24 - The Sea Folk have a lot of ships; there's no guarantee that the Windfinder in question ever had occasion to see or know about Talaan, Metarra or Rainyn. They are all young, the two strongest still at deckhand status, so they wouldn't normally be in the company of Windfinders. So the other one (with Nesta) needn't have lied at all, or even had any intent to deceive, to say she'd never known anyone so strong.

forkroot @68 - yeah, me too. The first paragraph, not the second. ;) But everyone pretty much knows that about me by now. They seem to put up with me anyway.
Alice Arneson
96. Wetlandernw
Vadim2 @94 - You might want to at least try to come close to the actual quotation before you start to "translate" it. Elayne's words were
So pull your nose out of our coats, you summer ham...
a a-p
97. lostinshadow

Perhaps its my dislike of Egwene coloring my interpretation of her character but while I agree with you that it has not occurred to Egwene that others might not want to join the new and improved White Tower, I think that once she realizes they don't, she will try to somehow bully them into it and she will definitely want the AS to be top dog in and Female Chaneller's Federation they set up.

That by the way might not bother the Wise Ones, who from what I can tell want to go back to the waste and their isolationist policy with as many of their people as can be saved but the Atha'an Miere might wish to be more involved and both sets will definitely not want to allow any kind of AS recruiting within the societies.

Egwene is too into the White Tower and all it stands for to let any chanelling get away from her. I just don't have that much faith in her.
98. Jonathan Levy
A small detail I hadn't noticed until the re-read: both Moridin and the Gholam were watching the supergirls go through the gateway.

"To follow, or not? The man who had wounded it was not with them; it had made sure of that before leaving the high vantage place"

I had always assumed that the person Aviendha saw was Moridin, who afterwards moved behind some iron grillwork. But Moridin was hidden the whole time - it was the gholam which was visible.

So why didn't the gholam attack? It can't be harmed by them, and it saw that Mat wasn't there. It's like a fox idly gazing at an open chicken coop and doing nothing. Why did it wait?
j p
99. sps49
Was Elayne being too hasty when disposing of the items that didn't give her any sensation? Could they have been male *angreal? Would something like the library be usable by either half of the Source?

subwoofer @81-

Ispan was trying to escape, honest!
100. jadelollipop
RE: weasels @81 Had mental image of Phineas and Ferb episode "Squirrels in My Pants" LOL. Hey Ferb, I know what we are going to do today
Maiane Bakroeva
101. Isilel
Aviendha cannot explain to her that she is ashamed of how she was actually enjoying talking about dresses and such;

And heaven forfend if one of female characters who isn't a Brown doesn't become clothes-obsessed ;), even though it seemed not her thing at all when first introduced and also goes against her culture. IIRC Avi suddenly became a prig in ACOS, too, thinking that Elayne was displaying too much cleavage (sic!). What happened to you, girl?

Re: alliance of (female) channelers. I don't understand the kneejerk reaction. It is necessary for working out uniform standards for what is acceptable use of OP and what isn't and to prevent channeling-based crime and warfare from getting out of hand.
Tower failings here or there, they _did_ largely prevent this for 3 millenia - and fear of the Tower also caused the Windfinders and the WOs to evolve towards discretion. WOs were in fact directly influenced by the 2 AS in Rhuidean, let's not forget that.

Anyway, now this is gone and needs to be replaced with something else and hopefully better. Several squabbling channeling organizations could tear what is left of Randland after TG apart.

Sharing of knowledge, exchange of trainees and finally the ability for a few people who really want it to transfer into an organization that fits them better would all be excellent things, too.

Speaking of Power hierarchy, yep it always seemed counter-intuitive to me too, as we have seen many examples that strength in OP doesn't correlate with intelligence, leadership ability or even strength of will, all that much.
I mean, Morgase, who can barely channel, was able to throw off Compulsion, but Elayne wasn't.
It really shouldn't correlate with fighting ability as strictly either - one would think that speed, skill, knowledge and cleverness would be essential there too, but it is true that with few exceptions so far raw strength seemed to beat everything in WoT, at least one-on-one. Sigh.

The sad thing is that AS who spent long time in training due to weaker channeling ability are bound to be much more educated, too.

Couldn't say that I'd like gerontocracy for a hierarchy, though. It may have worked for WOs so far, because the Waste quickly killed the foolish, so there was some measure of worth in surviving to great age. But with all the new abilities that's no longer the case either.

How about meritocracy? With added bonus that the AS would have to forgo secrecy to advance.

Sps @99:

Was Elayne being too hasty when disposing of the items that didn't give her any sensation? Could they have been male *angreal?

Let's not forget that the cache had been gathered by the female channelers - the Kin. They picked up and hid items that _they_ could feel were connected to OP. So, no.
Also, Elayne did recognize what is likely the The Talisman of Growing - which was made with saidin and utilizes saidin, as a ter'angreal, so there.

Sorry, Elayne-haters! No fodder for you here ;).
102. Looking Glass
On Egwene’s Tower-centrism: the “all women who can channel” thing didn’t bother me so much: we know her plan for the Kin is really pretty liberal, and we certainly know she respects the wise ones a lot. Probably more than she respects most of her fellow sisters. She isn’t going to just assume non-Aes Sedai are silly inferior cultures that can or should be bossed around.

What I did dislike, though, was later, when she was so repulsed by the idea of an Asha’man bonding an Aes Sedai but had zero problem with the reverse. Yes, that’s a complex issue, what with the differences in the bonds and the consent issues on all sides, plus the now-historical taintness, but her knee-jerk reaction was kind of grating. Especially since even the obnoxious traditionalists she left behind in the rebel camp seemed to take the idea better.

On Ispan: they probably haven’t even realized there are black oaths yet- even the tower crew working with the rod only realized the possibility once they nearly killed a rebel spy by accident. And oaths or no, they have gotten useful intelligence out of captured blacks before; that’s what led them to Tanchicho.

And taking a sister in and forcing her to publicly admit to the hall that she was black would be irrefutable evidence that the BA did exist. A regular sister couldn’t falsely admit to being black, after all.

Plus, do we really want team light playing extrajudicial murder squad?

I’m not saying they made the right decision; maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. But it’s not like they didn’t have any good reasons to keep her alive.

Subbak@89: Yes, Alivia is several centuries old. And while I think Sharina aged normally, she’s still a Nyn-level channeler several generations older than the SGs.

Isilel@101: On clothes-obsession: I agree with this point in general, but I think Aviendha’s comments about Elayne, specifically, are more a function of their close relationship. She may not approve of WOT extra #6829 falling out of her dress, but doesn’t really care enough to comment. She’s more concerned when she thinks her near-sister is dressed like a streetwalker.

On another note: the Wise Ones aren’t a gerontocracy- Sorilea is both old and In Charge, but those two aren’t directly related. They basically act like a loose meritocracy, actually- there’s no set hierarchy, and they just listen to whoever is the most respected and can defend their opinions. And then they make up their own minds. Not a bad system.

Not totally flawless, of course *coughcough* Sevanna *cough*. But probably the best system we’ve seen in Randland.
Tricia Irish
103. Tektonica

I hope you are right about Egwene. I didn't like her at the beginning of tEotW, when she was just a nervous, defensive kid. I started to like her a lot with the Wise Ones, and as she became open to different ways of involving the various channelling groups, ie., the Aiel, Kin and SeaFolk, but in the last book, she seemed more traditionally Aes Sedai and was approaching "rigid". Siuan had a big influence on her concerning the oath rod and even Egs was going on about "guiding" Rand. I started to worry. Anyway, hope you are right, because if she's rigid about female channelers, lord knows what she'll think about the Asha'man and the cross bonding, etc. Yikes. A whole new kettle of fish! And cooperation between the men and women is a major theme in these books, so you know this has to be addressed. There sure is a lot to cover in two books!

Isilel@101: Some good ideas for the Tower. I like the idea of a Federation, shared knowledge and transferability between groups, voluntarily. The Chanellers could provide real service to Randland in many capacities, while cooperating with each other, maintaining independence, and adhering to the codes re: channeling the OP.
Matthew Smith
104. blocksmith
Jonathan Levy@98

Possible that it was the Gholam not Moridin that Aviendha saw, but we get the viewpoint from Mat that the Gholam looked like an ordinary person. He did not describe the sense of foreboding that Aviendha did upon seeing him. Of course, he was also a touch pre-occupied with watching a Kin get killed and then trying to save himself from it to maybe get that sense of foreboding.

Plus, I think the Gholam coming out after Moridin had left...even longer than after the SGs had left...indicates it was likely Moridin that was seen.
John Massey
105. subwoofer

Weeeeeeeeeee Weeeeeeeeeeee Weeeeeeeee

All the way home:)

Wouldn't let me post this yesterday:(

John Massey
106. subwoofer
Moridin was the baddie that was seen. His comments in regards to what the children of this age can do re:
- Warder Bond
- Healing Stilling
- Unraveling weaves
-curing the common cold
-putting caramel in the Caramilk Bar

It baffles him, which really makes me wonder what was lost. We hear about the Age of Legends but as things come about, Randland has advances since the breaking of the world. I see the parallels to RL though as various think tanks have noted. Breaking to WWI or II and the healing of rifts and changing nations are starting to be outpaced by modern inventions. As in Randland, it seems like the current activities are leaving some of these methuselahs in the dust.

107. Freelancer
RE: Wise One heirarchy

It's ji'e'toh, y'all. She with the most ji wins. It's honor before age, age before beauty, beauty before strength. Well, something like that.

RE: Aviendha and clothing issues

She doesn't "suddenly" become a prig. Aiel have always been modest in public. It's just that certain places which might seem public to non-Aiel are considered otherwise by them, such as the sweat-tent. Not at all different from the baths in Shienar. It clashes with a more uniformly modest culture, for certain, but their behavior, including Aviendha's, is consistent. Even before her discomfort over Elayne's clothing choices, she is disturbed by other wetlander (not you, Wetlandernw) women exposing certain areas of skin that should otherwise only be shown to spouses. Except, of course, when someone's completely unclothed, which is different. ::sigh::

RE: Egwene

So many are absolutely certain that she's as egotistical as Elaida, and will turn into a Tower tyrant at the first opportunity. That there is no evidence to support such an opinion is beside the point. Being the ultimate "ooh-ooh" girl gets you a rep that's hard to quash.

Yes, she has some growing up yet to do, yes she still has a big blind spot when it comes to Rand, and yes, her displeasure about Asha'man bonding Sisters is imbalanced with her reaction to the opposite. That doesn't mean she's going to be so arrogant as to grab unlawful control of everything, like banking, health care, the auto industry. . .

Err, ahem. Egwene, yes. She's more reasonable than she is often accused of, that's all.
David Platt
108. The Not So Dark One

So its more a sense of boding? Or is it a sense as its happening...more he got a happening of boding.

Matt faced the Gholam as he whirled the medallion around his head - all these bodings were really getting him down - he should have listened to his 6th sense back when they were a sense of foreboding.....

post boding is probably not a real word and this post should definatley give the readers of this blog a sense of foreboding- but hey for those of you who read this far ...hindsight is twenty twenty.

Andrew Belmont
109. rosetintdworld
Totally random, but I just noticed that Tor has "scheduled" all of the re-read posts for the first time, implying that all the posts on TPOD from now on will cover two chapters, except for the last post on Chapter 31.

My question is, do Leigh and Tor.Com realize that Ch 31 is a 1 page long "rumors fly" chapter?
Tess Laird
110. thewindrose
On Egwene's plan to get all channeling groups together: I think the two that will be completely together are the Tower channelers and the Kin. She wants other outside groups to be be a part of the Tower somehow, but I don't think she has this part completely thought out yet. I know she has envisioned having Accepted apprenticed out to Wise Ones or Sea Folk, but is still reasoning out how these different groups would be connected to the tower. Would their actions be held accountable to the Amyrlin Seat? There are also the male channelers to think about as well. What about the Seanchen?

I think this may be one of those things that isn't resolved by the end of the series. That all these channelers will need to work together at TG is a given - but this will be a temporary alliance.

I do like how Egwene shares all her knowledge with all the sisters she is with. Remember when Beonin goes back to Elaida and shows her all the new weaves? Elaida will not share them with the rest of the sisters!

Count me in as one who would like to see Martine Jenata / Setalle Anan be able to channel again. She does not suffer fools, but isn't the bully that some other Aes Sedai are:) Good speculation on if she was on to something and she 'accidentally' burned herself out by help from the BA. I haven't come across anything that points to this one way or the other.

Since this Gholam hasn't thought about killing Herid Fel or Barthanes Damodred, is it possible that there are two running around?

111. earlgrey
re: burned out
Why can't you graft?
Tricia Irish
112. Tektonica

I hope you don't think my comment @103 was a rage against Egwene. I'm just concerned. The girl has a lot on her plate, and she's new at the job. It's nice to have fresh blood in charge and she has had a pretty well rounded education from the Aiel, Kin and Siuan, and she's a very smart cookie. My hope is that she is very innovative re: the Tower, because she's gonna have issues....

Finding a way to work with the Asha'man
Integrating the various groups of channelers, as well as the MEN
The Seanchan
Tar'mon Gaidon

Yeah, a lot to get to in two books, and that's just one character, with various plot lines, of course.
Lucas Vollmer
113. aspeo
@thewindrose & others
I agree that Martine Janata mysteriously being burnt out seems kind of odd, especially since she took great precautions and went extremely slowly. It was right around the time that the BA seemed to start becoming more active. (although that could be my imagination ;) )

It's said in the book that the sisters were afraid to even touch anything in her old room for fear of being burnt out themselves. I think this would make a nice environment for a BA member to secretly study what she was working on uninterrupted.

*Crazy theory warning*

What if this object was a powerful ter'angreal that would help the light, or even more specifically the Dragon Reborn?

Also, what if Verin, although not the one to burn Martine Janata out hopefully, was given the task of obtaining and studying the object(s) for the BA? What if she happened to write those findings down in her coded notes for Egwene to find after she offed herself?

Well that's my crazy idea anyway lol
a a-p
114. lostinshadow
I have often admited that I don't like Egwene so I am more than likely biased against her.

Still, assuming that they make it through TG, I don't see how her plans to haver a tower centric approach to female chanelling can work. Like the windrose pointed out, how would the power structure work between the WT (including Kin- which I have no problem with) and other already established female channeling groups like the WO? I can't image there not being some sort of power struggle out of this.

This may be going a bit too far into the "future" but, it's not clear why there should even still be a WT, why not have a coed Tower that overseas all channellers, from all over the world? with teachers from all over the world? kinda like OP High? and Uni for that matter.
Jennifer B
115. JennB
Why do people think that there is a difference between stilling and burning out? I have always believed that the terms refer to the same condition, the only difference being whether it was done on purpose or accidental.
a a-p
116. lostinshadow
I am sure the gurus will provide a detailed answer with proper references but from what I recall, stilling is more like a cut, the "access link" between a person's channelling ability and her use of it is simply cut. What Nyn does is essentially superglue the connection back together.

Burning out on the other hand presumably overloads and obliterates the access link completely so there is nothing left to heal.

Maybe an analogy could be an electrical circuit? stilling/gentling would be cutting the wire without any other damage to the circuit so a proper repair of the wire makes the circuit operational again. whereas if the circuit were to overload, the whole thing would burn out and be unfixable.
Lucas Vollmer
117. aspeo
I believe that stilling is more akin to a dam being put in between the one power user and the source. It's still there, but can't be used.

Being burnt out is more like the user being completely cut off. They cannot even sense the one power.

This is why Siuan could feel something through the a'dam on moghedian, but Setalle Anan could not feel anything when she tried to wear the a'dam on her wrist when they were trying to flee the city.

Edit: lostinshadow beat me to it :)
118. MasterAlThor

Did Wetlander just say????

Nah, she couldn't have....

Not sure why age is necessarily more honorable, but oh well.

Yep, she said it.

I will quote Nynaeve(gasp) to answer this.
Her thoughts actually....she couldn't wait to get her first gray hairs.

Gray hair is the universal symbol of wisdom. Now not all gray haired people are wise, but surely Wetlander, you are wise. Freelancer,RobM2, and even Sub are wise.

Yes you can be wise without the gray hair, but we all know from watching the SuperFriends stumble and bumble through everything, that had they been more learned in the ways of the world that they wouldn't have made certain mistakes. IE deals with Seafolk.

I don't care how much stronger, faster, or more knowledgable about basketball, football, or chess or whatever my kids are, I will still beat them into the dirt because I have experience.

So that is why age matters. In my opinion anyway.


By the way, there are others out there who I didn't mention as being gray and wise. I am sorry I didn't mention you by name (Tek). I will try to do better next time. Although I would pretty much end up putting you on a list you may not want to be on. But I still love all you guys.
119. Freelancer

Oh no, I wouldn't include you in those particular thoughts about Egwene. I'm speaking of those who presume that she is power-hungry and borderline tyrannical.

RE: Stilled vs burned out

The comparison between Siuan/Leane and Setalle Anan is the most relevant. Siuan could have walked around with Moghedien on the a'dam and been unaffected, and even though she couldn't access saidar through it, she could sense it's presence. Setalle felt nothing, and the a'dam behaved as though nobody was wearing the bracelet, producing the pain which was then fed to both Joline and Setalle.

This distinction leads to a belief among readers that if you cannot sense saidar's existence, you are beyond recovering access to it.


Twice each year, on Memorial Day & Labor Day, I spend upwards of 4 hours on a volleyball court at church picnics, proving each time the truism:
Old age and treachery defeats youth and exuberance. Every. Single. Time.
a a-p
120. lostinshadow
I don't think Egwene is power hungry though I do think that she has the potential to be tyrannical.

I think she is very driven, and that due to her habit of submersing herself completely in whatever culture she is in at the time, that drive has the potential of being too focused on a particular goal with little or no thought to possible collateral damage.

Not sure I'm expressing this well but to me it's like she puts on some kind of blinders which then give her tunnel vision to whatever goal she may have in mind and I do see in her the possiblity of bludgening anyone and anything to get to that goal in front of her without any genuine thought as to what may fall by the wayside.

To me her dismissal of Siuan in tGS is a symptom of this...having triumphed in her captivity and now unconditionally the head of the WT (important goal of hers) Siuan was conveniently dissed and tossed aside.

Re: age and wisdom. I would add a corollary that just living more years is not enough for wisdom, life experience is the crucial ingredient here.

For example presumably Free and Master Al Thor can beat the younguns in various sports due to the experience they have gained in playing said sports for a much longer time than their opponents. It is unlikely that a fit (say one who runs regularly) older man who has never played volleyball or any similar sport could enjoy similar skill over a younger set. :)

hey my at the time 75 year old grandfather used to regularly beat me in tennis even though I was on the varsity tennis team and a good 60 years younger. I knew I was supposed to make him run, hence tired but somehow that never actually worked out (for me anyway, he had no trouble making me run all over the stupid court). Like Free said, beaten by old age and treachery every time.
Jennifer B
121. JennB
So it is the a'dam's fault.
Thanks everyone.
122. Lsana
The problem with Egwene's idea of integrating the various groups into the White Tower isn't going to be the Kin. The Kin are essentially wanna-be Aes Sedai anyway: they, like the Tower, are a society of channeling women from various nations. Their primary purpose is to provide guidance for channelers and enforce certain rules. They have different rules and methods from the Tower, and their would have to be some compromises, but the goals are more or less the same.

The Wise Ones and the Windfinders, on the other hand, are nothing at all like the Tower. For a start, they aren't groups of channelers: some members of each group can channel, but rank and membership aren't determined by that ability. They are groups devoted to a particular society: they would be unlikely to transfer their loyalty to the White Tower, and they certainly aren't going to put the White Tower over their own people. They aren't interested in channeling as an abstract concept as much as they see it as one of many possible tools to accomplish some particular goal.

Trying to bring the Wise Ones and the Windfinders under the White Tower strikes me as a foolish idea, trying to put the proverbial square peg in the round hole. Egwene would more or less have to force it in there, and the process would almost totally destroy it.
123. Freelancer

Yep, gotta have both. Age alone doesn't get you anything but creaky joints. Couple age and extensive familiarity with an activity, and you rock the casbah.

The other secret in my case is to not let the humbled youngsters see me for the next three days, while I'm barely mobile and recovering from those volleyball sessions.
124. alreadymadwithsummerham
Rand? He read residues and followed both Ishamael(before he became Moridin) and Rahvin into TAR. Rahvin also happened to use that same Talent against him by using an outgoing gateway as bait. Forcing Rand to reveal himself or lose the trail.

CloudMist @11
I just thought Summer Ham tended to spoil more quickly, but according to urbandictionary, a summer ham is a watermelon. Which makes absolutely no sense as an insult.

Darth Touma @31
Things spoiling is just the Dark One exerting more effort now that his 3000 year trump card is gone. Things had already been spoiling before then, but with Rand getting nuttier, and the land tied to him, there was practically no mitigating factors against it.

Freelancer @63
Strength in the Power is also tied in to will power. The stronger one is in the Power, the stronger the temptation to use it and overextend oneself in doing so. Hence those who survive or resist the temptation must also have stronger wills.

Man-o-Manetheran @66
Or the S&M rod?
125. Hrothgordo
As to the absurdity of the AS power system, I think Jordan meant to show it as another issue of the “ivory tower” situation.

All of the other channeling groups are an adjunct of their culture and follow the general rules of the culture hierarchy

Wise Ones = honor,
Sea Folk = Ship Crew
Kin = guild rank
Seanchan = caste

The first two are even adjuncts of specific groups within a culture, as there are Wise One and Windfinders who cannot channel. The Kin can be viewed somewhat the same as so many are Wise Women of Ebou Dar. And although damane are a very specific group in Seanchan culture they are undoubtedly part of the same slave caste as da’covale.

In the Tower you have a multi-ethnic group of only channelers, most of whom are from royalty-based nations. Without a rank of station, and with the Ajahs representing very different goals and opinions it seems likely that confrontation became the source of settling disputes; either through political force or actually dueling with the OP.

In cases of Ajah and Tower leadership, and direct proxies thereof (like the Embassy to Rand) decisions are made mostly on aptitude and political power. And in those cases AS do directly follow a specific chain of command.

But in all other things, it’s the wild, wild west.

Suiane states directly that dueling was common in the Tower at one time. It seems obvious that a power structure evolved directly to deal with this issue. Measuring the ability and factoring in the time spent as novice/accepted would come out to the same thing the majority of the time.

I believe Egwene’s statements are being taken too literally. She means for the Tower to be a bastion of knowledge and learning that can act as a sorority of channellers. One that can understand the world through it’s members and act as bridge between cultures and politics.

Her knowledge of the Aiel culture, and her own declaration of “no one subjagates the Aiel”, seem to confirm that she is not going to force everyone to become AS. Even if you could get the WOs to accept such a demand it would decimate the Aiel (and even destroy whole clans). .

In the end I think that we will see, similar to the Sea Folk, a demand that new channelers must receive some training at the Tower, share new discoveries and treat other channlers as “sisters”.
Tricia Irish
126. Tektonica

I think she is very driven, and that due to her habit of submersing herself completely in whatever culture she is in at the time, that drive has the potential of being too focused on a particular goal with little or no thought to possible collateral damage.

I had a friend that whenever she traveled, came back talking with the accent of whichever place she had visited. Egwene does some of that culturally too. She learns a lot that way and hopefully assimilates some of it. It remains to be seen whether she can integrate what she has learned and knows to make a new working model for the WT.

She still has more to learn too, ie: The Asha'man!
Karen Jacobs
127. KJacobs
Re: Summer Ham

Thought it was funny that when I did a Google search for summer ham + derogatory, I got this: "Swearing, Insults, and Slang in the Wheel of Time - Tar Valon Library" :)
a a-p
128. lostinshadow
maybe if she can integrate using saidin? (hopefully as the bondee rather than the bonder - sorry can't help it, don't like her)
Tricia Irish
129. Tektonica
Master Ancient Al'Thor@119:

I am flattered you might put me on a wise list, but forget the gray and wise list....you'll never see a gray hair on my head, uh uh...no way, no how....
Marcus W
130. toryx
Tektonica @ 126:
I had a friend that whenever she traveled, came back talking with the accent of whichever place she had visited. Egwene does some of that culturally too.

I'm like that myself. Whenever I travel I try to adopt as many of the cultural behaviors as possible and do my best to fit in rather than stand out. Though granted, the accent thing probably has the opposite effect (for myself, I can't help it).

The problem I see with Egwene is that she doesn't just take on their behaviors and habits. She takes on their prejudices as well. And I don't think, so far at least, that she does a very good job of integrating her experiences. There's a little of that, particularly when it comes to the Aiel, but by and large she tends to assume a new culture's habits and prejudices so completely that she forgets the previous one.

She's kind of a chameleon. But I often get the sense that she forgets who she really is when she's so busy becoming the epitome of whatever culture she's currently embraces. Or maybe it's just that she doesn't know who she is?
Hugh Arai
131. HArai
The big problem I see with integrating the WT mindset (including Egwene) with the other channeling groups is that in the WT way of thinking, channeling trumps everything else. A channeler is considered superior to any non channeler. The Aiel and Sea Folk cultures don't follow that. Channeling is simply a very useful tool. I hope Egwene can adapt to that, I don't know if she can.

On a similar note, all the female channeler groups are going to have to adapt to the fact that they don't have any natural right to control male channeling. They've been in charge of channeling because they've been the only game in town. This is no longer the case. I suspect the point where Rand "knows the anger of the Amyrlin Seat" is the part where he sets her straight on that.
Jay Dauro
132. J.Dauro
At JordanCon Maria was on the panel for a number of sessions, and she would sit with a poker face, occasionally handing out a RAFO card when required. After one session, I asked if she enjoyed watching us argue back and forth about all sorts of points from the books (both large and small.) Her answer was basically that it amused her tremendously. And I feel that RJ was the same way. So I am sure he is somewhere looking at this blog laughing about how much fun you can have throwing in a nonsense "curse" and watching what people try to make of it.

But I still love "bloody buttered onions. "

And although I know many wise folks who are "old and grey", I know many old and grey who are anything but wise. And many young wise ones.
Tricia Irish
133. Tektonica

I completely agree. You said what I meant...she is a chameleon. She changes whenever she encounters a new culture/situation. She was anti-oath rod (Kin influence), now she's pro-oath rod (Siuan influence). I can only hope that she is growing and maturing by leaps and bounds, and that integration and assimilation will come to her, that she will find the core of who she is and what she truly believes to hang all this new input on. I do think she has good and honorable intentions.

I agree about blending in too....when I travel I try to dress as the culture visited does and adopt their habits, so I can be the observer, not the observed.
134. Lsana
@130 toryx,

That's more or less exactly how I feel about Egwene, or at least how I felt about her during the first 10 books. On the one hand, it's nice that she's open to new experiences and learning from other cultures, but on the other, I want to smack her and ask, "Don't you have any beliefs of your own? Must you copy everything from whoever happens to be leading you at the moment?"

By 11 and 12, she did seem to have done a bit better at finding some core beliefs and not going along with whatever everyone around her says. Of course, what everyone around her is saying was that she was just a novice and nothing she'd accomplished counted for anything; our "ooh, ooh" girl was not going to stand for that. We'll see how she is at holding on to herself now that she is back in charge.

@131 HArai,

The fact that Egwene left the Red Ajah intact is not going to help the WT in that respect. I know why she did it, and it was for all the right reasons, but I still think it was the wrong choice.
Matthew Smith
135. blocksmith

A Clash reference? You are showing your youth!
Hugh Arai
136. HArai
Lsana@134: That all depends if the Red Ajah themselves can transition from the man-hating, "it's just like men to become channeling madmen" mindset that they seem to have degenerated to now (likely from BA influence) back to what I suspect they started out as pre-Breaking: a protective group formed to locate and neutralize rogue channelers of either sex and possibly to locate any unknowing wilders as well.

It seems unlikely Rand and the Asha'man are going to accept being told by women that Saidin is still tainted. That sort of "we know better" arrogance is likely to cause conflict. So the female channelers better get over that in a hurry, and stop hunting down men because they're men. I don't see Rand objecting to catching rogues though, any more than Egwene objects to catching the BA. In fact I expect Rand himself is going to have to organize something of the sort as soon as the apparently inevitable confrontation with Taim takes place.
Janet Hopkins
137. JanDSedai
Interesting that the discussion has turned to Egwene, even though she is not even in these chapters, and the only reference to her is what somebody said she said!

You have to remember, by this time in the stories that Halima has been giving Egwene "massages" for her headaches. The primary outcome of these "massages" in to inhibit Egwene's true Dreaming abilities, but who is to say that Halima doesn't have some other plan afoot?

And as for searching Verin's rooms for clues/ *angreal; does anybody know where Verin's room *is*?! With the shuffling of the Brown Quarters and the novice wing, maybe Verin's room got lost in the "translation". I can see -finding Verin's room- as a whole sub-plot!
Rob Munnelly
138. RobMRobM
In honor of our fearless leader and her attention to the s-word method of corporeal punishment, I vote that we name the punishment rod the "But-stick."
139. Jonathan Levy

I dunno, after re-reading the text I'm even more convinced it was the Gholam that Aviendha saw. Here's her point of view from chapter 1:

"Aviendha’s eyes rose to the windows overlooking the stable-yard. Anyone might be hidden behind the white screens of intricate wrought iron and piercework carving. Tylin had ordered the servants to stay away from those windows, but who would stop Teslyn, or Joline, or . . . Something made her look higher, to the domes and towers. Narrow walks ringed some of those slim spires, and on one, very high, was a black shape haloed by a sharp nimbus from the sun behind. A man."

So there are windows with white wrought iron. But the man she sees is higher, on a narrow walk on a slim spire.

Moridin's pov: "From behind a screen of white wrought iron, Moridin watched..."

Gholam's pov: "The man who had wounded it was not with them; it had made sure of that before leaving the high vantage place"

So both Moridin and the Gholam watched the girls leave. Moridin was behind a screen of iron, behind which anything could have hidden. The Gholam was from a high vantage place. Aviendha saw a man on a narrow walk on a slim spire above the screened windows.

As for the nervous feeling, well, it could be a result of the circumstances rather than something intrinsic to the Gholam. Just knowing the Gholam's after you would make anyone nervous. Think of Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies.

I still think she saw the Gholam. I just can't figure out why it wouldn't attack.
Rob Munnelly
140. RobMRobM
@139. Encyclopedia WoT agrees with you, in its chapter summary.
Tess Laird
141. thewindrose
In tGS Sheriam asks Egwene how she knew about the Sheriam's allegiance, and Egwene said it was Verin. I am wondering if there will be anything to find, since the BA and likely Mesaana know about Verin from this - some of the BA escaped from the Salidar camp, and others hightailed out before Egwene purged the Tower. And Mesaana is still at large...
So very likely, Verins quarters have been cleaned.

Marcus W
142. toryx
Tektonica @ 133 & Lsana @ 134:

I'm glad we're on the same page with Egwene in all that. It's always nice to find people agreeing with you rather than constantly opposing your opinions. :)

Lsana: I agree that by 11 and 12 Egwene is more stable. On the other hand, she's been staying in the one culture (the AS & White Tower) for a while, so there was less cause for attitude shifting. And I also agree with Jan @ 137 that Halima's massages must have been having some impact on her. Though it's hard to say what exactly that is. Anyway, I think that the responsibility as Amyrlin to be of "all ajahs and none" will help her to find her equilibrium over time. She's going to have to grow very adept at finding balance and now that Halima won't be around to screw her up she's bound to succeed.

As far as the Red Ajah goes, I think keeping them intact is fine. But it's going to be necessary for the organization within the Red Ajah to go through a restructuring whereas AS who are not anti-men take charge and focus more on new members being dedicated to working with male channelers rather than capturing/ taming them. I think the potential is there, though it's got to take a long time for that to occur.

Jonathan @ 139:

Great analysis. I've always believed that it was the gholam Aviendha saw too and your quotes explain where that certainty was coming from.
Tricia Irish
143. Tektonica

Wasn't it a Red ajah member....name forgotten....who led the group from the tower to bond asha'man? I seem to remember some discussion of how Elaida would react to that. If my memory is correct, it seems there are some Reds who don't mind men so much. There is hope for them, after all.

I'm with you on the Gholam watching Avi too. FWIW.
Roger Powell
144. forkroot
The other secret in my case is to not let the humbled youngsters see me for the next three days, while I'm barely mobile and recovering from those volleyball sessions.
LMAO! Oh so true, so painfully true (as I know well from my own experience.)

I just thought Summer Ham tended to spoil more quickly, but according to urbandictionary, a summer ham is a watermelon. Which makes absolutely no sense as an insult.
Au Contraire. Just ask any pre-menopausal woman about being compared to something that retains water ...


I had a friend that whenever she traveled..
You know you've been spending too much time on WoT stuff when your first thought is: "Oh, so she knows the weave."
Matthew Smith
145. blocksmith
Jonathan Levy@139

I like the breakdown. I think you convinced me. Gholam it is. Interesting then that it was written that way...it always gave me the impression that the Gholam was watching Moridin who was watching the women below and then moved to Moridin's vantage point due to the sensing of the TP. And for lunch.
Rob Munnelly
146. RobMRobM
mine at @138 - ...or, based on the sound effect created, the But-crack....
Rob Munnelly
147. RobMRobM
In a land without refrigeration, presumably a summer ham would spoil quickly. So, this might just be a colorful way of calling Teslyn "rotten."
Chin Bawambi
148. bawambi
totally forgot to credit leigh with MOA

ooh, look, lunch FTW!
Barry T
149. blindillusion
Tek...is this what you're looking for?

Tsutama Rath orders Pevara, Desala, Javindhra, Jezrail, Melare and Tarna to go to the Black Tower to negotiate bonding Asha'man. (KoD,Epilogue)

Following Tsutama's orders, Pevara, Desala, Javindhra, Jezrail, Melare and Tarna Travel to the Black Tower and ask Mazrim Taim for permission to bond Asha'man as Warders. He agrees. (KoD,Epilogue)
Sharon E.
150. Sulin
Au Contraire. Just ask any pre-menopausal woman about being compared to something that retains water ...

hahahaha! Oh man, that's funny and sooo true!
Jennifer B
151. JennB
I really want to know what happened to them. It's like the wall falling on Mat. It was a cliffhanger ending that was totally ignored in the next book. We need to know what happened to Pevara. Hope it gets addressed in ToM.
Ron Garrison
152. Man-0-Manetheran
Ok, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty certain that a "Summer Ham" is a repertory actor in a summer dinner theatre. And the "pull your nose out of our coats" is a direct reference to "stay out of our wardrobe." I don't know what all the fuss is about....
Rob Munnelly
153. RobMRobM
@151. I'm expecting something like one of those Star Trek episodes where the crew ends up meeting exotic locals wearing flowing robes, spends a bit of time getting to know them, and then they start feeding each other grapes -- and then the evil superpowered god-like whatever comes and kicks them out of paradise.
Maiane Bakroeva
154. Isilel
Looking Glass @102:

Yes, that’s a complex issue, what with the differences in the bonds and the consent issues on all sides, plus the now-historical taintness, but her knee-jerk reaction was kind of grating.

Well, consent and being under constant Compulsion is a biggy.

But (dons asbest suit) IMHO as the things currently stand it _is_ much preferrable if female channelers bond male ones rather than vice versa. Namely:

1. It is possible to reliably weed out female DF channelers, but not male ones. That alone would make male bonding very dubious.

2. It is unknown whether the taint might have disastrous long-term consequences. This makes any man who ever touched tainted saidin unfit as a bonder.

3. The non-BA AS have rules that largely prevent them from misusing OP thoroughly instilled in them, the Asha'man don't. They could easily become loose cannons.

4. Populace is afraid of male channelers - and with a very good reason until very recently. It would be easier for them to accept them back into society if there was at least an illusion of them being under control.

5. Tower will be blamed for any channeler misbehavior, male as well as female as a matter of course, so taking steps to minimize it is only prudent.

6. We don't know if male bonding actually gives anything beneficial to the bondee, as the female one does. The POVs of bonded AS don't show any increased vigor, etc. OTOH, it makes it much easier to keep the bondee under constant Compulsion. I am not sure why anybody would want it.

Realistically, full reintegration of male channelers into society should take time - decades, if not centuries. I dunno if RJ/BWS are going to go there, though.
Tricia Irish
155. Tektonica
Forkroot@144; Don't I wish I knew the weave. With the airlines in such a state, it would be so handy to just walk through a Gateway!

Blind@148: Thank you, sir! You got it!

Mano:152: ROFLOL!

Isilel@154: Good points. So far the men have been taught little except skills in war and destruction, and traveling. Certainly some kind of broader "curriculum" would be a good idea and some vows or oaths or a code to live by or something besides Taim issuing orders. Rand has a big problem to deal with, and Egwene will have to find some way to work with a new leader of the men at some point, pre or post TG...Logain, perhaps???
David Weidendorf
156. Oberndorf
I actually always thought that Moridin's "involuntary rings" were Warder bonds. This is, admittedly, partially based on the fact that he expounds upon those bonds right after the involuntary rings.

However, there's a certain similarity in the "side effects" of the two phenomena. Both ring-participants and the Warder have a sense of the other member(s) of the connection, some level of shared senses. Dunno. Probably just a looney theory.
Hugh Arai
157. HArai
Isilel@154: Interesting points.

1. It is possible to reliably weed out female DF channelers, but not male ones. That alone would make male bonding very dubious.
While Egwene made a bit of headway I think it's way too early to say weeding out female DF channelers is reliable. Without Verin as an active BA mole, the only current method is constant repetitive monitoring and re-swearing of Oaths. Not easy to do with anyone without constant access to the Oath Rod, and presumably just as easy to do with men as women.

3. The non-BA AS have rules that largely prevent them from misusing OP thoroughly instilled in them, the Asha'man don't. They could easily become loose cannons.
They are bound by the 3 Oaths, but that's a matter of a real binding not a matter of personal ethics. Elaida = loose cannon. Our PoVs for White Tower training seem to be prep for learning weaves, maintaining AS political power and working around the 3 Oaths as needed. Not so much the "we are the servants of the people, and with great power comes great responsibility". Basically they have the 3 Oaths instead of actually being trustworthy people you can count on to stay out of human/human conflicts or to avoid bullying/harming people with the OP. Some of them are very much trustworthy, ethical people, but I don't see that it's WT training that made them so.

Tam vs Teslyn the "Summer Ham", who would you trust? Discuss :)

I agree the Asha'man need a code to take them beyond living weapons. That takes time, and Rand hasn't put in that time in his focus on the Last Battle. I hope the Rand/Taim or Logain/Taim confrontation I think is inevitable makes it clear to Rand he needs to put in the time himself or get someone dependable to do it. He owes it to the others to plan for them to live past his blood at Shayol Ghul.

4. Populace is afraid of male channelers - and with a very good reason until very recently. It would be easier for them to accept them back into society if there was at least an illusion of them being under control.
This is a good point. Unfortunately pretending they're only safe because they're bound to a woman would be a total travesty. Again, male and female channelers should be held to be safe because they choose to be safe. Any presently mad Asha'man would have to be taken care of properly because they're insane, not because they're men.
Anything else leads to inequal treatment and strife.

5. Tower will be blamed for any channeler misbehavior, male as well as female as a matter of course, so taking steps to minimize it is only prudent.
This is like point 4. The Tower presently has no authority over male channeling. If they admit it, it becomes the responsibility of the men doing the channeling,as it should be.
Alice Arneson
158. Wetlandernw
lostinshadow @97 - As you say, it comes down to one's interpretation of Egwene's character. I think she still has a great deal of respect for the Wise Ones - too much to make much attempt to force them into any association. I'm sure, given the opportunity, she would do her best to manipulate them into it, but I think she'd remember her apprenticeship too well to try any forcing. I agree that she's very much "into" the White Tower, but I don't think she's so power-hungry that she would try to force the others into submission to the WT. I honestly believe that she would desire some connection; I think her goal would be that all women, from all cultures, would have the opportunity to come to the WT, but they would not be required to do so. At most, they would be required to have some sort of training (like the WO and WF already do) to make sure no one dies unnecessarily. But... that's just my expectation. And several others have already propounded lots of logical approaches to the consolidation.

Jonathan Levy @98 - Why didn't the gholam attack? Gee, wish I had an answer for that.... other than that the girls didn't have any way to fight him off and it would have been really bad for the story line. ;) Maybe it loses cohesion if it hits the ground too hard, and knew it would take too long to get down by more normal means. It's a looney answer, but it's all I've got. BTW - blocksmith @104, Mat might not have gotten that "sense of foreboding" because he's not a channeler; the gholam were specifically created with the OP to be impervious to OP weaves, so it seems reasonable that channelers would have a different sort of sensitivity to their presence.

sps49 @99 - Was Elayne being too hasty when disposing of the items that didn't resonate with saidar? I wondered the same thing, but here's what I came up with. There's no way to know, of course, but it sounded like everything that went in the rubbish pile was fairly obvious rubbish: rusty breastplates, table legs, old boots, rotting fabric, etc. We've never seen any sort of *angreal that looked like garbage. To a non-channeler, it might just look like a nice little statue, or a particularly ugly ring, or some such, but not a broken table leg. The best reason I can think of for this to be the case with this particular stash is that the stashing was done by women - by the Kin, specifically - and they wouldn't have been able to identify any male-use-only *angreal to know that it should be stashed. In other words, they would only have saved things that resonated to saidar, along with assorted rubbish to hide the fact that they were stashing something of importance.

Freelancer @107 - Yup, all that. I can't even add, just agree. Again.

@several - About Setalle Anan... I'm just sure I remember reading somewhere that someone tried to Heal her, or maybe someone else who had been burnt out, but there really wasn't anything to Heal. In those who had been stilled, there was a sense of something having been cut that just needed to be bridged with the right weaves, but with the one who was burnt out, there were no ends there to be reconnected. Or something like that. Unfortunately, I simply cannot find that again, and since no one else remembers it, I'm beginning to think I imagined it. Maybe I Dreamed it...

aspeo @113 - I like it!! And I would say it's not really a looney theory, though there's nothing in particular to support it just yet. I think it would be pretty cool if it turned out that way. And who knows; maybe Nynaeve can Heal Setalle and fix her memory as well.

MasterAlThor @118 - Yeah, I'm not sure why I said it myself, except that I know some folks who have gotten quite a few years without becoming either honorable or wise. Overall, I actually think that age is a slightly better criterion than raw strength, but demonstrated wisdom is better than either. Which generally would count out the young-uns, because they haven't got enough experience to be all that wise, but wouldn't automatically put the oldest person in charge whether they were capable or not.

Lsana @122 - One nitpick - while in general you are probably correct in saying that the Wise Ones and Windfinders are too devoted to their own society to be willing to transfer that loyalty to the White Tower, we have a notable exception already. Talaan has begged to be taken to the WT; she wants to learn more uses of the OP than just manipulating the weather (which is the primary thing Windfinders do). Oh, and you can't be a Windfinder if you can't channel. Not all of them have much skill in Weaving the Wind, but I can't find a single reference to a Windfinder who can't channel. Anyone else??

IIRC, Egwene has not said that she wants all channelers UNDER the Tower, but that she wants them all to have part in it.

Re: Egwene and her chameleonity... I've never held that against her, because I relate to it too well. It usually takes experience and maturity, as well as exposure to various input, to sort out what you really believe. In the end, you usually find yourself with a melding of your upbringing and the points you found best in the different systems you encountered. So far, in general at least, I find that Egwene has chosen pretty well in the things she found best of the cultures she's encountered. The possible exception is the Aes Sedai and the Oaths; even then, it's more the implementation I have a problem with rather than the basic concept. So I have high hopes that she will amalgamate the best ideas of the Two Rivers, the Tinkers, the Aiel, the Kin and the White Tower to help direct the new (post-TG) organization of channelers, both male and female. Hopefully Rand will be able to work with her; if not, perhaps Logain's glory will be at least partly due to working with her to put it together.

Isilel @154 - Very well said. Yup. I was thinking something along those lines; now I don't have to figure out how to say it. :)

Hope I didn't leave too many typos or glaring erros in this wallotext; I have to quit for a while and am not going to take the time to proofread just now. Sorry...
159. alreadymadwithwatermelons
HArai @131
The other funny thing about the White Tower prioritizing channeling strength.. is that men on the average tend to have more raw strength than women....

Forkroot @144 and Sulin @150
Like my Randlander counterparts I never claim to be able to understand women. Of any age. ;)

JennB @151
The funny thing about that part of the story, is that as of TGS we have no word from both the groups sent from the rebels and by the Red Ajah. Add to this the fact that Logain also did not put in an appearance in TGS. All three groups can travel and presumably would easily be able to send word of their status. No such updates. This leads me to conclude something BIG happened at the Black Tower.
160. Looking Glass
Isilel@154: These are all reasonable arguments, though there are counterpoints to a lot of them (as HArai showed).

But that's beside my point, because IIRC* Egwene didn't make any of those arguments, even to herself- she just immediately, totally hated the idea but had no problem the other way round. I found that really annoying, especially since a) she seemed to take it worse than the obnoxious rebels in camp, and b) while both the without-consent and compulsion aspects of the Asha'man bondings are bad, we've certainly seen equally bad behavior out of Aes Sedai. Alanna being the poster child, but by no means the only offender.

*It is possible I am misremembering something- I haven't read KoD and TGS nearly as mush as the others. Yet. But that's my recollection.

One final note- even if we assume the Asha'man bond can't be modified to mirror the AS bond perfectly, we do know the most objectionable bit, perma-compulsion, isn't a necessary component. Both that and the lack of consent were because Toveine & Co. were trying to kill or gentle everyone there. And the only other viable options were to kill or still them.
John Massey
161. subwoofer
Soooo... lets get this ball rolling. @Isilel- interesting, but I would like to point out:
1. It is possible to reliably weed out female DF channelers, but not male ones. That alone would make male bonding very dubious.

Well lets face it, up until recently, it was very difficult- ny onto impossible to weed out BA. Elaida, loose canon that she is, had to do some back room dealings to get a hunt going. Vernin- had to sell her soul basically to get the scoop. Heck, most AS did not even want to openly talk about the existence of those who serve the Shadow. The set up of the BA is a testament in itself as to how far they have wormed their way into the Tower. I think that we will have many big surprises in the next book when it comes to baddies. But bottom line, in RL women are hard to read, in this book- you need a Rosetta Stone.

The non-BA AS have rules that largely prevent them from misusing OP thoroughly instilled in them, the Asha'man don't. They could easily become loose cannons.

Excellent point. I have always felt that the current incarnation of the Black tower mirrors the 100 Companions alarmingly. Bunch of guys running around all amped up, and Rand thinks he has bigger fish to fry. Hello, did he forget what really broke the world? Youngun has to think that through better. Watch those guys and stop the drivel of the "honor system". Get some binding oaths going here.

"Thou shalt not be a donkey".

"Thou shalt be good and not break the world again".

"Thou shalt not shoot harmful beams/ weaves of whatever at me... ever".

Edit-"Thou shalt not Rickroll the populace... ever".

Something like that.

2. It is unknown whether the taint might have disastrous long-term consequences. This makes any man who ever touched tainted saidin unfit as a bonder.

Hmmmmm... now here we differ. A lady in yellow believes that anything short of death can be Healed. Last I checked, these asha'man are still breathing. Just because the current crop of AS have forgotten or have not discovered a way to Heal the craze caused by the taint, does not mean it can't be done. Look what they thought about the irreversibility of Stilling.- Which incidentally also lends to a theory of mine of the possibility of Healing whatsherbucket the burnt out one.

5. Tower will be blamed for any channeler misbehavior, male as well as female as a matter of course, so taking steps to minimize it is only prudent.

... Meh, what is wrong with that? I blame my dogs all the time for stuff I did. Something like that should work for the guys. They have an uphill slog, let the ladies take some of the blame.

6. We don't know if male bonding actually gives anything beneficial to the bondee, as the female one does.

I'm going there-> maybe the bond cures Puffy Mean and Snappiness.

Seriously though, Eggy wants to heal the Tower. Well, back in the day, the Tower included men. Bring them back into the fold. Maybe the Tower was created to show the world how some things survived the Breaking- sans men- but why not have the guys join up? Age of Legend time, Yo! Don't forget to share your toys... and leave the seat up;)

Linda Taglieri
162. Linda
Well I feel in a Foretelling mood tonight; must be the awesomeness that is NY city and the museums I visited in the last couple of days, plus the COMPLETE absence of jetlag at last!

Anyway, I Foretell that at least 2 of the 6 Red sisters at the Black Tower are BA. Moreover, I think they will be involved in the forcible turning of AS and good Asha'man too to the Dark Side, along with some of the BA that fled the Tower at the end of TGS. At least 7 BA are needed to make a ring of 13 channellers to weave the flows through 13 Myrddraal; the rest can be Taim's Black Asha'man cronies. (Of course, they might go for a full ring of 13 women, but if men are ncluded in the circle up to the number of 6, more rings can be made). Until now, there have been very few occasions when there have been such numbers of BA in one place outside the WT. (I am assuming that the turning trick has not been attempted inside the WT for logistical reasons). But now that the BA have been booted out as it were in quantity, and are somewhat at a loose end, it is time to start making forcible converts.

It will be a disgusting irony that Pevara, who has been a ruthless hunter of Darkfriends, is at risk of this monstrous procedure, but I fear that is what will happen, or begin to happen...
Jennifer B
164. JennB
But Alviaran made sure that no BA were sent to the Black Tower.
James Jones
165. jamesedjones
161 subwoofer

Absolutely. There are side-effects to every procedure.

... and sometimes the side-effects are a good thing. ROFL
166. Freelancer
I'm going there-> maybe the bond cures Puffy Mean and Snappiness.
And there goes that built-in murder defense.

and leave the seat up;)
And I'm right there with Bill Engvall on this one. It goes up, it goes down. Somebody sometimes has to move it. Why is it that women figure only men must move it? Tell you what. You put it back up when your done, I'll put it back down when I'm done.
Linda Taglieri
167. Linda
@164 Alviarin sent no BA when Toveine took her expedition there.

However I am not talking about that at all. I thought I made that plain. Times have changed since Alviarin made that decision. I am talking about the 6 Reds who went on their own bat, and also all the BA that have now been booted out of the WT and the rebels. What are they going to do, sit around eating grapes? I think they'll be sent on various tasks including to the BT on assignment to Taim for turning channellers.
Jennifer B
168. JennB
Ahh, you were talking about the Reds with Pevara. Sorry, I didn't catch that.
Jay Dauro
169. J.Dauro

Glad to hear you are having a good time in NYC. Have a safe trip home, and I hope to see you again.

We have had that smoking gun around for a long time (13x13) so I would not be surprised to finally see it used.
Sharon E.
170. Sulin
alreadymad @159-
Like my Randlander counterparts I never claim to be able to understand women. Of any age. ;)

Exactly how it's supposed to be! ;)

@Sub-161- I love those Asha'man oaths! :D Rand's neglecting the AM/Black Tower is going to blow up in his face. Sigh...sometimes he can be so... so... woolheaded.

I'm going there-> maybe the bond cures Puffy Mean and Snappiness.
ROTFL- If only it were possible!
a a-p
171. lostinshadow

while others have pointed out some counterarguments, regarding point 6, while we don't know the possible benefits of Asha bonding, we do know one serious disadvantage of AS bonding and that is to cause death of bondee upon AS death.

and not to say that longer life is more valuable than a shorter life but since Asha who haven't sworn three oaths presumably live a very long time, it seems a bit unfair that their 300+ life span is to be cut possibly significantly shorter due to death of bonder.

Also, regardless of population fears, and I'm not entirely convinced that the general population is not as afraid of AS as they are of Ashaman. At least with chanelling men they know they will go crazy and die fairly quickly, with AS they fear being manipulated and tricked into the Creator knows what.

But on a more general note, to envision any kind of chanelling organization that does not restore equality between men and women runs counter to the whole WoT theme of there needs to be balance. And Ashaman being turned into trained Warder guard dogs sounds more like servitude to me and not really of balance.

Re: Egwene and her chameleonity: this is probably one of the reasons I don't like her, not because of her openess to other cultures, I have no problem with that... by the time I was 11, I had lived at least 2 years in 4 completely different countries (and cultures) so I am well aware of what kind of adaptibility is required but I see Egwene not so much as being open to different ideas, etc (that honor would belong to Elayne actually) but more of a blank slate, which she wipes clean every time she moves on elsewhere (like an etch-a-sketch I think they were called?)

I guess maybe what I mean is that I don't think her conversions/acceptances are genuine and as such I don't trust her...
Thomas Keith
172. insectoid
Am still playing catch-up...

Sub @161: ROFL!!!

Free @166:
Tell you what. You put it back up when your done, I'll put it back down when I'm done.
I heard that!! Bill Engvall FTW! ;D

173. birgit
And as for searching Verin's rooms for clues/ *angreal; does anybody know where Verin's room *is*?! With the shuffling of the Brown Quarters and the novice wing, maybe Verin's room got lost in the "translation".

Verin's room is above the library, not in the Brown section of the Tower.

I actually always thought that Moridin's "involuntary rings" were Warder bonds. This is, admittedly, partially based on the fact that he expounds upon those bonds right after the involuntary rings.

He is listing things the "primitives" discovered that were unknown in his Age. Why should he list the same thing twice?

Oh, and you can't be a Windfinder if you can't channel. Not all of them have much skill in Weaving the Wind, but I can't find a single reference to a Windfinder who can't channel.

After a moment Jorin went on. "It is not all of us. Only some. We send a few girls to Tar Valon so Aes Sedai will not come looking among us. No ship will carry Aes Sedai whose Windfinder can weave the winds.

TSR ch.20
174. Freelancer

You've mixed a metaphor with a trope. A smoking gun is evidence of a deed done. What the 13x13 trick, which has been introduced but not employed is, is a Chekov's Gun.

That reminds me. Of all the props I've ever noticed on movie or TV sets which are never disturbed, a few are placed such as to be thought of as a Chekov's Gun, and yet never get "fired". The most significant example of this for me are the bicycles which hang on every apartment's entry wall in Seinfeld. There they are, begging to be used, and NOBODY ever rides one on that show. They'll drive two miles to the gym, drive around for an additional 15 minutes waiting for a parking space, and then get on an exercycle for 20 minutes.

Reminds me of being aboard aircraft carriers where guys would do time on a stair climbing machine. Are you kidding me? You go up and down ladders all day long, and then use those? Heck, we used to call CVN-74 the John C. Stairmaster (Stennis is the correct name).
Linda Taglieri
175. Linda
@169 Jay

Thanks! It was delightful meeting and speaking with you and your wife and I too hope we meet again. JordanCon next year is not beyond the bounds of possibility...

@174 It's true what you say, Free, but you better tell BWS that, since it is he who described the forcible turning of a channeller as a smoking gun.

I posted my JordanCon report a couple of days ago.
Marcus W
176. toryx
Forkroot @ 144 & Tektonica @ 155:

Man, I'd almost be willing to become a darkfriend in exchange for being able to Travel. Almost.

HArai @ 157: Not easy to do with anyone without constant access to the Oath Rod, and presumably just as easy to do with men as women.

I get the impression that the Oath Rod can only be used on women. Sammael, at least, suggested that. Now Sammael is highly unreliable so I could be wrong but it'd be interesting to see what would happen if someone tried to have a man swear on the oath rod.

While I agree with the general consensus that it should take decades for men to be accepted as channelers alongside the women, I don't know that it'll work out that way as far as the books go. The Asha'man sure were quick to accept being bonded by the AS traveling with Cadsuane and the bonded pairs have grown close really quickly. I think RJ was purposely bringing both sides together so that men and women could easily join forces without it seeming too abrupt. My own perspective is that the men consented to be bonded far more quickly than I'd expect but that's just my cynicism talking.

Also, a great deal depends on how TG goes. If the male channelers on the Light side become heroes I think a lot of the old hatred and suspicion toward men who can channel will dissipate pretty quickly. People are fickle that way. So while logically it should take a long time for these differences to be resolved, I suspect the book's reality will be quite different.

Re: Setalle and healing: I'm afraid I'm in the minority in that I hope she isn't healed. Largely this is because I dislike AS in general and part of what impresses me so much about Setalle is that she's found a way to be a strong, influential woman without needing the power. I admire her so much for that and I'd be disappointed if she were suddenly able to channel again and be welcomed back into the fold by the Tower. I think she's a stronger woman for being able to overcome the loss of saidar than she'd ever be if she were to drink of that addiction again.

Linda @ 162:

I think your Foretelling could be spot on. That'd certainly make for an interesting pickle. And truly tragic for Pevara, depending on how things work out.
177. Hrothgordo

I don’t have access to TSR at the moment, but the reference to non-channeling Windfinders is in there. It occurs during a conversation after Elayne firsts sees the Windfinder on her ship channeling. The WF directly states that AS are not always denied the right of passage, but are always denied permission from a ship where the WF can channel.

Even without that confirmation, it would be impossible for every ship to have a channeling WF. That would neccesitate almost 1% of the population be a female channeler. With Randland running at about 0.05% or less I find that unlikely.
Barry T
178. blindillusion
Meh...BWS referred to 13x13 as a "gun on the mantle".

~ And it was nice seeing you Linda, though we didn't speak. I was in the signing line behind Terez.

Speaking of which...I didn't realize that was Terez in front of me.

Considering how much I refer back to/respect both of your sites, I wish I'd said hello.

Oh, and it's pretty cool...I'm now part of Terez's page.
179. Silvertip
I'm growing increasingly uncomfortable with the 13x13 concept, and I for one (apparently I'm in the minority) hope that gun stays on the mantel, at least as far as the characters we've seen so far understand it. Two of the tropes that mar so much mediocre SFF that WoT has avoided thus far are (i) time travel (don't get me started), and (ii) psychic or pseudopsychic mind control. The 13x13 doesn't seem to be an evil-puppetmaster thing, like the damane bond, the control Semirhage briefly had over Rand, or Graendal-style Compulsion, but to truly involve the victim "becoming" evil. What does that mean? What does that look like? Do you just get Verin, which few would choose but is not really a fundamental alteration of character? If the stunt was pulled on (say) Faile, which aspects of her personality would change and which wouldn't? If she suddenly became a power-hungry sociopath (perhaps an imaginable switch to throw in someone's brain), why would she necessarily also suddenly be an ally with whichever BA, DF, and shadowspawn formed the circle?

The inner lives and motivations of Jordan's characters, even the Forsaken, have a sound internal logic. Being abruptly and forcibly "turned to Evil" really seems leaden and clumsy compared to the much more nuanced picture we see in so many cases. Unless such an event is in fact a more complex phenomenon than the characters seem to fear, it sounds to me like a trope that would mar the story.

Of course, the fact that I can't imagine this being done well may just be why RJ and BS are fiction writers and I'm not, but that's how I see it right now.

Tess Laird
180. thewindrose
I was one of the people on 13D that thought Pevara might be subjected to the 13/13 when there was a discussion on that around the time of the tGS release. Which is sad, because RJ built her up as a very likable character. From what I have read, after going through this process, the person has no desire to come back to the Light side:(

I wish I could have been at J-Con to meet you - I love your website! I don't have a lot of time to post thoughts, but I love perusing what you and the others come up with.

Bill Reamy
181. BillinHI
Guess which episode of Futurama was on Comedy Central last night? "fresh as a summer ham" indeed. (Still don't really know what it means though)
182. Lsana
@136 HArai,

The Red Ajah didn't exist pre-breaking, any more than any of the other ajahs did. The Red Ajah was founded for the sole purpose of hunting down and gentling men who can channel. Now that that purpose is accomplished, I don't see them being able to just jump to a new one, certainly not with their current members.

There probably is a place for a group to hunt down rogue channelers, but that group should probably include men, so I don't think converting the current Reds into that group is a good idea for reasons I'll give below.

As for the idea of the Reds becoming ambassadors between the Aes Sedai and the Asha'man, I can see two things wrong with this: the Red Ajah and the Asha'man.

On one side we have the Reds. First, it is an exaggeration to say that every Red is a man-hater, but not to say that many of them are. Those Aes Sedai who hated men to start with tended to choose the Red, while others got kind of a jaded view of men based on what they had to deal with. Second, the Red is not exactly a group known for their diplomatic skills: these are people so bad at dealing with outsiders that not only do they not have non-AS friends, they don't even have non-Red friends. These are not the people you should make ambassadors to a group of powerful men.

On the other side we have the Asha'man: a group of male channelers. Male channelers as a whole hate the Aes Sedai for the policy of gentling and hate the Red Ajah in particular because they carried it out. The Asha'man are also arrogant as all get out. They aren't going to be receptive to a bunch of Reds showing up at their door.

All in all, this strikes me as a terrible idea.

So I think disbanding the Reds is the best idea. Rather than hunt for something else that the ajah as a whole can do, have each sister figure out what her new purpose in life is individually. Keep Silviana as a Red Keeper, have a big party to celebrate the fact that the Reds have succeeded in their mission to protect Randland from tainted channelers, then welcome the Red Sisters into their new places.
Thomas Keith
183. insectoid
Linda @175: Just read your report. Great job! Love the site too.

BillinHI @181: LOL!! "War is the H-Word" was one of my favorites.

There's no need to bounce off the handle... ;)

184. Gentleman Farmer
On the 13x13 issue.

I too hope it stays on the mantle. It's a concept that has never really made sense to me, and seems more like a convenient excuse for a darkfriend to avoid responsibility for their actions.

More than that, for two textual (as opposed to policy) reasons, I question the validity of the 13x13 method.

One is the existence of the cour'souvra. It's something that can only be done to channellers, and only at Shayol Ghul. It requires their blood and saliva. Well what's the point of such a complex method of controlling a channeller if you just need to send 13 myrdraal through the shadows to hook up with a bunch of black ajah?

The second (and I think I'm in the minority here), is that people seem to treat the rings in the Tower as some sort of real vision of the future. I'm not convinced they are.

The rings in Rhuidean show various potential futures. The rings in the White Tower, I think, show a version of fantasy wish fulfillment to test desire to be Aes Sedai. When Nynaeve goes through the rings, she sees things that are just not consistent with the laws of the land. If I recall correctly, she sees and senses Aginor channelling, and is able to defeat him by channelling herself.

In Egwene's vision, she is tricked by her keeper, who has already been stilled for three days, but who has no change to her face, and is not recognized by Egwene as looking any different.

In my view, this is because Egwene (and Nynaeve) have visions in the rings based on their current understanding or interpretation of channelling and the world, not based on what actually is or could be possible.

All of Egwene's wish fulfillment fantasies involve her being a superhero able to save Rand and finally have him acknowledge her skills and abilities (my personal interpretation of Egwene's motivations throughout the entire series). I don't see any true foretelling in them. The 13x13 thing is just one more way Egwene can be the supergirl and avoid tremendous dangers to save the day, and may have no more basis in reality than any of the other visions.

Ultimately the only confirmation we have of this proposition is from Sheriam, now known to be BA and capable of lying. Add to this that none of the BA's or Forsaken POV have referred to this trick (Galina, Alviarin, Erian, Katerine, Falion/Ispan, Liandrin, Lanfear, Moggy, Semi, Graendal, Moridin/Ishy etc.), and that every Forsaken and every BA/darkfriend we have seen has (to greater or lesser extent) disclosed the reasons why they turned dark, and in every case, it has been by choice. Even the repentant BAs in TSR (after being taken in the Stone) don't raise this as a possible excuse for themselves.

It might well be, however, that a BA like Sheriam hears this novel concept and decides that she likes this fiction enough that she could use it as a safety hatch later on should she ever be caught by being able to say she was forced to the Black and therefore doesn't deserve to be executed. It's quick thinking on her part... but then so was her response to the Grey Man.
Ron Garrison
185. Man-0-Manetheran
Gentleman Farmer@184: "The rings in Rhuidean show various potential futures." IIRC, they show the PAST.
186. Silvertip
@185 M-o-M: I believe you're thinking of the glass columns, which we have seen from the inside via Rand's POV. GentlemanFarmer is referring to the separate ter'angreal, entered by prospective Wise Ones and now Moiraine, which show a very large number of possible futures, and which we have only heard descriptions of so far.
Barry T
187. blindillusion
Hmm, Rings and Columns.
189. Lsana
@184 Gentleman Farmer,

Liandrin does make a brief allusion to the 13x13 trick when she captures the girls and makes some comment about how "13 myrdraal are on their way" or something like that. She never refers to it directly, but the implication in the book is pretty clear. Still doesn't rule out that Liandrin and Sheriam together invented the idea, but there is a second reference to it.

One question: if Sheriam invented the idea as a possible excuse if she was caught, why didn't she use that excuse when she was?
Lucas Vollmer
190. aspeo
Hrothgordo @177
While I realize that there are non-channelers in both the windfinders and wise ones, I think they have a fairly high percentage of channelers among them overall.

This is why I think it is possible for the Athan’miere and possibly the Aiel to have a higher percentage of channelers than the mainland. Very few mainland women that actually do channel are not Aes Sedai. I realize the Kin are technically not affiliated with the Tower, but I think they fit what I’m thinking because they try to act like AS in as many ways as they can.

Having said all that it seems that there are very few mainland women who can channel already, and once they go to the Tower there is an almost minute percentage who seem to have children. I certainly don’t remember it being remarked upon about any sisters having children or being pregnant. While this does not mean it never happens, I think it can be taken as it is at most very rare.

The windfinders and wise ones OTOH are raised in a society where channeling is taken as a part of everyday society. The channelers get married and have families just like everyone else. I think this could also mean that fewer women are missed who can channel, since they are not separate from society like most AS are.

So to get back around to my point, I think this is why there could be a much larger population of channelers not associated with the mainland. They have more integration with the society to help them find potential channelers and they reproduce to have families which helps pass along the genes, which helps spread the possibility of more future channelers.
Marcus W
191. toryx
Gentleman Farmer @ 184:

I agree that the Accepted tests are not reliable sources of information. I don't think they can be used with any degree of accuracy to determine what is going to happen in the future. They're figments of the walker's hopes and fears and even if certain elements of those things are real the experience itself is not remotely clairvoyant, imho.

On the other hand, I do believe in the 13x13. I there will be evidence of its use at least once in the remaining two books. It's not a method of control over the channeler, however. It merely enacts personality changes of the one who is 13'd, subduing the good aspects of their personality in favor of the darker ones. I bet the Turned will be just as conniving, unreliable and backstabbing as any other darkfriend.

If it does, however, turn out to be something that really can't be done, I'd be highly amused.
Barry T
192. blindillusion
Lsana, Chapter 51 of tDR. Liandrin tells the SGs that Be'lal is bringing 13 Myrddraal.
Hugh Arai
193. HArai
Lsana@182: Sorry, I didn't mean to imply the Red Ajah actually existed pre-Breaking, just that I thought it likely to have formed from people already doing a police function.

The Red Ajah was founded for the sole purpose of hunting down and gentling men who can channel.
I know that's their prime duty now. Do we have evidence that was their sole purpose at inception? Other than the opinions of present day Aes Sedai? I seem to recall mentions of a period where they were still trying to cure the men and so on.

It's interesting that you describe the Asha'man as a whole as arrogant though. Granted Taim's faction are, but that's like claiming all Aes Sedai are like Elaida or Galina. Damer Flinn, Eben Hopwil, and Jahar Narishma aren't terribly arrogant. Less arrogant than the Aes Sedai I would say. None of them are likely to welcome people who claim they should be stilled, but none of the Aes Sedai would welcome people that say that about Aes Sedai either.

Edit to add: I agree any group formed to catch rogue channelers should have men in it. But even if it didn't to start with, I'm not sure that male channelers would object so long as it really was _rogue_ channelers not any male channeler. If the Aes Sedai (Red or otherwise) can get over that hump,
I can see good things coming in the end.
Elizabeth Gingles
194. Spera
I wonder if you can get pregnant after you've been bound to the oath rod. Many greens are said to marry warders.

Since those who have been bound appear ageless-- maybe their body stops in the same way, cycles and the ability to conceive

Another thought: I also thought Moghedin talked about having Elayne and Nyn turned. I assumed she meant the 13x13.
Elizabeth Gingles
195. Spera
Heidi Byrd
196. sweetlilflower
The purpose of the Red Ajah is to prevent another Breaking. The way they have served that purpose is to get rid of male channelers. They could certainly become a police force of both male and female channelers, and still serve that purpose.
197. Lsana
@193 HArai,

I actually don't have any evidence that the Red Ajah was founded for the purposes of gentling men except for the fact that there doesn't seem to be any mention at all of the 3rd age ajahs changing. I'm not sure it really matters, except that I wanted to make the point (which you already knew, sorry) that it wasn't a pre-existing organization that changed after the Taint showed up, but a new one.

My thought of the Asha'man as arrogant came mostly from a comment of Taim's about how "You can't teach a man to rain death from the heavens then expect him to bow and scrape" or some such that I don't quite remember. There was definitely an implication that they were all deliberately given a level 10 "fighter jock" mentality. Really, though, arrogance from the Asha'man would be the least problematic part of any negotiations between them and the Red Ajah.

And I think the Asha'man would object to Reds hunting down "rogues" without men as part of the group. If nothing else, they would object to the idea that the Reds are the arbitrators of who's a "rogue."

@196 sweetlilflower,

No question that a combined male/female force to hunt down rogue channelers would be useful, and some of the current Reds might be good additions. I just don't think the majority would be, given the prevailing attitudes, and I think "converting" the current Red Ajah would cause a lot of problems.
198. earlgrey
Spera @ 194 If they couldn't get pregnant, they couldn't really offer to have someone's child.
Jay Dauro
199. J.Dauro
Why would you consider the use of the cour'souvra to be more complex than 13x13? It requires one Forsaken to catch the victim and use a gateway to SG. Pretty simple.

However, in this case the victim does not appear to turn to evil, but to be under a control where they can be forced to do evil. Similar to being controlled by an a'dam. If the cour'souvra is crushed they are under complete control, even though they are still aware of what they are doing. So the cour'souvra could be considered as punishment also.

With 13x13 as described they are transformed. Probably the thing that we have seen closest to this is Mat and the dagger. And this takes 13 BA ( now that we have the BT it can be done with 7). Never before Liandran did one BA know more than 3 others. So it would take orders from the Supreme Council to do it. And 13 would have to be out of the Tower at once. Which could be hard to hide. And I can't really see getting all the Forsaken together to do this.

As Linda has said, this is now much easier. And I am sure we will see it.
Tricia Irish
200. Tektonica
Gentleman Farmer@184:

Ultimately the only confirmation we have of this proposition is from Sheriam, now known to be BA and capable of lying. Add to this that none of the BA's or Forsaken POV have referred to this trick (Galina, Alviarin, Erian, Katerine, Falion/Ispan, Liandrin, Lanfear, Moggy, Semi, Graendal, Moridin/Ishy etc.),

There is another reference to the 13 x 13 trick at the end of The Dragon Reborn when Liandrin, etc. capture the 3 SGs and imprison them in the Stone of Tear.....

Liandrin only smiled. "Once your time as bait is done, you will tell us everything. You will want to. They say you will be very strong one day, but I will make sure you will always obey me, even before the Great Master Be'lal works his plans for you. he is sending for Myrddraal. Thirteen of them. Those rosebud lips laughed the final words. Oh, Creepy!!! And what is Liandrin going to do before the 13x13 thing to make them always obey her?

I shudder to think of the 13 x 13 thing being used on anyone, especially given Liandrin's take on enslaving the SGs, but I think it's been mentioned too many times to not get a scene. Ug.


I've always wondered why there were any channelers left at all after 3,000 years of weeding out the male channelers and the AS not having kids. Isn't there a genetic component? You are right about the Athan Miere and the Aiel chanellers having "normal" lives. Why not?? They have their own societal tests, training, rules, purposes and they do just fine.
Roger Powell
201. forkroot
Regarding the 13x13 trick: Commenters on earlier posts have presented excerpts from conversations with RJ where he expanded on how it would work. (Sorry, I do not have time to chase those quotations down.) Although this is not indisputable proof, I think it makes it highly likely that the 13x13 trick is indeed real.

Whether or not we will see it done (or read about the evidence that it was done someone) in the next two books, who knows?
202. Looking Glass
Silvertip@179: Actually, we have seen a sympathetic character be forcibly turned evil- Mat, waaaaay back in TEotW. His slow descent into murderous paranoia was pretty darn creepy.

[Curses, someone else brought this up as I was typing it. Ah, well.]

Granted, the 13x13 thing isn't quite the same- presumably faster, for one thing. And probably a bit less drastic of a personality change. Maybe it’s closer to what Fain does to people, only with a bit more evil and a bit less stupid.

Bonus points if it does actually make one loyal to the Dark One outright, but that's not really necessary. Rand in TGS was pretty close to going dark side, even though he didn’t think so at the time. Or, as a middle ground, 13x13 might leave your alignment something like, say, Demandred’s was before he defected: nominally still on the side of the Light, but festering internally in such a way that you then choose the Shadow.

GentlemanFarmer@184: Re cour’souvra vs. 13x13: it’s quite possible that the mindtrap is designed for precisely what we see- controlling wayward servants of the Shadow. Moghedien and Lanfear certainly don’t need extra evil infusions, but they do need long-range leashes to be kept on task.

Also, as Lsana said, Liandrin specifically mentions Be’lal sending for thirteen Myrddraal when the girls are captured in the Stone. Not only that, but Liandrin and Sheriam couldn’t have thought it up alone, since Liandrin was gone before Egwene first mentioned the idea to Sheriam. It’s still possible it’s some long-standing piece of Shadow propaganda, or that one of the Forsaken heard the idea from Sheriam and passed it to Liandrin to scare the kids with, but the most likely explanation is that it’s real.

It also wouldn't surprise me if some members of Team Shadow weren't too fond of turning powerful light-side channelers, as it would effectively introduce new competition for their prizes. Evil Rand would definitely be a chief contender for Nae'Blis, and while Ishamael’s apparently too evil to care, the other Forsaken certainly aren’t. Likewise the supergirls turn out to be much more formidable than anyone expected. Looking at how Liandrin & Co. initially reacted to Moghedien, I doubt any of the Forsaken would be really wild about having anyone too competent and resourceful under them.
Tricia Irish
203. Tektonica
I think the DO is running low on FS and could use a few new ones. Any strong Lightside channeler, AS or Asha'man is a likely target and why not start at the Black Tower, a big DF infestation...now with many DF AS and Asha'man to work undetected with 13 myddraal at their leisure. I don't think the DO cares what the other FS think either.....survival of the fittest and all that....

I need a bath, just thinking about it.
Andrew Belmont
204. rosetintdworld
Doesn't the Big Book of Bad Art mention in its history of Semirhage that she was so well regarded among Chosen because she developed the 13x13 trick? I don't own the book and never have, but it seems like an odd factoid for my mind to have made up on its own. Anyone else remember this?
205. Silvertip
@202 Looking Glass:

Good points all. Mat's descent *was* spectacularly creepy, and also a frighteningly good parallel to some kinds of mental illness existing in our Universe. What bothers me is precisely the distinction you draw ... lots of folks in Randland presumably suffer from murderous paranoia, or all sorts of other nasty personality traits, without being Darkfriends (Eamon Valda, phone home!). And yet what the SGs fear seems to be something like waking up from the procedure ready to drop to a knee and swear to the Dark One, which we *haven't* seen, and I would find to be much less convincing. Maybe what we've read is their limited understanding of a real phenomenon based on vague threats, I don't know, but as presented it doesn't seem like a plot device I would enjoy running into.

I'm not sure I buy it being pure bluff on the BAs part either, though. Hmmm. Guess I'll just have to take my RAFO card!

206. Lsana
@200 Tektonica,

I assume that Liandrin was planning to use her pseudo-compulsion on the SGs. Not terribly climactic, I grant you, but we see later that Liandrin is arrogant enough to believe that she is the only Aes Sedai in the history of the world to have anything like this, so no doubt she thinks it's a big deal.
Lucas Vollmer
207. aspeo
I agree with you. It almost seems to be a miracle that there are as many channelers available as there are. The numbers seem especially large with the addition of the women that are scooped up by Egwene and Co. on their way to the Tower.

Could this possibly be a subtle sign of influence by the Creator to help the light side since the Last Battle is coming very soon?
Tess Laird
208. thewindrose
rosetintdworld - I remember that as well - and I can check when I get home. Semirhage is the one credited with discovering this method.

Alice Arneson
209. Wetlandernw
birgit @173, Hrothgordo @177 - I'm fully aware of that passage, and looked it up before I posted to be sure I remembered it correctly. I read it as specifically Weaving the Winds, otherwise known as Cloud Dancing, which is not necessarily something every channeller can do, much less do well. It wasn't clear, to me at least, that they use "Weaving the Winds" as absolutely synonymous with channelling. With nothing to go on but that single quote, I don't see a lot of reason to change my opinion; what would be the point of a Windfinder who can't channel at all? Of course, I'm not sure what would be the point of having a Windfinder who can't weave the winds either, but I still don't see them as synonymous.

re: the gun, if Brandon used the words "gun on the mantle" that would definitely be Chekov's rather than smoking. Chekov's lies on the mantle until it's picked up and used; once used and smoking, it's either in someone's hand or on the floor - definitely not back on the mantle. :)

Lsana @182 - I agree with much of what you say. On the nitpick side, you said "these are people so bad at dealing with outsiders that not only do they not have non-AS friends, they don't even have non-Red friends." I think it's more the other way around. The Red actively discourages friendships outside the Ajah, to the point that they lose any skill at dealing with anyone else. Granted, some of them probably come in with lousy interpersonal skills, which are then magnified by the association, but the lack of non-Red friends comes after they join, when they are strongly urged to drop all outside friendships. Still, the conclusion that "These are not the people you should make ambassadors to a group of powerful men" stands true as written. (The imagination boggles!)

Disbanding the Reds might be the end result, but I really think such a move would have to come from within the Ajah. A declaration by the Amyrlin (or the Hall) that the Reds have completed their mission and are now disbanded would create all manner of resentment; look what happened when Elaida tried to disband the Blue. Perhaps a declaration from the Hall (the Greater Consensus) that any Red sister who wishes may choose another Ajah, combined with the possibility of the Red finding a new mission? I'd have to work at it with both hands for a while to come up with any "new mission" ideas, though.

Gentleman Farmer @184 - I have to admit that I'd rather find that the 13x13 was used in the past on a character I dislike, than see it in action being used on someone I like. Maybe if it were used on someone I already dislike... but that's not too likely, I think. If they use it, I expect it will be painful for all of us.

I would argue with your textual argument based on the cour'souvra, however. In the cases we see, it is used on someone who is already committed to the DO; it gives the holder much greater, and very specific, control over that person. It's a one-on-one control, and should the holder decide that the other person didn't obey as well as she (or he) should have, he can crush the cour'souvra and make them into a mind-slave, with no free will at all. (For example, look at Moghedien's behavior in Ebou Dar a few chapters ago. She had the ability to take a few minutes to do her own revenge-thing, but she was terrified the whole time that Moridin might decide she wasn't obeying him whole-heartedly.) FWIW, I expect it could be used on a light-side channeler, but we haven't seen it yet.

The 13x13 trick, on the other hand, is used to turn a light-side person to the DO by magnifying all the useful-to-the-dark personality traits, squashing all the non-useful traits, and (I'm not sure of the mechanism) enforcing a commitment to the DO. This is not the same kind of control that the cour'souvra gives; it makes them a DF, but still a free agent to whatever extent any DF-channeller is a free agent. I don't think I explained that very well, but as I read them, the two are very different situations. As to whether it is a real phenomenon, the wording of RJs answer to a Tor Question of the Week is the primary reason I take is as truth:
Week 15 Question: When a channeler is forcibly turned to the Dark, is his/her former personality lost to eternity? Are they in a permanent state of mindless Compulsion? Furthermore, can a channeler forcibly turned to the Dark return to the Light unaided?

Robert Jordan Answers: They are not in a mindless state of Compulsion. Their former personality is twisted, the darker elements that everyone has to some degree elevated while what might be called the good elements are largely suppressed. I don't mean things like courage, which is useful even to villains, but they are unlikely to be very charitable, for example, and forget any altruistic impulses. Call it being turned into a mirror image of yourself in many ways. It is very unlikely that a channeler forcibly turned to the Shadow could find a way back to the Light unaided. For one reason, by virtue of the twisting he or she had undergone, it is very unlikely that he or she would have any desire to do so.

I'm personally still on the fence about the trustworthiness of the Acceptatron experience as foretelling. As far as I know, RJ never gave us any indication that they were reliable foreshadowings. We know that some women have learned things in there that turned out to be true, things they had no way of knowing beforehand. The best example, of course, is when Egwene learned about the 13x13 thing, and then had the truth of it confirmed by Sheriam and later by Liandrin. My own tentative stance is that the Acceptatron shows possibilities, a bit like the Rhuidean rings in that they are possible. The Rhuidean rings show all possible futures, which fade in your mind until you only remember the bits you need to guide significant decisions (or something like that). The Acceptatron (perhaps) shows single visions of past, present and future, giving you insight into your own mind and heart, to help you see more clearly where you are most likely to be tempted away from your stated purposes.
210. Gentleman Farmer
Re Liandrin, Be'lal and 13x13

Thank-you to Lsana, Blindillusion, Tektonika et al who pointed to that chapter of TDR. I hadn't recalled hearing about the myrdraal turning thing on any other occasion.

I guess I'm just left with the policy reasons then... I don't like it much. I prefer the idea that, even within the Pattern, people choose their fates, and I have really enjoyed learning all the myriad reasons the various DFs and Forsaken have turned to the shadow. Even when the reasons are as lame as Asmodean's, at least they made a choice. Oh well. I concede it's probably real. I still hope it doesn't get used.

Even Rand has been granted a choice every step of the way. As much as Perrin notes (post travelling stone) that some things can't be changed, the whole point of the DO's goals in this world, as referenced in Moridin's thoughts on the Shah'rah game (see my little attempt to relate back to the original post?) seems to be that the fisher has the ability to choose, and will one day choose the dark.

On two partial side notes... (1) the only Forsaken who, it seems, may not entirely have chosen the dark side freely might be Lanfear. She apparently thought she was tapping into a source both men and women could use, and though she wanted the ability to use ultimate power, and possibly get Lews Therin back, I don't think we saw too much indication that she wanted to turn to the dark, particularly in her contempt for those who do. It's at least arguable that she got caught up in the blast with Beidomon and made the only choice for survival available to her.

(2) In regards to the discussion, and the question posed at Jordancon as to whether there was anything the TP could do that the OP can't, I guess the obvious answer, if Lanfear was correct, is that it can allow both men and women to jointly tap it together and work together in a more perfect melding of their flowsn than is possible with the OP (apparently a problem in the AoL).
Tricia Irish
211. Tektonica
I have no idea if I read this or inferred it or just made it up, but I think it's said somewhere that the 13 x 13 trick removes parts of ones will or conscience and leaves the baser parts of oneself.
Bonnie Andrews
212. misfortuona
Spera @194
I wonder if you can get pregnant after you've been bound to the oath rod. Many greens are said to marry warders.

In aCoS chapter 6 Faile tells Perrin
“I don’t know what would be enough, Perrin.” She shivered slightly. “Is there anything an Aes Sedai would not do, or put up with, if the White Tower told her to? I have studied my history, and I was taught to read between the lines. Mashera Donavelle bore seven children for a man she loathed, whatever the stories say, and Isebaille Tobanyi delivered the brothers she loved to their enemies and the throne of Arad Doman with them, and Jestian Redhill . . . ” She shivered again, not so slightly.

Maybe not the most reliable source, but it was most likely known history in the case of Mashera Donavelle. I'm pretty sure they can, though I doubt it happens often given that marriage is frowned upon. Also it would be very difficult to know in advance that you will outlive any non-channeling children or possibly give birth to a boy who could.

Also is there anywhere that we are told if Windfinders live as long as the kin? I assume they do, but I don't recall.

Mis-chiming in now that I've finally caught up
Chin Bawambi
213. bawambi
I guess I'm the only one who wants to see the creepy 13 x 13 thing happen. I like it when my villians are fully realized not just dark morons. How creepy would it be to see Suffa released from the a'dam by the black and then immediately converted or Cadsuane for that matter? I could see Demandred doing that in a heartbeat - this could also be Alvarin's mission in finding competant Dreadlords for TG. Because right now if Rand can figure out the song I can't see the dark siders even putting up a good fight unless almost all of the Black Tower is already black.

Edit for noticing I was post 213 I guess that could be 13 13 mwahhahaha
Alice Arneson
214. Wetlandernw
aspeo @190 - Yup, I'm with you. I've always thought that remaining an integral part of society, including marriage and children (possibly even seen as highly desirable mates) might tend to not only maintain but even increase the percentage of channelers in the Aiel and Atha'an Miere societies. By contrast, in Randland a fair percentage of channellers go to the WT, whereupon the VAST majority never have children. Sisters are much too busy with "important matters" and the Kin, since they are trying to hide their ability, never marry. The only ones who have children are those who leave early by consent of the Tower and choose to marry and raise families. Other than that, the only women who are passing the genes along are those with the spark who aren't found by the WT, and those few wilders who gain enough control to survive, and who choose to marry.

rosetintdworld @204 -
...[Semirhage] spent many hours "studying" the ways in which pain could break human will and dignity, and what peple could be forced to do to avoid more pain. She claimed there were no limits, except with those who managed to escape her by dying. Semirhage used the techniques perfected on members of the Hall of the Servants, while she was being sought during the Collapse, on captured soldiers and civilians who were then sent on missions against their former comrades. These missions were invariably carried out unless discovered first. Prominent prisoners were always handed over to her to be bent to the Shadow. It was Semirhage who discovered that a circle of thirteen, using thirteen Myrddraal as a sort of filter, could turn anyone who chould channel to the Shadow, though she invariable preferred to handle Aes Sedai herself. She hated everyone who called themselves Aes Sedai, and took the greatest pleasure in personally breaking them, by slow increments so they could be fully aware of what was happening to the last.
It doesn't specifically state that she was well regarded for having come up with the method, but Team Dark was certainly happy to make use of her techniques.

Eeewwww. I need a bath.
kevin smith
215. WoTaBoOk
OK, I am only at comment 171 but I wanted to through out an Idea...

Times have changed. I believe the Tower, both black and white, need to adapt as well. Bonding between channelers is something unheard of even in AoL times. But why should that be frowned upon? I agree that AS bonding Asha only or vice versa is immoral and relative to slavery. Therefore, my prediction....

The Towers need to govern themselves, independently. No inter-tower bonding. However, the advantages offered in both directions are irrefutable. So I believe the Green ajah or any AS/Asha willing to be in the field fighting the DO/various forms of evil, should have the option of bonding or being bonded by another channeler.

So in conclusion, I don't think bonding should be frowned on. It can be useful if both parties are willing and equally represented. Hmmm, maybe I am just rambling but this just seems like something that could and should be used. There are too many benefits, and a very potential cooperative Tower to Tower organization.
Don Barkauskas
216. bad_platypus
Wetlandernw @209:
But since the purpose of not allowing the Aes Sedai on board is to conceal how many channelers the Sea Folk have (and how strong they are), it would be silly to let them on board where anyone can channel. Admittedly, if the Windfinder channeled it would make it clear, but just being close enough to sense her strength could start the Aes Sedai asking questions, which is what they want to avoid. (Although this raises the question of why the Windfinder met with Elayne and Nynaeve in the first place...)

Additionally, surely any channeler could learn (to at least some extent) the weaves necessary for Wave Dancing---especially females, who tend to be stronger in Air and Water. They might be more or less effective depending on strength and skill, but they could probably learn.

In Talaan's conversation with Nynaeve in WH, she mentions several skills that she practices that are not Power-related (the one that sticks in my mind is identifying the sea in which they sail by taste, or some such thing---don't have the books right now). I think that Windfinder is really just a navigator and it so happens that channelers are pushed into this career path because they have a skill that increases their ability to do the job.

This also brings up a related question that we discussed a while back but I don't remember if we ever resolved: do all Aiel (female) channelers become Wise Ones? Similarly, do all Sea Folk (female) channelers become Windfinders? My reading of the text suggests yes, but I'm not sure.

Gentleman Farmer @210:
RJ has a quote on Lanfear:
As an aside, for those who think that Lanfear was in some way twisted against her will by being involved in drilling the Bore---I have heard the theory advanced---of all those involved in the project, she was the only major figure to go over to the Shadow. She was ripe for the Shadow's plucking long before the Bore was drilled.
(Tor Question of the Week #12)

EDIT: added "(female)" to qualify channelers
Andrew Belmont
217. rosetintdworld
@Windrose and Wetlander: Thanks for reassuring me that I wasn't making stuff up. And sorry to make you delve into Semi's ickiness, Wetlander...

My only point being that while I rather love the theory that Sheriam and Liandrin were just making the 13x13 up, the reference to Semirhage and RJ's comments make it seem impossible, unfortunately.

Re: Lightside channelers and whether the cour'sourva could be another form of 13x13: I recall that Moggy thinks that the cruel irony of her punishment is that she brought several poor souls who never wanted to serve the Great Lord to Shayol Ghul to suffer the same. (ACOS, Mindtrap, anyone with a quote handy?)

It isn't made clear whether she's referring to fitting them with a mindtrap and then trusting that they'll choose to serve the DO under threat of being brain-fried, or just immediately crushing the cour'sourva to use them as automata. Either way, I think the answer is yes, the mindtrap could serve the same purpose. Not sure whether bringing someone forcibly to the Bore or getting 13 BA in the same room would be more difficult, I guess.
Lucas Vollmer
218. aspeo
This also brings up a related question that we discussed a while back but I don't remember if we ever resolved: do all Aiel (female) channelers become Wise Ones? Similarly, do all Sea Folk (female) channelers become Windfinders? My reading of the text suggests yes, but I'm not sure.

I think they are most likely all guided to become windfinders or wise ones. One of the main reasons I have come to this conclusion is Aviendha. She was selected out of Far Dareis Mai to become a wise one, primarily because she could channel IMO. We know it wasn’t by choice for her because she still wants to act like a maiden for more than half the time she has been present in the series, and is told many times by the wise ones that she has given up the spear to become one of them.

Although we know considerably less about her, I would consider Amys another example based on her dream in Tel’aran’rhiod of still wanting to hunt like a Maiden of the Spear.

I don’t know enough of the Sea Folk to say anything about their practices, but the two societies have some similarities. I wouldn’t be surprised if having channelers become windfinders/wise ones was one of these similarities.
j p
219. sps49
The gholam didn't attack because it was looking for Mat. "The man who had wounded it was not with them; it had made sure of that before leaving the high vantage place" sounds like Mat went up in priority. Which makes it not all that obedient.

Isilel @101-

The Kin gathered many items that had nothing to do with the OP, so I don't know if I agree with that. And I don't know if the other was the Waysmaker; there are many other possibilities. I'll take Wetlandernw's post @158, myself, wit the caution that male channelers do exist, y'know, and could've had something given or left to a Wise Woman at some point.

Lookinglass @102-

The useful information from the BA in Tear was after stilling,, with any Oaths rendered moot. Which still may be known by Siuan and Leane alone.

Whether Tean Light can conduct extrajudicial murder squads- well, if someone was suddenly revealed to me as Black, they'd better talk fast or I might fell the need to off them before they could get me. I am also reminded of a famous photo from Tet of a South Vietnam officer shooting a VC in the street- that photo raised a big outcry, but killing enemy combatants in civvies is explicitly allowed per the Geneva Convention. The BA in the Tower should be regarded as enemy spies, saboteurs, et al.

Wetlandernw @158-

I cannot accept that every ship has a Windfinder if the entire Sea Folk population is shipboard; there isn't room for enough crew. But where are the Sea Folk children? So there are Windfinders who have to be meteorologists without the OP.
Steven Pattingale
220. Pattingale
Re 13x13:

I am Canadian, so Looney Question time. Assuming Chekhov's Gun is fired, at whom? Rand? Say it ain't so. The RJ answer above indicates the near impossibility of saving someone who's been 13x13ed ... and as excitingly scary as it might be to read about ... I think it might cause a collective WoT-fanbase heart attack. :)
221. Freelancer

As blindillusion says, Brandon's reference was to a "gun on the mantle", which is the physical description of the original Chekov's gun, being given focus in the first act. It is presumed that said gun will be fired before the third act concludes. It isn't smoking until then.


RE: Setalle Anan aka Martine Janata

OTOH, Setalle ran roughshod over Nynaeve and Elayne, without asking any reasonable questions, and bullied them without justification, precisely as those channeling Sisters you don't want her to be like. She is Aes Sedai to her toenails, just unable to weave. She might as well get Healed.

RE: The Oath Rod. I'm quite certain that you are correct, the Oath Rods which work on saidar users will not work on saidin users. Otherwise, Sammael wouldn't have given it to her, but would have kept it for use on Rand instead of having to get his hands on the domination bands. Yes, he was unreliable, but only in that he was never actually going to let Sevanna keep Rand.


I understand and concur with your reservations on the 13x13 forcing. However, I'd like to propose a way that it would be less "marring" (not that I want to see it happen, just that it's very plausible that it will). Toryx opened her comments @176 by saying:
Man, I'd almost be willing to become a darkfriend in exchange for being able to Travel. Almost.
Now, understand me when I say that I'm not judging toryx, only that her comment provides a convenient example. If you are human, then you are subject to temptation. No one is exempt. Everyone has limits of self-control, because nobody is perfect. To me, the event in question simply capitalizes on this, magnifying a potentiality into a certainty. Also, since it can only be done to channelers (making your example of Faile impossible), there must be something in the makeup of those with access to the True Source which gives other channelers a pathway to the victim's seat of conscience. A horrible thought, worse by far than slavery or even rape, to destroy your moral motivations and leave only the immoral.

Gentleman Farmer@184 & Lsana@189

If Sheriam and Liandrin "invented" the 13x13 concept, then how did Egwene see it in her Acceptitron visions? No, the fact that both Sheriam and Liandrin refer to it, and that it was seen by Egwene (without prior information to "suggest" it), shows that it is real. Whether or not it is ever employed within the story remains a RAFO.


You would think that an author who bothers to outline a process or method would be planning to employ it, and so would I. But we already know that Jordan prepared descriptions and backstories for many story elements which may not ever come to light. Given the scope of what is told, that makes his legend all the more remarkable.


I'm not sure that the dark one would accept a "turned" channeler as chosen. Even given the loss of part of their will, it seems they'd be viewed as less reliable, or perhaps less ambitious. The dark one likes greed and selfishness among his chosen, if I recall Verin's words correctly. And your thought @211 is correct, and comes from various Jordan interviews, which we've all seen quoted here previously.


You should also include those who are able to learn, but are without the spark. Genetically they would provide future generations of potential channelers.

Regarding the Sea Folk windfinders, it is specifically said that Aes Sedai are never granted passage on a ship whose Windfinder can channel. That more than implies that there are ships whose Windfinder cannot.
Hugh Arai
222. HArai
Wetlandernw@209: I think Windfinders are highly skilled pilot/navigators. Some can channel and so are even more effective at it. It would be similar to the position of Wisdom in the Two Rivers: they all get the herb and weather reading training, but some like Nynaeve are channelers as well.
Brandon Wood
223. brad21088
If I recall correctly, Brandon Sanderson addressed the "what happened to Pevara" question in a blog or interview. I think he said that she would not appear in the last books but that he was considering writing a short story about what happened to her. She's one of my favorite characters and the Black Ajah hunters was my favorite sub-plot, so I'm hoping it happens!
Maiane Bakroeva
224. Isilel
Re: channelers, I'd say that:

There are still channelers in Randland because the AS always recruited inefficiently and thus most potential female learners remained in the population and procreated. And all male learners of course. Sparkers are only a fraction of all channelers, so there wouldn't be that much culling because of them.

Speaking of WOs, IIRC it is again only sparkers who are _forced_ to join, because they need to be trained or die. I don't even remember if the Aiel could test and teach learners. In any case, as has been noted, they married and had kids as normal.

As to the Sea Folk, I suspect that they test everybody and force every learner to become a channeler Windfinder, because it is so obviously beneficial for their society. That's still only 0.5% percent of the population though, so they do have non-channeling Windfinders too, who are basically just navigators.
It must be a pretty sucky dead-end job though, because the Windfinders (like masters in the British navy) can never become captains and they can never truly compete with channeling Windfinders either.
The interesting question is, what happened to Amayar sparkers? We'll never know, I guess.
Tricia Irish
225. Tektonica

Thanks for the confirmation of my thought@211....nice to know some of all this info sticks in the foggy recesses of my brain.
Rob Munnelly
226. RobMRobM
FYI for the Kvothe fans: official publication date for book two has been set at March 1, 2011.
Alice Arneson
227. Wetlandernw
rosetintdworld @217
She had never heard of anyone being released once a mindtrap was set, but she would find a way. There was always a way for those who were cautious, while those fell who called caution cowardice. She herself had carried a few of that so-called brave sort to Shayol Ghul to be fitted with cour'souvra.
No real indication whether they were dark- or light-side sorts. Fat lot of help I am. ;) However, I read it as probably bringing other DFs who had failed in their missions due to over-boldness, whose lasting punishment was to be mindtrapped. Just my interpretation; YMMV.

@several regarding Windfinders, here's Jorin's quote:
"We send a few girls to Tar Valon so Aes Sedai will not come looking among us. No ships will carry Aes Sedai whose Windfinder can weave the winds. When you first named yourselves, I thought you must know me, but you did not speak, and you asked passage, and I hoped perhaps you were not Aes Sedai despite your rings. A foolish hope. I could feel the strength of you both. And now the White Tower will know."
As near as I can find, that's the only thing we have to go on. I can easily see how you would interpret that as "whose Windfinder can channel" but I, personally, don't see that as the only possible interpretation. Whatever. I'm not trying to persuade anyone.
228. Silvertip
Many thanks to wetlandernw for bringing in the RJ Q/A and the BBoBA quote (although I'm not sure they're completely consistent ...) and to Freelancer for reminding me of the only-works-on-channelers proviso. Both clarify things a lot, the latter in particular leading to (as Freelancer says) an even nastier idea of what is entailed. Still, would I find it convincing to see a previously-positive character showing up having been consciously reshaped (as opposed to generically corrupted as per the dagger) in this fashion? I don't know. It's hard to imagine, but fortunately, these books are not limited by my fairly pedestrian imagination.


p.s. Maybe we have seen it, of course. Maybe this is how Bela was turned.
Sharon E.
229. Sulin
I guess I'm the only one who wants to see the creepy 13 x 13 thing happen. I like it when my villians are fully realized not just dark morons.
I feel the same way! I have a feeling we'll being seeing the 13 x 13, I just hope it's not used on a main character.

Assuming Chekhov's Gun is fired, at whom? Rand? Say it ain't so.
I sure hope not, I shudder to think of the implications to RL if that were that to happen.
230. Lsana
@221 Freelancer,

I don't believe that Sheriam and Liandrin made it up, but Egwene did not see the 13x13 in her accepted test before she was told about it. In her second test, she saw a vision of Rand telling her that they could turn him to the Shadow against his will. There was no mention of how they might do this. She asked Sheriam at this point and got told about the 13x13. Afterwards, in her third test, she saw people attempting to do it to her; no wonder if the Acceptatron is supposed to bring her face-to-face with her fears, and Sheriam just told her something that scared the pants off her.

Again, it isn't my theory, but it is just conceivable that Egwene had a vague fear about Rand being turned to the Dark, Sheriam made up some details about how that might happen, then Egwene had an even more concrete fear about being turned herself.
Roger Powell
231. forkroot
I shudder to think of the implications to RL if that were that to happen.
Hmmm - Implications to RL? Not sure that 13x13 would work in Real Life ... oh, wait I think you meant Randland. Good thing too, could you imagine ...

Thirteen mysterious characters sat in a rough semicircle, their identities concealed by heavy cloaks with hoods. The room was lit only by the flickering of candles that threatened to go out in the sudden draft as the door opened to admit 14 newcomers.

It was clear that one of the 14 was being held against his will -- he was gagged and his arms were bound. When he saw the candles and the mysterious figures, he rolled his eyes wildly and made a desperate attempt to escape.

He was no match for the burly 13. They were a tough-looking bunch, poorly dressed, with most in nylon blazers with team logos. They tossed him rudely to the floor in the middle of the room and collectively pinned his limbs down using their not inconsiderable weight. As a final indignity, they removed his hat with the single "B" on it and tossed it aside.

One of the hooded figures stood. "Let the process begin" he said. The unfortunate man on the floor moaned through his gag as the rest of the hooded figures stood. Each raised a wooden bat to form a 13-sided pyramid over the 13 toughs and the victim.

The chant began: "27 Championships... 27 Championships... 27 Championships". The figure in the middle writhed in agony. One by one, the mysterious figures removed their cloaks to reveal the pinstripes underneath, and then their hoods to reveal: Jeter, Posada, Teixeira, ...

The man in the middle bit through his gag in agony and let loose a long scream that tailed off into a silly giggle. The conversion was done. The 13 fans let him up and congratulated their new brother. Someone handed him a cap with an "N" superimposed over a "Y", which he gratefully placed on his head.

As he left the room with his new-found friends, he was overheard to say: "Gotta love that Bucky Dent."
232. Freelancer

Good points. Egwene never had a thought about anyone being "turned" before her vision of Rand saying it could be done to him. So it doesn't seem that she provided the seed for that part of her vision. I still believe that the Acceptitron merges several sources for its visions, including the subjects own subconscious, as well as a tap into the future. I'm convinced that we will see more tidbits from Accepted tests turning out to have been foreshadows, albeit altered by the subject's own personality within the test.
Alice Arneson
233. Wetlandernw
Lsana @230 - Well, there was some mention of how. In Egwene's test, Rand said "If they take me - the Myrddraal - the Dreadlords - they can turn me to the Shadow." Sheriam added the numbers and a bit more detail on the method.

@Lots... By the way, if you go back and look at Egwene's test, you know that it isn't true foretelling. For one thing, Elaida isn't even in the WT any more when Egwene is made Amyrlin, much less a Red Sitter, and we also know she's not BA. Perhaps at the time, there was a possible future in which she turned, or was turned, but it didn't happen that way. Now that I'm thinking about it more, though, I'm more and more convinced that the Acceptatron mostly makes use of what's in your own mind, or possibly yours and that of the women who are activating the ter'angreal for you. I wonder if we'll ever find out what the original purpose of the thing was? Maybe it'll be in the Encyclopedia. It's almost freaky to think about the possible number of ter'angreal that are being used for purposes vastly different than their original intent.
Rob Munnelly
234. RobMRobM
@231. Fork - bravo!! I was wondering why Tom Brady was wearing that Yankees cap around all these years.
EDIT - maybe this explains why Brady hasn't played so well over the past five years. Damn Yankees indeed....
j p
235. sps49
Wetlandernw @209-

The Amyrlin, perhaps with the Hall, could ask the Red Sitters to consult with their chief and suggest a new or modified mission for the Ajah. The Red higher-ups might be reluctant to allow members to opt out.

Gentleman Farmer @21-

LTT did say through Rand that Lanfear had always loved power, so....

I hadn't before noticed extra contempt for DF; I had the impression she holds everyone in contempt. I'll go back and look, it's an intriguing idea.

Freelancer @221 & others-

My gut tells me the Oath Rods work on both, since they are triggered by Spirit (in which both sexes are equal) and voluntary, while the Domination Bands are totally not voluntary. Galina didn't have to swear on Therava's rod, she made the easier choice. I wouldn't rely on an OR to control Rand if I was Sammael.
Karen Fox
236. thepupxpert
I was wondering if I could buy a Bela is a Darkfriend sticker, I don't think I'd like to drive around with I Killed Asmodean on my car! Although most likely people will think I'm referring to the Twilight series, hah!
Sharon E.
237. Sulin
@Fork 231- Ha ha! Yes I meant RandLand, I was just too lazy to type it out (but now I've taken the time to type it out and then some, go figure). Funny scenario you wrote, too! I'm not much of a baseball fan myself,so I only "got" it in the broadest sense.

Edit for: I want an "I Killed Asmodean" bumper sticker!
238. alreadymadwiththirteens
Silvertip @179
Faile being 13x13'ed, if it was possible on her, would turn into a total S&M loving nagger.

Tektonica @211
You'll have to check for the proper quote yourself, but IIRC Jordan said it would minimize the nicer parts of you and magnify the nastier parts.

Freelancer @221
What about selfish ambition? Ambition and selfishness already abound in modern Aes Sedai. If those two are magnified, what's to set them apart from the Forsaken?
Rob Munnelly
239. RobMRobM
I'll settle for a "Graendel did it" bumper sticker.
Karen Fox
240. thepupxpert
Various re 13x13 - do we know what specifically happened to Fain when he was at Shayol Ghul? Could he be an example of someone who was turned?
Jennifer B
241. JennB
I think Sammael was lying about the Oath Rod. He wanted to be sure that Sevenna contacted him if she got her hands on Rand so she had to believe that she still needed to get the means to control him.

aspeo @190
You are right. I think the WOs get 100% of girls who can channel and I assume that the WFs do too. The fact the channeling is genetic and both the WOs and the WFs have children means that the pool of potential channelers will be a larger percentage of the population as well.

Channeling still exists on the mainland "after 3,000 years of weeding out the male channelers and the AS not having kids" because the AS have been so ineffective at finding channelers. This is shown by the number of novices Egwene picks up on her way to TV. In addition to all the women missed, only male sparkers are weeded out, so the majority of potential male channelers live normal lives without ever knowing their potential.
Darn, Isilel got to this before me. Oh well, I 'll post it anyway since I took the time to write it.
j p
242. sps49
RobMRobM @ 239-

Don't start that again! I still think (since TGS) that Graendal's demise makes it difficult to give us a reveal that she did it.

thepupxpert @240-

Fain can't channel. We don't know the specifics, but having part of you distilled by the DO can't make you a better person.
Sam Mickel
243. Samadai
I have two of each of those stickers........Start the bidding......
244. alreadymadwithwindfinders
Harai @193
Do you see any coincidence in channelers performing police functions choosing Red as their color and say.. Redarms Military Police and Aethan Dor(Red Shields)?

Spera @194
I don't think it's as elaborate as the Oaths preventing pregnancy. They probably just use the tea, and don't want children for the risk of seeing them die of old age.

sps49 @219
Sea Folk have settlements on islands. They aren't on ships 100% of the time. Only adults and apprentices spend a lot of time at sea. Children stay on islands. Their ships aren't big enough anyway. If I'm right their ships are properly called clippers. Those are the fastest ships around, but not built for carrying a lot.
Windfinders are probably meteorologists and navigators. Clippers depend on sails for the most part. And having a good grasp of where the wind blows would be helpful on one.

Balthamel had been bound before, so there must be some way to do it to men. I'm with you on the Oath Rod being actually usable on men. I don't see the point in creating different ways to bind different genders. And yeah, I wouldn't count on it holding Rand for long if I was Sammael.

RobMRobM @239
What I want is a "Did Graendal" sticker.
John Massey
247. subwoofer
Ahhh- here I am, the party can start:)

So anyways, I see some good stuff has come up. GF@180- you know, I have always scratched my er... head at the thought of 13x13. I just don't get it. Why go through all the trouble of getting 13 Myrddraal and 13 BA to turn/corrupt someone. Heck if it was me, I get 13 Myr and 13 BA, there would be a killing spree and it would start with the schmuck we captured. Meh. What do I know? Beyond that the only use I could see is turning Nynaeve, Moiraine, Elayne or Aviendha as a covert spy in Rand's midst. I'd say Cranky Pants, but she has already dug her own grave, she doesn't need any help from the baddies. But beyond those ladies what would be the point? Maybe Ny gets captured by Mo finally and something goes on...

Loony Theory- she gets turned, does bad things... uses the same knife for peanut butter and jam without rinsing and Lan tries to stop her and she whacks him- bringing her to her senses, thus the bawling.

Anyways, Semi must have really been bored with life or something to come up with that. Try one Myr... try one BA... Try one Myr and one BA... try two Myr and one BA... geeze. Maybe when she figured stuff out she went out and bought a lottery ticket, scratched and became one of the DO's special people.

AS and the culling process. Well, as we can see, they are not really good at it.Their numbers have dwindled primarily because they have been ostracizing themselves from the rest of society, they have really become insular. Heh, reminds me of this line from Blank Man where the hero is worried about the future of his kids and his brother tells him that he has to have them first. "Man, you have to get with a woman first! Knock some boots!"

Sometimes I wonder about the process of the Aiel and the Windfinders of having the WO etc married off. Pure breeds often retain the genetic defects because of the inbreeding, hip dysplacia, Cushings, heart murmurs etc. That is why mutts rock. By that same token I do think that maybe the AS need to loosen up a bit. The Greens are the only ones so far that seem to have some fun in life. Everyone else seems like they need to er... release. Pillow friends indeed. AS need to get their mojo back.

There are however, many female channelers outside the Tower somebody must be drinking the Koolaid. AS bring it on themselves when people who have a spark have to leave home. Maybe correspondence school for those who want to stay at home, do chores and raise a family. I do envision a whole scenario of running and hiding in the root cellar when an AS travels trough a village on a recruitment drive. It is almost like when the special people knock on the door and you pretend like the doorbell is broken and you didn't hear anything.

Ding Dong "Honey, you wanna get that?"

"No, it's those darn AS again with pamphlets and stuff. I betcha they talk for hours and won't take a hint to leave. Just be quiet and don't get the door."

"Oki doki."

I dunno. I have my suspicions.

Tricia Irish
248. Tektonica

The Athan Miere's really fast ships are "Rakers". IIRC.

Sub@247: You are still a riot.
Hugh Arai
250. HArai
AMW@244: I'd be inclined to call it coincidence, but with RJ you never know.

@several: I agree with those that don't consider usefulness in controlling Rand to be a deciding factor on whether the Oath Rod works on men. Rand is a man that shrugs off getting his hand blown off. Getting him to swear anything he doesn't want to would be... difficult.
Sharon E.
251. Sulin
Hrmph- Tor ate my post.

@sub247- Hilarious!

Edit: for misspelling "Hrmph" :/
252. alreadyymadwithrakers
Tektonica @284
Yes the Sea Folk call them "Rakers". I meant the real world counterparts would be Clippers.
253. Ouroboros
Phaw! A few busy days and I'm 250 posts down. Most of the useful stuff has already been said, but from glancing through...

My thoughts on these chapters in general: "what happens in the next two chapters?"

It's nice to see a POV from Aviendha, not enough of those.

Yes, I'm pretty sure that it was the Gholum Avienda saw watching her. Or maybe one of Odo's stunt doubles on a lunch break. It's such a pity that Moridin doesn't have a Gholum tracker or something. He could have just asked it where the girls went to. Oh, and Moridin... be careful with your toys, especially the truly powerful ones, servants don't grow on trees.

And Creator... I want a pair of One Power Knitting Needles for Christmas. I might not have the ability built in, but if you can unpicka gateway, I'm guessing that you can knit one with the right tools.

I think the Gholum's decision to not follow the girls goes something like this. "Let's see. I can trapes around listening to talk about dresses, baths, squabbles over who precedes whom, and how Elayne's subjects will believe anything if it stands still for a page; or I can sit around here kicking back for 1000 pages, waiting for Mat to get a look in. Ah, what the heck, it's been a hard few weeks. See you next book."

As for the black "spanking" rod. Shouldn't we be calling it the Cadsuane 2000? Buy two and get a free hair ornament of your choice. Hurry while stocks... Ouch!

I see the 13x13 thing is back again. Not to be picky, but 13x13=169. That's a hell of a lot of channelers to turn one Ais Sedai. 13x2 or 13+13 surely? I'm hoping that we do at least learn of someone it was done to. It would have been nice if Sheriam had been a victim, but know, she was just greedy like all the others. Boring!

As for the future of channelers. I hope Rand is around to preside over some of this. If he gets made into a footnote in favour of Logain, I might get snippy. I also hope we get to see what happens to the Reds who went cherry picking at the Black Tower. Since there has to be something in the next book about the Black Tower I'm hoping we will; especially given how many questions came up about Tarna. If they do get shuvvelled off into a short story I will cry shenanigans. They were introduced in the main books, developed in the main books, and they should be concluded in the main books.

Re. the Sea Folk. All this talk of clippers makes me wonder how much money they make out of selling tea.

Amyrlin: So, what do you have for me today.
Wave Mistress: It is a rare and precious thing.
A: What is it?
WM: Expensive.
A: Yes, I gathered that when I heard it was you at the door. What ELSE is it?
WM: The finest tea in the world.
A: Fishguts. We're still trying to get through that crate of Tremalking Black you conned us into buying. The blasted stuff's so strong we're using it as rat poison.
WM: This is different. This is Nesta's first flush.
A: And that's good is it?
WM: Yes. Much better than the second flush.
A: Alright. How much?
WM: The White Tower?
A: [silence[
WM: Free channelling lessons?
A: [Silence]
WM: Some land in -
A: Fifty marks.
WM: Five-thous -
A: Fifty Marks. It's that or the window.
WM: By the light I agree. [Aside] Evil witch.
WM: She was a hard bargainer.
Wind Finder: Yes. She's Tairen I hear.
WM: Next time, we need one of those dopy Andorens.
WF: Ooh look, there's some women asking to see us. And they can channel.
WM: Not more bloody Tairens?
WF: No [smiles]. TWO dopy Andorens.

Right. I'm off for my morning cup of Darjeeling.
Thomas Keith
254. insectoid
Don't have anything to add (great discussion, BTW), but...

Fork @231: BAHAHAhahaha!!

Sub @247: LOL!!

Ouro @253: ::laughing so hard my sides hurt::

Thomas Keith
255. insectoid
And, because I feel like it... 0xFF! (Don't mind me, I'm just the man with the foolish grin...)

Pritesh Patil
257. MatHornsounder
samadai @ 243
i stole your stickers!!

hehehe..now i get the bids

and it begins at a thousand Andoran gold crowns and a way to get Mats luck!!

oh, and theres also a new sticker out for grabs :
Asmodean killed himself - It was a suicide

and thats the truth people. He was captured, but he managed to escape, and on learning of Rand's mistakes with the OP, he got frustrated and started ranting "No pupil of mine gets so many of his people killed attempting to slay Rahvin.Argh... I cant take this humiliation...!!!"

and so, he pulls the trigger.

erm, I mean stabs himself.
Tricia Irish
258. Tektonica

LOL. Very funny! Whew, breathe....on a serious note.....

I too will be disappointed if Rand is somehow not around after the final battle. He's put a bit of effort into the future, with his various schools, lots of reading/study, and seems to have his head on fairly squarely when it comes to some aspects of government improvement projects, ie: peasants being able to bring nobles to trial for evil deeds, sharing grain in times of famine, etc. He might even have some good thoughts on integrating men and women, Black and White Towers by the end of the books. I'm expecting good things from him in the next 2 books...

Hey everyone...discussion has begun again on the Open Thread too. Pupxpert posted a good link@1057 to an NPR article on Ireland's Traveling People....VERY similar to our Tinkers...check it out!
Tess Laird
259. thewindrose
Good one, Ouroboros:)

I found this funny, from WH chapter 12 A Lily in Winter:
(Aviendha speaking)"You follow where she leads, not put your noses up her sleeve."

And - new post today:)

260. Ouroboros
Tektonica @258 RE: seems to have his head on fairly squarely when it comes to some aspects of government improvement projects

Hmm. Well, let's start with, this is a government, and this is what it does. Next step, parliament! Elayne will love that one.
diane heath
261. jadelollipop
I am watching "Death Masks" on the History Channel and while discussing George Washington and the varied pictures made by painters as opposed to the death mask,it was pointed out that a study was done on presidential candidates/winners and how those elected can be identified by the angle of jawline;forehead etc. Made me think of the Aes Sedai method of rank. A strong jawline equivalent to best qualified???!!!!
Marcus W
262. toryx
Freelancer @ 221:

OTOH, Setalle ran roughshod over Nynaeve and Elayne, without asking any reasonable questions, and bullied them without justification, precisely as those channeling Sisters you don't want her to be like.

I get where you're coming from, but I got more the impression that Setalle was acting womanly, rather than like an Aes Sedai. She ran roughshod over E and N because she thought they were pretending to be something they were not. A silly little game that could get them punished far more gravely than anything she'd ever do to them. Women in general handle people they see as childish and foolish like this all the time throughout WoT. AS simply take it to a whole higher level.

Still, you might be right. She may be AS down to her toenails and I just like her more because she doesn't use the One Power as a threat to force people into doing what she wants.

Incidentally, aside from the mistaken gender (I'm male) your response to Silvertip @ 179 is well stated. I do indeed agree that everyone has the seed that can lead them into darkness and that the 13x13 has the effect of taking that seed and making it paramount.

JennB @ 241:
I think Sammael was lying about the Oath Rod. He wanted to be sure that Sevenna contacted him if she got her hands on Rand so she had to believe that she still needed to get the means to control him.

I think you're probably right. When I first posted yesterday I had this vague recollection of seeing somewhere some mention that it was different for males but the Sammael part was the only thing I could remember concretely. Now that I think on it more, I can't think of any reason why a male wouldn't be able to use a ter'angreal like the oath rod. It doesn't make much sense. The only thing is, the male has to use Saidin (I'd assume) on the rod to take the oaths and it'd be a lot harder for female channelers to ensure that they'd be using the OP to do that. So perhaps more risky for Sevanna and the Wise Ones to try and force Rand to use the oath rod.
Tess Laird
263. thewindrose
I agree with your thoughts on Setalle. She was an initiate of the White Tower, and the WT had never made full Aes Sedai of girls so young before when she was still a sister. She saw two foolish girls(they were behaving like silly little girls - eye rolling, sarcastic banter, going up to Mats room(I don't think Aes Sedai would usually do that - they would send someone for Mat, or send the inn keeper up there to get him).

She is going out of her way to help them, because she thinks they are pretending to be sisters which is a huge mistake, and she can also tell that they can channel. Now part of the reason she is helping them is Mat of course. And the Pattern needs Nynaeve and Elayne to find out about the Kin and take us on the Bowl of the Wind journey:)

So, I don't see her as a bully. I think she is wonderful with Mat and Tuon. I love how she puts Joline in her place. And, look how she deals with Mat - Respect!! He doesn't get a lot of that from most of the other ladies except for Birgitte and Elayne is starting to after the Gholam incident.

craig thrift
265. gagecreedlives
Excellent its been a while since ive been involved in a good twitching session
Ron Garrison
267. Man-0-Manetheran
DO NOT MISS R. Fife's interview with Harriet!!! It's up now on the front page.
Steven Pattingale
268. Pattingale
That's some serious bold text and ALL CAPS there M-o-M! :)

Is gabbly still working on tor.com for you folks? It seems broken for me today. :(
Tricia Irish
269. Tektonica
Gabbly's not working for me either, FWIW....

twitch twitch twitch
Bonnie Andrews
270. misfortuona
It's been hit and Mis all week. Causing extra twitching and some sadness. :(

Rob Munnelly
271. RobMRobM
Leigh is posting in other articles, which is her usual sign that her text is in and Torie or pablo will be posting shortly.
craig thrift
272. gagecreedlives
Hope so. Its getting late over here and Im onto my last beer
273. birgit
The only thing is, the male has to use Saidin (I'd assume) on the rod to take the oaths and it'd be a lot harder for female channelers to ensure that they'd be using the OP to do that.

What would happen if several channelers link and the leader of the circle uses an oath rod? Would the Oath affect the whole circle?
Karen Fox
274. thepupxpert
Samadi @ 243 - per putting them on ebay? Let the bidding begin! I'll start with $5.
275. PermaLurker
Free @166:

Tell you what. You put it back up when your done, I'll put it back down when I'm done.

1. Women need the seat down all the time.
2. Men need the seat down some of the time.
3. This creates a net sum of "needs the seat down more often than not," ergo, the seat should be down by default.
Sam Mickel
276. Samadai

As a man who needs the seat up way more often than down, I disagree. :D
Roger Powell
278. forkroot
New Post is up!
And it's a damn good thing too, considering where this thread was going ...
Roberto Burtoni
279. MadCardigan
@276 samadai Classic game theory / prisoners dilemma.

The equilibrium is based on the minimal amount of effort for each party and the combined parties, equally shared. To minimize the effort of both parties, the men should always raise the seat when necessary, and the woman should always lower the seat, when necessary. Exactly equal work for common use items as the seat is always down following a woman's usage and only up following some men's usage. Once up, the man has already expended the energy to raise the seat, and only if the woman is next in line WITHOUT the man requiring the seat down in the meantime, will the woman have to lower the seat. In fact she actually will have to lower the seat slightly less # of times than the number of times the man will have to, on a combined basis, raise (every time neccessary) and lower (sometimes, when he uses the seat twice in a row).

Ceterus paribus of course.

Thank god there is a new post so noone will actually read this.
diane heath
281. jadelollipop
Re: reading of residues...I am reading Fires of Heaven and Rand just balefired the Darkhounds that attacked Mat. Moraine is warning him against the use of balefire and mentions she can sense the residue of it...Rand could sense it as well. Apparently only the memories of events remain when people/places balefired. Mat remembers the dog chewing thru the door and slobbering on his arm. Due to balefire the door is whole and one saliva drop made his arm itch.
joel perry
282. finndo
right, so an hour later, after getting my password reset 3 times and figuring out I was logging in with the wrong user id...

I want to post this here, because it is relevant an near to a current post...

the Gholam is hurt by Mattrim's medallion, because it was made with the True Power, not the One Power. Which is why it has never been hurt, as only the forsaken (up to this point) have been able to use the TP, and most refuse to do so anyway. I think this would make a good reason for at least one (cough cough) light side to have access to this power...

not something I came up with on a whim, I've been keeping tabs on the possibility that all the "non-channeler" ter'angreal were made with the True Power, else how could they have finished it? (it is possible that multiple weaves by a large circle could be suspended and have them "fall in to place" AFTER they were all created, thereby not generating their "non-power" effects, after all the weaving was complete...)

hope someone sees this...
Alice Arneson
283. Wetlandernw
finndo @282 - I see it, and it's an interesting idea. Personally I think you carry it too far with the idea that all the non-channeler ter'angreal were made with the True Power, though. IIRC, there were a fair number of them around during the AOL, before the Bore was created. As I understand the cosmology, no one had access to the TP while the DO was completely sealed; that came after he was partially freed. It's an interesting thought, though, that perhaps the gholam could be affected by the TP. Unfortunately I'm afraid we haven't been given enough info to work with, so we'll have to RAFO. It would be a bit ironic, wouldn't it, if the only thing Team Light can't defend against gets wiped by one of the DO's agents.

(I'm thinking that further use of the TP by Rand is a very bad thing for everyone, if you hadn't guessed.)
284. birgit
Elayne makes copies of the Dream Ring, which is a non-channeler ter'angreal.
285. Beccat
Good points, finndo.

I really appreciate these posts and comments!
William McDaniel
286. willmcd
I noted that the sigil of the Seanchan is "a golden hawk with talons clutching lightning"; the hawk being a traditional symbol of military strength, and the lightning symbolizing the vital importance of the use of the One Power in battle to that military dominance.

On the whole "the stronger you are in the power, the higher you stand" protocol among AS. This seems to me an awfully male way of doing things; was RJ trying to make a point that men dominated western society for thousands of years because there was an undercurrent of men saying to women "We can whoop you if you don't fall into line".

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