May 28 2010 2:24pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Path of Daggers, Part 11

Happy Friday, WOTerians! In honor of the impending three-day weekend some of us are about to be graced with, have a Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 17 and 18 of The Path of Daggers, in which I wickedly and dastardedly leave us upon a political cliffhanger. Sowwy!

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.

Scheduling note: Also in honor of Memorial Day weekend, I am giving myself a wee holiday from Re-reading, because I has a Plan for the weekend which does not involve sitting in front of a computer for once. Ergo, no post on Tuesday; the Re-read will commence again next Friday. So make this one last, kids!

Chapter 17: Out on the Ice

What Happens
Egwene, Siuan, Sheriam, Bryne, and the rest of the Hall ride out before dawn , accompanied by their Warders, over a thousand cavalry (led by Uno), a thousand more soldiers flanking them, and myriad servants (and Halima). Egwene is nervous, though she doesn’t show it; Siuan is uneasy, too, and Sheriam seems strangely angry (and also uncomfortable in her saddle), though it doesn’t stop her from making a sly comment about Siuan’s lack of horsemanship. Bryne, of course, is completely calm. All the Aes Sedai are dressed to the nines, and Romanda and Lelaine are uncomfortably close behind Egwene.

Egwene managed not to look back more than once or twice, yet she could feel their eyes pressing between her shoulder blades. Each thought her tied in a neat bundle, but each had to be wondering whose cords had done the binding. Oh, Light, this could not go wrong. Not now.

The ride seems to take forever to Egwene, but at length Bryne’s scouts bring the news that the Andorans and Murandians are already at the site. He adds that Talmanes is there too, with about a hundred of the Band. Egwene only nods, but Lelaine and Romanda blow up at Bryne, accusing him of shoddy scouting and/or collusion with Dragonsworn; Bryne just listens quietly. They arrive at the frozen lake; the meeting tent is set up on the ice, since this will prevent either of the armies ranged around it from interfering. Rudely, no one emerges from the tent to greet the Aes Sedai party; silently, the sisters wait as the servants toss out the chairs set up for the sisters in the tent and replace them with ornate raised boxes.

When Egwene and the Sitters took their places, they sat a foot higher than anyone else. She had had her doubts about that, but the lack of any word of welcome had settled those. The meanest farmer would have offered a cup and a kiss to a vagabond on the Feast of Abram. They were not supplicants, and they were not equals. They were Aes Sedai.

Egwene notes that no one really looks surprised when she takes the front seat, and supposes they’ve all heard about the girl Amyrlin by now. Sheriam gestures to the other chairs, and the nobles belatedly realize that they’ve lost the upper hand by keeping silent, and grimace as the eight highest seat themselves. Egwene notes Talmanes standing off to the side silently, in neither group, and hopes for the chance to speak to him, even though she’s not sure how to do it without everyone there hearing them. Sheriam again takes control of the meeting by introducing Egwene to the four main Andorans and the four main Murandians with a conspicuous lack of titles, and ending by telling them they may present their “supplications” to the Amyrlin Seat, which does not please the nobles at all. Taking it up, Egwene declares that Andor and Murandy have always welcomed Aes Sedai, and demands to know why they bring an army against them now.

“You meddle where thrones and nations fear to step. Thrones have fallen, meddling in the affairs of Aes Sedai.”

That sounded suitably threatening, whether or not Myrelle and the others had managed to prepare her way. With luck, they were well on their way back to the camp, with no one the wiser. Unless one of these nobles spoke the wrong name. That would lose her an advantage against the Hall, but alongside everything else, it was a straw beside a hayloft.

Arathelle stands, and speaks to the sisters behind Egwene instead of her; Egwene grits her teeth and listens politely as Arathelle tells them that they are here precisely to avoid being tangled in Aes Sedai affairs; allowing them to pass through Andor unhindered might be seen as a declaration of alliance with the rebels to the White Tower. Furthermore, she’s heard rumors of Aes Sedai and Tower Guards moving in Andor in secret, and they want no part of a war between Aes Sedai on Andoran soil. One of the Murandians, Donel, spits that Murandy doesn’t want that either, and brings up what happened “out east”; he almost mentions the sisters who had visited them the previous day before Arathelle shuts him up (to Egwene’s relief) and continues that their other concern is that this is all a ruse, and the Aes Sedai’s real target is the Black Tower.

“A battle between Aes Sedai might ruin the land for miles around. That battle might ruin half of Andor.”

Pelivar sprang to his feet. “The plain of it is, you must go another way.” His voice was surprisingly high, but no less firm than Arathelle’s. “If I must die to defend my lands and my people, then better here than where my lands and people die, too.”

Egwene knows now is the moment Lelaine and Romanda are expecting her to name one of them to speak. She takes a deep breath, and tells the Andorans that Elaida is a usurper and a lawbreaker, and she, Egwene, is the Amyrlin Seat; Egwene’s army goes to Tar Valon to unseat Elaida, but that is Aes Sedai business. The Black Tower, she continues, is Aes Sedai business too, as men who can channel have always been, but Elaida takes precedence; the Black Tower is not their target. She hears shifting behind her from the Sitters, but Egwene goes on.

What was that strange call to arms the Band used? Yes. It was time to toss the dice. “I give you this assurance as the Amyrlin Seat. For one month we will stay here, resting, and then we will leave Murandy, but we will not cross the border into Andor. Murandy will be troubled by us no more after that, and Andor will not be troubled at all.”

The nobles are uncertain and torn about this, and Egwene speaks up again before the muttering gets too loud, telling them that this is not a negotiation but a decision; they can accept it, or “face what surely will come from their failure”. Pelivar et al exchange glances, then slowly nod agreement, and even though it’s obvious they think she is just mouthing words from the Sitters, Egwene sighs with relief. Arathelle adds, though, that they will remain in the area—not that they doubt the word of Aes Sedai, of course. Egwene accepts this, and suggests they all mingle a bit before departing back to their respective camps; to herself, she thinks this might give her a shot at talking to Talmanes.

“Oh. One other thing you should all be aware of. The novice book is now open to any woman, whatever her age, if she tests true.” Arathelle blinked. Siuan did not, yet Egwene thought she heard a faint grunt. This was not part of what they had discussed, but there would never be a better time.

Stepping down, Egwene feels like laughing, even though she knows only half her task is done.

Go, Egwene, go!

On first reading, I was right there with her on the Oh crap please don’t let this go pear-shaped thoughts—but probably even more so, as at this point I had no idea how she was planning to avoid having Romanda and Lelaine administer a political (and, possibly, physical) beatdown on her ass for Daring To Defy Them. At least Egwene knew what she was going to try to do; us poor readers were left totally in suspense.

(For fairly awesome values of “poor”, of course.)

It’s occasionally a very perspective-sharpening exercise to put yourself in the position of the characters, not merely in the situation they are in at the moment, but yourself as the age they are as well. I’m just saying, my eighteen-year-old self had a bit of a freakout over moving nine hours away from home for college; if I’d had to, at that age, conduct high-level political negotiations to try to defuse a potential war, while knowing almost no one on my own side had my back?

Um, no. Break out the paper bags and the Xanax, please. Also, the getaway car. DO NOT WANT. But then, that’s why no one’s writing an epic fantasy about my life, innit?

Of course, this is a slightly disingenuous comparison, since Egwene plucked fresh from her unexceptional life in Emond’s Field and planted in that tent would likely have been making with the hyperventilating and the running away too. Eighteen or not, at this point she’s had just under two years of extremely Exceptional things happen to her, and is a vastly different person than she was back in “normal” life, so that naturally has to be taken into account. But even so, it’s interesting to think about.

Bryne: Heh, you have to love him. Egwene compares him at one point to a rock weathering the surf without budging an inch, and that’s exactly what he is. I love the image of him standing there while Romanda and Lelaine yell at him, being all, “Mm-hmm. Yep. Okay. Sure. Absolutely. Whatever you say”, and probably giving Romanda and Lelaine internal screaming fits. I’m telling you now, one of the great secrets of life is that the absolute most effective response you can ever give to someone trying to provoke you is polite indifference. It drives would-be provokers BONKERS; provokers are looking for a response, after all, and why would you want to give an asshole what he wants? I don’t always succeed at keeping my temper when provoked, but man does it pay off when I manage it.

I have to say, I’d forgotten the Andorans’ actual reason for gathering up their army and confronting the Rebels. I’d vaguely recalled it as just a kind of obstreperous y’all better git off mah property strutting thing, but actually Pelivar and Arathelle have a fair point here: a battle between Aes Sedai and Asha’man would be, pretty much, the Randland equivalent of nuclear warfare. In their backyards. I… really can’t blame them for being anti-that.

The rumors of Aes Sedai and Tower Guards within Andor refer, if I’m not mistaken, to the about-to-be extremely ill-advised raid on the Black Tower. God, but Elaida’s dumb. Well, we’ll get to that mess in due time.

Chapter 18: A Peculiar Calling

What Happens
The Andorans and Murandians all beeline for the Sitters, deeming a puppet Amyrlin not worth their time, but Egwene manages to yank Sheriam aside and order her to find out all she can about this rumor of Aes Sedai and Tower Guards inside Andor. Romanda and Lelaine are giving Egwene glares of imminent doom, but they are both buttonholed by nobles, and Egwene is relieved that even those two would not go so far as to repudiate her on the spot. Siuan hisses “Shein Chunla” at her, but Egwene is busy looking for Talmanes. Right as she spots him talking to Pelivar, Segan (one of the Murandian nobles) comes up, eyes her doubtfully, and abruptly asks if what she had said about the novice book was true. Egwene confirms it, and to her surprise Segan thanks her, calling her “Mother” before heading off.

Siuan snorted. “I don’t mind sailing the Fingers of the Dragon in the dark if I must,” she muttered half under her breath. “We discussed that; we weighed the dangers, and anyway, there doesn’t seem to be a gull’s last dinner for choice. But you have to set a fire on deck just to make things interesting. Netting lionfish isn’t enough for you. You have to stuff a prickleback down your dress, too. You aren’t content trying to wade a school of silver-pike—”

Egwene broke in. “Siuan, I think I should tell Lord Bryne you’re head over heels in love with him. It’s only fair that he know, don’t you agree?” Siuan’s blue eyes bulged, and her mouth worked, but all that came out was a sort of gobbling. Egwene patted her shoulder. “You’re Aes Sedai, Siuan. Try to maintain at least a little dignity. And try to find out about those sisters in Andor.”

She walks in Talmanes’ direction, leaving Siuan to abuse the servants. Talmanes seems alert but tired, and he makes her a respectful bow when she approaches. He comments that she just changed a border, bringing Andorans this far into Murandy, and points out how the Murandians are fawning and jockeying for the Andorans’ favor. Egwene only notes that all the Aes Sedai party except Siuan and Halima seem occupied, and tells Talmanes that he’s been a good friend to Mat, and she thinks to her as well, and hopes he hasn’t said anything he shouldn’t. He studies her for a moment, then tells her “not all men gossip”, and asks if she knew what would happen here today when she sent Mat south. She answers, of course not. Talmanes then asks if she will at least tell him where Mat is; is he on his way to Caemlyn with the Daughter-Heir? At her surprise, he comments dryly that serving women will speak with a soldier at the stream, even if he is “a horrible Dragonsworn.” Flustered, Egwene almost lies to him, but sees Siuan across the room, and remembering her speech, growls to herself and reluctantly tells Talmanes that Mat was in Ebou Dar last she heard, but she is sure he is on his way north by now, if for no other reason than he still thinks he has to save her.

Talmanes did not look at all surprised. “I thought it might be so,” he sighed. “I have… felt… something, for weeks now. Others in the Band have, too. Not urgent, but always there. As if he needed me. As if I should look south, anyway. It can be peculiar, following a ta’veren.”

“I suppose it can,” she agreed, hoping none of her incredulity showed. It was strange enough to think of Mat the wastrel as leader of the Band of the Red Hand, much less as ta’veren, but surely a ta’veren had to be present, nearby at least, to have any effect.

Talmanes then observes that she never had any intention of being “rescued” by either Mat or himself, did she; Egwene answers, no, but admits that it has been a comfort to have him nearby, and tells him she hopes their friendship can continue. Talmanes says that she has been more open with him than he expected, and in return tells her that King Roedran of Murandy has approached him with the notion of hiring the Band to use as decoys to unite the nobles and bolster his position, and Talmanes is considering taking the offer, as it will keep him closer to Mat. Egwene thinks that at this point there is no real need to have the Band following her around anymore, but out of friendship advises Talmanes against it, as even the Band cannot handle it if all of Murandy decided to turn against them. Talmanes replies that the Band will slip away before then. Angrily, Egwene wants to know what happens if Roedran decides to betray him, but Talmanes counters that no one could do anything before spring, and he is certain Mat will find them before then, anyway. Egwene demands that Talmanes promise her that he will not let himself get dragged into a war even if Mat doesn’t show up by spring. He tries to protest, but:

“Your word, Talmanes. Or I will not allow your agreement with Roedran.” The only way to stop it was to betray it, but she would not leave a war in her wake, a war she had started by bringing Talmanes here.

Staring at her as if for the first time, he finally bent his head. Strangely, that seemed more formal than his bow had. “It will be as you say, Mother. Tell me, are you sure you are not ta’veren, too?”

“I am the Amyrlin Seat,” she replied. “That is quite enough for anyone.” She touched his arm again. “The Light shine on you, Talmanes.” His smile nearly touched his eyes this time.

Egwene sees that their extended conversation has attracted attention, and tries to figure out what the results might be; mentally, she curses Siuan’s “bloody” Law of Unintended Consequences. She goes back to circulating, trying to ascertain the mood of the nobles about the likelihood of the peace holding. She is approached by nearly every noblewoman there, to ask if her news about the novice book was true; several female servants ask her covertly, too, one of whom is from the Aes Sedai camp. She is very pleased about this, but annoyed that the noblemen avoid her like the plague, she thinks for fear of been seen to be interested in the same thing. Finally she goes and plants herself in Pelivar’s way and refuses to let him escape, and opens with what she thinks is a “soft” question.

“You must be pleased to hear that the Daughter-Heir is on her way to Caemlyn, Lord Pelivar.” She had heard several of the Sitters mention that.

His face went blank. “Elayne Trakand has a right to put in her claim to the Lion Throne,” he replied in a flat voice.

Egwene’s eyes widened, and he stepped back again, uncertainly. Perhaps he thought her angry over the absence of her title, but she barely noticed that. Pelivar had supported Elayne’s mother in her claim for the throne, and Elayne had been sure he would support her, too. She spoke of Pelivar fondly, like a favorite uncle.

Siuan comes up and whispers to Egwene that they have to go, and Pelivar escapes gratefully, to Egwene’s annoyance. Egwene hurries to give the order to pack up, though, as it is vital they get back to camp before sundown.

So, it makes perfect sense in retrospect why the dice icon was used for this chapter, but man did it get my hopes up for a moment, the first time. *grumble*

I would like Talmanes to be my new drinking buddy. I bet he would play a mean game of pool.

It’s always so rare and refreshing when a conversation in WOT results in actual information being exchanged that I always want to take a moment to appreciate it, like savoring a good brandy. Or so I imagine; I don’t really drink brandy myself. But you know what I mean!

I was rather absurdly pleased by their acknowledgment of friendship, too. Chalk up yet another random pair of characters who probably don’t need to meet up again before the end of the series, but whom I think it would be neat to see together once more. I think I’ve got, like, thirty of those by now or something. Le sigh.

Egwene and Talmanes’ conversation is interesting in several ways. First there’s the revelation that it’s not only Rand who can ta’veren at people from across large distances, which I thought was very cool. (I still think Verin was lying through her teeth to Mat in TGS with all that business about being dragged around by his ta’verenness, though.)

Secondly, I think this scene is significant because in some ways Egwene facing Talmanes down and compelling (small “c”) him to take the course of action least likely to cause a war is Egwene truly acting as the Amyrlin for the first time.

The purpose of the White Tower, as I see it, is ideally twofold: it is meant to stand as a bulwark against the forces of the Shadow when they come, but it is also intended to keep everyone else from falling apart in the meantime. Hence the Tower’s policy of being part of no nation but frequently involved in the business of all nations, smoothing disputes, organizing mediations, and negotiating peace accords—or, if necessary, figuratively rapping nations’ knuckles and standing them in the corner until they agree to play nice with all the other countries.

This is a purpose fraught with ethical gray areas, naturally, and you can argue till the cows come home whether the Tower has the right to do such a thing. I kind of tend to think they do, but I agree that even the excuse of “there’s an apocalypse coming!” is still technically the ends justifying the means, so, well. I dunno. But my POINT is, regardless of what you think of the ethics of the Tower’s purpose, it remains that Egwene’s ultimatum to Talmanes is fulfilling that purpose. It’s also an example of thinking beyond her own immediate concerns, and acting to preserve what she sees as the greater good. So, go Egwene.

Egwene being ta’veren, because I know someone’s going to bring it up: She isn’t. No, really. Jordan said so. I don’t remember where, but he did. And if I’m wrong about this I shall be very red-faced, but I don’t think I am.

I’m wondering how much of Egwene and Talmanes’ conversation Halima heard; Egwene thinks she is out of earshot, but if Halima was holding saidin she could have easily been close enough to hear without Egwene realizing it. I’m not sure it makes much difference, though. Yes, it would have signaled to Halima that Egwene was not at all the puppet she appeared, but I can’t see how she couldn’t know that already, via Sheriam if no other way (and thanks to the commenters who pointed out that Sheriam confirmed who her tormentor was in TGS). Also, the cat’s about to be out of the bag to everyone on the non-puppet score anyway, and evidently nothing changed on Halima’s end, so, enh. (Still don’t get why she was only blocking Eg’s Dreams.)

Also, wow, the Murandians really do not come off very well in these chapters, do they? Have we met a cool Murandian, ever? Should I take it as a sign that two of my three least favorite characters—Fain and Elaida—are both from Murandy? And should I note significantly in addition that we never find out where my third least favorite character, Lord Tool Captain Eamon Valda, is originally from?

No, no I shouldn’t. I should not make such broad, sweeping generalizations! Surely an entire nation, even a fictional one, could not be universally peopled with only greedy, unscrupulous, unpleasant folk, right?

Of course not. Right. Yup. *swings arms, snaps*


Siuan: is cracking my shit UP. I really think the exchange between her and Egwene, where she throws every fish metaphor in the world at the wall like overcooked spaghetti (seriously, Jordan so did that on purpose), is one of the funniest things I’ve read in WOT. Especially when Egwene completely pwns her a second later. Ha!

Pelivar: Our first hint that Elayne’s throne-gaining may not go as smoothly as she thought. D’oh!

Also, I’m a little confused. The men were avoiding Egwene because they didn’t want to seem interested in novices? That’s how Egwene puts it, and that… doesn’t really make sense to me. I initially thought it was because they didn’t want to seem like they were interested in channeling, but on reflection that makes even less sense. If they, as men, were interested in channeling, the Amyrlin Seat is the last person they’d go to, so why would talking to her be seen as suspect? So it must be the novice thing, but why is that bad, again? I mean, are we talking about not wanting to seem overly interested in young girls? Because, huh? Am so confused!

And also, am so ending this post! Have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend if that be your national inclination, and I’ll see y’all next Friday!

Adam E.
2. Adam E.
"Surely an entire nation, even a fictional one, could not be universally peopled with only greedy, unscrupulous, unpleasant folk, right?"

Cough, Sea Folk, cough!
Sam Mickel
3. Samadai
Good Chapters. Have a great Weekend.
craig thrift
4. gagecreedlives
Wonder if Halima was listening in to Talmanes and Egwenes conversation would it have anything to do with Demandred and his army?

That way Leigh you could have Elaida, Fain and Demandred all in the same non generalised country
Adam E.
5. Tulebast
If I recall correctly, Siuan can "See" taveren and would have known if Egwene was one. The lack of any acknowledgement by Siuan ought to be seen as confirmation that Egwene is just a regular Amirlyn.
Andrew Belmont
6. rosetintdworld
We have to wait for a week for "The Law"?! *twitchtwitchtwitch*

Just kidding, Leigh. Love the commentary. Go, Egwene, indeed!
Bonnie Andrews
7. misfortuona
Okay so now that I've read it. Excellent post again Leigh. You have such a wonderful way of saying things.
And bam, I forgot that this is where were were in the re-read. I love this little tete-a-tete on the ice.
Egwene, manipulative, surprising, and yet still so much going on that she just isn't getting (yet). You go girl.

Talmanes is very cool in this chapter, and this is where I first got a sense of his underlying humour. I never found a problem with his development in tGS because I expected it to show more outwardly anyway over time.

Mis-must remember to read the chapters before post day
Lannis .
8. Lannis
The men were avoiding Egwene because they didn’t want to seem interested in novices?

Erm, yeah. That didn't make any sense to me, either. Also because it's clear they're speaking with the other Aes Sedai (and as nobles presumably have encountered Aes Sedai before), but not Egwene? Does no one want to appear as if they're the first to be giving her role as Amyrlin credibility? Then why is she able to speak to the women? Hmm...

Though I kind of find it funny that Talmanes is the only male of rank to speak to her--kind of a "well, he's scummy Dragonsworn and so it doesn't count" kind of thing...

I heart the Siuan-Bryne relationship.

So make this one last, kids!

Leigh! You sound like you don't trust us! You know we'll find some way to fill the gap... (I smell another cage match!) Enjoy your weekend. Thanks for the post!
Sharon E.
9. Sulin
Yay, another post!

I love Egs, Siuan, Bryne and Talmanes in these chapters.
Tricia Irish
10. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh and you have a good weekend too! Wonder what Tea/Ale/BBQ we'll be discussing by next Friday? I predict great sideways movement...Woot Woot...

This is much funnier than I remember...or maybe it's just Leigh's spin on it. All of Siuan's fish metaphors strung together was hysterical, followed immediately by Egs putting it to her bluntly,

“Siuan, I think I should tell Lord Bryne you’re head over heels in love with him. It’s only fair that he know, don’t you agree?” Siuan’s blue eyes bulged, and her mouth worked, but all that came out was a sort of gobbling. Egwene patted her shoulder. “You’re Aes Sedai, Siuan. Try to maintain at least a little dignity.

Then her discussion with Talmanes...which is where I really noticed him for the first time, and he was even cooler in TGS. I didn't realize Mat had such Ta'veren pull either. And thank the Light Egs was open with Talmanes....for a change someone communicates!

“I have… felt… something, for weeks now. Others in the Band have, too. Not urgent, but always there. As if he needed me. As if I should look south, anyway. It can be peculiar, following a ta’veren.”

As for the "set up" first works....places all the pieces on the board and sets Egs up for a MOA. Byrne is so cool. The Murandians and Andorans are not very welcoming, but meh, I don't really blame them for their concerns either.
Bonnie Andrews
11. misfortuona
Double post
Brandon D
12. Ishmayl
(Still don’t get why she was only blocking Eg’s Dreams.)

I missed any discussion that may have happened on this in the last post, but I still think that Halima had to have been using some sort of Compulsion on Egwene - even if it's the Compulsion-light version that Verin uses. To me, there is never any real reason otherwise why Egwene begins taking the stance she takes on the Three Oathes. And yes, I believe that would and should be a part of Le Shadow's plan, because that severely handicaps/limits/bottlenecks a lot of Light-sided resistance.
Don Barkauskas
13. bad_platypus
Here's the "Egwene is not a ta'veren" quote:
RJ's blog 20 January 2006 "IT'S BEEN A WHILE"

For ben, of course women can be ta'veren. None of the major female characters in the books is ta'veren, though. The Wheel doesn’t cast ta'veren around indiscriminately. There has to be a specific reason or need. (I tossed in the “major” just to leave you something to argue about.)
Adam E.
14. BenM
Hmmm, dunno about the whole men avoiding Egw thing. Maybe they didn't want to seem to be sticking their noses in Tower business any more than absolutely necessary? Maybe they only avoided Egw because she was the embodiment of the rebellion, and again, they didn't want to appear to be taking sides? (They couldn't avoid ALL the AS altogether, as many of them as were there.)
Adam E.
15. BenM
By the way,

@13: the ben referred to by RJ is somebody else :)
Adam E.
16. BenM
It woulda been cool to talk to RJ, though. Alas, never got the chance. :(
Adam E.
17. BenM
last one for now:

@13: not that I thought you were saying that THAT ben was me, I just used @13: to mark the post it was in :)
Lucas Vollmer
18. aspeo
Great post Leigh!

I had forgotten how many references there are to an “AS battle out East”, but they seem to keep popping up in the story. It’s also extremely easy for me to miss just how little time has passed since Dumai’s Wells. It’s almost shocking how much is actually going on in such a short span of time. That’s one reason why I love this re-read, it is making the books seem so much more cohesive to me.

I really like Talmanes, and I very much enjoyed his and Egwene’s conversation. I also like that Egwene opened up the novice book to anyone who wanted to try. I don’t understand why this wasn’t done before, especially in light of the dwindling numbers of AS. The interest in becoming AS is certainly there, so maybe it is just a sense of elitism among the AS or something.

That’s all I’ve got for now, I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend since I’m not sure if I will get to check back up on the re-read for the next few days.
diane heath
19. jadelollipop
According to the time table the wall in ED fell on Matt the first week of January and this meeting at the end of January. Reason enough for Matt to need someone on his side. Agree about Talmanes and his sense of humor....Frog on the Ice from Different Dance.
Birgit F
20. birgit
The women had the justification, if only to themselves, of the novice book, but the men had only the thought that being seen conversing with her might tar them with the same brush.

I think the nobles don't want to be associated with the rebel AS in case Elaida wins.

Maybe Roedran is Demandred. He was not directly on screen yet and is building an army.
Tricia Irish
21. Tektonica
There's been speculation about Demandred either being Roedran or the power behind the throne there.....or in Far Madding with the "lost" Borderlanders.
Maiane Bakroeva
22. Isilel
Yay! Egwene is awesome and demonstrates that she isn't nearly as predisposed to dismiss men as some believe.
Nor is she power-hungry - it is just that not being a ta'veren she has to work to make things happen, as leadership and political power doesn't just magically fall in her lap. And this is a genuinely clever and enjoyable political plot.

Talmanes is very cool. I always liked him. He is the realistic military talent of the piece and politically astute too. I approve of what BWS did with him in TGS - the humor was always there, he just needed to loosen up a bit.

Bryne is great as well. I do not like the romance with Siuan all that much - despite all the justifications, his keeping her as a servant always seemed mean to me and generally the relationship is far too sophomoric for people like them, IMHO. But this little scene between Egwene and Siuan was priceless, LOL.

BTW, where did the AS get all that finery? And all these servants? I thought that the rebellion was short on money?

Re: novices - the AS aren't entirely wrong that it would be more difficult to disassossiate older women from their cultures of origin and inculcate them with the WT codex of behavior.
The temptation to use their power to advance their families would be greater too, for those who have descendants.
However, with the TG looming the point is moot and it could be argued that even at better times the positives would outweigh the negatives.
23. Freelancer
One, two, three...crunnnnch

Three, says the owl.
Adam E.
24. blockedsmith
Trying this without logging in as about ten of my last posts have been flagged as spam...please someone, anyone, tell me how to avoid this? Re-register? Bueller?

Anyway, I recall reading these chapters and thinking they were rather slow and not very interesting. In retrospect, they still seem slow, but the groundwork is laid for Future Events.

Talmanes feeling the pull of T'averen...seemed odd for him to say opening too much...but if he can feel the pull, perhaps it made him say it as well. Yes, Talmanes would be a good drinking buddy.

To me the funniest part of the exchange with Siuan was Egwene patting her on the back and reminding her to act with dignity. VF!

Finally, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. And while you are at it, take a moment to thank a Veteran for their sacrifice. Especially those that have passed.
Mikey Bennett
25. EvilMonkey
Aspeo @ 18

"I also like that Egwene opened up the novice book to anyone who wanted to try. I don’t understand why this wasn’t done before, especially in light of the dwindling numbers of AS. The interest in becoming AS is certainly there, so maybe it is just a sense of elitism among the AS or something."

The reason this simple idea had not been implemented is just another example of the same sort of inflexibility and enslavement to tradition that has people questioning the competence and mission of all AS everywhere. No one is acting proactively, many things the WT does is because that is the way it has always been done. Just look at their set of unwritten laws and customs that are stronger than law. I can't remember which book this is from, but I think it was Siuan who was saying customs that have been with the Tower since the Breaking are the ones that are raised to almost a religious quality. No one would ever think of changing them. Being a rock in the storm, continuity in the face of countless years can be both a strength and a weakness. The strength is it gives the ones you work for a certain kind of confidence, that no matter what happens you will still be there afterwards. The weakness is that it breeds complacency. When new challenges arise that the old methods are insufficent to counter the threat, it makes you look ineffectual and people lose confidence in your organization.

Great Post Leigh, Egwene is beginning to come into her own and that is particularly awesome. LOL everytime Egs sends Siuan into a fit of apoplexy.

Adam E.
26. Alfvaen
Whenever I think of Roedran, I sing to myself, "Roedranner...the coyote's after you." Of course, there are no coyotes in Randland, are there? (Where's that concordance?)

I also remember RJ asserting that Egwene wasn't a ta'veren, at the CoT signing in Edmonton, when I asked him about female ta'veren. I still think that some of the sequences of events involving the SG and none of the actual ta'veren are just unlikely enough to strain credulity. But I guess author fiat and ta'veren effects are not quite the same thing after all.
James Hogan
27. Sonofthunder
Isilel@22, BTW, where did the AS get all that finery? And all these servants? I thought that the rebellion was short on money?

I'm actually not too surprised. I think the Ais Sedai would give up the Oaths before they'd give up their servants and dresses.
Adam E.
28. Subbak
Isile@22 : Re: Servants and finery, the kind of money necessary for feeding the whole AS camp + army and paying the army on top of that must be waaaay larger than servants for the Sitter.
And although the rebellion is short on coin, the situation isn't that bad yet apparently, and asking AS to sell their jewels and dresses to finance the rebellion would be bad for Eg's popularity.
29. Freelancer
Leigh, I have to say, when I got to Talmanes telling Egwene he could feel Mat's pull, my first thought was, "Now how will Leigh deal with solid evidence that Mat can do that, when she says Verin was lying?" Well, denial is always an option, it seems.

On the following point, Egwene not wishing a war to be even obliquely her doing by having brought The Band into Murandy, I'm with you. All those Egwene-is-all-ambition folks need to take note. It's an extremely thoughtful and mature decision, made with nobody else's help. And Talmanes submitting to her request in this regard may just be ta'veren work, but it's Mat's. Talmanes isn't responding to the authority of the Amyrlin here, he's been intentionally pretending to threaten the Aes Sedai for months now. He's responding to his knowledge of Mat's larger objectives, and Mat's relationship with Egwene.
Nathan Martin
30. lerris
With regards to the confusion on why Halima was only giving Egwene headaches, do we have any example of a male channeler using Compulsion? And if we do, do we have any example of a male channeler using Compulsion on a female channeler?
I can't think of any examples, though admittedly my recollection is far from total.
Janet Hopkins
31. JanDSedai
re: male channelers vs compulsion
Ravhin and Morgase comes to mind immediately
Roger Powell
32. forkroot
Ishamael also used compulsion on many of the attendees at the Darkfriend social. We know about Carridin (Bors) for sure - and we see him 1:1 like that with others, some of whom are female.

We also know that he messed up Noal (aka Jain)'s mind as well.
Brandon D
33. Ishmayl
A bit off-topic, but just reminded me since Roedran was mentioned:

Anyone else think Roedran may be Demandred? In WH Ch. 9, it is mentioned that Roadran is building an army to the south. Demandred has mentioned he has a secure army. Graendal (I believe) says she sees Demandred's hand in the south (which Murandy is pretty south). Has it ever been seriously discussed?
James Hogan
34. Sonofthunder
I would think Roedran has to be a prime candiate for Demandred - I think there are few other options as far as "secure armies" that-are-not-Rand's go. I know the Borderlanders army has been mentioned, but I tend to think not. Just because I'd be very sad if it turned out all the Borderlanders have been manipulated by Demandred. :(

I sure *hope* we see Demandred in ToM!!
Nathan Martin
35. lerris
@31 and @32
Thanks... forgot about those somehow. Probably what I get for avoiding actual work.

Which leads to additional thoughts:
Can one use compulsion on someone who is stronger in the power?
Would it be a good thing for Rand to meet up with one of his childhood friends and notice the signs of compulsion?
Was Balthamel even skilled in Compulsion?
Janet Hopkins
36. JanDSedai
re: Roedran and Demandred
It is entirely possible that Roedran is Demandred, but the only evidence is what has already been cited. So there's not really anything to *discuss*, per se; at this point, it all really comes down to opinions.

Personally, I think Demandred is in Sharra. Although, given the geopolitical positioning of the other Forsaken, it would be odd if not one was in the Borderlands.

As for Compelling stronger channelers that oneself, I think that would be akin to cutting one off from the Source. With misdirection and surprise, it would be very possible.
Poojitha Sitaram
37. sitarap
I was just thinking - we don't see much animal activity in the WoT. Technically, I know they have falcons and hawks and dogs, and farm animals (Eg. Bela :D), of course. But I don't recall anyone actually having a pet dog/cat or even a bird.. or running from bears or apes in the forests. Am I wrong? It's probably irrelevant, but it's just a thought I had :)
Also, this is my first post. Thanks for your re-read, Leigh - I love it!
Roger Powell
38. forkroot
Don't forget "Scratch" the Al'Vere's cat - he's introduced early in TEoTW.

There is mention of stray cats specifically because of Marillin Gemalphin, a member of the Black Ajah who left the tower with Liandrin's group. Marillin has a soft spot for stray cats.

There are plenty of references to farm animals (particularly horses).

As for wild animals - well, there are the wolves (but they are a bit special.)

Any chapter with Siuan features plenty of references to dangerous fish from the waters near Tear!
Noneo Yourbusiness
39. Longtimefan
@ 37 sitarap

In general there are few animals that would be considered "pets". There are cats and dogs but in the context of the story the cats live at inns and warehouses to sleep on the mantle and chase away the mice and rats.

The Tinkers have large guard dogs which are very pet like when they are not protecting the Tinkers.

There are cats and dogs in the alleyways of Camelyn but they are not pets as much as "wandering" animals.

I do not remember any songbirds in cages but I think there was an indication that the Seanchan might have caged birds.

Aquariums are completely beyond the abilities of the time but there are ponds with brightly colored fish in some of the palaces.

I do not recall any mention of "exotic" animals kept as pets like monkeys or leopards. Kept as entertainers with Valan Luca's show yes, pets, not so much.

In general the animals I remember of a domesticated variety were out of neccesity more than personal indulgence.

Maybe that will change after the breaking.

Then there will be a whole other school of the Yellow Ajah for veterinary services.
Noneo Yourbusiness
40. Longtimefan
@37 I think I may have misinterpreted your comment. :)
41. Syman
There are lions in the waste, and various venomous reptiles, including the snake that Mat lets go in northern Altara.

We see cats as mousers/ratters, and dogs in the streets. Various characters pet cats occasionally, and Marillan Gemalphan is known for liking cats, but I don't recall a cat or dog (or anything else) actually depicted as someone's pet, or anyone thinking about an animal as a pet.

Except maybe Fain's pet fade.
Captain Hammer
42. Randalator
lerris @35

Can one use compulsion on someone who is stronger in the power?

In TPoD, ch. 12 Graendal Compelled Cyndane who is stronger than her, but used an angreal in the process, so she might have been the stronger one in that situation.

But in TGS, Prologue a messenger calls Graendal to a meeting with Moridin. He arrives via Gateway and brings Graendal to the meeting before Moridin even arrives, so most likely he is a channeler and opened the Gateway himself.

Still, Graendal considers compulsifying him in the face because "my, was he attractive".

Graendal nearly reached out a weave of Compulsion to seize the boy for herself. However, she restrained herself. Once a man had known that level of Compulsion, there was no way to recover him, and Moridin might be angered. She did need to worry about his whims.

No mention of any considerations re: strength. If strength were a factor, it would be very risky for a woman to take on a male channeler and potential Asha'man, whose strength she can't appreciate.

But the only worry she has is pissing off Moridin, so either girl's got huge ovaries, is plain stupid or strength isn't an issue.

Since Graendal isn't one for unnecessary risks and certainly not stupid Occam's Razor is pointing towards the strength non-issue...
Tess Laird
43. thewindrose
Don't forget Valan Luca's Traveling Menagerie. Oh I am sorry, we were trying to forget that;)

I would be a bit worried for Talmanes if Roedran is Demandred in disguise. Didn't he get a pipe from the king? Could have a finder on it if so.

Bonnie Andrews
44. misfortuona
Welcome to Leigh's wonderful madhouse of fun and games. We got spirits, beer, tea, bacon, and chocolate in the bunker. Grab a plate and a glass and enjoy.
Oh and we do have a dog in the bunker his name is Zero, and he's here to get rid of the spiders.

Mis-Suffa we need another chair for Sitarap, STAT

Edit for, didn't one of the grey sisters have an owl in her room when Egwene visits in KoD or maybe it was tGS.
and I needed a need
Tess Laird
45. thewindrose
Would this be a good time to wonder why Mat would need help from the Band of the Red Hand? Maybe I should fess up now that I am enjoying the outdoors(read it is beautiful out) and have had a few margaritas... And we need a subwoofer link:(

Jacy Clark
46. Amalisa

First, pass that pitcher of margaritas. Second, Mat doesn't need them right this minute (well, they probably could be useful, considering) but he is going to need them shortly, and the Pattern "knows" this and is getting the ball rolling now by starting the ta'veren tango... :D
j p
47. sps49
First hint, ugh. What is the point of being a Daughter-Heir if you have to go through a Succession anyway? Gargh, this is about to be a useless, clothing-describing subplot.
Sheila McEvoy
48. SuffatheDamane
re: animals in WoT

Someone sees a Tarabonner refugee selling songbirds in cages in Cairhien, plus Elayne used to take in wounded birds.

Suroth also keeps a private menagerie on hunting cats and birds.
Jacy Clark
49. Amalisa

Because even a Daughter-Heir may not be a good choice. Or the other Houses may decide that the ruling House has over-stayed its welcome. Whatever the reason, whoever the Daughter-Heir, she has to win the approval of most of the other Houses.

Have a cookie...
diane heath
50. jadelollipop
Wasn't the owl in Verin's room when Egwene went and got the BA list and the dream ring?
Adam E.
51. Lurking Canadian
Suroth has a lopar that sleeps in her bedroom. It definitely seems to be a pet, not just an animal in a menagerie that she happens to own.

But, of course, all the really fashionable Seanchan just have two-legged, talking pets on leashes to take on their evening walks.
Thomas Keith
52. insectoid
Late again... had to help fix a hardware problem with our server. I hope there's some sort of cookies left over at the buffet... ::reads comments:: Ooh, chocolate!! ;)

Great post, Leigh! ::reads scheduling note:: I'll survive; I've got months worth of work to do around here while I wait:)

Ch. 17
Egwene: Awesome. On her addendum to the speech: I can just hear Siuan saying to herself, "That wasn't part of the plan!" Of course, Egwene's awesomeness here will be overshadowed by the bombshell she drops in Ch. 19...

Ch. 18
Siuan: Is still cracking me up. The passage you quoted had me laughing out loud when I first read it. Wall-o'-Fish-Metaphors FTW! Also, gobbling. ::chuckles::

Adam E. @2: Yeah, really! I think Elaida and the Sea Folk would get along well if they ever met...

Free @23: LOL!! Good answer!

My input on the animal topic: I think Egwene needs a kitty or something to help her with her non-Power-induced headaches and stress. They're good for that:)

Chin Bawambi
53. bawambi
And when your done with the cookie sps you're gonna think that you don't believe in any of that succession stuff but what's really gonna burn you is would you have had to deal with it if Rand hadn't have balefired RAAAVVVIIN!

Tess Laird
54. thewindrose
Amalisa - going with the considering part.

Hem.. Well, I thought this passage from a Peculiar Calling interesting:
Egwene made a vexed sound. It was a remarkable plan, the sort of thing Siuan might devise, and hardly a scheme she thought Roedran Almaric do Arreloa a'Naloy could carry off. The fellow was said to be so dissolute he made Mat look wholesome. But then, it was hardly a scheme she would have believed Roedran could think up. The only certainty was that Talmanes had made up his mind.

And just for sps49:) :
Her green-and-blue silk was slashed with white and worked with seed pearls. Pearls even decorated the backs of her gloves. At the last minute a cloak lined with ermine had been provided by Romanda, and a necklace and earrings of emeralds and white opals by Lelaine. The moonstones in her hair came from Janya. The Amyrlin had to be resplendent today. Even Siuan appeared ready for a ball, in blue velvets and cream lace, with a wide band of pearls at her throat and more laced through her hair.

I will keep my eye out for more descriptions, there may be some more here or there:)

Tricia Irish
55. Tektonica
Sitarap: Welcome. We really are a friendly bunch...come on in...I see Mis has made you at home.

Wind: Pass the 'rita's please. It's nice and hot and tropical down here too.....

Amalisa@46: Ta'veren Tango...I like it! Catchy. And yes, Mat's going to need them soon....

Spas49: Yes, brace yourself...the silk will arrive soon accompanied by tepid food descriptions for the pregnant daughter heir. Sigh. This book really does have it all! Snore.
john mullen
56. johntheirishmongol
About the only thing that this book has that I enjoy is the fun that Egwene has sharpening her claws in preparation to skewer Lelaine and Romanda.
Kate Collura
57. dreamwalker
Another point these chapters bring up is how much the Black Tower is an after thought for everyone who really should care. Elaida/Tower AS completely underestimate it to seriously negative consequences. Rand and Egwene/Salidar AS both decide they have more important things to do, which can't be completely denied. Still, I think everyone is going to be really sorry when they finally get around to it, hopefully in ToM.

Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend everyone!
Jacy Clark
58. Amalisa

*slaps forehead* I'm sorry. My manners left me for the moment. Please pass the margaritas!! :D
Janet Hopkins
59. JanDSedai
Is the Ta'veren Tango anything like 'The Masochism Tango' by Tom Lehrer?! (Go to YouTube and search for Tom Lehrer-- you'll be glad you did!)

Oh, and Tek, Elayne doesn't get pregnant until the next book; we are still in Book 8, and Rand doesn't visit Camelyn until book 9. we still have the death of Adelas to come in this book.

And Amalisa, manners *are* important! Although I didn't notice any rudeness in your post. Now, please pass the margaritas over this way!
Adam E.
60. Subbak
forkroot @32 : Hum, where does the bit about Ishy and Jain come from?

re: Roedrandred, I believe Talmanes says in tGS that Roedran gave him a book Mat quotes a lot (because he remembers writing it). That would be a bit of an odd behavior from a Forsaken, who would not have known of the book in the first place and probably regarded it as another worthless thing from the Third Age.
Tricia Irish
61. Tektonica
JanDSedai@59: It's all a gauzy's a's's zzzzzzz.

(Sorry, I'm anticipating troubling themes already.) ;-))
Tess Laird
62. thewindrose
Amalisa, Tektonica Enjoy!:) Hopefully someone will come up with an entertaining pass time! Maybe a story Sam???

Roger Powell
63. forkroot
Hmmm - getting ready to head to a mountain cabin this weekend. All this talk of margaritas was too much. Now I'm packing tequila, frozen limeade, frozen lemonade, and a variety of secret ingredients. Blame it all on you folks! Fortunately there's a blender at the cabin.

I agree, another story from Sam is always welcome. I will also see about posting a little something for everyone's amusement, but it won't be a story. Look for it about Wednesday.

Aside to Subbak@60
Ishy aka Baalzamon brags about it to Rand near the end of TEoTW. We also later see POV's from Noal indicating that his mind has been messed with (I think those are in ACoS.)
Invisible Cheese
64. MatOdin
@all who hate the clothing descriptions:
Doesn't it seem like at least 300+ pages are devoted to clothing descriptions per book? I know it's good for visualization, but all in all, it get's on my nerves.
And are ALL silk dresses 'Slashed with cream?' Mpoiraine's, (NS, and the main series,) Elaynes, (tEotW) Egwenes, (amyrlin, (Elaida, etc.
The clothes are what I hate most about Winters Heart and tPoD. That, and the Elayne subplots, and the minimum Mat. Oh, and Emo Wolfboy Perrin begins.
Clothes. Who needs 'em?
Did somebody mention cookies?
Sam Mickel
65. Samadai
thewindrose@62 and forkroot@63

Tsingu ma choba
j p
66. sps49
Amalisa @49-

That is the in-story justification. I don't like it's inclusion in the story as a whole.

Thank you, but I will need a stale cookie to prevent grinding my teeth.

And did you ever post about bonding Warders in the open thread? :)

thewindrose @54-

My eyes, they burn!
67. Freelancer
Sam of the FalDaravisitingmasonryinspectingSeptoftheTreebrotherAiel?
Alice Arneson
68. Wetlandernw
I sorta figured the men avoiding Egwene was related to some combination of four (or more) things: 1) Men seem generally less comfortable around Aes Sedai than women; 2) No one is sure about this "girl Amyrlin" and no one really wants to legitimize her; 3) Women have a vested interest in that they or their female relatives have a new possibility in life; 4) Men just don't want to know if its anything to do with learning to channel.

Both men and women obviously coverse with the Sitters; it's why they're there, after all. But for anyone to recognize Egwene as Amyrlin is going quite a bit farther than conversing with an ageless-faced Aes Sedai who is obviously legitmate, even if she may be a rebel. That's not really their business, but an Amyrlin who is just too young is bound to cause discomfort, and these Sitters don't exactly display a great deal of forthright solidarity with their Amyrlin. So yeah, everyone is a bit reluctant to talk to her. The women, though, have an incentive - I can easily imagine that whatever they might have been taught, or whatever they might say or even believe, deep down every woman in the world would have a tiny desire to have the ability to wield the One Power. So the women would come and ask the one who made the statement, whether they were thinking of themselves, friends, relatives or whomever; they would come and ask. The men would reasonably be less interested or even antagonistic to the idea: they might well not want the women in their lives going off to the White Tower. In any case, a man would shy away from showing interest in anyone learning to channel, because "men" and "channeling" should not be in the same thought, according to all they've ever known.

Something to work with, anyway.

On pets in Randland, there are multiple references to pet dogs, pet lapdogs, and pet cats, as well as the cats kept by most inns and the dogs used for guard duties. Most of the references are not to specific animals, but comparing (or refusing to compare) a person with said pet. So while RJ didn't write in many examples of actual pets, he wrote it as clearly being part of the culture.

I have thoughts on the novice book thing, but not sure if I can make them coherent tonight, so will post this and work on that. Happy weekend!
Jacy Clark
69. Amalisa
@sps49 -

In-story justification is, well, the story, so... I'm content to just roll with it. But I'll be happy to save back some cookies and let 'em age a bit - just to give your teeth something to work with. If it will help... ;)

As for Warders being bonded and a post in the Open thread... I'm going to be real honest. Just got in from the home of some friends, where we enjoyed a late dinner of veggies roasted in olive oil, lovely lamb medallions and a few bottles of wine. I'm not going to swear to anything I've posted recently! :D

But I will check mañana...
70. Freelancer
I don't know that men would necessarily be antagonistic to the issue of more women being able to join the Tower, especially not these men. Nobles of Murandy and Andor have more regular dealings with Aes Sedai than any commoners, and than most other nobles. They might be agnostic to the idea, and therefore find no reason to approach Egwene.


I'm glad someone noticed. ;-) Even a Tootsie-Pop reference deserves some love.
Michael Ikeda
71. mikeda

Keep in mind that in a typical succession, the Daughter-Heir (as long as there is a recognized one) will generally be confirmed without any problems.

This is not a typical succession. Among other things, Morgase seriously alienated most of the Houses before mysteriously disappearing.
Adam E.
72. Booksandhorses
Oh Leigh,

If only you lived in the UK. It's a Bank Hol weekend (so 3 days off) so of course it is raining. You NEVER make plans in the UK for a bank hol. Instead you would be in front of your computer writing up another great re read (or down the pub I suppose - hang on, what am I doing here?)
Adam E.
73. tearl
Freelancer@70 re: Insectoid@52 re: Free@23

Unintended HGTTGism here:

I got the Tootsie-Pop reference in the answer, but what was the question?
Maiane Bakroeva
74. Isilel

AS finery and servants - well, didn't most of these AS have to run away from the WT at a moment's notice? And being rebellious, wouldn't they have had to be careful with the coin once they escaped, as they couldn't count on the next check? So, where did all the swag come from? Not to mention that veritable caravans would have been necessary to transport all the clothes ;).
Also, until Salidar we never saw an AS traveling with a servant and it was clear that they were quite capable of living from the saddlebags for extensive periods of time.
So, yea, a bit of an oddity, IMHO.

It was a remarkable plan, the sort of thing Siuan might devise

I like Siuan, but her characterization is soo inconsistent. I mean, if she is so good at devising remarkable plans, why was the WT so woefully unprepared for the TG under her tenure? Siuan knew for a fact that the TG was coming in a couple of decades yet did nothing to:

increase enrollment (instead of allowing it to slip to an all-time low)

review OP combat tactics from the Trolloc Wars and think up some new stuff

counteract the BA and pre-empt the FS

Moiraine was out searching, but what was Siuan doing for 20 years? And yet, we are supposed to see her as competent, just not as fit to handle the TG as Egwene. Hm...


SG's and ta'veren - well, normal people can have lucky breaks too! But also, SGs are tied to Rand and affected by his ta'verenness, IMHO, as he himself clearly feels in TGH at Falme.
Antoni Ivanov
75. tonka
@ 74.Isilel

I like Siuan, but her characterization is soo inconsistent. I mean, if she is so good at devising remarkable plans, why was the WT so woefully unprepared for the TG under her tenure? Siuan knew for a fact that the TG was coming in a couple of decades yet did nothing to:

You forget something. Siuan is very smart. Egwene would never been able to achieve what she did without Siuan's help.But she is not the only very smart person out there and the Shadow have smart people too. And unlike the Shadow she got only herself and Moiraine. They couldn't trust anyone else. They couldn't have known how many black ajah there are or that Ishamael was free or number of things that let to the downfall of the Tower. If they had decided to trust someone else. In New Spring they consider telling Sheriam as she is one of their closest friends. But eventually decide against it. What would have happened if they have told Sheriam. Whoops.
Lannis .
76. Lannis
tonka @ 75:

"Whoops" indeed! :|

Look away folks, there's no story here. Our lovely young ladies got eaten by the Black Ajah early on, and there just ain't enough left to feed a dog... sorry Rand, you're on your own. :O
Maiane Bakroeva
77. Isilel
Tonka @75:

They couldn't trust anyone else.

But Siuan didn't have to trust anybody to make preparations and contingency plans I mentioned above.

It was reasonably well-known among AS in NS that the TG was coming in their life-times. Working to increase enrollment wouldn't have betrayed any special knowledge on Siuan's part. Even the BA would have gone along.

Ditto, OP tactics and strategies and even looking up FS info, if done carefully.
Or sending some sisters into the Borderlands to bolster their defenses.

Re: the BA, yes, tricky and ultimately futile, but the deduction about the Oath Rod and keeping better track of it should have been possible. It is just baffling that Siuan knew of them yet didn't take them into account in her plans - neither as Amyrlin nor even later.

Also, she could have been a bit more careful once she made the move to put the Tower behind the Dragon Reborn. It was an obvious invitation for the BA and FS to strike.

I know that Siuan was supposed to fail to make way for Egwene, but if we are supposed to see her as somewhat competent, she should have at least tried.
Tess Laird
78. thewindrose
Isilel - I thought someone may have highjacked your name @22;) (I am of course just kidding, but it is rare when you still like a plot, and it is great to hear it!)

Samadai - Kiserai ti Wansho!

Some AoL sayings can be found here.

Clothing is even discussed in comments with RJ, I found the below quote here.


Q106: What does it mean when dresses are slashed with a colour?

RJ: There are two possibilities meanings to this. The most usual one is that there is an underskirt of the colour that says it is slashed with. The outer skirt has a slit in it, a slash, which is sown in such a way that it is always open thus revealing its underneath colour. The other way of doing this is there is this sort of pocket sown on the inside of that slash of the second colour, so you are looking through the outer skirt into a depth, so it looks like it is a little pocket that other colour in the skirt. This is not my invention, they did this during the renaissance, and I believe earlier as well.

Forkroot- Looking forward to whatever it is you have come up with:)

Ron Garrison
79. Man-0-Manetheran
Chapter Titles

I believe I read somewhere that Harriet chose the chapter titles, and I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge how great they are:

Chapter 17: Out on the Ice - It’s both literal and figurative with Egwene’s taking chances.

Chapter 18: A Peculiar Calling - We have here a reference to Talmane’s ability to feel Mat, Egwene’s offer (calling) to open the novice book to all women who can channel, and even a question about how Egwene can get people to do what she wants.

::hi:: ::bye::
so much to do, so little time....
80. Ouroboros
The men won't want to talk to any Aes Sedai - they are Aes Sedai after all - and so will only do so if absolutely necessary. Why should they talk to someone that they see only as a puppet? The women only talk to her because they want confirmation of the new age limit for the novice book.

aspeo @ 18: The age limit was there because the AS believed that only young women could bend to the discipline and be able to learn things that they hadn't taught themselves. Also, they want women with no other ties, which is much less likely in women who have built a life.

Isilel @ 22: I suppose they brought it with them from the Tower. It must have been a very leisurely exodus. ;)

EvilMonkey @ 25: It's only a simple idea after someone has actually come up with it. Hey, what's this bright hot thing eating the wood. I think they call it . . . fire? Wow! That's so simple. Why didn't we think of it before?

lerris @ 30: Rahvin compels a Red sister at the start of TFoH. And @35: Graendal does Cyndane about four chapters back. I think it's just a question of being the first one to land a compelling weave - although it might be harder if the other person is actually holding the power.

sitarap @ 37: Welcome.

thewindrose @ 45: The pattern knows what it's doing here. The Band meets Mat just in time to help him past the Seanchan on the way out of Altara. There would have been no point in meeting up earlier because Mat was trying to move under cover. Hmm, seems Amalisa @ 46 got there first.

Speaking of which... wouldn't a ta'veren fox-trot be more appropriate?

Amalisa @ 49: Traditionally - at least in the real world - an heir doesn't need to claim the throne at all, they simply take it when the monarch dies or abdicates, and I always took it as read that it works in the same way in Andor. There are two reasons why Elayne has to fight for it. (1) Morgase's rein ended in catastrophe. (2) Elayne took far too long to return to Andor. This created a vacuum of power which would not otherwise have existed.

JanDSedai @ 59: Don't know about the tango but I'll bet Taim likes poisoning pigeons - probably with blackberries.

Isilel @ 77:

"It was reasonably well-known among AS in NS that the TG was coming in their life-times."

Was it? I don't recall this. Tamra sent several sisters out hunting Rand but it was kept a closely guarded secret.

As for recruiting, the BA was being directed to make sure that the AS were not a threat in TG. Allowing them to bolster numbers would definitely go against this goal. Egwene's plan only worked because she announced it publicly without discussing it with anyone else first, and this was actually a really stupid political move because it was bound to anger all the sitters whom she didn't approach.

As for the rest, if Siuan had started pushing for all sorts of new training, strategies, and research, the BA would be bound to get suspicious. And don't forget how many Amyrlins had been killed by the BA. You can hardly blame her for stepping with extreme care.
Tess Laird
81. thewindrose
My comment at 45 - I was really just being a bit cheeky - as in we know where Mat was at this point, and he sure wanted to get out of the Tylin situation.(Hence extra help from the Band of the Red Hand)

They were strong margaritas ::shrug::

I think Traveling can explain how the sisters are able to have all the clothing and servants etc. So they hightailed out of the Tower and when we see them first through Siuan and Min's eyes, there isn't a lot going on. Siuan starts manipulating them, gets Egwene voted Amyrlin, and Egwene shares how to Travel. Now they can go and bully rulers, I mean ask rulers for money, pick up some servants and try to stiff their army;)

Jacy Clark
82. Amalisa

I'm sure, everything else being equal, the ascension of a Daughter-Heir to the Lion Throne was considered a fait accompli. I'm also sure, under those circumstances, there was some kind of ceremony where the major Houses (or maybe all of them) accepted the new Queen's rule and pledged her their support. But the very fact that they would have to do that hints that things can get dicey when all things are not equal. And maybe for reasons not limited to the lack of a Daughter-Heir.

From CoT, "Talk of Debts", Elayne's pov:
...the Queen's Staybleyard traditionally was given over to the Queen's personal horses and carriages, and she had hesitated over using it before the Lion Throne was acknowledged hers. The steps that led to the throne were as delicate as any court dance, and if the dance sometimes came to resemble a tavern brawl, you still had to make your steps with grace and precision in order to gain your goal. Claiming the perquisites before being confirmed had cost some women their chance to rule.
Choosing who would be the Queen of Andor was quite simple, boiled down to essentials. There were over four hundred Houses in the realm, but only ninteen strong enough that others would follow where they led. Usually, all nineteen stood behind the Daughter-Heir, or most of them, unless she was plainly incompetent. House Mantear had lost the throne to Trakand when Mordrelien died only because Tigraine, the Daughter-Heir, had vanished and Mantear had begun running heavily to boy children. And because Morgase Trakand had gathered thirteen Houses in her support. Only ten of the nineteen were necessary to ascend the throne, by law and custom. Even claimants who still thought they should have the throne themselves usually fell in with the rest, or at least fell silent and gave up their pursuit, once another woman had ten Houses at her back.
(emphasis mine)
So House Mantear had lost the throne for two reasons - the most important, of course, was that Tigraine had vanished. But the fact that they had begun putting stems on the apples more often than not was also a consideration. If Tigraine had not disappeared, would she have been challenged on that count? She was, apparently, competent; however, she had already had one child, and that child was a boy. So, yes, it is possible that some other of the major Houses with a bevy of female children might have presented a viable challenge.

Of course, we wouldn't have a story then, would we? And no Succession and fashion talk, which would make some people very happy.

*adjusts the delicate lace on her cuffs and smooths an imperceptible wrinkle from her blue-slashed satin gown*
Hugh Arai
83. HArai
@various: We know from New Spring Aes Sedai receive a stipend of 1000 gold crowns a year, more if needed. Moiraine is surely not the only one to use outside banks, especially the ones who left in an organized enough fashion to form the rebel camp.
That's not a lot by army logistical standards, but it's likely enough to keep themselves in the snobbery to which they are accustomed.

@sps49 and @various:
First hint, ugh. What is the point of being a Daughter-Heir if you have to go through a Succession anyway?

Aug 22: Morgase flees.
Sept 21: Rand kills Rahvin and basically has to take charge working through Dyelin and others.
Dec 30: Elenia and Naean try to claim the Lion Throne. Dyelin imprisons them.
Dec-31: Dyelin is announced as Regent in Caemlyn until Elayne returns.
Feb 08: Elayne arrives in Caemlyn and claims the Lion Throne.

Needless to say, this is not how it's supposed to go. One can make solid arguments that in the big picture Elayne was more gainfully occupied elsewhere. Looking at it solely with regard to the rule of Andor, Elayne dropped the ball big time. Since Elayne apparently wants the throne, she's really lucky Dyelin didn't.
Alice Arneson
84. Wetlandernw
Ouroboros @80 and previous discussion - Also, just because we didn't read about it doesn't mean Siuan didn't try, but there are a myriad of circumstances which could render her efforts either ineffective or simply "under the radar" as far as the story is concerned. Remember, she even had to be extrememly careful about protecting Moiraine's search for the DR, as in "not appearing to care" - and that was arguably the most important thing they could do in preparation for TG. Granted that from our perspective, their motivation for finding him ("guidance" as defined by Aes Sedai) was... questionable, it was important for Team Light that someone find him. As witness the first few chapters of the first book, when without Moiraine & Lan, (to paraphrase Lannis) "Look away folks, there's no story here. Our handsome young heroes got eaten by Trollocs early on, and there just ain't enough left to feed a dog... sorry, world, you're on your own."

BTW, I'm with Ouroboros in thinking that knowledge of the approach of TG was, in fact, not at all widespread at the beginning of the series. The BA knew, but that's not much help. Only Siuan, Moiraine and Tamra knew about Gitara's Foretelling firsthand, and the searchers Tamra sent out were all (afawk) assassinated by the BA. There were a few other Foretellings (Elaida, for example, who wisely kept to herself anything that could have been helpful to Team Light), but nothing widely known that proved it. If Siuan, Amyrlin or not, let slip that she knew it was coming, she'd have been grilled six ways from Sunday about how and what she knew. Whatever she was doing would have been a) taken over by the highly-efficient Hall and b) common knowledge to the BA.
85. Freelancer

Cosby reference!

Wetlandernw@84 & Ouroboros@80

Yes, Siuan was navigating the Fingers of the Dragon in a leaky skiff. But surely she attempted to put in place every reasonable strategy that could help the Tower prepare for both the Dragon's arrival and the Last Battle. We just don't have textual evidence of it, only the awareness of Siuan's political aplomb. Remember also that long before she becomes Amyrlin she knows that the Black is active and deadly, and she doesn't know who she can trust outside of Moiraine. So her steps must be exceptionally careful, and her plans kept closer than her corset.

Also, there's no proof that even the others of Tamra's searchers were sure of what their target truly was, supposing that any of them had lived. AFAWK, they were given a region, and a list of names with questions to ask, and nothing more. Tamra believed, since the boy was only recently born, that they had time to identify him, let him be raised to adolescence by his parents (with local "watchers" keeping guard over him), and then bring him to the Tower for protection and whatever training they believed they could offer.

Again, we don't have solid evidence one way or the other. All we know is that by the end of New Spring, only three people alive know that the Dragon is reborn AND how to identify him. The BA have suspicions, but even less information that Siuan and Moiraine, or they wouldn't be roaming the countryside killing any male of any age who seems unusually lucky.
Hugh Arai
86. HArai
Wetlandernw@84: I believe you're correct. Elaida pulled down Siuan by proving she and Moiraine knew about Rand being the Dragon and didn't tell rest of the Tower. The rumors of Rand taking Tear reached Tar Valon on Jun 6. The Tower coup was on the 24th. Elaida took advantage of the shock of the news, something that would not have been nearly as powerful if "knowledge of the approach of TG" was widespread.
Obviously the BA clued in as soon as Elaida told Alviarin.
87. Ouroboros
Hey, look at that. It's less than 48 hours and we've already moved away from the chapters.

thewindrose @ 81: Agreed, travelling would be another explanation. Some of them are going to have a lot of dresses when they get back to their rooms in the Tower. To be frank, I don't really care - so long as I don't have to read about them!

Amalisa @ 82

I don't think we're disagreeing here. I was saying that a mother - daughter succession is normally taken for granted, but that Elayne's was definitely not a normal situation. Rahvin's acts in Morgase's name led to a massive lack of confidence in house Trakand, and Elayne's late arrival did nothing to appease this. In fact, it made it worse, how can you have confidence in someone who hasn't even turned up to do the job. It may be that if Elayne had turned up the day after Rahvin was killed, that she may have been able to secure enough support before her rivals got there acts together, but Elayne left it too long, and by the time she did arrive, there were several houses making claims.

Not sure about the conclusions you drew from the second quote - at least the "putting stems on apples" part. Mantear lost the thrown because there was no daughter heir. This meant that the lineage had to be re-examined. There was probably a "political" component to this re-examining, but it seems unlikely that Tigraine would have been challenged. "Plainly incompetent" implies that the other houses would have to be strongly opposed to a claimant, and for better reasons than "we've had enough of you're house". "Running heavily to boy children" could just mean that there weren't any women whose lineage to Ishara was stronger than Morgase's.

Wetlandernw @ 84 & Freelancer @ 85

That's what I meant. If she did anything it would have to be very covert, and the kind of reforms that Isilel was talking about would almost certainly raise several black flags. Also agree that we don't really know what things she did try.

Wetlandernw, I forgot to mention that Tamra’s searchers were all knocked off - cheers.
Alice Arneson
88. Wetlandernw
Ouroboros @87 - Sorry about that - I certainly didn't mean to imply that I was arguing with you. I intended to agree and add a couple more reasons for the position. I thought you were right on in your statement @80, and it triggered a couple more thoughts that seemed worth tossing in.

@all on the same: I have to say, too, that this is another one of those situations in which, to a certain extent, we have to accept the reputation of a character as reasonably valid even without textual example. There are plenty of those - unfortunately, mostly used to contrast the character's current foolishness with their usual competence/brilliance/shrewdness/whatever. This irritates the living daylights out of some readers, who find it hard to believe that "this complete goon" has a reputation for "whatever." I find that it works much better to assume that they deserve their reputation in general, but that we're seeing them in "interesting times" and particularly in contact with ta'veren and the effects of the Pattern twisting. I figure it's intended to give us a feel for just how crazy things are, that such normally rational people find themselves doing such odd things. YMMV.

HArai @83 - Good points, both on the funding situation and the Succession. I think you're right on both counts.
Jacy Clark
89. Amalisa

Re the stem on the apple - the whole thing is funny (in fact, if you've never seen this, I recommend watching parts 1,2,3,4 and 6.) The part relative to my earlier post is about 4 and a half minutes in to this clip. Bill Cosby. The man is a treasure!

And you're right - we aren't disagreeing per se. The circumstances surrounding Elayne's claim to the Lion Throne are extreme and it is entirely reasonable that the scions of the other powerful Houses would at least consider making a move to claim it for their own. What I am saying is that circumstances don't have to be as dire as what's facing Elayne to make a challenge for the throne possible.

As we know, to rule Andor, one must a) have a claim to as many bloodlines as possible descending from Ishara and b) be a woman. The first is something that is already established and documented for each woman who wants to claim the throne. The second is in the hands of fate. That the fact of Mantear "running heavily toward boy children" is even mentioned in the same sentence with Tigraine's disappearance signifies - to me - that it is a matter of concern for a ruling House. Which is why I said that Tigraine might have faced a challenge when her mother died. I'm not saying it would have been a successful challenge but...

Remember what Dyelin told Elayne in KoD, when Elayne jokingly offered Dyelin the throne: "I disapprove of the throne changing Houses without good cause - the lack of a Daughter-Heir, or worse, one who is a fool or incompetent, cruel or greedy. ... Continuity provides stability, and stability brings prosperity."

On the one hand, someone challenging for the throne on the basis of not enough girl children in a generation or two does seem extreme. On the other hand, if no girl children are produced moving forward, then the next generation is going to deal with a more turbulent Succession.

So if a House has a woman who is exceptionally bright, exceptionally skilled, exceptionally capable, wouldn't they want to gamble on what she can do in the here-and-now rather than wait and place their hopes on whether or not the new queen will even produce a Daughter-Heir?

I know. It's pure speculation on my part; I'm guilty of that a lot. I'm just trying to point out that the Andoran Succession may not be as cut-and-dried as the automatic elevation of a "competent" Daughter-Heir - even when there isn't a catastrophe. When the prize is the amount of political power represented by the Lion Throne, those who would aspire to it will look for any reason to make a claim.
j p
90. sps49
Amalisa @69-

It was from the Julie Bell cover thread; posters were expressing opinions for the New Spring cover.
Mikey Bennett
91. EvilMonkey
Re: Siuan's prep for Last Battle

Just throwing it out there, she was speaking to Egwene about the mistakes made by all the Amrylin's, including herself. What she said about herself is that she basically had too many balls in the air and did not spend enough of her overwhelming focus on the Tower. What that tells me is that once she gained the top spot her prep came from elsewhere. She had that legendary AS blindspot in full measure, that whatever happens the sisters will be able to take care of it. The rest of the world? Not so sure they could handle it. So while her grand adventure buddy quested for the new Dragon Siuan fought to prepare, as circumspectly as possible for fear of the BA, the rest of the world for his coming. Her efforts in melding the rest of the world together were largely unsuccessful, yet she can hardly be blamed for this. She inherited a real screwy situation. Some of her efforts, like the Murandy incident, got screwed by the hands of fate (a kid they believed could unite the Murandians fell off a horse and broke his neck). Then, due to the rapid Amrylin turnover and the nastiness after the Aiel War the Tower's prestige is at an all time low, which effects the total amount of force they can bring to bear on recaltriant rulers. Finally, she still had a bit of an Egwene type period of power consolidation before she could gain enough influence to be effective. There were those who wanted to make Siuan a puppet as well. Therefore, her dealings with the Tower basically boiled down to keeping herself strong enough to act when the time came, not Last Battle Prep. I can see her reasoning for this. After all, the WT has been preparing for this moment for 3000 years, of course they are ready, or if not they will take the least amount of time to get that way. The BA are seeding cracks in the foundation but that can be fixed once its safe to come out with the news. Ironically (or part of the Wheel's Weaving), just when she was about to break the news and start the AS mobilization process Elaida gave her the stilling smackdown. Personally, I believe she would have been among the top Amrylins in WT history had she become the Head Honcho in another time, one not so turbulent and frought with enemies who are supposed to be your friends. I end the Wall o Text with this one last thing. We can all pretty much agree that Egwene is flippin awesome. But without Siuan's excellent instruction there is no way Egwene's awesomeness emerges in time to affect the outcome of the Last Battle. To think, we could have had a broken Tower headed into the Last Battle with Elaida leading the charge. Don't know what you're thinking but that's pretty much a nightmare for Team Light.

92. Ouroboros
So here's something for the why-did-so-and-so-do-such-and-such-ers to mull over.

It always struck me as damn stupid for the rebels to let Mat go anywhere. The only reason I can think of is that Siuan never told Egwene about his tie to the horn. Which raises the question - why?

I've often wondered if there are still a few things that Siuan has kept from Egwene. She made it clear that her first priority was preparing Rand for TG, and she's obviously reluctant to let anyone else in on this. So, how far does this go? Will Siuan be put in the position of going against Egwene's intensions for Rand?

The other thing to think about is that relations between Egwene and Siuan were not good following the rescue. I personally had a real problem with Egwene’s attitude on this. Obviously, no one likes being disobeyed, but Siuan had no way of knowing what was going on in the Tower. All she saw was an attack in progress and Egwene was definitely in danger. They risked there lives to save her and Egwene repays it by smacking Siuan around in a quite childish way. Admittedly, Egwene doesn’t see it this way. She had beaten the Seanchan and was in a good position to try and lead the Tower without a fight, but she didn’t stop to think about how the attack would look from the camp.

I only hope that Siuan isn't going to be put on the shelf as a finished plot line.

So, let’s have at it! :)
Wesley Parish
93. Aladdin_Sane
@91, EvilMonkey, the Murandian lad got shot by an outraged Andoran farmer. He may of course have broken his neck after that, but by then it would've been moot.

Now, Our Fearless Leader has declared a cage match.

First Dibs: any reformed badass villains ready to take on the first contendor, Jimmy Jaspers and his giant mountain bear friend Ben, in the fight for badass reformed villain supremacy? Roll up, roll up, don't be shy!!!

Do we have a distressing lack of reformed badass villains? Do I see any amongst you? Roll up, roll up, roll up, don't be shy, who's your Daddy?

(Provided they're not Priests of Ferris. That kind never reform, except for a random one or two, and then they aren't badass villains anyway - just bad through-and-through ...)
Rob Munnelly
94. RobMRobM
Tearl @73. I'll respond because I've had problems like this on similar posts. *cough, cough - Dolly Parton song reference*

If you look at original post on with a short intro and link to the jump page with the rest of the story, the text accompanying the link reads as follows:

"How many clicks does it take to get to the center of a blog post?"

Hence Free's answer, which references (as did Leigh's question) the famous classic Tootsie Pop commercial. That make sense? I hope so.

diane heath
95. jadelollipop
Finished COS last night so in a position to catch up with POD re-readers :) Did notice in light of Leigh's ?? re: Murandians...Corele is a member of the Yellow Ajah and with Cadsuane in Carhien. She apparently helped Damer Flinn and Sumitsu (?) after Fain's attack...offscreen I guess....She was the one who made a comment about Rand's attractive backside when he got out of bed to dress for the attack on Sammael.
Mikey Bennett
96. EvilMonkey
@93 A Stone

Good catch! I didn't happen to have the book in front of me so I didn't get dude's circumstances exactly right.
Maiane Bakroeva
97. Isilel
Evilmonkey @91:

Re: Siuan's outward focus - it fits. Moiraine thought in TGH that Siuan could never accept that no matter what the world would burn, so she could have frittered her efforts on futile attempts to hold it all together, which the Pattern wouldn't allow at that time.
Of course, it makes the absence of a complement of AS in the Borderlands in TEoTW doubly strange. Argh! And still allowing enrollment to slip to an all-time low is a queer oversight for somebody in her situation. It normally takes decades to train an AS, after all.

"But without Siuan's excellent instruction there is no way Egwene's awesomeness emerges in time to affect the outcome of the Last Battle."

That the SAS elected a Hall and an Amyrlin at all instead of eventually slinking back to Elaida was entirely due to Siuan's and Leane's efforts. And it was Siuan who ensured that Egwene was picked. And then she put her ego aside and trained and supported Egwene. So yea, she is certainly awesome.

Ourobros @92:

Moiraine told the SGs and Ruarc that Mat was the Hornsounder in TDR.


NS reveals that Gitara had Fortellings about the coming TG before and they were given in less private settings. It was at least widely rumored if not positively known among the AS that she foretold TG coming during the lifetimes of current sisters.
Antoni Ivanov
98. tonka
@97. Isilel
Moiraine told the SGs and Ruarc that Mat was the Hornsounder in TDR.

That's entirely and completely not true.In the previous book (CoS) Brigitte mentioned that the girls don't know anything about Mat being Hornsounder.
99. Ouroboros
Isilel @ 97: I don’t see how Siuan can be blamed for letting enrollment slip to an all time low. This had been happening for centuries. Besides, as has been said already, we don't know whether she was doing something or not. We are in fact told almost nothing about the things Siuan actually tried to do. In any case, she had only been Amyrlin for 10 years. This is a short time to change something this entrenched. And the BA would definitely be opposed to it.

RE: Mat and the horn.

The Aes Sedai turned that cool gaze on Mat. “And you thought it was done? You are ta’veren, Mat, a thread more crucial to the Pattern than most, and the sounder of the Horn of Valere. Nothing is done for you, yet.”

This is all Moiraine says. No mention was made of the link and that is the important part. In none of Egwene's PoVs does she reflect on the fact that he is the only person who can sound the horn now, so there is nothing to suggest that Egwene knows about it,. In fact, Egwene seems to have forgotten all about any references to Mat's roll in TG. This is the only reason I can think of for her letting him leave Salidar.

RE: NS reveals that Gitara had Fortellings about the coming TG before and they were given in less private settings. It was at least widely rumored if not positively known among the AS that she foretold TG coming during the lifetimes of current sisters.

Okay, this makes no sense. You're saying that Siuan is to blame for no preparations being made for TG even though its coming was publicly known within the Tower. If it were, I'd expect the Hall, the Ajahs, and even the second sub-select-committee for the cleaning of the privies to be clamoring for action. Why would Siuan do nothing in such an atmosphere?

In any case, the only reference to Gitara foretelling TG and it being discussed openly is when Ellid is gossiping. Given all the AS PoVs we've had in the series, I think we'd have something more concrete if a foretelling of TG had been openly discussed 20 years before TEotW had started.
100. Ouroboros
tonka @ 98: Actually Moiraine does tell the girls that Mat blew the horn. It's in the Stone after Rand has killed Ishamael.

This has always been something that I don't understand. I'll quote the next paragraph because it makes for interesting reading.

The Aes Sedai turned that cool gaze on Mat. “And you thought it was done? You are ta’veren, Mat, a thread more crucial to the Pattern than most, and the sounder of the Horn of Valere. Nothing is done for you, yet.”

They were all looking at him. Nynaeve sadly, Egwene as though she had never seen him before, Elayne as if she expected him to change into someone else. Rhuarc had a certain respect in his eyes, though Mat would just as soon have done without it, all things considered.

It's clear that they are all paying attention - Egwene shows surprise. Moiraine doesn't reveal the true extent of his importance, most especially his link to the horn, but she does say that he still has a roll to play. And yet they all forget about this in later books. I've never understood this. And Siuan definitely does know the greater part of his role and she, as far as we know, makes no effort to stop Egwene sending him away. Very strange.
Adam E.
101. chaplainchris
@97 Isilel and everybody on Siuan's prep for TG. (Wall o' Text) In New Spring the rumor was making the rounds that Gitara had Foretold that TG would occur "during the lives of sisters now living" - which could of course mean a couple hundred years. Moiraine and Siuan both heard this rumor, but we don't know that it was true - just that there was talk about it. Maybe such rumors cropped up every generation or two. That's common with apocalyptic type prophecies.

Both Team Light leadership in the Tower and BA leadership in the Tower had a vested interest in squashing such rumors, though, and given how many Amyrlins and other sisters were murdered in the 10 years between New Spring and Siuan's ascension to the Amyrlin Seat, announcing that you need to do *anything* to prepare for Tarmon Gaidon is perhaps tantamount to asking for torture and death.

Of course, she would hopefully be preparing without having to make such big announcements, but I'm not sure it's possible to overestimate how much inertia and resistance she'd have had from the Hall and from the Tower in general to making any big changes. Egwene opening the Novice Book, for example, is *still* a big problem for Romanda, Lelaine, and other traditionalists as late as TGS - that's why Sharina seeks out Siuan and pledges support to her and Egwene. She knows Egwene is the older women's only hope of really being accepted (and Accepted, and...moving on). And *that* is with *proof* that TG is coming - the Dragon has been Reborn, practically every nation is in upheaval, the Forsaken are loose, the Tower is broken, the seals are breaking, the weather is twisted, rooms inside structures are rearranging themselves, the dead are walking, weaves of Saidar sometimes don't work, there are now hundreds of men who can channel running free, plus a hole nation of militaristic conquerors descended from Artur Hawkwing has invaded and they *leash* women who can channel.

And with all that, the traditionalists *still* resist opening the novice book.

So, yeah, during Siuan's reign changing rules for finding and accepting new initiates would have been a *big* fight, she wouldn't have had any overriding reasons for doing it to point to like Egwene does, and it would've painted a big old target on her back. And since we can safely assume that Ishy and the BA had a lot to do with the gradual decay in the Tower, I don't think we can underestimate how big that target would be.

For the rest, during Siuan's visit to the Borderlands at the beginning of tGH, we learn that Siuan's political capital is pretty thin. Yeah, she should have Green sisters in the Borderlands...but per tGH the Green are allied with the Reds against the Blues for the first time anybody can remember. How much political capital is Siuan going to spend *before* announcing Rand, when the Borderland armies are there to watch the Blight? That's what they're for, after all. (And yes, I'm one of those who think it's criminally insane that Greens were hanging around the Tower 'standing ready' instead of fighting on the Borders and practicing their craft to really *be* ready. I'm just saying Siuan wasn't in a good position to change that.) Siuan had to spend a good chunk of her capital in order to keep from having to order Moiraine's return to Tar Valon - remember that there were attempts to have Moiraine censured, and punished for having an angreal, too. Nothing could be more important, for Siuan, than keeping Moiraine free - and keeping anyone in the Tower from knowing that it was that important to Siuan, either.

Combine that with some things blowing up in her face, like the Murandian situation; the Children of the Light making trouble (camped outside Tar Valon threatening folks), under a Great Captain's leadership no less; a rise in False Dragons (there were several before Taim and Logain, if not necessarily all channelers); and Ishamael waking up some and welding the BA into an effective force while Siuan had only herself to rely on, and Leane to an extent, and to be her.

Egwene at least had, in addition to the Supergirls, help she could rely on from Siuan and Leane, and others bound to her by fealty (though at least one of those, Sheriam, was Black). She also had a rival Amyrlin to point to as a distraction, the Dragon Reborn to point to as a need not to fracture further, and skilled people backing her up. Including the Black, which obviously had a hand in getting her into place and supporting the War vote and other votes like the alliance with the Black Tower. Halima, Mesaana, and the BA *wanted* Egwene in place, because the underestimated her. But whereas Egwene had all these things in her favor, Siuan had no support and had everyone's eyes on her.

In retrospect, she hardly had a chance! And given all she had against her, it's no surprise that she and Leane had to learn to be such good manipulators and so politically savvy.

And while most of the Forsaken are underwhelming, the screwed-up situation in the Tower that prevented them being effectively prepared is a good testimony to Ishamael's skills, at least.
102. Ouroboros
Hmm, I've just found a raspberry ripple cheesecake. It's very nice. You guys had better hurry if you want any.
Adam E.
103. AndrewB
Amalisa @ 82: "... And no Succession and fashion talk, which would make some people very happy."

No succession would have left more time for RJ to have characters shrug, snort, sigh, pull their braided hair (Nyn only), Phaw (Cads only), and cross their hands under their chest (female characters only), raise their eyebrows in surprise), and roll their eyes.

Freelancer @84: "All we know is that by the end of New Spring, only three people alive know that the Dragon is reborn AND how to identify him [i.e. Rand]."

Moiraine and Siuan are two. Who is the third? I cannot remember. I must have had too much vodka this weekend.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Tricia Irish
104. Tektonica
chaplainchris@101 and others:

I'm totally out of pocket this week but am trying to catch this discussion about Siuan and her status in the WT. I think you've nailed it, ChaplainChris.....I found Siuan frustratingly ineffective as well, but you've convinced me that her options were few and of course, as Wetlander states, much happens off screen that we are not privy to...and we should probably be thankful for that, because it could have been another 3 books to get Siuan's whole story out. Well that was a long and rambling sentence. Hope the dots and commas help you make sense of it.

Thanks for the raspberry ripple cheesecake, I dropped off some BBQ chicken for ballast....all that sugar, argh! The rum's gone again, Suffa. Whos' been in here? Blind?
Valentin M
105. ValMar

Lan. Our favourite, soon to be saved (by mid-book at the very latest, thank you very much) AS told him.
diane heath
106. jadelollipop
@101 good synopsis of the political machinations of the WT in early years/books...
Re: Mat and Horn of Valere--no surprise that Egwene forgot about Mat's link to the Horn. She was in Carhien and still supports Elayne and Nynaeve's idea that Mat is commander of the Band because of his connection to Rand...Sadly Egwene and Nynaeve know that Mat may act rashly but if a promise is involved he follows through. ...btw it was in COS when he suddenly felt responsible for his men and the AS in the palace the addition of the marriage to Tuon explains any changes in TGS....
Alice Arneson
107. Wetlandernw
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

It seemed appropriate, for some reason.
Andrew Belmont
108. rosetintdworld
@99 Ourobouros: Re: Mat and the Horn of Valere. I find it reaaaaaaallly hard to believe that Siuan Sanche never mentioned to Egwene that the Horn creates a binding link, given how many close she is to Egwene, and how many times she thinks about said fact in her POVs in Books 3 and 4. As you and Isilel have pointed out, Moiraine offhandedly mentions that Mat has blown the horn to Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, and Rhuarc, (so offhandedly, in fact, that it seems likely they've discussed it before this--see Nynaeve's "sad look" immediately after).

@tonka: As much as I respect Jordan's meticulous attention to detail, the passage you cite must be a misstep. See above.
Sharon E.
109. Sulin
Just poking my head in and dropping off some Angus Steak burgers, baked beans, and iced tea for the bunker. Oooh cheesecake! *yoink*

Really interesting thoughts regarding Siuan's predicament in the WT. I really hope she still has some role to play, like in a meeting between Rand and Egwene. Ugh, I have other thoughts, but am not coherent enough to type anymore- it's been a long day!
Alice Arneson
110. Wetlandernw
For what it's worth, in ACoS, Birgitte assumes that the girls don't know about Mat sounding the horn:
"You have your own secrets... For one, you've not told them you blew the Horn of Valere. The smallest of your secrets from them, I think."

Mat blinked. He had assumed they had told her. After all, she was Birgitte...
At the time of the reread, I took it as true at face value, but considering the passage in TDR, I have a different take on it. Mat knows the girls know, and assumed that they had told Birgitte, since she's one of the heroes, after all. Birgitte thinks they don't know, since they've never mentioned it to her. Two possibilities arise: either they are respecting his secret, or they just assume Birgitte already knows and never had occasion to talk about it. Take your pick, based on your opinion of the girls, I guess. Do they (Elayne & Nynaeve, specifically) ever think about it after that conversation in TDR?
Andrew Belmont
111. rosetintdworld
Good catch, Wetlander. It seems that Birgitte is just mistaken. I can't recall offhand any time that Eg, El, Ny think about the Horn, but can't be sure. Encyclopedia WOT does not log a mention of the Horn from a Supergirl POV, for what it's worth.
a a-p
112. lostinshadow
Hi all, been working all weekend so late to the party I see.

Sorry Tek, I took the rum to make some mojihoto's. Here y'all go, lots of ice and mint added to help fight off some of that sweltering heat.

Perhaps the SGs don't really realize the significance of Mat being the hornsounder so it' just one of those facts they filed away in their memory banks and don't even think about. (Edit: or as roseintheworld says, maybe they just don't think much about the horn in general)

I think Egwene let Mat get away, and was actually happy to see him leave, because she thinks he's a troublemaker who is more than likely to upset her plans.

oh and sps@various - I too dislike the Andoran throne plotline (hands down my least favorite in the entire series) but I think the reason for creating it may have been not because "Andoran politics required it" but because Elayne needed it in terms of character development.

All the other super-characters are going through some kind of test to temper the steel in their spines, teach them about leadership, sacrifice, what they can and cannot do, etc. They are all making the move from lucky (or unlucky really) teenagers into adults who have earned their place. Had Elayne been able to stroll into Andor and just be crowned queen, she would not have fought to become a leader, learned what it takes to be a leader in practice and hence would probably have failed as queen in the first big test that came Andor's way in TG.
Antoni Ivanov
113. tonka
Oh yes, I completely forgot that quote in TDR .In this light the quote Wetlandernw points out make whole a lot of sense.It seems that both the super girls and Brigitte know the same secret but they don't know the other side knows. And Mat knows that they all know but he hasn't done anything to tell them that they both share a secret. And I am for the girls keeping the secret to protect Mat. It doesn't make sense any other way. They might be irritating but they are loyal. This is one thing you cannot deny for the SGs.

They are so many secrets in these books, secrets only some know, secrets that some know but some don't but these some don't know that they don't know the secrets or some others that share a secret but don't know that they share it, etc. etc.
114. Freelancer

Thanks for asking, I wasn't sure anyone would. And yes, as Valmar states, the only reason Lan submitted to Moiraine's request for bonding was that she told him everything, that they two fought the same enemy, that the Dragon was Reborn. Lan and Siuan are the only two people in the world Moiraine can trust.


Oh me, isn't that the truth.


I'm of the view that it isn't an error on Jordan's part, but a construct of the various relationships, and secrets shared and not shared. Birgitte knows Mat blew the Horn, but the girls weren't there, so she doesn't have reason to believe they know. The girls learn later that Mat blew the Horn, but they don't have reason to believe that Birgitte knows, since they didn't witness how the calling of the Horn operated. Each believes they are protecting a secret for Mat, so each make incorrect presumptions about the other. That's not news in this story.

Okay, I'm not deleting that now just because I see that the same things have already been said...


Egwene didn't "let Mat get away", she was glad to have him stay with Elayne for the trip to Ebou Dar. Remember, Mat's orders were to bring Elayne to Caemlyn, and to pull Egwene out of the trouble Rand believed she was in with the Salidar Aes Sedai. Mat would have continued to try and follow those orders, as far as Egwene could tell, which would have been nothing but trouble. Besides, in her plot to pit the Band against Bryne's forces on appearance only, Mat would have blown the thing sky high. Talmanes recognized what was happening and played into it.

Here, have some pasta salad, homemade tortilla chips/salsa, and three-berry (blue-, rasp-, and boysen-) pie.
a a-p
115. lostinshadow
Free@114, saying "let Mat get away" was a reference to a question above (Ourobouros@92) as to why the rebels would let Mat go elsewhere.

I agree with you that Mat would have caused trouble with the rebel AS in general and Egwene's plans in particular had he stayed with them, that's what I was implying when I said I thought Egwene was happy to see him leave.
Adam E.
116. Jonathan Levy

I think your description of the White Tower's resistance to change in general is spot on, as well as your explanation of Siuan's very limited options as Amyrlin.

I'd like to suggest an historical analogy: Classical Sparta. Over a period of several hundred years the number of true Spartans (spartiates) diminished from a few thousand (5th century BC) to a few hundred (3rd century BC), and their power declined with it. However, they were wedded to their self-conception as an elite, whose greater quality had always defeated the greater numbers their enemies possessed. They were therefore unwilling to implement any policies to increase their numbers.

There is a certain parallel with the WT, I think, expecially in excessively preferring quality over quantity, and perceiving a policy of active recruitment as an admission of weakness.
Maiane Bakroeva
117. Isilel
Chaplainchris @101:

You are right of course. Additionally, maybe Siuan didn't want to specifically encourage the AS to swarm out, to defend the Borderlands and/or to recruit because they may have come across Moiraine and interfered with her mission?
Also, it is true that both Moiraine and Siuan thought that they'd have time to educate the DR, once found, so Siuan was probably counting on a few years of breathing room, which didn't materialize.

BTW, IIRC Siuan's political weakness in TGH and alienation of the Greens was a direct result of her backing Moiraine's play in Caemlyn, I thought, not a prior condition.

It is also true that after Siuan's arrival the SAS did start to actively recruit, and extended the range of novices to mid-twenties, which may be her doing, too.

Still, I'd have liked a couple of references from Siuan herself as to her plans and considerations. It is not like some clothing/food/baths descriptions couldn't have been sacrificed to make room for that!

Also, there were quite a few situations so far, where Siuan should have had some long-standing ideas re: what to do, but seemed as surprised as everybody else.
Like, what measures to employ to protect against Shadow-sworn male channelers intent on secretly murdering sisters.
Or how to best fight against an OP-using army and/or use OP to support own army.
How to proceed against the BA once it was time to do so. Etc.
I mean, Siuan had known that TG was coming for 22 years and for 10 she thought that she'd be in charge of the WT for it - she should have considered such things from every angle. Her ideas needn't have been perfect or even right, but she should have had some.

BTW, I also hope that Siuan will yet have an important role to play.
Maybe she'll figure out Mesaana's identity? This seems like a task right up her alley.
Or she may even deduce some of the Shadow's greater plans, etc.
Egwene should just hand over Verin's notes, IMHO, and let Siuan study them - she herself has too much on her plate to give them the attention they deserve.

And yes, IMHO Egwene was quite unfair to Siuan at the end of TGS. Seanchan invasion was a completely unexpected factor and in 95% cases rescuing her would have been the right move. Even as it was, I am not sure that it was wrong.
Tricia Irish
118. Tektonica

I remember the girls being told Mat was the Hornsounder, and obviously Birgit knew, having been called, but yes, I don't believe there was any mention that it was a binding link. Also, I seem to remember later, and I apologize, I'm away and don't have books or my computer bookmarks to find this, but the girls hear mention again of Mat being the Hornsounder and are all very impressed, somewhere around book 4. Did they have amnesia? Perhaps it was not knowing about the binding link? Odd.

As for keeping it secret, I think the girls just didn't assign a lot of importance to it, not knowing it was a binding link. Or maybe, just maybe, they were being circumspect. They seem to dismiss Mat too quickly and are too involved in their own machinations, IMHO, to give his importance much thought.

Lostinshadow@112: So, it was YOU! ::waves:: It's all good. There's always more rum to be had. Enjoy!

Free: You are of course, correct. They needed Mat out of the way. He had his marching orders from Rand to protect them and bring Elayne back to Caemlyn and the SGs had other plans.

Pie! Berry pie! Thanks, Free!

Isilel: I too hope Siuan gets a few MOAs and not just a romantic interlude with Byrne. She has a lot of info in her head that could really aid Egwene, in her dealing with Rand and the Hall. Great idea to have her pouring over Verin's notes. They would probably reference things Siuan would understand better than anyone else would. I also hope someone can heal her further, or still and reheal her so she has more OP for TG.

I'm off to a traditional, small, local Memorial Day parade with a pancake breakfast here in upstate NY....a lovely day and a day for remembrance. Enjoy all.
Charlie McMurchie
119. FromtheLangToun
Isilel@117 Good point re' Verin's notes & Siuan. In NS Siuan is said to be good at solving puzzles on the basis of very little information, IIRC the example given is of her deducing from a list of playing cards what the game was & that the list was of a winning hand. She had only read about the game & had never seen the cards used. I'd be interested to see what Siuan would make of Verin's notes.
120. Freelancer
Today, Americans honor our founding, our heritage, our culture, our history, but most of all we honor our predecessors, whose acts made and kept them all possible.

The U.S. remains the greatest bastion of liberty on Earth. Let us never forget the foundation which was laid here, and let us choose to protect and support that foundation, rather than to tear it down.

Freelancer of the FlagWavingSeptoftheUnashamedlyPatrioticAiel
Rob Munnelly
121. RobMRobM
lsiel @117. "BTW, I also hope that Siuan will yet have an important role to play.
Maybe she'll figure out Mesaana's identity? This seems like a task right up her alley."

Yes! Good thinking.


p.s. Happy Memorial Day to all.
Alice Arneson
122. Wetlandernw
Isilel - I love the idea of Siuan a) outing Mesaana and b) taking over Verin's notes. If anyone could make more and better use of that info than Verin herself, it ought to be Siuan of the puzzle-solving awesomeness. Maybe the two will be the one.
Jay Dauro
123. J.Dauro
I also think Egwene is out of line at the end of TGS. If Egwene could not even say "Leave me here", and no one was there to stop a number of Aes Sedai and strange soldiers (yes, they were in imitation Tower garb, but it was poorly done) then any Aes Sedai could have also taken Egwene. Especially a Black. Or one of the Seanchen assasions.
124. MasterAlThor
Happy Memorial Day all.

Thank you Vets. You are my heroes.

Adam E.
125. chaplainchris
Thanks all for the compliments re: my thoughts on Siuan @101. The nice thing is, I'd never thought my way through more than a third of that stuff prior to comments on this thread pushing me to think about it - which is one of the things I love about this re-read community! So kudos all.

I see I missed the raspberry ripple cheesecake. *pouts* Well, they're not homemade or anything, but I did bring by some Lindor Truffles and some chocolate oranges - they're amazing!

Re: Mat and not keeping track of him - well, it could be argued that, from Egwene's POV, Mat was "safe" under Elayne and Nynaeve's "guidance" and "protection." Maybe safer than he'd be in Salidar surrounded by sisters eager to Bond or manipulate him. And as Freelancer mentions @ 114, Egwene wanted to use the Band of the Red Hand to chivvy the SAS into marching on Tar Valon, and she knew she could manipulate things better w/o Mat there to protest.

But I'm inclined to agree that they don't know anything about his binding link to the Horn, and underrate his importance as taveren. And given how Siuian and Moiraine react to the discovery of the Horn, and to Mat's link with it, and to the overwhelming importance of three taveren growing up together...well, the girls lack of education compared to Siuan and Moiraine shows there, I guess.

Prior to this discussion, I either hadn't known or had forgotten that Birgitte and the SUpergirls all know Mat blew the Horn, but don't know each other knows, and Mat knows they know about him and knows they don't know about each other.

Yep, that sentence was crazy. I know. Do you know? You do know, and I know you know, and now you know that I know that you know that I know.

So there.
Adam E.
126. chaplainchris
Isilel @117 thanks, and I like your thought about Siuan not wanting to flood AS out into the world while Moiraine was out roaming around. If anything, knowing the BA existed, she might have wanted to limit the number of sisters out and about as much as possible.

Re: Siuan's political weakness in tGH and the alienation between Blues and Greens, you're right that some of it at least was of recent origin. I didn't have my books with me (still don't) and couldn't remember anything beyond the bare fact of political troubles. But while that specific situation was new, it illustrates that we don't know what politics were like in the Hall during the 10 years of Siuan's rule. Was Siuan the youngest Amyrlin in history prior to Egwene, by the way? Close to it, at least, and relatively new to the position, and previously outside the Hall, with a lot of education needed herself in the secret histories of the Thirteenth Depository, and presumably a period of consolidation needed. The number of Amyrlins with abrupt deaths before her accession might indicate that the Hall had had to be a stronger force than "normal", to provide some continuity. On the other hand, given that Siuan was only elected b/c the Hall was deadlocked on more conventional candidates, we can deduce that a) the election process was likely acrimonious, with people only reluctantly backing down to support a compromise candidate when it became clear their candidate couldn't win; b) egos might have been bruised and cooperation low; c) Siuan as a young Amyrlin and a compromise candidate likely lacked much enthusiastic political support.

And she certainly knew to be suspicious of the deaths of the prior Amyrlins, which is reason enough to be circumspect. While it's certainly desirable to step up recruiting, for example, if accepted wisdom in the Tower was that channeling ability was being bred out of people, and if training time took 10-20 years on average, and if changing the recruiting policy was going to raise a stink and perhaps arouse the Black...well, Siuan might not have thought the risk worth the reward. Especially when getting found out meant having her replaced with an Amyrlin who might not be able to be trusted with news that the Dragon was reborn.

And remeber, Siuan was deposed and stilled, not *just before* she could go public about the Dragon being reborn. It happened *just after.* She announced to the Hall that the Dragon had been reborn and that she was on top of the situation and had a sister already there with him. The Hall unanimously acknowledges that he is the Dragon and agrees not to send a delegation since Moiraine is already there.

The Hall then meets secretly to depose Siuan and replace her with a Red. BA manipulation or not, I think this illustrates how...delicate...and, um...insane?...yeah, insane...working with the Hall could be.

Agreed that Siuan should've had some ideas about how to proceed on the BA front. But she did! She...recruited three Accepted to hunt 'em down! Um....

On other fronts that Siuan "should" have thought about...I think the evidence is that AS thought their battle techniques were fine. They've been utterly shocked by the Seanchan, for example. They probably thought their techniques would be fine for dealing with the bare handful of Dreadlords the Shadow might find...since channeleing ability was dying out, and all. Remember Elaida's insistence that the Black Tower couldn't possibly contain more than 2-3 men who could really channel?

This despite the appearance in rapid succession of Logain, Mazrim Taim, and Rand al'Thor - all three capable of channeling with incredible strength! The belief that channeling was fading out seems deeply ingrained at the beginning of the novels.

Agreed that it would be nice for Siuan to have a couple more MOAs - and the idea of her flushing out Mesaana is awesome. I agree, I'd totally hand Verin's notes over to Siuan. Moiraine got to take down Belal (and sort of Lanfear), so it's only fair for Siuan to get in there.

Of course, even more than hoping for MsOA for Siuan, I hope for a CMOA or two for Moiraine.
Thomas Keith
127. insectoid
Free @120: ::nods in agreement::

Tricia Irish
128. Tektonica
FYI Folks....a little cheer from Brandon's Facebook page....

Brandon Sanderson: Also, just sent TofM version 7.0 to Team Jordan. Getting close to a complete draft now. Eight scenes left to write.

Whoot Whoot!!
Valentin M
129. ValMar
I came to check to see if there are any new posts. Saw chaplainchris and thought "here comes a wall-of-text". And the scrolling began ;-)
Joking aside, excellent write-up about the politic situation in the Tower, and how was it difficult for Siuan. She had very personal experience on what can happen to an Amyrlin- Tamra.
Adam E.
130. chaplainchris
Sorry Valmar ;)

My shortest post
131. Freelancer

I know.


Don't aggravate the twitching...
Valentin M
132. ValMar
Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding, no need for sorry.
But that's exactly what happened- I thought there's a wall-of-text coming. But I was wrong- there were two ;)
diane heath
133. jadelollipop
not to change topic but I am just up to chapter 9 of POD and noticed two things re: communication and the lack thereof. 1. Perrin mentions to Faile that he might send Grady or Neald to update Rand--specifically about the Seanchan in Amador. Faile talks him out of it because surely he would know already. 2. Faile mentions Perrin's nose specifically that she wishes she had his ears...his nose and eyes too...
Mikey Bennett
134. EvilMonkey
One, Siuan was the youngest to assume the post before Egwene.

Two, I am in agreement with the majority that Egwene's smackdown of Siuan after the Tower attack was a bit ungrateful, even to the point of assholishness. OTOH, when has an AS in this series given any credit or attaboy's (attagirls?) to anyone not full AS? Elaine and Nanaeve fixed the weather, they complained that the process was too sudden. Nanaeve did the impossible and fixed stilling. They scolded her for doin up Logain and said her weaving was sloppy. The things the SG's did in Falme, Tanchio and Tear deserve nothing less than a medal of valor but they are in hot water whenever they return to the tower. And those are initiates! Imagine the scorn they give to those not involved in Tower business. Brutally ungrateful....Brats!!!!! For the female posters I decided not to use that other b word that probably fits much more appropriatly. Just sayin, Egwene's treatment of Siuan is just characteristic of AS everywhere.

Hugh Arai
135. HArai
Like, what measures to employ to protect against Shadow-sworn male channelers intent on secretly murdering sisters

Do we have any evidence the Aes Sedai know that oaths to the Dark One can protect male channelers from the taint? We know as readers, but do they? If not, they probably wouldn't consider most male channelers a viable threat. The Salidar group did have plans to link in large circles to counter Forsaken attacks, if I recall correctly. As far as secret murders go, I'm not sure what a male channeler can do that a Gray man couldn't and they don't appear to have an answer for them either.
Adam E.
136. alreadymadwithforsaken
HArai @137
I was under the impression that only Forsaken-level darkfriends were protected from the Taint. Taim and his cadre would not be, or Rand would find out. In any case Rand may well be the only one who knows how to detect and sever the filter that the Dark One uses to protect his minions from the Taint.
Charlie McMurchie
137. FromtheLangToun
EvilMonkey@134. There's when Elaine & Nynaeve apologise to Mat & thank him for his rescuing them in Tear, but given the circumstances that might not really count as true praise.

I think Nynaeve is told after healing Siuan & Leane, when she is distinctly underwhelmed by the reaction to what she's done, that the AS will be full of praise later once they properly realise that she's done what had always been considered to be impossible.
Maiane Bakroeva
138. Isilel
HArai @135:

If not, they probably wouldn't consider most male channelers a viable threat.

Since male Dreadlords were a threat during the Trolloc Wars, I have to disagree. Also, they did know that the 8 male Forsaken, aka superbly trained male channelers from AoL would be around and might share their knowledge around/train up some male Dreadlords.

I wouldn't have expected Siuan as Amyrlin to invent new stuff, but to go very thoroughly through the records of tactics employed in the Trolloc Wars, including secret records, and come up with military and anti-male Dreadlords plans based on that. SAS's pathetic and wholly useless precautions showed only that they had no clue.

AMW @136:

I, for one, am fairly sure that Taim and Co. are/were protected. Torval's malicious glee when he threatened Rand and his loyal Asha'man with madness a few chapters back was a giveaway, IMHO.

Chaplainchris @126:

Of course, even more than hoping for MsOA for Siuan, I hope for a CMOA or two for Moiraine.

Oh, absolutely! IMHO the whole "return from the "dead"" shtick must result in Moiraine doing something amazing, or what was the point? I hope she gets to start in ToM already too, not just finally gets rescued in the final chapter or so ;).

Speaking of Siuan though, I am not sure that I'd want her to regain her OP strength. I really want somebody to manage to be very effective through something other than brute strength.
I think that she should become the other WT's dreamwalker, though. She seems to have become very good with T'AR and she has been constantly using what we know is a training ter'angreal from AoL for a good while now - it is time for her to realize that she doesn't need the crutch anymore, IMHO.
Adam E.
139. alreadymadwithdreadlords
Isilel @138
True and we don't really have much evidence either way. But I always thought their protection was somewhere more along the lines of future rewards rather than ongoing protection.
Adam E.
140. Jonathan Levy

I, for one, am fairly sure that Taim and Co. are/were protected. Torval's malicious glee when he threatened Rand and his loyal Asha'man with madness a few chapters back was a giveaway, IMHO.

That's a very good point. It would also explain how Taim was able so quickly to recruit a faction loyal to himself within the tower. Proof against madness would be a very tempting carrot to dangle in front of new Ashaman.

Of course, now that the taint is gone.... :)
Rob Munnelly
141. RobMRobM
@138 - remember Min's vision that Rand will fail without someone who is dead (i.e., Moiraine). Pretty safe guess she'll play a critical role. The only unknown question is - what will she do that is critical to Rand's success????
142. Freelancer

Torval's "glee" was abruptly diminished when Rand reminded him they were all vulnerable. He was having sport at the expense of Asha'man who hadn't seen the harsher side of life in the Black Tower, and his arrogance was in part that he had not been victimized. . .yet. I don't think we have any reason to believe that anything less than oaths taken at Shayol Ghul would confer upon a male channeler the protective link. While there might be a chance in Taim's case, given that there are still serious questions about him, it is fairly implausible in the case of the others who live in Taim's "palace". Of course, if Moridin is their benefactor, he might bring them one by one for those oaths before their allowed to join the inner circle.


Well, until she exited stage left, Moiraine had done more to advance the cause of the Light than any person living since those ancient Aes Sedai who built the crystal ancestitron in Rhuidean. She's sure to have a surprise or two left in her bag of tricks.

And let the twitching begin...
Roger Powell
143. forkroot
Back from the cool mountains to the heat of the desert. I would have worked more on my little tidbit for you this weekend, but those margaritas were, um, plentiful. Still hope to deliver sometime Wednesday.

Was thinking of swinging by the bunker to drop off the remaining ingredients, but there doesn't seem to be much tequila left. I'd try to blame it on thewindrose and Amalisa but, as Jimmy Buffet would say: "It's my own damn fault!"

In the meantime, there were lots of really good posts to catch up on :: tips cap in particular to chaplainchris1 ::
Adam E.
144. chaplainchris
Thanks forkroot.

EvilMonkey/Shadowkiller @ 134 - and everybody who thinks Siuan was ill-treated by Egwene.

In the first place, this is a clear example of the morality Egwene learns from the Aiel "Do what you think you must, but pay for it." Siuan decided to override her very explicit orders from her Amyrlin. Yep, it turned out well - but it could easily have ended with Egwene's trusted aide (and the conduit for her orders, via Tel'aran'rhiod) and her army's general captured by the enemy - whether Seanchan or Elaida. Even if successful, it could very easily have underminded Egwene's standing with the Tower AS and ended up precipitating the battle Eg was trying to avoid - it very nearly did, in fact. It was a huge gamble and major disobedience, and the fact that it paid off doesn't mean that Siuan shouldn't pay some price.

Yes, I do think I'd have preferred it if Egwene had yelled at her *and*, privately, said thanks. B/c from a "follow the chain of command, soldier, this is war!" viewpoint, Siuan deserves both.

Curiously, I *don't* feel that way about Gawyn - I think Egwene's anger at him is completely justified. I notice everybody defending Siuan is not saying anything about Gawyn - so what do y'all think? Gawyn and Siuan transgress in the same way, pretty much - so seemingly we should either be mad at both or support both. Thoughts?
Adam E.
145. chaplainchris
Isilel @ 138 - I agree, I don't want Siuan restored to full power for the reasons you state (except I'd not thought about the "training" dreamring preparing her to learn to go to TAR on her own - I like it!). Siuan's already, in TGS, seen some benefits to her lesser strength, and I think it'd reverse her character development to return her to full power.

I also don't think it's even possible. Nynaeve's exam shows Siuan can't be Healed again - there's no longer anything severed. I think, where Siuan severed again and re-Healed, that she would a) be restored to her current strength if Healed by a man, or b) have far less strength than she does now if Healed by a woman - presumably, the proportional drop would be as great as the intitial drop when first Healed by Nynaeve.

IOW, I believe the Healing is irrevocable, and Siuan and Leane's lessened strength is the price they pay for being the first successful clinical trials of Healing severing. In future, once Nynaeve and Damer finally get to compare notes (which *ought* to be happening now since they're all together), I expect everyone to conclude that severed women need to be Healed by men and severed men need to be Healed by women for full restoration to occur.

Speaking of Nynaeve and Damer, Leigh mentions that she has a number of hoped-for moments that aren’t actually integral to the plot and might not happen, but would be geekily cool. Nynaeve and Damer is one of my big ones. Related to it, I really want Nynaeve to be the one to finally teach poor Samitsu how to Heal with all 5 powers – and maybe learn from her the trick of how to partially Heal.
Andrew Belmont
146. rosetintdworld
Funny you should bring up Gawyn, @144. I was re-reading those passages last night, and remembered on my initial read of TGS that I was THRILLED that the book ended with Gawyn in Egwene's bad graces. I had been actively dreading a scene that I assumed was as good as written for years: where Egwene confronts Gawyn for the crap he's pulled and then says, "Oh but I wuv you, so it's ok that you can't accept me as Amyrlin. Let's make out!" I wasn't giving Jordan enough credit, it seems;-P

Now, in light of Terez's theories, I'm re-reading the passages in LOC where Amys talks about Gawyn's love for Eg and its effects on the Dreamworld, and I'm wondering if Jordan was very cleverly misleading us. Maybe Amys was not saying, "The dreams show a Love for the Ages," but instead, "It is a clear sign of a sociopathic obsessive stalker mentality, and however much you are 18 and love making out in the streets of Cairhien, you really should know better."

I'm becoming more and more convinced that Gawyn will turn out to be a clever rendition of the Elaida/Eamon Valda type, who ruins everything. Clever, because we've been encouraged (on some level) to sympathize with him. I might be wrong, but I hope I'm not.

....All of which is to say, from where I'm stand, Siuan is cool and smart, and Gawyn is incredibly not. So anger at Siuan but not Gawyn may not be just, but it feels so, so right.
Matthew Smith
147. blocksmith
Quick post to see if spam blocking has ceased and desisted.

Lots of good information and synopsis on Siuan. I think most can agree she made some good and some bad decisions. When viewed considering 1) not having all the information 2)being concerned about giving the BA too much about what she was doing and 3)having to try to control the Dragon Reborn situation without actually trying to control the DR, she was definitely trying to juggle with both hands tied behind her back, blindfolded, while wearing concrete slippers.

A big thanks to Wetlandernw for her advice and to Torie for looking into the spam thing. The gurus and powers that be on this Site are there and they are wise.
Hugh Arai
148. HArai
Chaplainchris@144: You should be mad at/support both. Egwene actually has more right to be mad at Siuan since she explicitly disobeyed orders from the Amyrlin, whereas Gawyn is not formally under her authority at all.

People enjoy kicking Gawyn but I'm not as convinced as most that he deserves all the abuse he gets. In the current instance, sure it would have been wonderful for Egwene if his reaction was "I'm sure you're a fantastic strong independent Amyrlin, and I'll be blissfully grateful for whatever scraps of time you may deign to give me" but what were the odds?

The last time he saw her she was alternating between being a Wise One's apprentice and an Accepted. Now she's Amyrlin. Of course he figured she was in over her head. The same conclusion that Siuan and Leane had at the start. The same conclusion virtually all the AS had until the Tower assault. The same conclusion that Rand and Mat had, but no one hates them for it. Similarly, the last time he saw her, she spent all her time making out with him. Now she wants him to sit in the corner until she feels like it. Expecting him to be happy about that is a bit much.

Gawyn is apparently immensely skilled in personal combat and small unit-tactics. He obviously has qualities that would make someone like Sleete try to recruit him as a fellow Warder. He's intensely loyal and duty minded.

He's also emotionally impulsive, and reacts very poorly to changing situations where he doesn't have someone (his mother,Elayne,Gareth Bryne) he can use as a compass to judge where his duty lies.
The combination of this last trait and the way every single person in the series (except Bryne in TGS) keeps him in the dark is what results in his mistakes in my opinion.
Antoni Ivanov
149. tonka
Siuan's transgression in saving Egwene is much worse than Gawyn's. Siuan has recognized Egwene as Amyrlin Seat and she should obey. While Gawyn has not. He is trying to save the woman he loves. Who's Amyrlin and who is not doesn't matter to him as long as Egwene is save. Now he has to understand and accept that Egwene is Amyrlin in truth if he wants to be with her.

BTW, I am pretty sure that Siuan and Gawyn actually saved Egwene's life though neither of them realized it. If you go through Egwene's dreams there are things that point to this moment. I don't remember exactly what now.

PS: I totally second HArai up there!
Adam E.
150. Jelsel
cool murandians;

i'm quite sure there's a light-side asha'man who's murandian and pretty cool,
can't think of the name though

thnx Leigh and see you friday!!
Maiane Bakroeva
151. Isilel
Freelancer @142:

I interpret Torval's reaction differently - that he became justly afraid that he was blatantly betraying himself. And also, that if Rand truly knew how to cleanse the taint, that he may have traded his soul to the Shadow unnecessarily. YMMV.


Re: Siuan's "disobedience", which wasn't truly such since Seanchan invasion was never taken into account in Egwene's orders - one of the worst things a ruler or a general can do is to try to micro-manage everything and insist on trusted subordinates following orders that have been rendered obsolete or harmful by events.

You pick your field commanders (which Siuan effectively was, as much as Bryne) and trust in their judgement. If they don't pull their weight, you replace them.

Siuan's decisions, except for perhaps allowing Bryne to trudge along (but, then, that was probably because of Min's Fortelling), made excellent sense in this case.
Even with Egwene's unlikely successes during the attack, Siuan et al. may have well saved her life. Egwene should be mature enough to realize it and to understand that Siuan's ability for independant action is an asset as long as Siuan follows Egwene's strategic goals - which she always does, even when she disagrees.

Speaking of Gawyn - his mother became the head of her political faction in the Andoran civil war at 16 and queen at 18, he should have been the very last person to dismiss Egwene on the grounds of her age. He also should have been the very last person to not understand that her responsibilities as a ruler should and would always come first. Unlike Siuan, his actions were for all the wrong reasons.
Antoni Ivanov
152. tonka
The Queen of Andor is hereditary position, Morgase won her Crown by right (yeah there were some other pretenders but she had the best claim). While Amyrlin is whole another area. The only logical deduction for Egwene being Amyrlin is that she is chosen so that they can use her and sacrifice her if necessary. That was why they chose her indeed. And Gawyn as any normal person doesn't the woman he loves in this position. He couldn't possibly know that Egwene has managed to secure her leadership, he is just beginning to find out that.
Hugh Arai
153. HArai
Isilel@151: So Siuan and Bryne going to the Tower to save Egwene's life from the Seanchan attack is correct but Gawyn going to the Tower to save Egwene's life from the Seanchan attack isn't? Explain the difference since Siuan actually recruits Gawyn for the rescue.

He doesn't dismiss Egwene for her age, he wants to save her life since he (correctly) believes she's the rebel Amyrlin because no one more senior would take the risk, he knows Elaida is likely to kill her eventually, and her being a captive while the Tower is in the midst of a Seanchan attack is not a good thing.

As for understanding her responsibilities as a ruler come first, the first chance he has to talk to her directly and find out she's not a sacrificial figurehead is when she decides to bitch him out. All his fault he's not a mind reader I guess.
Mikey Bennett
154. EvilMonkey
go Isilel!

Agree with you 100%. Another thing about Gawyn is his absolute closed-mindedness. He was raised in court so he had to have observed the Game of Houses, even the watered down version played in Andor. He should have been able to see that Egs wasn't just a puppet at first glance from the observable events. Or if not in the first moment at least after getting a feel for the camp and Bryne's comments to him. He has proven himself to be a great tactician, one who is more than merely effective. The evidence of this is that he held the Younglings pretty much in tact despite Dumai Wells and an Aiel ambush. You aint gonna do that if you are a bumbling commander. By all accounts he is brilliant and adaptable, so why in the sam hell can't he apply that brilliance to his personal prejudices? He fights for the tower yet lets Siuan go. He thinks Rand killed his mom and yet he is told by at least 2 people he trusts (Egwene and Min) and one that could kill him with a flick of the wrist and so has no real reason to lie to him (Rand of course) that he did not do the deed. Everyone and their momma can see that Egs is at worst an effective leader (Romanda and Lelaine) and at best one of the Great Amyrlins (Siuan). The rebel camp itself is testament to her greatness. I mean an entire army moves 4 or 500 Leagues in mid-winter in an instant to lay one of the most effective sieges of TV since it's building, and every swingin dick and tit under Egwene's banner? How is it not obvious (to anyone except Elaida that is) that this woman ain't the girl you knew? Furthermore, for someone so wrapped up in duty, duty this and duty that, why isn't he on his way to Andor right now?

Ya know, I liked Gawyn when he was first introduced, and I believe over the last two years he has gotten a few too many shocks to his worldview. But who would've thought after reading TEOTW that it would be Galad who is the more flexible brother? I think Gawyn will eventually get a clue, I mean I certainly hope so. He is one of the most effective Swordmasters and Generals that Team Light has to offer. It would be a shame if its his blockheaded closed mindedness that makes him do the Shadow's bidding.
Hugh Arai
155. HArai
Furthermore, for someone so wrapped up in duty, duty this and duty that, why isn't he on his way to Andor right now?

Because by the time he learns Elayne got around to going to Caemlyn from Bryne, he already knows Egwene has been captured?
Chin Bawambi
156. bawambi
Question: Do we have any known interaction between Tarna and Gawyn or Danelle and Gawyn? I ask only because those are the 2 leading candidates for Messana and maybe his character blockheadedness is due to Compulsion?

157. Freelancer

Is correct.

Gawyn is unduly blasted by many in the fandom for doing what anyone in his circumstances would do. Siuan Sanche, a person who's deposition from the Amyrlin Seat he fought to uphold, yet whom he respected enough to let her get away rather than be executed, comes to him and says, "Your girlfriend is in grave danger, a captive of the unhinged Elaida in the Tower, which is under assault by the Seanchan. Help us get her out." Don't forget that this play is agreed to by Gareth Bryne, the Andoran Captain-General who taught Gawyn everything he knows about tactics and battle, the first person in months to cause Gawyn to rethink his reasons for hanging around as though continuing to support the Tower, even though he's sure Elaida wants him and his Younglings dead.

Their respective and collective gravitas, in Gawyn's mind, outweighs Egwene's stance to not be rescued, which is seen by everyone else, especially her supporters, as exceptionally foolish, aleibt grudgingly obeyed.

So, would any reasonable person truly expect Gawyn to sit on his thumbs and say, "Have fun, but she's going to be awfully angry at you for disobeying"?

Edit: I forgot to add, on a slightly related note. Others have mentioned scenes they wish to see. Among mine are Gareth Bryne and Morgase meeting after each has learned that Morgase was under the Compulsion of Rahvin, and was not responsible for her actions when she chased Bryne out of Caemlyn. Some healing is needed there, for both of them.
Sharon E.
158. Sulin
Can someone share the gabbly chat link with me again? We lobotomized our computer over the weekend and my WOT bookmarks didn't get ported over. :(
Hugh Arai
159. HArai
bawambi@156: I don't believe there are any known interactions. My own opinion is he's just a very confused mushroom, since the only "evidence" for Compulsion is his increasing emotional instability and he's hardly the only character that happens to.
Valentin M
160. ValMar
Freelancer, I believe Gawyn let Siuan go because of Min. She had to plead with him really hard, IIRC.
Roger Powell
161. forkroot
Hmm... That conversation between Morgase and Bryne could be interesting:

Bryne: "Nice little boy-toy you have there, cougar-lady."
Morgase: "Boy-toy? He's only a few years my junior. You are the one that appears to be robbing the cradle!"
Bryne: (rolls eyes) "You wouldn't believe me if I even tried to explain."
Tricia Irish
162. Tektonica
Sulin: ::waves:: Sorry about your computer's brain....:-(.
This is what it says up top when I log into gabbly....let me know if it works.
Maiane Bakroeva
164. Isilel
@ Various:

A nobleman has to be a mind-reader to understand that Egwene needs to make a slew of important political decisions once she is back in the SAS camp? Or that it isn't time to discuss private matters, when the Hall has been called? Really, his reactions make me think that his life as a son of the ruling queen has been spent "in perpetual fog".

It is not his participation in Egwene's rescue that I object to, but his conviction that in everything that concerns her, he knows better. Which is particularly infuriating from a character whose own choices have consistently been so woefully stupid.

I mean, it has been crystal clear in Cahirien that Egwene was a rebel against Elaida and fully intended to actively participate in everything TG related. Yet here, Gawyn thinks that he'd be able to take her away from her position with the SAS, sacrificial or not? Huh?
And how stubbornly does he ignore the evidence that Egwene actually has clout?! etc.

What it boils down to, is that Gawyn doesn't respect Egwene as a person and never did. He doesn't respect her opinions, her convictions and now her political authority.
Barry T
165. blindillusion
From BWS:

Back at work on TofM. I managed to get two of the shorter scenes done yesterday. Six more left. They're longer ones, though.

- And it was a wonderful Memorial Weekend in Mississippi. Parents, one brother and his family and my family. Needless to say, awesomeness ensued.
Seems I missed a lot.

Looking forward to Friday.

And yes, I'm simply trying to make sure I hit each post...even if I really have nothing to add to the discussion....

Adam E.
166. Kreeble
I think we get a little biased towards the SGs in regards to recognizing their power within the AS hierarchy. Imagine if your 18 year old sister went off to college to study computer programming, and then a year and a half later showed back up saying she was the CEO of Microsoft. You may show up at her job and see her appear to be, in fact, in charge, but it is still extremely difficult to believe.
Gawyn, Mat, Rand, and everyone else in the books is having the same trouble. It may be aggravating to us as readers, and to the girls when it happens, but it shouldn't utterly perplex them to the level it does.
Roger Powell
167. forkroot
Imagine if your 18 year old sister went off to college to study computer programming, and then a year and a half later showed back up saying she was the CEO of Microsoft. You may show up at her job and see her appear to be, in fact, in charge, but it is still extremely difficult to believe.
Well, I dunno ... sounds like one of the more plausible explanations for the abysmal software that has come out of Redmond over the years ;-)
Jay Dauro
168. J.Dauro
If we look at Siuan raised to the Amyrlin Seat at 30, this being the youngest ever before Egwene. Other than that, most Amyrlins have worn the shawl for more than 40 years before being raised. So even with the regard that Gareth shows, it is still understandable that Gawyn has trouble. And no one outside the camp can really tell whether it is the Hall or the Amyrlin in control.
None of the nobles from Andor think Egwene is anything but a puppet. Neither do Rand or Mat. So we should be surprised that Gawyn has a hard time with it?
I do give Gawyn hell for not at least realizing that something is going on when Gareth tells him that Morgase needed to be removed, and that Egwene is the Amyrlin in truth. I do not expect him to accept it, but he should realize that he could be wrong.
Roger Powell
169. forkroot
Have we met a cool Murandian, ever?
Fager Neald, one of the two Asha'man with Perrin is reasonably cool.
170. Freelancer
Though he is described as appearing to always be strutting, and twirling his mustaches. Then again he's also describe as short, so it could just be that.
171. Ouroboros
chaplainchris @ 144

Consider Siuan's position. She is talking to Egwene in T'A'R when she is suddenly pulled away. Siuan waits but Egwene doesn't return. This is enough to make her very worried because she is sure that Egwene would have come back to allay Siuan's fears. When she gives up waiting She sees the Tower under attack and clearly in trouble, and as far as she knows Egwene was locked up in the cells and still unable to channel. In short, Siuan has every reason to believe that Egwene is in imminent danger and no reason to believe that she will be able to defend herself. What was she supposed to do, stand by and watch while Egwene was carried off by the Seanchan? And don't forget that Egwene had agreed to a rescue if her execution was ordered, so she has already allowed for one exception in extreme circumstances.

As for Egwene, one of the reasons for her anger is that she believes Siuan deprived her of a chance to gain the Tower in the aftermath of the attack. She may have been right, but this is not certain - the Hall may simply have tightened its hold over Elaida and made her a puppet rather than having a third Amyrlin in a year. And she was certainly not safe. She had just been told that every fifth sister is Black and that Mesaana is wandering the halls. Egwene now knows that the Black did everything it could to break the Tower in that she is probably viewed as a threat to that goal. There is also Elaida and her followers to think of. Murder was done to put her on the Amyrlin Seat, it could easily be done to keep Egwene off it.

By the time that Siuan & co. found Egwene, she couldn't even string two words together and was easy picking for anyone who wanted her out of the way. For Egwene to think that Siuan was unjustified in her actions is wilful blindness at best and her final judgement over Siuan is far too harsh.

"Do your best to keep her out of trouble, General," Egwene said, staring Siuan in the eyes. "She has been in quite a bit of it lately. I have half a mind to give her to you to use as a foot soldier. I believe that the military organization might be good for her, and remind her that sometimes, obedience overrides initiative."

Siuan wilted, glancing away.

"I haven't decided what to do with you yet, Siuan," Egwene said in a softer voice. "But my anger has been kindled. And my trust has been lost. You will need to soothe the first and stoke the second if you wish to enter my confidence again."

Siuan was reacting to a situation which was far from ordinary, and certainly not one which Egwene's orders had accounted for. If Egwene is incapable of empathising with one of her closest and most loyal followers, and would rather have mindless drones who have no initiative, then she still has things to learn about true leadership. And I could do without the pomposity.

As for Gawyn, he did exactly the right thing. Plenty of characters are given free passes for doing stupid things in the name of love, and what Gawyn did was not stupid - this time. He believed that his one true love was in mortal danger. Do you really expect him to sit back and watch?

HArai @ 148: Absolutely. I support both. They did the right thing.

tonka @ 152: Exactly.

EvilMonkey @ 154: From Gawyn's perspective the AS only tell him what they want him to know and the only person who is telling him Egwene is truly the Amyrlin is Bryne, who is also telling him that his mother's death was a good thing for Andor. Egwene is not in camp so he can't see how she is treated. You can hardly blame him for not believing that a girl who first set foot in Tar Valon two years ago is now the Amyrlin Seat and not a puppet.

HArai @ 155: He was told that Elayne was with the Rebels at the start of CoT and he continued to fight against them. It never occured to him that Elayne may be supporting the Rebels and opposed to Elaida.

bawambi @ 156: Tarna meets Gawyn in CoT, not that it matters, since Tarna is not Mesaana. :D

Freelancer @ 157: Gawyn had been pushing hard for a rescue, so I think he jumped at the chance. His opinions of Siuan and Bryne don't really come into it. He probably would have accepted help from the Dark One. ;)

ValMar @ 160: Yes.

Isilel @ 164: I'll agree that his actions outside her tent in TGS leave something to be desired. I'll also agree that he is too certain of his own perspective of events, but then, that's one of the main themes of the series. Compare his attitude towards Egwene with her’s towards Rand.

Kreeble @ 166: Yet another recurring theme. Almost all the youngsters are put in positions of power that others don't acknowledge, including the other youngsters in similar positions of power that others don't acknowledge. Hmm, ain’t recursion a splendid thing.

forkroot @ 167: Windows Vista - the immature solution.

So, I never did figure out where that cheesecake came from - nice though.
Hugh Arai
173. HArai
Ouroboros @ 171:
He was told that Elayne was with the Rebels at the start of CoT and he continued to fight against them. It never occured to him that Elayne may be supporting the Rebels and opposed to Elaida.

It does occur to him actually. In fact Tarna tells him to leave her with the Rebels, since at least she's safe with Aes Sedai where she is and as an Accepted, Elaida won't hold her responsible for being "led astray" by Aes Sedai. He's already considering leaving Elaida, but he thinks he needs to stay tied to the Tower to stay tied to Egwene and Elayne and at this point as the leader of the Younglings he doesn't see joining the rebels as an option. That means he has to stay tied to Elaida. I think it's a bad decision but then I don't maintain he makes great decisions, just that he's got reasons.

More importantly,though, Elayne bound him to the White Tower, and so did Egwene al'Vere, and he did not know which tied the tighter knot, the love of his sister or the love of his heart. To abandon one was to abandon all three, and while he breathed, he could not abandon Elayne or Egwene. "You have my word that I will do all I can", he said wearily. "What does Elaida want of me?"
174. Freelancer
I'll let HArai continue the Gawyn defense, since he seems to view it precisely as I do.

In other news, Brandon's latest on FB is:
Jumped to first quarter of KoD to continue research. Almost have what I need.

Well, six of the first 11 chapters of KoD are about Mat's group traveling with Luca's show. Since Mat and Tuon aren't together, it can't be about that. I'm thinking Dragon's Eggs. They've gotten to Caemlyn, and Aludra is going to want to get the bellfounders busy.
Amy Rasnake
175. SnakeAmy19
I cant wait for the new book. Brandon Sanderson has done a wonderful job.
Antoni Ivanov
176. tonka
Do you think that if Egwene has remained in the White Tower she would be dead. Just a day before the attack, Mesaana ordered Sheriam to have Egwene removed. So I don't doubt that the Blacks in the White Tower had orders to have Egwene murdered. Actually taking Egwene from the White Tower probably was crucial because she managed to get out of Tower's Black Aes Sedai. And there were Blood Knifes around the Tower, as weak as she was, she might have stumbled on one of them.

Still Siuan disobeyed a direct order. While she was *right* to disobey, she needs to be punished. Do what you have to do and then pay the price.
diane heath
177. jadelollipop
just a note to state I am caught up with the re-read
:) may my future comments be more applicable and of interest.

I have potato salad and potato chips to add to the buffet in the bunker. Out of chocolate though.
Maiane Bakroeva
178. Isilel
Ouroboros @171:

200% with you about Egwene's treatment of Siuan. IMHO, BWS went over board trying to show how Egwene is an awesome leader who deserves to be obeyed. Instead, that shows that she isn't quite there yet.
I hope that he realizes it and has her make the next step in the remaining books.

I disliked Siuan wilting too - IMHO she should have proudly stood by her decision, like Bryne always does.

As to Gawyn:

You can hardly blame him for not believing that a girl who first set foot in Tar Valon two years ago is now the Amyrlin Seat and not a puppet.

His own mother had been a novice one day, a leader of her political party in the Succession a short time later and the Queen of Andor, one of the most powerful rulers in their world, in a couple of years, at the ripe age of 18. And _she_ was not a puppet.
So, Gawyn has less excuse to dismiss Egwene and Elayne than Rand and Mat, who _know_ that they themselves only are in positions they are because they are ta'veren. Even so, the mutual underestimation between the main cast is irritating.

You can hardly blame him for not believing that a girl who first set foot in Tar Valon two years ago is now the Amyrlin Seat and not a puppet.

I blame him for willfully refusing to understand that even if Egwene _had_ been a puppet, she would have never left.
In Cahirien at the latest, it should have been crystal-clear to him that Egwene was 100% in Rand's camp and opposed to Elaida and would continue to do whatever was necessary to thwart Elaida.
Gawyn accepts the little kids, that he lets join the Younglings, as men who can decide for themselves.
Why does he have such problems with giving the much older SGs the same courtesy? If this hadn't been WoT, I'd have said that he has a crush on a completely wrong woman.

Freelancer @174:

I really hope that BWS's research has nothing to do with Luca's show! It was very tedious to re-visit it (and I am in the minority who liked it the first time around!) it would be unbearable if it featured prominently yet again, IMHO.
andrew smith
179. sillyslovene
re: isilel @178
IMHO, BWS went over board trying to show how Egwene is an awesome leader who deserves to be obeyed. Instead, that shows that she isn't quite there yet.
I hope that he realizes it and has her make the next step in the remaining books.

I agree that Egwene isn't quite there in her leadership skills yet, but IMO, BWS was intent on getting Rand and Egwene, as foils of one another, to a similar position- making it to the top and realizing how much they still need to rely on the support of their subordinates (for lack of a better word) and can't do it on their own. I don't think that he intended for Egwene to be the paragon of good leadership at this moment, but the awesome leader who made good on her own merits, but still needs to see the importance of the support of friends. Hopefully, Egwene will see this herself, but personally, I'm hoping for the "Rand will know the Amyrlin's anger" prophecy to involve him teaching her something along these lines (despite her anger of learning it from him) and in the end helping her leadership skills and his own plans by mutually strengthening each other. The irony of Rand guiding Egwene (and the AS in general) in her leadership skills after all her (/their) talk of guiding him would be delicious!
Adam E.
180. Jonathan Levy

Wouldn't you like to see Luca and Nynaeve meet one more time?

N: Oh, Luca.
L: Oh, Nyna.
N: So... um... what have you been up to?
L: Well, I have the biggest circus in Randland, the personal protection of the Seanchan, and I married the bear trainer.
N: Well, I captured Moghedien, helped cleanse the True Source, and I married the King of Malkier.
L: ...
L: See, I knew you'd come back to me!!!
Adam E.
181. Jonathan Levy

I think you meant to say that Hinderstap is in- Hindestap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in- Hinterstap is in-
Sharon E.
182. Sulin
The irony of Rand guiding Egwene (and the AS in general) in her leadership skills after all her (/their) talk of guiding him would be delicious!
Oh, it would indeed! Hahaha! *gleefully rubs hands together in anticipation*

Bonnie Andrews
183. misfortuona
I truly love the idea of Rand being the one to open Egwene’s eyes to the fact that she may be the Amyrilin, but that she's still Egwene as well. Thank you Sillyslovene (what a great name to say aloud ;D)

As I see it, she's in a similar boat to Rand in many ways. She was forced by the pattern, or circumstance, into a role far beyond her ability to manage and has grown into it beautifully.
However in doing so she's had to appear unbending because any sign of weakness, or favoritism, on her part would have undermined everything that she'd done.

In a way she went through the same process of making herself 'hard' as he did. I suppose Siuan was her Min in a way, her being the one person that she could talk to, but even then there were things that she has needed to keep from her.
With Rand reaching his enlightenment, we hope, on Dragonmount he is in the best position of anyone to remind her that if even the DR needs other people ( friends), surely so does the Amyrlin

Mis-off to drop off more Margarita makings and see it there’s still cheesecake. YAY, I love this place.
diane heath
184. jadelollipop
Just now into the ride to Caemlyn so this may be discussed Friday or later but a light dawned just now.
Aviendha has a small sack of uncut gems used to buy winter cloaks for everyone while at Forel Market. Elayne asked where the gems came from and why Avi is so het up to get rid of them.
"She did not inquire what toh Aviendha had tried to buy,or how the attempt had ended with her near-sister
possessing a sack full of rich gems. Talking about Rand was hard enough without where that might lead"

If Rand is the equivalent of the Fisher King (Moridin's game --see description of the Fisher) then the failure to ask questions is one of the main things that led to the loss/death of the Fisher King.
IF E had asked she would have learned more about Rand's relationship to the Aiel at least...maybe more of his actual biological roots...
Chin Bawambi
185. bawambi
ok still more on the see what sticks with the Forsaken angle.

Egs hardening and all of a sudden less than awesomeness is potentially an indirect result of Halima's massages. Some light Compulsion involved mayhaps? I think we might see some more of this in ToM - if I'm right then Egs will get harder still before the meeting with Rand.

Mikael Pajunen
186. BByte
I think there's a parallel between Egwene disobeying the Wise Ones and Siuan disobeying Egwene's orders. Perhaps Eg will also eventually come to see it that way. It'll be interesting to see how their relationship develops. It seems any real punishment is unlikely considering the end of the speech Egwene gave to the AS and the rest. Why punish one disobedient friend when you're trying to make peace with hundreds of recent enemies? Siuan is also still a valuable advisor.

The foretold meeting between Rand and Egwene is certainly at the top of my "must see" list.
187. Ouroboros
HArai @ 173: This is a good point, but in a different argument.

He never considered joining the rebels he just considered whether or not he should leave Elaida and head for Caemlyn. He decided not to because he didn't think the rebels would let a party of 300 men through.

He didn't give serious thought to the fact that Elayne and Egwene bound themselves to the rebels by choice. He simply assumed that they were swept up in Siuan's schemes and then by the rebels and were unwilling pawns. Of course, this was partly Egwene's fault. She had the chance to set the record straight but she didn't. You'd think that if she was so obviously in love with him she might have trusted him enough to at least give him some of the truth. Isn't communication a wonderful thing? :)

In any case, his decision to stick with Elaida was stupid. He last met Egwene in Cairhien with Rand and the Aiel so there's no reason to think that she would be inside the Tower with Elaida. He was also told that Elayne was last seen with the rebels, so again, Elaida is hardly the right choice. He should have gone straight to the rebels and find Elayne. That was his duty to his sister, Andor, and his mother’s memory which he prizes so highly. In stead, he carried out raiding missions against the group that his sister might be with. I understand that he felt duty bound to the Bratlings but his duty to Andor surely comes first.

Again, Egwene could have done something about this when she was in Cairhien. She could have told him where Elayne was, in exchange for a promise that he leave Elaida's service, go straight to Elayne, and follow her orders as his queen. As you can see, I've got my hindsight glasses on today. :)

In any case, the point I was making in response to you @155 was that he should have left the Bratlings long before TGS.

tonka @ 176: Yes, Mesaana may have given orders to terminate with extreme prejudice, but it doesn't affect the discussion because neither Siuan nor Egwene were aware of it. The point I'm making is that Egwene is too harsh with Siuan and never considers the fact that she did the right thing, even if it meant disobeying.

Obedience is important, but there are such things as extenuating circumstances and Siuan was not privy to all the information. Perhaps a chastising for disobedience is in order, but making Siuan grovel for re-acceptance is completely unreasonable. Siuan did risk her life to rescue the girl after all and a little gratitude wouldn't go amiss.

Isilel @ 178: Yes, Siuan should have stood up for her decision. It must have been the Super Eyebrow again.

On BWS going overboard with Egwene: Indeed. There were a couple of scenes that were certainly interesting. Her vocabulary increased remarkably between books 11 and 12, and her ability to bring people round to her way of thinking with a single look was very impressive.

On Gawyn: I agree that he should be more accepting of Egwene's position, and at the very least, accept that she can make her own decisions. The point about the Bratlings is well made too. But of course, they’re boys, that's different. ;)

Morgase should make him more accepting of young leaders but then he never actually saw her as a young queen. The last time he saw the girls they were still accepted and it is well known that Aes Sedai need a few years on them before they get given positions of authority with in the Tower itself. It's all very well being told about things, but you often have to see them for yourself to really accept them.

sillyslovene @ 179: "The irony of Rand guiding Egwene (and the AS in general) in her leadership skills after all her (/their) talk of guiding him would be delicious!"

Oh, I'm going to have dreams about this now. :D

Jonathan Levy @ 181: Did I? I can't remember. It's all a blur.
Adam E.
188. Jonathan Levy

Don't worry. You'll have another chance to do it over tonight...
Adam E.
189. Jonathan Levy

...the failure to ask questions is one of the main things that led to the loss/death of the Fisher King.

Whom does the grail serve?

Wonderful observation. But if that principle holds in Randland, they're doomed. Everyone's so busy pretending they know everything, they don't ask questions on principle.
a a-p
190. lostinshadow
So I finally reread New Spring for the first time - and apparently I don't actually remember anything from the book other than Moiraine dousing Lan.

But, regarding the above discussion on Siuan's effectiveness as an Amryln... Siuan was definitely aware of the BA and the dwindling number of AS (though that one was apparently more of a big issue for Moiraine). In fact, the two of them are clearly terrified of BA and way (rightfully) paranoid about them. Which might explain why Siuan was stepping so carefully as to appear ineffective.

Btw, Moiraine is totally convinced that cranky pants is BA, she is absolutely sure of it... so if nothing has happened in the intervening years to change her mind she is not going to be a happy camper to discover who her replacement as Rand's advisor has been.

* rubs hands gleefully * *twitch*
Roger Powell
191. forkroot
Well folks, I know there's still the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals, but as the long summer days stretch out ... it's baseball season.

Now there's no baseball in WoT, but with profuse apologies to Ernest Thayer, I offer up the following instead:

Lan at Tarwin's Gap

The outlook wasn't hopeful there at Tarwin's Gap that day
The shadowspawn were swarming
      and were barely held at bay
While Borderlanders, true of heart,
      fought bravely for their lives,
They battled for the Light
      (and for their children and their wives)

Above the fray, the banner of the Golden Crane still waved
But those who fought below it
      knew the slim chance they'd be saved
They thought "If only him we know as 'Dragon' would appear"
He'd use his might to spare us
      from the end that's drawing near

But help was far away and still the battle carried on
But one man stood the tallest though, al'Lan Mandragoran
The bravest and the truest both around him were arrayed
And shadowspawn were slaughtered
      falling swiftly to his blade

A braided leather headband held his hair back from his face
A handsome stony visage cut with angles, full of grace
Wherever he was present, the defenders spirits rose
His will alone the Light preserved, regardless of the foes

Then all at once a man appeared
      with strange flecks in his eyes
Whose inner darkness overwhelmed
      his mortal frame's disguise
His black hair and his "too strong chin"
      made quite a few remark
"He's handsome, but he's deadly,
      he's the Champion of the Dark"

He seized an evil power then and channeled deadly weaves
That caused the earth to buckle, tossing to and fro in heaves
Defenders and attackers both, were unable to rise
The Champion of Darkness then stared right into Lan's eyes

Then suddenly from nowhere came a slash of gleaming white
that opened as a portal from another, distant site
A woman with a long dark braid,
      came quickly through that door
And after her a man stepped through,
      the Dragon, Rand Al'Thor!

From the battle lines the sound rose up, a barely muted roar
Like the beating of the storm-waves
      on the Aryth Ocean's shore
"Kill him! Kill the dreadlord!" shouted someone from the field
But Rand Al'Thor demurred and said "Elan Tedronai! Yield!"

"I yield to no one, Kinslayer" the Dark One's champion said
"I serve the Lord who took me
      and returned me from the dead"
"The name I choose now, 'Moridin', means 'Death'
      as you well know
The Great Lord's triumph is at hand, we strike the final blow!"

"So 'Death' your name, and death you choose,
      it shall be in accord"
Said Rand Al'Thor the same time as he drew his crystal sword
He tried to strike a fearsome blow no mortal could resist
But Moridin just dodged aside and calmly said "You missed"

The battle stopped, both sides looked on,
      the conflict put aside
They saw the Dragon's face grow stern,
      they saw his weave applied
He loosed a bolt of flame that
      would have killed a thousand men,
But Moridin stepped back once more
      and said "You missed again"

Said Moridin: "It's time you feel the depths of your despair"
He grabbed the King of Malkier by wrapping him with Air
then drew Lan helpless toward him
      as he raised a shadowed knife
And told Rand "Feel your heart break
      as your friend departs this life"

The sneer is gone from Al Thor's lip,
      his teeth are clenched in hate
And Moridin recoils in apprehension of his fate
Once more Rand forms a deadly weave
      and lets the weave take flight
And now the air is shattered by a beam of brilliant white!

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
Where girls and boys are laughing
      as they're walking in the Light
And somewhere hearts are steadfast
      and there's hope for every man,
But there is no joy at Tarwin's Gap,
      'cause Rand just balefired Lan
Maiane Bakroeva
192. Isilel
Sillyslovene @179:

Neither Rand nor indeed LTT are/were all that great where managing friends and subordinates is concerned. And Egwene was actually doing quite well in that department - until TGS. IMHO, Siuan and Bryne are the ones who should have "guided" her there, by defending their actions.

Ourobros @187:

But of course, they’re boys, that's different. ;)

Never understood why that should be the case in WoT, where women aren't generally considered intellectually inferior.

As to what Egwene told Gawyn - IIRC she did say that both she and Elayne were on Rand's side and set on helping him.
What else could she have told a man who was currently sworn to an enemy? And what else did _Gawyn_ need to make his decision?

But, no he decides to willfully ignore that SGs have convictions and goals of their own. IMHO, it is a mercy that he probably won't be Elayne's Prince of the Sword, as he is clearly incapable of seeing her as a rational adult, leave alone his superior.

Now, Egwene not telling Gawyn in detail about what prompted Rand's attack on Caemlyn and what happened at the docks is another story. But she did tell him enough for him to see that both she and Elayne have chosen their ground and that it was the one opposed to Elaida.

Lostinshadow @190:

Absolutly! IMHO, there is going to be an OP fight, which Moiraine is going to win, to CP's preplexion and mortification. Unless Egwene manages to re-swear the AS with Rand before that, of course.

BTW, I'd really love an encounter between Egwene and Cadsuane. And I really hope that if Egwene and Moiraine clash, Moiraine _isn't_ going to wilt. She has already made standing up to Amyrlins something of a habit, after all...
James Hogan
194. Sonofthunder

*applauds madly*

You win the award for best post in the history of this re-read. a-MAZING.
195. Freelancer

And here I thought you were going to commit sacrilege and have Mighty Casey hit a homerun.

Well done.
Karen Jacobs
196. KJacobs
forkroot@191: Awesome! I was all goosebumps, right up to the last line, where I promptly sprayed a mouthful of water all over my desk :) Casey might not have had his homerun, but you certainly did!
Bonnie Andrews
197. misfortuona
MOA. Stand up take a bow, that was truly inspired.

Mis-cutting and pasting to put on my wall
Poojitha Sitaram
198. sitarap

Also, you got Lan killed :( I really hope that doesn't end up happening. But I suspect that Lan is going to be safe and sound because of the countless arguments Nynaeve and Rand have had on this matter. Brandon can't kill off Lan after all that, can he? I guess it would also depend on what Robert Jordan's plan was for all the characters during and after Tarmon Gai'don..
Adam E.
199. chaplainchris
Ouroboros @171 and others re: Siuan - I've not been clear, but I'm not saying that I, personally, don't think Siuan's decision to go in after Egwene was justified. I do...mostly. I still think what I said above, too, that it was a big risk - taking your general and yourself into enemy territory, and presumably without any authority (or awareness) from the Hall, meaning no one in authority is making arrangements to send you back-up or even prepare if you get caught. (And look, at this point, knowing that the Tower AS can Travel now, why not recruit a few more sisters and Travel in, rather than risky sneaking?)

Given the situation, the...unimpressiveness...of the Hall, and the importance of Egwene, Siuan's decision *is* justified, and does pay off. But from a chain-of-command POV, it's still a big infraction.

This is why I'm not comfortable with a military mindset, by the way. I think people you trust should use their own initiative. My understanding of the military mind (at least in fictional portrayals, and no offense intended) is that initiative is frowned upon - you are to follow orders. Except it's understood that if the situation calls for you you should take initiative. And in that case, you should expect to be reamed for it, even if you also get promoted for it.

In this case, I'd expect Egwene as Amyrlin to feel compelled to uphold the chain of command - esp given the perception that she's a puppet. I'd also expect her quietly to thank Siuan, even as she tells her not to disobey again.

Again, not that this is what I think - but it's what I'd expect and would think justified. I therefore don't blame Egs for her harsh words - but I'm surprised there's not some balance to them.
James Jones
201. jamesedjones
199 chaplainchris

The Tower AS know Traveling, but the Seanchan still didn't (at the time of the battle). No book with me, but I'm pretty sure Siuan identified the Seanchan attack from Egghead's dream.

200 Sulin

Thanks! I love morals in books, but I've got issues with preachinizing
Sam Mickel
202. Samadai
Forkroot @191,

That was excellent and well done. Now I don't have to post my story.
James Hogan
203. Sonofthunder
Aw, Sam - we still want to read your story too!! Maybe you should save it for tomorrow so we don't twitch ourselves to death waiting for Friday..
Hugh Arai
204. HArai
Ouroboros@187: You may think Gawyn could just zip over to the rebels and find Elayne. As the man who foiled the attempt to break out Siuan before she got stilled, he didn't share your opinion. Duty to Andor is all very well if he gets killed by the rebels or indeed by Elaida's side when he tries to leave. He eventually decides to take the risk, and it works out, but it's hardly the obvious thing to do.

Isilel@192: Correct me if I'm missing something from your argument because you seem to be claiming the following:

1) Elayne and Egwene support the rebels
2) Gawyn doesn't immediately switch allegiance to the rebels from his sworn allegiance to Elaida.
1) Gawyn is incapable of seeing Elayne as a rational adult
2) Gawyn willfully ignores that SGs have convictions and goals of their own.

What am I missing here? Because I can play too:

1) Gawyn supports Elaida
2) Egwene and Elayne don't immediately switch allegiance to Elaida from their allegiance to the rebels.
1) Elayne and Egwene are incapable of seeing Gawyn as a rational adult
2) Elayne and Egwene willfully ignore that Gawyn has convictions and goals of his own.
3) Bela killed Asmodean.
4) Fades secretly love puppies.
diane heath
205. jadelollipop
J L @189
"Everyone's so busy pretending they know everything, they don't ask questions on principle."
A reminder of their youth. As the bumper sticker states. "Hire a teenager while they still know everything" :)
Adam E.
206. Subbak
@204 Harai : Straw man... The SG stand with the rebels because they think/know Elaida is a terrible ruler and needs to be overthrown. Gawyn stands with Elaida to help the SG, which makes no sense at all once he knows the SG stand with the rebels.
Unless of course he doesn't give them enough credit to know what's good for them.
Tricia Irish
208. Tektonica

Thanks for that update and your deduction....**twitch twitch**.


I'm hoping for the "Rand will know the Amyrlin's anger" prophecy to involve him teaching her something along these lines (despite her anger of learning it from him) and in the end helping her leadership skills and his own plans by mutually strengthening each other. The irony of Rand guiding Egwene (and the AS in general) in her leadership skills after all her (/their) talk of guiding him would be delicious!

That indeed would be delicious...I like the way you're thinking!

Jonathanlevy@180 & 181: LOL...take that Luca, you arrogant git. And again..

Lost@190: **waves** Go Team Moraine! I wonder if Moraine will come back stronger? I'd love to see her encounter with Cranky Pants.

JamesedJones@193: You nailed him...can't read his stuff...zzzzzz.

Forkroot@191:LOL....Awesome with a surprise ending! Well done!Thank you!

Mis@183: **waves** I see a number of us like silly's idea!

I've been walking all day and my dogs are killing me. I've seen too much Art and I have nothing to add here, but sure enjoy reading all your musings! Thanks all.
James Jones
209. jamesedjones
204 HArai
4) Fades secretly love puppies.
True... but only with ketchup. :(
diane heath
210. jadelollipop
J L @189
"Everyone's so busy pretending they know everything, they don't ask questions on principle."
A reminder of their youth. As the bumper sticker states. "Hire a teenager while they still know everything" :)
Alice Arneson
211. Wetlandernw
Subbak @206 - not a straw man. The girls stand with the rebels because they think Elaida is a terrible ruler and needs to be overthrown. Gawyn stands with Elaida because she is the lawfully elected Amyrlin and has the authority to have the girls (and all the rebels) executed for their behavior; she also has the authority to pardon them if she chooses "because they were misled." Since he doesn't see how the rebels have either the right or the strength to stand against the White Tower and the lawful Amyrlin, why on earth would he join a lost cause? Relying on his head rather than his heart, it makes sense to be where he can possibly provide some help or protection when the inevitable happens.

Granted that he's wrong about what's inevitable, and the girls are actually right in their choice, his position isn't nearly as foolish as it seems. He's not working with all the info the reader has - not even close. Even with the info he has, he could have made different choices, but the rationale for one vs. the other isn't as great a light-or-dark brilliant-or-stupid contrast as we like to think.

Oh, and for those who like to claim Morgase's rise to Queen is enough for Gawyn to accept Egwene's rise to Amyrlin... NOT EVEN CLOSE!!! In the Andoran Succesion, there were a maximum of 18 candidates, less if any of the major Houses were lacking women of appropriate age and ambition. Where a Queen is generally only going to live 70-80 years, this limits the age range for choosing; you don't want a child if you can help it, but you also don't want someone too old, setting you up for another Succession in a few years. By contrast, the Amyrlin could be chosen from hundreds of more-or-less qualified women, and almost always was someone at least a hundred years old. That puts Egwene firmly in the much-too-young category, which Morgase never was in the Succession. Young, but not inconceivably so. And the Amyrlin, until they played verbal hopscotch with the law, was always a full Sister, which Egwene certainly was not.

So: IMHO, not a valid comparison and not a reason to expect Gawyn to readily accept Egwene as a "real" Amyrlin.
Bonnie Andrews
212. misfortuona
**Waves** Hope you're loving NYC.

HArai@209 & jamesdjones@209

Mis-will never look at ketchup without chuckling again
Hugh Arai
213. HArai
Subbak@206: How much credit Gawyn gives the SGs is the straw man. By the time he finds out the SGs are with the rebels, he's already on the other side. Remember he killed Hammar and Coulin to keep Siuan Sanche deposed? Gawyn remembers if you do not. I don't know if you noticed but if Sleete hadn't decided to help him out when he finally took the chance, he would likely have been killed trying to leave the Younglings and Tower AS.

It doesn't matter what the SGs think about the Tower split because Gawyn doesn't think joining the rebels is an option for Gawyn. The only option he sees is to stay with Elaida and get information about AS dealings through her side. Amusingly enough, as far as I can tell, from the time he arrives at the WT till he meets up with Gareth Bryne in TGS, the only person who actually gives him honest, useful information about the SGs whereabouts is... Tarna, of Team Elaida.
Thomas Keith
214. insectoid
Fork @191: Oh. Wow. ::wild applause:: However, in agreement with many people, I do hope that Lan lives. At an Improbability Factor of... (insert odds here) ;)

(Yes; on a totally unrelated note, I've finished the first 2 Hitchhiker books. Wild and wacky so far!)


Hugh Arai
215. HArai
Jamesedjones@209: Mmmm, puppies...

Wetlandernw@211: Well said.
Adam E.
216. Subbak
Harai@213, Wetlandernw@211 : I'm not saying switching sides for Gawyn would have been easy. But, given, that he's destined to be First Prince of the Sword, I trust he has some vague notions of how politics work. In particular, he should know that Elayne would never be executed by Elaida because :
a\ She's not a leader of the rebellion, and there's no way any ruler, no matter how incompetent, can end a rebellion by simply killing anyone who took part.
b\ Anyone can see that an Aes Sedai on the Lion Throne is great for the tower, especially since the relations between Tar Valon and Caemlyn have not been great lately.

As of LoC, a\ also applies to Egwene. Therefore, at this point he should be able to see that sticking with Elaida is not helping in any way.

Dor the same reasons, he should be able to see that the rebels have no interest in killing him : a lot of killing was done when Siuan was deposed, so an amnesty is the best political course, and killing the future First Prince of the Sword does not bode well for relations with Andor, duh...
So what he should have said to Egwene in LoC is "Ok, I join you guys, where will I find Elayne?".

Later on, when he learns that Egwene is the rebel Amyrlin and that team Elaida won't let him go anyway, I agree that your arguments apply.
217. Ouroboros
Isilel @ 192: Girls aren't boys and boys aren't girls. That's the only reason this lot need to not talk to each other. I reckon the Creator must be a woman. That would explain why the DO wants to smash up what she made.

Egwene only tells Gawyn that she is on Rand's side. She dodges the rebellion. The closest she comes to revealing her side is, “Gawyn, how can you serve Elaida after what she did?”, and this gets lost in the conversation. It's also pretty clear that Gawyn still thinks Egwene has just been caught up in events rather than making a choice to join the rebels.

Anyhoo, Gawyn offers to betray the sisters he's with and go away with her to a farm in the middle of nowhere - otherwise known as Andor. So, he's already shown that he places her above most other things. Given that, I think Egwene should have tried to persuade him that he's on the wrong side. He's hardly going to turn her in after promising to keep her existence a secret from the sisters he's with.

HArai @ 204: I really don't see this as being difficult or obscure, only proof that Gawyn isn't very good at thinking things through.

Hmm, "I've just been told Elayne was last seen with the rebels, maybe they know where she is". Seams pretty obvious to me.

As for it being risky, he'd be a pretty crappy soldier if he couldn't leave a camp manned by soldiers he commands without being killed. A little caution is all it would take. And contacting the rebels is hardly difficult. All he has to do is ride up and say "I'm Elayne Trakand's brother; take me to an Aes Sedai." The only reason why it got dicey in TGS is because Gawyn acted like an idiot in stead of keeping calm and going through the proper channels.

And he has to know that the AS would never kill the brother of the girl they want on the throne. That would be the easiest way to turn Andor against them forever. Besides, Gawyn learns pretty quickly that Bryne is commanding the army, so there's his point of contact right there. In fact, this is just more proof of how stupid he's being. He knows that a man he respected and trusted is commanding the other side and still goes on fighting for Elaida.

Also, Bela couldn't have killed Asmodean. She was in Salidar giving Sheriam her marching orders.

Damn! jamesedjones stole the ketchup joke. Actually, mine would have been:
of course they do - with chilli sauce, to go.

Wetlandernw @ 211: I think Gawyn's main reason for siding with Elaida in the first place is his annoyance with Siuan's refusal to tell him where the girls are, rather than any arguments over her legitimacy.

By KoD Gawyn is convinced that Elaida had schemed to get him and the other Bratlings killed, so he can't think that his influence with Elaida will be worth a damn when the time comes. IMO he stays with Elaida because of his duty to the Bratlings and because he's hoping that the girls will eventually turn up in Tar Valon, whatever the outcome.

Remember he killed Hammar and Coulin to keep Siuan Sanche deposed? Gawyn remembers if you do
HArai @ 213: "I don't know if you noticed but if Sleete hadn't decided to help him out when he finally took the chance, he would likely have been killed trying to leave the Younglings and Tower AS."

Absolutely not true. Sleete only agrees to not raise the alarm and then to tell the others that he will not be returning. If he had not seen Gawyn saddling his horse, his departure would have been entirely unnoticed.
Hugh Arai
218. HArai
Subbak@216: Egwene herself has not joined the rebels when he sees her in LoC. She wouldn't even tell Rand about them, let alone Gawyn. So Gawyn doesn't know there's a "you guys" to join, just that Egwene is hiding from Elaida's side. Egwene also won't tell him where Elayne is. And then Egwene bails to parts unknown. So yeah, not so much. Isn't lack of communication wonderful?

And he has to know that the AS would never kill the brother of the girl they want on the throne. That would be the easiest way to turn Andor against them forever.

And yet Elaida is an AS and wants him killed. Unlike the SGs or the readers, Gawyn has no reason to trust the rebel AS any more than Elaida.

Absolutely not true. Sleete only agrees to not raise the alarm and then to tell the others that he will not be returning. If he had not seen Gawyn saddling his horse, his departure would have been entirely unnoticed.
I'm not sure what you mean by "only" here. It's a big deal. Sleete did see him. Sleete figured out he was headed to the rebels and could have raised the alarm which would have meant Gawyn would likely have been hunted down. I don't see much point in a claim that if Sleete hadn't seen him he would have been safe. If there were more ketchup we could eat more puppies. :)

As for ease of leaving the camp, well I'm not in the military, but I'd be surprised if it's easy to get a horse out of a camp of elite soldiers without being noticed. Maybe someone else can weigh in. Gawyn seems pretty tense about it.
Roger Powell
219. forkroot
Thanks for the kind words all.

Fear not, Lan fans! I too, hope he survives TG. The structure of the parody required a "strikeout" by Rand though.

Those of my generation (e.g. Freelancer ::winks::) recognized the source of the parody immediately. For others, including our international audience, for whom this piece of Americana is not instantly recognizable - enjoy the link.

FWIW - I spent quite a bit of time debating how much "homage" to pay to the original. In the end, I concentrated on the opening (for recognition), the "three strikes" theme (including final failure) and the tense change at the end. I sprinkled other references throughout.
Roger Powell
220. forkroot
As for ease of leaving the camp, well I'm not in the military, but I'd be surprised if it's easy to get a horse out of a camp of elite soldiers without being noticed. Maybe someone else can weigh in. Gawyn seems pretty tense about it.

The horse wouldn't be an issue as Gawyn had already stated he was going out to check on an outlying patrol. Sleete recognized what was going on both from Gawyn's demeanor and (perhaps) from the size of the saddlebags.
Alice Arneson
221. Wetlandernw
Ouroboros @217 - Not going into an extended debate, but must comment on "I think Gawyn's main reason for siding with Elaida in the first place is his annoyance with Siuan's refusal to tell him where the girls are, rather than any arguments over her legitimacy."

Going back just prior to the time of the coup: "annoyance" is so far short that it's almost irrelevant. He's almost going nuts because no one (including but not limited to Siuan) will tell him anything of Elayne's whereabouts. He could not possibly care less about the competence or legitimacy of the Amyrlin; he just wants to find his sister. He supports Elaida because he believes she's pro-Andor and is his best chance of finding Elayne. (Even if he knew about her Foretelling, it probably wouldn't occur to either Gawyn or Elaida that anyone but Elayne could be implied by "the royal line of Andor" so his own safety is a non-issue.)

Further thoughts on the subject: From his (and Andor's) perspective, he has a right to know because she's the Daughter-Heir and he's sworn to protect her with his life. However, from the Aes Sedai perspective, she's an Accepted of the Tower and none of his business. From Siuan's perspective (which she can't share with anyone but Moiraine), Elayne is out of the Tower pursuing the Black Ajah, which is highly dangerous but possibly less so than staying in the Tower. Elayne is known (by the girls and Siuan) to be a BA target, and with no clues who is BA she's in great danger as long as she stays. At least out hunting, she knows who the BA are, and she just needs to stay clear of any other Aes Sedai.

Honestly, is there any way Siuan can tell Gawyn that? ANY WAY??? Not. So she's pretty much forced by circumstance to treat him like a mushroom; he's forced (by personality and position) to be unwilling to accept "Mother knows best so quit asking questions." They're both right, but neither can do anything different than they did. Gawyn is totally right to demand and expect information on his sister's location, in the interests of Andor. Siuan is totally right to refuse to share information that could a) get Elayne killed and b) throw the Tower into chaos when he "leaks" the info he's not prepared to cope with.

To the Aes Sedai, they are the primary defense against the DO/Shadow, at least until the DR is up to speed. Whatever we may think of their competence or even the validity of that self-evaluation, you can't hold it against Siuan for doing her best for the Tower when that's her understanding of the world. By doing what's best for the Tower, she is doing what's best for the whole world including Andor, because the Seals are crumbling and Tarmon Gai'don is coming. And she can't share a single bit of info with Gawyn, because the world at large and the Tower in particular are not ready to deal with it.

As it turns out, of course, her precautions are in vain; the Tower collectively freaks out over the news of the DR, to the point of a quorum of Sitters being willing to depose the Amyrlin. Siuan did her best, and she lost because a) the Sitters were wigging out over the DR, b) (possibly) the Andorans were wigging out over Elayne's disappearance and c) (definitely and primarily) the Black Ajah was poised to take advantage of said wigging. At that point, Gawyn's support of Elaida makes sense in terms of her perceived support for Elayne and Andor.

I'm certainly not claiming that Gawyn's decisions from that point onward are shining examples of brilliant logic, but I honestly think most of them are reasonable, given his lack of reliable info, his background and his emotional condition. But... I've got things to do, so I'm not going to give a point-by-point defense from there on. Anyone who's interested in being fair to Gawyn can work it out, and for those who just love to hate on him, I'd be wasting my time anyway. (Sorta like with Cadsuane... *sigh* When people are already convinced, there's no point in trying to be fair.)
Jerry Blair
222. Linekat62
I need some forkroot, can't figure out why it takes so long to figure out that a male foresaken is posing as a female amongst Egwene's followers. I'm getting ready to reread the whole series again, might pass you again Leigh. Neat to see Elaida foul deeds catch up with her in "The Gathering Storm" better than I hoped for.
223. Freelancer

Well, tedium is in the mind of the beholder, first of all. Secondly, I never suggested that Brandon was going to revisit the scenario. His statement that he was looking into the first quarter of KoD was clearly about ensuring continuity by verifying who said what to whom about one subplot or another. It could be related to any of the folks involved; Mat, Setalle, Joline, Egeanin, Bayle, Aludra...

Bottom line, Brandon is teasing the readers left and right.


As to the military mindset, you would be a bit closer to the mark if you are referring to the Army, or to a much lesser extent, the Marine Corps, given that orders on the ground in combat are life and death to not just one person, but several or many. And yet, initiative when the standing orders are made obsolete by circumstances is expected by those past a certain level of experience. In the Navy, most positions are that of independent operator in one form or another, so much more initiative is expected by the chain of command, that you respond as the moment requires to be most effective. Constantly requesting guidance and direction in those situations will get you turned into a chef's assistant in a heartbeat. Neither is more right, neither is better, each is what is proper for respective Area Of Responsibility.


If you are waiting for a Probability Factor of 1 in this place, you'll be waiting a looooooong time. We wouldn't recognize Normal around here if it wore tie-dye and waved a banner. So, let's get a bite to eat...

Absolutely not true. Sleete only agrees to not raise the alarm and then to tell the others that he will not be returning. If he had not seen Gawyn saddling his horse, his departure would have been entirely unnoticed.
That is exactly what HArai meant by Sleete helping Gawyn out. Sleete knew he was splitting, and allowed him time to get away clean. Had he not, Gawyn wouldn't have gotten away at all, as HArai suggested.

Hmm. Since so many folk are piling on Gawyn for being a moron, that must mean that the "Gawyn-was-Compelled" position has finally died.
224. Ouroboros
BTW, Hinderstap is in Murandy.

Oh blood and bloody ashes!
Adam E.
225. Subbak
Egwene herself has not joined the rebels when he sees her in LoC. She wouldn't even tell Rand about them, let alone Gawyn. So Gawyn doesn't know there's a "you guys" to join, just that Egwene is hiding from Elaida's side. Egwene also won't tell him where Elayne is. And then Egwene bails to parts unknown. So yeah, not so much. Isn't lack of communication wonderful?

Hum... I guess my memory of LoC was a bit biased in Egwene's favor, since I consider that's the moment she stopped sucking and started being awesome.
I stand corrected over that particular one.


And he has to know that the AS would never kill the brother of the girl they want on the throne. That would be the easiest way to turn Andor against them forever.

And yet Elaida is an AS and wants him killed. Unlike the SGs or the readers, Gawyn has no reason to trust the rebel AS any more than Elaida.

Elaida, at this point, (unless I'm wrong again), knows Elayne is on the rebels side and has made her claim. When Gawyn learns that Elayne is in Caemlyn, it's only natural to assume Elaida knows. She is not going to have nice relations with Andor anyway and Gawyn is an annoying witness.
To the rebel AS, however, Gawyn is no threat (on the contrary, they can threaten him with a trial) and useful (which mens they won't bring these evnetual threats to execution). I guess even he should see that.

Anyhoo, Gawyn offers to betray the sisters he's with and go away with her to a farm in the middle of nowhere - otherwise known as Andor. So, he's already shown that he places her above most other things. Given that, I think Egwene should have tried to persuade him that he's on the wrong side. He's hardly going to turn her in after promising to keep her existence a secret from the sisters he's with

Headdesk for lack of communication... And my selective memory.

Weltandernw@221: Personally, I agree that Gawyn's decision at the time of the coup was rational. Annoying to us readers, but rational. What isn't is his sticking with Elaida for eight books. Sigh...
Of course he's by far not the only character acting in a completely stupid manner. Sigh again...

PS : Gee, why are we talking that much of Gawyn anyway? He's not even in this chapter!
Alice Arneson
226. Wetlandernw
FWIW, from the time of Elaida's coup until Gawyn leaves the Younglings to find the rebels' camp is right at 11 months. He left the day learned that Egwene was the captured rebel Amyrlin. From that day until he sees her face to face after helping rescue her is 6 days.

Why is Gawyn is so (un)popular today? See the comment @144. I'm talking about him because I invariably get irritated with bandwagons ripping on a character, and can't help pointing out mitigating factors in said character's defense.
227. Ouroboros
HArai @ 218:

"And yet Elaida is an AS and wants him killed. Unlike the SGs or the readers, Gawyn has no reason to trust the rebel AS any more than Elaida."

I'll concede that it would be easy for him to mistrust them all, but being on Elaida's hit list would seem to me to be an excellent reason to be elsewhere. In any case, that wasn't my point. I was saying that if he is sticking with Elaida so that he can try to persuade her to be lenient then it's a waist of time since she wants him dead; not generally a good indicator of political capital.

"I'm not sure what you mean by "only" here. It's a big deal. Sleete did see him. Sleete figured out he was headed to the rebels and could have raised the alarm which would have meant Gawyn would likely have been hunted down. I don't see much point in a claim that if Sleete hadn't seen him he would have been safe. If there were more ketchup we could eat more puppies. :)

It’s the logic of saying that Sleete’s actions prove it would be difficult for Gawyn to leave that I have an issue with.

He had already talked his way past his second and any other Younglings would be far easier to convince since he outranks them by a fair margin. This only leaves the AS, who are all in the Inn, and the warders who are with them. Leaving simply involves making sure that all the sisters and warders are occupied and then talking his way past his own troops.

Besides which, Sleete is a special case. Given their earlier conversation, there’s reason enough to believe that Sleete was keeping an eye out for Gawyn specifically. And when he sees him, he is suspicious only because of that conversation. Using Sleete’s actions on this particular day as proof that it would be difficult for Gawyn to have left the camp weeks earlier is dubious.

If there is only one bottle of ketchup there will be a hundred puppies? :)

As for getting the horse out. The stable was just outside the camp so once he had the horse saddled, it was just a question of riding away. So no, not difficult really.

Wetlandernw @ 221: Agreed. I was using subtle language. Also agree about Gawyn’s and Siuan’s motives. FWIW, I'm not "hating on” him - I've already defended his decision to rescue Egwene - I'm just saying that at this point (CoT-TGS) I think his decision to stick with Elaida was a poor one, and not from the big eye in the sky point of view either. I think he could have reached a better conclusion with the information he had.

Freelancer @ 223: I never believed he had been compelled. In fact, I think his behaviour is pretty consistent from the start. His scenes in the Tower in TDR and TSR are good indicators of where he will be in eight books time.
Hugh Arai
228. HArai
Subbak@225: Gawyn doesn't find out Elayne has returned to Caemlyn and claimed the throne until Bryne tells him. So he can't really be any faster about that either.

Wetlandernw@226: *Shrug* I found myself unable to let the "Siuan is cool and was justified in rescuing Egwene, but Gawyn wasn't because he's a moron" posts go by without rebuttal. It grew from there.

Good argument about Siuan's position. In her place I might have ventured that he could be trusted not to reveal it and endanger his sister, particularly if Elayne and Egwene had explained their full willing participation to him, but I can understand her not taking the risk.
Alice Arneson
229. Wetlandernw
HArai @228 - Yup, I'm with you. Some things just require rebuttal.

The funny thing about all this is that I've proved (nearly) conclusively that I could defend almost anyone in the series if I put my mind to it. These characters are a lot like RL folks - they make the best decisions they can, given the info available, their personalities, their backgrounds, etc. Sure, in many cases a radically different decision could also have been reached, but rarely is there anything completely incomprehensible in someone's behavior. Take Elaida: I can't stand her and never could, but given her personality and Talents, she makes reasonable choices. Completely lunatic, from an outside perspective, but if you're a power-hungry, self-centered, egotistical megalomaniac, of course you're not going to tell anyone else about Foretellings that might give them an advantage you could keep for yourself. Etc.

Yeah, I'm a Grey at heart.
Valentin M
230. ValMar
Wetlander@226, 229

You are performing a very valuable public service here. Actually, presenting various characters and events (e.g. Gawyn, Windfinders-iirc, etc) from an angle different than the obvious one has made me enjoy the story even more. This underlines RJ's quality writing.
Tess Laird
231. thewindrose
Wetlandernw - We are all waiting to read on your defence of Berelain;)

Forkroot - very clever!

Freelancer - All I am going to say is it is interesting who survived the Tower coup and how they changed;)

::climbing:: to top of the Great Stump. "I just want to start talking about... ::I am on the floor, there is a huge bump on the side of my head. Next to me is a fist size rock. Rubbing my head I balefully look for jamesedjones.

James Hogan
232. Sonofthunder

One of my favorite books when I was little was that poem(with lots of great pictures!) from the first line of your poem, I was ecstatic. I just wondered how Rand would "strike out" and you exceeded my expectations mightily. So thanks for the nostalgia and the laughs.
andrew smith
233. sillyslovene
isilel @192
Neither Rand nor indeed LTT are/were all that great where managing friends and subordinates is concerned. And Egwene was actually doing quite well in that department - until TGS. IMHO, Siuan and Bryne are the ones who should have "guided" her there, by defending their actions.

I would agree that Siuan and Bryne should have defended their position a lot more- which is were I think the writing wasn't true to character. I don't think Siuan folding so quickly was true to what she is nor what the relationship she has with Egwene is- she knows that Egwene wouldn't be where she is without her help and she should be quick to point out (with all the fish related analogies in her arsenal) that what she did was not only justified but helpful. Especially after the fact with the whole reunification thing. Bryne maybe has a pass at not defending himself better- he's spent so much time being a boulder with peoples' (especially Aes Sedai) complaints rolling off him, that it could be conceivable that he would just shrug and take Egwene's tirade, all the while knowing he was in the right.

Egwene and her response are more understandable to me (I won't say justified because I don't think she was) considering that she has just gone through a crash course on "no one is on my side here and I need to get this whole Tower mended by myself." She has been all alone against all the problems of the Tower, scuttling between Ajahs and all, amid beatings and forkroot tea, and has not only seen her plans bear fruit, but also seen her position with the rebels in some ways undermined because of her absence (something she probably attributes as Siuan's fault somehow...). Thus, it is logical in my mind to see her come down hard on her associates and try to push on her own more. Remember, her experience here was set up as a foil to Rand's experience in the box- she's come out of it the same way- less trusting of others, albeit to a lesser extent than Rand did.

As far as Rand/LTT are concerned- it's my outlook that Rand's post-Dragonmount epiphany will be a much more effective manager of friends and subordinates than LTT ever was. He has realized exactly how and why things went badly last Age and, (probably) why things are going badly in this Age, and has regained the will to make sure his second chance won't fail. I'm guessing that his leadership experience* (albeit somewhat bad up to this point) will convert to better leadership faster than Egwene will be able to muster. She still has a lot to learn, and while he does as well, he is much farther along on that curve than she is.

I guess what this all boils down to in my mind: BWS didn't in anyway intend for Rand nor Egwene to reach the end of their character development at the end of tGS. They both have a long way to go, and since it is certain that their paths will cross "soon" (whether that is ToM or aMoL), I'm guessing that Rand will be the more fully developed leader at that moment, and thus be in a better position to "guide," while Egwene will still in some ways be mired in her thinking that the Tower must rule above all else.

*I haven't put too much thought into this, but it seems that Rand's leadership experience has much more to do with being the acknowledged leader and getting/forcing people to follow through with what he wants/needs, while Egwene's experience has been more proving to people (or forcing people by obscure law) that they should follow and accept her opinion in the first place....if this is an accurate assessment, then this might give a good estimate about how far ahead Rand might be on a type of leadership curve... At the very least, he has a much more impressive CV than Egwene at the moment-would someone type both those up for us?
Adam E.
234. FromWorldsEnd
Sorry, I am going way out of sequence here, but I just had to share.
I've never posted but have been reading along since last fall and enjoying your commentary immensely.
You (along with TGS) inspired my own reread.
Last night I got to the Golden Crane.
Oh my freaking God!
Lump-in-the-throat, wipe-your-damp-eyes pure awesomeness.
We read, we dissect, we object, we critique, we debate and we go off on wild tangents.
Not often enough do we step back and just bask in the pure awesomeness that RJ created.
The Wheel of Time is stunning piece of work that takes up way too much of my time and is worth every second.
Thanks for being here to share.
Tricia Irish
235. Tektonica

Welcome! You said it well. RJ is amazing, complex and creates obsessives. Don't be shy.....jump right in. We play pretty nicely. ;-)

The Bunker is over here....I don't know what's left in the fridge, but new stuff always shows up. Ummmm.....cheesecake crumbs leading to......I'll get some Italian pastries this afternoon and bring them in.
James Jones
236. jamesedjones
231 thewindrose

Rocks? Not me.

Now, a whoopie cushion? ...maaaybe.
Matthew Smith
237. blocksmith

As an alternate viewpoint, I would offer that the characters span the range of behavior that we can 1) agree with or 2)not necessarily agree with but can understand or 3) can't agree with but can defend or 4) can't even defend. (examples of the last....Jaichim Carridin, Daved Hanlon, Eamon Valda). I'm leaving Forsaken out of this as, well, their whole point was to be uper-powerful evil incarnate. My point being that RJ created his characters to evoke specific responses from readers, some we cheer, some we understand, some we sympathize with, and some we are meant to loathe. And some should be encased in concrete and dropped in an abyss.

Not saying you are wrong...just a slightly different observation...cause I would enjoy reading you try to defend one of those three.
Sharon E.
238. Sulin
WorldsEnd@234- Welcome! Feel free to jump into the craziness any time. What you said is spot-on, RJ's creation is a stunning tapestry that I never tire of reading (or obsessing over).

For the bunker, I'll grab a quiche, some fresh strawberries, and real bacon. Brunch time!
Chin Bawambi
239. bawambi
Welcome WorldsEnd - I think you will find us a blast of refreshment over your normal internet usage (both in and out of the bunker). I'm putting in a summer pack of Stoudt's beer in the bunker!

Unrelated note: Thoroughly enjoying first book in Erikson series so far ... I've reached the end of aPoD so I'm waiting for Leigh to catch up and march a little ahead before I pick up the re-read again.

Julian Augustus
240. Alisonwonderland
HArai @148:
He's also emotionally impulsive, and reacts very poorly to changing situations where he doesn't have someone (his mother,Elayne,Gareth Bryne) he can use as a compass to judge where his duty lies.

Gawyn's behaviour so far is idiotic without any redeeming features. He forms strong hatreds based on rumours he heard from a peddler on the street? Egwene told him Rand was not responsible for his mother's death, yet he chooses to believe the street peddler over someone he says he loves with all his heart? Egwene and Min both told him Elayne was in love with Rand, and it makes not a dent in his hatred of Rand? What other compass does he need?
Hugh Arai
241. HArai
Alisonwonderland@240: His conviction Rand killed Morgase is one of two things I can't understand about Gawyn. The other is his love with Egwene. I don't really see much justification for the strength of either. I'll point out that a large number of Andorans (including Gareth Bryne) seem to think the odds are that Rand killed Morgase, but still... For both I expect to RAFO.

As for "but X loves him" - that's one of the least useful "approvals" ever given. People have loved some of the worst human beings in history. Love is blind.
a a-p
242. lostinshadow
WorldsEnd@234-welcome to the bunker! I think we've got some margaritas left. and yes RJ's world is amazing and such a joy to return to over and over again.

bawambi@239- you mean the Malazan series (the reread of which is hopefully coming soon to if you haven't started book 2 yet, just a warning, which you may have heard before - book 2 doesn't really continue where 1 left off, it goes on a different tangent which does of course eventually tie in...or so I've heard (I'm only through the first 4 books)

yeah nothing much to contribute to actual WoT discussion.

perhaps the reason that many Andorans seem to believe Rand killed Morgase as HArai said @241 is that if you look at it objectively, Morgase disappeared one day and soon after Rand took out her boyfriend and took over Andor. why should they think anything different. And Gawyn probably doesn't believe Egwene because a) she admitted she wasn't there and b) he thinks that she'll be loyal to Rand because of being childhood buds. and really that's not that unreasonable, that a person assumes the best of their childhood mate.

still, Gawyn, who started out so cool, is now ANNOYING!
Tess Laird
243. thewindrose
HArai - ohh proverbs!

How about:
A nod's as good as a wink to a blind horse

Works so many ways with WoT;)

tempest™It's an ill wind that blows no one any good
Maiane Bakroeva
244. Isilel
Wetlandernw @221:

He supports Elaida because he believes she's pro-Andor and is his best chance of finding Elayne.

This always seemed to me like an example of very fuzzy thinking on Gawyn's part. I mean, I understand his anxiety, but since Elayne et al. seemed to be involved in something with Siuan, was it really a good idea to help depose their patron? Shouldn't Gawyn have considered that his actions might not only _not_ produce Elayne, but endanger her (further)? That Elayne may have made a choice to stick with Siuan?
And what if Siuan were killed in the skirmish? Then there wouldn't have been a clue about Elayne's whereabouts. Not that there was anyway...
No, I can't justify Gawyn's actions, sorry.

Re: Siuan, she couldn't suggest taking along Gawyn, like she didn't suggest Elayne. She had to maintain deniability. But also - trusting Gawyn was a risk. The SGs were already in on everything and have proven that they were not DFs and could keep their mouths shut.
IMHO the ball there was in Elayne's court - and she dropped it. She and she alone could decide whether Gawyn could be trusted, as nobody else involved knew him well enough.

Re: Elaida being lawful Amyrlin, with no Blues standing for her, she wasn't. She needed at least one vote from each of 7 Ajahs.
Siuan's deposition may have been very barely legal (though her stilling without trial wasn't), but Elaida's election was definitely illegal.

Sillyslovene @233:

Well, Bryne is on Egwene's side, isn't he? And serving a younger ruler who still learns the ropes isn't a new experience for him. He should have helped Egwene there, by giving her some pointers about command and initiative. Being boulder-like is for people whom he doesn't respect.

Egwene's experience has been more proving to people (or forcing people by obscure law) that they should follow and accept her opinion in the first place

Which is, IMHO, a more solid foundation for leadership than Rand's forcing people to obey by the threat of arms/OP or sheer ta'veren. We shall see what he learns from his epiphany and how he uses it. IMHO, even with LTT's memories Rand will be far from perfect and still need some pointers himself (as indeed LTT did).
a a-p
245. lostinshadow

Elayne definitely dropped the ball with her brothers, but then again that kind of wilfull ignorance about how her actions affect those around her seems to be an unfortunate part of her character (and I say this as an Elayne fan)
Mikey Bennett
246. EvilMonkey
@ various.

Gawyn stays with Elaida simply because he doesn't believe the rebellion has a chance in hell of success. Therefore, the SG's really don't know what they are getting into in his eyes. He feels that when this silly rebellion business gets crushed he can hold up his service to the Tower as something to mitigate the offenses of his sister and his lover. If that doesn't work, he's in a near perfect position to smuggle them out and save the day. And general knowledge of history would support his decision, for no group or combination of groups have ever succeeded in routing the Tower in 3000 years, not Trollocs and Dreadlords, not Hawkwing, not the Aiel.

That excuses his first impression but I say again, that does not excuse his actions and attitudes upon learning more about the camp as well as his actions after the rescue. He grew up in a royal household. Not all the lessons he recieved as a child had to do with leading troops. There is more than a hint of politics in his future job description, so he would have had to learn at least something of the Game of Houses. Thom would have known within the first 5 minutes of entering the camp that Egwene was no lapdog. Most Carheinin would have known it in 10. And even the most blockheaded Tairen would have known it after getting the Word from Bryne. Maybe folks on the outside still think she's a puppet but he walked through their base of operations. Just the fact that she garnered that type of loyalty while being a prisoner is proof enough.

As for the rescue itself I cannot blame either him or Siuan, I think they were totally justified. Siuan because no plan survives contact with the enemy, Gawyn because he was invited, he loves her, and is deadly. The problem is that that girl he stole kisses from in Carhein is dead, or at least buried so deep it would take a backhoe to find her. He doesn't know the Amrylin, and I am not so sure he can deal with this new person who only looks like Egwene. Adding to that, he hates AS.

Gawyn is at his best when he assumes the Void, when he feeds all that destructive emotion that causes him to do stupid things into the flame. That's why he's an effective fighter yet lousy at politics and stuff.

I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but what if Gawyn could learn to channel? I mean his moms can a little and Elaine is a sparker with more power than any save Forsaken class channellers. How cool or fucked up would it be if Rand or one of the Asha'man gave him the test and he passed it?

Fork @ 191

So awesome, makes me wanna shout.
Alice Arneson
247. Wetlandernw
First of all, forkroot @191 - WOW! You had me from the first line - which I suppose proves once again that I'm in that particular generation you mentioned. :) Great job!! Excellent work, keeping the meter and rhyme as well as the theme, but perfectly set into the WoT scenario. Killer ending! I remember the first time I heard the original poem and was completely stunned that he actually struck out - that's not supposed to happen to the hero! Your ending took me nearly as much by surprise, although (with the edge of a few years) I wasn't quite as shocked... Anyway, well done!

ValMar@230 - Thank you!! That's what makes it worth doing. This forum has greatly broadened my appreciation for the books by provoking me to much deeper consideration of the details and motivations. Oddly enough, I find that storylines which used to make me roll my eyes and think "enough already!!" have much less of that effect now. Due to the discussion here, I'm much more able to see the relationships between different plots and characters, and how each one adds to the greater story. It's really cool - and so nice not to feel that urge to just scan the "unnecessary plot" sections, but to be able to appreciate them instead.

thewindrose@231 - Berelain... Well, I have to confess that in a pinch I actually could come up with some defenses for her, although the best ones would be "we don't know, but quite possibly....." For example, if one of her reasons for being in Tear was to go through the doorway ter'angreal, which would be reasonable considering it used to belong to Mayene, maybe she managed to get in there after the other three used it and... all that. Fortunately for me, there are usually plenty of people ready to defend her so I don't feel obligated to do so. :)

FromWorldsEnd @234 - welcome to the zoo! As mentioned above, I love this place for the discussion. I find that all the dissecting and debating (to which I give an inordinate amount of time!!) have truly enhanced my reading. Now, when I read the Golden Crane, I not only have the words of that chapter in the forefront, I have set firmly into the background not only Mashiara, but a myriad of other details about the Borderlands, Malkier, Lan, Nynaeve and the significance of Tarwin's Gap. I loved Golden Crane the first time I read it, but now I find even greater delight in it due to my increased appreciation for the entire tapestry. I'm hoping to do a full, leisurely reread of the entire series this summer so that everything is fresh for TofM.

blocksmith @237 - Carridin, Hanlon and Valda all fall into roughly the same category as Elaida in my above comments: "Can't stand them and never could, but given their personalities etc., their choices make sense to them." Looking back at my post, I realize that I worded it badly. I cannot necessarily "defend" every character's behavior in the sense of "they were right to do what they did," but I can defend the way the character was written and that the choices they made were, in fact "reasonable" from their point of view. Using your categories, the three you mention are definitely in the "meant to loathe" category, as well as candidates to be "encased in concrete and dropped in an abyss." (Love it!!) But from their twisted personalities and values, the things they do are internally consistent. Loathesome indeed, but consistent. I'd never try to defend their actions as right or lawful!

Alisonwonderland @240 - He needs something more than women in love telling him what they want him to think. Is Rand responsible for his mother's death? He may have heard it first from a peddler, but the rumor is everywhere and Egwene is the only person telling him otherwise. He's in love with her, and she with him, but how does that prove that she's correct? All that proves is that she doesn't want him to confront Rand, whether for his own protection or Rand's is debatable. Elayne loves Rand, according to two of her friends, but how does that prove that Rand is good or trustworthy? All it proves is that Elayne may have very questionable taste in men, and if Rand is taking advantage of Elayne it might well increase Gawyn's hatred instead of making a dent.

What Gawyn needed, especially at that point, was someone who could be relatively impartial (or at least rational!) and point out exactly what facts are known, and exactly what things are unknown and only based on rumor. Unfortunately, there's no one like that around, so he's got mostly rumor and the (possibly emotion-based) opinions of an 18-year-old girl, along with the fairly clear certainty that his mother has disappeared. Given what he knows of his mother, and given that there's no hint of Forsaken involvement to anyone outside Rand's contingent, the only reason for her to disappear is if she's captive or dead. It's also a certainty that Rand has taken charge of Andor, so it's a logical assumption that Rand at least had something to do with his mother's disappearance. I don't honestly see how Egwene's unsubstantiated assertion that "Rand didn't do it" and "Elayne loves Rand" is supposed to be a mitigating argument.

And I see that more comments have appeared, some with my name in them, so I'm going to post this and go back for those. :)
Barry T
248. blindillusion
Hmm. I thought Egwene proved Elaida wasn't the Amyrlin by showing that several (1?) of the voting members were BA.

The smallest possible number needed to out an Amyrlin and install a new one were present, but as some of those number were BA, the vote was unlawful.

Wasn't this a discussion she has with the Tower BA Hunters in the store room?

Could be wrong. After all, I've only read tGS twice....
Sam Mickel
249. Samadai
You're not wrong,and you know it.
Adam E.
250. Kreeble
"Re: Elaida being lawful Amyrlin, with no Blues standing for her, she wasn't. She needed at least one vote from each of 7 Ajahs.
Siuan's deposition may have been very barely legal (though her stilling without trial wasn't), but Elaida's election was definitely illegal. "

Since when has there ever been a rule about having 1 of each ajah? Her election was illegal because of the minimum 12 votes, several were black ajah, and thus their votes did not count. But to those who dont know about the black (i.e: most everyone but Egwene and her camp) Elaida has been elected by a stretch of the law.
Adam E.
251. Jonathan Levy

perhaps the reason that many Andorans seem to believe Rand killed Morgase as HArai said @241 is that if you look at it objectively, Morgase disappeared one day and soon after Rand took out her boyfriend and took over Andor. why should they think anything different.

I agree, but I think this point can be made even stronger. Most people don't see Morgase every day, and Gaebril wouldn't have made an announcement when she vanished. Most people would assume that she was there until the very moment Gaebril was killed. In their minds, his death and her disappearance are simultaneous events.
252. Freelancer
First off, everyone keeps telling newcomers to feel free ... , and it's making me nervous.


I guess I'd have to call myself Greyish-Blue. I'm with you that in the case of most characters, the decisions they make are reasonable given the extant circumstances and how those impinge on their own personality. I'll do a run-down of Gawyn's chronology later, lunchtime's almost over.

As for "but X loves him" - that's one of the least useful "approvals" ever given. People have loved some of the worst human beings in history. Love is blind.
And never likely to endear X's brother to "him".


I disagree. Elayne evaded telling her brothers about going BA hunting, but that was the wise thing to do at the time. Since then, she hasn't known where Gawyn was except to learn from Egwene that they had both been in Caemlyn, but Gawyn is long gone from there. She has no idea where he is. And Galad is a Whitecloak. When she runs into him, she's more afraid that he'll decide she needs to be arrested as a Tower initiate than anything else. Her actions, once again, make perfect sense in context, and knowing only what her character's POV knows.

More to follow...
Bonnie Andrews
253. misfortuona
First off, everyone keeps telling newcomers to feel free ... , and it's making me nervous.

You've just made my rainy miserable day. Thank you Freelancer

Mis-thinking naughty thoughts
Barry T
254. blindillusion
Free, don't you mean they were both in Cairhien?
Don Barkauskas
256. bad_platypus
Her election was illegal because of the minimum 12 votes, several were black ajah, and thus their votes did not count.
I know that Egwene says this and a lot of people seem to agree with her, but I always just took it as a political tactic. Is there any reference in the books to this being an actual Tower law?

If there isn't any such law, then Egwene is opening a real can of worms, as every vote in the Hall for the past n years would need to be scrutinized to see if known Black Ajah members tipped the vote one way or the other. With the web of decisions that are dependent on each other, this would be a nightmare if all such votes were thrown out.

If there's nothing in the books, then I'm curious: suppose a U.S. Senator was found to be ineligible for office (e.g., falsified documents to appear to meet the age criterion when in fact s/he didn't). If this were discovered, would we really go back and re-count all the votes in which that person had participated? I'm not a legal expert, but I highly doubt it. (Maybe the lawyers out there can chime in?)

At any rate, barring actual evidence in the books, I would see Egwene's statement as nothing more than (very effective) propaganda.
Alice Arneson
257. Wetlandernw
Isilel @244 - It may be fuzzy, but it's still internally consistent with Gawyn's personality, upbringing and information. From our outside perspective, we see Siuan as at least partly in a position of patron or mentor for the girls; Gawyn has had virtually no visibility of that. They might defend her, but she's the Amyrlin, so that's to be expected. And it's not like they can tell him anything of what they're doing; nor can Min tell him, without endangering both them and him, as well as much larger plans in progress. Certainly he could consider that Elayne might have made a choice to stick with Siuan. He could also consider that in following orders from the Amyrlin, Elayne was being used as a pawn. He could consider that the Daughter-Heir of Andor should be protected at all costs, and that hiding her whereabouts from people who have a right to know is, at best, suspicious. For all he knows, Siuan has Elayne hidden away somewhere for use as a hostage when needed. It's not like he's had much chance to talk with Elayne, or like she's told him anything useful when they have talked. At least Elaida is familiar, if a bit scary, and she has clearly aligned herself with Morgase since before Gawyn was even born. Why would he not have slightly more confidence in her than in Siuan, at least in making sure Elayne was kept safe?

As for "And what if Siuan were killed in the skirmish? Then there wouldn't have been a clue about Elayne's whereabouts." There would at least be a reasonable probability of other people who would know, or some record of where an Accepted had been sent. In the circumstances, of course there was no record, and no other AS in the Tower actually knew, but who would possibly have imagined the circumstances? It's perfectly reasonable for Gawyn to expect that someone other than the Amyrlin would know where any Accepted was, much more so Elayne.

And there's no way it's reasonable to assume that Gawyn would know the details of what makes a "lawful Amyrlin," much less the detailed circumstance of the deposition of one and the raising of the other. The fact that the Tower acknowledged her is about as much as he could hope to know. Agreed that Siuan's stilling was completely illegal. But where do you get "She needed at least one vote from each of 7 Ajahs?" I don't recall reading that anywhere, just that a quorum of Sitters was required. If you go by that, then Egwene was also illegal because she had no Red votes (until the end of TGS).

EvilMonkey @246 - Fair points, though the fact that Thom could have figured it all out in 5 minutes is hardly fair to Gawyn. Thom's got three or four times Gawyn's years of experience in the Game, in addition to being a natural. :P

And no, Gawyn cannot learn to channel. RJ said so. (No, there's nothing in the text about it, but someone asked RJ and he gave a very clear answer. Unfortunately, I can't find the quote right now. *sigh*)

blindillusion @248 - Yeah, well, once the BA was outed, three of Elaida's voting members were Black. That's not much use to anyone outside the readership until The Purge in TGS. For that matter, Egwene's Salidar election had two Blacks, so what does that prove? Granted Egwene had a full Hall (minus the three Red) so she had 18 instead of the minimum 11, or 16 lawful votes, but it didn't prove anything at the time. To the best knowledge of anyone not-Black at the time, Elaida's election was lawful, and only proved unlawful much later.

Jonathan Levy @251 - Very true. It was actually only when Rand cleared out "Gaebril" and all his lackeys that it became apparent that Morgase was, in fact, not there.

Freelancer @252 - looking forward to The Gawyn Report; in the discussion these last few days, I'm seeing a lot of extenuation for the poor guy. I just haven't spent the effort to go through his whole sequence to clarify it.
Adam E.
258. Kreeble
I dont know about legitimate Tower Laws, but it stands to reason that the Bastion of the Light would not allow a Darkfriend to participate in their political process, seeing as they are attackable-on-sight for sisters.
And since this is just a recent discovery, Egwene isn't advocating going back and redoing everything. She uses it to break through the Ajahs' last flimsy argument they have been using to stand behind Elaida: that she is The Lawfully Elected Amyrlin.
Hugh Arai
259. HArai
EvilMonkey@246: Being born to a noble house or even expert lessons in governance is no guarantee you'll be good at it. History shows that. I don't have the book here, but I believe all he got from Bryne was that Bryne swore to her. He would have had to swear to a puppet Amyrlin too. Gawyn then spends what.. 5 days in camp talking to Romanda and Lelaine. Not the right people to get the real scoop about how Egwene is large and in charge. And the only people who know about the loyalty Egwene earned in the Tower as a prisoner, were in the Tower :)

Gawyn is at his best when he assumes the Void, when he feeds all that destructive emotion that causes him to do stupid things into the flame. That's why he's an effective fighter yet lousy at politics and stuff.
I think there's a lot of truth in that. Gawyn seems to see it that way too. I still think he can get there given the right people to channel his impulses. You can practically hear the gears engage when he meets back up with Bryne in TGS. Of course Egwene's "I don't know what to do about you" will probably scramble him up again :)
Roger Powell
261. forkroot
Jonathan Levy @251 - Very true. It was actually only when Rand cleared out "Gaebril" and all his lackeys that it became apparent that Morgase was, in fact, not there.
The timing doesn't work for that assertion.
Rand attacked because the rumor that Morgase was dead reached his ears; thus there already was a false rumor of Morgase' demise. Apparently that rumor morphed into "The Dragon killed her" sometime later, after he had disposed of "Lord Gaebril".

IMO, RJ had a very realistic sense of how people will start and/or believe rumors. The fact that a certain character (you know who) will not only believe a rumor but cling to that belief in spite of the balance of evidence being against it ... well, that's all too much like Real Life™
Alice Arneson
262. Wetlandernw
forkroot - Good point; I'd forgotten about that little detail. Still, up to the point that Gaebril was toasted, her disappearance was only rumor; a fair few people had by that time realized that Gaebril was, in fact, running things, and it could also have been assumed that she was "in retirement" as it were.


Nah, I'm stretching here. I just forgot that one.
Jay Dauro
263. J.Dauro
Wetlandernw @257

Egwene still does not have all Ajahs. When raised at the Tower, there were no Blues, since they are all with the Rebels. And there were no Reds. Duhara is in Caemlyn trying to persuade Elayne. And Javindhra and Pevara are at the Black Tower. And the Hall made it clear that they did not want any Reds sent in replacement.
Jay Dauro
263. J.Dauro
Wetlandernw @257

Egwene still does not have all Ajahs. When raised at the Tower, there were no Blues, since they are all with the Rebels. And there were no Reds. Duhara is in Caemlyn trying to persuade Elayne. And Javindhra and Pevara are at the Black Tower. And the Hall made it clear that they did not want any Reds sent in replacement.
Jay Dauro
264. J.Dauro
Wetlandernw @257

Egwene still does not have all Ajahs. When raised at the Tower, there were no Blues, since they are all with the Rebels. And there were no Reds. Duhara is in Caemlyn trying to persuade Elayne. And Javindhra and Pevara are at the Black Tower. And the Hall made it clear that they did not want any Reds sent in replacement.
Jay Dauro
264. J.Dauro
Wetlandernw @257

Egwene still does not have all Ajahs. When raised at the Tower, there were no Blues, since they are all with the Rebels. And there were no Reds. Duhara is in Caemlyn trying to persuade Elayne. And Javindhra and Pevara are at the Black Tower. And the Hall made it clear that they did not want any Reds sent in replacement.
Roger Powell
265. forkroot
Quick! Someone rescue J.Dauro! He's caught in Hinderstap!
Valentin M
266. ValMar
Very good discussion on Gawyn. Whilst I agree with the points explaining why he made his decisions and why he believs so readily the rumours of Rand killing Morgase (I think he was already predisposed to it, plus it makes more sense that Rand removed her than some wild tales of ancient monsters) I still just don't like him as a person. What a freakish sentense!
There are probably no other decent light characters to whom I bear such a grudge. Nyn for instance pisses me off majorly but still has many redeeming factors. Most of the other main characters too.
Gawyn seems to be the kind of guy of very similar demographic to me. You meet him in a pub, watch the game have a few beers, have a nice chat initially. But gradually you start to dislike him and by the end of the game you think he's a git.
Yes, it just boils down to this- Gawyn is a git. With a decent heart.
Jay Dauro
267. J.Dauro
I don't know, and I don't want to know. And no staying after dark.
Thomas Keith
268. insectoid
Free @252: LOL!!

J.Dauro @263/263/264/264: Looks like Tor's gone bonkers again... Hinderstap, indeed! I wonder what the Guide has to say about this phenomena... ;)

*twitchity twitch*

Theresa Gray
269. Terez27
wetlandernw@257 - so far as I know, no one has ever asked RJ if Gawyn can (or could) channel. In fact, I don't think anyone has ever asked him about Galad, either. Mat and Thom are the only ones I can think of offhand that he confirmed cannot channel (those two both have it in the family as well).

That being said, I doubt Gawyn can channel, just for plot reasons, though there is a small chance that Galad could. Galad has it in the family via his half-aunt Moiraine, but the channeling gene might have come from her mother (Taringail had a different mother).

As per my Gawyn theory, I wonder if Egwene will end up with Galad after all. You could say that there is a ton of foreshadowing for it, and it would be rather appropriate for the Whitecloaks to be tied to the White Tower. LOL. I'm sure Galad is Berelain's man in white, but Min very specifically did not say that Galad would return her feelings.

@various - to throw a bit more fuel on the Gawyn fire...I think it's quite possible he was touched by Fain in TFOH. Gawyn was fairly busy fighting Whitecloaks at the time (while Galad had joined them), but so many things about Gawyn's character point to that corruption (not to mention his vague parallels with Mat). Also, Gawyn's unnatural fascination with Rand (already well-established at this point) might well have led him to question Fain for the same reasons that Elaida did.
270. Ouroboros
Gawyn is definitely a chip off the old block. Ahem - "meet Andoran Family Trakand".

They're all emotionally driven: quick to anger, rash and definitely fierce. The lion motif may be Andor’s, but it is well chosen for them - even down to the hairdos.

Morgase is famous for her temper, Elayne frequently demonstrates her own lack of restraint, and Gawyn - well, we all known that story. Put simply, it's genetics.

Morgase had years of being a queen to temper her temper - not that it worked very well - and Elayne's channeling probably helped her learn a little self control. Unfortunately, Gawyn's training mostly involved waving a sword around. Therapeutic in the short term certainly, but probably not the best anger management strategy.

And so there we are. Gawyn blows a gasket when he is told that Rand killed both Morgase and Elayne. He is full of guilt over his failure to protect Elayne, and full of rage over the death of his mother. He latches onto the most likely suspect, Rand, and vows vengeance. Some time passes before he meets Egwene (about 50 days if you go by Steven Cooper’s page) and during this time his desire for revenge turns into an obsession; one which is easily compelling enough for him to dismiss any attempts to sway him. He's even determined to kill Rand in spite of the knowledge that he is needed to fight the last battle. It's even questionable that he will accept someone else's word that Morgase is alive. By now it's possible that the only evidence he will accept is Morgase herself, living and breathing in front of him.

Given the timing of events in Caemlyn, it's easy to see how the rumours started, and the list of people who can actually say for certain that Morgase is alive is not a very good one for rebutting the charge.

Rand ~ not trustworthy since he is the accused.
Morgase ~ hiding and so not likely to own up to being alive.
Morgase's party ~ protecting her secret.
Some White Cloaks ~ hardly paragons of virtue.

So, the ones who know will either not speak up or not be believed and everyone else is just going on what someone else said. Given all this, Gawyn has some grounds for his belief. Also note that Morgase herself goes to the White Cloaks for aid in removing Rand from Andor.

One interesting point is that Egwene was in the room when Rand was told of Morgase's death. Rand was furious and immediately reaches the conclusion that Rahvin did it. I wonder if Egwene relayed this story to Gawyn. It doesn't sound like she did and that might have been enough to at least soften Gawyn's certainty.

That said, Gawyn is the type who will not be moved easily away from something which he believes to be true. He is certain that Egwene is a pawn and even Egwene herself, in full regalia, is not enough to make him come round. She practically has to hammer the idea into his head to make it stick, and even then he only accepts it grudgingly.

So, he’s certainly internally consistent - not to mention persistent - just difficult to like.
271. Ouroboros
BTW, Hinderstap is in Murandy.

Oh, for the love of the - hey, J.Dauro. What ya doin' here.
Valentin M
272. ValMar
Ouroboros, IIRC Egwene was too randy at the time to put her mind to seriously arguing Rand's innocence. She didn't tell him about how the news of Morgase's death reached them in Cairhien.
Alice Arneson
273. Wetlandernw
In Egwene's defense (there I go again) they learned of Morgase's "death" one evening, and the next morning she got whammied by Lanfear at the docks. She was subject to severe headaches and weakness for quite a while after that, so if she didn't clearly remember everything she heard that night, it wouldn't really be all that surprising.
Valentin M
274. ValMar
Well, I prefer to give characters the benefit of the doubt so I readily take Wetlander's point about Egwene. But not completely. She appeared very distracted (understandably given her sudden/miraculous infatuation) during her first meeting with prince charming.
275. Freelancer

I get it that to many, some of Gawyn's actions seem irrational. That aside, I have trouble thinking he has been Mordeth'd (yes, it's now a verb). We have no examples of him turning harsh, paranoid, or any of the symptoms we learn from Mat, or from Fain's "dirty" Whitecloaks. Gawyn's management of the raids against Bryne's forces are not the work of someone turning completely inward, which is what we see with Elaida, and might have seen of Niall had he lived longer. The worst which can be said of him is that he holds onto a decision he has made even as evidence that it isn't his best position begins to mount. But we also get his conflicted feelings about it in his POVs. He knows Elaida tried to hang him out to dry with the Shaido.

Anyway, as I said before, I'll work up a full treatment on Gawyn later.
diane heath
276. jadelollipop
Egwene was all about becoming Dreamwalker and Aiel while in Waste and Carhien. She totally missed the upgrade Mat received even though she was there when Moraine commented on it (just as in Tear the whole Horn of Valere bit)and she has shown a number of times that her awareness of Rand as Dragon Reborn is more of a childhood friend who can channel and will go mad. Not as the one who will save mankind..
The lack of communication continues as is the way of these books... To quote the final words of POD

"Men and Women planned the future,believing they knew truth. They planned, and the Pattern absorbed their plans,weaving toward the future foretold"
Chin Bawambi
277. bawambi
@lost yes its the malazan series and im getting engrossed with it

@various while my messana/gawyn connection is very shaky I think we will still see some potentially disturbing behavior from Egs as a result of Halima's messages

@free very funny
Alice Arneson
278. Wetlandernw
Terez27 @269 - Well, that explains at least why I couldn't find it from your page... I'm still pretty sure I read it somewhere, but not sure where I'd have found it that you don't have referenced. Well, we'll see. If I can't find it, I can't prove it, and it's up for grabs.

Random comment... The more I read the books and the more I'm involved in the discussion, the more difficulty I have understanding something. There seem to be a great many fans, bordering on obsessive, who yet claim to hate, loathe, despise or otherwise have serious negative attitudes toward major plot lines and characters. I will freely admit that there are portions of the books that I disliked after the second or third read, when I knew what was going to happen later on. For some people, the dislike seems to sharpen into fierce or bitter criticism the longer they are involved in the discussion, and I simply cannot comprehend it. For me, the more we discuss it, the more I find great enjoyment in the intricacy and complexity of the plot-lace, and the more I appreciate the depth and plausibility of character development. Different strokes, I guess...
Hugh Arai
279. HArai
ValMar@266: *Everyone's a git in their own wayyyy*

Terez27@269: Well cold,controlled Elaida went to 8-ball Elaida after contact with Fain, and Gawyn went from fairly reasonable Gawyn to destructive emotion Gawyn with Warder-killing Chop in roughly the same time frame. Lacks direct evidence though, like the Compulsion theories.

Something I've been wondering about your theory when I see it mentioned: you've put together a lot about how and why Gawyn might kill Rand in a fight. What does Rand get out of it? Sure the medallion would protect Gawyn, but it doesn't bind Rand to the area. Why wouldn't Rand just leave?
Are you predicting Gawyn is just going to gut him when he's otherwise occupied? Sorry if you've covered this elsewhere, this re-read is all I have time to keep up with these days.
Adam E.
280. EvilMonkey
@259 HArai

The lessons and the environment is no gaurantee that he'd be good at the Game, but considering his parentage it isn't as if he doesn't have the right instincts coiled within his DNA. Elaine is pretty good even without coaching, Morgase was porported to be a master and Tarangail is Carheinian (nuff said). That plus his upbringing should make him better at noticing the power plays evident in the rebel camp.
Theresa Gray
281. Terez27
HArai@279 - Yeah, I have covered it elsewhere, but more to the point, I don't have any solid theories on exactly how the fight will go, really...just that Gawyn wouldn't really have a chance without the medallion, and I don't see how he would trust Rand to not use the Power. They might have a proper duel. There might be something in Andoran law that Gawyn can use, like Galad did with Whitecloak law. This aspect is probably mostly unpredictable, though, so I don't have any convictions on it.

Freelancer@275 - I think there are actually a lot of similarities between the changes in Gawyn and the changes in Elaida. He knows that rumor is often true, but he also knows how often it is false - or at least, he should know - so I don't see his stubbornness on the subject as being rational at all. And again, it's just a possibility that he had contact with Fain, but a likely one I think.
Valentin M
282. ValMar

True. But in WOT Gawyn is the only one of the good guys who gives me this vibe.
As to possible Fain influence, there isn't any direct evidence. We've got more plausible explanations already stated. Unless Terez is right maybe Gawyn will return to the decent chap we first met.


Totaly agree with the whole lot- every single sentence of your Random comment.
When I "dislike", say, a plotline, I do so by the standards of WOT. I.e. I don't like it as much as other plotlines or don't like what happens in the particular portion of the story- but then the plot moves on.
Adam E.
283. Subbak
I doubt that any modern country would have such a law to retcon previous decisions/votes by politicians deemed eligible.
If the series Rome is to be believed, that was however the case in ancient Rome : someone could be declared a tyran, in which case all his acts were null. The Senators who had murdered Ceasar considered naming him a tyran not to be, you know, charged with murder. Then they realised that Ceasar had basically assumed the whole administration of the Republic for the pas 4 years, so declarring void everything he had ever done was not an option.

If Elaida had been deposed on such legal grounds, Egwene would have been setting a very bad precedent indeed.
However, this was not necessary, and as a counter-argument to loyalists, I think it's worth its salt.

Also, if you cancel Elaida's election, you happen to cancel Siuan's deposing on the same grounds, so Siuan is still Amyrlin and that eighteen year-old girl who's going around pretending she's Amyrlin should be stilled. :D
284. Freelancer
In the U.S., the passing votes of legislators of both houses brings a bill before the President. It is not law until he signs the bill. Once signed, the eligibility of any particular legislator, and the impact thereof in bringing the bill out of Congress, is very much less significant from a legal view than the direct vote of the Hall in the White Tower. I have no qualms with this institution made up of very deliberative women, many of them centenarians or more, reviewing past decisions involving any among their number whom they later deem ineligible. Even if they took no recourse on the voted matters themselves, which I maintain they have a right to do (just as Bud Selig should overturn a terrible call and award that pitcher his perfect game), a careful analysis of the votes would show them much about the goals and intentions of the Black, and the myriad manipulations they employed over the decades. The shame is that, following the Purge, they will have no way to know about Black sisters farther back in history. Of course, it is likely they wouldn't learn much in that regard even if they had taken the opportunity to interrogate each of the current Blacks.


Siuan's deposition and Elaida's election can be viewed and handled separately. On substance, I agree with you that Elaida's usurpation, aided by the Black or not, wasn't lawful by Tower standards, and one view could state that Siuan has remained titular Amyrlin throughout this entire period. But this doesn't pass the smell test quite so well. In any case, the argument for stilling Egwene is specious at best, since all of the Salidar sisters were in acceptance of the fact that they, having refused to submit to Elaida, were operating as a parallel entity with no Amyrlin. The manner in which Egwene was raised was sketchy, yet completely unanimous from among those present.

P.S. - I know you weren't serious about stilling Egwene, but I couldn't help myself.

Ok, time to get headed home.
Mango~habanero shrimp on the barbie tonight!
Julian Augustus
285. Alisonwonderland
Wetlander @278:
The more I read the books and the more I'm involved in the discussion, the more difficulty I have understanding something. There seem to be a great many fans, bordering on obsessive, who yet claim to hate, loathe, despise or otherwise have serious negative attitudes toward major plot lines and characters.

But that is precisely why we read a book... that it engenders certain emotions in us. If all a book does is stimulate my logic centers, I might get some dry pleasure from pondering a few points of logic, but I won't be sitting here day after day discussing every minute detail with like-minded friends (that is, assuming I'm able to finish the damn thing in the first place).

No, in reading fiction I want the author to make me laugh, cry, afraid, love, hate, and otherwise allow me an escape from considerations of long-run marginal costs and other arcane economics I have to wrestle with in my normal life. Jordan's genius, and the reason I read him, is that he has constructed a world where I can immerse myself and feel all the emotions that make life worth living in the story. So I love some characters (Min, Moiraine, Rand), dislike others (Egwene, Nynaeve, Cadsuane) and hate others (Fain, Elaida, Valda.... and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I dare say most people are like me, not reading the story with cool detachment, but feeling what Jordan wants them to feel based on how they interpret the characters based on their personalities and experiences. I wouldn't knock it.

I must add here that there are no plot lines in WoT that I skip - I enjoy it all because each part contributes to the whole.
286. Ouroboros
forkroot @ 191: Got caught up in the debates and forgot to tip a hat to this. It worked without knowing the source material, but now I've read that one too and I really see what you did. Nice.

FromWorldsEnd @234: Come on in, the waters fine. I've even fished out the silverpike again. I wish I knew who keeps putting them in.

Isilel @ 244: Did LTT need that many pointers? I'm not disagreeing, just wondering if you know something I missed. Obviously there were problems between the men and the women but this always struck me as something that couldn't be avoided. They both had plans and both believed that the other was too dangerous.

As for Egwene vs. Rand in the political arena, it's difficult to say. Rand was making a lot of very shrewd decisions in the mid-series books and even in TGS, they were just over-shadowed by his darker side. If that really is behind him, I think we'll b seeing a very competent politician, especially given LTT's experiences.

Freelancer @ 252: Share the love. ;)

Ooh, an Ajah survey.

Churchill once said: "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns."

Speaking for myself, I'm a bit of a mixed pallet. It often depends on my mood but I'd say something like a brownish-greenish-greyish-blue. I'd never choose red or yellow. White is sometimes appealing but those gals take it way too far, and I think there is a touch of white in the brown make-up anyway, and I do like poking around in things so brown has to be in the mix. Greens enjoy life, so definitely, Greys and into mediation and advocacy so that has to be there too, and I do have my little causes.

To be honest, I don't think I'd like being in the Tower that much because of this enforced separation of interests. It isn't healthy and almost certainly had a role to play in the Tower's ineffectiveness. Bring on the Rainbow Ajah.

bad_platypus @ 256: I don't know about this. The fact that the Tower adamantly refuted the existence of the BA suggests that there may not be any laws relating to Darkfriends who are also Aes Sedai. It's just speculation of course, but it strikes me that this is the kind of over sight the Tower would make. They consider themselves to be above reproach, and having Darkfriends amongst there number is something that they will not even entertain in conversation, so why would they in a statutory law?

I imagine that there will have to be quite a lot of reforms after the revelation that 1 in every 5 sisters were Darkfriends. That's a huge thing to come to terms with, especially given that the Tower's primary function is to fight the Shadow.

ValMar @ 272: Very true. *snicker*

Wetlandernw @ 273: Good point - though I like ValMar's better. ;)

HArai @ 279: "destructive emotion Gawyn with Warder-killing Chop"

LOL. Are you planning a line of action figures? Rand will be an interesting one. He'll need loads of swords.

Seriously though, Gawyn was pretty wild when Min talks him down from killing Siuan in TSR. Admittedly, this was in the middle of a battle in which he played a big role and he's pretty young, so he's bound to be on edge, but he's scaring Min. Like I said, I don't see anything in Gawyn's behaviour that suggests the kind of changes Fain would bring about. Some very specific compulsion is not out of the question of course. I don't recall any comments about Mesaana's abilities in that regard.

Wetlandernw @ 278: On your random comment.

I'm not sure. I think the medium of the forum does sometimes lead to misunderstanding - humour doesn't always go down the right way - but there are indeed those who show real animosity towards characters and plots. I suppose that's what happens when some people reread enough times. The aspects they don't like begin to grate, then annoy, and finally anger. I suppose it's a testament that the parts they like are good enough to make them put up with things they clearly dislike so much.

It's certainly interesting when you do a full reread because it shows how much the focus of the books change through the series. The opening trilogy is very direct and much more attention is given to the fantastical elements. By the time we get to CoT it's the other way round. There's a huge amount of gradual character development and the direct plots of the earlier books are put on the back burner, which must be frustrating if your one of those fans who was hooked by the magic and monsters. I personally don't have a problem with it, but I know a couple of people who can cope with very heavy stuff who gave up long before this point in the series (PoD) because they didn't like how much the focus was changing.

It's also worth noting that there's a difference between general character bashing and a detailed analysis of a particular action. "Gawyn is stupid" is not the same as "what Gawyn did there was stupid" and I think people sometimes confuse the two.
Thomas Keith
287. insectoid
Enjoying everyone's thoughts, for the most part. Running myself into the ground emptying bins and stuff.

Free @284: Agree about the perfect game incident—that's the worst kind of highway robbery in baseball.

Ouro @286: There's also a Plaid Ajah, an Invisible Ajah, and one or two others... ;)

Oh, and probably a Tie-Dye Ajah.

*twitchity-twitchy twitch*

Adam E.
288. Kreeble
@ The Ajah talks:

I've been perplexed for years by the makeup of the various ajahs. I still to this day cannot understand what actual purpose the White Ajah serves. Following logic? I guess thats a plausible way to live your life, but I cant help but think that the White is the WoT equivalent to those kids who go to college with no real idea of what they want to do, and then pass the time smoking copious amounts of pot trying to just 'live.'

My mind boggles at a person - fully aware they are going to live over two hundred years - opting to spend the rest of their life pondering matters of logic. Of course, if its 'answers' that they're seeking, then I suppose I can get behind it a tad more - though why not choose brown? Oh well! Perhaps its just my prejudice for the blue/green coming out.
James Jones
289. jamesedjones
285 Alisonwonderland

Wow. Nicely said. Damn straight.
Alice Arneson
290. Wetlandernw
Alisonwonderland@285 - If you're not just bandying words for the fun of it, you completely missed the point. Yes, a good book will make a good reader laugh, cry, fear, rejoice, love, hate and all the range.

I had a perfectly good rant written, but I dumped it. If you don't know what I mean, I'm not going to argue it. Some people obviously understood exactly what I meant, so, oh well.
Bonnie Andrews
291. misfortuona
**Waves** Glad to see you're still with us even when life gets in the way.

At this time of the year Saskatchewan and Utah happen to be in the same timezone, (not always the case, but also not relevant) which makes it 3:30am for myself and Brandon. It always amazes me that no matter what time of the night I decide to go online there is always a recentish post from Brandon letting us know whats going on.

Even if the man's writing wasn't as brilliant as I find it to be, I would still be a fan based on his dedication to this project. Thank you Mr. Sanderson.

That said, the latest round of revisions for ToM is complete. Squee.

Maiane Bakroeva
292. Isilel

Personally, I don't find that re-reads make me like the books less, they just allow me to better understand and formulate _why_ I dislike certain things/characters and like others. And sometimes I do get better impression of a book, when unfulfilled prior expectations are out of the way.

As to why I stick with the books? Well, because there is a lot to like, because I invested so much time in the series already and want to see how it all ends and because first this re-read and then TGS re-energized my interest. So there ;).

Ourobros @286:

Did LTT need that many pointers?

Well, his friends and subordinates seemed to end up on the Dark side with depressing regularity. And of course, the split of the Hall of Servants during his tenure.
Adam E.
293. Jonathan Levy

The timing doesn't work for that assertion.
Rand attacked because the rumor that Morgase was dead reached his ears; thus there already was a false rumor of Morgase' demise. Apparently that rumor morphed into "The Dragon killed her" sometime later, after he had disposed of "Lord Gaebril".

That's a very strong counter-argument. I probably wouldn't have said what I did if I had remembered that at the time.

However, I think that even taking it into account, my point still retains some small degree of validity. Gaebril's death in Rand's attack would have by itself spawned a rumor that Morgase was also killed, at least for those who did not hear or believe the original rumor of her demise. Anyone hearing both rumors would probably believe the one associated with an event that thousands witnessed, rather than a mysterious disappearance which implied her demise. They might also assume that the original rumor was derived from the second one.

In any case, your correction regarding the chronology is appreciated - I had wrongly remembered the events as being closer together than they actually were.
Chin Bawambi
294. bawambi
free and insectoid: Re: Perfect game - not that I am one but Cardinal fans would disagree with you on this being the worst call ever.:D

and I was watching the game live on MLB channel - I was in a state of shock for 10 minutes.

Ourobros @286:

Did LTT need that many pointers?

Well, his friends and subordinates seemed to end up on the Dark side with depressing regularity. And of course, the split of the Hall of Servants during his tenure.

Totally agree - LTT's ego=EPIC FAIL

Theresa Gray
295. Terez27
wetlandernw@290 & alisonwonderland@285

Character-hate is something that I also have a hard time understanding, especially when it's to do with someone who is more or less on the right side. I think the reason why I don't like it is because it's indicative of the way we often demonize simple human flaws in the people we interact with IRL. I found Egwene to be an annoying character on first read, for example, especially when she first began to take the lead with Nynaeve, but I was really amazed at the mass verbiage dedicated to Egwene-hate when I found the online fandom. It's always been a problem at Theoryland, but I gather that it was worse at Wotmania. I mean...HOLY CRAP people.

But yeah, I have gotten into some pretty heated arguments about WoT over the years myself. I get more passionate about logic and evidence than I get about whether or not this character is a good person or a bad person. It seems to me like it's a silly distinction to make. Some people say the same about Lews Therin, but that's just irrational.
Adam E.
296. Subbak
Kreeble@288: I agree that the goal of the White Ajah is somwhat unclear. I mean, I totally understand that people who live several hundred years and have access to the largest library in the world are the best qualified for theoritical research.
Only it seems a bit weird that there would exist such an institution for so long with no application whatsoever. It's not like Aes Sedai have an actual PR department to release info about the Brown and White research, or like anyone inside the tower is prone to tinkering. Normally, at least someone should have thought that all this this research could somehow be used...

So far, the only possible explanation I have found is that the White Ajah is particularly involved in managing the Tower bank (yeah, I know, it's a council with one sister from each Ajah, but who says the head isn't always White, or something like that?) and uses its mathematical knowledge for financial speculation.
That could also explain how the tower gets that much money.

And anyway, it is specified that the White Ajah is the smallest.
diane heath
297. jadelollipop
RE: Character hate/bashing. I find the re-reads (esp this go round) interesting in how one's view of character's changes with time. One you bemoaned on first read becomes deeper and more understood even sympathetic in future re-reads. I can recall being
anti-Rand in these middle books,in part because he is not the typical hero of stories (one of the main points of this series as I understand). I hated the turn to arrogance,hardness,darkness etc. This go around I can see more of the true core of Rand and how painful the entire situation is to him. I also see his use of LTT voice as a balance. He is more in Daes Dae'Mar and really good at it then many seem to realize. (guess that is why he is good at it.)
I think I will be more pro-Perrin even at his most meh stages. At least I hope so. :)
I am okay with the Andorian Succession plotline but hated Faile in the Shaido camp...we will see when we get there.
298. Ouroboros
Alisonwonderland @ 285: The distinction is that some people love to hate characters whilst other seem to just hate them. I personally hate Elaida but really like any chapter in which she features. Some people, though, talk about characters as though just reading about them makes them want to put the book down, and they seem so fervent that you wonder how they can like the book at all, much less spend time discussing them on forums. But it's like I said before. If the good parts are significantly better than the bad parts, then people will stick with it so that they can wax lyrical over the good bits and, of course, grumble about the bad parts.

The problem is that the negative feelings sometimes get in the way of sensible discussion. "Gawyn did that because he is a jerk. Q.E.D." or "I hate this plot line because it stinks."

insectoid @ 287: Okay then. I'll be over here with the Octarine Ajah.

Kreeble @ 288: The White aren't just about logic for its own sake. It seems as though most sisters misunderstand why the members of another Ajah do what they do. Anyway, the Whites are about trying to understand things as they are, without extraneous distractions. The problem is that they get caught up in the method as much as in the problem. There's a moment when Alviarin overhears two Whites talking about the spoilage.

Two of the sisters she passed ignored her simply because they did not see her. Astrelle and Tesan were discussing food spoilage.
Arguing, rather, faces smooth but eyes heated and voices on the brink of heat. They were arithmetists, of all things, as if logic could be reduced to numbers, and they seemed to be disagreeing on how those numbers were used.

“Calculating with Radun’s Standard of Deviation, the rate is eleven times what it should be,” Astrelle said in tight tones. “Furthermore, this must indicate the intervention of the Shadow—”

Tesan cut her off, beaded braids clicking as she shook her head. “The Shadow, yes, but Radun’s Standard, it is outdated. You must use Covanen’s First Rule of Medians, and calculate separately for rotting meat or rotten. The correct answers, as I said, are thirteen and nine. I have not yet applied it to the flour or the beans and the lentils, but it seems intuitively obvious—”

So, they are definitely into maths and philosophy. In short, clarity and rationality. They really should have more to do with the Brown.

Wetlandernw @ 290: Oh, I like a nice rant.

Isilel @ 292: "Well, his friends and subordinates seemed to end up on the Dark side with depressing regularity. And of course, the split of the Hall of Servants during his tenure."

Ah, I see. After it, therefore because of it.

Some of his "friends and subordinates" were jealous, insecure, power hungry maniacs who weren't happy with the honours he gave them and soled there souls to the DO, is that really his fault? I don't think it mattered how many times he told them he trusted them and needed them. And there's not much you can do about being taller than they are. And what about the ones who were kidnapped and turned against their wills.

As for the split, it happened because some of the women were opposed to his plan to seal the bore, and that opposition was pretty fierce. Also, Latra Posae Decume formalised the opposition with the Fateful Concord. So, it's debatable as to who really caused the split. Like I said, six of one - half a dozen of the other.

It's all pie in the sky anyway, since we have very little real knowledge of what happened in the AoL. Blaming it all on LTT is dubious at best.

Terez @ 295: It's not a silly distinction at all. You can't make a decision without fully understanding the facts first. Bring on the White Ajah.
Tess Laird
299. thewindrose
White Ajah question from here.

Q: What do members of the White Ajah actually do on a day-to-day basis?
RJ: Think. Study philosophy.

A reader asked when the term "Ajah" came to have the meaning it has in Rand's time. He said that until at least 500 years after the Tower was founded, it meant a temporary association for a specific purpose, and was a lower-case noun. Its proper-noun sense arose afterwards, supplanting the earlier usage after the Trolloc Wars.

And Elan Morin Tedronai would fall into the "White Ajah" although during that time there were not permanent ajahs.

Bill Reamy
300. BillinHI
Just to hit 3 hunny on this post!

I got nuttin' ... as usual.
Theresa Gray
301. Terez27
Ouroboros@298 - I was glad when RJ put that in, because Alviarin's distaste for arithmetic seemed rather odd when she tried to sneak back in the Tower through the Ninth Depository.

TITLE - Crossroads of Twilight
CHAPTER: 21 - A Mark

The Tower Library was divided into twelve depositories, at least insofar as the world knew, and the Ninth was the smallest, given over to texts on various forms of arithmetic, yet it was still a large chamber, a long oval with a flattened dome for a ceiling, filled with row on row of tall wooden shelves, each surrounded by a nar­row walkway four paces above the seven-colored floor tiles. Tall ladders stood alongside the shelves, on wheels so they could be moved easily, both on the floor and on the walkways, and mirrored brass stand-lamps with bases so heavy that each took three or four men to move. Fire was a constant concern in the Library. The stand-lamps all burned brightly, ready to light the way for any sis­ter who wanted to find a book or boxed manuscript, but a shelved handcart holding three large leather-cased volumes to be replaced was still in the middle of one aisle exactly where she remembered it from the last time she walked through. She did not understand why there was any need for different forms of arithmetic or why so many books had been written on them, and for all the Tower prided itself on having the greatest collection of books in the world, covering every possible topic, it seemed that most Aes Sedai agreed with her. She had never seen another sister in the Ninth Depository, the reason she used it for her entryway. At the wide arched doors, standing invitingly open, she listened until she was satisfied that the corridor beyond was empty before slipping out. Anyone would have thought it strange that she had developed an interest for the books in there.

At that time, we'd never seen another White comment on arithmetic, so it was definitely odd, especially that last bit (which implies that even a White would appear odd for being in the Ninth Depository).
Adam E.
302. chaplainchris
@ 233 sillylove

Um...I gotta disagree with your assessment of Egwene and what she's learned from the experience. Her reaction "out of the box" is not to be more distrustful of others; it's to take a look at herself for her own mistakes. And though she decides to think on it more when she has more time, the major mistake she points to is that she failed to trust Siuan with as much information as she could've. Her thought is that if she'd been more detailed about what was going on and how well her work was going, Siuan might've trusted Egwene's decision not to be rescued more and not be driven to disregard it. She decides that even though an Amyrlin has to keep some secrets, keeping too many secrets is dangerous.

So contrary to your take on Egwene, her take-away learning experience is to trust more, not less. Her plain-speaking to both sides of the conflict - rebuking them all, requiring apologies from them all - is part of this. They can't just do the age-old AS thing of sweeping things under the rug; they must come clean in order to Heal.

As for Bryne - he doesn't have to defend himself b/c Egwene's not mad at him. And he kind of agrees with Egwene anyway...which is why he tried to talk her out of the rescue attempt in the first place.
Hilde Sørensen
303. edlihs
The White Ajha strikes me as philosophers in ancient Greece. As for the lack of interest in arthritics, well the Last Battle is coming. Maybe they will see the point then.

EDIT: spelling
Don Barkauskas
304. bad_platypus
Terez27 @295:
...but I was really amazed at the mass verbiage dedicated to Egwene-hate when I found the online fandom. It's always been a problem at Theoryland, but I gather that it was worse at Wotmania.
You aren't kidding. WOTmania was the first WoT site I found, and I stuck with it for a long time, but when it switched over to, I finally used that as an excuse and gave up. There was one extremely prolific poster who would often write (literally) thousands of words a day on how much s/he hated Egwene. It got really tiresome to read after a while.

One thing I really like about this community is that, while there's still some character bashing, for the most part it's kept to reasonable lengths. (And the disagreements are significantly more polite than they were on WOTmania.)
305. Freelancer

Interesting that you quote that particular bit, with the two Whites arguing about which form of math to use to determine the state of the world. One arrives at an answer of 11, the other, calculating for two divergent conditions, arrives at answers of 13 & 9. And they continue to argue, neither one hearing what the other has to say.

RJ's sense of humor was epic.

It's just too bad he couldn't have worked it so the answer was 42.
Adam E.
306. cirellio
Leigh, thanks so much for your wonderful, insightful re-reads. Wouldn't it be cool if these got published as a WoT companion?

Egwene's executive decision to open up the novice book to anyone always seemed too brash and rentsy to me. I mean, couldn't she make changes to the way the White Tower operates after they've deposed Elaida? It makes me wonder if Egwene would've also decreed that sisters no longer have to swear on the oath rod if she hadn't had the sense to talk to Siuan about it first.

Siuan's reaction was understandable, if a bit over-the-top, but Egwene just brushes her off with that comment about her relationship with Lord Bryne. To me, it came off as very immature and disrespectful, and I couldn't help but think that everyone was right about her needing to grow into the stole. The whole thing just never sat right with me.
Adam E.
307. louis Theodore Tellman

Not sure if anyone's gotten to this little tidbit (nor if anyone'll read this comment as I am thoroughly behind in my reading), but brandy... I highly recommend.

Even more so, if we're going to go with delish digestifs, try yourself a cognac or two. Once you get past the initial ick factor (that would be the acidic, ascerbic and a-pungent alcohol bite), the result is quite similar to RJ's books:
subtle and nuanced in many cases, bold and brazen in some and utterly, completely delightful on the whole. Room temperature and a drop or two of water is, also parallel-ly-listic-ally, appropriate.
Adam E.
308. Ellowyn Kay
Not to practice comment necromancy, nor do I think anyone actually reads down this far, I'm only about a year late to the party...

Halima = Balthamel, who was a historian and ....and a gambler, and a lecher.

We don't have a lot of information on him, but there isn't much call for learning the use of compulsion when your greatest accomplishments for the shadow include organizing breeding camps of humans for trolloc food and running a spy network.

If I were to suppose further, I would venture that he's rather strong in Earth; being a historian specializing in ancient cultures would probably gain great benefits from archaeology where you just "Delve" the rocks to decide if there's anything worthwhile in them. I might be wrong, but Compulsion is usually described as predominantly Spirit, but using all five.

OTOH, maybe Egwene's headaches are a result of his "clumsy" hands in Compulsion. It's mentioned that Halima's handwriting is poor, and it's been made clear to us (on multiple occasions) that Compulsion nets are very fine and delicate things.
Adam E.
309. hesuchia
I always thought the "polite indifference" thing would work pretty well on Cadsuane in particular. Rand's temper is, of course, incredibly fragile at this point, so it's not really possible for him. But her ego and expectance of respect and obedience would probably flare up if somebody treated her like she treats them. Not really caring what she says, but not provoking her either. If he could control his temper, ignoring her would be hilarious to me.

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