Tue
May 4 2010 2:19pm
The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Path of Daggers, Part 4

Hey-hey, Re-readers! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today’s entry covers Chapters 5 and 6 of The Path of Daggers, in which we learn the importance of the proper distribution of personnel skills, background research, and hats.

Oh, and also, Shit Blows Up. Whee!

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.

Here, have a post!


Chapter 5: The Breaking Storm

 

What Happens
The party climbs up to the top of a steep, flat-topped hill, which offers a spectacular view of the countryside for miles around. Beside Elayne, Nynaeve grumbles about the hour wasted determining whether there were any Kinswomen strong enough to be useful in the circle at the farm, and mutters that Garenia had better quit fainting on her; Elayne looks at Reanne, Kirstian, and Garenia, who all look terrified, and thinks that at least Garenia isn’t moaning to herself anymore. Elayne notes that Merilille is giving the Windfinders covert nervous looks, and wonders if something had happened while she was Healing them. Merilille is a Gray, and therefore a skilled negotiator, but Elayne thinks of the old joke about the Domani merchant, the Sea Folk Cargomaster and an Aes Sedai, and that in the joke it was always the Aes Sedai who came off worst. Elayne walks over to Aviendha, who is standing by the plateau’s dropoff, and asks what’s troubling her; to Elayne’s shock, Aviendha answers that she has failed Elayne, first with her crappy gateway, then panicking over a servant, then by pretending she could assist with questioning the Shadowrunner when Maidens are not allowed to even watch interrogations until they have ten years’ experience. She says she is weak and soft, and if she fails Elayne again, she will die. Alarmed, Elayne hastily pulls her back from the cliff edge and tells her emphatically that Aviendha has never failed or shamed her in any way, and that Aviendha is about as weak and soft “as a stone”. She then confesses that even the notion of trying to question Ispan herself made her want to throw up. Startled, Aviendha answers that she only meant she didn’t know how to question Ispan without killing her, but touches Elayne’s cheek and smiles.

“We both have weakness in us,” she whispered, “but it brings no shame so long as only we two know.”

“Yes,” Elayne said weakly. She just did not know how! “Of course it doesn’t.” This woman contained more surprises than any gleeman.

Elayne gives Aviendha the seated-woman figurine angreal to use in the circle, though she had planned to use it herself; Aviendha is hesitant, but then tells Elayne this is a great gift and presses her fingers to Elayne’s cheek again, which is the Aiel equivalent of an embrace. Nynaeve then pulls Elayne aside to speak privately, and to Elayne’s shock tells her that she has been behaving like a fool, and it’s all Lan’s fault for making her unable to think of anything else, and begs Elayne to tell her when she’s acting like that. Elayne is stunned, but not about to miss the opportunity, and tells Nynaeve that it is not Lan’s fault that she is behaving “like a giddy girl” (pushing away thoughts of how she had behaved over Rand), and tells her to get a hold of herself already. Nynaeve hangs her head and apologizes meekly, and Elayne almost chokes in amazement. Then Nynaeve briskly changes the subject and demands to know which angreal she gets; Elayne sighs and gives her the bracelet-and-rings set, whereupon Nynaeve marches off yelling for everyone to take their places. They gather by the Bowl, which is on the ground at the center of the plateau, and Renaile begins barking out the names of the Windfinders who will participate in the circle, who include Talaan, Metarra, and Caire, who Renaile names to be in charge of the circle (Renaile herself is not participating). Elayne gives the turtle brooch angreal to Talaan and begins to explain how to use it, but Caire roars for silence and orders Talaan to report herself for punishment later. Caire then makes what Elayne considers an absurdly grandiose speech about what they are about to do, with no small praise for herself thrown in, and then barks at Nynaeve to explain this linking thing, now. Nynaeve looks to be on the edge of apoplexy, but reins herself in, and she and Elayne begin demonstrating how to link, though Nynaeve’s technique is rough; to Elayne’s amazement again, though, she actually shrugs in apology to Elayne for metaphorically bouncing her around.

“This is dangerous!” Renaile broke in, shouldering roughly between Caire and Tebreille. Her scowl took in Nynaeve, Elayne, and the sisters standing off from the circle as well. “You say that one woman can simply seize another, hold her captive, use her? How long have you Aes Sedai known this? I warn you, if you try to use it on one of us—”

Sareitha interrupts to explain that it doesn’t work that way; a link cannot be formed with another woman against her will. Renaile demands to know why the Tower would study such a thing anyway, and Sareitha tells her that it arose from the problems of how to deal with men who could channel, mentioning in passing that men can be brought into circles as well, though obviously no one does that anymore, and reiterating that it is impossible to force a woman into a circle. Renaile reluctantly accepts this, but Elayne notes a change of inflection in Sareitha’s tone at one point, and resolves to question her further on the matter later. Caire commands Nynaeve to continue; Elayne is nervous about Nynaeve’s ability to pass control to her, but it is accomplished, and Elayne goes about bringing in the rest of the circle, starting with Aviendha, and shivers as the amount of saidar flowing through her grows higher and higher, and her awareness not only of her surroundings but of the other women’s emotional states heightens. Nynaeve is a “maelstrom” of emotions, including “waves of heat” that Elayne can’t quite identify; Aviendha, to her surprise, is suppressing a small amount of fear. Kirstian and Garenia are about to expire with terror, but Reanne is eager; all of the Windfinders are wary and alert, and Elayne realizes these emotions are focused on Caire. It takes four tries to bring Caire in, and Caire abruptly rips control of the circle from Elayne as soon as she’s in. She studies the Bowl a moment, and Elayne notes with consternation that there is a tiny amount of uncertainty mixed in with her determination, but then she draws deeply on the circle and begins.

She watched closely as Caire channeled, forming a complex weave of all Five Powers, a four-pointed star that she laid atop the Bowl with what Elayne somehow was sure was exquisite precision. The star touched, and Elayne gasped. Once, she had channeled a trickle into the Bowl—in Tel’aran’rhiod, to be sure, and only a reflection of the Bowl, though still a dangerous thing to do—and that clear crystal had turned a pale blue, and the carved clouds moved. Now, the Bowl of the Winds was blue, the bright blue of a summer sky, and fleecy white clouds billowed across it.

Caire continues to lay more and more complex weaves on the Bowl, each time changing the weather pattern it shows, and soon the Bowl itself begins drawing a huge amount of saidar on its own, which shoots up into the sky in a “writhing, braided column”.

It was a very good thing she had not wanted to focus the flows for this circle, Elayne realized; what the woman was doing required years more study than she had. Many years more. Suddenly, she realized something else. That ever-changing lacework of saidar bent itself around something else, something unseen that made the column solid. She swallowed, hard. The Bowl was drawing saidin as well as saidar.

The others have noticed, too, but Caire is unfazed, and fans and threads of saidar spread out from the top of the column in every direction until they stretch out of sight. Caire weaves on and on, until suddenly she shuts the whole thing down and releases the Source, saying it is done. Everyone is staggered by the very unorthodox way Caire had dropped the link, and sweating and exhausted besides. Nynaeve wants to know if it worked or what, and Caire retorts that when you move the rudder on a ship with “a beam as broad as the world”, it takes time for results to show, but it is done, and the Bowl is theirs. Renaile goes to gather up the Bowl, and says now it is the Aes Sedai’s turn to fulfill their part; Nynaeve answers that they’ll see, when Caire’s “rudder” turns, if it does. She then mutters that she feels “an echo” of the Power, and wonders if her angreal is at fault, but Elayne says that she feels it too, and realizes it’s like feeling channeling at a great distance.

She turned. On the horizon to the south, lightning flashed, dozens of bolts vivid silver-blue against the afternoon sky. Very near to Ebou Dar.

Elayne shivers at how much Power it must be for her to feel it at this distance, and wonders if it could be Forsaken. Nynaeve agrees, and quietly points out that if so, they’ll surely have noticed what they were doing just now. Nynaeve tells Elayne to take the rest to Andor, and Nynaeve will meet her there.

“Mat’s in the city. I have to go back for him. Burn the boy; he came for me, and I have to.”

Elayne wrapped her arms around herself and drew a deep breath. Queen Tylin she left to the mercies of the Light; Tylin would survive if it was possible. But Mat Cauthon, her very strange, very instructive subject; her most unlikely rescuer. He had come for her, too, and offered more. And Thom Merrilin; dear Thom, who she sometimes still wished would turn out to be her real father, and the Light burn what that would make of her mother. And the boy, Olver, and Chel Vanin, and… She had to think like a queen. The Rose Crown is heavier than a mountain, her mother had told her, and duty will make you weep, but you must bear and do what must be done.

Elayne tells Nynaeve she can’t go; she’s exhausted, and it’s they the Forsaken will be after, not Mat. Nynaeve protests they can’t just leave Mat, but Aviendha agrees with Elayne, pointing out that Mat may have left the city already, and they would risk knowledge of the Bowl falling into Forsaken hands for nothing. Nynaeve’s face crumples, and Elayne goes to hug her, when someone screams “Shadowspawn!”, and the Aes Sedai bring down a winged shape from the sky with Fire. Kirstian points out another one, and everyone throws more fire at it, but it escapes; Merilille mutters that this proves that it’s Forsaken in Ebou Dar, at least.

“Not Shadowspawn,” Elayne said hollowly. Nynaeve’s face was a picture of anguish; she knew, too. “They call it a raken. It’s the Seanchan. We must go, Nynaeve, and take every woman at the farm with us. Whether we killed that thing or not, more will come. Anyone we leave behind will be wearing a damane leash by tomorrow morning.” Nynaeve nodded, slowly, painfully; Elayne thought she murmured, “Oh, Mat.”

Renaile is frantic about the ship she left behind in the harbor, and tries to weave a gateway right there, but it fails. Elayne snaps at her that she can’t make a gateway to a moving ship, and she can’t go anyway; neither of their bargains is fulfilled—either the one she made with Elayne or the one with Mat. She commands Renaile and all the others to run back to the farm, now, and to her surprise, they obey.

Commentary
Hello, something seems to be happening. Yay!

So finally the Bowl is used, and it was pretty impressive, I think. Very cool imagery, as usual, most of which I left out of the summary, so you should go back and read it. Not quite a Moment of Awesome, but good stuff, nonetheless.

Aviendha: Damn, girl, ease up on yourself already. Also, wow: remind me to never get interrogated by the Aiel.

Nynaeve: Time for another round of Apologies Are Fun, I see. Also, heh: “waves of heat”, I bet. We might quibble over when exactly Mat lost his virginity, but I think there’s no doubt about when Nynaeve did. Perhaps it’s no wonder she’s acting so scatter-brained over Lan, eh?

Sareitha: I’m not sure if Elayne’s little suspicion here re: Sareitha’s explanation of linking is ever followed up on, or what it means. I’m also not clear on why Elayne thought it was strange in that context; if it had been me, I would have assumed that Sareitha’s hesitation in her statement (that no one could be forced into a link) was because of the now known existence of a’dam.

Windfinders: Yeah, still not liking the Sea Folk, at all. That business with Caire screaming at Elayne when she was trying to explain the angreal to Talaan made me want to smack her into next week. Not to mention the rest of it, but that part especially, if for no other reason than explaining to Talaan how to use the angreal was kind of, you know, important. Sheesh.

All that being said, however, it’s a damn good thing Caire was there no matter how obnoxious she is, since apparently using the Bowl was less like switching on a light, and more like playing a Beethoven sonata. This is a problem when Elayne et al were evidently not even aware the Bowl was a piano. So to speak. Caire can, possibly, be forgiven at least a little bit for her pride, therefore—though I definitely think there is such a thing as taking it too far.

(Come to think of it, Beethoven himself was not exactly big on social graces either; and in fact in my experience there is a rather high correlation between people of prodigious talent also being assholes. What this says about human nature I leave as an exercise for the reader.)

Still not really clear, though, on how the Bowl used both saidin and saidar when only saidar was used on it in the first place. But, I guess after a certain point it was kind of like a machine on automatic, or something, so whatever. I’m also trying to remember if we’ve ever seen another Power object that uses both halves of the Power, but I can’t think of one off the top of my head. (The Choedan Kal don’t count, because each only uses one half; it was Rand who combined the two halves together for the Cleansing.)

The Seanchan are coming!: Mainly notable (in this chapter, at least) because of the reactions the news provokes in Elayne and especially Nynaeve regarding Mat. I had forgotten how upset Nynaeve gets here at the notion of leaving him behind, and even though she phrases it as a tit for tat thing (he came for me, I have to go for him), it’s pretty obvious that’s just her usual downplaying of her softer side. As for Elayne, the fact that she classes Mat with Thom in the scale of her regrets (arguably, even above Thom) shows how much her opinion of him has changed. All in all, I liked that about them very much here.


Chapter 6: Threads

What Happens
Everyone runs pell-mell down the hill, Nynaeve elbowing people out of her way, and Elayne feels like laughing despite the situation; she had behaved like a queen would, taking charge, and everyone had obeyed her. She is very proud of herself until she trips and falls flat on her face in front of Birgitte. Humiliated, she expects Birgitte to make a cutting remark, but Birgitte only pulls her up and asks what they’re going to do.

“I recognized those Seanchan fliers from Falme, and truth for true, I suggest running. My bow is the ordinary sort, today.” Aviendha gave her a slight frown, and Elayne sighed; Birgitte had to learn to guard her tongue if she really intended to hide who she was.

Nynaeve cuts in that of course they’re running, but interrupts herself to shout for Alise as they see the farm in even more turmoil than when Careane had showed her face, everyone dashing here and there, including even some Warders. Alise appears and calmly remarks that Birgitte told her what those “big birds” are, and she figured they would be needing to leave, so she set about getting things organized; she’s already sent off the women who aren’t Kin. She advises them to calm themselves and splash some water on their faces, and marches off. Nynaeve stares slack-jawed a moment, and Elayne comments that she did say the woman was very capable; Nynaeve snaps back that she never said “very”, and bets Alise doesn’t know where her hat’s got to, anyway, and flounces off. Elayne wonders if working that much saidar has unsettled Nynaeve, thinking she feels a little strange herself, as though she “could pluck little bits of saidar out of the air”, but dismisses it to think of the little Egwene had brought herself to tell about her captivity among the Seanchan, and concludes that she will die before letting them collar her. She and Aviendha dash to the cistern, only to find that Alise has already had all the ter’angreal packed up; Aviendha doesn’t understand why this perturbs Elayne so, and Elayne doesn’t admit aloud that it’s because she doesn’t want anyone else touching them.

They were hers! The Hall was not going to hand these over to some other sister just because she was older and more experienced, or hide them away because studying ter’angreal was too dangerous. With this many examples to study, maybe she could finally figure out how to make ter’angreal that worked every time; there had been far too many failures and half-successes.

Elayne sends Careane to keep watch on the hill, and Adeleas and Vandene bring out Ispan; Elayne notes that while the Black sister seems unharmed, she is now being perfectly meek and compliant, and decides she doesn’t want to think about why. Alise finds Nynaeve’s hat, to the latter’s astonishment, and continually fixes problems before Nynaeve has a chance to, including retrieving both the Bowl and the turtle angreal from a spluttering Renaile. Finally everything is ready, and Elayne makes a gateway to one of her smaller estates in Andor, about two weeks’ ride from Caemlyn; she is very tired, which makes the flows difficult to manage, and she thinks it is worse this time than she ever remembers it being. Birgitte and Lan are first through, and Nynaeve almost runs after Lan, but stops herself furiously; then Alise starts chivvying everyone through the gateway, leaving Nynaeve out of it altogether.

Nynaeve’s head swung wildly, pained indecision painting her face. For some reason she touched her wide hat, a few of its blue plumes broken and drooping, before pulling her hand away. “Oh, that goat-kissing old…!” she growled, the rest lost as she dragged her mare through the gateway. Elayne sniffed. And Nynaeve had the nerve to speak to anybody about their language! She wished she could have heard the rest, though; she already knew the first bit.

Everyone goes through the gate; at the end, Alise hands Elayne her hat, with a comment that she’ll want to keep the sun off that pretty skin. Elayne stares after her while Aviendha cracks up; Elayne threatens to find her a big froofy hat too, which shuts Aviendha up. On the other side, Nynaeve is continuing to be one-upped by Alise, and irritably asks Elayne why she hasn’t taken the gateway down yet. Elayne takes a deep breath and tells Nynaeve to take everyone on ahead, and begins unweaving her gateway, to Nynaeve and Aviendha’s horror.

“It has to be done,” Elayne sighed. “The Seanchan will be at the farm in hours, for sure. Even if they wait until tomorrow, what if one of the damane has the Talent to read residues? Nynaeve, I won’t give Traveling to the Seanchan. I won’t!”

Nynaeve growls that she has no intention of letting Elayne kill herself, but Aviendha tells her that once started, the process cannot be stopped. Nynaeve glares a moment, and then abruptly hugs Elayne hard and threatens to “skin her alive” if she dies. Elayne laughs, and Nynaeve turns away with suspiciously bright eyes, to find that Alise has gotten everyone ready and even brought Nynaeve’s horse for her. Nynaeve looks mortified, and Elayne wonders why she doesn’t just put Alise in her place. The party sets out, but Aviendha and Birgitte don’t move; knowing Aviendha wouldn’t budge, Elayne tries to send Birgitte on ahead, which Birgitte rejects with dry mockery, but Elayne feels her affection through the bond. Elayne chokes up a bit and tells them she is lucky to have two such friends; Birgitte grins, but Aviendha blushes and hastily changes the subject by warning Elayne that she must not wait too long to finish the unweaving, as the threads grow “slick” after a while. Elayne doesn’t think it sounds too hard, but when she begins, discovers that “slick” is an understatement, and it is only with great effort that she grips them and pulls them apart.

To her eye the gateway resembled some monstrous, distorted hundred-heads on the bottom of a pond, surrounded by flailing tendrils, every one thickly haired with threads of the Power that grew and writhed and vanished only to be replaced by new. The opening visible to anyone flexed along its edges, changing shape and even size continuously. Her legs began to tremble; strain stung her eyes as much as sweat did. She did not know how much longer she could go on. Gritting her teeth, she fought. One thread at a time. One thread at a time.

Through the gateway, she can see the Seanchan have arrived at the farm; one of the sul’dam sees the gateway, and her damane embraces the Source. Elayne screams for Aviendha and Birgitte to get down just as lightning stabs through the gateway. It cuts off as a Seanchan shouts something about taking them alive, and soldiers start to leap through the gateway; Birgitte and Aviendha go to work with arrows and knife, taking them down, but the Seanchan begin shooting back, and Aviendha gets a bolt in the arm and Birgitte in the thigh. Distracted by her distress for them, Elayne realizes she doesn’t remember where she was in the process, and now doesn’t dare let go of the thread she’s holding. Aviendha screams defiance at the soldiers, and embraces the Source and begins flinging fireballs through the gate, but she is already exhausted and can’t keep it up for long. Elayne begs them both to run, but Birgitte tells her to shut up, and helps Aviendha mount up backwards on her horse, so she can continue to fire at the gate; she goes to do the same for Elayne, but Elayne says she doesn’t know if she can hold the weave if she moves.

Muttering curses in the Old Tongue—they had to be; nothing else ever had the sound!—Birgitte shoved the horses’ reins into Aviendha’s hands. Nearly falling twice, she hobbled to Elayne and bent to take her by the shoulders. “You can hang on,” she said, her voice filled with the same conviction Elayne felt from her. “I never met a Queen of Andor before you, but I’ve known queens like you. A backbone of steel and a lion’s heart. You can do it!”

She helps Elayne up and gets her on her horse, as the remains of the gateway twists wildly, and they gallop away from the gateway; Aviendha keeps flinging fireballs until they are almost at the crest of the nearest hill, when her strength gives out. The Seanchan start pouring through the gate as soon as her barrage stops, including five sul’dam/damane pairs. Elayne sees one of them forming a shield, and shouts for Birgitte to go faster, but it is too late, and the damane cuts Elayne off from saidar.

Down in the meadow, the weave that had been a gateway fell in on itself. Haggard, looking as though she could not possibly move, Aviendha hurled herself from her saddle at Elayne, carrying them both off. Elayne had just time to see the far slope of the hill below her as she fell.

The air turned white, blanking her sight. There was sound—she knew there was sound, a great roar—but it lay beyond hearing. Something struck her, as if she had fallen from a rooftop onto hard pavement, from a tower top.

She wakes up to find herself all the way at the bottom of the hill, covered in blood and hurting all over; she can feel that Birgitte is in pain, too, but still alive, and forces herself up to search for Aviendha, finding her thirty paces away. She crawls over, and Aviendha gasps in relief to see Elayne is okay; Elayne is puzzled a moment, since she is definitely not okay, but realizes Aviendha meant that she had not been burned out, and shivers in relief. All three of them struggle painfully back up the hill to see what had happened, and see that the gateway site is a blackened ruin; Elayne murmurs a prayer for the Seanchan’s souls. She comments that she didn’t do quite as well as Aviendha had, but perhaps it was for the best; Aviendha answers that the first time she tried unweaving (just a knot of Wind) it took her fifty tries before it stopped blowing up. Elayne notes dryly that she has a habit of leaping in over her head, and supposes it’s good that they’ve found a new weapon, at least.

“You do not understand, Elayne.” Aviendha gestured toward the center of the meadow, where the gateway had been. “That could have been no more than a flash of light, or even less. You cannot tell until it happens. Is a flash of light worth the risk of burning out yourself and every woman closer to you than a hundred paces or more?”

Elayne stared at her. She had stayed, knowing that? To risk your life was one thing, but to risk losing the ability to channel… “I want us to adopt each other as first-sisters, Aviendha. As soon as we can find Wise Ones.” What they were to do about Rand, she could not imagine. The very idea that they would both marry him—and Min, too!—was worse than ridiculous. But of this, she was sure. “I don’t need to know any more about you. I want to be your sister.” Gently, she kissed Aviendha’s bloodstained cheek.

She had only thought Aviendha blushed fiercely before. Even Aiel lovers did not kiss where anyone could see. Fiery sunsets paled beside Aviendha’s face. “I want you for my sister, too,” she mumbled. Swallowing hard—and eyeing Birgitte, who was pretending to ignore them—she leaned over and quickly pressed her lips to Elayne’s cheek. Elayne loved her as much for that gesture as for the rest.

Birgitte sees Lan and Nynaeve galloping back toward them, and the three women sit down to wait for them, which Elayne thinks heroes in stories never do; she thinks she might be a good queen, but it’s clear she’ll never be a hero.

Chulein rides her raken, Segani, with her partner Eliya, and watches as balls of fire fly out from apparently nowhere in the meadow below. Eliya comments that there are supposed to be hundreds of marath’damane down there, and they discuss what they’re going to do with their share of the bounty award. Then something hits Segani and he goes into a spiraling fall, but pulls out of it at the last moment. Chulein sees that Eliya has fallen to her death, and then she sees the ground.

The farm was… gone. Foundations scoured clean of the white buildings that had stood on them, the big structures built into a hillside smashed heaps of rubble. Gone. Everything was blackened and burned. Fire raged through the undergrowth on the slopes and made fans a hundred paces long into the olive groves and the forest, stretching from the spaces between the hills. Beyond lay broken trees for another hundred or more, all leaning away from the farm. She had never seen anything like it. Nothing could be alive down there. Nothing could have lived through that. Whatever it had been.

Chulein thinks to herself that this new weapon proves how dangerous these Aes Sedai are, and that something would have to be done about them. She flies south to make her report.

Commentary
I have to say, I totally forgot about this scene altogether. Wow, Elayne wiped out an entire brigade of Seanchan—not to mention multiple acres of real estate.

By accident, true, but still. Altogether, I’d say that this counts as a Moment of Awesome for her—but even more for Birgitte and Aviendha, who kick all the ass in the area—literally and figuratively. Yay! I do love me a good female warrior figure, by which I mean, “not a cheap excuse for improbably threadbare armor”.

I do have to take this moment to again be appreciative, despite all the criticisms I may have, of Jordan’s treatment of female characters in many respects, of which this scene is an excellent example. It’s a little difficult to explain, but I just really like that Birgitte and Aviendha (and Elayne, in a different way) are all depicted here not as “female warriors in a combat situation”, but as “warriors in a combat situation”, full stop. I’m not sure how to explicate the difference, which can often be very subtle, and additionally is obviously subjective anyway, but it is a frequent mild-to-major irritant to me in many depictions of female fighters in fiction.

Not in WOT, however. I may have my issues with some of Jordan’s choices in more social venues when it comes to his female characters, but when it comes to battle, he is 99% fail free.

I also really liked the way the bonds between the three of them (four of them, really, as I would include Nynaeve even though she’s not there for most of it) were shown and strengthened by what happened. I think this is one thing the Supergirls have in distinct advantage over the Superboys—their trust and love for each other. Which is something the boys have to some degree with other members of their respective entourages, but not with each other. The widening rifts between Mat, Perrin and Rand are something that I assume really has to be addressed before this whole shindig goes down. At least I devoutly hope so.

(Of course, it would help if they were ever in the same room together. Srsly.)

Concurrent to my earlier observation of the directly proportional ratio of ability to jerkishness, I think it is no accident how frequently Our Heroes (in WOT and in fiction in general) have a tendency to belittle or be unaware of their own awesomeness, as Elayne does here in her “I’m no hero” bit. After all, if they were conscious of just how awesome they are, they’d be, well, jerks. And As You Know, Bob, heroes cannot be jerks.

Well, they can’t be total jerks, anyway. Or they can be jerks about some things, but not about their own hero-ness. In fact, I’d theorize that a hero can be a jerk and still be a hero in almost any other way but this. You’ll note how many people’s opinion of Rand—including mine—took a nosedive the moment he started getting all Do You Know Who I Am? to the people around him. This is instructive, is what I’m saying, about what makes a hero a hero.

(Antiheroes, now that’s another story. Literally.)

And now both the word “jerk” and the word “hero” have lost all meaning, so let’s move on.

It’s worth noting, speaking of unaware awesomeness, that Elayne unwove her Gateway—apparently an incredibly difficult undertaking—not only under the then-unknown circumstances of One Power weirdness due to using the Bowl, but while staggering with exhaustion. And it was the first time she’d ever done it!

Nynaeve: I was annoyed here re: Alise for the same reason I was annoyed on Elayne’s behalf in the earlier chapters—that not only is her authority getting undermined, but it’s not entirely without cause. I mean, yes, Nynaeve is kind of acting like an idiot here, but anyone who’s had this “efficiency backstab” method of office politics happen to them (which is basically what Alise is doing to Nynaeve here) should at least be able to sympathize a little. And if you haven’t ever had this kind of thing happen to you, watch your back. It’ll happen, sooner or later, and it will be incredibly frustrating when it does, trust me.

As a last random note, Adeleas and Vandene are kind of fabulously creepy sometimes. I said earlier that I would not want to be interrogated by the Aiel (well, I really don’t want to be interrogated by anyone, but anyway), but Elayne’s point about the ominousness of Ispan’s sudden good behavior is well-taken. The Aes Sedai can’t go full-bore Jack Bauer on their prisoners, maybe, but there are evidently… subtler ways to go about it.

(Maybe they used figs and mice!)


And I’m spent. Have an interrogation and explosion-free week, kiddos, and I’ll see youse later!

287 comments
F Shelley
1. FSS
Who else has seen the TOM draft cover?

Moiraine here we come!
Steven Pattingale
2. Pattingale
@1 Indeed, I posted a link to it back on the previous thread. :)

Thanks for the new re-read LB!
nipper
3. nipper
now I remember why I skip over POD when I do a reread...
a a-p
4. lostinshadow
These are some of my favorite scenes with Aviendha (before she goes insufferable in the even more insufferable and undending Andoran throne plotline).

Nyn is not one of my most favorite characters but she does shine for me here. Both because she (and this time willingly) recognizes that she's been acting like a goof and apologizes and even acknowledges that it may happen again.

And maybe in today's jaded view where many of us live together with significant others before actually getting married don't quite understand how fundamental a change marriage actually is for a person, particularly a "good girl virgin". So maybe it's normal that she's mooning after her hubby.

And kudos for wanting to help Mat.

And I agree re Alise, what is the point of starting to undermine leadership skills which they were just gaining? Both Elayne and Nyn have been steadily improving on this front and suddenly some random women undermine them yet again.

Despite Wetlandernw's excellent points on some reasons as to why the Windfinders are as annoying as they are, still Caire's actions seem inexcusable here. Though maybe she was worried a bit about putting theory into practice and took it out on those around her? that's fairly common and normal.

Edit: Wrong name. Thanks Wetlandernw
nipper
5. rsmillard
Thanks, Leigh!

Love this chapter, not just for the action but for the development of the relationships. I think the Elayne / Aviendha relationship may be my favorite in the entire series - there's just something very touching about it - and it's great to see it move up another step here.
Tina A
6. Tinaa
Thanks for the new re-read Leigh, I don't dislike these chapters at all, and you always throw up a few titbits that I missed the last time around.

Such as Nyneaves 'waves of heat'. Snigger.

Edit for spelling
Ron Garrison
7. Man-0-Manetheran
"That business with Caire screaming at Elayne when she was trying to explain the angreal to Talaan made me want to smack her into next week."

Yeah, no kiddin'! I liked how Nyn managed to work it into her demonstation of linking, though. Leigh's comparison of Caire with Beethoven's lack of social skills reminded me of a brain surgeon I knew. No social skills whatsoever, no tact! But he sure knew brain surgery, and for that I am forever grateful!

For all of Nyn's goofy obnoxiousness much of the time, she has some very endearing moments here. As we've pointed out before, it's the compensation for her insecurities that come off badly.

Elayne being proud of herself and then tripping and falling flat on her face: Been there, done that!

Alise handing Nynaeve her hat! Literally and figuratively. Tee Hee.
Lee VanDyke
8. Cloric
The call box that the Shaido Wise Ones use to summon Sammael that first time also pulled the male half when powered with only saidar, iirc. I can see how you'd forget that, since it basically started the Plot Line That Wouldn't Die.

One thing that always caught my attention here was that when the girls join the circles in Salidar she (can't remember which it was Nyn or Elayne) couldn't tell who's emotions belonged to who. Not sure if experience taught them, or if bringing them in one by one. Just a bit of inconsistency that pulled me out of the scene a little.
Tricia Irish
9. Tektonica
Thanks Leigh! Another great reread and some good analogies!

Loved Alise out Nynaeving Nynaeve! Pot-kettle-black. LOL. And I loved that Nynaeve actually noticed and apologized for her flightiness. Nice.

Many props to Nynaeve and Elayne both for recognizing that Mat had come for them and caring about him. They did make the right decision though, in light of the Seanchan invasion particularly.

Nice to have some action and explosions too. And.....on to Andor, veeeerrrryyy ssssllllooooowwwwllly.....sigh.
Tony Zbaraschuk
10. tonyz
>Sareitha: I’m not sure if Elayne’s little suspicion here re: Sareitha’s explanation of linking is ever followed up on, or what it means. I’m also not clear on why Elayne thought it was strange in that context; if it had been me, I would have assumed that Sareitha’s hesitation in her statement (that no one could be forced into a link) was because of the now known existence of a’dam.

Sareitha evidently knows something, and it probably is the a'dam -- the news has had time to spread. But I'd have to go back and re-parse her statements carefully to make sure (if she said "no woman can be forced into a link", then maybe a man can. Or just maybe it's a reference to the once-mentioned Black Ajah technique of forcing a woman into a circle against her will.)

This causes difficulties later on, when Nynaeve is teaching the Sea Folk. It's not specifically brought up, but it was obvious to me that the Sea Folk think they've caught the Aes Sedai in a lie ("forced links are impossible", but there's the a'dam, so an Aes Sedai said something that wasn't true) and so they're hammering Nynaeve hard over every statement, evidently trying to see what other lies are being told. (Nynaeve isn't lying, and neither was Sareitha so far as I know; it's just that the Oaths forbid you from intentional deceit, not from making a mistake. Evidently the Sea Folk haven't considered that. More evidence for them being dipwads.)

I very much liked the linking description, and the little flashes of emotion that came along with them. Aviendha's fear, Careine's uncertainty, Nynaeve's... heat.
Andrew Belmont
11. rosetintdworld
I feel kind of uncritical or unacademic that I've been down on the past four chapters so hard but I love Chapter 6 so much. Explosions, woo! (I will try and redeem myself some by staunchly maintaining that my favorite chapter in POD, and one of my favorites in the series, is a chapter entirely filled with talking heads.)

Apart from the much-needed action, I also think that Chapter 6 is one of Jordan's best tense action scenes. I mean, we all know he does large-scale battle well, but this scene of Elayne holding on to that one thread, waiting for it to go...Extremely intense and well-written.

Agreed with your point about women warriors, Leigh. It helps that, due to the magic system, Jordan's warriorwomen often wear normal dresses. Not to say that women shouldn't wear pants (at all!), and Birgitte does, but he did make sure that none of his female characters will ever be depicted wearing ludicrous Xena armor and looking like they should be posing for a centerfold. Thankfully! As to your larger, less frivolous, point, I think Jordan is very careful about recognizing that in matters of life and death, both men and women can do what needs to get done. This scene is a fine example (although Nynaeve v. Moghedien in TSR is probably my favorite.)
Eric Hughes
12. CireNaes
"using the Bowl was less like switching on a light, and more like playing a Beethoven sonata. This is a problem when Elayne et al were evidently not even aware the Bowl was a piano. So to speak. Caire can, possibly, be forgiven at least a little bit for her pride, therefore—though I definitely think there is such a thing as taking it too far."

Reminds me of some of the orchestral conductors I've sung under. They get really snippy when people don't pay attention. There's also a flavor of NCOish instructor there too. Great analogy.
John Mann
13. jcmnyu
Leigh wrote:

"It’s worth noting, speaking of unaware awesomeness, that Elayne unwove her Gateway—apparently an incredibly difficult undertaking—not only under the then-unknown circumstances of One Power weirdness due to using the Bowl, but while staggering with exhaustion. And it was the first time she’d ever done it!"

Actually, I think the point was that Elayne didn't unweave the gateway successfully. It came apart in an uncontrolled way and one of the many possible outcomes was "big ass explosion". Another was "still every channeler in the area" or "flash of bright light". Random chance allows her and Aviendha to still be channelers. It was yet another example of Elayne putting herself and others at risk because she thinks she knows better.
Maiane Bakroeva
14. Isilel
Given that ter'angreal are essentially machines that use OP, I am not sure why it should be a surprise that instructions to the Bowl could be programmed with just saidar. Why not make sure that weather technician of either gender could operate it?

Oh, and OP weirdness definitely starts before the gateway explosion. This is the point where "the lever" to change weather patterns via OP is applied, so it makes sense, IMHO.

I remember feeling very miffed the first time around that they _didn't_ go back for Mat, neither at that moment, nor later. Yes, their grounds are good ones, but similar reasons didn't stop Mat in the past...

I also always thought that Elayne's unweaving was a serious MoA for her, Avi and Brigitte. Elayne jumping into something as dangerous as unweaving like that was still a bit thoughtless, though. She should have just thought to invert her weaves - which Moggy taught her, right?

Re: Alise - I liked her, because it was great to see a weak channeler who was a very competent leader and have the "strength in OP" = leadership thing explicitely overturned.
Nyn, well, she goofed. And she is not a great leader anyway, as her career as a club-wielding Wisdom shows. She has tons of other accomplishments and talents, though.

For some reason I loved the Seanchan flier vignette too. It just felt so authentic. And IIRC it is our first look at a female soldier (not adventurer like Brigitte).
diane heath
15. jadelollipop
Figs and Mice coming up on my re-read of Fires of Heaven.
I had forgotten that Nynaeve wanted to go back for Mat...wow what a change in the Pattern that would have been.
Brian Kaul
16. bkaul
tonyz@10: I read her suspicion as being about the qualifier that all of the materials still in existence in the Tower indicate that someone can't be forced into a circle. The implication is that something has been redacted which indicates otherwise. Maybe this is knowledge of the adam, or maybe something else.
nipper
17. Megaduck
"Sareitha: I’m not sure if Elayne’s little suspicion here re: Sareitha’s explanation of linking is ever followed up on, or what it means. I’m also not clear on why Elayne thought it was strange in that context; if it had been me, I would have assumed that Sareitha’s hesitation in her statement (that no one could be forced into a link) was because of the now known existence of a’dam."


Moridin states that the existence of forced linking was created in the third age.

The Seanchean created the Female only A'dam.

...

So whom created the male A'dam?
How did the Black Ajah know it was in Tanchico?
How did anyone know what happened when it was used on a man?


And now Sareitha states that the White Tower once experimented creating some sort of forced link to use on male channelers.

I think we now know where the Male A'dam came from, and the flaws are why it was discontinued.
Ron Garrison
18. Man-0-Manetheran
"Elayne makes a gateway to one of her smaller estates in Andor, about two weeks’ ride from Caemlyn." Oh... I had such expectations at this moment... ::sigh::

jemnyu@13: "It was yet another example of Elayne putting herself and others at risk because she thinks she knows better."
Not exactly. It wasn't that she felt she knew better, but more like she didn't know how dangerous it was. Avi barely made a large enough gateway in Ebu Dar, and she is near exhaustion at this point, so she was not a good choice to create the gateway.

Elayne wanting to unweave the gateway was for the best of reasons: "Nynaeve, I won’t give Traveling to the Seanchan. I won’t!”

But foremost, we will probably never know whether she would have been successful or not, because: "Elayne sees one of them forming a shield, and shouts for Birgitte to go faster, but it is too late, and the damane cuts Elayne off from saidar."
Sean Arthur
19. wsean
@3 - took the words right out of my mouth. I've even been tempted to just skip the last few reread posts, just because this part of the books is so tedious.
nipper
21. chaplainchris
Yay, reread!

I really like these two chapters, and great great commentary as usual Leigh. Thanks!

@ 13 jcm@nyu - Elayne did jump in with a bigger risk than she knew, but she was right to do so. (At least if you grant that Jordan wasn't going to allow her to remember to invert the weaves for her gateway!) The risk of giving the Seanchan traveling was too big. Heck, arguably, even if the exploding gateway killed her, Aviendha, and Birgitte, the consequences of the Seanchan getting Traveling at that time would have been worse. Not only would their armies be able to go everywhere (as they now can, but not until much later), but they would have been able to pursue and capture everybody from the farm.

Couple of other thoughts. Leigh, you mention as an aside that the Aes Sedai bring down the first Seanchan beast from the mountaintop. I've always seen that as a _tiny_ little moment-of-awesome (moa instead of MoA?) for these lesser Aes Sedai. Among the least powerful on the hilltop, but they keep their heads and act decisively while all the Windfinders, Kin, and the (admittedly exhausted Supergirls) lose theirs. Couple that with the fact that, while leaving Ebou Dar, it was the Aes Sedai who abstained from threatening with the Power while the Kin and the Windfinders all did so threaten.

I consider these 2 tiny points in favor of Aes Sedai training, and perhaps even the Three Oaths. They didn't threaten to use the Power as weapons in their argument in Ebou Dar; they did use it as a weapon, quickly and decisively, against what they assumed to be Shadowspawn here.

Anyway, based on that, I always kind of liked the 5 elder Aes Sedai here, even though they are putzes in many other ways. Given this little m-o-ok-not-awesome but at least proves Aes Sedai other than Moiraine or That Woman (Cads) can be effective and not evil. Too bad that one of them is Black Ajah and they're now all dead! (Or missing, like Merilille.)

Ironic that Elayne and Nynaeve are right that the opposition will be after them, and not Mat. Of course, if it HAD been the Forsaken, they'd have targeted him before targeting them, but they still don't see that part.

Which means they should REALLY talk to Min about her viewings, dang it! Why don't these people TALK to each other!

Ahem.

Other interesting point - however well Elayne's aborted unweaving of the Gateway turned out here, the eventual consequences are dire. "Something would have to be done" - this 'Aes Sedai weapon' is the major motivator for the attack on Tar Valon, and Jordan gives us another great example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Beyond that...Nynaeve apologizes, and Elayne jumps on her as soon as the door is open! Too funny.
Lucas Vollmer
22. aspeo
First of all I love how Nynaeve can go from meek and apologetic to Elayne one second, and then turn around and start shouting orders at everyone the next. Lol she cracks me up!

Secondly I am supremely annoyed at the windfinders almost all of the time, and their behavior at the beginning of chapter five only supports my annoyance. They almost remind me of an overzealous Cadsuane, and that thought makes me shudder, bbrrrrr!

Third, although like Leigh I disliked the way Caire acts in being in charge of the bowl, I have to give her credit for how good she is at weaving the weather stuff. It seemed incredibly hard and complicated, and she just took it in stride. It doesn’t mean I can forgive the way she treated everyone though.

Fourth Nynaeve and Alise – ROFL. Ok I realize that Nynaeve’s authority is being undermined, but it’s still pretty funny when I am reading it.

Fifth I really like the whole scene with Elayne trying to pick apart the gateway and Aviendha and Birgitte staying by her to protect her from the Seanchan. It’s very intense to me, and I agree with Aviendha that an exploding gateway is not a weapon. It is amazingly lucky that at least one of them wasn’t killed, or burnt out. It also makes me wonder just how huge the blast was to have left nothing but the foundations, basically, at the kin’s farm. I can see how the Seanchan would be very weary of an opponent that was apparently capable of such devastative destruction. Could this have had a part in prodding them toward launching a pre-emptive attack on the white tower?

P.S. I also really liked the Elayne at the end of this scene sits down with the other two, and thinks heroes in stories never sit and wait for the rest of their group to come to them. It is consistent with Nynaeve and her thoughts about how they are not courageous enough and not heroes even though they have repeatedly shown themselves to be exactly that.
nipper
23. earlgrey
re: jcmnyu@13

"It was yet another example of Elayne putting herself and others at risk because she thinks she knows better."

Sorry, but I have to disagree. Elayne was basing her actions on what she had been recently told by someone she trusts i. e. Aviendha, 'that anyone who could pick out embroidery could do it.' (Sorry can't quote, I'm at work.) That isn't the type of statement that makes warning bells go off in your head. Yes, she jumps before she has all the facts, but belief in her near sister pushes her that way.
T C
24. Freelancer
Megaduck@17

The male a'dam was recognized by members of the forsaken under a different name, Domination Bands. So, a forced link which existed during or before the Breaking...
James Jones
25. jamesedjones
24 Freelancer

But Moghedien referenced it in TSR, during her fight with Nyneave, as something that was created after the AOL. Could have been fibbing, but why?
James Jones
26. jamesedjones
22 aspeo
First of all I love how Nynaeve can go from meek and apologetic to Elayne one second, and then turn around and start shouting orders at everyone the next.
She reminds me of Cote de Pablo from NCIS. If only the actress were a few years younger. :D
Joe Terrenzio
27. Terren
Quick comment regarding Elayne's thoughts that heroes in stories never sit and wait:
I always find these kinds of passages odd when I read them. I understand they are intended to humanize the characters, especially after they have just done something obviously extraordinary and heroic. Nevertheless, it always jars me out of the story when it happens because it almost always seems forced in some way. Here and elsewhere in WoT if is brief and the story continues. It has always been my least favorite part of LotR when Sam and Frodo go on and on about heroes and stories. I dunno (which awesomely is in the dictionary) exactly what my point is here, just my $0.02.
Barry T
28. blindillusion
Sareitha: I like the reason given by Encyclopaedia WoT: She implies that she and a few other sisters know how to bring men into a circle! (2). 2: Cadsuane and her friends will teach the Asha'man. (WH,Ch35)

Caire: Sure, she studied up on the Bowl of the Winds, but she still seriously misused it. The BotW was meant to control weather on a small scale. She used it on a global scale. Hence the oddness with the OP. I’m not saying it was a mistake to use it the way they did, but as we know, they’re all lucky they got out without serious consequences to their ability to Channel…though the consequences are there/about to come: One Power disruptions, extreme weather flux.

Alise: She’s the Kin’s Sorilea. Weak in the One Power but has the ability to get things done. She’s also, as others have said, another example that the way Aes Sedai base their power structure isn’t the best way to do so.

New, Powerful, Badass Beyond Belief Weapon: I remember being a little miffed that the Seanchan thought the gate exploding was a weapon. I kinda figured at some point it’d come back in a bad way. Seems I was right. (It was also at this point that I knew somehow the Seanchan would get Traveling. Probably the reason I wasn’t devastated when Elaida was captured. I mean, the Seanchan had to find out some way…and Elaida gets a nasty lesson in “Sometimes what other people say is true, even if you don’t want to believe it”…so, two birds, one stone.)
Ron Garrison
29. Man-0-Manetheran
blindillusion@28: I've always savored the idea of the Seanchan forcing Elaida to give up the secret of this enormous "weapon." Bad damane. Tell us. We know you know this.
Barry T
30. blindillusion
M-o-M

ROFL - If there has to be one more scene with Elaida in it, I'm hoping it's that.
Roger Powell
31. forkroot
aspeo@22
Secondly I am supremely annoyed at the windfinders almost all of the time, and their behavior at the beginning of chapter five only supports my annoyance. They almost remind me of an overzealous Cadsuane, and that thought makes me shudder, bbrrrrr!
Y'know that reminds me of one reason to like SWMNBN. She puts the Sea Folk in their place! Gotta love that about her.

blindillusion@28
Alise: She’s the Kin’s Sorilea. Weak in the One Power but has the ability to get things done.
Nynaeve and Elayne got it all wrong -- they should have recognized and valued Alise's ability and delegated more to her! That's the sign of real leadership.

chaplainchris@21
Couple of other thoughts. Leigh, you mention as an aside that the Aes Sedai bring down the first Seanchan beast from the mountaintop. I've always seen that as a _tiny_ little moment-of-awesome (moa instead of MoA?) for these lesser Aes Sedai.
Um, well it's actually a tiny moment of "oops" for them. Their oaths should have prevented them from doing what they did -- it was only their mistaken belief that that the raken were shadowspawn that allowed them to blast them and their riders out of the sky. It would be hard to argue that the AS could feel that they were in sufficient personal danger to get around the oaths that way.

---
Lastly, this reread reminds me just how satisfying it is to have large quantities of Seanchan blown to bits. My great regret from TGS is that Rand got better without blasting the Seanchan from the face of the earth first.

Call me bloodthirsty, but I find very little redeeming value for a culture that enslaves channeling women. Furthermore, Tuon's pressing of the attack against the WT despite overwhelming evidence that TG was almost at hand was indefensible and should have made her life and the lives of all Seanchan military forfeit.

I understand that balefiring the palace would have resulted in the death of too many Ebou Dari innocents. But maybe Rand could have gone down to the harbor and balefired all the Seanchan ships?

--
And then while I was writing the above:
M-O-M@29
blindillusion@28: I've always savored the idea of the Seanchan forcing Elaida to give up the secret of this enormous "weapon." Bad damane. Tell us. We know you know this.
Yes, yes! And let Suffa, in a moment of inspiration, realize what they are talking about and obediently botch unweaving a gateway. Ooh, I would like that scene! Could rehabilitate Elaida (posthumously) in my eyes.
R B
32. MasterAlThor
Leigh,

Great job as always. And thank goodness that everything in your neck of the woods is o.k.

I don't know exactly how close you were to that, but I am super glad that no one was hurt.

And now on we go....

Nynaeve: I was annoyed here re: Alise for the same reason I was annoyed on Elayne’s behalf in the earlier chapters—that not only is her authority getting undermined, but it’s not entirely without cause. I mean, yes, Nynaeve is kind of acting like an idiot here, but anyone who’s had this “efficiency backstab” method of office politics happen to them (which is basically what Alise is doing to Nynaeve here) should at least be able to sympathize a little.


See I can't be annoyed here, basically I see it as this. If Alise was not as efficent as she was then Nynaeve would have had nothing nice to say about her. Alise can't win in this with Nynaeve. Nynaeve manages to think that everyone is an idiot until she proves otherwise(men have no chance).

I think that I do understand what you mean about the women in combat situations thingy. The girls here show compentency and ability that should be the standard for all heroes. So I am down with this.

And you are 100% on with the jerk to ability ratio. Yeah the minute Rand started his whole I am the Dragon Reborn, I can bend the pattern to kill you if I want made me consider a name change.

DragonofthePortHuronseptoftheRussellAiel
Chin Bawambi
33. bawambi
One problem I had with the scenes during and after the use of the bowl is...what about the taint on saidin?
but maybe we could discuss it ... maybe that's why the OP went so squirrelly for awhile?

Get off of my lawn!
R B
34. MasterAlThor
Yeah, I forgot to add this little tidbit that struck me.

Windfinders: Yeah, still not liking the Sea Folk, at all.


Now, I just know that those of us who don't like the Sea Folk aren't disliking the Sea Folk based on just a few characters right?

I mean disliking a race of people based on the actions of a few....there is a term for that, but for some reason it escapes me.

Yeah we don't get a great many views from the Sea Folk perspective but I am absolutely sure that not all of them are bad.

You'll have to forgive me, it is a battle that I have fought all of my life. I freely admit I may be going overboard.

Dragon
Jennifer B
35. JennB
I like these two chapters. In 5 we finally get the big payoff from tBotW plotline and then in 6 we get a very emotionally intense scene that demonstrates the bravery and strong friendship between the characters. Even Leigh's summary made me start to tear up.

I don't think Alise has any intentions of trying to upstage Nynaeve. She is just doing her job, which is keeping the people from the farm in line. Nynaeve is impressed by her. She just doesn't quite know how to react.
Barry T
36. blindillusion
bawambi -

The OP went squirrelly for awhile because tBotW was used in a way outside its parameters.

This is also the reason the OP is mostly "wrong" around Ebou Dar and the spokes the radiate from the Weave.
Marcus W
37. toryx
Elayne sticks her fingers into something without thinking: Things go boom.

Seems kind of like par for the course to me. :)
Roger Powell
38. forkroot
M-A-T@34
I mean disliking a race of people based on the actions of a few....there is a term for that, but for some reason it escapes me.

Yeah we don't get a great many views from the Sea Folk perspective but I am absolutely sure that not all of them are bad.

You'll have to forgive me, it is a battle that I have fought all of my life. I freely admit I may be going overboard.
You make an excellent point, buttressed by the fact that when we first meet the Sea Folk back in TSR, the rank and file are certainly not obnoxious.

In the more recent books, we do meet a serious of arrogant, unpleasant Windfinders and Wavemistresses, but they are all of some rank. Imagine what someone would think of my race (White) if their only interaction with Whites was with high-ranking White politicians? The thought gives me the creeps!

So my friend, you did not go overboard, nor is forgiveness required. The toh is mine.
Captain Hammer
39. Randalator
chaplainchris @21

Other interesting point - however well Elayne's aborted unweaving of the Gateway turned out here, the eventual consequences are dire. "Something would have to be done" - this 'Aes Sedai weapon' is the major motivator for the attack on Tar Valon, and Jordan gives us another great example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Although, arguably, the discovery of Traveling by the Seanchan would have had the same consequences. "Marath'damane hopping through holes in the air, frying our armies, our leaders, maybe even the Empressmaysheliveforever? Can't have that. Something has to be done."
Chin Bawambi
40. bawambi
blind

Even if I stop playing DA about this - ok I will - it still strikes me as odd at the least that there is NO mention of the taint during the BoTW usage - its like Jordan convienently forgot the taint for a major scene - very hinky.


Get off of my lawn!
Lucas Vollmer
41. aspeo
bawambi @40
I don't think RJ forgot about the taint. The women could not see or feel saidin. They just knew something was surrounding the saidar column and figured it must be saidin.
Daniel Goss
42. Beren
Toryx@37
Elayne sticks her fingers into something without thinking: Things go boom.

Great . . . I just barely manage to get my mind out of the gutter and then you post this.
Roger Powell
43. forkroot
bawambi@40
Not sure I follow your logic. It seems to me that all we've ever heard about the effects of the taint is that it eventually causes male channelers to go mad. There's never been any indication that it affects inanimate objects like the Bowl.

When Caire uses the Bowl, the Bowl itself draws upon saidan but I don't think the women in the circle touch saidan in any way. Even if they were somehow exposed to saidan it is a one-time exposure, not repeated.

Tony Zbaraschuk
44. tonyz
>There's never been any indication that it affects inanimate objects like the Bowl.

It's been suggested that the taint is what caused the Ways to go bad. (There are other suggestions, too, but this might be one example of the taint affecting inanimate objects.)
Captain Hammer
45. Randalator
tonyz @44

It's been suggested that the taint is what caused the Ways to go bad. (There are other suggestions, too, but this might be one example of the taint affecting inanimate objects.)

Actually, no. The Ways are living things, so if they're connected to saidin and saidar it's plausible that they're susceptible to the taint.
Jennifer B
46. JennB
tonyz@44
The Ways are alive. They are a living construct that was grown using saidin. That they are not inamimate is the very reason the taint affects them.
nipper
47. boquaz
AlThor@34

I don't see a problem with "not liking" the Sea Folk. It's really obnoxious to extrapolate discussion of the Sea Folk in this context to racism. Context in language is hugely important.

How exactly would you like us to refer to this particular, small group of people (who are annoying)?

I don't think "going overboard" comes close to describing what you're trying to do here. (Being a weenie by not using the r-word doesn't help.)

You're trivializing racism by trying to incorporate useful and appropriate literary criticism into its definition. Let's not do that, ok?
Roger Powell
48. forkroot
boquaz@47
I think you are missing Master-Al-Thor's point which is that we are projecting characteristics onto a group (all Sea Folk) based on our interactions with a limited subset of that group. As I pointed out earlier, his argument is strong as we have seen some Sea Folk who are neither arrogant nor obnoxious.

I am not too familiar with your other postings, or how long you have followed this group, but I will tell you that M-A-T has posted some of the most thoughtful comments on racism that I have seen in this forum. Before you go accusing him of trivializing racism, you might want to look back and read some of the other stuff he has written.

Lest the tone of this posting come across as too harsh, let me be clear that I am not attempting to "beat you up". I do want to let you know that there's a "body of work" out there, since M-A-T has been a long-time poster, that those of us who have followed the group are aware of. So perhaps we have a better view of "where he's coming from".
Eric Hughes
49. CireNaes
Randalator@45

What about the seals on the DO's prison? Since the Taint is viewed as the DO's touch can we assume that it would not adversely effect ter'angreal or angreal that draw on the male half of the source over the long term?

boquaz@47

Yikes. Haven't had a flame war round these parts in quite some time. Try following forkroot's advice.
Jennifer B
50. JennB
CiresNaes@49
I always thought the the seals were weakening because of external pressure rather than the taint. The DO has been pushing on them for 3,000 years.
D R
51. Ouroboros
lostinshadow @4

Do you find Aviendha insufferable?

Re. Alise. I don't think she's doing anything malicious at this point, I think it's just that she's naturally very efficient and one of those people who always takes charge. That said, there's a scene in WH where she's rebuking the way Nynaeve lets Lan speak out which did get on my wick.

RE: Sea Folk. This is where they start to get annoying. In their defense though, there entire culture is that of half navy half merchant. In other words, they live a life where orders are followed with no questions asked and disobedience is punished heavily. This is hardly unusual when compared to life at sea in the 17th century. When Caire is leading the bowl circle she is in full command mode, and I can forgive at least a little of her harshness.

As an aside. They're also just starting to figure out that the White Tower has been pulling one of the biggest scams of all time, making everyone think that they are some how better and more knowledgeable than everyone else. And here they are, confronted by the ugly truth.

RE: Nynaeve. It's nice to see her show some true self-awareness. It's also nice to see that she really does care about Mat, despite the way she treats him. We see more of this in TGS.

tonyz @10

The BA's forcing a woman into a circle could just involve torturing her until she allows herself to be drawn into the circle the usual way. Once you've joined the circle, you can't let go until the person leading it let's you go. They probably do it so that they can be aware of what the victim is feeling. It would help the questioning.

CireNaes @12 RE: "Reminds me of some of the orchestral conductors I've sung under. They get really snippy when people don't pay attention."

And why not. They're trying to hold over a hundred people together and a choir chattering in the background is incredibly annoying for the other players. It also doesn't help when they don't watch the stick and just go there own way.

jcmnyu @13

Agreed, Elayne didn't unpick the weave successfully at all. I'm not Elayne bashing here. It's made clear that she was losing control of the unpicking at the end. Admittedly, it wasn't easy since she was tired and Saidar was pretty well knackered by this point, but still, she burnt the farm to a crisp. Not good. It would have been interesting to see how well she did in fair weather conditions.

Isilel @14

The bowl is a rather strange device. It is clearly drawing in power itself, but everyone in the circle is exhausted by the end. It sounds like the more power you put in, the harder it pulls power in from elsewhere. In this sense, it's almost acting like a sa/ter'angreal combo. What's even stranger is that it probably has to draw in an equal quantity of Saidin to balance the weave (assumption there). With this in mind, it's hard to say whether having men in the circle would have helped or not.

I know the last reread brought up whether it was the exploding gateway that caused the strangeness in the power, but it's definitely mentioned before they use the power again that there was something strange in the neighborhood.

RE: the Seanchan flier POV. Agreed. I wish we had more POVs for other "lesser" characters. In fact, some other POVs might have made some of the slower plots go more quickly. I'm not that bothered by the Sea Folk, and that's probably because I remember the few POVs that we get from there people, which make it clear that they're not all that bad.

Megaduck @17

There as probably other bits and bobs about a'dam, but the only bits I remember clearly, and could find, are below.

From TGH:
Egwene knew incredulity must be painting her face, because Renna laughed openly. “When Luthair Paendrag Mondwin, son of the Hawkwing, first faced the Armies of the Night, he found many among them who called themselves Aes Sedai. They contended for power among themselves and used the One Power on the field of battle. One such, a woman named Deain, who thought she could do better serving the Emperor—he was not Emperor then, of course—since he had no Aes Sedai in his armies, came to him with a device she had made, the first a’dam, fastened to the neck of one of her sisters. Though that woman did not want to serve Luthair, the a’dam required her to serve. Deain made more a’dam, the first sul’dam were found, and women captured who called themselves Aes Sedai discovered that they were in fact only marath’damane, Those Who Must Be Leashed. It is said that when she herself was leashed, Deain’s screams shook the Towers of Midnight..."

From TGS:
"Also," the woman said, handing something forward, wrapped in cloth. "I am to give you this." She removed the cloth, revealing a dull-colored metallic collar, and two bracelets. The Domination Band. Crafted during the Breaking, strikingly similar to the a'dam Semirhage had spent so much time working with.

Make of that what you will.

chaplainchris @21

RE: but at least proves Aes Sedai other than Moiraine or That Woman (Cads) can be effective and not evil.

Is that a tiny, itsy-bitsy, Cadsuane bash I see there? *Frown*

RE: Why don't these people TALK to each other!

Why is water dry? Why does Elayne always lower her chin? Why does Nynaeve respect and trust every man she meets? Why is Taim such a lovable teddy-bear? Well, you get the idea. If they did talk to each other, this thing would be shorter than, well, a very short thing. In stead of being longer than LotR feels.

aspeo @22

"The other concern has been the large number of marath'damane concentrated in the place known as Tar Valon. I believe the Highest Daughter has heard of the great weapon they used to destroy a large patch of land north of Ebou Dar."
Tuon nodded.
"The sul'dam have never seen its like," Yulan continued. "We assume it is a thing of damane, which can be taught to them, if the right marath'damane are taken. This wondrous ability they have to transport instantly from one place to another—if true—will prove a second technique of great tactical advantage that we must capture."


jamesedjones @26

Ziva vs. Nyneave. That's a match I'd pay to see.

Man-0-Manetheran @29

A bigger worry is that Tuon spends some time thinking about ways to get around the three oaths. Min sees a viewing of Carlinya and a raven tattoo which means that more Ais Sedai will be captured and Egwene has a dream of Ais Sedai being forced to fight against the tower. Not good.

forkroot @31 RE: Nynaeve and Elayne got it all wrong -- they should have recognized and valued Alise's ability and delegated more to her! That's the sign of real leadership.

Unfortunately, at this point Elayne's leadership abilities seem to change with the weather; one day she's a capable leader, the next, she's definitely not, though she gets more consistent in the later books. And Nynaeve can't deal with anyone who reveals her limitations or threatens her position at the top of the tree.

MasterAlThor @32

Rand's attitude in ACoS was already getting in the way of sympathising with him. I was prepared to set some of that aside because of his treatment from Elaida's Rand Baggers, but only to a point. And by the time we get to TGS, well. The True Power definitely didn't help, but there's little left there to like. Okay, he may actually be going insane, and with all that LTD stuff, it's hard not to think so, but I hope that we get some payback for sitting through 7 books worth of him turning into a rather unlikable character.

bawambi @40

Like forkroot said, the taint only affects people who are actually channeling Saidin, and no one in the circle can even see it, only where Saidar is being woven around something else. I.E. the bowl is channeling Saidin, not the women. That does raise the question of whether a woman leading a mixed circle would go mad if she kept it up for long enough.

Randalator @45 and JennB @46

Indeed. The ways are a living thing which is corrupted over thousands of years. I think it would take a lot more channeling than the bowl put out to cause any physical damage to the world.
nipper
52. AndrewB
Leigh,

Thank you for the post. Thoughtful as usual. That said, I do have one bone of contention (This will echo MasterAlThor's comments @32.

I disagree with your thoughts on Nynaeve and Alise. I do not see Alise as usurping Nynaeve's authority. Nynaeve, despite what she thinks, is not a natural leader and organizer. She is a bully: follow me or else. Characterizing Nynaeve as an organizer would be the equivalent of characterizing a tsunami as an effective means of redecorating. The tsunami will only result in redecoration in the sense that it will destroy what was previously in place.

Thank you for reading my musings,
Andrew B
Noneo Yourbusiness
53. Longtimefan
@ 52
Andrew, a tsunami allows for that "minimalist" feel. So many places are cluttered with such unwieldy decor like oh, I don't know, trees, parkways, automobiles, buildings. It is just so roccoco. A tsunami lightens the mood.

sort of.

Now an exploding unwoven traveling portal. That really clears away some clutter. Talk about your clean lines and simple color palette.
Captain Hammer
54. Randalator
Ouroboros @51

Indeed. The ways are a living thing which is corrupted over thousands of years. I think it would take a lot more channeling than the bowl put out to cause any physical damage to the world.

And since there is the fabled Talisman of Growing it's rather safe to assume that saidin plays a vital role in their creation, maybe even their prolonged existence. This continuous connection with saidin as their source of life or blood flowing through their veins or whatever you want to call it is what corrupts them. The taint can enter as a part of their physical nature.

I don't think any amount of channeling could ever have that effect, because it's a whole different story. Saidin needs a direct connection to your inner workings for the taint to affect you. If I'm right, you could channel at a tree for eons without any effect at all. It's just being channeled at as opposed to saidin being a part of it's very nature.
Tina Pierce
56. scissorrunner
longtimefan
clean lines and simple color palette
YIKES!

***mumblemumblemumble**
need to go read the last 2 reread posts & what will probably be a gagillion posts. hate spring colds
***mumblemumblemumble***

but love the posts!!!!!!
R B
57. MasterAlThor
boquaz @47

I see that you are new here. So let me be frank. You are mischaracterizing what I am saying.

Forkroot, got it, but you seem to have missed it.

I don't see a problem with "not liking" the Sea Folk. It's really obnoxious to extrapolate discussion of the Sea Folk in this context to racism. Context in language is hugely important.


Well see here is where we disagree. If you don't like some of the Sea Folk, I don't have a problem with this. To subject you dislike to a whole race is a problem to me. And I used Leigh's quote, so I got the context right.

This has been commented on several times ever since the Sea Folk showed up. If you got the time, go back and look at the post.

How exactly would you like us to refer to this particular, small group of people (who are annoying)?


What I would like you to do is realize that when you say Sea Folk it is like saying French people, Americans, or Canadians. If you are talking about the Windfinders then say Windfinders.

Maybe Leigh was just refering to Windfinders here, but she is on record as saying that she does not like the Sea Folk. That is the race of people.

I don't think "going overboard" comes close to describing what you're trying to do here. (Being a weenie by not using the r-word doesn't help.)


Understand I am trying to be nice here. I don't like calling people out, but this bugged me. So I commented. I also don't have an issue with admitting I make mistakes. And just so you know, I do not think that Leigh is a racist. So hence I didn't use the word. Which by the way was said in a humorous way. Sorry you didn't find it funny.

You're trivializing racism by trying to incorporate useful and appropriate literary criticism into its definition. Let's not do that, ok?


This is absurd. I am the last person that is going to cry wolf. I hate that more than you can possibly know and I have posted about that very thing before. Forkroot said you should go back and read some of my earlier post when I spoke about racism. I strongly suggest you heed his advice.

Seriously, if you don't want to like an entire race of people that is fine with me. You make a comment about it and I will repond. You might not like what I have to say.


Fair enough?

Dragon
R B
58. MasterAlThor
Brother forkroot has no toh to me.

Dragon
john massey
59. subwoofer
Whew! Sorry to be late again, but dealing with a blizzard up here is time consuming.

Ahem- Stardate 63805.8 Subwoofer's log mark 4.1

Alise- everyone in RL seems to find the Sea Folk chapters grinding. Alise really rises to the occasion.
Elayne was treated to the sight of Alise shaking her finger under the astonished noses of the Windfinder to the Mistress of the Ships to the Atha'an Miere, delivering a tongue-lashing on the subject of theft that left Renaile spluttering indignantly.

Loved it.

Normally I am bagging on the SGs but in light of things, the girls really do rise up and when dealing with each other, and not the boys, they show honor and consideration and respect. Throw one of the trinity into the mix and things go wonky. But this was bags of awesome to me, which is why I am quoting like a champion.

Now these chapters were all about the girls and it was pure gold. I did not see gender here, just people kicking butt, which is why I signed up for this shindig to begin with. Birgette- Warder's Honor- first one through, last one out.
"The crest!" Birgette shouted joyfully. "We made it! It's good wine and a well set-up man tonight!"

This line floored me, I like it so much I use it often- er, of course modifying it for my guy perspective, but still, it rocks.

"You wish to take me?" Aviendha shouted. "Then come and dance with me!" Saidar's glow abruptly surrounded her, dim even with the angreal, and balls of fire sprang into being in front of the gateway and sprayed through again and again. Not very large balls, but the blasts as they burst back in Altara sounded in a steady stream. Aviendha panted with effort, though; her face glistened with sweat. Birgette had recovered her bow; she looked every inch the hero of legend, blood streaming down her leg, barely able to stand, but an arrow half drawn, searching for a target.


Bags of Awesome. We were talking about book covers- this is it for this one IMHO. The three girls whooping butt. Bar none.

And when things go sideways and they are knocked loopy on queer street, picking up the pieces after was the best. Battered, bleeding, having problems with gravity, but grateful to be alive. BTDT and it brings back some memories. Good times:)

Oh yeah, Ny- never really made the connection, because she was older than the rest of the TR folk, but it would make sense that Lan was her "first" and that would explain Ny losing her internal compass.

@Andrew- well, interesting, but I think of it as relocating, not redecorating;)

Elaida, I seem to remember a one of the people coming back making a report on a debacle showing her how to weave a gateway. That being said, as evidenced by Elayne, the unraveling of said gateway is not so easy, nor is that common knowledge. I don't know if Elaida has the kind of insight to make that mental leap.

Woof™.
nipper
60. Gadget
I was always of the firm belief that this chapter (and a condensed version of the previous ones) should have ended the super-girl plot thread in Crown of Swords. It would have given closure the whole Bowls of Winds issue and given a great climax for this group at the end of the book to go along with the Rand/Sammy climax. Perhaps other parts of Path could be easily grafted into either Crown or Winter and we would have one fewer book in the series (but hopefully a much tighter story).

Maybe I'm prejudiced because, like Leigh, Path was the first book I had to wait for after I discovered the series and I found the initial reward for the wait...lacking. On subsequent re-reads I have come to appreciate Path more for some of its subtleties, but still...
j p
61. sps49
Commodores and senior captains don't go ordering ship's crew about, they go through the Captain. I see Alise as being "Captain" of the Farm, and doing an excellent job of it.

The Seanchan were not going to leave Tar Valon alone, no matter what.

Does the Farm afterward sound like Tunguska to anyone else?

I give the antiair Aes Sedai props. The raken were either shadowspawn or a threat maybe worse than death. Deal with your Oaths however you like, but when enemies come a'calling, blast them out of the sky.

MAT @34-

There are a few nice Sea Folk, but something happens to them as they go up in rank. Apparently. I know I've aired my dislike for them, but that is directed at their culture, not every individual.
Captain Hammer
62. Randalator
subwoofer @59

Oh yeah, Ny- never really made the connection, because she was older than the rest of the TR folk, but it would make sense that Lan was her "first" and that would explain Ny losing her internal compass.

She hasn't lost her internal compass, it's just pointing toward an entirely different north pole recently...okay, that didn't sound so dirty in my head...
john massey
63. subwoofer
@Randalator- since when did Lan's junk become magnetic?

Woof™.
j p
64. sps49
bawambi @40-

Good point. Are ter'angreal affected by the Taint? Are there any other ter's using saidin but activated by females?

Ouroboros @51 (and others)-

I still like Rand. He is under enormous pressure, and is doing pretty well. Not perfectly, no. But I think after his epiphany on Dragonmount signals a change for the good.

subwoofer @59-

If it isn't too late, I second your nomination for PoD eBook cover.

@63-

Only for Nynaeve. (And Myrelle?)
Adam Bodestyne
65. thanners
“Mat’s in the city. I have to go back for him. Burn the boy; he came for me, and I have to.”

Nynaeve nodded, slowly, painfully; Elayne thought she murmured, “Oh, Mat.”

These are why I didn't really find it out of character in TGS for Nynaeve to defend Mat. While I'm sure she'd feel free to keep giving Mat the rough side of her tongue if she felt he deserved it, she really does care for him, and acknowledges his assistance (even if she finds it hard to acknowedge it in his presence), and wouldn't stand by some random (as far as she knows) insulting him.

Also, there is this little part from ACOS ch16, where Mat ran into Teslyn and Joline:
Nynaeve badly needed to be snatched down a peg or six but he was not about to stand by and listen to this woman talk Nynaeve down.

It really shows the sort of relationship they have.
Thomas Keith
66. insectoid
Great Post Leigh!! I don't really have the brainpower necessary at the moment to compose anything about the chapter (and the bits of Awesome in it), but... Okay, maybe I do. But it might be a bit long.

Moonlight Sonata: You mean you know how to play it? Cool! ;)

Ch. 5:
The Bowl: Is a pretty cool scene, actually; one of the better ones in the book.

Avi & Nyn acting oddly: Talk about Bizzaro World... Most likely it's because of the

dagger ter'angreal, though that's unproven. As for Nyn's "waves of heat"...

::snicker::

Sea Folk: Are still annoying.

Alise: Is total Awesomesauce compared to the Sea Folk.

Ch. 6:
Nyn getting her hat handed to her: LOL!

Elayne really ought to have Birgitte teach her some of those Old Tongue curses. ;D

Seanchan: ::grinds teeth::

Namelle Sisters & Ispan: ::shudder:: But figs and mice are a good idea! ::wicked g—cough::

Chaplainchris @21:
Why don't these people TALK to each other!
Because then there would be fewer books...

Fork @31: Re: Suffa... That's not a bad idea! Except I don't think Elaida is quite bright enough to make the connection...

Ouro @51: Nice wall o' thoughts! :)

Longtimefan @53: LOL!!

Randalator @62 & Sub @63: BAHAHAhahaha!! ::rolling on the floor clutching sides::

Bzzz™.
Bonnie Andrews
67. misfortuona
Whew late to the party again, but here I am.
Great post Leigh. Yep love the supergirls in these chapters. All sorts of bonding and respect flowing here.
Alise - I felt sorry for Nyn, but never saw Alise as having purposfully undermined her. Nyn's reaction was funny and understandable given who she is and where she came from. The poor girl really needs a bottle of silver hair colour to bolster her confidence.

Sub@63 Wave, haven't talked in a while.
So that's how she knows where he is without the bond. It all makes sense now.

Mis-musing
Jennifer B
68. JennB
Sub@59
Great idea for a cover!

Randalator@62 and Sub (again)@63
I don't usually laugh out loud when I am reading, but I definately got a "What?" from my husband for that one.

And misfortuona@67
You're addition made me smile.

(Luckily my husband has read the books, so the joke was easy to explain.)
Sharon E.
69. Sulin
I've always liked these two chapters. RJ's description of using the Bowl and the collapsing of the gateway is some amazing writing IMO. I love the friendship tightening up between Elay/Avi- the chapter where they become first-sisters is one of my faves in the series.

I really like the POW of the Seanchan soldiers on the raken.

forkroot@ 31-
My great regret from TGS is that Rand got better without blasting the Seanchan from the face of the earth first.
Heh, glad I'm not the only one! (I just waited for someone else to admit it) :D

SulinoftheMassiveCarnageSeptoftheBloodthirstyAiel
Joseph Blaidd
70. SteelBlaidd
Elayne is definitely made of win in these chapters. Also getting the "Military Discipline will be observed" vibe off of Renaile and the rest of the senior Windfinders.

Fourthing MAT@32. Why would Alise think they have any authority. After all they are obviously the youngest Aei Sedai there. By Kin rules Adeleas and Vandene are obviously the "Leaders" of the group, Nyn and El are being sent around to do the scut work and she(Alise)should be doing that anyway. I keep seeing her as a senior non-com taking pity on a couple of butter bars who are getting a little to involved in the minutia of getting their command moving.

I do have to take this moment to again be appreciative, despite all the criticisms I may have, of Jordan’s treatment of female characters in many respects, of which this scene is an excellent example. It’s a little difficult to explain, but I just really like that Birgitte and Aviendha (and Elayne, in a different way) are all depicted here not as “female warriors in a combat situation”, but as “warriors in a combat situation”, full stop. I’m not sure how to explicate the difference, which can often be very subtle, and additionally is obviously subjective anyway, but it is a frequent mild-to-major irritant to me in many depictions of female fighters in fiction.


I often have this problem too, it come in large part because a lot of "warrior women" in fiction are basically just men with boobs so their authors have to go out of their way to emphasize their "femaleness" during combat. Jordan's women are all unselfconsciously female. Even Birgite and Aviendha, who are the closest to the standard "Amazon," are women not Barbie doll shaped men. Therefore, RJ can concentrate on writing "Nynaeve vs. Moghedean" not "Nynaeve (who is a WOMAN) vs. Moghedean(another WOMAN)." In this case it's "Elayne, Aviendha and Brigite hold back the Seanchan" not "Three WOMEN hold back the INVADEING ARMY."
j p
71. sps49
SteelBlaidd @70-

I laughed at "butter bars", but they really should have some command experience at lower levels first. Unless Thom and Juilin in Tanchico & Ebou Dar counted.
Hugh Arai
72. HArai
sps49@71: Doesn't count unless ignoring highly skilled humint specialists is good command experience.
nipper
73. Jonathan Levy
"using the Bowl was less like switching on a light, and more like playing a Beethoven sonata. This is a problem when Elayne et al were evidently not even aware the Bowl was a piano. "

It's little snippets like this which make me love these re-reads. Go Leigh!
Mikey Bennett
74. EvilMonkey
@65
Sure Nana cares about Mat. Hell, her mother henning approach is what got her outta the Two Rivers and onto the path of becoming the greatest female healer alive (now that Semirhage the sadistic one is dead by balefire).
a a-p
75. lostinshadow
Ouroboros@51

Actually I like Aviendha, she has been one of my favorites since she first showed up. And in these chapters she really shines for me. What I was trying to say was that my love for her took a sharp downturn after she and Elayne had become first sisters and proceeded to apparently do nothing but take baths and pick out dresses.

The Andoran throne plotline is my absolute least favorite in the series (despite me also liking Elayne and Brigitte) and so maybe it's a side effect of that but almost everything in that plotline seems insufferable to me. I started liking Avi again in TGS when she was without Elayne.

Their "sisterhood" makes me wish they would just dump Rand for each other since they seem to like each other more than they like Rand and it would really work out for the better because Rand should really be with Min who is the only one who really gets him.

Oh and Rand has and still is my favorite character, I don't think he is hard to read at all, I find his acceptance of his role and trying to do his best despite all sorts of obstacles really convincing.
Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
Let me just say here, anyone who still thinks they could have done this without the Windfinders is taking "just because they think it doesn't mean it's true" way, way, way too far! No way, no how, could the girls have taken it back to Salidar and "figured it out" with the AS there. Can you imagine? Sheesh.

lostinshadow @4 - Oops. You mean Caire, not Careane (she's the AS who turns out to be Black). And in my comments, I think I maybe mentioned that I didn't think I could stand Caire in any circumstances... She's a bitter, power-hungry, self-centered harridan, as near as I can see, and her sister is pretty much the same. No, I wouldn't want to be around either of them any longer than necessary. And you're correct in that nothing I said in defense of the Windfinders' behavior for the next few books excuses Caire's behavior in this scene. Along with being bitter, power-hungry and self-centered, she's also arrogant, high-handed and completely unwilling to see the possibility of anyone else having a valid point to make, or knowing something she doesn't know. From what we see of her personality, she's the kind of person who is deeply offended that anyone knows something she doesn't, and can only grudgingly admit that there's anything someone can teach her - including linking or angreal use - and particularly if it's a shorebound wuss. Given that kind of personality, and especially with the little kernel of uncertainty, it's to be expected that she would stomp on Elayne, Nynaeve and everyone else, once she's put in charge of the circle; that doesn't make it right or remotely excusable.

OTOH, given the "military discipline" several have mentioned, which does not mix well with... well... anyone not in said military... I suppose we could have expected a fair bit of stomping one way or another. But I still don't like Caire. And all the stuff about being forcibly removed from their natural habitat, etc. hasn't yet come into play; that begins to happen in Chapter 6. From there on, I can grant them that... understanding.

I do, however, maintain my position from the previous post: I like the Sea Folk culture in general, at least the glimpses we get of it. It's just this particular group of women, and at that just the higher-ranking ones (along with Harine over in that other plot-line) who irritate me with their arrogance and, essentially, bigotry. Some of it is understandable based on their culture and their situation, but that doesn't make me like them a lot better here. Still, let me say it again: I like the Sea Folk culture; I think they get a lot of things right. YMMV.

jcmnyu @13 - You are very hard on Elayne for making a decision based on the information she had, not knowing the risks inherent in the details she doesn't know. She had seen it done successfully, was told the principle and was told that it could be dangerous (of course, the AS said it was impossible, but it obviously wasn't). The time lapse between the two events was less than two hours, most of it full of *angreal-sorting and Bowl-using, with no expectation of needing to learn how to unweave a gateway; why would she be asking more questions about it during that time? But suddenly she's looking at a scenario in which the Seanchan are coming SOON, and if she just allows the gateway to collapse per normal operation, the damane may well learn to Travel and be able to follow them all to Andor. Those two possibilities are worth a pretty fair risk to stop; Elayne knew perfectly well she was risking her life. The fact that she didn't know she could still every woman within a hundred yards is rather a quibble; she sent everyone away before she did more than pull the first string. If she could have sent Aviendha and Birgitte, she'd have done that; they stayed, knowing they risked everything as well. But she was right - if she'd followed standard procedure, it risked far more than just they three; even if everyone else had stayed to watch, the risk of giving Travelling and easy access to the center of the continent was too much when there was any alternative. In any case, as Man-o-Manetheran @18 pointed out, Elayne didn't exactly fail; she was shielded.

Longtimefan@53 - LOL!!!

@several, on Nynaeve and leadership, there's a line from Elayne (not quoted by Leigh) just after Nynaeve apologizes up on the hilltop and then, after their conversation, goes back out to take charge:
Sometimes, it was difficult to tell Nynaeve leading from Nynaeve bullying. As long as she did lead, though.
Make of it what you will. I cracked up.

SteelBlaidd @70 - "Jordan's women... are not Barbie doll shaped men." ROFL!!!!!!! Very good.
David Platt
77. The Not So Dark One
Freelancer @ 24 and Jamesedjones @26 -

You could both be right - maybe they had "Domination" in the AOL but not in the form of bands - so when he see's the male a'dam he applied the word domination to the bands and comes up with the term from his own points of reference.

So...domination from AOL, male a'dam from after as per Moghedien? Maybe.
Janet Hopkins
78. JanDSedai
Sorry to be offline; I was in Nashville over the weekend:( Then finally got home to Clarksville, and my road was closed for flooding. But at least my house in on the hill, and I can still get in and out. As I gather, few homes in Clarksville are underwater, but the main toll is for businesses on Riverside Drive-- which is currently *in* the river.

Ironically, part of the flooded area in Nashville (near Opryland Hotel) is called "the Two Rivers".

As to the re-read, I'm glad things happen in these chapters. But I enjoyed the lead-in in the previous chapters. If RJ just cuts to the chase and does the exciting parts, they seem to get lost in the narrative, somehow.

This was an exciting day for the SG's! It is hard to realize that they found the BotW, fought the gholam and BA, went back to the palace and taverened the SF into going inland, traveled to the farm, used the bowl, and escaped the Seanchan by exploding the Gate all before sundown. Talk about fun-filled days!
Captain Hammer
79. Randalator
lostinshadow @75

Their "sisterhood" makes me wish they would just dump Rand for each other since they seem to like each other more than they like Rand and it would really work out for the better

I'll be in my bunk...
Dorothy Johnston
81. CloudMist
subwoofer @59: as someone else has mentioned, this is the scene that should be on the e-book cover for POD. Instead, we'll be stuck with Rand using Callandor or the attack on the palace in Cairhein.
Tricia Irish
82. Tektonica
Thanners@65;

I agree with you about the Mat/Nynaeve relationship and why it seemed perfectly normal in tGS when she defended him to Fortuona. They've got the Two Rivers Glue, and mutual respect.

Various, re: SeaFolk:

Hi MAT**waves**....thanks for your comments. I'm sure I"m guilty of lumping all the SeaFolk into the "don't like" category, as the ones we get to see from here on are the irritating high command.

Last night I reread Ch.19 of The Shadow Rising, "Wavedancer," where Nynaeve and Elayne, in Tear, ask the Gift of Passage from Coine din Jubai Wild Winds, Sailmistress, and Jorin din Jubai White Wing, Windfinder of The Wavedancer.

The SGs are treated with the utmost respect, openness and even humor. I was amazed, as the Seafolk we have become accustomed to in the later books are so arrogant and irritating. The point being....not all SeaFolk are irritating and to generalize is a huge mistake. I do wish we had experienced more of the nice ones though! If you want a different perspective on the SeaFolk, reread this chapter.

JanDSedai@78:

Glad you are OK, and I send my prayers for your neighbors caught in the flood. I experienced several of them growing up on the Mississippi River in Illinois and it's a long, dirty process to clean up. Those businesses will be a mess for a long time. :-( So sorry.

lostinshadow@75:

Their "sisterhood" makes me wish they would just dump Rand for each other since they seem to like each other more than they like Rand and it would really work out for the better because Rand should really be with Min who is the only one who really gets him.

Totally totally agree!! I am mystified as to why both Avi and Elayne have been kept away from Rand for many books/months/years? I know Elayne has to do the succession on her own, but she could have surreptitious visits from her lover! They all have traveling, after all. Min is the only one who deserves him.....and I mean that in a good way. I like Rand and I *heart* Min for being his only true close confidant throughout the series.

Edit: for incorrect italics mark.
Sydo Zandstra
83. Fiddler
I've been tagging along for awhile now, but didn't feel the need to reply much (Wetlandernw usually says what I think anyway) nor did I have much time. Catching up was hard enough ;)

Anyway, this part contains something that has bugged me from when PoD first came out, and still did after discussing it it on the old newsgroup.


chaplainchris@21:

Couple of other thoughts. Leigh, you mention as an aside that the Aes Sedai bring down the first Seanchan beast from the mountaintop. I've always seen that as a _tiny_ little moment-of-awesome (moa instead of MoA?) for these lesser Aes Sedai.

I consider these 2 tiny points in favor of Aes Sedai training, and perhaps even the Three Oaths. They didn't threaten to use the Power as weapons in their argument in Ebou Dar; they did use it as a weapon, quickly and decisively, against what they assumed to be Shadowspawn here.

sps49@61:

I give the antiair Aes Sedai props. The raken were either shadowspawn or a threat maybe worse than death. Deal with your Oaths however you like, but when enemies come a'calling, blast them out of the sky.


What happened was that somebody screamed 'Shadowspawn!' at seeing a raken and the next second some AS go all anti-air with fireballs.

This is too easy. I quote the 3rd oath:
"Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai".

We know from Dumai's Wells that some AS had to walk into the midst of Battle in order to feel threatened enough to be able to use saidar in Battle. I seem to recall a scene in KoD(?) where the AS with Mat have to wait until they feel threatened enough to feel they can use saidar against the seanchan. (but it's been a while since I read that one).

The argument that a raken is a threat doesn't go, because the AS that are going anti-air can't connect them to the Seanchan. IMO Elayne's thought confirms they don't know what a raken is.

Anyway, if the mere pointing at something and shout 'Shadowspawn!' is enough to unleash saidar-fireballs at will by experienced AS, the whole 3rd Oath is worth nothing. This could get Ogier killed, if a sister never having seen one would get nervous.

As far as the White Tower knows, all Shadowspawn are known to the world. Remember when the gholam was mentioned in Ebou Dar?

Feel free to discuss :D



Ourobouros quoting from tGH@51:

Deain made more a’dam, the first sul’dam were found, and women captured who called themselves Aes Sedai discovered that they were in fact only marath’damane, Those Who Must Be Leashed. It is said that when she herself was leashed, Deain’s screams shook the Towers of Midnight...

Emphasis mine. I guess we'll be seeing a lot of Fortuona action in the next book too. Possibly in another raid on the WT.
T C
84. Freelancer
jcmnyu@13

I didn't have time to put together a response to your Elayne-bashing earlier, but I do now. She didn't fail, two damane shielded her which cut off what she was doing. Basically, they committed indirect suicide. Elayne saw it done, so understood the basics of what she needed to do. She is also defending Aviendha's honor. Aviendha unwove a gateway to keep the forsaken from following them. Now with Elayne's gateway, it's the Seanchan, and the risk is giving them a weave with which they could easily conquer far more land than they have so far, aside from simply being able to follow her group to Andor. It's the right thing to do. And it turned out to be the right thing to do. The invading force was vaporized, they all survived (short two horses), nobody learned Traveling from them, and they cannot be followed.

Aside from all of that, it is not by any means certain that she would have failed to finish the unweaving. Aside from that, she is operating under the absolutely least desirable circumstances. Saidar is somewhat bent by the use of the Bowl, Elayne is already exhausted, the Seanchan are attacking, and she's attempting something for the first time. But there's nobody else to do it, it's her gateway.

The moment Elayne decides this is what she's going to do, she demands that everyone get away. EVERYONE. That Aviendha and Birgitte refuse to leave her isn't Elayne's fault. She knows what she's doing is dangerous, and is willing to accept the danger to herself, but not to anyone else. This is irresponsible how?


jamesedjones@25

I don't find Moghedien saying when the Domination Band was created, but when Elza hands it over to Semirhage, it's description includes "crafted during the Breaking".


forkroot@31

Yes, yes! And let Suffa, in a moment of inspiration, realize what they are talking about and obediently botch unweaving a gateway.
This would be implausible. First, the Seanchan didn't know that the gateway exploded. Anyone who might have been able to tell them was within the blast radius. And Elaida's Foretelling talent is always a future event, per RJ. So there's no way for her to know. And, if there were a way, it doesn't have to be a gateway that is mis-unwoven, I'd imagine any sufficiently complex weave including air and fire would suffice, and wouldn't risk giving the Traveling weave to the Seanchan, in case she was no more successful than the Pakistani in Times Square.


MasterAlThor@34

Double points for that thought.


bawambi@40

There is a point to be made by your comment about the taint. When Aes Sedai later do link with Asha'man, they claim to be able to discern that saidin is clean. However, if they are not channeling the male half themselves, how could they feel the taint? Perhaps it is part of the sensations coming through the bond. That would preclude the taint being detected by any Caire or the others involved in using the Bowl.


Beren@42

Sorry, if you got a prurient thought from that line by toryx, you hadn't got quite up onto the curb.


CireNaes@49

I think you can make the following argument about the seals. We have authorial word that the True Power is the essence of the dark one. With the seals acting as a focus for the weaves used to patch the Bore, they would be subject to True Power contact from the dark one's side. We've also seen that cuendillar is not impervious to damage from the True Power. So it isn't about the taint in this case. So saith Occam.


Ouroboros@51

I'm glad someone else said it first. When a seafaring captain is put in charge of something, they are IN CHARGE. No questions asked. Granted, Caire is crusty. But part of that behavior is also the felt need to be overly harsh toward her own sister lest some inkling of favoritism be suspected. The captain is master of his world, as it must be when your nation is reduced to the size of your vessel. A ship at sea is your homeland until you return to your native shore, and the captain is the law.

And the captain says to always choose the lesser of two weevils.


Wetlandernw@76

Eesh, you've said so many things that I have already typed out before getting to your comments. I'll drop a few of them, but will keep some too.
Sydo Zandstra
85. Fiddler
Freelancer@84:

A ship at sea is your homeland until you return to your native shore, and the captain is the law.

And the captain says to always choose the lesser of two weevils.


Nice Master and Commander reference. :D Love that movie.

(speaking of weevils, in my mind I always call CoT the weevil book...)
Rob Munnelly
86. RobMRobM
@86. That's a movie that I wish had at least something to do with the underlying books - other than just using the characters. I read all 20-plus books and they took little bits of 2 or 3 and then made up the rest. Crowe is a strong Aubrey, Bettany was a really good Maturin, good settings and effects - just in need of a plot tied to an actual O'Brien book.
Sydo Zandstra
87. Fiddler
I never read them RobM. But considering I am a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series, I think I should start doing so.
Tess Laird
88. thewindrose
I think in WH we find out that while the animosity between Caire and Tebreille is real, Caire and her daughter Talaan really do love one another.

I think it is interesting how RJ portrays how different relations can be between family. In these chapters alone we have the twins Adeleas and Vandene(who choose different Ajahs, but at least in retirement live together - I wonder how close they were in the Tower?) We have Caire and Tebreille, blood sisters who hate each other. And then Elayne and Aviendha, who love each other enough to become first sisters.

I agree that Caire was needed to use the Bowl of the Winds. I am sure after many years of study, the Aes Sedai may have been able to use it correctly, but they don't have that time.

The sisters who attacked the raken. Well, they had just come from the meeting in Ebou Dar where Mat had been outlining all the baddies after them(gholam, Forsaken, Black Ajah), easy to see them jumping to the shadow spawn conclusion.

tempest™
Tricia Irish
89. Tektonica
Master and Commander was wonderful. Crowe was a very good Aubrey and Bettany a wonderful Maturin and their relationship, well all the relationships, were so genuine. When will "Hollywood" truly get that it is all about the writing.? Loved the boy who lost his arm too....he went on to a wonderful part in the HBO series, Rome....Octavian, later Emperor....

Question: We know the domination band was made during the breaking, but WHY? To control the taint-crazed male Aes Sedai?
Marcus W
90. toryx
Freelancer @ 84:

She knows what she's doing is dangerous, and is willing to accept the danger to herself, but not to anyone else. This is irresponsible how?

The thing about Elayne is that she always knows there's an element of danger to something she's doing (or going to do) but she never knows the full extent and she very rarely cares. Throughout the series she has repeatedly thrown herself into one dangerous situation after another without much thought for the consequence.

In the case of the unweaving this is just standard operating procedure for her. The problem I have with that is she never seems to learn from her experience.

She was at the tower longer than either Egwene or Nynaeve and grew up with an Aes Sedai in her household. She's had the various dangers of taking risks with the power drilled into her more than anyone else, yet she always charges right ahead into the danger with little or not thought as to how much danger she's putting herself and others into.

Yes, she told everyone to get away. After she started doing something she's never attempted, and never even knew was possible until mere hours before. When she's exhausted. Without any knowledge of the dangers involved. Elayne dived into the study of the ter'angreal several books ago with the same sort of foolhardiness. And even knowing, supposedly better than anyone, the risks and dangers of ter'angreal, she's the one who channelled into the bowl in a room full of uncertain objects in tel'aran'rhiod. She's the one who grabs their cache and starts sorting through it and examining it, out in the open, without any protection for herself or anyone else.

The problem is that Elayne's luck (or the needs of the pattern or authorial discretion) has protected her every time. But she's made countless risks only to learn later (like in the unweaving) just how dangerous what she did was...and she never takes a moment to consider how her actions can harm herself (and consequently her kingdom) and the others around her. There's never any extra caution taken the next time she does something risky.

So yeah, I think she was irresponsible. If she was really going to be responsible in the case of the unweaving, she'd have told everyone to get out before starting. Or she'd have taken two seconds, turned to Aviendha and said, "I think I need to unweave the portal. Can you help me?" At the very least, Aviendha could have then told her she needs to work fast before the threads get slippery and she'd have been that much more capable, before, you know, she'd already started.

And, of course, as someone else has already pointed out, she could have also taken a little time before opening the portal (when she already knew they were in real danger) and inverted the freaking weaves.
R B
91. MasterAlThor
Tek,

*waves back* Surely at some point in time, everyone has been guilty of this. Me too.

It is all good though cause we recognize our faults and correct them.

I point to Wetlander's post here and elsewhere, she states that the leadership of the Sea Folk is what most people dislike. As you yourself have said.

I imagine that this just happens because it is easier to say Sea Folk when refering to certain Windfinders.

DragonoftheI'mgoingtobehappyseptofthegraduatingonfridayAiel™
Lucas Vollmer
92. aspeo
Ouroboros @51 Thank you for finding that quote, I had forgotten about it.

RE:Elayne and the gateway
There are a couple of reasons I have been able to come up with about why Elayne didn't just invert her weaves. The first is she was already extremely tired and in a hurry. She may just not have thought about inverting them in the haste to get away.

The second is that maybe she didn't want to inadvertently teach the windfinders how to invert weaves. They have a bargain that says the AS must teach them, and if they saw this they would probably insist on being taught how to do it. I can't see how this would hurt for them to know, but it may be she wouldn't have wanted to pass it on to them. For that matter, do any of the AS in the group know about inverting weaves? I can't remember if they've ever been told how, or see it done.

For the record, if I was choosing one of these I would go with the first idea that Elayne was just too tired and hurried to think of inverting her weaves.
John Mann
93. jcmnyu
@18 Man-o-Manetheren
@21 ChaplainChris
@23 Earlgrey
@76 Wetlandernw
@84 Freelancer

So, most people seem to disagree with my assessment of Elayne being a ninny for attempting to unweave the gateway. In fact, those same people seem to think that Elayne didn't fail, she was cut off and use that as a mitigating circumstance. Now, I don't have the books in front of me, but there are useful quotes above and I remember this scene pretty well, so let's take a closer look.

1. I can't think of any point in the series where someone learns a new weave by the residue left behind. We have seen many characters learn by watching the weaving. In fact, it is the weave itself that causes the result and I don't think you can reverse engineer a gateway, compulsion, healing, mask of mirrors, etc. from seeing the result. Think of the scene with Verin laying the threads of the power on the women in the Aiel camp when she was using compulsion. The weaves were laid down and then combined into something else before settling on the person. Same with the weaving with the Bowl in this chapter. The weaving in a pattern results in something else. I don't think you can go backwards. If there is an example in the books, please let me know.

2. Ignoring the fact that she could have reversed the weave and hidden it, Elayne went against everything she had been taught about use of the One Power. Just because Aviendha can do it, doesn't mean she can. There are buckets of examples of something being easy for one person and impossible for another. Elayne can't heal like Nynaeve. Elayne can't work with Earth or make cuendillar like Egwene. Trying to unweave something as large and as complicated as a gateway was foolish and dangerous and she knew it. She intended to do it from the moment she opened the gateway. Here's an idea. Before you start, ask Aviendha for more information.

3. From my perspective, Jordan was making it very clear that Elayne was going to fail in unweaving the gateway. Two major indications: At the end, the filaments were so slick all she could do was grip one and she even lost track of where she was when she got distracted; and Aviendha, who knows how to do it, said she failed the first 50 times she tried it. We, the readers, are being told Elayne was going to fail. She may have been able to hold it off for a few more minutes if she wasn't shielded, but it was going to fail.

EDIT: Added names to referenced posts above
James Jones
94. jamesedjones
93 jcmnyu

Hang on. I'm totally on board with the idea of Elayne being a ninny. I just think the gateway was an incredible job of "landscaping", so I'll forgive it.

All of the stupid things she does after hearing Min's viewing are another matter.
Sydo Zandstra
95. Fiddler
@jcmnyu:

Don't take this as criticism, but as a hint.

You quote posting numbers right, but personally I have no idea what numbers the posts I made myself earlier have, and I don't intend on scrolling down to check, and my bet is that most others won't do that as well. From the subject I gather you aren't replying to me.

Put the names of the posters up there too. It makes discussion easier. :)
John Mann
97. jcmnyu
@95 Fiddler & @96 Torx

Good idea. Edited.
Matthew Smith
98. blocksmith
Long last week killed any chance of commenting on that and just got caught up now. First Communions and 20/15 anniversary(s) took up the week. And rightly so.

Once again, an excellent re-read Leigh! MAT's exception duly noted and agreed with. Nice follow up to that too, Forkroot.

My opinion on the Bowl of the Winds usage was that it felt like an epilogue. The climax of the BOTW thread was the finding, the Gholam, capturing Ispan. This felt more like something anecdotal. However it also led to the events in ch. 6 which were phenomenal.


Love ch. 6. I echo Freelancer's synopsis. I think Elayne had an amazing MOA here. Her behavior, while arguably perhaps a touch on the reckless side, is also understandable. I won't quote Free here..he said it all. I will say, I don't care if you interpret the information provided that she was going to fail. She didn't. Birgitte and Aviendha also shine here.

I completely understand Leigh's point about feeling as if there was no gender attached. I enjoyed this scene not because two women were holding back channelers and trained soldiers while a third was trying to erase all evidence of their trail but because it was Elayne, Aviendha, and Birgitte, as a team, putting their lives on the line to protect others. They took wounds, they suffered, and they succeeded. The end of the chapter with Nyn coming back reminded me a bit of the scene with Mat getting sewn up after the Aiel slipped into his camp.

Subwoofer@59

Please..Please...Please let someone at TOR be reading your post.

Sulin@69

Love your tag line.
nipper
99. chaplainchris
@31 forkroot - no, I understand that the Aes Sedai were mistaken about it being Shadowspawn. But the girls initially thought of the Forsaken, too, when they detected channeling. What I'm complimenting them on is that, while all the Kin and Windfinders panicked at what they thought was Shadowspawn, the Aes Sedai acted w/o panic and with effectiveness.

And @83 Fiddler - it's not as if the AS yell "shadowspawn" and fire! They *think* Shadowspawn, as does everyone else. And AS are educated about Ogier, so that's a non sequitur as far as I'm concerned. What we see here is, imo, a tiny vindication of the test for the shawl. (Which, based on Moiraine's experience, seems likely to have candidates for AS face Shadowspawn in their testing.) To wit: they don't freeze up and run when everyone else did.

@51 Ouroboros - yes, a tiny Cadsuane bash, but only a tiny one. I'm not a Cads hater, and I appreciate how effective and generally competent she is. But like Leigh, I think her Bludgeon-all-before-me method of dealing with Rand is stupid, and while it's generally effective on others, it's rude. Definitely a high ability-to-jerk ratio there.

What intrigues me about Cads, though, is that in some of her POVs she seems more impressed with Our Heroes than she acts. She thinks Nynaeve has "good mettle", for instance, and thinks that she's one of the few of the current generation of sisters that might work out. And she has some complimentary thoughts about Rand at times, too. I don't understand why none of that comes out in her manner.

I mean, people are generally more receptive to you when they know you like them as opposed to when you treat them like idiots. Or maybe that's just me!

@52 Andrew - I think in the first three books, or more, Nynaeve was a quite efficient organizer, espeically in putting together the Supergirls trip from Tar Valon to Tear. Also organizing the rescue of Egwene from the Seanchan was excellent. As the story starts stretching out, Nynaeve's natural clashes with Egwene (as Egwene starts wanting to be treated like an equal and behaves, initially, pretty immaturely), which are excellent characterization initially, gradually start to turn her into a braid-tugging caricature of herself during the middle and later books. It's at that point, where she's tugging her braid at everyone, that she loses her leadership-Fu. IMHO.

Happily, in the last few books (since rejoining Rand) she's begun to recover. She's ok in WH, excellent with moments of awesome in KOD, Made of Awesome in TGS. (Ok/excellent/MoA are referring only to my estimation of her leadership abilities - I've always liked her regardless.)

@76 Wetlander - absolute agreement about the obnoxiousness of the SF leadership here. Re: their culture in general - well, after the Aiel, they seem to have the idea of meritocracy down better than most anybody. And I like their handling of differences in rank in marriage, kinda. They've a hefty dose of "our way is the best way and everyone else should know that, and also be familiar with it, even if we can't be bothered to be familiar with their way". That's annoying, but also par for every other culture in WOT, so that part's a wash.

@82 Tektonika - yeah, I really liked Jorin.

@90 toryx - Elayne started unweaving the gateway before warning people away to make sure there weren't arguments that they didn't have time for. If she'd announced her intention first, Nynaeve and all the snr. Aes Sedai would have protested, argued, Nynaeve might have ordered her not to. With the Seanchan attacking, they didn't have time for that. So she acted in the only way she could, imo.

@93 - there's also not time to ask Avi for more information. They barely had time to get away as it was! What with Seanchan actually coming through the gateway and all...so where's all this extra time for further cogitation, discussion, consultation, and research going to come from?

Everybody responding to my (rhetorical) question about why these people don't talk to each other - I suggest those of you who are drinkers could use this refrain for a new drinking game. Toss one back everytime one of these (lovable) idiots misses an opportunity to, you know, help win the Last Battle by not, you know, talking to their FRIENDS! ARGH! (*takes shot of milk*)
Sydo Zandstra
101. Fiddler
chaplainchris@99:

And @83 Fiddler - it's not as if the AS yell "shadowspawn" and fire! They *think* Shadowspawn, as does everyone else. And AS are educated about Ogier, so that's a non sequitur as far as I'm concerned. What we see here is, imo, a tiny vindication of the test for the shawl. (Which, based on Moiraine's experience, seems likely to have candidates for AS face Shadowspawn in their testing.) To wit: they don't freeze up and run when everyone else did.


Actually, that is what happens. And you confirmed my point. They *think* 'Shadowspawn' without any check, so it's ok to fire. That makes the third oath unreliable when it comes to this.

Basically, they only saw some flying thing they didn't know.

But at the same time AS are so sure they know every Shadowspawn that's out there. And I don't think a raken looks like a Draghkar.

Test for the shawl has nothing to do with Shadowspawn. That is only about being able to handle a lot of complicated weaves at the same time.

Again, this was an air scout, that wasn't identified as Shadowspawn, and didn't look like any known Shadowspawn.

The whole scene is illogical.


Edit: Hmm. from 99 to 101? Subwoofer, are you waving your wand? ;)
Bonnie Andrews
102. misfortuona
Fiddler@83
Anyway, if the mere pointing at something and shout 'Shadowspawn!' is enough to unleash saidar-fireballs at will by experienced AS, the whole 3rd Oath is worth nothing. This could get Ogier killed, if a sister never having seen one would get nervous.

and@101
Test for the shawl has nothing to do with Shadowspawn. That is only about being able to handle a lot of complicated weaves at the same time.

I disagree ‘sort of.’ The testing that the AS do, does not involve Shadowspawn directly or necessarily. But the test for accepted,IIRC, involved using the 100 different weaves in response to a variety of dangerous and unpredictable situations. It was to insure that the initiate could not only use the weaves but do so properly under ANY situation.

Wind@88 covered what I would have said other than to add that were I an AS on that hill where so much OP had been used, I might be expecting a visit from one of the baddies at any minute. Even the most stable individual is known to jump at shadows.
Hmmm, Chaplainchris@99 said this better

Toryx@90 Of course she started first and then told everyone to leave. Can you imagine any of them would have allowed her to do what needed doing if she hadn’t? No she didn’t think about inverting the weaves before they left. A mistake, yes, and one she sees a way to rectify in hindsight.
Sometimes we are forced by life into doing things that we are not prepared to do. As a child of eleven I had to drive my father home from the field after he’d had a heart attack. I certainly wasn’t up to doing something I had the bare minimum of training to do under that stress. Yes I suppose I could have failed and killed us both, but it was not upmost in my thinking at the time, and I still think it was the right thing to do.

MAT- Congratulations!!! Champagne! Streamers! Balloons! I know you’ve been working hard on this. Way to go my friend.

Mis-actually making a WOT comment for a change.
Sydo Zandstra
103. Fiddler
@misfortuona:

How does that justify shooting a raken just because somebody shouted 'Shadowspawn'? ;)


My main point here is that apparently AS can blast away anything as long as somebody shouts 'Shadowspawn!'. That makes the 3rd Oath weak.

It reminds me of the Southpark episode where it is ok to shoot anything as long as you say 'They're coming right for us!' first.


And honestly, my intention was to get a discussion going about the Third Oath in regard to this scene. Because I certainly see a flaw here.
Captain Hammer
104. Randalator
jcmnyu @93

1. I can't think of any point in the series where someone learns a new weave by the residue left behind. We have seen many characters learn by watching the weaving. In fact, it is the weave itself that causes the result and I don't think you can reverse engineer a gateway, compulsion, healing, mask of mirrors, etc. from seeing the result.

"Do you claim that none of the Shadowsouled can?" she went on. The tightness of her shoulder under Elayne's hand said she was not so cool as she pretended. "Are you such fools that you leave tracks for your enemies to follow? Any who could read the residues could make a gateway to this spot."
(TPoD, ch. 2)

So, yeah...

As for the Inverting Elayne didn't do: I'm not sure if Inverting would have an effect on the residues of the weave. Inverting is used to either hide an active weave (e.g. in an attack) or a passive weave (e.g. a trap or a Mask of Mirrors). In other terms it hides existing flows of the Power. The residue is something that can be read AFTER the weave (read: the flows) have vanished so it might be something unaffected by the Inverting.


Fiddler @103

My main point here is that apparently AS can blast away anything as long as somebody shouts 'Shadowspawn!'. That makes the 3rd Oath weak.

Um, no. It's basically the same flaw that the one about always saying the truth has. They have to believe that it actually is Shadowspawn. I don't think that an AS can just shoot blind but instead has to identify and classify the target as Shadowspawn. She might still be wrong and the Oath obviously wouldn't prevent her from blowing raken out of the sky, though.

Otherwise they wouldn't have to put themselves in danger (or feel in danger) to use the One Power as a weapon. Mat telling them they were danger would suffice to make the go "Oh, well then. Away we blast..."
Tina Pierce
105. scissorrunner
Hey Fiddler @103!
Of course the 3rd oath is flawed. All 3 are flawed.

To speak no word that is not true
- as if this needs any more discussion!

To make no weapon with which one man may kill another
- gonna have a lot of idle hands around! ANYTHING can be used as a weapon, and ANY weapon can be used to kill
("I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!")

Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai
- exactly what are the qualifications to be considered "shadowspawn"? a creepy looking flying thing? pretty lame definition. And why just "in the last extreme"?? the first rule of self defense aught to be "stop it BEFORE it gets extreme"!!!

Egwene really NEEDS to rethink these oaths. They hamstring the women who make them, they cut lifespans drastically, and they do NOT do much to bolster confidence in the Aes Sedai. Personally I think they should simply be abolished, not altered or replaced. The general public doesn't understand them anyway.

edit: cuz I really DO like Robin Hood
Bonnie Andrews
106. misfortuona
Fiddler
Oh, well the oaths! Well they are full of holes. I agree that an AS can pretty much pick and choose what she percieves as being dangerous/life threatening. I mean really an AS Could rationalize 'lightning bolting' a peanut farm to protect a sister who has an alergy.

Seriously I have all kinds of problems with the oaths. All of them can be worked around and I think if Joe Randlander actually realized this, they would do no good what so ever. At least as far as making them feel safe.

The first oath is a joke. Everyone knows that the truth an AS tells is not necessarily the truth you hear. Yes I know, if she says something straight up it must be true, but all that's done is give the BA a nice edge.

The second oath: To make no weapon for one man to kill another. So what if the spear they craft is meant to kill deer, and someone just happens to use it for killing his neighbour instead? Does that make it okay? Besides all sorts of non-weapons can kill.

Yes I know my examples are a little silly, but the point is that the oaths have only managed to force the AS to find ways around them.

Mis-well you asked.
John Mann
107. jcmnyu
@104 Randalator

I did remember that. But here's how I see it (and I could be convinced I'm wrong). We have never seen anyone use that skill to learn a weave they have never seen before. Rand can use it to see where someone went like when he was following Sammael from Tear. Aviendha is vague in her description of what she can do. Until I see someone show up to a spot where someone else had channeled and recreates a weave they have never done before, I'll stick with my interpretation.
Vincent Lane
108. Aegnor
Fiddler@101 and 103,

I don't understand what you are getting at.

You keep bringing up somebody shouting Shadowspawn. That is completely irrelevant. Someone could have shouted "Aiyeee!" and pointed and the result would have been the same.

Throughout the book, when we see a character see one of the Seanchan characters for the first time, what do they almost universally think they are? Shadowspawn.

And the Aes Sedai response to Mat saying it was a Ghollum? That was entirely for show, in order to get the SF to follow. It was engineered by the SGs. And even if it wasn't, seeing is believing. Having some fantastic flying evil looking creature flying over you has a way of changing your perspective.

That you can say that their action indicates the 3rd oath is worthless is a bit baffling. You seem to be indicating that all that needs to happen to get an Aes Sedai to use the OP as a weapon is for someone to yell "Shadowspawn!". And that is just plain ridiculous.
Marcus W
109. toryx
misfortuona @ 102:

I'm not arguing whether or not Elayne's tactic of acting and then shooing everyone off was effective: I think it's debatable whether she could have gotten most of the people (aside from Nynaeve, Aviendha and Birgitte) to obey or not. Just a short time before she managed to give orders to everyone to prepare to flee and they obeyed without question.

My argument is based on her decision to act without any consideration of the consequences. I believe she was irresponsible in the extreme. In the example you provided of driving your father, you were at least doing something you'd seen done countless times before, over years. Elayne had, until just hours before, believed that what she was doing was impossible. That's a light year's of difference.

The truth is, that gate could have blown from the minute she unraveled the first thread. That it didn't doesn't justify her actions.

And let's consider what would have happened if Aviendha and Birgitte had not decided to stay with her? They saved her life by hanging around because Elayne couldn't unravel the threat enough. We learned moments after the gate blew that there were at least two other possible reactions to her efforts; She could have burned herself and any other channeler within an uncertain range out or it would have been just a tiny little poof. If the Sul'dam had reached her and the latter option had occurred, not only would she have failed, but she would have been captured by the Seanchan.

All these possibilities...and the best case scenario happened. For some people that equates to a moment of awesomeness. I just can't agree with that. To me it's just one more of a very long list of irresponsible actions that she just got lucky on. And given her actions after she becomes pregnant, it's obvious the woman isn't learning much from her near misses.

People talk about Mat's luck all the time, as though he couldn't be cool without that. But Elayne? She's been ridiculously lucky almost without fail. Outside of a fantasy novel, that wouldn't last forever.
nipper
110. chaplainchris
Fiddler @ 103 - ok, sure. The third oath is flawed. I'm not sure there's much to discuss there, though. All the oaths are flawed, and this is a known thing. For example, you can speak an untruth so long as you believe it to be true. Or believe it to be self-evident sarcasm, apparently. You can make a weapon with the OP (2nd oath) if you don't think it's possible for it to be used by men to kill other men - witness Siuan making a temporary sword of Air. And you can attack monsters that aren't necessarily Shadowspawn so long as you believe they are.

So yep, oaths flawed. Doesn't make 'em useless, though. (Actually, I think the addition of Darkfriends to the Oaths is the bigger flaw - witness Elaida manhandling Egwene in TGS because, w/o evidence, and with psychosis, she decides Egwene must be a DF.)

I'd say the Oaths contribute, for example, to the Aes Sedai not embracing the Power in the courtyard, when Kin and WFs are shouting and holding saidar. The AS don't, and remain calm...a slight point in their favor.

Likewise, the point I'm making here is not about the AS being right or wrong about the raken. The point is, a group of channelers encounters a creature they've never seen before. The ENTIRE group panics and shouts "shadowspawn". MOST of the group flees or loses it, totally forgetting that they're not helpless. The elder AS instead take action to defend themselves and everybody else.

Did they jump to an incorrect conclusion? Sure. But so did everybody else, so that doesn't lower them in my estimation. The fact is, with everybody (other than Elayne and Ny) convinced the Shadow was attacking, only the elder AS reacted appropriately. As I said earlier, not a huge MoA or anything...but still noteworthy and it makes 'em the people I'd prefer at my side if I'm facing Shadowspawn.

WFs, after all, have no oath against using the Power as a weapon, and so presumably could practice using it more easily than the AS...but they run away instead.

And because I stated it badly, my comment about the test for the shawl was misunderstood. I'm not saying the test for the Shawl necessarily includes facing Shadowspawn. But Moiraine's testing shows us that the Aes Sedai are expected to be able to maintain focus and channel calmly under extreme adversity - in her case, including Trollocs, poisonous spiders, and all kinds of other horrors. Her testing also indicates that the Aes Sedia administering the test have some influence on what the candidate faces. (And misfortuona @102, it's the test for the Aes Sedai that you're describing and that I was referencing; the test for Accepted is going through the rings of the Acceptatron - once for what was, once for what is, and once for what will be - or whatever the phrase is.) I think it quite likely that many, probably most, perhaps all sisters face some Shadowspawn in their test, since the WT does see itself as the defense against the Shadow. In any case, the sisters have to prove (at least once) that they can keep channeling and stay calm in adversity. On the hilltop, I see things that make me believe this group of sisters could pass such a test. Some other Aes Sedai behavior from other sisters makes me wonder how they ever managed. That's all I'm saying.

Finally, I've not responded to the argument about the AS thinking they know the appearances of all existing Shadowspawn because I don't buy it. Leaping from the sisters skepticism about the gholam to saying that they can't imagine the possibilty of the Shadow producing monsters they've never seen before is a big leap.
Tess Laird
111. thewindrose
Fiddler - I don't think this is the best incidence to test the boundaries of the Third Oath. They had just secured the Bowl of the Winds - where they had run into the Black Ajah and the gholam. Right after this they had the meeting with Mat in the Ebou Dar palace where Mat pleaded with them to get out of town because the Forsaken, the gholam and the Black Ajah are obviously after them. They Travel to the Farm and then use massive amounts of the OP(both saider and saiden). Right after they are done, they feel huge amounts of power being used in the direction of Ebou Dar. Then the raken appears, and raken have been thought of as shadow spawn by several characters in the series so far - so they don't like like huge friendly eagles:)

All that to say that it is not to hard to see why some sisters thought the raken was shadow spawn and attacked it.

tempest™
Vincent Lane
112. Aegnor
jcmnyu@107,

I think you meant Sammael from Illian. But my counter example is Rand following Ishy in Tear in TDR. If I am remembering correctly, Rand did use traveling to follow him using this skill.

Also, Avi says she knows how to do it. So that is two characters that can do it right there.
Daniel Goss
113. Beren
Re: Third Oath flaws.

Of course it's flawed. Various flaws have been pointed out throughout the series. These include:

The sister has to feel in danger of her life to use the power as a weapon.
-- So as long as you can convince the Aes Sedai that you will not kill her, you can do whatever else you want to her and she can't use the Power as a weapon to stop you?

If she is convinced that you're a darkfriend, she can kill with impunity.
-- I gotta find me a gullible Aes Sedai to do all of my assassinatin' for me.

If it looks like shadowspawn, she can kill it.
-- Case in point. Also, don't go to the White Tower in your awesome Trolloc costume on the feast of Hallo'Een. You won't get any candy.

Of course, this is just like the flaws in the First Oath, namely that a sister can speak a lie if she believes it true. Witness all of the sisters running around Salidar who can clearly say "Logain was set up by the Red Ajah to be a false dragon" when that is clearly not so.

I see the point as this. The oaths are not perfect, certainly, but they're better than nothing. They help people feel reasonably safe around Aes Sedai, which is better than nothing. Or a leash.
nipper
114. Rand Al'Todd
As to Draghkar vs Raken? How many of today's Aes Sedai have actually traveled to the borderlands and seen/fought Draghkar? We have discussed before (especially on the open thread) about how poorly the WT AS defended during the raid and it was commented that the AS (at least the Greens) should have required combat duty in the borderlands. Apparently too many of them have never done it, and can't fight effectively.

But I see several options for the AS in this scene: 1)We've talked about Foresaken, unknown Shadowspawn, etc. so I feel threatened enough to attack on sight, or
2) I failed the test to identify known enemy fighter types. Since I can't tell the difference between a Draghkar and an eagle, I can fire at a Raken thinking it is a Draghkar.
or,
2) I know that "new models" come off the production line at any time, so ANY creature not previously identified MUST be assumed to be Shadowspawn and attacked on sight. (In which case, why did they deny the existance of the golam when Mat told them about it?)

Problem with the three oaths in general is the leeway granted to the individual to decide how to apply them.

"I cannot tell a lie" - but I can select a portion of the truth in order to intentionally deceive.

"I cannot use the power as a weapon" - unless I decide to think something is shadowspawn, or I convince myself there is danger. Obviously ANYONE you think is a Darkfriend, or Seanchan, or Dragonsworn, or a Whitecloak, etc. may one day decide to do you in, so the danger you are in today is totally subjective. Any good paranoid knows "they" are out to get you, so kill "them" now! Thus any Aes Sedai can toss the holy handgrenade at the bunny rabbit if she wants to convince herself to do so.
Vincent Lane
115. Aegnor
I think the Three Oaths should be modified; specifically the 3rd Oath. It should be modified to allow them to defend themselves with the OP if they are in danger of being collared (with the same sorts of restrictions). It is way to major a weakness that needs to be closed, as in some ways it is a fate worse than death.
Ron Garrison
116. Man-0-Manetheran
Once again I feel compelled to quote from R.Fife's excellent interview with RJ's widow. Here is Harriet on RJ's "great theme of making decisions without enough information"

"And, his early fan letters, I noticed, would come from two large categories of adult: people in law enforcement and people in medicine: doctors, nurses, policemen, district attorneys. What do these groups have in common? They’re making life and death decisions, every day, without enough information. The policeman, should he draw his weapon? If so, he will probably be shot at himself. The doctor, dealing with a person who is dying, and you never have enough information.

RF: And sometimes, you just have to act.

HM: Yes, and how you do that is a major theme in the series, and how you can be expected to have to do that."

In an attack, you don't have time to sit down and discuss the ramifications of your response. You need to act, and act quickly! Elayne acted in a manner that she felt necessary. Given the written description of the attack, any delay whatsoever would have been disasterous. Furthermore, even though she was having extreme difficulty in picking apart the weave, we do not have any evidence that she could not have been successful. Read the text. The damane slammed a shield on her in her weakened state. That cut Elayne off from the Power; gateway collapses; ka-BOOM!

Similarly, the AS blasted the raken because they perceived it as a serious threat. The Oath Rod [i][b]compels[/b] them to obey their oaths. Therefore, they must honestly feel their life is in danger, for it to allow them to use the OP as a weapon. It cannot be "simply disregarded".
nipper
117. Rand Al'Todd
OOPs.

In the time it took me to write my previous post, it looks like Bela was declared a Shadowspawn and severely flayed.
Bonnie Andrews
118. misfortuona
Rand Al Todd@114
Love Monty Python

Toryx
I think that perhaps the diference between seeing Elayne's actions as foolish or MOA come from whether we look at each on its own or taken as a whole. I agree with you that when we lump all of her 'leap before you look' moments together they do detract from her MOA.

Chaplainchris@110, yes Moraine in NS, thankyou. I was having a hard time remembering just who we saw doing the weaves.

Mis-poor Bela
edit typo
Lucas Vollmer
119. aspeo
I had a big long post typed up to talk about the third oath and such, but it seems to have been said pretty much point by point already. lol

So I'll just say: My thoughts exactly :)
nipper
120. Rand Al'Todd
Man-o @116

You said:

"The Oath Rod compels them to obey their oaths."

I think that is not quite true.

They cannot disobey their oaths, but they are not required to act.

They are missing the second half of the restriction in the 1st Law of Robotics "by action or inaction."

They cannot tell a lie, but they can, by inaction (silence), perpretrate an untruth by not telling the whole truth or by not correcting another person's lie or mis-statement.

Same with the 3rd oath. They can't attack in some situations, but they can sit quietly and allow someone else to do the dirty work. And they can quibble by shielding a BA sister so that someone else (a warder, I presume) can take her head. (Unless they stilled the BAs before they executed them, which ammounts to the same thing.)
Ron Garrison
121. Man-0-Manetheran
Sorry Rand, but I never meant to imply they were required to act. I said (and you quoted): "The Oath Rod compels them to obey their oaths."
Marcus W
122. toryx
On a separate note regarding the unweaving business:

Kind of ironic, isn't it? We first learn of the 13x13 trick way back in TDR and we're still waiting to have evidence of it being used. PoD comes along and we learn for the first time of picking a weave (or whatever it's called) and two chapters later we see it done again to unexpected effect.
Roger Powell
123. forkroot
Aegnor@108
You seem to be indicating that all that needs to happen to get an Aes Sedai to use the OP as a weapon is for someone to yell "Shadowspawn!". And that is just plain ridiculous.
Why not? Seems to work just fine with Whitecloaks, except that you have to yell "Darkfriend!" ;-)
Daniel Goss
124. Beren
@123
I'm seeing images in my head of the execution scenes from "You Can't Do That On Televion."
prisoner "But friend, why didn't you tell me anything that was going on?"
warden "Because we wanted to keep you in the dark, friend."
BANG
nipper
125. wonderandy
Hi! I love these re-reads, they bring joy and non-productivity to my work days. I have had a question rolling around in my head guts for a while that I was hoping someone could answer for me.

Forgive me if this has been talked about somewhere else, but this bit about unraveling the gateway makes me think of when Rand described to Egwene what a gateway is he called it (i think) a bore from one place to another, and that makes me think of The Bore and the Dark One's prison. So is it possible that this is what Rand will have to do to fix the Do's prison? I can hardly be the first to think of this, but i haven't found it anywhere.

If it turns out that I'm just a silly fuddy-duddy then I'll be happy to remain Just A Reader, but I figured what the hell.
John Mann
126. jcmnyu
@112 Aegnor

"I think you meant Sammael from Illian."

Yep, you are right.

"But my counter example is Rand following Ishy in Tear in TDR. If I am remembering correctly, Rand did use traveling to follow him using this skill."

Rand saw him do it. Here is the quote:

"Ba'alzamon fled, man and shadown vanishing. For a moment Rand stared, frowning. There had been a sense of - folding - as Ba'alzamon left. A twisting, as if Ba'alzamon had in some way bent what was. Ignoring the men staring at him, ignoring Moiraine crumpled at the column base, Rand reached out, through Callandor, and twisted reality to make a door to somewhere else."

Rand was in the room and watched and felt what Ishy did. Not the same situation as the Seanchan arriving after the gateway was formed.

"Also, Avi says she knows how to do it. So that is two characters that can do it right there."

Avi only says that she can "read the residue" and make a gate to this spot. I say that she is right if the person knew how to make a gateway in the first place. Again, if there is some example in the thousands of pages of someone learning a new weave by "reading the residue", I'd like to see it.
Andrew Belmont
127. rosetintdworld
@112 and @126 RJ has confirmed that whenever Ishamael Travels in the first three books, he uses the True Power. (Which makes sense, given his behavior in the latter books.) Lanfear also uses the True Power in Book 2. Basically, whenever we see a Forsaken "vanish" or the air "shimmer, coalesce, and solidy," it is the True Power version of Traveling.

All of which is to say, I have no idea what Rand is doing when he follows Ishy in TDR, but he is neither watching the flows nor reading residues, because the TP is undetectable. Maybe he is reading the Pattern itself. *shrug* I'm inclined to say that it is a very, very small gaffe, but maybe Rand has some minor Talent we don't know about.
James Hogan
128. Sonofthunder
Lanfear uses the TP in TGH?? How did she get the DO's permission for that?

And maybe Rand just ta-verens his way to Ishamael...it was the Pattern's wish. Best way to make plot mistakes go away.
Andrew Belmont
129. rosetintdworld
@128: Absolutely no idea. But she vanishes in front of Min's eyes in the last chapter, without the characteristic gateway, and I remember RJ confirming that was the TP Traveling method. (Given that gateways were introduced later, I've always suspected retconning, as RJ moved from a teleportation mechanism to the "doorways in air" version. But it's consistent with what's come before and after, so I give it a pass.)
nipper
130. chaplainchris
@126 jcmnyu - you say 'Again, if there is some example in the thousands of pages of someone learning a new weave by "reading the residue", I'd like to see it.'

To my mind it's clear that reading a residue means figuring out/sensing what was woven. And, from Elayne's thoughts, if you have sufficient "dexterity", you could potentially reproduce it, although she thinks it would be extremely difficult. And no, if you don't interpret the few times it's mentioned that way I can't prove that you should - reading residues hasn't come up a lot, so I can't point to a time in the book where someone learned a weave that way.

But as Avi says, are you prepared to stake your life, the lives of your friends, and the security of your nation and all nations on the fact that they can't? Of course, Avi's point, earlier, is that no one knows what the Forsaken (Shadowsouled) can and can't do. But the same applies to the Seanchan, who have damane with the Foretelling, some able to Delve metals, some with Forsaken class strength (Alivia), some who can make ter'angreal - which we once thought limited to a'dam, but we now know they can make those blood rings, too.

IOW, we can't know that they wouldn't have someone who could read the residue and reproduce the weaves. Elayne, given what she knows of the Seanchan, chooses to take the risk seriously - seriously enough to accept the risk of unweaving the gateway. You can disagree with her risk assessment, as you do, I guess. But for my money, given how often people in this series have said "such and such is impossible", only to have someone learn how to do it...(Healing severing, making ter'angreal, Traveling, etc. ad infinitum.)...well, props to Elayne that she's not completely caught in that particular myopia.

(And she's just been shaken out of the complaceny that only Nynaeve and the Forsaken are stronger than her, since Talaan is stronger and Metarra is her equal. Why is that important? Because those of a certain strength in the Power often seem to do things instinctively at need - something we've seen with Rand, Avi, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne, to name a few. So assuming that the Seanchan couldn't possibly read the residue and learn Traveling is unwise, imo.)
Daniel Goss
131. Beren
Wonderandy@125
. . . he called it (i think) a bore from one place to another, and that makes me think of The Bore and the Dark One's prison. So is it possible that this is what Rand will have to do to fix the Do's prison? I can hardly be the first to think of this, but i haven't found it anywhere.

If I recall correctly, he said that he bends the pattern, then burns a hole from where he is to where he is going. I don't know if this would work on the DO's prison, as I believe the DO is considered to be outside of the pattern, but it's an intriguing(sp?) idea.

And as for
If it turns out that I'm just a silly fuddy-duddy then I'll be happy to remain Just A Reader, but I figured what the hell.

Or you could be like me -- a mostly lurker that pops in every once in a while with outlandish and outrageous (truly truly truly outrageous) ideas!
-Beren
Matthew Smith
132. blocksmith
chaplainchris@130

We have been provided information from BWS that the Seanchan are only capable of making a'dam. They did not make the rings the Bloodknives use.
Matthew Smith
133. blocksmith
Wonderandy@125

Welcome to the madness. No worries about asking qustions previously asked. A resident guru will point you in the right direction.

Your point is interesting and I cannot recall it having been discussed. It begs the question..did Mierin and Beidomon bend the pattern to the DO's prison and drill through, make the pattern and the DO's prison the same, or something else to create the Bore. I'm sure this has been discussed somewhere at some point.
John Mann
134. jcmnyu
@130 Chaplainchris

Fair enough. Our interpretations of reading the residues is different. I think, for example, if someone with the skill that Avi or Rand have came upon a place a few minutes after someone had healed someone, they might be able to tell that a healing had taken place, but they probably wouldn't be able to tell you what had been healed, and certainly couldn't have replicated Nynaeve's healing of Logain, Suian and Leane. The more complicated the weaving, the more difficult it would be to figure out what was done. But you are right, there isn't enough evidence in the books to know that for sure.
Bonnie Andrews
135. misfortuona
Wonderandy
By all means take the plunge, go grey and share your thoughts and feelings. We welcome new ideas, and yours is new to me.

Mis-smiling and waving
Hugh Arai
136. HArai
@several: Regarding the Raken, Aes Sedai and Warders are supposed to have the ability to sense Shadowspawn. It's one of the perks claimed flat out by Moiraine, in EoTW I believe. So unless that sensing ability is very limited in range, the AS should not have been using "is Shadowspawn" as an enabler. So apparently several felt "in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai".

This is hardly the last time we see the ability of Aes Sedai to convince themselves of things to satisfy the oaths. There's one instance I like where an Aes Sedai with either Mat or Perrin is about to throw a fireball until she realises the others with her aren't going to yet. Apparently the last extreme varies depending on peer pressure.

People argue that the Oaths are better than nothing. I argue they're a lazy attempt to impose ethics without effort on the part of the oath-giver to think and behave in an ethical fashion. I think the propaganda benefit they have pales in comparision to the belief and trust the Aiel have in their Wise Ones for instance.
James Hogan
137. Sonofthunder
Oh and I want to second(third? fourth?) sub's idea for the PoD bookcover...that image, of Elayne trying to unweave the gateway while Avi has fire blasting from her hands and Birgitte is calmly nailing foes, is one of the most vivid scenes in my memory from this book. Simply amazing imagery by the master.
Roger Powell
138. forkroot
HARai@136
Excellent point about AS being able to sense Shadowspawn.

On the subject of the Oath Rod:
I think the propaganda benefit they have pales in comparison to the belief and trust the Aiel have in their Wise Ones for instance.
Agreed. Hopefully the AS will realize this. I would think they would be suitably motivated as they learn that the oath rod is cutting their lifespan in half. A pretty nasty thing, even if it does save on the Botox injection budget.
Marcus W
139. toryx
HArai @ 136:
People argue that the Oaths are better than nothing. I argue they're a lazy attempt to impose ethics without effort on the part of the oath-giver to think and behave in an ethical fashion.

That's where I stand too. Any perceived social improvement that the Oaths give to those who cannot Channel is, I think, false.

The First Oath is supposed to ensure that the people can trust Aes Sedai? Yet on the whole the Randland populance measure every word an Aes Sedai speaks looking for the lie hidden within it.

I haven't seen a lot of evidence that the Second Oath actually backfires on them, though it seems like people don't trust objects made by the Power anyway. And the Third Oath is so perceptual that it's a give in take. I've always wondered how many Aes Sedai were killed because they were unsure of the danger before them, and how many people were killed by Black Ajah while thinking that no one wielding the Power would hurt them?
Maiane Bakroeva
140. Isilel
Toryx @109:

My argument is based on her decision to act without any consideration of the consequences.

But aren't all the main characters guilty of that? I am not a fan of Elayne, generally, but why concentrate on her, while giving the boys, for instance, a pass? They are equally culpable and Rand much more so.
Also, so far the characters were rewarded every time when doing supposedly dangerous and impossible channeling/T'AR things, while experienced channelers routinely came off as stodgy, timid fools.
So, it would be unfair to come down on Elayne for it now, when that's how it always worked for main characters with supernatural abilities in the series.

@122:

Actually, I think that we see the very first unweaving in EoTW, whilst in the Blight. Moiraine says that certain Shadowspawn can feel OP residues and does something extra to remove her wards without traces. Of course, we see it from Rand's POV, IIRC, so it remains very mysterious.

HArai @136:

Shadowspawn can be warded and then AS and warders don't feel them. That's how that dragkhar almost got Moiraine in TGH. Since the AS on the hill knew that one or more FS were supposedly after them, they also knew that their senses could be blocked.
Daniel Goss
141. Beren
HArai @136
And I think this highlights one of the fundamental differences in the philosophies of the Aes Sedai and other channeling groups. Specifically, the Wise Ones are focused on training a woman to be, well . . . wise. Their training is all about becoming the best 'you' you can be, to the point where the test to becoming a wise one (or at least, to be allowed to take the test) is simply to feel confident enough in yourself to tell the other wise ones that you are ready to join them.
Aes Sedai, on the other hand, value strength. Their lessons seek to make the woman as strong as she can be. Some of these are obvious (more balls of light, plzkthx) and some less so (knowledge is power) but all are there to build up a woman's strength in the power and in knowledge. For the perfect example of this, I give you the entire ranking system that they use. The stronger you are, the 'smarter' you are, the more you are respected and listened to. This is why people are afraid of the Aes Sedai -- because they have set themselves up by design to be the strongest, smartest people in the room. Wise Ones, on the other hand, are there to be wise. Their entire reason for existence as a group is to lead wisely, for the good of the whole. Aes Sedai will never experience that level of respect until they forsake their selfish focus on strength and transition to a more 'wisdom' based heirarchal structure.
Bonnie Andrews
142. misfortuona
Forkroot@138
ROFL @ Botox injection budget

Mis-picking herself back up of floor
Eric Hughes
143. CireNaes
rosetintdworld@129
"Absolutely no idea. But she vanishes in front of Min's eyes in the last chapter, without the characteristic gateway, and I remember RJ confirming that was the TP Traveling method. (Given that gateways were introduced later, I've always suspected retconning, as RJ moved from a teleportation mechanism to the "doorways in air" version. But it's consistent with what's come before and after, so I give it a pass.)"

Perhaps she weaved illusion, but you could be right.

@Fiddler
Yeah, the Oaths are weak for the various reasons cited above. It is a good point, but they're also somewhat important as a perceived equalizer for any who interact with the AS since they have set themselves up as a small nation of channelers. Something none of the other channeling groups have done. It gives them the ability to effect who they want to around them without those people feeling threatened to the point of attack in most cases. As far as what happened at the farm; to me it has the same feeling as someone shouting, "Incoming!" (which is rather terrifying by the way) This would naturally provoke the various responses that were exhibited giving some AS the leeway needed to fire off a few rounds of....well...fire.

Freelancer@84
I'm almost vibing with you. I just see little difference between any aspect of the DO not showing some kind of deteriorating quality. That's sort of the DO's MO. You know? I like your thought process and your use of Occam, but something still rubs me the wrong way intellectually about your argument distinguishing certain 'parts' of the DO. Is that what you're getting at? By brain's a little fried so if you could elaborate that would be great.
James Jones
144. jamesedjones
140 Isilel
I am not a fan of Elayne, generally, but why concentrate on her, while giving the boys, for instance, a pass?
Hold on there. Why do you think it's a matter of giving the boys a pass. Maybe he's giving all the peasants a pass. Or the characters that didn't have tutors. Or the characters that aren't blonde. Or all the ones without a big-sister warder trying to get them to be responsible. Or all the ones that know how to curse. Why does this have to be sexist? ;)

ROFL :D
Eric Hughes
145. CireNaes
JennB@50

I like it, but the DO seeks to unmake creation. What it touches has a negative effect as far as particle cohesion. I don't know that the DO would need to push so much as just come in contact with the seals.

Ouroboros@51

Sounds like you played in the band/orchestra :)
Trust me, I'm on your side and I was a section leader. It's just some conductors are absolutely off their rockers.
Marcus W
146. toryx
Isilel @ 140:

But aren't all the main characters guilty of that? I am not a fan of Elayne, generally, but why concentrate on her, while giving the boys, for instance, a pass? They are equally culpable and Rand much more so.

I'm not sure that's true. At least, it doesn't seem to be from my perspective. I could be wrong, of course. It's altogether possible that if we went through all the books and counted up the number of irresponsible, reckless actions that they'd all more or less equal out.

I don't think so, though. When I think of the other main characters, the one that comes closest to Elayne in this regard is Egwene. Rand is definitely up there, certainly once the size of his head starts to keep pace with his fame but until he starts flipping out he tries to limit the consequences of his choices. He just isn't much allowed to by those around him. That, and he gets screwed over regularly by his Taveren effect.

Perrin's the poster boy for attempting to be aware of consequences whenever he chooses his actions, at least until his wife gets kidnapped. Even then he is at least aware that he's willing to spend any cost to get Faile back, no matter how many lives are at stake in the bargain and he makes a concerted effort to minimize those costs whenever he can.

Mat's acts of recklessness more frequently endangers himself more than others. He tries to avoid danger quite a bit as well, and is always irritably aware of the danger of his predictament when he does something because of a promise, or as a result of some other moral ground he sets himself to.

And Nynaeve...even in her stubborn, demanding, control-freak ways is usually pretty cautious about how her actions will affect others, at least on a physical level. One of her high points of reckless, lack of thinking of consequence actions came from healing Logain and in that she at least had the temerity to be horrified at what she'd done when she realized she'd done it. I think that and things like that have made her especially cautious at times, and usually she's reluctant to take big risks.

That's how I generally perceive things, anyhow.
Daniel Goss
147. Beren
Toryx@146
My wife is reading through the series for the first time right now, and I'm following along with her. We just got to the chapter "The Price of a Ship" in The Fires of Heaven. I think she would disagree with you about Nynaeve.

But you're right, she at least has the brains to be horrified when one of her bad ideas has its natural consequence.
(edit for spelling)
nipper
148. Gentleman Farmer
Re: Saidin and Bowl of Winds

(or further on Elayne's ninnyhood?)

I enjoyed reading the comments on Elayne's ninnyhood... I can sympathize with the arguments on both sides, and ultimately don't think I have a strong feeling.

I have been wondering, however, when Elayne decided not to work with Rand and the men to use the Bowl.

I think that the Bowl was first discovered when Nynaeve and Elayne were searching in T'A'R for something to find a way to get the Salidar AS to help and support Rand.

Elayne said (and perhaps was fabricating, or perhaps was speaking truly without being aware of it) that it required men to be able to work it. The whole plan, as I understood, was to find the bowl and use it with Rand to show Rand doing good to save the world.

When and why did using the bowl become so urgent it had to be used immediately? Why did Elayne feel the need to do it herself? Particularly in view of the "treasure beyond measure" element, maybe men and women working together would fulfill that?

I really have no explanation for why Elayne would shut Rand out of this. I was interested in the comments above that Elayne doesn't seem to be in love with Rand, and certainly not to the extent of Min (or even Avi in my own opinion). Her interest in Rand seems much more like he's a trophy she wants to possess and control. Her actions with the bowl, ignoring her previous rationale to help and support Rand, don't indicate someone who cares for Rand. This attitude is a big part of why I found the whole Andoran succession plot interminable.

More importantly, I think that her use of the bowl without men involved did (as discussed in comments above) cause some significant negative effects to Saidin, and may have prevented the success of Rand's campaign against the Seanchan.

Did I miss some explanation? I have re-read a few times, and don't see where or why she changed her mind about using the bowl as a tool to help Rand. It seems like she just forgot the whole point of the thing in the first place, and forgot about Rand.
Charlie McMurchie
149. FromtheLangToun
Re' AS oaths, I'd be surprised if this hasn't come up at some point already, but when, for example, Cadsuane wraps Tam with flows of air is that using the Power as a weapon? It's been established that there's a lot of wriggle room in obeying the Oaths, but how lax can they be made in AS minds?
Sharon E.
150. Sulin
JanDSedai@78: Sorry to hear about all the flooding, but I'm glad you're okay.

block@98-Thanks! :D

Rand@114-
Thus any Aes Sedai can toss the holy handgrenade at the bunny rabbit if she wants to convince herself to do so.
Woohoo, a Monty Python reference! :D

SulinoftheBalefireSeptoftheBlastThoseSeanchanBacktotheOceanAiel
Tricia Irish
151. Tektonica
Geez, I have a day away from checking the computer every few hours and now I have 50 posts to catch up on! Yikes. It will be impossible to ever take a vacation! Good discussions!

MAT@91:

Did you hint that you were graduating on Friday????? ***Congratulations!***
It must feel great! Lot's of work and hopefully great rewards. Kudos.

Toryx@90:

It just occured to me while reading your list of Elayne's rash decisions and actions that that could be a big cluebat. Min's viewing states that Elayne will be safe, at least until her babes are born. What about after that? Could Elayne be toast? Battle of Caemlyn? Doing something rash that gets her killed? She has been likened to Ileyna in the Dragon's life as LTT, perhaps she dies a heroic death here? Remember there's something funny about Avi's kids with Rand too. Some of them could be "adopted" from Elayne. Just a wild thought.....

RandalTodd@114;

"killer bunny"!

Wonderandy@125:

Welcome! Quit lurking and join the party. The bunker is well stocked and Suffa finally cleaned up the place.

There has been some discussion of "weaving" the Bore shut...probably on the very large Open Thread. It's a favorite theory of mine and several others, involving some singing and growing and reweaving of the Pattern. The DO is held outside the pattern, and effects all worlds, so, short version, Rand reweaves the Pattern to shut him out while in TAR, which is in all worlds as well....or something like that....

Harai@136:

People argue that the Oaths are better than nothing. I argue they're a lazy attempt to impose ethics without effort on the part of the oath-giver to think and behave in an ethical fashion. I think the propaganda benefit they have pales in comparision to the belief and trust the Aiel have in their Wise Ones for instance.

I totally agree. Well said.
Jennifer B
152. JennB
I think we have read these books so many times that we judge the characters' actions from our own hindsight.

I think that Elayne would have failed the unweaving even if she had not been shielded. I also think she made the correct decision in starting the unweaving. It was dangerous, but not unnecessary and therefore not reckless.

All the characters have to take risks without knowing all the information, otherwise they wouldn't be the heroes of the story.

I think it is funny that while all the characters take huge risks, Elayne is the only one to get hammered for it because she is an important political figure and one of her decisions disrupted relations between Andor and the White Tower.

Elayne unraveling her weave and it exploding in her face reminds me of Mat bundling a bunch of fireworks together and accidentally blowing a giant whole in the side of the Stone.
Daniel Goss
153. Beren
Gentleman Farmer @148
Did I miss some explanation? I have re-read a few times, and don't see where or why she changed her mind about using the bowl as a tool to help Rand. It seems like she just forgot the whole point of the thing in the first place, and forgot about Rand.

It seems to me that they were pretty non-specific with their "need" use. What I mean is, their first excursion was "need something to keep the AS from going back to Elaida" or something like that -- I don't have my books with me at work. The second use was "need a ter'angreal not in the tower" right? T'A'R led them to Ebou Dar on that one, and I've always wondered if they just weren't specific enough in their second excursion.

Of course, I could be remembering incorrectly as well.
-Beren
Ron Garrison
154. Man-0-Manetheran
Let me try this again...

The oaths are not mere promises. They are sworn on the Oath Rod which produces a tangible affect upon the sworn (tightening of skin, etc., etc.). The AS who have sworn can't just willy-nilly thwart them. They can skirt the truth, yes, but not out-right lie. They can't use the OP as a weapon unless they feel significantly threatened. Certainly "threatened" is subjective. But they must feel it. It's not a matter of rationalizing it.

This comment is not meant as a defense of the 3 Oaths, but a clarification that they are not mere promises.
Roger Powell
155. forkroot
Freelancer,wayback@84
Your points re Elaida being unable to demonstrate the "super weapon" were, of course, quite correct. M-O-M and I were just introducing wistful humor, not seriously contending that it could happen.

Presumably the Seanchan are aware of the oaths by now (since they are seriously hampering the battleworthiness of the new damane). A direct statement by Suffa that she is unaware of any such weapon would pretty much settle the issue.

Tektonica@151
Geez, I have a day away from checking the computer every few hours and now I have 50 posts to catch up on! Yikes. It will be impossible to ever take a vacation!
Get an iPhone - then suffer through the slow updates as you read the postings in some lovely vacation destination - then complain to the group about how slow the updates are - then prepare to get verbally beat up by the rest of the group who are not in a lovely vacation spot. Trust me on this :-)
Tina Pierce
156. scissorrunner
Harai@136:

People argue that the Oaths are better than nothing.
skip a bunch
I think the propaganda benefit they have pales in comparision to the belief and trust the Aiel have in their Wise Ones for instance.

exactly
well said!!!!!!
Jennifer B
157. JennB
Ooop. I forgot about the oaths.

They are worthless. Get rid of them!

Or what Harai@136 said.
D R
158. Ouroboros
Longtimefan @53

And it's always nice to see a well polished floor. Even if it used to have grass carpets.

Randalator @54

I always took it that the corruption started as a small thing that spread and grew like an infection. I don't know about them being constantly "fed" by the power though. Still, it could be.

Whether or not channeling tainted Saidin could corrupt the world depends on just how substantial the taint is. The fact that the ways, which were made from flows of the power, are corrupted, means that the flows themselves must have been corrupted as well. I.E. the taint was actually present in the weaves. I can't see any reason to doubt this, since the weaves ultimately originate from a tainted source. In other words, the taint was transferred from the source into the ways through the weaving. This suggests that any weave of Saidin could contain the taint.

We've also seen several situations in which Saidin (the Eye) and the taint (the black dome) have taken substance. Coincidentally, it could also be that the well ter'angreal are containing Saidar in a substantial form.

I say all this because it suggests that if enough Saidin was channelled at a specific point, some of the taint could leave a mark. Of course, it could all be conjecture.

RE: the "fabled" talisman of growing. After Loial takes both leaves from the Manetheren waygate, he says that it would take the elders or an Ais Sedai to repair it. I always assumed that that could only be done with the talisman and that the elders must therefore have one. I maybe wrong though.

subwoofer 63

I don't know when Lan's junk became magnetic but it certainly buries the needle!

sps49 @64 RE: I still like Rand. He is under enormous pressure, and is doing pretty well. Not perfectly, no. But I think after his epiphany on Dragonmount signals a change for the good.

I hope that the epiphany brings about a change for the good, it probably will, although we may have a bit of uncomfortable apologising to get through first. As for him doing pretty well so far: well, we'll have to disagree over our interpretation of "pretty well" and move on.

lostinshadow @75

RE: Aviendha. I thought it would be something like that. This is one of those plot lines that I think would have benefited from alternative POVs. We almost always see the Sea Folk from one of the girls' POV. It would be interesting to see what the Sea Folk really think of them. The other Ais Sedai too.

RE: Rand. I don't find him hard to read either. I just don't like the way he treats almost everyone else around him.

I'll stop the wall here and carry on later. I'm half way through Clash of Kings and having a hard time putting it down.
nipper
159. AndrewB
Scissorrunner @105 said:
"... To make no weapon with which one man may kill another
- gonna have a lot of idle hands around! ANYTHING can be used as a weapon, and ANY weapon can be used to kill
("I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!") ..."

Scissorrunner (and others), I do not agree that is what the 2nd Oath means. I have always read the 2nd Oath to be that an Aes Sedai will make no weapon that is entended only for one man to kill another. Similar to the reason that Aiel do not use swords. A sword's only use is as a weapon with which one person can kill another person. A spear, on the other hand, can be used as a tool for hunting (see, IIRC, Rand's trip through his Aiel ancestors' eyes). I believe that the 2nd Oath was explained by Siuan when she was teaching Nyn and Egwene in TGH.

A spoon, unlike a sword, can be used for non-killing things -- like eating spoup.

Incidently, I hope that the 2nd Oath does not have a LotR loophole - where a woman and a Hobbit were able to kill the Wraith King. That works as prophecy but not as an means of gettin g around the 2nd Oath.

Gentleman Farmer @ 146:

I do not think that Elayne was really serious about letting Rand (or other Asha'man) use the Bowl. She only said that so the Salidar Six would allow her and Nyn to go to Ebou Dar; as opposed to ordering Merilille to find the Bowl herself. I cannot think that Elayne would let anybody who can channel tainted saiden (even Rand) participate in the use of the Bowl.

Further, the presence of the Windfinders provides Elayne & Nyn with a source of channelers who may have the necessary knowledge to properly use the Bowl.

To all those discussing the merits of not using the Oath Rod in the future. This topic has been discussed in prior re-reads and I made my opinions clear in those threads: IMO, the oaths (sworn on the Oath Rod) is what distinguishes Aes Sedai from all other female channelers. I agree with the position that Egwene finally adopts. I will say no more on this topic.

(Not that anybody cares that I will not say anything further on this matter. It is not like I have the power to dictate what people do and do not discuss.)

Note: I am not saying that because something was discussed previously, it should never be discussed again. This happens frequently and is a good thing. For example, new ideas from people who did not participate in earlier threads.

I just wanted to express my opinion without having to reiterate my verbose reasons and be called to task for not supporting my opinions. (Read I am a lazy person who does not have the technical skills to find and re-copy my previous postings).

Thank you for reading my musings.
AndrewB
Vincent Lane
160. Aegnor
JennB@152,
"I think it is funny that while all the characters take huge risks, Elayne is the only one to get hammered for it because she is an important political figure and one of her decisions disrupted relations between Andor and the White Tower."

Trying to figure out what you are referring to... I suppose her going to Tear to hunt the DA way back in TDR caused a rift in relations between Andor and the WT. But I think her staying would have resulted in her going home to Mom and her new boyfriend Rahv...I mean Gabril.
nipper
161. chaplainchris
@ 132 blocksmith - thanks! Now you say that, I do recall reading it - appreciate the correction!

Though, since the bloodknivers are kamikazes, one wonders how often those rings get lost in the mission...

@ 134 jcmnyu - agreed, and very gracious.

@ 136 HArai - you're building a lot on the assumption that the sensing ability is not of a limited range. Lan and Moiraine gave warning to the Two Rivers on Winternight mere moments before the Trollocs showed to attack. That argues for a small range, and who knows how high up the critter was. Also, we know that this sense can be warded against - as the draghkar that attacked Moiraine at Vandene and Adeleas' farm shows. Since folks knew that Forsaken and Black Ajah were after 'em, they're not likely to quibble over not feeling the foulness - they'd just assume the critter was warded.

Of course, if confronted with a giant flying monster in front of your eyes, you may well not wait to see if you also have an esoteric sense of foulness. (Rand describes it like smelling garbage, but not.)

As for the differences between Wise Ones and Aes Sedai (and Windfinders), I think the main difference is that WOs and WFs are part of their societies, where AS stand apart. To some degree, the AS stand too far apart, and should learn from WOs and WFs - as well as do logical things like open schools (Browns, and maybe Whites) & hospitals (Yellows). Grays, of course, are already part of society after a fashion, acting as mediators, negotiators, judges and advocates.

But remember that AS are all, ultimately, devoted to fighting the Shadow. (In theory! Of course they can and should be far more effective - Greens ought to be stationed on the Borders, f'r instance. And Reds ought to...er...get a life? Post-Tarmon Gaidon, I guess they'll be after rogue channelers, male or female? And cops?) Whereas WOs are mostly healers and counterbalances to Clan Chiefs - Wisdoms, basically. And WFs are navigators and weatherworkers. All worthy functions. But an argument can be made that, to stand against the Shadow - to help keep the nations from war, to preserve knowledge, to stand ready for Tarmon Gaidon - a certain distance from the population is necessary, moreso than for WOs and WFs. WOs and WFs, for instance, don't have to be prepared to rule - in theory, the Aes Sedai do.

Plus, WFs and WOs generally keep their channeling secret, and certainly the extent of it secret. It's not clear that even all Sea Folk or Aiel know about it. Which helps with the propoganda thing - they don't show as much power, so are more trusted, and don't have Whitecloaks campaigning against them.

Heck, from that perspective, the AS are more honest and forthright than the WOs or WFs! (I'm just rambling here!)

At any rate, on an individual level, most Aes Sedai *do* seem to be moral, or concerned about helping others. Masuri and Seonid almost had kittens about not staying to help So Harbor, Teslyn and Co. wanted to give aid to the victims of Mat's battles with the Seanchan, Grays negotiate, etc. To say that the AS aren't taught ethics is vastly unfair. It's when they are taught about the Tower as a whole, and secret keeping, and all, that they get wonky.
nipper
162. wawwen
I don't understand why AS blasting a Raken they think is Shadowspawn shouldn't be possible. It's already been said that there are ways to skirt the 3 oaths, the whole reason why the AS aren't trusted.

I've always believed that the reason why the AS can skirt their oaths is because the oaths themselves do not confer omnipotence on the oathswearer.

examples:

Aes Sedai can give an answer that is false, if they are absent the information that would make their answer true: knowledge of Travelling from someone who can't or doesn't know how, or the supposed "Aes Sedai Superweapon".

Aes Sedai can kill unknown crazy looking flying animals that look like Shadowspawn. Going from "The shadow has some weird flying things, the shadow is chasing us, here's a weird flying thing" isn't a big leap.

Aes Sedai can be told that "nobody will harm them, come step in this room" and get knifed in the back and die.

If the oath rod gave omnipotent knowledge to keep all their words and actions 100% in line then the following would be true:

1. There wouldn't be a trust issue with the Aes Sedai and the population of Randland at large, as every word of theirs would be the literal, cosmic, truth.

2. Suffa/Elaida or any random AS damane would be able to explain that Travelling is possible when asked to make the weave, and explain the "Aes Sedai Superweapon" that destroyed the Kin's farm.

3. Any Aes Sedai would be allowed to use the power to kill the person who intended to stab her in the back before the backstabbing occurred.

Now that we're beating the horse to death: The oaths only moderate the thoughts and actions of a person, not grant supernatural abilities to know the truth of everything.
Hugh Arai
163. HArai
Isilel@140: Agreed that Shadowspawn can be warded from detection. But if you're allowed to claim something you can't identify is Shadowspawn because "it might be warded", then it comes down to "do I feel scared of it". It's hardly the protection they make it out to be. You wouldn't even have to be BA, a mentally unstable AS could slaughter hundreds with impunity because "they're out to get me!".

Man-o-Manetheren@154: They have to feel it. But they evidently don't have to feel very strongly. Or have good logical reasons. I'll try to find the exact example I'm thinking of. I think it was in KoD and a line something like "I for one feel in danger" or something great like that...

chaplainchris@161: My thoughts on warding Shadowspawn are just above. If the sensing ability is really short, then I still point out all they know is it's large and it flies. They jump to the conclusion either that it's Shadowspawn or they are in danger of being killed or both. It's enough to let them use the OP as a weapon, and it's what shows the Oath is a fragile protection at best.

You make two interesting assumptions as well: that to fight the Shadow, the Aes Sedai have to rule and they have to stand apart. The AS apparently agree with you, but I don't feel that either is obviously the correct conclusion.

As for hiding what they do, it's pretty safe to assume people will notice when the wind always does what you want. You'd be hard pressed to come up with something that says "power" more strongly to a sailing culture than weather control. And I seem to recall a day in the Waste Aviendha spent making giant balls of fire along side the main marching party. I don't think the Wise Ones or Windfinders hide what they can do at all. The important thing in my opinion is that they don't try to pretend they aren't just people who have skills.

And finally (yay text walls!) I don't deny there are lots of examples of Aes Sedai of all descriptions acting ethically, the way you hope you'd react if it was you there instead. I just point out that they didn't act that way because they swore the 3 Oaths.
Vincent Lane
164. Aegnor
chaplainchris@161
"Whereas WOs are mostly healers and counterbalances to Clan Chiefs"

WOs aren't healers, or at least not with the OP. Which always struck me as strange. Wise Ones don't heal with the One Power, they don't fight with the One Power, so what they typically do with the One Power I've not exactly determined.
Rob Munnelly
165. RobMRobM
Our @158. I recall we get Sea Folk PoVs in WH, where Shalon (?) the Windfinder travels to Far Madding with Cads and Company. She is a "good" SF (nice to see we know a few, eh?) as contrasted to her mostly obnoxious sister, so she may not be typical. She did have thoughts on the various AS she traveled with, but I don't recall what they were....Also get the KoD POV from Shalon's sister on the boat when Logain shows up.

Rob
Vincent Lane
166. Aegnor
HArai@163
"Agreed that Shadowspawn can be warded from detection. But if you're allowed to claim something you can't identify is Shadowspawn because "it might be warded", then it comes down to "do I feel scared of it". It's hardly the protection they make it out to be"

Yes, if you are an unknown bizarre, dangerous and evil looking creature, you might be in danger by AS. I mean seriously...every single person that has seen these creatures for the first time thinks they are Shadowspawn. So you think that the fact that AS would believe they were shadowspawn means that the 3rd Oath is useless as protection?

Have you seen the creatures as depicted in the BBoBA? If I saw one of those things flying overhead when I leave work today, I'd be freaked out, that's for sure. In their position it is perfectly logical for them to assume that the creatures were shadowspawn. How likely are such scenarios in general? Very unlikely.

And your further example of a crazy paranoid Aes Sedai doesn't work either. The power can only be used "in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai". So even if she might think that people are all plotting to kill her, until its at the last extreme defense of her life, she couldn't use the one power. It would take someone hallucinating that she was being attacked.

"They have to feel it. But they evidently don't have to feel very strongly. Or have good logical reasons. I'll try to find the exact example I'm thinking of. I think it was in KoD and a line something like "I for one feel in danger" or something great like that.."

The line you are thinking of did indeed occur in KoD. It was when Mat was defending Tuon against the army of people out to get the reward money for killing the "fake" Daughter of Nine Moons. Mat asks them to join in the battle, but they can't because they don't feel their lives are in danger yet. Mat thinks they are fools not to realize that they absolutely are in danger. Eventually the attacking army's arrows start landing near them, and so they begin to feel afraid for their lives, so they can use the one power, and one of the AS uses the line you quote above.

So yeah, they had pretty good, logical, reasons to feel danger fairly strongly.
john massey
167. subwoofer
Stardate 63807- Subwoofer's log.

Wow! I see we have been busy beavers while I do the daily grind. Good times:)

The Oaths, yes, they are flawed, mainly because humans are flawed so no big surprise, there are shades of gray.

Swords can be used for shish kabobs.

Flying Shadowspawn. Well, let's take a poll- how many of the white hat wearing Team Light take to the sky? Ummmmmmmmm- none. Fair bet that whatever is up there is not flying the friendly skies.

We give the guys a pass? I must have missed that one. As far as I can tell, at any given moment we are busting everyone's tenders. Emo Perrin, reckless Mat, and Rand-pouty-al'Thor all get their fair share of flack. That we still like the guys at the end of the day is another story, but I think as evidenced by any of the previous threads, everyone takes a spin in the blame game.

That being said, we do set the bar high for the Princessy Princess, because, well, we all root for the underdog. Farmboys make good and save the world, yay! A Princess flouting around- meh... I would like to point out that Mother Theresa and Princess Di passed away on the same day, and I can remember who nabbed most of the headlines for the next few months. IMHO the world should have stopped to remember the passing of such a humble and giving lady as Mother Theresa. We should all be learn to live by her example.


Woof™.
Rob Munnelly
168. RobMRobM
In KoD, just before battle of Malden, Annoura pulled the "I'm afraid and I'm ready to fire away" line and got quickly shut down by the Wise Ones. Unclear how she could have been afraid at that point.
Tricia Irish
169. Tektonica
Forkroot@155:

I have an iphone and have tried to keep up with posts on it before. All I can say is....ARGH! I gave up. Went to a hotel computer and read there for awhile. But that's not as much fun as lying around the beach! LOL. (hopefully, the new ipad will improve our lot!)

Chaplainchris@161:

You make some good points re: Aes Sedai staying removed to some degree. However, certain of the ajahs should be more involved with the populace, as you also stated, yellows to heal, browns and whites to teach, etc. It would be nice if the ajahs met and shared knowledge sometimes with each other too! News from the outside, news from various countries and leaders, discoveries, etc. Gee....communication again!
john massey
170. subwoofer
Oh yeah, at somebody's request I started knocking them back for every time one of the Team fails to communicate. Gonna need another bottle... Suffa!

Hi Mis:-) ::Waves::

Woof™.
nipper
171. chaplainchris
@158 Ouroboros - yep, the Elders have a Talisman of Growing. All through the Third Age, when new steddings were rediscovered (at least inhabited ones), the Ogier would grow a new entrance to the Ways at that location. They only stopped when, after centuries, the corruption of the Ways became clear.

Re: Lan's magnetic junk and buried needles - as someone else said, so funny...and so very, very wrong!

Wait...Clash of Kings?!?? Oh...for a minute I thought that was the new one. Le sigh.

Harai @163 - hey, you're making excellent points. I think ultimately we're talking past each other, though. Because for the most part, you're focusing on the flaw in the 3 oaths, and I'm focusing on the different behavior from the AS as opposed to the Kin and the WFs. To wit: when everybody thinks they see Shadowspawn, WFs and Kin go to pieces, and Aes Sedai blast the thing.

Granted the jump to a conclusion; granted they have lots of justifiable reasons for it. Either way, I'd still rather have some AS around (w/hopefully some Warders) than a Windfinder and an Ebou Dari Wise Woman when the Trollocs show up. 'S all I'm saying.

Oh, and I agree with you that it's only an assumption that the Aes Sedai need to stand apart and to be able to rule - an arguable assupmtion, definitely. But if you look at most fantasy stories, where there was a great fight against evil long ago, but now nobody remembers to beware the return of the eeeevil...or the few who do are dismissed by those in charge, and lack the resources they need.

Well, in Randland, everybody remembers. A lot of credit for that has to go to the Tower. And while the AS are uppity and arrogant, they actually *haven't* taken over, outside of Tar Valon. In general, they let the nations do their own thing, put up with nations like Amador and Tear passing laws against them, try to prevent wars, and try to preserve the nations for the Last Battle.

While the WFs are focused on merchanting and rising in the ranks. And the WOs are concerned with preserving the Aiel, and everyone else can fend for themselves. My point being that, while the AS and the Tower are certainly hugely flawed, the Tower *does* stand for something bigger than any one nation or ethnic group or way of life...which the WFs and WOs can't claim.

So, granted that they stand for something bigger than any one nation, it's not an unreasonable assumption that they need to stand apart in some ways as well. And they need some autonomy to act. The stuff about pretending AS are "a different flesh" is nonsense, though. As is the stuff about the Ajah devoted to healing not healing anybody, and the Ajah devoted to knowledge not sharing it, and etc.

Here's where I think a merger with the Kin will help 'em a lot. The Kin set aside some of their number to act as healers, and the rest work in many trades, often trading careers over time. They are in that way much more connected and woven in to the flow of everyday life than the average sister.

This doesn't mean that I don't think rank and file sisters don't need to be shoved out of the Tower and out into the world to do some real good...and some recruiting.

@170 Subwoofer -yay that was me! Milk shooter over here! (Actually it's a diet mountain lion right now. Really hardcore, me.)
T C
172. Freelancer
Wow. Nobody wants to give an inch anymore. My work here is just about done...

I take the reverse tack from those claiming that guys get slack where Egwavinynyne get none. It's that anything, ANYTHING, that Elayne does which can be bashed is bashed, and with relish, mustard, ketchup, jalapenos, cilantro, and pico de gallo! (It is Cinco de Mayo after all)

The girls sense an oddity about saidar after using the Bowl. At first, they aren't sure what it is. Then they realize they are sensing ANOTHER massive source of channeling, not simply an echo of their own. They figure that at the distance it must be, only the forsaken could channel such amounts. Then when the raken appear, they realize it's the Seanchan Invasion part deux. Well, if Aviendha risked herself in a refusal to give some ill-defined sense of trepidation a chance to learn Traveling from a residue (something she could have done, actually learn the weave, otherwise her unweaving makes no sense), then surely Elayne isn't going to give Traveling to the second biggest nightmare around, the Seanchan.

What if she hadn't tried to unweave the gateway? They had already been spotted by scouts, and if even one to'raken were in the air with a damane, there was a chance of someone matching their gateway. In a rational risk/reward analysis, the loss of one or three people, even eminently IMPORTANT people, to prevent such an implacable enemy from gaining a major ability, one which constitutes just about your only advantage against them, is reasonable. It is much less that Elayne acted without information, as that she acted as she believed best with the information available, the only thing any of us can when there is no time to do otherwise. It's her responsibility to choose the action, since it was her gateway. She couldn't delegate or transfer accountability for this decision even had she so wished.

So, just jump up off poor girl's tired back. She's carrying enough of a load just now, thankyouverymuch.
Jay Dauro
173. J.Dauro
Harai@136:
chaplainchris beat me to this

Another thing to remember is that the AS are the only channelers to do so in public for all to see, without control. Many of the Aiel do not know that Wise Ones can channel, it is for others something they have heard. Some Aiel have seen and know. But almost no one outside the Aiel has any idea Wise Ones can channel (some Aes Sedai suspect, but even Moiraine did not know ahead of time.) It is similar with the Windfinders, some in their culture know, but almost no one outside their culture has a clue. And we all know channelers in Seanchen are completely controlled.

So the Aes Sedai are the only channelers known to be active across all or almost all cultures (the Seafolk know, the Aiel know, heck even the Seanchen know.)



When it comes to reading residues, we do see that the weaves can be traced. Weaves can be identified from the residue. Merilille believes that the residues can be read, and the weave copied, just not that Avi has this rare talent. And Nisain believes she should have been able to determine what a weave does from the residue. From all of this, I believe that it is reasonable to believe that some channelers can duplicate a weave from the residues.

TFOH - 44
He could still feel the lightning, or rather the residue of its making. Almost like the after-image burned into his eyes earlier, he could trace the weave, though it was fading. To his surprise, it led west, not back toward the tents. Not Asmodean, then.


TFOH - 55
Rahvin had not gone-that way, though, and he had not died in that blast of balefire. A residue hung in the air, a fading remnant of woven saidin. Rand recognized it. Different from the gateway he had made to Skim to Caemlyn, or the one to Travel-he knew now that was what he had done-into the throneroom. But he had seen one like this in Tear, had made one himself.


ACOS - 41
The residue of Sammael's gateway hung in the air, the dissipating flows like faintly glowing ghosts. Not so faint Rand could not make them out, though. He began to weave, then stopped. He had leaped up here without a thought of a trap. If he copied what he saw exactly, he would step out wherever Sammael had, or so close as made no difference. But with just a slight alteration; no way to be sure whether the change was fifty feet or five hundred, yet either was close enough.


TPOD - 2
Aviendha did not quite include her in the exasperated look she gave the other sisters. "This leaves no residue," she said patiently. Too patiently. "The residues of a weave this large might be read two days from now,"
Merilille snorted, a very strong sound to come from that slight body. "That is a rare Talent, girl. Neither Teslyn nor Joline has it. Or do you Aiel wilders all learn that as well?"


COT - 19
“Given the amount of saidar used there, Mother, it was no surprise to find the residues near as thick as the snow.” More than a hint of Murandy clung to her tongue, a lilting sound.
“Even after so long, I should have been able to grasp some idea of what was woven, if it was at all like anything I’m familiar with, but I have none. I could all but trace the weave, Mother, and it made no sense at all. None. In fact, it seemed so alien, it might not have been. . . .”


Gentleman Farmer @148
Elayne said that they needed a male channeler as a ruse.

LOC - 15
"I thought Nynaeve told you, Aes Sedai. I'm not sure, but I think the bowl needs a man channeling too, to make it work."
That caused a small commotion, of course. Carlinya gasped, and Morvrin muttered to herself, and Sheriam's mouth actually fell open. Nynaeve gaped as well, but just for an instant; Elayne was sure she covered before the others noticed. They were too stunned to see very much. The thing was, it was a lie, pure and simple. Simple was the key.
Sharon E.
174. Sulin
Gentleman Farmer@148/jdauro@173- Great thoughts RE Elayne not helping Rand by using the Bowl-that always puzzled me too. I just read jdauro's comment above and now I'm peeved that Elayne never had any intention to help Rand. I'd forgotten that tidbit in LoC, thanks for posting it.

tek@151-
Remember there's something funny about Avi's kids with Rand too. Some of them could be "adopted" from Elayne. Just a wild thought.....
Something else I hadn't thought of. Wow, there's always so many great ideas here!

sub@159- Yummy kabobs! Is that fish beer-battered?
T C
175. Freelancer
Wait. I believe you are all mistaken who say that Elayne had no intention of helping Rand. It was the desire to find something to help him that led to the Bowl. What they did with the Bowl helped the Light in general, and that helps Rand. I truly tire of the constant ascriptions to her of only selfish motives. There are times when she is selfish, but they are no more common than for any of our other young heroes. None of them are more selfish than Mat. Which doesn't mean he fails to do what's right when it's crunch time, but this is a clear double standard.
Alice Arneson
176. Wetlandernw
For those of you who are convinced Elayne is completely irresponsible and whatever other criticisms you like to level at her: While I recognize your points, I think any 18-year-old who could meet all of your expectations of her would completely fail any "realistic character" criteria any of us have. My "supsension of disbelief" muscles are super-strong, but that would be too much for even me. An 18-year-old girl who has learned so much from her training that she can haggle successfully against a master, grasp all the intricacies of all the cultures in Randland so as not to make mistakes, treat every single person she meets with exactly the correct amount of respect or caution as appropriate, fully comprehend all the novice & Accepted training as well as all the little hints she's ever seen or heard about the One Power, completely evaluate all the risks of every situation she proposes to enter before entering it, be able to foresee all possible outcomes of said situations including the possible behavior of other people also involved in those situations, never do or say anything which might conceivably harm another person, learn every possible lesson from every mistake she or anyone around her ever makes.... I'm sorry, I'd find that character too unbelievable even for my super-power-suspension-of-disbelief. She was a fairly sheltered princess with a good education; now she's one of the strongest ever (and youngest ever) Aes Sedai in hundreds or thousands of years, the world is approaching Doomsday-but-no-one-knows-whether-we'll-win-or-lose, her mother has just disappeared and is presumed dead, she's got a lot of complications in her personal life, she's got a country to look after on one hand and (some aspects of) the fate of the world on the other. You expect her to think of everything, never risk herself or anyone else, and every time she realizes something needs to be done and takes responsibility for getting it done you call her irresponsible. Sheesh. She's not the Creator's daughter. (At least, I never heard that either Taringail or Morgase had any claim to godhood.)

On to other issues... The first Oath actually came in quite handy here in these very chapters. When Renaile goes all wonky over the idea that "You say that one woman can simply seize another, hold her captive, use her?" In Sareitha's explanation that it doesn't work that way ends thus:
"...I say again that it is impossible to force a woman into a circle. If you doubt, try it yourself. You will see."

Renaile nodded, accepting at last; there was very little else to do when an Aes Sedai made a simple statement of fact.
Without that, who knows how long it would have taken to convince the Windfinders that it was safe?

The third Oath doesn't have anything to do with executing the BA; that's done with an axe, not the Power. Nothing in the Oaths forbids an AS from sticking a knife in someone, as long as she isn't using an Air-knife. Nothing in the Oaths forbids her to attack anyone she happens to feel like, including another AS, as long as she does not use the Power to do so.

Other than that, I'm not going to get into the Oath thing tonight. Maybe, if the debate is still raging tomorrow, and I have time...

wonderandy @125 - I don't recall anyone asking the question before, but then I haven't read everything on theoryland... I can only give you my personal opinion, which is that The Bore is the hole remaining afterwards, rather than a standing weave. A weave can be unwoven, but a hole is just a hole.

On the PoD ebookcover... did anyone think to suggest this to Irene? The decision may already have been made, but if not, she's the one who needs to read this, and I don't know if she follows all our mad ramblings...
D R
177. Ouroboros
Urg. You guys post too fast. Now I have to write another wall.

insectoid @66 *Nods in thanks*

Wetlandernw 76

Harine does show a softer side to her sister in WH. I'll admit that it's hard to not dislike Caire in these chapters but it's important to remember how quickly these things are all taking place. It's only a matter of hours since the Wind Finders saw there leader publicly humiliated by Mat and bullied into a bargain which they are obviously unhappy about. They then have to ride horses, which humiliates them further, to the farm, during which ride, Elayne deliberately sends Aviendha to work her delightful diplomacy on them. By the time it comes to actually use the bowl, the wind finders must be seething.

And don't forget that the Sea Folk are still dealing with the revelation that Ais Sedai aren't half so big as they thought they were. This can only add fuel to the fire, since the wind finders were all fearful that the Tower would send sisters to whisk them all away if they ever learned the truth about them. For them, this must be like finding out that Big Brother is really a con artist. Given all this, I can easily understand why the wind finders are in such a bad mood. That said, I too could have done without Caire's big speech.

Randalator @79 *Sighs* *smiles*

Tektonica @82 RE: Sea Folk. There's a more revealing chapter in KoD, To Make an Anchor Weep. It's the one when the first twelve find out about the mass suicide on the islands. That really shows that even the high-ups have a softer side.

RE: I am mystified as to why both Avi and Elayne have been kept away from Rand for many books/months/years? ... They all have traveling, after all."

Because if they did, everyone would know what everyone else is doing, and that would never do. More to the point, why didn't Elayne use travelling to go back to Andor two books ago? Rand has been flitting back and forth between all of his responsibilities, why not Elayne.

Fiddler @83: All that is required in this case is for the sisters to BELIEVE that they are looking at shadow spawn, or that they are in mortal danger. Even Ais Sedai aren't arrogant enough to believe that they know the entire dark genealogy when confronted by something that looks remarkably shadowy, not to mention dangerous.

@Many RE: Elayne.

Calling what Elayne did an MoA is really rather fanciful. Yes, it was necessary, and yes, she did well to hold on as she did, but Elayne was definitely not in control of the situation.

“Elayne,” Aviendha began in a surprisingly anxious voice, and at the same time, Nynaeve said sharply, “Just what do you think you’re—”
There was only one way to stop it. Elayne plucked one of the discernible threads free of the weave; it wavered and flailed like a living tentacle; it fuzzed
and spluttered, tiny fluffs of Saidar breaking off and fading away. She had not noticed that when Aviendha unmade her weave, but she had only seen the
tail of that, really.

Aviendha realises what Elayne is about to do and tries to stop her. Nynaeve seems to as well. However, Elayne ignores there concerns and pulls the first thread anyway. The other thing to remember is that the Ais Sedai were practically terrified by what Aviendha did. Now we all know that the AS don't know everything, but the fact that they were that scared should have been enough to warn Elayne that this was an extremely dangerous thing to do. She even noted the fact when she saw Aviendha being dressed down. She also notes that she only saw the end of Aviendha's unpicking, and therefore didn't see the whole process. Now ask yourself, would you jump in, trying to do something for the first time, which terrified several Ais Sedai, and which you hadn't seen in full, and which the only woman who you knew could do it might be trying to warn you against?

Decisions did need to be made quickly but she was given more than enough information before hand to know that this wasn't a simple matter. The considered thing to do would have been to link with Aviendha and then pass control of the circle to her, so that she could unpick the weave. Yes, yes, yes - hindsight, bla, bla, bla. What happens next?

I won't quote huge chunks but it's obvious Elayne is not winning this particular battle.

Desperately, she seized another thread from where she lay half on her back. And realized to her horror after one tug that it was all she could do to hold on. Had the thread moved? Had it slipped free any at all? If it had, she did not dare let go. The thread trembled greasily in her grasp.

From here on in, all she does is hang on to that thread. And it certainly wasn't the last thread, there were plenty more to go, and she knew that she couldn't do the rest. As for all this about the Seanchan wrecking the exercise by shielding Elayne, she couldn't do anymore by this point anyway. It wouldn't have mattered if they had shielded her or not, the thing was still going to collapse before being properly unpicked.

I'm really not Elayne bashing here. I'm just saying that this really wasn't an MoA. This was Elayne taking a big risk, and her friends needing to pull her out of it. The one thing that can be said is that Elayne did hang on to the bitter end, and I'll respect that. But if you want to give anyone an MoA, then let's give it to Aviendha and Birgitte who stayed, defended, and help carry Elayne away to safety. Was it a necessary risk? I think that it was. The Seanchan with travelling at this point in the story would have been disastrous. And Elayne did send everyone away, which was responsible, not irresponsible. Still, it's clear that she didn't appreciate how difficult it would be and got lucky.

Fiddler @87: You should try some of the Wilber Smith books set at sea. Birds of Pray would be a good place to start.

Tektonica @89: Yes, the male a'dam was probably being worked on to control the insane men.

jamesedjones @94: Okay, I have to ask. What would you have thought if Rand had used the BFT at the end of TGS? That would have been one heck of a landscaping job. *smile*

Fiddler @101 RE: Test for the shawl has nothing to do with Shadowspawn. That is only about being able to handle a lot of complicated weaves at the same time.

No it isn't. It is about completing the 100 weaves whilst every attempt is made to distract you, and remaining outwardly calm throughout. In short, it's about keeping your head in a crisis and not letting on that you may be out of your depth.

This is what annoyed me about Egwene raising Elayne and Nynaeve in the first place. She didn't understand what the test was for, or the oaths for that matter, and took it upon herself to flush 3000 years of deeply embedded custom down the toilet. Is it any wonder that the other sisters have a hard time accepting them? More over, the idea of an Ais Sedai who can't channel unless she's in a towering rage flies in the face of everything that an Ais Sedai is supposed to be.

Rand Al'Todd @114: Do you mean. . . no. . . not the. . . Rabit of Carbannog. Maybe the DO should give SH the sack and have Shayol Ghul protected by the KR. Of course, that means that the last battle will come down to Rand's ability to count to three.

CireNaes @145: Nope. Guess again. *grins*

toryx @146: You'll find that I'm pretty even-handed in my putting down of stupid behaviour. But we haven't got there yet so I'll hold back.
Birgit
178. birgit
I have been wondering, however, when Elayne decided not to work with Rand and the men to use the Bowl.

She said that just to convince the AS to deal with Rand, and when they left to search the Bowl they had no idea they would find Kin and Windfinders.

Geez, I have a day away from checking the computer every few hours and now I have 50 posts to catch up on!

For non-Americans, that happens every morning.

We've also seen several situations in which Saidin (the Eye) and the taint (the black dome) have taken substance. Coincidentally, it could also be that the well ter'angreal are containing Saidar in a substantial form.

The Eye is probably a big saidin Well.

I suppose her going to Tear to hunt the DA way back in TDR caused a rift in relations between Andor and the WT. But I think her staying would have resulted in her going home to Mom and her new boyfriend Rahv...I mean Gabril.

It was when they followed Liandrin to Falme, and if she hadn't gone the BA would have killed her.

I don't think the Wise Ones or Windfinders hide what they can do at all.

They don't hide it from their own culture, but they do hide it from outsiders because they don't want the AS to find out.

Wise Ones don't heal with the One Power, they don't fight with the One Power, so what they typically do with the One Power I've not exactly determined.

(Ny Heals Dailin) A short laugh burst from Aviendha, a laugh almost at the edge of tears. "I have heard that a Wise One in the Jagged Spire sept is said to be able to do this, and one in the Four Holes sept, but I always thought it was boasting."


TDR ch. 39

Some Wise Ones do know Healing, and they also know weaves the AS don't know, like Caressing the Child.
a a-p
179. lostinshadow
Regarding how the AS stand apart while the WO and SF are part of their cultures:

My understanding of why the WO and SF try to hide their abilities is not so much from those in their own culture but because they want to avoid AS detection.

Seems to me we don't get to see how exactly WO use the OP in their regularly scheduled program but since we have seen Avi practice throwing fireballs and unraveling weaves, it seems that they give both offensive and defensive training in use of OP. (Edit to add, and like Birgit said, they know other weaves that AS have never heard of, though I am surprised healing is not that common with them since one assumes a warrior culture requires healing)

Also, even if the WO and SF use OP less than the AS, I don't think this is a bad thing. This could be seen as the age old debate on whether it's better to do some things without magic or if everything should be done with magic.

Besides, it's not actually clear to me what exactly the AS have been doing against the Shadow. Mostly they seem to have had their heads buried in the sand against BA and just become rigid in their worldview. You would think that as magic users dedicated to fight against the Shadow, they would be experimenting with the power, looking into old legends, etc. Instead, all we seem to hear from modern day AS is "that's impossible, that's too dangerous, we've never done that..."

not sure where I'm going with this but for a group who is standing apart and focused solely on OP, they seem pretty useless to me.

Also, generally groups that stand apart tend to be viewed with suspicion, especially if they have powers the rest of the population doesn't so I'm not sure how they serve their own cause by this separation. Seems to me that both WO and WF, who are integrated into their societies as part of a larger whole (meaning that not all WO and WF can channel so important thing there is the position not the channeling ability) and far less feared than AS. Even AS who have a good relationship with whatever ruler they advise are questioned by others as to their true motives.
David Platt
180. The Not So Dark One
Aegnor @108 -

Kinda reminds me of the southpark episode where shooting an animal was banned, unless you were threatened by it - so they all went around shouting "its coming right for us" before shooting deer, bears, rabbits.

Also i am firmly in the camp that the use of the bowl - whilst powerful - did not leave the wrongness around ebou dar - the strange power charged air the girls feel is the seanchan invasion.

Elayne's explosion was the cause of the wrongness that came back to haunt Rand and his battle later on. Not that he wasnt already on the edge of illness anyway.
Jay Dauro
181. J.Dauro
Sorry folks, I did not mean to imply that Elayne was not trying to help Rand, merely that the statement that the BOTW needed a male channeler was a lie. The entire passage is
"I thought Nynaeve told you, Aes Sedai. I'm not sure, but I think the bowl needs a man channeling too, to make it work."
That caused a small commotion, of course. Carlinya gasped, and Morvrin muttered to herself, and Sheriam's mouth actually fell open. Nynaeve gaped as well, but just for an instant; Elayne was sure she covered before the others noticed. They were too stunned to see very much. The thing was, it was a lie, pure and simple. Simple was the key. Supposedly the greatest achievements in the Age of Legends had been done by men and women channeling together, probably linked. Very likely there were ter'angreal that needed a man to work. In any case, if she could not work the bowl alone, certainly no one in Salidar could. Except Nynaeve, maybe. If it required Rand, they could not pass up the chance to do something about the weather, and by the time she "discovered" that a circle of women could manage the bowl, the Aes Sedai in Salidar would have tied themselves to Rand too tightly to break loose.
Captain Hammer
182. Randalator
The Not So Dark One @180

Also i am firmly in the camp that the use of the bowl - whilst powerful - did not leave the wrongness around ebou dar - the strange power charged air the girls feel is the seanchan invasion.

RJ already broke that particular camp 12 years ago...

At a post-TPOD signing in northern Virginia , Jordan confirmed outright in plain language that the Bowl, not the unweaving, was the cause of the One Power weirdness, and that it was a case of overstressing a ter'angreal. From John Novak's report:

He went into a relatively detailed explanation to the effect that the Bowl was stressed far, far beyond its original design parameters because of the advanced knowledge of the Windfinders. It was affecting a global pattern, when it was designed for only a small region. Men helping would not have changed anything, and the effects linger most strongly near Ebou Dar, but also along the "spokes" which radiated from that place.
WoTFAQ

So, sorry...BOTW all the way...
David Platt
183. The Not So Dark One
Randalator @182 -

I wont argue with it if Mr Jordan stated it, but if thats the case I have serious problems with the way it is written. They talk about almost being able to pluck saidar from the air and then see the power in Ebou Dar - then the Raken.

Elayne makes no mention of having any trouble opening the gateway other than feeling tired from use of the bowl.

The Aes Sedai who flame the Raken don't mention anything as being wrong and the Seanchan, when they arrive don't seem to have a problem throwing lightening or placing a shield on Elayne.

If it was the bowl it was the bowl, but I dont think the immediate story around those events reflects that.

Oh well.
Captain Hammer
184. Randalator
The Not So Dark One @183

You're throwing two seperate things together.

The Bowl of the Winds went quiet at last, just a wide bowl of clear crystal, but decorated now with towering waves. Saidar still seemed to be there, though, not being wielded by anyone, not visible, but in dimly felt flashes like those that had played around the Bowl at the end.



"Strange," she muttered, rubbing her temple. The bracelet-and-rings caught in her hair, and she grimaced. "I can almost feel an echo of saidar. It must be this thing!"

"No," Elayne said slowly. "I can feel it, too." Not just the dimly perceived crackling in the air, and not an echo, exactly. More the shadow of an echo, so faint that it was as if she were feeling someone use saidar at a . . . She turned. On the horizon to the south, lightning flashed, dozens of bolts vivid silver-blue against the afternoon sky. Very near to Ebou Dar.
(TPoD, ch. 8)

The flashes and crackling in the air part is what is later referenced as "plucking saidar from the air", but the echoing thingy is the Seanchan attack in Ebou Dar. Notice how the first is describing something very close (as in all around them) while the other is described as an echo, something coming from a distance. They're feeling the enormous use of saidar over the distance and only initially associate it with their use of the BOTW. But within seconds Elayne notices that she is feeling channeling over a great distance.

The first thing comes again in chapter 9 where Elayne mentions feeling
a trifle odd, herself, as though she could pluck little bits of saidar out of the air around her.
(TPoD, ch. 9)

That's something different from sensing someone channeling at a distance. And also, saidar is very much behaving oddly right then and there.

Right from the first Elayne wished that she had asked Aviendha for the woman-cloaked-in-her-own-hair; she was weary, too, and all the saidar she could draw was barely enough to form the weave so it would work. The flows wavered in her grasp almost as if trying to twist free, then snapped into place so suddenly that she jumped; channeling when you were tired was not at all like other times, but this was the worst ever. At least the familiar vertical slash of silver appeared as it should, and widened into an opening right alongside the cistern. An opening no bigger than the one Aviendha had made, and at that, Elayne was grateful it was large enough to fit a horse through. At the last, she had not been certain it would be. Gasps rose from the Kinswomen, seeing a view of an upland meadow suddenly standing between them and the familiar gray bulk of the cistern.

"You should have let me try," Nynaeve said softly. Softly, but with a sharp point even so. "You nearly fubbed it altogether."


Elayne attributes her difficulties to her being tired but the description matches the accounts of One Power weirdness we get later in the book.
Eric Hughes
185. CireNaes
Ouroboros@177

Well that just leaves one position left doesn't it?
Matthew Smith
186. blocksmith
AndrewB@159

That would be Eowyn and she is pretty MOA herself.

Chaplainchris@161

No big deal on the correction. The number of times I have been re-educated by these posts is beyond comprehending. And nice thoughts on the AS nailing the Raken on the spot.

Freelancer@175

No argument against Elayne from me here...thought she performed admirably.

Ourobouros@177

Can't agree on this. I acknowledge she took a big risk and that it could have gone horribly wrong. But Free said it best...she made a decision based on her recent experience and her available information. And it worked.

Agree about the Wilber Smith novel...I enjoyed it. And its Birds of Prey, by the way. (not being nitpicky...but its kind of the point of the novel).
Matthew Smith
187. blocksmith
Forgot one....

JDauro@173

Nice information package on reading residues. I had forgotten how many times it is mentioned in the story.
Chin Bawambi
188. bawambi
While I am generally in favor of Elayne/WT bashing in general not in this case for Elayne. She bravely did a foolish thing which wound up working out. I have a problem with her when she gets her chin up and I don't think she's a good leader yet much like I have a problem with the WT when they set themselves up on a pedastal and I don't think they are good shepards of Randland at all. BTW thanks for the RJ link Randalator that settles my original problem with the scene and others that arose from it.

Whippersnappers!
R B
189. MasterAlThor
Thanks all for the congratulations.

I am now about to embark on a path that will make others think that I have lost it. We have all just been accepting of Nynaeve and Elayne as Aes Sedai. I contened that they are nothing more than glorified Accepted. Super Accepted if you will.

I had already typed out a huge wall o text. Then explorer stopped working. Bah. It's notepad from here on out.

Egwene raised Theodrin, Faolin, Nynaeve and Elayne to the rank of Aes Sedai. So that we are all
on the same page, an unlawful Amrylin raised 4 rebel accepted to the rank of Aes Sedai.

Egwene is still not truly an Aes Sedai, but the law doesn't require that. She has sworn on the Oath Rod but I will leave that for later. Suffice to say that swearing the Three Oaths is not what makes you an Aes Sedai.

The other 4 don't have such protection. The law doesn't protect them. At best it could be said to
be unconventional.

Egwene is the one who unwhittingly gave this arguement merit.

"Tell them to gather in front of the Sunset Gate," Egwene said. "Have them stand in ranks by Ajah, with Sitters in a line at the front. Once I am finished with the ceremony, I will greet them and formally accept their apology for their rebellion and welcome them back into the Tower."

"Accept their apology?" Siuan asked incredulously.

"They rebelled against the Tower, Siuan," Egwene said, looking at her. "Whatever the need of what
they did, there is a reason for apology."

"But you were with them!"

"I no longer represent just them, Siuan," Egwene said firmly. "I represent the Tower. The entire Tower. And the Tower needs to know that the rebels regret the division. They needn't lie and say that they wished they had stayed, but I think it is appropriate for them to express sorrow over the hardships the division caused. I will acquit them, and we can get on with healing."


So as you can see, Egwene admits that the rebellion was unlawful. She doesn't say this outright but you get the gist of it. If they weren't in the wrong, then they wouldn't need to apologize. She could have made the Tower sisters apologize for usurping authority, but she didn't do that.

So her actions as Amrylin, as justified as they may have been, were unlawful. She stood in rebellion against the Tower. This means that Nynaeve and Co. are not Aes Sedai and this is the reason why the real Aes Sedai started undermining their authoritayyyyy.

DragonoftheIdontlikeNynaeveseptoftheGitRidOfAnnoyingNynaeveAiel
Marcus W
190. toryx
Freelancer @ 172:

In a rational risk/reward analysis, the loss of one or three people, even eminently IMPORTANT people, to prevent such an implacable enemy from gaining a major ability, one which constitutes just about your only advantage against them, is reasonable.

I think I'd agree with you if it actually seemed as though Elayne thought things through but I didn't get that impression at all. She was acting on drastically incomplete information. She's not Nynaeve, who can see something done once and copy it precisely every time after. Furthermore, she knows that.

So she found herself in a difficult situation and a made a fairly wild assumption that the Damane might be able to do something that she knows to be rare. Her response to that scenario is to attempt something she knows absolutely nothing about. There's no excuse for that. She was in the Tower, she knows how dangerous doing things she doesn't understand is. Heck, she's the one who badly burned her arm when she instinctively tried to extinguish a fire by drawing it in.

That's my problem with her. (Well, one of them) She doesn't seem to learn. She does one wildly dangerous thing after another; sometimes she gets burned, more often she's ridiculously lucky. And when someone tells her she should be more careful, she agrees with them...until she has another opportunity to risk it all again. And the consequences of her actions this time are so profound that she may never know the full extent of them.

Wetlandernw @ 176:

I don't expect Elayne or any of the others to be perfect. But in my (admittedly biased) viewpoint, Elayne happens to be particularly ridiculous in her treatment of others and the kinds of risks she takes without consideration of the consequences. Granted, a lot of it is probably due to her sheltered existence. But that excuse isn't going to make me like her for it.

"...I say again that it is impossible to force a woman into a circle. If you doubt, try it yourself. You will see."
Renaile nodded, accepting at last; there was very little else to do when an Aes Sedai made a simple statement of fact.


Without that, who knows how long it would have taken to convince the Windfinders that it was safe?

Well they might have taken two or three minutes to try it for themselves and found it didn't work. I don't think it was the Oath that convinced them; The Windfinders seem to be as aware as anyone of the twisting of the truth. But being invited to try all they want like that...well, that works well enough in our world where no one has any Oaths.
John Mann
191. jcmnyu
@173 jdurrow

Okay, now we're talking. Excellent quotes. but, let's look a little closer because I am making a specific point which may not be able to be proven with the information we have now. One of your quotes has all I need to try to make it clearer.

"Rahvin had not gone-that way, though, and he had not died in that blast of balefire. A residue hung in the air, a fading remnant of woven saidin. Rand recognized it. Different from the gateway he had made to Skim to Caemlyn, or the one to Travel-he knew now that was what he had done-into the throne room. But he had seen one like this in Tear, had made one himself."

Rand not only could read the residue and recognize the weave, he had done it before. This is they key point. He doesn't read the residue, determine it is something he's never done, and learn a new weave. This is what Avi implies but doesn't say because I think she doesn't know. Can someone learn a new weave by reading the residue? I say no because of what we've learned of how weaves are done. You weave and the flows coalesce into something else. I don't think you can go backwards. Remember Sorelia teaching Cadsuane traveling. She showed her the weaves and that was enough. I can't prove it can't be done the other way, but if there is some evidence in the text that it has been done, I would love to see it.
nipper
192. Gentleman Farmer
JDauro @181

Re Elayne's intention to help Rand

I know Elayne thought she was lying. As you note, she was telling what she thought was a lie to help Rand.

The Bowl of Winds was found by searching in T'A'R for a ter'angreal to ensure that the Salidar AS supported Rand. (Also LoC, Under the Dust)

Clearly her original object in searching for the Bowl of Winds was to tie the SAS to Rand, and to support Rand.

She may (or may not) have been telling the truth about the Bowl needing a man for it to work properly. Elayne thought she was lying, but we've seen that the Bowl drew from Saidin, and then caused a major disruption in the Source after being operated only by women. It would be somewhat appropriate if Elayne thought she was making something up that turned out to be entirely accurate.

At any rate, my original question was when did her intention change and why? Why did she decide not to use the bowl to help and support Rand?

My own interpretation is that Elayne is a gloryhound. She wants to be a supergirl and save the day, wants the AS to acknowledge how awesomely awesome she is, and wants to show Rand a thing or two about how she can fix the world just fine without him. As soon as she saw an opportunity for glory, she decided to do it on her own, and burn the world, the proper use of the ter'angreal, helping the Dragon Reborn or supporting the man she allegedly cares for.

If she had followed her original use of "need" that led her to the Bowl in the first place, I think I would have a lot more respect for Elayne as a character.
Sharon E.
193. Sulin
Free@175/Wetlander@176- I'm not an Elayne basher, in the least. Regarding Elayne and the Bowl: What bothers me about her actions is that she lied. I take a very hard line on lying, whatever the reason. I understand that what she did ultimately helped the Light. Sometimes I just tire of the AS manipulative-ness (is that even a word?).

Wetlander- What you're saying about her age is certainly true and was going through my mind last night as I thought about her actions. I just didn't write out those thoughts. It was late and I was tired.

Anyhoo, that's why I love these books! When I sit and think about the various characters actions, behaviors, etc., I'm always amazed at how -in general- realistic they are. I think back to myself at eighteen, twenty and I shudder to think of how I would botch things were I in their shoes. :)

SulinoftheBoyImGladImNot18AnymoreAiel
Marcus W
194. toryx
Gentleman Farmer @ 192:

If she had followed her original use of "need" that led her to the Bowl in the first place, I think I would have a lot more respect for Elayne as a character.

I'm not convinced that she ever intended to get Rand's help in using it. She loves him (I don't doubt that) but I think she is just as prejudiced about the use of Saidin as any Aes Sedai. And for good reason. Furthermore, I doubt it ever occurred to her that use of the Bowl might be more effective with male help.

But your comments got me to thinking and I started to wonder what exactly might have happened had Elayne waited to use it with Rand's help.

Suppose, after getting the Bowl, she had travelled directly to Caemlyn. There she could have gotten news from the Wise Ones as to where Rand was actually at, and travelled to meet him there. He might not have wanted to see her but Min would have been able to ensure that he did. I'm not sure if he would have seen the value of the Bowl from the start but between Min, Elayne, and Nynaeve I think he would have been persuaded.

Now if Elayne had brought him her knowledge of the Windfinder's ability to manage the weather and made him aware that the Sea Folk are good for more than just transporting people and goods, he might have had more interest in working with them. (Maybe...the women thing would have been an issue still.) If Elayne had not made a Bargain with the Sea Folk in Ebou Dar, she might have been able to work with the Aes Sedai Rand had to tip the scales of Rand's bargain with the Sea Folk by offering the Bowl. Rand could have used his position as their Caramoor to ensure their aid in using the bowl.

Then the Bowl could have been used in a safe and relatively distant place with the combined efforts of Windfinders, Ashaman and perhaps more talented Aes Sedai (Cadsuane's group included). The Tower would have been able to avoid getting their ass handed to them by the Sea Folk Bargain. The Seanchan would never have been wiped out by Elayne's impulsive unweaving of the gate, and wouldn't have been inspired to take the fight straight to the Tower, killing and capturing a large number of Aes Sedai in the process. Nor would they have ended up with Traveling (as they surely will, now that they've captured Elaida).

The only detrimental effect I can think of right off hand is that it might have hampered Egwene's triumph in the Tower itself. On the other hand, she was progressing strongly even before the Seanchan attack.

Another huge benefit would be that Rand would have had an opportunity to work closely with the Aes Sedai and the Windfinders (and maybe the Kin) before they even went to clean Saidin and who knows how that may have improved (or even worsened) the scenario that came later.

I don't know...I think a lot of good would have come of it. But alas, the bowl had to be used right away.
Ron Garrison
195. Man-0-Manetheran
Wetlandernw@176: Excellent defense of Elayne, but had her character been written with all those attributes, I fear the criticism would then be "Ooo, I hate her. Nobody's that perfect!"

And a tip-o-the-Mat-hat to Freelancer for the same. (and others!)

Another thought re. blasting the raken and Elayne's "not thinking things through": If they had taken only a tenth the amount of time to debate the merits of the dangers as we have taken here to debate the issue... I'm thinking disaster! I'm sure you've all heard the expression "Fight or Flight"? Did someone not get that things are happening very, very quickly here? "Heat of battle." "Fog of war." Context, people!
nipper
196. Gentleman Farmer
@toryx 194

Wow. I hadn't thought through nearly to that extent. I got stuck at the lack of reverbration helping Rand push back the Seanchan, and couldn't see much further.

I like your analysis!
Hugh Arai
197. HArai
Aegnor@166: Well going by the BBoBA is a bit of a stretch - I'd zap most of the cast for being Shadowspawn mutants based off the covers :)
Everybody who hasn't been educated says exactly the same thing about Ogiers too. I'm not actually blaming the AS for thinking the raken were Shadowspawn. I simply point out anyone thinking "I'm not Shadowspawn so I'm safe from OP use on me" is not actually correct. The "protection" the Oath gives is literally only in the Aes Sedai's head.


And your further example of a crazy paranoid Aes Sedai doesn't work either. The power can only be used "in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai". So even if she might think that people are all plotting to kill her, until its at the last extreme defense of her life, she couldn't use the one power. It would take someone hallucinating that she was being attacked.


I'd like to think it was that clear cut. Unfortunately, as RobMRobM@168 pointed out I wasn't imagining Annoura's behavior. She announces "I for one feel threatened" and starts to throw a fireball, gets the hairy eyeball from a Wise One and actually stops, gets a grip and says "I guess I can wait a while". Look at what happened there. Unless Annoura's a BA, she felt threatened enough to be able to throw fire, because she said so. So far so good. But then she stops and changes her mind and says so. So there seem to be two possibilities here. Annoura's a BA so she can lie and use the OP as a weapon as she likes or all it really takes is for the AS to be scared enough, regardless of how life-threatening the situation actually is. It can't really be the last extreme if you can decide to wait a bit longer, now can it?

In that case a paranoid AS convinced she was about to be lethally attacked would be free to strike if startled by a child or anything like that.

I suspect this is really why the test for Aes Sedai involves channeling perfectly and properly under so many stressful situations: a panicky Aes Sedai is a threat to herself and others, Oaths or not.

Wetlandernw@176: I don't expect Elayne to always get it right or any of that. I was thinking about this last night and what really truly puzzles me is that the "sheltered princess" appears to be totally oblivious as to why princesses get sheltered. Rand takes risks, but he acknowledges what's at stake if he fails. It's why he accepts the Maidens getting angry and clobbering him. Perrin knows he has an important role and he decides he cares about Faile more. But they think about it. It doesn't seem like Elayne thinks "keeping the Daughter-Heir safe is important, but XX is more important", it seems like keeping the Daughter-Heir safe never occurs to her at all. She has to know people think it's important - she's known about Gawyn's oath all her life for example. Do you follow me?
Karen Fox
198. thepupxpert
toryx @ 90 - My take on Elayne is that she is always comparing herself to her mother, who in her mind is the bravest woman she knows. Plus growing up in a sheltered environment doesn't give her many chances to really understand cause and effect. We see that from our very first meeting with her when she wants to take care of Rand. Plus I don't think we can say this enough, these people are all teenagers! I know I was pretty wild as a teenager and I grew up and learned from my experiences. Throughout the entire series, we see these kids grow up.

Then of course, Elayne meets Avi, who is now her current version of the bravest woman in the world, then Brigette, who is a legend of braveness. Elayne has some incredible roll models and I think she feels she'll never measure up to any of them ever. But time and time again we see that a decision of hers made under extreme circumstances turned out to be the right decision. In later books we do see her calming down a bit when she assumes the crown, but right now she is all action. She's young and luck has been on her side.
Alice Arneson
199. Wetlandernw
Ouroboros @177 - Like I've said several times, I like the Sea Folk. Caire in particular annoys me; not because she's badly written, but because she's written as a charcter whose personality is severely annoying. I think in large part it's due to her over-the-top sibling rivalry thing. (She's got to be at least in her 40s, probably more, and she and her sister hate one another fiercely to the point that only "military discipline" keep them at all functional in the group over this whole "who's in charge" business. Grow up, already!) As for the Windfinders in general, I've written several comments in their defense, based on the events happening to them and the speed with which they happen.

Re: Elayne, here are her thoughs quoted from the chapters at hand:
Merilille nodded, though that meant little; Aes Sedai believed a great many things to be true, and some of them actually were. As well if the Sea Folk believed it proven, in any case.
By this time she's realized that many of the things the Aes Sedai believe to be impossible, are, in fact, quite possible. The Aes Sedai were absolutely convinced that stilling could not be Healed, but it can. Travelling was a lost Talent, but Elayne (and many others, including some of the initially-disbelieving Aes Sedai) can do it with relative ease. Et cetera. So far, except for the actual Bowl-use weave, IIRC Elayne hasn't come across a single weave that she can't do. She may not be the best at it (e.g., she can't Heal as well as Nynaeve), but she can do it. Add to that the fact that Aviendha had made it look, if not easy, at least not horrendously difficult; she even went so far as to tell the Aes Sedai
"I know the dangers, Vandene Namelle, but it was necessary. Is this another thing you Aes Sedai cannot do? The Wise Ones say any woman can learn, if she is taught, some women more and some less, but any woman, if she can pick out embroidery." She did not quite sneer. Not quite.
Granted that Elayne probably should have thought a little harder about "if she is taught," the Aes Sedai reaction wouldn't be that much of a hindrance. Why should it be? They've been proven wrong many times.

BTW, I'm not sure you can link while you're already holding a weave, and even if it's possible, I'm really not sure she could divert enough attention from the gateway to bring Aviendha into a link. You claim that "it's obvious Elayne is not winning" and "It wouldn't have mattered if they had shielded her or not, the thing was still going to collapse before being properly unpicked." It may be "obvious" to you as a reader, but the point is we'll never know for sure if she could have pulled it off, because she was shielded and it was abruptly cut loose from any control.

As far as "she didn't appreciate how difficult it would be" - well of course not. How many of us ever appreciate the difficulty of something before we start? It's basically not possible to fully appreciate until you try, and if you won't risk it because it might be too difficult you'll wimp out of everything remotely challenging in life. In this case, she did the best she could with the information she had. And to the contention (made by someone @something-up-there) that we've never seen anyone learn a weave from reading the residues, so what? We've seen many things that were supposed to be "impossible" happening for the first time, or being common knowledge in another culture, and the Seanchan are a VERY unknown culture; who knows what strange skills they have? It's fairly obvious they can't Travel, though, so it's too big a risk to take!

I don't really care if anyone considers this an MOA or not; that's a completely subjective term and is based solely on the values and attitudes of the individual reader. But you really have to consider all of the angles if you're going to try to convince someone else that it's not. Which, IMHO, is an exercise in futility, being a totally personal perspective anyway.

MasterAlThor @189 - I'm not going to say anything about "are they truly Aes Sedai" because it's a HUGE discussion for which I don't have time this morning. However, I must take exception to your statement that "Egwene admits that the rebellion was unlawful." No, she does not. She states that there is reason for apology, but if it were truly "unlawful" there would be need for more than an apology. You'd don't apologize for breaking the law, you do (at least) penance. She makes no move toward that position. The requirement for an apology is simple policy. Reread the last two sentences you quoted:
".... They needn't lie and say that they wished they had stayed, but I think it is appropriate for them to express sorrow over the hardships the division caused. I will acquit them, and we can get on with healing."
She requires the apology for the purposes of healing the rift, not because they broke any laws. Dislike of Nynaeve is not a reason to accuse all of the Aes Sedai who left the tower of "unlawfulness," particularly since their lives and their ability to channel were in danger - Elaida seriously had it in for the Blue Ajah, most of whose members would have been stilled, killed or both if they had not left. But I won't go farther than that with it now.

Gentleman Farmer @192 - Her intention only changed from something purely intended to tie the SAS to Rand, to something which would help Rand and the rest of the world by (hopefully) correcting the weather, and having him be tied to the SAS due to their assistance. She never seriously thought she was going to take it to Rand to include him in its use.

toryx @194 - I apologize that I don't have time to read through this right now. Looks to have some very interesting stuff; I hope by the time I get back to it, the discussion hasn't all happened and been put to bed.

Man-o-Manetheran @195 had her character been written with all those attributes, I fear the criticism would then be "Ooo, I hate her. Nobody's that perfect!" Exactly!!! Who could ever like, or relate to, or even believe a character who was that perfect? And she totally wouldn't fit with the rest of the characters in the book, because RJ was a master of realistic characterization. IMHO, of course.
Karen Fox
200. thepupxpert
Mis @ 102 – In New Spring, the test for AS is the 100 weaves, the test for Accepted is “what was, what is and what could be” through the 3 rings. The book describes Moiraine's journey through the 100 weaves test to become AS in great detail.

I had actually a lot more to say on the subject but my post mysteriously disappeared!
j p
201. sps49
I see at least the 2nd and 3rd Oaths as unwelcome limitations, and I applaud any Aes Sedai who can get things done despite them. If you think about it, if an assailant or even a mob leaves any Aes Sedai (and Warders) alone, they are free to rob, injure, or murder with no worries that anyone will "saidar" at them.

I do like the thought that there has to be someone who has made weapons for one woman to kill another.

The 1st Oath is a nice idea, but maybe not as helpful as the Aes Sedai would like. I seem to recall someone saying this before onsome forum or other.

Man-o-Manetheran @195-

Yes, her name is Elayne, not Mary Sue Trakand.

Edit: grammer not good
Sharon E.
202. Sulin
toryx@194- Wow, that was a great alternate depiction of events- I like it!

Wetlander@199-
RJ was a master of realistic characterization.
Amen! That's why I love these books so much. I discover something new on each re-read and develop an even greater appreciation for RJ's brilliance.

I've really enjoyed all the discussion this week, folks!
Ron Garrison
203. Man-0-Manetheran
Wetlander@199: "RJ was a master of realistic characterization." Yup.
Every so often in these re-reads I give thanks that Robert Jordan wrote these books ...and not any of us!
R B
204. MasterAlThor
Wetlander,

My dislike of Nynaeve has nothing to do with what I was saying. I don't know how that came across, but I apologize for any confusion.

We just have to disagree on this. I would think that Egwene, who is trying to be the Tower and Tower Law, is trying to use the Lincoln approach to reconcilliation.

She as Amyrlin could have made the Tower Aes Sedai submit to the rebels, she didn't do that, instead she sided with the Tower Aes Sedai who thought that they didn't do anything wrong.

A public apology is the smallest form of penance she could give. And the SAS gave it to her, when she had the Tower so that way it could be seen by the TAS as the Amrylin not favoring the rebels.

It is a very good political move. Shrewd is a better word for it.

Why did she choose to do it this way? Because traditionally rebels are the law breakers. Look at the Revelutionary War in a textbook on the European continent. In those books we are the bad guys.

If Elida would have won. Nine kinds of bad happens. But it didn't happen that way. Egwene won and she had to offer the olive branch in order to heal the Tower. But that only comes with someone admitting they made a mistake.

Hence the need to have the SAS apologize. It also cements her legitimacy with the TAS.

Aside from that no rebellion is lawful. Regardless of the reasons.

HistoricDragon™.
Ron Garrison
205. Man-0-Manetheran
MAT@204: "she sided with the Tower Aes Sedai"
I think it would be more correct to say "she sided with the Tower." Her over-arching concern was for the institution and healing any rift. To do this she could not "take sides."
Matthew Smith
206. blocksmith
In case no one has seen it (haven't seen it mentioned but I could have missed it), His Eminence, the Fifester, has posted a very nice interview with Wilson Grooms, RJ's/JR's cousin on TOR.
R B
207. MasterAlThor
M-O-M,

I stand corrected. You are right that she Sided with the Tower(the institution) not the Tower(the AS).

This still does not change my arguement though.

CorrectedDragon™.
Marcus W
208. toryx
Man-o @ 195:

Did someone not get that things are happening very, very quickly here? "Heat of battle." "Fog of war." Context, people!

And yet, not only did Nynaeve have time to fret about her hat, whatshername was able to find it and give it to her.

Yeah, there was urgency but not so much urgency that Elayne couldn't have grabbed Aviendha and said, "I'm a little worried about being tracked by the Seanchan. Maybe you could give me a few tips on unraveling my weave?"
That would have taken as much time as Nynaeve fretting over her hat or over whatshername's infuriating efficiency.
Vincent Lane
210. Aegnor
Ouroboros,

Is there some story behind your spelling of Aes Sedai as Ais Sedai? Just curious...


HArai@197,

"Everybody who hasn't been educated says exactly the same thing about Ogiers too. I'm not actually blaming the AS for thinking the raken were Shadowspawn. I simply point out anyone thinking "I'm not Shadowspawn so I'm safe from OP use on me" is not actually correct. The "protection" the Oath gives is literally only in the Aes Sedai's head."

No Aes Sedai would mistake an Ogier for Shadowspawn, so that is a bit of a red herring. While what you say is true, it is also fairly irrelevant unless you are a Seanchan creature, or riding one, and run into an Aes Sedai that has never seen or heard of one of the creatures.

Someone thinking "I'm not Shadowspawn so I'm safe from OP use on me" is actually likely correct. Is the 3rd Oath infallible? Obviously not. An Aes Sedai can use the OP as a weapon on non-shadowspawn, if she believes it it is. I guess the difference is that you believe this to be a major loophole that nearly renders the Oath useless, while I consider it a very very very tiny loophole that has extremely limited effect.
Marcus W
211. toryx
Man-o @ 209:

I didn't realize I was being oblique. I was using Nynaeve as an example against your argument that everything was happening so fast they didn't have time to consider anything.

My point is that if Nynaeve had time to complain about Alise (that's her name!) and the others had time enough to listen, Elayne and Aviendha had time to discuss their evacuation plans a little more thoroughly, rather than Elayne deciding to do something reckless and foolhardy.

In other words, I don't buy the argument that they didn't have time enough to consider options.
Valentin M
212. ValMar
MAT@204

Re: the Americans being the bad guys in EU textbooks in the Revolutionary War.
Really? This sounds very odd. In the UK, as far as they teach it, you may not be as "good" as in US textbooks. But in Europe in general, I doubt it. Don't see a reason why this can be so.
Still, I did US history from US perspective. If someone knows better, let us know.
Matthew Smith
213. blocksmith
Valmar@212

Can't speak to US history except from the US perspective.

I will say my favorite course in college was entitled "Military History of Western Europe". It basically tracked the evolution of warfare from the end of the sword/spear/shield era to modern warfare. It was a very educational course and I gained a new appreciation for the impact of the conflicts in Europe and how those conflicts shaped the world as it is.
Ron Garrison
214. Man-0-Manetheran
Toryx: Let's look at the text. From raken spotted to Seanchan soldiers coming 'round the barn to them attacking at the gateway is a very realistic and rapidly acelerating sequence of events, and how each character reacts and what they do are all quite plausable and entirely believable in my eyes. Let us not forget that RJ was a veteran, so he can speak with some credibility on this.

They are threatened; they are exhausted; many of the things we read sequentially are, in fact, all happening at the same time. To sit back and say 'oh that Elayne... always being so thoughtless, etc., etc.' just does not come close to convincing me. I loved this battle. I love the way the characters handled what they were given. I would not change a word.
Karen Fox
215. thepupxpert
toryx @ 211 - I think initially they thought they had 4 hours, I think that was the time frame they spoke about, before the Seanchen arrived. Then suddenly the Seanchen are on the scene and everything got chaotic. So there was enough time to get everyone through and Ny to go on about her hat but not enough time before Elayne got shielded and everything went boom.
Rob Munnelly
216. RobMRobM
I think we really need to push for 400 before tomorrow's post. Let's have some votes:

1) Has Elayne acted sufficiently heedlessly so that she should be SPANKED?

I Vote: No

2) Even if Elayne has acted appropriately (and indeed bravely) under the circumstances, should be SPANKED by Avi anyway to fulfil the fantasies of various posters in this thread.

I Vote: I'm not going to tell you.
Hugh Arai
218. HArai
Aegnor@210:

I guess I haven't been clear then. I'll try again: Since the 3 Oaths rely on the personal interpretation of the Aes Sedai and apparently even on the Aes Sedai's changeable feelings, the concrete benefit they have is minimal at best.

Take an Aes Sedai, an Aiel Wise One, a Sea Folk Windfinder. The Aes Sedai is just as likely to mislead you as the others. If gryphons were spontaneously formed by the Creator to fight on the side of Team Light, the Aes Sedai would be just as likely to blow away one that swooped overhead as the others. You can't get the Aes Sedai to make you a sword with the Power, but well, who cares? Get Perrin to do it.

Oaths or no Oaths, it's the woman herself you have to rely on... or not.
Valentin M
219. ValMar
blocksmith@213

Where did they teach such a course? I guess you get to be shot at at the end of it.
I love military history. Unfortunately my own region has enough of it for a lifetime of study.
Anyway, usually the neutrals are for the underdog/rebel/revolutionary.
Sharon E.
220. Sulin
Erm, I vote 1)no and 2)most definitely NO!
Marcus W
221. toryx
MAT @ 204:

Look at the Revelutionary War in a textbook on the European continent. In those books we are the bad guys.

Missed this comment the first time around. I'm curious: Have you actually done that, or are you proceeding from an assumption? Because I've been to the UK and Europe roughly 5 or 6 times. On each trip I've attempted to get ahold of a history textbook that describes the American revolution. Not only have I failed to see any text books over there that hold the U.S. (or the colonies) as the enemy, I've not been able to find much commentary about it at all. They seem to be as concerned by that part of history as we are about the various wars and conflicts that occurred in Europe and Britain that the US was not involved in.

I'm not asking out of criticsm. I've always wanted to see how the other countries viewed the war and my inability to find much really opened my eyes to how US-centric I had been raised to be. So if you have read any of these textbooks, I'd love any advice on how to find one.
Ron Garrison
222. Man-0-Manetheran
toryx@221@MAT@204: I would be particularly interested in how the French view the American revolution.
Chin Bawambi
223. bawambi
For those of you who want an excellent British book on the American Revolution I highly recommend Redcoats and Rebels by Christopher Hibbert.

As to the quiz: I vote No and most definitely YES!


Dirty Old Man
T C
224. Freelancer
It seems we've attained that point in this discussion where the haters will continue to hate, the defenders will continue to defend, and never the twain shall meet.

toryx, you're final point has merit, there was potentially a small window of time for Elayne to try and get a primer about the task she's decided to undertake. Let's refer one more time to Aviendha telling Merilille that anyone can be taught to unweave, if they can pick out embroidery. She nearly sneered that bit. Meaning she thought it so simple a concept to display contempt toward the "ignorant" Aes Sedai. Isn't it reasonable to suppose Elayne would have been working from that thought, and making the presumption that it isn't so hard? Of course her presumption is not completely valid, in light of all the other circumstances at hand:

~ She's already tired from working in the Bowl Circle
~ They've infected/affected saidar in the area with their misapplication of the Bowl
~ There is at least one additional source of major pressure on her, when doing anything of this sort works best while more composed.

But, when you've seen someone do something with relative ease, they said it was easy and that anyone willing could learn, any ooh-ooh girl out there is likely to make the same presumption. Any courageous, strong-willed, can-do type anyway.

Over her head? Yes. Reckless? Hmm, borderline. Thoughtless? Not in the least.
Marcus W
225. toryx
Man-o @ 214:

To sit back and say 'oh that Elayne... always being so thoughtless, etc., etc.' just does not come close to convincing me.

You say that as though all my posts are essentially whining tirades about Elayne. I'm curious: Is that how I really come across? I try to use examples to prove my point every time I post such long and in my opinion, thoughtful arguments. It's not an emotional argument that I'm trying to present. I'm not even trying to persuade you to change your mind, as much as give you (and others) access to my viewpoint. You don't have to agree; I just want it understood why I might have the opinion I have.

I ask this because you seem (to my eyes) to be boiling down the arguments that I and others present against Elayne the same way that the arguments given against Cadsuane were often boiled down: spewings of emotional hatred for how mean/ rude/ offensive/ wrong they are. Now I might hate Elayne, wouldn't want anything to do with her if she showed up at my door and asked for help, but my point isn't that she's icky and whining and I hate her so much. My point is that given certain evidence presented by the text: Her upbringing, the time she spent in the Tower and amongst the Aes Sedai and the experiences she's had since leaving it I'd have thought that she'd act in a more considered and reasoned way.

When you said: I'm sure you've all heard the expression "Fight or Flight"? Did someone not get that things are happening very, very quickly here? "Heat of battle." "Fog of war." Context, people!

I countered with the argument that for all the rushing around and desperation of the situation Nynaeve was still running around complaining about Alise. I think that's a valid argument that things weren't all "Heat of battle," "Fog of war." It has nothing to do with Elayne being "thoughtless, etc. etc."

Granted, things were different once they were through the Gateway and Aviendha and Birgitte were lobbing fire and arrows at the Seachan. But even then, it takes two seconds to ask Aviendha, "Near sister, can you help me unravel this."

Don't get me wrong, if I were to succeed in persuading someone else to my line of thinking, that'd be great. But I know better than to expect my arguments to be that effective. I would like to have someone go, "Oh, I can see where he's coming from, even if I don't agree." The last thing I want is for people to go, "Oh, he's just whining about Elayne because she's a pushy princess."

If that's all that's happening, I might as well not bother typing and find a better way to spend my time.
Marcus W
226. toryx
Freelancer @ 224:

Man, I wish I'd read your post before writing yet another ridiculously long post. Oh well.

Thanks for getting the gist of my argument. I can see where you're coming from too. Still, Aviendha's comment to Merilille comes across a little differently to me. I focus on the "can be taught" part, and the comparison of picking out embroidery stands out a lot too. I'm sure that Elayne knows how to embroider as well as pick it out and that would make me inclined to think that she'd know that even though it's easy when you know how, it still isn't something you pick up just by watching someone else do it. Isn't that kind of the point Aviendha is making when she says it can be taught? Otherwise she just invited the whole group to do it whenever they want, which is wholly irresponsible.

And you're right. Elayne is exhausted and everything is all wonky. She's obviously not going to be at her best. I just don't understand why she's always diving headlong into these kinds of things (whether she's tired, hurried, or not) expecting it to be easy. She's rarely ever gotten anything right the first time and has wailed about it to Nynaeve (and/ or Egwene). So she should know better, in my view.
Matthew Smith
227. blocksmith
Valmar@219

Military school of course. And you only got shot...err, a lower grade, if you questioned the professor's opinion on how great French Military History is. I got an A (one of only about five in my entire college career) because my argument against that was pretty comprehensive.

Regarding the vote...

1) No, No, No.

2) are we talking full arm heavy handed spanks or light playful ones? Cause if its the latter...no comment.
Jennifer B
228. JennB
Hey everybody... The new e-book cover is up.
Valentin M
229. ValMar
I believe Elayne is being a bit over-analyzed here. I think folks should wait a bit. Later on she can be dissected in much clearer circumstances.

Here, El's unseemly haste turned out to be justified, given how quickly the Seanchan arrived.

blocksmith@227
Yes, about being shot at afterwards, I was implying that it most certainly must've been military school.
French military history is very interesting subject indeed. Could be argued both ways. With powerfull centrelised state and large tax-paying population, could've done better.

Also, toryx & MoM@221,222
I too am not being critical, just curious. I think toryx is right about how relatively little people care about it in Europe- every nation here has had so many wars, heroes, villains, martyrs. Just as the US, of course.
As for the French, this was one of the few successful French campaigns vs the British at the time. Also the French have strong republican ideals and playing a decisive part in the creation of the American republic should please them. French fries anyone? ;-)
Ron Garrison
230. Man-0-Manetheran
toryx - I'm sorry that my comments came off as personal. They were not. I like your postings, and often agree with you. I think that it was simply that you were the most recent poster. There are several people who expressed your point of view. But bottom line is that I disagree with your assessment of Elayne's behavior, and I believe my arguments go to the "why" I disagree.

I love discussing the books and these forums. I think where I lose patience is when people argue that a character should have done this or should behave differently. Well, that's just not going to happen! Robert Jordan wrote what he wrote, and I like what he wrote.
Maiane Bakroeva
231. Isilel
Toryx:

You forget one thing in this alternative scenario. The Windfinders wouldn't have come to Caemlyn and further on the chase after Rand. It was difficult enough to make them come to the Farm. They wouldn't have gone any further and Seanchan would have taken them.
What's more, RJ said that the Bowl was used correctly, just on a much larger scale than intended. Male channelers weren't needed.

she knows how dangerous doing things she doesn't understand is.

Main characters do things that they don't understand all the time. It's how Rand and SGs became so über and how Perrin could beat the Slayer in his own element in T'AR. And it works for them, all the time time. So, why single out Elayne, I ask again?

And how many times Rand does something rash and stupid and needs to be bailed out by the third party? Far more often than Elayne. And he risks the whole world each and every time, too. He also repeats the same foolish behavior over and over even when it repeatedly leads to narrow escapes.

Elayne maybe a heir to the throne, but it isn't like there aren't other decent candidates if she gets killed.

Ditto Mat. Just to take a recent example, he can't recognize danger with a map and a flashlight when he repeatedly gets attacked in Ebu Dar and folks say - how adorable! He is sooo humble! Even though he has been told again and again that he too is important. Etc.

Elayne maybe a heir to the throne, but it isn't like there aren't other decent candidates if she gets killed.

She does one wildly dangerous thing after another; sometimes she gets burned, more often she's ridiculously lucky.

Again, how does this make her different from all the other protagonists? Even stayed Perrin did a lot of such stuff - shouting out that Moiraine was AS when they were approaching Illian was dangerous, jumping in T'AR after Faile when he didn't know first thing about it and lots of other things in TR in TSR.
Valentin M
232. ValMar
Yes, see the ebook cover! Aviendha's got a see-through dress... Or is it just in my head? Some issues with the girls' heights, otherwise beautiful.
Alice Arneson
234. Wetlandernw
toryx @194 - Now that I've read it, it makes a lovely dream. Unfortunately, there are too many other ways for it to go wrong at every step along the way.

So she gets the Bowl and Travels straight to Caemlyn, presumably without either Windfinders or Kin, but probably with Mat, given the timing change. So the Seanchan scoop up even more (and more powerful) Windfinders as well as all the Kin, and with no Mat to release them later, mess up the Return, and scoop up Tuon. Oops. No Tuon. Oh well. You might get around that by saying that the Pattern would have found another way to keep him in Ebou Dar if you like. Still, Windfinders and Kin all wearing leashes, and the farm probably cleaned out of all its Kin as well, since I don't see any of the Kin prior to this being able to stand up to the effect of the a'dam.

Now, Elayne arrives in Caemlyn. Maybe the Wise Ones there know where Rand is, and are willing to tell her. Maybe not. Maybe Elayne's knowledge of the Windfinder's weather-weaving and the Bowl as a bargaining chip and Rand's position as the Coramoor could have gotten them a better bargain. The AS would probably have been better off, anyway, if not Rand.

On the other hand, maybe the Wise Ones in Caemlyn either can't or won't tell Elayne where Rand is. Then all that other stuff is a wash-out and she's sitting in Caemlyn with the scorching earth all around, a big crystal Bowl she doesn't know how to use, no one capable of using it, and not enough strong channelers to even try. But the weather has to be fixed, so she tries it anyway, and POOF - no Caemlyn. Or they take it somewhere "safe and relatively distant" but, not knowing the first thing about it, they just pour saidar into it and... nothing happens. Or she, Aviendha, Nynaeve and everyone else in the circle is burned out.

Or suppose they succeed, by some miracle. Then someone (like Dyelin) finds out that she was in Caemlyn and left again without doing anything about the Succession, so simply takes over the Lion Throne. (Given your opinion of Elayne, I suppose you might consider that a good thing.)

More likely, the TAS find out about the Bowl while Elayne is still stuck in Caemlyn trying to figure out what to do with it (in the sweltering heat, with people dying of heat and starvation); Elaida might well decide that the Bowl and Elayne would be worth a considerable risk, and Elayne would be back in the Tower with no ter'angreal (since of course the rest of the stash and her TAR ring would be taken to the Tower too), no way to help Rand, and phenomenal leverage against Rand instead.

I could, of course, continue. Suffice it to say that, since it's fiction and completely the work of RJ's imagination, there's only one way it could have happened, which is what he wrote. He had a story to tell, and chose to do it as we have read.

MasterAlThor @204 - Aside from that no rebellion is lawful. Regardless of the reasons. Here I must respectfully disagree with you. When a government sets aside its own laws to force a subject entity into unlawful compliance with unlawful requirements, the subject entity must and should rebel. But I refuse to say more than that on the subject, or I'll start a whole new war.

Man-o-Manetheran @205 - Excellent point.

ValMar @212 - Pretty sure the French didn't ever consider the US the "bad guys" since they helped and supported the revolution. In what I've read of even contemporary (eighteenth century) opinion, most of the Brits didn't really care about the American rebellion; they were far more concerned about what was going on on the Continent. Which, incidentally, had a lot to do with the Americans gaining freedom - after a certain point, Britain couldn't be bothered to spend any more resources on a wilderness an ocean away, when they had much larger concerns just across the Channel. No idea about the rest of Europe.
D R
235. Ouroboros
CireNaes @185: I haven’t been guilty of this crime for a good few years now. BTW, what’s the difference between a bull and an orchestra?

MasterAlThor @189: I don't think their dismissal was quite so clinically thought out. If the rebels had been able to steal the rod and testing ter'angreal from the Tower, they would have raised the accepted to Ais Sedai and had no problem with them. I think the real reason for the lack of acceptance is that the "raised" girls had not taken the test and not sworn the oaths, which is a big deal for them.

That said, the girls are now in the position of having to go to the tower and bend the knee, because they are now, as you said, technically claiming to be Ais Sedai unlawfully.

This also raises the point of whether Elaida is a lawful Amyrlin. The answer is yes. It might only be by a nose, but the necessary number of sitters raised her, which makes the rebels rebels in truth. It also means that the use of the word usurper is not correct when used to describe Elaida. In fact, if Egwene had taken the tower by force, then she would be the usurper. The revelation of the BA sitters does change that, but only after the fact. At the time of the rebellion proper, the rebels were acting unlawfully since they were opposing the will of what they believed to be a lawful hall.

Gentleman Farmer @192 RE: As soon as she saw an opportunity for glory, she decided to do it on her own, and burn the world, the proper use of the ter'angreal, helping the Dragon Reborn or supporting the man she allegedly cares for.

This is unfair and unsubstantiated. She may like scoring cheep points from time to time and may suffer from a little hubris, but to suggest that she would sacrifice so much just for glory is going way too far.

Sulin @193 RE: Manipulativeness? Yes it is, and no hyphen needed.
Jay Dauro
236. J.Dauro
jcmnyu @191

Not all weaves go into something else. We specifically see in these quotes mentions of weaves that can be traced hours or days after being woven.

But the thing that makes it sure for me is TPOD - 2

Aviendha did not quite include her in the exasperated look she gave the other sisters. "This leaves no residue," she said patiently. Too patiently. "The residues of a weave this large might be read two days from now,"
Merilille snorted, a very strong sound to come from that slight body. "That is a rare Talent, girl. Neither Teslyn nor Joline has it. Or do you Aiel wilders all learn that as well?"


If she had said, "This can't be done", I could possibly believe that it could. But she accepts that this can be done, and knows that neither Teslyn or Joline can do it. She questions whether all Aiel learn it. This to me indicates it can be done, and she knows Aes Sedai that have done it.

Gentleman Farmer @192

When she said that the Salidar Aes Sedai were debating what to do with Rand and Elayne wanted to tie them to Rand. Before she left for Ebou Dar, Egwene became Amrylin. Now Elayne is confident Egwene will do what needs to be done to support Rand. Later she may decide that Rand needs to be controlled, or she may not.

toryx @194

Prejudiced about the use of Saiden. Possibly, but at that time, Saiden was still tainted, and male channelers were still going crazy. I can understand not wanting to deal with that.

And I doubt the Wise Ones would tell any Aes Sedai where Rand was after Dumai's Wells. They did not even tell Egwene everything that happened, and they think more highly of her than any other Aes Sedai. So no contact with Rand. Or only if the Aes Sedai will swear fealty to Rand first. And that and the rest never happens.

Tip of the hat to Wetlandernw, you beat me up with this.


HArai @197 The oath does not say you have to use the One Power to defend yourself when you feel threatened, just that you can. But Annoura felt threatened twice. Once by the Shaido, and then by the Wise Ones. But in the Wise Ones case, using the Power would not help, and would cause severe problems for Annoura.


HArai @218

If you encounter the three, the Aes Sedai may lie by misstatement, etc. But she probably is not going to use the One Power to kill you. The other two probably won't if anyone else can find out and reveal their secret. But if Amys thought you were intending harm to Rand, your butt would be dead in a heartbeat. Though she wouldn't need the Power to do it, she could do it. The Aes Sedai can't.

And no, I do not like the Aes Sedai method of distorting the truth. And I am quite interested to see Lan's comments on this when he gets time to talk to Nyneave after KOD. Because when they talked before leaving for Tanchico, he made it clear he viewed the Aes Sedai technique of misdirection just about the same as lying.
Jay Dauro
237. J.Dauro
Double Post.
D R
238. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @199: I wasn't disagreeing with you about the Sea Folk. I think we're on the same page here. Looking at my comment @177 I'll admit that it looks like I'm defending Caire as a nice woman, which she clearly isn't. I also don't like her, and for the same reasons you gave. What I was really saying is that she's worse than normal here, and that recent events may be at the root of it. The rest was really just a defence of the Sea Folk in general.
Alice Arneson
239. Wetlandernw
Ouroboros @ 238 - I just thought it a bit odd when you started explaining to me that they really were okay - when I thought that was exactly what I'd said several times. So yeah, I think we're more or less in agreement. I don't see a lot of place for it in the remaining two novels, but I'd love to see more of the Sea Folk from within. Maybe I just want confirmation that we're on the right track with them.

On an unrelated note, I know it's a nitpick, but it's driving me nuts. You write a lot of good stuff, and this is very distracting, to me at least. Can you please spell Aes Sedai correctly? As in, the way Robert Jordan spelled it when he wrote this? I realize Ais Sedai is used elsewhere in the world and maybe you like it where it's used, but it really is a misspelling when applied to the Wheel of Time. And it makes me itch.
Vincent Lane
240. Aegnor
HArai@218,

The first Oath is a separate issue. An Aes Sedai certainly cannot lie, but in a complicated thing such as language, you can be intentionally mislead, without actually being lied to. Aes Sedai have been forced to become masters at this, because they cannot lie. So I would agree, that you would need to trust the Aes Sedai herself, rather than relying wholly on the First Oath.

But there is a whole lot less wiggle room with the Third Oath. Is it shadowspawn? Yes or No. Now the Aes Sedai can be mistaken, but that is a minor loophole. Your example of a gryphon while possibly true, is fairly far fetched. What if somebody decided they wanted to dress up in a very realistic trolloc costume for some reason, and then came upon an Aes Sedai? There are all kinds of scenarios that you can come up with to get around the Third Oath, but they are all far fetched technicalities with very limited implications.

For instance, the Aes Sedai attacked the raken that they thought were shadowspawn. But after Elayne and Nynaeve explained that they weren't shadowspawn but Seanchan, the Aes Sedai would never be able to use the One Power on them again, unless they felt their life was in extreme danger.

And your comment about the Second Oath, having Perrin make one doesn't mean anything. The Oath isn't that an Aes Sedai can't make a weapon, but that they can't use the One Power to make a weapon. Perrin can't use the One Power to make a weapon in any case. There can be ways around that as well, but they are fairly limited.
Tricia Irish
241. Tektonica
Another big Geez.....you guys are incredible...round and round you go....I had no idea there were so many intense feelings about Elayne! She's one of the Good Guys! And as such, she has luck...a lot....and she does brave, sometimes stupid, but inherently Good things. Maybe there's just a lot of anti-royalty US thinking here? I'm mystified about the intensity of this debate.

But I must say, you guys are very good thinkers, researchers and educators!
Fun to read!

Toryx...I loved your scenario, but alas, it's RJ's book and that just did not happen. Sigh. Could've cut a few verbiage corners.

One thing I am concerned about, seriously....I know the SAS sent an embassy to Rand, but I think it a bit odd that they didn't make more of a move to ingratiate themselves to The Dragon Reborn. They do have Nynaeve and Egwene with them to approach him and see what it would take to work together, after all. Oh, but that would entail honest discussion and communication! Silly me!

I find that upon this reread, and my own personal one, somewhat behind this public one, that I am becoming the most frustrated by the lack of communication, trust, loyalty to friends, lack of support, etc. Even more than men and women not cooperating, I think this is the Prime Subject of these books. Almost ALL of the road blocks, and misunderstandings and fears and anger comes from lack of honest communication.
D R
242. Ouroboros
RE: Elayne. I’m a little concerned that I’m coming across as an Elayne basher. I do think that she deserves praise for holding on for as long as she does, and I agree that what she did was necessary. However, I’m not convinced that she did a good job, nor by some of the arguments given in her defence. I’m going to step up and have another swing, but just for the fun of the debate. That’s to say, I’m picking wholes in arguments now because its fun. Got that? No shouts of Elayne basher, please.

Yes, the Aes Sedai don’t know everything, but their extreme reaction should make it clear that, even if the wise ones can do it, it can still go horribly wrong. I.E. the fact that they don’t know it is possible is irrelevant, but the fact that they know it can go horribly wrong is very relevant. Elayne shouldn’t have dismissed that so readily.

Aviendha says that you have to be taught, and that some women are better at it than others. Again, she should have taken note of this. Also, the jump from "Aviendha can do it" to "I can do it without training and without a serious risk” Is definitely over-confident. I can only assume that Aviendha's hint of a sneer is what makes Elayne think that this is easier than it actually is. There’s also Aviendha’s “surprisingly anxious” reaction as soon as she realises what Elayne is about to do.

You can say that she did the best with the info at hand, but I say that she didn’t gather the right info, even though it was there for the taking.

As for the time factor: toryx has already gone to the mat on this but I’ll add my bit too. At the start of the chapter, Elayne is going through the ter’angreal and Aviendha is sitting cross-legged on the ground. We see everyone else running around but all through Elayne's POV. In short, she isn't doing that much and would certainly have time for a few questions.

For those that think she didn't asked questions because she didn't want to debate the point with Aviendha and Nynaeve: if this is so, then it wasn't Elayne's decision to make. Nynaeve is the senior Aes Sedai on sight and we all know how much Elayne hates other Aes Sedai trying to usurp her authority. INSUBORDINATION!

As for her being shielded stopping us from knowing whether she might have succeeded? Phaw! One might even say boy!

To her eye the gateway resembled some monstrous, distorted hundred-heads on the bottom of a pond, surrounded by flailing tendrils, every one thickly haired with threads of the Power that grew and writhed and vanished only to be replaced by new... Her legs began to tremble; strain stung her eyes as much as sweat did. She did not know how much longer she could go on…
Desperately, she seized another thread from where she lay half on her back. And realized to her horror after one tug that it was all she could do to hold on. Had the thread moved? Had it slipped free any at all? If it had, she did not dare let go. The thread trembled greasily in her grasp...
Elayne tried to control her breathing. She could not embrace one shred more of the Power, nothing to help. “The two of you must get away,” she said. She could not believe how she sounded, calm as ice; she knew she should have been wailing. Her heart was trying to pound through her ribs. “I don’t know how much longer I can hold this.” That held true for the entire weave as much as for that single thread. Was it sliding? Was it? “Go, as fast as you can. The other side of the hills should be safe, but every span you can cover gains something. Go!”

I think we can all agree that by this point she's lost the battle. The thing is going to collapse and Elayne knows it too, otherwise she wouldn't be telling them to run and saying "I don't know how long I can hold it." Most importantly, she hasn't been shielded yet. In fact, she was struggling badly before the Seanchan even turned up. So, I don’t think the “what if she hadn’t been shielded” argument holds any water. Regarding the risk. Is the explosion the worst possible outcome? We don’t know that. A gateway is bending the fabric of reality. Who knows what could have happened.

It is her friends who pulled her out that deserve the praise, most especially Aviendha who really knew the risk. As to whether it was justified? I think it was, but Elayne took it upon herself to make that decision and I don’t think she thought it through very well before hand.

Okay, that was fun. Go ahead and cry Elayne basher!

FYI, I don't really have a problem with her character. No more than I do with most of the others. I could do with out the noble airs though. I know some would say that she was brought up with them and should therefore be forgiven, but I sometimes find her high-born attitude a little grating. Granted, she’s nowhere near as bad as some of the other nobles (most in fact) that we’ve seen, but it adds an aspect to her character which I can’t bring myself to simply pass over. I also got sick to the back teeth with the Mat bashing, not that Mat was without fault in that. He does have a nack for saying exactly the wrong thing at the right time.

As for her recklessness. She's just one in a long line of reckless characters that has at its head, as has already been said, Egwene, Rand, and Mat. Whether luck, ta'verosity, or the word of Jordan gets them out of whatever cook pot they stick their head into, they're all reckless. And that's the point. I give praise where it’s due, but not when luck and other characters carry the day.
D R
243. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @199 RE: I'm not sure you can link while you're already holding a weave

"Carefully she wove Spirit, a flow of over a hundred threads, every thread placed just so, and laid the weave on Aviendha sitting on the floor, then did the same to Min on the table’s edge. In a way, they were not two separate weaves at all. They glowed with a precise similarity, and it seemed that looking at one, she saw the other as well. These were not the weaves used in the adoption ceremony, but they used the same principles. They included; what happened to one meshed in that weave, happened to all in it. As soon as the weaves were in place, she passed the lead of the circle of two to Aviendha. The weaves already made remained, and Aviendha immediately wove identical weaves around Elayne, and around Min again, blending that one until it was indistinguishable from Elayne’s before passing control back. They did that very easily now, after a great deal of practice. Four weaves, or rather, three now, yet they all seemed the same weave."

It's not completely clear from this whether Elayne is actually "holding" the weave as she passes the lead or not, but I can't see why it would be necessary to be linked if they were using separate weaves. This does raise another point though. Could Elayne have tied off the gate weave and then let Aviendha do the unravelling? That is, can one person unravel another's weave?
Noneo Yourbusiness
244. Longtimefan
Not to Elayne Bash but...more of an observation.

To Elayne Mat is a subject of Andor because he was born in the Two Rivers. He does not currently live there nor has he indicated that he intends to go back (to her/that I am aware of)

Elayne does not think that about anyone else that she speaks to from the Two Rivers. Nynaeve is never considered vocally or internally as a subject nor is Egwene. Sure one is Aes Sedai and the other the Amyrliin Seat but why does this give them a pass? She may be a member of the Tower but she is determined to be the Queen of Andor so her homeland still comes before the Tower.

Obviously Rand is the Dragon Reborn so he is not going to be seen as a subject, just a warder and husband. :)

Perrin and Elyane have not met for some time so she has not expressed an opinion about his "subjectivness" to anyone.

I realize that it has nothing to do with this chapter but it struck me while I was reading the comments that Elayne never sees Nynaeve as a subject.

I guess Mat better get on being Prince of the Ravens soon so he can have a job better than being a subject, maybe an action.
Alice Arneson
245. Wetlandernw
Ouroboros @243 - In the passage you quote, Elayne and Aviendha linked before she began weaving. Already linked, they could pass the weave back and forth readily. In the current chapters, a far better suggestion would have been to have Elayne pass the weave to Aviendha (which is totally possible - they do it all the time with shields and such), but once she began the unravelling I don't think that was possible either.

Longtimefan @244 - Two reasons: primarily, Nynaeve and Egwene, once they become initiates of the Tower, are no longer "of" any nationality; Aes Sedai are supposed to let go of such things. Secondly, they've been through too much together to think of themselves as anything other than friends. Elayne & Egwene cried on each others' shoulders through their novitiate; Nynaeve got the job of dunking Elayne's head when she got drunk... And they both cried in Nynaeve's lap when they finished their Accepted testing. That's not the kind of relationship that lends itself to thinking in terms of queen/subject. Elayne hasn't had that kind of "bonding experience" (for lack of time to come up with a better term) with Mat yet. If they were together longer at this point, it might have happened there too, but they weren't and it didn't. Who knows about TofM?
Julian Augustus
246. Alisonwonderland
Beren@113:
If it looks like shadowspawn, she can kill it.
-- Case in point. Also, don't go to the White Tower in your awesome Trolloc costume on the feast of Hallo'Een. You won't get any candy.

You've had me chuckling to myself all evening. Love your sense of humour.
D R
247. Ouroboros
Aegnor @210 RE: Is there some story behind your spelling of Aes Sedai as Ais Sedai? Just curious...

*sighs* There is. It's the same reason I don't talk about the book covers. It's easy to spell a word correctly when you see it every time you open the book. For some reason, Ais got into my head and stayed there. I’ve already reprogrammed it.
Alice Arneson
248. Wetlandernw
Are you saying you're an audio-book guy? I wondered about that...
john massey
251. subwoofer
@Blocksmith264- yes, that was perfect. Now if you could keep your other posts like that:P

@Scissor- you are confusing frequency of posting with length of posting. I post like a champion. But I follow the Keep It Simple Subwoofer line of thought.

@MAT-perhaps trying some Head and Shoulders for that itch;)

Woof™.
Eric Hughes
252. CireNaes
Ouroboros@235
"I haven’t been guilty of this crime for a good few years now. BTW, what’s the difference between a bull and an orchestra?"

It is a matter of a proper recognition as to where the horns are and where the ummmm...red eye of anger is...yeah, that's what I'm going with on that one.

@The Three Oaths

As I said earlier. They are very necessary since the AS are a nation of channelers. The Oaths enable political interaction without too much anxiety from the other party and they have worked fairly well for quite some time. If the Aes Sedai dissolve themselves as a nation and become more of a guild, then they can get rid of the Oaths. Or at least two of them, which should increase their lifespans considerably providing that stacking more than one Oath is that much more damaging over the long term.

Edit: For grammar.
Hugh Arai
253. HArai
J.Dauro@236:
The oath does not say you have to use the One Power to defend yourself when you feel threatened, just that you can. But Annoura felt threatened twice. Once by the Shaido, and then by the Wise Ones. But in the Wise Ones case, using the Power would not help, and would cause severe problems for Annoura.


The Oath says "Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending your own life, that of your warder, or that of another sister".

I don't think Annoura was claiming the Shaido were all Darkfriends so she had to be claiming she was in "the last extreme of defending her life or that of her warder or another sister". So you're arguing that the Wise One scared her so much that she put off the last extreme of defending her life? Perhaps. Or perhaps she just interprets the last extreme of defending her life as "they're scaring me". Either way it doesn't seem to bind her much more than say.. the self restraint the Wise Ones were showing at the time.


But if Amys thought you were intending harm to Rand, your butt would be dead in a heartbeat. Though she wouldn't need the Power to do it, she could do it. The Aes Sedai can't.


Actually I'd be surprised if an Aes Sedai couldn't convince herself anyone trying to kill the Dragon Reborn was a Darkfriend. Most of them seem happy to consider anything short of immediately lethal to not count as a weapon, so at the very least any of them could beat you within an inch of your life and stuff you in a box. Some protection :).

Aegnor@240: It's not Shadowspawn yes/no, it's Shadowspawn or Darkfriend or might kill me yes/no. And from observed Aes Sedai behavior that seems to leave enough wiggle room to make the Oath damn easy finesse or to just plain get wrong.

My point about the Second Oath is that it forbids something no one needs to do anyway. Whoopty doo.
Why don't they swear never to pick their nose with the One Power too?
Janet Hopkins
254. JanDSedai
Just want to address a point to clarify something somebody said very early in the thread about feeling emotions in the circle. I was reading TGS last night, and found a relevant passage. Just before Egwene's MOA fighting the Seanchan, she is teaching the novices to link:

"She smiled at the thrill of it. She could feel Nicola, sense her fear, her emotions bubbling over. Egwene had been part of enough circles to know how to separate herself from Nicola, but Egwene remembered that first time, how she had felt swept up into something far larger than herself."

Ah, Cloric@8, I guess that explains your confusion on that count.

Locally, we have had 4 days of sunny weather, so the river/fooding has been going down. My road is still closed, and of course Riverside Dr., but the bridges are open, and people have started to clean up. It's not near as bad as Nashville, where bridges and roads were washed away, and whole neighborhoods were underwater. Schools are not expected to resume until next week sometime.
Birgit
255. birgit
Look at the Revelutionary War in a textbook on the European continent. In those books we are the bad guys.

In German history / English textbooks the Americans were the good guys who fought for democracy against the European colonial powers. We didn't really learn that much about non-European history. I'd have prefered to learn something about Africa or Asia (which hardly seemed to exist in our history curriculum) instead of doing the French Revolution three times.
Tina Pierce
256. scissorrunner
[b][u]MasterAlThor!! Happy graduation day!!! [/u]
*confetti*
*noisemakers*
*etc*
D R
257. Ouroboros
RobMRobM @216: no and NO! (With Avi involved it would be best to keep a safe distance.)
Captain Hammer
258. Randalator
Subwoofer @251

This reminds me of Cameron and Titanic. The guy could not edit to save himself. Did he really need to spend over 4 hours of my life to let me know the ship sinks?

The ship sinking was done very well, it was the sappy love story that ate away all the time and made the film all but unwatchable for me...

Talk about trying to shoot a guy for screwing your girl ON A SINKING SHIP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN! *headdesk*
Marcus W
259. toryx
Isilel @ 231:

I wasn't talking about the Windfinders in Ebou Dar. Part of my point in my dream scenario was that had Elayne decided to wait on using the bowl and not bargained with the Windfinders in Ebou Dar, she could have worked with the Seafolk that Rand's people were bargaining with in Cairhien.

I don't doubt that the Bowl was used incorrectly. I just think it would have been interesting to see it used with both men and women rather than women only, and I wonder if there would have been any change in the effect and/or weirdness that came after.

As for the rest of your comments regarding Elayne compared to the others...you may be right. Maybe I'm unfairly critical of Elayne. I was thinking last night that I would like to go through the books and take passages where Elayne did something and compare them with the places where the others did them too so I can better illustrate how and why I think they're different. Alas, I simply don't have the time.

So I'll just say that for whatever reason, I perceive Elayne to be more foolhardy, and irresponsible than the others in dangerous circumstances. I could be wrong, but that's why I dislike her so much and give her more flak than the others.

I think it also makes a difference in that people always agree with Rand, Perrin, or Mat acting foolishly to the point where there's no real basis for argument. I don't feel like I have to criticize Rand for running off to deal with the rebels because everyone (except Rand) knows how dumb it was.
Marcus W
260. toryx
Man-o @ 230:

Thanks for the understanding. I just don't like going through a lot of work and then getting the sense that my argument is being dismissed as another whiny, "Elayne is too bossy" or whatever post.

Wetlandernw @ 234 and J.Dauro @ 236:

Well it was just a flight of fancy inspired by Gentleman Farmer's post. Obviously RJ did it another way and that was at least largely entertaining. I just thought it was interesting to play with the possibilities.

I don't agree that Elayne would have just sat around in Caemlyn waiting though. Even if the Wise Ones refused to tell her (which I don't really buy, but whatever) she'd have heard that Rand was in Cairhien if she'd put any effort into finding out. It's not like it was a huge secret at that time.

Oh, and Wetlandernw: I don't think Mat would have gone with them. The pattern grabbed hold of him and wouldn't let him know, using Olver to do it. That probably would have happened whether Elayne bargained with the Seafolk or not. Good point about the Kin at the farm though.

Tektonica @ 241:

No anti-royalty here. I have no problem with a monarchy, particularly in a fantasy scenario. But I really dislike the Trakands in general. The only one I like out of that bunch is Galad.

As far as the communication issue, that's a common device in writing. You see it all the time both in genre and outside of it. I hate it; it's almost gotten to be cliche to me at this point. But it's also sadly realistic. One of my favorite things about Stephen King's books is that there's almost always a point where the main characters sit down and share what they know. It's SO satisfying to actually see that happen!

Ouroboros:

One thing you said that other people have mentioned as well: Birgitte and Aviendha were purely awesome in refusing to leave Elayne behind. They really shone in those scenes. I think your argument regarding Elayne's precarious position with the threads was strongly portrayed as well. Well done!

One more point: you mentioned that Nynaeve is the senior Aes Sedai and I agree. I think it's interesting that Elayne was the one who was largely in charge of things. I think that's the real reason that Nynaeve was all apologetic and weird acting...it was the device necessary for Elayne to take charge the way she did.

-------

New post today! I've bored people enough with the Elayne argument so I'm going to drop it for now. Sorry to go on and on as I have. Sometimes I just don't know when to shut up...
James Jones
261. jamesedjones
I have to second Sub's thoughts at 251. There are waaaaaay too many posts that are waaaaaay too long to read.

On the other hand, it doesn't look like there have been more than a handful of posts that were eaten by the security. So... maybe epic posts are the key.

Elayne: Silly and immature, with a number of blind spots regarding many favorite characters. But she rocked in the end. Yes, it was due to pure, dumb luck. And it still rocked. :)
Tess Laird
262. thewindrose
jamesedjones and subwoofer - Am I reading this right - too many posts that are too long? Are we reading the same series - WoT??

;);)tempest™
D R
263. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @234 RE: rebellion

It's a pity we didn't get more of a build up to this, and maybe a bit more on the fighting itself. We know that relations between the Ajahs were not good, but open fighting in the tower seems a long way from what we saw before. Of course, it was done behind closed doors and the BA was playing both sides, so I suppose it was meant to be a surprise to us. Oh, for a few more Mesaana POVs.

Wetlandernw @239 RE: Sea Folk

Yeh, sorry about that. I went from agreeing with you to speaking to all without making the switch clear. I'd also like some more on the Sea Folk, though maybe not from within - sounds messy. I'm interested to know what Harine's question of Rand will be. Knowing her, something that will help her claim her prophesied title.

One criticism I do have of them is the way in which wind finders get drop kicked when there boss dies. Seems unfair to me.

About your itch. I think you can get an ointment for that. As to the rest, my copy of the books was printed in the Fifth Age, spellings come and pass. Seriously though, see my other comments on this. Oh, and thanks for the complement.
Matthew Smith
264. blocksmith
Subwoofer@251

Sub=Pot=Kettle=Black.

Is that short enough for you?
Tina Pierce
265. scissorrunner
Subwoofer@251
was your tongue firmly planted in your cheek when you wrote that????
R B
266. MasterAlThor
scissorunner:

Thankyouvermuch.

ValMar, toryx:

I read this in a book, I am trying to remember the name of it. I might even own it. Have to look.

ValMar @229:

Yes please. I am very hungry.

Wetlander:

Even when a rebellion is justified (American Revelution) it is still unlawful. I wish to know your complete thoughts on this. I am not taking this personal, so I don't think there will be a war.

Ouroboros:

You get my point. Thank you, but where I think you didn't go far enough is here:

If you agree that Elaida is the lawful Amrylin and Egwene is the unlawful one, then you have to conclude that anything that is done by Egwene is unlawful. Which then means that the 4 she raised to Aes Sedai were raised unlawfully. Therefore, they are not truly Aes Sedai.

Now that Egwene has the Tower, those four women will now have to complete their ceremonies.

Subwoofer:

*blinks, stares, scratches head*

DragonoftheyoushouldseemenowSeptoftheI'mfinallygrownupAiel
D R
267. Ouroboros
Longtimefan @244: this is from the LoC prologue.

“Nynaeve still can’t decide whether I’m a friend or somebody she has to browbeat into doing what she thinks right. And she spends more time remembering I’m her Queen’s daughter than I do. I think she holds it against me sometimes. You never do that.”
“Maybe I’m not so impressed.” Min wore a grin, but on the other she sounded serious. “I was born in the Mountains of Mist, Elayne, at the mines. Your mother’s writ runs pretty thin that far west.” The smile vanished from her face. “I’m sorry, Elayne.”
Stifling a flash of indignation—Min was every bit as much a subject of the Lion Throne as Nynaeve!—Elayne let her head fall back against the tree. “Let’s talk of something happy.”
Noneo Yourbusiness
268. Longtimefan
@265 scissorrunner

I do not believe it was his tongue being planted in his cheek as much as it was his cheek being planted in his fingers.

@ Wetlander. As always you are great with the reasons. I was just thinking a board. I like Elayne and find her adventurous spirit fun to read. It is an epic story. People have to take risks and have daring challenges to face or it just sounds like a whole class of Amish kids writing about what they did over the summer which is good in a laura ingalls wilder way but not in an epic swords and magic way.

Although..... Little House on the Prarie with channeling and swords would be so.....FANTASTIC!

Especially if mean ol' Nellie Olsen was slightly stronger in the power than either of the Ingalls girls (Carrie was never old enough in the show to channel). They would have to link to thwart her plans but could never openly attack her together or individually. They could take the starch out of her crinoline however.

@ 267

Thanks for that quote!
Ron Garrison
269. Man-0-Manetheran
Tek@241 re. "Prime Subject" - I'm pretty sure Harriet would agree with you!
D R
270. Ouroboros
Wetlandernw @248: Well, I don't think I've ever heard it called that before. *chuckles* I use e-books and scanned text files as well.

"I wondered about that..." That bad eh? I'm now doing all this in word, which now has a very interesting looking custom dictionary. *sigh* I need an editor.
Tricia Irish
271. Tektonica
MAT:

Congratulations Abound!

Plays **Pomp and Circumstance**

Party in the Bunker in MAT's honor! Suffa, get some ice!

toryx@260:

One of my favorite things about Stephen King's books is that there's almost always a point where the main characters sit down and share what they know. It's SO satisfying to actually see that happen!

Oh, I do hope we get a moment or TEN like this in the next two books.....if not, the Light might not make it at Tar'mon Gaidan. It will be so sweet after all these books of distrust, secrecy and fear.

I haven't had much to say on the Great Elayne Debate, but I'm going on record here as saying, I like her. I like her "pluck". She's trying things on and learning about the Real World outside the Palace and trying to apply the lessons she's been taught. Yes, she does some reckless things, but ALL our Super Girls and Guys do. It's fun. It's fiction. They are not a cookie cutter characters. They are not perfect. They have warts. So I have no problem with the use of the Bowl of the Winds.....other than extremely rude SeaFolk windfinders. (And I get why they are cranky and fearful, but they are still rude.)

Onward! **twitching**
Tricia Irish
272. Tektonica
Longtimefan@268:

Although..... Little House on the Prarie with channeling and swords would be so.....FANTASTIC!

ROFLOL.....Those books will never be the same again!
Hugh Arai
273. HArai
Ouroboros@263
One criticism I do have of them is the way in which wind finders get drop kicked when there boss dies. Seems unfair to me.


Something of the sort would be required to provide turnover. Otherwise high ranking Windfinders (who are very likely to be channelers) could get locked in the same positions for hundreds of years. That would likely lead to discontent, rebellion, complacency, general staleness and so on.
R B
274. MasterAlThor
I am going to wade into the deep waters here.

Elayne.

Hmmm, I like her. I think that she gets the shaft sometimes, not as much as Avi, but she does get it.

Was she reckless, yep.
Did she take Avi's advice and run with it, yep.

Is she perfect, yep...errr I mean no.

Well htere you have it folks. I dumbed it down for simple people like myself.

Now if I can only do that with Nynaeve. Oh well.

DragonoftheIcan'thelpdislikingNynaeveSeptoftheain'tIastinkerAiel
nipper
275. chaplainchris
Wall of Text warning.

@ various re: Elayne, and Gentleman Farmer @192 in particular. The idea that Elayne goes after the Bowl as a gloryhound and forgets/changes her mind about using it to support Rand.

Um. No.

I almost want to leave it at that, but....Elayne supports Rand. In LOC, as an Accepted w/o standing, she uses the tools she has - subterfuge - to tie the Salidar Aes Sedai more closely to Rand. She's concerned that the AS might eventually give up their opposition and return to the Tower. Elaida wins = disaster for Rand. So Elayne lies that the Bowl will need a man's help, to push the SAS closer to the idea of allying with Rand, which incidentally separates them further from Elaida.

Elayne never changed her intentions regarding use of the Bowl, and indeed her goal was achieved before the Bowl was ever used. The SAS, instead of collapsing and going back to the Tower, chose an Amyrlin of their own - Egwene, who Elayne could certainly trust to support Rand! So Elayne's hopes for the Bowl are already fulfilled before she leaves for Ebou Dar - except, of course, the equally vital part about breaking the grip of the DO's summer that was killing everyone. For that, she still needed to get the Bowl and to attain the help of experts in Weaving the Winds.

jcmnyu @ 193 - I think the more important quote from JDurrow's list of residue reading is this one: "I could all but trace the weave, Mother, and it made no sense at all." The Aes Sedai in COT could nearly trace Rand's weave - noting that it was alien, as if made by a man, and made no sense - doing something none of them ever imagined, using saidar to funnel saidin. But she could very nearly trace the weave. That's the important point...it certainly makes it plausible that someone could trace and reproduce a weave even if they didn't know what it did.

How much more so, if they'd just seen people jumping through a hole in the air, and knew what the weave did?

@197 Harai (and others, RobMRobM) - re: Annoura. She's always been VERY high on my list of suspected Black Ajah. Her behavior is anomalous all through the Plotline That Won't Die. She's got a mysterious agenda and has visited Masema (who we KNOW was being manipulated by the Forsaken) on something she won't talk about even when it puts her on the outs with Berelain. And as in the scene here doesn't seem so bound by the Oaths as she ought to be. There's also her strange reactions to Cadsuane's questions about the "vileness" after the Aiel War...as if she knows more than she should. Not being Red or highly placed (either by strength or by position, like a Sitter), the simplest reason I can think of for her to know anything about the vileness is if she's Black. All very circumstantial and unconclusive, but I don't trust her at all.

Wetlander @ 199 - bravo to all. Especially for saving me the trouble of explaining that Egwene didn't claim that she and the others were unlawful!

I'll add that Egwene's philosophy, since meeting the WOs, has been "Do what you must, but pay for it." She won't be bound by the rules if there's sufficient reason to break them; but for her, evil comes from breaking rules and worming out of the consequences. In this case, she's getting the rebels to pay the consequence of their justified actions...eating humble pie and apologizing for the harm they did. Note that she similarly serves humble pie to the Sitters in the Tower after they raise her, berating them for their foolish actions. She treats all the sisters on both sides the same, helping to heal the rift. And by accepting her punishments from Silviana and Elaida, she's proven she's willing to live by her own philosophy. Do what you must, and pay the consequence.

It's similar to the BA hunters, in my mind - who decide to break Tower Laws while hunting the Black, but intend to do penance if required once the hunting is done. (Though I hope Egwene won't require that.)

Also, Egwene's argued to the Tower that *they* were unlawful - that they unlawfully murdered Siuan's Warder, and unlawfully (with influence of the Black Ajah) deposed and stilled Siuan and (again, with BA votes, and hence unlawfully) raised Elaida. So you're really got to twist the facts to get to 189's interpretation. At least imho, M-A-T, and congrats on your graduation!

@235 Ouroboros - when the rebels fled the Tower, they knew an Amyrlin's Warder had been murdered, the Amyrlin and Keeper taken and Stilled, and that fighting was breaking out on the grounds between Warders trying to free the Amyrlin and students fighting for Elaida. People were being murdered right and left. What were they supposed to do, sit and twiddle their thumbs?

Afterward, they're led to believe that not only was the deposing of Siuan and raising of Elaida suspicious, but the Reds had been setting up False Dragons (not true, but they beleive it, and it's definitely unlawful!) and Elaida had been acting disastrously towards both them and the Dragon Rebron.

And the girls aren't unlawfully claiming to be Aes Sedai. They were proclaimed Aes Sedai by their Amyrlin. Whether or not Egwene has that authority is unclear, but the sisters don't seem to question it. Rather they question the wisdom of doing it. When Elayne calls Merilille to account, she tells Merilille that refusing to accept Elayne and Nynaeve as Aes Sedai is rebellion against the Amyrlin Seat. Merilille agrees, apologizes, offers to do penance, and accepts them.

@241 Tektonika - miscommunication, have a drink!

@260 Toryx - regarding your dislike of Trakands in general. It's a shame that I can't really argue that, given Gawyn's general emo-ness. And Morgase...well, I still give her a pass for alot since she's been mind-raped and literally raped and lost everything and is at far from her best. She still showed spirit while a captive of the Aiel and has some admirable traits. She's one of the characters who's had the worst time, imo.

But if you remember our introduction to the Trakands in TEOTW - Gawyn and Elayne were nice to Rand, engaging, a little naive but definitely likable. And Morgase decided to follow her laws and not be ruled by paranoia or even her Aes Sedai advisor's advice, and let Rand leave the palace even though he'd entered, armed, without authorization.

IOW, she was pretty cool and MOA there.
D R
276. Ouroboros
toryx @260

Galad? He always struck me as the Vulcan of the piece. Go on boy, put on the ears and do the finger-thingy! His parents were also far too fond of the letter D for my liking.

I'm currently working through Song of Ice and Fire (Tune of Pain and Death, it seems) and I like the way he's handling the succession. I've just read the bit where one contestant turns round and says (paraphrasing), "I've got the best claim because I've got the biggest army. So there!" Sounds about right. History-victors-scribble-scribble-scribble.

And much obliged on the Elayne debate.
Marcus W
277. toryx
What, no post yet? Well I might as well keep talking about Elayne then...

Just kidding.

chaplainchris @ 275:

But if you remember our introduction to the Trakands in TEOTW - Gawyn and Elayne were nice to Rand, engaging, a little naive but definitely likable.

True. But I've known a number of people in my life that I found quite likable in the beginning, only to learn that they were a real prick. Sometimes it takes a while to get to the heart of things. :)

I do like that Morgase let Rand go against Elaida's objections. She certainly was regal there. She does have her moments, as when she was captured by the Aiel. But her personality does nothing for me. I choose not to spend time with anyone who might treat me well for years only to want my head when I do something she doesn't like. And she's treated the people who left Caemlyn with her quite detestably, in my opinion. I'd have abandoned her royal ass long since if she treated me the way she treats them.

Ouroboros @ 276:

I've honestly never seen Galad as so insufferable as a Vulcan. I don't agree with all of his decisions, and I don't think I'd be too thrilled about his adherence to doing the right thing, but I respect him for staying true to his values. That and I kinda have to like someone Elayne complains that frequently about.

Glad you're enjoying aSoIaF. My favorite fantasy series of all time, right there. Which surely lowers me in the estimation of many readers here. :) I think GRRM is very honest with the events and characters there.
D R
278. Ouroboros
HArai @273: It's not just a "position" that they lose, it's there rank as well. Move them to another post, but don't demote them back down to the bilges. Also, how long will Egwene be Amyrlin for? And what about the Wise Ones? It works for them.
nipper
279. chaplainchris
@277 Toryx - mostly agreed - but,

" I choose not to spend time with anyone who might treat me well for years only to want my head when I do something she doesn't like."

Oh, come on! That's under the control of Rahvin's Compulsion! Normally, she's magnanimous even with her enemies, as shown by pardoning her enemies after the last Succession. (Granted, that was a matter of policy, but still.)

New reread post where? *twitch*
Rob Munnelly
280. RobMRobM
leigh has posted in another thread - that means it's coming soon....
Marcus W
281. toryx
chaplainchris @ 279:

Actually, I'm talking about Thom.

RobM @ 280:

I don't know...I'm betting it'll be 5pm est when it gets posted today. Boy would I be glad to be wrong.
Maiane Bakroeva
282. Isilel
Toryx:

But if Elayne didn't enlist the Windfinders in Ebu Dar, they would have been taken by Seanchan. And IIRC Caire was a particular expert on the Bowl lore - which, after all, had been a dead knowledge for millenia. It is unknown if the other SF groups had somebody comparable.

As to the Bowl use - as has been refernced here, RJ himself said that it has been used correctly, just on the much higher power setting than envisioned, and that inclusion of men wouldn't have changed the effects. And if you can't trust RJ, who can you trust ;)?

Re: the boys, no I don't see people consistently holding their foolishness against tham, as they do with SGs.
And also, their impulsive dangerous stunts are much more likely to be praised as MoAs - whether they need to be bailed out by third parties as result or not. IMHO, YMMV.

BTW, I too would have liked more ASOIAF-style grittness and realism in WoT, complete with the original retired-warrior main hero. But that's not how RJ decided to swing it, so...

Also, Patrick O'Brien's "Aubrey and Maturin" series has been mentioned somewhere in this thread - and I want to add my voice to to it's praises. It is great, particularly from the volume 2 on and until... oh volume 18? 19? They are short volumes, though, 3 making a good-sized book. And yes, the film just jumbled too much despite good actors and visuals.
R B
283. MasterAlThor
chaplainchris,

There are no twisting of facts here.

*kicks facts under the computer desk*

Whatever do you mean??? I am just following logic. I never claimed that Egwene didn't say that she wasn't unlawful.

I went back and checked what I said at 189. I didn't see any twisting of facts.

Truthfully this is getting very far afield of my original intent. I wanted to speak about Elayne and the others being raised to the level of Aes Sedai. I contended that they were not really Aes Sedai in the sense that they weren't raised properly. I even admit that the point is moot, but there it is.

As far as Egwene goes I stand by my statement that regardless of the reasons, and I agree with those reasons, she was the unlawful Amrylin and so her actions, up until she became lawful, were unlawful.

Thanks for the congrats. It has been a long time coming.

DragonoftheahhhhIgotnuttinAiel
Marcus W
284. toryx
Well played, RobM. Well played.
Rob Munnelly
285. RobMRobM
post is up. Toryx - told you so!

Edit- simultaneous post. Leigh does it every week; she hands the re-read post to Torie, checks the site, and posts on the ones that interest her. It's going to a basketball game and seeing the team come out onto the floor to shoot layups and a few jump shots. You know it means the game will be started for real in 20 minutes.
D R
286. Ouroboros
chaplainchris @275

Obviously, I don't agree with what was done but we're talking about the legal interpretation of this. The victor can say what they like about what happened, but when the rebellion began, it was unlawful.

Elaida had been raised and Siuan deposed before any action was taken, and it was done by the necessary number of sitters of what everyone believed to be a lawful hall. So, the Aes Sedai owed there allegiance to Elaida, however distasteful that might be. No Amyrlin's warder was killed because Siuan was not Amyrlin when it happened. Likewise, no Amyrlin nor Keeper was stilled.

The blues may have fled in fear of there lives, but the warders rose up and attempted to rescue Siuan, in spite of the fact that she was legally deposed. Also, what reasons did the sisters from the other Ajahs have to flee? Finally, once they had reached safety, they could have waited for tempers to cool and then begin to treat with Elaida and attempt to secure a safe return to the tower. In stead, they began to build an army and make plans to take Tar Valon by force.

Regarding the girls. At the end of TGS (and this was what I was referring to) they are not lawful sisters because the Amyrlin requires all sisters who stood in rebellion to apologise to her, before being acquitted and readmitted to the tower. And the word acquitted came from Egwene's mouth, not mine. They haven't been acquitted yet, so they are unlawfully claiming there titles.
Vincent Lane
287. Aegnor
HArai@253,

Aegnor@240: It's not Shadowspawn yes/no, it's Shadowspawn or Darkfriend or might kill me yes/no. And from observed Aes Sedai behavior that seems to leave enough wiggle room to make the Oath damn easy finesse or to just plain get wrong.


I never thought that the Oath applied to darkfriends (though wikipedia disagrees). Adding darkfriends makes it somewhat easier to work around, but the Aes Sedai would still need to actually believe that the person they were attacking was a darkfriend.

My point about the Second Oath is that it forbids something no one needs to do anyway. Whoopty doo.
Why don't they swear never to pick their nose with the One Power too?


I think you underestimate the importance of the 2nd Oath. We're not talking about simple swords. The swords themselves are swords that would never rust, always be sharp, and would be unbreakable by normal means. That would be a HUGE advantage. But even aside from that, ter'angreals that shoot balefire, or fireballs, or shoot some other form of projectile, or any number of other possible weapons that could be created by Aes Sedai. Not all ter'angreals required the user to be able to channel.
Don Barkauskas
288. bad_platypus
Aegnor @ 287:

The Oath applying to Darkfriends was a retcon. It didn't originally.
john massey
289. subwoofer
I see my post @250-went up in smoke again-Yay TOR Wizards.

Maybe you turned your spam filter up too high.

Before we were getting Ugg boots and TNF. Now us common users are getting dummy slapped because you now have the spam filter set to "FRAG".

Woof™.
nipper
290. Divil The Bother
Can't believe the number of posts crediting Elayne with a MOA for recklessly attempting to do something that put hundreds of people's lives at risk where the odds of success were practically zilch.

What sort of moron thinks they can do something that up until a day ago was accepted as impossible because someone else who has practiced for years is able to.

Not only does this demonstrate a total inability to make rational choices under any kind of pressure, but it also shows a complete lack of awareness of the impact of her reckless behaviour on others.

I'm sorry but rather than a MOA this passage displays behaviour you would criticise if carried out by a self-centred child.

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